Rockin Out To My Religion

Sometimes I like to put on headphones without actually listening to any music. This is a trick that I learned recently. I’m wearing headphones now in fact. The studio grade kind that have all of the cushiness that covers the whole ear.

A few minutes ago, I had Florence and the Machine cranked up, but now she has stopped her beautiful somber songs. And all I hear is “thump thump. thump thump. thump thump.” The steady beat of my heart.

I was sitting on the front porch of my parents’ house one summer day a couple of years ago as my dad sat next to me on the top step talking.  I am one of those people that holds to the idea of “Do NOT discuss religion. Do NOT discuss politics.” But, considering my background, religion is one of those things that I find being discussed quite frequently. The noises about it whipping around my ears like a cold winter wind.

I had tuned my dad out and was focusing on how the shadows of the leaves were splayed across the front walkway with pools of sun surrounding them. More of the same religious ideas or “truths” that they’d tried to spoon feed me when I was a child. The same ideas they tried to force feed me by the time I was a youth. Suddenly I heard him say, “Music. Music is your religion, huh?”

Looking at him sideways, almost hesitant to say it… “I don’t need religion. It’s more like my spirituality. I can’t live without it.”

Thump thump. Thump thump. I’ll turn the music up again shortly, but for right now, I’m content to listen to the music of my heart.

Image

Wuv

Love… the ever splendored thing. The thing that songs and poems are written about. The thing that people live for. The thing that people die for. “The thing”.  Fitting actually. *cue creepy sci-fi music here*

When I was 21 years old, and in an exciting new relationship, I was trying to think up a screen name for my email address. I came up with “Jazzeykitten”. I thought “Jazz Cat” at first (jazz being probably my top favorite genre of music), but then I felt that I would sound like an old black man with a Yahoo, Xanga, Myspace, Facebook, and later on a Twitter account. Finally I settled upon Jazzeykitten. It sounded… jazzy. Happy. Free. And even just the slightest bit cuddly.

10 years later, and I’m “Jaded”. During my divorce proceedings earlier this year, I even questioned my divorce attorney about how hard it would be to change my last name to Giada… which means “Jade” in French.

Today, I’ve been surrounded by conversations about love. Steeped in love. Or the hate of love. The whole love/hate garbley gook that I often find myself at a loss of words for. I supported friends during their struggles with love as best I could… ya know, being jaded and all. I remember taking notice of a friend of mine earlier today when he got a distant and sad look in his eyes, and I knew. I just knew that the look splayed across his face… yes, even this was love. Wuv. Twue wuv.  But my question and answer to the conversations over the course of the day has been, “Why? Why do we do this to ourselves?” Okay, well, I mostly thought it, but I did ask that question of one friend. She couldn’t even look at me she was so pissed off, and her eyes were glazed as I held myself back from pulling her to me and holding her as she said, “Why?” and she shook her head sadly. “I love him. I do. I just love him.”

And I wonder if it’s ever easy. I have cried. I have begged. I have given my all. I have fought tooth and nail. I know I’m no different than most people. I hear people say so flippantly, “It’s love. It’s supposed to be easy!” Heh. Give me a break. It is indeed love.Fleeting, stupid, nefarious, infamous love.

The Most Effective Way To Make A Man Change

I’ve found myself in a situation that I said I wouldn’t be in again for a very long time. I’m in a relationship. *smacks forehead* And I have been now for a year. A year, 24 days, 13 hours, 32 minutes… Ok, I don’t know all of that, so a year will suffice.

After my 10 year relationship, marriage, and ultimately a divorce, came to an ugly end, I found myself repeatedly saying to myself, “I will NEVER.” or as my sissy likes to say, “Neva.” This proclamation encompassed many things. “I will never let anyone hurt my feelings again.” “I will never let anyone else make me unhappy”, “I will neva clean up after or wash a man’s underwear and socks.” And the list goes on.

Because of my many “NEVA“‘s… my hand is twitchy. It wants to reach for the door and my mind wants to scream at me “Run, Forest!” There are plenty of times that I find myself wanting to dissect everything that a man says or does, and I don’t even feel like I look for negatives. They just pop up like I’m playing a game of bobbing for apples. And I know I’m hypersensitive. I’ve just become so jaded.

One of my greatest strengths, as well as one of my greatest weaknesses, is I can love. I can love hard. Then I’ll find that I’m irritated with myself for being able to give that fully and completely. Like I shouldn’t give that much of myself and I should hold some of it back. Then I brace myself against possible hurts, and I let my heart stay calloused.

I find fault in my boyfriend’s actions and words. Sure, there is plenty that he says and does that I’ve felt I’m within my rights of being irritated or pissed off, because after all he is a man, but on the other hand I want to condemn him and be harsh and cruel because of things that have been done to me in the past. I ask myself if he’s going to change enough that I’m totally happy. No. He won’t. I know the answer. And it’s not his fault. I know that the change is mine to make. I know that I can not continue to punish for the times that I’ve been hurt.

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
Wayne W. Dyer

At Last

If you’re planning on getting married, and even if you’re not planning on it, let me give you a word of advice… Never walk down the aisle to a classic love song just because you think it’s so fitting and chichi. You will hear your “perfect song” on tv, in the grocery story, in the elevator, in movies, in your favorite restaurant, at the dentist, at the gyno… Which is ok, I guess if your relationship is as perfect as the song was.

I was listening to the radio today and “At Last” came on, and for the first time in a long time I was able to listen to it without having the urge to throw up or ground a burning cigarette into my right eye. At last.

In Honor of Those that Protect and Serve

The Bicentennial State Park

POW- Infantry Museum

Infantry Museum

Me and Israel- My boyfriends son just graduated bootcamp. He’s so excited.:)

Infantry Museum

 My Grandmother and grandfather He served in the military as an army sergeant and even had purple hearts. What an amazing man, and a wonderful couple. I miss him so much.

Thank You, Troops!

No News Is Good News

This morning I decided I’m giving up on the news. Every morning as I head into work, NPR keeps me company in the car. Like every morning, as I got in the car, I turned on the radio as I thought to myself, “Let’s see what bad shit is going on in the world today!” and I began listening to my negative passenger.

A man was talking as a translator droned on over his voice. He explained that God is his only hope and protector. He lives as a refugee on the side of a road. Every day he lives in fear of being kidnapped or killed. I listened to him intently as if he was telling me about his favorite ice cream flavor.

I put myself in his shoes for a moment. Or I tried to at least, but I realized that there’s no way I could even begin to imagine what his life is like. Does he wear shoes? Does he sleep on something or in something when he falls into a nightmare slumber? Does he eat every day or drink water? And on some level, it hurt just a little knowing that people really live like that. Every day.

And here I was previously, dreading going to work, as I navigated my car, while drinking coffee and smoking my cigarette. It doesn’t seem so bleak of a day anymore.

I flipped the radio off and watched the autumn leaves blow across the highway underneath a sky draped in clouds shadowed in various shades of gray. I decided right then… I’m going to have a good day.

Finally…

I set up my WordPress page weeks ago. And every so often since then, I’ve logged on and just stared at the blank page with only one simple title “Hello World!“. Finally I got tired of looking at that title and I deleted it.

I would stare at those words. They seemed to get bigger and bigger on that blank page. And I watched them like a hard shell crab watching an exacto knife coming closer and closer to cut me open.

I smile and grin every day, shining my light on everyone around me, as I feel the grey shadow of who I used to be spreading across my sleeping soul.

But… I will do what that sleeping soul dreams about in its slumber. I will do what I ache to do. I will set aside my fear. I will write.