Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Nov 12


It’s Veteran’s Day. At least it is for a few more minutes (or was, by the time I get this posted).

I know this because of the onslaught of emails telling me about sales. I also know it because many of my friends on Facebook have changed profile photos or cover photos. I know many people who have served, many of whom I met while I was married to someone who was in the military.

Veteran’s Day is also a reminder of everyone I know has served, has family members who have served or has sat at home during a long deployment while their significant other was in a war zone. There are many more of these people than I anticipated. I often forget. I’m willing to bet you have similar feelings on this day every year, that you’re surprise by how many people known to you who have connections to the military, even if you’ve never served yourself, have never lived on a base or live somewhere without a heavy military influence.

It is because of these people, most of whom I like, many of whom I respect, and a few of which I love dearly, that I cannot post this on Facebook. I would not want to take away from their posts or the support they’re receiving. In fact, as I type this, NCIS is playing in the background, and two characters are musing about the type of person who would sign up to go to a war zone. Tony says “Crazy.” Ellie says “Noble.” Perhaps this very dichotomy is what has me tripped up.

Enlisting in the military takes you away from your friends and family, even if you only leave for basic training and school. You may be stationed across the country or world from them. Deployments put you in the middle of war zones, without most of the perks of first-world living. There are rigid protocols for fitness. You can expect to be on-call for your entire military career. There are a lot of sacrifices we don’t make in the civilian world, even though there’s definitely some shared sacrifices with some jobs.

None of this negates the perks, however. Free schooling, housing and medical. Pensions after just twenty years.  The military provides many people with resources that are hard-fought or even too expensive to be considered for many people. These resources are a real motivation for people who struggle to obtain them through other means. It’s often sign-up bonuses and a stable job that appeal to people who enlist, rather than their desire to “fright for freedom” or the American way.

There’s a stability provided that might be a stark reminder of how unstable life can be for those who has signed up for the military. I recognize this. I respect this.

Still, there are some people who never deploy. There are those who have short deployments that are few and far between. Training to survive and defend is forgotten as people work desk jobs for their entire career. I’ve seen it happen. People get all the perks while dealing with little more than an inconvenience.

There are enough people in the military who don’t respect their jobs, their sacrifices and their risks that I can’t help but wonder, “Why should I?” Perhaps they’ve earned the right by being in it, something I only came within grasp of when I was married to the military. Maybe I was lucky that my loved one came home time after time, with every limb in tact. Maybe I am jaded because I had the best experience possible.

Perhaps that’s the point. We never know whose life will be stable, which deployment will be one that we return from and who will escape from their service unscathed. But there’s entirely the risk that that the risk turns into a real sacrifice, that lives will be torn asunder, irrevocably changed. I guess I can’t argue against showing a little respect for those who take that risk. It’s not fair to revoke respect simply because the worst didn’t happen. In fact, I think I feel a little grateful for those who had it “easier.”

Happy Veteran’s Day.

Sep 27


I am pretty conscientious about how other people feel. I try to be thoughtful and anticipate issues. I spend a lot of time listening to people about their feeling and advising them, and I’ve got a pretty good grasp on how people react to what type of situations.

It’s safe to say, I think, that people aren’t often upset or angry with me because of this. And when they are, it’s often because of how they filter and react to the world around them and less about what I have done. But because I have tried to do everything as “right” as possible, I wind up feeling so confused and hurt when people are angry.

I try to chase them down and change those feelings, and this rarely makes things better. But in my mind, I would — and often do — cut someone slack when they have good intentions. I am sympathetic to others’ feelings, even if it means understanding both sides of the issues when one person wants me to be on “Their” side.

The last 24 hours have been frustrating for me, as someone expressed anger in my direction although not entirely at me. I felt as though it was my fault and worried that more people were angry. Truly, the situation was no one’s fault and just a bit of a misunderstanding. At best, it resulted in a “bummer” for people involved who weren’t me. It boggles my mind that someone could become so angry over it.

At the same time, I know why feelings were running so high, and I also knew it had nothing to do with me. But it was hard to see outside my role and not try to fix it.

I think I need to realize that I can’t “fix’ another person’s feelings — and that I shouldn’t have to. Those feelings are on them, and I don’t need to let them drag me down, too, especially when I can see how irrational those feelings are.

But it’s hard. IT brings me back to my ex, who would hold every negative thing I did or “made” him feel — no matter how unintended — against me. This screwup might be the time he stops dealing with pathetic, unworthy Cole. This might be the time that everything falls to pieces, and it’s all my fault.

He was incredibly manipulative in that way, and while I can see in hindsight that’s neither a person I should love, a relationship that’s healthy or happy to be in or a situation that I am creating, those feelings still creep up on me.

After my divorce, I’ve tried and continue to try so hard to be above criticism, to be so good that no one could again blame me for anything.. even if that’s unrealistic. Because I don’t want to be the person my ex painted me as, whether or not he even believed it. Because I did.

And while I know I am not the same I person if I ever was that person, I guess. It’s also important to remember the people I’m dealing with now aren’t my ex.

This is perhaps a good place to leave off, with thoughtful reflection and while watching an episode of Girls Meets World about conflict in the background.

Sep 19

How Have I Loved

I have loved people who didn’t love me or past the expiration date of their love because my love isn’t dependent upon someone loving me back.

I have loved difficult people, and I have loved at times when I wasn’t sure I was capable of love, because being difficult doesn’t mean those people don’t need love or that they don’t deserve it. And few things easy are worth it.

I have loved people because I could see positives in them when no one else could.

I have loved others even when I couldn’t love myself… and I have loved when (it felt like) no one loved me in return.

I have loved after hurt; I have loved while hurting those I loved.

I have loved until it hurt, often well past that point.

I have loved when every fiber in my being was afraid of doing so.

I have loved on faith alone.

I have loved when there was nothing else I could bring myself to do.

I have loved long distance because I don’t need to be near someone to know that I love them. In fact, I have loved with only words on a screen or a voice through a phone to know.

I have loved even when I didn’t want to because I was angry or frustrated. I have loved in spite of myself, and couldn’t stop myself if I wanted to.

I have loved poorly, but still I loved.

I have loved well and will continue to love better until I can love no more.

Aug 28

The In Crowd

I feel pretty euphoric right now. I feel so connected. Part of something bigger than myself. Like I’m helping to make something happen.

And while it may seem silly, there’s a very specific reason I feel this way. Tonight, I contributed to two crowdfunding campaigns. One for hilarious, nerd comedian Joseph Scrimshaw and one for rock band Adelitas Way’s new album.

Sure, there’s perks to these things, including some immediate song downloads, emails with folks whose work I admire and other prizes I didn’t opt for. It also feels pretty damn good to help ensure that the things I love will continue to be made. And if I can help in any way, it’s like the girl without an artistic bone in her body is a catalyst, as the very least. I will be able to continue to enjoying these things because I wanted it that much.

But there’s something even better. Can you believe that? It’s this feeling of connectedness. Of knowing that I’ve joined thousands of other people in pledging money, not to mention the people actually making these things. We want a thing. We are brought together by our love of it. The world isn’t so cold, lonely or harsh.

I wonder if heaven feels a little bit like that?

Aug 15

I suppose I ought to write something since it’s been almost a month since my last post, and what a month it’s been!

The first week of August included my cousin’s birthday, my aunt’s wedding, the annual fair in town and GISHWHES, which was exhausting yet exhilarating. It gave me anxiety, but also a reason to talk to everyone I knew. It tested my creativity, introduced me to people and reconnected me with old friends. While I woke up anxious on some days, I went to bed feeling accomplished.

We won’t have the results for a while yet, and while I don’t know that we will win, I feel happy with that our team was able to do and what I was able to do specifically! I’ve signed up for the coffee table book review team, so I get a peek at what some of the other teams have done, which has mostly be reassuring!

My sister, cousins and a lot of children I know participated and had fun. My sister in particular enjoy spending time with me “doing cool things.” I think I need to spend more quality time with her.

My aunt’s wedding was hectic but fun, and I had an overnight guest that weekend. There was a lot of scrambling as I finished up GISHWHES. Luck would have is that my main client took off this week, so I’ve been working on catching up with blogging.

However, I’ve also caught some sort of a virus, which resulted in a cold. It’s not unusual because stress makes my immune system tank. I caught it early enough to take some supplements, so it’s not as bad as it would be otherwise.

It hasn’t stopped me from enjoying what was turned out to be a silly and alcohol-induced game night with friends, and I’ve got the bruises and stomachache to prove it. In true Cole fashion, I tried to walk it off for five miles exactly, and now my knee is throbbing and not entirely happy with me.

I’ll spend the rest of the night relaxing with my kitties and playing video games, in which I’ve been making quite the progress during my week off! It’s already 5 in the morning. I don’t know where the time went!

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