“You need to start listening to other people more” part1

A phone call this afternoon bid the remark in the title of this posting.  As a person who works with communities and does this as a job, I found it interesting that someone would even say something like that.  And then you remember how diametrically opposite some of our personal lives are in comparison to our professional lives.  How many of us fight with that inner struggle of this form of multiple personality disorder?

Analyzing things further: I laughed at the statement.  Because, frankly, it was pretty accurate.  In the recent past I have not listened to my friends in their warnings about Joshie Bear.  People warned me back in the beginning stages that he was a bad idea.  Back in November when he started on… and in December when he was gone for the month visiting family (read: cheating on me with another woman but none of us knew that until recently) or in…

Well you get the idea.

I look back even further.  To my parents.  To my rebellious punk rock days and what not.  About how the fashion and the ideas have continued to flow even after all of that… not completely changed but… evolved as I stepped away from that lifestyle and created another and yet another.

I know that in the past I might have essentially had a similar conversation with my parents.. well… if I had stayed in Illinois and things were a wee bit different but you get the gist of it-

Stevo: Wait, time out. I just wanted to ask real quick, if I can. You believe in rebellion, freedom and love, right?

Mom: Absolutely, yes.

Dad: Rebellion, freedom, love.

Stevo: You two are divorced. So love failed. Two: Mom, your a New Ager, clinging to every scrap of Eastern religion that may justify why the above said love failed. Three: Dad, you’re a slick, corporate, preppy-ass lawyer. I don’t really have to say anything else about you do I dad? Four: You move from New York City, the Mecca and hub of the cultural world to Utah! Nowhere! To change nothing! More to perpetuate this cycle of greed, fascism and triviality. Your movement of the people, by and for the people got you… nothing! You just hide behind some lost sense of drugs, sex and rock and roll. Ooooh, Kumbaya! I am the future! I am the future of this great nation which you, father, so arrogantly saved this world for. Look, I have my own agenda. Harvard, out. University of Utah, in. I’m gonna get a 4.0 in damage. I love you guys! Don’t get me wrong, it’s all about this. But for the first time in my life, I’m 18 and I can say “FUUUUUCK YOU!”

Dad: Steven, I didn’t sell out son. I bought in. Keep that in mind. That kid’s gonna make a hell of a lawyer, huh?

Mom: Yeah, he takes after his father. He’s a son of a bitch.

Dad: Well fuck you dear.

But now, years later (I mean that movie is from 1998 for chrissakes) even after that whole speech and ultimate conclusion of one of my favorite movies of my teenage years, perhaps the message and culmination was telling me more than I knew.  More that…

For the longest time my family and friends have been saying so many things about my potential career path.  Marketing, although that is where my home has been and continues to be when clients surge (btw: Muse for Hire currently- comment here to connect about your projects) it wasn’t the two places I’ve been told I should essentially be since birth: writing and law.

I have stopped my world from evolving with my previous choices in lesser men.  I’m not blaming them.  I made the choices too.  And you can look at even the postings about how much I stopped my world again the last time for this… stupid guy I fell in love with.

I gave Bear so much shit about pushing forward and pushing harder.  He in turn gave me that same “sell out” argument above that… well I had over ten years ago.  He told me recently that he never said he was a grown up but he was trying to be, at thirty five years old and counting he said he was “just a little behind…”  and then he’d made fun of my arguing and corporate tendencies again.

So maybe Bear was right about that initial statement.  Friendship wise.  Career wise.  Life wise.  But not for the reasons he likely thinks.  At the end of the day I guess this likely just makes me a… well, watch the video below and you’ll know the end punchline.

Super[flawed]Man

Super [flawed]Man

Today is supposed to be a happy day. It’s for celebration. It’s marveling at the amazement that is biology and much more.

It’s a day to remember the great things about our dads and grandfathers and the men in our lives that shaped us to the people we are- whether present or not.

Today is a hard day.

I called my grandfather to wish him Happy Fathers Day from me and my little line of ducklings/spawns. To be honest, I’m not really 100% sure how he was when he was in dad mode. I feel that perhaps I need to ask my family and him more about that part of his life… to find the stories beyond the pictures.

I think about how my grandfather didn’t finish college or even high school. Of how hard he worked (and still does) because of that choice… the rebel choice. You would have thought that by watching his struggles that I might not have wanted to repeat in his hardships. I did, however, in my own ways.

In the machine message I left thanking grandpa I told him that he got the fun parts with us… especially as grandpa. My memories with my grandfather are full of him being the savior and smile and source of inspiration that, well, my parents could never completely fulfill. I think about how much he and my grandmother have shaped my life and brought with it such amazing color and inspiration that…

And then there’s my dad.

Once upon a time my dad was my hero. I was this little girl (watch it with the comments people) with pigtails and missing teeth. My father brought so much laughter and silliness and color into my world too- from my dad’s dedication to Halloween first and then Christmas, to comic books, to… reels of Three Stooges. What I’m not supposed to talk about is how much pain was inspired by him.

As I got older I saw more about the corporate suit with the stable job that loved to laugh and read comic books. I saw the harsh realities of how stubborn he could be… of where I probably get it from. And then I remembered a bit about the joking around with my grandfather about how stubborn he is. It’s so much easier to look at the flaws of your dad vs your grandfather.

I look at the other men that have followed my dad as far as male figures. There is a saying that every girl looks for her dad in the men they date. I have dated some very intelligent, very die hard to their beliefs, colorful and quirky… assholes.

Ethan is currently with my dad right now. His father figure was a ghost of a man. His father… was the colorful bit of lies and laughter. And it’s all my fault. Ethan being with my dad is partially my dad stepping in to try and assume the “hero” role.  It is the same role that my great grandmother did for him ages ago when my grandparents fought (more than the usual laughable kind they do) But were these people really heros or…

Enter Maddox and Sakura’s father- my ex husband- and how he’s probably sitting pretty high on that horse thinking he is the greatest guy in the world… who stole my children. He too, would like people to think he is the hero. And, once upon a time, exhibited that same amount of compassion and silliness that my dad and grandfather did.

And now Little Bear’s dad… Little Bear’s dad was probably the closest thing to my grandfather ever.  Joshie Bear was like looking at a younger version of my favorite male role model in the world… complete with his faults. Josh’s spirit and ease of getting along with people and making friends everywhere.. that silly cheesiness… was why I fell in love with him and why when I first found out about Little Bear, although the timing was not “perfect” I was… really really happy.   Joshie Bear always wanted to be a dad. He never got to be and it broke his heart more than I could comprehend despite some of my super harsh remarks about the whole thing.

I know that today is supposed to be for these men… but perhaps it could be for this wish too. My wish, as I thank each of them for the good they did, is to please remember the bad that their fathers did as well. It’s so easy to look at the hero parts but to truly get past all of that, we have to acknowledge where they were flawed too… so that our kids will know and hopefully not repeat the same actions.

To all the great and not so great men of my life who have made a dedication to the purpose of not just being a donor or the hero but to being a DAD… an unselfish compassionate one, I salute you.

Food for thought: On birthdays and the detached connected generation

So this week I turned the page on yet another chapter of my life.  I officially entered my 30s.  Last year was the BIG “dirty thirty” turnover and this was the step in.

As I had been not single for a majority of this year, I haven’t seen as many of my friends as I’d have liked to.  Add to it last year’s awesome birthday trip to Seattle was not in the works as I’m currently a Muse for Hire as well as teensy bit pregnant.  (Read: not even showing just yet)

As things have been a bit all over the map and tumbling down as well as riding up (I will go into them in other posts but you can start by reading this one here and this one here to get an idea of where to start) I started to have a few rain cloud thoughts about this year’s birthday.  A couple of shitty phone calls later from my past and, well, I wasn’t exactly feeling the most bubbly about everything.

Granted: there were TONS of birthday messages on my Facebook wall and a few of you even reached out to me on Twitter.  And that was fantastic and completely appreciated.

Despite the TONS of friends and wishes, There were only a few people who even asked what I was up to… less than I could count on one hand… and one of them lived cross country.

I felt crappy about it.  Silly as it were, and knowing that I had dropped off the radar a bit with my relationship, I still was bummed.   Moreso, I felt bad about being bummed- worried that it was potentially just another case of pregnancy hormones trying to get the best of me on my otherwise productive day.

It wasn’t until I ended up telling my current roommate about my plans for the evening that things really came into view.  As it turned out, he had talked to another friend of mine who also knew what was going on and they were trying to arrange a small little outing for me.

I felt like a total asshole.

“People probably assumed you already had plans because, like me, you’re always so busy.”

I bucked up a bit and helped pull the reins.  I reached out to a few close friends and asked them to dinner.  As it turned out, there will be more dinners in the works in the next coming days.  Friends were happy to go and hang out with me and have dinner and what not to celebrate.  They, like my friend commented, just assumed that I had other plans.

At dinner I mentioned the whole thing to friends as well.  It was a unanimous thing said amongst everyone.  As active as we are in our daily lives, how often, unless you have a set group of friends that you do things with CONSTANTLY how often do you take the time to ask someone what they are doing for their birthday?  Really take a moment and step back and think about it.  You might be incredibly surprised.

In a day and age where we are so digitally connected, we too often forget just how much it means to someone (who yes might totally be busy a lot of times) to even get asked the question of what they’re doing.  It may seem petty in a the scheme of things, it could mean the world to… even the people you think might think are social rockstars.

Special days are special because of the people we share them with.

While it’s true that social media is a great tool to stay connected with friends it doesn’t replace the power of going one step further and showing you are also real life person outside of a page.

 

External power outage day: Reasons to keep trying

This morning I woke up early to the sound of the rain.

I was inspired.

I was hopeful.

I was ready to take on the day full force… but only after I wrote here first.

I wrote a bit.

I read a bit.

For awhile, it was on Twitter… quoting lines from one of the comics I got this weekend while out and about on Free Comic Book day.

Image

And then, nearly almost exactly after I finished my earlier post today… well something else happened.

Silence.

The power went out.

I was so busy with my own distractions that I didn’t even notice.

How many other things do we miss because we are too busy with distractions?

I shrugged it off.  I took the dog out.  I’d read for a bit and write for a bit… the old fashioned way and kill some time contemplating and reflecting about life.

This weekend there had been a discussion about how the world “just needs a day to shut the fuck up.”  That sometimes (read: often) people just talk too damn much.  I thought about that a lot today… in the silence.

I really do talk too damn much sometimes.

I walked the dog.  I’m currently dog sitting for a friend of a friend.  One constant through my recent travels through the city has been the presence of dogs in most places where I’ve laid my head… and felt comfortable.

Perhaps this isn’t a coincidence.  I mean… there are too many damn cat fanatics out there.  Strange strange creatures that they are… on the interwebz.

On my walk I would find out an expiration date: the power would be out until 8:30pm tonight.  There were “too many other emergencies” that the LADWP simply couldn’t keep up.  I looked online on my phone.  I saw the mass amounts of orange dots on the grid.  I should have taken a screenshot.  It was pretty brutal.

Image

The aftermath of the Revenge of the 6th Power Outage in Los Angeles

Well Los Angeles, I guess this is your chance to shut the fuck up for a few minutes.  What are you going to do with your life?

I started to read.  I laughed as I thought about the power being dead on my Kindle.  About how despite the convenience of technology, how much I was still thankful for books.

For piles of analog transmissions and thumbed pages.

Of that new book smell.

Of that old book smell.

Of the joy of turning a page in anticipation of the next.

It’s these simple things that make me smile.  But the day wasn’t over just yet.

“I have a secret anger and rage for every beautiful flower.”

And I did too.  In secret.  In not so secret.

But the rains poured on.

Dogs all over the neighborhood were furious- barking constantly as if maybe that would restore the power.

Neighbors complained that they were stuck.  Technology had failed them.  They couldn’t get out of their parking garages.  After all, those were electric too.  Oh the convenience of technology.

Machines in the apartment blipped and beeped incessantly begging for power.

Begging for purpose.

Cars outside honked.  Impatience surrounded the neighborhood.  Everyone seemed to want to escape.

Everyone refused to shut the fuck up.

Everyone, it seemed, for once, except me.

I conserved what little power I had left on my phone.  I turned to books.  I turned to words.  I was going to sit there and face my demons in that silence.  In that quiet… oh in that quiet…

I’ve found myself missing pieces of my past quite a bit lately.  Yes yes I know, move forward, not backwards.  But something about this last time was different.  Something about this last one changed my life.

Image

Before it rained, it was like something in me knew.  I sent out a message to the world.  To you, the person I really hoped would be reading.

“It’s in the quiet that I miss you most.”

So there it was… the gift of quiet.  I sat there.. in the “dark” and thought about life.  I thought about pain.  I thought about love.  I thought about success.  I thought about failure.  I thought about…

“The manic equivalent of looking in a mirror and unplugging an appliance.”

And in the silence I just.. broke down.. but not how I thought I would.

In the simplest of terms and bits and “sound bytes”… these are not all the reasons but they are the ones I will share with the rest of the world right now.

I am tired of the pain.

I am tired of the anger.

I miss the passion.

I miss the love.

I miss the vibrancy and light that exuded from us both whenever we looked at each other.

I miss your silly Barney Rubble laugh.

It was quiet.  I grabbed a pen.  The words flowed like water.  It was a downpour of inspiration.  Rain seems to have that effect on me.

And then it happened.

Someone, somewhere not too far away started playing a piano.  Beauty came from the silence.  In a world where fingers and thoughts might have been too busy to notice otherwise there was… magic.

I smiled, still quiet, in the company of notes.  Because even if I was alone I didn’t feel alone.  It made me remember the simplicity of it all.  About how far we’ve all come from it.  About how far I’d come from it.

And myself.

“It’s in the quiet… when I miss you… when I miss me… that I find all the answers.  Of all the simple beauty.  Of why I keep trying.”

Thank you LA DWP for this forced moment of silence.  It was exactly what I needed today.

2010: The Greatest things you learn will be from…

This past year has been a journey for me.  It has been one that has not been without its share of life lessons.  But I have learned so much from it and from the people that I have encountered along the way.

I have learned some very important things about relationships- of platonic, family, and romantic.

For my first post of this year I think it’s a great thing to write these things down to share with you.  You see, this blog has been an outlet for me to voice how I have felt, but one thing that I have learned the most is how important it is to listen.

When you shut your mouth and take steps back, you get a view of a much bigger piece of the canvas that is life.

People are intricate beings.  We can learn much from each other.  Each person has gifts to share with the world.  Shut up and listen.  You’ll learn when you should speak up when it’s time.  Don’t worry you will have your turn.  but give other people the floor first.  It is then that you can optimally share what you have.  Collaborate with others to make something bigger, greater, stronger.  Attack the wold like a pack of wolves.  There is a reason they say that there is strength in numbers.  This is not to say that you should not look out for number one first.  It is about balance.

We are given the privledge of feeling moments of levity and darkness.  Are these products of our enviornment?  Yes and no.  Self accountability and the balance of listening, proactivity, patience, and time…. time really is so integral.

I have lost so much time in my own selfishness.  In this, I have also learned that sometimes selfishness is important. In your darkest hour, there is no one in the room but you.  Stick to the goal.

A person should always be choosy of whom they associate with.  Surround yourself with optimistic and vibrant people.  Watch how much that canvas takes shape and even lights up.

Treat every single person as if they are a gift, because they are.

There is positivity around you everywhere. It is not as abysmal as you may think.

Never stop learning, growing, and loving.

There are things in this world that are so much greater, tangible, real, and worthwhile that are worth investing your time in.  While money can make the road easier, it is not the end all, be all of things.  The best kept secret is that the best investments you can make are the people in your life.  They will help push you towards unbelievable things.  Weather it’s yourself, a significant other, a child, or a friend.

There is a song that helps me get through tough times.  The lyrics have pushed me through so many hardships in my life.  In times where I found that I needed no one but myself.  In times where I knew that it was only me that would make things perfect, even if they weren’t completely perfect.

Always Find a Way

The greatest thing you learn will be from yourself. The words you speak will come from no one else. All you believe is in your soul. All you see you can’t control. You thought you knew what it meant to live your life innocent. You listened when I had nothing to say. You listened ’cause I never had to pay for my crimes, it’s my time. So I think I made up my mind. From now on it’s all gone, but I wil never seem to say what I know, ’cause I feel I will always find a way. What I need to do is what I need to do. Try and get myself back down to the ground, without a scratch. Throw away the match, don’t even stop, walk to the top, ’cause who we are is not what I see. We need a love to hold us high, above the sky to feel the light, to see what’s right. If one thing changed it was me, I just wanted to be free. And I’ll always find a way.

The relationships you build today are the foundations for where you are headed tomorrow.  Make each connection count.

Listen.

Learn.

Love.

Give.

You will be surprised how much you will receive when you only give.

It is only then that things will work out.  Things have a way of working themselves out.  We may not always see it when it’s happening, but it’s true.

Here is to a year focused and determined to launch greater ideas, build stronger relationships, learn new things, and grow further as a person.

Each day.

Every day.

With a consistent and vibrant zest for life.

Because the moments in our lives are precious.

Our time here is very short.

Make it count.

Create the most amazing canvas you can.  Remember that every sparkle and every ray of light was once a dark shadow.  Wishes do come true.  It sometimes pays off to just take a step back to give them time to persevere and patience before it can turn into reality.

If it were easy all the time you wouldn’t appreciate it. To be fatalistic is to surrender without effort. Steps back are sometimes leaps forward in disguise.

And remember: Everything we want is attainable. It only takes a creation of the thought in your mind to make it happen, if it’s meant to happen.

Smile today.  It’s an infectious disease that should be a goal to run rampant into the hearts of many everyday.

Submission

Despite that I would more or less admit to being a switch, and am obedient in matters with the lover that makes it past my microscope, in some ways I feel as if I am constantly being tested with submissions.

Two things are at the top of my mind:

My submission to a 9-5 steady gig, and.. ____.

Patience.

I’m folding 1000 paper cranes right now for my documentary project.  This should be helping, but the road is not always easy getting there.

I want a pair of ruby slippers.

I want to close my eyes and fast forward to the happy ending.

I have found that my expectations in other people, my wants…

there are very few people in this world that are ever going to meet them and it’s a bit…

What happened to chivalry?  What happened to manners?  What happened to dazzling a woman and paying attention to detail?

I was taken back by my own failure to do the latter recently.  Had I done that, perhaps things would have been different.  Lessons learned and steps back taken.  I don’t think the world is a lost cause.  I just wish…

There’s no place like home.

There’s no place like home.

There’s no place….

I need to go back to work.

Patience, oh virtuous one be with me evermore.

In the blink of a moment

There were two meetings for coffee yesterday.  One was with a friend/business associate, the other was with a friend/former business associate.

Quite frankly both of those meetings were exceedingly important to me.

With things making a turn for the worst with Mr, and well… the quest for a 9-5 still ongoing, the interludes were…  pretty helpful for me.

That is, until I blinked for a moment.

Yesterday, after coming home from coffee and folding cranes, we turned the corner to see the lot where my truck had been parked previously, was now empty.

A new business had opened on the corner… a medical marijuana dispensary.  The lot had transients outside and was newly painted.  I should have moved it sooner.  I didn’t and it was my own damn fault.

We’d known that it was going to happen, but could do nothing about it.

I don’t feel unsafe here, but in a way… I am really not happy that it went up.

Why?

Because my truck is gone.

I wish it were not true.  But unfortunately, it is.

I called about it.  It’s been gone longer than I thought.  I was told that by my roommate it had been gone over a week.  I was so busy that I hadn’t noticed.

I got a call from a friend in [redacted] last week- “Come visit me.  I’m in town.”

I went down there for a day and a half.  I went to close that door and take a big look into my past/present.

An hour into the visit with the best friend I had there, he says

“When are you getting your passport?”

He took me to all the things that we used to do back then.  A movie, dim sum, jamba juice, tacos.  He offered to take me out for drinks and I declined.

It was another life… an easy button that I just didn’t want to press.

Dad always said I did things the hard way.

He reminded me of what little it took to…

I wasn’t really happy back then.
I wasn’t happy in my marriage.

And as good as he had been to me… there was something missing with everything else about that relationship that it just never could go past that “friend zone.”

There wasn’t passion.

There wasn’t a deep intellectual connection and a firey desire for…
I realized that I may have only experienced that a couple of times in my lifetime, and one was not my marriage.  It was not with the grip.

I knew the difference and I could feel it.  What’s worse is that I worry I may have squandered the chance at that something amazing with…

The night there was even harder on me.  I told him when I went down there that I wanted (despite his efforts) nothing “of that nature” with anyone and… well if I did have that, I wanted to explore that with Mr… whenever the time may be that..

The next day I drove to the ocean.  I said my goodbyes.  He says he wants to visit me here in LA.  He may be serious.  He may not be.  It’s not something that I’m really thinking about as much as I thank him for being my friend… and miss that part of him. I know it will never be though.  I know that what I want is something… far greater and “unattainable.”

I was cleaning my room last night trying to get my mind off of things.  It’s just a truck and in the end, it really shouldn’t matter… but that piece of shit meant something to me.

In cleaning the slate, I thought about things him.  The way I’d acted before… the time that’s passed.
I know what I did wrong.  In the rush of things… first his interest and my want to take things slow to get to know him better… to my rushing…


I got silly and stupid and carried away.

I know that I have done wrong and hope that that chance isn’t completely gone.  I think it moved way too fast, and am hoping that Mr and I can get back to that point before all of the shit really started coming about.

It never fully felt like it was just a friendship to me, even when it was.  I think that deep down, we both knew something was there… and frankly it scared the crap out of me too.

It has resorted to petty silly arguing and what not.. it’s just is not what either of us wanted when we first entered into it.  All I wanted was a sidekick to share in my adventures.  We didn’t want any problems… and really there should never have been.

I’ve thus, elected myself to be free of relationships and romantic interludes until further notice.   With one exception: I don’t want to give up on him just yet.  I’m not expecting it to happen anytime soon or even at all.  But, who knows what’s in the cards?

I am reminded why I was hesitant to really getting into anything after all of the stuff that’s happened in my past.  Call me sour grapes or call me cautious.

I am also reminded that my collection of friends is diverse and, well apparently I like to do quite a bit that it seems many aren’t up for.  Maybe I’ll meet some new people along the way.  Maybe I won’t.

And while I’m happy that I met him… even if it doesn’t work out to…

It’s going to be ok.

I know that I am fully whole.  I don’t need someone to complete me.  I may be alone on many of my adventures, but at the same time, I don’t think its a complete bad thing.

So if you see me at roller derby Saturday, come say hello.  But otherwise, I’ll be off on my own exploring this city though no longer occasionally in a vintage truck.

One day at a time.

I’ve found that it’s really the only way to fly.

And maybe someday I will meet a bird that will perch with me… if even for a short moment.

Here’s hoping that when I do, it’s you that’s there by my side.

But if not, well…