Archives

Dreams

I have long said that I beleived that if you work hard, have faith and beleive, that your dreams will come true. Hard work and perseverance truly do pay off. And Now, during this time of my life, it is truly paying off.

I have struggled, I have been so very poor, I have worked all night and all day, I have cired so many tears, a river of tears, an entire ocean. I have known the pain of being too tender, had broken hearts, felt each piece break one heartbeat at a time, I have liad down next to love and woke up with lies. I have beleived the wrong men, men who knew too much, men who knew too little and man who didn’t know at all. Men who were late, early and men who never came at all.

I have tried with all of my heart and soul. I have stayed awake at night, unable to sleep or watching over those I love. I have krept out inthe morning, stayed too long, beleived when I knew it was wrong, taken calcualted risks that worked and some that didn’t. I have failed, so very hard. And I have fallen, so very hard, for him. And I have wondered, at night when the stars are quiet.

And I have known his footsteps as he nears the room, his smell, his looks, his everything. And I have known all of them, too well, too little and closed my eyes when I did not want to know. I have been a friend, a lover, a sister, a girlfriend, a fighter, a believer, a worker, an liar, a truther. And I have held my own heart, wounded, bleeding, beating. And I have put it back together. I have taped, banaged and bandaided my faith and belief in others.

And I have tried, so very hard.

And here I am. Finally. My dreams are coming true, both professionally and personally. Thank you to all who believed, to all those who faollowed, all those who cheered and rooted. Thank you to alal those who booed and hurt me too. For you too motivated me and made me better, though I may have not known it at the time.

And now, as I sit at the top of this huge, trechurous mountain, I see that the view is wonderful, beautifu. The air is clear and clean. And as I have have sweated, my heartache comin goout of my pours, dripping down onto the Earth, I know that every minute was worth it. I have Peace, and I have Love.

It’s all worth it, in the end. Every minute, every second, every moment.

To Rise or Wallow, That is the Question

Wallow or Rise

We all go through hard times in our life. All of us, as some point, will be hurt deeply, be betrayed, lied to, mislead and broken hearted. That is the risk sof being human, the risk of loving and being loved and the risk of being open to living life. All of us, during our lifetime, will have bad things happen to us that we do not deserve. We are given life, no one promised us it would always be fair or easy.

But I have a theory about those bad times. I think you have a choice – either let those times drag you down and hold you back like a ball and chain, or use those bad times as a stepping stone to rise above it all and become a better, finer, stronger, more comapssionate person.

Some people shoose to wallow in theri misery and pain. Those are the ones who lie to themsleves and others. Those are the ones who use others and hurt them as a result of the pain they are feeling inside themsaelves. It is a ref;ection of their own self loathing, and it is toxic. Have you ever been around those kinds of people? They make you feel good for a while, then, they start istreating you and blaming you for it. Get away, and run fast.

That is what happens when you choose to wallow. You become biiter, twisted. That is a terrible place to be. Going through the bad times are hard enough, who would want to stay there and add to the misery? Not me, but some people do. Don;t be that guy (or that woman).

Know that those bad times are only temporary. The pain is only temporary, even if it is so strong it’s almost blinding. It won;t be loike that in 10 years, 5 years, 1 year or even 6 months. DOn’t let the temporary bad events make a negative permanent impression. And you know what? Those people who hurt you? It drives them crazy to know that you are happy and doing well without them. Having a great life and being happy is truly bthe best revenge.

So don’t be afraid to sore, don;t be afraid to step over the hard times and rise above the pain, anger, fear and confusion. The view is much better from up here, I promise. And it’s never too late to start, so what are you waitin for?

The Best Place

The Best Place

Last night, as my father lay on the couch and my sister, mother an di were sitting around the dinner table talking softly while having cheese, crackers and wine, Dad said something very sweet and meaningful. He has not been feeling well after his last chemo treatment. Theyu live in Southwest georgia, and come up to stay with me when he gets his treatments.

Last night as he sat up to get some water, he said that this was the best place he could be, right here, in my house, surrounded by his family and those he loves most. Yes, I am a Daddy’s Girl.

Many men do not realize how much influence they have over their daughters, espcially when it comes to love and dating. I hold such high standards because of the kindof man my father is. I knwo what honor and integrity are because of watching him. I know how a man should treat me, because of the way he not only treats my mother, but by the way he treats every other woman he comes into cantact with as well. He protects women, he respects them, he treats them with kindness and respect.

Little girls choose their partners, lovers, husbands and know how they should be treated in relationships by watching their fathers. Never forget that guys, as those little eyes and ears pick up much more than you realize. So be the kind of man your daughters would be proud to know. It will make a difference in your life and theirs, trust me.

****************************************************************************************************************

A Graceful Night Out

Most people who know me would not associate me with the word Grace. If there is a way to trip, fall, spill, stumble or otherwise fumble, I’ll find it. The stories of my cluminess are many and legindary – like when I feel face first on the beach in the sand, when I fell over a footstoll lin the furniture store, landed ass-up in front of a hot guy, the time I was taking a pre-employment drug test and dropped the cup when handing it iff to the technitian…in front of a hot guy. And those are just a few.

Last night my sister and I went out to play trivia and meet with another dear frond of mine. He is Jewish, older and rides a Harley. This unlikely friendship started several years ago after I kept seeing him in my appartment complex and eventually worked up the nerve to ask him about his life. We have been good friends ever since. Last night we talked, drank beer, got caught up, laughed and had a great time.

He is a very spirtitual man, very knowledgeable and I respect him tremendiously. Toward the end of the night, I told him of my journey to find Grace, Divine Grace, or to have as much Grace as possible. I asked him what he thought the definiation of Grace was in the sewnse that I am seeking. He said:

“It is keeping your mouth shut and withholding judgement. Don’t be the catalyst. Don’t be a doormat, but sit back and watch more, let things develope in their own time and let people learn their lessons without telling them. That is the only way they will learn anyway. So sit back, shut up, and don’t judge.”

I love him. In that short explanation, he summed up exactly what I needed to do. And when you think about it, it seems so simple. The bottom line is that it is easy to practice Grace when you are having a great day, and all is well. However, it is much harder when you are angry, hurt, or feel slighted. So I am going to take his advice, and I will hold my togue. Easier said than done for this feisty red- head.

But we strive, as humans, to be better, do better and have better. It is our nature. And so I will strive too. And I will be human, I will have monets, make mistakes, falter, but I will try, with all my heart to sit back, shut up and not judgr. It is not my place to judge or tell someone how they are wring, even when they have dsone wrong to me. Let God sort them out.

Now, if only there was a cure for falling, slipping, tripping, spilling, fumbling, tumbling, shuffling and sliding!

A Difference in a Day

A measure of time. A second, an hour, a day, a week a year. What do they mean? To me, time is a measaure of life. The space between everything in our hearts, minds, souls and our world. And in that time, in that space, life happens. All that we are, do, want and hope to be. All the mess that is life, is in time. And in 24 hours…

We all have those days where we are just a mess, but in my expereince, most of the time it’s just a matter of perspective. Many times, a day can make all the difference. It is amazing how much perspective can change in just 24 short hours.

Yesterday I was a very tired hot mess. Worroed sick about my father and his latest chemo treatment for liver cancer, I hardly slept the night before. I drove him to the hospital while my sister and mother stayed home and prepped for furniture moving. All day I was anxious, we all were, until we knew dad was OK. Furniture was moved, my work was completed, the house cleaned, errands were run, dinner made and life moved on, slowly, as we watched the clock until we got the call.

It was the hospital. Dad was fine, the treatment successful and it was time to come and pick him up. He was weak, sick and in pain. It is hard to see a loved one in that condition, but we are very close family and were honored to be there for our father who has been there for us through out the years. After he was comfortable and alseep, Rita Mom and I went to bed, Mom sleeping next to Dad to keep an eye on him.

When I laid my head on the pillow, I was so exausted I could have cried. As I breathed in deep, my shoulders, my legs, my body, started to relax. I had deep sleep with peaceful dreams. It is amazing how the health of a loved one can affect our own. But it is because my Dad is part of “Our own” that we care for him, because he is a good man, because he is a wonderful father, because he is a wonderful husband. And mostly because, all because, he is my Daddy.

A good night sleep can work wonders. And that is where perspective comes in. Dad is going to be fine after this round of chemo. And I can do this, be the head of the household for my family. I am my mother’s daughter, and I have a steel frame inside me. I am strong and resilient, ,just like my father.

And the world in my oyster. i have a wonderful home where my family finds refuge, there is good food, wine, love and friendship. I have a great and wonderful man in my life. I have great friends, a great job, a book being published and amazing things are happening. And I have Faith. There is no reason to be doubtful of anything.

My life may not be perfect, but it is better than many, and I am happy. But even the happiest of people can have stressful days, and can be hot messes. So be there for your friends and family, even those who are happy and in a good place. They will remember and love you for your support. After all, if we don;t take care of each other, then who will? It’s up to us, each one of us, to have compassion and understanding. Join me, won’t you?

Pride, Grace and Moving

We all  must learn to ask for hlep at some point in our lives. This is a very hard thing for me. It truly hurts my prode when I find that I cannot do something myself. I. Hate. It. But I had to swallow my pride and do just that recently. My nephew will be moving in temporarily and for 2-3 months my office needs to be his bedroom. Easy enough. Except that a huge heavy desk had to be moved out of the room, into the garage and the bedroom furniture on loan from my parents moved from their van to my nephews room.

So, I swallowed my pride and asked my most recent to to please, please, please, help unload and move. This was hard for me and he did not make it easy. Why not call the man you are dating now? (He runs his own company, is not available during the day and had a family emergency). Why not just get some movers? (hmmm, it costs at least $200 to get them, and since I have 2 people moving in, I am a bit short on cash at the moment). Why not get another friends? (I don’t ask a lot of friends for help. Very few people. Ever. Pride).

The result of me swallowing my pride? The ex came over and helped, everything was moved into place. The desk is dismantled and in the garage, the bedroom furniture is where it is be and the room is ready for my nephew to move in.  And my ex and I saw each other where we were not yelling at each other.

The moral of the story? Maybe it is OK to ask for help. Maybe pride is not always a good thing. Yes, we can write it and read it all we want, but until we really know it, it does not good.

And Grace. Yes ther is that word. It is very hard to have Grace toward someone who hurt you. And he did, a lot. And I have to admit, I have been very snarky to him. I am a fiesty southern red head, and he expected me to do that which I already told him I was not capable. I told him how I would react if put in thyat situation. And true to my word, I acted just as I said I would. He was surprised got very angry. And then I was snarky. And I enjoyed being snarky. That’s the thing about being feisty, you enjoy it.

But that is not Grace. And that is not forgiveness. It is hard to forgive when you are still hurt and angry, and it is hard to be Graceful when you enjoy being feisty. But that is what I must do. After all, my ex showed more grace than I when he showed up to help, moving heavy furniture, facing my mother and sister, still smiling and moving heavy things. I could learn from him in that regard.

And my life has been so blessed with so many good and wonderful things, that I should be less pridefull and more Gracefull. I cannot, in good conscience, ask for the blessings in  my life to continue and still behave in a way that is not condusive to having Grace. And so that will bemy motivation.

Pride, Grace, and moving.

Twists and Turns In the game of Life

We all remember that game called Life…you spin the wheel, move your man and follow the directions on the space you landed. Sometimes you ended up with a lot of money, sometimes kids, sometimes lots of things. But there was never any way to know how it was going to go, no matter how you thought you had it figured out.

It is amazing to me the many twists and turns on which life takes us. One thing is for sure, it’s never boring. My life is great, however that does not mean that there are not bad moments, days or worries. There is a saying that life is what happens while you are planning. This, I have found, is so true. And there are some things for which you simply cannot plan, some things that will throw you for a loop, some things for which you just have to roll with the punches so to speak. As a woman who plans, this can be a but unnerving.

Mom and Dad will be here today for Dad’s latest chemo treatment. If this doesn’t work, the doctors are not sure what will be next. Though I have a lot of Faith that things work work out, there are still worries. There is taking care of Mom who will be just about sick with sorry so we much be strong for her.

Money will be tight for the next 2-3 weeks. Temporary cash crunches are just that, temporary. And in that amount of time I will be completely out of debt and debt free is a wonderful place. I don’t believe in using credit cards. After being in finance for so many years, I saw first-hand how easy credit has helped destroy this nation. So I don’t use credit unless I have to. But writing about easy credit and people living beyond their means could be the subject of many blog entries.

My sister and I are having a great time, but it is difficult for her being away from her family. She has been married for 25 years and they have never really been apart. I do as much as I can for her to make her feel better. And in the middle of all of it, are my Lenten Disciplines. Practicing Grace. And God has a sense of humor. I am good except with one person, my latest ex. And I just enjoy being snarky to him because he hurt me so bad. But practicing Grace means letting all of that go, and being nice. He actually accused me of only being nice to him when I needed something. No, I am trying to be nice because of Lent. But, I can only do what I can and let others think what they may.

I may need to add Pride to my list of things on which to work on for my Lenten Disciplines. I have a hard time asking for help. I have been on my own for a long time, and it hurts my pride deeply to admit I cannot do something on my own. As a result, I tend to go to the same people over and over for help, so to avoid anyone knowing that I need. But that is for another entry.

There are also more belly dance classes and photography classes for which I have signed up. There are the photo-shoots scheduled with my agent, new headshots, my book, work is crazy busy, the new relationship that we are exploring, running more and longer, learning the new iPhone, getting my nephew moved in, and a few other things.

 So life is very good, better than I ever thought, but still there are twists and turns in this journey. It is not yet the end of the second month of the year, and it has been so much more than I expected. So many things have not been planned, both good and bad.

So plan all you want, but make sure you have some room for the unexpected, because it’s coming. And really, would we want it any other way? Think of the roads which we take, the people we meet along the way, and the unplanned events that happen in our lives. The twists and turns are what make life…life.

A True Home With Love

We all have those moments when we look around and realize that our house is no longer just a house, ,but a home. It has been that kind of weekend for me. Friday nigth was a wonderful night of love, friendship, food, family and celebration.

My wonderful dear friend and one of my best ex’s came over for dinner and a movie. My sister made an amazingly delicious baked spaghetti and we all ate ourselves silly. it was delicious. and as we sat around the dinner table, in my home, we laughed, talked, ate, drank and were truly blessed and happy.

We snacked on cheese, crackers and wine before dinner, then moved to the table. It was as if I was visiting someone else life, not my own…as Iooked around and realized that my home truly was a home. Everywhere i look there is a memory of a conversation, a moment, a tear, a joke, some laughter, smiles, and…hope.

For so long, I have wanted someone with which to share my life. And now that I have so many wonderful things happening in my life, I have prayed, so hard and very sincerely, that I have someone to share all these wonderful things. Finally the struggles are over, and I have made it through those struggles alone. I have wept alone, floods of silent tears streaming down my wet cheeks. I have been frightened, scared of what the future may hold, alone.  I have held my own broken heart, in my hands, and wept for the loss of love that it has contained. And I have felt that broken heart start again, and felt it in my chest, one beat at a time.

I have pulled myself up, from the rubbled of the life never to be lived. And I have worked my ass off to be where I am now.

All of this I have done and gone through, alone.

Now, in this time when things are so wonderful, I want someone to share it with. I have paid my dues and walked in the dark alone. Now it is time to hold someones hand in the days of laughter and light.

This year, 2013, is the year of hope and dreams. Of love, light, laughter and the world being my oyster.

And the celebration of love has continued through the weekend with good food, many wonderful conversations with many good friends and good wine.

It is a beautiful life. And for all that I have and am able to share, I am forever grateful.

Sushi and iPhones

We all have those times in life that are just sweet and good. This is one of those times for me. It is just a very sweet time in my life. My sister is here and life in general is very good.

so tonight was an adventure. Our new iPhones came in today. This may not seem significant, but for a very technically advanced Die hard Android user ( my sister) and a very non technical can barely use my android much less an iPhone person (that would be me) it was going to be an interesting experience to say the least. 5.5 hours later, I think we might have a handle on these iThings.

But before we iLearned the iPhone, it was off to a sushi dinner. It’s been a while since I dropped that much food…se of it even made it to my mouth. Let’s just say that clay women and chop stocks just don’t go together. At all. I am sure it was very entertaining for the other customers to watch as my sister – who is very crafty in the use of such sticks, and me, the woman just trying not to drop anymore food down her shirt.

After dinner there was the search for the Otterboxes (?) for the iPhones. We did not find the covers, but we did manage to find a vacuum cleaner, a water filtration system and an alarm clock all on sale. And you know the rule- if it’s on sale then this skinny girl has to buy it. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day for finding the protective covers. I have has the phone for less than 4 hours before I noticed some large scratches were I had already managed to drop it several times. It’s a talent.

But I have noticed something over the last few days that I had forgotten for many years. I love having someone else in the house. I love coming home to another person, and not an empty home. I love hearing another person around the house. And I love the company.

Many assume that just because I have lived alone on my own for so long, that I must like it, like being by myself. That is not really the case. I can be alone and not be lonely, I can enjoy my own company and have a good life. But the truth be told, I am the happiest when sharing my home with another

I had not realized how much I have missed it until now. My sister is thankful because I am helping her by letting her stay here, but she is actually helping me.

The Best Life

I have often written that  is so much fun being a girl.  And it is. so what could be better? Having your sister with you.

Yesterday we had the most fun shopping, trying on clothes and just being girls. Then after an afternoon of shopping, and many, many outfits and shoes later, we left and went home. My sister cooked us a wonderful dinner. And after we ate, was time to play. So we got the wine and chocolates, and all the clothes and tried on every different outfit combination that existed.

We stayed up talking until 2am, these two girls, these two sisters, making a great life. We shared thoughts, philosofies and laughter, chocolate and wine. Memories were made that will last a lifetime.

And that is the thing about having people around you that you love and who love you, they make your life better and sweeter.

And as I went to bed last night, it accured to me, that my life is better and sweeter than it has ever been. And right now, at this moment, I have everything I want. My dreams are coming true and I have wonderful people in  my life with which to share all the wonderful things. I have a wonderful close family with whom I can trust, great friends who are the my heart, a great career that I love, a job with a company I love, My father’s health is good and great things are happening with my book.

The issues right now are small ones: Getting the belt on my treadmill to stop slipping. Figuring out how to reach the outside light thingy to put the cover on it. And whether or not a truck rental is needed to move my nephew. But those are so minor, and life is so good right now.

I am truly blessed and so very thankful for the life I have been given.

More Than Just Yourself

It is funny how we settle for what is ecceptable to us, but yet we want more for those we love.  A very good example of this is my sister moving in with me.  The guest room has been fine for jsut me. But now that My sister is moving in, I want more for her. So there is a new blanket, new sheet and a new feel to the room.

My cupboard had enough for me, and even some guest. But for family, I want more for them. I want there to be more; better. I can settle, but those that are close to me should not have to.

And so it is with joy and excitement that I make my home a home for my family. As the cupboard is full, more towels are placed in the closet, clean sheets, lots of teas and yummy things for cool nights and long conversations that only sisters can have.

And that is how you make a home for more than just yourself.

Sitcom Moment #4,287: A Car Ride with Sheldon and Leonard

We all have those moments in life where we swear this cannot be real life, and that we are actually caught in a sitcom. Because if we were to see this situation play out on TV, we would laughing hystirically. This is my life. Constantly.

The most recent example was this weekend when riding back home with my sister and oldest nephew, both os which have genuus IQ’s.  They are both into computers, anumie, science and other such things. I am usually very quiet when the two of them are the room. And they started talking about something concerning computers…and how a man (who is rather well known in their circles but i cannot remember his name) got mad at Sprint and wrote them a check…out in a hugely complicated mathematical equation.

And they started to argue…

About whether or not the check written out in a very complicated mathematical equation had intigrals in it or not (I a m not even sure if that is spelled correctly).  A very serious discussion took place.

If I had not been driving I would have fallen asleep.

I think I should start introducing myself as Penny.

Holy Family Batman!

There are times in life that just take you by surprise. This past week was that for both my sister and me. My sister was downsized from her job this week. She has 3 kids, two of which are in collage. Ouch. And the city where she lives has no job market. Double ouch. So, she is moving up and moving in with me. Tomorrow.  So is my oldest nephew. She will look for a job here, and no doubt find one quickly.

She great at what she does. But she is not so great at selling herself. So I re did her resume (because as a writer, that is part of what I do for free for my friends and family).

This is extremely exciting, but also a bit scary. I have never been the head of a household. I have only lived with one other person who i was going to marry and have been on my own for 20 years. Living alone. I am hoping I know how to live with two other people. I hope I al good at it. Living with my boyfriend, as I did once, is very different than having roommate, who are family.

So, we are all going to be a great little family, the three of us. The spare bedroom has a new comforter set for her, as that will be her room. The office will be turned into my nephew’s room. And this is so exciting to plan making my home comfortable and warm for them. There will be home cooked meals, hot cups of tea, laughter around the coffee table, TV shows watched and discussed and memories made.

But still I hope I am a good host. I hope they feel welcome and wanted, with soft towels and clean sheets.

I Believe

I believe in love (most of the time). I believe faith and hard work can overcome anything, and what they won’t overcome, love will. I believe right always wins over evil (eventually) and men should stand up for what they believe in. I believe in hope, I believe in Astrology, I believe in back rubs. I believe in copious amounts of premarital sex, and I believe you should enjoy it. I also believe you should be very picky about who you share such activities with, as what you do cannot be undone. I believe in getting drunk every now and then and that it’s good for the soul. I believe in being loyal to your friends and your enemies. I believe in long passionate kisses and conversations that last all night. I believe in passion and dignity, honor and integrity. And I believe if people who said they believed in those things practiced them a lot more the world would be a better place. I believe the Shawshank Redemption is a great movie about the human spirit, and yes, I do believe Andy was innocent. I believe in moonlight and slow dancing. And I believe in karma.

I believe in smoking every now and then, and drinking brandy often. I believe in laughing every day and singing at the top of your lungs. I believe sexy has nothing to do with your looks and more to do with what’s inside you. I believe scars make us more beautiful and flaws make us endearing. I believe in the word Capricious. I believe in following your passion, where ever takes you. I believe in baseball and the power of family. I believe it takes more than a village, but it starts with the parents. I believe a man is only as good as his word, and his handshake is his bond. I believe in cussing when you are mad and saying I love you only when you mean it.

Celebration of Love – The State of My Union

It’s that time if year again – where love is in the air. It’s Valentines Day, the day to celebrate love and everything that goes along with it. And for many singletons, and those who are attached in relationships as well, it is a time for shear panic. I have never understood the panic associated with this couples day celebrating love. Maybe that is because how I have always viewed Valentines Day.

Most of the time I am single for Valentines, because honestly I avoid dating men during the holidays like the plaque. If I am not already in a relationship when Halloween rolls around, I don’t even think about dating until after February 14th. This year I am seeing a wonderful man, but my view on the day has stayed the same.

For me, Valentines has not been about roses, chocolates and expensive dinners. And honestly I really hate going out on Valentines because every place is crowded, menu prices are jacked up for “couples deals” and it is just a big hassle. I would rather stay in, watch a movie, snuggle on the couch under a blanket, have a glass of wine and go to bed early. That sounds much better than getting dressed up, fighting traffic, trying to arrive on time for the reservations, going to a crowded place.

To me the day has been about a celebration of love, all the different kinds of love you have in your life. And when I look around, my life has an abundance of love whether I am seeing someone or not.

I have the best family in the world. We are super close, we are truly there for each other, support each other and love each other no matter what. Truly unconditional. And I am so lucky to have that because so many do not. I am very aware of how mucky and blessed I am in that area.

Next there are my friends. I have a very small group of close friends, though I know many, many people and have thousands of contacts. But my core group of friends are amazing. They are honest, loyal, have honor and integrity. Some I have known for 30 years, the newest for 3 years. And I could call anyone of them, and they me, no matter what, and we would be there for each other. And have been.

So when I look around at the amount of love in my life, a partner is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. And that is how it should be, because having a full life means recognizing how rich are already are with what you already have.

So don’t worry if you are single this Valentines, because if you look around, you \have more love than you think you do. So celebrate it and be thankful.

The Best Ex’s

Tonight I recieved a call from a very dear friend, who also happens to be on ex-boyfriend. He and I dated over 6years ago and he is a great man and has been a great friend. He was in the area and wanted to catch up over a beer. I said yes.

The next 2 hours were spent catching up, laughing and talking about what had been going on (lots to talk about there). I had to leave because dinner was being cooked for me somewhere else, but it was wonderful to see him.

This is is my New Years Eve Buddy – we have a tradition that if we are not dating anyone, we celebrate the New Year together. I come over and he grills lamb and makes his amazing shitaki mushrooms. Then a delicious dessert and lots of wine and champange. And the best part of the evening? The fact that we wear our worst, most ugly, mosts horrible pajamas. The first year we did this, I wore some flannel pajamas patterned with large yellow goldfish with Big blue eyes and red lips. The outfit was only complete when I wore my big fuzzy fish slippers (think fuzzy bunny slippers, only fish). Oh yes, I was too sexy.

In my life, I have dated some of the most wonderful men. They have been a blessing to my life, and most have remained very good friends. He, in particular, has been a wonderful friend and solid confidant. He has supported me when things were rough, kept my secrets and confessions, and explained sports to me with endless patience.

And it started me thinking, with the exception of one, maybe two men, I have the best ex’s. Most of them were great guys it with whom it just didn’t work out. But they have all had integrity and honor. They have all been kind and compassionate. And they were all very good to me. I have been blessed to have them in my life and to have most of them as friends still.

Judgement Day

There is something I have to tell my friends. Something that makes me afraid that they will either not believe me or for which I will be judged. I am terrified of that actually. But I have found that the best way to deal with your worst fears is to face them head on. Don’t hide from them at all. Ever.

I already told the worst judge. He made snarky comments and acted quite callous. But that is why I chose to practice on him. If I could tell him, then I could face any critic. The result has been a sense of relief.

Sure, we are judged every day in one way or another. People judge us on how we look, what we say, how we act, the work we do, how much money we make, the kind of car we drive. You name it, we are judged by it.

And there is a large part of me who says, fuck them. Don’t let yourself care about what anyone thinks about you, or how they might judge you. And for the most part that is the way I live my life. I am me, if you don’t like me, you can find the door. But I am human. And it is different when it is people for which you care a great deal. People who mean something to you. It is different when there is humiliation, shame and embarrassment involved.

So I will gather my friends over in the next night. And I will tell them that which I am ashamed, embarrassed and feel humiliated by. And I hope they do not judge me. My friends are my heart, and it will break my heart if they do. But that is the thing about broken hearts – you survive. You keep going. You may hurt, but life goes on,  Judgment or not.

I did a similar thing when I was 20, and I told my friends that I was not a virgin. That may sound trivial to most reading, but in the Bible Belt South, where all of my friends believed that if you had sex before marriage you were going to be sent to burn in Hell for eternity, and anyone who had sex before marriage was a whore not to be associated with, it was putting the scarlet letter on myself, inviting judgment. It was the fat kid in school volunteering to step on the scale in front of everyone to be laughed at. And it was terrifying. (Yes, I know that is not the politically correct thing to say – the fat kid – but this is my blog. If you don’t like it get your own blog and be politically correct.)

But I could not live a lie and let everyone think that I was something that I was not. Honesty, integrity and honor are very important to me. So I gathered them all up and told them anyway. Some left. And it hurt me right down to my core. But most stayed and said they loved me anyway and gave me big hugs for having the courage to stand up and tell them.

And life went on. And I have still had a wonderful and happy life. No doubt this will be the same. But it doesn’t make it any easier, it just makes me know that I will be just fine, either way.
So if you judge me, or anyone, do so lightly. Because there is a human being underneath, who may be scared, hurt and ashamed.

It reminds me of a toast my mother taught me long ago:

Here’s to you,
Here’s to me
May be never disagree
But if we do,
To Hell with you!
Here’s to me!