Witnessing Tragedy from Afar

April 5th began as a normal day. I drove to work, had fun with my coworkers, made plans for dinner… On my way home, I noticed police activity ahead, and traffic was slowed to a crawl. I had places to go, things to do, and the slow moving traffic was an inconvenience. I’ve learned, however, that sometimes life forces you to slow down for a reason.

The reason this time was a tragic accident. A young man had been struck by another vehicle, killing him instantly. His body, hidden from view by a sheet, lay in the road surrounded by cops and witnesses. It was so startling. You never expect to see such a sight when an accident slows traffic.

It broke my heart. Still does. I won’t go into too many details, but I will simply say it was bad. It stuck with me, sent me into a bit of shock. For the remainder of the evening, I couldn’t get it out of my head, and desperately searched through the news trying to find more information on what happened.

They released his name.

I found him on Facebook. This led me to his family, who hadn’t yet heard the news. Friends who were carrying on like normal. They’d released his name in the early hours of April 6th.

I continued to check his Facebook, and saw when the news of his demise spread to his family and friends. I wanted so badly to reach out and say something, but what could I say?

Nothing I could offer would make the situation better. Witnessing the travesty of the accident was a few moments for me, but will be a life time of pain for them. My heart aches for them, but I have no right to share in their grief.

I can only hope the family is able to find peace, and solice. I can only hope that the death of their friend, their son, their brother, has touched the life of a random stranger.

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How did we get here tour review

Hello, everyone! I know it has been a long time since I’ve posted here, but I wanted to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on the JackSepticEye tour aptly named “How Did We Get Here”. I won’t be going into details about issues we had with the venue, or the New Orleans trip, just the show.

I bought the tickets for myself, and my daughter. She adores JackSepticEye, so I thought this would be a grand opportunity for her to see him, and have a bonding moment. Like some, however, I worried about the content of the show. Was he going to be playing video games, was he going to talk, what was in store for us? No matter, I’m a big fan, she’s a big fan, we’ll enjoy it no matter what.

I can honestly say, I was not disappointed. As the crowd began to gather in the theatre, chants began to echo through the venue. Hearing hundreds of voices coming together always gives me chills, but hearing the entire crowd shouting “PMA PMA!” was truly astounding. PMA being Positive Mental Attitude, for those who are not familiar with the YouTubers recent catch phrase.

The man himself struts upon the stage, posing for quirky pictures for a moment before asking everyone to put their phones down. Around the venue, I see all the lights slowly turn off, leaving the only lights, and focus, on the stage. “We go to these events and we struggle to remember them because we weren’t paying attention. We were too busy trying to capture the moment rather than live it.” He says as explanation. He was right, I realized, as I momentarily thoughtback to other events. I’d been too focused on taking pictures to help me remember the experience, but I didn’t experience it because of the camera.

The young man goes on to use humor to detail events of his life, beginning with his childhood all the way to present day. I won’t go into too many details regarding the show, because I do not want to spoil the experience for anyone, but let’s just say I laughed extremely hard throughout the stories. The main point the eccentric Irishman wanted to drive home to each of us was, we could accomplish anything, and overcome all obstacles. No matter who we are, or where we’re from. “With hard work, passion, and a little luck, you can make anything happen.”

What strikes me as amazing about this man is how humble he remains. He uses his platform to boost others, bring them up, rather than parading his fame around. He does not flaunt himself, but offers encouraging words to help bring an entire community together.

By the time the show was done, I wanted to hug the entire audience. I laughed, I cried, but more importantly, I walked away feeling much better about myself and my own abilities. I walked away feeling closer to a massive group of strangers. I walked away with a change in perspective about the world around me.

So, if you have any doubts about whether you should see this show, I can honestly say it is worth seeing.

What Do Emotions Feel Like…. Synesthesia Edition

Everyone associates synesthesia with this great, powerful gift that allows you extrasensory abilities. Indeed, the newest trend and a quick search on a search engine will make it seem that almost everyone has this. Artists have used it to create beautiful works of art, singers and songwriters use it as inspiration. And writers, oh, it grants them a gift of being able to describe things with almost inhuman detail. This gift has been proven harmless. With such beautiful creations springing forth, it would appear this strange and baffling thing is a superpower. 

For the most part, I’ll even agree. Until you begin to try and explain something to someone who doesn’t have it. Then life can get weird. I experience life in sound. Different types of pain have sounds to me (sharp pains are high pitch, dull pains are bass), even foods are sounds (chocolate is low pitch, bread is middle, lemons are high pitch. Anything way too sweet or salty is glass breaking high pitch, and therefore painful). 

I’ve based entire opinions of people based on the sound of their voice. Perhaps it isn’t fair, but I can’t help it. High pitch and nasally voices are painful, where lower tones are pleasant. Accents add an interesting spice to the sounds, and perhaps that’s why I love accents so much. 

If I’m not interpreting the world in sounds, then I’m experiencing texture, sometimes color. France, for example, feels like warm and makes me think of a lovely orange color, where Scotland feels like soft grass, and makes me think blue. 

Now that I’ve given you a road map of my brain, let’s make things even more interesting. What do emotions feel like, sound like, etc? Before I go completely into that, allow me to explain one other aspect. My mind is always noisy. There is always a dull static that surrounds my head. It’s like hearing snippets of conversation in a crowded food court, but drowned out by the roar of the crowd. I call these my potential thoughts. Thoughts, emotions, imaginary conversations, or memories I’ve not experienced yet, but lurk in the shadows waiting to happen. 

Happiness is a strange emotion. It feels loving, impenetrable, like I could take over the world. It sounds like a harmonious symphony, and laughter feels like waves of an ocean. It feels warm. 

Anger feels like ice and fire competing in my veins, with a darkness waiting behind whoever wins. The angrier I get, the harder these two fight. 

Sadness feels like loneliness. It feels like a television left alone in a dark room, with the channel playing nothing but snow. Loud static can be heard. 

Depression feels like this, but with the added benefit of clarity for the potential thoughts. There’s always a dark, twisting figure tat seems everywhere and nowhere, and this figure encourages these thoughts. This leads to the spiraling low, and the static becomes like knives. “Just kill yourself. It’ll save the world a lot of trouble. Everyone will be better off without having to deal with you. You’d be doing them a favor. No one actually cares, they humor you because they need something, want something, from you. As soon as you’re no longer useful, you’ll be tossed away entirely.” 

Bipolar low feels like…. I’m surrounded by hundreds of these figures, and they’re all shouting at me to just end it. Just do it. Which leads to, what I feel, is a level of bipolar psychosis. The world seems to be moving so fast around me, and I’m standing still. Or maybe it’s the other way round, and I’m spinning so fast I have the illusion of standing still. The world doesn’t include me, I’m an outside observer peeking into a window of reality. 

Thankfully I haven’t experienced that often. It is truly terrifying, to exist but not. To feel, but not. 

Stress feels sour, like sour milk. And the more stressed I feel, the more soured I feel. I even begin to think I smell sour, which increases the stress. 

Why am I writing this? Why am I telling you? To be honest, I have no idea. Maybe I just need people to know and understand the extra layer I feel beneath the emotions. Maybe I’m hoping someone will read this who can give answers, or can relate. Maybe I’m hoping my words can help a study. What happens when you combine synesthesia with a mental disorder. Chaos and beauty happen, of course. 

I hope this has been educational. I feel better now, at least. 

Just a few thoughts

Just a few thoughts

​I’ve heard a lot of people say they’d prefer to be alone, without friends or lovers, because they wouldn’t get hurt. 

Wrong. 

No matter who you are around, or not, the person that can hurt you the most is yourself. 

But sometimes the people you bring into your world can help you fix some of the damage you’ve done to yourself. 

I also do not believe that a person is either good, or bad. These are simplified categories we use to justify feelings. I think it is all perspective. Everything is a matter of perspective. 

I do not believe that God, or the devil, has the ability to make us feel, or do, certain things. That implies we lack free will. If we didn’t have free will, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. You wouldn’t be reading this right now, either. I believe we are all capable of “evil”, and we use God and the devil in the same sense that we use bad and good. Without one, it is impossible to appreciate the other. 

I think country music is annoying. Sorry, that was random, but the man delivering boxes at Sonic is blaring it. Felt like it deserved mentioning. Everyone’s just whining to a twanging guitar. 

I wish the world could focus more on love than being right. The joy of a meaningful conversation, the laugh between friends, cuddling, surpasses the joy of being able to say “I’m right”. And that’s coming from someone who is addicted to being right and proving a point. 

Why is country trying to sound like rock and pop mated and had a strange love child? Sorry again. The song changed. I wonder if I should tell the Sonic delivery guy that he’s featured in my blog? Nah, that would be weird. 

I want to find a love that makes me feel as happy, as comfortable, and as accepted as my best friend makes me feel. Then he’d be my best friend and I could marry him. I want a love that isn’t forced, or fake…. But beautiful like a glorious painting, a symphony, and moving like a novel. I want a love that is…calming like a gentle storm. Does that even exist? Probably not. Which brings the entire blog full circle to the first sentence I said. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be alone forever. I feel like everyone will leave eventually, or in the grand scheme of things I am nothing. I am the flame on the end of a match to most people, when what I want is to be someone’s sun. I want to matter. I don’t want to feel like I’m easily replaced with a new model. I want to heal, I want to help, I want to inspire, I want to love, and live. I want to matter.

But I’m going to be alone. At least that’s how I feel. Maybe it’s better to be alone? Because then I won’t get hurt. Trusting people hurts. Because people hurt. Because the world hurts. 

Yet I’m currently alone, and the only one hurting me right now is myself. My inner “demons”, if you will. 

And the country music. That’s not helping.

This blog went in an entirely different direction than I thought it was going, but I kinda like it. It’s very…real. Very me. Very random. It’s perfect. 

Perfectly me. 

Year of the Book

In the growing age of technology and social media, it is easy to lose sight of simple things. Sometimes we don’t realize it until we force ourselves to disconnect, and pay attention to the world around us. Recently I did just that. 

Anyone who is connected to a social media account is no doubt aware that tensions are mounting due to the political world. Friends are arguing with friends, families are being torn apart by disagreements, and all around it is all very sad. I found my time on social media begin to affect my state of mind. I was torn between being outspoken and standing up for my beliefs, defending anyone without a voice, and maintaining civil friendships. It was a delicate dance I no longer had the energy to perform. No matter how hard you try to escape it, hiding it all, you always end up dragged back into it.

So I deactivated my main Facebook account, and ignored my others. It has only been a week and yet I’ve discovered so much about myself and the world around me. 

I learned just how distracting Facebook can be, before you even realize you’ve been sucked in. I realized how often I use social media to simply mindlessly scroll through something when I’ve nothing to do. I realized how often I was picking up my phone. 

Being disconnected has brought me a strange sense of relief. A strange sense of calm, if you will. I’ve started reading more in order to preoccupy my mind. I’ve read three books in four days, even. 

Which brings me to my point. This year I encourage all of you to disconnect for just a little bit. There is so much hate, and anger, floating around at the moment, and it spreads like poison. Slowly it is going to kill us all, at least a part of us. 

I’m not saying social media is bad. But what I am saying is we all need to remember to disconnect sometimes and remember the simple things. I have forgotten how delightful it is to just lose myself in a book for hours on end…. 

This year is the year of the book. It’s the year to focus on writing, reading, blogging, and everything else important to me. 

I Don’t Want a Christian Nation

​This is the last really big post I’m going to make for a while. I promise! I’m also going to try and cut back on the political crap, because honestly, sharing a post on Facebook isn’t going to make Mr. Dump any less of a douchebag. And honestly, he could kill a baby on air and there would be people throwing babies at him to be his next target. But anyway. This post is not geared towards Mr. Douche of the United Hypocrites. This post is going to target religion. All of them. Buckle up, bitches, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. 
I do not want to live in a Christian nation. Or a Muslim nation. Or anything, really. I don’t want religion anywhere near this country. Not ruling it and making decisions anyway. I could go into the statistics, I could bring up how many have been killed in the name of God, or in the name of Allah, etc etc, but the post isn’t about that. 
I’m going to discuss my personal reasons. When I was going to a Christian school, I was the outcast. I was the weird one, the one it was okay to pick on or make fun off, because I was weird. Because I didn’t worship like they did, because I didn’t act like they did. Because I didn’t belong. Shun the non-believer!! At thirteen I tried to kill myself. Various things came together, pills I shouldn’t have been on were prescribed, and it reached the point where I just could not do it anymore. I wanted to die. I was taken to a hospital where they pumped my stomach, where they held me down… I was so scared…. Then I was taken to a mental ward, where I spent nine days being bullied by other patients, by staff…. It was horrible. I still have nightmares… It’s one of the reasons I’ve been scared to get help, because all I can think of is that time. One good thing happened, though. A pastor came to visit me. Wait. What? I know. This is an anti-religion post and I’m talking about a pastor being a good thing. Confused? Just wait. So this pastor didn’t even know me, came to visit me. My grandmother sent him. I thought he was an odd duck. He didn’t look like a pastor. He didn’t look like what you’d expect. I remember thinking he looked more like a Batman villain with his purple suit and red hair. We talked. Not about God, or about my sinning. He didn’t tell me I was going to Hell. He didn’t shun me. He asked if I was okay. Well Hell no I wasn’t okay, I was scared to death!! He told me if I ever needed to talk to someone, I could come to him. It was one of the few times I actually started to believe in God. Then I got out of the hospital with a new found…relief. It was going to be okay. I was going to be okay. 

I went back to this Christian school, and their whole attitude about me changed. I was popular!…. For all the wrong reasons. People looked at me like I was diseased…they’d avoid me like I was contagious…. I was even more of an outcast than I had been before… Teachers would tell my friends to stop being friends with me because “There’s something wrong with her” or “You don’t need that kind of influence in your life.” When I needed help, people turned their backs to me…. But let me see them in public now and they’ll hug me and act like we’re best friends! 
Getting out of that school, I befriended an atheist, two people of God, an agnostic, and a Wiccan. They helped me. They picked me up. As did my friends from the Christian school. I was loved. In high school I befriended a Muslim girl who was very kind, very sweet to me. She helped me a lot, too. 

But I also had people drag their kids away from me because they thought I was evil, because I wore all black. I was told on many occasions that I was a devil worshipper, that I was evil, that I was going to Hell, by all these people who claimed to be Christian…. But wait a minute…. Doesn’t that go against what they believe? And why are my friends, who are believers of God, so much more different than these Christians….?
The answer, I realized, is religion itself. Religion is a term, a label, thrown around to inspire fear. Inspire hatred. Inspire joy. Anyone can use the title when it benefits them. Anyone can claim to be a person of God when it suits them. I’m targeting Christianity here because I honestly don’t know much about Islam, and only interacted with one person. I’m in no way saying Islam is better, or doesn’t come with its own set of flaws, I simply refuse to speak on a topic I know little about. 
I know how Christianity works, and it makes the children of God look awful. 
I do believe in God. I do not believe he is what people try to make him. I do not believe he is meant to be used to target others, or inspire wars. I don’t believe he was meant to justify hatred, or bigotry, or as a glorified way for people to say Ewww. I think you’ve all got it wrong. 
I also believe in many gods. I believe in many different religions. I even believe in Lucifer, the man everyone seems to be so afraid of. But I think the stories are wrong. I think it’s all wrong. 
I don’t think anyone should follow a book, because the book was written by men, and humankind is stupid. Humankind is biased. Humankind can’t follow simple instructions because their pride and ego get in the way. 
But the main point I’m getting at here is we don’t need Christianity, or anything. We don’t need titles. Because people misuse titles. People do things in the name of God, or Allah, that wasn’t intended to be done…. Religion is man’s design, and I refuse to be a slave to that…. Respect each other as people. Respect each other because that’s what we’re supposed to do, not because that’s what a book says we should do. Worship freely, but without the limitations of titles. This is not a Christian nation, nor is it a godless one. Quite the contrary, there are many gods in America. There are many people who choose to be free of religion, and yet they still do good things. 
We cannot be limited by titles, that’s not what any god would want. Humans are complex creatures. Why place us in categories? 

  • To any of you who managed to read this far, I applaud you.

My Grandmother Passed Away…

It wasn’t sudden. We knew it was coming. I’d even prepared myself. I’d hardened my heart, convinced myself I didn’t care. I’d taken all of her flaws and built a shell around myself, reminding myself of all the hurt she’d caused me. 

And there was a lot of hurt. 

I was convinced at a young age that something was wrong with me, because Mamaw didn’t seem to love me as much as she loved my other cousins. I thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t fit into her ideal of what a girl was supposed to like. She’d buy me gifts I didn’t like (dolls, pink clothes, etc) while supplying the boys with ample toys they loved. While they ran around the house shooting each other with Nerf guns, I stood to the side with a baby doll wondering…what did I do wrong?

I felt like I was under constant scrutiny, and was constantly being compared. “Oh you like to sing? Your cousin does it better.” “You want to play piano? Both of your cousins already play instruments, and they do it so well.” “How are you ever going to get a husband if you don’t learn how to cook?” 

There would be family get togethers that she “forgot” to invite me. Home videos featured my cousins, but not me. What did I do wrong? 

At the age of thirteen I tried to kill myself. She responded by sending a preacher to talk to me. 

At fifteen, I gave up trying to impress her. I concluded that no matter what I tried to do, I would never be good enough in her eyes. I stopped caring, I stopped trying, I stopped wondering. There were no more summer stays at Mamaw’s house, and our contact became limited to three times a year. Birthday phone call, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 

I stopped trying to tell her what I wanted for Christmas, because she acted like she had no interest in finding out who I was as a person. She was so wrapped up in who she wanted me to be, it didn’t matter who I actually was. Birthday visits or calls were awkward as she would say “happy birthday” and spend the remainder of our phone call discussing how successful or happy my cousins were.

I was constantly reminded of my failures. 

Or all the times she came to town to visit my cousins, or her great grandchildren, only to not tell us she was near. 

When it came closer to her death, these were the pains I wrapped around myself. These were the wounds I hardened. She didn’t care about me. Why should I give her even an ounce of my sympathy? I resolved that my job would be to be the strong one. It would be my job to hold everyone’s hand and keep everyone’s collective shit together since I had nothing to offer the situation. 

And yet… I was still shocked when I received the call that she had gone. And yet… I was still sad. 

This made me angry. No. She hurt me so much while she was alive, she doesn’t get to hurt me with her death. I fought hard, tightened my shields around me tighter than before. I had a job to do and it didn’t involve my sadness. 

The time came for the funeral where we were regaled with all the good she’d done for the church she attended. There weren’t stories involving her family. I got to hear all about how she helped kids, how good she was to people in her church. I got mad again. 

But as the people were paraded past her body…. And all their eyes shimmered with tears… I saw other memories. 

Like when it was just the two of us, and she taught me how to enjoy a huge bowl of sherbet in front of the television. She loved ice cream. We’d get bowls and spoons, and watch television together. But it had to be just between us because the others weren’t allowed to eat in front of the television. 

Or the huge pool in front of her house where we’d all spend hours swimming. And we’d laugh and play until we were so cold we were shivering. 

She taught me that a world existed beyond my backyard, and there was always an opportunity to see or learn new things. 

She taught me how not to travel. Like loading four kids into an Econo van and giving them all McFlurries before driving to Texas. 

She taught me physics. Like how fast someone can whip an Econo van onto the side of the road, rip the side door open, and snatch the spoons we used to eat the McFlurries away after we all learned that the spoons whistle. 

She taught me the importance of being aware of my surroundings, and why it’s important to always have a good sense of direction. Like when she said the phrase “That guy looks like he knows where he’s going, let’s follow him.”

My grandmother taught me to not take myself so seriously and be able to laugh at myself. Like when she accused my cousin of putting fingerprints all over the coffee table….And said cousin was born with no hands….. 

My grandmother taught me why knowing your audience is a good idea when it comes to buying presents. “You think I need God and I stink, Mamaw?!” -Nick

“Everyone got a television. Except me. You know what I got? A jacket. Everyone else can watch tv, you know what I can do? Zip, zip.” -Christy

A well timed joke or a funny one liner makes all the difference in a conversation. She also taught me that facial expressions can speak volumes…Like when her lips would thin out to the point of disappearing when she got mad or uncomfortable. 

And as I stood to go passed her one last time, I remembered all of the Christmas parties we had. All the jokes we’d all share. The noise of everyone talking and laughing….It was so quiet in the funeral home. 

One cousin was great at music. Another was great at sports. The one thing she ever told me made her proud of me was my ability to write… 

That was all me. All mine. I wish she’d told me more often that she was proud of me. Finding out after her death that she held on to one of my poems was not how I wanted to find out she was proud. 

A chapter closed. Words that needed to be said between us would never get the chance to be spoken. No more calls, no more Christmas’ as a family. No chance to say sorry from either of our ends, no chance to tell each other that we were proud of one either. And I am proud of her. She fought cancer hard, and then finally decided she could fight no longer. 

So the last lessons my grandmother taught me…. Don’t take my daughter for granted, and don’t just assume she knows I’m proud of her. Tell her always, remind her always, that she is loved. 

And the power of saying I’m sorry. 

I won’t claim we were close. I won’t claim to have peace, or closure. But my words, my writing, are what made her proud. In her memory I write this. I hope wherever she is, she knows what I’ve written, and she knows the truth. 

I love you, Mamaw. And I’m sorry. I’m proud of you, and I am so very sad that you are no longer here. I am glad you aren’t in pain now. I hope you’ve found peace.