So Long

It’s been so long. A lot has changed ¬†and even more has stayed the same. I have been missing writing, missing this blog. But alas, internet is hard to come by in my neck of the woods, so, it’s been awhile.

It occurs to me, that I started this blog March 13, 2011, just two days after the disaster in Japan that led to the biggest nuclear fuck-up of our time. Now, February 12, 2017 almost six years later and the situation there has only gotten worse. Oh well. Just interesting to note. Six years of radioactive material literally just melting down straight into the pacific ocean, and we’ve all just got our heads buried in the sand.

Well any-hoo…

It is exciting to be behind my laptop again. The keys feel nice on my fingertips. The keyboard fits me so much better than the one I use at work. Ahh, it’s the little things in life we must take joy in.

I have been thinking about that concept a lot too; that it’s all about the little things. In light of all the big stuff: Fukushima, the Republican (Rothschild) controlled congress, the Dakota Access Pipeline (Water> Oil)!!!, and so on, I have succumb, like many others, to that hopeless feeling. I worry and stress about my unfulfilling job, every little snag in my relationships, where I am going on my life. I am concerned that I am wasting my time in this life not living up to my potential, and not living up to my calling in life. I know I have been blessed and gifted with so much. It would be a shame to waste away behind a desk doing imaginary work that ultimately means nothing in the end.

I want to be some kind of hero. I daydream about being some powerful influential politician that saves the world, or about being a teacher that saves all the kids that would have otherwise fallen through the cracks. I dream about starting community centers that magically solve the opiate/ prescription drug abuse crisis sweeping the nation. I dream about freedom and unity and equality…as a slogan on a banner in those community centers, that transforms into a way of being for the people that follow it.

But, these remain daydreams of mine. Why? Because big change doesn’t work like that. It’s not like in the movies where there’s a fun little montage and everyone high-fives over a job well done at the end. It’s all about the little things. I think the biggest heroes in life are the ones that understand how to focus their energies. I can’t possibly do any of the lofty things I daydream about; but I can be a teacher, and I can focus my energy on one thing at a time, and maybe if I don’t fuck it up too much some kid out there might do alright. I think the key is to not let the ego get in there. Great things can’t be done with expectations of recognition and acclaim.

So, it’s all about the little things. Every great masterpiece is just little bits coming together just right. I am always to fascinated by the micro and the macro; How atoms and solar systems are just fractal patterns of each other; How our planet is a whole universe for the microorganisms that live on the bottoms of our shoes. Fascinating. The greatest trees on earth didn’t think about becoming that, they just grew, bit by bit, atom by atom. And when you zoom out on that, the forest didn’t think about becoming a great forest…it simply grew, tree by tree.

 

Ahh, I suppose I’m probably losing some of you by now. I am finding myself though, so it’s all good ūüėČ

Peace, love, unity and respect~

~SG

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Alone Again

And so, she found herself alone again. Ever since she was a child she thought she had it right. She thought she knew. Do things for love, not money. Everything her parents taught her, all the morals of all the stories she had ever read had all said the same things: Be nice, treat people how you would like to be treated, be the ‘better’ person, and have faith that what goes around comes around.

But as she traveled through life she realized that there was so much more to it. The devil is in the details, and when you are focused in on the small stuff, the world keeps spinning right around you. She did all of the things she though she was supposed to; she got straight A’s in school, was nice and polite as often as possible, respected her elders, and was always concerned with what people would think of her.

She grew up and learned more and more about life. Her perspectives changed. She started to realize that all of the things she had done weren’t getting her anywhere. While she thought she knew enough to choose love, friends, and people over material possessions somehow she was still caught in a trap. While she thought she was doing everything right, she realized that she¬†was completely missing out on her entire life. For some reason she thought that working hard now meant that she could do all the fun things she wanted to do later. But the thing is, later is just that…later.

So many fun, incredible, inspiring, amazing moments went right by her, and she was just not there for them. She was in her head, self-conscious, thinking about how it would be perfect if only __________.

Time went on, and she did what she thought she was supposed to do. She worked. She tried to save, so hard, but continued to live paycheck to paycheck. So she worked some more. She covered shifts when co-workers went surfing, she cooked at home instead of going out for drinks after work, and she rode a bike instead of buying a car. She thought that these were the responsible, “right” things to do. She thought someday, her time would come, and she would be able to travel and explore and not worry about the money it costs to do it.

But what really happened is that everyone thought she was a lame homebody that never wanted¬†to do anything, so they stopped inviting her. They thought that she must just have her own friends and hobbies to keep her occupied, and since she didn’t have a car, it was hard to coordinate activities, so they just let it go. She never seemed to want to spend any money, and so they didn’t want to pressure her to spend more than she could afford. There were never any malicious actions, no hard feelings, but they weren’t going to pry her out of her comfort zone, and it wasn’t their job to anyway.

And so she found herself alone again.

“How could I have let this happen?” she often thought to herself. How could she have been so blind? She was so zoomed in on those stupid little details that she was completely oblivious to the fact that she was choosing money over love. Everything she thought she was doing right was all for some distant future that she might never, ever experience. And even if in that distant future, she had all the resources she needed to travel the world, who would she do it with? What was the point of having beautiful memories if you have no one to share them with? She pictured herself as an old lady putting on slide-shows for her cats. “And here I am in Rome, oh, and that’s me by the Eiffel Tower”…

This growing realization was causing her to become quite depressed. And anxious. Her perspectives continued to change, and she kept learning more and more about life. She realized it was up to her to make a real effort to get out there and make friends. She couldn’t just bum around feeling sorry for herself. She had to put herself out there. But it just wasn’t happening.¬†For all the things she learned in school, all the things she learned about life, and with all the skills she had picked up along the way, she couldn’t think of a single interesting thing to say.

She did everything she was supposed to…actively listened, used inviting body language, smiled a lot, laughed at all the jokes, drank up for social lubrication… and still felt hollow.

Perhaps it was the depression/anxiety/stress, but she started to become disillusioned about the whole social scene. Over time she discovered that she actually had plenty of interesting things to say, important things, but no one else was listening. No one cared. They were all just in their own little worlds, not worrying about body language or whether or not they were making people uncomfortable, or if they were being rude looking at their phones every two seconds. For all the time she spent feeling bored and alone, it was still better than being surrounded by selfish people who were just going to ignore her anyway.

She started feeling like maybe she didn’t even want to be friends with these people. She wanted to surround herself with intrinsically motivated, fun, inspirational people who liked to actually do¬†stuff, not people who just sit around watching t.v. and go to bars and don’t care about anything but themselves. She wanted to walk through nature marveling at all the beautiful little bits of it, not talk shit about irrelevant B.S. She wanted someone to do arts and crafts with, not someone who can’t stop talking about all the great projects they’re doing.

And so, she found herself alone again.

Wrapped up in her own mind, trying to unravel it to keep it open to the possibilities, she found it was best swaddled up in it’s little blanket of thoughts. She thought she was doing it all according to plan. It just wasn’t her plan. It was hard to comfort that brain as it swam around in stress hormones, wondering when exactly she let worries about money break her connection to humanity. Or perhaps humanity broke the connection with itself…no service I guess.

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Cartooning (Life as a Joke)

I gotta get this cartooning thing going. I think using humor is the best way to make a point. I guess I just don’t think I’m good enough at drawing, but I guess I never will know if I don’t at least try. As an old friend pointed out to me, it really doesn’t matter how well the art is made; “Just look at South Park” he said. True, I thought. Crooked paper cut-outs make me laugh and think and criticize just as much as bright yellow people with blue hair, or actual live people.

This morning of FB I saw a post that was about Bill Watterson, the cartoonist behind the famous Calvin and Hobbes strips, and this particular cartoon spoke to me so deeply it made me cry. Tears well up in my eyes now just thinking about it.

You see, I work ~50 hours per week. I used to have to work some Saturdays, and even now while I write this, my beloved man is there now, working, from 5:00a.m. to 10:00a.m. on a Saturday. ¬†I used to work at that shop, but a theoretically better position opened up at their facility 20 miles away. So while I don’t work weekends, I still have no time for a life. Since I’m up so early and don’t get home until so late, and my man is on the same crazy schedule, the simplest things like eating dinner and doing laundry have to be carefully penciled in…leaving little to no time for any kind of relaxing. Beyond that, there is the physical toll this job takes on me -and my man- and many of our co-workers.

The job I need just to pay my bills and survive is simultaneously the thing that is killing me. The worst part is that I feel like I might as well already be dead because it’s not like I’m really living! I don’t have the time to eat healthy, to see my friends, to do any of the many hobbies I enjoy. The worst part is that on these Saturdays I am still up at 4:00-5:00, and all I want to do is sleep. I can’t stay awake to hang out with friends on a Friday night! Even when I have the time, it’s not like I can spare the energy to do the things I enjoy.

My body aches. After screaming at me all week for using orbital sanders, and lifting heavy loads, and getting pinched and smashed and bumped and bruised and cut all day my body has had it. I need to heal. I need to eat 6,000 calories of nothing but pure nutrients and 3 gallons of water and I need to sleep for about 34 hours straight. I know what my body needs. But it’s not like it’s gonna get it. Instead it does laundry, and dishes, all through the underlying aches, automatically moving those little damaged parts out of the way. Doing dishes takes me forever because I have to stop every ten seconds and stretch and wiggle and more and more lately…just sit down and cry.

This wouldn’t even be worth it if I was doing something I loved. If I was a cartoonist, I would stop before my hands went numb and I had severe tendinitis, because after all, if you haven’t got your health, what have you got? Same goes if I had my own glass blowing studio, or sewing shop. I would not work myself so hard….so why am I now?

I told myself that I didn’t have the time or energy. But my logic is flawed. I don’t have the time or energy because of the current job I have, and I will never have the time or energy to live while I’m at that job. I think I need the job to live, but I really need to get rid of that job if I want to live.

So, perhaps I will lose my cynicism and it will give way to humor again. Someday I will look back at all of this and laugh!

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Balance and Tension

Sometimes I wonder what the alternate universe- double/other half of me is up to. Perhaps I cross their mind, and we both wonder if we will always be so lonely without each other. I wonder if I am the root, and they are the branches, or if it is the other way around. I wonder if they feel what I do, when I do, or if they feel the polar opposite. I can reach out to this other half of me in my sleep sometimes, but only when we both reach for the center. It’s all about the center. It’s all about the balance…the tension….the balance and the tension.

As I was trying to lucid dream last night an image formed in my mind…about being so alone. It has occurred to me that I have no support network, no safety net. It’s like walking a tight rope across a bottomless canyon, in very poor lighting.

When you have a safety net, and people that you can count on to help you out, it’s like walking that tight rope, but with a lot of other ropes around you, all going to the same center. If you lose sight of your rope, or just get thrown off balance for whatever reason, it’s easy to just step on someone else’s rope for a step or two until you’re back on your feet, balanced on your own rope. You can literally lean on others for a time.

A funny thing happens in this case, and as any child that has ever tried to balance in heights knows, it is easier to stay balanced on your rope when there is a net below you. Something about that illusion of safety makes it easier to step with confidence. When you have that safety net, you know it’s not the end of the world if you ¬†misstep, so it is that much easier to take that first step. Failure is just a little glitch before you hop back up and try again.

However, when you are alone, and feeling so alone in the world that you have no net, no other ropes around you, you may question where everyone else is…are you even on the right rope? Maybe there was a memo somewhere that you missed.

When you are trying to walk that tight rope, with no net, all of a sudden the danger of it seems to become more apparent. What to others may be a thrilling adventure, with small risk of real harm, becomes to the loner a real threat to life. That canyon is now darker and deeper and full of unknowns. Suddenly you feel like you are higher up than you actually are. The fear of the situation can easily take hold and send a person into panic at the thought of the one misstep that could literally kill them.

When you are all alone up there, just trying to take that first step can seem impossible. It takes a lot of talking yourself up and talking yourself down to get the courage to just move…just to take that first scary step. Then you either fall or you find balance.

You might think that once you get the hang of it, each step would be easier, but that’s not actually the case. The thing is, is that the further out you go, the scarier it becomes. There is a point of no return. Once you get so far out on that dark and sketchy rope you feel the fear of being so far from, what at least felt like, solid ground. If you lose your balance out there, you are fucked. There is no one else there to let you step on their rope for a sec. there is no net below you…just a free fall into the dark, scary unknown.

So while everyone else surrounded by friends and family might tell you how not bad it is, and “Don’t worry, everything will be okay”, you know that they have no idea what it’s really like. You know what it means to only have yourself to count on. You know how dangerous the plight is. You know how hard it is to try to struggle back up out of that dark cavern just to hop back up on that lonely ass fucking rope. Just to try again. Just to have the same people who are already past half way to where they’re going look back and tell you that it will all be fine. Easy for them to say.

But the thing is, it’s all about the tension and the balance. If your rope is strung to tight, (you are wound too tight) it’s too damn bouncy and every step you take threatens to throw you right off like a kicking colt. But, if you are too laid back and don’t have enough tension on your rope, you’ll be wobbling all over the place and you’ll never be able to get your balance.

The trick is in knowing yourself.

How much tension do you require? So many people are afraid of being overwhelmed, so they get too slack. Others still are afraid of losing control, so they pull their rope too tight because they think that that will leave no room for error, but it really just means that when the universe throws something at them they have to either catch that shit or watch it hit their rope and fling them off into the canyon. No one really likes having to catch shit for stuff, but then again, no one really likes having things thrown at them either. Life’s not fair.

As for the balance, that I think is the same for almost everyone. Find your center. Let it grow. The bigger your center is, the easier it is to balance. As tempting as if may be to have some fun flying around the edges, is it better to stay still in the center than spinning around the outside trying to get back in. When you’re alone on that tight rope wire, remember that balance is possible…and stillness helps. There is no need to hurry, no need to flail your arms about wildly, or to over-think each step. Remain flexible—bend your knees. Feel the rope, test the tension…adjust the tension¬†before you take that first step. (It’s way easier to tighten or slack when you’re not on it)! Feel yourself. Are you ready? Or are you panicking? Can you breathe easily, or are you shaking? Don’t try to balance on a tight rope if you’re shaking! It does seem like there is some rush…like, the world around you is on fire and you have to get across that damn canyon immediately or you will surely die. But, you’re not going to get across that damn canyon if you are freaking out, so go ahead and take a big calming breath before making your move.

Going through this world alone, trying to fine tune the levels of tension I need, and balancing them has not been easy. I cannot count the times that I felt stuck on a slippery rope over a dark canyon, wondering where I took a wrong turn. (I was headed to the beach, why is this damn canyon in my way)! I cannot count the times that I have fallen, all the way down to the muck at the bottom, and had to blindly crawl my way back up. That is not easy. In fact, I think it would be easier to actually crawl up a dark canyon with no ropes.

I think about suicide all the time. This year I think there were all of 4 whole days that it didn’t cross my mind. I’ve heard a lot about it just being a long cold winter, and “it will get better”. But that is just not the case. Yes, the sunshine and warmth will help, but that just makes it easier to see the rope ahead of me, and to see what is down there if I fall. The light does not make me new friends. The warmth does not give me a safety net. I am still counting on me, and only me. I am alone in this world, and no matter how hard I try to connect with others, it’s just not there. So I wonder about my other-me. I think this person is on the other side of the canyon…trying to meet me in the middle. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do. Trying to build that bridge, to make that connection. I think that she alone understands the depths of my being, because she is it. I think that she longs for me too, and wonders about me, wondering about her. Of course, maybe I’m just delusional. That’s always a possibility.

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On my own in this life

Just passing time before I die
might as well make it rhyme

I’ve got some things to learn
I’ve got some pride to burn
I feel it in my tummy- makes a churn
I want to go far want it to be my turn

why won’t life just get it a rest?
I’ve got some peace just give it a chance

I’m trying to get better but what is that even?
normal or not still don’t fit in

I just do my thing too bad that’s so depressing
I wish I could be all brand new
like a shiny new toy that’s just for you
keep you interested
like babe, I’m just the best shit

but soon you’ll see right through
I’ll just have to be my own crew

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A Picture of Florida

Today I saw a photograph of a man in Florida. The background was all I seemed to notice. The clouds…the lighting, the patchy grass…

I could feel the air, the warm breeze full of salt. I could feel my own bare feet running in that grass, worried about fire ants. But I never lived there. I’ve only ever visited, and the last visit was a sad one, to say goodbye to my sister who died in Florida. So when I think of Florida, I think of her, and when I think of her I think about childhood.

Seeing this photo, I was transported somewhere else in the time-space continuum…to a time and a place I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced…maybe it’s just a conglomeration of memories, maybe it’s my subconscious putting pieces of things I’ve seen on t.v. together with things I’ve actually experienced in real life…or maybe it’s me recognizing a past that resembles another, different part of my past. Either way, when I saw this picture, I saw past the images, and went straight to the feelings.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes an image is so breathtaking you simply can’t say anything about it. In this modern world however, where everyone with a cell phone is a photographer, and anyone with Photoshop can produce an image worth sharing, each stunning image loses it’s brilliance among all the other stunning photos. A star shining brightly is hardly noticed among a whole sky of them.

Because of this phenomenon, I have found myself becoming less and less enchanted by these magnificent photos. Instead I’m more likely to pick apart where someone edited a photo, and end up disappointed that such beautifully perfect things never actually exist in reality. That lovely close up of a shell, with the ocean splash behind it? Good thing they cropped the plastic junk down the beach out…but you would too if you were at that beach trying to recreate that shot.

So, to have an image of a man with a hairy belly holding a beer¬†inspire so much in me that I needed to blog about it, means that I guess I haven’t lost my ability to feel after all!

There is just something about this that I can’t put my finger on, but it makes me wish my sister was here to see if she feels it too. I think it reminds me of playing with her…somewhere…not home. Perhaps the summer we spend in Indiana living with our dad….it’s definitely a summer memory. Oh well…the moment is long past now. It was just one of those moments though…I figured I better try to write something down about it, lest I forget forever.

 

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Ode to Grandma Julie

It’s my birthday weekend. I’m feeling sad and alone…as usual. It’s a Saturday, about 8:15p.m. and I am still in my p.j.’s. thinking about what to do tonight, if anything.

I keep thinking about my grandmother. I just had an hour long conversation with my mother, and we talked about her. She was something else. A sprite I would say. She was the kind of woman that you know had a twinkle in her eye, and could capture people with her smile. She was feisty, and I wouldn’t want to get into a verbal battle with her. She also spoke several languages, so she’d probably put you in your place in Italian without you even knowing it.

She gave me a lot in life. She taught me how to ride a bike, (well, Mom too)! and made sure I always had one. She took me skiing, where I soon realized it was not for me! She would also always take me to museums and science centers because she knew I would be a total geek about it and really get into it. She always made sure I was eating lunch…and I can’t count how many sandwiches she made for me over the years with that awesome Durkee’s sauce.

She and I didn’t see eye to eye on most things, but we respected each other for it. I often thought that she didn’t like me, and that she adored my younger cousin. One day we were going for a walk and had a great conversation about it. (Among other things). She never came out and admitted that she liked my cousin more than me, but after that walk I felt like we found a bridge that crossed the gap between us, and we were able to find it each time afterwards so that we could try to relate to each other.

I was always confused by my grandmother…the way she would phrase things made no sense to me as a child, so I think I pissed her off a lot by simply giving her a dumb, “wtf are you talking about” look. I think that because we looked at the world so differently, she thought I was going to do everything all backwards and would mess everything in my life up. (Who knows, maybe I did)! She was talkative and outgoing…not afraid to toot her own horn; I was shy and easily intimidated, and thought it best to be modest. But she and I are both conundrums in our own ways. While she was proper and knew all the technicalities of manners and etiquette, she was also a tomboy who rode a Harley in her day. She was materialistic, but knew the value of taking good care of those materials. She would garden and do laundry, but also clean gutters and drink scotch. She worked on machines, and was my go-to person whenever I needed a bike fix. But she would also freak the fuck out if you took a step in the house with your shoes on.

She like to get what she wanted when she wanted it. She liked having control. I was patient and easy-going…more like I knew I’d get what I needed when I needed it, so there was no need to go around demanding it. I think she though I was going to live a life of hard work and poverty and all because I was stubborn and wouldn’t just ask for what I wanted. In her mind, I believe, there is nothing wrong with asking for what you want and taking it when it is offered. Not to say that I think she didn’t believe in hard work, but I believe she didn’t think that was the only, or the best way to get what you want.

I think she thought that I was a dirty wild hippy kid that was going to have my brain fall out of my open mind. So she’d give me advice. It was all bad! Haha, she didn’t mean to I’m sure, it just turned out that way! For example, she hated the way I walked. Apparently I “marched” and occasionally dragged my feet. So, she made me pace back and forth while she analyzed my gait and determined that I needed to take a stride going heel-to-toe, not the other way around. Up until that point I was the fastest runner of anyone I knew, including my older sister who beat me at everything. I ran around barefoot all summer until my feet were calloused and black. I would often walk up on my tippy-toes, just because it seemed comfortable. I had wicked high arches too. ¬†After I changed the way I walked because she assured me it was better, (I mean, even her foot doctor told her so)! I started having foot problems…the exact same kind that she had! It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I did my own research, learned a lot about the scams of the shoe industry, and bought toe-shoes that helped me to go back to that natural gait. I had to have two foot surgeries, that still cause pain, but since I started going with what feels right, I can run again, without my ankles clicking and giving out on me. I built the foot muscles back up, and caught myself walking on my tippy-toes again. My arches (which fell nearly flat) are back up to where they used to be.

I bring up that example because I feel it really points out the differences in her and I. She was confident in a way that I wasn’t, and put her confidence in things that I wouldn’t. While I sit alone on my birthday weekend feeling sorry for myself not having the guts to just go out alone, and sing and dance like no body is watching, I feel like she would have made herself the life of the party. If people didn’t remember, or didn’t plan some kind of party for her, she would have let her displeasure be well known! She would never have let people treat her the way I’ve let people in my life treat me. But on the other hand, I think that she would just go along with whatever society told her to do, not because she was afraid to stick up for herself, but because she was afraid of the loneliness and isolation that comes from standing out in the crowd. She wanted to be popular, and wanted to fit in. So she did what she did to get that. As much as it really does suck sometimes, I rather feel lonely and isolated than fake. I rather sit home alone than try to keep up with or show off to the Jones’. (Funny enough…her neighbors actually were the Jones’)!

That day that we took a walk together and had a great conversation, and bridged that gap, I think she realized something about me. I think she finally saw through to me, and got it…and admired it. As a kid (and even still now on the precipice of 28 years of age) I get nervous…like, really nervous. I clam up and can’t do things that I can easily kick ass at when no one is looking. I stutter and stumble over my words when I meet new people…and even with my best friends that I have known forever. I drop stuff and can’t find stuff right in front of my face, and overall I just get so overwhelmed by the attention of others being on me. I constantly fuck with my fingers…no longer outright biting my nails, but picking, and fidgeting. If I can’t do that, I mess with my hair. It makes me look like an idiot, and I know it. I know if I could just relax a little people wouldn’t think I was such a weirdo. But, I won’t do something just because someone else is. I’ve never been a trend-follower. Fuck that shit. Perhaps I’m so used to the idea of people thinking I’m a weirdo, that I don’t care if they think I’m even more weird because I don’t follow the trend. So, you like Jordans and would spend hundreds of dollars on sweat shop shoes ’cause you think they look cool? Awesome. I’ll be in my toe shoes looking like I have monkey feet. I’ll also probably be able to outrun you in 10-20 years.

I think that my grandmother finally saw and understood that wild little hippy child with dirty bare feet. I think that she was concerned that I would grow up to be a sad lonely person who had a hard time relating to her peers. But I think that she finally saw that I wasn’t just some nervous little kid who lacked confidence in all forms. I was strong enough to choose what I felt was right, even if it was hard, and even though it hurt me to feel like such an outsider. While my Gram carried her confidence on the outside with her pretty white teeth (that she never lost to old age) and her air of authority, I carried mine deep on the inside– covering it with insecurities, but never forgetting that it was there. For all the times that I’ve stuttered and gotten clumsy when I feel social pressure, I’ve always been confident that it doesn’t matter. I now know just how self-centered people really are, and I know that more often than not they are too busy with their own insecurities to notice me worrying about mine.

While my grandmother and I didn’t see things the same way, we eventually came to understand each other. What worked for her wouldn’t necessarily work for me, and while she liked control and having things done her way, she learned that I could do things my way and still have them turn out just fine. The greatest lesson that I’ve learned from her is that even when people legitimately care about you, and want you to do well, they can still give you bad advise. People can truly want you to be happy, and want to help you get there, but if it doesn’t feel right for you, it probably isn’t.

Thanks for all you’ve done for me and taught me over the years, Gram. I’m still learning, and I don’t intend to stop. My life journey would not have been complete without you playing such a huge part in it. I still intend to bike around New Zealand someday, something we had long ago talked about doing together sometime. When I do I’ll remember you, and all the advice you’ve given me along the way. I’ll only follow the bits that relate to the bikes though! I love you Gram!

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