Monday, August 18, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Co-worker: "Does it make me gay that I like watching that Powerpuff Girls cartoon?"
Me: "Are you gay?"
Me: "Then no because the only thing that makes you gay is fucking being gay. Not a cartoon. Not a band. Not a style of dress. Not the way you might want to do your hair. Not something you saw on tv. Not a love for musicals. Not any other stereotypical thing you can think of. Not even a gay man giving you a high five and passing it on. Nothing will turn you gay."
This lead to a rather short debate followed by my co-worker stomping off calling me a "fucking poophead" because he's 26 and that's just the way an adult should behave.
Also, the whole thinking that if a masculine human likes something perceived as being girlie that makes them some degree of gay? Drives me insane but that's another rant for another day.
Just because I don't want children doesn't mean I hate children. I don't think you should ship yours off to Siberia. I won't stop hanging out with you if you have kids. I'm not judging you negatively for having children and I'd never go off on a rant to a parent about the benefits of not having children. So why so many people with kids feel a need to get defensive and tell me why my decision and feelings on the subject are all wrong just because they don't agree or understand, I will never fully comprehend. It's nothing personal against you or your kids so cool it.
I told one person at work that I dig My Little Pony. Anyone that knows me really shouldn't be too surprised by that honestly. So for my birthday (one month ago today) several of my co-workers got me various MLP toys. Which didn't suck because most of it was Rainbow Dash and of course, that's my favorite little pony. Brave, bold, loyal, tomboyish, goofy and kind hearted with a pet tortoise and badass rainbow mane? Heck yeah.
I love going to festivals but why must there be so many in July and August that I want to go to? Festivals are more fun when it's not 103 degrees or more and humid on top of it. It's a scientific fact. Well, not really. It's more like common sense that you'll have more fun at an outdoor event if you're not worried about dying or melting or heat stroke or walking around in a puddle of sweat. Damn you, Texas. (Love you anyway.)
I'm doing the Walk To End Alzheimer's again this year. If you feel so inclined and would like to support me in the walk with a donation, my page is here. Even $5 helps and the money goes toward Alzheimer's care, support and research.
I'm having a water balloon fight on Saturday in the park with some friends. We're going to play baseball first then have the water balloon fight. Another friend not involved with this said he felt like my life mantra must be, "growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional." I don't have this "life mantra" that he speaks of but if I ever did, that one seems pretty fitting. Or that was his passive aggressive way of calling me immature. I'm fine with it either way. ;)
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
On June 15th, long after I got home from celebrating my birthday and Father's Day with my family, I was laying in bed thinking about what time I needed to be up in the morning. My boyfriend walked in with his phone clutched in his hands and it was one of those moments you just knew something wasn't right. I asked what was wrong and he just handed me his phone and laid down next to me wrapping an arm around me. I read the words on the screen but I couldn't make sense of them. So I read them again. And then a third time. Then I read the names three more times because I was in shock. My friend and her ex had been found dead in what had been the home they shared together up until a few weeks ago when she had begun moving out.
I sat there staring at the words on the screen trying to make sense of it. It was Sunday night. She had been fine Friday. We were having a party on the 21st that she was coming to and was excited about. Instead, my Saturday started by going to her memorial service. That wasn't the way I was supposed to see her that day but that's how it worked out.
Her death made the local news. I went into work the morning after I found out and told my boss what happened so he would understand the mood I was in. He offered to let me go back home and have the morning off. I declined. I needed the distraction and needed to keep focused on something else. Anything else. My co-workers there that day found out from my boss and were supportive and respectful.
As the days passed and a few more details emerged, some of my co-workers and acquaintances decided to start speculating about what may have happened. The death was a murder-suicide so there are so many things left unanswered and unknown. I know people like to talk and speculate about things like this so I avoided news stories and tons of things posted on Facebook and Twitter. I asked my co-workers not to talk about it in front of me.
I learned a new lesson about death. One of the worst things about a friend's death getting media coverage is so many people want to talk to you about it. They'll give you space at first but then they'll get curious and they'll want to talk to you. Because you knew them and maybe you know something that's not mentioned. They'll offer their opinion on what they think happened, an opinion that's based on nothing. Or worse they'll try to pry details out of you like you're just a vault of secrets. Most don't even care that you're hurting, that you're grieving. Their own curiosity is more important than how you're feeling. Some will even get annoyed when you refuse to discuss it. How dare you put your pain ahead of their curiosity! The story was on the news and in the paper so how could I not want to discuss every tantalizing detail?
To them, it's a news story and they're emotionally detached from it. It's something to solve and try to figure out. It's interesting despite the circumstances being unpleasant. So they ask questions and offer scenarios and opinions and want to discuss the whole ordeal with you because you have a better grasp of things and more knowledge of what's going on. It's not because they care, it's just human nature to be curious. Discussing the details and listening to speculation is really the last thing I want to do. To me, I'm sad. I'm angry. I'm confused. I feel lost. I'm aching to understand, to make some form of sense of why this happened not because I'm curious but because if I could just understand, I could cope better. I'll never know more than I know now. I'll never know how things played out and I'll never know why this happened. It's crushing in a way that sudden deaths usually are. I don't find the mystery of all the unknowns interesting; I find them heartbreaking and feel them like heavy rocks weighing me down.
I've had countless people attempt to pry for more details after I've said I don't want to discuss what was on the news. I've had many more offer opinions that I didn't ask for despite me saying I didn't want to discuss it. I've had people try to tell me how I'm supposed to feel and think about my friend because they saw the story.
I understand curiosity, I really do. I'm a very curious person myself. However, I also understand being a decent, respectful human being and understand putting a person's feelings ahead of my own. I've been on the other side of a situation similar to this. Prying and offering speculation to a person directly affected never even crossed my mind. Support was all that I offered because I wanted to help, not do something to make things worse or make them feel worse than they already did. Explaining that concept to people has been exhausting. And it's mostly co-workers, acquaintances and friends of friends. It baffles me that someone would be annoyed or angered by a grieving person not wanting to discuss or speculate about the death of someone they cared about. It's confusing and enraging that a few have even acted like I owe it to them to discuss it.
Unexpected death is hard enough to deal with without having to deal with people you know and others you hardly know pushing you for details and/or offering their opinions on the situation because they saw this here and read that there and that lead them to this conclusion because. I appreciate everyone that's offered their support and respected my wishes to not discuss things. I appreciate that so much more now than I did a week ago because so many people just don't understand or don't care enough not to pry and push.
It's not hard to be decent and respectful. It's not hard to think of how someone else is feeling in a situation where they've lost someone they cared for unexpectedly. Especially when they're telling you how they're feeling and telling you that you're overstepping. It's not difficult to be kind and put their pain ahead of your own desire to feed your curiosity, your desire to know. At least it shouldn't be.
Monday, June 9, 2014
Today marks the third year since my grandfather passed away. I didn't think I'd cry today because the days leading up to it, I was fine, unlike the previous two years. I thought that meant I must finally be okay with it. I know I'll always miss him but I thought maybe I was finally to a point where I wouldn't cry over it anymore. I woke up this morning and I heard thunder and pouring rain. That seemed fitting and comforting because the sound of a storm always comforts me. I laid in bed and thought of thunderstorms that happened while at my grandparents house and how sometimes, they'd let us go out and play in the rain if it wasn't a dangerous storm. I smiled and got up to start my day. I felt the familiar dull ache I always feel in my chest when I think of him being gone but still, I didn't think I'd cry.
I hate to cry and I rarely do it. It's not that it makes me feel weak or silly or anything like that and I don't actively try to prevent it from happening. It just takes a lot to bring me to tears. I used to feel bad about that because I felt like something was wrong with me. I've moved passed that. If it happens, I let it happen. I just dislike feeling that vulnerable, that open, even if I'm by myself. I also never feel better after I cry. I know so many people that talk about how cathartic crying is but I don't feel that. I always feel worse and I'm not sure why.
So today when I heard a song that's about a man singing about his pain and grief over losing the man he loved and respected and trying to cope with that, I didn't try to stop the tears that spilled from my eyes and streamed down my face. I was happy I was in line at the bank drive-thru at the time and not back at the shop because crying in front of people is awkward. I didn't try to stop myself from crying again when I was putting my groceries in my car after work and I happened to look up and oddly see an older gentleman who looked a lot like my grandfather. As much as I hate crying and even though it doesn't really ever make me feel better, holding it in is much worse.
I think too many people get caught up in trying to move on and file away their sad feelings into a place where they can't bother them anymore. Maybe that works for them. That's all you can do, be honest with yourself and find what works for you and do it. Myself, I can't always focus on the good things and sometimes, I need to be sad about something. It's okay to get sad once in a while over losing someone you love, no matter how many years have passed. You can't let that grief and sadness consume you because it will act like a wildfire in dry brush, it was spread quickly and overwhelm you. It will swallow you whole and won't think twice about it. There's a balance and sometimes it's a very delicate line.
People always say that time will heal all wounds. That time passing is all that really helps you move on from losing someone you love. In part, that's true. It doesn't happen over night. It never happens as quickly as we like it to. It took me a year before I could change the phone contacts in my cell phone from "grandma and grandpa" to just "grandma." It took me even long to stop referring to it as "grandma and grandpa's" house when I'd say that's where I was going. He died June 9th (which unfortunately also happens to be one of my brother's birthdays) and Father's Day in 2011 happened 10 days later. That year, seeing all the "grandfather" cards out for Father's Day felt like a harsh kick to the gut and I ended up leaving Target a sobbing mess because it hurt to much to think about him being gone. A year later, it was a weird realization that I wouldn't need a Father's Day card for him because holy damn it had been a whole year already. I read some anyway and remember getting sad because I'd never need another card for him again. I'd never get another hug after he read whatever sweet but cheesy thing that card said. Sometimes, it's weird things that set you off. Time does make it easier because those things that felt gut wrenching the first few months on up to the first year didn't sting as sharply. You don't cry as easily. You still miss them but the mass that's made up of all the pain and grief is smaller, duller, not as bright, not as sharp.
It's good to focus on the happy things and the good memories you have of someone and I'm lucky to have a lot of good memories and things to laugh and smile about. Sharing stories and memories helps. It brings you closer to the other people who loved the one you loved. You bond in a way that you don't bond with anyone else because you're sharing thoughts and feelings that they truly understand. It's good to remember the positives but it doesn't fully take away the pain of losing them, doesn't help the ache you feel inside when you miss them and doesn't fix the piece of you that feels like it's gone now. I've come to realize that just because the wound of losing a loved one is healed doesn't mean it never hurts you anymore. You just get better at living with it.
“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” -Lemony Snicket
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
In just two weeks, I raised a total of $720 to go shopping with. This of course included my own donation and a very awesome $100 gift card to buy toys off Amazon from a very wonderful lady overseas. I was a bit overwhelmed because given the lack of notice, I didn't expect much but you wonderful people as well as a couple coworkers and some of my amazing friends and family members came through spectacularly, as always.
If you want to see final results of the fundraiser from years passed, you can check all of those out here:
The final results from 2009: Here
The final results from 2010: Here
The final results from 2011: Here
The final results from 2012: Here
Now, on to some pictures from 2013. As I said, I didn't have a computer to use in December and haven't had one until this month when my boyfriend finally got ours fixed and running again. So I do apologize for the delay in getting this post done. Although I did e-mail pictures to those who request I do so as well as posted a few to Twitter and to my blog's facebook page so there aren't many people that donated that haven't seen the pictures yet but still, posting this is necessary. Right? Right.
If you want to see the full album (22 pictures) then just click here to take a look at the Toys for Tots 2013 Flickr page to view the rest of them.
I want to say thank you to those of you who donated. Whether it was $2, $10, $25, $50 or more; it doesn't matter. I appreciate it and I know the families that benefit from Toys for Tots doing what they do appreciate it, too. I have so much fun being able to do this. I've donated to Toys for Tots since I was a little kid and my mom let us each buy a couple toys of our choosing to give to them and kept doing so for as long as I can remember. So blame her for getting me started into this one. ;) Doing it on such a large scale the last few years has been so awesome. I couldn't do it without all of your help so thank you. I also want to say thank you to everyone who posted on their blogs, tweeted links and otherwise