Early Morning Rantings!

Once again I am awakened at 2am, just am not meant to sleep like a normal person should right now.  I wake up and I am just…up…no going back to sleep in the immediate future.

I had a really great conversation with a great woman that I have been talking to lately.  It wasn’t an easy chat at all, but it was good for both of us I believe.  I confided in her a good bit about my addiction history, and she didn’t go running away like a scared cat. Addiction is not an easy topic to navigate and I admire her for her inquisitiveness on the topic, as it is a big part of who I am and why I am.  I look forward to more conversations with her, about everything.  She is someone I very much want to keep in my life.  🙂

Today was a bit hectic, but seriously productive. I worked til 1pm and then got together with my best friend and went to do our Friday afternoon errands around town.  Every Friday we have a ritual of doing this.  It’s called living paycheck to paycheck.  We get paid, go out and pay our bills, do the shopping for our respective households and take care of whatever else needs doing in town.  It is a struggle sometimes, but I make it work somehow.  And I realize that there are millions of others who are making it work this way as well.  It’s not easy in today’s economy or job market to do it any other way – especially if you don’t have a college education to fall back on, which I don’t.  Sometimes it feels likeI am always trying to play catch up on things, but hey, that’s just how it is.  I do alright.

I visited Trader Joe’s grocery this afternoon, I love that place!  I actually requested an employment application when I was checking out, and the woman who checked me out told me it was a super great place to work.  Everyone in there seems pretty pleasant and happy to be there, so they must enjoy the job.  I love the diversity of people in the place, from old hippies, to housewives, to young dykes, it’s just a palate of different people. They must have a really good company equality policy.  I am going to research the company a bit just to be sure that I would be a good fit there.

I also visited Staples office supply store on my excursion about town.  I needed a ream of copy paper.  They had a really good deal on some excellent quality paper that I had to take advantage of!  That is another place I could picture myself working.  Although a bit more “stuffy” than Trader Joe’s eclectic atmosphere, it would be fun.  I was in the corporate business world for many years and used to frequent the place quite a bit for supplies for my company.  I imagine working with people who were doing the same thing would be right up my alley in skill sets. And being the techno nerd that I am, I can imagine I would probably reinvest in the company and that might not be a good idea!  I’d be buying stuff like crazy.

Meanwhile, in Trumpy-land the Twitterverse is running wild with Trumpy stuff.  This Russian connection thing is really getting out of hand, Jeff Sessions needs to resign and a full investigation needs to ensue.  It just has to happen to put this subject into some sort of understandable terms. I was Tweeting with a friend in Texas who is petrified right now.  Being our age and queer isn’t going to be an easy path under Trump as he keeps going along with ripping away our rights and equalities.  It’s also just plain scary as an American, not withstanding being a part of the LGBTQ community!   Everyone seems to feel the impending doom of being attacked in some way by all of the executive orders and wild things that Trump and his team are doing or proposing to do.  I know I’m fucking scared.

Living in Maine has some pretty unique advantages.  Where I live especially because geographically it’s a great spot.  Right between Boston Mass, and Portland Maine.  I can be at the beach in 5 minutes, in the White Mountains in less than an hour and to either of the two cities in about 45 minutes.  Geographically it’s fucking perfection.  Maine also has a good equality rating. I just read an article in the Bangor Daily News about Maine being at the top when it comes to gender equality.  We also have good protections for the LGBTQ citizens here too.  I am glad that I live in this type of state.  From personal experience I can say that there IS really good gender equality.  Maine women are a fierce and tough lot.  Especially those from “down” Maine, which is actually upstate Maine…it’s a Maine thing…those women are hardened by the lifestyle of living in a very rural state, where you have to be fairly tough to survive.  I live in the more populated area, it’s a bit easier to navigate life here, but my cousins are down Mainers’ and they are not to be messed with.  The women are equal to the men up there in so many ways, they do equal work and expect equal pay. And truth be known, I believe they run the whole fucking show!  I have a healthy respect for my down Maine women cousins. They take no prisoners.

I hope your weekend is a great one!  Signing off from southern Maine….Peace!  ~MB

 

The Truth Hurts Sometimes

I’ve met more than one woman in my life journey that could not handle all of the technicalities of being with me.  I admit, I am not easy to process.  I have a bit of a troubled history.  Don’t read me wrong, I’m a good person with some high morals and ethics, but I’ve taken some forks in the proverbial road of life that others have managed to avoid.  I’ve had issues with drugs and addiction.  That’s probably the one thing that I’ve struggled with most in my entire life.  When I was young I sought out a safety net for myself and found it substance abuse and the people involved with it.  I wised up in my late 20’s and got clean and sober for many years.  I did the typical “mid-life crisis” shit in my mid 40’s and backslid a bit.

I strive to keep that stuff out of my life now.  I stay away from the “friends” that I have that are involved in that world now.  That’s a big part of how I am staying clean and following the good road now.  I tend to let myself be influenced by them if I hang around them, so now I avoid them and I avoid the whole drug scene.

It’s really hard to meet women as you get older.  Being single isn’t easy in your 50’s, believe me.  But add a history of drug addiction to the menu and it becomes even more difficult.  I completely understand that some people do not understand me or understand addictions.  That is just the way that it is.  When I begin to show interest in anyone I make sure that they know 3 things about me right up front – why?  Because I would rather they walk away sooner rather than after I become attached to them – or God forbid, fall in love with them.  what are my 3 things?  1.  I am Butch and that will never change.  2.  I live with HIV infection, which is under control but it’s a fact of life for me….which leads me to #3…I am a recovering drug addict.

Those 3 facts put me into a whole new space with people.  Either they are able to handle it, and give me a chance, or they are not, which is completely okay.  I get it.  Those are 3 major pieces of who I am.  I can’t hide them very well.   And I don’t want to pretend that I can.  Those 3 things are only a small fraction of what I am made of, but they are important if you are going to be involved with me – or even be a friend to me.  It’s important that you understand that I struggle with all 3 on a daily basis.  That doesn’t mean that I am unhappy – quite to the contrary, I am very happy in general.  But I am well aware that these 3 things make me “different” than the typical 55 year old lesbian with 2 dogs and a college degree.  I bring a whole different scene to the table.

I have lived with my addiction and my HIV for many years.  One lead to the other obviously.  Yes, I was an IV drug user and this is how I contracted the virus.  I’ve been clean for many years, fell off the wagon and got back on a few times.  So what is involved for me is knowing what triggers me to fall off and avoiding it altogether.  I’ve gotten pretty good at that, and I am proud to say that living clean and right is what I strive to do every day now.

It’s not easy being with someone who has addiction in their history, and it’s even harder when you add HIV.   I know the precautions to protect my partner from HIV but there is no protection from addiction.  No guarantee that I won’t relapse again, except for my sheer determination to stay on the straight path.  I don’t know how to reassure someone that I will stay on this path.  I guess they either have to believe me, or not.  There is no magic bullet or cure – for either condition.

I don’t want to pursue anything beyond a basic friendship with anyone who can’t deal with the baggage that I carry.  I know everyone has their struggle in life and their burdens to bear, mine are just a little more difficult for some people to understand, and that’s perfectly fine.  There are zillions of other people out there to be involved with, I am just one.

I have been fortunate to have been involved over the years, with women who gave me the benefit of doubt; who trusted me and tried to understand my complications.  I’ve sincerely appreciated them.  I’ve been lucky.

Right now I am trying to deal with quite a full plate of issues in my personal life.  I’ve avoided bringing anyone else into my life for this reason.  But I so want someone special in my life on a regular basis.  I would like to let down that wall that keeps me by myself.  I’ve punished myself for the past 2 yeas now and I’m sick and tired of it.  I’ve seen people who say they care disappear more than once.  I built a wall around myself, insulated myself from hurt and despair.  But it’s not a happy place all the time.  I want to learn to trust again, and to love again.

I’m a good person, I am strong, sensitive and caring.  I deserve to find someone good who can deal with life with me and who won’t be afraid of my past.  Someone who sees me for who I am now and not who I once pretended to be.  But how can anyone believe in someone who has such a history?  I don’t know if it can be done, which is exactly what I fear the most.  (although my ex did it for almost 14 years and never let it sway how she felt about me…so perhaps it could be possible again.)  I long for a good strong relationship that will endure.  Something beyond “just friends” –dammit, I want to be loved and understood.  Maybe it’s just too much to ask for at this point.

Ok, let me close this up before my mind explodes.  I am trying so hard to just be cheerful for the holiday season, and to keep on keeping on.  But tonight I was reminded of my flaws (see above) and it stung hard.  I am hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst – as always it seems.  Sometimes the truth just hurts.  There’s no way around it.

Peace.  ~MB

Fish or Cut Bait

An analogy blog inspired by my friend KES, thanks.

Once again I am awake at 4am and thinking about life, love, and all the screwy stuff that goes along with them.  I had a rather manic sort of day.  I didn’t quite know what to do with myself for much of it.  I went and tended to personal grooming things like getting a fresh hair cut, picked up my prescriptions and some ice melt for the drive way…along with 2 candy bars that I definitely didn’t need.  Hell, I even stopped at the salon and got my eyebrows waxed after finishing at the barbershop.  One drawback of the barbershop, they want to shave the eyebrows, and I’m not a fan of shaving them I’d rather have them waxed.  If I had a barbershop it would offer eyebrow waxing for sure.  I’m sure that guys have this issue too.  I was quite jealous of the guys ahead of me that got full facial shaves with the straight razor, it was a thing of envy, and watching the concentration on the barbers faces as they tended their clients was inspiring.  I love my barbershop, it’s old school all the way.

Let’s talk about fishing.  I am a catch and release fisherman.  I love the sport of gearing up, catching the prize and releasing it unharmed back to the water from which it came; no worse for the wear in most cases.  Why?  Because I like preservation of the species (small or large mouth bass) AND I am in the hunt for the PERFECT specimen – which I will then KEEP, mount, stuff, and brag about for the rest of my days.  Thank goodness that when you catch most fish and throw them back they become “bait-shy” and won’t just hook back onto your line right away.  Most smarter than that somehow, and they have a sore lip I suppose.

Sometimes I feel like that one foolish fish that gets thrown back and then lured into being caught again by the same fisherman.  I suppose it’s the idea that I catch feelings the the fisherman and I want to be back in the boat with him; I want to go home with him, be mounted, stuffed and displayed on a wall with a brass plaque saying how great a catch I am, and for him to tell all his friends, to show them, to gloat on me and to keep me forever.  But as I get caught again, and again by the lures of this particular fisherman, he looks at me, checks me out, teases me with his thoughts, mulling over if I am good enough or not…and…then he throws my stupid ass back again.  I swim around and watch the fisherman, and when he seems relaxed in the boat I hit the line again…maybe this time I will be his perfect catch…!!!

One of these days I am going to be so beaten up from the repeated “catch and release” and from all of the effort to please this fisherman, that I will finally swim away and find a good place in the lake of life to heal up, grow stronger, grow bigger, and once again begin that hunt to find that one fisherman that will choose me as his catch of the day. I’m someone’s perfect catch, they just don’t realize it.  And for that fisherman who keeps throwing me back, it’s only a matter of time before I too become bait-shy and swim away.

I know it’s an analogy, but it works.  So, either fish or cut bait.  Don’t keep throwing a perfectly decent fish back and thinking you will always be able to catch another, because one day no fish will bite and you will be that lone fisherman in a boat on the water, drifting.  And sometimes even the very best of fishermen go home empty handed.  So bait me and catch me if you can or I might just be proudly hung on someone else’s den wall.  And I may have some battle scars from my fights with life, but the fisherman will be proud still and will say “my fish was the toughest, and the best.”

If you didn’t catch the meaning of all of this, it’s that you can’t keep luring someone into your life, then push them away when you have a bad day, or they aren’t perfect at that moment in time, or you cop an attitude about something.  Be very careful when you choose to cut the line and let the catch go, because at that moment you may realize … you just let the big one get away.

Life Update – Youtube Update

Hello!  For those of you who follow my videos online on Youtube:

I am having major camera and computer issues at this time. I will have them corrected this week for sure and will be back strong with a full month of daily videos (Video Every Day for May) as promised in my last video post.  

It seems as if every electronic device in my life is trying to break or go wacky lately.  My phone, the webcam, the computers….but alas, my computer guy is coming out to the house to deal with the computer issue I believe on Friday.  I’ll have the phone fixed tomorrow and the web-cam…well that is still up in the air as of now.  But I will find some way to film and post, don’t worry I am a “fixer” and this too I shall FIX!  

As far as a basic life update…everything is going okay!  I can’t complain at all. The weather in Maine has been absolutely gorgeous for days on end now, in the low 70’s and very very comfortable!  

I even got out and got the lawn all raked, and mowed, the place looks great!  Next comes my flowers and the veggie garden – which I have procured all of the necessary materials to make a nice raised bed garden for free!  Got to love my local friends and connections, seems they have lots of stuff laying around they want to give away to be re-purposed!  I got lumber from the farm and all I will need will be some good growing soil, which I know I can also scam up pretty easily.  I’m really looking forward to growing my own veggies and herbs this year.  It will be my 2nd full summer in this home, and it’s time for a veggie garden!  Gardening, both flowers and veggies, is a passion of mine.  I love the feel of the dirt, and the satisfaction of knowing that I can create with plants to my hearts content. It’s good for the soul.

Nola is doing wonderful. She got over her loneliness for her friend in all of one day. She’s been very very stuck to me, as usual and I’ve been making sure she’s getting plenty of attention and we are doing things like walks to keep her sharp.  I decided against another dog to keep her company, just because I cannot afford the vet bills and care!  It’s enough to have one, and she enjoys being an “only child” I believe.  Hell, she gets 100% of my attention!  

I have 2 events coming up for my photo button booth and bracelets.  Both in June, so June should be a better month.  I love doing the fairs and festivals, and it excites me when the season comes around!  I am hoping to schedule to be at as many of the local events as possible.  

My health is great, meds are doing their job and I am basically happy and healthy.  Yay!  So that’s the wrap on what’s been going on lately.  I do hope that each of you, my dear readers, are doing well also!  Take care and enjoy Spring!  ~MainelyButch

TED Talks

The need inside of me to find and know about new and innovative things is immense.  Recently I have stumbled upon “TED Talks” which is some of the most incredulous stuff I’ve ever encountered online.  What a brilliant and world changing project!  Or rather “set” of ideas and projects.  The theme seems to be various very good speakers, who each hold some powerful ideas about how to change the world in some small way or another, are given 18 minutes to do just that – empower an audience to want to change the world.  Some of the projects are just astounding.

Turned on to this site by fellow Youtube vlogger, Pogobat, or Dan Brown, I have become very enthralled with the site and all of the projects.  The human brain has a thirst for knowledge, and these 18 minute “talks” can seriously change the way one thinks or reacts to be different from how you would have thought or reacted before the “talk”.  Interesting stuff.

I love blogging/vlogging and the interactions that I have with other people.  I’ve learned so much over time with my Youtube page and from all of the people I have touched lives with via that venue.  It’ has carried over into my daily life, I have used information and changed myself in some ways with that information.

TED talks are about a wide, wide variety of subject matter; each one in it’s own way,  pertinent to the human condition.  That one commonality intrigues me so very much.  Anything that fires up my mind and thought processes is almost akin to taking drugs to me!  I love to be stimulated by ideas and thought processes.  When you aren’t having a lot of sex, this is the next best thing – brain stimulation!

After posting a video blog about this I have gotten feedback from other people who are TED addicts!  I didn’t know we all had this in common!  Were we hiding it, perhaps afraid to be seen as nerds extraordinaire? Hell, it that’s nerdy then I am King of Nerds!  *laugh*

I am mostly interested in TED Talks about things that relate to life and good living, solving problems in living and in communities.  I’m not so much into the medical or math angles, so I do pick and choose the talks I listen to..but there are over 1000 so I have tons to catch up on while more and more are being added all the time!

If you have not checked out TED talks go to their web site or look them up on Youtube.  http://TED.com  or http://youtube.com/tedtalksdirector are the two web links I have for you.  Explore and enjoy!

Peace!

Getting Ahead – “Mad at the world?”

This is the first in a series of blogs I will do about this.  It is something that has been on MY mind very much lately and that I need to get down on paper myself.  So I have decided to share it with you, my readers.  I do not share all of my writings, many are posted privately for a variety of personal reason, some have restricted reader lists, and some are just for my own eyes.  But THIS is something that I think I can share, that I have been faced with, that may make you ponder how you can always be improving your own “circumstance” and making the world – YOUR world – a better, happier, more fulfilling place for you to BE every day from here on out.  Happy reading!  

 

Mad at the World…

I have known (and know) people who are mad at the world.  You hear it in every word that they speak.  They are angry that they “are where they are” in life; dissatisfied with the position they have found themselves seemingly “locked” into by lineage, economics, geography, faith, society, etc.  These people are becoming more and more evident to me as I listen, and I feel for them.  They simply do not know how to unwind themselves from the May pole they have twisted themselves onto.  

I have had to fight and fight very very hard to not be one of those people.  It’s an easy place to wind up; to just stop and let the world dictate to you what you will and will not do, or be able to do, or achieve for yourself.  I did stop for a while, and it just made my insides all thick and made it hard to breathe, to move and to motivate myself at all.  Then I realized I was being sucked into this vast canyon of self-pity and despair and I, too, was becoming one of those who are “mad at the world”, blaming my entire life on something called “circumstance out of my control”.  That does not really exist. Only in our imaginations are “circumstances out of our control”.  It’s an easy way of saying “This is too hard and I cannot do it, thus it must be out of my control to change this ______(insert circumstance) by myself, so I must just suffer with it and live with it, until _______(insert imaginary cure) happens for me”

I have done this too.  Everyone probably has at some point or another.  But you cannot let yourself do this forever, or you will truly be a victim of your own circumstance!  People were born to grow, to change, and they are meant to get up every morning and go out and keep trying to make their own lives and the lives of those around them better in some small way.  And eventually all of those small days, small ways; all of the subtle little things they do as they work to change things for the better, add up…and suddenly they are standing in a place that IS better and they don’t even realize it until they think very deeply about what they have done.  It may not have been moving mountains, but perhaps it was helping a little old lady across a busy street, or helping the guy at the hardware store find that part to fix his wife’s washing machine so she would stop pestering him to do so – his life just got better with the discovery that YOU could help him!  And your life got better because your heart beat a happy beat that you had helped someone, eased their burden, and that in turn will come back to you – in the form of happiness, one tiny ray at a time, until your world is filled with these forward moving, happy moments.  

Do not be “mad at the world”.  Do not wake up and say “ugh, another day in this dump”.  Do not go to a job you hate, just to make a paycheck…go because you are building skills to move your world forward to the next job that will be that much BETTER.

Use your brain to change the way you think about this, change your thoughts and you can change your life.  It’s a proven fact.  Einstein did not think up the theory of relativity in one session…he worked a little bit at a time, in every thing he did, from putting his socks on to calculating on a blackboard, every day he moved a little bit closer until he felt the sunshine of success on his face and he UNDERSTOOD!  THAT was his goal; his success in life. Just simplify and do the little things every day that make your life better, that make you a better person, and that make the world better.  

If your goal is to change the way you live then start right now.  What is the first thing that needs to happen, that you need to MAKE happen to start your journey?  Put you socks on.

Dress yourself for your success.  I know it sounds far too simple, but bear with me and I know you will understand.  Look in the mirror and take a quick personal inventory of what you see.  Are you the best you that you can be today? Do you look the best you can look for your day? (I do not mean wear your church clothes to work either…be real).  If you look good then you will know that you also FEEL better, right?  It’s always nice to catch a glimpse of ourselves in a mirror or department store window and think “wow, I look pretty darned good!”  How you look and feel about how you look each day when you walk out the door of your home is the place to start making the change in your life that you so desire – and will have – if you work at it.  

Sounds too simple?  Trust me, try it. I guarantee you will notice a difference.  If not I will give you all of your words back! 🙂    …more coming soon.  ~MB