Darkness

Surrounded by friends 

Alone inside one’s head

The darkness closes in

Yet no one sees

The claws reaching for the soul 

Only the mask of light 

The facade of joy

The costume of peace

Is all they want to see

The demons of the darkness 

Pull one back

To the shadows 

The place of tears

The place of pain

The place of loneliness 

The place of fear

Finding oneself here… Again

Inescapable cycle

With no place to hide

From the darkness 

Friends

I sat in bed last night debating on whether to repost an old piece I called “Used, Abused, and Thrown Away”. Though I’ve suffered through all three of those things, the piece doesn’t completely fit anymore. Here’s the issue, I wrote that at a period when I was still trying to get so many other perspectives of my life in order. I wasn’t ready for a relationship at that time because I was trying to establish a new career, get through a divorce, and trying to figure out this whole single mom thing. At this moment in time, I’m not ready for a relationship (who knows if I’ll ever be open to a new man again) for a series of other reasons. This said, I have some other thoughts I’d like to share with you. 

Friends… We all have them and they play various roles in our lives. We have the friends who are like a walking party… The friends who are our go to when we need to vent… The friends who are our shoulder to cry on… The friends who are there to bail us out in a tough spot… The friends who are brutally honest with us when we need it… The friends who may disagree with us, but will stand by our side no matter what… If we’re very lucky, we’ll find this in an amazing core group of friends. I’m one of those lucky ones. 

I’ve learned over time, that a true and genuine friend is there for you in the good and the bad. Even when we pull back or hide, they’re always there waiting. The truest friends don’t run when you’re going through a rough spot. They give you space to do and be what you need to be, and yet they’re always there in a heartbeat when you reach out. Friends value and respect you for exactly who and what you are. They also are not afraid to step up and tell you that you’re being an idiot. They don’t sit in front of your face and agree with every choice you make while turning around and talking shit about your choice behind your back. They respect your right to be stupid and make dumb decisions, but they will make sure that you have a complete idea of how its viewed. They may be wrong or you might be… But you won’t hear an “I told you so” from genuine friends. You’ll get a hug and a “let’s get a drink” from them if it turns out you were wrong and they were right. They’ll also be willing to admit that they were wrong to you as well. These friendships are about respect, support, honesty, and love. We must also remember that our true friends don’t tell us these harsh truths to hurt us or because we want to hear them. They tell us these things because they love us and because we need to hear them. 

Being completely honest, I’ve always had a very small number of friends. I’m very cautious about who I confide in, as I’ve had too many occasions where my trust and confidences were betrayed. I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m very happy with who I am. I’m a good woman who has worked very hard for all I have. I have a good heart, and I’ll give and sacrifice for the ones I love till it bleeds. I always seem to put others first… Whether they realize it or not.  I have experienced betrayals, heartache, being lied to, talked about, unappreciated, and disrespected. I’ve had far too many people in my life take me for granted, then realize what they had only after I’d finally reached a breaking point and given up. This applies to friends as well as relationships. The joy of my friendships that I have in my life now… That small core group of them that are closest to me… I have found some truly genuine and real people that I can call friend. 

 

Fear…

“Only thing we have to fear is fear itself” Franklin D Roosevelt 

Fear is something we all have in common. Not a single person can escape feeling it at some point in life or another. For some it is a daily emotion and for others it’s a more sporadic sensation…. Yet a sensation not any of us is immune to. Fear comes in many forms, but I’m not talking about fear of spiders or snakes or heights. I’m talking about the deeper fears in life such as fear of failing, of being hurt, of repeating past mistakes, or our past coming back to haunt us. 

These deeper fears can truly be debilitating. They can hold you back from truly living your life.  We all carry scars from past situations, and these scars are what lead to these fears. Fear is an absolute prison, and the worst that anyone could ever enter. We can carry on with daily existence and yet be confined behind the bars of fear inside our minds and hearts. No one outside of our own mind may even see these fears or realize how deeply they affect us. 

I’ve decided that the worst part of this fear is that there is truly no escape. This prison which confines so many  is inescapable. You can’t just sneak around it and pretend it isn’t there. Fear isn’t a kind jailer either. It taunts and tortures us. It is determined that we won’t ever be set free. We can deny we feel it… We can try to ignore it… Or we can try to move past it. No matter the choice an individual makes, it is never easy. Fear is an intimidating opponent. 

I suppose that in the end, we have a few options. We can decide to let fear win. Let it keep us locked away and sit in our mental and emotional cells hiding from life. The other option is to stand and fight. Like a David with Goliath… And let’s face it, fear is a definite Goliath in most people’s life. We can pluck up our courage and take a step forward. Walk up to those fears and sucker punch that bitch in the face and live life. This being said, fear will always trail along with you. I believe we have to carry the lessons that fear and experience have taught us; however, we don’t have to allow the fear to imprison us from living life and moving forward. 

My Ode to Shakespeare 

Since first I read your words

Even at a tender age

They stirred something in my heart

To my very soul

They spoke to me

In a way I never knew

Those words brought me tears

They brought me smiles

They brought me peace

Those words made me think

Made me feel

Made me live

Those words became a part of me

Of who I was 

Of who I am

Of who I always will be

Sanctuary 

Tired eyes look toward the waning sun… 

Another day is done…

Overwhelmed mind set free…

Wondering what will be…

Quiet hours of night…

Lying awake waiting for the light…

A new day will unfold…

No expectations for what it will hold…

Drifting through each hour…

Hoping for a peaceful bower…

A sanctuary in which to hide…

Far away from the tide…

We all have these days right? The days where nothing seems to go right… Life is full of ups and downs. It’s a roller coaster ride that just doesn’t stop. Heaven knows I’d like to get off the ride sometimes to catch my breath before I throw up. It’s a ride that will fill you with fear, anger, sadness, joy, and even at times complete euphoric exhilaration. We just never know what the next day will bring to us. I have found that as we go through life, none of us comes out unscathed and no one has a perfect life. We’ve all been hurt, lost loved ones, missed out on jobs we really wanted, and had family drama to deal with. We carry these scars with us forever. I’ve found, that it isn’t the hurts and disappointments that shape us, but more how we choose to move forward from them. Do we choose to hide from life and live in fear, or do we choose to face those fears and move forward each day?

There are also highs in life as well. We have children, friends who love and support us, family who’s always there for us, and there are those lucky ones who find someone to share their life with that give them love, trust,respect, and support. We have moments of laughter, peace, silliness, and love. Let’s be honest… If it weren’t for the those dips in the ride, would we know how to cherish the highs?

I suppose I’m naturally a hopeful and optimistic person. I trust probably far too easily, I forgive quickly, and I love with everything I have.  I’d give my last breath for someone I truly love.  I believe everyone deserves to be happy. I also believe that we have to be happy with who we are. I’m by no means perfect, and I can go a little crazy when I’m upset. This being said… I’m loyal and honest. I do live inside my head a bit too much at times, and my imagination can be both my greatest gift and my worst curse. Frankly, I have many flaws… I have made many mistakes in my life. I’ve also learned that you can finally reach a point where though you’re happy with who you are as a person, yet you can still be sad about certain aspects of your life. It’s funny how this roller coaster can leave you happy and sad at the same time… Don’t you think? I can truthfully say, I don’t know what this ride may bring to me tomorrow or in a year… I know the things it’s brought and taken from me in the past… I also know what it has left me with and without today… I think at this moment, I’m just tired and want to take a breather from this crazy coaster. I’m not as strong as some may think… But I’ve gotten pretty good at pretending that I am.

Dating… Game?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently since I’m back on the dating market. I admit I have really been trying to figure out this whole dating thing. I have never really looked at dating as a game personally, and if it is… Well I am a total loser!! Lol! Here are the issues…

1. I’m not good at playing games when it comes to being around someone I really like. 

2. I don’t seem to know the rules to this game! 

3. I’m a direct person! If I want to see you, I’ll make sure you know it… Same thing if I don’t want to see you!! 

I feel like I’m probably not the only person that is confused by dating… First of all what is technically considered dating?? As a teenager, dating someone was sitting on the phone for hours every night talking about random bullshit and going to the movies or hanging out at the mall on the weekends… Or finding a pasture party to go to! Well to be honest… I don’t have time for that juvenile crap! I’m an adult with a full time job and I’m a single mom with an almost teenager to raise! I can’t spend hours on the phone every day and the idea of spending the weekend at the mall makes my skin crawl! I guess as a mature… Ok, mostly mature and reasonably responsible adult, I’d like to find someone to talk to.. Maybe have dinner with once or twice a week. Someone to just get to know that I can make laugh and who wants to spend time with me and get to know the real me… My goofy and crazy side, my quiet and shy side, my caring and affectionate side, and yeah.. My pissed off and in a really crappy mood side… And if they’re really lucky, my sexy “you’re going to be begging for sleep in a few hours!” side LOL!! I’m not asking for someone to sacrifice every spare moment of non-working time here. I want to make sure that I respect someone’s personal time and space just as I want mine to be respected. I have a daughter and I have friends and I want to spend time with them too… Just as I’d want anyone I dated to do the same! I can tell you from experience… Being in the position of being absolutely everything to a person is far too much pressure to live up to! 

Now… If someone can enlighten me as to the rules of his game, I’d sure like to know! Here’s the deal… If I take the time to text you, I actually give enough of a damn to try to communicate with you. However, if you choose to ignore my texts… Don’t worry, because I won’t disturb you after that. I mean, is there a rule that you have to wait so many days before texting back? Is there a maximum/minimum number of texts allowed? Do you call or not call? What the hell is going on?!?! I’m lost!!! Also I confess, I don’t understand the ignoring thing. If you don’t want to talk to me or see me, just fucking say so! I’m all about being up front personally. If I invite you to dinner or to go do something, I want to get to know you. I’m not asking for a ring or to put a label on anything. I just like you and want to get to know you better… Does this break a mysterious dating rule of which I am ignorant? Here’s another thing, if you meet me and all you’re interested in is a one night stand or a booty call… Why can’t you just say so? If you’re honest and up front, then I have no expectations! I’m a big girl and I can handle it! I admit, in the grand scheme of my life, I don’t want to settle for this type of situation. I’d like to meet someone who can see the value of seeing me in public and… Ahem… Private, if you get my meaning. Lol!

I am a busy woman and I fight a constant battle of trying to find balance in my life. The fact is, it’s not easy!! I am going to make time for one on one moments with my kiddo, and some time to be with my friends, and some time for me! I would like to also make the time to date as well…. And by date, I do mean actual in public, around other people, dates… Not just the private, in a bedroom, kind of dates. I realize that in order to meet men to date, I have to go outside of my house. I am definitely going to be making an effort at that part! What I run into is, I have no problem at all finding men interested in the… Ummmm, shall I say private dates… Just not necessarily the public kind. Oh well, I feel like that’s their loss! I’m an intelligent, funny, and fun person to be around… Not to mention I clean up pretty good for a date! Lol! 

So… If anyone has mastered this whole dating game, please share with those of us in the dark! I may not get it or do it… But I’ll take advice under consideration! I’m too old and stubborn to change too much! Lol! 

Letter of the Law…

So here I go again. I’m going to attempt to go back to my roots here… In a couple ways. I want to take it back to where my blog started and where I started… My childhood and my crazy family. I’ve been wracking my brain… Or what little is left… As to what to write. This is what I’ve come up with…

This story is about my brothers. Growing up, we always had a trampoline. My oldest brother could be spotted out there on occasion doing the YMCA… My other brother was apparently the king of the most dramatic blind man’s bluff deaths… My sister would jump out there for hours for exercise… I would set a sprinkler up under the thing and make my own water park! 

The story on this that I really want to tell is about the game that my brothers started (pre Americas Funniest Home Videos). They decided that it would be a good idea to position the trampoline so that they could jump off of the roof of the house onto the trampoline… Geniuses these brothers of mine! They’ve both survived to adulthood, so the “why?” Chromosome hasn’t killed them yet… And in case you were wondering, the reason why men have a Y chromosome is because all the dumb stuff they do leaves women standing there looking at them asking “why??” Yes, I know… I’m chasing a jackrabbit. Back to the story… They continued this game without any consideration that they might get in trouble. Then one hot summer day, just as they jumped from the roof, the party pooper (aka mother… Read my earliest posts to catch up for heavens sake!) drove around the corner. I feel confident she could be heard screaming at them from halfway across town “Bryan Keith Ellis and William Shawn Ellis!! What do you think you’re doing?!?! You could kill yourselves!!!!! I’d better not ever catch you doing that again!!!!!” 

Can you guess the ending? Surely with the glimpses you’ve gotten of my family from my blog, you know where this is going… They didn’t stop jumping from the roof… She didn’t tell them to actually stop… Just that she’d better not catch them doing it again! Lol!! She never did and she didn’t find out the truth till about 25 years later… At which time she still threatened to bust their tail feathers!! Hahahaha, I’d have paid money to see that!! 

Moral of the story… The letter of the law and the spirit of the law are two totally different things!!  

Missing

I’ve gone MIA recently… I suppose writing anything has taken a backseat to life for quite some time. I’ve been working on a few things recently, though nothing worth sharing. I figure no one wants to hear the rantings of a exhausted single mother who works her butt off and seems to meet herself coming and going… Oops, there goes the ranting. Suffice it to say… I’m back! I think I’ll probably get back to my roots, and share more funny family stories. So keep an eye out… You never know what I may come up with! 

Failure

Failure is an inevitable part of life, though I think we all fear it as much or more than anything else we may face. Obstacles, failure, success, and learning are all things we must all deal with in our lives.

Life is filled with obstacles that we have to face and overcome. I suppose how we deal with them speaks toward our character. Do we hide from them and hope they go away? Do we face them head on throwing caution to the wind, and let the chips fall where they may? Do we step back for a moment, assessing the situation, and attempt to make an informed plan of attack? I suppose we all have our own methods. The outcome is undetermined and we’re never guaranteed success.

In fact, I think we often learn more from our failures. They give us insight to ourselves & information to take into future situations. However, the very fear of failure can be debilitating. I know that in my own life I’ve felt this. I never went to college. Why? The fear that I would fail. The fear I wasn’t smart enough. The fear of disappointing my dad and myself. I’ve grown up a lot since then. I’ve tackled some challenges that felt impossible… Situations that felt hopeless. I guess I fall more into the third category myself. I see a problem and I try to analyze the situation, then form my plan. I’m finally seeing the end of a plan I put in motion, and awaiting the results is beyond stressful. Though there have been some bumps in the road and my plans have taken longer to accomplish than I’d hoped, I feel optimistic…. Mostly. I still fear that I’ll ultimately fail and some of the hurdles I’ve been facing have felt enormous. They certainly leave me tired, stressed, anxious, and.. Yes.. Depressed at times.

One thing I have most certainly learned though is this… Yes, failure is scary. What is even more frightening are the “what ifs?” We face if we never gather our courage and just try. We may fail, we may fall battered and bruised on the rocks under that ledge we stepped out on… But we learned and we have the knowledge that we did our best. We faced our challenges instead of cowering under a blanket in fear.