Knowing When To Say Good Bye

Thirteen  years ago, after an epiphany which occurred on a ferry crossing the Puget Sound, I heard the voice of “God” and decided to move to Washington D.C. instead  of San Francisco. The voice said “Go back home and see if the family you ran away from when you were 15 are the same “monsters” you then believed them to be.”

At the time, I heard that “voice ” I had been living in Nantes, France and had temporarily returned to Seattle to litigate a case.  To lure me back to Seattle, my clients agreed to let me stay at their Bremerton, Washington beach house and use their spare Jaguar, and of course, a bunch of money. This was why I was on the ferry, in the first place.

That voice was heard in June.  I returned to Nantes, France in August and left a month before my lease had expired. By October 03, 2003 I  landed at Dulles Airport. I had  a tiny amount of cash, no place to live and no license to practice law-nada. Needless to say, this was crazy, especially after my mother would not allow me to stay in an unoccupied home she owned in College Park.

Nevertheless, within hours of my arrival I had found a room to share in a ramshackle apartment building near P Street NE. I don’t recall where that apartment was because as I was walking up the stairs to my “new home” my niece, my mother and my Aunt showed up to take me in.

I lived  with my Aunt for five months. During that time I was seeking non-legal work, a whole new career as a lobbyist or perhaps something completely outside the area of law, while simultaneously obtaining a license to practice law in Maryland .

These  transcontinental and cross country moves were the result of needing to say goodbye.  My first goodbye was to my second husband who left the day after Christmas in 2001 and has never been seen since that day. He was divorced in “absentia ” , a process that took two years and which bankrupted me.

Seattle, my second goodbye, my dream city was where two divorces, a drug addiction and the loss of the custody and visitation with my children had occurred. When 9/11 happened it  awakened me to dreams and life issues which I had yet to resolve-like with my parents.

9/11 reminded me that death could come swiftly and unexpectedly and that  I had better give up my illusion that I still had plenty of time. I had wanted to live abroad in France . A month after 911, I  advised my employees of my desicion to close the practice , letting them know they had a year or less to seek other employment.

I physically moved from  my office in downtown Seattle and took no new clients for a year.  I literally walked away from a luxury condominium over looking the Puget Sound and a German automobile and flew to Paris in the fall of 2002 and then to Nantes where  I pondered life.

During that time in Nantes I began writing about my life, which 12 years later resulted in a novel called “CRACKED ” and where I am today which is refining my book tour.

These days, and I mean recently, I am saying goodbye to the practice of law and easing into my last phase as author/ lecturer.

The road from Dulles Airport in 2003 to the present has been rich in life experiences. Some of these experiences have been painful like the deaths of my husband , two close friends and my father. Each experience has forced me to grow and to become wiser and resilient. I have been humbled and brought to my knees and I have been helped up and helped out.

Finally, (at long last) the puzzle is complete and I am ready for new adventures and more fun and I remind myself that detours from one’s  passion or purpose for the sake of convenience or ease are usually costly and not worth the time, which brings to the photo in the blog.

In 2005, a large hospital group became interested in hiring me as their spokesperson. It was  not  the kind of position that I wanted, but instead of saying no I put myself through this poorly executed audition. It killed any hope of getting the spokesperson position, and my sloppy “what the hell”  approach killed off any chance of a legal position.

Don’t do something you don’t want to do;  if do it, do it well and know when to walk away and bid farewell.

Brianna

 

 

 

What I Thought I Knew About Happiness Made Me Sad.

I am a “participant” in a Seminar called The Happiness Seminar which was created by Landmark Education, a world leader in transformational education. I put quotes around the word participant, because  I have only listened to the recorded Seminar rather than participating live. The fact that the Seminar is conducted via internet and recorded and made available will grow the audience for this valuable emotional education.

My listening to the first and second sessions to this Seminars has provided me the tools with which to generate happiness regardless of the circumstances in which I find myself. This is a bold statement.

From the first session of the Seminar, I accepted that I was functioning under the falsehood, fallacy that I was not the source of my happiness. When stated so simply, our only response is “Duh, of course,” but we don’t, at least I had not been living my life as the source of my happiness. My circumstances and my interpretation of those circumstances was what decided whether I was happy or not.

In the second session of the Seminar, I learned that I was n’t really present to my life. I have come to believe that being present to life is relating to “it” with all of your faculties. Often times, I have been in my head instead of out here in the world.

As I continued to reflect upon my thoughts about happiness, I also examined how “happiness” occurs within my body. What I found was that when I considered myself happy,  I  crinkled my eyes, my breathing and heart rate increases and I feel a profound energetic connection with what is occurring. increased rate of my heart and breathing and a deep  emotional connection to the moment.   I believe we are  present when we interact with the world using both our minds and bodies and all of our senses.

Perhaps most startling and valuable was that  I discovered that I had linked happiness to sadness.  I had unconsciously been applying my “formula”  for what made me happy to the events that were happening in my life. This convoluted linking of happiness with sadness was the result of some the crazy beliefs that I had made up when I linked happiness and sadness. First belief about happiness was that “happiness was best shared.” This belief ruled out ever being happy unless I was with something.

Another one of my beliefs about happiness was that “the happier the moment, the sadder the sad moment.”

As a result I remained in a default state of subdued happiness and mostly irritation and anxiety. Pretty sad.

These tears of joy seemed to accompany every great moment of my life from the birthing of my two children to my graduation from law school and to many happpy events in my life. So, this link of happiness with tears had been around for a long time. A prime example of such a moment was when I got married to my late husband, Delgardo Darby. If you look closely at my face in the picture below, underneath that big smile is a tear-stained face.  

By realizing I had made this link between happiness and sadness, I have an opportunity to choose to make other connections both emotionally and mentally. This could be possible if I choose to believe that I was the source of my own happiness. This is good and exciting place to be. As a result of these insights I have had a very happy week.

I don’t know what I will discover in the next five sessions of this Seminar, but I will share what I have learned. I end with the realization that happiness occurs in brief moments, the trick to life is to string as many as of these moments of happiness together as often as possible.

What have you told yourself about Happiness? Answering that question for yourself, may set you free.

(The photo which I open this blog entry is  an example of my future relationship being a couple of cares for each other in the most fragile time of our lives- now that is a reason for Happiness. Here are photos another created happy day in my life. )

A LOOK BACK ON JEALOUSY AND ENVY

My Dear Readers,

Four years ago, about this time of year, I went into a tailspin caused by my addiction to a man who I thought I was losing to a younger woman. What I had done was drive over to his home unannounced- thinking I would find him with the woman that I feared he was interested in. He was alone and shocked that I had driven to his home.

As a result of what I call a “drive-by” I began to question my understanding of what love was and was not.

The premise of jealousy is that you the jealous person can be replaced. However, we all know at an intellectual level that we are not fungible or replaceable. But tell that to a person in the grips of jealousy. As one author put it “jealousy is like trying to stop a moving car on ice”. The following story  exemplifies a time when I was both envious and jealous.
I was dating a man to whom I was addicted to or some would say that I was codependent with.   My husband had died. I was fearful of being alone. I was scared of living alone. I was afraid that I would not know how to financially take care of myself and that I would end up homeless, man less and on the streets of Baltimore. So to say that myself esteem was missing is an understatement.  The worry of caring for my late husband, who I had idolized both in life and death had worn me out and aged me. I was depressed. I brooded and I had extreme self-loathing of   my aging psychical self. At the same time, I was a pleaser and caretaker that I had always been. Taking care of my dying husband had made me more so.Dave the man who I was dating was the perfect “temporary” guy. . He was a little in awe of me and the kind of man that I felt was “safe.” No one was going to claw their way to get to him.  While I verbally berated Dave, inwardly I was desperately afraid that he would leave me for a younger woman because there was a 7 year age difference between us. Automatic behavior kicked in and I waited on Dave’s every need.  Yet, I did not receive the kind of acknowledgement that I had received from my grateful and dying husband. Dave responded in the way a teenager is pleased with finding himself with a B rated former sex star. The more I catered to Dave, the more I loathed myself and projected that loathing on to him.

So, here’s what happened. It was in mid-October four years ago. Dave had been busy running his small underfunded business. He was swamped and overwhelmed. He and I had not seen each other for a week, which was unusual. He had called every night explaining his absence and for six days I had pretended that his absences were ok. In the meantime, Dave and his single young attractive female colleague with whom he worked had been spotted spending a lot of time together. This caused me suspicion. This young woman who I had always believed to be in love with Dave, was incredibly accomplished and had been honored with the highest honors of her profession.

With a second malicious report of spotting them together reached me and when Dave had not shown up that week, I was at high alarm. I was sure that he had taken up with her. In my madness of jealousy I put together disparate incidences of times that they had been together and I was jealous. I was being replaced by some young nincompoop!

When on the seventh night Dave had begged off, I got into my car and performed a “drive by.” The angry knock on the door was necessary. Dave opened the door and was puzzled.  Hadn’t he just said that he was not feeling well? Why was I there? When I told him my suspicions, he said that they were completely unfounded.  And then he made it worse and said that even if he was seeing her, that he and I did not have an exclusive relationship and that he didn’t have to hide anything from me. This was fire on gasoline. I called him every ugly name. Dave never raised his voice or was loud. He was simply amazed to see what he thought was such a put together woman falling apart. He offered me water and I could see the pity and alarm in his eyes, which shamed me even more. My ego and I had no place else to go, but to stalk out and leave him. But as I did so, my heart was breaking. I realized that I was totally out of control and it wasn’t about Dave, it was about me.
I had gotten lost and afraid. My erratic behavior had scared me into realizing that I needed to find myself; to re-invent myself. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done. I had to learn to like myself. I had to learn to live alone. I had to learn to take care of myself on my own for myself. The journey to finding myself or finding the beloved within myself is the basis for my second book, which is tentatively named “Twisted”.
I have set myself on the path that is right for me. I have accepted myself and know emotionally that love is within and not found without. I also learned that someone’s attraction to another or desire for another does not lessen me in any way. At my most secure self, at your most secure self, you know your intrinsic worth.  The first step in anything is awareness. When you catch yourself being envious pay particular attention to what and who you are being envious about. Then ask yourself, “Why is it that I feel that I cannot attain that?”  Before you get to the point of insane jealousy ask yourself why you are jealous of that other person who is trying to take your place? Perhaps the question to ask yourself is “Where is my place?” These are not easy or short term skills to develop. However, understanding that envy and jealousy relates to our own lack of self-esteem might provide us with the necessary next steps. Remember it’s not them; it’s you.
Signed,Brianna S. Clark
Your Fellow Journeyer

HOW MY ROTTEN CHILDHOOD GAVE ME THE GIFT OF RESILIENCE

My Dear Readers,

When I was 19 my  favorite song was “Diamond Girl” by Seals and Croft. The first line of the song begins Diamond Girl-you sure do shine.  I heard a live version of the song when I was 19 and the song was introduced like this “My Baby is Sharp, Hard and Expensive.”  I took that line to be my mantra.

Years later when in a therapist’s chair- this after my stint in drug rehab- I asked my therapist why do some children survive abuse and do okay and why do so many others become statistics? My therapist told me about a study conducted in Hawaii. The study was called the Kauai Longitudinal Study. This study  traced the developmental paths of a multiracial group of children who had been exposed to chronic poverty, chronic family discord and parental psychopathology. The study followed the children at different phases of their lives from ages 1, 2, 10, 18, and 32 years of age. The study began in 1955.  Why did some of these children thrive and others just survive? The bottom line answer was that the children who managed to survive their early childhood trauma had the ability to engage and resilience.

So what is the ability to engage? To put it simply engagement is the ability to get someone’s attention. The children who “overcame” their early childhood trauma were able to engage someone to help them. That’s it. It took getting somebody to pay attention to them, to care and take corrective action.

Throughout my life I have had people who were willing to engage with me. As a child, the engagement of caring adults saved my life. Those caring adults each took  action that got me to the career counselor in high-school -who found the lawyer who filed my case in court and where a judge emancipated me when I was sixteen.  That was a lot of caring by a number of people who believed my story and believed in me.

The other aspect of survival for those of  us who come from less than fairy tale homes is resilience.
The definition of resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and to come back stronger than ever. That’s what had happened to me as a child. I became resilient out of the pure desire to never let my parents believe that their behavior was ok with me. It was not. It never will be.
Therapists agree with me “Resilience seems to develop out of the challenge to maintain self-esteem.” This occurs because survivors draw boundaries between themselves and troubled parents.

Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient. Among these factors is a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. These qualities allow people who attain resilience the ability to change course and to soldier on. At the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself- which is the one thing that I have always had. I believed in me when no one else did. The other piece of resilience is the belief in something bigger than oneself.  I shared that belief as well. I believe in the inherent goodness of people, despite what I saw and experienced on a daily basis.  I also believed that someday my experiences would help other people and they have.

While some scientists argue that resilience is inherited others say it can be cultivated. I believe both are true. Some people do differ in their ability to handle stress better than others. Some people because of their trauma lose their ability to handle stress, but if one sees oneself as capable and competent it is possible to survive the darkest times.

Evidence shows that its not really until adulthood that people begin to surmount the difficulties of childhood and rebuild their lives. As Hara Estroff Marano writes in her article “The Art of Resilience”  “Resilient people don’t walk between the raindrops; they have scars to show for their experience. They struggle- but keep functioning anyway.”

Marano continues to say that ” A troubled family can indeed inflict considerable harm on its children, but resilient people are challenged by such troubles to experiment and respond actively and creatively. Their pre-emptive responses to adversity, repeated over time, become incorporated into their inner selves as lasting strengths.

As an adult I can say that I have cultivated insight. I have the mental habit of asking myself hard questions and finding honest answers for myself. I take charge of problems and I stretch and test myself. I am glad I have done so. I hope that  others can learn do so as well.

With Light and Love,

Brianna S. Clark
Your Fellow Journeyer

GETTING TO PERFECT

My Dear Readers,

Scott Peck, psychiatric medical doctor and author wrote is his book “The Road Less Traveled”  that EVIL can be defined as anything that takes away from LIVE. In other words, anything  that takes away from life and living is evil. Let’s sit with that for a moment.

These days it appears we need umbrellas even on a sunny days. What do I mean when I say this?
This weekend we heard the Republican nominee say sexist, ugly statements about power and money. There was no-one that I know who found joy in discovering that a man who has come so close to becoming president of the United States speaks the way which was uncovered this weekend. On top of all of the negative political news this weekend, which was punctuated with a tense televised national debate, there was Hurricane Matthew who had left Haiti devastated- again. This is what I mean when I say even on sunny days we feel we need an umbrella.

Clearly, our nation is at a cross-roads. There are many Americans who feel forgotten, left behind and disenfranchised. Our next president will have to address these national issues and the many issues facing international communities, nations  and continents world-wide.  In these moments and times, what do we as individuals do to stabilze ourselves, our lives, in what seems to be an unstable and disintergrating world?

I have pondered the answer to this question for many years and here’s the answer: Get to perfect.

Here’s how I got to perfect: The universe is perfectly designed. Things happen either good or bad- which is an opinion- not a fact. For instance, rain can be good for the farmer, bad for the bride with the outside wedding, etc.  So, regardless of our opinion things happen.  There are some events which are generally considered bad: murder, racism, child abuse, elder abuse, animal abuse, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and sunamis are all generally considered bad or evil or natural disasters. “Good” tends to be more diverse and includes all things sourced from Love.

Getting to perfect requires an acceptance of the current, immediate “now”  and a willingness to do something about it; or disprove its sense of being all pervasive. In an every day practice getting to perfect requires an acceptance of things like traffic; rain when you want sunshine; heat when it is cold; cool when it is stiffling hot and the willingness to accept that’s the way it is right now. It doesn’t have to be “that way” forever. What can you do in the mean time? What actions are required and appropriate? Asking and answering these questions put us into solving the issue rather than wallowing in our frustration, anger, dissapointment and inaction.

I suppose getting to perfect requires flexibility, the ability to pivot and options. The level of which one has the ability to  pivot, to be flexible and to have options determines the ease or quickness of getting to perfect. Worrying or agonizing about what you cannot change is a receipe for frustration. Acceptance of what we cannot change- like weather or traffic- is the first step to getting to perfect. Oh, I’m going to be late. That’s perfect because… I can’t go outside and garden… perfect I can now clean out that drawer, closet, the refrigerator. I admit, it’s not always easy or possible to pivot and make another choice or take another action or make an alternative plan. You can choose how you feel or react, even better yet you can pivot from the negative emotion even if that’s your first reaction, it doesn’t have to be your continuing or final emotion.

Getting to perfect is not a form of denial. Denial requires a refusal to accept reality. Getting to perfect requires an intimitate and close up relationship with reality inorder to pivot quickly and effectively.
I think the greatest value of getting to “perfect” quickly is not spending a lot of time in anger, dissapointment and suffering from wanting something that clearly is not going to happen- at least not in the moment. When one plunges into despair or rushes to anger, declaring “It’s perfect” allows these emotions to dissapate faster. From making a declaration of “perfect” allows for the new and unexpected to be created.  In fact, declaring “it’s perfect” creates an unexpected future in which to live into.

Try it the next time the unexpected or the unwanted occurs. It may seem  an empty statement at first, but over time declaring “it’s perfect” opens the door to the new, the different, the unexpected that one discovers from pivoting and choosing what is in the now.

With love and light,

Brianna S. Clark,
Your Fellow Journeyer

photo credit: www.digicrea.be – Analog & Open Source Photography <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/128124352@N08/28849755361″>Friendship</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

ITS BEEN A HARD DAY AND NIGHT

The photo of the female Episcopalean priest is an example of the inroads women have made in all professions. This woman and I met in a coffee shop and I took the photo. In opposite is the picture of the 12 year old  Afghan child bride. I am saddened that young girls are being married off to become wives when they are still children. According to the International Center for Research on Women, one third of girls in the developing world are married before they are 18.  One in 9 are married before they are 15.

This week was revealing to me about me. This week I took off my mask, showing my audience what I looked like make-up free. Equally illuminating, is the persona, the person who I present to the world which is reflected in the selfie of me in sun glasses on my way to work this morning.

I dealt with people in various forms of crisis. I had to portion out and balance how much I could give to each. It is wisdom that deals with competeing needs. I did something which I have not done in the past, which was ask for help.  I am particularly proud that I took care of myself. I ate well and I excercised and got at least six hours of sleep each night.

I am grateful for the friends who came to my rescue this week, even though all of us knew that all I needed was the knowledge of the team behind and before me and  by each side.

I had accepted several challenging commitments, each within themselves  possibly overwhelming.   I performed at my heighest level of possible performance. I am saddened for some of the choices that I had to make for the good of the group. Those descisions are always hard.

There are uncountable challenges in the world today. Find the best in  your life.  Hold on . Add to it.  Give some away. Share.

Let’s keep striving.

With light and love,

Brianna S. Clark
Your Fellow Journeyer

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

My dear fellow Journeyers,
Today on my 60th birthday I am renaming this blog “myfellowjourneyers”.
I began writing this blog  at 3 o’clock in the morning, because  I have been unable to fall asleep.  I had many thoughts about how this day would look like. What it looks like is I am awake for the first three hours of my birthday. I had expected a 12:01am birthday wish  from a special person. It did not come. It’s a new decade. So maybe he will surprise me with flowers when I enter my condo later today. But that didn’t happen either. I am not sad. I realize that my circumstances have changed. But it has nothing to do with my birthday.
I had hoped to spend the day at Ocean City a beach I  became acquainted with when I was 13 years old. I had fond memories of that beach with my older sister and I hoped to return with new eyes on my 60th birthday .  But it’s raining and my plans to go to the beach have not occurred because the weather did not comply.
Instead I am going to take the best care of myself  today. I realize that  what happens and how it occurs is truly in my control. So I’m not sad. I’m not even disappointed. I have simply taken note of what has happened and pass no judgement either way. This is perhaps the best gift I have given myself.
 I had hoped to post a picture of myself in a bikini on a beach somewhere with a big smile on my face. That didn’t happen.
  One of the things I have learned is that life  does what life does .I’m glad to be able to take care of myself and to live the life that I have.
 Over the next year I hope to educate reflect  and inspire  each of you and perhaps to inspire myself .
I want to thank everyone who has wished me a happy birthday. I want to especially  acknowledge my dear friends of which I am so blessed to have and my family members who love me even when I am unlovable.
With all my love,
Brianna

A VIEW FROM THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN

 

VIEW FROM A MOUNTAIN TOP IN ASSISI, ITALY- August 17, 2016
PHOTO BY: Brianna S. Clark

My Dear Friends and Readers,

Today our blog is a one year old.  During the past year the blog had 10,000,61 views.  Thank you  all, my loyal readers and friends.

During this year, I have grown in all aspects of my life. This blog began on my return from a trip to Paris last year. After that trip I had gained 3 pounds, had over-drafted my  bank account and couldn’t afford to turn my cell phone on.  I had to use my sister’s credit card, which she had inadvertently left with me.

I was so embarrassed by my out of control and irresponsible behavior regarding money that I wrote about my shame publically in my first blog and vowed to do something about it.  In 2015 I had  $2,310 in overdraft fees. The prior year I had $154 of overdraft fees. This year $77.  Not perfect, but certainly in the right direction.

Also, last year right after I began the blog my father died.  His death marked the end of my hope that my father would have apologized for his illicit, immoral, damaging sexual abuse towards me.  He died without ever being able to say my name.  In retropect, I did not give him the chance to say he was sorry because I stayed away from him the entire two years that he had been living in a nursing home.  I visited him once on Mother’s day in 2015. He had had a stroke that left him unable to speak. This was exactly what happened to his mother, my grandmother. The next time I saw my father he was unconscious and on life support. I stood with my four siblings and my mother and aunt while we watched him officially die and pronounced dead.

The funeral and its preparations brought out the worst in some of my family members. Powerful emotions were in play towards this man who had hurt so many. During the days leading up to the funeral, I refused to participate in any planning of my father’s funeral. I did not care about him in life I did not care about him in death. I left what ever had to be done to those who felt that he had not harmed them or those who felt duty bound. I did not.

Not only did I not want to participate in his funeral arrangements, I wasn’t sure I wanted to attend his funeral.
It was only on the morning of the funeral did I decide to go. I remain grateful for my friend Jeffrey who drove me to the funeral services and left me in the gentle caring hands of my older sister, Beverly.

A gracious thank to my sister, Beverly, and her husband who shared their anniversary dinner with me on the evening of my father’s funeral. It was our way of ending a sad and bitter history.

My 59th year would be highlighted with many firsts and growth opportunities:
1. a proof version of my book, Cracked.
2. A health scare that led to a permanent diet change.
3. A fledging legal practice in Baltimore
4. New friends and deepening of friendships.
5. A greater sense of independence
6. Financial stability and responsibility.
7. Speaking engagements.
8. The  beginning of my new book, Twisted.
9. My trip to Italy with six other women.

It has been a great year.  In the next week I will be reformatting my life and this blog.  How the blog will change will be a process of collaboration with friends and paid collaborators. My intent is to create a blog which educates and entertains.  Stay tuned.

I close with love and good vibrations and growth to all,

Brianna S. Clark
The Addict Writes

I DID NOT WRITE NOTES

My Dear Friends and Readers,
I loved everything about the Democratic National Convention. I really loved the last night, however there was one speaker who created some angst within me. That speaker was Chelsea Clinton.

 I listened as Chelsea Clinton lauded her mother who was First lady and Secretary of State and Senator from the state of New York. I cringed   as I heard Chelsea relate how her Mother wrote notes and put them in envelopes with the dates on them so that her daughter could read them in her absence.

From a personal standpoint I never had a mother who did anything  like that for me. For those who never knew their mothers or lost their mothers, there was an unknowingness about what Chelsea was talking about. I was envious. In comparison, I had fallen remarkably short as a mother. I also realized there are millions and millions of mothers and daughters who had no idea about the kind of relationship that Hillary and Chelsea seem to have. How were we to relate to this fairytale mother daughter relationship? Were we simply left to wonder what this kind of relationship was like and imagine what our lives might have been had we had a mother anywhere like Hillary Clinton?

I realized that Hillary Clinton had a lot of help  being a great mother.  If every mother had someone to drive them everywhere;  if there was someone to prepare your meals; clean your house do the laundry and the dishes you too could have had the time to write those little notes  so that your child could read them on each successive day of your absence.

 To all the mothers out there who felt that  they could not keep up to the standards of our Presidential nominee First lady; Senator from the state of New York, forgive yourselves. It is a hard World out here for working mothers.  You are  the one doing laundry, making lunches, cleaning the house and driving your kids.There’s little time for writing and doing special things. That doesn’t mean that you’re not great. You are the norm, Hillary is the exception. For every kid who  wondered how come their mom wasn’t like, Hillary, I know your mother would have done the same thing had she had all the help and all the staff that Hillary Clinton had. I ask that we put Chelsea and Hillary’s rerelationship in perspective. As we look   and evaluate the roles of mother and women in these days and times, it’s a hard life out here for  women and mothers.

While I’m glad that the relationship of Hillary and her daughter was not damaged by Hillary’s public life, all mothers should be held to the standards of the circumstances they are in and not compare or judge themselves to Hillary Clinton or any other mother in circumstaces different from yours.

Love,

Brianna S. Clark
The Addict Writes

GOOD BYE RAG DOLL

My Dear Friends and Readers,
The above photo is of my mother and all of my siblings.  It was taken in 1964.

When I first arrived from my country of birth,Guyana South America, I was four years old. My mother made most of our clothes. They were easy to make clothes with elasticized sleeve bands, an elasticized neckline and elasticized waists. She usually added a piece of lace around the neck or the sleeves but for the most part our dresses were fairly simple.

My first experience with needing a dress came when I was 5 years old. I was chosen to be the Sugar Plum Fairy in our school’s Christmas play “The Nutcracker.”
I was scared when I got that role and I decided I didn’t want it, partially because I was scared but mostly because I did not believe my mother could make the Sugar Plum Fairie’s costume,so I gave the role away.
I took the role of the rag doll. The rag doll wore a simple yellow dress with patches on it. It was not a speaking role and I/she lay on the stage half upright for most of the play. As I sat there and watched the Sugar Plum Fairy I had moments of regret.

Since then I have been very concerned about my clothes and my appearance  in general. As soon as I could work I got jobs in clothing boutiques. However, I  realized that my then salary of $2.20 an hour would never allow me to buy  the beautiful clothes that I sold. But that’s another story for another day.

Since I have been a widow for the past six years it is only on the special occasion that I dress up. It is only on the special occasion that I wear my jewelry. It is only on the special occasion that I put on makeup. I intend to change this. I am going to dress as beautifully as possible every day of my life for the rest of my life. Why not?

I invite you my readers whether you are male or female to begin to take a special pride in the way that you look.
In this generation of jeans that hang below your butt, leggings, sweats and other casual wear “dressing up” is a way to stand out from the crowd. Today I am announcing I’m bringing well-dressed back. I hope that you will join me in a special effort to look your best  each and every day no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Send photos. I promise to post some of my “everyday” outfits.

With all of my love,

Brianna S. Clark
The Addict Writes