Day 9: What are 5 passions you have?

  1. Truth. I don’t like grey area and I don’t like games. If you want to know how I feel, ask. I’ll tell you. Lying pisses me off more than anything and liars are weeded out of my life like the dandelions in my garden. I have a lot of patience, but I don’t fuck around with lies. Hurt me with the miserable truth and I’ll love and respect you forever, but lie and you’re dead to me.
  2. Knitting. It’s a guilty pleasure because I rarely have the time to turn my yarn into anything but silky soft loops of therapeutic peace on my needles. I have half a toy elephant dress finished and my baby nieces are growing at the speed of light. My Dumpling had to go with her daddy last month and it always makes her a little anxious at first. I knit her a bunny with a tiny heart on it’s chest that we spray with my perfume when she has to go. It’s a snuggly soft reminder that home is just a state of mind, a smell or a person. The bunny goes a long way towards making her feel right at home, right away… with her dad. Knitting is magic at your fingertips, all you need are a few sticks and some string.
  3. Writing. In the last year I’ve written three times as much as before, with most of it private or contracted. The work I’ve turned in professionally has earned me more financially this year as well. That’s not what has stuck with me though. I find it so much more satisfying that I wrote my own self out of feeling like warm trash this year. In yelling at the world through a keyboard, I taught myself to let shit go and move on. I love the entertainment of it all, but the therapy of it all is why I began writing in the first place. Sorry to all of you along for this crazy ride, and thank you for your shared perspective.
  4. Love. I love out loud in ways that make me painfully uncomfortable on occasion. I still wouldn’t have it any other way. I smile at strangers, I help people who are grumpy… it’s just who I am. It comes from my adorably sweet grandma Elaine and my equally spicy red-headed firecracker Grandma Afton, both of whom taught me to love the whole world and everything in it, to my toes. Sure, sometimes it ends badly and I end up hurt again… but at the end of the day, purely because I refused to give up, I like to believe my life will have been full of more love than I knew what to do with because I never let fear stop me from having faith.
  5. Gardening. My beautiful obsession with the dirt has gotten me through things I never thought I would survive. Losing my son, my house going through foreclosure (twice), an epic water leak in the yard, countless cheating boyfriends, 5 years of celibacy, having a baby alone from birth, poverty, depression, etc… You name it, I’ve coped with everything by putting on a headlamp and pulling weeds into the wee hours of the morning. Some of the worst and most insurmountable pain can be soothed by digging potatoes and beets. Some of my greatest heartache has only been kept company by tomato plants in need of staking, peppers in need of picking and long, quiet rows waiting for a fresh blanket of straw. When I’m at my breaking point and in desperate need of a reminder to keep myself grounded… I take my shoes off and stick my bare feet in the dirt.

round

What are you passionate about?

Passion-Quote-696x459


Day 8: What is your dream job?

2016

To be a financially successful farmer.

I really hate leaving the house, if the truth be told. I’d be blissfully happy to work from home and avoid people even more than I already do. I work in a small group that I manage so it’s essentially my way or the highway in my life, with the exception of my garden.

I love the messy wetness of it all. The dirty organization that makes the stress of my life, melt away. I like a headlamp and mosquito repellent far more than perfume and diamonds and much prefer a night under the stars than in a bar.

It just isn’t lucrative. At ALL. When I calculate the cost of canning jars, lids, and time spent … I could have saved money buying all the same things from the crunchy hippie store down the street from me.

Peace is priceless though, and I dread going into a summer I know I’m not going to plant a garden. I have new houses all around me who are full of tourists turned residents. They buy salt licks to lure the deer to their backyards, which happen to neighbor my garden fence. My fence has been defeated and it’s a year of rebuilding the garden in a new place much further away from the salt licks and foot traffic.

Heirloom tomatoes are my favorite and I have a few new varieties to grow this year, along with my old favorites: Black Krim, Thornburn’s Terra Cotta, Jaune Flamme, Jersey Devil, Brandywine, Aunt Ruby’s German Green and an odd cherry tomato here and there along with a tomatillo or two.

Once you’ve picked a warm, ripe tomato from a plant you’ve been nurturing since February… you taste life differently.

Ohhhh how I wish I could earn a living growing them. I’d quit my job tomorrow.

Mmmm


Day 7: What is the hardest thing you’ve ever experienced?

I’ve been dreading this prompt since I got the list of questions. I think how you interpret what’s difficult, determines what comes to mind when you consider the hardest thing EVER. I knew from the moment I read the list of prompts for this 30 days of oversharing, what my answer would be.

I lost my best friend to suicide in November. His mother lives in the south and his husband was out of town the night he hung himself. He left a note with my number as his next of kin. His marriage was on the rocks, his husband was cheating… and he had just driven me home after an endoscopy that I didn’t want to tell anyone about. We had joked about being each other’s emergency contact after he got mad at me for thinking I was going to be able to drive myself home from an invasive medical procedure.

In the grand scheme of things, I can understand that I was the obvious choice and as much as those moments are burned into my heart, I have found some small comfort that he knew I would be there for him in the last, worst moments.

I was notified first and lost my mind. I called my favorite man and broke into a million pieces as he talked me out of an emotional breakdown. He comforted me while I fought off the unimaginable details I had left to handle. I didn’t want to be left holding my own hands, walking through the worst hell I never imagined, but there was simply no other choice. I think part of me wanted him to tell me I didn’t have to do any of the next, worst things, but he didn’t. He told me I had to do all of it, and that he knew I could and would help me in any way I needed. I will love him forever for carrying me that night, when I had no choice but to get up and face the horror of it all and did not know how.

I had to call and tell Anthony’s mother that he was gone. Singularly the worst phone call I’ve ever had to make. Motherhood is a bond that connects us all as family when a child dies. He wasn’t a child anymore, but when you’re a mama they don’t ever stop being your baby.

The night that followed was one I wish I could forget. The day after was even worse.

His death was unattended and I drove his husband to identify and see his body. Waiting for them to take us back, I knew that the worst moment in my life was unfolding and no amount of tears and grief could stop it. I prayed there was a stranger under that sheet and the whole thing was just an enormous mistake.

It wasn’t.

He was silent, cold and unmoving. I put my hand on his chest and was devastated by the overnight change in a body I was so familiar with hugging me warmly. I’m still having dreams about how horrifying it was to feel him so cold and hard. His husband ripped the sheet off and there were signs of trauma I wish neither of us saw. It was the stuff nightmares are made of, and I still can’t believe some of the things we all managed to survive that day.

I did not attend his funeral as he was flown home and buried in his family plot. Something about seeing him go into the ground was more than I could bear, but I think if I hadn’t seen him with my own eyes, I may have spent a lifetime pretending he were on a long vacation, just out of service… just gone for a while.

Suicide is devastatingly permanent. If you’re feeling like harming yourself please consider the people around you that will carry the weight of not being able to help you, forever. Reach out. Call anyone. See a therapist. Please….do it for your mother, your best friend and yourself. Depression can be debilitating and isolating to the point you forget how to ask, but suicide doesn’t solve any of those problems, it just eliminates the chance of anything ever getting better.

He’s resting in peace, heckling the angels and flirting with Saint Peter. I know heaven got a lot brighter the day the world got a lot darker for the rest of us, but I’d give anything to have him back.

suicide


Day 6: What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

It’s a shit day in the grand scheme of things. I wish this prompt came at a time I were feeling grateful, happy or hopeful. I sent an honest text and prompted another verbal slaughter from the man that was lodged in my heart for far longer than he deserved. Wiping tears away, I forwarded them to my Fancy and she said it best.

F- Ouch.

So forgive me while my bleeding heart drips on the keys as I type. I’m not happy and it’s incredibly hard to wipe the grief off today.

What makes me happy?

  1. My Fancy Best Girl. I regularly refer to her as my red headed security blanket and when I count my blessings I count her a dozen times, then a dozen more. This has been the hardest year and when my whole world tilts on its axis and I’m drowning, she reminds me who I am and why there’s not a soul in the world worth sacrificing that for.
  2. Exercise. This one will forever shock me, but I have finally found the magic behind sweating to the point of nausea. I like the sting of sore muscles that are getting stronger and if you can’t sleep, nothing knocks your miserable ass out like a few miles on the elliptical machine. CrossFit was too expensive and I had to quit, but it’s only inspired me to workout more at home. Misery loves sweat, trust me.
  3. Books. I stopped reading for myself when the Dumpling was born and it’s only in the last 6 months that I’ve picked them back up again. I’m too busy for a vacation and my personal life has been nothing short of prison, so Harry Potter it is. I forgot how much peace you can find when you escape in a few hundred well-worn  pages.
  4. Music. Yeah… some of it’s crippling and the tears running down my cheeks say this may not actually be one that should make the list right now, but even when you’re crying you’re at least feeling SOMETHING. Numb is worse than sad and there’s definitely no shortage of sadness motivating my playlist. I love showtunes, Top 40 and 90’s love songs, but Etta James is saving my soul these days.
  5. Mr. Dick Appointment. Bless his smoking hot heart, sometimes what you really need is a hot youngster to fuck the devastation and memories right out of you. He’s like an animated sex toy at my beck and call. I adore my vibrator but it can’t rip my clothes off and pull my hair. I sent him a text the other night, letting him know I was leaving the door unlocked and going to bed. I was tired, inspired and hopeful. My alarm clock will forever disappoint me after that. Lord have mercy… he reminds me exactly why I’m single and worth so much more than feeling sad. I wish I could clone him and hand him out.

What makes me happy, changes regularly. What makes me sad, has been the same damn man for too long. My children keep me going, my family sustains me and this list of favorites keeps me smiling when I’m more inclined to cry.

 


Day 5: List 10 things you would tell your 16 year old self, if you could.

  1. Don’t ever smoke a cigarette. It’s the grossest, nastiest habit you can ever tempt fate with. Best case, you get stinky, yellow teeth and black scum in your lungs. Worst case, you die. Don’t gamble with your life, because you only get one.
  2. Don’t cheat. Ever. Not on a test, not on your partner or yourself. Your word is your bond and if you care so little that you’re willing to flush your integrity? Nothing good that will come from that. There’s a reason they say that cheaters never prosper.
  3. Don’t lie. Why lie when the truth will do? It always comes out in the end and if you’re a piece of garbage, even the best lies can’t sell a bunch of trash. The truth doesn’t just set you free, the truth eliminates the people from your life that don’t deserve to belong there.
  4. Learn to ask for help. It doesn’t make you incompetent or needy, it makes you human and if you’re going to be offering help, you need to learn enough grace to accept it as well.
  5. Love your body, regardless of what you wish it looked like. You were given the perfect vehicle to get you through anything in this lifetime and cellulite is just thigh dimples. You’re not fat, in fact you will look back on your body at this point in life and miss it with your whole soul.
  6. Embrace your sexuality. Never dull your spirit for someone who doesn’t shine as brightly. Ask for the things you want and need. If your partner is intimidated because you can, they aren’t worth worrying about. There are literally millions of men and women that wish they had someone who could. Don’t waste 5 minutes on a chicken unless you’re intending to roast and eat it.
  7. Chase your future, not a relationship. The more money, success and personal goals you attain, the more your choices will be your own. Boys come and go, investments are forever. I promise you, he is NOT your true love and boys only really turn into men at 35 so don’t waste opportunities on temporary dick.
  8. Don’t cut or dye your own hair. Ever. Get out a skein of yarn and blindly cut 3 pieces. Now compare them… are they the exact same length? No. Take that as a valuable lesson and do not ruin your hair. Dying your hair with boxed hair color from the store is the worst and least expensive permanent bad idea you can have for a while. Be the one girl who listens, saves and never has those awful monotone hair color phases in the family photo albums. Especially if you want to be a redhead. Oy.
  9. Don’t be afraid of aging. Botox is for your forties, not your twenties and if you are focused more on being attractive than successful, your priorities need work, not your face.
  10. Birth control is as important as drinking enough water. Use both with reckless abandon. Your future will only be better if you’re protected and hydrated.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: WEAR SUNSCREEN. YOU CAN RECOVER FROM THE STUPIDITY OF CHILDHOOD BUT CANCER IS FOREVER. APPLY, APPLY, REAPPLY AND WEAR A HAT AND LONG SLEEVES. THE SKIN YOU HAVE NOW WILL BE THE SAME SKIN THAT SAYS “I DO”, THE SAME THAT WILL ROCK YOUR FIRST AND LAST BABIES, AND CARRY YOU THROUGH ALL THE GOOD AND BAD.

Love yourself enough to be your biggest hero. ♥