Friday Five – September 6, 2013

 This week’s Friday Five:

  1. What’s something you think you could have been good at, if you’d started at a young age?  Playing an instrument… I always wanted to learn, but have never found the time or dedication as an adult.
  2. What TV show’s theme song do you really like? Freaks And Geeks! How could you not, it’s Joan Jett!
  3. What’s the dumbest dare you ever took, or what’s the dumbest dare you witnessed someone taking? I ate a worm sandwich once… pretty freaking gross.
  4. What’s the most exotic thing you’ve eaten? See previous question… worm sandwich… barf city.
  5. What was the last thing you changed the batteries for? Wireless mouse

Six Years On

It’s been six years since I packed my things.
I promised to keep in touch
I swore I loved you
Told you I just needed a little space to remind myself
How good you were to me
And that once I had sorted out my shit
We’d be a family again.

Of all the lies I’ve ever told
That one stuck in my throat the hardest.
I knew I wasn’t coming back, and I think you knew it, too.
But you let me walk out without resistance
(which, knowing you, was remarkable)

I kept up the guise of working through our issues
Until I got a lawyer
And you finally figured out that I wasn’t coming back.
I’ve never been so scared.
The drive-bys, the phone calls, the thinly-veiled threats
Were almost worse than the bruises
At least, they were a lot less predictable.

Everyone seemed to think that since I was “free”
Everything was suddenly alright
My moral support vanished
I spent my nights alone, missing you
Though I knew I shouldn’t
And wishing it could have been some other way.

Looking back, I almost don’t recognise
The frightened young woman
Jumping at her own shadow and
Spooked at the smallest sound.

Six years have helped me ease some fears
Though the terror of losing our daughter remains
Threats etched in my memory are not easily erased.
But now
I don’t look over my shoulder constantly
Though I do still keep my doors locked
And I moved every three years so you couldn’t find me.
One day I hope to stop running
Settle down and really build my life
I’m putting down some roots and starting to blossom

But then a cold wind blows and I’m reminded
Of your chilly demeanour and soulless eyes
And no matter how much wood I put on the fire
I just can’t warm my bones.

© T. Kalau 2013

I Think I’m A Grown Up Now

It’s official : I’m in debt a quarter million dollars. Normally, being even $100 in debt would cause me to freak out. Not this time. Why?

I bought a house.

Yep, it’s official – I’m a homeowner. I take possession June 15th.

I’m a little scared, a lot excited, and really, really proud of myself.

It’s not every day that you see a single mom buy a house on her own, with no co-signer, before the age of 30. (Not to toot my own horn, but BEEP BEEP).

I never planned on this – I wanted to find a nice guy, get married, buy a house, have babies, and live happily ever after. I’ve finally reached the point where I am okay with having my baby and my house and living happily ever after on my own. It’s liberating to realise that everything about this house, this life… it’s all mine. No compromising. 100% how **I** want it.

I couldn’t be happier.

BUT.

Now I get to spend the next month packing and checking paint swatches and de-cluttering and cleaning and allllll that fun moving stuff. *groan*

Sanity Is A Full-Time Job

It finally happened. The Bad Religion concert/girls weekend I’ve been pumped for for months.

Bestie and I got up super-early Saturday morning. Coffee was a must.

We drove to the ferry and set sail away from beautiful Vancouver Island.

We got to Vancouver early, so we did some shopping, had lunch with friends and checked out the venue.

Then it was time to check into our hotel room. We had a beautiful suite on the 31st floor.

The view was amazing!!!

Pretty soon, it was time to go to the show. We saw all sorts of interesting places and sights along the way

When we got to the venue, we had to wait in line for quite awhile…

But getting a spot right at the front was worth it, especially with Polar Bear Club as an opener!

The Bronx was a band neither of us had heard of before, but they sounded fantastic.

Then it was time for Bad Religion and some serious moshing!

I may have gotten a few injuries.

Our view was just as pretty when we got home at 1am.

After a brief sleep, it was time for more coffee (with misspelled names),

some exploration of downtown,

and a fabulous vegan lunch!

Before we knew it, it was time to catch the ferry home.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend!

50 Questions To Free Your Mind

Just before the new year, I decided to commit to a Day Zero project – a list of 101 goals to achieve in 1,001 days. One of those goals was to complete the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. Since I’m making pretty decent progress so far (which will be addressed in a future blog post!), I figured I would take the time and get these taken care of today. 🙂

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Twenty-five. Old enough to know better, but still young enough to not give a damn.
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Never trying is worse. Failure is just failure. Never trying eliminates the possibility of success.
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? Sometimes we get caught up in what we’re “supposed” to think, “supposed” to do, “supposed” to feel… that we don’t make time for what really matters to us.
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? I hope not. At my current rate, though, probably.
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? Violence. Violence has begat more violence since the dawn of time. It’s an ongoing cycle and without society as a whole attempting to halt it, it is destined to continue.
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? Something that involved cooking, reading, writing, spending time with my daughter and enjoying nature. If anyone knows what job that is, please let me know.
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? When I started with this company, I was doing something I believed in. Now, I’m settling for what I am doing in order to keep my daughter’s life as it is.
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I’d be retired and would be traveling the world right now. I’d say “I’m sorry” more often, and make sure I told everyone important I love them every day. I’d eat dessert after every meal, and take the time to do what I enjoy with those I love.
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? I go through periods where I am happy to let the current carry me, but for the most part, I have learned that I must be the master of my own ship. We cannot control our circumstances, but we must control how we react to them.
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I tend to worry about doing things right.
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do? I hate seeing friends criticised, especially when it is unjustified, so I would have to politely interject, let the involved parties know that I am friends with the subject of their criticism and request that the subject of conversation be changed.
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Love yourself, your family, your friends, your enemies, strangers, nature… love everyone and everything with reckless abandon.
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one? It would definitely depend on the circumstances. If it was to save them from unpleasant consequences (ie. Speeding ticket, arrest for shoplifting), I wouldn’t. To save someone’s life, or prevent serious injury or illness, I absolutely would.
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? I’ve always believed that beauty is created in madness, so insanity and creativity go hand in hand.
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? My approach to parenting is definitely not the status quo.
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? We all have different values. Some people value money more than I do, some people value their interpersonal relationships less. It’s all about priorities.
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back? I would love to travel extensively. Right now, financial obligations are the main thing holding me back, coupled with not being able to take my daughter with me, and not wanting to leave her behind.
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? There are things I would love to let go of, yes. However, I know that I will let go of them when I have healed enough, and the healing process must not be rushed.
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? I’d love to live somewhere hot, close to the ocean, and less technologically obsessed. My visit to Cuba 10 years ago was amazing, so let’s say Havana.
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? I only press the button once, because I don’t see the point in pressing it more than that.
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? I’d much rather be a joyful simpleton. There is so much beauty in the world, and one does not require intelligence to see it.
  22. Why are you, you? I am the sum of my experiences, coloured by my beliefs and limited by my own fears. No one else’s experiences, beliefs and fears will ever align perfectly with my own.
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? In the past, I have not. As I have matured, though, I have become the friend I wish to have.
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? Losing touch with a good friend nearby is much worse, because it feels like there is no barrier to contact except apathy.
  25. What are you most grateful for? I am most grateful for being blessed with a child who challenges my beliefs about life, encourages me to strive for better, helps me to grow stronger and more confident, and who loves with compassion beyond measure.
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? Memories, both old and new, are so precious, I don’t know that I could ever choose between the two.
  27. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first? I think it is. For example, harming others is wrong. One doesn’t need to challenge that ideal to know it is true.
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true? My greatest fear is losing my daughter… and, thank goodness, I have not had to deal with that.
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now? I don’t remember, and no, it’s not important now.
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special? I have so many happy memories of childhood: reading with my mom, playing games outside with my dad and brother, crafting with my grandma, building a treehouse with my grandpa. They all are special because they involve quality time with people I love.
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Sitting in nature, listening to the world around me is what makes me feel the most passionate and alive.
  32. If not now, then when? When the time is right, I will know.
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? The only thing I have to lose is time and money… both of which I am in short supply of.
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? Absolutely. There are souls that speak to mine, and I try to spend as much time as possible with those individuals.
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? Every religion wants to believe that it is the “right” one. If humanity could just accept others’ beliefs without prejudice, so much conflict could be avoided.
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? Nothing is ever truly black or white, so, no, it is not possible to know without a doubt what is good and what is evil.
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? No. Not immediately, anyway. Perhaps in a few years, when my investments had started to pay off.
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?  Right now I have so little free time that I would love to have less work to do!
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? It’s a typical Thursday at work, so I do definitely feel like I’ve lived today a few times!
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? I do this every day when I wake up to face a world with ideals so far from my own.
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? My daughter, my parents, my brother, my grandparents, my aunt, my uncle, four of my cousins and my best friend.
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? Not a chance. I look forward to being a kick-ass little old lady.
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Being alive is existing. Truly living is making the most of every second of your life.
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? If I know it’s right, chances are I’m either doing it or taking steps to make it a reality.
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? I’m afraid to make mistakes because they can be embarrassing, painful and otherwise uncomfortable.
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? If I knew nobody would judge me, I’d be more honest. I wouldn’t hide my opinion when discussing life with coworkers. I’d take more risks. I’d be much more authentically me.
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? This morning, while meditating.
  48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? I love so many things, but above all, my daughter. I try to ensure that my actions every day show her exactly how much.
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? The last few days haven’t been memorable at all, so I probably won’t remember without re-reading my journal.
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? I make my own decisions.

Friday Five – March 15, 2013

This week’s Friday Five:

  1. What’s the longest line you’ve ever stood in? When I was ten, we went to Disneyland shortly after the Indiana Jones ride opened. The line was about 2 hours, and then the ride broke down…
  2. When did you have the most fun waiting in line? October 4th, 2012 when I went to see Rise Against with one of my best girls! Best line ever.
  3. What line, no matter how long or short it is, always drives you crazy? The line at the post office. It always takes forever.
  4. When did you last behave in a manner that was over the line? I have a short fuse and an inappropriate sense of humour… so probably sometime this week.
  5. What are some lines of poetry you can recite from memory?

Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars
like ours. There ought to be awards
and plenty of champagne for the survivors.