Grief

My mind can only compare grief to a roller coaster. As cliche as it sounds, grief is all about the up and downs. It strikes right when we think we have come up the last hill and made it to a plateau. But if there is one thing I know about plateaus is that they are usually accompanied by step drops.

Just recently while at work I had a coworker find out about the passing of a family member. While I won’t go into detail about the specifics of what happened, that is his families personal business and they need time to grieve, I will tell you a little about my job. I work on a fancy charter bus in Dallas called Vonlane, check it out it is really an awesome way to travel in luxury. One thing about the bus is that we are driving from one destination to the next and so we are not able to stop working at any moment. When it comes to dealing with personal issues or a difficult passenger we have to be on our A game the whole time. So when something devastating happens that is outside of our control and grief hits you, you have nowhere to go but the seat you sit in.

To lose someone, in any shape or form, hurts our hearts. Every photograph of them we see brings a rush of sorrow and happiness, for we will never see them again, yet thankful for the captured moment. Every place we visit they once accompanied us to feels like an invisible barrier has glossed over the place and if we just walk through it they will be waiting for us, landmarks of the places we shared. Every scent, touch, taste, sight, or sound that reminds us of them brings a sensory attack that rushes into the head like too much blood.

Grief isn’t fair, grief is a nasty thing that pokes at us when we feel a loss. But grief helps us move forward. It’s a game that rages internally, our mind and body fighting to stay on the side of composure. But grief is there to keep punching us all the way to the ground. Grief fills our insides rushing along with our blood to the organs that keep us alive, filling those organs with its heavy lead. Grief attacks our bones sometimes making us feel immune to whats around and others like needles drilling in. Grief consumes us, grief becomes us.

Everyone griefs differently, but we all grief on the same roller coaster. My friend know this, every steep hill and every sharp drop you take you have people waiting at along the sides to help you through the process. Whether that be a hug, silent person to sit with, or a shoulder to cry. Grief, as my mind understands, is a roller coaster we have trouble seeing the end of.

Baby Orca

Several nights ago I had another strange dream. This time I was scuba diving in the clearest water. No one else was around, and every diver knows to have a buddy, so it was definitely starting out weird.

I jumped off the back of the boat, submerging myself under the water and next to me was a friend. A baby orca all alone in the giant ocean swaming next to me. It seemed that we had a connection. Two best friends under the water keeping pace.

The two of us alone in the giant ocean came up to the surface. We found ourselves in a fully functioning abandoned kids water park. And then I woke up. And I still can’t get that baby orca off my mind.

It Was The Strangest Thing

Under a bright sky without a cloud around, I stood behind my grandparent’s house. The garage door was wide open and the white SUV was nowhere to be seen. I hesitantly walked in and approached the back door. As I entered the house all the furniture was missing. I made my way through the den and into the living room. The floors had been perfectly vacuumed. Lines running up and down in the now vacant room.

Around the back of the house, I could hear the hum of a vacuum running. I called out to my grandmother, but the hum of the vacuum drowned out my voice. I looked towards the front door that was wide open to see the park across the street from her house was covered in water. It wasn’t just a little water. What must have been millions of gallons was creeping across the street and towards the front door.

One second I was staring at the water creeping towards me and the next I was standing in my bedroom at my parent’s house. It was dark outside. The kind of dark where monsters live. The kind of dark shadows cannot creep in. The kind of dark you didn’t know if your eyes were open or closed.

All the lights in the house had been dimmed. My mother came in my room, she was talking to me but I had no idea what she was saying. The ground shook. It shook so hard I could feel my bones unset and then reset. I could feel how angry the ground was. The next thing I knew was my mother saying You should probably move your car. 

I immediately went outside to do so. No one was the on the pitch black street. The place I had remembered parking my car was vacant. I could see it up the street in the neighbor’s yard. It seemed strange to me since my car traveled up the hill instead of down it.

I ran to my car as I could feel the darkness pressing into my skin. I felt heavy and I shook with fear. I fumbled with my keys, jamming them into the door. I got into my car and turned on my head lights.

The world changed around me exploding with light. I could see a fire truck up the way lighting up the sky. I slammed on the gas and turned my car around. I floored it away from the fire truck only to be met with a huge line of cars driving in the opposite direction head lights pulsing into my eyes.

And then I woke up. It was the strangest thing.

 

 

Me Too

Same as me, you have probably noticed the trend of Me Toos popping up on Facebook. I find myself saying should I post those simple two words? I question have I ever been sexually harassed or assaulted?

I find myself questioning the moments I felt that I had been harassed or assaulted by someone. Was it really harassment, was it an accident or did they mean to, was it my fault, did I do something wrong?

And then it hit me, that was the first problem. I wanted to excuse away the harassment and assault. Because I didn’t want to be one of those people who posted on Facebook and was attacked for expressing my discomforts, and honestly situations I wanted nothing more than to do was wash my skin in bleach.

Scrolling though Facebook this morning my fears that people wouldn’t take me, someone who hasn’t been seriously assaulted, seriously. And then I found the second problem. Someone had shared a photo of a Facebook post from a guy saying Me Too, before I read further I really thought it was going to be about how men also get harassed or assaulted, because people, it’s not gender specific. But it was a post that read on to say if you have ever felt lonely and horny then post Me Too.

That really got under my skin. Once again someone was making me feel small for being made uncomfortable. The funny thing is, that person has probably made a ton of women feel uncomfortable, and now he is going on Facebook and mocking them? And he probably doesn’t even realize that he is part of the problem. And then I came to number three, dismissal.

Over the past few days I have read a magnitude of posts from women sharing stories, many of which must have been terrifying to share on the internet. And then some person, because remember it happens to every gender, makes fun of those strong women for finally speaking out. And discouraging those women who want to step up and share their stories. Women who are hurting from past trauma, and others like me who feel like if we talk about it we will be judged for things that have been out of our control.

And then I came to my fourth and final realization. Share, connect, and build each other up. We have enough of hate and backlash on the internet that both women and men who have been harassed or assaulted should talk about the problem no matter how small or larger the event that happened.

In order to start the healing and building process I am going to tell you a few of my Me Toos.

I can remember going out dancing after two drinks with my girl friends, a typical place we all went in college. I was walking out side to get some air with my friends when I felt a hand grab my ass. It was quick and just a light squeeze but I felt it.  I turned around to look back to see who it was, a guy I had never seen in my life, very drunk. When I made eye contact with him he quickly averted his eyes and pretended like I wasn’t even holding the hand of my best friend in front of me walking out the back door. And that made me feel sick. I wanted to go back find the guy and give him a swift quick knee to the groin and ask him if that made him feel uncomfortable? Tell him my backside isn’t an open thing to grab as you please. No person should be grabbed on the derriere, or anywhere for that matter, unless they tell you without a doubt that it’s okay.

I can still remember clearly how uncomfortable I was made by a customer when I worked at Ginnie Springs. I was on register and it was late at night, towards closing. A man approached me to register for camping. Along with him, he brought a pair of fins. Ours fins had been priced at 69 dollars. The first thing out if the man, who was full on grey in his hair, asked me if I thought the number 69 was the best. What started to make me uncomfortable was his tone, the way he leaned on the counter, how he just presumed I would say ‘yes 69 is my favorite number’ as I licked lips and pored a water bottle over my too tight white shirt. No you f’ing creep this isn’t a porn. I brushed off the question and started my check in process. But he didn’t care. All he wanted to do was get me back to his tent. He asked me what I was doing later that night and told me not to reply with ‘I’m busy’. But I did. And he asked me with what. Not that it was any of his business but I told him, I was going home to sleep in my bed alone. He baggered me the whole way out of the store trying to get me back to his tent. And that was just one of the many men on a given day that acted that way. If a person says no, it means no. Go on YouTube and search for the video about tea and consent (choose the British voice over version) and watch the video. It’s really that damn simple.

These two instances happened in the last couple of months. I could keep going, really, call me, email me, we can talk.

Harassment and assulat is something we all deal with everyday. No matter how small or how large, you matter. Your feelings matter. And if you doubt it, remember to me it matters. You can think when you go to the dark corners of your mind, someone cares.

I hope this gets people talking, I hope other women feel strong enough to talk to each other, talk on here. I would love for everyone to post and talk with me. But in a positive way, hating and negativity won’t be tolerated at least not on my blog. Let’s share, connect, and build each other up as a strong united front of people who will not tolerate the beliddlemt of others. I challenge each and every person who reads this post to start small, if each of us helped one person in our community then eventually we would take care of the small issues on the homefront and fight the larger issues as a strong connected group.

Remember that each of you are loved and deserve to be respected.

Strangers On A Train

A few nights ago I met two strangers on a train ride home. We had all just come from the Dallas Stars preseason game and by some chance of fate we had gotten onto the same train car and sat across from each other. We had a lovely conversation about movies, mixed in with a few other topics, but mostly it was about our favorite movies/best moves for a genre. Something I love talking about.

The thing I have been thinking about since I departed from the train and left those two strangers onboard who had become train friends, is that isn’t it odd how we make friends?

As a young child, most of our friends come from school, church, parents friends, activities at local community centers, and such places. As children, we rarely question the fact that another child is a complete stranger to us until we say hi. But it’s okay to say hi in the space that was provided by our parents.

We carry this logic into our adulthood, the logic that if I am in the same space as someone else, a space that was provided by someone else, then it must be okay to become friends with this stranger. Work, college classes, local bar, neighborhood.

These spaces become okay as an adult to make friends. When we start a new job it doesn’t feel weird that the person across the office has come over and offered up their phone number. It isn’t strange when we go meet this completely strange person for drinks after works.

But if you met someone on the street, not knowing a thing about them, and went out for a drink with them, most people would be very skeptical if it was a safe thing to do.

I’m just wondering if others feel the same way. How do we make friends after school. How are we supposed to adult in spaces that our childhood self would scream stranger danger?

Life after college I am trying to figure out how adults make friends outside of spaces like work and their kid’s lives. Do adults make new friends outside of designated okay spaces? Am I destined to go about life with the idea of only meeting people in my small corner of the world?

 

Comfortability and Now

I have found that when I do not feel comfortable in a situation I do not act like me. I have found that my move right after college has made me feel like the same little girl who was afraid of being made fun of or ostracized for being herself.

It took me a while to become okay with myself. It wasn’t till late in my high school career that I finally started to let go. I think of the saying those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. 

I think about all of my family and friends back in Texas who don’t care if I am a little dorky. Those who I feel comfortable to laugh in front of, really laugh. The people who I want to share my ideas with. The ones that when I find a new movie, lipstick, or drink, I want to share it with.

Before I moved away I could never really understand why people stayed so close to home. Why they didn’t adventure out and move more than 10 miles away from where they grew up. But now I guess I can understand it.

Acceptance and actually feeling accepted is a wonderful thing. Right now I feel a lack of that. It’s not because the new friends and the family I haven’t been around very much isn’t welcoming. Its more that they don’t know me.

I’m not sure if I want to move back home or to another city. I’m not sure what kind of job I want next. I’m not sure if I try to living abroad again or stay states side.

I’m not really sure what I want. I’m not even sure if I want anyone to ever read this ramble that is coming out of my head right now.

But what I do know, is that I cannot stay where I am and be okay with where I am at. I need to keep going and keep trying. I need to keep trying to be myself.

Interanlly I need to accept that being myself, no matter the situation, is better than being what I think others want me to be.

That pesky color grey

I found my first grey hair while brushing my teeth in the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando. I’m 22. This cannot be happening. But it is.

I looked up just momentarily, bent over the sink, tooth brush in my mouth, little grey hair staring me in the face. Or me starting at my grey hair in the mirror reflecting back at me. I do not think this is a reflection of me internally. But I have noticed a few changes in myself in the past few months.

My body feels sorer after working out. I also used to be able to work out for longer. I also notice that I need more sleep. I can’t recover as fast from a hangover. And I can’t drink like I used to. Overall I feel more stressed than I have in the past.

Honestly, these could all be from other factors. But I’m throwing all the blame onto that one little grey hair, that less than two inches of grey.

My aunt and brother tried to calm me down. But they only made it worse by showing me their grey hairs and advice on dying my hair.

I have never dyed my hair. Like ever. My natural brown hair is all I have ever known. It’s all I ever want to know.

I can hear the little voice in my head telling me that one day my natural brown hair will in fact go grey. I know that one day I will have to start dying in to look young.

But for a little while longer, you know into my late thirties, I thought I wouldn’t have to worry about grey hairs spouting in my head.

Do you think Lowe’s can match my hair color to a hair dye if I take some in?