What Was I Theenking??

You know what I was thinking? Of course you don’t. That would be ridiculous. I’d know if you were reading my mind, anyway, so don’t try anything funny. I’ve been thinking about way too much stuff lately, and I can’t have people mis-reading things. So here’s the scoop on what I’ve been thinking about during my recovery.

One thing I thought – and laughed – about, often, is celebrities. Sometimes I’ll be reading a magazine, and it’ll say in big letters: “Kim and Kanye go to BlahBlahFuck Island for the holidays” and underneath it’ll have a picture of them on a yacht or on the beach, and there’s the little inset picture that sits at the foot of that picture, and it shows them at the hotel pool, relaxing and being waited on. Sounds great, right?

But what is the fucking point?

That’s what I’d like to know. You’re just soooo tired of your gorgeous house that’s loaded with amenities, and servants, and a nice pool, and a bar, and private beach access… so you go to a gorgeous beach house that’s loaded with amenities, and servants, and a nice pool, and a bar, and private beach access. How is that a vacation, you rich asshole? Some joker is going to pay $2.99 to read about your fake-cation, on their unpaid lunch break at their menial job, or in the waiting room at a shitty dentist somewhere. But please, by all means, get away from your tired life for awhile.

That would be like if I rented a shitty apartment in the poor section of some small cold town in northern Europe, and my car stranded me in the middle of nowhere, miles from where anyone can hear me scream. But how can you scream anyway, when you’ve been starving for days, because the local cuisine consists of cabbage, and meat that is much too dark for your liking?? It’s not a vacation. It’s simply existing somewhere else.

I read this “Shower Thoughts” entry online (jah help me, for passing this shit along) and it said, “Have you ever gone along with last minute plans, and it turned out to be one of the greatest times of your life?” Which, no, but also, just about everything I do is a last minute plan. Even the planned stuff… cancelled at the last minute. I shake things up. Especially if it’s something that requires me to shower. I have to shower in order to motivate, and if I have to motivate in order to hang out with you, you’re asking a lot. I need to be easy, not scheduled. I don’t want to be your tense friend.

Matt tells me, “I hate showering before work, because showers make me want to relax.” I can see where he was going with that, because I also tend to become relaxed after a long steam, and that’s where last minute cancellations become real. They’re born in the fog of the shower, and mature in the coziness of the bathrobe. Sure, things start out promising, but they take a turn for the less-promising once the showering process begins.

Specifically, if I decide to look down at the drain, and I see there’s some hair on it. I have rather thick hair, and it tends to grow very quickly, and falls out just as fast. And that’s just me. When I say there’s always hair in the drain, it’s an understatement. And when it comes to pulling hair out of the drain, there’s a severely limited number of options you’re presented with, when considering a proper place of disposition for the drain hair.

I’d like to pause, and say that I know of at least one person out there, who is obsessed with shower drain hair, because I saw the guy on one of those Strange Addiction shows, so I hope that if he’s reading this, I hope he isn’t.

Option One: this option consists of a quickie little ineffective tip-toe-run-of-weirdness across the bathroom, to drop the hair spider (that’s what I call them) into the garbage or toilet. This exercise in futility is generally employed “before you get too wet,” which, let’s be honest, isn’t a real thing. The floor is going to be wet. It’s worse than option two.

Option Two: this option is technically split into two categories of its own (Temporary, and Started As Temporary) and can only be distinguished by how long you can live with the choices you’ve made. This temporary solution is meant to be just that: a brief fix until it becomes more feasible to throw the hair away. You swipe the hair out of the drain, and *ka-pow* you fling it at the wall, or in the corner, where the water stream won’t reach it. You let it sit there until you’re done showering, or if you’re smart, you wait until the hair dries on the wall of the shower, and you grab it and throw it away. Or if you’re dumb like me, you let the hair dry on the wall of the shower, and then never do anything about it, and then it falls back into the shower, only to be washed into the drain by the water, and that’s why it’s called Started As Temporary.

I pulled the hair spider out, and Started As Temporary. But then I had this slime on my hand, where I had touched the drain, and I’m sure it could be shampoo or soap, but I know that 50% of my house’s population is of the male gender, and I’m not taking any chances with hair in the drain of the shower. So I rinse my hand under the shower water. That should be okay, right? It’ll be super clean once I shampoo my hair.

Won’t it?

Or will I be rubbing the drain slime into my hair, massaging it deeper into the strands as I lather, rinse, and possibly repeat?

Well, if you think about it, my hair is going to end up in there anyway, right? No big deal, could be worse. Someone once told me that a co-worker of hers got a moldy infection on her scalp, because she always put her hair up in a bun without drying it first, and that’s something I have done my whole life. I don’t want to dry my hair. It’s enough that I even do anything with it at all. When I get out of the shower, I’m good for sitting around, for about 45 minutes to 2 hours… right about the time it takes for a towel to officially become an outfit. It’s coincidentally the same amount of time it takes my hair to dry in the weirdest position possible. I can’t have that happening.

But I also can’t deal with the whole blow-drying/ flat-ironing thing either. I mean, props to those women who put in the conditioner, then the leave-in treatment, then the vitamin oil, and then torch it with an iron. They’re taking their hair into their own hands. I couldn’t think of any other way to word that, but I’ll bet there are some pretty literal instances of that happening.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about, is the fact that my birthday just went by, and it was my first one since quitting the ‘book. I figured it would be interesting to see how people handled it. Even more interesting, it turned out, was how  handled it. For over a decade of my life, I was personally celebrated by those near and far, whenever my birthday came around. The people I went to high school with, those I have worked with in the past, friends who are exes of my siblings, and family I don’t get to visit often, were all given the chance to tell me how awesome I am, and how happy they were that I was born, and that they hope this next year is kickass in every sense, and that it’s one of the most important dates in history because it’s the day I was bestowed upon you all. It’s nice to feel like your existence has somehow made people happy, even if for a day, and facebook helps facilitate those good feelings.

When you’re not on facebook, there is no birthday reminder. People don’t know it’s your birthday, because the robot isn’t telling them, and the robot isn’t telling them, because the robot doesn’t know, because you (or, in this instance I) didn’t want to interact with the robot. To the robot, I don’t exist. But, to the family and friends, I think I still very much physically exist. Before I decided interacting with the robot was an exercise in futility, I told them how they could reach me, without the assistance of the robot. Imagine my surprise, when practically nobody wished me a happy birthday this year.

Clearly I wasn’t worth remembering. 

I’m sure there is a host of other reasons why practically nobody remembered that I exist, but that’s the reason I default to, because nobody remembered, except for the members of my family and friends who barely interacted with me through the robot to begin with. I noticed a lot of my family didn’t say anything at all, despite their timely birthday wishes of the past decade. Did they only care about me when the robot told them to? Ten times of repeatedly doing something always at the same time, sounds like enough conditioning to be able to do it on your own… eventually? Well we don’t have to do that anymore, because the robot is here! And if the robot doesn’t know about it, you don’t need to know about it either. Save your dwindling fucking brain power. You might need it for a buzzfeed quiz.

The thing that is sadly ironic about social media, is that it’s your fault if you miss something, due to not having facebook. Say your brother gets engaged, and receives 180 “likes” on the post, and everyone says congratulations and posts emojis and shit to show how happy they are, but you didn’t see it, because you don’t have facebook. A month or so goes by, and you hear about it from a family member or a friend, and you say “Heyyyy! Why am I just now finding out about this?” It’s your fault. You should have been on facebook. A phone call, letter, or text isn’t applicable anymore, so if you’re waiting for someone to share their important news with you specifically, you’re just being selfish. They’ve already made a post about it, which is the new age equivalent of yelling through a megaphone, which people used to make a concerted effort to gather around.

I had surgery twice during “the holidays” 2018, and even though it was just a small area of my body, it affected so much of my life. I think about everything I do, everything I eat, every movement my body makes, the position I sleep in, the time I spend sitting down, it’s all part of my obsession with prevention. The days of prevention are here, people. You could say I think too much about the worst case scenario, but I see it more as priming for future possibilities. How will you know what to do when some weird-ass drives up onto the sidewalk, unless you’ve envisioned it in your mind 267 times? Will you know where is a safe place to jump to? Will you be able to defuse the situation somehow? I would, because I’m planning my escape route everywhere I go, even safe places. Maybe that specific example doesn’t work for you. It’s morbid, but that’s the point: rarely are we afforded the luxury of being surprised by wonderful things. Take it from me, for I am a master at predicting tragedy, and have not yet been able to manifest the whole “I’ve got a golden ticket” thing.

This is already nearing 2000 words, and I’ve barely said anything. I’m hoping to be able to write more in 2019, and get back on the cycle of posting things that are interesting. It’s sad to know that you possess a talent you are unable to use, and embarrassing to publish something you’re not proud of. While I’m not proud of the quality of this content, I’m proud of myself for finally finishing one of the 4 posts I’d started. I’ve always lived with the mantra of “Stop starting, and start finishing” because I’m terrible with follow-through, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. But the hope is very much alive, that I will continue this stream of consciousness that I call my blog. Thanks for sticking around. Don’t forget to tell your friends. About the blog, not about you sticking around. Nobody cares about that.





Writer’s Block

How do you get writer’s block, when your writing style is “journal”? It hardly makes sense for anybody, but I am especially surprised that I personally am unable to talk about myself. How do I have nothing to say, and I’m me? I was voted Biggest Mouth in my Senior class in high school. I always have something to talk about, even when I don’t.

I sat down to get my writing surroundings in order, and I’m moderately comfortable, for how hot it is, and especially for how humid it is! I have my fully charged laptop, my pillow chair that I customized to my own weird comfort needs, my coffee (okay, that’s gone now), my fan on, my lighting dimmed, my mood elevated, and my hair out of my face (for now)… I even put on some tunes, to get my brain primed for entertaining.

Unfortunately (I don’t find it unfortunate) for me, I chose to listen to Aesop Rock, and I don’t know if you have ever listened to Aesop Rock before, but he doesn’t exactly make you feel like you know a fuckin thing about the English language. And here, I thought I was exclusive in some sweet love affair (with super light expectations) with the English language. Then I met Aesop, dude. Then I met Aesop.

I didn’t meet him, but I did see him at a small show a couple of years ago, and he was like, pretty much sweating on me (during the show, guys…) because of how close I was. He looked really good, too. Hey, Aesop. What’s up with you coming back? My boyfriend is totally cool with me asking.

So as I was saying, Aesop Rock magically uses language to create stories from beyond my wildest dreams, and when I listen to his music, it reminds me of how good I think I am, only to then realize how good I could be, but still am not. He plays with parts of speech, and captivates the listener with relatable anecdotes, pop culture, double entendre, and philosophy, all blended by his hypnotic vocal style. To say the man has an extensive grasp on vocabulary would be an understatement, and I almost always learn some new word or foreign phrase from his songs. I am so captivated by wanting to listen and dissect, that I find it impossible to be able to write. How could I? Nothing I say matters.

If you haven’t listened to Aesop, that’s fine, because you still can. I recommend the entire Labor Days album, as well as Float, but that’s just because I luh dat old shit. His new stuff is great as well. You may not be into hip hop music, and I think that’s fine for you, weirdo, but even you may still enjoy his work. I don’t know if you will or not, but I don’t much care, so that’s where that part ends.

I wonder how many times Aesop has gotten writer’s block? I doubt he ever could get that deep into nothingness, rather, he probably has writer’s floods; always having so many ideas-per-minute, that I can’t imagine he would ever have a moment’s peace inside his mind. I wonder what it would sound like in there, or what a scan of his brain would look like. I remember that movie 8 Mile, which I am in no way admitting to having viewed, where Eminem is talking about the song “just coming to him” or something like that, and basically just naturally forming in his mind, and that seems like a very very mild version of what happens to Aesop. But with considerably more talent. Like Little League vs the MLB, except I hate Eminem.

That’s not to say Eminem hasn’t written some funny and clever punchlines, but I did drugs too, before, so… bravo, Eminem. I don’t do drugs, and I stay making people laugh.

I wish I could make someone laugh right now. Perhaps my writer’s block is due to the fact that my kids are back in school now, and I feel like I have no purpose. Today is the worst day to feel that way, considering how much shit I have to do, but “writing” was also on that list of shit to do, and we’ve seen how well that turned out. I’ve just bitched about how good of a writer Aesop is, and how good he probably smells. I still have to bake a fucking cake, and make turkey meatballs, and pick up Sonny’s glasses (which I was supposed to do yesterday, but have since forgotten about 4 times), pick up Dot from school and go to an appointment, which we have to rush through, to get to her second appointment, which takes place inside the house. I mean, counseling has to be in a comfortable setting, and already being at home is nice for when the counselor leaves, because then I have to get back into doing way more shit. There’s always more shit to do. Forever.

I did a professional dye job of 3 colors on Dot’s hair (’twas slick as fuuuuuck), gave Sonny a tight fade, cut my own hair, and surrendered a bunch of my old awesome clothes (that Dot thinks are cool all of a sudden), just in time for the 4-day weekend that will make me feel like I did all of that shit for nothing. Because here’s something I never understood: the whole “school-starts-before-labor-day-but-then-there’s-an-immediate-long-weekend-to-get-your-kids-back-into-the-swing-of-being-lazy” thing. I mean, start it after labor day.

There. I figured it out.

And, since I know there are some of you saying “Well that’s too late,” I say to you this: I am a proponent for year-round schooling, and think it’s ridiculous and counterproductive to get a break for such a long period of time, especially one which is completely unrealistic to the “real world” (whatever that is). People have to work at a company for many years (TOO many!), and that is, if they ever earn 15 weeks (plus holidays) off! If kids aren’t in school, they need to be doing something sustainable, like farming or gardening or fishing or carpentry or electrical work or mechanics of some kind… just like an adult. My two cents, which is coincidentally how much I got paid for all that cosmetology work I did on our hair.

It makes me sad to not be able to give you something worth reading this week. But then I start thinking about all the stuff I’m supposed to be remembering, and I stop feeling bad. It reminds me of that scene from movies, where the sleeping guard is like “wha-? oh shit” and jumps up to do his fuckin job. That’s what my brain does. The part where it’s “sleeping” is the feelings, and my brain just needs to wake the fuck up and get back to work. Maybe next week, I’ll care more about you, than I do about focusing on the unattainable goal of not forgetting any of the eleventy-billion things I am expected to remember, whilst micromanaging the individuals and collective family life.

But who knows. It’ll be a surprise for us all! See you then!



It Ain’t No Fun

No formal post this week. I had a (super lengthy and poignantly funny) post written out, but the entire plot is fucked, so the post really has no meaning anymore. Does anything? Anyway. I was recently dicked around by someone who can’t help but say “anyway” for every 6th thought, and as a result, I am hereby setting out on a crusade to stop fuckin saying it. We’ll see how that goes.

No post. Sorry to disappoint anyone who may have just started following me. Please go to the index and read (and share!) some of my other pieces, and just pretend it’s from today.

I promise I’ll be back next week, with something hard-hitting and edgy. Or at least a sarcastic complaint peppered with tiny jokes. One can never be too sure which way I’ll be swaying in the unpredictable breeze (see: tsunami) of manic depression.


Let Me Write ’em

I hate how bad I am at correspondence.
I don’t call people as much as I should, I don’t even really text people to see how they’re doing. I feel like facebook has done this to me, because I used to be a letter writer. I would write letters about nothing, just random jibber jabber, but I would send it out, and the recipient would know that I was thinking about them. I don’t do that now, mostly because I know what everyone is up to, thanks to social media. And they know how I’m doing. So the letters are almost obsolete to today’s society, but I miss them.
I had an infection in my right hand awhile back, after a burn refused to heal properly, and the muscles have deformed. I can’t hold a writing utensil properly, or force my muscles to create smooth strokes on the paper, and it’s frustrating. I used to be praised for my beautiful penmanship, and now everything I write comes out like a 2nd grader wrote it.
Don’t get me wrong; I am thankful for the continued use of both my able hands. I just wish I could write more than one sentence without giving up. I hate crossing things out when I mess up, and I do it all the time now. I can’t afford to just start over again, because I would have a stockpile of essentially blank paper crumpled up on my floor. So I write emails.
I hate writing emails where a handwritten letter is appropriate. While I recognize that it’s even worse to say nothing at all (because an email isn’t enough), I sometimes let it go that way. I feel that I will just crank out an ugly thank-you note that is unpleasant to look at, and I never know what to say. I mean, I say Thank You, but again, that’s not enough. I let my standards keep me from saying “I appreciate you” to people who really deserve it.
That all being said, I have a confession to make. Over the holiday season, I received so many shipments of art supplies for my daughter’s art room, a gift that I was trying to set up for her with little resources. The outpouring of love and generosity had me in tears every time I saw the name of a stranger on a large package on my porch, because I knew it was full of supplies that would facilitate my daughter’s future in art, and support for her from the community which she would one day become a part. I was THANKFUL. But I still haven’t gotten through the thank-you notes. It’s so far past the holidays, that I now think it’s too late. I have half-started notes that turned ugly, and I gave up on them, but I still want those people to know that I truly am grateful.
It’s my goal to finish writing the notes, and show my appreciation for those who helped in such an important time. If you’re one of the contributors, please please please know that not a day goes by that I don’t beat myself up for this failure to deliver. I am a work in progress.



I told myself I was going to write more often, if I left my job last January.

I left my job last January, and have definitely written more than I had expected. By quitting my job, I was able to exceed my own expectations. What a country we live in.
Just kidding, this country sucks, and is getting steadily worse. Not steadily at all, actually. It’s more of a sporadic jerking off motion, with a really dry and calloused hand. With sand in it. Or like, those boxing gloves that get dipped in glue and glass.
I always go on descriptive tangents. Maybe that’s my thing. Or writing exactly as I’m talking to myself in my mind. It helps me, but then other people are like “keep writing, we love you!” which gets confusing. I talk about weird things, such as talking about things.
I wrote a list of things I wanted to do today. Writing that list wasn’t on the list, though it should have been. I avoided it for longer than some of the actual items on the list. I do that sometimes. I’ll put something on the list, that I’ve already done, and just check it off. It makes me feel accomplished, and reminds me to always count my victories, even if they happened before you started counting. Anyway, about that list. Writing this piece was on there. It just said “write” because I’m tired of trying to make myself sound like I’m doing something. Before, I was saying “write something” or “do some writing” and it just seemed like too much work.
The neighbors (the kids) are outside, screaming. Not yelling – I mean the scream that sounds like a gym whistle. I think only kids and horror movie women can do it. I used to be able to, and I remember I used to sneak up on my siblings and scream the gym whistle scream directly into their ear. That was always good for a backhand. That’s what you have to expect when you surprise someone with your funny funny joke. They just reach out and swing on the nearest thing, which is you, because you brought the joke to them just now. Instant karma, they say. I’ll take it, because I still feel like I won.

Another time you just want to beat the shit out of whatever is at arm’s length? When you hit your tailbone. That is a pain that can’t even be legal. Every time I hit my tailbone, I wonder how I survived it. It’s a complicated response. But it’s intense, and powerful. And you know what? I have a story about that very thing.

In high school, you’re not allowed to wear anything you want to wear, unless it looks like the non-existent school uniforms the school board is definitely against. Our district doesn’t enforce uniforms, but they’re narrowing it down naturally. When I was in high school last century, things were a bit more relaxed, but still very stupid. I wore a really cool tank top that had whales and turtles on it, and I loved that shirt, and it covered my bra straps on both sides, and it didn’t show any cleavage, and it didn’t show my stomach or my back or my hips, or anything else that may distract the boys from learning. Despite all of those great reasons to rock that shirt, the principal pulled me into his office to chat about it. When I look back on it, I picture him pulling me in with a cane by my neck, like in Laurel and Hardy. But this wasn’t funny, it was just stupid, like I said before. He didn’t like the shirt, and it needed to be changed, or covered up, because the print of the whales and turtles *got wider around the breast area* and drew attention to them. After explaining to him the very obvious fact that the shirt was not printed to be stretched and still maintain the same size print, I asked if I could leave, because I felt uncomfortable with his conversation. For those of you who went to school with me, and remember the principal back then, you’ll know how uncomfortable he was to be around. I walked out of his office, and felt like I had gotten away with something somehow, and started to prance like a moron down the hallway.
In the midst of my victory lap, I missed the “wet motherfucking floor, moron” sign, and was met with a sudden return to reality. I slipped and landed directly on my ass, which apparently makes you need to quickly inhale as deeply as you can, probably in an effort to just pass out. With that, at least for me, comes the squeezing shut of your eyelids, and the clenching of every muscle that has juice left in it. I saw stars. Luckily, I also saw that nobody had witnessed my fall, since I was also wearing a skirt, and my pride was hiding in a nearby locker.
I slithered into the women’s bathroom, and stood on a toilet across from the sinks. I had to assess the damage. I should have thought about the very likely instance that someone would walk in and see me mooning myself in the mirror, but the thought hadn’t occurred to me, since my gray matter was still settling. The girl felt bad for me, which -my mistake- I thought meant she would keep quiet about it, and not go get a teacher for help. There are a lot of fun times in high school, but that was not one of them. That was one of the times you block out, but it’s always the first thing I think of when I hit my tailbone.
Aren’t you glad you know that? The things that go on in my head… they’re your problem now.
I think people are obsessed with facts nowadays. Everyone has a device that can give them the facts if they want ‘em, and there’s all kinds of ways to get the facts. People don’t believe anything anyone says anymore, unless they have the facts to back it up, which I think says a lot about society. Before we had newspapers and internet and broadcast journalism, people relied on the word of others, to determine what was going on in the world. Now, you need facts and you better cite a source THEY agree with, because your source might not be getting the facts, so how can you trust them??
People want to know everything, which is something I love, but people don’t need to know all the facts, because that means there is nothing to discover or explore anymore, there is no variation on existence, and there is nothing to improve or change with the times. It means there is complete trust in those facts alone, but no trust in people themselves. Nobody wants to know how people feel or what people think anymore, only what the facts are.

When my kids are in school, it’s their duty to try. Put forth an effort. I don’t expect you to get 100% correct all the time, because life is not like that at all. It sets a false expectation for them, that they can possibly be right all the time. But definitely respect your teachers as people with deadlines and responsibility to 100 little asshole students for 8 hours every day.

I feel that it’s far more important to know how to deal with people, rather than know how to recite facts. There is not a single job or career or placeholder in society that doesn’t need to know how to deal with people, because everyone is a person outside of their job. They live a real life, where they pay bills to someone, and they buy clothes, and they stress over relatives and health and making a life. Everyone has something to deal with, and there is almost always another person on the other end of it. It isn’t always the facts that get us through those situations. We need to value our social intelligence, and not just the facts. We need to teach it in school and at home. We need to teach our friends and our enemies. We need to teach our neighbors and our strangers. We need to make sure we don’t lost touch with humanity.

In the era of the electronic device, we are inventing new ways to speak, that are limiting our vocal interaction altogether; we shorten words to one syllable, we speak acronyms, we use emojis in the exact same way we used to use hieroglyphics. We spend our lives looking at a screen, instead of each other.
How many armed robbers or street rapists will be interested in facts and statistics, do you think?  What’s that plan look like?
Robber: “Gimme all your money, or you’re fuckin dead!”
You: “Listen, 44% of street attacks end in a minimum of serious injury to the attacker, with another 13% of attackers actually being killed themselves.”
You can’t rely on facts at that point; you’re going to need to know how to deal with that shit. So stop trying to get the facts all the damn time. You need social intelligence.

It’s 11:28, which means my kids will be down here in 33 minutes, asking if I called them. They just want food. I’m a butler to them. I just live here, and clean up after them, and do what they need, and get shit for them. I’m literally a maid. I should at least be like Mary Poppins. She was a bitch, but they respected her, because they knew they were fucked without her. My kids apparently don’t know that.
My son just said I have a definitive style of drawing, and I thought that was important enough to switch topics. He asked what my book was called. I didn’t tell him. He asked if I needed someone to design the cover, and I said no. He asked if I was going to do my “regular thing” myself, and then pantomimed scribbling some lines on paper. “The squiggly lines that never touch, and create a maze, and then you just do block lettering in the middle?”
“Is that my thing?” I ask.
“Yeah. I’d say.”
I never thought much of it, because I never considered it “drawing” by definition. Leave it to me, to have “my thing” be something that goes against its artistic definition.


Many Hats, Many Questions

As a writer, I feel compelled to share stories of life, with others. Sometimes, we don’t recognize certain struggles that we ourselves aren’t facing, and thereby we become blind to them while others are eyeballs deep. There are observations to be made, and our goal on this planet is to pass on the information we obtain through those senses. If I can help even one person see something they hadn’t noticed, I feel like I’ve made a difference.
As a woman, I feel compelled to share strength and inspiration for other women to steamroll into strength of their own. I have survived some impossible situations, and I am fortunate enough to remember how I felt during those times, as well as what I had to do to keep myself alive. Not every woman needs someone to save them, and some of them don’t need to be saved at all. They just need to hear that someone knows their voice is unique and valuable, and that they will also survive.
As a mother, I feel compelled to shield my children from the harshness of the world, and the cruel intentions of the people they will face on their own, one day. I can’t give them the false sense of security that the world will not hurt them, because it definitely will, and I prepare them for that, but there really is no way to make them cognizant of that hurt until they experience it. I don’t want to see that, and I know those days are coming soon, so in a way, I also have to shield myself. I have to show them that I stand up and stick out my chest and pull back my shoulders and throw my chin high in the face of anything that comes toward me. Whether I get hurt or not is beyond the point; defeating those unknowns brings the victorious feeling that grows into confidence that you can do it again and again.
As a partner, I feel compelled to defend and destroy. While I may not agree with everything my partner believes in, I never betray him. I am not at his side, and he is not at my side. We are equals, and we are back-to-back in this fight of life. He doesn’t need to hold my hand to feel my strength and support, he only needs to lean back and trust that I will be there. When challenge comes knocking at our door, in our most relaxed and vulnerable moments, I have my armor on for him.
As a friend, I feel compelled to be better than I actually am. I want to be able to provide better conversation, more interesting anecdotes, stronger reliability, and a willingness to listen. I’m a shoulder, an ear, a hand, a strong back, whatever a friend could need, but I want to be bigger. I want to not offend, or misinform, and I want to be able to be there when I say I will be. Sometimes, when I can’t be present, I bathe in guilt until I’m convinced I’m everyone’s worst friend. I’m sure I have friends who understand that certain things are beyond our control, but I absolutely have friends who have zero concept of “shit happens.” I want to be good enough, that there is no need to complain about me behind my back. That’s the kind of friend I want, and want to be.
Does this make me a whole person? What about the things that don’t involve other people? What about my internal struggle? What about my controversial thoughts that I don’t share? What about my conscience? What about my thoughts of the future? What will I be? What values will I inherit from my own experience, that change how I see the world? Will I like myself? Am I a friend to myself? How could I be better as a temporary vessel, as well as a better soul and mind?


Am I Write?

I am having a difficult time organizing my thoughts to write.
I have a notebook of graph paper next to me, as well as a black sharpie, a blue papermate, and a black v-ball pen, just in case inspiration strikes in another form, because this whole writing thing isn’t working out for me.
I have nobody to whom I can express my distaste for my writing. Everyone says they love it, but I am not sure anyone would tell me if they didn’t like it. I can’t even imagine what that would look like. I can’t even imagine why anyone would want to read my writing, because it is essentially just a lot of this. I am literally reading my own thoughts on screen, as I’m having them, and that’s what the reader gets from me too, in a way. Why would anyone want to waste their time just observing someone else’s thoughts? Weird.
I struggle with finding topics to write about. Matt says I should write a fiction novel. I don’t know what fiction is. Everything is fiction to me, so I just write about what sounds like a story to me. I see artistic elements in interactions, machinery, and nature. When I recognize patterns in people, or see emotional intelligence in “real time” where most aren’t cognizant of what is truly happening, I try to capture how I would deal with the same circumstance. I used to not be very emotionally intelligent. I remember what it was like, and wonder if other people see things like that too. Of course, they have to. Or else there would be nobody to teach it to me. But why isn’t it more common? Emotional intelligence is right up there with disease and natural disasters, when it comes to human demise.
I don’t write self-help, because I don’t feel that I’m in the position to help anyone, because I don’t have any of my shit together. My shit is living in separate houses, separate neighborhoods, different zip codes, diverging paths in the future. My shit doesn’t want to get together. My shit wants to be happily separated, providing multiple Hells for me to suffer.
Some people say I should write a book about being a parent. That is a mistake, and I can’t believe anyone would say that to me. What they really mean, is that I should document my parenting mishaps and surprises from the past 16 years, and relay them in a hysterically relatable way, because I have no problem with divulging the bad stuff. I don’t care about the pretty stories as much as the real ones that people encounter like “What?! Literally none of my friends put this on Instagram! What’s happening?!” That’s what I tell people about. I have nothing to hide. That’s probably why it’s a terrible idea for me to write a parenting tale. I’ll sum it up here: Having teenagers is like getting to the end of Chutes and Ladders, only to land on the slide that kicks your ass back to the beginning. You know why? Because teenagers are a special kind of rude and inconsiderate; a kind that saturates your insides with boiling blood, because they are quite capable of being considerate to you when they want something. But you love them anyway, and that makes you even more furious, because I can tell you that (at least for me) you don’t want to show the love when you’re trying to be a hard-ass.
It is possible to have a respectful and considerate teen. I just haven’t had that experience, so I can’t speak to that. If that describes your reality, please let me know what medication your kids are on.
Just kidding about that medication thing. I take the over-medication of American citizens very seriously, as it -ironically- sickens me.
I have done a lot of things in my life, which would more than fill two autobiographies, but then we would have to go back to the whole “sharing too much” aspect of things, because I would need to mention quite a few people, who would undoubtedly be described too specifically for it to remain any sort of a mystery. As long as I don’t use names, all bets should be off, and I should be able to plunge cleanly into the not-so-clean waters of my past. What could go wrong?
I have survived situations that could have been the end of me. I would have died, surrounded by idiots who may have weighed their options between getting help or dumping my body, and chosen the latter. Nobody would have heard from me again; not my parents, my grandparents, my siblings. I was so selfish, I very well could have passed on a life of my kids explaining why they don’t know their mother, years of sadness and confusion, filling in the blanks of who I was. I was their only reliable parent, and I shook the dice on abandoning them. I was in such a dark place, that I put myself in danger, and I am lucky to have come out alive. Ever since, I have decided being present in my kids’ lives is the only thing I care about.
Things are mounting in my life right now. I don’t have a job to go to, where people can tell me I’ve succeeded at something, or “hey, good job.” I don’t have much of an existence outside of taking care of my family, so while they are all away, I don’t feel like I’m powered ON. I feel like a robot that someone drags out of the toybox when they get home, and then I have meaningful purpose again. I sit here and stew on the things that are going wrong. And then at night, I stew even more, on things that may go wrong in the future. Or, they may not happen at all, and I just torture myself all night. Waking up in the morning, is like being pissed on by a volcano. I know I’m going to somehow manifest these hypothetical scenarios that are rooted in my imagination. That’s probably why I hate my writing so badly. It just reminds me of my negative outlook too much. Puts me in my own head.
I know I am a victim of my own circumstance, as I chose to take advantage of the opportunity to be a  domestic wizard (or “stay-at-home parent” as some people call it; like a woman doctor, or a male dancer, because you have to remind people that even though you’re doing something crazy -such as being a woman- you can still be a person -such as a doctor- just the same, or even be a parent despite the fact that you’re staying home!) I did choose to stay home, for the benefit of the teenagers I talked about up there a few paragraphs ago. I do my best work alone, and prefer to be in control. I don’t work well for other people’s success, especially when I’m taking my stress home to my family, so I eliminate any chance of that, by immersing myself in things I can control. I can make my home the way I want it, I can cook whatever I feel like cooking, I can plan things for the future,  I write, I draw, I paint, I design houses,  I take pictures of things that draw my eye. I let my creativity guide me, but far too often, I revert back to stresses as a parent. After all, that is my #1 purpose in life. Why do I sound so defeated when I say that?
I wonder if people think I don’t like being a parent. I’m strict, I’m unreasonable about certain things, I’m unwavering on principles, I expect my kids to do the right thing without being told, all despite the fact that I know their brains aren’t fully developed yet. I understand they are teens, and I try not to rush them into growing up, but they need to learn that the real world is a cold-ass place, and I don’t want them to learn it by getting hurt. Of course, I can’t avoid that, and now I sound like every parent before me. They have to get hurt. They have to be treated like shit by people. They have to be let down. They have to be told what to do. They have to be unfairly judged. They have to be stolen from, taken advantage of, and betrayed. All of these things will unfortunately occur in their lives, and it pains me to think of this, so how do I prepare them? I want these years to last forever, so they can experience love and care for as long as possible, but that won’t teach them to form any sort of tough exterior, and they’ll get eaten alive in life.
People with smaller children aren’t thinking about these things the same way. Obviously they don’t want any harm to come to their kids either, but it’s a different kind. Acceptance among peers, forming bonds, learning at a “normal” pace, are all things parents of young children are focusing on. Suicide, hopelessness, lack of direction, pregnancy, internet predators, college finances, learning how to drive a deadly weapon on the road, violence, truancy, drug use, problems with the law, are all things that a parent of teenagers must think about. At any point, my kids can make up their mind to get into one of these situations, and there is nothing I could do to prevent it.  The best education about risk and danger, the biggest net of love and support, the most open mind, the strongest bond, the deepest trust, can only go so far. They make their own decisions, and their brains haven’t yet made the “Don’t do that” connection in a lot of potentially dangerous areas. It is absolutely NOT easier or better when they start to gain independence; just because they’re not eating small objects that aren’t food, doesn’t mean they aren’t making equally poor decisions. Their perceived “free will” encourages them to explore unknown things in environments that you can’t always predict. At least with a small child, you’re hip to pretty much everything they can possibly do, and you’re much faster than them, so you can prevent a lot of accidents. If you’re reading this, I don’t think I need to tell you what teenagers are capable of doing. We know it’s worse.
As much as I complain about how difficult and unrewarding it is to be a parent, I wouldn’t trade it for all the writer’s inspiration in the world, because to me, they are LIFE inspiration. They keep me going, by ensuring that I struggle and grow, and never let my brain or nerves rest. You couldn’t fill a library with that kind of art.