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Success, Failure...some of my greatest failures have been a springboard to my greatest successes...the terms are truly fluid.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Writing my First Chapter....

I did it!!!

This is a big deal to me!

I wrote about one of the top most emotional days of my life....a day my Ex-husband and I held in a secret lock and key mode. A private moment that changed our lives forever.

It is strange to think that I can have such experiences when you realize I am in my school library....fog outside my window indicates I am very close to the ocean. I am wearing a suit and scarf..heavy wool coat off for the moment tossed over the back of the chair. As I write this the Arabic words are rolling through my head for all that I am writing. But I am focused on English for the moment.

I just printed out copies and punched holes in the new lists of vocabulary words I will add to my growing list of words to study in this beautiful language that I can now say and understand. Arabic speaks to me in such a lovely manner. It is shocking how differently each set of us humans can communicate with one another.

I look like a together scholar. Perhaps because I am. I was asked directions by a man of comparable age when I was getting out of my car a few minutes ago. We talked while I led him to his much needed building. He didn't think I was a student. He thought I was a teacher here.

I kind of feel different here. I am not at all the sleepy little housewife who seemed to always get embroiled in political stuff back home.

I don't think I would be tossed aside by authorities as easily any more.

I know I am still that loving housewife of so many years ago who was simply working on her community in an effort to create a world she wanted to count as healthy and happy for her kids....but I am a much more solid person at the present.

I can reveal my innermost secrets and not lose power but gain from it instead. I feel as if my deeper awareness of who I am and what I believe has made me a stronger presence then I was before.

I still bake bread and cookies. I still glory in a well mopped and polished floor. I like to tidy the granny squares on my couch at the end of the day. I also care about what I am wearing and what sort of me I present to the world.

But I am also a stronger business presence as well. I don't simply look like I have a clue.

I am positive I do have a clue now. Not about everything of course. Some days I haven't a clue about anything at all. Those are my favorite days of all to be honest. But I know what it is like to walk through fire and look back on it with a wiser more spiritual view.

I also know what it is like to soar to great heights and feel the wind under my wings.

I wrote about a crushing and important moment in my life. I had my Ex husband read it and give me feedback. He said I wrote about it eloquently.

All I know is that day that our lives changed forever turned out to be a blessing for both of us. I was happy in my old life but perhaps I was not all that I was supposed to be I feel much closer to that Terri....the one I signed on to become. If he had not been himself that day....I might not have found the Terri I am now....and I really like this version of me.

I guess the bottom line is that I am grateful that I experienced that day so I could get here to today, in this library, in my dream school.

It was one of the worst days of my life but in a lot of ways it was a gateway to here....which makes it one of the best days of my life...thank Goodness he was brave enough to venture out and be himself and help us both move to where we needed to go. I almost feel like he made an investment in our future by biting the bullet that day.

Please consider buying my story, Coming Out Into The is $2.99 on my bookstore but it is only the first chapter....the rest will be bundled together but this one stands alone....

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fun in the Fog.....

Typical!! My eyes are squinched up so small you can't see eyes have been gone since I got here....all the time....I am happy a lot at my school.

I am having crazy twists to my days here in this Arabic Intensive Program!!

I have been sick for three days. Really sick....I never get headaches or other ailments...but this one knocked me out for days. I actually stayed in bed for a whole day...I haven't done that since pregnant....

So missing three days of this program is like missing 3 weeks of a regular semester class.

I was weak, shaky and sick when I reappeared, selfishly thinking of how I could not afford to miss another day...remember I was already running behind...even though I love Arabic, this language was hard for me anyway...hence my reason for getting into this program. This is a language I have not been able to use much and I really needed to have a refresher.

 As some of you know I went to Italy...that is my best language. But my school does not have it. So it was important to get my other languages rolling. Arabic and Spanish are my two primary languages now to study for the next couple of years.

But after being sick for three days...I mean just yesterday I was weak and sick in the afternoon still....slowly moving and walking.

Today, through the twists of life here in a busy place...I found myself dancing the Debkah with friends from the Arabic program!! I had already learned the dance ages ago...I brought all of my crazy scarves to share...I love the noisy ones that jingle.

After I write this I am leaving the house in my same bangled outfit to hang out with my Arabic program friends and hookah.

Hence my joy at finding myself in a place I love already. It has only been since June 17th but I am loving this place!

But to be honest, I found the hookah in 2009 a few blocks away with Astronomy friends. I was so excited I carried my little plastic tip in my purse to remind me it was OK to indulge in "college experimentation" while studying. I think the young people who included me in their hookah party at a restaurant helped me to really grow from the housewife I was to an interesting housewife who is now a graduate of two colleges and starting my third. I owe those students a lot.

In spite of yet another cold foggy day....I am so grateful to be studying and playing with really cool cultures like this one!! I don't know which is more foreign and interesting....Arabic or grad school...Either way I am sure happy!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Changes Can Hurt....Missing Tom, Stuff and Language Opportunities....

About 15 months ago...Manny burned some food while I was in Europe...I just cleaned those pots yesterday. It has been along time since I have had my own pots and pans out. Though I have always been pretty easy going with what people did with my stuff....leaving my dogs and cat without food or care and my piano and everything else without a closed door between it and the world kind of ranked as a heinous crime....not that I am holding a grunge....I just remembered I was irritated with him when I washed whatever was burned onto the pot.

Last weekend I said goodbye to one of the funniest people I have ever known. In my whole life I have only had two Arabic he was the only person I could call "aumie" which means father's brother.

My dad only had one brother and now he is gone. But his side of the family had the most kids on it and it was strange for my own children to find anyone near their own age on the family tree but their one close cousin they see all the time.

For this last weekend we gathered to honor my Uncle.

Aside from being able to experience being a family again....I also got some pots and pans...and my sister knew I had not had the cash to restock my kitchen so she provided us with 2 bags of groceries she raided form her own pantry....I gratefully took them and carefully filled some shelves with items no kitchen should be without. I also brought down movies that we own and clothes...precious clothes.

I had been wearing a few suits to school every day.....I desperately needed sweatshirts and pants in this land of fog and wet air. My son was excited enough to care about having more then a few T-shirts to wear again.

I can't really say I am having an easy time but I am flying through my Arabic even doing the worst in the class, I have to be proud when I compare it to my progress before....I found my notes from my previous class and we have passed where we were when I had stopped my Arabic last time at over a year's worth of studies....That is amazing when you consider I started this class on June 17th!! What a productive month!!! I am thinking in Arabic now to the point of it rolling around in my head. I go in for a talk to the head of the department tomorrow for an early morning meeting and I am going to admit that my priority needs to change in order to pass the test in Spanish this late August. I think if I had my way I would throw myself into all the tutorials and push for speaking to make sure my head is hearing and thinking in Arabic....I also think I should push for more Arabic news and kid's shows when I am not in class....but I also have to plug into the class priority of grammar...I double checked and this grade does not count towards any of my courses in the MA program so I am free to prioritize....

Anyway I thought that all three tied together in my changing relationship with old and dear family...letting go of my past resentments with a love gone wrong...I think it is time to stop feeling cynical with  the past romances and the crazy turns they took too....also it is wise to analyze all of these things from a less emotionally charged place....honestly I just feel so grateful for clothes instead of noticing my pots were misused....and to be at my dream school studying two languages is a bonus in anyone's book....and to have gathered more people into my life to love....feels like a good reason to feel good not bad....I think it is time to be out there more and take more chances...I am pretty sure I will get hurt again...but I can also have a blast too in the process....what is that country song's lyrics, "I hope you dance!" ....I guess I choose dancing....! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Time for a Victory Dance.....

The average age here is 27 years and I am twice that...but this group is serious and studious and intelligent. They are not prone to emotional outbursts which is a far cry from the Community College level campus that I attended in this area in 2008. I did a lot of schoolwork near the football player's hangout in the library and they were prone to happy wild outbursts, even in the library. I think they were intelligent too...but they were not so calm as this group has a tendency to be.

 Picture this. I am in a stately quiet cafeteria on my grad school's campus....I finally finished the last important task of a very long day. You can hear a pin drop. I have been in studies since 9 am....I attended a seminar after class. I talked to the office that has brilliant people I want to intern for in the political realm and  they want me after talking to the office I had already worked for in the past. I finally sent off my revived resume this late afternoon as per their instructions to get the is 6:30 son watches a streaming video by my side.

I couldn't help myself.

I jumped up and engaged in a Victory Dance....I jumped up and down, up and down in my suit....with my hands up in the air....and let my noisy footfalls slap as loud as  they could!

I have had a lot of ups and downs since I last wrote in my blog. I have to celebrate my little victories.

I flunked a crucial test in Arabic this week. But my Arabic has been increased 10 fold through having such an intense and constant Arabic experience. I have been the person in the class who has let my team down through being the lousy Arabic speller, over and over again....but I can't help it....I am so proud of myself I could bust.

I have had humiliating lows....getting that important test back with red marks all over it and a note from the teacher saying "We need to talk..."

Daily it has been sickening to be the person who reads the slowest in every language I have always loved reading aloud...I have attended many extra tutorials to work on my reading here in Arabic. But as fast as I am learning there is so much more smoothness I need to acquire to be fluent sounding....but I can't get there without stumbling through my Arabic reading level of I ask myself to ease up and just read....I never raise my hand in this goes against everything I have always known about myself to avoid the first round of hand raising, but each chance I get I linger and hold back....I feel like I am a different person here.

But I can't help but feel good....

I have received terrible accusatory notes that have nothing to do with reality from beloved buddies back home, while in class. It was so nasty a note it sent a shiver down my spine....but I still did not get all wrapped up in a multitude of calls begging for forgiveness for imagined ills. I let it go and trusted that something else can take my burdens so I can just be able to focus here on the important stuff of the moment.

I have grown a notch down here.

I have received very cruel notes while in class from a man I loved, who is suffering from an illness that might be causing the cruel...and I didn't buy into it.....I stayed aloof..I recognize something important is going on down here. I don't even want to talk to him again. I can now officially let it is as if he does not exist anymore. I just can't devote any more time and energy to that mess while trying to accomplish what I am working on here.

I am now a professional. I am a grad student. I have been welcomed back to work for my favorite internship and I feel good about myself in spite of not doing a perfect job in class!!
I have acquired a life I enjoy here every moment and I know it can lead me to a life with even greater opportunities to be who I am trying to become.

I go to the beach daily. I study every single day before I get dressed and ready for the day I have usually done at least 3 hours of work on my grad school life. Before I go to bed I have usually done at least 5 hours after my 9-2:30 day of school. I am working myself to a frazzle but I feel so good it outweighs all the stuff that usually would make me feel bad.

The humiliating misspellings in ear cannot seem to hear the difference yet between this "d" sound and that one so I guess with my favorite "d" letter in Arabic. More than 1/2 the time I am wrong with something.

One day an exasperated teammate came up to the board, took my pen away and said, "You're no where near close."

He was not being mean....he was trying to rescue me, I felt....but it still stung like crazy!

Regardless, I really like my group...there is another class I could switch to which might be more in line with my levels....but I don't want to go.

I don't have to pass this final test like so many others. I am here to immerse myself in Arabic, which I am accomplishing. As long as the class is not complaining, I want to stay here....this group is where my immersion is already in progress and that is all that matters at this point.

I also have a line on a paying position here on campus in an office I already really like.....they have been really fun to talk to each time I have had the fortune of needing their expertise.

So I might be barely eating on some days....or riding my car's tank down to empty on a weekly basis....I have to say is awesome....right now.

As I was writing in my blog here a sweet person came up and asked me if I was Terri. I replied I was and engaged in a lovely conversation with yet another very intelligent person....this place is chock full of intelligence!

I trotted out a few of my favorite sayings in Chinese which are not understood in China town, San Francisco, when I am lucky enough to eat out there. I also was able to converse politely with a few sayings here and there. Not much to be honest but enough to make the year of Chinese study worthwhile. I offered her help with any English papers she had going on this next was be here, to be studying to be with so many people who are interested in language!

I guess that was why I had to do a Victory Dance in a public be even anywhere near the caliber of the people I am surrounded by....just feels good.....

I deserve a Victory Dance.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Getting Everything I Ever Wanted

I woke feeling such joy and appreciation! I am so grateful to be here! I am living one of my biggest dreams. Studying such a cool, beautiful and exotic language....saturating myself in it....I can't tell you how many times in a day that I unplug from the classroom and just feel joy. This is not just something I have always wanted, this is one of my biggest and best dreams come to life and I am here.

It is hard to describe what it feels like to get exactly what you were convinced was too high and lofty a goal for most of your life. It is satisfying, fun, difficult and even frustrating. But when I get frustrated I can feel my whole being laugh inside. It knows I LOVE every single moment.

I know I also seem to almost enjoy the struggle of my finances too.... But I think that struggle is petering out. It is alot more fun to allow my mind to unknot the mysteries of another language, then to get lost on unnecessary struggle. Well that is my belief.... If every thought is a prayer, then we are getting what we are thinking. I think it is time to be the successful grad student now...I am no longer the scared housewife who just lost her house. I now have to put on my business suit and accept the success that is my fate.

I can't teach others how to live prosperously if I am mired down in self doubt.

As soon as the class is up next month I will focus on putting out the other book I had written but today only my first book is for sale on my website. Available for kindle or PC.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Backstory

So I wrote my book Confirmations at a time when I knew my marriage was ending. It was not a happy time for either of us though we made the best of it. Since we had been together for decades we were confused as to where each of us ended and the other began. We were almost fused into one person.

I remember writing  Confirmations helped me to feel better. It was filled with my usual daily prayers. But it helped me release the pressure. I could release alot of the sorrow through writing...breathing and meditating.

Therefore the book I have for sale was my first foray into delving inward and expressing outward.

Well I guess that is not entirely true. I have my first diary still my  storage unit with all of my other stuff. I started it at 16 years of age as a teen at my high school where I went to school with some of the finest human beings on earth. Of course I did not know that they were then, so I found time with them to be tension filled. I did not know then the tension came from within me. My diary blames my frustrations on everyone around me instead of seeing it was all my mindset.

I would like to say that now I would never be so naive or miss the truth so completely but I  am guilty of falling for the illusion quite often, even today.

That 16 year old Terri's diary, bumped along through the football season of a junior year, seemingly rambling about nothing, when something amazing happened.

That Terri ran across her future husband and the father of her 3 children.

The diary tells all about it.

I guess my blog is my new fangled version of expressing my experience.

And my book Confirmations was my expression of release as I stumbled through one of the most crushing times of my life.

The only thing that made it tolerable was that my husband was as miserable as I was. His response was truly remarkable. He loved and supported me through it all. He gave me time for writing and nurtured my soul as it expressed itself.

That is the background of my book. It is not in hard copy yet. But my vision sees that as entirely possible someday. For now I sell it as a downloadable book at my bookstore for $10.

Buying it will help me to keep afloat for a month or so until I can make ends meet here at grad school.

Thanks for reading this...and thanks for all your good vibes.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Supporting My Education

Supporting My Education



Now I am in my new place in my dream town. It is strange to be home in a place I have never lived before. I know this place really well but am really excited to live within an easy drive or a hard walk from so much I hold very dear. I can walk to rocky cliffs, but instead we drive…being Californians…it would be a long mile or two up a very steep hill to get home…and most of my time is involved in my intensive study so we drive to incredible beaches, cliffside walks and my place of study.


I delight in taking a daily walk on the beach or sit on the beach, with my two dogs and allowing my very savvy, ocean experienced child his opportunity to spend a couple of hours on his own intensive study of swimming amongst the waves. Yesterday he came up to me with his eyes registering excitement….he had been swimming out pretty far when a head popped up next to him…a seal….it was close enough to touch its whiskers….he thought it was young, not an adult. They both stared at each other, obviously curious. Then they mutually swam away….


That has happened to him about 3 times in less then two weeks.


I have seen the dark, wet furry heads next to his own twice….it is startling and awe-inspiring all at once…


I have been overwhelmed in my study mostly from running behind in the first week. The rest of the class was most diligent during that time while I was slacking the most since some days my commute amounted to 6 hours. It took all of my effort to have time to eat around a full school schedule of 9-3…and I hardly ever left before 4 or 5 to finish some basic studies in my favorite study hall.


Now I am finally able to really have time to get into my studies but it is late in the game for an intensive course…even so I have to say I am still enjoying the experience. I love studying foreign languages and when left to just put together sentences instead of focusing on spelling work, I am excellent at remembering natural grammar and vocabulary. The canned conversation from the text really frustrates me since it included words like UN and Admissions in its first vocabulary list. I tend to want to ask about people and their feelings and expressions rather than dive in on unnatural conversations that are not going to be necessary until far later in my relationship to this language. But then again, maybe that is just me….I don’t want the material dumbed down or anything but it is nice when we talk about kids, houses and feeling rather than plurals and singular nouns….


I have had a really nice time though in coming along on my thinking, speaking and reading in Arabic which were my priority anyway. I just want to communicate with people….that is why I like language I think…it is fun to find out others share so much of the same experience and when can we glimpse that but when we share our words.



I found my dream house here but this first month is turning out to be way tighter than expected. It should be easier next month and the month after though once I get myself established, but now is tight.


So I want to be part of the human security movement and I am interested in one of the Post Cold War ideas to stretch our resources practically and create a world more centered on the individual rights of humanity rather than states and nationhood being the focus….a world where there is Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear. It sounds like a dream world but there are more basic facts involved that I will be studying when I enter my Policy Studies. One of my ideas is to be involved in the microloan world where small business is supported in its infancy in order to become viable.


That made me realize that though I have drawn up a few small business plans, I have not actually turned one in to a bank or an entity in order to get loans. This made me see that I want to actually do that in order to have a clue before I actually go abroad to do the same with others.


As I draw up my Business Plan I also decided to put my books up for sale and finish my website so here it is…my work going forward is to have other books I have written out there but today I only have my oldest book up for sale. It follows a format I don’t use very often anymore. Now I write in essay form. My ideas flow like conversation so it is better when I have the details  written in so to speak.



I only have a book of affirmations, or daily prayers, or meditations for sale today but maybe I will have the others I have already written available soon…and they can help me be assured I will go into my studies in the Fall more aware of what I am attempting to be involved with in the future.  If you can, slip by and help me make a bit of money at my writing…if you have ever enjoyed anything I have written now is a good time to help me out….but no guilt…either way I am learning how to help others understand business the more I understand it myself…and an skills I use for supporting my education need to be put into play if I am to accomplish this uphill yet enjoyable climb. Each skill I cultivate now will be worth thousand of times more when in the field so to speak….I guess the point of this is I am desperately needing to put myself out there more then ever so….I am asking, can you help me out by supporting my education if you can? My first book is called Confirmations. I put the funniest picture of myself I could find since many of you know exactly what I look like….or looked like in the past….you will know you are at the right place if you find a stark site with only one product for sale today….but it has a picture of me grinning my goofy grin!!


In the meantime…. Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for being interested!