Mom hugs.

My Mom said she’ll do it! She’s going to the Pride Parade with me next month and giving away Mom hugs to anyone who needs them!

A little love goes a long way. I am looking forward to giving it away with a mother who truly knows the definition of unconditional love.

Much love to you all!

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The dream work.

Around this time last year, I interviewed for my current position at work – Intensive Care Unit/Emergency & Critical Care Supervisor. I wanted something new, I missed being a leader, I needed go to a department where I could experience growth. Siobhain knew I was unhappy in my previous position and gave me the idea to apply. I would otherwise not have considered trying to lead a department I never even worked in. Sarah pushed me when I told her about my intentions. Add the encouragement from Cristina, Nicole, Jennee, and Spencer… I went for it.

It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I got the job. In just a little over two years at the company, I received a promotion. That’s pretty damn awesome. When it was announced, I received so many congratulatory messages, not only from friends, but from everyone at work. The employees in my new department were excited that I was joining them. The department doctors joked and bragged about “stealing” me. The doctors I left behind told me they knew I “would get it”. The medical director told me he was excited for our hospital.

Ugh. So awesome.

Here I am now, and guys – I really love my team.

The doctors are so damn dedicated, down-to-earth, compassionate, and intelligent. They are also freaking hilarious, fun, and generous. I actually enjoy hanging out with them outside of work – we have the best times! The team is hard working, they own up to mistakes, they communicate with me well, they get the job done when shit hits the fan [which happens often in Emergency!], and they know how to let loose and relax when appropriate. I cry at least once a day from laughing so much! Just today we were teasing our doctor over her high school nickname, then we were trash talking about each other’s ridiculous weight loss methods, then we started planning more fun get-togethers heading into the end of the year. We even built a cardboard castle for one of our patients!

The occasional fourteen-hour days are doable because we all stick together. Nobody jumps ship and bails. The teamwork is unlike any I have ever witnessed in my career! It makes me feel proud and full of admiration.

So yes, our job is often stressful. Yes, we can all get frustrated. Yes, I have taken on additional stress because of my responsibilities as a supervisor. Yes, work is work. But I get through it because of my awesome team.

ICU/ECC FTW.

Memories.

Why do I check my stupid memories on Facebook? Why?

Well, because the majority are actually good. Really good. Happy. And sweet.

Today, though, there was a not-so-pleasant one from nine years ago…

If the power had not gone out, I would not have been bored on my porch with only my phone to entertain me. I would not have updated my Facebook status. He would not have commented on it. That conversation would not have occurred. I never would have developed a crush on him. Who knows what course my life would have taken?

Nine years ago yesterday, he was completely insignificant to me. What a good day.

LOOK AT ME NOW!

I saw Jacob last night, asked him if he was turning 40 this year and if we were gonna celebrate. He told me he’s turning 41. The big 4-0 was last year.

Oops.

“Sorry,” I said. “I missed it because I was going through my stupid depression.”

“Yeah, way to go and ruin things!”

We laughed.

I loved that he knew [without me saying anything] that I am at such a good point now, jokes about my depression are okay. They’re good. Laughter makes such wonderful medicine and Jacob is one of those people who always delivers! He cracks me up. I wish he had a blog for all the ridiculous stories and jokes he has to tell. It would be epic!

Anyway… Yes, I am laughing. I am laughing at you, depression, because I beat you, I conquered. You were nothing against me and my army. We are all laughing. They helped me get through your shit and now, we see the difference these last six months have made. It’s astounding.

I didn’t give up on myself. I never will. I knew deep inside that I’d get here.

I am so grateful.

Seasonal awareness.

My seasonal depression is taunting already, even though we still have nearly two months of summer ahead of us.

I am throwing a baby shower for Julie tomorrow, and stopped by Michael’s [the store, not my former flame] to add some final touches to the decor and favors. I hadn’t been since late spring, when I had the urge to liven up my place by decorating it with artificial flowers, and also decided to give Mom a homemade gift for Mother’s Day. I made several pairs of earrings for her – she loved them!

Upon my return this evening, I was greeted with all things fall. Browns and oranges everywhere, such hideous colors! Brown is only beautiful when it’s a skin tone, okuuuuurrr? Pumpkins galore, leaves instead of florals, HAY [really? wtf], Halloween decor. It’s all so dark and dreary and makes me sad.

After grabbing the few things I needed, I peaced out and headed to my next destination… Target.

More sadness.

The swimsuits are all on sale. Find them in the unorganized, lowly clutter of the sale section. Their previous locale, prime retail real estate, is now inhabited by cardigans, sweaters, jackets, and such. Some of the palettes are lively and bright, I’ll admit, but still. I can’t.

I’m not ready for it.

Thankfully, I live in Texas and although everything around me will be screaming FALL! – it will likely still feel like summer well through October. I must remember that. I can’t let my mind spiral out of control, not that soon, or ideally, not at all.

I need a cold beverage.

Caught in a blackout.

I was in my comfort zone
I was singing selfish songs
I’ve been taking for granted everyone understood how easy trouble comes
But it’s not enough anymore
We can’t just turn around and close the door on the world
It’s asking uneasy questions
We should be asking ourselves uneasy questions

Frank Turner released a new album, Be More Kind, a couple months ago. Of course, I anticipated its release with much excitement – not only is he my favorite musician, but the album was recorded here in DFW and I had already listened to him play some of it during an acoustic show last summer. After listening to the album in its entirety a few times, it became clear that my favorite song on its track list is Blackout. The lyrics above are from that track’s third and final verse.

When I recently went through my depressive season, I often referred to that phase as “the darkness”. In Blackout, Frank sings and admits to being afraid of a darkness, which I am certain is metaphorical for him as well. But the song is an optimistic one, one in which he offers to help others find the light, yet reminds them to bring a candle as well. Help one another because we can’t do it alone. Ask for help, but remember to put some of your own effort in also. I didn’t get through the blackout on my own, and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do so either. It can be done, however! Just look at me.

As for that third verse – man! The album as a whole is very much Frank’s commentary on the sociopolitical state we live in, particularly following the election of Donald Trump. There is even a track entitled Make America Great Again… “By making racists ashamed again – let’s make compassion in fashion again”. In previous albums, he writes about his dreams, relationships, his friends, his travels, how much music means to him, mental health, and so forth. “Selfish songs” as he calls them. He was in his comfort zone.

I was, too.

It’s time to get out, though, and get uneasy. He knows it, I know it, do you?

Y’all – being an activist is not always easy work. It can be exhausting and draining. It has become quite time consuming [things did not work out with either of the men I have dated this year because of time and timing, actually] and all other plans revolve around it. But I can’t stop. There is too much at stake.

As uncomfortable as it may be, WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.

We can’t sit around and hope for the best. We can’t expect others to do the work for us. We have to be the change. No more being selfish. If we can afford the time to go all grassroots, then we owe it to this world to do the damn thing!

Awesome and enthusiastic volunteers!

I did the damn thing last weekend.

I led my first canvassing event! Twelve wonderful volunteers showed up to join me in the neighborhood I grew up in, at the park at the end of my parents’ street, across from the high school I graduated from. The place that will always be home to me.

After starting off with a brief training session and pep talk, we all separated to spread out through the neighborhood. We went from block to block, knocking on doors to speak to neighbors about Beto O’Rourke. We explained why we canvassed for him, had some people commit to vote, and even signed folks up to volunteer in the future!

After a couple hours, most of us met up back at the park and discussed our experiences. It went so well! The majority were first-time volunteers, and the experience was such a positive one, that they want to do it again! They even asked me to host another event! So bad ass.

Yes, it was hot. Yes, we could’ve been sleeping in or relaxing or partaking in summer fun. Yes, there is still a lot of time left until Election Day.

None of that matters. Think about all that has happened since Trump was elected. Think about how it affects you, your loved ones, and the disenfranchised. Get angry, and know that you can do something about it. You are powerful. We are powerful. There is power in numbers.

So, I implore you: Please join me and others. It’s a crucial time we are living in.

Bring a burning candle with you.


I leave you with the fantastic music video for Blackout. Enjoy.

Breakup

Today marks two years since I broke up with Dustin.

I did not remember the exact date, I just remember that it was the same night that my friend Betty and I went to a memorial service at City Hall. Thanks to Facebook Memories, I now know that 7/11 is, in fact, the exact date.

I feel sadness.

I am not sad because I wish we were still together. I’m thankful we are no longer together, and proud that I made that decision. I am much better off without him, without the games he played, without his negativity. I don’t miss him, I don’t love him anymore, I don’t care about him.

But I am sad.

Sad that someone I loved so immensely, someone I trusted, someone I thought valued me, could betray me and lie to me as he did. I never stopped caring for him, even after the breakup, when we remained friends. I still worried for him, I worried that I caused him pain. I still wanted to have a positive role in his life. I continued to tell him that I loved him, because I did and because I feared that he didn’t hear those words from anyone else.

I’m sad that he didn’t cherish that. I’m sad that he stopped caring for me. How could someone I gave so much to be so cold towards me? He was harsh. It stung, it was excruciating.

I should celebrate today, however. July 11th, 2016 marked the beginning of me moving on, even though it took a year and a half for me to really get the wheels turning. It took me seeing him for who he truly is. It took me toughening up and facing what I feared. It took reaching January 2018.

Here I am now.

Here I continue.

Have me a blast.

Things I love about summer:

  • sunshine
  • my brown(er) skin
  • Father’s Day
  • Mom’s birthday
  • my birthday
  • swimming
  • going bra-less
  • baseball

I can’t believe it’s July already! We are halfway through 2018! Does anyone make midyear resolutions? Or, how is everyone doing with their New Year resolutions?

You know how people say things like, “2018 is going to be great!” or, “2018 will be my year!”…

Did those predictions come true? Did they make those wishes happen? Are they having an above par journey around the sun? Is the year truly treating them well?

Things were mighty bleak for me at the end of 2017. My resolution was simple: kick my mental illness’s ass. I had low expectations for this year. All I could ask for was to stop feeling so doomed and helpless. Funny. Now I’m having the most wonderful year, I feel unconquerable and relentless, with plenty left to look forward to and enjoy still. I was not one of those who said 2018 would be great, I didn’t foresee it being my best year… Yet here I am.

Goals for the second half of the year:

  • be the best leader and liaison I can be
  • be a helping hand and supportive friend for all the new moms in my family and circle of friends
  • continue to learn more about jewelry making
  • read, read, read
  • write, write, write
  • run, run, run
  • save more shmoney
  • prepare for the end of this season, do not fear the winter

I am ready. HBIC mode.

Happy Half Year everyone! I am going to head to the pool in celebration of National Bikini Day. Stay sexy.

It’s July. I’m thinking of November.

I have to keep reminding myself not to abandon this blog. Ever notice how many people just stop blogging? They haven’t posted in a year or so? It makes me sad. I can’t quite explain why, but it does. Maybe it’s because I can’t keep up with them as well as I did when they wrote more frequently, maybe an undesirable reader or readers found their blog, or maybe I fear that they lost something – the creativity, the inspiration, the time to write.

None of those things have happened to me. I will carry on.

My ex knows of this blog and sometimes gave me a hard time about some of the content he read on here. That didn’t stop me from continuing. If he is reading this now, I would tell him to stop. I have no intention of ever writing of his awful behavior here. It is simply not worth the time nor effort.

Some of my friends know of this blog too. I do not know if they ever read it, though, since most of what I write I tell them about anyway, you know? It may be redundant for them to read about it too. Unless they are bored or something.

Anyhow…

A couple posts ago, I mentioned how the girl I was ten years ago would be proud of the person I am now. I thought about this over the weekend.

I was at a march and rally to end the separation of families via detention or deportation, and I was dressed as a handmaid – as in The Handmaid’s Tale. You would have thought that I was Elisabeth Moss herself. People were lining up to take photos of me and with me. Parents were telling their kids, “Stand next to her, I am going to take your picture with her!” It was bizarre, but I truly loved every second of it. I enjoyed it, it was fun.

I turned to my friend Sarah who was with me, after having my photo taken at least twenty times in a matter of minutes, and said to her, “Well. It’s a good thing I’m an extrovert!”

Here’s the thing, though: I was never an extrovert growing up, nor in early adulthood. I got anxious about meeting new people and trying to figure out what to say to them. I kept to myself, I silently formed thoughts, quietly judged people and situations, and then wrote about it. Writing was the easiest way for a shy gal like myself to express it all.

There is no way in hell I would have dressed up for a rally back then! I would not have wanted to stand out in any way, and all the photo requests would have intimidated me. I likely would have had the most awkward, nervous, forced smile in all photos. I certainly would not have been very chatty.

Now? Oh, man. I ate it up. I hugged people, I thanked them, I talked to them about the reason we were all there and how important it is for us to remain active and to stay woke, I posed and posed and posed. I smiled and smiled and smiled. It all felt so natural to me, as though I was doing what I was meant to be doing. I was exactly where I needed to be. It felt right.

Do you ever get that feeling? Do you ever have those moments of revelation?

And what am I getting at with all this?

I don’t know.

I suppose I am realizing how much I love inspiring others, I love making others smile, I love being a voice and a leader. I myself am inspired now and all I want is to keep going, keep doing this.

The good news is that in less than two weeks, I will be hosting and leading my own canvassing event. Volunteers will sign up via Beto O’Rourke’s website to block walk with me. I checked today and there are already six people signed up! I will have to train them to canvass and lead the way as we knock on doors to tell people about Beto and ask them to vote for him in November. I then have to take all the data we collect and send it back to the campaign for them to continue on in preparation for Election Day. I am excited to do this, I have never felt this enthused by a candidate, and truly feel that ALL of America needs this man in the Senate.

How patriotic of me, huh?

It is good to be an extrovert.

I wish you all a safe and happy Fourth of July! Keep your critters safe this holiday week. I will update again soon! 🙂

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Photo of me dressed as a handmaid. I found this on Facebook.