Cuts Run Deep…

I take peoples actions at face value. People lie thorough their teeth. I see it all the time.

Last night my very own sister cut me to the bone. I haven’t said anything to anyone and I won’t , people don’t understand that I see right through masks.

I was standing in a business establishment and she spoke to everyone there except me. She stood kind of behind me so that she thought I couldn’t see her.

She conducted her business and left. I spoke to her but she seemed uncomfortable. We live in a small town and everyone knows we are sisters and I was even asked about it after she left.

I didn’t know what to say, so I just shrugged it off. I thought about it last night. I even made a pintrest board about hurt.

When her world has fallen apart, I have always been there. When she got into trouble, I was there. When my world fell apart almost six years ago, she was a ghost. She hasn’t been in my house since my husband was buried.

So, when I hurt, I hide it. Right now, I feel like no one wants me around. I feel like I am bothering everyone so when someone gives me a pseudo time limit, I  try not to over stay my welcome.

Only once in my life have I had to completely close the door to save myself from hurt, maybe it is time to do that again. I will still love her, maybe I’ll just have to love her from a distance. I don’t ask her to carry my burdens. Never have.

So for now, I lick my wounds and I work on my projects and to the world, I pretend like I am not hurting. Inside my home, I cry. That’s okay. It’s not the first time. Just don’t let anyone else see the tears and the hurt. Maybe it is time for me to wear a mask for a while.

I Will Always Love You….

My girls (my great nieces) are growing up so very fast, the oldest one just turned 13 in May. An actual teenager in Earth years but she has one of those old souls.

She is so wise for her age, wiser than me some days, as she proved to me today as we had a conversation driving up the road.

We were doing a photo shoot for her new CD. Everybody’s first response is that she is beautiful. She is, no doubt about it; she is gorgeous. She is also, smart, talented, funny, goofy, wise beyond her years, a loving person who wants to see good in everyone. She is strong in her faith. She will not do anything she finds distasteful. She is focused. She is driven. She will not put her name on something she is not proud of. She is so much more than what people see.

They simply do not know her like I do. She always tells her other sisters that I love her more because I have loved her longer. I love them all, in different ways. They are all so very unique. They all have their strengths and very singular personalities. I give them the attention each needs. It’s just that right now the focus is on the older one getting her CD done.

We were alone on one of my favorite crooked country roads. It is the second round of photos for the project.  Her parents leaving her in my care,  had left us  to do what we do because they had to take care of some other things. We were fighting for time, there was a thunderstorm not so far away.

We did the shots and as always, I had music playing from an old cell phone. The song “Forever Country”, which is a mashup of some classic country songs sang by some of the greatest voices from the past and the present,  came on. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9gAXwYZtfk

We were looking at the shots we had just taken, she has to proof each of them. As we stood there flipping through pictures, we began singing along with the song. At the end of the song the last song they blend in is “I Will Always Love You” came on. As they began to sing that part, she laid her head over on my shoulder and sang to me.

Of course, I cried. In that moment, I knew that I was loved as deeply and as innocently as anyone could ever be. She wanted nothing but to in her way tell me she loves me. She does all the time but that time was a little more special than all the times before. No one saw it, no one was supposed. It was a moment but one that I will hold in my heart forever.

The Coin

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I would like to tell you my story. Now, to you I may look like a normal silver dollar and if you found me, you might spend me or you might put me in a treasure chest or a piggy bank. I don’t have a great deal of value on the market but I am more valued than you will ever know.

When I was new, a man gave me to his father in law. I was new and shiny. I was fresh out of the mint. I was brand new. The word liberty was stamped was stamped on the front of me over a picture of President Dwight Eisenhower in profile which was in the middle and my year of birth was along the bottom of the coin. On the left side of the front of the coin were the words ” In God We Trust”

Tattooed on my back was an American Eagle, “The United States of America ” and “One Dollar”. My edges were ridged. I was beautiful.

The father in law thought so much of me, I went every where he went. I went to work with him, when he worked in the field, I was right there. Even when he ate his meals, I was there.  When he slept at night, I was on the chest at the foot of his bed. The next morning we would start all over.

I lived in his pants pocket. I met other coins but the came and they went. I was the only one that stayed. For 23 years I was with him every step he made.

When the man got sick and knew he was going to die, he placed me in the hand of his daughter. Give this to your youngest daughter. She said she would and she  put me away in a safe place.

For another 23 years I stayed locked away. I didn’t see any light. I just laid there, waiting. The other day,  I saw light for the first time in a long time.

Yesterday, the daughter spent the day with her mother. They did a little shopping, took  a nice long drive and went back to the mother’s house.

The mother reached into her pocket and pulled me out. She handed me to her daughter and told her my story.

With tears in her eyes, she (the daughter) ran her finger across my surface and felt how smooth I had become. Some of the letters in Liberty were gone. She had to strain to see the words “In God We Trust”. The eagle was still perceivable. The words on the back, they had all but disappeared. My edge was now smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Here I am old and worn. I have be aged by time and pressure. I am not shiny and new anymore but yet in this woman’s hand, I was treasured. I was LOVED!!!  I am of infinite value and she wouldn’t sell me for a million dollars. You see,  she knows the value of the fact that her grandfather wanted her to have this precious thing.I matter to him and now I matter to her.  He wanted to make sure that I was taken care of after he was gone and now I am on my new home. Tonight, I am  in her pocket as she works. She introduced me to her person today. He held me on his hand, he seems like  a great guy. She is her happiest when she is with him.  She also  showed me to some of her coworkers and they all seemed touched by my story.

When she gets home from work tomorrow morning, she will remove me from her pocket, she will lay me up on the chest at the foot of her bed, just like her grandfather.

My journey begins again, only with a different person to love, just like her.

Maybe that is why she is supposed to have me. She knows what it is like to be loved for a second time. This is going to be another awesome journey. We are both excited to see where it will lead.

 

Return on Investment

I am in a slump right now. Not saying much about it, trying not to let anything show.

I have written many time about my jewelry making business and my photography business. They are both kind of hit and miss. Right now it is a miss.  The photography is more of a hobby with an occasional paying gig from time to time.

The jewelry is different. I would like to see it grow and prosper on its own.

I get excited when someone expresses interest in a piece. When my person looks at and sees a comparison to a beautiful piece of art or speaks about what makes the piece special, I kind of blush and I am speechless. Nothing I do can compare to what he does.

Just today, I got three inquires about new posts. I got excited. Every time my phone made a sound I checked it. Bad, bad idea. I was so hoping for sales that I was jumpy about it. That is not the way I should be.

I should just relax, let things work out as they will and enjoying the process of making. The new things I am learning. The things I learn from my mistakes. Those moments when I look at a piece and realize that it is actually pretty and I made it. I should revel in that, not in what might sale and what won’t.

Being human, I would like to get a return on my investment. I would like people to put there money down and say that something  that I made is pretty enough to buy it.

I want people to want to share my items. Only my best friend usually shares my posts with her friends on social media to try and help me out.

It is a struggle for me to do the business end of things. I love the creative part. The business, I feel like I am charging too much or not enough. I don’t know how to do stuff like this.

I don’t want to seem pushy but I would like to see it succeed.

I got taught a lesson last night by a six year old. She wanted to build a “ghost buster pack”. She had a large frisbee from the back of my car. She got paper and scotch tape. She cut small strips of paper to make the straps. Well, I knew it wasn’t going to work but she was sure it was. Well, we tried it. It was not going to hold. I explained to her why it didn’t work.

We tried again. This time using paper, because in her mind, the paper was going to work only this time we used duct tape. Once again, it didn’t work.

The third time, we used a plastic bag cut into strips and used duct tape. By the time we were finished, she could actually slip her arms through it and wear her “ghost busters pack”.

She wasn’t making anything to sell. She was just using her imagination. She knew what she wanted and had a general idea how to do it. She just needed a little help.

Maybe that is my legacy. Maybe it is not what I sell that will be the return on investment. Maybe it is the fact that these girls see me take chances, that they see me never quit. That the know that I work through problems one step at a time. Maybe that is much more important than anything I could ever sell.

So, it may be time to put on the black dress I wear for photographing formal occasions, put on my soft soled shoes and go unnoticed for a while. I will continue to make. I just won’t put it out there for the world to see. I will make for the joy of making. I will bask in the silence of doing without expecting a sell. I will just try to relax and let my imagination take over.

And Then Came The Crash….

It has been a hard couple of weeks. Worked an extra shift, switched my schedule to photograph a wedding that cancelled my services 12 hours before I was supposed to be there, had a big to do at work, followed by working 3 straight 12 hour shifts when I should have worked two.

I am not whining (okay maybe a little) but that is much better than I felt earlier today.

Let’s go back to yesterday….. Zigzag lines inserted here.

We were honored publicly at work by our community, which is cool, unless you are introverted and the low chick on the totem pole.

We were standing inside and everyone was talking about this person being there for them and that person being there for them. I kept silent. I was asked if anyone was going to be there for me. Nope. Nobody. Nada. Zipola.

Not that I didn’t know pretty much everyone there. Some I was glad to see, some I could have done without; but none of them were there for me.

We were in the middle of a large group of people, with our backs to them. You wondered what was going on behind you. My guys all had to leave because the job still goes on no matter what.

When it was over, I wandered around alone killing a couple hours before going on shift. This is when I felt the crash coming on. I knew it was coming. I was exhausted. Hell, if everything goes well, I will be 49 in two days. I have to work but hopefully I will be around to do so.

 I thought about a couple of guys that I went to school with that had passed away in two weeks. I cried for their families.

One had been sick for a while. The other was sudden. They will not see another birthday.

I have not seen my people in a week. Well, my best friend I saw on Tuesday but to have contact with my person, my folks, my girls, it has been a week.

Although I test an introvert, I am more of an ambivert so I need that social interaction with those I love. I hinted a couple times that I wanted to spend time, only to be shot down.

To quote Kid Rock, I ain’t seen the sunshine in three damn days.

I have not been taking care of myself physically, I have been sleeping but not resting. I have been eating one meal in 24 hours. I have been having kidney issues from a trip I had to take for work and couldn’t use the bathroom for 6 hours. Not good for someone with kidney stones.

My job is both mentally and emotionally draining so some calls you sleep with, even though you don’t want to. I went to sleep today with my door unlocked and the keys hanging in the door. That is exhausted.

Today when I woke up, I cried til I thought there was nothing left. My sister texted me and wanted to know if I wanted to come to her house and pick up my birthday present since they were going to be out of town on Monday.

I didn’t answer immediately. So she sent me a facebook message. Okay, drag yourself out of bed. Make your body move whether you want to or not. You need food it has been 15 hours since you ate. So I go over, I walked into her house, listen to her talk to someone on the phone for 15 minutes while it sit there with my arms crossed across my body telling her I am practicing for my funeral.

Then the six year old showed up. We listened to music, we swung on the swing set, we took a walk and picked wild strawberries.

We had food, we played frisbee and of course it landed on the roof. With some help, she climbed the ladder and got it, proclaiming as she worked her way down the ladder that she wasn’t afraid of heights.

I  asked her at one point to tell me the secret of life, somewhere along the way, I have lost it, if I ever knew it, so she told me a story about nice people who live in the woods.

When I got ready to leave, I told them to have fun at the beach. She told me she would bring me back a seashell for my birthday but she WOULD NOT tell me what color.

I came back home and went back to bed. I slept another 6 hours. In less that 20 hours, I have slept 16. I know a change is going to have to happen.

I feel like I am letting everyone down. I feel alone and isolated. This is not good for my mental health.

For now, night shift brain has kick in. It is the middle of the night. I am wide awake and the person I love is sleeping (I guess) so I sit here and I cry.

The crash finally came.

In its own time…

I am one of those people who thinks good things can or never will happen for them.

I believe so strongly in others but I don’t believe in myself.

I don’t see myself as valuable to anyone. I want to be seen as beautiful. I try to see myself that way. I would like to be told these things from time to time.

Some things have happened recently where others have pretty much left me speechless. Good things. People see something in me that I have been told was a futile attempt. What we were working on three years ago, is now happening, just not in the way we  had planned.

I call my mother and tell her about it and her response is to tell me what my sister is doing, which once again makes me doubt myself.

I tell her what is happening in my life and well your sister…..

My person is excited for me, my best friend is happy for me.

So I lay here, unable to sleep. Thinking about how I am going to do this. Doubting myself once again. Such is my life.

I will make it work. I will rise above my own insecurities and who knows where this will lead. Believe in yourself for a change. You have spent enough time doubting yourself. All things come around in its own sweet time.

Not That Girl Anymore….

I have always allowed myself to feel second rate. It is nothing I consciously did, it was just that I always felt inferior.

My sister never studied and she was a straight A student. She could pass a test and never open a book. She was the basketball star, she has kids and grand kids.

I struggled with each and every C that I earned. I was the band geek, I did run track for two years but I was average at that. Band was more my thing. I never managed to bring life into the world and it is too late to start now.

When trying to learn new things, I go through the same process and come test time. I panic. I know it is going to happen and I prepare for that.

In my jobs, although competent to do jobs I have had, I live in a culture that uses fear and threats as motivation. So by the time I had left a job, I was beaten down.

Here is the thing though, now I don’t  allow that to happen to me. I am not the best in the world but I am not the worst either. I do there very best job I can for the people I work with and those I serve.

I give the best of me to my person, my family, my friends and my co-workers. This time though, I save a little bit for me. I learn something new every day. I will get something on my mind and I will research it. I never want to stop learning. I allow myself to meditate and contemplate life and the world around me, I make sure I write in my journal to get my feelings onto paper. Even when it hurts that is when I need to write most. I love sharing my love of journaling with others.

I may not be the cute little thing  that men desire, I know my flaws better than anyone, but I have a good heart and a thirst for knowledge. Most recently have been studying up on hydroponics and aquaponics. I may never use it but I can speak clearly about it. Then again, I might use it. You never know.

I am secure in who I am when I are working on my job and if there is something that comes up that I haven’t handled before, I call on the resources at my disposal.

I have grown a great deal in six years. Some may see it as a good thing, some may see it as a bad thing. I see it as an amazing thing. I am happy that I have taken some of the chances I have taken. I used to be the kid who was scared of her shadow, the one who was always at the back of the line. Now, I found out that me might get to do a ride along in a medical air transport unit and I was the first to shoot my hand in the air and almost scream I want to do it.

I want the most of the time I have left here. I don’t want to live my life as someone who is afraid to take risk. I might get rejected, I may very well fail but I won’t be found not trying.

Living life as a second class citizen, an option, that is not for me anymore.