Does anyone know WTF they are doing?

A lot of my friends and many of my clients tell me that I am funny and should start a podcast…but I don’t listen to podcasts (nor do I read blogs), so I keep hitting a wall when thinking about how to start one of these things? My girlfriend gave me some advise- just start. Do a little something every day, so here goes.

As the year comes to a close (more specifically, another DECADE), I ponder what the hell I am doing with my life and if it will ever amount to anything. I am sure that I am not alone in this fact- we are all out here trying to be out best selves so that when we die, people say nice things about us and hopefully we are successful enough to leave some kind of legacy for our families.

It’s been about 2 years since my departure from the tech and corporate structured world and I am not sure that I can say I am in a better place. Financially, I most certainly am not. Becoming an entrepreneur sounded like a great idea, but as I review my year and (lack of) savings, I can’t help but feel I made a big mistake. I am totally more available for my children, which is great. I have the luxury of being able to cook for them and attend their events – shit, I am leading a book club at school next week. But book club leaders don’t pay dividends and the worry is starting to settle in the back of my brain, reminding me we are one swift kick away from a less fortunate life.

I am in the final stretch of graduate school. Two more classes and a capstone and I will have to figure out how to apply this degree to life and make some money off it. I should be working on that plan but here I am blogging… my multi-tasking obviously needs some work.

I am curious though- there are people out there that can tell you exactly where they want to be in five years and once five years pass, they do exactly as they have planned. They work the job, get the promotion, make the family, buy the house- all a part of the plan.

I am definitely not one of those people. Life throws so many curveballs, it seems ridiculous to even try to create a plan. I more or less believe that you can have your goals, work towards them, but have to be flexible with the process. Not every ball you hit will be a homerun and sometimes you are going to miss the base and have to try a new strategy.

I thought I would stay in tech, finish that MBA and make shit loads of money. At some point, I realized I was living someone else’s dream. Tech doesn’t excite me. I wanted to do the “right” thing and create a comfortable life for my kids. At some point, I realized that the “right” thing was costing me my happiness, even though we were financially comfortable.

I know that the best way to support my children would be for me to be happy and show them that we do not need money to be happy- which is exactly how we have been living for the past two years. And if you ask my girls, they can attest to the fact that mom is more happy, we still live comfortably (with less stamps in out passports) but they eat well and have a mother who is more present. Not every day is perfect and I am sure they see day-to-day that I am more mindful with how I spend money, but I think that we have built a stronger family dynamic and hence why this site is called “Raggedy Riches” because we may be broke but we still have wealth.

So, for all of you that are wondering what my plans are for 2020 and what I will be when I finish my education, all I have to say is, “It’s a surprise”


You didn’t get voted prom queen. You didn’t get the scholarship. The boy didn’t call you back. Your friends have all dismissed you. You can’t help but think that there is something wrong with you, but what if there wasn’t? I mean, what if you fabricated this illusion that you weren’t worthy? What if all the shit you told yourself was bullshit? Of course it is. We are our own worst critics. I mean, there are certainly an outrageous number of narcissists and sociopaths out there, but most of us save the heaviest judgement for ourselves.

What if the other girl lost her father that year and everyone wanted to make someone else feel special for a night? What if there is another person that experienced one more hardship than you and received the scholarship that was meant for you? What if there is nothing wrong with you at all? What if you have experienced enough assholes in your life that helped persuade you into believing you aren’t shit?

Let’s think for a moment about that? How many times have you felt something so sincerely that you thought it was true only to be blind-sided by something that has absolutely NOTHING to do with YOU?

We do this shit to ourselves all the time. Worry. Stress. Fret. Overthink it all. We always think we have shit figured out and sometimes we do. Sometimes, our experiences help us recognize toxic people quickly and we dodge many bullets. Other times, we struggle with giving people enough room to prove our deepest fears wrong.

Where’s the balance in the freedom of new experiences, blazingly providing the space for creativity and growth, free from years of repeated failures and attempted repairs?

That guy that you felt sure was just as much in love with you as you were with him? Oh, he didn’t call you? You saw him with another girl? So. The. Fuck. What?! You didn’t get the scholarship? So. The. Fuck. What. Whatever the reason, there is a very good chance that it has nothing to do with you.

We live in our own heads, so it’s natural to think the world revolves around ourself. But, if your world revolves around you and his life revolves around him and her life revolves around her, then each experience will be perceived differently. We all have experiences that shape our perception of life. I mean, you can share an experience with another individual and the two of you experience and learn something entirely different.

Perception is a bitch. It’s like we take the sum of our experiences and then make these ridiculous assumptions about the future based on the past. But none of that is living in the moment. None of that is considerate of what is actually happening right NOW, in the present. Perception of how you’re treated by others seems to be more of a reflection of how we view ourselves and less about the reality of the situation.

So, maybe we should try to be easier on ourselves and leave room for an “alternate” ending because our own perceptions can interfere with reality. Perception is the cousin to “assumption” and you know what they say about assuming, “To assume is to make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.

Get out of your head. Listen to understand. Be kind to yourself.

Being Born

I guess we should start from the beginning, huh? Being born. I don’t remember much about it, but I know I was there.

My father ran into my mother, literally. Ran into her in an elevator. He was drunk and she had just moved back to Seattle after leaving a “Dear John” letter for the man she was supposed to marry in California. She was starting a new life- she had no job, no money, and her future ex-husband had just mowed her down in the elevator of the apartment she had just moved into. And that’s how my mom met my father.

As you can imagine children are born, I came into the world on in February 11, 1982. That makes me an Aquarius- creative, impulsive, over-thinking goal-getter, often found trying new experiences to see which ones fit best. On the flip side, I am also stubborn, direct to a fault, and an introverted extrovert and am royally skilled at attending social functions if only to master the “Irish Goodbye” and escaping from events without saying goodbye. My friends who know me, understand and those that don’t, can…well…who cares?

My parents marriage lasted for 10 years, five of which I existed for. I don’t remember too much about my father and the stuff that I remember was not pleasant. I remember going out to the car to find that out tires were slashed by police because my drunk father did something stupid. We ended up visiting him in jail once. He had been driving me and my brother around while he was wasted and was involved in a hit-and-run.

There was another time, when I was very young, he was upset with me for some reason trivial, he picked me up and launched me across the room. I hit the wall and slumped down beside the bed as he left me there to go to the liquor store.

We left Seattle because my father had pissed off someone and that someone decided to try to finish him by starting a fire outside their apartment door. Guess it was time to go. We were living in Colorado when my parents divorced. My mom always said my father was a nice man when he was sober. He just was never sober. So, my mom moved us to Minneapolis to be closer to family. She was born in Austin, MN and we needed to start over again.

I visited my father once when he was still in Colorado. I was nine. He was an asshole. He stored bottles of beer under the driver’s seat and didn’t see an issue with having my brother and me in tow. He had a friend that would come over and stare at me, 9-year old me, and blow kisses at me, like I was a woman sitting alone at the bar. I was scared to ever visit him again.

My father moved back to Seattle and I never saw him again. I had one more opportunity to visit him when I was 15. My brother was going to go and bring a friend and then I was supposed to bring a friend and visit later that summer. I chose not to go. Truth be told, my father terrified me and I didn’t trust him or his friends.

He died two months later. Cirrhosis. Literally drank himself to death. He died the day after my mom’s birthday. He always drank more around her birthday. He never stopped loving her. But he was sick. And so were the people he surrounded himself with.

My father’s good friend in Seattle used to call me late at night, drunk, and blame me for my father passing. This “friend” said I broke my father’s heart when I didn’t go to visit him and I was the reason he drank. Sad. Sick. True.

I never once, believed any accusation the strange man would spew into my ears. I knew, even at 15, he was bat-shit crazy to blame me for anything. But a part of it did hurt. I stopped answering those calls. Who the fuck does that? Warped motherfuckers, that’s who.

I have had a wide range of emotions over the years about the lack of family ties I hold with my father’s side of the family. Sometimes, I am very sad that I am missing an entire half of me that I will never get back. Other times, I am thankful and feel that I am missing nothing at all and I have everything I need from my friends and family surrounding me. Over the years, I did find my family. I don’t speak with any of them and those stories will come later.