A Shower of Babies

This past weekend my husband and I went to a gender reveal party for two expecting dads and it once again brought up the discussion of possibly expanding our family. 

My husband has most been the reticent one. I don’t blame him. His fears have been grounded in reality and are expected. He was concerned that any life of our child would be met with hardships for having two dads, which is a good point. Me being the sporadic, situational optimist didn’t think there would be any issues because the child would have such a good base supporting them. And, quite possibly, public perception may have changed by the time they hit kindergarten. 

My husband has slowly come around to the idea. Now the discussion comes to what route to take? 

For whatever reason I want biological. If I have to guess, and I ponder it all the time, I figure it had to do with a fear I have that makes me think I wouldn’t have a strong bond with a child unless it was my own. Part of me. I also worry that by taking on a child that has issues I may not be readily as forgiving if it were my own blood. (God that sounds so medieval.) 

Where I find hesitation with the biological, apart from the cost, is that there are already so many children in the system that DESERVE loving homes. My husband and I have that to offer. Yeah they won’t ever really be mine, biologically, but I would never-the-less try and raise them to be strong and independent persons of society. 

Yet when I return to weighing the two I am truly torn. Both are equally fit for me. I just don’t know what route to travel and my husband is no help. 

The reason I wanted to go to this party, in addition to it being a baby shower, is I wanted to ask questions. I had loads going into it, but what I realized (other than I’d be a shitty journalist) is that it would be inappropriate to have this type of conversation at a baby shower. Or it might have been the best time and I’m making excuses. 

At the party there was another set of parents there with their two kids. They were definitely not as helicopter as I would be. There little boy got away with doing the most dangerous shit… at one point the kid held a sandwich spear in his hand and was walking around on not the steadiest of feet. I mean, come on guys. Just observing, I noticed they seemed to have a favoritism toward their youngest over their oldest and I was curious to why. 

I am sure if I had approached them to ask questions they would have been quite polite and have answered anything I asked. I just didn’t want to interrupt their good time at the party with my quandaries. 

The next choice we’re the hosts but they were busy speaking to each of their guests (you know, being good hosts) to answer my questions. 

In the end they revealed they were having a boy and we left the party, me just as clueless as when I arrived. 

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Hello, Writing, My Old Friend

I have missed writing. A lot. It was something I have turned to time and time again because I have this need to emote every thought and the written word is my medium of choice. In the past it has been acting or “singing” (it’s in quotes because whether I can carry a tune is debatable) but writing has always been a constant. Ever since I was a little kid I have wanted to be a writer. And to be a “writer” one has to write, so why have I been so lazy about it?

I am in a constant battle with myself over whether my anti-depressants are necessary or not. While at times they seem mandatory, there are others where it feels like in the end all they do is turn me into a zombie. I have no emotion and the things I tend to feel passion for or about dissipates and I am left with apathy. I hate it. But I have read that it is the “emotional rollercoaster” that those who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder like. They like the crazy manic mood swings that typically accompany the disorders. And I may just be another statistic in that regards.

One of the biggest reasons I hate taking my meds is that I will literally be in the midst of writing, because it has called upon me, and for whatever reason the action hasn’t held my attention or I lose interest the in the thing that was ushering me to the task. So I inevitably hit “save as draft” and it sits in my blog forever unpublished because it’s unfinished. I hate that with every fiber of my being, because in my mind and in my heart I feel like this medication is taking away my personality and my voice.

However, the dark reality is that at times I need them. My emotions become to overpowering that I end up making irrational choices that from a distance are totally out of character and detrimental to my health. So it is that fear which keeps me tied to this prescription.

This never-ending battle has grown in fervor recently because of a particular episode of the “Well Red” podcast. It is episode 15 if you’re interested, which discusses the idea of dreams and dealing with the reality of achieving them. Everything they said I agreed with, which happens quite frequently with me and audio show. At one time I may not have, as I was an artistic dreamer that didn’t see the forest for the trees. Everything was possible as long as I “believed.” My husband comes along and straps blocks to my balloon. Now, that sounds harsh, and it is, but I needed it. He pushed me to think about what I wanted realistically and to not be the “head in the clouds” kind of person. At one time I resented him for it but now I love him more because of his ability to be honest with me. He wasn’t saying I couldn’t do it, he was just giving me a healthy dose of the reality that it may not happen and if it doesn’t to not be destroyed because of that “failure.” (I don’t want to use failure in this instance, but until my mind comes up with another more appropriate one it will have to stay.)

If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to that podcast, do yourself a favor and do it now. These gents are super intelligent and such advocates for the gay community. I couldn’t love them more than I do, without knowing them personally. I’ve been binge listening to the whole series thus far and have only come across 1 episode I didn’t like and that was because the person they were interviewing reminded me of a toxic individual I removed from my life. Other than that… they’re hilarious and I could listen to them all day, and have.

Listening to Trae’s story about holding a job during the day and doing stand-up at night, with kids, has reminded me that it is possible to try. Success, however, is all about luck and timing. And that won’t happen if I don’t keep at it or even make an attempt. And this show has reignited that spark in me.

Writing has taken a backseat lately because of my pills, as previously mentioned, but also because of my obligation to complete my appraisal courses and working to get my AA in journalism from my local college. Something had to give and it was writing blogs or working on my novel. But… as of last Monday I have completed my appraisal courses and can now get my license.

It’s funny, the first thought I had after passing my course (other than immense relief and the want to break down crying) was that I can finally get back to working on my novel. And I mean, immediately after. I was walking away from the testing center when it came rushing to my mind.

It warms my heart to know that no matter how much time passes or what obligations get in the way, the thing I return to time and again is writing. If only I could figure out this pill situation…

The Want of Journalism

For the past nine months I have been consumed by producing my school’s newspaper the Renegade Rip. As my teacher likes to share, is that it’s a tradition of almost 100 years and we were the next to carry the torch.  With them I followed ledes, wrote stories, photographed events, and for one semester was the Photo Editor.

Now, my time is coming to an end with the paper and I feel so unbelievably lost. It’s weird the little habits that become all too familiar until they’re no longer there. I would bitch about the chaos and consuming nature I had allowed it to play on my life (because I like to complain as it gives my misery purpose) but in reality I loved it. Without it… Well, I will go on, because I survived without it in my life before. It is just that after having experienced it has made me crave something I never knew that I wanted or needed.

During these months the two things I held as my own was a column I wrote each issue called “The Gay Agenda” and the calendar. The second was not as glamorous, but the first won me an award. I won 3rd place for my first column that recounted my two times coming out to my mother. The columns that beat me out for first and second place were both about goddamn Colin Kapaernik which gives me a reason to join the conservative masses that dislike him. Except he has personally affected my life as opposed to just “offending” me.

One of my fellows editors says that we are a unique fraternity and that no others will understand what it was like to be an editor. I truly agree with him. My biggest worry in regards to my frat brothers is that we will drift apart. I’m sure we will, that’s kind of the nature of college life when you don’t have the same classes and are at varying degrees in the life of higher education. I will try to keep in touch but… Life gets in the way.

This Wednesday will officially be the last day of class. It will be bitter-sweet. I imagine the two people in my life who will be more than enthused are my boss and my husband who both dislike the all-consuming nature the class has played on my personal and business life. Whatever. It is definitely an experience I will not soon forget.

 

Literary Stretches

Even though I have been writing a column for my school newspaper every other week I have noticed my writing seems to be rusty. Especially this last week. I could not think of a topic to write about. And when I attempted one I ended up not liking it because it didn’t flow or sound as good as I wanted it to. In the end, for this one assignment I wrote 4 columns. One might say “at least you’re prepared for the next issue,” but they were all crap. The thing is, I KNOW I can do better. Like I said before I’m just rusty. 

It seems that most of my blogs are about how I’m not writing enough or that I’m not good enough. The first one is very true. The second… I have come to believe and understand that like any athlete or musician it takes practice to keep myself in tip-top writing shape. I further confirm this with my need to start and restart any piece I write. I used the example as of trying to start a lawnmower to my husband. The first couple pulls didn’t get the motor running, but i finally got the engine to turn and start humming away. 

One of the biggest traps I fall into is that I get halfway through something and either lose interest or tell myself, “who cares?” I’m curious where that idea began. When I was younger I didn’t care and just wrote. Maybe it was my own inflated sense of self as a teenager that kept me going. It would seem strange to reverse myself as an adult and become even more insecure. 

I did this workshop called the landmark forum. I’m convinced it’s a weird cult. However, it helped a lot. It definitely gave me more confidence than I had held before. And I’ve definitely learned to accept my faults. I think even this blog post is a result of that class. Before I would have said I’m a shit writer, I’m not very good, why do I try… Now I just know that it’s practice I am severely lacking. 

Wealth

Wealth disgusts and enrages me. Some might say it is just because I don’t have it and I am green with envy, which is truthfully not the case. It sounds silly but when I do see it, and see it at its douchiest, I get sick. None of it makes any sense to me.  I suppose my parents somehow instilled in me the idea that it’s not the possessions you have that make a great person, but who you are and whom you surround yourself with. Or I may have learned that from the countless movies I watched as a kid.  Who knows?  Either way, when I see a 7,000 sq.ft. home within a gated community, equipped with a fucking safe (larger than my living room) for guns it wrenches my gut and makes me incensed.

I have two reports I am working on, both proposed new construction, and located within gated communities. They are the most sickeningly opulent and over the top abodes I have yet seen in my profession. (I’m an appraiser, by the way.)  Three car garages, built-in bars, giant rec rooms, safes, pools, gates… All of it meaningless in the big scheme of things.

Today I went to do a visual inspection of the site of one of the homes my boss and I are appraising and couldn’t even do that because this particular home is proposed to be constructed in a gated community within a gated community.  It’s not enough to sit behind one set of gates, they have to be behind another, ultra-exclusivity.  I mean, why bother being behind one set? Those homes aren’t cool enough.  They’re trash, really.

What I fail to understand is why do they need such monstrous houses? Do they have a family of 12 inside there? Probably not because they wouldn’t be able to afford such a huge house. Kids are fucking expensive and they would get in the way of having such trappings that give the illusion of wealth and success. That is the real thing I can’t quite understand.  None of that shit matters. Build your ivory tower higher and higher, but once you lose the wealth, and they will, everyone will see that all this while you were just a piece of worthless matter that has no real semblance of humanity.

I swore to myself that if I ever got a modicum of wealth I would not flaunt it in such a manner. I want to live in the same house with the same shit. I would have it go toward bettering the lives of others. I don’t want thanks I just want to make a better life for everyone. I suppose I’m very socialist that way.

The only problem with my pledge is that my husband will not agree in the slightest. Already he’s bitching about our house being too small. He wants bigger and better. He wants the trappings and baubles that make one look like a winner. (A winner at life? Everyone loses in the end.) He wants the huge house behind a pair of gates, he wants a huge, expensive automobile, he wants to have the expensive, tailor-made clothing.  WHY?! IT MEANS NOTHING! NO ONE GIVES A SHIT! In reality, it makes one think less of that person.  (Example: me. Right now.)

I don’t know if I gained this worldview before or after the Landmark Forum. I am fairly certain that it was a perspective that existed prior to the event, all the seminar did was solidify it in my mind. For whatever reason money has no meaning to me. Just as long as I have enough to keep living comfortably I am fine. There is no drive to have more. At a certain point it is just a number sitting in an account, more than likely, gaining interest to accumulate more wealth that will do nothing for no one.  It’s just a superficial “score” that no one cares about but the holder of the title himself.

Visions of puppy dogs dance through my head

I’m much too excited to sleep. All I can think about are puppies and the process of Whelping. What will it be like? How much involvement will I need to have? Will we sell all of the pups? 

If it isn’t obvious, our dog Lucy may very well be pregnant. We dropped her off to be bred on Monday and a professional breeders ranch in the mountain community of Caliente, or what I have jokingly referred to as “sexy summer camp.” The breeder informed us yesterday that she is certain that the deed is done. At this point we just have to wait to see if she is in fact pregnant. 

Despite not having any real confirmation or knowing it won’t be until October 3rd at the earliest, hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm. This is another one of those things I have had on my list of things to do in my lifetime, alongside publish a book and have kids. It’ll be a whole new experience for us and for Luce and I can’t wait to get started. 
As it stands I have watched a slew of videos on YouTube. Some professionally done, by vets and professional breeders, and others by regular joes. Each of them spouting similar facts and figures when it comes to breeding and birthing puppies. All I want to do is fast forward time until that moment when I can roll up my sleeves and get them into the world. They are the cutest goddamn things. 

The best part about it is by the time they will be grown enough for new homes it will be Christmas time, and nothing says merry Christmas like a new yellow lab puppy with a big red bow under a heist mad tree. 

And while this is something exciting and new I know there will be a dark side as well, and I’m not talking about late nights and overwhelming sadness when they’re gone. What I refer to is the negative backlash we will inevitably get from our friends and family, who are very much “pound saving” dog people. I commend them for that. However, my husband and I are not those types. We are pure bred dog owners. We’re snobs. So what? 

Another thought we had was what if these pups are purchased and the people end up not wanting them/it? We decided that we will let each family know that if for any reason they can’t take care of them or have had a change of heart we will take them back without question, and not to expect any kind of refund.

Joshua Revised

For the past few days I felt as though I had been regressing from my transformation after my completion of the Landmark Forum, causing me to panic that a return of the whiny bitch that used to run my life. To combat the potential relapse I started trying on different reasons for my cantankerous attitude. The one that held the most truth was that I hadn’t written something in awhile and it was wearing on me. I am a writer after all and if a writer doesn’t do his craft he begins to grow weary and out of shape.

So let me backtrack a bit. I’m sure I threw out some words or phrases that are absolutely foreign to most, making one ask “what is landmark forum?” I’m glad that question piqued your interest as it has become a large part of my existence.

Honestly when I first heard of it I was absolutely hesitant. It sounded like some weird cult bent on getting money. And At the time I thought that was my voice telling me that, but little did I know it was the voice of the pissed off 5 year old that was running the show. I can proudly say that now he has been put to bed in the past and won’t wake again. (That’s right, I killed him.)

The forum is pricey. Don’t get me wrong. I lucked out because the man that saved me from the most miserable job offered to change my life again and put out the $652 to get me enrolled. Even then I did it because I felt pressured to do it, but that was just another story I was telling myself. No one can make one do something he doesn’t want to do. What I know now is that the real me was begging, pleading for change. My life had fallen into a rut and all I was doing to get myself out was spin my tires and drag me further down. (Like they said often in the forum: “the more things change the more they stay the…”)

When the day of my forum arrived I told myself that I didn’t want to waste Steve’s money and I opened up my heart, ears, and mind to whatever change the forum had to offer. I didn’t want to say that I didn’t bother to at least try. Plus, my boss said it changed his life and I wanted the same.

Real change didn’t come until day two when one of the others in the forum read a letter he had written to his deceased mother. His honesty and pain struck a chord with me I could not comprehend and during the first break I called my mother and mended my fences.

Following later in the day we did an exercise where we dredged our past of fear and extracted it from our lives. In the course of an hour (which truthfully did not feel that long) I realized how much stock I put into wanting people to love and accept me. It went all the way back to first grade. Memories I had long forgotten were pulled up with this muck and actual snot. As a result of this exercise I discovered that I carried a physical manifestation of my pain in the form of sinus problems. Every instance when my nasal passage got stuffed up rushed through my minds eye and I found the connection. And when I was finished the amount of snot draining from my nose was embarrassing. I mean… Legit strings hanging from my nose down to the pool on the carpet.

Left raw and exposed the leader, Jerry, polished us up and I came out transformed. The baggage of the past was stripped away and all I had left was the possibility of my future.

One of the craziest and most fulfilling side effects of the forum is that my addiction is gone. I mean… Gone. I say it and feel it without the faintest hint of doubt. I couldn’t be happier. For so long that bull shit plagued my life and now it is gone.

Now left with me, the real me, I have so many things I want to accomplish. Things I will accomplish. First of all will be the promise I made to the entire forum on the final night: “I will create a future for myself and my life by BEING integrity.”