A Year in Reflection

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On August 23rd of last year, I was in the hospital undergoing the biggest decision I have ever made in my entire life…prophylactic double mastectomy/breast reconstruction. At the time it seemed like the obvious choice, in hindsight, it was the most intensive rite of passage that ever plagued womankind.

 

I’m a strong woman. I know women claim that every day and then something trivial throws them into a panic attack of mega-proportions. I, myself, have been there. Where do you think the words Drama Queen came from. But, I digress. I AM STRONG! And as a woman who has idly strolled through several neighborhoods of Hell, I tell you I was not prepared for the emotional torture I would be facing during this reconstruction. It turns out even strong women can have weak moments.

 

They say, “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger.” I hate that saying with the entirety of my being, not because it isn’t true but because it is quoted repeatedly by people who have not been through a sliver of what I have. Am I comparing my struggles to the lack of theirs? No, I’m just reflecting on those moments that transpired along the way. Like I said in the previous paragraph…“Weak. “Drama Queen.” “Hell.”

 

Feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing, comparisons, bouts of deep depression… just a few of the bullshit moments I had in the past year. After all of that work I put into myself in the last few years I was undone by my f**king breasts. That’s right, like a teenage boy, I lost my ever-loving mind over breasts. Apparently, my vanity knows no bounds.

 

When did I, the woman’s woman, turn into an exceedingly breast-obsessed man? If I had to pinpoint it, I’d say roughly between birth and the total hysterectomy 12 years ago but, I am just guessing here. Seriously, though, why the hell are we as a society so obsessed with oddly placed sacks of fat hanging off of one gender’s chest? And why did I get sucked into that absurdity? Because, that is what happens when you make a choice to save your life but still want to have some sort of normalcy… and FFS, I just want to be a woman, something I feel like PCOS, being raised as a boy, and an early hysterectomy robbed from me.

 

But, have I been robbed or have I just fallen victim willingly into the societal princess programming that all females are force-fed?! I’d like to think I am no victim let alone a willing one. But, yes I fell into the world’s biggest trap, allowing society to dictate their idea of what a woman is. Funny, I don’t remember signing up for that in my contract. Yet there it is in all its hideousness.

 

My surgeon told me this was a journey. I knew what I was in for, well, I thought I knew what I was in for. But, I was not ready for all of that. I didn’t know that my breasts were directly tied to my emotional core. An explosive core that was clearly ticking and this “journey” was the detonation. That’s what I get for holding on to 40 years of trauma. There has to be a better way to “let it go.” I’ll work on that.

 

So on Tuesday, I’ll be in my surgeon’s office getting the final touches on my breast reconstruction…purple glitter tattoos on my reconstructed nipples. Because why not? A girl should be a girl any way that she sees fit, not forced into being what society tells her she should be. And that is how you become a strong woman!

 

 

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A True Writer’s Epiphany

I have just had an epiphany!!! A special heartfelt thank you to my dear wonderful friend Sweepy Jean for posting the article ‘The 7 Virtues Every Writer Needs to Succeed.’

I found part of it to be quite enlightening…“The true writer understands that she must lose sleep, lose friends, and lose her sanity, and that even then she has no guarantee of ever being recognized as a writer.”

Prior to reading this I had been thinking about all the friends I have lost in the last few months and the ones I have gained. I am evolving again; I no longer tolerate what I did when I wasn’t a writer. Now my world is positive and more upbeat with an occasional backslide because I am human after all but, I am no longer the sarcastic, negative, cursing, badmouthing, intolerable, depressed person I was just a mere year ago. Every single day to me is now a new opportunity to be great.

A year ago nothing really mattered to me, I was stuck as a housewife and mom and had no aspirations of being anything more than what I was…I was content; grouchy and rude but, content. Then last year my journey began when instead of walking the same tired path, a treadmill walk so to speak; I had abruptly turned and strolled down a new path that I had never seen before.

I wrote in High School. I was in Advanced Writing as a Senior, it was not advanced enough for me. I found it boring and I often skipped class. I would find out what my assignment was from a friend, write it, hand it in and that was that. I graduated with an A+ average in that class and yet I was almost never there. Not once did it come to mind that I should be a writer. All I dreamed of doing with my life was to escape the tyranny of my abusive household; and I did but, I became a wife and mother soon afterwards and I just accepted that… that was my life, end of story.

But, last year I quickly went from roasting and goofing off in a rapper’s chatroom to keystylin’ (writing raps directly from my head using a KEYboard) to writing poems to freestylin’ (saying raps off the top of my head) to writing articles. In that short period of time I evolved into what you see today. I was moving forward with ease because of my supportive friends and I refused to put the damn pen down.

So back to my friends list; I know it seems a bit petty to gripe over it but, the people on my list are in categories of family, friends I have known in my personal life for at least 8 years and online friends I have known for at least 3 years. So why all of a sudden, were people deleting me or blocking me? I have always been loud, outspoken, rude/crude/lewd, bluntly put I’ve always been a bitch… nothing had changed, so why were they offended enough now to remove me?

Oh wait a minute… I CHANGED!!! It wasn’t my outspoken voice that was bothering them, it was the fact more people were listening now. It was the positive feedback I was getting from my new friends. It was the point when others and myself realized I was destined for greatness. Every time I posted a new accomplishment or published an article… like clockwork I lost friends. How dare I stop being a boring, uneducated, “loser” of a housewife and become a voice that people were cheering for… How dare I not go to college and have a great talent for writing… How dare I not only continue to speak my mind but, actually convince people that I was right in what I was saying… I have some nerve, don’t I?

This is the part where I should say I am sorry but, I won’t. Because I am not sorry for becoming more then what I was, for making my children proud with each new accomplishment, and I sure as Hell am not going back to plain ol’ housewife status so some people can feel better about their lives. I will never feel bad for accomplishing my goals and dreams. If it means I lose more so-called friends, so be it. Friends support one another and if mine aren’t supporting me than you weren’t my friends to begin with.

Now you know I’m a thinker and my mind has more to say:I also realized that as I was losing “friends” I was gaining new ones as well; more professional, supportive friends. Ones who actually read what I write not judge it based on a title; people who not only support my dream of being a writer but, gladly hand me the tools and knowledge to make those dreams come true. People, who like me, refuse to treat others badly, no matter how much they deserve to be told off. You know, the kind of people who think games are for kids.

The Universe was flashing a huge neon sign at me and I had missed it, until now…Yes I miss signs too. These people who were removing me are doing me an enormous favor; every time one leaves it opens the door for “new” people to enter my life. Before long my timeline’s will be full of people I actually enjoy interacting with. I will want to continue to better myself because I see them making the world a better place. That excites me, I have always felt like the outsider and now I don’t. Home at last, home at last thank the Lord I am home at last!!!

So now every time I log in online and someone is missing, I can say “Thank You” to the Universe and roll out the red carpet for my new special friend. And to everyone who has stood beside me from beginning to end, you my dears are appreciated more then you will ever know. Because I am a true writer!!!

And The Award For Most Awards In A Week Goes To…

Do you ever feel like your life resembles an awards show? Every time I write something I feel like I am waiting to be nominated for an Emmy or Grammy or something to that effect. It’s not like I need the awards to make me feel special but, I do feel special when I receive one. Last week was no exception when I received 3 awards from fellow bloggers/ friends.

I step up to claim my honor with speech in hand, look out to the crowd and realize that what I thought was my speech was nothing more than a receipt from the bar I was at last night getting wasted in celebration. “Umm…” I start out, “It looks as if I misplaced my speech, and so I guess I have to do this the old-fashioned way.” The crowd laughs.

“First off I would like to thank all the people who believed in me when I didn’t. I’d also like to thank the people who nominated me for these wonderful awards… (You can find these and more on my accomplishments page.)

 

Roy’s Garage Sell and Auction Well

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

 

 

Sulekha’s Memoirs

 

Ravenmyth

You have all blessed me with such honor and I appreciate this in more ways than you know.”

“I would like to say a few things about myself before I toss the awards to the new nominees-in-waiting.”

1-I have premonitions. I can remember as early as 4 years old having them. They come to me while I am dreaming. I don’t normally remember my dreams but, these always stick. I have seen many things while growing up and this although I am thankful for having such abilities I am also sad that I can’t do anything about what I see. My last premonition was about my sister being sick, a few months later she was indeed sick and passed away.

2-I have seen ghosts/spirits since I was very young. My first memory was in my grandmother’s house where two brothers had died when they were about 18 years old. I woke up in the middle of the night to see them standing at the end of my bed, one said to the other “She’s awake.” I freaked out; I saw and heard them clear as day. I banged on the wall behind me where my grandma’s room was, never taking my eyes off them. My grandma turned on the light and they were gone. She told me to say “God is my light” when I saw things that scared me, to this day if I have a nightmare I think those words to help me move on to something happier.

3-There is always at least one light on in my house at all times. My daughter sees spirits as well and quite a few have frightened her to the point she would scream bloody murder several times at night. I finally had to leave lights on so she couldn’t see them all the time. Mostly their appearances scared her because she saw what they looked like when they died. It was hard for her because she didn’t watch horror movies, imagine how you felt the first time you saw a half-burned body in a movie; now imagine if that body was right in front of you and you were only a small child. Freakin’ scary isn’t it??

4-I have lots of scars on my body; from accidents, surgeries, former cutting, attempted suicides, and internalizing anger. I have learned to cool down before cleaning or doing dishes because somehow I always manage to cut myself with a knife I didn’t notice or breaking a glass or plate. I have broken many collectables and none of them were intentional.

5-I don’t like fighting but, I can and will fight when provoked. I am very peaceful and will try to talk it out first but, when I feel like I must stand up I do it without a second thought. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like nobody helped them in their time of need.

6-I believe we all come into one another’s lives for a reason. We are all connected and should be learning from one another no matter if it’s a good lesson or a bad lesson. A person who spreads hate and drama in your life is teaching you how to handle that negativity and how to not be that way to someone else. You can learn very important lessons from everyone; just sit back and observe them and you will see the lesson.

7-I was born in Flint, Michigan and from there I have lived in many other places. In Michigan I lived in Flint, Mt. Morris, Fairview and Rose City. I lived in Las Vegas, NV for 7 years on and off… twice for 4 months a piece I lived in Mexico City, Mexico. In Illinois I have lived in Chicago twice for about a year and Stockton for a year and a half. Then we moved to Missouri, St. Charles for about 7 years and St. Louis for 3 years. Of all the places I have lived I consider Las Vegas to be my home. It is true what they say about home is where the heart is, my heart is with my grandparents, mom, brother, my departed sister and the place I met my husband and where my kids were born. I suppose if my family ever moved out of Vegas it might no longer feel like home.

I hope you have enjoyed my 7 about me’s and now I must nominate 21 blogs. Whew this could take me a few minutes.

1- Mari’s Photography Tips

I love her images and she is also very helpful to anyone who aspires to take good pictures. Mari is very enthusiastic about her blog but, also about other’s blogs. It always makes me feel better when I know Mari has commented on my blog.

2- Sulekha’s Memoirs

I have to renominate her. Sulekha is not only a good writer she is a romantic so when you read her posts you can feel the love, joy, sadness and pain that comes from the struggle of the mind not grasping what the heart knows.  Her posts will make you feel not just think.

3- Stuart’s Bornstoryteller

Whether he is writing fictional stories or posts about the education system you have to give Stuart credit for being a great writer. His educational pieces make you think and his stories make you feel like you are watching it happen not just reading it. Don’t be surprised if one of his stories ends up as a movie.

4- Debra’s Pure and Simple

I am new to reading her blog but, what I have read so far has amazed. Debra is a fellow unschooler and one of the first I have gotten to know since I became one. What I would have given to have read her post on unschooling when I started out; better late than never though. She talks about various things on her blog so there is something for everyone.

5- Adriene’s Sweepy Jean Explores The (Webby) World

I have to nominate the woman who opened up a whole other world to me. I was just using my blog to write and didn’t associate with any bloggers at all. Meeting Adriene was a blessing and her posts are thought provoking and her poems flow with wisdom.

6- Wil’s Bloggasaurus

I started reading his blog after he found mine and commented. He was one of my first meaningful comments and I appreciate that very much. I enjoy reading his posts, he talks about various topics and welcomes lengthy feedback, which if you all know me you know I am wordy. Wil also put me as a guest post from a single comment I left on one of his posts. How many times can you say that your comment has provoked a post of it’s own? Check out his blog, it’s a very good read.

7- Tameka’s Lyric Fire

With a name like Lyric Fire you know that her poems will leave a burn on your soul. I have had the pleasure in working with Tameka on one of my blog’s. She opens your mind to experience new things, whether it is soulful poetry, sensual poetry or just a question that deserves a heartfelt answer. Slather on the SPF because you will feel the “burn” when you read her posts.

8- Rimly’s Journey

Every single time I read a poem by her my soul breaks into a million pieces and cries. Rimly’s journey feels like my journey and I long for it to take a new path down a less painful road. When you read her posts you have to ask yourself, how did her heart write all of that and allow her to still remain loving and caring to all she encounters? I don’t know the answer so I keep on reading until I can figure it out.

9- Bonnie’s Bongo Is Me

Anyone who has been through so much in life and still gets up and faces the day I respect whole-heartedly but, to get up and tell the world how much you struggle is miraculous. Reading Bonnie’s posts is very hard for me too many things ring true from my life but, after I have left her blog and the tears and heartache finally subside I realize that things in this life could be way worse.  That if this amazing woman can get up and live with all she encountered than so can I.  Don’t be afraid to feel the pain she portrays in her writing, be afraid if you don’t feel anything.

10- Melissa’s Depth

I am new to reading her blog as well. Melissa is very kind, loving and supports other’s writing with as much heart and soul as she puts into her own. If she doesn’t understand something she asks about it, she is upbeat and looks for the joy in everything.

11- Ravenmyth

Although she nominated me I planned on nominating her beforehand. I guess great minds think alike. 😀 I have just started reading her blog in the last week and I know I have many of her posts to catch up on. Before I can even speak about her writing let me tell you how in one instant I feel as if I found my long-lost family in Raven. I don’t think two writer’s have ever had such an instant connection. One look on her blog and you can see that her talent is deeply rooted to her core. Before you can even read a word you can see that she speaks from a lifetime of experience and is connected to all forms of life. A pure soul writing purely is always a rare find, go check it out.

12- Jeremy’s Skipper

I stumbled upon his blog and have been laughing out loud ever since. His blog is a comic strip and even though I stopped reading comics some time ago I am so glad to have found this one. Jeremy has talent and Skipper should be a Sunday newspaper comic.

The next 3 blogs go hand in hand since it was through each other that I found all of them.

13- Kiesha’s We Blog Better

I found this blog because of a guest post that I truly enjoyed.(See #14)  I have a lot of reading to do on this blog but, I love that they do a lot of guest posts to show off talented writer’s all in one place. I am lucky if I remember where my blog is so this really helps me find great reads without having tons of tabs open.

14- Hajra Kvetches

I found her through her guest post on We Blog Better(see #13)  and I loved it. I haven’t got a chance to read more by her yet but, I am sure they will be brilliant, some people you can just tell after reading one post. Then I went to her blog to read more where I found a guest post that leads me to #15.

15-  Melanie’s Solo Mompreneur

I loved her guest post on Hajra’s blog that I immediately flew over to her blog and read a wonderful post on wearing blog-colored glasses. I think all bloggers and writers feel that way. At least I know I do… oh you don’t know what I am talking about, well click the link and find out.

16-  Pandora’s Peace From Pieces

Another new blog for me to read. I read her Writing To Me Post and fell in love with her poem The House.  Click on the link and follow her if you aren’t and we can enjoy reading her posts together.

17- The Widow Lady

Another brand new blog… to me anyway. I just started reading her blog on early Saturday morning and was mesmerized by what I read. She is definitely worth a follow.

18- Jim’s Holes In My Soles

He brings the wilderness into your home and leaves it there. If you listen carefully you can here the sounds of the wild calling out to you, can you hear it?? It’s saying “Come take a look we won’t hurt you.”

19- JP Brandano: Florida’s Phoographers

Despite the recent name change this blog is a gem. Jim’s images are stunning and need no words but, he explains to you in detail what led up to the moment the image was shot and in a hilarious way at that. He also gives educates the reader on his nature posts which comes in handy for us “cityfolk” who have never seen a Floridian bird.

20- Sancheeta’s Sensitivity

Doesn’t the title of the blog alone make you wonder? Delightful posts to ignite the passions inside all of your sense. A must read for romantics everywhere.

21- Mohinee’s Gurukripa- Indian Culture ‘N’ Philosophy

Romanticism and poetry go hand in hand in her blog. Even though Mohinee’s blog is about India I find her insightful words to be very touching.

 

“So that ends our awards show, I hope you all enjoyed it and tune in next time. ”

Make sure you all grab your award and pass it on to 7 people and post 7 things about yourself.

Thank you to all the people who take time to read and comment my blog you are all appreciated. I realize many of you have these awards so feel free to take the one you want. I am still very new to the blogging community and obviously very  far behind on some really great blogs.