His face always had a smile on it. Curious to what troubled me, he always seemed to have a solution to any problem I came to him with. When I think of adjectives to describe him I come up with: handsome, cheerful, smart (oh, that is a big one for me), caring, thoughtful and just so easy to talk to. Ernesto was his name and this is the story of how our relationship came to an end.

By what means do you normally judge a person? I ask that both rhetorically and literally. Think about that for a second…

…seriously, don’t be a jerk. Take a second and ask yourself how you deem whether or not someone is a good person. I can wait…

We meet new people just about everyday. From our brief interactions during trips to the grocery stores to the people we see for eight hours a day, five days a week at work. I have no doubt that all of us adjust our “Judge” filters accordingly. When you see a person in the checkout line all thugged out. The filter most likely is set to minimum. Allowing only the vague face value information to register in order to make a quick assessment. Whereas maximum filtration is used when decoding a fellow employee. You know outside of work they wear their mohawk and piercings with pride. While you think nothing of it, because the suit and tie work attire you see them in five days a week, prevented any prejudices to form allowing you to get to know them in an uninhibited manner.

Is this a bad thing? I like to think it isn’t. Our filters exist and are calibrated so, to allow those of our preference to enter our lives for the better. If we are to trust another human being, a more scrutinized observation must be made of them. Which is why I feel we are more open to hearing out those who we often share a close proximity with. Rather than a fly-by judgement of those we meet on the street or in the womens lingerie department (I am talking about you creepy jacket in the middle of 82 degree weather-man standing worryingly close to me in the Victoria’s Secret store, staring intently while I check out the new Angel’s stone encrusted lace push up!!!!!). As we look for companionship of any sorts, we dig deep, break through the apparent, and stave off the obvious just so we know whether or not we should allow an individual to become someone we desire to be around. Sadly, some filter all people at all levels solely based on race, sexual orientation and other no true character-related qualities. There doesn’t seem to be much we can do about them. But hopefully the “Asshole Bill” I keep suggesting via emails to my local senator can be introduced sometime in the near future.

It is at this juncture that we allow ourselves to take our judgements and either bestow or withhold the trust needed to maintain a healthy relationship. It may be at this point we call these individuals our friends. Which may also perpetuate the trust further allowing for feelings to develop into something more. Or, just maybe bring forth so much trust that you seek them out in your times of need. That when they speak, their words bring comfort to a distraught mind. And as you welcome the strong embrace of everything you originally assessed them to be. You let go and allow yourself to be comforted by their fortitude. All while they take control and help the world make sense again.

Ernesto was that kind of person…

I met him by means of random encounter. It was a clear bright day and though Albuquerque was traversing through the end-trails of Fall. The brisk air and low arching sun made for a comfortable Autumn midday. I had pulled over in need of a tire change when low and behold, a strange man emerged from the business I had pulled in front of. It is easy to guess that Ernesto is who I am speaking of. The surprise for those who know me will be that I relinquished the duty of a simple tire change to someone other than myself. (On a side note- One of the few things my dad did for me when I was young was teach me to never be afraid to pick up a wrench or a hammer. Under my father’s direction, I was taught how to change tires and what applications particular parts play in the operation of a car’s engine. I consider myself rather capable.) However, it was one of those circumstances where I had no need to say a thing. With every bit of assurance, he took charge,  made the change, smiled at me and disappeared just as soon as he made his presence first known.

Truthfully, I was taken back a little. He was charming, reassuring and there just to help me. As I began my descent home, I was briefly caught in a fantasy of sorts. I wondered if I would see him again. Thinking about what kind of person he really was and whether or not I would someday be able to get to know him more. I was ready to engage my next level of filtration for a person I had spent no less than ten minutes with. It was a little weird, but I had my heart set on seeing him again.

As the days passed as they tend to do. Ernesto ventured further and further from my mind. Only the observations of the routine checks of my tires would bring back the memories of what happened that Autumn day. Upon recollection, I would entertain the thought of once again driving into that very same parking lot where we first met. Curious to know if Ernesto would be there and as eager to help with any issues I had.  

Those too were just mere thoughts that went just as fast as they came.

That was until one day, I was on that very same road pulling into that very same parking lot in need of rectifying a very familiar problem. Was it fate, not really. I knew I had a tire on it’s last leg. I knew where to go if I needed help…and so I went and he was there.

We actually had a chance to talk this time around. Exchanging tidbits of information with one another. The conversation felt as genuine as one with my best friend. Every bit of the encounter just seemed organic and it made me feel at ease. Again a tire was changed and again I was on my way to my intended destination. This time though, I had a phone number with me and promise that if I ever needed anything, he wanted to be the one who would be there for me.

To be honest I never felt bad for using that phone number for what he asked me to use it for. Whenever I needed something, I would go to him and he would make everything better. It was a mutual thing between us. He got his and I got mine. Never upset with the outcome and he was always happy to see me just as I was to see him. I felt as though our relationship had gotten to the point to where I could really trust him. I had run him through my filter and I felt as though my judgement of this man was solid.

It was at the pinnacle of our relations that something drastic happened. I needed help and the only one I could think of to turn to was Ernesto. I knew he would be the one to help make things right, help solve the problems and make all the bad go away. It was the latest that I had ever called him. He didn’t seem too bothered by the time and urged me to come over. Part of the predicament was finding a way to get to him, but I was so headstrong that he was to be my knight in shining armor. I did what I normally wouldn’t do and hailed for a ride from someone I didn’t know just to get to him.

He laid out a plan to be followed and with his charming smile, told me everything was going to be okay. I was worried; I knew what had happened was going to be costly. But under Ernesto’s direction, I agreed to his plan and felt a little more at ease considering what had happened.

A few weeks later I had adjusted to the changes that resulted from my earlier misfortunes. It was around that time that Ernesto had called me to inform me that he had righted the wrong and what cost I was to incur as the result. To be frank, the cost was money. He needed it in order to finish what had been started by his means to solve my problem. But it wasn’t the only news he had for me. He needed more dough. He explained that he had essentially opened pandora’s box. That more problems were discovered from attempting to solve the initial one.

I was devastated. I was looking forward to getting my life back to normal but things just seemed to go from bad to worse. I had handed him over $1,900 to satisfy the first problem but just as I did that he asked how soon I could get him the $200 more to start mending the next. It was going to take some time. Christmas had just passed and money was short, but I had no doubt that he still was to be my hero once all the dust had settled.

A few more weeks had passed and I met him to deliver the money. He seemed content at the moment but a concern was in his eyes that I had never seen before. He wasn’t much for conversation that day. So I went on my way daydreaming of positive things to come. But it was short lived.

A phone call from Ernesto a few days later confirmed a suspicion I had lingering in the back of my mind. He was at odds with the task he had volunteered to mend. The money I had given him had ran out and he needed more. $2000 more to be exact.  Not just that but he wanted more time to finish what he started. It had already been two months and my day to day was becoming increasingly difficult to manage…my faith in him was beginning to falter.

At this point in time, he had involved himself so deep into this matter that I had no choice but to continue to trust him. He had to finish what he started there was no turning around at that point. Each subsequent phone call did nothing more than strip away at everything that bonded our relationship. Arguments began to happen between us, spurred on by my growing distaste at the reasons he fed me and his now much harsher tone. I was seeing myself become angrier as the days went on. Not just with him but with everyone around me. This was affecting me a lot more and was encroaching into other areas of my life. Family and friends who knew of Ernesto’s involvement all had an opinion. And as much as they were trying to help, all it was doing was making matters worse by aiding in the erosion of the trust between him and me.

It had come to the point that I could not trust anything Ernesto was telling me. I had to get someone else involved – someone I knew would have my interests at heart and not be operating on their own agenda. The feedback was not very comforting. I was informed that Ernesto was telling me the truth as to what needed to be done in order to finish what he started. But the cost was another story. The amount of money was questionable. Yet,  there was little that anyone could do now. Ernesto was in complete control of the situation… I was at his mercy and he knew it.

He had destroyed my belief that all people have an inherent good within them. That when the chips are down, heroes will emerge from the unlikeliest places. I looked to him to be my hero. I ran him through the judgement gauntlet and I felt as though I had placed my trust in the right person. I WAS BEATEN… all while he was holding my well-being ransom for the remainder of the amount he had asked for.

As budgets were adjusted to meet the demands of Ernesto. I was hardly able to enjoy any comfort in the matter. The light that began to flood the end of this deep gloomy tunnel reflected nothing more than gloomy skies. For I knew that my next encounter with Ernesto was to be my last. Oh, how it ended with such a display of fireworks.

Three and a half months and $3100 later it was over. I hated him, I hated myself, and I hated who I had become because of it.

I sought out clarity by means of conversations with someone very dear to me, my mother. She was the neutral party in the whole matter and never let her opinion bias what advice she gave. She helped me realize that the trust I had placed in him was valid. That I should never doubt my abilities to discern the viability of an individual. And that trust will remain until MY view changes of them, but, even when that view changes and the trust dissipates, the other party’s intentions still may have been pure.

It was my evolving perception that ultimately changed the dynamics between Ernesto and myself. I realized that as our encounters, interactions, and circumstances changed, my initial judgement of him was no longer valid, though I had originally scrutinised his worth with heavy filtration. Once the trust began to dispel into oblivion, I abandoned the means to properly asses him and started to judge him utilizing only very broad and bitterly acquired data. I can only assume that he had done the same with his changes towards me.

It is with this revelation that I now carry around a slightly bruised ego. I blindedly let myself and others shape my outlook of another individual who was doing nothing more than his best to help me out. It may not have been done within an acceptable cost or timeline. However, in the end, everything was rectified and my life was able to resume back to normal. I should have taken a second and realized that Ernesto was doing nothing more than what he felt he was best capable of.

I would like to think now that most everyone in this world views their efforts as genuine. Aside from the occasional idiot with a gun and a fucked up mindset, there is little out there that would prove that “we the people” go about our day with intentions to hinder the growth and prosperity of another individual. Ernesto proved that in the end. Once I refiltered everything about this man. I realized that, in summation, he was a great mechanic after all. My car runs beautifully now.

Advertisements

For the record I am a terrible gardener. Both literally and metaphorically speaking.

Kristle has always been the one with the green thumb. I don’t think I have the patience and dedication to nurture something that I will eventually view as lunch.

Cultivating the land…………..ugh that would hurt my back.
Planting the seeds…………..why dig a hole that you are just going to bury
Watering the sown land…….you are watering dirt! Doesn’t anyone realize how silly that looks.
Caring for the sprouts………I refuse to sing to something that can’t clap for me afterwards.
Enjoying the results…………Yummy SALAD on a beautiful lush green lawn. That shiz be good with ranch!

Even still, I can see the reasons for it.
You get something very tangible to enjoy out of a lot of hard work, dedication and patience. But as I see Kristle toil in the soil. I can tell she gets so much more out of it. Something less tangible and more rewarding. I can see how she enjoyed the journey, fought hard when things turned the wrong color and stuck it out till the end anyway knowing that there is more to it than the final results.

This being the literal viewpoint, admittedly my garden would be hard pressed to grow weeds.
Oddly enough, my metaphoric garden has seen it’s bits of non flourished rough patches.

Everyone, I am sure, has heard the idiom, “The Grass is not always greener on the other side.”.
A very dear ideology I have kept with me to remind myself that running away would not be the answer to any of my problems. One that I have adhered to for most of my life.

That was until I moved to Colorado in attempts to run away from my problems.

(That’s right!!!! It is time for a flash back!!!!!)

At the time I was dealing in a High Limit room enjoying all what life had to offer. I had a great schedule, I felt appreciated at work and enjoyed what I did for a living. Things at home were amazing as well. Kristle and I had purchased a beautiful home that both her and I were very proud of. (Seriously, the house is awesome!) And we had welcomed our third bundle of joy into our lives making us a family of five.

I was hard pressed to hold any malice towards any given day. Our “grass” was beautiful.

That was until things began to change at work. Nothing that could really be controlled by anyone one above my position. However, the action was starting to become sparse and the amount I earned began to fluctuate dramatically. As a career blackjack dealer, our earned income primarily consists of tipped wages. Comparatively speaking our hourly wages are a muse for the most part. So for us to maintain an income, we need patrons to visit.

Much like a domino effect, home life began to feel the strain of the wildly changing income. It never got to the point of us doing without food or shelter. Yet, the happiness started to slip away. We had to tighten our belts (not because we were starving) and start making every dollar count.
In addition to ongoing family problems between other family members. Kristle and I had decided we need to start looking for solutions.

At the point where our issues were seemingly at a head. The wind had brought word of vast fortunes to be had in the land to the north. The gaming industry in Colorado was growing up and was beckoning for experienced dealers. Though at first the thought of leaving our home seemed enough to stop any further consideration. Every proceeding paycheck and continued flares with family was a distroutfilled reminder of our “wilting garden”.

So with an ass load of reluctance. I went against the very ideas I stood for and we ran away.

Our story of getting to Colorado was traumatic in it’s own right. (<— Link to previous Blog). But, even after we were established. This land of opportunity wasn’t exactly working out like we thought it would.

I was quickly reminded of the wisdom I had overlooked in the “never back down or run away” mantra I had ignored.

To be nice, the industry was unique and I was hard pressed to conform. The money was consistent but no where close to what was promised during the interview processes. I was resentful at the fact that things seemed to go from one disappointment to another. Nothing was comforting about our new location and bitterness was oozing out of every one of my orpheus'. (eww).

I went from an established patch of grass with a few sprouting weeds to a fresh plot of barren dirt. Our garden back home may have been on life support but it was at least familiar and comforting.

My tantrums continued for about a year and a half all to no avail. It finally dawned on me that the grass can’t be greener if you don’t put in the hard work to make it so. Taking a small recount for my actions prior, I became embarrassed by how I acted. I resolved to make an effort of sorts and started to branch out more.

I made some friends and started being active again by running and training for a 5k. I joined an adult co-ed kickball team, even getting nominated as the teams female VIP. I also started going out more with people when I was invited and started inviting others to share random good times with.

Kristle and I even took this chance of solitude from family to reconnect with one another (that story saved for a future blog).

Even with all that, it wasn’t the same as when things were back home. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the friends I made and even started enjoying my day to day again. Except, all I could do is compare everything to things back home in Albuquerque. Nothing seemed to satisfy my desires (except Kristle, cause she’s hot!) and the thoughts of home reeked of that familiar feeling of “things would be much better if I was somewhere that I am currently not”.

Though we knew that our stay in Colorado was not to be permanent. My lust for going home became my new talking point amongst my new circle of friends(for that I apologize everyone). But after three long years our experiment was over and we made our way back home to Albuquerque.

(End Flash Back….wooooooooooooshhhhhhhhhh, time machine noise)

It has been six months since I have been back home. I have a maintained my dealing career by establishing myself at another casino. We are once again settled in our amazing home and Kristle and I are still madly in love.. Am I happier to be back…yes very much so.

However…

My old friends have moved on with new relationships and different jobs. The time we once used to hang out with one another has gone to other efforts. Even though my family has been my biggest constant since my return. All our hobbies and habits have now turned into something bigger. My sister is now a professional boxer, my brother is now a local recording artist and along with all my projects (#projectCJ) we are all focused on all our own pursuits. Needless to say, we are all busy to the point of not being able have random get togethers like years past. Everything has to be planned and scheduled. Yuck, we are such adults!

I have this slight feeling of deja vu. This disappointing sense of again working with a fresh plot of dirt instead of rolling around in familiar grass. Apparently, just as the time had passed for me in Colorado, the same was true for everything I knew back home. Though I returned with a warm welcome from all my family and friends. So many things had changed with-in their lives that the “warm fuzzy in your pants” feeling of home I had yearned for was not exactly there. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to express disdain for my life post Colorado. I guess I was expecting something more grandiose.

This recurring ill perceived notion of “greatness comes with drastic change” has helped me to take a second look at what I actually had going for me in Colorado. I realize now that I actually had some green grass growing in what was my plot of dirt. It was lush, wonderful and it was worth all the effort I had put into it

I regret not figuring this out while I was out there. I can only look back and think about all the opportunities I missed out on because I was convincing myself otherwise. Was it the same as back home, no, not by a long shot. But now I understand it wasn’t anything less to value. I feel that a slight update for an old idiom is in order. I hope that some of my readers take this into account…

The grass isn’t always more vivid on the other side. It is simply just a different shade of green.

~~Cute Janessa~~ @cutejanessa

Thanks for reading everyone! I love all the support in the reads, comments and shares!!! Now I have a question for all of you. In the comments below, tell me about the great things in your life you may be overlooking. Or about attempts to run away from it all and if it worked out or not.

As adults we pride ourselves on our ability to be inDEPENDent. And those of us who have young kids can easily witness the desire for one’s inDEPENDence. But have you ever stopped to evaluate all what you DEPEND on during the course of your day. How much of it is a bonafide DEPENDency and how much of it could you do without if it was gone tomorrow. Pose this question to any individual cognitive on the matter and as sure as shit smells like poo they will say, “well, it DEPENDs…”.  (study conducted using a “pew” poll) :p

I tend to find it arrogant how individuals assume a stance of total self reliance. For some reason, we have developed an ideology that we throw out the humility and make attempts to prove we can do everything ourselves?

Scientific studies in evolution show that we adapt certain behavioral traits as means to better a species development, increase survival rates or to conform to the ebs of the creatures surroundings.

But why though, what are we actually proving and what benefit are we gaining from this facade?

Maybe if we act as though we can do it all ourselves. We are able to trick our minds into achieving the impossible. But isn’t that what the credit lenders have been doing to us as a societal whole? Creating the illusion of wealth with extended credit. To say it nicely, that shiz has worked out just as well as this man’s promotion of Mr. Mitt’s  campaign.

Have we simply created the illusion of a life, where we can callously go about our day without acknowledging the fact that we depend on so many people and mundane luxuries to make it palatable?

As for myself, I believe I have come to confront this concept in action once or twice. Not to mention, the negative side-effects of not acknowledging the respect that these ideals deserve.

(Flashback sequence) (Special Effects) (Noises)

About three years ago, my lovely leading lady Kristle and I decided that we should try a new approach in the ways of earning a living. That approach involved a move from our humble home in Albuquerque to the unknown, rural, savage land of Denver.

We had done everything to try and prepare for our departure. Along with our eventual return back home. Those plans included; securing a job for myself, seeking residence in our new local. As well as finding suitable tenants for our home in Albuquerque. We loved our house so much that we wanted to make sure we had someplace special to come back to.

Everything went as planned except for one major thing. We were not able to find a renter in time for our departure. At the time, Kristle’s source of income was an in-home daycare business. If she had decided to move to Denver with me, we would be lacking her contribution to the finances. As well as still paying for our tenantless home back in the Duke City. We had come to terms with her not having a job in Denver. But not with the additional burden of a mortgage.

Arrogant that we would be able to handle things better going our separate ways. I made my way to Denver, leaving Kristle in Albuquerque to maintain her business. This was to be until we resolved the issue of finding a reasonable suiter for our home.

My partner and I were separated from each other for the first time. Granted we have taken short trips away from one another before. But this length of time was at a magnitude greater than our foundation was registered to handle.

I never realized how much more I had to do to care for myself. To put it nicely, I enjoyed the likes of cereal more often than just breakfast time. There was more to it than that though. I found I was lost during the course of my day. An upheaval to my inner tranquility had taken place. The hugs, the kisses, the meals, the snuggling on the couches and all the things she silently did for me were now deafeningly absent.

We were all too confident that the house renting process would only take a few months at most. Those few months soon turned into six. Then those six months turned into a nightmare.

Kristle was the love of my life. We were two women that found each other as opposites. Yet, we managed to create a symbiotic life of love through the wake of cultural taboos. I kissed a girl and I liked-ed it.

However, despite our love, our social triumphs and all our plans It seemed that it wasn’t enough to stop what was becoming of our solidarity.

What happened during that time frame…
The separation shocked the very dynamics of our everyday lives. We began to learn how to go about our day to day without each other. Our DEPENDencies changed…we had lost a connection we had spent so many years creating with one another.

It took me awhile to figure all that out. We had survived so much as a couple in the past. It was such an eye opener to what a half’s year time apart could do.

Gratefully, I can report that our relationship survived and is thriving till this day. Kristle still is the love of my life and we once again have learned to DEPEND on one another for love and support. However, this whole ordeal changed our relationship.

…It changed me.

(and scene)(End Flash Back)(More Noise)

Admittedly, I often find myself settling into a groove when things become too familiar. So at times,  I am no exception to the list of those who negate the existence of all that we depend on.

But as with most of my epiphanies, they are usually inspired by life events being their cute little selves. By “cute” I mean “Life Changing Mother Fuckers”.

And the most adorable event just played itself out during all of last month. One which helped me revisit these very thoughts on DEPENDencies. Though the contents of the events would make for intriguing reading in it’s own right. I choose to limit specifics and create a veil of anonymity for the two beautiful little lives that were involved.

I will say this on the matter though. Kristle and I realized we would have done anything we could for those two. If it came to it, they would have been welcomed into our family with open arms and lots of love. Even though doing so would have changed our outlook on what we thought we DEPENDed on for a life of happiness and prosperity.

The marvel of this whole experience is the realization that children don’t have much to prove. They live very unadulterated lives when left to their own devices. Kids are not afraid to let it all hang out. Especially when it comes to the things they DEPEND on. They show it with their eyes, their hugs, their cries and their smiles.

It isn’t until an outside influence comes along and takes that bit of innocence away from them. Then they become like us adults, scared and too proud to admit that we all have DEPENDencies in one way or another.

I wish all what had transpired as of late consisted of a more favorable ending. We did what we could in the best way we knew how. And will forever be there if those kiddos need to DEPEND on us again.

Still, I am humbled by lessons revisited by another life event being “cute”.  With that being said, I plan on making efforts to express appreciations for dependencies fulfilled. Till I need to be reminded again at least.

Mind you, I don’t think I could handle converting into a self-reliant twig eating naturalist. The leafy green toiletries would not jive with my sensitive outlets.

~~Cute Janessa~~

Thanks for reading everyone! As always I enjoy the conversation about the topic at hand. In the comments below. Tell me about some of things you depend that you feel you couldn’t do without if it was gone tomorrow.

Amongst the household noise, the music, the I love You’s and the wonderful sound of children’s laughter. There is one other absolutely amazing thing heard so very often within the walls of my home…

“Argh, damn it Dela, you piece of shit dog! Quit peeing in my fucking house!”

Sentimental isn’t it.

Yes the joys of owning a pet for some are quite, well…joyful. And for the most part I share in those joys more often than not. Dela Mae is a beautiful Australian Shepherd mix, affectionate and very smart. Her energy is non-stop and possesses the characteristics of the breed I have always been so fond of. But ever since we decided to bring home our four pawed bundle of pee, I mean joy, we have dealt with countless chewed up possessions, fence jumps and uh umm…”accidents”.

-RANDOM TANGENT RANT (RTR)-
“Accidents”, really, who the heck named them that. This two year old (estimated) kennel adopted (cause I am a responsible hoe) dog (pee factory), knows what the heck she is doing (Angry Face). She has two pee spots that she enjoys using for the sole purpose of watering my carpet. Each one carefully chosen to avoid detection no matter what room we occupied. So by no means would these be considered accidents. Being mainly Australian Shepherd, her intelligence has been our biggest enemy.
-END RANT-

At first, we granted her adjustment time. Figuring that the trauma of being in a pound for seven days, just being fixed and then thrown into a new environment. She was deserving of a few get out of jail pee cards.

But then it didn’t stop. In addition to the aforecited problems, I started to feel my affinity for our new family member begin to falter. Not wanting to grow any resentment towards Ms. Dela Mae, we stepped up our efforts to get our belle house broken.

Timely walks-                          check
Kennel kept-                            check
more timely walks (5am)-     check
no water before bed-              check
Anti-puppy-pee spray-          check
untimely walks-                       check
still pee’s in the house-          check

It came down to this, make Dela an outside dog or find a new home for her. Two options I just didn’t want to see happen. So I decided on one last option-

AN INVISIBLE FENCE  (Insert Echo Effect Here)FENCE FENCE FENCE FENCE FENCE…

Partnered with a doggy door, I assumed this option would solve her jumping the fence and also allow her to venture in and out of the house to do her business. All on her own time.

The cost for everything was a bit much and it took about a day of labor to dig the trench that circumnavigated my backyard. The doggy door was simple enough, except that the one purchased was for a entryway that was much taller than ours. After a few modifications to the puppy-pee-portal, testing circuits and burying copper lines, I was done.

Now for those of you who don’t know how an invisible fence works here is the four uno uno on that shiz.

Dog is fitted with collar which is battery powered and contains some sort of sensor.
Boundary is created with copper wire.
Dog approaches boundary, transmitter uses magic to detect copper wire and emits behavioral correcting shock to dog creating awareness of newly set boundaries.

Of course curiosity got the better me and my kiddos. And with the battery now half drained from us shocking each other into uncontrollable giggle fits. We equipped our hairy family member with her SPARK-ly new necklace and proceeded to monitor her reaction.

As per the pamphlet’s instructions, I gave her leashed walks in the backyard, treats to show her what areas were “safe” and lots and lots of affection. Most importantly though, give it time to work.

Initially, Dela was still her stubborn self. I witnessed her power through the electric force field to freedom as she bound over the fence. I heard her yelp at the pricks when she attempted all known exits when she thought no one was around. I even found her begin to dig in the middle of the yard seemly looking for a safer escape route.

I wanted this to work so badly. I began to lose sight at what it was doing to my dog. It started to dawn on me that the whole experience just down right scared her. The first few shocks freaked her out yes. But then came the refusal to leave the house all together. The exact opposite place I wanted her to be. Locking the doggy door and bringing her back outside provided more of the same…a frightened puppy.

The backyard was now her enemy, annoyingly, it became mine as well. With her new refusal to have anything to do with the outside world. Her pee spots quickly became her poop spots. Dela took her newly shrunken world very hard. The few times when she was alone out back, our adjacent neighbor notified me of Dela’s presence in their yard. Not happy to be playing with their two dogs, but frightened trying to get inside the house.  So, still jumping the fence and desecrating my carpet I almost lost it…but as instructed I gave her time.

After a while she lost her energy, her zest for life…she wasn’t my Dela anymore. She moped around, didn’t eat much and was a shadow of her former self. I thought I broke my dog and I had a feeling that not even duct tape could fix her.

Slowly, she came around. She seemed to have come to terms with her new limitations and began to emerge from her forced upon funk. I started to see my happy tail-wagging puppy again.  But all this made me begin to think a much bigger thing had unfolded right in front of my eyes.

Dela Mae being a dog, had no idea what happened to her world. To her, one day the world was open to her. As long as no one was watching she could do anything and go anywhere she wanted to. Then out of nowhere she was blindsided, and fight it as she did, her world as she knew it had ended. Or so it had seemed…

I have come to the conclusion that she emerged from her funk for one very good reason. Dela realized that this single event would not stop her from being who she is.

-She adjusted, she overcame and she found herself again.

It is with these thoughts that I realize our own worlds are not very much different from Dela Mae’s. Things happen, boundaries are set and shit just sometimes sucks. But how we deal with these matters and the things we learn from them defines our character. We all can take notice to Dela’s victory over adversity. Either you painfully pass through the electric fence, you cower in your safe place, or do it all and emerge from the funk albeit a little wiser.

My admiration for my dog has grown ten-fold following these proceedings.Though she leaves us the occasional pee-present. Dela Mae gave me, and my carpet, a break from the pooping. Happily the fence jumping has ended as well. She’s my puppy again!

Seems as though my dog and I taught each other a few life lessons with all this. Taking a step back, I can recount many Invisible Fences in my life that seemingly popped up out of the blue. Proudly, I can say I emerged just as Dela has. A little shocked and all the more enlightened about the world around me.

~~Cute Janessa~~

http://www.twitter.com/cutejanessa

http://www.youtube.com/cutejanessa

*****For the record, I am not trying to be an advocate for this route of animal training nor was it my first, second, third or fourth choice in the matter. This was decided after many discussions with my other half. We are not dog trainers nor do we pretend to be. We tried what we knew best when it comes to housebreaking a dog. Along with many other suggestions from friends and family we couldn’t find anything that worked for our Dela Mae. I may be making light of the situation but truthfully we felt as though this was our last option before we sought a new family for her.

Happy birthday to me!!!

Well, not exactly. Happy birth-month would be the most accurate way to put it. I am rather late in telling myself congrats on surviving another year, but I think I can forgive myself. As the title implies, this months marks the 29th anniversary of my birth. This year marks a particularly special year for myself for reasons that barely make sense to me. I will make attempts to fill you in on why…

A bit of reflection is in order in order to completely bring my thoughts full circle.

Years back…I did dumb stuff.      ~~Fin~~

Okay, well maybe more details then?

I was a daredevil to be succinct. I loved pushing boundaries, my own manly. I was a good kid growing up, hardly ever strayed beyond the confines of my mothers wishes. However, oh man did I love exploring and adventures. My excursions often possessed a local flavor really. It wasn’t till I owned a vehicle that I started taking the liberties of travel a little more for granted. In attempts of being less vague here are a few habits to note.

I was a climber, that was me. Houses, trees, buildings, mountains and anything that looked like it could provide a challenge. So as a young-in, skirts were never much a preference.

I rode the skate parks. I was no x-gamer but I rode vert (common skate park lingo meaning Ramps with vertical walls tapering towards the edge of the ramp). It was enough to give me a good little buzz and gain rep among the other skate park nerds.

I rode everywhere, I had a bike as my initial means of transport. I knew Albuquerque inside and out. Alleyways, backstreets and freeways were my means of passage. Yes, I said freeways…

I pole vaulted. A defining part of my youth as a daredevil. In a not so modest way to put it, I was good. Best in the state and traveled to represent said state two years in a row among other athletes in the southwest. If you have never seen this sport, first you are missing out. Second here is a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTZoHjCz-qc. Watch it, obviously I am not in the video but oh man I just heart watching that shiz!

My life post graduation (and sadly, post pole vaulting) was more of the same.

You know those backstops at baseball parks that protect crowds, cars  and spectators. Ya, did a handstand one of those.

You know the Damn Del Hover, (that’s mexican for Hover Damn [I am Mexican, so internet rules allow me to use that joke]). Ya I did a handstand on the edge of that.

Various other things around the city. I had a very amusing picture of me atop the Carlise stop light at the Gibson intersection. There was a lot of honking going on. I am sure I gave plenty of people water cooler stories that day.

So ya, that was the short list of dumb stuff I did. More so, that is some of the stuff that defined me. I was never popular in school, I say school because that unpopularity rein began in Elementary and ended my Junior year of High School. The few friends I had just egged me on. I hung around guys mainly, not to out of sorts for a tomboy. It did make for some every creative interactions when we were bored of my normal daredeviling. But it was me, Janessa.

Now let us return to what this all means. Of all my live fast thoughts I had. There was one that has been bouncing around my head since I began my daring feats.

That being, “I never see myself surviving beyond 30.”

Why 30, eff I don’t know. But the thought was strong in my head then, morbidly, very much so still now. The thought lingers still and every day’s end brings me closer to my perceived  expiration date.

Deep down I know it not to be true and the Atheist in me just gives me the stink eye whenever the thought passes through my mind.

It is a weird thing mortality. I am not afraid of dying and if my end is near so be it. I think I scare my other-half with these thoughts more than myself. Strangely, I have been motivated by the thoughts of my passing.

Enter blog. I want this year to be documented in some way. If for some reason I was clairvoyant about my death I want to have fun with it. I want to share with others my inner thoughts. Maybe give my kids something to look back at and see what kind of person their mom was at this point in her life.

So for the remaining 11 months I have left. (Joke) I will blog what matters most to me. If all goes according to plan, I will also translate these passages to my YouTube channel.

Hope you all are ready for the ride!

~~Janessa~~