I Can Assure You This Much

In my 31 years of observing life , one of the many things I have noticed with human beings is that no matter how kind or good-hearted you may be, you will always have at least one hater among the friendly faces.

People will hate you for your honesty.

People will hate you for pursuing a better life for yourself.

People will hate you for going after your dreams and not settling for less.

People will hate you for your happiness, especially if it outweighs their own.

They will hate if you chose to walk the unbeaten path.

They will hate you for putting your feelings and goals above their own.

Maybe you weren’t there for them the one time out of the 80, and because you weren’t a help that ONE TIME, they now hate you for it; stating that you were never there for them when they needed you.

Maybe your priorities are set a little different, different from their own. Don’t worry. They will hate you for that too.

Have you been sharing your stories, lets say, for constructive purposes? Have you been sharing in order to help a greater good? Yep, they will hate you for that too.

Let us take a look at some of the greats: Buddha, Jesus Christ, Princess Diana, Bono, Mother Teresa, all of which are some of the greatest humanitarians that this planet has ever seen. Yet even they have people with a list a mile long stating the things they hate about them.

I am no Mother Teresa I can assure you that much, but I can relate as I am sure you all can (yea, I’ll have a hater for this statement too) . We all have a hater or two (or 20) hanging around reminding us why we are “terrible” people. For many of you out there the need to please everyone you come in contact with is great, but I can assure you that you will drive yourself crazy trying to satisfy the many personalities that roam this planet. No one entity can make every human being happy, not even God, so how could you?

This life is your only life to live so live it to your truth without concern and without regret. You can still be a good person and selfishly live your life. Our time here is limited so the worst thing you could do is worry about what others around you make think of you. Most times they are lost as to what they should be doing with themselves, with their lives. Live your truth. Go after your own happiness. Do not resent those who hate you for what you are doing. Instead show them that they too can achieve the things they want out of life if they decide to one day tune out negativity. Be that example and show the world that no matter what, no matter how tainted and imperfect you are, you are still able to dance among the stars.

 

 

Love That Bad Situation

I don’t hate you. How could I ever? You taught me exactly about what I would never want out of life.

Please do not get me wrong though. If I see you coming, I’ll dodge you like the murdering bullet that you are, for all you do is kill a good situation. All that you touch you tarnish even if the intention isn’t so.  Your caked on prints are all that is left behind everywhere you go; an icky reminder of a painful and intolerable “what once was..” and now thankfully isn’t so.

Happiness courted me almost immediately. Walking away had been easy. Accepting this new found bliss and joy? That was even easier. Never looking back, I keep one foot in front of the other. There is no bewilderment as to why things happened the way they did. My intuition had always expected it. I never ask they question “why?” or “where are you now?” I know that in the darkest parts of a shadow cast is where you sadly linger. Keeping myself surrounded by the whitest of lights keeps every bit and part of you at bay.

I do not hate you. Why would I? You taught me all about life and how foolish we all can be. You taught me not to believe in the illusion of that  which easy comes. You taught me the importance of what it means to stay true to that which is me.

The Hourly Side Of It

Many close to me know that it has been for quite some time now that I’ve had an urge to leave the food and beverage industry in pursuit of change. Working in restaurants is something that I have been doing for most of my life now, more than half of my life to be exact. Although serving and bartending can be extremely lucrative, for me it had gotten to the point where it was a mindless job. Now matter what bar or restaurant I began working, it was all the same to me.

I got my chance to switch up my occupation but it wasn’t easy obtaining this new job nor has it been an easy transition.

I went on three interviews for this place. The first two were just days apart. By interview two I was stoked. I figured if they called me in for a second interview they would for sure hire me.

They never called me back. A week had passed and I had heard nothing from the place I had interviewed with. The confidence I had walked out of there with had pretty much vanished and what stood in its place was the feeling of worthlessness. I had always been able to land any restaurant job I had ever interviewed for but when it came to doing something different with my life, it seemed as though no other type of establishment would hire me.

I went on vacation for a week to go visit family. Throughout that whole time I kept thinking to myself how much I was really dreading going back to my serving job. Honestly it wasn’t as though I was working for bad bosses or that I couldn’t tolerate my co-workers. I did truly enjoy working with the people I worked with. The clientele was a bit more upper class than I would have liked, but even that I could tolerate. I just wasn’t feeling the service industry anymore. I decided that I wouldn’t let this job I had interviewed for get away from me that easily. I made a decision that when I got back home I would email the business a “follow up” letter. What would be the worst that could happen?? That they would respond and tell me, “I’m sorry but the position has been filled..” or simply not respond at all. I could deal with that. At the very least I would know that I had truly tried.

I arrived home on a Monday afternoon and within minuets of arriving I had sat at my computer and composed a lovely follow-up email. As soon as I sent it, I closed my laptop and tried to forget about it. It was just a few hours later that they responded. They wanted me to meet with the owner of the company the very next day. I was thrilled.

The following day came and as I got ready for this interview I reminded myself that this could go either way. Either she was going to love me and hire me or she was going to be unimpressed and I’d never hear from them again. I tried to keep high hopes while also knowing that I had to be realistic in this situation. What was the situation? The fact that my resume consisted of mainly restaurant work and hardly anything else. The truth of the matter was that if she did hire me it would be a huge risk on her part due to the simple fact that I had no experience in the field I was interviewing for. Either way, I went in with my head up high. Hopefully she would see that although I had no experience in what I was interviewing for, I still had wonderful qualities and attributes that I could contribute, while also having the capability to learn quickly.

Interviewing with her was easy. She was very down to earth and natural to talk to. She asked about my work history, told me in detail about the company and what she was looking to build within her team. To be honest, it hadn’t felt as though we were on an interview but more so just chatting. By then end of it, I walked out not knowing if I had gotten the job but feeling as though I did. Still, I kept it realistic. I had left the two previous interviews walking on clouds and never got called back so why would this be any different?

The phone call came two hours later. One of the managers I had previously interviewed with called to tell me I was hired. I was to start the very next day. I was ecstatic. Being relentless and not taking “no” for an answer had really worked out in my favor and I was happy to have been given an opportunity to prove that I was capable of doing the job even if I didn’t have much experience.

Fast forward to a month later and the thrill and the excitement has almost diminished completely. Starting a new job is hard. Starting a new job that you have no clue about is even harder. Add to the mix, the fact that I went from making nightly cash to now waiting every two weeks for a paycheck that pays a fraction of what one used to make, and now life is one big ball of stress. I will not lie, I have my good days, when everything seems fine and dandy. Those are the days I make no mistakes doing my job while also having a good time with my coworkers. Then I have the days that everything I touch I seem fuck up.  These are the days that I feel like I am not good enough to do what I was hired to do. These are the days in which I feel like “why did I even bother to force myself into a situation I was clearly not qualified for?”

The grass is not always greener on the other side. I now understand, that because I had been serving and bartending for so long, I had taken it all for granted. The money, the scheduling, the connection with my customers, all of that I overlooked and now that I’m on the hourly side of life, I crave it all back. Will I stay at this new job that I struggled so hard to get? In all honesty, I will answer by saying no. I was good at what I did and I made money doing so. It won’t be long before I find my way back to what once was. For now I will suck it up and make the most I can out of this frustrating situation, because let’s face it, why make it more miserable than it has to be? I have learned a lot about myself  by pursuing something that was out of reach, out of my norm. When you go outside of your comfort zone, you may not always strike it big but you will always learn something about yourself that you never really knew or ever paid attention to before.

I have no regrets on any of the decisions I’ve made that have landed me where I am at this moment in time.  Everything I do and experience adds to the value of my life. It all serves a purpose and although at times it may be frustrating to go through some of these adventures, they are none the less adventures, and isn’t that what we live for in the end?

Dating Miss. Independent

I am 31 and still very single.

I won’t say that it bothers me in the least bit.

Dating isn’t easy. Can we even really call it enjoyable? Don’t get me wrong, I am not jaded. What I am is realistic and although dating is more times fun than not, I wouldn’t consider it entirely enjoyable. The process can be exhausting from meeting someone, to having to get ready to go on dates, to later meeting his friends and family, to then establishing some sort of compromising routine so that all parties involved are at least equally as happy. I mean, breaking it down like this and who really wants to go dating?

Try doing all of that while being highly independent and the dating world suddenly gets even murkier. That’s what I’ve always gone through, and even though I still tend to jump right in, it doesn’t take me very long to quickly get back out.

The unknown typically doesn’t make a person like myself very comfortable. Funny thing because independent people tend to go adventuring into the unknown but only because of our curiosity and uncomfortability with it; the unknown usually driving us to wanting to know more. Relationships are a huge unknown. Although many would like to constantly express their trust and comfortability within their relationship, no one can be 100% sure because we all know that in life, anything can happen. With that said no wonder we independents find comfort in the walls that we built around our hearts, letting only a countless few in. An average man who desires the independent woman’s heart, can’t even see beyond that wall.

Men tend to always crack me up. In conversations with the male counterpart I often hear that an important quality that they look for in a woman is that she be independent. Later on they meet one and before you know it the relationship is over and it is because of her independent ways that didn’t sit well with them. It’s one example of how sometimes what we think we want in another person isn’t exactly what we may need.

An independent woman won’t be that girl waiting by the phone for his phone call. She will most definitely not be the “doormat” type of girlfriend. She is picky and why shouldn’t she be? Forever is a long time so she’s got a long list of traits she wants because she is ambitious even when it comes to her love life. Although we love to love and crave that emotional availability and companionship with another, we won’t bend for just anyone because for most of us, we have been living a life for so long on our own that we have even built a metaphysical wall around our hearts; just another safety precaution to help us get through this crazy life. Most of us ‘Miss. Independents’ have faced life challenges with a courageous heart and yes, we have overcome a lot yet there is still a fear of failure that lingers on, just like with everyone else. Independents are typically strong and know much about themselves and this can be intimidating for many men. Hence why it takes someone very secure with themselves to be with an independent and will have no problem standing behind their partner when support is needed. A man who is a ball of mush will never be able to hold the attention of a strong woman because it shows her that he will never be able to give her the stability she needs.

Most men tend to want to be that knight in shinning armor aiding in the rescue of his damsel in distress. When he begins dating an Independent woman, his entire game is thrown for a loop. An Independent isn’t looking to date you in order to feel financially secure, which is the foot many men want to begin to lead with, and even though Independent women aren’t necessarily more financially successful, they still won’t seek or accept offerings.

An independent woman will respect a man who is the type to plan their dates and romances her, is chivalrous to her and respectful towards others; a man who will take the reins when need be. She respects the man who maintains an independent social life apart of the one they share together because for an independent woman, alone time is key. A man who lives his own life alongside hers and doesn’t intertwine the two is a major plus. If he is possessive, overbearing, or tends to come on too strong that will be the perfect repellent to keep this kind of girl at bay. She is anti-clingy and so she will never be the woman who will be obsessed with your looks and who will be continously feeding your ego. Simply put you are a part of her life and not her entire life. She is a big advocate on each person keeping their own serperate identity when also building one as a unit. For her it isn’t about not wanting to bend to his ways but more so keeping who she has worked so hard to become. When she meets that man who is willing to invest in doing the things that make her her without a fight, she is loyal to a fault because of its rareity.

Independent women tend to always give off the “I’m fine” vibe. It is almost second nature for us. Even though we cherish our independence we also know that it can get in our way of our asking for help when we needed. Strong communication is important in general but more so with an Independent. Communicaton is not only when it comes to verbally speaking or listening, but it is also interpretation. It’s importnat to listen to what she doesn’t say because what she isn’t saying can speak volumes.

Guys, dating an independent woman isn’t easy. Like any other relationship it can most definitely be a bumpy ride but one that will be 100% worth it. An independent woman has a clear idea of who she is and what she wants and if you’re the kind of man who knows himself and feels comfortable in speaking up about and desires and limits, this relationship will be rewarding.

My advice to you is to be patient, be yourself, and always enjoy the ride.

Just Like You.

I am fucked up. I am just as fucked up as you.

I tell lies; big, bold faced lies. I lie to myself everyday, right to my face. I don’t understand why since with the others I blab out the truth. An open book I am with them; strangers, friends, and even foes. Yet here I stand before this woman in the mirror, and lie.

I pretend that the horrors of my past don’t matter. That I have overcome it all. I am an actress embracing the role of a lifetime, the role of it all being ok. The truth is I am just as fucked up as you.

I get angry; not just over anything. When I do it’s a build up of sorts. When I do? Run for the fucking hills because the volcano will spew, consuming all in its wake.

A girl so “happy” and “positive” all the time surly has her days. When the day is here and the moment is now, it is a terrible day for all who are involved.

I am stubborn; a mule in human form when my way is all I see. When I feel right, I’m right, and there’s nothing else anyone can do about it.

I am a loser; compare me to all those that “know”. They know what to wear, what to say. They know when to have kids. They know who and when to get married. They know what car to buy. They always know how to act. They know what career they want and how to get there.

I talk shit on those people because let’s be fucking real, what do they fucking know??

I am unaccepting; leaving nothing out of range. I don’t accept social norms. The norms set by the heartless, the ones that view the world as their very own experimental tank.

I don’t accept the rules of this world. I only follow the laws of life. I rebel against the flow that the other fish may follow. I swim against the current even when I’m drowning; it’s what I do.

I vocalize my flaws and accept them for what they are; battles within myself that will never fully fall away. Just as I am beautiful, I can be ugly. Just as I am clever, I can be stupid. I am all of these, as well as so much more.

A bitch. A lover. A murderer. A daughter.  I am the realism that dances within your dreams. I am the deceit that helps blanket the illusion of life.

I am fucked up just like you.

 

Still I Wonder

He had saved his little sister’s life and he visibly wore his achievement on his skin.

His third degree burns weren’t 100% healed. You could tell in the pinkness of his black skin. They were everywhere. Patches that covered his hands and arms, his legs, even throughout most of his face with only his left side left untouched. It was obviously the first thing we all noticed as he stood in front of the class as our teacher introduced him.

His name was Alex and it was his first day of 2nd grade even though it was almost halfway through the first semester. He was nervous, I could tell by the way he shook his knee back and fourth, but he stood tall with his chin held high, holding a spider man book bag in his right hand.

He took a seat two rows ahead of me. I stared at him wondering to myself what could have happened. It wasn’t until days later that him and I were sitting together at recesses that one of the boys came up to him on a dare to ask him what had happened to him.

Fucking jerks. Kids can be a bunch of turds..

Yet, I stayed quiet. I wanted to know too so I too became a quiet little turd. He hadn’t even hesitated to answer and spoke slowly, perfectly:

His mother had been in the kitchen cooking. By her legs, there played Alex with his little sister. She had just gotten a new doll for her birthday and so he was entertaining her while mom finished with dinner, spaghetti. All of the sudden, all he hears is his mother scream and without thinking he grabbed to hug his sister. Without even thinking he had shielded her from what was to come. He felt the pain before hearing the pot hit the ground. His mother had accidentally knocked over the pot she had been boiling the water in, sending its contents spilling onto the boy. His sister hadn’t been at all touched by the scorching hot water.

I was mesmerized as he told his story. I could tell that the kid who had asked him didn’t know what to say. After Alex had finished, the boy simply rubbed his hair uncomfortably and walked away. We sat there on the curb quietly for a moment. It was a beautiful day. Clear blue skies with only a slight cold breeze, dead autumn leaves dancing in its movement.

“You’re like a hero.” I had broken the silence. He slightly shook his head.

“Heroes don’t really look like me.” He picked up a pebble and threw it. It skipped a few times across the parking lot before landing on a patch of dirt.

“What do heroes look like?” I turned to look at him. He seemed sad. He thought about his answer for a few seconds.

“Like my dad. He’s a police officer. He goes to people’s houses everyday to save people.” I pictured his dad, probably a handsome man in a crisply ironed uniform. Police officers were heroes to me back then and so I remember agreeing with him with a silent nod. But Alex was still a hero to me.

“Your dad is your dad. If you think he’s a hero than you are one too because he is your dad. He saves lives and you saved one too.”  I simply said. I then picked up a pebble and threw it.

It wasn’t long before Alex made his group of friends and life as kids went on as normal. The following year I left private school and got thrown into the turbulent world of public schooling. I lost contact of all of my old classmates. This was a time before kids had cell phones let alone a social media page, and so I never saw Alex again. He wasn’t even in our class photo. He had arrived so late into the school year that he had ended up missing picture day.

Even though much time has passed, and all he really is now is a distant faded memory, I will think of this hero child from time to time. I wonder what the future had held for him, where he was, and what he was doing with himself. Had karmatic justice been served in his case? I most certainly hope so.

 

 

 

Love. It Doesn’t Force.

I had to kick a boyfriend in the nuts once. It was the second time I had ever done that to someone. I mean, I hadn’t kicked him hard. Now looking back, maybe I should have.

Before you go on feeling bad for him and end up taking his side, I’d like to just mention that the asshole wasn’t taking “No” for an answer and had forced himself upon me. The way his hands pinned me down by my shoulders while making sure to spread my legs with his knees sent me back to a time in my life that I never wanted to revisit again. He was full of laughter of course. To him, I wasn’t seriously saying no, was I? How could his girlfriend, or any woman for that matter resist and say ‘no” to him?

It happened in what felt like a blink of an eye. I was 13 again and being pinned up against the wall by my abuser. I was too weak at the time to get away from this ex-marine’s grip and so there I hurt until I remembered to do what I had been taught to do in a situation such as this. Kick and Run.

No matter how fast I ran then, or how fast I had continued running even after all those years, the damage had been done because trauma has a funny way of keeping up with you no matter how fast you run. Here I was with my guy, and within seconds he is now my new abuser. After struggling against him, panic rising up within my chest, after not being able to take his heavy breaths and laughter landing upon my face, I brought my feet up towards his chest and propelled him off of me. He was a big guy so I hadn’t thrown him far. He quickly regained his balance and was again on top of me before I  was able to wiggle away.

“Why are you fighting me..you know you want..” and as he goes to unbuckle his belt, I swung my foot back and landed a strike on his most prized possession.  He quickly went down, “What the fuck, Nat!!..” and as he caught his breath I roll off the bed and told him to get the fuck out. I hadn’t cared if he was in pain. I wanted him out of my sight.. and to be honest I wanted him out of my life.

How is it possible that someone be so selfish? Most of you are probably thinking, “How was he supposed to know that he would trigger such a feeling?” Well simple, because we had talked about what had happened to me. Although within our relationship it was I that would mainly listen to him rant on about his problems, his demons, his life…I had once been given the split second chance to share this moment of my life with him. Not in full detail, his attention span was like that of a chimpanzee, but in enough detail that he knew what I had gone through and the pain that it had caused in my life.

SHOULD IT EVEN MATTER??

Does one ever really need a “good” reason to say no to someone’s sexual advances? Should it be one’s job or duty in a relationship to continuously feed a person’s insatiable sexual appetite with disregard of one’s own feelings?

There is more to the story. Steroid use and drug abuse definitely played a big role in this person’s actions, and once reminded of why I instinctively reacted the way I did, his anger had subsided. Mine had not, yet still I stayed.

Sadly, this incident hadn’t been the only time, just the first. The later times had never ended with a swift kick to the balls. I had just given up fighting but with every incident the anger within me ferociously grew until a fire began to burn and slowly incinerated any love for him I had to give.

We ended badly as I’m sure you all have now assumed. He was discarded in to the pile of ex’s long ago. I take with me from this experience that no matter the role someone can play in your life, if selfishly they behave, you must selfishly leave.  The red flags had always been there. I chose to push them off to the side in hopes that what I was experiencing and feeling maybe wasn’t true. A figment of my traumatized imagination but, no, it wasn’t.

When it comes to people like me who have dealt with certain tragedies of life, handle with care. Selflessly listen and try to understand. No person should ever have to be placed in a situation in which they are taken back to the darkened corners of their minds. Do not try to force something into existence that just isn’t meant to be because to force it will instead repel and always remember,

“That who loves will in turn be loved.”