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One Of Those Days

It’s just one of those days.

I feel tired and beat down. I feel like I keep messing up and letting people down. I feel like I’ve missed opportunities that I can never recover and I’m afraid that I will REGRET.

I feel unworthy.

Something happened over my last birthday. I don’t know what it was, what whispered in my ear that hey, you’re 34… shit’s about to get real and you’re running out of time.

Today, for whatever reason, feels worse than usual.

I’m sure I’ll be back at it tomorrow with my usual enthusiasm, but for today, I think I’m just going to take a step back and take it easy.

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Twenty Years

Twenty years is a long time. A child becomes an adult. People grow and change. Grief fades, but is always present. 

Twenty years ago today was my mom’s last day with us. Breast cancer took her from us after a year of fighting and of hoping for a better outcome. 

Mom was an amazing woman who was so well-loved. I so badly wish that I had had the opportunity to know her better, to know her as an adult, to know her as a friend. 

Today marks twenty years without her and all I can do is shake my head at the horrible feeling of loss deep in my gut. Gone, but never ever forgotten. 

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The Things I Remember

My mother died on August 15, 1995, but I remember August 16th better. August 16 was the day that I found out she had passed away, as my sister and I were several hours away camping with church friends. 

I remember feeling so GUILTY that I’d been up late, in my tent, playing cards and crushing hard on a boy while my mom was dying. 

I remember Santa Monica Boulevard playing on the boat radio, the wind in my hair as I lifted my face to the sky, those first few motherless hours feeling so surreal. 

I remember the picnic table that my sister and I sat at, my dad in the middle of us, as we looked out over the water. My sister remembers making comments about the clouds for lack of anything else to say. 

When my mom was very first diagnosed with cancer, I remember wondering what it would be like to be the girl whose mom died of cancer. And I remember feeling guilty when it DID kill her. Did I cause that to happen by letting that thought cross my mind? 

I remember asking her if I could keep a blank book that I’d found and I remember being upset that she told me no. She later did give me that book and I remember being elated to have it – not cluing in that it meant that she knew she would have no need for it herself. 

I remember walking the hospice grounds and writing bad poetry by the large fish pond. 

I remember writing to my camp counselors that she had passed – and finishing the letter asking for advice on how to get a boy to like me because apparently I coped by not coping- by grabbing on to anything else to think or obsess about. 

I don’t remember any part of the actual service. I don’t remember who spoke, who was or wasn’t there. I DO remember running around with my sister and some friends and asking people some stupid immature question about snot or boogers and I am APPALLED that I did that. Coping by not coping. 

I remember the boat pulling into the dock and those first few seconds upon seeing my dad before I realized what his presence meant. 

I remember playing card games with a giant-sized deck of cards in the hospice sitting room. I remember spending a lot of time in the hospice that summer. 

I remember her smell. 

I remember her. 

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Overwhelmed

I get into these ruts fairly frequently. 

These ruts where I look ahead at where I want to be and I look down at where my feet seem to be glued to the ground and I can’t even fathom how long it is going to take to get to the other side of my goals. 

I look around my cramped basement suite with stuff stacked everywhere and the clutter makes me want to vomit, but I’ve purged so much already – I do not know how much more I can actually get rid of. Simple truth is that I simply need more space. And a dishwasher. Because dear lord if this stack of dishes gets much higher….  I want a house. I don’t want a huge house, but I want a nice, clean house with a spacious closet and a guest room that can double as an office for me to work in. I want a large kitchen that I can cook in with an island for friends to gather around.  I want a bathroom with double sinks and a soaker tub. 

Realistically, I will never own a home in the greater Vancouver area. The requirements to get a mortgage are far outside of anywhere that I can hope to ever be. The down payment needs to be too high and my income needs to be higher. It won’t happen for me. The best I can hope for is to be able to afford the rent on a decent-ish townhouse, maybe 3 or 4 years down the road. At least maybe then I won’t be the 30-something mom living in the 20-something’s basement, paying off their mortgage for them. 

I feel resentful that a woman who does not work (nor does she intend to) is being offered enough money to be able to maintain her home (a very nice home in a gated community, I might add) and yet she is willing to spend thousands of dollars on lawyer’s fees to try to get more. I would be so grateful to have the amount that she is being offered and to be able to stay home on top of it. I want that battle to end. So badly do I want it to end so that the kids involved (and the adults) can stop hurting and start healing, but it would seem that she doesn’t have the same goals. 

I finish school literally tonight. And I don’t know what to do with it afterwards. The obvious answer is find a job with it, but I feel so overwhelmed by the process.

I look at my fitness goals and I feel so frustrated with the long slow road to get there. Each day goes by and I look at what I ate and I gross myself out. Why is it so hard for me to eat well? I go to boot camp and I leave feeling…. like I’ve lagged behind. I’m usually the last one to finish a set of anything and the slowest runner and the most red and the most sweaty.  I go running on the trails and these people just lap me while I’m huffing and puffing along wishing it was as easy for me as it is for them. I’ve been running and exercising consistently for 6 months. I would have thought I’d have noticed something getting easier by now. Or some poundage to have come off (but that goes back to the eating thing).  

And there are the bigger things that just make me want to throw my hands up in despair. The homophobia. The misogyny. The bullying. The lack of people willing to read a book. The remarkable pessimistic attitudes of people ALL AROUND ME. And it makes me want to give up. I know that this #YesAllWomen is not going to change the world. But I WANT it to. I don’t want my daughter growing up learning to scream fire instead of rape because fire will get a reaction. I don’t want her to grow up and, if her sexuality is anything other than straight, to be slandered and judged and treated as less than equal to her straight friends and family. I don’t want her to go through school with me having to look over her online life to make sure that she is safe and not being verbally slaughtered. But I don’t see solutions to these things short of throwing her over my shoulder and inventing our own life on a private island. A private island that would also be free because again, hello, money. 

I’m tired, if that’s not apparent already. I’ve been going and going and going for the last year and I’m at the end of my tether and yet I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing for all of my time and effort. I’m no closer to a nice home. I’m no closer to my health goals and I’m further than ever from saving the world from itself. 

Where do I even go from here? 

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Repeat Rant

I’m not sure how many times I’m going to wind up blogging about the same thing, but in the nearly 10 years that I’ve been blogging (albeit not consistently for the last 4 or so), I know that I’ve said this same thing repeatedly.

Being a feminist does not mean that you wear camouflage, have a butch haircut, and think that your goal in life is to take down the man and rise womanhood to a state of goddess-hood. 

Here’s the reason for this coming back up again. Very recently, a young and up-and-coming actress has made a statement that she is not a feminist. This is Shailene Woodley, a young woman who I have very much admired thus far for her stances on Hollywood culture and how she doesn’t buy into all. How she red carpets with minimal makeup and does photo shoots with no makeup. Who talks about being a REAL girl in a FAKE world. And then…. and then this quote that just shatters my very feminist heart. 

She was asked if she was a feminist and this was her response, “No because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance.”

Do you hear that sound? That sound of the crack rippling through my heart? 

You can love men and still be a feminist. You can be a feminist and not want to take away power from men – all that you ask is that women have access to that same power. 

All feminism means is that the world should be level playing field for both men and women. A man and a woman doing the same job at the same level should be paid the same, but this does not happen. A man and a woman both running for the same political office should be given equal voice and equal opportunity, but this does not happen.  People should not blame a rape victim and excuse the rapist regardless of which party is the male and which is the female. 

If you TRULY don’t believe in feminism, or don’t want to be a feminist – I probably won’t get along with you, but fine. You are perfectly entitled to your opinion. But at least know the definition of what you’re talking about.

Shailene. Based on what you’ve said in so many other interviews, you ARE a feminist. EMBRACE IT. 

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Lashing Out

For the last several hours I’ve been sitting on my couch and wondering how, and if, I should respond to the allegations that I was hit with today.

Part of me thought that I should just shrug it off and move on. A bigger part of me, the part that is writing this note, is hurt enough that I need to address this and I need to do it publicly so that I can move the hell on and away from it.

I found out today that because a portion of the funds that I have raised for my walk (about $1100 raised at an event a week or so ago) have not been posted to my fundraising website, that I must be pocketing the funds.

Wow.

I am so stunned that someone thinks that I would stoop so low as to pocket funds meant to go towards the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure. I don’t think that the person who thinks that knows me at all. What they’re accusing me of is of using my own mother’s death for my financial gain. My mother DIED because of breast cancer. I lost her and I can never EVER have her back, no matter how badly I might wish it. And trust me. I do. I miss her so much every single FUCKING day. I walk in this walk because it’s all that I feel like I can do to prevent someone else from going through what I went through. What my sister went through. What my dad went through.

I sit here and I’m heartbroken.

My beautiful husband, who did this fundraising on my behalf, has said that he feels as though the accusations are more towards him than towards me. To that, I say bullshit. Because this is MY cause. This is MY walk and this is MY fundraising. If you’re saying that Derek is pocketing the funds, you’re saying that *I’M* allowing that to happen and that I’m allowing that to happen under my pet charity’s name and in memory of my mother.

So to wrap up this angry and heartbroken rant, fuck you for presuming to know me and what I’m all about. Thank you for making me wonder which one of my friends is thinking that about me. Maybe next time you should take a moment and ask me what the situation is before you start talking with other people about my integrity.

I assure you that if you are making a donation towards me and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure, that IS where the money is going. I’m sorry if anybody has ever made you feel that that’s in doubt. Please donate with confidence. I do this for my mom and I would never dare to dishonor her memory by using any donated funds to my own benefit. It makes me sick to even think it.

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Year In Review. Sorta.

January – I had a cold. I tried to get some immigration stuff for my daughter done. (I never finished that, by the way. I should do that.) I got my heart trampled on. I got a confirmed diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

February – I bought tickets to go to Mexico for a wedding. I reflected on my grandmother’s deterioration into dementia and alzheimer’s. Ana takes on solid foods.

March – I took on the dentist and I think I won. Maybe. Except he took my teeth so he probably actually wins. Damnit. I contemplated my weight and what I needed to do about it. I had my four-year blogiversary and my six year wedding anniversary.

April – I saw Britney Spears walk off the stage in Vancouver. I got really sick. I had more wisdom teeth pulled. I tried to name my car. No name has really stuck.

May – I had my first run-in with kidney stones. I went to Mexico and had a mostly good time and would have had a great time if my poor kid wasn’t so sick that I was scared I was going to have to take an emergency flight home the whole time. Oh, and I broke my toe in Mexico, too. The wedding in Mexico was gorgeous. A tax error was discovered and I suddenly owed the Canadian government 2K. A gas station attendant asked me if I was having a boy or a girl. Yeah. Not pregnant. May was not so fun.

June – I discovered World of Warcraft and have been hooked ever since. Wow, I think that’s all I did in June. No pun intended. (Get it? Wow. WoW. Haha. i’m so funny.)

July – The fourth with my girls! It was the best. I love spending the fourth with my friends at the lake. My girlfriend had her baby daughter and she was and is beautiful. I went back to work after my year off for maternity leave.

August – We sold our condo. I gave notice at my hated job without a new job lined up. The stress of that move! Sheesh! My daughter turned a year old. Holy bajeez, I have a one year old.

September – I started a new job that I was offered the day before my last day at the old one. Phew. Except that three weeks later they announced lay-offs. Say what? I was hired by my sister-in-law so now I have two jobs with limited hours. My grandmother was diagnosed with late stage cancer.

October – My car got broken into. My grandmother got put into the hospital with a very limited time to live. My daughter got really sick and scared me with a high fever, but it turned out she was just fine. My daughter was the cutest little ladybug for Halloween.

November – I actually started off NaNoWriMo doing awesome. I didn’t even come close to hitting 50K words, but I still feel proud of the almost 10K that I did write and I hope to continue writing more. My grandmother died.

December – Ah, my month of no posts. We got a new iMac. My dad was diagnosed with cancer. I’m freaking out. I’m freaking THE FUCK out, people. And if you know me on Facebook, don’t say anything there, I don’t think he’s told everybody yet… he has surgery in a few weeks to remove it… it looks like it’s all early stage stuff right now, it was caught on accident, but have I mentioned that I’m freaking the fuck out? My “main” job announced a second round of lay-offs.

Overall, I’m glad that I barely blogged because I don’t know how much more depressing this blog can get. I’m tired. I’m depressed. I’m scared. I just want 2010 to be better. It has to be better, right?