To each his own. To me my own.

Writing

New Year, New Beginnings Part VI

What a whirlwind of a year 2014 has been. It does seem now that every year goes by quicker than the last, and as time marches on I find myself saying it more and more.

My ‘word of the year’ usually comes pretty easy for me. As this year drew to a close, I found myself still searching for one. 2013’s was Persistence, 2012 was Disclosure, 2011 was Transitional, 2010 was Serene, 2009 was Colorful, and of course my inaugural word of the year for 2008 was Monumental. So how do I compete with any or all of those?

Personally I’m ready to put 2014 behind me. In this particular year, my father was diagnosed with dementia, and my mother with breast cancer. I’ve actually contemplated the word tumultuous to describe the year, but I find that an extremely negative description to mark an entire year with. Can’t say I didn’t think about it for a minute, though.

The word Endurance seems fitting. Because no matter what life throws our way, we’re pretty much forced to steel our resolve and keep moving forward. The only other choice would be to lie down and give up, and that’s just not a choice I’ll make.

Yep, Endurance. It’s got a nice little ring to it.

And hey, 2014 – don’t let the back door knick your heels too hard on the way out.

Door

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Phantom Deliverance

It’s always worried me when a fellow blogger disappears suddenly and never comes back to let you know they’re okay. In these albeit rare instances, it serves to feed a pit of never-ending questions and scenarios in my head. Did they have an accident, did they die, are they sick, the list goes on – and believe me, I can create some scenarios. It’s for this reason that I wanted to let you guys know I’ll be taking a blogging break. Heck I as much as have already, anyway.

When I started posting back in 2009 it was something I needed to do, and it ended up being very therapeutic. It was also something I enjoyed doing. The past few months, maybe more actually, it’s become (can I be frank?) more of a chore. All of you should be able to relate to this honest admittance, since we’ve all likely had an occurrence of being burnt out on some thing at some point in our lives. To be honest, I’m dealing with a lot of ‘stuff’ right now, and a blog isn’t always the best place to, ahem… bare it all. Sometimes it is, just not all the time. So I also consider it ‘removing the cell phone from the drunk’. Yeah. That’s a good analogy.

I’ll try to visit in here and there, and may even be back again in good time. I value all of your friendships through the years more than I can tell you. I’ve met some truly wonderful and inspirational people who, I like to think, have influenced me in very positive ways. For this I feel so blessed, and I’m thankful for each and every one of you.

With that I’ll bid you all adieu for a while, and in typical bon-fashion will leave behind a couple of renegade thoughts.

  • As much as I prefer routine, it seems as if my life is always changing.
  • Never take communication for granted. It’s such an integral part of life.
  • A promise is a promise – it’s not made to be ignored or left to dry up, as if never mentioning it again will make it disappear. That’s simply not the way it works.

Hugs and Kisses


Blogger Buddy Awareness Day

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more of what my fellow bloggers have to say – even if it meant me writing less. I figured if I didn’t have anything interesting to post (which often I don’t) I’d just utilize the time to enjoy the intellect of others. This has been one of the few resolutions that I’ve actually kept, and turns out to be the most beneficial one.

Most of us have heard the saying ‘listen more, speak less’. I’ve never taken that in the literal sense perhaps like I should. In carrying out my resolution, I discovered an invaluable treasure when I chose to ‘read more, write less’.

The extra effort I’ve put into reading more has opened up a whole new world. The depth of talent out there amazes me, and I’ve learned much from each of you. All this compels me to search and read even more. I have a deep appreciation for all the thoughts, music, ideas, art, poems and pictures you guys give so freely for the rest of us to enjoy.

I just wanted to take a moment to give a shout-out to all you gifted souls out there… and thank you for sharing a piece of your world with the rest of us.


I Gotta Be Me

When I started this little blog back in ’09, the intent was to create a sort of release valve for myself. Blogging can be a great way of expressing ones innermost thoughts, opinions, and feelings – especially for things that tend to go unsaid. Anything I jot down is not intended to impress a single soul with the exception of my own self. I held no expectations of anyone ever wanting to read what I wrote. I’ve said before but feel it bears repeating – those of you who find anything I have to say even remotely interesting humbles me greatly, and I thank you for that.

Regardless of content, anything you write that’s open to the public eye will eventually be critiqued on some level. It’s not a matter of if, but when. I’ve had posts taken out of context, some misconstrued, and three or four even taken personally which was never my intent. Through the course of time I have been ‘conditioned’ on what might be acceptable material and what might not ‘pass’. I’ve been advised as to what did and didn’t sound right, had recommendations on future topics, and believe it or not – had disappointment expressed on certain topics that I did choose. For example, something as simple as a television show that I like.

I believe when you change how you express yourself for the sole purpose of being politically correct to others, you start to lose a huge chunk of your own depth and creativity. I’ll even go so far as to say an actual part of your own self. Being a natural cut-up, I enjoy laughing more than anything – it’s not uncommon for me to incriminate myself from time to time in an attempt to be funny. Alas, long gone are my drinking jokes on twitter (hey, Blake Shelton can do it, why can’t I?). I have abandoned most of the profanity in my posts. Just when I think I have everything down pat – along comes yet another evaluation that all but demands a detour.

I guess it all boils down to how I choose to react to or handle the ‘conditioning’. I remind myself it’s only natural as a human being to yearn for positive attention and that ‘fix of approval’ from others. Sometimes though, I feel like a sculpture in the making – watching silently from the inside, as chip by chip I am chiseled into an image that everyone else approves of. But this isn’t reality – there is no such thing. It’s impossible to please everyone.

Personal possessions aside, how many things in life can you say really belong to you? Are actual extensions of you? Probably not very many. I’m not writing this blog for anything or anyone other than myself. These are my thoughts, and however crudely they may or may not be written is also mine. In fact, this whole thing you’re reading is about me. And I’ve gotta get back to being me.

Sammy said it best…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5k2ZE6HAVo &rel=0]

New Year, New Beginnings… Part III

Once again, a New Year is upon us. Time for me to choose a new header/banner, for the year 2012. Just as I choose a single word that best describes the prior year that passed, I also pick a new banner to use for the coming year. I enjoy reflecting back on the prior years’ words and banners, specifically for their powerful meaning to me.

In 2008 I wasn’t blogging yet, so no banner – but my word for that year was Monumental.

It’s not by accident that my first banner below included so many mountains.
2009 Banner:

My word of 2009 was Colorful.

The next piece below is made up of five of my most favorite things.
2010 Banner:

My word of 2010 was Serene.

The below shot is a panoram I took while staying at the beach last New Years.
2011 Banner:

My new word for 2011… drum roll please…

My word of 2011 is Transitional.

It was hard to find a word for 2011. When I finally ran across transitional, I knew I didn’t need to look any further.

I’m finding the end of 2011 to be this huge reflection pool, of this year as well as years prior. In late Spring I moved from my humble abode of three years, the place where I started my new life in 2008. It took some adapting to learn to live with someone again, since Keith and I had both been living alone for so long.

It didn’t take long at all. Where I live now is home in every sense of the word. Hard to explain, except that I feel like I’ve always lived there. Whenever Keith and I are together, everything just seems so easy. Of course life will always have it’s trials and tribulations – but it just seems easy. If that makes any sense.

So on to a brand new year. Nearly four years later, I can finally breathe that long-awaited sigh and say… this butterfly has completed her journey. And what a journey it’s been.


Just Like Starting Over

Have you ever heard the term “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? I grew up with that old saying, but I don’t know what it’s gonna take for me to ever learn.

I wish I could step back several days in time and undo the name change I assigned to my blog. Had I known then the repercussions of doing it I would’ve left it as is, or at least kept the old blog name with a line or two of where to find me.

It’s not that important, I know, but here’s the thing. I’m now realizing how long it took for me to establish a permanent fixture here and obtain a few loyal readers – however boring my posts may be. It’s literally taken years. Not that stats mean anything, I know – but when do I hit it and the number is consistently 0, it kinda sucks. Every one of my prior subscriber links and blog roll links are broken to holy hell.

It really is just like starting over. 😦


Ode to a Grown Man

I’d like to eventually have/make more time to spend on reading other’s blogs. It’s something I really enjoy, particularly the ones of those who take their own precious time to comment on mine. With all the stuff I’ve had going on with moving, work and the likes of everything else, my hope is to get settled in soon and do just that – consistently. I’m amazed at the talent that each of you have – whether it be through writing, arts, or a combination of both. It inspires my own desire to do better. I thank each of you for that.

In updating my blog roll tonight, once again I had heavy thoughts of a certain individual in our blogging world. This is someone that I miss very much – known as Grown Man (as self-referred, GM). It’s for this reason I chose to profile Grown Man in this post today. If you’ve never visited his blog, why not hop on over and read a few excerpts. Click the ‘list’ link for more options. I can guarantee you’ll have to break yourself away from it.

Grown Man has not posted since November of 2010. Prior to that, his fairly frequent posts were eloquent, vivacious and packed full of wisdom. Although geared mainly towards the male genre, his content inspired males and females alike. His own hilarity paired with common sense insight on the male psyche made for some darn good reading and entertainment… not to mention education. He remained ever-kind in his replies, to which he always gave. I’ve always been a sucker for that kindness trait. The love he had for his wife was evident, not exactly spelled out – rather something that was apparent between the lines. I deeply respect his writing style.

I do worry about what may have happened to him, at the risk of sounding silly. Did he meet a dreadful fate… or did he abandon it for a chance of a lifetime, moving on to a bigger and better thing? I’ve googled to no avail to find out what might have happened, having noticed his twitter feed has also been abandoned. He had the potential to be HUGE, and was already getting there fast. Over 188K hits with less than 80 entries – this thing grew pretty quick, my friends. It’s obvious by reading the comments on his last post that his readers really miss him.

I’ll continue to have Grown Man appear on my blogroll because I prefer his legacy to live on, even if not ongoing. I agree with one of the last commenters who stated, appropriately: We miss you, Grown Man. 

Grown Man’s Blog (or, just click the picture above)

Footnote: Even my Keith enjoyed reading GM’s posts, and he’s not usually into reading blogs unless he’s coerced into reading mine, cough-cough. 🙂


Literary, literally

I was browsing through bookmarks yesterday and was surprised to find my ‘Letter to my Sixteen-Year-Old Self’ was still on the front page of the Simon and Schuster site. I realize this is because nothing else has been posted since they posted mine, but gotta admit – I still like seeing it…

©dearmebooks.com

Me: so uh, I’ve been wondering… could I act all crazy like some Hollywood dude is doing right now and get my writing noticed?

Voice of reality: *clearing throat* uhhh, no Bon – see, you have to be famous beforehand for that to work.

For sheer sheen entertainment purposes, I thought I’d share a copy of Charlie’s most recent tweet. I’ll have to say I’ve been enjoying the literary stance he’s taking…

Happy Friday, everyone!! 🙂


New Year, New Beginnings… Part II

2010… it’s hard to believe it’s already over! Once again, it’s time for me make my year-end picks. I must pick my word of the year, and a meaningful new banner picture – something that I can look at for an entire year without getting sick of it. For those of you who missed it last year, here’s the link to New Year, New Beginnings Part I.

Even after a full year of looking at my banner pic, I’m sad to see it go. The below collage was made from all things I love, and I think the visual description alone pretty much says it all. Five little things at a glance that describe me.

Banner picture for 2010

For every year since the start of my ‘new life’, I’ve donned a single word that seems to most closely correspond with what that year meant to me. This whole word thing started pretty innocently in 2008, when I reflected back and chose the word Monumental. 2008 was the year I grew a backbone, or I’d like to think part of one – and walked that plank in search of a new life. The word I chose for 2009 was Colorful. 2009 was the year of mistakes growing for me. The chance to experience many, many firsts and new things, as well as learning truckloads about my own self.

On to my word of 2010. Drum Roll Please…

Serene. Isn’t that nice? I even like the way it looks. True, it doesn’t pack a punch like Monumental does. It doesn’t make the mind wonder what the hell I’ve been up to like Colorful does. It’s simple. The way my year was. Simple, easy… predictable. And, predictable can be a very good thing.

There’s also something else – something I honestly hadn’t contemplated until after I’d already chosen my word. As a young girl, I decided I didn’t like my name. My fix was, much to my Mother’s chagrin, ‘changing’ it to one of my own choosing. My choice was Serena. I was often asked ‘oh you mean Selena?’ ‘No’, I would say, ‘Serena.’ I could never explain exactly why I loved this name, and I even used it as my own signature until a teacher told me I couldn’t do it anymore. I was crushed! Such a beautiful name that was just slightly beyond my reach. Of course I grew out of this ‘phase’, but even in reflecting back, I remember how good the name made me feel when I used it as my own. (I also used to go around with a bright yellow turtleneck attached to my head, pretending I had long flowing blonde hair… but that’s another story. I blame all that on the Barbies.)

I like to think that after this year… I’ve finally found myself. Because, I actually feel ‘Serene’.

I believe I’ve finally found Serena.

I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to all of you. May it be a year of good health, prosperity, peace and unity for us all – God bless.


Notes

Just how important have notes become in our lives? I can tell you on a scale of 1-10, they rank about a 9 in mine. I’m talking about the notes some of us will create as reminders to perform tasks or even just to jot down a matter of importance. I’ve had a love affair with sticky-notes for what seems like forever – I still have them all over my house, as well as work. I used to keep a dayplanner for many years too, with the refills costing approximately twenty-five bucks annually (I like the ‘pretty’ ones). At the end of each year, I’d rubber-band them up and file them with the previous years… something I could then term as a whole year’s ‘diary’ – because basically that’s what it became.

I quit using my dayplanner about a quarter of the way through 2010. Looking back, the fact I did this still saddens me. My little dayplanner still takes it’s daily ride to and fro in my black work bag, but sits alone and unopened – except in the rare instance where I need a stamp or return address label. In this time, I’ve graduated to keeping electronic notes, which I said I’d never do. And here’s the reason why.

The almighty iPhone has it’s own “notes” app. Simple, basic, easy to use – all a person needs from a notes app. Thing is, there’s some sort of glitch with it because lately it’s been ‘dropping’ notes. All my notes as of this morning… once again gone – no buh-bye, no nothing. My research has been bleak as to the answer why. I’ve tested several theories, all to no avail. I’ve found it happens with and without syncing. I keep all my apps up to date, as well as software. I can only imagine if the notes that went AWOL had to do with work, clients, etc. – like some I’ve read of…. thank goodness mine were all personal and not business. But still!! Major pain.

There’s some rave reviews out there about the ‘Evernote’ app, so I downloaded it this morning. I’ll be sure to let ya know how that works out for me. I’ll give one more go at trusting an electronic device as my brain’s external hard drive. If this one fails – once again, ole’ Bon’s gonna make her dayplanner very happy.

😀


One Whole Day

In keeping with traditional Piscean fashion, I seem to always have a few to several pre-fabbed little fantasies floating around in my head. One ‘fantasy fave’ proposes the question – If you were awarded 24 hours to spend with a famous person of your choice, who would it be and why?

I’m not one of those Hollywood star-chasers, nor is my life is so drab that I must live vicariously through them. That said, from time to time I do find certain news and current events of the ‘famous half’ to be of interest. I’m sure I’m not the only one – if I was, there wouldn’t be shows like Inside Edition or Entertainment Tonight.

Which leads back to my original question – given the opportunity to spend an entire day with someone famous, who would you choose? I’m thinking in terms of actor/actresses, singer/songwriters, television personalities, etc. Once in a while I’ll broach the subject to friends, who generally look at me with raised eyebrows – especially when they learn that I’ve already got a running list in my head. (Which has me wondering… is my life so drab that I’m contemplating what it would be like to spend a whole day with a star??)

For what it’s worth, here’s my short list… and the reasons why.

1. Mike Rutzen (Skipper, Oceanic Enthusiast, Free-Diver). Do I need to state the obvious on this one? An entire day of scuba and cage-diving with great whites in the favorably populated waters off the coast of South Africa, with one of the most respected experts in the industry. Just WOW.


2. Ellen DeGeneres (Television Personality). And what a personality. Again, don’t believe I even need a reason for why I’d like to spend a day with her. But if I do, here goes… laughs, laughs, and more laughs…


3. Toby Keith (Country Singer). I’d get him to take me fishing, and I bet I could persuade him to drag his guitar along for a few songs! He’s big and strong – so I’m thinking any bears we encounter would run the opposite way. I like his style, and I also get the impression that he’s a lot of fun.


4. Tyler Perry (Actor, Producer, Screenwriter, Author). What a mega-talented man. Tyler was on Oprah recently and shared his heartbreaking childhood story, which brought him and the entire audience to tears. He persevered from the ground-floor up and is very humbly self-made. Add to that the fact that he’s hilarious.


5. Derek Jeter (MLB Player, Shortstop for NYY). Okay, I had to throw a little eye candy in there. My favorite Yankees player would be ready for a weeks vacation after a full day of me dragging him around to show him off. Additionally, he looks (oops there’s that word again) to have an excellent sense of humor.


6. Ozzy Osbourne (Singer, Songwriter, Father of Darkness) Okay, for hilarity’s sake, humor me here with my childhood idol. True, his speech might be a bit slower and jumbled now from the um, well you know – but the guy’s a barrel of laughs. You just can’t make this stuff up. However, if this wish were ever granted I’d need to drag my daughter along with me. After all, Ozzy was her first concert at three years old. Come to think of it, I’d have to drag her along on my day with #5 as well.


7. Stephen King (Author). Alas, I must look overlook the fact that he’s a Sox fan… for the man taught me the love of reading. No, I am not dark – he is simply talented. I’ve read many others, but his book ‘On Writing’ is a true love of mine… in my opinion, a writer’s must-have. He’s another self-made success of which I so admire and appreciate.


8. Carlos Mencia (Comedian). He would probably take one look at me and say, “hhhNo wayyy, bishhhh”. Oh how I DO love a really good comedian. I was fortunate enough to catch him live in ’08, no holds barred. Seriously, nothing was off limits. Know the thing I love most about him? His lack of discrimination – if you’re in his presence, you’re fair game.

I’m gonna leave some room to grow on for nine and ten.

Did I mention I love to laugh? ALOT?


A Letter to my 16 year-old Self:

Some time ago, I entertained the notion of writing a letter to one’s 16 year-old self. After posting the idea, it felt overwhelming to me. Every time I’d try to start it, I’d freeze up at the very beginning. A few months went by, and it bothered me that I’d abandoned my proposed ‘project’. It’s not supposed to be a toil, I thought – there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. Some write this letter as a suggestion to change or reroute certain life events – I choose not to do this, but instead to write it as a softened forecast of sorts. As raw as it may be, here it is.

Dear Bonnie,

I know you aren’t really concerned with anything but partying and having a good time right now. I’m going to ask, if I may, for just ten minutes of your undivided attention without you creating an argument as to why.

Your decision to hang with the ‘cool crowd’ will end up being your demise in school. You’ve traded in your good grades and standards of behavior for a poor attempt at coolness. I see how much you’ve changed from age fifteen to sixteen – so much so that it makes your own head spin to think about it. You hate thinking about it as well – so you reach for those funny cigarettes and a bit of alcohol here and there in order to push the ugly truth further from your head. What you don’t realize, my dear, is that these seemingly simple substances will evolve into a larger abuse more destructive than you’re able to maintain control of. Your downward spiral has only just begun.

Just around the corner, self-destruction awaits you. Over the next few years you’ll continue to feed this destruction, justifying it as ‘having a good time’. There are people in your life who struggle to make you realize what you’re doing to yourself. Your mother, your father, your ever-wise grandmother. Why won’t you ever give them a chance, just open up your mind for once and listen? Newsflash – they really do know what they’re talking about. Years later, your eyes will well up as you wish for this time to be rolled backwards in order to make different choices. Better choices. Trust me on this – though right now, I know you won’t. In later years, you’ll be happy to know that you were one of the ‘lucky ones’ instead of another statistic. I want you to realize how very fortunate you will be to not become a statistic.

Getting pregnant at nineteen years old will not be the end of your world, although you and a few others think so at the time. You will have a little girl who will, in fact, end up being the shining sun of your universe. Do take a little more time and make the memories count… this will be the only child in life that God will entrust in your care. Slow down, savor every minute, every second. Laugh more… a LOT more. Know that your daughter will be successful in life, and will make you and her father extremely proud.

Your daughter’s father. The man you’ve known for a year prior will become your husband just a mere week after you find out you are with child. True, your childhood fairytale dream of getting married and having babies will happen quite backwards. Just like the absence of a real wedding or even a real proposal – you will find many things around this era to be very different than what you dreamed of as a young girl. Do know that you and your husband will have a very loving life together and create many wonderful memories as a family – as well as share hardships. Always remember that life is a constant change of events. In just a few short years, you will actually go to college to learn a new trade in graphic arts, and your employer will fund this tuition. So hold tight and make do with those hardships – it’ll all be worth it.

Oh, if only I could forewarn and perhaps prepare you for the largest and most difficult event in your life so far. Many years down the road, you will find yourself starting completely over from scratch. You will need to learn to live alone, to survive alone, and support yourself – for the very first time in your adult life. You will learn what heartache and heartbreak really is. You must learn this all yourself, as no amount of prep work or advice will guide you through it. If there is one thing I may ask of you for the future, it would be this… remember your own self-worth. Don’t consider your own happiness an extravagance. It’s not.

Your future lies completely in your hands, and in the decisions you make. Learn quickly that your decisions really do impact your future, of who you ultimately become. And guess what? We’re not finished growing yet.


Daisy Chain

The following is actually from a little over a year ago, before my blogging days. I did not write the words, but over a fair amount of time did do the compilation – written from a variety of beloved sources and wise souls. I remember at the time, I was in a sense lost – feeling alone and blissfully unaware of my own purpose in life. My arrival at this point came from a failed 21-year marriage and the quest to ‘find myself’. I was comforted by the wise words, and found myself ever-searching of them.

Running across it brought back memories of being truly alone. Of the endless search for wisdom – of knowledge of who was fake and who was authentic; and the hopeful ability to discern the difference. I’m not changing any of the content, nor the order… and I do realize it’s scattered. But at the time, so was I.

______________________________________________________________________________

My best dreams and worst nightmares have the same people in them.

What is more the benefit? To love a person that is already loved by everyone, or to love a person that is rejected by everyone?
Hugging is healthy. It helps the immune system, cures depression, reduces stress, and induces sleep. It’s invigorating, rejuvenating & has no unpleasant side effects. It’s nothing less than a miracle drug. Hugging is all natural. It’s organic, naturally sweet, has no artificial ingredients, environmentally friendly & is 100% wholesome. Hugging is the ideal gift. Great for any occasion, fun to give & receive, shows you care, comes with its own wrapping paper and, of course, is fully returnable.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

We wait all these years to find someone who understands us… someone who accepts us as we are… someone with a wizard’s power to melt stone to sunlight… that can bring us happiness in spite of trials… that can face our dragons in the night… who can transform us into the soul we choose to be. Just yesterday I found that magical someone is the face we see in the mirror: It’s us and our homemade masks.

Happiness needs sadness. Success needs failure. Benevolence needs evil. Love needs hatred. Victory needs defeat. Pleasure needs pain.

You must experience and accept the extremes. Because if the contrast is lost, you lose appreciation; and when you lose appreciation, you lose the value of everything.

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel of both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back – in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.

Forgiveness does not overlook the deed. It rises above it.
It always amazes me to see people making a decision to never forgive. It’s like trying to punish their tormentors by harming themselves. In the long run, it’s not a question of whether they deserve to be forgiven. You’re not forgiving them for their sake. You’re doing it for yourself. For your own health and well being, forgiveness is simply the most energy-efficient option. It frees you from the incredibly toxic, debilitating drain of holding a grudge. Don’t let these people live rent free in your head. If they hurt you before, why let them keep doing it year after year in your mind? It’s not worth it but it takes heart effort to stop it. You can muster that heart power to forgive them as a way of looking out for yourself. It’s one thing you can be totally selfish about.

I’ve always heard to live everyday as if it was your last. I disagree. I think you should live everyday as if it was your first, where everything is new and exciting. You try new things, and you’re not waiting for your life to end – you’re waiting for it to begin.

Your friends are your release. They’re who you have the most fun with, and yet when the going gets tough, those people turn around and suddenly they’re not just making you laugh, they’re being this rock and giving you all their advice. Even though you’re so much your own person, if you dissect yourself, I guarantee you, your friends are in there. Their influence is incredible. However rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship.

You’ll never know how much you needed your friends until you look back along the rope and realize how many knots they tied to keep you from Falling. I don’t want someone to catch me when I fall; I want someone to stop me before I do.

Someday someone might come into your life and love you the way you’ve always wanted. If your someday was yesterday, learn. If your someday is tomorrow, hope. If your someday is today, cherish.

Walking away isn’t the hard part – it’s not looking back.

Tears are words the heart can’t say.

I tried to conquer the Universe, but it defeated me.
I tried to capture the Universe, but it eluded me.
I tried to understand the Universe, but it outwitted me.
So, clumsily, hesitantly, I tried to love the Universe,
And it embraced me.

Does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

Sooner or later you have to make a choice…leave behind your passion, your dreams – or have the strength to look past all discouraging faces and look at yourself and know that you have what it takes… and you will prove them wrong.

To love requires courage, the ability to take a risk, the readiness even to accept pain and disappointment. Whoever insists on safety and security as primary conditions of life cannot love; whoever shuts himself off in a system of defense and possession as his means of security, makes himself a prisoner.

Never assume greatness is for someone else. Imagine every day that you too can do great things. Have the courage to take the challenge, make the mistakes, and move forward. Who knows, maybe one day someone will be sharing your moment with you.


Remember when…

It is a day of somber remembrance for every American. A day which we should take every opportunity to be thankful for our lives, our freedom and our God-given rights as an American citizen.

Oh, how I do love a good writer. Since the day I found this, I’ve waited almost a whole year to repost it. I wanted to repost it on the very day that would collide with it’s memory… that most fateful day in American History.

September 11, 2001.

Leonard Pitts, a 2004 Pulitzer Prizewinning columnist of the Miami Herald, gained national recognition for this widely circulated column that ran on that most bleak and numb day of September 12, 2001. Please, if you’ve never read this, take a minute. Listen, learn and remember.

We’ll Go Forward From This Moment 

It’s my job to have something to say. They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward’s attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We’re frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae – a singer’s revealing dress, a ball team’s misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We’re wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though – peaceful, loving, and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people — you, perhaps — think that any or all of this makes us weak. You’re mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.

IN PAIN

Yes, we’re in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We’re still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn’t a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn’t the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You’ve bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there’s a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We’ll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.

THE STEEL IN US

You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don’t know us well. On this day, the family’s bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that’s the case, consider the message received.

And take this message in exchange:
-You don’t know my people.
-You don’t know what we’re capable of.
-You don’t know what you just started.

But you’re about to learn.

©Leonard Pitts, September 12, 2001


Thoughts on a letter to one’s self

I was perusing around in freshly pressed and found a post that was mega-intriguing. This blogger submitted an excellent post (and a few of her other friends have followed suit) titled ‘A Letter to my 16-year-old Self’. She calls the idea simul-blogging, in which the topic is laid on the table, and those interested will semi-simultaneously post on that same topic. Now, as nostalgic as the old Bonster is, you can rest assured that I’m not gonna be able to leave this little diddy just sitting there. With that said, my next dilemma lies in whether or not I can bridge such a large age gap from the present all the way back to sixteen. After all, these ladies only have to go back 10 years or so with their letter – whereas if I go back in time to age sixteen it’ll be more like (oh crap where’s my calculator) I’d likely need a time-machine. In all seriousness though, I’d be going back twenty-six years.

Actually… I think that’s doable. In fact, maybe it’ll put a little different spin on things since there’s so much post-sixteen to write about. Hmmm. The more I think about it – I like it, and the fact that I have a few years under my belt that I may now use as ‘material’. Yeah.

Buckle your seatbelts, boys and girls – this could be a bumpy ride.

Check out Katie’s post above – it’s a fabulous one and very deserving of freshly pressed status. Any of you out there interested in giving this a whirl?


A Voice

I have a good friend that’s decided to bite the bullet and start blogging. Not only is she an extremely smart and beautiful lady, but well-versed. I’m willing to bet she will enjoy it – and I look forward to reading. I’ll be sure to cue you in on the page when she gets it up and running.

Many of us have been subjected to broken trust and loyalty throughout our lives – some more than others. The last thing you need is to keep it all to yourself… what you need is to be heard. An outlet, a source which you may unload on every once in a while. A while back I suggested that a blog might be the very venue my friend needed. It provides an opportunity to be heard, a chance to voice anything and/or everything you’ve wanted to say for a long time now. She asked me ‘do you think the word bitch in my title would be offensive and draw negative feedback?’ To which I replied chuckling, ‘ya know, there’s always going to be something that offends someone out there.’ And that’s true, no matter what.

It got me to thinking about life in general, and how it is we’ve arrived at the point of being a functioning adult human being… exactly what it is that has made up the mindset, emotions and character of who we are now. Do I believe that we continually change throughout life? Yes. Do I believe that what we’ve been through in the past actually shapes the person we are today, as well as the person we are to become? Absolutely. We will not be the exact same person a year from now as we are today. These changes will be determined by the events and occurrences within our lives, and how we choose to react or deal with them. Like my grandmother always told me… ‘bunny-rabbit…it ain’t always easy’.


My Freshly Pressed Appreciation

Each weekday, my beloved blogging site WordPress handpicks eleven blog writers to be featured on their front page. Eleven. Out of Millions. They refer to these chosen blogs as “Freshly Pressed”.

This past Monday, 21st of June, was the day. My day. The blog I had written, Summer Solstice, was chosen to be featured in the much-coveted Freshly Pressed section – the headline page of WordPress. I sat there with unbelieving eyes when I received the email stating I had made it.

Little old me making Freshly Pressed status? The news hit me like a bombshell. Many have long sought after and still continue to seek this temporary but prestigious spot. I know enough to be extremely appreciative of it – and I am. I never expected to ever be cast in such a prominent spotlight, and was completely unprepared for the many extras that accompanied the ‘status lift’. I had well over a thousand hits the first day, along with many comments, pingbacks and requotes. I value highly the many public opinions and inquiries that were made, and remain so very deeply humbled.

I’ve always loved to write and those closest to me are aware of how very deep that love goes. One thing’s for sure – this experience has showed me there’s a whole other world out there… one in which the possibilities are endless.

Thank you, WordPress – and all you readers and writers out there who make the site what it is.


Eventually

As I sit here once again pondering life (mine, not others), the word ‘eventually’ is hangin’ around in my brain. It’s a pretty cool word actually, if you really think about it…

Eventually. The definition varies from source to source. “Finally, at a future point in time” or “in the course of time”, and “at an unspecified later time: in the end”.

All things eventual.

I generally see positive in the word. All things bad will eventually come to an end. Eventually, I’ll get that boat I’ve always wanted. I feel like crap, but I know I’ll eventually feel better. I know all my hard work will eventually pay off. The sun will come back out eventually. Eventually, this oil spill thing will be fixed. (Are we still calling it a spill?)

NOT ‘If keep drinking like this eventually my liver’s gonna fail me.’

Promise. Hope. Yeah – that’s how I see it.


Murky water

I recently resolved myself to the fact that I wouldn’t write anything if I didn’t have anything to talk about. I don’t like to hear myself talk that much. So….

Here’s my little poem for the day.

I want ☀
Instead I have  ☂
I’ll give you the ☽
If you’ll put me on a ✈

Okay, I should’ve quit while I was ahead.


Go… and Be Happy.

I often wish I’d started blogging a while back. Then again, if I had, it would’ve been the most boring drawn-out process of arriving at the point I’m at now – which is happy. Yes, money is more than tight, referencing yesterday’s rant… but I am happy.

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a few blogs on another site. This site isn’t public and I’m thinking of closing it down soon, so I wanted a ‘storage bin’ to house a couple of them. I’m thinking my current blog would be a good storage choice. Rereading them just now, I once again stumbled upon what I was so desperately searching for from the very beginning…

The Quest for Happiness.

Guess I need a refresher course every now and again… So, go ahead – make the jump. But above all………. be happy.


Friday, April 10, 2009
A Good Life
Category: Life

Life is good.

Simple words, aren’t they?  Actually these three words can branch out in so many directions and mean so many things.  Right now I’m partial to what they symbolize to me.

Which is, the ultimate realization that I am happily independent.  It’s taken me a while to say that with some enthusiasm, but man oh man – what a great feeling it is to finally get to know, and actually like, your own self.

And finally being able to say…. ‘I did it’.  While smiling.

The forever analyst that I am, I’d find myself constantly searching for the flaws in my own character that might have led up to or even caused the ending of my old life.  It took me a while to realize that until I embraced my own self, gave myself some actual worth, that I would in fact be alone in my new life.  You absolutely are how others see you.  Might be sad – but this is fact.

Being off work on a holiday, getting up and having the day with which to do exactly as you please, no one to answer to…. though a rarity, how glorious is that?  There are so many people confined in a tempestuous or otherwise unhappy relationship that dictates their every move, even on a day off from work.  Actually, days off are usually even more trying if you’re in a relationship that’s gone south.  I sincerely remember.

This morning I do my usual cleanup of self and house – then cook 2 eggs, 3 pieces of bacon, 1 piece of toast lightly buttered, add grape jam – and oh, can’t forget the OJ with lots’ o pulp.  Savoring every bite sitting on my porch while looking out at all the new greenery, I thought to myself…. ‘only breakfast at the beach could top this right now’.  Mr. Huge Hovering Devil Bee who’s positioned himself directly above the railing to watch me eat doesn’t even bother me.

The most simplistic things in life really are the most important.  The sunrises, sunsets…. the birds building and mating in the Spring (in my hanging basket, no less).  A good breakfast.  Looking forward to the imminent thunderstorm.  Crossing the bridge and gazing at the ‘diamonds on the water’; locking them into memory.  I told a friend recently that I’ve gotten pretty good at driving a straight line on the bridge while my head is turned completely towards the lake. LOL  In any case, the love and appreciation for these things will only come once you are truly satisfied and content with your own self worth.  I am forever thankful for being at that point in my life.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Setting the
REAL
record straight
Category: Romance and Relationships

Every so often I get the urge to write a blog. Although the urge isn’t really there today, I more just feel the need to. Jot down some things that have been weighing on my mind, all related to the colorful year I’ve had so far. A year that’s made me feel failure-esque for the most part.

To try and understand how there can be so many fake people in the world is a daily struggle. What does it take anymore to be REAL? Out of two relationships I’ve had this year, both have failed. I’m not saying that I’m totally blameless. What I am saying is that both of these individuals happened to not be ‘real’.

Though a world different in all other areas, both individuals had this one little trait in common. Neither were genuine – neither were real. They both were masters of disguising theirselves as someone they were not. Whether it’s covering up something of grave importance (case #1) or leading someone to believe you lead a life that doesn’t really exist, along with hidden anger issues (case #2) – the simple fact remains… YOU AREN’T BEING REAL.

I realize it’s better to know sooner rather than later. At the time, it did make me wonder why I even bothered to put myself out there. Was there something about me that attracted this type of masqueraded personality? Was I really that gullible? Or did I want to be loved so badly that I was turning my head to the obvious? After much thought, I’ve decided to suspend the search for the answer – instead moving forward with slightly more ware on life this time.

Recently I’ve reconnected with someone who has showed me that there are still real people in the world. This person has also dealt with a not-real someone in their own life for many years. It’s been helpful and healing to share our experiences, and realize that we aren’t so alone in our quest to find someone out there that is genuine. Although we’re still in the early stages of a relationship, I can say that through him, I am slowly learning to trust again. That guard is still somewhat in place – as I’m sure his is too. We’d both be fools not to, right?