February 21, 2017

What is it all about, and why don't I care?

I would like to preface this post with the statement that I am not, nor have I ever been, in such despair that I would do something to myself. While I can attest to the fact that there is most definitely some depression going on in my life right now, this is not a cry for help in any way, shape, or form. It's merely me with too much time on my hands (or brain) to think too much about "stuff".

So what is "it" all about- this thing we call life and do I really care? I have been asking myself that over and over again for the past year and I still haven't quite come up with an answer. There are going to be those of you out there reading this that are already looking up some sort of meme about how you create your own destiny, or life is what you make of it, or all that other BS. Please refrain from doing so because I will instantly dislike you and wonder why we are friends. (Maybe a bit dramatic, but you get my drift)

This is my life, so this is the only "it" I can talk about and ponder and mull over and over. Let's start from the beginning:

I had a plan for my life. I thought I would graduate high school, move to Minnesota for college, get a job, find a husband, have some kids, live happily ever after and all that fairy tale jazz. While I did move to Minnesota, nothing thereafter went as it was supposed to in my "plan". Since then, I've kind of been searching for my purpose. What am I supposed to do with my life? Where am I supposed to do it? With whom?

I have this overwhelming feeling that I've failed at something, yet an even more overwhelming feeling that I don't really care. I have accomplished nothing in my life as far as my career, having a family, buying a home, being financially secure, a great bod and yet, I don't seem to really care. Why? Is it because I legitimately don't care, or have I become so complacent that I just can't muster up the strength to give a flying hoot? Maybe it's because I believe in the theory that everything happens for a reason, and that just because I haven't hit my stride in life doesn't mean it isn't going to happen? Who knows?

I think what this post comes down to, and the hours I've spent thinking about it is, I know I only have this one life to live and I am not doing anything to actually live it. I exist in it with no rhyme or reason, very little effort or desire, and without a lot of joy. I see my friends taking chances and leaving to teach abroad, or start their own companies, or adopt babies because they can't have their own. I become jealous of the mere idea of doing those things because I don't have the cajones to do them even though I want to. I want to "live" my life, I just don't know how. There's this stigma that you grow up, get a job, and stay in it for 30 years for the retirement. That idea makes me want to puke. I hate sitting at a desk taking orders from people. I do love being a waitress (or server if you want to be PC about it). So why don't I just do that instead of getting a "real" job? As sad it sounds,  I feel like I'd be judged for doing so. "She couldn't make it in the real world so now she has to do this." There are a lot of things, most things actually, in this world that I don't care about being judged for. I don't need to own designer anything, live in a big house, drive expensive cars, etc. etc. People can judge me on all the materialistic things in the world, but I cannot handle being judged for my intellect, ability, or my competency. Hell, maybe they wouldn't blink an eye seeing me take their orders, but deep down I think they would, and that would be too much for my little ego to handle.

I've read The Secret, as have some of my friends. I understand the theory that the universe gives you what you put out into it- if you believe in that sort of thing- so maybe that's why this dark cloud is following me around...Maybe the Universe is saying, "Hey Klein, your attitude sucks, change it." Maybe I'm just tired of getting the short end of the stick all the time... Maybe I've hit rock bottom and the way out is just too steep, and my give a f's are so, so few. I don't know!! I don't know what the answer is to this overwhelming feeling of "I don't care". Do we have to have a purpose in life? How do you know what yours is? Does it matter if you do or don't know?

Here's the thing- I know I'm not happy, I know there are ways I could go about being happier, I just have no will power to do so, and I don't know how to get it back. Until I do, I guess I will continue this woe is me pity party and wait for the call from my mother asking me if I'm ok. (I am)

January 17, 2017

The Age Ol' Question

A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I believed in God. My natural response was, "Yes, I think so." Then I quickly blabbered on and on to ineffectively explain myself while simultaneously trying to convince myself why I thought I did. I've been thinking about that moment a lot lately, especially after the last few weeks. Do I believe in God?

I recall a time years ago when my mom and I had this conversation and she said, "You're telling me that if you were in a plane that was going down, you wouldn't pray to God?" Hmm.. I suppose I would. Then I go back to reading the first book of the "Left Behind" series that states that non-believers will be left behind while true believers in Christ will be raptured and taken to Heaven so as to not have to deal with the sure-to-come apocalypse. So then I think, "Well, crap. Would I be left behind or raptured?" Just because people go to church and pray doesn't mean they are true believers, and Lord knows (pun intended.. if a pun at all) that I haven't stepped foot in a church since Jesus was a kid (which, by the way, nobody knows exactly when that was.. or even IF it was)

So here I am this last week, giving this question deep thoughts. Like, Jack Handy deep. Do I believe in God? I am talking monotheistically here, because quite frankly, that's all I've ever learned about.

If I were to be honest with myself, and you, I would say the answer to that question is no. I believe that everyone has an energy/aura within and surrounding themselves. This energy is what you feel instantly when you meet someone. It has been said that dog's can sense evil. How can they do that without knowing or talking to the person? I believe negativity is given off in someones energy, just as positivity is. You get what energy you put out there. I know this is all sounding like hogwash to some of you out there but I truly believe this... ok back to it.
So let's say, that when we die, our energy doesn't leave us. Let's say, that we can project that energy to those still living. Some would call these "spirits" or even "angels". I believe we all have them surrounding us, guiding us, protecting us. At one time or another you have done something and a little voice in your head has said, "No, no, no... I wouldn't do that!" You may call it intuition, but have you ever thought about where that comes from? If you were driving down the road and that little voice said, "Don't take a right up here like you normally do", and then you take the right anyway and there is an accident and you get stuck in traffic for three hours. If that little voice is intuition, then are you psychic? How could you have known in advance that there would be an accident- and if you did know, intuitively, why didn't you listen to yourself? Is it harder to believe that you yourself have psychic qualities or is it harder to believe that you have spirits around you that guide and help you?

I recently heard an analogy that made sense to me. Our energies are like radio giving off waves of frequencies. Once we've departed we are still giving off those wavelengths of energy and we direct them towards someone. We all have the ability to hear them, but we need to learn to tune those frequencies so we can hear the messages being projected. Some people can do this easier than others. My grandmother used to tell me she could "feel" her departed husband and hear him too. I used to think she was a bit crazy, but then I started hearing more stories of people who could hear/feel their angels and I was a bit jealous. Some knew exactly who theirs were, others didn't. Some could even ask questions and receive answers. Crazy, right?

I know this is getting deep, and as I write this I'm thinking about those of you who are going to think I've fallen off my rocker, but oh well! So I have these angels, and yes, I'm going to call them that- that project energy to me. I believe that while there are occurrences in our lives that damn near break us, everything does indeed happen for a reason. Our lives are a series of fortunate events that happen so that we learn something, experience something, feel something, meet someone. I believe our angels are the ones guiding us through it and are there for support when we need them. Knowing this allows me to heal faster and look forward to where my journey will take me. I can take solace in believing that Zoe passing during a time of great flux for me, is my angel's way of saying, "Hey, one chapter of your life has ended, now it's time to begin a new one." How does God fit into all of this? I have no idea whatsoever. I don't even know if he does.

So here's to the next stop on this crazy journey I call life and dammit, I'm looking forward to it!

December 1, 2016

I may not be Judge Judy, but damn if I'm not a judge.

In order for you to fully understand why this little ditty of information hit me like a ton of bricks, you'll have to read a little background about myself.

I have been boy crazy for as long as I can remember. It started somewhere around 3rd grade when I made Rudy and Jeff play tug-o-war to determine who got to be my boyfriend. In middle school I was in "love" with someone different every week. I know this because I've kept a journal/diary most of my life, and in the back pages, within a multitude of hearts, are the names of my loves and the date in which I fell so deeply in love with them. Some names had multiple dates attributing to my unfaltering love for them...again and again. High school was a little different. I met someone my freshman year who's heart remained a constant in the back of my diary with few others. Looking back into those pages, I've come to understand that it was not the greatest relationship of all time. The highs were Mt. Everestesque and the lows were as deep as the part of the ocean nobody wants to go for fear of those really creepy sea creatures who can survive in the abyss. With all that said and done, he will be forever known as My First Love. He will also be the first in many failed relationships....

Moving on to my "adult" years. I would like to say with a sense of surety that these years lessened my endeavor to find The One.... but that didn't happen. Man did I date some doozies and put up with some bullshit (as did they I imagine). It was around my early 20's that I had my first real adult relationship. We met, he asked me out, we dated, then he moved in to my subsidized apartment with strict guidelines on who could (me) and who couldn't (anyone else) live there. Did I mention he had two little girls that often stayed with us too? I thought life was great. We did a lot of things together, talked a lot, rarely fought and then one day I learned that he had been cheating on me with someone. That's a blow to the ego that hits below the belt. What a sickening feeling to feel duped.. and stupid.. and gross and, "How could I have not seen this coming?"... but it did.. he moved out and that was that. I moved to Alaska and met and dated a few people. One was super jealous. One was too needy and the list goes on. Then I met the creme de le creme... of psychopathic cheating assholes.  I won't even get into this story because you would think you were reading the script for a Maury Povich show. It was that.bad. Seriously. Yet again, I had been duped in the worst way. This time it was beyond my imagination why a person would do that to another person. I felt gross, dumb, naive, and the adjective list could go on... That is pretty much where this background story ends. I've been relatively single for seven years and I am no longer writing names inside hearts.

Why? Well, I finally get it! I finally understand why I'm single and a lot of people are single. It isn't that I am delving deep into my failed relationships of the past, but more looking at what was going wrong (and right) with other people's relationships and realizing my overall problem..... I'm a judger.

Here is how I found this out about myself:
This past year I spent some time with several couples (who will remain nameless). There were so many instances during this time that I would whip my head around to look at the wife as if to ask, "Can you believe your spouse just did that?" and the wife would be sitting there as if their husband didn't just _________ (fill in the blank with the offense). I was dumbfounded. How did they not care? How did they not say to him, "I can't believe you just did that!".... but they didn't. Not once. I'm pretty sure their spouse could have left the house wearing a pink leotard and they wouldn't have cared or blinked an eye, where as I would have been so mortified I wouldn't have left the house with them. Why is that? Why do I base my judgement of others on how others MAY judge me for being with them? I DON'T KNOW!! Better yet, how do I get to that point where I don't care so much?

Why be with someone that you feel you need to change? Is it for your benefit? Yes.  Why be with someone who you feel isn't good enough the way they are or who you feel needs to be modified in some way? That is absurd. Is it ok to do a few eye rolls every now and then? Sure. Will there be some head shaking at some point? Of course. If you feel the need to change every aspect of their lives, should you be with them? NOPE!

With each of my failed relationships, myself or the other person wanted to change something about the other person. I'm a nitpicker. I know this about myself and it's something I don't particular like about myself.....but it's a habit/characteristic so very hard to break. It isn't that I think I'm better than you, I just want you to be the best person you can be. For me. Not for you, because you don't date you, I do. I mean, really? Why don't my relationships work with this mindset? I can't imagine.

This goes for any relationships. I've had friendships where I was being judged for the things I did and the words I said, the clothes I wore, the fat I gained, and the people I associated with. This went on for awhile before I realized it. Little side comments made here and there could add up to a Dickens novel and I didn't even think about it at the time. When I did.... sayonara! It isn't that my ego is so massive that criticism can't penetrate the awesomeness that is me, because it can, if done properly. If a friend came to me and said, "Beth, I'm really worried about your heroin and prescription drug use and I want to help." I would be all for it. (I was going to use a beer and/or weight example but it hit too close to home.. so this was an over exaggerated example). If that same friend constantly made snarky side comments about the topic, I'd be less apt to listen, or care about what she is saying.
The friendships that I have sustained throughout the years are those that are 100% mutual. My best friends are my friends because there is nothing one-sided about our friendships. If one of my friends told me I was being selfish or critical in our relationship I would be heart-broken, just as they would be if I told them the same.

So the question is: Is it true that if you are with the right person, those "little" things are inconsequential? Is it because your love for them is unconditional in every way?If you meet someone who is 75% great, but the 25% bugs the living daylights out of you, what do you do? Not ask them to cut their fingernails? Or quit smoking? Or getting obnoxiously drunk? Do you just deal with those things that will drive you to insanity? I don't know, because I quite literally, can't do it. I know it doesn't feel especially great when things are said to me, so why can't I stop? Why can't anyone? How many times have I heard, "But he is so nice!", or "He adores you!".... yet there was always those "things" that made me ignore the equally as important good things. Those little things that irked the shit out of me so much that they inevitably ruined the relationship. I couldn't get them out of my head until they ate away what may have been a good relationships. So for those of you with healthy, nonjudgmental relationships, how do you do it? How do you stop ... for lack of a better word.. caring about the things that drive you bonkers?

So what is my point in this long drawn out blog post? Life is too damn short to have people in it that don't like you for you. It can be tough to rid yourself of those people, but it can be done. Send them an, "I'm sorry for your loss" card and write inside: I'm sorry you lost me as a friend/lover/neighbor/brother because I'm pretty awesome and I'm sorry you didn't see that.
(if I get such a card, I will know you read this...) The other point is, I'm self aware enough to know that some people in my past should send me such a card and I would deserve it. To those people, I am going to try really hard to stop being so judgy (not a word, I know).

I am who I am through a series of life events and personal choices. Am I the best that I can be? Far from it. Do I need you to tell me how to fix me? Nope. If was someone else would I want to be my friend? Hell yes. Would I want to marry me? Duh. Am I going to work really hard on being less judgy and critical? Absolutely, because I do believe that one day I will meet someone who may not be perfect, but will be perfect for me and I won't care if they wear ugly shoes, drive a crap car, work at Papa John's, are missing teeth and still live at home. ..... ..... ....  uhhh...ok come on, that is just going too far, right???

Signing off,

The Recovering Judge-a-Holic

October 25, 2016

If I could turn back time ---If I could find a way---

First and foremost, if you did not start singing like Cher when you read my blog title, we can't be friends (refer to # 10 on the list).  For those of you that did, click here to keep on singing!

When one has large amounts of time to sit/lie around and just think, it can be very dangerous. Case in point:

Last night I could not sleep. I read an entire book and still my mind would not.stop.thinking. While it may surprise some of you, I pray every night. I thank God for my family, the health of my family, my friends, Zoe and whatever else comes to mind. I often talk to my grandma and ask her what in the world I should do with my life. And then beg her not to come visit me from the grave and tell me what to do with my life. I seriously worry one night she'll just pop up and then I will have a heart attack and she won't need to tell me what to do with my life, because I will be dead.

I digress. I laid in bed last night and all these thoughts started popping up and I seriously thought I was having a mid-life crisis and a potential panic attack at the same time. Or maybe they just go hand in hand? I started developing a mental list of all the things in my life I would do different if I could back in time and do so. I mean, we all have these things so why not share my deepest thoughts with you internet people? So here goes (in no particular order):

I would have:
  1. saved money and not spent money on things that mean nothing. I'd be so rich.
  2. focused more in high school on what I enjoyed learning about, and then applied that to a college education. While I do have one, it isn't something I particularly want to use. Ever.
  3.  not treated visits with my grandma as a chore but as quality time with my only grandparent.
  4. learned how to enjoy exercising  (yes, I know I still can, but I'm less apt to do so)
  5. met Paul Newman before he died. I would have stalked the hell out of that man.
  6. had children or a child.
  7. experienced the places I lived rather than just lived there.
  8. told someone that I was being molested while the SOB was still alive.
  9. traveled more instead of just saying I wanted to.
  10. let go of bad friendships sooner.
  11. researched my genealogy while the older relatives were still alive.
  12. gotten chickens way before now.
  13. seen the red flags in my relationships where I was being cheated on. They were there in plain sight.
  14. not plucked my eyebrows so much when I was younger. I don't even want to look at those pictures!!
  15. continued hugging and kissing my parents goodnight/goodbye. 
  16. not bought my Ford Escort ZX2. What a POS.
  17. learned early on not to focus so much on what other people think.
  18. not let me pride get in the way of telling people that I loved, that I loved them.
  19. gotten my endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy when I was a teenager. 
  20. practiced having better penmanship. Mine is terrible.
  21. gone to college straight out of high school and actually experienced the college life instead of being an adult student taking night classes.
  22. not signed up for five credit cards when I got the offers at eighteen.
  23. been a teenager longer rather than trying to be an adult so fast. 
  24. tried a few drugs. I know, I know.. but sometimes I just wonder what they would be like.
  25. not have gotten arrested when I was 18. Don't ask... it was eventually dismissed. 
  26. told my parents I got arrested at 18. Courtrooms are scary places.
  27. not been forced to go to church. I think it would be best if children were taught about all religions and then got to choose which one suited them (if any). 
  28. bought stock in Amazon or Google when it was cheap. duh.
  29. not spent so much time trying to please other people.
  30. taken better care of my body after soccer/life injuries.
Well, there's a few things for ya. In the end life is about learning lessons and moving on. Sure I wish I could go back and change some things, but hell, there are things I need to change now so I better focus on those rather than crying over spilt milk. I just hope that some of the advice I give my Lil Sis she would listen to and not cringe every time I say, "When I was your age...."... but I supposed had someone tried to tell me some things back then I would have done the same thing. Damnit.

October 4, 2016

A Decade Gone By

As of September 2016 I have lived in Alaska (again) for 10 years. That's the longest I've lived in one place at a time. Generally I get the itch to move every few years or so. My current itch has lasted awhile but I just can't get myself to go and I don't know why. Maybe I'm just not ready? Maybe I just need to admit I love Alaska and don't want to leave..

As some of you may know, this isn't my first go-round with Alaska. I was born in Palmer and lived in the Butte until 1990/91 (I can't remember) when my parents asked my brothers and I if we wanted to move to California. My brothers and I discussed it and decided that yes, we did want to move to California. Live by the beach, see palm trees, drive convertibles, listen to the Beach Boys and live out every beach movie/show we'd ever seen. Boy oh boy did my parents dupe us on that one! Instead of beaches and convertibles, we moved to Redding where it was more like cows and beat up trucks. Where meth runs rampant and jobs are hard to come by. Not only that, the temperature in the summer are damn near unbearable reaching well over 100 degrees. That was fun to play soccer in. Not. I survived though, and after graduation drove halfway across the country to Minneapolis. Lived there off and on and ended up back in Alaska. Why you ask? My brother had a bad break-up and I came up here to hunt her down and do bodily harm to her. No really, I would have. Lucky for her I never saw her (and me I suppose. I'm not a jailbird type of gal).
Ben and I on our way up to AK

So here I am.. reminiscing about 10 years gone by with damn near nothing to show for it. No career, no husband, no kids, I rent my house and I have nineteen chickens. But do I look at these last 10 years as a waste of time? Absolutely not. I've been fortunate to meet some of the best friends I will ever have. I've experienced parts of Alaska most don't get the chance to see. And although I don't own it, I have the cutest little house in town that I love and have been happy in for years with my fifteen year old cat Zoe. I have welcomed a new sister into the family, have been blessed with a healthy family, loved and lost, and learned so, so much.

It was her favorite place to be! 
I swore when I left Minnesota that the next place I moved to I would EXPERIENCE it. While in MN I didn't do anything but restaurants and bars. I didn't camp or hike. I didn't go to the Boundary Waters or Basilica of Saint Mary or any State parks. Sad, but true. So that is one thing I can say I've accomplished in the last 10 years. I have experienced Alaska and I have had friends come up and experience it too. It's hard not to when you live in such a beautiful place. Yes the weather can be all over the place, and yes it gets dark and cold, but when it's nice there is no better place to be.

It's easy to get stuck in routines. I thank my friends for getting me to step outside of my comfort zones and habits. I thank my friends for helping me through the hard times and laughing during the good times. I thank my friends for making me a part of their families. But more than anything, I thank my family for supporting me through the last 10 years of ups and downs, tears and laughter, jobs and no jobs and everything in between. I am so fortunate to have the people in my life that I do. I look forward to the next 10 years to see what comes of this crazy thing called life.

2006. Finally made it.

August 12, 2016

Two simple, yet powerful (and underused) words

Thank you.

Two syllables, yet so hard for some people to say.

Everyone knows you don't (shouldn't) give to expect something in return. What we all should know though, is that saying thank you should come as an automatic response to so many situations. Case in point:
A man held the door open for me and let me walk through the door first at a busy restaurant, I said thank you. He said, "Well you sure are welcome" as if it surprised him that I thanked him. In return, and because it was appropriate, I let him put his name on the wait list first. He said, "That was really nice of you, thank you" and there in a matter of less than a minute, two thank you's were swapped, good feelings were had by all. So Simple.

From the very onset of my life I can remember my mom teaching us the importance of a thank you. Any holiday or birthday where gifts were exchanged, we had a list of who gave us what so that we could properly thank them afterwards. That has carried on into my adult life and something I would instill in my children had I had any.

It's such a small gesture with such a large impact. So why is it so hard?

This post comes from something that happened recently, or that has happened repeatedly for years now. I am not going to give specifics, but I feel shafted by someone. Someone I have given to secondhandedly (not a word, but you get it) for years that I don't believe has ever thanked me once.  Again, not an expectation, but it got me thinking/wondering if this person really is thankful or is just so used to being the receiver rather than the giver, that it doesn't even cross their mind to be thankful. It's mind boggling to me really.

Think of the last time you received a genuine thank you in the mail. Didn't it make you feel great? So why not say thank you more often? It doesn't have to be in receipt of a gift, but maybe just a heartfelt thank you for: being a great friend, parent, sibling....  Maybe it is for a gesture of kindness, act of selflessness, or just for the hell of it. It would turn a bad day good and a good day great for sure, I guarantee it.

So I challenge you. Send one thank you per week to someone you know. It may not make a world of difference, but it may just brighten the day of someone you know.  Do you accept this challenge?

June 20, 2016

To Break-Up or Not to Break-Up?

Since I currently have ample time to sit and ponder life, I get to thinking that maybe Alaska and I need to break-up. Maybe I need to move on with my life and get out of this relationship. I've tried for 10 years to make it work and it just hasn't. Then I think, "What hasn't worked?" I've met some great people, had some amazing experiences, and get to live in an amazingly beautiful place. So what's my issue? Why do I want to break-up with you Alaska? Here are a few reasons in no particular order:

1. Well, Alaska.... you're kind of a whore. With such a diversity of people here there is bound to be issues, but DANG GINA, it is getting bad here! Shootings, stabbings, robberies, murders.. I feel like I’m living in the ghettos of Compton. You can’t read the paper without reading about someone dying the night before. It’s a tab bit scary in these parts.

2. I’m really so over your mood swings. It’s supposed to be cold with snow in the winter and warm with sunshine in the summer. It isn’t that hard to get it straight? I don’t bother ever looking at the forecast because you change your mind on a whim. I think you need to get on hormones and keep on an even keel. Even though I’ve enjoyed winter for awhile now, I’m a bit over shoveling, changing tires, wearing jackets, and all the other stuff that comes with winter. I just want sun… all the time.

3. Your bosses. You see Alaska, the people that run you can’t seem to get it right. You have so many different people here trying to run things, and it seems that all of those people are out for themselves and not for the betterment of the whole. For such a unique place, we should be working together to make you better and we aren't. I've never lived anywhere where every. single. issue. is debated/discussed/debated again over and over again. It's as though people just need to hear themselves speak and they have to have an opinion even if they don't know what the hell they're talking about.

4. You ain’t cheap! Not only do we pay exorbitant prices for food here, we also have to pay high prices to cook that food! Cut us a break here. Not to mention taking some time to myself Alaska. Sometimes I need my alone time and need to leave you for a bit but man oh man you have to sell your soul to get an affordable ticket out of here. Maybe instead of the dividend we get a, “Get out of Alaska” free ticket each year. Cabin fever is a real thing you know. Mythbusters proved it!
I know I’m bringing up a lot of baggage Alaska- it hasn’t all been bad. There are so many things I’ve appreciated about you in the past 10 years. Topping that list would be the lack of poisonous spiders, fleas/ticks, skunks. The inability for people to ride crotch rockets all year. Your utter lack of social standards when it comes to dress codes.

So what does this mean? I’ve said it time and time again— I should move out of Alaska. Yet I never do. Why is that? What hold do you have on me Alaska? We only live once, so why not go try out another state, or hell, even another country? I have husband.. kids… JOB (haha).. just a cat and chickens. Is it fear of starting over? Having to make new friends? Maybe I just bite the bullet and do it? If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Why haven’t you?