When I was a baby I wanted to make friends with a goose, but the goose wasn’t interested. Despite the honks and hisses, I pursued.
The goose had it up to his neck with me.
I went crying back to my grandmother. She called me a ‘stupid ass’ and told me that’s what I get for trying to play with a goose. This might shock some people, that a grandmother would talk this way to a little person, but that was how it was in 1978. Of course, I didn’t like it then, but I get it now.
Geese are known to be mean which I didn’t know in the 70’s when I used to try to play with geese.
I still like them. I just have more respect for them.
Despite my heavy love for rock and metal, I am an excellent dancer. I was born in 1973, so my ears were blessed with everything from the Bee Gees to The Cars to Dokken to Slayer.
And I can dance to all of it. Because dancing makes everything better. If you’re in a bad mood or feeling down, I challenge you to put on any song you like and dance to it. How could you be bummed out and dance at the same time?
You can’t! There is no way someone could be sad or mad or upset or depressed while dancing. It goes against the theory of dancing relativity. Okay, so that theory doesn’t exist, but if it did, my statement would be the basis.
You cannot be sad while dancing.
The first time I danced to anything was in my crib as a baby when I wouldn’t stop crying. My grandmother told me I was wailing and wailing and she had two choices: smother me or soothe me. She took the little Fisher Price music box on the dresser, wound it up and threw it in my crib.
I stopped crying and started kicking my feet and smiling.
So I guess the first time I danced was before I could walk. And I still love it. Every day on my way back and forth to work I have the radio turned up loud and sing and dance in my seat to get through my grueling one hour commute (two hour round trip).
Even when I used to drink and go to bars, I always made sure I was at a bar that had a working jukebox or a live band because the music made it better.
Music is life. Dancing is a close second.
I’m still writing the NaNoWriMo 2017 novel.
Keep on keepin’ on friends! What are you working on this month?
My life was surreal until about five years ago when I finally met someone on the same frequency as me in any aspect of my thinking. Is there anything more refreshing than meeting someone who ‘gets us’ in any way? I don’t think so.
Back to my story.
2007 was coming to a close and I had recently started my new job. Money was tight and like an elf without toy making tools, I was worried about Christmas. To be blunt, I needed money. And I had an idea on how to get it: win it in a radio contest.
All I had to do was submit my name and a time and the radio station would do the rest. I just had to listen for my name to float across the airwaves in the DJ’s voice, call up, say I was me and voila… a guaranteed $100 with the potential for $500.
I walked in the park a lot on my lunch and this one day was no different, except that, I had a feeling. Sometimes when I get feelings, I talk to animals. And sometimes they talk back. I never told people this because people tend to not accept anything further than their own reality.
In essence, people would call me batshit crazy. But I do get feelings and for some reason, even to this day, ignore them. Nothing ever goes well when I ignore my feelings – intuition I guess it is.
I was walking in the park and thinking about that money and how much it would help me. As I walked I saw something pretty fascinating.
I saw a red tail hawk in a tree. Not ON a tree where they often are. But in a tree on a midlevel branch. Winter approached and most of the leaves were dead on the ground much like I felt my life was at that moment.
I looked at that hawk. He looked at me. I thought, ‘They’re going to call my name, aren’t they?” A voice said, “Yes.” I thought, “I’m not going to hear it am I?” A voice said, “No.”
If you’re still reading, this is an insane exchange to the average person. Who the hell talks to hawks, and more importantly when the hell would a hawk ever talk to a human? That is another story for another time. I am deeply connected with nature, and particularly hawks. I walked for another ten minutes or so, and when I came back by the tree where the hawk was, it was empty. No hawk.
After my gathering with nature, I went back to work and as I did my tasks, listened to the great classic rock tunes pouring out of my internet radio. And then, the DJ said,
“Time to announce another name for the radio station payroll of one hundred dollars an hour! And that name is________________”
Wait. What? I freaked. The station decided to buffer and cut out just as they said the name! They couldn’t have called me right? I mean that would be nuts. I even called the radio station and was going to ask if they called my name but when the DJ picked up, I chickened out and hung up the phone.
I kept listening (now that the radio station didn’t cut out magically) and the DJ said:
“Well, looks like Joe Smith is still on the payroll because Darlene Steelman didn’t report for work.”
WHAT?!?!?! The hawk was right?!
Oh. My. Freaking. Gawd.
I was devastated. Partly because I didn’t win money that could have helped me but more so because that was not the first time (nor would it be the last) in my life I didn’t listen to that voice. That voice has spoken to me over the years in various ways taking on various forms and that has only happened to me since I had my accident in 1996 when I lost oxygen and was dead for a good half hour. That’s a whole other story.
Oh, and by the way… that weekend I went and got a radio for the office because no way in hell was my opportunity to win money going to solely rest on the flakiness of internet radio and a message from a woodland raptor!
Have you ever second guess yourself and wish that you hadn’t?
To be brave. What does it take? I think most of us are brave every day. We just don’t bring it up. There is, after all, not much humility in bragging about a character asset. There is a hashtag going around – #metoo – in order to spread awareness about sexual harassment.
Not many people want to talk about being a victim, but we kind of have to talk about it. Awareness is a biggie in helping others and it is oh so brave to share a painful shame-filled story. Of course, it hurts… it hurts when I share my pain, but I know deep in my soul it helps almost as much.
Bravery isn’t planned. It just happens. The bravest this to be is unapologetically yourself. Every f**king day. Just be you. It is a wonderful thing. Be brave and say NO. Be brave and say YES. Be brave and just effing be YOU.
‘And it harm none, do what ye will’
Everyone should live by that rede. The world would be amazing if we would. It is braver to do the right thing that it is to be part of the crowd.
You told me I was brave
As you looked the other way
I had no way out
But had so much to say
I was just a child
And you were quite a man
You held my whole world
In the palm of your beastly hand
Now I am much wiser
As I look around the world
I am no longer a victim
No longer that little girl
*This is not my best writing, but I am dealing with a migraine today… Have a beautiful day my friends. ❤
Most people, I think, hear the word fraud and think of money or maybe counterfeit goods. Or maybe they hear fraud and they think of some guy preaching from the pulpit of a ‘church’ while he commands the plain folk to give money else Christ will be sure to make thou heathens pay for ye ‘sins.’
I got a real story about a fraud.
I knew this woman once: good looking, smart, pretty well put together and she could talk her way out of a paper bag (or maybe into one). Her charm was only exceeded by her wit and both were trumped by her smarts. Men were wooed by her – bewitched – as they fell for her wiles, but she only possessed these wiles when she was sober.
And sober she was not very often.
She was one of those women you may have seen at the bar: first, she is the picture of beauty and poise but soon after she starts slamming back the shots, she morphs into this whacky, immoral tramp that decides it is a great idea to flirt with your boyfriend in front of her own boyfriend.
Ugh. What a bitch!
Oh wait, that was me. I was that fraud of a woman pretending to be mature and just, all the while the alcohol would let the real me slip out 100% every damn time. I lied to everyone and anyone I could so that I could either be the victim, the hero, or the shining star set at center stage.
The truth was: I hated myself. I hated everything about me and I hated everything about anyone else that was just like me. Okay, I hated everything about everyone no matter what they were like. Nothing ever went right, no one ever treated me right, blah blah blah.
Well, how the fuck could they? They never knew who I was because I never knew who I was! It’s like trying to have a moody alligator for a pet. Sure, he is nice once in a while, but no one knows when he is gonna snap (your face off). I was happy for ten minutes but then someone looked at me wrong or maybe it was too warm that day and I didn’t get the right compliment on my outfit.
You’ll all pay!
So I would use my fraudy ways to get people to like me and spend time with me and then as soon as I was sure I had them right where I wanted them, boom. I would start to change, little by little, bit by bit.
I think the correct term is a NARCISSIST. I guess it is close that I was a narcissist, but, if I truly were, there would be no helping me without years of intensive professional therapy. Narcissists don’t recognize their demented ways, so I can’t say without a doubt that I was one.
All I know is that I was a fraud. It was a long, hard, winding road to get to a point of sanity and self-acceptance but I am here now. I work on myself daily and really try to be a better human every day. Of course, I have bad days (don’t we all?) but getting through the bad days helps me appreciate the good days.
People complain about pain, but pain helps us grow. It tests our boundaries and lets us know what we like and don’t like. It helps us feel when we’ve had enough. Pain shows us what we can handle and what we have to change.
Change is inevitable. Sometimes I hate change, but it has to be. I mean, nothing changes if nothing changes. Sometimes I wish it was still 1986 and I could get a ‘do over’ but then my life might be different right now. We can talk about fate, journeys, and predetermined destinations in another post.
I watched the miniseries on Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) and I felt sad. I felt sad because he was a man who was a genius who had been through a lot. He could have helped so many people but he chose to hurt people. He could have used his knowledge and pain to help others and make a difference. Instead, he used his gifts for malice. He lived in a hunting cabin in the middle of nowhere and that frightened me because I would love to live in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Does that make me a psychopath?
I went to the park Saturday to take a walk and reconnect with nature and also with myself. I’m still weeding out stuff to write this memoir (which I already started) that is really a rough draft. I have gone through every event in my life so far.
I have been through hell.
But I am still here.
So my story needs to be told – not with homemade bombs but with powerful words.
I used to be ashamed of my scars, but now I am proud. Why should I be ashamed of things that have shaped me? I shouldn’t and neither should you.
Never be ashamed of your scars. They are a part of who you are.