Category Archives: Family

On the subject of marriage & children

 

I feel I must preface this post due to the possible backlash from those who may read this the wrong way. This is my bog. They are my stories, my feelings. I am not talking about anyone else specifically unless I say I am!

Why don’t more people decide what would be best for their children before they get pregnant? I’ve never been able to figure that out. It’s as if they just want to spawn, regardless of their personal circumstances, the person they choose to have a child with or their financial situation.

Take a look around almost anywhere you go these days & you’ll see frustrated mothers with kids at every turn. They scream at & beat on them at the grocery store. They allow them to run around outside without shoes, let alone supervision. I’ll never understand people when it comes to their practices of having/raising children or of multiple marriages.

That being said….I haven’t even touched on my issues where these topics are concerned.

When it comes to marriage, mine wasn’t so much a conscious choice as not becoming a mother was. I, like many people in America, come from a broken family, well multiple broken families. My father alone has been married to 4 women. It’s as if he never learned how to date. I do respect his undying belief in love, but come on…4 wives? My mom is a completely different story of choosing the wrong men & I am NOT in the mood to get into that this morning.

So, what I did was purposely date boys/guys/men who either didn’t believe in marriage at all or who had serious commitment & other issues. That way, I knew I would never have to worry about going down that road. Okay, so maybe that’s a cop out. I was completely afraid of marriage, or any serious relationships for that matter. I have never been in a relationship longer than 2 1/2 years. Talk about fear of commitment.

Where having a child is concerned, that story is a little more confusing, a little sadder. I wasn’t that child who dreamed of being a mommy. As I got older though, I did start to think that it would be wonderful, to create a life inside you & then help guide them to become the adult they were meant to be. That being said….the very thought scared me beyond words. Being responsible for another humans life? Shaping & guiding them? Well…..I was sure to screw that up! How could I live with myself knowing that I was responsible for destroying someones life just because they were born of me. I went down that road, but as the child.

As I’ve gotten older, the want to be a mother grew stronger, as did wrong choices in men. Not a single guy I dated would even discuss the idea of having a child. Then again, looking back, I would have been a moron to have a kid with some of those assholes! Once the feeling started inside me, it never actually went away.

Sadly, time makes it more difficult to carry a baby & I’m not really sure I’d want to be that old mom. Besides that, obviously if you read my blog you know, I’m still not in the proper mental state to have a child.

I guess some people just aren’t meant to have children of their own. However, if they’re lucky, they still get to be surrounded by amazing children of other people & make an impact. There may also be the chance to become the step-mom to an amazing boy someday….we’ll see.

 

Nobody’s Wife or Mother & that’s just fine ❤

 

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“You Can’t Go Home Again”

In the Thomas Wolfe novel, he claims, in part, that “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood”. While we know that literally, one can go home again, but as I stated in an earlier post, the metaphorical idea holds true…one can never really go home again.

For the past decade I have held inside me a dream to buy back my Grandmothers home. When she passed in 2001, my father & step-mother decided to sell the house. This fact has bothered me since I found out about it. The main reasons for this being that my Grandmother had this house custom-built during a time when women were still not as likely to do such a thing, but she was never a “typical” woman. She worked very hard for everything she got in her life & I have always respected her for that. Sadly, I always held in my heart that she would allow me to live in the home & carry it on in our family once she passed. That was not the case.

I have to make it a point to admit that when my Grandma passed away, I was not there. The easy answer to why is that I wasn’t aware. The more complicated answer is that after so many decades of running into a brick wall with my family & relatives (mostly the relatives), I made the choice (at the wrong time, it turns out) to stop running at the wall, only to slam into it, hurting only myself. (or so I thought)

Madelyn was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in the fall of 2000 & passed away in April of 2001. Christmas was ALWAYS her favorite time of year. The weeks leading up to Christmas, she was recovering from surgery that removed her lung tumor & half of the lung it had invaded. She was planning a family Christmas party, including her sister (my Great-Aunt) her children & theirs as well. A few days before Christmas, as I was making my daily phone call to see if she needed me to stop by & bring her anything, she mentioned to me that she felt it would be best that I didn’t attend the Christmas party. I can admit now that I immediately saw red. Her reasoning was that she didn’t want any “trouble” this year & with the Belians attending, my presence would cause strife. I don’t think she had any idea how much that statement broke my heart. What did she mean, I shouldn’t come. I was her granddaughter, the child she had a HUGE hand in raising. Her direct bloodline. If anyone should be there, it was my dad & his wife, myself & my brother. Well, they were all there, but not the bad seed. That was my moment. The moment when I said “Enough!” I stopped that day. I stopped trying. I stopped putting myself out there, only to be ridiculed & seen as the person I was when I was young….irresponsible, disrespectful, distant, loud, etc. That is a person I would never outgrow in the eyes of many people I share a bloodline with, some of whom I don’t even really know. It’s amazing how those things can stick with you, but all the good, the growth, the change that you make is just plain invisible. (I did find out later that my Grandmother never told my father that she & I had that conversation, which only made him angrier at me, which in hindsight is understandable (“Same old Jennifer”)

I openly admit that not spending Christmas Eve with my Grandma was a terrible mistake on my part, regardless of my reasons. What I should have done was suck it up, bury my personal pain & go hang out with her. Because I chose not to, we never spoke again & 4 months later she was gone. I wasn’t able to be there to say goodbye, to help pick her burial outfit (because she took great pride in the way she appeared & dressed), to help care for her (even though I was told I couldn’t have handled it), to give back, even in the slightest bit, what she gave to me my entire life by being my ONE constant. The stable, responsible role model that I always knew she was, but could never quite live up to. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t love that woman more than anything or anyone in my life. It just means that once again I was selfish, consumed by hurt & bitter that I was always the bad seed, the black sheep…a role I never asked for, but surely earned.

Fast forward 11 years & a HUGE change in myself. I have made it an odd habit of driving by the house since I found out my gram passed. It became somewhat of an obsession to me. At times, mostly highly emotional times, I would find myself crying or screaming at the people living there to get outta my house. Not the healthiest behavior, I’m aware, but I never claimed to be entirely stable, emotionally or otherwise.

Recently, I’ve noticed there were no cars in the driveway. That was the immediate sign to me that they had moved out, obviously a case of foreclosure. Last week I typed the address into the local realtor website & sure enough, there were 9 pictures of my childhood home. I wrote them IMMEDIATELY, asking for a viewing. I was gonna get it back! I was so excited, making plans in my mind, blah, blah, blah. It was a very fun & exciting 24 hours….that is, until the real estate agent showed up to meet me.

As he unlocked the door, he turned and said to me “I have to tell you that this house is infested with black mold”. I said I knew & didn’t care & he opened the door. For a brief 5 seconds, I could smell her. Then the black mold stench took over. My mother had offered to go with me & at first I didn’t understand why. Maybe she wanted to see the house she spent much of her late teens & early twenties in. Later, at lunch, she told me the real reason, that she felt this was something I shouldn’t have to do alone. That was lovely, especially considering that we are not very close.

I walked through every room. I envisioned the furniture, the sound of the television or music on Christmas. I went into my old bedroom, that one felt weird, the bathroom I used to sit on the counter with my feet in the sink getting ready. Everything was the same. In the ten years these strangers lived there, they didn’t change a thing. They just let it rot. I hate them.

When I reached my grandmother’s bed/bath in the back of the house, the agent & my mom had already gone outside, unable to stand the smell of the mold. I just talked to her in there, seeing her putting on her makeup in her bathroom, standing in her walk-in closet choosing one of the 100’s of dress suits to wear that day. Inside her closet I began to cry. I cried because I miss her. I cried because I wasn’t there when she passed. I cried because I was still the same failure she hoped I wouldn’t be when she was alive. I cried because this was the last time I would ever be in this house.

In the end, I’m glad I went. I feel free of that dream now. I no longer drive by the house. I don’t think about it. I don’t fester over it. I don’t care.

Goodbye house

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August 20th leaves a paradox in my heart

August 20, 2005

I lost my dear friend Eric on this day after a hard-fought 20 year battle with drugs. My heart broke that day & most days since, at least a bit, due to the hole his loss left.

August 20, 2011

This is the date of my baby sisters wedding. A day full of love, happiness, joy, laughter & dancing…yet somewhere, in the back of my mind, I can feel the heartache of the previous experience I’ve had with this date.

I start to question myself the week before the wedding. “Why are you feeling such a strong sense of grief now when you should be so excited, so happy?”  The only clear-cut answer I have to this question has to do with Eric’s daughter appearing my life mere weeks before the wedding, bringing up feelings I had long since buried. Suddenly, I was filled with anguish, pain & grief not felt since his loss. It was as if I reliving that day all over again.

Odd how such beauty can come out of sadness. I’ve never been able to understand this strange brew. All I know is that having my friend’s daughter in my life, to share stories with, to stare at her face when I miss him, to watch her as she learns more about him & looks for any sign that he is in her, the daddy she never knew.

He always loved her. He carried a picture of her in his wallet until the day he died. He never got over the fact that he was not in her life. None of this helps her fill that gaping hole inside her own heart, but day by day, story by story, I watch her get to know Eric a little more. She falls more in love with him & it is beyond words.

Who knows, maybe this is my way of honoring him, by sharing this experience with her. So be it.

Luckily, I was able to find a balance between celebration & grief, at least for a day. The wedding was beautiful, it was magic, it was love. I will smile when I think of that day, my sisters dress, her vows, the photo booth, the dancing…the love

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Home Sweet Home

It’s an amazing thing, how desperate, lost, alone & scared a person can feel when they’re separated by distance from their loved ones, all that they know, what they grew up with, their support system, their comfort zone. It is a brave & passionately driven person, or a fool, that takes this leap of faith. I am one of those people. I have yet to figure out if I’m the brave one or the fool. Maybe I’m a bit of both, who knows.

Last week I wasn’t sure, once again, how I was going to survive the day. Today I find myself on a 5 day layover in my hometown of Detroit, before beginning a month-long program in Washington, DC. It boggles my mind how quickly things change. I don’t know why it still boggles my mind, as it’s happened SO many times during my life, that one would think I’d be used to it by know. Well….I’m not!

The main thing I’ve noticed since I arrived late last night is that the heavy weight on my chest, the constant state of panic & fear I had lived in, the utter solitude & sadness that brought up in me….is gone. I’m home. I’m surrounded in every direction by love. I have so many people who want to share time with me while I’m here that I unfortunately don’t have enough time to accommodate all of them, unless I was to group some of them together in one place. I’m not sure if that’s possible, but I’m willing to try.

At the same time, that in itself is overwhelming to me. I’m tired, run out, worn out, slightly broken from all that I’ve gone through in the past months. In a way, I just want to rest. Reading that last sentence, it makes me shake my head. Isn’t that what I’ve done for weeks now? Months? Why would I want to continue that behavior when I’m surrounded in love? I need to recharge, let those who know & love me remind me of who & what I really am, as opposed to what I believe I’ve become. This could be extremely healthy for me in moving forward on my visions, my goals, my dreams, my need to create something for myself that will fulfill the want in me to be & do something great, whatever that may be.

There is one aspect of Detroit, of home, that tears at my heart. There is someone, a person who has owned the real estate in my heart since the day I met him. No matter what we do, where our paths take us in life, we always gravitate back to each other. What I wouldn’t give to have this person as my life long partner in crime. What wouldn’t I do? I have never stopped loving him. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve even ever fallen out of love with him. Things are complicated, but I’m willing to do what is needed to see our lives come back together, so we may enjoy the rest of our time on this spinning rock together. I guess I accepted years ago that it may not be a possibility, yet, if that were truly the case, would the universe continue to bring us back into each others orbit repeatedly? I don’t find it possible the universe could be so cruel as to dangle my one true love in my face over & over again, just to taunt & hurt me. I feel there is something greater at work. I feel that we’re being told that it is in each other that we will find our comfort, our partner, our home. If only he would see that this is the case & take, once & for all, that giant leap of faith needed to make this our permanent reality. I’ve done & said all that I have in me to let him know that if he took the chance, he would not be disappointed. It’s on him now to decide if he is strong enough to make this come true.

I hope he does!

If he doesn’t & this love affair never sees itself rekindled, I will endure. I have managed to make it this far, I can make a life for myself without the man. I just know that my heart wants him to be beside me through this adventure. But if he chooses not to take that journey with me, I’m still going to take it & he will always own a large piece in my heart.

Okay, I’m off to sleep. I need to rest up for 5 day long love fest that lays before me. How lucky am I?

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Far Away Eyes

Have you ever looked deeply into your reflection in the mirror & seen a stranger staring back at you?

Well, this is the place I find myself in these days. I’m not exactly sure when it happened or how I missed the transition. Was it sudden? Or did it happen gradually? However it came about, it has scared me to my core. What I find myself allowing to happen to my life disgusts me in ways I can’t even find the correct words for. Tonight was the breaking point for me. Something has to change, NOW, because I can NOT do this! I will not lay around on my ever-expanding ass while I watch everything I worked tirelessly over the past 6 years fall further from my grasp. Suddenly I feel a sense of panic that I can’t shake, the likes of which I thought I overcame 4 years ago. I realize that when the plans I had when I moved to Los Angeles began to crumble, I could feel the confidence I had in myself slowly begin to chip away, as if I had an internal sledge-hammer & I was subconsciously tearing myself down from the inside. There is no way that I, with a little hindsight, blame this descent on the city or the inhabitants. I did this at first, because it’s always easier to blame your circumstances on other people or your environment. I am smarter than that & know it comes from within.

Why wasn’t I born with that genetic drive to succeed? How is it that I can be so naturally creative & talented, yet have no motivation or discipline to pursue my dreams. I really can’t stand that cliché’ “Chasing your dreams”. It’s not how I see things. I believe more in pursuing your passion, the need to create to feel vital, as if it is water & when you deprive yourself of that outlet, you die a little inside, until one day you wake up & find yourself feeling empty & broken. I am beyond angry with myself for being such a lazy, slacker slob.

Today I woke up & felt as if I had fallen asleep in a bed of wet cement, only to find myself feeling stuck & unable to move. By later in the evening the panic attacks I thought were long gone shook me so deeply that I was afraid I may die. I truly hate that feeling with every ounce of my being. A major problem with having this feeling now is that being new to this city, I have yet to find resources & a support system to turn to for help. I don’t know how to find a doctor or a therapist who will work on a sliding scale, because I have fallen so low that I am honestly destitute. I am days away from losing the apartment I feel blessed to have found 3 months ago. Everyone back in Detroit wants me to just pack up & drive back there, so I am surrounded by my built in support system. Yet there is this screaming voice inside of me that says doing that would be a HUGE mistake. Here I am, crippled by fear, unable to even force myself into the shower or to fold & put away my clean clothes that I finally washed yesterday after a month. If I don’t find some help TOMORROW, I don’t know what will happen.

Let me make this PERFECTLY clear, I am not now, nor have I ever been, suicidal. Too many years of my life sucked for me to just give up on it now. Besides, I couldn’t do that to the people who love me. It’s just a pathetic, cowardly way out of a bad situation & usually, if I stick it out long enough, things will turn around for the better. I just don’t think I can hold on without having a complete breakdown if I don’t find the help I need tomorrow. When I think about that last sentence, my level of panic begins to rise again. Since I don’t have health insurance, like so many people in our country, if I do have a breakdown I’ll end up in some disgusting, scary state mental hospital. That is a fate as bad as death to me.

My brain does not accept any of this. My logical side is bitch slapping my emotionally driven side. There is a huge war going on inside my brain as I type this. The main question being asked is “how could this be happening? I don’t get crippling depression, never have. Why this time? Why now?” I wish I knew the answer to even one of these questions. Damn it! I am wasting away & feel too overwhelmed to stop it on my own. It’s actually pretty amazing I even found the strength to type this out tonight, as I haven’t written in nearly two months, even though I think about doing so daily. That’s something at least, a positive sign. Now, here’s to hoping I can wake up in the real morning hours tomorrow & find some fucking help! I refuse to feel again what I felt tonight.

You know what the worst part is about where I find myself mentally at this moment? The fact that I can’t cry, nothing, not a drop. It is such a healthy release of pain & stress, yet much like sleep, it is starting to elude me again. I haven’t felt this lost since last year when Corey & my Grandfather passed in a 7 day period. At least that was justifiable. This is just unacceptable to me! If anyone is reading this & has some useful suggestions for me, I would greatly appreciate whatever you think may help.

Here’s to hoping that tomorrow is the first day on the road back to my happy & successful life!

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Emotional Rescue

I was having a conversation with one of my closest girlfriends back in Detroit today, about our concerns for a couple of our married guy friends & the way they are, in different ways, ruining the lives they wanted so badly now that they have them. Only this time, as we were talking, it turned towards our own lives, how neither of us could understand how a person can want something so badly, only to be miserable once they have it. It truly makes no sense to either of us. These guys are literally the greatest guys we have ever known, yet they don’t see it. I never did understand the concept of wanting something you can’t have & once you do get it, you don’t want it anymore. Or allowing yourself to be lost in someone else, caving to their needs, their insecurity, their unhappiness, in spite of your own needs, wants & desires. I just think it’s stupid & a waste of time. I mean, why even bother if you’re going to throw it all away once you find something or someone who makes you feel good, makes you smile, makes you look forward to spending time with them, getting to know them, even their weird habits & quirks?

At a certain point in the conversation I finally said out loud for the first time in ages that I don’t like the idea of spending my life alone, that I would prefer to spend it with a good man, someone who gets me, who actually likes me, who thinks I’m pretty as well as funny or sexy. That appears to be a far-fetched expectation. First of all, I don’t attract those types of guys. I attract the broken guys, the closed off guys, the cruel, addicted & lost. So, what exactly does this mean for me?

I’m 40 fucking years old! When did that even happen? Why don’t I feel it? When will I be able to wrap my brain around this fact & accept it already? How did I miss out on EVERY good thing a person is meant to experience in life? I seriously feel like I’ve been in a coma since I was a child & I’m just waking up, feeling really groggy & confused. I have been so filled with fear for as long as I can remember that I have missed out on milestones & important moments that most people experience like high school prom, graduation (which I attended to watch my friends graduate, crying the whole time), a real college experience, marriage, children. I may have a genius level IQ, but I didn’t even complete grade 9! I did, however, receive my GED at 20 years old & considering the wild child I was at the time, it is a fact that I am extremely proud of!

I was speaking with a guy recently & he asked me if I had ever been married, to which I replied honestly “no, I just never got around to it”. He laughed, guess he thought it was a joke, but it was true. It’s just another thing I never allowed myself. Same thing with my not having children. I just couldn’t do it, no matter that I know with complete confidence that I would have been a loving & wonderfully patient mother. Oh well, chalk it up with the rest of the things I’ll never know or feel. When you grow up seeing every possible bad thing that can happen in a marriage or of being a parent, it does tend to scare you away from making these mistakes yourself.

Sure, I’ve lived a life of adventure, so to speak, but if you really look at it, I’ve actually lived the life of a carny, a gypsy, moving from town to town, never putting down roots & always just passing through. It’s a life that suits me for one reason & one reason only. It allows me to keep living in the fear. It allows me to keep from being hurt AGAIN. It allows me to hide my pain, my sadness, my broken heart, my complete loneliness. I realized today, while talking to my friend that I am SO lonely that all I really want is a guy to hold me, brush my hair out of my face & kiss my forehead. Simple, sincere affection. Again, it seems too much for me to ask. I suppose that’s what I get for spitting in the face of opportunity for so many years. I’ve watched my entire life pass me by like a moving train & now I want it back! I want to feel what other people get to feel. I want to feel love, without the fear of being betrayed or being left behind to mourn their death far too young & before we were even given the chance to start the life we planned. I want to feel safe. I want to feel desired. I want to feel……..anything!

The brain has an amazing way of protecting us from going completely insane. It blocks out the most painful of events. Considering the stuff I’m stuck remembering, it frightens me to think that some day the periods of time I don’t remember could come rushing back & cause me to snap. I realize that at the age of 40 I should be over all the bad that has happened in my life. I believe that I have done amazingly well considering. I have a good relationship with both of my parents now & it feels normal for the first time in my life. It took a lot to get here, on all our parts. I had to break the cycle, jump out of the hamster wheel, someone had to!

Not that long ago, I watched a great documentary of Carrie Fisher‘s one woman show “Wishful Drinking“. At some point, early in the show I believe, she said “If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true”. When she said that, I burst into hysterical tears, because I understood that sentence to its very core. A lot of what I’ve survived is funny to me now, because I lived through it, I survived it, I didn’t allow it to totally break me. Don’t get me wrong, I am slightly broken. I am damaged. I am scarred. But I’m still here, so there’s still time to make the best of every day, right? That’s where my surprising optimism comes in.

Look at it this way. If 75% of your life was difficult, traumatic, painful, sad, frightening…if you were molested at the age of 4 by a group of young boys who you were left in the care of, then taunted & teased for several years after, not even being able to understand what had happened, let alone why you were being teased; if you walked in on a man beating your mother nearly to death & then have the gun he was using to torture her with pointed at your head while you called the cops on him at the age of 14 & you then found yourself living on the streets of Detroit, being raped because you chose the wrong house to pass out drunk &/or stoned in more than once, having to figure out for yourself how to survive on a daily basis, because home wasn’t a pleasant or safe option with either parent; if you were a ward of the state at the age of 15, taken in by your grandmother, for the second time, who didn’t know how to deal with your actions & were then expelled from school & sent to a special ed school because you couldn’t relate to anyone else your own age or even stay in a single class because you were too restless; if you kept running away at every opportunity, never realizing it was you that you were trying to escape; if you OD’d at the age of 17 & had to force yourself to stay alive, because no one around you would help or take you to a hospital….wouldn’t you want to have as many good years as you possibly could have before it was all over? It is truly all I want. Sadly, these are only a few examples of the pain & horror I have experienced the entire time I have been alive. I try to remind myself that there are people who have had it MUCH worse than me, but it really isn’t any consolation. It just makes me sad for those people, because I know what real pain feels like & the fact that I am an extreme empath makes my heart ache for all those who have been damaged in their lives.

My dreams are very simple, yet so difficult to achieve, mostly because I have no idea how to go about attaining this. I am ill-equipped at completely opening up to someone & trusting that they won’t be disgusted or repulsed by me & my experiences. I have mastered, for the most part, my disguises, my masks that I wear to hide the sadness & shame. On the occasions like I wrote about last night, I freeze. I shut down. I considered running out the door of the coffee shop where we were talking at least 3 times, not because of anything he was or wasn’t doing, but because he could see right through my walls, my mask & it scared the hell outta me. So what do I do? I make it a point to freak him out, scare him away….so I don’t have to see him again & risk letting him in. Now I actually regret that. It is beyond rare that someone can see through to the real me. I had the possibility of having a new friend in my life that I wouldn’t have to hide all my deep, dark secrets from. I could tell I would have been able to open up to & be honest with this guy & he wouldn’t judge me at all. Now, there is just a guy walking around Los Angeles freaked out by the thought of running into me. That fucking sucks! It makes me feel like shit! But I won’t do anything at all. I won’t attempt to change his mind or contact him. If I do see him around town, I’ll do my best to make sure that he doesn’t notice me & if he does, I’ll get myself out of whatever place we both happen to be in. I’m too ashamed to handle it any other way. This is one of those cases where I wish I could get a do over, even if I’m not sure I would do better the second time, but something in me feels the need to make it right. I fucking like the guy, damn it. Believe me, I don’t want to, but I do. I like that he could see me. I just wish I could have felt it in that moment.

What I do know for certain is I can’t sit around & throw myself a pity party. I hate that! I write this out so I can not only get these thoughts out of my head, but to attempt to leave them here, so I can keep moving forward in life. This blog is my sanctuary of truth, confession & hope. It provides me a place to let my deepest thoughts & fears out, so that I can let the good in. I know good things are coming my way…I just have to be open to it & not run & hide.

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Torn & Frayed

Many people in this world pack up their belongings & move away from the place they are from. They do this for a myriad of reasons ranging from job relocation, a new job opportunity, love, adventure or just to get away. While it seems so exotic & exciting, which in part it is, most people don’t consider how difficult, lonely & scary this is. The toll it takes on a person’s soul can, with some, be quite heavy. For some, it has no effect on them at all & for others the effects are mild. When you think about the strength that comes with such an endeavor, taking this chance is a very strong & independent choice. Sometimes we are very close to our family & friends, in which case putting a great deal of distance between yourself & those you love the most hurts immensely. Many people actually end up moving back at least once.

I am one of these people. Honestly, I never really thought I would leave Detroit, although I had wanted to for many years, mostly when I was young & still extremely troubled. I just couldn’t find the inner strength to leave my comfort zone, even if it wasn’t very comfortable. It was what I knew, it was home. I was a BIG fish in that small pond. I was known, had & still have MANY friends, real friends who I know to this day I can turn to if I need them for anything & they can with me. In the last 10 years my relationship with my family has healed completely. When I say family, I mean immediate, not the assholes I happen to be related to. I’ll never accept them into my life now that my Grandmother is no longer around to force them on me. It is a very healthy feeling after a lifetime of pain, fighting & the blame game to have such love & support. The one person who means more to me in this great big world we live in is my 2-year-old niece. She is truly the love of my life. She makes me laugh more than anyone I have ever known. She is beautiful & brilliant & no I’m not just saying that because she’s my niece, it’s true. Skype is a great helper to stay in touch & allow us to “see” each other, but I can’t hold her, tickle her, kiss her, chase her. I think of & miss her every single day I am not with her. My baby sister, who I adore as much as her daughter, is getting married this August. Knowing that I won’t be there for 80% of the planning for this event breaks my heart. We had a long conversation about this however & she made it very clear that she would be angry at me if I gave up my plans to move to Los Angeles. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. I hope with everything I have in me that this marriage lasts for the rest of their lives, because she deserves it & is VERY loved by her fiance’, my brother-in-law-to-be. He is a wonderful, loving & sweet addition to our family. Besides, he makes a beautiful child with my sissy.

Friends…….oh the space I could take up writing about my love for my chosen family, which is what I call them. The majority of these bonds were formed when I was at the end of my teen years, when life was so unbearable for me that I was rarely sober for any waking moments. What we have gone through together over the course of 20 years wouldn’t fit in a single blog, unless I wanted it to be 25 pages long. We grew up together, our “crew”. While we may not see or speak to each other nearly as much now that we’ve grown, with some marrying & starting families, others carving out careers for themselves, but we’ve never lost our deep connection & are always there for the important moments in life. I hate to say this, but Facebook has been very helpful in keeping us connected when life gets in the way. I have also formed some very strong bonds with people I have met along my journey through this beautiful country of ours. Mine is an amazing life. I have what I consider to be the best job in the world, unless you wanna be involved in a serious relationship. Sure, I’ve had “friends” in cities around the country, who I find comfort & affection in while I’m visiting, but that starts to feel empty after a while. These tour friends, ones I’ve worked with, or whose paths I’ve crossed while staying in their town, have become a part of my chosen family. It’s wonderful how many lovely people there are in this world & I am blessed to have met so many of them. I have the unusual ability to make friends with just about anyone I meet. What can I say, I’m really good at my job. I am overjoyed when I find out I will be spending time near certain road friends, as I enjoy them SO much.

Now, Los Angeles……I have said before & been told by others that this place can really put your dedication to your dreams to the test. It can make or break you. Most of the time, this is up to us. I learned that last statement from a new friend who pointed out to me that we make this place our own personal heaven or hell. I don’t believe in religion, but the analogy fits perfectly. Since he said this to me & opened my eyes to the idea, my life here has been so much more positive, happy & enjoyable. To be fair, I have friends who live here. They are amazing people & I love them. I don’t see them often, due to their busy work schedules. When I first moved here I had a very busy work schedule as well. I believe I have mentioned in an earlier blog that I moved out here for a job that didn’t work out. That was sad & difficult to deal with at the time, but I made the choice to stay here & fight it out. More than likely I will have to return to the road. It’s not that I don’t love it, I do. I’ve just gotten to a point where I would like to stand still for a while, maybe meet a guy to hang out with. The ability to do this is while living your life away from home for months at a time is made extra difficult when you are a woman. For whatever reason, men have a much harder time accepting a woman traveling for work, as if we are somehow less capable of controlling ourselves to the power of other men. I believe the reality of the situation is that the men don’t trust themselves in that type of lifestyle & project this fear onto the women in their lives. I have said this many times & I stand by it. I truly am comfortable enough with myself to be single. I like me & enjoy my own company. I have done many things alone that most people wouldn’t think of doing. It’s fine. I would, if I’m to stick to my full disclosure promise on this blog, prefer to find someone to look forward to seeing, to come home to, to be home for someone, to laugh with, explore with, cook with, watch movies with, etc.

There are so many thoughts that run through my head when I think about this topic, such as the thought that I chose to move to one of the most shallow places in the world to call home. I’m not sure my quirky style & look will be as appreciated here as it is in other cities. Also, with men insisting on dating younger “girls”, I don’t see me being comfortable or interested in dating someone pushing or already having passed 60. Lastly, this “cougar” phenomenon holds no appeal to me. I’m not down with dating 20-something boys, the idea makes me cringe. I do have friends who have found love with guys in their 20’s & I am profoundly happy for them, but it’s just not for me.

I am a firm believer that one shouldn’t actively look for love. If they do, they will miss it at every pass & settle for less than they deserve, only to have it end ugly as it always does when you make a choice based on loneliness and not attraction, connection & chance.

What am I gonna do about all this you may ask? Well, nothing really. I will continue to live my life. I will keep searching for work that keeps me a bit more stationary. I will more than likely continue to tour some, because I love it, probably not for 3 or more months at a time anymore though. I am ready for love & companionship. This is me releasing that thought out into the universe to do what it wants with this.

Hopeful still

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