Life Changing Choices

Last week I made two life-changing choices.  They were the kind of decisions that require weeks of pondering.  They are choices that I had to make completely on my own with no-one involved until after the deeds were done.

Wednesday night when I walked out to my car after the largest and most life-changing choice was made, I sat in the driver’s seat and let out a huge breath of air.  Now to move on, forward, no looking back.

The lesser of the two is one that have been years in the making….and finally, finally, I made the choice to cut the cord.  You cannot change crazy, no matter how hard you try.

The greater decision is completely self-centered but through the selfishness the benefit to me will benefit others in the long run.

Once made I am full-steam ahead.  I am “on a mission from God” to quote The Blues Brothers.  

It is time to start living my life to the fullest.  It is time to start looking at the rest of my life and see health, happiness, and a changed life.Decision QuotesThe next few months should be pretty interesting for me

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Sometimes you cannot forget

When I was in high school I was in that group of girls that was liked by everyone.  We were all just girls, intelligent, attractive enough, athletic, and fun.  So we intermingled among groups that wouldn’t normally mingle with each other.  My life in high school was great  until something happened my Senior year that hurt me.

When I was a Junior I met a college football player and that summer & fall, when he returned for football, I went out with him exactly four times.  He was a Senior in college when I was a Senior in High School. 

I didn’t tell my parent’s that I was going out with him because they would have disapproved strongly.  I would tell them I was going out with friends and then I would meet him.

I made the mistake, I suppose, of telling a couple of my friends and those friends told a couple of guys at school and before I new it, all the football team and baseball team knew.

And one guy specifically, made my life hell.  He was the quarterback on our team I think, I really cannot remember.  He, quite honestly, thought he was all that and more.  He was short.  Hey, it’s true….he was maybe, maybe 5’7″….and he couldn’t fathom that a college football player, who was tall and smart and athletic would go out with me. 

Let’s call him Bill.  Bill started telling everyone I was lying.  It didn’t matter that two of my closest friends had met they guy out with me.  It didn’t matter.

Throughout the year Bill would try to make my life miserable.  My girlfriends and some very good guy friends had my back, but Bill did some major damage to my emotional well-being and how I saw myself. 

So at 5’11” I was a “giant” and an “amazon”….and apparently just too hideous for an attractive guy to go out with.

It took me some time to fix that in my head….I started realizing my freshman year in college that college guys liked me a lot because tall was cool….tall with a good figure was even better. 

I think back on Bill….who only played three seasons in minor league ball while his younger brother played in the majors.  At the time, it made me feel good. 

Now, I just think back on his small little mind and hope that if he had girls that he has raised them better than he treated them. 

 

A classy bitch

I’m not sure what is going on with me….some sort of vibe maybe.  I’ve had a few men ask me what I’ve done to myself….short of hitting the gym again….and pulling out some clothes that were in the closet in the guest room, I don’t think I’ve really done anything.  One friend who I shall call “Mo” told me last week that if I weren’t his sister from another mother he would have hit on me based on the suit I was wearing to present to the Houston muckity-mucks.  

Then today the lady in the mail room commented on my hair, saying she likes it so much better blonde than when I was a red-head.  Then she followed up with “you’re such an attractive woman.”  Wow, that was really nice and made my day.  It’s the little stuff, really.  

I sent an apology to four men that I had a meeting with on Monday and felt my comments were pretentious.  I hadn’t intended the words to come out that way.  I was having brunch with a dear friend, James, at Philbrook Museum on Sunday and a man came up to me, startled me, and said the name of our company.  My comment to the gentlemen in the meeting was ” I was really surprised to see anyone from “XYZ” at Philbrook at which point they all laughed and said that I was being a snob and gave me good-natured grief.  I sent each one an apology telling then I was sorry that I hadn’t meant to sound like a snob.  That is when one of the men, whom I respect greatly, said, “Come on, your a classy bitch….it’s not the first time you’ve heard that, it won’t be the last.”  

It was such an out-of-the-blue, unexpected response.  And it made me feel really good.  The bitch part aside….which I get that meaning…..but the classy part.  That to me is a great compliment….one my mother would be very proud of.  It is indeed the little things.  My Mom and Dad raised a classy bitch!

Breaking Heart

Tell People 
In the city and in my community, there were several groups of families I had been close to for many years. I felt guilty about the pain they were going to feel for me when I told them about the breakup, as if I was disappointing them somehow. At the same time, I knew they needed to know. So I crept from apartment to apartment, then from house to house, like a Typhoid Mary—a shunned woman, a woman that couldn’t keep a man. I was so afraid to tell anyone, especially those closest to me that I had failed.  

After I delivered the news each time, some of my friends immediately looked terrible—wide eyes, altered color. Their shocked reactions, though, helped. I was over the illusion that if I remained quiet and polite maybe events could reverse themselves, but I was also still in denial. Visiting these close friends, telling them the truth, acknowledged that some kind of death had happened, the official breaking of my heart. It moved me forward, and the empathy that people showed me reminded that I was still loved. Because I felt I wasn’t loved at all.

 Carry a Power Hankie 
I’ve always carried a handkerchief—not lace ones, hankies that belonged to my Mom. My favorite is the soft linen and silk hankie with embroidered flowers that is many, many years old.  And I have heaps of others, too, all that were owned and used by my mother and grandmother.
As a child, I saw hankies as tokens of womanly power, emotion and beauty. Mothers carried them, and grown-up older ladies who also wore stockings and gloves. Hankies seemed to imply good luck, too, and maybe magic. What might a magician draw out from under a hankie? Easter eggs? Babies? 

I still think of them that way—as tokens of power. During any stressful time, I made sure to carry a few with me in my purse in a special silk pouch where my rosary is kept. Even now, I rely on them. When I go to a Rosary or a Funeral, when I went to the hospital for panic attacks, thinking I was having a heart attack, I have a hankie in my purse. I used to have a teacher that always had a hankie tucked up her sleeve.  I remember once when one of the children in my 2nd grade class was hurt and crying, Mrs. Barton sat down on the curb next to her and pulled this magical hankie from her sleeve.  

On gray, gloomy days, or when I’m calming myself, I pull out one of my Mom’s hankies and hold it in my hand….bring it up to my face as if I can still smell her perfume.

 Write What You Really Think 
I think that whenever we give our pen some free will, we may surprise ourselves. All that wanting to seem normal in regular life, all that fitting in falls away in the face of one’s own strange self on the page. From the day my love and I broke apart, I was writing—a lot. I wanted to make something of my altered life,  to cry out on paper. Reminding myself that no one else would ever see what I wrote—with my ballpoint pen in my wide-ruled journal and on my keyboard it helped me be less censored and less afraid. Later, I could decide to show or not, because whether anyone ever read it was not the most important thing. To this day, no one has ever read my words…my heart break.

Writing or making anything—a poem, a bird feeder, a chocolate cake—has self-respect in it. You’re working. You’re trying. You’re not lying down on the ground, having given up. And one thing I love about writing is that we can speak to the absent, the dead, the estranged and the longed-for—all the people we’re separated from. We can see them again, understand them more, even say goodbye. 

Seeing yourself as responsible for the quality of your relationships, as a prime mover in your life, I think is a bold, amazing step. How freeing, to know we too can act, and that our own choices have helped bring about the joy as well as sorrow in our own lives. 

Someone will never understand

 

When you love, when you are together, or apart, but connected, you are each other’s strength.  But you can only be strong for someone if they want it…need and want, two different things entirely.

When someone hurts, when their life is unstable, my job is to stabilize, be the support, be the rock, because everyone needs it at sometime.  Someone cannot do it alone.  That is what love is about.  It’s not the romance, it’s not the passion, it’s being there when the going is rough and the other  is hurting and off of his game.  It is to stand up together to show the world that what we have cannot be crumbled   Sadly you cannot make someone understand….they distance themselves and thus divorce themselves from all the love and support that really is needed to sustain. 

When this happened, it broke my heart. 

To think of someone alone and hurting, alone and struggling, alone and distant and cold makes me hurt for them.  But instead of pushing and pushing and trying so very hard to communicate….I gave up.  I prayed very hard for strength and light to be poured down unto someone.  I focused very hard on pouring my strength into the universe to surround someone.

I cannot make someone do what they will not do….and I’m tired of being alone.  I want to be loved and wanted.  Too tired of wanting to be loved.

I just let it go. 

I love scarves

I love beautiful scarves. I think that comes from my Mother, my cousin & Godmother Pat, Audrey Hepburn, and Liz Taylor.  PurpleScarves-001It may seem rather mundane to write about it, but as I bought two today, one from remnants of Saris, the other tie-dyed and awesome from the Peace of Mind Store, I realized that many things are passed down to us by our family.  The women and men in my family were and are equally strong and independent in different ways, and all have left their mark on me. 

I suppose I equate the chiffon scarf with class and beauty and a lady-likeness.  All of the women I mentioned above had it, especially the two related to me.

This is a simple post, nothing earth shattering and possibly not worth reading for others.  But I like how live binds us together.  I like how something as simple as a scarf can remind me of times with women I love.  I love the memory of opening up the lingerie drawer where my mother kept her scarves and smelling her perfume.  Those thoughts are sweet and simple.  Right now all I really need is sweet and simple. 

 

The hardest of all

Telling someone you love them is easy to do if you mean it and if you’re willing to back those words with action.

I became a rape advocate In 1988.

I took training, I accompanied advocates to the hospital, I trained on the crisis line, and went to trials before I was ready to start as an advocate on my own.

I did this because I had a couple of friends raped and I witnessed a gang rape at a party in college and carried that guilt for a long time.

I couldn’t help all of them, but through my actions I could help others.

First, there is no shame. It isn’t your fault. It isn’t sex. It is a crime. Period.

It’s a 90% chance it isn’t the first time the rapist has done it, and a 100% probability the rapist will do it again.

Date rape is the most prevalent. 8 out of 10 reported rapes are date rape.

And date rapes are the most difficult to deal with because its so difficult to fight. But fight it WE must.

Rape is evil. It is a crime. No means no. It takes a mental toll much more difficult to deal with if its pushed down and not acted upon. Get help, talk to therapists that specialize in sexual assault. Call the rape line….tell someone, cry, scream, and never lock it up. There is no shame.

I send this out to someone I love who is dealing with this in their life now. I’m here. I will listen, I will be strong when you can’t.

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