Friday, December 29, 2017

Do I fit in?

I've been more aware recently of my feelings of... being an outsider, a fraud I guess you could say. This is something that I've read of as a sentiment often shared by women who reach a measure of success, we never feel good enough.

I struggle with the feeling that I am still battling my own naivete, that I need to be more shrewd, more competent. I know I have passed through the trials of school lectures and tests and yet I feel as though there is no way for me to put what I have learned (if I have learned it) to good use.

I walk a line between the world of business men and woman and feel I lack the competence and even the right sense of style to succeed in that world.

Then I question whether or not that is the right world for me, if I would be better off in a comfortable place doing what I feel like doing.

Yes I feel like an outsider. Not a housewife, to encumbered by the concerns of supporting my family to worry about decorating much, or discussing my children (much). I don't have the energy to worry over everything my kids are up to, I wish I could be around and take them places. I wish I could go to their class and help out. I wish I could deep clean my home, keep it really tidy (never been the best at that), fix things that are broken and paint where the walls need paint. I am an outsider to the housewives.

To the business world I am an outsider, the men I know sit around and discuss football and go golfing together, the women dress well and go out to lunch.

I wish I had the time to exercise enough that I was trim and had the time to shop so that I could be stylish. I suppose some day in the future I will have the time for this...

I'm not sure how to push past these perceived boundaries and be more of who I am, feeling secure in myself rather than in the perception that I must be some other way in order to fit into the social order.

I enjoyed watching "The Greatest Showman" because of the message that was conveyed. Stay true to who you are, be proud of what you are, fit in by being who you are. Plus the music was incredibly powerful!

I probably shall continue feeling different and questioning if I am doing the right things in life. That can't be helped, I suppose it is part of the human condition.


Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Reflections

I am in a reflective mood today, it has been a beautiful Christmas day. It snowed last night bringing a touch of snow to make it a white Christmas. I slept in, hallelujah! My children were all here, enthusiastic, and quite happy with all of their presents, thus Christmas has been a success for me. I have spent most of the day reading and relaxing at my parents house. Any time I am presented with the opportunity to do nothing but just be with my loved ones, with no expectation of things that need to be done is a good time to me.

Different thoughts have been floating past my consciousness throughout the day and I wish I had captured them, I think there were some real gems of wisdom and insight among them, but alas I did not take the time to write them down.

I fear that  a lot of times I have needed to make a quick decision in matters that really counted but the decision I made was the one I wish I hadn't made. It seems like later on I was forced into making harder choices because of small decisions that were less than ideal. So I've always feared quick decisions, yet sometimes they've turned out well.

I find that there are many pieces of wisdom that serve as a counterpoint to my thoughts. I will think something uncharitable and low and then recriminate myself for it because I am striving to do better. I am striving to accept my limitations as well as those of others. I try to stop the recriminations of my conscience against my own actions. For I am a harsh critic of my own thoughts and actions. Deserving or not.

I've always been a harsh critic of myself, for some reason it is difficult for me to just allow myself to just accept who and what I am. I suppose in a way it is what prompts me towards improvement, but in another way I am never true to myself. I feel like there is this better version of me that I should be... like it is just out of my reach and that there must be something that I can do that will let me reach it.

In the same way I suppose I have always had a high expectation for others, though at the same time I've always made provision for their shortcomings. I reason it out in my mind a circular thought leading from irritation to explanation to reconciliation hopefully without them ever being the wiser to my thoughts. It's tiring though sometimes...

I want to be the sincere, thoughtful, open-hearted heroine that others find so endearing. My actions and motives are put through a whirlwind of thought though before coming out the other end, I suspend my judgement, and act after careful consideration (most of the time). All of this is tiring, I wish I wasn't quite so analytical, but that is what I am.

I love people though, I love them a lot. I've always wanted the best for my siblings, for my children, for my parents, for my friends. I've always wanted to somehow find the magic key that unlocks and relieves the hurts they have suffered, somehow, help them improve their lives so that they will find greater happiness. Because somehow I've always been able to see beyond the barriers that people put up to hide behind and I've always seen that there was so much potential for them. Both thoughts are unnerving  and not necessarily helpful so I've stopped trying as hard as I used to. Which sometimes makes me feel disconnected from myself.

One other honesty before I stop writing tonight. I know that most days I am living but I am not alive. I turn myself into an automated robot that get's up, ready and to work so that I can come home and do it again and again and again... it is only on days of seemingly endless freedom and solitude like today that I find I am able to breath and think. I wish there was a way to always have that freedom, but I've not discovered it. I wish I could.


Friday, December 8, 2017

What would be said of me...

I've thought sometimes, what would people say of me if I died today? The things that I have accomplished in my life are things that I would never have dreamed for myself to have accomplished.

Would they say, she has traveled to different places, Australia, Ireland, Germany and Austria. She loved to travel! 

Is it enough to say that, to reduce those experiences down to a statement so simple. What did it mean to me that I have traveled? The answer is that it means more to me than I can express, I feel so lucky to have traveled so far and seen for myself the differences and similarities between people. Yet, these trips came about because of other desires. To meet a man in Australia who engaged my mind in deep conversation, to see one of my favorite cousins get married in Ireland and to seek out my cousin (her sister) who married a German man and lives in Frankfurt. All of these destinations were unexpected to me, I wish that I could have spent more time in realizing the grandeur and significance of the places I visited but each trip was short so all done in a whirlwind and only later after the trip was complete did I look back and think about the places themselves as much as my goal of connection with friends and family.

Perhaps those who know me might say that I was beautiful. They will look with their eyes on the person they know. 

Could they ever know the way my own eyes saw myself? The visions of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to be? My insecurities and those things that I liked about myself?

They might praise my scholarship, I pushed on through school even though it all looked daunting. I am proud of putting in the hours to get where I am but in some cases regret the time that I wished I had to do other things, to be another person.

Would they describe me as kind? A good mother? Wise? Probably. 

I feel as though there is more to me than can ever be reduced to words, there is more that I would have my children learn if I could. I wish I could pass on all that I know and have learned but I think that our lives, our experience and knowledge is not something easily transferable. We wear out our patterns of living as we go along and these patterns cannot so easily be picked up by the younger generation. We can no sooner step into their shoes as they in ours. Though I do look at my children sometimes and think of how much I wish I could just make things easier for them. A wise gardener knows that sometimes the strongest plants face the most adversity. 


Sunday, December 3, 2017

I and We

I, a word of self identity.

Our consciousness and conscience.

All I am, all I have, my sole possession.

I walk alone, playing the game, creating what I can.

Can I gain more I? Can I be more?

I am alone

Until I find you

I, linked with you, aware of each others awareness.

Briefly, WE exist.

WE are more! Spark and inspiration, WE create!

I value WE

Yet I defend I

I am the only one who can.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ah time, that thief of my life

I relate to the world through a rich inner thought life. Thoughts stir around in my head all day, some mundane, some poetic, all of them almost always lost in the shuffle of my everyday busy life. Sometimes that is quite discouraging because it feels as though I am a shell walking throughout my day doing my work and existing in each moment reduced to a robotic routine, the meaning of life distilled into droplets of interaction with other human beings and there is a deep hunger there. I am interested in people, I want to sit down and probe the depth of their thoughts and find out what makes them tick. I tried to do that with a friend as we took walks together but I found that she held a shallow pool of interesting thought and didn't seem to be driven like I am towards constant improvement and seeking after knowledge. This was discouraging to me and though I am still good friends with her, I still find myself lacking a thought partner, something that I am used to though so I've retreated to the familiar territory of books and TED talks, anything that gets me to think outside of the ordinary humdrum of life. I find that when I read I analyze the way that the author has set up the book, how they are developing their characters and plot. Though without the time to work on my own book I despair at ever creating my own work of fiction. I'm not uncaring towards people, however I find it hard to maintain relationships with the depth of friendship that I prefer because the demands of time on my life make that possibility low. I am selfish a lot of times, I know. I am also frustrated because of the many things I want to do with my time that I cannot because I am a responsible adult type person. Well, I've got more to write but I am being called away... goodnight.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Seeking purpose

Some thoughts that have been plaguing my mind lately revolve around purpose in ones life. I watched a documentary about some Hasidic Jews who are trying to leave the community they grew up in, turning their back on the beliefs and traditions of their upbringing. The Hasidic Jewish community living in the New York area, as described in the documentary, keeps their members tied to them by issuing a strict set of rules for the community members to follow.

These rules effectively keep the community members in ignorance of how the rest of the world functions and limits the ability of members to make decisions other than those handed down to them from their leaders. The people that were highlighted in the documentary (on Netflix) outline their struggles and reasons for leaving. They have valid reasons (in my opinion) to leave and seek out a different path but in the eyes of their community they are damning themselves and would lead their children astray if allowed to do so.

One thing that stuck with me, besides the difficulty of leaving something that you have always known, is the difficulty in finding purpose. I too struggled with finding a purpose to life when I left behind many of the beliefs I grew up with.

People speak of purpose as though it is something to be found, handed down to us from a sentient being who designed the world to have meaning. They hope that if they can find their purpose then their own lives will have meaning. I don't fault them for trying to find meaning or purpose in life, only I believe that when these things are not readily apparent to us then it can cause anguish, as though finding peace comes from finding purpose.

I propose a different way to regard life and our purpose. We let go of the need for an explanation for everything, we don't need to know why in some cases, we just need to know what is.

I heard this concept from a Ted Talk, I believe, though I can't find it at the moment. We spend a lot of emotional energy trying to figure out why something happened when a lot of times even if we understand why, it isn't going to help us find peace.

Accepting that you don't have to have all the answers frees you to move forward and choose to be happy in spite of everything.

Just a few thoughts for the day...


Sunday, October 15, 2017


I grew up in a religious community that was all about complete fidelity, strengthening family bonds and fighting for marital ties.

Thus when I found myself married at a young age what I felt to be the most important thing was keeping my marriage together. I fought really hard towards that goal and put up with a difficult relationship, an abusive relationship, with the attitude that if we all went to church, prayed together, talked things through, then everything that was wrong could be made right.

There were things that could not be made right no matter how much I tried however. Things that I couldn't see or was too immature to know how to handle.

I'm not sure how people successfully navigated through unsuitable relationships back in the days where girls married at 14 (or younger) and were expected to raise their children to be strong and successful. How did these young girls overcome their own immaturity? Perhaps the societal norms of their days and what was expected of them was simple and they didn't expect much out of life, nor their relationships, it is sad that this is still the state of things in some areas of the world.

We live in a world that expects a lot from life and from our relationships and that leads to discontent.

But discontent was not a motivating factor for me when I was a young mother, I found joy in other things, for me I knew quite early on that I was in over my head and I didn't know how to escape. I made the unenviable choice to work on my relationship as much as possible, but to do things that would allow me the ability to escape if I needed to. In essence, I wasn't in a relationship out of love but out of fear. Certainly I loved my husband, but I hadn't come into the relationship as a fully realized person and I didn't decide to be married based off a mutual understanding of love and trust, I was married because I wanted to do the right thing for my children, I wanted them to have a good home.

So I was locked into this dynamic and yet fighting with all of my being to improve my situation. I went to school, I was lucky because attending school meant that I received grant money which we desperately needed because we were very poor. It was also useful because I was able to get out of the house and have some time to myself, I could escape into an inner world and there find a voice.

My inner voice told me something was wrong, that I needed to find a way out. I tied to talk things through with my husband, there were times I was suspicious of him, he had had an affair when we were first married and I thought that what was wrong was that he didn't really love me, I thought he would be happier without me. I was tired of the many things that I felt he did to keep us poor, spending money unwisely and unwise business practices. I was tired of the deception, always feeling like there was something he was hiding. I thought that I could fix it by trying harder, being more devout, getting us all to go to church, going to therapy and talking until I was blue in the face but nothing seemed to work.

At first I tried to escape by getting into a relationship(ish) with another guy. That was not good, I felt too much guilt and I felt uneasy with the speed with which the other guy wanted to marry me. I broke that off, it lasted a month.

That was trying to escape and I didn't like that way out, it made me weaker as a person.

I reconciled with my husband and went back to trying to break things off in the "right" way.

Then he became more violent, then I found out what he had truly been hiding and that was the last straw.

I packed his things, I put them out for him to take them away and I stood firm as he begged and pleaded with me to take him back, that was one of the most difficult things that I have ever done. Though unfortunately I did not have the resolve at that time to keep him from residing in some form or other in my home for the next few years, I was financially dependent on him and this had all happened right at the down turn in the economy so it was difficult to find work. I hated myself for my weakness, I wasn't protecting myself or my children and that caused me a lot of pain.

I had found a relationship with someone who lived on the other side of the world, he talked me through many things and became a good friend. We were really close and I went to see him (in Australia), we became engaged and then I went home. In this relationship I also felt trapped, and I felt like that was ridiculous because he lived so far away from me. I went to see him again to see if I could work out the dilemma I felt for myself, we had fun together but when I returned home again I felt something was wrong. It felt like the balance of power was out of control, he told me what I should do with my ex-husband and although I agreed I felt weak and unable to do what I knew was right so I felt continually in the wrong. I hated my weakness, I hated feeling out of control and I eventually broke it off.

Ironically I had found someone that loved and supported me over here, I met him at my work place and he was a really kind, though insecure guy. I had broken things off with my long distance relationship and then started up a relationship with this guy, but there was a struggle going on with one guy pleading for me to continue my relationship with him and then the other doing the same and then having the messy dependence on my ex-husband. It was all too much, it made me emotionally and physically sick, so eventually I ended everything with every guy in my life (as much as possible) and though my ex still came around causing me grief I had hardened my heart to his emotional abuse (mostly) and decided to move on.

So I did, I moved on. I dated several people and eventually found someone I admired and loved. We started a relationship, I moved my little family to his condo and we got married, BUT I was in school and wasn't really fully available because of that. There was a constant group text going with my MBA group and when I got off of work, I went to school, when I got done with school I came home and studied. I tired as much as I could to talk to my husband and get to know him but he was very private and paranoid. The situation really wasn't ideal for resolving misunderstandings because of the heavy pressure and exhaustion I felt so eventually we cracked. He cracked by accusing me of cheating, I felt that was so ironic because I had no inclination to cheat on him, I loved him, plus I had no time whatsoever to cheat. But nothing I did or said could convince him otherwise and our marriage ended.

It's been about a year now since he packed everything up and left, about 7 months since the divorce was finalized. I was devastated, I felt so empty inside, heartbroken and numb. I gathered up my pride and my things and did what I could to stave off the pain, unwisely I started dating again hoping to stem the loneliness. A mechanic friend helped me find an old beater car that has served me pretty well this past year, I lucked into a good deal on a condo that I was just able to afford, so I packed up my family and we left what had become a home full of ghosts for me.

There was one man who stepped into this painful and lonely world and did things for me that I could not, who brightened my day and helped me establish my home as it is now. He was not entirely truthful with me at the beginning however which has made me a bit uneasy and uncertain. I am happier because of his kindness but undecided about the long term.

I have never had the amount of stability that I have now, financially and emotionally. Yet I know that I need to be able to make the decisions in my relationships rather than be forced into them by circumstance or else I will never feel easy with myself or my situation, that is what I have learned. I need time to myself to think, I need time with my children to establish bonds that have been weak, I need enough money in the bank that I am not afraid of losing my home or of being dependent on someone else. I never want to make the mistake of not making a firm decision before moving on to a new relationship again though, that has never been good.

This is my understanding from the relationships that I have had and the life I have lived.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Writing challenge: If you were given the opportunity to appear in a talent show what would you perform?

If I were to appear in a talent show what would I perform... I suppose I am re-writing that sentence because I don't really have something off the top of my head that I would like to perform at a talent show. A lot of my talents are the specialized, organize and order things type of talents though I do also enjoy singing, writing and painting. 

To go back a step here let me just state that I have a goal to write more often and the way that I identified to get myself to write more is to use writing prompts. I have a list of them and I try to pull them out and work on the prompts on Mondays and Wednesdays. So with that cleared up I will continue on with this attempt.

If I seriously had to perform something I would really learn a song well... or a piece of poetry, that's always fun.

I especially like the works that Anne of Green Gables so famously read in the book. "The Lady of Shallot," or "The Highway Man." Anything with a bit of drama and pathos, or as Anne would say "Don’t you just love poetry that gives you a crinkly feeling up and down your back?"

As for songs, I really sing church songs well... but I don't often share that talent, I like to sing some of the Carpenter's songs, or jam out to The Manhattan Transfer's "Cool Cool Kitty." But I really haven't practiced just singing a song well, perhaps I need to do that. Just in case I am randomly called to perform in a talent show.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Coming to grips with mistakes

Accepting mistakes without becoming defensive is one thing I have struggled with my whole life. I hate to have the lens of attention shining down on me, revealing things that I may or may not know about. I'm very introspective so I often have discovered many things that I want to fix, areas where I could improve. When someone points these areas out it feels like an intrusion on my personal battle for perfection.

Because that is what it is, a battle to rid myself of all incompetency, to make myself the paragon of cleverness and intelligence that I've always wanted to be. Mistakes are like daggers that pierce that perception and when pointed out they pierce deeper and I become defensive.

Defensiveness is a shield that I hold up when I feel the sting of shame. I am ashamed when it is obvious that I have failed, I am ashamed when I make mistakes because mistakes feel like failure.

When I was young mistakes were signs of incompetence, of stupidity. There used to be harsh criticism for failure in my early home. There were times I spent frantically cleaning my room in the hope that the angry voice of rejection wouldn't turn towards me, it was a child's reaction to the unknown.

As an adult I can see that it was a story that I told myself to explain what was going on in my home. I can see the broader picture now because I have more life experience. The residual and innate responses remain, however as the author of my own story I now have the power to edit and re-frame what happened to me in the past. I can give the character of ME a new direction to take, I no longer have to follow the old script.

Mistakes are still painful at times, I am learning how to deal with the pain instead of holding up a defensive shield. I can accept the mistake and view it as the learning tool that it should be, giving me the opportunity to improve and giving me a chance to build a better relationship with others.

Defensiveness is distancing, it is putting a space between yourself and others to avoid hearing the painful thing that they are saying. So learning how to accept things without internalizing them is what I am learning to do, at work and at home.

Some may not have the same battle to fight, maybe this battle is less important an issue to others than it is to me, but I do feel grateful that I have had the time to come to this point in my life. That is all for now.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Thoughts For My Children

Again I find my head full of things I wish I could say to my kids but I don't feel that it is the right time. It never seems to be the right time and they never seem to be in the right state of mind. I would rather not speak than to sound preachy which is something I tend to do when I talk to them.

I'm going through the process of defining my strengths and adopting a more positive attitude towards work and life. It is really easy to slip into negativity, especially when you don't feel good or you've had a hard day. Also it is easy to feel resentment towards other people at work if you feel like you have been passed by for a promotion or recognition. I've been in that frustrating mindset too often, it is a continual battle to be positive in the day to day grind, it is very easy for me to slip into a passive mode where I feel like I just need to put in my time and go home.

I want my kids to know that boredom with life is something to fight. Finding little bits of time to work on things that you like to do is important. It gives some meaning to life that you are developing your talents and enjoying life but that cannot be all there is to life, there is much more.

There is something in my character that abhors the wanton waste of things; of time, of talent, of people. I dislike mean spirited conversation, though sometimes I've caught myself in the middle of such. I feel like we are better off discussing things in an open and taciturn way, but not in a mocking or griping way, there is a balance and it is hard to achieve.

I believe in using the things we are given and not asking for more, coveting if you will, what we don't have.

I listened to a TED talk today by Emily Esfahani Smith titled, "There's More To Life Than Being Happy." She describes some things that we should seek beyond happiness, to seek meaning vs. happiness.

That there are 4 Pillars of a meaningful life:

1 Belonging - which comes from being in relationships where you are valued for who you are intrinsically and where you value others as well. Leading with love creates a bond that lifts each of you up.

2 Purpose - using your strengths to serve others. Purpose gives you something to live for, some why that drives you forward.

3 Transcendence - states where you are lifted above the hustle and bustle of daily life. Your sense of self fades away and you are connected to a higher reality.

4 Story telling, the story you tell yourself about yourself. We are the authors of our stories and can change the way we are telling them. Your life is not just a list of events, you can edit, interpret and retell your story even as you are constrained by the facts. People leading meaningful lives tend to tell stories about their lives defined by redemption, growth and love. You can change your story by reflecting on your life thoughtfully. How your defining experiences shaped you, what you lost, what you gained. Changing your story won't happen over night it can take years and be painful. Embracing those painful memories can lead to new insights and wisdom, to find that 'good' that sustains you.

Emily then goes on to describe how her life was filled with the 4 pillars of meaning as a child through her parents practice of Sufism which "is the selfless experiencing and actualization of the Truth. The practice of Sufism is the intention to go towards the Truth, by means of love and devotion. This is called the tarigat, the spiritual path or way towards God. The sufi is one who is a lover of Truth, who by means of love and devotion moves towards the Truth, towards the perfection which all are truly seeking."

This is a practice that I am unfamiliar with as an organization but which sounds like something I want to know more about since I love learning about different ideas.

Emily's talk rang very true to me. I used to look up at the darkening sky and find the first star. Then my wish was always to be happy. I felt like it was a goal, a state of being that I could achieve if only I incorporated the right ingredients into my life. And yes it was an elusive goal that left me feeling more depressed as it seemed so unattainable.

It is better to make peace with life, to admit that you have limitations but to seek to use what you do have to achieve the greatest effect. I dislike the idea of searching for "meaning" as an endless quest to find out "why things are as they are," but rather I find that the idea of searching for meaning is to seek to do meaningful things, to be involved and engaged with the people around you, which can take great effort.

As an introvert, being involved and engaged can take a lot of energy. So I acknowledge that limitation in myself, and am forthright in letting other people know that I need time to recharge. It means engaging when I can and being as positive as I can in my engagement with others. Because really, there is so little time and so much to gain from learning about others and being thoughtful towards them.

Well this has about wiped me out for the night. I've stayed up too late again and disengaged a bit to spend this time writing my thoughts down. Someday I hope that I can share my thoughts with my children. If I never find the time to speak them out loud to them, then may they find my words later on and find wisdom in them.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Common Sense

I wish it was easier for me to talk to my kids. Sometimes I'm very concerned about the choices they are making and I would like to talk to them about it, share my life experiences, but I end up tongue tied.

For instance, was introduced to a new way of thinking about monogamy, or actually it is an old way to think about it, from the book "Assassin's Apprentice."

"Soldiers and sailors whore around. It's a common way for common folk. But not for royalty. Or for anyone with a bit of pride... It's fine to fall in love, Fitz, and no one begrudges a young woman or man a kiss or two... Traders bring pretty girls or well made youths to the market like so many chickens or so many potatoes. And the children they end up bearing may have names, but they don't have much else. And even when they marry, they don't stop their habits. If ever I find the right woman, I'll want her to know I won't be looking at another. And I'll want to know all my children are mine"

So in order to preserve your pride and to give your children a good upbringing you must be able to have self-control and temperance in your habits. Self respect and pride in yourself and your potential family.

This explanation is a less loaded than the religious explanation of "purity" as a reason for temperate behavior. In the one it is a matter of worthiness before "god" in the other a matter of worthiness of self and explanation for right behavior.

Following the rule of temperance due to self respect lends nobility to your actions, following the rule of "purity before god" lends an air of self righteous judgement to your actions. One is easy to defend, you have self respect and wish for a good life outcome. In the other the reasons may be the same but are harder to defend because the rationality is different.

I think that many things taught within religious scripts are good things but they obscure the essence of the thing making it a matter of following the rules set forth by an invisible god, rather than understanding that following certain rules or patterns of behavior will bring greater success than not.

Follow common sense principles to achieve success not a place in heaven. That certainly makes sense to me.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Acknowledging That Writing is Hard

It is hard, trying to force ideas to come is difficult if not impossible at times. I think that the best way for me to generate ideas is to keep a notebook with me. When something comes to me I will write it down, this is something I have done in the past but if I don't take the time to transcribe my thoughts onto the computer then they will be lost to me in the pages of a notebook.

I do need to find balance, I want to be able to relax with my family and friends but I need to somehow carve out some time to write, otherwise I won't ever develop my talent in writing.

So yes, writing is hard but I want to learn, I've wanted to learn for a long time...


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Writing Assignment: The worst hotel I've stayed in

I've had a few chances to stay in hotels throughout the years and I've gotten used to them I suppose. They are sterile, with their generic artwork, industrial carpet, stiff sheets and pillows. Of course there's usually the obligatory air-conditioner under thick blinds that spews out frigid air scented with a twinge of cigarette smoke from previous guests who thought they could get away with smoking in the room. 

Generically hotel rooms are somewhat unpleasant. 

We stayed in a little podunk hotel in Kanab this summer, the shower and toilet were in a separate space from the sink, which was a result of poor design by the builders I think. The outside was designed to fit the historical image of American Trans-continental hostelry with fake wooden beams that were glued and tacked onto the outside of the place. The room was tiny, two full-sized beds masquerading as queen sized beds, set side by side in a space not much larger than the waiting room of a doctors office. They somehow managed a dresser with the obligatory television and mini refrigerator that whined in the middle of the night waking me from my uneasy sleep. The door was right up against the parking lot so we really depended on the thick curtains to protect our privacy. We didn't plan well for our overnight stay, so there we were, we made the best of it. 

A rather unexpected hotel was the one we stayed at in Ireland. We got off the plane in Dublin and exhausted, looked forward to finding a place to relax. My cousin Kathy was the one who had made all the travel arrangements so we trusted in her plan. Well off the plane, we hoped on a bus which took us down to the middle of Dublin where we un-boarded onto the thoroughfare. According to Kathy we were quite close to the hotel so we gathered our luggage as best we could and followed her like ducks in a row through the cobblestone lined streets of Dublin. Our luggage clacked along behind us as we went, jarring our arms and vibrating up into our heads. We passed through several intersections and our guide Kathy had us walking up one street and down another until we reached a door in the middle of an alleyway just past a small convenience store and across from a cafe. She pressed the buzzer under the glowing yellow sign emblazoned with a bumble bee and a voice on the other end told us to enter through the door that buzzed and clicked letting us know it had been unlocked. 

We opened up to narrow lobby and we all jammed in as best we could, a few were left out in the alley while our fearless leader discussed our rooms with the clerk in the lobby. After things were settled we made our way to a tiny elevator where a few jammed in and others waited to be taken up to our room. An accented voice declared which floor we had arrived on and with a ding we were let out of the death trap of an elevator. 

We arrived in a narrow hall and stairway, and followed that down until we found our rooms which ended up being rather like a small apartment, quite different than the hotels we were used to in the States. I found the corner of a dark room to unpack and freshen up and we all met together in the living room area which was next to a tiny kitchen and balcony. 

We all ended up really enjoying the view from our 3rd story window out over the middle of Dublin. We could see the university and the river and at night we heard the frequenters of the local bars singing, we might have imagined that last bit... ;)

In any case, this is my reminiscence from our trip, hotels in general are the same but sometimes you can be surprised. 


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Books I want...

Dresden Files
Storm Front
Fool Moon
Grave Peril
Summer Knight
Death Masks
Blood Rites
Dead Beat
Proven Guilty
White Night
Small Favor
Turn Coat
Ghost Story
Cold Days
Skin Games

Brandon Sanderson Books

The Stormlight Archive
The Rithmatist

Riyria Chronicles

The Crown Tower
The Rose and the Thorn
The Death of Dulgath
Theft of Swords (contains The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha)
Rise of Empire (contains Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm)
Heir of Novron (contains Wintertide and Percepliquis)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Annals of an introvert at work

July 17 in the year of our Lord 2017

A documentation of the struggles of an introvert. 

Now properly started out I can begin my tale. 

There is a great beast hovering beneath the surface of my exterior facade. It snaps and snarls as I go through my day pulling me inward, driving me to hide away from the outside world. 

In fact the tendency to hide is so great that if I had money enough to not have to work I would do just that. I would find a little space and curl up, doing as I pleased and avoiding interaction with others. 

My world would be narrow, I would feel safe, but at the same time claustrophobic. Enclosed with my thoughts, my thoughts would trap me. 

The paradise of solitude would become a torture. 

Thankfully (though I'm not always thankful) I have to go to work where I am persistently bombarded with requests to interact with others. To push past the boundaries which I have set for myself, past my comfort zone. 

My mind is constantly chanting "no, no, no." The discomfort grows in my stomach, my chest... my head hurts, I want to cry... I want to hide.

But I put on a happy face. I speak to others even though I would like to hide. I listen when I want to retreat. I venture to someone's desk, to talk to them even though I am much more comfortable hiding at my own. 

Thus is how it is for an introvert like me. 

At odd moments though when I have managed to break past my fears, I find that I enjoy speaking with other people and getting to know them. 

It is an effort, but there is a reward. That is what I seek in my travels through life.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why I love rainbows

A rainbow is a shaft of hope, a reminder that pure unadulterated color exists, in a world of dimmer hues.

On a grey day the sighting of a beautiful rainbow can touch childish emotions that we may have forgotten in our day to day adult lives.

Revered as harbingers of Gods love, a promise that the floods would end and that the sun would shine again.

We've always held out hope that these shining beacons of light can point our way to unimaginable stores of gold.

To me they are phantoms of wonder. They make my heart quicken, I am always struck by a sense of awe every time I spy a rainbow. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Struggles, My Guilty Conscience

There are a lot of things going through my head right now. I think my childhood looked to be pretty conventional, I had a Mom and Dad, older brother, younger brothers and little sister. What isn't conventional is the inner turmoil I've felt throughout life for things to be in order. My older brother has autism, this has always necessitated a certain amount of extra work for my mother. She started working when I was little and she would come home really tired. I felt a certain amount of responsibility to try and make things easier for her. Clean the house so that she wouldn't be stressed out, help with dinner.

Through the years as I've grown and made certain choices in my life, I've felt a sense of responsibility to do the best that I could with the circumstances that I've been given. I was a young mother and my husband made choices that led to many difficulties for me. We lived with my parents for a time because we were very poor, I lived with debilitating depression. I felt a sense of dread when I was in that situation, I wanted to fix things, all of my siblings were still at home and I felt like I was adding a burden to my parents that was unfair to them. I felt a great deal of guilt. So I worked hard, I went to school and I tried very hard to make due with the amount of money my husband made so that we could move out of my parents home. I was in school for a long time, my mother watched my children and my sister has helped with them even when she was very young.

I've always had some amount of inner conflict about the amount of control I had over my kids schedules and what they were watching on TV and/or the amount of video games that they played with my brothers. I wanted to be this shining, perfect mother and I've had to compromise in order to become educated. My relationship with my husband was complicated as well, I wanted to be the perfect wife, I wanted to have a stable, happy family. But I had to let those ideals go when it was clear that my husband was abusive and had abused my sister and my daughter. If only I had realized sooner! I wish I could say I would have been able to leave sooner but I know that I didn't have the support or resources I needed to leave.

Now when I go to my parents I still feel a sense of responsibility. I feel a bit of guilt and unease. For one thing, my siblings all are still living at home, it's a frustrating situation because there is a reason for the extended adolescence of my siblings (autism, ADHD, medical issues) but also I can see that my siblings are fighting to get an education as well and that gives me hope. But the strain that it has taken on my parents is difficult to see. Also the state of our family home induces guilt and shame in me.

It's a story of an interconnected chain of events that has led to a difficult situation. My father won't stand up and be the leader of the family, in a way he can't because what is there for him to be in charge of? All of us are adults. My angel mother still works every day and is trying to repair her home but the task is so great, there is so much to do and she is getting older. She has been in charge of our holidays and traditions and it has taken a toll on her. I wish I could swoop in, clean house, fix things and give her the rest she deserves... but I've only got a limited amount of physical, mental and emotional energy to spare.

I guess I'm feeling frustrated tonight.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Unconventional Wisdom

My Toastmasters Speech from Today

What we eat affects our state of well being

I'm not sure if you've heard the term "Hangry" it's a tongue in cheek term for the feeling of being hungry and how that makes people feel angry at the same time. This is a simple example of how food, or lack thereof affects how we feel emotionally and mentally.

For many years, I struggled to live my daily life, my world was a dark place. It was hard to concentrate, hard to wake up in the morning, hard to face the world. My stomach hurt all the time and I didn't know why.

I've learned that food can affect us at a deep level and it's only rarely that we realize it.

We all have prevailing ideas about what eating healthy is, conventional wisdom

In our culture, we are encouraged to stay trim, fit is the new skinny, avoid fat yet eat healthy fat, go low carb. Eat whole wheat, especially wheat bran it keeps you regular. Soy is good for your heart health. Eat a spectrum of food of differing color it's healthy.

Sometimes conventional wisdom is wrong

I learned a difficult lesson about 10 years ago, and that was that nature has a way of balancing us out when we try to control it.

I felt that I was overweight, I was about the same weight that I am now, maybe a 5 - 10 pounds more. I decided that I needed to take control, so I joined Weight Watchers.

At first it seemed like a miracle, I followed the program strictly and obsessively and I was losing weight.

If I felt lightheaded I drank more water, I was obsessed with food but I didn't realize how bad the obsession was. I found tricky ways to make the foods I craved cost me less points and started to eat bran muffins to fill me up and something called TVP or Textured Vegetable Protein which is a product made from soy to replace meat. Who needs meat anyway, it's cruel that we kill animals so that we can survive.

Well I got to a point where I could feel no emotion, the medical term is "Anhedonia." I felt no pleasure at achieving my goal weight of 120 lbs, I looked in the mirror and still felt fat. I didn't feel sadness either. I felt empty.

Eventually I went into a tailspin, at one point I was too weak to lift my baby daughter and my brain felt dry, I couldn't speak my mind. Yet I was still obsessed with following the WW program.

Then something odd happened. I added walnuts to my cereal. Somehow that little bit of fat triggered an intense feeling of well-being and happiness. That sparked a desire to figure out what I was doing wrong, I still felt confined by the WW program and tried to fit more fat into that model, eventually I had to let go.

That was the hardest thing

I let go of the conventional wisdom, I put ideas on trial and I tried out a lot of unconventional things.

It all came back to food

I found through trial and error that I do a lot better when I don't eat anything with gluten in it and through a very bizarre episode of an angry fit of rage I found out that milk triggers an emotional response for me (I feel anger, sadness and my ears ring when I drink a lot of milk). I cut these things out and felt quite a bit better but still had lingering issues, I finally paid a visit to an allergist who identified some other allergens

Sometimes people feel bad when I tell them I can't eat certain things. It's hard for them to understand that knowing that I shouldn't eat these foods has been a big blessing. I no longer suffer from debilitating depression, anxiety, chest pain and illness. For the most part.

Conventional wisdom led me astray, it was unconventional thinking that led me to the truth.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Happy Moments

Tonight was another moment of serendipity for me. I showed up at my parents house just as my brother's home teachers showed up. They asked my brother about his production company and he points at me, so I jump in and tell them all about the studio and how things came together then mentioned that we don't have morning hours because I have work and my brother has school. So one of them volunteered to man the studio on Tuesday's and Thursday's haha, so we now have an 'employee'. He'll only come record people if they book during those times, and we won't have to pay him unless he records someone so that works perfectly. :)

Let me tell you I am pretty chuffed that someone wants to man the booth during the day for us haha

He's coming by tomorrow to learn the ropes so to speak. :D


Friday, May 19, 2017

Good Moments

So I feel sometimes that my blog is dominated by the hardships I face and it can get a bit tedious to read through my old posts seeing page after page of frustrations. So I'm making a conscious effort to record moments that were good. This afternoon I had a few good moments I want to jot down before the happy feelings get away from me.

I went out to lunch with Darrin, he has been a good friend to me for a long time. I don't have many long time good friends so I cherish the ones I have. We went out to lunch and had a good conversation, he gave me several good ideas for my little recording studio and he gave me an update about his sweet Dad. That made me pretty happy.

Then getting back from lunch I met 2 of my other long time friends on the stairs and got big hugs. That pushed me into endorphin overload and I'm now really, really happy. :) Plus it's Friday :)

I hope you are having a good day.


Saturday, May 6, 2017


I had a nice walk today, there's a pretty nice trail by a nearby park, with an incline hill at the beginning and a flat stretch for quite a long ways that winds through a cute little neighborhood with a regrettably busy street that runs through it.

Something that I was reflecting on during the walk and when I got home is that if the focus for exercise is on improving looks then it can become something that is a destructive, obsessive or harmful force in our lives. Acknowledgement that improving looks is a piece of the motivation for exercising with the inner motivation turned towards improving health and mobility is a more sustainable and fulfilling goal.

Motivation is something that can be misunderstood, for instance the motivation to go to school or to learn. When I was a little girl I thought that I needed to know everything in order to be acceptable to other people. There was a perfectionism in me that drove me on to keep doing things even when they became boring or difficult. A sort of self torture in a way. I disconnected from others because I was afraid to let go of the task that I was doing. Worried that I might not pick it up again if I stopped.

This might sound like discipline, in some ways it was and is, but I was irrational in my discipline doing things sometimes just for the sake of it rather than taking a balanced approach to them. This caused stress and disconnection with others.

I've grown out of some of those tendencies. Partially they came from the fact that my world was a dark place for a long time, that was a side effect of eating foods that were not good for me (gluten, dairy, soy, cashews, etc.) Not many people talk about the effects of food on the mind but I understand the correlation because I can see a difference between then and now.

Partially the stressful tendencies came from fear. I was fearful of not having my fathers approval. He would sometimes rail on my brother asking him if he had a brain, berating and belittling him for simple mistakes or carelessness. My brother even took the brunt of my mistakes and carelessness because even if he said he didn't do it my Dad didn't believe him. So I felt that if I was perfect, if everything was clean, if I knew everything, did everything right... then I would be acceptable and worthy of love.

It's a tendency that has been hard to break over the years even with my new found freedom from the utter darkness that surrounded me for a big part of my life.

Another thing that I was thinking about is that sometimes our present moment can seem to be all that there is. That the happiness we are feeling will continue on or the sadness will not leave. Those transitory feelings are an illusion.

Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" really speaks to me because it is a reminder that we need to be able to put things into perspective and that striving to be balanced will help us to be successful.

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
    And treat those two impostors just the same

And that's all she wrote.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

The best of days!

Today started out pretty ordinary, morning routine, get the kids to school but then I got to work and stumbled across an inspirational speaker Kyle Cease and I really understood and appreciated his message. It opened my mind to the ways that I can let go of past regrets and open up to all of the possibilities that are around me.

Then I had the honor of attending Toast Masters and being the Timer. I was able to get up and speak during table topics and I didn't completely lose my train of thought nor sound like an idiot, always a bonus.

I felt so great that I was walking on rarefied air and everyone seemed to notice that.

Then one of the most exciting things happened, I got to go home and earn $200 bucks from a client who came over to record a demo in our booth. An actual, voice over booth client! :D

He came in and there was no hesitation about our location, our set-up or anything! A benefit to the condo that I moved into at the beginning of the year is that it is right off of State Street. Now that might not seem like a benefit because we have a noisy street to put up with, but for a business it is a prime location!

So now I am looking at the possibility of being able to work from home, it's a part time opportunity at the moment but it definitely has potential to turn into a full time career!

Exciting times!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Word Paintings - What they Mean to Me

I came up with the term "Word Paintings" to describe the vivid recollection of memories or descriptive writing that I sometimes like to do. I haven't created a "Word Painting" in some time now. I will pick the habit back up soon...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Alternative speech for Toastmasters tomorrow

Last time I spoke, I spoke about finding my voice. I described to you the difficulties I have faced, and my hereditary family silence. Today I will speak to you about dreams.

I have always been a dreamer. My father came home with a diary once from a trip that he had taken, he said he bought it in China town.

It was beautiful, it had a shiny green cover embossed with different symbols and the paper was patterned with catfish and boats.

What I held in my hands was to me a glimpse into another world and I dreamed of parasols and china dolls as though someone had transported me into another world.

I was not content with dreams though, I turned many of my dreams into reality.

By brother Daniel, just 18 months younger than I was my traveling companion in the land of dreams.  We sailed the high seas out in the snake-pit on a section of bush pushed down by some planks.

We built our own carnival, with bean bag toss, pinball machine and rides in sleeping bags down the stairs.

It's a good thing my parents never really knew what we got up to.

We built a boat out of 2x4's and plywood, which never got to the river, but it did serve as the platform to our rope swing.

As an adult I have fallen into the void at times, where no dreams can surface, that is when I have been facing my reality and fighting for a place in the world. I've been fighting the demon foe called poverty, and burnished the sword of determination to finish school.

A tiny sliver of a dream surfaced after I was done though, a little bit of a leftover dream from my scheme of a grand and beautiful house. A place to record music, a place to sing, a place of literature, a place to dream.

So when I found myself in the position of needing a new home. I put my feelers out and had my real estate agent send me links to affordable places. Suddenly, in the middle of Year End turmoil a link to a condo with 2,200 sq ft. came through.

I pulled it up and as I flipped through the photos my heart sang. A tiny backyard for a garden, a room for each of my kids and 3 bathrooms, a large living room and family room and then, the bonus room. I knew what that would be for.

I went that night to see the place, and it was exactly as I had hoped. I walked through each room until I found the bonus room and there it was, the large walk in closet, there I would build a voiceover booth. In the rest of the room a dance studio for my son.

Why, you might ask would I want such a thing? Dear friends I don't know, I could tell you my youngest brother is a sound engineer and was very happy I built this booth.

But that was not the reason, not really, the reason is that it is a part of a dream and I need to have a place to dream.

Thank you


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

As I Began to Love Myself – Self Love Poem by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born.Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Scenes to the Play of Life

Some thoughts I've gathered going through my week:

Life is like a play and different people are in different scenes

When we are little we play the role of baby, then child, then teenager, as we pass into adulthood we play the role of young adult, adult, middle aged and old aged.

The young have difficulty understanding the roles of adulthood and in some ways adults forget how to play the roles of the young.

Life has always been hard, I'm not saying that in a fatalistic or pessimistic way but it is a statement of fact.

I remember clearly hoping for the next stage in life thinking that I would escape the uncertainty, loneliness and difficulties of the stage that I was in. To a certain extent I now look back at the seemingly carefree days of my youth and longing for simpler times (when I wasn't in charge of making sure everything was OK).

The characters in my play when I was little included my grandparents, my parents, my brothers and sister, my cousins, aunts and uncles, the kids at school and the kids in the neighborhood. In the auxiliary scenes were people in my church, my teachers, principal etc.

I had a certain world view, my days were spent at school, at church and at home. I had difficulty making friends because I am a deep thinker and most of the time it was hard to convey my thoughts to others. I liked to play with dolls, do my hair and make-up, a lot of the same things as other girls but I have never been able to just think of shallow things. In the back of my mind were the stacks of books that I wanted to read, the things I wanted to influence and change (in my family), and the projects I wanted to take on in my own fantasy world. I wanted to have fun, I had a lot of fun, but it was usually me coming up with wild schemes and plans, I was always thinking of something new to do. It was hard for me to relate to other kids, other girls especially. I was a Tom Boy I suppose though that terminology seems to have changed. I can't say that I felt like a boy so I will stick with Tom Boy.

I was lonely, in my own world trying to learn about everything, I broke out of that world when my cousins would come over and when my brother and I would play video games. There again I would play video games and even got addicted to them but I felt some amount of shame for wasting my time so I found myself turning away from them.

My desire to fit in led me to make stupid decisions. Like going along with my "friend" who went shop lifting. Luckily I got caught and had to talk to a judge and that ended my shoplifting career. What was not so lucky for me was that I wanted to have a boyfriend, that desire led me to become a young mother.

And the scenes of my life changed.

As a young mother I was still a teenager so I still felt the desire to play and do fun things. This led me to put up a swimming pool outside of the window in our kitchen and climbing through with my kids. I still liked to watch Pokemon and play the game. I was jealous of my cousins who could still go out on dates and I really just lost touch with them because they couldn't relate to me and we couldn't do a lot of teenage things together.

The player in my life were still the same but with the added dynamic of a husband (who was still a teenage boy) and babies who needed me to be a mother.

I had a great desire to be the kind of mother they deserved, and I desired to go to school in order to be a good example for them.

Fast forward to my life now. My children are all growing up, my youngest is 10, I've been divorced from my first husband now for 6 years and separated/divorced from my second for 6 months. I don't know how this stage of life is supposed to work, I get the whole going to work and providing for my children aspect but I no longer go to church so that whole community of people and set beliefs is no longer there. I made breakfast for my children this Easter morning, and gave them small Easter presents but they will have to wait to do their Easter Egg hunt at my parents. Then that is getting awkward, unless my nieces are there the only one who is still technically a child is my youngest girl at 10. This developing stage of my life is me, without the support of a husband, without that consistency... and it's weird. Who do I let into the scenes of my life's play now? I don't exactly want to be in a relationship right now, I don't think I've found the right person, I don't know if I will ever find the right person. The person who I thought was right, turned out to think I was the wrong person and left... and that has been really hard for me. I gave my heart, my hopes and dreams to someone and the relationship that we had... and now it's gone.

That is the play of my life right now, the scenes don't make a lot of sense to me. I don't really know how to play this part, but I will figure it out.


Saturday, April 15, 2017


This is the speech I am preparing for Toastmasters. I am going to give it this Thursday.

I love projects! Ever since I was a little girl I was always up to something (some would say "up to no good").

Have you ever built a Rube Goldberg machine? I think they are so much fun to design and build, so time consuming but so satisfying.

I created a gumball machine out of cardboard and car tracks, I was a bit obsessed with gumball machines when I was little.

My brother and I created a magic box out of a refrigerator box, we stacked a smaller box on top and put in a "trap" door, so cool!

I created a pulley system between my window and my friends in the neighboring window, so that we could pass things back and forth in a basket. It was so much fun!

I hated to wake up in the morning so I built a pulley system out of thumb tacks and string so that I could turn the light off after my mom had turned it on.

Sadly the boat my brother and I created out of 2x4's and plywood couldn't even be moved let alone float on the river (as we hoped) but it did become the platform for our rope swing later on.

There has always been something energizing about coming up with new things to do. My youngest brother and I recently started to record some things together, he is in the audio engineering program at UVU and I just think it would be awesome to record music and voice-over's, so we make a good team.

Last fall, when I found myself in a situation of needing to get a new home, I kept my eye out for one with a bit of extra space.

We were in the middle of the Year End crunch time at work when a link came through from my realtor to a Condo in Orem that I could afford with 2,200 sq ft., so I pull it up and start glancing through the pictures.

First of all I was attracted to the small piece of land behind the condo, space for a garden! Then I came across the picture of the 'bonus room' and I was convinced that this was the place for me!

So I call up my realtor, he gets me an appointment to see the place that night, I get there and walk through it and the whole time my little checklist of things that I want in a home are being marked off… the only thing I didn't like was the set up of the kitchen and the flooring in the upstairs rooms.

The 'bonus room' was exactly what I was looking for, I could see the potential for a recording space right away. Plus the rest of the space would be perfect for a little dance studio for my son, he dances Break Dance and Hip-Hop.

So I put in an offer, it was accepted and I ended up with my very first condo!

Then it came time to get everything, I was a fanatic for a while there, researching and gathering all of the pieces together.

Now that my space has been created, and I can explore this new opportunity to learn how to speak.

On to my next project, I don't know what it will be yet, but I know it will be fun!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Comfort Zone

I keep trying to write today and keep getting stuck.

I finally got caught up at work! Hallelujah! I had to put in some extra hours but it was worth it knowing that tomorrow with the new COA coming by (whatever a COA is... controller I think) I will not be behind and can focus on going to lunch and listening to him say stuff... without worry.

Each day that I am at work I wonder how the grownups in my life ever had time for a life and how I never noticed if they didn't? 

It's so draining to do the same type of work, every single day and yet I am treading water I know I am. I've been treading water for years waiting for the right time to make a move. 

There's too much of impatience in the world though and I have been basically doing the same thing every day, yet I have been learning each day and the role has changed with the years a little at a time. I've had to step out of my comfort zone, a little bit here and there and I have grown so much. It's sometimes hard to believe that I was still unsure of how to properly send and email when I first started, I was that ignorant of the workforce. There have been many times when I have felt that I should be doing better work but then this job has become a security blanket of sorts through the difficulties of my life over the past couple of years.

I have stepped out of my comfort zones but I will crawl right back in if I'm not careful. Like giving speeches for Toastmasters at Adobe... I'm supposed to be writing the next one but I am stuck, I just don't know what the best thing to speak on is so I've got many different speeches started. I want to talk about how I get crazy projects going but there are so many and they are of different varieties. Sometimes I make things sometimes I create things. Sometimes I gather and sometimes I discard. I have bits and pieces of stories written as well. I should pull them all together and make a book of random, disjointed thoughts... think it would sell? Haha


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Some old thoughts about religion on a Wiki that my friend and I put together several years ago


Why are humans so compelled to religion? Why do we feel good when hearing about others religious experiences?

Case in point - I attended sacrament meeting today. First was a talk by a lady obsessed with family history and recording personal histories (I can see the validity of this to a point, but it can become an all consuming obsession). It was interesting to hear stories of her pioneer ancestors though I couldn't help but wonder the whole time how human beings get caught up in a psychological battle with themselves about what they believe. About how comforting it is to be a part of a movement, a group that seems to have things all worked out and how it is harder to face the void and meaninglessness of life and persevere making your life's meaning be what you want it to be. I was flipping through facebook on my phone while contemplating this. Then her husband got up to speak. He told of the extreme circumstances that he faced. His wife left him and took his two younger boys. He was left with his older son who developed a serious disease. He was in a car accident. He lost his job. His hair was falling out due to the stress. He turned towards God and while on taking pictures at his brothers temple wedding a woman who came out of the temple radiating happiness came up to him and told him that she felt impressed to tell him that God loved him. I've gotta tell you this story made me tear up. I've been there. I've been so poor that looking for spare change in the house would be pointless since we had scoured it many times. I've been harassed by debt collectors at 5 AM while my husband worked in a different state. I had to get on my knees and ask for guidance and I've found it. I've had encounters with people who seemed like angels to me since they appeared at my lowest states. AND it's hard to turn from believing in that to not believing because there is that something inside that wants to believe. BUT it feels the same way as believing in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy did as a kid. AND a lot more evidence (or lack there of) points to the religion as a fraud... but what a fraud it is.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Ice Breakers Speech for Toastmasters

Yesterday I gave a speech for Toastmasters called "The Icebreaker" project. Toastmasters is an organization that is set up expressly for the purpose of developing speaking and leadership skills. Years ago I joined a different Toastmasters chapter and went with my friends to several of the meetings. I got up a few times to do "Table Topics" which is giving an impromptu speech and that just killed my desire to get up and speak because my mind would blank, my throat would tighten up, I would nearly pass out and basically I would mutter a few things and sit down. That was the wrong approach, I was not confident or organized enough to be a part of Toastmasters back then... but I think I am ready now.

I talked about myself, "The Icebreaker" is an introduction to who you are, the title "Finding My Voice." Basically I discussed how it is difficult for me to give speeches and it has been difficult for everyone in my family to speak up because we all have struggled with some type of illness or another that affects the brain and how it organizes thoughts into speech. My older brother has Autism, a disorder where the brain ineffectively filters out the input from the world, sensory overload, and thus makes expression difficult. My younger brothers (my youngest brother in particular) struggle with ADHD and that too makes expression difficult. I and my younger sister have struggled with Major Depressive Disorder and health problems that have made it difficult to speak up.

This speech was very raw and I made myself very vulnerable by discussing these things, as well as the difficulties that I faced as a young mother striving to get through high school and college. I am pleasantly surprised that I was able to give this speech, in a coherent manner and without fainting. My next speech is set for a couple of weeks out, I'm going to put even more thought into writing this one and practicing.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

The times that I need a husband...

Most of the time I can get around life alright, I can get a mechanic out to fix my car, I can hire someone to do things for me around the house (or have a friend come help), there are many things that I need a man to help me with but I need a husband when I am scared and not sure what to do.

I've been dealing with an achy tooth since last Friday. I called for an appointment that afternoon and suffered it out over the weekend. I hate taking medication but I made an exception and took some pain killers reasoning that it was only for a short amount of time and that the dentist would fix it on Monday. Well, I went in on Monday and they took a picture, yippie! Then gave me antibiotics and sent me home with an appointment 2 weeks out. Boo. I don't like antibiotics, they mess up the gut microbiome and cause all sorts of problems. So I wanted to avoid taking them. Well I called the Dentist up and asked him if he would take me sooner, he had me schedule something for the next morning. Yay! I went in, had the procedure (which was extra painful for some reason) and I thought it was surly over, nope! My face stayed swollen all week and Friday I discovered an abscess in my gums. So I ran to the doctor to get a shot of antibiotics (less likely to mess up the gut) and I thought that would help. NOPE So now I'm dealing with this weird abscess thing on the side of my gums and it's getting more and more swollen and like it wants to pop. So I try to pop it myself and what do I end up with? No relief, more pain, and WORRY about what the hell is going on and what I should do about it.

At this point I just want someone to say, "I'm taking you to the doctors and getting this fixed." But I don't have that person, I actually didn't have that person with my ex-husband either but that's a different story. I need someone to be calm when I am scared and to take over when I am not thinking clearly. I don't need helpful (unhelpful) comments from the sidelines, I don't need sympathy, I need help.

I guess I wouldn't necessarily need a husband if I had someone else who could help me all the time but dang it I sure miss the convenience of having a sturdy friend/lover to rely on all the time. :/

This is the kind of situation that makes me very, very lonesome and probably less sensible than I should be... :/


Sunday, March 19, 2017


sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
"the victims should be treated with compassion"
synonyms: pity, sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity
"have you no compassion for a fellow human being?"

To me compassion is a root word. It's definition is encompassing of the many human feelings that make relationships work. Without compassion we have coldness, hardness, intolerance, no mercy, no kindness, no charity.

If we haven't experienced a lot of compassion then we might not understand or be compassionate towards others. We may be intolerant of others faults, especially when we are intolerant of our own faults.

I don't know if reiterating this very human concept is going to solve any of the mysteries of human relationships for me, I do know that as much as I want to be more compassionate towards others I often fall short.

It is the loving look in your eyes, your caress, the way you hold me and kiss me that tell me that you value who I am. My defenses drop when I am offered a taste of what I am missing in my life. I've learned that things are not always simple, that beauty is fleeting and that one moment will change into the next, ultimately we come back to ourselves and we must be compassionate for the quiet soul who resides there.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Growing up

The question we all ask ourselves when we are growing up and that others ask is "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I think that question is flawed, we can't peer into the future and see what kinds of opportunities are available to us, we have certain aspirations sometimes but that doesn't necessarily mean that if we pick something when we're little that we will get to do that. 

It's not impossible for a kid to pick out what they want to do, certainly, but it's improbable. I think that the most important thing is to set a goal and start to work towards the goal but pay attention to the opportunities. If an opportunity comes along it may be disguised as a hard or difficult experience. I certainly wouldn't have guessed that I would be going down this road to having my own little recording studio and dance studio. The path that took me here was a broken heart. If I dwell on that, especially the anger that I feel at times, then my progress is impeded. I have to let the bad feelings go in order to let the good ones in. I'm really excited! We are so close to being done! This whole crazy, wild project has been the most fun I have had in a long time. :)

Goodnight Internet land


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Two Grandmothers

I'm here to tell you about my two Grandmothers, Grandma C my Dad's mom and Grandma D my Mom's mom.

Grandma C was an upstanding career woman. She was the head operator for Mountain Bell before her retirement. She helped to form the Orem Womens Club and served as club president several times. She always had perfectly coifed hair, well maintained nails and dressed in a classic style that was timeless. She smelled of Chanel and always had a Tic Tac in her pocket for a kiss on the cheek. She raised two boys who were 10 years apart in age due to the fact that my Grandpa served during WWII. He took a bullet on D-Day recovered in France then went back out, only to get hit again and sent home. Grandma came from a good family, she lived with her parents during the war and took care of her mother. She took care of her Young Women when she was a leader, made them all quilts. I strive to be like my elegant, caring, well organized Grandma C.

However she's not the only Grandma that I knew. I knew Grandma D for 4 years, she was hit by a drunk driver while on a walk with my mom the day after my fourth birthday. My Grandma D was a strong lady, she raised 9 kids by herself after Grandpa D left. They were poor, so poor that my mom talks about sewing her own clothes and remaking others for herself. They all lived in the red house in Provo. Garden out back, unfinished basement. My grandmother used to sew as well. She made me a Raggedy Ann doll, she made them for all of us girls. She made other kinds of dolls and clothing for us grand-kids. I had a beautiful, multi-colored yarn blankie that she made me with a silky yellow edge. She made one for my dolly as well. We lived with Grandma D, I loved her and thought of her as my only Grandma... Until she passed away. Then I was confused, I kept hoping to see her again, but she never came. We moved to a new place and I was daydreaming outside with my blankie as company but when I was called in suddenly and I forgot it, I forgot about it all night. The next morning I woke up in a  panic and flew to the backyard to look for my blankie but it was gone. I was inconsolable! First my Grandmother and then my blankie! I was told that my Grandmother was going to take me to the store to buy a new one. But it was Grandma C and not D that came through the door to take me, who was this impostor!? I reluctantly went with her but we couldn't find a multi-colored blankie with a silky yellow edge... We found a yellow one with a yellow edge and that had to do.

These are my two grandmothers. I admire both of them, both strong, beautiful and gracious women.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Molly Mormon No More

For most of my life I have wanted a nice home and a happy family. I was the puritanical "Molly Mormon" doing everything I could to learn skills that would come in handy during the impending doomsday. I learned how to grind wheat, make bread, can and pickle... Cook all sorts of things. I wanted to home school my kids, teach them the way to be. Hold Family Home Evening every Monday, go to church on Sunday... Do my visiting teaching, have the visiting teachers over. All of the Mormon puritanical ethos I embraced. Pure in deed, thought and modest in dress. All of my beautiful, idealistic beliefs went 'POOF!' when I had to question everything about how I was eating (asking why I was sick from a perfectly normal diet) and then in that questioning everything mode I questioned every belief that I had previously held. Aggravating to my faith was the continual push that I felt to stay with an abusive, manipulative husband that I should have left many times over. Then I got pushed out into the cruel and unforgiving workforce when I decided to be strong and divorce my husband. I wasn't prepared, smart and educated, yes, practical experience, no. It's been a long road.... Tonight I am going out with my friend Rita to a place that plays live music... Can you believe that I have never had a friend to go out with like this? I have had cousins but not friends. This is new for me, infinitely different from the "Molly Mormon" that I once was... Yet still deep down I miss that ideal...


Value and Trust

I believe that we place a value on ourselves based on several things, our family, our social economic status, our education and I think in many ways our self value is helped or hurt by the things that happen to us.

I feel like I have been racing my whole life to catch up, always a bit behind the class so I was put into what they called 'resource.' This was an embarrassing program to be put into, the perception among the kids in the school is that there was something wrong with you if you were in resource.

I am not sure why I've always been a bit behind... I think though that it has to do with perfectionism. I've always thought deeply about things and while I was off thinking deeply the other kids had moved onto other things.

This trend has plagued me, on through every aspect of my life. I've felt under prepared as a mother (of course I was since I started young). I felt under prepared for college... I was, I had to start with my elementary school math book in order to get up to speed with math. It's still a difficult subject for me. I was under prepared for graduate school... Under prepared for the workplace (terribly). All of this has left a mark on me, the feeling that I am not as good as others. That if I could only learn enough about important things like math and the workplace then I will be accepted.
Well that aspect of my life is a big part of under valuing myself.
The next big thing that makes me under value myself is my social economic status, not rich.
Then... Being rejected by the one person I chose to be with.
There is a part of me burning to fix all of my perceived short comings, so that I can prove that I am worth more than what I perceive my value to be at.

It's this desire that has me frustrated over being rejected. It's like someone recognized my shortcomings and decided that I wasn't worth being with. It's not like I logically don't know that being with someone who cannot talk through things and forgive me for my shortcomings is to be in a bad situation... I know that being out of and away from that is better for me. But it is the rejection, the sheer, utter rejection that is eating me up inside. I thought I had found 'the one' but that beautiful feeling of being close to someone slipped through my fingers into the sands of time.

So I've taken a good look at my motivations for wanting to be friends with my ex. The motivation has been a hope that in some small way he would acknowledge that I am someone he is sorry to have lost. Thus mitigating in a way the rejection. 

I realized that I can't live my life going forward trying to get that acknowledgement from him. I realized that he doesn't value me as a person and I don't need to be waiting for him to do so. I just need to let it go. With that clarity I took to Facebook to un-friend him and most of his family (except the one sister-in-law who loves and supports me). I'm not sure if having a conversation with him about this decision is just another way I would be seeking acknowledgment or not so I'm leaving that decision to another day.

It has been a waste of time and created a misinterpretation of my motives trying to gain that acknowledgement to prove myself worthwhile. But I was persistent because I was trying to get a reaction from him that I expected but wasn't getting.

Something that is becoming clearer is how untrustworthy he was. Trust is built through revealing some of yourself to the other and being vulnerable, you can't trust someone who doesn't reveal anything about what they are thinking, feeling and/or doing.

Anyway it's getting late. Good night internet land.