Caution To the Wind

I put to rest another small and unhappy part of my life today, for I’ve learned from my previous experiences to not let unhappiness hang around for too long.

Today I decided to quit my part-time job.

I won’t lie, walking away from any sort of commitment, whether big or small, personal or professional, it’s always difficult to do. There are always pros and cons, of course. Most times if you’re at the point in which you are weighing out the negatives and the positives of your given situation, the cons will outweigh the pros. But, if you’re anything like me, once you commit, it’s too hard to quit no matter how difficult the situation may be.

Growing up my momma made sure to raise no fool. She instilled in us kids the values and principals of working hard and sticking to what you start, no matter the sacrifice and dedication it took. As kids, there was no such thing as “sick days” unless one was contaminated with something extremely contagious such as the chicken pox. We didn’t take days off of school without an important reason, and once I got older there was no such thing as “calling out” of work either. Think of it like this, in the 30 plus years that my mother has been employed at the casino, she has only called out of work four times, and it was due to snow. You can just imagine the work ethic my mother has and in turn has passed onto us. This is why in today’s time, if I find myself committing to something, be it a job, or project, anything really, I am committed. I am your loyal little work bee until something or someone prevents me from happily doing so.

The key word there was “happily”. I am a HUGE follower of happiness. I believe that happiness is a choice. You either choose to be happy or you choose to not be happy. I believe that while we’re here experiencing this life we chose, we either decide to make this a heaven on Earth, or Hell. Much of what helps us make our decision as to which way we live has to do with listening to ourselves and allowing intuition to direct us. I mean we have feelings for a reason. Feelings help guide us throughout life, and although people listen to some feelings, they don’t seem to consider all feelings. For instance fear is one feeling people tend to not only consider but over indulge in. Yes, fear allows us to avoid many dangerous situations, but at times it also limits people’s ability to experience things outside of their comfort zone.

A follower of happiness cannot simultaneously over indulge in the feelings of fear.  Yes, a follower of happiness can experience fear, but there is no overindulgence because to follow happiness, many times (most times) you must throw caution to the wind and not allow for fear to govern decision making. Happiness is a feeling that not many people take into consideration. Are you happy at work? Do you feel happy in your romantic relationship? Does your friendship bring you happiness? If not, are you willing to go on that pursuit of happiness no matter what it takes, or will you let fear take reign of your life? Many will read this and counter that one cannot be happy in all aspects of life. Those people are Debbie Downers. You CAN be happy in all areas of your life. People do it everyday. It’s a small percentage but there are those individuals that are truly happy in all aspects of their life. You just have to choose to be happy. Sure, it takes time, but if you’ve got the drive and determination, just like with anything else in life, you too can achieve all around happiness.

There is no need for me to say that my part time job wasn’t making me happy. It was no secret. I honestly couldn’t have been more vocal about it, and although I wasn’t there for long, I still feel annoyed with myself that I ended up staying there for as long as I did. There were many days full of anguish and unease that could have been avoided if only I would have left sooner. Yet, I can’t dwell on the past. Or I could, but for what reason? To extend that negative feeling?? Instead I’ll applaud myself for leaving the unhappy situation sooner than I have previously done in the past, merely because I let fear rule over my feeling of intuition.

“You need us as much as we may need you.” My ex-boss said to me as we spoke about our issues. Anyone who is an employee knows these are words that draw a line in the sand. So I either choose to believe that what he spoke is true and stay in a situation that brings me no joy. A situation that I’m in only because I don’t want to let others down. OR  I choose to cross that line and step out and over into the unknown. Where the door to comfort and familiarity closes and the window to new and endless opportunities await.

I chose to cross the line. The minuet I did I felt the greatest weight being lifted off my shoulders and in that instant I knew I did the right thing. Maybe not the right thing in the eyes of others, but for me it was the right decision. Now I’ve got an array of avenues to pursue. I can go this way or that way, while nothing negative is holding me back. In this NOW moment I can say that I am truly happy in all areas of my life and I plan to keep it this way. Yes, there will come a time (many more times) where a feeling of sadness or unrest will try to creep back in, but as a follower of happiness I am committed to myself to always do what makes my soul smile. I choose to pursue that which makes me radiate joy, positivity, and love so I not only continuously live in harmony with the Universe, but so that I can also serve as an example that one can truly achieve and live in overall happiness if one chooses to.

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The Land I Loved

The day I left was the saddest day of my life as an adult. The funny part is? I didn’t have anything to really hold me there. In other words, it’s not like I was leaving anything behind per say, only the dreams of my future.

It didn’t hit me as we were placing all of our belongings out onto the curb. My things that I had worked so hard for just out there exposed and left behind. It didn’t hit me as we pulled away and watched as the neighborhood I had called my home for the last year fade away from view. Everything that had become familiar to me that year was slowly fading and with each second that ticked by it was all becoming just a part of my past.

The silence during the first half hour of our car ride was needed because the lump in my throat wouldn’t have allowed for otherwise. It was once my turn signal indicated our arrival onto the interstate, and that moment of me looking into the rear view mirror, that a warm sadness washed over me. California had won. A true and real feeling of failure is what ran through my veins. It wouldn’t be for weeks that I would get to feeling like “me”again and then even still, it was a hurt “me”, a healing “me”.

My eyes welled up, the tears hot and intrusive. I could no longer hide my hurt once they overflowed and ran from the hiding spot behind my sunglasses and down my cheeks. I didn’t even bother to wipe the tears. What for? The pain was real and there was no sense in hiding it. Instead I chose to live through the emotion, actually feel what it was I was going through. I had fallen in love and for me this death was worth the mourning.

I’m sure many reading this will think I’m being dramatic. Only those who have taken risks and failed will understand where I’m coming from and really, those are the people I’m talking to. Only you are the ones who can relate. If you’ve never been through something similar, if you’ve never failed before and were left with nothing more than a a hole in your heart, read this and realize, your day is coming. That is for sure. It’s best you read up so you’re not blindsided as I was.

As a kid I had always dreamed of living in the rural parts of California. I had seen so many pictures and documentaries, the lay of the land in northern California was like a dream. The first computer I ever got that could actually surf the internet, I spent time looking up and researching places around the U.S that had always interested me. Cali was definitely my number one. I didn’t want to head there to be rich and famous. Fuck that. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I wanted to live in California because it was something that had called to me as a child. Those beautiful mountains. The sky which seemed to always look so candy colored. The way the leaves turned to those amazing autumn tones in the fall with bright yellows, oranges, and reds. It was no surprise to anyone who knew me that the second I had cash saved up, off I was. I drove out to the West Coast without a moment’s hesitation. The people in my life dishonestly supporting me didn’t deter me. It was my dream, not theirs, that I was hunting for.

I had been purposely positive throughout the three days it took to drive there. I thought about how quick I would find a job. I thought about how awesome it would be to live in the new apartment, in my new neighborhood, with my new neighbors. I imagined all the cool places I’d finally get to see. Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Hollywood Blvd, the Sunset Strip. If there were any doubts at any point in time, I crushed them with thoughts of positivity. There would be no Negative Nancies in my head bringing me down. No sir. I was (still am) a firm believer in the Law of Attraction so for me, negative thoughts weren’t even an option. It wasn’t until a year later that I looked back and realized, maybe the negative thoughts that would slip into my mind here and there was just life trying to prepare me for what would later be a shocking reality. But like Karma I find Hindsight to be a bitch.

My theory on Los Angeles’ smog problem is that it isn’t pollution, per say, that is floating above everyone’s head. It is my belief that the layer of smog that always lingers are the souls of the innocent who venture out to L.A and never return to be the same again. I mean hell, they don’t call it the City of Angels for no reason. I imagine it being like a trap box for the innocent. The interior of this box looks so appealing. It’s dressed up in opportunities and gold. Shiny things hang in its interior, attracting you like a fly to a light bulb. You get there one way, with a pure and maybe even naive way of being. Before long, the doors to this box snap shut and you are trapped inside, doing things out there to survive that you never thought you’d  have to do.

Yea, as a child I dreamed of going to Northern Cali but the opportunity arose for me in L.A. I figured that I could get myself started in the city. It would be my first foot through the door and then once I saved up a bit I would migrate up north.

I never even made it to saving up.

The California life is expensive. The cost of living was ridiculously high and real jobs were scarce. Just by looking around, the amount of homeless people or those collecting cans and plastic could be proof of what I’m telling you. My story during this time could have gone many different ways. It could have gone better. It could have gone way worse. It’s kinda funny because now thinking about it, they way I lived in L.A was so carefree, it was almost as though I was tempting danger to come dance with me. The streets of Los Angeles, the devil’s playground, and I was out and about living as if I were still out on the Island of Sanibel. I spoke to strangers. I would go out and try to explore my surroundings and many times, during this exploration, I would get lost and wind up on a block a didn’t belong. The drinking was out of control and there were more than a handful of times that in a moment of sheer blackout, would take my car and attempt to drive home. I always made it of course, but that is only because I have the best guardian angel out there protecting me.

There were so many mistakes I made when arriving to Cali. There were also many obstacles that also got in the way, obstacles that prolonged the feeling of settling down. I don’t think that in the year that I lived there did I feel at all settled.  Jobs weren’t working out. Food was scarce. Bills were piling up. The roller coaster of emotions and the stress were taking a toll on me. Secretly I would cry myself to sleep on almost every night. It would have been one thing if it would have just been myself that I needed to worry about. The fact that my sister decided to come along on my little adventure was what hurt me the most. Not because she came along with me but because she was suffering. This was my dream that I was trying to live out and now that it was going horribly bad she was suffering. To look at her face filled with so much anxiety and sadness really broke my heart to pieces and so the day I was confronted with the opportunity to return home, her face was the one I saw. In my mind, I saw her looking at me with the eyes full of hope of going back home, and that’s what made me break.

The decision was literally made from one day to the next and to be honest it wasn’t too hard of a decision to make. We were already 3 months behind on our rent. We had no food except for a bag of rice and a couple cans of tuna. By this time anytime we grocery shopped it was mainly baby food and soup cups that we ended up getting and that was to be split between my sister and I, along with my dog and her cat. Crazy right?

It had just been a few days before our planned departure that I had received an e-mail from our landlord stating that if we didn’t have the three months of rent we owed him within 48 hours, he would be there with police escort to evict us. Instead of leaving as planned, our trip back home was to be expedited. We gave our neighbor’s some of our things. Actually, we were trying to sell our stuff to them but after realizing that they were in no greater shape than we were, we freely gave things away. We then packed the car with whatever we could bring, but my small two door sports car couldn’t hold much, so we just left mostly everything behind. Like I mentioned earlier, the amount of people that are homeless or who rummage the garbage for food or things to help them get by is astronomical in L.A. So instead of leaving much of our stuff inside the apartment when we left, we decided to set what we could carry out on the curb for people to take. I mean for us it was like, “Well we can’t take it with us, so let’s leave it for those who will truly need it.” It was 6 am in the morning when we finished, the sun was just beginning to wake up. Our plan was to get out of there before our landlord showed up with his police escort. To be behind on a month’s rent is bad enough, but to owe three months is ridiculous. The fact that he hadn’t thrown us out sooner was a shock to me and a testament to how kind he was, for he was a really nice landlord, and there was no way my sister and I could face him.

As we got into my car, I noticed that there was already a family going through what was just a few seconds ago our belongings. It was truly a bittersweet moment that to even think about it now tugs at my heart.

I lost a lot on this adventure of mine to California. Not just my physical belongings but I also left behind a sliver of my dignity, piece of my heart, as well as a chuck of my soul. Yet, with my losing or leaving behind a few things I had also gained much more than that. I took with me my experiences of meeting new people, good and bad. I have taken and stored away beautiful memories and also some scary ones. Everything that I have obtained through my journey to and from California has served a wonderful purpose and have also gifted me with amazing stories for me to share. Who knows if I’ll ever go back and attempt at living there again but at least now I know somewhat of what I should be expecting.

There was a post I previously made about how I’ve only truly been in love twice. I’ll go ahead and correct myself by saying that it was three times. California. She is beautiful. She is enticing. She was a ruthless love.

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Art Work Credit: Jet Victory Follow on IG and FB

Beyond the Obvious

Looking at her he sees an angel full of purity and innocence. Her skin immaculate, childlike and flawless. He knows she is a book full of secrets. A walking journal of sorts. We all have skeletons in our closet, but she’s got full bodies. He’s sure of it. Yet love is funny. It makes you do things you wouldn’t even think of doing, it makes you feel things you never knew you could feel.

Love makes you look beyond what’s obvious. To him she is an angel sent from God. She has no idea how she’s saved him in more ways than one. In his darkest moments, he felt her breath. It was warm against his skin. It penetrated and melted his heart. He could stare into her eyes forever. He could get lost in those deep brown pools that would infiltrate and pierce his soul. He could swim with In Those Eyes For Eternity. A Laguna and as mysterious as one too. What could lurk deep within those dark Waters? Turtles, fishes, leeches? Or maybe the Loch Ness Monster?

Maybe something even darker and more foreboding.

Still he cares not.

He loves her and with love he can conquer them all.

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Photo Credit: Arturo G. Muse: Natal Galvan

Solo Baring

When you’re single, life can be a total adventure. Whether you’re newly single or have been alone for quite some time now, the fact of the matter is, you’re far more open to crazy things happening to you than those locked down by love. I mean, think about it. When you’re single you just simply tend to invite more excitement into your life due to the fact that… Well.. you’re single. Maybe you’re trying to make more friends or maybe you’re really looking to meet that special person… again. Either way, when situations arise, you’re all over it because the possibilities of something coming out of it are endless. When you’re there’s no one you have to take into consideration. No one you have to ask “permission”. As a single, you pretty much make your decision right then and there and more often than not, a single person will be down for anything. Hell, what better way to meet people than to dive head first into an adventure, no?

Sometimes it’s our friends that allow opportunity for adventure. Or maybe it’s our family and fellow co-workers who provide us with a good situation to mix and mingle. I find that when I look at all the adventures I have found myself in in the past, the motivating factor was usually boredom. Boredom can be a great motivator for many things. For singles, boredom could even be borderline dangerous.

Just in the last few weeks have I started going out and about solo. Don’t get me wrong. I was always Ok with going to the mall, dinner, or a movie by myself. I like me and I don’t mind having to be my own company. What I was never used to do was going out to the bar and having a few cocktails by myself. I not only felt like it heightened the probability of something bad happening to me but I felt that it would just feel weird. Guys? They do it all the time but you never really see ladies out at the bar by themselves. It’s just weird. What lead to my change of heart? Boredom with a splash of loneliness. After much contemplation I made my move. Armed with a notebook, pen, cell phone (obviously), earphones, a book, and my dog I was ready to plunge into the world of what I like to call “solo baring.” I had a backpack just full of crap all of it meant to keep me busy. Now looking back on it, I must have looked ridiculous during those first couple outings. To me I felt like I was carrying a gigantic  hiker backpack so it would have been interesting to see me through the eyes of others. I can only imagine what they could have been thinking. “Did she bring her entire house with her?” Or “What doesn’t she have in that backpack?” But secretly, that is something I have always battled with, caring about what other people could be thinking.

I’ve gone out now a few times by myself. I wouldn’t call me an expert or anything but I’m no longer bringing my entire bedroom with me when I go out. At the most I listen to my music and I mean I always have my notebook with me. Inspiration lingers everywhere and the last thing I want to do is miss out on the opportunity to write it down. The fact that I usually have my dog with me has been amazing. My little buddy gets plenty of attention and because of her I have actually began to meet people. There’s a saying out there, “In order to see change, change must happen.” and it couldn’t be more true. It took a visit from my sister and a dear friend of mine to make me realize the error of my ways. There was a point where I was ready to leave this town and quick (if only legal troubles weren’t lingering over my head) even though this was my dream. I have always said that one day I would live on the beach. I would work as little as possible and write like it was nobody’s business. Well, my dream is being lived out. I live on the beach. I work enough to pay for living expenses and have a little extra for whatever I want to do with it and writing has again been my main priority. So why was I ready to ditch this place?? In my mind, I felt like what good was living the dream if you had no one to share it with? Be it with a boyfriend, lover, friends, anyone, to experience life and to share it with those around you is important for happiness. In my opinion it heightens the experience. Here I was living the dream but it was just my dog and I building these memories. I wanted more.

In listening to the conversation of my visitors I really became aware of how my loneliness and unsatisfaction was self created. I wasn’t doing my part in truly trying to go out and meet people. Now thinking back I think it was mainly because I just wasn’t really ready to put myself out there and connect with people again. Within the last year I had been burned by many I believed would be in my life forever. I had been stopping myself from connecting with anyone else. Maybe I just wasn’t ready to connect until now.

Since I began going out, I have gotten myself into adventures that have cost me in one way or another. For one thing I have been spending a little more money. Do you know how hard it is for me to say no to having another drink? It’s pretty hard. Usually it’s friends that’ll have to be like “Noooo you don’t want another one…” When you’re out solo baring you have no one keeping that close eye on you. I never want to go home. I always want to stay for another one. It’s not hard for a server/bartender to “talk” me into getting another drink. But it’s not just the cost of money, but the cost of items that has left me in awe. In the last two weeks I have lost, a pair of sneakers, a pair of jeans, a sock, two pairs of earrings, an entire box of untouched chicken strips, a half order of wings, my cell phone, and 3 bobby pins. How did I lose all this stuff?? Well, being drunk was definitely a key participant in my moment of absent mindedness. When you’re out alone and a bit tipsy, you have no one to remind you to grab things off the table like that to-go box of food with your cell phone sitting right on top of it. You have no one reminding you to grab your jeans and shoes right after that moment of craziness that hit you right before you decided to go for a quick dip in the sea under the night sky. Let me add, that all of these things… are dangerous. A female, out and about at night, tipsy, and alone? I know I have exposed myself to quite a bit of danger. Not smart. But by doing so, life has gotten a wee bit more exciting. What is it that people say? “Take a walk on the wild side?” This island has proven just that and instead of feeling upset that I have lost so many of my “things”, I feel happy because what I’ve gained is worth so much more. I’ve met people, some of them I can tell will be good friends, at least for a little while, and wasn’t that the entire goal?? Making friends? I’ve also witnessed the most beautiful sunsets and have even motivated myself to rise early enough to catch the sunrise routinely now. I enjoy breathing in the salty sea air and to feel the sand between my toes is a daily must now.

Life is good. I no longer feel the urgent need to move away. I’ve got a little more exploring to do. I’ve got a few more adventures that I want to get into. For now, I’m just excited to be living out this dream of mine while also in the process of meeting new folks and creating new dreams. The life of a single can be a little tricky but once you find that motivation and a plan that works for you… everything else just simply falls right into place.

So from one single to another, I say to you.. put yourself out there, no matter how “weird” you may think it’ll feel. Take that walk on the wild side one baby step at a time.

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Photo Credit: Natal Galvan, Location: Prawn Broker, Fort Myers, FL