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The Ballad Of FFAC Part 1

Life is crazy.  Sometimes, life is crazy in totally unexpected ways.

Sometimes we think we are going one way, and then something will set us back 10 feet.  Sometimes we think we have all the things in the world figured out, and then we find out that we were totally wrong.  Sometimes we make bad choices that end with something beautiful.

Then there is this, which is all of those things and then more.

There are certain events in my life, good and bad, that I remember as if they just happened.  I remember one of my first conversations with K, about snack cakes, skipping first period in high school.  I remember that to me, she was already special.  We didn’t see each other for a year when I switched to a different school, then they first time I saw her, I ran and attacked her with love.  She got over her fear of me.

I remember my first real, true interaction with HS.  My Panera soul-mate.  I will never forget that day in Canton, realizing we had 50 sandwiches to make and understand that together we could do it.  It was like magic.

I remember the moment of birth for all three of my children.  That first moment I held Lena, and I knew that nothing else in the world could be more perfect.  Nick came, and I felt the same thing.  Julie’s birth was so different, so traumatic, but still at the end when I saw her, there was that moment that you felt like nothing in the world could ever go wrong, not on your watch.

These are important to me; important life moments.  They aren’t the only ones, but some of the few.  There are scattered memories all over the place, of times, of people, good and bad.

FFAC.  Ryan.

I remember our first conversation ever.  I remember our first interaction.  As geeky as it is, it was playing WoW.  We were in a dungeon with some of our other guildmates.  K was there too.  We cleared it out, and people went, and we were still on Vent. We talked about coffee and lemonade, and how lemonade in New Zealand was not lemonade here.  It is Sprite there.  I thought he was lying, because how can lemon/lime soda be lemonade?  I had to leave to go to Panera, and I remember the drive.  I remember going over the conversation, and you have that moment where you know something has changed; something important has happened.

I won’t get into the whole story, because no one has that much time.  I will give you the gist.  We spent two years that way, talking on headsets, sending packages.  We were extremely close, but very far.  It still hurts a bit in some places when I think about that time, but all things happen for a reason.  I became pregnant with J.  He thought it would be okay, but I knew it wouldn’t, and I became distant and cold.  When things start to go distant and cold, when there is no nurturing, things and people go away.

It wasn’t his fault, and I don’t hate myself for that because honestly, to do so would be to regret what I received.  I know that whatever may be out there, fate, God(s), whatever, J was destined to be in this world.  I try not to regret, because to me, that is just an opening for never moving forward, but I do not like hurting people, especially not people I love.  I wrote him two letters, but he had moved and didn’t update his mailing address.  I have done the same thing, so I can’t fault him for that.

We stopped talking, for a long time.  4 years worth of long time.  I never stopped wondering what he was doing, or if he was happy.  I wondered if he had done what he was setting out to do when we first started talking.  There were times that I would think to myself that I should reach out, but I was scared.  I was really scared that had I, I would have opened the door for him to tell me I was a horrible person, and I couldn’t handle that coming from him.

I did what I had to do, what I thought was right to do.  I wasn’t unhappy, but I wasn’t happy either.  I could pretend, but I knew.  There was a lot going on, or rather maybe a lot not going on.  Again, when things are not nurtured, they die.

As cheesy as this is, I heard the Adele song, “Someone Like You”.  It resonated.  It not only did that, but it made me finally sit down at my computer and type out the email I waited 4 years to write.  It took me like an hour for not even a full paragraph.  I erased it a few times, closed the email a few times, debated it the entire time.  I had no idea what would happen and that terrified me.  You see, it didn’t matter to me what the outcome was, but I knew I just missed him in my life.  I wanted to communicate, even if it could only be as friends.  It took me a while, but I did hit send.

I did it and then went into panic mode.  I shut down my computer, I turned it back on.  I went into the living room and then went into the computer room and checked my email.  I saw he was online and shut down the computer again.  I turned it back on a few minutes later.  I was a wreck.

Sometimes facing your fears and doing what you are most scared to do can end up becoming a momentous, life changing moment.

 

He emailed back, and everything was very hesitant at first, but quickly fell back into old patterns.  There are rare people that if you are lucky, even if you don’t talk to them for a long time, when you do it is as if you were never apart.  It happened with K and I, and there are a few others I am lucky enough to have in my life that even if I don’t talk to them daily, we can always pick up where we left off.

Ryan was one of those people.  I think when you lose contact with someone important, truly lose contact, when and if you are lucky enough to get them back, you don’t want to mess it up again.  Whether it be a best friend, a relative, a soul mate, you don’t want to make the same mistakes.

I may wonder at times what kind of forces there are out there; whether it be fate, God(s), ka-tets, but I do know that sometimes a door may open, close, and then open again.  If it’s meant to be, then pieces will fall together and things move forward.  I do believe in some sort of fate, but I don’t believe fate does the work for you.  I think fate puts you in the right place at the right time, and you have to do the work.

There has been a lot of talk lately all around me about doors opening and closing.  I know some doors in my past that closed, and they closed because they weren’t my doors.  I don’t regret any of those doors, because they helped me realize who I am.  This may be part 1, and I don’t know when part 2 will be written because this story isn’t over.

Don’t be afraid, friends.  Or rather, it’s okay to be afraid, but then act on it.  Sometimes the best things come when we do what we are afraid of the most.

 

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The Table

Yesterday began with a fight, today with a passing.  Uncle Bob passed away after a long battle and he was one of the most fierce warriors out there.  I remember quite a few times being told that he wasn’t doing well, and the odds were not in his favor, yet he kept going.  I hope I can apply as much strength and fierceness to my battles as he did his. 

A few months ago, maybe around 6 months or so ago, Uncle Bob moved to a facility where he would spend the rest of his days.  He had left behind a fully furnished apartment and bestowed upon me a gift.  He gave me a table.  When I first moved, I had procured myself the Wal-Mart special table.  I remember it was kinda of comical because there were 5 people at the house, but the table only fit 4.  Someone (and yes, it is me) did not think ahead to maybe purchase a table that everyone could sit at together.  So we have a stick out counter, and a stool like chair, and 4 people would sit at the table, while one took the time out chair at the counter.  We rotated positions, so not one person was in time out every day.  

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Seriously, this existed.

He gifted me with his table.

This was a table with an insert.  It had 6 chairs.  That was one more than even needed!  A whole extra chair!  No one had to sit at the time out counter again, or wouldn’t if everyone was home for dinner, which always doesn’t happen.  Still, a whole extra chair!

I never realized the importance of a table.  How one thing can be such a hub of activity.  Especially when it is big enough to fit everyone.  The table has already hosted a Thanksgiving and Christmas, and not just any Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the first ones I have put on in my home.  

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Here is Uncle Sal, at the table, enjoying some quality time at Thanksgiving.  He isn’t in the time out chair.

It has hosted hours of artwork.  Sequins, and glue; flowers and cards.  Girl1 even made news at the table when she made a card for a girl who just needed support.  She made some art, shared her soul, all at the table.

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Girl1 hates this picture and it keeps coming up.  I love this picture because it is love.

This table is not like any other table.  It isn’t just a flat surface.  It has been mountains, villages, dungeons, campfires, as well as many other things when we gather around to play D&D.  People joining us at this table to leave the real life behind for a few hours and go on adventures.  The last adventure we were kidnapped and the table was a gladiator style arena filled with people looking for a good show.  We didn’t disappoint.

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That is 10 Orcs!  10 agressive orcs!

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The elixir made her voice like sunshine rays.  She inspired us to victory!

It is a place for long conversations over cups of coffee.  A place to come home and just fold your arms on it and put your head down after a long day.  It is a gathering spot for all occasions, happy and sad.  Some days it is the place you put on some Pandora and just connect with each other.  It was the spot for puzzle building.

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Still isn’t finished yet.  We’ll get there.

When is a table not a table?  When it is where you connect with your family, friends, and loved ones.

Uncle Bob, you didn’t just bestow upon me a table.  You gave me a spot where everyone has a chair, and there is always an extra one for whomever needs it.  You gave me and the family a place to connect, to laugh, to cry, to be comforted, to be loved.  You gave our home a center for a hub of activities, and it will continue to be so.  Thank you for that gift, and for always being someone who would smile, give a funny sarcastic comment, and teach all that knew you that life deserves laughter.  We will always have a chair ready for you.

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Happiness or Living as We Know It

Oh friends, it has been a bit, as I do, but I have been thinking about you and me and us and everything.  I don’t want to bore you with mundane things, and I promised myself that this would not be a place where I would go if I was melancholy.  I had a livejournal once for that.  

I post a lot about what I think are my life’s journeys, or secrets, or things I may have learned along the way.  This will be one of those times.

Happiness seems to be the universal things that we strive for, but somehow seems to be so evasive.  It’s the carrot on the end of the stick, always there, staring at us in the face, but sometimes it seems to just always be ahead.  We do things that we think may make us happy, like go shopping, or eat, or not eat, or drink, or whatever else may be in that place for us.  It works, usually for a moment or two, and then we see that carrot is not gone.  It’s still ahead, taunting us, telling us that it is just a few more steps ahead.

Happiness comes in so many things.  I know, for me, they are things that have been there all along, but I didn’t know what I had, or that it was all I needed.  I also know that I was afraid to be happy, because what I would need to be happy, to allow myself to be happy, may not be what the world would think.  It could be something that other people may not be happy with.

FFAC has been here for the last couple of weeks.  I was supposed to go to NZ, but things made that semi-impossible,so he came here.  I am of an opinion that things happen for a reason, and this was no exception.  He, on a weeks notice, bought a ticket and came here to spend time with me and mine.  Usually, when these trips happen, my brain automagically starts coming up with the countdown of when it will end.  I put myself into the depressed bubble while it happens, each day becoming blacker until I can’t even enjoy the time that I do have.  I didn’t do that this time.  I refused.  I wanted to enjoy each day, accept it for what it was, and now that he left yesterday, I will deal with the feelings that come with it.  It was the best trip ever.  It wasn’t filled with a lot of activity; I even had to work for a few days, but it was still the best ever.  I allowed myself to be happy; to just be happy and enjoy what I had in front of me instead of chasing the carrot.  

I thought a lot about happiness during that time frame, and how it equates to different people.  How my happiness was sitting on the giant Yogibo with FFAC and the kids playing Mario 3D world, or how it was just spending time.  My girl K, I saw her’s through text messages and stories, communication and giant smiles.  I realized how lucky I was to be surrounded by some of the most amazing people, right here in my own home, and learned to just be happy, no matter what people may think, or say, or be angry. 

Point is, dearest friends, no one else is living my life except for me, just as you have yours.  If you find something that makes you soul crushingly happy, take it.  Take it and be happy.  Enjoy the moments without worrying about the future ones.  There will be good times, and bad times, low and high points, but no one else is responsible for getting you the carrot and in some cases, you realize the carrot wouldn’t make you happy anyways.

On a gaming note, I will be heading up a D&D game soon.  It will be my first time DM’ing and I am pretty excited!  I can’t wait to fill you in on all of those adventures as well!

Be happy, lovies. You are worth it.

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For Two Special Ladies

I know I said I would post once a week about someone special, but this time I decided I would do two special ladies in my life.  They both are dear to me, and they both have one thing in common: I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I would like, for we all have crazy schedules, but they touch me in profound ways.

First I will start off with a fellow blogger and lover of words.  I met her through an ex (who was not my ex at the time), as she was in his circle of friends.  I immediately loved her for all she represented, which was a strong sense of self and an amazingly strong voice.  As a woman, I deeply appreciated this.  We became friends, and even though the ex and I split, we still communicated.

Our friendship has never been built on hours of visits, or hanging out and having crazy adventures, but rather conversation.  She inspires me in so many ways and shows me that there can be gentleness and beauty in this world.  I know even though we rarely see each other that she loves me and that she is always solidly in my corner as I stumble through this place called life.  When he made me feel miserable about myself, she told me I was beautiful.  She has been a constant cheerleader in my struggles, and for this I am eternally grateful.  I received a package from her the other day, containing books for Girl1 to help her in her own spiritual quest, and I was touched by the handwritten notes we both received.  It meant so much to me, that she thought about me, and she does these things without expecting anything in return.  She is just kind.

I follow her path on FB and on here.  She has two children that she homeschools.  She has a different approach to parenting that I both admire and respect.  She continually amazes me and challenges me to open my mind.  The world is lucky to have her, and I am luckier to count her as a friend.  I may not say it, but I love you ever so much for all you have done for my soul.

Lady number 2 I will call Stella.  She knows why.  She is also someone I wish I could see more and one of the most interesting people I have ever met.  We worked together in hell, and yes, it was hell, and she helped me get through it.  The thing about her was I always envisioned this tornado around her, she was like a whirlwind; always going somewhere, but you always wanted to be a part of it.  Really, if you spend 5 minutes with her, you will wonder how you lived your entire life without knowing her in it.

One of my first memories of her was when I was working in her store, filling in, and we had to do a catering order.  I am not one who can wrap things artfully.  I am also chaos incarnate, and while I could put together an order with lightening speed, I was in no way the person who could make it look like art once packaged.  We stared at each other because we had no idea how we could pull it off.  We began to talk, and we realized the she could artfully package, while I was a master of sandwich making.  This is how we became each other’s yin and yang.

It’s been a decade since that time, and we experienced so much in hell.  I could tell you stories, but I promise you that you would not find it as funny as we would.  She went through some really tough times, as did I, and we would always be there for each other, even if it was just through text.  She understood me.  She knew I was a maniac, but she was too.  She was a whirlwind and I a tornado, but together we were the perfect storm.  She never judged me for any of my actions, and when I took my giant leaps, she was one of the ones propelling me forward, telling me I was making myself better for it.

How could I ever explain the love I have for her?  I just can’t.  I don’t know if I have ever seen as much strength and beauty as she goes through her path in life.  She deals with hardships that I believe would crumple me to the ground.  She has an amazing outlook to all things, whether good or bad, and the ability to take our worst situations and laugh about them with me.  We once said we would be Sister Wives.  It had nothing to do with the men, we didn’t even care, we just wanted to live in our commune life together.  I don’t think we really even thought about the husband part.

She also taught me that passive aggressive could be really funny.  We would lash out at hell by doing ridiculous passive aggressive things, like when I did the ordering in the summer and stocked up on frozen drink lids.  Why?  I mean who doesn’t want a frozen drink in 10 degree weather?  Sierra Mist became the most purchased soda for our store, because, we really needed those 10 cases when we would go through maybe 2 a month.  Sierra Mist to us became everyone’s favorite drink.  We really thought we were funny.

I don’t know where my life will take me, or what adventures lay before me.  I do know, however, that both of these ladies have touched me in ways far more than I would ever be able to tell them.  I love them ever so much and they continue to inspire me beyond words.  In case I haven’t said to you in person, thank you both, for being there and giving me the honor of calling you friend and sister.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

What a crazy ride this month has been.  Life changes, some expected, some not so much.  I survived.  My kids survived, and at the end of the day it wasn’t too much different than it was before, I just got my old name back.  I know I will be okay friends, and that is the most important thing.  I have such an amazing support group, here and far, online and in person.  I won’t go through a thank you list, because I mostly already did that, but you all know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This week and this season was one that I have been sort of dreading.  I had a pretty routine holiday schedule, filled with going to my mom’s, going to M’s moms, family everywhere.  Mostly all my children in one spot, with me.  This year will be different, and that is okay.  I will still have my children together, just maybe all a little bit later.  I am blessed that we can still work as a parental cohesive unit, rather than constant arguing about time and who does what when.  

I was worried about the Christmas season, because to be honest, it’s a lot harder when you go to a single income when you are used to two.  You start seeing the commercials, the paper ads, the Black Friday sales.  Today I got my minimal shopping done online, and you know what?  I am ecstatic.  I will not be joining the lines on Thanksgiving, or Friday, or any other day this year to shop for things my children may want, but don’t need.  We are blessed.  We have our home, and each other.  We watch shows together, play games together, sometimes maybe crochet.  We spend time.  Time isn’t something that I am going to be able to buy in a store.

We will make Christmas crafts, and bake cookies.  We will listen to music and we will decorate.  Okay, K may decorate, and I will be in awe of her skills with minimal supplies.  We will rejoice in our non-traditional family.  Boy and Girl 1, My bestie K, myself, and Girl 2 when she is here.  We will maybe hit up a tree farm and find the smallest, non-loved tree and bring it home to hang our homemade ornaments and popcorn and cranberries on.  It will be loved here.  

What this comes down to is today, I realized all the things I have to be thankful for.  It’s a long list, and it’s not material.  It’s the love and acceptance of the people around me, near and far.  It’s the opportunity to make memories and move forward.  It won’t be found in a line, or at the mall.  That may feel good for a moment, but it won’t feel good forever.  

I want to make it a goal to connect this season.  To ask my friends and family to connect with me.  It could be through email, Facebook, coffee, hell, even here, but I invite you all into me and my family.  There is a long road ahead of me, but instead of looking at it as obstacles, I choose to see it as opportunity.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends.  To those who have no plans, if you are near me, I will welcome you to my home.  To those of you far, know that my thoughts and warm feelings are with you.  To my NZ friends and family (you are family to me, forget the friends), know on my day of thanks, you will be included.  

I hope you all take some time before the craziness begins and choose something simple.  I did it last year, and it was the best Christmas I had to date.  This one will be even more amazing.

I love you all.

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Being Human

Being human is hard.

Being a girl is hard.

Being a human girl sometimes is damned near impossible.

It’s been a crazy start of a week, up through today, and I shan’t go into the deets.  I think I will just write here and see what happens.

I almost gave up, you know.  I almost hid in a corner and just let it all wash over me until I couldn’t stand anymore.  Luckily, it isn’t my style.  So I stood up and decided that I would face it, and deal with it, maybe cry sometimes, and smile others.  I decided I was choosing not to give up, but to be a human girl.

I spoke earlier about how you become vulnerable when you hand your heart to someone, that you are giving them the responsibility for caring for it.  It just doesn’t fall under love in the attraction sense, but can also fall in the any sort of love sense, like friendships and parental, really anything.  When we bring people into us, we are opening up parts of ourselves that maybe doesn’t get opened up too often.  We may not think of the repercussions if someone doesn’t treat us gently, or even if we do, sometimes we just don’t care.

The truth is, sometimes people don’t treat us gently.  Intentionally or not, sometimes our gift that we have given to people to hold and secure becomes left behind, smashed into pieces, or squeezed until it just doesn’t exist anymore.  We all make mistakes, we may wrong others, we may forget them, or tell them things that we don’t mean.  

The choices we make are do we pick up the remnants and try to piece it together and move on?  Do we offer our broken selves to others, knowing that it can still happen again?  How do we still trust in each other, or ourselves?  We can’t help what happens sometimes, and not all stories have happy endings.  In fact, looking back at our experiences, we may find that most do not have happy endings.  

It’s with this that I say we have to all stand up and go on.  We have to forgive people who hurt us, and ask forgiveness of those we hurt.  Trust me, as much as we may scorn those that hurt us, if we look into our hearts (albeit maybe a bit worn and tired heart), we will find that we may not have been so gentle ourselves.  We can’t forget how to open ourselves and let people in, with abandon, because to try and hide from being hurt we are just hurting ourselves.  We have to accept that we will have those moments, and just hope that we will have enough good memories to have made it worth it.  

Do what you need to do to get over your hurt.  Watch movies, play video games, eat, don’t eat, go shopping, count your pennies, listen to sad songs, dance like crazy in the rain, sun, or even under the moon, check your email 50 times a day to see if there is contact, check your phones for messages until you just start doing it less and less.  There is no time limit, but there is a time where you will be able to get up again and face it.  I’ll be waiting, a little battle worn, but still full of hope.

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Painful Love

I think posting three days in a row should get me a medal or maybe a coffee.  We can compromise and I would accept a medal with a cup of coffee on it.  Hooray for compromising!

My girl K and I were talking last night as lately we have started a very nice ritual.  We will go outside around 9:30-10 and just talk until it’s time to head to bed.  I have very much enjoyed it as it’s a nice way to unwind after the day.  Sometimes we talk, sometimes we just sit quietly together.  I look forward to these moments.

We were talking about Girl2, and her feels.  I don’t think I have ever seen a person who just feels things so hard.  Her love is painful; she will go up to you and just squeeze or tap your face (it’s more like a slap, but she doesn’t mean anything mean by it).  She just feels very hard. 

I have realized children lack that filter that we get as adults; that need to not feel so hard.  When we get angry, we don’t really unleash it.  We may try to talk it out, or rationalize it, but we don’t just scream it out or cry as hard as we can.  When we love someone so much it feels like our bodies are going to burst, we don’t run over and slap their cheeks together so hard.  How nice would it be to be able to just truly express how we feel?  We are taught as we grow that everything will always be “okay”, when asked how we are, we are always “fine”.  One of my favorite things about working in an office was really watching this play out – someone greeting you as they walk by and asking how you are, but they just keep going before you can even give the obligatory answer of “fine.”

I don’t know if this is just my part of the world, us Northeasterners are known for our fast paced lives, always going and never really stopping to enjoy the moment.  I remember the first time I really took notice of the walk-by and wondered if they even processed the fact that they asked me a question that required an answer, but didn’t stay to hear it.  What would happen if I was not having an okay day and just said I wasn’t fine.  Would that even register?  Would someone know how to process that?  I don’t think we are able to handle that much real.

I envy Girl2 and her feels; her ability to not just feel, but to just watch it pour out of her.  I am slightly afraid of her, to be honest, when I see her run at me full speed, ready to give me her painful love.  I embrace it though and I know how lucky I am to be able to receive it.  I wish the world was a little bit more like Girl2, and I hope she holds onto it forever.

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