January 12, 2007

Picture it..... Sicily!

OK, so it's not Sicily, it's Ogden. And it's not Italy, it's Utah. It's late-ish. The Family estate is calming down for the evening. No where near ready to bed down for the night because we roll pretty late around here, but just taking it down a few notches for a mellow evening on a FREAKIN COLD night.
I'm Antsy. I went into the kitchen to grab some dinner... but realize I really wasn't hungry. I returned to the living room to watch some tv with the sibs, but wasn't into the show. I grabbed a book to go read... but then sat back down in front of the tv. Yeah... Antsy. Something wasn't quite right and it was annoying me. I couldn't figure out what it was but indeed, it was. I sat on the couch and decided to try and zone in on what was going on inside my head. I had a feeling I needed to go out for a bit. I was just telling someone not 10 minutes earlier that it was cold out side and I wasn't going out there, and its rolling up on about 11 at night. I sort of pushed that thought to the back of my mind. It's about 8 degrees outside AND the wind was blowing. You could feel the breeze around the doors and windows of this old house. My gaze fixated on the TV...."the Dog whisperer" was on and I wanted to see how he was going to convince this dog not to be scared to go out walking or scared of the wind. The longer I sat the more unfocused on the show I had become.

That Gnawing feeling I had earlier would not let me sit another minute. I jumped up, literally jumped up and announced..

"I'm Going For A Drive!."

My daughter looked at me like I was crazy. My sister looked at me and shrugged. My brother was probably wondering...

"typical , hella cold out side, out the door in only flannel jammies and slippers roaming around in the middle of the night on the streets of Ogden."
I jumped in the car and didn't know where I was headed. I just went on some instinctual navigation system inside of me that had been lying dormant for a while. I headed south on Washington Ave... turned down a street called Chester. I've never been down this street before, had no idea why I was on it now. So I rolled down Chester until I came to a street called Porter. I rolled down Porter street for about a block and then turn down Cross. I took Cross street all the way back to Washington and then headed north on Washington back toward the house. Typically I turn down 6Th but this time I turned at the gas station by 7Th and saw an Older woman who appeared to be pushing her car. The street light was out. The gas station was dark and vacant. She was pushing at the back of her car and her driver side door was opened. I drove by her and did a quick turn Down the next street Adams st. I figured the house is just a couple blocks away I'll go get my brother to help.
Then I thought:
"hmmm an older woman, middle of the night a big black man... that may not set right with her.

So instead I got on my cell phone and called my sister and simply said...
"hey, meet me in the drive way right now...."

I pulled into the drive way and she came out of the house and jumped into the car. I told her I saw an old lady pushing her car a block away and she may need our help. So I pull out of the drive way go around the block to the gas station and the car is gone. My sister is looking at me kind of like I'm trying to pull a joke. From the time I left the house in the first place to the time I saw the lady was maybe 10 minutes. From the time I saw the lady from the time I called my sister, picked her up and came back to where I saw her was less than maybe 2 minutes

I'm baffled.

You know how you know that you saw what you saw, but now you only think you saw what you Know you saw??? Yeah, it's like that.
I'm staring blankly at the spot where the lady and the car was.
My sister turns to me and says... "uh.... so what color was this car?..."
I said.."red."
"and where did you see this car?"
"right here."
"uh huh, I see..."
We were both quiet.

I guess I felt that if I sat there long enough she would materialize in front of my eyes.
So I just sat there for a few seconds.
( this is reminding me of when my car was making loud crazy noises the week before Christmas. The whole week before Christmas. And when I took someone for a ride so they could hear it and try and figure it out.... nothing. The noised disappeared.)
I sighed.

I headed east up 7th then turned north up Adams... driving very slowly. Cuz who ever she was, if she was having car trouble, she can't have gone that far. And it's freakin 2 degrees out, and the wind is blowin.... and I'm just cold thinking about her out there somewhere. Just as we're coming to cross 6th street my sister points and says... "right there!" I looked, and there was black silhouette of a car and a person. I tear around the corner and pull up the car. You could tell it had stopped in the middle of the road and she was trying to push it towards the side, but couldn't because there was no way for one person to steer or push at the same time.

"ma'am can we help you?" I asked.

She stayed by her car and called back that she was fine and that no, she was almost home and if she lets her car sit for a while it will start up again and she could drive it home.
"well I'm more than happy to take you home and you can take care of this tomorrow." Shoot it was after 11pm.
Suddenly my sister said...

"Sister Jones! Hey It's Lyn, this is my sister"

Lyn was the first councelor in the ward Relief Society so she knows EVERYONE in that area. Although Sister Jones was not really familiar with my brother. So getting my sister was the right vibe. They start talking a little about ward business. She's standing out in the freezing cold... for who knows how long it's freakin -12 degrees out and they wanna chat about ward business in the middle of the street in the middle of the night?


"Whats with the car, sister?" I asked.

She explains that she picked up her car a couple hours earlier from the repair shop and the battery light kept coming on.. and now she knows why. Her car would run for a short time and then stop. But if she lets it sit long enough, it would start up again and let her drive a little bit. So when it stopped, she'd push it to the side of the road if needed and then let it sit for a few minutes and then drive as far as she could. She had been doing this since about 20th street. (We were sitting on 6th street). She'd been doing this for a couple of hours in the dark and cold.
I'm flashing back to this summer. A few friends of mine and I were doing a relay for life walk for the cancer society. I was team captain and was in Ogden going back home to Provo for the big day the next day. Sooo much to prepare for. As I headed down hwy 89 my car over heated. I kept putting water into it and it kept over heating. I could go maybe 2 miles before it would cut out on me. It was 98 degrees outside and thermometer in my car was registered at 103 degrees. within 30 minutes I had gone less than 3 miles and had poured 2 gallons of water into my car. I had 1 gallon left. I could either drink it or put it in the car. Normally I would just lock up the car and walk someplace. However, I had broken my ankle about 3 weeks before and although I was not using crutches, I still had it casted. So i couldn't even hike out. The portion of the highway I was in was sort of like a bowl. you come down a Huge hill just to go back Up a huge hill. This was the route that truckers take to and from Wyoming and various other forlorn places in the state. It's also the spot where your cell phone doesn't work so well. I remember sitting in my car, hood up, my t-shirt was dripping wet with sweat. I could wring it out. My arm rest was actually muddy from my sweat and the dirt from me dinking around under the hood. My bother wasn't picking up his phone. 2 other friends offered to come help, both at work. The one, I KNOW would have come as soon as they could. The other... well you know you have those friend who offer, and they'd help, but for some reason you feel guilty about it? yeah well I figured there were both anywhere from an hour to 30 min away and there's no reason why they should have to rescue me. I knew I was on my own because I knew no one would stop to help. And I was right. (remind me to blog that story sometime for the conclusion)

Tangent, sorry.

K, so anyway... she had been doing this drive, stop push thing for a couple hours in the cold. Lyn is talking to sister Jones about what's going on. And then I tell her to call our brother to come and help.

She says..."he won't come, will he? I wouldn't come on a night like this....

Lyn says.. "yeah he will"
"Well he's sleep isn't he?"
"Sleep? are you kidding me? Naw he ain't sleep!"

She dials our brother and tells him..

"Hey, jump in my car and come up 6th street. Oh yeah...you need your coat and some long pants... this may take awhile..."

I park on the side of the road with my hazards on. Lyn and Sister Jones are outside trying to see if they can just tighten something up or jump the battery or what. within 2 minutes we see my sister's car turn out of the alley and come up 6th street and park just behind me with the lights on.
Lyn explains what's going on. I tell her to have Sister Jones come sit in the car and warm up. Her car is warm, she insist that we don't need to make a fuss about her and she'll be OK.
I had to explain to her...

"Sister Jones, we can't just leave you here, our parents would be so disappointed if we did that... we just didn't grow up that way. We need to make sure you get home safely even if we have to take you there ourselves. My mama would be HIGHLY ashamed if we left you in this situation...and you don't want to have that on your heart would you?"
She kind of laughed.. by this time my brother was out of the car and my sister was explaining the situation.
I was sitting in the car running the heat full on because I get hives when the weather is really cold...and another trip the E.R for me because of hives was out of the question for this day. I had broken out in Hives earlier today, twice... and that was enough for me.
I guess they were going to try jumping the battery but decided to push her car where I was sitting, so she wouldn't get a ticket since she was diagonally parked facing east on the west bound side of the street. I moved my car. Sister jones convinced them to let her try and start it again since she was soo close to home. The siblings obliged and let her know we were be right behind her to make sure she got home.
We all got in our cars. I had flipped my car to the west bound side of the street prepared to give light to their 2 cars for the jump. And they were now facing east toward where Sister Jones lives in "The Village" apt.
Sister Jones started up her car an away she went... Eric and Lyn right behind. I flipped a u-turn and pulled up from the rear. By the time they got down to the street to the sign that said.. "dip" Sister Jones' car stopped again... (less than 1/4 mile down the road). By the time I got down to the "dip" sign my brother was pushing her car into the parking lot of the Village Apartments. My sister had parked her car at the office. My brother pushed her car into a slot bedside my sister's car and I pulled up on the other side of Sister Jones' car. Sister Jones jumped out of her car and thanked us soo much for our time and for helping her on a night like this.

Now in true.. "Dudley" fashion... Lyn had enquired where exactly where she lived so we could make sure she was inside safely. We made sure she was home safe. We then got into our cars and headed back to the family house.
Prepare for Mama Lecture:
***On a side note... My parent's seriously trained us to be a certain way. If I had told this story to my mama and I hadn't stopped, her backhand would have left Michigan, slapped me up in Utah and been back home in Michigan in less that 3 seconds. You never LEAVE somebody: If you are some place with a friend and only 2 people are left and you are one of them.. you don't leave them alone, you leave together. If you take someone home or drop them off... you don't leave until you are sure they are in the house. ( flash the porch light as a sign that you are in and things are ok if they drop you off) For my sister and I... If we are some place with a Man and he leaves us, or leaves before us or doesn't make sure we are safely on our way before he leave on his way...that's not your kinda man. My brothers... make sure your ladies are home when they are supposed to be and safely in their house when they get there. Don't ever expect more from anyone than you are willing to do yourself.

Mama lecture part 2

Sometimes the Lord needs people to go above and beyond what's expected to get his work done. Be that person when you can. It's not bad to expect alot from people if you give alot to people. (where much is given, much is required) but don't hold them to your high expectation or you will feel failed (amen on that one.)
Hold them to the expectation they set for themselves. Hold people accountable for keeping their word. Don't say things you don't mean or make commitments you don't intend to keep. Never leave people or plans hanging....
oh I could go on an on. Sadly enough we all do those things that we probably shouldn't. Human nature tends to get in the way of what we should and shouldn't do. I think as long as we don't leave ourselves satisfied with.."oh well, everyone does it.. or that's just human nature.." and stop trying, we're allowed to slip as long as the slipping isn't the rule. ***

when we all get into the house... for some reason... we all burst out laughing at our adventure. My brother looked at me laughin and said....

'How come your vibes and promptings always put "US" in the middle of something?"

I started cracking up... "well I was antsy and some thing kept telling me something was wrong.. so when I got the vibe to go for a drive, I went for a drive... you don't ask questions.. you just do what you're told and you know it's in his hands."

Lyn chimed in saying..." well you know how she is! When that girl get a prompting she is all over it, no questions asked. I learned to trust it. I don't even question it anymore. Cuz it's amazing to see it in action. It happens with her all the time and you just don't fool with it."

Eric went on to say

"Sister Jones was soo cold and tired, she had already exhausted her energy and couldn't get warm and was shaking so badly already."

This was how things were on His end...

Eric was saying how.. it was weird....

"First Karyn jumps up and announces she's going on a ride. Then less than 10 minutes later Lyn's phone rings and she's out the door gone. Then less than 5 minutes later my phone rings and Lyn is telling me to just jump in her car and bring it around the block... I'm thinking what kind of mess did Karyn get into this time... that Lyn can't get her out of. And then I thought.. wait.... in the movies... everyone start disappearing one by one...getting killed off... I didn't know what to think but I knew whatever was going on... I had to come... and if something happened to one of us... it better happen to all of us... or else mom would kill me anyway cuz I'm the oldest...."

We bust out laughing shaking our heads in agreement again... Because as soon as we tell mom the story... I can hear her now.... Talking to Lyn..

." you let karyn go out in that weather alone at night?.... Why didn't you go with her?" ( growing up, mom would not let me go anywhere w/o lyn or let lyn go anywhere w/o me. I can remember getting back handed when i said.. ."why do I have to follow her outside to the garbage can, it's JUST right there.. you can watch her from the window..")
And then I can hear lyn saying back to her... "well I did go with her when she came back 10 minutes later and picked me up.... and then 2 minutes after that i called Eric and then came to where we were.....cuz he's the oldest.. and he knows that if me and Karyn are in trouble, he's accountable to you if something happens to us....(pause)... Yeah we did leave the baby (ali )in that house alone... there was no need to bring the baby (Ali) out in that weather, Ali was locked the the house and the dog was there...". (the "baby" by the way, is 16 years old.)
My mama is on the ball and WILL make sure all her bases are covered when it comes to her kids. Even though we're grown.
I stood for a minute in stillness... and there were no longer any antsy or unsettled feeling. I took a deep breath made some hot chocolate to ensure I would be warm enough not to break out in hives and settled in for the chilled out and relaxing night.
Yeah.... it's like that!

January 11, 2007

I'm No Longer A Virgin!

Give it up for me! I'm no longer and Tamale Virgin, I had my unflowering this evening. It started out pretty rough though but I have to give props and shout outs to my Homies at Javier's in Ogden. Big Al and I traveled thru hell, high water, sleet snow, jacked knifed trucks and a plethora of accidents to get to Ogden today. I'm here because well a few reason: Ali is out of school for the next 4 days and I didnt want a teen home alone for I have a Martin Luther King Luncheon tomorrow in South Jordan from 11-1 tomorrow. And then I'm up at U of U @ 3:30 and then if they don't keep me I'm at west Minster college around 6 or 7-ish, and then back in ogden from sat-sun.

And my schedule... has nothing to do with Tamale's but that's why I had them in Odgen. :)

K, so anyway I walk up into the family home like I own the place and announce to my older sister... "I WANT TAMALES CUZ I"VE NEVER HAD THEM!" So she and my daughter embark upon a mission to find a great place for Tamales. Ogden is FULL of Mexican restaurants so this shouldn't be hard at all, right? We call my brother, because he coaches one of the high school basket ball teams up here and has a couple of students who have the download on good mexican food. He says he's going to hook us up and call us back. When he does he informs us of a place called Rosa's Bakery on Washington and 31st (or is that 38th?.) So we head down to the bakery and walk inside. Now I dont know how many of you have ever been into a Latino market, but their bake goods in size alone.... WOW. They had donuts, cookies, muffins and what nots the size of my head. 3 leche cake, Spices, beans, cilantro, all manor of other vegitables and goods that actually made me feel I was back in Mexico. It was cool. The front of the store was a bakery, The back of the store was a butcher and a... well... grill? Kitchen I guess? I dunno what it was, but whatever it was, it was there. My sister, daughter and I have our little basket.. and I dont know why I picked up a basket.... you dont need a basket of Tamale's right? RIGHT! I was giddy with wonder going up and down the small isle and then circling around them going up and down again. After a while I was thinking.... Ok where are the tamales? We looked in the food cases, and found none. I tried to get my daughter to read the really bad hand writing on the back boards at the umm....grill (?) to see if she could see anything that said Tamale. Nope, not tamales. After a while the smell of the fresh butcherings started getting to me. I looked in the case and saw.... Well I still don't know what I saw. I think there were some pork rinds, and maybe some tripe (cow stomach) and ....well, yeah I have no ideah but it was starting to make me nauseated. I looked on the top of the case and saw.two big jugs of... some sort of.... entrails... submerged in some sort of... liquid solution. That was all i could take. I did purchase my favorite spice in the world... Adobo and I also found some Sazon that I've been searching for for YEARS. After we left the Bakery it occured to me that my brother misunderstood what we were looking for. He inquired with his informants about ingredients to make tamales, not where to purchase them already prepared. (Bone Head) So we decided to travel up and down the streets of Ogden and just pick a mexican restaurant and go for it. Well we head down Riverdale road and then take a quick turn down wall street and I see this place and their sign say... Tamales. My sister zooms right passed it, takes the next sharp right turn and circles the block back to this place. I go in and I'm reading their Hand written board. It says EVERYTHING.... Carne Asada, Chips Salsa , El Pastor, Flan.... you name they have it... except Tamales. The Cashier asks if she can help me. I tell her...

"YES! Do you have Tamales? I've never had one before and tonight is my lucky night! I will no longer be a tamale virgin after tonite!"

The latin guys in front of me started laughin and giving me my congratulations and their offers to help me with that virgin thing!

The Cashier says... "we have el salvador Tamales they come wrapped in banana leaves, but we don't have the Mexican Tamales, we're out"

I'm sure my face deflated. I turned and looked at my latin guys and they sort of turned up their nose giving me the.... "no that's not what you want" look. I told the cashier that I was looking for mexican tamale but thank you anyway. I turned to go and my latin guys called "good luck" to me after wards.

Well by this time i'm feling a little defeated :( And then I remember.. HEY, this night I will give up my Tamale virginity or else! I told my sister... you know... we prolly should have just walked the 1/2 block to that place across the street from the house. We headed back that way. I'm not going to tell you how many mexican restaurants we passed going back home... nor will I tell you how many are in walkin distance from the family estate... because it's EMBARRASSING! We ended up going to the place across the street from the house called Javier's Mexican Restaurant. I walk in and am greeted by a Handsome older Latin man.... Javier Himself! He smiles and says in this dreamy accent.. "Hello, how can I help you this evening ladies?" I smile and say... "Well, do you have mexican tamales? I've never had one before and TONITE will be the night I will have my first one!"

He smiled and said... "yes we have them, of course!" I told them I would like to place a to go order and could I see a menu to check out the rest of the goods?. He gave me a menu, and we took a seat and combed over the menu. Tamale were 2.95 a la carte. well I dont know if that's expensive for one, but HEY This was a special occassion, right? So my sister decides. were going to get 10 of them! Oh and 2 sides of Beans and rice! We step up to the counter and place our order. The cashier informs us... Well if you get them ala carte, they're 2.95 each. But on the "to go" menue they're 12 for 15$! BONUS!!!!!! We'll take it! Oh im so excited by now. AUTHENTIC MEXICAN TAMALES! My friend to make sure i got the real thing cuz the gringo version just wont cut it. As we're wating for our order... I look around the restaurant and there's news articles and old and current high school graduation announcements on the walls and bulletin boards. I check themout. Sir Javier is.. or was a track couch at the St Josephs' Catholic School up here in Ogden. And he's good! His Track team has been champions for like 6 years in a row or something like that. Impressive. Also are acticles where he was the motivational speaker as well. Neoto! Tamales and track! It doesn't get any better than that does it!

The cashier tells us our tamales are ready and to becareful because they're hot! She gives us the bag and they are steaming and smelling all kinds of delicioso! I can hardly wait to get home and try it. We get home... and make all the special preparations... wash hour hands... cleare the dining room table...fold our arms and bless these special tamale's and the hand that prepared them and to give us strength and nourishment... all of that stuff on this special night. I open the steaming hot bag and before me is.... a zip lock baggie full of a dozen of Javiers best tamales I'm sure. And I gasp in amazement... "OH MAN I KNOW THESE ARE THE REAL DEAL... THEY ARE IN AN OLD SCHOOL ZIP LOCK BAG JUST LIKE ANY REAL MAMA WOULD HAVE PACKAGED THEM FOR HER BABIES TO TAKE FOR SCHOOL LUNCH OR SOMETHING!" Im excited, I pull one out... and then figure heck..... Why not... and pull out another one. I went for two! Unwrapped the corn husk, placed them just so on my plate. Opened up Javiers special homemade salsa and poured it over my special dish. I cut them bad boys, closed my eyes and took my first bite. I THOUGHT I WAS GONNA THROW UP!

HAHA JUST KIDDING! I loved them! LOVED THEM! They taste of corn, shredded beef together with that salsa! Taste soo good it'll make you wanna slap somebody! I ate my two and were immediately stuffed. And sufficiently happy. Yes I do believe 2007 will be the year of the Tamale. I may even try the Salvadorian one's as well and making them myself.


January 10, 2007

Knock! Knock!

Knock! Knock!
Who's there?


Ever feel like you were lost but now you're found? yeah.... it's like that.
I looked in the mirror this morning and saw an old stranger looking back. It's like I've seen myself for the first time in about 5 years. And I was looking pretty darn good for the journey I've been on. I even smiled in the mirror and waved hello... as if to say.. where ya been oh pal, oh sock, oh shoe, oh boot.
For the last little bit I feel as if I've been in a fog. A stranger going through the motions of trying to live my life better than I can myself.
It appears that this year, the fog is clearing up. Muddled situations are becoming ever so much clearer and my thinking appears to have changed, just over night, and with that comes a new attitude.
It feels like a whole new world.
This reminds me of when I went on an LDS Singles Cruise about 4 years ago. I had it all planned out:
I was going to change my name for the weekend : Francine Ruby Jackson! I was going to have this carefree, free spirited persona and just let myself go! Going with me on this cruise was my sister and my favorite person Dani and we were going to have a ball.
I remember arriving at the airport in California, we were so excited. And then boarding the shuttle bus to the cruise liner, I ran into 2 girls from the Human Resource department from my work. I thought... what the crap? I'm trying to get away from work and all that mess. Ok, no matter, I can still be Francine Ruby Jackson and have a ball. As I walked further back with one of my bags, A woman stopped me, and asked if so and so was my name. It was. It was an old friend of mine from a couple of my college English classes. WOW I hadn't seen her in 10 years! She was going on the cruise. I was soo excited to talk with her for a bit. She had to quit school because of Lupus. Her legs were amputated as were her fingers. But she was soo happy to see me and I her. Wow, this WAS going to be in interesting trip. We got to the ship and my sister, Dani and I got to our rooms and were unpacking and hurrying to the big welcome meeting we were having.
On the way to the Starlight lounge on the Lido deck.... someone came up to me and said... "hey.... I KNOW YOU.... you were in Long Beach 3 months ago in a stage production about Black Mormon Pioneers weren't you...?" I stopped in my tracks. "Yes, I was. The Life story about Jane Manning James, the first free black LDS woman." She hugged me... and said... "you also did the fireside for the youth by the chapel at the LA Temple that Sunday afterwards, didnt you? You're the Genesis Young Women's President?" Yes, yes that was me. She was the Relief Society President for her ward. She was soooo excited about me... she went and told EVERYONE all about my work with this production and my firesides and so on. Dani has always said... "I can't go anywhere without someone knowing you.... even when we're in a different country." It was true... everywhere we go someone knows me from something I've done thru my church work, stage work or modeling from back in the day. The more I spoke with the people on my cruise, the more I found out that several people I talked to knew other friends and associates of mine from when I was a Nanny in NJ & NY or a Student in Idaho, or from wherever. I remember how some kept introducing me as a "celebrity" from my Genesis work or from being in Church CES videos or from the theatre products I was involved in, and I couldn't for the life of me understand why they would think so highly of little ole mediocre me. I was just a groovy chick doin the things I do.
Well, for dinner each night were dressed up all fancy like and had assigned seats. My table was the life of the party and we had a fabulous evening. Because this singles group was so large, we could exchange tables each night within the group. Each night my original dinner group was scrounging for chairs at "our" table as people crowded us wanting to be part of our atmosphere. Our travel agent told me there were request for 18 people to be at our table. I believe a table only held 8 people. She said we were by far the funnest and loudest group in the dining room and everyone request to sit with or near us. Even the waiters were wanting us to sit in their sections of the dining room. It was an awesome time!

Throughout the course of the 4 day cruise, I forgot about being Francine Ruby Jackson, free spirited and carefree single woman ready to have a swinging time. I actually forgot about Ms Jackson until the last day on the ship. We actually held a Sacrament meeting in the Starlight bar and lounge on the Lido Deck of the Carnival Cruise ship.

I remember sitting in a lounge chair, reflecting on the cruise from the beginning up until that point. I looked across the room at the bar and the bottles of liquor and the shiny shot and wine glasses stacked upside down waiting for the party that would erupt that night. I looked out the window and there were a school of dolphins swimming along side of the ship. While sacrament was being passed, I ate the dinner roll and drank the water from the paper shot glasses provided and my thoughts turned to Christ.
The conversation we had was....
"wow, Lord. Here I sit on a boat on the ocean in a different country. There's a bar behind me, in the ocean to my right there are dolphins escorting us back towards our home destination. I am sitting in the starlight lounge with a dinner roll for my sacrament bread and a paper shot cup to hold my sacrament water and YOU ARE HERE with me, with us all. I am so amazed."
He said to me...
"WHEREVER two or more are gathered in my name, there I am also"
I sort of laughed inside
"haha! Well you ain't lying Lord, cuz here you are."
and his response was...
"yes and here YOU are...you got on this ship wanting to be MS Francine Ruby Jackson.... but I KNOW who you are."
I felt tears rolling down my cheek. I thought to myself. Yes, where ever I go, there I am. And no matter what name I give myself and what attitudes and attributes I display, how I dress me up and put makeup on me... Where ever I go, there I am.
It was a testament to myself OF myself. I can dress up and pretend to be something I'm not, but I will NEVER be able to hide from me, or the Lord my God.
Sadly... I had forgotten that lesson, forgotten who I am. Who I'm supposed to be.

The other day I was speaking with my sister about some issues and matters of the heart. She said... "you have forgotten who you really are, you really have.. Remember when you and Houston were dating? Where is that girl that he didn't know what to do with? Remember what he used to say... "I don't know what to do when she gets like this so I just let her go, watch and wait because I know it's going to be good." I remember when he used say that. He used to always tell me.... "everyday you were like a surprise waiting to be opened. And all I know is by the end of the day I would always think... I'm sooo glad she's in my life... EVERYDAY" Oh the fun we had! We'd go rock climbing and snow tubing and to concerts. After about a week of me short sheeting his bed, one night I had gotten home late from campus. He stole my bed sheets and sent me on a treasure hunt for them around the apartment complex. There was a note on my bed when i got home: Go to apartment 23. Then they gave me a note to go someplace else and so on. An hour and a half later, the final note in my hand, which was taped on the inside of the big garbage dumpster ...it said.... " go look in your closet!" My closet! They were in my FREAKIN closet the whole time. I stood inside that garbage dumpster...while practically the whole apartment complex was watching me... and I laughed so hard I almost peed on myself. It was like that the whole year we dated up until he went on his mission.

Enter my best friend Lunt. Same thing. Our thing would be to watch M*A*S*H on the phone. The first one who could call and guess which episode it was first was the winner. Playing on softball teams together during the summer. Camp outs and funny stories about his brothers and them living in Indonesia. Passing a 10 lb pound can of pork and beans back and forth between him, myself and his brothers for our birthday presents to each other. He and I had codes back and forth. We both wanted to be cops. So we had a secret language. We were closet Barry Manilow and Karen Carpenter lovers. And we always laughed at their sad cheesy melodramatic love songs. But, if he was having a bad day... he'd leave me the message "Karen Carpenter." If I were having a bad day.. I'd leave the message "Barry Manilow." And who ever got the message would be over that night, without fail with a gallon of Mint chocolate chip ice cream (our favorite) and 2 spoons! It was like that until the day he married. And when we talk it's like no time has passed, we're still like that.

Yeah, where is that chick? Where the hell did she go?
She got bogged down with people pleasing, caring too much what others thinks about her and how others felt about her. Oh, her core is the same, but so much was buried, stifled, trampled on that she just... bailed and was too afraid to return.
I haven't felt this.. .light hearted and ... mellowed and just internally happy and satisfied with myself for years. Sad isn't' it?

I thank my sister for knocking me back into myself. I also found this saying that for some reason, as abstract as it is... grounded me back where I belong:

"Stand in your own space and know you are there."

I read that a few days ago... and a flood of emotions came to surface. Sort of like a final cleansing or purging, if you will, of that shell of a person who went thru the motions of me but didn't quite cut it. That impostor.... she's gone. I know she's done, cuz I felt her check out and bail the exact moment it happened. GOOD RIDDANCE.

For the last little while I've been either standing in my own space and pretending to be elsewhere or standing in someone elses space assuming I'm to be there. Neither option works.

Stand tall, honor the truthfulness of who you are. If you cannot stand tall in the honesty of who you are then do what it takes to be able to. And those who are privilege enough to be invited into your space will either accept the invitation, or deny it. Those who deny it, let them go. Misery is being where you don't want to be or being where you know you don't belong so, let them go. You'll be better off on both ends.

And those who truly want to be a part of your life will accept the invitation and support and honor who you are and where you are in your life and will influence your life for the better as you will do the same in their life.

"Stand in your own space and know you are there."