Sunday, May 11, 2014

Natural blueprint

Throughout history, nature has been man's blueprint and inspiration for progress and invention, even art. Her birds taught us how to fly, her wondrous diverse palette of colors and textures inspired great canvases and landscapes. The list is nearly infinite for the gratitude we have to nature for improving 'man.'

Yet, we take nature, or Mother Nature, for granted. It's just there. The leaves, the birds, the sunshine and rain. The oceans, the trees, the deserts. Grass, flower petals. Animals, furry and scaled and blubbery. It's just there.We see it everyday, in some way or another. Even in the most concrete, dreary cities, there is still nature.

What if nature was not the rich, kaleidoscopic thing we have come to expect. What if every plant bore the same leaves, in the same staid green? Flowers, though abundant, sprung in the equal shape and color. Then what? Wouldn't our lives be just as uninspired? Monotonous?

What about us? We get up. We get ready for work. We go to work. We come home. We spend our time with our significant other, families and the same circle of friends, whether few or several. We eat dinner. Maybe work some more. We sleep. It's a routine mostly all of us are familiar with.  If we're lucky, a weekend getaway or even a vacation. Then what.

I have decided to quit this blog. It no longer serves my purpose in life or the direction I wish to go.

I am not a Middle Class Socialite, nor do I wish to be.

I wish to be a gardener. Cultivating my own life. Watering it, watching it flourish and blossom.

Nature is going to be my blueprint for joy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The freedom of Anger (and finding out who you're really supposed to be)

This past weekend I hit a wall. A wall of anger.

I became angry at my grandmother for not understanding that I can't be her entire life. I was angry at my godmother, pretty much my only family, for not at all understanding my situation and for being the type of person who believes you are supposed to live your life for everyone else. And I was angry at myself.  Angry for allowing the boundaries of my life and who I am get flattened like wimpy blades of grass.

I am so burnt out. I am so frustrated. I am so tired of what feels like near daily trips to the guilt guillotine, whenever I talk to my grandmother.  It's my fault that's she no longer 25 years old and can not do the things she used to do. It's my fault that she's outlived her husband and two kids. It's my fault that she has severe anxiety and worries if I don't call her every single day to tell her I'm okay.
It's my fault that her other white-trash grandchildren don't keep in touch with her. And of course, it's my fault that I am an adult and do not need her to take care of me.

And facing that anger (finally) made me realize this has gone too far.

It wasn't the frustration, or the fear of yet another looming, lonely birthday staring me in the face. It wasn't the fact that since my dad passed eight years ago and I stepped in to take care of my grandmother, I have not been able to sustain a permanent job or relationship. It was the anger of it all that hit me like a sack filled with bricks. The anger of feeling controlled and being a bucket for which my grandma throws all of her dirty, sorrow-filled blame rags into. And with an open mouth, I kept gobbling it up. For eight years.

This blog was supposed to be about being a middle-class socialite. About living a somewhat free journey of transformation. But I don't have that freedom.
I am not who I am supposed to be. Then again, I don't even know who I am supposed to be.

I've always been fascinated by those women who led glorious, fantastic, unapologetic lives. Tied down by no one, bursting with talent and personality and passion. Their lives filled with interesting people. Maybe it's a fantasy, and like facebook happy details were highlighted. And mostly these women I admire lived during the 20's and 30's, but whatever. Diana Vreeland. I love her 'I'm who I am and don't care what you think' approach to anything and everything. And whatever wasn't entertaining or over-the-top about her life, she made up.
These women traveled everywhere. Lived every breath good and bad, with adventure. Even if those adventures weren't daily, they were there lurking around the corner, ready for the taking.

That's what I want.

Instead, yesterday I had to listen to my grandma chide me for not calling her back right away.  I was really busy that day with job interviews and phone calls, and had intended to call her later in the afternoon.

She was upset because I ordered several things off Amazon and had them delivered to her house. She was upset because the box was large and she had to struggle to push it into the other room (which I did not expect and felt bad). But, I think she was most upset because I took away yet another excuse for her to ask me to do something for her. Her way of pulling me to come visit her.

Now, I'm struggling to find a caregiver for her, and she's of course resistant to that idea. God-forbid I should live my own life.

Hopefully when all of this is over there will be a sliver left of being able to live my life. After all, since the day I was born, I've had to be the blame bucket for all of my mother's insecurities as well .

I am so done. That box of sleeping pills looks more and more delicious every day.

Friday, April 25, 2014


She needs me to be her everything. Because her everything died twenty-some years ago.
And again, thirteen years ago.  And yet again, eight years ago.
Somehow along the way, I've made myself responsible for her tragic circumstances. Because my heart bled for my poor, aging grandma. Because she's family. Because I love her. And because there is no one else.

She needs me to be her companion, her cook, her chauffeur, her therapist, her friend, her granddaughter, her caretaker. For 8 years, in some way, shape or form I have been.

It's the 'need' that is suffocating me. The 'need' is a vampire sucking the life from my soul.
The guilt of feeling suffocated is crushing me.

Yesterday she called me. "I'm sick," her voice cracked over the phone, sounding like someone trying to play hooky from work on a warm, sunny day.
Her ailment was not illness, it was loneliness. And I am her panacea.

Her doctor suggested, multiple times, a therapist to deal with the anxiety.         She said no.
I suggested living in the same active senior community with her sister.             She said no.
The adult center, where seniors play games and enjoy luncheons is nearby.      She said no.
Repeatedly, I brought up the idea of a part-time caregiver.                                She said No.

Why should she. She has me.

I am not in my 60's and retired. I'm not even 40, yet. And because I'm an independent woman, The guilt swallows me for being busy. For her self-pity. No time for the woman who's not busy at all.  "I don't call to say hi because I know you're busy. I don't want to bother you."

My mother used to do the same thing. When I decided I didn't want to be her therapist anymore,
I was made to feel guilty.  "I don't talk to you anymore, because I know you don't like it."

No relationship can survive when one person is wholly dependent on the other.  Its a simple fact.

She needs a life outside of me. Despite her advancing age, her mind is still pretty sharp, sharper than her slowly, crumbling body.

Now after 8 years, I realize I can no longer be responsible for the obstacles she puts in her own way.
I have my own obstacles to deal with.

All I want is to just be her granddaughter.

Not her her everything.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A quiet corner to quiet my cornered mind

Do you ever ask yourself if you have the grown-up version of ADD?
(Okay, I think it's called ADHD, these days).

Perhaps the other, approved name is multi-tasking, which of course makes it okay, even triumphant, to have a lack of singular focus. There's always so much going on inside our heads, it's crazy.

I've been working on my book. A re-write. Yet, I can't sit for more than 20 minutes without finding myself 'stuck.' I don't know where to go next in the story so I find myself playing with my iphone or browsing through my favorite websites - that I've already browsed through 20 minutes earlier.

I check prices of flights to Spain and now Argentina. I can't decide if I want to spend the (lots of) money to travel because I have the time. I desperately need a break from my current reality. Who knows when I'll find a job again. I need to take my grandma to the DMV, to get her her hair done, to get that blood test. I need to sign her up for Access Transportation. I still need to make breakfast. And what about that guy I was sort of dating, but not really? Of course I haven't heard from again. He kisses me good-bye, but I hardly see or hear from him. He's busy running his company, traveling constantly for work.
I need to look for work, apply for unemployment (can't believe I still haven't done that), take the spots of chipping nail polish off my fingers. I need to practice yoga daily, even if it's at home to prolong my class series at the studio I go to.

And my career. What about that career. What was it again? I can't remember.
I have a friend, she is a graphic designer. She's content where she is, working hard, overly hard for a company that hasn't given her a raise in almost 2 years, and at any minute could lay her off. That's the case in most companies these days. The point is, she's content. She has a job that pays the bills. I wonder if it's better to be content, and not so ambitious, than to be always dealing with the failure of your ambitions and dreams.

Maybe I need to go back to that quiet corner and just sit there for a couple hours (leaving the phone with internet access in the car)  until I force myself to find my focus. Where will I end up next?
I haven't grown up, I've only grown older.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unstructured Yo-Yo

This morning I made eggs with chopped tomato and basil paired with a side of whole wheat toast drizzled (okay, accidentally, sorta drenched) with olive oil. Fresh, healthy; a breakfast that could only be made by someone who has a lotta time in the morning. Someone say, unemployed.

Once again here I am. My last endeavor was not a good fit. The feeling suffice to say was mutual. Now, cast out into the uncertain crowded blue sea of job hunters, I'm reminded of that scene in Alice and Wonderland where the characters are engaged in a 'caucus race'. Frantically they ran round and round and round - with such purpose. Really, all they were doing was running in dizzying circles, going nowhere. They believed they were going somewhere. That's how I feel about looking for a job. Sometimes that's how I feel about life. Slap a fancy name to anything and it'll sound important and necessary.

Each day I walked into that office feeling I wasn't truly who I was there. I couldn't wait until 5 o'clock, or the weekend, so that I could transform back into me. Maybe it was the environment, so bland and uncreative. Alas, it's a job, the evil necessity of adulthood. Does it really matter who you are, or being true to a you that you haven't quite figured out? You go in, you do your job, collect your paycheck. If you're really lucky, it turns into a career path, better opportunity. This one didn't.

While in the shower this morning sudsing away the ego-shattering events of the day before, I had a realization. A very disturbing realization. For nearly 6 years I have been a yo-yo in my own life. My job status comprised of a collection of lay-offs and contract positions leaving me swinging in an in-between space of nothingness, just waiting for the next opportunity to snap me up again. My relationships....not that much different. They too seem to be on a contract basis. While the realization wasn't that groundbreaking, the realization of how much time had passed stung like soap dripping in my eyes.

Where did I go wrong? How do I become the person driving the yo-yo instead of the swinging yo-yo itself? And why the hell do some have it so easy?

I'm not someone who does well with structure. I know that. Do I need to betray who I am and give-in to the structure I find so binding to find the success I keep chasing? I don't plan well, I'm not methodical, first item on my to-do list is to make a to-do list. Yet, I have expectations, dreams for myself, ambitions I can't implement. I feel like I'm trying to drink a glass of wine while in a straitjacket.

Where does it end, or begin?

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Being unemployed is like standing before a giant blank canvas, holding a paint palette stocked with every color of the rainbow in one hand and a brand new, super bristly brush in the other.
So much open space and time, combined with the possibility of nearly limitless opportunities, all at once, is too overwhelming. Not to mention the hot-breath pressure from your peers, friends, family, all standing over your shoulder - waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting.

The last days I have felt flat-lined. Uninspired, doubtful, trapped. I can't move due to family obligations. What to do next? Truth be told - going back to work in that corporate world where I'm just a machine to do work, and where, at any given moment the earth could split open in another cut-back, lay-off tremor and swallow you whole. And there you are, back where you started, only with a little bit less of your soul.

Life is filled with "not fair's" but, really, why does it have to be? When did it become a crime to watch your life flat-line, just because?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Modern Clutter or Distractions, Distractions, Distractions

Busy, busy, busy, busy.

Everyday, all day, every second, every minute. Busy.  Text messages, emails, it's your turn to play a game, someone's calling (I forget that's the primary purpose of a phone these days), all this just from the phone that's attached to you more than your wallet and your own life.
Advertisements/ commercials
Buy this, read that
Busy, busy, busy, busy. We're so distracted and busy that we need to schedule time for relaxation.
Vacations are no longer that. Even then you are expected to be reachable.

No time for this, no time for that, no time for sleep, no time for relationships, no time for love, no time to breathe, no time to listen, no time to see, no time to feel. Strive, be successful, grow, climb, cultivate, squeeze more blood. Earn more to buy more.

Juggle, juggle, juggle. Much like the circus performer in the middle of the ring. All eyes on me. Don't drop anything, display perfectionism.

How many times do we pick up our phone in one day, one hour? Probably more times than we pick up our own child or pet a dog or smell a flower.

Control, choices. Are they ours? Perhaps my musings are all the same.

But what if....

You're not busy? What's wrong with you? You're weird! Simpleton.

 Unplug. Turn off the TV. Experience life. Focus on the patterns created by light and shadow.

Experiencing life, has now become a luxury, when it should be as involuntary as the breaths you take.  It's all in your hands, your eyes, your ears, your touch. It's all there.

Everyone is agitated, unhappy and ungrateful for everything they themselves worked for.
I will probably find a job, sell my soul to a boss or company to whom you are just a drone. Expected to give my time. more than I choose because there is too much work and not enough people to fulfill it, for pay that is not worth my time or experience or knowledge. Then what.  It's up to me.

And yes, I own an iphone. No, I do not have cable (I have netflix!).