In honor of you, me, and Anthony Bourdain

Waking up today to the news that one of my favorite celebrities/people had died wasn’t exactly the way I wanted to start the day. And as soon as I thought those words to myself I realized how selfish they were. Especially since he apparently didn’t want to wake up at all.

Obviously I didn’t know him personally but this was a man that I have idolized since I was a child. Sounds odd that a child would think so highly of such a character. He talked openly about his addictions, his struggles, and where he came from but I didn’t see any of that. I saw his strong sense of self, his sarcasm, his ability to adapt to different cultures, traditions, and people with such fluidity that in my eyes he simply had to be admired, revered even.

Reading and and watching so much about him throughout my life, my opinion of him has only gone up. I thought he was a genius and oddly enough a true lover of life. I could  watch “No Reservations” or “Parts Unknown” on repeat and never tire of it. I could sit here and wonder what led to his decision but I think that would almost be disrespectful as it was HIS decision. Not to mention he talked openly about considering suicide in his past.

It does however make me wonder how many other people are considering. How many other people I look up to, admire, revere even, are currently or have considered suicide. If you are reading this, know that I am here to listen, to talk, to vent to, cry to, or just try and understand. I won’t judge. I won’t call you selfish as so many people seem to jump to that.

I also encourage you to get back to you. To the things you love. The people you love. To take care of you.

So today I will honor myself by getting back to writing. Writing makes me feel the most like me. If I learned one thing from a man that I never met but would have given anything to have a meal and a conversation with, it was to live unapologetically and with yourself in mind. So Thank you for that lesson Anthony Bourdain. Thank you for reminding me and hopefully many others that there is joy in life if we simply go get it. Rest well. Thank you for gracing us with your time and your genius. You certainly left your mark on the world.

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Do you know what its like to stare at tulips?

Do you know what its like to stare at tulips? Tulips. They’re out of season. They’re beautiful. They remind me of me and my mom planting them in a bird feeder when was twelve. They remind me of happy memories in a time when there was no happiness. A time when my childhood, my innocence was stolen.

This is a piece I’ve wanted to write for years but never had the balls to. I look back at that bird feeder, with my mother, who is my favorite person, when was 12, and I wish I could have told her about my life. About my grandfather. Her father.

Earlier tonight a beautiful man brought me beautiful flowers. He made me feel wanted. Special. Like a woman. And my first memory was me and my mom planting tulips. And I remember crying. And I remember her asking why.

At 30, I can finally say why.

I sit here and wonder if I should write this. If Im doing the right thing for me And then I remind myself of me at 12, and remember that there are other little girls out there and I am assured that I am. And my 12 year old self cries as she applauds me.

He ruined my life. He knew he had when he told me he had and he took pride in it. He ruined it further when he told me I couldn’t tell anyone. He ruined it when he told me I was pretty so it was my fault. He ruined it when he told me my dad would go to jail if I said anything because he would kill him and it would be his fault. It would be my fault. He ruined it further when he had the audacity to ask a 12 year old if I enjoyed it and told me to own my sexuality at 12. He ruins it now as I realize it has taken a bottle and a half of wine to write this and even further when I hear my psychiatrists words tell me I need to be on xanax for the rest of my life. He ruins it the worst when I need to text my mother at 4:30 am and ask her permission to write this because I don’t want to hurt her.

I have taken so many breaks already in writing this that I question why I am and then I am reminded again of my psychiatrists words. I’ve had my tattoo sleeve less than 2 weeks and already Im questioned. “What happened to you that you feel the need to do this?” “What did you go through?”

Its a simple answer. I went through hell.  As a child I went through hell at the hands of family. Somebody who was supposed to protect me and help me and lead me.  And instead he delivered me to hell.  And whats worse is now being an adult. Having people call me a liar. And having family members keep his picture on their walls. And having those family members expect me to deal with it because he did nothing to them. So I should deal with it right?

I should deal with it when friends drop casual jokes. Rape jokes. Assault jokes. Im a woman. I should get past it right? Because I’ve grown up. Because people are silly and don’t realize the implications with a flippant joke about assault. I should know that and forgive. Im too sensitive. I should get past it. I should learn to adapt and live and let go. Right? Goes back to exactly what my assailant said. Let it go. Its no big deal right:? It happens all the time.

I won’t let it go. I will never let it go again. As I pour myself another glass of wine because thats what it takes to get through this and I think back to the first person I had ever told when I was 16, I realize I will never and can never let it go. And why the fuck should I?

To make you feel better? So you don’t have to question if feminism is a real thing? So you don’t have to question if statistically women deal with the percentage that 1 out of  5 will be attacked within her lifetime? And that 3 out of 5 of those women will never report it? So you don’t have to feel bad about that percentage?  So you can continue living within your ignorance and continue to make jokes because they make you feel like a man?  So you can ignore your friends, your family, Your sisters, Your nieces, Your mom, Your aunt, your grandmother?

I hate myself for writing this but more than that I hate him. I hate that I can’t look at tulips without wondering. I hate that he has had an affect on every relationship I’ve ever had without wondering if he’s a good man. I hate that I can’t see these tulips and only see the man that washed my hair for me yesterday and brought me flowers because I deserved them.

The net time you even think of making a joke, look in the god damn mirror and ask yourself if you’re part of the problem. Ask yourself if your mother, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend, your wife; .. can look at tulips.

My brain hates me…not that that’s news anymore

So these last couple of weeks have been super fun. By now you all should know my level of sarcasm has no limit.  It certainly doesn’t this time.  I’ll explain.

A couple of Thursdays ago after a lovely, very stressful day, I decided to pass out. Unintentionally of course.  I had just finished eating and realized I couldn’t recall a single thing in my own head.  It occurred to me that I needed to feed the dogs and then I couldn’t remember what I had just been thinking about. And then it hit. It felt like somebody had taken an ostrich egg and cracked it right into my skull. Not the outside, the inside. And as that egg traveled down to the floor, so did I.

Paramedics were called and I was told it was simply a massive anxiety attack, the kind of which I had never experienced before.  It was absolutely terrifying. I could barely speak and when I could it felt like I was having to pull words up from the depths of the deepest ocean.  My mind was all over the place and yet I couldn’t catch a single coherent thought.   I couldn’t feel any of my limbs and I felt like I was shaking from the inside out. I felt like I was having a stroke, or at least what I would imagine a stroke would feel like.

Fast forward to the following Thursday. After only a couple of very minor attacks (for lack of better phrasing), Satan himself might as well have knocked me on my ass. After a few days in New Orleans, an effort to clear my head and relieve some of the pressure and stress I had been feeling, the worst attack I could never have imagined hit. Four and a half hours of being on and off the floor, in and out of bed, throwing up, and only having moments of clarity, and paramedics were called again. I would never wish this day on my worst enemy.

I now know what to look for and part of that is feeling fuzzy. My eyesight, my brain, my words. I start to slur and my speech pattern slows way down. I had been on the phone with my mom and had started to feel it then. By the time I hung up, my amazing friend that had traveled with me could hear it in my voice and said my eyes were vacant. She asked if I was ok right about the time it slammed in to me.

It has taken me damn near a week to recover as much as I have. The fact that I can sit here and write this is miraculous to me and as I write I find myself struggling to find words that have always come easily. When I try and speak to anyone, including family at times, I can hear my speech slur and slow down. I struggle and pause through most sentences.

I saw a doctor yesterday who has since prescribed me quite a bit of medication. From what I remember from our meeting, as I was so disoriented through most of it, my brain is revolting from stress and anxiety. It pretty much decides when it wants to work and when it doesn’t and on what level at that. It’s not actually a panic attack but it is anxiety manifesting this way.

Mornings seem to be better. At least until I try and be in public. I find that comedic movies help. Puzzles on my phone help. Exercise helps. Simple things like brushing my teeth, doing dishes or laundry, take me retraining myself on how to do them. I have to force my mind to focus and take deep breaths.

I have barely been in public at all this last week. I’ll feel good enough to try and then an hour in I realize I can no longer drive because I can’t see the lines on the road and stop lights start to confuse me.

This is all apparently just surface though. I need to start making some changes and some heavy ones at that. In dissecting my entire life with this psychiatrist we made some evaluations. The first and most important one being that even though I have at times considered myself to be incredibly selfish, I have been living my life in a way that pleases others more than myself. Whether its always allowing myself to be pulled in different directions, allowing manipulative people into my life who have swayed me and my decisions and my relationships, or even just social stigma, I have yet to really live for myself.

A part of me has always known this but turned a blind eye. Ironically enough I would go out to dinner or movies or for drinks with some of those same people or even by myself to try and feel better. What I should have been doing was getting to know myself. What do I want? If I could hand pick a life for myself what would I pick? I’ve always said the same thing. I just want to be happy.

I’ve always tried to live in a way that happiness wasn’t defined by things or jobs but by the people in your life, the memories you make and cherish. I see now that thats part of where I’ve gone wrong. The right people can make the difference, but in the world that I should have control over. Not the one I’ve just been coasting through.

I no longer just want to be happy. I now need to identify what THINGS would make me happy. And I have no idea where to start other than getting my health back. Feels like a catch twenty two. Especially since thinking with any sort of clarity is only now after a week, becoming attainable.

I don’t mean to say that I don’t have amazing people in my life. I do. I have truly had some amazing friends step up this last week and I don’t feel like I deserve it in some ways. Friends that have understood that I can’t communicate and don’t push. Ive also already had a couple show their true colors and I am so grateful they have. Makes this easier actually to identify the types that I need to avoid.

I have no idea if any of this even makes sense or even sounds cohesive because I can now barely see my screen or keyboard which means its time for bed and a whole slew of meds. Enough to kill a petting zoo according to a friend actually.

I am only just now turning 30. If you can relate to this in any sense, don’t do this to yourself. Get help before you start passing out. I’ve learned the floor will catch you, but its an awful long way back up to standing tall.

I hate people….and deer (those fuckers)

In the last two years I have moved to New Orleans from Shreveport and from New Orleans back to Shreveport. I have been jobless, more financially broken than I thought I ever would be (Not that people plan on that sort of thing) more emotionally broken than I thought I ever could be again (Been there before and swore it would never happen again…clearly that worked out well)  made new friends, lost old friends, and finally found some feet again.  For almost four months I drove an hour and a half back and forth to work, lived on various couches and my mattress on the floor of my mom’s sewing room at my parent’s house (The one that’s an hour and a half away from work) and have had a lot of heart to hearts with myself. Now I can once again claim a place of my own; I’ve been in it for a week now and it’s lovely; a job and coworkers I like, some financial stability, and a better state of mind.

Through all of the emotional crap and the moves and whatever else, my writing has suffered. I haven’t written nearly to the volume that I used to and it stopped coming easily, otherwise I probably would have had several rants on here. I don’t like to saturate anything with negativity which is another reason I shied away from my blog. I try to find ways to spin anything in to either comedic relief for everyone else or at least in to a life lesson. So I’m going to make an attempt now to catch up on the last several months. My rants, my funnies, my life lessons.

Lesson 1: Deer should not be called deer. They should only be referred to as those mother fuckers. Don’t believe me? Don’t understand? Wait until one fucks up your car enough that you can’t drive it home. On your way home from your very first day at work. When you have an hour left of driving time. In the dark. WIth no cell service. By yourself. Still don’t believe me? Wait until you refer to your daily drive home as a game of dodgeball because they are EVERYWHERE!!! Wait until you have to slam on your brakes so often that you no longer drive the 65 mph speed limit and instead choose to drive under 50 mph lest you kill yourself, your car, or another deer.

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Lesson 2: It’s ok to Love Harry Potter. It’s not ok to relive his childhood in your own adult life.

I took a job as a butler at a casino. The job was supposed to entail making a lot of money, being busy supplying high rollers with cigars, new sheets, tampons, phone chargers, dinner reservations, and limo rides. What it actually involved was me sitting in a cupboard 80% of the time. I understand it’s not exactly a cupboard under the stairs, but it’s damn close. Stir crazy is an understatement. And while my cupboard time did come with a great new friend, my Harry Potter experience didn’t come with wands, spells, or magic of any kind. There were several potions involved however. They had names I’d heard before like Dom Perignon, Cardinale cabarnet, and something called Captain Morgan. All of which seem to induce a state of mild euphoria or at least temporary happiness. Harry Potter never had the side affects though. They included obnoxiousness, vomiting, and hangovers.

Lesson 3: Mustang side mirrors don’t fold in like most normal cars. They break off…… Both times.

Lesson 4: Being mildly retarded (as long as you do it under the vise of introverted and socially awkward) and obsessed with your own vagina can make you millions of dollars these days. Just ask Lena Dunham. “The Voice of our Generation” that had to use nudity, sex, and self victimization, on top of a whiney attitude in general to gain herself a tv show and a best selling piece of crap that I forced myself to read in hopes I would feel differently about her. Or you could ask Zoe DeChanel about her “New Girl” role. Apparently the “hip” thing these days is to be a self described introvert, a victim of something you’ve made up yourself, a slut, OR a christian. Ask any member of the Duggar family. They managed to do all at once. This explains why I am not rich, famous, or successful yet. What happened to cynics? Are those out of style? If that was still a thing I might have a chance.

Lesson 5: The Kardashians now own the media. I don’t think I need to explain this one

Lesson 6: Spontaneity is fantastic if I have enough time to plan for it

Seriously though. Spontaneity is fun. As a virgo I feel the need to plan for everything. Even my day. All of the time. But, as a creative, “free thinking,” liberal, gypsy hippy; my plans don’t work out anyway. EVER. None of the time. While I was in New Orleans, somebody special to me showed up at my apartment with a very small duffel bag. Upon handing it to me, he told me I had ten minutes to pack anything that would fit in the bag. After ten minute we were getting in the car and going to Florida. If I didn’t manage to pack enough or anything at all, I would be going out of state anyway. After a minute and a half of freak out, I had only eight and a half minutes left to pack and feed my hedgehog and get out the door and into the car. While I almost had a panic attack, I realized the beauty in the moment and being planless. It was nice to relent control to somebody else for a bit and just let go and see what happens. It was nice to trust somebody else with some of my time. I’m not so strict about plans anymore. Like I said, they don’t really work out for me anyway. I still need the time to wrap my head around an idea. I still need to semi plan for the situation, BUT I am open to stepping outside of my 2 or 3 day plan.

Lesson 7: Lying sucks and it helps nobody

Even just exaggerating. It’s still a lie. And there’s no reason to hide anything from anyone ever. No matter who they are. Family, friends, social media, the general public, strangers…..doesn’t matter. Be you. Tell the truth, even if you’re not proud of your truth or you think you’ll be judged for it. Doesn’t matter. If you tell the truth, others are more likely to tell the truth too. If you tell the truth, you might learn something from whoever it is you’re telling it to. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t be insecure. People should know you and love you for you. If they don’t, they don’t belong in your life. Seems like the easiest thing in the world when in fact it is the hardest.

Lesson 8: If everyone in your life likes you, chances are you don’t like yourself.

Because you’re lying. To somebody. Somewhere. About something. And if we’re lying…we’re unhappy. (Unless you have no soul or morals but hey….who am I to judge? And if I do…why do you care right?)

Lesson 9: Wear whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want to

New Orleans is great like that. It doesn’t matter if you wear black from head to toe, including your hair color and make up one day, and a tutu and bright pink heels the next day. Nobody bats an eye. If you want to walk around in pasties and the bottom half of a ball gown nobody gives a shit. Being back in Shreveport I’ve decided that if I want to dress like a cast member from American Horror Story’s Coven, I will. If I want to dress like a heroine chic Marc Jacobs model I will. If I want to dress like a man I damn sure will. Other than my work uniform….I dress how I want.  I’ve gone from black, wrap around, witch rune skirt one day, to green sundress and country boots the next. And it felt great. Don’t think I’ll be rockin pasties any time soon but to be fair…I wouldn’t do that in New Orleans either.

Lesson 9: Privilege is a privilege. Not a right. Not an obsession. Not a fad. Not a style. We have a generation of p words.

Do you really feel the need to ask for prayers for your teething child? Why? Because it’s growing? It’s being human? Just like 100 % of the population? Well Jesus Christ. How unfair. Is Yahoo financed by the Kardashians or are we so consumed with privileged sociapathic socialites that posting one article about them gains more views than 27 articles about politics, terrorists, racism, and repression combined? Are we so obsessed with luxury and lavishness that all we do is stalk celebrities on twitter and instagram and dream our lives away instead of living them? Are you so entitled that you are above the law and everyone else around you to the point that even if you are wrong, you will immediately cry racism, sexism, repression, or any other straw you can grasp at, simply because you can?

And finally Lessom 10: Your reactions are just as important as your actions. I’ve learned that lesson too hard and too many times. I’m hoping it sinks it this time around. Don’t let situations or people or words, cause you to react in a way that compromises who you are. Even if you hit a deer or fuck up your car. Even if other people say horrible things to you. Even if others judge you or spit on you or break you down. Sometimes the most important thing is your reaction or even your lack of one. Stay true to you no matter what.

Take this for it is. A rant about my last two years of life. A roller coaster that has brought ups, downs, vomit inducing twists and turns, and unbelievable highs and lows. I might not have learned a whole lot, but at least I learned.

How many times do you throw a life raft?

We all know those people, we’ve all been those people, we’ve all loved those people. People that are lost, people that are broken, people that are drowning. Sometimes helping, or trying to help those people, turn us into those people.
Where is the limit? How do you stop helping? How do you draw the line? And how do you live with yourself when you do?
I guess for me, I’ve been on all sides of it, even recently, even now. All sides of it.
A part of me has always been made happy by helping others. I tend to stop helping myself when I do though. Somehow, everyone around me becomes more important to me and my time than I do.
Lately I’ve had to really take stock of my life. I’ve tried so hard to make better decisions, to move up and to move forward. I’ve taken “good” jobs that have turned to shit. I’ve moved, I’ve stayed, and I’ve run away again. People tend to be what seems to influence me the most in my decisions though. Knowing people, knowing they need me, knowing I need them.
I can think back on so many times that I’ve reached out for help, over and over again for the same things, same problems, same people. They were there, throwing me life rafts, time and time again.
I only now really realize what I was asking though. I only now really understand that as exhausted as I was, reaching and pulling for something or somebody, it’s equally exhausting to be the one playing life guard. It’s physically and emotionally draining in ways I never fully understood or even wanted to realize. There’s where the truth lies.
I didn’t want to realize. So consumed by myself and my own problems, I didn’t want to acknowledge what I was doing to those around me. How unfair I was being. How much my hurt was hurting them.
We never do though do we? We go through pain and tough times and we dig our own holes and sit contentedly in our sorrow expecting others to pull us out, to hand us the answers. When we lose faith and we lose ourselves, we also lose respect for those we expect the world from. We forget how unfair we’re being when we put all of our happiness or our unhappiness solely into the hands of others.
The hardest thing in the world is to pick up a shovel and dig ourselves out. The second hardest is to put that shovel down after failed attempt after failed attempt after failed attempt to dig somebody else out, because it’s impossible to explain to that person why.
Where’s the line? Do you sit by and watch as somebody willingly drowns?
When your own life is put on pause, or hold or being dragged down for long enough, when finally you realize that help, bigger and more than you are capable of giving is needed, it becomes the other person’s decision whether you walk away or not.
They can choose to help themselves, they can choose to help you help them, or you can walk away.
Maybe it’s not really a choice we make at all.

The difference between having a best friend and being one

So many times throughout our lives we claim to be best friends with somebody. From the time we are small and meet our first playmates through day care, preschool, family, or family friends, we latch on to other people. That click, whether it either evolves and develops or is just instantaneous, brings something special to our lives. We feel like we are understood by somebody. We feel as if a part of ourselves evolves with it.

Whether we show a side of ourselves that we didn’t know we had, or maybe its just something that you feel you can’t show to anyone else, that click brings a happiness and a security to our lives in the form of friends. Friendship is a bond that you hope to keep forever but often enough, friendships are short lived.

Maybe this is because we grow and we change. Opinions mature just like we as people do. Our tastes change in everything from food to morals, religion and people. More than that though, too often those friendships are taken advantage of. Do we become so reliant on our friends that we forget to be their friend as well?

Dependency is natural to an extent. We become comfortable, we find ourselves latching even tighter whenever anything goes amiss in our lives. It is human nature to want to call somebody. It’s human nature to want at least one person that we can tell anything. It could be a phone call sharing good news, a gossip fest, or heart ache. But what if all you have to share is heartache? What if you only call to share bad news? You only want to hang out because something is wrong and you need a friend. Yes those people have proved themselves to be there time and time again. But are you returning the favor? Do you forget to ask how the other party is doing? Do you even bother to call your friend in times that are other than troubled? What if you see on facebook they have a new job or relationship? Do you congratulate them? What if you see that they are going through troubled times as well? Do you even call to see if they’re ok?

I have been called a best friend too many times to really and truly live up to. But often I find that I can’t say it in return. The other side of that for me is that I have called others best friends only to be disappointed down the road. Maybe because I took advantage of them, maybe because they took too much advantage of me.

So what does it mean to be a best friend to somebody? Besides calling, besides checking in, besides good conversation and just drinking buddies.

True friendships are very much the same as relationships. They have to be equal. Just as you would your partner, you have to be there for each other. You lift each other up, you celebrate each other’s successes. You have just as many good times as bad. You understand each other on a different level than you thought possible.

I find that I sometimes latch on to people who will push and push and push me away just to see how often I will return. That is not friendship to me. That is selfish. That is a true example of the toxicity that we let others bring into our lives. True friendship means never having to prove yourself just for the sake of the test. People will always be insecure, but those insecurities should be fought in the form of positive attention, not negative, and we have no place fighting other people’s battles for them. It’s one thing to fight with somebody, to support and stand by somebody. It’s an entirely different thing to be put in charge of somebody’s else’s struggle. We are ringleaders of our own circus, nobody else’s. Especially if that somebody else is determined to perpetuate their own down fall.

I also find that I have had very good friends who seemingly latched on to me for the sake of rebuilding something they were missing or something that had been broken. They were there all the time the same as I was for them. But, once whatever void they had was filled, they were never to be seen or heard from again.  I’ve heard often that people come into your lives for reasons, seasons, and lifetimes. I suppose that I was just a season to those people and maybe that’s ok. Maybe they were only meant to be seasons for me as well.

I am very fortunate though that I do have a couple of friends that I know are for life. I count myself blessed to even have one, much less a few. Those are friendships where I find more understanding, honesty, and acceptance than I sometimes feel I deserve. But I also know that they would say the same about the friendship and perhaps that’s why it is equal. Perhaps that is why they have lasted and will continue to.

Next time you refer to somebody as your best friend, make sure you aren’t taking them for granted. Cherish who they are and the ways they enrich your life. Make sure they can call you the same.

Ginger is at it again

Well, all it took was a phone call and a night out dancing to get even more jewels out of my sister’s head and subsequently her mouth. Emjoy 🙂

Her: “We need a new country to live in. I bet Fiji never has wars….oooh! Or Bora Bora.”

Her: “Australia is out of the picture. They have the top deadliest everything, like snakes and spiders and shit. They even have the top ten deadliest like…water buffalos.”

Me: “Did you just say water buffalos?”

Her:  “That is a legit concern! I doubt those things fuck around ya know?”

Me: “Well what if you lived in a city like Sydney? I doubt snakes and spiders and box jelly fish would have an easy time getting to you if you were in the city.”

Her: “Well they don’t know they’re not supposed to be in the city. Only we know they aren’t supposed to be.”

 

After sunburning herself in splotches…?

Me: “I’m so confused. What is this pattern?”

Her: “It’s like a lightning bolt! Ooh! I’m Harry Potter sunburned!”

(Her husband now chiming in)

Him: Maybe you were under a tree or something? Or there was a shade pattern thrown on to you by a tree?”

Her: “Stupid fucking trees. I hate trees.”

Him: “Yes. They’re all bastards. It’s not like we need them for, I don’t know, oxygen or anything.”

Me: “Hey David, did you know that according to Gin, Australia has the top ten most poisonous water buffalos?”

Him: Heavy sigh…”Yeah. Yeah I heard that.”

 

I love convos with my family

Oh my dear dear sister

I have decided to ad a new category that I have lovingly entitled “Shit my sister says.”

Throughout our lives and especially the last month or so, I have really grown to appreciate the conversations my sister and I have. Quite possibly alcohol induced but just as likely to be sober, ranging from sitting in Target parking lots (or aisles), to sitting around a kitchen table or even laying by a pool, they are always interesting, entertaining, sometimes offensive, and always honest.

During the process of dyeing my hair back blonde:

Me: “Why does it look more orange?”

Her: “Well…it’s because of the purple stuff. It just…blends that way.”

Me: “Are you just saying that because you have no fucking clue either?”

Her: “Yeah pretty much….I noticed it a while ago but I didn’t want to freak you out by saying anything.”

(After it was washed and dried and still orange ) Her: “At least it’s shiny!”

 

In talking about the bug bite on her leg:

“I think it’s a wasp sting. I think I was asleep. Do wasps not sleep too?”

 

A long time ago sitting on the floor of the wine aisle in Target:

“Ya know this would be perfect if Target had a bar in here. I would never leave.”

Sitting in the back end of her SUV in the Target parking lot drinking the wine we just bought:

“Does this make us white trash? I feel like this is a good idea either way.”

 

There will be more to come from my beautiful and amazing sister

Breakdowns, church pews in bars, and finding yourself lost

What a month July has been. With the end of June brought me walking out of my job, away from my man friend, away from New Orleans, away from the me I was becoming that I didn’t recognize.

I didn’t recognize the girl that was working pointless sixty hour weeks and neglecting things that made me me. I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t wearing anything other then jeans and tennis shoes. I wasn’t wearing make up or taking care of myself in any way. I was constantly caught up in the drama of a job that only creates more drama for itself, I was constantly stuck in it. My entire life had become about a man and a job, and since the two were intertwined, I couldn’t get out of it.

I woke up one day. I decided that I had no reason to stay. I couldn’t stay in a job like that and I certainly couldn’t stay in it when it was only making it worse. So I left. I have been called everything from cowardly to courageous. I have been called everything from bitchy and stupid to smart and independent. Honestly I just called myself confused, hurt, and lost.

In leaving I’ve had a lot of time to reflect. My family doesn’t understand why I haven’t jumped right back in to things and found a job and gotten my life back on track. To me though, getting my life “on track” means making smarter decisions. God forbid I take some time and focus on myself for a minute…or two and I don’t say that necessarily in regards to them, I say it to myself. I’ve always had a problem with focusing on what others needed or wanted me to do. It’s time for a change in that regard.

For me I think my first step was just to stop freaking out. For the first two, maybe three weeks, every time I thought about stepping behind a bar or finding any job for that matter, my chest would get tight, I would feel suffocated, and like I was letting every one down. I also felt like I would only end up doing the same thing several months down the road if I didn’t take a breath while I could.

I’ve been lucky and I know I have been. I had enough money that has allowed me to take my time. At least a little bit. And maybe it’s been good for me. All of this time has put some things in perspective.

I’ll start by talking about the first day I was back in New Orleans after I left. I came back after two weeks but only for a day and a half. Rather then sitting inside and feeling sorry for myself, I invited two very good friends to go to a karaoke bar with me. It runs twenty four seven. We used to frequent it but I have been so busy the last few months, that I didn’t find myself venturing out of the quarter or even away from work all that often anymore. I wanted to go somewhere familiar though with friends that I knew I wanted to see and talk to.

So we go to Kajuns and true to form we get a cocktail and go sit outside on the patio. There have been a lot of good, a lot of weird, and several bad times on this particular patio. We sit down and at first I’m still kind of out of it. After all I’ve only been back in this god forsaken city for less then six hours at this point. It took me a few minutes to notice what my friends were sitting on. Church pews. Yes. Church pews were against the back wall of the patio with several tables pulled up against them. I found such irony in this. So many people who find themselves lost, tend to turn toward either religion or heavy drinking. I seem to have landed in one place where you could do both.

There is a sort of comfort that comes from church and even drinking for that matter (as long as you’re with friends). There is a rare and odd sort of comfort from doing both at the same time. I think any time you surround yourself with good friends and good people that are honest with you, there’s a certain religious aspect to it. I’m not comparing it to church per say, but I am saying that community and honesty can be found in a multitude of places and situations. In this particular place, surrounded by decent people, captain morgan, and church pews, I felt I was in the right place to get my head on for a minute.

Several bad karaoke show tune duets, some alcohol, and lots of conversation later, we all went our separate ways and off to bed I went. I left again back to Shreveport a day later.

I left for another week. I saw my best friend from Dallas, I ate some of my favorite food, and I saw people I cared about. The same people I had seen two weeks previously but they were different this time. The first week I was there I was so focused on myself and my issues that I saw who they wanted me to see. Happy, normal people, that are good friends and there for me. What I realized this time around, is that there are some serious things going on beneath the surface. Not all of them. Not by a long shot. But a couple of them. Whats more is I realized that those issues have been there for years but I never noticed. Was I just selfish? Or was it just that they hid them so effectively? Maybe having almost a year of distance and my own turmoils, made me more attuned to theirs? Kind of like when somebody slowly loses weight. If you see that person every day, it’s not necessarily noticeable at first. If you don’t see them for several months though, the difference is very extreme.

I saw a lot of people I know. So many of them aren’t moving forward with their lives. Not to say that I’ve moved forward at all. In a lot of ways I feel I’ve gone backwards. But at least I’ve been trying? Surely that counts for something. But maybe they’ve been trying to. And just like I might not see it, others may not see it when they look at me. And that’s ok.

So what steps do I take in the mean time? For me, it’s writing. It’s getting dressed up. It’s eating a little better. It’s seeing friends and family. It’s unplugging and paying attention to life and not day dreams or facebook. It’s turning off my phone and cutting back on conversations that I have every day with the same people. I can’t let myself get caught up in what others think I need to do anymore. I can’t get caught up in negative ever again.

I am now back in New Orleans. I have been for right at a week. I don’t know if I’ll stay here or at least how long I will, because I know now that this city is not permanent for me. A very dear friend to me from Las Vegas came in town for a few days, and I am finally back to writing, even if it’s just a little. I plan on working on my book today, writing a couple of articles for the magazine I write for, and putting off finding a “real job” for another couple of days at least. I’ll get there when I get there. Those that know me and love me will have to trust me on all this.

 

In response to “Modest is not Hottest”..How dare you?

I read the most ignorant piece of shit I’ve seen in while on facebook yesterday. It was a re post of a blog entitled “Modest is not Hottest.”

It was reposted by more then one girl I knew in high school. All of these girls pregnant and unwed by the age of 20 with captions and statuses stating things like “Wish I had known this sooner.” and “If only somebody had taken the time to tell me this, I wouldn’t have made such poor decisions.” I was so blown away and not in a good way, that my eyes changed color. If you know me, then you know that my eyes only change color when I am very angry.

Let me start by explaining the intentions of the author. She titled it by being a self proclaimed “teenage bride.” What she wrote about was her struggle in learning that being “modest” was better then being “hot.” She made a choice as a christian to not dress inappropriately and succumb to the pressure to dress provocatively for male attention or to fit in. She talks about the value of being modest and the value of her marriage and that she was able to find a man that respects her because she learned that negative attention from her outward appearance was not the kind of attention she wanted or needed from somebody.

I have no problem with any of that. None actually. My problems come later in the blog when she addresses other women and what they need to do for themselves, or more importantly what they need to do for all of the wives out there and for the men out there.

She addresses girls who are “hot” and asks them to change. To change because of how frustrating it is for wives to see a provocatively dressed “hot” girl. She wants them to change for the men out there who feel pressured and uncomfortable with women in less then modest clothing. My question is how dare you?

First of all little girl, your definition of hot came from google. Maybe your definition of hot is somebody that dresses inappropriately or wears makeup you disapprove of. Maybe your definition of hot is very different from mine. Personally I find somebody to be “hot” when that person carries themselves well. When that person shows confidence and takes care of themselves. Yes sometimes those same people are wearing short skirts or shorts, or tiny bikinis or maybe they’re men without shirts on. Speaking of men, funny how you didn’t mention anything wrong with them being hot. Maybe because you think women don’t feel the need to pounce on men like dogs in heat, though you seem to think men can’t stand the pressure.

By asking women to change for “the wives that one day they will be” you are degrading strong, independent women to make yourself feel better. For somebody so confident in your “teenage marriage” it seems like you’re worried your husband could so easily feel pressured to stray. Good luck with that. How horrible to marry yourself away at such a young age to somebody you clearly do not trust.

By asking women to change for the men of the world, congratulations for you are perpetuating rape culture. If only she hadn’t dressed so provocatively. She invited it upon herself right? The poor man just couldn’t keep his hands to himself. When husbands do stray, I’m sure it’s not their fault. Any reasonable man could’ve succumbed to the pressure right? Well her shirt was low cut, her dress was skin tight and too short. It’s definitely the girl’s fault. Again, how dare you?

Has it occurred to you that maybe some of these “hot” women are victims of abuse? Victims who realized that maybe one of the ways they could push through the pain was to take control of themselves and their bodies? Women who realized that they don’t have to hide who they are for fear of it happening again? Maybe being sexy is their way of taking back control.

How wonderful for you to see so many people standing behind your blog. It’s so nice to see how many people finally have a platform to stand on that excuses the fact that they were teenage sluts simply because nobody took the time to explain to them that being “hot” was definitely not as important as being modest. Funny how all of these girls that I mentioned earlier, that I personally know, were all raised in a church. Three times a week. They were taught constantly the value of virtue. Their decision to dress the way they did, provocatively or not, had no bearing on the decisions they made as people.

I do know “teenage brides” that have had long and happy and fantastic marriages. I am by no means trying to offend them or anybody else that has truly found a happy and loving life for themselves. i commend you actually. I wish I had found a life partner early in life. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

But you dear girl, are a child.  A child that stood on a platform preaching and using the church to excuse the bad behavior of teenage girls everywhere, that made poor decisions. I suppose you are proud of yourself. And perhaps you should be. I’d imagine it was very hard for you to string all that together and subliminally divulge to the world that you don’t trust your husband or other women or really anyone but Jesus for that matter. That took guts. We should all stop and clap for you.

I know that people have judged me and what they see on various social media sites. I know that people sometimes find me to be a bit too much, from pictures to statuses or even the fact that I am a bartender. Sorry I don’t fit into your perfect world where women are at fault for being sexy and independent. Women are at fault for not dressing according to your dress code but the women who made shit decisions are just victims of society and their clothing choices.

I look forward to seeing what you write when you’re an adult. When you’ve actually lived a little bit of life. When you turn 40 I hope you don’t rebel and regret that you never gave yourself a chance to be that woman instead of that girl.  Good luck darling.

Maybe I’m just reading too much into this but quite frankly I wish I hadn’t read it at all.