Do you ever read obituaries?
It is not something I make a habit of doing. In fact, I do not recall reading either of my parents obituaries because, well, I knew them and knew when they “left”. I really only read them if someone says I need too.
Granted, I know people who read them frequently to see whom they knew who may have passed away. This, to me, is creepy as fuck! (Seriously?! But you keep doing you if it makes you happy.) It helps them to feel connected and allows them to grieve with the other people who knew that deceased person.
But I have read very few obituaries in my life simply because…I do not like death.
Do not try and give me the “we all die” shtick. Do not care! Do not want to know! Let me live in my own little world where people simply go on “vacation”. It makes me happy to be delusional. Just ask the unicorn in my kitchen how delusionally happy I can be.
But this one I read. Several times over in fact. And I admit that each time I hoped for a different result. An ending different than the one I kept reading. A different life I had hoped this person had led.
His name was Paul and he was my first ever boyfriend from my senior year of high school.
He was sweet and quiet and we often agreed to disagree on the fact he was wrong thinking Star Wars was better than Star Trek! He lived for Star Wars and video games and computers. This was the era when things like computers were just starting to become a mainstay in people’s lives.
He and I were well matched because we both were nerds.
But despite there being gads of things we had in common and liked, there was no spark. Not for me and I really doubt for him. Because, while I liked Paul, sweet, homebody, Star Wars loving Paul, I sensed a deep well of sadness within him. He felt alone. I could sense this, but. That was something I could barely recognize and deal with in myself. I was not capable of helping him out of his own darkness.
I know people! I am being melodramatic!
But if you had read what I had read-you would have seen it as well.
It was a list of his parents having passed before him, that he graduated high school, got a degree from a community college, his church, his list of jobs, his love of Star Wars memorabilia, his being known as “Uncle Paul’s Taxi” service and then…
…then a list of random names of people.
It did not mention “loved ones left behind”. Just a list of names.
What the ever loving hell?
Nothing truly personal.
Did he travel to odd places like the Spam museum in Hawaii or maybe liked to ride trains? Anything more than what they gave him? Nope.
There was nothing about his dry sense of humor that I remember very well. He would just blandly say something to a person and I would have to cover my mouth to try not to burst out laughing.
I do not know…maybe he lost that fun quirk.
I honestly do not know what he was like these last few decades. I just remember the quiet, kind boy who gave me my first Valentine gift of a stuffed little bear called “Pooky” who was from the Garfield comics. I just remember his awkwardness in kissing me. The tender way he held my hand. The fact he could not dance but wanted to take me to prom regardless.
I do not know the man he became.
But I want to think he had more than a list of random people in his life. I want to think he had someone special. Someone that knew him, loved him.
But if there was this random person in my hopeful imagination…then please tell me why they were not mentioned. Please tell me that some HOW, some WAY that deep aloneness was touched and healed.
There had to be more to his life…
Because this makes me think about what will my own obituary be like?
Will they say I was the fun Aunt? The crazy friend? The interesting, deeply missed, and so very much loved person who loved unicorns and Leonard Nimoy and watching British murder mystries and Perry Mason reruns and used way to much glitter for a grown-ass adult? (I hope so, because to be honest, I am a fucking glittery delight!)
I would find it incredibly sad to think I had lived a life and all that had been left behind was a random list of nothing special.
He was special! He was sweet! He was Paul! He deserved a better send off than he received. And that makes me sad because if his send off was as bland and boring as I was told it was, my heart breaks for that young boy I once knew. (Apparently no one gave a eulogy nor did they really share any memories about him at his memorial service. But I was told they did have pie so….yeah.)
Every person deserves to be celebrated! And not just when they go on vacation!
Every! Fucking! Day!
I celebrate each of you my darling friends! I celebrate each one of your unique and loving and caring and quirky souls! Please do not let those around you be forgotten or mitigated to an obscure role in life.
A small “aside” in life.
I am not saying you have to open your Facebook page and start randomly saying “I love you” to people. That could get freaking awkward freaking fast!
…remember that some of those people you know are alone. And find it hard to get out of their own heads. They may be sending happy thoughts and good vibes your way but they may not make a huge production of it. They may be saying thankful prayers for you being in their lives but they do not tell you this.
Please just tell those around you that you care. It does not need to be a huge production with balloons and pyrotechnics-though that would be pretty damn cool!-just tell them.
FUCK MY DARLINGS!
Tell them! Love them! Embrace them! Let them know they are wanted and cared about and that their sorrow, their aloneness, their weirdness, their unique tastes in music or movies or hair color, each of their strange and even boring quirks/talents/passions are loved! Because, those cluster of things, THOSE are what make them who they are. Not their jobs or degrees or lists of random names.
Please do not let them become someone with a random list of “nothing” to see them off. Because I never want to read another obituary that breaks my heart like this one just did. Actually…I never want to read another obituary at all.
You are all precious to me my lovelies!
I nearly hit a light pole today doing a double take because I could have sworn I saw some guy walking a goat. A rather surprising thing to think you might have seen.
Funky town I’ve moved too!
Yesterday, to celebrate Labor Day Weekend, I made my first “road trip” back to Okoboji to spend the day with the family. I love that all I have to do is travel an hour and a half and POOF! I am there!
So I came over to Cyndee’s house. Brinn and her husband Josh and their kids came over from Lincoln, NE. And my nephew Torrey and his wife Lacey and their kids came over. And Cyndee’s sister Debbie and her husband Terry came over. And Cyndee’s boyfriend Jim came over.
A lot of “over” coming but it was all so much fun!
We had a great family dinner! Pasta and salad and homemade bread and desserts. Lots of desserts! At one point, the lights were turned out and I am standing like an idiot watching whatever was going to happen when Brinn walked out with a tray of cupcakes all lit up! They all started singing Happy Birthday!
So stunned! Was so totally unexpected! But we all had some great rainbow frosted cupcakes and total sugar highs!
We were talking and laughing and sharing stories and being what I always wanted. We were a family!
My real family….no….lets rephrase that. My blood family had difficulties being a family. Many dinners were fraught with fights and hurt feelings and anger and food being thrown. And booze. So much booze. It was at those family dinners I learned what I did not want in a family.
Because of those dinners, I learned to look elsewhere for people to bond with.
Oh. I tried to be part of their conclave of dysfunction, but, I found that for my sanity it was best to just move along once I left home.
Instead I made “family” from the people I surrounded myself with. Some of those people I also had to leave in the dust. My mental health was so much more important than those petty little people.
But over the years, I have been blessed to have friends that I can call family. Each one of them has been with me through difficult, as well as happy moments in my life. And despite whichever it was, they stayed. And I am honored to call them friends and yes, family.
These people are the family of my heart-not my blood.
Technically, you would not think I would be so close with Cyndee since she divorced my brother. But seriously! I cheered her on for that move!
And if you want to be totally technical…I am related by blood to Brinn! So there-I have blood relations I adore. (Insert me sticking my tongue out!)
Family, I have found, is not sharing a last name, or sharing blood, or even sharing the same race. Family, in my opinion, is being there for one another and loving and encouraging and holding one another. Be it good times, or bad.
I know. I know. Total cliché!
But so be it!
You see, I believe that each of us must give one another space to grow and be our own true selves. We must give each other the love and security to make mistakes and learn from them in a circle of trust and respect. We should bond together thru our mutual ideas as well as our beautiful differences. To bring about joy and healing and value and inclusion.
Family. It is not just whom you are born into. It is who you include into your soul.
I am truly blessed to be called “family” by not just these amazing people that graced this dinner table in Okoboji, but by so many others who have graced my life with their presence.
I love each of you!
Oh! That guy I thought was walking a goat? I drove around the block just to double check.
He actually was walking a goat!
Like I said…funky little town!
Did you know I started this thing in August of 2018?
Did you know my last post was August of 2019?
So here I am. In August. Making a post. Again.
Last August not long after my last post, I found myself in the unenviable position of lying in a hospital bed.
I had had the misfortune of being bitten by a spider. Brown recluse to be exact. Very poisonous. Was told if I had waited for even 24 hours I would have died.
Hell of a thing to hear, I must say.
So here it is, one year later and I have a scar, a weird fear of anything touching my foot and a very strong dislike for bugs in general and spiders as a whole!
But absolutely no super powers.
On the good side of all of this?
I learned to be thankful.
Thankful for the people in my life. For moments of joy. For finding a decent parking space.
I am thankful for being alive. Because a year ago, living was not a-given.
And considering the past several months we have ALL stumbled thru and the months yet to go…
I think we all should find something to be grateful for.
I personally have had to make 2 major moves in the last 6 months. I left my little house in Des Moines and moved in with my sister-in-law in Okoboji, Iowa. From the big city to a very very small town. I went from a 2 bedroom house to a room.
Thankful Cyndee let me crash land there. It helped me to focus and recalibrate my mental well being. I saved some cash. And I moved again.
A month ago I moved from Okoboji to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
I have been a Sioux Fallsian officially for one month and so far…
So far I have gotten lost and ended up in Worthington, MN. (do not ask!), I have found great places get both my nails and my hair done, I am still on the hunt for good Indian food, and I am just 3.1 miles from a Target.
Life is good!
My townhouse sits at the end of a housing area and my back patio looks out onto a little pond where I have seen geese swimming and rabbits running along the bushes and just yesterday morning as I sat drinking my tea on my back patio, I saw a fox. It sat and stared at me while I stared right back. A freakin’ fox!
I felt like I should start singing and become the Disney Princess I was always destined to become!
And for all of this, I am thankful.
So very grateful for the opportunity to move here. To find a new home. A new sense of peace.
Did you expect a tirade on the whole pandemic? Wash your hands, stay clear of people and crowds, and wear your damn mask. For fuck sake-it is not difficult! In fact I have several masks in various colors and designs to match my outfits. Yes! I have made it a fashion accessory. Like you didn’t know I would! HA!
The Black Lives Matter riots and protests? Good god people!! Respect and dignity and equality are never wrong. It still disgusts me WHY these protests had to start. And I will never understand what a person of color has had to live with their entire lives. They are only asking for the rights we as non-people-of-color never have to even ask for. Or question. Or lack. I have never been questioned for my presence some place because I was white. I will stand with them. As I will stand with all of those who are asking to be treated with dignity and respect.
And thru all of this….
I will always be grateful. To the people who love me, encourage me, support me, and to that fabulous gay man at Target yesterday who said I looked divine with my leopard print mask matching my leopard print suede loafers.
I just wanted to say HELLO to everyone and let people know I am still here and still kicking it! Whatever “it” actually is.
Nothing profound or awe inspiring.
Just saying that while I am not where I thought I would be, I can proudly say I am not where I used to be.
And that is a good thing!
I made my bed today.
And for those being snarky about if I “want a cookie” for such an accomplishment-yes I do and you can bite me.
Some days, well, some days are difficult to traverse the hills and caves and valleys and rivers that are my oft-times chaotic thoughts. It is the lovely result of my anxiety and depression. It is the struggle to get out of bed, let alone do something as mundane as properly make that bed up.
If I am doing well, like today, then I straighten the sheets and re-tuck the blanket and with precision I lay out the burgundy velvet comforter. Then I will fluff all the pillows and place each of my additional swarm of cute decorative pillows in their correct alignment and place my delicate soft pink throw at the foot of the bed.
The cherry atop this pillow sundae?
My pink woolen unicorn with a pink yarn mane.
Once done, it looks lovely and always makes me smile.
It also makes me want to accomplish another task…ANY other task. Because I feel amazingly happy that I got out of bed and then made that bed, so that the depression and anxiety did not win. Not at that moment. And god knows, when that happens, I will take any task like this as a WIN.
Honestly. That was it.
I started my day with one simple task. I made my bed. And that can often lead me to another task and then another. It does not always combat the depression or whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. But I find that, for me, it sets a precedent.
“I don’t have time to have a break down! I just made my bed, dammit. I got shit to do!”
And if the bed is made then, well, I should just go ahead and shower and get pretty.
Does this work every time?
But I try. I try to let that small gesture of a made bed keep me focused on the momentum of moving. Of being. Of facing the day. Of being a better version of who I was yesterday.
Fuck! Yesterday I was a hot mess.
I did not make my bed. I did not shower or get dressed or get pretty or any of the myriad lists of things I should have done. Because I was a hot mess even before I got out of bed. I was having a breakdown as I lay there in the swirl and waves of sheets and blankets and pillows. I was trying not to choke on the very air I breathed because I was being sucked under the whirlpool of self doubt, self hate, self flagellation, and stuttering tears. Pleas for rescue to a god I once served did nothing to stop the weight of agony and sorrow. Deep breaths as I was standing on my back deck at 4AM, trying to get my mind to reboot, did nothing more than get me a mouth full of hot air and, yucky, a bug of some sort.
But-later in the day-I texted with my friend Jon and then with my niece Brinn. I had a phone call with my sister-in-law and we worked on her recent recipes.
Most importantly I found out that Scotland’s national animal is the Unicorn.
Yesterday I tried very hard to find myself again after all of that cluster-o-stupid that is my depression and anxiety. The swirl of intensive emotion and mental onslaught that keeps me out of focus of my dreams and off kilter from my path.
…today I woke up, GOT UP, and made my bed.
I had some tea.
And feel pretty.
I did one task that helped me move and breathe and, oddly enough, for a while…feel normal.
Because, so often, I feel anything BUT normal.
What one task did you complete that made your day better? If you are like me, it is often the mundane that helps me to refocus and resurface after an episode like I have been having of late.
If you are like me and deal on a daily basis with depression and anxiety and panic and fear and emptiness and sorrow and so many other things that strip us of who we once were and who we want to be again, you are not alone.
Do not listen to those voices that tell you that you do not deserve a lovely made up bed. That you do not deserve to be happy. Or pretty. Or even to be alive.
They are lies!
You, my lovelies, deserve the very stars in the sky!
Treat yourself to one thing that reminds you that you deserve better than crumpled bedclothes and a crumpled life.
…I think we all need to remember one simple truth.
we are all ordinary.
we are all boring.
we are all spectacular.
we are all shy.
we are all bold.
we are all frightened.
we are all helpless.
we are all heros.
we simply are all of these things on different days.
be who ever you are today, my lovelies.
Are you ever scared? Scared to take a chance? A chance on yourself?
But I have to remind myself of one simple truth…
We can do anything if only we dared to let go and do it. Deep down we each know it, too. That is what is so frightening, isn’t it? Knowing we can accomplish so much yet afraid of taking the step.
We could shake the cosmos themselves if only…
If only we would walk though the fire in our souls that is ignited by our fear.
Who would you become if you let go of who your fear has made you?
Let go and find out.
Take a chance on yourself.
I dare you!
the sky is not the limit
your mind is
do not let your dreams and ambitions and plans fall to the wayside because you overthought something
do not let the doubt and fear and worry hinder you
do not let the thoughts and words of others stop you
just because some nincompoop thinks they know better than you do about yourself and what you should be doing does not mean they are right
(unless they are telling you not do meth because yeah…they know what they are talking about)
we are stardust my lovelies!
let us each act like we are made from the essence of the universe
please do not let your struggle become your identity
you are so much more than your
pain sorrow trauma fear
there is such vibrant vitality
within each of your souls
do not be defined nor boxed within the confines
of your past
you are more than just a sad story
you are a psalm
you are poetry
I think all of us have a feeling of “I WANT TO SAVE THE WORLD!” in us.
I think that is an amazing attribute.
How wonderful it is to see someone or something worth saving and finding a way to do so.
But I hope you know that it is perfectly okay if you are only able to save one person.
And it is even more okay if that one person…is you.
Sometimes, we are our only salvation.
Have you ever seen babies take their first steps? It is rather hilarious to watch these tiny beings stagger around like mini drunk people! But while we have all chuckled at a baby plopping on its diapered behind, we probably also noticed something else.
People never get angry that they fell on their bottoms…they praise them.
Babies are encouraged and hugged and smiled at through the whole process.
You do not criticize their fall. You do not shake a finger as their chubby legs go out from under them.
If you did, well, that would make you a complete twatapotomus!
What you do is help them back up.
You clap and encourage and hold their hands and work with them till they can walk on their own.
I think as adults we need remember this. We need to relearn this lesson.
We need to stop criticizing the falls people take. The falls WE ourselves take.
We need to hold hands with one another and help each other as we each take our staggering steps in life. We need to look at a person as a whole being and not simply focus on one bad moment. That one bad moment should not completely negate them as a person. (Unless they kicked a puppy then they should be beaten!)
Let each of us spend more time applauding our small steps than criticizing our falls.
Encourage one another to keep taking the small steps because each small step will take you to something bigger. Do not put someone down for making progress regardless of how fast or slow it may be. Instead encourage and applaud and rejoice with them. Some of us do not have many cheerleaders in our lives. Some of us do not even know how to be our own cheerleaders. Help one another be the best person they can be.
Because how we react to another person’s endeavors says more about us than it says about them.
Help one another! Cheer one another on! Hold each other’s hands!
Life can be hard at times and we are all very human and we each make mistakes. Stop reminding people of those mistakes. Stop pushing people back down if they stumble. Help one another up!
Remember that a true queen helps fix another person’s crown without telling the world that it was ever crooked in the first place.
Be true queens, my lovelies!
In my defense...I was left unsupervised.
Just for a laugh
In my defense...I was left unsupervised.
In my defense...I was left unsupervised.
Like Mother Teresa, only better.
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