Monthly Archives: December 2011

And happy birthday to you…

Ah, birthdays. Good? Bad? Evil? Not really sure yet. Still too early to tell for this year. I will say I haven’t had many, if any, that have been terribly memorable. (Part of that may be that I feel like I have early onset Alzheimer’s, but I’m sure it’s more likely my last 15+ years in the bar.) The agenda for this year really isn’t too far different. I’ll meet up with fellow birthday buddies for some beverages. I had my birthday dinner last night and I get the few texts and Facebook birthday wishes. Eh…I like them, but I almost feel like it’s gotten to a point where nothing is personal anymore. It all just kind of happens, then it’s over and onto something else.

Maybe I expect too much. Not just for my birthday, but in general. I could be greedy. Na- I probably am greedy. Don’t know for certain though, because I’ve never really been to a point where I wasn’t doing the things I did just to get by rather than having the time when everything else maintained on its own and I could just do, just be. There are things I want in my life and some of them I’ve had a taste of. Many I’m still searching for. Have to say some make me feel like Ponce de Leon. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in New York City even if it was cut short and I also liked some aspects of the time I spent living on the southwest coast. Can’t say I would have moved west had I known how that would turn out, but que sera.

Some things in my life have been easier than others, and some things have been a down right bitch to deal with. One of those things is my family. Yes, I have one, however, beyond that, I wouldn’t say we are close. There is no real sign of affection, but there is a definite lamentation handed out on a regular basis. Nothing like questioning yourself when you have at least one parent who will consistently tell you how little you’re worth and why the world revolves around them. Yet, to come as far as I have feels like something of an accomplishment for me. I haven’t taken the easy road, but, to be fully honest, I’ve not taken the hardest one either.

So, then you can imagine how it is that with a birthday only two days before Christmas I would want to just disappear rather than spend it with family. And yet, each year I go back. Maybe I hope something will be different. I don’t know. I do know that there are times I feel I suffer through it and other times when I’m just there. Guess it’s just another part of this life.

I have found, especially over the last few years, that my family relationships have severely played into my personal life. I’ve not always made the best decisions, but not placing blame. Just realizing why I might do some of the things I do. No one likes to have their flaws pointed out, but as much as you hate to really look in the mirror at them and deny they exist, it is good to have someone who will be completely honest and tell you about them to help you. This may sound absolutely crazy to most, but I am thankful to my ex-husband for pointing it out in detail so I could see the traits myself when I took that long personal look in the mirror. I don’t like some of the things I see, but as another friend told me, personality traits are the hardest to change. Doesn’t really make me feel any better about it, but it does make me strive to better other things when I can.

It also now makes me realize much faster when I’m doing things for selfish reasons. I am aware (not completely, but quite for now) of who I am, what I’m capable of and the things I want. As previously mentioned, most people don’t agree with me on many of my view points but I try to live in the world for what it is now and what it could be. I see things I could do or even times am doing and I wouldn’t say I feel guilty for them, because I don’t think guilt is the right word, but I do think that at times, there are things I shouldn’t be doing. Picture the drug addict that full well knows they shouldn’t be shooting up because they know they don’t want anyone to know their dark little secret and yet they do it anyway, partly because of the addiction and also because they are too weak to turn down the happiness they believe they feel when they are high. That’s kinda what it’s like.

It is true that if you are told something time and again you begin to believe it is true. Only thing that they don’t tell you is that you can be told multiple things and end up believing a wealth of them. Welcome to my rabbit hole. I feel almost as if, over my 30+ years, that I’ve actually been a number of people on the outside with a core person who’s hiding in some deep dark corner inside me. Maybe it’s the reason why when things seem like they’ve gotten past the breaking point, I feel the need to hide myself away or as I tend to call it more recently, falling off the radar. It’s kind of a time for me to center myself, pull everything back a bit and re-evaluate. It also gives me time to reflect on the world around me and see what possible changes I can make.

The changes are all well and good in theory, however I am anything but a creature of habit. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say I don’t have habits, I just don’t do routine well. I can guarantee to you that there has never been 5 straight days in my life that have been 85% the same. It’s always different. Same job, yeah, probably, but how I get there, what time I get there, how much I do when I get there, etc. etc. etc. Every single day is different. This also makes it hard for things like eating habits, new years resolutions, and yes, relationships. I’m certain it was one of the cracks in my failed marriage, but, you live and learn, right?

That brings me back to this whole questionable situation I am in. In all honesty, there are times like right now, while I’m writing, when I truly like being alone, but I am only human. I also enjoy companionship of others. Sometimes friends, sometimes male companions for sincerely innocent things like watching TV, movies, getting food, having a couple drinks and just innocent affection and personal touch. Then I also enjoy the company of a lover, more commonly known in my vocabulary as my bennie. Don’t mistake this term or believe it is something that I use loosely. I consider my bennies (as in past and current, not more than any one at any given time) to be some of my closest friends. We seem to have a bond strong enough that we can cut through the bullshit and just talk to one another without feeling like what we might say is going to hurt the other. We can share our issues and secrets and know that things stay between us. We trust each other. If I didn’t trust any one of them, they would not be called a bennie.

So then, one of the problems I deal with is the fact that too few people understand that my bennies mean a lot to me, more as friends than anything else. Yes, it is about scratching an itch, but that is not it. I’ve admitted in all honesty that I’m not great at relationships, so in a way I avoid them. I don’t want a relationship, nor do I have relationship “feelings” for my bennies. The situation is what it is and it is also a reason why I have the ones I do as well, because they don’t have relationship “feelings” either. It would not work if there were anything more than friendship bonds involved.

At one time, my current bennie was leaving town for a few months for his job. I made the joke that I would have to find a replacement. This comment was never meant to be literal. As I said, I have to trust this person. I’d like to think I trust them enough that I trust them with my life in a sense. Well, this joke turned into chaos. One after another came to me and expressed his want to fill the “vacant position”. I told them all there was an application process. (I mean, c’mon, really?! You couldn’t think I was serious about this with a response like that, could you?) About a month went by and I had loosely counted about 50 guys who contacted me and wanted to “submit an application”. While in a way, I was kind of flattered, I was quite overwhelmed. I don’t want to deal with a bunch of nothing more than sex-crazed men, which many of them were. Some of them thought they wanted more from me, but these men hardly even knew me and I knew from the amount I knew about them that it wasn’t worth the bother. Bottom line was, I wasn’t looking for a relationship and I wasn’t looking for any random hook-ups either.

I’m not a bad person. I don’t sleep around. I deeply care for my friends and the true ones know I would go to hell and back for them. However, I would like to reach a point where maybe, someday, I meet a guy that understands the things I want. The things I need. Is able to separate the two, without judgement. I have yet to really find one single man who fits that bill and am fairly sure I never will. So, now, I bide my time and enjoy the little things, like laying on the couch beside someone and watching shows, or having wine with dear friends while laughing, crying and reminiscing about life, or even relishing in those moments when someone knows all the right triggers, isn’t afraid to push the limits and can take pleasure in a trusting act as two consenting adults. But that’s just too much to ask or wish for isn’t it?

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Good things come to those who wait…are we there yet?

Ever have one of those days where you just couldn’t focus on what you should be doing? Today is one of those days. Changes are coming and I can’t stop thinking about them. It might be something to do with my ADOS (Attention Deficit Ooo! Shiny!, more commonly known as ADHD), but this time I think it’s just my impatience. I know what’s in store and I just don’t want to wait.

I have never been good at waiting for things. I prefer the instant gratification of shopping in a store rather than waiting for a delivery. I have left bars and restaurants when the service was too slow. I get a little over the line in waiting for responses to some text messages.  (Getting a random ? from me means “Hurry up! I’m waiting!”) So, yeah, I probably have a problem, but I do realize the importance of having to wait for the things that are really, truly important.  I waited for nearly ten years for something to happen in my life, and when it did, well, besides the fact that I had to convince myself it happened, I screwed it up with impatience. Even though said individual once told me “patience doesn’t become you”, that is a major reason things ended.

Patience maybe a virtue, but at times I think you either have it or you don’t. I hate waiting for answers, for opportunities I know are coming, especially dislike waiting for food when I’m hungry (for those who know me well, they know how true this is!). So, that being said, and since I said I’d share my life with you without reservation, I will tell you.  I’m extremely anxious about a business meeting this week that could be a major opportunity for me. I’m also curious about someone I just met. I will admit I’m horrible at dating, but if anything, I am an honest person, many times too honest. I prefer to just be told the truth. Yes, not going to lie, the truth hurts sometimes, but really what good does lying to someone do when you are only postponing the inevitable?

This is why I’m bad at dating. I’m not good at the waiting game and I also want to have someone be straight forward with me. Don’t tell me you like me, want to hang out and spend time with me if you are only looking for sex. Be honest. BUT KNOW THIS! If that’s the only thing of interest, chances are you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. Now, say you talk to me a bit and we are friendly, well, then that may change things.  Contrary to popular belief, I don’t sleep with everyone I meet.

I have always been a flirt. My filter is cracked and I tend to say what’s on my mind.  I can tell you there are plenty of men out there that can confirm I shot them down. I live my life for me and having had many friends who have died too young, I realize how short life can be. So, I’m going to live it on my terms, not anyone else’s.

People who know me well have heard my theory on society, but since you, dear reader, have not, let me enlighten you. At some point, long ago in history, someone somewhere was a lone individual with a thought (think Inception). This one person told their thought to another person, and another, and this thought, now an idea, spread because the general consensus was that it was a good idea. Well, over time it became the norm. Say for instance, marriage. Long, long ago, one person (probably a man) decided he was going to marry a woman, for whatever the reason. So that became society’s norm. Well, sometime down the road, another one person had the idea that they loved someone of the same sex, so they also wanted to marry. Now this is one person fighting a majority of society. It doesn’t matter that it’s still only one person’s idea or thought versus another’s.

This is where I have little patience. I understand there is security in numbers, but honestly, is it so difficult to look at the bigger picture and see that all ideas are each, in their own way, a single thought worth listening to without harassing people for thinking differently? I’m not saying EVERY idea is right, but can we at least get to a point where we aren’t so damn judgmental and we can at least hear someone out?

By forcing lifestyles and ideals on people you end up with what you’ve always had and whether or not you’re scared of it, change is good. Diversity is wonderful. Freedoms are something to not take for granted. However, on that note, I also hope society isn’t so enthralled with themselves that they don’t realize their freedoms are slowly being stripped from them. Don’t believe me? Check out the new law that is being voted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011. It is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). You may say “yes, that’s wrong, people should be punished,” but, you need to inform yourself about all of it, because chances are it will affect you too. Do a little research, or at the very least watch this video. You should be outraged. I am. I can’t stomach the fact we can send our troops over to countries and act like we are the greatest nation in the world while our own government steps in and takes more and more of our rights away and no one does anything about it. Maybe it’s because, yet again, they are too afraid to fight the norm that is society. I don’t want to be a part of that society. I want to learn my own lessons from my mistakes, ask for advice and make my own decisions. When someone can prove to me honestly why each of these single ideas is so much greater than someone else’s (religions, politics, relationships, etc., etc., etc…) then I will take them into consideration, but until then, don’t judge me. Survival of the fittest still reigns, whether you believe it or not, and if you don’t, it may be time to open your eyes, take off the blinders and take a new look at the world we live in with a whole new perspective. Remember, this is YOUR life, no one else’s. Why should one person’s idea be the sole determination of how you live your life? You have a mind, thoughts and ideas. Use them.  Explore YOUR world.


Advice given and not well received…

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As each of us grows older we question things in life. Mostly, what do I want to be when I grow up? Well, first off, you almost need to define “grow up”. So many of us have switched paths over the years due to either want or necessity. When people who worked in plants and mills for 20 years were let go over the last decade, they had choices to make. Many, including me, thought our best best was to go into the Information Technology field. So far it’s done well for some, but many are still looking for work. So much for that great plan.

Today it reminded me again just how much things can change when I got an email that asked if I had ever heard of or read the book “Get Out of I.T. While You Can” by Craig Schiefelbein. Funny how this sounded strangely familiar to me.

Back in 2002, I took an internship with a record company in New York City. I thought I was living a dream. The big city, new people, new experiences and of course, working in music and promotions. I was ecstatic. Well, that was short lived as the man who was my “boss” so to speak, and also the man who I considered to be a mentor for me, was fired and, not long after, so in turn was I. It wasn’t that he did anything to deserve the firing, the company just couldn’t afford him anymore (like many of the others who were also let go). So, after two months of stepping foot into the world of the music industry, that door was abruptly shut in my face. The city didn’t seem to want me either. New York is NOT an easy place to find a good job, and by good job, I mean one that allows you to afford rent.

So, I moved back to good ol’ Wisconsin. (It’s true what they say, you know. It is like a giant rubber band. You leave, but you always somehow end up coming back.) I continued to try and find something that resembled what I had just gotten a taste of for my career of choice, but alas, I found nothing. I stayed in touch with my mentor, who still lives in the city and still works scarcely in the industry last I heard. He had some words of wisdom for me. “Run away from the music industry. It’s a dying business.” As much as I know he’s still right, I can’t seem to fully pull myself away. I still work, however minutely, with some bands, helping where I can, but that doesn’t make me much, if any, money.

That’s where IT came into play for me. I worked in a couple dead end jobs before I finally decided to go back to school for a second degree (which actually turned into three). IT seemed like the logical choice in 2007. Apparently, I was wrong. I still deal in it and do my best to stay current on things, but when technology moves at the speed of light, it’s not so easy. (Unlike the Guns ‘n Roses song, but I digress.) I graduated with degrees in both web development and design as well as database programming, but I honestly don’t feel comfortable enough with my knowledge in either field to take a job in them. My school was a bit behind the curve on what they taught, so I graduated with knowledge that was about three to five years too old. Not much help in that field.

So, here again, just as I’m starting learn more, I hear the same advice being given. “Get out while you still can.” Doesn’t do much for one’s optimism. Guess maybe I’ll have to find out more about this opus of sorts and see if it’s time to hit the books…..again.


And so it starts…

So, I’ve lived through a lot in my 30+ years of life and I hear time and again how I should write down all of these things I’ve been through into a book because these kinds of things don’t happen to everyone. Maybe those people are right and maybe they’re wrong. Either way, I’m not doing this for them, I’m doing this for me.

Over the last few years I’ve had some good times and some bad. Right now feels more towards the bad, but honestly I can’t complain much. I have a roof over my head, food to eat and above all, am currently lucky enough to have a full-time, paying job (even if it is only contract work). The thing is though, I also have a lot of other things going on and that whirlwind is the reason I’m starting this.

I am one of those people who feels there is always a better way. That there are options to get to where you want to be. The problem with this is others don’t seem to be so eager about these options. This causes me a lot of frustration and I’m certain others aren’t too thrilled about it either. I don’t know the exact reason why my mind works this way. I have some suspect ideas, but no solid proof and in my world, proof reigns.

It’s hard to always feel right and feel like I have to constantly prove myself just to be heard. I wonder if I have always been this way or if it was something I adopted after all these years of building up a tough exterior to live in reality. Showing vulnerability feels foreign and I hate myself when it happens. Sitting in public and hearing someone say something that strikes a nerve in me. It’s not easy to control.

I guess that’s just one part. I find more and more, especially recently, that I can’t stop myself from telling people what I really think. Being honest is one thing, but when you tell your boss that they aren’t doing their job, well, let’s just say the response was “I don’t think this is working out”.

So, where do you go from there? Saying too much is where this all got started and now, apparently, I think it’s a good idea to share it all with you. I don’t know where this will go, or for how long, but you’re welcome to come along and ride this roller coaster called my life.