Recently in Survival Category

June 25, 2011

Time for a change

A lot is going to be changing for me over this summer. Since I'm very connected to work and friends and family on Facebook, I'm going to be documenting the changes here. Only those that knows me best know about this place and the changes I'm making are not exactly for everyone to know about. Eventually, everyone will know, for it will be right there in their faces, but for now, I'm keeping some things under wraps.

Why? Let's just say I feel there are people who would not exactly wish me well on my journey. People that like me just the way (they think) I am ... a complacent, docile doormat. I have bitten my tongue for a long time, letting injustices and slights go unchallenged. I've taken an awful lot of toxic shit from family members, supposed friends, team-mates and exes, all in the name of taking the high road and allowing karma to drive. And it worked, to a point ... except for that toxic part.

Continue reading Time for a change.

December 5, 2010

'Tis the season

A funny thing happened here in Eastern North Carolina yesterday. Snow. Just in time for the holidays, wet, sticky, pretty snow. It should have made me joyful and, I'll admit, at first I was pretty excited. Later, though, as I went to pick up my daughter from a friend's house, it turned into something much worse ... familiar and unbidden.

Continue reading 'Tis the season.

July 4, 2010

... and then ...

So what I have noticed it that between FaceySpace and Twitter, everyone I know and/or would talk about is privy to my every post so ... I need to use this more. Because no one comes here or cares what I have to say here. And maybe that's a good thing. Being too linked is bad for the creative process ... I find myself editing, sitting back, changing my words so that no one will be offended.

When did I start caring if I offended someone?

I know exactly when it was. When I realized that by speaking out, I had been black-balled.

I'm not going to change any of that here. It's been done. I'm not moving up here, no matter HOW much I achieve and I've accepted that. Those that have put me here will have to deal with the repercussions someday just as I have had to deal with them every single day of my life.

Karmageddon, bay-bee. Good luck with that.

Anywhooo ... I'm back. I think. Still trying to figure out where and how I fit. Still trying to raise my kids. Still having to remind myself to breathe. SSDD.

June 25, 2009


Well, hi there. I hope I haven't kept you waiting long? Pull up a chair, let me get you a beverage and we'll chat.

Sorry, I totally didn't realize how quiet it had gotten here. The last time my writing went quiet for a while I mentioned it to Tim, as I saw it as a problem and wasn't sure why I "couldn't" write anymore. After thinking about it, I realized that I wasn't writing as much because I no longer had a surplus of words and emotions trying to pour themselves off the ends of my fingers. Tim, my wonderful, supportive boyfriend of 5 years, actually allows me to speak my mind, even when I'm upset or frustrated. My kids, too, are older and we are able to communicate on levels that we couldn't before. I find I no longer have to rely on my writing for release and that is a wonderful, and terrifying, feeling.

Can I still write? I don't know. Should I still call myself a writer? Hmm, another good question. Is an artist that doesn't paint still an artist? Looks like I might have to change my profile in a few places if not. I do know that I have the heart/soul/mind of an artist, even though I haven't picked up a brush in 7 years. I still see the emotions in colors, feel the resistance of the brush in every stroke, follow lines hoping to find the destination the artist wanted me to. So, yeah, I guess I'm still an artist if paintings speak to me. Am I still a writer though?

Yes, I suppose I am. I've just been spreading myself out a bit too much. Between Twitter and Facebook and here and my kids and my work and Tim, I only have so many words that I can put together before I start repeating myself and start feeling like I need to stop.  Because, frankly, what really goes through my mind every time I start to write is "NOBODY CARES!" - amazingly echoed by one of my favorite crazy paralegals just today in a post that really touched home.  It's almost as if I was being reminded to write, whether anyone else cares or not, becuase sometimes these things have to be said. 

The thing about being an artist/writer/crazy person is that you see things a little differently than most people do - let's call them the "normals".  When I'm with a group of normals, I have a hard time focusing on the conversation because, for most of the time, my senses are overloaded with the sounds, smells, emotions that are happening, crashing, clashing at any given second. I am constantly overwhelmed by the desire to capture every moment, whether in words, in a photograph, in a sketch or a painting ... and because of that, I am sure I appear distant or aloof from people and situations. What is happening, though, is I HAVE to emotionally take a step back or I will surely get lost.

So what's with that, hunh? Artistic Autism? Anything I can do for that? I'm thinking the super power Invisibility would help me a lot. It would make socializing so much less stressful.


In the NEWS ...

Since school has ended, I am in FULL VACATION MODE. Almost. Kinda. Ok, I only check my work email ONCE a day and I've only been out to the school ... ummm ... twice? I KNOW!!! I know. Stay away. *sigh*

I'm heading to Virginia tomorrow to see the IRL race with Tim on Saturday. Will miss his dad at the race, though. It'll be just us kids. OH, how I love Love LOVE this weekend.  

Uncle Ritchie is on his way down from Massachusetts. Last I heard he was in St. Louis, playing poker with friends. He'll be traveling through to Texas and then coming back up the East Coast on his way home.  I love Love LOVE Uncle Ritchie.

We are planning to paint a mural in Jasmyn's room this summer. We'll be painting her favorite painting on one whole wall ...

and the rest of her room will be painted a deep purple/blue.  As you read above, I have not picked up a paintbrush in a long time so this should be interesting. We're in the planning phase, my favorite phase. It's not until the actual execution phase that I start having doubts. Oh, how I love Love LOVE the planning phase.

ANYWHOOOO ... I know there was more news but now that I've absorbed the fact that both Farrah Fawcett AND Michael Jackson died today and I've watched the Real Housewives of New JErsey Reunion AND So You Think You Can Dance, my brain has turned to mush. I'm going back to my tweeting and IMing and packing while my laundry tumbles and the butterflies gather in my belly about making a 300 mile drive alone tomorrow. I know I'll be fine its just a long trip and I need Need NEED to see Tim now Now NOW. Unfortunately, there's a little matter of that 300 miles between us. *sigh*

I'm scheduled to come back Sunday and I'm sure I'll have more news to share with you then. We'll see.

Shut off the lights when you're done, would you? That's a dear reader.

February 11, 2009


Have pride in how far you have come, have faith in how far you can go!

Had an epiphany of sorts last night. Was giving a presentation about journaling to my Delta Xi chapter and was talking about how writing can be great therapy. I had been thinking about how I actually got started writing, why I wrote, from a technical, professional point of view that I  totally forgot the pure anguish some of those sleepless nights, weeks, months were.

When I was talking last night, I remembered the rush of actually letting it out and looking at the paper and being horrified that I had finally said out loud what was happening to me. I remember the day I went to my shrink and handed her a piece of paper and showed her something I wrote about a panic attack and she finally GOT it. I had been seeing her for a year and I hadn't been able to put into words how I was feeling but that day, she changed my medication. Why couldn 't I say it? I'll never figure that out.

I truly thought I could make a difference in someone else's life when I started all this. I was going to write a book about theraputic writing and tell my story, and give people that tools they need to work through painful memories safely by writing. It was my calling, my destiny ... I was sure I would finally realize my dream.

And then I went back to grad school. I had to support my kids. I had to work full time but I was sure I would keep writing. How could I not?

And then I realized what being a teacher meant, how all consuming it was, how I would be filling up my spare time with details and reading and preparing and learning and workshops and SIT meetings and committees and oh my god I haven't written anything substantial for ages.

How did this happen? When did I put my dreams on the back burner for my career? How did I go from the free-spirited artist that I used to be to the over-worked, under-paid overachiever? 

I was talking to my assistant this morning (can we just call her my Handler, really? Stacey does so much more than assist me in the library. She keeps me from screwing up constantly!) and I told her how the presentation went last night (good, I hope!) and how it made me realize how my ship might have sailed, how sad I was that I have put my dreams on hold.

"I really thought I could help people. I feel so ineffectual sometimes," I lamented.

"Sharon, you do help people. Every day, you make a difference in AT LEAST one person's life. Whether you help them with a computer problem or answer a question or find them a book or just show them you care. You make a difference to every person in this school."

(see how good she is?)

I could feel the tears coming, but I blinked them away. She's right. Every smile I give to a child changes their day, if only for a minute or two. Every hug, every laugh, every story, every word out of my mouth has the potential to change a life.

I got this job because I needed way to support myself and my children.

I've become a teacher because I realized that I have the power to change the world, one child at a time. 

I just needed to be reminded of that today.

In other news, my LSTA grant went into the FedEx truck tonight and will be in Raleigh tomorrow, almost a week before its actually due. I KNOW, but I wanted to give myself a cushion just in case something happened to it and I had to send in a new packet. It was a job but I'm almost sure I'll get it. *prays*

In OTHER other news, Tim comes tomorrow for Valentine's weekend. Can I just say "Squeeeeal!!!"

*ahem* yeah, I'm a little excited. :)

November 24, 2008

Teen angst

In June of 1989, I went swimming on a gloriously sunny, hot day in Alligator Point, Florida, a little doohickey hanging off the panhandle. Because of its location (Gulf of Mexico, can you say bathwater warm?) and the season (ever changeable summer), I should have known to be careful. Instead, I swam out pretty far and laid on a raft, just floating, soaking up the sun and enjoying my time away from my (then) husband. I was listening to the sound of the water lapping at the raft and the distant noise of kids playing on the beach. I remember thinking that I couldn't wait to take this trip as a family someday, with kids and diaper bags and chairs and coolers in tow. As I drifted in the waves, I was rocked to sleep, all sounds of the beach fading off into the distance. What I didn't know was they were fading away because I had floated out to where the current grew erratic, out of the protected inlet, past the sand bars and into deeper water.

When I realized I was hearing the sound of nothingness, I looked around and saw that the beach was just a smudge of brownish beige and I had gone far west of the beach access. I began paddling back toward the beach but my arms became very tired fighting the current. I thought it would be smart to slip off the raft and kick, knowing I had much more strength and stamina in my legs.

I was fighting a losing battle. For every stroke forward, I was being pulled back, so it took forever to make any headway. It felt as though the water was pulling on my feet, trying to pull me back out to sea. Every kick was a monumental effort, a struggle against the riptide's embrace. Several times, I wanted to give up, so sure I was that I could not make it. Lord knows it would have been easier to just give in and float on out but, for some reason, I kept kicking. Instinct kicked in and I was full of survival adrenaline.

When I finally did make it to shore, I was quite further down the coast than the point where I had gone in and I had to drag my sorry, sopping wet, sunburnt ass back to my stuff, all the while being berated for being stupid and clumsy by my (now) x.  Later that day, after I thought I had coughed up all the sea water I had swallowed, I tried to sleep off the exhaustion, only to be woken up every few minutes to retch more fluid. Turns out, I had a bit of sunstroke and eventually I was swollen, feverish and shivering uncontrollably. It didn't quite ruin our vacation but it wasn't the most pleasant trip I've ever taken.

Funny how when you are dealing with teenagers, your mind makes connections. I feel the pull of the tide of my children's emotions, knowing any minute I could be pulled into the swirling vortex and drowned. It is so much easier not to fight, just give up and wait for it to be over. For some reason, though, I keep trying new ways to communicate, to relate, to keep us all afloat.

I'm on pure survival adrenaline now. While the boy (17 next month) seems to be coming out of a bad patch (thanks to a new girl, apparently), the girl (just turned 15) is in a downward spiral. Her best friend is, and I mean this with love, a little shit and since the girl can not help but act like the people that she hangs around with, she is being a little shit too.

Tell me ... where are the parenting magazines and websites for single moms dealing with just everyday teen angst? My kids aren't troubled or in trouble, they are just "normal" kids. Since I was pretty much left to raise myself, I don't have a good model of parenting to hold myself up to. I guess I just really would like to know that I'm not on this raft alone. 

October 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom

Remind me why I actually tell you anything?

Phone call today. My mom was upset. She got a call from my brother. He has been sick and went to his doctor, where they found he had an elevated white blood count and something on his lung. Well, he finally got a CAT scan, which revealed it is a fluid filled cyst and he's having surgery.

Ummm ... yeah, this is the same thing I had last summer, except I had 2 cysts, one on my ovary/fallopian tube and the other on my kidney. And I had to have surgery. An oofrectomy AND a kidney bisection, thank you very much. Did she call my brothers and my sister all upset? Hmm ... lemme think ... umm, that would be a big fat no since no one even knew I had surgery.

What happens to me is not nearly as important as what happens to you and your friends and your other children.

We talked about when I could take her out to dinner for her birthday. She went on an on about how busy she is, how much she has coming up. I just bit my tongue. What she has are voluntary social obligations, things she has gotten herself into. Lunch with the girls, an Oktoberfest party, a reception at the museum, all places where she can be the center of attention, if she plays her cards right. She's squeezing us in tomorrow afternoon. 

Me, I'm a slacker. I just have a presentation to give on Monday, surveys and a presentation to prepare for Tuesday, a School Improvement Plan to present with my team next month, an application packet to fill out (Media Coordinator of the Year), a library to weed, a collection development plan and a LSTA grant to write, as well beginning my National Boards and getting my Media Helper program going for the year ... not to mention the day to day work of working full time and being a single mom with two busy teenagers whose car needs an oil change and 2 new tires, like yesterday.

Can you tell I'm just a bit bitter? 

There was a time when my family was *this close* to being on the street, unable to pay rent or bills, and who was there for us? No one. You know why? Because I was an embarrassment to my mom and her "what will the neighbors think?" mentality.  I couldn't ask for help and she wouldn't get any for me. Yet when I got my shit together and bought my first house all on my own, did she celebrate?  No ... she was pissed that I didn't include her in the process.

No wonder I pull in and become reclusive ... because no one in my family actually cares about what happens to me or my kids.

I have succeeded despite my family and I will continue to succeed without them. I don't count on anyone for anything and its going to stay that way. 

Doesn't keep me from wishing I had a family for support.  

July 19, 2008


and the posting is ... sparse.

I've been working as a teacher for the past 6 years and have just started to figure out this summer thing.  This is the first year I've done nothing during my break and its starting to show. My brain is relaxing to the point that if I come up with a 'great' idea and don't write it down or act on it right away, it's gone. I have had these little brain spurts in a store and before I got down to the aisle where the stuff is that I have just decided that I WILL DIE UNLESS I HAVE IT, I have forgotten what my idea was.

While this can be disconcerting, I'm just grateful that I'm actually having ideas again. This is a good sign. My brain has been stagnant since, well, since my surgery last year. I don't know what happened to me but I really feel like I have not been able to get caught up since then. Speaking of which...

I was talking to T today and it hit me ... this time last year I had just moved in here and was waiting to find out whether or not I had cancer again. I was sure this was it, that it was the supreme ironic twist that I knew was coming in my life, that once I found a fabulous guy that actually loved me and I finally bought my own house and got my life moving in the right direction that I was going to die and lose it all. I couldn't lift anything, I couldn't really DO anything but think ... and wait for a spot to open for surgery ... and think some more.

Yeah, last thing I needed was lots of time to think with no way to distract myself. It reminded me of when I was waiting for my (now) X to show up after he got served ... I don't think I slept for 2 months. 

After the surgery, I spent all my recovery energy getting back to work and I've been running flat out since. This is the first real break I've had and I think I'm finally loosening up. Hopefully, I can get creative and start writing again. Or drawing, how awesome would that be?

Baby steps. Today I tweet. Tomorrow, who knows. 

June 21, 2008

I couldn't help but smile...

June 16, 2008


I seriously have slacked off in many aspects of my life. Housecleaning has slipped, gardening has been almost nonexistent ... and the worst of it is that I don't care very much about anything. Apathetic, that's what I've become. Except for my loved ones (sum total, humans 3, cats 3), I could very well curl into a comfy ball and watch time pass in silent solitude.

I've got to care about something. I've got to get my passion back. I've just got to keep breathing in and out until that happens. I think I can handle that.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Survival category.

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