About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Burn, Baby, Burn!

I have had a series of unfortunate events tripping over themselves to really screw me over for about the past two weeks.  Caught up in this tornado of stress, I have been searching for something--anything--to make the spinning stop.  I ask myself, what's the lesson here?  

Today I heard a quote from the King himself--Elvis Presley--who said, "the truth is like the sun; you can block it out for awhile, but it aint going away."  Hmm...I pondered.  What truth is being illuminated that I am trying hard not to see?  And then it came to me.  I don't treat myself with respect; therefore, I've been getting upset by all the incidents involving 'disrespect' the past few weeks.  From me losing my temper at the bully honking and shouting at me in traffic to me feeling broken-hearted yet again because my gray-area friend failed to follow-thru, I have been allowing the idea of disrespect to consume me.  

If I am not respecting myself by honoring my boundaries, protecting my heart, sticking up for my point-of-view, or taking care of myself physically, then I have no business being upset when I feel slighted by someone else.  In fact, it's pretty silly of me to allow myself to feel that way at all.  I alone walk my path and know what I need from life.  I am compassionate to everyone around me...but cruelest to myself.  WRONG!  C'mon, I know this stuff!  

So...I took care of gray-area friend by letting him know that there won't be a next time where I am concerned, that his continued 'I-Want-You-I-Don't-Want-You' game is over, and deleted all of his contact information so I won't be 'tempted'.  I can't do anything about the bully in traffic except hold myself to a higher standard than his type if ever in the situation again.  I am 41, exercise regularly and do the best I can--no more comparing myself to the girl I was 20 years ago.  

The truth is I enjoy being 41.  The truth is that I enjoy being independent...so what's with my high tolerance level for bullshit with gray-area friend?  No more.  The truth is I like how I look, it could be a helluva lot worse.  The truth is I do not always do the best I can every day, that I enjoy slacking off, and that the only obstacles in my way are of my own making.  

Yes, Elvis, you are right: "the truth is like the sun; you can block it out for awhile, but it aint going away."  The truth is like a match, it can either illuminate the room or it can set your world on fire.  Either way, we must light the match and let denial burn.    

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spitfire in My Blood

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my grandparents, specifically my grandmothers.  Neither one lived easy lives, but what I remember most about them is their laughter.  Both had those toss-your-head-back-don't-care-who's-looking laughs that came deep from their core.  Neither had easy lives, my Grandma Marge was widowed with four teenagers while living on a farm in rural South Dakota during a time when working women weren't exactly the norm.   My Grandma Pearl worked hard on a farm and in a candy factory, had a daughter with Scarlett Fever, buried a son and a grandson, and could talk about the 'time the locusts destroyed the crops' with such clarity I am still afraid of grasshoppers.  Yet both women knew how to laugh, drive fast and not take crap from anyone.

Laughter is the secret to surviving life's little dramas.  Laughter combined with spunk and an 'If-You-Don't-Like-Me-Screw-You' attitude is the perfect combination for survival.  I think there is a reason they keep popping into my mind recently.  They are reminding me of where and who I come from.

If they were here--and I often wish they were--I can imagine what they would say to me.  I can imagine Grandma Marge would tell me that tragedy is part of life and would remind me how many times she started over.  She started over from scratch a lot and with far less advantages than I have.  And she did it with flair; she did everything with flair.  I can still see her peeling out of my dad's driveway in her long green car, dust flying behind the wheels, black hair flying in front of her face as red-tipped fingers blew us a kiss from the window.

If Grandma Pearl were here, she would squeeze my hand, say a few choice words about that son-of-a-bitch I married, remind me that I am Norwegian and come from a line of strong women, tell me to keep my dignity no matter what I do in my life and to always stand tall, even when the locusts come.  I can still see her cooking in her kitchen one minute before grabbing a cap gun, going outside, and shooting in the air to get rid of those 'damn Jehovah's Witnesses' once and for all while never breaking stride or messing up her red hair.

Spitfires are my heritage.  I remember these women I was so blessed to know and am inspired.  I think it does all of us good to remember our heritage and honor those who made us who we are.

I am the granddaughter of Marge Ordal and Pearl Thompson.  I come from a long line of Norwegian women who could make lefse and toss back a shot of whiskey at the same time, who drove fast, who lived fully, who loved with their entire beings, and who walked with strength and grace even when the locusts came.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Matter of Perspective

There are times I think my life is some kind of twisted reality show. Whenever things get weird (which is often), I look over my shoulder and wonder if that's a cameraman or deer lurking in the bushes.  When I muster up the energy to investigate, I am usually disappointed to see the deer staring blankly at me before bolting away.  But still I wonder...does life really need to be this interesting?  And could that have been a cameraman in a deer costume?  Stranger things have happened, no question about that.  

Interesting is good: or at least that is what I tell myself as I'm dodging yet another call from the Mexican bartender who thought me flirting to get more tequila in my margarita was some kind of sign for a love connection.  I'm still not sure how he ended up with my phone number but wish he'd lose it or give up or both.  In the meantime, I am looking for a new favorite Mexican restaurant.  

Then there is my friend who had a love connection via the internet.  After a 6 month or so internet relationship, they decided to meet. She married him the same day she met him.   Yes, you are reading me correctly.  She met him face-to-face on the same day she married him.  Well, a few months later the marriage is in trouble and her now estranged husband is driving around Denver with a trunk full of all of her shoes.  Interesting.  

But don't think I am judging my friend and her internet marriage.  I wouldn't dare.  My on-going adventure with gray area friend leaves me no room for criticism.  Let's just say that our 'relationship' has escalated to some very erotic Skyping sessions that leave me breathless and wanting more.  There are reasons I won't disconnect with the man...and you're right if you say it's because he's sexy as sin. And we have a history.  And...he is interesting.  He keeps me on my toes.  Like I said, no room to criticize here!  

My former mother-in-law swears that my deceased husband, Sean, is now a Magpie bird that follows her around all day and speaks (or would it be chirps?) to her.  She likes to relay his messages every now and then when she's in one of her moods.  These conversations often end up with her crying and talking about what-ifs.  Thank God for caller i.d.!   Enough said on that.  

There is a Chinese curse that says, "May you live in interesting times". Well, I do. We all do.  We all have people in our lives that keep us from getting bored, or at least I hope you do.  Please notice that I am not labeling any of the above situations as good or bad, merely as interesting.  What is good or bad or right or wrong boils down to a matter of perspective.  If you are conservative and/or uptight, me talking about erotic Skyping probably makes you want to find a confessional; but for me that's fun and completely okay.  Just like my friend and her husband who met via the internet...if it really is love, I hope it works out.  If he's scum, I hope she gets her shoes back.  No matter what, it is definitely interesting.  

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tearing Off the Fragile Sticker

For months I craved relaxation.  I wanted to slow down, breathe, hear myself think, get my bearings, take a vacation from all the expectations on me.  And I did.  I took a break.  I quieted my mind.  I actually slept for more than a few hours at a time.  With relaxation came a deep peace that allowed me to hear my inner voice.  And, surprisingly, I didn't like what my inner voice had to say.  It made me uncomfortable.  

What did my inner voice shout when I finally stopped moving and drank enough wine to relax?  The voice shouted: stop following misery's lead and toss aside the fragile label because that's a lie.  Stop living a lie.  

I have had the word fragile pasted on my forehead and my heart since the moment I found my husband hanging dead in my closet.  Yes, Sean killed himself.  Yes, that sucks.  Yes, his suicide knocked my confidence back a few decades.  Yes, I am lonely.  Yes, I get overwhelmed with being an only parent.  Yes, my heart is big and wide and open and vulnerable.  Yes, my heart gets trampled on over and over again--usually by the same person.  Yes, I have allowed the fractures to stretch until my heart looks like a million spider webs.  Yes, I often cry for reasons I cannot identify.  None of these things make me fragile. 

I like who I am, especially when I am surrounded by good people who make me laugh and allow me to be however I need to be in any given moment.  I make more mistakes than I probably should admit, but at the end of the day I am willing to accept the consequences.  I have scars that run deep.  My life is lovely chaos.  My heart has been broken over and over again, but at least I am willing to always give love a chance.  That being said, I trust too easily and often given people more chances than they deserve.   I have a tinge of sadness about me even while I'm smiling, but don't know if that will ever change.  I am okay with all of this.  It is who I am.  

I need to tear off that fragile sticker once and for all.  It's no longer my style.  It never was.  As for following misery's lead, my inner voice is right as usual.  I do tend to follow misery's lead, although it hasn't been on purpose.

I am the first to admit that I don't know what the hell I'm doing on any given day; but I do know that I am the one in charge of my life.  I have been playing defense for far too long--reacting to life's circumstances and stumbling into misery like a blind woman. Time to play some offense.  The fragile sticker declared to the world--and to myself--that I needed careful handling.  No rough play allowed. Screw that.  After all, I am a hockey fan and it's time to play like I'm fighting for the Stanley Cup.

I am not fragile.  I am not sure I ever was...perhaps I just allowed the sticker to stay there because it gave me an excuse to hide for awhile.  So I am ripping it off with a good yank, uncaring about the pain that will come with its removal.  I have felt pain...and I have survived it.  I am not fragile.