Time To Reflect…

So, I was electronically reminded that it’s been nearly five years since I first started  blogging. (Here with WordPress, anyhow.) So to commemorate that fact, and because I’ve been a little remiss in my posting lately, I thought I’d reflect some on what all has happened since and what, why, who, and where I am now.

 



FIVE YEARS. First, can I just say that it’s been one HELL of a crazy ride these past five years…because well, has it ever. I mean, I’m older…and I don’t just mean that in the literal, age-wise sense. Emotionally, intellectually… I’ve grown so much. If people are right about the whole “having a soul” thing…then in that sense…that too. I mean, I feel like I’ve aged a lifetime in these five years…which is both a mathematical and figurative wonder to me. I feel so old. And not necessarily with my physical body…though I could have certainly done without all the broken wrists, broken ribs, traumatic brain injuries, post-TBI afflictions and drama, near-deaths experiences, etc. I mean my soul (if such a thing were/is to exist, of course). Inside. I never would have thought I could feel so different at 30 than at 25…that it could be possible with dealing with just five years…but clearly, it does and it is. I will give my 25-year-old self some credit, though. I’d grown a lot to then. Was grown. I wasn’t that same naïve, reckless, impulsive 21-year-old girl who fell for anything and allowed herself to be manipulated by both people and the world…that or even that scared and shattered 22-year-old girl who thought that giving up a piece of her soul and her self was the only way to make things right…to keep her secret safe and the truth from coming out. I’m not them. I thought I’d seen and experienced and felt so much…but I’d barely skimmed the surface at that point, at twenty-five. I’ve realized that miscalculation now. I’m still dealing the blowback and consequences…still. I know.


These past five years have been a roller-coaster…a thrilling, confusing, sad, complex, terrifying, but still incredible roller-coaster. It hasn’t been easy. Not at all. Not that I expected or even wished it would be. What would have the fun in that, right? In true fashion, I’ve had some setbacks, for sure. Some hell. A lot of falls. A lot of failure. A lot of disappointment, from and for myself and others. I’ve been to the edge and on the verge of giving up absolutely and completely too many times than I can, nor would like to count (or even think about, to be quite honest). But I’ve also had so much greatness and successes and blessings. I told myself I’d go back to school and finish what I started…and I did exactly that. I proved the haters and naysayers wrong. When I walked off the campus at Colgate all those years ago, I thought I was doing the right thing. It took me a long time to realize that I was just running afraid, both literally and figuratively. I don’t know if any of you heard or ready about Alexandra Kogut— an 18-year-old freshman at SUNY Brockport) who was beaten to death back in September of 2012 by her high school “boyfriend”, in her dorm room…with her own curling iron–of all things. It was brutal. I think the story made national news and the Dateline show even did a piece on her a few years back. Her story/murder really hit home to me. Literally. She grew up and graduated from a high school not even 20 minutes from the small town I grew up in. I doubt she ever expected the boy she’d loved would ever be capable of what he did…and yet, she’s gone and he’s serving 25 to life in prison for her murder.


It just goes to show that you truly never really know a person…or what they are capable of. We just don’t. I think there’s a little bit of evil in all of us…but what sets good people apart from those doers of heinous, horrible acts and atrocities is, for the most part, that we have a conscience. Most of us have this moral fiber in us that, either knowingly or subconsciously, sort of serves as a guide. For the same reason that we have laws and rules–for without such we’d only have chaos–we have a conscience that intuitively tells us what’s wrong and what’s right. That moral compass, in my opinion, is what makes us GOOD…that makes us human. Naturally, we don’t always get it right. We make mistakes. We’re not perfect. But the difference is that our mistakes generally don’t affect or hurt others, only ourselves, for the most part. The difference is that we (good people) can accept and recognize that little amount of evil that’s in all of us and KNOW how to hold it at bay or compartmentalize/ignore it. Those that are evil simply don’t care about the consequences of their actions. They don’t acknowledge or feel any remorse for the detrimental effect their actions have/have had on others. I think we’re all familiar with the whole “Nature vs. Nurture bit…you know, that annoying debate on whether a person is born evil or bad…or if it’s their environment/society that made them that way. The latter is a cop-out, if you ask me. Just another excuse…though sadly, not all that surprising…considering. It’s a known fact that if there’s a way our generation (sorry, fellow Millennials) can shirk accountability or cast off blame off ourselves and to others …we pounce on it. We’re a generation that thrives on convenience. The easier, the better. We may be lazy and spoiled and oblivious, not to mention self-centered at times…but we are (the majority of us), for the most part, good people. Flawed, but GOOD. I believe we’re all just doing our best in a chaos-laced, unforgiving world. We try to acknowledge and learn from our mistakes so that we know better the next time…when and if it’s possible. I just wish we weren’t so quick to pass judgement or to point fingers. But that’s exactly what we do. And we do it all the time. It’s always someone else, or something else to blame–we’re so good at lashing out and laying fault with video games, music, weapons, etc…but those don’t kill/abuse/rape, etc…PEOPLE kill/abuse/rape PEOPLE.


It’s not always black or white…sometimes the lines are blurred. Some people just can’t help themselves. They may be mentally ill or carriers of some degenerative disease/condition that prevents them from being truly aware of their actions. The brain is an incredible, fickle mystery of an organ…one compressed nerve, a shortage of some chemical…and everything goes hay-wire. In that regard, some people may not be entirely or deliberately responsible for their actions…some may not even be cognizant of what they are being blamed for, having been rendered incapable of guilt and/or remorse. I can sympathize with those that are legitimately unwell/unstable. Mental illness is real. But cases like that are the exception, not the rule. Most are just plain EVIL. I hate it when criminals and do-gooders paint this picture of injustice and innocence, and try to circumvent or take advantage of the good in others to get away with their evil crimes and despicable actions.Those sob story excuses of how it’s not the killer’s fault–he just snapped–or the rapist that was abused as a child. I know a lot of people who have had a rough childhood and/or came from a broken home, or something…and they didn’t grow up to be murderers or rapists or criminals of some sort.


In the opposite regard, there are also those that are evil DESPITE a happy childhood and or having been raised to know right from wrong. There are those that have been given so much opportunity, who haven’t had to want for anything and whom have/had everything…you know, the PERFECT life: Two happily married parents, education from only the prestigious and best schools, a guaranteed lifetime of financial security, and not to mention, a whole platoon of friends and loved ones to give them the (and more) support and encouragement any one person could want or even need, for that matter.  What that tells me that evil is a conscious choice. Even sociopaths know right vs. wrong. They just choose to embrace the latter (wrong)…over doing what’s right. All we or I can do is be grateful that evil is the minority. Good continues to reign the majority of the time. As it should be.


Looking back and reflecting on it all…and I know it probably sounds fucking messed up and ridiculous, but at the time, I truly felt like I was alone. At first, I felt like I was special–only in the worst kind of way. The only people I’d ever trusted with something like that– I left them behind, too. There was no point in telling my family or closest friends what I was doing because I knew that they wouldn’t approve. I didn’t want to see that pity look in their eyes. We’ve come a long way in terms of domestic violence and the stigma of it for women. Even now, it’s not something you bring up in casual conversation. The stats on D.V. should be much higher, but they’re not…due mostly in part to a seriously flawed system that doesn’t always act in the favor of the victim(s). Unfortunately, those stats don’t account for all those individuals that distrust the system and instead choose to not come forward or press charges–usually either because they’ve accepted their being and present situation, or because they’re terrified and can’t handle it. I doubt I was the only girl on campus wearing foundation-covered-black-eyes and broken bones…gifts of their own “wonderful” significant other. Now, if they were/are anything like me, they did a pretty good job of blending in…instead of standing out. Behind closed dorm doors…anything could happen, and everything was fair game. Everything. I couldn’t have been the only girl on campus with the hardcore athlete for a boyfriend with a penchant for jealousy and a deep need to be in control of any and all aspects of not simply just his, but my life as well. I’m sure I wasn’t the only girl who knew what it was like to be on the receiving end of a fist or slap or shove. I have to admit my part in it all…as even though the campus was only just over an hour from home…I still felt isolate. It took me a while to realize that was obviously his goal all along…that that was exactly how he wanted me to feel…isolated and vulnerable. It was easier for him to just bend me at his will that way…to manipulate me for their own sick and twisted gain. Would he have killed me if I’d stayed? Well, he threatened it more times than I want to remember, but I want to say that no, he wouldn’t have…but then, I have no way of knowing that with absolute certainty. Maybe I was wrong. I mean, I never thought he’d hurt me  before either… that is, until I woke up on an exam table in a room at the student health center with a concussion, cracked wrist, and a splitting goddamn headache—an hour after we fought over a platonic conversation I’d had with his friend and fellow teammate…just the first of what would be many false accusations and assumptions. Not to mention, more cover ups and excuses. With him, the paranoia was unmatched–always the same — that something MUST be going on and/or that one or both of us were or wanted to split up or who the hell knows. He could have all the “girl” friends he wanted…but I couldn’t even have a 2 minute debate with another guy about the facets of the sport that is soccer without apparently wanting to f**k said guy.  In hindsight, I just wish I’d stayed instead of running. I wish I’d stood up to him … and the threats he’d held over my head and used against me, constantly,  for so long..  He had complete control over my life… but I took it back. Not that it an easy or mess/pain/blood-less fight…but I did it. I made it. I survived. Well, for the most part.


“You held me down, you took control. Dear Fear, how did I get here? How do I let go when you were all I’ve ever known. So long, Dear Fear, I wasted enough years. I’m scared out of my mind, but I’ll never know unless I try. So this is goodbye Dear Fear…”


Anyways (me and my damn tangents, I knowwwww) … Let’s get back to the last 5 years…

I promised myself I would move on and I have…though I’ve yet to quite master the “no-turning-back” part. And I promised myself I would go off and see a little bit of the world and if it the possibility were to present itself, to find myself. Well, I did the first part. I’m still working a little on the other part. But I’ll get there. I promised I would leave this town and go somewhere; find a city or town where I could and would finally feel like I belonged. And I did that. I packed my things and moved to Nashville…even though no one understood or approved or hell, even thought I would. But I did it. Alone. 900 miles from the only people, place, and life I’d ever known for a city filled with millions of strangers…with no real, clear plan of action. I’d decided I would figure it all out once I got there. A risky move, for sure…but also, a fulfilling one. Call me crazy, but I decided to chase my dreams and follow my heart…for the first time in what felt like my entire life, or ever. But it all paid off and was worth it.  I found my place. My SOMEWHERE. I found happiness in the unlikeliest and most unexpected places.


There’s more. For once, I can say that I’m in a healthy, stable (about damn time I stopped fishing out the losers, right y’all) relationship with a great guy — the absolute best (I might be a tad bit biased lol) — a guy that god-knows I probably don’t deserve–but am beyond grateful for. Most days I can’t believe that I was the one to run into him outside that coffee shop nearly 3 years back (… no joke, I LITERALLY ran into him, iced-coffee everywhere…I was a hot mess!)… and not some other girl. It felt like fate…like we were meant to meet. I can’t explain it…just how it feels. It’s no state secret that I haven’t exactly had the best track record when it comes to relationships…some of that is on them…some of it’s on me. I’ll admit, there were times I wondered if I’d ever get it right. If I’d ever stop the running and the self-sabotage when the path took a turn towards serious…when things got real. If I’d ever find someone worth risking my heart and everything for. Relationships were never really my thing. Until now. I don’t know what it is or what changed but it’s going on 3 years now and I haven’t felt that itch to run…not even once. If you read my posts or know me personally–that’s HUGE for me. I don’t know what it means or what is says about him or our relationship or the future, for that matter…but I’m happy. He’s great. I’m great. It’s good. The rest doesn’t matter.


I’ve also met/become friends with some of the most interesting, talented, generous, and just overall utterly amazing human beings…the kind of people who you can just meet and somehow just know and feel like you’ve known them forever. It’s been an uphill battle, testing my limits, finding and diffusing my choice of breaking points. I’ve accepted my weaknesses…AND my strengths. I have them, too. Who knew?

I’ve learned. I’ve lived. I’ve grown. While I’m not too keen on the whole “thirties” thing… I am looking forward to seeing where the next five years take me. Stay tuned and I guess you’ll find out with me as I go.

Xo

MESSIE

Image result for quotes on living life on your own terms

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By The Grace of God.

~~

TRACK: BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD
ARTIST: KATY PERRY

~~


LYRICS:

Was twenty-seven, surviving my return to Saturn.

A long vacation didn’t sound so bad.

Was full of secrets, locked up tight like Iron Mountain.

Running on empty, so out of gas…

[ ~ … ~ ]

Thought I wasn’t enough.

Found I wasn’t so tough.

Laying on the bathroom floor.

We were living on a fault line,

And I felt the fault was all mine.

Couldn’t take it anymore…

[ ~ … ~ ]

By the grace of God, there was no other way.

I picked myself back up, I knew I had to stay.

I put one foot in front of the other.

And I looked in the mirror and decided to stay.

Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way…

[ ~ … ~ ]

I thank my sister for keeping my head above the water

when the truth was like swallowing sand.

Now every morning, there is no more mourning.

Oh I, can finally see myself again.

I know I am enough.

Possible to be loved.

It was not about me.

Now I have to rise above.

Let the Universe call the bluff.

Yeah, the truth will set you free…

[ ~ … ~ ]

That way, no.

Not in the name of love.

That way, no.

I am not giving up…

[ ~ … ~ ]

By the grace of God, I picked myself back up.

I put one foot in front of the other.

And I looked in the mirror,

and decided to stay

Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way.

That way, no.



Music is, and always has been—a least for me–a powerful thing. There are just some songs that you hear and can only think, WHOA. Songs that stop you in your tracks, and lay you out flat. Cold. This song is one of them. I know it’s been out for years, but I only just heard it tonight, on a Spotify Playlist that I’ve been adding songs to for a while. I don’t actually remember adding this one, but once in a while I’ll add whole albums—which—without fail—I never seem to listen all the way through for some reason. It’s weird how the universe works some times. Had I heard the song 5 or 6 years ago, I probably taken it in a completely different way. It’s scary seeing how closely art imitates life sometimes. I didn’t write the lyrics, but if you changed “27” to “22” — the stark similarities alone— I probably could and might just as well have. The never-ending roller coaster of “love” and other emotions. The lying on the bathroom floor. The giving up; then choosing to live part. The struggle to accept the pain and move on and to fight to hold onto what’s yours. Figuring out and realizing your self-worth. Even the heroine sister part. It’s essentially the perfect mirror to my life. Which is kind of eerie, if you ask me. Cool and interesting…but still eerie.

[ ~ … ~ ]

I’m actually glad that I’m only just now hearing the song. It would have been completely different had I heard it before. That was a different place, a different time. I wouldn’t have been in the right frame of mind if I’d come across it before – back then. Those moments were some of the BEST and WORST of my life. They can’t be discarded. But still, I can’t forget, even though I want so badly to not remember. At 22, I didn’t have a clue. Now, at 29, I can see there’s been some changes. Now I see a lot of things that I didn’t necessarily see before. Humbling things.

[ ~ … ~ ]

When you’re standing at the banks of a major river, contemplating, it’s easier to reflect back on your life. There’s a much different perspective when you’re standing/have stood in those trenches. A better, unbiased perspective and outlook. And sometimes, that’s just what you need—a thorough look and the possibility of more. And that’s enough for me. For now. It’s a start. It’s somewhere.

[ ~ … ~ ]

xoMESSIE

There. Then Back Again.

So it’s been a busy past couple of days, what with having to pack all of my things up again and load the truck in preparation for that horrible 14-hour drive to New York. I was planning on leaving Saturday, but completely forgot about Memorial Day weekend, so to play it safe and skip the rush, I’m just going to head out early tomorrow. I’m excited to see my family and my little loveys…but that drive–ugh. And then I’m going to be making it again in a couple of weeks from now…yeah, it’s going to really suck.

 

Anyhow, I’ve been busy with editing audition pics for my friend’s film that I think I mentioned in one of my recent posts. Today I met up with Kelle at Centennial Park over by West End–she’s the producer–for a head-shot shoot to use for hers and my friend Allan’s production company’s website, as well as the film’s. It went pretty well, actually–in spite of the fact that Kelle wasn’t sure how she wanted them to done or what poses to do…AND that I’d never done head-shots before. It went great, though. And it was good practice for me. I mean, I worked at a photography studio so I’m used to taking portraits and close-ups and what not, but I’d never technically done any actual head-shots involving the film industry. As it turns out, I was all worried and nervous for nothing. There weren’t any problems and Kelle’s just plain awesome, so it was good. It was a fun. I admit, when I first met her at the Auditions Day 1, I was a wee bit intimidated. She does this serious look that’s kinda scary. But she’s actually really nice, not scary at all. She’d be fun to hang out with, especially considering how during the auditions she told me and this other guy in the room that she will not drink or go out clubbing with white people. She didn’t mean it in a racist context or anything. She just thinks us “white folks” do crazy @$$ crap when we’re drinking. To her credit, she’s not too far off-base. We do some pretty crazy crap…or I have, I should say. When I get back in June, I’m gonna make it a mission to get her and the rest of the crew to all go out…just for the hell of it. CMA fest will be starting around that time and seeing how this is my first CMA fest in Nashville…I want to make it memorable. With the exception of the time a bunch of us from class went out a few months ago, it’d been well over 3 years since I’d had even a drop of alcohol. Or gone out bar-hopping. Nothing like that. I’ve been really good on those fronts. I don’t even miss it, to tell you the truth…the going out, the getting drunk, the passing out in random places (like the time I passed out wasted in a snowbank–um, yeah…), the drama, the hangovers…yeah, I don’t miss any of that. But this is the CMA Fest! And everyone down here says it’s absolutely insane during the festival–and I can’t wait. So, so excited. Can you tell? 🙂

 

Any who…I have some good news. Alan told me today that his boss wants to hire me to do photography and some of the promotion for the International Black Film Festival that Nashville hosts downtown every year. This year’s will be held in October. I know it’s months away, but I’m excited and anxious already. In terms of my photography and work, this is a HUGE deal. It’s kind of funny actually–the direction my life has gone and how it’s going right now–seeing that I never in a million years would have expected that I’d get involved in the film industry…let alone end up liking it. Unlike Alan and a good majority of the student population here at Watkins, I have no desire for fame or recognition…or anything else. I just want to take my pictures and have as much fun as I possibly can. That’s all I want. I now have so much respect for my actor/actress friends–and actors just in general. I mean, it take a hell of a lot of confidence and talent to do what they do–to get up in front of everybody and pretend to be someone else. I wouldn’t and couldn’t do it. I’ve never been fond of public speaking–in fact I loathe it–and I definitely wouldn’t want the world knowing and watching my every move. That celebrity lifestyle–yeah, no thanks. I think I’ll just keep my insignificant, mundane little life if that’s all right.

 

Surprisingly–and I think its safe to say–I’m really starting to like this whole film thing. The auditions, the casting, the production–it’s all so fascinating. I’ve literally learned something new each day. And the best part is that my role in it all is actually my own craft. I get to learn, observe, and discover new nuances of the industry while doing something that I love. Photography. Even better, I get to work and do it with a pretty great group of individuals that I’m also so incredibly fortunate and grateful to be able to call them my friends.

 

There’s no longer any doubt in my mind that I made the right decision in moving here to Nashville. None whatsoever. It was one of the best decisions I could have made. I’m happy here. I have friends here. Connections that I’ve already made. I’ve built a life here in these past 6 months. This is home. At least for now…

 

xoMESSIE

** And so I thought I’d share some pics I took in Centennial Park after the shoot with Kelle today…SPOILER ALERT–there are trees…lots and lots of trees! 🙂 🙂 **

 

IMG_5582                   IMG_5603

 

IMG_5626                    IMG_5631

 

IMG_5646                                        IMG_5664

IMG_5659           IMG_5676

IMG_5704                    IMG_5714

 

IMG_5731                       IMG_5739

 

 

#ThisBrashMouthOfMine.

Hey y’all! I thought I’d share this funny, little tale that happened to me at a DWI Checkpoint earlier tonight on my way home from the store. So there I am, I pull up to the stop, and I roll down my window…you know. Anyhow, this is how the conversation went.

Officer: “Evening, Miss. Have you had anything to drink tonight?”

Me: “No.”

Officer: “Are you sure?” (as he shines his flashlight on the pile of glow sticks sitting on the passenger seat that I’d just bought for my final photo project on light painting)

Me: “If I consumed any alcoholic beverage? Yeah, pretty sure. No.”

Officer: “What do you plan to do with all those, then?” (meaning the glow sticks) “Are you going to a rave?”

Me: “Do they have those in Tennessee? Uh, no. They’re for a photo project.”

Officer: “And how old are you, miss?” (As I hand him my NY license)

Me: “27.”

Officer: “Is this real? You don’t look 27.”

Me: (Totally amused at this point) “Um, thank you?”

Officer: (Stares at me for a sec, looks back at the license, smirks, then hands it back): “Alright, well good luck with your photo project. Have a good night, miss. Drive safe.”

Oh yes, that happened. Only to me. I swear, one of these days this mouth of mine is gonna land me in a jail cell. 🙂

**Disclaimer: Don’t get me wrong, driving under the influence is not a laughing matter, at all. My sharing my amusement with this particular conversation with a police officer isn’t intended to insinuate otherwise. Driving while Intoxicated or Under The Influence is a big problem in this country, I get that. Believe me, I do. I can still remember the night my best friend got stopped and arrested for DWI…and it definitely wasn’t a laughing matter. We were young and stupid and reckless….and underage. It was one of those stupid choices you make when you’re a teenager and you think that you’re completely invincible. We’d had a fun weekend night out with a few other friends, consumed way too much alcohol, and were on our way home at the time. Honestly, it was such a long time ago, but I don’t think the Bestie was even all that drunk really. I think the cops pulling her over had more to do with the fact that she had “Happy 20th Birthday” painted on the back window (she’d celebrated her birthday earlier in the week), and was paying more attention to texting the guy she was hanging out with at the time than she was on the actual road. Not that that’s an excuse or anything. It definitely wasn’t how we expected the night would end though, that’s for sure. It sucked. I mean, I was pretty trashed–not gonna lie–but I can still remember looking out the back window and having to watch my best friend get arrested, handcuffed, and put in the back of a police cruiser. What’s even worse is that the officer that arrested her was with a friend of both of ours, who happened to be riding along as an officer-in-training that night. That sucked. And the “suck” didn’t end there. After the bestie was taken away in the back of one of the police cars, another officer in a 2nd cruiser came and knocked on my window, ordering me to get out of the car. Like I said, I was trashed…so I wasn’t really in any kind of cooperating mood…more like a combative one. Let’s just say, I did not want to get out of that car…which the officer did not appreciate at all. Eventually I did get out and he put me in the back of the 2nd car. I wasn’t under arrest or anything, he was just driving me back to the station. Although “driving” was a loosely relative term for that ride. Speed-racing is more like it. No joke. He literally drove 80 mph the majority of the way back–on a 55 mph highway, I might add. Even after we got into the village–which is 30 mph–he was still doing like 50 mph…so not cool. Yeah. And what’s EVEN WORSE–he was on a cellphone ordering a freakin’ calzone WHILE he was driving. Again–drunk me–felt the need to repeatedly point out that he was breaking the law by speeding and for being on the cellphone…and I might have said something along the lines of him being a police officer didn’t make him above the law…yeah. He DEFINITELY didn’t like that. He was literally like “Miss, I want you to be quiet until we get to the station. Not a word.” Again…yeah. The guy was a douche. Big time. When we got to the station–which was nothing short of a miracle with his driving, if you ask me–the Bestie was getting out of the cruiser and being led into the station. I asked to go with her, and they were real jerks about it, telling me I had to stay outside until she was released. They wouldn’t even let me wait inside…and did I mention it was pretty damn chilly that night? Yeah. Real @$$holes they were. I ended up calling my sister, and she came and waited with me for well over an hour or so until they finally released the Bestie. You can bet our night was definitely ruined. More so obviously for my friend, considering she got her license suspended and ticketed and “arbitrarily” fined and well, a whole lot of unnecessary crap she had to deal with because of it.

While I’m not trying to excuse or justify her decision to drive that night–it was a bad idea and obviously illegal–I do think the cops could’ve given her a little bit of a break that night. For starters, her BAC wasn’t even over the legal limit, but because she was only 20 and New York had a zero tolerance policy for underage driving while alcohol-impaired, they arrested her. If she’d been a year older, she’d have walked away scott-free. Not only that, but we were literally like 3 or so miles from home. Would it really have been such a feat for them to just follow her those 3 short miles and make sure we got home without incident–as many of the cops in town were wont to do on various other occasions. What’s even more messed up is that while my sister and waiting outside the station that night, another kid was brought in for DWI. We overheard the cops talking about it and apparently he’d blown well over the 0.08 BAC mark. But did he get booked for the d-dub? Heck no. They let him go with a warning–no arrest, no charges, no fines…NOTHING–all because he was the son of some local hotshot lawyer. Is that fair? Hell no it isn’t. But that’s our justice system…wonderful, isn’t it? (Cue the heavy sarcasm!)

Anywho, the moral of this story…driving drunk is against the law. You shouldn’t do it. It’s wrong. It’s dangerous–for you, for whomever else happens to be a passenger in your vehicle, and for all the other people that happen to be on the road with you at the time. It’s a proven fact that drunk driving kills. And if I thought the DWI laws were strict all those years ago with the Bestie…they’re a hell of a lot worse now. Still…we’re human. We’re not perfect. We all make mistakes…and unfortunately, sometimes those mistakes end up hurting someone or others and not just us. And sometimes it’s just luck, more than anything. And youth. When you’re young, you think you’re invincible. Untouchable. You think you won’t get caught…until you do. I’m not going to lie, I’ve gotten behind the wheel after I’ve been drinking more times than I can count. I’m not saying it was right, or that I’m proud of it…but I’ve done it. Just as if I’ve gotten in the car with people who are driving that have been drinking. I remember an argument I had with my mother when I was like 19 or something that comes to mind now. She’d seen some local news segment on a drunk driving accident that killed a teenage passenger and the drunk teenage driver  of the car whom the community felt should be charged with vehicular manslaughter. My mother I think made some comment on how the dead teen’s family should have forced the police to press charges…how if it were her child that was killed, that’s what she would do. I told her she was wrong and we argued about it, as usual. It’s always been my opinion–popular or not with society–that in cases such as that one, the blame shouldn’t always rest on that of the driver. Yes, that individual chose to get behind the wheel and put people’s lives in jeopardy, but it’s not that simple to just blame the driver and call him/her a murderer. It’s more complicated than that. I know that death and loss makes people see things in a shroud of vindication and retribution. No one wants to blame the victim…that’s just unconscionable. But is it really? I mean, yes, the driver’s to blame, but so is the “victim” who willingly and knowingly got in the vehicle with that individual, probably having been with the individual and participated in the consumption of alcohol beforehand. I mean, I’ve been there. And if I were, godforbid, ever in a situation like that where a friend was driving drunk and I was killed in an accident of sorts, I wouldn’t want my family to blame or seek retribution against my friend. I just wouldn’t. It’s bad enough that the individual will have to live with the guilt of something like that for the rest of their lives. That should be punishment enough, or so one would like to think. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t think that way. Clouded by their grief over having lost someone they love, people think retribution is the answer. That it’ll bring them solace and comfort. That the justice of punishing someone they believe to be responsible will somehow bring them closure. But it won’t. It can’t. Putting someone in jail for however amount of time a judge deems fit isn’t going to change anything. It’s not going to bring back their loved one. It’s not going to lessen the hurt and sorrow. And I can’t speak for anyone else, obviously, but I can say that if it were me, I wouldn’t want to see my friend thrown in jail when I was the one that made the decision to get in the var with them–all the while knowing full well the risks and the possible consequences associated with that decision. And maybe it’s easy for me to say that when I’m not the one who’s lost someone because of a drunk driver…but it’s how I feel. Just saying.

Sorry, didn’t mean to get so off-point…but you know me. I should probably get back to the insanity that is my course-work. Time to break out the glow sticks! 🙂

xoMESSIE

A Little Pick-Me-Up

 

Ehhh, it’s just been one of those weeks. Things are just…how do I put it…absolutely-freaking-crazy. Classes have started and the work seems impossible. My family is at war with one another. I’m taking care of two sweet, but extremely needy small humans. My mother isn’t doing well with her chemo treatment at all…and she’s got surgery coming up in a month. I feel so out of touch with everything…life, my friends…literally everything. I haven’t seen the bestie in over a year…and I talked to her the other day, the first time in weeks. We say all the time that we should get together–and that we will–but like I said, it’s been over a year since we’ve actually hung out in person, so who knows with that. I feel like a horrible friend because I haven’t really put forth the effort to get together. It’s not that I don’t want to–it’s just that everything else keeps getting in the way and schedules keep conflicting and I don’t know, it’s all so complicated. I hate complicated. Like HATE it! With a passion. I just wish everything was simpler. That life was simpler. I wish I could go back to being 18. When the Bestie and I would drive around the back roads listening to our silly punk rock songs and singing off-key and bitching about guys and love and just life in general. God, it was so much easier back then. Way more than now.

I feel like I don’t have enough time…and at the same time, I feel like there’s too much of it. I know, it makes no sense. Welcome to my world!

I know it’s all going to go by so quickly. Before I know it, December will be here and I’ll be leaving for Nashville. I’m trying to stay positive about it all. To tell myself that this is a good thing–that it’ll be a good thing for me. I’m trying not to feel guilty for leaving…for wanting to…for feeling like I need to. But it’s hard. It’s really hard.

I’m afraid. I’m afraid my mom’s going to get sicker and I won’t be here to help. I’m afraid something is going to go wrong with one of the kids or my grams. I’m afraid everything’s going to go to hell in a hand basket, so to speak. I’m just…I’m terrified.

Yeah…not having the best of days. So…I thought I’d turn to music for a little pick-me-up. Here’s one of my fave bands–country of course!–the amazing Lady Antebellum, with “One Day You Will.” If only it were this easy…to believe that everything will be okay. But I guess it can’t hurt to try.

xoxo

MESSIE

Well, all the stockings are stuffed and hung up, all the presents are wrapped and piled under the tree, and the kiddies are all fast asleep (though unlikely about sugar plums, I’m sure). So now for some ME time…a rarity for me on Christmas Eve. This is one of the first times in as long as I can remember that I haven’t spent Christmas Eve running around trying to get everything bought and wrapping into the wee hours. Yes, I’m one of those last-minute shoppers. Guilty as charged. It’s not that I forget or can’t do it…I just really, really dislike shopping. Especially Christmas shopping. I know, I know–a woman who hates to shop–oh the blasphemy!! Haha. Sorry, but it’s true. I don’t mind it if I have an idea of what I’m getting or something specific to buy, but just going and shopping for the hell of it–yeah, no that’s not my thing. Firstly, ever since that situation years back, I hate the crowds and I can’t sand to be around a lot of people at the same time. I get all claustrophobic and anxious and my anxiety level goes through the roof and start feeling panicked. Secondly, I hate the lines–yeah, I’m not patient at all. No offense, but some people are absolutely bat-shit crazy when it comes to shopping. I mean Black Friday shopping one thing–but some people are like that no matter what the occasion. I must say I do find it a little humorous when people go all ape-sh*t over sales though. Most of them completely oblivious to the fact that what the store is actually doing is inflating the price, then dropping it back down to the original (or thereabouts) price…therefore not “saving” the customer much at all, if anything. It’s a ploy to make it appear that it does, but it’s not. So in that respect…yes, it’s a little funny, or it is to me at least.

Anywho….whatever shall I do with my free time… hmm, what to do. Me thinks I’ll do a little more “fine-pointing” on the details on my upcoming move. Yep. I’m leaving. For real this time. I’ve already decided and I’m not changing my mind this time. I’m doing it on my own, so there’s no hiccups to hold the move off or people changing their minds. And no one gets to have a say this time either. I don’t want anyone’s opinion or input. Nothing. Nada, Zilch. Nothing. That’s what’s been at the root of all this…me listening to what everyone else wants and to hell with myself and what I want. Well, not anymore. Now I’m doing things for myself and to hell with the rest of them.

I need to get away from here. Away from THEM. I just can’t take it anymore. I’m so miserable here and people are cruel. And by people–for the most part–I mean my family. Things aren’t going so well lately…again. In fact, things have pretty much gone to hell in recent weeks…more so than usual. Which is saying a lot. My grams and I are at war with one another right now and we’re not on speaking terms at the moment. She and I got into big time last week. I had my niece’s concert to go to one night and planned to drive to my sister’s right after it was over for the arrival of the twins. As I was packing my things, I learned that one of my journals was missing. Naturally, I flipped out. I know it’s my brother who took it because he’s one of the only ones who would stoop that low and do something like that. After all, he’s done it before. I was pissed and refused to go anywhere until my grams made him give it back. But she wouldn’t do a damn thing. She just told me that I was being selfish and to pull it together. Oh how I lost it after she said that. “Pull it together”–she really said that. That’s when I let her have it. I mean hell, doesn’t she know that all I’ve been doing  is “pulling it together.” all these years. Since the rape, I’ve done nothing but suck it up. I had to.  I couldn’t tell her or anyone else, for that matter, about the rape or the abortion I’d had. I was too ashamed and scared to say anything. I wouldn’t have been able to face her I don’t think if I had. I’ve kept the secret from her all these years. It wasn’t until the other night that I actually told her–and that was out of pure fury, more than anything else. She insinuated like I was overreacting and that it was just a stupid notebook. So much for what she knows. It’s a hell of a lot more than that, damn it. It’s so, so much more. It’s hundreds of pages of my heart and soul. It’s all of me, all that I have. Which is one of the main reasons why I want it back. Every minute that it’s in my brother’s hands, it has the ability to inflict and release a whole lot of HELL. Just like it did the last time when he stole my journal, read it, and spent every chance he could throwing all my secrets and regrets in my face. The rape, too. That the biggest blow. He used that night to beat me down. He even took it to a further vindictive level going so far as to embellish on my attack by calling me a whore and accusing me of having sex with half a dozen guys at that party, which is NOT true. My grams is always telling me to ignore him, but how the hell am I supposed to do that when he’s using that night–and that HELL–against me? I know they’re just words, but words hurt. God, they hurt so damn much. I wish I could say that they don’t, but they do. I wish it were that easy to just ignore him, but it’s not that easy. At all.

She can accuse me of overreacting, but I’m not. It’s called self-preservation. I need that journal before he starts gathering up everything he needs to use for his verbal attack arsenal. There’s too much in that journal that he could find to use against me. And he’ll do it the first chance he gets.  I know it. Which is why I’m so damn scared. God-knows what he will tell everyone. I  don’t want the world knowing my business or getting in the way of my life. The last thing I need is for the words I wrote and the secrets to get out, especially in this small town. Everyone knows too much about everyone as it is.  I don’t feel like giving them any more ammunition, and I won’t–not if I have anything to say about it.

I hate him. I really do. He used to be my brother, but he’s turned into someone else entirely. He’s a monster and vindictive son-of-a-bitch, he really is. My grams can say what she wants, but I know exactly what he’s capable of…and the damage he can cause. So while it might not mean anything to her, it DOES mean something to me. And knowing that–she still sided and defended him. So I told her I was done with her. Done with all her bullshit and her assumptions and accusations and her just plain bitching. So done. She thinks she knows everything. She thinks she knows me. Well…she doesn’t. She doesn’t know a damn thing about me or who I am. And she hasn’t for a long time. The longer I stay, the worse it’ll get. So I have to leave. Call it running away, call it impulsive, call it reckless…call if anything you want. I call it self-preservation…

Anyhow, enough with the negative…Merry Christmas y’all!!! 🙂

xoxo,

MESSIE

Struggling…

Soooo I’m really over this whole hobbling around on crutches thing…yeah, I’m the worst person to have to be given crutches…Seriously, I’m a major klutz…thus my reason for being given them in the first place. I hate my crutches.I hate my stupid splinted ankle (which has downgraded from a complicated sprain to ligament tear and is currently in a cast boot and focus of “surgery negotiations” )-: yeah…not good). I hate my dislocated thumb that makes my crutches suck even more ridiculously. I hate my bruised ribs.

Ankle (1)Ankle

I hate that I’m an idiot who tries to do laundry at midnight but doesn’t bother to turn on a damn light and so she falls down the damn stairs…yeah this sucks. Really, really, reaaaallllllllyyy sucks. 😦

xoxo MESSIE

Everything You’ll Never Know…

“SHE PAINTS A PRETTY PICTURE, BUT THE STORY HAS A TWIST. HER PAINTBRUSH IS A RAZOR, THE CANVAS IS HER WRIST. SO, SHE PAINTS HER PRETTY PICTURE–IN A COLOR THAT’S BLOOD RED. AND USING HER SHARP PAINTBRUSH, SHE FINALLY ENDS UP DEAD. HER PRETTY PICTURE’S FADING, QUITE SLOWLY DOWN HER ARM…SHE PAINTED HER PRETTY PICTURE. BUT THAT PICTURE HAD A TWIST. YOU SEE, HER MIND WAS THE RAZOR. AND HER HEART WAS HER WRIST…”

(AUTHOR UNKNOWN)

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: …Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. It is estimated that 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Victims of sexual assault are 6 times more likely to develop an eating disorder and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide…

–*– This is for the girl that couldn’t tell a soul. The girl that hides the secret horrors of a night so long ago. The girl who lay there and never said a word, there in the wet grass that caught her tears. Who watched the stars in that damp, dark night sky, as she begged God for mercy–begged him to please, just let her die. Who drifted away to someplace else, somewhere safe in her mind. This is for the silent tears that she cried. This is for the girl who did what she had to, just in order to survive. The girl who didn’t have a choice, who wasn’t strong enough to fight…who lost her voice that night. The girl to whom fate was so cruel to–though she never could quite figure out why. Why her? Why that night? Why did time have to stand still as he tore apart her world? This is for the girl that kept it all inside, afraid to feel pain, unable to feel anything. This is for the girl who learned how to lie and deceive so expertly…She was only sixteen.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: …There are approximately 8 million people in the U.S, who have an eating disorder, 20 percent of whom will die from complications associated with their disorder…

–*– This is for the girl that can’t breathe–whose shame of that night has become suffocating. This is for the girl that was scared and confused and didn’t know what to do. Who wasn’t prepared…who never knew a person could be so cruel. For the girl that ran away and cried. Who learned how to hide the pain inside, but not how to cope. The girl that found solace from putting her fingers down her throat… This is to the ones that don’t understand, who stand on the sidelines and judge what they don’t know. Those who don’t know what it’s like to have your body slowly destroy itself, from the inside out. This is to the ones who don’t have to hide the scars on their knuckles or feel sick and tired all the time…who never intended for it to be that bad or to go that far. To the ones who will never understand how it feels to look in the mirror and sees a stranger’s reflection staring back. To those who assume it’s about weight, when really, it’s not—rather it’s about reclaiming control…all the things that he stole. It’s about looking in and watching out–escaping to a safer place—away from the self-loathing and self-hate. This is to the ones who haven’t awoken to find themselves on a cold tiled floor, not knowing how long they’ve laid there unconscious for. To those who don’t have to carry the burden of shame, convinced that they themselves are to blame…

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: …Every 18 minutes in the US, someone commits suicide, and every 43 seconds, someone attempts one…

–*– This is for the girl that found another way to cope with the shame. Who makes herself bleed just to forget the pain…to feel something…anything. This is for the girl they call crazy. Who “cuts” just to feel better. Not deep enough to sever the artery or a vein, but enough to bleed…enough to feel the pain. This is to those who think it’s so easy. Who say she can stop at any time, if that’s what she wants. If only it were that simple, but it’s not. This is to those who say she’s “doing it for attention”—that it’s all just a game. It’s not a cry for attention. It’s not a game. It’s about coping with shame and escaping the kind of pain that never really goes away, no matter what the experts say. She has no ulterior motive…nothing from this that she stands to gain. She does it because she feels she has to. She does it to survive. She does it to feel clean again, the way she was before that night. She does it to take back some of the control he stole. To not feel as weak as she knows she is. To keep what little is left of her sanity… This is for her–and all the others just like her–going through the same living hell as she–day in and day out. Who’ve been given no reprieve and no help. Girls like her that are just looking for an easier way out. A break from the cruel hand of fate and misfortune that they’ve been dealt… This is to the ones who think they have the right. Who think it’s okay to call her all those cruel names. She’s a whore. She’s a cutter. She’s crazy. Unstable. Watch her pretend to eat as she sits down at the table. Go ahead society. Give her a label. God forbid you lift a finger or do anything to try and save her… This is for that girl…and the many more just like her. This is for me. I am SHE. She is me. The brokenness, these scars—sadly, they are mine, all mine…

xoxo

MESSIE

RELATIONSHIP WITH MIA (A POEM)

I’ve seen this girl named Mia.

She’s pretty, thin, and tall.

She has the smallest frame I’ve ever seen.

And not one single flaw.

I met this girl named Mia.

She introduced herself today.

She seems so very nice and kind.

She says she wants to stay.

I know this girl named Mia.

She’s so perfect, and it’s true.

She says she’ll make me skinny, too.

I’m friends with this girl named Mia.

I want her to always stay.

All my other friends have left.

But she will never stray.

The only one I listen to is Mia.

She’s so smart and full of advice.

I’m starting to get smaller.

My health being my last sacrifice.

I’m scared of this girl named Mia.

I can’t get her out of my head.

It’s finally occurred to me.

She won’t be satisfied until I’m dead.

I hate this girl named Mia.

She makes my life a living hell.

Someone please, hear my silent screams.

She won’t let me tell anyone anything.

My worst enemy is this girl named Mia.

She’s a demon in my head.

She seemed so very nice at first.

But I was so mislead.

I’m prisoner to this girl named Mia.

I’m captive to her will.

I have to do exactly what she says.

It’s the only way to ever make this end.

My murderer is this girl named Mia.

She starved me to my grave.

My heart finally stopped beating.

I couldn’t continue being brave.

But it’s okay. I’ll be okay.

I’m in a better place.

Mia–she is gone.

And now I’m finally safe.

**

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