Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why Illinois & I Became Friends.

                Illinois and I didn't always get along. There were constant disputes between us,
  • 1.) I always blamed that state for stealing my mom away from me and making her so far away. My mom moved there to be with the love of her life (who I also love very much so I'm thankful for that) but damn it just sucks that she's so far away.
  • 2.) Illinois has terrible roads. If I wanted my tires to fall off I would just go bajaing in my back yard. Don't forget the tolls. GOOD LORD. If I wanted to drive into a death trap..well, I wouldn't really want to.
  • 3.) The drivers are just plain mean. Cutting you off, not using blinkers and of course "giving you the bird".
             However, despite all these crappy things about the state.... I have learned a lot of good things. A lot of great things actually. When my mom first moved to Elwood, IL about 3-4ish years ago.. she developed a family with her friends and neighbors. At first, I felt inferior that my mom (who didn't live by me anymore) was taking these other people (adults and kids) as her own blood. I was sour for a long, long time. I missed my mom, and I was young and I didn't have half the open heart as I do now. I was probably a tad bit jealous as well... just a little though.  A year or two went by, and I decided it was about damn time I let these people into my heart. I had heard over and over again about all the people my mom spent all her time with, so I figured well... if she likes them so much, there must be something really special about them.
           SO.... I met them. I remember the first time I met them like it was yesterday. They took my sister and I in like we were their family, their blood.  They never once judged us for who we are, how we were raised, or where we came from.  Both of them greeted us with hugs, and it was family at first  sight.  Literally.  Let me advise you, family is very very very important to me, the one you were born into may or may not be perfect, but they are perfect for you.  The family that you create may or may not be perfect either, but they were sent into your life for a reason. If these people are in your life for a reason, then let that reason benefit you, teach you, or educate you in some shape or form.  All of my family, blood or not... are there for a lifetime and going to be held tight, because good people can be hard to find.
              A tree may grow many branches, some grow old, some fall off, and some get ugly. But at the bottom of your tree there are only a few roots, and those roots are the ones that hold it all together those are the ones that you nurture so they can keep blossoming

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chapter 12?

Time seems to fly by so fast lately, it seems like my family just got done pushing all the kids through high school, and now the rotation of pushing is through college.  Over this past weekend, a celebration was being thrown for my sister, Michelle, who has completed her college career at UW River Falls.  She has come so far in her life, and I envy her every day for the hard work she has done.  

However, for such worthy celebrations like this.. it brings our family together in a way that absolutely drives me batty, but also makes me so thankful that I have each and every person in my life.  I feel very grateful that I get along so well with each person in my family, both individually and collectively.  The interesting thing about this is that we are all complete opposites of each other.  We each have our own unique ways of expressing ourselves and interacting with this world that we have all created together.  

Even though I get a long with everyone, not everyone gets a long with each other.  Which is basically a given answer when you live in a blended family with 5 kids.  I have four siblings, 3 beautiful sisters and an older very wise brother.  I have one "blood" sister- the rest are "step".. if you want to categorize it.  I don't like to look at my family as step and segregated (even though I feel like we have fallen into this "segregation").  I have grown up with these people, and ultimately each and everyone of them have some how shaped me into who I am today. I simply don't have enough words to go around saying how much each individual in my family means to me, whether we are close or not.  

Like most families, my family and I have numerous areas and subjects where we strongly disagree with each other and feel or perceive things differently.  Over the past 6 years, I have realized very quickly that it does not help me or them to spend any time or energy complaining or arguing about our differences, I usually choose to let it go, however not all of us are like that.  After all, it is not my role or desire to convince anyone of anything or change anyone because...well, that is what makes us unique after all.  Instead, I consciously choose to only focus on the ares and subjects where my family and I are compatible and harmonious with each other.  I TRY to focus on the good and ignore all of the rest.  But, (there is always a "but" isn't there?).. there comes a point where the judgement that is formed between parents and siblings... siblings and siblings.. however, where ever, whenever- can just be disgusting to me, especially when people can change.  Understand that everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect, I truly believe that people can change.  If you have someone who has many things going wrong, or went wrong and only have one thing go right, beat the drum of what's going right, and let that be your point of attraction.  If you focus upon their problems, you achieve vibrational harmony with something other than the source that gives you a solution.  I love everyone in my family, each person as their own individual.. and I can't even touch on the hurt that I feel when I know that not everyone in my family can love each other the way I love them. I'm not trying to change anyone, or cause a fight (which I know someone will read this and call someone and then someone is going to get mad..blah blah blah)..Not my intention.  I'm just trying to show my opinion.  

Another thing I have realized is that my time and energy are best spent on things that support me and make me feel good.  Talking negatively about others in the family does not feel good.  In my point of view, it is an "us vs. Them" mentality.  If I am attacking another member of the family, I am, in truth, only attacking myself and subsequently, activating negative vibrations within me.  I am guilty of this, we all are... 

Despite these emotions I'm feeling and no matter how upset I get with one of them, or all of them... I love them unconditionally.  What if you have a "grievance" against one, or all of the members in your family?  Well, my drastic recommendation... Forgive them.  Just because you forgive someone, it doesn't mean that you have to do lunch with them.   

This blog isn't about creating a negative space between us, it's about showing my personal feelings on certain things.  Even though I know half of my family won't read this because "blogging and internet stuff is stupid" (which I was told this weekend... haha oh well, yet another difference).  Just in case, I love you all.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ode to my Momma

I know time together is the best gift I can give you, right? Since that isn’t possible today… I thought this Mother’s Day I’d share some of the things you’ve given me…

Growing up, you have influenced me in how you were raised, and all the hard things you had to go through and fight for things in your life in ways that I will never know how…

I know that you had to go through some tough stuff.. getting a divorce, coming out as gay… I know that a lot of terrible things were said to you when I was young.  But there hasn’t been a day in my life where I haven’t looked up to you, thought of you as the most beautiful and intelligent mom with amazing grace and determination.

And I know that I wasn’t the easiest child to raise: a free spirit, a mind of my own, strange, and precocious …are all ways of saying “Duh….major pain in the ass”.  Although tough, somehow you were always there and able to fulfill and nurture all my needs and interests-through art, dance, travel, music, horses.. and a whole lot of patience. 

And I know Happiness is truly what we make it..

And I know we have had our differences and sometimes we don’t always see eye-to-eye on things, but you were the one that taught me to have a mind of my own  ;)

And I know that rich life isn’t measured with millions of dollars..

And I know that everything I’m confident about in myself comes from you.  My features, my eyes, my ability to laugh and smile at myself, my creativity.  You taught me everything about life and taught me how to love myself, simply because you love me.  You have guided me into my own independence, you trust my opinions and always have an open mind to hear what I have to say.  You always listen to me and allow me to make my own mistakes, and you have never judged me.  Had I been completely sheltered from life… I would never learn, and when life pushes me around, you are always there for me and continually giving me strength to push back, and surprisingly, I’ve always pulled through.  And you have taught me that even though I’m 23 years old, it’s ok to cry when I miss my mom.  It is ok to cry anytime. 

And I know that beauty is all around us every where we go, but we still must seek it out and create it.

To be able to put into words how much you mean to me, would be the equivalent of me trying to fill the grand canyon with single grains of sand.  You are my hero.

Happy Mothers Day.  I will always thank you for who I am. 

I love you mom.

She's never pulled anyone from a burning building
She's never rocked Central Park to a half a million fans, screaming out her name
She's never hit a shot to win the game
She's never left her footprints on the moon
She's never made a solo hot air balloon ride, around the world,
No, she's just your everyday average girl (but)

She's somebody's hero
A hero to her baby with a skinned up knee
A little kiss is all she needs
The keeper of the cheerios
The voice that brings Snow White to life
Bedtime stories every night
And that smile lets her know
She's somebody's hero

(Song lyrics from Jamie O'Neal, "Somebody's Hero")

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yesterday I saw Happiness.

            Yesterday after work, I decided to venture my way over to walmart to pick up some new workout dvds.  In the process, I found myself running through the store in my high heals, tripping over my dress and becoming very impatient with the people around me.  As I finally made it to the registers, of course there were only two lanes open for checkout, and probably 10 customers in each line.  I stood there focused on how bad my feet hurt from wearing massive high heals for 8 hours at work and  I swear I could feel the steam boiling out of my skin.  I was standing in line, legs shaking and minding my own business when I felt a stampede roll up behind me.  It was a family of 5, mom, dad, and 3 kids... who looked as dirty as the bottom of my feet probably did.  The smell of cigarettes was so strong I almost had to hold my breath and as I browsed the kids, the two little girls had pink streaks in their hair and arms full of left over Easter candy.  Just as I was about to form an opinion on these parents, one of the girls started to tug on my shoulder bag to grab my attention.  She looked at me with these big beautiful blue eyes and instantly my heart grew warm, she then said to me "Your earrings are very beautiful, my mom said you look like an angel"-- I instantly felt tears in my eyes.  Suddenly I forgot about my feet and how bad they hurt, I forgot about the line I was waiting in and I found myself sharing the warmth given to me with this family.  It brought a new meaning of "happiness" to my attention-- to see how close this family is, and how happy they are... the love that was clearly shown between them. The little girl started to tell me about her imaginary heroic friend, while snapping her gum and brushing her messy pink hair out of her face. I found myself so focused and intrigued by her that a bomb could of went off in the store and I wouldn't of even known.   Soon, it was my turn to check out, I was so taken by this family that it was hard for me not to go up and hug them, and thank them for just being there... standing next to me in the walmart line. 
          Walking out of the store, I pondered the thought of happiness and it reminded me of all the unfortunate things I had to go through recently.  Over the weekend, I took the time to myself to think about how I was going to move on and find happiness. It always seems as if every time life is about to begin for me (real life)-- some kind of obstacle, something I have to get through, some kind of unfinished business, time to be served, debt to be paid off.... something happens.  Then yesterday happened.  Yesterday it dawned on me that these are all just obstacles in my life, that's all they are.  There is no way to happiness, happiness IS the way.  It is a journey and not a destination.  Happiness IS the experience of living this life given to us, fully in these moments and exploring all of these moments and what they have to offer, good or bad.  Maybe it had be that I met this family and realized this about myself,  but I thank them for it. 
                           "How you handle this moment .. and the next .. and the next ..will determine whether you will experience happiness today, tomorrow ..or never."