2017-10-12 On the Flipside

Today I became incredibly sucked into thinking about my past for an hour or more. I was completely distracted from what I originally wanted to be doing with this time and now my time for doing it is running out. I’m glad that it happened, but at the same time, I need every hour of this day to get things done and I feel I’m not as organized as I typically am. I should just forgive myself for being human and then make a list so I can get started.

Still, that trip down memory lane hit me like a ton of bricks and I may not be able to “let go” of how I feel right now. If I truly am going to submit a poem about love and justice, perhaps it should be something new. Maybe instead of closing the book on it and moving on with my day, I should “let go” of the things I thought were important today and use the energy that’s churning inside me now to create.

I felt a shadow of the pain I had before when I read what I wrote. However, re-reading in the context of what I know now about what was going on in October last year brings about a few new feelings. I was trying desperately to convince Matt to come back to me and was met with a stone wall. That’s how I’ve described it. The rejection was terrible and the lack of interest in communication was devastating. Still, he always left me with a tiny sliver of hope. That was garbage.

Months later I find out he had already started dating someone else. If he had let me in on that, I would still have felt an immense amount of pain, but it would have been different. It would be grief knowing some other person had slept in “our” bed. It would be heartache over her getting to do things with him that we used to do together. I had some of that when I finally found out, but I am sure if I had known since October, my grieving process would not have been drawn out so long.

As it was, In December I was still holding onto hope he would go to Mexico with me. That was never going to happen and he should have told me at least that much. I may not have gotten so drunk all through the holidays and the week I was in Mexico. I most certainly would not have waited until March or April or May to start getting on with my life.
So that waste of time sort of feels like an injustice dealt to me. He was moving on, even if he didn’t have the same kinds of feelings for her as he did for me. It was wrong that I was left hoping and waiting.

So maybe my very first poem submission about love and justice should be on the flip side instead and I should write about love and injustice. Love and all the things that aren’t fair about it. Heartbreak and the delicate task of navigating a thick, sticky sea of emotions while keeping the rest of your life together enough that everything else doesn’t go to shit too (kind of like mine seemed to).

I’m not sure, but I should really either go be creative or start hacking away at that to-do list.

Tomorrow I get in a car with my mom to drive to my brother’s place in Colorado. I need to do laundry and dishes and pack some things. I’m also planning to see Simon one more time before I leave… priorities you know. 😉

One Flip, Two Flip, Me Flip, You Flip,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2017-10-12 Strange Pathways

Life is a series of strange paths that lead us to other strange paths. This morning, one meandering down one path led me to a place in my past which is still recent enough to leave me feeling raw about it but far enough away now I can look back and recognize how far I have come.

When I opened my laptop I intended to write something new for my blog. Instead I got sucked into email and that led me to looking at links I had bookmarked. I was further distracted by the notion to finally organize my bookmarks into folders for ease of access. This task led me to discover a few sites I had bookmarked, goodness knows when, relating to submitting poetry. A thing I have often wanted to do but never done. Out of fear perhaps? Fear of rejection maybe? I don’t know, but whatever it was it’s gone now and so I think today would be a good day to start.

Digging a little deeper into one of the publications, they have a call for submissions with a deadline of November 1st. The theme.. Love and Justice. OK, that’s like one of my main things. Delicious fate.

As such, my search through Evernote with the word “love” in it would most assuredly turn up like a gazillion things, so I searched for “Justice” instead. This brought back less than 10 notes and here’s where the path gets a little bit strange. The top note is a journal entry I wrote on 10/12/2016.. exactly one year ago. I rarely look back at things I wrote about before unless I am so bored or in need of some spark. It is typically a last resort, but since the universe had dangled this carrot in front of me, I just had to try to take a bite. Less than ten seconds into reading and the reality hit me.

Last year, on this exact day, I was deep in the world of heartbreak and despair. I was frantic, falling apart, and fading. I was loosing weight and not sleeping. I was desperate to break through to Matt and confused by his stone wall. I had begun exhausting all my connections with my relationship woes and on a path of retreat unto myself. It was dire. I was a mess.

Thinking about it now gives me shivers. I remember how I felt being rejected time and again. I remember sitting on the stairs inside my house absolutely bawling from the pain. I remember how my heart ached, yes physically ached, and thinking I was never going to recover. It was the worst pain I have ever felt my entire life and crushing me daily was the feeling that I was alone. In a way, I was alone.

I was drowning and alone and relying on my writing for oxygen. I wrote two or three times a day during October last year. It’s amazing to think about where I was then and where I am now, but that’s how strange the pathways of life can be.

I didn’t start to publish my journal to this blog until January of this year, so all of that “stuff” from last year remains buried in a giant pile of electronic notes. I’m going to end this one by concatenating what I wrote on October 12 last year for posterity. It’s quite long, and I won’t be offended if you skip it, but it feels appropriate to recognize just how far I have come in a year and no better way to do that than a direct comparison.

Life is a series of strange paths that lead us to other strange paths. We should try and embrace the journey and not question too much what the purpose or meaning really is.

Forever Exploring,
~Miss SugarCookie

***

2016-10-12 C

A few days ago I said I had no poetry for this. I’ve written a lot of words in the last weeks and days but I truly have no poetic words for what I am going through now. How many times can I talk about how much I have cried? How many times did I cry during the movie I just watched? Three – and that was a romantic comedy that was rated R.

Now I know how people feel when they get their heart broken. It does not matter how or why or what the circumstances are. It just happens. Every song, every book, and yes, even the poetry inspired by the feeling that I am having right now. I’m overwhelmed with how much emotion is involved with this and am very lost for words that give it justice. I can’t even bring myself to try.

So many people with this shared emotion and yet I feel terribly alone. Always alone. Like the universe is, yet again, taking it’s due for the deals that we made. Deals that were made before I even understood what “sign on the dotted line” meant.

I’ve got folks that I have confided in, and they have been so wonderful listening to me and offering advice and really just taking a little slice of time in my day so that I did not have to spend that same slice of time laying on the floor of my hallway crying into a basket of clean towels. I am grateful for all those people and all those slices of time, but I still feel very, very alone.

I’ve spent countless hours now thinking through beginnings, middles, ends, and every last bit of conversation I can recall to put this puzzle together. I’ve come to conclusions and then torn them down again. I’ve steeled my resolve only to have it melt away like butter with the rain on a random Wednesday morning.

“Sugar into melted butter”. That was me and Matt in 2012. Things on the internet sometimes never go away.

http://iloveinomaha.com/294

I wanted to shout from the rooftops about how in love I was, but always felt this was not acceptable. That’s a problem, but not an unsolvable problem that is just like all other things I thought were issues. There are always issues, but “Some days, you have to choose to like each other”. I failed at doing that. I won’t make that mistake again.

You don’t get to be our age (which is to say an adult) and not have issues and baggage and trials and successes and failures. Life is just like that. You don’t wake up one day with all the answers and have it all figured out and announce “I’m out” like Costanza who wanted to end on a high note. It’s a constant balancing act and sometimes a rollercoaster. I just want another chance at the ride.

Not just any ride though. I want the one with Matt. I already know the first clicks up the ramp. I already know what to do. That is what happens when you make mistakes – you learn and grow and are able to do better the next time around.

I’m pretty sure he’s not seeing things from this perspective right now. The timing being off and this waiting for him to come to some conclusion are killing me but if he comes out of the other side of this in agreement with me, then we will be so strong. If not, then better he figure that out now than in a year or two down the road. I don’t even want to think about the latter but while I wait it is being forced upon me. I’m stuck here thinking about all the possible outcomes. ..and that’s not healthy because it has put me in a very dark place.

I have no appetite and am not really eating much. I have not had a good night sleep in a little bit now. Both of these are cause for concern. I told my mom today I had lost 5 lbs. That’s 5lbs off an already small frame. I don’t have much more to spare and still have energy to function (unless my body starts using the fat in my butt). When I eat, I am making good choices, mostly, and I’m drinking a lot of water. It’s just that my caloric intake has been pretty low.

Its almost 11 now and I’m going to get to sleep soon. Maybe tonight will be the night I get more than 4 hours. If not, tomorrow I am calling Dr. Vana.

The girl with no poetry,
~Shyla

 

2017-10-09 Another Look at a Familiar Book

Over a year ago I was given a book called “Madness, Rack, and Honey”. It’s a collection of lectures from a famous poet who now teaches for an MFA program at Vermont College, Mary Ruefle’s. I started reading the book and then stopped. I then dumped the guy who gave it to me. In return, he broke my heart and I ended up shoving the book under some stuff in the the bottom drawer of my nightstand. I did not want any reminders of him or us. Until very recently, there was still too much grief associated with that break-up for me to entertain looking at the book. Things have changed now though, so I’m giving it another go.

Being a collection of lectures about poetry it is all at the same time fascinating and boring. I can read a page or two here and there, but it’s not the sort of thing you get engaged in from cover to cover. There are lots of little paragraphs of wisdom and enlightenment and lots of historical references to poems and authors.

The topic I started reading about tonight is Fear. Well, there is an entire chapter devoted to fear but the bit that I zoomed in on is more about poets and poetry and inspiration. Here a quote from Raymond Queueau.. “The poet is never inspired because he is the master of what others assume to be inspiration… He is never inspired because he is always inspired, because the powers of poetry are always at his disposal, obedient to his will, receptive to his guidance.”

In my statement of purpose (the original and more recently the one for the MFA application) I write about inspiration. That I am seeking inspiration and some spark that ignites the flame. Is this quite all wrong then? If I’m a true poet and the magic and mystery of life is at my will to command at all times, I can conjure poetry from nothing. I need no spark save the spark within me. I need no feeling or circumstance or grand gesture to assemble a masterpiece of words. I need only apply my own brand of genius and let my fingers do the dancing across the lighted keyboard.

If this is true, then I should not have any trouble with any given prompt or topic. I should be able to “roll off” without a worry or care or fear that the blank page will try and stare me down `till I back down. I have this skill within me. I’m certain that I do because I’ve not only got a poem about this very subject I wrote when I was a mere 17 years old, but I recall writing it on a day when absolutely nothing was going on and I was writing poetry on napkins at the restaurant I was a waitress for. I wonder if I still have those napkins?

The poem was called Rolling Off, and it must not be one I consider good enough because It’s not posted on my blog. But at the same time, it is at least memorable enough that I still recall writing it 27 years later. Time to go take a look at my archives (all paper you know because back then we didn’t not have PCs or Laptops or iPads or iPhones)…. I shall return shortly.

***

As it turns out I no longer have the napkins from the restaurant that I feverishly scrawled on a million years ago, but I did scribe a copy of that poem, “Rolling Off”, into the hardback book of musings I called “And then there was me”.

I was always big on titles and organization. Every journal had a name and every collection of poetry neatly compiled in separate notebooks which also had titles. That poem is garbage. I was hoping for something brilliant, but most of the things in that book are quite terrible. I’m not going to type it here either, because I have some respect for myself.

So one quote from that book, Madness, Rack and Honey led me down this path. I swear I can’t read a page from that book without going down a rabbit hole of thought or writing. It may take me a lifetime to get through the whole book. I at least have to get to the explanation of the title. Super curious about that.

Rack is Probably Not What You Think,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-10-07 Do What You Want, Do What You Like

Today feels like Saturday. That is probably because it is Saturday. Ha! But seriously, more and more everyday feels like Saturday and I like it.

Today we are finally getting a break from the Fall rain and the sunshine is amazing. From my desk in by bay window I am getting a nice breeze of fresh air and can hear sounds of people playing and working. My intent is to get the kids outside pretty soon now. A little bit ago I tried to go out in the garden for harvest but it was seriously squishy. I got as many tomato and peppers as I could and will probably work on making them into something either tonight or tomorrow, when daylight is gone or the chill of the morning can be made better by burners going in a warm kitchen. I’m really enjoying harvest this year and having time to spend in the kitchen making old favorites and trying new things. I’ve said it before but I will say it again, you have to do what you like because that is what life is all about.

The concert last night was pretty freaking awesome and I knew every song but one. I guess that’s what happens when you go see a hit band that’s been around for 20 years. And now I can officially add Matchbox Twenty to the list of bands I’ve seen live. Earlier this year I saw Tom Petty at Red Rocks and they did a few covers of his stuff last night in tribute to the now late singer. I’m glad I had the opportunity to see him when I did and where I did. That’s just another reason why we should always continue to pursue doing the things that we love to do. (That’s two.)

This morning, before the rain stopped, I decided to cross another item off of my to-do list which was to start a fire in my fireplace and then burn a log that is essentially supposed to “sweep” the chimney. It does that by burning really hot, or so I am told. I could not tell the difference in the temp myself, but maybe up beyond the flu where it counts. After days of damp it seemed like an appropriate thing to do, and then as soon as I did that, the sun came out. Oh the irony of life! But now it’s ready for the fall and winter seasons.

One of the main selling points for me when I bought this house (besides location location location), was the fact that it has a real wood burning fireplace. I’ve lived here for nearly two years now and have never once used it.. until today. I think that is amazing. When I was a kid we rented a house that had a real fireplace and I remember I used to love starting fires and watching the wood burn. I’ve continued to enjoy that as an adult, but only had campfires and fire pits outside. Now I can have them inside too and so continues the saga of doing the things that we want to do. (That’s three).

In a little bit, as soon as I can get the kids motivated we are going to go do something and then meet Simon for a cheeseburger at a new place that just opened in his area of town. I’m hopeful that the food is excellent so I can provide a glowing review of that later. I have not had a lot of cheeseburgers lately and I need to fix that. The cheeseburger will be score number 4 for this weekend thus far in the list of things I’ve done that are at the top of my hit list. I’m wondering if I should make it official and try for some sort of epic record?

Anyway, if momma don’t get those little clones moving, nobody will so I’ve got to go now.

Keeping Score,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-29 Let the Matchbox Immersion Begin

T-minus 7 days until Matchbox 20 comes to sing all their songs for me. I know most are thinking that they are coming to play a concert for a bunch of people, which there is some truth to but the real motivation behind their visit is to get an audience with me. You see, they have been huge fans of mine since way back and though our lives have really taken us in different directions, they book Omaha as much as they can so we can spend some QT together. For real yo.

As is my custom, which has been happening for as long as I have been attending concerts for all my fans, I take some time ahead of the visits to prepare. When I say prepare, I’m referring to the practice of jamming out to whatever music is headed in my direction. I’m very much a mainstream gal with an affinity for the following genres (according to my iTunes library):

Pop and Rock (a solid majority)
Alternative, Alt Rock, Alt Punk, and Punk (really who decides what is what?)
Dance, Elctronica, Hip-Hop, and Hip-Hop Rap (loosely translates to white boy rap).
Indie and Indie Rock, and Post Grunge (thanks to Cake)
Soft Rock, Soul, and World (WTF is World? One album – my beloved Snow Patrol)

So as the story goes, a girl buys tickets to see a show, and then as the show approaches, she drowns herself in all her favorite tunes by that band. Historically this has included many, many days and nights listening to One Republic, Sara Barrels, Cake, John Mayer, Cake, Snow Patrol, Bare Naked Ladies, Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler, Counting Crows, Bush, Cake, and now Matchbox 20. Yes I have been to see Cake 3 times. They are my biggest fan.

I own about 4 Matchbox 20 albums, and one single that I absolutely love, “She’s So Mean”. This equates to 42 songs and about 3 hours of continuous play. I also have a couple of things from Rob Thomas without the band, but I’m not including any of that in the current set list because I don’t think there’s going to be a cross-over. I’m on my second rotation through. It’s marvelous!

I’m really looking forward to the show next week and it’s good to have things to look forward to. I’m going to start being a lot busier real soon now because of lots of things ramping up so it will be important for me to maintain a good balance and continue to do all these things that I get so much satisfaction from.

I’m sure they are looking forward to seeing me too. 😛

Be Yourself or Someone Like You,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-23 What’s a Girl to Do (or Not Do)

Today I had another early morning and though I am feeling a little better, again, my throat is still a touch sore and I sound like a baritone frog. That’s not going to be very good for the mentoring session I signed up to do today. Three weeks ago a thing popped up on my Linked In news feed about needing volunteers for a teen summit at an area community college. Initially I dismissed it thinking I would be unqualified since I have not done anything like that before, but then my new friend (oh yes, you know the one), saw it it in his news feed too and asked if I was going to sign-up. So we both did.

After contacting the coordinator and thinking about it some more, I reasoned out that I couldn’t be more qualified. I’ve got 20+ years experience as a professional in the Omaha area AND I have two teenagers that I am raising, not alone, but in a household where I’m the only adult around most of the time. I have lots of good advice and if there is a group of people I can easily talk to, always, without too much social anxiety it’s kids. Yes, even the 17 and 18 year olds I still consider kids.

That’s at about 11 today and breaks my day up nicely so that I don’t have to sit around and think about having a house full of people. I’ve been procrastinating thinking about either of these events so as not to have my day dominated by things that are really not that big of a deal.

45 minutes with teenagers.. Cake.
3 or 4 hours with people I have known forever (most anyway).. Cake.

Hmmmm, maybe I should make a cake? JK. 😉

Would I have done this mentoring session if it wasn’t for my new friend? Probably not. Which leads me to the question.. What I wouldn’t do for a guy? I will selfishly get to see him there and also hopefully make a good impression about my ability to talk to and connect to the kids. This one is really a win-win-win, but what else have I done in the past?

There’s that time I pretended to like this guy’s Camaro even though I’m not really into cars that much.

There’s that time I wrote a poem (ok, two or three or ten or twenty), but that was probably more for me and not them.

I once took a motorcycle class so that I could get approved to ride a motorcycle on my license and that was something I never, ever would have done if it wasn’t for the person I was seeing. I barely passed and I’d be terrified to try it now unless it was some dinky bike.

I paid for a ticket to South By Southwest in Austin (600 bucks) and only ever went to the check-in because we both had social anxiety about attending any of the events. Oh, and I also paid for most of our meals there because he was down on cash.

If you go way back in history, I got married and moved to Las Vegas. That was also partly me, but in the grand scheme of things, getting married was never a part of my master plan growing up. After having divorced parents who subsequently dated and got re-married and in the case of my mom divorced and remarried a second time, being tied to one person for life seemed unlikely. Not to mention the rollercoaster of dating. Despite that, he and I ended up being married for 17 years and I now have two of the most fantastic children on the planet, so that one worked out in my favor.

As far as Matt is concerned, I can’t recall a thing I did for him or with him that I would not have done otherwise. I didn’t pretend to like anything and outside of maybe that one time we slept without a tent exposed to the elements in the Badlands, there wasn’t anything he asked me to do or pushed me to do that was outside of my comfort zone. For the record, that Badlands thing was totally bad-ass and I would not trade that road trip for the world. It was simply amazing.

Anyway, so here I am getting ready to go to this session and wondering what else I might be willing to do. So far, everything we’ve done together has been such a positive experience and I’m pushing myself to do things that are outside of my comfort zone, but it feels good. I’m growing as a person. If this all goes south tomorrow, I will still have done things and experienced things that I look gladly on. I think some of that is helping me cope with my fears and for that, I am truly grateful.

Pushing the Envelope,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-09-11 Sixteen Years Ago Today

Sixteen years ago, about this time of the day I was sitting in a perpetually unbearable conference room in a temporary building being rented by the health system to accommodate an overflow of people needed to support a number of mission critical implementation projects.

I was pregnant with Z and still in the first trimester. I was being closely monitored by my OB as it was considered a high-risk pregnancy due to deficiencies in my hormones. I worried daily, sometimes hourly about things going wrong. Work was a kind of blessing as I’ve always had the ability to be highly focused on the task at hand, pushing all other thoughts away.

Unfortunately meetings, such as the one I was in that morning, were slow and uneventful and left lots of space for my mind to wander. My back was to the slightly frosted over wall of windows. I could feel the cool coming through. I never imagined at that moment that events were happening that would change the course of history forever.

About three-quarters the way through the meeting one of our IT directors, Steve, came into the room and interrupted to announce that an airplane had just crashed into one of the twin towers in New York. The initial reaction I remember was from the gal that was running the meeting. Her face was a cross of annoyance and dismissal. I think she even rolled her eyes a bit. I am sure she was thinking this was just a joke. It was, of course, not a joke.

He proceeded to back up the news with sources and facts. I personally don’t think I could comprehend what he was saying. Hours would go by before the gravity of the situation would sink in. After he left the room, we actually finished the rest of the meeting. I sat half listening and holding my not-yet expanding abdomen. After that I went back to my desk.

People who had radios were tuned into the news and those who didn’t huddled in the offices of those who did. The day unfolded like a slow motion train wreck. We could only watch and listen as the towers crumbled and fell. We could only get bits and pieces of information about what was really going on and amidst the drama there was not yet anything about all the heroic efforts we would eventually hear about in the days and weeks to come.

I happened to catch a clip of people jumping from the building. To this day the image of that in my mind leaves me shivering and cold. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for those people, deciding to jump. I can’t ever “unsee” it and it will forever be a part of my memory of that day.

Sometimes my empathy is overwhelming and it’s worse when there is nothing I can do to help. I probably tuned out a lot of the news because I didn’t want to be exposed to more things I could not “unsee” or “Unknow”. I channeled my thoughts and feelings into writing and tried to think more about the nation coming together amidst a tragedy and finding the persons responsible. As the days passed I engaged my power of focus and centered my attention on work and being healthy for the tiny little life inside of me.

In quiet moments I wondered if I made a mistake bringing a new life into a world where things like this could happen. And yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On the one year anniversary of the day I wrote a tribute poem about the day and shared it with my co-workers. They had it framed with the American flag and hung in the office. It remained there for the duration of our stay there.

9.11

This day, one year ago, the world was changed forever.
The horrible, unspeakable thing
That was put on us a year ago today,
Is like a burden on our souls.
It was a tragedy born out of evil,
That conveyed no other meaning than evil,
And served no other purpose but evil.
Yet we bear that burden like no other nation can.
We hold it in our hearts and wear it openly.
We champion the task of overcoming it,
And letting the world know that such a thing can not break us.
And though we look back today,
In remembrance of those lost,
In honor of our fallen heroes,
And in the sadness and grief for all those
Whose lives were tragically altered by the events of 9.11
We also look forward…
To a stronger nation and a people more united,
With hope that our struggle to make the world a better place is a victorious one.

Together we shall bear all, remember all, and conquer all.

***

I still believe in these words today. We continue to bear the weight of that tragedy and remember all those affected by the day and we are still striving to make the world a better place and safer for all.

In Remembrance,
~Miss SugarCookie