Stronger…Whatever It Takes!

Nothing will make you realize how out of shape you are like a KMS Bag class.  It’s hard.  It’s so hard.  It pushes you physically, but more than that, it pushes you mentally.  I’ve got three classes under my belt now, and one thing has remained the same through each class for me:  I’m stronger than I think I am…and I’ll do whatever it takes to finish!

kmshiit

And it’s funny, you know, the thoughts that go through my mind when I hit those moments during class where my muscles are burning, my breath is shallow, and I feel like I’m going to puke.  With that level of exhaustion you’d think I’d be thinking, “Stop!  Quit!  Enough!”  But I don’t.  Those thoughts don’t even enter my mind.  Instead, what I think is, “One more!  Don’t Quit!  No Pain!”

I actually hear Rocky’s trainer from Rocky IV, when Rocky is training in Russia, and he’s doing that insane exercise where he’s holding on to a table, with only his shoulders resting on the table, and he’s slowly and with epic control lowering his feet to the table in slow, methodical reps, and the trainer just says calmly, “No pain.”  He says over and over with intense control, “No pain.”  And that’s what I hear in my head when I’m struggling to do one more rep, to punch one more time, to throw one more kick!  All I can think is, “No pain!  Finish!”  How fitting that the soundtrack under that scene is called Hearts on Fire.  And that’s how I feel during class.  It’s hard!  Really hard!  And yet it’s the most amazing thing, because I’ll do whatever it takes to finish!

And you know why I think that?  Well, it’s twofold.  The first is because, and I can’t believe how much I truly had forgotten this fact, but I’m a tough bitch!  When I set my mind to something, I truly can do anything.  No matter how much it hurts, no matter how long it takes, no matter how much I sacrifice, I will achieve my goal!  But the second, and the most powerful piece for me is that it’s the culture at KMS.  They make me want to push harder, hit harder, finish as hard as I possibly can.  They make me want to make them proud as much as make myself proud.  It’s a place of positivity, of encouragement and of community.  And to finish a class and have everyone congratulating each other for killing it out there, well, that’s just something amazing to be a part of, and I’m so grateful for every class.

kms200The last two days I haven’t taken a class, because my work schedule doesn’t line up for me to take a class.  And I find myself missing it.  I’m looking forward to noon tomorrow when I get to go hit stuff again!  I find my self getting into fighting stance while waiting for the elevator, or standing in line at the grocery store.  It’s pretty awesome.  It’s only been a week, but I already feel like I’m a part of KMS.  And when I signed up, I’m the 200th member, which was such a cool thing for both me and the owners!  It’s a big milestone for them, and a huge moment for me.   Every experience I have in this place just shows me that I found the right place at the right time, because I feel so good when I get there and even better when I leave!  If you like to hit stuff, and want a good workout, and you live in Seattle, you really should come join me!  I dare ya!

Ciao for now,

M sm

What Do I Do With That?!?!

Sitting around a table at a dive bar with two men, one of whom is young, and the other is a little older  than I am, the subject came around to dating, mostly discussing the young one’s dating life, because as he’s young and pretty, has the most active dating life at the table.  I made a comment about my lack of dating life, and how I’m cursed to always land in the friend zone no matter what, and this is where the unsolicited free advice started.

“I would argue that you get friend zoned because that’s where you put yourself,” said the young one.  And as I blinked at him, he added, “You’re a beautiful woman, and my guess is that you don’t believe that.”  He’s not wrong.  I don’t see myself that way.  Never have.  And again, before I could respond, he goes, “You’re really fun to be around and one of the most interesting people I’ve met, and so I think in order to not get friend zoned, you’re going to have to open yourself up more.”

As my best friend, the older, and wiser one at the table just cackled, I couldn’t help but squint at the young one, because these are almost the same verbatim words that my best friend has said to me on numerous occasions.  Additionally, getting this advice from a young man who has never even once made a pass in my direction, has no desire for anything other than friendship from me can sit there and so quickly and easily blame it all on my is a bit bizarre.

So, in finally finding my voice I say to the young one, “I agree.  You’re 100% right on all accounts.  The problem is, I have no idea how to do what you’re suggesting.”  And the quizzical look he gave me showed me he didn’t believe me.

I tried to explain to him that, the time in life that most people figure out how to maneuver dating is in high school.  That’s where you should be cutting your teeth on learning the dos and don’ts about navigating romance.  I, however, wasn’t given that option.  My mother had me programmed to never see myself as attractive.  And God help any boy who even remotely found me so, as she’d figure out a way to run them off.  Whether it was forcing me to break up with them once summer hit because, “I was too young for something that long and serious” or talking a boy into breaking up with me because “I needed to focus on school and not boys” or manipulating all of my guy friends to act as body guards to ensure that no other boy ever looked at me as anything more than a friend.  And when all of that is happening without your knowledge, you learn to see yourself as nothing more than the friend.

This has continued into my adult life.  I can be at a party, gathering, event with single men, and while they might enjoy talking to me, and might laugh at my wit, they never ask for my number before they leave.  They never want to get to know me better.  They never pursue me.  So, in explaining this to the young one, he blatantly says, “Yeah, but that’s because you don’t seem open to it.  You have a logical way of looking at the world, compartmentalizing everything into a neat little box, so you aren’t open to being pursued.”  My best friend adds, “They can see your ‘Keep Out’ sign that is tattooed on your forehead.

And I’m baffled.  What the fuck are they talking about?  I have no idea what they’re talking about.  I had no idea that’s how I am perceived.  When I meet new people, I always try to just ‘be myself’ and I’m now realizing, that in doing that, I’m some how also giving off an unavailable vibe.  And i have no idea how or why that’s happened, so with all this very honest advice that I’m getting, as I sat at that bar staring at them, all I could think was, “What do I do with that?!?  How do I fix a problem I don’t even know I have?”  It’s not that I don’t believe them.  I’m sure they’re right.  I’m sure they’re telling the truth.  But how the hell do I fix it because I don’t see it?

I have no idea how to do things differently.  I have no idea what personality traits I”m supposed to hide, or which ones to make bigger.  I have no idea how to navigate this in any way, shape or form.  Mostly because when I do meet a guy I find attractive, I do try to get to know him, but the way I do it always lands me in the friend zone, so in addition to not knowing how to be pursued, I clearly don’t know how to pursue either.

And it occurred to me.  How is this completely all on me?  How is there not a guy out there who would see past the ‘keep out sign’ that is supposedly on my forehead? Back in the day, I’ve learned since my mother died, there were quite a few guys who wanted to pursue me, but didn’t for either fear of my mother or fear of my friends.  As an adult, only two men dared try to be with me, both not giving a crap about my mother’s tactics to run them off, but i was too obedient to choose them over her once the ultimatum was thrown down by her.

It’s been almost 24 hours since all this truth was laid at my feet, and still, I have no idea how to fix this problem.  No idea how to ‘be more open’.  No clue whatsoever.  Perhaps the curse of the friend zone is my fault.  But since I don’t know how to fix it, I guess it’s just going to have to stay as it is for now.  Maybe an epiphany will come to me.  Although, it does suck that being myself isn’t enough.  It does suck that who I am, who I know myself to be, and the things I like about myself aren’t enough.  That I somehow now have to figure out some way to be more.  I don’t know that I want to do that.  But I don’t want to be alone forever, either.

No breadcrumb, this time, sadly.  Instead, I fear this conversation and the emotions and frustrations that have come from it have led me down a new path of self evaluation that is taking me further away from the life I’m meant to have.  I probably should stop this path, and just go back…but I don’t know that I can just ignore it now that it’s out there.  Truth. What do I do with that?

I have no idea….

Ciao for now,

M

Be The Change

One of the things I’ve worked really hard at most of my life is not turning out like my mother.  I didn’t want her small town life, her small town job, or her small town ideals.  And more than anything, I didn’t want her health problems.  I managed to fail at all of those things.

I ended up doing the same job she did, although I am finally doing that job in a larger city making more money than my mother could have ever dreamed of making.  I never had her small town ideals, although when you live there for a while, those ideas can sometimes creep in.  However the biggest failure is that I totally have her health problems.  I’ve been ashamed to say it for a few years, I ignored it, I pretended it would just go away, but the truth is I’m diabetic.  I ignored my own health to focus on hers, and that wasn’t right.  And now, it’s been almost two years since she’s been gone, and my own health has fully freaked me out!

But, unlike my mother, I’m not going to ignore it and avoid it until I have no choice but to take insulin.  I don’t want to lose my eye sight, or a limb, or the function of my kidneys.  So, 43 days ago, I went to see a doctor and got a bunch of labs done and started a weight loss program that will help get my pancreas the break it needs.  I’ve started tracking my progress on another blog, Ideal Michele, so check it out if you’re curious what I’m doing to get better.

btcI hate that it took a scare of a super high blood sugar reading to have me finally focus on this.  I hate that I’ve let myself get to the point where blood sugar is even an issue.  I spent a lot of time beating myself up. But now, I realize that I can beat this thing! That it’s not a death sentence.  It’s a wake up call!  And I can be the change I want for my life, and I can make that change happen now!

If you’re so inclined, check out my other blog, follow it, and feel free to leave supportive comments for me, as I can use all the inspiration and support I can get!

I don’t have to end up like my mother, with dialysis and numerous meds as my quality of life.  I’m still young enough to fix this, and her fate doesn’t have to be mine unless I want it to be.  And I do not!

Breadcrumb enthusiastically found!

Ciao for now,

M sm

Changes

So, I’ve been focusing on what I want, as per my last post, but just last week came up with a plan to finally put into action!  My health is a major concern.  Combine a 50 hour work week with diabetes and sprinkle on unhealthy snacking cuz there’s a Bartell’s five feet from my office and you get a very unhealthy M.  My latest labs scared me to death, and when I got home from the appointment, I looked at myself in the mirror and said to myself, “Self…you’re looking an awful lot like your mother.  Do you want your kidneys to fail, too?  Do you want to have to inject insulin into your body for the rest of your life?  Because last I checked, you did not have a daughter to give up her life to care for you when your immune system dissolves into a bag of dialysis fluid.  Wake the fuck up!”

And I did.  I spent a few weeks trying to get hard workouts in after work, and I did.  I also meal planned and ate well.  And yet, very few pounds dropped.  And I started the self-critical path towards bowls of pasta and bags of chips, and thank god for that image of turning into my mother, because I sat down to try to figure out why the hell my plan wasn’t working.  And it hit me.

Cuz I’m trying to fight against years of neglect of my health, while I was focused on my mother’s health, and I work in a demanding, exhausting job, and by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is work out.  It’s a chore, and I hate it, so I had to find another way.

A few years ago I did a high protein diet that worked for me.  I didn’t stick to it, because I didn’t have the best support system at home.  But it worked.  It worked wonders!  It balanced by blood sugar, gave me energy, and the food wasn’t bad.  So in doing research, I decided to go back to it, because on this diet, exercise isn’t a key factor until you shed the pounds.  And if I time it all out right, by the time the pounds are gone, I will have moved closer to work, and the energy suck that is my current commute will be gone, and I can use that time to tone myself up.

It’s going to work.  I can feel it.  I started a separate blog to track that journey, and feel free to check out Ideal Michele if you are so inclined.  This is the first time in my adult life where, rather than just giving up on the problem of my health, or ignoring it, I took stock and realized what my current lifestyle is like, and found a solution that works with it.  I’m pretty damn proud of me.

Crumb so unbelievably earned and found!

Ciao for now,

M

What do I want?

What, Mr. Gosling, do I want?  What do I want?  This scene, from the Notebook, one of my all time favorites, not only because it’s epically romantic, but because his delivery of the line “What do you want?” that he says over and over is so perfectly acted.

“Would you stop thinking about what everyone wants.  Stop thinking about what I want, what he wants, what your parents want.  What do you want?  What do YOU want?  WHAT do you want?  Goddamnit, what do you want?”

I’ve watched this movie  a million times, and never before tonight have those lines rocked me to my core.  What do I want?  What do I want?  Just me.  No one else.  Not my friends.  Not my boss.  Not my coworkers.  Not my parents, more specifically, not thinking about what my mother wants is such a foreign thing to me.  But she’s not here anymore, so what she wants no longer matters.  What do I want?  What. Do. I. Want?

As I sat in my favorite spot on Cannon Beach, Oregon tonight, I watched the waves gently crash on the sand as the sun slowly dipped below the water, and I thought to myself, “What do I want?  What do I really, truly want?”

My first reaction was ‘I don’t know.’  I’m so lost, I let go of everything I wanted so many years ago, how the hell do I figure it out now.  And then I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and let the clean sea air fill my lungs, and as the tears stung my eyes and rolled down my cheeks, I let it be ok that I don’t know what I want.  I let it be ok that I’m still lost.  And in the instant I forgave myself for not having it all figured out, clarity came to me.  And here’s what I want:

  1. I want to be happy.  Which is tough, because the last time I was truly happy was so long ago, it took a few moments to summon up that feeling.  Remembering where I was when I felt true happiness and bliss.  It was on the stage of the Playhouse at UW when I sang an oversolo for Seasons of Love and brought the house to their feet.  And it was because in that moment, I was truly in a moment of being who I was supposed to be.  I was performing.  Which leads me to:
  2. I want to perform again.  With my new job, I’d let myself give up the dream of performing.  With my love of writing taking over, I’d forgotten how much I love to perform, because when I’m in a good show, with a good cast, and a good director, my soul sings, my heart is full, and I’m at peace.  Guess it’s time to dust off my monologue collection.
  3. I want to stop hurting physically.  My health is in my hands, and my hands only.  I’ve been flirting with life changes in this area, but have yet to commit.  It’s time to stop fucking around with my health, and to get serious.  There are no more obstacles to blame.  It’s all on me.  And I’m done letting me down.
  4. I need to start saying yes to more things.  No is so easy for me.  The ‘responsible’ choice has been necessity.  And now, I can afford to enjoy life more than I’ve been doing lately.  Time to start saying yes.

I want to be happy.  Dammit, I want to be happy.  I want to be happy.  I’m going to be happy.  Knowing what I want is going to help me, hopefully, find the rest of these breadcrumbs so that I can finally get to the life I’ve dreamed of for so many years.

I was sheltered and isolated for so long, so focused on someone else’s wants and needs, it’s taken me this long to realize that I’ve yet to focus on what I want.  Old habits are hard to break, but as of today, this habit is breaking.

Breadcrumb very emotionally found.

Ciao for Now,

M

The Reiki-ing

I’ve dubbed 2015 the year of the body, in where I am finally going to fine tune mine back to something I can be proud of, something I no longer neglect, something I am no longer ashamed of.  And the plan of attack is a combo of yoga, strength training, clean diet, and procedures.  And no, not those types of procedures, I’m talking chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and meditation.  And so far, so good, as we reach the end of the first month of January, but the emotional side of me wasn’t quite believing in my cause.  I was carrying around some negative energy, so a friend of a friend is a reiki master, so I thought to myself, “Self…I don’t know what reiki is, but let’s give it a try!”  So, I made the appointment and went on Friday.

Now, knowing me,  you’re probably wondering why it took a few days to blog about this experience, well, that is because it rocked my world so badly, and I have had so much to think about, right this second is the first time I felt like I could articulate what I’m feeling.

So, for those of you not in the know, reiki is an energy reading and cleaning by a reiki specialist/master/guru/magic-person!  And it friggin worked on me!  When you get done, you get told things about yourself that no stranger should know.  And without getting into he details of my very intense, very profound reading, let me just say it was life changing.

It reaffirmed a few health things i knew were going on.  It also brought to life a few things about my upbringing that I’d repressed, one of which was based in the learning/conditioning/family way that I’d been taught when it came to elders.  I was told from the time I could understand, by all the elders in my family, “You will find times that we make you mad, or do things you don’t agree with.  You are going to get quite mad, and maybe think you want to say something about it, but I’m your (insert family member here, mom, grandpa, whatever), and you will not disrespect me, so, you can think it, but don’t you ever say it!  If you say it, and I hear it, I will knock your teeth down your throat.”  And, well, I believed them.  So, I learned very young to keep my opinions to myself.

And what reiki did for me was let me know that even though I stayed silent all those times my grandfather’s behavior was abhorrent, or every time my mother was cruel, I was right in thinking they were wrong.  I was right in knowing that the way they were behaving, the way they were walking the world was wrong.  I was right in the opinions I silently carried all those years, because even when I vented to my friends, they’d betray me and tell my mother what I’d said.  I had no outlet, and the silence got worse.  I was right to have the thoughts I had about things going on around me.  I was right to know in my heart that the way my mother wrapped her ENTIRE world around me was unhealthy.  I was right to know that horribly tiny town was somewhere I never should have been, and I was right to apply to the best school in the country, and I was right to be angry with my mother for refusing to let me go.  I was right to go after my passion, and I was right to finally find my calling and I was right to change my major, and I was right to not fight being disowned by my grandfather for it, because I was right in that he was a terrible,  hateful man who never should have been in my life to begin with!

I was right to go home to care for my mother, but I was also right in my fear that she let me come home 5 years too soon.  I was right to want a life of my own, and I was right to fall in love with a man and I was right to think it was wrong that my mother not only couldn’t be happy for me, but did everything in her power to destroy that relationship.  I was right to cry so many nights in high school, wondering what was wrong with me that boys never liked me or pursued me, because something was wrong.  She was wrong, in secretly keeping them from me and actively manipulating me with her classic “You don’t need a boyfriend you need to (fill in the blank with get to college/focus on college/get a good job/take care of me as you like).”  Her fear of losing me and isolating me from the possibility of being anything more than her daughter was wrong!  And I knew it!  And I never said anything.  Even on her death bed, I couldn’t tell the truth, because I’d been silent for so long.

Reiki let me know the silence wasn’t for naught.  Because even though I was silent…I was right.  And there is something calming and peaceful about that thought.  There’s something comforting about it.  There’s also something very sad about it.  All those times I was too weak to stand up for myself within my own house, all the while fashioning myself a strong person is really sad to see.  Realizing that, since i left that awful house I’ve always hated, I’ve continued to be silent on so many things.  I don’t trust myself at all, and reiki opened my eyes to the fact that I’ve never trusted myself.

I’ve been reactive for so long, i don’t know how to be proactive.  I don’t know how to do this without checking every detail of life with my mother before I make a decision.  I don’t know how to do this life without her, and I am so mad at her because it was her job to teach me how to do this without her, and her fear of being alone created this isolating experience where we were so freakishly linked that i couldn’t make a move without her, and I still can’t!  And I hate myself for it.  At least I did….until the other night when a perfect stranger looked me in my face and said ‘You’re so intuitive and have amazing instincts and you should really trust yourself more, because you got this.’

So, in this year, the year of the body, I am going to start trusting myself.  Start letting go of the things I can’t go back and change.  Embrace the fact that I was always right and that it was ok that I was right.  And remind myself that I no longer have to be silent about it.

The reiki-ing of my world opened it up in the most amazing way, and I am so grateful for it.  I wonder what I’ll discover at my second session.

Breadcrumb very emotionally and eye opening-ly found.

Ciao for now,

M

And I Know Things Now, Many Valuable Things That I Hadn’t Known Before

Little Red Riding Hood, in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods is the sweet innocent girl who gets who world turned upside down by the Big Bad Wolf, and after coming through the other side of that experience sings a song explaining how she’s smarter now than she was before she encountered the wolf.  And as 2014 comes to a close, and 2015 is waiting in the wings to make its entrance, I’m looking back on the journey I took this year, on the breadcrumbs I discovered, on the ones that still elude me, and I think to myself, I know things now, many valuable things, that I hadn’t know before.  So, let’s count them down shall we?

10) Real Estate is not something that is fun.  Especially if you are the seller.  I’ve never felt so violated as I did during the experience of selling my family home.  The bank of the buyer literally has you bent over and will rape you as they see fit, for as long as they see fit, and as the seller you can’t do anything about it.  It was such a horrendous experience, I don’t know that I’ll ever buy a piece of real estate again.

9) As strong as I knew I was, I’m actually a hell of a lot stronger than that, as this year kicked me around a lot and I managed to get up every single time.  I used to blame my mother for the hard things in my life, and she’s been gone a year and a half now, so none of this is her fault.  The house sell was her fault.  The dealing with probate without any financial help because her selfish ass didn’t bother to have life insurance.  But between cleaning out that house, packing and moving and unpacking twice, starting two new jobs, and starting my life over, and doing it all by myself is no small feat.  And I did it.  And I’m still standing.

8) Meeting new people is a wonderful thing, and sometimes those people bring level of clarity to a demon you’ve had your whole life and help you start to heal in a way you never expected.

7) Choices need to be made slower and more thoughtfully.  I have been so used to living my life in a reactionary way, because I could never truly plan for things.  I made that mistake with the last two apartments I’ve rented.  Next time, I will not rush, I will be proactive and plan to make sure I end up somewhere I actually want to live.

6) Seattle is definitely not the place I’m meant to be.  It is not home.  I know this mostly because I thought there was a community waiting for me here that I didn’t have in the Tri-Cities.  Not true.  I was very wrong about that.  The abundance of people who gave me shit the entire time I was home caring for my mother about ‘when are you coming back?’ and ‘i miss you so much, move back!’ have made very little effort towards hanging out with me.  So, if I’m going to be mostly alone, I might as well be somewhere I actually want to live…and it’s not here.

5) Finally working for a huge company making a huge salary and feeling like I have a career now feels really good.

4) No matter where go, your demons and issues will follow you until you deal with them.  I actively avoided therapy…might need to change that in 2015.

3) Even finding Sheldon the best home in the world doesn’t erase all the pain I feel from letting him go.  I hate not having him here with me.  Doing the right thing is rarely easy, and this was the right decision, and it almost killed me.

2) Holidays, like birthdays and Christmas, are really lame when you’r an orphan with no family.  These times of year are meant to have presents and people celebrating with you, and that didn’t happen at all this year.  So, the lesson I learned is that I will no longer celebrate them.  Instead, there will just be another day in October, and a day in December that I don’t have to work.  And in 2015, I will make sure to take myself on a fabulous spa day in October, and on an international vacation the last week of December.  No reason to wallow in my solitude.  Instead, I’ll just find a way to make them fun and less sad for this party of 1.

1) I didn’t focus on my goals I set out for myself in 2014, not by a long shot.  I will reevaluate for 2015 and focus on the things I really want to change and not dwell on the things I didn’t do last year.

2014 didn’t bring the happiness I had hoped it would.  I think that is because I was placing my happiness on external things/people/places/etc.  I will not make that mistake in 2015.

I learned a lot in 2014, and will apply it to 2015.  And hopefully, I’ll find that elusive last breadcrumb this next year.

Ciao for now,

M

Epiphany!

Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t play games.  Not at all.  I can’t play sports, I can’t play board games, I can’t play card games, and I sure as hell can’t play video games.  And this isn’t for the reason you might think.  It’s not because I’m not coordinated, because I’m very coordinated.  It’s not because I don’t know how to win, because I do.  It’s not because I suck at these things, because I don’t.  I do, however, have a chemical imbalance when it comes to games that manifests itself in the most competitive energy ever, and it’s zero fun for any who encounter it.

As a child, the competitive streak served me well as a gymnast.  My ridiculous intensity allowed me to push myself a lot hard than any coach could push.  It also helped in school.  My complete obsession with being first in my class had me making As without having to be pushed by my teachers or my mother.  And as I got older, the goal of college, and going to the best school possible kept me focused and unphased by the normal things that distract teenagers.  This intensity, however, became zero fun whenever a ‘friendly’ game of anything came into play.  I don’t do ‘friendly’ competition.  No idea how to do it.  I don’t only want to win, because the win is the goal of course, but what feeds the competitive beast inside me is the annihilating you on the way to my win.  I want to destroy my opponent at all cost.  I want you crying, bleeding on the ground before I claim my victory.  Had I been a boy, this would have served me well in sports, I think, but being a girl, it was less than attractive.  A trait often pointed out by my mother as she tried to cure me of this competitive affliction.

One of my first memories is playing red light/green light with friends around the age of 5 or 6 and being so intense, and so intent on destroying them on the way to my win, and having my mother jerk me into the house and sitting me in a corner because, if I couldn’t play nice, then I wouldn’t play.  I wasn’t phased by this.  It got worse as I quit gymnastics and tried to play school sports.  My softball team, comprised of tween girls, mostly interested in how cute they looked in their uniforms as opposed to actually winning a game. Their lack of giving 100%, as I was, made me insane.  God forbid I struck out at the plate during softball, I’d come back, throw my bat, throw my helmet, and immediately incur the wrath of my mother. She didn’t understand this wasn’t something I could control.  I didn’t understand my peers, and how they could care less whether we destroyed our opponents or not.  And it drove me insane!  I quit playing because I couldn’t take their pacifying nature.

This fixation during games continued through high school and in to my first year of college.  And when my sorority played a ‘flag’ football game against another house during a charity game, I hit a tri-delt so hard, I knocked her out.  My intensity had actually hurt someone, and it woke me up, and in that moment I vowed to not play games any longer, since I couldn’t control my intensity and my rage.

Over the years after that, friends would often try to get me to play games.  Mostly board or card games, or invite me for game nights, and I’d go, and not want to play, and that makes other people very uncomfortable.  They don’t believe me when I tell them that my playing is disastrous.  One friend in particular pushed and pushed, and i finally decided to play scrabble, and when he got a huge scoring word, I may or may not have flipped the board up and at him, Teresa Guidice style!

As an adult, this plagues me.  I want to be able to play games with people, I want to be able to  play games with friends.  I want to just enjoy a friendly game of anything for once in my life, but I am incapable, and it’s so frustrating to not understand why I’m the way I am.  I’ve talked to a shrink about this, and after careful examination, it was deemed that this is just my wiring, and the healthiest choice I can make is to not play.  So that’s what I’ve done.  But that explanation never really helped me or satiated me.

The other night, I spent the evening with my best friend and a new friend who was waxing philosophically about some advice his step-dad had given him when he was young, and said that sometimes in life you play games for the joy of the game (a concept I don’t even remotely understand) and that sometimes you play games like you’re in prison.  Because in prison, you play to survive.  And the minute those words left his mouth, it felt as if he was describing me, and I turned to my best friend and said, “And I’ve always been in prison.”  And we had a silent moment and that epiphany hit me.

And I’ve always been in prison!

My beautiful pictureMy home town, if you’ve read my earlier blog posts, you know never felt like home to me.  I’ve said my whole life that I hate that place.  I ran from it at 18 as fast as I could to get to college.  But never did I register that I was in prison in that town.  The childhood I had was full of people at my house all the time, watching my every move.  These same friends, so connected to my mother, that I couldn’t make a move without one of them ratting me out.  She was my warden.  I was rapunzel in the tower.  I was always in prison.  I was never comfortable at home.  I hated coming home to that house.  I hated the neighborhood, I hated everything, and I see that, it was a type of prison for me.

It wasn’t a malicious thing, but it was a thing, and my survival instincts to survive that incarceration was to be the best I could possibly be so that somehow, one of my talents could get me out of there!  And when I went off to college, I really wasn’t free.  I was still on probation, having to check in with the warden daily.  And when the warden got sick, I was yanked back into the tower for another six year sentence.

With no control on that environment, with feeling like my life wasn’t my own, the one thing I could control was whether I was the best at what I pursued or not.  I was always in prison.  My new friend’s words hit me like a freight train, and the honesty of it overwhelmed me.  I’ve been having dreams that my mother is not dead, and that I have to go back to the tower, and I’ve been sleeping horribly.  After this epiphany, I went home, cried an unbelievably cleansing cry and slept peacefully the whole night through and woke up lighter emotionally than I’ve ever been in my life.  It might sound overdramatic, but with those words, this person, practically a stranger to me, changed my life.  Thank you, Zak, I’ll be forever grateful!

I woke up in the morning to this horoscope:

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And even the universe was letting me know that the right words had hit my existence, and that I should trust them and move forward!

Tears are falling as I type this, but not tears of sadness.  They are tears of freedom!  I am no longer in that tower.  Rapunzel has been let out, and has not been stepped on by the giant, and now, she now controls her own life and her own destiny.  She has no obligations except to herself!

So maybe, now, just maybe, I can release my choke hold on my need to dominate in a  competitive situation, and can just play for the joy of the game…..perhaps, indeed.

Ciao for now,

M

Feels Like Home…But Not To Me

home-iconBreadcrumbs have popped up here and there since I started this journey, yet they are too few and far between for me to feel like I’m really getting anywhere new.  I feel so horribly lost, still, somewhere between the path my daughterly duty had me stuck on for years, and the one I’m supposed to be on.  And in the search, something occurred to me tonight.  The final breadcrumb I find that will be sitting in the middle of my path will be called one thing:  Home.

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I absolutely hated the house I grew up in.  I hated it as a child, ran from it as an 18 year old, and only went back to take care of my mom.  And after her passing, having the chore of cleaning it out and getting it ready for sale was one of the worst experiences of my life.  And doing it completely alone just reinforced how much I absolutely hate that piece of real estate.  It holds no sentimental value to me.  It meant nothing to me to sell it.  I moved, and never looked back.

How strange to spend most of your life in one place and somehow not feel like you belong there.  And yet, that’s how I’ve always felt about this house.

And then this holiday season began and it hit me completely out of left field that this will be the first Christmas in my entire life that I won’t be in that house.  It’s not my first Christmas alone, that was last year.  But it wasn’t so much of a big deal, because there was something ‘normal’ in being in that place on Christmas day.  Cooking Christmas dinner in that kitchen.  Watching TV in that living room.  Hating it, yet comfortable in it.  However, this year, I can’t go there.  And it’s not like I want to go there.  I have no desire to go there.  But the finality of it brought up a ton of emotions this past week.  I blame the yoga (see previous post here for explanation).  Any way, as the tears stop falling, and the sobbing subsides, the end of my journey revealed itself to me.

I will finally be ok when I find my home.

I have no idea where that is.  It’s not the Tri-Cities.  It’s not Seattle, although Seattle will do for now.  It might be Venice, as I felt more at home there than anywhere else I’ve ever been in my life.  Cannon Beach holds a close second.  But neither of them gave me that sense of belonging to a place.

I want to find my place so badly.  I want to have that place that, when I walk inside, I feel peace.  My home.  My sanctuary.  The place that, no matter how hard it gets out there in the world, I can go home, close the door, light some candles and breathe.  And up to now, every place I’ve lived in has been rented, so never felt like mine.

Does that mean it’s time to buy?  Perhaps.  But I won’t until I am sure I want to set roots down.  All this haze still surrounds me, but I do see the light through it…I am ready for a home.  Not an apartment, not a rented condo, not a rental house…a home.  My home.  In my place.

No idea where that is.  No idea when it will happen.  But I trust that when I find it is when this journey, this journey of finding my way the life I’m supposed to have will be over and I can start the next one, whatever it may be.

Can’t wait to find that last breadcrumb.  Hoping it arrives sooner rather than later, cuz God knows I’m not getting any younger.

Ciao for now,

M

Is My Mirror Broken?

Anyone who suffers from self esteem issues, or who is going through some sort of self-improvement physically has those days where you look in the mirror and thing, “Ugh.  I’m hideous.”  And I’m no exception.

However, lately, I’m having the opposite experience, and it’s kind of tripping me out.  For example, I HATE to have my picture taken.  I’m not photogenic.  Never have been.  It always takes hundreds of shots from random angles to get just one shot where I don’t look like quasimoto who has been on a drunken/drug induced bender for 18 days.  And godless digital photography and all filters and tweaks one can make to photos.  It’s helped me a ton.  Anyway, I digress.

Whenever anyone wants to photograph me, I always say, “Oh no, I’m much better in person,” and I say that because that’s truly what I think.  The live show is much better than anything anyone could catch on film.  But it got me thinking, why is that?  Why does the image of me captured through a lens not look at all like what I see when I look in the mirror, because in the mirror, I think I look pretty damn good.  Is, somehow, my mirror broken?

broken_mirror_by_E_NigmaDesignMirror Mirror on the wall, who’s not looking too bad today?  This chick!  Or at least that’s what I will think when looking at my reflection and if it’s good enough I think, “I should snap a pic of me, I look great today!”  Take a pic and look at it on my phone, and poof!  Happy moment shattered as I look at the not so cute reflection staring back at me, and I’m baffled.  I look back in the mirror, and things still look good.  Is my mirror broken?  Is my perception of myself so unbelievably off?

I’m not sure why this keeps happening to me, but it does.  Often.  Makes me think something is wonky in my brain.  My friends compliment me a lot, my best friend especially.  And I trust his opinion on all things, yet have a hard time trusting his assessment of my physicality because a photo doesn’t lie.  But, neither does my bestie.  Yet the two images don’t add up, so one of them must be lying.  Or maybe it’s my self-loathing flawed moments that are lying.

Perhaps it boils down to photogenic vs. non-photogenic, and nothing more than that.  But wow, would it be nice to just have a quick photo snapped and love how it looked.  Perhaps when I get a better hold on my insecurities and remove them from my life, perhaps how harshly I judge myself in photos will lessen.  I know I have a lot of work to do on myself still, and am happy with my progress so far.  And maybe, just maybe, the way I’ll know when all my breadcrumbs have been found is when I can take a pic of myself and simply like the image I see staring back at me.  Maybe.

The search continues….

Ciao for now,

M