Ironic Karma Moment

Congratulations Mark Ferrandino!

I know I say so often that Karma never needs help, but every once in a while, Karma really gives one back to the good guys.  Today, after winning another term in the state legislature, Mark Ferrandino was elected Speaker of the House.  All of this is accomplishment in and of itself.  While Mr. Ferrandino can rest on many laurels and accolades, there is an ironic note to add to this newest moment in his impressive career of service.  As an openly gay legislator in a typically conservative climate, Mark Ferrandino has sponsored the House bill to legalize civil unions in Colorado each of the past two years.  Last year, his testimony and passioned campaigning to support this bill helped to create a situation in which passage of the bill seemed inevitable.  That was when the then Speaker of the House, a Republican, single handedly stalled action on the house floor, and prevented the bill from being heard. The bipartisan commentary on how inappropriate these actions were was viral, and it was somewhat evident that there would be backlash, which was felt when Republicans lost their majority in the House on Tuesday.  It has already been agreed that the Civil Unions Bill Mr. Ferrandino is again sponsoring will be fast-tracjed in January.

How appropriate that a champion of doing what is right will get the chance to let his own gavel fall on a piece of legislation that is now much overdue.  I hope I can be there to support not only a bill that impacts my own life, but to honor an individual who clearly deserves to have a moment like this.

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Boy do things suck, so let’s keep talking about just how badly…’cause that’s productive…?

I feel like I’m doing a lot of defending outside attacks on stuff lately, either my own or (and yes I am having this argument right now) making an attempt to defend public subsidies to PBS.  It’s making me really tired to feel like I have to keep doing this, and how much I hear about how everything is no longer a choice because no matter what, it’s just a choice between the “lesser of two evils”.  Pardon my profanity (well not really, when have I ever been politically correct), but BULLSHIT.

OK.  Some local PBS Affiliates do a really crappy job of contributing to their communities and use federal funds to broadcast a “liberal biased and ultimately unnecesary” set of shows.  GREAT.  Thanks.  You win.

OK.  So you don’t agree with Mitt Romney‘s views on marriage, and Barak Obama‘s ability to influence a democratic-controlled legislature is non-existent.  WOW.  Incredible!  They both suck.  You win.

OK.  Moms on welfare are having 20 babies to support their crack habit in the rent free 2 bedroom project penthouse, and the ones actually following welfare-to-workfare are ending up homeless or in jail because they lost their child care when they got a job and the police found their 12 year old breast feeding the newborn while the were at their second job today because rent was due last week.  FANTASTIC!  let’s just cut all of thos programs and let natural selection do it’s thing.  You win

So now we’re at Critics: 3  The rest of the world that I want to live in: 0

Let’s take away all the federal subsidies for PBS.  Goodbye community forums for the nonprofit sector in Denver.  Goodbye Ice Cream socials on the 75th 90+ degree day in Cheeseman Park this summer.  Sure, there’s some other group with extra money lying around that will pick up the slack. It will be one less station I have to skip over when I’m surfing my cable guide too…

Let’s forget the fact that one of the perks we get with Barak Obama is Michelle:  the most loved first lady since Jackie O, and the most effective since maybe even Elanor Roosevelt.  Not to mention, isn’t she kind of like a Hillary, just without all of the fear of lesbianism and misogyny that has been thrown at our Secretary of State for over 20 years now, and no one will argue that she works her as off for all of us, despite the fact that everyone apparently can’t stand her?  She must be doing something right when  her boss admits on many an occasion that she works harder than he does, and she’s good at it…

And let’s stop supporting the welfare abusers.  Come to think of it, I don’t have kids, so why should I pay property tax to support our horrendous public schools?  Those kids will learn a lot more from having an extra 40 hours of unstructured and unsupervised activity creating graffiti on my front porch than they could ever learn in a civics class…oh wait didn’t we stop teaching that in public school?  That’s right, why teach the kids about how thee government works?  They’re just going to vote for the guy who bitches loudest and most often!!  THAT must be why Obama’s community organizing experience got him the presidency…

I like the fact that kids go to school.  Our educational system as a whole could be a lot better, but I have some theories from my own teaching experience as to what sucks, and it’s NOT the people in front of he classroom.  I can’t say that it’s THE reason I know how to spell, but I will always remember Cookie Monster‘s favorite song.  Because of the work I do I am well aware of the many ills of our political and social support systems, but I also know that there is a whole lot more good that comes out of those things that we never bother to say thank you for.

I founded a nonprofit that uses our action statement as our mission and driving force “empowering individuals and communities, redefining philanthropy”.  More often than not, I get a reaction of disbelief when people hear that out loud.  I’m going to redefine philanthropy?  So it probably comes as no suprise that I have gotten many a giggle when I start to explain that this action statement comes from a belief that i state as follows:

all people, if given the opportunity, will make the choice to do the right thing

Think about it.  How often do we state explicitly something like “you can make a real difference by volunteering at an animal shelter one hour a week”, or “your five dollar donation will buy a volunteer dinner so that they can lead tonight’s field trip to the aquarium”, or “thank you for being an involved parent and making sure that your children get the support they need at home to do well in school”?  More often than not, and I admit my own guilt in this, we scoff at Alyssa Milano asking me to give 50 cents a day to save a child’s life in her UNICEF commercial?  I know for a fact that her service to UNICEF is a lot more than her 30 second spot, and has cost her thousands of dollars that she has NEVER asked or been offered alternative compensation for.

Maybe if we too a moment out of our day, and choose to make one less criticism or complaint, hell let’s go for the big score and even replace that negative statement with something GOOD about what we wanted to criticize, might we actually learn to appreciate that there is something out there worth our appreciation?  Maybe if, instead or telling our kids to “make good choices”, and informed them of what those good choices actually were once in a while, maybe those would be the choices they make instead of doing what we told them exactly NOT to do?

Maybe if we started creating more opportunities for good things to happen, is it actually possible that good things just might become our reality?

Why Karma Never Needs Help

This summer has not been an easy one, but nonetheless it is one that I am ever thankful for, and the results of it are anything but extraordinary:  despite all of the bad, much has now come full circle again.  I feel almost complete, but a hell of a lot more so than I did before it all began.  I got rid of a lot of the bad things in my life this summer:  people that were dragging me down and holding me back, vices that were making it impossible for me to feel like anything but a hypocrite and a joke to myself, and attitudes that were making it impossible for me to envision, let alone achieve the things that I wanted for myself.  I have stared to put back into my life the things that really matter to me:  I researched apartments for myself last week; I visited a skating rink and am looking for a place to get my blades sharpened; I went to Church for the first time in a LONG ass time.

There have been some really hard days, but there have been some incredible people who have helped me through them, and I will never be able to fully repay the efforts of these individuals to come close to all of the good that has come to me in literally just the last 24 hours.  Aspire, my dream and my labor of love, will launch it’s first major philanthropic campaign in November with a huge event.  We have a venue, we have supporters, we have a vision, and we have an incredible concept for not only the launch party of the Fairygodmother Project, but for the launch party as well.  Today, after over three years of being unemployed, I was made an offer for a job working with the State, and working back in one of my most comfortable elements.  This job will not only allow me to support myself, but I know it will keep me energized, and will allow and ignite a fire to continue my work with Aspire.  Tonight, I was recognized as one of the 25 most influential young business professionals in Colorado:  an honor which I am overwhelmed and astonished to have such esteemed company.  At the event, I also received a cabled package worth over $2000 that will allow me, along with the new job, to get a new place that I truly WANT, rather than one that I can just afford.  I also got a text that one such place, originally out of my price range (but not anymore), has just come available and I could move in as early as October 1.

I have said it before, I will say it again, and I hope that those who hear it will keep believing:  KARMA NEVER NEEDS HELP.  I know a lot of people who have had their own difficulties over this past spring and summer, and I have continued to say to them that we are good people; as long as we stick together, good things will happen for us, because we are good people and we deserve them.  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so right about something, and just as long since I have felt so good about so many things.

For those who are starting to turn the corner, keep going.  We all need to stick together to maintain this momentum.  To those who are still struggling, I am sending my energy your way.  I want to stick with all of you because 1)  KARMA NEVER NEEDS HELP, and 2) WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE, AND WE ALL NEED TO STICK TOGETHER:  STICKING TOGETHER, GOOD THINGS WILL HAPEN FOR US BECAUSE WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE AND WE DESERVE IT.

Enough of me on my soapbox for tonight.

THe Good, The Bad, and the Really Really Ugly

The Good:  I can’t express how much of an impact it has when I feel appreciated.  I don’t mean parades or carnival or the like every time I do something right, but just that fact that I can tell there is absolutely no pretense or judgement from my friend Bill whenever I do something makes all the difference in the world.  Immediately it reinforces that I do have some value and that my actions are more than random events, but they have an impact on both myself and the people around me.  I have seen how it can be a lot easier to criticize someone for what they did not accomplish or did not complete to certain expectations or standards first hand, and I know how much it wore me down to not wanting to do anything at all because there was no opportunity for me to get any sort of positive outcomes even from the most successful performances.  Just the opposite has happened in the case of where I am now.  Not only am I feeling like there are things I do well and are appreciated, I continue to want to do them more often and with better outcomes than the last time, not only for the reinforcement that I gain externally, but I am also beginning to see the internal reward for these things, and no longer worrying about fighting off the criticisms of incomplete or less than par, or whatever you want to call it.  Even when I make mistakes, or something goes wrong, I look at it now as an opportunity to learn, rather than subject to avoid.  I am becoming more assertive and bringing topics to the conversation that are relevant and enriching to me, and while some of them may seem remedial or fundamental or elementary to an outsider, the encouragement I get for WANTING to improve is an incredible reward.

The Bad:  While I was able to accomplish a number of necessary tasks in town today, there are still some lingering priority matters that are becoming increasingly frustrating.  I feel like I was led on a bit of a wild goose chase tonight to resolve some of this, and don’t really have anything to show for it other than added aggravation and worry that some of this may never really be resolved.  For as much has been accomplished and set for the, there are a few key elements that are becoming increasingly hard to deal with, and the ones that fare still at this point open-ended are of significance.  Tis makes them burn with ever-increasing brightness at the front of my mind, and keep me distracted form a lot of other things that I am needing to put effort into, and now those too are starting to spark an urgency that can quickly lead to the panic of fires or worse yet, the cold embers of damage control.  Unfortunately i am not the only one with control in these matters, and while I have done my best to be cordial, fair, and even accommodating, it should come as no surprise, but is infuriating that this is not reciprocated.

The Really Really Ugly:  I think that we all have a couple of things that we struggle with, for whatever reason, and these things repeatedly do significant damage to our cores or our characters.  Some of us as we become better adults, learn means of compensation or ordeal themselves to take these things head on, to varying degrees of success.  One of these that I am constantly hurting myself and others with is my floundering or even outright avoidance of communication when there is difficulty, or in how I present that difficulty to others.  Tonight this hurt one of the people who has so instrumental in my continuing to have all of my wordily possessions, a place to lay my head at night, and who has shown me such amazing love over the past few weeks, that it hurt them I think even more than doubly that I did not communicate as well as I should have.  I had borrowed Bill’s car to go in to the city to get some things accomplished, and when things began to get difficult for me, my attention to respecting his stake in the situation was ignored.  It is something I have done to a number of people on different occasions, and for different reasons.  The situations leading totem are usually different, but my actions and the overall outcome caries a cloud that becomes increasingly hurtful to others, painful to me, and really a very accurate portrayal of me that I want to be the opposite of.  In tonight’s case, there were some things that I got a bit misled in trying to accomplish, and yes my phone did lose power.  But there is a bigger picture bottom line that I had his car, and I had left in the morning with a plan for half a day in which my return journey ended at midnight.  I don’t remember what time our last contact was, but that it had been hours was inconsiderate, selfish, and just plain wrong.  I know  all of this and what bothers me most I think, is that I continue to do the same exact thing when I get over involved in something, or when I start to fear even the smaller t repercussions, I go completely over the deep end and turn what is probably a small matter of unanticipated consideration into a catastrophic calamity that has no chance of generating any sort of positive outcomes.  I know that I don’t want to continue to do this, yet I do anyway.  I know it’s consequences, yet can’t seem to stop myself from reverting to these behaviors that I know I want to avoid, and so once I start them, they become the beginning of even deeper and more sinister behaviors that are in avoidance of the consequences for the first ones.  Even right now, I am hiding in my bedroom, and know Bill is out there, angry and hurt, and I am avoiding him, partially in the hopes he will cool off, but also in the hopes that I can simply avoid addressing this when the time comes.  I can justify my avoidance with completely logical or even well intentioned rhetoric at times, but the fact remains:  I am masking a much bigger issue that I don’t know how to address, and don’t know that I have the ability to overcome, not because I am incapable, but because the problem itself is cyclically symptomized by my avoiding it until something else becomes more pressing or distracting and I can avoid facing it at all.

Whistle While You Work

Spent almost the entire day it seems, getting work done today.  I kind of missed being able to spread out my paperwork on the couch where I could see everything in front of me.  Aside from that, there’s not many better ways I can think of to they and make something positive happen right now after what has happened in the last few days.  Still haven’t put together a complete plan of attack, but at least for now, it looks like there are a number of options that may allow me to get through this and really be able to concentrate on what’s important:  doing the healing I needed to do before I ever met Bryan, take care of the healing that needs to be done now that I have him out of my life, and moving forward with a much better head on my shoulders now that I know I really wasn’t crazy when I thought some of the things I did all this time that he and Rob were teaming up against me to make me feel unwelcome and unsafe in my own home.  The hardest part for me right now is trying to figure out  how I let such a monster in my life so soon after I had just gotten away from one three and a half years ago, and what made me want to believe so badly that this wasn’t really who he is.  For as much as I know I was somewhat stuck here, with a lease in my name, and still no job to pay a wage that would keep me above ground, it saddens me that what kept the two of them here was the cheap rent and the entertainment value I provided for the games they were so cruel in playing.  In as much as I was hurting, though, I have been surrounded by some incredible friends who have been insistent in carrying this load with me until I am where I need to be.  And many of them are going through their own major struggles right now.    I keep coming back to this:  the friends that I am connecting with right now and that are giving me so much more that I even at times feel comfortable in accepting, are all here for me for a reason, and while I may not have the  financial resources to offer back to them, I hope I am giving them something that will continue to allow me to be among them.  We are the good people, and we may be struggling right now, but we are all doing it together, and it is the strength of that togetherness that is going to get us all through this very rough patch, and is going to keep us together to celebrate the good things that we will be ready for in our future.

The Short of the Long of it…

Keeping this short as it has been a long and exhausting 48 hours and I need sleep to get ready for all that now needs to get done in the upcoming days…

Bryan laid his hand on me.  He has been in a relationship with Rob for some time now.  All of this has been confirmed.  They are both staying elsewhere.  I have a lot that I need to do to resolve this.

I also have the most incredible friends to help me through it.  I am truly blessed.

Details of all, both recent past and all that is to come will be forthcoming.  I just need to document this reminder before sleep:  I am a good person and good things will happen for me, and I truly have the most wonderful loving friends that anyone could ever hope for.