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Monday, June 8, 2015

...I did it My Way...

I got to thinking about the continuation of this blog, starting up again and trying to differentiate the person that was and the person that is. I made the executive decision that this blog can no longer sustain the person that is going through this transitional period. The sass versus the mysticism, the crass versus the kind, the loathing versus the loving. See what I mean?

I've got this way of ruminating over my past writings that makes me kind of crazy...or maybe kind of conceited (as I mentioned before). So out with the old, as they say, and onto a platform that can contain the sheer magnitude of this momentous occasion of the self-crowning of a new age divorcee. (I'll keep the chanting to a minimum, I promise).

www.thebrillianceofresilience.blogspot.com

The name? Kind of hokey, I know, but at my women's retreat a wonderful and quite spiritual crone relayed that message to the newly crowned sister crones and I've repeated those words ad nauseum. AD NAUSEUM!

So I get Universe...

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Mama Didn't Say There Would be Days Like This

I’ve wanted to get back to the ‘ole blog so many times since I last stopped writing that it is almost painful to start up again. I would think about it from time-to-time and I would try to understand the myriad of things that has happened to me in the last nine-ish months that would prompt a cathartic writing process. I’ve been told countless times by my therapist that journaling is a way that so many people deal with the stressors of their lives and they find great solace in reading their words during less depressed or manic times and they take pride in understand how they got through it. I guess it hasn’t really hit me until this very moment that that would probably work for me, as my little conceited self likes to look back at what I’ve written with pride. Hey, it beats heroin, right?

I think that I’ve struggled so deeply in the last nine months to try to understand what is going on in my life that a public display of emotion is something that will help my stars align, so to speak, and will help me understand that my feelings can be those that are shared by other people…or with other people.

So for anyone reading this that doesn’t know me personally (or maybe you do know me personally and we just haven’t had the chance to catch up), you’re probably wondering…what the heck is going on in her life? Well, most first and most notably I’ve separated from my husband after nine years of being together and almost five years of marriage, and I’ll tell you…NO ONE told me how painful that would be. Even in the face of a time of unhappiness garnished by an event that threw me over the edge, I still had no idea that a separation could be so innately soul-crushing even while you’re trying to put on a face of bravery and ease. No one told me how dealing with the un-twining of an intertwined life could be so weird and foreign, and how losing a lifestyle could be so insanely liberating and so insanely death-defying all at once. Yeah, I’ve known lots of people that have separated/divorced, including my maternal grandmother that divorced when it wasn’t cool and lived most of her life as an independent single woman, but even the women that I’ve been closer with than anyone in my life couldn’t have prepared me for how I’d feel about the whole thing. I guess this is the kind of feeling that people say you just have to experience. Let’s never do that again, okay? Secondly, I’ve moved back home with my parents. At first (and admittedly from time-to-time), I’ve looked at this situation as a sign of stepping backward or defeat or whatever this country has conditioned me to feel about returning to the womb, but I’ve decided to take the approach heralded by so many other countries and look at living with my family as an opportunity to get to know them better and to have a shared experience. Let’s face it…living with your parents can be extremely fun. Living with your parents can also be extremely bizarre as an adult, but these days, I’m choosing to look at this glass as half full because looking at it half empty has never gotten me anywhere. Thirdly, I’ve completely fallen off the wagon of exercise and diet. Let’s face it…I had other fish to fry at that point, and though there are some women that find it really easy to hunker down and stick to their diets even more through a series of unfortunate events, I’m not one of them. I’m not proud of this truth, but it is my truth, and the sooner that I deal with it, the sooner that I can begin again.  I feel as though I’ve let the biggest sigh escape from my body and that maybe this is the beginning of the newest part of my life. All because of a little blog not unlike a bazillion blogs out there that women are writing to explore every facet of what it’s like to be woman.

It’s pretty cool that this would happen to me today, as I am slated to go to a weekend-long women’s retreat this evening and I’m pretty darn excited about it. The line-up of activities and speakers looks great and the ability to know that there are other women in my space that could help me heal is incredibly uplifting…even in its prospect.


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Saturday, July 19, 2014

World Peace is None of My Business

I think I secretly knew better than to schedule a trip to Hershey, PA to see the tour that coincided with the tenth studio album of one Mister Stephen Patrick Morrissey. Not that I'm particularly prone to psychic revelations or anything, but after a less-than-adequate (ahem) touring record, the news that he would not be gracing the stage of the town o' chocolate did not come as any kind of shock. Crisis and broken heart averted, I eagerly received World Peace is None of Your Business from my husband and step-daughter as a present.

Morrissey's touring woes aside, the live performances that did go on and the albums that were released were always top-notch. I vividly remember closing my eyes during his recreation of, "Death of a Disco Dancer," on the Ringleader of the Tormentors tour and feeling as though I were transported through time to a lithe and Smiths-backed Morrissey youthfully debuting his creation for the first time. I unabashedly cried both times I saw his entrance onto stage because I knew that each time could be the last time...each album could be the last album before retirement. To receive WPINOYB was doubling thrilling. 

After 2009's Years of Refusal, I was so pleased with the stride that Morrissey had hit. Unlike so many aging artists that release albums that grasp at the straws of times gone by, his lyrics were relevant and charming while still having the sting of his acerbic wit. How then, could we fail with this 2014 release? 

I don't know, ask him.

WPINOYB is musically terribly boring, lyrically flippant (even for Morrissey) and socially irritating. To add insult to injury, he's had the unmitigated GALL to feature Kristeen Young on backing vocal for several songs. THE Kristeen Young whom he blamed for making him so ill that he had to cancel his tour. When I saw Kristeen Young perform I have to say that I felt ill as well, not to mention having the complete hankering to throw rotten tomatoes on the stage. 

Admittedly, I listened to the album for the first time in the car and chalked up my feelings to not paying attention to lyrics and musical subtlety. I tried it again just today (and a third time as I type) from beginning to blessed end, and I felt strongly enough to blog about it's utter stinkosity. TO BLOG ABOUT IT, PEOPLE. 

Although his voice is as angelic as ever, getting through things like rhyming "fool" with "fool," and using the couplet "Beef-a-ronie/ah but lonely," stunk of painted-on-cleverness that used to flow so effortlessly from a man that I would consider a lyrical genius. In the track that features the aforementioned couplet("I'm Not a Man"), he croons about being a man in some kind of, as Dustin put it, finger-wagging way. In fact, Morrissey's finger wags into goddamned some kind of constantly-repeating oblivion. 

Earth is the loneliest planet of all
Earth is the loneliest planet of all
day after day you say "one day"
day after day you say "one day"
but you're in the wrong place
and you've got the wrong face
and humans are not really very humane
and Earth is the loneliest planet of all

Rolling Stone said something like, this album is stronger than Morrissey fans anticipated...which, doesn't really mean anything except that the music industry thinks that Morrissey is old and superimposes that opinion on Morrissey fans who were coming off the high of Years of Refusal and were hungry for more. Rolling Stone also said that the two "stunning" tracks on this album were "Mountjoy" and "Oboe Concerto," so I give them an extra listen just now and find a bit of solace in lyrics that show shades of Morrissey, 

A swagger hides the fear in here
by this rule we all breathe
and there is no one upon this earth 
whom I'd feel sad to leave

And music that haunts me a bit like maybe "Suffer Little Children" or, as I mentioned before, "Death of a Disco Dancer." 

One of the last lines of the closing track, "Oboe Concerto," references his drinking to absent friends and it makes me a little heartbroken that this may be his swansong. If this is the last studio album, please let there be a cache of unreleased material that doesn't feature a fifteen minute version of  "Kiss Me A lot."

and the rhythm of life goes 'round.
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

...Hobbling...

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm dreading work again...so what better way to pass the time between loads of laundry than to read a zillion blog posts on tumblr about the Hobby Lobby decision. To add another layer of emotion on an already fragile psyche, I suppose, I must write something about this ruling before I burst.

There are countless people citing religious freedom as the reason that Hobby Lobby is a purveyor of unmitigated righteousness. There are, also, countless photos of "morally upstanding" people picketing for the craft store's freedom to run their business with as much Bible-thumping as they want. In fact, I'm sure that Hobby Lobby will go down in history with the likes of Chick-fil-a and Curves as businesses that, to some, are on the "right" side of freedom for the American people and Capitalism.

I was probably a little more than shocked by the SCOTUS decision to allow Hobby Lobby to cease coverage of certain types of birth control in favor of their Religious proclivities. Not because I'm Pro-Choice, not because I'm a Feminist and not because I'm not a Christian. ONLY because I have a basic understanding of the law of precedence.

This ruling opens the door for every zealot citing religious freedom and business to pick and choose what medical procedures they choose to cover based upon their own teachings and belief systems. Is are the Justices not cognizant of this fact? Are they not aware of the legal door that they've opened?

The New York Daily News says it best in this article, stating, "Hobby Lobby is the most sweeping religious exemption case in modern constitutional history."

Without sounding like a disrespectful non-believer, I'm having a hard time wondering where the courts will draw the line. Serpent-handling? Prayer in opposition to all modern medicinal treatment? These are viable options to some religious groups and frightening prospect to potential employees of religiously convicted employers.

As I read through the tumblr posts, a lot of those (conservatives) that sided with HL stated that if an employee wanted to use the types of birth control that were not to be covered, they could either buy the contraceptives out of pocket, or they could find a job with an employer that would cover said contraceptives.

The first point is something that flies in the face of the basic principle of "One Nation, Under God." I suppose it's really only one nation if you believe the same things and have the same moral ideals as those that have been self-appointed to the path of total and unequivocal religious truth. There's no room for differences here, folks, either you believe what I do, or you're some kind of flag-burning faggot, right?

The second point is probably my favorite. As a nation that hovers just a few points away from ten percent of it's population being unemployed, I love that just finding another job is even on the radar as a viable option for those that just want their own reproductive decisions to be respected and valued. Conservatives often whip out this philosophy to try to imply that those that want tolerance and justice for their own moral beliefs are just too lazy and willing to take hand-outs from the government. You know, like medications being covered by their insurance policies that they help to pay for with their own income.

One question that burns in my mind is, what if Hobby Lobby was owned by a Muslim that wanted to impose the basic beliefs of the Quran on those employees that may not share the same religious belief system? I can venture to bet that the same zealots would come to the aid of those employees that wanted freedom from their "oppressor," citing the same rhetoric that now bars women from having the right to choose the method of birth control that is right for them.

As the Fourth of July weekend comes to a close, I'm left to wonder what will happen next. What retrograde policies will ensnare this country in the name of freedom?Best Blogger Tips

I've listened to this song at least six times since last night.


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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rebirth

I did something that I thought I would never do: I made a New Year's Resolution. In February. It's a typical one.

This year, I said to myself, I'm really going to start thinking about my weight and what I can do to become a healthier person. 

I've never made a "real" New Year's Resolution before, especially as late as February first. I've always long forgotten about them and settled into a state of complacency with comfort food and general winter lethargy that comes with Post-Christmas snow and cold. While warmth worshipers are counting the days until the Equinox and the buds on the trees, I'm relishing in the general hibernation that comes with January, February and early March. With this state of mind, I must say that the state of my pants cutting off my circulation became a clear reality. I bought some new pants with a bit of shame and resignation, and told no one that I'd graduated into another size of plus.

I didn't tell my therapist, which went against my general rule of sharing everything with her. I felt like the grade-schooler that hid and ate crackers out of my parents' eyes or the teen that made a sandwich and then secretly fed it to the dog while harboring a case of anorexia that lead to rapid weight loss between my junior and senior year of high school. Everyone was so proud of the weight that I'd lost then. What an accomplishment, they said. The weight crept back on, and the difficulties crept back up: the back aches, the knee aches, the trouble climbing the stairs without being winded, the inability to find clothes that fit my frame...the list goes on ad nauseum. Now weighing more than I'd ever weighed in my life, the "secret" was clearly out in every photo, scale, and shirt I tried.

I read a book in January, "The Four Agreements," by don Miguel Ruiz. Each Agreement is simple and succinct:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
2. Don't Take Anything Personally
3. Don't Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best

Each Agreement, too, weighed heavy on my heart as I tried to incorporate them into my everyday life. Each stuck with me and still does, but...Always Do Your Best. What was my best?

What I was doing with my life wasn't my best.

With this realization, came what seemed like a chance to change my life. I guess it's so much more than a resolution, but a complete paradigm shift that started with my relationship with food and exercise. It also became a very public shift that added a sense of accountability that I'd never had before. I decided to stop living to eat and start eating to live. I made the decision to move my body and really...fight for my life.

It's only been a month, but the changes are great and my body is really starting to catch up with my mind and for once, I feel like I can do this. I can stop making excuses and share my thinly-veiled secrets.

My paradigm can be reborn.


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