Terrorist attacks coming to a major city near YOU!

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“Omg did you go to Brussels??? They were attacked!!!!”
Major cities are going to continue to be attacked to bring attention to the shit that’s going on in the world until something is done to stop the suffering and the blatant disregard of human life on our (western world) part.. Which will never happen bc we deny our part in it. We look at them as barbaric for blowing themselves up and taking innocent lives with them.. But these people have spent 14 years being bombed blown up and attacked by us.. They’ve spent months traveling far and wide carrying practically nothing but their children.. Watching loved ones die along the way. Then they reach borders where they are tear gassed and beaten for trying to cross borders out of the former iron curtain .. Soviet Union .. 
We hear nothing about Russia in all of this.. Our country has NO IDEA about the shit going on with Russia .. and won’t care to know until shit hits the fan and it directly effects us.. Then it won’t matter if we are driving a Stationwagon or a Porsche .. It won’t matter how much money is in the bank.. 
But I’m just a conspiracy theorist who researches too much… asks too many questions… And won’t settle for ignorant silence.  
With a bonus of knowing how to live off the grid.
My thoughts and prayers are with EVERYONE that is affected by the ENTIRE situation.. Not just the people that died today and their families .. It’s with the 1/4 million other people that have died and their loved ones .. It’s with the 11 MILLION people that are homeless and displaced trying to find a life where they aren’t being bombed. It’s with the mentally ill that have zero ability to comprehend everything that their life is. It’s with the people that CAN do something about it, but don’t… Because it doesn’t effect them directly so why stop going about their daily lives to do something about it?  
I’m sure there will be Belgium flags covering Facebook profile pictures by the end of the day.. And that’ll make it all better. 
/rant 

 

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Meeting a man on Craigslist

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Thank you Universe! You always know. 

So this morning I set out to meet a man from Craigslist.. His ad boasting of everything I was looking for. I’m usually typically shy when I meet someone I don’t know… And despite all intention of breaking thru that.. It’s rare that it happens, and I leave fruitless.  

  
I pulled up into his driveway, and I could see he was ready.. Garage door open and the bed waiting there for me. Do I just walk in? Should I knock on the front door? I decided to ring the bell, and around he came from the side of the house.  
“Heeeyyy Roger!!!” I exclaimed, extending my hand.. “I’m Storme!” 
He shook my hand and invited me in. We talked for a little while, sharing travel and camping stories. I checked the bed out .. Comfy enough! I told him about my frugal travels and when I told him how little I spent in some of my endeavors he smiled .. “A woman after my own heart” .. The connection was there.. He told me he couldn’t go to Mississippi for that much. I told him that’s where I live, and he started talking about Cruising the Coast.. Our annual antique car week.. “Do you like old cars?” He asked.. Unveiling his 76 Mercury cougar in mint condition.. 

  
He had stickers for every cruising the coast in the last 17 years or so.. Talk about a match made in heaven! 

  
I showed him my Airbnb listing and invited him to cut his costs the next time he’s in town. It was a total win win for us both. Realizing he probably knows many mechanics and automobile enthusiasts in the Houston area, I asked if he knew anyone that would have the knowledge to work on food trucks, remembering that Courtney had just put that out there the day before. Yupp! He gave me the info and we started loading up the camping beds and Coleman oil lamps..  

  

Who would have thought I’d have so much to talk about from a random grandpa from Texas? His wife came to say hello and let him know he had a phone call and we parted ways. ❤️😊

“but that’s about you” – owning my anger towards cancer

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It doesn’t take much for me to get distracted.. but you can bet your boots that reading a post where someone wishes cancer on someone else.. that will do it everytime.  Not just one person, but this person wished cancer on all the management people at their cable provider because 300GB of data just isn’t enough to keep up with her gaming lifestyle.

  
I debated for a few minutes after reading it, to figure out if I even wanted to respond to that.  I couldn’t wrap my head around it.  Why would anyone WISH CANCER ON SOMEONE?????  And over bandwidth??? Seriously? I responded.. and responded to the response.. and then decided to walk away.

  
  
  I was so fuming mad that I took screenshots of the post and sent them to a friend.. needing some sort of validation to my anger from some rational thinking person.. to which I got back “but that’s about you”

What?? What the fuck?? I wanted to pour out all the anger that came along with this whole conversation.. but she was right. It was about me.  It was totally about me that I was so entirely pissed off that this person would wish cancer on someone because with that statement, a thousand images of what that one word, “cancer”, brings.

fcancer
  The hours I spent vomiting, long after there was nothing left to vomit.  The longing to go outside and feel the sun on my face, but not having the strength to get out of bed.  The pain. The pain of feeling my cells fight each other inside of me. The pain of radiation killing cells inside of me.  The sores and blisters inside my mouth.  The lockdown to prevent further illness with such a low immune system.  The rooms of other patients, and faces that change, or don’t make it back for the next round.  The fear.  The fear that death was knocking on my door.  That I could die.  The smiles I put on my face so people wouldn’t worry… because I didn’t want them to go through what I went through when my mother was dying of cancer.  

  
I remember watching her fade in and out of sleep.. her breath stopping for longer than it should until she gasped for another breath.  I remember her going thru the stages of grief, knowing that she wasn’t going to beat this thing.  I remember the blood transfusions, and the tests.. each result almost unbearable to wait for.  Every answer weighing down on just how much time we had left together.  I remember watching her favorite movies with her, and putting her in the wheel chair to keep getting out and living to the best of her ability.. even if that was only a 10 minute wheel around the block.  I REMEMBER WATCHING MY MOTHER DIE A SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH .. and do it with SO MUCH dignity.

  

I remember my gran fighting this same beast .. Like a champ! And the other family members that have ALL been taken by this monster.

   
    
   I REMEMBER FIGHTING MY ASS OFF so that I didn’t die that same slow painful death.  Walking miles after surgeries against doctors advice.  Getting out and about when I was supposed to be on bedrest.  Drinking those foul green smoothies and juices, if I could eat or drink anything at all.. because if I was going to force it down me, it was going to work towards the fight.  I remember avoiding tv, and finding things I loved to do.. discovering I could paint.. and write.. and sing.. although I rarely had the breath and energy to get thru a song at that time.

This upcoming week makes 10 years since my mother passed away.  It doesn’t feel like it’s even been 10 months.  She was only 49 when she died… ironically, because she always said “I’ll be lucky if I make it to 50”.  I wish she were still around.  We didn’t have a very close relationship, but in those months that I was able to spend with her before she died, we grew close..  what could’ve been the beginning of the kind of relationship I had always wanted with my mother.

I wish she were still around.  I wish she could see her grandson.. and experience being a grandparent.  I wish she hadn’t been diagnosed with Cancer.  I wish that no one would ever be diagnosed with cancer ever again.  So yes… when I read someone wishing this awful illness on a group of people just carrying out their job descriptions to cap data to 300GB per month.. I take it quite personally.
/rant

From Fuck You to Thank you Cancer for my “Remember When” list

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Six months sober, and divorced… A few days after my final goodbye to my four year old son, I hit my knees.

the second cocktail of chemo drugs caused a reaction and hair loss

 No, I wasn’t praying.. I was in so much pain that my body collapsed into a ball without much thought.  One minute I was texting “sweet dreams” and by the time she responded I wrote back “I think I’m going to the hospital”.  I felt like I was going to DIE; like a gremlin and the monster from the Alien were doing the monster mash right there in my gut.  I panicked, not only because of the pain but because I lived alone.  What if I got worse before I could alert help? One of my fears of being alone coming to life.  I called my friend asking her if she could please take me to the hospital.  She asked what’s wrong and I told her “please just come quickly.” I debated calling an ambulance but I didn’t want the attention of the street.. My self consciousness still winning, even in an emergency.

  By the time she arrived I had slithered down the 18 stairs from my raised house and was sitting balled up on the bottom step counting the hour long milliseconds that it took for her to arrive.  Once at the hospital, it took 45 minutes to be seen, and another 30 to get any kind of pain relief.  They wanted to do testing first.  I can’t say I blame them, I’d hit every emergency room in the area in pain at one point or another, seeking pain medicine to get high. In the moment tho, I hated every last one of them.  Restraining myself from punching holes in the wall felt impossible.  Laying waiting in our little cubical of the ER, I felt the mess starting to kick in.  The edge of the cliff began to get distant, and the doctor came and asked my friend to step outside.  She returned in tears, the doctor behind her looking somewhat apprehensive.  They told me they had found a tumor… A 19cm tumor wrapped around my left ovary and Fallopian tube.  It was the size of a 5 month pregnancy.  I remember the doctor looking at me like I was crazy.  “You didn’t have any symptoms before now?” He asked.  I thought about it and told him that I did have an increase in pain but I assumed it was because I was sober, and I could actually feel pain now, or maybe because I had started walking and my body was adjusting.

Pictures from the initial surgery

A symptom of PTSD is unmanaged dissociation.  Everyone does it on some level whether it’s entering auto pilot while driving,  and you end up wherever you are going but you don’t remember getting there.  That’s the mild side of the unmanaged dissociation spectrum.  Extreme sides of the spectrum are cases are dissociative identity disorder or DID (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) where the psyche completely splits into separate identities to perform various roles to the host.  There are many stops along the way of that spectrum, and I fall in at about the 60-70 range.  If you want to know more on this feel free to ask!  The point is,  my ability to separate from the feeling of physical pain was so fine tuned that the magnitude of the symptoms weren’t registering.  There was a disconnect.

  So, back to my story.. It’ll be a miracle if this blog actually tells the story I opened it to tell!
  From there I was rushed into surgery, the tumor was removed, along with my ovary and Fallopian tube.  A week later I found out that it was indeed cancerous.  Another fear.. Both my gran and my mother were killed by cancer on my mothers side, and my dads mother was also killed by that monster, and now it had me.  I won’t go into all the specifics.. Maybe another blog piece, but that was where my faith really began.

It wasn’t in a foxhole prayer, “God, please save me… ” it was real faith.. It was where I stopped bartering with the “if there’s a God” and started accepting the current moment exactly as it was.  I had been working on my third step in AA, “we made a decision to turn our will and our life, over to the care of God as we understood him” and I was almost all in.. The only reservation I had about staying sober was “if I lose my son I’m getting fucked up” and then I’d lost my son, and stayed sober.

Truth be told, I was secretly in love with another recovering alcoholic and I wanted to prove how committed I was to sobriety.  She had so many years sober, and I had only months.  I thought if I could tackle these monsters of reasons to drink, without drinking, we could bypass the “sober for a year rule”.

  I fought, every day, well almost every day.  There were some days when I couldn’t fight, and I had to lay in bed and just rest.  I remember feeling so much anxiety and panic when I would try to lay down and rest.  This video pretty much depicts that part of the fight (i record and document everything because my memory isn’t too great, and i lose time a lot… a big part of my recovery has been trying to piece together and accept that these things will happen, but looking for ways that i can take care of myself to make them less intrusive)

I was so scared that while I was resting, the cancer was taking over. No imagined it to be like a black cloud that I’d dispersed with my light of my sun, but crept back over when I wasn’t looking.  If I stopped, my body would get weak and I’d lose the fight.. And that just wasn’t an option.  Most breakdowns actually served their purpose in bouncing me back for the next round…

I spent many manic nights awake.  I began painting.  I didn’t want to watch tv, and so I started painting and found that I could paint! I had no idea.  I was pretty amazing at it too!!

Painted from a photo of Chicago that I found online
My secret love challenged me to try spray painting after seeing a video of the NYC spray paint artist..


Time lapse Video of 48 hours of learning to spray paint… not bad!

I gladly accepted the challenge, and within 24 hours I was spray painting my way to a masterpiece. 🙂 I remember selling some of those to my friends on Facebook, helping to generate some money towards the mounting costs of prescriptions and co pays.  I delivered pizza part time for Papa Johns in the evenings, and worked the back drive thru window of McDonalds with my AA sponsor and good friend in the mornings.
Having fun on the job 😉
  I bounced between photography and painting when I didn’t have the energy to walk.  In finding the gift of artwork, I saw a reason for being sick.  I would’ve never known I could paint if I hadn’t slowed down.  I remember how I felt the first time I realized that.  I’m crying again now just remembering how intense that feeling of trust in the universe was.  I remember telling the universe that it could’ve been a little more subtle than the big C, but then I thought about all of the times that I could’ve slowed down, and should’ve slowed down, and I didn’t.  Always running running running because I didn’t want to feel, and if I slowed down or stopped then the feelings would come flooding thru me at an overwhelming rate and I didn’t know how to adjust the faucet.  It was stuck wide open and I couldn’t handle all of that so I ran, staying busy.  It’s why I got fucked up to begin with. Thank you cancer.
a dresser from my sons room that became a painting project
  Four surgeries, and five chemos into the fight I began researching what could I do to improve my chances.  I asked questions on Facebook, and you guys responded with juice recipes, plant based diets.. And so I tried it.  I remember I couldn’t eat much at the time, but I kept telling myself “if I’m going to force myself to eat something, it’s going to be something that will help kick this bitchs’ ass! And I’d add a spoonful of peanut butter to a very green leafy disgusting  cocktail, blend it up and drink up.  I remember making music videos and joining the happy days fb group where my newsfeed filled up with all of these reasons people were happy that day.  That’s where I met a lot of you guys!  There was something about knowing people were watching, or at least feeling like they were, that grounded me.  I didn’t want you to see the real me.  I didn’t want you to see the crazy me, so I attempted to hide it, failing miserably with those I got close to, but it served its purpose.  I kept striving to improve, to be a better person, to show all of you how amazing I really am.. Because I didn’t feel it.. And you guys would tell me I am, and for a moment I would feel it… And as a true addict, it felt good so I wanted more.

 I began a bucket list which I named the “remember when list” because it was a list of things I would one day sit on my front porch telling stories of “remember when” to what I’d hope to be, my love.. Sitting next to me, saying “yes dear” 🙂 – that fantasy pushed me.  It set a tone inside of me and I wrote that list of things I wanted to do in my lifetime!! As that list grew, I realized that I didn’t have time to have a job.. Not in the traditional sense.  I started thinking of ways I could make money without actually going to work, and reading nomad blogs, learning how to travel as cheap as possible.  Again the faith came in, as I thought about everything I had already survived, and I saw how each individual storm in my life created a piece of evidence that I would be okay, no matter what.  Dealing with mental illness, never actually killing myself despite many years of feeling that was my only safe place to live mentally… Katrina.. Being homeless.. Heartbreaks.. I had survived  many storms, it’s what I do! In that I found strength and courage.  I saved links, and took notes, learning and forming the vague outline of how I could actually start working on some of these bucket list ideas.  Sure.. I couldn’t go backpacking Europe that day, laying in bed feeling sick as a dog, hurting, and generally wanting to die on some level.. But I could start studying.. Figure out what id need to do.. What equipment would I need? I’d only been camping twice.  I started looking on craigslist, and reading more and more.

What could I sell to generate money? I started painting sand dollars, and furniture, and whatever else came my way.  I sat out on Saturdays at the farmers market, hoping to sell a piece.  I went to galleries and talked to the managers, showing my portfolio.. I read blogs on how photographers make money with their pictures.. And the majority of the money is in portrait photography.. It wasn’t something I felt I was good enough for, having seen others work.  I didn’t have the money for the equipment I really needed, but I took my Panasonic LUMIX camera and did the best I could.. Watching YouTube videos on how to edit portrait pictures.  Touch ups etc.  I had the eye, I just didn’t have the knowledge, but I learned!

Adorable little girl and her mother that responded to a FB ad

I posted questions in fb photography groups, and they came back with all the answers to help me improve.  It provided the money to travel some more, but I didn’t care for it enough to pursue it further.

I took on a couple of website gigs, rehashing skills from my earlier years, and hustled flipping a broke down car.

Changing out the brake calipers – gotta trust the Universe to learn this on YouTube!

There’s never an easy answer to “how do you afford to travel” I just do whatever the moment presents itself with, and I am always provided for.  The Universe takes care of me as long as I allow it to.  I never thought I’d be a paid blogger.. $5-$12 a day, but it’s something! Every little something adds up and creates opportunity for more experience, and with more experience comes more opportunity.  It’s an amazing circle of life.

  Now my hope is to use my blog to not only record doing all this with mental illness.. (Which I really want to write about the transition from traveling to home.. I definitely need a better plan for reentry.  The last few days have been rough and I feel very spacey, ungrounded), but not only that and frugal traveling, but I’ve been writing the story of the travels from a first hand perspective as if the reader is the one traveling.  Once the story is written I want to record it and put pictures and videos to it so that the viewer or reader feels as if they are really traveling the world.

Then I want to donate it to everyone fighting a terminal illness, so that they can dissociate into the story and maybe get a little relief from the reality of the pain and treatment that they are going thru.  I hope it inspires them to fight, to really see the world, or whatever their bucket list things are, and if that’s no longer an option, I hope I get to help fulfill at least one of them by having this experience to share.

  Having said that..
I’d like you help me out by clicking on all the ads you see on this page, clicking back to the blog between each one.  I get paid per reader and per ad click.. And that helps fund this adventure.
I’d also like you to shared story if you believe in me and want to be a part of it!
And lastly, there is a box to subscribe to the blog, if you want notifications of new posts to the blog.
With that.. I hope you enjoyed my story.. It’s what got me to where I am today.. This year I have seen 22 states in the USA.. Fallen in love with traveling, seen my nephew for the first time, seen my first concert, mastered camping, backpacked four cities, opened an Airbnb of my own, become a paid blogger, met sooo many amazing new people, and next month I am leaving to backpack Europe! It’s wild!  If this is a dream, I never want to wake up.  Thank you Cancer!
“It’s a perfect day for a perfect day!”

$220 all expenses paid Chicago vacation.. How?

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So here it is!!!  This is the number one question that I get asked, and I finally have a day where I am not having a million adventures, and I can sit and write the financial side of everything I just did, as promised.  This will blow your mind, and I’m not just saying that to keep you reading. Trust me, I did it, and it blows my mind!

New Orleans to Chicago – $220
Income from my Airbnb + $0
Chicago to NYC
NYC to DC
DC to New Orleans in $

It all started with an email. Southwest Airlines had a special going on and was kind enough to let me know about it.  Usually I never open spam email, and in fact I have changed my email address to start over on the masses of spam email I would get in a day, and have to fish thru to retrieve personal emails… and yes.. I still use email.  It’s my preferred method of contact with my therapist.  It respects boundaries, isn’t time sensitive, but keeps the communication open.  Since I am traveling, it is hard to maintain my therapy, but it has been a vital part of my recovery, and it feels safer the more doors I have open where I can be open, honest, and real about where I am at.  It is too easy to get caught up in the adventures, and before I know it, none of my basic skills to manage my mental illness are in place, and I am once again spiraling out of control, heading for depressed and suicidal fast! Which reminds me, I should see her while I am in town.. I love how that works.  BRB

ok email sent!

Soo.. cost breakdown.. Southwest Airlines email.. so I click on my departure airport; New Orleans, and ciew the flights.  A list populates and I scroll down the results to find the cheapest flight, and where it is going.  “Midway Intl. Chicago $83 one way”

well, I know that Chicago is a major city, and I can only imagine how cheap the flights to various places out of there might be.  I have many friends in the windy city, and I’ve really never visited Chicago on my own, as a tourist with a camera, and just let myself go wherever the wind blows.  I’ve always been there with an alternate reason, and a time constraint.  So I go my list of “what do I need to survive if I go to Chicago” list.  Shelter, food, a way home.  Next step, I load myAirBnb app, switch to a traveler (from a host.. for those who don’t know, after I discovered AirBnb I listed rooms for rent in my house so that others could travel for as little as possible, therefore promoting and inspiring more people to travel) “Where am I going?” Chicago! I type in the info, drop my $ range to $0-$30 and look at what comes back.  Scroll, scroll, scroll.. $20 a night, a bunkbed in what looks like a hostel type of environment (hostel as in a place to sleep, not hostile) I check the calendar and it has 2 nights available when I get there.. booked. Flight… booked.  Holy shit I’m going to Chicago! $79 for the flight, $20 to sleep, shower, change, charge my phone and camera, and the ability to eat for next to nothing… I am in!

I remember an article I read about finding cheaper flights after a flight is booked, and two days later I check out cheaper times to travel to Chicago, if there are any? Sure enough there’s a flight for $44!

I log on, change my flight and receive a credit of $35.  I price tickets from Chicago to NY, and find a flight for $59.. I use the credit and pay the remaining $24… I guess I need to start planning for NY TOO!

At the airport, I am packed into one backpack that weighs about 60lbs.  Three outfits, camping cooking equipment, camera, journal, chargers, and toiletries.  Two bottles of water, couscous (just in case) and a determined mind to do this! First lesson… bottled water can not go through the security check if it is more than 3 oz, so there went my waters!  I paid the $3 at Subway for a new bottle once I was on the other side.  I have to drink all of the time.  When I get dehydrated, my body panics and panic escalates quickly into an attack where I am unable to function to just get a drink.

Once at Midway, I pay $3 for a train ticket into the city.  I have no idea what I want to do first, but time is ticking, so the city it is.  Besides, that’s where I need to be to take the pink train to the general area of where I am staying.  I later realize that if I had done more research on the metro payment system, I could’ve saved that $3 and just bought the weekly unlimited travel card for $28 (there is a $5 fee for a new card, but by filling out a form on their website, it is refunded… yes I am that frugal! $8 in savings is groceries, cereal and milk, or almost half a nights stay at another hostel, which means a whole new perfect day I can add to my travels.  Trading time for savings gives me more time before I ever have to actually go to work.  (Which has now been 10 months since I actually clocked into a job anywhere)

This blog is taking forever to write! I feel my concentration slipping, but I want to get it done because I have been wanting to write it, knowing that so many of you want to know.. so yea day one.. I find a list of things to do in Chicago for free, and I start doing them.  $12 in groceries when I get to the airbnb. (Thank you Harrison!)  

Unexpected expenses included filling prescriptions – $12 and I lost my transit card, so I had to pay another $28 for a weekly travel pass.  I did treat myself to a nice formal dinner, and ate at cheaper dine in places a lot more than I anticipated.  It is exhausting walking all over a city and seeing everything, not to mention I had pneumonia and didn’t know it, so it’s not surprising I didn’t have the energy to be conservative about food, and preparing my own meals.  I also paid $21 for the 360 observation deck.  It’s $19 for one visit, and was $21 for two visits within 48 hours.  As a photographer, who doesn’t want a night and a day time experience?

After the two nights at Harrison’s place, I found another airbnb to keep me for a night at $35 – a little more than I’d like to spend, but it was a private room, and tho I attempted to find another traveler thru the nomad facebook groups, and various other travel friends groups I interact with, it was short notice, and I had the room to myself, which given I didn’t know I had pneumonia, was probably for the best.  Over the counter meds and cough drops, thermometer etc $25 Two days in bed at a friends house (free lodging and amazing company, Thank you Annette!) An amazing free raindrop technique using Young Living oils, and I was up and running for another couple of days!  Lincoln Park Zoo, skyline pictures, a free guided walking tour, and before I knew it, it was time to fly to NYC!

Total expenses for a week in Chicago, flight, lodging, food, attractions, and medicine = $220!

Stay tuned for an even cheaper week to and in NYC!!!

We, The People, have a dream…

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We, the people, have a dream…

When did we become a country at war with itself?  Why do we have two parties?  Aren’t the things that are vital to The People of the United States of America one in the same?  We are a family.. a foster family where anyone is welcome.  That’s what this great nation was born from.  Our ancestors fled their own countries searching for a better life.  The American Dream.. but where was that dream born?  Where did they hear that in America things would be better?  The land of opportunity.

We Are All Equal

That is a generalized statement.  It depends on what measurement we are using.  The only level that we are actually equal is that we were born on this planet.  I am not even my own blood sisters’ equal.  Sure, we have the same parents, we are the same race, we grew up in the same house, we even have the same eye color/colour but we are not equal.  We are very different.  We live in different countries. We have different accents, different beliefs, different values.  We live different lives, and we are different people.  We all have a difference in our opinions.  Why do we get defensive about that? Why do we insist on projecting our opinion on others?  Why are we so afraid to be different, when that is all we can be?  It’s okay!!!  We are all beautiful people, created for a purpose.

Given that the hot topic in America is the presidential election.. I am going to demonstrate how to practice unconditional love by painting a very different picture of Donald Trump.  Nooo .. I’m not literally going to paint him, there are enough caricatures of him knocking about.

Now for those who don’t know me, I am not a fan of the thoughtless, gum flapping, ignorant bigot that Donald Trump is.  I find his views despicable.  My heart actually hurts for him.  To be so detached from love must be an awfully sad life.  There isn’t enough money in the world that can make up for being that heartless.  To have that much hate in your heart that you’d close the door on your neighbor.  To be that afraid of an entire religion, that you’d want to eradicate the perceived threat.  That kind of fear is unspeakable to live with.  I know that Donald Trump was born into this world for a reason.  His role, I am sure, is playing a very huge role in a greater good right now.  I have all the faith in my higher power that that statement is true.  I don’t know what that greater good might be, and I know that it may not feel like the greater good to everyone it effects, but I trust that it is.  I know that I wouldn’t want to have been born into his shoes.  You couldn’t pay me enough to have lived his life.  The anger, resentment, and hate that spews from his mouth speaks volumes to the hurt and fear in his heart.  He doesn’t know true love, and wouldn’t know it if he had it, because everything about his life revolves around money.  Having it, not having it, pretending to have it… He’s probably never known how gratitude feels, how peace feels.. how it feels to be content.  To question the motives of his nearest and dearest, never fully trusting that they weren’t just out to gain from the relationship.  No.. you couldn’t pay me enough to have lived his life.

Now why would my higher power allow such a twisted soul to rise up in power?  Change.  This presidential election will be one that creates change.  There is no doubt about that.  Change for the greater good.  Now I don’t know about your higher power, whether that is God, Allah or the support of your loving friend that is sitting beside you.. but my higher power isn’t just an American higher power.  My higher power is the Universe, and the loving energy that flows between all living things.. all of Gods’ creation.  Sometimes there are sacrifices that are made for the greater good; Casualties of war.  Maybe the Universe is doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves.  We’ve waited for president after president for the “right president” to come along and steer us back to that dream that our ancestors were promised.. that we were promised as the tales of our forefathers were retold.

Our government was formed to protect us.  Laws were written to protect us from the things that we fled.  We may be the United States of America, but we still live in Little Italys, Spanish Harlems and Chinatowns.  We are parented by two parties that are always fighting, and ultimately always come out as children of divorce, having to pick one side or the other when there’s things about both sides that we love.

We, the people, matter.  We, the people, send our children off to war, to fight for this great nation.  We, the people, work 7 days a week just to make ends meet, leaving our babies to be abused by strangers in daycares.  We, the people, don’t want to fight about Trump or Clinton.. we want to be able to meet our basic needs, spend time with our family and friends, and enjoy our time here on this beautiful planet.  Why does that have to be so complicated?

I have to say, thinking about the President as our nations parent figure, and then recalling the vulgar comments that Trump has made about his daughter.. I’d feel slightly molested if Trump were to win.

Well, that was my thought for the morning while watching World War I in color on Netflix and cleaning.  I should probably get back to cleaning…

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Leftover Hurricane Katrina MRE’s and Soulmates

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“I could relate to the part about eating spoiled food.. not initially, because it grossed me out.  I remember craving sugar soooo bad and being on a diet. There wasn’t any in the house.  I remember finding the half of a container of chocolate frosting, from that cake I had baked months ago.  I remember eating a little spoon of it to get my fix.  To get that sweet sugar embedded in all the preservatives.. that sweet sugar that somehow melts and swims around in the pits of my mouth.. prodding each and every taste bud.. seducing them until they want more.  I don’t know if that container was expired, but who in their right mind eats spoonfuls of month old opened frosting from  the pantry?  No one.. that’s the point.. the insanity is real.”

I could see the heads nodding as I spoke.  They were relating.  They were each reliving a memory of a time that they too had eaten something spoiled, or craved something that much.  The insanity of this disease is indeed real.  I shared about how I had gone thru every nook and cranny of my house, to throw food away that would never fit into  my new menu.  It’s what I had to do to get clean and sober.  I had to flush that pound of marijuana.  I had to throw away the vodka, the frozen gallons of daiquiris, and the loose alka pops.  The same thing applied here.  Anything that was packaged, processed, or didn’t fit into this plant based menu.. it had to go.  Initially I had started creating a side pile of food that I could give to my friend down the street.. she had kids, and I wouldn’t want it to go to waste.  I have such a HUGE hang up about food going to waste.  I set another pile aside of “Community food” for the travelers coming thru.  I remember the broke days of traveling, and how a pack of noodles, some butter, and maybe some cheese would constitute dinner.. all of which I had found in the cupboards of the hostel, left behind by previous  travelers.  My  friend came over, and I started to go thru each box of macaroni and can of soup to see if she wanted it.  It suddenly occurred to me that I had never bought mac and cheese.  I don’t like mac and cheese, and that was there from my ex… THREE YEARS AGO!  By the time we were done, there was barely anything left in the house.. which is good! Anything that is healthy for me wouldn’t last long anyway, and i am only one person.  I don’t need a pantry full of food.  A fridge and freezer stocked to full capacity.  But what would people say? They’d think I was poor.. that I can’t afford to eat… Where the fuck did that belief come from?

So what was I saving it for?  Hurricane Katrina 2? My fear of some day running out of food dictated so many of my decisions in the way I purchased food.  I had to have a variety of food to satisfy my cravings.. of course I always seemed to crave something I didn’t have, that led me back to the store, where I ultimately bought a ton of crap I didn’t need to eat.  I had to make sure I always had enough food in the house.  I still had MRE’s from hurricane Katrina!! 10 years ago, i hadn’t eaten them in the most desperate situation of my life… and yet somehow I thought an apocalypse would come, and my means of survival would be this box of military rationings that had been delivered during the aftermath!!!!!!!

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What in the actual fuck goes on in my mind?? These are actual thoughts that have floated on by and been accepted into my perception of normal behavior.  Like, how does that thought ever get past the gate?  It’s this little fucker of a disease.. the disease of compulsive eating.. the disease that HAS to know the plan for eating, or my whole world gets flipped upside down.  It’s the insanity of the mountains of clothes in various sizes because i will always need each size at some point in the weight loss gain cycle of my life.  It’s the insanity of the pain, torture, mental anguish and self hate that comes with the consequences of compulsive eating.. and yet I still want that fucking chocolate bar… its like russian roulette wrapped in foil every time.  The inner war that comes with this disease drives people to suicide.. every day.  That battle in the mirror every morning.  Am I going to love myself or hate myself today?  Seeing that reflection is certainly a handicap.. but when I look into the mirror.. can I look past the roll of fat? Can I look past the little black hairs that keep growing on my chin.. the same hairs I remember my great gran having… can I look past the scars where blades have severed the skin, and cigarettes have burned holes? Can I look past wrinkles that are beginning to appear around my eyes?  The wrinkles that remind me I’m getting older, and still alone.  Can I look past the tattoos of manic nights where it sounded like a great idea and the missing teeth from drunken brawls?  If I can just get past that, then I have a shot.. because past the looks of my vessel lies my soul.. my heart.. my love for the universe around me.. and that is what’s important.

This was a perfect example to file under “evidence”.   I HAD survived Katrina! I survived without needing those MRE’s.  My higher power had provided a way.  He sent me to work in a store that had small shipments coming in.  A store in a less effected area.  A store with an RV in the parking lot that had a generator or some means of cooling.  My higher power took me out of the trenches to a place that I could be of assistance to others.. and I was!  I went above and beyond extending myself wherever I could, all in the name of rebuilding what we had all lost, and THAT came from my soul.  THAT is what I am made of.  That I would give the shirt off of my back, and I have.. because I know that I will be provided for.  That same higher power will be with me always, providing my needs.. so that I can continue being my purpose.  I won’t check out of this place until my purpose is completely served.. no matter what that road looks like.  For all I know, it could be to write this blog, that someone somewhere needs to read so they don’t jump off a bridge tonight?  Maybe saving that life in this moment is my purpose.. and that’s it.. ?  I personally hope I will be around a lot longer.  I believe that space time continuum carries on no matter what, and the way we are treating our planet.. I’m not sure how many lifetimes I want to stick around for.  What if how we treat this planet in this lifetime, determines the quality of the planet we are born to in the next?

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It’s the deep thinker that I am that I love.. and I hope to attract.. for those long conversations about the what ifs of life.. It is the familiarity of my soul that will attract the right partner to me.. not the exterior.  She is the other half of me, and that’s what matters to me the most.  Having said that, if that were true, then I wouldn’t be so concerned about my weight, and my outer appearance.  Maybe this is my lesson right now.. Learning to love myself unconditionally.. completely.

I sometimes wonder if the life my other half has been dealt this time is that of a straight man in Thailand or something of the sort.  Not all lifetimes are for learning and experiencing love like that tho.  Maybe this lifetime, my lessons are in the distant corners of our world? Maybe I’m not meant to meet a partner, and settle down like everyone else.  Maybe I am meant to make a difference, and leave my legacy???

Well.. if that is the case, then I’d better quit eating spoiled cake frosting, and preparing for Armageddon when it comes to food.. it’s not exactly like i have a stock pile of batteries, bottled water, and flashlights…

Thank God for step Two.. “we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” Oh thank goodness!!! I don’t even have to be the one that restores my fucked up mind! My higher power is going to do that for me!  I just have to show up.  I just have to believe that a life outside of compulsive eating is possible for me.  I too, can recover.

 

Tonights artichoke eggplant pizza!

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