anonymous letters

Graduation Day

 

Recently, someone close to me reached a huge goal. She called me, a mix of relief and joy in her voice, to tell me the news.  She celebrated a graduation day of a special kind.

Not everyone knew what she went through.  Not everyone could see her struggle. Most didn’t even know she was on this path. It was a kind of schooling that she took on not because anyone said she had to.  It was the kind of schooling she took on just for herself. When the time was right, she volunteered.  She committed. Invested. She did the work.

Not many people knew what brought her to the doorstep of that school.  She was pretty quiet about the learning she had to do, the lessons involved, the tests she brought upon herself.  She found her own teacher, someone she thought could help her find her way to her goals. And she worked with that teacher faithfully to learn what she needed to know. She did the work. There is no substitute for doing the work.

Life is full of schools.  Some are official, with bells and class rosters.  Some schools are of our own making, when we decide it’s time to level up, or maybe level out.  There are schools of hard knocks and schools of higher learning. Schools for driving and schools where we learn to be a passenger.  Lessons from classrooms, lessons from the streets, and life lessons that we have to learn over and over again, sometimes the hard way.  But for the most part, once we get past the tweenage years, the schools we attend are by choice.

It takes courage to take ourselves to school when we know we need to learn something but it won’t be fun or easy.  These kinds of schools aren’t required.  No attendance officer is going to call you if you don’t show up.  Holding ourselves accountable can be one of the biggest challenges we face when the topics are tough and the lessons are long. Homework is the deep challenge of learning, unlearning, and relearning how to think and live. We may not get grades, but we know when we’ve failed and when we’ve passed.

It’s not the kind of graduation where she gets a cap and gown. No cords for clubs or uncomfortable seats.  No one is sending her gifts or cards. No diploma will hang on her wall. But she does wave at the crowd, whether you recognize it or not. She smiles with a deeply confident face and a fresh mind. She doesn’t stride across the stage and shake hands. Instead, she treads a quiet victory, walking her new walk every day.

There may be no certificate, no tassel, but still…she tosses her hat into the air in an inspiring way, sharing her journey and her learning as she sees fit.  To witness her journey and her graduation brought me to a new, deep level of respect for her. I celebrate her today and every day, as she bounds toward her next classroom.

 

anonymous letters, Uncategorized

What’s That Stink?

Okay, a little dose of reality for you.

I’m sitting at a basketball game cheering on my kid. The game is being played at the local high school gymnasium. I sit in the bleachers with other parents and general spectators. It’s large, airy, open gym with high ceilings so you don’t have any lingering sweat or feet smells. It’s generally just fresh air circulating. Some attendees I know. Some I don’t.

Then all of a sudden it hits me out of nowhere. It’s a big stink. It lingers. It’s foul. Not like a dirty diaper but a stinky fart smell. I shrug and say to myself somebody is just nasty. A few minutes go by and boom it happens again.

It’s equally foul but may linger a bit longer. Hang time on point for that mystery farter! This time I look to my left and say is that you? The girl says no, is it you? Hell no, it’s not me! We conclude somebody is nasty around us and go back to watching the game.

And then it happens again. This time it’s the stench that makes your eyes water and we immediately and collectively put up our shirt to our mouth and nose to cover the nasty scent that is almost smoldering around us. We look around and mount suspicions.

To our right we notice another lady sitting close to a man covering her face. Was it her or was it the guy? We really don’t know but she leaves abruptly a few minutes later. Was it to check her drawers?

We also question if she ran off because she had to go shit herself in the proper place, the bathroom, or was she escaping from the guy that was sitting by her dropping silent but deadly farts?

We make eye contact with the guy. And he starts laughing. We start laughing and confirm you smell that over there too. Is it him and did he drive her off? It’s such a mystery. Who is the nasty one?

We will never know for sure but who in the heck goes to a kids basketball and repeatedly lets silent-but-ever-so-dangerous farts loose multiple times and stays to watch the game as if nothing is the matter?

In light of the crazy stink in my day, I giggled and reflected on my first book and one page in particular (the poop page) pictured above. Oh how this page makes me giggle about as much as poop, poop sounds in a public bathroom stall, poop stains in a commode and farts in general. Why?

Simply stated, girls don’t normally talk about it. You know poop. Shit. Caca. Dookie. The whole nine yards. It’s not politically correct and it also bothers my co-author. To the point we fought over inclusion of this page in our first book. The irony of which is, it’s one of the most liked pages! Check out The End for yourself and see what all the poop is about.

And while you at it, give this post a like if it made you giggle. I would like to see how
much my readers like a good laugh.

Now back to the story….How about some common decency for the others sharing the common air space in the gym? I obviously lived to tell about this story but I had to immediately change my clothes when I got home just in case the stink was lodged in my clothes. It was really so bad that spraying Lysol or perfume in the general vicinity would not have saved the day.

I will be sitting alone next week for sure. Until next time, smell ya later!

anonymous letters, family

The Next Chapter Is In Motion

Motion: fast motion, slow motion or no motion. Which one is it?

Right now, I would say we are stalled. Where do I go? Who will help me? What am I entitled to get? Why do things cost so much? Why do I have to pay for that? How can I get a job paying 40k/year with no training, experience or advanced degree?

I almost think high school needs a “Welcome to Adulthood” class as a required step for graduation. No sugar coating things. Make them live as an adult for 60 days. See how many pass that class! Much better choice than a baby class because if you can’t be an adult, you certainly shouldn’t have a baby anytime soon.

Welcome to adulthood. Welcome, my friend. Welcome to the world of bills, bosses, crappy work hours, and so much more. It’s called adulting!

Yes, adulting is the coveted thing smart ass teens long for. Their freedom. Their ability to make their own rules. Their ability to do or not do.

They forget when you cut the cord, nobody does your laundry. Nobody pays for your car insurance. Nobody pays for that cell phone you are on 24/7. Nobody pays for your haircuts, clothes or toiletries. Why do kids today think adulting is the thing to do right now?

Kids these days don’t think about savings accounts for a rainy day. They don’t think about what happens if they can’t pay their rent. They just think somebody will help them. A form of entitlement, I guess.

This isn’t just something I see from just my parenting lens. I see it with others. Maybe not all, but a lot of kids in the middle-class suburbs where my kids have been raised. Very different from my upbringing.

To get started, I must go back a short bit. To sum up the past 9-12 months of my life could only be categorized as an insane yet thrilling roller coaster ride with many twists, turns, ups, downs, loop-de-loops and all the insane tummy drops that go along with the above!

But during it all, I remained calm on most days. I relied on my friends and family for moral support and I endured a lot of sweat in the gym to keep me grounded. All of which got me to today with a big smile on my face. I may even drop 10 pounds from reducing my stress now that this big day is here. I’ll call this the turning point.

As I sigh on one chapter coming to an end, I grin with a new one beginning. I hold my head up high and cheer loud and proud for my middle child who graduates high school. Not the straight-A student but a hard worker with a heart of gold. He battled to get to this point, but he did it and I couldn’t be more proud of him!

As he enters adulthood with that diploma in hand, he will be ready to tackle his life adventures with confidence knowing he graduated. Wherever he travels, whomever he falls in love with, whatever trouble he gets in, or whatever career path he chooses, his momma will still be there for him through thick and thin.

It’s time to cut the cord! My role changes now. I am a supporter from this point forward. I am no longer a life guide, decision maker, and prime financial supporter. Turning into an adult comes with responsibilities and growth. His decisions may frustrate me at times but they’re his decisions to make. The big 18. The legal adult. Legal adults get bills, accountability and headaches.

He can choose to drink, smoke, get a tattoo or worse. He gets to choose and learn from mistakes as well as celebrate accomplishments. It’s his road/path/journey.

It’s funny when your know-it-all teens realize that soap, haircuts, gas and other things are expenses just like rent, food, clothing, vehicles, etc. The real world hits quickly. When you finish up school, it’s time to get a job and be a contributing adult. How quickly one learns that adulting sucks on most days!

It’s time to let child #2 soar to his new heights. My job is done for now. May he take the strength and wisdom I taught him over the years and springboard into his own level of happiness.

Dream big kiddo. Seize the day. You deserve the very best and I know the best is still ahead for you. Embrace life and all the experiences in front of you.

Choose your friends wisely and think before you make you make decisions with long-term consequences.

xoxo,
Your Mom

anonymous letters, perspective

People Watching

I have always been a people watcher. People are fascinating to me in many ways.

How we communicate: body language, facial expressions, tones of voice and so much more. They all strike my fancy.

If I am on a stationary bike at the gym, I am silently observing, thinking: what does this person do for work? Do they have a family? How many days do they train to have abs of steel? The list goes on and on.

Now change the scenery to Walmart. There are not enough words to describe the diversity in Walmart. From the staff to the clientele. There is always such a broad range. Why would she wear that in public? Does anyone smell my gym sweat and wonder why I am out in public smelling so bad? My, how you see parents who get controlled or swindled by their kids in the toy department. Then there are the attention-seeking kids who frazzle their parents last nerve until they blow a gasket. It’s all entertainment if you soak it all up.

This week my adventures took me to the airport. This is another favorite people-watching palace. I get the business folks. They keep to themselves but it’s great to see their fashion and their multitasking with the cell phones and laptops in between flights. You have the vacationers: the young, the old, the groups, the families, and more. They all are recapping memories. Smiling for some, arguing for others. But the various interactions are stimulating for someone like me.

Move on to the plane. What a weird place. You sit on top of perfect strangers on most flights. The air is dry. The smell is varied. The germs are plentiful. On this recent flight I had what I would sum up as a lifetime smoker who picked up a bad cough on his trip sitting behind me. He coughed the whole flight. He had no limit of coughing into his sleeve, causing germs to go airborne, literally. Talk about the eww factor.

Ahh…then the transport to the rental car hub. Most are tired and cranky from travel and patience is limited. Enter long lines to get your car. Oh, how one person’s checkout is like a Jerry Springer episode. People should always treat others they way they want to be treated. Most angry customers forget the clerk at the counter is a low man on the totem pole just doing their job. We should all think about making that workers day not pissing in their Cheerios. Choose kind. You will inevitably get better service!

And I almost forgot the parking lot. The paid parking lot at the airport on a holiday weekend that said “spaces available.” Well, the dude on the bike with a flag checking availability must have been on break because there were no spots. Tick-tock, I am going to miss my flight and so are the other frantic drivers in the lot. A few near-accident misses from other cars darting for the one open space 10 other cars want.

It’s my lucky day! I found a lady going to her car. I stalked her. For real! She pulls out of the tiny spot. Am I going to fit? Uggh. Yes, but by a hair. My passenger must climb through my driver’s side. I take a step back and I have an extra large SUV on each side in what appears to be compact-sized spaces.

I leave a note for the person. Please don’t hit my car! I guess I will find out when I return. Did I mention my note was in the form of a sticky note I had in my car? Well, it wasn’t an ordinary sticky note. It said WTF on the top. The notepad was a gift from a friend a while back….bet they didn’t know how it would be used. The Mary Kay big-wig in her pinkish Escalade who receives the note is going be angry when she gets back to her car. I am hopeful my flight returns before hers.

These are just a glimpse of my recent people-watching adventures. I people watch each day. I learn. I observe. I grow. I meet new people along the way. I embrace other people and their quirkiness.

l love to hear from our readers near and far. Send me a note or comment below on some of your most memorable people watching episodes. I spared you the booger picking and camel toe stories in my past but I love a good story so send me yours.

anonymous letters

Dear JackASS!

 

Today I decided to put my thoughts on paper regarding an unpleasant situation that has reared its ugly head in my life over the past several months.

Let’s start with the person I will name Jack Ass. He is an insignificant person in my life and he has limited ties to me socially. However, he most likely reads this blog. For giggles, I decided to give him some time in the spotlight. Not to shine a positive light at him, but to rather let him know I see him and his ways, and they don’t dictate my actions.

Let’s go back a few months in time. This jackass took something from me while I was out of town. It was a prized possession of sorts. Something I cared for with boundless energy and emotions. Fortunately for me, my special piece was returned to me with limited damage in just a few short days.

Upon return, the buffing process took place. Shining like a fine diamond. I was watching the item blossom in a way. Take shape. It was amazing to see the transformation in such a short time.

Then boom! In the blink of an eye, it happened again. Are you kidding me? Not again! Does lightning really strike twice in one place?

The odds are against it for the most part, but again my prized possession has been stripped of me. This time it’s not so easy to get back. He knows I know he has it. A firm warning was given yet a silent FU was received and duly noted.

Time’s a passing. Tick tock, tick tock. The reckoning day has arrived. An in-person meeting of sorts. And ewww he is the ULTIMATE JACKASS. There is no doubt in my mind. Once a jackass, always a jackass.

He shows up with a smirk on his face and a chip on his shoulder. What is wrong with this guy? He has something that I have nurtured for years but he stakes claim to it. I have never seen anything like this in my entire life. It is absurd to say the least.

Taking possession of another’s prize possession and matter of factly claiming ownership.

I am not sure what he thinks of me, but it’s okay I won’t be swayed by his condescending tone or his ugly words. I will take the high road and give up control to gain control. I will let him hold onto my prize possession because he has a death grip on it. He clearly needs my item for emotional support or other mental reasons I can’t even imagine.

He asks for my support of his needs. Are you crazy? I can’t support you but I can pray that my prize possession can weather yet another storm and come out unscathed.

In this day and age we are faced with many difficult situations. Today’s world is so much different than when I was growing up. I am not sure the mindset of people who prey on others who are nice.

May my jackass acquaintance find his own prized possession or find a new focus on one of his own possessions so that my piece may be returned before all is lost.

I can offer hope through positive actions and inspire others on most days. I believe in karma and I hope karma comes calling for Mr. Jackass. I may have the popcorn bowl already waiting for such a fine day.

Until then, be nice to others. Hug your loved ones. Keep an eye on your valuables and, most importantly, don’t let the jackasses of today ruin your day.

Tomorrow is a new day. A new set of adventures. You can live a life of lollipops and rainbows even if you don’t have that one prized possession anymore.

This open jackass letter was written as a form of therapy and free speech. I encourage everyone to grab a notebook and jot down their thoughts or feelings when troubled waters arise. There is something very therapeutic about writing vs. using your words against a person, place or thing. Choose kindness, it’s free.

And remember do unto others how you would want others to do unto you.