Archive for the ‘adventure’ Category

I have always loved my birthday.  I don’t have any family members that share my special day.  It just meant so much to me that people were excited about the day I entered this world.

But now it is a very different reason.  You see, on December 22nd, 2015, I attempted suicide by swallowing a bunch of pills.  The police came and took me to a psych ward for observation.  After spending a bit of time there, I sought help with a therapist.  And now I no longer have those dark thoughts.  I have hopeful thoughts.  Positive thoughts.  And I am eternally grateful that I failed to end my life when I tried.  Grateful that I am here. Grateful for every single birthday I am blessed with, purely because I love being alive.

It’s why I take pictures of everything that I find fascinating or funny or beautiful and share them on social media.  I want to share my appreciation for life with the world.  I love listening to the train as it passes by in the night.  I love beautiful cloudy days and gorgeous sunny ones.  I love the smell of the rain and the sound it makes outside the window or on my umbrella.  I love the feel of the warm rain on my skin.  I love witty people that laugh at their own jokes even harder than the rest of us.  I love to hear people laugh.  I love the sound of dozens of voices talking when I enter a crowded place, especially places where there are family functions going on.  I love hugs.  I love kindness.  I love the roar of the ocean waves meeting the rocks and sand.  I love sunsets and sunrises. I love that first sip of coffee with my favorite creamer, in the morning.  I love the comfort of my bed at the end of a long day.  I love to dance to music, in the kitchen, when preparing food or doing dishes.  I love the hum of the fan when I fall asleep in the dark.  I love my fuzzy Star Wars pajama pants and oversized Harley Davidson sweatshirt.  I love going barefoot.  I love having hope that things will turn out okay.  I love having faith that God is in control.  I love when I see his signs so clearly leaving no room for doubt.  I love peace.  I love solitude.  I love going to the movies and out for dinner.  I love doing things on my own, feeling independent.  I also love having help from people who never make me feel indebted to them.  I love helping others.  I love doing speaking engagements.  I love impacting others lives in a positive way.  I love the castle ruins in Ireland, the sunsets at Santa Monica beach, the history in Delaware, the skies over Texas and all the people I have been blessed to meet in-between. And I love writing.  Telling the stories I watch in my mind as movies.  I love sharing those stories with others.  The love of my family and friends.  The ones who have been here for me in the darkest of times.  I love cuddles from my little dog.  And more than anything, I love my children.  To realize all the years of their hugs, hearing their laughter, being there for them through tears…that were almost gone. It makes me love life all the more.

I am here.  I am alive.  I have learned to love myself.  I have purpose.  And I am loved.

This is why my birthday is so very important to me.  Yes, every day is important to me, but I wasn’t born every day.  I was born March 15th.  That is my day to celebrate me and the life I have been blessed with.

Thank you for reading.  X

Heart of Stone

Posted: February 23, 2017 in adventure, aging, hope, love, Uncategorized

I will be 48 years old next month.  That is nearly half a century.  How do I feel about this?  I feel good about it.  My health is pretty good.  I have already lost half of the weight I gained due to extremely high stress levels over the last three years.  And I am in a very good place both physically and mentally.  That doesn’t mean I want to stay this way forever.  Each point in my life is temporary and I know that.  It’s a good thing.  I think about all the things I have experienced in my 48 years.  Some good, some bad and many unforgettable.

I remember getting my first apartment with my best friend, three weeks after graduating high school.  We were poor but it was an incredible time.  We had a cardboard box ,as a table, where we ate our 39 cent pasta that came with the powder and water faux spaghetti sauce on it.  No TV, no phone, no internet, no computer.  It was an awesome time.  From there, I got my own place. Nearly starved, but it was mine.

Every little girl dreams of her wedding day.  Or most of them do, so I am told.  I was one of them that did.  I had a wedding.  It wasn’t quite like I had planned in my dreams, but it was fitting for me and the way I am.  I find humor in most anything.  The preacher showed up in polyester blue pants, white coat, white belt and white shoes, wearing a pink tie.  He caught us off guard when he said(in his thick Texas accent)during the ceremony, “Now, back in the olden days, they would put the ring through the girls nose and the husband would lead her around by a stick with a hook in it.  But nowadays, we just put it on her finger.”  It was so hard not laugh.  Oh.my.goodness.

From there, I had my daughter and my son.  I was blessed to feel and watch life grow within my belly.  They would say and do the funniest things.  I kept journals to remember them all.  I think one of my favorite things about my son was watching him think of what he wanted to be when he grew up.  When he was four he came to me and said, “Momma, I know what I want to be when I grow up.”  I asked what.  He said, “A black doctor.”  I smiled, looking at this little white boy.  I knew his favorite doctor was African American.  I said, “I think that’s great.  You can be anything you want.”  He smiled and left to go play with his toys.  I loved that moment.  One of favorite moments with my daughter was when my ex husband and I were getting ready for church.  Our bathroom had two sinks.  He was at his, shaving, I was at mine, curling my hair.  Sitting on the dock of the bay was playing on the stereo and we were dancing as we looked in the mirror, continuing to get ready. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my 9 month old baby.  She was sitting on the floor, holding her socks with her mouth and wiggling to the beat of the music.  She was dancing, too.

I also found out how it feels to nearly lose a child.  My son got sick with an unexplained illness when he was 7.  His fever shot up, he had unstoppable diarrhea and vomiting.  The doctor visits and medicine wasn’t helping.  At one point he was in the tub.  Everything exploding out his little body and he looked up at me and asked, “Momma.  Am I dying?” That was the hardest moment in my life.  I told him no, but I knew it was a possibility.  We rushed him to the ER.  His blood pressure was 187/165.  They said he should be having a stroke or heart attack.  His kidneys were failing.  5 days later, after many treatments, and a miracle, he got well.  He is a strapping young man now with an incredible wife.

I got to watch both of my children get married.  I love their spouses.

I have been to Disneyland in California and Universal studios in Florida.  I got to stay in a condo each Summer and spend vacations with my kids on the beach in Destin, Florida.  I got to see most of our 50 states.  I have lived everywhere from one coast to the other. Delaware to California.

I’ve experienced a proposal in Ireland along with my first book signing there.  I wrote a novel.  I have a children’s book out, too, under my legal name.  I have been a Sunday School teacher, run an in home daycare for the underprivileged, sold Mary Kay cosmetics, been a make up girl in a department store, a receptionist, a bounty hunter, a certified nurses assistant, a cashier, but most importantly a mom.

My 48 years have seen friendships created and friendships ended, the same goes for romantic relationships.  But through it all, God has blessed me.  Somehow there has always been shelter and food and loved ones.

I am going to be 48 years old next month and I am so excited to see where the next chapter takes me.  I’ve experienced hardships and blessedly easy moments.  Life will give me more of each and I welcome them both.  All of these things make me who I am and who I am going to be.

I found a stone shaped like a heart on my walk yesterday.  It seemed so very appropriate. Because I can choose to see hope in that fact that is it shaped like a heart or I can choose to see it as the heart of stone I could so easily have myself.  I choose hope.  I choose to see it as a reminder not to let the hardships in life, harden my heart.  I choose love.

Thank you for reading.  x

Oh, where to begin.  Starting over is never easy.  The last time I started over it was exciting.  I had a plan.  Well, sort of had a plan.  More like, I had a man.  I have always had a man there to take care of me in some way.  I lived on my own when I was a teenager.  I moved in with my best friend three weeks after graduating high school.  She and I had been besties for 6 years.  It was exciting and new, but within a year I had struck out on my own.  I lived in a small condo that was on the border of foreclosure.  I rented from a nice man and his wife for a year.  I didn’t make much money and nearly starved to death.  My average weight is 125.  I met a nice man at work.  He was 15 years my senior.  My weight was down to 104 pounds.  He fed me and I married him.  I knew from the start that we married for the wrong reasons.  I moved into his home, when to his church, learned to like many of the things that he liked.  I conformed to his way of life.  By the end of the relationship I found myself going from being a sheltered housewife to a bounty hunter, then a makeup artist at a department store.  Two children and nearly twenty years later we divorced.  I ended up in another long term relationship.  I moved from Texas to Delaware to be with him.  I ended up on welfare until the state offered me a career opportunity.  I did the schooling and became a Certified Nurses Assistant.  I worked in home health and took care of mostly elderly patients.  Many of them over 90.  After a few years they would pass on and I would be devastated.  I stayed in that relationship for 5 years.  He was a quadriplegic.  That was why I chose to become a CNA.  I conformed to his way of life.  It ended and I wanted to move to Maine.  My dream was to live in a little house by a lighthouse and write.  Maybe work as a barmaid.  But my kids were grown and renting a house in Texas.  My daughter and her husband, my son and his then fiance’ (now wife). They had an extra bedroom and asked me to live with them while I got on my feet.  So I did.  Maine could wait for a while.  I missed my kids.  It was the most amazing year, living with the four of them.  I got to know my son in law and daughter in law.  I love them.  In fact, she is one of my closest friends now. We talk about everything.   Within a month of moving in with them and anxious to heal and figure out who I was and what I wanted, I fell right into my next relationship.  I wasn’t ready for a relationship but I didn’t know that at the time.

We would do the long distance thing for a year and then I moved to California to be with him.  I moved into his apartment, learned the ropes of travel, learned the art of public speaking.  I conformed to his way of life.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  This relationship ended, too.  I am still broken over this one.  I am still in love with him and he is still in love with me, but we both know we did the right thing.  Personal reasons that I will not go into.

So here I am.  But this time, my mind is different.  I was in cognitive behavior therapy for the last year.  The state of California offered to help me after my suicide attempt.  They offered me free therapy if I was willing to become a case study.  I agreed.  It made a huge difference in me.  I am starting the workbook over.  The last time I worked through it, I did it all from the perspective of one trying to save a relationship.  Now I am doing it from the correct perspective.  I am doing it so I can heal.  So I can be stronger, more in touch with that little voice that tells me when something is wrong.  I can look back on my life and see that in almost every heartbreaking or devastating situation I found myself in, I heard that little voice first.  I would argue with it and try to reason away my concerns.  I don’t do that anymore.  I listen now.  I seek out that little voice now through prayer.  This is not a get out of jail free card for the ones who have chosen to hurt me.  It is simply me taking responsibility for my own poor decisions.

I admit, I am scared.  I haven’t been ‘on my own’ since I was nineteen years old.  And really, this is the first time I have been 100% single since I was a teen.  Not someone hurting over a recently ended relationship and falling into new one immediately.  I am not open to being taken advantage of due to my vulnerability.  I am vulnerable, my emotions are raw, my mind still goes in and out of feeling independent to feeling like a scared little mouse in a the middle of a herd of elephants and looking for a safe place.  Then I remember, I have one of the strongest support systems one could ask for.  I have a hundred arms ready to give me a much needed hug.  I am at a place in my life that I have never experienced before.  And I am eternally grateful for the friendships that have stayed intact since my last break up.  He introduced me to a world of people that welcome the hurting, the lonely and the scared.  They not only welcome you, but once they take you in, they never let you go.  I have blessings that have remained from all the difficult situations that I have somehow put myself in.  Something good has always come from any of the bad in my life.  And I am so very grateful.

So here I am.  I have gone from a life of luxury and travel to one of very low pay, lots of hard work cashiering and time to focus on me and heal.  I paid all my bills this month and had money for food.  My son and his wife have taken me in until I can get on my feet.  I wake up to people who love me and encourage me every single day.  I get hugs and I love you’s.  I have a place to work, with people I consider friends.  I feel loved every where I go. I have an online community who supports me.  And most of all, I have me.  I am learning to love me and believe in me.  I am taking it one day at a time.  Some days I fail, some days I cry and some days I smile.  And other days, like today, I do it all.

Thank you for taking the time to read.  I love you all.  x

Explosions in the Sky

Posted: March 29, 2014 in adventure, lightening, weather

This week has been a slow one and that is okay.  I need more hours at work to pay the bills, so I am crossing my fingers for the chance to take on a second part time position at work.  I would be able to add stocker on my resume.  The money would be so very welcomed.

The book is coming along quite slowly at the moment.  I have the scenes playing out in my head but it is taking all I have just to write this blog post.  Battling a sinus infection makes it hard to see straight and the headache…ooooof.  But it will pass, it always does.  Seems I do this every time we go from Winter to Spring and from Summer to Fall.  Seasonal allergies is what I hear them called.  So a few more days and I’ll be good to go.

The big excitement this week was our lightening storm.  No rain and no thunder.  Just wind and lightening.  I took pics that I will share.  I have already posted these on my Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/ryter.rong

So that is about it for this week.  Love my family, love my job and love my friends.

Thank you for reading and have a great week.  X

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Oh dear, this week.  I haven’t really seen much of most of my family this week.  Crazy work schedules and school have prevented it and I miss them.

I suppose this week is going to have a couple of adventures listed but mostly it’s about how I feel about things.  I say lets talk about feelings first.  Writer’s platforms.  They sound simple enough, you need to get your name out there.  Alright, I can do that.  Let’s make a Facebook profile and go from there.  I did and I made a webpage and a twitter and a linked in and stumbleupon and reddit, etc.  But then you develop a wonderful, beautiful group of people who are interested in you and all you have to offer.  You find yourself interacting and not writing.  So I am trying to find that balance.  I hate to be away from the wonderful people I am developing new relationships with, but the book will not write itself.  So I am going to have to train myself to pull away and write for a few hours each day.  Then I can check back in a bit and back to writing.  I can do this!

My love life is interesting.  I don’t want to go into to much on that.  I have found that new love is wonderful, like a drug.  You are showered in affection and attention and it feels amazing.  Then time passes and you get to know each other and things settle down.  And you start wondering if you can even fit into their world.  You wonder what is the best way to move things around in your own to make room for them.  And sometimes you even realize that maybe your own world is so easy, so little complications, its pretty simple to move things around and say…climb in.  There is a place where he can fit so perfectly.  And you look at his world and it’s a beautiful, exciting, a fun whirlwind of a world with stunning people.  And you just don’t see a spot for you.  You really don’t see how you can possibly fit into it.  It can cause an internal panic of sorts.  What do you do?  I can’t answer that yet.  Maybe next weeks blog.

Relationship with my kiddos.  It seems I have done something over the last 8 years, since I discovered the internet.  I don’t pay full attention to them when they talk to me.  I love that I am close enough to them that they, particularly my daughter, can tell me anything.  She said they know that I only pay half attention and they have accepted it, but they would really like me to really hear them.  So I have made a new rule.  If they need to talk to me, they need to just come to me and say just that.  “Mom, I need to talk to you.”  And I will close the computer and actually listen to them.  They are my world and what truly matters in my life and I owe them that.  Shame on me, but I will do it right, from now on.  Love my babies.

Next, I was walking home from work one night and something bad happened.  Yes, it could have been much worse.  Thank goodness it wasn’t.  There are two streets close to my home.  I have to choose one to cross.  Neither of them have crosswalks and there are 6 lanes in all to cross.  That particular night it was rush hour.  So I waited for the light to turn green.  I saw a car to my left and wondered if he would turn left or go straight.  He did not have on a blinker, but I felt I should give him a minute to see if he would go straight.  He did and so when he got to the second lane, I ran across the street.  When I reached the middle of the second lane, he reached the third and decided to turn.  He almost hit me.  My hands went up, I screamed and jumped back, cars honked in warning and he slammed on his brakes.  The front of his vehicle was hot under my hand.  A second car swerved to avoid hitting him and also nearly hit me.  With my heart racing and body shaking, I made it home.  That was a defining moment for me.  My first thought was “omg…hospital bill!” as I do not have insurance and already owe quite a bit to the hospital.  My second thought, “my babies”  and my third thought, “I haven’t finished my book” after that, it was all the people I love and adore.  I don’t ever want to feel that again…ever.  If I am gonna risk my life in the street, I want it to be on my terms.

And guess what happened?  Well, the next day I needed to walk home again and I was scared.  No one was home to call and ask for a ride.  But my daughter was home without a car.  She walked over to get me.  She met me at the other light.  I smelled food and hadn’t eaten all day.  I asked her if she was hungry and she said yes.  I said that I would buy her dinner, but I really wanted a place that would serve us.  I was exhausted after working Friday through Tuesday, sometimes closing one night and opening the next day.  We went to the sandwich shop…it was a do it yourself.  So we left and walked to the Chinese place, it was a buffet, so we left.  And walked to the Mexican place, it was a do it yourself.  So we walked to the further away light…a third light and it had a crosswalk!  OMG we were so happy.  Then, we still nearly got ran over by a car turning and not paying attention.  She screamed obscenities at them and was completely unshaken.  My beautiful brave girl.  How did she turn out this way with a scaredy cat for a mom?  We got across and walked to the other Chinese place.  It was closed.  So we crossed another street and another group of buildings…not one restaurant.  After walking for 30 minutes we decided to go on to my favorite Mexican restaurant.  Well, you have heard the expression…where the sidewalk ends.  It actually did and there was a huge drainage canal and no walkway.  I was sad and said we would have to go home.  She said no we don’t….you wanna be served dammit!  So I put a leg over the guardrail and looked at her, standing there all wrapped up in her red fuzzy blanket covered in white hearts.  She put a leg over, too and we watched the car lights approaching and felt the cold wind blow our hair and clothes as they rushed past.  I could smell exhaust fumes and feel the wind change to warm as I would end up on the back side of the cars.  Hot and cold.  We noticed there was only a six inch sideroad thing for us to run down.  We finally saw a break in the cars and ran our asses off.  Seems in the dark we misjudged the distance.  It was about five car lengths and felt like it would never end.  We could hear the next batch of cars quickly approaching and we were caught between on of the six lanes and the cement barrier.  We ran faster, fighting to breath in the cold air and at last….grass…we jumped over just as the cars flew by.  Breathless we laughed…we did it!  Slowly we walked the rest of the way to the restaurant.  That meal was the best I have ever had there.  And I have had some other great meals there, one with my best friend and one with a very precious friend who took me on a date there the last time he was in town.  But this meal…it was something.  I was even texting with the precious friend and telling him of my adventure and what restaurant it led me to.  I think he just accepts my adventurous spirit.  He laughed.  Anyway, halfway through the meal I asked my daughter when would my son be home.  She called him and he was home.  So he begrudgingly came and got us and he was not happy with our decisions for the evening.  I’m not to do that again.  I love how much he loves us and was concerned.  No more crossing the drainage ditch for me.

So that is my week.  I am tired, emotionally worn, physically hurting and yet my heart is full.

Thank you for reading and have a great week!  x

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