The Journey Begins

“When things are bad, it’s the best time to reinvent yourself.” – George Lopez.

There you are! And here I am. Which makes this a connection. I have an audience. Even if it’s only you. I appreciate that you are here…and following these words, and thoughts. I like to tell stories. I like to talk through the worst of times. I also like to laugh until my stomach hurts. I like to be shocked. Not creepy-weird shocked, just good ol’ shock humor. The progressive, blunt, intellectual, wise, brave, humble, based on facts kind of humor. Sometimes that can be shocking. And that makes it even funnier. We’ll get into that more as we get to know one another.

I like to be descriptive. I like to describe the ENTIRE scene, in order to describe and share the emotion and bring you inside my head. Always. It must always be emotional with me. I say that half jokingly, half with a sense of cynical and sarcastic humor, and half with a very serious, dumping-my-flaws-on-you-at-first-meeting-confession type admission. Yes, that’s 3 halves. If you’re going to sit here and correct me and judge me, you’re going to exhaust yourself. I trip over my words, I explain too much, I fuck up idioms and I suck at math. Soooo, it’s best if you just try to find the comedy. Patience will get you far. And if you’re lucky I might even make you shed a tear here and there (remember, I’m emotional).

I have started this blog for a few reasons. I love to share. Writing is therapy. I’ve always believed that I can express myself on paper with such accurately emotional words and descriptions. People get what I’m trying to say when I write. I don’t repeat, stumble, ramble, etc. and if I do, I can catch it. I am a journalist major and even though my professional career dabbled in the teaching of the language, my constant side passion has always been writing. Although if you were to ask anyone in my inner circles, everyone would say I don’t have a problem talking. Oh I can chat. And keep thinking of another thing to add…. I have learned to shut up and LISTEN. Sometimes my insecurity kicks in and I think, no one is really, truly interested in what I have to say anyways. You start to get that feeling when you’re told that you talk too much. I was told as a child by a few adults in my family, “If you don’t have anything intelligent to say, don’t join the conversation. These people have different (in other words, “more interesting”) things they want to discuss”. Ouch. Why do those kind of comments stick with us, define us, throughout our lives?

So in hindsight, I guess it made sense that I found my voice while writing. I resisted it in school. Hated the long essays I had to write, or that my mom wrote for me and had me copy at 3am in my own handwriting. Hated it because I was am was (fuck it) AM a procrastinator. I was a horrible student. Never did my work. Total and utterly helpless “social butterfly”. But when my mom would find out, she’d do anything to make me complete an assignment, study for a test, etc. She was stressed working full time, living pay check to pay check, and I can hear her over happy hour with her sister, “I’ll kick her ass before I let her fail…. ” She would absolutely go off on me for about 4 days. Telling me how disappointed she was with me for waiting until the last minute…. and then she would read the book(s), write the paper and wake me up at 3am to copy it in my own handwriting. I would cry. She would yell. It would be a knock-down-drag-out fight every time. I hated it. She would use words in my papers that were way too advanced and intellectual for me to understand, pronounce and spell. I’d cry more. She’d tell me it was my own god damn fault and that next time I should do my homework on time! She had a point.

So I grew up hating writing. And then realized that, thanks to those papers and Mom’s threats, I actually learned HOW to write, even though I barely passed any other subject in high school. And then I majored in Mass Communications with a focus on Journalism. Go figure. Even after majoring in a field that focused on writing, I’ve never really put faith and energy into writing professionally. My creativity has gone down the path of photography, teaching English and media – but nothing directly in WRITING, journaling, blogging.

I’ve experienced some traumatic life experiences over the past 20 years and maybe, just maybe, sharing my experiences will help someone in their own struggle, grief, regret and help them along on their path of lifelong decisions. I blogged on a private site while my mother was going through cancer treatment. It was therapeutic. It still is. I was told by a few readers that they appreciated feeling as though they were there with us, as I invited them into our intimate moments through my words.

My mom passed 9 years ago. I’m grieving. You never really stop grieving a parent. I don’t know how one would. The loss of a parent is almost a physical pain. It changes who are you are. It changes where you were going. At any age. It’s part of life, but it’s also one of the things that makes being human so painful, as well as beautiful. There are quotes that remind us that life can not be fully enjoyed if we don’t also experience loss. It’s how we appreciate the details, they say. I guess? Maybe I’m stubborn. I am having a hard time appreciating my mom not being here. She was supposed to watch my daughters grow up with me. I crave her. I long for her. It hurts. And it always will. I have learned to live with the heaviness of her loss.

Even if you simply don’t speak to a parent, it pulls at a part of your spirit and is an intensely emotional loss. If you have issues with a parent, it messes with the rest of your life. No matter how much you try to push past it, it’s just there. It’s becomes an unending ache in your heart that you are constantly trying to overcome and push through, without much success. It’s so cliche but the act of writing absolutely sorts and organizes my thoughts. I suffer from anxiety. Writing helps. It’s no surprise that my grief manifested into anxiety following my mom’s death. Around 4 months after she passed I would find myself waking up at 3am, every night, with a knot in my stomach. It was panic. It was feeling like I had just received the worst news ever. That kick-in-the-gut feeling where you go into fight or flight mode. Every night. 3am. It can be exhausting. And then it starts to happen at different times, with various triggers. Pretty much EVERY thing triggers the anxiety now.

So I write. If I see it on paper or on the screen, it comforts me. Seeing the words, makes it seem manageable. Yes, that’s how I feel. I see it. It has a voice. I feel hopeful that I can answer my problems with solutions….by continuing to write. I can find my way. I can continue on my journey and grieve, feel, release, find strength or …….. just make a ton of fucked up jokes that just make it seem bearable.

As the George Lopez quote says, “When things are bad, it’s the best time to reinvent yourself.” I am on a journey to reinvent myself. Through spilling my life out here, to you. I hope I connect with others in a way that helps them. I hope I find myself soon….as I get closer to that beautiful golden age of 5-0. Yep. That’s coming up in just over a year.

There is a young girl within this shell of a human I call, “me”, who’s not sure it matters what the birth certificate says, as long as she can find herself soon and start really enjoying the upcoming chapters. Life has been hard for a while. Life was good. Then it fucking sucked. And then I floated for a bit…with dreams and visions. But it came to an end following various circumstances. And life became a challenge again. A struggle. So today I’m trying to survive and push and live and grow and mature and improve….did I mention survive? Every day I try to survive. There are parts of life that must be lived, experienced, accomplished — I’m doing the best I can with what I have. But I am on my journey to be “accomplished”. We will venture into all of this as I turn the pages, peel the layers, get high and blog or whatever. I will get to each detail. Because I must find my path now. I hope while I write and think, think and write, it adds something to someone else’s life out there. That would be an amazing connection. Be well. Let’s do this.

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