Just Another Failed Poet

A mix of comical, honest, and overly metaphoric.

Thoughts Perspired 9:04

What if

I’m afraid to have children.

To find that I am a natural.

Mom.

 

How much more would I resent

My. mother.

 

Advertisements

Healing is a Job and I Want to Resign

IMG_1852

You might think that a break-up would be easier after a month break. I did. I genuinely thought that spending a month focused on myself and basically knowing the outcome would make it easier. Maybe, I was too understanding and should have lost my shit that night. I could have balled my fists and yelled, “This isn’t fair! You should fight! I’m worth it! I know I am! I finally KNOW I am!”  Instead I gave a supportive and loving send-off…and now I’m mad. Heck, I even had a chance to let loose later that night and a couple of snapchat snafus later. But, I didn’t. This isn’t a humble-brag. That would require me to feel good about it. Which…I know(?) I will be in the future. It’s all about not having regrets, right? But now, and for the past couple weeks, I have been angry and hurt.

People think that relationships are work…and they are. But I’ve always been game to take that work on. If you want to date, you sort of sign up to whatever the “welcome packet” is for that person. Healing, however, is a job that I do because I have to and some days I want to quit. Healing means feeling the feelings. In some regards, I am somewhat masculine in how I want to deal with healing. I want to avoid those feelings. 20-something me would go on a bender of drinks and dudes. There are plenty of detached and unavailable dudes in Chicago. It may be an illness for all I know. It may have spread like zombies. I’m glad I ran from 4am bars and a major city of tinder matches. Transportation while blacked out was too easy. It got expensive, but it was convenient. Dark times in dark hours, my friends.

Anyway, I’m not in my 20’s. I’m not in Chicago. Bars here close at 1 or 2 at the latest and transportation is not, I repeat not, easy when drinking. So, here I am embarking on my second break-up aftershock with new habits. I’m still failing and beating my self-up sometimes. It’s just simple stuff like:

-Knots in my back vs. liver damage and memory loss.

-Wondering if relationships are worth the risk vs. fearing I’ll die single. (I can’t believe that used to worry me. WHO CARES??)

-Looking for any signs I missed that this was inevitable vs. listing what I must have done wrong.

Some of the changes in my healing responses need some work. Right now, I feel annoying and weak. It’s only been just over three weeks and I’m already tired off my own upset. I keep dragging my upset butt around to keep active and see new sights, but a part of me is more ready to be sitting on the couch fuming or tearing up watching Netflix. I’m not the most patient and I have to be patient with myself right now.  It’s the emotional equivalent of smacking gum to deal with my feelings. Well, I’m on this bus and forgot my earbuds, so I guess I need to take full breaths and focus on a something else till my destination. This process may irritate me to the core, but I need to take this route to get where I need to be.

 

-Hopefully, someone will find this relatable and know they aren’t alone. This job is international and has more ties than ex- starbucks and wholefoods  employees combined.-

Two Weeks Notice

IMG_2919

My dad officially put in his two weeks for being my father a little over a year ago. I had reached out to him after over 19 years and a slew of drink-induced google searches to see if he was still around. Maybe, I could get a clue as to what he was doing or if he attempted a third family. I managed to find a distant link on a Facebook profile with his email attached. I wasn’t sure if I would use it. In fact, it wasn’t until my half-sister used it to ask him about medical records that I even considered it. He had written her such a flourishing account that my curiosity was in the stars. You may wonder how a conversation with your father via email after almost two decades might go.

Myself: Hey, I’m not entirely sure what to say, what I am attempting, or what I hope to gain here. Seems every few years I check to see where you are. I was somewhat surprised how quickly you responded to [my half-sister] and decided to send, at the very least, a “hi”. I might as well put my research to use. 

Sincerely, 

Stephanie

Dad: Hello Stephanie, Well I responded quickly to [her] based on her request for medical information for her and my granddaughter. I have hoped to bond with her but never wanted to interfere with her mother and husband, now that her mother has passed I thought maybe she just might need me, as a father’s love never dies.

Your dad,

John Carl

You may be thinking, “Oh shit! That last line tho!” It just gets more warm and fuzzy, folks…

Myself: Understood. How have you been? 

Dad: All in all fine. Life never stops surprising you good or bad, but never have lost it’s wonder and mystery.

Myself: (Feeling pretty vindicated and irritated.) Ha. You are not wrong about that. Well, I won’t bother you with too many questions/rambles. Just wanted to check in, I guess. Family and such. 

Dad: Okie, goodnight. 

About three weeks later, I got the call that he had died. You know, once I had a psychic tell me that I was cursed. It had something to do with his name. She also told me I could get that taken care of by coming to her for services that were about $200 a visit, so…take that with a grain of salt. Looking back this Father’s Day, I felt like some sort of cursed princess that was set free. When he died, I finally was free to live for myself. No more living to spite someone I would never see again. No more fear that I had to be a skinny, gorgeous, pious success to prove to him that I hadn’t become the “fat, stupid whore” he had foretold when I was nine. And you know what, the woman I am for myself is so much better than the woman I was for him.

That photo, is from a Father-Daughter dance. I vaguely remember feeling like Cinderella in that dress and slow dancing with my father. But the memory of that night that always comes up is disappointment. In between songs, I had went up to a group of friends to chat. My father felt jilted by my leaving him on his own. When I returned to him, he made it clear that I was a terrible daughter and we left so that I could spend the remainder of the evening in my room. I’m sure that some people might think that thirty is a little old for a princess to be set free. I think the timing was just right. Happy Father’s Day, John. Thank you for leaving so that I can be the beautiful, passionate, loving light that I was always meant to be.

Ho Ho Hooohhh I Almost Made It

Shout-out to my fellow anxiety ridden readers! We made it through Christmas and if you made it without tears then a huge “Congrats” to you. I did not. I wanted to make simple excuses for it. “I hate crowded bars.” “I was tired.” “People wear me out.” I definitely said these things as part of my desperate attempt to redeem my falling apart or explain to a calm person why I wasn’t. The funny thing is…when I don’t actually address the reason…I usually feel haunted by that moment until I do. Like my subconscious is some fairy godmother pouting over my shoulder and poking me with her wand whispering, “What’s really the matter, dearie?”

SOOOoooo…I stared into the oblivion, read a book sat by the coast and listened to the crashing of waves…all while being poked by that glittering wand of honesty. “FINE!”, I thought, and after some processing I figured out what I didn’t want to admit.

I was surrounded by family and friends of someone I love. People that I mostly enjoyed and seem to function better than my family ever did. I’m scared. (I resisted saying that I “was” scared, because I’m still in it.) I’m scared because I have something to lose. I’ve been a somewhat stone-like woman for a while now. I worked all the time, slept around, went out whenever I could, was available at a moments notice. I knew that if something fell through I could fill it. I was so detached I wasn’t even present to myself. It’s why I couldn’t figure out where to go or what to do. Thankfully, life lit a fire to the set that I had created for my life show and I had to make some real choices. I had to be present.

I haven’t had much of a family to fall back on in a long time, so being introduced to that environment again was certainly amazing…but it was also terrifying. Losing a family once was enough. Hell, it was too much for a while. The idea that I could get close to one again and lose them…while it may be a tad ridiculous to think so grandly…it freaked me out. I cried on and off up until and after I realized what scared me. I’m still healing and breaking down walls, and will continue to do so for a while. In order to keep that going, I need to get to the bottom of and be honest with myself about these breakdowns in communication with myself and others. Hopefully, if you have similar feelings, this can bring some catharsis. It’s weird to learn, but you are deserving and capable of love.

 

 

 

Bah Humble Yourself

I hate Christmas. When I mention that phrase, it is often responded to with “awww”s or shock and dismay. I can only assume that they wonder how a wide-eyed blonde girl can suddenly look like Krampus in a pit of fire. So, I figured I would put together a little listy-list – so millennial – of Christmas flaws. Here we go!

Classism and the Reminder of Where You Stand.

As a child, it’s that feeling of being uncool and unlike other kids. Not having the same toys or tech. Lacking the same style or brand names. It’s being on the discounted lunch list. I wasn’t entirely sure what it stemmed from when I was young, but I knew it put me in a certain category. As a parent, it means feeling like you’re letting your kids down…even if you are a stellar parent. Even as a simple adult, it can feel like failure. If you work hard all year shouldn’t you get to treat yourself? I care about this person and want to spoil them, but I’m barely making ends meet. Sure, it’d be great if we just made gifts for one another or celebrated time over trinkets. Black Friday, small business Saturday, and cyber Monday beg to differ. Fist fights and trampling for television sets and toys. You better believe a chunk of my previous credit card debt was Christmas gifts, because even though I was broke I felt like my family deserved better.

No Place like Home? What is Home?

A couple years ago, I was slightly relieved to find my brother had similar feelings around Christmastime. See, we have a very small family. Maybe not by blood…but on speaking terms – counting myself – we have a merry three. My mom, my brother, and myself. Christmas is usually a time to reunite and catch up with family. It is all over commercials and even Facebook as friends take photos with relatives old and young. What if your family has rejected you for something you believe or practice? Or your parents are divorced and you are juggling holidays? I hadn’t found a home-type feeling till just recently. You know what sucks to hear every year, “Oh! There’s no place like home for the holidays, ‘Cause no matter how far away you roam, When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze, For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!” It may seem minor, but especially when you can’t even afford the time or money to visit the TWO other family members in your life…it can be really isolating.

Why the Playlist?

Ok, maybe I realized I need atleast a third point to feel like a true list…HOWEVER! Why is this the one holiday that requires a month, minimum, of the same – damn – songs. Songs that get “revamped” every year. I know some people love it. We are a sucker for the familiar and tradition. Even I can appreciate ritual. But, I definitely see way more grimaces than I see people skipping and tapping to another rendition of “Frosty the Snowman.” It’s fun for kids, but why should I be singing about Santa when really he is just a reminder of when I first realized my parents were cool with bold-faced lies. I don’t sing about the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy. Oh, and now they made a consent version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside?” Well, I would like to have the option to consent to having my ears filled with the same ten songs for 30plus days. Yep.

So, I will write cards for my friends because I like snail mail and I will buy my fella a couple reasonably priced items to spoil him. I’ll even take some anxiety-filled glee at watching my secret Santa whom I barely know open their present. Just don’t expect me to count down the days, wear various Christmas shirts, and smile like an elf living solely on cookies and Starbucks lattes. If I could I would do away with the lot. To my fellow Bah Humbugs, I see you and appreciate you. I’ll always be there to chow on some Chinese food and drinks some libations while we crush the patriarchy.

 

 

Far From Just Another Year

A year ago I was packing all of my belongings into my car. Ok, I planned on packing them all in my car and was reminded I don’t have an SUV. Instead… I shoved all I could in my Toyota Corolla, threw away some more items, and borrowed money to rent a second car for my friend drive the rest of it. I also discovered my battery was beyond dead when my car wouldn’t start. It was quite the exit. My last year in Chicago had been a rollercoaster. I had taken a job I thought was promising and turned out to be the opposite of what I imagined, was almost broke, and lived in a basement “apartment” with little to no sunlight. I was miserable. It’s easy to cover up misery in Chicago, because you create such a great community of friends and drink all the time. I think I knew when I bashed my skull on the pavement riding my bike home in March that it was over. I had said for a couple of years that I should go, but lacked a destination or the fire under my ass. Then, poof, I was laid off. Without a full-time job or lease it seemed the fire had been lit. I took the opportunity to stay with a friend and the month or so I had left was spent tying loose ends, saying goodbye to friends, and visiting my family.

A lot happened in a]the following year. I felt the lowest of low. I felt like a charity case and a failure. It was hard leaving all the close friends I had made the past seven years. In New York, I worked at a restaurant that reminded me why I loved food and hospitality. I contacted my father for the first time in almost twenty years. My father died. Two weeks later in fact. It released a lot of anger, resentment, and hurt that I hadn’t realized was still a big part of me. That was followed by a lot of healing and reiki classes. I met my amazing boyfriend that I rarely discuss online, because I don’t feel like I need to announce him or keep a log of our time. I’m glad I met him after I had done a lot of personal work, because I know that a younger me would have sabotaged the hell out of it. He has a great heart and snarky sense of humor, and challenges me when I need it. It’s pretty great and I love the guy. I moved again! This time back on my own and in my first true apartment that I decorated to my liking. My drinking dropped drastically without effort. I’ve found an amazing friend base. Much to my chagrin, I realized I needed to go back to school and that all the years I joked about working with kids were because I wanted to. The jokes were just because I was scared to admit it and wasn’t sure if I could. (Far from the first or last time I used humor as a coping mechanism) I registered for classes and bought the laptop I’m typing on. I’m struggling financially and had to get a second job. OH, and I climbed my first rocks on a mountain. It wasn’t without struggle or grief, but I felt like a damn champion and want to keep up the challenges.

I’m beginning to ramble, so I’ll wrap it up. Many things have happened in the past year…some worthy of note, some private, and others not worth mentioning. The main change, is I feel a sense of home. I’m a little choked up just writing it, because  it’s the first time that I have felt that I have a safe space…that everything will eventually work out…and that I don’t have to be a personality or a character to have a place in it all. It is a feeling that is difficult to express or obtain, because it is such an individual experience. I miss my friends in Chicago and I will make a trip to drink and dine and catchup. There may be days when my anxiety gets the best of me, genetics be damned, but I have a support system to snap me out of it and a nest to take a breath or two and remind myself that I belong here and that it will all come to fruition. Makes that crazy year seem worth it.

 

 

 

 

In Support of Hugs and High-Fives

Today, I got a Facebook message of encouragement – applauding my positivity and supporting my decision to get training that will improve my chances for the job position I’m finally pursuing. It’s something I’m still surprised by and absurdly grateful for.

Looking back, I remember more hindrances than encouragement. Money became an issue before I even held my first coin. I knew that anything involving it was not available to me. This wasn’t because we were poor. In fact, my dad had a great job. He was intelligent and good with computers. He was set, but he’d be damned if that money was wasted or “thrown away”. The trip I took to the Emergency Clinic to have my eye flushed of chemicals was blasphemous. I remember him yelling at me for being negligent and costing him. I did my best from that moment forward to keep myself free of injury. More importantly, I shaped everything around that need to keep myself from costing him. My mom can tell you about the drawing I made of myself as a ballerina that was scribbled out. I had deduced that classes cost money and my dreams of dancing were a waste. I managed to be in a few free clubs in middle school, but shortly after my stepdad entered the picture and I was encouraged to clean house or work. I had no social life and was barely allowed to go to choir and pay for my own voice lessons. Oftentimes, if I complained to my mother about something it was met with, “you think that’s _____, I’m_____”. I realized she wasn’t a means for consolation. She served to remind me it could be worse, so suck it up.

I could go on, though I feel as though I’ve reminisced enough for your eyes. The point I’m trying to make is : I grew up lacking the encouragement. It was not known, expected, or understood. The most encouragement I got was when my teachers were attempting to get me into a college to get me out of my house. By the time teachers and friends had begun to encourage me I felt unworthy. It was hard to take seriously and I often felt a need to brush it off in the hopes they would see it was a lost cause. Much like most affection, it was uncomfortable. Much like hugs, encouragement took getting used to. Also like hugs, people lacked understanding of why something so natural was difficult for me to accept or even embrace.

Today, I got a Facebook message of encouragement – applauding my positivity and supporting my decision to get training that will improve my chances for the job position I’m finally pursuing. It’s something I’m still surprised by and absurdly grateful for.