November Goals

The last month is both easy and difficult to describe.

On the positive, it finally feels like my spiral is over; it won’t ever go away fully, but it does get better.  I passed both my classes, continued one, and then started two more.  The play I’m in is great and the people working on it are fantastic.  It’s nice having new people to talk to and work together while having fun too.

On the negative, I did end up in a spiral, one that I wasn’t sure I was going to get out of.  Yesterday, I was playing head games because I don’t feel like the person I was two years ago.  Then I have to remember that I’m not.  I’ve done so much in two years!  I’ve learned a lot in those two years too, about what I can do, what I’m willing to tolerate, how to be a good partner and mom, and how to let go of what (and who) I can’t control.  One great quote that I’ve been using is, “You cannot control other people and situations; you can only control your reaction to those people and situations.”  I don’t know who said it, but it helps.

So, while spiraling and currently in a reading slump, this is what I did in October.

  • Finished two classes.
  • Miles reached for Walk to Mordor: 2,044.21.
  • Weight: 235.6 (down 4 lbs)
  • Books read: 22 books.
  • Blog Posts: 3
  • Vlog Posts: Maybe 1 or 2, not many.
  • Read 200 books:  Smashed and currently at 232 for the year!

October goals:

  • Reach 1,000+ miles.
  • Get under 230—I was so close to 235!
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 20 books.
  • 6 vlogs + NaNoWriMo Vlogs
  • Complete NaNoWriMo with 60k+ words
  • Finish painting the bricks
  • Figure out Christmas
  • 100 squats a day

It’s going to be a busy month, but it’s going to be awesome because I’m going to make it awesome.

Listening to:  How to Save Your Own Life by Michael Gates Gill

Reading:  Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn and How to Save Your Own Life by Michael Gates Gill

Quote of the Day: ““Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” ― Buddha

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Story Time

I haven’t posted a story on here for a while.  This is something I wrote in August based on a dream that I fell asleep to a few nights.   As always, if you like it, please let me know in the comment section down below.  Happy Friday.

Untitled 

I remember being in an accident.  There were the bright lights, followed by the sound of metal on metal and glass flying everywhere.  My final thoughts were, “This can’t be the way it all ends for us.”

My wife had just turned 50 and we had gone out to celebrate.  She was in the seat next to me, our hands clasped while belting out the lyrics to one of our favorite songs.  I looked lovingly at her for a brief second.  I couldn’t believe I’d gotten lucky enough to be here to celebrate her 50th birthday with her; any birthday really.  She was so beautiful.  Our life was not perfect, but the last eleven years of our lives had been filled with every emotion imaginable:  the pain of losing loved ones and the joy of seeing our first grandchild born, the hope for adventure and the disappointment of having to let the other down.

I glanced back at the road.  Then it happened.  I tried to get out of the way and when I couldn’t, I turned to make sure my side took the brunt of the damage.

Afterwards, I remembered being woken up by someone calling my name.  I opened my eyes and bolted upright.  I knew then I was dead because I was looking down at a broken body with tubes coming out of it in every direction.

Someone came to stand next to me.  Turning slightly, I realize it was my mom, or someone who looked like my mom.  I didn’t speak for several breathes, gathering my thoughts.  My mom died when I was a teenager so the shock that she was here now hurt.

“So this is it?” I asked, looking back at my broken body.

“For what it’s worth, you had a great life.”

I scoffed.  “How would you know?  Have you been ‘watching over me?’”  I put air quotes around the last words.  I never believed in angels although we had debated a few times over spiritual versus religious beliefs.  I smiled, remembering our last one.  After eleven years together, there isn’t much you haven’t talked about.

My mom looked at me then.  “Yes,” is the only word she said.

Suddenly, every negative emotion boiled up, but I clamp it down.  There was no point in hashing out old hurts because I knew that’s what would happen.  Even yesterday, when I celebrated my 39th birthday, I wondered what she would have thought of my life, my sweetheart, and our very mismatched family.  I never told her I was gay and as open as I remember my mother being, part of me still always wondered if she would have accepted my relationship.

That’s when I noticed my wife sitting in the chair next to my prone body.  She’s in tears and I can’t comfort her.  Whatever cuts she may have gotten from the accident are bandaged pretty well.

“How long…”

“Three days.”

I sighed.  She’d been in this pain for three days.  I hated seeing her hurt for more than a few hours.  Anytime she was, whether emotionally or physically, I made sure we either talked about what was going on in her beautiful mind or I tried to make her more comfortable physically.  Some things, like when she hurt her ankle again, I couldn’t do much about.  She’d been pushing herself so we could do things I enjoyed together.  Now, I couldn’t do anything about her pain except wake up.

I moved towards my body, and my mom puts her hand on my shoulder to stop me.  “You can’t do anything for her.  She will find a way through this herself, for herself.”

“No!” I scream.  “She’s not strong enough for this.  I’M not strong enough for this.”  Tears are in my eyes and I drop to my knees, my mom’s hand still on my shoulder.

“You need to get up.  We’ve already lingered to long here.”

I felt the air around me stir.  When I looked around now, we were in a white corridor with doors on either side.  Rising in shock, I’m hurt at how she just took me away from everything.  “Wait,” I started to say.  She was already walking away from me.  I looked at the people walking around us.  Some I knew; others I didn’t.  Everyone was dressed in white robes and sort of glowing.

Mom walked up to a window.  She gave her name and mine to the person behind it.  I barely heard the voice behind the counter, but I bristled at the sound I do hear.  It’s a voice from the past, one I hadn’t heard in a very long time.  I wanted to jump through the glass and hug him.  Instead, I just stared.

“Welcome to the end of life,” he said in his matter-of-fact voice.  A friend had died earlier in the year from an allergic reaction to some food his wife had made for him.  We all said It was a crap way to go, but when you’re allergic to just about everything, it happens.

“P.K.?” I asked, still not registering that any of this was real.

“In the flesh,” he joked.

“How?”

“Well, management thought you should have someone you knew to talk to when you got here.  They picked me because, well, let’s face it.  You didn’t exactly have many people you would have stayed to talk to now did you?”  He laughed.  “They sent your mom to get you because they didn’t think you would bolt if she was there.”

“What do you mean by ‘bolt?’”

“Well, you are one of the ones who rarely wanted to stay here.  Hell, there are days I don’t really want to be here either.  It’s too much like real life.”

“But….”

“No buts.  I’m going to show you to your new place; you can even decorate it…”

He may have kept talking, but I wasn’t listening anymore.  I looked at the people, at the corridor.  There was too much white and it all felt surreal; I felt sick.  So I did what I was did when facing something I didn’t understand:  I bolted.

In the end, there was no point.  I couldn’t find the exit no matter which way I turned.  Eventually, what I found was an older woman sitting on a bench alone.  Hesitantly, I sat down with her to catch my breath.

“You can’t get out, although it seems like you really want to.”  Her comment was a statement more than a question.  She looked at me then.  She reminded me of the grandmother from Moana, wise but playful.

I scrubbed my face with my hands.  My heart knew she was right but my mind wasn’t ready to accept it.

“Then what do I do?” I asked her.

She smiled that grandmotherly smile.  “You wait.”

“How long?”

She looked at me curiously.  “For as long as it takes.”

Tears started falling.  The lady scoots closer to me.  I smell something familiar and sob.  I let her wrap me in her arms as I weep.

“I’m so sorry,” I say when I can finally take a breath.

“Baby, it’s okay.  I just wish you would have stopped running long enough to look around.”

I sniffed and wiped my face.  “So what all did I miss?”

I listened as she told me about the dog she replaced me with.  “She was so spoiled.  She went nearly everywhere with me.”  She told me about how every year on my birthday, the kids came home, no matter what they were doing.  Their wives and kids would join them and she’d have a house full of love, even if only for a few days.  She got so see our grandkids grow up, get girlfriends and boyfriends, things I missed as I was running around looking for a way back to them.  We laughed and held each other like we had never been apart for more than a few hours, not twenty years.

“I’m sorry I missed all of that,” I finally told her.

“Me, too.”

I kissed the top of her head like I used to and just savored the feel of her in my arms again.

“Would you change it?”

She sat up.  It was an old argument we had been having when we were hit.  “No, but…”

“But what?”

“I wouldn’t mind going around again.”

I hug her.  “Me either.  Pick a place for us to meet and I’ll be there.”

She hugs me back.  “What about Ocean City on my 25th birthday?”

“That sounds like a plan.”  We kiss on the bench there in the white corridor…

 

…Then I am kissing the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid eyes on again.  We had been dancing.  I pull her up from a dip.

“I’ve never felt that way before,” she says to me.  “I’m Chelsea.”

“I’m Kaitlyn,” I tell her.

She laughs.  “Well, Kaitlyn,” she says as she wraps her arms around me, pulling me closer to her and looking up into my eyes, “what are your plans for the rest of my life?”

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First Lines…

I wanted to try something I had seen someone else do:  Give the first line of most of the books I read in September.  This was sort of fun actually.

I got through 30 books:

  • Four graphic novels
  • Twelve audiobooks
  • Fourteen physical books

Since this is my first time doing this, I’m trying to figure out the format.  This month is going to be by star ratings.

Five Stars

Four Stars:

 

Three Stars:

  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: “The day begins in the middle of the night.”
  • Juliet Immortal: “Tonight, he could have come through the door – the castello is quiet, even the servants asleep in their beds, and Nurse would have let him in – by he chooses the window, climbing through the tangle of night flowers, carrying petals in on his clothes.”
  • The House I Loved: “My beloved, I can hear them coming up our street.”
  • The Raven Boys: “Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’s been told that she would kill her true love.”
  • The Raven King: “Richard Gansey III had forgettn how many times he had been told he was destined for greatness.”
  • The Other Typist: “They said the typewriter would unsex us.”
  • Everything Everything
  • Must Love Dogs

Two Stars:

  • Sideways:The sun poured bright parallelograms of moot-swirling light through the Venetian blinds of my run down rent controlled house in Santa Monica.”

If any of these sound good, please check them out.  If you’ve read them, leave your comments below and let’s talk about them.

Happy Wednesday!

Listening to:  Nothing at the moment

Reading:  Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn and Victoria and Abdul by Shrabani Basu

Quote of the day:  “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” ― Abraham Lincoln

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October Goals

So a bit of life update along with the goals this week.  One of my goals that happened with a bit of synchronicity was to audition of a role in a play.  I did, got a call-back notice, and landed a role for a play that is December 6 to 9, 2018.  I’m excited!

Completed/Updates from September:

  • Continued Classes.  So ready to be done with them already!
  • Miles reached for Walk to Mordor: 1,900.05.
  • Weight: 239.6 (down 7 lbs)
  • Books read: 30 books.
  • Blog Posts: 2
  • Vlog Posts: 7
  • Start The Artist’s Way

October goals:

  • Reach 850+ miles.
  • Get under 235.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 20 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Complete
  • Sign up for a real life race
  • 100 squats a day
  • Sign up for HRC’s Time Turner Event

Here’s to an awesome month.

Listening to:  Victoria and Abdul by Shrabani Basu

Reading:  Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick and Victoria and Abdul by Shrabani Basu

Quote of the Day: “If there’s a single lesson that life teaches us, it’s that wishing doesn’t make it so.” ― Lev Grossman, The Magicians

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Forgiveness

I started the Artist’s Way again yesterday.  Part of that 12 week project is morning pages, three long hand pages in a notebook.  In week one, there are 20 different affirmations that we are meant to write 3 a days 10 times each.  One of those is about forgiveness.

Forgiveness.

I wrote and then I thought about it what forgiveness actually is and how we are told that forgiving others allows us to move beyond the pain and the hurt someone has inflicted on us.  But what people don’t talk about is how do you forgive yourself?  Because forgiveness isn’t just for those who have harmed us; it’s also for ourselves.

After the affirmation, I wrote why I picked that one.  I had a good several lines of things I wanted to forgive myself for.  It was encouraging and scary how many of those I listed were old hurts that I hadn’t thought about in years.  But still they are relevant.  I’ve never forgiven myself for so much.

So when is it okay to forgive ourselves?

Listening to:  Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

Reading:  Odd and True by Cat Winters and Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

Quote of the Day: “You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” ― Les Brown

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September Goals

August was much better than July but not by much.  I’m hoping September will be better.

Completed/Updates from August:

  • Started classes on August 20th.
  • Updated resume.
  • Miles reached for Walk to Mordor: 1,819.72.  Passed Mount doom and on the way back to Isengard!
  • Weight: 246.6 (up 2.2 lbs)
  • Books read: 25 books.
  • Blog Posts: 2
  • Vlog Posts: 5

September goals:

  • Reach 750+ miles.
  • Get under 240.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 20 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Finish edits my NaNoWriMo book and submit to Page Habit
  • Sign up for a real life race
  • 100 squats a day
  • Start The Artist’s Way
  • Apply for 4 jobs

Here’s to an awesome month.

Listening to:  Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay.

Reading:  Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman and Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

Quote of the Day: “What you envision in your mind, how you see yourself, and how you envision the world around you is of great importance because those things become your focus.” ― Eric Thomas

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Wasted Space

Today’s post was going to be about friends and the lack thereof that I’m currently dealing with.  I get that nobody wants to deal with a blunt, not always the most sympathetic, kind of self-absorbed person.  But pre-moving out of DC and pre-meeting my wife, I didn’t have issues meeting people and feeling like I was seen.  You can’t miss the fattest person in the room right?

Post move, post marriage, and post weight loss surgery, I’m looking around and I’m not seeing a whole lot of people outside of my family and a few and I mean a few close friends.  Sure, there’s Facebook, where I can’t post my opinion without someone saying something about how I’m wrong and privileged and how un-American I am.  Sure, there’s Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram where I have so many bibliophiles in my feed, I’m never going to finish my to-be-read pile.  But at the end of the day, who is there to pick up the phone and talk to about what’s really going on inside my head?

That’s the question I found myself asking this morning.  Who in my contact list can I honestly pick up the phone and vent about how screwed I really am?  About how I feel like a really messed up person?  About the level of anxiety everything seems to be giving me lately?  About how to get passed being scared?

If I tell one set of people I know that I’m jealous about their kids and that I can’t relate to their lives anymore, I’m wrong.  If I tell another set that I can’t relate because the baises I faced is based on something that I can change so I’ll never full understand where they are coming from, I’m wrong.  If I tell someone anything but what they really want to hear, I’m wrong.  So I stopped talking.  And stopped listening.  And taking up space.

I know some of the people reading this probably do care.  Some of them don’t.  But when someone tells you they feel down or they aren’t being heard or if you look at them, really look at them, and their smile seems tainted, do both of you a favor:  Tell them, “I see you.”  Not in a creepy, kind of way, but in a way that says, “You matter.”  Don’t wait a year and go up to someone and say, “You aren’t the same person who walked through those doors.  What’s up?”  Do it now.  Because you never know what’s going on in someone’s head.

Listening to:  Office chatter

Reading:  Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly Devos and A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Quote of the day:  “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ― Harriet Beecher Stowe

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