Monthly Archives: July 2013


“Take a rest.  A field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”
– Ovid

I just remembered something.

I’m a runner.

Did you remember that?  Because I didn’t.  I’m tellin’ ya – I seriously think I forgot about that for a while.

I have these little ‘categories’ set up on my blog.  Not sure if anyone ever notices that you can search for writings under the categories, but I thought it was a cool option when I was designing this thing, so I went with it.  I set up four categories – Freestyle Writings, Poetic Musings, Running, and Songs.  When I first started out, I was afraid that the “running” category would be jam packed, and that my readers who were non-runners would be bored senseless.  I was at the peak of my running ‘career’ at that point – training my tail off for my first half-marathon (which I successfully completed in May, by the way).  I was full of wit and wisdom for new runners and amateur runners like myself – hoping to show everyone that anyone can do this running thing and that you just have to push through and believe in yourself and persevere through the obstacles…..yada yada.  So on and so forth.

But then – well, I don’t know.

I just kinda just stopped that.

I just clicked on my own “Running” tab to see the last thing I had written about running.  It was this:  Oh.  An article called “Time to Chill.”  Well, that explains it.

At that time, I was all prepared to purchase this t-shirt and hang up my running shoes:


Yep.  I was done for a while.

In other words, I had been….


Hehe.  Get it?  Running on empty?  Oh, the wit.

But I digress.

So, yeah.  I had achieved what many of us have achieved in many different areas of our lives at some point.   Anytime you’re passionate about something; you spend all your time doing said something; you dedicate your heart and soul and spirit to the something – there exists the risk of running into that little devil who is always waiting just around the corner to put a stop to it all.  What is this little devil, you ask?


“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions – your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.”
– Sam Keen

That’s just it.  I had become a sleepwalker.

So, you know what I did?  I took a break.  And I think that’s the smartest thing I could have done for myself.

In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that I’ve started feeling the pull again.  I started with a few short runs – a mile or two here and there.  And slowly, I find myself inching my way back up.  A 4-miler here.  A 5-miler there.  And yesterday – I did my own little 10K just to prove I could.  Little by little,  I’m making my way back.  I saw a post yesterday for a 7-mile run up and down a mountain road here locally.  Hmmmm.  I have two months to train….

My point is this.  Burnout is real.  No matter how much you love something, no matter how much a part of your life it becomes, overdoing it can be problematic.  It really can.  It’s ok to take a break.  You know?  Chill out a little bit.  Let things settle.  Let yourself remember why you love this thing so much and why you ever started it in the first place.

Are you a runner?  Well, there.  Apply this lesson literally.  But if you’re not?  Well then, I’m sure there’s something you can apply it to.

Maybe even someone?  Now, there’s some food for thought.

But see, here’s the thing.  When you want it bad enough, when it has become a part of you, it won’t disappear.  I promise.  Taking a break is not going to un-do any progress you made.  This thing you love is not going to go away.  Not when it’s real.

Rest easy.  Stop worrying.  It will be back.  You’ll see.


“”Sometimes in sports there are times when it is best to wait for another day and try again, at least for me. I see life as the race and I see no honor in reaching the finish and passing out or crawling across the finishing line. In Costa Rica, we have a saying: It’s not about being the first to finish, it’s about how you get there.”
-Roman Urbina



I saw the above picture the other day, it made me stop in my tracks.


And then shortly after, I saw this quote:

“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.”
Isaac Watts

Putting the two together, I have decided something.  I think the quote needs to be tweaked a little.  I think the word “learning” needs to be replaced with the word “remembering.”  It’s remembering to trust that needs work, wouldn’t you say?

Let me tell ya a little about myself.  I may just possibly be the most suspicious, non-trusting, skeptical person you’ll ever meet on the planet.  Oh, it’s true.  And I don’t just mean about the big stuff (relationships and whatnot).  No, I mean about everything.

My kids tell me they’ve had a good day at school?  I wonder what part they’re not really telling me.

Someone does something nice for me?  I wonder what’s really in it for them.

My coworker says she has a stomach ache?  I think she’s just looking for attention.

Oh yeah, it’s that bad.  Basically, I’m a jerk.

Oh, don’t get me wrong.  Eventually, I believe what I’m told.  Eventually.  But that first, initial gut reaction?  Disbelief.  Non-trust.  Skepticism.  And if it’s like this about something as stupid as a coworker’s stomach ache, then you know it has to be bad with matters of the heart, right?

Now, why am I like this?  Why does that picture above describe me (and probably you too, if you’re honest) to a tee?….

Hell, I don’t know.

What?  You were wanting some deep-seated answer to the burning question of why people are so jaded?  Well, you’re not going to get it from me.  In fact, if you figure it out, please write a blog yourself and I’ll post it on here.  I’d be interested in reading it, along with the millions of other people who are exactly like me (and you know it!).  Oh, now I could come up with a million excuses if you really want me to.  I can tell you about the times I’ve been lied to over the years or the times I’ve been heartbroken over believing something to be true that wasn’t.  Blah, blah, blah.  But you know what else I can tell you?  I can tell you the times that I have lied to others.  The times that I have broken someone’s heart.  If I take the time to start telling you about being jaded because of what was done to me, I need to be fair and tell you about the times that I’ve been the one doing the jading myself.  It’s only fair.  What I’m trying to say is that I can’t sit here and blame others for making me who I am.  I’m just like them.  They are just human, and so am I.

No, I can’t pin this on someone else.  I have to accept the blame.  I have to realize that I have allowed myself to become like the last person in that picture up there.  No one else did this – I did it.  And it’s time to stop.

So, back to the quote.  Like the picture illustrates, we are born with this innocent goodness, or naivety if you will.  We start out filled with unlimited amounts of love and trust for everyone around us, because we just truly just didn’t know any better.  Years ago, I remember standing at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington with my friend, Nathan.  As we were looking down over the top, we started a conversation about the fear of heights.  About how this fear has to be learned.  We mused about the certain fact that if a newborn baby were held over the edge of this massive structure, it wouldn’t know any better than to coo and sleep or smile or drool or whatever the heck it was already doing before it was suspended 600+ feet above the ground.  It wouldn’t have learned fear at that point.  Until you have fallen, or seen someone else fall, you can’t know that it would hurt to do so.  Right?

Well, we aren’t newborn babies.  And each and every one of us has fallen.

And it hurt.

It’s only natural to be more careful of the fall now, right?  But here’s the deal.  If you never climb up that high again, you’ll never get the opportunity to see all the beautiful sights that can only be seen from that height.  Sure, you are 100% certain to never fall if you never climb, but rather than refusing to climb altogether, how about just taking a look around for a second.  See the guard rails.  The safety nets.  The many, many that have gone before you and haven’t fallen.  Sure, there’s a chance that you could fall anyway. I know that.  But you have to ask yourself – is it really worth it to stand on the ground and miss what everyone else is up there seeing?

Is it?

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”
Frank Crane

Yeah.  That.

Stop blaming others.  Ok?  Recognize that the fear exists because you allow it to.  Start making choices today to help undo the damage that you have caused yourself.  Life’s too short for anything else, isn’t it?

Come with me, and let’s climb up there and take a look around, ok?  There is sooo much to see.



“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
– Ernest Hemingway

The Significance of Insignificance


significance: (noun) the quality of being worthy of attention; importance.

You know what I want?

To feel significant.

And you know why I want that?  Because that’s what everyone wants.  We are biologically programmed that way.  You know that whole “no man is an island” jazz?  Well, it’s true.  We, as human beings, do not want to be alone.  Generally speaking, of course.  We all want brief periods of alone time, yes.  But overall – we don’t want to feel isolated and unimportant.  We want to be a part of something.  Because being a part of something means that you matter.

Think about your life and the choices that you make.  Don’t they all eventually come down to this very core need?  I’ll give you an example from my own life.

I am involved with theatre.  This is a pretty blatant display of the need for significance.  You become a part of a group of people that are working together to create something.  If you’ve ever done theatre, then you’ve seen firsthand how each and every single person that is involved in any way is of the utmost importance.  From the outside looking in, it may seem that someone who does theatre is one who feels the need to ‘show off’ or ‘be seen.’  And maybe there’s some truth to that to an extent.  But I think it goes deeper than that.  I think it’s just like everything else.

It’s that need for significance.

Another example?  This blog.  Do I write this blog to ‘show off’?  I don’t think so.  In fact, I’m so insecure about my writing that I still second, third, fourth and seventy-second-guess myself every single time I’ve posted something.  No, it’s not showing off.  It’s wanting to put something out there in the world that might make a difference.  That might stick in someone’s mind and leave some kind of impression.  I want my time on this Earth, and this little talent I possess (if you can call it that), to be significant.

If you look at the things you choose to do in your own world, I think you might see what I’m talking about.  How somehow, someway, it all ends up coming back to that need.

Especially…yep, you guessed where I was headed with this…relationships.

I mean, think about it – what is the person you’re in a relationship with referred to?  Your significant other.  The word significant means ‘important.’  So you’re being referred to as the important other.  Now, come on, how cool is that, right?

But you know what’s not cool?

When you start feeling like the insignificant other.  THAT’s when the troubles start.


You know what would be great?  If we could just go up to the people in our lives, whether it be your kid, your parent, your employer, or the person you love, and say, “Hey, maybe you didn’t mean for this to happen, but I’ve been feeling insignificant lately. Can you please offer some reassurance?”  Seems so simple, doesn’t it?  But nope.  That’s not what we silly humans usually do.  We’re way too proud for that.  No, we’d rather just pick a fight.  Now, I don’t think we do this consciously, mind you.  But it’s what ends up happening nonetheless.  We start accusing them of this, that, or the other.  We scream at them (and these can sometimes be silent screams…they hurt just as much) about what they’re doing wrong.  Or, in some cases, we may pull back and stop giving our best because we feel like it doesn’t matter anyway so why bother.  We do all these stupid little unnecessary things, when all they end up coming down to is simply….

I want to feel significant.

That’s it.

That’s all we’re trying to say.  Why is so darn hard to just come right out and say those words?  Geez.

Man, we humans sure are stupid sometimes.

Tell someone how much they mean to you.  Right now.  Go do it.  It may be all they needed to hear.


“The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they’re still alive.”
– Optimus Prime



“What a laugh, though.  To think that one human being could ever really know another.  You could get used to each other, get so habituated that you could speak their words right along with them, but you never know why other people said what they said or did what they did, because they never even know themselves.  Nobody understands anybody.”
– Orson Scott Card

I am going through a very hard time right now.  The reason?  Doesn’t matter.  Just another hard time – you know how it is.  You have them too.  It would be great if life stayed up there on those peaks all the time, but we all know that the trail dips to the valleys every now and then.

And it sucks.

But this time, I’m starting to realize something.  Most problems we have (all of us – not just me), at their very core, exist because people just don’t understand one another.  And like the quote above illustrates, how can we?  We don’t even understand ourselves.

Well, I don’t know if you care or not, but I’m going to use this blog to try to understand myself.  I’m getting ready to describe…me.

And you know what?  Maybe by the end of it, you’ll understand me too.  And hey, who knows?  Maybe this might even help you understand you.  Or at least try.  That’s all we can do, right?

“Walk with me for awhile, my friend—you in my shoes, I in yours—and then let us talk.”  
– Richelle E. Goodrich

I am passionate.

I mean, seriously.  I don’t half-ass anything.  When I feel something, I freakin feel it.  As you can imagine, that can go both ways.  When I love you, I soooo love you.  I’m hopelessly devoted and cannot even imagine being with anyone else.  But when a negative emotion hits?  You’re going to get the same intensity as the positive.  If I’m mad, I’m furious.  If you hurt me, I’m crushed.

I am innocent.

I hate to admit that, but I am.  I’m naïve.  I truly don’t understand this new world that we’re in where relationships have become casual and ‘hooking up’ seems to be the norm.  I don’t desire to go out and drink until the wee hours of the morning.  I have no desire whatsoever to ‘date.’  I am the most happy when I’m in a loving, committed relationship.  Nothing else will do for me. My preferred past-time is hanging out with a bunch of kids and goofing off – not partying.  Does that make me a dud?  I guess.

I am loyal.

Once I am committed to something, I’m in.  You can trust me 150%.  There are no gray areas.

I am obsessive.

I admit it.  I find it so incredibly hard to get my mind off of whatever is bothering me.  I want to fix it.  And a lot of people’s way of ‘fixing’ something is to find something else to temporarily ease the pain.  Not me.  I want to talk it to death; beat it to death; squeeze it until every last drop of life is gone.  I have lost a lot of people I love this way because I tend to love people who are exactly the opposite.  People who need their time and space to deal with things.  I have always hated this about myself.

I am intensely intuitive.

I know when something is not right.  Maybe that stems from my extreme interest in other people.  People fascinate me, so I pay attention to them.  I watch what they do and figure out why they do it.  So, with that being the case, I can usually spot when something is not right. I  know the signs and signals.  The problem with this?  The problem is that while yes, something may be off, my overactive imagination turns what may be a little molehill into Mount Everest.  I picture the absolute worst scenario in my head and assume that is the case until I know otherwise.  Then, when I find out otherwise, it’s hard to put what I’ve found out in place of what I already assumed to be true.  That sucks.

I am honest.

To a fault.  I lay it ALL out there.  Whether you want it or not.  And the problem with that?  I expect others to be that way too.  And then I’m crushed when they’re not.  I wish I were a better liar.  I wish I could be mysterious.  I wish, I wish, I wish.  But it’s not going to happen.  It’s not who I am.  And since it’s not who I am, I am especially sensitive to it in other people.  I don’t understand it, and I am deeply wounded by it.  Once I’ve seen dishonesty, it’s really, really, hard for me to unsee it.

I am forgiving.

I fully understand that this may seem to counteract what I just said.  But it doesn’t.  You’ve heard of forgiving and forgetting?  Well, the forgiving part is easy for me.  I have forgiven so many things over the years.  I understand that people make mistakes.  I hope people understand that I make mistakes too.  Crap happens.  But forgetting?  *Sigh*  Sadly, forgetting is not my specialty.  Can one exist without the other?  I don’t know, you tell me.

And finally, one last thing.

I like myself.

It’s true.  Yes, I’ve just mentioned some things that aren’t so great about my personality.  But I’ve listed some things that I think are pretty honorable too.  I have finally – FINALLY – come to a place in my life where I realize that I’m just really not that bad.  I fully understand that some people cannot accept my blunt, intense nature.  But I just absolutely cannot change who I am.  Just like they can’t change who they are.  We just have to learn to live together, you know?  Flaws, differences, quirks.  We just have to accept ourselves for who we are, and accept others for who they are.  That’s the only choice we have.

Now that I’ve written this, I’m not sure what the point was really.  I guess I’m just hoping to be understood.  That’s all we’re ever hoping for, isn’t it?  Do you see yourself in anything I’ve described?  Are you the complete opposite?  Is someone you love like me?  Do you think understanding them might help?

It’s your turn.

Who are you?

There may be someone that could really benefit from you letting them know.  It could be a start to mending something that is broken.

I sure hope so.  Life is way too short for the alternative.


“Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.”
– Emma Goldman

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


  There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens

   a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

    a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

    a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


“…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5



It has been on my mind for a while to do a blog about Facebook.  I attempted to deactivate my account recently due to…well, I don’t know what really.  I guess I just got sick of it.  A lot of my problems lately have seemed to somehow stem from something Facebook related, so I was ready to be done with the whole thing.  But my attempt was short-lived.  I came crawling back.  Like we all do.  Don’t lie, you know you’ve done it too.  This whole process got me thinking that I should blog about Facebook.  You know – the good, the bad, the ugly, the whole nine yards.

Now, let me explain how this whole “blog” process works for me.  First: something happens in my life, or I see something significant that strikes a chord, or an interesting thought pops into my mind…whatever the case may be…and I decide that I’m going to write a blog about it.  Once the decision is made, the next step is to look for quotes.  If you’re a regular reader, I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are very few (if any?) of my blogs that don’t end with a quote.  Some also start with one, and most have them interspersed throughout the blog as well.  I absolutely adore quotes.  I am a lover of conversation and, to me, quotes are just noteworthy snippets of conversation between other humans who were going through something similar to what I was going through.  Quotes make us feel connected to each other.

And I think that’s pretty cool.

So, back to Facebook.  Once I decided to do a blog about this topic, I went about my usual method.  I started searching for quotes.  And here is what I’ve decided.  Rather than droning on and on about the pros and cons of Facebook, like I had originally intended to do, I’m just going to let the quotes speak for themselves.   People have already said it better than I have, so I’ll let them do the talking this time.  Ready?

Here we go.

First, one that I think pretty much sums up the whole topic in a nutshell:

“I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.”
– Betty White

Right on, little Betty.

Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s throw in another cute one from Betty just for our comedic pleasure:

“People have told me ‘Betty, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with old friends…’ At my age, if I wanted to keep in touch with old friends, I’d need a Ouija board.”
– Betty White

Hehe.  Oh, Betty, girl you cray cray.

Ok, moving along.

On a more somber note, here’s a notable one that really struck a chord with me:

“I feel like I’m part of a generation of people who are stuck in the past and are really self-absorbed.  I mean, we’re actually taking pictures of ourselves and posting them on Facebook, and keeping in touch with people that should have been out of our lives 15 years ago.”
– Diablo Cody

That one touched right on the whole reason I wanted to write this blog in the first place.  My recent disdain with Facebook began when I started having troubles with someone from my past giving me a hard time on Facebook.  It took me much too long to realize that just because someone was a part of your past, that was no reason to carry them into your future solely due to their presence on some silly social network.  *BLOCK*

Ok, I promised I wouldn’t talk much in this blog, so back to the quotes.

While we’re on the topic of not letting go of the past, here’s an interesting one:

“America’s Facebook generation shows a submission to standardization that I haven’t seen before.  The American adventure has always been about people forgetting their former selves – Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac went on the road.  If they had a Facebook page, they wouldn’t have been able to forget their former selves.”
– Jaron Lanier

Wow.  Again, I’ll try not to comment.  Just let that sink in for a minute.

(And if you had to look up Jack Kerouac, don’t feel bad.  I did too.  Unless I’m the only one who didn’t know who that was.  And if that’s the case, then I’m just kidding.)

Moving on…

What do you think about this one?

“I would argue heavily that the time that has been allocated to social networking used to come from television, and people are benefitting from it.  People who are saying, ‘Aw, you’re spending all your time on Facebook…,’ well, I’d like to understand what that person used to do with that time.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk

I think this Gary dude might be on to something.  I know I rarely watch TV anymore.  Good thing?  Bad thing?  Eh, who knows.  It’s not my turn to talk anyway, so I won’t hypothesize.  I promised to shut up.

Moving along.

Ahhh, here we go:


I couldn’t find an actual person to attribute this quote to (and I HATE that), but it was too good not to post.  Made me giggle.  (Because, hey – I’m the QUEEN of posting pics on Facebook.  Just ask some of my haters, they’ll tell you.)

Now, how about this one for you voyeurs out there (you know who you are):

“I am a Facebook voyeur.  I feel bad about it because I never put anything on there, but I find it fun to sit there and watch peoples’ lives go by.  Or whatever lives they’re presenting.”
– Eddie Kaye Thomas

Hmmm.  That last part is a zinger, wouldn’t you say?

On that same note:



And again:

“There is something decidedly faux about the camaraderie of Facebook.”
– Bill Keller

Hmmmm.  Would you agree?

Let’s dig a little deeper.  This one combines Facebook with one of my passions…acting:

“When playing a role, I would feel more comfortable, as you’re given a prescribed way of behaving.  So, both Facebook and theatre provide contrived settings that provide the illusion of social interaction.”
– Jesse Eisenberg

Ouch.  Ok, anyone else feel their toes being stepped on, or is that just me?


Yes.  Here’s to hoping for that.

Or, how about this one in the “food for thought” category:

“With Facebook, you’re not really allowed to be unhappy.  Think about it: There’s only a ‘like’ button.  Yes, you can be angry, but it’s only lighthearted rage.  On Reddit, perhaps because you can be anonymous, people are willing to be openly sad or angry.  They are more honest.”
– Yishan Wong

(Let me break my “I promise I’ll shut up” rule here for a second with a loud, “DING DING DING.”  Ok, I’m quiet again…)

Now, let’s explore the word “friend” on Facebook, shall we?

“I don’t need to go onto Facebook and pretend to have friends I’ve never even met.  To my mind, that kind of destroys the meaning of the word ‘friend.’ I take exception to that.  Because I value and respect friendship.”
– Stefanie Powers

Hmmm.  What do you say to that?  Do you consider all of your Facebook friends as “real” friends?  Interesting.  But I’m shutting up, remember?

[Wait, one more thing before I shut up.  I think it’s interesting that there is a “close friends” list option.  I think this should be renamed “people that are actually important in your everyday life.”  At least that’s what mine should be named.  How about yours?]

Ok, I am fully aware that these quotes and tidbits are all teetering on the ‘negative’ side.  I’ll throw a few positive ones in for good measure, don’t worry.

But not yet.


Hehe.  Ok, sorry.

Ok, positive.  Positive.  Hmmmm.  Let’s see.  Oh, ok, let’s see what Mr. Zuckerberg himself has to say about it:

” The thing that we are trying to do at Facebook is just help people connect and communicate more efficiently.”
– Mark Zuckerberg

Ok, Mark.  I hear ya.  Hey, Facebook is what gets my blog out there, right?  I think you may be right.  Or how about this one:

“No one has done a study on this, as far as I can tell, but I think Facebook might be the first place where a large number of people have come out.  We didn’t create that – society was generally ready for that.  I think this is just part of the general trend that we talked about, about society being more open.  And I think that’s good.”
– Mark Zuckerberg

What do you think?  Ok, I know I promised to shut up, but one quick thing here.  You may not agree with me on the gay rights issue, and hey – that’s your conscience you have to live with, my friend – but I can tell you that more than one of my homosexual friends over the years has contacted me privately and thanked me for loving them and publicly supporting them with my Facebook posts and for not treating them like they were any different than I am.  Think what you want about that, but as far as I’m concerned – if I’ve made even one person feel less alone with a Facebook post, then it’s all been worth it.  I’m proud of that.


Ok, I don’t know where else I can go with this blog after that.  Yes, I tried to “run away” for a few days, but I came back.  I guess it was a little something like this:


I don’t know that I was exactly ‘looking for attention’ (honestly, I was trying to hide from it), but I do get the ‘running away from home’ reference.  Do I consider Facebook to be “home?”  Well, I hope not.  Not to that extent anyway.  But you know what I do consider it?


Facebook is life.  It’s a mixture of things that make you smile, make you sad, make you laugh, make you cry, and sometimes things that make you so angry that you try to run away for a while.  But that’s just it.  You can’t escape life.  You can try not to look at it for a while, you can even try to pretend it’s not there and it’s not still going on if you’re not around to see it, but you know what?  It is.  Like Dolly Parton says,

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with a little rain.”

You gotta take the bad with the good, people.  It’s all there for the taking.  And whether you jump in there and show off, or whether you choose to just sit back and watch – either way, it’s life.  It’s there and it’s not going anywhere.

And you’re a part of it.

Kinda cool in a way.  Don’t you think?

Thanks for reading.  I know I didn’t say much in this one – just sat here quiet as a little churchmouse (*giggle*), but I appreciate you coming along for the ride anyway.

(And hey – I’m willing to bet you clicked on a link on Facebook to get here, didn’t you?)



“If you don’t take the chance to live life, what can you say at the end of it?”
– Naveen Andrews


[Footnote:  Before I close out, I wanted to mention something I thought was interesting about this blog.  I went back to edit before posting, as I always do, and I noticed that I alternated between capitalizing “Facebook” and not capitalizing “facebook.”  I’m still not sure what the “correct” thing is to do, but I thought it was a little poetic that I didn’t know whether to attribute the importance of a capital letter to the name.  Kinda what this whole blog is about, wouldn’t you say?  Interestingly enough, I chose to capitalize.  Deduce what you will….]

Naked Eyes

“Into every life a little rain must fall
And that’s the way that it will always be
But you seem to think you can keep the hurt away
Just by pretending you don’t see.”
– George Jones lyrics

Morning arrives.  As it always does.

The sunlight shines through the slats in the blinds of her bedroom and, one by one, the rays begin to touch her face like the impatient tiny hands of a small child.  She smiles a sleepy, happy smile and slips out of bed ready to start her day.  As she walks to the bedroom door, she has the sudden sensation that she might have forgotten something, but can’t quite put her finger on what it might be.  After only a slight hesitation, she proceeds to open her bedroom door and step into her life.

Something is wrong.

Immediately, she notices that things look…well, different.  She can’t quite explain what it is.  It’s just different.  Her life is there, the same as it was yesterday.  The people, the surroundings, everything is in its rightful place.  But it’s all shadowed somehow.  The hue is wrong.  Something is off.

She begins to interact with the people in her life, but they are different.  Gone are the halos from yesterday, and in their place are shadows.  Frowns have replaced smiles.  Insults have replaced compliments.  In the span of one night, everyone has become needy.  Selfish.  They pull at her.  Grasp at her. Want from her.

What is happening?

She knows everything is wrong, and yet she still has a role to play.  The world around her has changed, but she still must perform.  She is a mother, a child, a sibling, an employee, a loved one.  She must continue.  She must try to pretend that everything is not different.

The show must go on.

But how?  Everything is different.

And these people – these people she barely even recognizes anymore – they clamour; they pull; they expect.  They get angry when she’s not the same as she was yesterday.  How can she be the same?  Don’t they see?  Don’t they understand that everything she thought her world to be just yesterday suddenly…isn’t?

Have they known this all along?  Was she the only one who hadn’t seen the world this way?  Was there a secret she wasn’t let in on?

And why now?

She just wants to go back to yesterday.

She trudges through her day, trying to love the strangers that have replaced the cast of her life.  She breathes in, she breathes out.  She manages.

Finally, this day in her new life is complete.

She is back home.  She heads to her bedroom; her sanctuary.  Everything will be better there.  She starts towards her bedside…

And stops in her tracks.

There it is.

How could she have forgotten?  She knows this gear is expected of her.  Necessary to her survival.  She learned this lesson long ago.  And yet here she went an entire day without it.  How stupid of her.  How careless.

For there, lying right at her bedside table where she had left them, were her most important accessory.  The item she wore everyday and refused to forget had somehow slipped her mind this morning.  And now, here they were.  Waiting to make everything right.

On her nightstand, lay her pair of rose-colored glasses.

Ahhhh.  Now, she is reminded of why she wears them.  Now she remembers the time before she found them.  Before she knew of their importance.  Usually she only allowed herself to take them off before drifting off to sleep – only allowing her natural sight to escape in her dreams.  The natural sight was too blinding for the daytime.  Too uncomfortable.  Too real.  Her eyes had stung too many times before she found these precious shields.

How could she have forgotten them?

She climbs into bed, and drifts off to sleep.


Morning arrives.  As it always does.

Again, the childlike “hands” of sunshine reach through the blinds and caress her into consciousness.  She does as she does every morning, and immediately reaches for her glasses.

And then she remembers.


Had it been a dream?  Surely she wouldn’t have gone a day without them, right?  Surely what she had seen was not real.  Those people in her life – she hadn’t seen beneath the surfaces, right?

Had she?

No.  Of course not.


She shrugs off the thought, places her glasses back where they belong, and prays that what has been seen can be unseen.

She turns the knob, takes a deep cleansing breath, and steps into her life.

All is well.


But these rose-colored glasses
That I’m looking through
Show only the beauty
And hide all the truth.”

– John Conlee lyrics



I’m going to tell you a story about my toes.

(Yep.  She’s seriously blogging about her toes…)

You know how some people have a second toe that is longer than their big toe?  Well, holy llamas, this girl right here has a second toe that could eat her big toe for breakfast.  And still be hungry.  Oh yes, I was cursed with the longest second toe known to man.  In fact, all of my toes are pretty long.  As my boyfriend’s son recently told me, “You could play piano with those things.”

(I’m thinking of actually looking into that, by the way…)

Or another of my favorite toe stories…I once had a few actor friends crash at my house for a night when I lived the closest to a venue we had travelled to for a performance.  When everyone awoke the next morning, I asked them how they slept.  There were the obligatory “fine” responses, of course, but then…..sigh.  Then there was Evan.  Dramatic little Evan’s response?  “Well, I slept okay, but I had this nightmare.  It was awful.  I dreamed I was lying in bed sleeping and suddenly I felt something wrapped around my neck trying to choke me.  I opened my eyes, and it was your toes, Melissa!”

Ha ha.  Veeeeery funny.

So, yeah.  I’m kinda known for my horrendous toes.  And you know what I used to do?  I used to hide them.  I dreaded summer.  All the girls would pull out their cutesy little flip flops and sandals, but not this girl.  Nope, I was sporting tennis shoes no matter what time of year it was.  There was no way I was going to show the world my hideous toes.  Some things you just want to keep hidden.

But one day, that changed.  And I don’t mean that in a generic sense of the term “one day.”  I mean, I remember the exact day.

It was a particularly hot summer day and there I was sporting my tennis shoes, as usual.  I was standing in line at a gas station to pay and was looking down at the ground while I waited.  While looking down, I happened to notice the feet in front of me.  They were some chick’s cutesy little toes in a pair of cutesy little flip flops.  Of course.  I’m not gonna lie…the green-eyed monster in me started rearing its ugly head right then and there.  Why, oh why, couldn’t I have feet like that?  Why couldn’t I have the cutesy little toes and wear the cutesy little shoes?  Why did this chick get the cute toes and not me?  What a lucky, lucky girl she is.

And then I looked up.

Along with the cutesy feet, you know what else this girl had?

A bald head. 

She was a cancer patient.

Suddenly, a million memories came flooding back to me.  A few years prior to this, I too had been a bald cancer patient.  And, at the time, I was absolutely mortified by the fact that I was a 17-year-old girl with no hair.  I didn’t have the maturity yet to realize that being bald was such a small price to pay for the medicine that was saving my life.  No, I was too self-conscious and insecure for that.  I was just worried about how I looked.  I wouldn’t let anyone take any pictures of me without my wig on, so I have no documentation whatsoever of that time in my life.  Once I was finally able to return to school to finish my senior year, I remember a lot of the kids telling me to just take my hot, itchy wig off and wear scarves or something to make myself more comfortable.  But nope.  Silly me.  I wasn’t ready to uncover something that I felt was a flaw, even though I knew that I would be loved and embraced  regardless.

I have often looked back on that time over the years and wished that I would have just taken that thing off.  It was silly to hide behind it.  It was hot; it was uncomfortable; and I would have felt soooo much better if I would have just stopped worrying about how I looked, and just let my bald head shine for all the world to see.  It was nothing to be ashamed of.  I couldn’t help it.  I was beautiful – not in spite of my bald head, but because of it.

And now, here I was, hiding something else.  My stupid toes.


I silently applauded pretty-toe-girl for her confidence and strength and went home and took those uncomfortable, stupid tennis shoes off and started wearing flip-flops and sandals from that day forward.

True story.

So, why am I telling you this?

Well, first of all, I’m just warning you that – ugly toes and all – you are all about to see a whole big bunch of those annoying “toes in the sand” pictures from my beach trip next week.  My boyfriend Richard’s family does a big family beach trip every year in July and this year I’ve been upgraded from “the girl who feeds his animals while he’s away” to the girl who actually gets to GO on the trip.  Woohoo!  I’m always jealous of those pretty toe pictures at the beach that you see floating around, so I’m fully prepared to add my monstrosities to the mix.

But aside from that ugly toe warning to the general public, the real reason I’m telling you this story is that I hope maybe you’ll take something from it.  Do you have something you’re hiding?  Well, stop that.  Maybe it’s something physical like ugly toes, or maybe it’s something a little deeper.  Some part of you that you think people wouldn’t accept if they ‘saw’ it.  Either way – stop it right now.  There is no logical reason to hide something that makes you who you are.  Whatever it is, own it.  One day you’ll look back and wish you had.

Be comfortable.  Be confident.  Be you.

Show your toes. 

Got it?

Oh.  And I just don’t have the heart to make you read all this and not actually get to see my ugly toes.  So, here ya go…



“I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today. Life is good today.”

– Zac Brown Band lyrics



You know what’s really, really hard to do?

Not letting people’s opinions of you matter.

You know what’s even harder than that?

Not letting people’s opinions of your work matter.  And by work, I mean my writing.

Now, granted, I don’t get paid to write.  (Well, I did once, but I don’t see that becoming a regular thing.)  But I honestly view writing as “work” in a way.  No, I don’t get a paycheck, but I do get compensation.  And that compensation lies in a feeling of accomplishment.  A deep knowing that I’m doing what I’m meant to do.  I don’t know if anything I have said thus far has made a difference to anyone else, but I know it has made a difference to me.  I have opened up; I have taken a chance; and I have bared myself for all the world to see.  Do you have any clue how hard that is to do?  It does get easier as time goes by, mind you.  But those early days of tossing around the idea in my mind to start a blog were so nerve-wracking.  Until you’ve done it, or done something similar, you can’t understand.  I remember my hands trembling each time I pressed that big blue “publish” button.  Because each time I pressed it, I was saying, “Here I am.  What do you think?”

Now, most people have answered that “What do you think?” question in a very positive way.  Including, as I briefly mentioned before, a panel of judges in the first writing contest I had ever entered.  But there has been one person who hasn’t seen it so favorably.

And isn’t it just crazy how one person’s negative voice can speak so much more loudly in your head than many others’ positive ones?

Why is that?  Why do we allow that to happen?


So, honestly, there’s really no point to this blog.  I’m just venting.  Like she says, I’m just “throwing together a bunch of whiney crap.”

But hey, it’s my blog, and I’ll whine if I want to.

Something I have always taught my kids is this: When someone hurts you, let them serve as a lesson to you about the kind of person that you don’t want to be.  I hope I have never, ever, made someone feel the way this girl has made me feel.  Thank you, unkind person, for providing such a glaring example of how not to treat your fellow human beings.

I’m so glad I’m not you.


“Criticism really used to hurt me.  Most of these critics are usually frustrated artists and they criticize other people’s art because they can’t do it themselves.  It’s a really disgusting job.  They must feel horrible inside.”
– Rosanna Arquette

Through the Sunroof


This is a picture I took last night as I watched the fireworks from inside my car during the rain.  Pretty cool, huh?

Only….maybe not.


Ok, so one of the “gifts” I’ve been blessed (cursed?) with in my life is that I can never just see something on the surface.  I always look deeper, see beneath the layer of obvious.  And this is one of those times.

So, yes, it was raining.  And yes, sitting inside the car kept me from getting wet.  But I was sitting there alone.  My daughter and her friend had gotten out of the car, rain be darned, and were watching the fireworks close by while looking for other friends and not caring whether they got soaked or not.  They were having fun.  Me?  I was sitting in the safe, warm, dry, lonely car.

And that reminded me of something.

That’s how I am with friendships.

Alright, let me back up a little.

Earlier in the day, I had taken my daughter and her friend to the Independence Day parade.  While she and her friend met up with other friends and had a good time watching the parade, I stood off to the side.  Again, alone.  (My boyfriend Richard had to work.)  And standing there alone watching the parade, I noticed that my eyes kept getting drawn to a group of women to my right.  While I was supposed to be watching the marching band, the ambulances, and the classic cars roll by, instead I caught myself watching the spectators.  Especially these particular ones.  There were this group of five older ladies, and they were just about the cutest things I’d ever seen.  They were decked out in Independence Day attire – complete with little headbands with fake fireworks and their matching flag-sporting t-shirts and red capris.  And let me tell ya – these women were having a blast.  They were hooting and hollering and thought each and every float that went by was the best one of all.  I know, because I heard them say so.  They were clapping along with the music and stopping every so often to put their arms around each other and bask in the glory of the day.

I was in awe.

I mean, yes, they were a sight to behold so I’m sure I wasn’t the only one whose attention they caught.  But aside from that, seeing them struck a chord in me that I couldn’t quite explain.  I didn’t know why it made me a little sad to see them, but it did.  I didn’t give it much thought – just went back to my business.  But later that night, sitting there alone in the car watching the fireworks through my sunroof, it finally dawned on me where that sadness came from.

I don’t have that.

And it’s my own fault.

You hear talk all the time of people holding back from relationships because of trust issues and fear, etc.  That seems to be a common topic of discussion amongst our psychology-driven fellow citizens.  But I wonder if there maybe shouldn’t be a little talk about how that might apply to friendships sometimes too?  Am I the only one that holds back from becoming close to friends?  That has trouble relating and depending on others? Especially women?

Now, granted, I do have one good friend from high school that I turn to when things go wrong.  And I’d like to think she does the same with me.  Her name is Iman (but we always called her MiMi in high school, so that’s how I’ll refer to her from her on).  But Mimi is far away and most of our talks are by computer or text (my fault, not hers).  I can’t help but see the psychology behind that.  The only female friend that I really rely on is still kept at a safe distance through not only actual physical distance, but also through the ways that I choose to communicate with her.  She would love to chat on the phone sometimes, and we have a few times, but somehow I tend to shy away from it.  Too personal, maybe?  The times we have talked by phone were the times when I was at my most vulnerable – when I was extremely upset and was finally forced into letting a friend “in.”  But other than those times?  I don’t know, I just tend to stay guarded.  Alone.

(Note:  “Far away” Mimi is not going to be so far away very soon.  She’s moving close to where I am in about a month.  I guess it’s time to start figuring out what the heck is wrong with me, huh?)

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve tried.  I have started to make close girlfriends (ones that are actually physically nearby).  But like MiMi says, “Girl friendships take time.  They are just like guy relationships, but there’s no initial attraction or hormone release that feel good like with the opposite sex. So, it just takes time to bond.”

Well there ya go.  Therein lies part of my problem, I suppose.  To put your time and effort into something requires trust that it’s going to be worth it in the end.  And “trust?”  Yeah, I’m not so good at that.  When the going gets tough, this tough girl gets going.  Right on out the door.

I don’t really have a point to this blog, I don’t suppose.  I guess it’s just one of those times when I felt like writing about something that was really bothering me – the things that I sometimes try to keep to myself, but that my writer’s brain can’t ignore.  I guess I also would like some feedback.  Are you like this?  Any idea why I am?  Got any good drugs I can borrow?

Ok, that last one was a joke.

Sort of.

But seriously – I guess it’s time for me to start getting out of the car, ya know?  Time to get out there and watch the fireworks on the big screen of life, instead of through the tiny little sunroof of safety.  Yes, I may get a little wet from the rain at times, but oh what a sight I will behold.

Time to realize that it might be worth a few raindrops in order to fully experience the performance, right?


“Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you’re standing outside the fire”
– Garth Brooks lyrics, Standing Outside the Fire