Hell is for Gingers

The thing about a fresh start is, it isn’t fresh and it definitely doesn’t just start out of the blue all sparkly shiny.

New beginnings happen because we have an epiphany in a series of epiphanies, surrounded by events completely out of our control, and are goaded into context by the good, the bad, and the ugly inside of us.

I should know. I am standing here, right now, somewhere (I think) in the middle of mine.

When did it all start?

Well, to put it bluntly, after a couple years’s worth of stepping backwards, doubting myself, taking wrong turns, consistently selling myself out, dumbing myself down, and allowing myself to be treated like caca by all kinds of people. You name it, they were there. Employers, co-workers,“friends”, boyfriends, family members, grocery store clerks…

My fall from a very much less than ideal heaven began with a) the loss of a REALLY crappy job (Jan), b) falling in love with “my Hero” (aka a crush of two years) who turned out to be a Total Shit instead (Jan – May), c) coming down with pneumonia (Mar), d) slipping on an icy stairwell, cracking my head open and sustaining TBI #6 (Apr), e) and losing my beautiful dog (angel) Mateo suddenly to cancer a week later.

It certainly didn’t stop there, Oh No. For 9 months I worked three part time jobs to exhaustion just trying to cover rent and car, and despite using every shred of my being to prevent it, f) I had to give up my place and move into someone’s basement (Aug).hell_quote

While I was grounded in that disheartening dungeon, things began to bubble up and out.

I started grieving. My tumultuous dreams were vivid renderings of beautiful yet deadly angel wings flying me high through the sky, then plummeting into mountain sides, volcanoes, and other assorted unsurvivable venues.

So I cried, screamed, hit pillows, kicked walls, but also went for long cool walks at night with my other dog angel, Singer.

In September (after volunteering for disaster relief and rescue during the Waldo Fire and then Black Forest in the summers of 2012-13), I went out on horseback looking for stranded people and animals during the Colorado floods.

I worked to reunite people with their pets, separated from them suddenly in the chaos and farmed out to shelters within a 50 mile radius. I also hauled hay out to folks who’d lost everything except what they loved most– their cows, goats, horses, burros, and chickens.

I did a ton of farm work and disaster clean up. In the process I wore down my favorite boots, got dirt stuck permanently under my fingernails, and came home stinking like horse manure more often than not. I still find hay stuck in the most random places of my car and clothing.

The hard labor did my soul an awful lot of good. Even in October when I became the grateful recipient of a real job, I kept putting in as much time as I could after hours. When my physical efforts weren’t needed anymore, I jumped into other animal welfare pursuits.

Once November arrived–and in the midst of letter writing and calling campaigns badgering representatives to step up for wolves, wild horses, and pit bulls– it finally hit me that this rescue bent of mine wasn’t going away.

Nope, it was here to stay, and wasn’t it actually building me into someone I thought I’d never see again? I couldn’t be sure, but I felt something suspiciously close to the tremble of angel wings as my fire started to blaze deep inside of me


Now, as a gainfully employed number-cruncher, looking out the window of my new apartment and watching the clouds pile up and roll in, I can finally take a breath and see my future.

I can’t go into much detail yet, all I know is I’m shaping up to be one helluva HellRaiser. Just check out my battle torn angel wings.

ginger angel



Clouds from huffingtonpost.com

Angel found on facebookkappaylas.blogspot.com.