Wednesday, May 4, 2011


When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ~Barbara Bloom

I paited this picture last year when things were really bad, right before Zack and I separated. Tonight I went back in and filled the cracks in the cup with gold.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pity Party, Table for One

My parents always taught me that when you start to feel really bad about yourself--when you're sad or lonely or mad or ungrateful...that's the best time to go and do something for someone else. Because as bad as you think you've got it, there is always going to be someone out there who is going through something even harder than whatever it is you think is so wrong in your life. And they are right.

That said, if you ever want to host a pity party for yourself, call me. Seriously. I may be the world's expert on feeling sorry for yourself at this point and can give you the hook up; I'll let you in on all the tricks of the trade. I've been having one for myself for the past year or so now, I'm I've gotten really, really good at it.

That's the truth, people.

I moved out one year ago this month and since that time I've done more crying and wallowing and reminiscing and obsessing and pitying than I care to admit. And yeah, its probably normal and part of the healing process...blah blah blah--I get that and I'm thankful that I had supportive family and friends who put up with it...but frankly, I'm also getting really sick of it. I'm sick of myself, and I'm sick of feeling sad and lonely and lost most of the time. Because for the past year that's what I've spent the majority of my time feeling and you know what? It's not really any fun at all and furthermore, what purpose is it serving? It's not. I think it was for awhile because its normal and healthy to grieve. But there also comes a point where you just have to look at yourself and say, "Self, yeah that was bad but you lived through it and its time to put your big girl pants on and move forward."

When I moved to the Republic of Texas I looked at it as a bit of a second chance. A fresh start and a clean slate. New job, new house, new city, new car, new people, new relationships, etc. I made myself a couple of promises too. Not New Year's resoluations per se, but just things that I really wanted to make happen in my life, because I thought they they were good things and they were important to me. One of the main ones was that I really want to do more for other people. I want to spend my time and my money in ways that will benefit someone else, or will help promote some good, somewhere. For the past year I've spent all of my time and money very selfishly; I spent it on things that made me feel good right then. I used my resources like drugs. I needed a quick fix--new shoes, getting my nails done, going out to dinner for no reason--every time I started to feel the least little bit down, because those things gave me a momentary high and kept me from having to think too much about or feel too much of the hard stuff. Because, you know, God forbid I experience even a moment of discomfort. I mean, yeah I'm devastated about the divorce and then the following breakups, I hate my job and I'm really, really lonely...but have you seen my new shoes?

So yes, in the past couple months I've been trying really dilligently to not continue living that way.

This morning I got up (which is, in and of itself a blessing because how many people did not wake up this morning at all?), got out of my queen-sized cherry-wood sleigh bed with a pillow-top mattress and used my own personal bathroom with running water and indoor plumbing. I went to the kitchen where I had a pantry full of cereal options, then came to check my e-mail on my fancy-smanzy laptop. I did a l oad of laundry in my own washer and dryer then got dressed and went out to my plush brand new Jeep complete with leather interior and heated seats.

Then I drove downtown to the Beacon Outreach Center, where I helped served lunch to approximately 700 homeless people.

After that, you know what I did? I got back in my fancy ride and drove back over to the "nice" part of town, to my ridiculously over-priced apartment. I grabbed Lucy Sparkle and took her to be"groomed," because I am fortunate enough to be able to aford to spend more on getting my dog's hair cut than some people will make in a week.

I'm not telling you this to brag about what I have, I promise. I am so fortunate and have been so blessed in so many areas of my life I have no right to ever complain or be ungrateful. I tell you this because I've started to realize that perhaps my biggest failure in the past year is not that I shed more tears than I wanted to, or let myself get caught up in self-pity, or repeated bad relationship habits over and over again; I think those things are all normal and to some extent were to be expected. But the one thing I am very guilty of and feel most disgusted with myself about is the fact that I've spent the past year focusing on the one or two things in my life that I didn't have, instead of being thankful for the thousands upon thousands of blessings that are staring my in the face every single day.

I've been serving meals for the past few weekends and every time I go, I am reminded again just how amazing my life really is. I've spent the past six months beating myself up and bemoaning the fact that one stupid boy (in a world of six billion people) doesn't worship the ground I walk on when there are people out there dealing with real problems. I feel like I need someone to hit me in the face and say, "You think you've got it so rough? At least you have both legs and both arms. At least you have a place to come home to each night. You have a job and a house and a bed to sleep in. You have a family who loves you and the best friends anyone could ask for."

So there you have it. The truth is that instead of being thankful I have been selfish and depressed and whiny. Shame on me.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Edge

"Come to the edge."
"We can't, we're afraid."
"Come to the edge."
"We can't, we might fall."
"Come to the edge."
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.


Guillaume Apollinaire

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Second Home Afterall

"How lucky I am to have found something that makes saying good-bye so hard."

I moved to New Orleans grudgingly kicking and screaming. No, for real. The night before we moved down here two summers ago I literally fell apart and had one of those hysterical crying outbursts that come from months of pent up emotion finally getting out. Embarrassing really...glad no one actually saw it. I was scared to move to New Orleans frankly, and I did not want to go. At that point had I been given the choice between moving to the Big Easy and cutting off a limb, I would have gladly opted for amputation because God knows I was just going to move down there and get raped and mugged and killed. You think I'm exaggerating and being dramatic but y'all, I did not want any part of anything that city had to offer.

In hindsight I don't even remember specifically what it was I was so afraid of. Maybe it was just a fear of the unknown, and a fear of moving to a place that was so vastly different from everything I had ever known before, I dunno. Whatever it was, I am ashamed of myself for those feelings now because in the year and a half I spent there, I came to love that dysfunctional little sweatbox like you wouldn't believe. I swore that I would never let myself feel totally comfortable in NOLA, and that I'd eat dirt and die before I called it "home," but by golly...I'm starting to think that despite my best efforts, I failed miserably at both. I left when I did because I knew that for this time in my life I had to go. I know I made the right choice for right now. But man do I miss it. Maybe it's not my forever home and I know that for lots of reasons it can't be my right now home, but for the rest of my life I think I'm always going to have a place in my heart for New Orleans and if one day it ends up that I'm supposed to go back there, well, I do believe that'd be just fine with me.

All the girls with Jack from Jacques-Imo's, right before we drug him out into the street for a group hug.

I love these people.

Jonnie Chonga and I with the gold girls at the Bye Bye Hurricane Season Party. I still do not understand the significance of the gold body paint...but whatever.

My last few weeks in town are really a blur of insanity and exhaustion and fun and tears and some of the best memories of my life. I made a list of the things I wanted to do before I left town, the places I wanted to go and the restaurants at which I wanted to eat one last time and I accomplished just about all of them. I made it my goal to enjoy every single day and to make the most of the time I had left there; to do my best to really appreciate New Orleans for all that it is. Where else but NOLA could I have gone to a "Bye Bye Hurricane Season" party to help raise money to fund public evacuation for those who cannot afford to leave the city on their own? I'm telling you, this city will take any excuse to throw a party and run with it. I actually got onstage and sang karaoke at another fund-raiser (and let me make it very clear that I never, ever sing on-stage. Ever) because...why not? I may never have an opportunity like that again and I wanted to make the most of it. I helped plan and host one of the best triple birthday parties in the history of creation. I, along with some of my very best friends, went to dinner together on one of my last evenings in town and not only did we meet the head chef (who is famous in his own right there) but we took him outside and cinnamon roll hugged him in the street. That's right people--we cinnamon roll hugged Jack, of Jacques-Imo's fame! I'm pretty sure that makes me one of the five coolest people I know now. I laid on the living room floor and stared up at the Christmas tree with the girls who are now like my family and talked about life and love and the future. We laid there for hours, literally, staring up at that tree and talking. We laughed and we cried and we promised ourselves that no matter what, we'll never forget the moments like this. And we won't.

I am, in fact, alive

I live!!!!!

And by that I mean, I am alive!

Not that you'd know it based on anything I've written recently since it's been, what, like almost two months now? I know, I know, I pretty much just disappeared off the face of the earth. I apologize, but I've been a little busy ok? Gah. Get off my back, yo. I kid.

What have I been busy doing? Well...what haven't I been busy doing is probably a better question. Basically, if you take what my life looked like this time three months ago and compare it to now, NOTHING is the same. Well maybe a few things, but there have been some big time changes, lemme tell ya. New job, new car, new apartment, new city, new friends, still working on a new church, new get the idea. I moved to Houston right after Christmas and started my new job on January 3. I haven't written about any of that yet because its one of those things that has been so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start. Nor did I have time to sit down and write it all out for that matter. But now that the dust is finally settling, I'm finally starting to find a bit of a routine again, maybe I will be able to write once in awhile. That's the goal anyway...we'll see how it goes.

So...if I were going to give you a recap of the past couple months, where would be the best place to start? And don't say, "At the beginning," because I don't even really know where the beginning is anymore. I guess I ought to back it up and tell you about my last couple weeks in New Orleans because oh what a time it was...