Calm and Collected

So in my last post I talked about the need to make myself write something, even if I didn’t want to. Now, my issue isn’t that I don’t want to, actually, I really really do want to! My problem at this point is that my mind is literally blank. It’s not a matter of not knowing what I want to write, or not knowing how I want to say something, or being overly critical, it’s that I literally have nothing to say. Even writing this post right now is a struggle, because I just don’t have anything in there to talk about. I’ve definitely experienced writers block before, but this is something on a totally different level. I think I’ve just been going through so much lately and just chugging away that I haven’t had time to process anything enough to have a real thought about it. Between dealing with my sick grandmother, to getting ready to move, to handling my parents’ problems, I’m just running out of energy to think about anything but accomplishing the tasks at hand. I can’t wait to just have a moment to breathe and step away from things. I’m sure my first night in Florida will bring a wonderful night’s sleep. I just need to have a break where I can think about something other than everything that needs to be done and the logistics of doing it all. I don’t exactly “feel” stressed out, but I think that goes hand in hand with the fact that I’m so stressed out that I don’t even have time to feel it. I can imagine I am going to get to a point where either I feel the stress, or I feel the weight of it lifted off of me. At this point I’m just waiting for that moment.

Unfortunately, being in the line of work that I am in, I’ve been around a lot of high-stress folks lately. Some of these super neurotic patient families are just surrounding me with their stifling stress energy. I try to remain calm and transfer some of my positive energy to them, but ultimately being surrounded by people in high-gear all the time really wears on a person. I just wish people could learn the art of staying calm. It really does make a huge difference. In this age where mindfulness, sensory deprivation tanks, essential oils, yoga, and technology that supposedly makes life easier, you would think people would take being calm very seriously. Unfortunately it seems like the opposite. All of these things designed to help keep people calm have just turned into little niche things with no actual value to the people using them because people just feed off drama. People aren’t comfortable with being comfortable anymore. If you aren’t an anxious wreck, you might as well forget it. That’s how it seems that most people live anymore at least, and I don’t want to. I’m ready for calm, and chill, and ordinary. Bring it on.

*~*MR*~*

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Just Do It Already!

I haven’t written in a while…well, maybe a little bit in my notebook, but not on my blog. And even in the notebook, not as much as I’d like. I have a project I’m committing myself to Thursday night, and I’m glad, because I need to. I’ve been saying that I haven’t felt much like writing lately, but I am firmly convinced that it is that very reason why I need to write. Funny thing about language is there are no absolutes. In many corners of the world, I say you should never force yourself to do things you really don’t want to do. But there are also a great many cases where the exact opposite is true. Sometimes forcing ourselves to do things we don’t feel like is exactly what we need to do. My priest referred to this kind of thing as a “mental push-up”. I guess the difference about it is more around the why do you not want to do a particular thing. There is a difference between just not feeling like it, and legit knowing that doing a certain thing is going to make you feel terrible. For example, if I don’t want to do my job because I’d rather be at the beach, it’s not really a valid excuse, because I made a commitment to do my job (yet when vacation time comes around, I’m all for the beach!). On the other hand, if I really don’t want to be in a relationship with a guy because he legit creeps me out, I shouldn’t do that. You should force yourself to do things that you know will lead to your growth, and not do things that you know are going to cause you great harm. That’s the distinct difference I guess. The rewards should outweigh the risks in most cases. That’s how I feel about writing now, though. I really don’t want to, I’m tired, I have no ideas, I don’t have the energy to weave stories…but I also don’t have to. What I do have to do is write. What I do have to do is get my brain onto a page. It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t even have to mean anything. The whole idea is just that I keep my flow of thoughts strong. Something that seems mundane now could end up being a prompt for something great later. It’s the same with meditating, which I’m also struggling with now, because I’m “too busy”. Pshhh…too busy. Make a priority, kid. If your mind is in the wrong place, the rest of you will end up there too. Time to set my ass straight and do what I’m here to do.

Time to fuck shit up.

*~*MR*~*

A memoir?

So I knew I wanted to blog today, but I was struggling with a topic. In roughly 10 days, I promised my writer’s group that I would have some sort of piece written in regards to my move from Ohio to Florida. I wasn’t sure what to call it…maybe an essay, or even a memoir of sorts? I don’t know, I just wanted to kind of put my thoughts on paper about what Ohio has been to me, and how I relate to it as I go, and what expectations or ideas I have for my new home. I’ve spent a ton of time free writing, just to get thoughts onto a page where I can analyze and put such a piece together. I started working on said piece and got to somewhere around 6 pages until I realized that the piece took a total turn from where I had actually wanted it to go. I thought about scrapping it because it’s not the piece I wanted to present to my group. But then I started to chastise myself a bit for not allowing the piece to be what it was. That’s kind of the point of writing, right? We can’t always make it what we want it to be, sometimes it just becomes what it is. Now I’m thinking about keeping that piece, continuing it, and using it as a piece by itself. That would give me the space to start something new that I can present to my group that’s maybe more along the lines of what I was shooting for. This way I still preserve the piece that flowed out of me unintentionally, but I can try a little harder to get out the ideas along the outline I had originally perceived. The original piece might be something that I would share here eventually, maybe it would be of interest to some of you, but I definitely think the piece I present to my group has to follow a slightly different pattern. I had no intention on letting them into the depths of my life, but that’s where the piece went. I was looking more for something light and superficial more about the actual cities I’m moving between than actually about my life. Sometimes I suppose that it’s necessary for those deep pieces to emerge, as it has a sort of healing effect. I’m going to continue to work on that piece, as I open a new one. We’ll see where the thoughts flow this time.

Is this 2017, or 1917?

So I’ve mostly kept my mouth shut about the NFL protests of late. I’ve done that because I don’t feel like I’m really well enough informed about ALL sides of the issue to take a stand. I do believe that there is racial inequality in this country on some level. I also believe the media has a role in perpetuating things that may or may not be issues. I do support peaceful protest. I don’t know if the NFL was the right venue because I feel like it blurred the lines and made it unclear what was being protested. I do understand that some Americans feel like it is disrespectful not to stand for the anthem. At the same time, I also think it’s a touch creepy that we are so cult-y about symbolism and this intense nationalism versus viewing people as human beings instead of groups. In the cases of the injustices that have happened and been plastered all over the media, I was not there, so I can’t say who was right or wrong in those situations. I believe the issues are combinations of things that go on and spiral out of control. I like to believe the protests will do something, but my fear is that they will only divide us further. I would love to see more of these players put their money where their mouth is and actually do something in their communities and in their country. Fund programs to help this situation, don’t just kneel down. Kneeling is fine, but I feel like something needs to be done as well.

But the NFL protests aren’t the main reason I wrote this post. What Cam Newton said to reporter Jourdan Rodrigue was absolutely despicable. How can someone talk about equality and unity and protesting for these causes, then make sexist comments like he has? Then people had the nerve to say he “apologized” when he clearly never said anything of the sort. First he said women don’t know what they are talking about, then just switched it to say reporters in general don’t know what they are talking about. He obviously said that as a cover-up, for one, because why at first did you say “females”? Not even “female reporters,” just “females”. It is absolute garbage for him to even say that. If a male reporter asked him about a player’s routes, how would he answer then? There’s nothing “funny” or “cute” about demeaning women, just like there isn’t anything funny about making fun of other races, religions, or anything else. I’m the type of person who can appreciate a joke, even a dark one, but you can’t just say something mean and degrading and think it’s ok because you say you’re joking. How is saying something like this against women any different than saying derogatory things against a black man? Human beings are human beings, regardless of their gender, sex, race, religion, etc. I’m sad that in 2017 we even have to have this conversation. Ms. Rodrigue clearly loves her job, and it appears that she’s pretty good at it. Even if by some off chance she didn’t understand “routes” herself (which I feel is very far from the truth), it’s impressive that she even thought to ask that. That in itself is deep meaningful reporting about the game. She didn’t just ask Cam how he felt about the game or what was going through his head, she asked him about the fundamentals of the game. Maybe Cam doesn’t know enough about his own job to answer. Pretty sad if you ask me.

Let’s be better than this, people. If your friend makes a negative comment based on someone’s gender, race, religion, etc. let’s make an effort to correct them and show that we aren’t accepting of that kind of degrading behavior. The only way things are going to change is if we change them ourselves. If a person can do the job, they can do the job, no matter what they look like. It’s about time people got over themselves.

*~*MR*~*

When Enough is Enough

I’m sorry, I need to rant about something and I can’t think of a better platform to do so. I needed a place where my real life friends don’t see. I’m not trying to start any drama or make things worse, so I need to get this off my chest here…hope you don’t mind.

My best friend Jo started dating another one of my friends, Vic, a little over a year ago. They had a lot of fun together. They had quite a bit in common, so it made sense. Over time, Vic started getting really possessive, always wanting to know what she was doing, constantly wanting her around and not letting her live her life.

Jo is under a lot of stress. She takes care of her dad a minimum of 4 hours a day (he has dementia), until recently was working 10-12 hour shifts 5 days a week. She’s been living with her mom because she doesn’t see the point of spending money on a place since her ultimate goal is to get married and have kids; she wants to wait and just move in with a prospective partner, not just roommates or live alone. She recently came to terms with the fact that the man she was “dating” for 5 years really had no desire to make any kind of long term commitment to her, and she was tired of wasting her time. She finally decided to get out into the dating pool and try to make something happen. She met Vic, they hit it off, but then as relationships often do, it was no longer fulfilling for her. The relationship became an extreme amount of work. Vic doesn’t have a license and lives on the opposite end of town. He works 2nd shift and always wanted Jo to come pick him up and take him home, even though between her job and her dad, she had already been on the go for 16+ hours. She tried to give him some weekend time, but it was never enough for him. Even if she had plans, he would cancel all of his plans “just in case” she decided she could hang out.

Eventually, she realized that she just didn’t have the kind of time available that Vic wanted. She tried to explain her situation to him and how she just wasn’t up for spending all of her remaining time with him every single day. She tried to work out a plan for them to see each other for reasonable amounts of time, but it was never enough for him. When she couldn’t spend a day with him, he would lash out and throw a temper tantrum like a 2 year old and accuse her of cheating and lying and whatever else he could throw at her. It wasn’t healthy.

Finally Jo had enough. She wasn’t even mad, she didn’t wish any ill will on Vic, she was just grown enough to know that the relationship wasn’t working for her, and she also knew that she could never be what he wanted, so she broke it off. She told him she was done, but he insisted that they were on a break and that they were going to get back together and the whole deal. None of this was true. Jo’s story was totally different.

Vic still wouldn’t leave Jo alone saying she lied to him and that they needed to communicate. He couldn’t get the concept that they were done. She didn’t need anyone else controlling her life, between her dad and living with her mom, and her work situation, she had enough. When she got laid off, somehow he found out about it and started making vague Facebook posts about how her schedule changed, like that was any of his business. He continued to text her daily, wrote her a letter, kept sending her flowers and gifts, and she continued to not respond as it was getting weird.

I talked Jo into going to our high school reunion, which Vic found out about and started posting about how funny it was that she didn’t like any of the guys back then but now she was hanging out with them. The reunion had nothing to do with guys, as a matter of fact, we spent most of the time chatting with our lesbian friend. Finally Vic went and deleted his Facebook. Today he reactivated it and wrote this totally defaming post saying that Jo lied to him and ripped his heart out and cheated on him. She never cheated on him, she hasn’t even been with anyone! She doesn’t want to be with anyone at this point, she has figured out that she really doesn’t have the time to devote to a relationship. He also made mention in the post about how she was only available when she wanted to “make a score or get off” which is funny, because she quit buying her marijuana from Vic’s guy long before they broke up, and from what I understand, they quit having sex a few months before, because she suspected he might be hooking up with Instagram girls and she wasn’t trying to contract any diseases, plus the relationship had been starting to fade so she wasn’t as interested at that point. I so desperately want to defend Jo, because she did the adult thing in walking away from a relationship that wasn’t serving it’s purpose. She doesn’t deserve to be talked about like that and slandered all over the internet. Vic needs to get a grip! Sure, it sucks that it didn’t work out, and I feel bad for him, but when you’re an adult, sometimes you just have to suck it up and realize that some things aren’t meant to be. It’s been almost 4 months since she said a word to him, I dropped the last of his stuff off to him on Friday, and he still just can’t let it go. I don’t know what to tell him. I want to go off on him, but I know it won’t help. I got in a 4 hour text battle with him once before trying to explain things to him. Some people just don’t get it.

Now I also feel like my friendship with Vic is done, and that’s sad. He had his moments, he could be fun, but this is just over the top ridiculous. He was JT’s friend first, then mine by default, then he started dating my best friend. Now my best friend doesn’t want anything to do with him, I’m over his bullshit, and JT doesn’t even want to get him started on the subject so he avoids Vic too. The whole thing is just bullshit. Why can’t people realize that sometimes things just aren’t meant to be? We have our reasons and seasons in people’s lives and when it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on.

I just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for listening.

*~*MR*~*

My Nest Will Always Be Empty…

Today I really want to talk about one of the very few subjects that I’m extremely passionate about. Birth control. Not abortion, don’t worry, I’m not getting into that debate here and now, but I want to just put a few things out there for y’all to think about.

Last year, I did what was, in my opinion, the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I had sterilization surgery. In my particular surgery, they removed just my fallopian tubes, leaving my uterus and ovaries intact. This means I still have periods (unfortunately, haha!), I still produce eggs, everything still works, the eggs just can’t naturally find their way to the uterus. In vitro could still potentially be an option if something strange happened and I changed my mind. But before I get too far into that, I just want to share with you some of the many comments directed at me about this decision. Some of them from people close to me (who, despite their relationship toward me, have no claim to what I do with my body), and worse, from people who don’t know me, which is just weird. Some of the comments have been as follows:

“You’re so young! What if you change your mind?!”

“Wow, the doctor let you do that?”

“What does your boyfriend think?”

“What if you fall in love with someone who really wants kids?”

“You’ll change your mind.”

“Don’t your parents want grandchildren?”

“That’s surgery! Aren’t you worried about complications?”

Now I want to address these quotes…lets start with “You’re so young! What if you change your mind?” Well let’s start with the fact that I’ve never ever in my life seen myself as a mother. There were a few years where I tried to force it, like oh, I’m this age, I should be thinking about starting a family, ect. but ultimately, it never struck me as something I really wanted to do. I feel like motherhood takes passion, or at least it should. It should be something you want to do, something you have a huge desire for, and willing to make the immense commitment to raise another human being. Definitely not for me, and I don’t appreciate people telling me how my mind works or what I do or don’t want in life. With that being said, sure there is statistically a chance that I could change my mind. Don’t think I hadn’t thought of that and at least considered my options. I could still do in vitro, as I mentioned before, and use my own eggs along with my choice of sperm from wherever just like I could before. Only sterilization gave me the option to make that choice consciously and to actually have to evaluate before something just happens. Another option is adoption. If I’m so hell bent on having kids, it shouldn’t matter if we share blood. So if I get an overwhelming case of baby fever, that option would always be on the table too. Highly doubt it, because kids aren’t my thing and never have been. I don’t think it’s for everyone, and that’s ok.

“Wow, the doctor let you do that?” Yeah, ok honestly I was a little surprised (and impressed!) about this one too. I did face a lot of opposition, and honestly I would have done this sooner had I not felt like so many people were against it, even though it’s totally legal for me to make such a decision. Either way, again, not a place for the general public to interject. I went to my doctor, expressed my concerns, and she listened to me. She trusted me to have autonomy over my own body, and for the love of God, it felt good to finally be respected. We discussed all of the options, and found the best one for me, and that’s what counts. What my doctor and I discussed is none of your business. Yes, she let me make choices about my own body. Way to go Doc!

“What does your boyfriend think?” Ok, this one seriously pisses me off. He doesn’t have a choice in the matter. I don’t want kids, therefore, if he wants kids, it’s not gonna happen with me. It doesn’t matter how in love we are, I’m willing to make a lot of compromises, but the decision to bring another life into this world isn’t something I’m willing to compromise on. Deciding to have a child isn’t like trying to decide whether or not to order an appetizer. Raising a child is hard work. And it’s not just for a little while. It’s not just for 18 years either, because even when the child grows up, they are still going to need you and need your love, even if it’s in a different way. JT is actually on the same page as me anyway, and he’s fine with my decision, but even if he wasn’t, that’s no one else’s business! If kids were a priority for him, I would tell him kindly to go find someone he can have kids with, but it won’t be me.

“What if you fall in love with someone who really wants kids?” People hear that JT is on the same page and then want to take it a step farther with the bullshit what-if scenarios and ask what happens if we break up and I fall in love with someone else…blah blah blah. That’s a bullshit scenario. Whether its JT or someone else, I have control over my own body. I. don’t. want. kids. End of story. The person I’m with doesn’t matter. If I wanted kids, I’d want to have JT’s kids, because he’s awesome. I didn’t choose not to have kids because I chose an unfit partner. I chose not to have kids because it’s my fucking decision, get it right.

“You’ll change your mind” Ugh. Seriously? I know there’s been plenty of people who have changed their minds on this subject, but again, it’s not someone else’s business. If I change my mind, I’ll have to deal with that, not them. And as I mentioned before, there are still plenty of options!

“Don’t your parents want grandchildren?” I’m sure my parents would have loved grandchildren. I also believe they are totally fine without them. If they wanted to be guaranteed grandchildren, they probably should have had more kids themselves. My parents wouldn’t be the ones to raise my kids, I would be. If I don’t want them, my parents’ thoughts are pretty irrelevant. I’m not going to tie myself up with the world’s biggest responsibility that I don’t want for the rest of my life just so my parents can have a few hours of fun every couple months. Fuck that. My parents are supportive of my decision though, they always said I’m the person who would have to raise the kids, so if I don’t want to do it, I shouldn’t. I agree.

“That’s surgery! Aren’t you worried about complications?” Sure, I considered the complications. I also considered the complications of other methods of birth control. I had been on the pill for over 10 years and it was starting to adversely affect my blood pressure and my weight, which is not healthy at all. I didn’t trust anything like the shot or patch or ring, because I always thought about what happens if the dosage is off or something and it becomes ineffective faster than it’s supposed to? Again I get saddled with a kid I don’t want, and decisions I don’t want to make. Condoms aren’t completely fail safe either. Abstinence works, but do I really want to be celibate my whole life? Nah. Not if I don’t have to. I was literally off work for a day, I went home about 3 hours after I went to the hospital, and I have very minimal scarring as it was a laparoscopic procedure. Looks like a win win to me.

In addition to fending off these ridiculous pokes and prods into my personal life, I have to say this: I take responsibility for my own body. I made the decision that I don’t want children. It’s not my partner’s responsibility to bring condoms, it’s not my partner’s responsibility to ensure that I don’t get pregnant. It’s not my partner’s responsibility to get himself sterilized (hell, if he wants kids, go for it, just do it with someone else!) I’ve even considered the fact that one of the big arguments for pro-choice is cases of rape (I’m pro-choice by the way…but as I said, not really getting into that here), but if I’m sterilized, since I already don’t want kids, that’s one upside. I hope and pray I’m never in that situation, but at least I know that if god forbid I find myself there, I’ll never have to make a decision like that (it’s sad that as a woman I have to consider these things, but reality is reality).

Regardless of what anyone says, bodily autonomy is hugely important. I deserve to have control over what happens to me and when. If I were to end up pregnant (by consensual sex, of course!) It’s not someone else’s fault. If a guy tells me he had a vasectomy, that’s not enough. How do I know he’s not lying? I need to protect myself. The same goes for men. Don’t trust her if she says she “can’t” have kids, or that she’s on birth control, or whatever. If you yourself really don’t want them, take the steps to protect yourself. When you have sex, you know what the consequences are. Take care of yourself, be responsible. Yes, I’m sterile, however, if I guy still wanted to put a condom on because he didn’t want any mistakes, I wouldn’t be mad about it, I’d probably just high five him for being safe. Not to mention, I only say it that way because I am in a monogamous relationship. I don’t feel like we need condoms because we both know that we are clean and haven’t been with anyone else, however, if you find yourself in a different situation, I would recommend condoms always, just to prevent against disease if nothing else. If you want to have kids, have that talk with your partner, get yourself both tested, and get busy. If you don’t want to have kids, don’t rely on someone else to handle it. Protect yourself. Find yourself in a situation with no condom? Don’t just decide to “pull out”…make the responsible choice and wrap it up or go home. There’s absolutely no reason for unwanted children to be in the world. Procreating should be a highly planned activity. You should be ready for it, with an accommodating home, reasonable job prospects, and support. I’m not saying you’re ever 100% ready to bring kids into the world, but at least have a reasonable plan. Kids aren’t a joke or a play toy. They are the future of our society. Please be responsible, and leave other people’s bodies to their owners. You don’t have any right to tell someone what to do with theirs. If you want to have kids, that’s fine, but don’t shame me for not wanting them. I’m happy with my life. Go do whatever makes you happy with yours–just make sure you consider that if you bring kids into the world, they are your responsibility!

*~*MR*~*

 

Master your mornings + an Inspired Year Planner giveaway

This is a post from one of my favorite blog pages! Check it out! I would really like to try out one of these planners for myself! I love being able to set goals and write notes for myself, as organization really makes life easier! Check out This Tiny Blue House and register for the giveaway!!

*~*MR*~*

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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Mornings with kiddos can be rough am I right? When Margsy was a tiny baby I hadn’t realized how important it was for my own sanity to wake up before her and start my daily routine by making the time to just focus my own energy and be alone with my thoughts even if it was for a few short minutes. For nearly a year, I’d wake up with Margs and frantically try to entertain her, wake up from my own grogginess and get myself and her ready for the day. I bet you’re not surprised to know that I often found myself overwhelmed, frantic and exhausted because I really wasn’t focusing on incorporating any “me” time into my morning routine. A couple of months back, I wrote an entire post about the value and importance of having a solid…

Source: Master your mornings + an Inspired Year Planner giveaway

The Art of Parting — Damn, Girl. Get Your Shit Together.

This is an amazing read and couldn’t be more accurate. Definitely been working on skillful ways to handle things for sure, and this nails it!

*~*MR*~*

 

 

You may not be as effective an ass-kicker as you could be because of one thing that often befalls the feisty: it’s called bridge burning.

via The Art of Parting — Damn, Girl. Get Your Shit Together.

The Aftermath

So now that Irma has come and gone, I’m glad I can report that my family all made it out ok. Actually they didn’t even lose power during the storm. There was some flooding near them but nothing impacted their houses. They all returned to work either yesterday or today and everything is getting back to normal. I was happy that those I knew were taking the humorous approach to the whole thing, posting funny memes and videos the whole time they were waiting to see if they were going to make it through the storm without any kind of major damage. I know a lot of people were giving me a lot of grief saying they should be taking things more seriously. The thing is though, they did all of their preparations, they stayed inside when the storm was coming through, what else could be done? Being overly worried isn’t going to make it go away, but humor can help to diffuse the situation. I thought they all handled things very well, and they made it out alive. Couldn’t ask for anything better than that. So the countdown is most definitely still on, and I’ll be joining them in just #49days!

*~*MR*~*

Irmagerd!

So my future home is in the path of Irma right now. They are expected to fare ok, but its still early to tell. They are only expecting a cat 1-2 instead of the originally projected cat 4. That’s only slightly comforting. Their local weatherman says he expects power outages, downed trees, and lots of clean-up, but that most people will be alright. Really hoping things are as optimistic as it sounds. The whole state is getting hammered pretty hard, and before anyone asks, no, I haven’t even once thought of not going. These things happen and if you want to live somewhere awesome, there has to be a downside. Floridians are a strong stock, they are going to be ok. Just sending up some real positive vibes for everyone affected. Cheers to Florida, especially my family. ❤

*~*MR*~*