The Gift of Not Gifting

Over the course of time I have become enamored with the idea and action of gifting.  There are so many rewards to the heart with the act of giving.  What people tend to forget is that there are also so many potential setbacks.

Here’s an  image you are likely familiar with if you have been on the internet longer than five seconds.  It is a silly but accurate reminder of what I will be alluding to with this post.

free_candy_van

When my children were here with me over the summer, I wanted to do so much for them.  Any parent should understand how hard it is to be apart from their children even for a short time.  So, when the time came that they were finally here, I wanted more than anything to give them the world.  To get them here in the first place meant the world to me.  In that regard, I am thankful that I was privileged with the company of good friends to facilitate that visit happening including getting them here (despite my ex husband moving cross country without any notice so he could be with the newest woman he met in a video game) and even getting them to Disneyland.

While the material things themselves were wonderful, especially as I was beyond broke and having to tell my children that unfortunately I could not buy them everything, the act of it was far more meaningful to all of us.  Or… at least at that moment.

As more moments passed where my children have been distanced, I have began to abhor giving.  Not because I don’t want to… but because I see the little acts of bribery and compensating techniques that are actually happening.  Giving, especially to children, gives less when it is done all the time.

Both of my sons have had birthdays since my last postings.  I have found myself taken back with disgust for the reactions to giving and lack of giving done to them.

A little bit of a super personal background:

My oldest son is currently living with my father.  It was a decision made years ago as a temporary solution to my ex husband essentially leaving me in a very desolate space.  So desolate, in fact, that I am finally gaining the momentum to…

My younger son and daughter are living with their father.  That situation is extremely delicate and frustrating.  The man stole my children and ran off with them after emotionally and physically abusing me.  My last visit was the first one I had been able to get in YEARS as the man had: told them someone else was their mother, refused to take phone calls, and jumped states and cities several times while he leeched off some woman.  I have been working on this- without assistance- for a long time now.  As you may know, however, Los Angeles (and most of California in general) is a very difficult place to get on your feet.  I have suffered and learned so much from this grand place.

Since that visit, things have been progressively different.   My children know again that I am their mother.  They are very young and are starting to question the world around them.  This is something I have been encouraging and my ex has been discouraging.

(No guy like that wants to hear: Why did you keep me from a mommy that loves me so much and wants to be in my life?)

As the years and bits of time have passed, I have seen first hand how damaging both of the environments are for them.  One of the biggest reasons?  It’s the one thing that I haven’t been able to do a ton due to the lack of free flowing finances… as I have been working to recover from the financial shackles I allowed my ex husband.  Giving has been a cross to bear actually.

My younger son, when here, showed a major addiction to video games.  This is not completely surprising.  I met his father at a gaming company I worked for years ago.  His father has met two women in online gaming since me.  He is clearly focused on gaming…  it is… at a frightening level.  I fear that my son might…

A friend of mine loaned me a Game Boy for the plane ride and while they were here.  As my son didn’t have a portable gaming device, he was enamored with it and didn’t want to let go.  Combined with his learning and developmental problems, this only made me more nervous.  Near the end of the visit, I didn’t want him to have anything to do with the device.  He couldn’t handle the responsibility on even a sharing level and would break down when it was taken away.

As his birthday approached, he voiced to me on a webcam visit that he wanted a portable gaming device for his birthday.  I told him no.  I explained that he had not been able to handle it and, when and if he could show me differently, I would reconsider it.  At this point, he broke down.

“I don’t like you Mom.”

Can you guess what happened after that?  Yep his father and his latest girlfriend bought him one.  They had overheard the conversation.

It was one instance of many with regards to gifts that has bothered me.

When the calls were to initially start, and the kids had left here, the gifts and things I gave them were mysteriously lost.  I sent two cameras out to even get the visits.  They never arrived and there was an excuse for several weeks paired with talking down to me and telling me that my confirmation slips and testing of equipment were simply not true.

Something important given to my daughter also went missing.  One of my grandparents sends jewelry found at thrifts every so often. I found two butterfly pins in a bag of jewelry and decided to do something special for the two of us.

I gave my daughter a pink butterfly pin and I kept a green one. I told her where the butterfly came from. That it was from her great grandmother.  It would be a reminder of each other no matter how far away we were each time we wore it.  I told my daughter:

“No matter how far away we are, when we have these on especially, remember how much your mother loves you and that you are always with me, even if you’re not physically there.”

“You’re not just my mommy.  You’re my friend.”

It was a way to remember the love we shared no matter how much distance was between us.  It was nothing fancy material wise but it was a special bond between the two of us.

In addition to the butterfly pin, I gave her a jewelry box with other little costume jewelry. I told her to make sure she kept the pin safe in the box.

For a couple of weeks after the visit, it was a wonderful and special shared moment. She told me that she had worn the butterfly to her first day at the new school.  I wore it en route to a prospective client.  It was the magic and love of giving.

Not too long after she returned she told me that her father lost the pin.  We had talked about it on our phone calls prior.  He had to have known how special it was to us.  But there it was, coincidentally missing.

Another instance with my kids has been that the kids are always showing me gifts on my weekly webcam visits.  They then ask me when and if I will be sending them things.  It happens every single week.  Items are shoved in front of the camera.

“Mom look at what Tuffles got me.”

“Mom look at this [thing given by my ex husband & his girlfriend]”

It’s always something.  And it was always followed by:

“Mom when are you going to send us more things?”

I found myself responding more and more:

“Gifts are not the measurement of love.  I show you how I love you in ways beyond gifts.  Material things are  great but they’re not important.  Hearts and genuine love are what matters.  Those are the real gifts.”

My ex husband and his girlfriend didn’t like this very much… and the consistency has not faltered.  I await tomorrow’s gift.

Now back to California and my oldest son.  My oldest son knows I have an affinity for fish.  After some casualties, I found myself with an extra small tank.  I wanted to give him this tank and get him some betas.  There had been a whole economical discussion about it and some comical adventures with his siblings (to be written about in a future piece).  He told me that he couldn’t have fish because his grandfather said no.  The tank topic stopped and we went to birthday requests.

My son’s birthday present came from some great timing as I assisted my friends over at Loot Crate.  The box included a Ninja Turtle action figure amongst other geeky treats.  Since this son was named after one of these figures, it was absolutely perfect.  To add to it more, there was a blind box key chain from Futurama in there as well.  There is a very embarrassing story of when my son was a toddler that revolved around the character Bender.  We didn’t know it at the time, but Bender was in that blind box.

For several weeks leading up to his birthday I tried to coordinate something to assist with it.  I wanted to have a pizza party and make decorations with my Preval vFan Airbrush System and center the experience around that (albeit small) gift.  It didn’t happen.  My father wanted to do everything and spared no expense to get the biggest, most unnecessary amount of tokens and gaming for my son and his friends.   Oh and about the fish?  I arrived at my father’s house to find that my son now had a goldfish… and that my father had bought a big tank specifically him now.

My father gloated about all of it.  My son was happy, but ungrateful.  It was frustrating.  I couldn’t say anything until after the fact.  I wanted my son to have an enjoyable time with his friends.  I watched, but kept my distance.  I wanted to allow for some independence and freedom.

When I was to go back to Los Angeles, my son had an attitude about him.  He was unappreciative and showing it.  I explained to my father that this was part of the reason I didn’t want things to be so extravagant.  He didn’t agree.  He just kept gloating about how much he’d spent.

My son and I discussed his gifts when we got back to Los Angeles.  There had been talk of me taking things away as a form of discipline for him being ungrateful.  The talk helped a lot.  I saw my growing little boy in there.  After our talk, he apologized and went back to tell his grandfather that he didn’t like how he was treating his mother.  He remembered that gifts, while great, were not everything.

I have a stack of material things I wanted to give the kids.  I wanted to share some small things with them to show them that I think of them constantly.  But now?  I am now in a position where the act of giving has soured me from wanting to do it… at least in one way.

“I believe more and more in the words I spoke to my children.  Of the importance of the heart and compassion that are far more material than any material possessions.  I struggle daily trying to get to the point where I can give them everything I dream they would want.  But perhaps, especially in this instance it’s for the best.  Perhaps the best gift for them is what I have been doing all along… the real one that they need the most…. and that’s holding back and not giving. 

The book of Jena-sis: What’s God got to do got to do with it

And now for a reading from the book of “Jena-sis:”

Once upon another life in a land far far away from where I currently reside, I grew up Catholic.  My parents would like to believe that things I was taught by this exposure to ten years of Catholic schooling would be the best thing that they ever did for me. Some may say that’s part of why there has been as much “wrong” with me.

Religion has been popping up all over in my daily endeavors as of late.  As the book of testament would tell you to “Keep Holy the Sabbath” I figured what better day than a Sunday to talk about it?

There are quite a few reasons why “my path has been led astray” from what my parents attempted to instill in me all those years ago.  Many of them are based within the foundations I was taught by said religion is the very reason as to why someone should be religious in the first place.

Religion taught me about the bad people do as hypocrisy ran rampant amongst those who attended or found themselves “at the house of the lord”… almost as much as it did the good that resides in people.  That is, not to say that there aren’t genuine hearts that attend religious functions. But, like the rest of the world, I have come to understand that there are fewer and farther in between.  And, more so, that those who do good for others generally have an agenda a majority of the time.

Religion taught me there was very little that was actually wrong.  It showed me ten important things that were to serve as life reminders of the correct path… but that following these ten important “laws” did not matter anyway as all of the wrong I did would be quickly excused in a matter of moments as long as I sat in a box and told a stranger who technically couldn’t tell anyone about it anyway.

Religion did teach me some wonderful things that I wonder where I would be had I not gone to all those aerobic Sunday meetings of sit, stand, kneel.

Catholicism taught me about the real life application of the world itself being a stage.  (This was later re-confirmed as I found myself with copies of Shakespeare books.)  “Fame” was something completely attainable.  I could stand up in front of an audience and force them to listen just by being in the right place at the right time.  It also taught me about elaborate storytelling as talks about a man being swallowed by a whale heightened my imagination as I saw that so many people can actually believe things to be facts no matter how ludicrous things are.  One could argue that I therefore learned about marketing, manipulation, charm, charisma…

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In other words, religion taught me sin and how to get away with it without the worry of actual recourse for my actions.  There was very little I could have learned from attending church on a Sunday and receiving a sacrament that I honestly didn’t understand at that age anyway, that I couldn’t have gotten had I had parents that showed me… books, the news (not just Fox News although my father regularly watches) on tv and taken me outside a bit to different diverse neighborhoods to expose me to world experiences.

Why, as a parent would I want my children to attend church to learn all these things rather than allow them to experience the world more naturally and learn these same lessons in the real world where they could then learn tangible approaches to these forms of people and… maybe actually learn that actions should always be accountable?

There are many other reasons as to why I’m opposed to the exposure of religion to youth.  I won’t dive into all of them with this entry as some items are…  a bit far away down the rabbit hole personal wise than I feel comfortable “confessing” in this box of text to strangers.  However, the main reason why I do not believe in following in my parents footsteps is that, with the knowledge I have obtained from personally going this path and seeing truth outside of it, it is that the mind is simply not developed enough to understand the complexity of a potential “higher being” whether its “God” or aliens, especially at that young of an age.

The word “God” is not a basic concept just as the word “love” is not.  Telling kids to read from the best selling book in the world and that these things are fact while a giant band plays on stage might make them excited and happy to attend but it doesn’t necessarily teach them things beyond using a scapegoat to get out of their actions the moment they do “wrong.”  Giving children material things or taking them to places like Disneyland (which I admittedly have done both of) doesn’t make or show a child the true meaning of “love.”  It is far more than that.

If anything religious could be said that could explain how I would even consider a religious context from a book being introduced to my children, it would be this passage found, ironically, in an interpreted version of suppressed text from the Gospel of Thomas, a text outside of the canon dictated by the Vatican:

“The Kingdom of God is inside/within you (and all about you), not in buildings/mansions of wood and stone. (When I am gone) Split a piece of wood and I am there, lift the/a stone and you will find me.”

If my children want to seek out some “higher being” as a purpose for their lives, I want them to be wise enough and old enough that they can understand its complexity.  I also personally feel that they will not find these answers without questioning the world around them… outside of a church.  You may believe that all the answers you desire are found within those walls but, as I have found, the only answers that matter or should hold any sort of weight are the ones learned from the within the heart.

Simply (my interpretation)-

“To find the world and all its answers, find yourself first and you will have all that you need.  Nothing will ever fulfill you like yourself.”

I failed

…because sometimes you just feel like this when stuff happens (sexy I know huh)

 

This weekend didn’t go quite as I’d expected.  It was supposed to go a lot more smoothly.  Today (or rather, now two days ago) you were supposed to come on here and find a brand new layout and all that.  It was supposed to be all shiny and pretty and full of zoom.

I failed.

I failed big time this week.

But sometimes when you lose, you win.

What is it about this city?  About this life?  About my choices that I fall in love and crash crash crash and then… find a way back to new plateaus of love even higher than I did before?

It’s… very Los Angeles.  The city and I… we are lovers and the best of friends and… the worst of enemies.  I think that’s part of why stubborn lil ‘ole me just won’t accept failure.

I totally still really failed this week.

I failed big time.

But sometimes when you lose, you win.

In full disclosure: I initially started this blog piece on July 15th.  And, while you can see that I have changed the layout (unless you are a new reader, in which case- welcome) at least, I haven’t really blogged personally in months like this post and some of my updates on my personal social media outlets would like to say to be ready for.  But that’s not the only thing that’s changed and, has essentially kept me from posting this before now.

Let’s go back to more of what I had drafted then though–

There are stories five years in the making that will be coming true  came true instead.  What I thought was potentially impossible was indeed possible.  They just aren’t weren’t ready to be going to be on a shiny new blog format… just yet.

As you might recall from a past blog, I mentioned that my ex husband had taken my kids and has done so much to keep them from me.  He believes this is for them, but unfortunately it seems otherwise.

As the visit has now passed with this latest edit, I wish that I could say that my initial thoughts on the subject are different.  They are not only not different but they are worse.  So much worse that I have committed my heart to push even harder for the cause: them.

So much has happened in these past weeks of not posting.  So many beautiful and wonderful things.  There are stories that cannot wait to be written… but will have to.  Rest assured your patience will not go without its reward.  I know that five years later through all of this, mine was most certainly not.

There is so much hope for today and tomorrow.  More hope and magic than I even imagined.  Things are happening.  It is a flood.  I want to both cry and shout out and humblebrag about it in thanks.

I’m trying to do little of either.

I totally still really failed this these past few week weeks.

I failed big time.

But sometimes when you lose, you win.

That said, I look forward to telling you more about my failures and accomplishments as the days come…

when I’m able to…

when I’m ready to…

and that’s just.. going to have to be ok.  Ok?

(Get used to it and love you all lots.  Thank you for reading. Happy Sunday.)

It Won’t Be Like This Forever: My Abortion Story

Months ago…

once upon a time ago…
our time ago…
 
We were having a bad patch.
It seems like we have been cycling through bad patches ever since we got together.
 
I don’t know how we got there.
How we kept getting there.
How we never seemed to leave there.
 
Months ago during that bad patch I sent him a link to a song about my sadness.
Ben Folds- Brick.
 
 
“That’s a song about an abortion, not us.” he said.
“It’s how I feel.”
 
Oh what little did I know all those months ago.
 
Months later…
I sat in a cold waiting room, alone.
I was filling out forms.
Procedures.
Signatures.
Statements of “understanding.”
 
Image
 
“The world is sleeping I am numb.”
 
And the text messages poured in.
It was terrible.
We had been so terrible to each other.
 
I don’t know how it got there.
How it never seemed to leave there.
 
“She broke down. I broke down. Because I was tired of life.”
 
Inside of me there is a seed of love created in happiness.
Of something once undeniably there.
Of something that…
 
I don’t know how it got away from there.
I don’t know how it never seemed to leave there.
 
The picketers whom I had to walk past to get into the office chanted louder.
The door to the office was open.
Perhaps it was to try and remind the women waiting that there still was light.
That there still was hope.
That there still was… something.
 
I could see the picketers from my seat in the waiting room.
Their voices continued to rise.
Louder.
Stronger.
Echoing through the empty corners of that cold white waiting room.
 
And the text messages poured in.
It was terrible.
I felt terrible.
 
“Now that I have found someone I’m feeling more alone than I ever have before.”
 
I don’t know how we got there.
How we kept getting there.
How we never seemed to leave there.
 
“She broke down. I broke down. Because I was tired of life.”
 
But unlike that song, you weren’t there.
When they called my name, you were states away.
 
And these were my steps.
Little steps.
First steps.
Potentially last steps.
 
There was a part of me sentenced to die…
Whom it seemed you wanted to die.
 
The love I had felt…

That we had felt…

This would be a constant reminder and it was to be completely extinguished.
 
I wiped the tears from my eyes.
I took a deep breath breath.
I closed my eyes and pretended I was Dorothy.
I chanted to myself.
“It won’t be like this forever. It won’t be like this forever. It won’t be like this forever.”
 
And these were my steps.
Little steps.
First steps.
Potentially last steps.
 
There was a part of me sentenced to die…
Whom it seemed you wanted to die.
 
The next room I would be alone with a nurse.
Like the first, it would also be cold.
Stark cold nothingness.
It was the theme permeating throughout the building.
A sign of nothingness to be and to continue to be.
 
“Now she’s feeling more alone than she ever has before.”
 
The series of questioning would start.
Medical history.
Partners.
Relationships.
 
“Does the father know you are here?”
“Yes. He wants me to go through with this.”
“Do you?”
“I’m honestly not sure.  I feel terrible right now.  I want more information to try and make my decision.”
“Remember that this is your decision.  Don’t let anyone else force you to make one that you will regret.  It doesn’t matter if he agrees or not.  All that matters is you.”
 
“Now she’s feeling more alone than she ever has before.”
 
I closed my eyes and took another deep breath.

Months ago…

once upon a time ago…
our time ago…
 
He might not remember it but he said it.
“I want to have children with you someday.  I think you’re going to be a great mom.”
But he said it.
He said it multiple times.
 

Months ago…

once upon a time ago…
our time ago…
 
“She broke down. I broke down. Because I was tired of life.”
 
I don’t know how we got there.
How we kept getting there.
How we never seemed to leave there.
 
She continued to tell me about the procedure.
I would be asleep.
It would be relatively painless as I would be under anesthesia.
 
“The world is sleeping I am numb.”
 
“I want to find out how far along I am.  I need to know that much before I even begin to commit to anything.”
She understood.
 
It was time to take more steps again.
Little steps.
First steps.
Potentially last steps.
 
I came into a room filled with women waiting for their procedures.
Some of them were in hospital gowns.
Some of them were waiting their turn.
There were rollers with iv bags.
There were women waiting for ivs as well.
 
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It was cold.
It felt like the coldest room so far.
Stark cold nothingness.
It was the theme permeating throughout the building.
A sign of nothingness to be and to continue to be.
 
None of the women so much as looked at each other let alone spoke.
Each woman either sat and stared blankly or covered their faces in their hands.
It was a room full of ghosts.
A room full of sadness.
A room full of undeniable pain.
 
I wiped the tears from my eyes.
I took a deep breath breath.
I closed my eyes and pretended I was Dorothy.
I chanted to myself.
“It won’t be like this forever. It won’t be like this forever. It won’t be like this forever.”
 
There was a part of me sentenced to die…
Whom it seemed you wanted to die.
 
The love I had felt…

That we had felt…

This would be a constant reminder and it was to be completely extinguished.
 
A nurse came in to check up on us all.
“How are all of you today?  Are you alright?  Well considering the circumstances?”
 
For a moment I felt calmer.
Warmer.
And the tears dried a little, although not completely.
 
I waited my turn.
 
Some of the women finally began to talk.
It was like they had been awoken.
Even if just for a moment.
 
That nurse was a ray of light.
She was hope.
She was a sign that there were still people who cared.
A light in that blank canvas of nothing.
 
Because that’s what a small ray of sunshine can do.
Because maybe that’s why that door was open in the waiting room.
 
There is still light.
There is still hope.
There is still… something.
 
“They call her name at 7:30.”
 
Another nurse.
Another room.
Cold still.
Nothingness still.
 
“It won’t be like this forever. It won’t be like this forever. It won’t be like this forever.”
 
Another nurse came in.
“So you’re here to get an ultrasound to find out how far along you are?”
“Yes. I am not sure if I want to proceed beyond that.  I know that knowing that much will help me with my decision and my options.”
 
I was told to disrobe from the waist down.
She would return and we would find out my answer.
 
Image
 
I looked up at a monitor.
It was waiting for someone.
It was waiting for me.
It was waiting for…
 
The nurse returned.
We started looking.
Measurements were taken.
Pictures were taken.
 
The nothingness that I felt disappeared.
I began to cry again.
 
Inside of me there is a seed of love created in happiness.
Of something once undeniably there.
Of something that…
 
I don’t know how it got away from there.
I don’t know how it never seemed to leave there.
But there it was… cozy and comfy in black and white on that screen.
 
A sign of life.
A sign of hope.
A reminder of…
 
Months ago…
once upon a time ago…
our time ago…
 
And while my heart fights the reality of that potentially never being anything more than a memory again
 
You’re still there.
 
I’m still here.
 
I’m not ready to say goodbye to either one of us.
 
And these were my steps.
Little steps.
First steps.
Potentially last steps.
 
There was a part of me sentenced to die…
Whom it seemed you wanted to die.
 
Maybe it did that day.
But maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t the way either of us thought it would.
 
That little piece of black and white was hope.
It was a sign.
A light in that blank canvas of nothing.
 
Because that’s what a small ray of sunshine can do.
Because maybe that’s why that door was open in the waiting room.
 
There is still light.
There is still hope.
There is still… something.
 
And while I admit I’m completely scared and not sure about the details of what’s about to happen I know that it’s going to be ok.
 
Because that’s what a small ray of sunshine can do.
There is still light.
There is still hope.
There is still… someone.
And I can’t wait to meet you when you get here.

Mr Perfect

Back when you were younger do you remember those “Little Miss” books?

Well, a little while back, when I was out and about with a friend in Westwood we stopped in a gift store called Aah’s!  Walking in, you essentially knew what you were getting into.  Everyone has been to those cheesy shops at some point in their lives.  Some, more so than others.  It was littered with silly gag gifts and other assorted randomness.

Most of the time you walk into shops like that just for the experience of them.  Rarely, if ever do you buy something or know someone that does.  At least, not unless they are in their teens or know someone who is about to hit 40.

That night though I did find something.  I found a couple of things actually.  One is indeed silly and I may have to return to get it to send to someone important.  The other?  A few buttons that I put on the messenger bag that I carry most everywhere.  This story is about one button in particular- one that had the image and name of one called “Mr. Perfect.”

Little did I know, that perhaps that was a magnet for the person I would soon find to be my Mr. Perfect- HOM.

After we met it seemed very odd that the button mysteriously fell off my bag.  I put it in my pocket and held it close.  It was as if fate was telling me something…

The button is still in my pocket.  I want not to draw in anyone else.  I firmly believe that I found what I was looking for, even if it may or may not be the right time for it to happen.

Muse for Hire trudges on… those cranes have not been finished yet.  I realize more and more that I know where pure inspiration comes from.  That perhaps I already knew.

Mr. Perfect is in my pocket.  The dream is still there.  I lived it and think about it…but I don’t think about it.  I know that even if it wasn’t him… then damn I came the closest that I’ve ever gotten to it yet.

In the aftermath of the nuclear blast (a story which I am still devoted to help him pen) there is a sole survivor.

I wonder if Mr. Perfect will return and grace the nights and days with that light again or if the light that burns twice as bright will burn out twice as fast yet again.

To you my dear, I would Walk Through Hell.

I really firmly believe that there was a reason why we encountered eachother.  That there was a bit of serendipity.  That it was about something more.  It was real.  It was tangible.  It was… a movie that I will never forget.

I care about you more than you know.

I’m sorry that things turned out the way they did that day.  We were supposed to be flying kites high above the sky… the week that we had made me feel like that inside.

There are things I want to show you.  Experiences that I still want to have with you.  Mr. Perfect… you are everything I always wanted and more.

If you’d only let me.

If only

If only

If only.

I miss you my dearest.  I am looking for that way home… as I said before, San Diego my heart is yours.  This time, more than ever do I know that to be true.

 

 

 

 

 

Brutal honesty: Unhappiness in the military

DISCLAIMER: As a note to all my friends and to people all over the world within the military, this blog is not to belittle your efforts, dedication, hard work or jobs.  I know that there is so much that you do than what is in the focus of this blog.  This is to those lost souls that have turned to the military to complete themselves rather than a foundation based in patriotism.

On one gaming forum that I belong to, I’ve made a few friends-people that have both helped me through hard times as well as touched me through their laughter, stories, and support.  This is the story of one of them.

His name is Hazard Cheif and he’s a pathological liar.  At first, I just thought he was kidding around.  Then the lies got bigger… mafia, car races, cheating girlfriends (ok that one could have been true), boats, yadda yadda yadda.

Sometimes it was funny.  I mean, it felt like a game to a degree.  But over time it became less and less funny.  As a friend, quite frankly I hoped that he would get past this stage in his life and start on the path to finding himself.  Given that I have been on this road (looking to find myself not the pathological lying bit), I distanced myself.  I never really disappeared but I also wasn’t there all of the time.

Once in awhile he will message me.  We will have a bit of loose conversation and then back to poof.

Last night was one of those nights…

(11:44:22 PM) supernerdlady: are you done with the pathological lying yet?
(11:44:33 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : ha yes actually
(11:44:42 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : i’ve left it behind me
(11:44:49 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : along with alot of people
(11:44:58 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : im in the US Navy now

Conversation continued more as I asked him about postcards. He said that he was stationed stateside and had not yet been deployed but would send some when he was.  And then he started to mention that he was actually looking forward to deployment…

(11:47:35 PM) supernerdlady: thats not something to look forward to
(11:49:36 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : i’ve never left the US
(11:49:59 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : it’ll be a chance to see new cultures learn new things meet new people
(11:51:55 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : other than that shit life has actually kinda sucked

It was abundantly clear that he’d joined the service in an attempt to get away from reality rather than face his issues.  As a good friend, I didn’t pander to his statements where he tried to rationalize his choice…

(11:53:33 PM) supernerdlady: escaping doesnt solve anything
(11:53:42 PM) supernerdlady: but thats one thing the service is good for i guess
(11:53:55 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : yea i guess.
(11:54:00 PM) supernerdlady: you dont need to focus on yourself bc you can just do what they tell you
(11:54:03 PM) supernerdlady: be how they tell you
(11:54:36 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : i’ve already been in for a year and 3 months, and i feel like i havent really done anything with my life thats really of any importance
(11:54:57 PM) supernerdlady: what dictates whats important or not?
(11:55:11 PM) supernerdlady: did you learn anything in that time?
(11:56:00 PM) HaZaRd Cheif : i learned…. heh, how to iron military creases in my uniforms, alot about the UCMJ, and that i despise marines… ha

Now before you start with the hate mail, as I stated in the disclaimer above, I will reiterate that this blog is not to belittle your (anyone within the military or friends of someone within the service’s) efforts, dedication, hard work or jobs.  I know that there is so much that you do than what is in the focus of this blog.  This is to those lost souls that have turned to the military to complete themselves rather than a foundation based in patriotism.

He was unhappy and didn’t see just how unhappy he was, or rather, he didn’t know how to.  And then, it happened.  The beginning of the potential end of our friendship…

(12:15:50 AM) supernerdlady: at least its a steady paycheck
(12:15:54 AM) supernerdlady: thats more than i have
(12:16:24 AM) HaZaRd Cheif : yea
(12:16:40 AM) HaZaRd Cheif : id trade the paycheck for happiness anyday

Tick, tick boom.

That was it for me.  I told him flat out what I thought about his statement, and it was not pretty.  It’s so not pretty that I am not going to post it. But here’s a summation of how it went:

I told him that I “would take my poor, artistic, extremely happy but not always perfect or stable paycheck existence over a life like what he was living- without decision making or happiness over his any day.”  I wished him the best of luck to find whatever it is that he is looking for and that the only person that could save him was himself.

It was harsh, brutal honesty.  I let him go.  I meant what I said.  I felt really bad about it.  I know he’s not the only person going through this… so many others like him are experiencing this same pain.  Why doesn’t anyone do anything for these men and women?  Is a future with your own voice really that bad?  In the process of giving someone something they can be confident and successful in with moving up ranks and encouragement, we walk away from what really matters: that same application inwardly.

Mr Hazardous Chief, tread safe out there.  I hope you find the beacon to guide you home safely soon.

Baby steps: taking the initiative to succeed in the workspace

Jennifer Stavros

Los Angeles, CA

[phone number]

Dear Hiring Manager,

Hello again. A pin dropped and echoed on the floor after I hit send.  I knew then that I likely ruined my chances at getting your proofreader position due to 2 spelling errors within my objective.  I went to a business meeting about career development and discussed it.  I knew that this position is the perfect opportunity for me and yet, I’d botched it.

I had initially wanted to write this email and hesitated.  Frankly, I was afraid.  Then I realized something after some thought:  the worst thing that you could do was simply not hire me.

So here goes nothing.  Attached you will find another copy (a re-proofread resume).  Here’s hoping that you give me a chance.  I am eager to provide the best quality service possible for the [redacted company name]. I look forward to speaking with you further.

With Utmost and Kindest Regards,
Jennifer Stavros

and yes, I really sent this.  In my mind, I had to.  Freelance copy gigs are amazing when they come, but at the same time… even if I don’t get this job, I’m proud that I had the guts to write it.  Baby steps.  It’s going to be alright. Now someone hire me already damnit.