Browsing Category

manifestos

que sera sera

Leave it to Sly

manifestos November 19, 2017

For me often, it starts with a song.

Tonight, while cleaning up a kitchen that has fed many, I was quietly standing there, wiping down the counter when this song came on:

Immediately, as if time travel actually existed, I was transported back to my little apartment on West Annie 17 years ago. 

No Comments

bail out? fade out? #byefelicia?

manifestos November 2, 2017

As I write this first sentence, I have no idea if I’m actually going to publish this one or not. If I do, well, then you will be reading it. If I don’t, I’ll have a place where I dumped a lot of thoughts. (Start to finish, this one took 4 days to write.)

When you grow up the least favored person in a household, you learn to put up barriers. Boundaries. Walls.

You learn to fight for what you want, and how to develop the most magical of force fields to protect you from ongoing snark, sarcasm, criticism and verbal onslaughts. It’s what you do to survive. You also learn to have a very very high tolerance for bullshit.

From the outside, I grew up in what looked like a pretty normal midwestern, middle-class household. Mom is the domestic diva, Dad the hard working construction guy, daughter, son + occasional labrador. From the outside, I’m sure everything looked awesome.

On the inside, it was a little different.

This is not to be an expose on something that wasn’t. It’s just an explanation (to myself mostly) of why I am the way that I am.

Some families speak to each other in kind ways, using warm words and positive thoughts.

Others are fueled by snark, sarcasm, cutting remarks and a drive to “knock you down to your place.”

I’m going to let you guess which of the two above I came from.

My family is different. Unto themselves. We don’t do the big holiday things. We don’t do the Sunday dinners with everyone. There is no “Dropping” in at my parents. Permission to visit must be requested well in advance.  Hell, we live over 1700 miles apart, and barely see each other once a year. This year, I saw them for 2 hours in 390 days. Take from that what you will. I was told my sophomore year in college that it was too much work to come get me for Thanksgiving, so I might as well stay on campus. That was the last time I went home for Thanksgiving.That was easily one of the last times I ever went home. 20 years later, I think i’ve been there less than 10 times?

As a result of this, in 1997, I started to gather what would become my chosen family. A rag-tag conglomeration of people that actually liked me for me, not because, and I quote “we have to love you, you are family.” Ya, that’s what I heard a lot growing up- “We don’t have to like you, but we have to love you.”

When you are 20, you are filled with concepts, ideas and a developing ideology of the way that the world should be. Most of the time said ideology is either because of, or in reaction to, whence you came. For me, I developed a brand of tolerance, independence, and resilience, because I had to. If I didn’t figure shit out then, I was screwed. I didn’t have the luxury of failing and running home. There was not an easy soft place to land. So, I grew up really fast and had to figure a lot of things out. Along the way, I created this merry cast of characters that I consider my chosen family, and for the most part, most are still in my life.

ALL of this being said, I’ve developed an exceptionally high tolerance for putting up with stuff that a normal, functioning person would not be ok dealing with. When you are pretty much “on my own”- you cling to those who presumably care about you, and you fight to the bitter end to keep them around.

Which brings me to the point of this ramble. Sometimes you have to be ok cutting ties.

It’s hard for me to part with people, much like it’s hard for some people to part with money. I wish I could hoard money the way I hoard people, but that’s another story for another time.

I have developed a glorious circle of friends- coast to coast, north to south. These are my chosen people and I love the fact that they tolerate my existence enough to want to share a meal, conversation, etc. It’s nice to have someone want you around for more than 2 hours. Seriously. The alternative is less than.

I have learned that there is a season and a reason for everyone to come into your life, but I struggle with the part of letting them OUT of my life. See, here’s the thing. Even though I’m surrounded by people, I’m incredibly lonely. There, I said it. I look at my friends with their defined units and for the most part, I’m wildly jealous of what they have. BUT, I don’t always want to just plunk myself into someone else’s unit. I don’t know if that makes sense at all. I always appreciate inclusion and invitations, but at some point, it grows exhausting to be the “guest” or the “visitor” when you yourself have no defined unit. So, I hang on to the people that I’ve brought into my unit, just out of sheer stubbornness and unwillingness to be alone.  However, at the end of the day, I do typically allow people to cycle out- I’m not Hannibal Lector after all, but I fight to the end to keep my unit together. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to others. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me. But this is what I do. I fight to keep my people around, in some capacity for as long as possible, because no one has ever fought for me to stay. NO ONE.

There, I said it.

It is incredibly humbling, at the age of 40, to look back at your life, and realize that the majority of critical relationships- romantic and familial (excluding non-sexual friendships) have been ok to let you #byefelica yourself away to the next phase.

That is what it is.

But today, as I was pondering some interactions of late and trying to figure out if I made the right choices by walking away and/or closing down the doors, I realize it is ok to bail out. To be done. To be done cleaning up others messes or perpetually being the one to fix things. It’s also ok not to fight for attention or acceptance anymore. I’m done with the chase.

In other less rambling thoughts… I’ve always loved this song, but after listening to it today, I stopped and said out loud “WHAT ON EARTH DOES THIS SONG MEAN?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

what’s the story, morning glory?

manifestos October 25, 2017

Oh, you know, it’s just practically perfect over here this morning on Lavender Lane. The air is crisp, Stan Getz is playing over the Echo, and I’m drinking what appears to be somewhat of a healthy smoothie concoction.

The four-legged creatures that drive me insane are actually more or less well behaved. One is wearing a dog sweater, the other is trying to get said dog sweater OFF the other dog. I’ll let you suss out who is who in this particular scenario.

Truthfully, I had to get through the past few weeks to really process the past few weeks. Life came at me pretty aggressively. I don’t know how else to articulate my thoughts on the past few weeks, other than it was a partial cluster f&*K (oh hey, look at me not being profane), and partially amazing.

I think that is the best way to describe this little life of mine- part cluster, part incredible. Depends on the hour, minute and the day.

As per usual, the past few weeks have been filled with introspection, injuries and internal inquiry. No major life decisions have been made, no incredible revelations, but instead just doing the work of being a semi-functioning adult.

Things I know to be true this Wednesday morning:

1.) Being honest with yourself is hard.

2.) Not injuring yourself, if you are predisposed to be a klutz, is even harder.

3.) Chasing something is different than working towards a goal. I’m trying hard to chase less (in general.)

4.) The older I get, the less I want to keep my mouth shut. This is not particularly new or shocking, but I find myself having to buy more duct tape these days to avoid offending people.

So, that’s my story morning glory. What is yours on this crisp fall morning?

No Comments

Holy Hell, It’s Fall

manifestos October 10, 2017

This whole year of 40 has been a whirlwind. No, seriously.

One minute, it’s Memorial Day weekend, and next thing I know, I’m hauling out boxes of Halloween decor.

Where did this year go?

I’ve had a good year. Travelled, adventured, lived and hell even loved a little.  Did all the things,  or at the very least, a portion of the list that I created for myself earlier in the year.

I was able to spend a few glorious days in Sonoma, and I’m so thankful for that time, given the current horrific fires that are eating up wine country.

I hiked in Colorado.

I drank in Detroit.

I floated on the river in North Dakota.

I lost myself in San Francisco for a few days.

I bought a fair amount of bubbles in Napa.

I sat on my favorite porch and made plans.

This year. This 40th year has not sucked.

It’s been particularly filled with introspection and trying to figure out what the hell I want out of the next 40.

With a group of thirsty friends, we’ve plowed through over 73 of the 100 bottles of bubbles I’ve decided to conquer. Only 27 more to go- whoa. I wonder what the 100th bottle will be and I wonder who shall share it with me?

The quest to find a partner of sorts continues. Oh, the quest goes on. I chatted with a compadre today and I realized that because I’ve gone this far without settling, I’d be an ass to do so now. I’ve made some pretty big missteps along the way, but without them, wouldn’t life be oh-so-boring?

Missteps, near misses and blissful avoidance of disasters. That’s the key to this year. Sidestepping the colossal errors and tweaking the minor ones.

Be where you are. Not some place in the past or the future. A line from my favorite play. Rather my mantra for the year. Stop wondering where you are going- just keep moving on. LOVE IT. (Skip to the bottom to read the entire song. Glorious stuff, really.)

Things I know to be true:

1.) I still am in the middle of a wild affair with any music that I fall head over heels in love with every morning. Music feeds me just as much as any fat, carb or protein.

2.) My house is finally looking more like what I imagined. In typical Kate fashion, this must indicate that it’s time to move on. Or not? Who knows.

3.) One can not have regrets for things not attempted or finished. More on that in the spring.

4.) I’m even more obnoxiously outspoken and for that, I have no shame.

 

So, as this year comes to a gorgeous finale, I look towards the change of the year. Something new.

Halfway through this 40th year of mine, I must admit, it’s been bigly good.

——————————————————————————————————

Move On

from the musical “Sunday in the Park With George”

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Stop worrying where you’re going—move on
.
If you can know where you’re going, you’ve gone
.
Just keep moving on.

I chose, and my world was shaken—so what?
The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not.
You have to move on.

Look at what you want,
not at where you are,
not at what you’ll be.
Look at all the things you’ve done for me:
opened up my eyes,
 taught me how to see,
notice every tree,
understand the light,
concentrate on now.

I want to explore the light.
I want to find how to get through,
through to something new,
Something of my own—move on.
Move on.

Stop worrying if your vision is new.
Let others make that decision—they usually do.
You keep moving on.

Look at what you’ve done
, then at what you want,
not at where you are,
 what you’ll be.
Look at all the things you’ve done for me.
Let me give to you something in return.
See what’s in my eyes
And the color of my hair
And the way it catches light
And the care
And the feeling
And the life moving on!

We’ve always belonged together.
We will always belong together.
Just keep moving on.

Anything you do, let it come from you.
Then it will be new.
Give us more to see…

No Comments

Time Marches On

manifestos August 2, 2017

*Time Marches On… all over my body.

Greetings from the little house on Lavender Lane. It’s a dreary, rainy morning over here and I’ll be honest, I’m giddy.

Giddy because it’s not hot.

Giddy because my AC isn’t running.

Giddy because I’ve come to see another day.

Lately, my own mortality has smacked me in my ass and most recently on my face. I’m getting older, no doubt. I’m not as young as I once was. Things are not as firm as they once were. My skin has subtly changed. My eyes have REALLY changed. My hands… oh, my hands.

As I’ve mentioned before, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis earlier this year and there are good days, and then there are days that I just want to curl up in bed and cry. Oh wait, I kinda did that the other day.

I’ve learned as I grow older that I’m not smarter than a doctor, and if they are prescribing an RX, there is a cause, and I need to take the damn medicine. I daresay I’ll never become an Opioid addict- I hate taking meds. I’ve learned, the hard way, this week, that when I don’t take ALL of the meds, less than stellar things happen.

I’ve learned that my whore-moans (spelling intended) are a powerful force. They keep the wheels of life flowing (ish), but man, when out of whack, things get touch and go. Combine that with an RA flare? Forgive the profanity, but F*&K ME, some days suck.

Luckily for me, I have a kind patient friend/Doctor who asked me if I had taken my meds. Ya, no. It had been days. Days people. What kind of asshole thinks that they can do that? Me. I’m the asshole.

The point to this story? I’m not as young as I once was. I need to be more cognizant of taking care of myself. I need to take control of what I can. I need to appreciate each and every day that I’m given and do something with it. I mean, some days, I might accidentally binge watch West Wing from the bed, but still, you get the point.

Each day we are given is important. I’m getting to the age that my parent’s friends are starting to pass away. My oldest, best friend on this planet lost her dad this winter and it still shakes me thinking that it could happen to any of us. In my head, we are still idiot teenagers, and in reality, we are almost middle aged.

Side note, what the F$*K is middle aged? I mean, I fully plan on kicking the bucket at 70, so does that mean, I’ve passed middle age? Oh, it’s too much to think about with only one unit of caffeine in me.

Caution: don’t google Middle Age. It will depress you. Apparently, most of the geniuses on the web, have decided that middle aged women = Disneyesque grannies.

Back to the point of this post. Time moves on whether or not we are ready for it. Tomorrow, I go get my progressive lens glasses. Yep, bifocals. Sigh. Nothing I can do about it.

Earlier this summer, I had my face shot up with some magical helper that eases up my resting bitch face.

Every day, I try to eat more fruits and veg, and less meat.

I mean, I guess the best we can do to battle time, is to march (dance) along with the changes, right?

 

No Comments

Bear with me

manifestos July 24, 2017

First and foremost, forgive me for any typos, errors, or formatting issues. I’m typing using a keyboard on my iPad, and as light as it is to carry, it doesn’t quite hold the functionality of a full keyboard.

Secondly, this post lacks any/all images, as I can’t be bothered to upload them here.

Finally, this is probably going to be the most honest thing I’ve ever written. If you are easily offended and/or don’t know me at all, take this very moment and hit the back arrow, leave and don’t come back.

Here we go.

I’ve been on vacation for what feels like forever. Only 5 days, but it’s been useful. I woke up this morning, thinking that my face looked effed up and in reality it’s just because the coal black suitcases under my eyes have eased up.

You know that book that everyone wanks over, “eat/pray/love”? The past five days have been more of “drink/think/give less fu*ks.”

Yes, seriously.

If you know me personally, you know that since the beginning of ’15, my stupid fu$*ing ears decided to give up the ghost and I was grounded. No air travel. Nada, nothing. Went from a gypsy to a home-bound bitch is less than 2 weeks. My last flight was February 26, 2015. I didn’t fly again until 30 days ago. LONGEST period of time ever. Sure,  I road tripped, but it’s not the same as just waking up one morning and say “I’m going to SLC now” or “i really want a roll of pizza bread, and fly my ass to DTW.”

Instead, I was stuck driving my mom mobile all over the Midwest trying to see people that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to see.

Realization #1 of the vacation: I’m always hauling my ass to see people. With the exception of a few, visitors, I’m the one always schelpping to the destination, not the other way around. I realized as I was planning this adventure, that the majority of my time off for the past decade has been to go to “see people”, not actually just vacate life for a while. See, I’m guessing that there is a force field in Michigan that prohibits people from coming to see family in Texas. Or maybe just me, but whatever. I’m tired of taking my vacation time to go make the rounds when others can’t be damned to come visit me. Yep, I said it. If you want to see me, pick up the phone and make a plan. I’m so tired of being the one making all of the plans. Sub note: I’m retiring from being Cruise director for a while.

 

Realization #2- I’m lonely. I know, that’s odd to read given the fact that I do genuinely have a tremendous group of friends at home. But they are friends, not partners. Not emotional and/or physical . Amazing group of people that I have in my life yes, but none that can climb into bed with me at the end of the day. Yes, that is important to me. I miss having that. I miss having the plus one for things. Being on this trip was incredible – so many awe inspiring meals, beautiful wine, great music, but i would look over and there would be no one next to me to share it with. Ok, that’s kinda bullshit, I have an app called Marco Polo, and I’ve been making mini video texts to some girlfriends to show them/talk to them. Thank God for that, because it got pretty lonely at points of this trip. BUT, I didn’t have someone next to me to have a bottle rather than a glass. Someone to sit and do major people watching and commentary.

I’ve managed to find myself in a series of less than filling interactions with the opposite sex. Some more odd than others. Some more consuming that others. Some more hurtful than I choose to acknowledge (especially of late), and some that actually just make me really sad. Sure, some interactions have been “f*ck ya, that was fun while it lasted,” but more recently, it’s been a lot of “what the f*ck was that?”

I believe in a lot of things, but I think that there are various people to fill certain aspects of your needs. You can have the emotional connection with someone. You can have a physical connection with someone. Occasionally in life, you find, for a while, that person you can have both with at the same time. Count yourself lucky if you have such thing right now. Both components take a lot of work, but, if you like staring at that person in the morning, then do the f*cking work, why don’t you? Don’t end up like me, typing in a hotel room in Napa Valley wondering when my next someone is going to show up.

What I have realized over the past five days that often times, as a single person, we try, in our heads, to make a person in category A, fit the role of Category B, or vice versa. Sometimes you can have mind blowing sex with someone that is just absolutely not right or available for anything beyond some intense cardio, and sometimes you have someone that is amazing on the emotional side, but um, lack the other stuff.

It’s ok to want someone that fills both categories. In fact, this weekend, I’ve come to the belief that if you don’t have some level of both, then GET THE F*CK OUT. Don’t sit around waiting for a miracle to happen. Either it works, or it doesn’t, but rarely is it going to resurrect itself into something miraculous just because you want it to. It’s ok to want more. It’s ok to tell your partner what you want/need. It’s ok to be single and say “for the love, I want a relationship on my own terms, not just to satisfy the caring yentas around me to shut up.” What I want might not look like what you have and/or think I should have, and that’s ok. I’m the one that has to wake up and live my life, not you. I need to give less shits about what other people think. I think a lot of us need to give a lot less shits about what other people think. I also think a lot of people just need to shut up and listen more, but that’s for another day.

Realization #3- I’m bored out of my skull. I need to learn something new, find a new project, get involved in something that makes me engaged, willing to learn, pushes my boundaries. I have NO idea what this means, but I am going to be working on it. Seriously, I feel like my brain is slowly becoming mush. Maybe I need to go back to school? Maybe I need to read more and play Candy Crush less? I don’t know, but for the love, I need a new something. My life is pretty selfish – me, work, dogs, rinse and repeat. Sure, I could fill the hours with stuff, but I’ve been doing that for years and I’m still bored. I want to find something to do that makes me crave to do more of it. To be excited to do it again.

It is easy to fall into a cycle of passive living.

I’ve been doing it for years, and it has to stop. I can’t afford to take trips like this all the time (if i ever want to retire), but I need to get excited about something and but soon.

So… the drink/think/give less f*cks trip? Succeed in doing all of the intended things. Rolled my eyes at myself many times. Only cursed at two idiots on the road. Side note- i love driving in California. It just makes sense to me. Not all plans worked out, but that’s ok. Probably more than ok. One more day… whatever shall I do today?

 

No Comments