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life lessons

I Am A Book

I feel like an old book, bound in leather of the highest quality that has become soft and worn over the last 45 years. I’ve seen so very much and I’ve traveled all around, from person to person. I’ve been touched by those who are puzzled and confused by me and perhaps even more so after browsing my chapters. Some have closed my cover shut without even taking much of a look. Their loss. A few came along and read a chapter or two and then just put me down. What a shame that they didn’t take the time to read my entire story, feel the things I’ve felt and let their eyes see the things which I have seen.

leather book

When it comes to the chapters entitled “Love” my pages are nearly blank. Some of the words have faded and become hard to read, though they are still there to see. Like a work from Shakespeare, it has been mostly written as tragedy. None of that matters much though, as I’ve come to learn. Life is about how much we love ourselves and learn to do what is right and true. These are lessons that I guess I just always knew…but perhaps my soul had forgotten? Sometimes I feel lonely and I wish for someone to hold my hand and snuggle with at night. I know she’s out there somewhere and I just need to keep turning the pages until she is written into my story.

After “Love” comes an entire chapter on “Forgiveness” and I’ve found that it is the key. I’ve re-read every word in this chapter over and over and sometimes I still forget things, so I read them again. Practice makes perfect. Holding on to anger only hurts me. I am learning to forgive and move on. I’ve spent the last few months turning pages and starting a new chapter.

I’m about to embark on a new journey and I am closing another chapter of my life. Just as I have always brought you all along, I will do so again. I have been presented with an AMAZING opportunity and it literally fell into my lap through a connection I had made over the past year or so. I’ve been asked to come to California and be a foreman of a small ranch. There will be rescued mustangs to take care of and rehabilitate. There will be rescued dogs in a kennel to take care of and do some training and socializing. I have been told that I’ll be in charge of most everything that pertains to the property, including doing some planting of small-scale crops, fruit trees and so forth.

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this opportunity because it will give me the ability to help others a little more now. I will also not be living in my RV. I’ll have an apartment on the property that will become my home and I truly don’t take that for granted. I have not lived in a “home” with actual electricity and running water in almost three years. I’m grateful and so ready to get this new adventure started. The “boss” knows that I write and told me that I’ll have the use of a vehicle and that I’m more than welcome to venture into the city and work on my book connections and do signings. I won’t be too far from San Francisco and Oakland, so I hope to get there and meet and greet some of you who are around.

The old RV will stay parked here, in Illinois and I plan on coming back every 12-18 months to see Mike, Sheila and the kids, as well as all my other friends from childhood that still live here. I’ve kept a low profile this time because I’m really coming off a couple of tough years and I honestly needed some alone time to put the pieces of me back together again. I apologize to some of you that I didn’t get a chance to see or didn’t stop on the way by. Please, don’t take it personally. When I say that I’ve become reclusive it is an understatement. I’m slowly coming back out of my shell. I just don’t work like everyone else and I need time alone to heal. I’m getting there. Thanks for understanding. I even took almost five weeks away from blogging or doing any writing at all, just so I could get quiet in my head and think.

I want to thank my friend Sheila for making this a grand summer. I’ve helped Mike with his cows a little, helped pick some corn here and there, gone camping for 11 days with her and the four kids, been hiking, shopping and got a LOT of work done around here! It’s been very memorable and meaningful to me. I know who my family truly is.

Speaking of family…I did reconnect with an aunt and uncle. Only living relatives I’ve spoken to in about 15 years, so that is good. Hopefully, I’ll have dinner with them before I blow town. To all of you, thanks for indulging me, thanks for your input, your emails and comments and for being the catalyst that helps me to keep going. I truly appreciate every single one of you who read my blogs, buy my books and follow me on Facebook.

On to the next chapter…

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Categories: life lessons, love | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Tell Me What You Want To Hear

 

Original Art by Julia Miller Title of piece, "Winter Love" Clicking image takes you to her page.

Original Art by Julia Miller Title of piece, “Winter Love” Clicking image takes you to her page.

 

Three years ago, we met online; introduced by a mutual friend. You were married and I didn’t talk to you with any intention of being anything more than just your friend. We hit it right off and talked and talked. You, being much younger than me, often made references to things I didn’t understand and I’d have to ask you to explain. Conversely, you’d chide me for using a ‘big word’ and I’d chuckle at you. There’s something about you that is whimsical, silly and so very adorable that it’s hard not to be taken in. You are a delightful person; somehow innocent and yet so exposed to some of the worst parts of life. You started to make my heart smile.

We saw each other several times over that summer. You came to my house first. We watched a movie, had pizza and just talked. You would later inform me that you were extremely confused and went home to tell your sister that, “she didn’t even try to touch me.” That’s true. I was still thinking things over. By the time I had thought it over and decided how I felt, I was already neck deep. I found myself checking in on you, trying to make sure you knew that I was there and I would be your out. A few times, I came to your rescue… like the night you cried on my shoulder and confessed your secrets to. Then there was the time you called me in the middle of the night and I jumped up and came to your rescue. You were scared and I was the only one you could turn to. You slept on top of me that night, on the sofa. You refused to move, to sleep in the bed or let me move – you clung to me with white fingers. I just held you.

It was still a few weeks before I would get the nerve to kiss you. It wasn’t that I was afraid of you. I was afraid of me. I was afraid of the way it felt and all the mess it meant. You still were married and you weren’t leaving. One day you were, the next day you weren’t. I didn’t understand everything and I surely didn’t know just how bad things were. I’m sorry. I walked away and you would later tell me, “you just walked away….and things got much worse for me after you left.”

Two years later you found me. I had changed my name, moved five states away and was going through my own hell at the time… and you found me. You told me, “I never really let you go … but you left. You ran. Not just to another city. You went half the country away. What’s up with that?” All I could do was laugh. You may be young, but you are wise and when you are right – you’re right. I’ll hand that one to you.

So we talked and talked. I made plans to come back and see you. After I got back, you dropped the bombshell on me that your ex was still involved in your life and that you couldn’t get away to see me. You didn’t want to rock the boat, cause troubles, risk more of the same abuse, etc. I admit that I finally blew my cool. I admit that I didn’t have much patience and that I take some of the things you’ve done too personally. Standing outside of it, I know that it was less about me and more about you and what you had to do. I won’t change my statement to you that it “just hurt” and it really did. I walked again. I would have been here if you needed me, but you never needed anyone. Stubborn. I know…pot calling the kettle black.

A few months passed this time. You contacted me to see if I’d calmed down any. I blew my stack. Yeah…no…not calmed down yet. You backed away again. You didn’t wait months this time. A few weeks passed and you reached out once more and asked if I was ready to talk. You said that you thought we could talk and work this all out. I was still angry. One of my best friends finally said to me, “You know…she keeps trying. She must really care about you? It really is very easy to take things out of context when you are strictly texting and emailing…and that’s all you guys could do at the time. Maybe you should give her the benefit of the doubt? I mean…she isn’t waiting two years this time?”

What could I say to that? It was true. I’ve thought about things a lot. I’ve had about five months to think about this. Sometimes we just have to make a decision. I’ve spent most of my life sitting on a fence post, observing both sides of the fence and never committing to anything fully. Oh…I’ve told you that I loved you…but there is so much more to it. So what do you want to hear?

Maybe I should tell you that for all my talk about going here and going there, it would only take one word from you to change all my plans – “stay.”

Maybe I should tell you that for all the times I’ve told anyone I loved them, I never stuck around for anybody. Ask any of them…they’ll all tell you that I left and I didn’t come back. You’re the only one who got that from me. I came back for you. I’ve been waiting for you to choose me. Do you need to hear me ask? Can we ever get past first base?

Should I tell you that every dream you ever told me about made me want to be right there with you? Do you need me to tell you that you move me to tears over and over because I feel you on a level that I don’t ever let anyone else into?Honey, I’d raise your babies. I’d feed your horses and I’d stay for the rest of my forever if you’d just decide that I was the one you wanted once and for all, end of story. Stop the confusion. I can’t commit myself to a moving target. Stop chasing me and then running. If you want me, I’m right here and I’ve been right here this whole time. I’m not getting any younger. Haven’t we wasted enough time? What do you want to hear?

Categories: lesbian, life lessons, love | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Everybody Look! What’s Going Down??

My day started-off having some fun with a fella who thinks he knows everything. Let’s put this into perspective for you…let me set the scene, so to speak. A couple of days ago, I posted a link for a book I was giving away free for a few days. Other Amazon authors can back me on this and I’m sure they will. When you publish a book on Amazon, you get five days each quarter that you may give this book away for free on their site. Does this put any money in your pocket? No!

Some people argue that it improves your book’s ranking…and it may…but only for a couple of days. The biggest thing that we get out of it is the exposure to new people who may not otherwise read our books. That is it; nothing else to be gained and certainly nothing financially. Sometimes, I’ll see a short increase in sales of my other books. That just tells me that they enjoyed my book and may like to try another. Great…but I’m still not getting rich by selling a few more books in comparison to the loss you take in the books you give away. I have away 192 copies of this book, this time. That is about 400 copies of that book alone, this year.

So…this fella comments on the link, “so in other words..you want the cash.” Now, I rarely use the word stupid…but I think it! After a few comments back and forth, I let him know that I’m really just trying to get the book in the hands of suicidal people or people who KNOW suicidal people. It comes out the he is an accountant. Wow…really? You are an accountant and couldn’t figure out that FREE equated to $0 and that 192 multiplied by $0 is …ummm ZERO? I imagine that he is online so much because business is slow?

The fact is that I don’t care what this guy thinks of me. I am not concerned with the people who do not care about the things going on in the world. I am not going to waste my time trying to change a shallow mind. What I am seeking are those who have an open mind. Are you troubled with the world the way it is? Do you question your own existence and your purpose? Do you want to know what the meaning behind your life is or why you are constantly besieged by challenges that seem completely overwhelming? Do you question pain? Do you feel like giving up but just know that there is a reason that you don’t – even when you can’t explain it? YOU are the person I am reaching out to!

We cannot change everything over night, but we can make a difference. It takes one step at a time and the first BIG step is to realize that we are all connected. You are a miracle. Look at yourself in the mirror. Your body completely replaces every SINGLE cell every three years. Your skin is completely replaced every few weeks. At the very molecular core of your being, you are unique and you are a miracle. Everything had to happen in completely unique and random order so that you were conceived to begin with. Do you have any idea HOW MANY random things had to happen just for you to be conceived? To be who you are? Your entire life is a movie that plays out with multiple plot twists, all based on the decisions that you make and the roll of the dice. You spend your entire life being prepared for your destiny!! I do not care who you are or how bad things have gotten … you my friend, are amazing and you deserve to be here.

It is said that when you remain quiet, that you take the side of the oppressor in any situation. I used to be silent. It wasn’t until I found my voice that I began to feel free. The more I told people about my own situations, the easier it became to accept and sort through those things in my life. I realize that I’m lucky. I realize that I am the end result of a billion different possibilities that ‘could have been.’ You are no longer a “could have” you have become a “you are” and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you will realize your own potential.

What do you choose to do with this knowledge? This is truly a personal decision and I don’t knock what anyone chooses. I WILL say that when you have the opportunity to touch others and you choose not to, I feel it is a sad waste. That’s my personal feeling and has become my personal decision. That isn’t a judgment at all, so please do not see it that way. It’s just that there is so much beauty to be gained in reaching out to others. I refer to humility all the time. I think when we have learned true humility, that we become more selfless. I don’t see it as a bad place to be. That’s my personal take. Yours may be different and so be it. You won’t hear my messages or my voice.

I’ve committed myself to a few causes and they all are about human interests. One of my pet projects is the “Shadows In Your Face” project. I’ve decided to take the next year doing research, filming and even staying in shelters and even a few nights actually on the street. I will be doing my best to expose the way that the homeless are treated like cattle, herded into facilities out of view and how they are often pushed out of the way and not really helped by the very organizations that claim to be helping. City governments work to appease the wealthy by ‘getting them out of view’ and shuffling them to other cities and locations off the beaten path, where they are often forgotten. The system isn’t designed to help these people and their civil rights are often tromped on, while they are treated as a problem and not treated as people.

This video was shot with my cell phone, in the dark – so it’s not fantastic quality. This is just a glimpse of the world that is there in front of your face. There are MANY people living in parking lots in their campers. Many more of them are sleeping the cars that you see parked here and there, in between the campers. It’s a whole ‘underworld’ of people who have been hit hard by the economy.

It is important for me to point out that when the documentary is made for sale to the public, that every penny will go to aid the homeless in some way, whether with clothing, food, shelter or much needed medication. I hope to make a difference, even if it is just for a few people. To me, this will make the entire year worth it. I’m not doing this for myself in any way at all. I’m doing this to put the issue – the people who live in the shadows – right in your face. For the last year, I’ve met many homeless people and I’ve done my best to pass on their stories here. Now, for one year, I will make it my focus. I’m attempting to raise money right now, for the things that I’ll need to make this happen. I need cameras, some editing software and a little money to cover the few expenses that will surely arise. I’ve set the goal at $10k but I know this is lofty. I plan to go forward with the project no matter how much I raise and I do have other fundraiser in the works.

I am seeking fiscal sponsorship to help control the funds of the money from the project. I’ll be picky, but hope to find a non-profit that will help me handle the funds in a way that sees to it that the money is spent in the best ways possible and ensure that 100% of the funds go to the people who need them and not to administration costs.

I’m asking that you take a look at the project and try to see the potential good that could come from it. If you have anything to offer at all…used equipment, assistance in spreading the message, connections with other homeless person projects, etc…get in touch with me. Maybe you are someone who just has time and can help to spread the word somehow? I’m open to all suggestions. One way or the other, this project IS going to happen and I will not be deterred.

Categories: American government, equal rights, Homeless people, life lessons, love, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shadows In Your Face

 

Far too old to be living like this, but don't tell him that. He's happy. He sleeps in his truck in parking lots all over North Florida.

Far too old to be living like this, but don’t tell him that. He’s happy. He sleeps in his truck in parking lots all over North Florida.

 

Many of you have followed my excursions for a good year now. You know that I try to keep things as real as possible. I’ve shown you all some of the good things about life and some of the things that truly stink sometimes too. In the end, I’ve always tried to keep my messages positive. I do believe that life is what you make of it.

That said, when I went through my horrible year last year, I was reminded of how much we all depend on each other and how hard like can be. I felt that God himself had spoken to me and I came to an immediate realization – an epiphany – that I’d wasted a great deal of time that I hadn’t put to good use. I made a promise to myself and to the Universe that I was going to work harder to help others. My purpose is now to do what I can to help others and speak for those who have no voice of their own.

I’d like to tell you about my latest project. This is in alignment with my goals and my passions. I’ve decided to put my author skills to work on a project of almost epic proportions. I’m going to re-enter my life as a homeless person, in order to tell the story from their point of view. How can you tell someone about being hungry if you have never truly been hungry? How can you describe the fear of having no roof over your head if you have never known this fear yourself?

Not only am I going to do a book, but also a documentary while I am living in the life. When I am finished, there will be a book, a documentary and a photo book complete. ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE DOCUMENTARY AND BOOK WILL GO TO THE HOMELESS. The money will go to organizations that help to feed, clothe and provide medication to those who are homeless. I will be very selective over who gets funds; making sure that 100% of the money goes to the people that it is meant for. If not, then I shall set-up a separate charity entirely for this purpose.

I’m currently working on some products for sale to help raise money for the documentary. I’ll be opening a Cafe Press store to the public in a few days. I’m working on product designs at the moment. I have an IndieGoGo campaign set-up to take donations at the above link. I implore you to consider helping this project come to fruition. Not only will it bring to light some of the issues happening with the homeless community, but it will also help to set in place some programs that can offer more assistance to these people. Too many are falling through the cracks because they can’t qualify for help. Some can’t even seek traditional help because of mental issues that prevent them from even trying, much less even being aware that there is help available for them.

Today, I simply ask you to take a look at the campaign page and to do one of two things: 1)Donate if you can or 2) pass it along to others who may be able to help.

Thanks for your time and, as always, thanks for reading!

 

DONATE HERE

Categories: equal rights, life lessons, love, Politics, self-help | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Lost And Found – Getting Home

 

This is the type of thing I love to write – part of this is based in fact, but told like fiction. Emotions dictate, music added to set the mood for you to match what I was feeling as I wrote … and in the end – a message. I hope that you enjoy! Take the time to listen to the music and let the messages sink in.  ~ Jesse

 

A wall paper

 

 

 

 

I Keep Holding On

I was awakened by the smell of ocean air and the sound of waves softly rolling up onto the beach. The breeze blowing through the screen of my camper was cool as I snuggled down further into my comforter and pillows, not quite ready to give up on my cozy slumber. My mind began to drift as it always does in the early morning hours; half in and half out of sleep. I thought about the day ahead and what I would do with the hours. So much time on my hands left me with constantly seeking something to keep myself busy. Boredom truly can become exhausting.

I began thinking about my last conversation with Raleigh. She truly left me puzzled sometimes. Raleigh was that sort of woman who would tell you to not try to fix her problems; she just wanted me to listen. She would clearly tell me that she had boundaries. This wasn’t what puzzled me – I was glad to have a forthright person in my life who wasn’t afraid to talk about anything. What left me confused was the way that she would jump in, whenever I was trying to vent about something, and start offering suggestions and tell me what I should do. I sighed out loud and thought to myself that it was probably my own fault for not setting my own boundaries. I decided that day that the next time we talked, I’d address this issue and the way I felt about it.

As I swung my feet out of bed, I made my mind up that the next time we talked, I was going to have to tell her how this was making me feel. I didn’t like feeling like I wasn’t allowed to share my feelings about something without being chided for being negative. I knew I was not typically a negative person, but felt that everyone deserved to feel down sometimes and should be able to share that with someone they they trust. Getting told what to do and told not to react the way I did, just made me feel like I had to close part of myself off…and I hated that feeling. It didn’t feel safe. I spent a lot of time being “up” for other people…fans, friends and sometimes suicidal people that I volunteered to help listen to and encourage to get proper help. I felt like I had to maintain for them all…but in private, I needed to feel safe to be able to just “be” however I felt. I shook my head because it made me feel sad. I had to get the thoughts out of my head and I decided that a walk on the beach was in order.

I stumbled past the galley and into the tiny bathroom to relieve my bladder before making my way back to the coffee maker and starting the morning brew. As it slowly dripped and steamed, the coffee began to emerge in the pot. I put creamer in my big plastic coffee mug and then went to go put on some board shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt. As I was slipping on my flip-flops, the coffee maker groaned and gasped for air as it gave birth to the last few drops of caffeine that would start my day out perfectly. I poured my cup of coffee into the large mug and walked out into the world.

The campground was beginning to stir with evidence of life. I could smell someone’s breakfast cooking on an outdoor grill. I saw another family stowing gear and rolling their hose and electrical cord. They were just passing through; probably on their way to some attraction or theme park.

My flip-flops tossed the sand into the breeze and I could feel it on my shins as I made my way to the beach, only a short walk away. The closer I came to the water’s edge, the finer the sand became and eventually my toes were baptized by the cold water creeping onto the shore. It only took a moment for my feet to grow accustomed to the cool water and it began to feel so good that I slipped my flops off and tied them to the string hanging from my waistband so that I could walk with free hands. Why is that as soon as your toes hit cold water, you feel like you need to pee?

My toes sunk into the cool, wet sand as I enjoyed the walk. Every so often I would feel a hard shell and stop to take a closer look at it. While I rarely picked them up, I was always on the look-out for the perfect shell. Sometimes I would come across a clam but never had the heart to remove them from their environment and eat them. Typically, I tossed them out into deeper water to ‘rescue’ them from other clam hunters. I hadn’t killed a spider in years. I’m not sure I honestly have a mean bone in my body, though I was able to show my Scottish temper from time to time. I knew I could get testy about some things … especially when it felt like I was being judged or told that I was living my life “wrong.”

To be perfectly honest, I’d never gotten over the dominant rule of a mother who was abusive, ill-tempered, quick with a fist and even more vicious with her tongue. It took me so many years to believe that I was capable of anything at all, that anyone even questioning me immediately put me on the defense. I was aware that it was an issue … but not really sure how to fix it. I didn’t like being that way. Raleigh said that it often took an equal number of years to get over the amount of time you were in a bad situation. My mother was a dark spot in my world for almost thirty years. I sighed deeply and become aware that my forehead was creased and my eyebrows were furrowed. I brought myself to the present moment and consciously relaxed. Still, I knew that ‘just letting go’ wasn’t so easily done in this case. I walked on.

Closer To Fine

By the time I had returned to the camper, the sun was getting high in the sky. I had no idea what time it was because I’d almost completely stopped wearing a watch. For so many years, wearing a watch had been an anal part of my personality. From years of working in fields that required I manage others and know what time to start projects, I had always worn a watch. Knowing what time it was had become an obsession; almost compulsive. After becoming a writer and deciding that I’d live by my own rules, even if that meant going without a lot of things sometimes, I also gave up caring about the time. Recently, I’d become so carefree about it that I often forgot what day it was and holidays came upon me with complete surprise. Every day of my life was a holiday in so many ways now.

While it was true that I really had little money and couldn’t afford the finer things in life, I was predominantly happy now. It was a little unsettling to me that I had become so reclusive, but there was no drama that way. I avoided drama and stress almost as passionately as I wrote. Sometimes it bothered me that I may just be avoiding a natural part of life, instead of learning how to just deal with it in a healthy way. I considered that perhaps I was just ‘taking a break from it all’ and that was okay … but how was I going to re-emerge? When would I know the time was right?

Raleigh and I had seen a lot of each over the summer. There was a relationship between us that was deeply rooted in friendship. It was more than a friendship …  but then it wasn’t. There was really no description that fit. We had both reached places in our lives where we resisted being labeled, placed into boxes or having expectations placed upon us. Neither of us did well with that sort of thing. We never talked about how we felt about each other, it was just the way it was and we accepted it the way that you accept the breeze upon your face … it is welcomed but understood that even the best of breezes don’t last forever and one cannot fully depend on a good breeze being there for you all the time. This was how I thought of her. She was a gentle breeze at times, that made my life a happy place. There were times that she was a hurricane force wind that made me uncomfortable or knocked me off my feet, but I still relished the adrenaline rush that came from it. Other times … there was no breeze at all and I knew that she was still out there and patiently awaited her return. It was free, as all things should be. I respected it as something that was not to be controlled or always understood. It was imperfect, in all the most beautiful ways that something, or someone, can be – it was, in fact, perfect.

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

 

I poured another cup of coffee and sat down in front of my computer. As I pushed the button that would connect me to the world beyond, I was still pondering how I’d come to be where I was. Home is something that I’d sought for most of the last twenty years of my life and it had only been in the last year of my life that I’d come to realize that home is inside of me.  I’d been getting ‘my house’ in order now for a few months and it hadn’t been easy – once your shit falls so far apart, it takes a while to go through all the pieces and figure it out. What I was coming to realize was that I’d been running away from so much, for so long, that finding my way back to the beginning was like following a trail of tears that had long since dried-up. I got lost sometimes.

Raleigh had confronted me about spending so much time in my home town earlier that year. Apparently, I’d been sounding pretty negative about the place over the phone and she didn’t understand what it was I’d been seeking. I supposed that she’d known me well enough to know there was a reason? At that time, until thinking it over, I hadn’t been sure either. It was just a gut feeling I’d had. Visiting my hometown was something that I had always been compelled to do, but it was less about the present and more about reclaiming my past. That was the place I had been abused, traumatized and belittled behind closed doors. It was a place that I should have felt safe … but I never did. It was a source of angry energy that I had been drawn to, like a moth to a flame. I’d either burn alive or the flame would be extinguished. That had been my resolve.

As an adult, I was able to stare at the house I grew up in and reclaim some happy memories. I had made a journal, with a list of all the bad things I remembered. Back in Florida now, I intended to burn those memories to ashes in a can, take them to the cemetery my parents were buried in and spread them over their graves. With this ritual, I also meant to forgive them once and for all. I knew that when I did this, I’d never return to their graves again. I was cutting the cord and releasing the Karmic debt. I would be absolving myself of the past and freeing myself to move on – burning the symbolic bridges and breaking the invisible chains.

For some people, I supposed this could be seen as walking away from the past and therefore just running again. I imagined that some people may view my way of dealing with it to be very extreme. I didn’t really care. For me, it had become a trip towards something – a return of my soul to self. This had been my way of ‘going home’ and finding my way back to who I was when I was not burdened with the memories. Who says you can’t go home? Don’t question the trip, question where home really is!

For now, life was coming back together. I used my walks along the beach to call my energy back to me. Every ounce of energy that I had freely given to others for so many years, I was now calling back to me. I stopped to look at shells on the beach and I savored every breath that I took, knowing that it could potentially be a last breath at any time. My house was getting in order and though I had no idea where tomorrow would lead me, I was happier than I had ever been; I was home.

 

If you enjoy the writing, please consider purchasing a book. Everything I earn from my writing allows me to have the time to publish this blog and write more books. Remember that independent authors are also artists and our work is how we earn a living. Thanks for coming by to visit!

Amazon Author Central Profile

 

Categories: abuse, child abuse, death, Free Books, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Today Marks a Year Here For Me! THANK-YOU ALL!

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I’D LIKE TO THANK PHOENIX PHOTOS FOR PROVIDING ME WITH THIS IMAGE TO SHARE

One year ago, today, I posted my first blog here. I started as a means to promote a book but it grew to be far more than that. At this very time, a year ago, I was dating someone. She was a nice enough person, but she was dry, spent far too much free time watching television and she didn’t have the same world views as I did. I used this blog to begin expressing all the emotions – the ups and the downs – that I felt.

The day I really knew Laura and I weren’t suited for each other, she called me from downtown Ft Myers. She had gone to meet friends for a walk/jog after work. She finished first and was sitting on a bench waiting for the others and talking to me on the phone. She had gotten a pizza slice at a street vendor in the area. She didn’t like the area of town and was complaining to me about how unsafe she felt. A man came and sat next to her, on the bench and she became totally freaked-out and informed that he was probably homeless and she could feel her skin crawling. I finally said to her, “Maybe he just wanted a slice of pizza because he was hungry?” S I L E N C E. She thought I was nuts and I thought she was out of touch.

Here I am, 365 days later. I’m free and single, 1500 miles away from where I was. I’m now in Illinois, but I am planning a return to Florida in the winter. I’m thinking of making it my permanent home again, but I’m playing it by ear – as I always do. I’ve learned to do what feels right in my gut. It’s sort of a “I’ll know when I get there” sort of thing for me.

At any rate, I’ve met some truly amazing people over the last year. I’ve met writers, hitchhikers, homeless people, truck drivers, and made friends on Facebook with people from all over the world. I have people in my life that I’ve know for forty years and people that I’ve never met in person  – and they all touch me in wonderful ways.

In the last year, this blog has received fifty-eight THOUSAND page views. I’ve posted one-hundred twenty-one blogs which have received six-HUNDRED fourteen comments. I’ve gained seven-hundred  fans to my Facebook fan page, two-thousand four hundred blog subscribers, published ten books, traveled in five states, dated one person but broke-up with two , put two thousand miles on my RV and I lost my dog. Through it all, you guys have been there. Some of you have been there the whole year and some of you just hopped on this train. Let me warn you newbies, it’s fast moving sometimes!

This all humbles me very much and it makes me smile. I never thought in a million years that I would have come so far in a year. I simply wanted to do what made me happy. I’ve always been a drifter and I’ve never been one to work anywhere at a j.o.b. for long. I get bored with that sort of stuff. Writing allows me to use my imagination. Fiction work is a way that I can escape reality and use my artistic side. Non-fiction work gives my inquisitive side a reason to learn more about the topics that interest me. I truly get the best of everything as a writer.

My friend’s four-year old is at that stage where he asks about everything. When he asks, “what is compost?” and then follows it up with, “why?” I can answer him. Sometimes he asks me things like, “How do combines work?” I do my best to answer him in ways that he can understand but are truly informational. I don’t believe in talking down to children if it can be helped. He once looked at me and asked, “How do you know so much?” *insert HUGE smile* I took the opportunity to tell him that school played a large part in it (because he also doesn’t like school very much yet) and then I followed with, “I’m writer, that’s just what I do. I put things into words so that other people can learn about things too.” He smiled and paused before the onslaught of questions started again. I love that he asks questions. It reminds me to stop and look at the world through his eyes sometimes. Children can give you a very unique perspective.

For all these things, I’m thankful. I am thankful for the people who remind me that a writer sees the world from a different view than others do. An artist looks at a flower and pictures it on canvas. A photographer sees things in still frames. I see the story in everything. Words are my paint and my laptop is my brush. I don’t strive for perfection, only the satisfaction of telling the story. Today, I thank YOU for allowing me to tell my stories. I value your input, your comments, your thoughts and reflections on my work. and when you tell me that something I have written has helped you in some way. I treasure the emails from fans who tell me that I’ve helped them with a struggle or that I’ve put something into words when they could not.

Thanks for making it a wonderful year of growing, learning and sharing. I hope the next year is filled with much more of the same for all of us.

~ Jesse

My latest non-fiction was published yesterday.  “Incredible Edibles – Field Guide To Free Food. Please, check it out. 

EdiblesBook

Also, the follow-up book to “Twisted: Flashbacks” will be coming out soon. If you have not yet read the original, you can pick-up your copy here. This is a fiction novella with a follow-up novel coming very soon!

NEWTWISTEDCOVER

 

Categories: erotica, lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

It Is Time

 

A couple of years ago, I embarked on a journey. This has been a spiritual journey for me, as well as one that has taken me to Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and all the way back to Illinois. I uprooted myself in a somewhat semi-permanent fashion, got rid of several hundred pounds of personal belongings and moved into this RV. I’ve lived a very minimalistic lifestyle for a all this time. I enjoy it, but I have found that this was a learning time for me – a time that I very much needed – and it is time for some change.

I often come back to Illinois to “regroup” and I have been blessed to have my friend Sheila here. She understands me in many ways. She knows that I have been on a soul journey these past few years. She knows that I feel things that are hard to explain and that life touches me in ways that some people can’t feel it. I try to pull the positive lessons out of every encounter and each experience, sometimes when they are painful I learn the most. That’s really life. The painful things can help us grow by moving us beyond our comfort zones. I’ve needed that and I knew that I did.

I spent the better part of seven years in a relationship that pushed me to the brink. We had a home, two cars, splendid furnishings, jobs, pets, ate out too much, got a college educations and better jobs … but the relationship itself was awful. There was no trust, no compassion, no joy in it at all. We just went through the motions of what we thought it was “supposed to be” when you were in a relationship. The person I lived with was narcissistic and detached. Lies of omission were part of daily life with her. It drove me crazy. Literally, I was crazed. I ended-up on medication because she told me I was crazy so many times that I started to believe it myself. I was on a whole host of prescription drugs that were meant to ‘make me normal’ when all the while they just made me more crazy.

When that relationship finally came to an abrupt halt, I was still very shaky. I’d tried to kill myself twice and contemplated it a third time. I was an emotional and psychological train wreck. I had no idea who I was anymore. I didn’t know what I liked to do, how I liked to spend my time, what I thought about the world around me anymore either. I’d been living in a bubble, like a hostage, for seven years. Like a baby, I had to rediscover myself.

There have been many mistakes since then, but I have spent the better part of the last six years alone. There have been dates and a few flings but nothing of any sort of permanent nature. It seemed like everyone wanted me to change or conform to their idea of what I should be. That scares me, after having gone through what I did. I did see a therapist for a long time who told me that I definitely had PTSD from the previous long-term relationship. I had more trauma over that relationship than I did my father’s suicide, which seemed to amaze her. This is why I’m so outspoken about domestic abuse now and I stress that it does not need to be physical abuse. Mental abuse is far more damaging in the long run.

So, with no roots, no real family and no reasons to stay anywhere, I have let myself be blown from here to there. I’ve lived in Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Florida and spent short periods in every state in between them all. Yes, many of you think it is an amazing way to live and that I am lucky. In some respects it is, but it is also very tiring. This RV is small, has no heat when it isn’t plugged in to a power source and I have been so cold that I wonder how I didn’t die a couple of times. I remember waking one morning and not being able to feel my feet. I tried to get out of bed and I couldn’t walk for a few minutes. I staggered into a Starbucks to warm myself and actually checked my feet in the bathroom for frostbite. No black or bright red – I was good.

There was the time in Alabama, exactly a year ago, when it was so hot that the RV hit 136 degrees inside and all I could do was sit. It was too hot to cook or move and I closed the curtains and stripped down to my boxers and sport bra and prayed for rain. It was that weekend that I wrote my first book, “Butch Sexology” with just a pencil and a legal pad. I published it on May 29th, if I recall correctly. What a year it has been! I’ve learned that I can do anything that I want.

So…I just had to figure out what I want. I know I don’t EVER want to be so cold that I can’t feel my feet ever again. The things that are important to me are not possessions by any means. Lifestyle is important to me. I believe in living a purposeful life and a simple life. In talking with Ellen again, she has told me about the city of St Pete’s stance on sustainable living. I was immediately intrigued. I can have a small house, a big garden and even raise chickens in my backyard. I can be warm year round. I can have peace and quiet and still be in a city that offers me all the things I love, such as theaters, beaches, performing arts, museums, fishing, fresh food, sports and so much more. I can have a little home office, where I can hide in the evenings and continue to tap out my books. I can have BOOK SHELVES again. 🙂 The thought of it all is almost mind-blowing to me. I haven’t had anywhere I have thought of as “home” for a long, long time. Well, it is time and I am ready. I’m making the leap.

There you have it! What lesson have I learned? That in attempting to change the world, the world changes us. It’s up us whether this is for the better or for the worst. I think I finally hit “for the better” and I am officially going to park the RV in storage this fall. I’ll be hanging up the keys for a while. It will still be there so I can enjoy weekend excursions and I will still fly here and there when I can. If I can park it in a back yard, it may just become my “writing cave” but who knows?  I’ll never fully give traveling up, because I do love to see the sights and explore places … but this butch is ready to hang her many hats somewhere with a permanent hook for a while. 🙂

(I’m seriously gonna need some furniture! o.O)

Categories: life lessons, self-help | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Dear Child, It Is A Mad World …

I have spent most of my life believing that everything happens for a reason, though not ever really applying it to my life in a way that made any difference. It has only been in the last few years that I have started to awake from a deep sleep.

Today, I want to unload some feelings that are very heavy and I have carried them around for a long, long time and I have never written about it or tried to tell it any detail. It’s time….

I was twenty-two when I met your mother. She was exciting and unlike anyone I had ever known. I was smitten with her from the first time I saw her and as I got to know her, as a friend. I gradually fell in love with her. In time, she and I were together but the situation soon became very complicated.

She awoke with a painful case of the shingles one morning. She asked me to drive her to the hospital because she was in so much pain. We went and she was eventually taken back to be seen. I sat in the waiting room for many hours, wondering what in the world was wrong that she needed to be there for so long. Eventually a guy came out from the back and told me, “She’s a little upset and hasn’t wanted to come out to see you…but she’ll be out soon, okay?”

My first thought was that something was seriously wrong and I was, of course, worried. He didn’t tell me what was going on. Eventually she came out and said, “Let’s go.” It wasn’t until we were outside, in that beat-up old VW Bus that had taken us on many excursions already, including the most amazing New Year’s Eve. As she put the key in the ignition, she didn’t look at me and blurted out, “I’m pregnant.” Then she just sat there, waiting for my response. I was not quite twenty-three years of age – just a little older than you are now – and I have no idea why I reacted the way I did … but I always saw you as a blessing. All I could do was smile.

Your mother said to me, “Are you shitting me? You’re HAPPY aren’t you??” At this point I started to laugh out loud.

I remember how I played with my shoe laces and didn’t really look at her, because I was summoning something up from deep inside me when I asked her a serious of questions. “Do you ever see yourself with another man?”

“No.”

“Then this might be your last chance to have a child. Do you want this baby?”

With tears in her eyes and a frog in her throat, “Yes.”

“Then it looks like we’re having a baby?”

It turned-out that when she had moved in with me, she had already been one month pregnant. The months that followed were strange, mad, somewhat insane and more beautiful than any other days of my life…

I was in love with your mom and nothing about her being pregnant changed that. In fact, I thought she was even more beautiful and I admired her strength and courage, as a woman. As her body changed, there were days that she was horrified at the things she saw going on in the mirror. Still, she had the same warped sense of humor then that she does now and I am sure that you grew-up with. For example, there was the time she screamed from the shower, “Dawn…DAWN! Come here!” I raced into the bathroom thinking something was wrong. No…she just wanted to show me that she could squirt me with breast milk from the shower.  I told you it was warped. It sent me running from the bathroom, squealing in disgust,  as she could be heard laughing through-out the apartment.

We conquered the beach all summer long, as her belly grew large. Once, while she floated on an inner tube and I floated along with her treading water, we found ourselves having drifted quite far out. In a very calm voice, your mother said to me, “Now…I do not want you to panic. I grew-up along the beach, so I am used to this … but I want you to very slowly look to your left and STOP splashing.” I looked and to my absolute horror, there was a shark circling us that was about six feet long. This Illinois farm girl was about to get up and walk like Jesus on the water. “Do you want to get up here on the inner tube with me?”

“Hell no. I’ll flip you out of it and then we’ll both be shark bait!”

“Well, then why don’t you just float up underneath the inner tube and we’ll let the tide take us in?” I did as she told me. We floated along for what seemed like forever. By the time we got halfway back to shore there were two – another smaller shark had joined in on the fun. I was never  so glad to get my feet on terra firma! Your mother sauntered along like it was just another day, well … at the beach. You had no choice to grow-up strong.

As the weeks passed by, we would lay in the floor of my apartment and I would lay my head on her stomach and talk to you. I could lay my hand on her stomach and you would move to wherever I rested my palm and kick and kick. You earned the nickname of “Thumper” before your name was chosen.

So many times, she would come to my door upset and just frustrated. I’d pull her in and calm her down. We would lay for hours and listen to music and talk. We talked about life, music, and most of all we talked about you. We talked about where you would go to school and we wondered what you would be like. We had hopes for you, as all parents do. At some point, your mom began working on a birth plan. She wrote and rewrote. She added, deleted and prepared a plan that would need to be bound because it was so detailed. I loved her spirit and admired her ability to take charge of any situation – even if it meant telling a doctor how to do their job. To this day, I probably find it to be one of her most endearing qualities … her fighting spirit. Your mother was never one to ‘go with the flow’ when she had other ideas. I’m guessing you probably know that by now?

When the day finally came for you to enter the world, we were all at the hospital. I never left your mom’s side for the entire twenty-three hours that she was in labor. The delivery was not easy on her and I cried for her pain many times. She refused to bring you into the world while she was on pain meds. She was bound and determined that you would be born naturally. Eighteen hours in, the doctor had other ideas. Eventually, she relented to the epidural because it was that or a C-section.

When your head crowned, I could see your little dark curls. You had a head full of hair already! asked your father, “Jim, she has your hair. Wanna see?”

His response was comical. He very somberly stated, “Some things are better left to women.”

The doctor asked me if I wanted to cut the cord and I was going to but at the last second she asked your mother to not push. I was shoulder to shoulder with the doctor at this point and I could see the reason. The cord was around your little neck, not once but twice. Once again, you were proving that you were already going to be doing things your way. The doctor prepared and apologized to me that she needed to act quickly. Your mother was told to push one last time and the doctor pulled you by the shoulders, slipped her thumb under that cord and unwound it twice, pulled you free and laid you on top of your mother’s belly … all in less than two seconds.

I was mesmerized instantly. A little china doll. That was all I could think. Your little eyes opened and you looked in my direction, probably because you recognized my voice when I cried, “She’s beautiful.” I think we were all in tears. Your mother was busy counting toes and fingers. Your father looked as though he was going to pass-out. I remember your mom saying, “Hello there … hello, Amelia.”

The months that followed were some of the most wonderful days of my life. When I looked at you, I saw your mother. You always had her eyes, from the moment you opened them the first time. You were part  of her and I always saw you as just another part of her that I loved. There was a rocking chair that your mom had found when she was pregnant. I had spent hours fixing it up, painting it and putting a new cushion on it so that there was a way to rock you when you were born. I learned two things about you in the hours that you and I spent alone. The first, you loved music and I could always sing to you and calm you. We had two special songs. I sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” to you and we had a special song from Cinderella that I would sing sometimes. Some of my favorite memories are of you laying your head on my shoulder and falling asleep. You were such a good baby.

When you were about five months old, I started carting you around the house in a Snuggli and you came with me to do laundry, mow the yard, mop the floor and vacuum. You and I road the city bus to go shopping at the mall to buy a surprise for your mom. We went to the park and fed ducks. You mother and I took you to the beach and you would sit in a little pool of water that she would rake the sand out of so the waves would keep you filled-up. You would sit and play for hours. That little unruly curl on top of your head would blow in the breeze and we would sit and watch you and just enjoy watching you discover your world.

There were rough mornings when you were up all night. We would stagger to the kitchen and wait for the  coffee maker. It was a Melita. I remember that coffee maker well because she was obsessed with how good it was and I often had to listen to her wax poetic about the absolute genius of a cone shaped filter. I remember being out of milk and creamer once, so we tried formula. You are not a ‘real’ parent until you have tried infant formula in your coffee. In case you are wondering – not good.

Your mother had never changed a diaper in her life and neither had your father. Sometimes, it took two people … like the time I heard the shriek from the bedroom. I walked in to find your mom shaking her head and saying, “There is no baby wipe in the world that is gonna handle this!” We decided to have one carry you, with diaper hanging, and just run to the bathroom, where one of us held you and the other hosed you off. It worked out just fine and from what I understand, you got used to things being a little like ‘the path less chosen’ your whole life? That’s good!

When I left St Pete, it was for a whole lot of reasons and the one thing I am sure of is that it wasn’t because of you. If there is one thing that I could tell you, it would be that you were never far from my thoughts in the last twenty years. I prayed for your safety and for your happiness. I haven’t held a baby in all these years that my heart didn’t ache for you and those days when I was so happy. To this day, I remember exactly how you smelled after a bath.

Many times I have searched the internet for your name, just to see how you were doing and if you were okay. I never would try to interfere with your life because you really never knew me, yet you have always been very much a part of me. I left a little of my soul in St Pete and I am so glad that I found your mother and she and I talk again. It has been an emotional roller coaster ride for me though … so many bitter sweet memories, feelings of jealousy for all the things I missed and knowing that it had to be the way that it was. Your mom beams with pride that I can literally feel over the phone. I hear about your accomplishments and stories about your childhood. While it is a hard pill to swallow for me, knowing that I wasn’t there, I find myself also very proud of you and also of your mother. She has changed a lot for the better. I think that was you. So I can’t do anything about the last twenty years, but I can do so much about tomorrow and I make my choices today. Just know that I never really left you behind because you BOTH always had my heart; it was with you both each and every day.  That is all I really want you to know.

 

Categories: lesbian, life lessons, love, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Life Has A Way of Humbling Us, Why Fight It?

 

Know what is humbling? Logging into your blog for the first time in almost two months and seeing that you are still averaging almost 200 readers per day and that you have surpassed the 50,000 hits that you had initially hoped for in your wildest dreams – and it isn’t quite yet a year! THANK YOU!

You all know that I write about life and that can be so many things! My readers tell me that what they find most endearing is the way I let people in and share how I really feel in the most raw way possible. I don’t hold back … even when it doesn’t paint me in the greatest of lights. Life has humbled me to the point that I just don’t feel a need to try to look good. I’d rather be myself, in all my screwed-up glory. I’m imperfect. Ask all three credit bureaus. I’m honestly thinking of contacting Guinness Book of records to see if I may just have the lowest credit score in the nation. Seriously. That bad. In the words of a four year old that I love very much, “Guess what?? NOBODY CARES!!” (followed by MUCH giggling) Joshua indeed has his own unique way of looking at the world and it is amazing what you can learn from children. Keep it simple. Focus on what is in front of you. Don’t get hung-up in details. If you can get someone else to do it, that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about. Keep asking for what you want until someone gives it to you. The word ‘no’ has little meaning if you choose to ignore it. Yep…that’s wisdom right there, folks.

I’m sorry that I’ve been out of touch and away from my usual posts. I’ve had a LOT of emotional things going on and I don’t really talk these things out. I stew on them. I let them sink in. I allow pain to seep into my veins and turn the blood of my soul from red to black from time to time. Once all the sludge turns to goo, it is time to sit, write and let it all out. That’s the way I work – it’s how I roll. Now I can breathe again and let that oxygen flow and cleanse me, from the deepest recesses of all that is me!

I don’t believe that one single minute of any day is wasted. Even if I choose to just sit or nap all day, that is not a wasted day! Rejuvenating the spirit, the soul, having time to think and learn and take a look at our progress is important. I’m always reminded of a line from an Indigo Girls song, “…every five years or so I look back on my  life and I have a good laugh…”. That is important. We are new people each day. You are not the same person that you were yesterday. You have new cells, your are chemically not exactly the same because it fluctuates and your thoughts today are not exactly the same as yesterday. We are in a constant state of flux. That is life. If things didn’t change, then we wouldn’t be growing.

Did I mention that I’m 45 now? Yep…I had a birthday! Nothing like a birthday to remind you that your body is getting older and more worn out. Thinking I need some maintenance. Where to start? For one thing, I gave up soda (or ‘pop’ when I’m here at home in Illinois). Would you believe that my vision is clearing up? It is! I don’t need bifocals to see my computer or to read! I’ve been drinking over a gallon of water, with grape juice, each day for several days and I am sitting here typing away without reading glasses on! Amazing. My joints are day to day. My shoulder is feeling much better since stopping the Diet Dew too. I’m beginning to think that there is more to that stuff being poison than I ever realized and from now on I am going to envision a skull and crossbones on a bottle of it and think of it as drinking rat poison!!

Now…how do I heal my soul? I’m gonna lay it all out for you. Jo hurt me a lot. She lied to me in ways that I honestly trusted her not to. I flat-out asked her to promise me that she’d not play with my feelings when we first started talking again. She did anyway and while it hurt me extremely deeply and I’ve needed much time to heal, I’m out on the other side of it and I feel good again. The biggest thing is that I forgive her and I realize that I need to follow my own blog! Somewhere along the line I wrote that ‘people only love you as much as they can’ and I got that line from Laura. Laura is the woman I went to Florida for last year. Wow. She must have been telling me a lot about herself when she said that. I forgive Laura too. Even though I spent three days in a hospital, scared and in tears a time or two and she never visited me once, I forgive her. I hope she forgives me for not being able to be the person she needed me to be. Her idea of my life and my idea of my life were two very different things. I’m not cut-out for living in a house with someone, being tied down to bills, routines and time clocks. It just isn’t going to happen. She kept telling me that she was waiting for my life to ‘settle down’ and I kept waiting for her to love me as I was. Two different people, two different paths and it took me realizing that it wasn’t meant and it wasn’t going to happen. That didn’t mean I didn’t care for her…anymore that it means I don’t still care for Jo. I do. I don’t turn-off feelings and emotions for people that meant something to me. People think I do, because I walk away but that isn’t true at all. I simply put myself first. I have a conscious and sometimes it gets the best of me, keeps me up at night and makes want to sit down and write an email and just say hello. I’m getting better at not sending them.

I’ve been talking to my ex from twenty years ago. It is a long story and I’m not going to get into it all again. Ellen is the one person in my life that I have held onto all these years and wanted to talk to again. There was a Karmic connection and a reason to contact again. She’s grown. She’s different in a lot of ways … and in some ways she’s the same and she knows I know. <insert smile here> You see, the part of me that has grown is the part that no longer needs to force someone into a mold that I think is ‘right’ or ‘correct’ in some way. I do not judge and I don’t begrudge anyone living their life and following their path the way that they need to. I know how to keep a safe distance now. Fact is, I honestly LIKE Ellen. She’s funny, witty, smart, charming when she wants to be, sassy as hell (which I always admired – even when it was directed at me) and she is one of the most resourceful people I’ve ever known. I ADMIRE her … even when she doesn’t admire herself. Fact is, she is one of the few people I was ever involved with who has grown and I don’t mind her in my life again, because I don’t feel that it is a step backwards in any way. I feel like we’ve both grown forward and we just aren’t the same people anymore. Does this make sense? I don’t mind saying this, knowing that she’ll read it, but I still love her. I always have and I always held everyone else in all these years up to her as a comparison…which wasn’t fair to them and a hell of a lot to live up to…but it’s true. For what it’s worth, I’m not afraid to admit that. I believe that coming to terms with things in our lives is very much about being truthful and honest, with OURSELVES as much as with others. So, I admit it, I never got over her and I don’t truly know why. I just didn’t. I admitted to someone that I lived with for six years that if Ellen had shown-up knocking on my door and wanting to get back together, that I’d have left with her. Sad huh? I mean, I feel terrible that I SAID that … but it was the honest truth. That was EIGHT years after we hadn’t been together too. Strange to say it, but the only thing I ever believed in was her and I’m SO proud that she raised Amelia and made it when all the chips were down. Against all odds, she survived. I know it wasn’t probably pretty and it wasn’t easy or perfect by any means…but she did it and I’m honestly so proud of her and I really want her to know that, because I mean it so much. It was only when I moved into this RV that I threw away a lot of things from my past because I knew that clinging to the past is not the right thing to do….but there were a few things that I kept that were extremely important to me. This was one thing that I could never and will never part with…

Ellen and Amelia1

You can’t imagine with my life as scattered as it is and has been – the moving, the traveling and life I lead – how hard it may be to keep track of things. I always know where this photo is on a moments notice.

 

So here I am. Alone. I’m okay with that. I’m simply acknowledging how I feel today and the things going ’round in my head. I’m not trying to get back together with anyone, not looking for anyone new. I’m just happy to live today and to feel this breeze in my face. That photo may seem sad, but to me it isn’t. It reminds me that I had a very, very happy time in my life and I was lucky to have had it. I’ve been lucky for every day ever since. When I left her, I drank myself into a stupor for about three years. I practically lived at the bar, playing Garth Brook’s “The Dance” on the jukebox and wallowing in grief. If  I had all the money back that I drank away, I could probably travel well for a year. Paycheck after paycheck I pissed into the toilet, literally. I’ve come a long, long way. I’m sober now. I’m humble. I feel too much sometimes, but I am not afraid to face what I feel with quiet dignity and know that I have been blessed many times over. I choose to be thankful and yes, Ellen,  I choose to be proud of you and believe in you. You deserve that.

 

Categories: lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Just Get Up

A strange fog has come over the world outside my window. It has been raining since yesterday, a constant trickle and pitter patter from the roof as a gentle reminder to me that there is a world outside, awaiting my return to it. I pour another cup of coffee and ponder so many things about this world and this life as my spoon disappears into the creamy mixture. I like a little coffee with my cream, thank-you very much. I’ve given sugar up almost entirely, but I am not giving up the cream in my coffee, it is one of those little indulgences of my life that I will be stubborn about.

Today, I think about the husband of a friend who is in the hospital. He’s in very bad condition, originally admitted with congestive heart failure and since admittance having suffered from a massive stroke. He has a clot in his brain. The doctor administered medication that he declared ‘will either help him or kill him.’  I think about this man in particular, and the legacy he leaves behind. His has not been a particularly good life and he’s not always been a good person. Still … he is a person and a child of this Universe.

Today, I think about the unborn child that is being carried by a girl who is but a child herself. She’s already had two such children taken away from her because of her mental inability to take care of them. She is due again, any day, and my heart is heavy with thoughts of what will become of this child. The first two were lucky enough to be adopted by family. This same family is out of financial resources now and simply cannot keep taking in children, especially when they are being delivered almost like kittens at this rate. The girl cannot be held completely responsible for her inability to cope with the world. There are many factors at play. The grandparents cannot be held responsible because she was raised as well as any other child. She is capable of making these decisions but not doing a very good job, I’m afraid. In the end … I mourn for this unborn child who is about to come into a world with absolutely nothing stable in her world. Yes, we know it is a girl. In fact, her name is to be Brooklyn ( I am unsure of how it will be spelled ) and she will have the same middle name as I was given at birth, Renee.

I suppose my heart is heavy today, like the fog outside my window. The heaviness crept into me just as unexpectedly and I only know to put it all down and share it … as I nearly always do. Things touch me deeply. Knowing the way in which all things are connected, I wonder what my role in all of it is? Recently I have thought deeply about those words, “it takes a village” and they keep rattling around in my head. Is it my hormones and the fact that I know I am soon to be beyond the ability to have a child that is bothering me? I don’t think that is entirely it. I never wanted to be pregnant. I never had the desire to give birth but I loved children none the less.

This all has me thinking about the circle of life, beginnings and endings and all the things that fall between. We make mistakes because we are human. Everything we do touches someone else. We can touch others in a positive way or we can be a negative influence. Most of the time, this is a very conscious choice that each of us makes. What about those times that we do something for ourselves and it inadvertently harms someone else in some way? What about the people who just aren’t “there” yet? I’m speaking about the ones who don’t see their place in the universe or understand how they affect everyone else. Do we all constantly create ‘Karmic debts’ that need to be paid in full or is the answer to being taught the lesson is simply that we come to the realization that our decisions have harmed others and have real regret for this? Perhaps changing our ways is enough? What an interesting concept that would imply that it is never too late for anyone!

Humility is a word that I’ve been introduced to in recent years. “What have you done with your life in the past sixteen years?”  These were the words I heard as if they had been spoken to me by God himself. My entire life flashed before my eyes in a matter of 30 seconds. I was reminded of every single time I’d been selfish. I literally saw the scenes before my eyes, as the Ghost of Christmas’ Past. As soon as I felt true humility, I felt that my burdens were lifted and my soul had been set free. Gone was the anger that I had harbored both in resentments and hurts that were well in the past. In a few seconds my view of life swiveled on axis like a camera on a tripod. Suddenly all the scenes were changed and everything became clear. I came to fully accept that I had been wasting a lot of time. I had to own it! When I fully accepted my role in this life, everything was revealed to me in a way that gave me direction. Suddenly I had a purpose – to reach people, to teach people and to bring those who suffer to a place of calm.

Now, it would seem, that I am haunted by the Ghost of Christmas’ Yet To Come. I’m gravely concerned for the sick, the dying and the unborn with nothing but chaos that awaits – yet, I am calm and steadfast in my faith that it will all happen with reason and with purpose. Each and every one of you is born with a purpose and a meaning for your life. It will reveal itself if you give yourself over to humility. So much can be accomplished when ego is removed from the equation. In the place of ego, add faith and you will begin to see the answers to your problems. I believe that God has a funny way of allowing us to make the same mistakes over and over until we get it right. Every parent knows that you can tell a child over and over that something is hot, but until they have finally been burned enough to cause real hurt, they often don’t get the lesson. Don’t be angry with God, or the Universe, or Mother God, or Allah, or Jehovah, or Buddha, or Jesus Christ, or Mary, or even with Cerridwen for letting you get burned. You obviously needed the lesson if you are feeling the pain. The reason may not be clear yet, but in time it will reveal itself if you remain open to being taught. That requires humility.

As far as the specific things I ponder today, as the traffic grows heavier with people getting out of church, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is reason for all these things. When we lose someone in death, it makes us stand on our own two feet and forces us to make decisions that we may never have made before. When a child is born into the world, they are a new beginning, a new chance at mankind getting something right. She is a blank slate and this is a chance for her to touch the world in the way she will. How she is raised will possibly affect the way in which she touches the world, but the circumstances in which we are raised do not have to define us. Humility allows us to grow beyond any constraints placed upon us in this world. We are given minds and hearts to seek, question and constantly grow. My friends, may you all grow a little today and may the world around you not get you down. If it does, just remember to always fall forward and that you are never a failure until the day you choose to not get up. Today, I beseech you … GET UP!

*BELIEVE*BREATHE*BECOME

Categories: Adoption, child abuse, death, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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