Happy Birthday Mom!

Hi Mom,

Happy Birthday.

I can’t believe you’ve been gone for two years already, it somehow seems like a lifetime ago.  I suppose in a sense, it was.  The new year was awhile back, but I like to think of today as my new beginning as opposed to January 1.  The fact that you left this earth on the same day you came in to it speaks volumes to me, and your birthday and anniversary of your passing will always be a very important day to me.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, maybe after the flowers wilted and the back door bell stopped ringing (it IS true, back door friends are best).  There was so much nice company to see, so much food to store, and so many thank you’s to write that it took awhile to get back into the swing of things.  I can’t really even describe “it” other than as a sensation of overwhelmingness.  Is that a word?  Well, my blog, my rules I guess.  Mom, what I am trying to say is that 2013 really sucked.  BAD LANGUAGE ALERT; it REALLY FUCKING SUCKED.  2014 wasn’t so great either.

Everything was kind of a whirlwind.  I became more self-absorbed than I could ever have imagined possible.  Anxious, nervous, insecure, you name it.  I lost every bit of patience I had ever had in my life.  Work became frustrating, redundant, and pointless.  My hobbies were no longer my escapes, but just another thing to fit into the already sparse schedule.  Relationship with fella struggled because I no longer had the energy to nurture that still delicate, still growing seed.  I felt abandoned by friends, frustrated that they didn’t see my needs or reach out.  In hindsight, I don’t know that anything they would have said or done would have helped, but it still hurt that people just went about their business without realizing how much I needed them (I know, I know, so self centered, right?). I became sad and introverted and didn’t want to talk to people because I had nothing good to share.  Running into people or coming home to see my roommate already there made me anxious.  I hated it and I hated the temporary me.  I confided in a good friend who said something to the effect of “Karen, you’re so strong, you don’t realize that your sadness and “depression” is still way more charismatic than most.  I don’t think people really recognize that you are that far off from your normal self.”  That sucked!  I felt even worse, because how could I feel so different on the inside and seem so normal on the outside?  I became even resentful and cynical.  It was exhausting.

I quit my job in November of 2013.  It was the scariest, yet most liberating thing I had done.  It felt amazing for a few months, but even that high wore off quickly.  People praised me as brave and confident.  I labeled myself as a chicken.  I felt that I had given up and just couldn’t go on like I had before.  With no job, there was even more time to sit and stew and think and weep.  Oh the thinking….  I think people started to hide when they saw me coming; “Oh here comes Karen again with her word vomit of feelings and emotions…”  Again, probably a little dramatic, but maybe not.  Even with the highs and lows of emotion, I am so very thankful for that time off.  The only reason was I was able to do it for as long as I did is because of you.  You taught me to be frugal and thrifty.  You taught an amazing sense of awareness of what one really needs to get through life, like a true minimalist.  Did you know I lived off of my savings for almost a year?  In hindsight I am so proud of not only myself for doing it, but of you for teaching that.

Anyway, 2014 was starting to look up; did a lot of freelance work in Stockton, spent a lot of time with old friends and family, and got a new dog.  Walter Elias filled a nice void, and I bet you would love him.  I was feeling like life was on the upswing, then it was time to finish the remodel of your house.  That was an unexpected emotional punch in the gut!  I must have cleaned out that garage six times.  Between the first emotional trips to goodwill with your clothes and the final sortings of Yard Sale stuff and Christmas Décor with Sis, every moment in that garage felt like I was stepping into a time capsule.  The spring and summer spent working on the house was exhausting.  Good childhood memories, as well as not-so-good young adult memories overflowed the memory bank, bringing the overwhelmingness back once again.  We got the house finished, painted the front door red, and invited lots of people over to see the finished product.  Everyone’s reaction was the same; tears of joy that you had finally gotten your big kitchen, and that the house was just what you would have wanted.  Then I left.  I put the air mattress away, and headed back to Livermore to restart the life that I had kind of put on hold for a few months.

To put it short and sweet, it sucked.  Fella and I called it quits, the unemployment ran out, and Landlord asked me to move out so he could sell.  I packed my dog and my stuff and moved to SLO, where Sis was waiting with open arms.  Took forever to find work, still haven’t found a place of my own, and after four months of living here, I am still not sure that it fits just quite like I had hoped.  Don’t get me wrong, the move was great, it gave me just the space I needed to get away and digest my newfound singleness, with plenty of space for Walter to run around and digest Nerf Darts and stinky kid socks.  It has been very fulfilling, spending time with these Monkeys in their forever home, getting it organized, getting back in touch with the skills and characteristics that define me and make me proud to be who I am, and slowly getting back to where I was before we lost you.  I don’t know that I will ever get back there fully, but I feel a lot more like myself than I did over the past two years.Dog Park

2015 will be good.  Maybe even great.  I wrote a Patent Application last year and I just received word that I should have First Action sometime in May.  Isn’t that cool?  It is very possible that the United States Patent and Trademark Office will soon recognize me as an Inventor!  Once that happens, look out!  I have a business plan just waiting to go, and there’s this cool concept called “Crowdfunding” that I think will be perfect for my small business adventure.  After I wow the panel on Shark Tank and make a cool million, I am going to live another dream of opening a deli. harveysdeli_finalproof_a  It’s a little different from your dream of owning a Hot Dog Cart with a red and white striped awning, but its close and I will do it with your spirit of entrepreneurship driving me.

Well Mom, that’s what I’ve been up to.  I kinda feel like you already know all this, because you are in a beautiful place watching over me, but I felt like I needed to get it out on this special day.  I know you are with me because I can feel you when I find your pennies from heaven in the most random, but not really random places, or when I catch myself washing a Ziploc bag.  I find comfort in knowing that you are in a place of complete understanding and peacefulness.  I love you so much, I hope birthdays in Heaven are as special as I think them to be.IMG_1546


Kare Bear