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!

Boxing Day

Well, so much for the fight being drained out of me. Mister Stoic Face read mine. I can’t help it. Whatever I’m feeling shows on my face. I kept it together while the girls were here, determined not to say anything with it being Christmas and all, but the audacity of the situation flashed on my face when he went to kiss me on his way out the door.

“That look,” he said. “That’s why I’m leaving. You gave me that same look earlier.”

He kept talking as he walked off the porch, mumbling something about what the hell’s got into you. So, I opened the door and yelled, “Congratulations on your relationship with [Her Full Name]!”

You saw that? YES… someone screen shot her page and sent it to me. HE didn’t do it, HE didn’t respond. That’s what this is about? YES! Rawr-rawr back and forth, slammed doors and peeled tires, and I had my Facebook relationship status changed to “Single” before he could hit the first red light. He’s not in a relationship with anyone? Neither am I.

Yeah, frikkin Facebook.

A couple days ago, I noticed that he had changed his privacy level, just the privacy level, so no one else could see that he was in a relationship with me… so, I hid mine, too. Within 24 hours, that woman posted her own “in a new relationship” post AND at the same time, replaced the background photo on her page with a photo of MY boyfriend and his grandchildren snapped at a family function that he had either sent to her OR she had swiped off his page. A friend of hers who is a mutual friend of one of my friends saw it, did a screen shot, and it landed in my inbox on Christmas Day.  Her new relationship post did not say with whom as he had yet to confirm it… but that photo, along with the comments, made it frikkin obvious.

I forwarded the screen shot to his daughter knowing full well it would tick her off to see a photo of HER children on that woman’s page. Oh, she was livid. That woman has never met her OR her children. How dare she post that as her page header photo? I told her that he doesn’t know that I know yet… she must not have mentioned it before they came over, because he was acting like everything is just fine and dandy. I held it together until after everyone else had left. Then I just couldn’t hide it anymore.

A couple hours later, I get a text. Can we talk?

We had a long talk… he can’t help that woman has had a crush on him since grade school and he cannot control what she puts on her page. He’s not messing with her… they’re just old friends, dated for about 3 months in High School, he knows her family, knew her husband, blah blah blah… they lost contact off and on over the years. She sent him a Facebook friend request ye about a year ago… yes, he’s stopped by to see her a few times, but he’s not messing with her… they’re just old friends catching up over drinks.

So, she’s delusional? This is all her fantasy? Completely one sided? Why hasn’t he checked her? Set her straight? Is she some kind of psycho bitch? Or, does she have reason to believe that there is more to it than what he thinks there is?

I didn’t ask those questions out loud. I know him… he hugs his female friends. Maybe she falsely interpreted an innocent hug. Maybe she takes all those “love you” memes and pass-along messenger share things a bit too personally. Maybe he’s being straight up and honest with me. Maybe he’s not.

Does it matter? NO

Our long talk was mostly about us… where we are, where we were, where we screwed up, and where we go from here. We talked about us as individual people, what we need, what we want, how we are. Time for a new chapter. Life goes on, turn the page.

As for that frikkin Facebook, it causes more problems than it’s worth… we are still friends, but I don’t think I’m going to click any likes or comment on his shit just in case she is some kind of psycho bitch who might want to eliminate me in real life, too.

Thanks for reading. I’m so looking forward to 2019… this year, I’m going to start it right.

Mindful or Just Mine

I have come to the conclusion that life alters my perception of reality and death, although tinged with confusion, has a way of clarifying things.

The death of my aunt altered my life as if part of my own self died. Each subsequent death (off hand count 8 humans, a friend’s dog, and my own cat) was like hammering copper. I’m hardened by the awareness of mortality. There really is no tomorrow. Someday never comes.

This is it… life: raw and real and right now.

I am told that I sing in my sleep. My dreams of late are laced with people, past and present, and then, more often than not, I wake up with Pearl Jam tunes in my head: Black, Even Flow, Alive, and this one… I Am Mine.

 

I’m not depressed… not manic, either. I’m just aware that life is now. Elusive dreams gave way to concrete goals with executable plans. I am focused. I am here. I am alive… living, breathing, laughing, loving, making art, cleaning house, just being grandma and all these things… savoring these moments.

Thanks for reading!