So it’s no secret at all that California is one of the most expensive places to live. Expensive like a studio apartment where your neighbor sells crack is $900/ month. Moving out here I was… More
To say that “I don’t want to write this blog” would be a complete and utter understatement. I might actually rather be caught on fire (okay, not really.. but you get my point). I guess I knew this was coming. I knew it from three years ago. And yet BOOM- I’m all emotional and contemplating life like it’s my hobby.
You see – Sperm Donor (my “dad” ((just threw up a bit)) ) is eligible for parole right now. And every time this happens I get to have an interview with the parole board. I don’t think I mind this- I don’t think this is what bothers me. But the idea that I am “playing God” definitely does bother me.
And I suppose what bothers me MOST is that EDF is also interviewing. Last time this happened she went out of her way to make sure he was not released. Petitions, letters, crazy stuff that I legit don’t have the time for. Or the desire. Nor the fucks to give. And it makes me feel as if she fights so hard for her way that mine doesn’t even matter.
I want to be true to me in the process here- I want to not lose myself or be changed by anger. And “me” can’t even kill an earth worm. I legit saved two of them just the other day. I can’t get rid of a plant that’s dying because to me it’s murder. And- yes, I know I sound totally crazy. But I grew up with constant hurt so as an adult I detest the idea.
Harboring unforgiveness is toxic to your soul. It’s poison. Unforgiveness robs your joy, steals your happiness. I filled my morning with podcasts on forgiveness. One thing stuck out the most- forgiving someone doesn’t mean you go out to dinner with them, or have sleep overs. It just means you’ve forgiven them. It just means you’ve let go of the poison in your heart and you’re not as impacted by the situation anymore.
I want to know that I was true to myself and my values the entire time. It’s not up to non-earth-worm-killing-me if he is released on parole. It’s up to the parole board and some guy Fred. I think I realized this morning that just because I have forgiven him, doesn’t make everything rainbows and lollipops. Whenever he gets out I will have to deal with whatever emotions come my way. But I do know I will come to work, drink tons of coffee, decorate and redecorate my place and continue life as we know it.
Because truly I only have 5 fucks to give each day, and not one of them is for this.
You know how people always say ” if I knew then what I know now”? I love that little piece of advice because I think it’s extremely relatable. But I don’t believe in regrets- or in living your life focused on the “could have/ should haves” of life. Instead I think you just need to live.
This advice is most appropriate for those people who *could* know what you know now. Usually our kids, friends, cousins, relatives can use this information the most, before it’s too late. A lot of these lessons are EASY ones, harmless ones, but needless to say, ones we can’t see the importance of until we are 23 and contemplating life for the 96th time this week.
Here we are, at one of BKs extracurriculars. BK seems to get discouraged rather fast, maybe a smidge of a pessimist and a splash of anxiety- ingredients for one awesome kid with a remarkable ability to make up illnesses and excuses- but she is sooo cute. Things like- “I’ve been sneezing a lot- do you think I should go? “ugh, this is dumb” “do I have to go?”- legit questions BK asks every week. My response is always the same “It’ll be as good as you make it”. No matter what the issue or complaint is- it will be as good as you make it. And then tonight BK says “Ugh, YOU ALWAYS SAY THAT” Yep! I sure do. And you know why? Because it’s an invaluable lesson. Going through a divorce? It will be as good as you make it. Plan an entire week and it’s all going a different way? It’ll be as good as you make it.
That’s the key- we have so much control over our life that we don’t even realize. Control that we don’t channel because it’s the hardest to channel. We can choose our emotions, our outlook, our feelings. With control over our emotions we can then control the way we view situations. Example: BK doesn’t want to do extracurriculars because…. the room stinks (its true). Because the room stinks we decide it’s disgusting, we decide we hate it, we decide we hate extracurriculars. OR. The room stinks. And that’s it- it just stinks. But we come to extracurriculars, we kick ass and take names and then we go eat Pho.
Everything will be as good as you make it- but it takes effort and a conscious decision to legit “choose the road less traveled by”. There’s been a lot of things I could be reactive about, I could let ruin my life, I could be a total brat about. And I think BD (before divorce) I let everything ruin my life and change my emotions. And then came a time where I just could not invest emotions in things that did not truly matter- because that’s how people become grumpy old senile jerks who give soap for Christmas. Don’t be a jerky senile soap giver.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of me, but I am the Struggle Bus. I am what you ride when shit gets too real to ride the Easy Train. Years ago I was the Easy Train, I was new and shiny, engine purred like a kitten and my Mercedes hood ornament was so shiny!But that was years ago. Now I don’t have a hood ornament, some ass-wipe kids took it. My seats are mostly metal, the cushions and fabric are torn off from extreme use, and age. I am kind of stinky, a mix of wet yuck and gasoline. I used to drive smoothly, but now my exhaust pipe blows black gunk and my engine might have a cat stuck in there. But, you already know who I am- who am I kidding.
I am the Struggle Bus. The “I forgot my matching shoe and to brush my hair” transit vehicle on your way to work. I drove you to the store with your last nineteen bucks. It was twenty but I hit a bump and a dollar flew out of the window. Oh, almost forgot to mention how the windows don’t roll up or down because they are cracked and have baseball sized holes in them. I think it gives me character.
I am the Struggle Bus. I am the reason you spilt a smoothie on your white pants before that meeting with your boss today. You know, the meeting where said smoothie-pants smelled up the entire 3rd floor conference room and people just looked at you as if you were a puppy who peed on the rug. I picked you up from that meeting too… except…..PS. You left your keys on the passengers seat and I have zip ties for door handles- so good luck on getting those back. I’m pretty innovative with zip ties.
I am the Struggle Bus. Everyone rides me from time to time. I am usually taking brand new moms to their baby’s first doctor appointment, you know, the one where the doctor freaks you out about everything and then you cry because your baby lost more than 10% of its body weight. Or sometimes I come and pick you up right after a night of intense drinking, I do that for a lot of people. Maybe that’s why I smell?
I know what your thinking. Why the hell would you want to ride the stinky-cat-engine Struggle Bus when you COULD ride the Easy Train? Cause the Easy Train is pretty sweet. Usually you ride it when you have more than twenty bucks for the week and clean pants. And the Easy Train is nice, actual seat cushions, and it doesn’t even stink!
But everyone gets to ride the Struggle Bus, it’s a right of passage. The type of lesson that makes taking the Easy Train feel remarkable. Rides that detour at “Get Your Life Together” and “How to Adult” Avenue. I don’t want you not to like me just because I am not “as nice” as the Easy Train- after all, he doesn’t have the life experience I do. I know I kind of stink, and I know the seats are sticky sometimes, but I have so many lessons to teach you. So please, next time you’re riding the good ole Struggle Bus, try to be appreciative of the things you do like, or think about how everyone has a turn on the Bus. It shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing, but just another learning experience, a part of life.
Have you ever had those days when you’re ten points past a healthy level of exhaustion? When all of your thoughts are swimming in your head at an unbelievable pace and you can’t think straight. The days when work clothes feel like a thousand pounds and deadlines are looming over your head? What do you want usually? A glass of wine, a movie, pizza, alone time to do “the dirty”, or maybe just take a nap- because let’s be real you need a shower.
If there’s one thing I have learned it’s that you are the only person that can save you- and no I am not talking about religion. I am talking about listening to your soul, your core, your deepest desires of what your mind and body needs- and then acting on those needs! When you are tired and achy in every way possible- these are the ways to save yourself.
Lifesaving. Tip- Numero Uno
No really, just stop. Stop what your doing, stop what you’re thinking and just be. Listen to your breath, listen to what you know is true. Re calibrate your mind to all things right and pleasant. Listen to the birds, watch the rain fall, feel the wind. Consume yourself with the things that are not complicated. Just stop- and be.
Lifesaving tip- Zwei
Figure out what the issue or stress is- and make a plan. Because even though it would be awesome if things randomly fixed themselves, that’s totally not how life works. Instead we have to recognize that there’s an issue, come to terms with how we feel, figure out why we feel that way- and then kick ass and solve life’s shit. A goal with out a plan is just a wish.
Lifesaving tip- 3
This is actually like 47 tips in one, but when used together can raise the dead (dead-ish). When you’re dead and dying, go take a shower. Take your make up off, shave your body to naked mole rat status, clean your ears out- get yourself cleaned and revamped. Then go put on pajamas, or leggings (because there’s a difference, okay. Leggings *can* be pajamas, but they aren’t a generalized “pajama” article of clothing). And now, veg. Watch YouTube, lay on the couch and watch Netflix- recharge in any and every way possible.
You see, we are “dead” a lot. We need to be “saved” or put back together, have a little R&R time and time again- and that’s okay! The most amazing things will happen when you learn that you can save yourself. You won’t stress as easily, because you’ll know there’s a remedy. You will be less likely to drive yourself into the ground because you will be in tune when things feel off kilter. And most importantly, well… you won’t be dead.
As most of you know I work at a University. Well every class has a ceremony of sorts to “prepare and guide” them for what is to come in their curriculum. This is an event that I get to organize and put together.
One of the things I love about this event is the excitement from the students. They dress up, their families come, tons of pictures and hype. The energy is awesome! And there are snacks- and let’s face it, maybe THAT is my favorite part. It makes reordering a stage and chairs, countless trips to the store, and 5 hours to set up seem worth it.
But it did get me thinking about how magical and uplifting new beginnings are. Take my divorce as an example. Sure, it sucked in the beginning, and sometimes it still does suck- but I have learned SO MUCH in that time. Everyday seems like a new beginning and a new adventure. Everyday seems like endless opportunities- because that’s how I choose to see it.
I think its so important to analyze where you are in your life, and take inventory of your happiness. There are always things to work on, or to strive towards. There are always new things on the horizon.
It’s taken me a long time to learn this. I used to think “woe is me and my life sucks… blah blah blah” and sometimes I still do because I am not a saint- but those times are few and far between. One of the most interesting things that I have done lately is purchased the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (well actually Vegas Friend bought it because he was already on Amazon when we talked about it). And guess what?? This book is actually pretty good!
Get this ” Everybody wants to feel good… Everybody wants that. It’s easy to want that. A more important question that people never consider is “what pain do you want in your life?” Mark Manson, the author, goes on to say that basically we all “want to be happy” but happiness doesn’t fall from the sky, and we aren’t willing to learn, or be uncomfortable in situations long enough for us to truly LEARN anything from them.
There are a lot of things that make me happy. BK, Vegas Friend, puppy cuddles- all of these things make me happy because I have learned to appreciate them. I appreciate Vegas Friend for all he his, and all the things that are different about him- I have grown to appreciate him because I know what it’s like to have someone who is not as sincere, or kind as him. I have learned to relish times of puppy cuddles since I left my dog in the divorce- now every cuddle seems that much more amazing.
Just like I know the students at that event were happy/ anxious/ and probably terrified at the same time- they will go on and learn amazing things. They will struggle with their new “normal” but they will learn so many life lessons. Just like we all do, everyday…
And my only piece of advice here is this… “It’s hell in the hallway”, and ice cream and chips always helps when you’re stuck in the hallway.
One of my favorite things to do as of the last year or so is to explore, or see new things, get out- ANYTHING that has a twinge of discovery I seem to be obsessed with. This weekend my discovery session was AWESOME. Vegas Friend sent me a picture of the back of a bus one day (random, I know) and there was an advertisement for the Gem Fair. My response was probably “YAAAAS!” With some added in heart eye emojis of course. I did tell him he was a silly man though, why would he tell me about the Gem Fair when he knew he would just get roped into going? He might have instantly regretted that decision, but like a good Vegas Friend didn’t bail. Props to you my friend, props.
There were SO MANY THINGS TO SEE that at some point it just became overwhelming. I was a kid in a candy store. Rows of crystals, geodes, beads, jewelry, palo santo, sage. There was this one awesome table, pretty big in the middle of the fair. They must have had every type of crystal and “hippy” type thing you could think of. Along with some gorgeous singing bowls. But, I am not going to lie, the guy manning the table looked like he would sell his grandmas kidney on the black market for a five dollar bill. I scurried past that one.
I stopped for a bit where there were a lot of the larger crystal clusters, some so amazing you just wonder if they are real. How are they real? How are there still crystals considering everyone’s fascination?
There were some awesome Chakra wands, and even a rose quartz wand with the 7 chakras at the top and a crystal ball as a topper. Stinkin awesome! Hindsight’s 20/20- definitely should have gotten one but it was #expensive and I am #notrich.
Then Vegas Friend ended up surprising me with two things I think he knew I wanted. There is “Tigers Eye” and then there is “Cats Eye” but I did not know there was a difference until today. I saw this beautiful ball (okay, it’s probably not called a ball but I don’t know what it is called, so… ball) of Tigers/Cats eye, but it was 100 bucks!!!!! So I walked away REAL fast and scoffed about it to Vegas Friend. As we were leaving Vegas Friend says “oh here” and hands me what looks like the Tigers/Cats eye. I almost freak thinking he’s lost his mind and said “How much was this?!” He goes “70 bucks” and I think I died… then he said, nope- kidding. It was eight dollars”. And that’s the story of how I almost had a ball induced heart attack. Which ever is more expensive, I now have a ball of the cheaper one.
This was super fun to go to, and now I have a few small trinkets to add to my collection!
So this is a topic I never touch on because I feel like it is way too personal and incriminating to the aliases I have made on my blog. But I have written many blogs that explain what happens when you have a “Bonus Kid” and just never published them. Welp- that’s all changing now.
You see, when Vegas Friend and I started to become “closer friends” we kept Bonus Kid out of everything. BK didn’t know about me, we weren’t around with each other and it was a non issue. Now from my past blogs you will know that I had an interesting upbringing and that has made me a very “Child Sensitive Minded” person- if that’s a thing. I am always very receptive to kids feelings and very in-tuned with what they are trying to say. I am very empathetic by nature, and maybe more so with kids.
So here we are. Vegas Friend and Bonus Kid, my new “normal” that feels so weird. Weird because I am #not trying to be Bonus Kids mom, and they know that. Weird because I am zero percent qualified to even drive a kid around with me- yet I do. This is a whole new experience of “kid” that I have never known.
I didn’t know I could love a kid that wasn’t mine, or have the school calendar memorized of Bonus Kids days off. I didn’t know there would ever be a time of me looking at a report card and being super proud- Bonus Kid isn’t just a silly goober, but a SMART silly goober.
That’s kind of the thing about “Bonus Kids”. They are the bonus to your relationship. The provide humor, random outbursts about how much they have to pee, ladle in twenty pound of garlic “accidentally” and leave crumbs all over the place. And then they leave and you miss them. Bonus in the sense that I can hardly stand most other peoples kids, minus good friends, and I actually like this one!
Bonus because I have learned SO MUCH through Bonus Kid, and I get to show BK new things, like art, or planting, or playing scrabble (although, have you ever played scrabble with a kid?! I am not sure I advise. Lol).
One huge lesson is that I usually have the patience of a saint with BK. I am never upset, never annoyed or frustrated. BK is a kid, and I am pretty good at remembering that. EXCEPT, for when I am not good at it. We had a “long” day of a lot of highs and lows. The day started off GREAT, and then I started not to feel 100%. I was really irritable and grouchy. Well, turns out Kids sense EVERYTHING. And by 7 or so at night and the longest day of life, BK inadvertently throwing plants towards my eyeballs and then just being hangry- something happened. I was so agitated and uncomfortable I just got up and went inside.
I just wanted to shower the plants and day off of me and get ready to go out to dinner. Vegas Friend and BK were a little surprised because I have never just gotten up and walked away before. I went in to shower and Vegas Friend came in. I was sitting on the shower floor, Uber upset because I just let BK know I was frustrated. Well, turns out BK started crying because she thought I was mad at her, and then I felt like total garbage. So I went in to talk to her. It took me back to being a kid and when my grandma would be upset with me. I would get so wrapped up in my feelings I would just start to cry. BK said, you’re always so calm and you always take my side and make me laugh, and tonight you just walked away. So pause here, and just hear my heart shatter in a million pieces. Yep. I felt like a TOTAL ASS. I just explained we all have good days and bad days, and as an adult I should be able to handle my emotions better, and that I was sorry. We talked for an hour on her bed while Vegas Friend was dying of starvation on the couch- then went to have steak. And steak fixes everything.
I don’t totally know if there’s a point to this blog, or a lesson to take away. But props to the actual moms with the actual kids who do this on the daily. A Bonus Kid is hard enough.