Channeling Bret Michaels

That sounds really weird.

Why would anyone want to channel this guy?

Perfecting the duck face.
Perfecting the duck face.

I’m only kind of kidding, of course. I’m sure Bret Michaels has a ton to teach us about beating the odds given he has the worst kind of diabetes known to man and he still finds energy, health and time to dedicate to what he knows best: music, supporting our troops and veterans and canoodling with 80s-haired wanna-be vixens. Seriously, more power to him. [Side note: I own all three seasons of Bret Michael’s Rock of Love. Chew on THAT.]

It’s been THREE WHOLE MONTHS since I quit that painful excuse for a career move and I’m still right where I was on March 1st. I mean, I guess I’ve grown somewhat: I’ve meditated over the experience, did the due diligence of finding the moral lesson in the HUGE fail I had to endure, have beaten myself up and consoled myself a dozen and one times and have gone to and fro with lamenting and redeeming myself. The moral of the story is this: I totally and completely fucked up, reacted hastily to an expired situation and, because of the frustration this invoked, was blinded into thinking that the first company to come along and court me WAS INDEED MY SAVING GRACE. By accepting all the glorious things they offered, I’d show ex-company what I’m worth and man, won’t they be sorry to see me go. 

Well we all know how THAT worked out.

If my ex-company ever lamented that I left, I never knew about it. Though I suspect that my wise ex-boss surely saw me making this mistake as it was happening and, in her age and the infinite wisdom associated with her life experiences, she probably hoped for the best for me but surely thought I was being impulsive. And then she probably concluded that she didn’t want such an impulsive wreck to continue to run her business in Chile. So a pat on the back and “good luck to you” it was. As a person she was probably sad to see me go, but as a business woman she concluded that I had made my decision and life would go on.

Lesson learned: I was defiant. I acted impulsively. I was immature. I was all ego.

I crossed into what I thought was my field of dreams. All I had ever hoped for in structure, in organization, in position, in teamwork. Only to realize that NOTHING was as it had been promised and what had been painted to me on the outside was merely an illusion … or a wish list of where they wanted to be but had failed repeatedly to achieve. No ONE person was going to achieve that for them when the organization was screwed up, from the leader downward. Good people, talented even. But so much more to accomplish and, truth be told, a little fishy that as a group they still failed repeatedly to accomplish their wish list. I bowed out in the nick of time.

Lesson learned: I left more humbled than I’ve ever been in my life. I remain as humbled. I lost faith in teamwork; I lost faith in myself. I doubted myself. I beat myself up for making such a terrible mistake. I felt sorry for myself. All of this (and more) has made me pick myself up. Has made me push aside all the negativity, all the doubts, all the fears. A calloused me has emerged.

I’m less likely to be as impulsive now. I’m more apt to listen than to speak. I’m asking more questions and pushing for answers if something seems fishy. Unfortunately I’m also probably way more skeptical than ever before. I believe the word I’m looking for is tainted.

So why Bret Michaels, really?

All of the above has happened internally (obviously), while on the outside I’ve been on multiple job interviews. Some that have really, really interested me, others which I was quite skeptical about. Thus far, none have panned out. This in and of itself is hard on the self esteem. Some days turn into weeks and I realize that I’ve had no solid leads in well over double digit days. I fear becoming a has-been. I fear becoming irrelevant. I have images of turning 45 and realizing that I never worked again… I never dominated my area/project/division/what-have-you, again. Never killing it again. Add the stress of having one demanding toddler who at times flies off the handle to such an extent, I’m left wondering if I’m even losing at this whole parenting thing. Add a newly diagnosed epileptic dog. Add a traveling husband who is here only sometimes (and Murphy’s Law has it that he’s gone when shit truly hits the fan.)

Nothing is the end of the world, but every little thing adds up. And the thoughts that swirl in one’s own mind can be such ball busters.

Bret Michaels wasn’t necessarily impulsive in his decisions on Rock of Love. In fact, in the first season, everyone was sure he’d pick Heather. She seemed like the obvious choice as she was so much more his style and vibe (fake boobs and all!) Instead he picked Jes. Jes was cute, spunky, smart – the kind of girl other girls want to be friends with. Good decision. Smart, reliable. BUT SO NOT BRET MICHAELS! He made a safe decision, but not a decision that Bret himself could truly commit to … and he didn’t! Because then came Season 2 of Rock of Love. In what we now know to be typical Bret style – he likes the party girls and the centerfold types for a little while. But when it comes down to it, Bret is a man of substance. Again he floored us by not choosing Daisy and going with Ambre! The smart, flat-chested, career oriented girl that again, all girls would love to befriend! Then, out of nowhere, in Season Three he went COMPLETELY AGAINST everything we knew about him and he chose Taya instead of Mindy! Mindy – the all American girl!! Taya – literally the Penthouse something or other. I was totally distraught with that decision because Taya played it up that she was a lady and that all her Penthouse “spreads” were done “in taste.” She portrayed herself to be one way but really, she was as trashy as the rest! I’m disgusted just remembering ….

All of the above has nothing to do with my life lessons learned in the past six months. What I mean when I say I’m going to channel Bret Michaels, I really mean that I find solace in Poison’s song “Something to Believe In.” It reminds me that there are bigger problems out there, but I also know that we all have our own battles and we all need a little something to believe in everyday. Sometimes a good song is all you need to soothe a dark moment just enough. Once it’s over, you find you’re on the other side of the dark  moment and able to keep on moving.

“Road to God, take me home.” Thanks, Bret.

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After going through the hoopla of wedding planning, and further, realizing what it means in Chilean society to get married in a Catholic Church, I really started to examine my faith. Does this sound weird? Hold on, give it a second. Let me elaborate.

I grew up Catholic and spent the first part of my school years attending Catholic School …and I LOVED IT. Seriously I have THE BEST memories from that time in my life. I attended a small, relatively unknown Catholic school called St. Monica’s in San Francisco and as far as I can tell, the uniforms and curriculum are still the same. The principal has changed (now it’s a man vs. a nun) but for the most part, things look pretty much as they did back in the early 80s when I attended. I remember the school yard and being separated from the boys until 6th grade when we were finally allowed to mingle together. I remember roll call in the morning in the school yard, each line according to class and each person according to last name. The Student Body President (an 8th grader naturally) would read the announcements and lead the school in a prayer and Salute to the flag. All this after declaring: “Attention” (when we’d all drop our school bags to our feet); “Arms Distance” (where we’d each put our right hand on the right shoulder of the person in front of us – you know, so as to be at arm’s distance), followed by something else that I can’t quite remember right now but it led into a prayer and then the salute. Good times!! I love structure, even to this day! I remember all the fun stuff, even Choir rehearsal and attending Church. I loved singing and even being called to read a passage from the Bible at the podium. The music and choir teacher was a nun who was evil as sin and mean like the Grinch … we all hated and feared her – Sister Miriam Jean … it was awesome! Further, I remember having to stand up next to my desk, alongside all my classmates and address each person who entered the class “Good afternoon Sister Margareta Marie, Thank you Sister Margareta Marie.” Ahhhh … classic. In 5th grade we had a teacher (a nun) who made us stop and pray each time we heard a siren on the street and given that the school is located on Geary, one of the busiest streets in San Francisco, you can imagine the disruption each and every day. Finally, sex ed, which started in 6th grade, was referred to as “Family Life.”

From the outside looking in, I know all this sounds crazy … too structured and archaic even. But I had a blast and thankfully, also received a really solid education due to the structure imposed on us by the nuns. When I first began attending public school in 8th grade, I was floored at how many people couldn’t spell basic things! All in all, a very positive experience for me, that Catholic school.

So why is it that now I feel the farthest from the Catholic church?

In fact, I’ve seriously started considering Judaism as a source of faith that I can actually believe in. Yeah, Charlotte York style but minus the Jewish husband.

I can’t say for sure that this is where I’m headed because like all things in my life, all major decisions, I need to research until their are no more texts left on the Internet to research. I want to know from A-to-Z what the Jews believe, what their customs are, how that differs from what I’ve known and what that may mean to my future kids. The sad part is that I’ve very casually looked online to see what’s out there in Chile …. and I’m not even sure there’s a temple here!! How is there no Rabbi in this country?? How can there be so few Jews that no one has insight??

The point of all this is that I’ve lost a lot of my faith. Though I’m at the beginning of a quest to change that because I feel that there is something more to life than just us humans. I believe in God and I believe in a greater power. Where I focus this belief is still an unknown to me. But despite all that, because I was taught from a very young age that faith and spirituality enrich your life, I truly believe this to be the case. And this is why I’m determined to find out exactly what it is I believe in. I can’t imagine my life being complete without something to believe in, something to comfort me and something to guide me. But hey, that’s just me.

In the meantime, I still think it’s really weird that G’s kids gloat about going to Church every other Sunday (when they’re not with us) and that they randomly bust out in Catholic songs while doing the most ordinary of things. The me now thinks it’s really, really weird and all I can think is “Dear God don’t let my kids be one of them” … even though I know that *I* was one of them back in the day!!

I just want something to believe in that makes sense to me. Something that I can encourage my kids to believe and participate in as well.

Incidentally this by NO MEANS includes Mormonism. Those who know me know what I have to say about that … but I digress. Though I do invite you to laugh a little …

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