Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pillar of awesomeness

This post is scheduled during my absence.    (It was supposed to appear during my absence, it didn't- harumph)

A few months ago, a close friend and I have been chatting about when we could get together again.  Impulsively, I tossed out "how about a road trip- just like Thelma and Louise?  Without the cliff ending, that is!" 

After laughing so hard, she LOVED that idea!  

Now....we are in the almost end of the road trip, going across the Old South-  Memphis, Jackson, Baton Rogue,  New Orleans (most of the time in that Big Easy!), Huntsville, and all.  

BBQ.  Lighting ceremony of Elvis' home.  Games and laughter. 
Kayaking.   Cabin.  Crawdads.  
Vintage buildings, throwback to 1950's and dark roux.  
Crawdads, masks, carousel, swamps. 
Oak trees, shrimp & grits, 2 am dancing. 
Soul food, plantations and streetcars on the st Charles street. 
Eye candy, tacos and art markets. 

And best thing through it all?   The laughter, the tears, the sisterhood. 

R- seriously- you're awesome!!!    When it comes to example of awesomeness, you're the pillar!  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Gal Trail

R and I are off on a road trip of the lifetime, through the Old South. Already knockin' 'em senseless in Memphis, Tennessee today!     Tomorrow, Jackson, MS, and then Baton Rogue, LA.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Toxic friendship

There was someone I was hanging out with a few months; I had started to notice things, that were RED ALERTs of the friendship being toxic.  

I notice after visits, I found myself not liking myself, double-guessing my own behavior and thoughts, even wondering why I feel lousy.  

Red flag. 

Excessive talks about exercise, dieting, and valuing looks (even hundreds of photo poses on Facebook!), looking at me, saying "Why can't you be like me?  Obviously you don't like yourself."  When I tried to say something to point out that we have different lifestyles, I was told "don't be so defensive, god, you're so sensitive!"   So I fell silent, feeling no matter what I'd do, I'd still lose.  

Red flag. 

I started watching what I am saying in conversations, to avoid blowups and tantrum fits- it was easier to say "yes" and "whatever", than to share my differing opinions.  

Red flag. 

When disclosing a bad experience (i.e. a dog getting sick) or even small things (i.e. getting lost in a town on way to a meeting), I get laughter, mocking comments "you twit, how can you get lost?!" or "If she is sick, put her down- so?" 

There were several other red flags, but I selectively ignored them because...

I didn't want to feel alone.    It was getting harder and harder to find people, either childfree or CNBC; and so many times I'd contact a friend to find that she's busy with a daughter visiting, or another parent friend not having time even for a phone chat (even when we scheduled it when kids would be asleep.)   So having someone who is childfree AND local, that's a plus.

Nevertheless, all this came to a stop when I decided to invite him to a labyrinth ritual three weeks ago, (a church invited me to attend a private labyrinth walk, and I was told I could bring someone.) I thought he'd appreciate that since he had been curious about my passion about labyrinths.    I noticed he brought his camera, so I explained that he might need to ask permission of the priest to take photos of the labyrinth ritual and people participating (during the ritual, silence and personal inward journeying can be sober and private).

That's when he went off.  Ranting about having the right to photograph whatever he wanted to, wherever he wanted to.  When I'd say something, "I can see how you love your photography, and you are a good photographer, and how this could  upset you, but this is a church.. You CAN ask the priest.....", he would go off again, saying that the church should appreciate his photography, to show the world about labyrinths...this went on for a while.  

I found myself bursting into tears.  I was taking him to a place that I love so much, and I felt violated.  He then started to belittle me, "crybaby, overreacting."  

I stared at him, and I suddenly thought to myself, "What's wrong with him being abusive?"  I shut down my emotions and told him we're going back- I will not take him to the labyrinth.  He said "whatever, I don't want to go anyway, with you being negative."  

Suit me just fine.  I dropped him off.     Later on, he sent me a photo of my dog,  "she's so cute!" I figured he was trying to apologize in his way or testing the waters-

I'm not taking the bait.  

I talked with some friends to figure out where I was going wrong.  R pointed out, "Wait, didn't do something wrong-  HE's the one who is messing up with you, making you feel lousy, its all about him going 'me-me-me.'"  I got confirmation of what she said, from other friends, that's it's not me.  It was him, toxicity in the 'friendship.'  

For the last three weeks, I didn't contact him.   It never entered my mind 'til today, when I realized I'd need to get copy of my key from him (when he needed to use laundry occasionally.)   

I told him that I'll come by to get the keys back, when he said he'd come over. I told him no. I already stated that I will come by. He wanted to talk about his trip to college, how lonely he feels, blah, blah-  I stared at him and said, "I'm sorry to hear that you feel alone, but I don't see how that relates to me here getting my keys."  I told him due to what happened recently, I don't feel safe with him anymore, and that to keep his distance from me.  He was, of course, upset, raging "You'll be sorry!  People don't like you!"  I looked at him, shrugging before getting into my car.  I know one thing for sure- he's out of my life, permanently.  And good riddance to that.  

End of this toxicity.    

The geek in me, just had thought of this movie "Aliens", and Hicks (my favorite hero) saying something very simple about ensuring the end of Aliens (nuking the site invaded by Aliens).  

Yes, that means I'll still deal with social isolation especially with parent friends in town, that speak my language.  Harder to find childfree or CNBC folks who can sign...  I can still talk with childfree/CNBC friends on Facebook, email or phone.  

But you know what? I'd rather have that than dealing with a toxic 'friend'.   

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sunshine Award

I was flabbergasted, pleasantly when I checked my email neglected for a few weeks- for a good reason if you had checked my last post.  Hope of  A Crack In Everything  had just nominated me for a Sunshine Award-   I hadn't anything like that before- it's always awesome having some folks sharing their appreciation with you, especially on this lonesome path which could easily knock folks down (when you think about it.)  This is a way to remind us readers (and writer) that we're NOT alone!   Thank you, Hope, for that!  :)

*A Sunshine Award is given to bloggers whose posts brighten your day.  The rules are:

1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.
5. Link your nominees and let them know they've been nominated.

I am quite intrigued by Hope's questions!

1. Where do you feel the most at home (other than, you know, in your actual home)? 
  New Orleans.   No matter where I am, as long as it's New Orleans, I feel at home- in the French Quarters, looking through old books at a forgotten bookstore; sitting under the shadow of Spanish moss of an huge oak tree at the Audubon Zoo; or laughing among family at a local eats. And in two weeks, I'll be there!

2.  What song brings back good memories? Despite being deaf, I listened to music when I was a teenager, and so I just loved 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson.   (Yes, I know of his history, but damn, his songs are great!).  I dressed up as a zombie, and led a pack of kids through the dance at the Lake Drive school for Deaf one time- and even now I'd listen to that song and do some of the moves!

3. When did you know that you were ready to have children?    That would be 2009, when I realized I was about to become 40 in a year.  I started to do research, especially with the fact that I wasn't with anyone.

4. What's your next big (non-child-related) goal?  Do a 2-month road trip, hitting U.S. Route 66 and back roads.

5. What's one of your pet peeves?  Saying one thing, and then saying one other differently later on, which is hypocrisy.    Be honest, even if when you know it'd hurt me-  better NOW than later.

6.  What's one of your favorite keepsakes? Wooden spinning toy!  The paternal grandpa had it when he was a kid in late 1910's, and then he passed it to Dad- who then gave it to me.   I guess when my nephew is old enough, I'll pass it on to him.

7. Cats or dogs?  Dogs, hand down!   Dogs come greet you at the door, and insist sleeping with you, and you can even go to places with dogs!

8. If you could live in any other place or time, what would it be?  New Orleans in 1920's!  The history, the music, the passion, the food, Joie de vivre!  

9. If you had money to give away, who would receive it?  Schools in New Orleans.   They had lost so much during the Hurricane Katrina and the flooding.   Books, supplies, and after-school activities.

10. When was the last time you laughed really hard?  Last night!  Among awesome friends, over a possible road trip in the future to Chicago, including what to see, including  Hunkomania!  *giggle*

Answering those questions were pretty awesome. Thanks for the opportunity, Hope!

Now here are my nominees:

1. Amel at Serenity in Chaos
2. Nicole at Real Life & Thereafter
3. Michaela at A Single Journey
4. 1nonmom at Childless does NOT mean less
5. Mali at Not Kidding in NZ
6. Roni at AT Deaf-Blind Dream
7. Klara at The Next 15000 Days
8. Loribeth at The Road Less Travelled
9 (blank)
10 (blank)

(note:   Others that I love to read, are private blogs, so I'm leaving them alone.)

Here are my questions for you.

1.  Chocolate or Vanilla?
2.  What is one thing you would rid of,  from the world?
3. What is in your bucket list for the next year?
4. Where do you feel the most comfortable (outside of your home)?
5.  Movies, originated from books (i.e. The Help), or books, originated from movies (i.e. Cowboys and Aliens)?
6. If you could live anywhere (no limits), where would that be?
7.  If you win the lottery ($64 millions), what would be the three first items you would acquire, (or get done)?
8. What is one of your rants, that put you on the soapbox?
9. If you had one chance to a time machine that can only go ten years ago (2003), what would you do?
10. Done any jokes lately? Spill!

*Of course, it's all optional.  The main rule is no guilt!  We all have some intense things going on, so I'll understand if you don't have time right now, or if you pick just a few favorite questions to answer.  If you do participate, please post a comment that links to your answers and nominees, so that others can go check them out.