tupac and mis-education…

Yes, I realize I am a white female, formerly of upper-middle class means. Yes, I realize some of you may dismiss my words because of the aforementioned niche I find myself in. But I have eyes and ears, I have used that past money to travel and volunteer, and I have seen and heard things that made my blood boil, and made me fear for those of you not protected by the insulating layer of white privilege I have spent much of my life under, until I stood alongside those of you of richer colors, fighting for change, and your glorious shades began to bleed over onto my embarrassingly pale flesh…

He was by no means a saint, but he was not all sinner either. Tupac was a man of complex ideals, a poet and a provider, an activist yet also someone who spent more than a few nights behind bars, often admitting to the 9 kinds of wrong he had been up to, and often not, as the case may be. But do the negative aspects of his life necessarily negate the man’s entire existence? I think not, and hope for my own sake that I am correct, or we all will be in for a world of hurt in the afterlife…

I re-read Woodson’s “The mis-education of The Negro” recently, and the words seeped into my soul as they did dozens of years ago, in becoming aware that what African American children were being taught later “crystalized into deep-seated insecurities, intra-racial cleavages, and interracial antagonisms.” How can a book written in 1933 be so relevant today, heartbreakingly correct STILL in the admonishment that we are literally forcing a sub-par life onto some of our nation’s best and brightest?! How can race STILL be an issue, in the year 2016CE??!!

So while I finished up another paper detailing another painting of white people by even more white people, I am listening to Mary J and Tupac and Erykah and thinking how different my life would be were I born in Color… I am wondering why we insist on white-washing our history, our nation, our children, and yet, millions are spent at tanning salons every year in the good ol’ US of A, presumably to make us white ones darker… anyone else see the fucked-upped-ness of that situation, folks?! This still feels dangerous to me, this intolerance that has not for one second let up. Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Dubois and Washington and Haley and Hurston and Hughes and Ellison… all dead and gone, and everything they stood for and stood against, namely the uplifting of the African American and the defeat of bigotry, people, is still a struggle here and now, today, right this second on our collective experience. Isn’t it about damned time we let all this hatred and fear go, and embrace the possibility that we can be great together? She sighs and heads into the kitchen to make popcorn and coffee, too upset to eat a real dinner, and realizes she will not let her child relax with friend this evening, but will lecture them and get them to embrace their inner activist, in the hopes of a brighter and more colorful future… exit stage left, cue curtain.


oh boy…

Hmm. I have been rolling things around in my mind, tossing and turning them from ephemeral wisps to solid, mixed and risen, full formed thoughts, rising in the back of my head like fluffy Parker house rolls on the back of a wood stove.

I have noticed a tendency of me to avoid things here… but what and when is a mystery to all, including me. I can speak freely about sex, drugs, kid and ex problems, but do not like to tackle ethnicity or disparity too often. I hold back at the weirdest times, and for no apparent reason, given the shit that has come out of my keyboard in recent years.

So again, my mind is a mess, stress and love mixed in with Italian, kayaking, changing my hair style, and the possibility of dogs, a boat, and maybe even the “M” word, at some point. Kombucha, a new couch, braised baby bok choy with tree ears… I am in the sea of the swirly, twirly gumdrops for sure.

But one real thought, one hard and concrete thing keeps interrupting my Grey’s Anatomy time, I mean my STUDY TIME this morning. That is the presidential race in general, and the nominated candidates in particular. The sad-making aspect of this clown-car of a race is that we are making history again in the nominations of these two people. The first woman presidential candidate! WOW! =) And the first businessman, a non-political entity, SERIOUSLY? It could be an amazing time, this race that shows that Americans do indeed have the power to elect who they choose, which is NO SMALL THING, even in today’s world.

But I cannot feel happy about this. Because while a woman, a strong and capable women has been chosen to be the Democratic candidate, if she wins and our country continues down its present path, ALL women, as well as the Democratic party as a whole, will be dismissed in the future. And gods forbid the businessman wins, our country will be broken by the vitriol, misogynism, narrow-mindedness, and xenophobia that bubbles out of his mouth, to divide us further than ever before.

I fear for women, I fear for access to birth control, I fear for access to health care. I fear for anyone of any color other than white, and I fear for educational opportunities. I fear for those of us who do not have unlimited income, as we will be further marginalized, and I fear for what that will mean to a country in which the majority is indeed not wealthy.

BUT… I also have hope. I have an eternal belief, unshakeable and child-like, that hard times may come, but each of us can cast our pebble into the stream and change the direction of the waters. THIS is what makes our country great, the fact that we can STILL take matters into our own hands, and effect change as meaningful as our imaginations will allow. WE have power still, WE can make something we can be proud of. It may not be without a fight, but we can accomplish greatness, if only we DO.

So I will take a moment here to ask, beseech, implore you, ALL of you, to please exercise your RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to vote this November, and in your local elections. I cannot tell you who to vote for, but I can tell you that you have a voice, and not to use this gift is irresponsible. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, do not know how crazy things will get before they get better. But I do know if you allow your voice to be silenced, you are contributing to the further demise of what made our country great to begin with.

I know the candidates are fallible humans, with pros and cons each (presumably), and sometimes casting your vote is more of a “voting against one rather than for another” scenario. Regardless of where you stand on the issues, your party affiliation, and your perspective, it is time to step up. We are not in a time of tranquility and ease, as much as I would like it to be so. We are in a season of upheaval and change, and I just know in my heart of hearts that I can count on you all to stand up for what you believe, no matter what that may be.

I will leave you on that note, and hope in the days that come, you can stand alongside with me, feeling the possibility and hope for our collective futures, and know that you contributed to what we can together create. Namaste, peeps… =)


sweltering heat

melting me like custard cream

fucking dying here…

Ok, so not the most eloquent of haiku, but you get the picture! So… bloody… HOT. More to follow, ad nauseam, until further notice. Heat dome, heat wave, heat, just heat. That’s all I’ve got for today. Try not to melt, peeps…

great things…

I awoke this morning, wrapped in Paul’s arms, a tepid ice pack wedged between us and under my thigh, and his pillow tenting my head… sleepily grinning, I wondered how on earth a confirmed loner such as myself managed to allow herself to be smooshed into 1 square foot of my generously queen-sized bed. And not just allow it, but sort of enjoy it… don’t tell anyone about my humanity and frailty, please. They are closely guarded secrets, as I do much better with getting respect when I act more the automaton, kwim? =)

So I did what I do, made coffee, luxuriated in the precious moments rubbing his back as he kissed my waist, made his sandwich while he got dressed, made the bed while he put the dirties in the hamper. I got him packed into his truck, sneakers and safety vests streaming across the seat, coffee and Gatorade and lunch perched next to him, and ruffled his hair as he grinned down at me. I wondered what small miracle brought this man to my life, and what good deed I had done to keep him here. I thought about how his smile lights up a room, and how I get to see it more days than not. How every time I look at him, my heart grows just a little bit more, and I am fairly certain that it won’t fit in my chest much longer, if he sticks around…

Contemplative, satiated, comfortable. There is no way any school work is getting done any time soon, and I can take this time off knowing this is a treasure, and that come August 29, I will not have the luxury of relaxing-instead-of-schoolwork again until Dec 20, so I am determined to grab these opportunities when they present themselves, she says with authority. =)

I made a coffee, wistfully hoping that my calm demeanor will allow me to drink and enjoy it again. I am thinking about great things today, and want to get my thoughts down before they escape me. Being in possession of girl bits, I am naturally thinking of contributions that other girls have made to our society, or lifestyle, or education. And while this may make some of you cringe, Michelle Obama popped into my head. No matter how one votes, or what one believes in, Michelle is a girl, scratch that, a woman, of a certain age who has done some meaningful things recently that I look at and think “man, I would like to contribute to society like that, in some small way.”

Her Let’s Move! campaign is amazing, crossing the boundaries of gender, economic status, and geographic location to reach ALL of our children, which is no small thing. It is refreshing that all children matter in her campaign, rather than some specific group. Her mentoring programs encourage girls to smash the glass ceiling and ways to overcome the things that hold one back, such as fear. Her support for military families, education, the arts, and her creation of an AmeriCorps program in Chicago are some notable contributions that she has made not only to our country, but to the wellbeing of our younger generations. When I think about her working full time while taking care of her children while her hubby was fulfilling his Senatorial duties, I realize that she has become a role model to me, someone who had opportunity, to be certain, but who has worked tirelessly for decades of her life to live up to the sacrifices her parents made so she could become more…

Greatness comes in all shapes and sizes. This may seem an oxymoron, but one small act of kindness, or purity, or morality can ripple out in untold ways. Just hold open a door for a struggling senior, or smile at a young mother with a crying toddler instead of grimacing, or generously tip the waitress who spilled coffee on your shoe if you doubt the veracity of that statement.

When I began, many years ago, to realize organized religion was not for me, I switched from a religious mindset to a philosophical one. I read many works by the Dalai Lama, Buddha, Confucius, and everything I could find about the Sufi, Shinto, and Taoist traditions. Previously, I had been taught to repay kindnesses to those who had bestowed them upon me. While on my path for self-discovery, I realized that what worked best for me was the opposite, to take what others give me in love, and create something meaningful I can pass on to someone at a later date. I learned to take life’s lessons with grace, even when they were not what I hoped for. I learned to take what I could from my experiences, and create meaningful change in myself, or to simply enjoy the beauty that is given to me. In turn, I want to walk ahead, and do the same thing for others who have a need. I am pretty fantastic just as I am, but I want to be more. I want to be great. =)

What great things have you accomplished, or are working on? What are you most proud of? Conversely, what have you done that was meant to be spectacular, but ended as a spectacular mess? For me, in that category, it would be my relationship with Hubby No More. =) I do not crash and burn often, but when I do, damn, are there some flames! =) Go be your best, be spectacular, be great! Enjoy your day, peeps.. =)

the cusp of…?

Ooh, I am in SUCH a period of growth right now!!! I feel like I am stretching the confines of my soil, my roots exploding beneath me even as I raise my head to the sun and grow, grow, GROW!!!

It is an awesome feeling in every sense of the word, and is accompanied by no small sense of wonder, and if I am honest, unease. For while I know I am getting closer to the precipice, I am on the cusp of… well, of what exactly?

If you have been here any amount of time, you will know by now that I am in tune with the seasons, and I ebb and flow right along with the Solstices and Equinoxes. I grow, then prune out of necessity, and after a period of stagnation, new and unexpected areas explode with passion and purpose.

Many aspects of myself and where I am going in this life have changed drastically, yet the underlying themes are always the same… being of service, living and playing close to the water, creating meaningful relationships, being  good steward of this beautiful planet, tonnage but a few. Even my writing has evolved through the years, and I was recently told by a professor that if Hemingway and Jamaica Kincaid had a baby, it would be my prose. =) Flattering to the nth degree, yet what am I to do with this knowledge?

So here I am smiling and windswept, at the edge of my cliff. Seaspray whispers across my arms as grasses caress my toes as I inch closer to the rocky precipice. In my mind’s eye, I can hear the gulls crying in the distance, and my heart beats in time with their calls, as the words “To what end?” pulse through my veins.

I should be working on yet another paper, but I am taking the day off to allow my soul to speak to me, promising that I’ll listen and not be distracted this time. I packed a bag with fruit, water, and some nuts and laced up my hiking boots. My ball cap is on, sunglasses perched atop, and I am heading out the the forest that dumps out at my favorite dam. After some invigorating me time, I’ll stop at the library and explore some unfamiliar genre’s, such as Gothic literature. And just maybe in the next few days I’ll have some news for you all. Here’s wishing each and every one of you a beautiful day of discovery and light. Namaste, peeps. =)

blood is thicker than…?

My kiddo came out to a family member recently. I was proud of him (my kiddo, new pronouns, hard for me to remember so don’t feel too confused), and encouraging while that sinking feeling grew in the pit of my stomach, knowing all too well the way “love” in my family has a tendency to be fleeting, conditional, and cruel at the best of times. Admitting to being a trans child is not the best of times…

The response was lightning quick, and pc in all the right ways. I got an email as well, informing me that kiddo had reached out, and that love was always freely given, because, my “kid could be an axe murderer and even if one may not appreciate it, love is tougher than that to kill.”

I should be happy with that response, I should thank my lucky stars and the family member for allowing my child to be who he wants to be. But the comparison was made to an axe murderer. Is this purely a generational thing, or more imperfect love? Am I being too sensitive, and need to suck it up, or is this a symptom of the growing gulf between this person and I, and therefore, my kiddo? Is this another reminder of the unending litany of ways I have managed to fuck up everything I touch, that I am again seen as being cute as I work thru my struggles in life, struggles this person has figured out and is merely waiting for me to get there? Ah… co-dependency, two sided swords, family. Sigh.

I am in unfamiliar waters here, and the growing feeling of unease between this person and I is not letting up. I depended on this person to come thru for me, as promised, but things did not go as stated and I am now uncomfortable when I needn’t be. This person has begun making excuses for others who are acting inappropriately, and then projects onto me that perhaps I am just too judgmental. I am facing the decision to either accept this person for the flawed human we all are, or discontinue contact. Again, choice would be easy if not for them being close family. Again, sigh.

So this post comes from a confused place, and from a person who tries to accept all beings as being where they are, and who they need to be. But this does not mean I have to put myself in a position of being hurt and smallerized just so they can be who they are. Decisions, decisions. I would normally drown myself in fair-trade coffee and hike until legs fall off, but it is 91 degrees out, knee is still out of whack, and coffee is making me barf. My other two stress relievers other than 30second dance party and working out are fantastic sex and reading. Paul is at his home for the weekend (sob, no sex) so that leaves books. I am happy to report that in my infinite wisdom, while the heat increased early this morning, I had the foresight to stop at the library, so now have a couple of Oates’ books to occupy my brain. Have had a few suggestions from Alice, and wish I had managed to get back before closing time, but there is always next week for those little gems. =)

I think I am going to eat a sandwich… GASP, bread, irk??! Slushy almost-frozen apple juice and watermelon and a good book stretched out on couch trying not to let boobs melt off… yeah, it is hot in my den this evening. Sounds like a plan. Talk again soon, peeps, and thanks for letting me vent. Any advice on how to allow family members to be themselves while maintaining your sanity? Really want my knee to mend just a bit faster, if I can’t jog thru the woods pretty soon, I am going to go round the bend! =)

i’m doing this to save me…

Sometimes, the universe listens… I mean, really takes listening to the next level, you know? I have been struggling this summer… well this year, to be precise. Struggling may be too mild a word… think plate tectonics meeting in Hulk fashion… like Pompeii, but more so. Got that hellish picture in your noggin? Yup, welcome to my life since xmas…

Since my divorce (read:since ex walked out on us while sleeping with the girl he made fun of for being gay), I have re-learned to listen to my body. Hell, she knows what she’s talking about, and if I listen to her, things generally go pretty well. But something happened before the holidays to throw me out of whack, and with finals, the next semester, my knee injury, and changing colleges with all the sheer insanity THAT entails, I did not take the time to pay attention to it much. I hesitate to admit… but I self medicated. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, caffeine, OTC sleeping pills… you name it, all the modern fix-it-quick crap one can buy at the grocers. I even stopped drinking my health shake and buying the best probiotic to afford all that crap. My face broke out, my knee got more and more swollen and immobile, and I gained weight. Just, yuck. A total shit-storm of a season, and yet I pushed thru, popping more pain relievers and maintaining that 3.94 GPA. I win, right? Not so much…

What was the catalyst for all this insanity? I thought it was my knee, but realize, belatedly, it was all a stress reaction to the direction my life was taking. To me giving in, if you will, and just doing what I thought was best. Of not living authentically, listening to my newly-grown-back muchness, of being afraid and of feeling like a failure. For some reason, I stopped listening to me, and started paying attention to my doubts, and to the feeling of shame that I am decidedly NOT where I want to be at this point in my life. Reading blogs by you all helped me realize that we ALL have regrets, we ALL struggle, and for the most part, adults are just faking it, doing their best, putting one foot forward in an attempt to reach their destination before they croak. Hmm…

What made me finally remove my head from my ass and take a good and hard look around me was the UTI I got a week ago. I am NOT one to suffer from those type maladies, and “women’s problems” for me have always been only heavy moon times and cramps. What your vajayjay starts acting up, either you have been letting too many people play in the sandbox, or something is out of whack, girlfriend. Taking the antibiotics and changing my diet this week have helped immeasurably. I also have cut WAY down on the coffee, as if I drink more that a cup now, I barf like Linda Blair at a frat party… wtf is THAT all about?! Just so damned out of sync…

My body, my soul, even my girl-bits were trying to tell me something, and I realized it was time to seriously listen. So I have been tidying up here and there, drinking water like its going out of style, reading books and just thinking about everything in general. Times are a-changin’, and I need to get with the program.

I have recently acquired a few more things than I am comfortable with, and am planning on giving the fish tank to my kiddo when they more into the house her dad and his MFEO BGF just bought together… save that discussion for another lifetime. I am sucking it up and getting a kayak rack for the back area, so I can not worry about salt residue, which covers everything no matter how much one scrubs! I am thinking of moving the telly into my bedroom and getting a larger couch and desk for the living room. In short, I am making plans, I am buckling down for the season, and that season is school and grad school. I have a very arduous 4 years ahead of me and want to make my little house in The Big Wood as comfortable and suitable as possible. We always tell our children they need the best tools to do the best job, but always skimp when it comes to our own needs. But since I am going to be working SO HARD to achieve my goals, and enter directly into the PhD/EdD program, I am going to be schooling for the long haul, folks. Time to batten down the hatches, get all the supplies, and set sail…

I have not fully embraced my path until recently, for personal reasons, but suffice it to say that a goodly part of my angst came from the judgement of others. “Uconn is just BETTER than Eastern, you know… Why don’t you leave your kid and partner and just enroll at UH Manoa… Just get a job, already… Wait, you don’t even LIKE kids…” and the list goes on. The derision I have met with as of late is disgusting, plain and simple. BUT… there’s always tomorrow, always a silver lining, always a rainbow. =)

BUT… then I went to the mandated transfer orientation, met my advisor, met a few professors, all of whom have multiple PhD’s as well as teach their classes without the help from TA’s (woot-woot, a rarity in a good school!) I was welcomed, asked to explain further, given a few numbers. I have a mentor, I have my Master’s advisor already, and I am officially networking. Even though we are all different colors, ages, and backgrounds, it seems I may have finally stumbled upon my tribe, thank ALL in the universe that is light and holy. The form is no matter, I have been given that life-force we all need but are afraid to admit to… acceptance. And sweet baby jesus in the manger, does it feel FANTASTIC!

I also am able to verbalize, for the first time ever and in Technicolor, peeps, exactly WHY I am doing the MA and 7-12 Teaching Certification when I eventually want to be a college professor. This is not just a whimsical pitstop in order to secure employment, but I have been struggling with the reason to add another year of school to go down a related but not same career path. It’s because I need to save myself.

Yeah, I know it is a little obvious, maybe a little trite, but I want to step into a severely under-represented and failing system and make meaningful changes so the kids at least have a fighting chance. I have decided to focus my energies on the Board of Indian Education, as well as schools in rural Appalachia. If even one child can escape poverty, teen parenting, or abuse, it will all be worth it. Come on, this cannot shock you, everyone knows how much I love the underdog. =) Idealism appears to be my middle name. Sigh. So I am happily embracing the who and what and why of it, telling any naysayers to fuck themselves (except for ex who pays my rent), and when I can no longer deal with the reality of such a social experiment, will retire exhaustedly to a position at a small college to publish and lick my wounds. Gender and income disparity have always been my sociological interests, so this goes hand in hand with my experience and drive.

And there you have it, peeps. Tish in a nutshell, and tmi, so ops norm. =) Slowly weaning myself off the anti-inflammatories, slowly adding in more raw veggies and long, slow walks to get the knee back up to par. Slowly but surely, I am taking myself back, yet again. I am healing from within, and changes are afoot, big and small, and for the first time in a long time, that is exciting rather than exhausting. Much love to you all, and may whatever you are going through be happy, or at the very least, temporary. Again, many thanks to all of you all who keep it real and allow me to do the same. Namaste!

flannery will get you everywhere, my dear…

Seriously. Flan-cakes has got her shit together in an epic way, and the more I think of her (and Sylvia Plath and Zora Neal and Sandra Cisneros and…), the more I realize how epic these women were. I mean, earth-shatteringly human and flawed, yet in possession of a sense of self that I am only now coming into. To get back to my girl Flan, today one quote of hers is especially buzzing in my ear, in the lilt I imagine her to speak in, being a southern lady of a certain time. “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Sigh, irk??!! =) =) The heart of a writer and the deep seated need to converse thru words not uttered but typed is something we can fight against, ignore for a time, but when we are frazzled and unsure of what to do, we have no option but to go back to what our soul knows… that damnably elusive written word.

I also have another of her profound utterances whispering at me, have for days now, and facing it is giving me a bit of stress… “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” As I sit here with my voter registration confirmation letter staring up at me from next to my coffee cup, I am realizing the veracity of that statement, and that as elections creep up, perhaps we need to think about this more than ever before.

As a Veteran, I have complex emotions concerning liberty, faith, duty, honor, and our government in general. But as I watch the fiasco surrounding the candidates swell to ridiculous proportions, I wonder if we can face the truth here, that our country is in serious trouble, our particular brand of democracy is no longer working, and that we are at the brink of damage and division so great that I honestly do not know if we, the general public,   will, or even CAN, get past it and create something worth fighting for. I do not know if we can agree on what is worth fighting for, and even if we can agree, can weight hard enough to win? And who the bloody hell are we fighting anyway? Not people, but ideas and feelings. Pain, hatred, fear, hunger, guilt, jealousy… all the worst of humanity rolled up into one ticking package… and I fear for us all.

So anyway… what wordsmith is your muse, who gets the words flowing in you, who inspires you to become the best version of you there is? Happily awaiting your responses, peeps… talk soon. =)

r.i.p., fishwich…

The first death in our almost-blended family-type unit… that it was a 6 inch fish with a penchant for biting doesn’t lessen the poignancy of the moment.

Thank ALL that is holy, Paul unexpectedly came over last night and was able to rid the tank of the poor, slimy creature that had apparently been stewing in his own juice the entire day as I was in class and orientation. Perfect timing, Fishwich. The life of a pet owner, sigh.

Rigor mortis still had the yellow-grey body in its grasp, and Paul almost dropped it out of the scoopy net and onto my bedroom carpet…Sobbing and screeching, I hid under the covers after flinging an entire linen closet shelf’s worth of bath towels at him, which now need to be double washed or I will NEVER use them again… stop laughing, he did that enough last night for all you all readers, thank you very much! I am glad he had the foresight to fling the corpse into the woods at the back of the complex, or I never would have gone again into our back yard area, for fear of encountering a cat-eviscerated spine or head staring blankly up at me… eww…

So… I was at school yesterday and had the requisite swag bestowed upon me by the VERY bouncy student advisory team, the collective age of whom was less than mine, lol. Nothing makes me feel quite as old as being in a room with 25 tan and willowy rising Juniors, eager to impress us with their backflips and typing skillz… weird combination, I know, but still quite impressive to behold, sans coffee and freezing in my middle-agedness.

I am in all A levels, making me feel rather like the Sorting Hat put me in the best house. 17 credits didn’t sound like much while I was registering, but facing the stack of books this morning and filling in my day planner, the familiar “oh shit” moment grabs me and I wonder, for the umpteenth time, what the HELL I am doing. Oh, I know I will end up satisfied, happy, and in possession of that elusive PhD., as that is my nature and success follows me, if I bother with the effort. But every few years, after achieving a preliminary goal, I am scooted right back to the beginning steps of the next goal, and would very much like to be stagnant for a few years, you know, to breathe and all. =) How can I work on my novel if I am busy with maths (again??!!) and mentoring and the dreaded PRAXIS exams? So I better pour another cup of coffee and relax on the back patio with that stack of books and the scent of tomatoes wafting pleasantly toward my smiling face with just one more little “crinkle” around the mouth than last year.

Have a beautiful day, peeps. Anyone else working toward a new career or promotion these days? Best of luck if so, and congrats if not. =) Wishing you all light and love, and no end to happiness… =)


we are our actions…

We become what we do, there is no way to argue this fact. What we decide to do on a daily basis creates in us habits, ways of thinking and reacting to stimuli in similar situations. Karma kicks in, synapses fire and remember, and BAM, we have become our actions.

Goes hand in hand with the old adage “you are what you eat.” And “fake ’till you make it.” And all that jazz…

Celebrating another trip around the sun does this to me, pulls that introspective streak of mine to the surface and makes me question everything. Yes… EVERYTHING. And everyone. And their actions and reactions, ad nauseam. I am thinking specifically of one person today, gotten done examining my own life under the microscope and finding it slightly lacking but pretty fucking great, nonetheless.

This man used to be kind. Or at least, some semblance of that word. He would be there for you, ask after you and yours, offer support and decency. He had a temper but worked to show you he cared… until he didn’t feel like it anymore, I suppose.

The change was not overnight, but gradual over years. He went from sharing laughter with strangers to literally throwing a fit in a restaurant over the server’s inability to speak english in a manner that he thought was appropriate. He has spent the last decade embarrassing his family, alienating his friends, and ensuring his children do not speak to him other than on Father’s day once a year for the obligatory 5 minute discussion.

He yells, he carries on, he frightens the grandkids… and he is my father. So of course, I try to pick apart his life to find the catalyst that drove him to this abhorrent way of living, desperate to find the cause of the change so I can hopefully avoid the same fate. Because, well, genetics.

My sister and mother make every excuse in the book for him, and for my nephew’s abusive behavior, as well. The happy-pretend bubble will pop at some point, I am sure, and am thankful I am far enough away to not feel the brunt of the explosion…

So today I remind myself, remind YOU, that we are what we allow us to become. We are our words, our actions, our our jokes, and our work ethic. We are our beliefs and our desires. We are, in short, everything we ALLOW OURSELVES TO BECOME. So please, the next time you are faced with making an ethical choice, as defined by your own morality, please consider the ramifications of allowing yourself to slip, just this once. Because chances are, it will not be just a one time reaction.

Be the best version of you possible. Own your faults and shortcomings, mistakes and missteps. Then learn from them, and be the controlling power in your own existence. For every one of you reading this today, I am grateful that you decided to stop by my little part of The Big Woods and even bigger blogosphere. Namaste, peeps… I am rooting for us all.

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Power Plant Men

True Power Plant Stories

Mad Tea Party in My Head

Clean Cup! Move Down!

A Tramp in the Woods

A nature diary from the Forest of Dean.


Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown


A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Dimitris Melicertes

I don't write, I touch without touching.

Rob's Surf Report

Where the closest ocean is all in my mind . . .


Crazy is relative. Just ask my relatives. And music!

James Radcliffe

Meditations on Philosophy, Strategy, and Life