Puzzle Pieces

I am the woman who impatiently mutters, “Hurry the fuck up.” to a slow poke crawling below the speed limit. I am also the woman who almost always instantly realizes that I’m actually frustrated, because I’m running late to wherever it is I’m trying to be on time for, because I suck at time management. I can blame my poor time management skills on a plethora of different reasons. ADHD/OCD/anxiety type symptoms, single mommying two toddlers, sleep deprivation, physical pain, emotional stresses, blahdy-dee fucking blah. They’re all just glorified excuses. I don’t get to bed on time, wake up feeling semi-refreshed, and then lay in bed ignoring reality to play on Facebook to purposely be late for work. That’s stupid, and trust me when I say that right now, I’m incredibly hyper aware of leaving on time every morning, even if that means someone’s hair doesn’t get brushed or another toddler has to be insulted by the fact that mommy grabbed applesauce and not a granola bar for the car ride into town.

Perspective. I don’t want someone to believe my lack of time management skills means my job isn’t incredibly important to me. I need to re-earn their respect in that specific area. I’m genuinely working on it.
I’m 32 years old, and I’m still learning. 
And wondering. 
And daydreaming. 
My heart still breaks, and then is glued, sometimes poorly taped, back together on an almost daily basis. 
I’m mesmerized by owls that fly almost directly into my car. I find magic in authentic conversations. When someone smiles at me, and their entire body language screams that they are tuned into me and my needs, my mind goes into a fury of mixed signals wanting to smile in joy, sigh in relief, hug it out, jump up and down in excitement, and cry because someone sees. me.  I debate with myself on a multitude of yes, no, maybe so’s, and then push forward to offer a sincere hug or a simple, “Hello, my name is Miranda.” served with a half smile and a genuine want to meet someone where they are. Sometimes, keeping eye contact is incredibly hard for me when I’m living in my head. If I’ve recently made a mistake or am vigilantly fighting the anxiety demons in my head, I don’t want to look at anyone. I feel like they can read my failures a mile away. Other times, I’m on fire and seek to see all of everyone. I notice the way other people walk, talk, and bullshit. Some people are great story tellers. They live to tell stories, but more often than not, it’s other people’s stories. It’s a way to get the lime light off of the intimacy that truly pierces their own souls. 
Apathy can sting so much harsher than any criticism ever could. They’re fighting their own demons…
I feel like every person I come into contact with is basically different versions of me. Head Centered Randa vs Fire Randa. I don’t mean that selfishly, like I know that I have no idea about the struggles of a physically disabled person or your curly haired, sweet natured mama who grew up down the road. I mean it in the sense that I’m incredibly empathic, and even though I get pissed off or upset like everyone everywhere, I can normally (although not always in the moment) put myself in their metaphorical shoes to view the world from their vantage point.

I realized 6 hours too late that I forgot to do something for a customer. Then it clicked into place that I received a 10% tip because of my own doing. I recognized the awkward facial expression exchange at the table, but I had no idea what was going on, because my customer’s request had slipped my mind. I learned a lesson. In efficiency. And in time management. To slow down and pay attention to detail in the moment.
The same could be said for the puzzle that is our lives. You could be in my metaphorical shoes. Please don’t forget the blinging socks. Anyway, me…longing for intimate connections everywhere, uninterested with small talk, striving to do better, finding happiness in joy, in simplicity, and even acknowledging a little sadness, because it feels like life is somehow always missing that crucial spark that a life partner could possibly bring.
Would you get all of that by glancing my way? If I were in my head, and you were in a hurry, your thought process would probably be, “Oh, Miranda’s in a mood. Stay away from her.”. So basically, we’d both still be in our heads, needs left unmet.

I have friends with terminal illnesses fighting. to. live.

I have friends who look normal to the untrained eye, who long. to. die. 

I have married friends who worry about their partner’s fidelity.

I have friends who are married who openly engage outside of their partner’s comfort zones.

I have friends living with invisible illnesses. 

I have friends who live life blissfully unaware of life outside their privilege filled upbringing. 

Have you ever tried to shove a puzzle piece into place not realizing at first that it didn’t actually fit? That’s life. We all have our place, but sometimes we try really hard to blend into color schemes that don’t quite match. You can turn the piece around, or keep it in your hand for safe keeping. Truthfully, often, the confusion needs to be put aside. Pieces interlock accordingly, not always chronologically or even logically. Mystical sea creatures found only within the clouds and the canvas the volcano’s fiery depths portray are different views of the very same scene.


Sometimes, loneliness doesn’t come in the form of your overly awkward coworker who still lives at home with mommy.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of unanswered text messages.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of kind smiles amidst a room full of chattering people, yet noone to talk to.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of your life love(s) anchoring you to the fine line between drowning, gasping, and reaching for what’s just beyond your grasp.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of endless Facebook scrolling. 

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of pillow tossing, Netflix binging insomnia.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of one drink too many to shut the voice of longing up. 

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of bond forming memories continuously bruising.

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of wanting the hug that fills your cup instead of depleting your soul. 

Sometimes, loneliness comes in the form of your smiling friend asking you an authentic question, because your response gives them life…

Sometimes, You Just Need Some Cheetos

  • Someone enters the gas station moments before you, but fails to hold the door open for you. The glaze eyed person absentmindedly peruses the junk food aisles. You’re silently grumbling to yourself about how selfish people can sometimes be. You hit the pisser, grab a water bottle, and then, end up directly behind your newest best friend. Your frizzy haired fellow settled on a bag of cheetos, a chocolate bar, a Mountain Dew and was currently trying your patience as they asked for a pack of smokes. If you could roll your eyes any farther back into your head, you would. The dude’s card gets declined. You audibly snicker your amusement and disgust at the situation at hand. The guy is very noticeably embarrassed at this point. He asks to please return the Mountain Dew and chocolate and then asks the cashier to try his card again. Denied. By this point, you’re really agitated. You have zero sympathy for this frazzled looking guy who is trying to veg out on nasty junk food and cigarettes. He apologizes again. He started pulling change out of his pocket for the cheetos. The well-to-do-lady who’d slipped in quietly behind you stepped up. You were sure she was going to voice what you had been thinking all along, but she surprised you by insisting everything he initially wanted get rang back up. The cashier clarified her meaning, and she paid for the man’s purchases while he stood there trying to give her the change out of his pocket. She surprised us all by hugging him. The grown man started bawling. Now I’m not talking silent, man tears slipping into oblivion. I’m talking loud, boisterous boo hoos that made everyone in the gas station turn their head. He was almost convulsing. When he seemed to catch his breath, with a face full of snot and tears, he managed to spurt out that his daughter had just died. He’d stayed by her bedside during her rapidly declining sickness, held her hand, lost his job, never left her, not even once. The nurse who’d helped them throughout their entire ordeal urged him with great fervor to go outside and get some fresh air. He wasn’t really sure how he ended up at the gas station, but when his stomach rumbled, he realized he hadn’t eaten or really drank in days. He’d lost touch on his financial situation, and he was pretty clueless actually to how low his funds had gotten, because he’d been such a dedicated father. He just kept saying, “Cheetos were her favorite… Cheetos were her favorite…”. Not a dry eye in the place. Not one. 

  • Today, I learned a lot about perspective. When you see someone who’s light appears to be dim, sometimes they just need a match. Or ya know, a hug and some Cheetos.

Intimacy is…

*slow, heavy, breathing* You hear the mostly even regimen of your partner’s slumber as his S shaped body is curled away from you. With the pillow between his arms, his dark, tousled hair spikes in contrast against the off-white pillow case still half adorning the bed. His broad, curl sprinkled chest keeps rhythm with the deep, dreamland encompassed breathing. You watch captivated in almost silence, as the lone audience member unbeknownst to the performer. The sheet has fallen to cover only his midriff and one partial leg. You see the crescent shaped scar that sits atop of your love’s muscular bottom. You tenderly trace the scar, knowing it came from accidentally sitting on a rusty nail poking up from a rusty bench during his adolescent years. He makes jokes and comes up with a different origin every time it’s seen or mentioned. Your favorite is the one he told when you were camping early on in your relationship. You were a tangle of limbs, courageously naked, on top of a blanket, with the stars as our canopy. I couldn’t decide which was more gorgeous, the sky, or the new body conformed to mine. I was dizzy with the newness that was us. I was caressing your bottom, and finally found the strength to ask you what had made its mark on you. Without hesitation, you pointed to the matching crescent in the sky. You brought my hand up to point with you. “There, right there.” You said. “The moon graced me with a tattoo, so I’d remember this moment for all of eternity.”. I couldn’t figure out whether to smirk, laugh or kiss you. The intensity in your gaze made up my mind for me.

I moved to the beautiful waves cascading his back. These came from his monumental growth spurt his freshman year of high school. They used to be an angry red color, and even though your partner was genetically gifted with an athlete’s body, the stretch marks caused him embarrassment, so he routinely covered his body, even during summer swims with the rest of his pimply faced, hormone raging friends. They’ve faded with time to a dull beige, just slightly lighter than his natural skin tone. You migrate up a bit and notice his lip and brow are wearing a light layer of perspiration, so you tenderly roll over, and gracefully stand. You pause to stretch out the kinks from laying in an awkward position. You then walk around to his side of the bed where you turn the fan to the middle notch, knowing it’s his favored position. You turn the fan so that it’s hitting his legs, and not tickling his nose. In your haste to see to his comfort, you didn’t notice his eyes flutter open or his arm reach out for you.

Shift in perspective

You awaken as the bed creaks in movement, and the warmth leaves your side. You reach for your love in your half asleep state of mind, and as you do, your partially opened eyes become transfixed by the sensual art piece in front of you. Your breath catches as your body stirs to life. Her back is turned to you. She’s standing, strong, vulnerable, feminine. The light floats down, and streaks of sun soften her dark ringlets as they bounce in response to her light neck and core stretches. 

Her hair has grown quickly… Just a few months back, we were having relationship problems, and I moved out. When she agreed to meet up with me, I almost didn’t recognize her. She wore a short, spunky hair do, had new clothes, she was leaner, and an attitude that told me she no longer needed me resonated off of her. It scared me. With our pause, I realized how much I’d become comfortable. Too damn comfortable. We met on common ground, at our favorite coffee shop. She was keeping busy by staring intently into her coffee mug. I got the feeling she was using its very warmth just to keep her going. It was a long and hard discussion, one that took courage from both parties. We had to break down walls we’d worked diligently as a team to put up together. We both felt like failures. When she found the strength to meet my gaze, I knew. I knew she was still mine, and I hers. Her eyes are the most expressive eyes I’ve ever encountered, and I would choose hers every day for the rest of my life.
As she turned, her dancer like body seemed to glide across the room. Even in the sticky humidity, with her unruly bedhead reaching to the ceiling, I’m mesmerized by her beauty. Her physical beauty is obvious to all. It still manages to catch me off-guard. She teases me sometimes, and tells me my jaw should have a hinge on it in order to keep it shut. That’s what I love most about her, her ability to play. That, and her kindness. She just got up to turn the fan on for me. She could do without. She did it for me. As she walked to the bathroom, I watched intensely. The way she moves, lithely, with purpose. As I heard her start the shower, my mind raced for ideas to help show her I appreciate her. 

Breakfast? A silly poem? Join her in the shower? Ummmmmmm. I performed an internet search, found the song I was looking for. I quickly located my small speakers amidst my messy closet. I scrounged to find her favorite candle. I went downstairs to peruse the fridge. Nothing screamed romantic or sexy, so I opted for toast with her favorite jelly and a cup of oj. Got the coffee pot started. I brought her snack upstairs, lit the candle, and laid it on the nightstand.

I took a deep breath and decided to go full cheese. I brought the speakers and my phone into the small bathroom. I peed and then hooked everything up. She peeked out once, but kept her curiosity at bay with a questioning glance. I pushed play on my phone. Incubus’ “Wish You Were Here” blared with harmonic clarity from the small speakers littering the limited space on the bathroom floor. The song has kind of been “ours” since the beginning of our relationship. I stepped into the shower to face you, and with perfect timing, embraced you while mouthing the words in alignment to Boyd’s soulful singing, “And in this moment I am happy. Happy. “.

Just Your Average, Everyday, Absent-minded Mom

***To quickly update my newest readers(hi!), I’m a full-time, single mama of a 2 and 3 year old.***

It’s like 52 card pick up, only it’s toothpicks and toddlers.

Today’s task to accomplish: Blow the massive piles of leaves littering our yard over the hill.

That’s it! Simple, right?! Right… *ahem*

Ok, to be completely upfront, this was yesterday’s task. I even promised. I failed. I could say it’s because I stayed busy all morning cleaning and organizing(truth), put the littlest down for a late nap(truth), and as I was contemplating whether or not the leaf blower’s loudness would wake the baby, my 3-nager, who’d just fallen asleep on the couch, woke up dry heaving(truth). His earlier complaints of his stomach hurting made me rush to his side, but not quickly enough(of course…). Couch, check. Shirt, check. Blanket, carpet, and mom’s cupped hands, triple check. I got him stripped, cleaned up, and the couch sprayed. I got him situated again, and then the littlest woke up. I said to myself, “Fuck the leaves.”.

After breakfast, flirting, and heaps of procrastination, I headed outside. I quickly decided I’d picked a really stupid day to blow leaves. It was drizzly and the leaves were wet, but at least it  wasn’t bitterly cold like it had been earlier in the week!

My snapchat account is only really used about once a week. When I do remember to check it, the munchkins normally demand to participate(because who doesn’t like to be made into make believe characters and have funny voices?!). Today, I decided to show off my greater intelligence, by snapchatting part of my leaf blowing experience. Immediately after, you guessed it, I lost my phone amidst the army of leaves.

Insanely stressed Randa was then on her knees, hand searching through a wet yard full of rotting vegetation. I got the ingenious idea to call  my phone. Here’s where that idea gets tricky…

1) The phone I lost isn’t connected to a conventional phone plan. I bought the phone secondhand online. I use it for its awesome picture taking capabilities and its ability to connect to wifi. When connected, it DOES have a texting/call app. I was hoping that the lost phone was close enough to the house to even pick up internet signal.

2) My normal cell phone was not only dead, but it doesn’t get service where I live. I seriously have to like stand on 1 foot with my tongue attached to a makeshift antennae with the phone precisely in a very specific spot in order to get 1 bar of service. Difficult to accomplish when it’s attached to a cord charging. 

3) I just recently downloaded the phone app, so I didn’t have my secondary number saved anywhere, including my other cell phone.

4) I couldn’t send a message(because charging and no service) or get a response to find out what my number was(is) in order to try calling it from the house phone. 

5) I have a toddler handled tablet. Which means it’s dysfunctional as all get up. I tried, and I mean, I REALLY tried to send out an S.O.S. to Facebook land in search of anyone who knew my “other” phone number. I couldn’t get past, “Hey, does anyone know my $$$%/”. No matter the direction I turned the tablet, I couldn’t get it to type numbers. This isn’t including the multitude of times I typed incorrect letters because the tablet is broken, and I couldn’t remember which direction the tablet had to be facing in order to backspace…

6) I gave up all hopes of finding the number and calling my lost phone.

I went back to being the frazzled looking woman wandering her large yard and inconsistently moving leaves/sticks/small mounds of earth around with her hands.

I’m sure I looked sane…
And then there’s the toddlers. Prior to me losing my phone, they were super good “helpers” outside. After I lost my phone, they were long gone inside reeking toddler havoc in the house. While I was trying to find a way to call my phone, they were busy hunting and gathering fruit snacks. They tried really hard to get me to open them, but I was on a one track mission to find my phone.

Sometime during my search, I decided the universe was possibly telling me to rescue Bella’s thorn imprisoned soccer ball from our long forgotten, late summer game. I also thought the universe(please read: my brain, possible Gods, higher spiritual beings, etc) was telling me this was a good lesson in not being so reliant/dependant on my flippin smart phone! I went and grabbed the hedge cutters, and went to town hacking the thorn bushes that were fiercely protecting the long lost soccer ball. I saved it! But my toddlers were now outside again, carrying unopened fruit snack packages. Oh shit, my youngest is barefoot! And I’m being hugged by thorns I previously cut down… I managed to accrue a few war wounds, hopefully didn’t rip any new holes in my winter coat, and brought the ball and munchkins to safety. Once I decided to stop being selfish and open my baby loves’ snack, I went back to searching, in the rain, did I mention it was raining?!

I FOUND IT!!!!!!!! Saved by the leaves from the rain. Hip, hip, hooray! 

Once I got my phone to safety, I realized I still had a task to complete…

With the tots waving, signing, and dancing to me from inside the floor to ceiling window, I blew, blew, and blew some more(leaves…). Oriana came outside barefoot again. She wanted a nap, but I was determined to get my chore done. I picked her up and continued on. I got a full body work out kicking and blowing leaves, while toddler holding.

I washed about a billion loads of laundry today, got zero put away. Argued intensely with headstrong toddlers. And still managed to feed them a semi healthy dinner(that was a fight, too). My youngest just passed out for the evening, and my 3-nager is still mad at life. 

Somehow, I managed to type this out. On my once lost, deeply treasured phone. I also transferred a yard full of heavy, wet leaves down the hill. I feel accomplished even though my dining room table is overflowing with clothes. *shrugs*

Child’s Play, A Story

Chapter 1:

I heard faint, play filled giggles as I hung the worn out dish brush to dry and turned the faucet to off. *drip…drip…* “Dammit, I need to remember to have Mario look at that.” I quickly dried my hands and wiped the seemingly endless amount of droplets off the counter top as I left the puddle of water to accessorize my new shirt. 
I tried to retrace my child’s footsteps. It didn’t take too long. As I continued to follow the distanced laughter, I shut off the buzzing ceiling fan and unnecessary light in the play room. I picked up a barbie who’s hair I cut off haphazardly when I was not much older than my daughter, a harmonica, and dirt streaked mismatched socks queen B had taken off prior to her newest barefoot expedition.
I knew I was rounding in on the infamous queen herself. I opted to creep silently, to give myself time to prepare. My gap toothed, curly~blonde headed, four year old, tiny tot was a brazen force to be reckoned with. She was as unpredictable as a full fledged hurricane deep in the throws of her fury but also as breathtaking as the heavy aired, distinctly rain scented, grey smear of portrait perfect clouds with the most picturesque rainbow peaking out as its golden ray accentuated centerpiece. Yes, she is the storm and she is the calm. She is my daughter. My Isabell.
***Dear readers, this is my first real attempt at a short story. I’ve been craving a new creative writing piece for several days, but with my full work and single mom schedule, I rarely find the time or energy. Today, would have been my dad’s 62nd birthday had he survived. I’ve been thinking of him off and on all day. This is in his honor. I’ll write at least one more chapter before I commit to my pillow for the evening.***

The Social Experiment

(imagine this as a spoken word piece)

Social Experiment

Shake hands, nod, smile pleasantries, and then, sit.

Face to face, shoulders and backs aligned, here we go, your eyes on mine, my eyes on yours.

Breathing nervously, breathing fast, breathing slower. Ever so aware, of my breath, of my pulse, of my very own heart’s rhythm…and now yours.

Nervous twitches in and of my mouth, fidgeting fingers, still ever so aware of my breathing…and now yours.

I feel the soft and slightly scratchy material of my retail bought “grandma sweater”. I wore in layers. For style, for comfort, for security. While holding on to the sweater sleeves as if my dear life depended on it, your piercing gaze was effecting me in more ways than one.

I felt as if you were seeing all of me, by looking into my eyes. In my mind’s eye, I rewound until you saw me as a mere child, creating appetizing mud pies and unbeknownst to my parents, making Barbies…kiss. You saw adolescent Miranda, in all her frizzy haired, pimply skinned, out-dated hand me down clothes, prepubescent glory. You saw my adult triumphs and my soul shattering weaknesses. You saw me fall, and then you saw me stand.

With a tear in my eye, and a shiny, skinned knee, I meet your gaze. Ever so aware of my breathing…and now yours.

I see the hidden stress just barely visible on your face. It’s in your expression, your posture, your breath. You’ve stayed strong for one day too many. No one really looks into your eyes anymore. Our society has made it taboo. Well, I’m looking now. Really looking. I see anguish. I see longing. I see need, and I see relief. I breathe in my awareness, and I breathe out yours. I see how the wind just barely tickles your hair into your face. You debate on whether or not to acknowledge it. In another lifetime, another moment in time, I would have had no second thoughts. I’d have lovingly replaced the hair back into its place, but we aren’t to touch, simply look… and breathe.

I see your face alight in laughter. I see joy, passion, and kindness. I sense your strengths, and I feel your worries. You’re a strong warrior, but even warriors need their wounds tended to and their cups refilled.

With dampened rag in hand, and a pitcher for your soul, I see you.

So very aware of my breathing…and now yours.

So tell me, what’s YOUR creative outlet?

Today’s question of the day was, “What’s your creative outlet?”. I was having a really “on” morning. Woke up on time, smile in place, make-upped, coffee high…just an all around feel good morning. So without social anxiety to creep up … Continue reading

“Catch” with T-Rex

Catch with 2 toddlers consists of a lot of dinosaur type poses. Picture an adorable, roly poly, flexible, one year old as said t-rex. Now picture her arms angled a little more outwards, lots of lead footed scampering, curly hair flying, giggles, and an endless supply of high, ear piercing shrieks.

Amidst this joyful game of “catch”, there’s strategy(I mean, duh, because toddlers…). Mostly, once my tie-dyed dino gets the pink bouncing ball back in her paws, an intense game of keep away ensues. There’s toddler babbles, toddler attacks(this includes slobbering and occasional bites), fighting over whose turn it is(it’s hard to play “catch” with a baby who won’t throw the ball), and laughing and screaming hysterically every time anything, anything at all happens. Oh, you dropped the ball, insert insane laughter. Oh, you’re running away, insert my wish for ear plugs. Oh, you’re an adorable, chubby T-Rex, I smile, which translates to you shrieking even more.

I love catch.

Posted in Uncategorized