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put the phone down

I was at a Chinese buffet yesterday with my mom (like Scarlett O’ Hara I feel like she is the only woman I can trust) and noticed many families on their phones instead of engaging with each other. Meanwhile my mom and I were swapping stories and laughing and having a good time together. It made me sad and disappointed to see so many disconnected families, but it made me grateful to have the time to spend with my mom in the way that I still can. I am cherishing every moment I get to spend with my mom. You just never know how long you have with someone.

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2.0

I try to check in with myself every now and then to see if I have successfully transformed into a girl. I know that sounds silly, but humor me for a second. I know by my phenotype I am a girl, but on the inside I think a lot like a guy. Thus, I make a lot of decisions based on how a typical guy would make them. So specifically, the basics such as hair, makeup, clothes, and all that jazz…yeah, I didn’t really care about any of all that stuff until now.

I guess you could say I have a little “more” time now than I did while I was in grade school or handling two jobs while going to more school. It’s more like I may not have time, but I’m making time for all the girly stuff I missed out on in grade school. I haven’t really figured out why the sudden interest, but it’s happening. The metamorphosis is real guys.

I’m looking for eye creams, watching YouTube tutorials on ways to do my hair and nails, going to clothing swaps, and finding fun ways to express myself verbally. I’m opening the window every day including during the winter to filter out some VOCs. Apparently we have volatile organic compounds floating around indoors and want to avoid that. I’m looking for sulfate-free shampoo, drinking water with lemon, and going for heatless hairstyles. I’m running 2-3 times a week for at least 20 minutes at a time. I’m trying to get back into ballet stretches and eventually ballet exercises like in my olden days.

Yep, it’s safe to say I’m officially a girl now.

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all in a tizzy

Depression and fear can creep up on you before you are fully aware of it, like getting your period if you’re a girl. At least that’s how it is when I’m getting my period. (I hope this is not TMI.) I’m fine one day, then the next all of a sudden I’m starving all the time and really moody. I’m surprised every time, like I’ve never gotten my period before, and then it arrives and I’m thinking ohhh! That’s what was going on with me the last few days, duh! Every. Time.

Anyway, that’s kind of like how depression and fear creep up on you. When it does and you finally realize that’s what’s going on with you, you just feel…defeated if it’s the first time you’re going through it and disappointed if it’s not the first time. The truth is at different stages of your life you’re going to experience moments where you just don’t feel like you belong anywhere, but you’ll also experience moments of pure joy, where you know you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. I would tell you to hold onto those moments of pure joy when you are going through moments in the opposite direction, but that only works temporarily.

It takes peace. And that means shushing the voices in your head that confuse you. That can be a confusing process in itself, but it must be done to get the clarity you need so you can stop feeling down on yourself and letting your fears take the wheel.

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Dad Hug

The haters of the world make me sad. To me they just cause excess stress. Trying to figure out their existence is like asking Mom the perpetual “why?” question. Dad Hugs. Haters need a big, warm Dad Hug. I saw a video clip on Facebook the other day, already forget where it’s from, and a little girl was crying to her dad in the car. When he tried asking her what was wrong, she kept crying and couldn’t tell him. He kept asking, but when he realized she wasn’t going to tell, he finally asked her if she wanted a hug. She nodded, “yeah,” and he gave her a big ole Dad Hug. Her crying stopped. That. That is what all haters need. If only…

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h-a-p-p-y

Because of my past experiences I fully understand Kelly Clarkson’s song, “Because of You.” My parents. Because of my past experiences I am most attracted to listening to pop music. Also my parents, but mostly my dad. Because of my past experiences I have had to learn how to socialize. Me…and my parents. I feel weird admitting that, but if you knew the whole story, you would understand where I’m coming from. Because of my past experiences I’ve become better at reading people, both at work and outside of work. My former and current friends and co-workers. This one makes me sad to admit even though I know I’m not the only one. Sad because that’s the reality of humankind.

And reality…isn’t always how we pictured it to be. Usually it is depicted as something negative, a situation worse than we expect or want it to be. Maybe that’s why we spend so much time and money escaping from reality. Some of us build our whole lives around bigger and better ways we can escape reality. Some of us face it every day without ever getting a break. I just hope it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. I want to believe reality can be something to look forward to all the time rather than to escape all the time.

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older and wiser really do go together…

My first reaction has been anger a lot lately and that is wrong. Wait, is there even such a thing as multiple reactions or are we limited to one reaction per situation? (Haha, I don’t know what I’m talking about anymore. Can you tell?) Anyway…I’ve noticed little things that didn’t bother me that much before now bother me so much, causing me to have a short fuse. Of course, I don’t have any examples because that’s how my brain works. Probably hours after I hit “publish” I’ll have this concrete example and be able to share my “aha!” moment, but this will be posted already so what’s the point, yeah? 😉 There’s no doubt I’m weird.

I thought about maybe I’m just losing my patience, like I’m just not as patient as I used to be. But I really don’t know the answer to my own question. I will say this though: I have become quicker to cut people out of my life who mess with me or don’t treat me right. I have a lower tolerance for people’s excuses, lies, and manipulation. (Which now thinking about it could all go under the category of manipulation, but I’ve been known to be redundant.) I think because of the experiences I have had I have become better at recognizing fake. I think I’ll take that over worrying about what people think of my short fuse.

2

Matt

Matt

When I got back from the Dominican Republic, all I wanted to do was escape again. Overwhelmed was putting it lightly. My brain was back to reality, but reality hadn’t set in. I was spacey, tired, sad, sleepy, confused, empty, guilty, giddy, happy, and nervous all rolled into one. My head hurt a little, but my brain couldn’t comprehend that pain. It was too distracted. Everyone wanted to know what I did there, how was it?, and no, beyond the bug bites and sunburn! Beach, a couple excursions, I said to some. I left out the buffets and unlimited drinks to some others. All I wanted to do was find out how the Orchestra was doing since he went. Am I allowed to feel giddy and happy in the midst of him being gone? I didn’t know then and I still don’t know now.

There is a tribute for him in his old chair, complete with his trumpet and a picture of him smiling with his dog. It is not the same without him physically present and I want to cry when I see it, only no tears slide down. I see my stand partner tearing up and all I can do is touch her arm lightly. I should hug her, I should say something wise, but I have nothing to offer except for that light touch. I am thinking of the last words I said to him and how I’m still in shock. “Thank you” seems not enough to express my gratitude for his presence, but I’m glad I got the chance to say it. Even one last time, unknowingly.

How unfair life really is, this short living, breathing beast that we must face every single day and yet never know how much longer we have left. It didn’t happen. He’s going to be back when it’s Orchestra time, not band only. It’s just going to be band only for a while. Orchestra welcomes me back, especially the string section, but I just feel guilty I went away to the Caribbean, where the sun and personal heartbreak is eight times stronger than anywhere else, while everyone else was left here to mourn, here to pray, here to have to come up with things to say to his parents, here to visit, and here to suffer in silence together.

Tonight I want to weep in the shower, except all that comes out is an inscrutable sound, like the start of a wail that was cut short by pure grief that wanted to hide. He’s gone and I didn’t say good-bye. I prayed, but I was too cowardly to really say good-bye. I have already gone through too much and I can’t go through another one. My brain is twisted. I am happy for the progression of my personal life, even though I’m afraid to really talk about it. This feeling mixed with loss is a confusing mess of emotions, an amalgam of fears I can’t chase away no matter how hard I go to work.