Writing what I want to write, secrets, and owning it.

You write what you want to write. That’s it. Fuck the rest. This is your home, your space. You want to weep about the things that have been done, however trivial they may be in a world lacking world peace and struck with poverty, fuck it. You write what you want to write.

That’s it.

Because everyone is fighting their own battles, because everyone hurts, everyone feels pain, and to measure it is bullshit. Fuck a battle where I weigh my pain against yours and you weigh yours against mine, because why? Why? What’s the point in saying to a person who is hurting that their pain doesn’t weigh enough, no matter the genesis of that pain? That’s bullshit.

I don’t want to be a sad bitch on the internet, I don’t want to come here and cry everyday about the fucked up shit in my life, but at the end of the day this space is mine and if I want to cry over the wrongs done to me, that maybe don’t have to do with pandemics or poverty, then I will. Because this space is mine.

So let me tell you a secret.

I’m sensitive. Beyond words. I’ve got this tough bitch, honey badger, fuck shit up demeanor, but fuck that. I’m a sensitive bitch. You hurt, I hurt. That’s how I work. He hurts, I hurt, even when I shouldn’t. I hear a song and it takes me. I can’t stop it. It drags me down, to those depths – and I think you know them – those dark places where sadness is comfort and broken is built.

I cry over lonely puppies and Sarah McLachlan and I’m done saying I’m sorry for that shit. This is the person I am. I take a lot in, and I do with it what I can. I try to fix what I can, try to heal what I can, try to rectify what I can and the rest, the parts that I can’t fix, well. They fucking eat me, those parts.

Because – and here’s secret number two – I want to save the world.

I want to fix your shit. I’m a fixer. It’s what I do. Give me your shit, and I’ll give you a solution, because I want to see you smile. I want to make you laugh. I want to make your ribs hurt you laugh so fucking hard and so I’ll take it. I’ll take whatever pain you have to give and I will wrap it up and throw it out into the universe because I fucking love you.

I shouldn’t have to apologize for giving a shit, and so I won’t.

Because I do. I give a shit. I care. I care so much I’ll break myself for it, because me be damned – fuck me.

And if writing is my catharsis, then so fucking be it. Walk away if you don’t want to read it, or don’t if you do.

And so here it is:

I laugh too loud and I swear a lot.

I don’t eat sea creatures – not even crabs or lobsters or shrimp.

I’m really fucking funny sometimes. And sometimes I’m really fucking sad.

I hear a song and sometimes it dictates my mood. That’s it. That’s just the way it is.

Most days I just want to run. For as many miles and as many hours as my legs and lungs can handle.

I drink craft beers and scotch, and, if I’m in Vegas, Blueberry Stolis.

Nachos are my favorite food, green my favorite color, spring my favorite season and Halloween my favorite holiday.

I’m almost always wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

I don’t wear lipstick and I’d almost always rather be barefoot.

I don’t have a filter and sometimes I say things I shouldn’t.

I’m not fucking perfect, and I shouldn’t have to be.

That time I spent 26 hours in Guatemala.

I went to Guatemala for work, to visit some Soldiers we have down there flying helicopters and supporting a humanitarian mission. It was a quick trip, with us spending just 26 hours in Guatemala.

Someone asked me if it was worth and I said, FUCK YES, because really, when else am I going to get a free trip to Guatemala?!

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We flew down via learjet, making me feel like the fanciest of the fancy, and had just enough time the afternoon we arrived to wander around a market, buy some goods for ourselves and our families back home, and then, we did dinner.

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I hope you all know how I feel about food and that it’s not surprising when I tell you that getting to eat real food in Guatemala was maybe the part I was most excited about. I can’t really tell you what I ate, but I can tell you there was rice and bread and spices and GUACAMOLE and black beans that tasted delightfully sweet and Guatemalan beers and it was all real damn delicious.

We went back to the hotel after dinner and a handful of us went to the hotel bar for a nightcap and that’s where we discovered the most amazing music video channel of all time, which played a ridiculous and amazing array of music that I’m probably going to blog about separately, because it was that amazing and that magical and I may have spent entirely too much time recently creating a playlist based on what we dubbed CLASSICO, the best music video channel of all time, full of awesome, random and cheesy songs.

I went back to my room later, determined to find that channel, but it wasn’t there. We’ve related it to a UFO, saying it’s one of those things that was only in our lives briefly, that we can’t fully explain and that no one else will understand.

Failing on finding the famed music video channel, I tried to watch a whole fuckton of things in Spanish, including The Voice, some movie with Angelina Jolie I couldn’t identify, Spartacus, a lot of soccer, Harry Potter, some murder shit on the ID Channel, Sesame Street, that new karate kid shit with Will Smith’s son, some BMX competition thing and some weird public access-type show with muppets.

The next day, we went to see the Soldiers, who were about a 45 minute helicopter ride away from where we were staying, in Guatemala City. They’re on a tiny little Guatemalan Army training base.

Va. Guard senior leaders visit aviators in Guatemala    Va. Guard senior leaders visit aviators in GuatemalaVa. Guard senior leaders visit aviators in Guatemala

We toured their area, learned about all the neat things they’re doing and then we got back on our helicopter, did an aerial tour of some of the schools and clinics that are being built down there by U.S. Soldiers and Airmen, lunched once we got back to Guatemala City and then we boarded our learjet and headed home.

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And that was it.

Solo camping, lighting fires and doubt.

Sometimes, for me, the best medicine is just being gone for a bit, just going into the woods and spending time around a fire. And so, last weekend, the first free weekend I’ve had in just about forever, I went camping. Solo camping. I set up my own tent, blew up my own air mattress, with lung power, and lit my own campfire.

IMG_6127campingcamping1I didn’t quite know what I was going to do with myself at a campsite, alone, in the middle of April, but I figured it out. Mostly I read and poked at the fire, ate cheese and bread and meat and roasted a few marshmallows and then, when it started to rain a bit, I curled up in my tent and read by candlelight before falling asleep to the sound of rain on my tent.

And then it was morning.

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I slept far less terribly than I feared I would and waking up in a tent on a cold morning, snug in a sleeping bag, is really rather nice. But, there were adventures to have so, after eating some more bread and some more cheese and some more meat, I broke down the campsite and loaded up the car.

And then I hiked.

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Not far, really, just into the woods for a bit, away from things, and the rain mostly stopped and I found myself again, in the wilderness, not really wanting to come home.

But I did. I drove the two hours home, rolling things over in my mind and feeling probably a little too pleased with myself at my solo camp adventure.

I have this terrible anxiety about things like this, about going and doing things on my own, and yet I’m solidly an introvert, totally okay with spending time alone. But this was a different sort of alone, this wasn’t sitting in bed reading on a Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t watching TV alone on my couch on a Tuesday night, it was removing myself from comfortable spaces and pushing myself into the uncomfortable unknowingness of new solo experiences.

And really, that’s what these past months have been about. They’ve been about saying yes to things I would have hid from before, they’ve been about seeing what, exactly, I am capable of, about doing things I never, ever thought I would or could.

Sure, I’ve camped before. Rather a lot as a kid, and only a little as an adult. I was married to an eagle scout once, so that should garner me some camping street cred, but it’s not something I’ve ever done alone. I was terrified I wouldn’t remember how to put up the tent, even though I did the night before, in the yard, with some slight supervision from someone who has set it up before. And I was scared the fire wouldn’t start, that I would be a fire-starting failure and have to curl up in my tent, eating un-roasted marshmallows and pouting, but no. That fire lit with just one match.

I don’t know if I have a point, but someone said something to me before my last half marathon that I keep swirling around in my mind because he was so, so right. He said, “You doubt yourself too much.”

And I do. And I don’t want to anymore. Because I’m fucking 30. And I’ve had enough of that shit.

Curse words, mostly.

Most days I just want to light shit on fire. I want to burn the whole god damn world down, I want to fight until I’ve got nothing left, just like I’ve been doing for the past how ever many months. I want to take a match, strike it and burn the whole fucking thing down, my life, my love, my reality. I want it fucking gone because it’s not the shit I picked, it’s not the shit I fought for, and yet still, it’s mine.

So I carry it.

Because, really, what’s the other choice? I lose my shit? I strike the match, burn all our lives to the fucking ground? That’s not feasible, see, because we must maintain some semblance of sanity, no matter how hard it might be.

Right?

Because the scorned bitch, she’s the one who is supposed to stand proud and swallow her hurt and live some great fucking life and be the best version of herself, but fuck you. Real life is a disaster. It’s a shit show.

Real life takes the fucking life from your lungs, it cripples you, it throws you on the fucking floor, broken limbed and bleeding the fuck out, because reality, my friends, reality is a mother fucker, and all the things you learn, all the things you realize, they will cripple you.

And sure. I’m a strong bitch. I”m a badass mother fucker. I’ll spit hate in your face and never regret it, but that doesn’t mean this shit, this terrible and fucked up shit isn’t the most terrible shit I’ve ever faced in my whole fucking life.

I wanted to be choked out, to pass the fuck out, to leave for a bit, but my neck is too small, his biceps too big and the closer I get to the bottom, the more I realize that rock bottom is farther and harder than I ever fucking anticipated. You touch this spot, this terrible spot where you think it can’t get worse, and then it hits you, the weight of the lies and the truth and you sink even further and you see your worst self, the most terrible parts of you that you buried in a yard 15 fucking years ago. And yet.

Still.

There she is, that damaged girl, leaving claw marks on everything she touches.

But you live it, you take it, you swallow it, you fix it. Because that’s what bitches like me do. We win. God help us. We fucking win.

Whatever that means.

A Letter.

David:

You’ve been dead for 14 years.

I get anxious as we approach the 16th anniversary of your death, when we get to the point where you’ve been dead longer than you were ever alive.

I got mad this year. I was pissed.

I turned 30, and you, with a birthday just one day before mine, didn’t. And so rage. Because 30 fucking sucks. And you should have been here to suffer it with me, all of it, the heartache, living and breathing and all of it.

You should have fucking been here.

It’s dumb. You took your life at 16, and 14 years later, I’m still carrying it, still carrying the weight of what you did, still bearing the knowledge that they all blamed me, that I was the last person you saw, that I didn’t share enough of your last cigarette with you, that I didn’t demand a ride that last day, that last day of your life.

I want to yell at you. I want to fold up on the floor and cry in the bathtub and regret it all, but your death has colored my life, has made me the bitch that I am, has taught me about survival.

You were amazing. That laugh. That leather jacket. Learning to do headstands. All of it. You were amazing, my almost-birthday-twin.

You’re further away then you’ve ever been. These 14 years, you’ve had my back. You’ve been the thing that kept me from harm and I know, right now, I’m losing my grip on all the things, on logical thought and clear decision making and whatever else, and that’s not your fault, but mine, because I am digging my own grave. You wanted so much to protect me from harm, and you have. You’ve been there, for all of it, in your own way.

I love you.

But I still wish you were here. Every single day, especially in March and always on April 6th.

– t.

(I always wonder, who would I be without you?)