BLOGGING FROM A TO Z CHALLENGE (APRIL 2014) "This is the Story of a Girl."

                                       



  

                          Z is for Zest for Life

 I always thought I had zest for life until I misplaced it from all the years of loss and disappointment. When I lost it, it really was gone. It’s such a sad empty feeling to move on in life without your sparkle but that’s what happened. Life happened and with that I went without something very dear to me.

I hadn’t realized it had gone missing until my friends young daughter spoke to me about her own zest for life. She talked about it like a possession and was passionate about ownership of this quality. I looked at her in awe. In her, I was seeing the young girl that I once was. The more I listened to her gush about life the more I mourned for this girl that had changed. Just when I was going to feel sorry for myself, she looked up at me and said, “you have zest for life too.” I couldn’t believe my ears. Me, she was talking about? Even though I felt so dead inside I thought here this girl was seeing me as I once was. It made me realize the only one that was stopping that girl from emerging was myself. From that day forward I started talking to myself differently. No longer did I see myself as washed up but someone that shined.



                                  


                         
                               Y is for Youth 

We are young for so long that you can’t imagine ever getting older. When people would comment on my smooth complexion I thought it would always stay that way. Never would I have imagined a wrinkle in my perfectly taut skin. Sadly, you never really appreciate things until they are no longer there. Life is full of things that we all take for granted. We are spoiled, until we are not. Then reality sets in and you have to learn to accept the things you cannot change. I have learned that the little things that used to be meaningless to me are now not so small. I have discovered this only because of what I have lost. These losses though painful have taught me how to live. I now know what we have here on earth is a gift and not something to take for granted. These are things that you don’t think about in your youth. It takes time to understand and receive this gift of gratitude.






                               
                             X is for XOXO

XOXO Reminds me of my youth. XOXO was always included in my notes to my pen pals. It’s the silly little things that make me feel young. So many warm fuzzes going back to your youth. Kind of like eating your favorite feel good food. It transports you back to a time when you felt warm and safe. I think back to my first experience away from home at summer camp. It was so hard to adjust to being away from my house and my family. Receiving care packages in the mail was the best feeling. My mom would include cute gifts and loving messages. Always ending her notes with XOXO. It was during that time that I wrote tons of letters home. I really was homesick and the writing helped cure some of those lonely feelings. When I finally returned home my mom opened up her top drawer and there lined up in a neat pile were all the letters I had sent home. My mom said she saved them to go over my spelling because she said they were pretty atrocious. I just marveled at the pictures I drew on them and the funny things I felt necessary to write about. I knew we would never really go over my spelling. 

After my mom died I went through her drawers and found those letters sitting there in the same place they had been for years and years. Just waiting for me to look at them again.




                          
                              W is for Writing 

After I got sick in 2007 it was suggested to me that I start writing again. Even the notion of putting pen to paper made me angry. When I became ill there was something inside me that died inside. The last thing I wanted to do was turn to something that was familiar. It was a daunting thought and I resisted it for a very long time. Since I was dead inside I thought my creative side was too. 

What I learned was with writing my spirit would come back to life. Whatever was missing could be replaced. I learned how resilient the human condition really was and I went with it. After a while I started feel better about myself again. There is just something about putting words like puzzle pieces together. It was an outlet that I was missing more than I knew. Writing has helped me get through the darkest  of days. 
       

                                
                            V is for Vortex

Have you ever just fallen apart? Gotten lost in a vortex? Lost your motivation or passion for everything around you?

After I got sick in 2007 I lost all hope. I lived a life in a black hole not knowing if there would ever be better days ahead. The potential of never walking again scared me to the core. It felt like a nightmare that stayed during the day and the night. My faith drifted with the thought of living with a disease that could not be corrected. My days were filled with dread fearing what shoe would drop next. It was a dismal time with no silver lining in sight. For a short period of time I was given a death sentence since the doctors didn’t have anything to help get me better. It was all a wait and see kind of thing that made me live my life in total fear.


Then all of a sudden things began to turn around, I started spending less time with specialists and began seeing a resemblance of my old life. It was a gradual process but it was surely a blessing. There are so many sick young people in the world where their stuff doesn’t turn around. They have hope and they have faith and still they are not walking. This could have easily been my fate but I fought with everything that I had to stay strong and fight against the odds. I am not saying that I am out of the woods but at this very moment, life is good. This death sentence came so close but now I am free.






                        
                              U is for Undone
I guess you can say when I met this man I came undone. Everything in my character changed dramatically and instead of thinking what was morally right I thought about myself. Selfishly I went with my heart and I must say it was not an easy thing to do. Usually we think about the circumstances and the outcome. I thought of nothing but my great desire to be with this man who though familiar was a complete stranger. The deeper I got into it the further I moved away from my morals. I was caught up in a web of deceit and things only got worse.

One of the worst moments during all this was agreeing to go to a marriage therapist with my husband. He wanted with everything he had to work it out though I knew it could never be possible. I had already fallen for another man though he didn’t know that at the time.

He thought we were going to work things out but I knew in my heart that whatever we once had was now gone. I sat there on the couch next to him and spewed one lie after another. Something in my character lacked the courage to just come out with the truth. It would have saved both of us a lot of hardship but I didn’t have the tools to do the right thing. 

Is there something in your life that if you could go back you would change? For me, I would have had the guts to lay it all out on the table.


                                       




                              
                  T is for Transverse Myelitis

This is something you probably have never heard of but I live with it everyday. It is an autoimmune disease that is in the MS family. It can be a debilitating disease. In my case it left me paralyzed for a couple of months. With all the damage to the myelin that coats the nerves and all the spots on my spine the doctors couldn’t predict whether I would ever walk again. Late 2007 was a very uncertain time for me and I suffered through it but I also learned what a gift the little things in life was. No longer would I take anything for granted even though I forget that from time to time.

The thing about dealing with a chronic illness you learn what is really important in life. Bad hair days and not enough clothes is now further back on my list of woes. I try to keep everything in perspective even though it can be a struggle at times. The thing is, I have learned first hand that I could survive if I had to.

Are you a survivor? If so, what have you learned?
                                         





                                          S is for Survivor 
I do feel that I am a survivor in more ways than one. When my mom died when I was just twenty-one I had to learn to brave the storm. I had to accept that life was far from perfect and had to make the decision to let go of the hurt and make the most out of of my life.

Before I was forty I suffered a chronic illness that made me look at myself in an entirely different way but rather than let the disease conquer me I have chosen to find the good that has come from all the bad. I have discovered that I am stronger than I thought and I was damaged enough but that I could still survive. This was a huge revelation and was empowering in a weird way.

As the years have carried on I have had to survive more than just losses but there has been nothing worse than having to part with people that you love more than life itself. I guess if we live long enough, we will all be survivors in one way or another.

What makes you a survivor and how have you stayed strong?




                                                   R is for Revenge

When my husband found out I was having an affair I knew he wouldn’t stop seeking his payback until he hurt me as much as he could. I can be certain that he is still working on his retribution but in the meantime he has caused plenty of damage. Not that I didn’t deserve most of it. Still, there has to come a time when a person has to move on.

This man is big on revenge probably due to the fact he has been hurt plenty in his lifetime. Unfortunately, I will pay for some of the damage that has been done to him. He is not a forgiving person and I know he will never give up trying to hurt me as much as I hurt him. It’s just something that hangs over my head, lurks in every corner and is with me on a daily basis. 

Have you ever done something so morally wrong that you felt you deserved to be punished?

                                 


                              Q is for Quirky 

I guess you could call me quirky because I never quite fit in with the other kids. Not sure if was due to my appearance being a bit on the chubby side while growing up with no real style sense to speak of but kids are cruel as they say and as a kid I really struggled. I was being picked on for not looking and acting like everyone else. Since i didn’t blend in with the crowd I was given labels that were not kind. 

Quirkiness is a quality I have grown to love in people. There is something endearing about being a little bit awkward. It’s our differences that make us all so special.

How would you describe quirky?






                             P is for Proposal

Okay, true confessions. I am obsessed with perfect proposals. I used to love watching a television program with creative proposal ideas which made me cry every single time! There is nothing I love more than when a guy comes up with something so creative and unique. I get weak in the knees just thinking about it.

I am all for rings in the dessert and writing in the sky. Maybe it is the romantic in me but I think that kind of love is sacred and even though many marriages don’t work out, this is a beautiful start.
Do you have a good proposal story? If so, I would love to hear about it.





                           O is for Outcast


 I have always felt a bit of an outcast. At one time not fitting in really bothered me. Why couldn’t I be like all the rest, I thought to myself. Now I have learned it is the uniqueness in myself that makes me stand out. Not being like everyone else has given me a sense of pride. What the heck, it’s easer not trying to fit in. When did that ever work? 

This is one good thing about getting older. You learn with age that it is your uniqueness that makes you special. You can be anything that you want and if it isn’t appreciated then so what? No one should ever stop you from doing anything that makes you feel good.

Be an outcast and wear it with pride. There is nothing more beautiful than showing who you really are. 





                                   N is for Nightclubs


When I was a teenager I started going to nightclubs with my girlfriends from the San Fernando Valley. We were Valley girls experiencing everything for the first time. It was such a freeing feeling to be out there in the open without parental supervision. This freedom did not come easy, as I had to fight tooth and nail. Most of the time I made my parents miserable. I wanted to be able to do and think for myself where my parents still looked at me as a baby. It was a constant struggle that never let up.

When I look back now I am grateful I had parents that cared so much, as I knew kids that lived with no rules and that only led to destruction. The truth is, I didn’t earn my parents trust and I wasn’t ready for this freedom. More than anything I was an immature child that walked towards danger.

Did you find yourself trying to grow up too fast? If so, how did you avoid trouble?




 M is for Marriage


When I got married I was turning thirty and felt as if I was running out of time. I didn’t want to be considered an old maid or in my parents time I would have been considered a spinster. 

In my mind I knew it was time to settle down. Even though I was still young enough, I felt behind. It wasn’t something that I admitted but that is how I felt. Old before my time and had to catch up. Sadly this played a role in marrying the wrong man. At that point it was less about who but more about when. 

From very early on this man was enthusiastic about what we could have together where I had my reservations. Instead of going with my instincts I tried to convince myself he was the one for me. With that, I said “yes” when I should have gracefully said my goodbyes.





                                          L is for Loner

Growing up I was always loner. Never really fitting in with my peers, I couldn’t relate to kids my age. They talked about such mundane things that bored me. There was no connection and I became an outcast.

Throughout the years, although I have been able to find likeminded individuals to share my time with I have continued to stay a bit of a loner. Maybe I am just used to being on my own but I have come to appreciate being inside my head and not having to be around people all of the time.

Even though I am a loner I don’t see myself as lonely. I have come to appreciate alone time and have learned that I don’t have to be like everyone else. What a freeing realization. 

Are you a loner too?
                
   


  K is for Kiss

The first time I kissed my boyfriend I was still married. I wasn’t even considering leaving my husband even though I knew once I crossed that line it would have to be over, it was just a matter of setting the wheels in motion. Once his mouth touched mine my marriage evaporated just like that.

Something that felt so beautiful was so wrong, destructive and the most fulfilling thing I had felt in a long time. Those lips were my destiny. It just took me a while to realize it.



                                        J is for Judgment

When I left my husband for another man I was judged by everyone I know, including myself. It was hard to see myself in a different light. It was an adjustment. One I am still getting used to. I don’t want to make excuses for the wrong I did, though I strive to spend my life doing better and not repeating the same mistakes. We are human and capable of doing some unimaginable things. Good and bad.

More than anything I have learned that as wrong as if feels to be judged I don’t want to do this to anyone else. I am only living this one life and I can’t know what made someone make the decisions they had made. It’s not up to me or anyone else to place judgment on another. Aren’t we all entitled to make our own choices? Even if they look to be the wrong choices. Who are we to judge?




                                          I is for Ivy Grace

That is the name of the dog that I left behind. When I went to pick out this dog from the shelter I kept seeing signs that spoke of Grace. I saw the word GRACE on billboards as I drove from one shelter to another. I told myself it would be by the grace of God that a dog would get a home on this day and that is what happened. I saw this silly little shepherd mutt that called out to me from the kennel bars. There was just something in her eyes that told me she needed me. From that day forward I never looked back. Ivy came to me by the grace of God and I will always be thankful that it was her that I picked.

This dog was as loyal as they came. She kissed my tears when I cried and made me laugh at the same time. There is nothing better than the love of an animal.

Do you have an Ivy Grace in your life?




I realize in my A- Z challenge “I” should have been writing about being Inspired but I chose to write about my dog Ivy Grace instead. (The dog I left behind.) Though there is no one who has inspired me more than this person who comes in the form of a friend. My girlfriend Sidne has been my rock for so many years. When I was flailing and trying to find my way, she was always there to help me pick up the pieces and save me from myself. 

I believe she was sent from the heavens. Here on earth to protect me like my mother would have wished for. This friendship is a gift and a true inspiration. 

When I was going without and my world was spiraling out of control it was Sidne that made me feel like I was enough. She did things for me like a mother would do. She took me for my first facial and manicure and made me feel like the character in Pretty Woman (without the guy.) I was loved and protected completely and unconditionally.

We all need a friend who puts us on a pedestal. I will be forever grateful. 




                                              H Husband.

When I first got married I learned right away that as a wife I had obligations. I was no longer just a girlfriend and with that came obligations. My new husband expected me to change because now I was his wife. His expectations were not realistic and it didn’t take long to see the disappointment in his eyes. Now that I was his wife he made demands that were new to the relationship. He became more controlling because in his eyes I was his possession. 

I am not sure where all these expectations came from but I was not acting like he thought his wife should act. He wanted me to be his china doll and play the part. Instead, we fought against each other. Constantly battling over these expectations.

Has marriage changed your relationship dramatically. If so, when did you first notice the change?

                                                           

                                          G is for Girlfriends

There is nothing better than having a girlfriend that you can turn to no matter what. When their judgment is left at the door and where support is a given without question. I will miss the nightly phone calls and laughing out loud like children. All the laughs and secrets we shared and the tears we shed. It doesn’t get much better than that.

As I have gotten older it’s been difficult to hold onto these kinds of relationships. My world has changed and we have grown apart. There was a time that I couldn’t make it a day without my girlfriend. It was an unwritten language that only the two of us knew.

Is it possible to hold onto a friendship that is no longer what it once was? What if you both have changed? Can you start a new friendship with the same person and let go of what once was?


                               F is for Family 

Family for me has changed so much over the years. I grew up with a pretty tight knit group but over the years people have ever passed away or moved away. It’s a real tragedy but life goes on. I think that is what is so beautiful about starting your own family. You might not end with the family you started out with but you end up with something even better. That is if everyone is willing to work as a team. I have seen families that have it all and I admire them and at the same time yearn for what I am missing.

There was a time when my entire life revolved around family. There is not a more secure feeling than being a part of something so special.

Tell me about your family.

                                      

                             E is for Endings

I have never been very good with goodbyes. For one thing I hate change with a passion. Most of the time my relationship ends with people due to death. I have suffered a lot of losses in my lifetime and those are things I will never recover from. It’s so odd to mourn the loss of someone who is still alive. Even odder than that, is to chose to end things. Marriage was meant to last a lifetime. To death do us part. There’s nothing natural about ending something that didn’t run it’s course. Or did it? In my case, I suppose it did. Maybe it’s not natural to be with one person for the rest of our lives. It is a romantic idea but is it natural? In my case, this ending was meant to be. If you are anything like me you believe in fate. 

A penny for your thoughts?


                                     
                              D is for Divorce

I never thought I would enter the ever growing divorce club. Never in my wildest dreams would I have envisioned this for myself. I was brought up with good morals and never cheated on my boyfriends or my friends. That was until I met this man that made my heart skip a beat. This heart that had been dead for so many years came alive when I least expected it to. My once predictable life was turned upside down and I had to learn what it was like to fail on my commitment. 

Divorce is ugly no matter how you look at it. A union that starts out so pure turns embarrassment as soon as the lawyers are called. It’s the worst feeling but what would have been even worse than that was spending the rest of my life living with someone that I did not love the way I should have.


Would you stay in a marriage that lacked love because you made the commitment? Could  you sacrifice your own happiness to avoid becoming another casualty of divorce?


                                 
                                    C is for Cheater

When I left my husband after fifteen years I was considered a cheater and a home wrecker. Not only did I ruin my home but my boyfriends home as well. It is not a pretty time in my life and not something I love to think about but it happened. Not sure how things got so out of control but it was long in the making. This perfect storm was building and it was just a matter of time before everything around me erupted.

Have you ever done something so immoral that you have a hard time forgiving yourself? What will it take for forgiveness to come?



B is for Boyfriend
When I was growing up I had romantic notions about having a boyfriend. Thought there would be love at first sight and that would be it. We would sail into the sunset or something silly like that. Instead, I had some rather disappointing experiences. My first boyfriend was sweet but he was never someone I would be able to spend the rest of my life with as he was hyperactive and let’s just say, not all that smooth.

 My long term boyfriend came about when I was nineteen. He was trouble with a capital T, as they say. He was a bad boy and could get away with it because that didn’t stop him from getting attention of which he thrived on and used to his advantage. He couldn’t stay faithful if he tried. It wasn’t in the cards though we stayed together off and on for nearly eight years.

What was I thinking, you ask? The truth is, I wasn’t thinking at all. Have you ever put up with less than you deserved because you thought you were with your ‘soul mate?’




A is for Awkward

Growing up I was what you would consider awkward in every sense of the word. It was very apparent that I would never be prom queen or a member of the student body. I lacked everything it took to be in the in-crowd and I didn’t shine in any one area. Without any stand out features or redeeming qualities, I was just a girl. Even though I had dreams, I lacked passion and unfortunately I wasn’t a natural talent and didn’t know from working hard enough to create a talent. Instead, I walked around lost. Hoping that one day I would discover my calling.

We all need to have something we are good at and in my case I searched but pretty much came up empty handed. 

Now that I am an adult and have discovered writing is my passion even though I don’t possess a natural gift. 

Have you found your passion?



Please join “This is the Story Of A Girl” my theme for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For the entire month of April I will be sharing a story from the alphabet. A to Z. What is this girl sharing now? You might have to stop by to find out.

I hope you have fun with this by commenting and sharing your experiences too. Maybe you can stop by some of the other blogs and join in on the conversation.

This all starts on April fools day but I promise I will be real. No fooling! No joking! No way! You will get the real deal. No holding back!!

































4 comments:

  1. Thank you for dropping by my blog, Brenda! Your theme sounds like fun! Looking forward to reading!

    Vidya Sury
    Team Damyanti
    My April A to Z Challenge 2014 Theme Reveal #atozchallenge #atozreveal

    P.S.; Please consider removing captcha for commenters - and moderating your posts. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Vidya. I am grateful to be invited to this event. Getting excited!!! :-)

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  2. I am loving these alphabet stories! ☺

    ReplyDelete