I've come to the conclusion that life is a joke.
I am Amanda, 22 & living in Vegas. I've been an enthusiastic Poker player since before I could win, starting in Aug. 2013 and now looking forward to my 2nd WSOP experience, knowing that this year will better than years past in life & poker.
With that being said, this thread will include the day to day accomplishments and failures I procure while living in LV. I'm planning on being here for awhile and will update often in the hopes of maintaining my sanity as a wannabe LV grinder. I'm well aware of the many life leaks I have, and will share my experience as I attempt to balance my vices. I have accepted myself for who I am, and I will not apologize for making mistakes because if I'm not making mistakes then I'm not really learning.
A little about how I've lived thus far, as I enjoy the beauty in being different.
I've been talking to the stars and the Moon,
They told me that one day soon,
It'll all make sense and be okay,
All my worry will go away.
If I stay strong and continue to grow,
There will be more happiness than I've ever known.
I made friends with the midnight sky,
With endless beauty and infinite time.
Every new beginning starts,
As your last beginning ends.
I spent the majority of my adolescence in and out of group homes, detention centers and rehabilitation centers. I was a rebellious teen that had so much going on in my head because my mother was sick and I was taking care of my 4 little sisters at 12 that I had started finding comfort in the world outside of my house. I was drinking every day by the time I was 13, a devout alcoholic. I would get drunk and disappear for days and weeks at a time, hiding from my mother who would report me as a runaway, when really I was just too drunk to make it home. Eventually the cops would find me walking around outside on a school day in Baltimore City and pick me up for skipping school. I stopped attending school every day when I was in 7th grade. Initially my mom had tried homeschooling us because she didn't want my sisters and I to go to the public city schools, she was afraid it wasn't safe. They wore uniforms, had security guards and most of the schools had metal detectors and locked the doors to outside during school hours.
The 7th grade year of my schooling is a little difficult for me to recall, so the ambiguity begets a difference in opinion between my Mother and I as to how those years panned out. What is prevalent in our recollection of those years is that I was quite the delinquent at this point, not particularly caring about formal education although I was passionate about learning. A few months into the school year I vaguely remember attending, I did one of my disappearing acts. When the cops finally found me and took me into the office of the school I was supposed to be attending, the receptionist told the officer that I was no longer enrolled in school because I never actually attended.
At that point my mom had given up. When I was 14 my mom called my father who I hadn't seen in quite a few years and sent me to stay with him. Needless to say not much changed. My father tried, but he left a little girl and came back into my life while I was a rebellious adolescent with a long list of self-deprecating habits. The first thing he did was enroll me back into school, and at this point it had been a couple years since I had attended any consistent schooling.
The school administration gave me tests to determine which grade I should be in based on my level of measurable intellect. When all was said and done, I tested into well above my age level, and based on my scholastic past, well above expectations. The last grade I completed was 6th, so I would complete the last 3 months of the year in 8th grade before I would continue into high school the following year.
Now if you remember I told you that my dad wasn't too well versed in taking care of a 14yr girl who had drug and alcohol problems, when he himself was an Alcoholic (Recently recovering). When I first moved in with my dad, he was an enabler to my addictions. My father was a truck driver that would run loads up and down the East Coast every day, and while he was home he would drink while listening to loud music.
As a teenage girl that was dying more and more on the inside with each passing moment I was out of my element. I began slowly missing curfew until I figured out how to sneak out, then I would come home early so he would fall asleep. I’d sneak out with my “friends” after I stole money from my Father and go buy bud, cigarettes and booze. My acts of rebellion became progressively worse until I finally ran away from my Dad. He immediately changed the locks, so unless I was prepared to face him I wasn't getting back into the house. I slept outside a few nights, refusing to comply with his rules.
The cops found me one night after I had been drinking, and somehow I wound up in Edge-wood blacked out and beat up. I still barely remember what had happened, I just remember being extremely grateful to hear an officer tell the two girls who were stomping me to step away they were going to arrest me. Apparently the people I had been with busted their car window out with a baseball bat and I happened to be wearing that guys hat aimlessly wandering around the neighborhood. Being as how I was too wasted to talk, they didn't bother getting a story from me. The girls beat the **** out of me until the cops showed up. The cops had to ask me repeatedly where I lived, I groaned them directions until they got me home.
“Is this your Daughter?” The Police Officer asked.
“Yea, that’s mine.” He replied
Then he looked at me and said “Go to bed, we’ll talk about this in the morning.” I stumbled to my bed and passed out.
I was almost always wasted in one way or another, there wasn't a drug I wouldn't do or a drinking challenge I wouldn't take. The things that I would do after I was intoxicated were as unfiltered as it gets. My inhibitions were easily extinguished as I became increasingly oblivious to the world around me. I found comfort in not having to feel emotions, until it reached a point where my wasted life collided with my sober life and I couldn't run from the pain anymore because it had finally caught up to me. I would try to run away from everything, and I avoided facing the demons that haunted me everyday.
By the time I was 16 years old I was committed to the state of Maryland and sent to a lock-down Psychiatric Facility with Drug rehabilitation, where once again someone tried to save me from this path of self destruction. I was recovering from a Heroin and Crack addiction that I had picked up while living on the streets of Baltimore at 14.
I am now 22 years old. I am mostly sober, but know I'll struggle with addiction in many ways for the rest of my life. This is something I accept and I'm not ashamed of.
When you find something to be passionate about, you find the passion in life that seemed unattainable ever before.
**People who matter don’t judge, People who judge don’t matter.**
Part of being human on the real though, is knowing you will make mistakes, you will say things and do things you know you shouldn't do knowing in the back of your head that they aren't productive. You will think you're right when you are wrong, and you will think you're wrong when you are right. You can't avoid making mistakes. It's impossible because it's our nature. You have to be open to learning from these mistakes instead of condemning yourself and others when they are made.
At the end of the day, we're all people. The only thing that makes us different, is whether or not we're willing to admit to being human.
Never Give Up On Yourself
Everyone has a story, each very different than the next while still being so much the same.
I have met a lot of people in my life and each person has left a permanent impression upon my heart. For better or for worse they have enabled me to find a good portion of myself that I was unaware of.
This search for my purpose in life has brought about one conclusion, I must always love myself. It may seem like a silly thing to say, and I always thought I did love myself but it's not the easiest thing to do sometimes. The most self-deprecating thing you can do in life is to feel as though you aren't worthy of being loved, regardless of what it is you have done in the past, plan to do in the future, or for that matter have not done at all.
Have you ever looked Yourself in the eyes?
Were you sincere,
Or did you lie?
Did you see the truth,
Or did it hide?
Did you laugh,
Or did you cry?
Were you honest,
Or only tried?
Did you tell your secrets,
Or close your eyes?
~You must live, in order to feel alive~
"Find what you love and let it kill you" - Bukowski
Life isn't easy, chasing your dreams is not easy. If it was easy then everyone would do it. Leaving your comfort zone to traverse the unknown is petrifying to most, to me it's the most enthralling and riveting thing that exists in our universe.
There are going to be many times that you are faced with a choice, and most of those times there will be no right or wrong decision. The choice is there for YOU and only you. When something appears to go "wrong" just understand it's not wrong, it's as right as it could be. In order to make something great, you have to let go of the not so great. Everything will come to pass, and all in due time.
Focus on today, focus on you. Just know the Universe has your back, everything you do is significant and important. If there wasn't a past there would be no present, and without the present there would be no future. There will be no change is no hope is spoken, if eyes are closed and refuse to open.
We're in the same game
feel the same pain
Share the same shame
Refuse to take the same blame
We fight the same fight
Try to do this thing right
Search for the same light
but do you see it?
We suffer the same guilt
Tilt the same tilt
Tear down the same walls we all build
Are you satisfied?
We've lied the same lies
Said the same goodbyes
Cried without knowing why
Survived the same life
Do you know what I mean?
We see differently
You and me are extraordinary
Experiencing the same reality similarly
What do you see?
The entire life I have lived has been a continuous fight for survival. I have never quite fit in, but I have always continued to be who I am. I have learned many things in my life without a formal education or parents to guide me. I have reached a point in this life where I feel as though I am unable to live the way that is expected of me, and I no longer care.
So, if you wish to join me while I live my life is Vegas, welcome to my world.