Gay Marriage Is Ruining The Fabric Of Our Society


I am a straight woman in a straight relationship, so what the fuck do I know about gay marriage? Frankly, I believe that the title of my post should actually be “organized religion is ruining the fabric of our society”. When “gay marriage is ruining the fabric or our society” and “marriage is between a man and a woman” are the best arguments against our basic and simple equal rights, I begin to wonder if we’ve learned anything from our discriminative past. With how far we have come as a society  it seems that we still have much to learn in the area of tolerance and acceptance. I am not sure what the resistance to two people of the same sex entering into a sacred bond together stands to prove. The simple idea of seeing two people of the same sex happily married seems to offend some to no end. On the other hand, we’re so self righteous that we actually take it upon ourselves to enter other countries and “help” them to become more civilized, more like us. Because, clearly, we have it right.

Today, California was given it’s place in history, finally. The LA times put it very eloquently by saying “Chief Justice John Roberts, speaking for the 5-4 majority, said the private sponsors of Prop. 8 did not have legal standing to appeal after the ballot measure was struck down by a federal judge in San Francisco”. I think what really strikes me about this drawn out battle, aside from the blatant discrimination, is the “private party” behind it. At what point did our government become so skewed by private parties? Oh, wait, it’s always been that way. Starting with the privately funded elections with outrageous amounts of “donation”. Wake up people. Stop letting religion and fabricated politics make up your mind on ethics and equality. I’m here to tell you that neither of those parties hold either of those values. After all, god will damn those to hell that do not follow his every whim. Equal rights? Not unless you repent all of your “sins” in time. While the government and politics will always claim they protect and support equal rights, just the fact that this went on so long proves otherwise.

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One day many generations from now our children will read in their high tech new technology books about our ignorance before them. Little Suzy will tap her screen indicating she has a question or comment and proclaim “why wouldn’t they let them get married? Did they hurt people or were they bad?” The digitally formed teacher on the other side of the screen will admire Suzy for her observation and answer simply “unfortunately, even after the civil rights act many years ago, people were still unable to pull their heads out of the asses long enough to recognize when yet another entire group of people was once again being deprived of their basic civil rights, which were supposed to be protected from unwarranted infringements from the government or private parties“.

So, bravo to California for finally pulling your head out of your ass and doing the right thing. It might have taken you forever, sure, but at least you figured it out. As far as the religious organizations, perhaps you should rally against the woman that married her house. I hear that she is not causing any problems for anyone, so it might be time to begin directing your hate at her for a while.

PS: Those of us that were allowed to get married, seem to be doing something wrong. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from those that are NOW allowed to get married.

  • 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce.
  • 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
  • 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.
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Positive Mirrored Affirmations


Recently in an interview with Scandalous Woman’s magazine. I was asked what kind of advice I would offer to young women suffering from eating disorders. It’s interesting how easy the answer came to me as I’d never given any thought to this before. The concept is not mine, nor is it new, nor is it proven, I’m sure. I cannot claim credit for the idea, but I can tell you what works for me and how.

Women are under immense pressure all the time regarding their looks. My finace once asked “doesn’t it bother you having all of these fashion magazines around the house with beautiful women?” Of course, I assumed that he was suggesting I wasn’t a beautiful woman and therefore should be offended by the site, but he actually was referring to the hours of hair, makeup and airbrush that went into the unrealistic photo session. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to experience just such a photo session and am familiar with the process. It was an eye opening experience to say the least. My makeup alone took nearly 2.5 hours and the hair, well, don’t even get me started. The photo session consisted of pinning clothes in their proper places, standing at “flattering” angles and not to mention at least 100 different photos to choose from. While I insisted on no touch ups and that the large scar on my chest from open heart surgery be left in place, they still turned out quite breathtaking. I credit a lot of that to the amazing team working on me for hours. Mind you, I was 15 pound heavier in the photos than I currently weigh now and I actually appear thinner in them! Aw, the magic of camera angles.

The point that I am drawing out in an attempt to make clear is that those women are relatively close to normal without the help of several professionals. Have you ever watched an episode of America’s Top Model? If you see the girls lounging around in their PJ’s with no make up, you’ll see what I mean. I caught myself thinking “wow, she is a model? She is so plain”. Now, please understand that the thought came from shock that models were “just like us” and not a jab at the actual model who was quite beautiful by “normal” standards.

In my younger years, I did have a brief fling with modeling. At the time I was 105 pounds and stood at nearly 5’8. The first thing that came out of the agencies mouth after signing me was “you need to take off at least 5 pounds”. She never even asked how much I weighed to begin with and given her disconnected look and mannerism when she said this I assumed it was just something that naturally came out of her mouth when signing a potential client. The words seemed to roll off her tongue as easily as an old friend saying hello. The original agent that I signed with was behind her dramatically busy with other paperwork. The woman so casually addressing me was probably a secretary or at least I assumed.

To my surprise, my reaction to this was shock. I wasn’t offended because she clearly hadn’t even looked at my body or inquired as to my weight. She wasn’t the decision maker, so my photos were not prompting this either. I actually objected and before I could pull the words back into my mouth. She looked at me with what could have been incredible rage or slight admiration at my brave and meek objection. She tilted her head to one side smiled and said “I can understand your reservations, but trust me this is a standard request that we make to every new client. Everyone can afford to take off 5 pounds and really it’s water weight”. I was given a list of food that were off limits for 2 months prior to the photo shoot. Anything that had sugar or salt was pretty much off the table with an emphasis on food and drinks that tended to bloat. I was told to drink a minimum of 10 cups of water each day.

There are a lot of behind the scenes rituals that go into place even before you step foot into that spray tan salon or the makeup chair. It’s all an illusion that is fabricated to create insecurities in young women to sell, sell, sell. Take a moment to really think this through. If you felt that you were perfect in every way, then you wouldn’t have any need for all of the expensive beauty products those magazines intend to sell. The market would suffer as a result and the magazines would cease to exist. This is a lie that we are being sold over and over again. Unfortunately, we keep buying the lie and so they keep raising the price. The price being the continued suppression of our positive self image.

For example, I recently read a statement from Vogue magazine that said they would “not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder.” Now mind you, in order to make this statement that means that they had to have actually knowingly done this in the past. I want you to think back to the age of 13 or 14, before your body grew into it’s beautiful womanly state. Think about your small breast, your perfectly smooth skin and your overall youthful appearance.  Now imagine your 13 or 14 year old self, walking up to a 40 year old woman and actually believing you would look exactly the same as you do at 13 or 14 at her age. It’s a little unrealistic isn’t it? Well, that is what you’re buying because that is what they are selling you.

Here is where the cure to the insanity comes into play. No, I am not going to ask you to give up Vogue because it’s a guilty pleasure of my own as well. I am just as addicted to the lip gloss, heels and latest fashion as the next girl. I am going to ask to you learn to love what you have already. Sure, it’s healthy to strive towards a better healthier body, if you do it correctly with proper nutrition and exercise. I am talking about the meanwhile, the screwed up diets and the constant negative chatter in your mind about your body and self image.

I once saw on youtube this great video that brought tears to my eyes. It was a curly headed blond little girl standing on top of the bathroom sink in her PJ’s yelling at herself while throwing punches and compliments equally hard. Her little voice peaking at the top of her lungs, to no one but herself  “I love my hair, I love my aunt…” and so on and so on. There were several comments on the video praising her  for her young age and already practicing positive affirmations. Her parents assured viewers that this wasn’t something that she was taught and that she simply woke up and was “having a good day”. I think the simplicity and the power of this struck me then. I was having a pretty good day myself, why hadn’t I congratulated myself on this in the mirror too?

I went to the mirror and stared at myself for five minutes straight. I did what every young woman has been programed to do and I judged the entire time. Each smile line and imperfection on my face was noted and stored away in the “things I hate about myself” file in the back of my mind. I really had to force myself to find just one thing that I liked that first time. Even after finding a small compliment it went something like this “I guess I have nice nails”. I couldn’t even give myself that minor compliment, I had to still make it an insecure statement.

As I continued this practice it was very painful for the first couple of weeks. Everyday I would get up, look in the mirror and find just one small part of my body to compliment. Eventually, I started to believe myself and it became easier. Finally I am at the point in my life where I can look at my naked body in the mirror and say “I look good!” Of course, I am still striving to be a healthier happier me, but in the meantime I am loving what I see. Our physical bodies are such a small and artificial part of our lives and yet we put so much stake into them. We treat our bodies as if they will live on forever to be continuously judged after our spirit leaves them. The truth is, that all of our bodies will end up a gruesome treat for the bugs 6 feet under with a headstone that will resemble all the rest.

No one will stand over our decaying bodies and think “wow, that face lift really held up, I’ll always remember that about her”. No, we will be remembered for our kindness and our accomplishments. So, when you’re going through your positive mirrored affirmations, keep in mind that one day you will see your body as a vessel. You will finally see it as simply a means to get you where you need to go. It will be then that you really appreciate it’s true beauty and meaning.  So, start your journey and stop your fretting!

How I Healed My Heart


I was born with what my mother always called a “leaky mitral valve” and it was never fully explained to me. The doctor suggested that my mother invest in some kind of a pet, to keep my mind off the stress and pain of my “heart problem”. I picked out a yellow parakeet that I called buttons, because when I held him for the first time he unbuttoned my shirt all the way down until I stopped him. I guess he was a dirty little birdy, bad joke. Anyhow, Buttons ended up dying of what the vet confirmed to be heart failure. I think the “heart problem” became real to me at that point. I guess that I had never considered the fact that I could die from having a problem with this very vital piece of my body.

The doctor ran down the list of banished childhood experiences that I now had to cross off. Here are just a few examples of the things I was now no longer able to do:

1.) Amusement park rides

2.) Sports of any kind

3.) Laughing too hard

4.) Sex

5.) Running, leaping, jumping, yelling

Basically, I was the kid in the bubble but I got to sit on the sidelines and watch. Lucky for me, my mother didn’t always follow this exactly. Although, she also wasn’t opposed to my spending most of my time with her. When I was 6 my nickname was velcro because I never let go of my mother’s leg. Perhaps it was fear of encountering something too funny. Throughout my childhood until I was about 11 I was treated like a delicate piece of blown glass. I suppose this saved me from some potentially unpleasant experiences with my father as I know I drove him to nearly hit me several times. Ironically, this gave me a false sense of security, it was like my superwoman cloke. I was bullet proof because of my “heart problem” and no one would touch me.

Maybe it was the idea of having a defective or “broken” heart the led me to continuous heartache, literally and figuratively. I was quite awkward as a young woman and did not experience  my first kiss until I was 16. Perhaps that doesn’t seem too old to you, but it does when all of your girlfriends had been there at 12 and in fact I think my sister was 9. I waited four long years for my first kiss and it was less than romantic. In fact, it was freshmen year of highschool after my first high school dance, homecoming and my mother had arranged for my date. Yes, you read that correctly, my mother arranged my highschool homecoming date. He was older and didn’t even go to my school, he happened to be a friend of my oldest sisters friends that I had an unexplainable crush on. Unexplainable, especially now looking back at photos!

I began to keep  journal of my romantic mishaps at the age of 14 and have continued to record them right up until my last entry in which I wrote of my fiancé. Let me give you a glimpse into the mind of a 14 year old girl regarding love.

“July 15th 1998, I am sick of being lonely. Why don’t I deserve someone romantic and sweet? Are there very many guys like that my age anyway? I guess that I am a hopeless romantic. There is nothing that is going to change that. I just want a sweet sensitive guy that is romantic. It seems like everywhere I turn everyone tells me relationships are not worth it. My friends think that I am crazy to think this way. Maybe I am, but I think if I feel safe in a world or make believe romance and Romeo and Juliet, then so be it.”

How oddly insightful and optimistic I was as a 14 year old girl not having had the chance to experience a broken heart at this point. It is after those first few entries where the drama and heartache begins, the journey reads like a Bridget Jones tribute with all of the insecurities resembling some kind of copycat attempt. The hard back unlined white papered journal was a gift from my mother. She thought if I was able to express myself that perhaps I would somehow grow into a less awkward woman. I think it might have done the trick in a sense as I would refer back to it as a reminder that when I was feeling low about love and breakups, I had in fact endured the pain before. On the front of the journal stands a woman alone, an abstract painting of her in a field holding an umbrella under a clear blue sky as if anticipating rain or perhaps welcoming it. She wears a bonnet and white flowing dress that appears to be blowing romantically in the wind. I assume she is a beautiful woman, though her scarf conceals her face.

I continued to record my heart aches for 15 long years in this journal. It’s a painful read that I try not to revisit unless I need some kind of reminder of how good I have it now. I keep the journal out of sight of my finance as I do not think he needs to know the mistakes and lessons that brought me to him. I believe that I was being distracted until I meant my soul mate and he too went through the same. I often wondered if I was born with a defective heart because I was meant to experience such heartache or if I maintained a defective heart because I maintained this belief. All of my life I have had abnormal EKG’s and an abnormal heart. I was discouraged to pursue anything that would engage my heart too much. Perhaps, this is why I always pursued relationships half heartedly. I was endlessly attached to the men that were emotionally unavailable or literally taken. It wasn’t a conscious discussion that I made, it just happened to turn out that way.

In my most recent spat with the single life, I took a different turn from my normal moping and dark creativity until the next doomed relationship came along. I simply did not care if I ended up being the single weird cat lady in the studio apartment, but I held off on investing in the cat portion for the time being. I began to see something within myself that I had never noticed before, I began to see beauty and strength. There was a true sense of control in letting go of control itself. Suddenly, I came to terms with who I was inside and out. I was OK with floundering around not knowing what career path I would take or if I’d ever get married. In fact, I enjoyed the mystery and freedom of not knowing. I felt filled with joy and love for myself for the first time in my life. It was then that my fiancé entered the scene as if on cue in a romantic comedy.

We would joke to friends and family that our next mission in life was to open a company to help others find their perfect mate. It was the first time in either of our lives that love came so easily. There were no meaningless squabbles or hurtful words. There were no moments of dreading certain conversations or topics, everything just came so easily. Now, don’t get me wrong we certainly had disagreements, we certainly had times of doubt, but we were gentle with each other during the process and we understood each others needs in those moments. The “sacrifices” we made to be together did not feel like giving something up, it felt like gaining so much  more.

Recently I took up running with my girlfriends and decided we’d start with a 5K. I went to see my cardiologist to be cleared to make the run and much to my surprise my EKG was normal. Not slightly improved or just OK, it was that of a person with a normal heart. The doctor could no longer hear the “murmur” in my chest which I had gotten so used to answering questions about. I could not help but wonder, if this change in my life was in direct correlation with the change in my heart and vice versa.

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Father’s Day, Bah Humbug


A funny thing happens when people die, suddenly they become saints. I’ve often been accused by my family of being an “under reactor” which is some kind of disorder they made up to explain my inability to over react adequately. I find that a better way to describe my emotional state in crisis situations is logical. My fiancé once told me I was the most logical woman he’s ever met in his life. I took this as an immense compliant since getting men to admit women are logical at all is a quite a feat. So, naturally being the under reactor that I am, when my father passed my feelings were neutral. Did we have some good times? Sure, I suppose as a young child there were snowman built and water balloon fights that hold fond memories even if few can be recalled. The truth is though, there were far too many more nightmare scenes straight out of a horror movie that are held much more vividly in my mind. I find myself wondering if the bullet holes in the ceiling meant to represent each member of our family courtesy of my father still grace the childhood home I grew up in. I imagine the new happy owners comfortable in their beds just leaning over to turn out the lights when they notice 5 curious holes. Perhaps they also wonder their origin and meaning.

There would have to be a book written to even begin to scratch the surface of the unimaginable moments I witnessed as a child. I was 16 years old when my father died naked on the toilet, alone in a dark cold and only half finished remodeled bathroom in the basement.  He was 39 years old. Since then, family members have idolized him like some kind of fallen angel that served his purpose and was given back to the heavens. On my grandmothers mattel sits the last photo that was ever taken of him, ironically at his own brothers funeral just a few short months before his own. The photo is surrounded by candles, rosaries and bible verses laminated and strategically placed as if some kind of offering to the gods. I was never much a religious person myself, at least not in the organized fashion. The last time I set foot in a church the pastor was in the process of organizing a rally against gay marriage, I walked out and never looked back. However, if when we die we’re given either pearly white gates or hounds of hell I think I can say with much confidence that my father was that latter. My mother likes to think that my anger will subside in the years to come, but I think that it only deepens the older I become and the closer I get to the age that he died. As a child, 39 seemed like it was so much older than it seems to me now staring down the barrel of 30. Although, I find the older that I get, the more patience and perspective that I gain. I think this makes me less tolerant of his intolerance at the same age ironically.

So, I pose the question: at what point is it OK to speak ill of the dead? Some of you may say never, that they are not here to defend themselves. I wonder just what my father would say in his own defense. Would he blame the alcohol? Perhaps, he would place the blame on the untreated bipolar. I’ll admit that there were times when I was quite certain even before he was diagnosed properly that my father was simply bat shit crazy. Nothing else seemed to explain his bizarre behavior and so as a child I had just concluded he was in fact a sociopath. Before you get all up in arms about my lack of sympathy for those with mental challenges, lets all try to remember in most of those cases people suffering will only do damage to themselves, those that do damage to others are the ones we convict and send to jail.

Perhaps, it’s unhealthy to hold onto the anger and resentment. In fact, I know that it causes conflict in my soul. Although, I just cannot get over the fact that when someone dies we all choose to only remember the good things. In fact, people will even tell you to do this as their unsolicited counseling advice. I am not sure that is the healthiest way to go about it either. I do know that I spent so much time and energy resisting an abusive situation throughout my life that I ended up smack dab in the middle of one.

I spent fathers day meditating on the beach at my yoga class with a great friend. Afterwards, we went to brunch and she shared her own abusive relationship past with me. We’re both well educated and smart women. Most people that do not know any better wouldn’t consider us the “type”. We compared situations and discovered that the same abusive patterns showed in both relationships, but neither of us saw the signs. My friend grew up in a loving family and had a wonderful relationship with her father. We both concluded that there might be a combination of things going on here.

1.) When you resist something strongly, you tend to draw this exact fear into your life due to all of the energy you’re giving into the feeling.

2.) Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between excitement and drama just as it is to tell the difference between love and lust.

The reason that I am sharing this with you, is because it’s time that we stop labeling the kind of women that find themselves in these situations. Both my friend and I were so embarrassed and ashamed to have found ourselves here that neither of us reported our “incidents” right away. We too fell victim to the stereotypical women that found themselves here. I think abuse is best described  as a gradual mental breakdown that is meant to keep you questioning yourself and your relationships around you. It’s not as if we met these guys in the bar and were slapped  across the face to which we replied “thank you, may I have another?” No, they were perfect gentlemen in the beginning, my mother even complimented me on such a nice young man. These guys have this down to some kind of sick twisted science.

I am grateful that both my friend and I are healthier happier people than we were just a few short years ago. I am also grateful that we both got out of the situation once it escalated from verbal to physical and it only took one time. However, we both had the support of our friends and family to help us through, a lot of other young women do not have that.

Perhaps, it’s easier for my family to remember my father as what they wished he was. Maybe I should just shut up and let them idolize his memory for their children and grandchildren. Who am I to take that away from them? Although, when I recall the splintered holes in the aged wooden ceiling; the loud firecracker sound that boomed through the house like thunder and the deep dark serious look my father possessed in his expression while explaining their presence, I am less than sympathetic to the fabricated man he’s become in death.

“Hey Tiff, its ***. Congrats on the wedding(unless ur just wearing the dress for fun, then nevermind) 😉👍”


Today I recieved a “friend request” through myfitnesspal.com; the newest tool I am using in my pursuit to drop 30 pound for the wedding. So far, I am down 15, and that is the most amount of weight I’ve lost without sticking a finger down my throat. If you’ve ever suffered from an eating disorder, you’ll know that’s a big deal. The friend request is from a former close friend that we’ll call Friend A. Although, if she ever happens to read this, she’ll know it’s her because I quoted her exactly as writing “Hey Tiff, its ***. Congrats on the wedding(unless ur just wearing the dress for fun, then nevermind) 😉👍”.

The “dress” she is referring to is a wedding dress that I tried on and fell in love with. However, my actual dress is being hand made by my mother in law to be. I posted the picture as an inspiration to lose weight. While admittedly I am probably would be the kind of person to try on a wedding dress “just for fun” this was in reality for my actual wedding next year.  She would have known this if we were in fact still friends.

Said Dress

Here is the deal. Friend A and I were thick as thieves, we did everything together. We were out nearly every night when I was single drinking, dancing, flirting, talking all night. I was admittedly slightly jealous of Friend A because she was quite beautiful and quite thin. Thankfully, at this point my life I had gotten through the eating problems and was at a healthy weight, perhaps slightly over weight depending on your perspective. According to the doctor I was a solid healthy. Friend A was not only beautiful, but she had this great personality that intrigued me. She was that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” kind of character that I wanted to be. I remember one time I asked her how to spell her name when we first met, I spelled it  out completely in what I thought might be correct based on other spellings and she smiled quietly through the process. I looked up from my phone “is that right?” and she replied simply “not at all” and walked away. I like her instantly.

Unfortunately, I am a relationship kind of girl and it wasn’t long before I started seeing someone. Friend A on the other hand, is not terribly fond of conventional relationships and we gradually drifted when she moved to Northern California and I remained in Southern. My best friend happens to live in the same area, so I decided that I would make the trip to see them both. At this time, I had just exited my latest string of bad relationships and was once again single. Which is my world, meant free drinks. Ok, so I am kind of a bar whore, and I’ll admit it. Not in the sexual sense, but typically I’m not buying my own drinks or paying cover. I was one of those terribly mean girls that would let a guy buy me a drink and ditch him ASAP, it was actually a game we called “drink and ditch”. Yea, I was a bitch, what do you want from me?

Anywho, in a drunken state I suggested to my best friend and Friend A that we play this game to save the rest of our money for a cab ride. Even though, admittedly I had plenty of cab money. It made sense in my drunken logic. Totally reasonable drunk request, right? Friend A was less than enthusiastic about my bright idea and was more than enthusiastic to let me know this. She called me “desperate for attention”, “needy” and “pathetic”. Literally, these words came from my so called friends mouth. Here is why this was so bad. Number one, I am extremely independent. I’ve worked since I was 11 and paid my own rent since I was 16. I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship where I pressed charges and filed for a restraining order. So, I was feeling particularly powerful over men and in control of my own life for once. Needless to say, I did not take lightly to being called these things in my current state of mind.

I ended up walking in the rain for 30 minutes or so trying to get a cab while Friend A followed me continuing to berate me for my suggestion. Now, mind you, it’s not like had she said “no way! let’s buy our own drinks” that I would have pulled out an automatic and blown her head off for shooting down my intoxicated suggestion. I would have probably drunkenly agreed that was the better idea. It’s not the first time I’ve made a half hearted stupid suggestion in a drunken stupor, Friend A would normally laugh them off. One time I suggested a dance party in the bathroom since the dance floor was too crowded, that one she liked. So, I had yet another friend that lived in Oakland and I decided I wanted so much to get away from these terrible words that I would take a cab from downtown San Francisco to Oakland. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s a long freaking way.

Finally, a cab pulls over and I am in tears while Friend A is still yelling at me I climb into the back of the cab. My friends attempt to reason with the driver saying I was drunk and that “she doesn’t know what she’s doing”. The cab driver padded my knee and closed the door in their face. I felt a little bad for leaving my friends in that state, but I thought if I stayed I might not make it out alive. I’d been through so much in my last relationship and with all the court dates that followed, I just had wanted to blow off some steam with my friends. The cab ride was quiet for the first 14 minutes before the driver finally asked if I was OK. Of course, being tipsy and totally emotionally distraught I burst into tears and told him my life story.

The meter read $85 at this point and we were only halfway to my destination. At the time I had a decent job, but not great enough to blow $170 on a cab ride plus a tip for the poor driver. It was around 2:00am, which is prime time to make cash in downtown on a weekend for a cab driver. I’d made the decision so, I’d pay it and deal with the consequences later. Here I am sobbing to a complete stranger about how terrible things had gotten in my life and not knowing how to make anything better. The cab driver reached up and turned off the meter. I immediately thought, “great, worst night ever now I’m going to get raped”.

Pulling over to the side of the road the cab came to an abrupt stop. The cabby said “where those girls your friends?” I replied with meek but matter of fact “yes”. He frowns and says “do you know that life is a series of choices? We can choose our friends, and we can choose to forget them when they act like that”. Sadly, I had not  pondered this simple concept believe it or not. I’d been so wrapped up in being the victim over and over that it had not occurred to me that I was making that choice. He continued “you could choose to get out of this cab and walk, to think that I am a crazy man and not listen to a word. You could choose to take something from a strangers advice, but the point is everyday you choose to be just where you are, so now you need to know, where do you want to be?” He turned the car back on and continued to my destination. When we pulled up to my friends house she greeted me with a bottled water and a blanket, she thanked the cabby and asked how much the charge was. He told her that he was already on his way home and that it was no problem to give me a free lift. He said “I have daughters, I hope someone does the same for them one day.” I gave him what I had in my pocket, which happen to be $100 bill. It wouldn’t cover the cab ride and it wouldn’t cover his advice, but it was all I had. He said “thank you for your kindness but, this is too much.” The cab driver who gave me a free ride worth more than I handed him said it was too much.

Granted I was a bit drunk, but I said “you changed my life” and he smiled and said “you changed mine too.” Then he drove away and I never saw him again, but I never forgot the simplicity of his philosophy. After that, I chose not to speak to Friend A again, she continued reaching out on social media with terrible remarks hoping for a rise, but I did not sway. This simple message that I received with her friend request recently, “Hey Tiff, its ***. Congrats on the wedding(unless ur just wearing the dress for fun, then nevermind)” , is the first time I’ve heard from her in nearly two years. I chose not to reply.

Taxi

Gym Wars (Part 1)


The smell of bengay and bad perfume surrounded me and threaten to take me hostage to the constant stench upon walking into the womens locker room. I find myself longing for a gas mask and a blindfold as I glance around the unclothed masses as if I’ve been sentenced to death by senses. Still dressed in my work clothes, my heels catch in the plastic grated floor below laced with diamond shaped holes while grasping for a towel and I nearly face plant into the grey and blue marbled counter tops.

I find a corner near the lockers and benches to hide behind in my attempts to stay modest in the eyes that dart around the room like ping pong balls endlessly judging and drawing opinions in a coy mannerism. The convenience of having a full gym at work is met with the inconvenience of seeing your fellow co-workers stark naked. Two older asian women whom I do not know well, but have interacted with in meetings, blow into the room speaking quickly in what I assume to be chinese while peeling their damp towels from their sweat stricken bodies. Their waving their arms dramatically and shaking their fingers in one anothers faces. While it appears aggressive it feels more like they are telling a story to each other. I imagine their expressing irritation for the cashier at the grocery store, or maybe their husbands, or maybe their cashier husbands at a local quickie mart family owned.  I decide either way that I feel sorry for whomever was on the other side of that angry wrinkled finger.

In true highschool locker room fashion I am slinking out of my clothes one by one in an impressive dance under my towel. The older asian women are eyeing me as if I’m wrestling in a straightjacket to break free and terrorize them once and for all. I am a terrible person, so I can’t help but desperately want to say “GODZILLA HAS RISEN” at the top of my lungs to satisfy their suspicions of insanity. I’m not sure which makes that thought worse, the fact that I assumed they were chinese and Godzilla is in fact terrorizing the Japanese or the fact that I wouldn’t have even known that if not for a quick google search after my successful departure from my toweled straight jacket. While I hold no stereotypes towards other nationalities, the unfiltered thoughts remain and I’m sure I’ll go straight to hell for my TV brainwashed mind.

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Bending over to tie my shoe it becomes painfully obvious how close I am to the brown wrinkled asses of my colleagues and I decide to turn my head in an effort to avoid the unwelcomed view. Unfortunately, the direction I chose put me face to V-jay with the other asian woman. She’s shifting her weight from side to side causing her mid section to jiggle like jello mold and fruit. Her rubberband skin stretched arms are folded across her breast as if those were the most important body part to protect. She must have noticed my uneasy feeling at that moment because she uncrossed her arms placed them on her waist and smiled as if to say “what are you looking at?”. Her breast dropped with the force of gravity as if being summoned by a magnet in the ground. I smile back thinking “it’s cool, I wasn’t planning to eat for the next week anyway”. I grab my towel and nearly knock the women over jumping up from the bench and out the door with superman speed.

I set my sights on the last elliptical in the room and speed walk race the bleached blond 40 something in too tight spandex heading the same way. We both maintain a polite brisk pace and pretend not to notice each other, I win by a hair swinging my towel over the top while I say the obligatory “sorry, were you going to use this?” The bleached blond in too tight spandex forces a fake smile and walks away. “Ha, vicktory, I am younger and faster” I think to myself in a Fried Green Tomatoes catty tone. Although, admittedly, I am slightly worried she will punch me in the face saying “Ha, I am older and better insured” in her own Fried Green Tomatoes victory. I’m interrupted from my walk down movie memory lane when I hear a mouse squeak sound to my right. A younger girl sporting a long sleek shiny pony tail and legs to match smiles and says “excuse me”. Apparently, that pathetic little sound was a sneeze, I smile back and put my headphones on. Something about gangster rap motivates me to push hard in my work outs. I don’t know if it’s all the “bitches and Ho’s” that speak to my inner feminist and pushes me to run a little harder or if it’s my secret desire to be one.

Sleek shiny pony tail is picking up her speed and I make a promise to myself that I must stay on the elliptical longer than her in an effort to win some kind of unspoken bet. I cover the time and calories on the machine with my hand towel thinking somehow I will trick myself into ignoring how long I’ve been tortured on this contraption. Although, I try to avoid counting the minutes I end up counting the songs and calculate that each song will last about five minutes. Gangster rap song’s seem to drag out their introductions and closing statements as if in a court of law pleading their “Murder Was the Case That They Gave Me” cases. So, since the average song is three minutes, it’s logical to assume a gangster rap song would be around five minutes adding one minute for the extra long introduction and one for the closing remarks.

Three songs in and sleek shiny pony tale shows no signs of stopping. I calm myself reasoning that she was there slightly before me and therefore will have to stop slightly before me. I skip through the songs until I reach a particularly “bitches and ho’s” filled lyrical bliss masterpiece. Just then I feel sleek shiny pony tale glance in my direction and think “yes, I am still here, quit already you know you want to!”. I am proud of my stamina being that I am more of a girly girl than a athlete in all senses. I turn up the volume on my i-phone and pick up the speed hoping sleek shiny pony tale will do the same and tire herself out faster. Suddenly, I am torn from my rapid speed attempt to defeat sleek shiny pony tale when I feel a hard tap on my shoulder. I turn towards the tap, and am greeted by a hulk looking eighteen or nineteen year old italian refrigerator.

I am so stricken by his size that I don’t even bother removing my headphones to hear what he’s mouthing to me. I interrupt Dr. Dre to see what is so important. Upon removing my headphonesI notice that the outside gym music is very similar to my own, which I found odd since I work for a relatively conservative company but justify that it must be acceptable in a gym setting. The refrigerator opens his mouth again to repeat what I am assuming was his initial statement, “I like that song too” he grins. I am completely perplexed by this sudden attention and while I am trying to work it out in my mind I say “um, yea, it’s a good one” and then decide to return my headphones to their proper place thinking that was the end of it. The refrigerator continues to stand down wind so I remove them once again and he say’s “your headphones, they aren’t connected fully”. He leans over and pushes my head phones fully into their jack and it occurs to me that in fact gangster rap was not appropriate gym music to be playing and that I had been broadcasting my “bitches and ho’s” obsession to all of the doctors and scientist.

Thankfully, my face is already the color of a tomato at this point so my embarrassment is hidden under my sweat and already elevated heart rate. Sleek shiny pony tale giggles and finishes her work out, not for my benefit, but for the opportunity to walk by refrigerator in her pink spandex that she admittedly looked perfect in. I’ve always held the belief that spandex were a privilege, not a right and she was privileged. Whatever the reason, I still proclaimed victory staying on my machine while she strutted by. I continued for two more gangster rap length songs just for good measure and ended at around forty-five minutes. Exiting the elliptical my legs begin to wobble like unsteady bamboo trees swaying in the wind.

Sleek shiny pony tale is bouncing around refrigerator like a honry fruit fly just a few feet away and my only goal is to make it to the sanitizer wipes and back to clean my machine. I take a slow strut thinking if I keep wiping my face it’ll just look like I worked hard and I’m deflated.  I reach the wipes and pull too hard sending a long wet strip of  wipes into the air and dangling from my hand. Clipping them at the bottom I quickly bunch them into a ball and begin the long ten steps back to the machine. Upon completing the protocol gym wipe down, I’m greeted with the top of the steep stairs back down to the locker room hell. Briefly, I debate abandoning ship and leaving all my belongings to drown.

As I am tumbling through the air towards the bottom of the stairs, I decide that if I do not break my neck I could probably live with the last ten pounds I need to lose.

My Mid-MidLife-Crisis


Next year I am getting married and turning 30, so basically my life is over. As I wrote that I took a deep breath and exhaled hard. I think it’s the first time I’ve admitted to myself, and now I guess millions of people, that it feels that way. Let me break this down for you. I am in an amazing relationship and I have never been happier. I have the kind of partnership in my fiancee that most women only dream of and I am incredibly lucky. I finally learned to appreciate the nice guy in my old age. In addition to that, I work for a large multi billion dollar company making what most would consider a comfortable living. My company, which will remain nameless, has a campus that is comparable to a university only better. On your lunch break you can take a stroll through the gardens and listen the the soft trickles of waterfalls throughout the entire grounds. Along that walk you will encounter a full length soccer field, basketball court, volleyball court and a full gym including sauna, jacuzzi and steam room. So, what am I bitching about, right?

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All of my life I have had a longing for something. If you’ve read my past posts, you know I am a strong believer in manifestation and that I have it down to a science. I feel that I perfected my science of this during a particularly dark period in my life about two years ago. For example, I set out to find the perfect mate (my fiancee) after an incredibly abusive relationship that landed me in the hospital as a result of the EX. He had decided I was flirting with his brother in law at Thanksgiving dinner, no less (which if you knew me, you’d know was ridiculous) and in a fit of rage ordered me out of the car. Unfortunately, he took off before I had fully exited the vehicle dragging me through a graveled parking lot at 40 miles an hour for about 15 feet when I finally let go in spite of fearing the wheel would crush my head like a watermelon, more on that later. I seemed to be attracted to drama, but at the time I thought it was just “excitement” or at least it felt exciting.

Not to say that everything “exciting” in my life was a negative. Prior to “the incident”, as I’ve come to refer to it with the EX. I did grow some balls and dump his ass, before I took it back. However, in those brief few months of clarity I did everything right, I worked on myself. I worked on my album “Naked Singularity” (shameless plug, available on i-tunes). It was an amazing time in my life. I had complete control over one thing. I decided to forgo the bossy producers and even the band. Since I was limited in my own skills on production and instruments, I literally produced the entire album in Garageband. Hey, don’t laugh, fake it until you make it!

I had little to no money, but I pulled off an amazing music video “Sleeping With The Enemy” (shamless plug, available on http://www.tiffanygracemusic.com and youtube.com). I single handedly pulled off a professional video, photo shoot, website and album release for, get this, $200. Believe it or not, that includes feeding the crews, and a hotel room for the video shoot. It’s an impressive story that I’ll share with you later.

People want to get on board when they are confident in you. Maybe I wasn’t the best musician, but I had a vision and I think they all saw that. So, what happened? I sold out and took a day job paying a butt load of money (at least to me) because I’d started visualizing exactly what I wanted to make a year, and it dropped in my lap. Now we’re full circle on my last post about being specific in what you ask from the universe.

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At this point in my life, I feel like I’m too old to be a rock star and too young to stay stuck in a miserable job just for the money. On the other hand, the fiance is already talking kids, which terrifies me to no end. If I have kids, then I’m really stuck in this place. No longer will my only worries be paying the utility bill on time and staying stocked up on top ramen. Suddenly, I will be responsible for keeping another human being alive and hoping I don’t mess them up too bad. No longer will I have the luxury of deciding to throw caution to the wind and try out the music industry for a while. I’m at the point in my life, where I need to decide what the hell I want to be when I grow up. Right?

Everything I have truly wanted, I have manifested and up until this point, I’ve always known what that was. I cannot tell you how frightening it is to feel like you’re in a dark tunnel and do not know where you’re going. You run your fingers down the damp walls and begin to think perhaps you have an idea. Could I be in a forest or under some kind of damm? You call out hoping for some kind of an answer, some kind of clue as to where you’re going. You’re answered by only your own echo; which infuriates you more because your questions are only answered back by your own questions.

Currently, I am meditating on this subject. In my professional role, I feel like I’m just wasting my talents and every day the tunnel gets darker. I know that I could create whatever I want, but what I cannot seem to do is figure out what that is. What is my purpose here on earth in my physical body, what can I bring to humanity that will be remembered? I’ll let you know when I find out. For now, I’ll be open to suggestions and signs from the universe to help guide me. Beyond that, I suppose I’ll book some kind of extravagant trip in an “Eat Pray Love” attempt to find my true calling.