2018-04-24 Achtung Baby

I put my iPhone on master shuffle to see what the Universe thinks I should be inspired by. “Even Better than the Real Thing” by U2 apparently.

Hey.. isn’t that song like 30 years old? There’s nothing like THAT coming up in the shuffle of 1000+ songs I have on my personal electronic pocket computer in the year 2018. It doesn’t make me feel old, though, just a reminds me of an earlier time. The only thing even better that might be the actual “Real Thing”. 😜

Seriously though.. that song was one that my dear un-departed ex-husband put on a mixtape he made for me in the early days of our courting. It was my introduction to U2 and I’ve been a fan ever since. (Of U2, not my ex).

***

I stopped typing for a little bit there to think about life, and just like that I’ve blown right past the BNL (Bare Naked Ladies) and landed on Blue October. I guess that’s how life goes sometimes. How on earth did I miss all those years going by and land in 2008? It’s not a typo, 2008 was the year of Blue October and the event that I would later call my own personal “Punctuated Equilibrium”.

If that wasn’t enough to convince me that the Universe is a “Real Thing” (with a cosmic sense of humor), the next selection is “Song for the Road” by David Ford. The one and only and there’s no other connection for reference to my Simply Vera Era that is stronger than that (except Mr. A to the Z). The first time I heard it, we were riding in his black Jeep along 144th street to somewhere.. I don’t remember where. Where isn’t important when the song is so good it makes you cry. Of course he was playing it and thinking about another girl. His “one that got away”. I didn’t even know her, but I wasn’t a fan. Her hair was more red than mine and that is all I knew.

I wasn’t even a book in his life between two iconic book ends, I was merely a chapter. Thin pages with a few words about tennis and tv shows, good food and great conversation. And that not-meant-to-be podcast “for or against”. It had some clever name I don’t recall. Do you remember that?

The girl he was with after me was someone my closest friends and I nicknamed “The Wildcard”. She was some shade of crazy I never knew existed and I don’t think I’ll ever know if it was love that made her crazy or if she was like Lady Gaga and “Born that way”. It’s ok though, I let go of caring about that years ago.

I actually saw her at a funeral for the mom/aunt of a pair of mutual friends of ours in 2016. I didn’t recognize The Wildcard right away that day because of her long blonde hair, which I think was her natural color. Her hair was black when I met her and she died it clown red to try and become a closer proximation to what SV was looking for. I’d never dye my hair for any man. I might take motorcycle lessons and tennis lessons and force myself into awkward social situations but my hair is sacred.

Well well, what do you know – An appearance by MRAZ.. how appropriate. I wonder if the Universe is standing behind me on this elliptical machine and reading what I’m writing. No, that’s too physical. When you are omnipresent, you don’t have to stoop to such levels. The song in play right now is “Life is Wonderdul”. It’s all about the contrast between opposing things and the idea that we can’t truly know one thing without the other.

Thinking about this makes me happy. It’s explaining away all the bad things. We wouldn’t truly know sound without silence, we would not know the warmth of the sun without the long cold winter. I wouldn’t recognize the sunrise if there was no dark of night. I can look back at my life and all the bad things are softer in the light of this philosophy. The song is brilliant. “It takes a toll to make you care”. My dues have been paid and I’m ready to collect.

Coming up to the end of my time here now and I am not surprised that the Universe has done it again. For its final play of the set, we have Fall Out Boy singing “Thnks fr th Mmrs”.

“Thanks for the Memories?”. How appropriate. There is a Fall Out Boy CD that reminds me of another time in my life, but the cannon of their music has extended beyond that and now I can’t help but just enjoy it as one of my favorite groups. They actually called me up earlier this year and asked me to come to their show in Lincoln this fall. To which I replied “I would be happy to”.  I will be happy too.

Times Up. Rewind. Replay.
Achtung Baby,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-04-20 Timing is Everything

I’m well caffeinated this morning and just flush with thoughts about what I’m reading and the music in my ears. I’m so inspired about all the things I could pontificate about in my next set of essays for school. The renaissance, history, evolutionary biology, the invention of computer language. It’s wild. The book I’m reading is fucking tough. It’s like the author made a point of making it as difficult as possible for what purpose, I’m not sure.

I’m equating it to Organic Chemistry. The class that they give med student hopefuls to weed out the cruft. If I can consume this book and come away with some higher level of understanding, then for sure I’m qualified to be a poet. I’m grateful for the opportunity to try. And since I don’t care for failure or the words “I Can’t”.. then I will get through it and I’ll write the most kick-ass essay about it. There’s only two people who will read it, but that doesn’t matter to me. Like so many things in my life, I’m driven from within and inspired from being without.

I may or may not have stated before but my resolve to continue with my current course has waned considerably this past month. The struggle to do well in all things has caused a stress I never wanted to feel again. I wrote a poem about it and even felt my hand move closer to the emergency stop lever.

The contributing factors are time and money. Probably time because of money. I’m just now coming into the black again. The combination of not getting enough hours into work these past few weeks and seeing another semester on the horizon which will put another 10 grand hit on my safety net has caused a serious pause.

Despite that, I pulled the trigger for Residency this summer. That decision was made easier by tempering my anxiety by holding off on the fall semester for now. I’m waiting to see how this semester ends and also waiting until I hear back from my program advisor on questions I’ve asked.

Timing is sometimes everything though. My thoughts about the program, my goals, and my responsibilities vary day to day and swing certain direction based on my moods. How am I to ever trust any decision when I’m so swayed by emotion. I try sorting things out with logic and reason and separating the feelings from the main equation. That’s where my left-brain analytics and desire to see a visual list of pros and cons come in handy. This usually helps me come to the best conclusion on life decisions.

This time, it’s not as easy. What happens when one side of the list is abstract and un-quantifiable. How to I put money on one side of the equation and “the meaning of life” on the other?

What is the price of fulfilling your life’s undefined purpose? Is it priceless? Is it worth risking the very life you are trying to define? Is that life so insignificant that there is actually no risk at all.. only perceived risk? Have I now travelled so far down the rabbit hole that any conclusion I come to fails to carry any weight at all in the real world?

You see, I’m failing to explain myself because somehow in the midst of all my self doubt about the right course of action I’m blinded by the light of poetry. I’m blinded and called to it and it’s so bright and hot that it’s literally melted everything on the left side the equation.

There’s a certain event in my life that I equate to punctuated equallibrium. That event set the wheels in motion like the Turks capturing Constantinople. Like the Greeks, I fled from that scene with all my texts, Poetry, journals, and art in cardboard boxes and electronic files.

Margo Street was my Italy. Thus began the Renaissance, thus began the evolution. Everything that has transpired since then has been moving me forward and now, today, when I’m faced with a decision about what the right course of action is, it feels as though the answers to all those questions don’t even matter.

Timing is some mystical power the Universe uses to bend us to the will of fate. We might try, with our primitive brains, to explain or even describe it using science and mathematics and history, but the essence of it evades.

That or it’s just the caffeine making me loco. 😜

Back to Reality,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-17 Broken Records

Balance.. procrastination.. balance.. sacrifice sleep.. social anxiety.. steps forward.. struggle.. too much to do. Rinse and repeat.

I’ve been writing this blog for 15 months now and when I started I was very much a broken person. A broken down broken record repeating the same sad story week after week. I was all “too much and poor me for my misery”.

But my goal was to get it out of me. I unpacked my insides and laid it all out on the floor in front of my own eyes so I could see pick through and see what I’d been collecting.

It was heartbreak and stress and sadness and grief. Life is too short to carry all that around. I looked at all of that and slowly started tossing it in the trash. I say slow because there’s no way to pay any price to speed that up. It takes as long as it takes. And it took a while but I got there.

It also took some big life decisions. Quitting my job for one. Going back to school for another. These are luxuries afforded by a long history of being a reliable employee to a few organizations. I always put my best foot forward and saved my pennies and then when I most needed it, I could gift myself the sabbatical that would propel me into the future.

Those five months were priceless. Being healthy, writing, relaxing, working on other projects I otherwise wouldn’t have time for, and going on vacations became my lifestyle. I slowly recovered from 2016. And in that time I also mostly recovered from the end of my five year relationship with Matt.

I say mostly because I’m forever scarred from what we did to each other. Two good People who couldn’t force love into being enough to make a life together because there weren’t enough pieces to complete the picture. We were right for each other but our lives weren’t meant to be intertwined the way one with my heart strings requires.

It was tough for me to say “no” and remove myself from that relationship. I’ll be forever grateful for the girl that swooped in and blocked me from that door opening again when I cried and screamed and banged on it. That girl I hated despite never meeting her. She’s moved to Cali now and the Universe only knows what’s become of their relationship. I’m grateful not to care too much.

I know I still care some. I know deep down I’m still in some state of perpetual grief about all of it. Good times I wish I could recall without being drowned in sadness and regret. Bad times and problems my brain has tried over and over to solve. Time has helped the answer to be more clear. It was a puzzle all along and like I said, for all the right pieces, there was just too much missing.

Still, when I got feedback from my mentor on that one poem that was inspired by him, I could not help but cry as I cut and created that 3rd draft. That’s my life now.. words and poetry and allowing all of it out for examination and criticism.

I was broken open and I’m no longer broken but I remain open. I’m open for whatever this new life path brings my way. If I submit a hundred poems and they all get rejected, then so be it. I think about the fact that I don’t have a goal. I think about how all along the goal has been there and my grand failure was not recognizing it.

A person can’t help but believe in fate when they look back at the path of their life and see every choice they made and why. Day to day, you can’t see it. It just feels like the same record spinning over and over and, at times, extremely boring, but those broken record repetitions are what lead to what exists now.

Two beautiful, loving, happy children. A new loving relationship. The loving pursuit of a life dream. The security of a job that allows me to maintain my current way of life. The beauty of spring blooming around me despite the long winter. The prospect of a future full of love and positivity. The new broken record looks pretty great.

There will always be struggle with balance and hard work and health and social hurdles. The difference now is that I’m not packing it all down inside myself. I’m open and therefore free of repeating that part of my history.

Now.. time to go write some poetry!…

Poetry is the New Black,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-10 Getting Older

Apparently one of the side effects of getting old is forgetting ones actual age. I was having a conversation the other day and JS asked how old my siblings were. I know the difference in our ages, so I always calculate this by taking my age and adding/subtracting appropriately (I’m a middle child of 4). My sisters age seemed wrong and discussing a little further, I said something about my age. He said “uh, babe, that’s not tour age. You are a year older than that”. It sucks to lose a whole year just that quick. Snap.. one year closer to.. death.
Oh GAWD. When you’re 25 you don’t think like that (at least I didn’t). Here I am 20 years later scratching my head, wondering WTF I’ve done with my years. No use dwelling on that. The better question is what I’m going to do with the next 20.
Here’s the scoop.. NO ONE really knows what happens when you die. When you breath your last breath and the physical form you were given as a gift ceases to function. It’s all just speculation based on beliefs that were either handed to you as a child (or adult) or some conclusion you came to on your own through life experience or principals of science and logic. Is there a soul? Does it go somewhere? Is it absorbed back into the collective energy of the universe? Is there no soul? Is existence merely physical and when you die it truly is dust to dust? We don’t know.
It’s crazy to think that we rely on this grand unknown and use those beliefs as the basis for so many other things including “how” we choose to live our lives. I’m not a fan of organized religion but it does serve as a moral compass for a vast majority of the population. It’s those beliefs and principals, the very idea you will have to answer to your bad behaviors in some other plane of existence, that keep some people on the right path.
Now I’m not saying that without religion we would all be thieves and murderers running around in a world of chaos. I’ve never participated in religion. I was not raised that way, yet I have an internal instinct that knows the difference between right and wrong and a force that helps me make decisions. Yeah, I’m a Sci-fi nerd, but it’s very much like Star Wars.
Let me digress further for just a hot minute… when they say, “May the force be with you”, isn’t that kind of ambiguous? I mean isn’t the force both light and dark? The collective of energy.
If I was Kylo Ren, and somebody said that to me, I’d be all like “Thanks.. And now you die!” (invoking the dark side of the force, you know? Oh, you get it) .
Anyway, the point is we don’t really know and we have to go forward in life with this. We have to make choices despite not really knowing. So when I realize I’m a year older than I thought I was, I’m immediately confronted with thoughts about what I’m doing with my life.
I’m working because I have to, to support my lifestyle. I’m going to school to support my grander dreams, which are still somewhat undefined. I try to make healthy choices so I can live a long time and set a good example for my children. I’m trying to raise them right because, at the end of the day, that’s the start of my legacy (if there is such a thing), and my biggest contribution to society and the human race.
The force inside me tells me that all of this does matter. I do have internal conflict at times, where some other part of me escapes and argues that nothing really matters. It’s the 1.261 billion foot view looking down 🌏 and trying to grasp your place in the universe.
The higher you go, the less meaning there is. Eventually you can’t see the center of any gravity anymore and when you are there the laws of science and nature are suspended.  Don’t linger too long though. It’s super cold and there’s no air to breath and you’ll die pretty quickly. Zooming back in, each day I have a choice and what I choose defines who I am. In 4.5 months, I really will be a year older and I don’t want to waste any time.
You know what else happens when you get older? Your body starts to malfunction for no reason. My distance vision is starting to go and my metabolism keeps slowing down and there’s nothing I can do to stop these things. That bites.
No time like the present then, to make the most of it before time is up.
Actively seeking delicious cheeseburgers,
~Miss SugarCookie

 

2018-04-06 Having Nothing to Say is OK Too

It’s April 6 and I woke up to snow coming down and all my daffodils sad bent over kissing the white dusted ground. This is NOT what spring is supposed to like.

I also have nothing to talk about but the weather. That’s not how this is supposed to be, but just like the snow, I have to be OK with it.

I guess having nothing to say at all is better than having a laundry list of shit topics contributing to a life so hard won. Perhaps I’ll revisit April 6 of 2016 or 2017 to remind myself of the alternative to having nothing to say.

Maybe I just need a little more caffeine to kick my brain into gear. I don’t even have motivation to do my morning workout. Meh.

I’m going to break one of my self-imposed rules and leave this here before signing off…

That’s worth like a thousand words right?

Needing Coffee and Sunshine, ☀️☕️🌼

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-02 Back to Reality

Back home. Back to work. Getting the kids today and it will be back to our normal routine for the week. I did sacrifice some things last week (time) in order to enjoy my QT out of town and my homecoming so I’m hitting today feeling a little pressure to catch up.

First, however, is finding my center of gravity by getting back to my own personal routine. As they say.. secure your own oxygen mask first before assisting the kids. This means I’m back at my gym this morning trying to get some steps. It’s still going to be a short set as I had to do a few necessary/timely work things and I have an appointment soon to have my stitches out.

I’m still taking the antibiotics and realizing now the internal swelling/scarring of the wound may take a while to heal. There’s still an obvious lump inside my lip, and as I understand it, it may not completely disappear for another month or so. At least I can eat and drink out of a straw again. It’s interesting how quickly one adapts to chewing on one side of their mouth.

The stupid part of all of it is that I truly thought I was being smart by going in last Monday before my trip. That I could wash my hands of it all and be in the clear to enjoy all the delicious things Austin has to offer. Instead, I struggled all weekend to do that. When we had our sushi lunch on Thursday I could hardly open my mouth enough to eat a roll. For crying out loud!! 😭

It is true that I did alleviate some anxiety with a positive confirmation of what it was however that was replaced with anxiety that I had some infection and that it was going to quickly spread and I was going to be hospitalized in a different city. Perhaps I should look into getting insurance because something like that would wipe me out completely.

I’ve been looking at my current situation from the perspective of a really healthy person and it’s hard to justify the cost. If I think instead about the fact that life is full of surprises, and that bad shit happens, perhaps I’d have already pulled the trigger on insurance.

I really have been meaning to look into it, but wanted to get my work hours and income stable before adding anothe expense. That’s probably also stupid, because life doesn’t wait for the opportune moment to hit you with something.

Anyway.. maybe I’ll do my taxes and use my refund to fund that effort. (That’s right, I still need to file taxes). Self proclaimed master procrastinator! 😜

Time to head to the dentist.

Peace (and stitches) Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-03-25 Heavy Sunday Thoughts

Sunday again and I hit the sauna at the gym, mentally preparing for my typical elliptical set and getting ready to check my stats for the week. But first, a quick check of email. There was a message waiting for me and it was a thing I just can’t unread. A birthday reminder for my dear friend Kristy who took her own life seven years ago.

My first reaction was anger at Facebook for issuing this reminder. How callous and cold. And then, irritation that of all the Shit Facebook spends its gazillion dollars on, adding a bit of code to prevent reminders going out for people who are deceased. However, all that melted away when I went to her profile and timeline and started to read all the things that people have posted to her all these years, before and after she left us.

She was a bright, beautiful, ball of energy. A star who’s light shined and touched everyone around her and burnt out too soon. She was adopted and I always knew that, but never knew the full story until I attended her funeral in 2011. It’s unfortunate we often don’t know the true stories of people we easily call friends.

We became friends somewhere in 2004 or 2005 when she joined a girls group I was in that got together regularly to walk, talk, and play board games. She was the one who introduced me to Settlers of Catan.

My fondest memory of her was a road trip the group took to KC and her and I drove together and arrived a day before the rest of the group. We wandered downtown and had BBQ at some popular live music venue and drank cocktails until we decided that dancing must happen.

That was back in the days People didn’t have apps on smartphones, telling them where to go. Somehow, we still ended up at the perfect rooftop bar and danced our asses off until they shut the place down. It was probably somewhere in Power and Light, before that area of town marketed the name.

Somewhere in 2009 we fell out of touch due to some very personal and unfortunate circumstances. I knew she was in Pharmacy school and knew she had a history of relationship issues but had finally found a “keeper”. I was happy for her, but was too selfish to reach out and see how she was doing.

Time passes, you know, and her story is not mine to tell, but details about events leading to her suicide were also referenced at her funeral and even more so after the fact when a story her parents insisted on was in the paper. An article warning about the dangers associated with taking prescription drugs for ADHD. I knew she took them, but I had no idea what the possible side-effects were. It’s heartbreaking,

People continue to post on her timeline, mostly around special events like her birthday or class reunion. Posting most often is Mike, who was her last boyfriend. I can’t imagine how he must have felt, and still feels every day missing her.

I scrolled all the way back to the beginning, tears running down my cheeks, but I’m in the sauna so people probably presume it’s just sweat I’m wiping away. The fact that I could see her there with all the thoughts and well wishes was good. I’m sure it is somewhat therapeutic for all those people to express how they feel. I might just have to, now, paying respects to her life and the short time she was in mine, five years maybe.

Perhaps these words are enough though. I’m not sure. It’s certainly all that I can manage right now.

Happy Birthday Kristy… You are missed.

~Miss SugarCookie