Tuesday, May 24, 2011

a random post

I'm doing a "random thoughts" post because I haven't been inspired to do much more.  Life is getting in the way, in a good way.

Change is the word of the month for me.  I left my old job and am onto a new one with no time off in between.  I had no major problems with the last gig.  The people were great fun to work with but the position itself left me feeling a bit under-utilized.  I wasn't looking but when something good falls in your lap, sometimes you need to seize the moment and I did.  It gives me a bump in pay which is always welcome.  More importantly though, it's setting me up to launch my career more fully.  I've always felt that I've never reached for (hence never achieved) my full potential as a working woman.  I've struggled with being a working mother and yet not the primary breadwinner.  The kids always came first and so I've been hesitant to put myself out there.  It's time for that to change. 

Another bonus to this new gig is that shortly it'll be a work from home job.  This prospect both delights and scares me.  I am a social person and not having friends at the office to mix and mingle with is something I hope I can manage.  On the other hand, the money I'll save and the headaches I'll be spared caused by flaky babysitters is almost priceless.  For now though, I'm commuting quite a bit and haven't been around these parts lately.

Feeling content.  My last message was about my visit.  I continue to experience a strong sense of comfort and peace from this dream and I'm just going to roll with it.  Since then I've had numerous instances of feeling my mother's presence.  Maybe it's just my frame of mind but I don't care.  I am finally experiencing some peace.


Being present.  I haven't been around these parts much because I've been present in my life.  It's been busy and I have to make my priorities right.  I miss reading everyone regularly but I'm not done and I'm not gone forever.  I just need to ride out this busy time in my life.  End of school, commuting to a new job, end of team social activities - all multiplied by three - it simply eats up a lot of time.


Playing pool.  I also wasn't around last week.  I was in Vegas.  I was playing pool with my team.  We finished first in our league and went to play in the national pool tourney.  We usually finish in the money every year but this year was different.  It was much, much better.  Out of a field of 126 teams, we finished tied 9-12th place.   That's my best team finish ever and I can't wait for next year.


Anniversary.  I realized somewhat belatedly that I just passed my one year blog anniversary.  I am surprised that I didn't make a big deal about it.  I've paid a lot of attention to this site even if it is not obvious to those who read.  I check my stats.  I read up on how to attract new readers.  I try to write.  The fact that the anniversary passed and I didn't make a big deal about it just means that I am pretty content to be where I am.  I'll write when I have something I feel like saying.  After all, this is why I called it "All I Want To Say" and I am being true to my word.

Here are a couple of my favorites:
The Toy Soldier
Lessons Learned From Reality TV
Dear Dad - A New Note
For My Sister

I hope you check out a few older posts.  Let me know if I'm improving at all.  Or not.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

the visit

I would not call myself religious by any stretch of the imagination, although there was a time in my life where the church was a big part.  Circumstances beyond my control left me jaded, angry almost, for the god that was never there for me and I have yet to recover.  Maybe someday I'll share but for now this story is about spiritual things I cannot explain.

When I was in college I worked in the restaurant business.   Waiting tables and tending bar was both flexible and good money.  Shortly before finals one year a co-worker at the restaurant, Tall Paul, died in a car accident when he fell asleep at the wheel driving home from work one night.  It wasn't the first peer death I had experienced but his hit me hard.  I went to the services alone and was not truly able to process my grief because I had to focus on finals.  Once I moved back home for the summer, perhaps because of the slower pace of life, the sadness of it all started setting in.   I didn't really talk about it because I'm not even sure I was aware of it consciously.

One night early in summer I had a dream about him.  In this dream a few co-workers and I were sitting in a booth making light conversation while counting our tips and enjoying the quiet of the closed restaurant.  The front door swung open and in walked Tall Paul with his brown leather bomber jacket.  He had a big smile on his face and, although no words were spoken, we had a conversation between us.  I looked at him and asked what he was doing here.  I knew he was dead.  He looked back at me and indicated that he knew he was dead but he wanted to stop by and let me know he was okay.  And then he turned around and left. 

I woke the next morning and told my mom of my dream.  I don't recall now the timing of events but at some point thereafter my mom asked me if my sister knew him and I said that I didn't think so.  The three of us got to talking and it turned out that my sister actually did know him through a different sphere of friends.  And, interestingly enough, she too had received a visit from him in one of her dreams.  The similarities were eerie, almost identical in fact.  Since then I've come to believe that when a person dies, they have the ability to come back and "visit".

I don't know why Paul chose to visit me.  Maybe he sensed the difficulties I was having with processing my grief.  But one thing I know is that he absolutely did visit me, and my sister.

When my mom passed away I kept waiting for her to visit. Months went by with nothing and I felt alone and abandoned by her because she never materialized in my dreams.  I desperately needed her to give me the reassurance and comfort I felt from Paul's visit.  Instead all I felt was a big, vacant hole.  Eventually one night she paid me a visit but her visit was not comforting like Paul's.   In my dream we were having a party and there was a knock at the door.  I opened it to find my mom standing there and I invited her in.  Again no words were spoken but I could tell she was sad.  She just stood there and looked at me with deep, sad eyes and then she was gone.  I've always felt she was sad because she was dead and not able to be with her family anymore.  But maybe she was sad because I was having such a hard time with losing her.

It's been years since I thought of those dreams, of that visit from my mother and Paul.  In fact, when my Uncle passed away in November, the idea of a visit from him never crossed my mind.  But he came two nights ago.

I woke on Friday morning feeling incredibly drained and sporting nice puffy eyes.  As I stared at myself in the mirror I kept questioning why my eyes looked like I had been crying all night.  And then the memory of that night's dream flooded me.  The pieces of the puzzle came together and formed a picture of my dream that went something like this:

There was some major phenomenon coming, an event that people were preparing for and it had to do with ghosts.  People were excited to see if they could see any ghosts and I was too.  At one point I saw one, some famous actor from the Brat Pack days and I reached out to shake his hand.  Fully expecting my hand to pass right through the vision in front of me, I was shocked when I felt the ring on his finger.   I could not believe I actually touched a ghost. 

The next piece of my dream is a vision of my Uncle.  He looks good, like he looked before he got sick.  Mostly bald with graying hair.  A nice pot belly.   And he was wearing his black and white plaid quilted coat that I gave him for Christmas the previous year.  His favorite coat that he wore all the time.   We didn't speak but we hugged.  It felt so comforting and I felt so happy.  In the next instant I am walking by an outdoor table, past two men sitting in the sunshine just enjoying the warmth.  I look down to realize it's a much younger version of my Uncle.  He had a full head of hair and no glasses.  He looked youthful and the only way I knew it was him was looking at his eyes.  They were his eyes.  And he was happy.  It was his way of showing me all was well.

Another part of this dream was me expecting, waiting for my mom to visit, but she didn't come.  My husband and another man kept pointing to a mountain in the distance.  My husband pointed out a white spot and told me to look there for my mom.  In my dream I was expecting her to come through this "portal".  Now I think it was telling me that she is watching from above.

I cannot tell you the intensity of the emotion as I pieced together this dream.  I was sobbing so hard it was difficult to breathe.  I know now that I must have cried in my dream as well and that is why I woke to puffy eyes.  I've done that before so I know it's possible.

I also realize that I've yet to fully process the grief over the loss of my Uncle, but that dream was a good start.  I feel happier knowing that he is happy.  And I feel happier knowing that my mother is watching down on me.  Two for one, not bad.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the person I am

I've been spending some time thinking about the person I am compared with the person who I thought I'd be.  What were my visions of myself as an adult when I was a young kid?  How do the imaginations of my younger self compare with the person I am? 

In some ways I am very much the person I imagined, or rather the timing of major events have lined up.  I always thought I'd go on to graduate college, find the love of my life and get married.  After being married a few years, I thought we'd settle down and have some kids.  I never thought much about my career but always knew I'd work.  I dreamed of going to law school in California, an idea no doubt inspired by my admiration for my Uncle. And I did most of those things.

I married my husband merely a few months after graduating college and, after a few years of marriage, we had our first child.  I was 22 when I walked down the aisle and took my vows and the ripe old age of 25 when our first son was born. 

My path to a career, however, has been a bit divergent.  My degree is in secondary education, social studies (read glorified history major with the sudden realization that would not translate into a real job).  But oh my word, teaching high school was not my thing.  With my husband trying to finish up his PhD I didn't feel I had the option to go to graduate school right at that time.  Someone had to make the money, right?  So instead I did a stint as a paralegal with the idea that it would be good experience to see if law school was worth the time and effort.  Aside from learning that there are way too many lawyers in the world, we had our second son and my husband was working hard building up his career.  Graduate school seemed out of the question.  In a bizarre and most fortunate twist I ended up in technology and have been working on figuring out what I want to do when I grow up.  It's been slow progress thus far but I'm kicking it up a notch now.

But what am I, the me that I never thought I'd be?
  • I've turned into one of those people who checks the train schedule to arrive just before boarding time, even though trains come at least every 15 minutes, sometimes every 6.  I used to slightly smirk at folks like that, but now I'm one of them.
  • It stresses me out to have dirty dishes in the sink or crumbs on the counter even though I cursed my mother for being obsessed with those things.
  • I'm a person that cannot live without my morning coffee.  It is the most important part of my daily routine. It might be the only thing that is routine about my day now that I think about it.
  • I'm a mother that doesn't mind sending her kids off to school slightly dirty and in ripped jeans.  Okay, I do mind a little but not enough to do anything about it.
  • I love football and playing fantasy football.  Still can't believe how that happened.
  • I have kids that are not excelling in school.  Hubby and I are both smart. We work hard and stress the importance of working hard and education. - how can this be when our motto to our kids is that their number one job in life is to get good grades?
  • I frequently serve dinner right from the pots and pans.  I never thought I would do this - it's not how I was raised.  My mother would be so ashamed.
  • I am the type of person that cares about the car I drive.  I know, shallow huh?

How about you?  Did you have visions of your life and how you would live it when you were young?  Do you measure up?  In what ways are you different?