Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Life is a process. And during that process we make shit loads of decisions and mistakes and changes. This weekend was rough for me. But let me supply a little background information first.
I grew up in a family that practiced no set religion. Never had a god to dictate when to eat or not eat or where to ask for help or who to pay money to. My family (mostly my loving mother and father) understood the importance of living freely and letting your soul meander as it wishes. I was taught from an early age to listen to what's inside. To pay attention to my body and follow my heart. If there were any kind of divine anything it was the earth spirit also known as nature. There is a lot of power in nature--trees, dirt, life. Maybe this is something entirely for another time, but hopefully this gives some sort of idea about my family life growing up.
When I came out to my family it went something like this:
Me: family, I've done a lot of soul-searching and feeling things out. After exploring my feelings I've reached a conclusion about a portion of my life and I'd like to tell you about it. I recognize that at any time I may or may not change my mind. I'm lesbian.
Family: Cool. (that's the gist of it anyway)
Coming out to my mom happened much earlier and it went like this (although it wasn't really coming out because I didn't know anything really):
Me (age 14): I don't think I like boys.
Mom: That's okay. You don't have to. Hell, some girls like other girls.
Me: Actually...I think I might like Sabrina (girl next door, also my best friend at the time)
Mom: Oh, she's darling. Rybread, if you want to talk about things, we can. Although, I don't know a damn thing about this and some of it scares me a little.
Me: Yeah, I think I'd like to talk about it.
And we talked about it. A little later Mom did some research and we talked some more.
A couple years later I had a sort-of girlfriend who I experimented with a little and Mom and I talked about it. Mom doesn't understand most things in my life, but she's always always been willing to ask questions and to listen and to try to understand what's going on with me on the inside, deep down.
Now, this weekend a lot of shit drudged up concerning family. Not mine (although my family also has shit moments). This time it was Addie's. Addie, if I haven't yet mentioned is the woman I'm in love with. The woman I'm living my life with. She grew up Mormon. Her family is very devout. They are what Addie says people like to call the "perfect" little family (although they'd argue about that). From my perspective they are blind assholes who can't see past their own noses. Now, don't get me wrong. I love her family, as people. I hate their religious excuses. From what I gather, silence is the basis of Mormonism. If you don't talk about it then it doesn't exist. And if you just close your eyes then everything that isn't "right" and "perfect" will just go away. Addie and I have been together almost four years. She's never had an open conversation with her mom about her being lesbian or about our relationship. Her mom won't let it happen, even when Addie tries.
I'm really pissed off, and I want to blame someone or something because it seems like it's someone's fault that my beautiful girl cries on my face (and my pillow and her pillow and my shoulder and all over her own face) every time she has any interaction with her family.
I don't understand what she's feeling because I've never been there. My family doesn't have a religion saying that being gay is wrong. They don't have some secret code that says to stop loving someone just because they're different or because they don't follow some stupid system that may or may not lead them to heaven. Addie's family, on the other hand seems to think that the fact that she's with me is some kind of evil sin that is condemning her soul to hell or some shit. They used to all be one happy family loving each other and laughing together. Now, even if she laughs with them and seems to have a good time, she comes home and cries. Don't get me wrong. There's certainly nothing wrong with crying, but it hurts so fucking much to see my girl hurting. I want to slap her mom a good one and tell her to pull her head out of her ass just for one second so she can see her daughter--really see her. We're happy together. Addie is happy (aside from the family shit). I don't blame her mom... But, sometimes I do blame that damn church her mom belongs to (see, guys; sorry, Mormons).
When it's all said and done and Addie and I fall asleep after her cry session, I still always wake up in the morning with her next to me. We love each other more now than we ever did in the beginning--which we thought was a whole hell of a lot! We love making this journey together. And that's just it, regardless of family shit or people's ideas of what's coming in the afterlife or what destination we should be shooting for (heaven, maybe?) the only thing that matters is right now. There isn't a place or a goal or a stopping point to get to with life. It's about the mistakes, the hurting, the laughing, the crying. It's about long walks in the freezing cold, hot chocolate and a movie on the couch, late-night talks, and early morning giggles. The journey isn't about the where. It's about the now. I'm so lucky to have Addie as my partner for this awesome journey even if family sucks sometimes, and people can't get over themselves or their religions enough to love each other as human beings. I love being with my Addie.
Rybread Wisdom: The key to a wonderful relationship, as scary as it may seem sometimes, is communication. Guess it's about breaking the silence sometimes--it's about talking, even through the hard things like finances, or family problems, or shitty work days. The great thing though is you always get to talk about the fun things, and the weird people on the bus, and that adorable puppy with the bronze/sandy colored fur and the short legs. Love someone? TALK to them.
Friday, January 27, 2012
So I had written something mildly morbid and a bit personal and didn’t really want to share it. But I couldn’t think of anything light and happy and I didn’t really want to say something light and happy anyway so here’s my slightly depressing blurb for the week.
So I go to therapy. People do. And I’ve been learning a lot from my Shrink but what it has really done is to help me recognize when I learn things on my own.
Here’s some more back ground info. I was suicidal. Still kind of am but not in the “I’m about to go by a gun” way but more of the “I think about my death way to often to be normal” way. And it really freaked me out because two people in my family have committed suicide and I don’t want to.
But sometimes I just feel like I have no control over my emotions. So I go to therapy.
But I had a mini thought the other day and all the crap above this is just prelude to that… I don’t want to die. I was driving down a slick mountain and I WAS TERRIFIED. And it occurred to me if I was really afraid of my death then I obviously can’t want it enough to commit suicide.
So there’s my thought for the week. If you ever consider killing yourself, go out, get scared out of your mind, and maybe you’ll realize that fear is a just a warning for our survival; if we are truly scared, we truly want to survive.
Glee- Get It Right
Thursday, January 26, 2012
I was well on my way into that murky, mucky, not-liking-myself place earlier this week when I remembered something key. And this is big...are you ready??
I AM going around and around and around!
Holy shit! Hold the phone! What?!?
Spirals, friends. Spirals. Lessons happen in spirals. It's like climbing a giant spiral staircase. We keep going up and up and up, around and around, passing points we have already seen, but we are on a slightly higher level each time, learning the lessons on a different plain, a different playing field, each time with new people and places and ways of thinking and being (maybe...I've had some lessons in life where only the "ways of thinking and being" were different and the people and places were the same. Just sayin'.)
The reminder came this week while talking with a good friend. He was telling me how he always gets stuck in the same sorts of relationships and feels like he's never learned a damn thing from any of it. After our conversation I was thinking about how I used to feel that way, too, but then I realized that my relationships, romantic or not, had come a long way since the beginning, even though it sometimes felt like I was just learning the same things over and over. But that's just the thing. I WAS! Sort of. I was slowly learning more and more about myself, learning what was important to me, learning what I believed, learning how to be more assertive or honest or real. Each time around I would gain something new, some little spec of wisdom about myself, some slice of greater understanding that I would then take on with me to the next round.
So the reminder for me this week is this: Don't beat yourself up if you're experiencing the same things you have in the past. It's easy to get stuck on the idea that you're stuck, that you never learn. Just remember, peeps. We're all going around and around and around.
Monday, January 23, 2012
I'm the new Sunday Silence Slayer. I'll be using neither pen nor sword for this one since computers are so handy. I'll just tell you a little bit about me. I'm 25 (I'll be 26 this year, which is hella old--how did this happen to me?!). I graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Health Promotion and Education, which turned out to be a load of bull-shit. Aside from the fact that what society deems "health" is no where near any kind of actual body/mind/soul happiness and well-being, having a bachelor's degree has done me no good thus far. Want proof? I'm currently a manager at Arby's. I'm a little embarrassed to say that, but at least it's a job where I won't spend my money. I mean, what if I worked at Victoria Secret or REI or something? I'd be screwed for sure. Anyway, unlike most the other bloggers (as I've been told, so sorry if I'm wrong), I'm not Mormon and I've never had any ties to the Mormon crowd other than a few friends. I'll apologize now for anything I may or may not say that could be offensive to any of you Mormon readers (or fellow bloggers--Nathan, I mean you. And yes, I've read the blog...a little bit).
I have a gorgeous girlfriend and we've been together...since I was 22...so almost 4 years now--wow, that seems like such a long time. Basically, she is my everything. We're best friends. I'm sure you'll hear more about her in posts to come.
For now, I'll leave you with some Rybread wisdom:
Don't eat at Arby's. Seriously, even if you absolutely love the curly fries or the Super or the little cheesy potato bites, if you saw the people who come into Arby's everyday you'd never go back for fear of one day looking like them (if you don't already).
Friday, January 20, 2012
“I’d rather live my life knowing I’m not perfect, than spending my whole life pretending to be”
I just wish someone would look me in the eye and say it’s okay to be who you are. Make your own dam decisions! Break your own dam rules! I’m not perfect; I have flaws up the hoo-ha. No matter what I will be wrong to someone out there in this big ol’ planet so I might as well just be right with myself.
I just want to not worry about being kicked out school for my mistakes, for my best friend to not love me anymore, for my mother to keep asking “have you taken the sacrament yet?”
Sins and mistakes are so personal so why does everyone get to invade mine?
And that’s not to say I’m not trying. I am. But everyone gives me crap because I’m miserable and that just seems so wrong to me. “Like dude, I’m having a terrible day. You think the best way to make me feel better is to make me feel like crap for being sad?” Huh… Yea that just doesn’t make sense to me.
My point, and I have one other than just rambling, is that no one is going to be perfect. Love people with their imperfections because you’re not perfect either. None of us are.
How to tell people how to back off by Sandra Bullock (disclaimer cursing)
I feel like doing this sometime. Just freaking out and yelling people to get there own life... But I don't.
Song Of The Week
This is mine and my mom’s song. It kind of speaks for itself.
You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me – Cher (Burlesque)
Thursday, January 19, 2012
This past weekend I went to Moab for a few days. I needed to get out of the city, needed to reconnect with myself, with my soul, with the rocks and that break-you-open blue sky. I needed to remember what is important, what is real, and what matters. Funny how sometimes I let myself get so buried in it all that it takes going out of town and stepping back from the routine for me to find my center.
Rocks and trees and open sky help me feel connected more quickly than anything else I've found, and winter makes it hard sometimes. I love seasons, but truly, 3 weeks of winter is enough and I'm ready for spring again. It's easy for me to forget in the winter. But last weekend I remembered. I remembered that, even when it's ridiculously cold outside, I need to take care of myself, of my inner self, and there are always things I can do.
It's reading a book in my favorite chair. It's going for a walk. It's playing some songs on my guitar. It's a new plant. It's building a card tower and then blowing it over, just to watch the way the cards fall. It's spending time with someone I love. It's watching a little baby tree grow (I've got a 3-week-old spruce tree in my bedroom and it is currently about 2" tall....it's been the coolest process EVER to watch...). It's all these small things that bring me back to my little kid self, that open up my creative mind and help me see things with new eyes, as children do.
We are told to grow up and be responsible and get jobs and go to school and...and...and.... But not very often are we told how important it is to allow yourself to do nothing. It's okay to sit. It's okay to spend a few hours puttering around, doing a project or playing with a toy. I call it moodling, and moodling is one of the most important things I ever do. I just needed to remember. Maybe we'd all be a little better off if we allowed ourselves a little do-whatever-the-hell-you-want time everyday? There is nothing wrong with going out of town to reconnect and get away, but there is also nothing wrong with doing "nothing." There is power in doing nothing.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
So I have a few friends who are also gay and we tend to hang out all the time which is amazing. Well we always end up talking about the gayest stuff and most of that is about relationships and coming out etc. It is so odd to me because we are in totally different boats and yet we all get along so well.
They talk about how this is the time in their lives that they are coming out to family and friends or planning to. It is such a hard time in the life of every gay and I am glad that I am past that point. My whole family knows and treats me just the same; they love me no matter what. All my close friends know and if someone asks me I am more than willing to answer honestly; I am pretty out and it is such a sense of calm.
They are still going through this part of their lives and it is hard and not pleasant most of the time. Then they move on to the topic of relationships and how wonderful they make their lives etc. I love hearing these stories because it makes me optimistic for the future but at the same time I can feel myself being consumed with envy.
Envy because I have never been in a relationship ever, and I mean ever. (As in never held hands with anyone or had a first kiss kind of ever.) They have had so many experiences and have grown so much from them and I can help but get jealous and wish that I could speak from their point of view. I tend to end up silent and sulky which isn't fair to myself and more importantly not fair to my friends.
I envy them for their love life and I always wonder, Do they envy my life at all? I am out, I have a family that loves me for it, I am in a sense freed. Do they envy me, because I certainly envy them. You never know...
Friday, January 13, 2012
All the sticky notes on my computer :P
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Be the change you want to see in the world
Inhale love exhale hate
Don't fall for someone unless they're willing to catch you
When nothing goes right... Go left
When life gives you melons you know you're dyslexic
When life gives you lemons make OJ and confuse everyone!
Act happy until you are happy.
Everyone is going to hurt you, You just need to find the ones worth suffering for.
One person's craziness is another person's reality - Tim Burton
You've chosen to forgive and forget. Now get on with your life.
A wise girl kisses but doesn't love, listens but doesn't believe and leaves before she is left
FALSE: This is just what girls who just want to have fun do!
Fake it until you make it
Life is like going up a down escalator. If you run you'll get ahead, if you walk you'll stay where you're at, but if you don't do anything you'll be dragged down.
You've seen much wiseness and eaten many potatoes. Find a leprechaun and teach him the hoola. Don't get angry, get delirious. Jump through earthquakes and dive through canoes. It could be fun. Then eat a million corn chips and blame it on someone else. :D
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for thy courts above
You haven't failed yet but it's always a possibility.
Start out depressed and everything is a pleasent surprise
Friendship is an involuntary reaction -How I Met Your Mother
Thursday, January 12, 2012
And I forget.
I forget the beauty of the silence. Of the quiet. I forget how to listen to the beating of my own heart, like a drum, steady and true in my chest. I forget that none of it really matters. None of it. I forget all that can be heard in the nothing - the whispers, the nudges, the sweet longings of my soul.
But when I get a taste of that quiet once more, I ache for it. Standing out in the freezing dark of winter, listening to the silence, the way the snow absorbs the sounds of the city, the way the air is still while the world sleeps. The way even the earth seems to hold her breath in honor of the silence.
Then I remember what's real.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
What kind, you ask? With the khakis and the pith helmets and the ethnocentrism? No, hopefully not.
This journey is one of physical and spiritual locales. Part of it will be with my family. Another part of it will be finding myself, because I've felt like I've been trapped under a rock for a long time. If I was applying to be an unemployed author, I could just chalk this up on my resume. Oh wait--I already am.
Whatever it is that's trapped away, I will find it. I'm being quite vague here due to the nature of the trip--but you will see many, many pictures when I am through.
Keep journeying in your own lives,
Friday, January 6, 2012
I have sticky notes that I put up around my desk for inspiration. And since I couldn’t think of anything this week well…
Once you realize that will power is just a matter of learning how to control your attention and thoughts, you can really begin to increase it. –Mischel
Eye single to the Glory of God
Strength isn’t something you have… it’s something God helps you find. –Emma Hale Smith
You know what they call a unicorn without a horn? A friggin horse. –Glee
If someone wants to be a part of your life they’ll make an effort to be it. So don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for someone who doesn’t make an effort to stay.
You always zig when I think you are about to zag and that’s what I love about you. –Glee
Perfection equals complete and whole. Am I complete and whole?
Who honors those by the very life we live. You have all the weapons you need… Now FIGHT! -Sucker Punch
Some people just need a high five… in the face… with a chair.
I’m not bossy. I just know what you should be doing.
When people cut you down or talk behind your back, remember they took time out of their pathetic lives to think about you.
I know you are out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… You’re afraid of us. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this ends. I came here to tell you how it begins. –Dane Cook (Totally shocking that he wrote this. Maybe he didn’t but he did post it on his FB)
How many haters does it take to change a light bulb? None. They fear change, even if it can make the world a brighter place.
Peace: it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.
What is the worst that can happen if you don’t sin?
It’s never too late to be who you might have been.
“I thought America was all about unique people coming together?” “Old brochure dude.” –Glee
So remember folks, keep a mini drag queen in your hearts at all times. – Our own Nathan Cunliffe
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. –Buddha
Examine the contents, not the bottle.
You may think and believe something with all the conviction of your heart yet you will never know what is best for a single individual. –Me
Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does anybody else.
We become who we want to be by being the person we want to become every day.
The reason you should let go and can’t let go are the same.
Trust should be a drop of water/Administered once a day/So that at the first sign of pollution/We can stop the flow/And let the rest dry away. -Tricia Levenseller
That is a terrible, self destructive plan and we are behind you 100%.
Organize people are just too lazy to look for things.
And technically it’s not a sticky note on my desk but it’s an 8X11 that I keep posted next to my desk. It’s helped me so much and is like a daily reminder for me so…
Winners never quit and quitters never win. –Jim Dodds
Thursday, January 5, 2012
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Sometimes I wonder if you understand the world I see. I imagine things so quickly and with such ferocity that I don't think you understand that each story for me is a high. It's like being filled with saidar or letting the song of a faraway civilization guide my will into a magical force that can end the world--or spawn them. It's the flow of inspiration that enters the mouths of boys training to be bards--with a stone on their bellies and blindfold-covered eyes. It's the ambrosia of the gods, the blessing light of the Divine and the lure of the power offered by the Dark One present in so many fantasies.
I used to create world after world, read book after book, and play games--old, cheap PC games that my family would let me play, all because I wanted to get away. I wanted to escape a world where the glares always held malice, where the smiles hid knives, and faces held hidden anger that would lash out at you, bruise you, beat you to the ground until you thought you were going to pass out. I hated the world of fluorescent lighting, fireworks that made sounds so dissonant and loud that the pain felt like a gunshot echoing into my brain. I couldn't hide my flabby rolls or my acne, and this was when kids are supposed to be warm in their tree forts, hanging from branches, and playing tag. Worse, I couldn't hide that I didn't understand. I didn't understand why children needed to play out the stories of their parents, or why they had to be so cruel to each other. I couldn't ever feel what my face was saying, and when it became obvious that I was the token retarded child, I ran away. I dove into the other worlds, where I could speak from the lips of queens, destroy my enemies and fears through swords, axes, bows, magic, and condemnations, and roar in the flames of dragons.
Yes, I love being busy with building and exploring these worlds. I love the worlds that you give me, too. I go in and harvest the thoughts, the feelings, the descriptions, the magic, and the souls that I find there. Don't worry, you know that I take good care of all of them and give them right back if I can't give them the home they deserve. I tried to run away from Earth, but she's the one that gives me everything to write with. She gave me my life, and she gave me you. I don't mean to offend you or your ideals of God, but if He did place us here, He did it through the grandiose weft and weave of life around us. Thankfully, both are so giving that they allow me to be with you, even with all of these visions leaking out into the world through me.
I love that you know the worlds that I escaped to better than I do. It's a huge compliment that you want to know the worlds that I'm building better than I do--reading them despite all of the drafts I give you. Thank you for breathing in the breaths I expel from my mind--the wind of other places that will always exist--across the universe and across the dimensions of one zany girl's thoughts.
Writing is my sobering wine and tintillating provender, my bolstering lavender and a scintillating brine. It brings my mind to strong, vivacious clarity, makes my stomach churn for better material to mentally chew over, takes my nose to lands forgotten, and the brine? It's for pickling dark days into a fantastic pickle that my characters can get themselves out of.
Thank you for delving into my work, because I'm not running away anymore. You've given me the fey bridge between the worlds that I needed to stay here, and I can see the world just as I need to, through honest eyes. I can always run if I need to, but I don't think I'll have to--thanks to you.
((That's to my dear boyfriend. :D ))