#lifeisgood

It usually annoys me when the youngsters say the word “hashtag” before something they are talking about or referring to. “Hashtag feminism.” “Hashtag yolo” or what ever ridiculous thing they are talking about.  Right now I am so obnoxiously happy that I am going there. “Hashtag life is good people!”

I moved into my new place last Monday.  I finally have my own place after two years of moving from roommates and boyfriends all over like a damn gypsy.    For those of you who haven’t read my blog before, I got diagnosed with bi-polar disorder about 3 years ago, went through a major depression and cycled through meds trying to pull out of it.  I had no support from my family and only a few friends and had a 2 years spiral to rock bottom.  Since being pennyless and homeless in March of this year, I have paid off $2700 in traffic tickets, got my license reinstated, got a job, a car and now an apartment of my own.

I was previously a project manager for a general contractor and had a career in construction spanning 2 decades.  I am back in the industry and enjoying it more than ever. Every day I wake up not only grateful to be back at work, but feeling self sufficient and more like my old self every day.

On a side note, the man who I thought was the love of my life (and I have struggled with getting over) is finally out of my life for good.  We have had a year long on and off again love affair.  I would usually be devastated and crying and depressed about the whole thing.  While I was a little angry, I’m actually relieved.  I am alright with the whole thing.  I feel a little stupid and used but I am still happy.  I am actually happy with myself and who I am a person and losing that relationship isn’t going to change it.  Probably for the first time in my life I am not letting my happiness hinge itself on a man.  I have a horrible habit of thinking I needed to be loved by another to be happy.  I should say HAD.  Past tense.  I don’t anymore and that feels amazing.

Have you ever evolved in some way in your life?  Have you ever really looked at your self honestly and thought about the how you may have caused your own unhappiness?   Like really truly dug deep and admitted your faults to yourself?  Not only admit and realize them but make a conscious effort to change?  It is hard.  I’m 38 years old and have only recently learned to love myself and value myself enough FOR myself.  I’m alone – as in single – but I’m still happy.  I love my life.  I love my job. I love my boss. I love my car.  I love my precious little girls. I love my apartment.  I love that I have come this far in a mere 7 months and I did it alone.  I am proud of that even if no one knows my struggles but me.  So I’ll say it again – #lifeisgood

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I think I can….

Its been just over 2 months since my last post where I was marveling at how much has changed in such a short period of time.  Here I sit a little over two months later having accomplished so many of my goals that I am coming up with new ones.  When last I posted I had paid off my traffic warrants and gotten a new job.  Well that job fell through and I immediately got another one.  My boss was cool enough to pick me up and drop me off for 3 weeks after which I bought a car.  Not just any car – a beautiful 2014 Audi A4 S.  I love it.  I’m proud of myself.  Having a car again has helped me feel more independent.  I don’t have to rely on anyone anymore.

I am currently an assistant project manager on a $24 Million elementary school.  I love my job. I love being back at work full time.  Having a steady paycheck is great but working again has done wonders for my self-confidence.  I had always been self-sufficient – even the major bread winner in my marriage – and being dependent on others killed my self-esteem.  I feel whole again.  Even though its not true, not being able to generate much income made me feel worthless.

Today I signed a lease on my new apartment that I will be moving into on October 30th.  It feels amazing to have my own place again.  Little by little I am getting my life back together.  Unfortunately, with all the good positive changes in my life, I have had my heart broken.  The love of my life, Brian Oliver, takes me for granted and doesn’t see how inconsiderate he is.  His business is barely keeping afloat, his truck keeps breaking down, he’s been selling all his assets to keep up with bills and even borrowed from friends.  He’s a hot mess.  His laundry is all over the place, his house is a pig sty, he is always late for everything and is a total stoner.  He admits that he should stop smoking weed but unfortunately keeps being the loser that he is.

I have decided that he is unhealthy for me as much as I love him.  I think I can move on.  I think I will be just fine without him.  I have to think that way.  I have been able to put my life back together through positive thinking and hard work.  How can I continue to let this man bring me down and hurt my soul?  Everything I’ve accomplished in the past few months was because I thought I could do it.  If I just tell myself that I can  – then I can.  I am one of the most determined people I know.  I can set my sights on any goal and accomplish it. Why has everything except letting go of this man been easy?  I know my worth.  I know I deserve better.  Why can’t I let him go?  I can.  I think I can.  I have been able to do so much this past year and I need to do this.  So like the little engine that could I keep telling myself – I think I can.  I will move on.  I will let go.  I think I can…..

What a difference a month makes

The last time I posted I was stressing out about my trip to Los Angeles with my kids.  The kids enjoyed camp and visiting with family and I had only one major blowout with my parents.  Here I sit a little over a month later and I can not believe how much has changed.  I started seeing my ex boyfriend Brian again.  Which I self-sabotaged in my Tasha-esque way last night.  We are going back to being just friends.  I flipped out over something that is a pet peeve of mine but also very small in the large scheme of things.  That man is the love of my life.  He always will be.  I’m just under a lot of pressure right now.

I worked for a month for my Dad while in Los Angeles and was able to pay off my warrants when I got back to Las Vegas.  I’m getting my license reinstated.  I already took the written and I’m borrowing a car from a friend to take the driving test tomorrow.  While I was in LA an old Superintendent of mine, who is now a Sr. Estimator, messaged me on LinkedIn about an estimator position at his firm.  I start my new job on Tuesday.

Also, while I was in Los Angeles, my boyfriend at the time/best friend Brian moved all my stuff out of the weekly hotel I was in and into this room I am now renting for $425 a month.  He bought me furniture and bedding and put my room together.  I was so happy.  He is amazing.

A mere 6 weeks later I have moved, paid off traffic warrants and have a new job paying me 70k a year.  I remained positive and worked hard and while I still have a ways to go before I’m completely whole again, I am optimistic that the rest of this year will be even better.  I still have to work through some things and I am constantly trying to better myself.  What a difference a month makes…..

Emo

So, I was inspired by the voice of my friend in my head, yes I hear voices sometimes, telling me that I sound like an emo. Weird right?  Then I thought about my last blog post.  Homer was right.  It was kind of depressing.  Have I now become that person?  Shit.  Am I the annoying person always crying about something?  When did that happen?  I never considered myself a whiner.  I was a do-er.  Have I been sitting on my ass on just whining and not even trying?  I did.  I really, really, did try.  I’m sitting here trying to remember how far back this goes.  How long have I been depressed?  How long have I been stuck?  I don’t even know.  Now I have the motivation back.  When did that happen? It wasn’t all of the sudden.

Things aren’t as hard as they used to be. I’m not constantly down about my shitty position at the moment.  I’m going to work hard and prove to myself that I am capable of functioning ….that’s it.  I was looking for the rest of that sentence in my head…but there isn’t any. I have to prove I can just function.  Get out of bed and work every day.  I guess I was that bad at one point.  If I wasn’t depressed and didn’t have my kids I was mostly likely drinking somewhere.

I am really trying to stay positive people. But I am in the first 90 days of sobriety and it’s no picnic.  It is unbelievably hard.  I just got invited to happy hour by my friend Amber and sat staring at the phone trying to decide my answer.  Habit was to send an ok.  Then I stopped and didn’t hit send.  Should I say yes?  I’m not supposed to be drinking.  I want to say yes.  I really fuckin want to say yes.  I want to drink and walk around town square laughing at other people like an asshole and have fun.  But then I feel like shit when I’m sober.  Because I don’t to want be that asshole anymore.  I guess I kind of did turn into that annoying emo person of the group but it’s better than the previous versions of me.  The next one is coming on.  I’m soon to be the super annoying always think positive one that quotes those damn affirmations all the time.  I’m totally becoming that person too.  But I’m ok with that.  This version will be followed by one even better and then a better one I hope.

This must be what growing up must be like. Will I finally be strong enough to pull it together and stay focused and sober for a month in LA?  I’m growing insane imagining scenarios of me with my family members in LA.  Which one is going to either piss me off or annoy me first by some off handed comment or dig?  Why am I even assuming that it’s going to be a negative encounter? Because it’s the Miranda women.  Sidenote:  The “Miranda” women are women from my mom’s side – my grandmother and her 7 daughters including my mom of course and their daughters.  There’s always someone not getting along with someone else for who-knows-what.  It was habit to get edgy and on the defensive around them.  Or is that just me?  No – it’s not.  The Miranda women are notorious for being difficult and stubborn.

I don’t want to assume the worst, though. I’m fuckin nervous about my first encounter with each one of them.  I hate the open ended “So what have you been up to?” or “How have you been?”  No simple one-word- answer questions.  No open with a difficult one.  Shit….um I can’t say, “Being a drunk because I feel like a total failure.”  What a buzzkill, right?  Gotta go with the vague, “You know, same old thing.”

I can’t stand the questions that grandma hits me with, “So are you working?” “Do you have a boyfriend?”  I’ll avoid her as much as possible.  I don’t want her asking if I have been going to church.  Ha!  I haven’t gone to church in like 20 years.  I kinda figured everyone just quit doing that.  But she’s old fashioned.  Good for her.  Gotta keep up them old fashioned values.  Her judge-y catholic guilt crap is the best.  No thank you.  I have enough guilt without your help.  Bi-polar here – depressed enough.  Thank you for the help though.  Much appreciated but I have enough from my parents leaving to Paris when I started chemo.  They have it covered.  We all know that makes a child feel important . “Take a trip while I suffer from a life-threatening illness and start the only thing that might keep me from dying. I got this.  Go have fun.  Bring me a souvenir.  It’s ok.  No, no.  I’m over it now.  It’s only taken 15 years, hundreds of hours of therapy and a lot of whiskey to do that but I think I’m finally ready to stop being a whiner.”

It wasn’t only that one incident that caused me to be such an emotional wreck though.  What was I supposed to do?  “I’m just going put all the fucked up shit in an little box and put it next to that fucked up shit and save that for later in life.”  Just when you think you’re about to succeed at something – bam that’s when the new fucked up shit comes.  All dressed up in a pretty little box.  You think is a present.  Don’t open the box.  That’s how it happens.  You never see it coming.  Or you somehow block it out.  All those signs that you going the wrong direction. Were they always there?  Well fuck I sure missed them.  Or maybe I was just drunk. One of the two.  I’m going to be positively annoying and assume that the first encounter with my family is going to great and we’ll toast to mental health awareness.  

I have to believe

I’m scared to go home. I’m scared to go back to LA for the first time after everyone turned me away a year ago.  I just kept bouncing around from Mar Vista to Baldwin Hills (I think) to wherever the fuck Tomika and Lawrence live.  You don’t think I actually remember do you? I mean I was a train wreck.  Make that 10 trainwrecks.  I had just run away from/been thrown out by – either way it was a blessing – this dirtbag Lucky.  He hustled $1300 right out of the palm of my hand and he was ugly as sin.  Tattooed the fuck up with bad teeth.  Like worse than mine and I’m missing half my teeth and have to wear a prosthetic due to cancer.

When I was 21 I was misdiagnosed, I went to 3 different doctors – had 3 different biopsy results until the correct diagnosis was made. I spent 10 months in excruciating pain because some idiot misdiagnosed me with a benign tumor which is was not.  It was cancer.  It resulted in the tumor being removed without clear margins and the cancer spread.  I was originally told I had to lose my right eye.  My right maxilla, right cheekbone, right hard pallet, roof of your mouth, right sinus – gone.  All gone.  That the rest of my life is going to be dealing with a prosthetic so I can speak properly, titanium in my head and missing my right eye!  Fuck you.  “I’m not letting you take my eye.”  It wasn’t happening.

The problem was that the cancer spread up the rear wall of my sinus and up to the orbital floor. The eye socket had to go and the brain is on the back side of the sinus so I needed to move forward quickly with a treatment plan.  I told UCLA that I wanted to get a few more opinions.  I think my Dad or my aunt Pam, not sure which found City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, CA.  They had a clinical trial going for osteosarcoma.  I entered I believe phase 3.  It was a 52 week trial and I was going to be inpatient whenever the chemo was being administered.

This was one of those dark times. Just as bad.  I needed my parents.  I needed their help and they turned me away.  Why wouldn’t they help pick me up when I needed it?  I wanted love and caring and emotion from my parents that’s real.  I would like to imagine that my daughter’s conversations about me go more like,  “She’s doing great grandpa.  She calls every day and is…..” what?  Better?  Better than what?  Homelessness?  What a disappointment I must be.  They probably go more like, “Well its fine grandpa she actually sees us regularly now…..”  No, I’m sure I’m so unimportant I don’t come up in the conversation.  My parents are “just checking in with the girls,” as my dad would say.  They don’t call me directly why would they ask my kid how I’m doing.

I thought they should have acknowledged some of the shit I went thru rather than just expect us to never talk about any of it. What if I needed to be able to talk about it to them?  No one ever asked me how I felt when they left to Paris when I started my clinical trial. I had stage 4 osteosarcoma and this was my last shot actually being alive.  I was just expected to be gracious about it and not be hurt and angry?

In their defense, they did cut their trip short. But starting that clinical trial was quite literally the scariest thing I have ever had to face and it was that moment that I actually needed them.  I would rather take back all the fancy birthdays and the monetary gifts.  Gift me that moment for all of those moments.  That’s what I want.  Because they weren’t there holding my hand when I faced death within months I’ll never believe, no matter what my parents say or do, that they actually give a shit about me.

I’m trying to believe in myself.  I’m trying to believe that I can do anything even if I don’t have my parents in my corner being my cheerleader.  I have to be my own cheerleader.  So, while I am scared to go home…I’m going to face them all with my head held high and be real no matter what.  Just being the best version of myself that I can.  Despite all my trials and tribulations, I believe that I am becoming a better person each day. There is always something to learn.  There is always someone to inspire.  Find strength in your rough times.  I may actually meet my goals by the end of August if I go home to LA and work.  So, I have to stop being scared and just get that money and keep pushing towards my goals.  I have to believe in myself.

 

 

Evolution of Thinking

I went to a high school graduation today and while most of the valedictorian speeches were the same old shit you’ve heard time and time again, one line stood out to me. I had to make a note of it.  “Evolve beyond the illusions that divide us.”  I like the way this kid thinks; however, are they really just illusions?  In his mind, they are.  There are clear divides between social classes, races, sexuality and religion. Wars are being fought over such things.

Can we evolve in our way of thinking as a human race? We have evolved a lot in the last 100 years.  In the 1950s blacks were still segregated in parts of the country.  How far will this next 100 years take us?  We are now celebrating Pride month that is dedicated to being proud of your sexual orientation.  Why can’t we evolve even more in our way of thinking?  We can.  Are we really all equal and only divided by manifestations of our mind?  That can’t be true.  We can never be truly equal – nature has taught us that.  There are alphas that stand out among the species.  We can however learn to stop judging one another.

In my own family, I am looked down upon because my financial status has changed. I am no longer a cog in the corporate wheel.  I personally feel the judgment and the inferiority.  When are we going to judge others by the way they treat people, by how kind their heart is rather than what race they are, what they wear, who they sleep with or what religion they are?  Is this younger generation trying to erase the lines that divide us as a human race?  One would only hope.  It inspired me at the least.  I don’t know if I will live to see it but I hope we do “evolve beyond the illusions that divide us.”  I hope it inspires you.  Try being more open-minded today.  You never know.  It could have a butterfly effect.

What if?

We’ve all wished we could turn back time at some point in our life, right? Not date the bad boy. Not quit that job.  Not move in with that roommate.  Not marry the guy or girl.  But we can’t turn back time and we can’t undo the decisions we’ve made.

I was 24 when I met my ex-husband George. He was 20.  I was already engaged to another man that I was not in love with.  I knew deep down he didn’t want to marry me either and felt pressured when I asked him where our relationship was going.  George was a janitor – yes a janitor – in the building that I worked at and used to stock my desk with tissue and dump my trash.  I always pick the winners.  Funny enough I barely noticed him but he had a crush on me for months before I knew it.  I thought he was sweet and quickly I was no longer engaged and moving into a house with George after a month.  I paid for everything – rent, utilities, household items and entertainment.  George was responsible for his car, insurance and his child support.  We were definitely inseparable and enjoyed our first couple months living together having lots and lots of sex.  Unfortunately, I was pregnant almost immediately.  I was shortly thereafter called by Martin-Harris Construction for an interview.  I took a job with them as a Project Manager at the age of 25.  I had my baby and got married that same year when she was almost 6 months old.

I got offer after offer from other firms while I was at Martin-Harris. I loved that job and that company.  I regret leaving that company but then I wouldn’t have had all the other experiences I gained at other firms.  I left for more money and that job ended up being a joke.  I ended up moving my family to Los Angeles, where I grew up for a job at BCBG the clothing Company as a Sr. Project Manager in their Store Concepts Division.  I was there a mere 4 months before George left me alone in LA with our 2 year old.  I told you – a real winner that one. The job was 70% travel and I had no choice but to quit the position.  Again, I wish I never quit that job and worked out some sort of nanny or family help.

So here I am headed back to Vegas after lots of fighting and crying with George. My dad was clearly pissed but I left anyway.  We separated not too long after we moved back because he was cheating on me again.  In November 2006, I went home for a few months and had received an offer from the Venetian Hotel’s Retail division.  I was scheduled to start February 2007.  I was working for my Dad’s CM firm to keep busy until I went back to Vegas in January.  I found a daycare and a townhouse to rent.  Everything was set.  Then my dad throws me a curveball and asked me to stay and work for him.  I declined the position at the Venetian which I also regret.  I moved my stuff from Vegas and rented a duplex in Playa del Rey.  I lived there for 9 months before George came out there for us and wanted to be a family again.  He never left.  He just came to see Maliya one weekend and never left.  What the hell?  So, we decided to go at it again and lived in LA for a few months but ultimately returned to Vegas.

Through my Dad’s connections I got rehired at Turner Construction, where I started my career at the young age of 16, and was a Project Engineer on a condo tower in downtown Las Vegas. I found us a house to rent in a week and we moved in March 1, 2008.  We were starting over.  Putting the past behind us.  I spent 2 weeks setting up our new house and started my new job on March 17th.  I remember because it was St, Patrick’s day.  In April, George was caught cheating on me again.  This wasn’t the first time or the last.  I then started cheating on him.  It was a mess.  The rest of the marriage was a roller coaster of fighting, starting over, him cheating again.  I even filed for divorce the first time in 2009.  I can’t remember how we got through that except that we moved in with his parents because we both got laid off within 4 months of each other when the economy shifted.  It was then that I got pregnant with our second daughter.  We eventually moved into a house in Green Valley and remained there until the final separation and then divorce.

All that pain and suffering and fighting lasted almost a decade. I often wished I never met him or married him.  Then I think of the beautiful daughters that are the light of my life and I wouldn’t trade it if it was the price I paid to have them in my life.  I wish we could have both behaved differently, but you can’t change it.  Since then I have had a rough couple of years, getting laid off again from 3 jobs and consulting for my dad in between.  I am currently still consulting part time.  I got diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2015 and spent way too much time drowning my sorrows or partying to not feel like a failure after the divorce.  The dissolution of my family was a hard thing for me to deal with.  I have finally – after many bad decisions, a handful of 5 month relationships and a lot of therapy found peace.  I have found a love for writing and realized that you can’t dwell on the what ifs in life.  Nor can you worry too much about the future.  You must live in the present and enjoy each moment because you can never get it back.  The struggles and turbulence in life has given me the inspiration to write and follow my dreams.  Every decision has molded you into the person you are today.  Embrace it and love yourself.  Try not to live with regret.  I myself am still working on that.  What if I had never met George?  What if I had never left Martin Harris or BCBG?  What if I had taken the job at the Ventian?  What if I had never gotten divorced?  One can never know.  What I do know is that I might not be sitting here writing this blog.