Dear America…

 

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Photo courtesy of ClipArtBest.com

Dear America,

How do you propose to be great again, and do you truly believe you were ever great to begin with?  Realists are aware of the fact that you have made leaps and bounds over centuries to become prodigious; however, you continue to follow in the footsteps of ignorant ancestors who believed greatness meant inequality and domination rather than celebrating the greatness of diversity that is supposedly the foundation of you.  There is no need to rehash the many travesties that you have suffered in detail, but I do believe that anyone with a sound mind would agree that your greatness does not include taking from Native Americans, being used as a wasteland for exiled convicts, slavery, oppression, discrimination, hate crimes, and various assassinations of those who fought for unity and dreamed to actually make you Great.  During your history, there has been multitudes of greatness, yet, sadly overshadowed due to the underlying hate that has plagued you since birth.

Presently, America, you are faced with a decision.  Are you going to continue to sustain hate, OR are you going to uplift each individual that is a part of you during adversity to work towards greatness?  Are you going to continuously rehash the realities of the 2016 election, OR are you going to unite and push forward to remedy the plagues of unjustness?  Are you going to set an example of democracy for other countries, OR are you going to continue to be a joke to the countries that are rejoicing due to your current privation? Will you remain divided, OR do you wish to be whole?  You have choices to make and many paths to choose.  What will it be; how will you define your greatness?

With Truest Sincerity,

An American Citizen

Daily Prompt: Or

Passed Around Like a Bottle of Crown

Is it me, or are facades passed around like there is no tomorrow?

Dani hit snooze on the alarm for the last time, and stumbled out of bed wishing it were all a dream.  She reminisced about the previous night as she turned the shower on.  She stepped into the shower and sighed as the hot water hit her head and ran down the rest of her body.  Her heart was broken after finding out her fiancé had been cheating on her for years.  Her time with her fiancé played in her mind as she stumbled through the motions of getting ready for work that morning.  

When she walked into the office, she was approached by a coworker who exclaimed in her usual morning person nature, “Hey, Dani!  How are you doing this morning?”  Dani looked at her coworker with a forced smile and responded, “I’m pretty good, how are you?”  Her coworker replied, “I am great!  Have a wonderful day!”  She failed to mention to Dani that she was in the process of finding a place to move to after being evicted from her apartment.  Next, Dani encountered a top executive in the company who enthusiastically approached her, “Good morning, Dani!  I am so glad I ran into you.  I need your help to score this big account I have been working on.  Are you up for the challenge?”  At that moment, Dani could not think of anything less she wanted to attempt or pursue as she choked out a response, “Sure thing!  I am always ready for a challenge.”  The executive smiled at Dani and told her that she would be in touch to explain the details and was looking forward to working on the project with her while she buried her feelings of anxiety from being called in prior and being told that her job was on the line.  

Dani inhaled as much air into her chest as she could and slowly let it out as she proceeded into her office.  Dani leaned on the door as she closed it behind her then walked over to her chair.  As soon as she sat down, she received a phone call from her friend and colleague in the company.  “Hey, Chica, would you like to grab some lunch?  I have tons to tell you.”  Not only was Dani’s appetite shot, she had absolutely zero interest in hearing about any drama her friend had been experiencing and or wanting to share while she was suffering a traumatic event of her own.  Dani replied to her friend, “Sure, I would love to.  What time is good for you?”  They set a time and destination and both hung up the phone with dark clouds hanging over their heads.  Dani dreaded the impending unhappy hour cocktails while her friend struggled to find a way to tell Dani that she was the woman that her fiancé had been sleeping with…

Facade

Racing to No End

Unfinished

Every day, she lives to please others at the sake of her own true happiness. She functions rather than lives; she manages her life and those who are a part of it.  Often, she sits and ponders, and everything around her becomes background interference.  She notices the noises of her family, but she doesn’t actually hear it.  Everyone fights for her attention as she looks through them.  She often wonders when she will finish her pursuit of meaning and longs to complete a race that seems to have no end.  Day by day, she lives the motions of life without true feeling and has become so accustomed to it, that she knows no difference.  She cries dry tears and nobody notices, yet, she continues to press on.  She ponders what her purpose on Earth is and frustratingly, only comes up with questions. When the hell are we finished?  What is life’s true meaning?  If we find what makes us truly happy, does that make life’s journey complete, or is there something else?  What is true happiness anyways? Does anyone ever actually reach it, or do we settle for contentment…

 

 

Surface Deep

Layers

Layer

Photo courtesy of http://thecatwidow.blogspot.de/2014/11/layers-of-healing.html.

She never felt quite good enough…in any area of her life.  At the surface, she had it all. She was intelligent, beautiful, successful, and continuously reaching new heights, but beneath it all, she was damaged.  She never felt adequate enough for anyone or anything.  Every bad decision felt like a failure.  Every lie from her significant other felt like deja vu.  It became the norm; she had heard it all and walked that walk a million times.  After a while, it seemed like they all just blended together as one let down after another. Even so, she wondered what her blame was in all of her personal fiascoes.

She sobbed as she sat down in front of the computer thinking about the last decade or so of her life, particularly her personal life.  Why so many wrong turns? Why so many victims of her own demise?  Why did she stay quiet when she should have screamed, and why did she fight when she should have just listened to her perceiving mind?  It was because she was soft.  She was tender, which made her easy prey.  To the gamer, she was an easy casualty, but little did the gamer know, she had already mastered the undertaking in her mind. She was always one step ahead; yet, she appeared to be innocent, naive, and unsuspecting. She merely recognized the potential in her encounters and expected that they wanted the best for their characters as well.  This is the area where she fell short; this is the area that naivety overshadowed.

Her veneer appeared happy, strong, and a force to be reckoned with to most, but to predators, she was weak.  One thought that she would always be there. They thought that they could break her down to the point that she needed them during her downcast.  Instead, she triumphed.  She showed them that they were not cognizant of what her breaking point actually was.  Rather than fall, she soared to new and unsuspecting heights.  Rather than wallow in despair, she made the best of her situation and put her best foot forward.  She explored her strengths and triumphed in the most difficult of times.  Instead of accepting defeat, she prepared for and won the battle and never looked back.

Another peeled layer she overcame was desperation.  The sly tiger pounced as soon as the opportunity presented itself. The tiger circled her until the opening became clear.  Sly as a fox, the tiger baited her with the most precious gems in her life, her children. At the time that she was most vulnerable and desperate to provide and experiencing a new journey… a journey alone, the tiger gamed her as prey and asked her to  help with selfish endeavors that the tiger had in mind.  Why not?  She was juggling multiple responsibilities – work, motherhood, graduate studies.  She could handle the tiger’s pursuit of progression as well, right?  Why not, entice her with finances to better support her home?  Why not tell her what the tiger thought she wanted to hear — she’s brilliant; she’s beautiful; she’s loving; she’s passionate and willing to aggressively attain what is rightfully hers.  The tiger used this to build her up, but little did the tiger know, she was well aware of the ploy. When a wrench hit the tiger’s plan, the tiger became irrational and unhinged while she held her composure and conceded with her forward progressions in life — family, education, and career.  The tiger could not fathom how she held it all together in such cumbersome times, but she did.  She was a much more worthier opponent than the tiger preciously anticipated.

Another milestone and yet another layer has been trimmed.  She longed for a presence of appreciation in her life. She had a thirst for mutual respect, intimacy, and companionship. The savior appeared and swept her off of her feet.  The savior impressed a relief on her life. Even so, the savior had another agenda as well.  The savior merely wanted to fulfill what was missing in them and wanted to appear to their adversaries as triumphant as she appeared to hers. Admittedly, she was bamboozled by the savior; however, when she began to pay attention again,  she quickly realized the new undertaking.  She was a diversion for the savior’s previous degradation. The savior had something to prove, and she was the muse…a mere surrogate of the original conquests; yet, little did the savior know, her layers ran deep.  Her intellect was at an unexpected pinnacle.  She saw through the lucidness of the rationalizations and justifications.  She would once again frolic in their arrogance.

 

Dark Cloud or Silver Lining?

CloudyClouds

Photo courtesy of lil-abner.com

Do I focus on the dark cloud that’s been following me, or do I find the silver lining?  I feel like this has been an eternal, internal battle since I can remember.  I blogged once about making lemonade from the millions of life’s lemons, and that mindset certainly took time to get there…about a decade and a half to be exact.  I have been making pitcher after pitcher of lemonade to the point that I’m on a constant sugar rush.  I guess that’s the same as finding the silver lining, but does it necessarily make you a negative person if you are just simply in a fog or if you just have a dark cloud over you at times? I mean, what if sometimes I’m just not in the mood for lemonade or the color, silver?

Living the “dark cloud” perspective makes you seem pessimistic to others.  I wish I had a dollar for every time a family member told me that I looked for things to be depressed about. Was I really looking for these various obstacles? Did I ask for all of the BS? Okay, I can admit that some dark clouds were self-induced based on shifty decisions, but sometimes, shit happens.  There’s just a freaking dark cloud that seems to stake a claim on you and follow you like the character from  Li’l Abner! Am I negative or pessimistic when I merely point it out? It’s frustrating just thinking about it! Yeah, sure I look for the negative…I couldn’t wait to be sought out by a narcissist who took joy in emotionally destroying others.  Sure, I live for the less fortunate luck in life. I looked for a reason to be depressed during the time that I watched my dad suffer terribly until his last breath in his last days of lung cancer that had spread practically throughout his entire body.  Can you believe that during that time I actually had family members tell me not to cry?  I had family that highlighted his negative attributes as if that were a reason to not empathize with the pain that he suffered and to mourn his death.  Or, what about the friend that brought up losing her father-in-law, whom she had previously described to me as someone who was not such a great person and accused him of loving another grandchild more than and neglecting her children?   I was thinking, “Are you serious people?  Can I just have this moment for my dad and me?” Let’s just say, there are certain moments in life that are more difficult in regards to seeking out silver lines.  The only silver lining I found when watching my father transition out of this life was the fact that he was no longer suffering.  It’ll be a year this August since my dad passed, and I have have yet to truly mourn the loss of my father in fear of appearing as if I am on the quest for melancholia.  God forbid that I am human and have feelings.  How dare me sit under this dark cloud?

I do want to point out that I am not a complete cynic.  I do believe that it is unhealthy to wallow in depression; we must find reasons to continue moving forward in life. I just find it rather annoying that people will squat and release a load in your lap then call you Negative Nelly when you have your moments. There’s just a healthy balance to everything in life. Every indulgence has a consequence…every bad decision produces a lemon…every obstacle yields an emotion.  I am just coming to realize now that there can be too much lemonade and that not every cloud has a silver lining.  It’s okay to be sad, frustrated, upset, angry, or whatever as long as we have our moments of joy, happiness, and contentment.  Actually, writing in this exact moment supported this discernment.  Maybe, I spend too much time worrying about how much I worry.  Maybe, I ponder entirely too much about how negative it may seem to others while experiencing life’s endeavors. Perplexity is natural. It is healthy to cry when we feel sorrow and to scream during frustration.  I am completely normal for laying on my back, looking up into the black cloud, and praying for rain.

How Many Prophecies Are We Living?

Prophecy

propheciesPhoto courtesy of lifehopeandtruth.com

The dictionary defines prophecy as a prediction of what will happen in the future and in the biblical sense, it is a prediction or instruction influenced by divinity.  No matter what our individual beliefs are, whether it be Christian, Muslim, Hinduism, Pagan, or so forth, the truth is, we all have certain prophecies that will be fulfilled during our lifetimes.  The question is, what do we define as our prophecies?  It’s mind-boggling.  Our actions and decisions lead us down different paths in the same life; thus, are these declarations our prophecies?  If so, are our prophecies forever changing?

Once upon a time, there was a girl who made every effort to live a structured life of goodness, without detours and minimal mistakes.  The girl consciously believed that this was a life of good will and good intent, and all people should strive to live this life.  She maintained all A’s from elementary to high school.  She received an academic scholarship for college and attended a well-known university where she majored in Chemistry and pursued the pre-med track.  In college, she never partied with her peers; instead, she studied, worked, tended to her daily duties, and actively planned out her future.  The girl did not date during this time, because she planned to graduate from college, go to medical school, establish her career, then date and pursue marriage and children after she felt that she was well established.  Her prophecy was to be a successful doctor and a well-rounded model citizen, or was it?  What if the girl fell ill?  What if the girl was in an accident of some kind that prevented her from following through with her plans?  What if a traumatic event caused her to lose sight of her original plans?  Do these become her new prophecies?  How do we truly define it?

I wonder this because I wonder what my prophecy was.  I wonder what my prophecy is.  Was my prophecy to be diagnosed with Grave’s Disease at 20 and end up hypothyroid after a radiation treatment and later suffer co-morbid diseases due to this?  Or, was my prophecy to be involved in a toxic relationship, have 3 children, and leave the relationship to fall into yet another toxic situation and have another child before I actually found my husband?  What is my prophecy now, or am I still walking the path of my original prophecy that has yet to be fulfilled?  Am I walking a path leading to an ultimate prophecy, or has my prophecy or prophecies been continually changing?  My plans and earlier actions in life certainly did not set me up for the prophecies that I described; however, the detours I took certainly did.  I always imagined being a successful woman in all areas that are important to me – faith, family, living life, and career.  I do not see myself as a failure; yet, I did not forecast the path that I took to get to where I am today, and many outsiders looking in would not have predicted my walk either.  The way that I conduct my life today leads me to foresee future happiness and continual successes in my important 4 areas.  Will my path continue to be bumpy and full of detours, or is it my prophecy to travel a smooth and scenic route?

Slow Down and Live

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Awe

Dawn stood at the window and gazed at the beautiful rolling hills and newly blooming wild flowers.  She looked up at the sky and and noticed the most beautiful shade of blue she had ever laid her eyes on.  For the first time in years, she remembered what it actually mean to stop and smell the roses.  Dawn was finally at a place in her life where she could finally appreciate the true treasures of life.

The last decade of Dawn’s life had been filled with worry, stress, and responsibility.  In fact, as she thought about her past 10 years, she was saddened by the realization that she had not lived, but survived.  The previous years felt like a vapor, and it was a struggle for Dawn to recall moments.  She had been so overloaded that she neglected the simpler things and ignored precious moments in time.  She had been so consumed with anxiety, she had been conditioned to focus on everything that was wrong and to ignore the glimmers of happiness that flickered right in front of her.  Life had been happening around her while Dawn had fallen faithful to stress.

Dawn’s gaze became hazed with tears as she thought about her children.  At that moment, she struggled to recall specific moments of them growing up. Tears streamed down Dawn’s face as she realized precious memories had been extricated by preoccupations with work, toxic relationships, and financial strain. Dawn’s sobbing intensified as she conceived that these were moments of their lives that could never be recovered.

Wooo, Shit! It’s Summer

summer
Photo courtesy of Bitmoji

Summer

I hate to sound like a pessimist, but with so many looking forward to and enjoying the summer, I can’t help but feel the way that I feel. I am a mother of 4, and I am newly a stay-at-home mom.  When I say new, it is brand new!  I’ve been stay-at-home mom for…drum roll…a whopping 48 days!  Yes, I know the day down to the day, and when I say, I commend stay-at-home moms, it doesn’t even scratch the surface.

I have been a working mother since my first child.  I have dreamed of and longed for the opportunity to stay home with my children. I have fantasized about how wonderful it would be and how we would bond and how life would be just grand and perfect.  Fast forward to a time where it has happened…”AAAAHHHHHH!  What was I thinking?!?”  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love my children dearly; however, they have managed to frustrate me to the point that I feel like my ears are on fire.  Am I safe to tell the absolute truth right now?  I used to envy stay-at-home moms and express to others how unfair it was for women to have husbands that supported the family while they were able to stay with the family, have leisure time, and bond over nice games and activities with the children.  Um, I was sadly mistaken.

I have been at home with the children in the past due to my career in education; however, it was for a duration of a few weeks in the summer.  May I add, this duration was sandwiched in between the beginning and end of the summers with the children spending time at Gran Mary’s house.  My mother helped me out with the times that my children were out of school and I was on contract time at work. I am definitely not a stranger to spending multiple days on end with the bambinos; now, I am in No Man’s Land, Germany, 5700 miles away from home and no Gran Mary in sight.

Now, let’s fast forward to now…my 20-month old has me running like Flo Jo, or should I say Usain Bolt for the younger folks that are wondering who the hell Flo Jo is?  She is pulling things out left and right, and when I call her name to stop doing something or to spit something out, she is constantly running from me and looking back at me laughing hysterically.  It is too cute and too exhausting all at the same time.  While I am chasing her, my 12-year-old son is managing to make P.B. & J’s, leave crumbs and supplies all over the counter, tease his 6-year-old sister, and torment his 10-year-old sister all at the same time.  My 6-year-old picks at everyone all day — older brother, older sister, baby sister, and myself — then walks around like a crying zombie when anyone reacts to it.  All of this takes place while my 10-year-old daughter reenacts the latest Disney tween shows in the household then falls apart anytime anyone calls her out on being a “Mean Girl” or for just being full of drama.  I’m telling you, people, I’ve only gotten my toes wet, and I am drowning!  Stay-at-home moms, I commend you!!  You have a gift beyond belief!  Now, I am in survival mode and devising schedules, tasks, chores…you name it!  Sadly, I’m doing this to survive, but I know I will be a pro by the end of the summer.  Will I?  Please, tell me I will!

 

An Aimless Existence

Aimless

Aimless

Who really has it right in regards to life and direction?  During my 36 years on this Earth, I have observed many people in regards to life and life’s directions.  Personally, I have always at least made decent attempts to live life like one would describe as a traditional American dream; although, I have had my hiccups, bumps in the roads, and detours over the years.  I did the whole marriage and having children thing backwards, and I didn’t pay attention to my credit until it was below sea level.  I did, however, do the whole school thing in “order”.  I graduated from high school with about a 95 average, went straight to college and graduated with my B.S. in Psychology, and went into the work field fresh out of college at 22.  I obtained my Master’s degree 7 years later, and I have pursued other educational opportunities as well to advance my career.  I think I kind of did that by the book; yet, I have struggled reach my  full felicity.

I bring this up because I have witnessed and experienced various paths by different people in my life, whether it be friends, acquaintances, colleagues, family, or fly-by-night people.  Some wonder aimlessly through life and land wherever they land, while some are anal retentive in everything they do and have had a plan and stuck with it no matter what.  At the end of the day, who is happier?  Isn’t that what we are all trying to achieve in life other than success?  And what exactly is success?  To the aimless person, it may be experiencing as many euphoric rushes as possible, and to the anal retentive, it may be to “do everything by the book.”  I often wonder, who has it right?  I have for surely struggled trying to find my happy place while trying to do the “right” thing, and I’ve known others who share the, “fuck it” philosophy and seem so freaking happy!

There have been individuals in my life who stress for appearances — they just have to look as if they have it all to everyone else looking in.  They have to look like they have the happy marriage, the perfect family, the ideal job, and the flawless personal life, when in reality, they are suffering and manic depressive.  On the other hand, I’ve known the person who just LIVES.  Do you know what I mean?  They aren’t afraid to fail.  They don’t give a rat’s ass what others think about them.  They take things day-by-day.  They truly land successful and fulfilling careers because they are going with a more natural flow of life.  They are maintaining like everyone else but not stressing about it.  They are embracing life and taking it astride,so to speak, while so many others rarely take a moment to take a strep out of stress field days to just stop and enjoy what is right in front of them.

There are those who wonder aimlessly through life and end up being thorns in society’s side.  I am not referring to them.  I am referring to those who are more colorful; those who are more full of life and are truly successful in regards to progression in every aspect.  I tend to find myself in the middle…living up to the standards of others and not saying, “fuck it,” until I’ve had enough, or not saying it until it’s too late and I’m in a downward spiral.  I ramble and rant all of this to ask you, who do you think has it right, the aimless, the sensible, or the archaic perfectionist?

Self, Tell Me the Truth!

Struggle

struggling

There’s nothing I hate more than a liar. How many times have you heard that line? People generally pride themselves on trying to tell the truth as much as possible, so why do we continuously lie to ourselves? “Self, I don’t have a drinking problem. Self, dating this loser isn’t self-destructive.  Self, I’m happy in my perfect life,” grin…gag!

The struggle with truth is real. We often find ourselves telling little white lies to get out of tricky situations, and we condition ourselves to internalize them for ourselves.  We struggle with fighting our own demons and often convince ourselves that they do not exist…that the fight is over.

Struggling is life-long, whether it be, struggling to lose weight, struggling through an addiction, struggling with mental stability, struggling with the pursuit of happiness, struggling financially, struggling through relationships…shit, struggling through life.  Would the struggle be easier if we admit the truth to ourselves, or would the struggle just intensify?

At the end of the day, no matter what lies we internalize for survival, the struggle is still there.  The truth remains.  Paradoxically,  euphoric moments can elicit an inner-fight; we may struggle to hold on to that intoxicating feeling.  Even the happiest of us struggle with what some may refer to as the simpler things in life, such as struggling with the decision of what to wear for a night out or struggling with choosing what to eat for dinner.  Then the vicious cycle continues…”Self, this dress isn’t 2 sizes too small.  Self, I absolutely prefer this cup of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes over that fettuccine Alfredo I passed up…”