Mother Ocean

It’s cold outside, much colder than I expected.
I’m shivering in the breeze, lying here on the sand.
I am staring at the lighthouse in the distance,
Hoping to turn off my mind for awhile.

My heart is aching from trying so hard lately.
I keep waiting to hear the fog horn,
in between my thoughts it should be booming,
but it’s calm and quiet for some reason.

The red flags are hanging from the lifeguard towers.
The clouds are floating in over the ocean,
The storm is coming tonight and the red light flashes weakly in the distance.
The light should be so much brighter than it seems.

I keep thinking if I focus on the storm for just a few minutes,
the storm brewing inside me might die down.
I’m frustrated and angry at life, at dating, myself.
Maybe I just waited too long to try again.

The waves are crashing harder than I’ve ever seen them.
It seems almost poetic, like they are playing out what’s rumbling in my head.
The shore is rockier than I remember.
Walking along the stones pierce my feet.

I close my eyes and stand still, let the wind whip through my hair.
I wish it could carry away my fears, my pain, my loneliness.
This is my safe place. This is my oasis.
The ocean is the one place I feel peace.

It lets me breathe, when I don’t seem to remember how.
I wish I could drive and drive until the water is at my feet every week.
Maybe then I’d find a way to accept what life has in store,
And what life seems to have forgotten for me.

I hate the thought of leaving, because it means I go back to reality.
For a short while, the ocean, she is my home, my blanket, my safety net.
She keeps me comfortable; she hears my thoughts; she makes it ok.
She calms me; she makes me smile; she wraps herself around me like a mother to a child in need.

I smell the seaweed, it’s stronger tonight than it’s been.
I take a deep deep breath, hoping to erase all other thoughts.
I’m lonely, wishing I was walking with someone special,
wishing we were holding hands watching the waves.

The saying is that we will find our soul mate when we least expect it,
when we stop searching for them.
But I stopped searching long long ago, I stopped living for me.
I lived for those I cared for and I put myself in a bubble.

I think perhaps I missed my chance.
Maybe I made choices that played with fate.
And maybe now life is what it is.
But I was ok with that before, until recently.

Something changed in me, gave way like the edge of a cliff with the pouncing of a storm upon it.
Something deep inside me has crawled back up to my surface and is begging me to let her out.
This part of me that believes in love and in hope and in dreams
she still believes in the fairy tail and she is beating on my door.

The waves are getting close to the shore line; the tide is rolling in.
It will be high tide very quickly now and I’m running out of sand.
The ocean tells quite the story, one very similar to my own.
She is often beaten and broken, but she is stronger each time.

To look at her from the outside, she’s just an overwhelming creature.
She might be hard to read if you don’t know where to look.
But if you watch how the waves caress the shoreline, if you pay close attention to her rhythm,
She isn’t so hard to understand after all.

I take one last glance out to sea.
I dig my feet into the sand as if to leave a mark.
I hate the thought of saying goodbye,
For the ocean is the best of friends and I can’t wait to see her again.

As for my heart, she is still broken and tired.
But for tonight, she’s going to let it all go,
And take in the night air, the salty ocean breeze,
And hope it cleanses her soul like only the ocean can.

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. . . And Then There Were None

Also, an old one….this was when a family member passed on. I was struggling as we weren’t always close.

Slowly, in a steady manner,
as if with no control,
I drift into the building,
and glance at all the souls.
I look upon the facades,
of all that are about,
phony expressions and kindness,
each one in doubt.
Who is just a follower,
here only for the game?
Who is truly sorry?
Who wishes that they came?
The answers to these questions,
I will never know.
But here I sit in silence,
hidden in the show.
The words escape me,
for what was said.
I did not notice,
too captivated by the dead.
My eyes glued to his face,
his body so refined,
and when my name was called,
I too got in line.
Now fighting back the tears,
still fixed on his face,
start to look deeper at his body,
but his soul left no trace.
Upon the place before me,
I reach down with my hand,
stop myself from feeling,
the coldness of a dead man.
I think that time
has left me unaware,
for how to handle myself,
when no one else seems to care.
But now I leave the room,
the same way I came in,
No emotion to show,
for I feel nothing within.

More high school….

I’ve leafing through an old notebook I used for writing. I’m finding some stuff that for my age was pretty cool….

this one was for the holidays:

    Twas What is Now Christmas

Twas what is now Christmas,
Was then just a day.
Till along came a baby,
Sleeping in the hay.

Twas what is now Christmas,
The First in an Inn.
Came God’s holy creation,
To save us from sin.

Twas what is now Christmas,
Three wise men came,
To greet the new little child,
Jesus was His name.

Twas what is now Christmas,
A time to recall,
God’s gift of salvation,
For each one and all.

Twas what is now Christmas,
A day children love.
All recall what we received,
And thank God above.

From my high school days….

I was looking for a notebook for something and stumbled across some high school and junior high works. That was a long time ago and clearly they need some work, but not bad for a high school kid….so here they are:

    Changes

I see the time has come,
When I must bid goodbye.
Yet I don’t know what to say,
So many tears shall I cry.
I think of you so often,
But do you think of me,
Or am I just,
A fading memory?
I can’t tell you what I feel,
For I know it is not shared.
Forgive me for wishing,
That you truly cared.
Now I finally know,
That all my fears are true,
Yet I can no longer,
Cry my eyes out over you.
I wish that things weren’t changing,
But I must face reality.
Everything is different,
And all that’s left is me.
I remember when we were young,
And time went too slow.
But now I wish I could,
go back to what I know.
I cannot stand to question,
but there is nothing I won’t ask.
I’m starting to wonder, what,
just what, is my task.
I see my life before me,
It’s fading oh so fast.
I want to stop the clock,
and look if it’s my last.
With time moving on,
I don’t know where I am.
I only know my feelings,
and those I can’t comprehend.
I know my time has come,
to part with you I know.
God help me in the future,
to calm my every woe.
For as I say goodbye,
my tiny heart is breaking.
And I watch my bitter hand,
Slowly stop shaking.

Why do we put so much stock in outward appearances?

Tonight I went for a long walk with a good friend. We talked about men, dating, work, and life. Then we continued our conversation over a late dinner (does salad count?) and iced coffee (yum). Anyway, we started really noticing and commenting on the men that were frequenting the restaurant. Mostly good comments, except for the older men that seemed strangely drawn to me. As I said to my friend, I’d rather pick up a guy in a public place that I’ve seen than anticipate meeting face to face for the first time some random stranger that exists online. It’s just a comfort thing. So I’m much more aware than I once was of the people coming and going. I try to people watch a bit.

When I got home, I was checking messages, social websites, etc and I came across a picture of someone’s cousin. He was in a pool with two young children and although the comment intended for the children to be the focus of the picture, it was hard for it not to be the man in the very center of the photo. The thought that entered my mind was, “oh God!” He was shall we say border line gorilla, poor man. He was wearing a bathing suit with no shirt. I don’t mean to be mean or rude or insensitive, but if you think about it, we judge other people by their covers all the time.

We judge ourselves by our outward appearance and we often feel good or bad about ourselves based on it. Clearly this particular man was confident in himself, his appearance, and his manhood, extra hair or not. Good for him, more power to him. I know people judge me based on my appearance. I have a friend and former co-worker who told me his first impression of me was an “innocent librarian”. I remember laughing aloud when he stated this and responding, “boy, you don’t know me very well.” But he got the impression because I was put together, wearing glasses, and therefore seemingly intelligent. But he didn’t know I was intelligent, my look said it to him and he assumed as much. It’s funny the impressions we give off when we don’t even know it.

So many people focus on the one or few things they’d like to change about their appearance if they could. Nothing wrong with wanting to improve especially if it’s something we have the power to change – like weight, or hair color, or something like that. But we focus so much on the negatives. It would be nice if when we look in the mirror, instead of noticing that hair that is out of place, we’d notice the really great top, or the excellent make-up job, or whatever. I’m definitely my own worst critic, constantly picking apart my image in the mirror when no one else sees what I see.

We often carry ideas from childhood or somewhere else that have been planted in our heads; maybe they were never true or that time has passed, but we still keep them. A friend the other day was telling me about something her mother used to say to her when she was younger, about how she wore her hair. To this day, it sticks with her, she’ll never wear her hair that way again. People don’t realize the impact they have on other people. We also don’t realize how much stock we put in outward appearances. Think about it, a guy is on the phone with a friend talking about meeting his single female friend for a possible date. She is described as having a great personality. We all know what that means, right? She’s ugly! That’s the impression anyway. I like to think I have a great personality, but I also hope that’s not how someone describes me, because it reads, “she’s ugly”.

In the world of 2013, there’s no changing the importance that is built into appearance or the fact that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes. We want to believe our appearance doesn’t matter, but it does, at least on some level. But what matters more is that we learn to love ourselves, or at least some things about ourselves. That instead of picking that appearance apart in the mirror or in a picture, that we can find the good in it. If we see something good and positive in ourselves, others will too. That should overrule any negatives that our outward appearance may otherwise have. Essentially, be confident, love yourself, learn what works for you, and be proud of who you are inside and out. Because if you feel that way about yourself, others will feel it too. It’s kind of like the idea of it you force yourself to smile, eventually you feel happy. There’s some truth to that.

Anyway, I got a little preachy tonight. Not something I often like to do and my apologies if it sounded like an after school special (if you remember those). But just food for thought……you can chew on it or move on to the next item on your plate. Night all….

Weddings, Children, and all those dreams

Tonight I went to my friend’s wedding. It was beautiful and she is very happy. Yet, it was sad all the same. She’s moving states away with her new husband and their family. There were moments at the wedding that I had a really good time. There were other moments that I am all too familiar with, from just about every other friend’s wedding in the last several years. It’s those moments when you realize that you are painfully alone. Those short seconds in time when you think, “I want what they have.”

I’ve never been one who planned or dreamed of her wedding as a child. I don’t know to this day what my dress would look like. Some part of me would like a Church wedding, but I don’t think God minds a little creativity. I could picture myself on a beach or maybe a lake. A simple dress, flattering, but not overdone, appropriate for the setting. Just friends and family, heck in jeans and t-shirts if they like. Simple good food, nothing crazy, nothing overly expensive, lots of dancing and laughing and having a good time.

For awhile I even envisioned that my wedding would be an elopement. I think because I hate the idea of all the money and planning that goes into just one day, but I do like the idea of feeling special for a brief period of time. More though, I would want that memory for my hubby and I. It could even be just us in a remote setting. I don’t know….

It’s all just a dream right now anyway. I wonder why we put any thought into something when the critical piece is missing.

As you may recall from an earlier post, I’m attempting online dating again. I had a phone conversation the other night with a gentleman from the site. We addressed the topic of our interests in children. I have always wanted to be a mom. I wanted that legacy, someone to sing like me, or have my smile, someone to be all the good in me and none of the bad. But as I get older, I’ve had to face the harsh realities.

A few years ago I went to a routine doctor’s appointment. The doctor said she felt something during my exam. I had been feeling just fine and in my head my first thought was that she was crazy. Nevertheless, she wanted me to have an ultrasound of my abdomen. I got nervous and I remember talking to my parents and hearing all the perfectly ok things it could likely be. I went into the ultrasound not so worried, I really believed I was probably fine.

Later that day the results were in. There was a complex hard mass. At the time, they mistakenly believed it was in my right ovary. It was in fact outside my uterus, thankfully. Anyway, long story short, as I think I told a similar story recently, all was well that ended well as it was surgically removed and thankfully benign.

However, my grandmother had been an ovarian cancer survivor. Among a boatload of other cancers floating in my family, that was/is one of the scariest as there really are no obvious symptoms. In talking further with my oncologist, they recommended genetic testing. About a year after my surgery, I underwent just about all the genetic tests they could do at that time due to significant family history and my own personal scare.

What I’m trying to say, though I fear not very well, is that when all this was happening I was forced to reevaluate my stance on children. What if I couldn’t have my own kids? What if I would be facing a hysterectomy, which was at one point in time a serious possibility? I had to learn to accept that maybe I wouldn’t have my own children. Then I had to evaluate whether I would want to adopt. I’ve always been open to adoption, but I don’t know that I’d want to adopt without a husband. It would be harder in so many ways, but also more difficult to successfully adopt as a single working female. Maybe when I was younger I could do it, but I’m not so sure that I have the stamina I once did.

With the medical issues and my being single, I started to think about whether I could be ok without ever being a mom. Whether I could give up something I’d always dreamed I’d be….something that at some point in time was the only way I knew I would want to define me. Oddly, I came to the conclusion that thankfully with my niece and nephew I was kind of living vicariously. I could enjoy most of the benefits, without any of the difficulty. It’s not quite the same, but as I get older it seems more and more like it might be all that’s in the cards.

I investigated other options – invetro, harvesting my eggs for a future date, etc. All are expensive and have their own issues and worries associated with them. I was really surprised, like somewhere in my dreams I turned a corner. I went from desperately wanting to be a mom, to feeling like maybe I could be ok if I wasn’t. Then I started to think that if I ever do find Mr. Right, well the clock is ticking for one, and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to just enjoy us and life and being in love.

I guess what I’m saying is I’m kind of torn. Do I still want children? Don’t I? I guess the answer is now that I’m not sure, I could maybe go either way. But I am increasingly sure that I want to know that feeling…the feeling you get when the person you are with is so perfectly matched and right. I have thought I was in love before, maybe it was real, maybe it wasn’t. But looking back, I’m not really sure I have ever been loved. Does that make sense? My longest relationship was with the kind of guy where I often find myself questioning, “did he ever really love me or just the idea of me or what I did or could do for him and by being with him?”

So I’m trying to explain my way back to how this post started. Forgive me, I’m more tired than I realized. I don’t know how to answer someone who asks if I want children anymore. I’m very torn. I was honest with the guy on the phone, from the dating site. But the one thing I do know, is I’m not ready to give up on finding love. And I hope that one day, the wedding someone is at where they look up and think, “I want what they have,” could one day be mine.

 

Maybe I’m just having a fat day?

I remember when I was younger looking in the mirror at my pale skin and my long legs, my glasses,  my awkward stance.  I felt out of place I guess.  I’ve had moments in my life where I’ve looked in the mirror and I thought, “what a great hair day!” or “I feel really good today.” or “Wow, I look pretty.” But then there’s other days, you ate too much or you wore the wrong top and you feel fat, you look wrong, heavy, uncomfortable.  That day you hate your body.

Women, we have this love hate relationship with ourselves, our bodies.  Everyone wants to blame standards and society, but maybe it’s just how we are.

I’ve never been fat, but I’ve rarely been or felt thin.  I lost 25 pounds on a well known diet system now some ten years ago.  Before that I lived at the gym, 2 to 3 hours a day, so any weight I lost was probably muscle.  I looked good before and I looked thin after.  Did I ever really love my body? I had my days.

After four years of never having a brownie or a hamburger out, I started to crack.  With the diet that will remain nameless, when maintenance goes wrong, it goes terribly wrong.  I lived on a system which was the same as my original target for losing.  What that means is I never ate more than the minimum amount of calories and fat a day that were suggested for losing weight, even after I was not losing anymore.  In essence, I didn’t eat much other than veggies and well veggies for 4 years.  It worked because I ate a lot of equal and splenda and all those things that later created a world of medical problems for me.  Eventually, I realized I couldn’t eat the diet sugars anymore and I started craving all the foods I’d been missing for years.  Once I gave into one craving suddenly I realized I was a very hungry girl who was missing out on a lot of simple food pleasures.  I was never more devoted than during those 4 years, ask anyone that knows me.  I lived by the system. I knew the system better than anyone.  I lived, ate, and breathed the system.  I was working the system, till I wasn’t.

So about two or three years after that, when the original 20 – 25 pounds I had lost returned, I decided I needed to try another diet.  This time I wanted something that required no thought, just exercise, and good food.  Because I now had a world of medical issues, a  high sodium diet was not recommended, nor was a high protein diet.  So after much consideration I chose another diet, we’ll call it diet system B, with premade food, low sodium and no fake sugars.  I lost 25 pounds.

Then I noticed the food labels changed, the fake sugars creeping into the ingredients.  I couldn’t eat these.  Wasted money, wasted food.  My list of foods I could eat while sticking to the diet started to dwindle.

In no way relating to the diets, I did have another medical issue creep in.  I was diagnosed with a complex mass in my abdomen, my ovary they thought.  Turned out to be benign and on the outside of my uterus – thankfully.  I had some reactions to the surgery and some complications with my throat from the breathing tube.  As a result, I lived on a cold liquid diet for 2 weeks.  When I could finally eat again, sorry but diet food wasn’t cutting it.  I needed more than four bites to feel satisfied at that point.  And so it went…

Both diets are good systems, this is not meant to hurt their profits or their following in any way.  Unfortunately for me, in the end, neither diet was a life changing fix.  Now here I am, up again, back at the starting weight – for a now 10 – 12 year period having gained, lost, gained, lost, and gained roughly 20 – 25 pounds isn’t that horrible….I’m 10 years older and at the same weight I was back then. Problem is, I’m not the same size.  Every time I’ve gained and lost the weight returns in a new unusual fashion.  I wonder if men have this problem.  I think it’s God’s little joke on us – we try to improve our bodies and maybe it’s His way of saying we are messing with something we should not mess with.  I wasn’t overweight, I wasn’t obese, I’m not now.  Yet, I still desperately want to feel thin, want to lose that weight, want to wear that bikini again (which I think in my 35 years I’ve maybe worn a grand total of 4 times).  Only now, I feel less and less able to wear said bikini.

Maybe I’m just having a fat day.  See women, we have those.  It’s those days where we ate too much salt, didn’t drink enough water, and the scale balloons up about 3 – 5 pounds literally overnight.  In a day or two, with some care and a few prayers, the scale adjusts itself, usually.  So those days are fat days.  But I’m going to a friend’s wedding in a few days and I’m having one of those days.

To make matters worse, I’m a single female.  I never want to feel as though I keep a man simply with my looks, but we all want to attract one with them.  Every guy friend I’ve ever had says confidence is what attracts a man.  I agree, it’s true.  However, it’s so hard to stay confident, and I’m a confident person, but it’s so hard to stay confident when you are having a fat day.

Why am I telling you, these random strangers, some of them perhaps single attractive men, if they are still reading…..why am I telling you this? I’m not sure.  It’s after midnight, I should be sleeping.  I was unwinding watching a tv show and an overweight woman was giving back an engagement ring.  I found myself with tears.  Was I crying at the great acting or was I crying because I related on some level?

All I have ever wanted was to love and be loved.  And some days I feel great, confident, secure, pretty, attractive, you get the idea.  Other days, I feel none of that.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that, heck I’m probably in great company.  But if I can’t seem to consistently love myself, will I ever find that special someone to love me back? Ironically, I think having that someone, that support is what helps you remember to love yourself, how to love oneself.  Without it, a single person just takes a little longer to get back to the zone.

So maybe I am just having a fat day….and here’s hoping tomorrow, I’ll love my hair, love the scale, and love myself all the same.  For all you women out there that agree, thank you!!! It’s nice to be in good company.  But just to be safe….since I’m not sleeping anyway, the elliptical beckons.  Good night all…..