Dear Diary

[25] Ballet music is amazing.

I’ve been super duper lame coming up with titles lately. I’m listening to ballet pop music again…still see the dancing in my head…and these words are dancing too! I can’t wait until I can get started with ballet, but not until September or October. Have a few things to finish up first… and I don’t know how this event planning and my Jewish classes / events will coincide with lessons. You’ll never hear me say this again, but… it’s been pleasant not having to go to rehearsal every night. Even though our theatre is on a month long vacay, I don’t think I’m going to even attempt to commit to anything the rest of 2019. I’m enjoying the heck out of having time to do anything and everything I’ve missed out on….plus all the Jewish holidays are coming up, and those are more important to me than anything right now.

I have a positivity journal now. Where I write down ways to become and stay successful in life along with positive quotes and anything goal/dream oriented. Oy. I am crazy. I literally have a notebook for every different subject. Now I’m making a binder for almost everything. Now I need to find a small journal and write in there what I desire – like a dream board sort of thing. I’m becoming so focused here.

I’m seriously so ready for fall, I’m so ready for our new year. I keep wanting to take a picture of a pumpkin spice frappuccino or latte and hashtag whitegirlstatus so bad! Ha. I also kept thinking about New York, snow, ice-skating and seeing colorful lights absolutely every where. Only once do I want to ride in a carriage in the middle of the city while it is snowing and looking at lights during the holidays. One day I will have that. Just not now. Because it’s making me very cold just thinking about the snow. Brrrr.

These almost midnight thoughts have me pondering why I even exist on the planet. Like, what’s my purpose? Will I ever find out? Am I becoming who I am supposed to be, finally? What do I have left to do before… destiny? How many years left do I have to do what I need and want to do? All the questions. And more.

Heading out of here to make it one goal-oriented weekend.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

EDIT: After writing this last night for today, I wake up with an email asking for me to SM the show that has rehearsals during the holidays. We plan, G-d laughs. What do you think my answer is going to be?

[23] Oy.

No good mornings start out when the rain just continues all throughout the night making electricity of pain run through your body and keeping you up. That was my night. My morning was waking up to a very flat tire. Had to hit a shop, where they plugged up a hole from a nail. At least it wasn’t very much and thank goodness that’s all it was. No biggie there. I still haven’t had my coffee yet. I’m going to have to change the way I do my mornings, that way, I have coffee before the shit-hit-eth-the-fan-eth.

I revived facebook.com/therealkarenmaeby last night and wrote my first poem back. The picture is of my desk area with my computer, where I write, drink coffee, light some candles to say I write by candlelight.

I also have so many likes on a tweet respondant to “what do you like the most about being Jewish” … I’m feeling the love.

It’s LOVE day… but starting tonight.

Need to run to meeting half way across the world. Bye. I also pray to G-d for a safe travel to and from, a good meeting, and no rain so that I can do the Brews & Jews “LOVE” talk thing tonight over Torah and drink.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

[22] Tomorrow at sunset begins a holiday.

Tomorrow is Tu B’Av–the Jewish Valentine’s Day, the day of Love. I saw a post from my Rabbi about Jews & Brews and they’ll be discussing Tu B’Av, so it definitely sounds like something Miss Ahava needs to attend. This’ll be my first J&B. (I think I would much rather celebrate Tu B’Av instead of regular Valentine’s Day. Give me all the love you can give me on my holiday, instead of the one where retail forces you to do so.)

I’m feeling a lot less grumpy today. Good. No one spat in my Cheerios. Not that I eat Cheerios or anything. But I did have my coffee. No one is allowed to speak to me if I don’t have my coffee.. and I didn’t have any yesterday. But people still spoke to me. You can imagine the outcome of that. My body still hurts because there is some kind of insane pressure from the whirlwind of storms around here. Oy to the vey. Not in a good melody, either.

I guess tonight (since I kind of have an empty evening) I should sit down and make lists and truly plan out the rest of August. I’m pretty happy about what I’ve gotten done, but I still have plenty more to do. Next month begins taking some plans to the next level, and by December I should be in full force with some of these… making my way towards a little bit better life outcome.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

[21] Fun stuff and surprises.

So, first of all, I am sooooo soooo sooo happy to announce that I uploaded the more important pieces out of my book Dear Anne Frank and put it on my JewishMaeby website. It’s marketing prep because I am going to start working on “Becoming Ahava” (my journey) starting next month in our new year so that I can have it published around Hanukkah. I think it is the time to do so. I have enough material–just need to draft out the outline, find all of those pieces or write them, and then edit the shhhhh out of it…and design the book cover, marketing material and get going with this.

In other words, I’ve been quietly reorganizing JM. I’ve renamed categories and added tags to every single entry (which was a lot!). Now, I have definitely learned my lesson and I will not leave off categories or tags for the entries as I write them. One less problem. As I grow my blog, upload my art for sale, and marketing for my book… JM will change into more of a real website with banners and such. Don’t have time to do that right now. One thing at a time.

Onto other things… I’ve just been in just such an annoyed and grumpy mood the last two days. But last night the Elvis thing cheered me up, and when I left work today, I went by the post office and got my ipsy products (this marvelous purple eye shadow–to die for–and this amazing green fingernail polish… both things that match half of my clothes, ha), letter from one of my pen pals, Jewish Seattle magazine… and guess what I got in? THE JEWISH PLANNER. I will probably post on Friday on Instagram. (So needless to say–due to all my surprises in my mailbox–my day got a little bit better again.)

Tonight started our first class of The Observant Life at CBI. We only meet once a month. I saw the book in person (we didn’t exactly need it today), but it is nearly 1000 pages, and no joke… measured out at like 6 inches or more…! I am just going to download it via Kindle and read it that way….which means, I need to find my iPad so I can read it off there and not my phone…. No way do I want to carry around a book that weights 150 lbs. Yes, see my exaggeration? BUT IT IS SO HUGE. (thatswhatshesaid)

In the class, my intro to J friend randomly asked, “Oh, what color is your hair?” (LOL) Then, another lady remarked, “Wow, I love how your shirt matches your sneakers which matches your hair… wow!” Hahaha. I sometimes really don’t purposely do that. It just happens when you own a tooooon of pink and purple things. Really.

I’ve been so lame I haven’t worn glitter since my birthday. Something happened where I got something in my eye those couple of weeks I wore it non stop to my shows, and it bothered me so bad, so I’ve backed off. And tonight, I realized I guess I can’t wear fake earrings anymore because my holes itched like crazy. I guess I’m allergic. I just need a pair of very small diamond earrings where I can keep them in and not have to worry about itchy holes. And I know exactly how that just sounded, and no, I’m not going to delete it. Maybe you’ll laugh, maybe not, but feel my pain…. being allergic to the cute things, but hey, it’s only the fake and not cute real. Cute real is much better.

Okay, I’m just rambling. It’s time to go to sleep. Until tomorrow… it’s another day, and I’m sure I’ll have more to say.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

[20] Music.

I heard this song by Pink a couple days ago and had to listen to it again. I love, love, love this song by her. Andddd I looooove the fact that it was written for Alice in Wonderland which is my most favorite ever. The lyrics:

I know that I’m running out of time
(I want it all, mmm, mmm)
And I’m wishing they’d stop tryna turn me off
I want it all, mmm, mmm
And I’m walking on a wire, trying to go higher
Feels like I’m surrounded by clowns and liars
Even when I get it all the way
(I want it all, mmm, mmm)
We can get ’em running, running, running
Just like fire, burning out the way
If I can light the world up for just one day
Watch this madness, colorful charade
No one can be just like me any way
Just like magic, I’ll be flying free
I’mma disappear when they come for me
I kick that ceiling, what you gonna say?
No one can be just like me any way
Just like fire, uh
And people like to laugh at you cause they are all the same, mmm
See I would rather we just go our different way than play the game, mmm
And no matter the weather, we can do it better
You and me together forever and ever
We don’t have to worry about a thing about a thing, no
We can get ’em running, running, running

I love the way the chorus comes in “I want it all” and boy do I know about the “I know I’m running out of time” …

As I was playing catch up reading through my Jewish emails again (I posted something over on my JewishMaeby website). I came across this quote: “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” – Arnold H. Glasow. That’s practically what I’ve been saying…. and that’s what reminded me of the song above.

I found some amazing ballet tunes to pop songs yesterday. I turned the music up loud in my car and it was just soothing to drive and listen to piano! I could even physically see what dance moves are appropriate for each beat of the song. Thank goodness for my obsession with music in middle and high school: 2 years of constant study of music classes, 4 years of choir and competitions (and always winning distinguished ratings), thank goodness for my 6 years of teaching myself piano and about composers and music theory… and 2 classes of music in college. Yeah, I was first a music girl then English girl then theatre girl. Then everything else followed.

I did a quick search online yesterday and found a cassette that I had been obsessed with during elementary school. So badly that the cassette just committed suicide one day. “Rock and Roll Fever Volume II”. I won’t list my favorite songs on here, but man, if you listen to the lyrics some of them are just so inappropriate as far the language to women. No wonder all that “me too” b/s happened back then to be covered up. Something psychotic written in those lyrics. NOT AT ALL saying that my generation has any better of music. I’m just saying a few of the lyrics from oldies can be considered a bit shady. If you truly pay attention to what they’re saying between the lines… plus, it’s all about guys. Where’s the homegirls?

I’m thinking of ideas for yet another book. Short stories. I need to slow down with my ideas. My brain is getting so full, need to dump a lot of thoughts out, before it explodes. I really would hate to be that person that has to clean up my mess and try to make sense of all of my notes whenever something happens to me.

I guess it seems I’m just going to have to block out the rest of my month with my scheduled meetings then schedule certain projects for completion on certain days. August will be over before I know it, and I want to have accomplished a lot of my goals.

Anyway. Time to run.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

[19] I was thinking last night about Elvis.

Last night was totes a meant-to-be sort of thing. I was already in a mood–and still sort of in that mood today–as I went to the writers group meeting. Well, one of the members brought a book that had things like the I Love Lucy Vitameatavegamin episode in it, The Brady Bunch, things about several other shows and events that changed the world, a few Elvis pictures and then we talked about Princess Diana. There was this lady in the corner that dropped by us to say that she heard us talk about Princess Diana then Elvis’ daughter. It just so happened to be someone that knows a lot about Elvis, met him, met a lot of his friends/family, etc. She sat down with us and told us stories and showed us pictures that’s never been seen by anyone else. How freaking cool is that? Needless to say, I was definitely tearing up when she was telling the stories–and being told with such joy. I’m sitting there like, “Is this even real anymore? Is this real life?” PINCH ME! I want more of those moments -meant to be, being at the right place – right time, connecting with people who have stories.

Our time was up in those 2 hours and all we did was talk Elvis. I ended up staying another hour just to swap stories with her. We connected really well, she connected with our group really well, too. I don’t know how I end up in these really cool situations…. but last night was wonderful. So I shared with her what I said about a month ago about wanting to run away to Vegas just so I can see Elvis on every corner. And this one tops the cake: I told her how earlier that day I had thought about the Elvis play I’m writing and how I was thinking about how I should write it and that I needed to write on it….Then she’s like, “Today’s your sign.” Everything really does happen for a reason. And, there might be a slight chance that if I do go to Vegas, then maybe possibly I might get to meet some of these characters in his life that she was telling us all about. I just hope I get to meet the right Elvis impersonator… just so I can sing a duet with him. That would be groovy.

So, anyway, we exchanged information and hopefully she’ll be back next week to our group….and hopefully I’ll have my Elvis play done by then.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

I was thinking that night about Elvis
Day that he died, day that he died
I was thinking that night about Elvis
Day that he died, day that he died
Just a country boy that combed his hair
And put on a shirt his mother made and went on the air
And he shook it like a chorus girl
And he shook it like a Harlem queen
He shook it like a midnight rambler, baby
Like you never seen
” ~ Elvis Presley Blues

[18] No title.

I’m kind of feeling blue for some reason today. Not sure why, maybe because I’m really missing a friend. I drew some this weekend, posted the drawings/paintings on both of my Instagrams. I am planning on doing a graphic design outline of both the Jewish ones then putting them on cards and such to sell…especially to prep to sell at the Jewish Festival next year. That’s the biggest goal. I want to shoot for having 5 designs for Hanukkah. Simple ones. The “love is love” one may end up being poster material or small cards. The way I drew the two women reminded me of the way my grandma would draw her people. Maybe I should find the cards or papers she drew on for me and see if they match. I haven’t looked at them in so very long. All I know is I want to finally start selling some of my art. I will be very, very selective. I also need to turn over from art to writing and prep my finished work to send out to the US to be produced. I have so many projects. I am overwhelmed. But I am doing such a good job cleaning through stuff. I am Marie Kondo-ing that shhhh. “Does it spark joy?” Yes, maybe; no… it sparks anger.” THROW IT AWAY. SELL IT. KEEP IT. I’m feeling better already.

[17] Looking back at year 2007.

It’s unusual for me to not have anything to say, but I really don’t have anything to say… other than here’s something fun for you to read: my yearly review from 2007. There were a lot of things that happened that year. I’m more curious about what made me feel close to the song Inscription of Hope again in Feb. Maybe there’s a journal entry somewhere to find my answer. Enjoy learning about 20-21 year old me. Holy shit. That was a long time ago. I had a lot going on work-wise for my very first job (2005-2008). Just to note, I worked at Goody’s Family Clothing. It was on my dreams/goals list to work there. First job I really applied to, and got it.

January:
-I go back to school for two classes.
-Had inventory at work.  
-We had a wonderful big snow… (“big” for this area)…
-I am introduced to an idea for something at work… which leads me to…
-I quit my two classes because I figured out that I had been doing what exactly what I want to be doing for life… that is working in retail.
-I got a new cell phone. A phone of my own.
-I get up to 104 credit cards for the ending of the “club.” 

February:
-Inscription of Hope song came back into my life… for good reasons.
-There was a lot of stuff going on at the store… and we were down to almost no one working there…
-Worked like mad this month because of special visits.
-The Mister (our manager) left our store.
-Our Feb Friends & Family night was spent as a goodbye party for The Mister.

March:
-I quit spending so much time at work and became extremely lonely because of all that free time.
-I boggled the idea of transferring vs. staying here…
-Due to a talk The Mister & Mommy P had with me, I took a risk and met D.
-We went out on dates. And lots of them.
-Lots of changes took place at work… with the switch of managers and such… 
-Momma called me for the first time in months. It was good to know we can be exactly how we were in 2004 even if we haven’t talked in a while.
-Lots of teasing from two certain people about a certain someone.
-Visits to The Mister’s store.
-I met his family & he met mine… 

April:
-Had THE WORST beginning of the month, ever!
-I started re-doing all of the mannequins one by one AND doing wall displays.
-Aunt P came down from Indy for mom/her birthdays.
-Went to Great Aunt’s house for Easter… took some awesome mad pictures!
-Wrote a decent poem (The Calendar of Life).
-I became even more open minded!
-I found and had been given a lot of Canadian coins…. for good luck!
-I started writing in a journal again! 

May:
-Took a trip to Chicago with D & this trip was the FIRST TIME I’ve ever… 
been to Chicago 
been on a train 
ridden in a taxi 
been on a trip out of town without family members
had a lot of fun on any trip really 
had a good crew (at work) to send me off all prepared 
and probably so many more. 
-Came back to be handed keys to the store.
-Started being full time & manager/dept lead over half the store. 
-M (H’s husband, one of the ones I used to hang out with) passed away

June:
-Found out that J was leaving and S was going to be our manager
-Momma stopped by the store and gave me her original “Ridhat” license plate. 

July: 
-Survived another floor move which happened to be one of the smartest ones we ever did. 
-Worked 10 days straight & one of the employees baked me a cake! 
-Took D & his bro to the fair…
-Another floor move for “back to school” 
-The 28th made TWO YEARS at Goodys Family Clothing! 

August:
-Mainly celebrated my 21st birthday on July 31st with D, since he had to work on my birthday. He took me to see Hairspray & I became slightly obsessed with that musical afterwards! 
-Worked on my birthday (because I wanted to)! 

September: 
-Had a real legit dream about our store closing… and remembered it 100%. 
-We stopped getting freight in… 
-D and I met the 6 month mark! 
-All of our stores prepared for the Ashley Judd line
-J brings a TON of juniors clothing for me & our allocations were turned back on.
-Ideas of me working at the other store (Danville) came about…. 
-D & I went to Gatlinburg at the end of Sept for his birthday & a mini vacation. 
-Myspace changed its ‘home’ layout look.
-Found out that our DM was going to be at our store on Oct 1st… 

October: 
-We find out on the 1st that our store is for real closing, it wasn’t rumors this time. Around then the next day, we had this 1000 box truck then we met our liquidator a couple days later.
-Decided to work at the other store two days a week. 
-One year since E’s death. 
-Our store reached sales of $18,000-20,000 due to closing mode. We were overwhelmed because we weren’t used to that amount of sales.
-One of my favorite employees ended up walking out. 
-Got another truck of 800-1000 boxes. 

November: 
-Friends & Family Day at The Mister’s store. 
-Worked in the (unknown) mold at work and got really sick from allergic reaction. 
-We got our new asst manager and I already knew her.
-Bought a 6ft Christmas tree & D and I made that tree ‘ours’ 
-Sold nearly 3,000 items on black Friday (our store looked really empty after that). 

December: 
-Had our final truck of 800 boxes 
-Closed the store on Christmas eve 
-This was the first year I ever had plans (that wasn’t with MY family) at Christmas Eve / Christmas day. 
-This was also the first holiday that I ever had with a love =) 
-First time going to Catholic Mass service at Christmas Eve, too (with Mommy P and The Mister). 

[16] A day of rest.

I know, I know… I’m slacking on my daily writing, and I know I didn’t do my Shabbat entry late Thursday due to other work and didn’t have time to do it…. so if you always look forward to reading that… I’m sorry. Yesterday (Friday), I was definitely also feeling very overwhelmed and anti-social, mostly because of being so in the zone of marking things off my to-do list both at work and home that I didn’t bother doing anything else but that. Both of my bosses will be gone all next week, and I had to get three million checks (so it seemed) ready for them to sign and sent out and yadda yadda. Plus, getting all receipts and everything caught up to their knowledge so there’s no issues this week. On Thursday I literally went through almost everything in my desk and all of the stack of papers that have been sitting in the same spot for over a year, and either filed them, shredded them or put them in the appropriate places. One of the guys came in, stopped for a minute, and said, “You cleaned your desk?” Yes, sir. I also spent a good chunk of time going in and cleaning through my work emails.

On Thursday a friend messaged me on my JM-insta with an invite me to her wedding in NY. I was like, “UM. Wait, what?” She asked if she could call me and for about almost 2 hours she told me her story from literal day one to now. If there was ever a meant-to-be fairytale sort of everything happens for a reason meets true love is always possible… hers would definitely be it. I can’t remember the span of time she said, but she met this person over and over and over again–under different circumstances–and she kept saying no to starting a relationship, and then, she finally gave in…it was time. I don’t remember the last time we caught up but she had never mentioned him. I was like, “WHY am I just now hearing about this?” “There wasn’t anything to tell.” … because it literally happened that fast. Needless to say, I wish I could be there in NY to experience her Chasidic wedding (Mazel Tov!), but alas, pictures and videos will have to do. I haven’t even known her that long either, but we’ve talked on the phone three times now over the span of since the end of last year when I actually opened my JM account. I guess she also started reading some of my stuff (books? blogs? not sure?), and while talking, she paid me a nice compliment that my writing is very good.

Last night I was just so wiped out that I fell asleep on the couch and I just didn’t care where I was when I woke up in the early morn. At 11am, I listened to NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and went through unused pieces of paper and small notebooks that have been sitting around for many years and packaged them up to be dropped off at the little free library in GP. I hope someone (a writer, specifically) can use them.

Tomorrow is my first Tisha B’av as an official Jew. I am doing the full fast (with the exception of still drinking something). I will be reading about it, and probably writing (although the entry may not go up until Monday morn), and I have a list of all the chores I absolutely hate to do that I have to do. Enjoyment on that day is not allowed. So, I shall do all things I hate to do.

I also don’t remember where I saw this, but it mentioned when you pray to G-d, you need to be specific, because if you aren’t, you’ll get more than or less than you bargained for. Well, I prayed that I could become as neurotically OCD as what I was in school, and I had forgotten about the ugly part of that as well: how the REASON for being the way that I was like that, was because I never thought I was good enough, so I pushed even harder…. well, FFS, if I didn’t wake up this morning thinking about that due to some feelings I’ve had this week that’s starting to revert back to that. Oy to the vey. That is not how this new fully-completed Jewish soul needs to be while trying to improve herself by a million. But, needless to say, I’m still thankful on the front of this cleaning streak (I really don’t want to have to do this next year right before I leave or during the time of SMing the one acts). I think I’m going to start my own tradition of writing a weekly prayer at the top of my planner or something that I want to happen in the week or whatnot. It seemed to have worked last week.

Anyway, I know this is the day of rest, but I still have a lot to do. Until later or tomorrow….maybe I’ll find some more gems from my past blogs to post on here. We’ll see what direction I go as far as cleaning. (By the way, if it goes on to seem like it takes me forever and twenty years to do everything such as cleaning, it is, because I am involved in so much I have to stop and take care of those things, plus the hours at work, then I pick project by project of what I can do in the time I’m allowed through the week or weekend and then some things get pushed to the side until more time and blah blah blah. But I’ve already accomplished so much. I’m pretty happy about that.)

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

PS – from a blog entry posted on 11/26/2009: And, for whatever is yet to come for the rest of my life. I can’t wait till more random surprises sit at my doorstep and the days that bring fire & rain. I want it all, I am in need of it all… to make a happy outcome in life.