Christianity and Karaoke

#MicDropJesus

I’ll flat out say it. Christianity and Karaoke are the same. There. Are you mad? Are you confused? Are you intrigued? Good.

Yesterday a man walked into church. He had an afro that a 70s movie character would have been proud of. His clothes were purposely shredded. His earring dangled wildly from his ear, as did the extra shirts tied to his waist. He sat in the front row and he yelled in agreement. He danced when the worship team sang. Moves that would have made my old cheerleaders jealous. He. Was. On. Fire.

So, of course…we slyly looked at each other and giggled. We tried not to watch, but we couldn’t look away. We tried not to judge, but we judged ourselves to be better.

We weren’t. None of us are.

As my favorite religious quote states, “Church is not a museum for saints, it’s a hospital for sinners.”

Every. Single. One. Of. Us. There. Is. A. Sinner.

We’re just too afraid to show ourselves as bravely and vulnerably as that man.

In this way…Church and Karaoke are one and the same.

I remember, a long time ago, my dad told me he didn’t want to sing at Karaoke, “because people like you are actually good.” I told him, “I’m professionally trained. That’s not fair. Karaoke isn’t meant for people who can sing perfectly, it’s meant for people who love to sing no matter how badly they carry a tune.”

There’s the truth. How many love going to karaoke but are never brave enough to get on stage? How many go and laugh at others, as though they are better because they hide their lack of talent…their lack of confidence? How many go and think, “Look at that idiot.” without ever thinking, “How brave are you to stand there…in all your glory…in all your imperfection…and share your love of the power of music?”?

How many of us walk into a church? Sit there quietly and meekly….sit there saying our appropriate amens and singing our hymns? How many of us are afraid to stand up in all of our imperfect glory and revel PROUDLY in our love of the power of God?

I’m ashamed that I judged, even for a moment, someone who could proudly be himself in a way that I sometimes fear to be. I’m ashamed that I can’t let go in the way that he could.

Was he a sinner? Probably. Am I? Definitely.

Which is why we both belong in that hospital for sinners.

Why we ALL belong. The question is…are we willing to pick up the mic and sing?

I’m Ready…To Live Again

Over the past week, as I’ve begun to see actual improvement from my heart surgery…and I’ve started to feel more alive…more ME…I’ve realized that certain losses hurt much less when I don’t count myself amongst the lost.

That probably sounds ridiculously obvious, but, when you’ve consistently lost in life, it may be one of the hardest things to remember. And, let’s be honest. I know loss.

But I also know gain.

I’ve lost health and gained perseverance.

I’ve lost love and also gained love like I’ve never known.

I’ve lost friends and gained people who are more family than some with blood ties.

I’ve lost safety…I’ve lost security…I’ve lost…

…Well…I’ve lost myself.

There are a lot of losses you can come back from through luck or circumstance. But, when you lose yourself?

The only way to come back from losing yourself is through a determination to begin living again…and to begin that living by being ūüíĮ, unapologetically, YOU.

And that’s where I’m at.

There are things and people that I’ve lost in the past couple of years that have left, for better or worse, an indelible imprint upon my soul and heart. I think it’s ridiculous that people think it’s STRENGTH to pretend those losses don’t hurt. The fact that it hurts to lose means it mattered. And what’s the point of connection if it doesn’t matter?

But I’ve also gained people and things I wouldn’t give up for the world.

And the more I gain back my health…the loss of which was the catalyst for many more losses…the more I find the one person I missed the most.

Me.

I missed the person who trusts and loves all (from afar…personal space, people!).

I missed the seeker of adventure.

I missed the eternal offerer of support to all who needed a shoulder.

I missed the woman who refused to hear and accept the word NO when she didn’t like the odds against her.

But I’m finding her. And I’m ready to BE her. In all her loud and loving and brave and compassionate and vulnerable ways.

And, most importantly, I’m ready to allow people to know her again.

I’m ready…to live again.

I Make No Apologies, This Is Me.

It’s been a while since I wrote anything. Quite a long while. To be honest, I’ve been hiding.

This year has been less than kind to us. Things were looking up at the end of last year. I was finally feeling like everything I had lost over the year + before that…I was healing from it. Then came the twist, as it always does.

My heart started acting up more. I found out about this FANTASTIC GROUND BREAKING SURGERY that I might be eligible for to fix it. Three days before the surgery, my boyfriend was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Then my surgery. Then his chemo started. We’ve been recovering through our things together… slowly but surely…with hope and fear…but together.

But, man, have I felt lonely. Because I have him. ALWAYS I have him. The love of my life. But I fear putting too much on him right now as he fights his own terrifying battle. And I watch…he has this AMAZING family who has rallied around him and supported him through every step. I don’t have that. I’ve never had that. I’m VERY good at relying on myself because that’s who I’ve always had to rely on. And it generally doesn’t phase me because it’s really what I’ve always known. But…the dichotomy of our situations…being brought to such clarity as we fight battles at the same time…seeing what it’s SUPPOSED to be like…it has hurt in a way that I never expected.

And the more it hurt, the more I pulled into myself. The less I told people how much I was really hurting. How alone I truly felt.

And THAT’S what this is about.

The woman I am is someone I have fought tooth and nail to become. No matter what happened in life, I was PROUD that I still allowed myself to be vulnerable and honest and open. No matter who I lost in life, I was PROUD that I still trust that all hearts are good until being given a reason to believe someone’s was not. No matter what life threw at me, I was PROUD that I would always find a way to use it in a way that would help the next person to face that battle.

What I’ve come to realize is…after the mass exodus of people from my life when everything started to fall apart around me a couple of years ago…after people left because I was too open and honest and real about my pain…after people couldn’t wait for me to face my storms and find the sun again…

I closed off.

I didn’t even realize, but I did. I stopped trusting that people would stay if my life wasn’t sunshine. So I started holding more and more in. I started making sure everyone mostly saw the jokes and laughter and the moments I was on the other side of the fear…but I hid the rest.

I hid when I crumbled into a ball and wanted to die…when I finally believed that I really am God’s joke if he could finally give me the love of my life, only to give him cancer a year later.

I shut down when the heart surgery took more out of me than I ever expected.

I cried alone and begged God to just stop my heart if this constant storm of loss that has thundered around me my whole life was going to continue.

And then I faced everyone with a smile on my face and laughter in my voice and pretended I wasn’t dying more and more on the inside every single day.

I…became what everyone always wished I would be. Someone who suffered in silence and only showed the world the fake happiness they want to see.

I created my own vacuum of loneliness…I wasn’t doing myself any favors with this change…and I sure as HELL wasn’t helping anyone else.

Until the other day when I looked up and realized…I’m being who they wanted me to be…and I stopped liking me in the process.

I stopped being real. I stopped being vulnerable. I stopped finding silver linings and using what I could to help others. And you know what? No, people weren’t leaving anymore. But because no one was there in the first place because I wouldn’t let them in.

I’m not doing that anymore. And anyone who wants to leave because I’m too much…too real…too honest…too open…too…whatever…bye. Because I’d rather lose someone who doesn’t love me than stop loving myself.

I’m a lot.

I’m loud.

I’m real.

I’m honest.

I’m vulnerable.

I feel too much and laugh at everything inappropriate.

And I’m staying that way.

I am who I’m meant to be.

This is me.

*Jazz hands*

The Anti Resolution

I’ve been trying to find words for this feeling I’ve been having this month. (Weird for me, I know.) But I feel like I’ve finally got it right this morning. This is going to be long, but it’s good.

A little bit back, I asked everyone to tell me what they had gained in 2022 that they hoped to keep. Their ANTI resolution, if you will. (Some people consider an Anti resolution to be something you want to lose‚ĶI feel like we constantly focus on what we want to lose‚Ķso, to me, an anti resolution means you’re planning on NOT changing something). I never actually gave mine. Partially because I’ve never had a year where I wasn’t planning on GROWTH in some way for the next year‚Ķand partially because, although I know the answer, it’s really hard to put into words.

The obvious answer would be my boyfriend. He’s amazing and I plan on keeping him forever. I’ve never truly believed in forever. Don’t get me wrong. I married believing it would be forever‚Ķbut forever was never more than the next day to me. (Hello, survival skills. Lol) Now‚Ķyou guys‚ĶI picture porch swings with an old man Aaron sitting next to me‚Ķreading comics and asking me if I like the new Batman. But, still‚Ķnot the answer to my anti resolution. Maybe because that is OUR job to keep.

Another obvious answer is that Bella‚Ķafter her attempt last Christmas‚Ķand after an EXTREMELY rough first half of 2022‚Ķhas started finding herself‚Ķher happiness‚Ķand her actual want to be around me for fun. She’s a teenager‚Ķand I sleep with one eye open when I’ve made her mad lol‚Ķbut she’s doing SO. MUCH. BETTER. Do I want to keep that? Of course! But‚Ķthat’s also‚ĶOUR job to keep together.

So…what did I gain for myself this year that I want to keep in 2023? I found…my belief in myself.

2022 was, as I dubbed it, The Year of Letting Go. I had to let go of certain things that could no longer be for me. My heart wasn’t getting better‚ĶI wasn’t going to be able to go back to things I loved before it decided to be an asshat‚Ķand certain people weren’t going to stay in my life when I couldn’t do those things anymore. I had to let go of all of that. Not going to lie. Some of that has still been a struggle. And sometimes I still cry over it. But, in general, I did well. But‚Ķthe real way that started‚Ķactually began in 2017. It began when D and I broke up. It began when I was so broken‚Ķso confused about who I was‚Ķso SCARED‚ĶI didn’t know what to do or who I was. All I knew was that I had allowed this person to break me‚Ķthat once again I’d been too much and not enough‚Ķthat my feelings were too many and too much‚Ķthat no one could ever love me. But, mostly, that I’d allowed myself to be broken and to STAY with this person. Who does that?!?! I made a decision that I would go back to school in 2018‚ĶI would find myself‚Ķbut, also, I would stay too busy to ever make a bad decision again. For the year before graduation‚ĶI was TERRIFIED. I felt like I had grown‚Ķbut I was afraid that as soon as I had TIME again‚ĶI’d go right back to making horrible decisions and allowing horrible things. But‚Ķa few months before graduation‚ĶD and I got back together. He said he’d changed. I decided I had to give it a shot. For me. Things weren’t bad. He had changed. In many important ways. But on NYE of 2021, I found that‚Ķmore importantly‚ĶI had changed in the MOST important way.

Bella had been in the hospital for a week. I’d held it together. Barely. But I had. My friends coordinated groceries for me‚Ķafter they found out I was wandering Kroger with a cart of just bread, coffee and Xanax. LOL But, other than that and their support in my pocket (aka the phone lol), I had been trying to get through it alone. This horror that no parent should ever have to face‚Ķbut definitely should never face alone. D came on the 30th. I kept holding it together. The hospital called on the 31st and said she could come home. I finally broke. It was like I knew she was going to be ok, so it was ok if I broke. I burst into tears‚Ķand I bawled. D just looked at me for a second‚Ķpatted my knee‚Ķand said, “Sooooo‚ĶI’m going to go take a shower.” And he did. And then he left. He couldn’t handle all the‚Ķemotion.

Did he do anything wrong? No. He was being true to himself. D doesn’t do “feelingsy shit”. But‚Ķyou know what? I do.

2017 Sheri had let someone make her believe that was bad. 2017 Sheri believed she was broken because she “had too many feelings”. 2021 Sheri knew‚Ķfeelings are ok. And even with the plethora that she had‚Ķthat was ok‚Ķand, more importantly, was such a good part of her that it deserved to be cherished.

It couldn’t be cherished by D. But it could be cherished by me. And I did cherish it. I waited a month, because I don’t believe in making lasting decisions during highly emotional moments, but‚ĶI ended it. On friendly terms, but with the very clear purpose and message of, “I want more than that. I want someone who will be there with me‚Ķthrough the good and bad‚Ķto laugh and support. When I look into the future, I want to know that I’m not alone. Because I deserve that.”

In those 4 years of healing that I gave myself…I really DID heal and grow. I really did find ME. I really did learn to love ME. And…most importantly….I learned to TRUST ME and stand up for what I want out of life.

THAT’S what I found in 2022 that I want to keep forever. I found confidence that I’m not that weak person anymore and that I will fight for myself and my happiness as hard as I’ve always fought for everyone else’s.

And, unlike the Bella part and the Aaron part, it is entirely up to me to fight to keep that in my life forever.

So‚Ķthere you go‚Ķmy anti resolution. There are things I want to lose in the coming year‚Ķweight‚Ķdebt‚Ķthe normal resolutions. But what I plan on KEEPING‚Ķmy ANTI resolution‚Ķis I’m keeping ME and my confidence in who I am, what I want, and what I deserve. ‚̧ԳŹ For 2022, I finally don’t want to GROW. I want to be happy in what I have and who I am‚Ķbecause I fought HARD to get here. And HERE is beautiful, even when it’s a bit of a beautiful disaster. Lol ‚̧ԳŹ

/randomness
Jazz hands

PS D isn’t a bad person still. We’re on friendly terms. No SpongeBob jokes, unless you sing them. ūüėČ

Becoming (Better)

PREFACE TO SAY: There’s some very real shit in her, BUT it’s all leading to a rather positive thing…so, keep reading if you will. ūüėČ

Like most people who read my blog, I think A LOT about what people think of me and who I am. Too much. It’s a problem for all of us. I’ll knock it off if you do. Deal? Deal. ANYWAYS…That’s what led me down the road to this particular blog.

I was cleaning…cleaning, cleaning, cleaning…you know, that thing that moms do manically before holidays so that they’re not embarrassed when they look back on Christmas photos in ten years. So, I was cleaning…and I was…well…in a bit of a mood…and then I saw the sign I keep on my kitchen table.

“She Needed A Hero So That’s What She Became.”

Normally I cringe at signs like this, but this one is different. You see…my family and I don’t always see eye to eye. <insert short joke about no one being able to see eye to eye with me> If I’m being completely honest, I’m 99.999999% sure that 99.9999999% of my family legitimately doesn’t like me. It is what it is. We all have a black sheep. I just have the prize of getting to be it.

But a couple of years ago, my dad randomly sent me this sign. He said he saw it, and he instantly thought of me. I was….flabbergasted. THAT’S how my dad sees me? To be honest, when he tells me he’s proud of me or anything like that…it just doesn’t feel real. It feels like there’s always a “but”. As my therapist has told me, there’s still a very scared little girl inside of me just begging for one of my parents to love me and approve of me. It is…a special gift of my abduction. We were stolen out of spite, not love…and the parent who searched for us for ten years…just didn’t get the kid he imagined he’d get. “If you hadn’t been kidnapped, you’d be a different person.” Pretty loud and clear…you’re not what I looked for.

So, when I got this sign from him…again…flabbergasted. Maybe I haven’t gotten it so wrong. But, also, there has never been another moment where my dad gave me something that actually felt like…ME.

You see…I HAVE, as many of us have, become who I needed. I have been rebuilding myself since I was 10 years old. “Oh, you’re not my real family…and that’s not my real name? OK, I guess I need to be this Sheri now.” “Oh, you don’t believe people should be allowed to be quiet and shy…ok, I will become loud (and then go hide to recover lol).” “Oh…Lyme now…ok…moving on from that part of life and into this new version. Got it.” “Oh…I’m divorced now and a single mom…ok…I can do this…time to be more.” “Oh shit…breakup…I have too many feelings, and it made my boyfriend fall into many, MANY vaginas…I don’t really know who I am right now…so I’ll go back to school and find out!” “Ahhhhhh…a heart problem…can’t be workout Barbie anymore…ok…moving on…becoming…MORE.”

That’s the thing. I *truly* believe that everything happens for a reason. And I REFUSE to let any situation make me LESS. Every obstacle is a decision to be better or bitter. I always choose better.

So…yeah…I do believe this…”I needed a hero, so that’s what I became.” And I keep this sign prominently displayed because it’s also a reminder that maybe…JUST MAYBE…even those who disapprove of me can see that I became who I needed.

  • I became the parent who ensures her child knows she’ll never leave.
  • I became the person who shares every compliment she feels because kindness is what the world needs.
  • I became a woman who can survive anything alone but still knows how to love.
  • I became someone who is real, at all costs, because “real” is what makes others realize they’re not alone.
  • I became loud about the things that make me passionate but still allowed myself the solitude and quiet that my soul craves.
  • I became strong…I became resilient (God, I hate that word lol)…I became self-sufficient…I became…well…just…

I BECAME.

And I believe many of you reading this can understand that feeling of becoming. Many of us will continue to face battles where we have no choice but to adapt. We have no choice but to decide…

BETTER OR BITTER?

With a new year starting…I hope that 2023 will be the year that I don’t need to become anything more than I am. I hope that 2023 will be a year of rest for my soul…a year of finally feeling a sense of peace. I hope the same for you. With all my heart, I hope the same for all of us.

But, if it’s not the case…I hope you choose…

BETTER.

*a very Merry Christmas jazz hands to you*

A Very Jazzy Epiphany

So. Bella and I had counseling today. During said counseling, Bella and I both talked a bit about our shared issue of…honestly…pushing people away because we expect them to leave anyway. Bella does this by making sure they think she’s a bitch before they can decide she’s one on her own. I do this by making jokes. We both know this. We’re working on it.

But…fast forward to my epiphany.

I made a joke on FB about not being likeable. I make these jokes a lot. That’s not new. But someone asked me why I’m unlikable. I was able to answer very matter of fairly and with zero hesitation.

Another joke wrapped in a not joke. Nothing new there. But something hit me after I hit post.

“I’m a lot.”

Not, “Some people think I’m a lot.” Not, “Some people are overwhelmed by me.”

Just a “fact”. I’m a lot.

That wasn’t a joke. I was truly able to answer, people don’t like me because I’m a lot.

Why??? Why is this something I believe so absolutely?

Because…how many times have I heard the words, “I mean…yeah…you’re a lot…but I love you.”?

From family.

From friends.

From lovers.

“You’re a lot, but I love you.”

“I love you in spite of this glaring problem.”

“This is a problem.”

But the last part of what I said was also true. I really do love who I am. I’ve worked hard to be someone that I can be proud to be.

And that INCLUDES all the things that make me a lot.

I think. A LOT.

I’m passionate. A LOT.

I’m in your face with sharing kindness. A LOT.

I’m loud. A LOT.

I love. A LOT.

Every single thing that I love and do…it’s with passion.

Is that A LOT? In a world where many want to fit in and go with the flow…yeah, it probably is.

So: Yeah, I’m a lot…and it is my favorite part of who I am.

I need to change my INTERNAL dialog to, “I’m a lot and that’s fantastic. It may not be someone’s cup of tea, but it’s what makes me a favorite beverage of others.:

So that’s my epiphany. That and…I don’t think we “neg” our loved ones on purpose…but the way we phrase things can become their internal dialogue. “Yeah…you’re a lot…AND I love you” has a much better message than, “Yeah…you’re a lot…BUT I love you.”

That one word can totally change how someone hears your message.

*Jazz hands, bitches*

My Deathiversary

Say HI to Little Sheri Lynn Ryan.

33 years ago today, I basically died. ūü§∑‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ It sounds dramatic, but it’s a huge step that I can say that now. For YEARS people tried telling me I have PTSD. I would argue vociferously. “You have to have been afraid you were going to die.” It took the executive director of a missing children’s organization looking at me and quietly saying, “But you DID die…” for it to click. Oh.

33 years ago today… I woke up as Sheri Lynn Ryan for the very last time. The life Little Sheri had wasn’t perfect, by any means. My mother was…well, let’s just say she never should have been allowed to have a daughter. Girls are competition and must be destroyed at all costs. And Lord knows she tried to destroy that little girl. Life was weird…no phone…very few friends…secluded. But Little Sheri didn’t know any better. She had her daddy and her annoying brothers. She had her piano. She had her beloved books…her escape.

I won’t go into the whole story again, but…10 years old…and it was the last day I would wake up with any form of innocence.

That night it was all taken away in a sea of blue lights…a high speed run from the police…my daddy turning around and saying, “Sheri, I’m not your father.”…my mother screaming that some man would kill us all…and the police taking us away.

After hours of police showing us that damn missing poster…telling me I’d have a choice one day…trying to explain my new name…my brother trying to explain the very little he knew…

Sheri Lynn Ryan flatlined. Sheri Lynn Ryan had to become Sheri Lynn Chiosie. Immediately.

How do you explain to a child, who has lost everything, that they aren’t supposed to grieve their death? Instead they are supposed to celebrate their rebirth? That’s what was expected. “You must be so happy your ordeal is over!!!” No. I’m scared. I’m confused. I don’t know you. I don’t even know me anymore. I don’t know anything.

But I can see that you’ve been sad and it’s my fault, so I’ll pretend for you. That’s my job now.

And it feels like that’s been my job for 33 years. I must be ok for everyone else’s comfort.

I must be happy for my father.

I must pretend to forget for my brother.

I must be ok and “let it go” for society who won’t accept the reality of something they’ve never experienced.

Grief. We allow it for all people who have passed…unless it’s you that died. When it’s you that died, you should be happy that someone new was born.

I AM happy, in general. I’ve made a good life. But I grieve.

I wonder who Sheri Ryan would have been. Would she still love hugs and people like she did? Would she have followed her dreams to play her piano in concert halls? Would she believe that people loved her? Would she still believe that people stay?

Would she not live a life afraid of the other shoe dropping at any moment?

I’ll never know. She died at 10 years old and…I can tell you without doubt that Sheri Chiosie has very little of Sheri Ryan in her.

A fact that many celebrate.

But I grieve.

The Beauty at Rock Bottom

The Dead Sea…The Lowest Point On Earth

Today’s Epiphany: Rock Bottom is actually beautiful and filled with unexpected blessings.

What brought this on? Well, I’ll tell you.

My heart has been in really bad shape again for a couple of weeks. This morning I had a bit of a meltdown. I admitted to one of my closest friends that I’m afraid. Of my heart…but also…I learned too strong of a lesson that if I can’t do it all, I’ll lose everyone. He was (rightfully) a little offended. He asked if I thought I’d lose him. I admitted that in my heart I knew I wouldn’t, but in my head…

Like many people, I have often struggled with the idea of unconditional love. I never purposely went out of my way to make anyone love me…but I’ve always believed I should put more good into the world than I found…and…deep down…I believed that my TRYING to be a good and giving person was probably the only reason people wanted me to be around. Would I admit that I believed no one could love me without a transactional value? Not even to myself. But I would self flagellate at every mistake because, deep down, I knew.

A lot of us believe that. That we have to have something to give to be loved.

Because of this, the view at the top…it’s great. When you have it all and you can BE it all…you’re surrounded by “love” and you know you’ve earned it. You give freely of yourself…not to be compensated or repayed…but because you feel all this LOVE and you know they’d do the same for you.

I’ve spent some time on top of the world.

And when I fell..when I hit rock bottom…I believed I had lost it all and would never have it back.

As I watched the people who I thought were my ride or die…well…ride away…when I had nothing left. As I felt the fear and abandonment that came with my fall from grace…it was terrifying.

Until…it wasn’t. Because the blessing of the valley? The blessing is that the people who stay there with you until you can rise again aren’t the people who loved you solely for what you could do.

The people who stayed…They were the least expected people ever. It wasn’t the people that I felt I had even been a particularly amazing friend to. I had never brought them dinner when they were sick. I had never helped with their kids. I had never gone above and beyond to EARN their love.

The people who stayed…love me solely for who I am as a person. If I never ran again, they’d love me. If I went completely broke and couldn’t donate to their charities, they’d love me. If I forgot how to do taxes, they’d still love me. If I can never do another thing to EARN their love…

It doesn’t matter. To them I earn it solely by being the crazy, weird, inappropriate, compassionate, train wreck they see before them. And they want nothing more.

They love me. Unconditionally.

That’s the beauty I found in the valley….in rock bottom…a blessing I couldn’t see from the top of the world.

A blessing I’d gladly stay at the bottom to never lose again.

The (Sideways) 8

Hi, I’m Sheri. But you can call me 8.

Admit it. You have a favorite number. Even if you don’t realize it, you do. I don’t know why, but we all do. A favorite number and an unlucky number.

My favorite number is 8.

Most people will never even notice, but I tend to use 8s every chance I get. It makes me happy. Why? Well, as usual with me, there’s a story. See, what had happened was..

My dad and his friends are…weird. I know. I know. You’re shocked that a weird person created this glorious fount of normalcy that you’re so used to. Crazy, right? But…anyways…one game that my dad’s best friend played for awhile was that he would assign everyone numbers based on their personalities. Couldn’t tell you what anyone else’s was, but mine has stuck with me since the day dumbass 12 year old Sheri asked, “Ooooh! What’s my number?!” He immediately responded.

8

“8? Why 8?”

“Because if you turn it on its side its infinity. And, just like you, it goes around and around and around and never changes.”

I was only a kid, but I was pretty sure that I should have felt insulted in that moment. I CHANGE, DANGIT!!!

You know what I’ve realized as I got older? No. I don’t.

I grow. Constantly. It is a life goal of mine to find ways every day to be better…do better…than the day before. I don’t like being stagnant.

But I don’t change.

No matter how much I sometimes wish I could.

I wish I could be harder, but I’m tender hearted. That doesn’t change.

I wish I could be less obsessive, but I live for rabbitholes to fall down. That doesn’t change.

I wish I could be less outspoken, but I’m passionate. That doesn’t change.

I wish I could be quieter, but the more I care the louder I am. That doesn’t change.

I wish I could be more outgoing, but people make me anxious. That doesn’t change.

I wish I could be more girly, but I’m a 12 year old boy at heart. That doesn’t change.

I grow…but who I am…it doesn’t change.

Lately I’m thinking a lot on this. Some people have questioned my recent social media hiatus. This…is the main reason…I’m trying to give my big ol’ 8 self time to truly heal. You see…

There’s a cycle in my life. I meet people. They think this person I am is great. Then they realize I am ALWAYS this person. That I don’t become more like them…that I’m not hiding parts of me that will make me feel safer and like I fit in their box…This personality…doesn’t turn off. They leave.

Generally it doesn’t affect me much. That sounds terrible, but when you had my childhood…you don’t expect anyone to stay…you don’t expect that they can love who you are long term. As usual, not a pity party. And not always true. But it doesn’t hurt when they leave because a part of you always knew they would.

There are one offs of people in my world who love every bit of me. And I cherish them more than they know. I still get scared sometimes.

But a few years ago I made a mistake. I ventured out of my shell and tackled those deeply ingrained beliefs as hard as I could. I forced myself to join a group…was NUMBER 8 all the way…and allowed myself to believe that they truly could love me. I allowed myself to believe that these people would still love me in a year when I was still exactly who I said I was.

They didn’t. Some of that is on me. Not all of my traits are awesome and some are downright exhausting. Some of that is on them. We all made the choices we made.

But it breaks my heart that…once again…they wanted anything other than the number 8. It breaks my heart to see pictures that used to include me, but no longer do. It breaks my heart that I believed…and their lives go on as if I never existed.

It’s not wrong on their parts. The world doesn’t revolve around me. Their worlds SHOULD go on as if I never existed.

But it hurts too much to watch…to the point that the nightmares usually reserved for my mom now include those people. And they hurt SO MUCH MORE to wake up from….because I always knew my mom didn’t love me, but with them…I allowed myself to believe.

And…until it doesn’t hurt that much…I’m FINALLY giving myself time to heal.

I’m FINALLY giving myself time to remember who I am.

I’m FINALLY giving myself time to remember…who I am is pretty awesome, even if it never changes.

I am 8. 8 is great. Like infinity, I’ll always be me.

Plus, if you cross an 8 and an ‚ôĺÔłŹ, you get a pretty little flower. ‚̧ԳŹ

WHY I HATE JIM CARREY. AN ESSAY – BY SHERI

So. Awhile back I wrote a blog that mentioned…*cough*…quite forcibly…how much I hate Jim Carrey. To paraphrase a character I love, “‚ÄúDear Jim, I hate your stinking guts. You make me vomit. You’re scum between my toes! Love, Sheri.‚ÄĚ

Now. Those are strong words. I admit it. Which made a blog friend question…”WHAT?! NO!! YOU’RE WRONG! YOU CAN’T HATE JIM CARREY!!!” (Also paraphrased…and probably a lot more emphatic than it was meant.)

I am here to say…

Yes, Ron…I do indeed mean it…I stand by it…and here is the WHY.

You see…what had happened was…

11th grade. Picture Sweet Little 16-Year-Old Sheri. (Or something. Whatever.)

Sheri has met a new boy who she really likes. No need to protect the innocent because, let’s be real, no one reads this shit. lol Anyway…This boy’s name was Clint.

Clint finally asked Sheri out on a real date. Dinner and a Jackie Chan movie. (Jackie is also on my 27-year-old Shit List.) Clint crashes the car while leaving the movie. Meh, whatever. Not the worst first date I’ve had in life, in retrospect. But, it did piss my mom off. (Also, in retrospect, have to wonder if it pissed her off it didn’t finish me…I mean…ummmm…ANYWAYS….)

So. Clint and I date for the rest of my Junior year and into the beginning of my senior year. (*throat clear* This is where I admit Clint was better off without me…I broke up with him because he agreed with me too much…”Dude. I can tell you the grass is blue and you agree it’s a beautiful shade of blue…I need someone to disagree with me…I’m wrong sometimes…A LOT, actually…and I need someone to tell me that! Seriously…the rest of this story does nothing to make up for how I broke that poor boy back then…eek…)

All through that time we dated…Clint was OBSESSED with Jim Carrey. We had to see all of his movies. I found them rather obnoxious anyway, but EXTRA obnoxious because my boyfriend and his friends were constantly acting them out like they were about to try out for Jim Carrey In The Park.

And then…it happened…

The day before Junior Prom and 2 days before I went to Disney for a National competition of a school club I was in.

We were driving up to a friend’s house. We were in one of those teenage caravans of three carloads worth of friends. The girl, whose house it was, in the lead in her VW van. Her boyfriend (who later became my ex-husband) and his friend next in his friend’s truck. And then…me and Clint. Now, what happened? Here’s what happened. The girl’s van got very far ahead. No problem. Her boyfriend knew how to get to her house, so we’re still fine.

OR ARE WE, CLINT, YOU GIANT DUMBASS?!?!

No, no we were not.

Clint decided to STICK HIS FUCKING HEAD OUT THE WINDOW LIKE HE’S ACE-FUCKING-VENTURA and pass the truck that had THE PERSON WHO KNEW WHERE WE WERE GOING.

“Dude…Clint…We don’t know how to get there…”

“Oh…yeah…”

Clint takes a very fast, VERY unannounced left hand turn into a driveway…right as the truck (with the smarter friends who realized they needed to be in the front) tried to pass us on the left.

Truck…slams into us…we go spinning into a ditch.

<insert world spinning…world slamming to a stop…car doors opening…people running…>

Everyone runs to check out our friend’s new truck and the damage.

I did not.

In the collision and spin, my neck was…how you say in English…FUCKED.

I couldn’t get out of the car.

My boyfriend didn’t even notice. No one noticed. Not until my now-ex-husband’s cousin said, “Hey, guys…Sheri didn’t get out…and I hear her crying…”

They came over to check on me and realized my neck was really bad.

But they told me I couldn’t tell anyone. “This is the second accident with Clint. Your parents will be mad. You can’t say anything.”

They gave me a warm washcloth for my neck…strict instructions on not telling…and took me home.

I went to prom and Disney world having to pretend to all of the adults around me that I didn’t have an, honestly, REALLY bad case of whiplash.

And since then…I hate Jim Carrey. Because that kind of stupidity makes stupid ass teenage boys do stupid ass things…and makes stupid ass teenage girls accept it.

So, if you take away my hatred of JC…you take away very valid life lessons I learned from that boyfriend.

Is that what you want, Ron? IS IT?!?!?!! I didn’t think so.

Thank you for riding Jazz Hands Mom’s Wild Ride. Your exits are here, here, here and here.

*hair flip and flounce away*