Monday, September 19, 2011


Once upon a time, I trusted my instincts, I trusted my intuition. I relied heavily on how I felt in any given situation. I believed in signs and omens and would look to them for guidance. I have always had dreams that tell of future events in my life.

Then one day I had the misfortune of dating one psycho, lying, deceiving SOB and the moment I realized how truly awful he was, it shattered my faith in my own instincts. Clearly I had been WAY off with this guy. He was a great liar, to be sure. From that moment on I ignored my dreams. I no longer saw signs or omens. I ignored what my intuition was telling me and would tell her to shut the eff up because look what a great judge of character she was with that loser from hell. Self-doubt came to live on my shoulder that day...the day I found out everything was a lie and he was dating half of the city's population...and, as it turned out, not just the female population. Don't get me wrong, I love gay men ("Fag Hag" is listed as one of my previous job titles on my resumé)...I just don't want to love gay men...if you know what I mean. lol

I've spent the last few months trying to get back in touch with my intuitive self. It has been slow going, for the most part. Self-doubt is such a powerful thing and a hard habit to break. I've made baby steps forward. I think the hardest part has been trying to quiet my thoughts enough to hear that inner voice that is trying to help guide me. When I do hear her, I often question the validity of what she says. I wouldn't blame her if she gets annoyed with me and stops talking to me.

Dear Inner-voice/intuition,

I'm sorry I haven't trusted you lately and I will try to do a better job in the future. If you could just keep guiding me along the path I should be on, that would be great. Thanks!



Friday, September 16, 2011

Where did she go...the person I used to be?

It happens gradually. So gradually you don't even notice at first, until one day you wake up and don't recognize the person you are anymore and you wonder, "Where did she go...the person I used to be?" This has happened to me and I have been wondering where the "Oktobre" is that I used to be? How and when did she become so lost to me? Can I find her again?   

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  

I think the "when" of losing "me" started to take place the day I moved away from Portland, Oregon 16 years ago. I stepped into a world so foreign from the one I had considered my own when I became a live-in nanny in Michigan. Although I love the family I was with for 8.5 years, I lost "me" along the way. She has been lost for some time now and I want her back. I loathed Grand Rapids, Michigan. Everything from the large amount of mosquitoes in the summer to the long harsh winters to the conservative Dutch based community of GR made me crazy. I never made any truly meaningful friendships, the kind you need to help pull you through the rough times. I felt miserable and alone most of the 10 years I spent in that city. Every day I spent there took me further away from me...the me I want to be.

I finally moved back to Portland and have never regretted leaving Grand Rapids. I don't miss anything about it at all. I had my first and only child in 2008 at which point I became a stay-at-home mom. I love my daughter beyond words. She is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. For the past three years I haven't minded giving all of me to her. She has never had anyone care for her other than me or my husband and for now, I want to keep it that way. But lately I have been feeling like I really need to try to take some time for myself once in a while...if only for a couple hours once a week. I need a little time to myself to find me again. 

I recently got back in touch with someone I care about and respect deeply. I was very pleased to find he had stayed true to who he was all those years ago when I knew him. I love that about him. He is who he is and he isn't going to alter that for anyone or any reason. I wish I could have been more like him so I wouldn't have to be faced with this struggle now of trying to find all the little pieces of who I was and try to put it back together.

I have faith that I am on the right path now and everything will work out in the end. But I wholeheartedly believe this is a quest I can't let go of until I reach my goals...becoming "me" again and never losing her again.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Makes You Happy?

I was listening to a radio interview with Mellen-Thomas Benedict and in the interview he said that eventually our machines will free us from living to survive. He says that eventually we will no longer have to work to survive. How fantastic, right? He posed the question: What would you do if you didn't have to work to survive? Technically I don't work to survive anymore, my husband does ever since I became a stay-at-home mom. But what if I didn't have my husband to support me and our daughter? What then? When I posed this question to myself of what I would do if I didn't have to work to survive and money was not a factor in any choice I made, I completely drew a blank.

So I pondered, what makes me happy? Once upon a time all I wanted to do was create music and if money had never been an obstacle, I probably would have pursued it wholeheartedly starting at the age of 14. I wanted to go to performing arts school but my parents couldn't afford to send me. I settled for singing along with music in my car. It became obvious to me really quick that a stage career probably wasn't my destiny when I got up to help some band friends test the audio on the mic and my lips trembled just saying "testing" on the stage. It is hilarious to think about, but it is the moment that I realized I had terrible stage fright and there was probably no way in hell I would ever be able to get up on a stage and perform in front of people. I did karaoke once and that was only after I was extremely drunk. I still had to have a friend come up and sing with me even though I was so drunk I really should not have been conscious.

Despite my stage fright, I love to sing. It is food for my soul. I may never do it for anyone else but myself, but the very act of singing brings me joy and makes me feel alive. So I guess that is one thing I can say makes me happy.

Writing would also be on my list of things that makes me happy. I hadn't started writing again until very recently and it is only in a journal, but I love the feel of putting pen to paper. I love pouring my heart and soul onto a piece of paper.  I used to write poetry and maybe one day I will again. There was a time that blank paper made me smile because I knew all the possibilities of what it could become.

I'm a crap painter, but I think if given the opportunity and unlimited paint and canvas, I would enjoy creating that kind of art. I have always been crafty and enjoy all types of art. I can easily spend hours creating things.

Singing, writing, and art & crafts...

...that is my top 3 things that make me happy which I would choose to do. Now it is your turn. What would you do if you didn't have to work to survive? What makes you happy?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pen to Paper

When we moved to Portland, the majority of our belongings sat in storage in Missouri for 5 long years. This summer we finally had our stuff brought to us by movers. There is all this stuff to go through, some of it trash, some of it treasures. Our garage is literally full of boxes. I went in there recently to find our Halloween stuff, but found myself sidetracked with looking for my old journals and poetry. I knew it had to be somewhere, so I searched and searched. One thing I know for sure, I really have to purge some of my stuff one way or another. The old magazines need to go. The files from nanny school need to go. The box of Duran Duran stuff that I have held onto since I was 14 just needs to go.

I confess, I am a sentimental pack-rat. I keep things that help me remember things I've done and places I have been.  I have my very first airline ticket (TWA) when I went to London, England at the age of 18. Hell, I think I have just about every airline ticket I ever bought. lol I have posters from the bands I used to see at the Blue Note in Columbia, MO. I have license plates from various states I have lived in. I think one of the funniest things I still have is my phone book from when I moved to Portland the first time. Why do I have it? Did you ever see the movie "The Jerk"? For the very same reason Steve Martin's character saved his phone was the very first time my name was published in any book. rofl

I have every letter ever sent to me...even if I hate you now. I have books of matches from places I have been (remember when having business matches was as essential as business cards?) and various business cards. I have old Tylenol pill capsules with notes inside on tiny pieces of paper, candy bar and gum wrappers with letters written inside (love you, Shan, you were always so creative). I have hundreds of ticket stubs from all the movies I went to see. I have a Tank Girl trading card that I got at a sneak peek of the movie.

*Click on the photos to view a larger size.

I can not tell you how much fun it has been to see some of these things I haven't looked at in many years. I am, perhaps, sentimental to a fault. But all of these things tell a story of me. It is 43 years worth of my life. How do you sift through a life and cut certain parts out? Which parts do you keep and which parts do you let go of? Somehow I have to find it in me to actually do it so I can reduce the amount of stuff I have hanging about.

So back to those elusive journals and poetry. I did finally find them. Yay! But sometimes reading through them can be very depressing. Is it a rule that we only write in our journals and poetry when we are out of our mind miserable? Some of the most interesting bits to read now are the dreams I had that I wrote about in detail. Maybe for future journals I should stick to writing about dreams and not my feelings. lol And maybe I will even be brave enough to post some of my old poems on this blog at some point.

Last night I started a journal again just so I could remember what it was like to put pen to paper. It felt an old friend I just got in touch with again.  :)

Edited to add: My photos mysteriously disappeared along with text telling viewers they can click on the photos to see a bigger version. I have added the photos again and will see what happens. If they get removed again, I guess I will have to consider moving my blog.