So, I continued packing tonight. During the process, I have been trying very hard to eliminate things I don’t need or want. I have come across so many journals. When I think back I remember the moments I wrote in them. I had that need to write, express, vent, create. I would buy a journal, write, lose a journal, decide I needed another one, buy another and write for a while….cycle repeat. But, what I see in my journals over the last 15+ years is not what it used to be when I was young. When I was young I wrote every day. And it wasn’t always peaches and cream but it was mostly positive. When I go back over the journals of the last many years I see something I was blind to at the time. And it makes me really fucking sad. There was a whole lot of pain there. Pain that I pushed aside because I just don’t deal with it well. It’s a fact. Hard one for me to accept, but it’s true. This is when my stubborn does NOT serve me well. I am so determined to not let anyone or anything break me that I have allowed things that should have never been allowed just to prove I can take it. Foolish. I came across an entry from 13 years ago. THIRTEEN! It expressed some very deep emotion, hurt, confusion, frustration, and a desire to improve whatever the problem was although I couldn’t pinpoint what the actual problem was. I never did pinpoint it and it grew into more complex problems over time. This was nearly FOUR YEARS into a relationship that I thought would be a “forever” one. And the cycle continued for another 11 years. I’m not pointing fingers here. We are our own people/individuals with our own positives and negatives. Some are compatible, some are not. I, no doubt, failed in a lot of ways. I certainly have my own faults and areas to improve. But, it can be hard to look back and realize that what I myself, and SOOOO many other people thought was so perfect and a model to follow…..was actually a fucking mess. My eyes weren’t open to see it. As a result, other people in my life that I absolutely adore suffered. I did not do such a great job protecting my own. For that, I can not be sorry enough.

Random Ramble Regarding Self Reflection

I don’t often take the time to self-reflect because I don’t really like it. My own worst critic, ya know. But sometimes, its…..just time. So, here it goes. Let’s get the ugly out of the way first. I am stubborn, willful (not always bad), self deprecating, anxious, sarcastic, obstinate, foul mouthed, and I’ve got some really bad habits. People could probably think of a hundred other adjectives to describe those parts of me. And I’m sure that some would sure like to vocalize them. Have at it folks. I am not perfect. I am human. I have good….I have bad…and I have places in between. Just like everyone else. Ya know…you look at social media and you see the things that people CHOOSE to share. It is not usually raw, although the moment is real. But, people tend to put the best forward first…..or ONLY. Which is why I chose, with this writing, to start with the not so pretty parts. When my mind is set (which actually takes a while), it’s gonna take you the ability to move a mountain to change it even if I’m not actually right. Gotta talk to me in a certain way to get me to listen. My mind can be changed, but it’s not easy. It’s just fact. If I want something, don’t stand in my way or I will mow you down with a swiftness without a care. I will be the first to criticize myself and try to perfect my every action. I deal with anxiety. I try to manage it but don’t always do so great, if I’m honest. I have a mouth like no other. Ask my Mother…she knows all too well. And such a patient soul she is. (Love you, Mom!)

But, I can’t reflect without seeing the good stuff too – and maybe some of the stuff above isn’t necessarily bad depending on how you look at it. I am loyal….to a fault! If I have your back I have it…period! I strive to be my best me. To improve always. I work hard and provide for my family. I do everything I can to overcome the obstacles that block my path. There is not a rock that I cannot climb. And, by god, I’ll carry whatever I have to over that rock with me! Although not Christian some might consider me spiritual. I can appreciate and embrace some things that ground me…specifically nature. It is my peaceful place and the thing that brings me to center. I do my best to keep an open mind. I understand that we are all different people with different beliefs and I LOVE that about people. I wouldn’t want it any other way. It provides opportunity for discussion and inclusion and growth. I could learn just as much from an opposite thinking person as they could from me. I like to think that those opposite thinking people feel like that’s a two way street. When I cry, I cry hard (although I fucking hate it!). But, when I love, I love even harder.

It boils down to this. I’m a pretty big mess. But, in our own ways, aren’t we all? This mess is blessed. And sometimes it just takes a ramble to realize it.

Simple Little Drives and Console Cuddles

It’s interesting, isn’t it? How the simplest things can be the most beneficial. Life gets crazy, you get wrapped up inside all of the “important” things that need to be done. It’s so easy to lose sight of the beauty in simplicity. Can we please take it back to simple for a while? The silence, the peace, the slow-pace….all such beautiful and needed things. When you get to experience or re-experience those things you don’t always want to let go of them and get back to the fast paced bull-shit that life sometimes throws at you. It’s in the times when life stuff comes back full force that it is important to remember those peaceful moments…and to look forward to them again. The simple little drives and console cuddles. The gentle touches that are just that….gentle, kind, reassuring, and THERE. The random drives that don’t have to lead anywhere in particular except for where they land you. And then you take in every beautiful thing that surrounds you. Take the road less travelled. It’s more adventurous and exciting, indeed, even if peaceful and serene. They can all go hand in hand. Oh, the opportunity to lay down your head on the console to rest, even if just for a bit, while your hair is caressed putting you to sleep and providing a comfort that has long been forgotten. It doesn’t matter how long or short the sleep is…it’s the comfort behind it that is what charges me, personally. Maybe it’s different for you. And that’s ok. But, please, take the time to enjoy simple little drives and console cuddles. They can be moments never forgotten.

Dawn Stafford 08/30/2021


Tonight it’s a ramble and probably a little overdue. I’ve been told a handful of times over the last few months that I can be intimidating. I struggle with this idea, so I want to try and write out my thoughts. Maybe it will bring me a more clear perspective. Let’s look at some things:

  • I am stubborn (anyone that knows anything about me knows this).
    • When I see a goal in sight, I want to reach it. Period. Don’t get in my way cause I’ll do everything in my power to move you.
    • It takes me forever to make up my mind, but once it’s made it’s made. Good luck changing it.
    • There are times (plenty, actually) when I’m wrong but if you take the time to explain or teach me then that stubborn streak will fade away until I refocus my task or goal. Then it’s back on refocused in a new direction.
    • When I’m wrong, you’d best know that I will be the first one to admit it as long as I realize it.
  • I am vocal, when the time and place calls for it.
    • Often quiet and timid when first meeting people because observation is everything!
    • When I learn people or topics I am not afraid to speak my mind. Delivery is important and I try my best to be kind even if my ideas don’t align with others. Not always 100% success, but that is my goal.
  • I don’t need or want a caretaker. I am a big girl and I can fend for myself.
    • Caretaker and partner are two different things to me.
      • Emotional support – two way deal (partner).
        • I like to give and receive comfort when either party is going through something ugly.
      • Support of goals – two way deal (partner).
      • Financial support (caretaker) not even a thought in my mind. I hold my own.
        • I expect to not have to financially support a partner unless there are extenuating circumstances and vice versa.
  • Puppy dog syndrome
    • My alone time is important. It is my recharge time. I cant’ do constant “togetherness”.
    • If you have a hobby I don’t share…please go enjoy it.
    • If I have a hobby you don’t share…please let me enjoy it.
    • Together time is still very important and should be prioritized.
    • If we are friends and I don’t text or call, please don’t take offense. Life happens. I still love you regardless. That is a two way street and if I count you as a friend then I expect the same calls for you too.
  • Emotions – I suck at this part.
    • Until you know me – hard exterior.
    • I don’t really talk about them much – working on that.
    • Slow to lose my temper, but once it’s lost you will know it.
    • If something tragic happens, I will go silent. I’m processing.
  • Giving
    • I give everything to what I’m committed to. Zero exceptions.
    • I love to be generous, even if all I have to give is my time, my shoulder, my ear. Those are often the most valuable things.
  • Taking
    • I try to take very little. But, sometimes I just need it. And its always a form of emotional support once I admit it.

Whew! I feel like that was a lot. Reading back it almost looks like a dating application but it really isn’t. This is me. Be it a friend or whatever. I don’t find these things intimidating. I find them strong. I find them willful. I find some of them beautiful and others broken. But, I’m always a work in progress. I’ll take that! Here’s to a better me!

A Friend In Me.

I often think of life as a roadmap. Twists and turns, mountains and valleys. Maybe that is a correlation with the road travel of my youth. The feeling of the majesty and height of the mountains. The drab and dry of the deserts. The luscious green of the beautiful valleys. I enjoy the ups, I hurt with the downs, the twists and turns can be quite exciting yet unpredictable. But each and every experience holds a lesson. They each hold something to hold onto when moving forward, and sometimes things that you learn you need to let go of. The letting go part may not apply to this writing, but it is worth mentioning. It is all a process….this thing called life.

Sometimes there are moments
When the Universe aligns
And then there are the others
That seem so lost in time.

Moments that are shared
A connection undenied
A word, a laugh or whisper
Controls the turning of the tide.

The cards did not fall in favor
Of now continuing this road
Yet be a friend, but not a lover
I can help carry your load.

When the road is long and winding
And the rocks get in your way
I can be right there beside you
Until there comes a better day.

I’d share the sunshine and the rainstorm
You know they each have qualities
Enjoy the beauty that’s within them
Let it lift you off your knees

No matter what might lie ahead
Or what those eyes might see
Please understand and never doubt
You’ll find a friend in me.

Dawn Stafford 07/26/2021


Not even sure how to start this. I suppose, the best way is from the beginning. I remember when I was this young, carefree soul. I could take on the world with no apprehension. You give me a task or a challenge…bet your ass I’ll meet it and beat it. Then I found myself (or put myself) in a place where I lost that for a long time. I felt defeated constantly. Questioning my values, my opinions, my decisions, etc. That wasn’t “me”. Now, I don’t think it’s wrong or negative to question things throughout life. I think it is an important part of it. How do you learn if you don’t allow yourself to question things? But, this was different.

We all have our “things”. Our things that we struggle with, the things we try to overcome. And the people in our lives either help or hinder that progress. You pick the right ones…or you don’t. Although the work is ultimately up to the individual, help is…well…helpful. I didn’t always make the best choices there. I chose some people that drove me down, sucked the positivity out of me, manipulated and took advantage of me. It took a long while for me to see what other people saw for a long time. Many people who tried so hard to tell me. I was blind to it. Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a finger pointing game. I’ve got my own “things”, like I mentioned earlier. I am not an innocent. But, I’m thinking maybe I’m coming around that corner now. I sure hope so because I feel pretty positive about it.

I’ve found some personal discipline again. I’ve found my smile again. I’ve found my laugh. I’ve found some peace and comfort. I’m still traveling that road to the “me” I used to know (but new and improved) and I am closer and closer each day. I am learning to remember that I do have value. There is a lot more positive in me than negative. I think it would be good if we could all remind ourselves to look for the value. Most often, you will find more good than not.

Much love. ❤

Dawn Stafford 06/15/21

The Mockingbird Sings

It’s a quiet night, after some festivities, with one exception. That mockingbird. It sings the song of every other thing. And it is beautiful! I hear frogs and crickets and other birds and even a resounding of my call to it. Now….you tell me how nature isn’t spectacular and beautiful and perfect! ❤️


Those crystal blue eyes
I’ve lost myself inside ’em
But there are things locked away in there
I just need the key to find them

We’ve talked about the learning
Learning you and learning me
To take apart each of our things
And find just what we’ll see.

You’ve mentioned that you’ll break the ones
That keep me in the dark.
And put me back together
Leaving your lasting mark.

If you find success in that right
I’ll wear that mark with pride.
I’m not an easy girl to break
But sometimes things collide.

It will take some time to get there
And my patience not yet gone.
I hope you stick around for long enough
To learn that you’re not wrong.

If you can break the walls & fight that fight
There is a treasure lying there.
I have a world to give, a mind for thought
And my heart was born to care.

Dawn Stafford 06/07/2021

Crowded Table

I had a good day. I had a good night. A very nice dinner and bubble gum lips. It’s funny (or not) when you get back into the dating scene…..the really awkward times, the downright awful ones…..and then the really good ones.

I had an opportunity today to do one of the things I do best. I got to cook. And it’s not just that. I got to cook WITH someone!! And awwwww hell!!!! We didn’t run over each other! If you know me at all you know that is HUGE for me. Don’t get in my way in a kitchen! MASSIVE plus! Although he did admit that he watched my reflection from the microwave door to see where I was. No judgement there….pretty smooth move.

I got to sit around my dining room table with people that mean the most to me. Conversation was flowing and it was just great! It makes me think of the song by The Highwomen -Crowded Table. – Lyrics below.

I’d like another dinner and bubble gum lips.


Crowded Table Song by The Highwomen

You can hold my hand
When you need to let go
I can be your mountain
When you’re feeling valley-low
I can be your streetlight
Showing you the way home
You can hold my hand
When you need to let go

I want a house with a crowded table
And a place by the fire for everyone
Let us take on the world while we’re young and able
And bring us back together when the day is done

If we want a garden
We’re gonna have to sow the seed
Plant a little happiness
Let the roots run deep
If it’s love that we give
Then it’s love that we reap
If we want a garden
We’re gonna have to sow the seed

Yeah I want a house with a crowded table
And a place by the fire for everyone
Let us take on the world while we’re young and able
And bring us back together when the day is done

The door is always open
Your picture’s on my wall
Everyone’s a little broken
And everyone belongs
Yeah, everyone belongs

I want a house with a crowded table
And a place by the fire for everyone
Let us take on the world while we’re young and able
And bring us back together when the day is done
And bring us back together when the day is done

Never Alone

I was going through some things today and I came across an old poem that I wrote. I remember when I wrote it. I was so sure of things then. It’s interesting how things change with time – be it due to one person, another person, a mutual decision or just life. People change, they grow and I think that is natural. We don’t all change at the same pace or at the same time. And sometimes that leads to needing to part ways. Initially, when I found this, I thought I would just throw it away. Then I stopped myself. This was a part of my life. Why would I toss that in the trash? It is just as important as every other part of my life. It is part of me. Nothing about me belongs in the trash. I’ve discarded things like this before and came to regret it. Why repeat that mistake? So….here I am….sharing.

I know that there are times

When my pen lies idly by

As the world is spinning fast

And the time just seems to fly.

But my mind is filled with thoughts

Constantly thinking of our love

And how it seems to grow each day

Bigger than the skies above.

I think of the magnificence

That I feel when I’m with you

The constant sense of honesty

That comes with everything you do.

I keep thinking of comparisons

To describe your love and mine

But nothing can come close to that

There just aren’t the words to find.

I still believe that I’m the luckiest

But not that luck brought you to me.

I believe the cards were laid in place

And I am where I’m meant to be.

I am more in love with you today

Than I was the day before

And I know with every passing day

I’ll love you more and more.

So, here’s to us and our family

We’re grounded, solid as a stone.

I’ll vow to you again today

That you will never be alone.

Dawn Stafford