Friday, November 10, 2017

As It Turns Out

Life is really hard.

And 2017 hasn't been my year.

I didn't post about here, but we lost Granny B in June. Even though I know that we can't live forever, living without her has been supremely difficult. She was my fiercest critic and my greatest fan. And I miss her terribly every single day.

And it turns out that no matter how much you want to be the person that someone needs, you can't. I wrote last week about Babe and his struggles with mental health. And this week, despite how much I love him, due to the things that he is going through, he is unable to be in a relationship with me anymore.

I'm devastated.

Completely wrecked.


Folks, I don't know how to go on.

I know that I will figure it out, that's what I do. I'll spend a few days in a total depression and then I'll pick it all up and start making plans again.

But in this moment, I want to curl into a ball, crawl into a hole, and stay there forever.

How do you go on when you had plans for a future that is not longer a possibility?

How do you move on from a love that you don't want to live without?

How do you stop crying?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cue the Hysterical Laughter...

You know how they say, "Make plans, and God laughs at you." Or something to the effect?

Well, I think he's upstairs saying, "Airplane, you're hilarious!"

In my last post, over a year ago, I made mention that I was dating someone. And, surprise! he's still around. I think he's the one. We aren't without our flaws, but somehow we fit perfectly together. 

So, being the Type A planner that I am, I started planning.

In my head (and sometimes out loud) I had a schedule, and for the most part, things were working along on that schedule. 

And then that proverbial rug got pulled out from underneath me. 

What I haven't blogged about (well, besides everything for the last 15 months or so) is that Babe* has some mental health struggles. He's the most amazing man I've ever met, but he struggles with depression and sometimes it gets really bad and he begins to think that the world may be better off without him.

Trust me, it wouldn't be.

But the thing is, he's not alone. In 2015, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, and there were twice as many suicides than homicides. In fact, men are 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than women. 

But no one is talking about it. If I told you that Babe had cancer, you would be immediately sympathetic to his cause. You would ask what his course of treatment would be. You would want to help. But if I tell you that he is trying to get better in a mental health institution, you would be more likely to change the subject. Or get uncomfortable with the topic. Or judge him.

To be honest, I don't think I fully understood the extent of the issue until I was in it. But, here I am.

I love a man who struggles with mental illness. And while my plan may be in tiny pieces scattered all over town, my love is working to get better, and I am right beside him.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

These Are the Days

{Disclaimer: I started to write this post over a week ago, and am just getting around to finishing it.}

So here's the thing. This morning one of my Facebook friends posted an article about being a mom and living in the moment, etc. 

And, I get it. It's hard to be a mom. I can only imagine. I watch my sister and sister-in-law do it on a regular basis. I watch my friends do it both in person and from afar. I can not imagine that it is easy having another person rely on you for everything they need. Hell, I don't even have a pet for that reason. 

But not living in the moment is not reserved for moms who are too overwhelmed to appreciate the beauty of life. It is something that every single person struggles with. 

I am single and child-free, and most days I am overthinking things so much that I don't even know what fucking moment I'm in.

I recently visited a friend who struggled with depression for the last few years. She's had some shitty things happen in her life, and to help her deal with it, she got on medication. And it helped. But she read something in the last few weeks that made her think that maybe she could change her perspective. She read something like, in order to find peace, you must first practice faith, hope, and thanksgiving.

Sounds easy, right? 

Think about the last time something bad happened in your life. Whether it was the death of a loved one, not getting the job you wanted, or anything else that upset the balance of your life. What was your reaction? Did you sit down and thank God for what he did give you? Did you ask him why he would do that? Or did you start to question your faith?

I don't typically get religious on here, and I don't mean to now, but I think this a point that needs to be made.

When we practice faith, hope, and thanksgiving; we are ultimately happier. If every morning you woke up and made a list of things that you were thankful for. And did the same thing before you went to bed, don't you think you would be generally happier? I mean, your day would begin and end in the most positive way possible.

Try it for a week.

When we live in the moment, when we try to truly experience everything that is happening to and around us, when we are thankful for the simple things, I think we are more at peace.

I started dating someone recently. It is still new and mostly exciting, and I think I've learned as much about myself since meeting him, as I've learned about him.

It's such a fun process. Getting to know someone new. And, for me, getting to know myself through that person.

Bringing it back to the original start of this blog:

When I read that article that my friend posted about being a mom, I got upset. I get so tired of people acting like because I'm not married and don't have kids, my life is somehow less. Or even easier. 

And then I realized, I'm not doing myself any favors by getting upset. The thing is, I love my life. Don't get me wrong, I have my challenges, but in general, my life is pretty great. 

I'm visiting some friends in Denver this week and one of them said to me the other day, "You have such an awesome life! You just live it."

And I do. For all of my Type A/scheduling crazy, when an opportunity arises, I try to take it. And in the end, I try to have no regrets. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Resurrection!

I've been wanting to get back to regular blogging for a long time now. 

Hilarious things happen to me on a regular basis and I should be sharing them with everyone. And some not so hilarious things happen that I should also share. And I just never get around to actually opening the computer and typing it all up.

But this morning I was over at Granny B's and something happened and it was just the sign I needed to get this thing fired back up.

So here goes nothing...

Last night Granny B left me a message that she had a ring for me and she wanted me to come by the house to get it. 

Some of you may know that there is a silver ring that I wear probably 363 days a year that Granny B gave me. I cherish it. And I get so many compliments on it. I love it dearly. 

{Sidebar: a couple of months ago LaVa and I did a ride-along with the fire department and they told us to bring workout gear and we would do PT with the boys. You know me, I can never pass up an opportunity to show some boys up, so when it came time to workout, I changed and took off all of my jewelry. I could have sworn that I just set my ring on top of my clothes so I wouldn't forget it. Then in the middle of our workout, we got a call and there was no time to change, so off we went. Then we grabbed lunch. Then we got another call. And another one. And by the time we got back to the station, my ring was the last thing on my mind - getting out of my disgusting stinky workout clothes was really topping the list! So I changed my clothes and left. The next day, I realized that I didn't have my ring. I searched EVERYWHERE! I emailed the battalion chief that was on shift with us. It was gone. About two weeks later, I was looking in my small crossbody purse for something I found my ring. I nearly cried, I was so happy!}

Either way, for that reason, when she said she had a ring for me, I was super excited. So I called her back and we made plans for me to stop by this morning and have a cup of coffee with her and pick up the ring. 

For those of you who do not know, Granny B lives in a gated community. So you have to talk to the guard every time you go visit her. Because we are on her regular visitor list, we get monthly passes, but you still have to pass through the guard gate.

There is one particular guard who seems to be quite fond of Granny B, and every time he is at the window when I have to renew my pass, he asks about her and tells me to tell her hello.  I didn't have to renew my pass this morning, but he was at the gate so I rolled down my window and waved as I went through.

So we are sitting at her kitchen table having a cup of coffee with her caretaker when the caretaker asks, "Did you see Anthony at the gate this morning?"

I said that I did. Granny B asks, "Did he say anything about me?"

Whizzuh-wuh? Are we in junior high? Did she just ask me if the man at the guard gate asked about her? I almost felt like the next thing she was going to do was to have me call over there and ask if he likes her while she listened on the other phone.

But no. What she did next was much better!

Granny B: I don't even know if I remember what he looks like anymore. The only reason I met him was because they were fixing the regular gate so I had to go through the visitor gate. He asked me my name and I told him and then he asked how I was doing.
{Sidebar: I believe what actually happened was that when she told him her last name, he made a comment about it not being an Italian name, but that is neither here nor there.}
Me: Oh yeah? And from then on he was smitten?
Granny B: Well, then I found out he was married. Damn it! (as she slams her hand on the table)
Me: That's the story of my life, Granny B! The story of my damn life.
Granny B: I would have had him over for pasta or something.
Me: (laughing hysterically)
Granny B: I'll tell him, 'Get rid of your wife and I'll show you.'
Caretaker: You'll show him what?!
Me: (trying to catch my breath and wipe my tears because I haven't laughed this hard since Friday morning with LaVa.)
Granny B: Sorry to be so bold, but when you're desperate, you know.

YOU GUYS! Granny B is 93 years old! I'm not sure my heart can handle this kind of talk!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What If?

I've been struggling a lot lately.

I feel like I say that a lot. But I think if we are all being honest, we struggle more than we are willing to admit. And since I'm all about being honest, I'm laying it out for you all right here.

I've been struggling with motivation. I'm struggling with who I want to be. I'm struggling with who I currently am. 

It seems like I am searching for all the wrong things in all the wrong places. 

Tonight I was scrolling through Facebook and there were two things that made me think - first was an article about a young man who was killed in a car accident, the second was a flashback post from a friend who was in a car accident that should have killed her 8 years ago.

And it got me thinking. (You knew that was coming.)

What if today was your last day on Earth? Would you feel like you lived a full life? What would people say about you? 

What if tomorrow you got a second chance at life? What would you do differently? 

So, that's what tomorrow is for me. It is a second chance at this. It is the chance that I'm going to take to be everything I can be. To get my priorities in line, and stick to them.

It is time for me to start loving me and being me. Stop trying to do things to please others. Or be who they want me to be. 

Why is that so hard to do?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

It's Legal Now

I've been meaning to tell this story for some time now.

Towards the end of last year, I learned about a mentorship program through a local nonprofit and I just knew that I needed to sign up for it.

In order to do that, I needed to get fingerprinted at the police department. The day that I went in, I happened to be wearing the ring that LaVa gave me for Christmas.

It isn't a diamond ring and I wasn't wearing it on my left hand. These details will be important in about five seconds.

The city where I work uses police volunteers to do the fingerprinting. So I was dealing with an older gentleman - probably in his late 70s.

As he was dipping my fingers in ink and pressing them onto the paper, he was making conversation. On the fourth finger he asks me, "who made you that ring?"

Me: It was a Christmas gift from one of my girlfriends.
Him: Oh. What did you get her?
Me: Umm. I can't actually remember.
Him: I guess it wasn't very meaningful. Are you guys serious?

All of the sudden I realize that he thinks I said that my girlfriend gave me the ring. There's no way I can get out of this now. And certainly no way to tell him that I got LaVa a sleep shirt that says, "The Snuggle is Real."

By this point we are on to the second hand and I'm hoping that we can get out of this conversation before it gets any deeper.

Wishful thinking.

We sit down to finish the paperwork and he keeps asking questions. Do we love each other? Are we going to get married? You know that's legal now?

I tell him that, no, we aren't getting married. He asks why. Then says, "you're not sure yet, are you?"

Exactly! I'm not sure I am an actual lesbian, Sir! I told you that one of my got me this ring. Not my actual girlfriend.

Of course, I didn't say that. I just smiled. Then he asks, "is your family ok with it?"

We were so close to being done. I just said that they were. Though when I left there and called Match to relay the story to her, I decided that I should have started crying and said, "no. I haven't been able to tell them."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Get It From Within

I really should be sleeping right now if I'm going to get up and make it to 5am CrossFit, but if there is one thing I have learned about myself, it is this: if I start thinking that I want to write something, I need to open the computer and start writing. It seems that the inspiration and words never come to me again.

Often I read something that speaks to me. Either negatively or positively, it moves me to change who I am or how I do things. Tonight I read one of those things.

It was about self-validation - only it really wasn't. But that's what I got from it.

And just prior to that, when I had gotten undressed and was standing in front of the mirror, I was admiring myself. (I know, it sounds ridiculous.) Honestly, I have some weight to lose. And I know I could eat better. But when I looked in the mirror tonight, I liked what I saw. It was kind of soft, but it was also kind of feminine. 

But too many times throughout the day, I let myself be burdened with the words other people are saying. And the thing is, they aren't even saying them to me. Or about me. Why am I so vain to think that their words are a reflection of me?

I know that I am too caught up in society's definition of beauty. No matter how much I want to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, when someone talks about how beautiful someone is because they are "tiny" or "have a bangin' body," I feel like they are saying that I am not beautiful because I am neither of those things.

But I am beautiful. When I look in the mirror, with or without clothes, I see beauty. And at the end of the day, isn't that what matters? 

We can all spend our time listening to what others are saying and letting that dictate what we see, but isn't it much more productive to be who we are and tell ourselves that is the most beautiful thing there is?

In the end, isn't the world a more beautiful place if we are all just being our best selves?