Up To Something

I got a txt and started frantically searching the Internet.  Hoping it was all a hoax.  No.  My number 1 was number 2 in the rule of 3s.  I started getting txts from friends but couldn't really answer.  My breakfast is still sitting on my desk next to me.  I keep flipping back and forth from wanting to eat everything and nothing.  Nothing is winning.  It's awkward at work. My office is a fish bowl so everyone can see me, but today it doesn't really matter. The people who know me know why I'm upset.
I first saw him in Robin Hood where I loved hating him. Then Sense and Sensibility where I loved loving him. After that, it was a done deal. I think that is where my love of the "older man" really bloomed.  His voice is intoxicating in the best way and he has a magical way of making you feel what he feels. Even as a manically depressed robot.
Part of me feels like today would be the best suited day to finally watch Harry Potter 7.2.  The other part of me is like "ARE YOU CRAZY!!! DON'T DO THAT!!! Having him die in reality and fantasy would be just too much.
He made me see that Snape was a good guy even when everyone else thought he was the worst.  He knew the motivation and even though it wasn't known to the reader then, you could see it. So complicated yet so simple and he made it look effortless. It was some of the best casting I have ever seen. He was exactly how I pictured it.

Josh got me these for Christmas and this was how I arraigned it first thing. It just felt right. Magical.

The hardest part for me about someone dying is that this is all you have to hold you over.  Nothing new. You can redo what you've done but don't get more.  And once that's it, it's hard. Especially when that someone is insanely talented and you know there was so much more in there...


This Wouldn't Happen If I Had A Penis!

My Mom emailed me an article.  It's amazing.  It said, in a much more articulate way, what I have been saying for years. Here is a link.  I highly recommend reading the whole thing but the gist is, society sucks.  OK maybe that wasn't their gist, but it's true.  This particular article is addressing the HUGE gender bias in LDS Church programs for girls VS boys. This short changes not only ALL the women in your life, but society as a whole.  Imagine what they could do if they were given all the options.  Not "girls can do anything boys can do" but "girls AND boys can do anything people can do".

Why are there lesson or statements being made all around us about how to be good men or women?  How about good people?! Why is my daughter being taught that patience is a "motherly attribute"? Do Fathers not need to practice patience too? Train them to be good PEOPLE.

This article is addressing a specific program and I do agree with their points.  But this issue sadly goes way beyond Activity Days.  It's everywhere.  In school, other church programs, homes etc.  Everywhere my daughters go they are being programmed.  Programmed to be women. To be pretty, wear the right clothes, keep an organized home, say the right thing, be smart (but not smarter than Timmy),  and don't question things. It's disgusting.

Whether it's 7th grade, turning 12, being in full public school or most likely a combo of all those things, Isa has changed.  I, like the author, have seen the light going out of my daughter's eye.  She is making academic choices for social reasons.  She reaches for her iPad before her homework.  She needs certain things with certain labels.  She wants to wear heels, makeup, push up bras and whiten her teeth.  She is picking herself apart physically and finding herself lacking. Lacking from what? Who told her that her main goal as a 12 year old is to look "better"? Meanwhile boys are showing up in sweatshirts and basketball shorts. They probably got up 10 minutes ago and my daughter spent more than that brushing her hair.  She is asking me for things to "improve" her appearance but not  her brain. She reads less and is looking for a screen more.  Last Christmas she asked for a bike.  This Christmas, iPad covers of her favorite TV show and name brand shoes. 6 months ago she told me her favorite celebrity was Neil Degrasse Tyson.  Now I'm afraid to ask.

Try as I might I can't seem to stop it.  I feel like I'm trying to hold back a tidal wave of preconceived ideas of what my daughter should be before they crush and change her into what a "girl" is.  It's impossible, she's already drowning. It's coming at her from every side. It's ingrained so deep in the world that she can't escape it.

 Right now she wants to be an Immunochemist which I think is crazy awesome.  I hate that she will have to work harder than her male counterparts though.  She'll be in a constant battle to prove that she is just as good as a boy and I just pray it doesn't wear her down. In school and work.  To make it even more fun she will also get paid less.  Because she's a girl. Her lack of penis was the only mark against her society needed to decide her fate.


I guess they are afraid she will "think with her lady parts". That would be a great T-shirt slogan for a feminist group.  " I think with my lady parts". Probably to clever for the masses though.

Sorry, you'll have to click the little "YouTube" in the corner to open the video.  It's worth it.



 I've always been lucky to have great men in my life.  My Uncle John was one of the more awesome. It's been almost a year since he passed away.  My heart still hurts from it.  All the time.  I think there are things that happen that make us sad, maybe really sad, but there are only a few that make that mark on your heart. That whatever portion of your heart that held that person permanently aches from their absence.

 I keep hoping that if I ignore it, next Tuesday wont come.  Just like how I wish I could not think about that moment when my Dad called to tell me.  But Tuesday is coming and I think about it constantly.  Knowing the pain and sorrow that's coming is hard.  I want to block it out but I feel like I'm really blocking out him.

My Uncle John was amazing.  He loved me.  I always knew he did.  He always had a hug and helping hand.  Even if sometimes the helping was really gross (thinking of the time he found Emmleine on the stairs with her g-tube at her feet along with everything that had been in her stomach. As her mother I can say it is NASTY.  Bet he didn't expect he'd run into that!).  The night he took all  us kids to an impromptu late night trip to Phaser Land was one of my fondest memories. Even if I did end up domino knocking down quite a few barriers because I was/am so clumsy. He was very giving and hard working and I admired that.  He made people smile.

Thinking about him makes me miss him more.  Knowing I wont have that hug and "Hi sweetheart!" as our next family get together is painful.  I want more.  So many more. But I'm glad I had the ones I did and I hold them close to my heart.  It's how I know he loved me. I hope I hugged back tight enough that he knew how much I loved him too. And always will.

Two wild and crazy guys!


As Mushy As This Girl Gets

In my freshman year of college I had my heart broken.  It was devastating and I thought there was no recovery in sight.  I was sure I would never move on and so I decided to plan out my life alone.  I still wanted kids so I assumed I would just use a sperm bank or something.  I was tough.  I could handle the logistics of child rearing and love the crap out of that kid.
Since Josh has moved I have been able to get a taste of this and you know what?  I can do it.  The logistics are the easy part. 95% of the time the girls get everywhere they need to go with a parent there if need be.  And yes, I love the crap out of them. I thought this was all I would need. I didn't see the most difficult part.
The hard part is the vacancy.  The absence of a partner.  Not in dealing with the kids (although that can be tough), but in dealing with myself.  The emptiness.
I don't rush  over to the couch to get the good seat, there isn't anyone else to get it.
When I turn to make an inappropriate joke, there isn't anyone to hear it.
There isn't anyone for me to slide my cold feet under to warm them up.
I don't put perfume on before bed, there isn't anyone to smell me.
When I feel exceptionally cute and realize there isn't anyone there to see.
The nights are the worst.  I wake up, multiple times a night, reaching out to lay my hand on the chest that isn't there.
Maybe if I'd never had it I wouldn't miss it.  But I did, and I do...


The Perfect Space

Those that know me well know that I frequently say the phrase "I hate the way emotions make me feel".  This is mostly due to the fact that when I feel an emotion I FEEL that emotion.  It is very very intense and I have trouble processing it.  In some cases like sadness, anxiety or fear it will cause physical pain that can overstimulate me to the point of a freak out/shutdown.  I even feel emotions I think other people should feel. I over relate. To most, this isn't news. They have seen this happen countless times.  
This reaction means that I usually try to avoid intense emotions all together and surprise, surprise, I'm a bit of a control freak.
Obviously I can't hold all the negative emotions at bay so sometimes, some leak out.  It isn't usually pretty. 
So, I came up with a way to let a little bit of emotion out in a "controlled" setting.  Music.  I can listen and feel whatever the singer is sharing for 3-5 minutes and then it ends.  Well, usually.   At my most self aware, I will use music to help make myself feel the emotion I know I'm holding back. So that I can feel it constructively and have a starting and stopping point. The songs I use for this must be carefully chosen.  Whatever I choose will be forever tainted with sadness.  Whenever I listen to it, tomorrow or years from now, I will feel the weight of that time.  The full emotion of whatever I let out during the song.  It will be associated with a specific memory and pain.
When I'm not so self aware I pick some cheesy upbeat music in hopes that I can make myself feel THAT way.  It works, for 3-5 minutes. When the song ends so does the illusion of happy.  Or sometimes I just listen to the sappy stuff so that music I love wont become tainted.  I can't hold the emotions back and I'm just out there, feeling it and and making correlations willy nilly.  You have to be careful with that stuff ;)  Josh hates my music now days.  He cringes when I turn it on. Knowing it will be something cheesy, with no depth, poorly written and poorly performed. It makes it fairly miserable for us to ride in a car together.  I don't want something good and he doesn't want something that makes him want to pull his ears off.  He's so picky.
But, I'm trying to be more of a grown up lately. Trying to teach your kid how to be more grown up will really help you see all the areas where you behave like a big baby. So today, I did it.  I turned on the Avett Brothers.  It's been 7 months.  Here's to hoping this doesn't kill them.


The Sweet Doctor

Shortly after the closure announcement a dear friend posted the last few seconds of 10's life.  The iconic phrase of " I don't want to go" was uttered and our hearts all broke. In that instant you know the emotional loss regeneration takes.  I used this line as a way of simply expressing my feelings about this place.  It ended up that I didn't have to go in the end, but Sweet Briar did. Sweet Briar died.  As much as we want to say it didn't, it did.  It brought that scene full circle for me.  Sweet Briar died but it didn't stay dead.  It regenerated. But, as any Doctor Who fan worth their salt knows, the new Doctor is different.  As is Sweet Briar.  It continues but isn't the same.  It has all the same memories, knows all the same people, has all the same places, but it has become something new.  No matter how hard it tries, the losses are still there.

Even though some students came back and some faculty and staff stayed, we are forever different.  It's still here but we feel the loss. Some lost students or friends.  Some are separated from their families. The whole place is filled with ghosts.  Everywhere I look I see an empty space. Where someone I know should be, but isn't.

I thought the hard part would be leaving.  Driving out of the gates knowing I wouldn't be back.  I was wrong.  The hard part was staying. Staying and watching the others go.  Feeling the emptiness.  Watching others try and fill their place. It feels like people are pretending they were never here at all.  It's lonely. 


Sometimes You Just Gotta Yell and Scream! (in your head)

Everyone is very interested.  They ask all the time. In many settings and situations.  The questions are usually something like these.

"Isn't it great that Sweet Briar is staying open?"

"I bet you're so relieved!"

"Are you guys staying?"

"It must be such a load off."

etc, etc...

I smile, nod, and thank them for their concern. I should be all of those things, but I'm not and I try to get out of the conversation as quickly as possible. Why?  Because in my head I'm throwing a temper tantrum. As they are walking away I go into a haze. In my head I'm screaming at the top of my lungs and stomping.  I'm throwing things and rubbing my face. I'm not smiling, I'm not relieved, and it's not a load off.  It's awful and complicated and hard.  The raw pain is still there.  We haven't been through something that will fade quickly.  It has been traumatic in a way I truly didn't expect and wasn't at all prepared for.  It has made our lives an emotional roller coaster from hell and it is far from over.

It would be great if the settlement resolved everything!  It didn't.  We are still living in a world of uncertainty and fear. The shock remains and we are jaded.  I know the new administration is doing their best.  We all are. We are just so tired. The fight was long and hard and it hurts. That's the best way I can explain it. I hurt.  Physically and emotionally, head to toe.

It's difficult to engage with people and when I do I'm exhausted. I often go for walks around campus and get really angry.  We had something amazing here and it will never be the same.  In that, the closers were successful. They killed it. It will never be the same.  Sweet Briar will be here, but never the way it was. I get so so angry.

We have met so many amazing people.  Some have had to move on.
It looks so simple to an outsider. The college is open so we all get our jobs back so it's like it never happened right?  Wrong.  People had to take jobs where they could get them. Josh included.  People who wanted to stay but have had to sign contracts during the uncertainty.  This settlement came in the 11 hour. Perfect for some but heartbreaking for others. The pain continues.  I like to think that one day it will go away.  I'm not so sure though. I guess that's how it is when you're in the thick of it?  You feel like it's unending.  You try, but just can't quite find the way out.

I'm hoping that the rebuild will help heal some wounds.  I'm afraid all it will do it make me miss those that aren't here.  The missing ones who's lives were also shattered.

As they inevitably move on, I try and find my happy place.  Crying wont do any good, but I cry anyway. I can't help it. But there is nothing we can do. It is what it is. It's done. And it didn't have to be.