Archive | December, 2014

[Hopefully] Happy New Year

31 Dec

While I know that when I wake up tomorrow, life won’t be suddenly rainbow and butterflies, but with the beginning of a new year upon us, I can only hope that the next one will be better.

I hope that it will be a time of healing, a time of self-discovery, a time of exploration, and most of all…a time of happiness.

The past year and a half has challenged me with multiple deaths, homelessness, losing friends, and more downs than ups. I can’t imagine what life could possibly throw at me in the coming year that would be worse.

Actually, I can imagine. But I’d rather not.

I’d rather just hope that the universe has kept me down and out for long enough, and that I’m on my way up.

I sure could use a bit of that happiness I hear of…

Cheers!

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Dear Dad [Rest in Peace]

26 Dec

DSC00466

Dear Dad,

I called you dad, pa, daddy, Roberto, papa. You called me Michelleeanna, Annie, hot rod…Anner Nanner.

You’ve been the best father that a girl could hope for, and you’ve been with me through every moment of my life, big or small. As we go through your belongings, we find things that bring back the best memories…memories I’ll cherish the rest of my life. You may be gone in body, now, but you’ll never be gone in spirit.

The day of my wedding, you’ll be there.
The day I finally buy a house, you’ll be there.
The day I graduate with my next degree…you’ll be there.

You live on in me and my sister, our mother, and your grand children.

I find solace knowing that you are finally at peace, and that your pain has ended. You fought a good fight, Dad, and I knew that no matter the outcome, the day you told me I’m going to fight this damn cancer  that everything would be okay. And I know that as much as I love you, and I admire you that you love me and are proud of me.

Everything I’ve done until this day, and everything I’ll do in the future is to make you and Mom proud of me. You are such a major part of who I are, and who I’ve become. You’re the fire to my phoenix.

I know that you held on as long as you did for us, to make sure we were ready and that we would be okay once you were gone. Thank you for that. I know it was a hard, long struggle. I know you were worried. But we will be okay. I got to spend one last Christmas with my papa, even if you were only hanging on by a thread, even if you couldn’t sit with us next to the Christmas tree…I got to sing Christmas carols to you, and buy you one last Christmas present, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

I’ll miss you. I love you.

Give ’em hell, Dad

Rest in Peace
12.26.14
2:19 pm

The Connection

15 Dec

As humans, we are constantly searching for that connection with another that makes us feel whole. That “special” connection.

Me? I’m just out for a connection. A real, true, deep connection with someone.

I don’t think many people pass through our lives with whom we find that connection with. It’s almost like being drawn to someone, for reasons you can’t explain. It’s more than butterflies, more than a heart-to-heart chat. I think I’ve been lucky enough to have the connection with a handful of people, and it is most unfortunate when those people live nowhere near you.

I have a couple of folks who read my blogs, a lovely miss April and dashing sir Daniel, whom for reasons unbeknownst to me, I’m drawn to. It feels like we should be fighting the good fight together. Alas, we live in vastly different parts of the country. I can’t even say that we talk a whole lot…I read their stuff, they read my stuff. But it’s there. Something. Not sure why I feel drawn to them, but I do.

It is these kinds of connections I think we all are in search of. Something that surpasses speech and discussion. I can only liken it to an unspoken connection of the soul.

I think there are others. Other friends, lovers, strangers. Sometimes I think our consciousness drowns out these connections, as our logic and reasoning can do amazing things.

Have you found your connection?

 

Consent and Consequences

14 Dec

This is not my first blog about this, and will undoubtedly be my last.

But I want to talk about rape culture, sexual assault/harassment, and consent.

It seems easy enough…right? Consent is consent. You need consent. Problem solved.

Wellllllllll…not so fast.

I could even argue that there are some gray lines with rape. But I won’t. Not today.

The reason I bring this up because the words “assault” and “harassment” and “consent” all make me feel victimized, which is not something I like to feel. You are a victim of assault. A victim of harassment. All because you didn’t give your explicit consent. Here are three scenarios for you to think about:

Stranger slaps your ass.
Person you are hanging out with takes your hand to hold it.
1st date kisses you.

All of these have [sort of] happened to me. Does it matter the relationship of the person? Must you explicitly tell them that something is okay…or does it have to happen once followed by a firm “no”?

The reason I ask is because if a stranger slaps your ass, is it consensually different than if your SO does? Most people say well, yes…it is very different but when do you give your consent if your SO smacks your butt? You COULD do an SO agreement like Sheldon and Amy on Big Bang Theory. OR you could wait until it happens, then tell them no, but that kind of defeats the purpose of consent. Finally, your SO could ask if he/she could slap your ass prior to the slapping.

I don’t expect anyone, ever to take such measures. It borderlines crazy.

That is how I feel about things like kissing, and holding hands, too.

Because apparently, if someone kisses you without asking, that is sexual assault? Harassment? I don’t know the difference. I think a strong part of being assaulted or harassed is the emotional feeling it causes, and I can’t say I’ve ever had that feeling from someone kissing me without asking first. I’m not a victim of anything.

I think it adds drama, unnecessarily. I also don’t think it promotes rape culture.

I also think it would be super awkward if someone asked me if they could kiss me or hold my hand.

Person: Can I kiss you?
Me: *looks around* Uh…sure…

Followed by what would probably be the most awkward kiss in the world.

It doesn’t seem fair to me that women (and probably some men, too) are doing so much to make consent sexy. Yes. You should not be forced to have sex against your will. But a kiss? A held hand? I don’t think it is necessary.

Thoughts?

Facebook Friends: The Breakdown

13 Dec

I went through my Facebook friends when I realized I have 257. That is way too many. I reach a point, though, when I can’t decide who I should or should not keep on the list.

I also thought it would be nice if I made it a point to actually interact offline with everyone on my friends list. I realized that was a little difficult, because honestly, I have no desire to be friends with so many of my Facebook friends.

I broke down the numbers into categories, which I’m sure you can all relate to. It’s interesting to see how many folks are in each category.

First of all, I categorized people by how I know people who are on my Facebook, with no regard to if it is a desirable reason. Here is what that looks like:

Family – 55
We Work Together – ll
We Went to College Together – 29
We Used to Work Together – 28
We Are Both from the Same Town/High School – 95
The Internet – 11
You Know Someone I Know – 19

Then, I broke it down even more, and categorized people by why. It makes me feel like I have a LOT of deleting to do. Here is what that looks like:

People I’m Good Friends With – 15
People I’m Friends With – 11
People I’m Acquaintances With, But Would Like to be Good Friends With – 15
People I WAS Acquaintances With, But We Never Became Good Friends, and I Will Likely Never See or Talk to Them Again – 37
People in the Right Place/Right Time or Who I Have Friends in Common With – 11
Family – 54
People I Work With or People I’ve Spoken to a Few Times and It Might Be Awkward if I Delete Them and See Them in the Future – 18
Internet People (Regardless of How Well I Do or Do Not Know) – 11
People I Was Okay Friends with in High School, but We Aren’t Now – 34
Random People from High School Who Just Added Me – 39

The categories in bold are those that are safe from being deleted. Of course, things change and their categories will change. People from the ‘acquaintances’ category often move down into ‘likely to never see or talk to again’ because we never made it past acquaintances. Family is a give or take…I’m unlikely to delete them, but if they consistently post things I don’t like to see, I will remove them from my feed (frequent pot posts are a big one, here). Random people from high school should probably be the quickest to delete. We weren’t friends then, you are never going to ask me to hang out, and thus…why are we Facebook friends?

The ‘was acquaintances’ is a toss up, too. That is really a transition category to ‘awkward if I delete you’. I have to wait a grace period to see if I will actually ever see them in the future, or not.

So 41 people are safe. Plus 34 because I will probably see those people when I go home, and we will make small talk and enjoy ourselves but not keep in touch otherwise…that makes 75. Add family, because…family. That is 129 people. For funsies because the only way to keep in touch with internet people is the internet, that gives us 140 people. That is 117 people up in the air. We know I won’t delete them all. I might delete like…5.

And that isn’t to say that I dislike 117 people of 257. It just means that 117 people probably don’t have enough of an interest in me to hang out and be friends, or vice versa. To be perfectly honest, I’m sure most of the 117 people I actually do like, but for whatever reason, our friendship will never blossom. It shouldn’t matter to you what category you’re in, either. Either you really like me and make attempts to show me that, or you don’t. And if you don’t, then why are we Facebook friends again?

Isn’t it interesting the break down of why people are actually on your Facebook, and how you met them? How many Facebook friends do you have, and how do you think your numbers break down?

The Real Reason for New Year’s Resolutions

13 Dec

Here it is: my annual New Year’s post.

If you’ve known me for at least a year, you know that under no circumstances do I make “New Year’s Resolutions”. Why? Because, well, why wait until then to do what you can do now?

I do think there is a reason for these resolutions, though, that actually has nothing to do with the beginning of a new year. Think about it…no one sits around in July and is like you know what…I want to get skinny…I’ll start that January 1.

No. People don’t do that. People either say hey…I’m going to start a gym membership and actually DO it, or say hey…I should start working out and DON’T.

This time of year, however, is madness. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas…boom, boom, BOOM. One right after the other, and it barely gives a person time to breathe, let alone think about anything other than parties, food, and gifts.

This, my friends, is the real reason for New Year’s Resolutions. Not to start the year out right, but because January 1 marks the end of the holiday season. You know what my “New Year’s Resolution” is this year? To make an effort to become decent friends with every one of my Facebook friends.

And do you know why I’m waiting until the New Year to start this endeavor? Because I doubled up Christmas parties on Wednesday, have to go Christmas shopping on Saturday, go home the following Wednesday. Christmas is on Thursday. I come back on Saturday. Work is on Sunday.

And then its January 1st. Trying to squeeze in acquaintances and strangers into the mix is pretty impossible when I’m barely able to squeeze in friends and family.

The question is not of if I will succeed and accomplish this task, or if by not keeping it I keep to the stereotypical no-one-ever-keeps-their-resolutions but that it has absolutely nothing to do with beginning a new year on the right foot.

Any resolutions you’ll be starting up after the holiday season? 

Inspiring People

9 Dec

What is a relationship but two people exchanging ideas, beliefs, values…each other?

Nothing.

I find that a relationship isn’t worth having unless you are exchanging these things with the other person. If you aren’t growing, and you aren’t learning, then what’s the value? This is something that I feel in the core of my being, and something I refuse to lose sight of.  When I am in a relationship, I will undoubtedly incorporate something about them into myself. Sometimes it is something I’m consciously aware of, and sometimes it isn’t.

So with that, it seems that I have surrounded myself with many truly inspiring people.

Jessica inspires me to get in touch with my creative side. To go out of the boundaries that I’m used to. To get in touch with the organic side of life.
Allison just so happened to inspire a snort that I can’t seem to shake.
Meghan inspires in me the wholesomeness of being down to earth.
Melissa inspires me to get back to my roots, and keep in touch with the parts of life that I tend to forget.
Michelle inspires me to take that part of me that I try to keep in check so well, and let it run wild.
Andrew inspires adventure that I sometimes need teased out of me.
Amber reminds me to chase my dreams, and that I’ll reach them.
Nathan inspires friendship, no how much distance, time, or trouble separates it.

You all inspire me to write. To create. To love. To be adventurous. Spontaneous. To seek knowledge.

Every single friend I have I’ve shared something with. A moment or a look. An idea or value. And at the end of the day, it isn’t what I’m inspired to do or be, but who inspired me and how that has shaped me.

Inspiration. It’s the breath of life.

Who inspires you?