It’s been just over five years since my dad left us, and as Father’s Day approaches (and I am feeling the hole in my heart grow just a little) I have been thinking about the past. Those days filled with laughter and adventure, and I remember how lucky I was that for over forty years, I got to have him with me. That I got to have Michael A. Dearing as my father.
I remember him teaching us to play football, how to box. I remember 4th of July sitting on the roof and watching fireworks. I remember being tossed into the deep end of the pool, then swimming back to his arms and begging to be thrown again. And he did it again and again. Backyard Bear hunts and Big Foot Adventures in the park. Running from the Goose on the Westlake Gold Course. I hated that goose!
I remember being tickled and dog piled on. I remember watching TV, eating popcorn, stealing Cheetos from his plate, which was met with total disdain. I remember seeing him couched on the floor hugging and kissing my dog when he thought no one was watching. The Dearing Roll, weeding, BBQs in the backyard. RV shows and Greek Festivals.
I remember eating at new restaurants, driving around Ensenada, watching USC football. making new friends, taking my friends to visit every summer. I remember him walking through a room and everyone watching him. He could hold everyone’s attention and mesmerize people. I know I got my ability to tell stories from him. he was a Great storyteller.
I remember all the times he took care of me, and that one time I got to return the favor and take of him. Even when the power went out for 4 days after that huge storm in Cantu. I read to him from the Chronicles of Crime by candlelight, and we laughed (don’t judge until you’ve read it yourself – Magic!) and we would watch a few episodes of Harper’s Island on the laptop. And he got better for a little while. But you can only hold off the inevitable for so long.
And that beautiful soul left us a year later. Your exit was peaceful and everything we hope for it to be. But you’re gone and we are left with a piece of us missing. That’s was true love does. It takes a piece of you with it when it leaves.
Life is short. Don’t waste it. Tell the people you love, how much you love them. Don’t hesitate to share stories, and see your family and friends. Tomorrow is never promised. And for those of you who still have your daddies, please hug them, and tell them you love them, and laugh and make memories, so that you can remember all the glorious days you’ve spent together.
So I have been going along in my life, working on my goals and friendships. I try to be positive every day and focus on the good things. I have a tendency to be a little bit Pollyana-ish (well, more than a little). However, today I was led (by some unseen force) to check on an individual I’ve known for over 20 years. You should know, we aren’t friends anymore, although, we are intertwined by mutual friends and a past. I have no desire to be friends. I don’t particularly like this person. They are the type of person that if you can’t further their career or benefit them in some way, why bother? I have seen them be unfatithful to their spouse. I have seen them start a physical altercation and then blame the other person. I have seen them attempt to destroy a person’s reputation. I have seen them be rude, disrespectful and unapologetic for their behavior, as if it were completely acceptable to behave that way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, far from it actually, but whenever I have behaved badly, I take responsibility and apologize, and I don’t try to destroy a person’s reputation. I heard that this person gave a half-assed apology to one of the people involved in the physical altercation, but took no responsibility for having started it in the first place. Lame.
Anyway, they chose to stop speaking to me because I didn’t support their version of a story, which was a lie. As a matter of fact, I haven’t spoke to this person in over 3 years, but for some reason, today I found it necessary to see what this person has been doing.
What I found is that they appear to be doing really well, and that… that made me angry. To this person, that I know for a fact, is not a good person and has done horrible things to people I care about, good things are happening. That part of me that hopes Kharma takes care of things got SOOO angry. What was Kharma doing? Why hadn’t they handled this? Negative should bring negative! I was venting and railing against them, feeling sick to my stomach that they are succeeding and seeing new people fall for the “charming” act – yes, an act. Why was this getting to me? Is it my envy, jealousy… frustration? The frustration that I, and others who are extremely talented and hard working, are struggling to be seen and be successful in our chosen field, while this individual is getting all kinds of accolades and recognition? The fire of rage was burning!
Then a friend posted this Meme.
It struck home. There was no reason for me to get angry at their success. I might still be struggling to find my place, along with those I know and find to be so talented who also deserve their place in the sun, like me, but it’s because it’s just not our time… yet. These little successes this individual has come across, they belong to them. I have to let go of the injustices they committed, hoping to see them fail, falling on their face, and focus on my own endeavors, and know I will succeed.
Maybe we’re conditioned to get angry… when we see an injustice of this kind. But it has no bearing on my life… not really. I’ll never forget what happened, I’m not built that way, but I don’t need to worry about it either. Whether or not Kharma ends up taking care of this is irrelevent. By the way, Kharma is not the universe’s way of giving payback, but is rather the draw of energy. When one puts out negative, they get negative and Vice Versa. I need to work harder, appreciate the people that matter, let go of the one’s who do not matter. Encourage and support those talented souls, and forget the drama… even the drama in my head.
I can’t imagine I would ever see or work with this person again, but if that day comes, I will deal with it. Be the bigger person and remember that they have no real affect on me or my life, other than how I allow them to affect my life. I have bigger fish to fry and I know my worth… and my heart. So thank you, Soul Sister, for posting that meme and making me see things clearly.
As Polonius said to Ophelia, “To thine own self be true.” He was right. I’ll leave it to Kharma… I’m sure it knows what it’s doing… I’ve got my own circus to worry about… and my own monkeys.
It’s been five years since my dad left us… and when I say left us, he died. Some of you have read my post, “My Father, My Hero, ” which was written a few days after he left. Raw emotions left on the page from fresh wounds, and now five years later, they are scars.
They prickle and hurt from time to time, reminding me about how much I miss him. The sound of his voice, his laughter, his wisdom. I learned so much from him. Some things obvious, other things not so much.
He taught me how to laugh. Introducing me to comedy in all forms, and allowing me to make my own decisions. Enjoying food… now, maybe I enjoy food too much, but because of he and my mother making me try new foods, I have a diverse and demanding palate. I think more parents need to do this (just my humble opinion). He taught me to work hard in sports and academics. He taught me how to be creative when disciplining a child.
He gave me an older sister, different mom ;). We didn’t get to meet until we were adults, but she reminds me of him every day. We look like him. She plays drums like him. She has his wild streak. She in turn has given me a niece and nephew.
He was one half of my parents. He gave me the other half. He gave me my mother. He fell in love with my mom. She is exceptional. Talented, logical, and loving. My mother and I have had a bumpy ride, but we came out the other side. Today our relationship is stronger than ever.
Together they gave me my younger brother and sister. My Rocks. We share the same memories. We share moments that he was a part of. We have shared a life that he was an integral part of. My sister gave us a neice.
Earlier this year, my father-in-law left us. Such a lovely man. So full of life, and joy. It was difficult to be around him and not smile or laugh. He loved to mock my American accent, introduce me to English foods. He would make jokes with his son, that only the two of them would get. He loved his wife and his children, and did for all of them.
Now, I get to help my husband through this diffcult time. Hold his hand, dry his tears and help him to move through the pain of missing his dad. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a parent. My sister explained it best. We were a unit. Even though my parents were divorced, we were a unit, and now a piece of the unit is gone and it can’t be replaced. That is the best description.
I miss him every day. But I don’t cry every day now. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my “daddy days”, but they are fewer. Every once in a while, it hits me like a mack truck, and for a little while it’s the same as it was when we first left. But them I cry it out, and it’s okay for a while.
The mourning process never ends. That piece of you is missing. It will never be filled. Despite that, I carry him with me. I see him when I look in the mirror, or around my home. He is always in my heart. Thus, he is always with me.
I am so blessed to have had him for a father, and a best friend.
We writers have one enemy… ourselves.
Within our minds lies the richest fields of imagination, yet, when stress and clutter and busy work come to play, the gates are closed adn locked. I’ve often been asked, “How do you find inspiration?”
Well, I often use music, re-read what I’ve written before, read something new, watching a documentary, learn about something historical. All of these things have inspired me. Bu thow do I clear away the clutter? The never ending list of “Things-to-Do”?
I’ve not been so successful with that. I often find myself overwhelmed with all the “things” I have to do. Cleaning, creating, organizing. I recently had my book re-edited and have not yet had the time to sit down and go through it. I’m trying to write a new book, and yet, nothing. I stare at the blank page and… nothing.
Writing isn’t always about having the idea… it’s also about executing it. Other writers say it’s a job. Well, yes it is. They say you just do it. Well, no, you don’t. If the words aren’t coming, they aren’t coming… and forcing them isn’t going to go well.
So, today I stared at this blank page. One I’ve been woefully neglecting, and decided to put out there what we all face as writers. Maybe I can kick start my creative brain, by creating some posts on my blog. Maybe… you never can tell, right?
Today I read an article (http://www.infobarrel.com/22_Habits_of_Unhappy_People) and it talked about the things that unhappy people do, and as I read the items in question, I realized that I do a few of those things. So I sat and thought about it, and again came to the realization that I am an over all happy person, despite the “unhappy” things I may do from time to time.
Do I have my moments? Of course, most of us do, but they are moments. Am I occasionally depressed? Yes, I am. The usual stuff. I miss my dad, and others that have gone on before us, or my friends, or I’m upset with myself for not doing what I should be doing and instead shut down or watch TV (the evil vortex from hell), but that’s natural. I’m getting older and I wonder where the time has gone and I tend to wonder if I can make my dreams a reality, but I know if I can’t, I’m still living a truly blessed life. I dream about my books selling more, so I can write at home, but the fact that even one person has read and loved them, I feel lucky. I get lonely sometimes, craving to be with people, but I also relish the quiet of my home. Sometimes I blame hormones… why not? I have them, they should be responsible for something other than weight gain and hair growth, but I know that it’s me, how I see myself.
Most of the time I like me, well, I love me. I’m pretty unique in a lot of ways. I’m a unicorn, long before Dbags like Kanye talked about it, I was calling myself a unicorn. I always have been. I am the epitome of dichotomy. I am an introvert and an extrovert. When I did that test that shows where you are in the business world, you know, the one that determines if you’re an analytical, driver, amiable, expressive – I fell right smack dab in the middle. I guess it means that I can get a long with everyone, but even that’s my choice, not a guarantee.
This morning I let someone I don’t know make me angry. Some idiot in a Jaguar (just felt like mentioning the car… has no real meaning) jumped the line as we were coming over the hill. I had the right of way, but he didn’t care and when I yelled at him, he tried to intimidate me with his stare. That only infuriated me. SO I yelled and shooed him on. “Go on, Drive Ass!”, which he finally did. The real issue is that even after the incident, I was mad. I was mad driving the curves, I was mad going through lights, and I was mad when the car in front of me left four car lengths between him and the car in front of him. It took a good half hour before I wasn’t mad anymore. What a waste of time and energy on my part. I let that jackhole get under my skin and change my mood, which up tot hat point had been great. That’s one of the unhappy things in the article I mentioned above, and he was right. I was unhappy.
Another thing mentioned in the article was not following through. I’ve been notoriously lax in that area as well. Worrying about what people think… that too. Now, I’m not an unhappy person, I’m really not, but more and more, I’ve not been doing what I intend to do. Procrastination has taken up residence in my home and I’m sick of it being there. All of these things I mention were points in the article. Again, I’m really not unhappy, but I do see the potential for me to become increasingly less happy if I don’t do something about my behavior.
So, as a witch I celebrate Samhain, (pronounced Sow-Wen… just an FYI) as well as Halloween, and for those that don’t know, that was our New Year (or End Year – depends on the pagan), so as the New Year has begun in my spiritual world, I am making a resolution. I resolve to move forward, and to actively pursue my happiness. To make a concerted effort to complete tasks, laugh more, find new hobbies and try not to let the other actions of people (of whom I have no control) dictate how I feel. I’m not saying I won’t slip up and get mad, or be a coach potato, or be sad, but as this is my life and ultimately my responsibility, it falls to me to make things happen. My own happiness being one of those things.
So, now begins the Pursuit of Happiness… well, more happiness… and hopefully, more reward. Blessed Be.
It’s been quite some time since I sat down and wrote under the category of LIFE, but I thought it was time.
I was recently in a situation where I met a new group of people and we all had to spend 14 hours days together for two weeks. It was great! I know it doesn’t sound like it, but it was and in that time, you build bonds with people. So, where am I going? Well, here we go.
Some people I gravitated to instantly, you know, kindred spirits or a soul you knew a long time ago, but then I found that trust was an issue for a few of them. They are lovely people, do not get me wrong, and I adore them, but they don’t trust easily. I do understand that, I really do. I vividly remember the first time I was really screwed over and knew it. It was at the end of my fourth-grade year. This girl (her name I’ve forgotten) had lied and used me and tried to turn people against me, at age 9, nice. Well, as I thought about it, in my room, I did (as I still do) I decided I could do a few things.
1. Don’t trust anyone. Well, then I never get hurt, because I never let anyone in. That saves me from hurt, but it also prohibits me from having real friends and loving and being loved by them. I happen to be a person who thrives on human contact and I really need not only my family, but my friends… so, not appealing.
2. Keep doing what I was doing and blindly hug the world. Let them all in and see what happens. . Hmmm, nice idea, but then I wouldn’t have learned anything, like some people are Asshats, yes, asshats. And my heart would be trampled again and again. Not appealing.
3. Give everyone the same amount of trust to begin with and see what they do with it. A basic level of trust, like… ok, I trust you to say hi, have a few laughs and have a good time. Oh, you didn’t try to kill me or punch me in the face, let’s move forward (Of course, I’m being ridiculous in terms of trust level, I’m just pointing it our, levels of trust).
Bottom line: I chose number 3. I’m not willing to hide and be afraid of having my heart-broken or my soul crushed. Each time it’s happened, I’ve become stronger. I am a unicorn (you remember, right?) with the spirit of the Phoenix and I will rise from the ashes, stronger and more determined than before to do what is right for me.
I’ve had quite few people remark recently I have a large number of friends, and a few said it rather apprehensively. Well, I guess I do, but I’ve worked long and hard and been shoved, pushed, lied to, betrayed, screwed over and ignored, left behind, etc, etc, etc, but in the midst of all of that, I have found the precious gems that are my friends. Those that are worthy and loyal and understanding and kind and generous and loving. Some of us have been to hell and back together, and some are brand new, but we are in this together and we trust each other and we have a bond and that’s the most important thing.
I was recently reminded of a great saying ~ Don’t let the fear of striking out, Keep you from playing the game ~ and it’s true. If you never try, you will never succeed. And the only way to do that is to keep putting it out there, everything that you are, all the dreams you hold close, all the goals you reach for… put it out there and TRUST… a little bit more everyday, the rewards can be unimagineable.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Well, at least here in the states. A truly American Holiday and although it has a shady origin, I think it’s found it’s way to what it should truly represent. And although I know a lot of people get stuck on the history of this day, and don’t celebrate or refuse to acknowledge the holiday, to me, its something else.
It’s the doorway to Christmas, Hanukkah and Yule. It kicks off the winter holidays with the most important thing about all of these holidays. It is about gratitude. For everything we are, everything we have and everyone we love. Whatever happened those oh so many years ago, Thanksgiving is now about what we have and how we give thanks. It’s about fighting with your siblings over a football game or something as equally benign. Or helping your mom make dinner, even when she tries to give you directions for something you’ve been doing for 30 years. Or remembering you last Thanksgiving with your dad and how he ate an entire pie over the weekend and stole all the Turkey when everyone else wasn’t looking. It’s about sharing what you have with those that have nothing. It’s about giving your time or your money or your food to someone who needs it.
Thanksgiving is more then a moment in the 17th century, it’s about what happens everyday and being reminded of how much we have and realizing that we are blessed. Whether it’s to celebrate a birthday or a miracle of lights or the impending winter, this truly American holiday is the opportunity to celebrate with our fellow Americans about our prosperity and large or small as it may be and to share that joy and all it’s blessings with those that need it. I’m not saying you have to work with the homeless or serve turkey dinner at a Soup Kitchen, but maybe you have a friend who doesn’t have much, or you have a neighbor who needs a friend. A small kindness can go a long way.
Tuesday at the market, I went to pull into my space and there was a cart left there, so I didn’t fit. I didn’t get mad, I just got out of my car to move it, but before I could, the woman next to me said “I’ll get it.” and smiled at me. She grabbed the cart and waved to me again. She didn’t have to, but she chose to. A small kindness. In the store, I went out of my way to smile and engage people. There was no hurry, no rush. One smile can lead to another and then another and then another.
My wish for this Thanksgiving it that we all share our joy with one another. Enjoy the moments with the people you love. Share your love with people you don’t know and give of yourself to someone who needs it. The world is a truly lovely place when we all give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone 🙂
October! The month of scary things. Monsters, Ghosts, Ghouls, Zombies, Witches… the list goes on an on. It’s my favorite month. It’s when the weather begins to cool down and fall makes it’s presence known. I live in Southern California (many of you screaming “You Have NO Seasons!!”) Yes, we do… the temperature changes, we have trees like oaks and elms and the leaves change colors and fall off. Just because it doesn’t snow, doesn’t mean we don’t have seasons, but I digress, I love the autumn!! it’s when you can smell the fireplaces kicking on, candy is in abundance and of course… Halloween!!
The first of the month starts off with 31 Days of Halloween. What is that? That is a scary movie every day. Find a Channel: SyFy, AMC, TNT, Chiller… They are showing scary movies, documentaries, TV Shows. It Halloween my favorite holiday. Well, it’s one of them. The other is Christmas. But I love them the same. The nostalgia and the joy they both bring are like nourishment for my soul.
As I write this, Friday the 13th is on. A massive marathon of the terror known as Jason Vorhees. Well, the whole Vorhees clan really… The original Friday the 13th came out in 1980. I remember because I was 12. And I was at horse Camp, for two weeks. Well, one of the girls in my unit, her family came and she left for the day. When she returned, We learned about everything that happened in Friday the 13th. Why? Well, mom and dad had taken her and her brother and sister to see it. I heard the entire movie before I ever saw it… and I was in love. We sat around her listening intently as she described every minute of the movie. It was our campfire tale!! I have always been attracted to horror and scary, still am to this day. I look for well written or beautifully executed frights. They are harder to find nowadays. but we do find them on occasion. Well, movies… I find some amazing new horror authors all the time.
Well, here you are, October and I’m so glad to see you!! Let’s have some fun!!
So, I’ve been spending the evening with my dear friend, Claudia. She is, without a doubt, the best person in the world at pushing my buttons. And yes, her nickname is SPAZ.
We met in 1998 at LACC (LA City College – TV Program). She was a taurus, just like me (I’m May 8, she’s May 15). Strong-willed, hard-headed, stubborn, mouthy and argumentative, loyal and fun… we got along like gangbusters. We spent the next three years hanging out, making films and having fun. It was during this time she earned (yes, earned) the nickname, SPAZ. How you ask? Well, it was a series of events. First, her absolute love of NKOTB… no, I wasn’t a fan, but she spent HOURS trying to get glimpses of them and chat with them and then she would talk about them incessantly – causing the boys to mock her endlessly, and the boys claimed it was NSync, which made her crazy. Ultimately, she would laugh that fabulous, dusky, throaty laugh (same laugh today). The famous Bear interviews (inside mockumentary based on the life of deceased producer – another story for another time) when she fell off a stool and off a flat, she survived, the rest of us weren’t so sure we would. It took 15 minutes to stop laughing. When she miscalculated her gas range on a road trip and didn’t have the cash to continue and had to sleep in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Texas (she’s fine, she got money from a friend), when she showed up to a casual Christmas party in a prom dress, when she passed out on Sunset Blvd and ended up on TMZ, then called me to tell she was passed out on Sunset Blvd. and ended up on TMZ. Anyway, these stories go on and on and on.
During this time, she moved to Florida, then back to California, then Alabama, and then she was gone for a long time. Recently she came back to Southern California and I have missed her. Whenever she comes to LA, we try to hang out or get dinner. I just learned she may be moving back into the city and I’m jazzed. Tonight we had dinner with Dave and then she came back here to hang out and drive back to the Inland Empire tomorrow. She’s been here for 4 hours and we have spent 3 of those hours arguing. I don’t know why we do it, but we do, and it’s never mad, just a lot of yelling and then laughing. We disagree and she pushes my buttons and sometimes I push hers. But I realized, I really don’t argue with anyone else the way I do with her. I don’t know why… Maybe we work out our aggression on each other. That’s a good thing.
Our “fighting” has never changed in the last 15 years, it’s exactly the same. Has our relationship grown, yes, in many ways it has, but we are still each other’s best argument waiting to happen. And she is still SPAZ… just when I think she may have outgrown the name, she will do something spectacular that warrants the moniker. I’m trying to get her to write a book about her life… because she has had an amazing, full life. She has never been afraid of taking chances. She is the one taking it by the horns, doing what she wants and seeing the joy and beauty in everything, having a great time. We may fight and she may push those buttons, but my life has been enriched just by knowing her. She is definitely an inspiration… she’s my nemesis… she’s my friend…. and her name is… SPAZ.
You can follow SPAZ at the links below:
You should all know… she’s on the list… no really, whatever the list, wherever the list, she’s on it… ask her. 😉 I love you, Claudia!!