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hindsight is 20/20

I realized something the other day:  my parents were scared.  When I was going through my teenage rebellion/budding alcoholism they did their "tough love" thing (very popular in the 80s) because they didn't know what else to do and so latched on to something that promised to help them.  All these years I just thought they were mad at me and didn't like my personality and individuality but now I believe they were terrified and only wanted me to be safe.  Perhaps they felt they were hanging on by the skin of their teeth.  Maybe they weren't actually rigid autocrats out to spite me and flex their power like I thought they were.  Maybe they felt out of control and unable to protect me.

Because I was a handful.  Not that I regret any (or much) of my trying to assert my independence because it is probably what saved my life.  Their (at the time) East Coast, preppy, WASPy point of view felt so hypocritical to me at the time but I now know that if I had a teenager who w…
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hopes and dreams

"I allow myself my hopes and dreams" is an affirmation that was recommended to me years ago yet it remains one of the very hardest things for me to do.

Last week in one of my 12-step groups we were talking about hopes and dreams; specifically what ours were when we were kids.  Many of us had lost sight of our original dreams so trying to recall them, to bring them into the present, was very healing.  Now the next part is to have the courage to pursue them as adults.  Or pursue any dream, whether old or new.  Why is that so scary?

When I was in grade school my desire was to perform.  I did all kinds of dance (but failed miserably at all other sports) and I used to dance and prance all over the house all the time.   My biggest dream was to be on the PBS show ZOOM.  Those kids danced and sang and performed an eclectic mix of joyful skits.  I had completely forgotten about this until - 40+ years later - my group discussion brought back the memory.  Could it be that I would want …

God & Showtunes

Does anyone else out there drive around listening to the Godspell soundtrack?  No?  Just me?  Well, the cheese stands alone.  But I just find it very comforting and inspiring and it helps me to remember to connect with the Universe or - as some of you may flinch to hear me say - God.

Godspell was the very first musical theater I ever saw (I guess you can't really count The Nutcracker) back in the early 70s, and it was only done by a troupe in my local hometown, but I was mesmerized.  I made my mom take me back to see it a couple more times.  I couldn't get enough.  Godspell was super popular back then and was around at the same time as the famous Andrew Llyod Weber hit Jesus Christ Superstar, but was more like its quieter, less flashy younger sibling.  Interestingly there have been a few revivals of it including a Broadway one in 2011-2012.

If you are unfamiliar, Godspell is a series of vignettes/parables of Jesus and his followers, but as a child, none of the Jesus stuff rea…

taking a break from sex

I'm off of sex right now.  It's not a moral issue, it's just that all my life I have accepted sex when I really wanted love and I need to take a break until I am not so bitter and scornful of the act.  Sadly for my ex-boyfriend E, this edict started somewhere in the middle of our relationship, but it has continued into my singleton life.

As a kid, my parents didn't always exhibit much in the way of emotional or physical boundaries.  They really didn't know, bless them, what to do with their own feelings or their own sexuality and so they leaked both all over the place.  For that reason and plenty of others, I didn't get all my emotional needs met and I grew up longing for love and safety.  My two favorite games to play with my Barbies were Disaster Preparedness and Barbie & Ken Sex (or what I imagined sex might be at the time, which was basically naked hugging ).  For the Disaster Preparedness, I imagined that a big danger was coming - like a tornado or an…

linked by loss

Death.Real death.As in The End.Never coming back in that body that I know and love so well.
I really don’t want to write about how I had to put my beloved doggie to sleep last week.In fact, I really don’t want to write anything at all.I took some time off but I do think that grief and loss are worth mentioning.
I’m not crying often anymore but the tears are still stuck in my throat and I can hardly swallow my food - I keep choking on it.  I sleep with her little jacket beside me in the bed right where she used to lay, and sometimes it feels like she’ll be coming back any minute.Or that she’s not really gone at all, just in the other room.It’s nice to feel that she’s with me in spirit but sometimes it’s more literal than that and I can only assume I am in the denial stage of grief.

Annie and I found each other in Fall 2002.My cat had recently died and my fiancĂ© at the time and I thought we might get another pet.I went to the local shelter just to browse the cats but as I was doing so I g…

my resume is cray cray

I think maybe my purpose here on earth is to try out and experience new things:  live in new places, have relationships with new people, and learn new ways of working.  I just love a good buffet!  Does that make me a commitment-phobe or a free spirit?  Because let me tell you, I have had a lot, and I mean A LOT, of different jobs over the years.

I've been working since I was old enough to babysit, which is what, 11 or 12 ish?  I've done retail on and off since I was 16.  Usually in the beauty or design business, and usually between careers or college degrees. But the career I originally planned for myself was as a filmmaker.

At San Francisco Art Institute I studied film, video, and performance art which means I studied fine arts, not the film business.  In class, we watched stuff like a 20-minute film of light slowly rising, then falling on the close up of a lemon. No Citizen Kane.  It was the best time of my life, the most fun and most free, and the most fulfilling but it di…

the marginalized

I have a thing for the marginalized.  For example, in the early to mid-90s I was a special education teacher for kids labeled SED (Severely Emotionally Disturbed).  Then just the other day I realized that pretty much all the dogs I take care of for my dog-walking business are SED (the poor things are all rescues with various forms of PTSD).  After reaching extreme burn out from the SED kids I swore I would never take on such a demanding and needy population again, but here I am:  Pepper wanted to bite my head off the other day when I tried to separate him from his owner.   Why-oh-why do I do this to myself?!?  Maybe on another level, I can relate to a lost and damaged soul and I want to help them, as I wish for help myself.

Back in 1993 my first husband started teaching high school history and I was between careers (I usually switch careers every few years).  He would come home with stories of the handicapped kids who had a classroom next to his, and I was touched.  I felt it in my g…

depression, dancing, & drugs

There have been times in my life when the only things I was living for were my little dog Annie and the Monday night episodes of Dancing With The Stars.This is no exaggeration and I am very fortunate indeed that the dance show's seasons coincide with the depths of my fall and winter depressions.Only the flashes of color and light, movement and music, are able to cut through the fog that permeates my being. After all, what could be more joyful than dancing?
Even when I am at my most sluggish, thick-headed, and exhausted-in-that-weird-kind-of-way, Dancing With The Stars manages to stimulate me.They always have some sort of handicapped competitor (deaf or blind or prosthetic legs) that might give me a feeling of hope and make me believe in the good in people and that the world isn’t just a dangerous, evil, total crap place to be.Of course, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns.Sometimes a contestant I’m really attached to is sent home (AKA “voted off the island”) but I do my best to…


I was watching Stranger Things the other night, witnessing the bond of love between Junior high schoolers Mike and 11, and was feeling skeptical that kids that young could feel such real romantic love when suddenly I remembered my soulmate.I mean my real soulmate:  my totally-perfect, meant-to-be, no-doubt-about-it soulmate.I was eight, and it was only for a couple hours but I just knew.And I still know.I have never had a connection like that since.
I met my soulmate Chris on a Maine vacation island. He had shaggy blond hair and was a year older than me.Our two families were staying on a webwork of little islands all connected by bridges to a central island where the dining hall was.His family was on an island on one side of the center and my family on an island on the opposite side.I don’t remember how we met, most likely it was at the communal dining hall, but our families became friends.One day they all went off to do a hike or other activity together and somehow Chris and I staye…