What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
Music. Absolutely. I have tried learning the piano and also the guitar and was awful. My heart is in it, but I just don’t have the talent for music. I practiced, though not nearly what I should have. I’d get frustrated because I wasn’t on the level I thought I should be, so instead of practicing harder, I’d give up. And then suck even more once I picked up the instrument again, so I’d for real quit. Music is such a huge component of my life…the right song at the right moment can completely alter my mood. I have always longed to be able to bring that to people, to myself. To channel my pain and anxiety into a song instead of internally. But alas, I’m a terrible musician and even worse singer so…I resort to writing and yoga to get out the big feels. I may have the heart and soul of a musician, but I definitely don’t have the God-given talent or drive of a musician.
That doesn’t, however, stop me from belting it out to my favorite song while I’m driving, or dancing all crazy in the kitchen. Once you got the music in you, you can’t ignore it! Even if you gave the worst piano recital in the history of piano recitals.
In case you haven’t noticed, social media has been swarmed with countless “me, too” statuses. It is saying the author of that post has been a victim of sexual assault or harassment of some form. It is to raise awareness to the prevalence of sexual abuse in our society…even now (especially now) in 2017. It has been astounding to me the vast number of people on my friends list alone that have spoken up. Some I would have never thought. Some others, I’m sure, aren’t speaking up and that is totally okay. It is their story to tell when it’s time.
Thankfully, shockingly, I cannot add my “me, too” to the masses. I have always felt lucky to not be a statistic in that category, but it is even more evident to me today how fucking blessed I really am. I have never had to feel those flames, stare into that depth of hell.
I have been stalked (briefly in high school). I have been catcalled and honked and whistled at as if I was a dog while walking down the street. I have had crude, tasteless comments directed to me about my body. I have been coerced into having sex when I really did not want to. Over and over. I have been used purely for my body, and then cast away like a cheap party favor. I have had rumors spread about me because I was blackout drunk and could not defend myself (my friends were aware enough to make sure I was safe, but that didn’t stop the stories in a small town). I have had so many inappropriate “jokes” or comments flung my way I cannot tell you them all. I have had to be careful for the way I dressed in case I was “too distracting.” This is not healthy. It is not okay. Yes, it is the least of what could happen -and frequently does- happen to a women. But that does not make it any less disgusting.
We as a society need to say, E N O U G H. Our women are worth more than snide jokes and ass slaps. Our MEN are better than that. The men in my life are loyal, tender, and in love with their women for her spirit and soul and heart, not just her ass. My man knows I am capable and smart and strong and will do whatever I want. He is my protector, yes, but he also respects me as a PERSON. (And in case there are any questions, is not the perpetrator in the above scenarios) So to dismiss crude, misogynist behavior as “boys being boys” or “locker room talk” is bullshit. Yes, it happens. But it shouldn’t. Men need to be held to a higher standard than that, because they ARE better than that. Women are expected to be classy and proper and perfect, but men are expected to be horny predators that can’t control themselves? No. That double standard needs to be abolished. And now.
We need to raise our children better. Our girls need to hear their voice as soon as they learn how to talk, and NEVER be afraid of it. Our girls need to be taught to trust her instinct, to speak her mind, and to never back down. Our boys need to be taught respect for ALL beings, and that you don’t have to be a sexist douche to be “masculine.” It is up to US to prevent the next generation from suffering through all these “me, too’s.” It is up to US to break this whole chain of sexual trauma that has plagued our society generation upon generation. It is time to say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.” ENOUGH lives have been destroyed. ENOUGH innocence has been lost. ENOUGH predators have been let free. ENOUGH excuses have been made. ENOUGH victims have been silenced. ENOUGH.
I almost didn’t write this one. I’m really struggling with the purpose of this writing project/blog…is it being useful to others or is it just me yapping about myself? I don’t want to just sit here and talk about how funny and awesome and bad ass I am. I want to write stories or paragraphs that are relatable, that people can connect to or learn from. Writing about my greatest accomplishments after just writing about my strengths just seemed a little too close to the narcissistic line that I’m tiptoeing here. But…I have no other idea on what to write about as I am absolutely exhausted from a busy and fun weekend. And plus, why SHOULDN’T I be proud of my accomplishments? Yes I’m young(ish), but I’ve done some big things. So. Bear with me here, okay? And I want feedback, people. Am I being an egotistical tool?
1.) Graduating college.
No easy feat for anyone, but my last two years happened to coincide with the absolute collapse and rebuilding of my life. My last semester I was 2000 miles away from my family, mentor and peers, doing independent study while raising a baby. My only chances to study were when he was asleep at night. And since he was a horrible sleeper, that wasn’t ever a sure thing. I have a sneaking suspicion my professors just let me pass because they felt sorry for me. But then again, I know them and they would never allow that. And I kept my GPA up over a 3.5. So I felt like a total fucking bad ass walking across that stage with shaky legs.
2.) Raising an amazing kid.
Ugh…yeah yeah everyone says their kid is amazing. But this boy has a heart the size of Texas and is so empathetic and emotional it’s astounding. He’s all about fairness and will be the first one to stand up if he sees something he doesn’t agree with. He is the kid in class that befriends the new students or the ones that are the outcasts. He is polite, well-mannered and just a charmer. I can’t, and don’t, take all the credit. C has been a huge influence in establishing morals and teaching him how to be a proper gentleman. Little Bee will change the world one day.
3.) Not letting The Drone win.
There have been several times in the years since I left that it seemed easier to just throw in the towel and agree to whatever insane term he was demanding of me. But I didn’t, and I never will because I no longer believe the bullshit he says about me, about Little Bee, or our family. I know what is best for my child, and I will go to my grave fighting for that boy. He will never win, and he won’t hurt us anymore. I am bigger and stronger than I ever was with him, and I continue to grow. He may have crushed my spirit for a solid decade, but he will NEVER squelch my soul. When it comes to my child, I am a fire that will never burn out.
4.) Giving Love a second chance.
It can be so easy after a catastrophic heartbreak to turn bitter and rage against the opposite sex. I was there. I walked around with an enormous chip on my shoulder and a perpetual glare on my face for a steady 2 years. Talk about “resting bitch face”….I had it MASTERED. But when a bearded guy with a sweet smile and sad eyes handed me a beer at a gathering, I didn’t kick his ass. I took the scary plunge into being vulnerable and letting him see the absolute disaster that was my life, and inviting him to be a part of it. For some crazy reason, he jumped at the chance and we’re going on 4 years now. Letting myself be open to love again has been one of the best things I ever did for myself and Little Bee.
5.) Studying Abroad.
Not only did I have to overcome enormous fear and anxiety to travel to a different country with a group of people I had never met, but I also had to scrape together thousands of dollars to pay for the trip. Even though it was way out of my norm, I knew I had to go on the trip to Greece. I worked my ass off, applied for financial aid, and even asked for donations from family members. Somehow, I made it work and those 4 weeks were life changing. Greece altered the path of my studies and life forever. And I was so close to chickening out too!
Without a doubt I’d be a sloth. Maybe a cat. Shit, now I don’t know which one I’m more like! Okay, I’ll write about both of them.
I chose sloth first because they sleep. A lot. That’s all they do. If I didn’t have a job or a child, you would never find me out of bed. Pre Little Bee days I frequently slept for like 14 straight hours. Of course that was because I was either in class or working, so my rare days off I caught up on sleep. But that doesn’t matter. Any chance I get, I sleep. I move very slowly in the mornings and my showering is sporadic so I definitely identify with the sloth. They eat, sleep, and sleep some more. Just hanging out in trees with a perpetual sleepy half-smile on their faces. They’re my spirit animal, I’m convinced.
But then I second guessed myself because I have always been envious of a cat’s life. They sleep most of the day away, get petted and snuggled and loved until they don’t want to be and then they flip out, hiss and runaway to hide. C can attest that that has happened a time or two in our house….and it wasn’t the cat (*hint* it was me). They are very untrusting of strangers and prefer to hide when people come over instead of socializing. They’re particular about their people, but once attached they’re good companions. And they loooooovvvvveeee squishy, soft places to sleep. My entire apartment is nothing but blankets and pillows. I mean, my couch has freaking down filled cushions for Pete’s sake!! Yeah, I’m a cat. Part sloth, part cat. Cat-sloth. A slothat. A catloth.
Talk about uncomfortable. Ok…let’s see if I can do this without sounding bragful.* Is that a word? Spellcheck is telling me no. But I’m gonna keep it.
1.) I’m a hard worker.
Like ridiculously so…to the point of being a fault (see No. 1 on last post). I give 100% to every job I have, even if I hate it. I hate a half assed job more than anything, and I refuse to be that person. My mama didn’t raise no quitter.
2.) I can relate to pretty much anyone.
Being an empath helps me connect to people on a pretty real level. Even total strangers or people from opposite walks of life. I can see both sides to every story and even feel empathy for people who probably don’t deserve it. This is most likely why people feel compelled to tell me their whole life story while checking out my groceries.
3.) I’m a damn good cook.
I have no professional training, but have gotten real good and throwing together a dank ass meal on the fly and on a budget. It’s usually pretty healthy, and ALWAYS gluten/dairy free too. I’ve had quit a bit of practice over the years in cooking cheap, healthy meals that even a picky kid and man would love (just ask C). Of course I’ve had some horrible mishaps (like really bad) but for the most part, my meals turn out pretty yummy. I can thank my mama’s family for that one. And sheer necessity.
4.) I’m not afraid to be myself.
This one has taken years to perfect, but just recently I have become comfortable with who I am and what I believe in. I’m a weird, introverted, nerdy, hippie chick who loves Eminem, Mudvayne, and Harry Potter. I rarely shave my armpits or legs and wear lots of mix-matched layers and too big sweaters. My passion is ugly/cute shoes and big glasses. I prefer to be authentic rather than trendy. I get made fun of all the time, but that is nothing new and as I’ve matured I’ve learned how to laugh at myself and let it roll off my back. I embrace the quirkiness and let my freak flag fly. (Not that kind of freak, you nasties) The best part? I’m raising a little weirdo too.
5.) I never stop learning.
I am always researching new things, and toting off random facts about useless (some useful) shit. I refuse to let my brain rot, though I haven’t been in school in 6 years. There is always something I want to know, or learn, or do and I’m not satisfied to be shrug and go, “oh, that’d be nice.” I read everything I can about a certain topic that interests me and have boxes and boxes of books in storage to prove that. Sometimes my anxiety stops me from fully pursuing that interest (like taking classes for example), and sometimes life gets in the way (I can’t just drop everything and travel like I’d want to), but that doesn’t stop me from researching and learning all that I can. I need to know everything about everything.
*Edited to say that I found the word I was trying to use. Boastful. Aaah that sounds better.
Mmmm this is gonna get uncomfortable. Ok. Here goes….
1.) I’m terrible at asking for help.
I will work myself to the brink of collapse before I ask someone to take over, or step in. I’m much like my father in that aspect. I used to think it was because I was tough and capable and nothing could stop me, but now I’m realizing I’m a stubborn, masochistic perfectionist who doesn’t like to admit when she can’t do something. Which is why my adrenals are completely shot and my body likes to mysteriously attack itself. So, good job on that one Bee.
2.) I don’t take criticism well.
Even if it’s directed towards me in a very gentle, constructive way, I take criticism very personally and usually walk away near tears or raging. After awhile I will see their point and get it, but first I have to sulk in a corner and lick my wounds. I’d like to think it’s getting better as I’m getting older…but that’s probably not the case.
3.) When I’m lazy, I’m L A Z Y.
I have two extremes: a crazed, caffeine fueled rabbit and a fungus growing sloth. There is no in-between for me. So on the weekends or a rare day off, I do nothing. I sit on the couch allllll day and then wonder why my body aches. I let laundry and dishes pile up and then stress out about how messy my house is. I can’t peel myself off the couch cushion to go outside to play with Little Bee, but then grump about how hyper he is. I hate this part of my personality, but I can be a lazy mo’fo’.
4.) I’m a master procrastinator.
Like…I could teach a class on how to perfectly put things off until the literal last second, and yet still somehow come through and get shit done. I wrote my last paper of my college career the NIGHT BEFORE I was set to fly out to graduation. It was a 20 page research paper, mind you. I pulled an all nighter, sent that bitch in via email at 1:00a.m. and then flew out at 7:00a.m. to graduate the next day. And I got an A on it, and my degree. I’m not saying it’s healthy, I’m just saying I’m super good at it.
5.) I’m horrible at communicating my feelings.
I’m very aware of my feelings, because I have a lot of them all the time. I am not one to shy away from sitting with the uncomfortableness that is human emotions and picking apart why I’m feeling like that. However, I do it in silence and solitude. If something is bothering me I’d rather sit and stew with it and wrap my head around it then sit down and verbally duke it out with someone. Sometimes I think it’s good because it keeps a lot of unwanted things being said in the heat of the moment. But it’s also hard for me to say anything, even when it needs to be said.
300-400a: wake up randomly absolutely panicked about something. Calm myself back down, fall asleep (lightly)
500-530a: wake up (grudgingly) and try to decide if I’m taking a shower or if I can get by with just dry shampoo and a bun. Sneak out of the bedroom and trip over the cat (every.single.morning), make coffee, feed the damn cat.
530-600a: shower if it’s a shower day, do yoga if it’s not, write a post, or stare mindlessly into my coffee mug whilst thinking of all the shit I must get accomplished today. Sometimes if I’m feeling super productive, I’ll do all the things. Minus the shower. Showering nixes all other activities.
600-700a: this is my “kitchen hour.” Finish dishes from the night before, make lunches for all three of us, prep dinner for that night.
700a: wake up Little Bee, make him breakfast. More coffee. Try to eat breakfast myself, but usually just finish up chores or check email/Facebook.
730-805a: get myself and Little Bee semi presentable and out the door. I usually haul down the stairs my purse, stuffed lunch bag, water bottle, and coffee mug. Pour the last of the coffee in the pot as I walk out the door.
810-815a: drop off. Good-bye baby have a good day! See you tonight. Don’t forget your lunch box!
815-845a: the commute. Lots of swearing, banging my head against the steering wheel, and guzzling of coffee to stay awake. Usually talk to Mama during this time, and she’s doing the same things.
845-900a: this precious time is spent taking deep breaths, applying essential oils, and mentally preparing myself for the chaos that’s about to ensue.
*900a-430p (on a practice night): work. Which consists of a lot of cleaning, butt-wiping, refereeing, tears (mine and theirs), boo-boo healing, hug giving and a little bit of teaching. On my lunch break (after putting 10-16 littles down for a nap) I will either sit numb in my car while stuffing my face with leftovers, or running errands. Usually the only time during the week I can get grocery shopping done.
430-530p: more commuting but this time it’s worse traffic and I’m on a strict time limit. I rush across town to pick up Little Bee and dart over to flag football practice.
530-630p: practice. I sit and either fiddle around on my phone or write while watching Little Bee practicing his catches, runs, and flag pulls. So cute.
630-640p: drive home listening to Little Bee replay every little drill that they did in minute detail….I think sometimes he forgets that I was a witness to all this.
640-800p: dinner time. I usually have to finish up cooking before we can sit down. And poor a glass of wine. By the time my ass hits my chair at the table, I’m pooped. Ensues is the usual “Little Bee eat your dinner” battle. Once he finally chokes down the last bite, I throw the dishes in the sink to deal with later (i.e. tomorrow morning) and collapse on the couch. Sometimes I toss the kid in the bath or shower. Sometimes he just goes to bed stinky.
800-830p: bedtime routine. Jammies, teeth, potty, book. Sometimes he can sucker me into two, but usually it’s late, my brain is done, and I just need some wine. After the book is read, I sing him a song, turn on his essential oil diffuser and turn off the lights. I’m done. Good night. Love you. More wine.
830-1000p: adult time. Which sounds much more provocative and exciting then it usually really is. This time consists of wine, the History Channel, and me trying not to fall asleep while C laughs at me and then drags me to bed around 10. I am usually in a t-shirt and underwear though so that’s cute right? Although now it’s chilly outside so I’m in leggings and a tee. Not so cute. Never mind. My poor man.
*Routine for nights when there is no practice-
900-630p: work. Which consists of a lot of cleaning, butt-wiping, refereeing, tears (mine and theirs), boo-boo healing, hug giving and a little bit of teaching. On my lunch break (after putting 10-16 littles down for a nap) I will either sit numb in my car while stuffing my face with leftovers, or running errands. Usually the only time during the week I can get grocery shopping done.
630-700p: closing duties. Making sure all classrooms are clean, trashes out, doors locked, time cards are correct, there’s a schedule for tomorrow. Usually while muttering under my breath about how useless some (not all) of my co-workers are. And whining about how hungry I am.
700-730p: the drive home. No traffic but I’m so exhausted I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. Usually rummaging around for lost snacks or left over lunch scraps. In desperation I call Mama so she can keep me awake.
730-800p: my dinner time. Catch up on everyone’s day while I reheat the dinner I prepped but C cooked so they could eat at a decent time. Try not to fall asleep in my plate. Wine time.