Saturday, January 12, 2019

YOU UNFILTERED - Resolutions vs Solutions continued ...




I know my last post, Resolutions and Solutions and How I Broke my Friggin’ Head, ended without resolution.
If you missed the first part, you can read it here - 
https://authoralmondieshampine.blogspot.com/2019/01/resolutions-and-solutions-and-how-i.html
I’d like to say that was kind of the point of it all for people to stop looking for external resolutions to things to provide themselves with a sense of purpose, but in all actuality, I was tired and my head hurt, because I broke it, just like the title of the post claims, duh. Part of the symptoms of cracking my skull is difficulty focusing, concentrating, staying on one subject, forgetting what the heck was already written, forgetting what the heck was intended to be written, and forgetting what the whole friggin’ point of the entire blog was meant to accomplish. – Oh, wait, that’s all symptoms I had before I broke my head. Hmmm.

I imagine all of you thought it was probably click bait anyway, because not once in that most recent blog did I even mention how I broke my head. I mentioned that Chyna, the female wrestler, was my rolemodel in my teen years, and we’d have real live wrestling sessions with tacs, chairs, ladders, and whatever other random objects we could find to fight our opponent with, before we realized that the majority of that stuff was staged, and they don’t actually slam chairs overtop of people’s heads as hard as they possibly can. In real life, you get knocked unconscious and swallow a couple teeth. I mentioned that my wresting name was Miss Triple Knipple. (No, I don’t have three of them – Inside story, people. Gutter. Head. Out.) I mentioned that there are items of clothing that wrestlers just simply don’t wear in order to avoid further injury – Oh, wait, I didn’t mention any of those things.

Okay, here’s the thing. I can’t actually tell you how I physically broke my head, because I don’t remember. Not an iota of a clue. Nothing. Nada. I just woke up 8 or 9 hours later, said ‘Ow’ in a much more profane way, turned my head, and then spent the next 23 hours yacking in a puke bucket. (Ha ha, I just looked up the definition for yacking, and it’s to talk at length about trivial or boring subjects if you’re looking in the non-urban dictionary. Point taken. Moving on)

Mentally, on the other hand, my head has been broken for quite some time, so for a good year or year-and-a-half, I have been mentally wracking my brain to try to come up with a fix, a solution. The more resolutions I made, the more broken I seemed. The more conditions I set forth, the more robotic I felt. The more I searched for meaning and purpose, the more I came up empty. Over time, gradually, bit by bit, everything I once enjoyed no longer felt satisfying. I stopped writing poems and lyrics to songs. I stopped singing at the top of my lungs and shattering lightbulbs. (That really happened – one of my proudest moments in life following watching Shrek and watching her voice make a bird explode). I stopped playing piano. Stopped listening to music. Stopped dancing. Stopped reading books, and ultimately, stopped writing. I even stopped jumping on the bed!

At first, I thought it was because I was finally growing up. I never wanted to grow up, because I’ve always seen adults and their lives as miserable and unhappy, but once I hit 33 or 34 – hold on, how old am I? WHAT?! 30-FRIGGIN’-6?! When the heck did that happen? Meh-heh-heh. You want to know when I realized that there’s an age-limit for miracles? It’s when I asked that my kids get older, but I stay the same age. And It Never Came True!

Anyway, once I hit 33 or 34, people stopped forgiving my behaviors based on my being young and stupid. People would say, “Grow up,” and I’d respond with, “I can’t grow up, 5 foot is my limit.” Or they’d say, “You need to start taking responsibility for your own actions”, and I’d quip, “You need to take responsibility for your Face, cuz it’s killing people. Bahaha.” “You’re a mother. You need to start behaving like one.” And I’d look around, and be like, “Crap, I thought they were just mini stalkers that followed me around everywhere. Where did I last leave those little buggers?” And I’d wait for them to laugh, but they’d just snarl at me and walk away instead.

Little did I know, I was being conditioned. We’re conditioned to seek people’s approval and praise right from the getgo. In our teens, when we want to be shown respect, we’re conditioned to having to earn that respect. As an adult, that respect comes in the conditioned form of accomplishments, and, ultimately, successes. We’re all categorized and stereotyped -not in colors, or race, or ethnicity, or size, or sexual orientation in the 21st century – but by our titles, our possessions, our financial status, how well-behaved our kids are, how well we carry ourselves and hold ourselves together and follow societal norms and social etiquette. All of this does is take us further and further away from who we REALLY are.

Our person isn’t just a dad or a mom or a worker or a spouse or any number of titles that we call people or that we ourselves are called, or that even we call ourselves. “So, who are you?” “Well, I’m a Mom.” “Holy crap, you were born a Mom?” These titles wind up defining us and they become the way we start defining ourselves. And that is why instead of embracing the aging process, we’re terrified of it, because with age comes change. Whether you’re the toddler that once pooped in his diapers now having to be the ‘big boy’ that goes on the potty. The highschooler whose bills are being cared for while being pressured into the adult life of coming up with a career so as to pay their own bills. The young adult facing adult disappointments they didn’t tell you about in highschool. Or the middle-aged adult stuck between wanting to stay young while being pressured to grow up. With each age, the titles we use to define ourselves change as well. We start asking, “Who am I going to be? Who do I want to be?”

Dude, you can change your job, change your clothes, change your hair, but that soul inside you is the same one you were born with. Even when your body dies, your soul lives on. Every soul unique, like a fingerprint. You made your mark on the world the moment you were born. Special, in your own way, and unlike any other, and it’s the most natural thing about you. Looking outward won’t give you answers. Being more like this person or that person will only lead you further away from what’s inside you, what’s truly yours and only yours, a possession none other can have.

Don’t let society, other people define you as a title that’s used for others’ purposes. Don’t continue to be conditioned to thinking that you have to prove your worth and your reason for existing. We were never meant to be programmed robots that just do as we’re told without independent thought or feeling.

Find who you truly are and embrace you, and if other people have a problem with it – such as those who want to keep you in a box, doing, saying, and acting the way they want you to – they can suck it, because they’re just using you as a means to defining themselves, because they’ve forgotten who they are, and go about the world like Pavlov’s conditioned dogs.

Put away that stimuli. Shut down your phone that gets you grabbing it as soon as you hear the ding. Shut down the TV that surrounds you with lights and colors and noise and sound and keeps you from hearing yourself think. Take time where you’re not surrounded by people, coworkers, family, kids that enforce that you live and do as your title expects. Take a walk away from chaos and enjoy some solitude. Sit in a dark room and pick your nose, for all I care. It doesn’t matter how you do it or what you do during that time of soul-searching. Just friggin’ do it. Strip away the inhibitions, the guards, the walls, the filters. Get naked. Open your mind, free your heart, and listen to your soul speak, because your soul knows exactly who you are and who you have always been. It knows what truly matters to you. It holds your happiness. Your joy. Your sense of peace. It maintains your innocence. Untainted, unstained, uncorrupt. The same way you were when you came into the world, untouched and unchanged by life.

Challenge yourself to be completely alone with yourself for half-an-hour every day for a set period of time. No distractions. Nothing to preoccupy your mind. 30 minutes without external stimuli. At first, it might seem like the longest half hour ever. Kicking your feet. Looking at your fingernails. Looking at you kicking your feet. And the craziest, weirdest, wildest, random thoughts will probably ramble around in your brain and you’ll be like, “What the heck? Why am I thinking about what size shoe an elephant would wear if they wore shoes? Hmm. Probably be like size 42 or something. Do they make size 42 shoes? I should get new shoes. Or maybe some elephant slippers to look at while I kick my feet. My feet hurt. I should soak them. I wonder what the difference between Epson salt and regular salt is. I should eat less salt.”

Before you know it, you’ll be laughing at yourself and your thoughts and creating your own inside stories, and that half an hour will pass in a flash, but it’ll be the most enjoyable half-hour you had all day, because it’ll be you unfiltered.

And once you find you and become soulmates again, maintain it, because that, my friends, is where your happiness resides. Right inside yours truly. (As in your soul. I’m not yours truly. I’m mine truly. For better and for worse. Through thick and thin. Good times and bad. For friggin’ eternity.)

Embrace your you! (I know, I’m really starting to sound like a shoe saleswoman, at this point).

Feel free to comment and share what works for you. Just keep it PG, people.

Diedre – author of Pizza Girl Chronicles – not yet released, because it needs illustrations and I can’t friggin’ draw.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Resolutions and Solutions ... and How I Broke My Head and Went AWOL

*Revised Edition - because my first one kept saying we release carbon MONoxide, not DIoxide - my bad

For those who follow me (Don’t be a jerk and point out that I don’t have any followers on this blog – I’m my very own personal 24/7self-sabotage jerk, thank you very much, and I follow myself. On that note, please feel free to follow me, pretty pretty please, tee hee 😊), you may have noticed that I’ve been AWOL for a while. Not just on my blog, but on all my social media accounts, my webpages, my business pages, my groups, and even the monthly newsletters I used to send out to the email subscriber list I spent a couple years tediously building up. As for my books – any new releases – hello, where’s the friggin’ books? Aren’t I supposed to be an author or something? Geez! And if I’m really being honest here, I’ve been AWOL from my own head and body for a while. (I think they call that Gone Wack, Out of Order, Thank you, please DON’T come again. Technical difficulties. Under maintenance. She didn’t just fly over the coo-coo’s nest, she flew right through it. Cray-cray.)

I’d prefer to call it what it is. Broken. No, seriously, I’ve fractured 4 friggin’ bones in the past 10 months, and literally, one of them is my head – which I am still currently recovering from. The migraines are a mother stickler. I’m also recovering from fractured ribs on my right side, not too long after recovering from fractured ribs on my left side. I’d love to say it’s because my altar ego is a professional championship boxer. Sadly, no. It’s because ONE of my altar egos likes to WRESTLE – either playfully with my children or to supplement me punching drunk, mean, angry people in the face during times when I’m supposed to be the only emotional one.

So I broke my ribs wrestling?

No! I broke my ribs because of the cheap, thick,-metal wire bra I purchased that I then thought was a good idea to wrestle in – not once, BUT TWICE! If it says $4.88, it’s NOT a steal. It’s torture! I’ve never been in so much physical pain for so many consecutive months (almost a year!) in my life! (That may not be accurate. I don’t actually remember all my years, but I do know that I’ve been through some really wild stuff. Like the Becoming a Single Parent times three – complications with love, woohoo, and MURDER [Yes, you cannot hear my voice, but I said it just like Shawn says it in the Psych series.) MMUUURRDERR!) post I was supposed to write back in August].

At this point, maybe you’re thinking, ‘Shiz, girl, don’t be apologizing. You take all the time you need to heal, and don’t you worry about havin’ to write blogs for people that ain’t followin’ you, anyway.”

First off, I’m not apologizing. Second, we already been through this followers-talk, and I do have followers, just not on my blog. I think I got two people who follow me on Amazon. BooYah. Third, what the heck do broken bones have to do with me being AWOL when all I need are my friggin’ phalanges to type a blog or status update with. Nothing. I wasn’t making excuses. I was just looking for some attention – maybe a bit of sympathy (or some pity followers, perhaps?) - before I got to my actual point.

Now those who know me already know I go AWOL from time to time, and that I really suck at consistency. There one moment. Gone the next. Routine to me is like commitment. Something I desperately want while being completely terrified of it. I think if I ever got married again, I’d have to use both my back door and my front door as entrances. (Don’t be perverted, people). That way, when I’m up for having a husband, it’d be the front door honey-I’m-home-what-you-got-cooking routine. When I’m not up for it, it’d be take-the-back-roads-home-sneak-through-the-back-door-enjoy-the-bachelor-mancave-Leave-Me-Alone routine. (Ha ha, if there’s guys reading this, I can see them contemplating it, shrugging their shoulders, saying, ‘Actually, that sounds just about perfect.’ So, just to be clear on things – I get the backdoor. The mancave is MINE, because that’s where both the bar and bed is. HE’D be cooking dinner, and I’D be sneaking upstairs in the middle of the night to grab whatever leftovers there are, and if there aren’t leftovers, I’D be leaving a note to tell him I’m not leaving my Bachelorette area of my house until I have something to friggin’ eat.)

But WHY do I go AWOL? Why does any person withdraw from life? From people? From stardom? Now that got me giggling. You know that name a star after someone? You pay for it and then they get a star in their name. Then you look at the sky on a beautiful cloudless night when all you can see are stars, and there’s like a MILLION, and you’re like ‘Where the frick am I amongst all those stars? Other than the major constellations and Saturn and the North star, all the rest just look the same. Where am I? WHO am I?” Yep! That’s the answer.

When I’m AWOL from life and people and the public world, I’m star-gazing. Trying to figure out my place in all those stars. Trying to figure out who I am, or what I am, or even trying to figure out if I’m a who or a what, or a witch. (Hee hee- I meant which). I know HOW I came to be, but I don’t know why! (Well, certain protection measures or lack thereof explain the why) But STILL! Purpose. Meaning. Significance. What’s the friggin’ point of my existence!!!???? What am I meant for??!! What am I supposed to achieve??!! What is my purpose??!!

If you could pinpoint the origin of unhappiness, it’s the above-stated. I know I am, by far, not the only one that obsesses over such questions from time to time. I’m also not the only one that withdraws away from people and things when I feel like I’m not up to par, and I can’t be what I THINK people expect from me, or expect me to be. We all have these misconceptions about other people. Like looking at a still-photograph of a smiling face and assuming that person is happy. We withdraw, because we don’t want to bring others – whom we assume to be happy – down with us. Or vice versa, we withdraw because we don’t want OTHERS who assume that we’re happy and well and successful, surviving, waking up, living the dream – to know how much we actually struggle. How much ALL of us struggle, because we keep being humbled by questions of our own significance and existence.

People aren’t NOT happy because they haven’t achieved X, Y, or Z. People aren’t NOT happy because they’re not as smart or not as successful or because they’re lacking what A, B, C has. The most successful people in the world can afford the biggest, brightest star out there in the night sky. They can say, ‘That’s me,” out of all the stars out there. And when other people envy them and congratulate them and respect them and say, “Wow. You shine brighter than the rest,” they gulp down the last of the remaining wine in their bottle, and say miserably, “It’s just a stupid star,” and then they withdraw away, feeling alone, misunderstood, unseen, unknown, and mostly … unhappy.

I’m happy it’s a new millennium. I’m happy for the millennials. I’m happy things are changing. Bit by bit. It will take several generations to overcome this type of conditioning that we’ve been subjected to where new conversations are limited to, “Who are you? What do you do? Which is your title? Why do you do what you do? What are your plans for the future? What do you hope to accomplish?” We’re practically asked from toddler-hood and beyond what our purpose for existing is, so we constantly question what our purpose for existence is. Trees sit in the ground for centuries. They grow taller and thicker, but they don’t GO anywhere. They don’t DO anything. They change with the seasons without having a say. It’s just what it is. They provide oxygen, which is what we need to live and breathe. But we also use them for our own purposes. We build things like houses with them, use them for paper, etc… etc… We deplete our planet of the very oxygen we need to survive, because we keep looking for a higher and bigger purpose for things, instead of recognizing that the only way that tree can live is if we provide the carbon dioxide that they need.

We would not survive without the existence of the plants that provide the oxygen we need, but those plants would not exist if we didn’t emit the carbon dioxide they need. The difference between us and them is they don’t sit there for a hundred years wondering what their purpose is, what their meaning is, what their significance is, and why they exist at all. Nor do they compete with eachother as to who can provide more oxygen, or build a stronger house, or make more paper.

We do exist for a reason, but that reason is so much simpler than we allow our minds to grasp. It’s so simple that we fight and say, “No, there HAS to be more than that.” We NEED to feel like we’re something, someone, like our life has meaning and we matter and we have this big purpose we’re supposed to fulfill, but we don’t know what it is – but we weren’t BORN that way. It’s not who we started off as. We didn’t shame ourselves everytime we had to poop, or everytime we drooled. We didn’t look at another baby and feel jealous because they were walking and we were still just sitting on our butt. We didn’t question our existence and our purpose and our significance. We just were.

I read a comment earlier where someone said we’re human BE-ings, not human DO-ings. I should find her name so she can get credit for what she said. Yeah, too lazy. I’m sure she probably stole that line from someone else anyway. But doesn’t that even make my point more? We, as humans, can’t even say something brilliant in a singular moment without wanting to copyright it, because it ticks us off everytime someone takes credit for something we said or did without us getting paid for it or getting something out of it.

And that is where I finally hammer in that final nail. (Because a nail serves no purpose unless it’s used to put all the wood together that came from a tree that just sits there and does nothing and serves no purpose otherwise to ultimately amount in something practical that serves a purpose for we mere human DO-ings). My 16-year-old son is getting a good 3-4 referrals a week from a Vice Principal that keeps harassing him to tell her what he wants to DO with his life. What his plans for the future are. To us, that’s normal. We think, ‘Well yeah, he has to have a plan. A goal. Something he wants that he can then turn into work so that he can spend the rest of his life paying bills. Welcome to adulthood, the real world, life as we know it.”

Yes, that’s life as WE know it. It is most definitely not the reason for why we exist. “What do you want to do with your life, son? WHO do you want to be?”

“I want to be the guy that spends his life working to pay for food and home and shelter, because I need that to survive, until I die.”

WHAT??!!  NOBODY WANTS THAT EXISTENCE! NOBODY WANTS TO EXIST JUST TO WORK AND PAY FOR THEIR OWN SURVIVAL! Trees don’t have to pay property taxes for where they’re rooted. They don’t have to pay for the soil, the sun, the rain. So we wind up, just naturally, providing the carbon dioxide for all these other things to live, and then we spend our lives just trying to survive. And that leads us to question what the purpose of our existence is, because IT’S ALL SO FRIGGIN’ UNNATURAL! It’s not right.

We keep questioning our purpose and significance, because we’re not living naturally. We keep asking who we’re meant to be or how we’re supposed to be or what we’re meant to do. Just be YOU! Naturally. Not who you tried to be, or who you made yourself. Not what you are and the things you do. Not where  you stand amongst millions of others. Just Do You! Find your natural being. And Be It! No more facades or public faces.

Stop questioning your purpose for existence, and just allow yourself to exist … as YOU! Not worker you, parent you, spouse you, friend you, public you. Compartmentalization of roles was the worst thing that the brilliant psychotherapists could come up with. It created people like me … with D.I.D.  (Sorry, that rhymed and I went with it).

Signing off. Hope this helps.

Diedre Mahoney

YOU UNFILTERED - Resolutions vs Solutions continued ...

I know my last post, Resolutions and Solutions and How I Broke my Friggin’ Head, ended without resolution. If you missed the first ...