The Story: The Story: I had a friend die the other day. I had another friend die back in the day and then another friend and then another friend and then another... Many, many, others. Dead. I have no idea why I am still alive. Well, actually, I have some idea why. Whether it is God, the Universe, the ocean, my cat, or my pet rock, somebody out there has a plan for me. Back to the story. I had these two friends, great friends. I had a feeling that we shared the same struggle. That is why I held so much love for them. I cannot explain it. Nobody can really explain it unless they have been through it. We all battle demons, however, there is a specific kind of pain that hovers in the realm of deep internal turmoil. I can speak to this pain. I have lived this precise pain. I have laid in hospital beds listening to the doctors tell my parents that they do not know if I will ever wake up. I remember not being able to move or open my eyes but still praying, praying hard, to anybody that would listen to me. Please, please let me wake up. Just wake up. I did. Every. Single. Time. The struggle. I cannot express the pain of lingering in limbo hoping I do not wake up but at the same exact time not wanting to inflict pain onto the ones I love so, so dearly. I want to try but it is so hard. So, so, hard. Back to my friends, I see you and I pray for you. I understand this pain and I love you for feeling it with me. I remember the first time I smoked the green, weird, weird, skunky smelly stuff (that is sometimes-most, MOST times-where it starts). I was sitting in the attic of some neighborhood friend’s house. We were listening to Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues. Trying to remember all of the lyrics, which now, I absolutely still can do. These boys, these beautiful, beautiful boys were in the room at that moment (at least one them was there-they were always there-we were neighbors, buddy's, pals). The moment my head changed (pretty, pretty positive that it was the last pal to leave us). I remember these times. They were great times. I still miss them. All that I can do for these friends is share my story as it may relate to them and to you. I will do this persistently, yet gracefully in the best way that I know how. This should not be happening. Let me repeat myself, this should NOT be happening.
On Radical Transparency
The Story: The Story: I struggle with mental health and addiction. In the spirit of deconstructing humanity to it's core, I have to acknowledge the fact that there are many men and women who struggle with issues that I have not personally experienced. I am not a minority. I am white. My parents have money. I am not a member of the LGBTQ community (except for that one time & then another time & maybe a few more times after that-stay open to intimate and loving relationships, always-as long as there is proper communication & understanding). There are certain (many, many, more) struggles that I will never fully understand because I have not personally had to face them. I was born an American Citizen, in Illinois. I am not a victim of any type of childhood: emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, or physical abuse. I acknowledge my privilege and take personal accountability for all of the times that I have used this privilege (wisely & unwisely) to save my own face. The awareness is there. I know that I cannot speak on behalf of these strong men and women. I cannot speak to the anger and sadness that must culminate due to the irresponsible and pitiful excuses for "human beings" (I use that term very, very, lightly) that inflict this type of pain onto any adult or child. For all of you men and women trudging through these excruciating circumstances, I see you and I hear you. I do not understand personally, however, I would be honored to be an ally in any way that I possibly can. I am always up for contributing to a cause that I care about in anyway that is possible for me at the time.
The Facts: The Question: Can we please talk about fireworks for a minute? I would like to know who is responsible for this incredibly poor decision making. Let's review the facts. Fireworks are among the leading causes of wildfires in California. I just read a BBC News Article that describes a couple that decided it was a great idea to reveal the gender of their child with an explosion. The smoke bomb caused a fire that killed a brave firefighter and caused injuries to many others. Properties damaged. Beautiful landscapes burned. All in the name of what? Wanting to see like two seconds of fire. What a way to bring a child into the world. Boom.
On Authorities / The Police
The Story: Back in the day I messed up. I was on new medication from my Doctor and I was being a high school kid. Not well informed yet. I knew I should have know better. My Dad had bought me a burrito that night and I ate it all. I smashed that thing, as we did, back in the day when we could not even catch up to our own metabolisms. My Dad said, just stay home. He took away my car keys. I did not listen. I had a spare key hidden in my room. I crashed. I crashed hard. So, so hard. The police, as they do, thought it would be a smart decision to give all of the gory details to the local paper. The police smashed my name. They made me feel worthless. It hurt so bad. So, so bad. Why they just had to ruin a kid's future, I do not know. It was not cool. I crashed my car into a tree. Nobody was hurt, thank God. My Dad, my great, great, Dad kept the newspaper article away from me. To this day I cannot find it online to read it. Do not care. Do not want to read it. Everyone read it. I knew they ALL read it. It sucked. My Dad kept me home from school for a week. The swim team wanted nothing to do with me because I had made them look bad. So, so bad. My coach had been my coach since childhood. He did not care. I think he cares now. I mean, come on, can we catch a break, any break? Oh, well. My Dad watched The Little Mermaid with me as we did when I was younger. I could not breathe. This was just me. A small town, white girl, made out as a bad example. Perfect.
On Boys, boys, BOYS
The Story: The summer before freshman year of high school I had to take a math class. I hate math. One tiny mistake in the process and the final result is completely wrong. There is no room for error. I live in that room. The room full of errors. Needless to say, I did not care much for the equations on the board but my head was calculating fast. Lots of meaningless plans and designs swirling around in my head. Across the room there was a boy with an AC/DC shirt, cool hair, and a skateboard. Almost immediately I decided that I was going to figure out a way to make him like me. I thought, ugh, now I might have to learn how to skateboard. Before the boy with the AC/DC shirt (and after) was the boy with the Incubus shirt. You better believe I did my research. I listened intently to all of their music. To this day I consider Brandon Boyd, the lead singer, to be the archetype of the perfect male specimen. I mean, ladies, look at him: