_Only Amy...

THIS BLOG TAKES YOU INTO THE LIFE, MIND & HEART OF A SINGLE 30-SOMETHING GIRL....
BRACE YOURSELF. YOUR END THOUGHT, EVEN IF WITH A SMILE, WILL ALWAYS BE 'ONLY AMY'

I Do? I Guess I Don’t Remember….

image

I was watching CBS Sunday Morning not long after I’d heard things were amiss with my father when they did a piece on Glenn Campbell. He’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and it had progressed to the point that his kids were in his band so they could help him feel familiar with his surroundings and support him when he did things like, forget the lyrics to a song he’d sung over a hundred times. When they were interviewing his wife they were asking her what it was like to watch him struggle with Alzheimer’s, Glenn sitting next to her, looks confused and asks her, ‘Who has Alzheimer’s?’ ‘You do Glenn’ she replied and he looks even more confused and says, ‘I do?’ I sobbed. I knew that all to soon this would be what we’d be facing. But I’ve started in the middle of this story,  to understand everything I’ll take you to back to the beginning.

When I was 8 years old my biological father left. Like, left-left. My Mother and sister and I had been gone for the weekend and came home and he’d cleaned up and cleaned out leaving little more than a note on a table and not much else. I’d spend the rest of my childhood, teen years and early adulthood feeling that abandonment I’m sad to admit out loud. You want to believe that this might change you a bit but in the fairness of all honesty it did more than just affect me a little. It changed who I was and since he’d never come around again until my late 20’s, with much conviction I’d spend those crucial years believing all men lied, left, and had little love to give. 

When my mom met Ardie I was in my mid 20’s and I wasn’t exactly open and accepting. They dated, I rolled my eyes. They got engaged, I rolled my eyes. They married, I rolled my eyes some more. They started living a life and I just kept waiting for a fall out. But then change took over my world, the one man I decided to let in I married, and he proved that a tragic mistake only reinforcing my anti-men belief. But Ardie he remained strong. There wasn’t anymore eye rolling. In fact when my brief marriage fell apart he was there to help me pick up the pieces, like the Father I’d been waiting for.

As the years have gone on I became closer & closer to him and what I began to realize was there were so many wounds he’d healed I’d been unaware of until I faced ‘losing’ him. The misconception is that if they’re still there physically that you don’t feel the same pain someone else does who’s truly gone from this world. I’ve learned that both are equally tragic. Both you lose the one you loved. Both you mourn that person not being present in your world anymore. What I had never prepared for was how you never stop mourning when they’re right in front of you. Your heart continues to break over & over again. 

I was in Texas when my mom called to warn me he’d not been acting the same. But you argue with yourself it’s nothing, it’s just old age. Until you’re sitting in a Doctor’s office and they’re telling you it’s Alzheimer’s and here’s the protocol…and then you tune out. Because you feel to young to be losing a parent. Because you’d spent all of your life waiting for that Father void to be filled it can’t be done already. Because you had no idea you could feel so much sadness so quickly. But with having friends who’d lost parents before you had, you’d SEEN what it was like first hand…you thought. You thought you had until it happened to you. Our family, my mom, have all rallied. Have all been so amazing. A true team spirit. We are one and all we want is to ease this journey of his and quite a journey it is…

For now you find yourself sitting in a hospital room repeating the same thing over and over again to a man who used to be so smart he ran a company. You find yourself getting yelled at by him about how mean you are because you won’t give him what the doctor’s have told you he can’t have. You spend most days crying because your heart never stops praying for this to end. You find yourself reading every article you can find written about it—Amy Grant, Lee Woodruff all will write articles around the time you’re hearing his diagnosis and you cling to their words of encouragement like a life raft. 

I have acted in ways since his diagnosis that aren’t me. I’ve pushed people away that I know would do my heart good. I’ve yelled at people when I didn’t mean to. I haven’t said anything at all to others when I was doing more harm than good by saying nothing at all. I’ve taken career and life risks when I didn’t have the heart or will power or strength to do it and I’ve failed because I feel so guilty leaving the side of this person who in so little time showed me what a true Father figure was. 

I’m not ready to let him go. But I truly want more for his life than this. Where he can’t be left alone. Where he can’t even make decisions about his own lunch anymore, forget about making multi-million dollar decisions for a pharma company. He’s big in stature but now has to be handled, watched, and catered to like a little child and I feel selfish for struggling with letting him go. When a glimpse of him comes around every now and again I usually cry myself to sleep knowing it’s just a fleeting minute of the old him, of his wonderful heart.

I miss the man who used to call to check on me to see how my latest adventure was making out. I miss the man who used to take me aside and tell me that no matter what other’s were saying about my decisions he believed in me and if I put my mind to it I could do anything I wanted to. But more than anything I miss his heart because he even though he physically sits right in front of me his spirit is long gone and mine is here left to fight for him, love for him, advocate for him until his body decides to go meet his spirit…

Take each day as it comes. Enjoy the good days, knowing the bad days will loom large but will pass and loving him like there’s no tomorrow. Because someday there will be no more tomorrow for him and then I’ll mourn the loss of him some more… 

Giving Without Expectation

How many times do you think about giving without expectation?

And I’m not talking about a thing here, like a physical object.

I mean to give something like your friendship, your heart, an ear to listen?

How many times do you do this without expecting something back?

I want to say this, I think MOST people do this. Expect something back that is—even if it’s a certain reaction. Those of us who are a glutton for punishment ( I KID, I KID!) do this whole give without thinking sometimes to our detriment… in other words we give and give and give. 

BUT in my little time alone recently (alright so I was sick and flu like and no one technically COULD be around me. but whatever) I spent that time rehashing some things. Some people. Some relationships.

One you know about, I released a post right at the new year, ‘An Open Letter’ about loving this person beyond measure. Wishing I had, had the nerve to tell them this but that we had evolved (Okay so he met someone else, again, whatever) but now we were trying to be friends (trying MIGHT be the operative word here—but hey at least we’re trying!) and I did a soul release with that letter (yes, I know that sounds hippie dippy!) But I decided I was going to let that carry on into the rest of my life. I was going to go into this year without doing that to another person—without expecting someone to give me something back or behave in a certain way because I’d reached out. That’s a heavy load to bear, to put your expectation onto someone else about what you want back out of what you’ve given them.

But it came into discussion today, a buddy of mine was calling and hashing out some girl problems (SEE ladies WE’RE NOT the only ones who do this!) and he was saying, ‘Yeah but when I text or call and she doesn’t respond I’m just so let down I’m not going to keep doing X, Y and Z if she doesn’t do this_____’ and I said to him, ‘Wait you’re going about this all wrong. You should never do that to another. I mean yes, you should expect a mutual respect. But you should just do/be/give without expectation. AND you should definitely not expect something in return. So I even gave an example of the said mentioned guy in the first paragraph, I said, ‘Okay so if I text him or call him I’m doing it because that’s what I WANT to do. Not because I’m expecting him to react in a certain way. I don’t do that to him. If you want to truly give you give without thought. So you’re kind to someone else because that’s who YOU ARE. Now I’m not saying get walked all over and I’m not saying you have to do this forever. But someone else’s reaction or what you get out of it should not be where you find the source of your happiness.’

But my friend isn’t the only one who does this, and I’m not saying I’m perfect—far from it. But I am really (REALLY) working on this, ‘giving without expectation this year.’ Just trying to be happy. Trying to remind myself how to be a better friend, a better person by giving without expectation. Doing without expecting something in return. It’s kind of like a pay it forward for your relationships because I’m quite sure there are those around me who have done this for me and I am completely unaware. Completely.  

So as I was finishing talking to my friend and hanging up I get a text back from him, almost immediately saying, ‘That concept of giving without expecting something—that’s a good quality to have you know.’ and it made me smile. Because it takes so little to shift your way of thought but you get SO MUCH out of it. When you let go how others behavior affects you and just let you be you…. a weight is lifted.  So this whole “concept” as my friend says I think I’ll keep trying to make it a top priority…because a little giving without expectation is all any of us really need.

Truly.

A pay it forward for your spirit indeed. 

       image

You Turn A Corner…

And suddenly there is your past staring right back at you….

Looking almost the same. Only a little wiser. A little grey at the temples. It’s been so long though the heart attack that takes place in your chest is your indication that this is one of those moments that just stops you dead in your tracks.

What is it like when you turn that corner and your past is standing there? Well ironically after the heart stops racing. The pulse calms down and you’re able to articulate a thought all you want to say is, ‘It’s good to see you friend….. It’s been way too long.’ 

And you hope that the past stumbles, issue and problem that caused you to divide so long ago you can’t even remember when you spoke last—only that it wasn’t good and there were tears—-are forgotten just like that date you both parted. 

Gone like a leaf in the wind.

Turning that metaphorical corner tonight couldn’t have come at a better time…

It’s a brand new year.  We’re literally being given that brand new shot. Truly. Honestly. Sincerely.

Here’s to hoping it’s not just a run in with a ghost from the past…but an old friend being welcomed back into a new world.

One.

Can.

Only.

Hope.

2013 you weren’t kidding when we looked at each other and said bring it…. 

To L.A. and Back…

So it seems I’m not the only one who’s hit the 2013 ground with a take charge, take no prisoners attitude…

I mean I’m not surprised.

How often do you hear people going into a new year with a positive attitude—like every other nano second! But this year I like the chutzpah surrounding some of us…. Here’s the deal, I was talking in a few different conversations with various friends we talked about life and what we wanted different from this new year.

And the common theme, which I found shocking both because 

A) Most won’t admit this (at least out loud)

and

B) The vulnerability of it

was….drum roll please—our relationships!

Some of the friends in a relationship want them stronger, safer, a bit more solid. 

Those of us not in one admitted (out loud!)  we may want one..  What-the-What?!?

KIDDING! JUST kidding!!

But up until now I would’ve just laughed it off because here’s the god’s honest truth I don’t necessarily need a relationship ( I may want one now. But that’s different than needing…but I digress). 

I rather like myself alone.  Independent. I can do my own thing.  Be my own girl. Travel where I want to. Stay in pj’s all weekend if I want to. Watch every Housewives of  any city I ever want to with no one saying otherwise….

BUT since these conversations were open and honest and with people I trusted we started talking openly about our best (and worst) relationships and I got a laugh when I admitted that my favorite one had been long distance… (kind of telling I guess).  BUT it was true!

First off he was a blast.  Second off he let me be me.

He lived in Los Angeles and I lived in Miami and we dated for over six months. And they were  six awesome months. Still makes me smile. 

I mean he had the ability from across the country to let me be my own independent self. And never did he have an ounce of doubt or mistrust. Never. That kind of self belief is AmAzInG—-AND rare (trust me!). It was like having the best of both worlds. I had a boyfriend that I would spend time with, eat dinner with, talk about our days with, (albeit via webcam) and I had my very independent life too.

Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not reminiscing over an old flame wishing something were that isn’t. Not at all. What I realized is it wasn’t the person that was my favorite at all. It was the kind of person he let me be while I was in the relationship. It was the relationship I liked the most, that I realized was my favorite, not the person who’d been in the relationship with me ironically. 

But I’m not 30 anymore, and while I actually think I would be fine long distance. Let me correct myself— I know I would — but it pointed out the obvious to me and to my friends who had, had similar relationships…that relationships, men like this, are one in a million. To find a man in today’s world who’s both secure enough in himself to handle a relationship much less an across country one.  But then to make you feel like at no time are you begging for attention. Yeah, like I said, rare.

So what we all discussed was how hard it was to get out and find that, “Mr. Oh Yeah I Dig You!”  instead of, “Mr. Eh You’ll Do For Now.”  it’s confusing… and sadly men don’t want just a woman who’s independent and her own girl. They want a woman who chases them

—This happens a lot apparently—who knew?!?

Ladies this is horrible that not only they expect this but who started this trend?!?  If it’s an equal chase I’m fine. But chasing a man until conditioning him that, that’s what ALL women do? That’s just wrong. BUT at the same time they expect us to chase them a woman can play this game of stopping and letting him (and I quote) ‘swoop in’ <—this comes from a few guys I talked to. So sorry guys, your buddies rat you out when they’re alone with a girl…  In a nutshell it’s still the game it was back in high school. Only we’re older and with more issues. 

So our little Sex and the City conversation evolved with well we can do one of two things we can either think we had to be this hollywood created version of the girl that does the cat and mouse game. OR we can be our own person. Be our own girl and keep on keeping on until the man who doesn’t want us to change one bit comes along. The man who will let you be your own independent self whether you live right next door or across the universe from him. The man who’s not scared when you call him because you wanted to talk and didn’t feel like waiting for him to call. The man who wants the girl who goes out on her own for a weekend with her friends. The man who’s secure enough to know that past issues don’t mean a forever problem. A man who just lets you be. Period.  

The truth is each and every one of these girls I know is very secure in herself. Had her list of things to do in 2013 about improving herself. Learning something new. Pushing her own boundaries. It just so happened to include wanting to share this crazy life with someone too. Like I said, who knew?!?!

                                      image

New Years Goals… (gag. gag. gag.)

Calvin & Hobbes So I was kinda hoping the Mayan’s might be on to something so I didn’t have to go into a new year with new resolutions and well that didn’t work out so well (dang Mayan’s).

I’ll be the FIRST to say I try NOT to set resolutions that have me stopping something. I usually try to make a list of things I want to do for the first time, or good habits I want to pick up. <—I’ve never been one motivated by ‘don’t do. negative’ hanging over my head. It only makes me want to do it more. I say I can’t eat as many sweets it’s like I try to rebel against myself and find myself in the kitchen eating cookies for breakfast. I’m awesome that way—I can even piss myself off by doing what I’m not supposed to do! 

BUT I’ll also be the first to admit the last few years or so I’ve even fallen short of my good goals/fun new things to try list. Why? Maybe I’m not challenged by it anymore? Maybe because the last few years have been oh so ripe with not so good things I’ve just thrown my hands up and said, ‘Eh. F-it. Next Year’?  So when I came across the following from Melody Beattie, I kind of liked it, kind of a twist on what I used to do but with a bit more accountability and let’s face it we as people need accountability and the person that should come from first is you-ah. So here’s what she said;

"Make New Year’s goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you’re interested in fully living life in the year to come.

Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction.

What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?

What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?

What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career?

Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of your time, and write it all down - as an affirmation of you, your life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go.

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”
Melody Beattie





So I did it. I sat down. Wrote it down. Should probably put it on a sticky note hanging in every room of my house if I know me at all, screen saver~ book place saver~ wake up alarm reminder…you get the picture. But I thought, if there’s one way to go into a new year it’s to go into a new year really meaning you want change. Last year I did start that way and actually was surprised to look back to see some of that growth (albeit small) but I hardly put my mind to it. So this year—THIS YEAR—the mind is being put to it. Here we go…..
World you have been warned *wink *wink <—not really if you know me at all you’ll know this warning is pretty warranted…..

                                                                                                                                                     
image

Here’s to 2013…

Here’s to a new year of never being forgotten…

trail-of-glitter.jpg

They Say It’s Your Birthday…..

Make. A. Wish.

I sat to write a positive birthday post.

A rah-rah-rah, it’s a new year, birthday post. A, ‘This is the list of things I plan to accomplish this year’ <—-I still have that list. 

But as I get ready to go into this new year, while I’m still positive—do not get me wrong. I am also humble beyond belief at what this gift of another year is.

I go into this year with the awareness of the frailty of a parent’s changing health. And realizing even as an adult you might still be too young to think about a parent not being there. Because this crosses your mind as you go from ‘child’ to ‘caretaker’.

The awareness that the economy has kept so many like me in a spot of temp-to-hire instead a working part of an amazing team. When that’s all we’re dying to be.

The awareness that life is short.

That people change—some will stay—some will go— and the ones that do either of those things sometimes will leave you picking your jaw up off of the floor because they’ll behave the opposite of what you thought. Staying when you thought for sure they’d be the Ghost of Christmas Past. Leaving when you thought they’d be the one you grow old with. 

So what do you do when you find yourself in the midst of transition? What do you do when all of your songs, blog posts, phone calls, letters reflect that clearly this is a time that has brought a lot of seriousness to the table and made you the most Eeyore version of yourself? 

You pick your chin up.

You tell the naysayers to go naysay somewhere else. —You don’t need them (and besides you’re kind of amazing that way. You’re oh-so-positive and your own worst critic all in one).

You write your positive list of things to do/change/accomplish this year and then you blow out the candles. Because truly life IS to short. It is SO fragile. Enjoy it.

You wear sequins in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day if you want to.

You listen to that old 80’s hairband (cough, cough—Stryper) a little TOO LOUD so that when you pull in the parking lot people turn and stare.

You help a stranger.

You remember to not live the length of life—You live the width of it too.

You take care to call the people you care about. You can put it off until tomorrow until tomorrow’s not there <—so just stop putting it off and enjoy them, enjoy being in the moment. 

You do not judge others. No one is perfect. And no one is you. And the irony you find as you stop judging OTHERS less you start to enjoy YOU more. Because when you judge others you’re really judging a part of you that you don’t like that you see in them.

You say bring it. Bring on another year.

I.

Am.

Ready.