Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wrap up

 In recent conversation with my mother, I made a comment to her about how I tend to look at people born in the late 80's and 90's and am astounded by how much they think they know.  It led me to verbalize how I'm quite sure that when I'm in my sixties and seventies, I will look at my thirties and marvel at how I really didn't know shit.    That's right, people.  For all the 'know it all' comments and accusations I get, fact is that I'm well aware of how much I don't know.   

2010 was a horrible year.  I had very high hopes for 2011.  Looking at the year in a quick glance, it would be easy to say that it fell terribly short as well, but upon further inspection, that's not completely true.  Brace yourselves, I'm doing the 'cup half full' thing.  New territory for me, but terrain worth exploring.   I learned and realized so many things.  Some of them hurt badly, and some realizations had to come painfully slow and at an emotionally detrimental cost to myself and others around me.  Still, I'm coming out of this year smarter, tougher and because of those things, more happy.

Being a parent has been the happiest, rewarding, scary, most painful and gut wrenching experience of my life.  I have a grown son (grown by legal standards, that is.)   I spent the better part of the past two years trying to save him from himself...from making  bad decisions that could affect the rest of his life.  I failed, probably because it was never my battle to win.  The more frightened I got about his chosen paths, the more I attempted to tighten my grip and control.  Seeing my young self in him was terrifying to me, you never want your children to go through the same horrible phases you went through, you want them to learn from your experiences.  Funny how they don't see it that way.  Yeah, we didn't take anyone's word for it either.  Go figure.

After beating my head against  the proverbial wall repeatedly, wasting away for months crying and wringing my hands in turmoil and worry, I had an epiphany. None of this was necessary because I was done.  Not done with my son, but done with my job of raising him.   We instill in them what we think is important, we try to provide the tools that they need to be productive members of society and then we're supposed to let them go live their lives however they choose to.   Regardless of the mistakes that I see him make, I now refuse to let myself try to intervene.   He doesn't want my advice, input and saving.  He's got this.  Even if he doesn't, he's on his own supporting himself and that makes it not my business anymore.  I learned a valuable phrase this year.  Instead of my head spinning around and my blood pressure rising every time I hear a new ridiculously bad idea, I pull it out.   "Well, son, I hope that works out for you the way you want it to."   And with that, I leave it.     Everyone must carve out their own path in life, how I personally feel about his path is less important than I once thought it may be, which was not the easiest pill to swallow.  Hey, that's life.

It may not seem like a hard thing for most of you to do or understand, but it took a lot to get me here.   And I'm not leaving.   I have retired my moonlighting job as Captain Save a Ho.     Not only with my son, but with everyone else around me.   The only saving I'm doing is the saving of my own sanity.   It's a good place to finally be.   I've lost some relationships due to my newfound resolve, but there are always casualties when it comes to finding your own happiness.  I wouldn't trade it.

I have spent the past seven and a half years in a profession that is as curious to me as it is to the people that knew me before I ended up there.  It was taken up strictly because of the benefits and flexibility that it provided me in terms of being a mother.  My younger child has spent every school vacation with me and not in a camp or daycare.  I have been incredibly involved in every aspect of his life and we are thick as thieves and love spending every moment together.  That I would not trade.  But as he grows older, I see that it's time for me to take some of my life back.   I have done what I have been threatening to do for so long….. I have made a change and set the wheels in motion.

Before I go patting myself on the back, I must admit that this change should have happened two or three years ago.  Frankly, fear of change, failure and the unknown have kept me from making good on my never ending promises to just pull the damn trigger.   This year threw me right over the edge, and for once that is a wonderful thing.  I found my proverbial balls and stopped complaining and sulking about how miserable I was and started living differently.  It began with small things and snowballed up to bigger life changes.   I see opportunity everywhere, right there for the taking.   It is invigorating.

A woman like me has to admit, even if my life for the past decade had been all puppy dogs and roses, the wanderer and bohemian in me would have started nagging in an increasingly louder voice inside my brain for something different, for a change.  I know myself too well to blame it solely on circumstance.  Instead of trying to fight that part of my personality, I have just accepted it.  What a damn relief.    I have to keep moving, and that doesn't mean blowing apart everything that is good right along with the bad.  It means allowing yourself continuous evolvement without guilt.

I made the tragic mistake of thinking that all of my self sacrifice would raise me to a new and awesome level of impressive wife and mother.   It didn't work out that way.  Instead my family got the worst parts of me more often than they should.  No one wants a bitter and cranky Me around.  The normal Me is hard enough to take.  Besides, unlike 91% of Latin females out there, I don't wear martyrdom well.  It just doesn't  look very good on me.

 So really, it basically comes down to this.

1.  Learn when to let go.  You can't control everything. If you try, you will  either exhaust or destroy    yourself.  Hell, you may do both.
2.  If you don't like the life you live, change it now because it's yours.  Do it now, no one has an eternity to sit around and wait for the 'right time'.

It's hard to fathom that this seemingly unending rollercoaster  called 2011 can be summed up so shortly at the end of the ride.  But I'll take those two ideas, tuck them into my hat as hard earned life lessons and keep on truckin'.  Some of you may see these things as obvious, and the concepts are admittedly incredibly basic.  But real life application is much harder than spewing words…. at least I can say that not only do I 'get it', I'm now fully living it.

Ever Forward!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ho, ho, ho….WTF?

I'm still alive and nothing tragic has happened to me.   Shocker, since I'm contributing to my own blog, I know.

To know me is to know that I hate Xmas season.  I hate buying mass quantities of gifts that people really don't need.   I don't like the decorations. I don't like how folks all of the sudden expect me to stop being my naturally snarky self and somehow start blowing reindeers and candy canes out of my ass, just cause it's December.  I despise the debate between saying Happy Holidays/Merry Xmas.  Who gives a shit?  Say what you want, celebrate however you wish.  It doesn't offend me.  Just don't expect me to go to church and go back to leaving me alone.

Most of all, however, I really tend to not like Xmas music.  It's pumped in to every public establishment that you have no choice but to enter from what seems like October thru the new year.  Ugh.    If it's not Dean Martin, Elvis, Frank Sinatra or Brian Setzer doing holiday songs, then I don't wanna hear it.  'Divas' doing endless runs… thus making a crap three minute tune into a five and a half minute session of torture?  Nope.  Not for me.

Trust, this is not just a bitch session.  I'm actually going somewhere with it.

While surfing the web last night, my partner in crime somehow ran across THIS.   Now, let me preface by saying that while I don't love Stone Temple Pilot, I've always thought that Scott Weiland was sort of hot (in a dirty, heroin scumbag sort of way.  Don't judge me.  I like what I like.)   I thought, "Hmmm.  This is strange, with a 59% chance of being interesting." and immediately instructed Big Guy to preview the songs.

What followed left me absolutely speechless, not an easy feat for a big mouth like myself.  First of all, he looks creep-tastic on that album cover.  I can't fathom him seeing that photo and saying, "HOT DAMN!  I think we have a winner, folks!"  Seriously?

The music.  Oh, the music.  Believe me, I get that he wasn't going for 'rocker' on this album, instead he's trying hard to tip his hat to the era of big band and go all old school on us.  Problem is, he can't carry it.  It doesn't work.  I appreciate that style more than anyone and have extremely varied taste in music (just ask The Kid, cause he's been listening to me sing along to Streisand's Broadway album for two days… I like to pretend I'm Liza in the car.)  So I'm not judging based on it straying from his normal output of sound.  I'm judging the level of assault on my ears.

Frankly, he sounds a little drunk most of the time.  In a bad way.  On rare occasion, he starts slipping into what I can only describe as a more on pitch version of Sid Vicious' version of "My Way".  I was dumbstruck and still can't believe some of the favorable reviews.  Cause I'm here to tell you it's crap.  It wasn't all just suicide inducing.  It slipped into varying degrees of boring, played out and just forgettable.   There was nothing the least bit interesting about this project.  Also, whoever did the orchestra arrangement needs a boot up the ass.  They did this no favors at all….. my personal favorite moments were the strange  island calypso/steel drum  inspired moments.  Again, WTF?

This is a case where I think that perhaps he ought to start doing really heavy drugs again, if by chance he has stopped.  And for Pete's sake, don't make another holiday album, Scott.  Go back to not showering and I'll stop being mad at you, it's all going to be alright.  But most of all, Scott Weiland….. shhhhhh.

Go ahead, preview the songs, if you dare.