Tag Archives: Depression

The First Wives Club Just Changed My Life

giphy (4)Uhhhmmm ok wow! When I first saw this movie I was 25 years old. Times sure have changed as I viewed this film today digitally through Amazon Video, but back in the day I owned a VHS copy of it and I’d watch it regularly like it was a tv program. I cracked up through every scene, laughing at the whimsical characters, those mid-40 year old women who were attempting to rebuild their lives after being abandoned by their husbands, who had taken much younger wives. Well fast forward 20 years and my view of this lovely and funny story is very different. I am now that mid-40 year old putting her life together post divorce. As much as I adored the movie then, seeing it today was much more than a revisit to this comedy that I love. I relate to these characters on a completely different level now, with a few important differences of course.  I am not white nor wealthy, which all the main characters in the film are, so there’s that. But I do relate to this ageism thing of what to do with your life if you are no longer such and such’s wife. And if such and such goes on to marry someone who is young enough for you to mother, then that tends to add insult to injury. Although I’ve been mistaken for much younger, (blame it on the melanin), in reality I am what I am, and I am who I am. And that is a mid-40 year old who holds every memory and experience from her past. I ache in my joints on a second by second bases and manage regular extreme pain. I have the energy level of someone recovering from surgery, with the metabolism of a pregnant snail. I have found that my favorite recreational activity is a good nap, or posting on Facebook or Pinterest after waking from a good nap. I have more responsibilities than I can balance in my own strength as I attempt to put myself and my life back together, while raising a young boy by myself…. oh who happens to have Autism. I’m exhausted even writing all of that because it just makes my real life all the more real.

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So when I get inspiration to move out of this place that I’m in, I try to take it.  This movie gave me just the inspiration that I needed. I am more than a little moved as I watch the women in this film reclaim their own power. Now of course this is a fictional story, but it is a reflection of art imitating life as divorce numbers are at an all time high. The reality of women piecing their lives back together in their 40’s and 50’s and older is amazingly common. I’m taking this motivation and am going to hold on to it. I’m going to take this moment to set some goals for myself, because you cannot you move out of a rut if you never take some steps to do so. We recess, draw back, fall off, loose ourselves, let ourselves go when there is no movement.  Mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, there must be movement.

giphy (5)So instead of sitting around and wallowing in self pity while I’ve been home nursing an injury and my car is not running properly, I’m dedicated to movement. I’m setting some goals and am going to act on them, but this time I’m going to be smart about it, as in setting SMART goals. Those SMART goals will be Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, and Time Bounded. Specific goals that are measurable. Ones that agree with my core values and are realistic to my real life, and schedule and responsibilities. And lastly ones that have a time frame on them. Now speaking of time, it’s a thing. Later in life you reflect on the time you’ve spent, the time you’ve wasted, the time you have left. We respond to that feeling with either hopelessness or urgency. Hopelessness sets in when you assume that you don’t have any options, that your best days are in your rearview and that nothing will ever get better than where you are today. But today I’m choosing to believe the alternative, I’m going to take this sense of urgency as motivation to do something new. I do not have the luxury of wasting time like I did in my youth. If God blesses me with life, I have a limited amount of it remaining and I have to use it wisely. Sitting around eating chocolate while I blow up is no longer a reasonable option for my life.

One of the main areas of my life that I have allowed to sit somewhere between dormantgiphy (3).gif and aborted is my entrepreneurial spirit, but it got a big kick in the butt watching this movie.  It is not too late for me to do the things that I’ve dreamt of that will set up a legacy for my child. That’s the key phrase, it’s not too late. It’s not too late to get healthy and pain free. It’s not too late to start my businesses, it’s not too late to make a difference in the world, it’s not too late to one day have the love of my life. And it’s not too late for you either.  All of this pivots on hope, and this movie just gave that back to me. I’m going to wipe the tear marks that the closing dance scene to You Don’t Own Me just left on my face, and begin my movement. This movie will be a regular pit stop for me again, but with a greater meaning than just for laughs. Thanks Bette, Diane, and Goldie! I hope that your residual check balances increase and that this film is revisited by those who love it, and seen by those who’ve never had the pleasure.  Hope renewed.

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The Epidemic of Missing Girls Who Want to Disappear… I Once Was One

young tiff1000
Age 19

This has been on my heart for a few months. Within a 30 day period earlier this year there were two back to back disappearances of young women that I took very seriously. Facebook blasts went out from two mothers who were both looking for their daughters. Both these daughters were in their late teens to early twenties. Both mothers were friends of mine from childhood who were frantically looking for solace and answers to their daughter’s whereabouts. So both times I stopped what I was doing and sent up immediate prayers and requests on Facebook for any leading information. Within a few days both of the missing young women were found safe. And in both cases the young women appearingly wanted to disappear. Fast forward to today, a young student from Columbia University, Nayla Kidd, hit my Facebook timeline. She too went missing, she too was found a short time later, safe and well. And she too wanted to disappear.

Almost everyone is going to have an opinion over this subject, what the parents did or didn’t do, how inconsiderate it is for a young person to cut off everyone who loves them, and on and on. However from my view I have a little perspective of both sides. In the beginning of my 40’s I can’t imagine how I would feel if my child were to cut ties with me while I had no idea if they were alive or dead. I do feel that would be extremely selfish of any young person to put their loved ones through. Then I remember my younger self, I too was once a 18 year old who got on a bus and went off to a far away land and told no one. So my far away land was Orlando, but I intended to leave and not look back. I wanted to start my life anew in a different place, and unlike the show Cheers, I wanted to go where no one knew my name.

The reality is this, any young woman or young man for that matter who has the desire to start over somewhere else is in an enormous amount of pain. And for one reason or another they feel that they do not have a solid or safe place to express their pain. My 18  year old break up with who I at the time deemed as the love of my life was more than the normal teenage love that adults around me thought it was. After the ostracization from my boyfriend’s family following the break up, and my own family turning away because I’d chosen this relationship over college, I drastically and deeply fell into depression. So looking for answers, looking for healing, I one day bought a Greyhound ticket and headed south.

When I arrived at that church back in 1992 with no money and no contacts, I was sent off to a home for “troubled teens.”  Now where my story is a little different from these more recent ones is I actually wanted to contact my family after being in Florida for only a few hours. Although I knew my family wouldn’t remotely understand what I was going through, I definitely didn’t want them to worry about my safety. However the “caretakers” of this home refused to let me call my family for weeks, (that’s a story for different day).  So while I did not intentionally cut off all ties with my family, the reality is that those who cared for me did not know where I was or how I was for weeks. The effects on my family were the same as what I can only assume these families that have recently gone through this have experienced.

To this day though it’s interesting to me that this entire experience has never been discussed within my family. I would assume that the pain that I placed on my family is not something they were able to face or articulate. But to the credit of that 18 year old who was in what felt like insurmountable pain, the silence that remains these 20 years later speaks directly to the lack of openness and understanding that was present then that made me want to leave in the first place. There is something to be said about childhood and adolescent struggle that somehow we as adults conveniently forget. Pain is real and pain that we are too young to process is all the more real. We have to have an open door for our young people to walk through to express it.

So I don’t have the answers to what is appearing to be a pattern among young women who want to run away. I can only advise a 19 year old not to jump on a Greyhound and leave town. But I have to also balance that against my own experience and remember that young people need a sounding board, someone to understand. Otherwise they’re lead to irrational decisions. In the meantime of trying to figure all of this out, go bury your pain in food like the rest of us. #Joking #Kinda 😉

November Sucks!

November Sucks

Right hand lifted. I’ve been completely absent from my blog, yes I have… but for good reason. I kinda despise this time of the year. Now before you go and right me off as one of those pessimists that complains about everything from the wind to the Easter bunnies, you should know a few simple things.

My mother died on November 13, 2004.

My grandfather died on November 1, 2012.

I no likey November.

 

November for me represents loss. It’s the loss of the family that I once knew. It is the realization of all the change that is around me. It is the coming to terms with the brisk winter air that replaced my warm SoCal skies.

It is also the embarking on the end of an era that was this year, and the looking to what will be in the new. So all is not lost.

Through my trials I have learned to embrace where I am, to give myself permission to feel what I feel. This month for me feels like a big o plate of yuck. But I will choose something different from the buffet in my next season.

So as I post this on this last and final day of the month we give thanks for invading someone’s land, I can say that I’m happy to see it go. I’m ready for December. I’m ready for 2016. I choose to simply be grateful for my blessings on a daily basis, and that I didn’t eat too much turkey this Thanksgiving.