#WhyIMarch

I am in Washington D.C. this morning after grabbing a ride with five other wonderful likeminded women (four of whom I met for the first time yesterday). We drove from central Michigan to D.C. and every single stop along the way there were women and men with pussyhats and signs. We cheered each other on when we could see we were all going to the same place for the same reason.
I am a life long Democrat and having grown up in a very red rural Indiana town, I have always been an outspoken one as many of my friends will tell you.

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It would be easy for many to say that I’m here in D.C. today because I’m a “sore loser” (unlike many I freaking love Hillary Clinton). But for me that is not why I March. I’m not marching because I have a difference of opinion about political ideology. I’m not marching because all republicans are bad and all democrats are good. I’m not marching because I think the world is going to stop spinning and all the good is going to leave us.

I’m sitting in a metro car at this moment surrounded not by embittered men and women but by empowered men and women.

I March because as a white woman I will never fear that I will be murdered at a routine traffic stop like men and women of color. I March because I will not be murdered for walking down the street or using the “wrong” restroom. I March because I won’t be strung up on a fence and beaten for loving who I love. I March because there is legal precedent to put people into concentration camps on US soil on the basis of creed, ethnicity, and race. I March because my family immigrated here and no one questions my right to be almost anywhere. I March for others and others March for me.

I March for Trump supporters. Because racism, Bigotry, sexism, and hate damage both sides. Hyper masculinity deprives men of the right to feel anything but aggression and a void which is likely why the suicide rate is so high among men.

I March for my nephews who will likely be straight white Christian males with money because they deserve to learn empathy and love.

I March because black lives matter. I March because trans lives matter. I March because love is love. I March because women’s rights are human rights. I March for veterans who have fought and died for my freedom. I March for Trump supporters who are still human beings deserving of rights. I March for my country that I love.

Love,

Erin Who Is (still on my way and is not) Crazy

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The Insurmountable Fear of Failure

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When I was sixteen I was sure, so very sure, that I was going to be successful. I wanted to be a singer, actress, writer, movie director, all of it. ALL THE THINGS! And you could not tell me different or to focus on one or that the industry itself isn’t solely based on talent. I felt this thing (for lack of a better term) that would not be denied. I trusted its every whim. I only applied to New York University Tisch School of Arts with the certainty that I would get in. I had decent grades, decent test scores, and a great repertoire in the small High School theater that couldn’t hold on to a director for more than one season. How could I not get in?  I’m still waiting NYU. HOW COULD I NOT GET IN?!

So I hastily applied to state school which was a good program though not the one that Lady Gaga, Aubrey Plaza, and Mara Wilson attended. I sat back at state school and sort of expected them to bask in my brilliance. Because OBVIOUSLY. Those jerks did not get with the program. (SELFISH!)

Yes I had a nasty sense of entitlement without putting the work in and by the time I started it was too late. One or two major failures under my belt and I crumpled. I did the bare minimum creatively and passed all the tests with flying colors.

I also suffer from ADHD which at times is a godsend! Because I can switch projects mid-stroke and be just as enthusiastic and energetic about something new. And sometimes it’s horrible because I’ll lose all enthusiasm for a project mid-stroke and I can’t finish anything. Ever.

I’ve been struggling with the past few years with writing. I came to the conclusion that writing was really what I had always wanted to do. Even when I was acting or singing, for me it was always about the story. I can’t enjoy a musical for just the music. In fact, if it’s just about pretty songs, I get bored and start scrolling through my phone.

Reflecting back, even as I child I was always dictating what the story was when I would play with my friends. Even if we were copying a movie or tv show (which was regular) I always made sure that we had a goal. Sometimes people would not go along with this, which was infuriating. (NO, Jennifer, you can’t just randomly have sparkle powers to save the day that doesn’t make sense for your character! What the hell have we been doing for the past twenty damn minutes!)

So I found my purpose! This time I would not crumple after a failure! I would be persistent. I would follow through. Where. Could. This. Go. Wrong. I finished about two and half drafts of a novel that I still hate every single word of. I can tell you that I’m not the only one of that opinion. I worked every day and I worked hard. And I still had nothing to show for it.

I scrapped the concept and started a new one. Just a short story. Something simple. Yeah. Simple. Several scrapped attempts at that and I decide my short story is really a long story concept. I’ve been struggling with that for a year. A YEAR. And I have nothing to show for it either.

My self diagnosis is that I’m afraid. Much like why I didn’t really research how to get into the best schools and push and push hard for that; Much like why I didn’t try hard at first waiting for people to just be impressed by me; Much like why a failure or two has crippled me creatively – I’m afraid of failure. I’m terrified not of not completing my work (though that’s a new one, thanks Erin, – you’re welcome) I’m terrified of not being good enough. Of not living up to that little lying sack of shit that told me I was bound for greatness within me.

“So how do you overcome it, Erin?” (Yes, I talk to myself -you know this.)

The obvious answer is … I don’t know. I decided to write this as an exercise to see if acknowledging all of my little shoulder demons would make them go away.

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Maybe Flotsam and Jetsam just want a good pat on the head.

Why is it that writing this blog about my inner demons and insurmountable level of ego and entitlement doesn’t scare me? Maybe it’s that I’m not trying or maybe it’s that the very act of exposing my bare mind, with the its flaws, severe mental defects, and personality disorders, sheds away the fear because, I mean, what could you say? I’m crazy? Maybe it’s a defense mechanism.

I guess my positive note and advice for today is, acknowledge the fear, acknowledge your flaws, and do it anyways. What’s the worst that could happen? Failure? Been there and lived to survive it, time and again. At the very least your fear eels will be friendlier.

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You know you’re singing “BODY LANGUAGE!” In your mind. 

I suppose I’m a little afraid about how selfish and entitled I come off as a teen here. I’m not perfect and I don’t really strive for perfect anymore. Just in my novel/short story writing. I still have an overly healthy amount of confidence but don’t worry now it’s tempered with as much self-awareness and honesty as I can manage.

I’ll get back to you on whether writing this has helped me move forward. Or not. I make no promises.

Always,

Erin Who Is (REALLY feeling the Little Mermaid Mood today and who is totally) NOT Crazy

P.S. I added the word Mood because I didn’t want to be “feeling the little mermaid” … just sounds slimy.

 

Hope Is Just Around the Corner

Hello Children!

(Just so you know that was in my best impression of Isaac Hayes as “Chef” from South Park which is to say both awesome and terrible. You’re welcome.)

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From my trip to Paris this year – 2016 was not ALL bad!

It’s 2017 and over the past year I think we’ve all been through a train wreck. I’m not just talking about the election, the rhetoric, the ridiculous measures state legislatures are instituting against civil rights, the loss of beloved celebrities, personal matters, the wars in Syria and other places, the terrorist attacks all over the world, shootings, assassinations, Brexit …. honestly just writing all this out is making me exhausted. It’s just this year has been an exhausting one in general.

I can’t be afraid or alert all the time. CONSTANT VIGILANCE. (Mad-Eye Moody/Barty Crouch Jr. couldn’t be constantly vigilant all the time either just look how he ends up.) But every time I read something or make calls or donate or volunteer, it just feels like I’m not doing enough. It feels like the world keeps falling apart no matter how much I try to keep it together. Sometimes I have a small victory and I feel good about it but that feeling is always fleeting. Sometimes it’s just completely exhausting and a lot of the time it feels pointless. It feels like the second I make ground in one place, I lose ground in another. I was up to my neck in quicksand.

Then, of course, I read these written by one of the most inspiring people in the world:

“Astonishing reversals of fortune happen every minute.” I don’t know how to describe just how much I needed these words. Jo, you continue to astonish me. Always. Thank you.

So whatever it is that you’re up against – if its the entire world, if its changes at work, if its that holiday weight gain, or new year’s resolutions, or the current political climate – stay strong. Even when it feels hopeless, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Hope is just around the corner if you can make it that far.

Love,

Erin Who Is (Grateful for all that I have and who is Definitely) Not Crazy

P.S. Yeah I’m not going to acknowledge the hiatus. Let’s just call it over for now. (Dammit I acknowledged it!)

Wiggle Your Big Toe

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Yesterday, I needed to be sad and wallow. I’m still sad but today I’m ready to do more. My facebook (which admittedly is pretty much devoid of Trump supporters) this morning streamed amazing messages of love and support and other people sharing in the shame and depression at the prospect of this President Elect. People went out in the streets and made their voices heard by peacefully protesting across the country. I believe in peaceful protests. I believe in making our voices heard. As Americans, we will not be silenced by our gender, our sexuality, our race, or religion. That, in and of itself, is amazing.

This, my friends, is our call to action. I’m not advocating violent overthrow or anything of the sort. What I am advocating for is to reach out and support those in need of your support right now. I’m an educated cis gendered straight white woman from an educated middle class family. I have had vast opportunities in my life and I have taken advantage of them. I have personally experienced sexism and I have felt fear for my life and bodily integrity (legal term for rape and abuse).

That being said I do not have to fear that I will be abused or beaten for the color of my skin or for exercising my religious freedom to wear a hijab or for being who I was born to be. The KKK will leave me alone on the street unless I instigate something because I’m an extremely pale white woman (we’re talking like ghost territory here.) The police are less likely to shoot me on sight.

I have heard tell of some people who voted for Trump not understanding why the rest of us are acting like the world is ending. They don’t understand that it is. Look at what happened at Trump rallies. That is the picture he wants for America. He wants to silence and beat those that would argue with his position. But I’m not here to talk all about Trump.

I’m here to talk about changing the world for the better (so the opposite of Trump). The overwhelming message that I’m hearing from people is that we need to do something. I’ve been researching how to affect positive change in the world by going to my library and reaching out to friends in government.

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If you need more time to process this, then take it. The great feminist, activist, and poet, Audre Lorde said that self care was an act of political warfare. Take the time you need to be ready to fight and fight like hell.

There are organizations and peaceful protests being organized. Some of my friends are considering what steps are necessary to run for office in government and change this from the inside. Look to your strengths, if you think you can change things then you need to find a way to do so and there are so many ways. Where to begin is the question. So “Wiggle your big toe” and let’s start this revolution. (Which, if you’re unfamiliar is a reference to the great Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill Vol. 1 – where after being in a coma for a few years and suffering from muscle atrophy Beatrix Kiddo works on wiggling her big toe before she can unleash some righteous revenge). (Again not advocating for violent anything. I just love the Kill Bill movies.)  

Let’s work together and make sure the next four years aren’t the bigoted, misogynistic, racist hellscape that Trump and Mike Pence envision.

 

Love,

Erin Who Is (WOKE as SHit and) NOT Crazy

P.S. Just in case it was not clear, we are in this together. “Now the pain we all feel at this dreadful loss, reminds me… reminds us, that though we may come from different places, and speak in different tongues, Our hearts beat as one. The bonds of friendship we made this year, will be more important than ever.” Dumbledore’s Army is rising. (Yes I know I mixed metaphors but god dammit I love Harry Potter too.)

November Blues … Again

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Confession time … I majorly slacked on this blog this summer but not on my goals. I think the reason I stopped writing the blog is tied up with the reason that I started it. I started it because I was depressed. I was in one of the deepest depressions of my life and writing about it along with support of friends and loved ones helped me crawl out of it. Not only did I crawl out of it but I was so far beyond it. So much so that I didn’t want to come back here and was willing to let the blog fall away as just another chapter in my life.

This morning and most of last night I legitimately found myself back at the brink of that deep depression. It’s of an entirely different nature this time but it is here and so I am back and I think this time I will be back for a while.

The results of last night’s election sent me into a deep spiral. I think they did for many people. It’s not just that now we have given a man who can’t be trusted with his own twitter account the nuclear destruction codes … it’s more about what he represents.

He ran a campaign that blamed all of America’s problems on immigrants, people of color, women, and the LGBT community. (I’m sure there’s more.) And people, a lot of people voted for him. He was caught on tape talking about assaulting women like it was the 1950s … and a lot of people voted for him. He went after the family of a fallen soldier who happened to be Muslim … and a lot of people voted for him. He said people obtaining an abortion legally “should be punished” and his running mate Mike Pence tried to pass a law requiring fetal burial no matter the circumstances of the loss or how far along in the pregnancy it was and a lot of people voted for them. He made fun of people with disabilities. He wants to go after all of the people in our LGBTQ communities. He called Mexicans rapists. He is a threat to everything this country is supposed to cherish … and a lot of people voted for him. He was endorsed by the KKK and people voted for him.

I’m not entirely happy with people who lean left and decided to vote third party or protest and not vote for president. But whether or not that would’ve changed the presidency is not the point. It’s not the thing that scares me. What scares me are the numbers of people who voted for Trump whole-heartedly and willingly.

There was not a repudiation of America’s own homegrown Hitler and his ideals. A little known fact about Hitler – the Nazis were elected, Hitler was not. Enough Nazis were in power to create the position of Chancellor for Hitler. To top it off, the climate that led to Nazi Germany was one plagued with famine and economic depression. Part of the allure of the Nazis was that they offered stability … though monstrous inhuman means.

To contrast the American economy has been on the upswing. Unemployment has been halved during Obama’s presidency. We are no where near as desperate as the people of post-WWI Germany paying off reparations. Unlike Nazi Germany, the US is not being driven to racism, sexism, and bigotry by an economic depression. The US is being driven by racism, sexism, and bigotry to an economic depression and to the destruction of our most basic ideals as Americans. This isn’t a joke. This isn’t a reality show. This is what a very wide margin of Americans wanted.

As an advocate for Civil Rights, this is hugely depressing. As a woman, this is hugely depressing. As a human being, this is hugely depressing. As an American, I feel lost and powerless.

I’m turning to the blog to sort out my feelings, to bring myself back from the brink, and to formulate a plan on how to move forward.

It’s looking like Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and that fact is heartening. Heartening that there are slightly more people who aren’t racist sexist bigoted puppets.

I donate every month to Planned Parenthood, NPR, and the Humane Society. I’m a member of my local Black Lives Matter Chapter. I’m a member of the ACLU. I’m a member of the League of Women Voters. But admittedly other than posting publicly in support of those groups and donating money to them, I’ve not been an “active” member.

While I wallow in my bed, watching The West Wing and wishing it were real, daydreaming about moving to New Zealand (Canada is too close) … mourning the loss of what I had hoped America was … mourning what America is … feeling exhausted and empty and numb … anger wells up in my belly and through my throat choking off angry tears.

Suffragettes (both black and white) were beaten in the streets and imprisoned and force fed. Susan B. Anthony never saw a woman vote legally in the United States but she fought. Civil Rights activists were beaten, blown up, murdered, and intimidated while trying to exercise their legal rights.

I will fight like hell. I will not be silenced. If they try to bury me, I will grow stronger. I will fight for my own rights and for the rights of others because what else is left? I’m an American and this is my home. I will fight for the promise of of what America is supposed to be and against the fascism of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and all who follow them.

I encourage anyone else who feels powerless to do the same. This blog is active again and will probably catalogue political viewpoints as well as self-love. To me they are one in the same now.

Seriously,

Erin Who Is (Not sobbing in bed this morning and is totally) Not Crazy

P.S. Some articles if you’re interested in becoming active in your community:

Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/election-hate-trump-president-racism

Black Lives Matter: https://policy.m4bl.org/ 

Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/

American Civil Liberties Union: https://www.aclu.org/

Human Rights Campaign: http://www.hrc.org

League of Women Voters: http://lwv.org/

 

A Cry into the Void.

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I am loathe to write this post because I don’t want to capitalize on another’s grief. I’ve always felt that to do so cheapens the loss, the grief, and the light that has been ripped from this world. I know no one that was killed, injured, or lost a loved one in the attack this past Saturday and I know no one who is unaffected by it. I am writing this not to capitalize or cheapen the loss of life but because I am so tired of this same old narrative that is now being brought up every single time something like this happens.

When I read the news on Sunday morning, the media seemed to be reporting this feeling of “shock” and “disbelief” when it came to the massive shooting. I’m not saying it wasn’t horrifying because words are inadequate to describe the depth of that horror. But “shocking”? I read somewhere (and I can’t find it now or I’d link to it) about how this was the last place they’d expect this to happen. The person commenting was a politician or famous person of some sort but I don’t remember who (the who isn’t important).

I couldn’t wrap my mind around that. Really? The last place you’d expect this to happen? I suppose you can’t say that the last place would be a church or a school anymore. But that comment made me angry because whoever said it has been willfully ignorant of the dangers that members of the LGBTQ community face: EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. (And, yes, I recognize that as a straight cisgender white female, I don’t face those same dangers.)

It made me think of Laramie, Wyoming and Matthew Shepard. The residents of that town couldn’t believe that two of their own would beat and torture another human being and leave him to die strung up on a fence. But they should have. And we should have too.

Trans-people are murdered indiscriminately for being exactly who they were born to be. LGBTQ people are the victims of violence and the objects of hate. “Religious Freedom” bills are enacted so that “Christian” businesses don’t have to serve them, don’t have to hire them, and can legally discriminate against them. I work in Civil Rights and I have to tell people, facing this discrimination, facing this danger, that there is no protection under the law for them. It doesn’t surprise them.

I’m angry and, mostly, I’m angry at myself. I couldn’t have stopped the gunman on Saturday night. But what I could have done, what I should have done, is fucking speak up.

I’ve been quiet during this political season because, frankly, I didn’t want to get into it on Facebook or other spheres. I was tired of having to defend my candidate and bickering among my friends. So I’ve been silent. (MOSTLY).

Instead of concentrating on the rising shit-storm of bigotry, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, and racism, I’ve been quiet. I’m not going to be quiet anymore.

The gunman in this case, much like in every other recent mass shooting, was American. This wasn’t an attack by a foreign country on American soil. This wasn’t an attack by a terrorist group on American soil. This was a born and raised American citizen attacking other Americans. It was absolutely related to his culture, his American culture. Homophobia is an American problem. Gun control is an American problem. Transphobia is an American problem. Sexism is an American problem. Racism is an American problem. Islamophobia is an American problem.

The mass murderer Omar Mateen was American. His victims were American. I am American and I’m tired of hearing that this sort of shit isn’t preventable because it is. I’m tired of hearing that background checks and bans on assault rifles wouldn’t have done anything because they would have. I’m tired of hearing that transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, and sexism don’t exist anymore because they do. I’m tired of feeling powerless to stop this onslaught of violence and I’m tired of feeling powerless to protect the ones I love.

As Americans, we have come so far and we still have very far yet to go. I will not let myself be silenced because I’m tired of fighting. I will not let my country become a place of fear and hate. I’m not buying a gun to shoot back. I’m not perpetuating any sort of violence because all that does is beget more violence and more hate. I don’t know what the answer is but I know what it isn’t.

Sincerely,

Erin Who Is (too tired to make a joke and is) Not Crazy

 

 

Beers, Books, & Boobs: CHANNEL LAUNCH

I’ve been working diligently for the past two months (Ok like maybe a couple of days in the last few months) on this video that is for our book club! I plan on doing more videos! If you have any requests or questions I’d be happy to work them into my next video! Otherwise, enjoy! I hope that this is as fun to watch as it was to create!

Love,

Erin Who is (Quite Certifiably insane but not at all) CRAZy

Tunnel Vision: Not Good

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Okay, okay, I’ve been remiss. But I have youtube channel project and lots of traveling to cover … also I’ve had multiple writing projects that took priority over the blog. Sorry. But I feel like most of my readers filter in and out and aren’t waiting with bated breath for a new post like a bunch of teens in the 90s waiting for concert tickets. (It was a tough time.)

Long story short (TOO LATE) what I want to talk about today (if you hadn’t already guessed from the title) is tunnel vision with regards to your dreams. Or my dreams really.

I am a big time sufferer of tunnel vision. Being an adult with ADHD, people generally don’t know this about me because my tunnel vision doesn’t last for long.

Having a dream is great. Mine have shifted around a bit as I’ve gotten older simply because I’ve tried things and realized that the concept is better than the practice. Also I’ve changed over time.

Having a plan is great. Trying to find the steps to reach your ultimate goal is not only great but also smart. If your lifelong dream is to be the next great singer arguably you need to know how to sing, how to dance, have unique and particularized style. Once you move up a step you need to know how to book gigs, perform and promote shows, and get exposure. The list is endless and since I am not nor do I have more than a fleeting desire to become a singer (my shower acoustics rock) there is probably a lot that goes into that that I am overlooking.

Where I get into trouble (for short periods of time) is that I think there is only one way to do something. There is only one way to get somewhere. So much so that I lose sight of why I want to do what I want to do in the first place.

Take writing, for example, it is and realistically always has been a very big part of my life. Until the last few years, I would write stuff for fun (usually never finishing it) and I would never show it to anyone or talk about it with anyone. Because I couldn’t do it for a living! I’d need a degree … in journalism or something … right? Or I should’ve been entering writing contest and won fifteen awards by the time I was twelve.

The last few years I have decided to take writing more seriously. I had the support of like-minded friends and supportive friends and I decided to be disciplined and devote serious time to my craft. The people that end up doing great things have to actually try. So I tried. I decided I was going to get a novel published. I got my word counts up. I worked on character development and world building. I went to a retreat. I went to hear author’s speak about the writing process. My whole world revolved around this end goal in mind. I was single minded to a fault. A big fault. When I finished a draft of around 75k (this would be the second or third draft really) I still had a shit novel. There are pieces that were good, others that might be better with a little more work, and most of it was fairly atrocious.

Part of the problem was that my end goal stopped being about the work and started being about getting published, about building a fan base, and ultimately it became about being loved. I have so many loving supportive friends and family, this defective part of me was my own invention. I came to the realization that I thought, truly thought, that I wasn’t going to be loved until I wrote a kick ass novel. That is some fucking messed up apocalypse shit. I have no idea how I got there but I think start of that process, started when I put on the blinders and told myself there was only one way to write, there was only way to impact someone else’s life positively with my writing. I had to write the next Harry Potter OBVIOUSLY.

When that wasn’t going the way I wanted it to, I shut down. I didn’t write for a while. I couldn’t. Then … wonder of wonders, I decided for no particular reason to start writing a blog. Why? To clear my head, until I could get back to “actual” writing. I don’t really remember … I’m sure someone suggested it at some point or another so I said, fuck it? Why not?

Is it an arrogant asshole-ish thing to say that my writing positively impacted my own life? I mean I have a readership (which I’m forever grateful for – you have NO idea how grateful) but I think the person who benefited the most was me. Because I wrote for no other reason than I wanted to write. It brought me back to myself. I hope that if you’re reading this that you’ve been positively impacted as well.

The conclusion here is that just because something doesn’t work the way you thought it would doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Sometimes you have to let go of the outcome and start over rather than give up or keep at something that isn’t working. Maybe your life doesn’t look the way you thought it would twenty years ago, ten years ago, five years ago, or even last year. Be open to the possibilities that all around you. No tunnel vision, nerds.

Sincerely,

Erin Who Is (totes working on that youtube and who is) Not CRAzY

P.S. Wine Country post is forthcoming …

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Embrace Change: Become Who You Are Meant to Be

You are a complex human being and you contain multitudes. 

(Unless you’re a really smart carrot … I knew it was only a matter of time before the Great Carrot Wars. Your children are excellent in cake.)

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I’ve been introspecting a lot lately. Mostly I’ve been dissecting the past and trying to play in my mind how things could have turned out differently. It’s not that I don’t like where I am, I do. But Past Erin had such a freaking clear vision of what Present Erin was supposed to be and to say the least: I come up short.

Not much good comes from playing out these scenarios in my mind. I can’t change what happened. I can’t make my past self see the error of my ways. I can’t scream at Past Erin to practice harder, choose a different career path, or just be different than what I was. If time travel were a possibility, I feel like it’d be a butterfly effect scenario where without making those mistakes I would not become who I am supposed to be. Now I’m just babbling philosophical nonsense.

We all have darkness in our lives: maybe it’s a relationship that didn’t turn out, or a career that fell through, a dream that fell short, or depression, or a death, or loss of health. Whatever it is, that darkness can tear you down bit by bit or all at once. It can unmake who you were. It can cut everything you are, right down to your very core. It can strip away all the things you believed to be a fundamental truth … and sometimes that is exactly what you need to be reborn.

We often hear (books, movies, tv, mostly that’s what makes up my life experience, haha) that holding on to yourself is a sign of strength. You can’t lose yourself. But sometimes you have to change. Change is painful, scary, and unpredictable at times. Changing doesn’t mean you are losing yourself. Changing can mean becoming who you are.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Experiences are what you learn from. Bad experiences are no exception. If anything, they are the rule. I learned from my past in which I made multitudes of mistakes. A good portion of which, I made because I was trying to hold on to something that I needed to let go of. I needed to let go and holding on to who I was or who I thought I should be only made it more painful. I was afraid too of what would be left, what would be underneath when each piece was pulled away. Which brings me back to the very first sentence of this post, you are a complex human being and you contain multitudes. Don’t be afraid to explore your depth. (That’s what she said.) (I know … but she did.)

Sincerely,

Erin Who Is (Becoming a Fucking Buttefly … or winged Monstrosity and who is) NOT Crazy

P.S. Snapey has been traveling in Asia this past week. He’s taking in a lot of sites.

P.P.S. Also Mime Erotica is a thing now guys … it’s niche market. Just you wait.

Home: Worst Alumni EVER

I’ve never had a strong sense of home or community. Not in a way that will ever get me to go to a homecoming parade. I blame it on moving around too much as a kid. (See, Mom, your fault!)

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All about the people! Not the place!

I was born in Galveston, Texas (not far from George W. Bush’s Presidential “Library”) but we moved from there before I could walk. After that we lived in Redlands, California when I was a very little kid. That is where I have my first fuzzy memories. I  remember being super psyched any time any one visited because that meant DISNEY LAND. I had an orange room with a stegosaurus border low enough to touch. I had a bunk bed with my sister. We made mud pies in old pie tins in the backyard. From there we moved to Columbia, Missouri. I can remember going to Catholic school (with the black and white oxford shoes that I hated). I remember the hilly roads and seeing snow for the first time. The school put on Halloween parties and trick-or-treating because it was too dangerous with the hills to do so in neighborhoods.

 

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No matter how cool you are, you’ll never be as cool as my grandparents. 

The rest of the time I lived in Indiana. Which was, by far, the biggest portion of time that I spent anywhere. So you’d think I’d feel a connection to it. That I’d enjoy visiting my old stomping grounds. But I moved away a couple years ago, and while I love the people there still, the place itself doesn’t call to me anymore than any other place. When I see someone in a Ball State sweatshirt (where I went to school – yes, I know, balls, he he) I don’t feel the immediate impulse to run up to them and start talking to them. I don’t have nostalgia for places nor do I feel a connection to strangers who are from the same place. When I go “home” I mostly feel the emptiness of my favorite people no longer being there.

My nostalgia isn’t for places. Or an arbitrary connection to the place I grew up or where I went to school. The people are the most important piece to me. In particular, the people made those places special for me and it doesn’t matter where I see them. Though we usually do partake in the same old things as always.

Home isn’t where you’re from or where you went to school. Home, to me, is friendship. Home is that love and sense of belonging that a place might remind you of but can never provide by itself. Home can be old friends and new ones. Home can be family, blood or forged.

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Old friends, new friends, family, home 

 

To quote Pierce Brown (writer of the Red Rising Trilogy), “Home isn’t where you’re from. It is where you find light when all grows dark.”

If you’re feeling lost seek out the people that made or can make your home, home.

Sincerely,

Erin Who Is (Grateful for her old homes and new ones and who is) NOT crazy

P.S. Snapey is heading to exotic lands, courtesy of NEW friends 😉