Saying the Right Thing

To start off, I’ve been reading a new book on cognitive therapy entitled “Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time.” To say it’s life altering is something of an understatement, especially for people like me, who have borne the nickname “Worry Wart” and “Guilt-Monster” for almost two decades. I beat myself up over EVERYTHING. Did I say something that could be interpreted wrong and hurt someone’s feelings? What if that thing that seemed so innocuous at the time causes something horrible to happen in the future, and it will be my fault when everyone I love dies?

A high school friend used to joke, “Yes, Rambler. The mere fact that the sky is blue is your fault. When the sky finally falls, everyone will look around and say “Rambler?! Where is she? It’s all her fault!”

I take errors on my part very seriously, in part, because I always want to improve myself and be a better person – the person I believe I owe it to my mother to be. I don’t want to be the person who discourages someone from achieving something great – I don’t want to be that mental roadblock that makes someone feel bad about themselves. I make mistakes. Errare humanum est. So what? Prior to reading this book, I would have fretted over every mistake. I would have made a checklist of doom, ensuring my own defeat, because my checklist of “ALL THE THINGS I SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT DO” is endless. Impossible to memorize, but very possible to beat yourself up over if you fail and remember the failure, and then create a mantra of all your failures as a “reminder” to do better in the future. Sure, that’s gotten me by until now.

But, this book has opened my eyes to my guilt-laden ways of thinking. While talking to my sister earlier this afternoon about love, marriage, and a more positive worldview, I mentioned how funny it was that I often talk to people who will say things like “I loved that post about x” and I look at them confused because not a single person hit “like” on the FB post. The world is crazy busy and not everyone is an obsessive compulsive FBer like me. I recognize and understand this. But if you’re able to take the time to tell someone you like something, why are you so hesitant to do so online?

On some level, it comes down to privacy. Online, there is no guarantee that something you “like” will be private. When you’re online, you have to be cautious, you have to be wary of saying the wrong thing, lest prying eyes discover something you don’t want them to know. Or, perhaps it’s become the new popularity game.

Personally, I think it’s the same thing that keeps us timid, and keeps us from saying the positive things we think about other people private. When we say something nice, we expose something of ourselves, which in turn means we open ourselves up to some form of attack or critique. Part of this discussion really comes from a post my sister wrote about Mr. N, my 4th grade teacher. Mr. N was my lesson in telling people honestly all the nice things he thought about people. It didn’t matter that my mom was an impoverished single mother of four, who worked two jobs, lived on foodstamps, and whose kids often wore threadbare clothes from Goodwill or clothes drives… Mr. N always had something nice to say to my mom. And not just to her – about her, in front of other parents at Parent’s Night. In a world where my mother felt like nothing but a failure, he took the time to simply be kind. And that shaped not just her world, but mine. I wouldn’t be who I am if Mr. N hadn’t taken the time to recognize and see my mom. I can only imagine how tough it must have been for a teacher in an alternative school comprised of mostly well-off, extremely educated parents. But that’s who he was. And it’s who I want to be. My mom wrote Mr. N a letter when I was 17, because Mr. N continued to be an amazing role model in my little sister’s life. I may post the entirety of the letter at some point, because it shares so much of my mother’s soul, her pain, and how much those few kind words can go to help someone when they are hurting and alone… But until then, here’s an excerpt my sister posted.

I know that I will be eternally grateful to Mr. N not only for sharing his memories of my mom at parent’s night, but for sharing that letter with me. I cried the first time he showed it to me. When he gave me the original and two copies, I was so extremely touched that I didn’t know what to say.

I think, when it comes down to it, the issue is that we’re afraid.  We’re afraid of opening ourselves up for attack or criticism. We’re always looking for the right thing to say, whether it’s at work, online, to our friends or to our family. In this age of easily accessible words, most people think “less is more”… They’ll only “like” things if they are unafraid of any potential repercussions.  Which is fine – the internet, FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc, they’re all there for self-expression. And can I really blame folks? I mean, in the age of celebrity mishaps, it’s difficult not to learn from the impulsive, knee-jerk trends on the internet and reality TV.

But as I read this book, I realize just how important it is to take those simple steps to ignore the voices that keep telling you that you need to be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. You will eventually say the wrong thing. You will do the wrong thing. You will probably fuck up horribly quite a few times while walking this mostly green and blue earth. And you know what? That’s okay. Because, to err is human, and, as the saying goes, “to forgive is divine.” I told this to my mom before I went to Cambridge, when she asked me to forgive her. I told her I had nothing to forgive, and that she had my love. I can’t remember my exact words, but I know I had just read Paradise Lost, and told her that to forgive is divine, and that included forgiving herself. She seemed to think about it, but I don’t know if she knew how, in the face of the laundry-list she kept of all the things she thought she had done wrong.

So, as a note to myself, I’m throwing away my own laundry list. I’m going to hit “like” on anything that makes me smile, laugh, or just generally moves me to hit “like”. I am also going to forgive myself when I say or do the wrong thing. I will own my mistakes without being burdened by them.

In the end, saying the right thing really just means saying something. Acknowledge the beauty, the positive, and the light. Fight the urge to be negative, because it does affect you and everyone around you. It pushes people away, keeps them at a distance, whereas letting yourself say the wrong thing on occasion? Well, that just helps you see who your real friends are. 🙂

-The Rambler

Firsts

The week and day for giving thanks has formally passed, and boy did it breeze by.  I can’t believe December is closing in on us so quickly. My writing, or rather, my editing is still slogging along at a snail’s pace. But hey, I’m almost done with Chapter 5! So there’s some merit in slogging through the mire of repetitive adjectives that is WD. By this time next year, I will hopefully done with all drafts of WD and sitting back and enjoying the fruits of my labor. Whether that’s sipping a cup of hot cocoa and thinking “Thank God I’m done with that bullshit” or swimming in dough, it’ll all be good. My preference is for the latter of the two options, but we shall see. Once I finish this second draft, the beta readers will be subjected to, er, have the pleasure of reading my “finished” product… Then comes the fun. 😛

That being said, the last few weeks have been amazing. Thanks to antibiotics and the wonders of nettipot, my sinuses are finally clearing, which has helped me truly enjoy life and my family again. Just in time to be bedazzled by so many of my little girl’s firsts! On Thanksgiving day, she walked unassisted for the very first time. Prior to Thanksgiving, she had taken a step or two to me or to Daddy, but never had she just stood up all on her own and WALKED! And boy did she walk. Once she decided to go, it was all speed! She has the bumps on her head to prove it. 😛 A full month for my baby’s very FIRST birthday… I can’t believe it’s so close…

Thanksgiving was an amazing and blissfully relaxing day. For the first year since my husband and I have been together (going on 17 years), I finally slowed down and committed to just ONE Thanksgiving, and it was amazing. It was easily the least stressful Thanksgiving we have ever had. I like to be everywhere at once – at my mom’s, at Nick’s mom’s, his dad’s, with our amazing adoptive family who welcomed us to their table when we didn’t have anywhere to go… I’ve been the “I don’t know how to say no” person for so long, that it was nice to sit back and just enjoy the holiday and my family. All I had to do was bake a cheesecake, throw some mashed potatoes together and show up to the warmth and wonder of the K-H joint Thanksgiving festivities. Because we just did the one, the day for giving Thanks morphed into a long holiday weekend of thankfulness and good memories.

So, in keeping with a tradition that I am fighting to keep alive, here is a list of the things I have been thankful for the past year:

1. My daughter – she has brought more joy into my life than I ever imagined was possible. As she takes her first steps, babbles her first words, signs her first signs, and experiences this amazing world, I get to experience each first and the joy it brings her. I feel so lucky and so damned in love, I’m ready to burst every time she beams her toothy grin at me. Hell, I never knew I could love someone or something so much!
2. My husband – we may still be figuring out this whole parenting thing (you’d think now that our daughter is almost a year old we’d have it figured out, but it turns out a toddler is completely different than a baby… who knew? I feel like I had finally gotten the baby thing down…), but he’s been with me every step of the way. No matter how late he stays up, he’s there in the morning to help me get the little girl ready for the day, and is just an amazing and wonderful man! Did I mention that he let me slip away for an entire night to go to a lady’s weekend getaway at a fancy spa hotel??? He is a saint. A silly, crass, speedy-diaper-changing genius, gorgeous saint
3. My brother – I am lucky to know, let alone be related to, this man. He has so much love in his heart. He’s always willing to watch my daughter so Daddy and Mommy Rambler can go for a walk or run errands, or just take a quick nap. When he finally decides to move out, I really don’t know what we’ll do. One thing I know for sure, I don’t tell that guy how much I appreciate him nearly enough!!! Complain about the dishes in the sink? Check. Say: “Hey, thanks for holding the baby while I did x, y, and z.” Um, while I may say the words, I think their being followed by complaints about the dishes might not have the overall desired effect. And hell, in spite of his bouts with insomnia, he always makes my little girl giggle!  Plus, she squeals with laughter whenever he enters the room, so clearly I need to shower the love on Uncle! He is a great, loving, and wonderful man… I just need to make him believe it.
4. My sisters, near and far. While I may not live with them, I am thankful every day for my sisters. TMiYC for her constant encouragement and helping keep my dreams alive, sharing her journey as a writer and a mother, well… Those gifts are priceless. She will always be the Dark Moon to my Silver Star. My lil’ sis, I’m thankful for her sweet, unassuming nature – no matter how different we all are, she is always just as loving and accepting of others – I see so much of my mother’s warmth in her (and some of her kookiness, too!). I am thankful for her son, the sweet lil’ man who plays so nicely with my little girl.
5.  My friends. They continue to blow me away. Even though much of my communications with my friends recently has been electronically (via Facebook or IMing), their continued warmth, humor and positivity is a constant inspiration. I will always be thankful to the K-H crew (all generations) for opening up their homes and hearts to my family. They have been and always will be a light to me and my family.
6. Work. I am thankful every day for the job I have and the people I work with. They are a lively group, and while we may not always get along (can’t have work without some drama!), I am soooooo eternally grateful to be employed in this dismal economy and to work with people who realize that the work day is supposed to end at 5pm. I am thankful that my bosses kick me out if I stop watching the clock. Hell, I’m thankful that I work in a place where I enjoy my job enough that I don’t spend my day waiting for 5pm, so much so that I’m surprised when it arrives!
7. My brain. Now that I’m weaning off nursing, in anticipation of lil’ girl’s first birthday, I finally feel like I am myself again. Welcome back, Brain. You have been sorely missed…
8. The book my sister gave me necessitates this… I am thankful for me and for my body. I am thankful for all the things I do right every day, regardless of all the things I do wrong. Tomorrow will always be a new day, a day for fun and being nice to myself.

And, of course, I’m thankful for you readers who put up with my meandering rambles. I hope you enjoyed your turkey day and are ramping up for the holidays… 🙂

-The Rambler

Happiness and Gratitude

I have been sick, yet again, for days. While thinking of ways to strengthen my immune system, I have had extra time with my little one, as we’ve sneezed and coughed into (in her case, at least) each others faces. I am annoyed that I am sick again, but I am also exceedingly grateful.

Getting ready for this week, this favorite week of mine (yay, turkey!), I couldn’t help but take a moment to compose a little poem to reflect the happiness in my heart.

Her Light
Time grows still
When I see your smiling face
The light in your eyes
And those dimpled cheeks

My love, my sweet, my darling
My daughter.

When I hold you, Little One,
Your hand against my cheek
Your laughter
Music inside my soul

I know you

My love, my angel, my light,
My daughter.

 ****

It’s hard, feeling her wonderful weight in my arms, knowing that in just a few short years (well, ten, hopefully), she will hate to be smothered in her mother’s kisses, spun in circles in her mother’s arms, or simply rocked to sleep and held while she touches my cheek and I watch her eyes droop into sleepiness.

But, I am so thankful and know I will love this wonderful little girl as she grows into whomever she chooses to be. She will always be my little girl.

Happy Turkey Week! May we each find something to give thanks for…

-The Rambler

Update

While I am blogging a little bit more than I did in this blog’s beginning (one entry in two years), once a month is a little less than I had anticipated!

So…… Interesting news? None really to report. Drudgery? Sure thing! Draft two has been making remarkably slow progress. I’m in the process of editing Chapter Three, and it just doesn’t sit right with me. I’m going to start bringing my laptop to work again soon, so I can write on my lunch break, which should speed up my editing. It’s exhausting work to get home and think about doing anything aside from chilling with my family and getting ready for the next day.

I’m slowly prioritizing my life to make sure I make the time for the things that I care about. I definitely need to give my family (mostly my poor neglected spouse) a little more TLC. Then I need to focus on Waking Dreams, because I am dedicated to finishing this novel and polishing it to where it needs to be. Then, I need to make sure to fit time in with my friends, since I’ve somehow become something of a hermit!

Once I finish Waking Dreams, I can finally work on a couple of other writing projects that I am excited to start! Including, a project that I will only call TBC Retold.

Hopefully I will have more to report in my next entry!

Content

Sooooooo, it’s been a while. Sorry! (Not that those who read this are generally missing much.) Sickness has plagued my house, but we’re finally through the colds, ear infections, then repeat of the colds. Oh my, is being sick tiring! I haven’t been this sick since, well, I don’t know. I guess when I was pregnant and had kidney stones. I’d like to not repeat that. It was akin to the pain of labor, but without the joy (or the constant uncomfortable feeling that a BM was nearly imminent, which to me tipped labor into being a little more unpleasant).

Anyway, draft two of Waking Dreams is coming along. Slowly, but coming along. My writing group is kicking back into gear for the school year, so hopefully the final draft of Waking Dreams will be polished by Summer of 2013. *fingers crossed* Although, this is a hobby, so my general rule of thumb for the things I enjoy is pretty simple: Don’t set strict timelines for the things you enjoy – they quickly become an obligation and lose their sparkle. And if you know me, you know I like me some sparkle! It’s funny – I like shiny things, I just don’t like wearing shiny things. I’m the magpie that collects shinies to look at.

Life is going really well. Grampa Phil’s health is improving after a post-op scare in the hospital, Hubby is enjoying his new job, I’m enjoying my work, and I’m enjoying my favoritest job of all: being a mommy. It’s amazing how being a mom has completely changed my priorities. I don’t mean to sound cheesy (although I realize that’s impossible to avoid), but it’s absolutely true. I don’t stress about work (as much), I don’t worry so much that people may not like me, or fret that I suck at the greater part of social niceties. Because, frankly, who gives a s&*t? My little girl is happy, healthy, and growing into a sweet, beautiful, laughing little girl. I love visiting her on my lunch breaks because it just lifts my mood the rest of the day. If I succeed in that one job, then life is golden. That being said, I’ve been given a temporary little promotion at work that is also amazing. I had forgotten how much nicer it is to do slightly more complicated and varying tasks.  It makes work much more enjoyable, so I’m going to savor every single moment of this temporary position!

I’d like to say that I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about sucking, but, well, I’d be lying. When you feel like you’re the odd duck all the time, it’s much easier to feel like you’re on the outside looking in. I used to feel like if a group of my friends arranged a gathering without me, that that reflected poorly on me – that there was something wrong with me that they didn’t want to hang out with me too. Now, I realize, it’s okay not to be invited to everything. There are different vibes to every gathering, and small gatherings allow for a greater intimacy. If we invited all our friends to every gathering, well, we’d never get to actually find out what’s going on with folks!

Of course, as a mom, I’m still finding that balance of me-family-friends, oh my! I think my sanity is finally coming back, and a lot of that is, as I posted previously, just letting go.

As it stands? I couldn’t be happier with life. I am an incredibly lucky lady.

Letting Go

Well, I apologize, it has been a few weeks since my last blog entry. Things have been pretty hectic in this Rambler’s world. The Rambler family just got back from a trip to the East coast, and it was action packed! What a wonderful trip. I have so much love for this amazing family of mine – and that laughing baby girl and her two sharp little teeth!

That being said, this wouldn’t be a post of mine if I didn’t include a few random segues, so here goes. Earlier today, I was driving and just feeling so incredibly blessed. Things are strange at work, sure, but that stuff comes and goes. Overall, I’m happy where I’m at, and happy to have the family and friends that I do, even if being a new mom means I don’t get to see them quite as often as I used to.

While these thoughts sort of tumbled around in my head, I started to think of this blog. Keeping a blog can be kind of intimidating. I mean – what do I really have to say that no one else can say, perhaps better? So, topics for the blog drifted in and out of my head. I am still trying to find my groove editing Waking Dreams (ie: how many times should I edit the prologue before I just move on to the next chapter?), so there’s really no news to report there. As the jumble cleared its way out, I remembered what got me into writing Waking Dreams in the first place. At first, it somehow became an exploration into the nature of fear. Me? I’ll be honest, I’m not afraid of getting hurt (well, no more than is healthy). Monsters don’t really scare me (I mean, what are you going to do if a monster rears its head and roars at you? Run like hell, sure, but what’s the point in being afraid of monsters? It’ll eat you, or you’ll get away. No point sweating the in-between, I think.)

My biggest fear had always been loss. Perhaps my ambivalence about the usual fears (spiders, monsters, fires, falling, etc) can be traced to the violence I was raised with – watching my mom get beaten, hiding my own black-eyes at school, the bruises, and explaining away the oddly headshaped holes in your bedroom wall that you try to forget happened because you looked at your parent wrong…. Surprises can make your heart beat faster, unpredictability can leave you feeling shaken, but loss… You can recover your balance, and your heart beat will usually slow back down, bruises will fade, bones will heal, but loss? Things lost don’t come back.

I don’t know why I was so morbid, even at an early age. My earliest nightmares were about haunted houses and forests, but I wasn’t afraid of the ghosts. I was always afraid of what they would take away from me. I would clutch the hands of my siblings, trying to drag each one of them to safety, only to look around and see that I had lost one or all of them. That I had let go of their hand, and they were gone, experiencing some unimaginable horror.  As a child, I used to stand on my tiptoes on a chair by the window in the living room, poking my eyes to the tall window so I could watch and wait for my mom to get home. Every night, I was convinced it would be the night that I wouldn’t see her beaten clunker’s headlights round that corner. That would be the night she didn’t come home and someone would come to tell me she was gone. I expected loss, but was so afraid of it.

I think this is why I was so persistent with my mom’s mental illness – all those nightmares of me on the outside, watching her drown as I beat against the glass wall, trying to break it and free her;  standing alone in a murky forest, calling her (or my siblings’) name, and suddenly turning to the dark part of the forest, the FORBIDDEN part, and knowing to the depths of my soul that she had gone there and that if I followed her, I would never come out… I always woke up just as I stepped into the fog, my heart racing, like those dreams that force you awake because you know you with certainty that death is approaching. I always stepped into the mist in those dreams, because standing on the outside wondering felt so much worse – I couldn’t stand the thought of someone I loved lost, hurt and wounded, and me standing idly by. It wasn’t just my mom I dreamed about – it was the same dreams over and over, with the characters constantly changing. My mom, my siblings, my husband, everyone I cared deeply about, they came to play a role in these nightmares. The House dream was one of the worst. Sometimes I lost my little brother, sometimes it was my little sister, sometimes everyone. For some reason, in the dreams where my older sister was lost, in those dreams, everyone died. I think she always seemed the most able, so if she floundered, I knew I had no hope.

The first dream about the House, it was my little brother I lost (I realize now that my little sister hadn’t been born yet, which dates this first nightmare to my being 6 years old) – I was looking for my mother in this large antique house with ornate carpeting. I went down a spiral staircase and saw her standing above a seated man, talking to him and laughing. I’m about to yell in relief at having found her but then I see the man’s face – it’s rotten and skeletal, flesh dripping and one eye hanging from its socket. I muffle a scream as I realize that my Mom is lost to this dead, rotting man. She’s succumbed to this creature’s magic and I know full well that am too little to drag her away. Then I remember that my sister and brother are in the House, too. I need to find them and drag them out the front door, before the monster’s magic somehow steals them and traps them in the House forever. Somehow, I find them, grab their hands and pull them down the hall way that seems to get longer and longer, the carpet coming alive and twisting, grasping at our ankles. Somehow, my panic keeps us going forward, and I pull and pull, trying to drag my siblings to safety until I feel hands slip through my fingers and my brother sinks into the carpet, and I watch his screaming face disappear with feeling of utter failure and loss….

That fear drove me, powered every fiber of my being for such a long time. Only now, so so many years later, do I realize that it wasn’t loss I was afraid of. It was letting go.

Luckily, with loving friends and family and a sweet husband who assures me that he is just tardy, so I don’t need to call him every 30 seconds to make sure he isn’t lying in a ditch somewhere – well, I’d like to say that I am cured of my fear of letting go. But that would make me a liar. And I hate lying. I feel heartache that my mom suffered through her mental illness so alone, but I don’t feel responsible any more. I can kiss her fingers and let her walk into that shadowed forest, knowing she could have found her way back to me. She wouldn’t have wanted me to enter the dark to find her – all I needed to do was wait at the edge for her, and she would return to me. It’s the same with my siblings and my husband – I needed to learn that I could trust people to come back, trust that they would tell me if they were hurting and alone, and trust that if I just let go… they would be all right.

And I can know, with great warmth in my heart, that I loved them, trusted them, and, even if something horrible happened, that that love followed them wherever they might go.

And that’s all right.

– The Rambler

Love and Laughter

So, I still haven’t begun editing my second draft of Waking Dreams. I am finally through with a course of antibiotics for the nasty sinus infection I’ve been battling, but the fact that I am up writing due to a coughing fit, well, that means I may need to go for another round. Oh well! Who needs sleep anyway?

And since sweet sleep is elusive, I thought I would write about something else – love. I am incredibly lucky in this department. For whatever else we lacked in my home growing up (t.v., toys, gadgets, or most nifty things that “money” could buy), my mom poured love on us. I knew what it felt like to have someone wrap their arms around me when I was sick, who would stand up for me if she thought I was being treated unfairly, and I experienced the duality of the safety and ferocity of a mother’s love. It makes me so sad that so many out there have never experienced that love.

Then there are my siblings – my God, I am lucky there, too. I have three of the most amazing siblings I could ever have asked for. My older sister has always been a constant encouragement, allowing me to feed my dreams. Oh, the dreams we dreamed! And continue to dream. My younger brother is one of the most solid guys I know – he always speaks his mind and wears his heart on his sleeve. And since he lives with me, he endures a lot of older sister abuse. (ie: “Hey, D? Can you hold the baby for a sec? PSYCH! She’s got a load in her shorts!” *older sister runs away* This is somewhat similar to the age old “Hey, want the last bite of the Snickers bar? Psych! It’s just the wrapper! mwa-ha-ha-ha!” *runs away leaving younger brother to throw away the candy bar wrapper*) Seriously, though, my bro? He’s also one heck of a baby sitter. My youngest sister is the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet, and is now expecting her second little one. She has a lot of love to give, and I am so lucky to have her and that she put up with all my cruddy “The Green Hand” stories growing up (Don’t ask about this story! Just know, everyone dies in all variants.  I think my older sis told it to me, or I just adapted and readapted it from the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” short stories. I was a sick kid.). I could go on and on about each one of my siblings, but know this – mess with my siblings, and it is on. We may annoy the heck out of each other on occasion, but, well, that’s family. I wouldn’t change anything about a single member of my family.

I am lucky in love in yet another way. I found the love of my life when I was only 16 years old. Now, almost 16 years later, we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. It’s more than a little amazing. He’s as funny, silly, loving, thoughtful, handsome, and snuggly as ever. It’s funny to think that so many people don’t really see the real Nick – they see someone who always has a crude joke ready for any occasion, but don’t see the man in the background, quietly supporting his friends, family and wife. Someone who convinced his mentally ill soon to be mother-in-law that she needed to go to her daughter’s wedding, in spite of the awkwardness. Who later stood up to her when she kept attempting to break into our house, because she was convinced we were trying to poison her. He screened those ugly phone messages, so I wouldn’t have to hear the hate in my mother’s voice. In spite of everything, he still treated my mother with compassion and respect, knowing how important it was to me that he not define my mother by her illness. Later, as she was on hospice, my mom fell and he picked her up (a woman slightly taller than him, and heavier, even though the chemo and cancer made her look stick thin) and laid her so gently down in bed, I would never have guessed that there had ever been a tumultuous history there. The look of love and tenderness on his face – that memory still makes me cry. If he had known I was watching, I am not sure I would have actually been able to glimpse that… I am so happy he has grown into the man he is, and that I got watch him as he grew. One thing, if you are growing up with your spouse, you learn that you do need to give them a lot of room to grow. I am not the same girl (thank god! Dear emo Raven, you can stay tucked back in the past, thank you), and he’s not the same boy. I am so thankful that the wonderful boy I started dating all those years ago grew into this wonderful man and father to our little girl.

There have been so many people over the years who said variants of “Puppy love? That will never last.” Well, it has. And it’s awesome. I know people think they are helping by trying to nay-say, prepare the youth for heartbreak, etc, but you’re not. You’re spreading your negativity and telling youth that because your love didn’t last, theirs shouldn’t. Listening to the radio this morning, I heard the radio personality say that some celebrity should “Get a room” for saying cutesy things to their boyfriend in a public forum. This always has annoyed me. Nick and I heard it all the time in High School (we did receive the distinction of “Most Public Displays of Affection” so I may be prone to bias. Maybe.). I wonder about that – people think showing love is somehow something that should be hidden away. It’s okay for people to kiss on TV or a movie screen, but heaven forbid they do it on a sidewalk! *gasp* Society somehow has the right to squelch others from holding hands, hugging, or kissing in public for “decency” or “respectability”. Why? Are we afraid of the intimacy? Why does it offend us that someone else is comfortable enough to do this in public, that we feel it’s necessary to shout or otherwise deride them?

Personally, I think it’s fu*&ed up that it’s more acceptable to spew hate and ridicule than it is to spread love. That we (and I think this is human beings, not just Americans) find it easier to mock people than to see the good in them and what they are doing. Perhaps this is just the Hippie Rambler talking. But really? Next time, you see a couple kissing, with that doe-eyed look in their eyes when they look at each other? And you want to say “It won’t last”, “That feeling will fade”, or the all time classic “Get a room”, ask yourself this: Who the fu*&  are you to tell anyone anything about what they feel and how they show it? Back off and let them rejoice that they found love. Love is precious, and yes, it can be fleeting. You never know when it will be gone or, God forbid, taken away from you.

-The Rambler