Because I’m here… and you’re there.

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I admire many people.  I look up to them.  I look up to some very wonderful people, some that fit into today’s standards of “normal” some who dwell outside of it.  I admire these people for the effect they’ve had on my life and for a connection we made either repeatedly or years and years ago.  I admire these people because they exist, because I can relate, they can relate or because they are there.  I look up to people I haven’t seen since a cold night a decade ago, or the other night sharing a thought just because.  I admire people for what they are, what they’re living through, and what they can share, and what I can share.  I admire and look up to you.

Maybe I admire you because of a song.  Listening to an old song, in a cold garage together taught me that I can get through it.  It taught me about shared pain derived from very different circumstances that weren’t very different after all.  It taught me that I can fight through anything, that a song can save me.  You taught me that I am alive, and that I have to fight to stay that way, and sometimes it’s a simple as a song.  I learned that music can save my life, even if I can’t save yours.  I look up to you even now, because I understand what happened, and you understood me.  Things that we didn’t share personally, things that were not the same, often could be linked between us with music.  It’s a simple connection that can save a life, and as you learned, could destroy it.  I admire you despite the noose in the garage, and I admire you because of what you taught me.

Maybe I admire you, maybe I look up to you, because you fight.  Because you defy what your own body has limited you to.  I admire you for doing what you want to do, what you set out to do, purely because life has told you “no”.  You do it anyways, I can understand that limitation, I know what life has limited me to, or rather tried to limit me to.  I admire you because you fight it anyway, and even though the world says “it’s impossible”, you refuse to embrace it, and do what you want anyway.  I look up to that, because the fact that you fight your own body every day means that I can too.  It means that I don’t have to give in, and stop trying.  That I can accomplish things despite it.  That I can go ahead and move on, even if I’m scared to.

Could it be that I look up to you because I know the very feeling that I can see in your eyes?  Could it be that remember that feeling, that dive straight to the bottom, and I remember the fight to STAY at the bottom because self destruction is ever so fun.  I remember that fight.  I look up to you because you thrive, even though you shouldn’t.  I look up to you because I’m different, and you’re different, and yet we’re still here.  I look up to you because I remember, and I have my own pain.  That feeling I can see, that emotion, that haunts your eyes, I’ve had it too.  I’ll have it again. The reason may be different, or maybe in reality it’s the same.  I can relate.  Maybe I can relate to the ENTIRE THING, or maybe it’s a small thread of what had been, would could’ve been, what will happen.  I look up to you because you exist, and you’re still here.

I admire you because of a flower.  A simple wildflower.  I admire you because you taught me that something simple can change a life, can move you forward even as your clinging to your past.  I admire you because that simple goddamned flower made me realize that life is still there, even as I was fighting against it.  That stupid flower died, and I kept living, long past the smile it brought me.  I admire you because you live for the simple moments, the smiles, the simple connection that everyone else deems insignificant.

I admire you because you can express yourself in ways I cannot.  You have paint and canvas, you have pencils and napkins, you have screams and songs.  You have things I do not.  I am limited to words, and sometimes the words refuse to come even thought my fingers ache to create them.  I can look at the mess you’ve made with paint, glue, and graphite.  I can look at things, I can hear things I relate to even when I can’t create myself.  Everyone gets blocked, but I look up to you because you create differently than I do.  Perhaps it’s envy, but maybe it’s also needing to know that other people are still creating.  I look up to you because I can write, but you can create in color and depth.  I can create words that stir my soul (maybe others?) but my words are limited to what I want to share.  You share them with the world, while I hide mine.  I admire you because you’re not me, and I can still find myself in something you’ve created.

Maybe I admire you because you have the balls to leave it all behind and start fresh.  I could do that once, and I did, but now I have roots and cannot.  Maybe it’s because I don’t want to, but I do enjoy watching others restart what they’ve made.  Maybe it’s because you’re not afraid of change, because I’m not either, because we embrace it.  Maybe I look to you because I no longer desire immediate change, but can appreciate the need for it.  Living vicariously?  Not quite.  More like remembering the feeling.  Remembering the past, and watching it replay through someone else.

I admire you because of our past.  Because of your past.  Because of my future.  I admire many of you for reasons you’ll never understand, and while you may not want someone looking up to you, you don’t have the choice.  It’s my choice to make, and even though it may rock you to your core, you don’t have to let it.  Or maybe you should.  You should let that realization that the choices you make, the way you think, or maybe what you did a decade ago has indeed impacted someone else.  Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s someone you’d never suspect.  But regardless, I admire you.  For reasons I understand, and reasons I do not.  For reasons that maybe I’ll never know.

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Frustration and Cold Coffee

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Something has been itching in my brain these past few weeks.  It’s been making me feel restless and frustrated, and while having a brain-eating-worm might not be so much fun, at least there’d be a direct reason.  It’s most likely just the changing seasons.  You know, the warm days and chilly nights?  The beginning of fall/end of summer always seem to make me feel… like I said, itchy.  Twitchy.  Something.

 

Little Noodle is now officially a 1st grader.  My little girl rides the school bus, has recess and brings homework back in her new little backpack.  She seems to be having a lot of fun, and according to the email I received from her teach today, she’s doing great.  I’m definitely proud of her, and happy for her as well as a bit in shock.  When the hell did she turn 6?  When the hell did she become old enough for school (she was in private Kinder, it just didn’t hit home as much as now)?  Ahhh, the years of diaper changing and bottle washing are behind me… just like potty training.  There are many more years to enjoy, but I have a strong feeling that the other parents are right.  These years are just going to fly by.

 

So maybe that’s it.  Maybe it’s that I’m coming to the realization that my kid is not only growing up, but growing up quickly.

 

Work has been frustrating me, which is nothing entirely new.  The last couple months have had me wanting to tear my own hair out… or quit.  I still love my job, quite a bit actually.  I enjoy doing what I’m actually supposed to be doing, but lately it’s just been irritating to no end.  It seems like I end up picking up a lot of the slack, and while I admit I’m good at it, that doesn’t mean I want to do it.  It’s been hard lately, we have such a good team, but it still gets mucked up.  Just like I predicted, the office/shop seem to be spontaneously combusting.  I called it, I called it 8 weeks ago.  Hell, I even raised the warning flags to both my higher ups, but it’s still combusting at will.  The sad part is, is that I’m actually getting worn down.  It’s not that I can’t handle my job, because I most definitely can, but that combined with cleaning up after someone else’s mistakes, I’m making mistakes.  To know that someone else makes a good salary and bonuses, doing the literal job I wanted (since management removed the *one* thing I didn’t want to do) and manages to mess up enough to create twice the work for me pisses me off.

I guess the what *really* frustrates me about work, isn’t really all I just puked out above.  It’s that I’ve gone to management twice each now and nothing has changed.  It’s that I *know* other people have brought up problems, and no resolution has come about.  More importantly?  It’s that I swallowed all of my smart retorts, I did all the extra work, I smiled and taught/re-taught/re-re-taught when needed.  It’s that I did *MY* job for a whole two weeks and trusted someone else to take care of things and all I got out of it where a shit-ton of mistakes, pissed off stores and customers.  I had 2 weeks of glory, of only doing what I was supposed to be doing instead of fixing shiznit and double checking.  I figured sink or swim.  Well, that someone else sank but didn’t drown and now I’m stressed again.

I talked to my parents about this, and while my lovely step-ma agreed with me and came up with some wonderful ideas… I think my pops may have it more right.  “You can love a job, but it doesn’t matter, eventually you get a boss who is a moron screws up everything…and no one will listen.”  So while I’m valuing my step-ma’s advice (and actually putting some of it in motion), I’m heeding what my Dad had to say and keeping my options open. I’m glad I have a job, a job that deep down I love, but that doesn’t mean I am going to sit back and enjoy someone else running each day into the ground.

 

So that might be it too.  I get a headache just thinking about it.

 

Life at home is good though, thankfully.  I think I’d lose my mind otherwise.  Ryan and I hit our 2 year mark sometime last month (no, neither of us remember the date) and… well.. life is happy.  The house is shaping up and so is the yard, and my house is most definitely feeling like a home… like my sanctuary.  It’s amazing the difference in just living somewhere and living somewhere you have made into a home.  It’s one of the best feelings there is.  I’m very grateful that if I have a crappy day at work or anything negative for that matter, that I can come home and feel relieved.  I can kiss the boyfriend, pet the cat and dogs and snuggle my kid.  The kiddo is finally happy too, especially now that her bio-dad stopped popping in with random phone calls.   It sounds cold, but after another 5 months of not hearing from him, not a single peep about him from my kid, and seeing her smile and laugh, I am thrilled.  When he was calling before, her behaviour was rough and emotions crazy.  Now that it’s back to normal, she’s her happy self again!  I’m really hoping he realized how much he was hurting her before, because it was intense.  I was miffed when I found out this whole time he’s been out in CO, he’s actually been running around getting married and having another kid ( I mean, christ, he doesn’t pay for his other 2! ), but you know what?  Maybe he’s happy now and can finally let us be happy.  I hope so.

 

So, things are far from bad.  Just some stupid-shit at work mostly… but I don’t think that’s it.  I just feel antsy and almost stagnant.  I just have to find something else I want to tackle.  Improving my credit (and saving money) isn’t enough of an obstacle.  I think I just need to set some new goals to work towards, and find another way to deal with the stress from work so it continues to stay out of my home life.  Eh, I’ll come up with something.  Winter’s coming… that leaves a lot of time indoors to putter around and work towards goals.

 

The END of a Sentence

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So as most of you know, last year I had gotten myself a DUI.  45 days later, August 25th, my license was suspended.  Since then I’ve been driving with a Baiid Device in my car.  It was originally for 6 months, but I violated it and it was extended to 9 months.  Lesson learned… the next morning you are still drunk.  Anyway, so the time is about to come to an end.  This Friday I get my license back, and shortly after I get the Baiid Device removed from my car.

When I first had the device put in my car I was honestly really annoyed.  The problem I saw with it is not only can you not drive drunk (obviously), but you can’t drink at all… and if you do, you have to be very careful that your BAC is under .005 before you try to drive.  Now those of you who know my family, we’re a wine at dinner kind of people.  Or a beer at the lake.  All of those were off limits to me.  I was annoyed, but grateful to have my driving privileges back.  I thought I’d just count down the days, hate every day of it, and then be done.

You know what?  It wasn’t that bad, and all in all I have to give the device a good review.  I learned a lot from it, a lot more than I thought I would anyway.  For instance, you are still not okay to drive the morning after drinking (and subsequently I found out if a girl gets hammered at night, she usually has alcohol in her system until around 5pm the next day).  I learned that 1 beer and 1 hour is pretty much right, and more than that and you are not legally not safe.  I realized how many times I had put myself (and others at risk) not only of bodily harm but of getting a DUI.  There were many a nights where if I was too shitfaced to drive, I hopped in the car with someone who was driving… and thinking back on it… had a few drinks before hand.  I learned it was actually easier to take a cab to and from a night out, instead of dealing with the hoopla of “Are you SURE you’re sober?”.  I learned that a lot more people drive drunk than I even realized.

The two most important things I learned?  Oh yeah, epiphany coming here.  I learned I drank too much, too frequently and it changed my behavior to something I didn’t like.  That first month I wasn’t allowed to drive I really wanted to go out… as the month passed I realized that (while okay for others) my want to go out once a week was too much for me.  I started to think about why I wanted to go out, what good I would get out of it and why I wanted to drink.   What it came down to was I wanted to go out because I saw it as a break from my daughter, since my divorce I had been a single parent and the world rested on my shoulders.  Going out with my friends and having a few drinks was how I was coping with the stress of all of that, not to mention being sick.  I had a lot of fun, I did, but what I had to figure out was why I didn’t want to be at home.

This whole time Ryan and I haven’t gone out much, just a few times here and there.  Mostly because it became a hassle and we didn’t feel like dealing with it.  So we spent a lot of weekends at home this past weekend and I learned something doing so.  As the time progressed, we spent more and more time at home, we watched movies, had friends over, did special things things for our kids and had dinners to ourselves.  We worked on my house and made quite a few memories doing it.  As the time passed I learned why I didn’t want to spend time at home.  My home didn’t feel like a home.  Up until last summer, things were always dramatic at my house.  Of course the divorce and following restraining order, but also a traumatic relationship and my Crohns flaring not once but three times.  Home was where I was alone to think, and home was where I had to face my demons.  I was too busy facing said demons and trying to escape them to even consider my house a home. Once Ryan and I started dating I wasn’t alone with my thoughts anymore, I didn’t spend what time I had at home over-thinking things as well as the future, I had someone to talk about everything with.  I had someone to share my thoughts with, and I had someone who had similar thoughts.  So as time passed, things came out in the open, and I was able to lighten up a bit.  I didn’t need to go out and get loaded to feel carefree, all I needed was someone to talk to and a cup of coffee.  Once things came out it was easier to relax, it was easier to enjoy my house and my life and make those memories.  With all of that time, all of those memories, I made my house a home.

Things have progressed quite well these past handful of months, and now this suspension is coming to an end.  I’ve learned a lot and I’m sure I have a lot more to learn.  Am I done drinking?  No.  I’m sure we’ll still out once in a while and get drunk and dance like monkeys.  I’m sure I’ll have that glass of wine with dinner at my Dad’s house.  Now though?  Now I don’t NEED to get loaded to have fun.  I don’t WANT to go out constantly (ha, if at all, Sarah finally turned into a homebody).  I learned what a risk it is, not only to myself, but to my friends, family and relationships.

Sure, I wish I never got that damned DUI, but honestly, if I didn’t, things would be much different now.  I’m not quite sure I ever want to know how that would turn out.  So in a way, I’m glad it happened.  That stupid DUI changed my life, and it changed my life for the better.  I can only hope life continues to be great, that I continue to be happy, and that things keep working out.  I’m happy, and it’s almost painful to admit, but the DUI and facing the resulting (or always there but hidden) demons gave me this chance to turn things around and be happy with my life.  Everyone needs a second chance, and I’m glad I got mine.

 

 

Not only that, but I might miss that device a little bit.  I named him Sammy… and what will I ever do with out that thing beeping for attention and distracting me from my music.  :)

Back in the game.

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I had coffee with one of my good friends last night.  Her and I have been friends for years, we’ve known each other since we were kids back in the old neighborhood.  After I moved out we lost contact for a few years until I moved into an apartment with my ex-husband in Lindenhurst.  One day when I was doing laundry, I bumped into her on the stairs.  The girl I had known from the neighborhood lived in the same building with me.  I was shocked, mostly because it wasn’t a huge building, it only had 12 units in it…. and was one of many buildings.  What were the chances that we ended up in the same place?

She was there for it all.  She was there when I was pregnant with my daughter, her family brought me a gift after we came home from the hospital.  She was there when I was sick that year with undiagnosed Crohns.  She was there to see the fights with my ex-husband, her family was there to call the police for me when he beat me up.  She was there to face him when he blew up.  She was there when I put him in jail for domestic abuse.  She was there when I had to get my bruises photographed while my husband was in a cop car.  And she was there when he was arraigned the next morning.

She was there when I started a new life, when I bought my house, divorced my husband, worked through becoming a single mom.  She played a big part in my life.

Then life got busy.  She moved, I started two jobs, and life went on and we lost touch for a little while.

Then her ass finally joined facebook and we started talking again.  She came over for coffee (like old times) last night, hung out with me, my daughter, and it was like we never missed any time at all.  It was nice talking to someone who knows my past, who is completely on my side, and isn’t only friends with me when it benefits her.  It was nice hearing her family wanted to say hi, and hearing the stories about them and her boyfriend.  It was nice telling her all the stuff Noodle has been doing, and about Ryan.  It was hilarious getting riled up about the same shit we used to.  Before I knew it, 4 hours had passed.

There are plans to continue hanging out.  Continue.

I am happy.

Good friends are hard to come by, and the ones that are there can pick up where we left off with out a blink.  I’m lucky to have her and my other friends in my life, everyone has had such a positive impact on me and my daughter, and I’m grateful for every last one of them.  :)

The Here and Now.

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We all have a past, some of us have a past we are not proud of, sometimes we even hide it.  I know my past is pretty bad, I wasn’t the best of people for a good 5 or so years, and then again for another year or so more recently.  I did some pretty horrible things growing up, I made some really horrible choices and hurt some very wonderful people.  I screwed up a lot and was on a pretty decent downward spiral.  The majority of people I know don’t know the details, if they know any of it.  I’m cool with that.  My past is in the past.  My past helped me learn and develop into the woman I am today.  I am who I am in the here and now, not who I was 10 years ago.  The people that do know the down and dirty?  I hope that they see me for who I am, not who I was… because God knows it’s hard to not pass judgement.

When I look at someone I try to see the real person in front of me.  I try and gauge them by current choices and by actions in the present.  I take them as they are and learn to love them for who they are and who they are becoming.  A lot of people I know have very checkered pasts.  Some of them did too many drugs, some of them made poor decisions that ended them in trouble with the police, some of them were thrown into some pretty unpredictable circumstances that they couldn’t control… all of which still haunt them.  You know what I see though?  I don’t see the ex-drug addict, I don’t see the felon, I don’t see abused/beaten down/broken people.  I see a good wife, I see a wonderful riding partner, I see a great father.  I see someone who spends their time now digging gardens instead of doing drugs.  I see someone who spends time with their children instead of breaking laws.  I see someone who professionally rides street bikes instead of hopping from couch to couch.  I see a successful employee, a family man, a husband, a wife.  I see laughs, happiness, love, children, homes, careers and life.

Everyone you know makes mistakes, some of us just make some more severe ones.  Everyone you know has a past and whether or not they like it a future.  Don’t look at who a person was, just who they are, who they have the potential to be.  It’s called being open.  It’s called being loving.  It’s called being accepting and in some cases it’s called giving someone a chance even when others say they don’t deserve one.  Everyone is something to someone.  Not just what they did before, but what they do now.