With Desired Effects…

this weekend was legendary.  friday’s work was hard and annoying- mice turds, scummy tubs and christmas tree removal.  fears of last weekend’s blowout still ringing through my brain.  not one to be dissolved into misery, not anymore at least, i pasted a waxy smile to my face and reminded myself how short life is, and cautiously stepped into Friday Night.

when your partner of ten years takes mood altering medication, you never know what face you will see at the end of the day.  one weekend smiles.  next weekend you are homeless.  one weekend is hot and heavy, sex, sex, sex.  the next weekend you are face down on the floor, sobbing.  with the uncertainty of days of wine and song, or nights of hyperventilating sobs, weekends can be a scary place, and have lost most of the glittery dancing, cocktail clubbing,  Thank God It’s Friday-ing times i used to live for.  so it was with supreme eggshell-walking i planned on not planning out how my weekend would go and with trepidation i watched the clock.  i crafted.  i cleaned.  i failed at crochet again.  i wrote.  i read.  i texted.  i went to the gym.  i ate.  i filled time.  i was.  i sat.  i thought.  i worried.  i chewed my nails.  i picked my cuticles.  i texted.  i snacked.  i ate mindlessly.  i worried some more.  i panicked.  i flipped out.  i cancelled plans with friends.  i texted.  i pretended.  i faked that nothing was wrong.  i stared out the window until 2 AM when i saw his car pull up.  i froze.

clumpy snowy steel toed boots walked in.  boots came off.  wooly-socked little feet.  a “hey baby, how are you?” and a kiss.  i smiled, cautiously.  the weekend had officially begun.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/daily-prompt-copies/

A Quirk-ful Life

I have A LOT of bad habits. most are fairly harmless. BUT. i am not willing to admit them here or now. or ever. at least publicly. i masturbate at least once or twice a day, but i’m not ashamed of that in the least. i don’t even feel slightly guilty about it. i’ll just say that i chew my nails, that i leave the water running when i brush my teeth, and usually forget to use coupons and leave it at that.

what? you say i’m a procrastinator? that i make list after list and never finish it all? i have several books in the works and am too afraid of failure to finish them? ok. so you got me. so what? i admitted to chronic, daily masturbation- isn’t that enough? or i do need to also admit that i rarely follow through on anything? that i rarely vacuum out my car? am i supposed to talk about my swearing? about my negative nelly/cynical jaded bitch attitude? well, i won’t.

i love bloody gory movies, and don’t work out enough. i love carbs and when i actually get the chance to read- i enjoy young adult fiction. i don’t wear my seatbelt all of the time, and i’m a bit of a boozy partygirl, despite being a mother. i get dandruff and would prefer to wear pajamas constantly if it was socially acceptable. i just TODAY found out what macarons actually were. i don’t recycle as much as i could. i am extremely carnivorous. i DESPISE romantic comedies. i don’t consider myself a feminist and love when boys do stuff for me. i hate my dogs sometimes and don’t vacuum steps. i hate breakfast and red velvet anything. i’m judgey and hate most people. i am often late.

i am flawed. i admit it. hell, i didn’t even shower today and i was at the mall. BUT. i did take down and put away the christmas tree and visited a good friend. i probably said ‘the f word’ as many times as i checked facebook and ate too much junk food. but that’s who i am. and i like myself a lot- even if I’m not guilty for walking around the mall unshowered.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/daily-prompt-quirky/

My Name is Theresa. And I’m a Realist.

I realized something the other day when people were still throwing new year’s resolutions about, and i was steadfast in my resolution to not make any resolutions. i was sitting quietly in the car as we drove around Atlantic City listening to Christmas music. we were trying to get the last of the holiday spirit before it disappeared into the chaos of another three hundred-and-some days. i watched the blazing marquees blink and flash and i wondered what was in abandoned and broken down buildings. i watched the groups of casino-goers scuttle about and i saw lonely people trudging home from their late night jobs. i felt so small, like you do when you are disconnected from rushing crowds and noisy happenings. i wondered, as you do, what those people were celebrating, and felt lonely for not being a part of their fun. i was quiet and introspective, like you are when you miss your friends and wondering if they were missing you too.

there was talk about what we would do if we were to inherit a lot of money. my boyfriend and i were dreaming of owning a campground or a bed and breakfast, and building the house of our dreams and traveling. realistically unrealistic, but with the right circumstances, possibly attainable miles and miles in the future. we talked about the past, and things he used to do in his old neighborhood, and like i do, i listened, wondering what my childhood would have been like if i was in his shoes. talk of ‘the way it used to be’ was brief, if only because it’s just talk, and there’s no potential in dwelling on the past, so the conversation went back to buying a boat and a camper, specific kinds of dogs, special vacations, all excited with possibility. my life being what it is, however, full of so much missed opportunity, so much disappointment, i didn’t give myself the chance to get filled with dreams. or even hope. i’m a realist. and we realists know better. we live in the now. we only allow ourselves realistic thoughts. we don’t dream or make WISH BOOKS or say things like “someday i’d like to…”. we just can’t. we can talk about the future in the short term, on practical attainable goals like- “in six months after we pay off our credit cards-…”, or “after i lose ten pounds, i’d like to-…”, or “next week after i finish work for the week-…”. attainable. practical. realistic. i am a realist after all.

i wasted a lot of my life wondering about the ‘what if’s’, and crying over my problematic past. neglectful parents, correctable mistakes, broken promises. these are things i know. but these are also things that i can no longer do anything about. they are done. they are in the past. they are the past. thankfully.

the future? i want to believe, and dream and hope and wish. but i can’t allow that. i don’t want to say, “after i lose 100 pounds i’ll buy that bikini to wear on our caribbean cruise”– there is just SO MUCH WRONG with that. it’s almost laughable. i won’t say things like, “i would like to go back to school if-…” because, well, i just won’t.

i can however, let myself say, “after my car is paid off next summer, i’ll feel more relaxed” and “by next year, our credit cards will be paid off, and we’ll finally be able to breathe a little easier”. these are things i can say. these are things that will happen. these are things that i know (*knocks on wood*, barring some unforeseen disaster- that is NEVER out of the possibility). but MOSTLY, for the most part, BASICALLY, (probably) those are things i know.

now, having said all of that, i still WANT things to happen. like, winning the lottery, or getting a huge burst of creative energy and also a miracle publisher and get my books onto shelves. or losing 25 pounds. i can hope for a dream job for my boyfriend. i can dream that my son will find his way through life easier than i did. but will i wait for it? will i dream about these things? will i allow myself the luxury of HOPING for them? absolutely not. i’m a realist. and realists don’t do that.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/daily-prompt-forward/

Not So Much a Hero

Today i’m supposed to talk about a hero, eh?
well, i aint got one. nope. no way, no how. not wonder woman, not spiderman, not martha stewart or even any of the horrible disney princesses. i grew up with a mad crush on Michael Jackson and slept with a giant hard plastic King Kong bank—- does that count? i didn’t think so.

so. hero… hero… um. how about someone i admire?
because that’s an easy one. i admire my boyfriend. i admire his courage and strength. i admire his ability to ignore the assholes of the world. i admire him for having the guts to come out. my boyfriend, of nine years, came out to me this spring as male. let me back up and explain.

way back when, nearly a decade ago, i got a divorce and started what i liked to call, “guerrilla dating”.
being bisexual, i was happily dating both guys and girls, and one crazy night at a favorite club, i ran into the cutest person i can recall having met up until that point. very low-key, very casual, quite gender ambiguous and yes, quite drunk. i was hooked almost instantly. some heavy flirting and a bit of a ‘whirlwind romance’ later, we were in love and together ever since. that tale, however, is very long, and for another time.

through the nine years, i was labeled as ‘in a lesbian relationship’, and by default lumped into the ‘lesbian’ category, despite being bisexual and explaining constantly that one’s sexual identity or preference is NOT defined by their partner or relationship status. i held fast and true to my blatant bisexuality, all the while dispelling the myth that bisexuals are ‘greedy’, ‘confused’ and ‘cannot be monogamous’. i never cared about the gender of my partner. i just knew that i loved that person.

years and years after we met and fell in love, combined lives and built a home together, he bravely came out to me that he finally realized that he was a transgendered male, i.e., born with a female body, but inherently male. he risked me not accepting him, of me breaking up with him, of me not understanding or wanting to continue our life together; none of which happened, because i do accept him and want to continue our life together no matter what. and although i may not understand SPECIFICALLY what he is going through, i will support him every step of the way. so, since he came out to me and started his transition, things have been the same as ever; for me anyways. for him, unfortunately, coming out to me was just the beginning. next he had to tell our friends, which, although seemed easy, wasn’t. he still had to overcome the fear of being questioned, or not being taken seriously. everyone was supportive, however, and for them, as with me, it was all very easy-peasy. for my boyfriend, however, who hates any sort of attention, things weren’t as simple. he was having trouble fielding all of the questions and even responding to the overwhelming support, when he was still just feeling his way around this new step of his life. he had to learn to respond to his newly chosen name, and even remember to use the masculine pronoun when referring to himself. thirty-six years is a long time to just change something simple like your own name, especially when dealing with having to use your ‘birth name’ at work. there was so much stress from trying to decide how to come out at work, or even if he should, or even if he COULD and risk getting fired. it was so hard watching him struggle and be afraid of getting outed. he had to explain the situation to HR repeatedly, and unfortunately his company didn’t even know how to deal with the situation, which didn’t help ease his troubles. at every turn, there was a new scenario, a new situation to have to consider whether or not coming out as a trans-male was the best thing to do. he was under a microscope so often that i saw him crack occasionally, and those cracks lead to more stress. but he always managed to get his chin up and at least fake his way through it. he was so very brave then.

hardest of all, he had to eventually face his family and struggled with the whole situation for a long time. it is sadly a step in his journey that he will constantly have to revisit many more times to come, but at least, the initial conversations are over. i have always known my partner to be brave, but these things took the most courage of all. but even still, with what seemed the hardest part behind him, there were more steps, each more complicated, each another chance for exposure. he cannot hide, no matter how much he wants to. his whole life, he has always drawn attention, despite being quiet and withdrawn. every day he has to move forward, and every day is an introvert’s nightmare; stares and sideways glances; whispers of “is that a BOY or a GIRL?”, constant questions about whose credit card or license he has, and a never-ending stream of screwed up pronouns. waitresses usually seem to address him as ‘sir’ whereas blue collar workers call him ‘a lady’, and when people realize their mistake, it’s more exposure as they try to correct themselves, apologetically. and now, he has the added fear of the BATHROOM DILEMMA. he’s too boyish to use the ladies room, and men’s rooms aren’t usually fully equipped for his current ‘equipment’ and there’s always a fear of being called out, or openly questioned and embarrassed; not to mention the scariness of backwards people who don’t understand the world; people who can’t accept that how we are born isn’t always black, and white or male and female as the case may be.

even more, there’s always an underlying fear of what happened to Brandon Teena who was portrayed in the movie based on his true story in Boys Don’t Cry. i am admittedly nervous for my partner at times, a lot of times actually. there’s always the underlying fear of hate crimes. always. no matter how much i pretend, the fear still lingers, even if just in the cobwebbiest of corners. i want to protect him from everything- the stares, the snickers, the pronoun game, and hate crimes; mostly, i want him to be able to transition quickly, both with legality of paperwork and also physically with surgery. but the reality is, i am not always with him, i can’t always be there to be a buffer when he needs to use the bathroom at work, or when he needs to use his old driver’s license or credit card. i can’t always be there. and at these times, when i can’t be there for him, he has to put his bravest “i don’t give a fuck”- attitude forward, just to do things that we all take for granted. and he is brave. i love him for that. he may not be my ‘hero’, but i admire his courage to just be who he really is.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/daily-prompt-hero/

Better, please.

i was on a long hiatus from blogging over here because, i guess, in general, i wasnt all about how it worked. wordpress is such an incestuous community, and it seemed less about sharing your writing than getting followers for your own blog. i was tired of getting followers only because they wanted me to follow them. i’m self involved and narcissistic, but i’m not naive enough to believe that i am writing anything that people will beat down the door to read, but if you are going to follow me, or at least try and get me to follow you- i’d have hoped that people would at least TRY to read my shit. not only that i realized that i was somewhat guilty of the same thing-i was following people knowing full well that i was NEVER going to have time to read them all, and most of the shit people were blogging about was so boring or braggy about how many followers they had. fuck that, i said and so i pretty much ditched wordpress, and went back to private personal journaling.

after awhile i remembered why i came to wordpress and decided that i needed the structure and dare i say, guilt motivated publishing that this kind of writing provides. i remembered wanting to publish more content and less personal drama. i remembered having that hope that i would/could/potentially connect with other writers who wanted the same, for actual constructive critiscm and all of the things that fellow writers do when they are connected.

so. i’m back. and i guess i’m hoping for a better experience this time, although, we all know, that is up to what i post and whether or not i actually connect with likeminded people.

On Writing

so, i have always loved writing. i always enjoy the control of it, the catharsis, the release, the power. i love the creation and evolution and even organization of written words. not to sound trite, but i have been writing as long as i can remember- even going so far as getting caught and BUSTED in 4th grade for a naughty illustrated short story called “HORNY MOANA.” but as life went on, reality and the BIGPEOPLE WORLD clouded my brain from ever becoming a successful writer. self doubt, improbability and the general PIPE DREAM of being an accomplished writer was squashed dead, like the proverbial cockroach. i can look back to a period of almost a decade where i believed writing to be such a farfetched fantasy that i didnt write ANYTHING AT ALL. no real surprising coincidence that it was about the time of my FIRST GREAT DEPRESSION….

something inside broke and i was unable to process any of my emotions which all seemed to be fighting to try and get out at once. i hated so much about my life, my self, my everything. i cried nonstop for days and days. my brain was short-circuiting and i couldnt figure out what to do, so i picked up a notebook and started to write again.

i remember writing for two days solid. it was dark and sinister, cruel and cold, and moreover, it was barely legible. but it didnt matter. words spewed forth and as if by magick, disappeared into the universe. so writing was back on the menu, and for awhile, was all the mental medication i needed. after awhile BIGPEOPLE life got in the way again, and started taking over my writing time, until it was little more than a scribbled sentence or two on a napkin.

once again, unsurprisingly, my depression hit back, and even harder this time, cracking me in the back of my skull with a diagnosis of “agoraphobia”, “acute chronic depression” and “social anxiety disorder.” great. add to that absolutely no self confidence, rotten self esteem and harshly critical unsupportive peers that said that writing was a ridiculous waste of time, even as a mere hobby. my writing career was over before it was even a seed in my brain.

many more braincloudy years passed, and i kept ticking down time, slogging through housewifery and reality television, until one day i rediscovered one of my old journals. it was if i actually could hear the light come on again, and i began to write again. i described my painful and lonely journey through depression and as before, felt myself blossoming back to life. in that moment, i realized that writing was one of the only things that made sense to me, and that it was something i had to do. i realized that i HAD to be a writer. that as a hobby, or dabbler or a full-blown best selling novelist, that by goddess, i had to write. that was almost a decade ago and since then, i have been making AND TAKING steps to living my fully realized dream; becoming a professional (and paid) writer.

this is a scary thing, a daunting task. an unbelievably, impossibly stupid goal uphill, both ways, in the snow.  and i realize this is the hokey schmaltz back-story of most writers, especially since i love what i write and i always have. HOWEVER, i rarely, until recently have ever shared my work, so based my confidence of my writing SOLELY on my own opinions. the times when i allowed others to read things, all have been very well received, with loads of compliments and pats on the back. but, i’m not that easily convinced and still doubt my writing ability. i have since named this “THE AMERICAN IDOL COMPLEX.” THE AMERICAN IDOL COMPLEX is when starry-eyed and naive people go on American Idol because their family and some people at a karaoke bar in a bo dunk town told them that they were “the best singer they ever heard.” they have unnecessarily and totally inaccurate assessments and opinions of themselves, and ultimately end up looking like idiots in front of the world. now, i never plan to publicly humiliate myself in front of millions of people, but the idea is the same.

i will say this, taking things painfully slow, spending months researching and planning seems to be working and finally paying off. i am finally gaining more confidence sharing my work and getting all of my little wordy ducks in a row. i am incredibly proud of myself, and all that i have accomplished, in the short time since i put my plan into action. i never listened to my mom too much because she wasnt much for sayings, but i’d like to think that if she said anything, she’d say “slow and steady wins the race.”

now, i still dont flatter myself to think that i will ever become a female David Sedaris like i always tell my son, but regardless, i am actually taking steps and accomplishing more than i expected thus far. and although i have been doin’ the whole “slow and steady” thing over a span of many, many years, i finally feel like i am gaining momentum, and have been writing my little heart out, now i am starting to get impatient. i found myself resenting my (paid) job today and all week, for that matter, because it was getting in the way of my writing. now, i’m not cool or conceited enough to believe that i dont need a paid job or income, in fact i have been lacking in the money department for a few months. winter is always a slow time for me; tis the nature of the beast, but years before, i always was proud of myself for powering through and getting myself back to good.

this year?  there is little motivation to have my own business; my focus and attention are all on writing.  and i know that my business is what gives me the luxury of having so much free time to write, but i feel that familiar creeping dread of “gotta go to work tomorrow” that i had with every other job.  i always prided myself on being happy to go to work, and not wasting energy like the rest of the 9 to 5’ers on being miserable.

“means to an end,” they say, and i’m going to keep on keepin’ on, but it was just what was on my mind today as i finished updating the zine and then trooped out the door to “make the doughnuts,” so to speak.  again, i don’t flatter myself that i am better than other hardworking people, least of all my boyfriend that works harder and more awful hours than most, but like i said, this was just the thoughts on the ol’ brain.  i would guess that this feeling is as much motivation that i need to keep me on my path.

my brain is on fire and once again words are fighting to get out, but this time, i am prepared.  i am ready!  the writing switch has been flipped.  no way i am going back now!  it’s full steam ahead, captain!  WRITING HO!