ir·rel·e·vant

What does every parent want for their children? 

Ultimately, we all want our children to become fully capable individuals that make wise decisions on their own. Everything we do as a parent should lead to this final result.

For most parents, our children are our world. We have a lot invested in them…money, time, memories, and most of all our emotions. Unfortunately, these emotions, paired with our expectations, can actually affect our relationship with our children, especially as they become adults. Of course we want the best for our children regardless of their age, however, we have to acknowledge that once they become adults only they are in charge of their lives and we as parents must respect that.

When our children are born, they need us for everything. We’re free to give advice and direction to our underage children whenever we choose. However, after a child reaches eighteen years of age, the only rights we have in regard to input in that child’s life are the rights that the child gives us.

What if they live in your house? Well, certainly there have to be rules. Chaos should never be tolerated. In respect to your property, you always have the final say. My son just turned nineteen. He lives at home, but there is an understanding. I do not intrude in his life unless he asks my opinion. I do not tell him whom he should date or not date, whom he should have as friends, or what career path he should take. I do, however, have the right to determine who is allowed at home. He can’t just take things as he wishes, nor leave things lying around. The point here is that parents of adult children need to learn that the rules have changed. A continuance of unsolicited intrusion will cause a major disruption of the relationship. Recognize that your child is not a child anymore. They should be free to succeed or fail on their own.

Arriving at this realization is bittersweet because you want to remain “relevant” in your children’s lives, you want to help them make better choices than you did. I suspect that desire will never go away. They will always be your babies. There may even be times when they’ll need a warm hug from Mom or Dad but ultimately, we must let them live their own lives… Nevertheless the fact that you’ve become irrelevant – or more precisely, no longer needed means that you’ve succeeded in your role as a parent.

So now what??

Time to rediscover who we are and how we want to live OUR own lives. That means that as an adult you in turn are free to make your own choices and your adult children must respect said choices. It’s all a bit daunting but exciting all at once. Oh, the possibilities!

Time to take care of me….

Happy Valentine’s Day…

Happy Valentine’s Day…

Or Whatever….

Don’t mean to sound like an angsty teen, I’m just not feeling the “love”

On a positive note Valentine’s Day Candy and chocolates will be on sale by Wednesday….

Ah, POOP!!!  I’m doing Keto!  I’ll have to make myself something….meh!!!

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Here’s something worth the effort…..Keto Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes

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Photo Credit KetoSizeMe.com

Ingredients

For Cupcakes:

  • 1 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
  • 7 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Erythritol
  • 1/2 Tsp Liquid Stevia

For Frosting:

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese
  • 28 Fresh Raspberries
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup Erythritol
  • 1/2 Tsp Liquid Stevia

Note: The frosting recipe makes enough frosting to frost 32 cupcakes so you can always cut it in half if you don’t want to use the rest as a dip.

Instructions For Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Powder Erythritol in a food processor
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well blended
  4. Pour into silicon baking cups and bake for 28 – 30 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)
  5. For Frosting:
  6. Melt butter
  7. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

 Baking Tips:  The fat and butter in most keto cupcakes will destroy cupcake wrappers and cause any color in them to bleed all over the place. So I recommend that you forgo the wrappers or use silicone baking cups. Silicone baking cups are great because the food doesn’t stick to them, so it’s easy to make beautiful cupcakes every time. You can still use festive wrappers after they have cooled.

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 Cupcake (makes 16)

Calories: 225
Total Fat: 19g
Carbohydrates: 6g – 3g Fiber = 3 Net Carbs
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars: 1g
Protein: 5g

They say…

They say…
#MindOfBrando

Dicen que ya nadie se enamora. Que el último romántico ha muerto y que las flores ya no saben de floreros. Dicen que los besos a ojos cerrados pasaron de moda, que las cartas a puño son muy lentas, que agarrarse de la mano es cosa de viejos. Dicen que abrirle la puerta a una dama, para qué, si hay igualdad de derechos. Dicen que hay que pretender que uno no siente; que si te llaman bien, y si no, también, y si te he amado no lo recuerdo; ¿cómo te llamabas, que no me acuerdo? Dicen que para todo hay que hacer una cita, consultar el calendario, la fecha, el horario, dos cafés sin azúcar y pagamos a medias. Dicen que no hay diferencia entre el amor y el sexo, y que eso de querer con el alma es puro cuento. Dicen que no aman porque les da miedo el amor, y aunque tengan razón, nunca voy a estar de acuerdo. Porque digan lo que digan, aquí estoy yo, escribiéndole al amor. Queriendo, besando, sufriendo, muriendo y resucitando; solo para amar de nuevo. – Brando


Found this quote on Facebook and loved it so much that I decided to attempt to convey the same sentiment by translating it. Here goes:

They say that no one falls in love anymore. That the last romantic has died and that flowers don’t know about vases. 

They say that kissing with your eyes closed went out of fashion, that handwritten letters are too tedious and that holding hands is for old people.  

They say, about opening the door for a Lady, what for if we have equal rights.  They say you must pretend not to feel anything; that if they call great and if they don’t that’s fine too. If I have loved you I don’t remember. What was your name? I don’t recall. 

They say you must make an appointment for everything, check the calendar, date and time – two coffees, no sugar and we split the bill in half. 


They say there’s no difference between love and sex and that loving with your soul is just a story. They say they don’t love because they are afraid of love yet even if they are right I will never agree with them. Because regardless of what they say, here I am, writing for love; loving, kissing, suffering, dying and reviving just to love again. 

❤️💔❤️💔

Giving Up Not An Option

Giving Up Not An Option

Last Thursday I was unexpectedly laid due to “budget cuts” they said. Yet I’m aware that the current political climate within the Union I was employed by is unstable so I am certain that the “budget cuts” excuse is not accurate but I have no way of proving it. So there I was feeling like a pitiful sad-sack of emotions. The thirty minutes it took me to reach the bus stop I alternated between worrying about projects I left behind and sobbing uncontrollably. My friends M, K & R all called to let me vent and reassure me. As did my Sister, my Father, Aunt, and cousins. My Facebook friends all rallied to cheer me up. Even my son’s father called to let me know I can count on him if I need anything. I am loved. My cup runneth over…

  

So now what?

While I would love to be able to work from home and/or create my own business truthfully I am terrified!  How am I going to make ends meet? What bills am I going to have to defer and for how long? I forgot how disorienting, stressful and difficult it can be to be unemployed and without any prospects.  

Although I did start updating my resume I mostly gave myself a break over the weekend and allowed myself to mourn the loss. Then early Monday morning I finished updating my resume and scouring the want ands for my next admin gig. 

  

The immediate plan is to use my severance pay (when it finally arrives) to pay rent this month while I search for a new gig. The fear is still there. However, I realize that  the layoff is simply the end of one chapter in my life. I have to take this opportunity to build myself back up and find that new beginning for myself and my Son.  

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The lack of a 9-to-5 also opens up my schedule to market my online Chloe+Isabel jewelry boutique full-time which I really didn’t have time for while I was stuck in the office.  

Generally I market my business through social media, holding online events to drive traffic to my boutique.  Now that my schedule is completely open I am excited about using this time to have some personal or group styling sessions.   

 

If you haven’t already, please visit my boutique. The jewelry is so versatile, especially the convertible jewelry.  Each piece can be worn in a variety of ways for maximum use and value.  Plus, all C+I jewelry is hypoallergenic, lead safe, nickel free and comes with a LIFETIME REPLACEMENT GUARANTEE. Yes, I said lifetime!!! 

 

You can find a something that suits your personal style on my boutique:

http://www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/bymaruca

 
I’ll be re-launching my boutique and am working on a special offer. In the meantime please feel free to message me at candibymaruca@gmail.com, if you have any questions. 

Feeling Accomplished

Feeling Accomplished
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Exhausted, swollen and tomato-faced but very proud of myself.

I did it!  I completed my very first 5k and jogged most of the way. YAY ME!!!

 

The thought of a 5k was intimidating but I wanted to push myself just to see if I could do it.  I am supper grateful for the nice lady that kept me company for the entire race – even though she’s an experienced runner and could have easily left me behind.

My intentions were to walk most of it but with her encouragement and in an effort to keep up with her I did a mix of jogging and walking and managed to finish in 58m 30s.  Of course other people’s time was better while others took longer to finish the race so I am not concerned about how long it took me to complete the race.  The important thing is that I got up on Thanksgiving morning and kept my word.  Instead of sleeping on my day off, I rose up at 6am, drove myself to the Turkey Trot and FINISHED the race without quitting even when I felt like throwing in the towel. It took a lot of willpower to keep pushing while my body felt like it was about to collapse but I was proud of myself that I didn’t give in.

While my body certainly took a beating yesterday I am actually thinking about doing another 5k and see how I can improve.  I know, me, the gal who hates running is looking forward to another race!!!

Love — you’re doing it wrong

Love — you’re doing it wrong

Yann Dall’Aglio: Love — you’re doing it wrong

TEDxParis 2012 · 10:42 · Filmed Oct 2012

Click Image To Watch Video

Video Transcript

Translated by Naíma Perrella Milani

Reviewed by Elisabeth Buffard

00:11 – What is love? It’s a hard term to define in so far as it has a very wide application. I can love jogging. I can love a book, a movie. I can love escalopes. I can love my wife. (Laughter)

00:34 – But there’s a great difference between an escalope and my wife, for instance. That is, if I value the escalope, the escalope, on the other hand, it doesn’t value me back. Whereas my wife, she calls me the star of her life. (Laughter)

00:59 – Therefore, only another desiring conscience can conceive me as a desirable being. I know this, that’s why love can be defined in a more accurate way as the desire of being desired. Hence the eternal problem of love: how to become and remain desirable?

01:21 – The individual used to find an answer to this problem by submitting his life to community rules. You had a specific part to play according to your sex, your age, your social status, and you only had to play your part to be valued and loved by the whole community. Think about the young woman who must remain chaste before marriage. Think about the youngest son who must obey the eldest son, who in turn must obey the patriarch.

01:56 – But a phenomenon started in the 13th century, mainly in the Renaissance, in the West, that caused the biggest identity crisis in the history of humankind. This phenomenon is modernity. We can basically summarize it through a triple process. First, a process of rationalization of scientific research, which has accelerated technical progress. Next, a process of political democratization, which has fostered individual rights. And finally, a process of rationalization of economic production and of trade liberalization.

02:42 – These three intertwined processes have completely annihilated all the traditional bearings of Western societies, with radical consequences for the individual. Now individuals are free to value or disvalue any attitude, any choice, any object. But as a result, they are themselves confronted with this same freedom that others have to value or disvalue them. In other words, my value was once ensured by submitting myself to the traditional authorities. Now it is quoted in the stock exchange.

03:32 – On the free market of individual desires, I negotiate my value every day. Hence the anxiety of contemporary man. He is obsessed: “Am I desirable? How desirable? How many people are going to love me?” And how does he respond to this anxiety? Well, by hysterically collecting symbols of desirability. (Laughter)

04:06 – I call this act of collecting, along with others, seduction capital. Indeed, our consumer society is largely based on seduction capital. It is said about this consumption that our age is materialistic. But it’s not true! We only accumulate objects in order to communicate with other minds. We do it to make them love us, to seduce them. Nothing could be less materialistic, or more sentimental, than a teenager buying brand new jeans and tearing them at the knees, because he wants to please Jennifer. (Laughter) Consumerism is not materialism. It is rather what is swallowed up and sacrificed in the name of the god of love, or rather in the name of seduction capital.

05:03 – In light of this observation on contemporary love, how can we think of love in the years to come? We can envision two hypotheses: The first one consists of betting that this process of narcissistic capitalization will intensify. It is hard to say what shape this intensification will take, because it largely depends on social and technical innovations, which are by definition difficult to predict. But we can, for instance, imagine a dating website which, a bit like those loyalty points programs, uses seduction capital points that vary according to my age, my height/weight ratio, my degree, my salary, or the number of clicks on my profile. We can also imagine a chemical treatment for breakups that weakens the feelings of attachment.

06:11 – By the way, there’s a program on MTV already in which seduction teachers treat heartache as a disease. These teachers call themselves “pick-up artists.” “Artist” in French is easy, it means “artiste.” “Pick-up” is to pick someone up, but not just any picking up — it’s picking up chicks. So they are artists of picking up chicks. (Laughter) And they call heartache “one-itis.” In English, “itis” is a suffix that signifies infection. One-itis can be translated as “an infection from one.” It’s a bit disgusting. Indeed, for the pick-up artists, falling in love with someone is a waste of time, it’s squandering your seduction capital, so it must be eliminated like a disease, like an infection. We can also envision a romantic use of the genome. Everyone would carry it around and present it like a business card to verify if seduction can progress to reproduction. (Laughter)
07:33 – Of course, this race for seduction, like every fierce competition, will create huge disparities in narcissistic satisfaction, and therefore a lot of loneliness and frustration too. So we can expect that modernity itself, which is the origin of seduction capital, would be called into question. I’m thinking particularly of the reaction of neo-fascist or religious communes. But such a future doesn’t have to be.

08:09 – Another path to thinking about love may be possible. But how? How to renounce the hysterical need to be valued? Well, by becoming aware of my uselessness. (Laughter) Yes, I’m useless. But rest assured: so are you. (Laughter) (Applause)
08:40 – We are all useless. This uselessness is easily demonstrated, because in order to be valued I need another to desire me, which shows that I do not have any value of my own. I don’t have any inherent value. We all pretend to have an idol; we all pretend to be an idol for someone else, but actually we are all impostors, a bit like a man on the street who appears totally cool and indifferent, while he has actually anticipated and calculated so that all eyes are on him.


09:20- I think that becoming aware of this general imposture that concerns all of us would ease our love relationships. It is because I want to be loved from head to toe, justified in my every choice, that the seduction hysteria exists. And therefore I want to seem perfect so that another can love me. I want them to be perfect so that I can be reassured of my value. It leads to couples obsessed with performance who will break up, just like that, at the slightest underachievement.

09:53 – In contrast to this attitude, I call upon tenderness — love as tenderness. What is tenderness? To be tender is to accept the loved one’s weaknesses. It’s not about becoming a sad couple of orderlies. (Laughter) That’s pretty bad. On the contrary, there’s plenty of charm and happiness in tenderness. I refer specifically to a kind of humor that is unfortunately underused. It is a sort of poetry of deliberate awkwardness.

10:23 – I refer to self-mockery. For a couple who is no longer sustained, supported by the constraints of tradition, I believe that self-mockery is one of the best means for the relationship to endure.

I’m A Turkey

I’m A Turkey
This December will mark our 5th year living in Houston.   Though I made a conscious choice to move here the entire time I’ve lived here I’ve been longing to be back home in California.  Granted my first three years here I lived in a rather secluded setting and without a vehicle of my own had few opportunities to move around to socialize – but I digress.  My lack of vehicle notwithstanding, now that a live “inside the loop” where public transportation is available any excuse I might have to avoid interacting with other members of my community is invalid.
Houston will never feel as familiar and comforting as the town I grew up in.  The town where all the friends I graduated high school with still get together from time to time.  The town where my closest friends and I would meet at my apartment for fun conversation while our children played in the background. The town where every month we would enjoy imaginative art pieces by local artists or partake of a night of debauchery while pub crawling.  Oh, the trouble we got ourselves into!
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Nevertheless, Houston IS home and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Houstonian’s may argue that they pride themselves in being friendly, helpful people but I have experienced few truly friendly people – not in a genuine disinterested way at least.  So while my neighbor may not be inviting me over for a cup of tea or even “un cafecito con pan” any time soon I realize that I can only be responsible for my own actions and that if I wish something to change I must initiate that change myself.
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That being said I’m going to put on my very special sassy pants and put myself out there to experience Houston.  After all, a community is only as strong as the individuals who make it up.  Neighbors helping neighbors and making personal connections with one another.  To that end I’ll be participating in the Houston Turkey Trot!
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Me running is a totally insane idea.  I. Do. Not. Run. Ever.  However, this is an excellent way to get involved.  The race supports more than 167,000 seniors and children in Houston.  Not only do families have the opportunity to gather together for this fun event, it is also an opportunity to support the Houston community through Neighborhood Centers.
Neighborhood Centers is the region’s largest community development organization and the go-to resource for impact and innovation.  With more than 100 years of experience and a nationally recognized model for community development, Neighborhood Centers exists to keep our region a place of opportunity for everyone—bringing resources, education and connection to transform communities.

Join me in supporting Neighborhood Centers by making a tax-deductible gift toward my goal of $300.00 (US) dollars.   Please view my personal fundraising page by clicking on the link below.  Thank you so much in advance for your encouragement and support of this great cause.

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Click HERE to make a donation

The event is still two months away which gives me plenty of time to raise some funds and train my body.  This is going to be challenging in more ways than I care to enumerate but the goal is to get involved, get social and continue being the example for my son.

Do As I Do

Do As I Do

Growing up I heard the words “Do as I say, not as I do” often enough to know better than to use them on my own child.  In fact, I consider it hypocritical of me to ask him to do things that I wouldn’t do myself. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am not athletic in the least.  I do my best to get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep (and if I can sleep in, I will), eat healthy and exert a minimal amount of energy just enough to keep me on the edge of NOT developing heart problems and/or diabetes.

Often our meals are made from scratch using whole foods such as lean meats, lentils, brown rice, kale, spinach, carrots, green beans, turmeric, coconut oil, veggie or whole wheat pastas, etc. (You can find a recipe HERE and HERE.)  BUT…oh boy, do I LOVE my sweets!  I’m a sucker for cookies, cakes and ice cream – most desserts really!!! Unfortunately, so is my son.

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Most parents think that if we “teach” our children well enough with our words they’ll be able to make better decisions than we do, but let’s look at the latest research, shall we?: Moms’ and kids’ activity levels are directly linked to each other.   We know better. Obviously.  We know what the healthy choice is: to eat our (not deep-fried) veggies. To get a good night’s sleep. To make time to play and move our bodies. And yet, again and again, we avoid getting physical at all costs.

My excuses and “reasons” were inexhaustible: “I’m happy the way I am.”; “I’m too exhausted to wake up at the crack of dawn and/ or after work to contemplate going to the gym.”; “I am beautiful enough already.”  Not realizing that, all the while, my son has been picking up on my habits, developing the same behaviors towards fitness and, much to my dismay, gaining unnecessary weight.

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Casting a disapproving look at myself.

After numerous failed attempts to coax, and even bribe, my son into becoming more active it finally dawned on me that he wouldn’t do anything if I didn’t first set the example.  So, I joined a gym and reluctantly reactivated my old MyFitnessPal account to keep track of my meals.

Now, I hate counting calories and wouldn’t know how to determine the amount of calories in my home cooked meals but thanks to this app I can record my food with just a few taps on my iPhone.  It’s actually shocking to see how quickly the calories, fat and sugar grams start adding up. Just this morning I’ve already consumed half of my target sugar grams for the day!

FoodDiary
Today’s Food Journal Entry of First and Second Breakfast  😉

Keeping track of my food has forced me to face the fact that, regardless of my fitness goals, what I consume affects my body in ways seen and unseen.  One of the things that I’ve found interesting is the importance of keeping track of the macros in one’s diet.  What are “macros”, you ask?  Macros short for macro-nutrients like protein, carbs and fats.  These macros are the basis of all calories you consume. Rather than obsessing over calories, targeting macros helps keep you focused on food composition and overall healthfulness rather than just low-calorie options.   And again, with the help of free apps like MyFitnessPal it’s easy to stay on track! (No, I am not getting paid to say so.)

MacrosCalculation
Calculate your optimal macronutrient ratios based on your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level using a Macro Calculator.
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MyFitnessPal helps me keep track of my macros without an extra app.

Although I have yet to see any visible results on the scale I have noticed that my clothes fit a lot better. AND I am happy to report that my example has not gone unnoticed.  On Monday, as I was going about my new routine, my son approached me and asked if he could join me at the gym.  For a brief moment it seemed like the clouds parted and a chorus of Angels sang in triumphantly!

FINALLY!!!

For the last two days we’ve been walking 30 minutes to the gym, lifting weights then walking 30 minutes back home.  Monday when I asked my son if he was ready to go home he replied, “One more exercise.  This is strangely addictive!”  Then yesterday on our walk home he said, “We should have started this years ago.”  To which I replied, “I know.  I’m sorry.”

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Ah, There You Are!

After nearly five years of feeling like a fish out of water, I’m happy to report that I am finally starting to feel like myself.  If you’ve read some of my previous posts you might recall that moving to Texas has been less than pleasant, to say the least.  There’s been a considerable amount of meditation and soul-searching, a lot of introspection that I couldn’t quite articulate.  I’ve been digging deep into my childhood and discovering the experiences that shaped me… both the good and the bad.  So far my internal exploration has revealed a lot, such as how my relationship with my mother has affected the way I relate to others. self-esteem

We’ve all read a book, article or blog about how our self-esteem was affected by the way our mothers treated us as children and how that may affect our relationships as adults.  Like it or not, our relationship with our mother will have a lifelong influence on our personality, behavior and self-esteem. If we’re lucky, that legacy has been an overwhelmingly positive one.  But what happens when you are raised by a ‘difficult’ mother?

For most, regardless of the problems, struggles and conflicts, between parents and their children, their relationship is mostly comforting and supportive. However, for some, there’s more pain in the mother-child relationship than comfort and pleasure.

My childhood was bewildering and volatile due to my mother’s violent and unpredictable outbursts. I lived in a constant state of high alert, waiting for the next emotional explosion.  Often, Mom would take offense at the smallest imagined slight and would abruptly stop talking to me as punishment for ‘insulting’ her in some way.  (Even as I type this I’m afraid that should she find my blog, she might get offended by my words and stop talking to me – again.)  I remember feeling that I was constantly wrong.  There was constant pressure to be subservient yet I was still expected to shine.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not complaining about my “miserable” childhood.  We had some wonderfully happy moments too and some good did come out of growing up in the emotional roller coaster that was life with mom.  But this “exercise” is about figuring myself out and understanding myself in order to make better choices as a person, become a better parent and maybe discover why I’ve had such a difficult time finding a suitable mate (Things seems to be going well in that department).

Ideally a child is born to be curious and spontaneous. When said child is allowed to spend her childhood learning to be her authentic self and building her self worth and self esteem she may be better prepared for adulthood.   As the eldest child I was expected to be the strong, sensible one, at times Mom’s confidant, best friend, rescuer, partner, her scapegoat, and sometimes even her rival.  Always feeling like whatever I did was never enough.  I never realized until very recently that even now as an adult, I’ve continued some of these roles for others, being codependent, struggling with anxiety, feeling unworthy or even depressed.  These tendencies hinder me professionally by keeping me from reaching my full potential and on a personal level preventing me from making genuine friendships and emotional connections.

Perhaps these aren’t huge discoveries but to me it’s like being able to see after acquiring the proper prescription lenses and realizing that all this time there has been a huge elephant in the room that I couldn’t see before. There a certain kind of freedom with the acknowledgement of your “handicaps” which then leads you to co-exist with this enormous elephant in the room allowing for new experiences.
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Slowly I am becoming calmer, more aware of my true feelings and gaining a better understanding of myself.  I like this new and improved version!

ah there you are