YIELD!

I’ve been curiously absent these last days from posting what normally is a lot of work. I try to schedule those, by the way, so that they don’t all hit at once. I suppose I could schedule them for different days but I post them that way for a reason. Think of it as clearing off my mental desk in preparations for the next idea (and there are some days with a LOT of them) to manifest.

I was working at a factory on a rotating shift. The days were 12 hours long and usually 2-3 in succession with 2-3 days off in between bouts. Back in May I had surgery on my foot to correct an ongrowing issue (my nerve had grown around one of my main foot arteries, good pun, eh?) and within a couple of months I felt amazingly good again. I could walk! I could dance! I could jog (sort of, think Mario running without turbo). I felt so good I applied for an got the job. For three months I worked diligently to maintain my personal belief and work ethic by being consistently in attendance, observant to detail, and team oriented. I believe I maintained that throughout my employment.

A few days ago, while working a position that required far more dexterity than my hands could handle, I lost feeling in my fingers. Not only did I lose feeling in my fingers but I lost grip as well. I could no longer hold onto the parts. My co-worker refused to switch jobs because she was fine. I explained that I was not. She refused again. I went and spoke with my supervisor and told her that I couldn’t feel my fingers and my hands wouldn’t hold onto the parts. She said, “Okay.” and walked away. When I don’t feel heard, my frustration level doesn’t take much to push me over the edge. I just plain waited until break and contacted my employer. I was told to go home, finish out the next day and they’d find me something else to do.

From my previous post The heated battle, you may recall that I’ve been struggling to find something better suited to my gifts, needs, and requirements of financial responsibility. I believe I’ve found this particular niche. Jamie Lopez asked me a peculiar question which incited ridiculous thoughts in my brain. I only half committed to her idea. But the thought was persistent. It stood up and plinked my forebrain like a form of water torture. It whispered, “You should do this. You should do this. You should do this.” I tried to ignore it, but it was really difficult when that’s all I could focus my attention on doing. I consulted with my Mama, tossing the idea in the air with clumsy juggles, sparking further ideas until the seed had firmly taken root. I let it rest in the “earth.”

Without much ado, a couple of nights ago, my Uncle Les called me. He’s not a frequent caller, but when he does, I always know that I’m so loved by him and my Aunt Liz that I look forward to when he has time. He called me up and asked me, “Hey, do you remember Jim Bob?”

“I do. That’s Aunt Liz’s nephew, right?”

“Yes. I was thinking about you and I usually do, by the way,” he continued.

“Thanks!” I interrupted.

“You’re welcome. Anyway, his wife works out of her home. I thought of you because you’re a compassionate woman and an excellent writer, I think you could do what she does.” He stated firmly. “I think you need to be doing this.” And he explained word for word what I’d talked to my mother, was inspired by Jamie, and pondered about for two weeks.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve learned that paying attention to the omens when they come that clearly is a wise move. Otherwise, the Universe quits presenting the idea to you and gives it to someone else. In the past couple of days, I’ve retrieved my EIN (Employer Identification Number), set up a Paypal, applied for a business license, bought and started setting up a domain, secured an 877 number, and applied for information about advertising.

Although it may seem as if I’ve been slower than normal or that I’ve taken a vacation, I’m actually working towards being able to do what I love more than anything to do which is write for a living. This is scary stuff in my book, but I feel the have to becoming more prominent. It’s really strong and I know it’s right.

On November 3rd, I’ll be launching the site, the business, and making sure that I have myself priced accordingly. How weird is that? With the time on my hands right now, I can make sure that I’m able to deliver top quality of a valuable and perpetuating service that everyone will need. I’m so excited that your patience is allowing me this time to bring this idea into full bloom. Let’s see what happens, shall we?

Tribe of Artists: UNITE!

If you’re a writer, a poet, a painter, an artist of any kind, I’d like to help you succeed. I’d like to do a featured artist of the week which will allow you exposure to my fellow bloggers. If you’d like to be featured (aka pinned) then drop me an email with a link to your page(s). If selected, I will make sure that I cross reference your work on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and of course WordPress.

I believe strongly in supporting those with talent, drive, and ambition to bring their humanity into beautiful fruition. Although, and yes it pains me to say this, I can’t pay you anything, if we all share anyone’s art we really dig, we can spread even more beauty in the world. If you have a show coming up, let me know, I can post that too. I really want to help.

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to check out Activate Your Life! on Google + via the Anjana Network which is a group for artists of all sorts to find support and encouragement in their artistic field of choice. I am a moderator there and will happy to check out even more ways to help you promote your life’s work.

My email is the same as my page @gmail.com as well as at hotmail.com maremartell that is (Trying to confuse spambots may confuse you too but it’s my name with the appropriate suffixes). Let’s see what kind of an empire we can achieve when we lift one another up in love.

The Blue Screen of Life

I’m resting my face in the comfortable bluish white glow of my laptop

Staring at the screen as my friends parade by with a wild array of emotions.

I see a link one has posted and I click to see what interests them

The pictures move me to wellies, but that’s not the only reason I weep.

You see, I’m grateful in my heart and spirit for so many things

That I can’t contain the joy, the peace, the beauty that is my soul song.

The band of merry-makers parades down my cheeks in a wild array of emotions

Displaying colors and words of excitement, glee, hope, and cherished gratitude.

I can carry my banner with the honor to my mother and dad whom I love dearly.

I can tip my top hat in celebration of those beautiful souls that orbit their light

With belief that the Universe knows, heeds, and believes back.

I wipe the tears away but my heart is so full, I keep leaking happies and joy.

If you hold out your hand and take mine. If you trust yourself to believe,

I can entrust a part of me to you and you to me that together we’ll go far as can be

And then we’ll jump even farther, travel the world of possibilities, explore new lands

Oh the stories of love and adventure we’ll bring home from the farthest reaches.

Which will only encourage others to parade around with their own banners

Declaring openly their wide array of emotions all born from the nurturing love of an idea.

 

Natural, un-enhanced womens breasts in a red satin bra with black lace edging and diamond detailhttp://theanjananetwork.net/2014/02/10/the-boobs-crave-acceptance/

Headlights, bazongas, baby-feeders, titties, jugs, knockers, ta-tas, boobies, whatever slang term is applied, breasts have been my focus since I was a very young girl. My maternal grandmother had enormous boobs for her 5 foot frame. My Aunt Helen was even more blessed than her. My mom and my aunt had average breasts — not too big, not too small. To me, as a child, I looked at breasts with admiration and wondered what my body would look like when I started to “bloom.”

In sixth grade, with special permission slips signed, I was taught through filmstrips and a rather dry lecture, about the changes my body was about to go through. I learned about menstruation and it horrified me that I was going to bleed from “THERE.” Every month? What the hell were they thinking?! That wasn’t going to happen to me. I was also taught that I was going to grow “public” hair which I proudly came home from school and told my mother about. After her initial shock wore off, she explained it was PUBIC, not public. To this day, I’m terribly amused at the irony.

“They said my boobs are going to grow. Is that true?” I asked my mother as she bustled about the kitchen.

“Yes, it happens to all women’s bodies. Sometimes they are big, sometimes they are small, but all women grow breasts,” replied my mother matter-of-factly.

“Will I get as big as Aunt Helen?”

“Probably not,” said my mother. In retrospect, mom still feels like she lied to me that day. Unbeknownst to her at the time, she did.

My friends called me flat tire in the fifth grade because I didn’t have boobs. They made fun of my body and I let them. When my breasts started budding during my sixth grade year mom bought me my first bra, a white trainer. I felt as humiliated wearing it, as if my friends were barraging me with proof of their ideas about my body.

The first day I wore it in public, it was under a short sleeved white sweater that had little knit flowers adorning the front. I was mortified when my friend Kim Tarpley told me she knew I was wearing a bra. Up until that point, I could believe in my mind that I was a boy. When it dawned on me that I wasn’t a boy, I realized I was a girl. It was noticeable after I’d taken off my coat in the hallway outside of Mr. Martinez’s classroom.

EVERYONE COULD SEE THE BRA! I ran to the bathroom and promptly removed it, hiding the ugly white declaration of womanhood in the sleeve of my coat before entering the room where I would sit for the rest of the day in misery, terrified that someone would discover my secret.

I told my mom I was wearing the bra she bought me, but we both knew I was lying. I didn’t want to become a woman. I didn’t want to be a girl. I wanted things to stay the same. I fought against the changes in my body, ignoring what I could, telling the other girls who proudly proclaimed they’d started their periods that I had as well so I wouldn’t feel so alone. My period didn’t show up until just after my 15th birthday so I’d been lying about it for three years before I could reveal the truth.

Why did I want to be a boy at that age? How badly did I want to be a boy? I remember telling my sixth grade student teacher (I’m sure it was after a shameful boob incident) that I didn’t like being a girl.

“Why wouldn’t you want to be a girl?” She asked me gently. She had a Dorothy Hamill haircut that was coffee brown and smelled like Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. When she hugged me to her polyester blouse, I started crying. Love’s Baby Soft coated my cheeks when I’d settled enough to talk.

“I want to be a boy because boys don’t get hurt.” I sniffled. She handed me a tissue.

“What do you mean boys don’t get hurt?” She asked rubbing the comfort circle between my shoulder blades, as her face tilted towards mine in concern.

I wanted to tell her everything. I wanted to explain that girls have men that do things to them. I wanted to tell her that it happened to me. I wanted her to make it all better. I wanted her to wave a magic wand and make the changes in my body stop. I wanted to stop the clock and become the more powerful gender. I wanted to be a boy because of the horrible things I’d experienced at my father’s. I wanted to be a boy because my brothers and dad were strong and nobody could hurt them. I wanted it so badly. I wanted the freedom of running around without my shirt on in the summer sun. I wanted to love my body like I used to do.

Instead, I shook my head, sobbed some more with wadded tissues in my hands, “I don’t know.” I finally replied.

Summer came and to my horror, so did boobs. I don’t mean that I grew into my body gracefully. I went to sleep one night and woke up the next morning with boobs that Dolly Parton would be envious of in seemingly an instant. My mother recalls how horrified she felt as I grew out of bra after bra on a weekly basis. I eventually landed on DDD’s on my 5’4” frame.

Okay, so maybe it was by the beginning of 8th grade, but it really was rapid, sudden, and I felt enormously ashamed. I could no longer hide the fact that I was a girl.

No matter which shirt I wore, bathing suit, blouse, dress, I couldn’t hide them. There they were as proud as anything screaming womanhood at the top of their…well, cleavage. My Aunt Helen tried to offer advice and solace, but I just looked down and wondered where the hell my feet went. She tried to guide me to select bras that would both support my “gift” and not dig into my shoulders so badly. I didn’t want to talk about it. In retrospect, that was a pretty large elephant sitting in the room. It felt like my body had betrayed my wishes to be a boy.

I felt self-conscious because nobody, and I mean nobody, had boobs the size of mine. Or maybe it was just that I couldn’t look at another girl/woman’s body and not wonder if they hated theirs too. When a boy/man looked at me, I felt like my boobs were the only thing they saw and that their thoughts were impure. I felt like a lunch buffet in front of sex-starved men. When girls looked at me, I heard their thoughts: “SLUT! WHORE! BITCH!” My entire identity became my boobs. I hated them.

At twenty I married for the first time. To spice up our sex life, we rented a video camera and taped our intimacy for future review. When I watched what my body looked like while involved in “The Act,” I felt such shame, not because I was having sex with my husband, but because my boobs dangled down in awkward heavy teardrop shaped pendulums. I felt repulsion towards my body so strongly that I decided to have a breast reduction done.

Halloween rolled around in 1991 and while my friends were planning their sexy costumes, I was planning to reduce my boobs to a manageable size. I didn’t feel fear of going under the knife. I wasn’t worried that I could die, in fact, at that time I felt it would have been the preferable choice. I wasn’t alarmed that it took a team of professionals to talk the insurance company into paying for the surgery for my overall health. The only thing I was wanted was for my boobs to match Marilyn Monroe’s size — a C-cup. My mother and my grandmother drove down from Michigan to Indiana to take care of me when the surgery was done. They were there when I was wheeled into surgery and there when I came out.

I woke up groggy from the anesthesia. My breasts were bound to my chest with bandages and I could, no kidding, see my feet. I tried to sit up to see if that changed, but fell back immediately weakened by the residual effects. I had drains under my arms that were uncomfortable. Did I mention I could see my feet? I ached all over. It hurt to breathe, but not like when you have a cold and you’re struggling to get a lungful of air, just achy deep in my chest.

When I got home later the next day, I laid on my couch while my mom brought me lunch. By the third day, the bandages had been removed at the doctor’s office, my mom had returned home, and I got to see what they looked like for the first time.

They weren’t pretty.

I had stapled wounds that wrapped from under my arms around my chest with only a two inch gap of unmarred skin between my breasts. I had stitches around each nipple that itched so badly I thought I would go mad while healing. I had no sensation on the bottoms of my new breasts. They looked like a Frankenstein experiment gone bad. But you know what? The mutilated remains of my former boobs made me feel a sense of power.

I was no longer defined by my boobs.

I had control over my breasts. They were but a symptom of my self-loathing. For the first time since I was called a flat tire when I was in the fifth grade, I felt like I could be okay with my boobs.After that problem had been eliminated, I started tearing down other parts of me.

I realized that my boobs hadn’t been the problem at all. It was me.

I discovered that I wasn’t just my boobs or just my vagina. I wasn’t just my physical person. I was more than that. I became an “I am” kind of gal. I am a woman. I love being a woman. I love the way my body looks, wiggles, giggles, shakes, and moves when I do. I love the way my breasts fluff out my clothing. The cleavage I see when I look down makes me happy. They may not be perfect in someone else’s eyes, but they are mine. They are a part of me. They are beautiful.

My Gerber servers, holy grails, whoopee cushions, humpback whales, flying saucers, traffic stoppers, super big gulps, double whoppers, pillows, billows, Don DeLillos, soft-serve cones and armadillos, chi-chis, balloons, whatever you want to call them, my breasts are wonderful and I’m glad I’m no longer defined by them. Further, I AM glad I am a woman.

(Slang terms for breasts found in the final paragraph are found at: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=99+words+for+boobs)