“The moment I let go of it…”

“…was the moment I got more than I could handle.”
– c. Alanis Morissette “Thank U”

“I gotta shake this
Jail shit off me
‘He ain’t gonna never sell
He gonna fail’ shit off me!”
– c. Royce Da 5’9 “Shake This”

I’m looking at this vase, full of Jelly Belly jelly beans at the bottom, so I reach into the narrow neck and grab a handful.  I pull up the fist full of jellybeans, but my hand can no longer fit through the vase’s neck.  I can either leave my hand in the vase, with jelly beans I can’t touch, or I can let them all fall back to the bottom.

And that’s life.  Hold onto too much, and your progress is impeded.  “Life stuff” can weigh us down, or load us up, to the point that we can’t move.  To stagnate, from my vantage point, is just as bad as going backwards.  And at least in moving backwards, you’ve changed the view. 

Retreating isn’t always such a bad thing.  There are times where stepping back and reassessing a situation has served me well.  Stepping back has made me realize that maybe it just wasn’t time for that particular thing.  Other times, I’ve been shown that one “no” can make way for a bigger and better “yes.”  And truly, what is life without a few mistakes to highlight what doesn’t work?

I’ve been working toward where I want to be so long, and I feel so close, it’s easy to be discouraged.  When I went through my divorce, eer one of my notebooks, EVERY SINGLE THING I’D EVER HAND WRITTEN, was thrown away.  I lost all of my hand written work again in August, 2005.  Playing the “What could have been” game is a surefire way to rip my heart in half.  Some things I can’t change or recpature.

But fortuantely, my mother imparted this invaluable advice upon me: “If you’ve got a plan, keep getting ready.”  Basically, a million and two obstacles may arise, but it is my responsibility to prove to the universe that I am serious about my goals.  Keep. Getting. Ready.  Life has a funny way of making sure you get exactly what belongs to you if you’re willing to put in the work. 

So I will continue to get ready, with the confidence that everything which belongs to me will be mine.  All things will take place exactly in the time they should.  When you have a dream, or a heartfelt desire, there’s no room for self-doubt.  You have to rid yourself of that nay-saying spirit immediately.

The life that I want for myself is in that vase full of jellybeans.  Releasing my fist and letting them fall back to the bottom of the vase isn’t me giving up.  It’s me reassessing.  So rather than relying on my hands, I think I’m going to get a bowl.  Maybe I’ll tip that vase, and see what comes out for me.  Better make it a pretty big bowl.  I expect a lot of stuff.

Audaciously Regular

The other night, I sat on my sofa wishing I could blend into it without being noticed, in part because my kids were in the other room arguing.  Over nothing.  How do I know, you ask?  Because I was within earshot.  I’d hazard a guess that 97% of their arguments are over nothing.  They get along when no one is watching, and save the fireworks for me.  Most days I rise to the occasion, but lately more often than not, I’m just whipped.

Typically, I’m good at filling all of my roles.  I’m a “good” mom, daughter, sister and friend.  I bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, clean the aforementioned pan, love, pamper, cheerlead, advise, provide a great shoulder and a welcoming ear.  But I have this terrible habit of being human, so I’m rarely good at all of these things at the same time.  

When I’m being supermom, that means I haven’t seen my friends in ages.  If I’m being powerhouse there for you sister friend, I probably haven’t talked to my dad and step-mom in a month.  Even if I talk to one of my siblings every day, I have four, so someone is left out and lacking.

It spreads you thin.  At times, it makes you resentful.  Being the sofa chameleon the other night gave me an odd cocktail of anger, sadness and defeat.    Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with the demands life puts on me at any given moment, that I can hardly see straight. There are days where the light at the end of the tunnel feels like a pinhole that moves a mile for every step I take.  Thoughts of being a failure burrow deep into my flesh and attach themselves to my bones.  I cry just as often as I laugh, and the sobs hurt more than the belly laughs heal.  I’m 34, and I still don’t completely have my universe figured out.

But you know what?

To hell with it.  Because I’m in it.  I’ve got my arms and legs wrapped around this life thing, and I’m biting into it for extra measure.  Decorating myself with a bunch of kick-ass adjectives would sound nice:  “strong,” “talented,” “dynamic.”  But the truth is, I’m a regular chick with a dream that occasionally gets scared of how big the dream actually is.  But I’ll be damned that if I turn into the jackass who doesn’t try to get as close to that dream as possible.  Figuring it all out may never happen.  Quitting will never happen.

Age Old Question

What happens when an unstoppable douche meets an immovable moron?


Scene: Giant’s Parking lot post grocery purchase. Old fella (late 60s early 70s) can not operate his new Suburban for some reason. He has backed out of the parking space, angled in such a way that has obstructed the entire lane of traffic. He’s rifling through the glove compartment for the manual. Middle aged fella (mid-late 40s) pulls up, attempting to pass, becomes impatient, and comedy gold happens.

MAF: *blows horn after waiting an inordinately long time*
OF: *completely unruffled, continues to rifle through glove compartment* (He was so unaffected by the obnoxious horn blowing, I considered that he may have been deaf)
MAF: *gets out of car*
Mel: *loading groceries* Awwwww shit…kids get in the car *still looking HOARD*
MAF: Sir, are you just going to leave your car parked like that, so that nobody can pass?
MAF: Sir…SIR! Are you just going to leave your car there?
OF: *annoyed at the inconvenience* WHAT?!
MAF: Do you plan to just leave this car there, so no one can get through?
OF: Do YOU know how to get this car in drive?
MAF: Sir…you don’t know how to drive your own car? You don’t know how to drive your own SUBURBAN?! Maybe you should have purchased another car.
OF: Maybe you should shut your mouth!
MAF: When you purchase a car, you should know how to drive it sir.
OF: If YOU don’t know how to fix the problem, you need to shut your mouth if you can’t help.
MAF: Sir, YOU are a dumbass!
Mel: *dead*

Who’s bad?

You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin’ fingers and say, “That’s the bad guy.” So… what that make you? Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don’t have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. So say good night to the bad guy!

– Tony Montana Scarface

Once upon a time, I was married.  I hated it.  We were mismatched, ill-equipped and just flat-out wrong for one another.  I left–without a clear-cut game plan.  We were part a community that frowned on divorce.  If there was no clear evidence of cheating you were, for lack of a better term, stuck.  He knew this, and though I knew he was cheating, I didn’t know he was cheating, and guilt tripped myself into passivity.  We remained married and added another kid into the mix.  Ever the maverick and rebel, I chose being “a good girl” over being smart.*  I can not stress to anyone how ridiculous it is for an individual to make major life altering decisions at 21. It was then that I realized, we weren’t together due to love and commitment.  We were like two people in a public bathroom, waiting each other out for the chance to funk it up.  So after the last bad scene in a string of bad scenes, I took the kids and we left.

It was rough, because where I suffered the marriage in silence, he was very vocal in suffering his embarrassment.  On the surface, I left, so he had the high ground.  He went to church, played Tank songs, and whenever he had the children, he made sure they looked dirty and pitiful.  Poor urchins with their crazy mother who didn’t want to be married anymore.  It didn’t matter that they were in my custody and I received no support; he was to be pitied.   I had to stand the hard-line amidst ridicule, ostracism and ultimately threats to my personal safety.

At the end of the day, I’m not afraid to be the hammer.  I believe that as much as it might burn, if something isn’t working, it just isn’t working.  Rough times, yes, I believe that’s to be weathered.  But there was nothing salvageable about that marriage.  There are tons of relationships – even outside of the romantic spectrum – that are like that.  Even if it’s a bad job, or a friendship that has become healthy or one-sided, no one wants to be the trigger man.  It’s much easy to play the role of “He just stopped speaking to me,” or “She just gave her two weeks notice without any reason,” because the victim role is easy.  Irrespective of the toxicity that precedes the leap into villainy, we have this compulsion to need to be the one wronged.

So I ask, why can’t we just decide that something is wrong for us and press on.  Why does there have to be closure, and discussions, and all the other nonsensical rituals that allow us to be trapped in things that are wrong for us?  This isn’t a call for chronic callousness and irresponsibility, and there are definitely some circumstances where discussion and discourse are needed. I didn’t walk away from my marriage and never speak to homie again.  We still had two kids to care for, and custody and visitation to arrange.  We spoke on that.  However, the circumstances of divorce was something I refused to hash out, because we’d covered all of that before.  Everyone has regrettable actions in their past, but I can say with certainty that I have never regretted removing the kids and myself from that situation.

I think, whenever something seems daunting, it would behoove us to have the balls to get up and make something happen.  Just because I did this in this aspect of my life, it doesn’t mean I do it always.  I think I just needed to remind myself that I could.

*No, being the good girl does not equate being dumb, but to disregard self-preservation in favor of the mere appearance of good is absolute insanity.

Train Stops, Overhauls, and Other Stuff

I’m on my hamster wheel with one leg.  I hate being in flux.  I haven’t felt this off since my Saturn’s Return.  I’m not going through quarter life crisis.  I’m not going through mid-life crisis.  Third-life crisis?  I’m supposed to be somewhere else.  I can feel it.  I have no fucking clue where that somewhere is.  I have been battling for a silent moment lately.  If there was a spiraling toilet ride at an amusement park in hell, I’d be stuck on it.

I feel overwhelmed.  I’ve felt overwhelmed for months.  I’ve had no direction for months.  Mental constipation is so not the business.  This snow situation has me so frustrated I could take a crap in the middle of a board meeting.  I have only been outside to shovel show.  I have much more to shovel, yet my back hurt so damn bad, I couldn’t do it today.  It makes me question moving to a place where I have no family around me.  I know when the Spring comes, I’ll be over this, but right now, I’m so verklempt.

This bothers me because I’m a mover.  I’m a shaker.  When shit gets rough, I shake it off and devise a new plan.  There is no plan.  Trying to carve one out gives me a headache.  There’s a lump that’s sat in my chest for God knows how long, and I have no clue to get it out. It just weighs on me.

My boys won the Super Bowl last night, and of course I have a post coming about that.  But in this moment, I want to sit in a corner, put my feet over my shoulder and cry.  Until my throat hurts and the tears run out.  I want to cry because I’m not sure why the hell I’m crying.  My heart says go to counseling, and I think it would be helpful, but where the fuck am I supposed to find the time?  I had a conversation with my HR manager pertaining to my career path, and the end result was me going back to school.  That encourages me, but how the fuck do I do that.  The thought of incurring more student loan debt is frustrating.  Trying to find the time is frustrating.  Being frustrated is frustrating! ARGH!

And I’m getting fatter.  The more depressed I get about my weight, the more discouraged I get and the more I eat.  It literally makes me want to cry.  It literally makes me cry.  I’m overwhelmed, but I must be focused.

What happens in the morning

“Hey you, the world is waiting.  It’s waiting for YOU!  YOU MUTHAFUCKA!!!!  GET UP!  GET UP! GET UP!!  You were in bed by 10 and you didn’t get laid, so you’re not tired.  Get UP!!!  I don’t give a squireel’s fart that it’s five am and you don’t have to be up til 6:30.  What did I s…Oh no you didn’t.  Guess what?  Now you have to pee.  Not regular pee either.  Horse pee.  Yeah.  That’s right.  You’re my bitch.”

My subconscious and internal clock hate me.  I know what time I have to wake up, but my body refuses to let me sleep until that time.  Now, I know that is supposed to mean that I’m well rested and whatnot, but I still feel like a crumb bum.  I DESPISE having to punch a clock.  I hate that shit more than i hate the Nazis, and I friggin HATE the Nazis.

I keep seeing my future, and the more I see, the more I am certain that I will not be a legal secretary for the rest of my life.  I think my subconscious is punishing me for not exectuting this in a moer expedient manner.  I’m a pretty fearless dame for the most part.  I’m the type of chick who, if the situation called for it (and we were say, in the wildernees or something), would break out “Brain Surgery for Dummies,” handle her business, and do that shit like a champ!  Therefore, the fact that I haven’t really plunged headlong into something that is not only my passion, but something I’m pretty good at, is beyond me.  I guess it’s time that I…

(wait for it)

…am waiting to be kicked in the balls.  (Thought I was gonna forget about balls today, huh?)

just b

PS  Is it too much to ask that you jump around and scream like Pee Wee’s Playhouse every time I reference balls?

PPS If you think that you are too highbrow to engage in that sort of activity, you’re probably in the wrong place?