life update.

oh heyyyyy, y’all.

long time, no see.  i think we’ve done this enough times that i don’t need to go into specifics and details of why i’ve been m.i.a. – but just in case…

life, babes.  so much life.

i’m two weeks away from finishing up my paralegal certification course, and this semester has been heavy with homework (since i’m taking the class online).  the girls and i went on a cruise to costa maya and cozumel in early february.  we celebrated corinne’s birthday immediately upon our return, and then segued into rodeo season (i saw goo goo dolls, cam, brad paisley, and brothers osborne).  we attended the first botanical music festival at six flags.  SO MANY CONCERTS in the past few months.  like, i’m legit living my best musical life right now.  we also celebrated case’s birthday – she’s in her last year of her 20s!

let’s see…what else?

oh!  there’s a new (to you) guy – collin.  he’s the sweetest.  i won’t gush too much, we all know that’s not my style, but i’ve been into him for a long, long time, and it’s a little crazy and totally serendipitous that we have finally found each other at this point in our lives.  so, there’s that.

and i’m so happy.  incandescently happy.

we have been so busy the last couple of months, that i keep thinking i need to slow down and relax, but then more and more things come up.  for example, this weekend corinne’s best friend (who used to be casee’s best friend in hs, so has pretty much been family for the last 15 years or so) is getting married and we’re celebrating granny’s 79th birthday.  fiesta is on the horizon, so i’ll definitely be hitting up taste of nola, and maybe one or two other events.  later this month i’m heading up to dallas to reunite with some of the girls from rochester (which i’m really excited about, because i’ll be missing our reunion this year).  but honestly, i’m really looking forward to getting away somewhere quiet sometime soon with collin.  i think we both need it.

i’ll be back soon with more content, y’all.  pinky promise 😉

#MondayMotivation

healing is a process.  one that we sometimes don’t realize we’re in until it’s been completed.  as with all good things, it takes time.

my last relationship was a learning experience.  i learned the kind of person i didn’t want to be, and i learned the kind of person i didn’t want to put my faith into, and didn’t want or need to be a partner (i use that term loosely).

of course, i couldn’t do that if i kept looking over my shoulder.  i had to stare my future square in the eye and say, this is what i want, and this is what i don’t want, and this is how i plan to get there.  now, we all know that things don’t always go according to our plans, but having that determination and setting your sights on a goal can make such a difference in your healing process.  after a while, i was so far ahead of what i was trying to move away from, that it became just a blip in my past.  a thing i don’t even think about most days.

my point is this:  you find your strength when you learn to let go.  let go of your past, let go of people’s perception of you, let go of your regrets and your insecurities.  and what you have left over…that’s the person you’ve been looking for, all your life.

new year’s day.

you can’t wait to wash the curls out.

they don’t feel like you.  you’ve always been more of a wave, slowly rolling, over and over, pushing some things out, pulling some things in.  you like your hair to match your spirit – wild, messy, not too perfect.

you thought the curls would lift your spirits, but they just made you feel less like you.  it was the perfect cold weather occasion, but you couldn’t shake the thought that you weren’t where you were meant to be.

so you’ll rinse the curls out, stand under the scalding hot water, let it strip away all the secrets you tried to hide in your hair, and start fresh.  isn’t that the way it’s meant to be this time of year, anyway?

the goodbye.

there are no tears left for you.

she cried them out so many months ago, so there’s nothing left to fight the hate-fires in her heart.  they just have to slowly burn out, like the love she used to have.

you lost her long before she cut you out.  you lost her long before the night she said things she couldn’t take back.  you lost her in the moments you chose not to be present, in the moments you chose dishonesty and secrecy, in the moments that you chose not to be public with your relationship.  she wondered if it was even real at all, or had she only just imagined it?

it was the little things that set her in motion, that rolled her closer and closer to a cliff she had no choice but to throw herself over in self-preservation.

and words were said, and regret was planted, and then she tried to make herself smaller to fit back into your closed off heart.  but you had already cracked it open for someone else, so she never was going to fit.

it’s done now.  she no longer misses you on sunday mornings.  she no longer holds her breath when she sees a truck that looks like yours.  she no longer hears a song and thinks of you.  your name isn’t the one she’s hoping for when her phone dings.  there’s no pebble-sized hole in her carefully guarded heart shaped especially for you.  there are only smoldering cinders, from pain gone up in flames.

#MondayMantra

pay it forward, babes.

i love that this season is about giving, so much more than receiving.  my sisters and i are looking for ways to give back to our community, and i’m incredibly grateful that i have the ability to do so, that our parents raised us to feel like it was important to do so, and that i have two partners-in-crime to give back with.  i’m a firm believer in “it-takes-a-village” and it couldn’t show more true than this time of year.

so do the good deeds, babes.  lift each other up.  think of all the women who came before you.  think of the ones you look up to.  aspire to be as great, and as strong as they are/were.  share that passion and dedication with the men and women who come after you.  you’ll be surprised how much of a difference you can make in someone else’s life, just by believing in and supporting them.  🙂

#metoo

image:  @kellyetz via:  @theeverygirl.

over the weekend, i saw someone post this:

“Me too.

If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

Please copy/paste.

#MeToo

so i reposted it.

then i started feeling sick and spent the next 24 hours sleeping off what i believe to be exhaustion mixed with allergies and the beginnings of a sinus infection.  i missed monday’s posts, and most of what was circulating around Facebook.  when i finally signed on to Facebook and saw what some of my friends and family had each posted (and in some instances, tagged me in) i was glad to have missed a full day of social media.

the truth is, so many people have experienced or been affected by sexual assault and harassment.  this isn’t just something that straight women encounter.  my guess is that every person in the world has either witnessed a sexual assault or harassment, or been a victim of sexual assault or harassment, men and women alike.

so many will ask, why speak up now?  or they may be dismissive of the recounted tales of victims being posted over and over again on their newsfeed.  this pains me.  how can we trivialize another person’s trauma?  how can we tell them to get over it, or move on, or tell them they were probably asking for it?  how can we blame them?  those of us who are victims of sexual harassment would be hard-pressed to forget it, as for many of us it happens every single day.

it happens to me at the grocery store.  it happens to me at the gas station.  it happens to me in my very own front yard.

and then there are the places where we know it happens.  music festivals are notorious for their high incidents of sexual assault.  i know i’ve had my ass grabbed under my skirt, dress, or shorts, a number of times in large crowds at festivals.  and there certainly have been a lot of times where i’ve felt a guy rub up against me from behind.  this has happened to me in clubs and bars as well.

where are we supposed to be safe?  not in the workplace, as we’ve seen from the headlines the last few weeks regarding harvey weinstein – and he’s certainly not the only person who has used their power to sexually assault others employed by them.  not in schools, as we’ve seen from the numerous cases of students being assaulted by other students, faculty, etc. – and their perpetrators laughable punishments.  not in our homes.  not in our grocery stores.  not at the gas station.

the problem is that for so long we have made sexual assault and harassment a “woman’s problem”.  we’ve taught our daughters to be hyper-vigilant, to carry rape whistles, to not wear revealing clothing.  but it’s not just a “woman’s problem”.  it’s everyone’s problem.  as we’ve learned from the harvey weinstein case, so many people were aware of what he was doing, and didn’t say anything.  this is far from being singular to this one case.  think of all the times you heard of or saw something that made you feel uncomfortable, but you didn’t say anything.

this is what we’re asking by sharing our stories.  we want you, all of you, men, women, non-binary, alike, to roar with us.  we’re tired of living in the shadows, of being afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation or that our words will be diminished by those who are afraid to take a stand with us.  “boys will be boys” is not a thing anymore.  we won’t stand for it.  we’re tired of always being on edge when we’re alone.  we’re tired of men making decisions about our bodies, when they can barely speak about menstruation or sexual pleasure without embarrassment or any knowledge of the female anatomy.  we’re tired of being told to dress a certain way, to only run in groups, to carry mace or rape whistles, to worry about date rape drugs, to not speak up for fear of losing our careers.  we’re tired of being secondary citizens, of not having these conversations with our fathers, our brothers, our friends.

we want you to stand with us.  we want you to speak out with us.  we want you to take all the anger you have ever felt once you got over your surprise that your mother, sister, daughter, friend experienced something like this, and we want you to use it.  use it to help us change the current rape culture in our society.  use it to help us educate our children, so that we can make this world a better place for them.  because this isn’t going away.  we won’t forget, we won’t be silenced, and we won’t back down.

vegas.


i’m struggling, today, to put thought into words, and words into sentences.  i woke up tired, and sore.  i got dressed, listened to my favorite program (the second date update on a local radio station), laughed my butt off, contemplated listening to a podcast for the rest of my drive, but instead switched the channel to a local country music station.  i then heard of the terrible tragedy that occurred last night in las vegas at the route 91 harvest festival.  i immediately went into shock, to the point where i’m not 100% sure i remember the rest of my drive into work.  my heart sank, i messaged my family; we’ve talked about how crazy it is, how close to home it hits, how much our hearts hurt.

i don’t know what to say.  we love vegas, the girls and i try to go there once a year.  our parents were just there to celebrate their anniversary.  corinne’s best friend is planning to have her bachelorette party there in the spring.  we love country music, we grew up on george strait, garth brooks, patsy cline.  we go to festivals all the time.  we go to concerts all the time.  we never think twice about our safety, other than to use an uber or a dd. this isn’t the world I want for my nephew or my future children. this isn’t the legacy i want us to leave behind. 

i will say this, and i’ve said it before, i won’t be scared into staying home.  we don’t know what the shooter’s motive was, yet, but regardless, people will use this senseless tragedy to say all the reasons why we should do this, or shouldn’t do that.  but i won’t change my life because there is evil in this world.  i would rather let my light shine a little brighter, with all the other people who are letting their light shine bright, than sit home in darkness.  music and live music venues are meant to be places of refuge.  where people of different backgrounds, different socioeconomic status, different beliefs come together and unite in their love for their favorite musicians, songs, poetry.

garth brooks posted a live video on facebook earlier and in it he said that his advice to those who had to play shows tonight and weren’t sure what to do was that, “the show must go on.” and he’s right. i wholeheartedly agree. people have always used music to get us through the darkest times and we will continue to. from having a bad day and blasting your fave band to tuning in to benefit concerts in the wake of tragedy, we will always have music, always have poetry, always have that sense of community that unites us. 

so go to your concerts. go to your festivals. dance beneath the moonlight, and sing til you lose your voice. go out and live, babes. i wish that for you, me, for everyone.

my heart and my thoughts are with the victims and their families, with the first responders and their families, with the country music community, the vegas community, and all those affected by this senseless tragedy.