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The Fighter Still Remains
October 15, 2017, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is not a story about sexual harassment or assault. This is not my “me too” story.

This is me looking around and wondering why it takes celebrities being scum–just like normal people are scum–to provide a safe place for women to “come out” and admit that they were victims of the same actions.

What even is a safe place? Is Facebook a safe place? How many women will watch those brave statuses scroll by and wish they were at a place in their lives where they could hold up their quivering fist–rage or fear, it doesn’t matter–and shout “me too” along with their sisters.

It isn’t Facebook that’s the safe place. It isn’t our homes, towns. It isn’t this country that’s a safe place for women to admit that they have been taken advantage of in a horrific way. That safe place lies in our connections to one another. It’s not a location on Google Maps; it’s threads that run from one heart to another. Angry hearts. Incomplete hearts. Hearts that still feel guilty or ashamed.

So, my dear sisters

if you are not ready to write those two words as your status

if you are not ready to voice your “me too” and come clean as–not a victim–but a warrior

know that it is not in those statuses that women are mustering their strength. There is no club that you are missing out on by not being ready.

The strength for women has and will always be the slight nod to one another, sometimes silently, sometimes with bold and fiery righteousness. But the strength is there and it is the same. You are a fighter with your quiet nod just like the bold and unapologetic.

Grasp onto the threads that go from all of our hearts and keep fighting your own internal battle.

You are strong

You are a warrior

You are a fighter and the fighter will always remain

whether you say “me too” or quietly nod.

We hear you, sister.

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IT IS OCTOBER FIRST.
October 1, 2017, 1:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I REPEAT. IT IS OCTOBER FIRST. NOBODY PANIC.

I know some of you may be looking at the pieces of clothing you have from last fall and wondering what to do to make it a little more up to date.

Do not stress–nay, worry–dear readers. I AM HERE TO HELP YOU WITH THE CUNNING USE OF SCARVES.

That’s right.

Scarves! Right? RIGHT?

Pretty much everyone wears a shit sort-of tee shirt and jeans…I mean just ever. It would be easy to just throw a black scarf over this and keep it basic (and in fact, would be the case for most of these outfits) but we are going to think outside of the box today. Instead of a black or black and white scarf that will add zero interest to this outfit, let’s try a cream windowpane blanket scarf because this girl is standing next to the water and her neck must be cold as hell.

 

 

 

This is maybe the most glorious coat I have ever seen in my life and I would maybe sell my Tiny Human for it (DHS–WOULD NOT SELL MY CHILD FOR A COAT. DEFINITELY NOT. PROBABLY NOT.). What do you pair with such a amazing and detailed piece of fashion? I decided on the faux fur scarf to kind of elevate it to that Scandinavian look that we all want to achieve but can’t because we are American and all we can really do is buy $2 plates and stuff mice from Ikea. Plus this scarf looks super cozy and would be extremely versatile, say, with even a white shirt.

 

 

 

But what if you want to go on a date night? WHAT IF YOU FINALLY DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO EAT IN TIME TO HAVE A DATE NIGHT? Also? What if you want to channel the most goddess version of Stevie Nicks possible? This dress oozes romance and a bit of Practical Magic good-witchyness. The perfect match for it is something just as magical. Get yourself a crushed velvet shawl that can double as a proper scarf but can also be thrown across your shoulders when the evening chill gets a little much.

(Dress available at link: Vetue Boutique…..also it has pockets)

 

 

 

It’s fall. You wall want to throw on your Hunter boots and go apple picking, don’t you? Yeah. I thought so. While I’m not super on board PERSONALLY with paying $20 for a bag of apples that I picked myself, I am super on board with this adorable sweater and skirt duo paired with a cable knit infinity scarf.

 

 

 

 

All black does not mean you have to be cold. Look at this amazing bleached out scarf with hand drawn zodiac signs on it. I found it on Etsy and you can even decide which signs you want displayed on it. I’m not here to tell you embrace some goddamn color because that’s none of my business but you can still wear some beautiful things to transition to a more cozy look for the new season.

 

 

 

Over sized cardigans are God’s gift to women. They don’t cling. They hit us right below the hip so no one even has to know what’s going on there, they cover your butt so you stay warm and can sit on cold grass if you need to try to bend over to tie your Tiny Human’s show and fail…I mean the list goes on here people. This fringe scarf is featured in maybe the second hottest color of the season right: RUST. It’s flattering on every skin tone and frames your face in AUTUMN. If this is the new mom uniform, I’m not mad about it.

 

 

 

OY WITH THE MUSTARD YELLOW. Guys this color is so popular I even have THIS EXACT BLANKET SCARF to go with …well…everything…but especially my mustard colored cardigan. It’s a tricky color that I feel like a lot of fair complexioned people just walk by in H&M but I am here to tell you to give it a shot. I have the pales skin IN THE SOUTH and I think I pull this off pretty well….at least, I hope I do. If I don’t, my friends have some explaining to do.

Amazon is a great place to buy some inexpensive but trendy scarves and to be honest you would be surprised how long you can get wear out of these things. Most you can find for under $20 so go on the site, look at your closet, and fill up that shopping cart. Your neck will thank you.



Wingless, Thus Silent
August 31, 2017, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

ant

I was in an antique store, glossing over vintage books when I came across an old illustrated insect field guide. I gently flipped the pages and marveled at how science can become art simply with the invention of a camera.

One figure in particular, the ant, caught my eye.

It wasn’t the extraordinary detail of the illustration. It was actually a pretty basic drawing. Three black spots with legs. My Tiny Human could make an ant using her small fingerprints.

It was the line used underneath to describe it.

Lasius niger. Black Garden Ant.

Wingless thus silent.

Wingless. Thus silent.

For some reason that line stayed in my mind and started to spin webs of ideas of how the world really works around us.

Is it true that the only ones who actually get voices in this life are the elevated and superior in mobility ones?

Sometimes it feels like it.

Sometimes it is easy to feel like an ant. I drive a used Kia Sportage. I buy my clothes second hand. I have nothing great to speak of about my life that deeply impacts the world as a whole. An ant that walks a certain line each day, does work, works with the common interest of the other ants, and walk the same line the next day. Quietly.

Silently.

Who am I, after all, to think that my voice is greater than anyone else’s? Why should I be heard? There are people out there

people with wings

who are already making so much noise.

 

These people float high above us and it would be amazing to say that they all say wonderful things with the gift they have been given; that they make a beautiful song, necessary noise that changes the world for the better.

But it seems lately that those who are being given the power to be heard above everyone else are the very ones that need to be silent.

Do not tell me that I am an ant.

Do not tell an ant that they must be silent.

Do not fill the world with the knowledge that to lack wings is to lack a voice.

Tell me that to have a voice is to grow wings. 

Tell me that if I want my own voice heard I have to elevate myself.

Tell me that if I want to see something change in my lifetime, I have to float to the top and make my own noise.

Wingless thus silent is not the way any world should work.

Wingless thus brave.

Wingless thus working on it.

Wingless thus persisting.

There is more than one way to fly, dear readers.



Nightmares about Mean Girls
August 22, 2017, 12:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ever have one of those dreams where you have it, wake up for a minute, and the when you fall back asleep it’s still there in your head happening?

 

I just had that happen.

And it was about mean girls.

 

The over under of the dream was that I was older middle school/younger high school–which is when I was bullied–, and that I was at some sort of sleep over camp. The original girls in my life weren’t there but my adult friends were. The friends I have come to know and love.

One of them in particular pushed me so far emotionally that my mother had to be called twice to come for me, which of course then caused even more girls to make fun of me.

When I was in middle school I dressed funny. I wore baggy pants, and bright colors with stickers all over my face. I once wore a beanie baby on top of my head all day and the next day two popular girls had started a rumor that I was a lesbian.

Girls are fucking mean.

They manipulate you. They gaslight you. They make you feel like you are wanted and then they ignore you. They make you feel like they care about you but then go radio silent for days on end.

No body really talks about how mean girls are. We send our daughters into school and tell them to be kind to everyone around them.

I was.

I was kind to everyone around me and I was bullied so hard in middle school that I would hide in the nurses office and pretend there was something extremely wrong with me. One time I was so convincing they took me to the ER to have my appendix taken out and when they did the ultrasound saw that it was not infected.

I know every single one of the girls that made my life a living hell at one point. Almost all of them have turned into lovely people whom I have no issue speaking with, but some I still keep an arm length away.

Sometimes mean girls turn into mean women, and I am very wary of this.

I am sending my daughter to the 1st grade in 6 days. Last year, in Kindergarten, she won “Most Thoughtful” and it is true. She has always been the kid in the classroom who wants to make sure everyone is happy and that she is pleasing to them.

I don’t know if 1st grade is too early for mean girls. I remember mine really started in 5th grade–that dissection of cliques–but maybe it’s time to at least give her a general chat that the only person she has to please in that room and take care of is herself.

 

 

So, yes, Tiny Human: The world can be a magical place and I never want you to lose that sense of innocence and wonder but as you progress down these hallways in this building I cannot be in with you, I need you to know that it is ok to protect your heart above all else.

The damage done to mine during those years have, unfortunately, become irreversible. But I’ll be damned if I let my little pixie of a child be eaten up by mean fucking girls.



Ariadne 1&2
August 15, 2017, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

1.

I do not know how long I have been sitting here

Olive trees loom around me, providing shade for certain parts of the day

but other parts, I burn.

Strange Cypress trees rise from the ground like silent sentries.

Keeping him in

Keeping me out

I sit here.

Waves of wind rustle the leaves and carry with it a far off sound.

Inhuman sounds

Human sounds

I cannot tell anymore.

My knees are raw from sitting on them

the skin, cracked and bleeding

sand working its way under my skin every time I shift my weight.

My  hands are empty.

They once held a wooden spindle

that never seemed to run out of thread.

My hands grew tired

and my heart grew heavy

as the days went by and I remained here

in wide open spaces

sitting on my knees

and waiting for him.

I sobbed and wailed,

pressed the spindle up against my little body

felt the sharp edges of it pierce my clothing

and then my skin

and then it disappeared entirely.

My hands are empty,

the thread being pulled from me now.

My own body.

From the softness of my belly.

I am no longer an anchor.

I am tethered to him.

Like an umbilical cord.

Like a stream between two bodies of water.

He churns and I feel everything.

Every step

away from me

towards a fight that might drag me along.

At least he gets steps

At least he gets fights

I do not like these wide open spaces anymore

There is too much air. There are too many trees.

I would feel safer in the tight walls of a labyrinth.

I do not know how long I have been sitting here.

 

 

2.

 

I do not know how long I have been sitting here.

There is a sudden tug on the thread coming from my belly,

Like a marionette

I stand up

Grab the thread with both of my hands and try to wind it back into me

I have one job

My whole life I have had one job

To reel in the thread when it was time

It is time

I am thrown side to side

I am forced to dig in my heels

To keep from being dragged into the fight

He has found the monster

He is battling the monster

I have one job

To lead him back out

To me

I do not know how long I have been sitting here

The violence does not seem to last very long

Suddenly the thread is very still

The air feels very thin

Quiet

As if we are all afraid to breathe

I feel a slight tug on my thread

He has done it

He has won his battle and now may come back to me

I tug on the thread to let him know that I am still here

I do not know how long I have been sitting here

But I am still here

I feel the thread start to grow slack

It is no longer unraveling from somewhere deep inside of me

It is coming towards me

Through the mazes upon mazes

Through the great labyrinth

I wait for hours, centuries

I lost track of time a long time ago

I see him, then

I see him emerge with the sand swirling around him and block caked on his knuckles

His face

He does not see me

I wave a hand

I run towards him

He walks right by me

Pushes me down back into the sand

“What is wrong, Theseus?” I wail at him

He turns his head, my thread still in his hand

And suddenly I know the answer to my own question

Theseus is dead

This is the monster

And he is dragging me around by the thread



L.L Bean Fall/Winter line 2017 (that probably no one cares about except me)
August 14, 2017, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t know guys. I just spend like $25 at a thrift store buying my fall clothes, but let’s be honest…some of this stuff is going to end up being a “treat yo self” moment as my birthday grows near.

LET’S LOOK AT THE NEW L.L BEAN WOMEN’S LINE FOR FALL/WINTER 2017

 

ll bean 1

Signature Cotton Fisherman Tunic Sweater, Colorblock

$100 and freaking $9

But I don’t know guys. I love America, but I think I might love this sweater more.

 

l-l-bean-signature-cotton-fisherman-sweater-colorblock

Signature Cotton Fisherman Sweater, Colorblock

A mere $99 for this one which is a much better investment than this one because while most people will look at this and think fall sports like rugby and football, I’ll be wearing it by the fire supporting Quidditch. Ravenclaw? Maybe? Yes. I would.

 

 

 

 

l-l-bean-lightweight-wool-blend-scarf-plaid

Lightweight Wool-Blend Scarf, Plaid

$49.95

I have about 38 plaid scarves and blanket scarves. But I do not have an OLIVE GREEN ONE. I bet you don’t either. Why don’t we go halfies on this one and share it? Great.

 

 

 

llbean hat

Women’s Ultrawarm Bomber Hat

$44.95

I’ll be honest. I want this hat so I can wear it and pretend to be Ygritte from Game of Thrones. Can’t unsee it now, can you?

 

 

 

hoodie

Road Trip Graphic Hoodie Pullover

$54.95

If you know enough to see that this is a wicked good hoodie then you probably need this hoodie, bub.

 

 

 

bean jacket

Traverse Water-Resistant Hooded Shirt Jacket Misses Regular

ON SALE FOR $84.99

This is absolutely the cutest utility and rain proof jacket I have ever seen, not even just on L.L Bean. This is an amazing deal on a jacket that is usually closer to $100. Put down the one from H&M and invest in your clothing.

 

 

 

blue coat

Ultrawarm Coat, Long

$269

This isn’t a new item on their list for this season but I have to share it because I have been lusting after this coat for years. YEARS. It also comes in, like, normal colors like black and white but OH MAN I WANT IT IN BLUE SO BAD. I can’t justify almost $300 for a coat like this while living in the south, BUT IF YOU CAN please go buy it in homage to my current humidity situation.

 

 

 

boots

Women’s Bar Harbor Boots, Tall

$199.00

These are usually sold out in, like, 80% of the sizes but one day they will be mine. THEY WILL BE MINE. I love how utilitarian they look compared to the standard Bean Boot but still absolutely adorable. Good for just a slushy, snowy, gross day. Or, I mean, a Wednesday.

 

 

Ok, 3 people who read this all the way through: That’s my yearly round up of the L.L Bean fall/winter line for this year. Yes, I know these things seemed over priced, but let me tell you–I wore a Bean rain jacket all over the UK this spring and it did not fail me once. It even kept my bum dry. So. There’s that.

What I’m saying is that sometimes you can buy your clothes from a thrift store, but somethings are worth the investment.

Treat yo self.

 

 

 

 



I Tried So Hard And Got So Far (but in the end it doesn’t even matter)
July 21, 2017, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A lot of people are talking about suicide today. They are trying to make sense of it, why someone–especially someone with so much to live for–would do such a thing. It’s hard to wrap your mind around it because really the only person who knows why is already dead.

I can’t rationalize why anyone else kills themselves. I cannot supply warning signs or techniques if you suspect someone close to you is nearing the edge of nothingness.

 

What I can do, however, is tell you about what my mind did when I brushed with suicide. This will be hard to write out. But I am going to do it anyway.

I remember being afraid; afraid of everything. Afraid of being alone because I didn’t trust myself. Afraid to drive my car alone. Afraid to be in the kitchen surrounded by blades.

I would line up all of my medications on the bathroom counter,  like a firing squad. I would google about lethal combinations. Google isn’t a great tool to find out how to kill yourself, by the way.

I would go through giant waves of emotion. I would sob for a whole day straight in a dark room in a lonely bed, curled up as small as I could make myself. I would sob and imagine everyone else out there in the world doing things. Making something of themselves. Breathing. Just breathing. I would sob knowing that I was damaging my daughter; knowing that I was not the kind of mother she deserved. She would bring me things as I remained bed ridden. Notes, stuffed animals, snacks. She would hold my hand, her skin cool to the touch and her large brown eyes showing no fear. This isn’t right, I would tell myself. This isn’t right at all. She is going to grow up damaged because she didn’t have a normal mother.

Other days, I would be numb. I would feel nothing and those were the days I was most afraid–not the hysterical days where I would tear at my skin screaming in a locked bathroom. The silence inside of my mind was terrifying. Those days I thought about leaving. Those were the usual days I thought about leaving.

Because, to me, suicide was not the idea of dying or killing myself. It was not some sort of cry for help.

The idea that lured me so close to the darkness was to just not exist anymore. To convince myself that I was doing more harm than good to the people around me, to the world. I would lie in bed and hope to sink into the mattress. I didn’t want some dramatic ending where someone would find my body. I didn’t want blood or vomit or mess or screams. I just wanted to fade away, go away, not be here anymore. The world felt like it was too much for me. I felt too small. I felt like I had no where that I belonged.

No amount of encouragement changed that, I am sad to say. I was surrounded by loved ones who would tell me to hold on. I convinced myself they were just being polite or felt obligated. They will get over it once you are gone, my brain would say to me each time. Lies. So many lies inside of my own head.

And what can you do when you’ve reached that point? When even your own mind has betrayed you? My psychiatrist tried everything. Every combination of medication she could think of; she even went onto a forum and asked for advice to save me.

I was sent to therapy. Therapy has never worked for me and this was no different. The therapist I was assigned wanted to do cognitive behavioral therapy–which sounded good during the initial pitch; to retrain my brain to react differently when intrusive thoughts forced themselves in. But there was no urgency. She wanted me to make a chart everyday of what seemed to trigger my suicidal thoughts and what I was doing to try and get through that moment. I felt like just handing her a piece of paper that said “EVERYTHING ALL OF THE THINGS” on it. I stopped going to see her after 3 appointments. I couldn’t deal with something like that. I needed a faster action plan. I was dying. I considered myself dying at that point.

Several times friends came close to bringing me back to the psychiatric hospital that I had been to years before. I thought about it. I legitimately thought about it. But no. I knew I would not get well in there. I would not be well in there.

I fell into despair. I know I blogged quite a bit about this while it was unraveling–how I felt like I was lost out at sea with no shore in sight, how I felt that I was face down in mud and someone kept pressing their boot against my back so that I continued to choke and suffocate slowly.

It was suffering beyond articulation. Everyday.

Entire churches prayed for me. Everyone was gentle to me. Everyone was trying the best they could to save me. But nothing was working and that made me feel like I was not meant to be saved.

Another lie.

I wanted to stay. I wanted to feel something stir inside of me to finally let some sort of joy in…some sort of lightening of the heart. Even a trip to Disney World could not bring me out of it. I remember walking through the park with my 4 year old who was all wide eyed and smiles and trying so hard to be happy. Trying to convince myself that I should be feeling happy right now. But it didn’t work. You can see it even in the pictures. I was a shell.

I don’t remember exactly how long I went through this. I don’t remember when it started or when it started to landslide. I have whole chunks of time that I can’t recall. I was put on so many different medications that I almost am not sure if the lack of memory is organic or a side effect. I still struggle with memory.

I didn’t wake up one day and realize there was so much to live for. I didn’t wake up and open the curtains and let the sun shine on my face and feel its warmth down to my bones.

The first thing that saved my life was my psychiatrist finally breaking down and throwing out her Hail Mary move–putting me on Lithium. Lots of it. That eventually stabilized me into at least not wanting to die. It was a painful drug. It messed with my entire body. But I didn’t kill myself.

What eventually brought me back to life wasn’t heavy medication, or a sense that I needed to take control of my mind and my life. It was much more nuanced than that.

It was a stirring of my soul. I had been trying to align my heart and my mind for so long that I had forgotten about my soul. C.S. Lewis has said that you do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.

My body had betrayed me, yes. In every sense. But something in my life surprisingly reached out and shook my soul a little bit, waking it up. That’s when I started to feel lighter. That’s when I started to think about changes I could make to myself and the life around me to keep myself safe.

 

I guess what I am saying is that everyone has something to live for, but a quiet or loud mind can blind you against that faster than you can imagine. Depression lies. I know everyone says that, but it really does. It makes you feel not just insignificant, but worse; it makes you feel like a burden. It convinces you that nothing in your life will ever work out. It will make you feel unworthy of the things in your life that somehow did work out. You will feel already half gone because you can no longer rely on your body to work in your favor. You will no longer be on your own side.

But allow your soul to be stirred by something–no matter how small. Your soul is your backup generator. The power may fail but you are not dead inside.

You need to find something that will remind yourself that you are worth saving.

 

Everyone is worth saving.