May Reality

If you can gleam one thing from a “self-help” book that alters your perspective enough to render a change in how you interact with your own self, you’re doing good.

I’m reading “Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis. In Chapter 2, The Lie: I’ll Start Tomorrow, she talks about blowing off stuff, not following through with your plans with yourself, breaking promises made to yourself, and how we wouldn’t put up with crap from other people.

It’s true.

If I had a friend who always blew me off, didn’t show up, failed to follow through or rarely keep their word, I would consider them to be unreliable, untrustworthy, irresponsible, etc.

At best, I would let it slide… tell myself that they had good intentions or that’s how they are, people come as is, so if you know how they are, you just know better than to count on them for anything. Once in awhile, they might surprise you by actually doing what they said they’d do.

At worse? Worst case scenario, I’d get tired of it, lose all respect for that person, and have nothing more to do with them.

Here’s what gets me… and it’s a thing many women do. I value being trustworthy and dependable FOR OTHER PEOPLE, not my own self. How many times have I blown off doing what I want to do for me just to be available to do stuff for other people? Postpone my own goals, activities, purchases, wants and desires, whatever because someone else needs something fill-in-the-blank more than I do? We are conditioned, as women, to be caretakers of OTHERS, not our own selves.

Sure, we know that we have to take care of ourselves in order to be able to take care of others, but somehow that gets boiled down to the bare necessity, to get enough rest or whatever. Anything more could be perceived as a self indulgence, which tends to open the can of guilt worms. Who wants to fall into the realm of selfishness?

Perhaps that, in itself, is a lie we tell ourselves.

It’s a harsh reality to realize that if I stepped outside myself and evaluated my friendship with my own self, I might not have anything to do with me. That has to change. I have to start valuing my friendship with myself just as much as I value my friendships with other people. I need to extend the same courtesy to myself that I show to others, give myself the same level of respect and follow through on the intentions I have with and for my own self, be it something I intend to do or whatever.

That change starts now.

Actually, it’s been brewing awhile. On April 24th, I laid everything on the line… told that man exactly how I feel, what I want, and what I need. His response? “Don’t let that woman get to you.” Totally ignored what I want, and absolutely no follow through on what I need to see happen.

That’s okay. I’m woke now.

A shift in perspective alters priorities. Change comes slow, in little ways. It’s pulling yourself off the back burner and lighting a little fire to heat things up. It’s getting out of bed in the morning and heading to the studio with your first cup of coffee. It’s opening the windows of your soul to let a little fresh air rejuvenate your spirit. It’s remembering who you are.

Thanks for reading!

Roots

orbsGrandma, please stay in this house.
I want to visit you here when I’m all grown up.

Awe, such an odd request… have I really moved so much? A quick mental count of addresses (five) since this child was born eight years ago reveals a short list compared to my lifetime change of no less than 36 addresses.

Maybe more… it is easy to forget some places.

I grew up moving, new school every year, and never grew too attached to anywhere as an adult. Home is where you hang your hat, no matter where you are. Perhaps a little too Winnie the Pooh for cartoon psychology? Was it Piglet who said, “I go everywhere I go?” Twirled with Popeye’s “I am who I am” on down a life path of Paddington Bear adventures, clicking my heels together three times will not land me back in some magical place called home.

Okay Zarah, grandma is putting down roots… bought the house, with full intentions of staying put for the duration, if I am still alive and breathing on this planet when she is all grown up.

I requested a Burpee Seed Catalog… all wish books should be made of paper, even if you can flip pages online. I need to plant daisies, strawberries, and sunflowers to make the beds feel like mine.

Has it only been three months?

I lived downtown for three years, but obvious changes made me feel like a visitor to DoYo when I hopped the bus to run some errands in my old neighborhood. I had planned to buy Sumatra at Friends… but, the coffee shop is gone now, with brown paper “closed for business” signs plastered on locked doors. Circle revamped their store layout. That’s cool… they are adding more grocery items. Crossed paths with a bearded man who used to hit me up for a buck now and then, when he was clean shaven. New employee at Joe Maxx, who made me repeat my order.

How hard is it to understand that a request for a “tall” coffee means the customer wants coffee in the tall cup? Small, medium, and large are heights baby, not diameter sizes… they all take the same size lids.

Whoa… when did Joe Maxx change their to-go cups? The new not-as-stiff white paper cups totally suck… I ended up fighting with the lid as it kept popping off with the slightest pressure on the sides from just trying to pick it up. Before walking out the door, the dude was kind enough to swap the large for a medium cup, on which the lid stayed on better. Wish they’d go back to serving in the old brown cups, they were insulated a bit, kept the coffee warm longer.

I don’t mind change… as long as it is for the better.

Come Spring, the grandchildren can help me put seeds in the ground and we will grow some roots right here on the south side of Youngstown. We might grow some tomatoes, too.

Thanks for reading!

Water Cooler Blues

img_20160127_011855.jpgNew addition to the homestead relocation program: one slightly used water cooler. Three 5 gallon jugs of spring water will arrive later this afternoon. Yes, I signed up for home delivery service. It is well worth the $3 fee as a full jug weigh 42 pounds, which makes it a bit hard for a disabled woman to haul home via bus.

Someday, the jugs will be delivered to my workshop.

There has been a shift in the paragon. I am more focused now. The only difference between an illusive dream and an achievable goal is a well executed plan of action.

Why did I use that word? What is a paragon?

I had to stop and look it up.  Paragon is a noun that means “a model or pattern of excellence” so yes, I suppose it is the right word to use as there has definitely been a shift in my life patterns since I wrote Sixteen Changes.

The water cooler comes with two taps handled in primary colors: red hot and blue cold.

I don’t have taps inside me. I cannot turn my feelings on and off, cannot make myself stop caring about someone who axed our friendship just because they jumped to a raw conclusion.

Yes, he was hurt because I kept secrets, lied by omission, did not immediately tell him about everything that was going on with me… it was personal, about ME… had nothing to do with him.

Want to talk secrets? Lies by omission?

I lie every single time I say a variation of “okay” in response to “How are you?” Why? Because giving an honest answer feels like asking for pity and I won’t tolerate pity from anyone; refuse to pity my own self. What I deal with is no one else’s business, unless you happen to be my doctor or sleep in my bed, feel me jerk with every spasm. Besides, attitude is everything… how am I supposed to keep a positive attitude about living with disability when those around me look at me with sad puppy eyes or burst into tears because I can’t do what THEY like or want to do?

Everyone lies by omission. Meow. Yes, even that friend lied by omission… hid the fact his kitten survived. Oh well… unfriending me was his choice.

I miss my friend, but harbor no hope for redemption.

I’m thinking this shift in the paragon might be good for both of us. That maybe being each other’s long distant muse was no longer beneficial to him… like texting me was a diversion, a way to pass time, a means to think about doing without actually doing anything… like the man is an excellent poet with performance art experience, but is too paralyzed by depression to go to a poetry reading.

As for me? I will survive.

It feels odd to slam out a chapter on a new story and be really psyched about it and NOT discuss it or toss a printed copy into the mail. But, I read it out loud to my sister in Michigan and I will take it to my local Writer’s Workshop on Thursday.

I went way out on a new limb with this one… jumped right into the middle of a fantasy action adventure story by writing the chapter as it would be if it were a scene in a movie.

I don’t know what chapter it is… it might be 4 or 5 or 18… sis thinks it could stand AS the first chapter, being that it is an action adventure story. I do have a vague idea of what came before; but, this particular scene is what filled my mind. It was the scene I had to write. And it was so much fun! Things happened that I did not plan. I have no idea of how this story will end. I’m just going to write it, one scene at a time.

Then I really went out on a limb… gave a printed copy to a reader (not a writer) because he asked if he could read it. That is scary because it feels like I am exposing a part of me that he does not know yet. Writing about anything, even pure fiction “outside” yourself, is kind of like walking naked in public. When you pour your heart and soul into anything creative, it comes out in the work. Other people might not see it, but the person who made it or wrote it does. On that note, thanks for reading!