Friday, October 13, 2017

Me, The Weirdo

So this week's challenge is called use your words. We each get a set of 5-6 words and write our blogs using each word. No one knows who got what words until the big reveal today. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom for the rest.

My words are: massive, awesome, square, thing, contender. They were submitted by: 
https://www.southernbellecharm.com

Also I apologize for any foematting errors. I had to do this on my phone as the lap top is on the fritz. 

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I'm a massive square.

My typical weekend nights are usually spent in front of a sewing machine or with sewing needle in hand with the company of my dogs and cats and a little netflix. I'm not complaining. For the most part, I prefer it this way.

It seems the rest of the world has a bigger problem with it than I do.

I socialize with a few awesome people on occasion outside of family, but that list is pretty limited. What I find when I attempt to expand that group and open my life up to others is that I get tired of other people's petty bullshit or awkward no boundaries lifestyle pretty quickly.

I did it recently--opened up my heart and life to folks I really knew deep down I shouldn't have. History repeats itself and all that. I am far too lenient when it comes to giving people the benefit of the doubt and accepting an apology, and ultimately even though I am extremely introverted I still crave human connection. Here lately I've gotten the feeling I should just stick to the Internet, letters, and my usual group.

That's not to say it has all been bad... There were some fun wine-fueled nights, and I truly enjoy having brought someone back into my life that I can share music with (oh how rare that is). There is no better contender for a place in my life than a person capable of introducing me to music that gives me goosebumps. The way I listen, you're forever tied to that band or song, forever a part of my soundtrack.

But truth be told, I would trade a few fun nights for never having to deal with other people's drama 100 times over. I don't do lies or head games. I'm not the friend who tests people or wants to be tested. I don't need attention or to be the center of someone else's world. I don't get the Mean Girls mentality because I'd much rather build someone up than tear them down even though I am more than capable of both. I don't do celebrity gossip or tabloid trash. I want to talk politics not who is fucking around on who. I want to laugh because we speak in movie quotes not laugh at someone else's expense especially someone I don't even know. I don't need to be drunk or high or with my tongue down someone's throat to have a good time and would rather do any of those things in the privacy of my home. It's just how I am. And honestly if it comes down to it, I'd prefer to post 20 thousand vids or pics of my animals and look sad to the outside world than deal with one night of lies and manipulation to put up a smiling face group photo that folks are more inclined to see as "sane."

The thing about me is it takes a lot to pull me out of my own world. I can be sitting right across from you while you're engaged in conversation, but unless I'm needed or unless the topic grabs me, I'm not really there. I don't connect. I don't want to waste my time on idle chit chat. Get real. Be genuine. Be a decent fucking person who left the race, gender, and suicide jokes behind in the edgelord phase of your teens or leave me be.

What people who breeze in and out of my life don't understand, I suppose, is making fun of a person for being content in themselves and how they spend their time is exactly what makes me completely uninterested in their friendship in the first place.

In South Georgia and perhaps everywhere that eliminates a lot of folks, and I know that from the get go. So why do I bother opening things up in the first place?

I suppose you never know until you get there who makes it on the soundtrack and who doesn't.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

See You Next Tuesday

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 11 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is: You're chosen to create a new superhero. What's the name and powers, his or her arch enemies, and love interest? Are they from D.C. Comics or Marvel? What type of personality do they have?

It was submitted by: http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

After reading this, I think you will understand this character would be neither D.C. nor Marvel. She's kind of her own thing. 

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"Sir?"

President Chezpuf, hunched and defeated like always when alone, turned his gaze from the television and faced his chief of staff, the 30th man to have the job in the last year, Steven Segal, as he walked through the doorway.

"I have the file you requested, Mr. President."

"That's DOCTOR PROFESSOR MISTER PRESIDENT TO YOU, STEFAN."

"Right, sir. My apologies. Here's the file."

Segal moved to sit the file in front of the president, but Chezpuf stopped him with a wave of his hand, "you know I don't read these things. My words are the best words. Tremendous, tremendous words. I'm not reading anyone else's words. Don't make me fire you on Twitter, Stephanie."

"Sir, I told you when you hired me I can't read too good."

"And you think I'm going to listen to this whole thing?"

"Well, sir, it's a pretty detailed report on this woman. I think all this information is probably stuff you need to know to put a stop to it."

"Oh I will put a stop to her. I have a plan, a huge, huge plan. It will be the best plan to...wait, what are we talking about again?"

"...the file, sir. On Thundercunt. You know the woman terrorizing our congressmen, the one we have no plan on how to stop?"

"We don't have a plan, Sherman? Sad! FAKE NEWS."

Steven shook his head slowly. He knew it was bad when he took the job...maybe not this bad.

"Sir? Do you want the file?"

"Just give me the highlights, Sean."

"This woman goes by the name of Thundercunt. Her real name is Jenna McGary. She's 38, no record. She voted...well, she voted for Clint..."

"LOCK HER UP. LOCK HER UP. What would she want to vote for that loser for? I won the election by the biggest margin in our history. I had the best turnouts, the biggest crowds. We won. Does she know that?"

"Well. Yes, sir, she knows that. From what anyone can tell your winning actually fueled a rage in her so strong that it has mutated her cells."

"I won. I don't think she understands. If it wasn't for those 3 million illegal votes, we would have gotten the popular vote. We won. Has anyone tweeted that to her? What a plan. A great plan. Let me get on that right now. What's her twitter? Put this one in the history books. Trump beats the first super villian."

"She doesn't have Twitter. And you should know, sir, that Twitter is calling her a hero."

"For what? We won. She must watch too much fake news."

"Because she's been changing the minds of a lot of our Congressmen on key conservative issues."

"Ol' Killary must have paid her. I love that name. It's tremendous. Killary."

"That's the thing, sir. She wasn't really a Clinton supporter. It's all in the report if you want to read it."

"Smithers, I told you I don't read the son of a bitching reports. I'm a busy man."

Chezpuf grabbed his phone and immediately tweeted out "ISO: new chief of staff. Must be able to read."

...
In a shadowy office on Capital Hill, Thundercunt was waiting for an opportunity to show herself. She knew Senator Zodiac was due to return from a "meeting" (ahem, a tryst with his mistress) any time. She passed the time reading the latest Post article about her.

"Thundercunt and Her Thunder Thighs of Doom Take Down Another Would-be Rapist with a Bright Future"

What a long ass title, she thinks. And a sad one. Bright future? Why should anyone give a shit about a rapist's future?! She feels the rage boiling up inside her again but keeps reading anyway.

"Police found another body in downtown Washington D.C. with an exploded head. Detectives were able to identify the man as 26 year old Jayonnaise Winchester. Winchester, a recent John Hopkins graduate, was about to begin his residency. Friends and family describe him as a bright young man who never met a stranger. His last Facebook update read, 'I. Love. Bitches.'

Witnesses say they walked into an alleyway after hearing a woman scream for help to find Mr. Winchester with his pants around his ankles holding a woman whose name has not been released to the press at this time against the wall. Before these two witnesses could intervene, both described a woman in a blood red and pink suit, a woman we have come to know as Thundercunt, running into the alley.

The witnesses state after pulling Mr. Winchester off the woman, she clapped her legs together near his head as in previous incidents emitting a concentrated sound wave or some kind of sonic boom, and his head exploded.

We will update the public as soon as more details are available."

She smiled to herself. When the system fails, you work outside it, right?

Just then the door opened. She held back despite the disgusting smirk on Senator Zodiac's face waiting until he closed the door and moved forward. He was too weak not to run if he saw her before she could block his path.

He crossed the office in complete security never once looking around to check things out. She waited until he was seated to approach.

"Congressman Zodiac, I don't believe we have had the pleasure of meeting face to face yet."

His head jerked up, and he let out a high pitched squeal not all that different from a frightened piglet. "I-i-i-it's you."

"Gosh, you are so smart. It's no wonder you're sitting here in this office, A congressman. And so ethical, too, what with you being fresh off a woman who isn't your wife who you want to deny birth control to even though I know for a fact you don't wear a condom on your little, and I do mean little, weekly sessions."

"Huhuhuhuhow...," he stammered but recovered quickly. "Get out of my fucking office, whore."

"Now is that any way to speak to a citizen of this great nation? A citizen who has a present for you?"

He tried to run, but she was too fast. One hand flew to her temple, the other low on her abdomen. With her social justice rage welling inside her cells, she pushed out with all her force hitting Senator Zodiac with her vagina-mind beam.

In almost an instant he was writhing on the floor, crying, pleading. "What did you do to me?"

"Oh that? I just sent you my gift--PMS, bloating, menstrual cramps, PCOS symptoms, and endometriosis pain. You don't have the right equipment, but until that wears off in about a month or so, you'll feel exactly what we feel. Every cramp, every stabbing pain, every migraine, i want you to remember birth control helps. Every time a doctor tells you its all in your head, think about the women you fuck over every time you vote. Think about the words preexisting condition. Think about it every time you vote. Or I'm coming back. Oh and by the way...your weekly visit? She's pregnant."

Thundercunt left him weeping on the floor begging for a hot water bottle and some Midol.


a little visual of TC my son and i worked on together

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Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginatornado.com/2017/10/murder-by-text-secret-subject-swap.html

Cognitive Script https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-tired-worn-broken-aka-victorious.html

The Blogging 911 http://theblogging911.com/blog

The Lieber Family Blog http://www.thelieberfamily.com/2017/10/head-versus-heart.html

The Bergham Chronicles https://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/2017/10/no-regerts-secretsubjectswap.html

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dancing in Gray



Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: piano, swap, square dance, pardon, self-improvement
They were submitted by: https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/ 

__________________________________  


Unless you're new to Climaxed or my life in general it won't come as a shock that I've spent 10+ years writing inmates. I started in 2007 diving headfirst into it with a death row inmate who claimed innocence and had spent more than half his lifetime behind bars. It wasn't an easy start; it hasn't been an easy friendship, and it started me on a path volunteering my time that I never really thought I would be on...

Since the first letter was sealed and mailed, I've written a couple dozen people and have managed to help them, legally or emotionally, in whatever way I can manage. Unfortunately what I can manage isn't always enough to save lives from a capital punishment system I passionately disagree with.

It wasn't always that way for me, that passionate disagreement. When I first wrote, I had been a supporter of harsh prison terms and capital punishment. Still reeling from someone I loved dearly being murdered at just 20 years old a few years before this, it was a shock to my system to be introduced in letters to a rather normal guy hellbent on self-improvement, insisting on his innocence, and who had a tragic backstory that would rival those in Lifetime movie specials. I expected a villian, a Black Hat sort of fellow, who would confirm my belief in monsters.

I had a lot of self-improvement and growing up to do myself.

I had to learn and have learned through writing that the world isn't black or white, good or evil. You can be good and still do an evil thing under specific circumstances. You can be good and be at the wrong place at the wrong time and get sentenced for life without parole for a murder committed while you slept, completely unaware. You can be convicted and sentenced for a murder that never even happened wholly undeserving of that sentence but not be by any means what the average person would define as "good." I've met all those people in my time writing. I've pushed for media attention on a case that ultimately got overturned through the efforts of a high-powered probono law firm, and a man waiting to die for a crime that was never committed got to go home to his family. I've helped get a sentence commutation on a felony murder case that started out as life without and ended (so far) with 25 years. And I've written and befriended 3 people who were varying mixes of good and evil who were killed already by the state with my long-time off and on pen pal facing an execution date again in October. There have been wins and losses over the last decade, but I don't know that they really balance each out. The wins never give back the time lost, and the losses...well...the losses are not easy for me. There is such a mixture of emotion facing each one knowing even if the person gets a stay, he'll never get a pardon. 99% of the time this legal square dance will end in state-sanctioned murder, and while I'd never swap my life for theirs or (in most cases) support anything but a lengthy prison term, I still grieve. I still miss them. I still carry a little part of them with me. And I rage about the sociopolitical landscape we live in that demonizes mental illness and addiction and values the dollar over vulnerable populations.

If monsters do exist, we create them.

The morality of this, my writing letters, can also be difficult. I absolutely understand in clear terms what was done or not done and the preciousness of lives lost. I don't *just* sympathize with those I write like some Mistress of Mayhem collecting Murderer edition baseball cards. It takes time and talking and learning about the person to be able to sort through and reconcile what they did with who they have become behind bars. Sometimes I help that process along. Sometimes I am the needed stability that fosters change. Sometimes they help me understand myself more than I help them. And sometimes, sadly, I have to admit it's a lost cause and move on.

Learning to play the piano might have been an easier pasttime than providing support to inmates. As I face this upcoming october execution with a mix of trepidation, grief, and relief tinged with guilt over that relief I'm left evaluating who I am and what I do once again. I'm still grieving from an execution in July and jaded over how badly a man with severe mental illness was failed and all the lives it cost including his own. And here I am again, unsure of what the next few weeks will bring.

Is it worth it?

Mostly that answer is yes. I feel like I am helping people that society has otherwise forgotten. I know the support I give is invaluable and leads to change. I've seen angry, racist misogynists turn it around. I've seen the levels of violence in a subculture that requires violent reactions almost completely stop. I've seen hope grow in a once barren field of fucks to give. It's work and love and understanding and empathy. And it's not all one sided. But there are times when the weight of it is absolutely too much to carry without wondering if I'm absolutely batshit crazy for pushing on. There are times when I think maybe I can't handle the dance anymore, so I stop the music, change the playlist, and find a new way to move.

________________________________________



Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginatornado.com/2017/09/expectorant-expectant-use-your-words.html

Friday, September 8, 2017

You Want a Toe? I'll get you a toe...

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 10 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
My secret subject is: Do you have an all-time favorite movie? One that you love no matter how many times you see it?

It was submitted by: Karen @ Baking In a Tornado. Her link and swap post can be found below my answer.

___________________________________________


I don’t know that I can tout myself as a film critic, but I do love visual stories as much as written ones. I have a list of favorite directors whose movies I will always see even if they don’t quite make it onto my favorites lists. I have favorite genres, favorite films, and lists of films based on arbitrary qualities like favorite films to watch when I’m sick or Top 5 favorite movies about the workplace/drugs/music/etc.

I like quantifying things. I do it with music, television, and books. I have fun making these lists, categorizing stories in this way. It adds a bit of depth to reflect on one particular aspect and how it affects the overall story good or bad, what it says about humanity in general or just the characters in the tale.

With films, I find it difficult to step away and disconnect from the emotions on screen, so most of my favorites aren’t tearjerkers. I want to feel those emotions, I do, but if a movie makes me sob, chances are, I’m only going to watch it the once at most. Life is tragic enough for me without falling in love with characters that will be ripped from me over and over and over again. And I’m not at all a fan of romances either. Love doesn’t work out the way it does in the movies, and I think it skews people’s expectations of how relationships are supposed to go. I know what I like and what I don’t like pretty well. I quantify those loves and hates based on whatever reasons I feel like at the time. 

But do I have a Greatest Of All Time selection, a goat, if you will—a film that transcends everything that calls to me every time it’s on, whenever I’m in a dark place and need a pick me up?

You bet your ass I do.

from my living room
The Big Lebowski came out in 1998 and was my first introduction to the Coen Brothers and really the first movie I remember Jeff Bridges from. That’s just, like, your opinion, man was my whole thing back in those days, and The Dude’s way of life, his abide lifestyle, has been an influence on the zen part of me that gives no shits what people think of me. Walter and his no chill having ass is that part of me that absolutely goes nuts on people about politics. The movie is quotable and quirky with strange drug fueled cut scenes and an amazing cast of actors and actresses that I have always and will always admire. It’s perfection.

I don’t know that it’s the first movie that ever made me really understand what a film could be or mean, but it’s one of the first that fed the weirdest little part of me and become something obsession-worth. Pulp Fiction, Dazed and Confused, Where the Buffalo Roam/Fear and Loathing, Snatch, Pan’s Labyrinth, THE Labyrinth, A Life Aquatic, High Fidelity, No Country for Old Men… they feed my inner weirdo with an artistic flair that can’t be matched, but it’s The Dude who hits just the right spot every time. It doesn't matter where or when I see it playing, I always want to watch it through and recite the lines along with the actors. And sometimes if I just need to get my Lebowski fix, I'll pop in the DVD because of course I own it.

I’ll leave off with a few top 5 lists though. The Dude may be a kindred spirit, but his is certainly not the only story I love.

Top 5 Favorite Directors
--the Coens, David Fincher, Wes Anderson, Guy Ritchie, Tim Burton

Top 5 Favorite Sick Day movies

Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Home Alone, Elf, Scooby Doo on Zombie Island

Top 5 Will Ferrell Movies

Stepbrothers, Land of the Lost, Everything Must Go, Stranger Than Fiction, Elf (Superstar gets an honorable mention

Top 5 Bill Murray films
Rushmore, Ghostbusters, Kingpin, Broken Flowers, Groundhog Day

Top 5 dark and quirky

Beetlejuice, Addams Family, Rocky Horror, Young Frankenstein, The Nightmare Before Christmas

Top 5 80s Guilty Pleasures
Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Uncle Buck

And here is evidence of my film obsessions from my living room




__________________________________________________________

Here are the links to the rest of this week's submissions:


Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginatornado.com/2017/09/film-this-secret-subject-swap.html

Cognitive Script https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-old-lady-shuffle.html

The Blogging 911 http://theblogging911.com/blog

The Lieber Family Blog http://www.thelieberfamily.com/2017/09/my-nobel-prize.html

The Bergham Chronicles http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

Never Ever Give Up Hope http://batteredhope.blogspot.com

Part-time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2017/09/secret-subject-swap-big-spender.html

Friday, August 11, 2017

Spoonies



Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

Camp ~ Heat ~ Dust ~ Chance ~ Mountain ~ Shopping

They were submitted by: http://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/

_________________________________________________________

I have a chronic illness.

I've not really talked much about it publicly except a few mentions on facebook here and there, but the last year and a half has been tough physically following the year before being pretty tough mentally. I didn't quite expect my 30s to be so full of change. We're supposed to be more or less settled and maintaining by mid-adulthood, yeah? But I suppose that's the thing about life--rarely is it ever predictable.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a new lifetime partner of mine. There won't be a day when I'm without it, so living with it instead of in spite of it is a necessity. It started with a virus, something I mistook for a normal sinus infection. But I've had a year and a half of a constant fever, swollen glands, extreme joint and muscle pains and fatigue that words fail to describe. Some days I have to absolutely focus on breathing because I barely have the energy to do it.

What the fuck are you supposed to do when breathing is a chore?

I have yet to really figure out a rhythm. I overdo it some days, A LOT of days, and pay for it the next. I don't know how to admit I can't do something. It's never been in me to say "can't" when it comes to something I want done. I don't know how to redefine my parameters. I've always been the kind of person who had a million things going on each day rather than barely managing to dust and get the shopping done. Every activity, even basic shit like brushing my teeth, is a mountain to climb especially in the peak heat of the South Georgia summer. Mentally I know there are days when I should camp out on the couch or in bed. I know I need to take breaks. I know my energy level is limited in ways I don't even understand yet. But it's a constant battle not to succumb to depression from having to give up and let the cfs win more days than not.


Every day I wake up there's a chance my battery will already be at 5 or 10%. On my best days, it's at 50. I'm getting better at recognizing how good or bad it will be when I wake up--it's more the admitting I need a day to recuperate part that I struggle with especially since it's not easy to get people to understand that this is more than being tired. It's more than needing to rest. Rest doesn't help. It's a real and serious condition that I have enough trouble understanding myself. A little support would be nice and certainly goes a long way to helping me feel okay with the fact that this is my life now and forever.

Someone I absolutely adore with cfs herself sent me a spoon necklace recently. Spoon Theory (link here) is an attempt at explaining to others what it's like to have one of the extreme fatigue disorders, and it's one of the best explanations I have seen. Think of your energy levels in spoonfuls. A person without a fatigue disorder has an unlimited amount of spoons--a person without one can rest and recharge. A person with chronic fatigue syndrome, for example, may only wake up with 12 spoonfuls. Every activity uses up a spoon. Taking a shower, getting dressed for the day, making breakfast...each activity, even those that seem insignificant, takes a spoon from your total. How do you manage to do everything that needs done for the day? Every single action must be weighed in terms of importance, and anything outside of those 12 spoons for the day borrows from the next creating an endless cycle of depletion until a person barely has the energy to breathe.

Every life comes with battles and complications along with the good. I've faced my fair share of trials already and always managed to come out on top. I hope this newest battle won't be an exception to that norm. I may not always have the energy to complete everything I want to get done, but I make up for it in personal strength.

CFS won't be the thing that bests me.



__________________________________________________

Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginatornado.com/2017/08/a-stinger-free-life-use-your-words.html

Cognitive Script https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-tragic-triangle-uyw.html

The Blogging 911 http://theblogging911.com/blog

On the Border https://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/2017/08/from-over-there.html
The Bergham Chronicles http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

Part-time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2017/08/use-your-words-memorial.html

Friday, August 4, 2017

Perfect Mediocrity

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 11 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

My “Secret Subject” is:

If you were named a Nobel Peace Prize winner what would it be for?

It was submitted by: http://theblogging911.com/blog

_________________________________________


I am perfectly aware that unless Nobel prizes are suddenly given out for mediocrity, I won't be winning one. That's not to say I have zero confidence in my ability to do things well. I have a pretty well rounded skillset and tend to do alright at anything I put my mind to except being a social creature. I know what I can do just as well as I know my limitations, and a Nobel prize just isn't in the cards for me nor would I want to taint its meaning by celebrating my lackluster performance in any of the given categories.


If you were to play gifted student burnout bingo, I would just about hit every square. All throughout school my dad pushed me ridiculously hard to make the grade. If I brought home a perfect score on a test, he said he would be proud when it was 110 instead of a 100. When, with bonus questions, I did bring home 110s, he wanted 120s. It set me on a path of pushing myself to make the grade, obsessing over it. I didn't make a B on a report card until 8th grade, never made a C, and graduated with honors. It took a toll on my motivation and sense of self. Other aspects of my personality took a backseat to me being a brainiac, and I ended up dropping out of college (even though i started college as a high school junior) a couple credits before earning my associate in criminal justice. Burnout was a big factor in that. Growing up poor was a big aspect of it too. College, for me, was never going to be about opportunities and growth and new friendships--it was always going to mean more work for someone already completely and thoroughly exhausted that never really got to be a kid and debt.


When my dad was on his deathbed, I enrolled again, though, pushing to prove myself even harder. Full time student, new mom, wife, full time employee--I tried to do it all. I pushed and pushed even while my marriage fell apart (from a lack of support from him mostly) and earned my bachelor's as a single mom. It wasn't easy, but women are out there doing it every day. I'm not special for doing what needed to be done, and I certainly don't need an award for it. I am able to look back clearly now and see how burying myself in books kept me too busy to be anxious about my world crumbling or to pay attention to the world at large. It was a coping mechanism not a heroic effort.


Im hindsight, when I started grad school, my heart was never in it. It was just something I knew people expected of me. For a person like myself that has rebeled against social expectations my entire life, that could never quite fit into any box much less a traditional one, I don't know why I forced it. I had an idea about being able to help inmates, but the voluntary work I do on that front is more than I could have ever accomplished working for the system that imprisons them. I thought maybe people would take me more seriously if I went the proper course, fought within the system.


People take you seriously, though, when you're genuine and true to who you are. Dressing it up to get a job or a paycheck or a partner is always going to be seen as phony because that's exactly what it is. And when i realized that, I knew I was done. Finally. I won't ever stop learning, but I don't need my brain to be worth 200 grand to realize I have something to add to the world. And I'm getting okay with letting go of the idea that a degree determines worth and that I don't have to be defined by what I get paid to do.


I won't ever accomplish anything remotely worthy of a Nobel prize. Even if there were a sudden category for bucking social norms some person named Moonwillow with facial implants who feeds their cat a vegan diet, has their pubic hair tattooed on, and makes money by popping balloons with their ass cheeks on a livestream would certainly have me beat. And I would gladly let them have it.


I've made and continue to make my mark on this world my own way. And that's enough.

____________________________________




Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginatornado.com/2017/08/in-eye-perspective-secret-subject-swap.html

Cognitive Script https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/2017/08/governmental-remote-location-sss.html

The Blogging 911 http://theblogging911.com/blog

The Lieber Family Blog http://www.thelieberfamily.com/2017/08/the-trials-and-tribulations-of-keeping.html

The Bergham Chronicles http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Simply Shannon http://shannonbutler.org

Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/

Part-time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2017/08/secret-subject-swap-social-media.html

Friday, July 14, 2017

Past, Present, and Fiction

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: mudpie, sunshine, party, windchimes, wet. They were submitted by: http://Bakinginatornado.com

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I feel lost more often than ever before these days.

Politics and social issues have been something I poured myself into even when things in my own life were overwhelming (as they often are), but what exactly are you supposed to do when you’ve been bowled over by both?

A lot of people in my generation, folks around their late 20s to late 30s, turn to nostalgia to get them through. I don’t mean we pine for the days of mudpies on sunshine-filled afternoons in a diaper and nothing else while Mom’s windchimes twinkle out their soothing tune in the warm breeze, but we do tend to bury ourselves in the pop culture fandoms of our youth or at least act like kids with pop culture obsessions. I do it just as well and as thoroughly as anyone else when I can, but that’s also becoming problematic. One part of the problem is I’m also the kind of person who has to be doing, producing, or bettering themselves or those around them or I tend to slip into depression. Fictional worlds have always been so much easier to navigate than the one we live in now, but there’s so much in me screaming to help change the world, to leave a mark, to make this reality a better one for my child that I have always been almost obsessive about sociopolitical issues trying to at least reach others via social media about the topics that affect others the most.

But that aspect of our nation, even though it has always been hugely flawed and in need of change, has become a circus. And I don’t mean that in the Obama’s-gonna-take-our-guns hyperbolic way. I mean it in the every-other-civilized-nation-on-the-planet-is-laughing-at-us kind of way. We’re divided as a nation. We always have been split more or less along party lines, and those lines tend to divide how we view a presidency and creates the kind of panic that occurs when a Democrat takes office and gun sales go up just in case someone, somewhere takes guns from the average Joe for reasons unknown and unclear. But now we have a situation where there are some who can’t roll with a changing world and want things to be more “simple” like when women were more or less property and minorities weren’t asking for the things they deserve while the rest of us are fighting to exist or fighting for the right for ALL people to have the same rights and a level playing field. That fight becomes exhausting. People get burned out even in better conditions, but the 2016 election cycle and the following ridiculousness has been hugely destructive for a lot of people’s mental well-being.

On top of that, fictional worlds have become too close to reality. Dystopian futures in films and books no longer look like impossible nightmares. Even make-believe hits too close to home for comfort. The Handmaid’s Tale is an all too terrifying peak into the way capitalism abuses those who can do for those who can pay as well as what “traditional values” defined by religion can do to wreck a society and turn it into a terrifying extreme. Idiocracy with its look at an America lacking intelligence, focusing on brands, pushing capitalism over EVERYTHING, and having a celebrity President is just far too close to reality for most people. Corporations pushing their products to “save” the world lead to its impending destruction while the government plays along. Isn’t that where we are? We haven’t reached a point where our individuality is exactly punished as in 1984, but that dystopian landscape is still a little too close for comfort with Fake News being paraded by the President as a valid response to any criticism and so many folks blindly following that. And while dystopian science fiction doesn’t represent the only fandoms in the fictional universe, there’s no escaping commentary that relates in some form or fashion to the world we do live in…

My own personal life is a daily struggle with a chronic disease that leaves me exhausted and compromises my immune system. Sick, beyond exhausted, and often in pain are how I navigate my days, and it’s really no easier for other folks. This generation and the one after it are finding day to day life more difficult than generations before even while technology works to make everyday tasks easier. What we’ve lost in physical work to do things has been more than recovered in the difficulty paying for student loans, inability to buy a home or even save for the future, and a shrinking job market of positions that will actually cover the bills and not leave families absolutely wrecked.

The headlines scream out everyday: Trump Is Incompetent, The GOP Can’t Pass a Bill, Men Are Afraid of Strong Women, Water Is Wet and all you’ll find in the comments are memes and BUTHEREMAILS.

So where does a person turn when fiction is too close to reality, reality is to disturbing to deal with, and personal lives are increasingly harder to navigate?

I don’t really know the answer, so I’m treading water and trying to keep afloat one day at a time. It certainly helps to have a great support network online and in real life, but there’s not a lot of realities, fiction or otherwise, that I and people like me can bury themselves in even partially to help recover from the hard times of the present and attempt to form a positive outlook for the future.

One day at a time, one moment at a time is the best we can do. For now, the little things like puppy slobber, learning to sew (and succeeding), wine with friends, late nights with my favorite person, hot coffee, and sundried sheets are welcome distractions.

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Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginatornado.com/2017/07/bewildered-use-your-words.html

Cognitive Script https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/2017/07/exuberant-vacation.html

The Blogging 911 http://theblogging911.com/blog

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/

On the Border https://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/2017/07/gone.html

The Bergham Chronicles http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

Simply Shannon http://shannonbutler.org

Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.com

Bookworm in the Kitchen http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/2017/07/14/july-use-your-words-2/

Part-time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2017/07/use-your-words-youth-festival-flooding.html