And Grows A Pair…
I used to be a complete pushover. I still am with kids and animals. My niece and nephew can ask me for anything and “poof” it’s theirs. Clothes, video games, and my undivided attention–you name it. My cat gets Fancy Feast, fresh salmon on Fridays, and all the treats she wants. I cave at the blink of a misty eye or insufferable “meow”. It’s just the way it is. Not a bad gig to be a kid or an animal in my life, right?
As a middle school teacher though, I cannot afford to be feeble. Teenagers will smell it like a predator smells fear on it’s prey. They’ll suss out the weak ones and move in for the jugular. And I’m quite fond of my jugular. So I’ve learned to be tough, but fair and flexible in the world of education. My classroom is best run like a benevolent dictatorship. We are one big happy Confucius family. I am the wiser because I know shit and they don’t. The caveat: I make history fun. As long as they’re laughing and smiling, we’re good.
Crafting one’s resilience is no easy task. It took the second coming of my provocation to grow a pair. A really BIG pair. Now I can’t stop speaking the truth. I just don’t care what people think anymore. I’m going to speak my mind! All I want is for people to be real and honest. Own their mistakes, but quit judging others for theirs. It’s none of their business. Nobody’s perfect. The world is not perfect. History shows that the world does not expect perfection of it’s inhabitants. It’s not possible.
Well, shit went down last summer! Death, taxes, and a knife to the heart. Benjamin Franklin was right, death and taxes ARE inevitable. I just didn’t see the knife to the heart coming, that’s all. I’m still lucky enough to use the 1040 EZ tax form, so don’t get me wrong, the IRS didn’t screw me. They can’t. Ironically, I don’t make enough Benjamins to screw!
Cancer screwed me–or should I say–screwed the ones I loved.
Cancer took my dad on tax day three years ago. The irony! Way to stick it to the man, Dad! It took my soul mate last summer on June 28th. A big screw you to cancer for taking the two men I adored. I lost my rock, my partner, my muse, my voice of reason, my home, my sanity, and my faith in the good will and kindness of two particular people that I no longer consider family. Goodbye, Felicia! It took me therapy; the unconditional love of my family, friends, and students; the support from my colleagues; and the amazing compassion from the Ford Motor Company for me to finally move on.
I started this blog only a few months ago (March of 2016) when I finally managed to crawl out of the big black hole that consumed me for 9 miserable months. Scotty wasn’t around to beam me up. Captain Kirk–MIA–probably off battling Klingons or sleeping with the enemy. No, I relied on my own gravitas and creativity to pull myself out of this shitty supernova.
Tapping in to my creativity, I began the healing process by sharing my love for fashion and vintage clothing through my writings. I’ve always had a knack for style since the ripe old age of two. My mother gave me complete autonomy to dress myself, if not–there was brimstone to pay! I also wanted a way to help empower other women to feel confident about their age, their bodies, and their stories in life. I’ve been doing this with teenagers for a long time, so I thought it was time for a platform for all women–especially women over 40. Every woman (and the men who admire us) should have the opportunity to dress according to how they feel. Our age, size, nor social stigmas should define what we wear. And it’s not up to others to decide for us. As a 49 year old woman who has battled tragedy, followed by depression, early menopause, and a mid-life crisis–I refuse to be put in a category and told what I should or should not do. Or what I should or should not wear. My style is unpredictable. I don’t follow trends. That’s just how I roll.
John (my life partner) wanted me to start this process a few years ago, but I always put it off. He begged to be the ubiquitous camera-wielding boyfriend behind my blog idea, but I didn’t think I was young or glamorous enough to carve a niche.
BUT, I have balls…
I have humor…
I have a perspective…
And a sense of style!
And my fucking balls got me to this point, dammit!
So, here I sit…sans my camera-wielding boyfriend. It’s just me, myself, my cat, my iPhone camera, and my determination! It’s a meager existence in the blogging world, but it’s what I got for now sistahs and bruthahs!
The one who wields the camera these days is either my twelve year old niece (that’s a roll of the dice as there’s only so much conjuring this puberty-whisperer can do), my sister (always ten pokers in the fire), my 80 year old mother (a Facebook dogmatist who can barely operate a garage door opener), a few of my fashion forward students (if I can pry them away from social media), and lately: my blue tooth camera clicker–which has become such a bizarrely relevant accessory in my Instagram posts that I’m going to give it it’s own hashtag account (like MR’s arm party). Something like this: #dumbassforgottohidetheclickerinherhand or #hidethefuckingclickerinyerhandyabigdufus!
One of the biggest lessons I learned from this unwilling “adventure” was how to be strong. My limits were tested. The summer of 2015, I grew a pair. A really BIG pair. Now I know what it’s like to be one tough Muthah Fuckah.
Now, the lady doth protest too much, methinks!
(This one’s for you, John!)