lost

I very genuinely used to believe in the innate goodness of people. I was so wrong. I was imagining that people were basically good. I mean of course we would have our bad apples from time to time – but ultimately we are good at heart. I have come to realize that this is definitely not the case. I have tried to analyze, process, and bond over shared sadness with coworkers, but it is of no use. Not all people are good. Not all people care that your well-being is taken care of. Not all people can look at your happiness and smile without the slightest of jealousy.

Here I stand – trapped in another toxic work environment. Trapped because of my licensure status, the fact that I have moved jobs so frequently and just the general fear of going broke. I am trapped in a routine that I despise. I mean can we all just acknowledge how crappy it is to get up every morning to go to a place where you know you are going to be treated like shit?! And this, ultimately, is the real kicker…I have this guilt because I was so lucky. I had every opportunity laid in front of me and still — I sit here at 26 years old (nearly 27) and think what am I doing? Why am I subjecting myself day after day to a horrible environment where I am treated like trash?

I miss the passion I used to have for this profession. I really just miss that feeling of fulfillment and I am wondering how I can get it back.

How can I feel something again?

dreamland

I don’t know if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I mean I know that I went to get my Masters in this field and I do enjoy it at times, but I do not know if it is feeding my soul the way I feel like it should be. I keep bouncing from place to place in this field and have worked with multiple levels of care, different communities, and a number of vast disorders but for some reason it still does not feel right. I find myself exhausted most days and completely burnt out. I work very hard and I have passion for it, but more and more I am finding myself drawn to the creative (mostly writing) and wishing for that to be my full-time job while at the same time fighting fear that my writing is not good enough and never submitting anything anywhere. There are so many talented writers out there and I don’t know how to even begin to introduce my voice.

I have thought about if I want to write online articles and freelance, but I do not feel like that is where my heart really lies either. I love to write fiction, but sometimes do not have the will power to finish a story and give up or get swamped in work (i.e. I have been working on the same book for almost 4 years). I submitted my first ever short story to a writing magazine the other day. It was based on a photo prompt. I have no idea what will happen with it – I won’t even get feedback if it is not chosen, but it was a first step. I also signed up for the 2017 Short Story Challenge and should be receiving my first writing assignment Friday night at 11:59pm. This first round allots 8 days and writers are given genre, subject, and character assignment to write a short story no longer than 2500 words. I am nervous, but am hoping that this helps me hone some of my writing skills and play with new and different genres that I have never written in before. I find myself reading more often than not and trying to immerse myself in words whenever possible, but I fight with the never ending exhaustion of my job and coming home too tired to do much of anything. I fear that if I am able to get to the second or even third round of this Short Story Competition I will not have the time or energy to even devote to writing.

The adults in my life have always talked about work so begrudgingly, as if it is supposed to be something that you loathe taking part in every day. When I was a child I always hoped I would never feel like that. I always wished that whatever I ended up doing I would be happy to wake up and do it each morning. There is no greater disappointment at this point in my life than that I have become one of those adults who dislikes going to work every day and the way it takes time away from the things that I would rather be doing and the skills I would rather be developing. I have this massive guilt that this degree that I spent so much money and time of my life earning has ultimately ended up not being what feels fulfilling to me now. There is so much conflict in my heart that it makes each day a struggle. I feel torn between two fields that are vastly different and for the most part do not allow time to overlap. Then there is always the pressure to succeed and the looming reality that although what I do is stressful it is stable, it allots me a comfortable(ish) salary that I can depend on and writing, well, writing is a dream and dreams aren’t the practical way to go especially when you have been instilled with the need for advancement from a young age as I have been.

I talked about not being big on resolutions, but one of my hopes for this year is to find some balance and peace with where I am at in my life now as far as my career goes. I hope to make some changes that will allow me the time and space to explore this other dimension that I had squashed down for so long because I could not allow it to be a reality due to its impracticality. I hope that I can find that in between place that feels comfortable and not so stressful – and even more that I can stop measuring myself against others abilities and start looking inward and finding my strength within myself.

Maybe this year can be for taking first steps and remembering that even one step in the direction that feels right is something…

 

 

Have you ever felt stuck or afraid to go after what you want? What first steps are you looking forward to taking this year? Please comment and share your stories below 🙂

happy new year

Well it is the 11th and I am finally able to sit down and write this first post of the new year and actually my first post in a long while. I wish that I had a better excuse than that I was bogged down with work and work and more work, but that is pretty much the reality. After the holidays I went straight into work mode and this is the first moment I have had to poke my head out and breathe.

Many incredible things happened during this last holiday season. I set out on what I thought would be an awkward and semi-stressful adventure with my fiancé to her family’s home in Texas that somehow turned into something so much more wonderful than I could describe. Everything that I had hoped this adventure would be it was. I was able to be myself and we were able to be ourselves and were welcomed in…maybe it was a façade for some, but for us it felt so real. It felt like a deep breath that we have been waiting to take for years. Years of tentatively saying my name in choice points of conversations with her mom and casually relating their stories to my experiences so they could get to know me in an indirect way. It paid off. It paid off and we got to feel like a part of the family which very genuinely felt like a Christmas miracle. It only got better with a trip to Corpus Christi where her mom taught us how to fish. We laughed, we bonded, and we had a complete and total blast. By far one of my favorite Christmas’s for the books.

We rolled into the New Year feeling at peace and reflecting on what this whole year has brought to us, the ups and the downs, and the love that grew not only between us but around us as well. On New Year’s Eve I sent my fiancé out on a scavenger hunt for her final present. I had been telling her that it wasn’t able to be delivered until after Christmas so she wondered and wondered what it was; when she followed the letters I hid in different significant places for our relationship she was led back home to me. I set up the house with candles and rose petals and then I proposed to her. I know, I know we were already engaged, but she deserved that moment. I wanted to have that moment with her and tell her all the ways she makes my life better every single day. She is my world. She is my best friend. And that moment was perfect.I was everything I hoped it would be.

2016 brought tears, it brought drama, it brought realizations, and it brought me happiness and helped me dive deeper into what I want and how I am going to live my life for myself.  I am excited for this year. I am not one for resolutions, but I am looking forward to new experiences, seeing my loved ones more, and growing…continuous growth in all directions.

I know this is a short one, but duty calls as they say.. thanks for listening and I hope we can all collectively take more breaths this year, dig deeper, grow stronger, and come together.

SwanQueen is endgame

There are not many things that I know better than SwanQueen. I was not a forever fan – I actually distinctly remember seeing an interview with Lana Parrilla a few years ago in Latina Magazine and not thinking much of it, except for the fact that she was a very beautiful woman and a Latina as a lead in a TV show and that made me very happy. The article was about Once Upon a Time and I didn’t really pay mind to the show because at that time I was in college, working two jobs, taking crazy amounts of credits and just overall too busy to be watching TV. I am totally and completely thankful to my fiancé who at random picked Once Upon a Time as our binge watch last summer on Netflix. We were in the process of binge watching shows because I was unemployed and she was not in school for the summer. My coincidental following of the show soon became an obsession with the two leads, Regina Mills and Emma Swan, and the magnetism that I saw between them.

When I first heard of the show I was not out; far from it actually. I hadn’t really come to terms with the whole sexuality thing. I was barely even at the precipice of discovering who I am. Now, five years later, proudly, as a full-fledged, self-identified lesbian and feminist, I have to just ask the question we are all thinking with this season finale – Why is SwanQueen NOT canon? I mean my fiancé and I held hands when Regina wished to go wherever Emma was and then traveled through the forest shouting her name. Seriously? I mean my heart ached for them. I have read many articles about the writers of this show and how they don’t write toward specific relationships, but this series has been a never-ending succession of repeated opportunities and set ups for a SwanQueen romance. I cannot describe my devastation that Robin Hood came back at the end of the episode — WHY?!

Robin has passed and in case people haven’t noticed Regina is alive and well and kicking serious ass in every episode. If she is not weakening the power of the Evil Queen through pure magical badassery she is the most emotionally open and raw that we have ever seen her. She has been such a boss lady in so many impossible situations this season and she has been woefully underrated. FINALLY in the finale episode we see Regina and Emma back together. Their banter is on point and their connection is undeniable. We have been subjected to erroneous and unnecessary distancing of these characters throughout the season and it was truly a transformative experience seeing them work together in these last two episodes. To rely on one another – to connect in the most basic of ways as they did in the earliest of episodes. This is the SwanQueen that we all know and love. So I ask again – WHY ARE THEY NOT CANON?

Of all the wishes that Regina could have wished in that moment; bringing back Robin (which didn’t even seem to cross her mind), or anything she could have ever wanted she wished to be wherever Emma Swan was. She put herself in harm’s way for Emma. She pretended to be Evil again for Emma. She would literally do anything for her. I just kept shouting KISS HER at the television. I mean I am going to admit that I have been reading a particularly large amount of SwanQueen fanfiction in the past two weeks, but it is so much greater than that. Let us not even begin to talk about how Emma stayed in wish land with Regina despite her desire to return to Henry and her parents. These two are simply meant to be.

I turned to the love of my life and said this is exactly why I want to write Lesbian/ Women Loving Women novels. There is barely any representation for us. These characters could easily and pretty much effortlessly transition into a romantic relationship but that will never happen. When the writers say they do not think about relationships or ‘shipping’ when they write that is completely false. Mainstream media would not allow for the two female leads (which come on we have two female leads on a TV show – what more could we want?) to also be in love with one another. That would not happen. Let us all take a collective sigh – because clearly this battle we have been fighting as a Swen/SwanQueen shippers is dismantling with every new season.

I sat watching in suspense – my heart is still craving SwanQueen and was completely disappointed by the reappearance of Robin. We know what is to come. Robin from this pretend wish land that Emma was in will not be the same Robin that Regina knew and loved. He will disappoint her. He will hurt her in some way – and I believe he will leave just as quickly as he reappeared. Regina has grown. She has changed. Every season – every freaking episode rather – Regina is a representation of the sheer force and power of a determined woman. She knows what she wants and she goes for it without hesitation. She is the Queen we all knew she could always be and what she has consistently and unwaveringly fought for is the safety of one, Emma Swan, and her family.

SwanQueen is endgame. It always will be. The writers should really just get with the picture already.

not ever

I was reminded pretty recently by a friend of mine just exactly why I began this blog. I mean I guess you can say there are many reasons, but none ring truer that the fact that I wanted to grow within the LGBTQ community. When I began this (almost a year ago now…I cannot believe it) I had the full intention on being my authentic self. It is the part of me that I on a regular basis dim down for the comfort and ease of others – more recently for the fear I have of others emboldened responses. The societal and political climate of the US has brought up increased need to really dive into my community and begin advocating for and standing beside one another as well as proudly being as out as I really am.

There are so many instances even in this last week where I have adjusted my behavior, dropped a pronoun, hesitated when answering a question or joining a conversation, wondered if the person asking me if my work space was a safe space for LGBT issues realized that I am a lesbian. Alright, and yes I know there is internalized homophobia that runs rapid, so the mere fact that I am a member of this community does not automatically make it safe, but I mean still. I responded as if to say of course this is a safe space, not fully acknowledging the day to day differences in my behavior that I just mentioned. Yes, my office, our sessions, they will most definitely be safe, but can I say I always genuinely feel 100% comfortable and accepted at my place of work? – I do not think I can.

This is not to say there aren’t select coworkers (1) that I feel comfortable speaking with, who actually knows, but that is really it. I have alluded to my fiancé on occasion with a few other staff but nothing has really come of it. Honestly, I am even feeling a bit queasy right now as I write this because I do not make those adjustments out of my own personal discomfort – it is as if something has been ingrained in me through years and years of oppressive mandates. The craziest part being that I am so incredibly happy with my life, in my relationship, and with who I am and who I am becoming. It has taken me so, so long to accept myself fully and to really understand myself at all. I spent years in a haze of chaos not even remotely understanding why it was that I never wanted to be with any of my boyfriends. I was so bored, there was no passion, I felt nothing physically, and I just could not understand because I knew that girls were supposed to be with boys. I kept trying; one after the next, but none stuck.

When I came to terms with sexuality (and I use that phrasing strictly because it was somewhat of a difficult time) everything changed. I started reflecting on moments from my past, feelings that lingered around females in my life, an attraction and comfort that I could not sort out at the time. And then as an adult in college discovering women loving women literature and films and really seeing the connection between those undefinable feelings and what was happening to cause them it kind of just clicked for me. My heart was literally just racing while reading a slow burn SwanQueen fanfic…I mean come on.  I imagine that what I experienced a bit later on in my life is what heterosexual people go through when they see movies and read love stories when they are teenagers. Our society being as hetero-normative as it is never really gave me the exposure to fully understand those feelings when I was younger and so those feelings, in my experience anyway, never really came until I saw women loving women as an option.

So while talking with my friend we came upon the subject of the process of me coming out and what it meant to me. When I realized I am gay I think I went into immediate adjustment mode. I came out as bi (because somehow I thought that would be easier for family and friends…it wasn’t) and began to openly date women, well one woman in particular. It was both a freeing and shackling experience. It was like yes, finally, I’m out, but woah why are people constantly staring at us, why do they feel they can shout in our faces, why does the room grow silent when I use a pronoun to describe my partner? These overt and covert forms of discrimination do actually lead to fear and the feeling that one is unwelcome. So if you maybe happen upon this and you know someone in the LGBTQ community – or actually even if you are not sure if you know someone – maybe try to ease some of the discomfort and be an ally because this is not a case of over-sensitivity. This is real. These instances happen every day and you never really know how what you say and do can impact another person’s entire sense of safety. These incidents are not easy to talk about because we fear further isolation – as if allowing space to process these incidents is further inconveniencing the person who made you feel uncomfortable in the first place.

I guess the point of this is just to say – hey, we are human, complex individuals, and have feelings. For many of us being out is still a brave act so please – take that into consideration the next time you make an assumption that can marginalize or isolate someone.

We can all learn something from one another and no one should ever feel like they have to lessen themselves to make you feel more comfortable. Not ever.

i am a writer

I have always had this craving for words. I sat at my desk today, on the short 30 minute lunch that I am trying to force myself to take each day, and pulled out this book that I keep with me always. It is just a small book with blank pages, nothing fancy. I have had so many over the years, but when I look at it I find myself traveling back through time. It is such a visual representation of my state of mind, my feelings, my struggles…all there –splayed across pages and pages were poems, thoughts, chapter notes, inspirational quotes — anything that spoke to me really. I remembered being on the subway running to Port Authority and writing against the door of a cramped train because there was just so much inside me that it could not wait for me to have a seat and a desk to write at. I think about how much my life has changed and the fact that I have to enforce time for writing in the midst of “adult” life. I have to literally set aside time each day and I can’t help but wonder… is that okay?

I have struggled with devoting time to self-care. It is surely a requirement for my wellness and ability to continue doing my job, but still I struggle on a daily basis to allow myself the time to do the things that bring me joy. Writing is not just my self-care, it is my passion. I watched today’s challenge video with my fiancé as we readied ourselves for work and she made me say out loud that “I am a writer.” She made sure to also add “I am a talented writer” and made me repeat this with her several times. I take time to acknowledge that simple act of support and love because so often I manage to forget that this is not simply a self-care tool. Writing is what I love to do – I wish, so so deeply, that it could be my full-time job. Every day I regret getting lost in the hustle of my day and not writing when I have the urge. Here and now I am acknowledging that it just cannot keep happening. It cannot allow it, for the most simple and plain fact that, I AM A WRITER.

There are times where my 10-11 hour work days leave me feeling exhausted and fatigued; unable to scroll out even a line – but I can change this. I have hope. I know that with dedication and support I can bring myself back to the days of impromptu writing on walls and subway doors or any surface available. I am writing this quickly (to get in the 10 minutes), but I know I will continue it soon. I will allow myself the space and time to grow in this way.

I know this may be a ramble. I know it may seem like I have written this a billion times over. I know that it will not happen overnight, but I also know, most ardently, that it will happen, because I AM A WRITER.

closing the gap

There are a lot of things I have been waiting for – just sitting here, waiting for things to happen to me, for me, for people to care, just because I am me. As if for some reason I am just going to luck into this dream thing that I have been playing over and over again in my mind. I have dreams that extend out to every corner of myself, ones that tap into the most secret parts that almost no one has really seen. Dreams that sometimes feel like they will never come.

I’ve taken some time this week to process the election and really allow myself to go through the emotions I was holding at bay – the facebook posts, the messages of hugs from friends in response to the debilitating fear I felt waking up to find out that Trump had won – and the numbing silence of the people in my life who never really think about me, well clearly not enough to reach out, not enough to check-in, to say hello, to be there. That last one is something that I am trying to remember will always happen – no matter what – that type of silence, the one that lives in the cracks of broken relationships – that silence is perhaps the worst type. It never really stops hurting.

And so with some time and reflection I want to just say out loud, in full disclosure, I am not ready. I am really not ready for this reality. It is not as if I was not aware of the deep routed hatred that lies in the heart of this country, but seeing the numbers…seeing how many people were able to put another beings human rights aside – to not care about the millions of people that would be more than negatively affected by this man’s presidency… I mean that — how? How do we even begin to wrap our head around that?

I had a friend tell me she refuses to believe that all Trump supporters have the same belief system as he does, but my response to that was a simple one. Let’s say they aren’t overtly like Trump. Maybe they are average Americans who go through their days just trying to do their best. Maybe it was for the promise of jobs, or his stance on the military, or just the fact that he was not a part of the “system” that appealed to them. Even if that is so, even if they are not overtly like Trump, you cannot deny the message that Trump sends. Trump gave a voice to the –isms that live within all of us; the biases that so easily become a part of our most basic selves. He emboldened that voice with his rhetoric and behavior. He stood as a model of hatred for people who through the years have systematically pushed down and tried to hide the history of their actions against marginalized groups. Simply put, Trump made it okay to openly hate, discriminate, and wish/do harm to  entire populations of people – that cannot be separated or portioned off. It was in every word he spoke; twisted masterfully into every promise he made.

I do not believe that all Trump supporters are overtly racist, homophobic, sexist, bigots. However, I do believe that the mere fact that they were able to look passed Trump’s rhetoric and behavior is a clear sign of their privilege. Honestly, if you can sit there, watching Trump and Pence stating plans to diminish the rights of various groups, demeaning them, ridiculing their very existence, and still believe he can be a President to all the people of this nation, you are privileged. You are a person who can hear these terrifying things and say ‘okay’ because it is not going to affect you on a daily basis – your life won’t change dramatically — your civil and human rights will remain intact – you—you my dear will continue through these four years unscathed – able to walk around freely without fear for your safety. That is a privilege. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not it is right there – floating in the space between us – the space that only grows larger when we don’t talk about it. Believe it or not it has always been there – it is just larger now and everyone, including those who previously were unaware of the day to day challenges of these communities and the hatred that lives within this country, can now see it too.

I just finished reading through the transcript of Trumps 60 minutes interview and I find it ironic that a man that built a campaign off of calling his opponent a liar every chance he could is now trying to back pedal his way out of what he so ardently stood for throughout the entirety of his campaign. Are we really supposed to sit here and believe what he is saying, that he wants to unify the nation, make us stronger, when he just spent over a year and a half dividing us, breaking us down, playing groups off one another for votes and photo-ops? That interview was full of moments where he cut off the interviewer, brushed statements under the rug, and directly contradicted promises he made not more than a few days ago. This is the man that I am supposed to trust with my rights? This man who chose a VP that admittedly stands against my community and our civil rights on the basis of his religion despite our countries separation of church and state? This man…this man will never be my president.

You may disagree with me or scoff this off as someone who is being too sensitive, but we are here, we will fight, we will resist. We need to stand up to the inevitable battle that lies ahead of us – advocate for ourselves and those who stand with us. We will come together to face the fear that this presidency imposes on our livelihood. We are genuinely better united. Let us fight their intolerance with peace, respect, and veracity.

Let us rise up —

Let us stand strong —

Together

In the end it is up to us to close the gap between where we stand now and our dreams.

Vote. 

The anxiety that this election is causing me is so immense that it is hard to put into words. I have tried to stay off this topic all throughout the election, but now that we are 2 days out of election day the anxiety is just  too much. Last night I went to a poker game that a friend of mine was hosting and a few people said they weren’t going to be voitng in this election.

There is this mentality that because people aren’t fully for Hillary and hate Trump they can either vote third party or not vote at all. Now the problem with that mentality is that Trump supporters are voting and they are voting big. Trump has opened a platform for all of the bigot, racist, homophobic, and ignorant people of this nation and they are embracing  their  new found supported and welcomed voice in the government. The threat of Trump winning this election is real. I was explaining it like this, if at this party  there are 6 people choosing  not to vote because they don’t think their  vote matters let’s multiply that by all the other many apartments with 1 or 2 people who don’t think their vote matters and are choosing not to vote. When we look at the  number of all the many people who are choosing not to vote and remaining silent in comparison to the many people who have found a voice in Trump’s horrific rhetoric who are making sure to vote it is a frightening statistic. 

I am genuinely scared to see what Tuesday brings for our futures. Trump threatens the very existence of so many people’s civil rights. He  stands for hate and would turn our country back in time. I cannot describe the saddness that this brings me and my fiance. we were literally having a conversation about what we would do if Trump  wins which prominently  focused around moving to Canada. I don’t really think people are completely understanding the very real fear that Trump incites for a lot of us who already face prejudice and discrimination on a daily basis. Some may say that I am overexaggerating or being too sensitive, but covert and overt discrimination does take place on a daily basis. When I see someone who could potentially have one of the most powerful positions in this world overtly discriminating  against large portions of our population I can only hope that the  good of this country will not be silent and will rise up, loud and clear, and show that  love trumps hate.

Please, please go out and vote. Every vote really does count. 

Swan Queen <3 I wish I had known

So the other night I stopped by a friend of mines house to pick something up and of course we ended up catching up and talking for a few hours and one topic of conversation was…but of course…Swan Queen. So, well, unfortunately she wasn’t even aware that Swan Queen was a thing… never mind the realest part of Once Upon a Time, but I think I just converted her. I showed her a video that is incredible. Please go check out the link and share. Tumblr has been my everything when it comes to Swan Queen and I absolutely adore the fanfiction.

I so wish Swan Queen could be canon. Even my friend who had no point of reference started making the connections after we talked about it. The reality that Swan Queen literally checks off all the boxes of “true love” on the show and when I was talking about this with my friend I realized how incredibly deprived I feel of same-sex relationships on mainstream television. Thank goodness for Netflix, which is a little more inclusive in their shows, but we need more. I mean, fuck, why aren’t there more same-sex couples on mainstream television and why, when they are actually featured, do they only amplify stereotypes?

Swan Queen would be the most epic love story ever presented on a show and I really wish it could be canon. Please make it happen OUAT! Please. I think about all the people in my life, and also at times, to be honest, my childhood, and I wonder about how much of an impact it would have made for me to see a lesbian couple on television. Not just a stereotype, but one made of complex characters that resembled me in some way. I wish I would have had some exposure earlier. I wish I could have known this was an option…I mean really it would have saved me a lot of heartache. I really wish I had known.

Everything would have been different…everything.