Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Blog About Them...

People, in general, as a whole, have a misconception of my life. They think, they believe, that I live some sort of charmed existence, some manner of magical realm that isn’t real. A life where everything is wonderful and perfect and there is no pain, there is no striving (everyday) for better, there is no challenge. The truth is, my life is murky, complicated and difficult…on a daily basis, yet, no one would ever know it’s truth depth, unless I tell them. And for the few (the very few) who know my battle, I earn their undying respect. And it is because I always play eight moves ahead. I know the endgame. I have seen it, and right now, I lay in waiting. Now is my time to exert patience above else, and even if the players do not understand my strategy, I do. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with pain, suffering and challenges on my part. Because…it does.  

I have seen, dealt and met with sorrow and tragedy that would leave most people spinning; things that would make most people break in half to never recover. I write things in my head that will never see the light of day, because the darkness of such things is not ready to be exposed…at least, not yet. The trivial, petty problems that most folks gripe about are things I am all too well acquainted with, yet they do not affect me. And it is not because I am better or saintly, but rather, because I am far less than saintly. It is because I am one of those people who have lived through seven circles of hell. So we don’t discuss that life, not because it doesn’t matter, but not much else affects us after that.

Everyone in life is given only what they can deal with. I get that. So with that being said, know this, light will always eclipse darkness, even if it takes 100 years to do so. Sometimes, most times, the best souls have to earn the right to exercise patience to a degree that is near saintly, in order to help those who need it see the light.

So here is an exercise in my own….it’s a blog about “them” that I wrote two weeks ago.
In recent years, I haven’t talked much about my children. At one point, I remember that was all I ever did. Then, a series of unfortunate events knocked me a bit off kilter. Now? I find myself drawn to discuss my roots, to go back to what molded me, to what made me, and the first thing that popped into my mind when I began pondering this thought where my three children. So this? Well, this is all about them.

I miss her. I miss her more than words can say, more than my heart can ever express. She will never know how many times I have been at the mall, on the internet or online and see an owl (her signature thing), and my heart well up in my chest…feeling like I am going to burst into tears at any moment. Yet she, as stubborn and bull headed as I am, remains estranged, and that is my fault as much as it is hers. And she probably will for many years. But what I miss about my college aged girl is her drive, her tenacity, her spunk, her care, her compassion, her loving and gentle nature. She (and she is going to hate this with a passion), reminds me of me at her age. So full of love and second chances, but with the capacity to be so cold and unforgiving, all at the same time. Regardless, her work ethic, her drive, her ambition will give her the keys to set the world on fire. And, even if we never speak again, I hope she knows that I love her more than words can say, and my heart hurts every day that I don’t see her beautiful face. She will do amazing things, of this I have no doubt.

My DD. My sweet, precious Deaunna. You were probably one of the most difficult babies I have ever encountered. Always colicky, always fussy and eternally high strung…but with one of the purest hearts I have ever known. Even when we butt heads and argue, even when everything seems to be going wrong, that girl will be the first to cry, but also the first to say she is sorry, even when she has nothing to apologize for. Never in my life have I met someone more combative, but also more willing to want to try and do the right thing. Of you, I could not be more proud. Whatever road life takes you down, I have no doubt that your street smarts will help you navigate. You remind me constantly of where I failed as a mother (even though I tried to do my best), not because you are hateful or vindictive, but because I see where I needed to do better. You have become a woman I am incredibly proud of. And, no matter what I always will be. You? You are the flagship. You just don’t know it yet. When you have finished navigating your stormy waters, I have faith that you will see that. Regardless, know that I love you beyond measure…and I always will.

It took you 12 years to get to where it took me 34. You? Out of all of my daughters are the strongest. And, unfortunately, out of all of them, the most like me. You have a heart of gold that you mask in sarcasm. You were my greatest student in that regard. Yet, as such, I know you. I see you. Inside you want to be seen, even if you want to be invisible. But you? You have a gift. Your art, your music and your passion will fuel the fire to become one of the greatest women anyone has ever met. Your potential is unlimited…never forget that. No bully, no person, no parent (not even me) can break you. You are better than that. You always have been and always will be unbreakable.

But all Three of you…Know This…Above All
 I have no favorites between  you three. I value you each differently…for different reasons…but know that I speak to you differently based on that assessment. You? You’re different, and I couldn’t be more pleased that you are. Never embrace normality. Ever. You are meant to set the world on fire. And I know you will. Find your medium, find your platform and embrace your destiny.

What scares me most is that each of you represents a stage of my own personality, as I have evolved through the years, using your own unique viewpoints. I see so much of me (good and bad) in each of you. As your mother, what I want for you is only the good I have left, only the good I have given you…and sadly, I have given you bad as well. I have never been perfect, and I will never be. But what I want for each of you (what I have always wanted) is for you to be better than me. In some ways, you all are, in others you aren’t (and that is just life experience talking, you are all more than capable). So now, I adjust my goggles and say that I want you to be the best YOU that you can be, and no matter what, I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, your mommy I’ll be.

 I love you all more than words can say, and I cannot wait to live to see the day that you all three set the world ablaze better than I ever could. Because you can…and you will. Do it. Live it. Learn it. Make it happen. There are no three women in the world better equipped to change it than you three, together. There is strength in numbers and in love, and between the three of you, I have never seen more strength or love than I see with you girls. Do your best. Do your worst. Do it all. But just do it. Make the change in the world that I couldn’t. If there are three women who can, it’s you. And the entire reason for my existence? Well, it was for you three. You are the best things I could ever hope to leave on this Earth, for as long as I live. You make me proud, every day. All of you, for different reasons. Never stop being you, and never stop living in truth. Ever. Challenge yourselves…every day.

All my love,

Your Mommy

Friday, April 4, 2014

. I Would Rather Be Your Respected Enemy Than Your Agreeable Friend.

Life is….Interesting

To say the least, life is interesting. It’s challenging, it’s interesting…to say the least.

Those Who You Think….

These people, they become your "core". You think you cannot live without them…but you do. And when you do, you find that life is actually a better, more “normal” place. Recently, I have cut people out of my life, people I believed I needed, but I didn’t. And it isn’t that they are bad people, but they are on a different path than what I am on. Funny thing is this: Since I have cut them out, great things seem to happen. Sometimes we have to let go of people we love, in order to get to the ‘us’ we are supposed to be.

And My Confession Is…
I don’t miss them. Perhaps I should, but I don’t. I have recently gotten redirected (in life) with people who are more on my wavelength, individuals who understand where I want to go and who support that. And how did I meet these people? Facebook and in person…the two mediums I know work.  

I am Who I am

Good, bad, ugly and indifferent, I have never been afraid to show you all who and what I am, nor will I ever be. It isn’t bravery that leads me to do so, it’s integrity. And yes, I have made many enemies in the process, and that bothers me not in the least. Not only do I not want to be everyone’s cup of tea, but less than that, I don’t want to be everyone’s friend. I understand that you can earn respect without friendship, and I am perfectly okay with that. I would rather be your respected enemy than your agreeable friend. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Talk is…Cheap

 In my 34, nearly 35 years on this planet, I have concluded one universal truth…talk is cheap. And I will tell you why:

1. Just because someone talks, doesn’t mean they have something worth saying
In my years on this big blue marble, I have (time and again) run into two personality types: those who talk just to talk, and those who prefer to let their actions speak louder than words. I can say this with abject humility, because I have been both of these people, and I have learned from being both of these people. And what I can tell you is this: If someone is constantly trying to convince you of their value, they don’t see their own.

It’s those who know their value, who will drop everything and be there when you need them; those who do kind things without announcing them and with no expectation of reciprocation that are worth keeping. Voices? Well, voices are just that…white noise, little more.

2. Communication means nothing unless actions back it up

I have (over the years) become a non-communicator -- at least in one on one conversations…well, most of them. Why? For a few reasons. Personally? I am a very public persona with a very private side -- whether you believe this or not is of no consequence to me, you don’t pay my bills, so your opinion of my life holds little bearing for me. But for me, I have very little filter. I tend to say what is on my mind, in my way, on my terms. I keep my circle of one on one conversations limited to five people. And while those five people change from time to time, I limit that for a reason…and those reasons are my own. But, I am willing to share this: I keep my private life limited to five people because I can manage that, and because, in truth, there are only about five people I can trust. Take a look at your own life, and you will likely find that you are the same in many ways. I prefer to show who I am and how I feel in my way and on my terms. I prefer to be the person who can be counted on, not just the mouthpiece. Actions > words. Always.

3. The thing is…I don’t care

Hold on. Calm down. Here is the deal. I care more and far more deeply about other people than they will ever realize. I spend my time paying it forward in a multitude of ways each day; through small interactions, favors and conversations than others do talking about it. (Actions > words) However, I don’t care what they think of me. Mine? My choice in life is to be the person who guides and steers and who stays in the background, who shows the example, but who doesn’t interact with more than a select few. There is a certain honesty in mystery. There is more honesty in someone who shares for the right reasons, not for the sole purpose of pushing their own selfish agenda. Because, you see, mine has always been one purpose: to teach, to educate, to help others through my own pain, through my own mistakes and lessons (of which there are many). 

But there is beauty in this. You see, I don’t have to have a million one on one conversations to do this, I only have to have one conversation with a million…and if that conversation inspires one, changes one, awakens one, that is what makes me happy. And knowing it has, and that it does, is why I write. And…why I always will. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Milk is Murder?

Those of you who know me, know that I rarely watch television. However, tonight, I found myself wrapped up in an episode of ‘Mystery Diners’, featuring an episode of a San Franciscian based restaurant called “Source”. As part of the undercover discovery, the CSI-ers of this foodie based show uncovered one particular employee who was particularly…well…shall we say…misguided. (Which is my very kind and loving way of saying ‘total idiot’.)

Where it began coming undone…for me
One particularly ‘hempy’ twenty something employee -- complete with hundreds of dollars worth of dread perming (dreadful perm or dreadlocks on a white girl…your call) -- performed the quintessential liberal sin…pushing HER beliefs on everyone else. If there is ANYTHING that rubs me the wrong way faster than a Brillo pad on a chemical burn, it’s someone who forces their own beliefs down someone else’s throat. 

Vegans, in my experience, have a particularly sinful method of doing just that, in the most in-your-face way possible. And this employee of ‘Source’, proved no exception to my personal experiences.

She began by speaking with one of the undercover workers about chickens, burned beaks and protecting eggs. She reached out to the other female employee, embracing her in an attempt toward ovarian preservationary female bonding act, comparing the human female species to chickens with burned beaks…all in the name of egg protection. Are you kidding me? You must be. This, my friends is a primary reason why liberals should be forced to undergo an IQ test prior to being allowed to procreate.

And then…milk was murder
Another undercover foodie was instructed to order a vegan burger with cheese from said ovarian-baked-hemp-wearing-hippie. The employee? Well, she insisted that her employer did not offer ‘real cheese’ as a menu option because “milk was murder”, even though that was an outright lie. And, if you have never born witness to one of my in person rants, allow to me to say that you, quite frankly, missed out this evening. Milk is murder? Perhaps we should all stop breast-feeding our offspring then. Perhaps we should ban all livestock from doing the same. Milk is murder? On the contrary, milk is life. Correct me if I am wrong, but I have never heard of a bovine-related fatality based on udder pulling, or any other animal for that matter -- and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even drink milk unless it’s almond in nature. My ‘udder’ (yes, play on words here) disdain for this manner of forceful behavior is nothing short of ‘udderly’ disgusted.

Hypocrisy Now
Allow me to understand this correctly….you, as a self-prescribed hippy environmentalist, support capitalistic entities that take full advantage of you every day, including said ‘vegan-centric’ employer, ‘Source’ --yeah…for profit entity, genius. So, you feel good driving your hybrid across Los Angeles while spending four hundred dollars on your dreadlocks and $200 on your organic Urban Outfitters gear? You are somehow high and mighty with your $500 sunglasses, sitting on a beach, sipping on your soy Latte from Starbucks and complaining about how evil capitalism is? Yet somehow, you self-same, self-important hippie liberal also becomes the loudest proponent of how we must all stop eating meat, cheese and eggs, ignoring the laws of natural selection and virtually turning our heads on issues of population control…all in the name of everyone joining hands and singing Kum By Ya and dancing naked around a bonfire? Get a grip. You are FAR more of a problem than you will ever be a solution.

This, as so many other things, is a PRIME example of why common sense is no longer common, and why ‘educated’ does not equate to intelligence.

Now? Your Turn…weigh in. Is “milk…murder?” 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Confessions of Someone With a Dirty Little Secret

As a writer, most people think I write for (or about me). Here’s the truth: I don’t. For the last year, I have been keeping journals for myself and for some of the most amazing people in my life, that I write half way through. Then, I leave a blank page. My message on that page? "The rest is up to you."

My Intent
When I go, whenever that may be, everyone in my life has a story book. If they are here to write it, that’s wonderful. If they aren’t, that’s okay too. I figure it’s a great gift to leave behind when I’m no longer here, or maybe even a gift to give when I realize they aren’t going to be for much longer. Why? Because none of us are promised tomorrow. Having lived through a fire that almost killed me, having lived through other circumstances that probably should have, I understand this on a very organic level. Do and say today whatever you can. Because a missed opportunity is something you could regret for a lifetime. 

Not all stories in your life are meant to intermingle forever. Not all people in your life are forever people. As I got to talking with a friend tonight, I realized I had a few “forever” people in the mix, but those I’ve known for 20 or 30 years, those who know that (at my core) I have never really changed are still my forever people. For me, life is simple, it’s family first, always and forever. Those who understand that my loyalty will always be to my family and friends (and yes, my loyalty is fierce and demanding) also organically understand that my loyalty demands  those who are friends --at least those who become friends -- be like family, and, understand that my loyalty is probably (notably) my one and only best quality.

What if?

What if you wrote a story about everyone in your life who means the most to you right now? Where would you start? Where would you end? What do you choose to leave behind? Where would their blank page be? Imagine if you could give someone that. Imagine if you could hand your heart and soul in a bound leather booklet, halfway full of random scribbles. Imagine, just for a moment, how many lives you could change. Then, do it. 

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