Thursday, May 24, 2012

Better late than never.

I sent my Boo off to stay with my parents over MEA weekend this year.

Some of you might pause at that. Those of you that have heard stories of my father.

Guess what?

My Boo has a relationship with my dad that I wish I had. I am not going to let anger and hurt from the past ruin what is the present or the future.

She has an understanding with him that I never did.

That silly universe has gone and done it again....

My father has been in the military in some form or another for most of his adult life. He ran his home, much like the service. When you were asked to do something you did it quickly, efficiently and with no questions asked.... well you did that if you were my sisters.

If you were me you felt the need to ask why, and move at your own pace, and sometimes not understanding the directive, or that the request was time sensitive you didn't accomplish the task without severe consequences.

My father was also an alcoholic. Which led to lots of angry unjustified "punishments" which in turn fueled the injustice I felt grow right along with me in each passing year.

By the time I graduated high school I wanted to move away and never come back. Ever.

All of this changed when I had my daughter. I felt compelled to go "home" to see them as often as possible, instead of my normal once or at the most twice a year visits made only out of guilt and obligation.

What was the difference you ask?

I watched him actually be invested in her life. From the moment I brought her home, he held her and talked to her, and paid attention to her, almost non-stop.

I remember when I was small and wanted his attention, and all he wanted to do was sit and watch 60 minutes and have a beer. It didn't really bother me too much then, I had my sister to bug instead, but sometimes it felt a little lonely or that I was a bother.... the big issues were his temper and his drinking.

I shook myself from the memory before I went any deeper.

We visited a lot from when she was born until she was 5. Then I think weekends were taken up by work and eventually rehearsals for festival. And if I'm completely honest, I think I really enjoyed the weekends being at my parents when she was smaller, as a single mom it was the only time I could get a few minutes to myself... and I could NAP!!! Oh what a joy napping is when you are the parent of a small child that is full of never ending energy. As she got older, I could let her wake up on her own and I could enjoy the comforts of my own bed.

Selfish I know.

Still I felt that guilt. That any weekend I had available I should in fact be driving the 3.5 hours one way to bring her down to visit them.

Being the selfish person I am... I started letting her go by herself, cuz really, its not so much that they enjoyed time with me... it was all about the Boo.

My dad sent me a picture this weekend while she was down there. A picture of a little girl on a giant 4-wheeler.

"She rides that herself" I asked with a bit of concern, and a lot of shock.

"Oh yeah, I give her the keys and she puts it in gear and off she goes."

"I can't even get her to steer her bike without going off the path...."

"Oh I let her know if she goes to fast, that the keys are taken away and it's off limits, it's fine." He said reassuringly.

Immediately I was taken back to 16 year old me coming home 5 minutes past midnight and placing the keys on the kitchen table knowing I had blown the right to use the car for a month.

Yep. 5 minutes... even 1 minute late and she knew the consequence. No car for 1 month. No arguing. No questions. No excuses.

When I was the child... I hated not being able to ask questions or let him know that it wasn't my fault because so and so wouldn't get in the car and I couldn't just leave her... so really... if you would just listen, I'm sure you'd understand and I would still be able to use the car..... It's funny how life changes. How something so seemingly clear seems so opposite yet just as clear from the other side. Life is a never ending journey of lessons and wonder. I know that every time I have been adamant about something, the universe has chosen to jump up and place that exact situation in front of me to test whatever conclusion I had come to, and most of the time I have learned that there is no clear "one" right way. Because in fact you can look at the same situation from a different perspective and draw a vastly different conclusion. If you would've told 16 year old me that I would have the relationship with my father that I do now, or that my daughter would have the relationship with her grandfather that she does now I would've laughed and thought you were utterly ridiculous. The only thing I know for sure, is to keep your eyes and heart open on this journey. And try to see things from all sides before drawing any one conclusion.

The Gift

I received an email from a girl I went to high school with back in August. I hadn't spoke with her since high school graduation I believe. She started off her email with an apology because she was contacting me to make a request.

A request on be-half of a family that lived in her community, who was struggling with the biggest battle of their lives. Their 17 year old daughter Jordan was Diagnosed in 2009 with Stage IV Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma and the odds were only a 7% chance she'd beat it. Well this tenacious girl did it, but it had recurred. This time the odds were even more grim.

Jordan had started a bucket list. On this list was "going to the renaissance festival and participating in costume" or something to that effect. My classmate had contacted me about this item, because she knew I was involved in the festival.

I agreed to help immediately. I believe we are all here to be in service to others. That is what this life is about. Not about making the most money, and getting the most "toys". But giving of yourself, walking through this journey with others, helping when you can.

I read her caring bridge, and decided just a dress and tickets in wasn't going to be good enough.

I have worked with the festival since 2000, starting as a wine wench and over the years I learned that it holds many amazing people that do in fact give of themselves readily to help others. I have seen the Renaissance "family" gather together to help others through battles of disease, or other hardships. I knew that together we could make this "EPIC".

I sent out a plea to the cast, and the response was exactly what I expected. People readily jumped up and said "I can do ______ will that help?" I was so excited. We were able to provide them with an amazing day at festival where Jordan was Queen and her whole family was able to participate.

The family is amazing. Jordan is amazing. I had someone tell me that it takes all of 39 seconds to fall in love with Jordan. I think it's even less. The whole family was quickly adopted into "our" family.

It didn't stop at the one event. They were able to come out at least one day of the follow weekends of this past season. I was grateful to see them each time they joined us. They all gave everyone around them so much laughter and joy.

Last night we said our final goodbyes to Jordan. The disease beat her body, but not her spirit. She left us on Dec. 4th 2001 at 12:30am.

We were all around her bed while her mom held her in her arms. I imagine much like she did when Jordan was first born. Her father and her brother each held one hand. The pain that they were going through at this moment was unbearable. But they are all so strong. So strong for Jordan and each other. It was easily the hardest part of my journey so far. And in saying that I feel like the most selfish person on earth.

Really Nixie? The hardest part of YOUR life? Self centered much?


In saying that..it being the hardest part.... I wouldn't do anything differently. There is no place I would've rather been then right by her side as she left this journey to go to her next. It is the highest honor. It is pure love. It's the LEAST I could do for her. For her family.

I've had people thank me for doing what *I* did for them at festival, and in the days since.... and every time someone says that I feel sick to my stomach. You see it's not that I don't appreciate people saying thank you, but it feels so selfish to have someone "thank" me for doing something that is so necessary, so needed, like breathing. A thank you for being someone's friend.

If I would've walked away from this family I wouldn't hurt like I do now. But I also wouldn't have LIVED like I do now. I am blessed by knowing them. By being able to be in Jordans life if even for a short time. She has made me a better person.

Like I said last night, in my weak attempt to pay tribute to the Amazingness that is Jordan:
Jordan is my hero. She has taught me the true meaning of strength, of fortitude, and of kindness. What it means to never give up, to care for others more than yourself, to stand at the edge and shout to the heavens I will not give in without a fight.

There is no thank you needed for being someones friend, for doing something out of love for another human being.....

Funny thing is that said... I feel I need to thank the people that deserve it.
Jackie, my classmate for contacting me and reaching out, and being involved helping others, without you I would've never met them.
Jordan's family.... mom and dad for sharing themselves and their wonderful daughter with this world, brother for being just as amazing as his big sister even though he doesn't believe it yet, little sister, for carrying that sassy attitude forward, I look forward to watching her grow.
The Renaissance Community.... for always being there and being ready when someone sends out a plea for help.

You see, I didn't do anything that wasn't exactly what was planned out for me to do, I did not have a choice but to love. Because that is my belief. We are all in this life together, and helping one another through it is our greatest purpose.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Holy crap!

Met with the trainer last night.... happy to report I hurt this morning! =oP

We did a full body workout, and I didn't even have to use one of the machines with the generic dude on it. I have been working out everyday since last Tuesday, and I haven't felt like I actually have been working out until last night.

IT

WAS

AWESOME!

She showed me the Free Motion machines which is so much better than generic dude machines. There's no adjusting seat heights or the other various levers to make the ginormous machine fit my 5'3" frame. This means I get to go from one move, seamlessly to the next.

Well, as seamlessly as my "grace" allows. I only almost tipped over a couple of times.

We went through the full body workout twice. On the second time we got to the squats, and she had given me a free weight to hold while I was doing them, as I expressed I really needed to work on my very minimal minimums since I do not want another injury, even ugly runners knee to pop back up again.

I asked what weight she had given me the first time through, and she said "It was a 10lb weight, it was too light wasn't it?"

"Well, it didn't really make it hard." and as soon as I uttered those words I knew I was in trouble.

"Here, do this." She said as she held a 25lb weight over her head as she did the squats.

"ah...ok... I might tip over."

"That's why we'll do it above a bench and you can sit and then go back up if you need to."

It was glorious! Tough but fun!

She looked at me doing the squats this time smirked and said "you know, I haven't known you very long, but it's apparent you like to push yourself... this is going to be fun."

"Yeah, I do. That's how I ended up with the broken foot and 10 month recovery process."

"Well, we're definitely not going to do that again, and if your foot hurts AT ALL you need to promise to let me know immediately and we will work out another way to work the same muscle."

We did a couple more moves.

"Ya know, you have a high pain tolerance but you giggle when you hit your threshold, when it hurts."

"um...that transparent huh?"

"It's just a nice change. Most people complain when I give them exercises to do, and you push yourself, and are open to trying them. It's fun."

"It's AWESOME! I finally feel like I'm working out. Like I'm doing something."

"Well good."

"Ah.... you're gonna make me look like Kara Goucher right?" and at that we both laughed.

I went downstairs to change after the workout, finally feeling a bit like my oldself.... well a lot more of my old self, but re-assured by the thought I can reach my goal of dropping 20lbs of fat and adding some lean muscle by February.

This is good. I'll be running in December, until then, 10 min on elliptical, 20-30 min either biking or swimming after....

Trainers are good.

I actually even enjoyed it, but nothing close to running.....

I did enjoy it enough though to be able to continue to do it even after I've got the ok to run my little heart out.

Life's good. Keep at it, never give up, and when you feel like it, come here and pour your heart out, cuz this is one great spot for support! Thank you all!

I'm gonna look like Kara Goucher ya know..... ;o)




hahahahahahaahahhaha!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

the mysterious machines


Finally back at the gym.... the physical therapist gave me the go-ahead to do the elliptical for 10 minutes. Not a minute more no matter how good it might feel.

So... for a week I've been going to the gym doing my 10 glorious minutes on the elliptical and then wondering my way over to the ever intimidating weights area.

Sheepishly.

Very very very sheepishly...

I have a water bottle which I use not only for hydration but it gives me a smooth way to check out how to work the weird weight lifting apparatus.

So I casually stroll over and to my relief see that they have signs above each row that lets me know this row of machines will work your arms, this one your shoulders, this your legs...etc.

I start at the first machine in the row... nonchalantly unscrew the top off my water bottle and slowly take a drink all the while, reading the instructions lest I look like an idiot who doesn't know what they're doing.. for some reason I always feel pressure to get out of the way of the muscle peeps who obviously know exactly what they are doing and have no time to wait for you to either use the machine or read how to do it.

Do you know there are machines that don't have any instructions? I mean really... well they do have the warning sign the one that if you don't use the machine correctly you'll injure yourself, and I'm just coming off of an injury so that's like kryptonite and I avoid it at all costs, and walk away wondering if that one machine might hold the key to getting me in shape and now I will try and try in vain all because I've skipped it because it didn't have instructions.

Oh and what's with the generic dude images that are illustrations of how to do the exercise? Would it really hurt to put eyeballs on there so I don't use up all of my water on one machine trying to figure out if the dude is facing forward or backward?


ahem....


My little drinking water trick has worked pretty well except when it comes to the machines where I'm just beyond weak.

You know.. where you put the weight on like 40lbs and you think oh yeah no prob.... lift your arms up get ready to push, and it doesn't move. Not one little millimeter. So you move it to 20, thinking that should do the trick...

And push...

... and it moves... at bit but it's not going any farther..

OK FINE 10lbs....

And.....

I can do 3!

Holy crap. I R Weak.

There are six rows of machines... each night I do 3 rows... then the next the other three...

How come there are different machines that pretty much do the same thing? But yet there are some that once you actually start them you realize it is a tiny bit different, but you feel it a lot differently then the one you just did that was almost exactly like that? I mean why? Why would you put machines in a row, thinking they are maybe two in a row so more than one person can do the exercise at one time, so you skip it, and then one day you actually try it and realize it's different so then you start doing all of the machines in the row, only to realize that no, I was right, there are actually some that are two in a row, and why are there shoulder ones in the arm section that are the same as the ones in the leg section, and shouldn't they follow the signs?

So, I decided to actually bite the bullet and hire a trainer.

Maybe I'll unlock the secrets of the weight lifting area.... don't worry I'll actually share my knowledge.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Doing what I believe is right. Definitely Not Easy

I'm not sure how to even start this.

It's funny, the thing I need to write about, that I think people need to know about is proving to be the hardest to write.

Why?

Well, I guess because first of all it was horrifying.

And second of all there are some out there (“friends” of this person) that will say it's an exaggeration, that's their opinion. This is mine. It's the truth. The UGLY truth. And I guess that's why it's so important that people know about it.


Well, here goes... My record of what happened.

One horribly hot weekend crap went down.

You could blame it on the weather.

You could blame it on emotions out of control. Or as I was told "On actors being dramatic, and you know this man is very dramatic."

Hell you could blame it on whatever you want, it doesn't change the facts. Or the illogical violent reaction that manifested that night.

I was talking to someone I had considered a friend once upon a time and disagreeing with his actions. I told him I thought he was treating an employee differently because of his relationship with her, and letting him know this employee had told me she has "his ear, and can get him to do anything she wants." Not raising my voice, but you know, being an adult about it, talking things out.

I was met with physical violence. With him hitting the the wall of our green room and shaking the metal steps that lead up to them so violently they bounced up and down off of the ground. He didn't know it, like most cowards and bullys he thought we were alone.

There were 3 people in the green room, which rocked a bit when he was shaking the steps. They heard him screaming at me and then the first thud.

They were sure that it was my head hitting the wall, "because that's how violent it sounded".

They tried to get outside, but when he was shaking the steps, the door jammed.

What was I doing during all of this?

Well I was trying to walk away as fast as possible. Which isn't very fast since I had an air cast on my foot. I was trying to get into our car.

He was still screaming "Fuck you! Get the fuck away from me, get the fuck out of here!"

Um, hello? You bat shit crazy man, I’m walking AWAY from you as you’re screaming at the top of your lungs throwing a violent tantrum.

"Grow up" was my response.

He was still coming after me fists clenched, screaming.

I walked past some of his friends on the way to the car, and one was screaming "Punch em! Punch em!"

Yep, he keeps great people around. Doesn't seem to matter what's on the inside, as long as you're young and beautiful on the outside. There are people that have worked with him for 19 years that he doesn't know... because they don't fall into his radar... I used to think that was a bunch of crap, until I opened my eyes and really watched things the last 3 years.

So she was screaming to “punch em”... and the "em" she was referring to was me and the man who ultimately stopped this person from getting a hold of me.

As I was walking away and he was continuing to come after me, his friend got in between us. He shoved her aside so hard she fell to the ground. (She has since denied she was actually shoved, even though there was a voice mail saying something to the effect “I wasn’t hit, I was shoved, but I’m fine.”)

She used to be a friend of mine as well. I hold no hard feelings against her. I feel bad of course. I don't understand how you could continue to support someone after witnessing what happened and actually being a casualty of it. But to each their own. Let go and move forward I guess.

It is my belief this person did not stop coming after me of his own free will... he was stopped by someone jumping up on a bench in between this person and I (as my back was still turned heading towards the car) and told him to "Knock it off!"

His friend then grabbed him and started pulling him back and he was still screaming "Get her the fuck out of here" .... at this time one of the people in the green room was out and standing on the steps. He grabbed the stairs and shook them again while the person from the green room was standing on them.

"He looked right through me, and was so focused on you, it was like an animal tracking his prey." the person on the steps told me later.

I reported this incident to the lawyers that work for that company that following Tuesday morning.

I was going to call the police because of the violence he demonstrated. I didn’t, out of some weird sense of “we used to be friends” syndrome.

I fully believe that if he wasn't stopped by a man he wouldn't have stopped until he beat the crap out of me. I had to continue to work 3 more weekends knowing I would see him out there.

It seems like he doesn't think he did anything wrong. He went to dinner that night with more of his "friends".

I went home and called the people involved to make sure they were ok.

It took me awhile to admit to myself that I was afraid, I kept telling myself I was just angry. I knew deep down inside if I admitted fear what would happen. I've been down that road before with an abusive boyfriend.

I finally admitted it that monday evening, and it happened just like I knew it would... uncontrollable shaking, tears, and I jumped at any odd noise. Locking and triple checking things were locked. After all this person knows where I live.

I went to target and I caught myself looking over my shoulder constantly... I realized I was looking out for him.

I can't believe what transpired. He seemed out of control. As of right now he still holds the position he has had the last 7 years there. Even though he sent me a text not 15 minutes after he was threatening me to inform me he had resigned.

I didn't respond to the text, I didn't want anything to do with this person ever again. I still don't. But I thought to myself; Good, that’s exactly what you should do, resign.

We have mutual friends that say "Oh... just sit down and talk it out, it'll all be fine."

Really?


I mean really?

The dude tried to hit me. And if that wasn't his intent you sure as hell fooled me, the three people in the green room, one person across the way in another green room, the two men (whom I wish I knew how to contact) that were standing across the road by the booths who came running to see what all the commotion and screaming was about. His friend felt the need to get in-between us, why would you bother, if you didn’t think there was a physical threat? So yes. it’s my “perception” But you tell me if you would think any differently?

When I left my husband who threatened to hit me all of my friends supported that. Why is this different? I will never be in a room with this man ever again.

My partner in life, didn't want me to involve anyone in this situation because he considers himself friends of this mans wife and he didn’t want her to suffer because of her husbands actions. I told him "You know what? IF you would have done what he did, I would call you on your shit so fast and I would be done with you."

"I would NEVER do that." he said. (He is the most caring person I've met, always thinking of others, and trying to see all sides, and that's just what he was doing at this moment....he is very supportive don't worry)

"I know. That's why I'm with you, but do you see what I mean?"

"Yeah, I just don't want to hurt her."

“Nobody does” I echoed, and felt that familiar feeling grow.

Oh... that.... ugly, messed up guilt feeling.

I felt guilty. I felt guilty that the people that witnessed this and stood up for me might not be offered contracts again.

I felt guilty my partner might not be offered a contract again.

I felt guilty for the fear the people in the trailer must’ve felt when it was rocking and being hit.

I felt guilty for doing what I believe is the right thing.

For voicing what this person had done.

WHAT HE HAD DONE.

There was only one player in this.

One person that needs to own all of that guilt.

Do I think he ever will?

No.

Am I going to use all legal measures available to make sure he doesn't get to do this to anyone else? You bet your ass I am. Not because I don’t like him, or “just because” I’m afraid of him.. it’s bigger than that.

No one should ever feel as frightened, as I did. No one should ever fear bodily harm in their work place. EVER.

I've lost some people in my life because of this event. But all it has done is weeded out true friends from false. I also know that because this person has most of the control to the amount of money that people are paid out there, that there are those who are too afraid to speak out. They want to remain safe in what others have dubbed The Cult of Personality.

I get it.

I am not that person.

So, if I am not asked back, or if this person still holds the position he currently has, I will say goodbye to a chapter in my life, and that will be ok.

I have no regrets for the actions I have taken. The steps I have taken to make sure that this behavior is not accepted, is not ok, and hopefully won't happen to anyone else at his hands EVER.

I also am trying to be a good role model for my daughter who has dealt with bullys at her school.

You stand up for yourself. And for others. Period.

(So I’ve been told that all of this is my perception. That it wasn’t really his intent to cause physical harm to me.)

I ask you this then:

Why then would you shake metal steps violently, punch things, raise your clenched fists, throw a bench? (throwing the bench I did not see, but heard about later) If not to demonstrate, “Hey, see what damage I’m doing to this? Yeah, this could be you.”

Why would two people who were witnesses to this feel the need to get in between him and I?

It seems it was also their perception he was about to cause me physical harm.

I’m not sure what I am going to do at this point. I don’t agree with things the way they are. I don’t believe someone should be able to keep their job after demonstrating violence such as this.

I also am not the kind of person to just quietly disappear. This was wrong. This needs to be dealt with, and not with just a “Mr._______, what you did was wrong, don’t do that again.” (that blank isn't actually well technically a swear word... I guess maybe to me it is now)

I believe he will make life hell for me when/if I am in employment there again.

I guess I say this.

Bring it.

I’ve dealt with cowardly bullys like him before. I will do my job, and I will do it well and professionally just like always. I am not so fragile bullys like him can break me.

Am I afraid he will attempt retribution, or if I run into him while I am alone that he won’t try to threaten or react physically again?

Yes.

Will fear stop me from doing what's right?

No.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Purpose


"Cat's should be kicked, put down, big deal, it's a cat." he stated as if it were a fact.

"Excuse me?"

"Cats. I mean really what's their purpose? They have no purpose, it's not like their human."

"Oh. Well in that case, What's your purpose?" I said smugly.

"ah... um... I. I have a purpose..."

Silence.

He starts to laugh as he sees things from a different perspective.

"That's what I thought."

Did I "win"?
Did I get what I was looking for?

Not entirely.
You see, I did want him to see that his logic was based purely in ego. Which he did indeed do.
But I'm always looking for the otherside... what others are seeing that I'm missing.

I secretly was holding my breath.
Waiting.
Hopeing.
Wishing.
Wondering if he was going to reveal this secret of "Purpose".

Nope.
Just as clueless as the rest of us.

I do know though, that when you are doing something in your life day in and day out that does not sit well with you, you are wasting it.

Now, this doesn't (at the present moment) do me much good, since the thing that has me wasting my life is the place I spend the majority of my days... and since I am not independently wealthy I can not "Just" quit. Can anybody really?

I have my answer. I just don't have the equation on how to get there.

Great.
I have always sucked at math.

This could be one hell of a journey out.
But.
I will find it.
I have to.

I have a 7 year old girl who can not be let down one more time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Going the distance

I did it.

I signed up for grandmas marathon June 18th.

Scared?

I'd being lying if I said no. Hell I'd be lying if I said just a little bit.

I've been running for about 2 years now. I started, to improve health. I was told I wouldn't be able to run because of knee issues when I was younger (teenage high school stuff) but I had a roommate 2 years ago, that is even more stubborn than I and she laughed, rolled her eyes and said "You can run. Everyone can run."

So I started.

And it was painful.

But I loved it.

And I hated it.

But I loved it.

I would sometimes dread the run in the first few months, but I always felt better after completing it. Not just physically, but mentally. I found myself in much better moods on the days I ran vs. the days I didn't.

So.... here we are almost 2 years later, and I did it. I signed up for the marathon. The farthest I have gone is a half marathon, and that was just for fun, not a race, just the long runs for fun on the weekend.

I started getting "runners knee" from not doing any sort of crosstraining. I mean, waste my time doing something other than running? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Yes.

Very serious.

Went to an orthopedic doc (who's amazing) after calling a copule of places explaining what my symptoms were to the nurse on the other end of the line and being told I should definitely come in and get it looked at.

"ok" I would say. "On one condition, the doctor can't tell me to stop running."

The first 3 places I either got a laugh in disbelief or a scoff folowed by "It's probably what the doctor will tell you, there are plenty of other ways to exercise, running is really bad for you."

"Well then, that's not the doctor for me." I said as I hung up the phone.

Stubborn?

Yes. Yes I am.

Long story short. I was a runner, like many others with "no butt." My gluteus minimus was, well, minimal to say the least. I needed to crosstrain in order to keep running.

So, I am. I started "pre-training" for my marathon 3 weeks ago. I'm slow. But what's worse is I'm impatient. And I'm stubborn. Right. We've already covered that.

I'm not so afraid of being able to finish, but I want to do it in 4 hours or less. So I push.

Last night I think I bruised my sesamoids. I'm going to keep blogging about this adventure, mostly to have something to look back on when I'm done, and maybe to sort out some of the things in my head as I go.

Right now, everything I've read says to rest it.

I don't want to.

But I will. For 3-4 days and we'll see what happens.

Did I mention I'm stubborn?