Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Constipation (The Writing Kind)

I love learning anything and everything that I can. It is an exciting thing to be able to take in your surroundings and to ingest the idea, thoughts or general practices of those in this world we all live.  There is a downside to being a human sponge though, all these news concepts get inside of my being and get “cramped up” (for lack of a better term).

I feel as if my head is bursting with so many ideas and I do not know how to contain it. As a result I find that I cannot write it all down. The overwhelmingness (Yes I know it is not a real word) definitely keeps me weighted down mentally and makes me just want to throw my hands up sometimes.

My husband has to spend a lot of time saying to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. I tend to do well with all my day to day activities but when it comes to my creative endeavors I fall pretty short. The ideas that I get flow, get fractured, warped and skewed by the time I sit down to write. Then I cannot figure out the way to make any of it all make sense.

 The bad habit is I also strive way too hard for perfection. I find myself analyzing not only my creative endeavors but also my audience. I decide exactly what thoughts I share with people as I write and thereby edit before I get the thoughts out. 

As a response, all the vowels, consonants, hypothesis, and allegories fall into the mental funnel inside my head  and block up somewhere in my cortex. Imagine it like blocks that are trying to push through a round hole the size of a straw.  Not pretty and truly not assistive in any way.

The irony of course is that I am always looking for the best way to utilize time.  Efficiency is key and I work very hard to be efficient and stay positive and relaxed.  Then I sit down to write and the mush hits followed by my brain shutting off. The Pressure valve is not easy to turn off.

I am going to start working on better ways to organize my head space. The exhaustion created from the collected chaos surprisingly affects my energy level, not to mention my ability to communicate properly most of the time. I need to find some type of mental ex-lax.

I am built to create. I know this in my core. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Life-Bombs

I have not written in a while. I am not sure the exact reason. I think a lot had to do with trying to figure me out. I think breaks can be good for the soul. There is less pressure on ourselves.

The 1st half of 2014 has been rough to say the least. Jacob and I started off with an amazing cruise that was so needed. Little did we know how much so as we stepped into the "life bombs".

Within minutes of returning home I found out that my step-grandmother had passed away from Cancer. Having just spend time with her two months before, it honestly broke my heart to lose someone so amazing. Our small family is still really from this life-bomb.

As I started to move on it made me start question the new phase of my life. I turned 40 in March. In that time I have seen a lot of loss surrounding me and not enough gains. I am watching family and friends grieving losses of loved ones, loved pets, loss of health, and in some cases even forms of mental stability.

Then in mid-May I had an episode at work that left me not able to speak or move for several hours. For the 1st time, in as long as I could remember, I was terrified and scared that I had had a stroke or that the big C word had taken over my body. The wave that ensued through my being made me really reflect on where I am at in my life and where I want to be. My movement came back; my speech slowly returned and received an outpouring of love. Most people prob have to wait til death to feel what I felt in the universe energies and all the prayers sent my way.

"It wasn't my time to go" was my pat response. Inside I had no idea what it all meant. I then stepped back and took time to try and see what it was that I am meant to do. That is is not an easy task. I am still not 100% clear but one lesson that I did learn was that I have so much more work to do.

I made the decisions that I want to continue to help people and that I def want to work in some way shape or form in the medical industry. Upon knowing this I was hit with another shocker when my work decided to cut our pay. I was nudged to start looking for more meaning that I had previously had when job hunting. A couple weeks later I was offer a job with an insurance company.

I am ready for less life-bombs. Though I also realize that now I am on the half of my life where I will lose more than I gained. I think the challenging thing is that the 1st half of my life had so much loss and trauma and life-bombs. I am wanting a break, a chance to breathe.

In the midst of all the challenging times though I have come to see the ones that are the most loving and supportive in my life. Some of them have surprised me and caught me off guard in a good way. The most important ones shown me that this life is a good thing and even with the life bombs that are thrown my way that I will be ok and love.

I have always said "I am second half people". I stand by that statement and know that this year will be better on the second part.

I am a bit more prepared for the life bombs that will be thrown my way. It is a very tough generational thing when you cross the line from the gain/loss momentum. But I know that I am ready to trudge forward and that I am stronger than I was....

BRING ON THE LIFE-BOMBS...... I will not be destroyed.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

For Lenora

The other day I was in my car taking in the thoughts of 2013 and a song came on my radio.
The song is called Fall Asleep.
The lyrics state

So stay up with me, don't fall asleep
Because we only have this moment once in our lives
And next time we'll meet under city lights
We're here tonight, so let's make it all it was meant to be

 The tears fell and fell. I could not understand why. Moments later I realized it was something you said that rang in my gray matter.

You taught me to live by the words of "I'll sleep when I am dead". We all would laugh and think how adventurous of a woman you are, and so young in spirit.

 When I first met you many years ago I thought you hated me. I wanted to be liked and loved so much. I only saw the way you didn't accept me the way you had my mom and Jeremy. Looking back the picture becomes so clear. You were protecting your son. You wanted the best life for him and my chaos made no sense.

 Throughout the years you accepted me and all my deficiencies. You have become the grandmother I had wished for for so many years. I am inspired by your zest for your life. I do not know anyone that can say that he had his grandma at at a gay pride parade, or one that would go to a Naked Bike Race.

Your approach to life has inspired so much every day and I believe that you made my life better for being in it. You have taught me to remember traditions. family is #1, That acceptance is amazing.

 The winter after I came out as gay you invited me to your Christmas celebration and treated me as if nothing was different. That means more than you could ever know. You have been so caring and open with not only me but with Jacob as well.

 I do not want you to fall asleep. Only because I am selfish and love to hear your stories and what your newest adventures have become.

 I also know that when it comes down to it I also do not want you to suffer. It is hurts to know that someone you love is in pain and hurting. I hope that what is supposed to be happen will be peaceful for you.

 If you fall sleep before I can see you next please know I will be continue to live my life the way you have shown and the way you have lived.

I will continue to enjoy each moment and to know that I will sleep when I am dead.

I love you Lenora.

Your Grandson,
Michael Lee Howard-Mayhew

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Further down the road

"So what are you exactly afraid will happen if you just let go of your fears"

My therapist asked me this after an extensive session discussing why I do not do finish things projects that I start. I started to answer before I stopped myself.

I started therapy due to a lot of anxiety and inability to break through obstacles that were haunting me. After an extensive search I found a therapist that I not only clicked with but also trusted.

The defining moment for me was when she asked the question about fear. I have now really attacked my fears head on and found myself pleasantly surprised. It has changed my entire perspective. I have learned to let go of a lot of things that I never know that I could.

I feel for the 1st time in my life i have finally made some limits and surprise surprise it has created happiness. Many years ago I spoke about how I felt our lives are like cars that needed to be kept up and maintained. The 4 tires (Health, Career , Relationships; Spirituality) are what keep the car up and running.

HEALTH:

I have truly never felt so healthy. My numbers have all been amazing. I started to run and I am finding that each day I run I feel amazing. I actually miss running on the days that I don't. I have also started eating better and moving around more. I have no clue what I was afraid of in running and moving.

CAREER:

I would like to say that I am in the career that I love but truthfully that is not true. But I am taking steps to sort through what I want to make my career. I am applying for job where I feel I want to work. I even started writing for the local LQBT about HIV testing. I truly have loved the start of doing this: (http://www.pqmonthly.com/day-life-hiv-tester-hiv-testing-101/16368)

SPIRITUALITY:

For years I have fought myself on what it means to be a spiritual person. I have taken s step back for a while and truly and taking care of myself in regards to be closer to my heavenly father, I am enjoying simple meditations. The truth is that I feel closer and closer to the true soul being that I am every day.

RELATIONSHIPS:

This is the biggest area growth that I have seen in myself. I never thought it possible but I have found the ultimate happiness with the relationships in my life. In regards to my parents and siblings I have found that letting go of certain expectations and being able to let go and speak my own truth has created stronger bonds and the ability to speak more openly with my family.

I have learned the art of true intimacy with my partner. I have learned the importance of the mellow time and the communication. For years I though I knew what I wanted but realize I did so out of normalcy. No longer in my mind are the days that a family has to be parents and 2.5 kids. I feel, at this time, I truly have an amazing family. Having a partner that is supportive, caring, and fun like him makes life so exciting. We have our furry kids and that is enough for now. Who know what the future holds but I have decided to let go of future tripping. I am in love and experiencing the deepest true partnership. I could not imagine anything better.

So when it come right down to it I have realized I was afraid for a long time that if anyone saw behind the mask of who Michael Lee Howard they would not understand me. I felt that I would be rejected and lose the people in my life. I think that changed when I began to cut people and let them go. Toxic people bring nothing to me and I will not allow them to exist here now.

To answer my therapist's question: I am not afraid like before... I am blossoming, letting go, and finding my soul.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sensory Darkness.....

Sometimes lessons come to us in the most unlikely places,

This past week as I was doing HIV testing I had an 53 year old guy getting tested. It had been a couple years since he had been testing and it had always been with a mouth swab. The organization I work with does not do mouth swabs and instead a finger poke. As is common I asked him to put his hand out and it would be a quick little poke. Well as soon as I went to use the lancet on him he pulled his back as if possessed. I did eventually get the blood draw after about 5 min of this continuing pulling back osf his hand. He laughed after we finally got the draw and he said ... "That did not hurt at all, wow I am so embarrassed"

As we talked he told me how when he was a child he would get draws and the nurses would use what looked like razor blade tips to poke the skin and draw the blood. He had forgotten about it until that moment. Somehow his body had reacted to from some form of sensory memory.

Made me start to think about what other sensory memories are we all carrying with us. What endeavors have I put off for bad memories? Can this apply to the mental parts as well as physical? What about our spiritual side?

I find that sometimes that there is so many blocks inside. As I write this I see that is what I am in therapy for. To get these sensory memories out of me. I just wonder how many memories I have hidden that I have not yet uncovered.

I think about the reasons I am scared to write more, why I do not get up and sing more, why I do not pursue more of myself in photos, music, and the creative projects that I have in my head. What is this sensory that I have pushed down. It is ground so deep into the ground that I sometimes cannot see the light while I am diving down to try and find it.

I do find more of myself everyday... It is like an abyss in front of me that I am piecing together for fear of falling into the darkness. That is why I refuse to believe that I can become bitter and negative. That is admitting that I have lost to the dark in me and the rage has won.

I do believe that even in my concepton that there was a sensory of honest and true love. I was created from that and that it is why I have not lost out to the darkness. Hear that Darkness.... go away ... far away......

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Equality & Me....

 
I am never one to be what too much of an activist but I found
myself being compelled to share my thoughts on the current DOMA issue.

For those that do not know DOMA stands for (Defense Of Marriage Act).
DOMA is the current law that restricts federal marriage benefits to
same sex couples.

I feel sometimes in order to voice what I feel I should have facts to
back this up.

DID YOU KNOW: According to the federal government's General Accounting
Office (GAO), more than 1,100 rights and protections are conferred to
U.S. citizens upon marriage. Areas affected include Social Security
benefits, veterans' benefits, health insurance, Medicaid, hospital
visitation, estate taxes, retirement savings, pensions, family leave,
and immigration law.

I do not know at this stage if Jacob and I will ever get married, neither of us are super crazy about a huge ceremony and of course would rather spend the funds just vacationing. Even if marriage was
legal, we as Domestic Partners have a lot of state
rights. federal rights are another thing.

It would be nice to not pay taxes on our insurance; It would be nice
to have the ability to not have a will that states specifically what
each other can or can't do if we get sick or heaven forbid pass away.

I think the idea that Jacob and I after 4 years together would not be
afforded the same luxuries as those that are  together for months or
in some cases days is just a smack in the face. We both pay taxes,
work very hard, budget, shop, are spiritually driven,  and do all the same things any other
couple does. Yet I am not allowed these due to the fact I was born
gay. Yes, I know I was born this way because trust me it would be way
easier legaly to jump the fence and not be this way. Heck I even tried
it for a bit.I know that we all as Americans should be allowed the rights that provide us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I just ask that you take that into consideration in any judgments you may have.

Thanks for reading my two seconds of rant... for some further reading
please check out the link below;


 www.glad.org/uploads/docs/publications/cu-vs-marriage.pdf

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 Bday Song

11 years ago I started a new tradition of picking a "SONG OF THE YEAR" for my birthday. The song is a vision of where i have been and a glimpse into where i am heading ... the past years have been: *Precious Illusions - Alanis Morissette (2002) *Good Enough - Darren Hayes (2003) *Kinda Hard - Eric Himan (2004) *Farewell to The Old Me - Dar Williams (2005) *Whole- Casey Stratton (2006) *Phoenix Rising - Dan Paul (2007) *Lessons Learned - Carrie Underwood(2008) *32 Flavors - Ani DiFranco (2009) *Coming Around - Christopher Dallman (2010) *Let The Rain - Sara Bareilles (2011) *Stronger - Kelly Clarkson (2012) This year I have worked on my own personal journey to step into the light and into a place of healing and to find the light I have let be dimmed for way too long... On a recent trip I was listening to the new Tegan & Sara album "HEARTTHROB" and this song was def the feeling I have had all manifested into a 3 min and 51 second song... so this years song is *I'm Not Your Hero - Tegan & Sara (2013) "I'm Not Your Hero" Standing where I am now, standing up at all I was used to feeling like I was never gonna see myself at the finish line Hanging on to parts of me, hanging on at all I was used to seeing no future in my sight line Sometimes it feels like they wanna remind me Send all those villains after me I'm not their hero But that doesn't mean that I wasn't brave I never walked the party line Doesn't mean that I was never afraid I'm not your hero But that doesn't mean w e're not one and the same Feeling like I am now lighting up the hall I was used to standing in the shadow of a damaged heart Learning all I know now, losing all I did I never used to feel like I'd be standing so far ahead Sometimes it feels what I recovered you lost Sending your peaceful loss to me I'm not their hero But that doesn't mean that I wasn't brave I never walked the party line Doesn't mean that I was never afraid I'm not your hero But that doesn't mean we're not one and the same Sometimes it feels like the side that I'm on Plays the toughest hand, holds the longest stand Sometimes it feels like I'm all that they've got It's so hard to know I'm not what they want I'm not their hero But that doesn't mean that I wasn't brave I never walked the party line Doesn't mean that I was never afraid I'm not your hero But that doesn't mean we're not one and the same I do my best to walk the finest line Till I've had all that I can take

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Cracked Truth

THE EGG HAS BEEN CRACKED....

This past few months I have taken a huge time out to work on myself. It started a while back when I started to have some very vivid dreams with many people throughout my life attacking my heart, soul, and confidence.

One person in particular stood out in my mind and I started to realize that there is so much that I have held down and kept choked inside my soul. I know now that what was really happening was a wake up call inside my head.

I started lately to also marvel at the miracle of little things around me... I was thinking today of the projects in myself and how I did not want to have to carry so much baggage as I embark on the last year of my 30's. It is time to work on some things that I have started that I have been too afraid to take on.

The soul is a tender yet vulnerable thing. We are like eggs! Think to yourself about how crazy that something that somehow hold life and is able to incubate life such an egg yet is so tender. Just a small crack and all the yoke from inside could fall and lose everything that it is has held so tender.

I find that I have let too many people get inside my shell and let the cracks begin. I blessed to have the knowledge to reach out and to know that all is not lost.

I am working everyday in baby steps to work with what I know and love to do ... the artistic needs in my head will need to blossom or else risk being dried much like the yolk of an egg.

I also must push away ones that have a negative influence or else nothing positive to add to my life.... it is hard but necessary lest I be pulled into the negative gravity. This is the next stage and I am ready for it...

TIME TO UNCRACK THIS EGG!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Catch My Breath

Sometimes I find myself needing to catch my breath, I am bad at it though. I have thought myself wrong for so long for being so busy because I thought I was ignoring some inner thing within me.
The truth is, that is not the case at all. I have been blessed, I think about it a lot. The fact that have now lived through 7 years of being HIV+ and am in a good place is no accident. I have worked hard to get where I am at. I have bared my soul and glimpsed the person I am still in process of becoming.
When it comes down to it I love service work, If i could find a way to make my actually work service work I would. I am obviously not there yet, so I will continue to do what I am doing now, writing my experiences, sharing my story, and working towards my goals and share the blessings I have been given.
Sitting down and thinking about it I am still in amazement, 7 years ago I thought my world has crashed and burned and left me laying on the side like road kill (gross but true). Yet I feel I am worth more than ever and ready to pass the blessings on. I have seen so many lose their identities to a disease that has been so stigmatized and worse; been rejected and demoralized.
I know now that the biggest obstacle for me at this time is breathing, I think it is a time for me to catch my breath and balance out what I need and what I desire from my life.
I know that I am ready to bound and let go of my ego a bit and bare my soul, It is a scary idea. The proposition is one that involves some letting go and allowing myself to feel some things I have not felt before.
I will continue to breathe, stop and catch my breathe....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Learning to Receive...

"Today’s all about me,

all about how I’m feeling

Today’s all about me learning how,

how to receive How to receive, "

I started listening to the Newest Alanis album "Havoc and Bright Lights" the day that it came out. Aside from Jagged Little Pill (which I think is brilliant but overplayed at the time) I have purchased every Alanis Morissette the night it came out, It was always something cleansing as she and I are the same age, I felt I related to the stages she was at in her growth.


This one hit me hard as I have noticed a trend lately (ok I admit, most of my adult, ok well whole life) in sacrificing. I have been especially tender as I have watched so many relationships, whether it be romantic or friendships, reach limits and dissolve like a candle. Overused and melted until there is nothing left but the outside shell of beautiful but empty and devoid on the inside.

I began thinking... What was I do for myself though. Lord knows I have so many interests but I find that I base so much of what I do on the reactions from others. Or else I will not do something to avoid receiving the gifts I have inside myself.

That being said I started reaching in me and finding what it all boils down to.... RECEIVING, I am def one to give and care but I never let myself accept the gifts I have for myself. So I said screw it and I have been letting a lot more of myself go. I have to admit is a hard and challenging thing to do on my own terms.

I am thankful for my core of people in my life, I know that I could not be who I am without the love they show me, simple things like letting me be extremely dorky, letting me act like I am 12 years old, or not wanting to fill the air with worthless words.

A funny and odd thing happened that I did not expect, I started to find that I really am a good person. I like the music I listen to, I find that I enjoy the pictures I take, and I have started to share more in regards to my thoughts on religion, politics or general thoughts.

It has made me come to the conclusion that in order to truly be of service to anyone we must first be service to ourselves. Why make excuses for me being who I am... instead I am learning to embrace things like eating slow, having thinned hair, laughing loudest, dancing to music that isn't there, even having an "cup half full" mentality.

I am actually happier with the person that I have am now than I have ever been, whether it be age or just the sheer ability to learn to find something good in what I see around me...I have crossed that bridge to quote another Paula Cole "don't confuse positivity for naivety".