Playing with Fire, I mean Sand

I’ve built countless sandcastles with the sincere intent of using brick and mortar. I’ve sorrowfully watched all of them wash away, feeling like the reverse big, bad wolf – vigilantly huffing and puffing in a desperate attempt to keep them standing, to salvage anything because anything is something. Nothing ever remains no matter how badly I desire it to. Perhaps that is an indirect, subconscious reason why I have an intense, though manageable, fear of water.

Promises are something I’ve completely lost all faith in. I simply don’t believe in them. Maybes, possibilities, you-never-knows, perhaps – those are all concepts, “sandcastle words,” that make so much more sense in my personal existence. I’m even careful not to think too far into the future because even that is a destination in which there is no guarantee of reaching.

Life goes far beyond just being unfair – it’s downright cruel and deceiving. When good things are happening in seeming droves, I have this inherit tendency to automatically expect the rain to come and we all know – when it rains, it pours. Again, with the water.

I’ve become an expert at the art of distraction – that thing that adults do to avoid dwelling on matters that are out of their control or simply to procrastinate things that we don’t wish to take control of in the present moment. Perhaps being an expert at such things isn’t something to boast about but I can’t necessarily label it as a bad thing, either. In fact, I think it’s quite necessary at times. In my life, it’s been synonymous with “rolling with the punches” and “taking it day by day.”

The alternative is to laugh in the face of adversity – not because it’s funny or as some unusual, intimidation tactic but because life is a fucking beach in which I build sandcastles and I’ve been through my personal worst. I’m still standing and I’ll still be standing tomorrow should I be hopefully granted another day on this Earth. Sometimes, laughter is all the energy I have in me these days because with tears come, yet again, water.

If it isn’t obvious at this point, I have a lot on my mind tonight –it’s not just a single thing, person or happening but an entire slew of past, present and possible future occurrences. In addition, and this might not be as obvious, you’ll notice all those “sandcastle words” continue to come up in this post and I’ll bet if you read past posts of mine, you’ll find a plethora of them. There is nothing like laying next to death that will forever embed a sense of urgency into your mind and body and remind you of life’s only certainties.

I’m tired of playing in the sand but I’m afraid I have no choice – at least in this lifetime.

Now, listen to “Sandcastles” by Beyoncé

 

 

 

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Bottles of Bubbly and Self Praise

As I passed the bubbly, AKA champagne, AKA sparkling wine, AKA good stuff in Trader Joes’ alcoholic beverage aisle this evening, I was tempted to grab a bottle but instantly resisted the urge, deciding that that purchase would be saved for a future celebration – the one where I receive the finalized divorce papers in the mail. Tonight, however, I opted for a different, slightly more expensive Argentinian Malbec in celebration of my recent promotion as Art Manager of Walt Disney Parks and Harry Potter licensed apparel at my current company.

I’m pretty stoked to say the absolute least – I feel like my life is moving in the right direction and, probably for the first time ever, I’m allowing self-praise. It hasn’t always come easy, ya know. In fact, I often find myself bowing down to the little voice in my head that tells me, “It’s not that big of a deal. This could have been anyone. You’re not special. Blah blah blah.”

This time, though, I am proud of myself and the decisions and the moves that I have made. If only I could share this with my mama – I think she’d be proud, too. Now, I just can’t wait to write the blog where I bought and popped that bottle of champagne! Cheers!

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Seeking the Resounding Truth

Still relevant almost a year later…

A Righteous Revival

It’s said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, that our past is called the past for a reason and that what lies ahead is far more worthy of a stare down than what lies behind. And that’s all good and well but I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t look back, what may be considered, too often, and simultaneously, mentally beat the shit out of myself, not only for the act of looking back, but for actions in my past that cannot be undone. And sure, maybe it doesn’t kill me, maybe I’m still alive and breathing but does it really, truly make me stronger? Or is that just something that we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel and appear better, stronger?

When I first decided that I wanted to get a divorce, I was initially reticent. In fact, I was downright reluctant about telling…

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Simpler Histories

If I close my eyes, I can almost feel the cold, smooth blades of grass under my bare feet, smell the Earth of the neighbor’s freshly mowed lawn, and hear my mother’s voice in the distance. I can nearly taste the savory aftermath of a grilled hamburger enjoyed out on the deck and I can almost hear Van Morrison or Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes playing in the background through the late evening’s mellow breeze. The nostalgia is so intense that I feel like I can walk out the front door of my apartment into the past, a simpler time, a lifetime ago.

It’s nights like tonight that remind me of the pond, of the abundant, sweet-tasting honeysuckle on my tongue, the bunch of various duck species lapping in the shallow waters and that pleasant scent of fresh, springtime air. I inhale deeply, instantly transported back to a time when walking the half mile up the paved road without sidewalks, four slices of Wonder bread, in tow, to feed the ducks and watching the colorful Kansas sun set over the tops of the towering oak trees and through their vibrant green leaves was one of my favorite pastimes. Simply watching the mundane, uneventful life of water foul did wonders for my young in age, but old soul. I knew that when I slowly sauntered back home admiring the old homes of the neighborhood I grew up in, peering like an innocent voyeur through their floor to ceiling or bay windows, my mama would be there, perhaps even my auntie, the both of them excitedly conversing in the back room.

I remember wanting so badly to grow up, to be one of the big kids, often hanging around my mama and auntie rather than playing with my younger cousins. When adults would tell me that I would change my mind one day and be wishing for the opposite, wishing to be a child again, I would defiantly, stubbornly contradict their “theories.” I wonder if they, too, had smelled the springtime air of their simpler histories.

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Hour and a Half Shy

I awoke at six-thirty like I did every Monday morning, I solemnly dressed myself and I hopped on the Manhattan bound subway en route to work. I ate breakfast and I had my coffee just like every other normal work morning. And after work, I ventured to Korea town to sample some delicious pastries from a favorite bakery among the midtown locals until finally, I arrived home to go to sleep and do it all over again the following day.

The thing about this particular day five years ago, however, was that my dad had died, taken his last breath, a mere ten hours prior to the eerie conduction of my daily routine. I couldn’t think of a better plan than to do exactly what I normally would have done if my dad was still alive, had there not just been a death within my immediate family. Or perhaps, the fact was that I wasn’t thinking about much else at all – I was just simply going through the motions.

The interesting and for lack of better words, inconvenient, thing about death is that even if it’s fairly expected, there is no guidebook that explains the aftermath with stimulus-response bullet points. It’s not like cancer, for example, I vividly recall sitting in the waiting room of the Kansas City Cancer Center reading extensive, informational “what to expect” and “how to cope” pamphlets for those diagnosed and their loved ones while my dad received radiation on his brain where a tumor, caused by the stage four lung cancer, was vigorously attacking his cerebellum. There’s a stimulus – chemotherapy can cause nausea and there’s a response – eat these types of foods to minimize the side effects of the toxicity being pumped into your veins.

I fucking get it – everyone handles death differently. No loss is the same – yada yada yada. But wouldn’t it be fucking nice to have some literature handed to you when shit like this occurs? Your father has passed away. Here is how you deal: (insert short list of socially acceptable and permanently relieving responses to the death of a parent.)

I know I sound like a sarcastic jackass but I suppose this could be deemed my socially unacceptable, temporarily relieving response to this fucking day that I have experienced every fucking April now for the past five, fucking years. And my over usage of the f-word is my momentary release of anger that motivates me to write this and to get up and go to work in the morning after my dad dies and every day after that and every year after that.

I miss him. I really do. We may not have had the best relationship by any definition of the word but I think that’s part of the reason why I miss him so goddamned much. I believe we could have had a better relationship if he’d had more time on this Earth. But time is a fucking motherfucker – it’s a mind fuck of an illusion and one of the many reasons why a day doesn’t pass where thoughts of mortality do not cross my mind, where I don’t mull over the philosophy of life and death. If nothing else, it’s certainly motivating.

I can deduce all of the above to that fucking overused, irritating cop-out of an expression: everything happens for a reason. In doing so, I can also tell you that one of the most valuable lessons I learned from it all is to never use, “There’s always tomorrow” or “This can wait” or any other variation of time-related jargon because quite frankly, there may not be a tomorrow and what are we waiting for exactly?

I wonder if my dad thought or said aloud that Sunday, April 10, 2011, “I can take care of this tomorrow.” He, unfortunately, didn’t have a tomorrow. In fact, he was about an hour and a half shy of another tomorrow.

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Birthdays for the Dead

I never know how the depression is going to present itself or to what degree. Sometimes, it’s sudden and other times, it’s inexplicable and manic. One thing is for certain, it’s expected around the months of April, August and the holidays so it’s safe to say that for the past five years I feel this heaviness, this weight, pretty much a third of the entire year. And that’s not counting the other two thirds of the year when the minutest thing can send me spiraling downward into the dark abyss of grief, loneliness and sadness. It all comes down to the hard to swallow fact that living in a world without my mother has been an unwanted learning experience, one where simply not existing myself often feels more ideal than celebrating another one of her birthdays without candles that will be extinguished by her very breath.

Tomorrow, April 8th, I will wish my mother another happy birthday, the fifth to be exact, since she took her last breath. There is no guidebook for these types of things – how to celebrate the birth date of a deceased loved one – filed under the self-help section of your local bookstore. Or maybe there is? But I sure as hell don’t want to read it. And just as there isn’t sufficient guidance on how to conduct special occasions in light of death, there isn’t warning of the so-called chemical imbalance in the brain that is sure to rear its ugly head. Sure, I know what month is approaching but as I stated above, one cannot anticipate depression’s presentation, its severity or its effect. One can only ride it out, go with the flow per se.

This particular year, I have found it increasingly difficult to lift my body out of bed every single morning this week. I guarantee the people with whom I conduct my weekly routine are none the wiser. Should I applaud myself for this? Is this an accomplishment?   Let me just pause and pat myself on the back for being able to conceal my detrimental grief for eight hours a day. And if you’re not grasping the hard sarcasm in those last few sentences or sensing the exaggerated rolling of my eyes whilst I wrote it, you’re missing something.

In some ways, the daily routine aids in easing some of the tremendous sadness that has surrounded this particular month for the past five years. I’m immensely grateful I just so happen to be exceptionally busy at work this week. But nighttime inevitably comes enveloping me in its bulging, sorrowful arms and then the early morning rudely awakens me to yet another awful, unwelcome reminder, “Your mother is dead.”

 

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At the Edge of the World

I have come home in anxious pursuit of unlocking my mailbox to find that letter – that letter from the Los Angeles County Courthouse confirming my freedom, proof that my divorce is final. I have done this every single day for the past two and a half years. I have yet to receive that letter but I know that day will come. I know the day will come that I am no longer addressed as Mrs. (insert married last name), and my past mistakes can truly become just that – a part of my past.

Everyone jokes that a celebration is in order once I do obtain that piece of paper but I don’t find it a joking matter at all – I most definitely intend on celebrating in a very grand way. Ever heard of a divorce party? Well, it’s a thing and it will be a thing in my life – hopefully very soon.

I mull over the last two and a half years since deciding to end my marriage and that repetitive saying that, “life is crazy” doesn’t even begin to describe the roller coaster ride I have been subjected to. Life is downright insane! Life is a bitch as my mother liked to say. I’m a fucking survivor and I have to hold on to the hope and the belief that there will come a day where the fight, the struggle, the need to survive isn’t so necessary anymore. In the meantime, I’ll hang on to enjoyable memories that make my heart go pitter-pat and meaningful distractions that remind me of life’s greater pleasures.

I have been forever young, basking in the wondrous delight of indestructible spirits and I have inhaled the recycled air of last breaths, sharing space and time with destructive disease. I have spent lingering nights tasting the cool, crisp earth of immortal youth and reveling in its naïve sheen and I’ve laid next to death’s inevitable, unbiased truth, shivering in its finality. I have danced in the dim candlelight, made time stand still for an entire song and I have shed endless tears to a single repetitive chorus, red, swollen eyes shielded by a culmination of metal and plastic. I have soundly slept on winter’s sand at the edge of the world without the anticipation of another sunrise and I have wished to peacefully fall into a permanent sleep, one where my mortality calmly meets with a world I am unsure even exists.

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The Guarded Heart

Two years can instill a lot of change and respectively alter one’s perspective though I still believe in love.

A Righteous Revival

A guarded heart is a difficult edifice to abolish but desperately hanging on white-knuckled to the reigns results in remaining in a perpetual state of unfortunate unknowing. The walls we build are constructed out of painful, past memories, repetitive heartbreaks and catastrophically emotional blows. We dwell and we dwell until a solid foundation is securely laid and these walls have something to rely on, exceptional means to justify their prime real estate location.

A guarded heart is an invisible barricade, a false sense of security that manifests itself tangible through the susceptible decisions we make and the life-changing opportunities we allow to silently pass us or in which we purposely self-sabotage. I’m the first to remind myself, “What’s for you will not pass you,” repeating it like a self-guided mantra down a dimly lit hallway of identical, multiple closed doors. It’s in the deliberation, however, where the guarded…

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Undelivered Letters

The saying that the pain is temporary feels like the opposite ever since all the tragedy.  For me, it feels more like happiness is temporary. Honest to God.”

The above were words I recently came across that I had written down about three and a half years ago. Unable to sleep, I was alone waiting for my then husband to come home like almost every other night he worked. He frequently did not come home rather staying out all night and getting drunk with his coworkers.

As I read on, it became apparent that the words I was writing were a sort of letter to David, however, he never read it unless he happened to snoop as I came to find out he had done in the past. When confronted regarding this issue shortly after my mother’s death, he claimed that he was doing so out of the familiar fear that I may be suicidal and wanted to stay one step ahead – a preventative measure if you will.

At the time, I accepted his defense despite feeling utterly violated and disrespected. And I accepted his defense because there was a part of me – that part that didn’t wish to exist in a world where happiness seemed a temporary state. His justification created an intense and provisional sense that he deeply cared for me – just not enough to forego staying out until four ‘o’ clock in the morning with twenty-something service industry personnel, becoming collectively inebriated beyond recollection.

I’ve also been dwelling on the details of my mother’s death.  On one hand, this is good for my writing but the problem is I’m not writing it down.  I’m just reliving the experience in my head.”

I went on to therapeutically write words to David with little intention of delivering them. To this day, I attempt to search blindly for compassion for a boy who couldn’t possibly have grasped the sheer anguish or recognize the incessant darkness that enveloped my soul and violently clawed at what was left of my wounded heart. To this day, I am unable to really grasp any compassion, unable to see through the warranted anger of a woman deliberately left alone, to walk through that dark all by herself day in and day out – no hand to hold, no ounce of respite.

Do I believe that David wanted to be a better man? A better boyfriend? A better husband? Yes. Do I believe that he tried unequivocally hard to do so? Absolutely not.

I often feel desperate and expectant.” I continued. Never in my life have I ever felt more desperate than the three years I spent with David. Coupling that with expectancies was a recipe for complete disaster and often leaves me pondering how different my life would be today had I made subtle but timely, opposite decisions. For example, what if the night of our first major fight I had ended things and moved back to Los Angeles? Or, not so subtle, what if I had never married him? I know that these types of thoughts are unproductive but it doesn’t hurt anyone, I cannot help myself and it makes for interesting writing.

I went on to type, “Sometimes, I’m able to think rationally and logically and most of the time, it just pushes me deeper into a dark place.” Today, I recognize that my “rational” and “logical” thinking had nothing to do with my feelings, my emotions – the inner turmoil taking place within the outer turmoil that I was subjecting myself to. Rational and logical thinking does nothing for matters of the heart.

I concluded this undelivered letter with, “I am hoping that this gets better once we move and once I find the strength to remain motivated, consistently.” I was clearly hopefully anticipating our move to Los Angeles from New York. “This” got better once I removed the toxicity from my life and “this” is continually in improvement mode. Los Angeles is thankfully just the setting for this righteous revival.

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Unconscious Choices and Lessons in Loss

I found it deftly appropriate that I re-blog this post from March of 2015 following last week’s re-blog from March of 2014 as they are so closely intertwined.

A Righteous Revival

His rigid, expression stared down at the paper in front of him as his signature fluidly made its way into each blank space where it was needed. The unfamiliar scent of his heavy cologne wafted into my nostrils as niceties were traded and small talk was thankfully avoided. Any amount of pleasantries probably would have triggered my inevitable anger. David and I hadn’t seen each other in almost a year and I’m pretty certain I can speak for both of us when I state that this wasn’t exactly a meet up either of us were looking forward to.

The fifteen-minute exchange was all business this past Saturday morning at a valley Coffee Bean as I informed David on the status of our divorce while obtaining his signature in all of the necessary places. Eye contact was easily kept to the bare minimum what with the numerous pages of legal paperwork…

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Song of Sunshyne

Solution Seeker | Justice Lover | Impact Maker

A Narcissist Writes Letters, To Himself

A Hopefully Formerly Depressed Human Vows To Practice Self-Approval

Peace, love and patchouli

A blog of life according to me.

Ordinary Adventures

Everyday journeys of a one of a kind girl.

Capturing Greif In Words

Holding Onto Love, Not Loss.

Dimitris Melicertes

I don't write, I touch without touching.

A Righteous Revival

An orphaned, 31 year old, divorcée candidly discusses life, loss and love

Fashion, Flowers, and Other Philosophical Fluff

"There are always flowers for those who wish to see them." -Henri Matisse

Notes for a Chronicle

Hashing out my stories

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