Times They Are a Changin’

I almost never blog anymore, but I always blog in airports, and that’s where I am right now.

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 64th birthday.  It’s been two years since she passed.  She’ll never meet my boyfriend.  She’ll never see me finish my masters or have a real job.  She’ll never visit me in Alabama or Arizona or anywhere else I might end up living.   And my life keeps going on.  I keep moving forward.  Everyday I’m distanced from what she knew me to be.  And I’m hoping that I’m who she would have wanted me to be.

We’re flying to California because my dad is getting married on Saturday.  He’s moving to Southern California.  My brother moved back to our childhood home to keep the house.  Everything’s different, and I’m not even around to notice it.

People keep asking me how I feel about these changes.  My biggest concern is that my dad is happy, so obviously I’m fine with it.  And honestly, being across the country, I don’t even notice the changes.  My life is still the same.  I go the same job.  I have the same friends.  The only difference is that I’m in school, so I have class and homework.

So yeah.  I’m happy.  Or relatively.  Blending my family is not the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I’ll try to have more thoughts next time.

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Out in Publix

Since moving to the south, I’ve had to change the way I shop for groceries.  I miss Vons a lot, but I’ve been here long enough, so I guess that I’ve adjusted for the most part.  I go to Walmart way more than I did when I lived in California.  A place where I’ve learned to get the most of my groceries here is Publix.

The thing about Publix is, it’s pretty southern.  They take care of their employees, and almost everyone I’ve seen working there is in a good mood.  They go out of their way to talk to you, which is pretty much my nightmare.  I prefer to shop uninterrupted, unless I actually have a question.  And I know that it’s a customer service thing, bothering the customers.  I work in customer service, I get it.  But it’s a lot harder for me to address someone I don’t know.  I hate when strangers talk to me without a purpose.  I’m not good at conversation.  It spikes my anxiety.

But the biggest thing that Publix insists on that I hate is helping me to my car.  I grew up having the grocery store checker asking if I needed help out.  I don’t like strangers seeing my car, and I’m fairly independent, so I’ve never needed help out.  But at Publix, you don’t really get a choice.  One time I had only one bag in my hand and they guy tried to take it from me.  It almost gives me stalker vibes.  I know it’s their job, it just feels very intrusive to me.  It happens less when I take my boyfriend shopping with me, but if we have a cart, someone definitely is going to help us out to our car.  I’m sure there are lots of people who really appreciate this Publix standard, but I hate it.  And if it wasn’t the best grocery store in the area I would just go somewhere else.

This is just one instance where I need to learn to say “no.”  Still working on my effort to avoid small talk at all costs.

7 Years

I was just reminded that I have had this blog for seven years.   Seven years of rants.  Seven years of poetry.  Seven years of channeling my depression online.  And I used to be good at it.  I remember when I was in college, sometimes I would get so creative I would post twice a week.  There were times when I’d try not to post every day.  Now I can barely post once a month.

And I’ve been thinking.  On and off for a while, I’ve been thinking.  What if I just closed it down?  Is seven years long enough?  For a long time this blog was my identity.  I put my heart and soul into.  Which is why my lack of creativity depresses me so much, I think.  But maybe it’s time to rip the bandaid off?  Is anyone even paying attention anymore?  Because I for sure have nothing to say anymore.

Last April I moved into a townhouse.  I thought moving here might give me the creative head space I need, but instead I feel like I might have even less creative space.  I’ve forgotten how to act on my ideas, because I still have those.  I have hundreds of photos on a memory card in a camera that I bought because I thought I was going to get back into photography.  Instead, they sit there unedited, when I used to love editing and sharing photos.

I spend a lot of time wondering who I even am anymore.  I start school next month, and I’m excited for it, but what happened to being a writer?  What happened to being a poet?  What happened to having big dreams?  Did I get lost somewhere along the way?  I want to try.  So badly, I want to try.  But giving it all up seems to much easier.

My decisions are pending.  But this could be coming close to a goodbye.

Grad School, Mother’s Day, and Road Trips

I’ve been on a hiatus for longer than I ever have been.  I haven’t written.  I haven’t posted.  I feel like I haven’t existed much at all.

I got into grad school.  I’m supposed to start in the fall.  But I have to register.  And in order to register I have to figure out my financial aid stuff.  I feel like I’ve gone back in time.  I should know how to do all of this, but I don’t even remember how I did it the first time around.  I’m pretty sure my mom did it all for me.  But I don’t have her to help me this time around.  And I know I can do it.  That doesn’t make me any less afraid.

Last month was Mother’s Day.  It was my second Mother’s Day without a mother.  I wanted to not focus on it being a holiday at all.  So Bobby and I went to visit someone who I had been wanting to visit for quite some time.  We went up to Nashville and had lunch and exploring with JJ Peterson, who was the Dean of Students for three years of my college career.  JJ is one of the funniest, freest people that I have ever known.  He’s deep and real and inspiring.  We had hot chicken.  Bobby got to see a different side of my life.

A week and a half ago Bobby and I returned from a nine day road trip.  We went to Mule Days in my home town in California.  We visited my dad and my home and I wish we never had to leave.  I miss living out west.  I miss the dry air.
We stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona, and we’re pretty sure we found where we want to end up some day.  I dove into a big blue hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  We found the infamous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
I’ve always loved road trips.  But I love them even more with Bobby.  I love having a forever person like him.
We don’t have it all figured out.  But I’m thankful that we get to figure it out together.

When I was home a lot of people asked if I’m still writing.  I felt like I’d let everyone down when I said no.  And I don’t even have an answer for why I stopped.  Have I forgotten who I am?  Have I forgotten everything?  Or have I just disappeared a little bit.  I can’t make myself be more inspired.  But I can learned to be disciplined again.  I can learn who I am again.

I’m not making any promises though.  I’ll try to ramble less.  Or maybe I’ll just try.

Use Your Words… Or Don’t

I don’t really care what you believe about anything, words have power.

I was just listening to a Lore podcast about Romani curses.  The Romani people would hold trials when something was stolen or some other crime had been committed.  In these trials they would will their community to confess to the crime, and if no one confessed, they would curse the perpetrator to an agonizing death as a group.  Then the trial would be over and things would go back to normal.  But Romani curses aren’t real because of any kind of black magic.  They’re not real in a physical sense at all.  Rather, they’re real because thinking makes it so.  It’s the power of the mind.  A Romani person could curse you by telling you your life will be hard and your death will be painful.  And it would probably come true, not because the Romani were prophetic, but because you’d probably spend the rest of your life worrying about the curse, thus your life would probably be hard.  And your death would probably be painful because you had spent your whole life worrying about your death.  Your mind gave these words power.  Thinking made it so.

I work with someone who doesn’t believe in encouragement, and only believes in belittlement.  No one could ever measure up or be good at their job.  So it’s best to make sure they know that you believe that.  Call them stupid and slow.  Because that’s sure to make them work better and faster.  “Don’t applaud a fish for swimming.”
I had to take a class on leadership for my degree.  We learned about so many leadership styles.  But as an exhorter, I believe the best way to lead is to come alongside and grow with someone.  Lead by being a part, rather than sitting above.  Encourage and help, instead of getting upset because a mistake was made.  Build up, rather than diminish.
I’ve felt very discouraged lately.  Because although those under my leadership believe that I’m doing a good job; although I know that I am doing a good job, my equals still don’t see me as equal.  It makes me want to move on.  It makes me want to give up.  It makes me want to quit.  It can always be better.  And I’ve believed for a long time now that if you don’t like something, change it.

Have you ever heard a lot about someone before you’ve ever met them?  So you go into the relationship with preconceived notions of what everyone has already told you?  I went to college with a girl that I had heard about for most of the summer before.  So I met her believing several negative things about her.  I knew her to be annoying before we ever spoke.  I believed she was something that she isn’t because of the words others had spoken.  But that girl became one of my best friends.  Words have power.  Until they don’t.

We should talk about each other less.  We should build each other up more.  We should be more careful.  We shouldn’t believe that we have to be careful.
I spend so much time afraid that I’ve messed up, that I’ve ruined everything, that I forget how to love myself.  I forget how to love others.  I forget how to be happy.  I don’t want to forget anymore.

Because We Have to Prove We’re Right

Social media causes almost as much division as it does connectedness.  Maybe it causes more the more you’re on it.  Because I have a lot of “friends” on facebook who I really get along with in person, or I did at the time in my life when I knew them, but whenever they post their views online, they do it in a manner to tear one another down.  Today I saw a post by a “friend” that pointed out a bunch of “failures” that he is blaming solely on the democratic party, and basically said that you’re stupid if you’re a democrat because of this.  With that logic we could say the same about republicans, since our republican president seems to have just as many failures and scandals as the democratic party, uses twitter as his main source of communication, and had a “whose button is bigger” contest with the leader of North Korea.  So maybe you’re stupid if you’re a republican?

Or maybe not.  I’m neither a republican nor a democrat, my opinions live somewhere in between.  Both parties have serious downfalls, and both have good parts as well.  But calling someone out because of their political affiliation is about as annoying as not liking someone because they’re gay, or making comments about women belonging on the kitchen.

I’m just wondering why people feel the need to post about their opinions in a corrosive manner.  You can have whatever opinions you want.  You can even share these opinions, because that seems to be what social media has become about.  But putting down someone else whilst sharing this opinion just because you can?  What’s the point?  Oh right, it’s to be mean.  I think people are just too mean.  And I think I’m noticing it too much.

What really gets me is that that majority of these people, at least on my feed, are outspoken Christians.  And I thought Christ told his people to go out and make disciples. I thought we were supposed to multiply, not divide.

It’s probably because we all like to believe that we’re right.  And some of us have to prove that we’re right.   Even though not everyone cares.  And the thing that we think we’re “right” about the most is an opinion, and usually, opinions aren’t inherently right or wrong.  They’re not facts.  They have sides.

And I’m probably perpetuating the crises by writing this anyway.

Rant.  Over.

Last Time I Checked

Last time I checked, everyone in this country is entitled to their own opinion.  But it seems that if you have too many conservative people on your “friends” list, having an opinion is immediately offensive and should be shot down.  Which is why I don’t often share my opinion anywhere outside of this blog and the people that I talk to face to face.  I’m not great at arguing.  I don’t like to argue.  But I know what I stand for.  I know what I believe in.

I believe in a loving God that cares more about who I am than who we are than who we are attracted to.  He cares more about his pursuit of us and our pursuit of him than our individual “mistakes” or how conservative or liberal we are.  He is a forgiving God.  He is a relentless God.  And he cherishes every moment we spend with him.

I was listening to the BadChristian Podcast, and they were talking about Christians and abortion, now versus the early 70s and before.  Before abortion became a political issue for Christians, it seems like the Church cared a lot more about the individual women.  A single young woman would find herself pregnant with a child she was not ready for (because that’s what I believe abortion comes down to, essentially) and she would see abortion as the only option.  Maybe because her family would disown her.  Maybe because she knew she didn’t have enough money to raise a child.  Or maybe because, even if she adopted the child out, she couldn’t afford to keep working her job while pregnant.  So the Church would help these women.  Maybe help them find families for adoption, or maybe give them sanctuary from a family that will no longer accept them.  Or maybe help them with a job or with money so they can take the needed time off of work.  But then Republicans wanted to find a way to get the Christian vote, so they made abortion a political issue.  And it’s almost as if the women ceased to matter, only the babies that may or may not be killed.  Even though (I haven’t researched this, only got it from the podcast) the abortion rate hasn’t really gone up since Roe vs. Waide, it’s just become safer.
And none of this is to say that I’m pro abortion.  But I am about as pro choice as I am pro life.

So, I live in Alabama, and I decided, for the first time ever, to vote.  I voted for Doug Jones, even though he’s okay with late term abortions.  Because I don’t think that this belief that he holds is going to affect any laws, because he is one man, and this is a democracy, and most other people are going to vote agains late term abortions, if they ever vote on it anyway.  Roy Moore has a lot of allegations against him about sexual harassment, especially against teenagers when he was in his thirties.  I’m not comfortable with him being in our senate, thus, I couldn’t vote for him.  People are getting upset at me because these allegations aren’t 100% proven.  Because a woman’s word obviously isn’t important enough.  These women didn’t know each other.  It’s not like they had some plan to make him look bad so he wouldn’t get elected.  And whether they’re all true or not, the chance that they could be true is enough for me.  I wouldn’t want to work for someone that women had said harassed them.  I wouldn’t want someone like that as my leader.  I know what harassment is like, not to the extent of these women, but still.  We already willingly elected a man like this to be our president.  We already have several in our senate.  I just didn’t want one more.

Women are not meat or property, they are equal.  People with a darker skin tone are not worth less or property, they are equal.  People of a different sexual orientation are not dirty or sick or tainted, they are equal.  It doesn’t make sense to me why anyone would believe any less.  All humans were created equal.  I can’t be convinced to vote for someone who obviously believes otherwise.  And I’m not going to apologize for that.