Country Girl moves to the City

This year has been a wild ride so far. There were times during it where I have to admit I wasn’t sure what was happening or how it was all going to work out.

I had been actively searching for a job throughout last year and the start of this one. It was depressing the amount of resumes I sent out with no response back. My decision to enroll in school again came after several years of debate. I wanted to make more money and I wanted to give myself skills that would give me the opportunities I was looking for. I also hoped it would show as a plus on my resume. Months of sending out resumes and barely getting any feedback led me to feel like failure. When I finally reached out to several staffing groups that is when I landed myself the job I am in now.

Not in a million years did I think I would finally be in a place where I have my own cubicle and my name plaque on the side. I take the train into town to work, which has been both exciting and claustrophobic at times. Each day I stare up at the tall buildings with awe on my face like a dope. It is crazy to admit but this is the kind of excitement I have been looking for. I can finally dress like a professional instead of the uniforms I had worn in the past or the really casual laid back atmosphere of the job before.

It happened so fast that I barely had time to take stock of all of the stuff I would need for the new job. I interviewed on a Friday and I got the call the following Monday.  My one year anniversary with my wonderful boyfriend was during the second week of my training. He had recently started a new job too and was looking forward to getting his career on the fast track himself. We both were starting out fresh, but together which made it not seem so foreboding. To celebrate our anniversary from one of the tallest buildings in the city was fabulous. But, to have him ask me to move in? Well, now that is even better.

I finally feel like my life is coming into its own. Perhaps this is what they mean when they say “good things come to those who wait.”

Top of the hub

Phoenix Rises

The phoenix is probably one of my favorite mythical creatures. I can not say it is my top favorite because the mermaid is still number one in my book. In life we can see examples of phoenix everywhere. I admit probably not the bird you have pictured in your mind’s eye, but a rising from the ashes if you will of someone or something. A person who comes back from the brink of death perhaps, or the person you know who under terrible strain overcomes something most thought insurmountable. Nature in its own right can be a phoenix. Fires that rage and eat forests reducing them to ashes, lay the groundwork for nature to be reborn. Perhaps the thing I like the most about the phoenix is this symbolic creature can represent anything but the message always remains the same ” From the ashes I will rise. ”

Phoenix Rises

Grey ash floats to the floor

The once brilliant colors

Have faded into dullness

Wilting and weak

Sad eyes reflect tragedy

One last effort produces

A brilliant spark of light

Slate molts to charcoal black

Charred ashes gather

Collecting in neat piles

A gentle refreshing breeze

Starts to blow–

Specks carried on the air

Begin to change

Black ash turns to white

Whirling in funnels 

A miniature tornado

White dots form an oval

Producing a shiny egg

Out of darkness comes

A pillar of strength

The translucent orb vibrates

Forcing a zig zag crack

Between the fracture

A tiny beak emerges

Forcefully it pushes through

With brilliant turquoise eyes

A head of iridescent shades

Red, rose, orange, feathers

Drape her frame

A glint of gold shines in the light

Blue talons with onyx scales

She is a rare beauty

Forged from fire and ash

Once more she is reborn

But never the same as before.

 

Copyright. Phoenix Rises.

 

Dairy Entry 102: Target you get me

Ohhh Target… you get me! I don’t know how you know me so well but you do. I have discovered a good portion of people including my boyfriend are unfamiliar with it’s glistening “golden ticket” quality but for me it brings about the nostalgia of Bradlees, Ames, or Caldor. I realize those name drops are giving my age away but in comparison I am not far off. The presentation of the aisles the red colors all remind me of entering Bradlees or Ames and thinking“ I can get everything I need right here.”

Case in point: It is the only store I can go in for two items and leave with a cart full of stuff wondering did I forget anything? The other day I went into target for soap, some makeup, and a jacket and left with Christmas ornaments, plates, food, pants, and socks. I felt good about it though, like I was productive. I swear they release positive vibes from the air vents or something as soon as you pass that cute dog mascot on the way in.

Why do I love them so much? They anticipate and know my needs instantly I mean example one: dinner plates. I didn’t mean to get plates but as I was rolling by to get my bagels I noticed the winter theme set up. On an end cap I saw these plates with prancing reindeers and thought to myself “ wow do I have winter plates at home?” “What if I need these?” Clearly a concern around this time of year with entertaining. I stared at the display and wondered “ what about bowls?” Wait a minute look at this matching bowls and obviously you cant have plates without matching bowls right? I mean who wants to put out a nice spread for the holidays with friends without matching bowls? The answer folks is, no one. I glance at the napkins and I resist thinking to myself “ don’t get ahead of yourself you have wonderful gold napkins you don’t need those.” Oh but look at these goblets? Well, heck I know I don’t have goblets. I mean if I am going to get the plates I clearly need these goblets. I just kept thinking of how useful they are, for beverages like mulled cider, frappes, iced tea, and look how nice they are? I mean, four goblets thats not a lot right? I mean when I get right down to brass tax all those cups I’ve thrown out over the years probably bought these goblets 10 times over, it’s a done deal in my cart they go.

They know that I had more of my list than I had originally written down example two: Bargain bins in the front. I don’t know what it is about me and crafts but I love them. Perhaps in another piece I will enlighten you with my withdrawals from Michaels but for now, bins. I love those things! I usually shop there first. I mean where else can I find cute little cut outs and stuff for a 5 bucks or less? I know my dollar store fans are going to cry out but have you tried the cut outs from the dollar store? Some of them are not even worth the dollar. I decided like last year I am making my own Christmas tags, so clearly these cute cut outs are key. Oh snap, they have bottles of Mod Podge? Well, I mean I don’t even think I have any at home so these two bottles are going in my cart. Woah what is this? Ceramic little houses for painting or for decorating? Ohhh Target you…you are good. I have many of those plug in houses at home, but the issue is many of them are targets for my cats. Apparently my furry friends decide to demolish my little village by crushing my trees and trying to bite through the cords. But these little houses, small enough to fit on my mantle and I can put a flameless votive inside! Okay calm down just get one, I mean you have to pace yourself.

Sighs Something that matters to me is neatness with the stores, and variety and so Example three: variety. Look, I am well aware that most don’t appreciate like I do variety in lactose free milks but for me that is key. I have found more choices for flavored almond, soy, and cashew milk at Target than I have at a local grocery store. It doesn’t stop there though they always have more options for household products, beauty products etc. I don’t want to make a bunch of stops to find the products I need, and often Target has items I need that other stores don’t.

After my plate purchase I got home and realized not only do I not have enough room to entertain people but I don’t know enough I want to entertain. Eh it is the thought that counts. If I go back there I will just return the items and think“ do I have ritz crackers at home?” Then before you know it I have small serving plates with little cheese knives and fancy cheese. I’m not saying that I have done this I am just giving you an example. (Right!) I am embracing what is I love Target and there is nothing I can do about it. Target you complete me.

 

Feature Image Courtesy of: http://www.fullredneck.com/funny-target-memes-buying-too-much/

Merman Poem

Mermaids have fascinated me since I was a little girl. This is a twist on the traditional story. The photos are from trips I took to local beaches near me.

Merman

Reflections cast in a mirror

But, it’s not me I see

A girl with hair of gold

Eyes like the sea

Darkness, shadows in my eyes

As storms rage and then subside

Waves crash on the rocks of my heart

Pale as the sand the ocean wears

I search for him I call with eyes closed

 

Praying for him

He is the other half of me

He belongs to me as does the sea

He caresses me like the rain

Soft gentle kisses to numb my pain

On the rock where we met

I wait for him

 

In the strongest storms

I can feel him near

I taste him on the air

I run to the water

Hoping he’s still there

 

But, as I reach where he might have been

The calm of the water says

I’ve missed him again

And just like before

A white shell as promised,

I find 
 On the shore —

 

My rescuer has swam off again

Where he commands all that share his ocean den

His subjects do not reveal his place

On a bed of seaweed sleeping

He waits …for me.

spingsummer2016-1101

Alzheimer’s (My Homage to The Wasteland)

   One of my favorite writers is T.S. Eliot. When I first read his classic The Waste Land I was stunned by the imagery and creativity that he used. The poem was like no other, and in my opinion it still is. His ability to collect thoughts, ideas, music, and memory in a written work made the piece a fascinating mosaic. In my personal experience, watching someone go through the maze of Alzheimer’s Disease is very much like The Waste Land. At first there is confusion and then a sense of clarity and understanding emerges.                            

   Part I

    She is scared

    She doesn’t know why

    So am I

    What lies in the shadows?

    I remember when she wasn’t so lost

    I wasn’t lost then

    I hold her hand in the dark

    But she can’t remember..

    

    “Did you get your money? I was always worried that you wouldn’t?”

     “Sometimes you just have to let them stew in their own juices,

     If that doesn’t take, then let them go.”

     I wonder if she will remember me?

     She forgets the names, faces, and places

     We are a collaboration of colors in her masterpiece

      I hope I am in green

      She is a shell of her former self

     And I grab on to her coat tails and go for the ride

    “How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the wagging tail?”

     “Maybe you should write a story about it, and then read it to me?

       I said “I don’t want to, it will take forever.”

       “We all don’t have forever.”

       “I love the holidays it’s the only time that I feel my family is together, whatever family I have left that is.”

        I watched her in the doorway

        Eyes lit with unshed tears

        The tree was up and lit like always

        The ornaments her children had made

        And her children’s children

Part II

“Christmas in Killarney where all the folks are home…..”

      “I am dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones we used to know

     Where the tree tops glisten and children listen….”

        She has her hand against her chest in a sigh

         It is the tree of strength

          It is grandpa

         It is a monument to our family

         It reminds me of the years past

          She exclaims at last

         “It is the most beautiful tree I have ever seen, Kaite.”

        Continue reading

Did You Just Gaslight Me?

      Many people associate the fall with pumpkins, lattes, and comfy sweaters but the month of October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Typically this month is when I see numerous Breast Cancer “Pink Ribbon” Campaigns. We see pink ribbon memorabilia, donation pink commercials on TV, and walking for awareness. I think very rarely if ever have I seen awareness events or commercials touching on this issue. It appears that society is finally okay with the concept of discussing breasts and the need for screenings but still remains quiet on issue of abuse, rape, and domestic violence. This issue has remained a taboo subject that is known about but seems to be as illusive as unicorns as far as public interest is concerned.

       I think the general consensus in our society is that the definition of  “domestic violence” or “abuse” is mainly physical, this is simply not true.  Abuse can be any number of things to include the controlling of finances, manipulation, and verbal abuse. A form of abuse that I just learned about while watching the movie Gaslight is the phenomenon of  “Gaslighting.” Gaslighted or Gaslighting is the process of causing “ a person to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation”   Gaslighting is more than just moving picture frames and dimming lights as you watch Ingrid Bergman in the film desperately try and remember where she put the broach. Gaslighting is a slow psychological break, which leaves the victim feeling as though they are unable to function normally without others help. The victim often finds themselves lacking the confidence to make simple decisions, the ability to think for themselves, and as you watch in the film the victim often secludes themselves for fear of making mistakes.

gaslightmovieI know most people will exclaim “oh that will never happen to me!” But, gaslighting can happen between more than just a significant other and yourself. It can happen between parent to child, boss to employee, and friend to friend. Can you honestly say that you have never met a toxic person? A person that somehow managed to make you doubt every choice you ever made? This person is someone who can get into your psyche because they know you and your weaknesses and make you feel like you are a constant screw up. Perhaps it never reaches the extreme of becoming completely helpless as Bergman does in the film, but if you have answered yes to any of scenarios above then you can acknowledge that it is indeed possible. It can happen to anyone. Abuse is not gender, race, age, or sexual orientation specific.

  As I look back on some of my early dating experiences I can say I made some bad choices. One in particular stands out from all the rest. He was smart, talented, witty and we seemed to be a good match. But, as most people know abuse doesn’t start out as abuse. The person is usually a narcissist and in this case that definition fits the bill. He made me feel like a piece of garbage. There wasn’t a thing I could do right. Things that I felt so confident with like cooking, writing, and being a people person I started to question. He would often remark “ you know, for a smart girl you can be really stupid sometimes.” Then we ended up moving into an apartment that was farther away from my family. I would get in trouble for calling my mom, or for wanting to go visit. Thats when I knew something was truly wrong. The reality was I was young, and he was my first real boyfriend. I cared for him, and I wanted him to be happy. If only I had washed that pan correctly. If only I could iron a shirt like he showed me.

It took a break down over french toast at a breakfast joint with my mom one morning to make my decision. I had to get out of where I was, and I had to leave now. I think within two days time after a major argument I had gathered all my belongings in trash bags and a UHAUL was called.  Sadly, for some people this process is not so easy. The guilt of leaving coupled with the failure you feel for not realizing sooner I can honestly say is crippling. But you learn a lot about yourself in the next couple of months. You start to discover who you are again, and although the situation is terrible you gain a strength that is unmatched.

octoberawarenessThere is no question that awareness has helped educate people about Breast Cancer. The same can be said for Skin Cancer when every summer we see articles and commercials on moles, sunblock, and wearing protective clothing. Why would awareness not be just as effective with this issue? I believe that society has come a long way but we are not where we should be on this issue. It shouldn’t take a celebrity to remind us that it happens and that its real.  Lucky for Bergman she gained the help of a Scotland Yard detective and was able to free herself of her prison. But, for those of us who don’t have a detective watching our backs knowledge is power. My hope is that society will come to accept this is a real and current issue and treat it with just as much gusto as we do with all our other causes. Perhaps most of all, I wish for the stigma of yesterday to be forgotten.

Notes from the Writer:  If anyone is interested in watching the movie Gaslight, which I highly recommend the link below gives the synopsis. If anyone would like to learn more about gaslighting check out the links posted.  

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036855/

http://narcissisticbehavior.net/the-effects-of-gaslighting-in-narcissistic-victim-syndrome/

http://counsellingresource.com/features/2011/11/08/gaslighting/

 

 

photo credit: oneredsf1 Charles Boyer & Ingrid Bergman (1) via photopin (license)

Transitional Beauty Poem

In this time of seasonal transformation it seems natural to look inward and observe our own personal “seasons.”

 

img_4213Change is always there

On the horizon

Golden gilded hopes of sun

To faded wilted petals

withered leaves of loss

Bowing to the inevitable

Defeating slowly they fall

The crunch of crushed days

Rotting away, to decay

Cold winds cut like knives

Blankets of white fall

Dark days and long nights

Ice creates a shiny illusion

Green peeks out of white snow

Water rushes down over rocks

Nights begin to dawn

With promises of warmth

Hot sun yields blossoms

Bright kaleidoscope petals

Blue skies and patchwork clouds

Warm hopeful rays

Pledging happy moments.