Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Decision 2016

Ten years ago if you had asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I would have told you I would be a writer. Five years ago, I would have told you I wanted to be a mom and do whatever job got me the most time to spend with my kids. Five years ago, dream one got lost in my search for dream two and four months ago dream two crashed to the floor and shattered.

No dreams, no husband, no kids, no mom.

So what happens in a year when your mom dies and you get divorced? You grasp for anything to keep you afloat. For me, I threw my life into my work at the animal shelter.

It was an easy thing to do. I already spent my 40 hours a week there, plus extra board and committee meetings, volunteering at fundraisers, answering emails, working on projects, monitoring the facebook page and answering random people's questions. Without family and a spouse to say "hey pay attention to the people you love" it was even easier to fall into work. Not to mention we had a campaign going to get a millage for a new shelter. When I added it all up I was in deep. The shelter was my work, my free time, my friends, my dogs. It all comes back to the shelter.

It's great to have that to get you away from the loneliness but you wonder what happens one day when it's gone and it was all you had. Or when you look up ten years from now and realize you are in the exact same spot you were because you never did anything new, never had new challenge, never met new people? And the shelter is an emotionally and mentally draining place. What happens when you give it all have and end up with nothing left?

So along came a job offer and two weeks for me to toss and turn. During decision 2016 I was watching Daredevil on Netfilx and I started to think about that classic problem that every super hero has, that time when they have to chose between being an every day person and being a hero. They want the normal life but it's hard to walk away when so many people (or animals) depend on you. You ask yourself if you won't do it who will? And will they be able to do it as well as you? And how can you walk away now when there's still lives to save? But if you do stay you know that it will wear you out and tear you down.

And after all those comic books and super hero movies I finally get it.

At the end of September I will move on from the most profound job I have ever had. It has impacted my life in more ways than I would have thought. It's a job I thought I would never leave but one I know I have to should leave for my own sake.

Maybe I can take the time to figure out where I want to be ten years from now.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Don't Stop Believing! (And Snapchat confuses me).

I was supposed to go to a funeral yesterday. I didn’t end up going and while I feel bad I didn’t go, I just couldn’t. I woke up yesterday morning with this dread. Not because of the thunderstorms, which I actually find calming, but because I felt alone.
This would have been my fifth funeral this year. The first three were all within two weeks of each other when I lost my father-in-law, my aunt and my mom. The fourth was for one of my best volunteers. And while yesterday’s funeral was someone I wasn’t all that close to, I knew it would be everyone asking me how I’m doing because my mom died and I just got divorced. I just didn’t want to be there.
As if I wasn’t down enough, it was my ex-husband’s birthday. I thought about all those trips I would plan for his birthday and how he never once did anything for mine other than a cheap gift. He was camping yesterday and I couldn’t help but hope that the storm blew his tent away. I don’t know if it did. But the thought of him chasing down his tent during a thunderstorm makes me laugh so I’ll take it.
And I didn’t want to clean out the spare room. I know I needed to so my roommate could move in today but that was supposed to be my baby’s room. Finding giraffe decorations and wedding pics that I had tossed in there was breaking my heart so I just kept stopping every time I started.
I didn’t really want to get out of bed yesterday when I kept thinking about the loss, the years wasted, the regrets.
Then I remembered my Friday night where one friend convinced me to go running in horrible heat. We pushed through, met our goal and I felt like I could do anything. And how another friend drove me around looking for Pokemon until my battery died. And how on Saturday I went out with my co-workers for one of their birthdays and without getting drunk I had a blast. I watched my shy sister try to hook our friend up with every guy she could find, sang along to country music with my skull and Star Wars tattooed friend, rapped some Usher and Ludacris karaoke with the birthday girl and then we got on the dance floor and danced like crazy until the bar closed.
Oh and I accidentally butt-dialed another friend while dancing and she was ready to send a search party out for me! 
So why am I sad? Why do I feel alone when I am surrounded by so many amazing people who would do anything for me and who push me to be my best self?
And then I didn’t feel alone. I got up and I moved forward. I spent the day with my sister, I got new running shoes and I finished cleaning the spare room.

FYI there was video of the karaoke on Snapchat but I have no idea where things go on Snapchat once their time is up. Where are you video?! I’m old and I don’t understand Snapchat!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016


When I was twelve years old my middle school started offering Japanese as a foreign language. Interested in things like manga and a super fan of Nintendo, I made the jump after one year of Spanish. I would study it for the next six years. My first year we learned lots of basic kanji and four of those would be the elements; fire, water, earth and air.

I’m not sure what it was about the kanji for fire but I was drawn to it. My sister loved astrology so I knew I was an Aries and a fire sign. When we learned the elements symbols we talked about how the Japanese call it “hi” when it’s just talking about fire but when talking about what the element represents; force, energy, moving; they call it “ka”.
And ka became my favorite kanji. When we had brush calligraphy day, that’s was always my kanji. Nothing else would do. And at the age of 15 I put a quarter into a machine that dispersed cheap jewelry. A string necklace came out with a charm, the kanji for fire. I wore that necklace every day for years until the charm broke. I declared that it was meant to be and the minute I turned 18 this would be tattooed on me.  

But when I turned 18 I worked in a bar and this was the time that all the party girls thought kanji were “totally awesome” and came in with kanji tattooed on their lower backs. Half the time I’m not even sure that they knew what they had written on them. And I didn’t want to be another girl with a kanji and people laughing because they think that I think it means “love” when it really means “fart”.
So I waited a very long time and forgot about me and the things I wanted. Until last week when I decided I was going to start doing the things that I wanted, not just try to make everyone else happy. And I figured what better than a reminder that I am capable of being forceful, of moving and not standing still. I have passion and ambition that will drive me forward. That my energy and spirit won’t let me be stopped. Fire.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I Find My Lack of DVDs Disturbing

I want to be a person who doesn’t make horrible decisions when reminded of the immense loss that I have faced this year. I want to make good decisions about my life, my finances and my health. And I’ve been doing well for two whole days now but today is tough and I want to slip. I want to eat a cake and buy things I can’t afford.

It’s not bad enough that I’ve lost so many people, not to mention all my hopes and dreams, but then I come home from work to find that my ex-husband has taken a bunch of stuff, including the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings Blu rays. I know it seems crazy to be upset over material things but it’s infuriating. Yes, they were gifts from me to him but seriously, how about the nine years of my life where I gave everything, including awesome gifts? I don’t get my near decade back so why should he get the movies?  I at least deserve to get to keep the friggin’ classics.  How about instead of swooping back in and messing up my life even further you leave me and my DVD collection in peace?

He’s lucky he didn’t touch the Harry Potter DVDs because I would be busting out a wand and throwing some curses at his stupid, muggle-self.

Don’t worry. Mindful Therapy Yoga helped me calm down so the only aftermath was eating four rolls with dinner. In hindsight it seems excessive but I know it could have been worse… a lot worse.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Changing Names

Getting divorced is a pain. I thought it was a grand idea to change my name when I got married so my kids and I would have the same last name. Clearly, not necessary. And then it was a pain changing my name back. Driver’s license, social security card, human resources, bank accounts and a hundred little things. I’m still not done. And I don’t even want to explain the drama it caused with my work email. I’m just a can of processed meat now that I changed my last name from a common spelling to something weird.

So while I’m changing names and getting back to blogging, I decided to change the name of the blog. Long ago, I named it Ink On Paper, because it was a blog about writing. Now, it’s a blog about new beginnings, getting it together and writing, so a new name seemed appropriate. And for this name change I don’t have to stand in an hour long line or bring three forms of identification.

I’m a person obsessed with music. I’m always listening to music that fits my mood and when I used to write fiction I would make playlists for my characters. What’s my mood right, now? I want a great career, financial stability and to get my butt moving (literally and figuratively) so what song has been stuck in my head?  

Britney Spears’ Work B!#@h is one. I’m not usually a big fan of pop music but I love to dance and work out to it. It’s a catchy song and Britney has managed to come back after some of the craziest breakdowns. She bounced back from shaving her head and hitting a car with an umbrella so I can bounce back from barfing on my co-workers feet. If she’s okay, maybe I’ll be okay. But if I want to achieve my full awesomeness potential I’m going to need to work. Thus, my new blog title and temporary life motto, “You Better Work.”  

Also, “you better work” is pretty much what I say to my Wi-Fi three times an hour. And I’m going to need it to function if I’m going to be sharing all my great stories with the world. So really it fits for a lot of reasons.

Now get to work.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Return of the Writer

It’s been four years since I last wrote here. It’s crazy to me because for years I wrote here every single day. Yet, nine years ago, I started a relationship and put that above all else, including the thing that got me through the first 24 years of my life, writing.

I’ve spent the last five years married and with plans to start a family. But life throws you curve balls and things change. Now I’ve been divorced for two months and the first months were not good. They were lonely and I was a mess. I started thinking about the pilot episode of The Mindy Project and I realized I was the figurative drunk girl in the pool talking to a Barbie. Upon reflection, there was way too much in that episode that hit home. Yikes.

I need to get my s#!t together. So here I am. I’m back.

I’m making a list of all the things I want and it’s starting right now. I’m focusing on my dogs, my career, my health and being the person I know I am, but forgot about along the way.  And I’m going to write about it because I need to and I want to. And I feel publication of my journey that will be read by a whole two or three people will help hold me accountable.

The first step is getting right back here to my old love, that I used to spend all my time with; late nights, rainy days and much too early mornings. I’m glad to be back.