Linda

Blonde. Tall. Blue eyes. With the most genuine heart you’d ever seen. I’m going to try not to cry while writing this, but I don’t have faith in that myself. You see, this is a sad story about a very special person. Picture her, if you would:

This is the woman who’d mow the lawn in nothing but shorts because she was all about male/female equality. She’d be in the backyard in the summer heat mowing the lawn with a push mower, singing along to her music. Afterwards she’d jump in the pool to cool off and beg everyone to come have a swim with her. This woman (and I say woman lightly as she was so much more than that) always had a smile on her face, showing off her perfect white teeth. She had the kindest eyes you’d ever look into. She had an amazing life. A beautiful house, 2 beautiful children and a wonderful husband who was the ultimate family man. I guess you could say I grew up in that house. Her children were like my brother and sister and her husband the only father figure in my life.  I was on the outside, always, as they weren’t my family by blood, but Linda always made me feel like one of her own. My mother was her best friend. It makes sense, 2 wonderful, strong and amazing women probably get along quite well. The only terrible thing about becoming so close to Linda was that I had to watch the fall….

My first glimpse into the terrible world of drug addiction was when I was very young. So young that I was in the D.A.R.E program when my mom finally told me Linda began doing drugs. I didn’t completely understand. How could this amazing woman, my second mother, be doing something they taught us was so bad? Her downfall was swift yet lengthy at the same time. The first ones to go were her friends, which she replaced with new, unsavory ones. The second one to go was her husband, who replaced her with her best friend that lived right down the street. He stayed as long as he could in a toxic household, pleading with the love of his life to get help, to stop. She wouldn’t. Third to go were her children. My mother and I still lived in the home for some time afterwards, we didn’t have anywhere else to go. Linda had taken us in… a single mother and her daughter. I was too young to feel anything for Linda other than disappointment. I still loved her. Most of my memories from when I was younger involved her. Slowly those memories went from her smile and kind words to her staying in her room for 3 days, all that could be heard from outside the door was the flicking of lighters and loud music.

I remember one time her daughter sat outside her door kicking it over and over again, tears running down her face as she called for her mom. The door never opened. Linda was passed out and didn’t wake up for an entire 24 hours. That is drug abuse. Children wanting their mother, husbands wanting their wives back, friends leaving after trying for so long because they can’t stand to see it anymore. I wish I could say there was a happy ending to this story. I guess there slightly it. You see Linda had 2 falls. Eventually after years of heavy drug use she was sent to prison for a crime. She spent 2 years there. I still have the letters she sent me. My second mother, her freedom taken away. Terrified she was missing out on more of her children’s lives than she had already. Eventually she got out. She was clean. She was happy. She got her feet under her. She had a house, had made friends. Her children and her were rekindling their relationship. But just as life is rarely ever fair, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly afterwards. She fought. She fought to keep the rest of the life she had left. The precious years she had left with her family. Ultimately the cancer won. I don’t have many regrets in my life but one I do have is not going to that funeral to say goodbye. The last time I saw Linda she was bald but still beautiful. Weak but still strong.

That’s now how I remember her now though. When I picture her I still see her comforting smile, her beautiful voice, her insatiable love for life and everyone she had in it. When I think of her I remember her dancing in the kitchen cooking dinner. I remember her beautiful long blonde hair. I remember her saying a prayer with us every night and always tucking us all in. And finally, I remember all that she taught me. Sometimes I am amazed at who I am as a person. Most of it was my mother being such a strong amazing woman, but a lot of it was also Linda. In her short time on earth she managed to do so much for so many people. I love you Linda, I miss you. We miss you.

 

Does getting older mean inevitable doom?

I was super depressed yesterday. I don’t know if it was because I was under-stimulated and bored or whether my brain decided to pull a fast one on me. On a typical day I feel pretty good. Yesterday was new for me as I haven’t really felt that nagging sense of depression in quite some time. I didn’t want to leave my apartment, but I didn’t want to stay. So I decided I’d go to Walmart for a few things. Upon pulling into the parking lot I noticed it was unusually busy for the middle of the day on a Monday. I immediately felt anxiety by the amount of people and promptly left. I went to Mcdonald’s, ordered way to many french fries and a Dr.Pepper and went home.

Lately my social anxiety has become somewhat of a nuisance. I can now count 2 times I have left Walmart because I was overwhelmed by the amount of people around. I will pull into the parking lot of a store and choose not to go in when I see how busy it is. I get anxious and it’s terrible and I feel like my heart is it’s own separate entity outside of my body doing it’s own little thing. I do believe a lot of this stems from working at the county jail a few years back. In this concrete hell I was so used to telling inmates to back off, to move away. I had the control. Out here in the real world it seems people lack the concept of personal space. Psychopaths are going into restaurants and stores and randomly shooting innocent people. So the question is, do I allow myself to go farther into this social anxiety hole as I get older? Do I accept the fact that I will order grocery pick up from now on and utilize Amazon Prime for most of my needs? Or do I join the hoards of zombies on Xanax and Kalonopin (sp?) and just accept that this world is so chaotic and crazy that pills are basically everyone’s go-to.

If there was ever a beginning for someone who went to live out in the woods, off grid, away from all people, it would me.

Control

I’ve discovered, after giving it much thought, that the majority of my problems within the last few years is control. I truly believe that some of the unhappiest people in the world are those that are constantly trying to control things they can’t. I look back at memories of the some of the worst times in my life: losing friends, feeling depressed, anxiety. I realize now that all of these things were caused by my insatiable need to control EVERYTHING. I needed to be the leader, the one in charge. I needed to have everything go my way. If I wasn’t in control I wasn’t happy. What a miserable way to live right?

Things happen. People change. This is why I think its such a terrible idea to get married. Especially getting married when young. People are constantly changing. You might marry someone and then 5 years later realize they’re a completely different person. I used to be a straight down the middle Democrat…now I am a straight down the middle don’t really give a shit. I used to want to be a police officer…now I have no fecking idea what I want to do. All I know is that when I am writing I am happiest. When I am writing I don’t feel the need to be simultaneously on my phone for stimulation. When I am writing I don’t think about anything going on in my life unless it is the topic I am writing about. When I am writing I don’t think about the monotony of life because writing gives me something I lack in everyday life: a voice.

When I was younger I was naive, like we all were. Life was so simple and exciting and new. We had so much to experience. Then when you turn 16 you can drive, but eventually you get sick of traffic and rules and driving laws, so the excitement of that wears off. Then you turn 18, which is cool . You’re an adult, so life will get so much cooler right? In all honesty, not really. Sure you can do whatever you want now, but then that gets old and the weight of everyday life begins to take it’s toll. The rude customer at your job, the politics involved with being around a large group of colleagues. You have so many opinions and thoughts but to voice them all would be social suicide. You’re still young so people don’t think your opinion matters anyways. Then you hit 21. You go through the party stage. You make your mistakes. You decide in which way you want your life to go.

Fast-forward to 29. Here I am. Feeling a bit run down honestly. Is it just a slump, or is this just life in all it’s greatness? Is it at this age when you realize that 30 is coming sooner than later and all the best moments of your life are behind you? Is the life that everyone was so excited for as children simply working some job that’s barely bearable and living paycheck to paycheck? They say to save your money but for what? I could die tomorrow right? Not to mention I work for that money. Going to work 40 hours a week doesn’t seem quite so bearable if I don’t have the money to go do things that put a lull in the monotony. It’s really a viscous cycle. I know this blog is poorly written. Amateur. Being human is difficult. We have it made, we have it easy. But having these big giant brains has it’s downfalls. We are the only creatures who can acknowledge our mortality before it happens. We attempt to make the best out of the life that we have, all while adhering to the constraints of an overpopulated, dying planet.

Emotional Destruction

Emotional destruction. You know the feeling? The kind that makes you feel subhuman; makes you feel your mortality, yet also makes you feel more alive than you’ve ever been. I recently wrote a prompt on “Equus” written by Peter Shaffer. In this story the idea of normalcy becomes a bit blurred. A seemingly “normal” psychiatrist begins to envy a seemingly not normal patient. When one lacks passion in their lives it has a detrimental affect on their happiness. When one looses passion they lose a large part of themselves…for what is life without passion?

We could die at any moment. Let the passion flow.

Restless

I’ve feared mediocrity my entire life. I have always wanted the opposite of the “American Dream”. Since I was young, around 13 or 14, I knew I didn’t want the life that society deemed as “normal”. I was never extremely religious, I didn’t wait for marriage to have sex. I had always been extremely comfortable in my sexuality. I’ve been in love and knocked out of love enough times to know it isn’t for me. I don’t crave marriage. My biological clock must not exist because no part of me wants children, and never has in my 29 years of life. For reasoning beyond me, others find it appropriate to tell me not to worry, I will want children some day, when I meet the right man. The right man? The right man for me? To complete me and make me want to fulfill my known duty as a woman and reproduce? Please. Spare me. I’ll let you in on a little secret: IT’S OKAY TO NOT WANT CHILDREN. Yup, I said it. It. Is. Okay.

It is difficult for me to pinpoint the specific occurrences in my life that helped form me into the woman I am today. I suppose it all had to do with experiencing pain. I’m not just talking physical pain, I am talking heartbreak, sadness, loss, utter disappointment. The kind of emotional pain that you’d trade for a freshly broken leg any day of the week. I suppose in reality the saying is true: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I don’t know if it makes you stronger, but it certainly makes you more confident in your ability to get over painful situations. This too shall pass.

The first and last time I let a man bring me down to his level, to highlight my own insecurities and use them against me, was my second to last relationship. Short story: He was addicted to painkillers, I looked past this. He has a good heart and he’s trying to get off of them. Next thing I knew I was crying in the airport waiting to board a flight home from Panama. I had $0, and nothing to go home to. I was 25 and living with my dad again. I had no job, no car and no friends. I let them all go when I decided to fuck my entire life up with a guy. I burned so many bridges I can’t help but just laugh. Making it through that kind of betrayal and heartbreak really showed me a lot about myself. I won a war raging inside of myself. In that war I killed off a part of myself that was weak and insecure. I don’t miss that part of me at all. You can truly learn who you are when you’re at the very bottom. The key is to look, and not to give in to your instinct to give up.

You must empower yourself

Let your passion epitomize your love for creativity. Let it careen through the hills of your imagination, growing larger as it rolls down the mountains of who you truly are. Grasp for the paper-mache stars hanging brightly above your mind, leading to your next fruitful destination of empowerment.

It really is quite true that the best thoughts and ideas pour into your mind as soon as all the light are off, when the night is quiet and you’re comfortably in your warm bed. Sometimes I write and I feel nothing. Sometimes I write and I feel ridiculously inspired. Through a series of unfortunate events in my life I learned how to empower myself. I didn’t have a group of fans behind me cheering me up the next set of steps. I was essentially like Rocky, pushing myself to become the best version of me. I think anyone above the age of 16 has wanted to die before. I mean not REALLY die, but thought about it at least. That first substantial disappointment that occurs in life. The one that forces you to realize “Oh shit, it’s not all about me.” I spent a lot of time in my early and mid-20’s thinking “Is this it? Is this all that is life?”

I truly believe, and will until I die, that you MUST love yourself and be fully aware of who you are before you can truly love someone else and expect them to love you back. The difficult part about being a person who loves themselves and is aware of who they are, is that it is so fucking difficult to find someone who is on that same page. Next time someone does something that angers you or frustrates you, think about why that person did it. Why does someone get angry at the drop of the hat? Why does someone take something extremely personally when it wasn’t even about them? Why is someone terribly over-emotional? (I am not talking about crying when someone gets the golden buzzer on The Voice…I am talking way more extreme than that) The answer to all of these is….ding ding ding, they’re unhappy with themselves! It is a trickle down effect really. Someone may feel resentment towards life because they got married too young and they fear they missed out on living a part of their life out. Maybe they had children and it was an accident and now they wonder how their life would have been if they’d have waited. It can be so many things really. I think back to my past and what brought me to where I am now and how quickly a tiny thing could have took me somewhere else. I can honestly 100% say that if I had had children I don’t think I’d be as content as I am now. If I had gotten married I would either be divorced or miserable. If I’d have settled I’d be sad and disappointed in myself. Childless and single is where I am now, and I am 110% okay with it. It is my choice after all.

I don’t know where I was going with this post, I get lost in thought sometimes and just ramble. What I’d like to write more about is my journey to self discovery and awareness, and how I got where I am mentally and spiritually. My first tip: Don’t let the actions/attitudes of others in this world bring you down. It’s all on them, don’t let their negativity and crappiness cramp your positivity. In your journey to self discovery and empowerment don’t let another persons denial dampen your shine.

 

Difficulty establishing meaningful relationships

I was 18 years old. My older cousin’s ID in hand, off to the bar we went. Drunk shenanigans, karaoke and meaningless makeout sessions ensued. I worked Monday through Friday and spent most of my day in excited anticipation for Friday and Saturday night (sometimes even Sunday night if the weekend was extremely eventful). The hangovers were worth it, the good times were had, the bonds with others were in full force. I had friends that I deeply cared about. People I looked forward to spending time with. So what happened?

Did I just grow up?

Ten years later and here I am. One friend, one person I can truly call a friend, and she’s 10 hours away. We live completely different lives as well. She has 2 kids, I have none. She has a Husband, I don’t want one. We still get along because we have the same morbid and twisted sense of humor (we like the same memes). But that doesn’t do much for me when I am cooped up inside and wish I had someone to go do something with. So why is it so difficult making new friends when you’re older? Most women my age have found boyfriends, fiances, husbands by now. They settled (down?) and now spend most of their time with that person. Makes sense. A lot of them though, they live their lives in turmoil trying to keep (in my opinion, unnatural) relationship going. At times feeling like they’re failing, and at times feeling like they’re doing great. There must be others in this world that have the same views as me. That feel being alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely. That aren’t on the hunt day in and day out to find someone to make them whole. I feel whole on my own. I feel best when I am without a significant other. I supposed I have a difficult time connecting with others because time and time again I have been disappointed. I don’t want to sit and judge people,  don’t enjoy gossip, I DESPISE small talk (let’s be honest it doesn’t get us anywhere talking about the weather, we all know its FUCKING HOT OUTSIDE SUSAN, thanks for reminding us) So I suppose in my quest for someone I can call a friend, I may be shooting too high. I am, after all, looking for a female companion, who views marriage as unnatural and isn’t interested in it. Who doesn’t have kids and doesn’t view their whole life’s purpose to be a baby maker. Someone who is comfortable with themselves and doesn’t have any extreme emotional illnesses or downfalls that I just can’t relate to. As we get older, a lot of life is spent reflecting on when we were younger. And I believe as we do that, we get caught up in our own little worlds and set in our own little ways. Is it too late to let someone else in? Is it too late to make lasing friendships? I am so jealous of all the people I see with friends, yet I just can’t seem to truly put myself out there. Ah, the dilemmas of life.

At the current moment that is my dilemma, as well as what I am going to do with my degree. Do I become a teacher, and then get my master’s and move up in the teaching field? Or do I travel the world as a freelance writer? The latter sounds much more appealing, but also a little but more work. I’ve never backed down from a challenge before. I suppose I should graduate first. About halfway there folks!

 

Jason Mraz saved my life.

I was laying on the floor. Just laying there. In the middle of my living room, in my tiny apartment. I was 18. My legs gave out. They just couldn’t stand it any longer. If my carpet had been soil weeds would have grown from my the tears that soaked through to the under layer. I was heartbroken. I feel so terribly sorry for the first person to have ever experienced heart break, and named it so. A fitting name, so very proper for the way it feels when someone lets you down in the ultimate way, and takes a small piece of you with them. As I laid there, feeling like I just wanted to disappear, thinking of ways I didn’t have to be around anymore, a song came on the radio. Before, what had just been background noise, turned into a saving grace. The sweet melodic voice of Jason Mraz poured through my speakers and serenaded me with sweet, sweet relief. Life is Wonderful. Isn’t that quite a song to come on at that very moment. It could have been any song in the entire world and it was this one. And as I listened to the captivating music and the comforting words, my tears started slowing down. And finally, I began to feel again. That’s the amazing thing about music. You may think you’re alone in what you’re going through, but if you look for it, or in my case just happen upon it, you’ll hear something that yells right in your face “YOU ARE NOT ALONE.” This too shall pass. So I felt the carpet beneath me, I felt the cool air on my skin. I breathed in, I exhaled out. Over and over again….and I lived. I kept living. I realized that life is wonderful. And from there, I continued to make mistakes. I continued to get hurt, but it didn’t hurt quite as much.

I think once you’ve been irrevocably hurt by something and come through it stronger and more aware, it is just simply easier to get through it again because you already proved to yourself that you can. It’s possible. I can count on 1 hand the amount of times I wished I was dead. Sadly, I can admit this to myself and to you. Fortunately I held off and the next day am extremely glad I did. I have never suffered from crippling depression, but I know it’s out there. I have been depressed before, but nothing I didn’t get over. I know how difficult it can be. Get help, please. This life is so precious and you only get one. Take advantage of the help there is. Suicide hotlines, free clinics if you don’t have insurance. Talk to family and friends and let them know you need help. Help yourself. You got this, just one step at a time.

Thanks Jason, I owe you one.

Recipe for loneliness

I used to cry a lot. A lot more than I do now. I remember when it first happened, I cried every day. All the time. Little things would trigger the emotions and they’d come spilling down my face, little salty pools of sadness. But after some time went by, it got easier. The wounds started feeling more like tender little scabs. And eventually, those little tender scabs turned into scars that didn’t hurt anymore unless I really tried to make them. And eventually I stopped trying to make them. I stood up and decided that I didn’t want to be sad anymore. So I succeeded. I succeeded in so many ways. In finding out what I wanted and sticking to it. I succeeded in finding a respect for myself that is so high, I could never lose it. I found my morals. I got my life back. From a pit of depression and darkness rose this amazing creature, almost unrecognizable. But to me, I’m as beautiful as I have ever been. But I am also very much alone with myself. They say that you have to learn to love yourself before you can expect anyone else to love you. Well here I am. I love myself and sometimes if I wonder if it’s too much. I gave all my love and everything else to the last one, what if I don’t have any more to give to someone else?

I feel like I got my life back, but only half my heart with it. There are still nights when I am lying in bed completely sober and I suddenly miss him so much my heart hurts. The sobs hurt my chest and I feel it slowly start shrinking. How can you miss a man who did you so wrong? Perhaps it is not him that I miss so much, perhaps it was how I felt when I was with him that I miss so much. I miss looking over to the other side of my bed and feeling like the luckiest person in the world to love someone so much, and have them love you the same way. I miss the amazing emotional attachment I felt to another person. Even though you have friends and family, you can still feel completely alone when you’re in your bed at night. So to end this, I guess I am just still waiting for the rest of my heart to come back. I am still waiting for the man who wants my love and the one to give me his back. I want someone who gets my stupid jokes and doesn’t care that I say “fuck” too much, and who appreciates it when I do nice things for him. I want a man who can’t get enough of me, and I him. I think I want a man who doesn’t exist. And that’s the recipe for loneliness.

I’m literally the worst

How cruel it is to live with this mind.
One so intelligent, sharp and quick witted.
One that far surpasses that of others.
One with few flaws and the ability to reflect
on ones weaknesses.
Yes I must be surrounded by bad people.
Sick people. Unfair people. Unhappy people.
Surrounded by the stupid and the cruel.
I must work a 9-6 job, 5 days a week,
where I hardly use my brain at all.

The only thing that brings me joy is learning.
How torturous it is to have this mind and let it sit dormant,
without use, until one day it wastes away and becomes
nothing at all.
Or something different entirely.