2.35. Humbled But Happy

 It’s all about POV. 

I’ve spent the past year or so thinking…he has a home, he has a relationship, he has a great paying job, he has vehicles that work, he has family that lives in this state, he has everything I don’t. How did this happen? What’s the point of me trying…

I have a one bedroom, a car that doesn’t work, a job that pays fair but nowhere near what I realistically need, no family in this state, and no one that cares about me on a romantic/relationship level.

In speaking to a friend today, reflecting on the situation, recognizing how much I’ve been smiling lately…

He has stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. And is still a miserable, bitter, angry person. And that saddens me.

On the other hand, I have my son. I have genuine people in my life. I have a clear head and an open heart. I have so much more than I could have ever hoped for. I’m not to my destination but I’m definitely on my way.

This life is about your POV. I may have “nothing,” to many but my “nothing” is absolutely everything to me. And I’m happy.

Can’t say that about the other side. And with no ill will do I hope he gets there. I hope he learns to enjoy life a little more, smile a little more, appreciate a little more. Because the stuff doesn’t matter. The stuff will all go away.

In losing all of the “stuff,” I’ve gained my life back. Knowing just how hard these past two years have been…I wouldn’t change it. Not at all.

My POV is not about what I have or don’t. It’s about cherishing every single awesome moment with my child, every personal accomplishment (no matter how big or small), knowing genuine gratitude for beautiful friends and family, finding peace in myself, spiritual calm, and learning about the ability to take life as it comes.

It’s not going to be perfect here on out. That’s not the really real world. But damn if I don’t feel optimistic about tomorrow. Because each day has grown to be better than so many of my yesterdays.

It’s all about your POV. Do you have the right one?

2.29. The Stars Shine

This post gives me great joy to write. But it also has a deep rooted past. And so, we travel back to the first year I moved to Kansas.

Working for an in-home mental health care facility, I spent hours upon hours with a new set of people while our clients slept soundlessly in their beds. Between bed rotations, medicine distribution, and breathing checks…the staff would hang out in the living room and chit chat or play hours of card games. 

J and I sat in the living room for our first overnight shift together. We had eight hours to burn before our clients had to be woken for their daily activities…all we had was time to burn. He told me he’d had one girlfriend but that was it. And without skipping a beat, he divulged everything about his deepest secrets. He was gay. But his family had raised him Baptist and his father was a preacher; a man respected in the community for his devotion to God. J had tried being with a girl to “fix” himself. But it hadn’t worked. 

“So, have you come out to your family?”

J looked puzzled. “Why would I do that?”

He explained that he knew his feelings were wrong. There was no reason in coming out because he would never live that sinful life. He would never betray his God or his family. He would not burn in hell for the lust of the body. 

“So, you’re just going to be alone forever?”

He laughed at my “ignorance,” and explained that he wasn’t alone because he had Gods love. 

“But wouldn’t your God want you to be happy?”

He said he was but his eyes said otherwise. 

Fast forward more than a decade.

An attractive, Jesus loving hipster enters my world. I immediately lean on him for all of my Godly questions. But the world that we live in can’t understand why someone like him and someone like me would ever really talk. So the rumors started. I was trying to tempt him. I wanted to bring him over to the dark side. We were probably having secret kissing sessions when no one was looking.

And it pissed me off. Because no one knew the conversations we’d had. No one knew that we stood in a parking lot at 4am talking about his love for God. No one knew that he’d revealed, he too, had felt things for the same sex but couldn’t act upon them because of his love for his Lord. No one knew that I cried for this boy and told him the story of J. That my heart broke to see someone so amazing trapped by their own love…only to be left deprived of love.

A distance built between us and I will admit that I grew to dislike him immensely. I felt betrayed. How could he open his world to me in such a way and yet distance himself from me as if I were a fucking leper? I hadn’t judged him or told him what he felt was wrong. I had embraced him and he’d turned the other cheek.

I had a moment when I thought he wanted me to shun him for his revelations. When he wanted me to be like everyone else. That would have been easier. But I hadn’t and instead…I’d been thrown away like garbage. What a friendship, I thought.

The boy moved away. And I shouldn’t care.

But I am beyond happy for this boy. I have learned that in his move…the star found his puzzle piece, has grown even closer to his God in his new love, and has learned to be honest with himself and the world he aspired to change. I watch from a distance and I am elated to see pictures and posts of pure, genuine love. My tears were not in vain. Everything turned out the way it should have and someone who is truly a gift to this world now knows it’s possible. To love with your whole heart AND to be loved wholeheartedly.

When he became a star

1.180 – I Love You, Dad

“……., it’s Sabrina. I know we’re not talking but daddy’s dead. I need you to call me. Please. He’s dead. Just call me. Please.”

A year ago, today, those words lingered on a voicemail I wish I’d never received. A deliverance from a god I don’t believe in. A curse sent down from somewhere, a blatant sign of thievery, a shattering of my heart. One that would send me into an outcry as I ran from a bathroom stall on my fifteen minute break at work. One that would send me running through the back of the store, screaming “help me.” One that would leave me a collapsed lump of sobbing meat…a dying soul.

Anyone that knows me knows that my father was the light in my life that kept me alive…the one who believed in me despite the odds stacked against me. My father loved me by pure choice. He didn’t have to. He could have walked away at any time. And he stayed. He loved with his whole heart, was obsessed with technology and prided himself in being the most badass, metal rocking, piercing toting, sarcastic “jew-ban” known to man. He was a finger tapping, finger snapping, perverted, hilarious culinary master. He was a man who kept his word, who believed in love and forgiveness more than I could understand throughout my life. He was passive to a fault but a gentle soul that, at the end of the day, just wanted to be loved.

Dad’s Birthday Card #1 ~ Signed by everyone in a local bar

“You’re a good man, a good dad, and you are loved…today and every day.”

I’ve shed tears today. I’ve watched my son play and laugh and color and enjoy the motions of his life. I was lost in a heap of emotions…a sort of fog. And then my son came up to me, just about ten minutes ago and said “up.” I picked him up and he pointed to my fathers urn. I said, “that’s grandpa.” He said “hi grandpa.” I said “grandpa loves you.” He didn’t miss a beat. “I love grandpa too.”

I was going to write about how much it hurts without my father here to support me, to guide me, to enjoy life with me. But that’s the thing about this journey. What I intend it to be can change in the blink of an eye. And with my son greeting his grandpa and saying he loved him…I am inspired.

To give my son the love my father gave to me…tenfold. To love with my whole heart. To keep my promises. To mean what I say and say what I mean. To be forgiving. To be understanding. To be patient. To be compassionate. To have empathy. To learn from my child. To grow with my child. To evolve. To savor and encourage the beautiful imagination and spirit of the amazing boy who rules my world. To accept my truest emotions and to follow my heart. To keep my son at the forefront of my existence, no matter how hard the days may be and to know…my light has not left me. It shines brightly…in my memories, in the love of my family, in the beauty and joy of my son.

Dad’s Birthday Card #2 ~From his daughters

“Because her father listened to her, she knew she had something to say. Because he believed in her, she believed in herself. Because he said she could do anything, she did…

Dad, so much of the good stuff in my life started with you.    Thank you.”

I will not mourn you, Dad. I will remember you. I will rejoice in you. I will believe in what you taught me and I will show you that all of your love and hard work was not in vain…never wasted. I will love my son to no end and show you that you gave me the greatest gift any parent could ever give. You showed me what a parents unconditional love is and for that…my son and I will will always honor your name and live with your spirit in our presence.

I love you, dad. Always and forever.

1.175 – When You Are Happy

When you are sad, I will swim with you in an ocean of tears and become your life jacket when you are ready to let go of the feeling.

I will listen with an open heart..an open mind and hold your hand through every storm. 

When you are cold, I will become the fire that heats you…embers gifting you with a warmth to remind you that you are never alone.

I will cast away all shivers of doubt and worry with a blaze of assurance at a moments notice. 

When you are sick, I will make you the foods that fulfill your soul, play melodies that will morph into blankets of healing, and sing sunshine back into your frail little body. 

When you are lonely, I will appear in the twinkle of the stars, the sway of the leaves and the blossoming of every flower. Every raindrop will be a kiss from me to you and every tick of a clock will be my I love you. 

When you are afraid, I will slay every monster and capture every dragon. You will live atop a mountain of safety as I shatter the glass of darkness, turmoil and pain of this world. Glass you will never have to touch. 

When you are tired, I will lay down a thousand and one bedtime stories of your happiness, your love, your growth and triumphs. You will lay upon the stories of joy and wonder and fall into dreams of hope. 

When you are grumpy, I will do all the silly little things that make you giggle and tickle you until you hit the highest pitch of laughter known to man. 

I will shower you in jelly belly droplets and strawberry shortcake swirls, in fruit punches and sun kisses. 

When you are lost, I will shine upon you the radiant beam of the moon, to find you in the darkest hour. Whether a lifetime away or simply two feet…whether you are unfound or just feeling unseen…I will hold you in my heart and cast love and light upon your name. 

I will dim the light when you do not want to be found, though I will never turn my back, I will give you the space and time you need. 

When you are happy…oh when you are happy. I will bask in the glow of your joy and relish in the wonder of your smile. I will count my lucky stars for having the opportunity to be your mother and thank my lucky stars that you chose me. Saved me. Taught me what love means. 

When you are happy.

Inspired by When You Are Happy by Eileen Spinelli.

1.160 – Stelle (Stars)

If you don’t know Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” you’ve been living under a rock.  Needless to say, it’s one of my all time favorite paintings; it’s one of the first I can recall that really stayed with me. For whatever reason, it was the image I always went back to when I thought of what was beautiful.

At some point in my life, I started counting the stars (eleven and one moon). Those stars meant something to me. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure exactly what. Over the years, the meaning of those stars has shown it’s enchanting face.

In this life, we are lucky if we meet just one person that truly changes our world. We’re lucky if we meet a couple, a handful…eleven. I’m not going to pretend I’ve met my eleven stars. Up until this point, I’ve met a few. I’m not going to divulge who those people are or how many I’ve met. What I can and will divulge is that my son is not a star. He is the moon that brightens the sky beyond compare. (My son is my moon…kinda funny). Apples and oranges. Nonetheless, this is more of a tessellation of cosmic influence. Although they could never compare, the stars are important to the darkened town below. The placement of each intricate piece is fundamental to the growth and happiness of the town. That town is me and each star is a light in my life; someone who has changed me, influenced me, inspired me, encouraged me…to be greater than I was yesterday…in unison with the moon and the beams of light it effortlessly projects.

I have a new star. Someone who is my polar opposite. Someone who really can’t fathom how influential they are. Someone who compels me to soul-search. Someone who inspires me to look beyond what I normally focus on. A person who feeds a part of me that hasn’t been fed since my best friend left this life. A person who reminds me of my best friend in so many ways and in one that I have yet to reveal. Maybe someday I will.

It’s actually a lot harder to explain than I thought. But my stars mean something to me. My stars give me something that cannot be explained. My stars are not flawless. They are not diamonds in the sky. They are so much greater than that BECAUSE they are all flawed. When I told by best friend that he was a star, he laughed. “Me?” Yes you, dork. “Why,” he asked. Because I said so.

To the average individual, to care about a star in such a way would inevitably lead to a desire to reach into the heavens and pluck such purity from it’s place and get lost in possibility. Surprisingly enough, this star does not compel me to yearn for something which is not mine to be had. This star does not induce such feelings that would have previously haunted me in dreams. Don’t get me wrong, this star is absolutely alluring. Without a doubt, there is an enticing and pure aura that would drop any right-minded person to their knees…that was not a sexual innuendo, by the way. Simply a visual of what such light can do to one with weak bones and common sense. To best explain how I can be in the presence of such an appealing entity without temptation, I’ll ask you this: have you ever seen something so beautiful you stand back in admiration because you don’t want to get too close and possibly fuck it up? Such is the case with this star.

There is nothing to say that a star will shine forever. Sometimes, you are blessed with such entities and sometimes…as I have experienced…those stars fade and lose their glimmer. The sky is absent of their presence but their essence lives on. The spirit of their very being lingers throughout the universe and the world and all of its inhabitants are epically altered. Even by influencing just one.

I don’t know how long this light will shine. Nothing is guaranteed. Yes, the pessimist in me says this star will fade out much quicker than the others. However, there is no part of me that allows such a thought to hesitate in naming this individual a star in my sky. Perhaps, it will not be there tomorrow. Or some tomorrow. But for today,this light, along with the others, has shone me a path I would have otherwise missed in the darkness of my existence. For that alone, the memory of those moments will forever change who I am as a person. A true work-in-progress…this girls walks along the trail of tears with secure footing…in knowing I have not traveled through this life alone. I cannot reach out and hold those that have given…so much. But I will always care. No matter how far apart we are.

“Man awaits jewels in a crown. I admire the glittering light set forth from the unforgettable. The untouchable. The unmistakable. These precious gems in the sky. The stars are a gift from God. Love letters sent to remind us of what remains to be seen.” ~Euphoric Damnation

1.158 – The Man On The Mountain

She sits.

She waits.

For something that will never come, never to be seen, never to be known and yet she cannot move.

In an endless hope, agony runs in the back of her mind beyond the seeds of elation, resting in marrow embedded with guilt.

Rivers of blood run deep, coursing through the stone, locked for eternities to come.

They build atop themselves, sheltered from light.

“Why am I deserving, love? Why should I ever know? Nothing should be so divine against me. Not after such perilous roads traveled.”

But he sits and listens, casting aside judgment though she is stricken with the thought of it, deserving it, awaiting it as it should so be delivered. But he does not, as he never really would.

The silence in his arms is deafening; a constant reminder that she doesn’t have to be on one end or the other…not perfection but not chaotically flawed.

In this room, in this space, upon his lap, within his arms…she is safe.

Stained but not tainted.

As even in the dark, he does not see the shadows of a past, the darkness of fallen moments, the marks of sins against man.

He does not point these out, he does not stare with doubt.

He sits quietly and lets her feel, reminded only that she is still alive and waits for the moment when she will smile again and be at peace – not with the world but with herself.

In this dark room, this dark space, upon his lap as night has fallen, she does not have to be flawlessly beautiful.

He sees her scars, knows them to exist despite her best attempts to hide them. Placing his hand upon her cheek, he shows her one or two of his own and smiles softly…ridding the shame from her eyes.

1.136 – He Lives On Paper

I’ll write him into life – I’ve said so before

Since nothing I see is picturesque.

He’ll have the swagger of ten thousand kings

Compacted into a bravado of tenderness.

He will be my juxtaposition, somewhere left of a Viking and write like a poet.

Integrity matched only by compassion

His voice will be like thunder, his words…like rain.

I’ll be his Nefertiti

Fed and drowned in the flow of his fruits

And he’ll be everywhere, in the eyes of everyman.

His presence will command attention

Strong hands but soft to the touch

His body will spit poetry with every stride he takes

And his feet will create symphonies over concrete.

He’ll be my Shakespeare – inspiring me to make up words

Cuz what I want to say about him doesn’t even have a definition yet.

His skin will be tanned, pale, and dark semi-sweet chocolate, yellow, olive, and red like fire.

Piercing eyes will scale the rainbow and make Crayola get to work on new names and new shades.

He’ll be all about art and beauty and he’ll climb a mountain to get just the right shadow effect over my lips.

He’ll wrap the towel around his waist and let the rest of his body air dry – because he’s that giving.

He’ll find reasons to smile even when the downpour turns to hail.

And all the while, he’ll walk on the outside.

My 21st century knight. He’ll swivel me like a red and chill me like a white, drink me like I’m some rare type and admire how I age.

And with each passing moment, he’ll tattoo my heart with love and love and love and love…

He’ll lick the rain from my fingertips and splash in puddles because clean is never good enough

And he’ll step into a shower with his clothes on, giving me a reason to peel them away.

He’ll be kind to those struggling and drop a ten into a poor mans cup when he could have opted for change.

He’ll know the flavor of soda that reminds me of my father and the one good memory I have of my mother.

He’ll know the name of the one who didn’t make it and who Joshua was.

He’ll listen when it matters and even when it doesn’t.

My heating blanket in a night of cold sweats…my personal lullaby.

He’ll get why unicorns make me cry and why clowns are not just some childhood phobia.

Dressed to impress but not some label whore

And he’ll give me his earring like in The Breakfast Club except there won’t be any breast to lip liner action.

He’ll jam out when the old school shit comes on, never letting fear hold him back from a laugh.

We’ll dance when our song plays and I’ll giggle when he says, “you tell anyone about this and I’ll…”

The life of the party without drowning in a pool of people

He’ll shine even when it’s dark in a room.

The scars on his body will tell stories words cannot dictate.

He’ll know how many beauty marks I have by heart and be able to draw my birth mark from memory

Because he pays attention to more than tits and ass.

He’ll teach me something and feed a hunger I never knew existed.

He’ll wow me over a seven course meal he attempted and failed at

Better yet, he’ll order out and try to pass it off like he’s a master chef.

He’ll search for a signed copy of my favorite book And know the significance of the fire escape and those cookies…My king, my love, I have yet to write you into life, to inject the first signs of air into breathless lungs.

But I will…And he will leave me wanting more

Eager to know his favorites, his dislikes, his aspirations

And how many times he changed his career as a six year old, coloring outside of the lines.

I’ll set my alarm because I want to be awake at 2:37am on a Thursday morning just so I know that face he makes when he’s dreaming. Wanting the lights on always, so I can bask in it.

Wanting the lights off always, so I can see him solely with my fingertips. I’ll try to memorize the thesaurus so I know thirteen different ways to say “happy””

And then I’ll add on seven more. I’ll wanna scream because he makes me laugh so hard I can’t ever stay mad

And I’ll melt like butter because he sent flowers again with those four words that shatter anyone else’s sad dozen red roses with a cookie cutter “I Love You.”

Lost somewhere between wanting to keep my eyes open while we kiss so I can watch heaven or close them and go there

We’ll stare at a painting and look at it from every angle until closing time and walk out of there saying…”I don’t get it,”

Ask “what do you think,” and care if I answer.

Until he exists, I’ll write him into life

And inject air into breathless lungs.

And when we cross paths

He’ll know my words to be true…

“I loved you before I knew you.”

1.121 – 10 Days

For ten days, the muse flowed through me. For ten days, I saw the muse in every face, every situation, every structure. In every towering building, in the bottom of a frothy cappuccino, in the legs of a crisp wine, in the delicacy of fine cuisine, in the melody of a subway musician, in the warm embrace of an old friend, in the halls of the old concrete that once haunted me, in the faces of childhood friends, in the packed subways, in waxed figures, in soothing massages, in a game of pool, in the giggles of a walking down the street, on a strangers front steps, in a hot shower, on the faces of children playing, in the silence of the night and the chaos of the morning.

I saw the muse in family, friends, strangers. I felt the muse surge through me and break all boundaries. In tears and smiles, moments of uncertainty and moments of clarity…I felt it. And for someone who travels through this life with a fear of being numb…I don’t regret a single moment of that feeling. The beauty of the city hypnotizes me, welcomes me, warms me, enlightens me, changes me. And I am certain, it is my home.

1.91 – Yeah!

(That title should be read in the extreme Lil Jon voice, btw)

You know when people say, everything happens for a reason? I hate that. It’s so stupid. It’s so annoying. Yeah, it’s so true. Long story short – I had plans to go out with a group of girls, which I pretty much never do. I canceled my part in the plans for a reason I believed, and still do, was valid. I felt like it wasn’t meant for me to be apart of something like that. Just not my time to make friends, I guess. I’m not going to lie. I was bummed.

And then something happened. And things changed. And I spent a really great evening with four awesome chicks. Four girls who are so very different from me. So very different from one another. And yet, it worked.

People may not “need” friends. But we all want them. To connect. To engage. To interact and feel like you’re appreciated for your insight, humor, and style. I knew I liked these girls before. They are just fun loving, happy people. But now, I appreciate them even more.

WHOA!

Happy people. I used to say I hated happy people. Well, here’s my theory. Only unhappy people say that shit. I’m living proof. I’m glad the universe kicked my ass and made things happen tonight. I’m glad I got to laugh. I’m glad I was just the girl in a crowd. A very small, awesome, hilarious, interesting, cute as hell crowd. Tonight, I didn’t feel like the outsider looking in. Tonight, I didn’t feel like the insider looking out. I was a girl, enjoying herself with genuine people; I had no time to do anything but enjoy the moment.

What an inspiring night.