Saturday, December 29, 2012

Put on a Happy Face

Yesterday I got a real blow to my ego, which threw me into a funk.

Surprisingly, an innocuous conversation about Lowe's got me out of it. Just putting my mind on other things helped.

Nothing will help the situation that I'm in right now except for time. So, my lesson for the day is "never underestimate the power of distraction."

Today I'm grateful for the friends who helped me get my mind out of an unproductive situation and onto more productive topics.

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year Resolutions

I'll be taking my Christmas tree down this weekend, and I would like to put a new intention in the New Year's ornament for 2013.

I'm a big fan of measurable goals; I find that they're the easiest to work toward, since you can actually construct a plan of attack.

Of course, they also mean acknowledgement of a weakness, which is something that I'm not that great at. I can acknowledge weaknesses; I just prefer not to do it on paper.

However, I have to admit that my life has not gone in a good direction over the last five years. There are positives, but there are also plenty of areas for improvement.

I think getting a new job will be the first boost to my self esteem, but I can't count on that in the new year (at least, not immediately).

What I can count on, and what I'll be tucking away to see how I do with next year is:

1) Putting up at least 3 positive blog entries a week. I really want to be more mindful of the things that I have that are positive in my life. And I'd like to be less work-focused, so not having a job is actually a positive in this regard.

2) Saying "yes" to opportunity. I am very inclined to stay in my shell. Things aren't going to change for me for the better until I get out of it. So, unless there's a real reason to say "no" to something, I want to say "yes" and see what happens. At the least, it will be in an interesting adventure.

Today I'm grateful for all of the positive people who I have met over the last year. They're the people I hope to be more like in the coming year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's not the end of the world

I didn't plan on taking almost a week off of my blog. I was waylaid with some sickness that has been going around. It's amazing how much energy your body uses to produce mucus.

I want to do a quick entry on one of the things that I've been most thankful for over the past six months.

It seems that whenever I hit a very dark point over these last six months, I would end up babysitting my niece and she would read me Corduroy, the story of a bear who is loved by a little girl and, even though he's not perfect, is brought home from the department store because she loves him. Something about the combination of the earnestness with which my niece would "read" the book (she's too young to actually read, but has the whole story memorized) and the story itself always made me feel better about whatever emotional place I was at when she decided to read to me.

Corduroy time is going to be one of my enduring memories.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lessons from Investing

The reason I started investing was to help me learn to read balance sheets. I figured that if I had some skin in the game, I would be more vested in following the assets and liabilities of a company.

While I never did learn to be interested in balance sheets (I can follow them well enough; I apparently confused "understanding" and "find interesting" when I decided I needed to be more vested in them), I have learned something from the required disclosure that accompanies every investment document I've ever received, usually worded one of two ways: Past performance is not a guarantee of future return or Historical performance does not predict future returns.

The past doesn't define the future. As with investing, in life, there's a fundamental groundwork that can help define future possibilities, but there's no set path.

As companies are required to state it:

A variety of factors, many of which are beyond direct control, affect operations, performance, business strategy and results and could cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements.

In short, the best laid plans can be undermined by a random factor. The important things in life are: 1) to have your fundamentals straight so you can figure out how to get back on course if you are derailed; and 2) to remember that your past doesn't fully define your future.

I had a wonderful heart-to-heart with a friend who had gone through similar professional experiences as me. Both of us acknowledged that our resumes probably shouldn't exist according to conventional wisdom. Both of us have had the misfortune of being laid off during tough economic times, and have successfully navigated the job market to find new opportunities.

We did not let our past determine our future. Instead, we looked at our fundamental beliefs about ourselves and where we wanted to be professionally and leveraged our experience and opportunity to get to those places.

One of the biggest tricks that I've used to keep in mind that past performance doesn't indicate future returns is to stop reading job market/unemployment "news" coverage. It's easy to get discouraged about my past based on the biased human interest stories about John or Jane Doe, who haven't been able to find a job for years or who have experienced discrimination for being "long-term unemployed." But, that takes my focus off of my fundamentals.

Instead, I look at the performance of people with similar fundamentals as me -- people who I know, who I can ask for advice. They are the people who, if the "news" is to be believed, are beating the odds. They keep me apprised of actual challenges, either in the area or the industry, so I can adjust my plans to accommodate those factors and achieve my future success.

Ah, perspective, the recurring theme of this blog!

Today, I'm grateful for clip-in hair extensions. After I lost my job, I spent $20 on clip-in hair of unnatural colors, which I consider one of the best purchases of my life. Even though, logically, I could have clipped in weird hair colors in my off-hours at any point during my career, it was a nice little bit of rebellion for me, about twenty years in the making. (I have always wanted to shave my head, but that has always conflicted with my desire to have mainstream employment. And, in spite of wanting to SHAVE my head, I never wanted to go patchy bald trying to bleach and dye my dark hair a cool unnatural color. Enter clip-ins -- all of the color, none of the conundrum!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dancing Around This Topic

One of the questions that I've had to ask myself lately is whether I would be willing to take a step back, professionally, in order to go forward.

When I try to think of this outside of a "failure" mindset, I immediately think of doing the Bunny Hop, which, of course, provides some interesting perspective...and definitions are all about perspective.

Life, like dance, is a progression, rather than a straight line. (Heck, even most line dances have you moving around in a square!) Going backward in a dance isn't bad; it gets you to where you need to be.

To change my thinking, I had to remember the other key aspect of dance: choreography. Everything is planned. You don't go backward just to go backward. Every move either coordinates with another person or moves you toward your end goal. Sometimes both.

The piece in my life that was missing to give me perspective on whether or not I would be willing to take a step back is my choreography. Where do I want to end up? Was I heading in the right direction initially? Should I include more jazz hands?

My answers were: I don't know, I don't know, and Of course!

So, I gave life evaluation the old college try; I approached my professional appraisal in a similar way to my college selection process. When I was in high school, I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to do. I knew what my interests were and I knew what I could afford for tuition. I looked at schools that offered the majors that I thought I might want to pursue in the price range that I could afford to give me flexibility.

My professional equivalent was to look at:
  1. What I like to do (both as a broad professional field and the specific aspects of my various jobs that I enjoyed);
  2. What positions were being advertised by companies and if those positions sounded interesting (is my skill set still relevant? is there education/training I should pursue, or should I "step back" to get skills in a new area of my field? Do I need to re-evaluate my professional field because it's changing?);
  3. What my minimum standard of living is (this would truly define how much I could step back. Financially, I can't go completely to the mail room and work my way up to the corner office)

    and, last (because I didn't really consider it until after a discussion with a colleague)
  4. What am I good at (which could be different from what I like to do)

As it turned out, my professional field is changing in a way that suits my interests and my strengths, but not necessarily my current professional skill set. So, there was opportunity to be professionally challenged in a lower level position and become a stronger overall professional asset to an organization. Now with more jazz hands!

Phase 2 of my review was to target larger companies with openings in my field. These companies (assuming they were a cultural match with me) would give me flexibility to move around based on my interests and strengths as positions came up.

Interestingly, Phase 2 has been a bit more challenging than Phase 1. Knowing my choreography was important because I have answered almost unfailingly been asked by HR representatives why I want to take a step back. Interestingly, during one interview with a national company, I explained that I was looking for the right corporate fit and the opportunity for growth. The HR representative told me flatly, "There is no upward movement in this company."

Alrighty, then!

Admittedly, it has taken a while for me to be able to look at "a step back" in a way that doesn't connote failure. But, at the end of the day, I am not tied to a specific title or a specific office (both can be taken away -- I've had it happen to me!). I am fully vested in being a sought-after industry professional. So, a calculated "step back" isn't a demotion or a failure; it's education paid for by a corporation; it's placing myself in Opportunity's path.

After all, in the Bunny Hop, the backward hop is immediately followed by three jumps forward.

I'm grateful today for the wisdom to put myself in Opportunity's path and the confidence to take advantage of opportunities that are presented to me to land me at my end goal.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fun = Success?

One of my biggest life breakthroughs was including "fun" in my definition of "success."

As I mentioned before, I'm very driven. It is hard to fight my nature to be the best at everything.

To shift my mindset, I started (and continue to maintain), a list of activities that I engage in with an end goal of "fun" versus "total make-you-run-home-crying-to-your-mom domination."

That list is:
  • Bowling
  • Pool/Billiards
  • Golf
  • Karaoke
 (If you expected a longer list, please go back and read paragraph 2)

All joking aside, there's actually a method to my madness.

First, yes, I need a list of things I do "just for fun." And, when I get frustrated that I'm not the best or because I'm on the receiving end of competitive trash talk, I remember my list and my goals for engaging in the activity. I remind myself that this is on the "just for fun" list. It's OK to not be the best, as long as I'm having fun. If I'm not having fun, what do I need to do to make the activity fun? (Usually with bowling, it's my Strike Cheer.)

Second, my list isn't all-inclusive. It is somewhat competitive (or comparative) activities where I have found that my enjoyment of them is easily overshadowed by discouragement by not being the best. They are specific struggle points where, when I am struggling, I can just remind myself that they are "on the list." I have specifically decided that these activities do not warrant the extra practice time or emotional turmoil that comes with not being the best, but wanting to claim that #1 spot. The list is my Life List of Things I Will Not Be The Best At -- By Choice. (A point to note is that I don't necessarily want to be the WORST at these activities -- I recently invested in golf lessons to improve my game, for example -- but I don't want my quest to improve to overshadow my enjoyment of the activities.)

Realistically, my short list is Things at Which I Want to be #1. Don't tell my perfectionist side that (yet). I understand that I have limited time and energy; I want to devote those resources to areas that mean the most to me. I am still sorting through what those priorities are. To that end, right now in my life, most things have an IMPORTANT stamp next to them. "The List" reminds me that I don't have to be the best at something to enjoy it, and that life should include a fair amount of things that I simply enjoy.

As I mentioned before, I am trying to define success based on my achievements versus a goal, versus simply comparing myself to others. If I'm having fun at something that I enjoy, but don't want to excel at, then I'm achieving my "success" goal.

Today, I'm grateful for these funky socks that I picked up. I seem to have a knack for finding weird owl-wear during the Christmas season. They were a pleasant surprise in the pack of socks that I bought.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Last night I saw The Amazing Race history: a team that hadn't won any legs of the race, a team that was one of the last finishers on almost every leg (I think every one except the last one) -- won the game.

The team won because when it was presented with opportunities, it took them. And the team had a lucky break at one point in the race when the two team members both seemed ready to give up. That break recharged them and helped them refocus on their end goal.

It's a good lesson, and one that I've seen played out in my own life. Professionally, I've had things happen because I've been in the right place at the right time, and have been ready to take advantage of the opportunities.

Of course, I think it's easier for people (me included) to remember the times when things didn't work out more easily than the times when they did. It's easy to get discouraged and want to quit early. However, as last night's TAR demonstrated, if you quit early, you could give up some really handsome rewards.

Today I'm grateful that I was able to see the entire finale of TAR tonight, that it wasn't delayed by a football game and finished at an ungodly hour because I really appreciated that reminder to take advantage of the opportunities that I'm given and to not give up until the end of the race (metaphorically speaking).

Sunday, December 9, 2012

If you had access to a time machine, would you change your life?

A friend and I engage in a what-if game from time to time:

If you had access to a time machine, would you go back and "do over" something in your life?

Both of us engage in fanciful thinking: Yes, of course, I'd go back to X and change Y.

I find two things when I play that game, though:

1) I can never go back far enough. I start with something within the last 10 years, then realize I would rather change something in the last 20. Pretty soon, I'm back to conception stage. And then, the inevitable, "What if my parents had never met? What if I were the combination of two other people?"

2) I am who I am today because of all of those things that I would like to do over. How boring would I be if I never made mistakes? Even changing something as benign as "I wish I had never made that stock investment" means that, instead of making a $500 mistake putting money into an industry and company that I knew very little about, I could make a $10,000 or $100,000 (or more) mistake later. And who knows what problems I might be dealing with today if I went back in time and bought Apple or Google at their lows? (Granted, I think I'd be willing to roll the bones and try to deal with those problems)

Ultimately, my "do overs" are all based on me wanting to impart current wisdom on my past self. Wisdom, I realize, that usually came from the same experience that I would want to do over.

Perhaps one of the most humbling experiences of my life was signing myself into a treatment facility for an eating disorder. My parents tried to hospitalize me. They couldn't because I was a legal adult. To get help, I had to sign myself into the hospital. I did it, not to get help, but to get away from my family. At the time, I rationalized that suffering through art therapy would be easier than living with my family trying to keep me from my addiction.

Regardless of my rationale, the paperwork I had to sign (which I read, because you should always read any legal document that you are signing) stated that I acknowledged that I was unable to care for myself. Other papers listed a variety of personal freedoms that I agreed to give up to receive treatment. I almost didn't sign because I felt that my signature under those statements would be legal proof of my failure as a human being. I wasn't sure if suffering through art therapy were worth agreeing to publicly acknowledge that fact.

Except, as with most things change-related, it was a very painful choice that resulted in a much better quality of life for me.

My perfectionism had made me very myopic. The entire world became pass-fail. Through my disorder, I viewed myself on the "fail" side. Instead of looking at my strengths, I concentrated on my weaknesses. Instead of looking at what I value and what I want to accomplish, I looked at how I compared to others in very surface areas, like academic success and physical fitness.

Going through treatment set me on the path to be the person I am today: someone who is much more well-rounded, more empathetic (perhaps too much so at this point), and more laid back.

None of those things happened immediately after my two weeks of treatment, but none of them would have happened without it.

As I wrote before, I'm still who I am at the core. Some things can never be changed. I will always be a "perfectionist." For me, at base, "perfectionism" means that I am driven to succeed.

My definition of success has changed. I've eliminated the majority of my "pass-fail" mentality. Instead of measuring myself against others, I measure my actions against my goals. If I "win," others don't have to "lose." In fact, life is better when you can celebrate success with others. I consider increasing my knowledge to be a measure of success. Instead of fearing not being the best my first time out, I recognize the knowledge that is learned when I try to master something new. I've also added "fun" as an indicator of success. The ol' "it's not how you win or lose; it's how you play the game."

Today I am grateful for perspective, for the ability to see all aspects of a situation, which would not be possible without the change experiences that I've gone through in my life.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Meditation Techniques

For a while, I have noticed that my ability to focus has diminished. It is now at a distractingly low level.

I have trouble not thinking about things that bother or stress me and I have trouble pushing those things out of my mind when I have no productive resolution to them. That is to say, I don't mind focusing on a problem when I'm thinking of SOLUTIONS, but I don't want to focus on a problem only to remind myself of how much it is stressing me out.

I've been working with a coach on centering, but, to be honest, his technique of sitting, breathing and developing awareness of my body starting with my feet and working up takes too long.

I caught some special programming on PBS during a pledge drive that talked about "walking meditation." The idea is that you walk and just focus on your feet hitting the ground. This technique sounds like it could work for me. When I am stressed, I need to be active. Sitting around, right now, simply gives me more time to be agitated. I do enjoy yoga, but, at times, I end up too distracted to have a mindful practice.

So, I'm going to give walking meditation a go and use it to help me bring back my focus.

At this point, I'm not interested in exploring the root cause of WHY my focus has diminished. I can't easily pinpoint a reason, but I can pinpoint a solution. If the root cause is still something in my life, I have no doubt that, once I regain focus, it will attempt to distract me again. If that happens, I'll be more aware of the problem and better able, at that point, to remove or reduce the cause in my life.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Roll with the Changes

Change is hard. Uncomfortable.

But, do you know what's more uncomfortable for me? Seeing people who have never changed.

I believe that there is a core of you that you can't really change. That's "you." It's what you may need to create adaptations for, or change your thinking about. But, I also believe that your core is very, very small.

For example, I can't change that I'm 5'3. Neither can my mother, as much as she would tease me for being short. I didn't buy petite clothing for over a decade because I didn't want to acknowledge that I'm short.

Except...I am. I can't change it!

I could change my thinking, though. Ultimately, clothing is not about the size label; it's about the fit. So, I started buying (petite) clothes that fit me. I told my mother that I am sensitive to being teased about my height (which she subsequently teased me about). After about a year of changing my attitude and my purchase habits, a new norm emerged: I wear petite clothes. And my mom actually looks for petite things for me. It's not 100% perfect (nor is it just my mother who finds it HILARIOUS to joke about the height disparity between other family members and me; apparently it's a "great" ice breaker for professional photographers as well), but the teasing has been reduced enough that I can tolerate the once-in-a-while wisecracks.

In my life, I've had my mettle tested numerous times. I go through the uncomfortable change zone at least once every five years.

Seeing people who appear to never have changed (I've met a handful in my professional life) are a bit of a curiosity to me. These people seem to want the situation to adjust to them, versus the opposite, and seem a bit flummoxed when they keep getting the same unsatisfactory result from situations.

I admit, from time to time I am envious of people who can stay constant. When I'm in the middle of a period of change, the thought of living a life without pain or challenge seems peaceful. I forget that it also results in an unfulfilled life.

The people I know who have resisted change seem terminally unhappy in specific aspects of their lives. Someone is "out to get them." Life is "unfair." And, nothing changes.

It appears to me that when you fight change, you have limited opportunity for positive things to happen in your life. If you're thrown into a sea of opportunity, you can either keep trying to float on the top or you can sink to the bottom. Floating is work, but if you don't put in the work, it is more difficult to recognize when the rewards come your way.

Today, I'm grateful that I pushed myself during a very challenging spin class and kept up for most of the class. The class format requires you to keep pretty significant tension on your bike throughout the workout, and maintain a minimum speed of 80 rpm. I found it interesting that, while at times this challenge (moderate-high tension and maintaining 80 rpm) seemed difficult, when the instructor invited us to increase tension AND speed (rpms) during parts of the workout, suddenly moderate-high tension and 80 rpm didn't seem so tough. I actually looked forward to what I had dreaded just 15 minutes earlier!

The human body does not give accurate measurements. Difficulty is a fluid measure. Once I was introduced to something more challenging than what I was doing before, the return to my former challenge felt like a respite from work. So it is with life. Because of the challenges that I've been through, I'm able to handle more challenges and be less stressed when old ones re-present themselves.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Beauty and the Beast

I was dancing with my niece when she announced that I was "the Beast" and she was "Belle."

I was immediately offended and then a bit offended by my initial reaction.

I would have been any other male character, but I didn't want to be the Beast because he's ugly. Which is, of course, the exact OPPOSITE point of the story.

(To be fair, my 3-year-old niece only looked at the height disparity, as the reason why, to recreate the Beauty & the Beast waltz scene, I needed to be the Beast. A disparity, I'm compelled to point out, which may only last a few more years.)

To my initial point...

Once I got over my initial "are you saying I'm not pretty?!?!?!" revulsion, I realized that the Beast does embody some attributes that I appreciate: he's kind; he's protective of the beings that he loves.

He also has superhuman beast strength, which, when coupled with a "ROAR!!!" seemed to justify to my niece why I had to pick her up and carry her to nap time/potty time etc.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Better Late than...

I can never start that adage without picturing the scene from The Golden Girls where Rue McClanahan, as Blanche, completes it with an emphatic, "PREGNANT!"

Veracity of that statement aside, I am writing about "Better Late than Never."

I'm a perfectionist and it's biting me in the ass.

Growing up, I didn't want to try anything that I wasn't good at. I didn't consider the possibility of people seeing me fail; I didn't want them to see me be "not good."

Looking back on life after a few decades of experience, I see that my original methodology was a bit flawed. I missed opportunities. Some I may not realize. Some I may not recapture.

But, I'm trying. Step by step.

My mindset began its evolution when I was in high school. I worked in customer service. With the advent of social media, you can now get my 3 summers of education in one perusal of Facebook:

Whatever you are about to say/do is probably not the most ridiculous thing I've heard/witnessed all day.

How liberating.

Thank you, woman who argued with me over the address of my workplace because it was "Building in a Shopping Plaza, Shopping Plaza" versus "123 Anywhere Street."

Thank you, one-toothed man who felt the need to justify his purchase of Kodiak chewing tobacco by saying that it was his-dentist-recommended for dental hygiene.

Thank you, woman who wanted me to write "Happy birthday and best wishes for the coming years, Rebecca" on a six-inch diameter bakery cake.

I started slowly, with areas that I was already comfortable in, but needed more empowerment. Asserting myself with grades, assignments, paperwork, purchase disputes.

Now, I'm tackling the social issues. Dance classes, golf, talking to strangers.

Admittedly, sometimes I feel like the fresh-out-of-8th-grade freshman trying to navigate high school all over again. I'm learning what I feel like everyone already knows. I'm taking failures as an adult that most people have hurdled as teens.

But, better late than never.

Heck, Day 1 of learning to tap dance as an adult was the perfect storm of my worst fears: I was the only person who had never tap danced before, ever, AND I sucked, AND I sucked in front of a crowd. But that was Day 1. Day 2, I got better. And by the end of 10 weeks, I was dancing better than the women who had taken tap as kids.

Also, I realize that part of this is the perfectionist in me talking. I've met plenty of people my age or older who share my struggles. I've also met people who are too scared to take the first leap into change.

In the words of Ian Fleming (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang):
Never say 'no' to adventure. Always say 'yes' otherwise you'll lead a very dull life.

Today, I'm grateful for my past struggles and the perspective that they've given me to tackle future challenges. I know that the discomfort of change is temporary, but the results are permanent.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Inspiration in the Oddest Places

Interesting perspective from an article in Golf Digest.

I was reading a short article by Adam Hergenrother - "The Game Gave Me the Focus I Needed" - and was struck by an observation toward the end of the article:

I began writing a daily "gratitude" diary for my wife, essentially a few sentences expressing my love and appreciation that I presented to her at the end of the year. Just as you gain muscle memory through practice, this regular act of reminding myself how lucky I am strengthens my soul.

I think it makes sense that the more that you practice positive thinking, the easier it will be for you to be positive.

My ultimate goal for 2013 is satisfaction (I guess I'm not shooting for happiness yet, just contentment), and I'm going to start trying to note on a regular basis things that a) are good in my life; b) make me happy; and/or c) I'm lucky to have in my life.

A couple of gratitude reminders for today:
1) I feel like a rock star because I'm currently being followed on Pinterest (all boards) by a major fashion designer! Unsolicited (with the exception of one evening of me pinning a ton of stuff on Black Friday to my Fashion Wish Board from the designer's site). I'm curious (and still researching) how the designer is using Pinterest (I did confirm that I'm being followed by the actual corporate board and not a designer fan page). It's exciting to think that what I think is cool might be used to develop future trends. And it's weird to think that people at a major designer, this evening, will be seeing my Christmas candle recommendations to my followers and a recipe that I want to try for "taco cupcakes." Sounds like the building blocks of a Project Runway fashion challenge!

2) I did marketing for a non-profit to assist with a one-day giving event and -- it worked! I was one part of a team, but I can see how my contribution with the social media strategy of the campaign helped improve results over what could have happened (based anecdotally on other non-profits that, I'm assuming, didn't do the same type of promotion). It's awesome to see the finally see the results of what I put into the campaign.

To be fair, I also see what I could have done better if I were in charge, versus just providing consulting and copywriting, and it's a bit frustrating (because I'm a perfectionist). But, this project was about proving the benefits of social media to the non-profit board, and my contribution definitely helped that happen. Next year, if this campaign continues, can be about kicking ass and taking names.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I hate to be Brokeback Mountain about it, but I guess I just can't quit my blog.

I would like it to be more of an inspirational writing spot for me because what I need right now is reminders that, to quote a line from one of my favorite movies, "Life always matters...very much."

To that end, I'm not sure how frequently I'll be posting.

I started a tradition with my Christmas tree when I took it down in January of this year. I have ornaments that open (the Korbel ornament, pictured to the right). Inside, you are supposed to put wishes for the new year.

I was tentative about the process, and put down a very vague intention: I would like 2012 to be better than 2011.

Yeah, so the surface, 2012 is not working out to be better than 2011. I'm sure most people are familiar with the feeling: just when you think you can't handle any more crap being dumped on you, more crap rains down.

I guess the interesting thing is, though, I realized this morning that I'm actually GLAD that I'm going through a lot of bad things this year. It means that next year, if I have a similar vague intention, I should have a better 2013. I don't see how it could get much worse.

Truly, I am going through a rebuilding year. It is a year where I am laying the groundwork for positive changes in my life. This year sucks great big monkey balls, but I know that it will be a year that I will look back on in the future and say that it was the start of a turnaround for me. Because, honestly, what I've encountered in the last six months of this year is a fast band-aid rip of awful compared to the past six years of my life.

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone -- and that goes for the bad as well as the good. I didn't realize how bad the last six years were until I didn't have to deal with them anymore. I'm still learning how to deal with the world as I used to, versus how I'd been conditioned to over the past six years.

I recognize that I'm in a growth phase of my life. From past experience, I know that they always suck, but are worth the tears, the pain and the change.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I didn't want to leave you with a "dead blog." Or, at least, not a dead blog without a proper obituary.

Thank you for following me, reading and commenting over the years.

Right now, I have a lot going on. Right now, I'm dealing with that through private journaling.

I may be back. I may not.

If you follow me through other channels, I'm more active on those channels. I'm not using them to discuss The Big Issue(s), but I throw out a lighthearted quip now and again.