Friday, January 3, 2014

The hardest part

For me, the hardest part of something usually involves being honest and true to myself and sticking to it; despite the feelings of others. I try to spare everyone hurt; and then end up hurt myself. When it comes down to it; I haven't spent enough time considering exactly what I want without the input of others, or without considering their feelings. Strangely enough, however, I always feel inherently selfish and self-serving; sometimes even opportunistic; which of course brings on feelings of guilt. I'm not sure what kind of crazy war is waging in my head; but I've come to realize that all the battles I've been fighting with everyone else are really just projections of my inner mental struggle to bring peace to myself. I hate being alone. I've been told that isn't healthy. For the longest time, I equally believed and denied this theory. Very recently, though, I've come to realize that it is exactly what is troubling me so much. Even when I am alone, there are always cocktails to distract and sometimes even amplify to the point where I am able to write off my feelings as drunken overreactions. That's right, I said when I'm alone there are always cocktails. Perhaps, there is something to that statement also. I'm also told that drinking alone isn't healthy, either. Like being alone, drinking alone generated the same feelings and thoughts. So now, I will possibly acknowledge that I may not be able to properly emotionally handle things properly because I've always just had a drink.
Yes, this part is particularly terrifying. A life without drinks? I feel like it's something that is a part of my personal culture? Is that even a thing, a personal culture? It's been such a big part of my life for so long; but there are so many more things I want to do. For now, I will summon some strength and quit and do things I want to do. It's also a bit scary to admit that a life without alcohol is actually something so significant. I feel like that right there signifies a bit of a dependence and unhealthy coping strategies.
I'm in this place, where I am so much more confident that I will be personally successful and happy than I have ever been, as though I have more trust in myself than I ever have; but something in my gut tells me that the best course of action is simply lack of action. Time. Patience. Simplification. The idea about what to do seems to really get a good hold of being able to do the simple things in life, a retreat inside myself and my own personal life without other influences. Routine everyday tasks like paying bills, going to the dentist, washing my face at night; and doing them consistently have always been challenging for some reason.
It's like this video that I saw, of a graduation speech, where David Foster Wallace speaks about the mundane drudgery and finding meaning in even the most frustrating aspects of it.
I don't want to pretend that I will suddenly become a different person. I will still hate the dentist, despite sobriety and introspection. Perhaps, though, this quiet period will help me to know and understand what I really and truly want and through that understanding, I can set a plan in motion to achieve those things. I've started a list, a sort of mental before picture of what I'd like to accomplish this year. I actually wrote it down. I will look at it, cross things off; add things to it. I will look at it every day, and focus on those things; instead of just getting through the day. Perhaps, when each day has a bigger purpose, I will be able to find a little meaning in the frustrating monotony, a little understanding of who I am and what I want to accomplish, a little peace.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I am thirty years old. I never graduated from college with a degree; I don't make six figures; I am not a "key player" in any particularly influential social scenes...There is a lot I haven't accomplished.
I wonder, sometimes, what have I done with my thirty years? The high school; school system, that I graduated from; probably closer to 100% than 50% of them went to college- and finished. Most of them are successful professionals; and an astounding number of them don't have children.
My grandmother had four childen by the time she was 21. What was I doing at 21? Poor, Memeir; what was she doing at 21? Sounds like a nightmare to me! But, then, it was normal. Her husband, the most amazing man I've ever known, my Pepeir, didn't let her work. What does that mean? How does one be parented by a spouse? In my 21st century marriage, there is nothing I wouldn't be allowed to do. It's truly amazing how things have changed; and also puzzling. I make certain sacrafices in my life for my family. I work the hours in my industry known for being the slowest (I do well, though; because I really do like my job), I feel almost like, because of this Army lifestyle that our real dreams are on hold.
Three years, and two months from now; we will be done. We will have provided sacrafices to our country that so few can even begin to understand. Who will thank us? And how awful is it that I feel entitled to even ask? I've been married for 7 years on May 7, 2011. My husband has been gone for, literally, half of that time. We've fallen in love, and out, so many times. We've raised a child, together, and separately, so many times. We've dealt with the horrific and awful repercussions of the horrific and awful things my husband has seen, together. And separately.
The other day, Adam called, and I was so angry because a friend's husband had gone out of his way to make her feel special the last night he was in town. This was something we've gone through so many times, and each time it's always about him; it's get this done and get that done and stress and stress and then....he's gone. And then I am alone, and caring for our house (or in this case, trying to rent/sell it), caring for our pets, our child, working, paying our bills... we'd even fought about how I really just needed to feel like the sacrafices and hard work I was putting in was appreciated. I was so angry, and jealous. Then it hit me. We've spent our whole lives, and half of our marriage worrying only about ourselves. It's tough to form a lifetime bond with someone; when sometimes you don't even know them because you haven't seen them in a year; and don't trust them because you don't know them...add in a child, and it's even more confusing.
So, I think about these things. And I think about all of my dreams, and aspirations, and desires. I think about how most of the people I grew up with, will never know this sacrafice. They will never fully understand what it means for a family that served in the military. They will never be able to feel the loss, or the worry, or the uncertainty of it.
Why we chose this life, well, it seemed simple enough at the time. We chose it for the promise of a better one in the future. But, the military, like the restaurant industry, is tough to leave. How do you walk away for a certain paycheck, with some skills; limited they may be, for something completely unknown? How do you look guaranteed money in the face and say no, for something that may never happen? I'm not sure; but we have to find a way; because when we get to Raleigh I have that opportunity. Do I go back to the industry that has supported me my whole life, with little growth; or do I go out into the unknown??? Do I actually do what I've always wanted to do and start my own business?
We spend our whole lives talking ourselves out of what we really want, what our desires tell us to do, telling ourselves how to quiet our true now, how do I wake them up again? How do I get past the fear of failure? More importantly, How do I get past the fear of financial failure??
I have a good feeling about Raleigh; something feels right. I feel like I've fought to get here. I feel like we've earned a good pass. Now, to sell it to myself...While Adam works trying to sell people on this life we're trying to leave, I will try to sell myself on a way to get out of it. :A good life. Is that something you might be interested in?" Is this irony? LOL It sure feels like it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

North Carolina

Wow. July 21. Has it really been that long???? Bad blogger, bad!!! Honestly, it's been a crazy and busy and tumultuous time since Adam has returned home. I'm sure I will delve into the nasty little details, the very small and oh, so big reasons why it was one of the most difficult times of our marriage...but not for now. We've grown past...a good bit of those things, worked them out, fought them out, talked them out, or let some of them ride- for later discussion. (It's an art- Letting things go. One I've yet to master.)
I'm here because, well, Susan asked if I had been lately. I hadn't and I should be here. I am stressed. Writing has always helped. So, I am back. I should be back on a regular basis. Honestly, I love to write. (Insert tantrum over not having orange juice to mix with lemonade. Wow. Having a two year old! (Insert sarcasm.)(Now insert guilt for saying that.))
Adam is currently in recruiting school and I am here, home with Taylor in Washington, attempting to battle daily life with a two year old, and simultaneously trying to sell/rent our house within the next three months. I would be lying if I said life was simple. It's especially unnerving to me, who plans every single thing to the last detail. I also enjoy being in control. In this current situation, I have neither control or the ability to plan. We don't exactly know where we are going; all we know so far is that we have to be there by May 16. And there, well that could be anywhere in the eastern 2/3 of North Carolina that there is a US Army recruiting station. Inside, and on occasion on the outside, I am screaming! I mean, full on tantrum growling screaming. Then, a few tears. Here is my problem. We owe more on our house than it's worth. A lot more. At least, a lot more than we have in savings. And we have to choose to short sale or rent and pay the difference each month of rent to HOA/property management fees.
In my whole life, I have struggled to make my own decisions. I have prided myself on being independent, on knowing what to do, on making the right decisions. For some reason, I have let the impending possible, not even certain, but possible consequences weigh so heavily on me that I can't even trust myself to make the right decision.
Well, I quit. I quit being frustrated, and stressed out, and worried. I will do what I can to make things happen, and that is all I can do. But, I can't sit and do nothing. If no one is looking at the house, then I have to actively pursue a renter. And I need to let go of the loyalty I feel toward my realtor, and concentrate on what is best for my family. I think she is great, and I think she will do her best to sell our house and I think she understands our needs; but I know we have extraordinary circumstances and time constraints and we can't place all of our eggs in her house selling basket.
I think that, this weekend, I have hit rock bottom in my wallowing and self-pity and I am done. I am better than sitting around, obsessively worrying and isolating myself from my friends. Susan said to me, "Taylor needs you to be strong. Adam needs you to be strong." For some reason, it resonated. I've been feeling awfully sad and saying to myself, "What about me? Who takes care of me?" and expecting the decision to be made for me and the magic real estate fairy to come and take away my problems. The bottom line is that they do need me, and it's not about what I need. I am alright. I am strong enough to do this.
Suddenly, I am saying to myself, where the fuck have you been? Who is this blubbering, energy-less mess you've been perpetrating as the usually strong, fierce woman we know and love???
Why did I have to hear from someone else that I was strong? Why did I doubt it? Why was I so scared? I feel as though, I need a slap. I feel as though, Susan gently delivered it. She said, "stand up, and be yourself." Well, thank you Susan.
You are right, and I will! I will do my best to be a strong mother and wife for my family, because they need me to be. They need me to not fall apart, to not give up because this is hard. And I will not give up. I will see this through to the end. And hopefully, at the end of this frustrating process, there is an idyllic renter. Or buyer. Or, honestly, someone who pays their rent on time; or who buys our house on time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


What inspires you? It's probably not some one thing. At least for me, it's quite fluid. Sometimes, I am inspired by things around me. Other times, by the need for release of emotions. And lastly, by unhappiness. I truly believe, or at least I always preach, that if you aren't happy with your life, you have to change it. But I can't help but feel, for the better part of my life, that I am my own worst enemy to happiness. I can't help but feeling, as I look around, that I am better than my life. I don't mean my relationships, or my family. I mean my personal success. I mean that I am not living upto my potential. I've wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I've always written, except in times of....we'll say recreational interferement. (i.e. my early 20s)
I think about my job, as a bartender. I love what I do; but I feel sometimes that when people are there that they definitely see just that part of me. I feel looked down upon. I have a great time at work. I make over $30 an hour to get people drunk, feed them, talk to them and generally have a good time. But, something always nags at me.
"Something is not right with me...." (Cold War Kids)
There is more underneath, and I feel like if I don't pursue what I truly feel; that I will be miserable. I will make everyone around me miserable with my own self-dissatisfaction. So what stops me?
Why don't I write? Why don't I try to be published?
I think it comes down to a very basic fear of failure and inferiority complex.
But, damnit. I'm almost thirty. Get over it already! Perhaps, if I keep telling myself that, it will sink in. I am always torn between embracing my inner and true weirdness and on the flip side worrying about what other people think. Usually, the latter wins. That, so far, has left me truly unhappy.
I don't live a bad life, in fact, there's really not much that most people would be unhappy about.
But. I. Am. Unhappy. So, that must mean that I am not most people.

And it's never too late to be me. In fact, I'd better try before I find myself counting wrinkles and pills and wondering when it became too late.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

20July2010 ~ Pt2

Feeling odd today. So this morning I was totally not looking forward to my first day back at work. When I arrived, it took me a few minutes to get my bearings. I couldn't remember what to do first. I finally got back into a rhythmn and was able to open and chat with Alicia about how the rest of her Vegas trip was while I was setting up. Before we opened, the manager asked me to ring in three to-go orders. He didn't usually do that, but I did. One was to be picked up at 1045, before we opened and before the togo person arrived. So I took care of that one. It was for a food delivery company. They just sign for it and there's never a tip. For the second order, the gentleman was early and left me a $20 tip. I was very pleasantly surprised. After that, I decided to keep the order that was arriving at 1115 instead of transfering it to the incoming togo person. That gentleman also tipped me $20. So, basically before we opened, I made $40. Then I collected my tips from my last shift that I'd left early from and it was $30. (It was super slow and I left three hours early.) So I was off to a good start on my first day back.
I kept all of this in the back of my mind as I watched the restaurant fill up, and the bar stay empty. I ran food for the other servers, sat tables for the hostesses...tried to keep busy. I hate just standing there and Caitlin had done such an awesome job prepping for me the day before, so there was very little to do. It was nearly 1pm before I got my first guest, but then I did get a pretty good round of guests at the bar.
Even when I wasn't busy, and there was no one at the bar, I felt calm. I felt like being away from work had "wussah-ed" me. My chi was in order, or whatever. My inner spirit was at peace. LOL
I usually get highly irritated when it's slow for me and I'm just standing there while everyone else is busy. I usually forget that I will eventually get guests, and that I will likely make more than the other servers who leave after being there for two hours. I always forget the big picture. I definitely need to work on my patience. But, today was different.
Today, I was the yoda of patience and calm. Today, I didn't care about the gossip. Today, I didn't care about all the nonsense that you always get swept up in at work.
And it was great. I had one of those days that reminded me why I like bartending. I had lots of separate individual guests and a few that brought companions; but it seemed as though they all came together by the end of their meals. Several of the single guests were chatting with each other, and I joined the conversation with them here and there when I could. It was generally fun, and pleasant and friendly today. Some days, it seems as though everyone is grumbly. Not today. And it was almost as though some of them, when sitting down, were actively looking for conversation. Sometimes you can almost feel them leaning towards you, beckoning with their eyes for you to converse with them and join them for lunch.
It never ceases to amaze me how people are able to send so much information out to each other without ever saying a word. From the moment someone sits at my bar, I can tell what type of experience they want. There are a few exceptions, like the person having a rotten day who is able to be disarmed and maybe even cheered up a little. Or the super-grumpy-when-hungry person who warms up considerably once they've eaten.
After work, I left and had an amazing first timer experience at Trader Joe's grocery store. Firstly, the drive there, on the back roads and not through highway traffic was gorgeous. Secondly, the store is amazing. Organic this, all natural that, fresh delicious bulk foods and produce. They were even cooking and serving pulled pork carnitas or something in the back that I sampled. The pork was delicious...though nowhere near as wonderful as the pulled pork and collard greens that I had on the 4th of July at Sabrina's neighbor's house. (they were so good that I snuck a plate for later back to the Delmos house to eat the next day).
I went to Joe's because I was looking for creme fraiche and cotija cheese for a bobby flay recipe that I wanted to try. Shockingly, (and by shockingly I mean completely not shockingly) the commissary had neither of these ingredients. Neither did Safeway. Joe's was great. They had a ton of things I'd love to try, and a meat department that would make a grill guy's wet grill dreams come true. I will definitely return, if for no other reason than to see what they are cooking in the back!
Upon returning home, my stress kicked in and I became uber bitch. I had no patience, and Adam needed to check something in the garage, I needed to make dinner (and it's always tough when you have to read the recipe as you go), Taylor was in full on crankston hughes mode, and it was a little overwhelming. Not to mention, Sabrina was coming. Oh, and the dog had been dining on her favorite delicacy, cat shit, outside the bathroom and I stepped on a forgotten morsel in bare feet.
I give it to Adam for dealing with my wrath with mostly grace, and vacuuming and mopping where the cat treat indulgence had taken place. He kept his cool, for the most part, as I lost my top. Finally, closer to dinner, I calmed a bit.
During dinner, I was trying to fill Sabrina in on our trip to Las Vegas, and Miss Punky Pants Taylor was definitely making it a challenge. Between the shrill pay-attention-to-me noise, the using of fingers to dip in ketchup and throwing of a fit because she wanted that big dirl cup, I must have repeated every sentence three times.
My patience almost non-existent, we cleaned up from dinner and Sabrina and I and the three monsters (I mean dogs) were off for our walk. Daddy braved the overtired toddler bath and bedtime chores in order to allow us to walk.
The dogs were also in rare form, pulling on the leash with no abandon or apology, crossing the leashes, tangling each other, lunging towards every bird, every dog, every person, every leaf. They were awful. And usually, by about mile two, they've calmed. Nope. Not this time. It was as though it was their first walk and they needed to see and do every single thing with urgency. They also, which was really weird, each pooped like three times. We had no bags and at one point, Sadie let loose in a very well manicured lawn. I took a sales flyer from a nearby house, and scooped it up and carried it half a mile to a trash receptacle. It was truly nauseating.
I guess today would classify as a sort of mixed bag day. I really think it's all in how you choose to feel. At work, because of the surprising great start, I felt at ease and more inclined to enjoy my day. At home, because of the unsurprising stressful dinner time hour, I felt like, well, sort of a tyrannical mess.
I'm glad that part is over, and sad that it wasn't enjoyable for Adam or Taylor. I am pretty sure that I wasn't the best company. I apologized though, and as I'd promised to do, returned home from my walk in a much better a husband sound asleep on the couch. =)


And....I'm back!
After quite a long hiatus, I have returned! I have recently been feeling like something has been missing; like I've been more stressed than usual. I realized that my outlet for relief was the blog for quite awhile, and it wasn't being utilized. So, here I am.
Whether anyone reads or not, I've always enjoyed journaling and writing. So, I should keep doing it.
I feel like it's been so long since I've blogged, and so much has happened. Let's see. I only have about a half hour before I have to leave for my first day back to work after Las Vegas. (ugh. work. yay! money!)
Big events: After my last blog, we decided to plan a trip to Las Vegas. Big Drama, of which I will definitely get into at a later time. Sabrina and I went to Portland (not sure if that was blogged) after Adam left from leave. I decided I was enormous when I saw a picture of myself, so I made a personal decision to change it. (I've since lost 14 pounds; but I'm pretty sure I've gained a couple back from Las Vegas). April brought a lot of social events...the beer dinner, which was fun as always. It was IPAs, though, of which I'm not a big fan. Ah, and the now infamous Mariners game. Definitely much more to come about that. Dad and Susan came to visit, and we went to Vancouver and Victoria. Taylor was sick the whole time, and so it was pretty awful. Details to come for sure, because the ferry ride from Victoria to Port Angeles was quite....memorable. A week and a half after they left, Dana, Lori and Jeremy came to visit. Definitely a blast! Taylor just loved her Aunt Rori! I have pictures to go with all the stories of their visit! Taylor attended her first (that she was older than 4 months at) birthday party for a boy from her daycare and also her first baby shower. Adam came home June 9th. Of course, all the adjustment period from that is blogworthy. He had lots of time off for he and T to fall in love all over again. Most recently, we went to Las Vegas for four days while Mom and Memeir watched Taylor. Vegas definitely deserves attention here, and so does the instantaneous and uber strong bond that Taylor and her Gamma have. We had her birthday party, and I made way too much food; but we definitely had a great time.
What's next? Well, perhaps soon to come....details about Adam's orders for recruiter school, our trip with the Delmos and Ortizes to a cabin near Leavenworth, Taylor's month in a different daycare home while Darina is on leave (which reminds me that I need to update on her month at the daycare center and the atrocious home she was going to go to), my attempt to get us to Silverwood Theme Park before the end of summer, and Daddy and Aunt Sabrina's birthdays. What a busy summer we'll have!
Well, I'll start from March tonight when I have more time to spare.
Tata, for now.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Today I had a lesson in...humility? Not sure what to call how I feel. I arrived to work at my usual time, expecting to be busy because they were busy yesterday. I also expected to have a lot of work to do because I'd been off for three days; and to be frank -- I am anal about my bar. Plus, with some new meat behind the bar, and a busy weekend...some things don't get done.
What I found, was infuriating. Not only were my expectations met; but it was worse than I thought. I was livid, and running out of time to get everything done before the rush hit. After that, it was over. I left a few notes in the book and complained loudly to the usual people that milled about in the morning, including a manager. There was a lot to be done that should have been done, and some things that might affect what we were able to do for the guests.
Later, as I sat and had dinner I realized that I had forgotten to put away all the wine that had just been delivered. Swallowing my own foot, I texted the night bartenders (the same that had worked the night before and were the object of most of my scathing criticisms) and asked them to finish before the managers (one of which is the one I was complaining to this morning) arrived to do inventory and discover my forgotten and incomplete task.
Needless to say, I see the err of my ways. It's god telling me to shut the hell up and be more tolerant, patient, understanding, and less critical of others. I, myself, am not perfect. I guess sometimes I just need to be reminded of that fact.