Sunday, September 28, 2014

A New Beginning

I feel kind of embarrassed as I write this post, since I've been gone so long. In my defense, I was without internet service for six months. However, I can't really use that as an absolute excuse, since I started service again back in March. So, I guess my absence has been part laziness, part I Don't Know What to Write About, and part Life Gets in the Way. I've visited some of your blogs on occasion, but found myself feeling very inadequate when it came to mine, and to my life in general, so I stopped.

I've been thinking a lot about this blog in the past several months, thinking that was prompted by some soul searching about my life and about some of the choices that I've made. Ten years ago, if you had told me that I would be living in Visalia, California, in a 1963 tract house, working as a temp in a Credit & Collection office of a international company, I wouldn't have believed it. I had lived in Orange County, CA all of my life, had worked for the same company most of my adult life and had lived in the same upstairs apartment for many years. I was in debt (something for which I am deeply ashamed), did not even own a car, was overweight, lonely, and struggling to face the fact that I would most likely never marry or have children. Life had not turned out the way I expected it to, and to be blunt, I was pissed! I had this fear of waking up at age 65, still living in the same apartment, still working the same job, still doing the same thing over and over and over again. I had grand dreams of something better, but I had no freaking clue how to go about making them happen. So I just sort of stumbled along.

Three years ago, a modest inheritence allowed me to buy a house outright. No mortgage. Anyone who has lived in the same small apartment for 19 years, struggling to make the rent, would understand how important that was to me. It was a BIG deal, and I am infinitely grateful for it. Since there was no way I could afford to do this in OC, I decided that I would need to move. I was looking forward to new horizons, my "dream" home, to a new career, to doing something that I loved.

To be honest, Visalia was a compromise, a settling, if you will, for what I COULD have and COULD afford, versus what I really wanted. If life had no limits, I would have moved to a small town in the Midwest, "forced" my family & friends to move with me, bought a 1920's cottage, and would have worked in an antique store. Oh, and in my spare time, I would have written the Great American Novel.

But, life does have limits, so I loaded up two 16-foot U-Hauls, a couple of pickup trucks, and two cars, (I've got a lotta' stuff!) and moved to a 1963 tract house in Visalia, CA, which is in the Central Valley. It's sort of the Dust Bowl of California (A LOT of agriculture, but how we keep it alive is beyond me, because it's essentially desert here.) I came with my high hopes and my big dreams, believing that the Best was yet to come.

However, I've come to understand that there is a huge problem with that belief. I'm the girl who loves the anticipation of Christmas, but Christmas Day is always a disappointing letdown. Whenever life is difficult, I've tended to console myself with the idea that things will be better, that the best in life is just waiting for me. But when you try to live for this mythical future, you tend to become complacent and helpless about your life in the here and now. Why do the hard work to change things when, at some time in the future, a magic wand will be waved and all your dreams will come true. That type of thinking means that you never really get to enjoy the present moment. It is ALWAYS happiness and contentment delayed. And when the future finally comes, when Christmas comes, it is always a disappointment. Ultimately, there is a certain unconscious ingratitude in that thinking, and, believe me, I know I have A LOT to be grateful for.

So, I need an attitude adjustment. I need to believe that life is good and valuable right now and that I'm a person of goodness and value, right now. I need to start believing that what I have and what I am TODAY is enough, and that if I want something to change, I need to be the one to make that change. So what if the house isn't what I'd like it to be; so what if I can't get a permanent full time job anywhere, let alone doing something I love; so what if struggle financially; so what if it's hard to make friends here; so what if I am not yet who I want to be. Maybe I already am and I just don't realize it yet.

So what does all this have to do with your blog, you may ask? Well, when I started this blog, I had grand dreams for it (are you starting to sense a pattern here?). I was going to post almost every day, would instantly have tons of followers and make lots of new friends. Maybe pictures of my house would be published in a decorating magazine! Maybe someone would see my writing and hire me to write! Maybe I would be voted Blog Empress! The possibilities were endless! The best was yet to come!

The reality was I didn't have the time to post daily, and the world didn't seem to care that I Had A Blog. Imagine that!!

So, I've been kind of disappointed and dissatisfied with my blog. I thought about just taking it down, but I'm going to give it another chance. I'm going to be making some changes, though. Because I need to stop thinking that life will always be better in the future, that the best is yet to come, I need to change the name of this blog. It has to go. Yeah, I know, it's just a baby step, but it's a step all the same.

I'm also going to stop worrying that no one is reading this, or if someone is reading, how they're reacting to it. I realize that I tend to get very wordy, and some people just want to look at pretty pictures of pretty homes. I get it. I do the same thing. But, sometimes, I just want to talk. I really want to be authentic when I write, to say what's on my mind without fear of offending. In the past, I have spent hours on just one post, trying to make it perfect, worrying that I'm boring, trying to make sure that I don't offend anyone's sensibilities, either by what I've said, or by what they think I've said. I don't have the time for that nonsense anymore, and quite frankly, worrying about what people will think means that I'm not really being myself. So, if thousands of people read and enjoy, great. If my follower count stays at 26, that's great too. I'm grateful to those who read and stick with me. If I'm talking to myself here because everyone wishes that I would just shut up, that's okay too. If I offend, well, that's unfortunate, but sometimes that's going to happen.

So, expect some changes here soon. I'm working on coming up with a different name, and some different headers. I apologize for rambling on and on, just to say that I'm back, but sometimes you just have to say what you've got to say.

I will leave you with a pretty picture. Here's my Tallulah, my Sweet T, my Big T, my Lulu, in all her glory. I got the BEST with this sweet dog!

Since Tallulah is bugging me for a walk now, I'll end this endless post :)  Leave a comment - I love reading them.