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.


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.

  1. Patsy Blea says:

    well I am not to sure what to really think sweetie, to be honest with you, it really did’nt catch my attension for long, I love gardening and stuff like that, so i was like cool something i know about…but i found my self going back to reread it, and still just not feeling it. I understand you dont have it green thumb…but there is just so many ways to say that, all the explaining was quite boring. But who am I to judge it, I love to read funny things, and stuff that makes me laugh out loud, or makes me cry inside. reguardless it is your story, and your lessons, and will look forward to your next blog…

  2. Amanda says:

    I really enjoyed reading the blog post today. You really helped me today. I have been feeling so overwhelmed with life and just the daily tasks of being a mother. Your blog and the tragedy that happened in Conn. has helped me look at what is really important in my life and not take those things lightly. Thanks for such a great post and a reminder that everything isn’t always greener on the other side, but we can adapt and accept what we do have and make the best of it. Love ya girly!


  3. Rilla says:

    I can relate. I had a similar experience with my first marriage. I moved to coastal Georgia from Alberta and spent the entire time home sick and missing my friends. We moved back to Canada after 2 years, but it just never felt the same. I had changed and grown, my friends had their own lives and there wasn’t much room for me anymore. It was disappointing and actually MORE lonely than living in GA. At least in GA I had the fantasy of going home. Being home felt a little too “real”. I ended up moving to a third new place and this is where I’ve found my niche. I love the beauty of the area, I met and married my true love here, my son was born here. My dad, aunt and uncle moved here too. I’ve made some wonderful new friends. BUT, it has taken 5 or 6 years to get to this point. You can find that contentment where you are if you keep looking forward and not focus on what was. Make some new friends, get some new interests. I took knitting lessons which led to me joining a crafting group, and I now have a close group of girlfriends I hang out with all the time!

  4. Hilary says:

    excellent blog j-bird. truly moving and sings to my soul. i had a similar situation dealing with my “garden”. growing up in the same house, same neighborhood, same everything for 18 years, my garden was overflowing with the most wondrous flowers, trees, and life, one could imagine. it was home. i never had to worry about anything really, except for the occasional broken tree branch or weed.

    when i left home to move to massachusetts for a year, i still took my garden with me in the form of blades of grass. i didn’t want to move my entire garden because i wasn’t sure if mass was going to be the right place for me or not. i wanted to test the waters. (it was my first time spent living away from home.) however i still kept a bit of home with me. i may have dropped a blade here or there, but i never dropped any roots, so coming home to atlanta was a no-brainer.

    when i arrived back “home”, my garden was dead. it had become overgrown, broken down, and confusing. my childhood house had been sold. my mother had already moved out west to begin a new life. my high school friends had gone off to college. i was alone and at a loss. i knew i wanted to stay in atlanta to see if i could adapt to the changes that were so dramatically different from what i was used to.

    so i began to tend to my garden. i slowly took back control of the overgrown weeds and broken pottery. it started to become beautiful again. then i left it alone for a few weeks and i lost it once again. i then knew atlanta was not my home anymore. i had to leave to get my garden back for good. moving out west, as my parents had done, was the one thing that truly blossomed my garden almost back to it’s original existence. i am now where i am meant to be, for the moment. the flowers are growing again. the animals are running around. and the fountain actually works!

    there are still some changes to be made here and there, however that’s life. everything changes as some point, you just have to be willing to change with them, and accept those changes for what they are. (i wasn’t when it came to atlanta) so yes, the grass may not be greener on the other side, but it could just be hibernating. so while a barren plot looks “dead”, it may still have some roots of beautiful flowers. just water them a bit and see what happens.

    remember, you can always go in and change everything. all you gotta do is plow the land 😉

  5. celcyus says:

    Wow, believe me when I say that this post has been exactly what I’ve been needing to read! I’m from the Bahamas, and back in 2006 I moved to Canada, where I still reside. Fast forward to current day and still its kinda rough in regards to finding that group of people you can relate to. I figured a visit back home would give me a quick fix of the social interaction I was longing for but it didn’t turn out that way. Like yourself, upon returning I came face to face with the reality that my circle of friends from the past had moved on. Some to pursue other interests, or just to move on to another circle that were more to their liking. So I returned back to Canada, not sure of what I should do, and hoping my 9 – 5 would be enough to keep my mind off of the ever-absent social aspect life. Things have gotten a bit better since then, I’ve found a handful of people that have been real welcoming to me which I’m real happy about. However, in my “dark times” I erected a wall and now I have to work hard to break it down so I can be myself when people are engaging me and not retain a defeatist mindset. Reading this post has reaffirmed my stance in that it’s gonna be hard to make these social connections here, I just have to keep at it and never back down!

    Thanks for being an inspiration!

  6. ZazuMove says:

    Here we are… I admire your courage to go back at home! I think of it since one year and a bit more perhaps, but since one year I’m aware of it. I came to Italy in 2000, got married, became 2 wonderful kids and it seemed that I was going to settle me after some long hard years. But all has changed, I’m separated and remain nearby alone due to that all our common friends remained with my ex. However, untill now I do not really know if I go back to my home in Germany. After all these years many things have changed also there and most of my old friends have left Germany too. So, after reading your post, I will take time and make a decision, starting a pro-contra letter :). Thank you for sharing your experience! Sunny greetings from Italy, Katharina

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