The Choice Is Mine

This or that? This or that? The choice is mine.
For the last several Mondays, I’ve opened my closet and thought to myself, “Dammit! I didn’t get any shirts for work again!” And then I’d throw on something in my minimal rotation of appropriate work-wear. Last week, I started getting crafty and wearing shirts that weren’t exactly work-appropriate, but they weren’t bad enough that anyone would say anything. You know, because a cute sweater over anything makes it good to go, right?
Every time I have this conversation with myself, I sigh aloud and wish that I could just wear yoga pants. Then I consider a career in fitness. Then I eat cookies. That’s why I don’t have a career in fitness. I mean, I could, but starting fresh, it would take forever (and I might not even get there) to get back to making what I make now. And you know, car payments and rent and junk. Never, however, did I give up on my yoga pants dream.
Well then, what do you know? It looks like those yoga pants dreams are about to come true. It looks exactly like I’m about to have a new position. One that’s 100% (ok, maybe 99.2%) remote. Did I take a little pay cut? Yeah, but is it worth it? Hellz to the yeah. New learning and growth opportunities abound in the new position and I’m excited, yet scared and nervous all at the same time. I really and truly feel bad about leaving my current position. But it’s been rare (I’m looking at you job on Miami Beach and one in downtown Denver!) that I’ve been excited, nay, thrilled to give a two week notice. One other time, I actually cried. Those people were just the tits though. I love the BH family. This time, I’m torn.
There are many more positives than negatives in regards to my moving on, but I will certainly miss a handful of these folks. It’s weird to put myself in the category of ‘those who have fallen by the wayside’. But, being in that category gives me much more time to keep the house clean, to cook fun stuff, and to work on my flexibility because no one cares if I’m at home on the floor in a straddle stretch. In the office, I’m gonna get some side eye and possibly a reprimand for sure.
So, it’s a new and exciting adventure upon which I’m about to embark. Why not, right? New house, new job. Who knows what else might pop up. Besides a sexy new computer desk that I was eyeballing and now have a perfectly good reason to purchase. It’s going to be tough the first month or so, I’m sure of that. But I’m also sure that I can handle it. Do you know why?
Because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!

On Privilege

Who were you in a past life? What spice are you? What cartoon character are you? If you use Facebook at all, you’ve probably seen at least one of these quizzes and perhaps even took one as well. A quiz that was a little more deep showed up that a friend had taken and so I decided to take it as well. I believe it was along the lines of how privileged are you.

This one was longer than most of the other quizzes with real questions about how you grew up, how you’ve been treated in life, and how you’re living now. I’m generalizing quite a bit, but you can just Google the quiz and take it yourself. 100 questions. It doesn’t take super long and it’s interesting. According to the quiz, I’m pretty privileged. More than a halfway “score” but less than a three-quarters “score” and that made me stop and think. And to travel back in time through memories.

While I don’t remember it, I know that when I was super young, we lived in a trailer at the bottom of my grandparents’ yard. I only have old pictures and stories of those days, but I like to think that my mom and dad were doing ok, even in their earliest years of marriage. What I do know about that time is that I was surrounded with love between parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and neighbors.

Jumping ahead to the early ‘80s, I surely wouldn’t have thought at that time that I was privileged. Our Christmases weren’t lavish, we didn’t get presents from the Easter bunny (because it’s NOT A GIFT GIVING HOLIDAY, PEOPLE!), and at times, we were probably dressed like we had gone shopping with the Fresh Prince’s mom before school. BUT, and this is a big one looking back on it, we had a new house. I guess that even then, my folks were trying to instill some sort of knowledge about priorities in us. I think in that way, we were privileged as none of our friends had what we had house-wise, but back then, I probably would’ve rather lived in the trailer and had stuff. Good thing I wasn’t in charge.

I’d say that all remained the same pretty much through the high school years. Nice house, not a lot of stuff. Ha, my brother would probably score higher on the quiz than I did because he always got better Christmas presents. Now, mind you, this is probably also because he asked for crazy shit where I did not. The things I did ask for I did get though. Keyboard? Check. Electric guitar? Check. Neighbors threatening my parents that they would move away if the next year included a drum set? Check. Drum kit? Denied! All that said, Christmas was never really my thing as far as I can remember. The best part of it all was when I was finally old enough to decorate the tree on my own. That was all I wanted. Bubble lights, the bird, and tinsel. Didn’t really even care about the presents. Does that make me privileged? Probably not. Did it make ma a strange kid? Probably so.

I had a car when I was 17. It wasn’t new by any stretch of the imagination. I was actually only 4 years older than it. BUT, I also had a full-time job and I was paying for my gas. Insurance the ‘rents covered for a little while. My second car was a step up and I was only 2 years older than it. The lead sled. A 75 Chrysler Cordoba. I think my parents may have put me in that because I could’ve driven it over a cliff and walked away unscathed because that thing was a tank. Privileged? Maybe?

I’d like to say that I’ve been privileged enough to not have to deal with racism, but alas, I grew up in small town western Pennsylvania – you do the math. A fly on the rice. It wasn’t OVERLY bad. Pretty sure I only had one person drop an ‘n-word’ on me in all the time I can remember. There are a couple of instances where I can clearly recall like it was just said, something being said to me that was crazily racist and oddly enough, I can remember who said them and exactly where we were. I guess those sorts of things just get burned into your memory. It was a strange way to grow up, but I can say with certainty that I wouldn’t be who I am today without having all of you folks to internally rage against.

Back to privilege. At 18, I traveled for work. A lot. So I got to see a lot of the east coast, certainly before my peers did, and to this day still, probably before some of those same folks. I saw different places, met different people, and started coming into my own. As I got a little older and started making my way to the downtown area, I started to realize how big the world was and how small our town was. If knowledge was equal to privilege, then at that time, I should’ve been royalty or something.

Since this isn’t an autobiography, I’m going to skip over about 20 years. But I know that in those years, I’ve done and seen things that others in my age bracket had not. Hell, I’d done and seen things that people in my current age bracket haven’t. I dropped everything that was familiar and took a chance with Club Med. I got a passport. Seems like no big deal, right? Do you have yours? Have you used it? A surprising amount of folks would answer no to at least one of those questions. Having a passport doesn’t equal privileged, but I guess having stamps in it does to some extent.

I’ve never been homeless, nor have I ever been truly hungry as my dad liked to point out if I said I was starving and couldn’t wait for dinner. Yes, I’ve been discriminated against, but I took that and turned it around to my advantage. It fueled me. And partially with that fuel, I built the fire of privilege. I keep it stoked.

I guess in the end, I will admit that I’m more privileged than some others and less than some others as well. There’s a roof over my head, food in my belly, a reliable vehicle to get me from A to B, and a steady paycheck. I am loved which is probably the greatest privilege. I am fortunate enough to still have my mom and my mother-in-law. I have a wisenheimer brother, a only slightly less wisenheimer half-brother, and a wonderful daughter. I have a BeFri to my StEnds, the other half of my DINK-ness who shows me all the time how he feels privileged to have me, which in turn makes me privileged. Together, we run the world like Jay-Z and Beyonce except on a tremendously smaller scale and better looking male and a worse dancer female. When we do our tour, it’ll only be the northeast states, lol. PA – NY – DC, we’re coming for you next year.

It’s been far from a charmed life, but I’m wise enough to know that it’s been better than a lot of folks. Every experience, whether good or bad, has been a stepping stone to where I am, and every experience going forward is yet another stepping stone to where I am going. Am I privileged enough to know my final destination? No. But I think I’m just privileged enough to get there with love and support, and possibly new yoga pants. J

If you take a look back at your life, where do you stand? Are things as bad as you think they are? Have they gotten better than you realize? Sometimes it takes something as simple as Facebook to really make us stop and think. Happy Tuesday.

Jump!! Training

Ahh, Diamond Dave. With a split better than mine. Go head, DD. Couldn’t nobody mess with you back in the day. Well, you know, except Eddie and Alex. It has nothing to do with you that my favorite Van Halen song is actually a Van Hagar song, but Dreams, come on.

So it’s Tuesday and you  know what that means…plyometrics, aka jump training, aka all fucking squats, lunges, and jumping while doing them, aka this better make my ass look phenomenal. Seriously, by the time I finish this round, my ass better be damn near on my shoulders. I think it’s a more reasonable goal now that I can actually do squats. Three months ago, the area around my hips was so tight that I couldn’t even get into a squat properly. I was all head down, leaned over, and not even getting my quads parallel to the floor. Today, I can get past parallel. Or, I can when I properly handle the knot that’s currently residing in my left tensor fasciae latae and it’s being a total jerk at the moment. I need to talk my chiropractor into some Graston on that leg. Not because it causes me pain, per se, but because it’s hindering my split progress.

It’s Tuesday and that also means I get to go to Noodles and Company for some Thai Hot Pot. I don’t know what I’ll do with myself if/when they take that away. It is at about a 16 on a scale of 1 to 10 for a deliciousness factor. I couldn’t even put it into words. Just go find a N&C and find out for yourself. I don’t eat the peppers. I don’t know for sure what they are and I don’t want my mouth to be on fire.

And, it’s Zumba Tuesday. I missed the last two weeks as P90X was kicking my ass, but now I’m in the groove and I’m ready to get my cardio on and shake my ass. Makes me happy after a long day of sitting at a desk and banging my head against the nearest metal object.

Last night was a good night since I passed my level. However, last night was also a bad night since I remembered to take my glucosamine and fish oil pills that made my tummy rumble something fierce. Yikes. But, no bubble guts, no bubble butts. Of course that’s not true, but it rhymed.

Ok kids, I’m off to be productive. It’s Tuesday but it’s also my Thursday. Snowboard jumps, here I come!

Yoga Awakening?

I know, I know. It’s been forever since I last posted. Now that the shaming is out of the way, let’s continue.

This morning, like many mornings, I received an email that told me that I should write 750 words today. But this morning, unlike many mornings, I said to that email, “I WILL write 750 words today…I just need a topic.”  When you ask, the universe provides.

Off I went to the gym for yoga. I stopped to take a picture of yet another of Colorado’s absolutely gorgeous sunrises and made my way.  I’ve been going to yoga on Monday and Friday mornings for about a month now and last week I started throwing in Wednesday mornings as well. While the class is titled ‘Sunrise Yoga’, my inexperienced mind (and Google) say that this falls under Iynegar yoga. I’ve been seeing the same couple of people in the class with a mixture of new folks now and again, and the same instructor.

Sidebar: The first time I went to this class, I really thought I was not going to enjoy it as there were some real sourpusses. I’m glad I hung in there.

This particular morning, I chose to really try to focus on my breathing to ignore any discomfort that was coming from holding poses for quite some time. And this morning, for the first time, I felt extremely light-headed (and I wasn’t returning from an inversion), and immediately after the light-headedness passed, I felt as though I was going to break down into tears. Not one drop hits the mat and I continue, but I’m about to go into full wailing and shaking, breakdown crying.  This.  This was very new to me. After a few minutes, the feeling passed and I continued on with my practice.

At the end of class, after Shavasana, I was taking my time in returning to present and the instructor came over to complement me on my work for the morning. I thanked her and saw this as my opening to have a brief discussion about what had happened in class.  I was (literally) able to corner her in the room where all the mats are to pose my question of what in the world happened to me today?!?!

I started out with, “I have a question for you” to which she immediately responded, “Are you getting light-headed?”  At first, I was shocked that this would’ve been first out of her mouth, but upon further reflection, she *is* an instructor and probably hears things like this often. She talked to me about how sometimes this happens when we’re really using our breath and she said that I am probably like her in that I have the tendency to keep my abdomen tight and engaged which causes ‘reverse breathing‘ and therefore the light-headedness. In regards to the overwhelming emotion out of nowhere, she had a little less to say. She suggested that I meditate and see where I am right now and just to try to work through it. I think that I wanted a little more, but I also can see that portions of this are a personal journey.  At some point today, I hope to find the time to take her advice.

Today’s weather is certainly not a reflection of my day so far.  If anything, it is probably the exact opposite. On my way to yoga, the sun was rising and it was clear. After yoga, a heavy fog had settled in to the point that it was difficult to see more than 10 feet in front of me while driving. However, the thought occurred to me as I type, that maybe this weather is correct. Perhaps this fog that prohibits me from looking around is the exact metaphor for what I need to do, being focus on what is in front of me and give it my full attention as not to miss what is under my nose. These are things upon which to ponder.

Tonight, I close a chapter in my life.  I started pole dancing nearly five years ago and tonight, I walk away from my last class in my home studio. It was a difficult but necessary decision for me. The time has come for me to branch out in different directions in arts that are a little closer to my circus love. As I try to do nothing halfway, I trade my pole for cash, and my cash for an apparatus that will assist me in my next journeys. I am sure my path will be filled with obstacles, I only hope that they are not insurmountable. Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. Life begins today.

Life – in bullets

  • It has once again (actually twice again) been proved that I no longer have an core strength.  I suck.
  • I am happy that the debates are over.  I will be happier when the election is over.  I will be happiest if whomever is elected actually produces something other than hot air regarding everything he has promised.
  • Lovey and I are not Joe or Joella six pack.
  • I find it amusing that people are all up in arms about Representative Murtha out of western PA saying that the area is racist, but Obama will probably still win. (Newsweek)  Oh, he shouldn't say stuff like that.  Um, whatever.  It's not the race card, it's the truth.
  • I feel like I live in some sort of bubble.  I know that the economy is bad, but I have been fortunate enough to not be affected by it (KNOCKING ON ALL THE WOOD I CAN FIND).  I often feel bad because I know that others are struggling while our family plans a vacation.  I am not sure how to reconcile this with myself outside of reminding myself that I saved for an entire year to take it.
  • Lovey makes me laugh.  When we go out to eat, he says it's okay to have an appetizer too, and a drink, because we're boosting the economy.
  • MommaShyner sent me a top in the mail yesterday.  She said that she thought it would look cute after the procedure.  Lovey liked it.  I'm still deciding.  It's kinda slutty.  Thanks mom!
  • I have bruises on my leg and they look like finger marks.  They aren't, but it took me a while to figure out what they were from.  Oh circus, I love you and your injuries.
  • I have had a knot in my neck for nearly 2 weeks and no matter what I try, it won't go away.  May I please have a new neck now?
  • Joe the plumber, Joe the plumber, Joe the plumber, Joe the plumber.  I wonder if he'll get a plumber's license before he decides to buy the business he's been working for for so long.  I know nothing about plumbing.  I wonder if he needs one?
  • Here comes NaNoWriMo.  I wonder if I'll be able to do it this year.  I've got a story rattling around in my head, but I think it would take way longer than a month to get it out.  I might be able to outline it in a month.
  • I'm getting stretchy.  Closer to getting into a split than I have ever been.  I also learned that I am trying to stretch the wrong part of my back.  Go figure.
  • I love sushi.  Just sayin'.
  • Btw, hi, where did this whole year go already? I mean, I guess I'm not complaining because it's that much closer to a lot of things, but DAYUMN!
  • I had a crazy dream last night about heckling some hot dude celeb and running away and him tracking me down.  And for this, I slept the whole night through which I have not been able to do for the last 3 or 4 nights.
  • Newsflash: Wendy Testaburger kicked Eric Cartman's ass last night because he's an asshole. (it might say not available, but it is)

 

  • I've only seen a little clip (since I can't stay up until 11) of David Alan Greer's new show, Chocolate News, but I think it'll be pretty good.
  • And I'm spent.

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