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Exercise my Ambition

I decided to try something new today.

Each morning when I get up, I roll out of bed, get ready for work, drive to another town, and then finally driving to work. The stop over any other town is only just to pick up the mail. I do not live in the best of neighborhoods, and my office is certainly no better. So it is difficult for me to get out and exercise at all. When you don't trust the neighborhood, you don't trust the people.

This morning, rather than just being my usual lazy self, I woke up early, got out of bed, got ready for work, and left. But rather than just going to pick up the mail and then heading to the office, I decided to get to the mailbox early. This was so I could get out of the car and maybe walk a little. My life is been so busy lately that exercise has really been the last thing on my mind. I am going to do something about that.

I hardly ever make New Year's resolutions. That is because I know that the majority of them fail. I would preferred not to fail so most of the time I just avoid that chance. That is too easy of a way out. It's time a few things changed.

This morning I got to the mailbox at 9 AM. Since I was there so early, it allowed me the time to walk the entire main street of that small town. I got to look in the windows of all of the bakeries, I enjoyed looking at the dresses and pretty things in the shop windows, and I saw many smiling faces that I otherwise would not have been able to see. I listen to Christmas music on my iPhone as I did. The timing by far too quickly, and before I knew it I had to get to work. But it reminded me of something that I had long since forgotten. Where was a teenager, I walked because I like to. I walked because I like to get out of the house and just go away for little while. When I become a recluse, it would do me good to remember this.

I have been given a great opportunity that I will not disclose here. I know that I can really do something with myself, especially when I show passion for something. There is nothing that I cannot accomplish something that I feel I can do better than anyone. Well, this is certainly something that I think I can do better than most. What's more, I am not afraid. That means that I do not believe that I will fail. It is Failure that frightens me. It is failure that keeps me from trying. It is my past failures that often caused me to lose future hopes. Well, no more.

Like I said, it is time a few things changed. Why should I wait to make a New Year's resolution when the things that I want to do should not wait that long? If I wanted it, I should just go out and get it. And, I finally know what I want.

I cannot go into detail on the project that I speak, but that is because I know that there is still a lot to do, and I don't want anyone to get their hopes up. I am investing in my own future, that of my best friend. That is all I will say.



To Help Another

It is not very often that I am able to help someone with an issue in their personal life. Today, I was presented with that capability and I took it.

It grieves me to hear of my friends or loved ones in any emotional pain. When I heard a friend of mine had become depressed, I immediately felt a pain within my heart. I know all too well what it means to be depressed and to not feel like you have anyone to turn to. Even with the world on my doorstep, knocking on the door and ringing the bell asking if I could come out of myself, I have often still felt like the best place for me to be was to be hiding within the four walls of my own room, with no help and no hope. I always felt like nobody would ever understand.

It wasn't until I started writing that I began to realize how long I actually was about that. The first time anyone told me that my writing had changed their life, it was such a startling realization that I didn't believe it. It took me years to action understand what the person meant, and when I finally did, that person became a friend for life. That person became as close to me as family. When I started to become very serious about my writing and began this blog, I was often surprised by the number of comments that I would receive, not only in personal emails, but also in comments on this blog. Somehow, I had touched people's hearts. Somehow my sorrows helped someone else.

Today a friend asked me for nothing more than a pen name. Today, I assigned one of the better pen names I have ever come up with. It was specifically designed for this person, but I am quite proud of it. The name I chose was not only elegant but was designed to fit the person to a tee. It had all of the elements required for a pen name, though I wont be going to detail as to what those requirements are within my own mind, since that make it obvious whom that person was. I also don't believe in giving away all of my secrets. Especially when it comes to writing.

Though I did nothing more than just supply someone with a pen name as they asked, I cannot help but feel like I have done something deeper and more profound. I believe I may have inspired this person to write. And if that is what I've done, then my mission for this year has been reached. My goal, achieved.

Writing has always been very therapeutic for me. It has not always been so for the people that I write about, and has often forced a wedge between us and built walls around us. At the same time, I know that if my writing has caused these many issues for other people, and has only allowed me to let go of certain things, that perhaps it was time to let go of those certain people associated with the stories.

Therapeutic though it may be, it has Also been the source of much loneliness. In the Heights of my writing, I lost one I love, gained someone I hated, and I made many enemies in between. When I write, I become a recluse. I suppose that maybe why I haven't written regularly in quite sometime.

Thankfully, due to the invention of Siri, I have been able to write more often now. It's handy to be able to dictate my blogs to my phone and have my phone write it for me. Not only does it help during my long drives in my many errands for work, but it often keeps me occupied in spaces in between. Each morning, I have to drive into another town to go collect the mail, and then heading to my office and yet another town. Those drives are usually filled with moments of contemplation. I have on occasion written blogs during those times. Unfortunately, most of the ones that I've written while driving never made it into my blog. Those were the ones that I was writing before the invention of Siri found its way into my life.

So, to my dear friend who wanted nothing more than a pen name, good luck with your endeavors. I look forward to being your biggest fan.

Oh! And thank you for always being one of my biggest fans.





Black Friday

I suppose that I am one of not many in this country whose constant challenge every year is trying to figure out what black Friday is all about.

There are those who argue that going out for the sales on Black Friday has everything to do with getting the best bargain for their money in order to supply gifts to loved ones, and therefore think it is an unselfish act. There are also those who argue that black Friday sales are about nothing more then consumerism, and greed. My own opinion sways at between both.

Today on Facebook, I am sure there are many photos from many people of all of the bargains people are purchasing in the stores. I also believe on occasion that you will see of people trying clothes on And bragging about the price of the television set they just bought for themselves. Yet, there are others who are going out and just watching the people argue and fight, as though it were a sport such as boxing or wrestling.

I have been bound and determined to avoid the mess every year for as long as I can remember.

When I had the money to do so, I quite often did all of my Christmas shopping before August or September. It has been a long time since I have had that kind of money. But at the same time, that would be the smartest choice for any of us. Purchasing items that are not quite in season yet is difficult, so the sweater for mother or the new hunting coat for father is impossible to find in August. However, those with children in their lives Jolivet Legos can be found year-round. So can Barbie dolls and my little ponies.

Now I hear that today people of Walmart are protesting. They are protesting on Black Friday because they feel this would be the hardest hit for a large company such as Walmart. Of course, they are right. Walmart is a large company, and as such does the majority of its sales, has the busiest day of its year, on Black Friday. But what is protesting on Black Friday accomplish, other than making someone else suffer? Not everyone at Walmart is protesting, which means many others will need to work longer hours or be called into work because of those who are not pulling Their shift.

I find myself at work today, not only because I need the money this time of year, but also because it is the farthest I can get away from the stores on Black Friday. I have quite a number of people to purchase gifts for this year, and I have been blessed with that. I am very thankful for that. In fact, that was one thing that kept circulating in my mind yesterday, on Thanksgiving day. I have many wonderful people in my life that I would like to provide a smile for. If that means Legos for one, I stuffed animal for another, and perhaps a nice bottle of wine for a dear friend then so be it.

Some people say that the entire idea of Christmas is based on consumerism. I strongly disagree with that notion.

While many stores and businesses have turned it into being based on consumerism, the true meaning of Christmas remains the same. Christmas is not just about the story of the Bible for those who are atheists either. Christmas candy so much more than what it is today. Christmas is about generosity. Black Friday is very appropriately named, I feel. Black Friday is truly a black day and a black spot on human nature.

Black Friday is about going out to the stores, forgetting about spending time with your family, and buying what ever your hands land on at what ever price it has been offered at.

It is about neglecting the one thing you are not supposed to neglect around the holidays; family.

Sure, some people take their families of shopping on Black Friday. But what happens once they get into the stores? It is every man for himself. How often on the weekend following Black Friday do we read stories in the newspapers about people who have bought, trampled others, and generally made a complete nuisance of themselves? It happens every year on the same day. It happens without fail. Every year, somebody dies on Black Friday because of nothing but greed.

I have always been the kind of person to walk my own line. I've never really followed any trend, I wear what I like, instead of what others like. I golfwear I like instead of where is in season. I buy things that I like instead of things that everyone else one. I make things rather than purchasing them because I find they have more value to me then. More value than money? Absolutely. So, unlike the rest of the society I am surrounded by here in Los Angeles, I stay away from stores on Black Friday. I refuse to have my life ruled in any part by greed.

Someone yesterday offered me gifts. They offered me help, thinking that was something I would need. The gesture was appreciated, but I require no assistance. Especially, when I know how many other people out there need far more help than I could ever ask for. I don't want this year for Christmas. I don't ask for money this year for Christmas. The only thing I want, the only thing I need, is to help someone has far less than I do.

With all of the people out there so obsessed with the Black Friday deals, I am not surprised that I have not gotten any more response than what I have on my previous blog post. The only thing I am asking for for Christmas is a bit of a stretch I know. What I'm asking for is a miracle. When asking for is in a family with three children who have no hope for Christmas might have light at the end of the tunnel.

So, while everyone out there in Lala land is having a great time, or a miserable time, shopping for the best deals of the season, there is one family who knows that not only can they not afford any of the Black Friday deals, but they can't afford the sales at all unless it's for a necessity. They have no hope without others. And yet, only one person in all of my asking has offered any help at all.

I have very little money myself. I need new brakes on my car. I have less than a quarter tank of gas, and I need more fuel. My cupboards are bare, I have very little food at home. But-I do not have three children. I have three cats, but they eat very little.

So, if you are out there looking for the best holiday deals right now, I have one for you. I have the deal of a lifetime for you. Go to the dollar store. Go to Goodwill. Find something, anything, that a family with three children would appreciate having this year. It does not need to be very much at all. Take your change in your pocket after you are done with the Black Friday deals, and send it to someone who truly needs it. Send it to someone who would appreciate it. Send me Barbie girl who has none. Send the Transformers toy to the boy was never had any. Send it back on the address that was only worn once to the family who has a young lady in jr high school And has no hopes of going to any school dance because she can't afford a dress.

For more information on the family that I speak of, please contact me. I can provide you with the family's information to email or mail any gifts you may have to them.

Even a Christmas card would give them hope.

Please, do something for someone less fortunate. Do something for three children deserve better than nothing at all. Do something for someone who needs you to. This day is called the Black Friday for a reason. Let's not give This family a reason to think Christmas should also be a dark day.


Response



I received an email earlier and thought my response was worth sharing. I'm sure you can get an idea of what their email was about by mine.





That was far from pathetic. It was as you describe me - articulate and in touch with your core being. You say you seem to "bumble around through life," but is that not, in fact, what life as a whole is all about? Is that not what we all do? I have many plans that have not made it to fruition, and in my travels I often find myself bouncing from place to place - and Rudolph's Elven friend said it best - "Bumbles Bounce!"

I've had my share of hard times. To assume otherwise would be a deception. But I seem to bounce back every time, and THAT, my friend, is what makes us survivors. Not just human, not just people with souls, but true survivors - full of heart and fire and the will to not only survive, but to someday thrive.

Do not be so hard on yourself. Have faith in yourself and your abilities. Believe in YOU! Nobody is going to step in and do it for you. If to walk into a room with your head held high as if you own the building the room is situated within, nobody will dispute that. Nobody, that is, but the rightful owner. That's what has gotten me through so much. I'm not only unfortunate, but also very fortunate! There is always someone bigger and better out there - but from where I'm standing, they're nowhere near me at the moment. That makes me the master and commander of my own life, destination and reality.

I am no more a catch than a small salmon in a stream. But - that just mean I won't have the bears fighting over me in the spawning or the fishermen frying me up in the fall. I would prefer to be nothing more than what I am - average, simple and me.

Christmas Miracle


People say that "Charity Starts at Home", but what so many people fail to realize is the importance of that statement.  It doesn't mean that the Lawyer's son needs a new BMW for his birthday, or the Doctors daughter needs another trip to Paris.  For that matter, it doesn't mean that we need to give gifts to our husbands and wifes, boyfriends and girlfriends, fathers and mothers.  Those are all 'wants' and all of the people mentioned would still love you anyway.

What "Charity Starts at Home" really means is to help others.  It means finding a worthy cause and helping someone less fortunate.

Luckily, I've found just such a cause.





PICTURE THIS:

Michigan, December 24th, 2012.

The Mayan Apocalipse hasn't happened after all.  Life is still going on.  Families are getting ready for bed in hopes Santa will be there soon with lots of goodies.  Home after home, the kids are snuggled in bed with visions of rocking horses, lolly pops, Barbie dolls and Lego's in their dreams.  The tree is trimmed with tinsel and lights.  The parents are down stairs, adding the last few ribbons and bows to the brightly colored packages under the tree before snuggling before the fire to sip their hot cocoa.  Even the cat is in the spirit of things, snoozing on the rug before the fire.  The dog watches the sparks lift up through the chimney.  Nothing in the world is wrong here.  This will, yet again, be the perfect Christmas.  It's just how Mom and Dad planned it.  It's just as it's always been - two parents, two children, two pets, all living in happiness and harmony. 


But just a few blocks away, things are a bit different.

Imagine standing on the front steps of a small house on a quiet street.  It's no more or less quiet than any other, but there's something different about the stillness.  It's nearly unsettling.

If you were to look through the window, you would see a woman, sitting alone by a lamp, her eyes raised toward the heavens.  Her hands are clasped together in obvious prayer.  She's a kind and generous woman - remembered by me personally as having been one of so very few willing to lend a hand when I was robbed of all of my belongings when my uHaul was stollen.  She would give her last breath for her children, her last shirt for her friend and her last prayer for a stranger.

Her tree is an old artificial tree used for too many years, and the decorations on it are all made by her three children.  Instead of tinsel, they've done what people used to do so many years ago and strung popcorn on thread.  The floor doesn't have the decorative carpet, and no pets can be seen.  The room is well lit, but there still isn't much to see.  She's had a hard year.  Raising three children alone isn't easy for anyone.

Upstairs, three children are in bed.  They're not going to bed hungry - their mother would give her last dime to keep her children fed before herself.  They have dreams too, just like the other children.  They dream of prom dresses, Holiday Barbie and the latest Lego Star-Wars set, just like all the others.  But they know that those are only dreams.  Their mother has already told them that she can't afford much this year.  They know that their tree will likely only have one gift for each of them beneath it.  Johnny needs a new pair of shoes.  Cindy needs a new nightgown.  Caroline could really use a new bookbag.  Their mother would put nothing for herself under the tree.  She dosen't feel as though she deserves it.  She feels as though she has failed her children.
Their mother, the kind soul that has given everything she has into raising her three children to these ages, expects nothing more than what fate has left before her as she rests on her knees in prayer.  Yet, as much as she loves her children, her prayers aren't for a Christmas Miracle.  Her prayers aren't even that she had more money and could give them more things.  Her prayers are for those less fortunate than herself.  Her prayers and thoughts are for those who can't afford even the used pair of shoes under the tree or the nightgown she had to sew by hand from the old ones or the bookbag mended over the Christmas break.

She's anything but selfish.  She does pray that her children have a nice Christmas, but she knows that their dinner will depend on the kindness of their few remaining family members coming to visit with pies and cakes. 

Jennifer doesn't want her children to grow up thinking "Christmas is just another day," so she decides in her moment of prayer that she will share with them a story from the Bible - the most famous story from the Bible, and the one story everyone who celebrates Christmas knows almost by heart.

The baby Jesus was only given three gifts, from the three wise men.  Jennifer thinks to herself "I have three children who are getting one gift each, though some are recycled.  I can't pretend to think my children deserve more than Jesus himself got on his birthday."  She tries to justify the meager gifts beneath the tree, but she knows that she is failing.  She believes she has already failed.  Her face contorts from the emotional pain.  Her uplifted eyes close.  The tears begin to fall.

She can't imagine what she'll do when she sees the disappointed looks on their faces in the morning.


This Christmas, I know someone who needs help.  She's not asking for it, but we're going to do everything we can to make things better for her and her family.  Even if she did ask for help, none of it would be for herself.  She only thinks of her children.  Won't you help Jennifer and the children this Christmas?  It's a cold one up there in Michigan.  We aren't asking for much, but whatever you can send to her and her children would be a huge help. 

If it's a Christmas Card, that will lift the spirits.
If it's a letter, that will encourage the family.
If it's a dollar, that's a dollar's worth of thread for sewing the backpack.
If it's a grocery store gift card, that might just be a Christmas Dinner.
If it's clothing, the children will be warm.
If it's toys, they just might have an "average" Christmas after all.


ANYTHING helps.  Charity Starts At Home, they say.  Can't we start in Jennifers home?

 Please join us on Facebook for information and updates,
And thank you.






Goodbye Facebook



As a long standing member of the Social Media world known as Facebook, I have finally said goodbye to it today, in hopes of regaining a bit of my old self back today. This is what I wrote .......









Long ago I used to be a model - but these are days gone by. I've changed. I'm older. I'm wiser. I'm more mature and responsible. My outward appearance may have changed, but my fundamental core being never will. I don't see myself as a physical manifestation and therefore do not see myself as attractive or unattractive. I am simply me - kind and smart, funny and sarcastic, a bit narcissistic at times and full of faults - but unique. Forgive me for saying - I will never see myself as what you see in the photo below. I will only ever truly see myself for what and who I am inside.

Those who choose not to like me have every right. Those who do also have that right to choose. I don't point fingers. I don't lay blame. I don't create, stir or instigate trouble. I lay low and desire a quiet existence. I want to write and to be left to my writing.

The Constitution provides us with several fundamental rights - the right to bear arms. The right to assembly. The right to freedom of speech.

The right to bear arms does not grant us permission to kill or threaten another with a gun. The right to assembly does not grant us permission to riot, loot and deface. And the right to our freedom of speech does not grant us the right to damage, slander or hurt others for our own spite or frustration or anger.

And so I do none of these.

This will be my last and final post on the public world of Facebook - because I refuse to take part in the defamation, slander, hatred, verbal rioting or threatening of others at any time. Those who have wronged me cannot hurt me. Those who love me know how to find me. And to all those who are neither - may our paths cross again someday.

Goodbye Facebook.

A Year in Review






The day I got off the plane at LAX one year ago today I actually reminded myself of the young 22 year old kid I had been when I first moved to Los Angeles from Arkansas. I saw a world of possibilities ahead of me then. That day I landed upon my return from Scotland I had seen it as a second chance at life - the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, explore more of my home, spend more time with the amazing men I called my two favorite uncles. I would save up and up a car so that I might explore the world around me.

As the plane touched down I had a job lined up already. I would go to work as an Executive Assistant for an old friend of mine I'd known for many years. I had a place to stay with a former employee and very dear friend, who had nearly taken out a payday loan in order to get me home from Scotland the month before I finally arrived. I had a Land Cruiser to drive, courtesy of my new employer and old friend, while he was out of town on business. I had a little money in my pocket from the car accident I had a lawyer handle for me in November of 2010 when a retired Air Force Sgt T-boned my car running a stop sign. Other than that, all I had was one suitcase full of clothes and a whole lot of hope.

I got along well at my job. I was fairly good at retrieving dry cleaning, taking laundry to a service and organizing expense reports. I got along well at home, though I will admit at times it was quite awkward. My friend and I had to share a room, meaning she and I shared a bed from time to time. Since she typically worked the midnight shift, most of the time i had it all to myself. But on the days she had off, I found that she and I both would awkwardly sleep on opposite ends of the bed, hugging the edges for dear life.

After a couple of months and several Jiu Jitsu classes my old friend and new employer had decided he was still (it's a long story) in love with me. My brain told me that the only reason he hired me was to pick up the shattered remains of my heart when I got back and to try to convince me to fall in love with him. My heart told me I wanted nothing to do with that and to run. My pockets told me to get a job since my reserves were quickly depleting. I was living beyond my means and trying to spend more than I was making on lavish breakfasts, fuel for my friend since I would occasionally borrow her car and rent for the room I was sharing. I would from time to time help my friend with her rent as well. She was working full time at her night job, but since I had hired her for it in 2010 I knew what it paid, and it wasn't enough by any stretch.

I got a job for a little while working part time at Macy's selling ladies shoes. I hated it. I detested it. They ripped off their employees on commissions and paid barely minimum wage. The Boss-man and I finally had one too many discussions based on my inability to love him the way he loved me and I snapped. I couldn't take it. One day I turned and walked out, calling my roommate on my way. I made it a full mile in 4 inch wedge heels wearing a short dress and a heavy laptop before she arrived to give me a ride home. I've never seen him again.

I had gotten a message on Facebook from someone I had previously been linked to through work. Out paths had crossed and we remained in contact via Facebook. I had gone to an event he was in charge of not long before that and it was great to reconnect. He asked if I would know anyone looming for a job - and as it turned out I did.

I started working for him not long after. I got my roommate a job working for his wife at the animal rescue. She was now working two jobs and I hoped beyond hope that she would be ok.

I quit all Jiu Jitsu after busting my shoulder and never went back for dread I would run into the former employer and friend. Just as easily as I had found my passion for Jiu Jitsu, it was gone again. Just like the job. Just like the vehicle.

In September my roommate and I drove to Aspen, Colorado to visit her mother. We drive through Monument Valley and stopped at 4 Corners on the way, two things I had always wanted to see. I was amazed...

Shortly after our return I was given my own room and one of the other roommates moved out. It was about that time I started feeling an incredible tension between my roommate and myself. I ignored it, as I am typically very good at doing when I know I shouldn't.

In November it was discovered that I have Crohn's disease. My world was shattered when I learned what it meant and all about my new restrictions. Thanksgiving dinner, I thought, would be horrendous. I ended up having the most glorious thanksgiving I'd had in years though, with my wonderful friends and adopted family, the Arnold family. They had taken such good. Are of me that I wasn't Bout to miss the. Hands to go spend Christmas with then when I was invited. it was, by far, the greatest "traditional" Christmas I had ever known. I wept for gratitude.

Tensions continued to grow at home. Work grew more stressful.

I needed to Get away - so I flew to Paris with a very dear friend of mine. I wasn't out of pocket one dime - and even if I had been it would have been so much more than worth it. I had always dreamed of going to Paris and I never thought I would have the chance. I even spent a night in London and saw the London Tower before flying home. All that time in Scotland and I had never touched English soil. It was eerie being that close to somewhere I had tried so hard to escape. I admit I didn't want to go home.

The friendship between my roommate and myself fell apart quickly and turned into a blinding hatred for one another that neither of us (I believe) understood or could control. To this day we don't talk, though it saddens me.

I had managed to skimp and save for months in order to buy myself a car. I needed to make payments on it (which I'm still making) but I bought exactly what I wanted. Years ago I had a white mistake that I dearly loved. When I drove it into the ground and had to get rid of it, I ended up with a red Honda Del Sol. It was a good car, but it had sad memories attached to it and was what I had been driving when i was t-boned in november of 2010. I sold it when I moved to Scotland. I had always said I wanted another Miata someday. Finally, for the first time in my life, with no help from another living soul, I bought my first car. I know that seems like a stupid thing to say at my age, but I had always had help before. A husband bought me a car or a boyfriend helped me to buy one or a friend he,led me to find it. Someone would help me with the. Registration process. Something. There was always something. I was determined to do this one on my own. I handed over the cash to pay for half of the car, and planned to make payments on the other half.

I ended up moving out because of all the darkness surrounding my life. I moved into a guest house that belonged to someone I thought was a friend. He turned out to be a crazy person who would stare through my curtains waiting for me to get up in the morning, stand outside of my door at night shouting my name and would drop "presents" off inside the place when I was gone. It wasn't long and I moved again.

With everything going on and the madness of moving having taken over my life, I had forgotten to register my new car. Well, I hadn't really forgotten. There was a constant reminder every time I looked at where the license plates should have been. I just kept saying "tomorrow" all the way up until I got pulled over coming back from Downtown LA.

Registration for a car isn't cheap. Especially if you've bought a car that hasn't been registered in 2 years. The parking tickets accumulated in the new neighborhood didn't help my pockets out at all. There was so much going on I forgot to budget and ended up missing a car payment.

Fed up and stressed out beyond my limits I finally decided one weekend I had off to go to San Diego. I went down for a night and drove back. I didn't get the traveling bug out of my system though so last weekend I drove to San Francisco.

So what have I accomplished since my return from Scotland?

I bought one car.
I've lost two friends.
I've had three jobs.
I've traveled to four major destinations.
I gained five friends.
Six times I stood in amazement.
I drove over seven thousand miles in my car.
I survived 8 months where I was after I landed.
Nine times I forgave others for things done to me.


But I feel like I've accomplished nothing. Zero. Zilch.
Until I look at my photos. :)