Going on to 2018, with a brief look back on 2017

When this uploads, it’ll be January 1st. I spent a good portion of time examining the different tools and aspects of WordPress. Something I should have done years ago but never actually bothered because I am actually the worst.

This past year has been a rollercoaster. I did so much. I gained so much. And I lost just as much.  I suppose, per tradition. The goals I set for myself last year:

  • Do either a secret Los Angeles walk or stairs walk twice a month.

Nope! Now, I did do a lot of walking. But that was my own rambling paths I was following.

  • Fill out the Happiness Journal as it’s meant to be.

Also no. I started off great, but it stopped being a thing around April…

  • Keep applying to jobs.

I did do this. I even have a job now. It’s.. it sure is something.

  • Make one new friend.

I have made several new friends. It’s nice.

  • Dance more.

:: dances around bedroom ::

  • Finish the writing projects I’m working on, or at least one of them as much as I can.

This is hard to quantify. I did finish a first draft, which I hate. I started a new project, which I’m enjoying. Though I find it stressful. So. Yes, and no? I guess. I don’t know.

  • Read 30 new books.

Ding ding ding.

  • Update here more often

Sorta? I do think this year was the most I’ve ever uploaded here. Still not where I’d like to be. But an improvement.

Other accomplishments for the year include:

  • I have had three jobs this year. My current one pays me more money than I have ever been paid before for work. I’m actually mostly okay, sans emergencies, financially.
  • I moved out of my parents home. I have a nice room in a lovely apartment in Los Angeles. I don’t deal with the same, constant level stress and anxiety I have for years now.
  • I actually received the hard, physical copies of my degrees. I have degrees. This is mind-boggling on so many levels.
  • I started playing in two new campaigns.
  • I stepped out of my comfort level in two different ways. I participated in a LARP – specifically, Dystopia Rising – and I signed up for and have been attending drop-in D&D games at comic book shops in the valley.
  • I have regularly seen my friends. I’ve regularly spent time with folks that keep me calm and keep me happy.
  • I got an annual pass to Disneyland.
  • I got over a crush on someone I’ve had for years. And fell in love with someone wonderful. To which…
  • I have a boyfriend. He’s neat. And lets me bite him a lot.
  • I joined a gym. I even go semi-regularly.
  • I hit a weight loss goal I have had for years.

 

I also lost my grandmother. I feel like I’ve lost my sister. I’ve lost friends. As petty as this sounds, I’ve lost my favorite shirt… the yellow one that made me feel comforted and invisible when I wore it.

This past year was hard for so many people. It was difficult, at times. But I did so much that I never actually believed I would be able to do that I can’t hate the year 2017 the way some of my friends are.

And to look forward… For 2018 I would like to accomplish the following:

  • Get my passport.
  • Pass my CBEST.
  • Celebrate my 30th birthday at Disneyland, staying at the Disney hotel.
  • Get treatment for my growing general anxiety, OCD, and bi-polar.
  • Make a deposit on a cruise line trip for 2019.
  • Start my own Dungeon and Dragons campaign.
  • Get more progress done on the Legends story, especially now that the game is finished.
  • Read 35 books.
  • Stop reaching out to the people who do not make anywhere near the same effort that I do to maintain the friendship.
  • By the end of the year, have a minimum of $1,000 in savings.
  • Write more. In just, general. Write more.
  • Continue my weight loss journey.

 

I am hoping that I can do this. Some of these goals feel impossible. Some feel totally doable.

So here’s to 2018. Let’s have this year be at least as productive as the last, if not more so.

Cheers, and Happy New Year.

M

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Memories and Loss

My grandmother, Carol Ann Duefrene, passed away on December 2, 2017, at 12:40 in the morning.

I am not okay. I’m pretty good at pretending to be okay, but I can’t with this. I am going through the motions that you are supposed to do for living life and moving on. I have continued to go on, but parts of me feel stuck when I got the phone call and just. Crumpled.

I’m not going to vent out everything I’m going through. It’s a lot, and I am still processing. Instead, I’m going to share her favorite memory of the two of us.

***

When I was roughly nine or ten months old, my parents wanted to go to Disneyland. Laller offered to come because she loved spending time with me and one of her favorite things to do was people watch at Disneyland.  Shortly after entering the park, my mom and dad took off for something, and Laller took me through the exit of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. The exit of that attraction is a rather clean, nice, large, air-conditioned room and had plenty of time for a freshly crawling baby to wear themselves out. She put me on the floor to let me explore my heart’s content while she rested on a bench.

It’s always been unclear who came in first. After about 15 minutes, either Minnie Mouse or Daisy Duck had popped their head in briefly, before going into the room. They were followed by Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and either Chip or Dale. And all of these large headed, anthropomorphic characters surrounded the ten-month me very slowly, and very carefully, and started to play with me. We played peekaboo, I’d crawl from one to another and boop their noses. This went on for about twenty minutes before one of them realized they had to be somewhere. So they left. And I tried to follow. This was also the moment that Laller fully appreciated I was going to be a pain in the ass as I grew up.

***

She told me this story more often than she did any other one. There was also when she walked me into a pool to wake me up (she claimed I knew what I was doing – I claim nothing makes sense and I was going through the motions of getting ready). When we went to Hearst Castle and San Diego. Seeing shows around Los Angeles.

Laller helped raise me. She helped shape the person I am. She wasn’t alone. I can’t forget Val, my adoptive Russian grandmother whom I lost in 2011. But nothing could have prepared me for this loss. Knowing she was sick. Knowing she was dying. Knowing that Laller hasn’t been Laller for well over a year now.

I wasn’t ready for that call. I wasn’t ready for this.

My last moments with her was an hour before she was gone. I was injured, due to the clumsiest injury one can manage at work, and standing was painful. She was in her full burrito mode. I hobbled to her to give her a hug, and a kiss. I told her I love her.

I am going to miss her every day.

A Do/Do Not list of going to Confession

My grandmother, Laller, passed away on December 2. It’s been hard. There’s a bigger entry in the works of me processing, and my favorite story with her in her prime. But this is a thing I am dealing with. Poorly.

One of her requests was a full Mass service. I grew up Catholic. I’ve since converted to something else for a myriad of reasons. But I remember how to be Catholic. Vaguely. What I do remember is that to fully participate in Mass, I.E. ingest the holy sacraments, you need to have done a few things:

  • Gone through First Communion.
  • Gone to Mass every week. Preferably on Sundays.

Now. I did go through First Communion. I had my first Communion, Sunday school, and went through Confirmation. But I stopped going to Church about 11 years ago. You can atone for this sin by going to Confession. Something else I had not done in about 11 years.

Here’s a handy guide so you don’t wind up with 10 Rosaries assigned to you for penance.

  • Do not start a confessional/penance session with a joke.
  • Do not joke about stabbing hobos.
  • Do not criticize the Church.
  • Do not call the Pope an awesome chill guy.
  • Do cry when you get overwhelmed about why you are giving your confession.
  • Do apologize for being a dick because you cope with grief by inappropriate humor and being an asshole.
  • Do not tell a priest you are an asshole.
  • Do not try to explain the plot of the Black Jewels series to a priest.
  • Just don’t bring up the Black Jewels series at all.
  • Do not bite yourself. THE PRIEST CAN SEE YOU AND TELL YOU TO STOP.
  • Do not question whether or not the fact that the priest can see you takes away from the whole anonymity that you thought was there for confessions.
  • Do not bring up the priest that was recently arrested for murdering a woman who confessed something he couldn’t forgive.
  • Do not NICELY ask the priest not to murder you.
  • Do not ask why there are no female priests. You will not get an answer. The priest will just sigh and ask if you’re done confessing.
  • Do actually confess your sins.
  • Do not say you are confessing your sins in the eyes of the Church.
I realize this entire list falls into the inappropriate humor coping mechanism I have going for me. But it’s helping. And right now I need every ounce of help to get through this.
Until next time.
M

Not Enough

I’m not Mexican enough.

I don’t speak Spanish.

I don’t eat spicy foods because I can’t tolerate spice that well.

My skin is too pale.

I have very little accent to my voice.

I don’t dance. I don’t sing. I have no rhythm.

I have too much love for Pumpkin Spice. And Trader Joe’s Baas

I’m not Mexican enough.

 

I’m not White enough.

I have a Hispanic accent, slight that it may be.

My skin is too tan.

I don’t really burn in the sun.

My eyes are not blue or green or brown.

I do eat food with a kick to it often.

I love food with flavor.

I’m curvaceous. Exceptionally so.

I’m not White enough.

 

These are things that people have told me. These are things family has told me.  I had a guest at my work screaming at how if I was Hispanic, I would understand family tradition. I had another get in my face and yell that if I was White, they’d treat me with more respect.

I am both. I am proud to be both. It took me so long to get to a point where I was okay being both. Because I use to hate the fact that I am Mixed race. I used to hate that I was never fully able to belong in either.

I don’t need to belong to one or another. I’m okay being White. I’m okay being Hispanic. I am enough.

Word Vomit

I’ve spent the past week cat sitting at one of my friend’s place. The cats are adorable, and one lets me rub its belly.  And the other is mistrustful of me, doesn’t let me touch her, and tries, in general, to not be too close to me.

I feel like the second cat.

Last week I discovered that there were a few people in my life that I held relatively close were, in their own ways, using me, lying to me, or otherwise abusing me in some way. And it hurts. Dear gods did figuring this out hurt.  And it’s left me very unsure of the vast majority of people in my life on who is okay to trust and open with, and who is not. Some are people who are okay with me making massive amounts of effort to be there for them, but when it comes to me needing someone. Something always comes up. Something always prevents them from being there for me even part of the way they expected me to be there for them.

Except for the core group of friends I have. They have made me feel so loved, so cared about, and shown time and time again that I will never be able to not know they will be there. And if I am in a situation where I need help. They’ll do it. Without hesitation, without expectations. I’ve been friends with the majority of them for eleven years now. And this is still new to me. It’s still something I am so unsure and terrified of losing.

And I think it’s because of the people I’ve let in that are like the ones this bit of rambling began with. I don’t know the point of this post. Other than. Some people suck. Some people really suck and I need to learn to stop letting them in. And to stop caring about them. And focus on the fact that I have some of the best people in my life.

And… and that’s it I guess.

Hopefully the next time I sit to write publically, I will be in better spirits.

An update, of sorts

I got hit by five birds earlier today. At least, my car did. It’s okay. I’m okay. Most of the birds are okay (as in they flew away – one, however, didn’t make it).  But I’ll be damned if I don’t live an interesting life.

It’s something my friends have commented on several times. A couple friends have encouraged me to take the experiences I have and fuel them into some sort of stand up sketch routine. I could do that, I suppose. But the combination of anxiety and not wanting to get permission from all the people I share these experiences with permission to use them beyond a laugh or venting among friends prevent me from seriously considering. And mostly, it’s the anxiety of it all.

There is more than one reason I decided against pursuing a career in acting.

I don’t know how to feel about this year, so far. There’s been good things and bad, which is really how life usually goes. I had my first interview for a teaching position, which just amazes me beyond all belief. I feel it went well, too. Which amazes me more.

Los Angeles has had so much rain since the start of the year. There’s been an actual winter – including hail which is damn near unheard of in LA. I mean, it happens. But so rarely. And it’s fantastic. I haven’t seen the city this green since I was a little kid. Driving in the rain is a pain, though.

Operation secret mission is going well too. Within a couple months, I hope to be able to talk about it more freely. I just need to get more in order for it. One of the bigger things is taken care of, though. Which is exciting.

I guess. There is a lot of excitement happening. Amidst fighting what feels like another spike of depression. Things will be better. This year is going to be better.

I just got to have hope.

Whelp…

At the beginning of the year, I made out a list of goals I intended on completing. They were simple, for the most part. And I did okay on them, for the first time really ever.

They were as follows:

  • Take a selfie every day, and post it on instagram with the hashtag #selfieoftheday.

This was to help me feel better about the way I look, and build some confidence. And I did this pretty consistently all year. There was a period of time when I didn’t have a camera, and a few days I just couldn’t bring myself to look at me in a mirror, let alone a camera.

  • Write daily.

Utterly and completely failed at this one. I did write more, to a point of I have started a new story I’m muddling my way through. But daily. Yeah.. That did not happen.

  • Walk for twenty minutes every day.

Sort of? The past couple months I could barely breathe some days, so I didn’t do much of the walking thing. But every day I could I walked around the block twice.

  • Read one hundred books.

I read eighty-seven. That’s not bad. That is also not including the books that I reread more than once this year. If I add all the rereads, it’s over a hundred.

  • Get driver’s license.

Nope, but I am totally ready to take the permit test next year. Which, is better than nothing.

 

It’s not bad – especially considering that I was in school, and I spent a good few months really sick. I did, at least on some level and within reason, complete the majority of the goals I set for myself this past year.

And looking back on 2015? There is a lot I would do differently. I wouldn’t waste my time on the people who didn’t really deserve my time or energy. I’d say yes to more of the things I was too scared to say yes to, and say no to the things that kept me back. I’d get back on the ice, and relearn how to skate. See more shows. Spend more time with my friends. But most importantly – I’d spend way more time on me. If I take away anything from this year – I need better self care methods.

So looking forward, I want to do more of the things.

My goals for 2016 are:

  • Write at least three pages of something a week.
  • Graduate from Pasadena City College.
  • Do a once-a-month self-date thing.
  • Go to University. (C’mon CSU Northridge you know you want this spaz)
  • Actually get my license.
  •  Read 50 new books.
  • Take one workout class.
  • Take a selfie everyday, but only post the ones that actually make me feel good about myself, instead of posting the ones that make me feel awful about myself.
  • Keep applying to jobs. Maybe actually get one. Maybe. (Someone please hire me.)
  • See friends at least twice a month outside of school.
  • Follow your gut instinct when it comes to the people you interact with.