The most epic of epic updates

Hello my dearest of dear readers. I realize it’s been quite literally more than half the year since I’ve written in this blog. But – I think perhaps you’ll forgive me when you learn a bit more about what I’ve been up to. I think i’ll just start where I left off…

I was struggling – with work, with myself, with trying to figure out what to do next in my world. So I did the unimaginable. I quit my job as Director and decided to do some serious traveling. I made two trips down to the caribbean – US Virgin Islands. In February and again in April.

There is something so healing about those blue waters, I get lost in them. I have always been a water baby… but there is something magical about an ocean that I can swim in without fear of hypothermia. I would literally spend 8 hours at a time just swimming and exploring. At some point – I’ll detail out all the fun travel stories – and believe me, there were MANY.

When I returned home, I worked for a short couple of months in a temporary position…. cuz dollar bills y’all…. and then realized I wasn’t done traveling. I booked a camper van for an entire month and decided to whisk me, my two children and my two dogs away on an adventure of a lifetime. We plotted our course – the goal was to make it all the way to the coast of texas and back. We would look at properties along the way – as I had it in my head that I wanted a vacation property – something I could enjoy once the kids were grown and off living their own lives (which for one of my kids is happening right now – the other still has a good 9 years to go).

It truly was the trip of a lifetime -for all of us in different ways. I think in some ways – that trip pushed me to learn new things about myself, and what I’m capable of as a single woman, as a mom, and as a friend.

There’s more to say there – but I promise they will become blog posts all on their own.

So far, this year, I’ve worn bikinis, I’ve climbed mountains, I’ve rescued a group of tourists and taught another group how to kayak. I saved a woman from drowning and held her in my arms as she had a seizure. I danced in the rain, and sang to the sea. I made friends at every turn and opened my heart to new experiences, new perspectives and new adventures at EVERY SINGLE TURN.

While in St Croix, I made a new friend had to go visit her in Dallas when I returned from my crazy road trip adventure.

Dallas was another level – and just added to the learnings I had while traveling. This time, I went as just me, no pets or kids. We went shopping and I danced around the store when I learned I was down 5 sizes from what I thought I was.

Everywhere I go – I’m learning that my energy is magnetic. It pulls people to it. 🙂 And it’s incredible.

When I returned home, I realized that purchasing property far away just didn’t make sense. So I decided to invest in myself instead. I’ve leased a commercial building and spent a couple of months turning it into a studio space. And now- here I sit in a space that feels INCREDIBLE. We will be doing a photoshoot so that I can properly show it off to the world – but i’m working on my books (yes – plural! 2 comic books!!)

Life is fricken fantastic. It’s been a LONG time since i’ve been able to say that. I’m living my BEST life and feel DAMN proud of every single second. I’m doing well still with my weight loss – but more than that – I know my worth. I see myself as a beautiful woman with a lot to offer the world. I no longer need to question whether or not I’m worthy. I KNOW it.

And it’s fucking amazing. 🙂

So, to those of you who still read this blog – please know that i’m going to be updating a hell of a lot more often. I’m going to show you the studio and share some travel stories and even share my comics because I’m fiercely proud of them and they’re BADASS! 😀 hehe.

Much love, dear readers. I hope you’re still holding on and that the pandemic and quarantine haven’t completely broken your spirit. If you’re close – and barely holding on – just know – I’m here for you. You aren’t alone. And if I can do it – we can do it with you together too. 🙂

A unique perspective on parenting a teenager

I was talking with an old friend today and it dawned on me that I haven’t written much about my new perspective on raising a teenage girl.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve shared much about that experience at all.  Maybe a few hints here and there in some of my updates.  So here it goes.  I suppose I should say – trigger warning – this will be a rough story involving some very touchy subjects.  I won’t go into great detail – but they are kind of necessary to understand the catalysts behind things.

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It’s been almost 3 years since my daughter attempted suicide.  My girl… my baby… I’ll never forget the phone call from my ex husband.  It was late.  I was to meet them at the ER.  She was ok, physically, but she was not ok.  I was shocked.  I didn’t know it was coming – not by a long shot.  I climbed into that hospital bed and didn’t leave her side.  Quit my job.  Spent a year off just to get her to a healthy place again.  We got therapy for her.. and me.  We talked.  And talked.  And talked some more.  I learned more than I wanted to learn – but wouldn’t change it for anything.  She had her reasons – and while I won’t share any more of her end of that story – suffice it to say that these reasons were valid and justified and horrifying and nearly ripped my heart from my chest when I finally heard them.

Since then… we’ve built a new type of relationship.

We share absolutely everything.  I am transparent with her about absolutely everything.  So long as she asks.  There is no topic off limits, and no topic where I won’t give her a very straight up, very real answer to.  Even when it’s uncomfortable for me. I swear, the first time she asked me about masturbation and sex toys I damn near fell over!  But, over time, it’s become easier and quite frankly it feels more natural.  Sometimes I’ll preface things I say to her with “I’m telling you this because I’m being transparent, but I want so badly to shield you from it…” kind of statement.  Or I’ll say “I’m going to put my foot in my mouth about this…” and then share.

So many who meet us – think I’m nuts.  That i’m too open about things.  Too real.  But she’s going to be a full fledged legal adult in 2.5 years.  And she’s already been exposed to a lot of very grown up situations, as much as I would have wished otherwise.  At this point, the only thing to do, is to be real with her.  To break down and dissect the world around her, and make sure that home is safe, and that the people I let into my world are safe for her too.

And can I say – this whole experiment…because that’s essentially what it is – I am in unknown territory and am just trying to find my way through experimentation… has been eye opening.  I’m glad I went about it.  And I don’t believe it works for EVERY kid.  But I will say, it’s working for her.  She’s blooming.  She feels safe.  She’s making healthier emotional choices and seems to have healthier relationships now because of it.  She’s looking bigger picture and not getting so wrapped up in petty high school drama.  It’s inspiring to watch. The people in our world, who know her, and what she’s been through, have all commented that they see a change in her.  That she seems happy now.  She’s thriving and I’m so proud of the woman she’s become and is still becoming.  When she was born – I remember whispering to her that she was “the greatest thing I ever did”.  And even now – she’s one of 3 of “the greatest things I ever did.”

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Sometimes, weird evenings are the best

I typically write my blog post before I write a title for it.  I often wonder if other bloggers do this too, but perhaps the way I write is unusual.  For me, it’s journal-style.  Where I can easily spill my thoughts, as fragmented as they sometimes are, onto a page and then go back and make sense of them.  Group them, and fix any errors, and then come up with a title.  I’m sure I have quite a few drafts of posts that I never finished… untitled… just sitting there waiting to be completed – and yet – I never come back to them. Each blog post is fresh.  Why can I not just delete them?  I guess there are just some thoughts I don’t want to finish.

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I’m having a weird evening.  I finished tidying up the living room and locking up the house, was heading to take a shower.  Then I figured I’d do a little writing.  Went to grab my laptop, got distracted by a messy kitchen, tidied it a little bit and here I am… finally writing, with no shower.  Time has completely escaped me this evening because when I look at the clock – it’s getting late.  Can I just say – sometimes, as a single mom, it’s hard to keep up.  I don’t feel good – I think I’ve got a kidney stone.  I’ve had them before.  You range from uncomfortable to downright misery for a few days and then everything returns to normal.  Well – at least, in my case.  But because I’m uncomfortable, it’s making me a little slower, with a lot less energy.  I’m looking around my messy house – God, I need a maid. And a vacation.

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It’s R’s last week with us here, and we spent some time chatting this evening.  I will miss our chats.  We’ve learned how to communicate with each other – which means we can communicate about just about anything without upsetting or offending the other person.  We’ve had some very interesting conversations about things like racism, religion, the after life, as well as things like the perfect burger or what we’d do if a zombie walked randomly down the street.  She made me promise I’d call her.  DUH woman! 🙂  But I think we’re both kind of feeling a weird sadness over the incoming goodbye.

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Well – it’s now an hour later than when I started this… and I still need to shower and prep for my early morning.  But I couldn’t help myself… I just had to say that I’m so grateful for my life – my crazy world and everyone I surround myself with.  My village of friends and family.  The people I love.  It was thoughts, many inspired by them – that I write in this blog.  Much love to you neverland.  Goodnight.

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Just a little update on my lunch break

It’s my first day back at work after having a lovely holiday vacation.  It was challenging to get up early this morning – serves me right for not at least trying to stick to my normal schedule.  But ultimately, it feels good to be back to work, and so far, today I’ve been very productive.  It’s nice to know I only have a few more hours left of my day.

Did you all have a nice holiday?  Honestly – I think I can say that this has been the best holiday I’ve had in a long time.  It was spent relaxing and doing the things that I wanted to do.  I visited my grandparents and hung out with friends.  I stayed up late watching comedy and binge watched a few new shows.  Christmas morning, we had our annual nerf and silly string battle.  It was pretty epic this year, as I managed to secure an entire case of silly string.  What a giant mess THAT made – but was soo worth it! 🙂

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I’ve been dating someone.  I know – shock!! We’ve been seeing each other since October and over the holidays – we officially became a couple.  I’m so happy and content right now.  I’m not typically the type of girl to sit and gush about someone – especially in a public forum – but I honestly cannot help myself.  Meeting him, falling for him, loving him… it was all unexpected.  I was perfectly happy and content being single and staying that way.  Who knew?!

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This man makes me light up.  I’m confident and comfortable when I’m with him.  Yea – I’ve had a few moments of anxiety pop up – but what’s interesting to me is that even when they do – I can usually spot them for what they are.  Old habits that are hard to kill off.  Old insecurities that have no relevance with him.  So it’s been fairly easy to squash those icky worries when they pop up.  He’s met all my close friends.  And shockingly – even my brother likes him!! That has NEVER happened before, in ANY of my relationships.  So I’ll call that a huge win.  At some point, I’ll introduce him to the rest of my family – although I’m in no rush there.

It was my children who ended up showing me just how different this one is.  In the past – they were kind of indifferent to anyone I dated.  In some cases, that was simply because they didn’t get to know whomever I was seeing (hey – a mom has to protect her babies!).  With my ex… they got to know him.  And although they liked him well enough – they never built much of a relationship with him.  With this man… it’s been different.  They got to meet him fairly early on, and he’s done an amazing job of making them feel included and special.  My son bragged about how he had a youtube watching snuggle and napping buddy to my step dad over the holidays.  Melted my heart to hear how much of an impact was already being had on my son – and scared the crap out of me all at the same time.  It’s one thing to risk my own heart – it’s another ball of wax to watch my kids open their hearts to someone, knowing they could get hurt too.  But I have high hopes.  I’m fairly certain this man understands that they are my world and that I would do anything to keep them safe and happy.

I’m enjoying the happy coasting stage… where life is just simple bliss.  Where there is comfort in knowing that I’m in love with someone who’s perfectly happy falling in love with me right back.  And even if this is all I get… and things don’t turn into something more… I’m grateful for all these feelings and all this joy.  I needed it.  More than I knew.  It’s shown me what I was missing, it’s shown me how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve really changed from the girl I was before.  I’ve had opportunities in my life – a few times in fact – where love has stared me in the face.  In some cases, I embraced it head on – and in others, I ran with my tail between my legs.  I’ve been hurt, and I’ve (unintentionally) hurt others.  It is the nature of life in all it’s glory.  Right now – my only plan is to keep going.  To enjoy and embrace everything I can when it comes.

Love to you all!  Goodnight Neverland.

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When you’re given a rare and unusual gift…

I have what feels like a million thoughts flying through my head at the same time, so please forgive me if this post is a little scattered.  I’ll do my best to control myself, but the way I write is to literally let words fall out of my head.  I can type easily 150 words per minute, more when I’m angry or particularly passionate, so it’s easier to keep up with the thoughts that fly through.

I’ve been given a strange gift.  I’m choosing to look at it this way, at least for now.  🙂

About two weeks before xmas, I invited my children’s nanny to rent the spare room from my basement.  She was in an odd situation and the room was just empty and sitting there, so I offered it to her and her daughter.  It’s been fun to have a two year old in the house again, although holy cow did I forget how much child-proofing a place needs!!  We’ve loved having her here, although of course, moving someone into your home takes a bit of adjustment.  There are certainly things that I’m sure we drive each other nuts on, and that’s to be expected.  Thankfully, things seem to be fairly smooth.

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She’s an interesting girl.  Very different from myself, but not in a bad way or anything. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and her daughter more.  And being that we’re both single mom’s, we do share some things in common.  One of those, being an interest in men.  The topic comes up often.  Her approach is VERY different from my own.  Again – not bad… not wrong… just different.  It reminds me of how I acted in relationships when I was younger, before my own life experiences led me to become a different person with a completely different approach to people.  And here’s where we get to the gift…

I’m getting to witness (from an outside perspective) – ME… when I was younger.   The mistakes I would make, the insecurities I felt, the highs and lows of over-dramatic relationships.  HOLY CRAP!  Looking back now… hoo boy!  I’m suddenly very thankful that people mellow a bit with age.  At least I have.  I may have struggling levels of confidence in my physical appearance, but my confidence in who I am at my core is stronger than it’s ever been.

This girl has commented a few times that she’s looking at me as a mentor.  She thinks I’m strong and never get discouraged.  I laughed when she said that.  I get discouraged.  Hell – when I’m really let down, I’ll even hide under the covers and have a good cry when I need to.  But I don’t quit.  Not if something is really worth it.  But to me – what other choice do you have?

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So this past week, she started seeing someone new.  I won’t go into too much details, but let’s just say that there’s been some drama – and what surprises me, is that instead of having that drama be a red or yellow flag to caution her to move forward… she’s fangirling like a clingy, love-obsessed, crazy-ass, future-tripping girl.  It’s been quite shocking to see someone who is my age go through this.  Eye-opening really.  And I can’t quite pin-point if I’m happy to have my eyes opened or not.  At one point, in my life, I acted like that.  And now, even just thinking of acting like that would be … embarrassing.  I mean, I get it… new love is exciting!  It’s the clingy and the crazy that I don’t agree with, and future tripping, I try to avoid, as it usually leads to disappointment.

On the bright side, I can clearly see how far I’ve come.  I can also clearly see something I don’t and wouldn’t want.  I have this desire to build something healthy with someone.  Something real and long-lasting.  I know that the person for me is out there, and I oddly have this strange comfort in knowing that eventually – we’ll find each other.  I will just keep moving along!

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On a completely unrelated topic… my side business … hoo boy!  Things are moving along so quickly – it’s almost hard to keep up.  The retail space that was supposed to be a test store for only 2 weeks is still going – they asked us to just keep it up permanently.  We’ve got an offer to join amazon and sell there; and I’ve got an opportunity to take on a booth at an event that’s coming up.  Technically there are a few coming up – but I’m considering signing on for February 9th – see if I can’t get any valentine’s sales.  The trouble is… I can’t seem to keep the stock on-hand.  I know – it’s a good problem to have, but at the same time, it’s frustrating.  I don’t want to take too much on at once and then fail.  I wanted to build this business slowly, to ensure that it would do well, but it’s taken on a mind of it’s own in some cases and is just plowing ahead! 🙂 I have a feeling I’ll have to hire at some point in the coming year.  Oy!  🙂

Hope you’re doing well!! Much love to all of you in Neverland.