Monday, May 19, 2014

I believe in God. I believe in Love. I believe in Humanity.

I have always been someone who takes quotes and inspirational ideas to heart.  In 5th grade, I participated in a play that took place during The Great Depression and we sang a song called, "Nothing's Impossible".  The idea was to instill faith in yourself and in your hard work in order to overcome life's challenges.  I remember all the lessons from that play.  Especially that song.  I can still sing the melody.  Plus, I knew that I could achieve any dream, no matter how possible or impossible it seemed to society.  In addition, I believed and still believe that as a society, we can overcome our challenges together.  (diseases, wars, even poverty...?)

But those intangibles?  Something that cannot be measured in economics, or put into statistics or objectives to be met.  

I knew that in the end, we are all just here floating around, trying to figure something out and then we're gone.  Therefore, what does it matter what we do with our life?  Who cares if there is a God or not?  What's the point?  Especially in our society where we rush to get to work, hate our jobs, rush home to do chores and errands and have weekends full of crap to do.  In a world where I can justify hating my job because others do and also justify leaving my job because I know I shouldn't live like that and don't want to... because... I'll be gone soon... 

Digressing, my point is that I always had trouble believing in both God and Love.  It just seemed like that job.  A dogma.  Going to church and praying is like falling in love and getting married.  Do you go along with society because that's what you do?  Or do you question why we do these things.  Does it matter in the end anyway???

Over the years and through self-exploration, God has become closer to me and I finally feel like he's a friend.  I knew there was a point in praying and just like training for a race, the dogma of doing it has become real. We make agreements, he takes care of me as long as I take care of myself and we get along.  I finally understand the phrase, "Everything through prayer."  I use my time alone to have those conversations and being able to be entirely open with a true friend has become very special to me.  I hope to continue to develop my relationship with God and look forward to getting closer.  Some of the traditional dogma still doesn't appeal to me but I am open to exploration regardless.

The idea of Love has haunted me.  Unconditional love from family makes total sense to me.  But, in a romantic relationship, I questioned it the same as I questioned God.  I've never been the first to say "I love you." because, as much as I enjoyed being with someone, I never felt compelled to declare my love.  It seemed absurd to me.  I felt that they were just obsessed, they wanted something from me or they were trying to manipulate me.  Or just crazy.  

However, there are people that believe in Love but don't believe in other intangibles.  So, that told me that Love is an emotion that logic cannot get around.  Where logic can tell you there is no man up in the sky maneuvering our lives, it's hard to argue an emotion that pulls you towards someone else, gives you butterflies and causes you to miss someone when they're gone.  It's a different kind of intangible.  In some scientific circles, it can be measured as well.  I'm sure there is an equation that measures heart rate, body temperature and other senses to determine the amount of love someone is experiencing.  

I now understand why someone would feel compelled to proclaim their love.  The emotion is so strong, they cannot resist the urge to share the feeling with the other person.  Which makes obvious sense but I now have a deeper meaning of what that means.  Which is also why the follow-up question, days and weeks later is always a variation of, "Do you love me".  Because the idea is to share that emotion with the other person.  Otherwise, there is no point of being in love, if it cannot be shared.  That person encompasses and completes you.  So, it needs to be mutual in order to be considered legitimate love.  I finally get it.  

Humanity, well, we have a lot of work to do.  Knowing that we are only going to die and in the end and nothing matters, I have such a hard time accepting the fact that there are entire societies living in utter poverty and suffering while the rest of the developed world keeps going at rates impossible to keep up with.  So we have a polio vaccine.  Too bad parts of the Middle East and Africa are still suffering from it.  But, it's alright since we're creating more health issues to solve in the US by producing food products with less actual food in them and creating more and more sugar addicts.  (I have a product that fights this- from my chiropractor)

However, just like the partnerships of oneself with God and love with another person, Humanity cannot solve it's own problems.  You cannot allow it to go on without your help.  "Be the change you wish to see in the world." said Gandhi.  He refused to sit back and watch society destroy itself.  If you disagree with the way we are evolving, do something about it.  I recycle the water I boil potatoes in.  I know how much water California doesn't have and the Colorado River is not replenishing.  If you want to leave more for the following generations, it starts with simple acts of saving food.  Don't buy more than you're going to eat and eat what you buy.  If you take home your leftovers, which you should, eat it.  And bring your own containers!  Styrofoam should be eliminated like polio.

If we work together on these little things, we will get somewhere.  If everyone threw a piece of garbage out of the window every day, can you imagine how much garbage we'd have everywhere??  So, the positive actions work the same way.  If everyone conserved their food, can you imagine how much food, energy it takes to make the food, money it takes to pay the laborers, and water it takes to feed/water the food we could save!!???

I believe, just as Gene Roddenberry did, (a surrealist version of Spock it sitting next to me at the cafe I'm at), that we can develop into a better society.  One that allows us to believe in whatever God we want, love whomever we fall in love with and trust in one another to bring Humanity to that point.  


Check it out, UNICORNS:
Bret Barrett: -  Spock, Dali and Warhol

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Am I being asked to change or does he actually care about me?

Society presents us with all kinds of ideas on how to behave, what to wear, who to be friends with, etc. We also have to deal with our own feelings on top of it.  It’s a tough battle, knowing that you are probably not doing what society says or what your family believes is right but your emotions are telling you to do something else.  Where do you draw the line?  Are you even conscious of this line?  If you’re a man, you’ve probably never thought about it.  If you’re a woman, you’ve overanalyzed it time and again.  Especially when someone posts an inspirational quote with a beach behind it on facebook, telling you to live the life you want to live and do what you want to do.


I have gotten myself into romantic relationships in the past that have disturbed my image of what is right and wrong.  One that I wanted out of for almost 2 years yet I kept trying to please him, hoping that it would work out eventually and it never did.  The other I wanted to be in the relationship for life and simply did too much for him and jeopardized myself; making myself vulnerable.  Either way, looking back, I realized that I did too much for the relationship than what I was getting out of it.  When we discussed issues, independent of who brought them up, I was the person who was committed to making it work out.  I was told that my ‘selfishness’ was getting in the way, so I moved him up in the priority list, I was told that my problem with his mother was my ‘problem’, so I threw myself in the pit and spent the weekend with her, etc.  FOR YEARS I did these dumb things, thinking that it was the best way to go about these things.

Until I started to take into account all of those comments from women over the years about dating men who simply wanted to change them to fit their image of the woman they wanted.  I dawned on me that I was doing that same thing.  “Why don’t you wear lipstick?”  I made an effort to wear lipstick…  Or, “You use too many pronouns, I can’t understand you.”  I thought I had a problem.  Maybe I did use too many pronouns???  So, I tried to change the way I spoke around him.  Which caused other problems in my daily life, in turn complicating life in ways I don’t want to even think about anymore.  Little did I know it then, but, I was putting way too much effort into relationships than they were worth.  I was honestly getting too little out of them for it to even be worth it.

This is not the problem however.  The problem is that, NOW, I cannot distinguish between a legitimate relationship concern and a boyfriend trying to ‘change’ me.  I am so terrified of someone compromising who I am to even think about their concerns from an objective viewpoint.  I’ve taken the stance to be who I am, no matter who that is and who I hurt.  Which is honestly very sad.  Whenever a subject comes up that concerns the relationship or the needs of the other person, I refuse to listen.  I’ve gone all the way over to the other spectrum where I cannot even listen to the other person’s concerns for my fear of being manipulated and ‘changed’. 

Therefore, where do you draw the line?  I don’t feel like I can trust my emotions since they’re the ones wreaking havoc on my heart in the first place.  Yet, logic tells me to be aware of men and to be vigilant as to who is going to try to ‘change’ me.  Emotional abuse is a real thing.  I suppose Pat Benatar knew what she was talking about in “Love is a Battlefield”.  For now, I’m going to focus on taking some time for myself, getting to know myself on a different level, without the manipulation or even the guidance of a man.  Although, in the future, I hope to accept advice and constructive criticism from a boyfriend/partner without thinking they are trying to manipulate or change me; while still being aware of the malicious ones.  

Thanks for reading!


Monday, February 10, 2014


I took an online quiz probably close to 6 years ago with inquisitive questions that asked you to relate a color to a person, list how much you like certain animals, etc.  It turned out that family came up first in my order of importance, money being the last... I always knew I am a family oriented person, I grew up close to my cousins, am a 3rd generation lifetime member of Sokol, a family fitness organization and love children.  However, when the answers to this quiz were presented to me, it was right there.  Granted, it's simply a fun online quiz, but these things are powerful for me.

They say how when you start to think about something and you desire it deep inside yourself, those things take shape.  I realized at age 30 that I was getting to that age where most men I were to date would have children or if they had never been married, probably had a reason why or nobody wanted to marry them.  (I've since realized that there are many other reasons for someone to be unmarried...)  However, I decided that I would have a ball dating a man with children.  No more than a month later I met Jorge's kids, Cony and Panchito.  And they were a BALL.  From playing with the continual flow of puppies at their Grandma's house, making slides on the beach or creating our own games, I had a ton of fun with them.  I haven't seen them in years yet I can still hear them calling my name.  Panchito used to come to me when he needed to use the potty- and I loved it!

Since then, I've pondered what it takes to make a family a family.  In my immediate family of parents and 3 siblings, we've remained remarkably close.  In the outer circle of family, we are just as close.  How can you gather 60 people together EVERY Christmas Eve in an outer suburb of Chicago, some people traveling 70 miles to come on Christmas Eve?  We have a Cousin Club Pub Crawl every fall!  We get together for the 4th of July, we go to weddings, we make beer together, my male cousin even put sunscreen on my back on a topless beach in Spain...

We have a family calendar that Emily started doing a few years back, probably close to 7/8 years ago.  In the digital age, this is so important to print every year.  If not, how will my great nieces see the picture of Great Uncle Matt and I running a 50K if it's not printed.  Who knows what will happen to facebook in years to come?  Who will see the text my sister sent me of her dog when we're in our 80s?

With family, it is important to remember that the dynamics will not come together on they're own.  Just like any other relationship, it takes effort.  The chemistry is there simply because of the genes.  But, when there is backlash, you cannot walk away from it like you can a former co-worker.  You'll still need to see each other at family events.  Unless, of course, you convince yourself it's useless to go because nobody likes you or you don't want to see the other person.  And, in that case, you only have yourself to blame for allowing the family to fall apart.  I text with my sisters practically every single day.  However, we have gone through our fights like most sisters do.  We haven't spoken for weeks.  We've called ourselves bad names and bitched about each other to the other one.  But, you better believe it that we'll be there for each other when the time comes. I appreciate my family so much for not only their unconditional love but also for keeping me in line.  It's fascinating that we have matured to a point where we can give each other tough love without getting offended and without pointing fingers and making fun.

However, I've realized over the years that the relationship relies not only on tradition and getting together for holidays, etc, but it's a constant effort.  It's a good thing we have facebook!  Unfortunately, these things would be much more difficult.  However, I still think of the cassette tape my sister made for me and sent to me when I was in Spain and how I got my rolls of film developed in doubles so that I could send them home since I didn't have a digital camera.  It made for a very emotional reuniting at the airport when I finally got home.

That being said, there is something very important to keep in mind as well, regarding knowing when to stop trying.  When you are the only one putting into the family and it starts to destroy you, that's when you need to learn to take that step back and put yourself first.  However, for most families, like other relationships, you're only going to get out of them what you put into them.  We wouldn't have a family calendar announcing birthdays and anniversaries if we didn't upload our pics into a common drive.  Uncle Mike and Aunt Terry wouldn't continue to host Christmas Eve and the 4th of July if no one came.  My mother wouldn't make red velvet Santa bags for everyone if they weren't used and appreciated.

I love my family and vow to continue to keep the lines of communication open, send cards out, appreciate their advice and spend quality time together.  It's not too late to come to San Diego and enjoy some sun during winter!!!!  It's 63 degrees at this very moment, 11:52 pm.  And 3 degrees in Chicago.

Thanks for reading, I had to get these ideas written out...