THE TRUTH IS MESSIE…

My e-journal, all the nitty-gritty, overly-emotional, sappy stuff…

To Protect & Serve No One But Yourself… June 18, 2017

America. The land of the free. Or so they say…

Trust the system, they say. Trust that justice will prevail. But it didn’t yesterday. Hell, that seems to be the case with most things these days. Philando Castile was an American citizen. He was 32 years old and worked a menial job as a nutrition services supervisor for one of Saint Paul’s public schools—a job, I might add, that he’d held down since shortly after he graduated high school. He wasn’t some gangbanger or deadbeat (though it wouldn’t matter if he had been). He was an innocent, up-standing citizen, from all accounts, and aside from numerous traffic infractions, his record was clean. Like so many persons of color and/or minority, he was singled out because of his ethnicity and color of his skin. You can’t tell me any different. Circumstantial and/or lack of evidence aside, he was murdered. A man in blue and with a badge killed him in cold blood…and thanks to Facebook Live, it’s out there forever—imprinted in the minds for those that had or have seen it. It’s sickening.

Like Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, and the dozens of other victims at the hands of the police, he did nothing wrong. He informed the officer of his permit to carry a concealed weapon from the start, just as he was required to do. He did everything he was supposed to do…and yet, he was still murdered. Live. In front of and watched by hundreds of thousands of viewers.

His killer was just acquitted and is walking around free, among us all. Mr. Castile wasn’t given that luxury…because he’s dead. And for what? Because his skin happened to be dark and not white? Because he supposedly fit the description of a burglary suspect with a “wide nose”? Because some officer jumped the gun and pulled the trigger without affording him the benefit of the doubt that is often automatically afforded to individuals that are white?

The system dropped the ball on this. The fact that he shot Mr. Castile on a live-stream—how much more proof do you need?!—makes it that much more fucked up that they acquitted him. Innocent on all counts…but that’s not exactly true, as we all know far too well. He isn’t innocent. He discharged his entire service weapon into the vehicle, seven bullets to be exact, at Mr. Castile from outside the vehicle—while Mr. Castile was still wearing his seat belt and gave no impression or intent of violence. No threats were spewed. No sudden moves were made. But the officer claimed (and still claims) he was in fear for his life? Yeah, no–that’s total bullshit. Even if that were the case, did he honestly need to shoot the guy seven times? Wouldn’t one bullet have sufficed? What’s even more fucked up is that the officer fired into that vehicle seven times with a passenger and a 4-year-old child in the backseat. Who the hell does that? Murder/manslaughter aside, he should still have been charged with and convicted for using excessive force, and endangering the welfare of a child, at the very least. Hell, a man is dead, but his murderer gets off scot-free. What kind of twisted shit is that? It’s not justice, that’s for damn sure. Had it been an ordinary civilian that shot him, he/she would have been charged and likely convicted for manslaughter ASAP. It wouldn’t even be a question or thought. But because that officer has a badge and chose to shoot first, ask questions later…a man is dead. And now, despite those very reasons, he gets to walk away without reprisal or consequence. How is that fair? To answer in simple terms, it’s NOT.

Something—the system, the courts—needs to change. Someone needs to do something. This hostility can’t last indefinitely…this war between the police and civilians must end. We need better laws that protect the victims, and not the perpetrators. This shit with these gun-happy, (often) racially-motivated cops getting away with their crimes has got to stop. And if they don’t do something soon, I predict that all hell is going to break loose. People are rioting and marching in the streets because they’re sick of it all. They don’t trust the police, but then, why would they—especially what with everything that’s happened recently. There’s so much anger brewing between both sides and eventually it must combust. And no one wants to be there for that. I sure as hell don’t.

What pisses me off about all this news and these cases is that it’s only adding the proverbial gasoline to the proverbial fire, making things worse. The marches, the riots…people are demanding action-demanding change. The Black Lives Matter movement is stretched thin and people are on the edge. The movement has strayed so far from its original intent that it’s barely even recognizable. Granted, I think some of it is exaggerated. If there’s a black person(s) involved—in any way—innocent or guilty—it breeds hostility and becomes a case for racism. And that’s not fair. Yes, sometimes it is racially-motivated. But what many fail to realize it’s that that’s not always the case. Sometimes it has nothing at all to do with race, but people make it out to be. I hate that…how quick people are to assume. Most people are good. Most don’t have a racist bone in their body. And still, people like to jump to conclusions based on history from decades before—experiences and injustices that they, themselves, have never even encountered, most of the time. You can’t play the victim card when you’re not really a victim. It’s hard to see through the bitter fog of misery some times, that much I do know.

I’m not even going to get started on the Bill Cosby disaster, but I will say that it’s a bun. The man admitted under oath that he’d drugged and assaulted several women, and now whole onslaught of victims are coming forward claiming the same, and yet…the guy gets to walk. I don’t care if he is a TV icon for persons of color…he’s a rapist. They should lock him up and throw away the key. Let’s wait and see if the prosecutors have the nerve to try him again. Hopefully they will so.

We live in a sad, sad world. Such a shame. All that I can say (ask) is #WhereIsTheLove. Seriously. Where. Is. The. LOVE.

Xo,

Messie

 

Year Seven. May 21, 2017

My heart, it still beats. But this pain is forever, and always bittersweet.

Seven years.

xo M.

 

Did I Mention That I Hate Needles? February 23, 2017

Filed under: art,graphic design,health — MESSIE @ 1:30 am
Tags: , ,

Had my 2nd and 3rd nerve blocks done the other day. Not a pleasant experience, I will say. Hell, I think it hurt worse than it did with my first one, and he actually gave the lidocaine time to do its job this time, instead of doing them one right after another. To hell with that lidocaine crap  It didn’t help much. I still felt those damn needles going in, each time–spot 1 being above my eye, and spot 2 being my cheek. I swear he must have done each one, in and out, like 3 or 4 times. And then, as if that’s not bad enough, he went in with this special radio-frequency needle to get an ultrasound picture of the nerves the blocks were targeting. Why he needed a needle to do that, is anyone’s guess. I’m pretty sure these doctors are sadists. No joke.


My face get the other mommy

Messin’ up my face.. 😦 sad face + miserable face


As grateful as I’d be if these help–even a little–I’m not holding my breath. He’d already told me that, given the type of headaches I have, that the blocks probably wouldn’t do much, if anything, to help. But they’d already been approved by my insurance, so he said it wouldn’t hurt to just try it and hope for a damn miracle. If there are any.


Next up is Botox. Or should I say tentatively next. I still haven’t decided on those just yet. There are too many horror stories with that Botox crap…and I’d rather not be one of them.

That just leaves the implant. It’s a little more invasive that I’d hoped it would be, but it’s gotten really great, successful results. I’ve been thinking it over and I think I’ve come to a decision. I’m going to talk to my doctor again and see if there really aren’t any more options we could try. If not, then I guess I have to just suck it up and go through with it. If it does work–even just by a little–then it’s worth it. To be able to stop the really bad headaches with the push of a button is pretty amazing.

And tempting. I swear, I feel like I’m in that teacup ride that it just won’t stop spinning.


I just want to know “why me”?

And how the hell do I get off this ride.

xoMESSIE**

 

 

It’s Not The Race, It’s The Finish Line. February 1, 2017

So I switched things up a bit with school. Now that I have the twins every day, I had to re-think my schedule. The final couple of courses I needed to finish up would have forced me to extend things a bit…and I really didn’t want that, especially seeing that come the end of May, I’m going to be saying so long to New York and heading home to Tennessee. J YAY!! And so, anyways, I did some thinking and looked over a few things and decided to switch my major to a more general liberal arts degree, with a focus in humanities. It worked out since I already have the majority of the credits I need for the degree anyhow. So I’m finishing up the remaining few credits and will be completely done come graduation in May. And even better, I’m doing all the work online, so it doesn’t interfere with me watching the boys for my sister. It’s already one week in and I’m not going to lie—what with my consulting work, school, AND playing nanny to two VERY energetic (but loveable as all get out) 3-year-old little boys 5 days out of the week—it’s absolutely insane…but it’ll be worth it. Just a few more months and I’ll have what I want. A big part of that is that I’ll FINALLY have this degree out of the way. I never imagined when I went back to finish up that there’d be all these hiccups along the way…but such is life. And now, the hard part is over.


It’s not about the degree. I don’t need it to do what I do. But having it feels nice. I know that when I decided to back and finish up, it was more for my family than for myself. I know I really let them down when I first decided to walk away from the Ivy League path they’d envisioned for me. I don’t think they would have been nearly as disappointed if I’d told them the truth about why I left. If I’d told them that I’d gotten messed up with the wrong guy and caught in a really unhealthy, dangerous situation—they’d have been completely supportive. Well…I think they’d have gone off the rails a bit first and did something crazy like send my brother out to rough a certain someone up a bit, or have my sister call up the Dean and demand that the situation be rectified. Well, technically, my sister did end up doing something along those lines. She called up the school and actually requested a meeting with the Dean of Students himself. When I found out, I was of course, livid and literally had to beg her to stay out of it. My thought process at the time was that I felt like I’d been humiliated enough. I didn’t need or want my big sister or any member of my family to come swooping in and trying to fix the mess I’d made like they always did. After almost a year and a half of covering up bruises, making countless excuses, and constantly feeling as if I was walking on eggshells, I felt completely hopeless. Honestly, I think I just a reached the point to where nothing mattered anymore. I was tired of the pain—both physical and emotional—and of feeling like nothing I did or said was ever going to make it better. It’s not so much that I wanted to die as it was that I no longer cared if I did or didn’t. I think a part of me would have taken death as a relief. Sad and pathetic, I know.


In hindsight, I now realize just how ridiculously messed up that whole situation was. I was stupid to stay; stupid to believe him when he apologized and swore it’d never happen again…until the next time when it did. I was even more stupid for letting him run me out of school, for making me feel like I had no other choice but to go. For making me feel like it was somehow my fault, so I had to be the one to leave. I hate that I gave him that much power over me, but what’s done is done. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is right now and finishing what I started. At some point over the last few years, it stopped being about proving something to my family and instead became more about proving something to myself. I wanted to prove that I could do it…that I could finish. That I could do more and be more. I know that I can do this. And I’m going to. For ME and for the people in my life. Right now, I’m just focusing on the prize waiting for me at the end of all this: I get to go home. Back to my friends and the people that already feel like family to me. Back to long hikes in state parks, just me and my Canon. Back to the peace and quiet. Back to the city life. Back to where I belong. Back home.  ❤ 🙂

xoMESSIE

 

#NOTMyPresident January 29, 2017

( Fair Warning – I apologize in advance for the language but well…with the mood I’m min, it can’t be helped… Sorry… )


All I can say is that it must be pretty damn icy down there in hell right. I never thought the day would come that I’d literally be ashamed to call myself an American and to live in this great country. And a certain orange Nazi can keep talking out of his ass until it turns blue about how apparently NOT great this country is, but at the end of the day, his talk is just as cheap as his morality. And completely baseless, for that matter. He’s wrong. WRONG. America is already great. Granted, it’s not perfect and there’s a ton of fucked up shit that’s happened and will–undoubtedly—continue to happen every day until the end of time…but it doesn’t diminish this country’s greatness. Not entirely, anyhow.


At least, that’s what I thought…until today. Now, my thoughts and beliefs and emotions in that statement are a hot fucking mess. I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed. I’m in disbelief. I’m angry. I’m scared. I’m sad. My emotions are all kinds of fucked up. But on the bright side, I know for certain that I’m not the only one. It’s comforting…and yet really simultaneously terrifying.


Honestly, I don’t know how we got here…how it’s come this far. Not to sound bitter or anything (although I am) but I still can’t believe that Hillary lost back in November. I really can’t. I really thought she had this election and forthright presidency in the bag. I can’t believe that America actually put Donald Trump in the oval—to run a country and subsequently hold the fates of millions of people in his hands. This man is a joke and a disgrace to not just the office of the President, but to America itself, as a whole. Trump didn’t win this election on merit or luck or capability … he won it on FEAR and HATE. And that is an irrefutable fact. Not an “alternative fact” but an actual, documented FACT. Oh no—just used that scary word. God forbid. Oh and while we’re on the subject—a big fuck you Kelly Ann Conway. Seriously. Thanks BITCH – for being a part of the problem and NOT the solution. Really, thanks.


I was shocked then, that night back in November…and I’m still shocked, to tell you the truth. America really dropped the ball on this one this time. I’ve been seeing and reading these posts by people, telling anti-Trump supporters to “get over it already”, “to accept it”, and that “he’s still YOUR/MY President whether you like/want it or not”. Oh, and also the ones that takes it step further by mocking or disparaging those who before, had no real political interest, but now – according to and conveniently, they say — do. That really hits home for me. And as such, makes me peeved as hell. It’s true, I’ve never been very fond of politics and I’ve stayed away from involving myself, let alone actually advocating for it. But this time is different. You can ask any one, this wasn’t your typical election. From the very beginning, it’s been an absolute shit show. Trump and Cruz walking around with their chests puffed out and actually thinking they’re the solution the country desperately needs…Bernie with his civil rights’ protesting and straight-shooter plans and ideas…Hillary and those emails. Those fucking emails. Did she fuck up and make a mistake? Yes. Did that mistake contribute to the tragic deaths of good men and true Patriots? Sadly, yes. Did she lie? Yes. She did those things. But she also confessed and took ownership of those mistakes. Could her sincerity have been forged and/or did it take force in the form of a subpoena for her to admit those mistakes? Yes, to both. Should those mistakes destroy her career, her dreams, or her ambitions? I don’t think so. People seem to forget that she was cleared of any criminal wrong-doing. What she did might have been unethical and just a tad bit politically/morally-corrupt, but it wasn’t illegal. And it doesn’t and shouldn’t define her or who she is. That shouldn’t be her legacy. For Chrissakes, she lied, people! She just lied. People do that from time to time…not that that is an excuse…but it’s what people do. We’re flawed. We make mistakes. But come on people, she’s also a politician…and we all know what that means. Politicians lie. It’s ingrained in them, I think. So to hold something of such little importance or effect on the country on as a whole as that over her head…it’s messed up. Not to mention, completely unfair. But we have douchebag Trump and his merry band of identical douchebags who did just that. To hell with what it could/would have meant to and done for Women’s Rights and the Women’s Movement, just in general. She could have shattered the highest glass ceiling…and by doing so, could have set an example for all little girls and women, proving that all things and dreams are possible if you want it bad enough and work hard enough for it. She could have made history, changed it, and done incredible things for this country. I believed in her. Hell, I still believe in her.


Thanks to Trump and his little cronies, those are realities that sadly, will never be. A few emails are all it took to persuade the country to jump ship and take Trump’s side. To ignore the serious faults of a man who has proven repeatedly to be nothing more than an egotistical, impulsive, childish, ignorant, petty, hate-filled, pathetic resemblance of a man, hell even just a goddamn human being. A few emails have placated the clueless, resentful, and ultimately vindictive beings of this society. The result of this election only goes to show how naïve and illogical and just plain fucking blind people are. I find it absolutely incredible that anyone could possibly feel justified in thinking that a few emails and lies are more damaging and less conducive or more destructive to the survival of this republic and country than a man who openly defies the very constitution that he was sworn to uphold, thinks who he is and has taken it upon himself to declare authoritative, arbitrary, and sole power over the rights actions, beliefs, religions, and creeds of others—in direct opposition of everything this country stands for and believes in. He’s ignored and destroyed us to our human core and foundation. He’s a power-hungry tyrant in a fragile republic and political system, out for his own well-being and no one else’s—and certainly not the American people he promised to represent and protect.


Those that want to post and judge a person’s political agenda or “prowess” can quite literally kiss my ass. They don’t get that this election was unlike any other we’ve had. It’s not that I don’t care about politics or that I’m being picky or overly selective. I’ve simply chosen to stand up for and advocate for a country that needs and deserves a President worthy and capable of the power exposed to and responsibility placed in his/her hands. Maybe ideally, that wasn’t Hillary. Who knows. It sure as hell wasn’t and ISN’T Trump though. That man is morally-bankrupt and fill of nothing but hate. He has no compassion for the plight and suffering of others. He’s made a fortune literally on the backs and in the wallets of hard-working men and women. He’s put himself in an advantageous position against the women he associates and interacts with. He sexualizes women –his own daughter and wife included– and feels no shame in making unwanted moves against ANY woman he deigns to lust after. That jackass he calls a VP wants to take control and make decisions for women and their bodies by defunding programs that benefit women and their health. That fucking Pence. I can’t stand him. Him or all his little pro-life buddies who think it’s a mortal/prosecutable sin to terminate a pregnancy DESPITE not knowing the special circumstances or reasons or situations involved in the decision. I love how it’s the woman that is being judged and threatened and ordered to do or not do something to her body that will 100 percent effect the quality of life and plans for her future in inconceivable, innumerable ways. Pence and his idiot followers are all for this ban on abortions and punishing women for writing their own stories…but are they even the least bit bothered to do something—anything—to lowering the number of sexual assaults and violence against women in this country? Or the stigma that still comes with being a young mother or single mother? Do they concern themselves with the circumstances of a woman’s pregnancy? That maybe a rape victim doesn’t want to carry around a constant reminder of one of the worst moments/days/nights of her life for nine long months? Do they care if that child will go hungry and starve, have no shelter, have no love or care or receive no affection throughout his/her life? Do they consider any of those things before even considering turning over Roe vs. Wade or have Trump sign some executive order against abortions? Hell no. It’s fucking bullshit. And Trump–he’s ordered a steel wall to be built that will separate families and undo political ties with a bordering country that we’ve mutually benefitted from one another at points in time.


And now with this Muslim Ban? I swear, that orange fucking POS is batshit crazy. Banning travel into and out of countries that practice the Muslim religion, thereby stranding hundreds of people, dividing families, keeping desperate refugees literally fleeing for their and their family’s lives from asylum and just a small semblance of safety, and increasing tensions world-wide in ways that aren’t favorable at all to the United States…is he for real? And the best part is that the countries he’s put his ban on aren’t either of the countries from which any extremists or terrorists who have struck on US soil in the past have immigrated from. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia—the country that has homegrown, trained, and sent thousands of terrorists to our shores with the sole purpose of taking as many human—American human—lives as they possibly can—nope, no ban on that country. Can you say oil?


I saw this quick clip earlier of the thousands of people that have gathered at Terminal 4 at JFK in New York to protest Trump’s latest ban and as ashamed as I of my country and the fucking shit that’s been piling up at the hands of that orange bastard…I was moved by their strength and perseverance at being there and speaking up and doing something to counteract Trump and to let the American people be the ones to define and write the country’s narrative (and NOT Trump’s!) and do so in a way that doesn’t alienate or create even more division within this country and around the world. There’s enough division as it is. So far, all of Trump’s so-called “great” plans have only worked to widen the division further…and nothing else. People keep saying that we need to give him a chance…but that’s now a terrifying thought. He’s gone way too far. Sure, he’s keeping his white-sheet-wearing buddies and billionaire suit cronies happy…but at America’s expense—both the people AND the country. It needs to stop. HE needs to be stopped. We need to take back this country and stick to the ideals we set forth in the past. I’m not saying there aren’t any things that couldn’t be adjusted or changed altogether… just that we need to stop this cancer at its start, before it spreads like wildfire, out of control and dangerous to all our well-beings. That’s really the only option we have at this point.

Image result for muslimban jfk


So I ask you…will you speak up or stay silent in your little bubbles of indifference? Will you join the movement to plot this ship back on its rightful course? America…we made a grievous mistake back in November. It’s on us to make that right. And we can. Together. We’re stronger when we’re together. We always have been. We always will be…<3

xoMESSIE

 

Tabled. For Now. January 20, 2017

Filed under: decisions,health — MESSIE @ 1:52 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

So I received some pretty unsettling news yesterday. I had my post-op follow-up with the pain management doctor and she seemed just as disappointed with the results of last month’s nerve block injection as I was, and still am. Or lack thereof, I should say. I hadn’t been too keen on the idea of the nerve block to begin with, but I had still hoped that it would work. After all the hell and the bullshit of these past 18 months—all the failed medications and inconclusive tests, the doctors and specialists, the vision therapy, and the acupuncture—I was (and still am) more than ready for it all to be over with. If that meant some simple yet painful needle and injection into the nerves above my eyes—then so be it. But, and as always seems to be the case, it didn’t take. Just another example of my shitty luck, in a string of so many.


We agreed to try the second nerve injection, seeing that I already had the authorization for it from the insurance and that it wouldn’t hurt any to at least try. So that’ll be happening again sometime in the upcoming 2 weeks or so. I’m not at all looking forward going through that again (though I’ll definitely be asking the doctor to give the local some time to do its job and numb things up a bit BEFORE he sticks that needle into the new nerve — but if it works—or if it at least decreases the intensity or frequency of these headaches to some degree—it’ll be worth it. The doctor didn’t sound too hopeful, though.


She talked about the more invasive, surgical approach—the implant—and said that I was a really good candidate for it. It’s called an Occipital Peripheral Nerve Stimulator and for those of you who aren’t familiar, picture a pacemaker…but a little different. She (the doctor) didn’t really talk much about it, only to give me the basics—probably for the fact that when she turned around to ask when I’d like to schedule the procedure, she found me still shaking my head no – which I hadn’t stopped doing ever since the moment she started talking about the approach. From an outsider’s perspective, it was actually a pretty comical moment… me shaking my head “no” and her nodding hers “yes” for a good 30 seconds, at least. Surprisingly—and thankfully—she didn’t push the subject. She just wrote down the name of the procedure, told me to “Google It”, and that we could table that particular discussion at one of my next appointments. I’m grateful that she’s not one of those doctors that push you into agreeing to some crazy surgery that you 1) have no guarantee will even work; and 2) that you haven’t had the opportunity or time to research it for yourself enough to make an informed decision.


That said, I did do some reading on the procedure when I got home and well, as you can imagine, it was a little overwhelming. The good news is that the procedure has an 80-90 percent success rate at completely and/or significantly reducing the frequency of the headaches, as well de-intensifying the pain. Those are some pretty impressive odds, I have to admit. But then again, I haven’t had the track record when it comes to luck and odds, whereas this whole thing is concerned. After all, when it comes to the statistics, less than 5 percent of people that sustain a head injury or concussion go on to suffer permanently from post-concussive headaches and other PCS symptoms. The other 95 percent have no lasting issues and the symptoms go away completely by 6 months to a year after the initial injury, if not sooner. Those were some pretty good odds, too … and we all know how well that turned out. Obviously. I think I’d feel a little more comfortable with the procedure if there were a guarantee of some sort. Even just a little one. Something. Anything to at least back up somehow or support the justification of allowing them to cut into the back of my head.


But there aren’t any guarantees. However, there are some risks, many of which are similar to having any kind of surgery done. Things can go wrong on the table. Things like my blood pressure (which for some reason tend to always run a little low) crashing (it’s happened a couple of times in the past actually) or misplacement of the electrodes or – knock on wood – possibly even death. Though I guess in terms of ways to go, completely unaware and unconscious isn’t that bad.


In light of my hesitation on the surgery, we’re going to try a few more options. That means another nerve block and then possibly Botox injections—another approach I’m not too keen on—but far less invasive than surgery. I know a few people who get the Botox shots every few months and they’ve seen some radical improvement. Maybe I’ll get lucky and catch a break with Botox, who knows. So surgery is on the backburner, at least for right now. I don’t want to make any rash decisions without really knowing what I’m getting myself into this time. As they say, it doesn’t hurt to be a little cautious.


So we’ll see and hopefully my next update will have some better news. Until then. Signing off … xoMESSIE

 

Letters To Bug. January 8, 2017

(    !! Fair Warning – this one is a long one !!   )

Was feeling a little nostalgic for the days and all the years gone by earlier…then this happened…



My oldest niece, Angelina, will be fourteen in April and all I can think is what the hell. It can’t be. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was kneeling on the living room floor, arms outstretched, stomach in knots and a lump in my throat as I held back the tears and watched her take those first few shaky steps towards me. So fourteen—it can’t be, and yet I’ve known it from that very moment on that she was going to be unstoppable. And she hasn’t let proven me wrong yet. She’s so smart and funny and sweet—and even when she’s being an absolute brat, I still love her to pieces. I really do. And while I’m so proud of the young woman that she’s becoming…part of me just wants to scoop her up in my arms and never let her go. To keep her thirteen forever –minus all the teenage angst and attitude, of course. It’s a silly wish, I know, but I wish it nonetheless. I just feel like if I blink, I’ll wake up and it’ll be the day she takes her road test, or her graduation day, or the day we send her off to college, or god forbid—her wedding day. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping she waits awhile on that last one. It’s not that I don’t want her to get married or anything. I do. Of course, I do. I just want her to take her time getting there, that’s all.


I want her to have some fun first…to go out with her friends and enjoy being an adult for a little while. Granted being an adult can be absolutely frustrating and just plain hell at times, but there are some perks—some advantages to be young and dumb AND legal. I want her to take a semester abroad and travel the world – to know that there’s so much more out there for her to see, explore, and experience – OUTSIDE of this little town. I want her to fly to all those places she’s seen/sees in the magazines and that she’s dreamt/dreams about visiting someday. She’s got that stubborn personality, that impulsive, independent, and recklessness about her—always has—that I recognize all too well. She’s not mine—I didn’t give birth to her—and yet, she’s like a miniature carbon copy of myself. I’m not so sure if that’s a good or bad thing yet…but time will tell.


What I truly want more than anything else for her…is for her to find love. I want her to fall in love, be it just the one time…or more than once. I want her to find a guy that doesn’t just tell her that he loves her…he proves it over in spades. I want her to find a guy that treats her right—one who doesn’t hold her back, step on her dreams, or put out that fire in her beautiful brown eyes. I want her to know excitement and to feel those little butterflies flapping their little wings around inside her—the kind that steals her breath and makes the rest of the world disappear. I want her to know love; to know that she IS worthy and deserving of that love. I want her to know the kind of selfless, all-in love that doesn’t leave her yearning for more or left out in the cold. While I don’t relish seeing her hurt, I want her to know heart-break. It’s not being harsh, it’s being practical and simple: You can’t fight, understand, or avoid something that you’ve never experienced. I want her to get her heart broken at least once, to experience that soul-crushing devastation that leaves you crying on your bathroom floor and wondering if any of it was even worth it. It’s hard—those life lessons you have to both live and learn from—because they’re lessons that we all – her included – must learn on our own. You have to walk and go through Hell to get to Heaven, as the saying goes, with love especially. And she’ll have those moments of weakness where she’ll do anything to make the pain go away…to just give up and throw it all away. But she’ll get through it and come out the other side a hell of a lot smarter – and a little less naïve—because of it. She’ll look and she’ll find that untapped strength and determination that makes my strengths look puny. I know she will. I don’t want her to have to live with the same regrets we all live through (for me, at least) when we put ourselves in situations that we’re set up to lose right from the very beginning when we fall for the wrong person. But if she does have them, I don’t want her to let those mistakes and regrets consume or define who she is. I want her to learn from the experience—good or bad—so she knows what and how to avoid repeating them down the road. Moreover, I want her to know that love isn’t perfect. Rather, it’s flawed with both good and bad. I want her to know that love doesn’t always work out—no matter the effort you and/or he might put in trying to save it and to make it work. I want her to learn to fight for what she wants—and to live her life the way she chooses, instead of listening to and letting everyone else live her life FOR her. I want her to never lose that free and independent spark of hers.


I want her to know that she shouldn’t and doesn’t need a guy to define or complete her. She’s better than that. I want her to stand strong, and fall apart, too (if that’s what it takes). I don’t want her to be embarrassed or ashamed by her feelings or emotions…or feel guilty or like she has to echo those three little words just because he’s ready and she isn’t; or because he says it and/or feels it and she doesn’t. I want her to keep that sparkle and light in her eyes, and to avoid the men that will put that fire and shine of hers out. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to stay…that she can leave at any point. I don’t want her to stay in a relationship that isn’t working because she feels she has to or that it’s expected of her…or because she’s afraid that people will judge her or condemn her choices or attack her sexuality and call her derogatory names because she’s moved on with someone else. I want her to know that the double standards on men sleeping around opposed to women having more than one sexual partners. As women, we hate it—but it is what it is, for now at least. I want her to know that she can try everything…to defend or hell, explain herself until she’s blue in the face…and there will always be that one person (if not others) that will be determined to tear her down with all their cruel assumptions and accusations and insults…but that she can’t let their negativity or their miserableness get in the way of HER happiness. There are just some people that are like that. You can try to understand it, but you’ll never succeed. That’s life. That’s people. You just have to take it with a grain of salt…or tequila, preferably.


I want to tell her to try her best to live only in the present. For her to know that it’s okay to forget, move on, and put the past behind her… and to not worry so much about what the future might bring. I want her to focus on all the moments—the good, the bad, the big, and the little ones. I want her take risks, to tests the limits, toe the lines, dream big, and fly high. So very, very high. But more than anything else, I just want her to be happy. Whether it’s in her work and the career she eventually chooses, or a lifestyle and hobbies, or finding the right guy—the one she thinks she could potentially see a “forever” with, standing side by side, both worthy and EQUAL in EVERY way. The deck is already stacked unfairly against her because she hasn’t had the best female role models in her life. My mother and my grams have had custody of her since she was 6 months old. Neither her mother or my brother have been around her very much. My brother’s been doing better and he’s been around more these last few years, but it doesn’t negate all the time that he should have been, and wasn’t. As for her mother, that woman is all over the place. Including my niece, she has 5 kids with 4 different fathers. She’s constantly going from one loser to the next. In the past few years, I think she’s been “engaged” like 3 times—with different people. She doesn’t even have her other 4 kids…and the youngest one is barely a year old. My nephew lives in the boonies with her mother, and the others are each with their respective fathers or relatives of the father. How you can feel no shame in coming and going in and out of your children’s lives, letting others raise and care for them…is a mystery to me. She likes to say that she’s settled down…but she’s a little off on the definition of “settled down” I think. She might not party as hard as she used to, but if she really had cleaned up her act as she claims to have, then she’d be a mother to her kids. But she’s not. I know it bothers my niece that her parents aren’t around a whole lot—she’s at that age—just as I was—when I really started to wonder where my father was and why he wasn’t in my life. I’m sure she’s wondering the same. She plays it cool, but you can tell it bothers her. It took me a long time–even longer to accept—before I finally came to the realization that people are where they want to be. If they love you and really care, they’d move mountains to be there, with you. But some moms and dads are just wired wrong and missing that maternal/paternal instinct. It’s not always entirely their fault, I know. But even so, the majority of the blame is on them.


They’re the ones that brought you into this cruel, unforgiving world and for –essentially—abandoning the kid at the world’s door step. My mother was like that—still is, in fact. With my mother, men always came/come first and my brother, sister, and I second. She hasn’t changed at all over the years. My niece’s mother is like that. What’s sad is that I know what my niece is going through…how she’s feeling. Like myself, she knows how to put on a convincing front and pretend that everything is great—even when it’s not. Same as her, I tend to keep people from getting too close—mostly because I’ve blindly put my trust in people I shouldn’t have…and it almost always ends up coming back to bite me in the ass—some way, somehow. Always. Without fail. Admittedly, my method isn’t the healthiest of coping methods as far as coping methods go, but it works for me. Shutting down and shutting people out is what I do best—but then again, I’ve spent all these years perfecting the art of deflection. That, and leaving. I’m used to people leaving. People always leave. And the unspoken pain that goes along with it. I know she has to find out for herself that life isn’t always fair…and that some people really suck. I’ve been in her shoes. And when the time comes for her (which it most certainly will) I want to be there to reassure her and remind her of that “this too, shall pass” adage and whatnot. I didn’t have the amazing, loving support system that she has when I was her age. I didn’t have anyone really — my family was busy, distracted and just plain clueless to notice me, let alone offer any reassurance or protection from the dangers of the big, bad, old world out there. It was just me. No one else. And it was fucking hard. And it still is at times. I want my niece to experience and eventually learn for herself that life isn’t all puppies and rainbows. Sometimes, life really, really, REALLY sucks. Unfortunately, there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it. You don’t have options, you have a choice…and it isn’t always an easy choice to make, no matter how right it may or may not feel or be. I want her to know that it’s okay if she doesn’t have a 5-year-plan or know just yet exactly what she wants to do in life or who she wants to be. She might not see it—in fact, I’m sure she doesn’t. After all, I was a 13-year-old kid myself once upon a time, and contrary to what she’s convinced herself of and loves to remind me, that wasn’t all that long ago. And I’m not as old as she makes me out to be. Hell, I’m not even 30, but the way she talks about my age, you’d think I was ancient or something. That’s my mean. She’s such a brat. A spectacular one, but still…a brat.


I’d give her the world if I could. That is, I can’t give her ALL of it. I can at least give her some of it. Even at that, it seems a small consolation—if it’s any consolation at all. All things considered. And I’ll be honest, just the thought of her growing up in this hot mess that we call the world – well, it scares the living shit out of me. I know the day will come when she won’t need me to always be here—and even though it’s going to absolutely break my heart when that moment comes—there’s not going to be any postponing…on any level. It’s going to happen. She’s going to grow up. She’s going to leave to find herself, and along with it– the answers to all the questions she’s always had or may have down the road.


Only 4 more years. Four short years that are probably going to be some of the last I have with her…you know, before she gets bit by that travel bug, marries someone, and has little ones of her own. I can’t stop her from growing up, but I can give her the advice and encouragement she might need one day, that she’ll need on that day—when she takes flight and doesn’t look back—for the most part—only forward and straight ahead. I know that she’s going to be amazing because she’s already amazing. And beautiful. And talented. She’s sassy and one-of-a-kind…she’s going to be an incredible human being, that’s for sure – more than she already is and that I could ever imagine. And I’ll be her greatest fan, truest friend, and her loudest cheerleader—always. One thing I know for sure is that she’s always going to my Little Bean (my nickname for her) no matter how old she is and gets to. 13 or 33…she’s still ours. For now, I just hope she realizes the value of being careful and sure cognizant of her vulnerabilities AND of time. She’s too young yet to know just how quickly time passes and that it all goes a hell of a lot faster than she’s even probably aware right now. If I can, I want to be someone she can look up to, that she trusts…and trust isn’t something that grows overnight. It takes time, not just to build that trust, but to cultivate it and allow it the time it needs to reach its maximal and greatest potential. On that same coin, however, life really can happen in the blink of an eye. If you take too much advantage of something or someone, if you’re not watching or you aren’t careful enough…you can miss some of the very best parts, without meaning to. And that would be an absolute, damn shame.


angelina-loose-french-braid So in tribute to my Little Bean (who’s not so little anymore) and the little girl that stole my heart 13 some odd years ago in seconds … I just hope she keeps on dancing. My wish for her is to find all the happiness in the world and all the opportunities this crazy, beautiful, frustrating world has to offer. She makes me proud to be her aunt. I’m the lucky one. Truly. I hope that when life gets hard, she just remembers what I’ve told her since she was little…

“Dream big…

Soar high…

Never question fate or ask why…

And never, ever be afraid to fall

Or fly…”

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xoMESSIE

 

 
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