Truth 2: Be Brave

I am quite literally going to be braver in this post than I’ve EVER been in my life (excluding evil doctor-related things).

For most of my life I’ve had an insane fear, I’m mean a severe PHOBIA of singing in public.

It’s not healthy to be scared. It’s not fun.

I will not do karaoke. I won’t let anyone hear me sing in the car or shower, including the hubby.

I’m am truly blinded by the fear of people telling me I suck. And I DO! I know I can’t sing. I know I sound like a cat being gutted, but I love to sing. When I’m alone in my car I have so much fun singing my face off as loud as can be. But if anyone heard me, I’d die.

So, since Today’s Truth #2 is Be Brave, then I’m going to put my fear where my mouth is and do a few singalongs. If I could sing well, then this wouldn’t be brave. But knowing that I cannot sing well at all, well, that is my test of bravery. I’m willing to be utterly vulnerable in front of everyone, even knowing I’m tone deaf. This is my version of brave.

Please know, I’m TERRIFIED, MORTIFIED, HORRIFIED, and any other “ified” you can come up with.

Don’t be too mean in your comments.

I KNOW I hit flat notes, sharp notes, totally wrong notes, fuck up the lyrics and make people want to die. I know this. But there is a freedom in being brave that is more important than letting fear drive your life.

Bravery is glorious, scary, amazing, liberating, terrifying and so many more things. We’ll talk more about it in other posts down the line, but I’m going to share with you 3 singalongs that I did. I probably should have warmed up my voice or practiced, but it is what it is. There’s no editing, voice fixing, post-producing or anything of that nature. This is just me as raw as it gets. As vulnerable as it gets because my fear really is more a phobia than anything else. I’d rather have a spider crawl on my eyeball than sing in public. That should tell you just how brave I’m trying to be in doing this.

I think song number 3 is probably the best, but I promised myself I’d post them all. May God help your ears. 😉

Song 1: Lady Gaga: You and I

This video was inspired from nearly getting killed on the road by an asshat as we were merging off the 101. My bravery was not jumping out of my car and killing him with a hammer.

This song is so unbearably out of my vocal range that it’s ridiculous. But if you’re going to do it, do it. Just know that I KNOW this is not good. But I have to overcome my fears, regardless of what they are. Be warned!

Also, I get very tongue tied, forget how to pronounce words at the end and just fuck shit all up. It’s embarrassing, but again, NO EDITING. It is what it is. (PS: I now know why Stevie Wonder does the head shaking thing…you’ll see first hand soon enough…sorry…) 🙂

PS: Until the videos finish “processing” it looks like they are 90 degrees crooked. Once you hit play they go right side up. Technology is weird!

Song 2: John Denver: Country Roads

This video was inspired from nearly getting killed merging off the 101 onto the 202. It was not a good day for driving. Almost nearly killed twice in one damn day. My car was actually 90 degrees the wrong direction on the road and I went from 70mph to sideways to straightened out in the course of about 3 seconds. I don’t know how I’m alive or didn’t hit 10 other cars. Miracle. So I was so happy to be alive that I was inspired to try a another song in case the Lady Gaga one was so just so bad that I couldn’t post it. But, that wouldn’t be brave. So, you get this one too.

Also, I do know the word “bravery.” Why I call it “braveness” sometimes is beyond me. I was terrified and have no excuse for sucking except that I was just scared to death because I was about to or just had finished singing.

This video has some different stories in it than the Gaga song. I was going to post one or the other, but decided to go with both, so if you listen to both you’ll hear some other fun tidbits about my life. Oh, and I get a little better as the so goes on. He sings lower than my register so it’s hard for me to hit those notes, but I warm up a bit about halfway through. Again, consider yourself warned.

Song 3: Erykah Badu: Tyrone

LOVE this song! When I told my sister I was doing my self-imposed Bravery Challenge she said I should do Tyrone. How could I not thought of that!? GREAT song. Again, so out of my vocal range it’s insane. But I tried again, dammit! And I think it may be the best of the 3. Maybe. Big thanks to my sister for her suggestion. Oh, and I’ll give you her address if you wanna kill her for suggesting I sing this. I wouldn’t blame you. 😉

 

Remember, if I can do something that terrifies me more than death and taxes, you can too. Find your worst fear and try and overcome it. It’s so freeing!!!

I think I’ll now be able to sing in the car with the hubby present and not be terrified about being critiqued or made fun of (in his head as he’d never say it to my face). But silent critiquing is just as scary.

So, go do something wild! Go be brave! Go kick some ass! Once you’re dead you can’t, so do it while you still have the time.

God bless and much love.

XOXOXOXOXO

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS, MY DARLING FRIENDS (and Happy Holidays!)

I discovered the most amazing blessing today and I wanted to share it with you guys.

I started going through all of my Facebook posts and blog posts from this year and I noticed all the people who had left beautiful, supportive and loving comments for my family and me.

And because of those comments I started writing up a post that specifically mentioned a bunch of people who had been particularly wonderful to me this year. What I realized, and what the true blessing is, is that the list was so long that it would take me 15 hours to write it.

What an amazing gift to be given by your friends.

My intention had been to name each of you, one by one, and thank you very specifically for the help or love or encouragement or support that you had given me. But the list was, quite frankly, a bit daunting. Because of that long list, I’ve never been happier.

That God has blessed me with friends who come out in such a strong force to keep me encouraged and out of a depressive hole of blackness is quite amazing to me.

It’s very important for me to let you guys know, that every smiley-face, every heart, every hands held together in prayer, every snarky or sarcastic comment, every lovely and supportive comment, every comment telling me that I was going to kick ass, every precious thought, emoji, gif, picture, you name it… has meant the world to me and lifted me up when I really needed it.

While I wish I had those 15 hours to name every one of you specifically and just how you helped me right when I needed it, I hope that this note will suffice because without the loving support, or the super-funny laughs, or the occasional ass kicking, I know without hesitation I could not have made it through this year. Your love and your prayers supported me and gave me more strength that I knew I had.

So let me end by saying this: When I say love you in a comment or a post, I mean it with my heart. When I say thank you, I mean it with everything I have. When I call you sweetie or doll or darling it’s because that’s how I’m truly feeling in that moment. When I send you hugs it’s because I really wish that I could hug you.

You all have made this year, which could have been my last, more beautiful for my heart than I ever could have dreamt. That’s the best gift of all. If I got coal in my stocking and a note from Santa that said, “Fuck you,” that would be okay at this point because all of you have given me a gift everyday and sometimes even more than once a day.

Know this, I love you guys and you are always in my prayers. Regardless of what you are celebrating this holiday season may you be blessed with joy and love throughout every moment of it.

With all of my heart…

Even after the year I’ve had… still so much thankfulness

 

I originally posted this on Facebook, but a friend suggested I put it here too since I have the most wonderful blogging family EVER!!!! 🙂 I totally agreed, as I love you guys to no end. So, here goes. 🙂

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I know it’s past Thanksgiving, but I’ve never really followed the rules for anything anyway. I have some things I want to let everybody know that I’m thankful for, and so much of it has to do with all of you.

I am so very deeply thankful for all of the love, kindness and support my friends here have shown me. It’s so easy for social media to be a place filled with nothing but political banter, disagreements, and or superficial–but very often still funny–types of things.

What I have found this year is it is also a place filled with love and prayers and people who come out of the woodwork to truly let you know that they love you and only want the best for you. That has meant more to me than I can ever begin to express.

I am also incredibly thankful that I’ve been able to return that love to so many of my friends that are having a very rough time of it lately. Whether you’re in emotional pain, physical pain, or both (which is likely the case), being able to let you know that I love you and that I truly am here for you brings me great peace. From the bottom of my heart I mean it when I tell people that they can call me and just cry for an hour, or just sit in silence for an hour knowing someone is on the other end of the phone if they do decide to talk. Hell, I’ll watch a TV show with you over the phone. Or you can just scream and yell cuss words at me until you can’t utter another word because your throat is sore. I truly mean with every fiber of my being that those of you who are going through hard times can call me and do any of those things.

It may have been many years since I’ve seen a lot of you, and we may not have even been close in high school or at a job or wherever it is that we met. Heck, we may not have actually ever met in person, but we’re here now, together, and to me that is what matters.

I’m also so very thankful to my family for supporting me through the last 10 and a half months. That my husband tells me I’m beautiful, even though I’ve lost 75% of my hair and gained a shit ton of weight from not being able to do anything, including walking, for almost a year just blows my mind. And the anazing thing is, I believe him. To know that the man you’ve chosen to spend your life with truly cherishes you is the best gift anyone can ever give or receive. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’d be thrilled if I lost 40 lbs, and I know he’ll be happy for me when my hair grows back in, but in the meantime he does nothing but support me and lets me know that he loves me regardless of any of that superficial bullshit. That’s such a gift and I can never express my gratitude enough for loving a man who loves me for me, not for me as arm candy, or a bank account, or any of the other reasons so many men have been with me over the years. He loves me. I will forever be thankful for that.

And for those of you who grew up with me and my sister, the very beautiful and loving Becky, you’ll know that she and I had our ups and downs as we grew up. It’s hard being so close in age when you’re a teenager and then your twenties and unfortunately tend to attract and be attracted to the same types of men. God knows it caused a verbal cat fight more than once. But my precious, angelic sister has truly become my best friend. She lets me call her anytime night or day and never makes me feel like a burden.

When Becky was here taking care of me after surgery, she was the most amazing medical advocate for me. She took no shit off anybody and made sure I got the best care possible. When you’re as fucked up as I’ve been, you need somebody strong to have your back. And Becky was that. She never made me feel embarrassed for the hideous things she had to see and do. God bless her for that. She can never unsee the things she had to deal with and yet she’s never made me feel bad or humiliated. She just took it all in stride and made sure that I knew that she loved me and she would do anything for me. That kind of love is simply amazing and I’m so truly blessed for all of that.

While I still have a long way to go to get back to normal, and it may still be a few years before I have enough emotional energy to be a truly good friend in the way that I like to be, what I’m thankful for is that the people who love me understand that I don’t hibernate because I don’t love them or don’t want to talk to them. I don’t hibernate to avoid being a good friend. If 95% of you called me tomorrow and told me you needed me to be on a plane to come take care of you, I would be on that plane. But what is such a beautiful thing is that the people who know me understand that my keeping to myself is me just licking my wounds and trying to heal my brain, my heart, and my body. Plus they say it takes about 3 years, if ever, to feel normal again after severe sepsis, so thank God everyone seems to understand that me not leaving the house to go party has nothing to do with not wanting to see my beautiful friends. It just has to do with me taking time to heal so that when I am back on my feet I’m going to kick ass from here to Maryland and back… Taking no prisoners!

I do realize I should have probably just written a fucking book as this is about the length of one, but it’s 4:32 in the damn morning and I felt like telling everybody how deeply, deeply thankful I am for all of you.

I know I often say things in my comments like “much love,” or “tons of hugs,” or “XOXOXOXO.” And it may seem like just the way I sign off on my comments. But I really mean it. I have so much love in my heart for so very many of you and I just want you to know it. So I will tell you that over and over and over again so that there’s never any question about how I feel.

In closing, finally (right????), know that I do love you guys and I am so very thankful that you are in my life, and that you take the time to show me love means more to me than you could ever possibly know.

May God bless every single one of you and take care of your every need. I love you all so much. If you ever need me, I’m here.

LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and every other happy sentiment I can send you! 🙂 XOXOXOXXO

The path to happiness… :)

My dear friend Joel suggested that I post this on my blog and not just on my FB page, and a wise woman always listens to Joel. 🙂

I was telling a few close friends a story of betrayal the other day and how, when over a decade later, this person reached out and apologized I told that person that I’d forgiven them years ago. This person was shocked and thankful for the forgiveness and didn’t understand how I could have had forgiveness in my heart many years before any apology came.

I told them that while forgiveness is a beautiful gift to give to others, it is equally as beautiful a gift to give yourself.

It frees you.
It helps you persevere. 
It keeps your heart open.
It allows you to move forward, not remain stuck in the mire.
It gives comfort both to you and the person you forgive.

Forgiveness in your everyday life is something to cherish and be thankful for.

Learn from those betrayals.
Understand how those betrayals, in some way, taught you something that will give you wisdom down the road.
But also forgive them.

The person who suffers most by not allowing forgiveness to fill their heart, is the person who is unable to forgive.

Free yourself from the past; forgive, love, giggle and do your best to spread kindness.

That is a life worth living.

And I must tell you…as a side note, it makes for such a happier life. My mom always told me to pray not only for those you love, but those that cause you pain; for if that person can heal, then their little piece of the world will be a better piece and possibly spread joy to others as well. It was sometimes a hard pill to swallow, but she was right and I still pray for the nasty bitch that ruined my life over 25 years ago (just kidding…I no longer carry that anger–just said that in classic Jodi style). Her happiness affects those around her, so I want her to be happy. Even if she TOTALLY TRIED TO DESTROY MY LIFE. No bitterness…honestly. I’m just being a smart ass. I forgave her decades ago and it took the weight of the world off my shoulders. It was a huge blessing to my own heart and I’m thankful every day that I let it go. (Do NOT start singing “Let it Go” from Frozen or I will hunt you down!)

Anyway, much love, as always. XOXOXO

The Truth Behind the Facade

Hello, my darling friends.

I shared this video (with the egregious freezy face) on Facebook tonight and from the emails I got it seemed to help some people through their own hard times. So, I thought I’d post it here too.

Miss you all so much! Tons of love…

For those of you who suffer…mentally…physically or both, this is for you.

This is me at my most vulnerable and sharing something I NEVER thought I’d share, but it’s important for me to let everyone else who is in pain, in whatever way, know that you are not alone. I am here for you. Call me. Text me. Email me. Cry, scream, vent or sit in silence on the phone with me. We can watch a movie together over the phone. If you need someone who understands your fear, your anger, your pain, your desperation, your exhaustion…I’m here.

God bless and much love to you all, including the amazing people who help take care of us during our darkest hours. Your job is so very hard and so very appreciated. Love you all!

 

PS: What a HIDEOUS FREEZY-FACE! Really, they couldn’t pick something that looked even slightly less stupid???? 😉