I Can Be This Broke Anywhere

If I’m gonna be broke, I want to be broke all over the world.

And the best way to follow your dreams is start living them in the present moment. I will be a visitor and traveler everywhere I go. I no longer wait for adventures I create them. I have everything to gain. I might just be down the street sometimes but Boulder is a huge destination place and people from all the world come here; and I live here. If I’m going to work and save my money, I’m gonna save it so I can travel around the world.

I did it in my 20s and I have missed it immensely ever since. Back then someone paid my way and now I’m going to do it myself. Especially since a lot of the bloggers and ‘influencers’ (new word) now are very young; when I go out by myself all over town I see women doing the same thing that are my age or older, we want to travel alone too. I want to influence that! An old broad abroad.

Especially now; in this year (months) of grieving so heavily and feeling like I don’t have any fears because the worst thing to happen already took place. Anthony will travel with me sometimes! He’s a great adventurer and will pretty much do anything. And traveling alone is awesome too. I was on a little roll last year and had previously promised myself I would go somewhere every three months and I did it and I miss it and I want it back.

I have a job now that allows me time off when school is out and I would like to work my way into a place to live where I don’t have to pay so much rent and be out of town whenever school is out.

Ideally, Airbnb was awesome but the landlord crashed down pretty hard on that and it got kaboshed. So I will just hang out here until my lease runs out in May then I will figure out what I’m doing (for the rest of my life it seems) and in the meantime, I’ll run around town writing up places I go in Boulder. In December I’ll be in San Diego in March I’m planning a trip, in June I’m planning a trip, in September I’m planning a trip and I’m just gonna stay on this roll in this little bubble of mine where everything I want already exists.❤️😇💛

Living With Sad

You put it in the car with you when you are going to the movies. You tell it:  be quiet now, we are going to have fun it is OK for us to have fun please just sit here I will get back to you later.

You sit across from it while you are eating dinner. You tell it: We are eating dinner now I have to eat. It’s OK for me to enjoy things like cheese sauce and chocolate chips. You are going to have to wait. I cannot cry while I swallow food.

Some days it gets to have all of your time and you cry and cry and cry without a care in the world because no one is around or someone you love very much is around and you both share your time with this Sad and then you get to move on for a moment.

And it is moment by moment like this. You aren’t running from it, you aren’t all consumed by it, it is part of you; it is your partner, it is your new soulmate and it is your new annoying friend because it opens a window for you to see the world so much differently than you ever saw it before.

Photo by Jody Fausett – AMAZING ARTIST!!!

collageart/painting by me💛

Recap on #LiveBig

Trying to tie these two blogs/lives/meanings together/and reach out/live thru words/Do Something Meaningful/Reach People Grieving/change the world/make something of this mess.

This is the first blog I wrote after Savannah died. I was writing in journals, in bits and fits and particles of moments in time. This contains the piece I wrote and read at the memorial (show). Along the lines of a song from Dear Evan Hansen (which I finally got to see last week❤️) titled ‘You Will Be Found’ – I had such a strong sense of so many people in the world feeling so alone, and knowing this through feeling it myself, and knowing it through my experiences with Savannah’s trauma with her eating disorder and addictions and her beautiful amazingness which she had such a hard time wrapping her mind around, and seeing how many people filled that room.

Savannah Changed My World

Go be big. The world needs it.

Live or Die: Part One

So, people often tell me that I’m being very strong. And I appreciate that, I do not want to take that away from anybody. But the only reason I seem strong is because I keep living. I figure I have two choices: live or die. And with each one of those choices comes the question: well…how? You want to die? Ok, How? You want to live? How? And every time I think I just want to die, I can’t figure out how. I can’t leave my son, that would be the shittiest thing in the world to do to somebody especially right now. I think about just laying in bed and eventually dying but that would take so long and I can’t stand it. Everything else is just too painful i.e. walking into traffic, driving off a cliff. So then I decide to live. And again the question of how comes up.

If I curl up in bed for days; that’s not living. Lately I’ve been coming home from work in the afternoon and going to bed. Again, not living. I keep thinking of Savannah and what she would probably give to still be here and that doing something as simple as walking in the sunshine would be amazing to her. Getting ice cream, being able to call a friend. Sometimes I do those things. But I am still stuck with figuring out how am I supposed to find reasons to live and reasons to find life wonderful at this worst time in my life. I don’t get it. Then there are the thoughts that drive the idea that somehow she has released me more than ever to be able to do just that. How can that be? That sounds terrible. By having the worst thing in the world happen to me I am now left with the least of my fears and worries and cares. When before I was afraid to be kind and gentle and vulnerable, I now walk into it like it’s nothing. I’m not trying to prove myself to anyone when I feel like I spent a lot of time doing that in the past. Why don’t I write a novel? Lead a women’s retreat weekend? Ride my bike for no reason around town listening to music? It’s like everything is possible right now and it doesn’t make sense.

It’s almost like the best thing I can do right now is to not make sense of anything; trying to make sense of this makes things worse. And even in my brain, when I go back in time, looking for when I want to bring Savannah back and when would I do that? I can’t find the time to bring her back into because she would have to be a different person because if I had her come back I would want her to come back without pain; she was in so much pain. I would want her to have different parents and different situations and all the glory she deserved and to be friends with Andrew Rannells. ❤️

I wanted all of that for her in this lifetime.

It wasn’t going to be.

So here I am.

Being strong.

How?

How do I make my life?

How do I make a life worth living? Oh my god that is the fucking question that that drove her in rehab. Make a life worth living. It was their  motto. Ironically.

And now here I am asking myself THAT question.

I’ll tell you how I did it today.

1. I got up early and meditated and cleared my mind.

2. I got dressed I grabbed my books and paints so I can do something after work without going home – so I don’t go to bed.

3. I came to work. I cried.

4. I set up breakfast for the boys. (I cook for a frat house.)  I cried.

5. I made myself a smoothie.

6. I’m writing in this blog. Crying.

7. The boys are coming down and saying ‘Good morning!’. And ‘Thank you’. And ‘Have a good day’. And ‘I’ll see you later Judy’. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

And so I am still here.

I clear my mind and clear my mind and clear my mind. I stay focused on what is right in front of me. I need to plan lunch and organize the kitchen for that. I plan a little bit ahead so I can stay focused on the positive. And as weird as it sounds, Savannah did give this to me. By her living her whole life the way she did, she showed me how to be brave and strong and fight for my dreams. And it’s crazy and it doesn’t make sense and I can’t explain it and I’m mad at her for leaving me here and I’m mad she didn’t accomplish her dreams because she could have.

I’m at the point now where the story could end with: ‘Judy was never the same after her daughter died. I could drink my way into oblivion and just die a lonely, isolated death. I could just keep my head down and work. I could shut off and disappear. It would be very simple. In a way, I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME and that is the crazy gift. I’m just changing who I turn into instead of letting it turn me into something. I was already bitter and angry and drinking and fighting with the world. Now I’m making my world. It blew up in my face and I get to make it whatever the fuck I want right now.

I can’t shake the fact that there’s possibly something bigger at work here. I’m too goddamn stubborn to let it go. Whatever it is. I’m just trying to get out of my own way. This ‘something bigger’ DOES know, so I’ll just ride my bike and hang out.

So, I’m strong, because I’m stubborn.

It’s frustrating. And freeing and insanity.

It’s Happening

Everyone with experience in grief has told me about this time. The time where the funeral is over and everyone gets back to their lives. It is isolating and devastating to not only deal with this grief, but to also be isolated. Everyone is ‘afraid’ of you. You are the representation of everyone’s worst nightmare. You are terrifying to everyone. So everyone ignores you. They see you and say, ‘Hey! How are you?’ And I answer, ‘I’m good, how are you?’ Like a liar. Like they asked and took no thought.

Even if they know, they don’t mention ANYTHING.

Strangers whom I tell my story to are kinder than some of the people who know me.

A man at work who can barely speak english said it best: “I’m so sorry. I don’t feel that. I don’t want to feel that.” I was trying to make work the place where I am not THAT lady. The Sad Lady Who’s Daughter Died. I’m just the lady who works in the kitchen with all the 20 year olds. I told two people there. People I thought have actual life experience. I was just looking for a picture of my bike and my daughter popped up. I wasn’t going to tell him. Then I began crying. His whole faced changed. There is no language barrier for compassion.

One of the other people I told is a guy who just got out of prison. He’d been in for six years. All of his youth. He is forthright about his life right now and I can’t handle chit chat. And I was on the verge of tears all day and unfocused. It was just me and him in the kitchen and I blurted it out. He immediately hugged me. And when we stopped he was crying.

He is actually probably a very unlikely person for me to open up to and have a bond with. He was a drug dealer. But he is very young and trying very hard to start his life over and live a different life. Just like me. He said, “I’m so sorry. You will get through this.” Then I bawled. No one came around the corner, no one walked in, we had this moment. Every once in a while he will walk by and just pat my back. Savannah always championed the people who were harshly judged. I am the same. We are the bungled and the botched.

We’ve had many conversations as oddly enough, we are on the same path. The path of What Do I Do Now? Trying to find a life. Learning. Being adults among children at this job that is possibly saving OUR lives while the others are those who have everything handed to them and paid for by their parents. Complaining that they don’t make enough to wipe down a window.

He is worried about his sister. People tell him they have inspired them to change their lives. Yet he knows he is one phone call away from going right back into his old life. I see my daughter in him, I see my struggling in life in him, I see a person just in the world trying to do good. He is covered in tattoos and has a baby face. He is trying to take care of his loved ones. He’s had a hard, beat up, life against him life. I am on his side. I am rooting for him and he is rooting for me. I like it when I walk in and see him. We see each other.

I am not invisible.

There are some people whom I want to be invisible to and some people I can’t believe that they have cloaked me. I am walking around dragging boulders of grief and pain but I am walking around and they see me and when they don’t say one goddamned thing, I instantly know they do not live in my world. They are not my people, and they drop off the face of the earth.

The people who have showed up in my world, carry me, lift me, check on me, call me, have me over for lunch. Again, strangers have been kinder. I’m like the kid in the cafeteria no one wants to sit by. The people I am gathering around me now, are like all of my Androcules. I am the lion. The thorn in my paw is being mended by compassion and care from the most unexpected people.

The true colors of other people have left me abandoned and shocked. But Ce La Vie. I have to move on. To stay in that is to die.

I am producing art. I am painting, drawing, working, crying, cleaning, bathing, sleeping, drinking, eating and walking around inside of this pain. Yet Savannah is right here. I can only see that if I do NOT do this task of life, and make it amazing, her life was for not. Naught? Either way, I am trying to THRIVE. I’ve spent the last 20 years in survival mode. I am done with that. That’s what prompted me to move to Boulder and start over. Then she died. So how do I start from there? It’s rock bottom. I have to MAKE myself bathe, brushing my teeth is on an accomplishment list. I am grateful for clean hair and that my legs work and that the sun rises. Other days I hate the sun.

I am making my life mine. I don’t think I have ever done that. I say I have been doing it, but standing where I stand now, completely lost of everything familiar, my soul mate, my son far away, in a new town, with so much change; I am now just starting.

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Change the World Another Day I’m Out

I googled ‘Dead Daughters Club’ because I wanted to check the punctuation and see if this was a punk band or something. There is no Dead Daughters anything. You are only allowed to talk about dead parents apparently. There are mentions of Dead Dads and Dead Mothers. That’s it. That is how awful this is and how much fear it strikes in the hearts of everyone.

The super duper unimaginable.

I’m like the face that pops up in the scary movie.

My family continues to be a resource of pain for me. My mom has texted me and came to a fundraiser. Not one single person has reached out to me personally from that side. They were at the funeral. My sisters said ‘sorry for your loss’ like a robot. Nothing else was said. I said I love you to everyone when I hugged them and they were stoic bastards. Still no word to this day.

My aunt has been a rock, My cousin Andrew. My best friend, my boyfriend. That is my family.

I have so much love right now I am full on resenting the pain my family is causing.

I talk to one of Savannah’s friends almost every day. The love I am getting from people I don’t know is incredible. I cannot discount them with the pain my immediate family is existing in right now.

The people reaching out to me right now I am learning so much compassion from.

The Dead Kids Club people are the most loving and kind.

The people actually fucking related to me that have done nothing but treat me like a criminal…are the coldest fuckers on the planet.

So I am going to go deliver food in my solo delivery job I signed up for. My lease does not care who died. It does not care that I don’t care. Am I even wearing clothes? I don’t know. I’m going to come in here a million times a day if I have to. This is my form of expression. I mean I did great at the fundraiser. I made people laugh, I hosted the comedy segment of the show. I spoke onstage about my pain. There were pictures of Savannah on a loop. I cried on people. I am being in the world. But I am tired of it.

I am going to back off a little and pull in and lick my wounds and go be sad mom that works a job somewhere so I can pay my rent. I will change the world another day.

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