Tag Archives: growing up

Year Four

4 Oct

One of the weird things I think about constantly is that October 4th used to just be a normal day for me. I lived for 27 years before October 4th was anything I thought about other than to write it on a check or a school paper that happened to be penned on that day. After four years with my mother gone it shocks me how terrified I still get counting down in late September to a day I have no control over.

It’s still just a day; maybe that is the worst part. For the last three years I have worked my schedule to get this day off work so I could find a safe place to be; a place where tears on a hairline trigger weren’t going to be out of place. This morning I went back to my posts from Day One and Year One and was struck by how everything below the surface feels exactly the same and yet I have become an entirely different person all around my grief.

It’s less scary. The sadness feels more purely like sadness now, without the anxiety of how I will get through a moment with her gone. I have gotten through thousands of moments without her now, not because I knew I could but just because I had to. The world doesn’t stop for grief, it barrels forward and at times I have gotten clipped by it when I wasn’t ready for that.

What has changed the most in four years is that I have found myself becoming more and more like her than I think I ever would have if she had been around. It was as if I subconsciously filled in the spaces where I so desperately needed her by doing what she would have done or trying to figure out what she would have said. I look for ways to be her so it feels more like she exists. Everything is for her and it always will be, but that has evolved naturally into doing things for myself too.

In four years I have figured out how to pay bills without her calling me to remind me. I have found a home in great friends and local theatre which I have never stopped being a part of. I find her in theatre every minute I am there and I still see her sweet loving face in the front row like I am six years old again in The Sound of Music singing “the sun has gone to bed and so must I”. I have found a relationship that lets me be independent and strong and I have learned how to not need a man but to simply be with one because I love him. I bought a three family house by myself and navigate being a landlord based largely on what I remember learning from her. I have found a career path in a field I love with a company I feel lucky to be a part of. I am closer with my aunt who steps in as one of my mommy stand ins when I need to talk to a mom.

I see in myself a woman who has a long way to go but I feel proud for maybe the first time ever that I got here with her lessons but not her.

She is still the person I want to talk to the most.

To my mother: You not being here is like living in a strange, dangerous place all alone. Your energy is everywhere and nowhere and I am constantly chasing you. I want to tell you that I miss you every minute because you were extraordinary. You were more than just my mother. You were vibrant and talented and kind and funny and brilliant and passionate and warm and all the things most women spend a lifetime striving to be just one of. Your big red hair and your beautiful smile are missing and I surround myself with photos of you so I can see them. You never gave yourself the credit of knowing how important you were to everyone.

I am terrified more today than ever before that my life moving forward will mean that you are further away.

You never said goodbye to me. I found out after you died that you had given moments to certain people where you said goodbye in your way. I was hurt for a while thinking you hadn’t had a moment like that with me. I was so convinced you would live that I was left paralyzed when you didn’t. Andy once told me that you had pushed me away those final weeks because I was someone you didn’t know how to say goodbye to. Maybe you knew I still needed you, or maybe you knew that you were my best friend. We had spent most of the previous 5 years with each other and you were the most important person in my world. Either way it’s ok that we didn’t have that moment. You left it so that all of our moments exist in a bubble of you living. I still sit in coffee shops and wish we could talk for 8 hours, I walk through cemeteries and talk to you. I pay my car insurance and say, “look mom, I did a thing”.

I try to love like you did and work like you did and sing like you did and cry like you did. I want to do everything with gusto and passion like you. So I will love like love is the only thing worth feeling. I will work like doing my best can always be bigger and my job is an extension of my soul. I will sing at the top of my lungs with the windows down at red lights even when people are looking. I will cry like the world is flooding when I am sad, but especially when I am happy or I see something beautiful.

I miss you. I love you. Thank you for all of it.

Scan 68

Us.

 

 

Advertisements

What My 30 Looks Like

5 Jun

Tomorrow I am turning 30. I think this post is mostly me trying to exist in this moment where I am still 29 but prepared for 30. My twenties felt adequately long and I don’t feel like I missed them or they went too fast or anything like that. I guess I just feel strange to identify myself differently to others as a new decade of age.

Does turning 30 mean I have to become an adult? Does it maybe mean that automatically without a say in the matter that I AM an adult?! Maybe I’m scared that I’m not doing enough or accomplishing enough to be 30. I remember being 14 and thinking that 30 year olds were so mature and adult. At 14 where did I think I would be at the end of my third full decade?

I will look at 30 from where I thought I would be and compare it to where I am.

I thought I would be married. For sure I know I saw myself hitched  with a super hot husband by 30 when I was younger. He had a name like Clifford or Geoffrey and his job was rescuing animals from oil spills but he made a ton of money doing it. I’m not sure it was ever explained to me back then how salaries worked for different careers. Plus, it’s my fantasy, so I am responsible for setting the pay grades for these fictional men. Man who washes a baby duck with dish soap: $1 million dollars a year. Now I get super excited when a guy can afford his own taco’s on $1 Taco Tuesday. If he splurges for the extra guacamole for himself I’m floored.

I used to think, “which man will be lucky enough to get a special girl like me?”

Now I think, “who is kind and patient enough to put up with my being a cuckoo nut-job forever?”

I used to think, “I’ll be so happy and lucky to be married.”

Now I think, “I’m so happy and lucky to not be married!”

I used to think, “Having a husband will mean I’m never alone.”

Now I think, “Having a husband will mean I’m never alone… so how will I have time to dance to the Hamilton Cast Recording in my underwear at full volume?!”

I thought I would have kids. At least one or two by now and all very well behaved (don’t make me repeat the part where my fantasy gets to be awesome and unrealistic). My children would mow the lawn and do dishes and we would all play games and read books together and never fight and I would love them so hard they would explode. Now the thought of having kids, let alone multiple kids by this age is HILARIOUS to me. Not for everyone, I know lots of people who are together enough for kids in their twenties, but I forgot to buy toilet paper last week and was peeing and then immediately showering for two whole days, I am not that person. If I had a child now, every stuffed animal they owned would sleep with me in my bed. I would name them all and if my beautiful sweet angel wanted one to play with themselves I wouldn’t want to let them. As a full grown adult, I would be reluctant to share a stuffed children’s toy with my own child, the person I’m supposed to be teaching about sharing. Video games? Those are also for me. Here is a stick, go play with that.

I used to think, “I can’t wait to have kids.”

Now I think, “I should really wait to have kids.”

I used to think, “Having kids will bring me such joy.”

Now I think, “Having kids will bring me so much joy… in like five or six more years. Today this hamburger brought me so much joy.”

I used to think, “I’ll be a great mom.”

Now I think, “I’ll do my best when I become a mom, but dammit am I going to screw them up royally”

I thought I would have an impressive career. Professional chef or veterinarian were my logical choices but anyone who knows me knows that my real dream was to be a sea lion trainer at the aquarium. I would have gone to school, gotten all A’s easily and found a job instantly out of school. I would show up every day and love my job and love Ce-Lion Dion and Cee-Lo-In Green (the sea lions names, obviously). I would be making an easy six figures a year (although money would be no object because my husband is seen on those Dawn commercials scrubbing pelicans, so we are good) and I would be well on my way to becoming Queen Head Trainer. Soon after I believe the next promotion is Queen of all Sea Lions, a job I would have taken quite seriously and accepted with honor and pride.

I am now a writer and bartender. Turns out I love them both more than anything else I’ve ever done. Although I do tire of people asking me what I’m going to do with my life, I know that I wake up every day excited to go to work and my life is my own. I have a flexible schedule, make good money, have fun every day, meet new exciting people and get to express myself on my own terms. It’s really great.

A few weeks ago I was bar tending a business event at work and one of the bosses of the company, an older gentleman (maybe 70’s?) ordered a very specific martini. I always love someone who knows exactly what they love to drink so naturally we were having a pleasant conversation while I mixed. He told me he had been a bartender years ago and said, “Of every job I ever had, that was my favorite. I have always missed it.” I make no qualms about his choice to find security, but the look in his eyes while I peeled his lemon twist was pure admiration and it made me feel good about where I am and how I got here.

I used to think, “I need an impressive job to be successful and happy.”

Now I think, “I need to make sure I pay the bills, beyond that success and happiness are found, for me, in non-conventional jobs.”

I used to think, “I will know what I’m meant to do with my life.”

Now I think, “If I ever stop exploring and learning my life will have no meaning.”

I used to think, “Being a well respected career woman would be nifty.”

Now I think, “I wonder if Cat Fancy Magazine would publish my songs about Ninja Squee?”

I would have tons of awesome friends that I saw all the time. Oh wait, I do.

Nailed it!

I guess I just needed to write this to see that I’m alright. I feel like I can wake up tomorrow and face 30 with gumption. Sure I haven’t done things the way I planned, but some of my plans were misinformed or insane (except the sea lion thing, I still want to be their Queen). If I’m giving myself some credit I can say I have lived in the moment enough to be aware of who I am, who I want to continue to become, what and who is important to me and how to be happy most of the time. Heck, I got to name my cat Pooter with no one objecting and I can eat burritos every day and fart alone in my beautiful apartment. If that isn’t success, I want no part in what is.

The Beast Of Adulthood

5 Oct

Being an adult is hard. I feel like my responsibilities are a game of whack a mole, always hitting one while three more pop up. Feelings of tension and suspense are held throughout my body because there are so many things that people never talk about and that spring up on me like a creepy mustachioed guy in a dark alley.3-ZOO-MULLET

As a little girl I knew about things like rent, groceries, car payments and pet expenses, but for some reason no parent ever sits you down and explains that car insurance is different from health insurance is different from renters insurance. Forget about flood insurance, I assume that won’t be explained to me until I’m in the middle of drowning in a super storm. I should invest in some pool floaties.

I work as hard as a person can; I currently have four bar tending jobs, three freelance websites and a varied number of freelance writing gigs. I still perform comedy consistntly but let’s not factor in money from that because even when I do make some it’s not much (I’m in it for the glamor). I pay my bills, on time and in full. My only debt is student loans that don’t add up to even a fraction of what most people have so I don’t complain. I’ve never abused credit cards, gone on expensive vacations or gambled. So how is it possible that I feel like I can never catch up?

I have recently discovered the horror/magic that is Price Right as a way to save money.

  • Horror because:
  1. The meat and produce is questionable but undeniably cheap
  2. The whole building smells like old rice and chicken
  3. I’m almost certain the walls are closing in or the stacks of cheap product are moments away from crushing me
  4. The people there give Wal-Mart regulars good competition
  5. I may have been briefly molested in the bean/canned good aisle
  • Magic because:
  1. The questionable meat and produce is delicious when hidden in a casserole
  2. I got my whole cart-load for $43 dollars (when I normally spend $100)
  3. The people there inspire the most incredible characters for my comedy
  4. I am forced to remember my own cloth bags which helps save the planet
  5. I may have been briefly molested in the bean/canned good aisle

This stuff is never covered in high school.

On top of being responsible for bills I still have to juggle being socially, physically and emotionally healthy when the powers that be are working against me.

Socially it is harder and harder to meet people post-schooling because there aren’t as many new people your age around you. I play on a kickball league, actively participate in local theatre, write and perform with a sketch/improv troupe, go to local political and social events through the magazines and network from behind the bar. Yet somehow in my efforts to find a full-time day job people say, “you have to know someone”. I KNOW EVERYONE… IT ISN’T WORKING. I’m well spoken, I don’t smell like warm car pork, my teeth are always brushed, my clothes are lovely and I don’t speak openly about my frequent gas so what am I missing here?

Physically my body works against me more and more as I age. This is a well known fact but it doesn’t make it any less depressing when it starts happening. Don’t get me wrong, I have a rockin’ bod (am I hip enough to use that term?) but I have been eating a lot of leafy greens and lean proteins lately to keep that true. As a kid I didn’t even know the term, “lean protein” and now I probably say it once a day. Salads are awesome, but less and less so when they invade your subconscious and turn your poo odd colors (odd colors for poo is ANY color that isn’t in the brown family). I still remember what it felt like to run and run all day long in my yard, feeling like I had energy to spare for the monkey bars and tree climbing. Now I have to use sad things like “couch to 5k phone app” which in the first few weeks proves that running for 60 seconds is wretched and later that running for a whole five minutes is doable but still wretched.

treadmill love 3treadmill love 2

Training smart is multitasking

Training smart is multitasking

Emotionally I’m a mess. My parents really did a number on me; I know this because my therapist feels I should consider two sessions a week instead of just one (he claims it is because I am making so much progress but I know I’m kooky). I also know this because everyone’s parents mess them up somehow, you just don’t feel the major effects until you are stressed about all the aforementioned “adult” things. Once anxiety closes in, the 1992 barbie convertible crash on the stairs becomes the reason why I have unpaid parking tickets.

The thing that scares me the most is that I’m pretty sure I’m doing all this stuff right, and I still feel lost. I constantly meet people who talk to me about the crazy drugs they do, their drinking problem, their rental eviction and I think, “okay, I sleep with a stuffed animal, but I’m alright.”

I like that I am quirky and fun in a lot of the same ways I was when I was a kid and I know that I am responsible enough of the time to be a decent adult. Scratch that, I’m doing well, but in all honesty I’m not ready to just be a grown-up and I am fine if that day never comes. Maybe there is no right way, and the trick to being an adult is letting the entire concept go and living sensibly each moment that I can. In this moment I’m going to eat peanut butter off a knife for dinner with coco puffs for dessert all while on my couch watching Star Trek (Next Generation of course). I think 8-year-old me would be crazy impressed.

None Of Your Business Questions

21 Feb

In my day to day I am aware of the questions that are off limits; they sit there begging to be asked for the sake of curiosity but I pass them up because I know rude. For example, nowadays you can almost never ask a woman when her due date is. I will speak on this one from a personal trip I took to NYC a while back when on two separate occasions people older and heavier than me offered me their seat on the subway (needless to say that kick started my diet). Those passengers were just trying to be polite but intentions could not cure the sting. Most people know that weight is an off limits topic and outrage is common when I tell this story. So why is it then that other personal matters are not left ungrilled by outsiders?

One question I take real issue with is the many versions of, “when are you getting married?” I am an unmarried twenty-seven year old who has seen several serious relationships and a scattering of less serious dating.  Somehow the topic of conversation, even with complete strangers just meeting me, always leads to my “inevitable” nuptials. At the end of a recent relationship I was swarmed with people asking me what I consider to be NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS QUESTIONS:

  • “Oh, so he wasn’t the one?” — obviously not if we are breaking up… thanks for asking.
  • “He didn’t want to get married?” or “You didn’t want to get married?” — it is possible that one of us did and that is why we broke up so it’s awesome to talk about it now. It is also possible that neither of us did; either way this is diving into my personal relationship in a way that feels like bad touching.
  • “So do you think you will marry the next person you date?”– umm, I don’t know him yet so it’s tough to say. I’ll work on finding the answer to that one so when I meet him I can let him know that I have already decided we will be together forever (this is what leads to women looking like lunatics).
  • “Do you think you will ever get married?” — this is a lose-lose for me; if I say yes I have revealed that it is something I want but haven’t gotten right yet and if I say no I have to answer the very personal, “Why not?” that would follow.

Here is the problem, society has not caught up with itself yet. People are getting married later and later in life but the standards in the minds of some are still caught up in the old traditions. The habits of posing these queries are seeded deeper than the knowledge that times have changed.

It is all mindless questioning, or the classic idea that not everything that comes into the head should be slated to come out of the mouth. As an extreme instance of people who just don’t know what they are doing as they blurt things out: I have a friend who lost a baby during pregnancy. She and her husband were going through one of the most painful things a couple can endure and she was handling it with more strength and grace than I ever could have imagined. She chose to talk to me about it openly, with a rawness that made me see her as the warrior she never knew was. They are trying to move forward with their grief but still must live with it daily. Now imagine what she must endure when someone who doesn’t know her situation asks her if she and her husband will ever have kids.

Why is it that on some topics people know better and with others they ask so free and loose? What if for every NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS QUESTION I fired back with another more blatant NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS QUESTION? Let’s play that out and see:

  • “So when do you think you’ll get married?”
  • Response: “So when do you think you’ll start exercising?”
  • “Do you think you’ll ever have children?”
  • Response: “Do you think you’ll ever have a real job?”
  • “Why hasn’t he popped the question yet?”
  • Response: “Why haven’t you and your spouse considered divorce?”
  • “You’ve been together so long, have you even had the talk?”
  • Response: “You’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember, have you ever even tried dieting?”
  • “Do you ever wonder if you should have married so-and-so instead of breaking up?”
  • Response: “Do you ever wonder if you should have worn a wedding dress with shoulder pads instead of something classy?”

My point is that the former questions are no more or less inappropriate than the latter but somehow these are the ones that slip past the rude radar and come flying out.

Social media has not helped the situation either; it is simpler to say anything with the protection of a computer and distance between two people. I cannot count the number of times I have seen a friend post something nice about their relationship or life and some moron will comment, “Why don’t I see a ring yet? Tell him to get on it! LOL!” First of all, on a separate note: adding “LOL” to a comment online does not soften the blow of stupidity, I am still getting hit with that. Next, have those guilty of this never considered that this could be a real point of contention in the relationship and now the can of worms is open? I can guess that at least once (and that is estimating way on the low end here) one party in the relationship has shown this comment to the other to prove their point that it is time they made that move.

“Look honey, Aunt Suzie thinks an engagement is long overdue” has never resulted in two people living happily ever after. That either plays out with a huge fight about why we don’t let Aunt Suzie with a “z” make our life choices or the pressure gets to be too much and someone makes the choice to get married due to outside influence rather than personal needs. I have seen an epidemic of people my age getting married to the wrong person and I think a lot of times it is a result of external expectations.

My newest paint creation...

My newest paint creation…

Yes, I am a twenty-seven year old female with no husband and no children. This is a result of choices I have made and which I stand behind. I love having the freedom to do comedy every night of the week. I love that I danced to funk music for hours on a Wednesday night and I look back fondly on my relationships but have no regrets. For the sake of disclosure I will admit I do want to get married, but to the right partner, not just at the imaginary right time. I’m in no hurry to force something, but even if I were, my timeline is mine to own and talk about when I please, not for anyone else to prod into unsolicited.

The Ballad of a Beta Male

Because someone has to be the sidekick.

Laxman Prajapati

WordPress Blog

disfuctionalunit

Social satire from the perspective of a Dysfunctional Unit

Riccale's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

harkthebluebird

happiness is relative

Adulthood Is Awful

Ugh being a grownup sucks.

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

Erin Swanson

FREELANCE WRITER AND EDITOR

Insights, Hindsights and Technicalities

The Official Blog of Comedian Jerry Morgan

thebitchytruth

I've met the truth, and she's a bitch.

Stuff I Can't Put On Facebook

A true, uncensored day in my life.

jessseeker

Random ramblings about the stuff and the thing...

Learning to be Funny

Poop? Am I hilarious yet?

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: