Sunday, November 24, 2013

Content with my Content

I struggled with today's word.  I sat and thought for hours yesterday what the word was going to be.  Truthfully, sometimes my choice is completely self-serving...it comes from something in my life that is inspiring me, moving me, pushing me.  There are so many things rolling around lately, thoughts and challenges that I wasn't sure how I wanted to deal with them...that when it came time to pick a word, I drew a blank.  In my struggle, I asked my dear friend for a word around 1:30 this morning.  I was afraid of what he would say.  But what he gave me, seems to be inspiring me more than I thought it would.  Moments like this, I know there is something higher speaking to me because the word is so perfect.

Today's Sunday Confession:
Content


The real question is...when you see that word, what do you see?  Do you see the adverb or the noun?  I thought long and hard about it.  I see both this morning.

I've been on the verge of many changes.  I'm been malcontent with my life lately and stirring things up to try and change them.  Sometimes things get worse before they get better.

But this morning...I'm feeling mostly content.  There are things to be done.  The litter boxes and guinea pig change must be tended to.  There is laundry to be washed, dried and folded.  The bed needs to be stripped.  The fish tank needs to be cleaned.  There are dishes next to me on the table.  I haven't showered since Friday.  There is no shortage of things that need to be done around my home.  Yet, in spite of it all...this morning I am mostly content.  I have my coffee.  I have my laptop.  I have all the things I might possibly need right now, in this moment, for the day.  And I am content.

Mostly.

There has been something rolling around in my brain lately about content.  It's no secret that I have been trying and working to find a way to improve myself.  I've been working on my content.  The contents of my internal makeup, the contents of the makeup of my home, and the contents (aka people) that make up my life.  

I've been examining the contents of the people I call friends, and the people I blindly trust and let into my life. I've come to realize that many times I judge people based on what I believe to be the content of their character and their potential as people, instead of their words and actions.  I've begun noticing some very serious indicators, specifically compensation, as a true indicator of their not so virtuous and good content.  And yet, I find myself still allowing them into my life in ways I should not.  Which leads me to some introspection of my own content and character.

Am I content with my content?

Right now in this moment, I am content with just about everything.  But not in a true sort of way.  Right now I'm content in a passive-aggressive, procrastinator kind of way.  I'm choosing to be content because I'm not in the mood to deal with the messy contents of my life.  Take that as superficially or deep as you like, either way it applies.

The other day, I wrote a very exposing blog.  I was called out on it by a very honest, kind and seemingly intuitive fellow blogger.  Her comments, particularly where she says I am very private...really struck a chord with me. Read the blog HERE.

Lately, there have been numerous people in my life who have acknowledged my walls in a way that has caused me to realize that while I have always put up walls to a certain extent, I'm reaching a point where it is truly starting to hurt me, even keep me from being the person that I strive to be and the person I think I am.

Bonehead, one of my closest friends, most cherished confidants, and greatest loves recently told me in a discussion about my blog (that he has never read, mind you) that he isn't surprised that people "find my funnies funny" and I should give myself more credit.  He then said that I'm awesome and that more people would think so if they could see me the way he sees me.  I wanted to read that as "People would love you if they could see you through my eyes" in a "love is blind" kind of way.  He went on to clarify by saying that it would only happen when I was ready to "unveil", and asked me what it would take for me to get to that point and I realized he meant...the walls.  Bonehead isn't perfect, some day I will tell you about him and our background.  But, for right now what needs to be said is that when we met we had already crossed the bridge of knowing the other wasn't perfect...we crossed that bridge of acceptance of the "ugly" right away and because we were willing to accept it, a greater openness and connection was allowed to be established between us.  There are still some not-so-awesome things, but we approach each other with genuine respect, love and appreciation and we work it out.  So, when he asks me what it would take to get to a point where I let people see me the way I let him see me...the answer is probably never.  I still feel vulnerable and freaked out telling him things sometimes, and it is because I've come to value his presence, wisdom, and unconditional love and I'm terrified that some day that love wont be so unconditional.  I don't know that I'll ever be able to let someone in the way I let him in, but he's right...I don't let people see ME, even the awesome parts.

My own sister is among the people who have expressed frustration with my walls.  Though in a much more original way.  About a month and a half ago, while struggling with the feelings of being unlovable that I find come with a breakup...she told me that I'm not unlovable, I'm unfriendly.  That was crushing.  I never thought of myself that way before.  She then went on to tell me that my walls are so high that it is hard for even my own family to scale them.  Then, she gave me some weird analogy about how I need to stop treating people who don't know know how to climb my walls like the Huns, and then called me "Mulan".  Apparently, it was Disney day at her house...and the woman (god, it feels weird referring to my sister as a woman when in my mind she is forever my little baby sister and I want to treat her that way) loves her some "Mulan".  The truth is that my sister and I...well, fuck, she's my sister.  If you don't have one, you don't understand what it is like to want to choke the life out of someone while loving them so deeply with every fiber of your being.  We haven't always been the kindest and most loving to each other.  Eventually, I reached a point where in order to preserve myself and respect her, I needed to take a step back.  I know she knows there is a wall there.  I know that it hurts her just as much as it hurts me.  To this day, I haven't been able to remove that wall out of fear of feeling the heartache I once felt so deeply.  The pain that came from the fear of losing my sister was so awful that I hold her at arms' length to never feel that way again and I'm still losing her because she knows it is there, though I don't think she understands why. 

Which brings me to 3 days ago, when a woman I've never met commented on my blog.  She asked me if I was feeling insecure about sharing everything that I did, and then said I am very private in my blog and she would be praying for me.  What struck me is that even a stranger, though a seemingly very intelligent and incredibly intuitive stranger, can see how high I have my walls.

Admittedly, I don't openly share my blog with my personal Facebook world.  For the most part...I choose to maintain some anonymity.  In some respects, I feel by doing so I've maintained the tone of my blog as I am able to write what I feel and vent without adverse reactions or butthurt people.  I also recognize, however...I'm "protecting" myself that in the event that the Internets decide to be cruel, I can always fall back on "You don't know me."  It's different when it comes to people you care about and can be personally hurt by your words, even unintentionally.  I'm sure that someone out there might have a problem with something I've said and clearly if I'm concerned about how someone might feel then I either need to shut up, or own my feelings louder.

I also have this thing where I find the need to control what personal information finds it way out.  I think I'm pretty open.  I'm totally willing to acknowledge the embarrassing shit that happens in my life, tell my own stories, share my opinions...but at the same time, I embrace the ability to do that in my own way and on my own time.  And there is nothing more irritating than having people take something you've written and come to some kind of incorrect conclusion about you which they then opt to share at a family function, causing you to have to defend yourself or your position on a truth you felt which was clearly misunderstood or manipulated into something else- you know, instead of clarifying or using it to get to know you better as a person (P.S. People who do shit like that...you fucking suck).    

And so here I am.  I've believed that in my adult life, I was living authentically to the best of my ability.  I've taken great pride in being the kind of honest person who will not lie when asked a straightforward question.  As a teenager, I met a great many people who lied about themselves for various reasons, someone always got hurt and I decided I did not want to be that.  I've spouted over and over again that the old saying about lying being harder than being honest because you have to live the lie and keep spinning it isn't true; for years I believed it is harder to live honestly because it means opening your true self to the judgement and rejection of others and that hurts more than when someone doesn't like the lie you told them about "you".

And at this moment, I have to confess that I am unsure of my content.  

If I wasn't, why would I "hide" my blog and live my bloggy life so anonymously?   Why would I build walls around myself the way that I do instead of living and sharing myself, my content, with people in the way I want to believe that I do?

Many of the walls I've built are to keep me from being hurt.  I'm an anxious, sensitive person.  Over-emotional, even.  Things that were said or done twenty years ago can still make me feel hurt and humiliation.  I can be petty, jealous, and childish-things that don't mesh well with someone prone to overreacting.  I don't like to be afraid, but I hate admitting that I am even more.  And while sarcasm can be a wonderful, humorous and engaging thing...I've abused it by allowing it to hide my fears and insecurities.  I despise relying on other people because it makes me feel weak.  I hate when people do something nice for me because I rarely feel like I deserve it, or I feel terrible that they cared about me enough to think of me and I didn't them (one of my huge problems with Christmas).  I hate that I feel things so strongly, and many times I choose anger to react to things in order to hide my internal fears.  Most of the time, I have a legitimate reason for feeling the way I do, but more often than not it just comes out as "crazy chick" because I've yet to learn how to think before I speak or express myself appropriately in my initial reaction to anything.  

I've never grown thick skin.  I don't handle things like criticism, humiliation, or rejection very well.  There is nothing I hate more than being made an ass of when I'm wrong about something and it seems people have never seemed to have a problem with rubbing my face in my own shit, even when that shit was just a simple personal opinion or mistake I made that did not harm, offend or insult them in any way.  I've never been the kind of person who handles judgement well on account of being sensitive to embarrassment on a crippling level.  Rejection and humiliation for me can be crushing.  I've admitted to having suicidal thoughts in relation to frustration and pain due to my injury.  I've struggled with depression for what feels like my entire life.  As a teenager, I struggled with self-harm and suicidal thoughts quite frequently.  And as an adult, I've had those moments where I want to give up and end it all (though for the most part it has been related to the whole back injury bit).  

I've built walls as a means to survive because I feel things so deeply that when it goes wrong, I just want to curl up and disappear or be hit by a bus.  And it goes wrong a lot because I judge people on their potential and not their content.  I wouldn't say that I am a terrible judge of character, but I struggle with knowing the difference between a person who makes mistakes and has flaws, and a flawed person.  I tend to attract more of the latter and not to sound like some kind of victim, but I usually end up paying the price for it.  I forgive the unforgivable, because I know how deep the sting of rejection can be...and because I want to treat people how I want to be treated and sometimes I just want forgiveness too.  I've built walls because as the person who blessed me with today's word (someone who I've come to know and value as a compassionate, warm, huge-hearted, honest-to-a-fault kindred spirit who loves me deeply and apparently "gets" me more than I care to admit) once told me during a conversation about forgiveness and boundaries, "You don't like saying 'no' or saying/doing something you know is going to cause butthurtness.  You want us all to just love you all the time and think awesome shit about you."  

Isn't that what we all want?  Isn't "the greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return"?

I'm SO locked up that the people who could actually, really and truly possibly love me for who and how and what I am can't get in.  And people I hold dear to me, might not all be the kind of people I want to have close by because they're only here for the benefits of love and forgiveness and whatever else I throw over the wall in gratitude for simply being there instead of give to those who deserve and have earned a place "within the walls".  I've been so concerned with people pleasing and how I'm perceived that at some point, I stopped sharing my TRUE content. 

And that is where I am.  It's time to tear down some walls.  It's time to work on my content and sharing it with those who deserve it, and weeding out those who make me feel less than content.

And that is my Sunday Confession.  What's yours?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Fly

I skipped last Friday.  I don't remember why.  Maybe I wasn't feeling it.  Maybe I couldn't find it in me for that five minutes.  Sounds silly.  But sometimes, you just don't want to go that deep.  One thing I've learned participating in this is that it's origins seem to be very Christian based.  I'm not very Christian and I've questioned participating because I wonder if my words aren't exactly what the other writers may have had in  mind.  Obviously, I don't want to offend anyone, or be the wolf in sheep's clothing.  But today, while reading the Five Minute Friday post on Lisa-Jo Baker's blog, she had included some words from someone named Gretchen that spoke to me:  But we’re not writing for the rest of the web; we’re writing for that audience of One, and often to process the lesson or healing He is leading us through.   That wasn't the only thing seemingly brilliant Gretchen wrote.  Click the link to read the rest.

Every week (ok, except last week) I write.  And like Gretchen, I've realized that there is often a real message in Five Minute Fridays.  I'm not going to question where it comes from, perhaps I'm at a turning point and it is my time to accept God as he is presented.  Perhaps it is the God I've come to know in my life.  Perhaps I am the audience of One I am to be writing for right now.  But...I'm going to keep participating because there is something here.   

Anyway, every week I write all this "extra", and now I'm ready to write.  I already know this is going to take more than Five Minutes, but let's roll!



Five Minute Friday


Fly.  It's what I've been trying to do for weeks.  The truth is...I feel like I've forgotten how.  I knew many years ago.  I wasn't perfect, but I loved who I was.  I had spent many years getting to know people who helped build me up, who loved me, who encouraged me...people who reminded me that I had wings.  People who supported me in my baby steps and my first flights, eased my fears, and called me "Dove" .  And at the beginning of the relationship I just ended, I knew how to fly. 

Slowly but surely, with every time I forgave a wrong doing and believed the promises of change only to have the injustice spring back up and hit me in the face, I forgot how to fly.  With every time that I accepted being treated like less than I was worth, I held out my wing and another feather was clipped short and rendered incapable of carrying me to the heights which I had grown to know and love. 

I've struggled with personal forgiveness all while asking myself why I gave away my ability to fly to be caged.  And that is how I felt...trapped, held tight in a corner of the room, occasionally having a blanket thrown over me so I couldn't see the light.  Like I couldn't be free to be and do what I wanted.  I think on some level, I felt like I needed to change who I was..."grow up", stop being so young and wild and free and bed down and nest in order to have the love I so desperately craved.  Yes, I said desperate.  I didn't feel desperate at the time.  At the time, I felt wanted and sexy and adored and loved.  As I was slowly being put into a cage, something in me equated being locked away from the world to being cherished...you know, like the screwed up way locking up Rapunzel was love (holy crap, maybe this is Stockholm Syndrome).  

When things started turning sour, I thought it was because I didn't know how to be in that kind of relationship.  It was new to me and I don't always accept change with open arms.  I thought I had maybe built up some kind of fear of commitment or had some kind of irrational fear on account of only one previous relationship that had gotten that serious and ended with me picking up the shattered pieces of my broken heart.  I thought I was being immature.  I was TOLD I was being immature and childish.  

I wasn't acting childish.  No.  Looking back...I was flapping my wings and fighting.  Instinct and the love of flying was trying to fight being put into a cage.  Meanwhile the part of me that believed I needed to be docile to achieve the love I wanted was compliantly holding out a wing for another snip under the guise of forgiveness. 

Docile.  It's an ugly word and as I type it I feel like something disgusting is rising up in me.  I let go of who I was because I felt like those things didn't have a place in a relationship.  Looking back, a relationship that does not have a place for all of the things I am or demands I be docile is no relationship I want or need to be in.  A relationship where I'm not encouraged or allowed to fly is a fate worse than death. 

Gosh.  That makes me things of Hannibal Lecter when he speaks about roller pigeons.  I went searching for a quote because it is too good not to share.  
Do you know what a roller pigeon is, Barney? They climb high and fast, then roll over and fall just as fast toward the earth. There are shallow rollers and deep rollers. You can’t breed two deep rollers, or their young will roll all the way down, hit, and die. Officer Starling is a deep roller, Barney. We should hope one of her parents was not.
You know....interestingly enough, a Starling is a bird.  Hmmm.  Interesting.  It appears I'm a deep roller, and it also seems that perhaps one of MY parents was not as I have yet to roll all the way down and die.  And in hindsight, I think I'd rather keep rolling and hoping that one of my parents was not a deep roller than be caged up and not allowed to climb high and fast and roll. 

Here I am now.  I've been struggling.  I've felt like I'm on the ledge and all I need to do is jump because there is something else I'm supposed to be doing but I don't know what to do after I jump.  I've been feeling like while my existence right now is fine and I could spend the rest of my life living this way...it isn't what I'm supposed to be doing.  To accept where I am right now in mind, body and spirit, would be settling.  Not only would it be settling but it would be settling for mediocre.  I feel like I am not walking the path that I am supposed to be walking.  I feel this pending change and it is overwhelming.  I feel the urge to step up and get started but I don't know where to start.

And then today.  The word is Fly.  And that is the answer.  I feel like I've been sitting here, growing antsy and anxious, feeling like I ought to be doing something.  It feels much like cabin-fever does in April...like going crazy.  Maybe this is the edge of madness.  Or maybe, just maybe, I've been sitting here...letting my wings grow back, healing and building the courage to fly again. 

*Wow.  That Five Minutes turned into much more today.  If you made it with me to the end, I thank you and appreciate your presence.*

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Interviews With The Inappropriate: A Blog Hop

Well, here it is everyone!  The More Than Cheese and Beer addition to "Interviews With The Inappropriate: A Blog Hop".  I hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit more about me.  Please be sure to check out all of the Bloggers who contributed questions and participating in this Blog Hop at the bottom of this post.  Let's get started......



What made you start blogging?  I started blogging on MyFitnessPal.com a few years ago because I was learning so many things, and I kept seeing people asking the same questions on the forum over and over again.  After awhile, I wanted to be able to share what I had learned there with others.  I started a blog.  I was incredibly unhappy with it.  I restarted....decided I wanted to write about more than being on a diet and sucking at it and here we are.  

What is the meaning behind the name of your blog?  I originally wanted to shoot for something along the lines of "The Kitchen Witch"....I could get Midwest Kitchen Witch but even the options for that were limited. From an earlier post I made when I hit 100 followers on my Facebook page: 



When I started "More Than Cheese and Beer", the goal was to explore my inner growing Foodie, share those previous blogs I found to be informational and move past the stereotype that Midwest Cooking is just about Cheese and Beer (because sometimes, it feels that way).  The intent was never to really be "real", but after scooting around on the Internet and making some friends I realized how stifled I felt by the restrictions of being "non-offensive" and only writing about things that, while I have a passion for food, weren't my day to day and didn't really reflect me as a person.   More Than Cheese and Beer became truly that...MORE.

Blogging is a great, quick way for a writer to reach an audience; how has blogging affected your daily life and do you get nervous when posting your thoughts for the interwebs to judge?  There is a sense of amazement, wonder, and giddy stupidity when the numbers on my blog start climbing or when people "Like" my page and interact with me on Facebook.  I LOVE IT.  I would say that loneliness is not the absence of people but rather the absence of people who understand you.  I don't think I'm understood, necessarily, but I think people can relate and that means the world to me.  The downside...I'm inappropriate and I know it.  I sometimes struggle with how far to take the things I say.  I look for things to write about every day.  And I spend a lot of time online, far more than I ever did before.

I get nervous EVERY time I post something.  Truth is...sometimes, I'm just not that entertaining or funny.  Sometimes I can be insensitive.  I would never want to write something that would hurt someone.  And....people on the Internet are mean.  I've seem downright evil, cruel things people say and I'm terrified that one day someone is going to attack me because of something I say.  Haters gon' hate, and it'll bother me when it happens. 


 How does your partner/others in your life feel about blogging? Do they find it invasive or do they fully support the blog effort?  The BTW wasn't aware of my blog for a long time.  Then, when I got a Facebook page I told him about it.  He didn't care.  He didn't care to read it.  He didn't care what I said.   He once tried to throw the fact that I've written about him and the kiddo in my face like it was some kind of terrible thing to do, but he never read it so he couldn't really say anything.


Not many other people know about it.  I actually don't push my blog on my personal FB page very much.  My family laughs about it.  Every time I see them, I tell them how many "Likes" I have on my page and they laugh-none of them actually read it.  I think my mom is both afraid and happy for me because it makes me happy.  My friends just kind of roll their eyes and seem uninterested, very few actually read it.  I know one ex reads it...or, at least likes the FB page and comments from time to time. 


What are your limits on your blog....?  (What don't you talk about, who don't you name, ect)  I swore I would never use my name or anyone else's name outright...while I give everyone nicknames, it isn't hard to find out who I am because I frequently post as myself on blogs and not as "More Than Cheese and Beer" by mistake.  But I don't use names of anyone.  I try not to use photos of the children.  I do keep some things private, but one of the best things about my blog is I DO try to keep it a place where I can write about anything if I so choose.


What is the most inappropriate/awful/shitty thing you ever blogged about, and did it you actually post it to your blog?  I've totally written some shitty things.  As a writer who writes for "release" I've totally written huge, long, inappropriate rants that I ended up deleting.  Sometimes, it makes it to the blog before I change my mind and tear it down within 2 minutes. 


How do you feel, as a writer, about the digitization of books? Do you prefer your Kindle or an old fashion paperback?  I don't know how I feel about the digitization of books.  I'm sure I would appreciate it if I ever got to a point where I felt like I wanted to write a book because small, cheap e-books seem so easy to publish (sooooo many bloggers I know have them).  But I also think there is probably some huge ego-boost and pride associated with having an actual book with your name on it that you can sign for people.  And...I don't have a Kindle.  I should, but I prefer books.  Especially because I like to read in the bathtub and sometimes I fall asleep.  A Kindle and I....well, one of us would just end up dead. 


What 3 things are you reading online (blogs/websites, e-magazines, or social media), do you follow or always read when you see new content, even when you’re busy?   I'm a goddamn sucker for advice columns-Dear Prudence, Annie's Mailbox ect.  I read PostSecret every Sunday.  I'm on social media DAILY. 


What song/singer/band is on your iPod that would surprise people the most?   I don't think people would be surprised, I have pretty broad music tastes.  But I bet it would surprise people to know that I don't have an iPod. 


Who is your biggest celebrity crush?  After seeing "This is The End", both Seth Rogan and Channing Tatum are out.  But my favorite celebrity crushes... Kevin Smith, Kevin James, and Charlie Hunnam *No commentary here please....I know, one of these things is not like the others.  Just...zip it.  :)*



Yeah, I want to bang Silent Bob.  I know he's older now (this is from Dogma-one of my favorite films EVER) but...yeah, don't fucking judge me.


If loving his body is wrong, I will give up my right as a woman to be Right.  I will be wrong any way he could ever want me to be.  Seriously.  When I look at him, Genuwine starts singing "Pony", my clothes prepare to fall off, and my mouth starts watering.  And I fucking cried when he dropped out of "50 Shades"....


What is your guilty pleasure?  I don't really have one.  I kind of indulge myself whenever I want so nothing ever feels like a guilty pleasure. 

If you could offer a baby only one piece of advice (kind of like the fairies in Sleeping Beauty), what would it be?   Love Yourself.  The greatest thing you will ever learn is to love and be loved in return and you should start with yourself.  Love Yourself enough to do right by you, to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, to put yourself before others (not selfishly, but so that you don't spend your life trying to please others) and to chase your dreams instead of helping others achieve theirs. 


Has your biggest fear ever come true?  I think I would have to be able to determine my biggest fear first. 


When something awesome happens to you, who do you call first?  It depends on the awesome and who will appreciate it the most.  


What is your passion and do you do it for a living? If not, why not?  I have a lot of things I'm passionate about.  None of which I do for a living  because it requires things I don't have the funds to make it work.  If money were not as object, I'd run a cupcakery (and I'd totally make adult themed cupcakes).


Give us your worst/funniest/silliest/most interesting SELFIE picture.  (If you don't have one you love, just take any picture of yourself, go to PicMonkey or any other online service or program and add a mustache/glasses/anything!)  





What is your favorite childhood movie?  Hard to say, but I still love "Now and Then" and I never outgrew "The Princess Bride"


 If you could be any kind of animal, what would you be and why?   I don't really know.  I love animals, not sure I want to be one.  


What's your favorite adult beverage?  The list of what I don't like is shorter.   But...come over and you'll always find Vodka or Wine.  I also like to keep men like Jameson, and Dr. McGillicuddy around.


How many drinks does it take before you get drunk and what is your bad drunken habit (think: tequila makes her clothes fall off....)?  Depends what I'm sipping for both.  But...after a little Tequila I think I love everyone, more Tequila and I'll end up naked in the bathtub, with no water, singing one verse+one line of Margaritaville (because at that point I can never remember the words)


 If you had to appear on the popular Gameshow, "Baggage" as a contestant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baggage_(TV_series)), what would your 3 pieces of baggage be? (NO explanations)


I am a cat lady.


I don't believe that there is one person for everyone.

I've been to Prison. 


Do you hover over the toilet in public bathrooms?  Like a space ship over a field of cows.  And I don't splatter, and if I do sprinkle when I tinkle, I'm a sweetie and wipe the seaty.


What's the strangest talent you have? My open-mouth/insert-foot disorder keeps me flexible.  I can also flare my nostrils at rapid speed. 


If the zombie apocalypse were to happen, how long would you survive and why?   Not long.  I'm fat and don't do cardio (aka Rule #1), but I'm also pretty sure that I taste like chocolate and booze.  If I were a zombie, I'd want to eat me. 


What are 3 things you think people usually assume incorrectly, misunderstand or don't "get" about you either in real life, or as a result of your blog?


I think people sometimes believe that I'm a genuinely rotten, hateful, spiteful, negative, and mean-spirited person because I'm sarcastic, dark/morbid on occasion, and I firmly believe in Karma (schadenfreude, anyone?).  Sometimes, I think what I'm trying to say gets lost in how I say it.  I've really learned that people who believe any of those things about me, don't really know me. 


I have an incredible self-deprecating sense of humor sometimes.  Just because it is OK and funny when I say it, doesn't mean I think it is OK or funny when you say something similar to/about me. 


I'm not as outgoing as one might think.  I'm actually very shy in social situations.  I hate crowds.  And I'm pretty quiet until you get to know me. 


Last question, at the end of the day…what will have made your life a success?  At this point in my life, if I were to die tomorrow I think I would be happy if I could say that I made a difference in the life of one person.  I want to know that my presence in someone's life impacted them positively, made it better, taught them something....whatever. 


The other thing....I want to know that someone loved me.  Really and truly loved me....there are lots of people in my world who love me for how I make them feel, how I love them, what I think about them, or what I do for them.  Most people have seen that meme that has been circulating since MySpace that says something along the lines of "To the World you may be 1 person, but to 1 person you may be the World".  I want to be the World to 1 person.  I really and truly do not believe I ever have been. 



Participants:



Comfytown Chronicles 

Thank you all again for joining us in our first ever blog hop. Hopefully this will be the first of many fun posts to come!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Beauty is the Moment

Today's Sunday Confession prompt: 
BEAUTY

Beauty.  Interesting word choice for someone who isn't.  I've spent a lot of time looking in the mirror.  It's not that I think I'm unattractive, but I certainly don't fit the criteria of Beauty today.   Lord knows, I've rarely felt beautiful and yet I just keep trying with lotions, potions and cosmetics.  

There are very few people who call me beautiful, and even less who actually make me feel that way.  Not to say that I haven't had my moments.  But when I think about the word beauty, it isn't something I truly relate to. 

I don't think I am a beauty.  To me, beauty is a glamorous movie star from an old movie, a pin up girl, but more often than not...it's a moment.

Tonight, I had one of those moments.  My sister is out celebrating her birthday and so I have her son with me tonight.  

Oh...this kid.  

He brings so much joy, but he'll keep you on your toes to say the least.  

At one point, I was feeling pretty low because I used to be the world's most awesome Auntie and Stepmother in training.  Tonight I'd had him for less than an hour, and he had spent 40 minutes playing a video game....and I was ready for a drink.  I felt like a failure.  We used to have so much fun together and now I feel like I don't know how to relate to him.  I feel like I'm constantly correcting his behavior and dealing with THE MOUTH.  Sometimes, I feel like I spend more time bitching at this kid than actually getting to spend time with him.  And I hate it.  And maybe I should spend less time correcting him and more time just enjoying him, but I feel like when he is in my care it is my responsibility to help shape him into a good person.  Am I not here to love and guide him just as much as the next person?  And sometimes, it leaves me feeling frustrated.

 But then, we started a movie and he snuggled up next to me.  And when it came time for bed he wanted me to lay down with him.  And when I did, he snuggled up next to me really close and said "I love you, Auntie".  And it was perfect and I could not ask for more.  

Beauty is that moment when it feels like the world stops, and there is nothing more wonderful than where you are, what is going on and who you are with at that exact moment in time.

Beauty is when it doesn't matter what you have or have not, it is when what you have is everything.

Beauty is the innocence, faith, and unconditional love of a child. 

Beauty is that moment that takes your breath away.   

Beauty is that moment when you walk into the room, and he looks at you and you see nothing but amazement and disbelief.

Beauty is that moment when in the midst of the clouds and the storm, a ray of sunshine peeks from between the clouds.  

Beauty is that moment of kindness, generosity, or goodness when the world is ugly. 

Beauty is when someone tells you they love you and you know, without a doubt, that it is freely given and 100% true. 

Beauty is when someone has a talent they love, and they share that love and that talent with you. 

Beauty is those quiet moments spent next to a river, poles in the water, sun on the face and there is nothing more you could want from the moment.

Beauty is that moment when you catch your own reflection in a mirror, and you smile at yourself and think "I Love You. You're awesome".

Someone once said: 

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

And I hope they're all beautiful.


MoreThanCheeseandBeer
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gratitude

I don't even know what to say right now.

When I was a little girl, my parents gave my first (and only) a Lisa Frank Diary.  Anyone who was of that age group, or currently has kids probably fondly remembers those.  I actually gave one to the kiddo for her 9th birthday.  But that is my earliest memory of writing.  And as a matter of fact, I still have it somewhere in what my friends and the boyfriend-that-was dubbed "the creepy room", aka the small storage room in the back of my apartment.  I stumbled across it in a fit of purge-y rage a few years back and actually stopped to read it.  I was one dramatic little girl, but that is where I started writing. 

Following that, there were a string of "Book Fairs".  Every year my Elementary School would encourage students to write books and then have an open house where parents and friends came to read and comment on books.  It was fun and  major encouragement for a little girl who liked to write stories and draw pictures until one year I ventured into poetry.  That year, the Library Director chose to pull my book because there were some dark references which she felt to be clear evidence of "plagiarism" (there wasn't any, I was just a dark and morbid little girl).  Needless to say, I was crushed upon reading the note she included suggesting plagiarism (with some free criticism of my writing, a "professional's opinion" of me as a child and what I should/should not know or understand and the advice not to ever show it to anyone) when my book was returned weeks after the Book Fair.  Minus a stint as a teen during which I never shared my poetry, and one poem in my college Creative Writing class...I never wrote poetry again.

I also didn't write anything aside from journaling, school papers and essays again until High School when I decided to join the newspaper at the insistence of my favorite English teachers. I then spent my 2 years there working with the newspaper, a year and a half of which I edited it.  Then a stint in college where I was a "English Major by default", which I called myself due to the fact that I took English classes left and right that weren't offered at my high school, but did not have a declared major as I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. 

Which leads me to where I am now.  For many years, I ignored writing as a personal outlet.  A little over a year ago I began blogging on a fitness and weight-loss website about the things people were frequently asking about on the forums...a way to share the knowledge I was learning as I was slowing losing weight.  But I grew unhappy with feeling like I had to censor myself to just write about those things, and the other things I wanted to write about had no place there. 

I then started my first blog.  A short lived project where, unfortunately, I spewed a lot of the things I should have been writing about as a form of release for years.  I'm not going to lie...it was kind of negative and bitchy. 

When I started "More Than Cheese and Beer", the goal was to explore my inner growing Foodie, share those previous blogs I found to be informational and move past the stereotype that Midwest Cooking is just about Cheese and Beer (because sometimes, it feels that way).  The intent was never to really be "real", but after scooting around on the Internet and making some friends I realized how stifled I felt by the restrictions of being "non-offensive" and only writing about things that, while I have a passion for food, weren't my day to day and didn't really reflect me as a person.   More Than Cheese and Beer became truly that...MORE.

And so...here we are.  For years people encouraged me to write and for years, I pushed it off.  There is a level of fear every time I write and "publish" something...the most persistent and probing one being "Is anyone going to read this and actually understand where I'm coming from and what I'm trying to say?" and the second most persistent, "Will they Laugh?"

Believe it or not, it's important to me.  I like to relate.  I like to make people laugh.  If there is anything I've learned in my short time it's that...for the most part, we all share the same situations and the same bullshit.  While we all process and feel things differently, but we're all in it together.  There is no reason we can't crack a joke at the inevitable truths in life.  

Blah, blah, blah....I'm rambling.  Sorry.  What I'm trying to get to is, while I understand that numbers, social media, and "Likes" by way of Fuckerberg are incredibly fickle ways of gauging whether or not people are actually reading (and liking) what I write, it still feels like an incredible validation for something I'm now beginning to realize that I always wanted to do.

Being able to share, be silly, and fucking laugh about the bullshit that happens in this life and having people laugh and agree with me (or contribute details I've forgotten) is the most incredible feeling.  I've always believed that loneliness is not the absence of people, but rather the lack of people who understand you...at this moment, I don't think I've ever felt less lonely.  

Since starting down this path, I've met some incredible people.  People who inspire me to go ahead and be my authentic, swear-y, crude, sarcastic and awesome self.  In many ways, however, I've been afraid to put myself out there for fear of being as misunderstood as I sometimes feel in my every day life.  But then yesterday, something curious happened. 

During my new Sunday Confessions venture, a fellow blogger I've come to call a friend made her first confession....she loves me (Read full confessional HERE).  Me AND our fellow "Bloggy Friends" as I like to call them.  I was needlessly worried about being misunderstood; The fear that I would take on this faux "online personality" in people's minds wasn't valid and I realized this when she wrote this:

I love these women that I’ve never met.  Because I DO know them, and they know me.  We share our lives and commiserate with each other when it feels like no one else is listening.  I can post something bitchy and get a message offering to talk in less than 3 minutes.  And what is love if not offering to listen to someone else bitch and moan?
I love you, awesome nerds.  You all have really fat hearts, and that’s what counts.
To be understood, to be known, even just a little bit....it's an amazing feeling.  And I get that every time I get another Like, another positive comment, and with every bit of encouragement to keep going.

So, if you're still reading this....Thank You.  Thank you for reading and sharing what I write.  Thank you for the comments both on the blog and on Facebook.  Thank you for the encouraging words and understanding.  Thank you for being a part of this thing that is becoming a goal, a dream, and a passion for me.  Thank you for taking the time to know, laugh with, and hopefully understand (just a little) ME.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

I Still Love My Ex

My first Sunday Confession post.  I hope you'll all join me!  Today's prompt: Love.  So, gimme your Love confessions.  Tell me about something, someone you love, an opinion about love....let's see what you got!





I'm still in Love with my Ex.  

I'm sure the first reaction or assumption to that is that I'm talking about the boyfriend-that-was and the truth is, I am.  And every single man I ever loved before him.

On Five Minute Friday last week, I blogged about being focused on finding my new Truth.  I'm still there.  I think a huge part of going through any breakup is to re-evaluate your goals.  I also think that sometimes you have to stop and think about the kind of people you are attracted to and whether or not that fits with the goals you have.

I've heard it said that "Men marry women like their Mothers" and vice versa about women and fathers.  I definitely think it is true.  On some level, we all seek a mate that exhibits personality traits we are familiar and grew up with.  Sometimes, that just doesn't work out for us and we have to figure out what it is that we are attracted to and whether or not we keep being attracted to that. Some people think that when you say "type" you mean haircolor or eye color, but things like temper, patience, and personality can be just as indicative as anything else.

Which is where I run into a problem.  I've beat my brain trying to figure out my type.  With each relationship that ends I find myself seeking out what was missing from the previous relationship in my next one.  I'm starting to find some little things...things that might connect them all.  But...for the most part, most of my exes had one thing about them that I loved like crazy.  It might have been the reason we were together,the reason I was initially attracted to them, a quirky sense of humor or personality trait, or something about the way they treated me.

But they've all been different.  And that small part of them....whatever it was, I'm still in love with.

Perhaps that sounds silly.  To be in love with someone because of something even after the relationship has ended, or after we've hurt each other, burned our bridges to the ground or fired emotional Nuclear Missiles at each other.  But that is the truth.

I still love the boyfriend-that-was for believing in not walking away because of a problem.  And while he never actually encouraged me to explore all of the things I wanted to when we were together, when I got on a kick and I wanted to try something or see something, he never stopped me.

I still love the ex I affectionately call "Bonehead" for being one of my closest friends, and for being the guy who can navigate an overreaction on my part like a pilot in a storm and then consistently landing the plane beautifully with some kind of advice or wisdom that has gotten me through more trials and situations that I can remember. The guy has seriously been that "pilot" in my life for nearly 7 years, and while we fall out of touch...we seem to just fall back into stride together with ease every time.  He "gets" me.  I put up walls with people, and he can see right through me.  When I use snarky bullshit to hide feelings of sadness or fear, he calls me on it.  There is no one I trust with the inner workings of my mind like him. 

I once dated the most incredible and difficult Texan...his affectionate/shitty nickname was Stupid Asshole.  At the time, I was facing some challenges in my life and he always encouraged me to be and do whatever I wanted to do.  And he was proud of me.  If I had to say something romantic about how I feel...I already had the wings, but he reminded me how to fly when I'd forgotten.

My High School Sweetheart.  Gosh.  What do I say about him?  I have a lot of regrets about that relationship, mostly due to being a teenager dealing with grief no child should experience and wanting a relationship we were both too young and immature to truly understand, want, or navigate.  At the time I believed he was the one, and maybe it was just being 17, but I used to remember telling him that he was the love of my life.  I've never loved someone the way I loved him.  We have over 20 years of history together, and for many, many years he was my best friend and confidant.  Though he likes to play hard-ass, he was and is one of the most loving and giving human beings I've ever known.  I find other people, when trying to be stupid, just plain stupid...but with him, it made me laugh and feel loved.  Once upon a time, he did things just to see me smile.

So there it is.  I still love my Ex.  Almost every single one.  And if I could take the parts that I love and put them in to ONE person, I'd have the perfect man.


And I totally went over 10 Minutes!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Truth

It's that time again. Really and truly I've grown to love me some Five Minute Friday. And in honor of today's word, Truth, I'm going to admit that sometimes finding topics to blog about can be hard, and the 5 minute assignment can get things going and I take more than five minutes. Also, I'm struggling with this one today.




Truth. What comes up with the word Truth today. About five minutes ago (ironic, I know) I had the most annoying Facebook "conversation" with someone. I wish I could get a screen shot but, I deleted him. It kind of went something like this....


Dillhole: Ugh. I'm so sick and tired of fake people. (There was more but I can't remember it)


Me: Hahahahahahahaha......oh the irony. (Because I happen to know this guy tells more lies about who is he is than he tells the truth and we all got proof of this a few years back. We all believed for years that he was an ROTC program, and joined the Army before he was even finished with High School. I vaguely remember him telling us he would be leaving and girls would cry and hug him. I ran into him again in my earlier 20's with some friends. He was staying in a hotel on the northside of my small town. He claimed he was in town on some Army business and they were paying for him to stay there, blah, blah, blah. That was about 5-6 years ago. Three years ago...he was facing federal charges in what they called a "Stolen Valor" case because he showed up for the biggest parade our town has wearing unauthorized Military Medals, including a major rank insignia and combat infantryman and parachutist badges....and the real kicker? The newspaper reported that he had NEVER even served.)
Dillhole: No. I'm just sick and tired of being being fake. Be real or fuck off.

Me: Oh. Mylanta.



And with that...I chose to Fuck Off and delete him.

The Truth is that right now I'm redefining myself. I'm trying to find my Truth again. The other day a very good friend told me, "Keep speaking the truth from your heart and those who truly know you either won't mind or they'll have your back for eternity."   Sometimes, I think I love that guy...at the very least, I owe him a motorboat just for being someone so awesome and lovingly kicking me in the ass when I forget how strong I am.

When I was a teenager, I decided that I wanted to live the truth.  I'd realized that I'd gotten pretty good at lying...and I was ashamed of it.  At the time, I was hanging out with what can best be described as at-risk teens and I came to realize that while I was struggling with hormones, and normal teen problems while dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of my father...I wasn't dealing with half of the issues the people that surrounded me were dealing with.  I didn't have any reason to be acting the way they were acting.  Even then, I knew I didn't want to be like them.  

I've known many people who get by in this life by lying, taking advantage, abusing the goodwill of others and I never wanted to be that kind of person...so what did it say about me that I was so good at lying?  Nothing I wanted to be said about me.  

I chose to live a life of Truth.  I strive to know, speak and walk my own truth.  I strive to be the most honest person I can be.  When I was growing up, one of the big lessons about lying was that when you lie you have to fight to keep the lie going, and you always have to remember who you told what lie to.  I happen to think that while there is an incredibly true, though simple, point there...it is much harder to live honestly, to put your truth out there instead of a lie to be heard and judged by others because if someone doesn't like it, the rejection is of who you actually are versus who you told someone you are. 

I've spent 3 years lying to myself.  I'm rediscovering me, and what I want my truth to be now.  Who I'm truly meant to be.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Secret to a Nag Free Life (NOT for the Naggers)

I think at one point or another everyone has heard the phrase "We teach people how to treat us" and I've been really hard pressed to find a situation where it isn't true.

The other day I found myself writing an old friend that I haven't spoken to in a few years.  And I have to say, I love the guy.  I don't know that I could express how awesome he really is in order for you to understand how much I love him...but, the short version is that it's been nearly 7 years since I met him and he rides the storms with me.  We've gone through relationships, births, deaths and countless situations through the years and while we fall out of touch sometimes, we always seem to fall right back in step with each other.  He's one of my favorite people   But as long as I have known him, there are things he chooses to do when I'm not looking at him sideways that keep him in a position he doesn't want to be in, and then I realized...I think he likes it when I nag at him.  Like, literally likes it in a way that it makes him feel loved or something not "Oh, you're so cute when you're mad" likes it and it got me to thinking about the BTW who made me nag ENDLESSLY.  

Not every man likes it.  I think every woman who has ever had to nag or has, dare I say it, BECOME a Nag has done it because someone made her that way.  I normally just blame men, but let's be honest....children do it too. I'm just focusing on the men right now because this can be fixed.  The cold hard truth, men of the world, is that it doesn't have to be this way. 

Once upon a time, I was a girl who would ask a man to do something.  Nothing unreasonable or requiring life and limb to accomplish.  Just...a simple favor, something I can't do myself, a request for teamwork, or something they should have been doing all along anyway.  I would start by asking nice and I would say please.  When my first request was ignored...I would remind them.  After being forgotten or ignored yet again...I would explain WHY I needed them to do what I was asking to do what I was asking them to do and ask again.  After that, I would put on a push-up bra and do my best "I'm just a girl and need the help of a big, strong man" (because, let's be honest, some men really do respond to that).  If my request still went unfulfilled, I would trying bargaining....offering something they wanted in return for doing the thing I'd been asking them to do.  

Then, finally, after asking and bribing....I would get pissed.  And after I got pissed....I'd nag.  

Interesting thing about nagging...it seems to get shit done.  Einstein once described Insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  What I think he meant was that doing something over and over again and expecting different results could DRIVE you Insane.  That being said...why the hell would any woman on the face of this Earth do things the roundabout way instead of just doing exactly what works?

I thought I was going to go INSANE with the BTW.  He would say "OK" to whatever I asked.  Then forget.  When I reminded him, he would forget again.  When I would leave him a note, text him, and message him on Facebook...he still forgot.  And we all know he didn't respond to the "I need a big strong man" because he just didn't give a shit.  And bargaining?  Well, let's just say asking him to take out the garbage came with a pretty hefty price tag.  Margaret Cho once said that being in a monogamous relationship could make you feel like being a prostitute working for really, really low wages.  Men...when you make certain things a job or a chore, it happens with the enthusiasm and frequency of a job or a chore. 

This blog has no point.  Seriously.  I just wanted to say that I don't want to be a Nag, so don't make me be one.  Work with me.  If you don't like what I'm asking you to do, let's work it out.  But one of the secrets of life is that....we teach people how we want to be treated.  If you show a woman you want to be nagged, she'll nag you...and she'll do it because it is very apparent that you want that.  And the trick to a nag free life is this: just do whatever it is she is asking you to do when she is still asking nicely.

Friday, November 1, 2013

5-Minute Friday: Grace

Well, it's here again.  5-Minute Friday.  This week's word: Grace.  Oy.  Alrighty then.


Five Minute Friday

So this week's word is Grace.  Something I don't have a whole lot of experience with.  What is Grace?  What does it mean?  Can you define it without looking it up online?

When I hear the word Grace, the memory that sticks out in my head is one from many years ago with my ex-boyfriend.  It was maybe our third date, we were sitting across the table from each other and I moved funny and knocked over a can of Dr. Pepper.  I jumped and started cleaning it up and the first thing he did was laugh and say "Way to go, Grace".  I don't know why that sticks out in my head so strongly.  But it does.  No one had ever called me that before.  Clearly when it comes to being graceful in terms of not being clumsy, I fail every damn time with a stubbed-toe to show for it.

Now....I hear a lot of different uses of the word.  I don't consider myself graceful, physically.  But am I in the other ways?  What does it mean to be graceful?  It's just not a word I use very often.  I admit...when faced with conflict, with hurt, with struggle....I try to handle it with grace though in many ways I'm not entirely sure what that means.  I think in many ways...I kind of link it to "class".  I associate it with being able to roll with the punches and the transitions in way that is smooth and fluid.

In the very recent past, I've been through some shit.  And I've tried really hard to walk through my trials lately with grace.  I've been trying to take it all in stride, make it look effortless, handle my responsibilities and still be a good person outwardly towards others.  I've seen the struggles of the people who surround me and I've tried to be graceful by treating them the way I want to be treated.  I've been giving of my time, my home, my food, my money, my energy, and in many ways, though difficult, my heart.  I've been trying to let the negative being thrown at me slide off like water off a duck's back.  I've tried to admit when I've been wrong and apologize to others when I've wronged them.  Somewhere in my mind, grace has come to mean being able to balance it all, and keep your plates spinning in the air and maintaining some kind of attractive modesty while wearing something that could nip-slip at any moment while bombs go off, sending out shrapnel I have to duck, nearby.

I've tried so hard not to be that girl who freaks out and airs all the dirty laundry on the Internet.  I've been trying to hold it all together while inside, I've started screaming.  I've discovered that I handle everything by doing things.  That is how I do it.  I stay busy and I handle what needs to be done.  I don't fall apart.  I don't lose my ability to function.  When things happen, I start to hyper-function and I do it so that I look like I am graceful and maintain my composure.  I do it to keep my shit together, maintain the appearance that I have everything under control.  I go and go and go to keep from thinking about it and acting in ways that are anything but graceful.

I think I'm doing something wrong.  I've been striving to appear graceful....move through the changes taking place seamlessly, without halting or tripping or faltering.  I've been trying to walk tall.  I've been trying to maintain an attitude of kindness, and tap into what is good in the world and float through the trials and tribulations like so many others appear to.  That's grace to me.

I've been working so hard to be graceful, that I think I'm giving myself an ulcer.  I must be doing something wrong if, while I'm trying to maintain my composure and my kindness, my apple cart is overturned that what I consider to be acting gracefully and with love is being taken advantage of and abused.  In many ways, I feel as though by trying to act gracefully I'm allowing myself to be a doormat.

Many years ago, I realized that life is too short to live with regret.  So when things happen in life, when there are bridges that need to be crossed, I do my best not to burn those bridges.  I am not responsible for the actions of others and if they choose to burn their bridges (even those bridges to me) all I can do is stand by and conduct myself in a way that when I look back...I'm not ashamed of my actions, reactions or behaviors.  In this life, you will hurt someone.  You will hurt many.  It is inevitable.  But you don't have to destroy them.  To me, that is grace.


At this point...it's been over 10 minutes.  But the words kept flowing.  I did some research in order to write this...silly, perhaps.  But this lady is my example of what I consider Grace today....http://www.prodigalmagazine.com/she-yelled-and-called-me-names/ 
  I think I have some redefining to do in my life.  But that, ladies and gentlemen, is my Five Minute Friday.