The American Dream

2015-04-01 15.18.01-5As part of my scheme to make my thirty-second year a year full of awesome, I’ve decided to go back to school. I have big educational plans, and until yesterday, they included starting work on a paralegal degree in January (that plan has now been pushed back to…well, I’m not sure to when yet, but sometime in the future). One of the scholarships I was going to apply for involved writing an essay about the American Dream and, since I won’t be applying for that scholarship now that I won’t be attending that particular school, I decided to share it here.

It’s probably not my best work, but it’s been a long time since I’ve written a scholarship essay. My essay skills are a bit rusty, and this was good practice. 🙂

American Dream, (n): 1. The ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American; 2. A life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.

When I think of the American Dream…

Tinkering: Life Edition

lifeIf ifs and ands were pots and pans, there’d be no need for tinkers. But then, if wishes were horses, well, beggars could ride. And you know what?

I have no idea what any of that is supposed to mean.

I get the wishes and horses and beggars bit. But what have pots and pans to do with tinkering? I’m more likely to tinker with other things when I know I have pots and pans waiting for me in the kitchen.

Also, I have no idea why these two proverbs popped into my head when I opened up WordPress today. Of all the things to write about, why these?


“Now is the winter of our discontent.” – William Shakespeare, Richard III

Hopefully, the winter of our discontent will be made glorious summer sooner rather than later. In the meantime, though, have hope.

no-matter-how-dark-the-night-the-sun-always-rises-and-hope-with-itGiving up would be easy, and some people will. But if we all give up, who will fix what is broken? No one. And if no one fixes anything, if we all give up, then things will remain broken (and will probably get worse). Now is the time for hard work. It won’t be fun. It will be arduous. Grueling. Painful.

But it could be worse.

As long as we have hope, we can overcome anything. The one thing that keeps people going in the face of insurmountable odds is hope. No matter how dark the night, the sun always rises, and hope with it. Others may try to crush your hope, to steal it from you, because hope is power, but don’t let them. Fight hair, tooth, and nail to keep your hope, to keep hope alive.

Hope is power.

We need something to hold onto in times like these, so hold onto hope. With hope and hard work, the odds will be ever in your favor.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.


wpid-wp-1447634339328.jpgHave you ever watched the days bleed?

They do, you know.

They bleed, one into another into another, week after week, month after month, year after year. Seconds bleed into minutes bleed into hours bleed into days. Each of them crushing in their weight.

This is my thirty-second year of watching days bleed into months, of watching seasons bleed into one another so that you can no longer tell where one ended and the other began. It’s my thirty-second year of watching leaves fall into snowflakes, of watching dead brown grass bleed back to life and then to death once more. It was supposed to be a magical year, full of all the good things I could possibly imagine.

It was supposed to be frightfully wondrous.

But instead…


I haven’t been writing, and I miss it.

I’ve watched TV. I’ve read blogs. I’ve come up with a thousand brilliant ideas that quickly vanished into the ether. I’ve played a lot of Pokémon Go (Go Team Mystic!).

But I haven’t been writing, and it’s left a void.

Getting back in the habit is…

Back when

Identity is a tricky thing, always changing. Identity can shift at a moment’s notice, or over a span of years. I think back on all the things I am and all the things I’ve been. I wonder about all the things I’ll someday be, or if I’ll be able to reclaim the girl I was back when.

I’m a mother, I’m a lover,
A chef, a referee,
I’m a doctor and a chauffeur seven days a week.

Back when I knew it all, I was going to be a famous writer before I turned thirty. I’d be critically acclaimed and make a fortune and not need a day job. I’d work as a medical transcriptionist for a few years, until I hit it big, and then I’d quit the day job to write for a living.

It’s the hardest gig I’ve known,
I work my fingers to the bone.
Yeah, the dishes and the diapers never stop.
Lousy pay,
There ain’t no 401(k).
I know this may come as a shock,
But this here’s a full-time job.

Back when I knew it all, I was going to…

The wheel behind the squeak

It’s always the quiet ones.

You know, the ones you have to watch out for. The quiet ones blend into the background. They do a good job of it, too – they’re quiet, after all, and it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, not the silent one.

Not the timid girl in the corner desk.

Maybe you don’t even notice. Maybe you never heard her heart screaming her frustration, or begging for a kind word. Maybe you did, but you don’t care.

Maybe she didn’t want you to, but maybe she did. What if she did?

Maybe she wears neutral colors because she’s afraid of loud noises. Maybe she’s afraid to be loud, to draw attention to herself because attention means she’d have to open up to others. Maybe the last time she came out of her shell, it was crushed by the person she trusted most in the world, and she had to find a new shell, a harder shell, to protect her fragile self.

Sometimes the squeaky wheel doesn’t need the grease – sometimes it just needs someone to listen. Grease will silence the squeak, but maybe that’s not the point. Maybe the point is for someone to notice the wheel behind the squeak.

Maybe the squeak isn’t something wrong, but something right.

Maybe it means that that timid girl is trying out her voice, trying it on for size. Maybe that little, tiny squeak is really incredibly loud, and she’s trying to figure out how to modulate her volume. Wouldn’t you feel terrible for silencing that squeak?

Because that’s what the grease does. It quiets the squeak.

It’s always the quiet ones.

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Nothing – or something?

I’ve got nothing.

For the last few weeks, every time I sit down to write a post, my mind goes blank. As white as the screen at which I’m staring.

For the last few weeks, every time I sit down to work on revisions, my mind goes blank. As white as the pages I’d hoped to fill.

I’ve got nothing.

When my husband asks what I’m thinking, I say, “Nothing.”

And it’s true.

I’ve got nothing.

I sit and stare into space as seconds become minutes become hours become days. Not a thought flickers in my mind as I watch dust bunnies frolic in the sun streaming through my window. Everything I want to say, all the stories I want to tell, all the characters I want to bring to life – they yell and scream and clamor for attention, but all I hear is the dull insect drone of a thousand voices talking at once, and even that finally fades away into silence.

And I’ve got nothing.

I’ve got nothing but hopes and dreams and an ever-growing to-do list. I’ve got nothing but a sense of time wasted and a never-ending headache from all the things I’ve left undone. I’ve got nothing but apologies for my family and my readers and my friends.

I want to have it all.

But instead, I’ve got nothing.

Something tells me I will never have it all, despite what I see on TV every day. Something tells me it’s not possible to have it all, despite what I see on TV every day. Something tells me I’ll stop wanting to have it all, because of what I see on TV every day.

So instead, I’ll focus on having something instead of nothing. Because what I’ve got is plenty. And this zombie state will pass. Eventually.



But until it does, the posts here may be few and far between. Don’t worry, though – I’ll be back soon. I love blogging too much to let this place go quietly into the dark of night, especially when the light of day is so warm and inviting. 🙂

In the meantime, how have you been lately? Tell me about everything going on with you – I may not have much to say, but I’ve got plenty of time for listening!

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Where my heart will take me

IMG_20140416_183356Don’t stop believin’.
Let it go.
Be true to your heart.
Keep on movin’.
I’m goin’ where my heart will take me.

What do these five things have in common, aside from being fantastic songs? They’re words that I find inspiring. But more than that, they’re words I hope to live by in 2016.

Two more days. In two more days, I’ll be 32. While I officially surpassed my mother’s age back in August, it’s really just hitting me now, as I approach the first birthday she never reached. Perhaps this all seems a bit self-indulgent, but for some reason, I’ve always thought I would leave the world like she did – young, and with things left to do. There was – is – so much I want to accomplish before I die, and I had no idea…

I feel lucky

dandyAll kids drive their parents crazy, some more than others. Take Thumper, for instance. He’s my baby, the youngest of my four children, and the reason I can’t have nice things. He’s the reason I started sprouting gray hair before I hit thirty, the reason I’m sick of my own name, and the probable cause for any alcoholism his daycare teachers may suffer from.

But you know what? He’s perfect. He may be stubborn to a fault and have more energy than any one person should ever have, but he’s also the happiest four-year-old I’ve ever met. He has such a good heart, even when he’s feeling ornery, and he’s so stinkin’ adorable that I can never stay mad at him for long. I am lucky to be his mother.

For the record, I am lucky to be mother (and stepmother) to three other pretty fantastic kids, too. But I feel especially lucky to be Thumper’s mother, because I almost wasn’t, a fact I was reminded of last night.

We’ve been having…