Run Away, Run Away!

A friend recently asked me, in so many words, how I handle living here in eastern Kentucky because I don’t belong here. In all honesty, it is probably one of the nicest things anyone has said to me.
Before anyone gets too fired up, I took it as a compliment not because I hate my home, but because it feels like I have defeated the stereotype.
Unlike the image of the ignorant hillbilly that has been burnt into the social consciousness, this person sees me for who I am – an art loving, Star Wars fan that loves to travel and learn….a person that refuses to be defined by where she is from, but, at the same time, is trying to find the positive in living in an area that is, sadly, dying.
I don’t plan on discussing the economic life blood of my home (it’s coal, if you weren’t aware). I could give you my thoughts on how a middle ground could be reached to improve the area, both economically and environmentally, but that is for another day.
Right now, it’s taking a lot not to run away. To run far and fast towards something different, something promising, something – anything! – other than……other than this place where progress seems to be stalled by greed, corruption, and snuffed out by those who don’t see beyond their own bottom line.
I moved back home for a variety of reasons – to heal a broken heart, figure out my next step, spend time with my family. It’s the spending time with my family that is keeping me here…for now. Beyond that, and the fact that I love the students I work with, there really isn’t a lot to hold on to.
I’ve become very proficient and making the arguments to myself to justify staying: It is easier to hop in the car and go spend one…two…seven days somewhere else and then come home to family and some close friends. In this Age of the Internet and interstate highways, that long distance affairs can be maintained – and I believe they can be, if both parties are interested. Anything is possible if you try….right?
What I want is it all. I want access to things that will make my life more vibrant and what I want it to be, but I also want to be an active member of my family, spending time with them and having those all too precious memories with them.
As those who float into and out of my life keep reminding me, you can’t have all the things, all the time. I also can’t keep running away; from home, from possibilities, from the uncertain, from x, y, and z, from myself.
At some point a decision will have to be made. It will be difficult, it may not make a lot of people happy, but it will have to be done for myself. Until that day, I will keep making choices and decisions that let me be happy and hope that, along the way, where I should be becomes a little clearer.
At the end of the day, I’m just getting tired of running.

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The Low Spark Of A Newly High Heeled Girl

I tend to add soundtrack music to my day. It’s not an intentional or a conscious act, it just happens. Something occurs and I think of a song…and honestly, it doesn’t make much sense most of the time. So, after I bought my first real pair of high heeled shoes, it was only natural that Traffic’s epic song, “The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys,” came to mind.

Yeah….totally natural.

I have purchased high heeled shoes before. A pair or two for weddings, my proms, but beyond that, the rare high heeled shoe was purchased not because I wanted them, but for what I thought they would help me with.
THOSE heels would help me be more attractive, sexy, wanted, enter adjective of choice here.
I truly believed that the problems I was having with my relationship, and with my self image, would totally be fixed by THOSE shoes.

Crazy…right? Not really. People project on to things all the time. To me, THOSE heels, were what attractive women wear. Women who are sexy, wear THOSE shoes. It never dawned on me that I was just so desperately unhappy with myself, my situation, that I was throwing out any kind of line to anything I thought would help. Hindsight..am I right?!

So, THOSE shoes obviously didn’t do what I thought they would. They were worn once, and I didn’t feel any better. THEY didn’t work. I threw the shoes into the closet, got rid of them eventually, and didn’t buy heels for a long time.
During that “long time,” I made some changes, learned some things about myself, gained some confidence, and have finally gotten to a point where I truly feel more like me – as cheesy and cliché as that sounds.

I wear pop culture t-shirts with skirts. I like dressing up, playing with makeup, and watching football. My Chuck Taylors are my work shoes and I will write some pretty explicit things because I think it’s fun.

Too much information? Did I mention I will over share because I like being straight forward and don’t particularly like, or understand, the games men and women play with each other.

What does all this mean? It means that the high heeled shoes I purchased Friday, the shoes I have been practicing walking in, are MY shoes. THEY don’t cause me to feel more attractive, or wanted, but are an accessory that accentuates how I already feel the majority of the time, which is not half bad, but not always great. I have many moments during the day when I question myself, where I wonder why I’m alone, or what role I’m acting out in this world. Still, thanks to lessons learned, I can get past those doubts and keep moving forward because that is what I, and I believe most people, do.

Don’t misunderstand, I don’t feel I am anyone special…I’m just me…and I happen to want to rock these blue, faux suede, high heeled shoes. I want everyone to rock that thing – that dress, that coat, that haircut – that thing they are afraid of making them stand out when all they want to do is stay hidden because they aren’t sure about themselves.

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Hard to get a good pic when you don't have a dressing mirror.

The shoes don’t make me anything in particular, but I make them pretty awesome – rather, I will make them awesome when I learn to walk in them and not look like a baby horse stumbling around.

Just A Letter For You

At least that’s how I’m starting it. You know by now my mind makes great leaps between ideas that, to most, don’t make much sense. To me, I don’t understand how you cannot see the threads that tie them together. That’s not what I’m writing to you about though.
I want you to know that I think you are amazing. You are smart, funny, kind, sweet, tender, and potentially loving. You are also a coward in some regards. It’s OK, so am I.
I truly believe if you gave it, us, a chance you would be happy. But you won’t. Sometimes I feel this rejection is some kind of payback for my own lack luster response to those interested in me – with whom I have justified my lack of interest as having more to do with distance and circumstance than through an honest “I just don’t feel that way,” but this is for you, not me. I beat myself up enough. I destroy myself, if we want to be honest, but, again, this is for you, not me.
I want you to be happy. Sure, I want you to be happy with me, but that doesn’t seem like it will happen. I know, you care for me, you want to help me, hold me, but that just makes it worse. You love me but you don’t. Some of that is on me. I understand that distance sucks. I have made some choices – choices that I do not regret one bit – but those choices are holding me in a standby pattern with regards to my personal life.
Do you think I like being alone? Away from the opportunities a city brings?! No, honestly I don’t. I feel like I’m missing out on things – you, for example – and I’m unsure what to do about it. I love my family. I love being with them and being in their lives and having them in mine, but I want you too.
Have you given me a reason to give up my absolute love and my desire to be around them? No….not really. You gave me hope and then you promptly dashed it once I was here. Sometimes being closer doesn’t help…at least not in my case…so it seems…anyways…
If I can’t make you see that, there isn’t much I can do.
I understand that you have stuff going on. We all do. I guess I just put my heart out there so quickly. It’s easily torn asunder, only to be patched back in some hurried, unfixed way, and then torn up again.
Sadly, I’m accepting that as my lot in life. I shouldn’t, but I am.
That isn’t your fault.
Your fault is in not taking the time to call me and tell me hello. Or asking me to walk around the Riverfront and swing in a giant swing facing the Rhine. Or inviting me over to watch a movie. You could have done any of those things – or a thousand other small gestures – and I would have moved Heaven and Earth because I like you.
All I wanted was a real chance, an opportunity. I haven’t even fallen in love yet, but I really like you.
See, it’s not in the past tense. I honestly like you.
I have meant every word. You are smart, funny, sweet, kind – you make me laugh and make my day – and in some way I do that for you, but it’s not enough. I get it.
It doesn’t change the fact that talking to you puts a smile on my face. That it will hurt putting all the pieces back in place and smiling while you tell me about how well you are doing with her, but I’ll do it because I’m strong enough to go on. I won’t wallow. Well, I won’t wallow more than a few hours. Sometimes a little wallow helps…at least for me it does.
Now, you shouldn’t feel bad. That’s not my intention here. I genuinely want you to be happy. Recently I read an article about how accommodating people (ahem, right here) are the most destructive and I KNOW it’s true – why else would I accept a role so far from what I hoped for just to be there?!
That, again, is for me. This letter is for you.
So, text if you want….call if you can. I’ll still get excited to hear about your day and what your plans are. I’ll move on with my patchwork heart, and, believe me, I’ll tell you about it because you are my friend and I like you. I’ll need your support on a few things here and there, so, heads up.
It would have been pretty great, though, you and I. It would have been something for the ages. It could have made it if we both wanted it badly enough, but logistics, my friend, logistics.
Time and place…they don’t always line up.
They didn’t for us, but for you and her – whoever she is – it may.
Good luck. Much love.
Take care….my friend.

Granny at Hardy’s House

It’s amazing what a fairly decent night’s sleep and Birthday Pancakes can do for one’s motivation. Tack on some amazingly warm February days, and you have the makings of a multiple blog post Sunday!

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This used to be our ballfield

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33 Years

I am now embarking on my 33rd year on this great blue marble we call Earth. During that time, I have made friends, lost loved ones, traveled, worked on my education, entered adulthood, been engaged – became unengaged, failed, found success, made a small difference (more good than bad), randomly met Chris Hardwick – yes, he is amazing! and, overall, have had a pretty good run.

This last week celebrating the big 3-3, I have realized that while there are, as always, things I need to work on it is easier to acknowledge that I’m more like how I want to be than not.

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Memories….I Have Them

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how memory works. As I get older, I am intrigued by what I – and others – remember.  I want to hold on to those memories and keep them safe.
I am terrified of losing them.

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Classic Rock Thoughts

‘A love struck Romeo…”

This has been the first real winter some of the kiddos have ever had.  Snow falls in large, fluffy, flakes, covering the ground with the promise of adventure.

I am inside cleaning, fighting an internal battle between what makes sense (finishing projects, including laundry) and the absurd (running outside with a camera or driving out into the mess just to do it).  Through the cable box, the classic rock station plays.  Songs that I skip on my iPod because of the memories they encapsulate are allowed the freedom to be heard.  Why don’t I delete them from the playlists?  Well, it’s not like I dislike the song.  Its the memory that becomes the problem.

“Play your love songs all night long for me…”

It’s a haze of white outside.  The pull is stronger now.  I would love to call my friends and see who else wants to be ridiculous.  The voice in the back of my mind, the worried looks from loved ones, stops me.  You dislocate one kneecap….you almost dehydrate and have to be put in the hospital…. you are involved in a car accident….when you live too far for those loved ones to help, and their fear seeps into your thought process.  It’s not just their fear though.  It’s also the fear of the pain you felt, the worry of the possible result that you so narrowly missed, that keeps you in as you get older.

I just couldn’t bear providing any more pain to them. 

Still, you have to take a risk sometimes.  It gets to a point where the itch is too strong and a reaction is needed.  Newton had it down pat – you can only pull back for so long before it has to flip the other way.

The nice thing is, if you are lucky (and I am lucky) you have the support system that just wants you to be. 

“Gimme three steps…”

Here I am, being me….now, where are my boots?

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