Sunday, February 22, 2015

Opened Up

There is never a clock in exam rooms. Old magazines, resource flyers, anxiety and fear are always abundant but never a clock to wait with you. I think, at times, that the consistent ticking and tocking of the clock would comfort me, soothe me. With each second the hand makes its voyage to become a minute, it would take me on a journey to a calm and collected land. It would help me focus and assuage my fears no matter how silly they may be. It would remind me that life moves forward even when we may be scared of the future.

I sat waiting for my provider to turn the handle she had many times before. The handle she had turned time and time again with other patients, to give them wonderful news, to deliver crushing realities, to ask them to bare themselves and pull their butt to the end of the table so she can get inside them in a way we become uncomfortably comfortable with over the years.

Maybe the clock in the room would not bring solace but irritation. Tick, tick, ticking away the moments when you are anxious to find out news. Maybe it would lead me to a land of impatience and anger. Thinking of all the time I've wasted in this room. In other rooms just like this where I've been poked, prodded and spread apart with no shame, no merriment or fulfilment of good or happy news.

My blood pressure was slightly elevated. I have been nervous lately. I haven't lost the weight. Without losing weight she wouldn't help me have a baby. I get it. Really I do. I'm extremely overweight, insulin resistant, have a family history of cardiovascular and stroke disease-she wants me to be as healthy as possible before attempting to conceive again or trying other fertility methods.

I just felt like a failure.

I couldn't stop but think....if one of my biggest hindrances to conceiving is my weight and I am not shedding it like I should be does that mean deep down I don't want children? I know what I want, what I desire, but if my actions aren't in concordance with my desires won't that show her I am not serious?

There are women in my life who tell me I should not talk about fertility issues. That I should not be open about my struggles because I may embarrass myself or my husband. By sharing my struggles I am focusing on the bad in my life and not praising the good. Except here's the thing, I accept the good and bad alike. I joyfully praise the good I am blessed with and reflect on the bad or unsavory parts of life and use them as an opportunity to learn.

Hiding what I am going through does nothing for me. Opening myself up, sharing my fears, my failures, my goals for my future has helped me form an amazing support system of family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers.

Having a support system that raises me up when I feel like giving up is precious and priceless.

Being open and honest with those who annoyingly tease and ask why there aren't little ones running around yet is freeing. Not having to tiptoe or beat around the bush is satisfying. Although sometimes, it is just as freeing and satisfying to tell a nosey mosey we don't want to talk about it in a completely nondefensive way and feel content because we are open with people in our lives who are genuinely interested and there for us.

Finally, the door opened. We talked openly and frankly. Although I had not lost weight I had lost inches from our last visit. She reminded me that things take time and I am still down from the first time I met with her. She pulled her stool awkwardly close, sitting knee to knee with me, staring right into my soul and spoke directly to my heart  and told me she believed I was on the cusp of a breakthrough and will be shedding weight soon. She let me know she would do whatever she could to help us meet our goal.

She stood, signaling the end of our appointment. Her hand rested on the handle of the door, this door that has ushered many happy smiles out of this small room and into the world, this door that had been shut delicately allowing someone to cry away from everyone else before having to brave the world like nothing earth shattering had happened. Her hand twitched, ready to turn, to head to another patient, another story, but before leaving she urged to me call and ask if I had any questions about our plan or medications.

As I gathered my wallet and got ready to go back to work, I realized it was exactly what I needed, an open environment where questions and concerns were welcome. Where learning happens. Where I can be myself and comfortable in my own skin and not feel silly by asking or suggesting ideas. Where I do not need to focus on my past but the possibility of the future.

When I was checking out I glanced up at the nondescript black and white clock, and realized I had only been there twenty minutes. It felt like I had just got there and an eternity all at once. I let the ticking tame my soul, taking me forward to the rest of my day, ushering me to my future, towards my possibilities, one moment at a time.

This has been a Sunday Confession with the lovely Ash from More Than Cheese And Beer. Today's prompt was open. Please stop by the link-up and see how our lovely hostess and the other bloggers tackled the prompt. And as always, Happy Sunday.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Don't Pull Yourself Down

Recently I was told a coworker, a friend, thought my job was boring. Naturally, I was enlightened because so and so told so and so and it made its way to me. That is the amazing thing about gossip, it has no barriers, no fears, there's little to stop it but seemingly it feeds on almost anything. Almost instantly, I became defensive about my position. I was upset and wondered why she would say that to others rather than ever mention it to me...when many times she had expressed genuine interest about my job.

Then I realized I was being sucked into a pulling, suffocating, vortex of unknown words, opinions and facts. I had to pull myself back, stop and think for a moment why was I becoming upset by what someone said. Or possibly said.

Unfortunately, it is easier to be pulled down then it is to be pulled upwards. There are many factors that make it easier to bring us down including that we are predisposed to believe the worst in people, we tend to believe that once we are down in the dumps that is where we are meant to stay and of course, in the most literal sense, gravity likes to keep us down.

It is extremely difficult to pull ourselves up when we have been knocked down. It can be difficult to extract ourselves from a salacious gossip fest. When it comes to pulling our heads out of our asses it can be almost impossible.

To be swept away with our emotions and reactions is quite easy. It is hard to take a step back and be objective of a situation, especially when we are being attacked, or think we are.

When we take a moment to see the whole situation, to ask ourselves the important questions, and to gather the facts we are able to gain some stable ground and in turn become grounded.

I am not sure why I instantly became riled up when someone said my job was boring.

My job is quite boring.

I do nothing exciting or enthralling. I am the connector. When you talk to me, I am offering education on why we are calling you back for additional views from your mammogram. I explain what we are seeing on your films.  I listen to you, explain to you, and get you in as quickly as possible. I am the person who if you have no coverage I help get you covered under a grant so you get your mammogram, ultrasound or biopsy done. I will request proper orders so your insurance will cover your tests. I am annoying and do not quit until I get the correct orders/diagnosis/clock position. I fight with the hospital schedulers who sometimes get you before me to make sure you are on for the right test. I get your pathology results from your biopsies and help get the ball rolling so you are notified quickly and properly. I make sure you get navigated to the correct people. I get your authorization for MRI's and genetic testing. Rarely will you see my face as only one day a week I am in patient care doing your vitals, taking your personal and family history, asking and answering questions that you may have. Rarely will you remember my name. You will remember the name of our doctors, our mammo and ultrasound techs, our procedure nurses, our cancer nurse and our High Risk coordinator. But myself, and my two main co-workers' names will most likely elude you.

We do the boring part. We do the behind the scenes part. We do the tedious part. We do very necessary parts so you receive the best care possible. And that's okay. I love what I do. I love helping people. I love listening. I love my boring. The adjective boring is nothing offensive to me so why did I get so upset when I heard someone supposedly describe my job that way?

Because I reacted before I thought. I leaped before listening and I should have learned better by now. But it is hard to avoid that pull downwards. It is natural when we are being tugged down to fall fast. We have learned that if we struggle, if we resist the pull that when we do fall, we fall harder and hurt ourselves worse than if we would have gone with the flow.

Standing firm and refusing to be pulled down is hard. Letting ourselves be pulled down is harder. Pulling ourselves up after we allowed ourselves to be drug down is the hardest, most difficult thing we have to do sometimes. But also the most rewarding.

For the record, the person who supposedly said my job was boring was very misquoted. I know this because I asked her directly because I was curious and sick of third person recounts. And I am glad I did.

You cannot control what people say, what they gossip about, how they try to shake or shape you, but you can choose how you respond and react to them and refuse to be pulled into their drama or down to a level that is going to be hard to crawl out of.

This has been a Sunday Confession with the awesome More Than Cheese And Beer. Please check out her Facebook page for anonymous confessions and her blog to see how she and the other brave bloggers attacked the prompt 'pull'.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Use Your Words: Friday, February 13th, 2015

Hello and Happy Friday you wonderful people!

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist: no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them.

Until now.
 
At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 

I’m using:   Love ~ Pizza ~ Penguin ~ Pie ~ Super

They were submitted by:  Juicebox Confession ~thanks Michelle!
 

She woke to the penguin pecking and nuzzling her face. This would have been odd in any other circumstance but she had celebrated her birthday a little too hard last night. Visions of her possibly committing the crime of trespassing, breaking and entering into the zoo was vaguely brought to front of her mind.

When she began to move, the room decided to do the same and began dancing with her. The overwhelming smell of fish and something unrecognizable was too much for her.

She needed to get out of this pen. Pen? That didn't sound right. Aquarium? There was water in this environment but there was much more to it. She sat still for a moment begging her head to stop holding auditions for drum solos and forced herself to make heads and tails out of her surroundings and string together a coherent sentence. Habitat. Yes. A habitat. That's what she decided on. She had to break out of this habitat.

Gretel stood, in a brave and stupid attempt, to find her way out of the habitat. She did not promptly find her exit but rather a show stopping bout of dizziness and dreadful moments of heaving anything and everything she had ever consumed in her life onto every nearby surface. Including her brand new Jimmy Choos.

"Super, Gretel, just super", she muttered to herself. She had saved ages for those golden, jewel encrusted-collared-beautiful-perfectly-alluring-but-sexy heels. And she had just yakked on them.

This was not how she wanted to spend the morning of her birthday, shivering from being cold, feeling like crap, and alone. Then she realized, her brother, the one who had talked her into this crazy nonsense of breaking into the zoo so she could see her favorite animals for her birthday, was nowhere around. She was content on just ordering in a pizza and watching old movies, a favorite past time of hers, but he would not hear of it for his baby sister's 21st birthday. He wanted to do something crazy, something memorable, and something awesome for her.

So he decided on helping her commit her first crime so she could stare at the flamingos while drinking cheap booze while the clock chimed midnight was the best thing to do.

While cursing him and his stupid plan, she attempted moving again, and gently tiptoed through her own sickness, and waddled through the rest of the penguins and searched the far wall for a way out. Finally, she found a door that was blended perfectly into the wall but thankfully its dented and dull knob stood out enough so she could spot her escape. Gretel made her way to the door and held her breath while she turned the handle.

It opened!

She sighed the biggest breath of relief she had ever expelled and made her way through the oddly shaped room. After instances of tripping, opening doors to too many closets, she finally found her way out. As she opened the door, the February sun attacked her eyes. She decided to head for the exit; well she would have if she only knew where it was.

Gretel had no cell phone, was terrified what would happen when the workers arrived and found her there, and did not know where her brother was. She plopped down on the closest curb letting the anxiety take over. The tears threatened to spill from her blurry and tired eyes just when she heard the scuffle of excited feet trotting towards her.

She looked up to see her brother heading towards her with a goofy smile on his face, with a bottle of Schnapps in one hand and a delicious looking pie in the other.

"Where were you?!" Gretel cried, her voice breaking with anxiety and a smidgen of happiness.

"I was out getting your breakfast birthday girl", he said while shimmying towards her with the pie precariously perched in his hand and the shaking the bottle at her. "I didn't think you would wake up for at least another hour. You were passed out. Hard. So I let you sleep."

All she could do was glare. He left her in this place, the place he forced her to break into, in a penguin habitat, where they could have pecked her eyes out or worse-somehow shimmied off her shoes and hid them somewhere. And now he shows up with cheap booze and a pie thinking everything would be alright.

"I'm sorry Gretel, really. I just wanted to do something special for you. We never had much and I always thought by the time you were this age I would be able to take you somewhere fabulous for your birthday. But I couldn't. You deserve so much more. I'm sorry".

Not having a lot never bothered her. Rather it made her appreciate everything in life she did have, including her impulsive but well-meaning brother. He made sure she finished school, helped her get a job and always watched over her and protected her in every way he could. He had always been there for her even after their father abandoned them and picked their step-mother over her.

They sat in silence, both thinking of their pasts, both wondering what the future held for them. She grabbed the pie from him partially because she did not want to engage in a serious conversation today but also because the inviting smell was too much for her to ignore anymore.

She grabbed one of the offered plastic forks from her brother and took a bite of the succulent apple pie, and her taste buds confirmed that it was just as delicious as it looked.

"Oh my goodness, I love this!", she exclaimed. "Where did you get it?"

Her brother looked somewhat abashed at least when he answered, "You won't believe me, but I stole it from a house in the woods close to this zoo. I was going to get you a birthday cake too but I only had money for this", he said as he shook the bottle. "It was chilling on the windowsill. I didn't think that people even did that anymore".

She began to laugh hysterically as the tears started to roll down her cheeks. He joined her laughter and they sat munching and drinking for a few more minutes before deciding it was best to get out of zoo before anyone discovered them.
"So what do we do now?", Gretel asked her brother.
"This may sound crazy, but I think that house I took that pie from, was made of candy. I think we should go check it out. Even if it's not it was pretty neat", he replied.
"Oh Hansel, I don't know about this", Gretel contemplated.
"Come on, what could possibly go wrong?", her brother inquired……

 
Thank you for reading! Please do not forget to stop by the other brave bloggers who participated in the February's Use Your Words Challenge. Links to the amazing bloggers are listed below:
          
Baking In A Tornado

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Before I Was Me

Before I could be happy, I was sad. I was in a dark place. I found the light and appreciated it only because I tripped in the darkness many years.

Before I was comfortable with myself I gave into the horrible belief I should hate myself until I was the unattainable, boring, model of perfection. I hungered for for thin thighs, big lips, a sexy walk, small waist, and a round ass. I did not realize I would always be hungry for self-acceptance if I tried to follow ideals of beauty manipulated and created by people who did not care about me, know me or love me. I found that I was only satiated once I made peace with who I was.

Before I could improve myself and move towards my goals I had to admit I had a problem. I had to scrutinize my reflection and force myself to be honest. I needed to tell myself that I was lazy, eating unhealthy, unhappy and just bask in those truths. Once I could make peace with who I truly was, then I could finally move on.

Before I was comfortable being me, I was lost in who I should be. I was ashamed of who I was not. I was loathing my existence to appease a ridiculous standard that I did not meet, that I will never meet. A ridiculous standard I chose to hold myself to.

Before I was the me I am today, I needed to acknowledge that I have been me always. The mistakes, the flaws, the unhealthy ways, the self-loathing days are all a part of me. They all helped make me who I am. Maybe not the best parts, maybe not the happy parts, maybe not the beautiful parts of me but still me.

Without living unhealthily and sedentary for so long, I would have never found joy in the sweat and uncomfortableness of working out and small progress being made. Without those moments of self-doubt I would have never appreciated the importance of self-love.

Before I was me.

Today I am me.

Tomorrow, hopefully, I will be a better me.

Until I can be the best version of myself, I will continue to make progress and I will fail. I will learn from my failures and turn them into experience. I will take my experience and merge it with my determination. Day by day, I will embrace myself for who I am, appreciate who I was, and look forward to who I will be one day.

Today was a Sunday Confession with the one, the only, the amazing More Than Cheese And Beer. Please check out our momma cheesiness and the other bloggers who chose to tackle the prompt Before at the link-up. Don't forget to stop by her Facebook page to see the anonymous confessions as well. And of course, have a happy Sunday.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Secret Subject Swap: February 6th, 2015

15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts:

Baking In A Tornado

Stacy Sews and Schools

The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Spatulas on Parade

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

 The Momisodes

Climaxed

Confessions of a part-time working mom

Someone Else’s Genius

Southern Belle Charm

The Lieber Family

Evil Joy Speaks

Disneyland in Kentucky

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo 

Juicebox Confession

Sit back, grab a cup(of whatever you want to sip no judgement here), and check them all out.

My subject is oh my gosh. It was submitted by Evil Joy Speaks.

        °            °             °              °

"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my gosh, oh my....", her repetitious attempt to take her omnipotent creators' name in vain was cut short by the grief that was racking her body. Silent sobs shook her with vicious tears pouring down her tired cheeks. He was dead. The news we had waited to hear for many years finally had come. My cousin was dead. In the early hours of Thanksgiving, my mother was becoming undone with grief, disbelief and whether she wants to admit it some relief.

Wait.

That was me. I was relieved in a sick way because that was the end of havoc he could wreak states away. His ability to cause people to mutter and exclaim 'Oh My Gosh, Oh my God, God Damn It' or any variation of the kind was somewhat astonishing. The magical curse he held over us, that somehow both induced worry and hope, was finally lifted with his death.

Or so I thought.

His death brought no closure to the years spent worrying, nights spent crying, days and events celebrated  wondering if he would come if he was in town.

No matter how many times I attempted to get his callous and cruel words that cut their way into my memory out of my head, they stayed, they refused to leave, they squatted and their stench and ugliness tainted my views on too many things.

My mom took over raising my cousin because his mother, her twin sister, was an alcoholic who had a penchant for abusive men. Even though she was a confused and young herself, my mom took on a responsibility of a parent way before she would ever have a child. From what I know, what I've been told and pieced together he did get the end of the shit stick in his youth. There was no doubt about that. He suffered abuse both mental and physical from various men in my aunt's life as well as my aunt. When she would see him, she would crush his heart every time she picked men and booze over him, which was almost every instance they were together. He was left clamoring, begging, searching for acceptance and love from her.

As much as my mom, her sisters and father attempted time and time again to steer him on the right path, tried to show him that he was special and smart, and tried to love the pain out of him it did not work. As a teenager he stole, he drank, he got in fights and made himself comfortable with the roughest crowds. He had little to no remorse and repeated all his mistakes and let them mature when he grew older. He traded booze for cocaine and heroin. He was mentally abusive. He loved women, created children and left them. He perpetuated the cycle he hated so much, no matter how many chances he was given and how much love (tough and forgiving love for the record) he was shown.

When he stole my mom's car and took it on an erratic high speed chase with the trunk carrying a smidgen of cocaine and endangering lives of many on the highway my mom had to make the rough decision whether to bail him out or leave him in jail. She left him in there until his court date. His first night in jail he was attacked and had his feet wrapped with toilet paper and lit on fire. She still regrets leaving him in there.

This was all before me.

When I did arrive on this earth, he made sure to confuse and comfort me throughout my childhood, really my entire life he left me perplexed. When I was a child, I would come home from school and see a car with out of state license plates in our driveway and just knew it was him. Adventure, craziness and discomfort would be had for a few weeks or months depending how long he was in town or running away from a certain problem. He would bring new women and their children to come stay with us. My mom would not, could not, turn them away. We would get attached and as soon as we saw some glimmer that he was off the crap, making progress he would pack up and take off not to be seen or heard from for a year or so then burst back into our lives once we got used to the calmness.

When I entered adolescence my disdain for him became apparent. I picked at him and constantly asked about all his children that he never talked about or made an effort to see, especially when a new woman was introduced. Maybe in a way I was trying to warn the women that he wouldn't stay, that he wasn't any good, that he was cruel and if she ran now, she would be doing the best thing possible. He would taunt me, he would make sure to highlight every reason I was ugly and wrong for this world. He would tell me that I would be used in life because I was stupid, because I was ugly, because I was fat and men cannot love women like me. He would do it away from my mother naturally, and I internalized it believing one of the only male role models in my life and his venomous words.

The only time my mom caught him being cruel to me she kicked him out right then and there. No questions asked.

When he found out that his best friends' son kissed me, he lost it. He sat me and Randy down and told us how wrong it was. That Randy was a good looking athlete that needed to be with a cute girl not an ugly hippo like me. I was crying and remember that Randy kept saying that he liked me but my cousin talked over him and kept spouting his ugliness. After we took him home, he gave me some of the rudest advice ever. He told me, that men would date me, pursue me, pretend to love me but would put just as much enthusiasm in screwing a hole in a tree with a little vaseline because I would only ever be a hole to fill and worth nothing more and should never expect more from a man. With that, he told me his opinion of me, his opinion of women, his view on love, and proved to me how he himself treated women.

I stopped trying. I stopped talking or engaging him. I stopped caring about him. Then he disappeared. The last time I saw him I was 14. Occasionally we would hear from him. He would call and threaten suicide from all around the world. He would call and beg for money. He would call in the early morning and tell my mom he was ready to change. But I had no time for him and his stories.

I focused on myself and my life and got used to the calmness. Embracing that he had not called for years. Enjoying that my ears were not assaulted with his vile views. My mom would wonder where he was, if he was okay, and always say a prayer every holiday and his birthday but we survived and moved on refusing to put our lives on hold waiting for him to return, sober up or even freaking not be the selfish bastard he perfected so well.

The last time I talked to him was the beginning of last year, when he was recovering from heart surgery and a wicked heart infection. The surgeon told my mom it was lucky he even survived the infection because it was common that users died from it. It felt like a hopeful moment, a moment where miracles could happen, a moment we would forever remember and look back and say, 'This is where the story gets better'.

My mom talked to him while he was recovering for 6 weeks every day. He promised her nightly it scared him and he would never use again after the surgery. She shoved the phone at me, half smiling and half wistful while I listened to his twangy, scratchy, tired voice tell me how proud of me he was that I went to college, was married and did not embarrass my mom like he did. I said nothing, hating this connection, the surging emotions and had to hold back tears because as much as I was angry at him, as much as I was aware of his past and bad decisions, I loved him and wanted him to succeed.

I wanted him to be done for real, wanted him to be happy, wanted him not to be found overdosed somewhere. I lost it when he told me he was sorry for being a creep when I was younger and after much debate told him I loved him and threw the phone back at my mom.

My mom begged him to call after he was discharged but the phone call never came. At least not from him. The sad updates came from his ex wife. Letting us know him and his pregnant girlfriend were hooked again. That they were homeless. That he was in jail and finally that he was dead. That he was dead at age 47 from a heart he overworked and abused too many times.

I know this does not reek of love and forgiveness like my other blogs. But the ugly is a real part of life that must be embraced too. It is where we do much of our learning and growing. It is where we determine what kind of person we will become.

I loved him. Even with his cruel words, even though he broke my mother's heart, even though he gave us hope then ripped it away, even though he was a horrible father, I loved him. I knew he had a sickness, an addiction that controlled him, a past he could not escape and an emptiness he just could never fill.

He taught me how to ride my bike.  He taught me how to do 'the worm'. He taught me to whistle. He showed me good music and that some rules are meant to be broken. He taught me to stand up for myself even to my loved ones. He taught me to never give up hope.

He taught me, that love does not care how flawed someone is that it exists to simply love. Blindly sometimes, in spite of definitely, necessarily always. He taught me love is like an addict always ready, always searching, always jonesing, always waiting to be used in an attempt to find a better, happier place.

And, oh my gosh, do I hope he knew I loved him and how I hope he is in a better place now.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Classics

There is a snobbery amongst book readers that I despise in a furious way. One I wish did not exist. One, that if I must be honest in this Sunday Confession, I used to participate in.

I, your hippie-always preaching acceptance and tolerance-people loving-give the shirt off her back-has a hard time saying no-the one who refuses to make others feel bad-Sparkly Poetic Weirdo, was a snobby, snickering book judger.

I know, I know! How cruel and foolish I was. But I, like many before me, got sucked into this sick elitist mindset that only the classics were cultural and anything else perused and appreciated was most likely trash. Ohh, the time I spent lamenting about the sad choices  my friends made with their books. When they spoke of Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel I shook my head in the most condescending way and asked, but did you read Steinbeck, Dostoyevsky or Rand?

Their brows would arch, their scowl would start and confusion would color their face. What did these authors have to do with the books they were reading?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

In my mind nothing new was golden. Nothing new has withstood the ages. Nothing new had merit. Sadly, new to me meant a poor regurgitation of any ideas that had come before and a sad attempt at a literary endeavor.

It started at a young age and I must confess...my mother was my enabler. I did not know I was starting down a path of rejection and was setting myself up for failures by only collecting titles and authors just to say I read them rather than reading for the pure thrill of it.

In 4th grade I was obsessed with Homer and tried to check out The Odyssey and Mrs. Manion, the school librarian who I both loved and hated, refused to let me check it out. She kept steering me towards the Babysitter's Club and Judy Blume books which I was obviously too mature for so I kept jumping for the book I truly had my eyes on. She said she needed my mother's permission so I could check it out and smugly handed over a slip my mother had to sign. When I went home with that slip and explained to my mother she wouldn't let me check out a classic my mother signed that form so fast that I swear there was steam coming off that paper. She added that any classic I wanted to check out was more than fine with her.

I brought that glorious slip back the next day handed it over, this time with a smug smile plastered on my face, while Mrs. Manion still tried to talk me into something more popular, more age appropriate, something a little lighter but no I was certain I needed it. So I got it.

I won and lost that day.

I was blinded by the aged books, the dusty jackets, the stories that many have read and idolized for many years. I fell for the cultured image and classic reads shutting out the new reads. Judging those who dared to try the new novels.

By chaining myself to the older books, to the classics, to a selection that was never ending but also not evolving or growing, I limited my imagination and only hurt myself.

And really...all the classics are not all they are cracked up to be. The Old Man And The Sea? Clockwork Orange? The Fountainhead? What the hell Rand?

Eventually something changed inside me, and thankfully so.

It pains me to admit this as a diehard Potterhead but I shunned the books for a long time. I was annoyed at the popularity and the hysteria. I refused to read them on principle. What principle you ask...I'm not sure. Idiocy seems like the logical answer.

Bear with me, this brutal part is cringeworthy, I watched the movie, unwillingly at that, before I read the book.

Ughh I know a part of me dies inside when I say that!  We all know how beautiful it is to read and see the scenes unfold in our wild and free imagination before some director cuts scenes that mean so much and changes the slightest things so it could fit his image.

I watched first. But in this case it was okay, because if I had not watched I would have never read the series that I have now read many times over and fall in love with each time more and more.

Yes. I admit I am a reformed Book Snob. I love Gaiman, King, Rowling, Green and anything else that tickles my fancy. I read 50 Shades and WAY better smut books afterwards. I enjoy the silly romance novels, murder mysteries and anything about Amish people. I do not care if it is penned by a best seller, withstood the sands of time or scribbled over night.

I ask you, beg you, invite you, to not be that asshole who mocks someone else's literary choice. Whether they like Twilight or The Grapes of Wrath it is not your place to judge them. It is not your place to try to bring them 'up to a better standard'. Share what you love to read in a noncondescending way but also let your friends and family love what they love. Do not shame them. Do not mock their choices. Do not ram your suggestions down their throats. Let them read what makes them happy, what puts a smile on their face and connects with their hearts.

If it is words that speak to my soul I am reading them and not giving a damn on who judges me or what they think. Books are our escape, our fantasies, our ability to live a million lives in a lifetime.

The only classic I search for now is the classic way I enjoy a good book, hot tea and a comfy couch when I need to lose myself and find meet  friends.

Today's Sunday Confession about Classic was hosted by the one and only witty writer More Than Cheese and Beer. Please do not forget to stop by her page to check out her confession and the other brave bloggers who joined in and her Facebook page to see any Sunday Confessions and her awesomeness that happens daily.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Whine Away

Being alive is the hardest thing we will ever have to do. Sounds silly to say that but it is true. This life is not for the weak-hearted or the short-sighted. We have to live like there is no tomorrow while planning for our future. We have to find forgiveness for those who have broken parts of our souls to make ourselves whole again. We must confront our demons while searching for peace. We must walk the thin line of enjoying and employing our free will and satisfying ourselves and using our self-control.

There is much confusion, apathy, anger, injustice overflowing in this world overwhelming people. Overwhelming them so much that the only reaction they have is to whine like a little bitch.

Normally, I am described as a person with patience of a saint. I can take a lot, handle emotional and intense situations gracefully and happily. But when it comes to whiners my body breaks out in an allergic reaction to their unoriginality.

Life is hard. We know this. Whining and complaining about the hardships of life will better nothing.

If you have never had to do deal with the gross and difficult areas of life because you have been sheltered the majority of your days and in your early adult life find yourself struggling and complaining then I must politely ask you to shut the hell up.

If you complain because:

-someone took "your parking spot"
-you couldn't fit your left-overs in the fridge because it's full of food
-you just don't know where to take vacation because there's too many options

Then you can most definitely shut the hell up.

If you are that person at work (if you can't think of who it is...it's probably you) who whines about hard your job is and how hard you work-yet somehow find time to play on the internet, are never actually seen working and seemingly are always in some conversation complaining about work, refusing to acknowledge the freaky fact YOU ARE LUCKY YOU ARE EVEN EMPLOYED you should shut the hell up too.

If you are a chronic complainer, a lifetime whiner, if you do nothing to make your situation better but gladly and frequently indulge in listing every section of your life that makes you so damn miserable, then you can truly shut the fuck up.

I get venting. I get sharing. I get having to unburden our heavy shoulders. That is healthy and necessary. I really do understand people having different hardships to endure than others. To one person not having twenty dollars to go out with friends is a travesty. While to another a twenty would have fed their family for a couple days. Believe it or not, both are valid concerns and complaints. Even though someone's journey is not the same as our own, maybe not as rocky or difficult, but their tragedies and triumphs still are important to them and shape their lives and their plights, no matter how small they seem, do not deserve to be mocked.

I embrace and believe that fully.

But I also believe that if we have something that irritates us to the point that we find it necessary to obsess about it and dominate any conversation bellyaching and bitching then we have to energy to confront our issues and attempt to correct them.

Whining and complaining is, in the very least, acknowledging areas of life that make us unhappy or unsatisfied. It is, at the very most, an opportunity to reevaluate our lives and everything in it. When we find something that irritates us and gets under our skin complaining about it constantly does nothing about the situation. Choosing to grow and find something to make the state of our lives better is an option besides whining.

We will always meet people who are sand paper to our nerves. We will always find problems that pop up when we think things are going along swimmingly. We will always encounter problems worthy of whining about. But we have the choice to embrace them and try to make our lives better or simply whine away the rest of our days.

Both are viable options, but if you do choose to whine, please whine far away from me.

Today's seemingly angry blog was a Sunday Confession hosted by the one and only Hot Ash from More Than Cheese And Beer. You definitely should check out the link-up, maybe you'll find some nicer bloggers who tackled the prompt 'Whine'.