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I'm Getting Older



There comes a time to let go.

Happy Birthday to me.

"It's just a sign I'm getting older."









I am giving up one of my dreams today
I found out I can't always get my way
And sometimes a dream isn't worth what you pay
So I'm giving up one of my dreams today
When we are children we look to the sky
We want everything, I'm afraid to ask why

And I saw the sparkling fish in the sea
I dreamed I would find one who'd swim next to me
And this called love and it's worth every reason
Love is the cool and the warmth in each season
But how does one love and what does one do
When the the dream that you have doesn't want to pick you
But oh oh don't cry for me

It's just one dream less on my shoulder
And oh oh dad says giving up dreams is just a sign I'm getting older
He was a stoner and I'm like a light
And when he would blaze id sing songs by his side
But my dream takes two strong hearts that will fight
And he doesn't dream, he just sleeps at night
And oh oh don't cry for me

It's just one dream less on my shoulder
And oh oh dad says giving up dreams, is just a sign I'm getting older
Oh they say to much smoking will change your taste
Maybe that's why he's kissing another girls face
But I never dreamed of second place
So I'd rather just quit than continue to race
And oh oh don't cry for me

It's just one dream less on my shoulder
And oh oh dad says giving up dreams is just a sign I'm getting older
And oh oh oh I am singing on stage
But it doesn't mean I know much better

Oh oh oh oh
You're probably like me

Some days dreaming and some days a quitter
I am giving up one of my dreams today
After I held him and begged him to stay
And after my dream will drown out to a whisper
After I've burnt all the photo booth pictures

And after I erased our names from the sky
Stopped wondering how and asking why
Oh I wish I had words to encourage inspire
But the truth is I'm ripped and I'm sad and I'm tired
I'm a loser in love and an abandoner of dreams
And today I gave up the one for him, and me













The Pinup Competition


Have you ever smiled and cried at the same time?  Heartbreak and Happiness, hand in hand.

The human ego is far more fragile than I could have ever imagined.

My fragile ego has been in jeopardy for years.  Rejections became a part of my life, especially once I hit 30 and my metabolism slowed down.  I've been incredibly fortunate to have accomplished as much as I have, but there's been so much that I've been held back from doing - mostly because of myself.

I've had this fear all my life of going into strange places if I'm alone.  It's nerve wracking for me to walk into a grocery store I've never been into before if I'm alone.  I wouldn't shop at "Sprouts" market for years because I'd never gone into one and couldn't overcome my phobia in order to do so.  Well, sometimes there's something I want badly enough to face my fears and fight for what I want.  This past weekend I did just that.

As a complete stranger with not one friend in the entire area, I flew from Los Angeles to Denver in order to attend the 1940's Ball.  Alone.  In a place I'd never been.  But I'd been obsessed with the 1940's all my life.  And I was one of the 20 finalists for the Pinup competition at 8:30pm - also something I've never done. 

I was more than nervous.  I was petrified and intimidated.  I was facing a challenge before me, and that was only the door ahead!  But as I waited in line, I befriended a lovely older couple who bonded with me instantly.  As a safety net, I attached myself to these two people who told me they also didn't know anybody inside.  The three of us became friends rather quickly.

As we stood around the dance floor watching everyone swing away the time to a Glen Miller tribute orchestra, Glen Miller walked down off of the stage with his trombone in hand to take MY hand and kiss it.  He then thanked me for coming. 

I would be remiss if I didn't explain that already hundreds of people were there dancing and watching.  I was one of the crowd, and yet Glen Miller (the man portraying Glen Miller) reached out to me of all people.  I was not only shocked but thrilled!  I already was in an atmosphere filled with 1940's dresses and hair and military uniforms and Glen Miller music... Having the Orchestra leader exit the stage in order to greet ME of all people just completely blew me away.  I won't lie, I swooned.

My two new friends then decided to hit the dance floor for a slow song, and a stranger asked me to dance.  Of course I didn't decline.  I love to swing dance, even if I'm not very good at it.  I danced with a few different people, but as I stood along the sidelines watching my two friends dance, a man in a 1940's military uniform asked me to dance.  Well, history was made.  We hit it off and became instant friends.  When he found out I had gone all the way out to Denver from LA just for that event, he took me under his wing and introduced me to everybody he could think of, and even a few he didn't!  He helped to set the event up every year and even helped one of the most talented photographers in Denver with shooting the Pinup calendar - so his connections were limitless! 


I danced the night away, met a hundred people and lost my first two friends in the crowd!  Eventually it was time for the pinup competition, and I could see who I was up against.  They were all stunning!  They wore evening gowns and elbow length gloves.  I was in a knee length dress and a feathered hat!  They had four inch heels.  I had on a pair of 70 year old practical shoes.  They were young and thin, I was - well... not so much of either anymore.  They were all beautiful!  All I really had going for me was my red hair - and even that wasn't exclusive to me.  To make it worse, the other redhead was a GORGEOUS Burlesque dancer, well known in the community and the 1940's circuit.  I didn't stand a chance!

They lined the contestants up in alphabetical order by first name, which meant I was first.  I hate being first.  I'd much rather have a moment to be observant and learn from the mistakes of others, but I certainly wasn't going to let a little thing like being first get in my way.  I'd come this far and I didn't exactly have stage fright.  So what if I didn't look like a traditional Pinup girl?  I had a great 70 year old dress I didn't mind showing off.  I had come all the way from Los Angeles to do this, and I had used the Pinup competition as my excuse to go.  I made a commitment.  I needed to follow through.



"I won't get picked" I told the pretty young lady beside me.  She was second in line. 

"Are you crazy," she said straight back to me.  "You look great!  If they DON'T pick you I'd be surprised."

"You're sweet, but there's no way.  I used to model.  I know competition when I see it," I gestured to the other 15 ladies lined up behind us, "and I'm certainly not it."  I laughed, and so did she.



"You're still crazy," she said. 

Suddenly it was time to go.  One at a time we filed across the floor in front of the stage before hundreds of onlookers.  People cheered and applauded loudest for their favorites, and of course I received very little applause.  Everyone else had their own cheering section.  I was a stranger to everyone but the soldier I had been dancing with, and he had left suddenly when a family member of his wasn't feeling well.  I was alone.


They narrowed it down to five, the young lady said to us.  We were waiting for them to decide which five.  I had been fighting with my hat for an hour and finally I just took it off.

"What are you doing," the young lady beside me asked.

"I'm taking off my hat.  I'm done up there.  I won't be going back up."

"Who says?  You never know!"

It wasn't even a full minute later when I was being ushered back onto the stage as one of the five finalists!  But one of the judges just happened to be a friend of the dancing soldier, so I didn't know how much of this was a polite gesture to the "out of town girl who traveled so far" and how much was a genuine vote for me.  Thankfully I got to know that judge quite a bit better later on in the evening, and now I know my answer.


When they announced the third place winner, there was a tie.  Since there were only five people on the stage at that point, myself included, I knew that only one of the five would be exiting the stage with nothing in their hands.  I was completely prepared for that moment.  The others actually dressed as Pinup girls for a living!  I was lucky to stand in their shadows.

They announced the second place winner, and I suddenly knew without a shadow of a doubt that the belly dancing burlesque gal had it in the bag.  She was walking home with the six VIP passes to the next event and that amazing photoshoot I desperately wanted.  That photoshoot was the whole reason I had entered the contest in the first place!  The photographer was incredibly talented and I'd always wanted to do a proper 1940's photoshoot.  But I knew that young lady in the peach dress who was so popular among the more than 400 people watching intently would be walking away with that glorious package.  The lucky dame...

"And the winner of the 2014 Miss White Christmas National US Pinup Competition is...." the audience faked a drum roll by slapping their hands and stomping their feet against the floor before us...






"The winner is ... Ms. Amanda Blackwood!"




















P.S.  After the competition, I was finally able to find my two original friends from the line at the very beginning.  They saw me in the crown and sash, and the first thing out of their mouths was "What happened since we saw YOU last?!" 





Known!!


So this is random... I was just recognized on my flight. 


"Hey! You're the blogger, aren't you?!"


I was dumbfounded. I just sat there a minute. 


"Maybe it's not you," he said. "Never mind."


"Lady Blackwood?"


"YEAH!!"


"Yep. That's me!"


It's an odd feeling and I'll tell you all about it shortly! 



Who's That?

This is wrong. 

As I looked I to the mirror I could see the lines around my eyes - deep creases from dehydration and years of stress. This life has not been kind to me. But it's not the lines I feel are wrong. Those are all earned. 

This isn't me. This isn't my face or my body. I'm trapped inside a strangers body and there's nothing I can do about it. I look I to the mirror and I have no idea who that person is. I know who I am, but the face in the mirror? She's a stranger. She always has been. 

My family is not my family. My face is not my face. Even my hands are borrowed from someone else - someone who's meant to be in this body. Someone who fits. I don't fit. 

I have no idea what I would look like if I were in the correct form, but I do know this isn't it. I do know that this isn't who I'm meant to be. I just don't know why I ended up here or how I got here. 

And I'm lost. 

I'm trapped within a stranger and there's no way out until the end of all things.

Sin and Repentance



Through some weird fluke, my blog about being kidnapped, raped, tortured and nearly sold into human trafficking has become a hugely popular post on Pinterest.  It's everywhere, earmarked with the same $20 you see here.  Almost anywhere you see this scan on Pinterest, it will point you straight back to my blog.  

That story is NOT SAFE FOR WORK.  It's also NOT SAFE FOR CHILDREN OR CHURCH.

It's a dark story about a horrible past filled with hideous monsters and forgotten children.  If you're interested, I'll post a link at the bottom.  Be warned, it's not for the weak.

The standard description I've found from people blindly sharing this blog on Pinterest like mindless sheep is as follows:

Such a good object lesson about repentance and sin - 20 dollar bill still has the same value even when wrinkled or marked on...our value never changes in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. The atonement allows us to repair damage and become clean. We must trust in the Lord and see ourselves as our Heavenly Father does.

My own standard response is simple enough:
I was glad to have readers, but I felt it was severely false advertising. Now that I know you had not read it before hand it makes more sense. I believe the original pin-er used the $20 from part one as the object lesson somehow but I was entirely lost on that idea. The $20 was not symbolic, it was just a catalyst. Try reading the story. It's about rape and human trafficking.

But I got this in response.
I pinned this days before reading it, as I do with a lot of things. I thought there were some significance between the $20 bill and forgiveness. I had absolutely no idea it would be a story of rape and torture. So therefore you are wrong! I am not part of the problem. Ignorance is what I'm thinking you are part of.

Now, I'm fairly new to Pinterest.  In fact, I only joined the site in order to try to stop the spread of this particular story before too many children got their hands on it.  I'm left with two HUGE questions...
  • #1.  Is it standard practice for people to post things WITHOUT reading them or even looking at them first?  I put a disclaimer on that particular blog in order to END the trend.
  • #2.  Is she blind, or did she not see that mirror standing in front of her face when she started pointing fingers at me?  I'm the ignorant one, while she's perfectly innocent as she sends children and church attendees to a blog post about rape, having them believe it's about sin and repentance?

So, as is my usual fashion, I responded.
Point one finger at me, you have three pointed back at you. You actually share stuff without even bothering to LOOK at it. You point KIDS to a story of rape and torture and human trafficking. And call me what you will. If I can live through that, I promise your words will have ZERO impact on me.

It's MY blog. I enjoy having readers. What I do NOT enjoy is having THOUSANDS of hateful emails sent to me over the course of a couple DAYS because someone (like you) thinks this is a CHURCH story. I've gotten more hate mail than Merle Dixon! That's far more of a pain than you pretending to NOT point in the mirror.

And since it's finally down (6:05pm on 11-12-14) I'd say this blog post was a success.  Thank you!

To read the original story,  Visit This Link








Idiots A-broad

Being nice, I offered a touch of advice for a hopeful future Flight Attendant. I explained how my security background really made me a shoe-in for the job.

In response, another current Flight Attendant threw in:
"And leave out all that Security Bs out..They are not looking for law enforcement and give them lots of smiles"

My response was exactly this.
"The "Security BS" as you call it, Sandy, is EXACTLY why I was hired, and I was told as much. So, Sandy, while it may not be what got YOU hired, I couldn't rely on my perfect smile or stunning good looks. I don't have either of those things."











Was that a backhanded compliment, or a double sided insult???
Here's her photo. You tell me.



Yet, once more she attempted to say that my advice was completely invalid without using those words...















SANDY:
"Robin,...remember your interview is for Flight Attendant not. Law Enforcement....."


It became a simple back-and-forth at that point.






AMANDA:
"Sandy - remember, you know EVERYTHING. You're perfect and everyone should always do exactly what you say and NEVER under any circumstances disagree with you."




SANDY:"Yaaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnn,...."

"
Yeah...thats why you are sooo paying attention to my posts...MY OPINION sorry if you dont like it."



AMANDA:



 













SANDY:
And yes you show your class HONEY....I soooo got to yiou without even mentioning u. ...Booooring....and keep writing nonsense, See who really looks like one....Im done...keep on telling ppl your SECURITY STORIES...You are soo rude.





AMANDA:










And that was the end of that.


Photography and Me



Almost every detail I learned about photography has been because I stood in front of the camera for so long. But I've learned a LOT recently just by standing there and pressing the button. I'm still in front of the thing, but - hey - it works.


Guess what I'm saying is that I ain't no dummy. If I wanna figure something out, I usually do. It only took my ten years to get the courage to REALLY try, but I've finally got it. 

Always wanted to learn how to be a photographer....





























Trial Run





This is a TRIAL RUN only.  I've had my issue with stalkers, so we'll see how it goes and how often I have to use the block button.  But - for a limited time only, if you find me on facebook, you can comment on anything I have - publicly.  I refuse to respond to private messages! 

Be warned.

If it can't be said in public, it shouldn't be said in private.

Now - head on over to Facebook and find me.




Man's Vanity

Vanity Has a Face. 


I went to the hotel gym tonight. It's rare that I'm ever joined by anyone, but tonight was different. Tonight I was joined by two people - two men - at different times. 


These two did NOT know one another, and yet there was an instant competition between them. There were two mirrors and a myriad of weights. I'll let you guess what took place after that. 


I was in the treadmill, going for one hour at 3.5mph (I'm working my way up to running). In that time, these two chased one another around the gym, kind of like a "follow the leader" game, each trying to out-do one another with reps, all the while admiring their groaning and strained reflections in the mirror. 


I can understand watching the mirror to make sure you're keeping good form, but when you're making expressions that make me believe you're the unholy offspring of Sly Stalone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, something needs to change. 


There was more spit on the mirror than remained in their mouths. If I hadn't watched it all happen, I wouldn't have believed it, and I probably would have believed someone had decided to make out with the mirror. Yes, there was that much slobber on it. 


Vanity has a face, and it's making a HORRIBLE grimace as the hernia forms. Vanity, thy name is GYM-MAN! 





Yes. They're laughing. 


Art by Allen



This incredible piece of photo manipulation is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Not in that it's an image of me, but in that it shows who I see MYSELF to be - the scared girl, fading off into the background, disappearing into oblivian - all while taking it in stride. 

I can feel my world fading away... I can taste the air turning sour around me... and yet I know that it's useless to stand and fight against it. I've been fighting this oblivian all my life only to continue facing it year after year. 

So here I am, fading away to a distant memory of people I thought would always be there. I'm already gone from their lives - they've been staring at a blank brick wall for months. 

Incredible art, Allen. Thank you. 

And please comment with a link to your work. People should be able to see it all. 

You made me cry. I love it. Thank you. 

Advice

just gave some epic advice I wish I'd gotten years ago. 







"You're not respecting HIM?? Honey, he's not respecting YOU!! This is a part of who you were LONG before he ever met you, and if he wins this, he will have some sort of control over you for the rest of the time you're with him, from what you wear to who your friends are. Trust me. 


"And if you LET him control this aspect of your life, you will eventually resent him for it, just as I do my ex husband for squashing my acting career because of his petty jealousy and insecurities. It ended our marriage eventually, but it wasn't overnight.


"It all happens eventually. Slowly. Like a disease, a cancer that eats away at respect and love and all the other good things that go along with a relationship. All that's left in the end is a hollow shell of what could have been.


"It's time for him to grow a pair and realize he does not OWN the body of a woman just because he's dating her.


"You're a beauty. Go do your own thing and have fun with it. If he can't figure out what an awesome (strong) person you are for being able to do it, that's his loss. 


"Take a stand. Go be you."



Forgotten Girl



I've never been one of the "popular" people, rarely garnering an invitation as a child to a birthday party.  I was shunned for most of my school life, hardly ever making an appearance at school dances, and if I did, usually alone.  I'm not ugly and I'm not antisocial - but I'm not the 'average' girl.  I never have been. 

What does this mean?

I don't dress the way other people dress.  I have my own sense of fashion, mostly contrived of multiple styles, including those of Audrey Hepburn, Shirley Manson and the country life.  It's a very strange combination, I admit.  But it's MY style.  Too often today we see people who dress exactly like some star or celebrity.  The masses line up to purchase not just A little black dress, but THE little black dress with gray piping that was seen on Ashley Tisdale last week, or whomever they're following these days. 

I don't do the things other people do.  I was born an old soul.  I watch old 1940's films when I'm feeling low for a pick-me-up.  I don't drink to excess and I never really have been into that sort of thing.  In fact, I can't stand being around drunk people.  I don't do drugs of ANY sort and don't tolerate those who do.  Peer pressure doesn't exist to me.

I don't watch or say or think what other people seem to think everyone should.  I'm my own person.  In the end, this means I'm very much alone.

I have VERY few friends, and the list diminishes exponentially as I write this, since I seclude myself away from the heartbreak and torment I feel when I'm around a bunch of people who couldn't give two shakes for me.  I thought I had friends, and maybe I still do (some of them) but when so, so, so many have just faded away into their own lives, forgetting I even exist, or that I once thought of them as my BEST friend, it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine a time when I had so many friends I couldn't see them all in a month if I tried.

I've been very much alone for a very long time, but since my best friends have become nothing more than the occasional acquaintance these days, there are fewer people to talk to.  Fewer hugs in my world.  Fewer messages of kindness.  Fewer human interactions.

There's one person in my world I see regularly.  One.  There's no "girls night out" for me.  There's no "salon day" or a "let's go for a walk in the park today" friends.  There's no "lets hang out a the beach" anymore.  There's not even a "wanna grab lunch" girl time for me.  There's one person in my life.  ONE.  The rest of the world moved on without me.  The rest of the world doesn't need me.  The rest of the world forgot I exist.

I was recently told I was remarkable to have lived through what I've gone through and keep smiling.  Well, here's a surprise.  It's not all smiles.  It's sadness and depression and avoidance and loneliness and doubt and a pathetic freaking mess.  That's who I am when the door is closed and I'm the only one home.  That's the REAL me.  That's the "me" that gave up.  That's the "Me" nobody gets to see.  That's the forgotten girl.

That's what I have become.  The Forgotten Girl.
















Apocalyptic Kindness

From a dream...








Darkness loomed over me in the hallway.  I'd been leaning against the wall, but my strength was beginning fail me finally. It had been too long, to many days, too little sleep.  I was amazed I had survived this long.  I had no idea how I would keep going.

The world had gone to Hell outside, and somehow I found myself standing in the hallway of an ex-boyfriends home.  It was all but abandoned now.  The home once teeming with life and people felt empty; abandoned.  Tears burst from my eyes and silent sobs shook my aching, tired body.  With my back against the wall dividing the hallway from the kitchen, I began to slide.  Slowly at first, my knees finally buckled and I collapsed in a heap on the cold hardwood floor, hugging my knees.

I thought about all the people who had died already as I stared at the wood grain in the floor.  I wondered if I would ever again see anyone I knew, or even if I would survive another week.  The world was ugly now, people had progressed past killing one another for water into killing one another just to have less competition for survival in the world.  I stared at the mud on my shoes and ankles as I asked myself over and over in my mind why it was I had decided to come to this particular location.  I knew I wouldn't be welcome there.  I knew they would have turned me away if they hadn't been gone already.  At one time, I had adopted them as though they were my own family.  But that was long ago.  I was a stranger to them now - another bit of competition for survival.  I was another obstacle, another easy target.  I meant nothing to my ex, and I was pretty positive I would mean nothing to the rest of the family.  Just another mouth to feed.

But the door had been open and I knew the family was long gone.  They had packed up their RV's with the dogs and survival supplies and were gone.  They were probably hundreds of miles away by now, avoiding the main roads, searching for isolation, escaping the madness.  They were doing what I knew I should have done weeks ago.  They had gotten out.  And with them disappeared my last inkling of hope that I would survive that night. 

I hadn't seen my ex's nephew in a few years, but without looking, I knew it was him.  He always towered over everyone at well over 6' tall, and yet he walked with a quiet grace so rare in the noise of the world.  His heart was just as tender as his steps, and as he crouched low to put a kind hand on my shoulder, I realized I hadn't known another human's touch in months. 

I had no friends or family.  I had nobody in the world I could rely on but myself.  The only souls I'd known any form of love from were my furry companions - two cats I lived with before everything went to Hell.  But here was Jeff, offering a hand of friendship, a touch of compassion and caring in this world where such things had completely disappeared.

I leaned back against the wall, not wanting to look him in the eyes.  The relief I felt at knowing there was still kindness and life in this world was too much to keep in.  In a maddening moment of great depression and exaltation, I burst into fat cries of joy and sorrow.  My lips curled back in a childlike grimace filled with the confusion and pain that came with emotional outbursts.  He put his arm around me, I collapsed my head into his shoulder and sobbed great, increasing, hulking, massive sobs.  And Jeff, my former boyfriends nephew, did nothing but hold my shoulders and let me cry.








Surprise Me.

People surprise me. 


I was paid a huge compliment today as one of my favorite captains and I stood outside a CRJ900, chatting. 


I was flabbergasted. I had no idea what to say. I couldn't even muster a "thank you." Instead I  just stood there giggling like a jackass. I tried, unsuccessfully, to steer the conversation away from the subject at hand, but ended up only able to focus on another portion of the same conversation, still focusing on me. 


I can't begin to explain how uncomfortable I made myself feel. It wasn't the Captain, it was me. Apparently I still need to learn how to take a compliment. 


Only - it wasn't a compliment on something I had achieved. It was a compliment on something I had survived. How do you gracefully take something like that? I was just lucky to survive. I wasn't amazing for having done it. I was just lucky. 


But, for what it's worth, thank you. 


People surprise me. 

Sometimes, I surprise me too. 





Actor Backs Me


True story. Happened today. 




I had actor Tommy Lister on my flight today. VERY nice guy. Super funny, incredibly friendly - everything I would hope to find in someone who notoriously plays a BAD guy in films. 


And at the end of the flight when I threatened to have an insolent jerk removed from the plane in handcuffs if he didn't comply with my requests and stop giving me attitude, Tommy turned around and looked at the guy. He said, and I quote, "Good for you, Baby! I don't know what took you THIS long!!"


The insolent said not a word but cowered in his seat, avoiding the gaze of the 6' 5" former pro Wrestler, who then proclaimed to be my personal body guard. 


 Imagine that. The President of the Galactic Empire in Fifth Element was my personal body guard today. 


Who all can say they had a President AS their body guard!!


Tommy Lister, wherever you are, thank you for making my day!


(By the way, other passengers cheered and applauded when I threatened the use of police for this mans attitude and behavior in general. He really was THAT BAD.)



So don't forget to vote for your favorite redheaded flight attendant! You know, the one who had a famous body guard! 


https://m.facebook.com/1940sBall/photos/a.792703974101715.1073741844.103322139706572/792752474096865/?type=1&sou



Vote Ginger!!!!!





Now, THIS is transformation. 




I'm a Flight Attendant in the USA, based in Los Angeles. I've been a ginger since infancy, though I've tried out going blonde and brunette - and even a short spell with jet black hair. They all did different things for me (the black made me look like Bettie Page) but nothing has ever been as striking as RED hair.


However, "striking" isn't always a good thing and I was venomously tortured as a kid. I had knives pulled on me in school, gangs of girls would corner me in the halls and relentlessly poke, prod, punch and jab me. Boys would constantly ask the "carpet and drapes" question. Once, a girl named Shirelle (about 6'2" in the 8th grade) used my body to break a Coke machine in the hallway at school.


I've since learned how to OWN my hair, but it took the very real challenge of cutting it all off and starting all over before I could do it. It seemed with each inch that grew, so did my confidence.


On a side note:

Perhaps then you could help me out. I just entered my first ever pageant. I just entered a pinup competition. The 20 people with the top votes will be in a stage pageant in Denver this December. It's the weekend before my birthday and it would be an incredible birthday present. So if you guys would be so kind as to walk on over there with your fingers and click the like button on the photo, it would be one more vote towards my birthday present. Thank you!!


https://www.facebook.com/1940sBall/photos/a.792703974101715.1073741844.103322139706572/792752474096865/?type=1&theater










Before and After

Professional photo courtesy of :
Michael O'Donnell, 
San Francisco based photographer. 
Hair, makeup and wardrobe by me. 




Opinions

What happens if someone says you lack empathy or compassion? Does it change the fact that you have empathy and compassion for others? 


What happens if people tell you that you're being antisocial by not allowing someone you don't know to call you a friend? Does it mean that you've become antisocial? 


What happens when a bully calls you mean? Does that mean you've become one of them?


It changes nothing about you when someone says something about you. The only thing that can change anything about you...


.. IS you.  


Don't buy into what other people say. Know who you are and stick to that knowledge. Knowing who you are when others don't, not letting them change you to suit their own needs; that is true power in this world. 


This isn't a lesson someone can teach you.  This isn't something your parents may have instilled in you.  This is something you must learn on your own. And once you have the skill, self-reliance, perseverance and self-esteem will never be a problem again. 








Passenger Complaints



It started out simply enough....


"To the lady on the plane in my row giving me a dirty look for NOT standing in the packed aisle like the rest of the nitwits:

"You think I care. How sweet."






Dave, that was ENTIRELY Uncalled for and RUDE. 

I was a passenger. I was going home. There were thirty people crammed into the aisle waiting to get out simply because the plane stopped moving. And they stood there for 15+ minutes, IMPATIENTLY waiting, leaning, shoving, sighing and sticking their back sides in the faces of anyone NOT standing. 

I don't like getting elbowed in the stomach and groped in the chest, so I don't stand up when everyone else does. You have a problem with me not wanting to get groped and someone having the excuse of "close quarters" to fall back on?! I'm so sorry. #sarcasm

You're just DAMN LUCKY i didn't say what I was really thinking.  The reason I didn't is because I'm a class above swearing for reaction. You, however, appear not to be. 

You may edit and remove the f-bomb, or you can have me remove it (and you) permanently. 

Be a human being, not a jerk. Jumping to conclusions gets you NOWHERE.


If my calling a rude woman a nitwit gets you up in arms, I'd hate to see your reaction to what I'm about to say to myself.

You say "Yeah, we're f#%* nitwits, that have to deal with being treated like nitwits in order to travel for out jobs and make a living..."

First, comma placement!!

Second, just what in the world do you think we are doing up there playing man-servant to the passengers; volunteer work? Yoga classes? We're people, even if you prefer to think of us as objects, servants or sub-human.

I don't care for nitwits? 
You're right. I don't. But I care about the passengers on a plane who act as civilized human beings, especially to me, as I often work 12 hour days with NO lunch breaks, no dinner breaks, no smoke breaks, no bathroom breaks, no "my-feet-are-killing-me" breaks... Yet I do everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in my power to make it as easy as possible on the passengers. I've made life-long friends of one 6'10" passenger simply because  I found him a seat with more leg room. The major difference here? He never once complained about his seat. He smiled at his flight attendant. He said "hello" when I greeted him. He was sweet, a real human being. 

You think it's bad that airline food is over priced?
Try making 12k a year and having that be your only food option on those 12 hour days for six days in a row. Eventually you learn a valuable lesson: PACK YOUR OWN. Surely you know more than two hours in advance if you're going to be on an airplane. Well, that's a the notice I get for FOUR DAY trips, and yet I take the time to pack my own food or else I starve. If you do t want airplane food, them do something about it. If you don't want water, order a coke. If coke costs you money, stop flying Sprint!!! LMAO!!

Airlines (the real ones) still give you food even when the machine is broken, Dude. Stop trying to blast baloney at someone who works in the industry.  Remember, I work for FIVE MAJOR AIRLINES, and none of the five do that. Perhaps you need to reconsider your options for travel. In fact, try DRIVING where you need to go if you don't like the service. 

How long of a flight we talking here? If it's an hour flight, go to the bathroom before you get on the plane, please. It's hard enough doing a full service on an hour flight without having to play seat-roulette with passengers who prefer a nasty airplane lav to the nice, spacious bathrooms back in the airport. By the way, some days that's my only option for a bathroom until I get to a hotel at night. So, put the seat down and remember to flush please. 

If you have issues with the service on your flights, fly a different carrier. You call it torture to sit in your chair? Trade me a day sometime. I'll show you what it's like to sit in a jump seat. 



I'll give it a standard 12 hour work day to comply with my request to edit for language, since I know that while I'm working a 12 hour day, I have no access to my electronic devices at all. 


Oh, wait. He's not a flight attendant. So a standard 8 hour work day with intermittent access to mobile devices is probably far closer to reality. 


6pm tonight is the deadline. It gets edited for the f-bomb or it gets removed and the poster gets deleted along with it.








I'm Just Angry.

I'M SO ANGRY!!!


I woke up confused from my dream and quickly realized I was (and should be) angry. 


In every decision made in my dream, I was in the drivers seat, but someone else was controlling the truck. 


Once, quite literally, I was in front of the wheel, unable to steer. 


Once I was dressed in a white prom dress and married to someone I didn't know. 


Once I slept on the street, homeless simply because someone refused to talk to me, saying they did it to "get a reaction" from me. 


The reason I'm so angry now that I'm awake? 


Because EACH of these things happened in my past. They weren't as confusing as the dreams were, but they weren't far off. 


For many years I had no control over my life. I had no backbone. I had no direction. Truthfully, I had no hope. 


Though I now have more direction than I did at 19 or 20 years old, I still find certain aspects are being dictated by others who should never be given that much power. They have this control because they help me to survive and not end up homeless. But those people shouldn't have that power. I'd honestly RATHER be homeless than give someone that much power or control over my life ever again!!


I fight for one reason and one reason only: my boys. 


If I lost my small and humble home, so would they. And so I bite my lower lip, pull back the tears, wipe away the blood and take a deep breath. 


I am at the mercy of others. And I'm just so angry.

Writers Sickness.

Why is it when a neighbor slams a door my heart jumps within my chest? 


Why do I feel fear at walking into someplace I've never been if I'm alone? 


Why do I hide for days on end, afraid to let anyone in?


I'm broken. I'm not as brave as I would like you to believe. I live in fear most days, but sometimes I have the courage to face my fears. Others, like today, I prefer to hide from those who have hurt me in the past or who might in the future.


These are the days I have "writers sickness" ... when I hide from the world and the only allies I have are the ones I create on paper. This is my prison; my torture. This is my never ending quest to search for humanity within myself. This is how I learn about the agony others have subjected me to. When I hide, it's because I feel weak, like I don't dare face the world for fear of it happening all over again; the beatings, the rape, the forced starvation. 


So I hide. I binge-eat whatever I can find and pray I haven't been grocery shopping recently. I write, searching for companionship. And I watch movies based on Stephen King books so that I might come to realize I'm not the only one in the world with serious problems in their head. 

Heart Scar




Fourteen years ago today, I lay in a hospital bed, bleeding to death slowly, slipping away from this existence into the depts of untold darkness. In an effort to maintain my life force, doctors and nurses searched frantically in vain for a blood vessel. Needles pierced my skin over and over to no avail. Slowly, slowly, I was slipping away.  I'd lost too much blood. I was in shock. I fell into a deep unconsciousness, feeding into dreams of deceased family members and the years of my existence up to that point in time. I saw it all flashing before my eyes. I'd had a troubled life, but I had a good life too. 

I died that day, in more ways than one. 

Finally, the nurses gave up on finding a vein in my arm or legs. They tried the backs of my hands and feet. But I had lost far too much blood. My veins were collapsing. There was nowhere else to turn. They pulled out the major tools then, and without batting an eyelash, they pierced my chest between the ribs, bore through cartilage and forced a tube into my heart. I had already died at that point, but the blood being rushed directly into my body and warmed only inches from my heart before being forced through that ventriculating muscle saved my life. It also changed me as a human being. A part of my soul escaped as that plastic tubing did all it could to resurrect my life. 

To this day I carry a tiny scar over my heart, both physically and emotionally. I keep it guarded at all costs. I felt pain that day unlike any pain I'd ever known in my life. I never wanted to know Death by name again. I never wanted to see the face of the Reaper take the form of my Grandfather within my dreams again. I never wanted to loose my life again. And yet a piece of me died that day. A piece I'll never get back for as long as I live. 

It happened fourteen years ago today. 

















Chelsea


Written June 10, 2008



I have been bugging Management for weeks now, telling them that I want a name tag. Finally last night I went to yet another supervisor and told them I wanted a name tag. The Supervisor, Chris, said they didn't have anyone in the office to order one for me.  However, they had one name tag in the back office.  The store has NEVER had an employee named Chelsea, so I opted to adopt the name for the interim. 

Only one customer yesterday called me Chelsea. He asked me what my name was, and since I have issues with telling a lie, I just pointed to the name tag. Afterward I felt so silly that I went and told Chris what had happened. My nickname is now Chelsea at work, and it's getting around quite fast.  Already I answer to the name.

Perhaps this is a good choice for a Pen Name. Now I just need a last name to go with Chelsea.

Introvert




I don't often get mail.  In today's era of social media and technological advances, who does?



I sat across the table from Bill at lunch today, feeling increasingly paranoid that people were staring at me for no apparent reason.  I've become familiar with the term "introvert" lately, as I have finally come to terms with the fact that it's a very clear way to define the personality traits that have overcome me in the last few years.  I hide from the world, locked away for sometimes days on end, avoiding strangers and enjoying the company of my cats.  Sitting there in a restaurant, feeling the eyes of strangers on me - I became unusually self conscious. 

There was a time I delighted in the attention of strangers.  I loved walking into a crowded room and feeling like everyone there was watching my every move.  Those days are long gone, but why? That may be something only a psychologist can answer for now.  I've changed. Deep within my core, I've changed.  Years ago, I feared being alone.  Today, I relish in it.

Human interaction is rare for me now.  For the past month, I've worked a total of 4 days, and not having to put myself on the proverbial stage in an aircraft has been an eye-opening experience as to who I truly am these days.  I never before gave myself the time to slow down and find out.  I'm great with people, and I love making people laugh when I'm around them.  But being alone?  That's something you can't teach or learn.  I didn't "learn" how to be alone.  Rather, I discovered it; or more accurately, it discovered me. 

When I returned to my home after lunch, the sense of peace settled in over me like a blanket.  I checked my mail, brought it all inside and closed the door.

There, among the junk I usually get, I discovered a pastel envelope that felt like it contained a card.  My birthday is still several months away, so I couldn't imagine what it could be!  When I opened it, I had a bit of a surprise.

There was not only a sweet card, but also a gift card, from my 5th grade teacher, who recently had a photography competition on Facebook.  I had apparently won the competition based on my submissions, and this was a congratulatory message. 

After feeling so overwhelmed today at lunch, coming home to find this reminded me that it's perfectly OK to be in introvert.  I'm still learning how to deal with it, since it's still so new to me, but that's OK too.  I'm not alone.  Neither are you.