why didn’t you respond?

why didn’t you respond?

How many people do you talk to on a daily basis? Do you text them throughout the day? Maybe a phone call once a week or every other week? Or are you a Snapchat addict and send random clips to everyone and that’s it? Do you spend hours on Facebook commenting on your friends pictures, posts, and sending messages?

We live in a time where we have an abundance of platforms to connect with friends and family. Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, Snapchat, Kik, Instagram. There are tons of social media apps. It has changed the way we communicate and our expectations too.

What happened to AIM?!? Yahoo messanger!!! Remember when we had to press 7 four times if we wanted “S”?? Or when we would use our landline to call our best friend and have them meet us at the park to play? Does anyone remember riding or walking by your friend’s house to see if they were home? Those were the days.

There are so many avenues to talk to your friends and family it’s exhausting. I can’t keep up with any of these things anymore. Hell, I don’t even post much on Facebook. I share videos of cats and puppies and random things. I don’t use Twitter. I barely use my Instagram. And I use tumblr for more cat videos!

I only text one person on a daily basis and that’s my wifey. I text a few people throughout the week and send random memes to my best friend. I think I call my girlfriend every other week (when either of us remembers) and text her sporadically. These are simple check-ins. Quick little conversations about work, relationships, and maybe to make plans to meet up. Easy and effortless.

I’m an introvert. I find being social and having to talk to so many people tiresome and irritating. Small talk and tedious exchanges are fucking ridiculous. I have no problem talking to the few friends I have and hanging out, but not every day or all the time.

I received a random Snapchat message (like come on? Are you fucking kidding me, bro?) from someone asking why I never respond to their Snaps. I resisted the urge to become SUPER petty, and instead became irritated and ranted a good while. I had to legit explain my communication style and that I am not the type of person to talk to someone all day every day. I had a very looooooong conversation with this person and in the end they unfriended me on Facebook (yeah, that’ll show me!).

How is it that people can become so angry that you didn’t send them a Snapchat back or respond to their text immediately after you received it? Or that you don’t talk to them on a daily basis because you are friends?

I am open about the way I am. I don’t talk to many people. I like it that way. I can go days without texting a single person or talking with them on any platform. Hell, I can go days without talking to people face-to-face! I often times need to space to recharge my social batteries.

Don’t become frustrated or angry that I’m not talking to you. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be your friend or forgot about you. It’s how I am. I won’t apologize for it either. If you want to unfriend me or stop following me because it doesn’t match how you are, that’s your business. I don’t give a fuck.

do you even pray?

do you even pray?

I am going to talk about everyone’s favorite…religion.

Religion has always been the one topic I won’t talk about with anyone. Simply for the fact that not everyone has the same beliefs and I don’t want some Bible thumper to try and shove their faith down my throat.

Most people grow up in a religious family or household and some people find it later in life. Some people even change their belief system after a life experience or because of something else entirely. We all choose to believe in something.

My entire school experience was in a Lutheran system. Elementary, junior high, high school, and college. Year after year of the same messages. The same lessons. The same stories. It drove me crazy. I didn’t like the conservative views they held. I didn’t like the hypocrisy I saw in the daily lives of the believers. I hated to judgement cast upon those who weren’t Lutheran, even other Christian faiths were judged! It was absurd.

It came to a point where I was repeatedly arguing with my religion teachers and being preached at about Lutheran ideals. I stopped practicing and believing that faith system around my sophomore year of high school. I wasn’t going to associate myself with a group of people who were going to damn the whole of society and other cultures for not following their faith.

(Side Note: I LOATHE the missionary practices of going to other countries and converting people through helping them develop their community. It’s disgusting and irritating. It kills me to watch beautiful cultures and religious ways get stamped out by Christianity).

So what was I going to put my faith into? Where did my soul lead me?

Paganism.

A wide umbrella term that encompasses many different pathways. Over the years I’ve become quite eclectic in my spirituality. I pull from all faiths to form my own little thing. I believe that there isn’t a “right” religion. There is no wrong way to do religion.

We’re all right in our own way.
We believe what we want to.
What feels “right” to us.

I remember in my world religions class in college this one group did their project on Wicca. It made me laugh because half the things they said were wrong. I could tell they didn’t understand Wicca and received their information from crappy ass books written by others who had no idea what it is. I was not shy about telling them so and educated them. I was asked by another student if pagans even pray.

I explained that we do. We have prayers, chants, rituals, songs. The same things Christians do and other religions too. We all just do it differently. Every student was silent and looked baffled. Like I just showed them how a magic trick works.

It astounds me that with the information so close at hand no one decides to look for themselves. They scrape up any knowledge of other religious way from their elders, whether that be their pastor, priest, parent, teacher, etc. Even some of the textbooks about world religions are written by Christians (well the ones used throughout my schooling were) and had a biased view already.

I have had many conversations with my mom about the differences between many religions because of her flippant comments about Satanism and “devil worship”. It never ceases to irritate me and get me going on a rant about what Satanism really is since obviously no one actually knows.

Every religion comes with ceremonies, rituals, chants, songs, dances, clothes, etc. Things that represent the mythos of the religion. Even the place one practices is different from faith to faith. An elaborate church, a basement, a forest, your backyard. Wherever you are comfortable. Do whatever you feel in your soul to express your faith.

Personally, I love to dance, burn incense or light some candles, chant, meditate, draw sigils, and astral project. I will take moments to wonder at the moon and smile under the sun. I listen to the wind and feel the Earth under me.

My church is everywhere I am. My religion evolves to reflect my growth through life.

i have a storm inside me

i have a storm inside me

I’ve alluded to this in a few posts, but wanted to give it a little bit more attention because it is extremely important to remember.

Anxiety manifests physically. It’s different for everyone, but I would like to share what happens to my body. It can start so small. Just a minor headache that I might take something for. As the day (or week) goes by it gets bigger. Stronger. A small rain shower that turns to a violent thunderstorm and rages on for hours. The only difference is the storm ends. My anxiety doesn’t.

The first thing I notice is the constant headache. It’s this dull throb in my temples. As my anxiety gets worse the headache moves and gets stronger. The throbbing turns to a white noise in my ears and makes my eyes cross and blur. If it gets bad enough it will turn to a migraine and knock me off my feet. I’ve had to take a few sick days because I literally couldn’t open my eyes or move.

I experience a lot of stomach aches and nausea. If I get a particularly persistent thought or image in my head (more than likely my mind has decided to relive some past mistakes) it might make my tummy roil and it almost feels like I’m going to throw up. My stomach turns to a knotted mess and gets tighter and tighter the deeper I fall into my anxiety. This is almost always accompanied by nausea. Smells, tastes, whatever will make me nauseous. My sense of smell is weirdly heightened when I’m anxious.

The worst thing is the dry heaving. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve woken up and ran to the bathroom. How many times I’ve had to stay home from school or work because I was desperately clinging to the bowl heaving. I’ve also had to make quick escapes to bathrooms while in class and at work. The most difficult thing about it is that I don’t actually throw up. It’s just this constant, painful dry heaving that could last all day or several days. I would rather throw up and get it over with than dry heave for hours.

I have these “episodes”. I thought for a while that they were due to some illness I had or something was legit wrong with me and a doctor could figure out what. However, I am now almost certain it’s just my anxiety finding new ways to fuck with me. These episodes consist of dizziness, lightheadedness, and tremors in my hands. The tremors are mainly in my right arm, but I can feel them slightly in my left as well, just not as bad. When I’m having one of these bouts I literally cannot hold anything in my right hand. I can’t really do anything but lay down and wait it out.

I’ve had people tell me that I need to go to a doctor and get on medication to “fix” my mental illnesses. The thing is you can’t “fix” this. You can manage the symptoms, to a point. But there is no cure. There isn’t a magic pill or shot that can just make it all go away. Personally, I will find ways to cope with my physical symptoms rather than ingest some nasty synthetic material and risk all kinds of really fun side effects. I drug my body enough with the deliciously processed foods I devour every day.

I don’t have these episodes often and I have ways of coping. The other physical representations of my anxiety are easily managed too. Is it strange that I’m glad I don’t have some strange disease that can be cured? Maybe, but I am kind of relieved that all those tests I’ve done came back normal. It’s just me and my anxiety. And my depression. ANNNND the panic attacks. ANNNNNNNNNNND the food issues.

what is love

what is love

Baby don’t hurt me! don’t hurt me no more.

Okay….but in all seriousness….Love.

The thing of songs, movies, and books. People spend years looking for it and others find it everywhere they go. We give and receive love in its many forms. You can see it, hear it, and feel it. It can lift you up and it can also drop you on your ass.

Merriam-Webster has many basic definitions of love. After reading all the definitions it seems they divide love into three main types: familial, romantic, and platonic. Familial is defined as “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties”. Platonic is said to be more of an “affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests” which would describe your friendships and can even extend to things you claim to love like your car or favorite stuffed animal.

We all have love for our families, whether they be our biological family or our chosen family. We have those friends whom we love unconditionally and love us in return. We love our pets. Our cars, phones, clothes, food. We love places and times of day. We love movies, books, and TV shows too. There is so much in this world to love.

Romantic love is complex. According to Merriam-Webster it is “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another” and “affection and tenderness”. Obviously, we all know it’s a lot more than any dictionary can put into words. Love is more than an emotion. It’s a combination of all your senses. Your entire body and mind. In some cases your soul.

Love is an incredible feeling. It can lift you up so high and leave you soaring above the clouds. It will have you smiling for no reason other than you are completely happy with your significant other(s). Seeing them, hearing their voice, enjoying your time together. Whatever it may be.

Love can also drop you on your ass and leave you feeling as if you’ve been hit by a Mack truck going 90 mph. It can sweep in and break you down. Leave you in tears for a time. Crush your spirit. Break your heart. Make you crazy. And then it can come back and heal those sore wounds and mean your broken pieces.

People all over are constantly looking for love. Dating websites, Facebook, blind dates, etc. You have 12 year olds saying they love their boyfriend/girlfriend after 2 weeks of “dating”. You have those people who start saying they are in love with their significant other within a few days of dating. I see so many throwing around the word love aimlessly and maybe even too often. But, that’s just my observation.

We are bombarded with images of how “love” should be. Books, movies, celebrities, reality TV shows, etc. We receive advice from friends and family about how to date and navigate our relationships. We seek tips from blogs and magazines. We see unbelievable standards and “relationship goals” that don’t apply to everyone.

I used to believe in the mainstream idea that you can only be in love with your partner and no one else. I’ve begun to realize that this isn’t true, at least for me. I discovered something about myself I had no idea was possible. Something that I honestly didn’t really understand. I didn’t realize that I was already doing this for years until now.

I had a panic attack a few months ago that left me in a pool of anxiety. I was struggling to wrap my head around my feelings for multiple people. I knew that I loved them all whole-heartedly, but couldn’t make up my mind. But then I had a weird thought and wondered “why couldn’t I just date all of them?” My initial reaction was that I was just being selfish and ridiculous. That kind of thing doesn’t work….but I sat and thought about it more. And more. Until it dawned on me…

I am polyamorous. *mind explodes*

Seriously, I didn’t even put those dots together. I’ve been with my wifey for years and have dated other people during that time. I hold such love for her it just consumes me. I was head over heels for my ex as well, while still holding the same amount of love for my wifey. I had text my wifey immediately and she confirmed that yes we’re poly. I am still reeling from that discovery.

We have absolute trust in each other and our relationship. We talk about everything. We offer support, comfort, guidance, advice, and whatever we need to be to each other. We date other people, but that doesn’t lessen our love for each other. We encourage each other to get out there and go on a date or two.

I am still learning about this part of myself and how to navigate this newly discovered pathway. I will share any new mind blowing epiphanies in later posts as well. Life is a strange journey, but an enjoyable one. One I am thrilled to be sharing with my incredibly gorgeous and smart wifey.

Our connection grows stronger every day. I cannot wait to see how our dynamic evolves over time. I am so excited for our future and hope soon was can live our dream. I have never been excited for my future until my darling Puddin and our precious little Warrior.

they’re like blurry photos now

they’re like blurry photos now

This might be a little (or a lot) sad to read and may make you reach for your box of tissues. Fair warning for some hard hitting feels.

They say memories last forever, but I truly don’t believe that as many of mine are starting to turn blurry and fading out.

A few days ago I woke up extremely sad and heartbroken. It was a rough day at work and I found myself at point sitting in the back of a car crying. I dragged ass all day and was so relieved to get home. I ended up talking with one of my Anchors and sobbing a little bit more before I fell asleep.

It’s that time of year again. Family holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas. Growing up this was my favorite time because it meant all the decorations came out, family kept popping by the house, and finally those select days the entire family came over. Food, laughter, pictures, presents. It was magical. As a child and teen I loved it. I loved seeing my aunts and uncles.

After my grandma passed away in 2008, the vibe was completely different. It was tough that first Christmas without her. It felt like there was a void and it was swallowing everyone whole. It got a bit easier after that; not better, just easier. Then when my uncle passed away unexpectedly in 2013, it shook us to the core. I took my uncle’s death quite hard. Then the following year my grandpa passed away. It’s been a rough few years.

I’m still grieving in some respects. I half expect my uncle to come walking in the door and have a beer with my dad. I’ll watch clips of General Hospital and think of my grandpa. He loved that damn show. I bought a box of Mike & Ike’s once and bawled my eyes out. My grandma and I used to eat those all the time. To this day, I cannot eat them. I can go weeks

What bothers me more now is that I can hardly remember things about them. Their laugh, the sound of their voice, how they smelled, what their hugs felt like. I have bits and pieces. Jumbled about in my head. However, those memories are blurred around the edges. Fading away with each year. I have tons of pictures, thanks to my mom, and enjoy flipping through them now and again.

These things are slowly slipping away and I can’t seem to stop the process. I would rather trade those memories for remembering some fucked up thing I did in college. I would rather trade in sleepless nights of relieving mistakes I’ve made (courtesy of my anxiety monster) so I could replay days spent with my grandparents. That would be so much better. Too bad it doesn’t work like that. Would be nice, right?

Maybe that’s one of the reasons my mom takes so many pictures….

Maybe that’s why I take so many pictures and videos of my friends and family now….

Cherish each moment with your loved ones, my friends. Create memories that will last lifetimes. Savor each picture and video. Capture the important moments and the silly, candid ones too. Fill your memory cards with moments of your life and download and/or print them. Share those memories! Pass along the love, acceptance, and happiness.

Smile and remember each memory when you flip through your pictures like I do with mine.

it is not easy or selfish

it is not easy or selfish

Please read this WARNING! What I am about to talk about may be difficult for some of you and for others it may trigger a reaction. For those you would rather not risk triggering any type of emotional/physical reaction or flashbacks, please stop reading.

For those of you who wish to continue reading, please take a deep breath.

I had a conversation with someone recently that made me want to scream. They had made a few comments about this story in the news about a teenage girl taking her own life due to bullying at school. I’ve seen quite a few similar stories and have felt such heartache for those teens and their families. The person I was talking to said that those kids were “selfish” and “completely disregarded everyone else’s feelings”.

As someone who has gone down the rabbit hole, I felt very strongly against such comments. I did respond back with my own story and some personal things about my life and what lead me to that road. I am so thankful that I am still here today and that I have not come to that particular crossroad in many years. This guy still thinks suicide is selfish and that was the end of our conversation.

I want to say that it is NOT selfish or “taking the easy way out”. You have no clue what that person is thinking. You don’t understand their struggle. You don’t know what their day-to-day life is like and what lead to that decision. But something did and it was catastrophic enough to make them think dying was the only solution. That there are no other paths out of the pain, despair, anger, and crippling sadness that can over power your heart and mind is truly scary and heartbreaking.

There is no “easy” way out. Even before making that decision to end your life there are these intrusive thoughts that pop up. They are officially called “passive suicidal thoughts”, but I call them Creepers. They creep into your mind as you go about your routine. They stick in your head for days as you try to go about life even though you are slowly coming apart on the inside. These Creepers are things like, “Maybe if I just let go of the wheel it could all be over” or “Just walk in the middle of the street and maybe I’ll get hit and it’ll be over quickly”.

Creepers come and go not matter how good things are going. These little monsters we carry inside us will do or say anything to win and bring us down. We should always remind ourselves of the beauty and wonderful things this life has to offer. Even if they are simple and small like hearing your favorite song on the radio when you start your car or your best friend sending you a funny picture that reminded them of you. Those little things are so powerful and uplifting.

I’ve fallen a few times. I’ve faced my own crisis, but I’ve come out alive and kicking. I am thankful that one of my best friends saved me when she did. I was going down a road that was dark and broken and would have ended up that way myself. I still struggle with those Creepers, but I can only take one day at a time. One of my Anchors sends me pictures of cute puppies or kittens when I’m sad or spiraling and I have to say that is the best thing ever. It might not make those thoughts disappear but it makes me smile and I can go about the day knowing I have people who understand.

Finding ways to combat the Creepers is a huge deal. Maybe it’s simple breathing exorcises, looking at cat videos on YouTube, or watching the really funny auditions for American Idol. Something to make you smile or laugh for just a few minutes. It can also be reaching out to a close friend and just letting them know your thoughts. Whatever helps you overcome those thoughts for the day keep doing it.

You are beautiful. You are important. You are loved and accepted. Just as you are. Your strength through your struggle is admirable. You are not alone.

If you are contemplating suicide or know someone who needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255. Or you can check out this website for more resources to help yourself or others http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/.

you just haven’t decided yet

you just haven’t decided yet

I wish it was socially acceptable to just punch people in the face when they said dumb shit. It would make me feel better when I receive certain comments about my sexuality.

I’m bisexual. I’ve identified as such since 7th grade. I started telling my friends around my junior year in high school. I didn’t tell my family until last summer, but they’ve all known for years. They were just waiting for me to say something out loud. My friends and family are very supportive of me. My mom and I went to our first Pride this year too.

I have gone through a lot of ups and downs with my sexuality considering I was being raised in the Lutheran church. There was a lot of judgement and hate towards the LGBT community and I didn’t know what to do. In the end I left the church instead of being “straightened out”.

Over the years I’ve dated both men and women. I tend to date more men than women. Not because I like women any less than men, it’s just my preference. I typically date the same type of guy, but not when it comes to women.

Bisexuality is like a gradient scale. The Bi flag is pink, purple, and blue. Sometimes it’s even shown with the colors fading into each other. That’s how it is. Some individuals are more pink/purple, while others are more purple/blue. There are some that are just purple. It all comes down to the person. We all have our own experiences and that’s perfectly fine!

Yet, we still get dumbass comments from heteros and even from our fellow LGTB-ers. I recently had a conversation with this great woman who I found out is a lesbian. I made a comment and she asked if I was too and when I said I was bi she said the most frequently hated phrase.

“Oh, you just haven’t decided yet.”

I looked that woman in the face and told her, “I hate when people tell me that”. And then I walked away without another word.

No, I haven’t decided what I’m having for dinner.

Yes, I’ve decided what I’ll wear for my date.

YES! We’ve decided to get married!!

Those are choices to be made and some pretty important ones as well.

There is no choice to be made in bisexuality. I enjoy dating both men and women. I enjoy sex with men and women. Just not at the same time. No threesomes here! So what if I don’t date equally?! Again, let me point out, gradient scale…jeez!

I am not “on the fence”.

I am not still “deciding”.

I’m not being selfish.

I’m simply bisexual.

Sexual orientation is not a choice. We were born this way and we will forever be this way. What we can chose is to be open about it, who we open up to, and who we spend our lives with. Man, woman, whatever.

But the true ultimate choice is where the hell to go for dinner when you’re on a date with your best friend. Seriously, why can we never make a decision???