Archive | September, 2014

The Changing of the Seasons

27 Sep

 

It’s that time of year again…fall. Often fondly known as Autumn.

It is the favorite time of year of many. Everywhere I go people remark how beautiful it is and how much they love it. And I’m inclined to agree.

But no. It isn’t.

My brain says I love it. I step outside and the sun is at an angle that makes the whole world feel warmer and cozier. The trees are turning brilliant shades of golds and oranges and reds. The nights are cool, but the days are still warm. It’s absolutely brilliant.

My heart, however, does not seem to agree.

When I step outside, I get this horrible sinking feeling. I want to go for a walk or take the dog out, or just sit outside, but I can never bring myself to do so. Sometimes I just want to cry, but most of the time I just want to run back inside and close myself up from the world…maybe take a nap until summer. I wanted to go look at the aspens changing colors today, but then I changed my mind. Decided I didn’t want to leave my house or see people. Then, I feel like I’ve wasted a perfectly beautiful day by spending it inside doing nothing.

That is why fall isn’t my favorite.

What’s your favorite season? Are you ready for another year to be over?

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Choose Your Own Adventure: Gun Regulation

26 Sep

This post is inspired by this video:

http://www.upworthy.com/he-cried-and-begged-his-father-dont-do-it-daddy-dont-shoot-mommy-my-son-said-that?c=ufb1

Now I’ll admit fully that I didn’t watch the video. I would have, but I live in the boonies and my internet causes me to be unable to watch videos in a normal amount of time.

The title in itself, however, causes me to think a little more about gun control.

He cried and begged his father. Don’t do it Daddy. Don’t shoot Mommy!

This being followed by the description of the post on Facebook: “Some people told her she should have had a gun. Those people have never lived through this.”

From this alone, we say “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Fair enough, I suppose.

So Dad comes home, what I assume to be an argument or disturbance occurs in front of little Johnny, and Dad pulls out a gun. His intention is to shoot Mom.

This choose your own adventure has two options:

1) Mom doesn’t have a gun and goes into the bedroom to shield her son from Dad.
2) Mom does have a gun, and pulls it on Dad.

Number 1 is actually what happened, and Dad proceeded to shoot through the door. That’s traumatizing for anyone involved. I know that I would be horrified whether I was the target or being the one shielded. It’s ESPECIALLY traumatizing for a child.

To prevent this ending to this adventure, we instead choose option 2. Instead of shielding little Johnny in a room and being shot at, Mom instead whips out her own gun. We will ignore the fact that Mom would more than likely not have the gun on her currently. So…Mom pulls out the gun and aims it at Dad. In any grace of the universe, Dad realizes the rashness of his actions and lowers his gun, defeated. Little Johnny may have been spared, but more than likely will still be traumatized at least slightly because Mommy just pulled a gun on Daddy. Was Daddy going to shoot Mommy? Was Mommy going to shoot Daddy? Or, because the universe is often harsh, Dad doesn’t drop the gun. Dad aims gun (or shoots). So Mom shoots. Now little Johnny sees his parents both shoot at each other. That is even more traumatizing. Now, the two people in his world who are supposed to love him and love each other and care for each other have made what appear to be attempts on each others lives. And who knows what the aftermath could look like. If both people are wounded, now they are just laying there bleeding, while little Johnny looks on. Or if one parent was unscathed and the other wounded, that parent grabs little Johnny and runs. But little Johnny is being ripped away from one parent by the parent that shot the other one.

Traumatic.

There is a third and fourth option. Dad doesn’t have a gun and neither does Mom. Or Dad doesn’t lose his shit. But neither of those is something we can control.

But “Gun control!” you say. “More mental health screening!” you say.

Unfortunately, Dad might not have a history of mental health issues or a criminal record. He may not have gotten his gun legally.

Here’s the thing: I’m okay with guns. I enjoy shooting. I think that we should do more screenings and background checks and regulate a little more who can own a gun. If Dad gets cleared to have a gun because he has no criminal record and no history of mental health issues, so be it. But if Dad has a history of mental health issues and is off his rocker, while having a criminal background also…no, he should not get a gun.

I think the biggest thing to control gun violence is to teach others about gun safety, and both the risks you assume in addition to the benefits owning a gun may provide. Teaching each other about mental health and the risks posed if someone appears to become depressed, or showing other tendencies while a gun is in the home.

Because Mommy having a gun doesn’t traumatize little Johnny any less. Mommy having a gun isn’t a solution. It’s just kind of like a band-aid to cover up a bigger issue that maybe Dad shouldn’t have had a gun.

What option do you choose for this Choose Your Own Adventure? 

The Consequence of Denying a Letter of Recommendation

25 Sep

Way back in high school (which really wasn’t TERRIBLY long ago), I was applying for a full-ride scholarship. I made it quite far in the application process for this prestigious scholarship, but I needed to get letters of recommendation.

Unfortunately, a person I thought would support me and my endeavors as far as I sought to take them denied my request for a letter of recommendation. I was appalled. The reason? Apparently, I spread myself too thin.

Six years later, I still believe with all of my being that had I gotten that letter of recommendation, I would have been awarded that scholarship. I could have focused on my studies instead of having to work. I wouldn’t be smothered in overwhelming debt. And all of those things I did in high school were to help others out and to make my high school a place people actually wanted to attend.

I sit here today, writing this, and while I could never do anything like thank this person, I can sit here and say that yes, she had it right.

But that is who I am. I live for multi-tasking and projects…I thrive on being versatile. Right now at work I’m working on so many things that aren’t exactly my job because I want to boost morale. I want departments to work together. I want people to enjoy coming to work and feel like it doesn’t haven’t to be so cookie-cutter monotonous. I want to reward staff. I have so many skills and so many ideas that the exact reason I got denied my letter of recommendation is the exact reason I should have gotten that scholarship.

While the big picture is important, the details make up that picture. I’m a woman with a lot of ideas, and as long as I have the ability to nurse and foster those ideas, I’m going to run with them. I’ve never done more than I can handle, and I’ve never done more than I want to. And if I decide that my big ideas aren’t worth stressing over, and aren’t worth putting the time toward…I won’t.

Do you have someone who shocked you with their views about you, but in the end were exactly right and just didn’t make the proper interpretation? 

Right Guy, Wrong Time

21 Sep

I want to say that I hear about this all the time…girl meets guy, guy is amazing, but its just not the right time in her life, or she is too busy, or work or whatever.

But I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard this line outside of a movie.

For the first time in my life, however, I feel like this is just the case. I want nothing more than to find a nice fellow for myself, but it just isn’t the right time. I even want it to be the right time, but it isn’t.

Had I had a significant other before my dad got diagnosed with cancer, I would be so grateful right now – someone to comfort me, someone to be supportive when I just feel like I can’t move forward, just someone – but that isn’t the case. Even though I would love to have all of that right now instead of struggling to keep my head above water, I know that if I started a relationship right now I would be neglectful and needy.

That isn’t to say that I wouldn’t rule out love, if it just so happened to fall in my lap. I just don’t have the ability to seek it out. I find myself in my down time sometimes thinking ‘I should do this to get a SO’ or ‘I should put the moves on him’ and then I snap myself back to reality and get this gut feeling that its a horrible idea and sounds like a lot of work.

That is a statement I’ve never said before either: Relationships are hard work. Never before have I felt that way. Amazing, isn’t it?

Fortunately, there is nothing that sways my belief that if it is the right person, it will come in the right time.

Have you ever felt that it really, truly just wasn’t the right time to start a relationship? Was there someone courting you, and how did you handle that? 

The Struggle is Real: A Rant About Tampons

15 Sep

Let me start off by saying fellas…this isn’t for you. Unless you want to hear me talk candidly about my lady bits. Then sure. Enjoy (even though you’ll probably turn away horrified very shortly).

Ladies…you know what I don’t get?

Cardboard fucking tampons. Amiright?

When I was 15, I used my first ever cardboard tampon and it was literally the size of a baby’s arm. Seriously, tampon manufacturers (who can only be men because I don’t know why a woman would torture another woman like this)? You expect a 15 year old girl to shove a cardboard tube the size of an arm up her vagina? Right. Okay.

So yes, I was 15 and I suddenly started my period while I was hours away from home, with only a convenience store at my disposal and no money. Forced to beg my friend’s mom for mercy, all she had was this huge ass tampon, so naturally I had to oblige.

I went into the bathroom, dropped my pants and sat down, and pulled apart the paper on this thing that looked like it had no business being shoved anywhere. And 1…2…3…

Nothing.

My hand wasn’t strong enough to put the damn thing in. So now I’m sitting in a gas station bathroom, pants around my ankles with this cardboard torture device that I can’t do anything with because someone decided they needed to pack 2 baby arms worth of cotton into a single baby arm sized cardboard tube.

The natural thing to do at this point would seem to be to give up. But you know what you can’t do? Give up. Because you are bleeding out of your god damn vagina.

Two hands it is.

I reach down with my left hand to hold it in place, and push with my right hand (you see, I’m right-handed). 1…2…3…

Nothing.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I don’t have a third hand, tampon manufacturers. I swear to god you need two hands to hold that shit in place. Of course the cardboard is just papery enough to get dry your vajajay to something likened to a desert, but is just plastic-y enough so that those “grips” don’t even come close and you find yourself ramming this thing into your cervix, desperately hoping the cotton part is coming out.

It was like wrestling a bear. Fucking feel like Chuck Norris after that. AND WHAT, TAMPON!?

I vowed to never in my life use one of those horrible things ever, ever again.

But for some reason, every time I need a tampon, the person who has one only has CARDBOARD.

Hello crazy cardboard tampon women…2014 rang and they said IT’S CALLED PLASTIC. Your vagina will thank you. Unless you already ripped it off. In which case I’m glad because you use CARDBOARD TAMPONS!

So please ladies…ditch the cardboard tampons. And tampon manufacturers…stop making them. Thanks.

Peace of Mind

12 Sep

This weekend I was finally able to visit my father since the news of hiscancer. I was nervous at first, and then frustrated, but I’m really glad I went because even though the news hasn’t changed and progress hasn’t really been made, I have acquired some peace of mind.

The peace of mind came from two things. Two very simple things.

The first thing was something I’ve been contemplating since we found out. Should I or shouldn’t I move back to be with my family? My mom tells me just as frequently as I tell her that I should move back. While it definitely would have some perks, I find it hard to abandon my job and my home here to move back home where I may not find a job in my field. I decided that I would ask my dad, and whatever he said I would do. So I did. I’ll not be moving back. He said that there wasn’t anything I could do, and he loves me of course, but he also is pretty level-headed. And its true. I did spend every second I could with my dad on Thursday, but he was only awake for about 8 hours, so while me being there was nice it isn’t like he is spending 16 hours awake alone.

The second thing, which is probably more comforting, is what he said to me this morning before he left for a doctors appointment.

I’ll come up to see you soon. We’ll get this thing shrunken and I’ll come up. I’m going to fight this. I’m a fighter, Annie.

To see that fight still left in my dad was everything I could have asked for. Even if the treatment renders him unable to actually visit me, knowing that he hasn’t given up and wants to win his battle with cancer makes it all okay. And even if we all feel completely defeated right now, he gives me hope.