The Last Day of the Last Month of This Year.

Happy almost new years everyone!
  Well, new year for some but in my neck of the woods, still have a few hours left of 2013. This year has definitely had its ups and downs. It started so full of promise I had family, my business was doing well, I let my guard down for the first time in a long time. By February that was all but a memory, things surely did change after that... I think for the better.
  I buckled down and have been learning to make meshes and though it is a slow and frustrating process it is one I am really proud of. I opened a new store and my product is simple but I am really happy with it, and happy when someone enjoys it. My family dynamic has changed, a few people have come and gone over the past 12 months but I am just as happy with who I surround myself now as I was this time a year ago.
  My Nara left my heart and found her way back, my Kendall is still my always child and I have Laila and Dominic who make me laugh every time we are together. Finally my little mouse is now my baby mouse, life is really funny how it all plays out. When you think your heart is in a million pieces and it will never heal time takes hold and things are as they should be.
  I got to go to Kansas and spend a few weeks with my Twinnie, Maddy and that time I will cherish my whole life. People ask if it was weird meeting for the first time in the real world and you know what? It wasnt. It was amazing and we were 2 peas in a pod just like we are in Second Life. I miss her terribly every day and hope sometime this year we get the opportunity to spend time together again. Praying the summer gives me a month in Kansas with her (and a month less of Arizona heat). She is hands down the greatest friend I have ever had I never feel judged or ashamed with her, it is pretty amazing.
  And for every friendship that ended I have made a friend or 2 to replace that hole in my heart. Plurk has been kind in giving me some amazing new people who inspire me every day and make me want to be a better person. Ive learned tons from them all, they should be told how much I appreciate their friendship and their impact on my life.
  So anyway, I am ready for the new year, I hope it is kind to me and I hope that it brings me the progress in myself and my life that I have been aching for . I hope it is kind to you too, and that you have much happiness and good health.

XOXO,
Brie

The Illusion of Strength

  I am tired. I'm tired of trying to look happy and make everyone think everything is OK. I am tired of hoping my life's circumstances change and things to get better. I am just... tired. Everyone around me it feels is so sad and dejected with life, it is starting to take its toll. I try and try to help and be a good friend but in the end my efforts have done nothing, It physically hurts me to watch people I love struggle. I truly do not know what to do anymore, I feel so alone.
  This time of year is hard for me, I have no family outside of Sammi and Ken, I have family but they are all so wrapped up in themselves we do not speak anymore. I have 2 older children who have chosen not to have me a part of their life anymore. I am so overwhelmingly lonely, I miss having people. I log on SL and just sit here I have little desire to be in there anymore all the people who were once a part of that do not really participate much in there anymore either and that is good, they are living. I just feel so empty inside. Before you think "well, she has Sammi and she has Ken" I am super grateful for them and if I didn't have them, I am sure Id be at my brink. I am grateful for the people I do have in my life.... I just feel very lost and I crave a sense of family and community I no longer have.
  Im going to be honest, I think about dying every day. I think how everyones life would sincerely be better off if I wasnt a part of it. Everytime I win over the thoughts, it seems like there is someone there reminding me how worthless I truly am and how much better the world would be without me in it. Sammi is truly the only reason I am here today. I couldnt leave her alone in foster care if there was no one to care for her so I stay. My fear is one day this all will win and I will give in to it.
  Contrary to possibly your belief, this isnt for attention. I truly need someone to help me find reasons to stick around here. I lay in bed every single night and physically convince myself this is not the answer, every weekend I barely sleep over the insane fear of some unknown person on the internet anonymously feeding my already existing fears about the person I love and want to spend my life with. People call me strong, I really am not very strong. Right now I am held together with duct tape, just trying to make it through today. I think if I busy myself with those around me's issues I can forget for a while I have all this bottled up inside me. I just want to be happy, really happy for one day.
  Anyway Im going to stop now because I have no idea what this is going to do for me anyway. I just needed to get this out, if it makes you all think less of me as a person, that is ok. I am just so very very tired of this weight it feels like I carry it everywhere with me.

I am sorry for everything.

10 Life Lessons: Lesson 5: Failures are only lessons.





  Today I thought this was a good lesson to touch on. So many times we make mistakes in life, and we either don't let ourselves get past it or other people tend to hold it over our heads forever. Know this, no one in this world is perfect. Not the Dali Lama or the Pope is perfect, we are human, we do things, we make mistakes. It is truly what we choose to learn from them that helps us grow and defines us as a person.
  In fact it was the Dali Lama who said "When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it." It is expected we as people are going to fall, are going to fail, are going to do something we can not take back. But it is also expected that when we do, it is our job and duty to the people around us to recognize our failures, admit them and do our best to improve on them and become a better member of our society.
  I had it pointed out today that though I have made amends for my mistakes earlier this year, some people still view me as a thief and liar. I can not undo that, I know that I am neither, that I made a mistake and I owned up to it. But my mistake, big or small in the eyes of others does not excuse the actions of other people, it does not give a license to behave less than stellar, I am only responsible for myself and my actions, as each of us is. I can not express how deeply I regret my choices and have worked very hard to learn from them and do my best to overcome whatever stigma remains from said choices.
  At the end of the day just remember, you are not perfect and that is OK. You have people who love and appreciate you, flaws and all. Treat others kindly you never know what struggles they are enduring outside this box of ours. And with that, I wish you all a good night.

XOXO,
Brie

“When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.” - See more at: http://quotesnsmiles.com/quotes/50-dalai-lama-quotes/#sthash.kGksVE76.dpuf
“When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.” - See more at: http://quotesnsmiles.com/quotes/50-dalai-lama-quotes/#sthash.0vJnGbwF.dpuf
“When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.” - See more at: http://quotesnsmiles.com/quotes/50-dalai-lama-quotes/#sthash.0vJnGbwF.dpuf
“When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.” - See more at: http://quotesnsmiles.com/quotes/50-dalai-lama-quotes/#sthash.0vJnGbwF.dpuf

10 Life Lessons: Lesson 4 - When you procrastinate, you become a slave to yesterday.

Hey all, been dealing with that real world thing and moving my SL family to a new homestead so I got distracted. But I am back to continue on with my life lessons everyone should know.

Lesson number 4 is when you procrastinate, you become a slave to yesterday. It is really true when people say "why put off today what you can do tomorrow". I mean it is STILL going to be there tomorrow, waiting... waiting... and still waiting. Why not take care of it now, you never know what may happen between now and then and sometimes, it is something if missed you can never get back.

We all as human beings procrastinate with something, but I am talking about things besides cleaning the house or finishing that English essay... I mean really important things, mending a broken relationship, saying you love someone... making that leap into something new.

I had many opportunities to go back up to San Francisco and see her before she died. I always thought I would have more time, that there was no way she was going anywhere yet (even though she was seriously ill)... I put it off not because I didn't want to see her, I think it was because I didn't want to see her LIKE THAT, frail and sick. I talked to her for the last time this last year on my birthday and 2 days later she was gone.

 Now, I don't have many regrets in my life but this for sure makes the short list. I know she wouldn't have wanted me there at the end because to me she was always a strong beautiful woman and she wanted Sammi and I to always remember her that way. But putting it off cost me a chance to spend a little more time with her there, to hold her hand and hug her and tell her we loved her. I know it was supposed to be this way but I often wonder if things would have been different if I had just not procrastinated.

Anyway I share this as always to help you all find your way whatever that is. I hope you take life by the bootstraps, live each day to the absolute fullest and make sure to tell those closest to you how very important they are to you.

Have a great night,
XOXO,
Brie

Picture taken at the Nuville SIM

Favorite Songs: True Love by Pink


Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say
Sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face
There's no one quite like you
You push all my buttons down
I know life would suck without you

At the same time, I wanna hug you
I wanna wrap my hands around your neck
You're an asshole but I love you
And you make me so mad I ask myself
Why I'm still here, or where could I go
You're the only love I've ever known
But I hate you
I really hate you, so much
I think it must be

True love true love
It must be true love
Nothing else can break my heart like true love
True love, it must be true love
No one else can break my heart like you

Just once try to wrap your little brain around my feelings
Just once please try no to be so mean
Repeat after me now R-O-M-A-N-C-E-E-E
Come on I'll say it slowly
Romance
You can do it babe

At the same time, I wanna hug you
I wanna wrap my hands around your neck
You're an asshole but I love you
And you make me so mad I ask myself
Why I'm still here, or where could I go
You're the only love I've ever known
But I hate you
I really hate you, so much
I think it must be

True love true love
It must be true love
Nothing else can break my heart like true love
True love, it must be true love
No one else can break my heart like you

Why do you rub me up the wrong way
Why do you say the things that you say
Sometimes I wonder how we ever came to be
But without you I'm incomplete

I think it must true love true love
It must be true love
Nothing else can break my heart like true love
True love, it must be true love
No one else can break my heart like you, like you
No one else can break my heart like you


10 Life Lessons - Lesson 3: The sacrifices you make today will pay dividends in the future

Well so begins a new week, I can not believe Christmas will be here in less than 2 months, where on earth does the time go? This year has flown by for sure, it just feels so odd to already be almost a year over....

OK so I will make today's lesson short and sweet. Basically, invest in yourself today, it will pay off in the future 10 fold. Want that degree? Go get it. Want to learn to paint, Spanish, Swahili? My point is this, if you do not invest in yourself, who will? And do you really want to be a grandparent someday and play the "I Wish" game? I certainly don't. So do something for yourself, invest in the person you WANT to be 10 years from now, you will thank me for it... promise.

So today's comments should be filled with peoples wants and hopes for their future. Make a goal today, no matter how big or small and share it with me. I am positive you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Have a good Monday!
XOXO,
Brie

10 Life Lessons - Lesson 2: A Lifetime Isnt Very Long.

Happy happy Sunday everyone!

Today I shall remind us all of our mortality. Not that I mean to bring you down, I just want to remind you all that life is fleeting, if you put off things well... someday it may be just too late. If you believe in something, fight for it... we only have this one chance at life, make the most of it.

Don't wait till times of hardship to tell those who mean the most to you, that they do. Everyone needs to feel they are loved and appreciated sometimes, yes... even me. So I don't care how you do it but my challenge for you today is to tell at least 1 person (but more would be extra amazing) how much they mean to you. Whether it is a blog, a facebook status, a plurk... smoke signal.... just do it. You never know what your simple words may do for someone.

Just live every day to the fullest kids, and like it is your last. It will make you appreciate each new day and those who drift in and out of it.

Have an amazing Sunday!
XOXO,
Brie

10 Life Lessons - Lesson 1: This moment is your life.

Hello there out in the interwebs! I promise, I will not neglect you again... I promise!

So this blog will begin a series of 10 with important things... lessons.... that we all should remember when it comes to this crazy thing called Life. I think sometimes people take things either just too too seriously or not seriously at all. We all at times need a slap on the back of the head to get us to focus on the things that are important. So here is your slap, you are welcome LOL.

Lesson number 1 is that this moment is your life. Stop dwelling on the past and worrying about the future, YOU CAN NOT CONTROL WHAT HAS HAPPENED OR WHAT WILL. We can only control this moment, this experience, this second. I think we get so tied up in our past sometimes it really hinders us from truly finding the joys in our moment right now and that is just not going to work. You do this and someday, in that future you worry yourself sick about, you will be regretting the choice you made to not live for today.

Look, we don't know how long we have on this rock, it could be 30 years it could be 100, so just take the time and live. I used to be this way, worrying about things that may or may not happen... it prevented me from truly experiencing happiness and appreciating the people in my life. Then, my son died and it was like someone clicked a switch in my head. I could not be here tomorrow, do I really want to leave this world with regret?

It is a powerful thing to truly enjoy the moment, it is absolutely infectious too! So push away from the stress for this moment, take a deep breath and find 1 thing you are truly grateful for right now in this moment. Share it at the bottom of this blog entry I would LOVE to hear about it. I will start us off... I personally am truly thankful for first and foremost my amazing daughter Samantha, my beloved Kenneth, my best friend in life Brittany and the amazing circle of friends that until recently, I did not really recognize to their full awesomeness. Having the warm safety of people who love me truly gives me a reason to wake up and appreciate the life I have been given.

Enjoy your weekend poppets!
XOXO,
Brie

My Life's Philosophy


People Learn What They Live

By Dorothy Law Nolte

If people live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If people live with hostility,
They learn to fight.
If people live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.
If people live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.
If people live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.
If people live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.
If people live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.
If people live with acceptance,
They learn to love.
If people live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.
If people live with honesty,
They learn truthfulness.
If people live with security,
They learn to have faith in themselves and others.
If people live with friendliness,
They learn the world is a beautiful place in which to live.
Imagine what a world we  could create if we all learned to live by these simple truths.

Berry's Monday Meme - Blog about one of your closest friends in Second Life.

  I have been very blessed to meet and make some amazing friends in my almost 6 years in second life. I met the love of my life here, I mean I can honestly say overall it is a huge positive in my life. Those people make logging on worthwhile, something I look forward to. I miss them when I am not there or they are taking real life time... it has been overall something good for me.
  Of all the people I have met (with the exception of Walter Kovacs, AKA Ken) the one truly amazing friend I have made would be Maddy Carissa. We met by the most happenstance of circumstances and from that moment on it was like we had always been friends. She has been a constant source of support and love in my life for going on 3 years now which for some in the virtual world, is a lifetime in itself.
  Last year she suffered a bad fall and for a few months she did not know not only who she was, but the people around her were. She even forgot her husband and children. It was a really very hard time in her life and I tried very hard to be there for her and her family, even though we had never really met. I was terrified that I was going to lose my friend, someone who had shared every day of my life for 2 years at that point. After a few months her memory started filtering back and eventually she remembered not only her husband and little boys, but me as well. It bonded us closer together as friends and made us family which was truly an amazing thing.
  We got the opportunity to meet this past summer when I flew to her home and spent a few weeks with her and her family. Sammi and I had an amazing time, it was a relaxed vacation just a chance to get to spend quality time with someone who has grown to be such an important part of my life. I thank God everyday I bumped into her in second life, that we were lucky enough to find eachother. I am even more grateful to have found the best friend I have ever had in my life. I know no matter where life takes me, she will be a supportive part. She is more than my friend now, she is my Sister and I love her with my whole heart.

Want to blog this meme? Read about it HERE.

Today's "Word Of The Day" - CLOSURE

clo·sure

[kloh-zher] 
noun
1.the act of closing; the state of being closed.
2.a bringing to an end; conclusion.
 
  I know I know, I fail I have not been chatty for some time now. I am going to do my best to change that. Just been dealing with the real world, adjusting to life as a parent of a Junior High parent. Times like this I sincerely wish my daughter was like in SL, forever a little one. She is my last born, my baby... slowly watching her grow into her own awesome little own person has been challenging and sad but also amazing and beautiful. She is going to do amazing things, you can just see it in her.
  I recently had the opportunity to let go of something that still is very painful to think about too long. I had a daughter in second life for most of 2 years of my life, I loved her as much as I love my own real life children and in the end, well it just did not work. She attempted to reach out and talk with me which brought on a knee-jerk reaction to be angry. But I did not feed into that, I thought long and hard about the entire situation and in the end, it was best to just let her go. I know that even if she grew and learned and was a different person, we as friends would not work. In the end, I believe I would be hurt again and through our friendship I had truly been hurt enough. I let her go with good wishes for life but explained that I can not survive my heart being hurt again and that this was the best.
  I truly believe the act of forgiving is something that feeds the soul so very much. It has the ability to heal your heart and though hurts in your life, even when the scars remain. Letting her go has given me much peace in my life. It has allowed me to enjoy and appreciate those who love me and given me a better capacity to love them in return. I dont have this pain in my heart holding me back from giving to those around me, which I think is always a good thing. I will not say that I do not miss them, that I do not wish things had played out different because that would be a lie. But that was a part in our life that hopefully taught us something and allowed us to grow as people. I wish her well, with much happiness and good things in life. I just can not be a part of it any longer.
  I urge you all to let go of things holding you back from being truly happy. Though I know I have a long way to go, getting this off my heart and letting go has allowed me to get a bit closer to the person I truly want to be. It has opened the door to meeting beautiful new people and making some amazing new friendships. I know this will be a positive for me as well as you.

Have an amazing Sunday,
XOXO,
Brie
 

Today's "Word Of The Day" - EXACERBATE

ex·ac·er·bate

ex·ac·er·bat·ed, ex·ac·er·bat·ing.

verb (used with object)

1.
to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of (disease, ill feeling, etc.); aggravate.
2.
to embitter the feelings of (a person); irritate; exasperate.
Hello from House-sitting  I was having a nice enjoyable QUIET time when I was shown a plurk stream from a few days ago that set me on my heels. Apparently, the act of one using purchased models from online in SL (which we have visited again and again and yes, still sorry I made a idiotic mistake) is called "Tiny Spacing" in some circles. I am deeply offended that for 1, my mistake is being lumping in with people who use these files knowingly when they are not even the same thing. And 2, even after 6 months, people really just feel the need to drag up all this yet again. I had dreaded this exact thing happen and yet, am hurt and shocked that things are being put at my feet yet again.

I really do not know what is with these peoples life that they feel that they need to keep dredging things over and over again to feel better. I made a mistake, I am certain each and every one of us has made a mistake in life. I am an adult, I admitted it... I learned from it, I have put a lot of time and work into learning things so I can still create again. I have removed myself as much as possible from the Kid community as I feel I am not welcome there, I have worked hard to push forward and be a better person for this experience.

I have felt happier, more accepted and genuinely all around better for it, whoever you are you did me a favor in the end. But now it is really time to just put it aside. You want to play IP police, knock yourself out. I build in front of people, I have witnesses as proof of the things I have made. They are by no means extravagant or high end, they are simple but I take pride in them because they are mine and a piece of who I am that I choose to share with the world. I do not want to be the target of this any longer and really implore you to let it go. I really do not know how much more to make things clear, and I want to try. I am trying to be better to everyone, even those who do not make me feel fuzzy inside. I realize that in the end only I have control over the world and people around me. You hurt me and continue to do so but I will not leave and stop the world I enjoy so much because you want to do it, it makes me happy and gives me a purpose.

I sincerely hope this puts to rest this issue with me. For those who like to purchase things on the net, I sincerely hope that you take my story as a example that things will come out, that if it is wrong, it will come out. Learning is hard, its frustrating, i delete way more than I ever finish, I cuss at my computer and scream out of sheer frustration. But when someone tells me they really enjoy something I make, something I didnt think 6 months ago that I could do, I am proud of myself for pulling myself up by the bootstraps. If I can do it, I promise you can. And now I am going to go cuddle my daughter and sleep and try to enjoy the time I have in peace and quiet before life gets busy with school and volleyball and dramatic almost 11 year old girl problems. 

XOXO,
Brie 

Thank God for Second Chances


  I am a firm believer that everything in this world happens for a reason. No one person we meet is there "just because". They are either there to teach you something, to help you through something or for you to change their life in some way. I have struggled with the why's of life more than I think I probably should but lately, I have found peace in the life I have and the people who have come and gone in it in my 38 and 1/2 years on this earth. 
  When I met Walter, he showed me that not all men in my life were there to hurt me, that not all people love with expectation, they love from their whole heart. I still struggle 5 years later with this but I have been learning to be accepting of his love and know that I am truly blessed to have someone in my life who loves me unconditionally. 
  I have also been learning lately that for every 1 bad experience I have in Second Life, there is many many more that feed my soul and make me grateful I discovered this virtual place. One of the first child avatars I ever met, so very long ago was Mirabelle. She was this tiny adorable blonde child person and the first to friend me where I didn't feel weirded out by the fact that a grown person WANTED to be a child in here and not for some weird reason. She used to come and visit the little piece of land Walter and I called home. It was winter, so we had a frozen pond and it was all set up for Ice Skating. We would spend hours together just chatting and building a really good friendship. And though time and life's moments have let us drift apart from each other, we always seem to find our way back, with a little something new to bring to our friendship. She is someone who has taught me not to take things too too serious and to just enjoy a place where truly ANYTHING is possible.

  After the loss of Naraelina and Carter, I had really second guessed myself not only as a friend but as a parent and had completely shied away from the thought of adding to my tiny family outside my amazing Kendall. But lately I have been missing a little distraction and the companionship that I can not explain right to get the idea out there, so I hope you can just imagine. I work a lot in SL, its pretty much all I do, and I love it dearly. But I miss having someone who is just goofy and cares not about making a living but maybe about painting walls or flooding the bathroom. All the silly things I would never let Sammi do and get away with... I miss having that childlike air in my life. And so, after weeks of really thinking about it and many trips to Heritage that ended in me leaving before I had a panic attack... I bit the bullet and submitted an application. I sat looking at the wall of beautiful little faces and one stood out, I didn't know why. When I clicked her photo there was my Mirabelle... these days going by Everest. It was just meant to be, things happen for a reason and so do people. 
  The best thing about this choice for both of us is there is no real fear the other is going to be put off by something in our personality. After nearly 5 years we know each other's quirks... our good and bad points, and yet we accept this all and know that the other is going to put as much faith in the friendship that has taken years to build. I am proud to be this tiny persons SL Mother. I really am very excited for this new adventure... and hopefully she doesn't burn my house down.

XOXO,
Brie

Berry's Intriguing Questions Meme - Brie Kovacs (Brie Pinazzo)

Meme instructions: Copy and paste the following questions and answers into your post. Delete my answers and input your own. Don’t forget to leave a comment in this post!
  1. How do you deal with criticism?I don't normally deal with criticism too well though I am getting better. I take it as a little PTSD from a bad marriage of 9 years. I have a tendency to view it as someone is telling me I am less than a person or wrong or bad... when they are just saying "hey, this is a better way to do that." Like I said though, am getting better, I used to really take it hard, now I am still miffed but get over it pretty fast.
  2. What’s the most infuriating thing other SL residents do? I would have to say it is that the vast majority (not all, but enough that it is just irritating) lie about the most mundane things and use the internet as a vehicle to bully others and make them feel bad. As I have been really honest about, I have had this happen a lot more than I like personally. I just wish we all could remember that we are all adults (well I hope we are anyway) and we should behave as such. If you wouldn't do it to the people around you in the real world, chances are its just as wrong to do it on the internet.
  3. Which SL resident would you most like to have lunch with and why? I would have to say Cory Edo. She seems like hands down one of the nicest people on my plurk. She is ridiculously talented and has not for one moment let it go to her head like we all have seen too too many times. Her ability to be so creative and kind I really would love to have the chance to get to know her better. 
  4. Who would you say is your “anti” role model? Someone who serves as a warning rather than an inspiration? That is an incredibly long list so I think I best not have to go there. I would have to say the people who fit in #2's category would be in there.
  5. What was something you used to enjoy, but was ruined for you? Making kids furniture, I enjoyed the creativity I could have in doing so. I mean what adult wants a dollhouse bed? I like building in general but the hateful things that people did because of it... yeah kinda is more work than love these days.
  6. What’s something you want to do that you’d be embarrassed to tell other people about? Well I already do it, and still not going to tell you all about it!
  7. What’s the oddest term of endearment you’ve ever used or that someone’s used for you? One of my friends from High School calls me Cheddar (as Brie is my real name and it is a cheese) and I call her Pygmy because, well... she's short
  8. Have you ever fallen in love with another SL resident? Sure have, he is sleeping behind me right now :)
  9. Describe a time/event in your slife that you’re nostalgic for. I miss working for ICON magazine, I loved the opportunity to go all around SL and see new places and photograph them, I just dont seem to have the time... or maybe excuse to do that anymore.
  10. What’s something sweet you’d like someone to do for you? Id like to make some more friends INSIDE Second Life and socialize more.

Today's "Word Of The Day" - INDEPENDENCE

INDEPENDENCE

in·de·pend·ence -[in-di-pen-duhns] 

noun

1.Also, independency. the state or quality of being independent.
2.freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.
 
Happy 4th American readers (even though it is technically the 5th now)!
  I have had a lot on my mind lately so I apologize for neglecting you all.  As some of you know and I have talked briefly about in past blog entries, I grew up not the most loved person in the world. I actually was taken from my parents when I was just about Sammi's age and made a ward of the state of California. They felt neither of my parents were fit to care for me either due to drugs and alcohol (which was my Mother) or outright neglect and indifference (which was my Father). I spent close to a year hopping from one foster home to another until just after my 11th birthday, I ended up in a group home facility. Now most of you are thinking, gee that had to have been horrible... but it wasn't. I mean sure, there are some downright shitty foster parents out there and I had my fair share of them. But I also had some really amazing people who truly cared about me, who loved and cared about me and wanting my life to be okay. Most of those people I met when I spent close to 4 years in this amazing group home in Northern California, I am fortunate to say they saved me and really helped shape the core of who I am to this day.
  The group home at the time was run by a retired Priest, the facility itself was formerly a nunnery, that is a place Nuns lived. It was large and beautiful, they took in kids from 6-18 and had their own school, church, pool, park... it was really a unique place. Father Steve was the Priest who was the director and he truly loved each and every one of us. There were close to 200 children at any given time and he knew each and every one of our names, it was really amazing now that I look back on it. His goal was to give us a safe place to be, where we could come to terms with the abuse and life we had been dealt and to give us good life skills to take with us into adulthood. We had everything we needed right there to make sure we had the highest chance at success and though it didnt fix some of the demons most of us carry to this day, it certainly empowered us to be the best people we could be.
 I was saddened recently when I found a group of people who too had spent their time at this amazing place. Some had been there before I was even born and some I remember fondly from my time there. We are the truest form of family because we share a life that wasnt fair by any means, we endured things most people can not even imagine but it bonded us, gave us something to go on for. I found out a few years ago they closed this place down and the buildings are now on the market to be purchased for god knows what. Apparently Father Steve truly retired and another gentleman took over the Director seat at the facility. he did not share the same love and desire to help children as his predecessor had, he fired most of the amazing staff that had been there nearly 20 years and hired less qualified, more affordable staff who like him, had no business caring for abused and neglected children and teenagers. Kids started running away, going "OC" (off campus) as we called it, and some broke into and vandalized homes in the surrounding neighborhoods. The residents of the town started to complain and so the home had to be closed and as you can see, sold.
   I know it seems funny to you that someone could be so attached to some place that really for all intent and purpose was similar to a prison. But to those of us who were there at that time, it was our home, we were safe there, the people who had hurt us so bad for so long could not touch us there. We were listened to and our stories heard, those people held me when I cried, defended me when I was wronged, they were my family, more than everyone but my grandmother ever was to me. I became a woman in that place, a feat that was frightening, they sat me down and took on the role of a parent, explaining all the facts of life and doing what they could to make it all seem like it was going to be ok. I wish there was more places like this in the world, and it is truly a loss to the world that this one is gone forever. 
   Anyway, I just wanted to share a bit of this with you all because it has been weighing on me a lot lately and well, that is why I have this blog, to share whether it is read or not :)
 
I hope you American's had a safe and wonderful holiday and to everyone, I hope you have an amazing weekend.
 
XOXO,
Brie 

Today's "Word Of The Day" - THANKFUL

THANKFUL

thank·ful - [thangk-fuhl] 

adjective

feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.
  I know, I know, you are wondering if I fell off the face of the earth. I didn't I swear, I just had vacation and then a frantic few weeks of getting stuff together for the Home Show that starts this coming Monday....  I fail as a consistent blogger, I hope you can forgive me.
   So I saw this blogger challenge put forth by the fabulous Dame Edith Ogleby that is right up my alley. You can read all about it HERE but basically it encourages us all to just show someone, anyone, be it someone you know or not that you are glad they are here, that you are thankful and appreciative... I love it. So in honor of this amazing thing Ill get down to the mushy stuff.

  My Twinnie, Maddy Carissa

  It was fate that this lady and I met almost 3 years ago. She had adopted a child who used to be mine and stumbled into my old store, Tiny Spaces and then began her stalking me a little bit. What one would have thought creepy I found hysterical because as most people know, I am a bit of a hermit and kind of shy until I know you better. Her and I clicked from the get go and we have been inseparable ever since.  Sometimes you just meet someone and from day one, you feel like you have known each other forever. We had the luck of getting to meet in real life earlier this month and for 2 whole weeks we were joined at the hip, when I came home I cried like a baby and I am trying so hard to find a way to just get back there to spend more time with her. She has been my constant support, saw me through some very hard times in my last few years and is someone I know no matter what she will always have my back when the chips are down. I love her big she is my sister in every way that matters. 

My Husband, Walter Kovacs

  Who says you can't meet the love of your life on a sex driven sim in Second Life? I was really lucky to say I did. We met in the strangest of places, our relationship is anything but conventional but I really dont know what I would do or where I would be if our paths had never crossed. I never met someone who loves me as unconditionally as you do. I have tried to push you away time after time and like the perverbial rock, there you stay. I love how you look at me and how we fit together just right when we cuddle up to sleep. You make me feel like I can do anything, I can never thank you enough for choosing to spend your life with me and helping me raise Sammi to be an amazing adult. I sincerely can not wait to see what the future brings us, I love you always.

And Everybody Else....

  I really can't just list all of you and so I will just say here, to the people I have met in Second Life and on Plurk be it good or bad, thank you for touching my life. The loves of my life have brought me such immense joy I can never express how much it cheers me up to just share a few moments with each of you every day. To the ones who have hurt me, I thank you for the lessons your pain has taught me, for showing me who is valued to my life and how to be able to shake off the hurt and just move forward. You all have changed me so much in the 5 and a half years and Id like to think overall, it has been for the best. You have made me a more appreciative, honest and compassionate person and I am very thankful for the experiences I have had with each of you no matter how small.

Have an amazing weekend.
XOXO,
Brie
 

She Is My Soulmate

  Occasionally you meet someone out in this great universe who you feel, even after a short time, like they have always been there. I have been really blessed to make some really special friends on the internet... hell, I met the love of my life here. I can say I have met my soulmate here too. She is not romantically mine, she is my absolute best friend, that one person who you know no matter what will never waver and will always be by your side.

  I really feel blessed and honored to have had the privilege of meeting my Maddy we met nearly 3 years ago and I think we have not went 1 day without talking somewhere. We talk on SL, Facebook, Skype... the phone, its kind of crazy. Our significant people have begrudgingly accepted that they have to share us and I wouldn't have it any other way. Even last year when she had a accident and had a months worth of amnesia, she still remembered I was important to her and she would text me from her hospital bed just to tell me she still loved my face.

  I have never been so humbled or feel quite so lucky to have such an amazing friend. I am really excited because in a weeks time, I will be on a plane to her home in Kansas to spend 2 weeks making some amazing memories with my best friend. It is really special to be able to take someone out of the computer and give them their rightful place in the real world. Our children will play together, we will share many meals across a table from one another and in the end my heart will break because the miles between us will again be vast, but this little piece of time we will get together will truly be a cherished one. Something I know not everyone is fortunate enough to get and that makes this all the more special for me.
  So my virtual twin, my sister from another mister, my absolute bestieface, I am so thankful for you and thankful to have you in my life. I wanted to put this here, for all to see and with the knowledge that the internet is forever and so no matter where life leads us both you can always know you are loved by me and I am always going to be there for you and yours no matter what.

XOXO,
Brie

Everyone Has A Secret


  Everyone has a secret. I dont care who you are, how well you live your life, who you surround yourself with. Everyone has something they keep hidden from those closest to them because they either fear being rejected because of it or the unknown consequences are just too much to bear, but there is something at some point we have kept for just ourselves.

  None of us is innocent either, we have had moments where a friend becomes an enemy or when we have offended or hurt another person... intentional or not. Not a one of us is without fault, it is part of being human and something even though we may not like about ourselves it is something that is definitely a part of who we are.

  But it is when we try to be the moral superior and make those who have made mistakes or have hidden these parts of themselves feel less than a person that turns your jab at them into something truly mean. Places like SL Secrets and anonymous forms of posting really shine a light to the issues we all have on the internet. They are giving a platform not for people to expose something about themselves, but to try to make someone else feel bad. I am pretty certain when the persons at Shoppingcartdisco.com made their SL Secrets posts that they were modeling it after the unique Postsecrets.com in that it gives us somewhere to admit something about ourselves, anonymously. It is healthy to be able to get something out that you have carried around for however long. It is a proven fact that holding these things inside you can do damage and make you sick. Giving someone a way to let it out is a beneficial thing.

  But somewhere along the way people of SL decided it would be a great place to "out" others and "name and shame". Take this week and so many weeks before where a Nacho picture has been posted with many many jabs at that person. Like, we get it... he has hurt you. He has moved on and is OK why do you feel it is so necessary to harbor such hate toward someone who very apparently could care less about you. Just LET IT GO for the love of god and be happy. Also, one this week was actually posted about someone I happen to know which jabs that maybe she is not who she appears to be. Do you care if she is a male or female in her real life? Like, does it change anything? No. It really doesn't. She deserves to be happy in any way she can see fit. If its a man living as a woman in SL who the hell made you the morality police, the person who says she can or can not play SL as she wants. Thats like throwing a hissy cause you play a furry or a tiny, OR A CHILD. It is their SL, let them live it as they see fit.

  I never really understood the need for such things and like I say over and over again, if you dislike someone then don't deal with them. There is millions of other people to interact with why do you need to follow those around who you do not like and who do not like you just to make their life miserable. Both of those people I just mentioned I don't have any love for to be honest, I have not had the most amazing interactions with them but you do not see me spewing hate about them. We tried friendship, it didn't stick, I moved on and so have they (or least I hope so). I think they deserve to be as happy as the next guy and it is not my place to damage that. I believe in Karma both good and bad and putting a positive feeling out in the world works for me. I ask the people who feel they need to put this hate out there, how is it working for your life and your overall happiness?

  Sure you get a giggle for a minute but then you are left with the knowledge that it is the internet, it is there FOREVER and it can not ever be taken back. Your moment of childish hate is now there for all time. You truly can not take those words back and maybe right now you wont want to, but I am sure someday when you are on the other end of that line, you will wish someone had just let it go. I have made the one single secret and it was about myself and how the people who posted the ones about me made me feel like I shouldn't be around to be made the center of bullying. I have no desire to post them about those I don't like, I just treat them as if they do not exist to me. If I see them I either say nothing or am polite. We are all adults here, at least I am and I have more class than to stoop to these levels. I hope that people take this to heart and maybe next time they open photoshop to make some stupid clipart say something horrible, they will think that may be the final straw for someone. And think of how bad you would feel to know your idiotic "secret" ended someones life possibly.

  Just remember, you think we all care about how angry you are at someone. But we don't. We have more important things to worry about, grown up things. Like paying bills, raising kids, living life. Your stupid nacho pictures and pictures of Dixie plates really don't do a damn thing for our lives. So please, just let it all go and go do something that really makes you happy, cause this isn't it.

XOXO,
Brie

Today's "Word Of The Day" - EPIPHANY

EPIPHANY

e·piph·a·ny [ih-pif-uh-nee] 

noun, plural e·piph·a·nies.

1. A sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
 
 The week is almost over, I hope you all are hanging in there!
 
I have been doing a lot of thinking about myself and who I am as a person lately. Like how the way I am and how I tend to behave in situations can affect the people around me. Most of it I am OK with, some stuff not so much but I am sure (Least I hope so) we all go through these moments from time to time. Lately has just been one of those moments for little old me.
 
I realized something, well it was pointed out to me the other day and I really took a long hard look at myself and found that it was really true. I am one of those people, friends of mine I have had a long time will agree, I am one of those people who is an awesome, easy going kind of friend and it takes a lot to really make me angry with someone. Sure, I get annoyed like anyone else but I get over it pretty fast. I have always tried to live by the rule that the best way to have good friends is to be one. I would like to think that I am a reflection of the good people I choose to surround myself with. Sometimes someone not so great sneaks in but no one can pretend to be what they aren't forever, so eventually we part ways and go on with life. 
 
 
 
It is in those times, where I feel betrayed and hurt a really ugly side of me comes out. In the moment where I am hurting most, I lash out at those around me... mainly those who hurt me but sometimes I have a wide scope with my anger and I hurt people I don't mean to. If I feel done wrong by a person they no longer have any place in my world, I care nothing about them, their life, their problems. I just care that they hurt me and how bad that feels. I really don't know exactly why I go to such extremes with people but I can get downright vindictive and Ive been told it can be quite frightening the lengths I go to feel vindicated even if I do damage that can never be repaired.
 
I realized that this is a true and unadulterated form of defense for me. I have been abused by many many people who were important to me in my life, my parents, my ex-husband... some friends. My ex-husband would beat the tar out of me, sleep with a prostitute or random Internet girl and I was not allowed to show any emotion to his actions. I was to behave as though he was the perfect spouse, something is absolutely was not. Over 9 years I became a shell of a person, it took him holding a rifle at me to get me to value myself and my life, and to inevitably break free from his abuse. I promised myself I would never stand idle while someone mistreated me... I guess I have taken it to the other end of the submissive spectrum with it, I feel really bad for those I inadvertently hurt over the past 12 years.  
 
I really am going to make a conscious effort to be more, grey area with this. It is ok to feel hurt and to express it but at the end of the day, forgiving them and moving on has to be more than holding such a grudge for the rest of my life. It only pushes those away who I love because they fear the day they may do something that wounds me deep. I think in doing so I will live a more happier, peaceful life. I know that I do forgive people as of late who have betrayed or hurt me, I think my fear that it will happen again keeps me from never truly letting go though and this is something I really have to work on inside myself.
 
Thanks for listening as usual... you all rock.
 
Have a great holiday weekend,
XOXO
Brie 

Today's "Word Of The Day": ACCOUNTABLE

ACCOUNTABLE

ac·count·a·ble [uh-koun-tuh-buhl] 

adjective

1. subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable.
2. capable of being explained; explicable; explainable.
 So gosh its been a while, I am super sorry a lot of real life things going on around here. We were all super sick with some weird intestinal virus, ended up putting my other half in the er a few times. Be careful out there kids, this one is a doozy. I am also getting my child ready to end her school year which is bittersweet. She will now be a middle schooler, almost a teenager, they grow so so fast. And finally, I am getting ready for a 2 week vacation with my daughter in beautiful Kansas with my best friend which I can not be more excited about. She is one of the true positives Second Life has brought me, in the nearly 3 years we have been friends we have been inseparable and it is like she has always been a fixture in my life. Getting this unique opportunity to spend a few weeks with her in the real world is something I am truly grateful for.... we leave june 4th and then 2 weeks on a Army Base with all that eye candy and my bestie, how can it be anything but amazing?
So the word on my mind is accountable or accountability as of late.  Something I see a lot with the behavior of people on the internet is the lack of accountability for their actions. Because no one is held to that standard, or most people or even some people for that matter (if you want to do semantics with me) is that it gives people license to be abusive to the people around them. Because they realize in most cases there is no real consequence for their actions it is ok to just do whatever they feel like. Problem is in their wake they leave so many people hurt or worse it really is so senseless. I mean it is the internet if you dont like someone just mute them or be a grown up and just dont deal with them. It isnt rocket science people, it is just plain old common sense.

 The worst part is not only do they know they can just run amuck and do as they feel to the people in their wake but to some people the rest of us inadvertently encourage such behavior and even feed into it. Platforms like SL Secrets and the anonymity of the anon plurks make it easy to target one person or many, with no fear of any repercussions for their actions. We not only make it a point to read them weekly but we then have to talk about them and give those people their 15 min of fame for what? Being a coward? Being hateful? I don't get it. It is all funny until lo and behold you piss off some random person and there you are, this week's nacho secret... is it really worth it?

Now I really have no idea how to hold people accountable on the internet. But I do know feeding the beast is not going to help matters so I for one can not keep doing so. I want my bubble happy for the most part, I mean nothing is perfect right? But I would like to know that myself and the people around me are not causing some of the discord in life. As usual I am probably making no sense but Im gonna stick with this for now. Just remember in the game of russian roulette eventually someone gets the bullet.... drama is no different. You play with it long enough chances are eventually you will be the focus of it. 

Have a amazing Sunday.

XOXO
Brie  

Today's "Word Of The Day" - APATHY

APATHY

ap·a·thy - [ap-uh-thee] 

noun, plural ap·a·thies.

1.absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.
2.lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.
3.Also, ap·a·thei·a, ap·a·thi·a [ap-uh-thee-uh] . Stoicism. freedom from emotion of any kind.
 
 
  Sorry I skipped a few days of writing, I had a 10 year old with the flu. Very messy business indeed. I was laying in bed with her today and saw a commercial on Cartoon Network about a movie they are going to be showing Sunday evening (April 28,2013 at 5:30/4:30c) it is a documentary called Bully , a story that follows the lives of five families touched by bullying either for themselves or their children. I am planning on watching it with Sammi and I really hope everyone tries to make time to watch it as well.
   Bullying is a really important issue for me. As a kid I wasn't bullied but that was because most kids were afraid of me. When I was 8 I tried to kill myself and my best friend confided it in a teacher, who reported it and I was removed in an ambulance right there at school and taken to a Mental Hospital for a month. That kind of stigma kind of follows you... people assumed I was "crazy" and so they didn't poke the bear with a stick as they say. It made life much easier when the rest of it was in chaos and turmoil so for that I am grateful.
  My daughter though was not so lucky. We moved to Phoenix right after her first grade year started. I thought this was going to be great. My outgoing, kind, loving child would surely make tons of friend, I mean who doesn't like a compassionate amazing friend? But the kids in her class didn't greet her so warmly not sure why they just felt she was different and so they clamped on. The worst was a boy who systematically tortured my child with graphic tales of how he was watching her even when not at school and the things he would do to her... it was horrible.
  My heart broke as I watched my happy, outgoing child slowly turn inward and become nothing like she had been even a few months before. I had to have her put on sleeping medication to help because she was having night terrors and was no longer sleeping much. I repeatedly had talks with her teacher and the school, even the boy's grandfather but they all took the "kids are cruel it gets better" thought process. I felt completely at a loss at what to do to protect my child. Nothing I said gave her much comfort, and the people who were responsible for protecting her at the school were completely dropping the proverbial ball. 
  It all came to a head  2 weeks before the school year ended, the day before field day the kids were walking to where they meet the parents after school and her bully informed her he was going to shoot her Dad. She was hysterical and really worried that something was going to happen to Ken. Now you need to remember, these are 6 year old kids, first graders... where would a kid that age learn about such violence? I immediately went to the school office and had a sit down meeting with the school's Assistant Principal. She assured me the boy would be called to the office, his guardians contacted and would be suspended the next morning. I left feeling hopeful that finally, this would be dealt with and the boy reprimanded.
  My heart sank though the very next day when my daughter slowly walked to meet me at my car and informed me that the boy was not only not suspended but he was allowed to participate the field day, a day that was fun and a reward for a good year. I had never felt more let down by a group of people in my life. I calmed my daughter, went home and immediately called the superintendent of the school district and had a long talk, filed a complaint against the school and then did the same thing at the State Board of Education. I firmly believe things like this should never happen in schools, our children should be safe.
  I think the moment I knew this was truly a serious problem that desperately needs to be remedied was when I spoke with the school's Principal. I explained I would be homeschooling my daughter for the remainder of the year and then be removing her and enrolling her in a new school. She actually asked me why and when I explained that my daughter was not safe under their care, her response was that because the boy did not physically assault her she was never in any real danger. I realized this is a misconception that is shared by a lot of people in this country. That just because it is words, it isn't hurting the kids seriously.  If anything, it is worse... if he had hit her, she could have defended herself, hit him back, something. But he left her feeling helpless and violated, it took a long time to get her to a place where she feels safe and secure again.
  Parents or not, if you see someone, anyone, being mistreated by someone I urge you to stop and say something. We have grown into a community that is apathetic to the needs of others, we choose to not get involved because it isn't our business or some other nonsense excuse.  You have to think, if this was you, would you want someone to stand up for you? It is not something we should ever be ok with. It is not kids being kids, kids picking on kids, people being mean spirited. It is a PROBLEM and turning a blind eye to it is just as bad as saying it is ok, and it leaves those who are being subjected to bullying feeling lost and alone and frankly, abandoned.
  My daughter is in a new school that has an honor code and a zero tolerance policy for bullying. She is excelling in school and is regularly awarded for being a good caring person, someone with stellar character and of this I am proud of her.  She also is a loyal friend and has on occasion told bullies to knock it off and stop picking on other kids. It is something I can not express how much I take pride in, it is something I hope she carries with her all her life. I wish more people were like her, it reminds me I did a good job and instilled good qualities in her tiny little self. I hope you take her story and learn something from it and it makes you take notice and a stand against the bullying of others.
 
XOXO,
Brie 

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