Daily Archives: February 9, 2013


I spend countless hours searching.
What am I looking for?
What will make it feel right?
The right lamp?
The right chair?
The right walls?
The right town?
The right state?
I search for these things and these places
To make me complete
To make me belong

To be a Home.

But then I remember.
I am not like the others.
I am not content with the right furniture
With the right decor
With the right accessories.
I’m not content with ‘things’ at all.
Things change.
Things adapt.
Things are not constant.

‘I’ am not constant.

I’m a gypsy.
I’m a vagabond.
So, where do I find my stability?
How can I remain grounded when I’m so driven to move –
To change –
To adapt –
To run?


In walk my children.
An email arrives from my dear friend.
I look around the room and see pictures of my sisters.
My brother.
I move my sweet, yet annoying, cat out from under my feet.

Now I remember.

It doesn’t matter where I am.
Or what I’m surrounded by.

The temporary homesickness subsides.

When my analytical mind starts to forget,
In walks my heart to remind me.

I am home.

~ 02/18/11 ~


The show Phantom has been on my mind alot for a few days.  I guess maybe since I love to act, I relate to theatre in ways some might not.  When something happens in my life, rather than immediately thinking of a song or a poem to relate to, I think of a show.  This time it’s Phantom.

If you haven’t seen it, let me explain.  (In my words, of course, and I’m not a critic.)  The Phantom is a deformed, hideous man who lives in the walls of an opera house.  He was placed behind these walls so that no one would have to see “the ugly.”  Hide it, and it doesn’t exist, right?  So, he lives his solitary life behind these walls, hiding the ugly, until something comes along that changes things.  Someone comes along that changes him.  Christine.  Suddenly, with the entrance of this one person into his world, he’s not so content hiding behind the walls anymore.  Although he slowly begins to creep out from behind the walls to be with her, he still keeps the ugly hidden away behind his mask.  He just can’t let her see him.  Not yet.

Time passes.  Love grows.  And finally.  Finally.  He feels like the time has come.  They’ve spent time together, she knows the ‘real’ him….so why not show her the rest?  He summons up the courage to remove the mask and show her ‘the ugly.’  Surely all the good and not-so-ugly things that she has seen up to this point will outweigh what lies beneath, right?  Surely she will accept and love him for the whole self, and not just the self that keeps portions hidden behind walls and a mask.  Surely if he reveals all of himself – the bad together with the good – she will still love him for the person she has come to know.  Won’t she?

Well, guess what.  She doesn’t. She takes one look – one look – and she’s gone.

Oh, Phantom.  I feel ya, buddy.


~03/04/11 ~

Solitary Journey

(I wrote this on February 22, 2011, after one of my many outpatient cervical cancer treatments. I had a hysterectomy in July 2011 to finally end my two-year bout with this sickness.)

Solitary Journey

I walk in alone.

Take a deep breath, pretend I am strong,
Grit my teeth,

I walk out alone.
I drive home alone.
I’m a grownup now.  I can do this.

I am strong.

I walk in my empty house
I sit on my couch

I do not need anyone else.

I am strong.

Time passes.
Clock ticks.
Self-pity increases.
Lonliness consumes.


A sound pierces the silence –
the phone rings.

Someone remembered.
Sigh of relief.

Hi Daddy.




Next Chapter (a/k/a more silly ramblings from a closet dreamer)

You know that feeling when you know that something is different?  That something has changed?  That something old has ended and something new is beginning?  That you’re faced with a crossroads and you know that it’s time to just pick a road and keep on trucking?  Well, if you don’t know that feeling, you will.  And more than once.

This getting older thing has its benefits.  For one – you start to recognize these things when they’re happening.  Not just looking back on them in hindsight – it’s easy to see them then – but to actually feel them happening as they are happening.  I’m glad I finally learned to recognize these little life detours.  They’re everywhere.  You find yourself floating along and then something or someone comes along (or moves along, as they case may be) and you no longer see anything the same again.  You never see you the same again.

I know I can sometimes be a little dramatic.  A little too analytical.  A little naive.  But you know what?  Who cares?  I am who I am.  And when something happens, I feel it.  I sense it.  I know it.  I can sometimes run from it like a scared little baby rather than facing it, I do admit that.  But I recognize it.  And this is one of those times.

I’m starting to remember the old me.  The dreamer.  The one who took risks, regardless of the odds that were against her.  That me has been asleep for a while.  She started waking up a little at a time earlier this year, but all of a sudden, in the past few months, the truth of who I am has been shining so bright I can’t shield my eyes from it anymore.  I’m not bitter.  I’m not jaded.  I’m not tough and I don’t really have walls built up.  I just pretend to be all those things so I don’t have to show the real me and get rejected again.  What I really want to do is get on here and shout out to the world that yes, I have royally messed up in this whole love department thing.  But it doesn’t matter.  I still believe!  I still think it’s out there.  I still know that that soul mate business is not really a load of crap (like I like to tell people it is), but that it is real.  It is true.  It is right there waiting for me and all I have to do is reach out and grab it.  And you know what?  I think I may just do that.

We have one life.  And the events of this earth lately should make us all look around and realize that it could end any second when we least expect it.  So take those chances.  Take the risk even when the odds are against you.  Who cares?  Just live.  That’s all there is to it.  Put fear aside and be willing to look like a fool.

As long as you tried, then you won.

I’m ready for my next victory.  How about you?

~ 05/01/11 ~

My little boy

I remember the day I was told
He was coming into my world
I remember shortly later looking down
At that red head filled with curls.

I remember that happy little smile
That graced strangers and friends the same
A sweet little bundle of innocence
Proudly carrying his uncle’s name.

I remember looking down at that little guy
The little toddler who held no fear
My passionate little chatter box
Full of stories for all who cared to hear.

He knew no stranger, that boy of mine
And wanted to be friends with them all
I always wondered how a heart so big
Could fit in a boy so small.

Soon time began to take its toll
And my little boy began to find his own way
School, friends, and sporting events
Began to fill the hours of the day.

Gone were the days of snuggling
And the one-on-one mommy time
Instead was a little independent guy
With other things filling his mind.

So…gone are the trains and the legos
Gone are the mountains of toys.
I look over now at this young man
Who stands in the place of that little boy.

And strangely, though I see the changes
In this boy standing taller than me
I still see glimpses here and there
Of that little guy he used to be.

And though it’s hard to see him grow
To watch as he slowly turns into a man
He will always be that curly-headed little boy
Who stole my heart with one touch of his hand.


~ 5/25/11 ~

Discount Bin



I feel like a sweater.

Someone sees it in the store.  It looks great, it looks promising, it looks like exactly the sweater they’ve been looking for!  They buy it (hey – it’s even discounted!  Wonder why? It’s perfect!), they take it home, they wear it immediately.  Don’t waste any time…this thing is perfect, let’s show it off!  For a few weeks, it becomes their favorite sweater and they display it proudly for all the world to see.

Over time, the sweater doesn’t get worn quite as often (don’t want to overdo it), but it is still loved.  It’s still washed with the gentle cycle and layed flat to dry.  No dryer for this precious garment!

More time passes.  Still love the sweater.  Still wear it once in a while.  But everyone has seen it now and there is not as much thrill in showing it off.  No more gentle cycle, no more laying flat to dry.  I mean, come on…it’s just a sweater.  Does it really need that much time and attention?  Just throw it in with the rest of the wash, it’ll be fine.

But then, one day…

One day they flip the sweater over and see something that they didn’t notice at first.  The sweater was coming apart at the seams.  Had it always been there?  Was that why it was discounted?  Or did they cause it to happen by just throwing it in the wash?  Oh, who cares.  It’s damaged goods.

They throw it in the donation box (hey someone else with lower clothing standards might want this junk), forget they ever had it, and go out shopping for another, stronger, tougher sweater.  One that isn’t coming apart at the seams.

Anyone have any thread?

~ 03/15/11 ~

I’m a Monkey

So, I heard something today that shouldn’t have any psychological significance.  I should have listened to it, saw it for the literal story that it was probably meant to be, and went on with my day.  But nope, not me.  Not Melissa.  I have to think and analyze everything until there’s nothing left.  So, here goes.

I keep wondering why I have let such a short (albeit intense) relationship get to me as bad as this last one did.  I always pout when a relationship doesn’t work out (which has happened PLENTY of times), but this one was different.  This one cut deep.  Not just because I miss my friend (which I do), but also because it has made me question who I am.  It has made me question my worthiness, my intuition, and most importantly – my inability to fully trust another person.  And I have no idea why this is happening.  But I heard a story this morning that has answered that question for me.

Turns out, I’m a monkey.

Ok, I guess I need to explain that statement.

The story goes like this:  there are these four guys in college.  They live in a dorm on the 23rd floor.  Being college guys, they sit around and analyze the effects of throwing various objects out of the window.  In fact, sometimes they try … things from rotten tomatoes to tennis shoes to one especially drunken night that consisted of tossing a 19″ tv to it’s shattered demise.  So, one night a deep conversation ensues about whether or not a monkey could be thrown out of the window.  Now, granted, these guys have no monkey.  But no matter.  These things need to be discussed just in case. You never know. So, the one guy (who’s studying to be a vet) makes the bold statement that it would be absolutely impossible to throw a monkey out of the window.  Now there have to be certain criteria to the project: (1) the monkey’s arms have to be long enough to be able to stretch out and reach the sides of the window; and (2) the monkey can not be in any altered state of consciousness…such as you cannot give it a sedative or get it drunk.  You could, however, spin the thing around and around until it got dizzy first.  You could wake it up from a deep sleep.  You could even develop a sling shot and hurl the thing at top speeds toward the open window.  Either way, the pre-vet insisted that he was correct and that no one could come up with a scenario that would weaken the monkey’s instincts enough to allow it to soar through the window without reaching out to protect itself.

But one person had an idea.  What if you gained the monkey’s trust?  What if you hold it like a baby.  Coddle it, coo at it, pretend to love it.  All the while, inching towards the window, with the oblivious lovestruck monkey laying helpless in your arms.  The monkey will be so enthralled with being loved and held, that it will develop a false sense of safety and will let it’s defenses down.  That way, once you are at the window, the monkey will be so deliriously content that it will not even see what is coming.  You can just calmly and quietly…drop him.  No warning, no signs of impending doom…the poor little guy will never know what hit him. The other guys agree, he has in fact solved the mystery and discovered how to get the monkey out of the window.

So, my own conundrum has been solved.  That’s why this hurts so bad.  Falling 23 stories from an open window is supposed to hurt, especially when you were too caught up in the moment to prepare to break your fall.

Stupid monkey.


~ 03/16/11 ~


It’s amazing what a slave we are to our own minds.

I woke up yesterday in a really bad mood.  The sun was shining, birds were chirping, and it was an absolutely gorgeous day.  And given the fact that my kids and I had been stuck in a car during a tornado the day before, you would think I would have welcomed this change of scenery with a big smile and an open heart.  But nope.  I was grumpy.

We went to church.  Still – nothing.  All I could think about was the fact that I’m in this sea of people where I know very few of them and feel like a fish out of water.  I listened to the message, I enjoyed the songs, but then I filed out with the rest of the crowd and went home to forget all about it.  Typical Sunday for me these days.

We get home, and I’m just in a slump.  I promise Kelly we’ll go for a walk outside after I take a nap (hoping that would cure the problem..), but no sooner did I close my eyes than the phone rings telling me that I ‘forgot’ that I was supposed to take the kids back to their dad’s after church because they had family visiting (“I did NOT forget – you never told me!!”).  So, now, the kids are gone and I’m not only grumpy, I’m alone.

Then I get a text from a friend.  A friend who owns a motorcycle.  Hmmmmm.  The wheels begin to turn (ha! no pun intended), and I think… Here are my options.  I can stay on this couch in my grumpy state of mind and sleep the rest of the day away.  OR, I could take advantage of the fact that I know my friend so well that I am certain that he’s going to be out on that motorcycle before the day was through and wouldn’t mind Eeyore herself tagging along on the back of it.  So, I shamelessly begged for a ride (ok, I just asked once, but it felt like shamelessly begging), and was told to ‘come on over.’  So, off we went.

It is amazing the thoughts that go through your mind while you’re on a motorcycle.  Why is that, I wonder?  (If you ask my friend Chris, he says it’s because I’m forced to shut-up for the duration of the ride and that’s a rare feat.  Oh, hey, that’s probably why he likes to take me on motorcycle rides….Hmmm…)  Anyway, so I’m riding along…yes, quietly…and all of a sudden it hits me to apologize to God.  Apologize to God?   With tears in my eyes, I looked around at this beautiful world around me, and things started to look different.  I watched the people in this little idyllic town we passed through go about their business on a lazy Sunday afternoon; I saw a man holding the hand of his little girl as they walked along a trail; I watched the cows grazing in the pasture; I waved at a dog following us alongside the road; I did the ‘motorcyle wave’ (oh yeah, I’m that cool) at other bikers as they passed by (of course I also did the ‘motorcyle wave’ at a moped, but I didn’t know the difference in the protocol…); I realized that I felt safe and secure on this dangerous machine because the man in front of me cares enough about me to never put me in danger; I thought about those precious little redheads at their daddy’s house who would be there waiting for me to pick them up when their family get-together was over….  In a split second, all of those thoughts and images hit me at once and all I could think to do was look up and tell God I’m sorry. Just like that, out of the blue, I apologized to the guy that I have barely spoken to at all in over a year.  I’m sorry for being a little brat.  I’m sorry for letting all these same images in and out of my brain just hours earlier and not even giving them a second thought.  I’m sorry that I had just spent the day listening to your word and spending time with the two little angels you’ve let me borrow for a while…and it never even dawned on me to fall on my knees and thank you profusely for giving me the life that you’ve given me.  Yes, I have problems.  Everyone has problems.  But look at the bounty of blessings I have. Look at them!  What a lucky, silly, selfish, stupid girl I am.

I got off that bike, gave my sweet friend a hug (hoping he knows how much I appreciate him), and went to pick up my daughter.  We went for a long walk beside the river; imitated ducks (guess you had to be there..); tossed sticks in a waterfall and followed them down the stream into the river; skipped; trespassed at an abandoned house (yep, that was fun too); and then found huge walking sticks and made our way back to the car.  We went home, and I tucked that sweet little thing into bed, and I went to sleep…with a roof over my head and snuggled under a warm blanket with a sleeping fat cat to keep to me company.

What an amazing change from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed.

Perspective, man.  It’s serious stuff.


~ 04/11/11 ~

Amendment One – North Carolina


Amendment One.  This issue has been weighing so heavily on my mind.  I was having trouble figuring out why that is.  I’m usually not involved in politics (I tend to avoid things that make me angry); I’m not gay; I’m not overly ‘religious.’  Heck, I’m not even a North Carolina resident.  And yet, I have literally lost sleep thinking about this issue.  Today, it finally hit me why it bothers me so much.

I love people.

Some might say I love people too much.  I have a way of being slightly naïve in thinking that all people are good.  Of course, we all make mistakes (we all ‘sin,’ if that’s how you see it), but we’re all human beings.  We’re all living in this big ole world trying to figure it out as we go.  We all have burdens to bear…some of us drink, some of us gamble, some of us lie, cheat, steal, think bad thoughts…etc. etc. etc.  We’re all human.  What some of us see as ‘bad’ might be different than what others see as ‘bad.’  Same goes for what we see as ‘good.’

But all that mumbo jumbo aside, here’s the fact.  We live in AMERICA.  Land of the FREE.  As Abraham Lincoln put it, we are a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”  The people.  Notice how he didn’t say the white people.  The male people.  The rich people.  The Christian people.  The STRAIGHT people.  Nope.  The people.  ALL people.

Nothing says it better, in my opinion, than a quote from Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural address: “Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”  Yes, we live in a democracy.  But like Thomas Jefferson said – the minority (which in this case, are homosexuals) MUST still possess their equal rights or it is considered oppression.

Really?  Has America truly been reduced – again – to a land that oppresses certain people because they are ‘different?’  Come on now.  Haven’t we evolved beyond this?

I really don’t care what your religious views are.  That’s the beauty of the land that we live in.  We are allowed to make choices and live our lives according to who we are and what we believe.  Maybe you see marriage as a sacred institution between you, your spouse, and your creator.  Wonderful!  Maybe you’re an Atheist and yet you still chose to enter into a legally binding marriage contract that has nothing to do with a creator.  Wonderful!  Maybe you’re a black male and a white female and you want to join together in holy wedlock.  Wonderful!  No matter what – you are STILL allowed to get married because this country recognizes you as a citizen.  You don’t have to meet any criteria.  Welcome to matrimony.  But wait?  You’re gay.  Uh oh.  Nevermind.  This doesn’t apply to you.

Come on, people.  How much sense does this really make?

I don’t know who, if anyone, will actually read this.  Maybe I’m just writing it for myself.  I haven’t adequately conveyed what I’m trying to say, I’m sure.  I just wanted to get this off of my chest and put it out there.  What’s going to happen at the poles tomorrow will happen.  What’s going to happen after that, will happen.  Things will be what they will be.  But each of us have an opinion and each of us have a right to voice it.  This is my say.

In conclusion, I’d like to quote two people whose opinions I highly value.

“If your actions harm others, they’re wrong. That’s all there is to it. Any other determination of “wrong” is based on a subjective opinion and shouldn’t be a basis for determining laws in a free country.” – Me

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” – Jesus

~ 05/07/12 ~

(I wrote this prior to the North Carolina vote for Amendment One.  Unfortunately, this amendment was passed.)

Full Circle [or … The Story of How Melissa Can’t Even Get a Washing Machine Without Seeing a Literary Opportunity]

[I originally wrote this back in September 2012.  I’m transferring some of the writings from my personal blog to this public blog.  I thought about not including this one because of the fact that Richard and I aren’t together anymore.  But, at the last minute, I decided to include it anyway.  This is how I felt at the time, and I don’t want to forget those good feelings.  (Besides – the new washer ended up not working anyway. Ha! There’s a sign I should have heeded…)]

So….my washing machine quit on me last week.

Every time something like this happens – any household-related catastrophe – I’m reminded that I’m alone. I’m not married; there’s no man rushing in to save the day and fix what’s broken so that I can blissfully go on with my life without giving it a second thought. Nope. Not me. I’m single. I like to think of myself as strong and independent – and I am – but times like this, I feel like a pathetic little girl that just wants someone to come along and fix it. Ya know?

And even the washing machine itself is a sore spot. I had a good washing machine in early 2008. But, I got married. As someone who had already been divorced once, you would think I would have been smart enough to know better than to get rid of everything I owned in the free world and blindly move in with someone. But nope. I thought “love” would conquer all. Psssh. So, away went my furniture; away went my pots and pans; away went pot holders, floor mats, shower curtains; away went my washing machine.

Then, I divorced. Again.

I did my best to re-stock on all I had lost just two short years earlier, but most of the things I acquired were secondhand. (It’s friggin expensive trying to start over from scratch, let me tell ya.) And among these secondhand necessities lied the washing machine in question. The washing machine that broke on me (mid-wash, mind you). The washing machine that, once again, reminded me that I’m single. Divorced. Alone. A dumb ol’ helpless girl.

But this time…this time was different.

This time, there’s Richard.

I had almost forgotten what it felt like to have someone care about me like he does. (Or have I ever known? Hmmm. But I digress…) I was texting him about the washing machine incident the night it happened, and he immediately called me because he could tell I was upset. He started talking about what ‘we’ could do to fix it. (“We?” What’s that??) He calmed me down with his ever-calm demeaner, and told me to pack up my laundry and head to his house. Which I did. (Any ol’ excuse to spend time with him would do, right?)

So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been washing my clothes at his house. Bless his heart. And then, just a few days ago, he told me that his mom has one in storage that I can have. That I can have. Oh, happy day. So, off we go to pick it up. And what do I see when we get there?

It’s the exact same washing machine as the one I gave away in 2008.

Of course, it’s a coincidence. But I’m Melissa. And being Melissa, I see meaning in everything. And this is no exception. Sure, it’s just a washing machine. But it’s the same washing machine. It’s almost like I’m regaining what I lost. Ya know? Reclaiming what was mine. Righting wrongs. Erasing mistakes. Avenging evil!! (Ok, maybe that last one was a tad dramatic…but you get the picture.) Like, in some small way, I’m back where I started. I’m starting over.

No, wait. ”I” am not starting over. “We” are starting over.


Yeah. I think I like the sound of that.

And on that note:


~09/21/12 ~