I wish I knew where to even start

I titled this for a reason. I truly dont know where to start. Those of you who have followed my previous posts or know me personally know a good bit about what Ive been through. But Ive kept a good bit of that secret.

For so long I let what happened when I was a child dictate my entire life. My feelings, my relationships, certain friendships, and even my relationships with family. I have major trust issues. I have emotions that I can’t place. And an everlasting fear that will never go away.

I remember the first time I truly started to feel like an adult woman. I was making friends, I was in a healthy relationship with a man who understood me and wanted to grow together. I was in a place with my family that I finally allowed myself to be. I say this in the context that after my childhood, I had always shied away from letting myself really be a part of that family. It wasn’t their fault. It wasn’t mine. It was my abusers. He taught me that I would never fit in. They would never understand me. It was because of who I was that drew him towards the abuse he showed me. Every time, every little thing, reminded me of him and his words and that I would never be enough. So I taught myself that I didn’t need to be enough. I didn’t need to fit in. I didn’t need that family that tried so hard to be there for me.

And then I grew. And I learned. I learned that he was manipulative and narcissistic and wrong and abusive. And that as a young girl I was manipulated and that none of what I had known my entire life was real. I had to start over. Do you know how impossible that is? When most of your life is spent knowing without a doubt one thing and then having to relearn an entirely different thing? That people do care? That people do love you? And that maybe its your own head, your own heart, your own mislearned habits that have kept you from the family you always needed that was in actuality always there for you?

Fast forward. I was finally learning. I was finally growing. I was 25. The healthy relationship I was in ended mutually because as it turns out, no matter what age you are, you still need to learn. There I was, at a bar. I was with friends. I hadn’t had a drop of alcohol. I ordered a cheeseburger and a coke. Something felt off. I didn’t feel right. I stumbled. I realized I had been drugged. I asked somebody I thought was a friend for a ride home. I woke up to my apartment destroyed from my attempts to fight him off, to him on top of me, laughing the entire time. He went so far as to clean up the glass I had broken as I had stumbled through my living room into my bedroom in an attempt to lock him out. I will always remember his laugh. I will also always remember his message the next day laughing at what he had done. Laughing as he invited me to a barbecue because  he felt he should since we had “hooked up” the night before.

I will also remember when I talked to detectives and they laughed in my face. They informed me they had had 8 other women within the year report him. They told me it was my word against his and told me I was wasting my time.

I will also never forget this past August. This past August when I went to a pool party at my apartment complex with a bunch of people I thought I knew. I will never forget that I left early because I felt uncomfortable. I will never forget that at no point did I mention anything along the lines of “knock on the door if you need anything.” Or “Im home all day, let yourself in.”

I will also never forget waking up to a foreign body on top of me and having to physically fight my way towards my lamp just to find out who exactly it was that had broken into my apartment.

My best friend who is a rock star left a gig that she was singing at to come and sit with me as I talked to detectives. As I had to relive every awful detail…again… for so many times in my life. I knew his name. I knew his face. I knew what he had just ruined with the guy that I had recently been seeing because I knew immediately that I wasn’t and wouldn’t be ok for a long long time.

The detectives sat there and took evidence. The clothes he left behind. My bedding. They said and I quote “Well we can prove he was here and the lock was fiddled with so at most we can get him on breaking and entering but probably nothing else,” because I had taken sleeping pill. Sleeping pills I was already taking because of the previous trauma I had been through. Apparently the state of Louisiana cares more about my property than they ever will my person. That became abundantly clear. Did I mention they also have text messages from him laughing about and admitting what he did? Did I mention that my best guy friend beat the hell out of him while he was on video blatantly saying “I know I raped her.”

You know what else I won’t ever forget? Facebook. Social media. I see him living his best life while I suffer in (until now) silence. I won’t forget the people I see now laughing and cutting up and making rape jokes.

Jefferey Epstein was found dead a couple of days ago. If you believe he killed himself you’re delusional. But I see so many people saying one side of politics or the other are responsible. Who the fuck cares? Do you know what I see? As a victim? That you would rather stand up for your preferred political party and place blame than acknowledging that sooooo many people in power are responsible. How many young girls suffered? Suffered in silence like I have? Why aren’t you blasting any and every body that was implicated? Why even choose sides at all? That says to me that you are small and you care only about yourself and your own needs.

You know what else I see? Women of all ages blasting feminism. You must not know what feminism means these days. And for your info, we need a lot more of it. Feminism to me and by definition is equality between men and women. It means that I dont belong to anybody but myself. It means that I have a right to vote and speak out as Im doing now. As Ive been too afraid to do until now.

Feminism to me means not having to listen to a female hollywood producer (one I know personally) blast the “Me too” movement because her friends had been implicated. You need better friends sweetheart.

I see social media posts that generation z criticizes my own generation because we want want want. Let me tell you why want and what we want. We want freedom. We want a voice. We want equality. We want healthcare. We want to be able to support ourselves and possibly a family working one full time job. We want an end to capitalism. We want to fix what previous generations have broken. We want to support a government that did not steal a trillion dollars from social security. We want a government that doesn’t support for profit wars that make our taxes sky rocket. We want CEOs held accountable for jacking up the prices of life saving medications. We want to not be victims anymore but damn it if we are, I dont want to be told, like I was the last time I was attacked, that if I wanted to go to the hospital Id be looking at at least a $2500 bill that I can’t hold my attacker accountable for.

Im tired. In fact Im exhausted. In my current home state (moving at the end of September) less than 2% of assailants are convicted. Even with undeniable proof. Sexual assault of any kind is one of the only crimes that the perpetrator can “justify” it. She was asking for it. Her clothes, her level of intoxication, she was pretty, she was a DEFENSELESS CHILD, all hold up in court.

I got a DUI in October. I was so fucked up from my latest attack that all I did was drink. I hadn’t had a drink in 6 hours before I drove. The same state trooper that arrested me three years ago for the legal limit arrested me again on the three year anniversary and laughed in my face even after I passed the field sobriety test. All I could do as I sat in jail was think about that all 3 of my assailants had walked free of any and all consequence and yet I was the one in jail.

My life has never been my own. I am about to be 32. My life Has never..never been my own. My counselor says Ive been robbed and theres no way to get that time back. All Im left with is fighting and moving forward. And I intend to. I will fight until my last breath to tell my truth and fight until I can’t anymore in hopes this never happens to any one ever again. Maybe Im fighting a losing battle. But God damn it. Fight with me. Dont make me fight alone.

 

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Vegas

I love Vegas. I didn’t realize just how much until this trip. After my last post I decided to stay active and be proactive and do some things Id always wanted to do.

First and foremost, I took the time to look at a couple of apartments. Big step for me. I don’t consider moving lightly. I might talk about it a lot but deep down there are fears that stay constant that keep feelings about moving superficial and on the surface. If I really sit down and consider, I get scared.

I get scared of family time I’ll be missing out on. I get scared of change in general. Im complacent where I’m at. But I’m not happy. I feel like I have so much more to see and experience and give to the world than Im currently doing and I want those things. I feel caught between two worlds. Old me and new me. Sad me, break down me, and new and improved happier, go getter me. But I am scared that sadness will creep back in if I move away from everything and everyone that I know and love. The people that care for me and saw me through so much hurt. I feel like Id be betraying them. But am I betraying myself by not pushing myself further?

I have a lot to think about.

Also this trip in Vegas I played total tourist. I went shopping, saw the sign, explored different hotels and different restaurants. I went to Fremont st like I said I would and people watched. I drove around a little too much of Las Vegas due to operator error on my map, and even met up with some friends of mine from home that were there for a convention.

In all my many times out there, I have come to find several things that Id like to share from a tourists perspective.

  1. The sign is worth it. Go see it.
  2. Any of the Cirque shows are worth it. They are incredible. If you’re really open minded, “Zumanity” is my personal favorite.
  3. Sushi is good anywhere in Las Vegas. The Sushi place in China town is just as good as Mizumi at Wynn or Sushi Samba at The Palazzo. The only difference is atmosphere and price. If  you can swing it, do the expensive ones because the service and cocktail menus are better, but if not, China town works just fine. How they manage fresh sushi in a desert is beyond me but whatever. Brings me to my next point.
  4. All of the food in Vegas is good. It has to be. There is so much competition, it all has to be good.  (Except Heart Attack Grill.  Avoid it. Its cash only, its disgusting, and they make you wear hospital gowns.)
  5. New York New York is the most kid friendly hotel on the strip. They have a huge arcade and a roller coaster and kid friendly dining options. Luxor is great if you want educational, but New York New York is a little livelier and more convenient to everything else.
  6. People watching on the Strip is one of the best things there is. Find a restaurant/ bar that overlooks it and enjoy.
  7. Everything is themed, down to the service. At 9 Fine Irishmen at New York New York, the entire staff has Irish accents. Real or fake its cool either way. I noticed at most of the themed restaurants the staff tend to accomplish a myriad of accents suiting whatever country they are representing. Its fun.
  8. Lavo is my favorite restaurant on the strip. Its at Palazzo and the food and service are top notch and not priced outrageously. You can even sit outside and people watch like aforementioned.
  9. The Eiffel Tower restaurant has the best view for dinner.
  10. Priceline your hotels. Be careful which ones you choose but don’t be afraid of downtown. Fremont St. has some great properties.
  11. The pool parties are worth it if you want a day time party but the pools in general are great. Its the desert. Cool off and enjoy a cocktail. At ANY of the hotels.
  12. Don’t be like me and over pack EVERY SINGLE TIME. Chances are you’ll do some shopping and have nowhere to put it. I do it EVERY SINGLE TIME. And the shopping is fantastic! There is great shopping on the strip at Planet Hollywood, Caesars, Bellagio, Cosmopolitan…the list goes on. But the best outlet mall in the country (rumored) is just North of the strip. Its called North Premium Outlets and it is amazing. Armani, Coach, Michael Kors, Ugg, Cole Haan, Nordstrom…all have outlets there. And it is affordable.
  13. You can meet nice people anywhere in Vegas. Especially the tourists. They’re just as lost as you. Help each other out.

 

Now I have so much to figure out for myself. I have a lot to consider. I know that moving might do me some good. I know I want to travel more and see more of the country and being relocated would help me do that. I know I’m grateful I can put these thoughts into my blog again and start to process it all. A lot has changed for me these last couple of years. Maybe a little more wouldn’t hurt.

 

Follow my instagram for more pictures but here are a few in the mean time.

One of these days things are going to go as planned

Welp…First of all (not to start this out negatively) it does feel good to write again and simply to be able to. The last year and a half has not been so kind to me. My last posts were some indication of the breakdown I had which has spurned me to be more adventurous as of late. Now that Im able to be. Writing and traveling were somewhat difficult and in those regards things have taken an upswing. Now if I could get everything else to follow suit that’d be great.

So Im in Las Vegas for the week. I arrived last night. I was hoping to come relax and be productive and use this trip to incorporate perhaps a new element to my blog and focus on travel, since thats what Im hoping 2019 brings for me. According to my zodiac chart (I had a reading back in September) this year is supposed to bring me travel and prosperity and everything Ive ever wanted. Its not off to such a great start.

So like I said, I arrived yesterday. Already have hit some major snags. Due to a lack of identification problem, and the government shut down probably preventing me from fixing it, my plans out here have been somewhat derailed. There are other snags as well but that seems to be the main one. I am feeling particularly discouraged at the moment. Or at least I was. The snags don’t matter for the purpose of this post but… they’re there.

So I get back to the condo Im staying in this week and contemplated how I can turn this around. What brought me here in the first place? What always brings me to Vegas? Why am I drawn here? I have thought about moving here for ten years and have never made the leap and yet I find myself visiting as often as  time and finances have allowed over the last several years. Im here now. I can fix this.

So what to do?

I have two options. I can continue to be discouraged (like I usually let things affect me) or I can make different plans. Ones that I can actually achieve. Small ones but still plans and achievements. I can go see the Vegas sign for the first time in almost ten years. I can write about my favorite shows and restaurants that are here. I can write about Fremont st and be a broke tourist for the week and hopefully write about those possibilities. There are lots of things to do here. I just have to find the right things now. I thought I had that all lined up and now I need to reevaluate. Ive been doing a lot of reevaluating this last year. In all aspects of my life. This doesn’t have to be any different.

Today was just another reminder of how lucky I am that I can adapt again. That I have come so far from a year and a half ago. That I can write. I can explore. I can actually research things to do and be able to make any plans at all. (Refer back to earlier posts)

So I fixed myself a drink and sat on the balcony and enjoyed my view in the freezing cold weather. It was peaceful. It gave me a moment of clarity. Now I need to make a list for the rest of my week. Vegas sign and Fremont St are give ins. Lets see what else I can get into. Ill be sure to share whatever that may be with ya’ll. In the meantime Ill continue to enjoy my view.

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.

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.

CLap7

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