Constraints Of Happiness- SSS July

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Your “Secret Subject” is:

If money and time were no object, what would you do and why?

It was submitted by: https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/  


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I’ve been going around and around in my head for two weeks now, trying to figure this one out. And I can’t. I can’t wrap my head around this one and come up with anything as specific as traveling the world, buying a private island escape, or meeting someone from the past like other people would.

You see, time and money are the two things that I hate most about this life. The two things that threaten the well-being of my marriage and my family. For someone like my husband, I could go as far as saying that they are the root of all evil because they are the two things that simultaneously haunt and drive him in life. He can never get his hands on enough of either one.

And I can’t blame him for that, either.

Living right at the border of the National Poverty Level for a family of six isn’t easy for us. Considering that my husband works over seventy hours a week to makes ends meet for us because I’m unable to work at this point in time, it’s not hard to understand why we covet time and money so damn much on a daily basis. We never see enough of one another, we don’t get to share the experience of raising our children together, and we are constantly struggling to keep our finances from drowning us on dry land. Our children don’t have the opportunities to explore their talents and interests because money is the golden ticket they lack, and the only thing required to participate. They’ve never stepped foot in a mall. Or really any major name brand retail store for that matter, beyond the scope of Dollar General or Wal-mart that is. And, even then, a store like Wal-mart is a rare blue moon treat for them.

It just doesn’t seem right that someone who busts his ass for twelve hours a day, six, sometimes even seven, days a week in a grueling steel production machinery shop (making the base for which parts that are critical for building everything from washing machines to hardware tools to automobiles) doesn’t bring home enough money, even with 30 hours of OT on each paycheck. Or has to even put that much time and energy into his job for the measly pay that keeps the bacon on our table. No one should have to sacrifice THAT much only to provide by society’s standards, a meager life. Not a good one. Not a comfortable one. And most certainly not a happy one. I believe Eminem’s infamous “Lose Yourself” song sums up the struggle we face pretty well.

Lonely roads, God only knows, he’s grown farther from home, he’s no father
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter…                                                                …All the pain inside amplified by the
Fact that I can’t get by with my nine to
Five and I can’t provide the right type of
Life for my family ’cause man, these God damn food stamps don’t buy diapers
And its no movie, there’s no Mekhi Phifer
This is my life and these times are so hard

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So, if time and money were no longer part of the equation, I think it’s safe to say that all I would want is to just live happily, peacefully with my family in our own version of dystopia. I would give my family the experiences and opportunities life hasn’t afforded us the ability to have thus far. We would take trips together. Explore our community together. Eat dinner every night as a family unit at a kitchen table big enough for everyone to sit at- something most people take for granted these days. There would be sports practices, art classes, dance lessons, and martial arts training. Everyone would be able to embrace their own unique sense of style as their clothing options would no longer be limited to whatever is available in their sizes at the local secondhand thrift shops. We would be free to focus on our relationships and create the unity we lack as it stands right now. Our family could be the family we all dream of having right now.

And with that dream come true, my husband could finally find some relief and breathe deeply without the weight of providing for his family sitting heavily on his shoulders. Because he deserves to enjoy the family he made just as much as I do. He deserves to see his kids grow, learn, play, and love. He deserves to have a life that isn’t ruled by a paycheck which will be gone before the bills can all be paid in full. Time and money are the two things that bring him the most pain and strife in this world and it breaks my heart to see a great man suffer under their constraints.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.BakingInATornado.com

Cognitive Script                     https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/

The Blogging 911                   http://theblogging911.com/blog

The Lieber Family Blog                     http://thelieberfamily.com

The Bergham Chronicles                  http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Simply Shannon                             http://shannonbutler.org

Southern Belle Charm                    http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Never Ever Give Up Hope                 http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

The Angrivated Mom                    http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/

Not That Sarah Michelle                 http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen                  http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

Part-time Working Hockey Mom           http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/

Climaxed                                           http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

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World Wide Nope, Not For Me

Your “Secret Subject” is:

What is your favorite website and why?

It was submitted by: http://Bakinginatornado.com

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Oh, sweet geezus. Is this a trick question or some shit? It’s definitely a fully loaded one. The majority of my tribe of friends these days are from the internet. And most of them have websites. A prime example of such is this challenge I am doing right now as I write this. We are a group of bloggers who have come together as friends over the course of time- developing relationships with one another in our Top-Secret Forum where we plan the shenanigans that go down every month which we hope will lead us towards world domination one day. No, but really. How am I supposed to pick a favorite amongst all the people I love? People who have very unique talents and offerings as bloggers, none of them like the other. I can’t.

No, but really. How am I supposed to pick a favorite amongst all the people I love? People who have very unique talents and offerings as bloggers, none of them like the other. I can’t. I have too much love and respect for all my fellow blogger friends to try to rank their websites just to pick a favorite.

I could just run the risk of coming across as a bit narcissistic and tell y’all that my own blog website is my favorite website. That I’m so self-centered that I believe no one out there does this writing gig as good as I do it. But that would be the biggest lie. I really have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to blogging. Or writing. I’m just winging it as I go – hence the whole being hosted on this WordPress site still, because I am absolutely clueless about technology and have not the slightest inkling of how to build, let alone manage, a self-hosted website of my own.

Which brings me to the real, honest to goodness answer for this blog challenge prompt.

I don’t have a favorite website. Even when we break away from the whole writing/blogging/reading theme and take the whole world wide web into consideration. I was born in the wrong era of time. If it weren’t for the fact that I can revel in the accomplishment I feel when more than a handful of my closest friends and relatives read the words I write without my constant insistence as I shove my finished pieces into their faces putting them at grave risk for taking out an eyeball with the corner of my laptop screen, I wouldn’t be online much.

Hell, I only jumped into the land of Facebook because it was an easy way to share my writing with the world. Everyone I know had already been sucked into the wormhole for years and years. But I take pride in the fact that I’m always late to the party and late I most certainly was.

Technology just irks me. While it has many benefits for continuing the evolution of human beings into a more effortless, comfortable way of life while maximizing our body and mind’s potential to eradicate the diseases and plights which threaten our population, I am content living without its presence in my daily life. I go days, sometimes even weeks, without touching my computer. I only use my phone to scroll through facebook, take photos, and play a couple of games to exercise my brain. I very rarely Google anything. If I need to know something, I’d much rather pick up and Encyclopedia Brittanica or Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus to seek answers for whatever tidbit of knowledge I am in need of at that moment.

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My internet history is so boring and dull, even my five-year-old has a better chance of making it onto Homeland Security’s watch list for potential terrorist risk. Seriously. Compare mine against my tweenager’s and my yearly activity is about the same length as his IN A WEEK. I avoid the internet and its treasure trove of websites like The Plague resides within it. To be fair, though, it kind of does. Just look at all the craziness that comes from this one-stop shop for socialization without face to face, in-person interactions.

It all goes beyond my comprehension. Put me back in the late 1980’s with stacks of notebooks, boxes of ball point pens, and a typewriter and I’ll forever be in my glory. No internet required- just the way I like it. My favorite website is no website at all.

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Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Spatulas on Parade 

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver 

The Lieber Family Blog 

The Bergham Chronicles

Bookworm in the Kitchen 

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Simply Shannon 

Southern Belle Charm 

Not That Sarah Michelle  

A Little Piece of Peace

Climaxed

When I Grow Up 

Lost And Found Freedom Seeker

It really is no surprise that I was found. I’m not very good at hiding. In fact, I was always the first one found during endless rounds of the game we loved so much as children; playing well into the night to distract us from the blistering July heat smothering us with rancid summer boredom. Not that I was really trying hard to conceal myself, like when I was a kid. Part of me knew I would have to face the music eventually and just wanted this updated adult version of the beloved classic over with already.

When I set off on this haphazard trek in search of my freedom, I had no idea what would be in store for me along the way. I knew there were huge risks involved when it came to choosing the path less traveled, but I was too naive to see just how dangerous those risks really were. My body and mind were that of the adult I had recently discovered I had become, but my soul was still that of a child- unaware and unassuming. Wisdom was still such a long ways off for my seventeen years; seemingly more of an old wive’s tale, passed down from one generation to the next, to ease the burdening fears people have about aging past their youthful prime.

I always knew something was different about me. I wasn’t cut from the same cloth as the others were where I came from. Those people were wholly satisfied with their cookie cutter suburbia and the pretentious societal box requirements – instilled upon us the very moment we took our first breath after the cord was cut. They thrived in this realm of standardized constringency and predicated stringencies. I wasn’t. I couldn’t. No matter how hard I worked to try, or, sometimes even not to try, I could not find happiness, belonging, or purpose within the confines of this imperiously scripted life.

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So off I went, set to rebel against the system, The Man, the middle-class suburban mindset, and anything else which forced conformity while promoting monetary dependence and materialism. It was my mission not be another Suzy Homemaker who had gone to some Big Ten university to establish a respected career and, immediately following, married a man who only focuses on growing investments and expenditures which add to his precious nest egg, coupled with golf getaways and strip clubs on the sly. There would be no dreaming of minivans, book clubs, or being the perfect Soccer mom with the perfect, but boring, life. Those were nightmares to me. Exactly what I was running away and hiding from. My dreams, I believed, would always be about adventure, emotional connections, and tapping into the well of passion within my fiery soul. About discovering my purpose, my sexuality, and who I was from one day to the next. About a life governed by my desires and regulated by my experiences. Freedom. Resistance. Feeling alive.

I wanted to get married and have kids, still, but on my own terms. Without the pressure to adhere to the strictly structured plan society had created simply to define one’s worth. I didn’t want to live by the book or be conventional in any shape or form because then THEY would win.

For a long time, I stuck to my guns and traveled anywhere that would lead me far from the life expected of me. I crashed on various people’s couches, worked jobs that would only sustain my most basic of needs, and took risks that reflected anything but the Good Girl image my childhood peers had strived to maintain. I had no rules, no boundaries, and no desire to be defined by the tenuous labels of someone else’s standards. There was no stopping me. Drugs, drinking and partying with other freedom-seeking souls trying to escape the democracy we never asked to join fueled my mission, and a fresh tattoo coupled with alternative piercings were displayed like a scarlet letter to show the world I would not live in compliance.  

I lived on the edge, defying everything that had been drilled into my existence from the moment I began to develop in utero. Anything to escape the nightmares dreams of mainstream suburbia haunted me with.

Somehow, though, they found me. Deep down I knew I couldn’t run from those phantasmal ideals forever. I came to realize through the course of my rebellion that conformity is more omnipotent than individualization and true freedom. My escape was futile and all in vain at the end of the road. It was impossible to live freely outside the constraints of the societal structure without feeling the insufferable weight of financial dependency once children and marriage became part of the equation. Society is an altruistic prison in which humans entombed themselves within, long ago. There is no liberation from it. Not when parenthood comes into play because everything changes when you realize you’ve been tasked with the responsibility of raising the next generation of freedom seekers and emulators.

I never expected my nightmares to come full circle the way they have. Never did I imagine that the one thing I spent years hiding from would become the one thing I wished I could have, but here I am. I feel like the world’s biggest hypocrite for it, too.

Yet, I also feel strangely empowered, as I have gained wisdom and understanding which most others will never be privileged enough to sample a taste of. Things I can use, not to fight against the system as ineffectively as my youthful naivety set out to do, but fight to better the system from within so my children don’t have to rebel against the miscarriages of justice which keep us all imprisoned by the labels of a cookie cutter society. And I cannot do it without dreaming of the life that I never wanted to live because I have no choice but to play the game necessary to put me in the position to change the rules once and for all.emancipate-1779132_1920

Your “Secret Subject” is: Oh no, they found you. What do you do?

It was submitted by: http://dinoheromommy.com/

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado 

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy 

Spatulas on Parade 

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver 

The Lieber Family Blog 

The Bergham Chronicles 

Never Ever Give Up Hope 

Simply Shannon  

Confessions of a part time working mom  

Southern Belle Charm 

Climaxed

 

Seeing The Gray In A Black & White World

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Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

My subject is “Tell us a story from your childhood”.  It was submitted by http://Bakinginatornado.  Here goes:

Like many others, my childhood was the foundation for the person I grew to be today. My mind swirls as clips of memories dance around, each highlighting a frozen piece of time before my innocence was lost and the harshness of the cruel world became a frightening reality. There were good times and bad times aplenty- some seemingly storybook perfect and some so ugly, they’re best left buried within the hidden passages of lost time. Still, they are mine. The index which precedes the multitude of chapters my adult life has written.

A police officer’s daughter, I was kept sheltered from the evils that lurk around every corner, hiding not only in the shadows but plain sight, as well. We lived in a predominantly white, upper-middle class suburbia on the outskirts of Detroit, where it was easy for my parents to pull the wool over my eyes about the ways of the world. I believed that everyone, everywhere, worth a damn, lived the same way we did or better. I thought to graduate high school, attend a good college, establish a career which would provide financial security, get married in a church and begin a family was the circle of life which only the good people of the world followed. That anyone who didn’t adhere to this plan were the bad people I was warned about, time and time again.

I was the epitome of privileged children across the nation.

Then the house next door to ours was put up for sale one day when I was 8. It was bought by a pretentious, ornery, fur-coat-wearing old lady who’s rouge could be spotted coming towards you long before her actual face was distinguishable. Only, she never moved in. A family with four young children did. The oldest being a girl who was going into the fourth grade that school year, just the same as me. I was swimming in my humongous, above ground pool the first time we met. Her mother had just talked to my step-mother and she was promptly sent to introduce herself to me. Like any kid, I immediately invited her to go grab her suit and come in with me. It struck me as odd when she turned down my proposal and sadly went back home. What kid wouldn’t want to jump in and cool off on a blistering late-August afternoon? Strange, indeed.

As the days rambled on, she continued to make excuses for not wanting to go swimming. We played tag, hide-n-go-seek, red rover, and dungeon master with her three siblings and my brother without a hitch. She came inside to play Barbies and house with me in my bedroom, but I had yet to go over to hers. They were still unpacking, she would say. Her mom wasn’t ready for a houseful of kids, yet. All the while, still refusing to go into my pool with me. I didn’t care, though. I was beyond thrilled to have a new friend. And a girl, at that. All the kids my age within a few blocks were boys. She was right next door to me, nonetheless, and that was just the coolest thing ever in my youthful naivety. We quickly became inseparable. Besties.

When school started, the icing on the friendship cake came when we discovered we had been placed in the same teacher’s class. Life couldn’t have been more perfect at that moment. At least, for me, that is. I had no idea of the truth was hidden behind her closed front door.

You see, the difference between kids and adults is the fact that children live directly in the moment, unaffected by either the past or the future. They don’t care where you’ve been or where you come from. They could care less about what hasn’t happened yet or what’s predicted to happen at a later date. Their only concern is the here and now unless it involves the anticipation of Christmas and the presents Santa will bring. It was months into our relationship before I ever wondered where my BFF next door had lived before moving in next to me. It had never really interested me enough since it wasn’t like she had come from someplace exotic in the mind of a newly turned 9yo- like another state.

Her revelation began the unveiling of the wool my parents had so carefully placed over my eyes.

My new best friend had come from Detroit. Whereas most major cities across the nation are flourishing to some extent, with only the inner-city areas reflecting the underprivileged, long forgotten about, outcasted members of society, Detroit is different. It is all one giant inner-city except a small protected area in the middle of downtown, where corporate businesses and entertainment arenas are sheltered away from the slums (especially at this point in time). No one with financial stability resided within its borders; a fact that even the most privileged and well-off rich kids knew about, regardless of how thick the wool was layered on fresh outta the womb. I actually thought this girl might have been lying to sound cool in an era where hip-hop and gangsta rap began flourishing across the airwaves with hits from NWA, Tupac, and Biggie Smalls. (Ahhhh….the early nineties. Good times, eh?)

She wasn’t, though. It wasn’t long after this that I was finally invited inside of her house. Fall was changing quickly to winter and the weather was getting too nasty for us kids to play outside. Walking in her front door for the first time presented a huge shock for my culturally-impaired, suburban brat self. Her home was nothing like my own – and my own was on the lowly end of what other classmates homes looked like on the inside, to begin with. Being shielded from the ugliness of the world on the wrong side of the tracks, I had never come face to face with anyone who was truly living in poverty, until I saw inside my best friend’s home. Worn out couches and crooked-legged end tables filled her living room. Outdated curtains hung limply across the windows. Shabby rugs, beaten out more times than they could withstand, lay scattered across the floors as if they had died in vain.

I instantly felt ashamed for every time I had ever wished my family was more well-to-do, for every tantrum I ever threw for wanting more than I could have, for every complaint I ever made because what I had wasn’t good enough.

My best friend never came swimming in my pool because not only could she not swim, she had never even owned a bathing suit before. My best friend “borrowed” all my Barbies and the piles of extra Barbie clothes I had for them because she had never owned more than one, with only the outfit it came dressed in. My best friend begged to eat dinner with us every night because there wasn’t enough food to go around at home. The most humbling moment came at the beginning of spring when her mother shamefully asked my father to pull our garden hose over the fence and into their kitchen window. They couldn’t afford to pay their water bill and their service had been shut off. They only lived in this pretentious suburbia of white privilege because their great-grandmother had taken pity on the kids being raised in the ghetto and bought the house for them.

The more I learned about her family, the quicker my eyes began to see the world as it really is- a cruel, heartless place where people only care about what directly affects them. Where people would rather have the best of everything and squander in greed than lend a helping hand to those who were dealt a shitty hand. Her mother had grown up poor, as well, and was forced to drop out of school to support her own family. She married young because of this, trying to escape the life of poverty. Her husband, however, was an abusive drunk. She had no choice but to leave with her four children after her youngest twins were born, to save her life. No matter how hard she worked, life was continuously hard on her. There was no privilege to fall back on. 

Opportunity had never come knocking at her door. 

My best friend and her family wiped the privileged attitude right out of me. I vowed never to turn my back on those with less than me. To always do what I could to support the underdogs in life for as long as I lived.

Now, as this country is at odds again with race, equality, and political and religious beliefs, with discontent and unrest rippling from coast to coast, I couldn’t be more grateful for the girl who moved in next door from my childhood. She changed my life in ways I could never have comprehended as a young child. Without her, the wool would have remained firmly in place until I, too, became another Sheeple who was blindly led to chase the pretty things falsely valued in this world. Without her, I wouldn’t be able to see beauty on the side of life deemed ugly by those of privilege.

My childhood best friend freed me so I could see the many shades of gray hidden beneath a black and white world.

Writing this as the world is today, I can’t thank her enough because I can’t think of anything worse than living in the lies of the privileged. Even living in poverty like she had, as I, myself, experienced first hand not that very long ago.

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Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

A Portal To Love

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A magic portal in my bathroom? With no restrictions or lost time to make up? Seriously!? Hell fucking yeah! I could go back in time to see Kurt Cobain perform Unplugged Live, since they didn’t exactly allow eleven year old’s in MTV studios; had I even had a way to get to L.A. from Detroit back in ‘94. I could finally get that time alone on a private beach in Mexico off the gulf coast. Recharge my over-drained batteries with nothing but the sun and waves, a cocktail and a book. Or. I could finally meet my beloved group of online friends in person once and for all. That would be like a twoferoner on the wishes coming true.

More than all that, though, I would want to be able to travel back and forth between two very special places in time for me. These two memories are my most cherished ones. I think back on these pieces of my past often, whenever I need to find my happy place inside or just need to be reminded of the warmth and love I associate with each. Like all memories do, they are beginning to fray around the edges, fading slowly as the clock keeps ticking away. Every day I grow a little more panicked that soon I will wake up and they will be gone. That I’ll have breathed in too deeply last time and inhaled the last bit of the way the air smelled in the clip of time. Or I’ll have drank all that was left of the way it tasted on my pouting lips. Possibly, even, broke the record playing the melody etched into my heart once upon a time ago. Having this portal would not only allow me to continuously renew and revive my favorite times in life, but it would allow me to truly escape back into those moments and relive the magic of those memories in full. Every time the darkness comes a callin’, I’ll be able to check out for a moment to the only times in my life I forgot it even existed within me.

The first place I choose to have unlimited access to through my bathroom portal is the first week I met my husband. There was more passion and soulful connection in those seven days than I have experienced in my entire life combined. I still wonder to this day if he is even human. The enchantment he wooed me with is unlike anything else I have experienced before – even better than the Xtacy I used to pop at raves way back when at the turn of the century. And that shit makes you LOVE everyone and everything to the extreme. The night we met, at a mutual friend’s bar-hosted birthday party, we took one look at each and melted. Our eyes kept locking gaze over the table and I had never felt so real and alive before each time it happened. It took a little bit before we got up the nerve to talk to each other, but once we did, we didn’t stop until the sun rose the next morning. Seriously. My husband rejected every move I drunkenly tried to make on him, as well. All he wanted from me was to get to know me from the inside out. Like, straight outta a sappy romance movie.

From that night on, he only left my side to shower and go to work. Every last second was spent gently peeling my layers back with his bare hands, kissing all the broken and shattered pieces of my soul and soaking up all that I was made of. No one had ever cared to see the fabric I was woven by before this dark, mysterious, and beautfully handsome man came into my life stirring up emotions in my heart I thought were merely the lies fairy tales are made of. By the end of the week, we shared one heartbeat and one dream. And he still refused to make love to anything but my soul. Who wouldn’t want to keep that memory of a soul awakening to the truest, purest form of love they have known from flickering out like a candle flame left to the wind? Surely not I. That was the most powerfully intense week and if I had it my way, I would be content living it on loop for the rest of my life; especially now, after ten years, when his captivating charm and heartfelt tenderness are beginning to fade away, right alongside everything else time eats up.        

The second destination preprogrammed into my secret bathroom portal would take me back to my maternal grandparent’s home circa 1995. Particularly the summer before seventh grade. Her house was one of the earliest farmhouses built after the area began to replace the farmland with city. It’s a small bungalow with dollhouse windows. Two tiny bedrooms on the main floor. The upstairs originally designed as the family quarters – the stairway leads you into a small dressing room/parlor area which then opens into the master bedroom with low raftered ceilings. The smallest of the main floor bedrooms had a door which opened onto the back porch. My grandmother kept a pullout couch in their for me to stay the night, as I practically never left her house every summer because I was always escaping the chaos that was my home. This summer was different from all the rest. I began to seek a mother figure from my grandmother, trying to compensate for the mostly absentee one I had in her daughter and the too young to be my mother stepmother. I began to really listen when my grandmother spoke to me, carefully folding up every last tidbit of wisdom and knowledge I could pull from her and tuck them away in a safe place. Everything about her fascinated me as she was a rare woman of incredible strengths and courageous perseverance.

This was also the summer I began to discover who I was as a woman. That I, too, had magic coursing through the blood in my veins. I discovered how hot that blood could run from the boy down the street smiling at me crookedly as he cocked his head and held out his hand to walk me around the neighborhood. He was the first boy to ever say my full name aloud and ask me to be his girlfriend. When my grandmother shooed me out from under her feet, I happily sought out his company, a big change from the summers before when I used to throw sticks at him when he walked past my grandmother’s house and make fun of the way he rode his bike around when my girl friends were over. It didn’t take long to figure out my attention was his kryptonite. I had him washing my bike, running my grandfather’s errands, using manners around his mother, and even cleaning his room (this girl had standards and wasn’t going to play Nintendo 64 with him on a floor covered in dirty socks and empty food wrappers) in no time flat. He got me to sneak out that back door in my room and sit in the grass with him at midnight every night, making out under the stars terrified of anything beyond first base. The memories made with Matthew as I embraced my newfound period of self-discovery and the deep, maternal connection I grew to my grandmother made this a very defining moment in my life. The lingering innocence of childhood coupled with the budding maturity of womanhood made this a perfect summer and fills me with such warmth and joy to think back on, I never want to let it go. I want to revel in those emotions for an eternity. That house is the epitome of home for me.

I know. I had the chance to go all creative with this and entertain you with some exciting places to go and I jumped on the sentimentally nostalgic train, instead. Again. I can’t help myself. Really. My husband will tell you that I am not a person. I am not male or female. I am not an animal or species or even a living thing. I am simply a fiery ball of intense emotions and feelings swirling incessantly. I don’t disagree, either. Now, if you would please excuse me, I have some portal hopping to go attend to. This overemotional crazy lady has some fueling up to do to keep those favorite memories alive.                  

***Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Your “Secret Subject” is:

Prompt: Just what the kids and or pets were scared of, there REALLY is a secret portal in the bathroom. You can go anywhere you want and return as if you just left for a few moments. Where do you go and what do you do?

It was submitted by: http://dinoheromommy.com/

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado 

Southern Belle Charm 

Not That Sarah Michelle 

Spatulas on Parade 

The Bergham Chronicles  

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver  

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy 

My Brain on Kids

The Lieber Family Blog 

Confessions of a part time working mom 

Climaxed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

                                                                          

Baggage Restrictions On Easy Street

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This post is part of a Blog Challenge called Secret Subject Swap. Details can be found at the end. My “Secret Subject” was:
May is National Recommitment Month. Is there something in your past that you’ve started and never finished? Why did you quit? Is it something you can recommit yourself to?

In honor of Sigmund Freud’s birthday today, I took a psychoanalytic approach to my subject instead. Enjoy!

People are quitters by nature. Very few have the gumption to hold out and see something through to the finish, especially if they hit a snag, snare, or pothole along the way – and that is perfectly okay.

We are creatures of developmental comforts. Complex simplicity. Habitual pursuits. As individuals, and as the whole of society, we strive continuously to make our lives easier to endure within the confines of our systematic culture. Humans constantly complicate things further with a frenzy of chaos – all done to find the most effortless way to live, as of yet. Just the same as humans have done since the dawning of their time.

It is true of me, despite my soul’s contradicting desire to break free and roam the universe without limit. I, too, at some point since my birth, have tentatively resigned myself to the fact that I want to take the easy way in life as much as the next person. The path of least resistance has always been the most tempting, even if the way to Easy Street was found on the road less traveled, (because I never said I wanted to travel with everyone else; I said, ‘like’).

A lone bird may not flock with the other birds of a feather, but the instinct to migrate remains. There’s no point in fighting the urge. When the time comes to head to warmer climates, the lone bird still drops everything and takes flight. No questions asked. That same instinct to take flight when I feel the calling for a more desirable comfort- with no regard to my current commitments, is in me. It is in all of us, to some degree or another; a distinguishing trait of nature found in most living creatures.

The broken commitments of my past migrations are just as responsible for where I stand today, as the ones kept and seen through. I am comprised of every admitted failure, called timeout, plea for mercy, and tossing in of the towel I have made up to this point. Every change of direction and conscious decision to walk away, too. If I change the outcome of any one of my past convictions, it would change who I was to become over time… potentially causing me to develop into an entirely different woman all together.

That, in itself, is a very tantalizing and alluring thought. Why? Because I instantly thought of having myself a life far easier and steadier on course than the one I have right now. My mind instinctively presumed that finishing any commitment I neglected to follow through with would produce a better life. Yet there is no certainty it would work out so. No guarantees. Just probability.

Would I like to see what the future would’ve had in store if I had stuck out that relationship with my first love when we were too young to understand compromise? Of course. Would I want to go back in time and find the motivation to finish nursing school and walk away from my rebellious overdrive? Hell yeah! Would I desire a second chance at the great job I lost out of sheer immaturity, to prove my sincere loyalty to the position? Without a doubt.

The wise, old soul, hidden within, tells me that enduring those struggles would have paved my way towards Easy Street, undoubtedly. Life would have turned out a little simpler, more predictable, and provide greater comforts than the road I am currently traveling down – in the moment of completion. But would finishing those past failed commitments prevented life from challenging me at all farther down the way? Nope. Not at all.

Had those birds stuck around to finish what they started when the time to migrate arrived, whether they planned to follow the group or not, they very well might have been signing their own death warrants. Perfecting it’s nest or finding the ripest berry could leave them victim of the first freeze or a patient predator. The instinctual urge to move along to the next best thing, leaving prior commitments hanging in the balance, whispers to you with great purpose. Rationalizing the reasoning of Karma is preposterously unfeasible.

Listen to the desires of your soul and follow your heart wherever it may lead, as nature intended by your fate. Don’t look back on that which you left unfinished with guilt or shame, for it was what made you who you are today. Seek out new beginnings, instead. If something is calling you back to it, with the purest of intentions for the betterment of yourself, then start with a fresh slate – you are no longer the same person who made the original commitment.

The idea of recommital seems like another way for our psyche to carry the weight of the past into the future. If you take a peek, you will see that I’ve already surpassed my carry-on luggage allowance and left no room in the cargo deck for anyone else’s on this flight. Another suitcase might just crash this flight on The Curse Of Life airline.

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This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
Baking In A Tornado             
Southern Belle Charm                      
Not That Sarah Michelle            
Spatulas on Parade                    
The Bergham Chronicles                    
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver Dinosaur Superhero Mommy            
My Brain on Kids                            
The Lieber Family Blog                  
Never Ever Give Up Hope                
Climaxed                                      
Confessions of a part time working mom    

My Never Ever In Becoming A Mother – SSS April

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Going into this motherhood journey of mine, I wasn’t but a kid myself. I managed to conceive the week after my twenty-first birthday, finding out about six weeks later. I freaked out because I had just spent those six weeks celebrating the legal status that came along with this milestone birthday – the one which made me a full-fledged adult in my naïve, youthful, barely grown logic.

Entering motherhood when I still hadn’t matured as an individual… still hadn’t fully experienced adulthood… still hadn’t grown out of my childhood… was a challenge in and of itself. My life was only beginning to unravel itself. Everything I knew about responsibility and stability was merely secondhand knowledge, as I had barely gotten my feet wet thus far.

Now I had to add raising a child to the mix. All the secondhand knowledge I had about that wasn’t going to get me very far. Despite spending the mass majority of my childhood looking after everyone lessens children, I knew there was so much more to being a parent than what went into babysitting. I needed to fill in the gaps my dysfunctional, alcoholic parents had left out of the equation, so I began a quest to learn how to be a “real” mother.
The first thing I did was run out and purchase every copy of the ‘What To Expect…” series- the original expecting one, the first year, and the toddler years were all covered now. But, just in case, I grabbed a copy of The Everything Baby’s First Year, The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide, and Mother & Child: A Journey from Conception to Birth. One can never have too many books, after all. I read them all, cover to cover, before I ever felt my fetus kick for the first time. I already began picturing how my journey would unfold.

Then I discovered how wonderful the creation of reality television was in the beginning of this new century. A Baby Story, A Birth Story, A Special Delivery, Make Room For Baby, Bringing Home Baby: Multiples… every episode of every season was meticulously studied and dually noted. How did mothers and fathers look and appear? What kind of lifestyles did these adults have? How did these couples interact within their marriages? What kind of celebrations did they have? What kind of clothes, gear, nursery décor, car seats, etc., did the parents choose? What was their birth plan, what type of birth, and what complications arose? My needs to know grew with every passing day.

In between the books and boob tube, I engrossed myself with baby and parenting themed magazines and milestone tracking websites. I joined chat communities. There was no end in sight to the resources I was using to fill in the empty space left by my fading youth. By the time my baby shower rolled around, I had a clear picture of exactly how my life would play out forevermore. Just like a grownup version of my favorite childhood game, M.A.S.H., I had hand-selected every critical detail of the life I would be providing for this baby. I never wanted it to grow up in a remotely related environment as I had been raised in. And certainly not in one like the deadbeat loser sperm donor had brought to the table, either. Every last detail was figured out. I knew exactly what I wanted, how I wanted it, where I wanted it, when I wanted it. Nothing was too good and perfection was required.

Then I opened my gifts.

It was all wrong. I swore I would never allow my baby to use those cheap, store-brand and knock-off dollar store items. God only knew what kind of poisonous, cancer-causing chemicals were in those products. It was MY right as the mother to decide what brands were acceptable and it seemed like I was being disrespected before my child had even been born! What was the point of having a registry if no one was going to use it?

When my son was born, I carried on with the madness. Focusing on the image of motherhood portrayed in these resources, I continued my quest. Every time, though, life handed me limes to make my lemonade with. The farther along into my journey I went, the farther away from my picture of perfection I got. The life I had expected was always just out of reach. No ostentatiously decorated nurseries. No fancy strollers. No baby scrapbooks with accompanying video diaries. The high-tech, high-class baby monitors, cradles, and swings I had coveted were out of my realm of possibilities. The adult relationship I craved was just a joke to my boyfriend – instead of a marriage proposal and a mortgage I got a defunct apartment and a second pregnancy.

The resulting disappointments gnawed at my tender heart. I allowed them the power to control my emotional state. They crept in when I was preoccupied with being in love with the living piece of my heart I wanted to hold tight and breathe in deeply forevermore. They made me feel guilty for being so young; I knew it was why I couldn’t provide all the nice things those participants of my never-ending studies had. Couldn’t even give my child parents who were joined in holy matrimony for better or worse, let alone, a farther who wanted to rise to the role of family man. Before my baby and his unborn sibling had a chance in this world, I had failed them, miserably. I felt worthless compared to those mothers I so greatly admired in their mall store bought maternity wear and white picket fenced-in suburbia homes. I said I would never, yet here I was; everything I hadn’t imagined.

Twelve years later… I am looking back at those days over four not-so little anymore heads as a married woman to good, family man, laughing at the naivety of my youth. All those things I never expected or wanted or imagined ever mattered in the first place. The whole ordeal was completely unnecessary. And insanely unrealistic. Life… motherhood… marriage… none of it can be scripted ahead of time. There is no copying someone else’s game plan, because everyone gets a very different test. I was quite the immature, materialistic narcissist when I first became a mother at twenty-one, but my children have changed me. For the better.

I am living every never I swore against and couldn’t be in a happier place. The only thing I ever needed to be the perfect mother I was hard-driven to become was love. I had plenty of that to give all along.

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My subject is: “Ahh, naivete . . . what are some things that, before you had kids, you swore you’d never do but ended up doing”.  
It was submitted by: Baking In A Tornado.  

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
Baking In A Tornado

Southern Belle Charm

Not That Sarah Michelle

The Lieber Family Blog

Spatulas on Parade

The Bergham Chronicles

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Someone Else’s Genius

My Brain on Kids

Confessions of a part time working mom

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Climaxed

Home Is Where The Rainbow Ends

My subject is “Follow the rainbow to the end, where does it take you”?  It was submitted by Not That Sarah Michelle.  Here goes: 

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On the outside, all you might see is a woman. A woman ragged and hardened by the trials of a cursed life. A woman struggling to keep one foot in front of the next as the ground continuously shifts under her feet.

She seems disconnected from the rest of the world whizzing by her, out of place in the shallow wastelands of society – with those woeful eyes, warm and beckoning for something more than the material world could ever offer her. Always wallowing dangerously in the deep end of the universe, she was. A place few dare oft go. Where very few ever would want to go, for it simply does not nourish the ego. But she loves it here… this secret place at the end the rainbow.

It is here where space and time collide, where humanity is born and goes to die, and where the fires burning intensity awakens the passions in one’s soul. A place where everyone’s dreams live. Where color transcends back into the energy it is made from and becomes opulent and iridescent, all at once. Reality no longer seems concrete and everything moves at the pace of your subconscious thoughts. The melody of your inner most desires escaping the trappings of your soul is the only sound, taking your breath away with the beauty you hold within. Beauty you never knew was there before; hidden from sight under the pressures of social conformity. This is a place for nurturing – and she needs all the nurturing she can get as an outcast of reality.

Others never understand her. Others could never fathom her course. The windows to her soul open into a world unlike any other – a world people endlessly seek out, instead of looking for within. For, her soul did not die at birth when the windows opened her consciousness to the physical world, like theirs did. Her soul was not traded-in for an ID, Ego, and SuperEgo. She somehow slipped through the cracks of the universe as she was born, bypassing this rite of passage into humanity. Free of the earthly bound traits defining humans above all other species; though they are merely descendants of star dust and cosmic energies, too. Just the same as you, or, I.

Yet, as fate would have destiny, humans have evolved in a way which closes off the gateway to the very universe which brought them into being. The end of the rainbow sacrificed in order to develop and nurture those ID, Ego, and SuperEgo characters, ensuring humans ultimate superiority. They turn away from the very thing which created everything they have ever known. And they will never know what it is like to find this magical place of hers – to never connect with their roots. They plead with meaningless pandemonium, obsessed with her rejection of conformity. She is deaf to their blasphemous cries and false prophecies, adept in the ways of empty promises and disassociated desires. She is so much more than the lost little girl she is mistaken for time and time again. She wishes they would just leave her be.

The end of the rainbow feels better than any home she has ever had, providing the kind of comfort, security, and belonging she craved which the physical earth could never satisfy for her. She stays within all they will allow, but it is never long enough. Constantly tugging her, pulling her into their ostentatious reality, willing her to feed her humanity and let go of her celestial being.

It is pointless, though. She always goes back to her place at the end of the rainbow. Through her soul, to the darkest depths of the universe, she is one with all that ever was and ever will be. This is right where she belongs.

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Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

 Baking In A Tornado

The Bergham Chronicles

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Southern Belle Charm

Not That Sarah Michelle

My Brain on Kids

The Lieber Family Blog

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Someone Else’s Genius

Confessions of a part time working mom

Spatulas on Parade

Climaxed

By: Kristina Hammer, aka, The Angrivated Mom