Sunday, January 22, 2017

In the middle of things

Today I experienced something I didn’t know: a community at worship. It was cool because I wasn’t the only one late for worship. I wasn’t the only one coughing up a fit, too. Allergies, the struggle is real.

I began this year with a big adventure to NYC to find employment and start a new life. I realized that it wasn’t for me, yet. One afternoon, while suffering with my spotty GPS, I walked around a block and felt a different sense of peace while passing a grocery store, a church, and a town house all within walking distance. It wasn’t till after much meditation about my trip that I understood what I needed to learn from my trip. I needed to learn to let God.

For all the plans I can make, and all the plans I can execute, nothing is truly in my control. I left NYC on the 7th of January with the plans of beginning work paperwork on the 9th. That wasn’t God’s plan. I arrived to my destination by the 10th and shortly after had to take care of a sprained ankle and allergies that turned into a severe sinus congestion.

I had to wait. I’m definitely not one who can wait peacefully, too. But, two weeks of waiting has led me to the understanding I have now. I know, though stubborn and slow, that my path back to Texas was for a larger reason. It’s not for the end-goal of a life of living near the perfect grocery store, church, or town house. It’s for the purpose of helping those in need through a larger framework that starts with local communities.

Life is full of moving parts and now I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of things. The future starts in 12 hours. New job orientation, new worshiping community, new yarn adventures… tomorrow is going to be a big day. But waiting for tomorrow is a bigger task. We build our world through the quiet moments even if we feel stuck in the middle of things.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Feelings about the presidential election of 2016

Some could say this post is late. But it's not. I've had a lot of time to grieve and to grow since the election. I'm not going to go into detail about the candidate I voted for. I will say, that I voted for the party that would secure and benefit the most of my personal interests.

Keeping that in mind, these strong feelings began the evening of November 8. I worked in a polling place that saw a stream of people consistently since 6:45am till about 7:30pm. Though in Texas polls do open up at 7am, the line had started at 6:30am with the first brave voter who ventured through the rain. It was only till after 10pm that I was able to turn in, sit down, and maybe eat my first formal meal of the day.

I skimmed through news articles for a few minutes before the exhaustion took over. All the issues I had experienced throughout the day replayed backwards like a scratched VHS tape.

It's no secret that the Republican party took the election. Took, not won, not fairly elected because both the Democratic party and the Republican party played dirty for the past FOUR YEARS. Politicians have made a sport of public policy and we cheered them on.

I woke up November 9 with disdain for people, my people--my friends and incredibly, almost rudely OPEN supporters of the winning party. It was like a personal attack, the results had wronged me. My friends had aided in this.

We have to be gayer than ever--I proclaimed at the kitchen table. I guess we could say that I live in a closet. But I sometimes regret not attending PRIDE events sooner. I have always been secure in my sexuality, but I never proclaimed it. I quietly attended every lgbt event I could, but I had never openly discussed my role in the lbgt community. It’s time to wave our rainbow flags--I added that day. It was a deciding day for the rest of my life.

The next day I observed reverse racism while riding the bus. “See that girl over there,” one of the young Latinos on the bus laughed in regards to a light skinned person, “she thinks she can look at us like that because Trump won.”

I continued to mull over this life event. Then, I found a snide joke on a forum about which actor would make the better president. It stated that Ronald Reagan was great in some movie...thus he could have been an OKAY president. However, Donald Trump played Donald Trump convincingly well in several reality tv shows and a feature film. Thus he’s going to be a better president.

That joke helped me heal and move on.

The sheer fact that the country is going to be run by at reality tv star really puts it into perspective: it’s a joke. It’s a joke, I’m moving on. Just because he’s going to be the President of the United States of America doesn’t mean that I need to take him seriously. In fact that means that I have to be super critical and disapproving and careful that he takes the job seriously.

And then there’s just being trusting. John Nieder says a lot of stuff on his radio show..but he had a point today. All of us distrusting and watchful citizens just need to take into consideration that either “God allowed or caused” Trump to become president. That’s hard for me to believe, but then again I have my own faults and troubles with my faith. Overall, the inauguration is happening. If I wake up January 20th with a big “surprise, Trump’s not the president,” newscast--that will be alright. But if I wake up with a “this is what we, the citizens of the United States of America have to do to protect our rights, will you join us?,” newscast--that will be alright too. Both? I could handle that. I can handle anything because I have FAITH and I have PRIDE.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Letters, 11012010

For some odd reason, I decided to send my sister a letter. I’ve always thought letter writing was a lost art form, maybe I’ll start writing letters again. The importance of this letter, though is that I wrote it a month in after having started the On Impression Network. I edited two publications and gave support to three other publications at the time.

In the letter, I write to my sister, “I know this writing thing isn’t paying off right now.” And it hadn’t, hasn’t, I actually don’t refer to myself as a writer as much anymore. Because to be a writer, one needs to go around calling themselves a writer. To be a writer, one must be in publications. To be a writer, one must write periodically. To be a writer, one must have a writing mentor who edits them and guides them toward being more of a writer.

My mentor and I parted ways early last winter. I don’t always check in on the people I mentored when I was a publisher. I struggle a lot to sit down at a desk. There’s always something I need to do, want to focus on. My drive and ambition as a writer lies dormant except for when I update my blog.

But now I’m thinking. What would make writing pay off right now? I’ve only been writing to almost 20 years now, at what point do I let myself pursue it freely? Things to think about.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A long way from home

I started blogging the summer before my senior year in college. I can admit it, at first I only blogged about my people watching experiences in one of the cafeterias. People fascinated me in a different way then. There were always my "friends" and then there was the unexplored population of people I encountered, watched, listened, and eventually sewed into stories.

Friends are what made my college days the wild, havoc filled days they were. Oh, and vats of caffeine and alcohol. Okay, maybe the occasional pizza fest. There was never a time my freezer did not hold pizza. It was college, that was life. During my second year I lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with two other roommates. One had furnished most of the place with artist decor including infamous Andy Warhol pop. The other was my roomie, aka we suffered late nights inside the same room for a good 2.5 years.

And we built a home. I had an inkling for cooking then and collected my first kitchenware including a black set of measuring cups, bright green emerald mixing bowls, and an assortment of plates and bowls. Yet, college only lasts four years. At the end I passed on my first kitchen to another friend, one who I always believed was amazing. If anything, he's one of my heroes! Even if, I was his editor for 2 years in our school literary magazine.

Seven years later, I find myself away from home in my hero's kitchen. An assortment of pots and pans lay around. Cutting boards through the roof. Some darning little black measuring cups and bright green emerald mixing bowls. Though I hadn't seen my hero, my friend, in the last seven years. I hadn't realized how the friendship we had in college still lived. Quietly, preparing nurturing meals for himself, his loved ones.

For me this time around. I may be a little bit far from home, but I've found myself in my first kitchen. Home is where the memories lie.

Friday, January 6, 2017

I'm on the titanic

Back to the Titanic metaphor, but this time with people (not a race against time to bake a cake). Everyone has their own scars to wade through. Some have less, some have more. Some have figured out how to heal them without picking at them so much. But we all have baggage. We all have levels of anxiety, sadness, and loneliness.

And we're all on the Titanic together. That's the most important thing, that even though we don't express it all the time, most of us have each other. It's what we're here for. To latch on like chains on molecules and experience life.

I wish I could do more. As a quiet activist the majority of what I do is listen. I listen to the words of my peers. I sit with them and read their body language. We interact with each other, and it's from these experiences that I can understand how to do more. If there is a need, I will find a resource for it.

But there's only so many rescue boats. A life vest in this example is time. And there is hardly any time, the Titanic is sinking. Fast. Life happens so fast. The people we choose to fit in our rescue boats, are the most wonderful people we could ever have in our lives. And I really hope that I can continue to fill my rescue boat with these amazing and incredible people.