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Jan. 1st, 2010

How royally bitter-sweet was New Year's Eve. As always it was great to do Christmas with my grandparents on my Dad's side. Home made pizza and gifts and in general great company. However this year I was helping out with cooking in the kitchen and I happened to look at the fridge where the list of birthdays and anniversaries that is sent out each year was hanging. I just made it onto that list a couple of years ago. Now, interesting, I am gone from it again. Then after all the gifts were handed out my grandmother handed out three more gifts. One to each of my brothers and one to my parents together. It was something my Dad's oldest sister had done. Amazing gift really. There is apparently a company where you can send in what you want and they make a book for you. You get to pick the content and the set up and everything and they have the books printed up for you and sent to you. It was all the Misner family recipes and old and new photos intermingled and it had recipes from all of the family members. It was cool to see a book with your parents' names in it and recipes you've seen them make a bunch of times and to see all kinds of old recipes from people you never knew really. Then my grandmother proceeds to tell us all how Chris had one made up for everyone in the family ALL the children and ALL the grandchildren. Nice. I don't count anymore.
I shouldn't be that upset. I told my mother this was the way it would turn out. The moment I moved out I would be erased. I suppose I have not truly been erased, but my status, such as it was, has been removed for certain. I guess, to all of them (on both sides really) I have been nothing more than a charity case for the last 5 1/2 years and they assumed the moment I moved out of the house I would disappear, because I have only been in this house for the purpose of mooching and using. Or perhaps it's not even that malicious, perhaps they just don't care and don't view my excommunication as truly big deal. I have to be honest though, despite all the difficulties I had in the beginning with fitting in and finding my place and learning to truly be a part of the family, I can say without a doubt that I have not in 5 1/2 years ever felt that put out, crossed out, and spit on. Because of where I was sitting I could not really get up and go out of the room, so I had to sit for probably 15 minutes while everyone went through the book and oohed and aahed and teared up. It was really awesome. Had I been included I would have been in tears as well for being given something so magical and meaningful. I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. I would rather have been ANYWHERE for those minutes - dentist chair, doctor's office...I would rather have gotten my leg amputated than sit through that event.
And yet there is nothing to be done. It goes in the hurt vault. One of those many unchangeable, unhealable injuries that won't go away, but it does no good to hold onto. If I stop going to family gatherings and such to avoid feeling this way it will only cause more trouble and dysfunction. So that's out. If I try to speak my mind or write letters it will likely have the same outcome. So I cried my eyes out in the bathroom for a few minutes when we got back to the house. That has to be the end. It will do me no good to harbor the pain and dwell on it. It happened last year after all. ;) This is a perfect lesson in rising above and that is what I want this year to be about.

So I continue to love. I continue to be what I am day in and day out. I will still be grateful every single day to know and share in the lives of EVERYONE I know. Even the ones who seem to care so little or seem to think less of me or misunderstand me. I will be better every single day no matter what tries to stand in my way. Live every moment. Laugh when you want to cry. And love everything you can fit in your heart!

_William Shakespeare_

Dec. 24th, 2009

It's Christmas Eve. I'm so excited. But I miss Michael.

stupid = between me and the coffee pot

man, why is life so complicated? why is everything to do with money and time and SHOULDS? i really hate shoulds. i do without them as much as possible. i want a magic trick that makes money happen, because i'm going to be honest here, it's the only thing that causes me major stress. i've come to a wonderful place in my life with everything else. but, hey, i'm not alone with that, huh?

i am reminded that i have a problem with alcohol lurking underneath the rest of my neuroses and issues. becky made us all sex on the beach last night. i only had two small drinks, but now it's 9:16am and i am thinking about how much i would love a drink. i do that. i don't drink anything for a while and then when i finally do i don't ever want to stop. i could just suck a beer down right now, but the thought of that scares me. so this is why i think it's not yet a problem, but it is certainly an animal i have to be careful about poking.

i love coffee. i can't believe it's less than a week until christmas. i am hungry, but i am not interested in food today - at all.

my mood can be attributed to the following - my dad comes home today from his latest business trip. i am supposed to go pick him up at the airport in portland as always. apparently there is crappy weather in philidelphia so they shut down the airport there. we expected this. but he starts calling and texting at 7am (i wasn't going to get up until 7:30). basically it was "get me home". as though it is my job. as though you don't have an iphone (he does) and as though your fingers won't work (they do) and as though you are not AT an airport to talk to rental car place (he was). and because of that iphone he does this rapid fire texting thing where i will get 8 messages before i can even finish reading the first one. so first thing this morning i am awoken by message after message "call the rental places", "or check the bus stations", "or you can come get me", "enterprise won't do a one way, call avis, budget, or something else", "found a place to rent, book it now" etc., etc., etc...... ARG!!!! not to mention this is all before coffee. my mom booked it for me after i called to see if avis had a car. many thanks to her - she's really the one that bailed me out of total bitchiness for the day.

so not a bad mood, but i am definitely punchy and fired up today. i have to meet him in portland at 1:45pm - bring it on and god save him! :)

Passion Perhaps?

I am pining over a hobby. Seriously.
The group that I hung around/sang with and grew fond of over the summer had a show on Sunday. I didn't go because I couldn't afford the gas and because I'm fighting with my mother over this very subject. And I've been moping about not going. I knew I really wanted to go, but I didn't realize how much it bothers me to not do things related to barbershop when I have the chance to. I just spend almost two hours going through videos, pictures, and quartet websites all over the internet - just browsing through endless, random, barbershop related materials.
It's scary to say that this fascination with Harmony is deepening all the time. I can't believe I'm using this word, but I am legitimately yearning for it. I think about on a truly daily basis and I have this little pang in my chest when I looks it pics and thing "I could have been there".
The hard part becomes that my best and closest resource is my mother and she, frankly put, does not want to share. She's been involved in barbershop for years, she had one of the most fantastic quartets EVER, and she's so incredibly popular within the Harmony Inc. organization. She is the one that sparked my interest in high school by taking a bunch of her students to a barbershop workshop kind of thing. Now, though, she's had some problems with people she used to sing with and truly with her own self-esteem, so singing isn't what it used to be for her. I hate to say this, but she's wallowing. She could be out there kicking ass again (she's incredible at what she does), but she's playing it safe and won't put in the time and effort it takes.
How this affects me: She keeps feigning disinterest in barbershop in general, when the issue really is that she doesn't want to go and be a part of anything unless it involves her singing with her quartet which she is supposedly not ready to do. I guess when it comes down to it, she doesn't want to be involved unless it's about her. Sad to say, but honest. I wanted her to go the show with my on Sunday and she absolutely would not. Excuse after excuse (never the same). You would have thought I was asking her to go have a root canal just for the hell of it. All she could think about was how it would make her feel and how she didn't want to go. I can't seem to get her to see that I love to do things like this with her, because she has a good time (though she won't admit to it for anything) and because I learn so much from her. I really feel that with my lack of experience and knowledge this is going to be an extremely difficult road without her. I need her for this.

For years now I've had this silly dream of singing barbershop with my mother. Just for fun, just for the sheer pleasure of it. And I'm realizing now that this is one of those dreams you have to let go of, because it just can't be. I have a dream now of singing barbershop. Period. That's going to be a long way off. It will be very bitter-sweet if I ever get to where I want to be within it. As it stands at the moment neither my mother or myself can mention barbershop, singing, or any people related to it without a fight and/or tears ensuing. It SUCKS. It seems to me that she thinks she has exclusive rights over the attention in our family. She's all for encouraging me to do it as long as she's not a part of it with me. That just doesn't work. We have this shared hobby, passion, love of something and we can't talk about it.
I suppose I CAN do it without her. I don't know how. I don't know if that's strictly true, but I will try. I am just having the hardest time in the world with the feeling that I have to choose between doing something that makes me feel better than anything I've ever done, something I am unearthing an incredible passion for and attachment to, and having a decent and comfortable relationship with my mother.

I don't know what to do.
I find myself grateful so often these days. Not just because of the holidays. It started long before that. I have always had a sense of all the things the average person hurries by on a daily basis without appreciation, but lately is more than noticing those things, it is feeling blessed to see them, touch them, smell them, whatever. More than once in the last two and a half months I have found myself in the car driving and suddenly just smiling for no concrete reason. Smiling because I see something, think of something, or maybe because of some inner peace I've recently embraced.

Such little things today. I am grateful to live in Waterville again. I mean, there's not much to do on a Friday night, for sure, and it's not awake to the wee hours of the morning, but it's a great place to live. Not all, but I'd say most, of the city is still populated by people who maintain their homes and decorate tastefully for Christmas and it's pretty to drive through most parts. It's up and coming, it speaks progress in a way most people can't see anymore. I was thankful for snow today, every pain-in-the-ass flake of it. It's beautiful. It's a huge part of making Christmas beautiful, it's something I wouldn't know how to live without. I was laying on the couch today looking out the window above my head and the sky by then had turned it's steel gray color and it was amazing just to watch the path of the clouds through the frame of the window. More appreciation. And it's all funny, because I'm not in a particularly wonderful mood today. This is just the way I've learned to see the world and it makes me so happy.

The silly part of it today is that I when I was driving through town today I actually said "thank you" out loud. I suppose that's only silly because of my lack of belief in "God". I guess if you are someone who has that faith it's completely normal to talk to Him out loud. But I just was so full of this feeling today I wanted someone or no one to know I was thankful and I just felt like I had to say it. I didn't really spend time thinking of WHO to thank or WHY it's all here or HOW it was done. That just seems irrelevant in a way. The point is that all of these gifts and all of this beauty are here and WHOMEVER has done it I am full of appreciation for it's presence.

I have said time and again that I respect religions of all varieties and that I interested and admire faith. I think the way I see it right now is that your FAITH is what directs you. It is not a being godlike or otherwise that "tells" you what to do and be it is the belief that you have in it. I don't know if that makes sense in words the way it does in my head. Almost that the act of believing is more important than the object of that action. I am happy for those that have that other dimension to their life. It's admirable.

The way I tend to think is that all we have is the here and now. We cannot possess the future in our hands, not even in our minds come to think - not for certain. We can hang onto the past with our hearts and our minds more than any other creature, but it is not something you can touch and experience or own. Right now, at this moment I can hear my mother breathing on the couch next to me and I can reach out and feel her hand if I want to. I will remember it, but I won't live this EXACT moment again. There will be others and they will be just as wonderful, but it's not the past. So we have NOW. And I love NOW. I don't spend time worrying about how it came to be that all of our combined actions today put us in this moment or that someone somewhere was guiding or influencing our choices and opportunities. I know that right now I feel safe and happy and I love the nearness of my mother and the warmth of this blanket on my legs. And it's these tiny moments, infinitesimal miracles really, when I feel like one of the richest, most fortunate persons on the planet. In fact I know.
I am currently sitting at my parents' dining room table drinking Swiss Miss, playing on the internet and watching the snow fall like crazy. I am going to be even happier in a few minutes when I put my pajamas on. :) It's definitely warm and fuzzy and in this moment I am deeply happy.

Also got a tree today for the house. I'm staying here tonight so we can have a big family breakfast in the morning and then decorate the house and the tree. I'm glad to still be a part of the festivities around here, it's one of the best places to be during this season.

I've put out the word that I'm doing wrapping for people this year for a little extra money. I wonder what you have to do to become a "professional" wrapper. :) That would be good. I like to do it and I can do a pretty good job, so if you or someone you know needs some
wrapping done and doesn't have the time or inclination let me know!

If we don't have snow for Christmas I am going to be sad. I am all excited that it's snowing now and I'm going to be so disappointed when it likely melts. YAY first snow though!

I've Become Ultra Lame

I am having a sad love affair with Glee, Farmville, my new used couch, Christmas music, and croutons.

back in action

Could I have been any worse at updating lately? It said 9 weeks since I last wrote and I'm going to have to go back and see what I had to say, because I can't even remember that far back.

Lots of goings on, so I'm going to try to keep it brief...also because I don't really want to talk about it all. Got a job at Panera in Augusta. HATED it. It was so disorganized and poorly run on top of being staffed almost entirely with bitchy 16-18 year old girls. I stuck it out briefly, but then got a lead that Starbucks in Bangor was hiring. Talked to the new manager up there and she was all set to hire me. Talked to her again on the day that I quit Panera and she decided she didn't want to. Lots of drama from Waterville Starbucks which isn't even the last one I worked at. Annoyed with that. Manager from Bangor and I spoke again a few days later and she was prepared to go against her gut and hire me, but I said no thank you, because I do not want/deserve to work in a place where I can't do my job because someone from my past work history doesn't like me and wants to make my life miserable. It's a long story and suffice it to say I am unable to perpetuate that cycle at this point in my life. So, Starbucks appears to be a closed chapter in my life for the time being. At least in Central Maine and I am feeling oddly pleased and content with that. The unfortunate part there is that I am left only with a part time seasonal job at Barnes & Noble. So far I have worked one shift and they have not called me to come in again. Think they overstaffed for the holidays to be honest. Fantastic.

All of this leaves me in and extremely uncomfortable and moderately impossible financial position, but the upshot is that I have put in all of my paperwork to start substitute teaching. Starting with K-6 and Special Ed. Next year I'll probably add on Jr. & Sr. High Schools too. I have the paperwork in for SAD 49, but once I get my fingerprinting done I can just apply over in Waterville too. It's $63 bucks a day and you have the option to say no if you don't want to do it on any given day. So while the whole job thing has been such an absolute mess lately, it really is working out for the better here (as the Special Education field is where I would eventually like to be trained and end up full time) as long as I can make it through the next month...with Christmas and such I don't know how it's going to work, but I'll just close my eyes and have some faith while doing the best I can.

It's hard to be excited for the holidays given my financial situation, but I can't help it. I am like a little kid sometimes. I can't wait to put up my lame little tree in an apartment that could support two full sized Christmas trees and to spread out my sad collection of decorations over this large place. It will look and seem so silly, but I'll be so happy with it. Also looking forward to decorating and doing the tree thing at my parents' house. That house is always so decked out and Christmas is such a huge deal! FUN! I would never have made it living 2 hours aways from all the festivities! This Christmas is so much more about the spirit to me. Having a lack of funds is actually really good sometimes, it forces you to look around and see what you are really doing and what is really going on. Sometimes I think that Christmas is already lost because people can't see beyond lists, budgets, and things they "have to" do.

I'm still in love with my apartment and being able to see my family and friends on a very regular basis is adding a calm to my life than I have not had in a long time. I just keep waiting for things to stabilize with the job and I feel like things will be all right. But then again, as I look around I seem to feel like a lot of my life is just trying to get through one more thing to make it okay. I don't know, but I somehow have faith that this time it's true...
As of this past Saturday I am a Waterville resident again. It's one of those things that one wouldn't believe could be a happy event. It seems that generally when people get out they want out for good...or at least for longer than I managed. But fact is that I need my family and friends. If I am going to fly and grow and be what I want to be I need a home base - a place that feels good and like home and is full of people I love and trust. I may travel the world, I may try new things all over the place, but Waterville will be home and I'm finally okay with that.

I still have my own place and it's an even more incredible place than the last. Location is pretty great (though I will miss the water so much) and the place is just perfect for me. My mother even said the place is very "ME". It's close to my family and close to many friends. I lucked out so much on this place. It is disgustinly underpriced which is fabulously in my favor. I can't explain either how I just feel better in this place. Last night when I slept there for the first night I had none of the anxieties I had in June in Eliot. I fell asleep in the bedroom where I belonged (like I couldn't do in Eliot) thinking about how good it felt to be in the bedroom and feel like I could breathe. This place is more mine on the second day than the other place was in 4 months. This is an amazing gift.

I just now have to figure out the job thing. I thought I had that secretarial job at the hair salon, but the woman I know has neglected to call me...two separate times. The first time I had to go out there and see her and she was strangely noncomittal. Apparently her business partner had some issues with hiring someone, but this woman thought she could talk her into "no problem". She was supposed to call me back the next day - this was two weeks ago and I still haven't heard from her. So it's back to the drawing board I guess. Pounding the pavement again. November rent is not going to come easily.

So, a little nervous about the job, but overall just happy. Not giddy, not wildly excited. Just comfortable and at peace. Which at this point in my life and in my opinion is so much better

I'm at my parents' now cooking dinner for the family. :) And I'm exhausted in a pleasant way. So, enough for now. Better update sometime soon.

Sep. 22nd, 2009

I'm thrilled. Really, beyond measure. I'm not gushing quite as much this time around, because I'm not needing to manufacture the happiness and convince myself to enjoy what's happening. It's good.

Right now I need sleep, because I'm sick and I've been working too much. Our generation moves to fast, we are to focused on success that is measured by society instead of what we want. Should we really be burning out in our early 20's?

I'll try to pop on for a real update, but the chances of that aren't good until after Saturday.

Happy, but exhausted.

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