A thin veil

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My umbrella could not protect me

from the rain that would come.

Like a tsunami of emotion,

sadness hit me from all sides,

threatening to pull me into its current

and drown me in its torrents.

Some days the emotion feels heavy, oppressive,

like wax dripping on canvas,

and the thin veil of my resolve is not enough

to shield me from the pain of loss.

wax on canvas

But on the good days,

I can bathe in the colors of that storm.

I am the black and white character

wading into a flushed prism of good memories

and I no longer feel alone.

Although you are not physically here with me,

your brush still adds a splash of life to my canvas

and those hues make me feel connected again.

How good it feels

to walk through the reminiscence of you.

 (image credit)

Do you have something in a Birkenstock?

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Fairy tales miss the mark when it comes to really telling a story.  As I child, I would rush through the illustrated pages to get to the part when the Prince planted that life-renewing kiss on the Princess’ lips or the little glass slipper was delicately placed on the foot of Cinderella and they found their happily ever after.

glass slipper

 

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At that young age I didn’t realize that the true depth of that fable should have been in the whole story and not just the ending.  Along the way the malleable minds of youth should have been introduced to the somewhat imperfect side of fairy tales to prepare us a little more for reality.  I’m all for happy endings.  I know many couples who have found theirs.  But I also know many people who have kissed a lot of frogs and are still waiting for that Disney-worthy moment before the curtain closes.

What we missed as children was the real meat of the relationships in those fairy tales.  Nothing in those woven myths gave us cause to concern ourselves with what happens after the shoe fits.  In the animated versions of those fictional accounts, the music comes to its crescendo and we are left surfing on the tsunami of perfect love.   But what if Sleeping Beauty just wanted another eight hours of sleep before she stepped back into a life she was trying to avoid?   What if Cinderella didn’t want the shoe to fit anymore but was too afraid to speak up?

We have to remember there are a lot of other shoes out there.  Just because that glass slipper fit like a glove doesn’t mean we should feel obligated to wear it and put ourselves through a great deal of discomfort in the process.  Sure, we’ve all heard the saying “if the shoe fits” but if the shoe does fit and you don’t like it, don’t be afraid to ask for another shoe.

It was never this difficult when I was a child

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“It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” ~ Steve Jobs

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“NO” is the most common word to ever come out of a child’s mouth.  It’s an instinctual response to any question or suggestion for anyone under the age of three and that response is never second-guessed.  So why now, when we have the ability to reason and make an informed decision, based on what is best for us, do we find it so hard to utter that simple word, and mean it?

“No” is a complete sentence.  It does not require any justification, nor does it need an explanation.  It is a succinct and pithy response that needs no further words to make its meaning understood.

For us to procure as much happiness as we can from each day we are afforded in this lifetime, we must learn to make our decisions by putting our happiness first.  We must set boundaries for ourselves and embrace and listen to the most important voice we will ever hear – our own.  It’s human instinct to want to please other people by saying yes, but how much of ourselves are we giving up by agreeing so quickly and not allowing that inner voice to offer its opinion.

If the answer in your heart is ‘no’, find a gentle way of not accepting the offer or challenge and let that three-year old voice in your head speak for both of you.

 

 

 

 

“Judy, Judy, Judy.” Cary Grant may not have said it, but I will

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“Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” ~ Judy Garland

~~

I spent much of my youth trying to be the person everyone would like.  I was never ANY version of myself because I wasted too much time concerned with what others thought I should be instead of becoming the person I was meant to be.   Eventually I was able to break the cycle of trying to please everyone.  I stopped feigning interest in things I had no real passion for and focused more on me.  I slowly distanced myself from the users and spent far less time crossing the Great Lakes for people who wouldn’t jump over a puddle for me.

In my wisdom and older age I have learned a few things that I really like about myself.   I speak three languages – English, sarcasm and profanity – and I am fluent in all three.  I love to write.  I don’t just do it because I enjoy it.  I write because words bleed from my brain and my head feels like it will explode if I don’t expel the stories trapped inside.  And I have learned to write without needing anyone else’s opinion or permission.  What flows from my brain to my fingertips is what I publish on this blog and I’m very proud of the words I have shared.

I enjoy my solitude and am happy with the company I keep, whether I am home alone or spending time with friends and family.  I love to cook and it doesn’t matter if it is a table for one, I will take the time to create a dining experience and not just ‘have some food’.

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(my dinner last night)

Music is a big part of my life and my playlist spans the recording alphabet from Abba to Zeppelin.  I could live without television but I could never have a life without movies.  I will still cross oceans for people but I am much more selective when it comes to deeming who is worthy of that epic journey before I captain the ship.

I am the person I am now because I fought to become this version of myself.  I stopped letting outside voices influence my decisions and started hearing the only voice that should matter – mine.  It took a while to get here but I have enjoyed the journey and am really liking the view.  Thanks Judy, I like your advice very much.

The promise of you

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Polysyllabic Profundities:

I love looking at the stats page to see what people are reading from my blog. This post is at the top of the list today, for some reason, and I had forgotten all about it. It was written two years ago when Romantic Mondays were something I always looked forward to. I hope you click over to have a read.

Originally posted on polysyllabic profundities:

Thank you Edward Hotspur – you have inspired me to think deeply and more often about romance.  Cheers to you.

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The Promise of You

I know you’re out there somewhere, searching for me as much as I’m searching for you.  You may already know me, but maybe we’ve never met.  You know that I’m sensitive, something that not many others know about me because I don’t like to feel vulnerable.  You appreciate my quick wit and you love the fact that I scream at the television during football games.  You value the fact that I’m more tomboy than girl and I can be ready to go in 20 minutes, from shower to door.  You smile at the thought of me choosing to spend too much money on a good bottle of wine rather than settle for a cheap imitation, and you know I practice the same theory in relationships.

Perhaps our…

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You can still fail at the things you didn’t want to do

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Facebook, while possibly single-handedly delaying the writing of my novel, is a wealth of, not only useless information but, rare gems that are hidden amongst the idiocy.

I will not overwrite this post because the speech that Jim Carrey gives to a graduating class speaks volumes and it is something I hope everyone has a chance to listen to, very closely, and take to heart.

Several lines in his speech truly tugged on the strings of my reality.  It really is time to ask the universe for my dreams.  It is time to stop making decisions out of fear, disguised as practicality.

Finding the courage to walk away

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“It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on, it takes a lot of strength to let go.” ~ J.C. Watts

~~

I was born a “fixer” and until recently I had spent a great deal of my time taking on other people’s burdens as my own.  But something shifted in the paradigm of my reality when I got divorced.  I realized I was spending too much of my time trying to change a life that was not mine to change.  I was hanging on to problems that certainly had impact on my life but I had no power to solve.  I needed to let go.  But I was so stuck in the pattern of my life that I didn’t know how to let go.  I wanted so desperately for things to work out and engage in the life I honestly thought was possible.  But it was not to be.  As much as I believed things would come around, they never did.

It takes a monumental amount of courage to walk away from a relationship that you have put your heart and soul into but a relationship has to give you what you need for it to be successful.  By its very definition, a relationship is a form of communication.  Wants and needs are expressed and, in a healthy relationship, are reciprocated without condition.  Such was not the case for me and I knew it.  I felt it deep within myself but it took me a long time to admit it because to do that would have made me feel like I had failed.  But I had only failed myself by not seeing the signs sooner and listening to that nagging inner voice.

I guess the third time was the charm for me because I finally found the nerve to put my needs first and, in finally letting go, I gave myself permission to define myself according to my needs and not the needs of anyone else.  The strength to hang on was easy, it was my comfort zone, but finding the strength to let go made me feel eviscerated, vulnerable and it was not something I was accustomed to.

I wanted to write this post because I have friends in the situation I found myself.  I want them to know that letting go is not always the easy choice, but it may be the right choice, for them.   It may be hard to listen to that petulant voice in your head, but that voice is the most sincerely honest advice you will ever get.

let it go

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Don’t ever give up easily.  If it is worth the fight, than fight, fight like your life depends on it.  But if you know in your heart that nothing will ever change, let go.  Let go like your life depends on it.