The Journey of Curly Hair Acceptance and A Love Letter to Stylists Everywhere

My hair is like my personality; it’s wild, stubborn, has its own way of expressing emotion and attitude. It’s curly and goes every which way, no matter what I do, no matter what I say. It fights against the orderly and sane, springing forth from my head like a snakes on a MF**’ing plane, gone insane. I’ve fought against the curls, straightened and pulled into ponytails, shaved it half off and tried every cut imaginable, except a proper mohawk (there is still time yet for that…)

Wild and Free circa A Long Time Ago

Through it all, I’ve met a host of hairdressers, stylists, self-proclaimed curly hair experts; women and men of all manner and attitude regarding curly hair. Some recommended the semi-permanent Japanese straightening, singing the praises of stick-straight, compliant hair that lays nicely, no fuss, no attitude. They wanted me to feel comfortable, look fantastic (I look absolutely FREAKY when my hair is straightened, by the way) and wouldn’t have to deal with the daily drama of the curl. I have nothing but love for these artists and mention them as a part of my Curly Hair Journey to Acceptance and Love. They played a part and helped me to discover what I really wanted from my hair, my life and my right to be an individual and express myself as myself and not blindly follow the trend, whatever it may be.

Done with the Curls

I did eventually find a few stylists who had curly hair and completely understood the difficulties of such a blended blessing and curse. They gave me the great cut that allowed my curls to be curly, yet without trying to control them. Allowing them to lead the way and providing a cut that compliments the seemingly random ways and will of my hair. I have taken scissors to my hair, an electric razor without the guard (who needs that?!) and created Velcro Head when I shaved the sides of my head. It certainly helped the mushroom-cap style (a la Roseanne Roseannadanna on SNL – we miss you so much, Gilda!) I was rocking, but it didn’t help me accept my curls.

My Goldilocks cut – not too short, not too long c.2015

People tend to think of hairstylists/artists of cut, color and style typically only when a special occasion is coming up or they need a change in their life. I seek them out when I need to establish a sense of control when everything else is spinning towards madness all around. Once in the chair, these good souls take a tired, trampled-on individual whose shine has been dulled, their spark is barely alive and their colors are fading to gray. Their spirits are worn down, their eyes are pools of sadness, in complete opposition to the forced smile they offer as a beautiful lie, when asked how they are. Somehow these angels on earth bring the life and energy back, through craft and intention and a knowing that needs no explanation. They cut, they listen, they color, they listen; they say very little but what they say is organically grown, locally sourced food for the soul. Their touch is light and comforting; their eyes, full of care, compassion and understanding. They aren’t just cutting your hair; they are cutting away the hurt, the old you, the parts that you want to leave behind when you start off on your new journey, even if that journey takes you back to your old life. You are no longer the person who lived that old life and as such, you will change direction, adjust the sails and set course for a new life, a new way of living, of being true to yourself.

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A cut is not just a cut. A color is not just a color. It’s not all about appearances, even though it plays a part. It’s about finding safe harbor in a world that is often dark and scary; it’s about those whose calling is ABSOLUTELY FREAKING ESSENTIAL, especially to those of us who can’t make the magic on our own, using fabric scissors or electric shavers or whatever desperation leads us to use on our poor, defenseless hair.

I don’t even know what’s going on here, but I’m pretty sure this is right before I took the fabric scissors to my hair. c.2021

The next time you go somewhere to get a haircut, whether it’s a barbershop, an elite salon at your country club or the stylist your late mom went to and brought you along when you were little, please acknowledge the artist that creates such a wonderful place for you! Tell them how much their craft means to you, how much THEY mean to you. They need it to hear it and we need to tell them.

So, to all you good souls out there who bring the magic and make the vision a reality, thank you! Thank you for not giving up on your calling and thank you for putting up with people like me who make absolute shit-shows of our hair and come to you seeking a miracle. A miracle you deliver.

I love you all and you rock!

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Tell Me A Story

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It’s been quite some time since I last wrote purely for pleasure. When I started my first blog, it was mostly to find out if I had anything to say that anyone wanted to hear/read. This blog has been more about attempting to give my experiences to whomever is interested, in the hopes that someone will benefit from those experiences. But like any good thing or bad thing or any old thing at all, change happened. What changed? Well, the pandemic happened, I now live amongst the tall pines and actual, real life cold, beautiful, I can’t drive in it, snow!! I have been “retired” for almost 3 years now and have a full-time job that I’ve been in almost a year now. I re-read many of my posts and realized the ones I liked the most were the ones that weren’t about me. (shocker/not!) I realized I love to tell stories about people; their stories, as told to me. My telling of their story, bringing to life memories long forgotten, joys revisited and triumphs and failures celebrated all the same. Distance in time and space provides us with the ability to relearn what we thought we knew, understand better that which had been ever a mystery and most importantly, allow us to look back and see how far we’ve really come.

We tend to forget a lot when we are living in the world; there are endless distractions and plenty of options to simply connect into a screen and disconnect from your consciousness. Turn off the feeling/thinking part because it’s basically fried like a metal spoon in a microwave. Overload of information which brings an overload of emotion, which tests the limits of the good old brain and with it, whatever balance may exist between the emotional and the logical.

Telling stories is really just reanimating past memories; bringing them to life, to color and movement again. The magic is the emotion, which gives the movie its soundtrack and you, the viewer, all the feels. This is why we come to the movies (when we could come to the movies) and why we stream endlessly now that we can’t. This is why we read, we listen to podcasts, which are the modern day version of porch-sitting, Grandma and Grandpa storytelling of yesteryear. We need to feed our souls, our hearts need to be exercised and love needs to be shared. A heart holding onto love is a heart half-starved, for it’s the giving as much as the getting that keeps a heart healthy and soul serene.

So, if you’d like me to tell your story or the story of someone you know or knew, please know that I would be honored to do so. We need to ensure our legacy be will not lost to the chatter of loud and irrelevant. Only the telling and re-telling will keep our ancestors alive and walking with us, their journeys and our journeys on the map of the Universe.

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Being a good listener – the sad, the bad and the rad

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When my dad and I used to go for coffee and long conversation, he impressed upon me the importance of being a good listener. He told me to always make eye contact, let them know you are listening by nodding your head, asking questions when the narrative was unclear or a term unfamiliar. He said one of the essential parts of being a good listener is that for however long that person is speaking, it is all about them. The tendency, of course, is for us to want to let them know we understand, we can relate and to tell our tale of personal experience on said topic. Seems innocent enough, but what it does do is shift the entire focus of the conversation on me, the listener. For a speaker who feels as though they are never heard, no matter the words, the intensity or the yelling until their throats go raw, this is not a good conversation. Their voice, their story, their fears and uncertainties are being drowned out by the crashing roar of someone else’s regaling of tears, fears and tumultuous times. Mind you, this listener is trying to connect, to let the speaker know they are totally understanding and empathetic, sympathetic and wanting to help.

Fast forward a few decades and I find myself sitting across the table from yet another person who I have attempted to have a romantic/intimate relationship with and I am having some serious doubts about where our relationship is going and feel rather like I’m an extra on a bad TV sitcom where the writers are high on too many edibles and the laugh track is set for tragedy. But because I’m hard-wired at this point to make everything all about THEM (whomever they may be) I am not able to be assertive, to steer the conversation back to where I need it to be, where I can be heard and fears can be quelled or ties can be cut. The simple gift of one’s time and full attention is truly priceless. For everything else there’s Amazon, I suppose.

I now understand that in order to be a truly good listener, it helps to have a sense of self. I now understand that listening is a gift, but it has to be given, not expected or demanded. If someone listens with their eyes focused on their phone, you know you’re getting a percentage of their attention. However, if someone is looking you straight in the eye, you can see the understanding, the compassion, the empathy and the agony. There is a connection, an exchange of energy, of emotion, that needs no words at all. This is the key to being a good listener and also knowing when I’m in the company of one; I know I’m being heard. I know they are making space for me and my troubles, my victories and my dark nights, too. I don’t expect them to fix me or give me any answers, I just want to be able to speak those words and give wings to those fluttering feelings deep in the pit of my stomach. I want to free myself from the anxiety that unanswered questions and mental Ferris wheels bring, nights of thoughts twisting upon themselves like Celtic nightmare knots. Bring light to the darkness, certainty to doubts and love to banish fear.


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The Promise

Mostly Manic Michelle

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water

and trying to keep your head above the waves

that you forget, truly forget,

how much you have always loved to swim”

Tyler Knott Gregson

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One of my big little brothers sent me this some time ago, as if in answer to the questions I’d been yelling at the Universe. It has helped to remind me that there is far more to life than just surviving each day; it’s the difference between existing and living. Much like walking through a beautiful cathedral with your eyes blindfolded, earplugs in your ears and nose firmly pinched close. One would miss the stained glass, the gorgeous architecture, the statues, paintings and vestments. Not to mention the powerful hymns of the choir, the smoky, sweet smell of incense and the sunlight streaming through those stained glass…

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Intentions – Part 2 – Honor thy Father and Mother

I wrote a while back about my intentions and started with the first one and then my writing stopped. There are always at least a few reasons why I choose to not write, or tell myself I’m unable or I simply can’t. This time was more about trying to process all the emotions and thoughts that are all happening all at once; about many pieces and parts of my life, the state of the state, the state of the world and my state of mind. I find that the old adage “Birds of a feather flock together” is more relevant now than ever.

Those who are of like minds are discussing, examining, theorizing and hopefully coming up with ideas to better our situation without sacrificing the very spirit of America (supposedly it’s the Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave, based on what I found in my research) which has an incredibly diverse meaning, depending upon who you are, what you are and the ever-present, who you know and how you appear.

So to say one thing about America (LOFTFAHOTB) is to one person’s experience a truthful statement, but to another person’s experience, it is a promise that was made and broken, a lie that has been passed down from generation to generation, on the backs of those who make this country run and who have for hundreds of years. 

I asked myself – what can you do in the face of this enormous and monumental time in history? How can you be an instrument of peace, of unity and hope?

The answer came back simply and with little to no fanfare – Honor thy Father and Mother

Again, this can mean many things to many people, but to me it meant honor their sacrifice, their struggles to overcome, their faith in God, in their fellow man and in humankind’s ability to adapt, educate and evolve. Honor the belief that the pen is mightier than the sword, that empathy is a powerful force and love really is all we need, because with love is the treasure chest, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and it’s filled with empathy, understanding, grace, forgiveness and acceptance. What more could a soul need to survive?  

A mission. A reason to get out of bed, a reason to endure the hardships and grit and bear it through the pain. A belief that there is a role, a part to play in this epic saga unfolding here on Earth. The gods may be laughing or crying, but one thing is true; we all have a part to play and we can run from it, deny it and try to numb ourselves to the inevitable truth or embrace it, rise to the challenge and bring our very best.

I’m not speaking of political parties, or religious groups or activists or radicals or extremists; I’m speaking of human beings, one and all. 

I will honor my Father and Mother and those who have been like parents to me, provided me with a safe place when I needed sanctuary, gave me (and still do) unconditional love, belief that I am worthy of that love and that I have already made a difference in my own way to those I have known, loved and even those I found difficult to love and found me equally difficult to love, but we found a peaceful place to meet and learned much from each other.

I will be a place of sanctuary for those who seek refuge; I will offer no criticism or judgement, only both my ears for listening, both my arms for holding (with twenty sheets of plastic, face masks and standing behind you so as to not breathe on you) and all the compassion the Good Lord gave me and my parents encouraged in the face of my impatient and headstrong spirit.

I will love your broken bits, one by one and we will sew your heart back together with threads of understanding that you are not broken and you will heal and love again. I will be the true mirror, without the cracks and distortions, but with the true reflection of Your True Self.

Together we all can heal with love for the self; ever imperfect, but perfectly you. That is all you have to do to find love, my dear, is love who you are, right now, right here.

Intentions – Part 1

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It’s rapidly approaching the close of 2020 (see ya!) and the New Year is approaching and with it, the whole New Year’s Resolution or as I have adapted New Year’s Intention. This year is a four-part intention to help me work on the four areas of myself and my way of living that I feel need some change, which begins for me with the baby step of intention.

I want to clean up my soul, my karma, heal the wounds I’ve inflicted, either by negligence or intent, to others and to myself. I want to tell those I love how much they mean to me, how much our friendship has saved me from the dark and hungry seas of depression and lost faith and within that loss of faith, the loss of hope and the belief that I am worthy. I want to leave my life as I tried to live my life, simply and lovingly and without mess for someone else to clean up. So, that obviously isn’t going to happen overnight and certainly won’t happen without intention. 

See With Loving Eyes

It’s easy to be critical of others when you’re only thinking about yourself, or your ego is wounded and starving for attention or unfair, one-sided comparisons which are neither kind nor based on any sort of truth. What’s hard is when there is a person in front of you (or beside you, or on the phone or at work) who is unpleasant. Whether in nature, smell, attitude or all of the above, they are someone you do not wish to deal with, even for one minute. They are annoying, unsettling and wholly unwelcome. The default setting would dictate to immediately judge and label and categorize their shortcomings; they are smell badly, so they must not shower, so they must be lazy and a total loser. She’s dressed in a short dress even though she’s old enough to be my mother! What a slut! Her tits are hanging out and she looks like she should be walking the street in those shoes. Why doesn’t she act her age? She’s embarrassing herself! He’s dressed like he sleeps in those clothes. Didn’t he wear that yesterday? Doesn’t he know how to wash his clothes? Didn’t his mother teach him anything? What’s up with that loud guy? Why is he tailgating and yelling at me? What is his problem? What an asshole! I’m not moving. I’m staying right here, that’ll teach him.

Well, let’s break those down, reality-style.

The smelly lady is someone who isn’t lazy, but has a medical condition that causes her to perspire profusely, called hyperhydrosis. She has tried everything within her means to be able to control it, but she has been unsuccessful. She is not lazy, she works two jobs and rents a shoebox apartment she fights over floor space with roaches and other vermin. She smells because she can’t wash her clothes every day and sometimes has to wear the same clothes more than once or twice. She dreams of being “normal” of having little dots of sweat when she raises her arms, not overflowing lakes and streams. She dreams of owning her own washer and dryer, in her little bungalow that is just big enough for her and her dreams. No room for cockroaches or any vermin. Then, they won’t have any reason to judge her; they will see that she’s just like them, human.

The inappropriate lady dresser isn’t a slut, nor are her tits hanging out. She’s a gorgeous woman of a certain age who has already lived half of her life and spent it pleasing everyone but herself; following the rules, playing nice and doing what was asked (or told) of her, never asking herself what she wanted for herself. She was married to a man who dictated she dress like a nun, covered from neck to ankles, shoulder to wrist. No skin should show, although she had a beautiful figure that she worked hard to maintain. She lived this way for decades and when she would walk by a store window with a mini-skirt or even a demure cocktail dress, she felt a thrill run through her, like a delicious tiny lightning bolt of happiness. Long story short, she’s no longer married to him and has a budget that is the product of years of saving and doing without so that she can now do for herself, by herself and thanks to herself! She dresses to display that gorgeous figure she still has, tits and all, not for the rest of the world, but for her. She buys the brightest colors, the most intricate patterns on the most exquisite fabrics and she does not ask the sales lady or her shopping companion for their opinion, for it is not them she is pleasing. Her joy is hard won and she will not surrender it easily, or at all. Others’ opinions of her having are none of her business and she knows it and lives her life bearing that in mind. No one will steal her joy or dull her shine, ever again. She doesn’t care or wonder what they think, but if she did, she’s say she was just like them, human.

The smelly kid at work’s mother didn’t in fact teach him anything because she was a drug addict who overdosed when he was about 3. He doesn’t remember it, thankfully, but he also doesn’t remember her. He has been passed around through foster homes for as long as he can remember and hasn’t had a mother or a father to speak of. He is now 18, out of the foster system but no better off in the Life Sense. He is staying with whomever he can get a night on the couch or in the barn or wherever they will let him sleep. His foster brother who was one of his last families he stayed with lets him sneak in and out of their garage when nights are really cold, but he cannot stay long and he certainly cannot be caught or it’s trouble for him and his brother. He knows how to use a washer and a dryer, but doesn’t yet have the money to do so. He refuses to steal or cheat anyone, which is honorable, but doesn’t pay in the literal sense. He has to decide whether to eat or wash clothes, have bus fare and go hungry, or eat and walk the many miles to work. He dreams of a day when he will arrive to work, clean and freshly shaven, smelling like those guys up on the top floor; that’s what success smells like to him. He’s not looking for a hand out, just a hand up. He prays that this job will see the last days of him coming to work disheveled and sleeping in fits and starts, waking up uncertain and afraid. He prays that he will be able to keep this job and they will see that he’s just like them, human.

The yelling and seemingly angry guy tailgating is acting like a madman because he just got a call from the hospital that his daughter and grandson were in a car accident. He’s trying to get to the hospital in the hopes of saying good-bye if things don’t go well. He’s trying to get there for his son-in-law, who is out of state and got the first call. He’s grief-stricken and this scenario is all too familiar to him; he lost his wife in a car accident and never got to the hospital in time. She was gone before he even got off the freeway; he can’t let that happen again! He is trying to keep it together, trying to get through traffic and trying to keep the fiery tears from falling, as the back of his throat closes and he feels as though he can’t breathe. Please God, let me get there in time, please God, let me get there in time. Please God, move these people, put it in their hearts to MOVE – GET OUT OF THE WAY! PLEASE GOD! He doesn’t care about anyone on the freeway, he doesn’t care about getting a ticket for speeding and in fact, wishes a cop would show up and take him to the hospital, sirens screaming and lights flashing. If he could take the time to tell you, he’d say he’s not an asshole, he’s not insane, he’s just like you, human.

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The Truth Shall Set You Free and the Light Will Show the Way

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I talked with a dear friend the other day who I had been avoiding for (what I consider to be) a long time. She had done nothing wrong, said nothing bad, did nothing to offend; in fact, quite the opposite. This dear soul heard the breaking in my voice, saw the emotion in my eyes and I believe, knew it was a critical time for me and gave me the help that I needed in a form that was most life-saving but not without a significant (what I consider to be) amount of actual cash, because that’s how the world works. Want to do good? Money talks, bullshit walks. Now, this gift was freely given, no strings attached, no contract, no soul-collateral or owning of my first born son. It was not a power move, nor was it to show me that she was better than me or superior in any way. You have to understand this, because I didn’t. She gave it freely with no expectation or investment in ever being paid back, literally or figuratively. 

I’ll skip all the blah-blah, this is this and that was that and I went here and thought this and all of the swirling, twirling cyclones of chaos, largely self-created although without intention and conflicting thoughts and emotions, not many of which were of happier things and rainbows and silvery moonbeams. Let’s just say, I went down a proverbial rabbit hole and it took a while for me to find my way back to me. But find my way I did, Blessed Be!

I was able to finally tell her the false beliefs and fears and buckets of shame that kept me from her; I thought of myself as a failure, a disappointment and a crappy friend for not repaying her. Not being able to, not remembering the gift for the longest time and not just reaching out and owning my shit. I thought I was like a third nipple; kind of fun and interesting, but unless you don’t have any other party tricks, it’s not really an essential body part. I felt like that third nipple; unneeded and whatever entertainment value I once had to offer, had long ago expired. 

Now, this was absolutely, 100% organic, grown under the California sun, BULLSHIT. Straight up fiction, lies, untruths, whatever you want to call what is not real, all brought to you by the magic of a misfiring brain and a whole truckload of Unresolved Issues and Irresponsible Behaviors. Yeah, it’s a thing. It happens and sometimes I can catch the crack in the picture, the one thing that snaps my brain out of believing it, but this time I couldn’t and I didn’t.

Not to say that while I was wondering around aimlessly yet full to the brim with shame, my dear friend was also on a journey (because we are all on a journey, even if you never leave your couch) and I felt her along the way, like we were riding on the same train, in the same car but she was just a few rows up from me, on the right, where I couldn’t see her but I could feel her. Still loving me, still hoping for me and calling out, reminding me where Home was. She sent me dreams of better times, conversations when I voiced my terrifying truths and she helped me to see that they were only shadows and I could bring the light and cast them out. The truth is never cast out by the light because it is the light. It’s only when we turn our eyes from the light that it seems as though all is lost. We simply need to remember who we are, reject that darkness, deny its truth, and then turn back into the light, to our truth and freedom.

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Fate’s Saving Grace

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I wrote this a long, long time ago and have been fortunate enough to have been blessed with these types of loving souls (angels on earth, light workers, good and true friends and family of blood and of choice) throughout my lifetime. It’s to you all I dedicate this poem and all the emotion within.

There are those who go through Life blindly trudging their way through each day, with no direction or purpose in their stride, just trying to make it through until they can escape into the refuge of the night and the fantasy of sleep, only to rise again in the morning and repeat the monotony of another day. They seem to believe that this is their destiny, to accept what is offered to them, no matter how incomplete they may feel, for this is all that they deserve. They like themselves, but do not truly love the person they are; they do what is expected of them and never question what they are told. They exist, but do not enjoy or love the life that is theirs.

If Fate looks kindly upon these people and if they can keep their eyes and hearts open, someone will enter their life who will help them to realize that they are indeed a very special person; that they can realize their hopes and make their dreams a reality. This someone will not tell them what to do, but offer them a way to accomplish what they desire; or maybe by speaking to them, listening to their words, can help them help themselves. By being a different kind of mirror for them to see themselves through, without all the insecurities and faults they see; with a clearer reflection of who they really are.

To encounter a person such as this is a very rare find indeed and should be treasured for their talents and dedication. In a world that is mostly negative and cold, it is exceptionally refreshing to find someone who is positive and warm, genuine and caring and truly desires to help those who do not know how to help themselves.

Such a person may sound like a dream or a character from a child’s book of fairy tales but I have found a person who is all of this and more; they have helped me to realize that I was one of those people stumbling blindly through my days and has given me the praise, encouragement and wisdom that has enabled me to love myself enough to demand more from Life than what is offered; to realize that dreams can become realities and to know that nothing is impossible so long as you believe. I do believe. Do you?


Best of Intentions During the Worst of Times

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of dispair.” 

-Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

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I do it, you do it, we all do it. New Years Resolutions, New Day Intentions, bullet point on a list of things to do; intentions, resolutions, plans, expectations and whatever else we decide must be or we must do or the ever-popular Must Have. It can range from a good deed paid forward, the desire to rid oneself of extra pounds, unwanted baggage, unhealthy habits and behaviors to unpleasant, unrelenting thoughts or feelings. We may want to ditch the pint glass for a water bottle and leave the inside behind to step outside instead into the tree-lined paths of our neighborhood, or the track at the local high school to walk, run, meander or just sit, sipping water and contemplating our next move. 

This is something that we all have in common and it’s not the only thing by far. But during this especially difficult and unprecedented year of WTAF as division of the people, by the people and throughout the people is the Special of the Day every day, I feel a reminder of our commonality is due and I’m going to attempt to be the bringer of that to you, dear reader. Forgive all errors or don’t, either way it’s ok. 

I’ll tell you a story of the best of intentions during the worst of times and how it became my saving grace.

I retired in December of 2018 with 21 years in service and a deep desire to do something else. This would be the best of intentions part of the story, as I thought I was going to go out and change the world, do some real soul-satisfying, hands in the dirt, boots on the ground, In Real Life change and bring actual Positive Effect. I was going to save some souls, make some connections, bring some peace and hope and light to the world, once I left that cubicle, baby! Finish my 10+ years and counting unfinished AA degree, maybe travel, maybe start doing yoga and go to a retreat to confront my demons on peyote, whatever – just DO SOMETHING!

Fast forward to present day – I have traveled, I have brought change and peace and light. I didn’t get to do the peyote thing, but I have a great job with some amazing ladies and a couple of gentlemen who somehow thrive in the estrogen-rich environment and it feels like a family. I had given up my car, my apartment, a whole ton of material things and a job when I retired in 2018 and I now have an apartment, my first new car ever (terrified and excited), a few special material things but I have realized that less is truly more for me, so I haven’t replaced everything I gave away back then. 

Most importantly, I have found peace in who I am and faith in where I am going and what I am doing; I don’t feel the need to control each and every move, thought and action. I don’t fill my mind with other people’s thoughts and beliefs of me, even if they have gone out of their way to voice them. Those belong to them, not me. I have learned I have the choice whether to take them on as my own or to return to sender. That is incredibly powerful and has paved the way for better thoughts and more positive beliefs of my own.

I have stumbled, fallen and lost my way during these years and it has been through the kindness of strangers who I met along the way and those who have known and loved for decades that I have been able to rise again and continue walking. This has been true not only of the last couple of years, but my entire life. 

Whether we are diagnosed with some mental illness, learning disability, chronic apathy or malcontent, it is a universal truth (I believe) that we all struggle as individuals, as souls and as human beings. We have our own desires, wishes, hopes and dreams as well as goals and missions and callings. How to best serve our gifts, talents and vocations during the Worst of Times? 

I don’t know, but I’m certain we all must try to find common ground. We all must try. Something.

Remember that we are all going to suffer the consequences of our actions and it is our actions only that we have any measure of control over, so how about we do a little each day to love ourselves a little more, give some time to mourn, to vent, to sleep it off or to ask for help? Loving yourself doesn’t mean you have to bear the burden by yourself; loving yourself means you know you are only one person and the load is greater than your ability to carry it by yourself. Either stand by the roadside with your load, try to carry it by yourself and break your back, or ask for help and enjoy the added benefit of some company on the journey. It’s a choice, it’s your choice and you can decide what sort of outcome you’d like to have and what kind of experience it will be.

I’ve had to ask for help and it’s only for the asking that my friends and family were able to know I was in somewhat dire straits and how they were able to help me find my way back to the right path and get back on the journey. I literally could not be here right now, where I am, all snug as a bug in a rug, had it not been for all the good souls who saw something in me that they felt was worth taking a chance on, investing in and supporting. Time and time again, you have been the rock that I’ve thrown my drowning body on, gasping and coughing for air in a sea that wants to consume me. You are my rock, and you rock. Thank you seems so insufficient for what I want to express and hugging is out, so I’m going to trust you all are hugging the stuffing out of yourself right now because that’s what I’d be doing, if I were able.

I guess I accomplished what I set out to do, even if the itinerary wasn’t one I would’ve necessarily chosen or even knew existed, I did it. I left my cubicle, my OG Work Family and my Old Life and went out and started a new chapter in the book “My Life Outside City Hall; the Adventures of an Administrative Assistant Unleashed” watch for it in local bookstores sometime in my lifetime, or even after. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.

Thanks for hanging in until the very end. This was a rambler, to be sure but it’s been a while and I’ve missed you, so lots to say, don’cha know.