Monday, August 28, 2017

My Glasses

When I was in 3rd grade, we were told there was going to be an eclipse while we in school, so we all worked on our pin hole shadow papers so we could safely see this scientific wonder. All the while this one fact was repeated multiples time while preparing for the event: Do Not Look Directly at the Sun - You'll Ruin Your Eyesight.

The problem was, that I wanted to ruin my eyesight. I wanted to wear glasses and my eye exams always said my vision was fine. So, when the eclipse came, at first I followed directions and saw the eclipse's shadow on my slice of paper, but then, I peeked. Just for a quick moment, and I remember it taking more than normal to adjust back to normal vision and that was that. 

Pretty soon it was time for my eye exam and sure enough, I needed glasses. And THEN? I refused to wear them. I always got a new prescription when needed, but shortly after getting them I stopped wearing them, until about junior high. I'm pretty sure my reasoning for wanting to to tell blobs apart from each other was purely hormonal, but it got me seeing, which I think is universally a good thing. ;)

I have never been comfortable picking out my own glasses. Pick too small of a frame and the lenses turn out like large circles making me look like one of the Chipettes from Alvin and the Chipmunks, pick the thicker frame and I look like Every Unique Person Ever. When I was old enough I made the switch to contacts, and to this day, I much prefer the face looking back at me without frames, but the framed face has become much more familiar, and accessible, as one pair of glasses can go YEARS longer than a set of contacts. 

So. There's my little fable for you, only days too late for the 2017 eclipse of course, because what good is sound advice you can actually use?

I'm sure there's a deeper meaning there about my horrible decision making process and echoes of it through my life, but the surface point is pretty solid too. And I'm too tired from another hell-ishly long summer to dive any deeper.

If you are repeatedly told that doing a specific action gains a specific response: believe it. 

I was told if I looked at the sun, it was damage my eye sight and it did. Sure I'm not blind, but at this point in my life I can only see about 6 inches in front of me without assistance, and I can't imagine how much worse it will get as even more time passes. 

Luckily, glasses exist. ;)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

When Home Doesn't Exist Anymore

I was born and raised in Southern California, a city you've never heard of unless you're from SoCal is on my birth certificate; Downtown LA is where "who" I am started forming.

One of my sisters, Bug/Buggy, was born during the 1992 Riots. By the next school grade, we had moved to Arizona. I never really felt like I belonged here, until my senior year, when I was introduced to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But this isn't about how I found my place here, this is about where my heart calls home.

If you were to take me to the middle of Downtown LA, and drop me off on a corner, I would take you to the apartment I grew up in. I can google to tell you the exact crossroads, but my feet and heart doesn't keep directions like that. When I was 14 and visiting for the summer, I actually managed to walk from my old home to the home of my former best friend's house and chit chat with her parents (she wasn't home), and ended up being in constant letter writing contact until the end of high school.

If I shut my eyes, I can still vividly see the white office building with the HUGE warm air vent that my homeless friend Jack stayed in at night to stay warm. Jack was a wonderful man who was always kind and friendly and cheerful. I was a sack lunch kid, and everyday my lunch bag had a second sandwich for him. Until he disappeared. I remember my mom saying that she was praying he was staying warm that night, and me asking why she wasn't praying he had a forever home. I remember him being gone long enough that I stopped bringing sandwiches. And then, one day, walking home from school, there he was on the sidewalk! Standing next to a shiny white car, freshly dressed and showered, waiting for ME. He was worried that I might have been worried about him, and he wanted to tell me that he had a home again, and that I didn't have to make him sandwiches anymore. I will never forget Jack, my first real friend.

I took the bus to school, and had a pretty nice walk to and from the bus stop everyday and the sounds of downtown were musical. At any given point, you would see people talking and interacting with each other, peaceful and frantic all at once. Once, I saw a man in a 3-piece suit on his way to work (I'd imagine) having a friendly chat with a punk teen, complete with big, long liberty spikes.

And then, the riots hit. My sister Boo, and I were whisked out of the city to where her dad's parents lived where we stayed until our mom gave birth to Bug. We missed at least a week of school, but we were young enough not to understand exactly what was happening and just enjoy it. Our mom went back into the city to give birth to Bug, and shortly after we started the visits to Az to pick a home.

But something broke. The noise was the same, the frantic to and fro was still happening, but it was like someone took a paint brush and painted big, thick lines around everyone and divided us into these guarded teams against each other. Like I said, it wasn't too much time after the riots before we moved, and when we moved to Az, my biggest problem was all the division. Looking back, I can speculate that everywhere was like that after the riots, but at the time, I felt like I had been ripped away from this fantastic city and forced into this horribly judgemental place.

My home, doesn't exist anymore. Sure, I can go to the physical buildings, and take these wonderful walks down memory lane in my head, but the environment, the  friendships, the not only acceptance of differences, but the expectation of differences, all gone. The exposure to all these things dramatically molded me into the person I am. And now, I have a son. And he's just a little younger than I was when I moved here. But Arizona is his home, not California. He lives less than 20
 minutes from the hospital he was born in. Sure, he enjoys visiting California, but because he likes going out of town, because he's a child. :)

I hope when my son grows up, he thinks of fondly of his roots as I do.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Answers to Questions Only Rude People Ask

For the record; I have been editing this and re-writing parts of this for the better part of a month, but in the last 48 hours I have become so annoyed, this post almost was another rambling rant about humanity sucking, but no. I am staying on topic, and sharing with you a tale.

When I was a freshman in high school, I had a crush on a Czechoslovakian boy named Ned. He had a crooked nose, an adorable smile, and was one of the nicest, most nervous people I had ever met. I gave him my number in his oh so cool digital roledex, but only had him on the other end of my phone when he three-way-called me to tell me that he was going to be dating my friend Amber, and make sure I was going to be ok.

 To this day I don't know if that was his niceness and consideration, or my friend being a bit of a hag, but nonetheless I answered chirpily  "Oh, that's ok! I like Justin anyways!" Justin was the boy who sat next to me in English, and we had a similar sense of sarcastic humor. He was in a metal band, and I don't know if he was a Juggalo, or just a wanna-be, but we dated off and on until the summer before senior year. Although we dating for a combined 3 years, we were constantly breaking up with each other to date other people we were attracted to (a couple of times Justin forgot to break up with me first, but I'm pretty sure it was in retaliation to me breaking up with him every summer for the week I was at summer camp so I wouldn't be cheating on him with my camp boyfriend).

I mention Justin, because even though we dated for a long time, especially by high school standards, we were never serious. My first serious relationship happened after a quick detour into vegan boyfriend land, and I started dating "B" on my 17th birthday. I fell in love with him in a ridiculously short amount of time, and was willing to give up all my plans and dreams to make new dreams with him.

Before New Years I ended up pregnant. B was 4 years older than me, and we both were attending the same self paced school to get our diplomas, me because my illness had weakened my body which caused my GPA to drop my junior year of high school due to missing so much school, and I was trying to graduate on time; him because he had some serious depression issues that led to behavior issues.

 I remember crying when I saw the test, knowing that I was about to beat my mom's single and pregnant at 21 by a good 3 years. I remember sitting in the car in front of his house, with him asking me what I planned on doing about the pregnancy, and nodding his head in approval while I explained my plans to try to move back home to California. I didn't think my dad or step-mom would take me in, but maybe my aunt or grandpa would.

And then, I remember going to Wal Mart with him, when he stopped me. "I'm sorry Megan, I'm just not ready to have my own Savannah" (the name of the little girl who's parents were staying in my mom's guest house at the time) And then he punched me in the lower part of my stomach. Hard. In the middle of a busy Wal Mart parking lot. He gave me a moment, then started walking again and asked if I was coming. Some days later, I went to the bathroom and flushed down some excess blood and a glob of tissue cells. A week after that I was in the ER with massive stomach pains and the doctor had to ask me why my body had pregnancy hormones and no baby.

Shortly after, B dumped me for a junior who's life made my shit show life seem calm, and a part of my heart cracked.

Many years later, I was getting married, and we were discussing children. When I was a little girl, I so badly wanted to be a mom, I decided I wanted 12 kids, 6 sets of twins. Obviously, this was before I knew anything about biology, or economics, but the bottom line is that I have ALWAYS wanted to be a mom. It's in my blood.

Wasband and I agreed that after we got married, we would officially start not stopping myself from getting pregnant, wait 2 years after baby 1 was born, has baby 2, wait 5 years and then decide if we were done or if we wanted to do another cycle. That was the plan, and I was 110% on board.

Then I got pregnant. And it took everything I could to stay pregnant. I was terrified of moving the wrong way in the first trimester, then from the second one on, my body kept trying to expel the fetus. I was put on pelvic rest, and then regular rest towards the end, and I spent almost every week in OB triage. My son was born by emergency c-section after 12 hours of active labor.

I warned the wasband that my time table might have shifted after such a horrific experience. 7 years later, I'm divorced, and still not willing to get pregnant again.

The problems I have are these; I love children. I want to be the mom to as many kids as possible, nothing gives me the same type of joy as being surrounded by little ones. But my track record for pregnancy is utter shit. I have one miscarriage under my belt, and another trauma filled pregnancy, even though it ended in a live birth.

My son is the singularly most important thing in my life, and I cannot in good conscience do anything that might end up with me not being around in his life. So no more pregnancies. I am lucky enough to have my one, perfect son, and as much as a huge part of my heart will always ache for more, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that I cannot.

And all of this, is what goes through my head, every time someone asks me why I "only have one child" or I'm told that "when I meet the real right guy, I'll want to give him a baby."

Fuck you and your glib, hurtful assumptions. If my body was healthy enough, I would have all the babies, and love them each with all of my heart.

Friday, January 6, 2017

I Don't Want to be Beautiful

A handful of weeks ago, I went to dinner with a friend who was giving me a ride home from work since Gil had a gig that night. Earlier that day (past weekend?) she was all over Snapchat and Facebook complaining about how the dudes at the car dealership kept hitting on her. On FB, a good number of her friends, male and female, commented about how it was because she was beautiful. On every single comment she replied a "No." or "Shut up, you're wrong".

When we were out to dinner, it was brought up again, and I half jokingly implied that the only reason she had posted anything in the first place was because she WANTED to be told how attractive she was. I was a little goading, but eventually got her to admit that was her goal. So, I obliged and told her all the ways she fits societies standards of beauty, she preened a little and then said "Oh! But so are you!" My response: So? I don't care if anyone thinks I'm beautiful. Kinda a conversation killer (or starter in the right crowds), and that was that.

But I stand by my statement. Yes, I want to be well groomed, and appropriately dressed for where ever I am, but my goal is always to blend in. I know, my hair is various shades of the rainbow depending on my mood, but it's almost always blended in with a "real" hair color, and I have never done my hair for anyone other than myself. It brings me such joy to see the various colors swirling and fading around my skull. It makes me feel like a work of art, and whenever I try to tone it down or get rid of it, I don't recognize myself in the mirror. So, while it might seem contradictory, I never want to be noticed by the masses. Especially not over something as subjective as beauty.

But that doesn't mean I don't want to leave my thumbprint on the people I encounter, the exact opposite is true. In fact, I want to leave lasting memories of kindness, and cleverness, snarkiness, and doofy laughter. I want my son to think of me and us meowing that we love each other. I want my friends and family to think of me making faces and talking to them in my Mom Voice because I care about them and do a rather shit job of showing it unless I sound sarcastic or like their mother.

I want the people I work on to remember the way it felt when I manipulated their muscles into proper position, and the rush of relief they felt. I want the children in my life to think of all the silly songs I put their names in so they feel uniquely loved.

I caught myself in the mirror yesterday and I had to chuckle, because I felt like I looked so, authentically me. Frizzy hair in a loose ponytail, chipped nail polish, jeans and a t-shirt. The way I have looked every single day of my life, no matter what life challenges I've faced, or how much I've grown as a person, I look the same as I did when I was 8, 5, 20, and I'll look the same when I'm 40, 60 and 80.

So sure, I never want to walk around smelling like a litter box, and I never want to bring anyone's attention to me because of how I'm dressed, but the things I truly care about involve absolutely nothing with how I look.

So, you know, just keep walking, nothing to see here. ;)

A Little Blasphemy as a Literal (and Figurative) Sign of Progress

 Hello there, it’s been a while, and in true returning from ghosting fashion, I am here to either share something vapid and meaningless, or ...