Wandering


I’m sitting in Canada and wondering where my life is going. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy. Years ago, I was a shell and an empty shell at that. I was cold, but I smiled and pretended to be happy. Really, I was dead inside.

Now, I’m awakening to life, happiness and all the potential the world offers. Yet, I understand the dark thoughts that haunt people in the corners of their mind. Some call it sadness. Some call it depression. Some say, get over it. If it only it were that simple. No one wants to be sad. I certainly don’t. But it’s there lurking for no reason.

So, if you understand that thought, know you are not alone. Take each day at a time and seek the joy and happiness that is surely around. Maybe it’s in a flower, a smile, a salad, a pool…. whatever. Find your space of peace and quiet and joy. You can be happy. You just may need to remove yourself from bad choices/people and seek little things until you feel happy on a regular basis. You can do it. You are the only one who can make it happen.

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Share your world-January 2017


I’ve been meaning to do one of Cee’s Share Your World Challenges. And as I looked through my drafts, I found two that I had saved. So here goes a double whammy of shares. Some may be truth. Some may be fiction. Or some may be truth that I wish was fiction, or would it be fiction that I wish was truth. Either way, you can decide.

 

If you lost a bet and had to dye your hair a color of the rainbow for a week, what color would it be?  

Purple, I would definitely love to have purple hair because it is my favorite color. However, the Army seems to frown on that hair color for some picky reason. But, I try to sneak in some purple here and there when I can. You know, like running shoes with some purple in them. Or, a purple FitBit under my uniform sleeve. Or, a purple cellphone case. I have secret purple! So having purple hair could be fun, at least for a week. Perhaps it would be a week I am not wearing my uniform though, lol.

If you could choose one word to focus on for 2017, what would it be?

Passion. I want to live to the fullest every day. I am passionate about my loved ones, my career and my hobbies. I want to love deeper and be more present. I want to learn more about my career and hobbies and fully engage in them with fun and skill. I want to really embrace all that I can and cherish it, really cherish it. You never know when your time is up…so seize the days now!

What was one thing you learned last year that you added to your life?

Lyra. In 2016, I started taking aerial fitness classes: pole fitness, aerial yoga, silks and lyra. I had no clue what lyra was so when I walked into the class and saw a metal hoop dangling from the ceiling I was like….What the heck? Then, I tried it. It was anything but easy, but it just clicked with me. It hurts and I get bruised and calloused. Yet, I find I am still drawn to it. I want to suffer through it to learn more. I think it’s a way of checking off a bucket list item. I always wanted to be a gymnast when I was little. It just never happened though. I wasn’t in the right area. It was expensive…. So here I am in my 40s, learning to do tricks on a hoop. To me, it just seems like dancing gymnastics, but in the air. It feels graceful and powerful and, simply, it makes me happy. So, I will take my bruises and callouses and wear them with pride while I learn to dance in the air.

Here is a video (not of me-I am not this good yet) of what lyra can look like:

But if you look at my Bucket List page, I do have a few still shots of me learning. 

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’… which fruit other than a cherry would you be..?

I don’t want to be fruit! People eat fruit, and being eaten doesn’t sound fun at all. Nope. Nothing to eat here, just move along.

~~~

The above was for Cee’s Jan 9th Challenge. Yeah, I know. I am slow, but the first step is admitting you have a problem.

 

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

I leave them open generally. I figure if there is a monster, the door will not be the thing that stops him. No, he’s bound to trip on the shoes in there, or the military gear that seems to spill out of its bags. Yeah, he got enough obstacles in there to slow him down. If he gets out of the closet, I want him to have an open door so he can just escape on out of the house for good.

Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel?

Definitely. I use them when I go on military duty. And they make it nice for guests. I mean, when I give them fancy hotel shampoo, they politely ignore the fact that the guest bed is uncomfortable.

What is your usual bedtime?

About 20 minutes ago (as of writing this scheduled post). I just keep squeezing more and more into my life and my sleep seems to suffer.

Do you like to use post-it notes?

Too much. I have notes here and there and everywhere. Post-it to-do lists are the best though!

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?

Christmas. I added some personal notes into the Christmas cards. Yes, actual hand-written, physically mailed Christmas cards.

Any phobias?

I have many fears, but I am not sure they count as phobias. The closest would have to be my thoughts on water. I love water, yet, I know it can kill you. So, I respect it but with a sense of near terror.

Let me explain…I have had several dreams of drowning: in cars that went into the water or getting pulled under by currents. Yet, I still go do water stuff to face it: paddle board yoga, white water rafting, kayaking, snorkeling, sailing trips, Hobie cat rides…There are times when I am clutching onto the boat/raft/etc in fear, but yet I am smiling and telling myself…this is fun, this is fun. Most times, it is. So, I guess I like the adrenaline rush of my potential death that is in the back of my mind?

Oh… I just remembered another. I hate small spaces, so claustrophobia. Yeah, I have that. I hate feeling like I am trapped. Whether it is by walls, crowds or clutter, I don’t want it smothering me. Give me space!

How tall are you?

I am a shortie. I am normally 62.5 inches. But, on days where we do our Army fitness test, I am 63 inches. No, I don’t really get taller, but I stand as tall as I possible can. And, when there is a half inch, they round. So making sure I get that half inch counted gives me an official inch of height. And that official extra inch gives me a weight allowance of four more pounds. When your a short girl who likes to eat, you need those four dang grace pounds! Too bad I can’t stretch two more inches cuz all that holiday eating is still around my waist.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am grateful for my water pipe busting this week. Stick with me here. No, I am not crazy, but I am looking at the silver lining.

As I was washing some vegetables, the faucet water just stopped. Um…we have a problem here Houston. So I go outside to find the water man turning my stuff off. Hey, sir. I paid my bills.

Yes, but your going to get a bigger bill if I don’t turn your water off….

Long story short, my water pipe was leaking near the company’s line. Apparently, it had been for some time as there was a saturated path going down the ditch and then down the road. Funny thing is, I saw the water on the road a few days ago. It was around the corner so I didn’t think anything of it. I mean, it was around the corner from me and I don’t even live on the corner.

Anyway, apparently I had been watering the ditch and the road. My next bill will tell me how long: days or weeks. But the silver lining is: I met my neighbor finally (who was really nice and fixed the leak); I now know where my water box is; and I learned a couple of things about pipes. Oh, and the fact that the leak was right near the county connection was a huge bonus! There was no damage to the house and the digging was very minimal…or so we hope but I will have to check it again today after military duty.

 

Next week, I am super excited as I start a new job! I will be doing public affairs for the Army’s competitive shooting teams. In short, I will run around taking pictures, shooting video, managing social media and traveling with the teams. These folks are so good that some of them have even gone to the Olympics! I could get a chance to go if they qualify. And let’s face it, photographing some people in the Olympics is about the only way I am going to get there.

~~~~

For Cee’s January 16 Share Your World. 

 

Time for a drink


Stresses of life can wear us down,

Making us sad, making us frown.

We wish that all were noble and nice,

But some have nothing but hearts of ice.

They only see their power and needs,

And we all wonder, is there an end to their greed?

Answers will come, but only in time.

Let us just hope, it’s not the end of the line.

Meanwhile, we’ll wait and have time to think,

So we may as well all have, a good stiff drink.

~~~~~~~~~~

For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White.

 

 

Hope is around the corner


For months she had been hiding things. I few dollars here. An old, but valuable ring there. Little things that he would not notice. Insignificant things that would not warn him about her eventual escape.

Some may call her hiding of things theft, but she didn’t look at it that way. The items she had chosen were already hers. He had given them to her. So she couldn’t really steal what was hers, could she? And anyway, if it was that, she thought it was justified. After all, he had stolen her youth, her freedom and her life. Now, Mikhaila was taking it back before it was too late.

At age 15, Mikhaila had met her now husband and owner. He was an older foreigner with cruel eyes. He selected her over several other girls in the line up. She remembered how he stopped to look her over, up and down like she were a prized mare at a breeding show. She turned. She smiled. She look down at her feet demurely. Not just because that was what her owners said to do, but because she was afraid of this stranger’s penetrating glare.

He must have liked what he saw, because he bought her then and there. Right there in the line up, he stated, “This one. She will be my wife.” Mikhaila cringed inside, but outwardly smiled and glanced up with a bow to her new master who was 10 years her senior. Then, her and her friends were paraded around for a few more minutes for show and herded out of sight for the men to finish their business.

Of course, the men who ran the house, didn’t call this display a line up. They called it opportunity. They ran the home something like an orphanage and school, but in reality, it was really just a place to sell young girls to wealthy foreigners.  From childhood, girls were groomed for marriage. They learned to cook, clean, and sew. They were educated to make enlightening conversation. They were exercised to remain fit, healthy and attractive. They were styled in the most attractive clothing and hairstyles. They were even instructed in the arts of pleasing a man. Overall, they were molded to be the perfect wives, and they came at a cost.

At times, it was easy for the girls to forget they were property to be sold. There in the home, they were educated, pampered and protected. It was almost like an all-girls school, and they enjoyed each others company. But, when they reached their mid teens, their owners started to market them-their virginal beauties for sale.

Mikhaila had only been to a few lines ups, so she was still naive. Her, like many other young girls, fantasized about handsome young men coming to the line ups. They would fall madly in love with the girls and whisk them away to a life of happiness.

Of course, this was not the norm. Men who wanted to buy a wife did so not for the need of love. No, they were more interested in controlling a glamorous woman who they could display on their arm. They needed to show their power, their wealth and their virility.

Geruf, an elite and powerful businessman, needed to show all of those things, especially to his father who had been grooming him to take over the business. For his whole life, Geruf’s father had told him love was pointless. It only made a man weak. It ruined his priorities.

Naturally, Geruf agreed with his father as he had been the only dominant figure in the young man’s life. He desired women of course. He was a young man after all. But through decades of his father’s teachings, Geruf only saw women as objects and treated them as such.

When Geruf was 25, his father sent him to the home to select a wife. That was when he met Mikhaila. Unfortunately, she had caught his eye on his first visit and the deal was made.

Since the girls could not marry until they were 18, the men who wanted legal wives had to wait. However, while they waited, they could come visit their purchased fiancee to get to know her and confirm there was no buyer’s remorse. If there was, they could make an exchange.

Her owners were wise businessmen though. The girls were not allowed off the property during these visits. This way, their girls remained in their desired conditions, untouched. It also was a way to charge the wealthy men more money. For the privilege of selecting a young bride, the buyer then had to take on the cost of her boarding and education. But this way, he got to choose a young girl before others. One young enough to help mold. One young enough to build a believable history with.

Geruf’s father had thought of everything. By having his son pick out a wife early, the couple could be photographed during their regular visits. The pictures built a lovely history for his son’s long-distance romance. It would make his marriage normal and almost expected. Then at 28-years-old, his son would be established in the business and married to a woman fit to display and trained to behave. It was a perfect plan, and for seven years, it worked.

Geruf was leading the business and Mikhaila played the model wife. She entertained with him. She kept his house. She did as he bid all while looking perfect. But as the years passed, Geruf became increasingly cruel. Mikhaila would reach out to him, trying to ease his stress and make him smile. But just when she thought she had broken through, his dad’s training came out with a vengeance. It was as though the closer Mikhaila got to Geruf’s heart, the crueler he became. He beat her, burned her and raped her to regain his power. He needed to fight any feeling of love with anger. To reestablish his feeling of control, he took hers.

A few months ago, Geruf beat Mikhaila for speaking her mind. She dared to jokingly correct him in front of his father. It was a mistake she would not forget, he made sure of that. And he made sure his father knew she was put in her purchased place because he beat her right there in front of him. She remembered catching a glimpse of his father as she struggled under Geruf. He was smiling. He was proud of his wife-beating son.

Later that month, Mikhaila discovered she was pregnant. Though Geruf had ruled this was her next duty for him, he didn’t know it yet. Mikhaila sat with the positive tester in her hands, crying on the bathroom floor. She had already been preparing to escape one day, she just didn’t have a date. But now it wasn’t just her, it was her and her baby. She curled up, thinking about how Geruf’s father sat there while his son beat her. He sat there smiling because his son’s purchased wife was being corrected. She was just a thing to her husband and her father-in-law, even after all these years. After all she did, she was still nothing more than a piece of property. How would it be any different for her child?

It would not be different. Her child would be property just like her. That’s when she decided on a date to escape. She had no more time to waste.

That was two weeks ago, and here she was on the road, driving to her new life. In a car that a friend had rented for her, she was slipping away in the night while Geruf was on an overnight business trip. She only took a few items and left their house in perfect order but with the front door oddly open. She even left lingerie on the bed and dinner fixings on the counter to look like she was planning him a romantic dinner. Nothing looked like she had planned escaping for months. Nothing looked like she had planned this day to escape from her pretend marriage and real enslavement. Nothing would ruin his precious image. She would just simply be missing. So, as she drove up the hill and into the light of dawn, Mikhaila saw hope for the first time in her life.

~~~~~~~~~~

For Sue Vincent’s Write Photo Challenge. 

 

Unrequited


I drink in your lies

Swallowing them with pain

The longer I stay with you

The more I feel insane

 ~

My words do not matter

They fall to the floor in waste

I stand before you trembling

Waiting, in timid haste

 ~

I want you to love me

Like I loved you in the start

But you continue to stab

Every damn bit of my heart

~

But I don’t really quit

And I continue to wait

For I hope and I dream

That maybe, just maybe…

it is not too late

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For all those who lived a one-sided love at one point in their lives.