Thursday, November 3, 2011


Loss of trust sucks.

It is tremendously hard to take personal responsibility that you are the one to blame for someone else losing trust in you.  But, I'm coming to realize that it is sometimes just as hard and heartbreaking to be the one who has lost trust in someone else.

It's not just something you can fix with a simple solution.  You can't patch it with tape or glue. It's just there, undermining everything.  I'm reminded of the lyrics of a song I like:

"Well, a month or so has passed and now you're back again with me
But the cracks remain unmended in our once so-perfect team.
We seem to spend all our time just trying to make things right
But there cannot be a winner in this neverending fight."

It's like that.

You can try to fix everything else... but the loss of trust just sort of hangs out in there, picking at the tape, melting the glue. Just always there...  and that's true whether you're the one that broke the trust or the one who lost theirs.

It's just sad... that's all.  It's just sad to know there is no trust where there once was much.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


12. You also can't please everyone. It can't be done with honesty. Look around... worry about your relationship with those you are in close relationship with. The rest... let it go.

Until getting involved with CT, I didn't really realize how deep was my desire to be liked... by everyone.  And so, this is a lesson I've had to learn and relearn, a little bit more each time.  It's been a little like carving a figure out of a large piece of wood.  You start by hacking away at it... and then your shavings become a little more refined.  A piece here, a thin slice there...  With each pass at it, you get a little closer to finding the image that lies inside the wood.  Does that analogy work?  Perhaps not.

Initially, I wanted to make everyone happy.... cast, creatives, fans.  I laugh now to look back and think of the fervor with which I threw myself into attempting such. But, no one is on the same side as anyone else, and you can't make everyone happy.  There is an inevitable backlash, and it caught me by surprise.  I remember confiding in someone about it, and they told me I had to learn to let those things roll off my back... that I would drown in it if I didn't. Let's just say I wasn't very good at that. But, it was the first pass at learning the lesson, and that's okay.

I took several more passes at the lesson over the ensuing three years...  each time, I learned a little bit more about understanding that I couldn't please everyone, and more importantly, that not everyone needed to be pleased.  I learned to identify friends, and to focus my energies and emotions on those relationships instead of trying to make everyone happy.

I will never forget something my husband once said to me.  I was worked up about something that now seems silly...  but I was trying to explain the situation, and the backstories, and why I was upset over it.  I so clearly remember him shaking his head at me and saying, "I guess I just don't understand.  Why would you let people who are clearly bitter and unhappy change who you are?" That has stuck with me ever since. It was the comment that helped the most to wash away everything that was unimportant, and has helped me to focus energies on things that are.  Because, truly.... why would I do that??

I know I've talked a lot about this in relation to the CT fan community, as indeed I've learned some really important lessons from being involved there.  Sometimes, I've thought to myself, "If I could just go back and NOT hit the 'up' arrow, I could have saved myself so much hurt..."  But, I don't think I'd do it.  I've learned REALLY good lessons that I may not have learned otherwise, and I don't think I'd give that up.  But the great thing about the lessons is that you may learn them in one place, but you can apply them in other places, too.  This is one of those.

I'm actually delighted to find that this topic was the next one on the list.  I was just thinking yesterday about the people who are my friends.  I was laughing with Stacey and feeling blessed and delighted in our friendship. I was chatting with Diana and Lisa, and feeling grateful and full of love. I was at Weight Watchers this morning, and sharing in comfortable camaraderie with the friends I've made there.

It is these friendships, plus a few others too, that I've come to realize are important to me.  It is these relationships that I want to devote energy to, that I want to see grow and mature and come alive.  But the rest?  The rest I can let go. The rest I can let roll off my back.  I couldn't do that before.  But, I can now.

Monday, August 29, 2011


1.  To 10 year old Me: "You're wrong.  I know it doesn't seem like it today, but things will be okay again.  And you will be happy again. And you will one day look back at today, and see how it shaped you into who will be... and in good ways."

2.  To 24 year old Me: "Don't sell it.  You're a busy mom to three very small children.  You don't have time to practice, and it costs money you don't currently possess to fix it.  But someday, you will look back and kinda wish you still had your flute."

3.  To 8 year old Me: "Tell Mom it was your fault.  Do it now, get it over with.  Save yourself 8 years of guilt. She knows, anyway."

4.  To 22 year old Me: "Don't be in such a hurry to get to the next phase. Enjoy what you have while you have it.  It flees so quickly."

5.  To 18 year old Me: "Just go home. You don't belong here and you are lost.  Wait and start over next year.  But wait at home where you aren't alone."

6. To 14 year old Me (and 15 year old Me, and 16 year old Me, and 17 year old Me): "Be nicer to your dad.  He's not really trying to ruin your life."

7.  To 33 year old Me: "Pay attention to manipulation. It comes in many forms and you are blind to most of them."

8. To Me at just about every age: "Enjoy where you are. Dream, hope, plan for the future, yes.  But enjoy where you are right now."

9. To 15 year old Me: "Umm, you know that Mom doesn't really buy that it's cooler a block away, right?"

10. To Yesterday Me: "Don't let who you think you are expected to be become who you think you must be.  Be who you are.  Nothing more, nothing less."

Saturday, August 20, 2011


"Change isn't one simple choice. It's a process of a series of steps."

My daughter came home from camp a couple weeks ago with this little tidbit in her notes. I think that, more than anything, it gives me hope.

Sometimes I wish I was a different sort of person... the kind of person who could quit habits without struggling every moment.  The kind of person who could decide to make a change, and then have that change be easy to carry out.  The kind of person who doesn't backslide quite so much.

But, the truth is I'm not that kind of person.  I'm the kind of person that fights tooth and nail to stop doing what I don't want to do, but can't seem to help.  I'm the kind of person who can't quite master "I'm never going to do this again" but instead sets a somewhat less lofty goal of "I'm not going to do this... today," and sometimes finds even that a hard thing to accomplish.  I'm the kind of person who seems to celebrate every step of success with half a step of backsliding.  Sure, it's still overall progress, but my gosh, it's slow going.

So, yes, sometimes I wish I could be that person who decides to make a change, and makes it *snap* like that. If that is you, I look at you with envy, yes I do. I envy your commitment, your resolve, your determination, your ability to simply do what must be done.

But, I think I recognize that there is something to be gained in being the person who fights desperately for every win, too... and even for every loss. There is something to be learned in taking small steps, learning to accept small victories.  Even in learning to accept the mini-defeats, but also in learning not to let the mini-defeats beat YOU.

Maybe I'll never be the person who can change easily.  But I can be the person that grows in wisdom and character with every mini-change along the journey.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


This is going to be a long one, folks.  And to save you time, it's also going to revolve heavily around that PBS Celtic group I like.  So, if you're not interested in them, come back tomorrow and I'll have something different!  :)

To some of you, I'm just going to apologize now.  I've waited a few months to write what I'm about to say. I was never sure if there would be a right time to tell it, and I'm not really sure if now is the right time to tell it, either. I know it might make you mad at me or just sad. I know where your love lies.  And, to be honest, it makes me sad, too. This is my story.  I do not claim impartiality and I'm not asking anyone to feel the same way I do.  I'm just asking to be able to tell it, and hope that you can understand.

I've been a fan for a very very long time, part of that early set of old pubbers.  I say that not to set ourselves apart (the dichotomy between fan sets makes me just a trifle insane... you buy merchandise of any kind, you're a fan, end of story), but just to illustrate that I've had a lot of time to care. I care that George spends so much time away from his wife and daughter. I care whether Paul has a successful first solo tour or not.  I care how Damian does on The Glee Project.  I care that Keith's CD has been "about to be released" for an obscene number of moons. And I care that Ryan has apparently lost his mind.

I first saw CT in early 2008.  February, maybe?  Early March?  I know it was before St Patrick's Day, but can't remember how far ahead of the holiday. We flipped channels somewhere in the middle of Heartland, and I was enthralled by those black coats and the voices coming from them. I didn't have a favorite that day, but I was particularly taken with the theatricality of That's A Woman... so my favorites initially vacillated between Paul and Ryan. It was when I discovered the group's chatroom that I quickly picked a favorite. Ryan was just nice... He came across as just a bit naive, humble, nerdily funny, and mostly, kind.  He was someone I felt I could feel good about supporting.  And I threw myself into it.  For three years.  Why?  Talent, sure... nice guy, sure... but mostly because he told me we were friends and I wanted to see him succeed.

For me, things started feeling off a little over a year ago.  Maybe it's inevitable when you have people telling you that you walk on water every single day of your life.  But the naive and the humble seemed to be replaced by "just a bit too much cocky." I would have been better off if I had just cut ties then, but I didn't. I suppose the more time you devote to something, the harder it is to let go and negate all that investment. Instead, I kept supporting, but was just frustrated most of the time that he wasn't the person I remembered him being... that I wanted him to still be.  A summer of recording ensued, followed by his CD's release and a fall tour where he just seemed a bit off personally.

And then began The Twitter Spring.  Oh mylanta.  So many times I would open up my Twitter feed and just stare in puzzlement and disbelief.  The questions swirled through the fanbase...  are they or aren't they?  I didn't much care about the answer, but I DID care about the untruths and what he was doing to the public perception of his character. And I freely admit that I was really mad at him for destroying it.  Three years of work and he decides to take a machete to the very thing that attracts so many of his fans.

I took a break.  It was more drama than I wanted to deal with, so I gave CT up for Lent.  I don't actually celebrate Lent, to be honest.   But it seemed a convenient excuse that wouldn't be much questioned. By the time I came back, I knew I was done. There was not one quality left that resembled the Ryan I once knew. And I was done.  So I closed the fansite I ran on Facebook, put my memories away, and just watched for awhile.

A few days later, he quit CT and claimed he wanted to be out of the public eye.   Global wailing ensued, and what followed was possibly one of the funniest attempts to stay out of the public eye I've ever seen. It's hard for people to forget you when you keep popping back up, and I rather suspect that was the point. I've watched spite and cruelty, absurd levels of passive aggression. I've watched him hurt people that have loved him and have done so very much to help him along his way, and I just wonder "Who is this person who has taken over his body?"  And the thing is, I don't know.  I don't know if this is new and the result of some mysterious personality transplant... I don't know if this is who he always was, and I just was duped by a good acting job.  All of my memories are tainted with doubt, and it makes me so so very sad. I'm sad to have lost those memories to dishonesty. I'm sad to have lost the once-deep respect I had for him. I'm sad to realize that I have damaged friendships over something that was not worth it.

I know you will want to defend him... because we're superfans, and that's what we do.  I'm on my fourth year of this, so I understand it. I'm not angry anymore... Most of me isn't even hurt anymore. Mostly I'm just filled with sorrow over the way things have gone, so much sorrow.

Ryan once told me that he didn't think he could do anything to fall out with me.

I wish you had been right, sir. I truly do.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Sometimes falling is the best thing you can do.

That goes against everything I've ever felt, really.  As I grew up, I took on this inbred belief that I couldn't fall.  Not that I wasn't ABLE to fall, but that I couldn't fall.  Falling meant failure. And failure meant I wasn't good enough.  I wasn't smart enough.  My independence was idiotically intense about this.  I could do it.  I could do it by myself. And I could do it with flying colors, or it wasn't worth anything.

I never really understood then that falling and failure are important.  I never comprehended that failure was only failure if I refused to learn from it, or that failure was an important component of ultimate success.

We have to fall down.  None of us are perfect... and if we get to thinking that we are? That's the time that we need to fall down the most.  Sometimes, it's in this time of ego and confidence that we forget that we are NOT perfect and we cannot do it by ourselves.  We start to believe that we can do all things because we are freaking awesome.  And we forget, oh do we forget, that we are not everything we think we are.

It's here that we need to fall down.  We need to crash and burn.  We need the world and everything we think about ourselves to come crashing down around us.  It is here, in the ashes and the rubble, that we can look around and see things as they are.  If we are wise, if we haven't run off everyone who loved us, and if we can find the strength, we can stand up out of the rubble, surrounded by those who care.  We can learn from the fall, see what brought us to the edge.  And start again...  this time, a little wiser.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Sometimes it’s hard.
Sometimes putting one foot in front of the other is the best you can do.
Sometimes just standing still in the current of your life is the best you can do.
Sometimes not falling down is the best you can do.
Sometimes truth hits you like a 2 x 4 in the face.
Sometimes it trickles in.
Sometimes you can only accept it one little bit at a time
But sometimes it all seeps in.
And sometimes you have to accept it.
Sometimes you have to act, even if you know the outcome will not be what you want.

Sometimes you have to accept that what you want is not what you need.
Sometimes what you need is far simpler than you ever dreamed.
Sometimes you have to let go to hang on.
Sometimes you have cry.
Sometimes you have to laugh.
Sometimes you have to bang your head against the wall.
Sometimes you have to bang someone ELSE’s head against the wall.
Sometimes you have to accept that banging someone else’s head against the wall is not really your job.
Sometimes you have to wait for life to be their Great Teacher.

Sometimes you have to look for your blessings.
Sometimes you have to get a new blessings bucket because yours has overflowed.
Sometimes you have to look at your trials with new eyes to see how they fit in your buckets of blessings.
Sometimes you have to wait.
Sometimes you have to breathe.
Sometimes life isn’t what you want.

Sometimes people aren’t who you want them to be.
Sometimes YOU aren’t who you want to be.
Sometimes you keep going, anyway.

And sometimes you smile.

Monday, January 3, 2011


It amuses me a little that I have very firm ideas in my head of what I DON'T want this blog to be...  and very few on what I DO.

I don't want this to be about CT.  I'm very deliberately moving on... (lol and avoiding the keyword search engines)...  I am not them, and I am not defined by them, and I want this blog to reflect that.  At the same time, I've begun to realize that three years is a long time to commit to something, and to think that it wouldn't leave a lasting effect on me is probably unreasonable.  There are still things I've not yet worked through, and it might be okay to do that here.

I also don't want to allow this space to be a vehicle for passive-aggression.  I think many of us, especially those of us who've participated in the blogging community at a time in the past, have experienced the multitude of passive-aggressive blogs.  "I'm too chicken to tell you why I'm mad at you, so instead I will write about you publicly, but GENERALLY, so that I don't have to CONFRONT you but you still get that I'm ticked off."  And please, don't think I'm criticizing anyone but myself here.  I've done them, and I've done them often.

The other night, I found myself staring into the fire and thinking over the friendships I've let go of in the last year... in some cases, they were relationships that had been over for a long time; in others, the pain was still yet quite fresh.  As I thought, I pre-wrote phrases in my head, the possibility of them turning into a blog looming.  But, as I thought, I realized that my intent was not to share anything worth sharing, but just so that I could say outloud, even if no one was reading, "I was hurt by what you did and I want you to know it."  There can be a momentary satisfaction in that, a cathartic release...  but I'm not sure the payoff is really worth it.

My confession to you is that I'm waiting for my writing voice to come back.  I'm out of practice doing this...  and I don't feel like I've hit my stride yet.  I'm a little worried I never will.