Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The concept of writing seven hundred and fifty words a day is intriguing, thrilling, and at the same time dreadful. Stick-to-it-ness as some may call it is hard for many, including myself. I have the same problem that many writers posted about in regards to this challenge. How do you become a better writer when you only write when you are driven to do so, when the muse strikes you where you sit. Sometimes I want to write, but I instead stare at the TV, look across the LONG living room and think, eh, that sounds like a lot of work. And that is just sad.

My blog, my wanna-be writer blog, is a sad little thing that no one, umm okay that I never blog on anymore and the world knows that I need to write. For me, writing is forced therapy, time to look internally at conflicts that are bubbling up, at the world around me that is causing me strife, and to find myself in that world.

I blame my previous city, and thank it all together. If I hadn't lived there, I wouldn't have worked for the people and with the people that I did, I wouldn't have been submitted to be a part of our cities chapter of the National Writing Project, and I would never have discovered a desire to write.

The desire to create had always existed, but the desire to create, that was new, an unknown feeling for me as a young adult. The National Writing Project and the Summer Institute I found and participated in could not have come at a better time in my life. Recently divorced I had many emotions still running through me. I had been separated for a year at this point, and was struggling with the transition from being someone's wife, to be single, and unknown to me, to being someone's girlfriend. The changes that had to occur before this change could happen was one that I could not have done if it had not been for the Summer Institute. Every day at the Institute, started with an hour of writing. The "Hour of Power" as it was kindly referred to, when we sat as a group and wrote, in silence. I had many day dreams of the group of us taking over the world as our fingers grazed over countless key boards as we poured out our souls and our hearts onto the page and onto the shinny screen in front of us. This act of "putting it out there" is what allowed me to get over my husband, to find forgiveness and love, and to find myself in this crazy thing called life. Every time I write I feel more connected with myself, and the world around me. And then, for a while, I refuse to write. I refuse to put my "pen to paper" to create and to allow that part of my grain to work.

Why do I do this? Why do I deny myself this act of self realization? Probably because then people ask you one question that I have yet to figure out... what do you do with it once you have written it? "Stare at it" is a common response, because my writing is for me and for the vague readers who meander through the pithy writing of an over worked school teacher. Its purpose is to allow me to vent, to be calm, and its not for publication. My historical novels are the only pieces I have written that are "publishable" and the fear of letting people see inside of me that fashion, see in side of my mind is nerve wracking and unsafe and therefore, I avoid it like the plague, or like small pox both of which sounds like terrible ways to die, but now I'm getting off track.

So now, on the brink of a new year, and finishing a year that has all in tense and purposes kind of sucked, I do the thing that I do not believe in, and make a New Year's Resolution. Not to lose weight that I will never lose, or to call my mom more often, but to do  my best to write these words and blog more often, seems good enough to me.

Cheers to a better 2012!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Poor Abandoned Blog

My dashboard has been taunting me for months; "Last post: July 13th"

I am unclear as to why I feel so disconnected with writing, but the time, the stress, and the new environment have not made me feel motivated to write since I moved in. I believe this calls for a rearrange, of the furniture and possibly in my mind. I miss the keys under my fingers ticking and tacking as my mind flows down on to the screen. NaNoWriMo starts in less than a month, and I feel so unmotivated now... I can only imagine what may happen to me then. Running out of steam half way through... I am leading a group of students through NaNoWriMo this year so this is not acceptable. Therefore, I declare today, rearrange the apartment day!!!   

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Writing Group

Oh my goodness.. what would I do without these girls. They keep me grounded more than they realize.

Each of them is a very different personality, and yet, they are strong and confident and wonderful people who don't realize just how wonderful they are. Am I tipsy when I write this? Of course I am, but me being tipsy is me being honest.

My situation has changed more than anyone realizes. I will be living on my own, and I couldn't be more excited. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe. But I love the freedom and the independence that comes from living on ones own. I find this comforting. I can take on this new place and this new experience in any way I see fit... and that makes it even more exciting. If I want to go, I go. If I want to be a hermit I am the essence of a hermit. Anyway its my decision. Living with someone has been hard for me. Perhaps I wasn't even ready so I'm glad to have this opportunity to regain my independence without someone squashing it for me.

My move is in 7 days and counting, 9 if you factor in when the moving truck comes. And then I'm off to new adventures, new sights not recently seen, and hopefully a monthly check in with these women who I have claimed as my friends and my mentors. I will miss you all SO much!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Writing With Roger - One Last Time

I'm not going to lie and say that things are good. Things are crap. But writing here at SAWP one final time, has given me time in my own head. Forced me to take the time to write about the turmoil, the hurt, the pain, the love, the pleasure, and the triumphs I have felt over the past year.

I hope that change bring new beginnings, renewed feelings, and most of all, happiness to us. I hope that change is not for change sake, not for an easy way out or an easy solution. I hope that change bring safety and security instead of the usual effect change has which is to be, scary.

Until time passes no one will know but for an hour I felt supported and loved and I'd never change this past year for anything.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sangria is infectious...

Hysterical laughter. Awww a sound to be with all of us always. Such a small group and yet such a powerful group of friends and colleagues. With space and time between us always we have found ourselves in this safe haven, where intellectual debate whit and good humor have found their ways into the norm of our society. Its funny to me that a society can be made up of five people, or five hundred people, or five billion people. Size it seems as men throughout the ages have claimed truly does not matter. Our society is one of mutual respect, growth, and above all support of each individual for every place and time in which we exist. Whether we are teachers embarking on new journeys, starting new lives personally, professionally, or both, we have found a way to co-exist from our many walks of life. We are not perfect, we do not claim to be, but in this place, we can be our own person, our own flawed person in every facet of our being.

This is what I will miss about Tucson. In 30 short days we will be moving into our own new universes and our own new existences. For some of us that means a new location of work, for some of us that means a change in what we do on a day to day basis. Change it seems is our general theme of life, as we are all constantly changing every day. But here in the summer of change for me, I feel kindred existences all around me. The love we feel will never fade and the respect we feel will never waver, our location is only a small fraction of who we are, and what we do in that space is everything else that makes us who we are. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer Vacation

What have you done with your summer vacation?

I've wrapped my head around my no longer living in a city I've called home for four years.

I've started a new class which I'm hoping will help me find clarity in my new job. A Western Humanities course taught by a no-nonsense old school professor who seems unfazed by behavior that makes my head scream "Who taught you that is appropriate behavior?!?"

I've planned a brand new curriculum for a brand new class in creative writing at my new school. Yea!!!! Still really really excited!

But that's not all... I've watched 118 episodes of a TV show I've always wanted to get into. Numbers. Am I proud that I've basically wasted that many hours doing basically nothing? No... but I've enjoyed the break from reality... and it ends with a beautiful wedding and a beautiful speech I want so share to you now.

"As you all know the four fundamental forces of physics; electromagnetism, strong nuclear interaction, weak nuclear interaction, and gravity. We've been talking here about the forces that bind the universe but what binds humans, love. Powerful in small spaces yet a profound effect on distance. Love defies time outliving both its source and its object. Love is faster than light for light requires time in order to travel through space but love reaches its object instantaneously. Love journeys forever, into infinity and its here binding together two lives."

In all its technicality it provides a poetic beauty.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Brain Dump State of Constant Revision Pt. 2

A time of change is upon me and I’m not sure where to go from here. I may talk as if I have everything together but, in essence, this chapter of my life is simply a continuation from another chapter, one in which I admit that my life, as many other people’s life, is in a state of constant revision. What I mean by that is that truly at the end of the day we have no idea where we are going or where we are coming from.

I find that this state can be both freeing and yet it can also feel like you are free falling without a net. I feel like I have no net. I am for all intense and purposes unemployed at the moment. My "current" district has no claim to me, and in truth neither does my next place of employment. I was verifying my employment information with my car loan company today and was shocked to hear myself say, as if an apparition of myself watching from above, say no I am not longer employed through my school district. It was shocking, and liberating. It makes me feel free to say all of the things that I have gone without saying all of these years because I was afraid of retribution. I can talk now openly about the problems that occur in here in my school distrcit and about how frustrating that is for a teacher who is idealistic like I was. I heard a new teacher say to me the other day, after her first year of teaching “listen to how jaded I am”. And in truth, I was jaded too. And how can we not be. We show up out of college ready with all the knowledge a university can teach us and what little we know from student teaching and we attempt to apply this all to a real world scenario. Its kind of like being a gladiator. If you come out on top you are a hero among many, you are revered amongst the peers you have, whom are slaves to the same enemy that you are a slave to. If you fail however, then the lions truly have eaten you up alive and left your carcass to be eaten away by the hot sun. I remember my first year being this way. Half of us survived, half of us left. My classroom in particular was a perfect peek into this formation; myself on one end of the port hole, and another teacher on the other.

She fled. I stayed and fought the lions. I am so glad that she did leave too, because that gave room for one of my most revered colleagues and someone whom I am considering a better and better friend. And now, I have to start all over. New friends. New colleagues. A completely new and not nonexistent political structure. It all sounds in a word exhausting. So much so that I have in the last four days taken three naps and loved every moment of them. One of the benefits of not having a child of my own and being on summer vacation is that I am truly off the hook and I can allow my body to do whatever it wants to do.

Tomorrow it will have to drag its lazy self to the gym because it has been far too long since I have gone, but even that being said I have enjoyed some true time off to really wrap my head around the sorrow that I feel for no longer being in a system with these find young educators, for losing the students whom although I have compared to lions starved for meat I adore, and for an administration who although I have not always agreed with at least I knew where I stood with each and every one of them. These are the things that I will miss. This is why I feel that this new chapter in my life is simply a continuation of my life being in constant revision and this is why I am scared and excited ll at the same time. 

State of Constant Revision Pt. 1 from 10/10/10

A state of constant revision. I’ve had this line on the board in my classroom for weeks now, and it has become a life motto. Everything in a state of constant revision. It seems like an apt piece for my life right now and I know that those closest to me know that more than anyone. My teacher life and my personal life are not that far removed from one another. Its par for the course when your time is spent at school, when everything seems to revolve around that campus, those kids, and that aspect of life. I’m constantly on the lookout for pitfalls, to the point of paranoia. I struggle to live in the moment as others seem to be able to do so so easily. Both my teacher self and my personal self have a hard time being happy, struggling not to fret and worry and stress about what comes next. I struggle to allow things to happen in their own time, to be ok with the here and now and to not work out problems that haven’t even happened. This summer I struggled to find peace with my life, to be less like that person who worries and plans, but that person has started to lose her way again. It takes centering, which there just doesn’t seem to be time enough in the day to do. I want to feel that feeling that everyone else seemingly has, being happy in the here and now. In reality, it should not be this hard, but you never see anyone else’s struggles. Whether you talk to them about themselves as a person, or in a relationship they have had for years, you never see the way things are as being difficult. You don’t see the compromise, the scheduling, the work and the arguments that exist in every place and with everyone. The biggest compromise I ask of myself and of those that love me is to be patient with my constant desire to want to revise, to change and to grow.   

Saturday, May 28, 2011

End of the year...

Well the year has finally come to an end, and I believe that my body is in recovery mode. All I have done is sleep and eat and relax and I'm, for now, ok with this plan. I know I am going to miss my students and my school and... everything that is familiar however I am very excited to begin a new journey. It has been suggested to me (by someone I truly adore, Mary Carmen Cruz) to start another blog that I blog to specifically about my new job and I'm for now trying to make a name for that blog. Suggestions?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Slice of Life Pt. 2

The next few hours were a blur. Sarah after a period of denial called her mother who lived half an hour away to come to pick up her small children. Leaving them alone for her morning run was one thing but leaving them for an unknown amount of time was too much to ask of anyone that wasn’t family. A reliance that only works with family is without a doubt one that can only be asked of her parents. Her mother arrived, helped the children and Sarah pack and then left without another word. Her mother was not a part of the military, and had always taken a stance of I support the soldiers, not the war. She wanted nothing to do with this man who had called up her only daughter and upset her entire life.

It helped that Sarah and her children spent entire weekends with her parents. Her old bedroom was now after all of these years set up as a guest room for her own children. The car showed up and the driver although was momentarily surprised by her punctuality prepared to leave. Sarah had always prided herself on being punctual in all aspects of her life, she was not the person who believed in fashionably late and in fact was so early to some of her social functions that she would wait in her car before going inside. She did not pretend to think that everyone else was ready a half an hour early for people to arrive and therefore did not want to intrude on someone who was in the throws of last minute details of their preparation.

The driver drove to an airport hanger where another man in another military uniform was waiting for her next to a small plane. She was given no details and at this point in her journey did not expect to get any. The man offered her a drink before they started their next stretch of the journey. She smiled politely took three shots of jack she was ready to fly. Sarah had never had an easy stomach when flying and so the assistance of jack and assorted other drugs her mother had handed her before she left suited her, for once in her life, as just fine.  She took the drink, took the drugs, and feel asleep.

When she woke it was by the kind nudging of a kind looking man, in a more functional military outfit. Sarah in her groggy state could feel the heat from the open cockpit door. She had no idea how long she had been asleep but by the pain in her eyes from sleeping in her contacts told her it had to have been longer than a quick nap.

“Mrs. Harris?”
“Hmmmm” Sarah grumbled stumbling out of her fuzzy headed state.
“Mrs. Harris here is some water” Sarah took the water from the man but did not speak again “Mrs. Harris, you’ve been asleep for quite sometime I was starting to get worried. Mrs. Harris I don’t mean to be rude but your eyes, they are red, are you alright?”

Sarah chuckled “that’s what I get for not taking out my contacts for a plane ride I planned to sleep through”.
The young man, with his sandy blonde hair and his calm blue eyes smiled. “How about I give you a few minutes to collect your things and maybe change into your glasses. Contacts get really dried out here anyway. I’ll meet you outside of the cockpit in fifteen minutes.”

Sarah thought to ask where she was but she didn’t need to ask. The flight had not taken them West from her home in Norfolk in the beginning so she did not think she had magically made her way to the safe Sonoran Desert. No, this heat was different. She looked painfully out the hole on her right and saw what she feared, desert landscape, and Arabic printed on the airport. What the hell am I doing in the middle east? She had studied history and had her Bachelors degree from Northwestern in History; she could identify Arabic when she saw it. She also knew how far away from home that she was. One thing at a time Sarah come on contacts, bathroom, brush hair, go. Small steps. The family therapist had suggested that when things got tough for the kids to take things one step at a time. How was this any different? After removing her contacts, freshening up with a new layer of deodorant and brushing out her hair she stared at herself in the mirror. The woman looking back at her was not a pleasant site. With a red dark line that matched that of the airline seat stitching imprinted on her skin, the bright red eyes, and her hair which looked oily and dirty she felt as though it was as good as it was going to get. She walked towards the open cockpit door, allowing the heat to blast her face with pain that surged over her whole body. Walking down the stairs of the plane made Sarah realize how groggy she was from the pills, the drinks, and the lack of water.

She entered a car where she was alone for what felt like the first time in days. Military life does not leave much for privacy Matt would always say. Thinking of him brought much needed moisture to Sarah’s eyes and she thought of him for more than a moment.

She was taken from the airport to another location where she was unloaded. The Arabic lettering had disappeared and was replaced by beige signs with brown letter reading US Army Base and other such nonsense. It did not surprise her and she for a moment allowed herself to think of what would surprise her at this point in her life. Hmm perhaps not much actually, at this moment everything is strange so that strange  is the norm. Sarah did not like being kept in the dark, a part of their marriage that had always been on edge from day one and had not changed for her or for him. He could not and would not tell her the happenings of his everyday life, and she would ask. They drove each other crazy in both good ways and bad.
This combination had been what had brought them together, and what kept them together after all of these years. They loved each other more than they could articulate, and because of this love had brought her two children into this world. She missed them but hoped that her mother and father were enjoying their time.

After many twists and turns down what seemed like one way roads Sarah found her and herself being unloaded into a housing barrack and left without a second look. Her irritation level, her anger from being picked up and dropped in the middle of this place, was finally at its tipping point. Dropping her bag, she marched herself out of the housing barrack determined to find someone that could point her to whomever was in charge of this whole situation and hopefully would be able to help her find her way to whatever was her reason for being. As she made her way towards a group of men standing around, one of them caught sight of her marching around the yard, they came at her, all at once to escort her back to her cot. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Everything right now seems like an adventure. Even looking into how to make a move from one city to another is an adventure all in its own right... its not the first time in any way shape or form, but it is the first move I've made between cities with furniture... ahh the benefits of dorm life!

These daunting boring tasks that usually make my hair fall out at an incredibly fast rate are even exciting in their own way. Planning a new curriculum? SURE! I'd love the challenge! Can I get this excited about life today? No, not really. I find the mundane life of day to day at this point to be daunting but the idea of what will come and what is next is exciting, thrilling, and refreshing all in the same time. Like jumping into a swimming pool for the first time during summer vacation, it reminds you of the wonder of the world and the power of diving in, getting wet, and finding your way back to the surface for some sunshine, rest, and relaxation.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Slice of Life

Sarah lay on her back, face up to the ceiling and took a deep breath. She had not felt this pain, this hurt in some time and had no coping mechanism for it. She was a problem solver, she knew it was her best and worst quality, because when presented with a problem she cannot fix, she cries. She had finally after all this time reached her wits end, and as the tears slowly trickled down her face she listened to the song lyrics meld to her soul, “just breathe”. She looked at the picture of her and Matt and felt her stomach muscles clench as a new bout of tears came over her. How long had it been since they had been together she thought? How long had it been since she had felt his hand in hers, or felt his lips against her head? She missed the little things, 
much more than anything else.

The song changed but no matter what it was, every song brought her mind back to him “I’ll never tell you that your voice is my favorite sound”. His voice she sighed internally, the way his eyes spoke volumes, she couldn’t help but wonder if she would ever see them again. To date she had kept the positive mind set. With her husband gone overseas at war, she was the envy of the other wives on base because she seemed to have it all together. Her morning runs gave her the energy to get through the day but what people did not realize is that she ran in the morning because she did not sleep at night. She would lay awake at night thinking of him, wanting to have his warm body lying next to hers, and as she thought more about him yet another wave of tears came over her small meek body. She thought of Matt, held on to his memory and let the sweet relief of sleep take her in its arms.
The night before seemed like a blur. The tissues wadded up and lost in her covers was evidence that it had been a long night, but that would not stop her run this morning. If she let this feeling consume her she would lose everything and it wasn’t just about her and her husband any more, it was about Molly and Ryan as well. Upon Matt’s last return they had conceived Molly and quickly upon having their beautiful baby girl, they decided she needed a brother. Sarah remembered when Matt left this time, kissing her pregnant belly, it had been two years and eight months since Molly had been born when he left she had been left to record all of their memories for him. She still remembered screaming for him when she had Ryan, and it ran like a cold wind down her spine. She sent pictures and he had seen his son, but his daughter was forgetting what daddy looked like and would point to him in pictures asking who the man was holding mommy.

She pulled herself out of bed, threw her legs over the side and eased her way up to make as little noise as possible. Her children took after their father in so many ways, including that they were incredibly light sleepers. She dressed for her run, pants, top, socks shoes, iPod band around her arm, and called next door. Jennifer her next door neighbor had no children and was willing to come over to Sarah’s place to help out. It was their system. Sarah watched Jennifer’s house when she was out of town for work, which was months at a time sometimes, and Jennifer would always watch Sarah’s kids while she went for her morning run. The system had worked for them for the past two years and was preferable to waking up sleeping children to load 
into a stroller to take on her run. On top of everything else Sarah had wanted to run this run on her own.

Ring Ring
Jennifer’s chipper voice met Sarah’s tired head “Morning Sarah!”
“Morning Jen, would you mind coming over this morning?”
“Not at all darlin’, I’ll be over in a minute my breakfast is finishing up.”
“Sounds great, I’ll see you soon.”

The informality of their relationship was comforting but Jennifer was always that happy, excited. For Jennifer  being a military wife was what was ideal considering she traveled so much herself. She loved being aunty Jen but never wanted children of her own, to the extent that she had had her tubes tied almost a decade ago. Sarah unlocked the front door and began stretching. Jennifer walked in quietly, smiling at Sarah whispered a quick good morning and then sat at the bar stool in their kitchen. Coffee, breakfast, and morning paper in hand she needed no further entertainment.

Sarah left without a word and began her run. Feeling her shoes on the road made her feel like she was twenty years old again when she was first learning how to be a runner. Pacing her start, monitoring her breathes and the way that her arms moved at her side. She was always intent on having perfect form for her warm up and wondered if she watched video of herself that she would be appalled at how quickly that good form disappeared. She blended in with the other morning runners, living on base had its advantages including that many people both men and women were runners in the morning as well intent on keeping their physical shape in tact.

She made her way onto the path that snaked its way through the park. As she began down her familiar path her mind wandered. She thought of the night before, of Matt, and tried to remind herself of what was important and how lucky she was to have two such gorgeous sweet children. They were healthy and what more could she ask for. She needed to remind herself that she had a good job, she had a great home, and she had a great man that would be coming home in just a few months time. Sarah felt the weight of the world life off of her shoulders and relaxed. She made her way around another turn and realized that there were not as many runners on this part of the path. Typically a realization like this would have put her at ease instead she felt in a sudden wave a cold chill rush down her back and she realized she was no longer running alone. Out of the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of a shadow running close behind her. She quickened her pace and made her way back to the population of runners.

Walking the last block home she took in her surroundings less casually than she normally would have on any given day. When everything felt more normal she made her way to the front door, pulled her key from the pocket inside of her shoe and unlocked her front door. Jennifer came out of the kitchen smiling holding Ryan and sighed. “Here you go mom, he woke up right after you left. Good run?”

“Of course it was” she replied taking her big blue eyed son from his ‘Aunt Jen’s’ arms, “thanks as always”.
“Anytime, it reminds me why I choose the life I did” winking Jen smiles, and is gone as quickly as she came. After that things went along as usual. Breakfast for everyone, clean clothes clean faces, then play time. Play time was followed by lunch then art time. With Matt leaving again, Sarah and Matt met with a family therapist to discuss how best to handle the transition to a one parent family. Their family therapist had felt that this structure would help them with the every day things. During art time while Sarah was changing Ryan’s diaper the phone began to ring.

Ring Ring
“Molly will you bring me the phone please?!”
Ring Ring
“Molly please I’m changing brother!”
The silence filled the room, Sarah slowed her motions until Molly appeared in the door way, “Mommy?” Molly was carrying the phone, “He wants to talk to you”. Sarah reached for a sani-wipe and took the phone “Hello?”.
“Mrs. Harris?” a male voice answered, with an air of stiffness indicating to her immediately this was a military phone call. Her head began to spin, as she became light headed and sank back into the rocking chair in her sons room, her mind raced to the worse case scenario, he’s dead. Oh my god what am I going to do, wait, calm thing , a phone call that’s better than a knock on the door, ok, breath, Sarah breath.
“Mrs. Harris this is Colonel Mayborne. A car is going to pick you up on one hour. You need to find some child care”
Sarah was stunned. She had never heard of a thing. Is this a joke? “I’m sorry, what?”
“Ma’am I’m sorry I know there isn’t much time. A car will arrive in one hours time. Thanks to you ma’am.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ducks in a row...

So I feel like the more ducks in a row that we get the more ducks there are that need to be gathered. I almost am starting to believe that trying to schedule two people's lives to coincide and changes to happen together is like herding cats in the house of a hoarder. The second you think you get all of the cats into a line, you open up another door and there are more cats. As more ducks come into a row the more I love this man... but goodness this is all a lot of work :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

This Week

I found out today that I passed the English AEPA. Its been the dirty little secret I have been carrying around with me, telling no one, sitting and waiting. Why might you ask? I have nothing against being an English teacher, and I like English teachers, most of my time is spent with them actually, but what I really need is a job.

We found out a few weeks ago that he has gotten a promotion, and now I am scrambling for a job. Can I teach English? With books and guidance, sure! But we'll see how this goes... and how my life will play out. The problem with teaching is they want you to make a decision on what you will be doing in an year from now, where did the spontaneousness go from the world? :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Day to Day

Tackling things one day at a time seems to be its own vice one day at a time. I woke this morning worried, almost paralyzed with fear, what if, what if, what if, what if? Its exhausting both emotionally and physically to be this worked up all the time. I can’t stand it. I can’t stand waiting, counting the hours the days the weeks and I feel like time has become a burden and not a pleasure. I used to enjoy my time, every moment of every day it was easy for me. I was happy; truly, blissfully, Hollywood style happy. So of course, as the fates would see it, I was due for a reality check, however, if anyone is truly listening I would take minor checkpoints versus complete stopped traffic. This sucks! I miss the truly blissful happiness that I felt, and the laundry list of things that needs to be accomplished is overwhelming.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

25 Things to do before You're 30

So I stole this from a blog I recently started reading, thanks to Tasha :) I turned 26 last month so I'm late to the game but I'm willing to change this list from "25 things to do before you're 25" to "25 things to do before you're 30". I have officially don't fifteen of this, meaning ten more to go in four years. 

1. Have a really good one night stand with a gorgeous guy. Forget about your personalities matching up and forget about Facebooking him the next day. Appreciate the smoking hot naked body…and take some Plan B in the morning just in case, because if you did it right, you have no way of ever contacting him.
2. Do an illegal drug. Otherwise your kids will think you’re totally lame 30 years down the road when they’re all like “Mom, I bet you were so wild and fun back in the ’10s” and you’ll have to respond “well, one time I drank beer before liquor.”
3. Live in another country (even if it’s just for a short period of time). You’ll get an entirely new perspective on our country, on the world, and on how far reaching American scandals go in other countries. Nothing like your Spanish host mom bringing up Monica Lewinsky years after the fact.
4. Travel on the cheap. Pick a destination and do it up, backpacking-style. Stay in hostels, eat unidentifiable food, and make sure to have anti-diarrhea medicine on hand. Once you’re over 25, your body will no longer be able to stomach staying in those places, eating that food, and experiencing food poisoning in front of a ton of foreign strangers.
5. Confront a fear. Doesn’t matter if it’s a fear of heights or a fear of spiders, figure out a way to face it head on just once.
6. Be brave and be bold and have sex with the lights on. He’ll find you even sexier, which will only boost your own self-confidence.
7. Splurge on an awesome pair of jeans that fit you really well. Bonus points if they also fit your completely different-sized best friends just as well and make magical things happen.
8. Apologize to someone you were mean to in middle school. Except for that one girl who didn’t need braces, everyone was feeling insecure and left out in those days. A quick Facebook message apology will brighten her day.
9. Make a real guy friend who is really just a friend. As in you don’t want to ever see him naked and he doesn’t ever want to see you naked. No points if you’re related.
10. Get a job working with food or working with clothes.You’ll never treat your waiters, your bartenders, your salespeople the same way ever again. You’ll suddenly understand why they ask you to get off the phone when you’re ordering and why they request that you take your clothes out of the dressing room.
11. Figure out what kind of wine you actually like. There is life beyond Franzia and you’ll feel so mature and adult when you can tell a date that you prefer a dry Chardonnay over a sweeter Pinot. The best way to figure this out on the cheap? Go on a wine tour. You’ll sort things out real quick. Oh, and learn how to work a corkscrew. No wine is enhanced by chunks of cork floating around.
12. Take a roadtrip with your friends. The destination doesn’t matter. As Miley Cyrus once “sang,” it’s all about the climb. Nothing brings friends closer than endless games of “Count the Cracker Barrels,” hours upon hours of deep conversations (out come the family secrets!), and Disney sing-a-longs.
13. Try an exotic food you can’t pronounce.
14. Go to a college football game and go all out. Paint your face, lose your voice from cheering, and tailgate like a rockstar.
15. See a Broadway show. Even the most cynical people leave a show happy.
16. Go 24 hours media-free. That means turn off your cell phone and shut down your computer. With the exception of getting tagged in heinous photos that you can’t de-tag right away, you won’t miss anything.
17. Skinny dip.
18. Give back to the community. Whether it’s building houses for Habitat for Humanity, participating in a campus Relay for Life, or standing for days on end for a Dance Marathon, you’ll have an awesome time and feel really, really good about yourself. After a 12 hour nap, of course.
19. Learn to do your own taxes and how to manage your own money. It will make that transition into real life so. much. easier.
20. Take your parents out to a nice dinner. Because they deserve it.
21. Start a blog about your life and update it regularly.Sure it seems self-centered now, but you’ll be grateful ten years from now when you can reflect on your life when you were really living it up.
22. Go to a Pride Parade. There is nothing on earth as fun, happy and memorable than a parade dedicated to gay pride.
23. Go to Vegas and let go. Party hard, then party harder. Then hit up an all-you-can-eat buffet to sober up…so you can party again.
24. Learn to drive a manual car. They’re cheaper and, really, it’s just a cool party trick. Plus, from what we hear, it’s a major turn-on for guys.
25. Donate blood. If you think donating is scary, imagine being the person who needs it during a blood shortage. And if that’s not enough, there are cookie

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Astarte - Ch. 1

Moon beams shown through the trees. The light created shadows unlike any man nor beasts nor mythical creatures Astarte had ever seen before. Standing and watching the dancing streams of light, the impendinding darkenss all around felt like the weight of ten hundred men. Astarte moved quickly to the familiar medow. As she broke into a fast pasted walk, she gathered her dress up in her hands, not forgetting in this momentary glimpse of freedom that if her escape became known, she would be punished. Moving through the trees, darkness began to subside to a peaceful white glow of the full moon that night. As she stepped from the trees into the openess, the moonlight met her with a familiar welcome. This place had been her own safe haven throughout the years of her life. Never had she met another soul in this place, and tonight of all nights she craved that solitary confinment it provided. Her heart pounded and her bodess felt tigheter now under her heavy breathing from running the last part of the way from her home to where she stood now. As she strgggled to lossen the ties on her boddess, trying to finally break free, her mind raced through the events proceeding up to her necessary escape this evening. Home, family, and reality seemed eons away and yet in this place, she could not help but feel that his eyes were still upon her.
She had thought that this night started like most other events she had attended in her life. Although Astarte was no princess she had been considered a birth of a privledged home, and had been raised to behave in a way that represented her parents and station in life. As much as her mother had tried in her younger years to rein in the energy and spirit, Astarte had always had a side that did not comform to the ways of the world. Dresses were too heavy, her hair took too much work to keep up, and it all seemed for not. As she finally loosened her boddess she felt an ease to her suffereing, finally being able to take a full breath of air for the first time in what felt like weeks, she removed the pins from her long dark hair and lay her self down becoming one with the earth and the grassy world. Laying back looking at the stars she was reminded, as always, of how small she was compared to what the sky above. Her father had always understood her better than anyone else and, although he should not have, he had secretly hired her tutors her whole life. She was far more eduated that her peers, and could both read and write, understood the stars, and even could discuss philosophy like the boys she met at events like the one tonight.
Tonight however had been differernt. She had gone to this event with her dearest friend Samantha to meet her bethrothed; however, Astarte had not expected to meet someone new. New people did not necessarily come to events with out some sort of warning before hand. This man had been different from all the rest. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw him watching her. Those blue eyes pierecing her outter deminer unnervered her. It was as if, his eyes could see through her rouse, and knew her one true dirty secret, her education, why she was always late to sewing with the other ladies her own age, and why she always seemed so bored with their conversations. Being educated amongst her peers had always caused problems, and she had always had a difficult time choosing friends. Astate did not fool herself into thinking that she was the only one who had secrets, she simply had herself convinced that hers were bigger and in essence posed a greater threat to everyone around her.
She forced herself to close her eyes, to face him in her thoughts. Why was it that he had bothered her so much? She looked at those eyes in her mind for what seemed like years, as the minutes passed she found  she was hooked. He acted like a lone wolf, with no need to comform to the social dignaties that she had become assustomed to all her life. He was not the man that her friends, if you want to call her peers that, would approve for her at all. His short stocky build made him more knightly and barbaic than the tall dark knights she had seen coming through the towns on their way to or from the Crusades. He made no mention of his time at war, but the scar on his face and his forearm were definitions of a war torn man. And yet, although some returned with the sickness, he seemed to be a whole and complete man despite what he must have seen in the war. He did not disucss his triumphs, he did not fawn over the women the way other men always did, he simply stood amongst them all and yet not attached to any.
She opened her eyes and stared at the stars. As she lay there, she evaluted where her family must think she ought to be in life, in comparison to where she actually was. It saddened her that she was unable to please them, though in her defense she had been bethrothed. She would have, if things had gone according to plan, been married by now and her parents and family would think better of her. However, her situation was what it was and that was that. Without much thought of if she rose, brushing herself off and began her journey back to her home again. With any luck like the many other times she had come to this place no one would be the wiser that she had gone, and instead of fretting about the possibility of being caught, she continued her thoughts about life and this new contemplation, a general curiosity about a man. She had not thought much of her first bethrothed, so her interest in her lone wolf was of unparralled interest to her. It entertained her that he would not be so easily allowed into her circle of peers but that in a way her parents would be thrilled. 
The man Astarte had been betrothed to had gone off to war to fight in the Crusades. Although they had known each other and had talked on occasion he did not consult with her before disappearing to the East. She realized in this that she was still mad at him. She had no use for the Crusades, but kept her mouth shut when people spoke of things they did not know. Taking peoples homes, she thought, had never been a good way to make friends, and the things that the men were bringing back, books and art and knoweldge and culture, had always seemed like something that would be worth being allies for.
After deciding to leave for the Crusades, without discussion Sir Keith announced his departure the day before he was to leave, at a dinner with her family and his. Shocked and appauled it was all Astarte could do was to sit, shaking and seathing with anger, letting none of it across her ruby red lips. The touge lashing he deserved she decided would have to wait until they were husband and wife assuming he ever returned. Her hatred had burned for months, and when news of his death came it only stregthened her anger towards him, and she had not cried one tear for him. They were to be married but they surly had not been in love. Love, Astarte had decided, was for girls to read about in their story books, to be talked to about as children at bed time stories, but it was not something that was actually achievable and it certainly did not exsist in her world. She knew her feelings for her wolf were the same, not love for him but for love of the unknown, the secreteaive and the new. This is the first time in a long time Astarte had considered the concept of marriage again.
As she approached the estate and the hill leading up to the back doors she knew that there would no answers to her questions and that she would have till tomorrow before she would even begin to dream of seeing him again. She climbed the stair case to her bedroom, removed the lock and slid silently into her room. After removing the rest of her clothing, the soft sheets felt cool against her skin, and sleep came more quickly to her than had in many months. 

Stress sucks..

I have too much stress. This is not a new revelation in my life, its something I have known for years… and years. In college after almost a week of no sleep and a semi psychotic break I found myself at Campus Health Services talking to a man about why I was losing sleep at night. I told him about who I was, what I did, and talked and talked and talked. He jotted notes nodded as I went and in the end told me two things; that I have abandonment issues and that I’m too stressed. As a college students both of these were moments were I wanted to just roll my eyes and tell him “well duh!” but, I kept my mouth shut, left his office, and never returned. The truth is I have always over stressed myself with tasks, responsibilities, work, family, life, and the like. I find that having things to do is what makes me happy. I have, over the years, tried to be aware of this stress and the toll it has on my life. Its why I left my ex-husband. Its why I try to keep my life managed as best as possible, doing a little of everything everyday so I don’t get overwhelmed. But now, it’s decision time. What do I cut to take out the stress? Do I find a new job? Do I find my job at a new location where for the first few years I won’t be so stressed? Do I hunker down dig deep and make  my current job less stressful and cut someplace else? It’s a balancing act. I was approached yesterday in the hall by I woman I both respect and admire who looked at me, smiles and said, I need a hug. After a long hug we discussed the proverbial balls that we keep in the air. As soon as one comes down, we toss it back up in the air and hopefully through the powers that be and the powers of the force we can balance them all up there. But over time, I feel my powers weakening and, in the end, I will need to remove some of these tasks, and focus on what truly makes me happy. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Learned Niceness

Upon my diagnosis of pneumonia I had been assigned a few days of bed rest. I'm not exactly sure what bed rest means but for me what it meant was watching bad TV, no not just bad TV but lots and lots and lots of bad TV. The TV watching has been a look into myself a decade ago and the kinds of shows I loved. Apparently in the middle of the day what plays is what played a decade ago when I myself was in high school, except when I watched it, this was prime time television, new episodes every week. I’m amazed to admit this much but my ex-husband, whom during my high school days was my boyfriend at the time, was right about one thing, these shows distorted my view of the world. I cannot believe not only that I worshiped these television shows, but I bought into the hype they were selling. Love, romance, relationships, the whole nine yards I had it figured out ten years ago, and if I could tell myself ten years ago what I know now, well, I would not have married my high school sweet heart, and I would have cared more about the present. Yes I know that I would have been someone different than I am today, I would have had less life experience perhaps, I would have been hurt fewer times and perhaps would not know what I know now but I think I would have been a nicer person and perhaps that would have been enough. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Being Sick

I've never been so sick of being sick in my entire life. I actually uttered the phrase FML this morning as I called into work, again with a 103 degree fever and thoughts of being a Navy Captain at my heart. I have no idea what will bring an end to my suffering but hopefully it will be quick.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Student Teacher Week One

I think this last week has been the longest week of my life. Having a student teacher is more exhausting than I thought, and come Monday he will be teaching his first class first period. I'm petrified that its going to go badly, and petrified that its going to be a horrible start to his teaching time. I'm like a mom worrying about her child on their first day of school. Any suggestions on how to give positive feed back and comments would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

She is...

She is the sort of person who… fights for what she believes in even if it means the end of something that she holds dear
She is the sort of person who… knows that the benefit for the greater good will in the end bring her joy and happiness and is willing to sacrifice what she knows for what can be.
She is the sort of person who… loves with her entire heart. It is her biggest strength and her biggest weakness, making her incapable of seeing the bad in people and incapable of loving them les than with the entirety of her being.
She is the sort of person who… hides pieces of who she really is.
She is the sort of person who… strives to be something she is not naturally.
She is the sort of person who… uses her words like swords to cut through the egos of others in order to make them more real. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Ocean

At last I could row no further. My hands were blistered, my back was burned, my body ached. With a sigh making barely a splash, I slipped overboard. With slow strokes my long hair floating about me like a jellyfish you see in the waters of Brazil, I swam towards the strange island, for a while swimming as I had rowed, against the current, then all at once free of its grip, carried by the waves into the bay and on to the beach.

I lay on that beach, allowing time to pass and allowing each wave that came in with the rising tide to carry me further and further up the beach. Sleep came all at once without invite, but when I woke, the sun was beginning to come up over the ocean. As I lay there on my back, I evaluated my body, my situation, and the ironic beauty I found myself in the presence of. The oranges reds and yellow blurred into the most miraculous sunrise I had seen in my relatively short life, and it reminded me of the sunrises and sunsets of the desert and my home. I wondered how far from home I was, and as I sat up I could feel the aches and pains for the day before, and knew that they would become worse as the hours passed this day. I heard no sound outside of the waves crashing quietly on the beach, and I focused solely on the peace this moment brought. But, as always, a nagging voice continuously reminded me that no sounds meant no people. I would need to find civilizations.

This was not a mysterious island in the middle of no where, I knew I was not all alone. Even as my hyper conscious mind was beginning to draw up gruesome notions of zombies and vampires and werewolves attacking all at once I carefully picked myself up and walked to the ocean to wash the sand from my body. As the dirt disappeared it became clear what about my body were bruises and what about my body was the dirt and grim.

I made my way across the shore line to where my boat had finally come to rest and pulled it further on to my new little island. I evaluated the contents of the boat, gathered the belongings I needed, and walked towards the forest. Using what little knowledge I had of geography I attempted to draw educated conclusions as to where I had crashed landed and what part of the world I might be in. I also wondered where the rest of my crew had gone, and how I had made it into the inflatable life boat. All the questions came to me at once and the only way I could put them to rest, was to focus on one idea at a time, where was I?

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Moving seems to be a constant frame of life, life is always moving and people are always changing. However, that doesn't mean that I have to do so willingly, nor without much hesitance. I know that it is good, and in the end I am happy for the change in my life, and the step in the right direction, but the constant packing and cleaning, packing and cleaning, packing and cleaning is becoming a routine I'm not really enjoying.

Every time I stretch the roll of tape across the top of a box sealing in my things and memories, I think, gee, I can't wait to have to do this all over again. In fact, I'm going to be doing it all over again in a little less than a week. I enjoy the clear out of old stuff, and I feel the cleansing that moving brings, but for now, I'm going to be bitter, grumpy, and live my life in chaos.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Sitting on the side of the tub I felt the whole world crashing down. Tears were streaming down my face, and no matter how hard I pushed the palms of my hands into my eyes, the tears came anyway. My nose ran as quickly as my tears as my face warmed from the release of emotion. I stood to grab toilet paper being careful not to make a sound, afraid if he heard me he might start the questions all over again. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. "Ughh" I sighed internally, taking full stock of what was looking back at me. My eyes and nose were a deep maroon, and my mouth and cheeks were contorted in a way that truly did not seem human. My hair was a mess and I can not remember the last shower I had taken, was it yesterday, the day before? I ran my fingers through my hair and reached for a scrap of toilet paper with the other. Whipping the tears and snot, smoothing my hair, made me at least like a resemblance of who I was or at least who I used to be. To tell the truth, I cry a lot these days. I sleep on the couch of my two bedroom apartment and cry. A week ago was our first anniversary, and like most marriages we were beginning to look like one of many statistics. When Steve and I had married, it had been ok, but my dirty little secret was that even as I said I do, I wasn't quite sure. I was in my gown, hair and makeup done watching my bridesmaid and my maid of honor walk out and right then, as I realized only my father and I were in the kitchen, time froze. My arms were tired of holding up my white dress in the dingy kitchen in the back of the venue we were to be married in. My feet felt tight and cramped in the white payless shoes I thought would work so well and the three inch heel I had bought only make up for some of the height difference between myself and my 6'3" tall husband to be. The metal pans hung from the walls and the ceilings alike, and for a moment the words came to me "I don't want to do this" followed quickly by an internal voice "Are you serious?!?". The monologue lasted for the briefest of seconds but there I was, discussing this with myself "Where were you months ago?"

"I don't know but I know that this is a bad plan!"

"How sure? Sure enough to tell dad, sure enough to turn tale and run? Sure enough to cause humiliation to yourself and him in front of everyone?"

After a long pause "Well no...."

"Then couldn't this just be cold feet? Couldn't this just be what everyone else goes through? Could this just be a panic attack? People are waiting chicka move your feet."

My father is a sweet man and if he noticed a pause he never gave a hint to it. We walked down the aisle, I listened to the man asked for our vows, and I behaved as I ought to behave. A philosophy of life that I had had ingrained in me, but as I said "I do" out loud, a voice in my head kept saying "Well don't worry darling marriage isn't permanent and maybe it will work out after all."

As I looked at that woman in the mirror, I was unsure of what to do next. In a few weeks we would be on a plane to Christmas in Montana with my family, and I, at least was currently miserable in my current state. Work was thus far providing relief and structure I was not aware that I needed but winter break for a high school teacher provided none of what I needed. The girl staring back looked like her whole world was ending and in a way it was. We had just had another fight about my work. I had taken to volunteering at the high school I worked at; staying later; making phone calls home and he hated me, or it, for it. I'm not sure if my marriage to my work flourished SI my marriage to Steven failed, or if my failed marriage was becoming worse and worse that I began to create a love affair with my job. Either way you look at it, it wasn't fair to either of us. I waiting for the lightings in the apartment to be turned off, I crept out of my bathroom safety and onto the couch for yet another sleepless night. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Start

In order to explain why I am doing this, I must first explain how I got here. During my last summer I was desperate to have something to do to occupy my time, being a teacher you get used to things being hectic, and out of control busy all time. In order to do that, I applied, interviewed, and attended a month long writing seminar for teachers known as the Southern Arizona Writing Project, a chapter of the National Writing Project, and spent the whole month living breathing and working on writing. At the end of SAWP, during the emotion and depression of being unsure I would see any of these people again, I jumped at the opportunity to join a writing group and have continued to work on my writing, participating in National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short, and have done a mired of other things. However, having all this writing and no where to put it, a blog in fact seemed like the best idea. I am this spring going to take a writing class at the local community college, but to have somewhere to share this, I needed a venue. Here it is, my writing, for the best of the worst, I hope anyone and everyone can enjoy.