What It’s Like: Medical Visits Alone

Have you ever been to the doctor all by yourself? Maybe for a check up or for something more serious?

In my opinion, it’s not the greatest feeling in the world, but it’s one that I know very, very well.

I can’t remember how I felt, as a child, when my momma would take me to the doctor. I am willing to bet, however, that I wasn’t as grateful as I should have been.

Going to the doctor for any reason at all kind of sucks. I am very thankful to have easy access to medical care, but is there a place I can go get easy access to the emotional support that I sometimes need before or after an appointment?

The obvious answer is to ask a friend or family member, but who wants to be a big ass whiner and ask for company to go to the doctor? Especially when you’re old enough to drive yourself and have the funds to pay your own co-pay?

Today, I went to the “doc in a box” to get my insect bites checked out. Thankfully, my foot did not fall off over night and the doctor said I was fine and sent me on my way with some itch medicine.

As I sat there, just looking around, trying to read the pamphlets without actually touching one (because flu season), I realized that I wasn’t feeling sad or lonely. I felt like I was doing something routine by going to the doctor alone.

This realization made me feel an odd mix of relief (yay for not feeling lonely) and concern (have I lost touch with a part of my emotions? Is another one of my interpersonal needs slipping away?).

I was called back into the examination room before I could figure it out and I still have no idea, as of this entry.

What do you think?

Until tomorrow, my friends…

3 Songs I am Embarrassed to Admit I Love

Do you ever sing in the car?

Like REALLY belt it out?

I sing in the car like my life and driving abilities depend on my singing. The music is usually very loud to drown out my own voice, but I wonder if I might have a really great singing voice. I’ve never sang in front of people, but even without the affirmation from other people, I know that I am no Whitney Houston.

But, maybe I could be a Miley Cyrus?

Part of my desire in creating this blog is to develop more comfort with myself through sharing more things about myself, with the world, metaphorically naked, for all the world to see.

So, without much more explanation, here is some information that is essentially the equivalent to me baring my soul. Here are three songs that I absolutely love, but am kind of embarrassed that I like.

1. Miley Cyrus: “Party in the U.S.A.”

How can you  not like this song? It’s essentially about a girl moving to a new town and feeling scared. I have done this, IN REAL LIFE, two times. When I first moved to Houston, I played Gwen Stefani’s “L.A.M.B.” album pretty much on repeat, to find courage to be here alone. I can totally relate to this song! Feeling out of place, feeling homesick, feeling pressured–all of those things SUCK! But, when a song you love comes on, you know you’re gonna be o-kayyy (like she sings in the song).

2. Cardi B: “Bodak Yellow”

BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITCH. I love this damn song!

Ok, enough profanity on this blog. But, do not click the link to listen to this song if you do not enjoy profanity. Here are some admissions I should make about this song: 1) I don’t know what the title means and I’ve never Googled it. 2) What is this song about, like, really, in the greater meaning of life and the universe? I have no idea at all. 3) I am perhaps totally shallow because I really enjoy this song, even though it’s primarily about being rich and wearing “red bottoms”. Those are Louboutin shoes, for all you people out there who are busy thinking about important things instead of designer shoes.

I became a little obsessed over this song, and eventually read about Cardi B’s life. Turns out, she was a physically and mentally abused stripper who hustled her way into the rap game. Like her music or not, you gotta respect her hustle and desire to get out of her less than desirable situation. I can literally rap along with this song, line for line. Please, no one tell my mother.

 

3. Train: “Drops of Jupiter”

I have been teased about my affinity for “White boy music” (whatever the f*ck that truly means) since I first began to listen to Alanis Morissette back in 6th grade aka a LONG TIME AGO.

More recently, I was teased for liking Train. A friend told me that “all of their music was garbage” and I just have to politely disagree. I love the lead singer’s unusual and somewhat raspy voice and I LOVE the quirkiness of their lyrics.

My favorite lyric is “Did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?” The lyrics don’t plainly make sense, but there’s something about this song that I just inherently understand and I don’t really know why.

 

So, there’s my embarrassing list! But, before I go crawl into a hole, tell me your most loved, yet most embarrassing songs.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

What It’s Like: Teaching Kids

Some contents of my purse serve as the muse for tonight’s post. Inside my purse are some meat-pie looking pastries, carefully wrapped in a napkin, a gift from an Azerbaijani grandmother.

I tutor two great kids a couple nights a week. I tutor them in English: reading, writing, and speaking. Their grandmother is in town, visiting from their home country, Azerbaijan, a place I’d barely heard of before meeting these children a few months ago.

About 12 years ago or so, I started a career as a school teacher. I taught elementary aged kids. After I did that for a few years, I transitioned to a job in corporate America, and taught at the collegiate level (freshmen and juniors) on the side for a few years.

Now, I am tutoring two kids and two adults. I’ll write about the adults in another post, perhaps.

When I changed from teaching kids to college adults, many of whom were older than me, everybody and their momma asked me the same question: How is it different? My go-to, cheeky answer was always, “You don’t have to take adults to the bathroom.” Karma laughed at me and once sent me an adult student who did ask, on several occasions, if she could go to the bathroom.

Teaching is kind of “old hat” to me now; even when I meet new students, I have now done it long enough that I can at least PRETEND to know what I am doing. It takes a lot of practice to even get the confidence to be able to pretend to be a confident teacher, unless you’re kind of a pompous, know it all asshole, which in that case, please do  us all a favor and stay out of the classroom. What I’m trying to say is, teaching should have a sense of respect and humility, both for your students and for your profession.

Teaching kids is challenging in its own way. Children are PAYING ATTENTION. Don’t believe the horseshit you hear on the news about how six in one children have ADHD. They might, be even then, they’re still closely paying attention to everything you do. EVERYTHING. Understand the difference between paying attention and judging you. The kids are attentive; the adults are probably judgmental.

Children aren’t thinking about bills or if they took the chicken out to unthaw. Depending on their age, they may not have a good sense of embarrassment or self awareness. They’re doing their thing and watching you do yours.

With kids, it’s a lot of work to exemplify an excellent role model, pretty much at all times. When I taught elementary school, I did not cuss, not even on the weekends. I just recently started to feel comfortable saying the word “stupid”, even though I’ve taught for years. Working in the oilfield helped me develop a hearty potty mouth, which I thoroughly enjoy, but you’d never know that when I am around young and impressionable ears.

Kids are also way smarter than most adults give them credit for. Children pick up on and absorb energy better than adults, too. If you let your child know your burdens, they will help you carry them, regardless if you have asked them to or not. I once worked with a kindergartner who came to school looking very concerned. He eventually began to cry. When I pried an answer from him, he told me that he was worried because his mom and dad “were down to their last $5,000.” He had overheard them fighting about money and even though he couldn’t even count to 500 or 5,000, his little mind could clearly interpret that something big and scary was wrong, so he worried about it. He internalized it.

I have dozens of stories like that; stories of children truly being sponges, and not always soaking up the good stuff.

Teaching a child also has a weight to it, at least it does for me. Since children have much less life experience, I find it to be so important to do two things: 1) be present with them while you are around them because 2) that affects their perception of the world.

A child that experiences an angry parent can grow up to be worrisome and fearful. A child that experiences a neglectful (physically or emotionally) parent will fight the demons of inadequacy for the rest of his life.

It is really an honor to be able to be a teacher. The job REALLY SUCKS, but it’s still an honorable one. Between utterly ridiculous parents, pushy school districts, and insane principals, I have no idea how I survived with even a shred of sanity in tact. Oh, and don’t forget the year that I had strep throat three times and my vocal chords became infected, which irrevocably changed the sound of my voice. Almost no one that I know now actually know what I used to sound like. Ah, that was fun. Good times.

Kudos to you if you’re a teacher. The job can be so damn thankless, but from one former teacher to another, I THANK YOU.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

What It’s Like: PERIODS!

I’ve decided to do a few posts where I describe, in a humorous, yet truthful way something that I am experiencing or have experienced in the near past. I don’t know how many of these I will do, but I am already really entertained by this idea, so I might do quite a few of them.

These will give me fodder into the new month, which is only today and tomorrow, but, well, let’s hope for the best.

Let’s start off with an explanation of what it’s like to have a period, aka menstruation cycle.

If you’re a man, do NOT stop reading right now. I will not give you any of the more moist details. Instead, I will regale you with anecdotes about the monthly visitor with which you have no experience. Men, be thankful for that! Oh, you already are? Oh, great.

Without further ado, I will “femsplain” my experience with periods.

Symptom One: Everyone Else is Awake

Welcome to the special hell that is the emotional roller coaster period town! The most awful part of having a period is really not the pain or the inconvenience. The worst part is OTHER PEOPLE. Other people will constantly walk around you, awake, alert, and existing, all while you sleepily look at them and wonder how you can make them all disappear.

This symptom is my favorite one, and it decided to come later in life, which is entirely, and utterly bullshit, in my opinion. Once, I was so tired, that I had to close the door to my office. I told myself that familiar lie: “I’ll just put my head down for a moment.” Of course, I immediately fell asleep and the next thing I knew, a co-worker was knocking on my door because it was time to go to Panera Bread for lunch. I’d been asleep for 30 minutes. Don’t tell my former boss.

Symptom Two: Everyone Drives So F*cking Badly and Even More F*cking Slowly

I don’t know if this happens to other people, but when I have my monthly marauder, the rest of the town somehow finds out. I think it might be the FBI tapping into my phone and then publishing the news in the local newspaper. I am sure of it.

The drivers of my town obviously read the newspaper and then simultaneously get in their cars and use the GPS on my phone to find my location. Then, all of the drivers in town proceed to follow me around, consistently driving at least 5 mph below the speed limit. This synchronized driving hell happens for the duration of my ailment, and then miraculously, everyone drives like the regular assholes I’ve come to expect on the road. It’s strange. Should I call Snowden and report this? Everyone is plotting against me.

Symptom Three: My Refrigerator Becomes Small

For those few days a month, my refrigerator shrinks. There’s simply not enough space in there to keep all of the food that I need to consume. I need space for sparkling water, yogurt, donuts, sweet tea, pie, cake, steak, baked potatoes, salad, salad dressing, avocados, etc. No matter what size refrigerator it is, there’s simply not enough food inside. It’s strange. The thing works fine the rest of the month.

Symptom Four: Dogs are the Best and Children Can’t be Quiet Enough

I am a cat person. I could also be a dog person. But, a period makes me want to adopt every dog on television. I hide my credit cards during period time so I don’t end up adopting every dog that comes on those “save the pets” infomercials late at night. The insomnia, which also comes with this time of the month, ensures that I am awake to watch infomercials, so it is very important that I do not have a credit card handy. I need to keep all that money to buy food that won’t fit in my refrigerator.

And speaking of small, living things, children become extra noisy during this time of the month. Even if a child is sleeping peacefully, and snoring quietly, I still secretly want to yell SOMEONE SHUT THAT DAMN BABY UP when it’s that time of the month. I don’t know; I guess I get something like super sonic hearing.

Symptom Five: Morphine Drip Bags are a Necessity 

Midol? Ha ha ha, get that shit out of here. Give those to your infants when they have a fever. Pamprin? Ha ha ha, pink sugar pills with no use other than to drop in your tea for sweetener. Morphine? Yes, please pass the drip bags and the needles. Thank you, very much.

And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. You now know what it’s exactly like to have a period! It’s not so bad, is it?

Gentlemen: did you read until the end? Give yourself a big ole pat on the back. Go treat yourself to a Snickers bar.

Ladies: What’s your favorite symptom? You, too, deserve a Snickers bar!

Thanks for reading and being weird with me.

Until next time, my friends…

Awaiting Death While Enjoying Kindness

A little over a year ago, I reconnected with an uncle-in-law that I used to see often as a child. He is now 82 years old, having had his most recent birthday on New Year’s Eve.

He was married to my Aunt, who passed away a few months before I graduated from college. Since I was the first person in my family to earn a Bachelor’s degree, walking across the stage and knowing she wasn’t in the crowd was both exhilarating and heartbreaking, at the same time.

He has outlived her for many years now, and thanks to a mismailed letter from the good ole United States government, I have reconnected with him.

I go to his house, on average about 3 times a week. I help him with his finances; I run errands. I now know that he gets a kick out of it when I bring him family sized bags of Ricola lozenges. I introduced him to Ricola lozenges, and when I first gave him a bag, I sang the all too familiar REEE COOO LAAAA jingle from the commercial. Now, sometimes he sings it back to me when I show up with a new bag.

He uses a lot of cough drops because, among other health ailments, he has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, better known as COPD. It prevents him from breathing while sometimes keeping him occupied with a lingering cough.

He doesn’t venture out of his house much anymore. And even though he has a cable subscription, he enjoys watching the same black and white westerns that I imagine he watched as a child and much younger man.

And even though his body is failing him, his mind, and his awareness of his long life and long suffering, are still very strong. Most days, his mind is clearer and stronger than mine is or has ever been. He remembers street names, people names, events, and lots of other things from my childhood that I have long forgotten or perhaps never even knew.

Today, I went to visit him. I took him two bags of the family sized Ricola lozenges and two stacks of low sodium Pringles chips. He was delighted to have the surprises. I also took him homemade biscuits and white gravy with sausage, both of which I made this morning. I also took him two bowls of homemade stew, which I made two nights ago. Everything turned out great and I think he enjoys and understands the value of homecooked food more than an average person.

You see, my now elderly Uncle was married to the most prolific cook in our family. My Aunt cooked EVERYTHING and all the time. I have heard stories of her banging around pots in the morning, and when she was discovered cooking at those wee hours, she simply said, “You want something to eat?’

She was simply amazing.

I think of her every time I cook something for my uncle. I actually think of her in two ways: one, an impossible way, when I ask myself, “How would she have made this?” Alas, that question is impossible because I generally have no idea. Second, a bittersweet way, when I think to myself, “I think she would approve” when something turns out good.

I know that nowadays, a lot of people eat out for almost every meal. I totally understand; I picked up a “chicken box” (as my mom calls them) from Church’s Chicken on the way home, not wanting to bang around my own pots and spend more time in the kitchen today. I also have another takeout box in my refrigerator right now.

But, to me, there’s something very special about home cooked food, especially when someone who cares about you makes it. When I make food for people, it is always with great care and hope that it will be really, really great. No, I do not always make the best tasting food, and certainly it is not all restaurant quality, but I have never served something to other people that I just flopped together, carelessly. I like to reserve my lower skillset for myself, on those nights when I feel self critical about dialing up a delivery man to bring me some grub.

Today, when I took my uncle the food, he went on and on about it. In my work of getting to know myself better and understanding why I am the way I am, I have recognized that I love the admiration of an eater.

Oh,  your cake looks beautiful! (*blushes!*)

Oh, your cake is moist! (*double blushes!*)

Oh, this cake is better than box / store bought! (*oh, gosh, don’t kill me with your kind words!*)

After he thanked me for the food and assured me that he knew it was delicious before even trying it, we talked about the city where we both used to live, many years ago, my hometown. Today, he didn’t mention his own death, but he usually does. Today is less somber; today he is excited to learn about my new client. And he told me another story about my father, whom I never knew personally, and how yes, I am like him in a lot of ways in terms of my personality, but no, I shouldn’t worry about it because even though my father had a well-deserved reputation of being a cold, rule following asshole, I am still a good person, even if I have some of those traits. Or, even if I have all of those traits.

I leave there feeling good about myself. I feel appreciated. I feel like I did a good thing, hanging out with my uncle for a few hours, and taking him food that might somewhat resemble the food he used to eat from my aunt’s magical hands.

If you have time tomorrow, hang out with someone who will truly enjoy your company. I suggest picking someone ages 0-10 or 60-the rest. I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

 

A Dirty Word

I finally know why I hate the term “introvert.”

I’ve never liked it, even though many people like me identify themselves as an introvert.

I have introverted qualities.

I don’t particularly enjoy the company of other people, usually, and I’ve always been like that.

The people I do usually enjoy are people like me, who also don’t really enjoy the company of other people. As you can imagine, mostly liking people who don’t like people while being a person who doesn’t like people can make relationships very difficult, to say the least.

I like quiet. Aside from blasting music from my stereo, I strongly prefer if almost everyone and everything was quiet all the time. Unnecessary noise is absolutely maddening to me. Perhaps this is why I hate small talk? A person making unnecessary noise is one of the most terrible things that can happen, in my opinion.

I love animals. I go to parties and immediately find the animals more interesting . I’ve told people not to take it personally, but frankly, to hell with it, the honest truth is I do prefer your dog or cat to you, most likely.

I could go on, but you get the point. But, whenever I have been called an introvert, I have to admit that I arrogantly denied the claim and laughed it off in a cynical manner.

But if you see a duck, and that duck quacks, if the duck is waddling around, waiting for you to throw the crackers on the ground, then how dare the damn duck not just accept that it is, in fact, a duck?

Because I’m not just a got damn duck.

Because I’m not just an introvert.

Because to hell with yet another label. Because to hell with me applying a label to myself. I have the rest of the world to stick labels on me.

I’m a dynamic being. I’m not shy; I’m selective with whom I choose to spend energy. I’m not quiet; I’m just genuinely not interested and I’m preserving my energy by not fawning interest.

I’m not an asshole; I’m frank. This is something that is not always appreciated.

I’m not callous; I’m apologetic when the sorry truly comes from my heart.

I’m a dynamic speaker. I’m funny. I’m a storyteller. I’m a listener. I’m engaging. I read people; I’m on the same plane as them. I am blessed with an admirable ability to coax secrets from strangers.

I’m a lot of stuff.

You’re a lot of stuff, too.

I say to hell with labeling yourself as something because as soon as you do that, you remove the possibility that you could be, and likely are, a lot of other interesting things.

You, like me, are dynamic. The dynamic nature of your humanness means you will be this and that, both now and then.

You’re awesome.

And I’m amazing.

I’m not an introvert.

I’m Nicole.

I Am Not My Hair

“No way it’s not real,” he said.

“Way, it’s totally not real,” I assured him.

He looked at me with those squinted eyes one makes when you’re not sure what to believe. He gazed at my hair again, back at my face, twisted his mouth, and replied,  “No way.”

All those years ago, way back when I was a freshman in college, at the age of 17, I first experimented with changing the look of my hair.

I kept insisting to my then boyfriend, with pride and odd enthusiasm, that I had, in fact, added a few tracks to my hair.

My natural hair, back then at least, was so thick that it blended quite seamlessly with the faux hair pieces. This made me giddy and proud.

Now, when I look in the mirror, both today on the cusp of my 35th birthday and every other day for the past year or so, I see hair that has thinned from the glorious lion’s mane that I used to proudly sport. I remember that once, my mother scolded me for lamenting about my thick hair. “You’ll miss it when it’s gone,” she warned me. As with lots of other warnings about life, momma was right.

I am currently suffering from thinned hair thanks to lots and lots and lots of prolonged stress. According to my stylist, it will grow back. According to my mirror, it’s already growing back. Where once there was a flash of scalp, now there are little hair warriors, returning to the battle, hopefully ready to stay put, on the front lines, for at least a good remainder of my life.

To be honest, I’ve always had a pretty good relationship, at least mentally, with aging. I know lots of people who died violent deaths at a young age. I know lots of people who died when they were good and old.  I know lots of people who died somewhere in between, at the age where one might say, “He wasn’t even that old” instead of “But he was so young.” Aging, and it’s ultimate outcome, has been on my radar for a while.

I’ve been to lots of funerals. When I was a child, my grandmother took me to lots of funerals, in small country towns throughout north Louisiana. I’ve probably seen more than my fair share of dead strangers lying in caskets.

With these experiences, death is kind of normal to me, as normal as it can be to a person who still has lots of desire to live. Aging, however, is deeply personal, it’s something that I cannot disconnect from or interact with by just sending flowers or sympathy. Aging is the part of dying that happens to you personally, and you get to experience it in your own personal way, the same way that you must experience and live your own life.

Although I am not happy about how stress manifested itself on my scalp, I am happy that I have had the opportunity to live this long. Having seen death around me since such a young age, I have always lived with the realistic fear that death is always just around the corner for any of us, at any time. It is a beautiful chaos in which to dwell, both frightening and invigorating.

So tonight, regardless of what my hair looks like, I am meeting with friends. The energy of other people, these people, people I am privileged enough to call friends, provide calm and love on the eve of my birthday.

And regardless of my hair, I am thankful to still have some of it left up there.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

Understanding I Know Nothing 

Today isn’t a cheat day, but I will admit that I am somewhat hurriedly writing this from the tub, where I desperately need to soak.

Ongoing stress is continuing to wreck my body, but I’m doing my best to get the almost constant aches under control through massage, meditation, and warm soaks. Oh, and at least two Advil a day. Please, no one tell my liver.

I know that the tension and pain I am feeling is due to stress. I know that it is temporary.  I’m trying to remember that when I feel the discomfort. 

Everything is temporary.  I can’t be uncomfortable forever because I can’t BE HERE forever.  That’s morbid, but thinking that way does put the stressors and the stress in perspective. 

I am thankful because man, I am learning a lot. Every day, I learn something new it seems, and I am reminded of how little I know about anything at all, including myself.

To help me along on this journey of self discovery, the Universe sent me an angel, in the form of a friend, who gave me a copy of Eckhart Tolle ‘s book, “A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s Purpose.”

What are you reading? Has anything you read recently really changed your life?

Stay hopeful…

Until tomorrow, my friends…

The Game of Life

I don’t remember how to do it.

For the life of me, I can’t remember how to do it. I can’t remember how to hold in my laughter when kids are being hilarious.

For several years, I was a public elementary school teacher. I was the queen of the stone face. When they farted, I didn’t laugh. When they said mean, but hilarious, things about each other, my face was stone. But tonight, holding in my laughter caused me to choke.

But then, she said it, “I will trade you! I will trade you if you keep playing.”

“No,” I said calmly, trying to mask my disappointment. I wanted to say, so badly, GOT DAMN IT YOU ARE WINNING FAIR AND SQUARE! DO NOT TRADE YOUR POSITION!

I didn’t yell that because these were just two kids, playing a game of “Chutes and Ladders”, the sister wiping the floor with the brother; the brother becoming so angry that he called it “the worst game of his life.” He might be right; he’s only 12.

He did not want to play anymore and his sister was heartbroken. I gave her a ball as a consolation prize; she had won after all, fair and square. But, she was sad that her brother didn’t want to play anymore.

She thought, because she was winning and was playing fair, that he, too, should do the same.

Sometimes, life is like that, too. In my experience, countless times, I just wanted to grab life by the neck and yell BUT THIS ISN’T FAIR!

Hey life! Don’t you see that I am trying? I am forgiving. I am funny. I am thoughtful. I am working to be better! I am working so hard. I am sober; I am always on time. I am all these things. I am dependable. I am the best friend I know how to be. I am the friend that I would want for myself! Got dammit life, don’t you see how hard I’m trying?!

But, often times, life has just smiled at me, patted me on the metaphorical head, and continued handing my ass to me. In this game, the option to not play is too dire; I have no desire to stop playing, but oh my god, I do wish it was fairer sometimes.

But, it is not.

Whether you’re winning at life, fair and square, life is ALWAYS going to be the victor, in the end. We can’t beat it. We can’t plan for every thing. Where there are ladders, there are inevitably chutes. You might fall down so many chutes that you forget what a ladder looks like. You might fall down chutes enough times that you begin to walk past the ladders, with fear holding your hand, carefully guiding you past even the chance to consider an opportunity to climb again.

Life isn’t like a great vending machine; you can’t put in your share and get something that is fair and expected in return.

Sometimes, I have put in quarters and gotten back flaming bags of dog shit. Sometimes, I have put in quarters and gotten back a perfect pair of black leather boots, you know, the kind that don’t pinch your feet and make you look so chic? Or, something like the equivalent of that.

Sometimes, I didn’t even have the option to trade my position. Sometimes I have given out my position, usually in the form of my heart or my trust, only to have it rejected. Sometimes I have given the very best I had to offer, and life simply told me, cold-heartedly and without flinching, that my best wasn’t enough this time.

It’s a hard lesson to learn. It’s not even really a hard lesson. It’s really just the game of life. It’s just how it is.

We play; we try; we give up our position; we plead, sometimes we beg. Sometimes, it just isn’t enough.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

I Don’t Care About You Anymore

I like to think of myself as a pretty open minded person. I have had the great fortune to live in places where I didn’t grow up, go places I never thought I’d go, and meet people I never thought I’d meet. I’m so thankful.

All of these experiences have given me the ability to accept, and admit to, receiving inspiration from almost anywhere.

As you read through my posts, and hopefully continue to read throughout the year, you will see a theme emerge: I AM KIND OF RANDOM.

And thanks to my innate randomness, I receive inspiration and connection in random places, like in the music of the ‘pop princess’ known as Ariana Grande.

I admit that I listen to and enjoy her music. I admit that I am a little afraid to type that and post it on the internet, given my, ahem, advanced age, but, here we are and there it is.

This little stanza gets me singing, horribly and enthusiastically, every time I am in the car alone: (taken from the song “I Don’t Care”

Used to cry ’bout some crazy shit before
I used to feel so obligated to be so much more
I used to let some people tell me how to live and what to be
But if I can’t be me, the fuck’s the point?

 

I have actually been singing it wrong the entire time. I have been singing “then what’s the point” instead of that more saucy version, but you get the idea.

This switch, to go from all of the damn CARING I used to do versus who I try to be, for myself and to myself, has really been serving me well.

I am naturally a loner and not really concerned about if or when most people don’t like me. But, I have cared in other stupid ways, like these:

  1. Worrying about other people’s problems when they don’t seem at all interested in their own problems
  2. Thinking I was “helping” by telling grown ass people what to do when they full well know what to do
  3. Listening as grown ass people describe how they took their outrageously stupid, albeit conscious choices, and royally screwed up their own lives

I have spent seemingly countless hours, genuinely worried about what other people were going to do, were they going to mess up, were they going to be ok, were they really going to eat 2 bananas when they know full well that even 1 banana makes them have bad gas.

But now, although it is a hard habit to break, I am working towards NOT DOING THAT. It might seem like such a friendly thing to do, to take on a friend’s emotional burden and store it away in your own mind, but it’s folly and bullshit. Don’t do it to yourself. Now that I am making the conscious effort to stop doing it, I can now do the following:

  1. Devote more time to my own horseshit
  2. Listen in a kinder way as my friends talk or vent (since I am no longer approaching things from a “can I help” point of view, I am now a better and calmer sounding board)
  3. Reduce my own intake of emotional energy

Now, I can really be ME and be authentic while I am listening to and interacting with other people. Now, I am choosing to just be more chill in general, to align my thoughts and feelings with the most authentic version of me. And, the most authentic version of me has her own horseshit to deal with, and acknowledges, perhaps most importantly, that my internal worry has never helped anyone or anything, not even myself.

So, to that end, I graciously tell you, that if you’re my friend, I love you, but I’m just here for you, right where we are and when we are. I’m no longer worrying about you later (most likely) and I would love to JUST listen to you. I trust your own guidance for your own life. I no longer feel obligated to participate in it inside my knuckle head.

Good luck to us both.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

 

Photo by Umberto Shaw from Pexels

https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-walking-on-floor-764880/