How I Ended Up This Way's Blog











{October 14, 2014}   The Next Chapter

Hi everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog. My name is AJ. I originally began writing this blog in an attempt to work through some personal issues deriving from my divorce some five years prior. Not only did this blog provide a safe place for me to put words to the feelings I was dealing with, I believe this blog sometimes served as a life boat for me. When I felt helpless, hurt, angry, alone, confused and exhausted, I would turn to my blog and just write letting it all out. I immediately felt better emotionally, but I also felt mentally centered, if that makes sense.

It was also my hope, I would be able to reach out to those who may be feeling some of the same feelings I was dealing with. If I could help just one person know she/he was not alone . . . as I often felt, I knew it would be worth opening myself up this way. By the way, opening up, being so exposed, is not easy for me.

I wanted to find when and where I lost the woman I once was. The woman I loved. The one I had self confidence in. The woman I was before the end of my husband of 20 years walked out on me and our three kids deciding he “no longer wanted to be married”. I wanted to find the woman I knew was still somewhere deep inside of the woman I had become. I’m not proud of that woman. She was bitter, in so much pain, each day was a struggle, and she had given up on love completely. Hence the name of this blog. How I Ended Up This Way. It didn’t happen overnight and wouldn’t be fixed overnight. However, I knew it was within me to dig deep and rediscover the woman who believed in love and saw the world as a place to enjoy and experience life instead of something I would have to endure day after day.

As it turned out, from the very first blog post… I received so many stories from my readers saying “I’m in tears… this could have been written about me” or “I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I truly felt alone in the world”. Hearing these words, my pain fell to the wayside. I had a new mission. It was to do whatever I could, using my experiences, to reach out to help these lovely people not feel so alone.

Once my mission became clear, I was like falling back into my old self. By telling my story and some wacky stories along the way, I found the woman I had been searching for all along. To my readers and those who shared your stories via comments … I am so grateful to you.

As I make my way through the next chapter of my life, I hope you will continue to read my blogs and take this journey with me wherever it may lead me. We’ll share some laughs, maybe a few tears, but definitely encouragement that you are not alone in this!

Be sure to follow my facebook facebook.com/writerajcarroll (and like my Author page for updates on my novel Rightfully Mine)

And twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/WriterAJCarroll

Until next time…
AJ



{January 8, 2013}   Ode To Aunt Sue

Hey everyone . . . welcome.

It’s been a rough beginning of the year for me. We buried a dear soul Saturday; my Aunt Sue.  It’s been FREAKIN tough … no, it’s PLUMB HARD writing this blog.

See, anytime I was stuck on a blog, I’d call my aunt Sue. For some very ODD reason (uh, Teddy… imagine THAT!) my auntie could talk me out of any crisis . . . she had that soothing voice.  Whether it was my brother’s death (Tim), my cousin’s death (her son, Alva), another cousin’s (Alan) death or a minor crisis like writer’s block, Sue had the magic touch for me.

Yet, each time I sat down to write this blog about her, I’d end up bawling. Then I’d get frustrated, then I’d reach for the phone to call my auntie so she could use her “magic voice” and calm me, so I could focus . . . Then, I would remember. She’s not here anymore.

My aunt went home to the Lord on December 27, 2012. She lost her battle with liver cancer. Through tears, I am somehow writing this.

I can still remember her and her old blue Chevy. It was a 1980, I think.  I was around eleven or so when we all hopped in the back to go to the creek. It was me, my brothers and Sue’s two sons — James and Alva.  Sue was driving on a back road in hillbilly Arkansas, (I can say that because I LIVED there!) and she took a curve too fast just as her tire inched off the road onto the loose gravel. My little cousin, Alva, who was about seven or so, went flying over the side LITERALY. He would have died that day, if it weren’t for my brother Tim who had managed to grab him right in mid air.

But what do I remember most about that day? It was how shaken Sue was.  You have to remember, I was only eleven or so at the time. I didn’t have kids, didn’t appreciate the whole “life and death” thing because up until that point in my life, I’d never lost anyone close to me.

Us kids, we were all like “that was COOL!!! DUDE!!! YOU SEE THAT?!!!” God Bless the innocent ones. But Sue was FREAKIN freaked the hell out!!! Yes, I realize I used two “freakin” variations in a row, BUT it calls for it!  Well, now that I am a parent, I get it.

We all look back at that day and smile with appreciative love. That single event, affected me in many ways. At the time, of course we thought it was awesome. As I got older, it was not only awesome it was filled with amazement at exactly how things happened the way they did. It all happened in a mere fraction of a second and could have gone either way. As I had children, the fear of just exactly how close not only Alva was to being seriously injured, but we all could have gone over the side that day. Sue could have lost complete control and flipped the old blue. Now, as a much older version of the young girl in the back of that truck, I still feel every inch of awesomeness, amazement, fear and even enjoyment. We didn’t realize it at the time, but Tim didn’t save Alva. God saved Alva, through Tim. Just like God blessed me with my aunt Sue.  Therein, lays the joy.

Aunt Sue had many struggles and strange occurrences in her young life, yet she always stayed strong. I can hear her voice even now giving me advice.

                 Me : “Aunt Sue, how did you manage to raise James and Alva after Big

                            Alva was killed? I don’t understand how you can manage to live without

                            him.”

                 Sue :  “I don’t know, honey. You just do it.” 

I have always loved this photo of me and my aunt taken February 1971. So, now my beloved blog followers, I am sharing this photo of us with you. Aunt Sue, you are gone but never, EVER forgotten!

 

Sue 1

    August 5, 1953 – December 27, 2012

May we all learn to slow down as we are going through life’s back roads and not take the curves too fast. Just feel every emotion God gives you. You never know, what feels badly today may bring you much appreciation later.

Now, I think I’ll play some Charlie Daniels in my aunt’s honor. Then, maybe I’ll play some Hinsons.  Ya’ll be good, ya hear?

Ya’ll, let’s say we kick some CANCER butt?? Whadda ya say??

Til next time  . . . peace

AJ



{May 27, 2011}   You Are Mine

Hi everyone! Welcome back. I know, it’s been too long.

Most of you know my niece. I’ve talked about her. I’ve shown a picture here and there. She’s just  so adorable . . . everyone agrees. Well, I’m going to show you a little window into that baby’s world; as she sees it.

 

I’m going to call her Sasha. I’m not sure if her mom would want me to mention her name or not . . . plus, Sasha is a cool name. I could so be a Sasha.

Let me tell you a few things about her. She’s two years old. She has beautiful blonde hair, hazel eyes and a “conquer the world” attitude. Her mom is working with her on her colors. Girl doesn’t know them all . . . but dammit, she will ask for her “purple paci”. Purple, she knows.

My oldest daughter has gotten Sasha hooked on a group called Alice Nine specifically, the lead singer Shou. Or as Sasha calls
him, Sho-Sho. She is very adamant about her feelings for him. “Sho-Sho” is . . . and I quote, “hers”. End of story. You just have to understand this one thing; don’t mess with Sho-Sho. It doesn’t matter what she is doing, when she hears the group’s music, she pops up and goes into a daze watching them. Sort of like me when I hear Charlie Daniels.

She recently enlisted my daughters help in writing him a letter. Basically, saying general things “hi, what are you doing? I have a paci” you know, really important things. Alas, before the letter is finished, she had her own things to tell him . . . some of it she told us, some she kept as a secret. People, remember she’s two. I thought I’d share the letter with you. It sort of takes me back do the second grade and the “check yes or no” letters. Sasha’s letter is a bit more . . . well, let’s just say she doesn’t give the option of using the “check box”.

Dear Sho-Sho,

 

I like my paci.

Where are you? 

I love you.

 

You are mine.

 

Sasha

Ahhh . . . to be young again.

Until next time……Peace

A.J.



{March 15, 2011}   I Am One

 

Hello everyone! Welcome back.

I want to share something very close to my heart with you. I know I am usually spouting off about some random silly thing that has come to my attention, but this is a very serious concern for me.

Depression is a very ugly condition. It’s also a very common condition. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 6.7% of the U.S. population over the age of 18, suffer with depression. I am one of them.

What makes my depression so upsetting is most of the time, I don’t even know why it is I m depressed at that moment. All I know is that I am feeling down, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to do anything and I find it very hard to see the joyous part of my life. As much as I love to write, even that is difficult at times.

Depression is a real issue. It’s not a matter of saying “I’m not going to be depressed” and you are instantly feeling better. If only it were that easy! In my case, it’s a waiting game. I know eventually, it will pass and I will be back to my normal self.

However, I consider myself one of the fortunate ones. “Why?”, you may ask. Because even though I suffer through bouts of depression, I also have great times of enjoyment. A lot of people, who suffer from depression, don’t even remember a time in their life without depression and don’t experience that joy.

As I get older, I have realized what’s important in life and what is simply not worth my upset. I have come to really understand all things will pass. The good, bad and ugly – it will always pass. It only matters what we do during these times in our lives and how we handle ourselves. Are we going to just stay in bed as the depression wants? Are we going to make ourselves get out of that bed and make it through the day? My choice? Even though sometimes I have to remind myself, I choose to do something about it.

I will continue to get out of bed, be apart of my children’s lives and make a make my way in this world. Even when it’s the hardest thing I feel I can do at the moment.

If you suffer from depression, or know someone who does, please be patient with them. Show them support and encourage them to seek help.

“Whatever you find hardest to do, do with all your heart.” Dahlia Lama.

Until next time……Peace

A.J.



{February 21, 2011}   My Daughter Out Ranks Me

Most of my readers are aware I am in the process of completing a book called “Confessions 2 AJ”. Several of you have participated, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It will not be long before I have enough material to submit the manuscript for publication!

If you have already submitted a “confession” please, feel free to submit as many as you like! The more, the better the book will be.

For those of you that have chosen not to participate at this time, you still have time to change your minds! As I have promised you before, all names will be held under privacy protection. As a matter of fact, I will not be publishing names; even when asked to do so. And, I have been asked to include names by some people for their confession.

Anyway, my 14 year old daughter. . . where do I start? Although, she has her own way of doing things, she is sort of a mini me. She looks like me. Especially, when she was small.  She is athletic just as I was growing up (and still am). Even down to the way she runs; just like I did. My mom once asked me, when I was young, “why do you run like that?” Not sure what she meant by that, but I’m sure it was not a compliment. She likes most of the same . . . well, she loves Christian Kane. Need I say more?

My daughter approx. 3 yrs old

Me approx. 2 1/2 yrs old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to say, publically, to her: thank you for being my biggest supporter! I love you dearly and I am so thankful you find humor in your mom’s oh so warped mind!

Now down to business. My daughter is so very talented. She also writes. She is much more talented than I am because not only does she write stories, she has the ability to write poems, songs, even rap songs. Some  of her work, I have posted early in my blogs. The first one I posted, she wrote at age eleven. You should check it out, very poignant. It’s called “The Unknown” posted on July 22, 2010.

She is writing a book. Did I say she was 14?! There is a site for teens where they can go and share their stories with other teens. And yes, I read them as well; I keep a tight reign on what sites they visit.  

I am 40 years old. I have some fans/friends. I hate saying “I have fans…” It sounds arrogant to me. But, my daughter has fans. WHAT? Yep, you heard, well, read me right. She has fans. Fans that ask her to read their work and give feedback. Fans that say, “When are you posting another chapter?” She will post at least one chapter at a time. They tell her how much they love “so and so” and how they can’t wait to see if “so and so” will get together with “whoever”. They have actually fallen in love with her story and the characters she has invented. How cool is that!

I knew she was talented and had the ability to be a great writer. What I didn’t fully understand, is she would be implementing that ability this early in her life. I am extremely proud of her and would be, no matter what she chose to do. However, it is incredibly amazing to see her realize this particular talent and actually chose to use it. Can you imagine what she will be able to accomplish? And so much earlier than I have or will. As wonderful as all this is I must admit I will forever see her as the wonderful happy baby shown below. Always the peace maker, she was.

 

I fully expect to, one day, be out ranked by her in the writing world. And you know what? I am just fine with that.

Until next time……Peace

AJ



et cetera