Former, Once Again.

Monday I start a new job.

I am excited, and nervous, and really just grateful I didn’t flub the interview. Also, apparently I understand technology a little more than I thought I did! Who knew?

I don’t mind slinging coffee, not at all. I don’t mind the majority of the customers, for some reason, coffee shop customers tend to be more pleasant than say, fast food ones. What I mind is the way that I was treated there, as well as some of my coworkers. Hearing my supervisor muttering while standing roughly 3 feet from me (as I’m running in circles doing several jobs at once) “Nobody fucking does anything around here!” was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

A week later and I have a new job, which allows me to use more of my skills than just coffee preparation – and learn a bunch of new ones. For the first time in quite some time, I’m excited about my day job.

Maybe I’ll have enough energy left to actually create too. Being happy tends to make it happen.

Why, Yes I Am.

I’m pretty fortunate, the coffee shop I work at has plenty of decent customers. I don’t deal with a lot in the way of nasty people – occasionally though, they do come out of the woodwork.

Today was one of those days apparently. A customer dumped his trash in the garbage can before the speaker in our drive thru, then hastily sped through and to the window, blowing past the speaker. The fact he did this, then pulled up to the window demanding we take his order after laughing at his own stupidity wasn’t quite bad enough I guess. While he was pulling up to the window I had already taken an order from some wonderful soul who understands how drive thrus work – then my headset started to beep again. I explained to the guy that I couldn’t just take his order at the window because a line had formed behind him, and it wasn’t fair to them to have to wait. He first laughed like he didn’t believe I was saying “no” to him, then he drove away fast, shouting “WHAT A FUCKING BITCH!” I was annoyed, however I replied without missing a beat “Why, yes I am!”

Two orders after that, as it turns out, was him. His attitude at the window was completely changed, however, he even gave me a sorry not sorry apology. I explained again to which I got more complaining and “I just…”

Hey, folks? Not a good idea to insult people making your food/drinks.

Samuel Would be Proud

My ladylike vocabulary goes way back to my preschool years.

I mean, ideally I would blame my parents, but they had specific “go to” words they used, and I would like to believe I’ve taken it to the next level, especially if I’m really angry.

I have this memory of when I was approximately three or four years old, one which my father remembered far more clearly than me (because I don’t recall the swearing part). My neighbour (who had the wisdom of a whole other year on me) and I were climbing up into my tree fort – which, by the way, was pretty sturdy. The method of getting up the tree, not so much. The crotch of the very large maple tree was probably eight-ish feet high *in kid terms though, this was more like thirty*. The “ladder” (Haha safety, shmafety. I was an eighties kid) was a two-by-six, with board scraps hammered across it horizontally. Whether the top of the ladder was attached depended on the week. Sometimes it actually was, until it popped out again. I didn’t always tell Dad to fix it, simply because I was too busy trying to break my neck.

However, I digress.

My neighbour was trying to climb the ladder, and I was at the base, attempting to steady it. Enter my father. Well, not really “enter” per se – he stayed in the chicken coop and listened in, admittedly for his own entertainment value. It went something like this:

“Lisa, would you hold the goddamned ladder straight?”

“Jesus christ, I am holding the goddamned ladder straight!!!”

My Dad apparently decided to come help us at this point, pretending he hadn’t heard the swearing – and also trying to stop laughing. At least by then I could say “L” properly, because it would have been “goddamned wadder”. Not sure Dad could’ve kept himself composed for that.

Oh and as a side note, a picture from those years, same neighbour and I decided to cut each others’ hair (the night before school pictures, even). It went smashingly, as you can see. Mother was not pleased. Dad, well, I never got his take on this one – but I know he probably laughed – both at the cut and how hopping mad my mother was.

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Dad Was a Geek Before it Was Cool.

My father was not a perfect man, I couldn’t have asked for a better dad, though. He’s been gone nearly eleven years now, and I still miss him every single day. I wish he could’ve known the man I have ended up with, he would have approved. I wish that he could have been there when I ventured into making my own music – that’s why my music name is Lisa Patric, it was his middle name. It’s an homage to the man who never made me feel like I was less than I should be.

Now, I have bittersweet memories of him as well, because he was in denial about the way my mother treated me – even though her family saw it clear as day. Unfortunately, he found out the hard way when I moved out, just how bad she could be. She blamed menopause, I call bullshit. She wasn’t menopausal when I was small and that’s where my earliest memories of her abuse are embedded. She’s just an angry, unhappy person, and I have learned I am better without her in my orbit.

All of my best memories of childhood were ones he was part of. He nurtured my inner earth child, and taught me to treat nature with the respect it deserves. He taught me the love of books, especially poetry, as well as cartoons, British comedy, and Star Trek. At forty-three, I wonder what he would think of the person I’ve become. I hope that he would be proud of me, and that he would encourage me writing as much as he did when I was a kid. Most of all, I wish that I could listen to his rumbling voice again, to have another long talk about the meaning of life and what’s beyond those lights in the sky under a blanket of stars by a campfire. My bookish ways, my geekiness, they all come from dad. He was sort of an unintentional nerd, and I am far more like him than I am like my mother. I guess despite biology, I took on the traits of the parent who adopted me, instead of the biological one. I owe everything good in myself to him.

I’ve figured it out, Dad. The answer is 42.

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The Customer is Always…Right?

Each day I am treated, via the day job gig, to both the best and worst of humanity. Customer service is one of those areas where you see both sides almost daily. Anyone who’s worked a job like this *ahem* in fact – MOST – people can attest to what I’m saying.

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January is a lean month at my store, so staff is also trimmed down. Unfortunately, not all customers speak the language of reality. Today, one such customer chastised me for being the only person working in that drive thru (we have two), not grasping that I have absolutely no say over this. I should note, she was around 70, had her face stretched like a drum, and was wearing enough luminizer she looked like she was trying to pick up the Tin Man… so, source considered. It’s not like I can really say much back in that situation either, other than to point out that I was the only one working over there, to which she responded that I should tell customers – before they enter the drive thru – that I’m the only one in there… okayyy. Do they put brain damaging chemicals in that luminizer crap?

On the flipside – not even an hour after that, a customer told me quite earnestly to keep up the good work, that I was doing great. Weird how the universe sends out balancing weights against the ones that can knock us out of whack. Thanks, guy, whoever you are, for making this coffee wench’s day just a little better.

Also, next time you find yourself getting frustrated by speed of service, take into account whether there are actually enough people behind that counter to do the job you expect – one more staff member sometimes makes all the difference in the world.

Dude, Where’s My Book?

Many years ago, I started to write a book. 2003, to be exact. It started as a handwritten endeavor, simply because I didn’t own a computer at the time. That changed, I transcribed my work up until that point into text files, and continued to write. I managed to scrawl out about 4 chapters, plus a prologue – and then I split up with my ex-husband and he kept the computer (it was a gift to me from my mother, but he felt he should have it – like pretty much everything else in the split).

While I took a hiatus in England, my ex mostly used the computer for the Avenue Q description of its use, and I came back to requests for help to get it up and running properly again. A friend walked me through a system reinstall, and I lost everything I had written. My own fault, because I hadn’t learned to back up everything I write yet.

Now, of course I save things both on clouds and in my email.

Finally, over the last few years, I’ve come full circle and have desire to write again. This blog is one way of forcing myself to do it daily when I’m not working on my book – and honestly, I’m finding the process as addictive as I used to. Now I’m looking for decent writing apps for my phone so I don’t lose ideas while I’m not near my computer, and I’m coming up with random “what ifs”. The wheels are turning again and it’s important I keep it from stopping. I’m not sure why I even stopped now.

 

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The Lies Our Minds Tell Us

Depression is a tricky little bastard. No matter how much someone might tell you that you’re wonderful, you’re valid,  you’re beautiful or worthy of happiness, depression is always close by, waiting to whisper utter bullshit in your ear.

More people suffer from depression on different levels than I believe is really acknowledged – not everyone who has depression and anxiety simply hides from the world. Lots of us just live with it and push forward, hoping that one day we will feel secure enough, and leave those demons behind, or at least learn to dance with them. Many people who have dealt with depression don’t even show it unless pushed to a point where they snap.

I’ve had my share of ups and downs, my mother moved me into a rooming house full of guys at sixteen, because she simply did not want me around anymore. She had been trying to push me out the door since I was eleven, and my dad kept calming the waters. Eventually this just didn’t work anymore. During the years that all of this was happening, my grades suffered in school, I eventually dropped out and got a job, that led to me wanting my own place anyway, because I was tired of being the object of my mother’s ire – I just could’ve used a less testosterone-soaked environment to live in.

I met my ex-husband at that house, his brother was one of my roommates. We ended up living together and having two children together, the only reason I’ve no regrets no matter how terribly things went with him. He turned out to be abusive on many levels, but the problem with coming from a home where you’re used to being shoved, hit, and berated is that you feel like it’s normal or you must in some way deserve it. That’s what I had to learn to reprogram, how to process that information that was being dripped into my brain all the time. It carried on for some time after I left him, causing me to make less than decent choices in men and in what I allowed others to do to me.

Nearly four years after meeting my now-partner, I realize what it was that was different with him. He liked me, and loved me for me. No matter how silly or neurotic I got, he always had my back, and he always tried his best to make me happy – even when he went through his own depression crisis. I can’t say that 2016 was great for us, entirely too much loss and too much sadness, but here is 2017 and we are still together, still thick as thieves. As time has passed, I’ve gotten better at processing stress and anxiety, and better at talking it out and not holding onto things that won’t help the situation. I can’t say that I don’t still have rough days, that would be a lie. I do, however, have a much better perspective on life now. I know I’m going to be okay, and I know I never have to accept less than respect, love and proper treatment from those around me. I’ve learned to say goodbye to those who disturb my peace, and to stop absorbing the crazed energies from those who love to share it.

To put it simply, it really is mind over matter. We have to make a conscious choice to stop listening to that whispering voice, and to listen to those around us and care more about what they think. That is the key, that is where the root of the nagging sadness that depression laces us with is. I’m not saying that it’s some kind of instant fix, just that the more we choose to listen to the input of our loved ones and friends and family, the less audible that voice becomes, and it stops taking over our existence so much.

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Listen to Rainbow Dash. She speaks truth!