chey being

Seeing what's inside again.


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The free ticket. (Time Machine Challenge)

I am surrounded.  People of all shapes and sizes are pointed at me like beams of light.  The lights bend only slightly when they reach me and then continue, as if they never felt the glitch.  I am making my way up some famous street near Times Square.  It is almost dark now and the lights begin to wake up for their evening show just as the crowds thicken and deepen.   I don’t know why I am here.  I felt alone, I suppose.  I needed to escape my humming cold-blooded space that allowed any old thought to enter.  Feeling the warm bodies brush by me, reminds me that I am not alone here. There are others.  I miss my family and so these embodied souls will have to do.

I try to look into the eyes of those who pass me.  I offer a warm smile.  Some reciprocate, some do not, as if they are too busy to turn up the corner of their mouth.  I don’t mind, it makes me laugh.  I continue on my mindless path, staying within the crowds and oddly feeling secure there.  Every now and then a paper is shoved my way by some fast talker on repeat.  I politely decline.  I am focused on an adorable little boy ahead of me, whose squishy face is agape at the flashing lights.  As I wonder the meaning behind his questioning eyes, I vaguely hear, “Free ticket to where ever you want to go!”  I hear it as I would background music, hearing but not really comprehending.  It is the jolt of electricity as the paper skims my mid-section, that brings me to the present. My eyes follow the hand connected to the paper and stop at a face that doesn’t seem to belong here. He repeats his mantra while our eyes connect.  By some force I can not explain, I accept the paper as the momentum of the crowd pushes me forward.  I dismiss the unusual event and slip the paper in my pocket, not wanting to liter.

I am home now.  I feel spent.  My body is ready for sleep and my mind has raised the white flag in defeat.  As I slip off my jeans, I hear the crinkle of paper.  I remove the culprit and gently smooth it out between my fingers. It reads only, “Free ticket.  Where do you want to go?”  I flip it over expecting more, but it is blank.  It’s so odd that I am unable to look away.  I feel cold now standing here in only my t-shirt, so I quickly tuck myself into bed and under the billowy covers.  As I lean back and gently mold into the stack of pillows, I stare at the paper still in my hand.  I read it over and over.  I feel it almost hypnotizing me; challenging me with its question.  Where do you want to go?

Ok, I’ll play along.  Where do I want to go?  Hmm, Italy sounds lovely.  Rolling vineyards, architecture, food so unbelievably fresh yet you can taste its centuries old origin, it is endless and intoxicating.  As inviting as that sounds, what would I learn? How would it change my life?  There are hundreds upon hundreds of beautiful places I want to visit; I would never be able to choose.  Maybe, I should meet a famous person from long ago.  I’ve always had a fascination with Henry VIII.  Einstein, perhaps?  Ghandi? Can I meet Jesus? I can read about them and know their life lessons, so maybe not. How about the future?  The future seems frightening; I don’t think I want to know the future. If it’s horrible, how could I enjoy each day knowing my fate, or the fate of the world?  A past event? I’ve always felt a deep connection with American Indians.  That would be fascinating!  But, I can read about that too.  I’m feeling a bit frustrated.  What is wrong with me that I can not think of a single…wait, I know.  I know where I want to go.

I want to be where I will go when I die.  If I have lived before, I have actually already been there, but I just don’t remember.  If I go to this place, I am everywhere at every time, all in one moment.  It is the most perfect choice.  I want to remember this place. This place will remind me to have no fear. Remind me that I am never alone.  Remind me that all my lost loved ones are still with me.  Remind me that I am beautiful and perfect as I am.  I can feel it.  My tears tickle my nose as they find their path down my face.  I feel love.  I feel so much love.  Am I there?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/writing-challenge-time-machine/

 

I posted the above awhile back but I wanted to add these other great responses to the challenge:

  1. A Random Short Story | Musings | WANGSGARD
  2. Second Time Around: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn | Never Stationary
  3. Housecleaning 1900′s Style | The Library Lady and Rosie Bear
  4. I grew up on an island. How did I never read this? | Andrea Reads America
  5. Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  6. The Day Before the Snowdryft | Project eXa
  7. My dream trip | Myriad Notions
  8. Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | In my world
  9. One Night In Summer | Fish Of Gold
  10. Hallowed Canaries | field of thorns
  11. Labor Day Weekend, 2011 | Simple Heart Girl
  12. Memorial Day Weekend, 2011 | Simple Heart Girl
  13. On the Steps of the Lincoln Memorial | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  14. Going Back at Birth | Navigate
  15. DP Challenge – The tale of the Hiry Mammoth | Properties for sale in Cuba
  16. DP Challenge – The tale of the Hairy Mammoth | Properties for sale in Cuba
  17. Day 280: If I Had a DeLorean | Writer’s Desk
  18. To go back in time… | adventuresofaneverydaywoman
  19. The free ticket. | chey4412
  20. Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | Ramblings of a Midwest 20-Something
  21. Weekly Writing Challenge : Time Machine | Simply about Life
  22. Time machine | Icezine
  23. In Our Hands | risingrave28
  24. A Peek Into My Past | Ninjas In Stitches
  25. Time Machine | Thinking Languages!
  26. The Deep Time Society: Imagining Academia and Time Travel | THIS CREATIVE REALITY
  27. The Race. « Restawyle
  28. Sulfur Island | Speculative Paradigm Shifts
  29. Time Machine | jenniferannefleming
  30. Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | imagination
  31. Dark? Ages | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  32. I’m Happy Being In The Present, Thank You Very Much! | Sammi Talk
  33. Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | The Rambling Rose
  34. The Girl in the hammock | thejimmieG
  35. Among the Whispers
  36. Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | Sarah’s World
  37. The Metal File | lostinthisdaydream
  38. The Conversation | The 253 in the 402
  39. On Train Tracks & Stopwatches | Hullabaloo and Susie Too
  40. My Time Machine | waltbox
  41. Long In Tooth | A lot from Lydia
  42. What if I could travel through time? | Okay, What if ?
  43. A Trip to the Doctor | The Seeker’s Dungeon
  44. Bali, 1938 | A Simple Note
  45. TIME MACHINE- 50′s Dance | The School Of Minds
  46. Looking Back: The Day I Should Have Left | Between Madness & Euphoria
  47. We Can’t Turn Back Time | I’m no stargirl
  48. Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge | Christine Morgan River
  49. xyz | Layperson’s Outlook
  50. xyz | Layperson’s Outlook
  51. Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | Old Glory | Shawn
  52. Royal Male | litadoolan
  53. What if we can Travel Through Time. | Free Thinkers Mag.
  54. Endure. Breathe. (Repeat) | MightWar
  55. Weekly Writing Challenge | Time Travel | Focal Breeze
  56. cycle lost | Just Thinking
  57. Time traveling to my younger self | MindBodyBreath Malaysia – Yoga in Shah Alam
  58. Time Machine | The Colours of Life
  59. Coherence Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  60. Letter to My Future Self | the intrinsickness
  61. Turn Back the Time #fiction #addiction | Moondustwriter’s Blog
  62. Two Tone Memory | Notes of a Prairie Lotus
  63. Nature’s Second Chance | Wired With Words
  64. Weekly writing challenge | THE BIG MUNCH
  65. Thoughts Tuning Tim | A Nerdy Geek’s blog
  66. Urban Living in the Year 3000 | A Life with Limits
  67. The Future is Yesterday | cateritforward
  68. Creating Ticonae | Artfully Aspiring
  69. A no-brainer for every earth scientist: time travel! | EARTH SCIENCE SOCIETY
  70. Well, I’m Going to Hell. | meg lago
  71. Nancy: Weekly Writing Challenge | Ty
  72. How I Became a Storyteller | Pocket-Sized Musings
  73. the past and the future | whimsical mayhem
  74. The Never Know | Time Travel Writing Challenge | The Never Chronicles
  75. A Walk in the Past | Eclectic Alli
  76. Say That Again | Master of Something I’m Yet To Discover
  77. Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  78. Time Machine | Love is always there. Between the lines.
  79. Time Machine? No Thanks. | Laughing Through Life
  80. How to deal with bad managers: Life Skills | Your Well Wisher Program
  81. “The Contact” | Lekhikaa’s diary
  82. DP Challenge: Time Travel Free Pass | This Natasha Life
  83. Mental Time Travel | Psychology Muffins
  84. A Time to Every Purpose | Love, Support, Educate, Advocate, Accept…
  85. Pneumatic | Be Less Amazing
  86. Back in Time | itsmayurremember
  87. The Execution of Mary the Elephant: The 13th of September 1916 – Erwin, Tennessee | Forgotten Correspondence
  88. Time Travel is not what it used to be | An Upturned Soul
  89. Temporal Corrections Agency | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  90. Back to roots | Scent of Rina
  91. Time Machine | Write Through Life
  92. The Badge – Compass & Quill
  93. Where am I? | A picture is worth 1000 words
  94. Conversations with a 5 Year Old | Getting DCK for Dummies
  95. I Know You Are but What Am I? « eternal Domnation
  96. Time Machine; A Trip Down Memory Lane | Insidethelifeofmoi
  97. Then or Now? | The Silver Leaf Journal
  98. Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine, 03.04.14 | Markie’s Daily Blog
  99. Land of Regret | Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth
  100. Trippin’ | Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth


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What’s in a name?

Someone on Twitter recently asked if a name change was in order after a divorce.  I quickly gave my response, but it prompted me to think about how my views on this subject have changed so much though out the years.

I was 21 when I first married.  I, of course, changed my name immediately. It was just something a girl did; it was like a right of passage.  I remember back then (it really wasn’t that long ago), for a girl, getting married was like a sigh of relief.  We made it.  We were now part of some special elite club.  We were married and every girl dreams of being like “us.”  OK, maybe it was a long time ago.  Anyway, I remember being somewhat sad about changing my name because it was my heritage; it meant something to me.  My name represented where my families came from.  Now, I had a new name.  A name that inherited me.  I became a part of something else, but only in name. My children would carry this name and mine would be lost forever.  My name, just like my mother’s before me, was not to live on.

After 15 years, this name had become my new identity.  Much like moving from childhood to adulthood, it just happens one day.  After my divorce, I did not even think about changing my name back.  This was the name my children carried and naturally, their mother should carry that same name.  I believe there was a part of me too, that would have felt less their mother if I had changed it.  We would no longer match.  How would people know that they were my children?  I just couldn’t be different from them.  Even when I re-married years later, I did not change my name.  My husband understood that it was important to me that I carry my children’s name and he felt the whole name-change thing was a silly tradition anyway.  When my ex remarried, his wife changed her name immediately.  I was angry with her at first.  I felt she was a horrible mother for “abandoning” the name of her children and now people would believe SHE was MY children’s mother!  I was the matriarchal lioness of this pride and I didn’t want anyone taking claim to my cubs!

I had to eventually swallow my pride and drop the ego.  I was driving past a cemetery one afternoon.  A cemetery that I have passed literally, thousands of times.  A tombstone engraved with someone’s last name in large bold letters caught my eye.  I suddenly had the realization that if I died, I would live on forever (on paper anyway) with my ex-husband’s last name.  Now, I don’t even want to be buried or have a headstone, but this really mattered to me.  I had an instant panic attack!  There was NO WAY I was going to die with his name.  I immediately started the process of changing my name.

Here is another reason, I did not change my name after my divorce…it is a PAIN IN THE ASS! However, I was determined, but what was I going to change it to?  I really wanted to change my name back to my maiden name. Unfortunately, out of blue, my husband now had an issue with this. I really think he  thought I wanted my maiden name back because I was thinking of divorcing him and didn’t want to have to go through the process again.  I really wasn’t thinking about divorce at the time.  I just had no attachment to his name and I really like MY name!  I did have to agree that it would make things easier if we matched.  So, to make my husband feel “secure” and to make travel plans simpler, I took his name.  I am really pissed at myself for making that decision.  Not because my marriage is teetering on divorce and not because I may have to go through this whole bloody process again, but because it is not what I wanted to do.  I didn’t do it for the right reasons.   Maybe someday my name will return to me.  I hope it does.

Picture reference:  My first name was given after a rose.  Thanks Mom.


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Please refer to the “Divorce Plan”

I don’t even recall what started our last argument.  I do recall that it quickly progressed to my husband packing his bags.  Which, by the way, still sit in the corner of the bedroom where they were tossed in exasperation.  They are still there because he is too lazy to put them away, not because he means to actually leave.  While we were squaring off in our bedroom, with his bags in hand, he said to me, “I have more stuff.  I don’t want to leave because you will lock me out and I won’t be able to get my stuff.”  Did he really think that of me?  The same person that has whined about how my ex-husband refuses to be friends with me?

Now, that I have had time to reflect and am not in the heat of the moment, I realize he was just saying this because he didn’t really want to leave.  As I have said, he will never leave without being pushed, kicking and screaming.  I did have to wonder, if we divorced,  would this time around be different.  Would he at least try to be friends with me?  The day after our argument, I brought up the subject at lunch.  Note to self:  Do NOT talk about stuff like this at lunch, it just ruins a good meal.  I told him that if we do divorce, that I did not want it to happen during an argument.  We have businesses together and will probably have to continue to work together. I want this to be a conscious, clear-minded decision.

The next day, he told me he needed to talk.  He had laid out a “divorce plan.”  And indeed he did.  He had it all worked out very civil like.  I really had no response.  I agreed.  In theory it was a lovely and fair plan.  The problem is, would he actually follow it?  He says so many horrible things when he is angry.  I never know what to believe.  He also says a lot of things when he is not angry that he never lives up to.  Over time, I’m learning to just be an observer.  So many times in this marriage, I have wondered if I was in a Twilight Zone episode.  I don’t try to understand anymore.  I don’t let myself care anymore.  I am enjoying being the observer now.  I no longer take things personally.

We have come to talk about divorce more than we do “saving” our marriage.  I don’t know anymore if that’s good or bad.  In some ways, it is like a slow death and I am afraid of becoming comfortable here.  Maybe this is how it needs to play out.  Everything dies eventually, right?


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Slim pickin’s?

I was recently having a conversation with an older friend of mine.  She is married and divorced twice, with grown children.  After a few glasses of wine, she began talking about her life and recent dating experiences.  I briefly told her my story and how my second marriage is…well, questionable.  Her first reaction was sadness, but then she said to me, “Don’t do that, it is slim pickin’s out there, let me tell you!”  Now I understand that it may be normal to offer support to avoid divorce, but to offer discouragement based on “slim pickin’s,” blew my mind. I just sort of stared at her for a moment, a little dumbfounded.  A waiter came by just then and told us that the place had closed a half hour ago, so I never had the chance to respond to her.

During my drive home, I pondered her sentiments.  Was she suggesting that a bad marriage is better than no marriage?  Did she mean that even if I left a bad marriage, that I would only end up in another bad marriage because there are no “good” men left?  I know many people who stay in unhappy marriages because they fear being alone. I never really understood this mentality.  I would rather be alone with at least the opportunity for a happy marriage or relationship.  If you can not be happy by yourself and with yourself, than why would anyone else be happy with you?

My first reaction was to take offense.  That was her experience and I certainly didn’t believe that would be my experience.  But what if it was.  Would I be OK?  Honestly, yes, I would be OK.  However, it would be hard to say yes, not knowing two factors:

1.  I don’t do online dating.  Which means, I would probably not go through as many “bad” dates as my friend.  I tried the online dating for about 5 seconds after my first marriage and it scared the hell out of me.  So, I decided that when the time was right, the next one would find me.  I wasn’t going to worry about it.  (For those who have had great success with online dating, I am happy for you.  I don’t condone it; it just isn’t for me. I’m not the dating kind.  I think I’m the marrying kind.  Although, I didn’t realize to be the marrying kind, you have to be the divorcing kind as well??  hmm)

2.  I am not one to be alone.  I just know that I will never be alone.  I can’t really tell you how I know this, but I do.

Knowing these two factors, I feel confident that I would not have my friend’s experience.  Did it still scare me just a bit?  Yes.  It did.


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My decent…

I am what I like to call an AOL casualty.  Back in 1997, I was introduced to AOL and its dangerously addictive Instant Messaging and Chat Rooms.  This new and exciting phenomenon was like a drug put in front of our faces.  I partook of it like so many others.  There were no warning labels, it was too new; we could not predict the problems it would cause.  It was to dramatically change the course of my life for over a decade.

I had just finished three years of either being pregnant or nursing.  I was needing to have my body back and a sense of me back.  It wasn’t enough to have a loving husband who complimented me all the time.  He always complicated me when I looked my worst.  As nice as it was, how could I trust that?  In under two years I had three babies (Don’t do the math, I had twins!) and I was knee deep in baby puke.  Yes, they are the most perfect creatures I could ever dream of and I would gladly throw myself in front of a train for them, but this was a challenge I was not prepared for.  My life became so much a haze of repetitiveness that I dreaded going to sleep at night.  I knew I would wake up only to do the same thing over and over again.

From the moment I created that AOL screen name, I was hooked.  It was like VIP access to the hottest club. To try and put myself into the headspace of this time period is very difficult as I feel I no longer know this person.  I remember discovering the chat rooms (Do they even still exist?).  I am such a paranoid person that it is hard to imagine I put myself in a place of anonymous creepers (no offense).  I suppose the fact that we were anonymous gave us all a place to be who ever we wanted to be; a safe haven to explore our dark sides.  It was all very exciting to someone so inexperienced in life, love and sex.  I had married my high school sweetheart…not much more to say there.

I should have seen the warning sign when a woman I had befriended IM’d me.  She asked if someone in particular was communicating with me.  Apparently, her and  BigJohn10 (insert eye roll) or something or other, had been communicating for some time and now, he had suddenly cut her off.  She seemed very distraught over the whole thing.  Eventually, I came to find out that she was seeing someone else she met online and her life was in complete turmoil.  Of course, I ignored this sign.

Then one fateful evening, as I was hanging out in a “married” chat room, someone IM’d me.  Let’s call him James, to protect the not-so-innocent and because I like the name.  James came into my life like an unstoppable force that left me weak-kneed and senseless.  Even though we had a four hour time difference, we chatted intensely online every evening.  It brought excitement to my day.  It gave me energy to live with a passion that had long been sucked out of me.  I had met someone who was so very different than me, yet the same. Someone who could match me, mental punch for punch and someone who could teach me.

So there I became Mommy by day, Adulteress On Line by night.  I thought I had long forgiven myself for this part of my life, but putting it into words and out into the universe makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed.  I honestly don’t know this person anymore.  Well, from the beginning, here in this space, I promised to be open and honest. So this is me.  Perfectly not perfect.

Up next:  A secret life.


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In the beginning…

As I begin my reflection on my first divorce, my first thoughts go to my childhood.  This is what created my personality to some extent, right?  How I learned to see myself and life determined how I came to everything.  I can get very metaphysical here, such as, I chose my next life to be a certain way thus my parents were there to help create that for me.  Which is probably true, but I don’t want to get that deep and complicated right now.  I came to be a perfectionist and that perfectionism made it impossible for me to even think about divorce for eight years, because divorce was something that non-perfect people did.  Not me.

 In the beginning…

I have often wondered if a child is not really wanted at conception or during pregnancy, is it born with that knowing sub-consciously?  Will the child go though its entire life feeling somehow unwanted even if it grows up in a “normal” environment?  Or is it impossible for the parent to hide that deep dark secret and somehow confirm what you sub-consciously already know?

I think I have lived my whole life believing my mother did not really want me, or she wanted something else…freedom…a life of travel…excitement….not shitty diapers and 3 am pukings.  It affected me as a child; I constantly strove for perfection and for the compliment that was rarely there.  I was always the good girl.  I always made the smart choices and I desperately wanted my parents to be proud of me.

So, for my entire adult life, I thought that these “smart” choices were what I really wanted:  be financially stable, get married, stay home and raise children.  It was an almost robotic decision because it was the best thing a girl could do and I was all about making the best move.  It was also the safest move.  How could I screw that up?  It only took me 20 years to figure this out; I think that is pretty good. Some people never do, right?

I went through the period of blaming my parents for everything bad in my life.   I think many people go through that in their 30’s because this is an age when one should be fairly set in life and if you’re not, well, then we need someone to blame.  Also, we start realizing that we are so much like our parents and that really pisses us off!  I also went through that psycho self-analysis business where I needed to understand why I was the way I was because of my parents.  After all  that, I  realized…who cares?  So what?  Am I going to sue my parents for not being perfect?  Most people love their parents no matter what. Why is that?  Parents could beat the crap out of us, commit crimes, treat us like dirt and we still love them. We love them without judgment, unconditionally.  We want to believe they love us in return.  We need to believe that.  Why can’t we love everyone else like that, without judgement? I think the world would be a better place.

So there I was, in my perfect life that I had so proudly created.  Then along came the internet.

Up next:  My decent

 

             


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Social Media Freak-Out

Within the last month or two, I have started a blog and opened a Twitter account.  This is pretty major for me.  I own internet companies, I’ve developed websites, I’ve tackled the impossible Google advertising, etc, etc, but…I have somehow managed to avoid the beast of social media.  I recently quit my job (I worked for myself) and hired someone else to replace me because I wanted to get AWAY from the computer.  AWAY from the isolation of sitting at home ALONE.  Since then, I have pursued writing (duh) and becoming a certified Pilates instructor (LOVE Pilates).  I also want to pursue selling some of my art online.  I have been told to join Facebook,  Esty, and Pinterest.  Like, I have to, they say.  I’ve been told this so many times throughout the years.  Where do people find the time for this stuff?  I’m too busy living life, spending time with my children, cooking healthy dinners, working, exercising, reading, ya know, all that old school stuff.  I’m trying to get away from the computer but they keep sucking me back in (think Godfather, Al Pacino).

I need to find the happy medium.  I need to believe that in order for a business to do well or a person to be heard, that they don’t need to be on every social media site.  I HAVE to believe this because I do not want to work that hard…in front of a machine…by myself.  If I am going to work, I want it to be doing something I love. Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet and I look at my cell phone way too much, but at some point, I have to draw the line and not be peer pressured into every avenue of social media.  Let’s be social at lunch.  Let’s be social at the gym. Look me in the eye and tell me about your day.  I want to LIVE my life. Not spend it in front of a computer trying desperately to rack up numbers.  Maybe this is the new way of the world.  Maybe this is my version of the little old lady that refuses to use those “blasted cell phones!”  Maybe I am stuck in the past. But hey, vintage is always in.