Day 158-161

I’ve been staring at my keyboard all morning trying to figure out the best way to start this post.

My first draft was talking about all the home movies I have from my childhood because my Grampy had gotten a camera before one of his visits and didn’t put the thing down the entire time he was with us. There’s this great moment on one of the tapes. Grampy is standing at the top of the hill that our house sat on and he’s filming me and Megan walking up the hill from the school bus. Megan walks up first and Grampy asks her, “Where’s your sister?”. Megan points behind her and casually offers Grampy an oyster cracker from the bag she’s snacking on. A few minutes later I come waddling up the hill carrying not only my backpack, but Megan’s as well. Grampy thought this was hysterical and instead of rushing to help his six-year-old granddaughter carry one hundred pounds worth of school books, he kept rolling… and laughing. Grampy never really babied me the way other family members did. He knew a secret about me that I don’t even think I knew at the time. He knew I was a lot tougher than I let on.

I erased that opening. The words didn’t seem to do this post justice.

My second pass at it was all about leading a double life, in the best way possible. For as long as I can remember, our family vacations during the holidays and over the summer involved a trip to Missouri, where my mom is from. We’d spend weeks there at a time because there was always a lot of (very different) ground to cover. We’d usually start at my Grammy’s house. Grammy’s house was big and looked like a page out of a Martha Stewart magazine and it always smelled like something was cooking or baking. Most mornings I’d be woken up early to go shopping or on some sort of girly adventure. After a few days in the city, we’d pile in the car and make a two or three hour drive to Grampy’s house, in Osceola, Missouri. Population 400 (and I think that’s counting the people in the cemetary). Grampy lived on a dirt road in a cozy three bedroom home that was decorated with collectibles and memories. We’d sleep with the windows open in the summer since there was no A/C and I was always surprised by how silent everything was at night. I’d get woken up early in the morning to ride ATV’s or go fishing. Shoes weren’t a necesity, unless we were going to walk down the dirt road to the country store on the corner for an ice cream cone. That was real country living and I loved it. I loved my double life.

Backspace, backspace, backspace. The above still didn’t seem quite right.

How do I write about this? What am I supposed to say? Why did I think this was going to be easier than it’s been?

My Grampy died. He had been sick for a long time. He was placed into hospice care a few weeks ago and we were all told to prepare ourselves for what was coming and I thought I did. I thought I could handle this.

I knew Grampy wasn’t happy just lying in a bed. He was an active guy and always on the go. He also had an incredible amount of faith. All of us knew he was going to Heaven and he was looking forward to it. I know my Grampy is probably up there fishing with Jesus right now and he’s probably the happiest he’s ever been.

Then why is this still so hard?

He was my favorite person in the entire world. He was the funniest, sassiest, strongest, most gracious, person you’ll ever meet. He was my biggest fan. He sat through countless dance recitals, and concerts, and school plays. He never let me quit, even when I thought I wanted to. Just hearing him say “I believe in you”, kept me going for another day. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’m never going to hear him say that again. I dreamed about taking him to a movie premiere or watching my latest TV show with him. I guess there was still a lot I was hoping we could do together.

I do know that I’m lucky to have been able to share my faith with him because I find some peace in knowing that he will still see everything I accomplish in the future. I know he’s watching over me and everyone he loved. Heaven definitely gained an incredible angel this week.

Heaven also gained a comedian. I think everyone that knew Ralph Kleechultee has a favorite joke he told. As hard as it was to start this post, I think the only appropriate way to end it is innappropraitely, with the last joke Grampy Ralph told me.

A woman had a prize winning schnauzer. One day, the woman took her schnauzer to a competition in Kansas City and for the first time the dog lost. When the woman asked the judge why he said it was because there was too much fur in between the dogs toes. The woman went to the pharmacy to buy some Nair to remove the fur from her schnauzer’s toes. When she was checking out, the pharmacist told her, “you know when you use this, you can’t wear stockings for a week”. “Oh it’s not for my legs”, the woman replied. “Well then you can’t use deodorant for a week”, the pharamcist informed her. “No. It’s for my schnauzer”, said the woman. “Well then you can’t ride a bike for a week”, replied the pharmacist.

Yup. That was my Grampy’s sense of humor. I guess no one needs to wonder where I get it from now….

Rest in peace, Grampy. I know I’ll laugh with you again someday.

Day 134-157

I went off the grid for a while.

I’ve spent the last few weeks feeling really sorry for myself and having more breakdowns than Meredith Grey on all eleven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, combined. I hurt a few people I really care about. I drove away people who just wanted to help. I’m really not proud of who I’ve been lately.

I know what triggered all of this, but to be completely honest, I’m almost too embarrassed to admit what that is. I will say, it’s a pretty classic case of “Amelia didn’t get what she wanted”. I’ve talked a lot about my “bratty” years in this blog, and I’ve laughed about all of them like that’s all in the past. Well, turns out, I still have a bit of growing up to do.

I went off  the grid because I had maxed out on regretful words and actions. If I had attempted to blog anything in the last few weeks, most of you would have read it and assumed my blog had been hacked by an emo thirteen year old who just got high for the first time and can’t stop listening to Coldplay.

Well, since I’m blogging again, that must mean everything is all better, right? Eh. Not really. The same issues I had a month ago are still very present. My heart still hurts sometimes and I know I’m not out of the woods just yet.

That being said, something happened this past week that changed my perspective drastically.

Last Wedensday I had a girl’s night with my best friend, Abbie. This girl is my lifeline. She and I have been through it all together and she knows me inside and out, probably better than I know myself at this point. To sum it up, she’s my go-to person.

A side note: On the car ride up to Abbie’s house, I called my mom to tell her I was quitting acting. I had reached the end of my rope and I just couldn’t keep going with it. It was the first time I ever made that statement and meant it.

After fighting tears and traffic on the 405 (who takes the 405 at 530pm…. this girl), I dragged my mostly lifeless body into Abbie’s house, forcing a smile, and trying my hardest not to burden another friend with another meltdown.

Abbie, of course, instantly saw right through whatever show I was half-ass-attempting to put on, and, to be blunt, shit got real. I let go. I said things out loud that I had been keeping to myself for weeks. I talked it out and Abbie responded with nothing but unconditional love.

Towards the end of the night, something came up that I had heard Abbie talk about before, but this time, I couldn’t brush it off. Abbie mentioned, in a passing comment, the Law of Attraction. I normally roll my eyes at the “hippie-dippy”, spirtual, universe stuff. Instead, I asked Abbie to explain it. She told me to go home and watch “The Secret” and I did. (How many of you just rolled your eyes at that hippie-dippy sentence?).

Ok, the film itself is totally cheesy. Most of the people sound like they’re reading cue cards that were written by a wannabe Joel Ostein, and the people improvising their “inspirational messages” are really just talking about how great their lives are, and by the end of it, you’re visualizing hitting all of them with a school bus.

That being said, watching this fine piece of filmmaking did something to me. I wish I could explain this better than I’m about to, so bear with me. The Secret made me realize I had lost something I used to do as a kid.

Whenever my family and I were in the car together, if no one was paying attention to me (and I was ok with that), mini-me played this kinda weird “game”, if you will. I would put my hand on the window of the car and I would stare at it for a long time. As I was staring at my hand, I’d get excited by the fact that it was my hand and I would think about how cool it was to be alive and I would imagine all the things I was going to do with my life and I would just get so excited, I mean extreme butterflies in my stomach type-excited.

As I grew up, I stopped doing that. I would still be ecstatic about life when something good happened, but I stopped allowing my thoughts to make those good things happen.

Our thoughts are powerful. Our thoughts create our feelings, and we attract what we feel. That’s the basic foundation of the Law of Attraction. I highly recommend anyone reading this do a little more research on what I’m talking about (maybe even suffer through the one hour and forty minute cheesefest that is “The Secret”).

The past month or so has been so shitty because I was feeeling that way. All of my thoughts were full of anxiety and negativity, so I was attracting even more anxiety and negativity into my life. Has my situation changed overnight? No. Like I said before, most of the same “issues” are still there, but I’m not allowing those things to take over my thoughts. Instead, I’m visualizing what my future has in store for me and what I want in life and I’m believing that it will all come into fruition. I’m staring at my hand and getting those same childhood butterflies in my stomach.

Call me a hippie-dippy, but I think I’m onto something here.

A follow-up to my side note: I’m not quitting acting. Come on, guys, that’d just be crazy.