What Did You Know About My Father?

Do you know what a complete stranger could learn about me in a matter of minutes?

They could learn my name, where I live, that I hate vegetables, what my favourite movies are, how long I was in my last relationship, the size of my feet, what colour lipstick I wear and even what I’ve been feeling lately. In all honesty they could learn more about me than anyone who I would physically invite over for drinks would ever know. Note: this is not a rant about the horrors of social media and the intrusion of our privacy. Screw it, I really don’t care.

But as I started thinking about how much I put out there about myself, the more I started thinking that, good or bad… I actually like putting that much personal information out there. Without knocking on someone’s door at 3am telling them that I am contemplating my existence, I can write it, post it, reread it. Call me naïve but I don’t have concerns about my identity being stolen or being stalked. Perhaps that would change if it happened (knock on wood) but I digress…

I enjoy being a warts and all type of person. It’s a huge step for me on a journey of self acceptance (ohm). It allows me to be brave, it allows me to analyze my faults, to open myself to criticism. I’m by no means perfect and the internet and social media could be the ideal place to pretend that I am. Air brush my photo, write statuses and tweets about how everyday I am extremely happy, manufacture fake achievements, pretend to have more friends than I do, just… be perfect. But see…. not only do I not actually want to be perfect in reality, I don’t want to pretend to be perfect either. If you are at all privy to my musings, blogs, social media, emails, whatever… you will see raw emotion, you will see hurt, you will see mistakes, arrogance, low self esteem, naiveté and self doubt. Every day. Of course I don’t want to inspire mass suicides so this will also be mixed in with joy. But when I feel it. I feel like, if you want to know me, then KNOW me. If you don’t, well delete me and while I obsess over why I was deleted, forget me.

So as I thought about how I revel in the big picture I paint for myself on the world wide web and in the minds of those around me, I randomly thought, what about my dad?

Ok let me explain that more. I was thinking about what it would be like for someone who shared nothing?

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My dad is older, in his seventies now and he does not understand social media nor does he want to. He is intensely suspicious of it like a lot of his generation. So there will be no status updates from him anytime soon. But beyond that. I’m his daughter, and I know barely anything about him. I’ve seen him cry twice and we never talked about it. I don’t really know what he likes, what he hates, what he wants out of life. I don’t know what scares him, what gives him joy, what makes him reflect. Sure I could tell you what he watches on TV, maybe what his favourite meal is. But if you asked me to paint a picture of my dad, my canvas would be more like a puzzle than anything else. Missing many pieces.

Realistically, he is in the twilight of his life. My sons are going to ask about him when he’s gone. And there is no person, no reference and certainly no website that could tell them what they are going to undoubtedly want to know. I realize that there exists an older, more stoic and reserved mindset. But what does that leave us in the end?

So you could argue about the pros and cons of living a public and very open existence. You could talk to me about privacy and decency and ego. Talk to me about how this phenomena has shaped our culture. Say, back in my day, yada yada yada….

But when I die, my children can look back and know who I really was, flaws and all. Maybe it’s a good thing, maybe it’s not. But I lean towards the former when I think, what does anyone really know about my father?

 

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Of Great Value

You know when you realize how important something is to you right? When you lose it.

You may think you know, you may believe that you understand and respect the importance of a thing but it’s my belief that it’s a failing of human culture to take things for granted until you no longer have that luxury.

I lost my best friend. In fact a lot of spectacularly shitty things have occurred since I wrote anything last. For fear of a negative diatribe that would be splattered all over social media I just restrained myself from venting. I mean hey, a few bitter status updates may have slipped out as I’m only human. But now I write because I lost my best friend.

So like I was saying, I could have gone on for hours before this happened about how I realized how important he was, how special I knew he was, but until today when he was 100% completely gone I had no clue that he possessed such a large piece of my heart. And that I would be so lost without him.

I’ve been through bad relationships, I’ve been through violence, I’ve been through hard work, poverty, and I’m raising kids which is it’s own special kind of hell and heaven mixed together. But I always had a best friend. That person I call at 2am. The person that can look at me and know that something is bothering me. The only one person in the world that can reach into my worst hysterical emotional panic attack and drag me back into my safe happy place. For god’s sake the man built my happy place.

Why did it end? It doesn’t really matter. Not my fault, not his fault. It just had to end and there was nothing I could do to change it.

I once went to a counselor after a very traumatizing break up. He drew a diagram of healthy relationship and unhealthy relationships. He drew two circles and in the first diagram he drew them side by side. He said, “Imagine the circles are you and your partner. This is a relationship where both people are so independent that they don’t need anything from one another, they exist as solitary creatures within a committed union. It requires very little communication, and this is unhealthy.”                                                                             He drew another two circles this time they intersected but almost so completely that they appeared to be one circle. ” This is a relationship were it is so dependant that you can not ascertain where one person ends and the other begins. There is almost no independence and tell me Shauna, what do you get if someone leaves this relationship?” He erased one circle. What remained was the other circle looking like a sliver of a moon. “One person is almost always left as a shell of who they used to be. They aren’t whole any longer and functionality is near impossible. They depended on their partner too much, to the point where they can’t function without them.”

As a person with deep-rooted abandonment issues, that overly dependent style was almost always the way my relationships look near the end. Even my friendships.

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 This is a healthy relationship. Where independence is maintained yet a balance of dependence is also rooted in the union.

 

Ok so you all know where this is leading right? I’m single with two kids and the only person in the entire world I had left is gone. You know the only option for me now right? I have to make friends with someone I really don’t like very much. Someone who is over emotional, clingy, blunt, insecure, a bad decision maker, desperate, a loner…. just an overall mess of a human being…..

Yep, that bitch.

How the hell am I supposed to make friends with someone I’ve lived with for 28 years and still can’t stand to be alone with?? Her only redeeming quality is she is the mother of my children…

SIGH

Acceptance, Love, Open Mindedness and Whores

Goodnight!! Remember, spread a little love out there people See you in the morn xoxoxo (4 photos)
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  •  
    Douglas likes this.
     
  • Eric  Ah, so THAT’S what they mean when they say girls love to get flowers.
     
  • You know there’s a lotta kids on this fb.if your goina show your a road whore do it some were else.
     
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn Is a road whore like a regular whore with a car?
  • You know wat I’m talkin about shauna .I’ve done and been a lota things But I never put things like this in front of kids.you should be ashame of yourself.and your a mother
     
  • Eric  Hey Shauna, I think we found the douche^ who reported the pics of your kid.
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn There’s nothing wrong with sexuality and the human body. It’s natural and beautiful. I’m not ashamed at all. If sex and nakedness makes a woman a whore then every mother in the world is a whore. Go whores!!
  • No eric I did not and I don’t know wat your talkin about but if you are bout of you wat to throw down I am your man.
     
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn Oh it’s fine. A different generation, a different state, extreme conservatism, people are just different. You just shouldn’t judge others. Even Christians believe that right?
  • Eric  “…but if you are bout of you wat…” Basic English isn’t your strong point, huh?  Internet tough guy, lol.
  • Woman you are so wrong.it is a beautiful thing.but the pictures in front of kids is won’t I’m talkin about airnt you smort enough to see that
     
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn No fighting Uncle Jesse. I’m not a whore. My kids are fine. If someone doesn’t like my pictures then they shouldn’t let their kids look at my page. The pictures are designed to make people feel good.
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn Just being me.
  • Sara  You airnt smort enough…
  • Oh no iam a tuff guy unlike you puss.I may not spell very well but I have alway and can still back back up everything I say.I’ve kick over and seen wat you look like and you ain’t much .any knock can talk thrish from up there
     
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn Yes yes I’m an unsmort whore who’s corrupting a nation of children and Uncle Jesse is going to Internet fight Eric. Does that mean Monday is over yet?
     
  • No I’m not fighting with the little pussy .but I can
     
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn Now Uncle Jesse, name calling is worse than half naked people. Let’s spread some love on this lovely beginning of the week shall we?
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn I love you, you love me but think I’m a whore and I’m ok with that, Eric and Sara like naked people too and I love them and they love me. All our kids love us. Do you SEE all the love around here?? It’s great. Besides, that one girl in the pic had great boobs. Huh, huh? That’s gotta put a little pep in your step 🙂
  • Eric Hey Jesse, if you have to tell people you’re a tough guy, you probably aren’t.  I live in ****, OH.  Look me up when you get to town.  Of course, that means you’ll need to be able to read road signs, and map directions.  Your prospects of doing that successfully seem dubious (dubious means doubtful). 

    All I know about you is that you’re practically illiterate and willing to call people a whore for some fairly tame pictures posted to their own wall, not yours.  Who are these imaginary kids she’s corrupting with those images anyway?  Sounds to me like you’re a large’ish asshole who hates his own life so much that he spends most of his time sitting around drinking, feasting on the regrets of his mis-spent youth, and trying to drag others down into the shit spittoon he calls a life. 

    Like I said, look me up when you get to town and I’ll be happy to test your mettle. (Mettle in this case means personal strength and willingness to back up the blank check your mouth just wrote).

  • Shauna Simpson Shinn Eric you meant to say you love everyone right? Right. Uncle Jesse is my good friend’s Uncle. He’s a war hero and he lives in Texas. Different world. He’s usually a very nice man he just doesn’t like boobies I’m guessing. P.S. Is it wrong I think the word mettle is sexy? Is that adding fuel to the fire?
     
  • Eric  Oh shit, he’s from Texas?  Man, that explains SOOOO much.  LOL!  I mean, sure Shauna, I love everyone.  😉  Heavy metal mettle medal.
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn Aww I got deleted. How does this spring from trying to be positive….. Whores need Facebook friends too 😦
     
  • Eric My apologies if I was too gruff with Moses.
     
  • Eric I really envy your patience and ability to not let me people rile you up…especially people that are so blatantly trying, like him.
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn You can’t be mad at an entire culture of people that believes things like that. I just hope some of them open their minds a little more to love and kindness. Holy fuck we have SO much hate and judging in this world. It’s a BODY. He has one, you have one, I have one. To be appalled at it in an artistic photo means what for our society? That this is a worse thing than war, crime, hate and bullying? I think it’s beautiful. In my opinion only.
     
  • Shauna Simpson Shinn I don’t care if my kids see a naked body. At all. Bad mother award?
     
  • Eric  I think he’s just an old fart who doesn’t understand how FB works.  He seems to think that any kid can see your profile and that’s what he took exception with….but his opening position was calling you a whore, and that just seems..I dunno, asinine?  Maybe that’s too polite a word for it.

It’s Time We Stop Hey What’s That Sound?

It feels much later than it is. It feels late when my eyes start burning. That means I’m overtired.

So I had something on my mind today. I started thinking about it when my husband and I were fighting.

Why is life so hard? And is it hard for everyone?

I can’t pretend to know anyone’s struggles in life, so I’ll just say it’s hard for me. My best friend always tells me that “it doesn’t have to be hard.” “Sometimes you just wake up, go to work, eat and sleep.” ” Make life easier.” Honestly, I could quote him all day because he has given me more pep talks and advice than one person should be given in a lifetime. But I never really understand those things…. how exactly do I do this? Maybe one more quote from him…. “Do something different.”

Ok so tomorrow I want to finally go to a Buddhist Zendo because I really need some focus in my life. And because it’s different. And because it might really help me with my struggles. But “we” decided it is too early. And a fight ensued…. and that’s when I began thinking,

He doesn’t want to fight. I don’t want to fight. Why are we fighting?

I want to get out and do more things, why don’t I? I want to make more money, why don’t I figure out a way to? I want to be healthier, why don’t I eat better, exercise more and take all the medicine I’m supposed to? I want less stress in my life, why don’t I figure out relaxation techniques that work for me?

Why don’t I make my life easier?

I have no fucking clue.

Could it be that sometimes we don’t place enough value on ourselves? Perhaps I don’t think I’m worth the extra effort. Because I know that if I’m at work, I’ll kill myself so that the business does well. At home I’ll bend over backwards so that my kids are happy. The things I don’t work for are things I don’t feel are important. Maybe I’m not important in my own life.

How the hell does that even happen? And are there other people out there that have the same issue?

So… alright. Psycho analysis complete. Now what? Then I begin thinking about something else. I really feel like it’s true.

Love helps everything and everyone. I’m going to put more love out there than I ever have. Help more people. Give away kindness. Teeter on exhaustion until happiness fills the people around me. Strangers even. How does this help me you ask?

Well, I don’t know that it will. I do know if you put out positivity, you often receive it in return. I know that the mood of people around you, alter yours. And I know that sometimes when you stop thinking about your problems, the answer will come.

And if all else fails, at least I put a little love out into the world.

 

 

 

You’ve Lost Weight Since I’ve Seen You Last

Regained a good friend today.

Technically if we’re going by my account of things, we never stopped being friends. If you go by his version it may be different I’m not sure. In the course of our, what? Four-five year friendship we have fallen apart from each other a few times. Once because he loved me too much, once because I loved him too much and a few times because we didn’t like the people the other surrounded himself or herself with.

But. We always came back to our friendship. It was very deep and in my opinion it couldn’t be broken. The problem now is that I’m very on edge about it, fearing we may drift in opposite directions again. I’m nervous to invest even with my previous investment still sitting in no man’s land.

This led me to thinking though. If you experience the same thing from a relationship (friendship or otherwise) over and over again…. do you guard yourself without realizing it? Do you hold back in fear of the same bad patterns repeating themselves once again? Can you trust?

I figure most of the time you try, but to some extent subconsciously, you can’t help but to guard yourself.

 Caring for and loving people is a tricky business. Especially with friends. There are just so many other people influencing every moment you relate. Different opinions. Different experiences. It’s a wonder you can find anyone in this world you can single out and call them your true friend.

Myself, I’ve been hurt by friends and others more times than I could count. Frankly, if I had guarded myself more I would have saved myself a lot of heartache. But it also wouldn’t have been authentic. You can accuse me of many things, heck go ahead call me crazy if you’d like but you can’t say I’m not real. And if you’re my friend and I love you, no matter what you and I have been through or how many tears and sleepless nights you may have caused me….. I don’t change how I feel. That subconscious guarded wall may or may not be there but that isn’t something I can control, hopefully it doesn’t change things too severely.

So leap of faith again. I’m going to sleep now, hopefully in the morning I haven’t lost any friends or gained any enemies. I put love out there in the hope that it’s mostly what I’ll get back.

 

The Landscape Breakdown

So what happens when something you’re fiercely loyal to and vow to honor for all time…. completely changes from what it once was? Are you still going to be loyal? Should you pretend nothing has changed?

I’ve lived in the same city since I was born. I’ve moved here and there but I’ve always ended up back home. I love my home.

Side note that I’m a very one track person with a loyalty complex. Meaning…. I shop at one grocery store because that’s where my dad shopped, I keep the same cable company even though it’s more expensive because they have always treated me well, I eat the same brands of foods as I remember from my childhood… I don’t usually change these things…..

So my home. I love what I remember and what I’ve experienced. Beautiful nature pairing with a exuberant city life. Easy to drive highways. Gorgeous get-aways. A great respect for history all over the city. Activities all your friends and families have done at some point in their lives. Friendly people everywhere. People move away as they inevitably do, and I scoff at them as disloyal fools. Why move from your home? The greatest place on earth!

There have been changes, sure. The 711 changed into a rug store, the Save-On Foods got renovated and all the video stores closed. I don’t like it but I expect it.

But in the last five years, the city that I love has had an extreme makeover and I don’t know what I’m looking at anymore. We hosted the Olympics a few years back so there was a major increase in construction. But now construction is ten times worse then that even. Every bridge, every highway, every major road. It’s not like we are a small town experiencing a population boom, we’re the third largest city in the country and still we expand like this with no more room and too many people.

Tolls added to everything. Traffic is hideous in every direction, even going ten minutes away in my “quiet” area. Neighborhood institutions are disappearing at an alarming rate. You can hardly say. “I remember when…” anymore. And the people! They are becoming jaded and rude and… hardened. Everyone is a snob about something. The rich, the artsy, the working man, the media….

I don’t see my home anymore. The streets I used to walk are no longer lined with little store brimming with personality but these impersonal condos. We have too many people and nowhere to put them. We’ve closed all of our mental health institutions and the downtown core is teeming with ill people causing more crime, sexual disease, drug use….

I’m racked with guilt that after 27 years of swearing my allegiance to this city, I want to leave. And I’m completely sad that my kids will never know the beautiful home I wanted to give them. Not that I could afford it here, did I mention we have the most expensive real estate in the entire country?

Does it make me disloyal? Or is perhaps this city the one that broke the bond between a girl and her home?