Friday, October 12, 2012


“I looked for that which is not, nor can be,
And hope deferred made my heart sick, in truth;
But years must pass before a hope of youth
Is resigned utterly.

I watched and waited with a steadfast will:
And, tho' the object seemed to fly away
That I so longed for, ever, day by day,
I watched and waited still.

Sometimes I said,-'This thing shall be no more;
My expectation wearies, and shall cease;
I will resign it now, and be at peace.'-
Yet never gave it o'er.

Sometimes I said,-'It is an empty name
I long for; to a name why should I give
The peace of all the days I have to live?'-
Yet gave it all the same.

Alas! thou foolish one,- alike unfit
For healthy joy and salutary pain,
Thou knowest the chase useless, and again
Turnest to follow it.” 
― Rossetti Christina Georgina

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Winter is coming

Some days are harder than others, but I'm doing better every day.  

I was looking through some old pictures the other day and I was reminded of how broken I still am.  Seeing photos of my old home, my old family, my old life really hit me hard and made me realize that as happy as I am, I'm still grieving on some level.  I'm still patching up my shattered heart.
I'm so glad I decided to go to a new place to heal.  I'm not sure if I would have been able to heal back home.

Sometimes it seems like such a slow process, but sometimes I feel like I've come a long way in a short amount of time.  I'm completely taken aback when I think about the person I used to be.  It's as though she was a different person entirely.  I suppose she was.  I'm actually beginning to like the person I have become.  It's a nice feeling.

I went on my first date in almost 9 years.  It went well, until I mentioned that I had been a lesbian for the past decade.  He never called me again.  That kinda hurt, but if someone can't accept and adore me just as I am, I don't want them.  I met a couple other guys, but they were both pretty... meh.

I'm waiting for someone to impress me.  Not that I'm entirely ready to actually date, but I deserve to be impressed.  I'm not talking flowers and jewelry and dinners (though they would be nice!)... but actions, demeanor, ethics, manners.  I can only think of one person who has really impressed me in the last few years, but that's a story for another day.

I was accepted into a volunteer position at the Denver Dumb Friends League as a Pet Grooming Specialist!  I worked my first shift, and it was awesome!  doggydoggydoggy!  They will teach me to groom, and I can use that knowledge to offer mobile grooming services!

I'll be getting interwebs at home this weekend, so I'll be able to do interwebby things more, and not this disjointed, 5 words at a time shit while I'm at work. :P

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Six months ago, I never would have imagined that I would be where I am today.

I'm working 6 days a week at a cute little donut shop and, inane though it may be, I like my job.  It pays the bills and I never get stuck in rush hour traffic!

I have my own apartment, which I love, and I adopted a sweet kitty, whom I adore!

As much as I love my independence, I miss my friends.  It kinda sucks only having one friend, but I'm sure I'll meet more.

Some days are hard, and I do get lonely, but all things considered, my life has only gotten better since I decided to live it.

The nice thing about starting from the bottom is there's nowhere to go but up!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Letting go

14 years ago today, my sister, Jen, was involved in a tragic car accident that ended her life after only 18 years.

After 14 years of grieving, I am finally through mourning her death.

I often wonder who she would be today had she survived, and I am certain that she would have accomplished so much.  She was smart, funny, and beautiful.  She was focused, driven, and on a path that would have lead her to help a great number of people.

I never thought the anniversary of her death would come without the unbearable sense of loss, but it has.  If my faith in God is so strong, how can I continue to mourn her death?  I know she is in a peaceful place, full of beauty and free from pain.

She is loved and remembered by many, and I will always miss her, but rather than focus on the tragic circumstances of her death, why not remember her as a bright and beautiful young woman?

Perhaps I am a little callous, but it is time to let go of the grief and embrace the wonderful memories I have of her.  I know she is not gone.

I can hold fast to the great truth her death has allowed me to see:

If the good Lord wants to call me home, He will do so, no matter if I am on a leisurely drive, on a tiny plane heading toward some remote destination, or fast asleep in my own bed.

Thank you for showing me that I have nothing to fear.
I love you, Jen.
I'll see you on the flipside.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

...and then the stars came out!

The last couple months have proven to be quite a ride.
The great work-from-home opportunity didn't pan out, and I have decided to put my sailing dreams on hold for a bit.  The divorce, as it were, is definitely final, over and done with.  I am rebuilding my life and myself.  Amber 2.0 is currently in production.  It will be interesting to see the final product.

I am learning to put the past behind me.  Forgive and forget.  Let go and let God.


On Saturday, July 30th, I packed my little red Honda full of the things I can't live without, headed East on Interstate 84, and left the place I called home for 32 years.  
For the first time, I embarked on a journey with no definite end and all alone.

I left Portland a little behind schedule because I locked my keys in my car while stopping to say "See ya later" to an old friend, but by the time the sun went down, I was well past the Oregon/Idaho border and well on my way toward Utah. 

I will miss the majestic beauty of the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascades.  The smell of the evergreens in the rain.  The great storm formations and watching the clouds glide along the jet stream.  I will miss the Oregon coastline.  I will miss the ferns surrounding summer hikes.  I will miss the pink snow of falling cherry blossoms in the springtime, my favorite time of year. 

I will miss my home.

But I never looked back. 

For the record, all of the I-84 corridor through Idaho smells like manure... but if you hit it at just the right time, it smells like acres upon acres of sun-warmed potato fields.  Amazing.

I hit Ogden, Utah at around 1 AM and decided to forgo a visit to the ex-in-laws.  Hopefully I will get to see them again at some point, because I love them all very much, but I really wanted to keep going.  I wanted to pass the Wyoming border before I stopped for the night so that when I woke up the next day, EVERYTHING would be new, would be something I hadn't ever seen before.  

A new beginning.

Somewhere just East of Evanston, Wyoming,  I caught my first glimpse of the stars.  I needed to stop and sleep at some point, so I pulled to the side of the deserted freeway, left the engine running, and laid on the hood of my car to take in one of the most heartbeakingly stunning things I had ever seen.  There's really not a whole lot in Wyoming, but it's pretty... Pretty flat.  Also pretty dark.  I've never been in a place with ZERO light pollution before.  The night was crystal clear and I could see every star in the sky, all the way down to the flat horizon.  I'd never seen anything like it except in a planetarium.  I laid there as long as I could stand it, because although it had been about 102 degrees during the day, the temperature dropped dramatically after dark.

The next morning, after sleeping in a car with no space available except the space essential to driving, I found that cellular service was a part of  "things Wyoming does not have".  This also included interesting landscape.  From wherever I was past Evanston, to Cheyenne, it was all flattish, brownish, hot-ish, dusty-ish.  Not having cell service for the entirety of the state actually turned out to be kinda nice.  Except when my car wouldn't go past 30 MPH on the uphills.  Thank God for truckers!  They don't care if you're in their lane with your hazards on...  

The scenery finally got interesting around Cheyenne, Wyoming.  It actually took my breath away because I HAD seen it before.  The rock formations coming out of the ground looked EXACTLY like the Grizzly River Run ride at Disneyland.  Nicely done, Disney, nicely done.

I could finally use my phone again, and got a couple worried messages, made a couple calls to let them know I was still alive, and drove on.


Northern Colorado is a blur:
Giant bison on a hill.
Anheuser-Busch brewery.
"This field of barley is being grown for Coors Brewing"
Why do these people drive like they're stoned??
They are. 


South and South and South and South on I-25, then North on I-225 for just a bit....

Right now I am living in Aurora, Colorado with one of my best friends, his husband, and their roommate.  

Four days after I got here, I got a job.  It may be putting donuts in a bag, but it pays the bills.  My customers like me and the tips are increasing day by day. 

The uninhibited generosity I have experienced here is nothing short of a miracle.

When I think about who I was the day I left, it's so completely different that it feels like a bad dream.  Someone else entirely.  Having the freedom to just "be who I be" has effected an enormous change on me.  The most notable change being my appearance.  I am becoming more and more feminine every day.  It's bizarre, but good... and fun!

My other best friend sent me an amazing box of cosmetics and I am slowly figuring them out.  I am getting more comfortable in them every day.  

I no longer wear any men's clothing, except for a t-shirt if I'm just sitting around at home.  

My hair is long enough to pull back, and I am learning how to style it, but I need a haircut.
I bought a blow dryer and I'm even thinking about a flat iron.

I spend more time on my nails than I ever thought I would.

When I tell people my ex is a woman, they think I was the femme!

Like I said... WEIRD.

I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am ACTUALLY happy.  It is one of the strangest and most wonderful feelings in the world.

Life is GOOD.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


There have been many instances in my life when I have relied heavily upon my faith.  My faith has carried me through loss, tragedy, and hardship, and some days my faith is all that gets me out of bed.  That's not to say I have never suffered a crisis of faith.  Quite the contrary.  There was a point in my life when I lost my faith altogether.  During that time, I learned a lot about Buddhism, and found that by applying Buddhist practices and concepts to my life, I was a better Christian.  These days, I follow the teachings of the Buddha and Jesus Christ, both bodhisattvas in their own right, to help me through.  I do not worship the Buddha, I am simply and deeply grateful for his teachings and guidance.

In following the Buddhist path to enlightenment, the first things I learned were the Four Noble Truths:
1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. There is a path to the cessation of suffering.

That path is called the Eight-Fold Path:
1. Right View - To realize the Four Noble Truths;
2. Right Intention - Commitment to ethical and mental self-improvement;
3. Right Speech - Do not lie, slander, or engage in meaningless, idle chatter;
4. Right Action - Don't steal or harm sentient beings and abstain from sexual misconduct;
5. Right Livelihood - Earn one's living in a righteous way, legally, ethically, peacefully;
6. Right Effort - Use your energy for positive change, not negative change;
7. Right Mindfulness - Actively observe and control the direction one's thoughts take;
8. Right Concentration - Concentrate on wholesome thoughts and actions, one at a time.

Right now, I am working on Right Intention and making changes in my life that will help me continue my self-improvement.  In the past, I worked on improving myself because I thought if I was a better person, better things would happen to me, that if I followed the path, it would lead me to fortune.  Even now, it may seem that all this is leading up to some monumental gain, and that I am simply following the rules until I hit the jackpot.  In a sense, I am, but not for what I hope to gain.  Now I am working to be a better person simply for the sake of being a better person.  For nothing tangible nor of monetary value, but for that which is invaluable to me:

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the world's ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
 -Atisha (11th century Tibetan Buddhist master)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's been a hard day.

Spent most of the day scared and crying.  The future is a terrifying thing, so full of uncertainty...
I've always found that to conquer your fears, they must first be understood.

What am I afraid of?
-Being alone
-Losing everything

aaaand, DISCUSS.

Being alone: Right now, ALL I WANT IS TO BE ALONE.  I might even become a hermit.  For a while.  However, I do worry that I will never find a mate I am happy with.

Failure: Being unable to support myself, unable to afford a boat, unable to do anything, forced to move in with my mom.

Losing everything: An odd fear, since part of the master plan is to GET RID OF EVERYTHING, but nonetheless, I am still afraid of it.

Regret: Here's the big one.  I am so very afraid that I have made a decision I will regret for the rest of my life.

I need to work on letting go... of possessions, of regret, of fear.


It has been a busy weekend, to say the least.  I have an interview tomorrow morning that could really change things for me financially.  It's a work-from-home position with decent pay, good benefits, and some nice perks.  I'm really looking forward to it, as it will (hopefully) give me enough income to live on my own.

On Saturday, I told my wife that I am leaving.  We had a good run. 8 years is nothing to sneeze at, but some things just can't be fixed once they are broken.  I am far beyond placing blame at this point. We have both said and done things that hurt the other person, and after months (years) of trying to figure things out and fix them, I just can't do it anymore.  It's not that I think what we had isn't worth saving, it's that it's gone and can't be saved.  I'm not sure if she can see the difference right now, but hopefully someday she will.  We are planning on keeping this quiet for a while while we figure some things out. We are also planning to continue living together through the summer so we can each create a financial buffer for when we go our separate ways.  It is difficult for both of us, but I hope we will be able to remain friends and move on to greater things.  Even though it hurts, I feel like I made the right decision.  I feel like I can breathe again.

Sometimes, change is easy.  Sometimes.

It is time for me to lay down some plans, so here's a rough outline:

-take a deep breath
-collect pain & suffering settlement
-collect lost wages settlement
-work my butt off
-save every spare penny I can
-take a deep breath
-sell most of my stuff
-store some of my stuff
-pack a little of my stuff
-cry some more
-buy a reasonably sized sailboat with full galley and head for as little as possible
-move aboard aforementioned sailboat in a reasonably priced marina
-learn all I can about maintaining, upgrading, and sailing aforementioned boat
-work my butt off from the boat
-take a deep breath
-hopefully stop crying
-start living.

*deep breath*

Keep on truckin', kiddo, and keep the dirty side down.  You've got this.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A goal without a plan is just an idea...

Physical therapy is kicking my... neck.  Since I'm feeling pretty cruddy today, I thought I'd make a list of things I want to do someday.  A bucket list?

Learn to play flamenco guitar.

Speak Spanish fluently. Again.

Learn to play the banjo.

Buy a sailboat.

Learn to sail.

Sail back to Dutch Harbor.

Sail south along the west coast, around Cape Horn, north along the eastern coast of South America, through the Panama Canal, and north along the west coast to home.

Get to my goal weight.

Learn to SCUBA dive.

To be continued...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Patience & letting go...

Today, I feel like the universe is conspiring against me.  I feel like so much has gone wrong since my birthday, and things just keep going wrong.  At times, I wonder if I really have THAT MUCH karmic debt.  I have not been a wonderful person, so it's certainly possible.  I try to make amends when and where I can, but maybe it's not enough?

But that is the negative point of view.  Maybe the universe is trying to TEACH me something, and I just haven't gotten the message yet.

Patience has never been my forte, and although I have grown a lot in that area, sometimes I still struggle, especially when it comes to instant gratification.  I am having a hard time waiting for Enterprise to call me back about the job I applied for, and last night, I applied for a loan to hopefully make things happen faster.  My loan application was denied, and that's a good thing.  I don't need more debt, and I need to learn to live within my  means... and that means learning to let go.

I thought that letting go would be much easier than it is turning out to be.  Letting go of the desire for things to happen RIGHT NOW has proven to be one of the most difficult.  Let go and let God.  One day at a time.  Guess I actually learned something from all those AA meetings.  Letting go of my possessions is becoming a challenge as well.  Not for most things, but some things with sentimental value, especially things from my grandparents and great-grandparents.  I have been trying to figure out how to let these things go.  Perhaps give them to someone in the family who will cherish them as much as I do?  Keep a couple things out of a collection and let go of the rest?  Take pictures?  Just put them in storage?

The one thing that is the most difficult to let go of is my fear.  Fear of what my family will think, fear of losing people I care about, fear of spending my life alone, fear of failure... even fear of success, because succeeding means changing my entire life... means forging ahead into uncharted waters... means my life will never be the same.

So, universe, are you trying to teach me patience? Are you trying to show me that the path to my dreams winds its way past my attachments, leaving them behind as I strive towards my goal, or just that there is still a lot of work to be done?  The only way to find out is to be patient and see what happens.  Guess I have my answer.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What is the point?


Now that I have some time to myself, I can expound my previous post.

Last night, I experienced a moment of clarity that was unlike anything I had ever felt.  I felt as though, for a brief moment,  I could see how perfect everything was, and like my previous post states, I tilted my head back and laughed at the sky.  Well, the ceiling, but you get the point.  For the first time, it was though all the fog cleared, and I could see IT for the first time.  What exactly IT is, I don't think I can explain.  Perhaps IT is my future, perhaps IT is my dream, or perhaps IT is my path.

The only way I can think to describe it is this:
Imagine you are driving to the coast for the first time in years.  Academically, you know what it looks like - it's an ocean, but you can't quite remember what it actually looks like.
After driving in the rain for hours, you come to the place where you can see the ocean for the first time, peeking through the trees.  A glimpse here, a glimpse there, but never quite enough.  Then, all of a sudden, you drive around a bend, the rain stops, the sun begins to shine, and THERE IT IS.  Glorious.  Breathtaking in its magnificent simplicity.  The very sight of it fills you with ecstatic joy and peace all at the same time.

The epiphany I had last night, if I were to compare it to an algebraic equation, wasn't a piercing moment of clarity regarding the solution, nor was it about the equation itself.  It was X. The great unknown variable.  It was so very simple, and it had been there all the time.

And I tilted my head back and laughed at the sky.

I get it now.

Life is good.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I finally get it...

"When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky."
-Buddhist quote

Thought for the day...

The time has come to stop doubting myself and stop letting other people dictate the way I live my life.

Saturday, May 19, 2012




Today I was supposed to ride my first century ride, but since I sprained my shoulder in the accident, I had to cancel.  Instead, I had coffee with a friend, and was left with a lot to think about...

I am a meaning machine. I make meaning.
My life is empty and meaningless.
My life is an empty vessel, waiting to be filled with the meanings I create.

Currently, life as I see it is distorted by the many influencing experiences I have had, as though each experience is a set of lenses through which I view myself, others, and, in turn, my life:

-Growing up as an only child has left me feeling like I am alone, without community.

-The nicknames given to me by my parents as a child (uglybug, marshmallow, ug) have left me feeling like I will never be beautiful or desirable.

-Growing up in a home riddled with fear and abuse, both verbal and emotional, has left me hesitant to create strong emotional bonds with others, and led me to abusive relationships later in life.  This has exacerbated the feeling that I am alone in the world.

-Having a father who used to be abusive towards my mom and me, who had anger control issues, and who devalues the things I hold dear, does not keep his promises, and does not make an effort to express positive attitudes towards me has made it extremely hard for me to trust men.  This is a huge can of worms that has never been fully opened.  My therapist will make a lot of money off my daddy issues.

-The death of my sister (as well as my grammy and all the others, but mostly my sister) has left me with an underlying attitude/thought stream/script that nothing really matters, you can't take it with you, we are all going to die anyway, so what's the point?

Remove the lenses of influence, let go of the past.  Only then can you truly move forward.

If you peel away your fears, you are left with only the self.

My choices are mine to make, no one else's.  I can choose what I wish, but must own my choices.  In order for my choices to be truly mine, must they be free from the influences of the past? From the influences of others?

Friday, May 18, 2012


Lying on the couch, under the influence of vicodin (legally prescribed!) is the perfect time to ponder my dreams.  
What would my ideal life look like?
Forget the influences of friends, family, society...
Throw away social norms, ignore imagined boundaries...

The life I've only dreamed of:


Follow my insatiable thirst for knowledge and voracious appetite for adventure
Live a life less ordinary

Live simply, without so many attachments
More time doing things that mean something, less time watching tv
Be able to wake up and think "Hell yes, this is my life, and it's fucking amazing."
Buck the system, lose the 9 to 5
Eat well
Free from obligations
Answer to no one but myself
Be able to just enjoy being alive

How do I achieve this?

Get rid of almost everything - pare down to bare necessities, downsize what I keep
Get a different job - flexible, mobile, atypical
Fly solo - sever attachments and obligations
Live cheap - low rent, few or no extra services
Live my mantra - Do the crazy thing, the abnormal thing, the weird thing.

Sounds like a lot of work.  Bring it on!

First things first...

I have been thinking about which aspects of my life are unsatisfactory, and there are a lot of them:

My weight/health
My job/income
My debt/bad credit
My relationship
My overabundance of THINGS
My lack of simplicity
My stress level
I'm sure there are more...

I have decided to start with my current job situation.  Right now, I'm an "independent contractor" for Hot Diggity! Dog Walking & Pet Sitting.  I walk dogs, watch dogs, pet dogs, play with dogs, pick up dog poo, and drive all over hell and gone.  I really enjoy working with dogs and being outside.  The poo doesn't bother me.  What I don't like is the driving and the schedule, which I don't know until the day before.  Every evening, I get an email with the next day's schedule.  Makes it really hard to plan anything or have any kind of life.  The driving is getting out of hand.  I drive anywhere from 40-100 miles per day and spend about $100 per week in gas... and I drive a Honda Civic.  Last week, I was rear-ended while on the job.  Since I am supposedly an independent contractor, I do not get any worker's compensation.  However, after doing some research, I think I am wrongly classified as an independent contractor.  I got in contact with a lawyer to help me sort it all out.  More on that later.

After my accident, my doctor told me to take some time off, and I got a lot of flack from the office for it.  The attitude about my absence made me decide that all the driving and crappy schedule aren't really worth it.
I have applied for 3 positions since I have been on medical leave:
-Shift work at a semiconductor manufacturing plant
-Work from home doing tech support
-Work from home doing reservation sales

As of today, I have heard nothing from the plant, found out I am ineligible for the tech support because I have wireless internet, not FiOS, and I have completed a really long assessment for the reservation sales job.  I think they are really interested in me! YAY!

The reservations position will enable me to work from home (wherever that may be) and start paying down my debts and improving my credit.  It will also reduce stress AND my carbon footprint!

I have also been researching online revenue income, and I published my first article:

I have read that with time and effort, I can make a living publishing internet articles and reaping the rewards through ad revenue.  We will see how that goes.  In the meantime, I guess I'll continue working for the man.

Now... what do I do about the rest of it?


An introduction to my life...

At the moment, I am 32 years old, living in the same apartment I have been in for 8 years, in a relationship with a questionable future, working a mediocre job for a company I don't like, and wondering where my life is going.

I spend most of my free time sitting on my couch, watching netflix on my 50" flat screen, and eating junk food.  I have an overabundance of possessions I don't use and too many hobbies, most of which I don't have time for... presumably because I am busy watching TV.

I am disgruntled, disappointed, disenchanted, and, at times, disgusted.
I am not happy with my life.

The simple answer, of course, is to change the things that make me unhappy.

The question is... What do I want?  Seems easy enough, but then I realized my life needs a complete overhaul, and thinking about what I need to change leaves me overwhelmed, frustrated, and feeling hopeless.

I want to use this blog to document my journey from the mundane to wherever I am going!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The background photo you see was taken on a hike to the top of Bunker Hill, in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.  I miss that place every day, and someday, I will go back.