2015, year of gratitude

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I cannot begin to express my delight in seeing the year 2014 come to a close. though I feel I have gone farther personally than I ever knew possible, it was under extremely unfortunate circumstances. I have questioned my beliefs. I’ve questioned who I am as a person; my relationships, my choices, missed opportunities and mistakes. And lets be honesty, my sanity.

2015 will be beyond amazing, I can feel it in my bones. Instead of making unrealistic goals for 2015, since obviously every year some sort of something will come up, derailing everything, I want to set in place acts of gratitude that I will do each month, here’s what I’ve got so far (feel free to comment below with suggestions):

1. Gratitude towards others – I want to make it abundantly clear that we are nothing without love and support from those close to us in our life. They deserve our love and support in over-abundant reciprocals, but simply gratitude, even if just a small thanks for all they do. I’m not really in to cards (which is odd because I’m a words person) but I want to make an effort to send at least one note, card, post-card, letter or piece of mail every month, with the expression of gratitude being the representative thought.

2. Gratitude towards your mind and body – at the end of the day, it is physically all you have. don’t you agree we should be grateful for the mind and the beautiful way it works? and the body? lets promise feed it well and treat it even better, with meditation and exercise in the coming year(s.) I wholeheartedly promise to treat my mind and body better in 2015, and all of the years that follow.

For me this specifically means:

– no complex sugars….this is going to kill me but it’s time to do it.

– no fast food, at all for the entire year, unless the situation is dire and I can only do green or grilled.

– no soft drinks, even though those are few and far between for me anyway.

– YOGA. EVERY. DAY. Even if it’s just for a quick fifteen minutes, and for the sake of breath and breath alone.

– reading/writing every day, again, even if only for a quarter of an hour. we must remember to feed our souls.

3. Gratitude towards the light inside your soul – I really don’t need to say much about this. be grateful that you are who you are. embrace your flaws, and if you must change them then do so, but be aware, you’re the only one who can do that. I used to think it was possible for someone to steal your light, but now I realize, that is not the case. YOU are the one that determines how bright you shine; whether others choose to see it and appreciate it isn’t your call. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT allow this to hinder you. Keep going, keep thriving, keeping shining. Show gratitude for that beautiful beam.

P.S.

I think I finished pretty ugly. 

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blurb, finally.

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I really wish I knew where inspiration comes from. Honestly, what drives us? Sometimes, I can I sit down and bang out five different blogs in two days; or a few chapters in my book, or do some thick editing to The Anchor. Other times, as much as I hate to admit it, I can go weeks, months even, without touching my work. I really haven’t put too much in to my first novel lately, except a mental list of all the things I’m going to change, “in the new year.” But why not now? What’s the catch? What stops us from going on? And what gives us just the right push to start-up again?

I go through these sorts of cycles all the time. Changes in my yoga practice, changes in my writing habits and I get it; our busy, daily lives are hard to manage, especially when it comes to things we really want to do. But I would loooooooooooove to know what it means when out of nowhere, in  drop-of-the-hat fashion, we can be struck with inspiration and start it again? Though I am currently plagued with the, “why,” of it all, I am pleased to announce that I have started on the second installment of Walter and Bridget’s story; a project I am currently calling The Bridge. I’m not sure if this title is going to stick but I’m trying it on; see if it fits as well as its sister novel. I am already beaming with excitement and pride over this portion of their story. I’m allowing myself to use Bridget’s voice in this book and I am thrilled. Writing The Anchor from Walter’s perspective was fun and obviously interesting considering I am in no way, shape or form a guy. Being able to tell this love story through the eyes of his beloved Bridget is going to be a privilege. I feel like Bridget and I are extremely different, though we share several similarities; so writing and using her voice is going to be fun (and hopefully quite funny.)

I was doing some lazy-girl Sunday reading and it suddenly hit me. I could see the book unfolding right before my eyes and I had to start writing. Now it’s a frenzy, just as before, of endless notes and researching. And jazz music. Walter and Bridget’s love story for some odd reason HAS to have a crooning, jazzy backdrop. I’m obsessed with the story already and I’m only twenty pages in. I can’t wait to see what these characters do.

I seriously adore the world I get to live in when I’m writing; sometimes I don’t even feel like me, and it’s awesome. Writing can take you to some seriously amazing, wild places.

I know I’ve mentioned it here before, but I have found it quite difficult to write an appropriate blurb for the first book. I hate having to answer, “what is your book about?” because my answer is extremely lackluster. “It’s a love story, told in male perspective.” Like…no-one wants to read that. I know. I’ve thought about it so many times in the shower, while doing my makeup, blow-drying my hair, in the car on the way to work, at work – okay, I think about it all the time. “What am I going to say to make people want to read this story?” (Notice I did not say sell this book, because let’s be honest, if it isn’t a story people won’t care about it’s not going to sell anyway.) Here’s what I’ve come up with; it’s about the most honest combination of words I’ve been able to contrive without giving everything away.

Walter and Bridget have always been more than best friends but less than lovers. She left him in their perfect Southern town of Beulah, South Caroline after he broke her heart. Bridget’s sudden absence shocked him to his core and forever changed him. Four years later and she’s back, and everything has changed – and will continue to do so as long as Walter and Bridget coexist; they are anchored to each other. Their story unfolds in Audrey J. Parks’ debut novel, so aptly named, The Anchor

(Yes, I will use a pen name.)

I feel like this is a sorry excuse for a blurb but it’s better than what I’d been telling people. Hell, anything was better than that. I’m just so afraid I’ll ruin it by describing it. – does that make sense? The story has turned out so wonderful and more special to me than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams and, ironically, I don’t want to tarnish it with incorrect words. Le sigh. What a lovely problem to have.

darlin’, you release me

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I can’t help but ramble about a few things today, so bear with me.

First of all, about my round of drinking Friday night….

I had such a blast. Started out celebrating with my sweet mom and step-dad to congratulate my mom going back to work with CASA – if you don’t know what that is look it up: http://www.casa.com

I loved toasting to her, celebrating success in her professional life; she’s the new director for CASA in another parish now and she’s seriously over the moon. While I know she enjoyed the work she was doing at her old job, I know her heart is in this more; non-profit work just runs in our blood. So we’re drinking and being merry, a good time indeed. Except that my mom can drink faster than me; when did this happen? “Well, I’m thirsty!” She’s so cute and giggly after two drinks – give her three and you’re practically peeing in your pants from the entertaining things she says.

I think I was on drink three when I received a text from my friend Jared asking if I wanted to go out and it took me a minute, but I subconsciously said, “what the hell, why not?” and replied, “YES!” I’d had a semi-trying work week and knew I could use the relief of getting out of the house and out-and-about in town. Annnnnnnd, I selfishly wanted to show off my new hair – yes new hair, again. Thirteen inches total gone since Thanksgiving and I want to cut more! I just can’t stop.

Jared tells me he’ll be around to scoop me up at 10…AT TEN! Holy smokes, I am old. I instantly regretted saying yes – my bed time is solidly at 10-1030 EVERY night of the week, usually even Saturdays. Thoughts of my soft pillows and warm blankets began to creep in…but no, “NO!” I told myself. “You are going to put your damn face on and have a great time.” And that’s exactly what I did. I had a marvelous time drinking with friends I haven’t seen in ages, that we randomly ran in to; I love this, the holidays seem to breed it. I loved every minute of talking to Jared about all kinds of things and solving the world’s problems, one Jameson at a time. I loved shoveling Taco Bell in my face at 1:00 in the morning and having my mom look at my like I was a crazy person. But here is what I learned from my Friday night of loving life:

I can’t handle my liquor quite like I did when I was 20-23. I didn’t get sick but my entire body felt like someone had pushed me down twelve flights of stairs all day the next day.

Taco Bell now gives me heartburn. WHAT THE HELL. I once was able to order one of everything on the menu (a semi-exaggeration but not much of one. Cheesy-gordita-crunch, anyone?) without batting an eyelash – and it never made me sick.

I used to be the cute, half-naked girl, sitting in the freezing cold outside of the bar in nothing but a spaghetti strap, sparkly top and jeans with heels, screeching, “no, I’m not cold at all I sweeeeeeeaaaaaar.” Even though my nipples could cut glass. Now, I am wrapped in scarves and tunics that go down to my knees and I fuss about whether or not my crotch is covered, because, “I literally just can’t.”

I still haven’t mastered the art of making myself take off all my makeup. I get as far as taking my contacts out and I’m totally exhausted. Then I look in the mirror when I inevitably wake up, four hours later when my stupid, awful, hateful, mean-spirited internal alarm clock goes off and shudder at my appearance: mascara smeared all over the place and my eyelashes are plastered together; tis not a pretty sight.

I still have a solid regime in the morning that I have believed in and sworn by for years:

A coke, or the like, first thing when you wake up. – that Dr. Pepper was bliss in a can at 5:15am on Saturday, let me tell you. If I’m so lucky to fall back asleep (for what? another 45 minutes, maybe?) orange juice is next. Then a small glass of milk. I don’t care how much you hate milk, drink it. It coats your stomach and almost instantly gets rid of the queasy, bubbly tummy you’ve probably got. Throw in some Goody’s (similar to BC powder) and you’re right as rain. (along with washing the schmere off of your face and brushing your teeth, for Heaven’s sake.)

I somehow managed to survive a round of Christmas food shopping in Lafayette with my family the next day. I’d call that a Christmas win.

Oh, to be nearly twenty-seven and still figuring it out.

Speaking of figuring it out….

Connecting, re-connecting and disconnecting with people in your life can be so inspiring. I love when those things just happen to happen – do you know what I mean? I am relishing being at an age where I don’t give a damn what people think. I can be friends with whomever I choose and disconnect myself from anyone, anything. I genuinely believe this is extremely healthy. It takes so much willpower to walk away from negative people/situations/things in your life. Do you have any idea what kind of confidence comes from being able to make those decisions? Decisions to leave someone behind, to walk away; or having the guts to admit you were wrong and say, “I’m sorry.” – AND MEAN IT. Its freaking liberating.

That doesn’t mean that walking away or saying goodbye doesn’t still sting. But knowing that you’re making conscious, healthy decisions for yourself, that’s really something yall. Be proud of that person; embrace it.

the power of a darn good cry

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I couldn’t believe the joy I felt when I woke up yesterday morning. Thursday is typically my favorite day since Friday follows it, but this particular Thursday was even more amazing.

Wednesday would have marked three years of marriage in my life…except it didn’t. This year, December 17th highlighted how very unmarried I am; a thought that I’m sure will continue to cross my mind if I let it.

I had a few (several) drinks with friends on Wednesday night and really enjoyed myself; I allowed myself to laugh loud and feel tipsy and ya know what? It made me happy. After sobering up and getting pie for my work Christmas party (yes, I cheated and got a frozen turtle pie and I didn’t even try to hide it,) I let myself listen to every single, sad, sappy song I have I on my phone. I parked the car in my driveway and turned the radio to a level that wouldn’t piss off the neighbors, but would also be super pleasing to my fluid filled ears. (I had no idea how painful fluid in the ears can be.)

I listened to everything that I’ve been avoiding for months. So of course lots of Lydia, Pearl Jam. Some Jimmy Eat World – the list could go on. I sobbed for close to an hour straight. I’m sure anyone driving down my street was concerned, but only due to the blasting music coming from my parked car. That was the best damn cry I’ve had in forever. I try so hard to keep it together and be brave and I get complimented almost daily about how, .

“I don’t know how you’re doing it.”

“you seem so okay.”

“you’re so tough.”

“you’re brave.”

“I’d just cry all the time if I were you.”

…..well I finally cried. I now understand the power of a good cry and just letting it go. I say all the time how yoga has opened me up so much and that is not a lie. I’ve been practicing more than usual lately (not quite back to six days a week but close) and I really think that’s the only thing I can attest all of the feelings to. And the feeling of certainty I have now. Hell, after that cry in my car, I could probably cry in the middle of Walgreens and not give a damn. I felt so much better when I woke up. I felt okay; for the first time in months, I feel really, really, really okay. I think I got it all out, but if I didn’t, I won’t be so afraid to just cry it out, wherever I am.

Don’t be afraid to do the same, whether you’re alone or Christmas shopping or on your mat –  wherever; it will relieve you in ways I cannot explain.

a trip down the rabbit hole

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You’re outside cutting your grass when you come across a large hole in the ground. You’ve never noticed the hole before, but it looks to be some sort of tunnel to another world. You decide to peek through and see where it leads, only it leads you to a pivotal moment in your past—and it’s giving you an opportunity to change it. Write this scene.

“Holy smokes, what’s that?” I said out loud as I ripped out my ear-buds out and tossed my sunglasses to the ground. I got off the lawn mower and stared down into a giant gaping hole, smearing mud and grass all over my face. That was definitely not in the middle of my perfectly manicured front yard yesterday – seriously, I’m a stickler for lawn care, I would have noticed. I looked around to see if anyone else was watching me. Crotchety Bob Drinkwater from across the street was busy tending to his rose bushes and Mrs. Lyles was chatting away on her porch, while examining her nails; I was definitely in the clear.

I got on my hands and knees and peered a little farther in to the hole. It looked like parts of a setting from a previous day in my life. New Years Eve 2007 to be exact. I pulled myself away from the hole and rubbed my eyes. There was no way in hell that I was actually seeing what I was seeing. Right? I mean you can’t just be cutting the grass one minute and the next minute stumble across a hole in your lawn that just so happens to contain a moment from nearly thirty years ago. I looked around a bit more, noticing how empty the front lawns of the neighborhood were, and decided to go for it. I took off my gardening gloves and put the lawn mower in the garage. I also walked back in the house for a glass of water and to freshen up a bit – if I was going back to 2007 I didn’t need to look like I hadn’t brushed my hair for three decades.

Half expecting the hole to be gone, I walked back outside for further inspection. There it was, shining like the sun, begging for me to come in. I got down on the ground again and crawled my way through the decades, passing up pictures on a crazy wall of:: me after my divorce, a few pictures from my wedding, college, etc. I finally crawled through the giant hole’s mouth and found normal footing in the backyard at the New Years Eve party I attended in 2007 (going in to 2008) – dressed in the same clothes and everything…so strange. I looked around the busy room to find the friends I remember going with. Miranda and Ricky were by the beer pong table, waiting for me to return from the bathroom just as they had the night all of this went down – except tonight I was coming back from 2037. Jesus, I’m old.

I took this opportunity to go to the bathroom and have a look in Allen’s house. I was aware I’d actually stepped back in time, but my gosh, what a sight. Allen and I had only been friends, but there was a picture of us on the wall from my freshman homecoming – including my horrible braces and bright red lipstick, which did nothing for me at all. I let out a giggle and quickly hushed myself. I knew everyone could see me but I still felt invisible, like the Ghost of Parties Past.

I remembered exactly where the bathroom was in his house – weird  and comforting – and locked myself in. I took a moment to assess my nineteen year-old self in the mirror.

OH. MY. GOD. My boobs. Look how perky they are!  how did I ever insult them? And I was so skinny. Everything was so….tight; lifted and in the right place. Nineteen year-old body, why did I ever take you for granted? I’m so sorry. I vowed right then and there in Allen’s bathroom to do more yoga and eat healthier once I was back in the right decade…assuming I could find my way.

After internally high-fiving myself for a solid ten minutes on an effortless killer bod that I never appreciated, I decided to venture back to the party.

I knew the scene well, I’d replayed it in my mind for decades. Tonight was the night my best friend Ricky was going to spill his guts. I could clearly recall how drunk he was and understood how drunk I wasn’t – unfortunately travelling back 30 years didn’t come with a free buzz. I was happy to have my wits about me; shit was about to get real.

I walked through the door and was immediately confronted by Gary, an ex-boyfriend that was always impossible to escape. He was with his new girlfriend, who I absolutely adored for normally pulling his reigns in a bit. And by pull in the reigns I mean not bitchslap me when he tried to kiss me in front of everyone  (because that’s exactly what he did). I let this happen as it did on that night so many years ago because I was able to avoid it then and I knew I’d be able to do that now…and also because I was afraid any other measures may put me back 30 years forever.

As planned, Gary goes in for the kill and Ricky makes his way to me, almost in a flash and pulls me in to his chest in attempt to, “save me from myself.” – he was never really convinced that I was over Gary even though I didn’t give him a second look any time I ran in to him, which wasn’t often.

“Thanks,” I breathed. I knew tonight was going to be different with Ricky and I was thrilled. Thirty years later, I finally get a chance to set it right. The memory, atleast.

“Miranda is all over some guy, want me to bring you home or what? Party is getting pretty lame and it’s almost 2. Your mom will kill me if I keep you out past three.” I shook my head yes, smiled and said, “why don’t you let me drive?” I knew what was coming and I wanted to be in control.

We rode in silence for a minute before he turned the radio on and plugged in his iPod. “I’m real in to this shit right now, they’re soooooooo good,” he said, referring to Of Montreal. “I don’t know who this is, but I like it.” I patted myself on the back for being such a great actress, of course I knew who they were now.

After the twenty-something minute drive from Allen’s house to Ricky’s, he finally spoke again. “Look so…listen. I’ve got some things I want to say. Can you stay for a minute? I know your mom’s gonna be mad but-”

“Yeahgoahead,” I replied, too quickly.

“Okay so. I want you to know that I think Gary is a real shithead and I’m sorry for all he ever put you through; you deserve so much better and I. Well, I’d like to be the one to try to do that. I know we’ve only ever been friends, like best friends – THE best of friends – and I know this will probably change everything, but I at least want a shot. If it crashes and burns at least we’ll know right?”

I knew I had to give myself a few moments before responding – it was typical of my behavior at the time. I was an extremely fickle girl when I was nineteen and I thoroughly enjoyed being vague and I played it like a game. I took a deep breath to reply and before I knew it, Ricky was kissing me. This hadn’t happened the first time, I wasn’t prepared for this. It sent me reeling and I couldn’t stop myself from kissing back. The rabbit hole had impaired my judgement!

Once I’d finally regained some sort of composure, I pulled away from his kiss and smiled and said, “I think that’s a great idea.” I knew I didn’t have to say anymore. Ricky walked me over to my car, which was parked in front of his house and kissed me again. “I’ll see you later babe.” “Okay,” I said, smiling like an idiot.

I smiled alllllllll the way back to Allen’s and the entire time I crawled through the hole, which was magically still there. I wondered, as I slid around on my belly, if this subconsciously changed Ricky’s memory. Would he now think of this night and remembering kissing me? Or would he remember the original ending? As wonderful and changing as the night was, I was happy to be on my way back to my single-girl shoe closet. Far less emotion to sort out in there.

I crawled on to my front-yard and the sun was beginning to set; as though only a few hours had passed, instead of decades. I took a few glances around my neighborhood and noticed that once again, thank heavens, no-one was in their yard or on their porch to notice the bizarre happenings in mine. I took a shower, somehow feeling dirty even though there was no dirt in the miraculous hole I’d just spent the afternoon crawling through. “I think I shall go to the grocery store and cook a full-fledged supper. What do you think, Fitz?” I spoke to my cat, Fitz, often; he was my only companion at the present time.

I slid on my favorite jeans from my twenties (much better years, by the way) and favorite hoodie, threw my hair in a big, blonde messy bun and headed to Whole Foods. I’d just finished loading my hand-held, organic, recycled, completely green basket when I decided I’d pit-stop in the wine section and really treat myself.

Perusing the French wine aisle, I was greeted, and instantly stunned, by a familiar face. Ricky Richardson stood before me, for the first time in nearly fifteen years, with a basket full of similar items and a bottle of some Italian wine that I couldn’t pronounce. I stood speechless for a moment; awkward and unable to move.

“It’s been too long, let’s do dinner?” he asked, smiling wide, taking the basket from my hand and leading me through the bakery.

*****

Six months later, I could do nothing but thank my lucky stars that I changed that night in 2007 for the rest of forever.

a trip down the rabbit hole. who knew.

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this is extremely rough, but I had a blast writing it. of course all the names are changed, and the memory has been modified a bit, but wow! what a fun idea. I’d like to play around with this prompt on a completely different level; perhaps a book? Hmmm……what wonders words can work.

talking backwards at the mirror

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I had a dream last night about a guy I haven’t thought of in literally years. I think we met at church camp or something…and I was a teenager the last time I went to camp so…its been a while. I tried to make sense of it while brushing my teeth, thinking over and over about what happened in the dream. I was decorating the Christmas tree at Calvary, the church I attended while growing up; the church I was baptized in, the church where my dad’s funeral took place and the church that I was married in – obviously a structure that holds so many memories, good and bad, for me. I was on an extremely tall ladder and climbed down to grab another handful of poinsettias and there he was. We exchanged what I would imagine in real life as a transcendent moment and he says to me, “your eyes, what a beautiful, welcomed sight.” As soon as it was out of his mouth, I smiled back and began to speak and he was gone. Dreams are funny like that – just when you think it’s getting somewhere and it’s not just a bunch of random images and dialogue smashed together, boom. It’s over. You wake up and try to piece together the meaning. I mostly just end up talking backwards at the mirror while I do my makeup.

I’ve spent several days lately reflecting on who I think I am. I’ve moved more times than I can count. I’ve lived in almost every major city in Louisiana and have had semi-plans to live in others – I feel like I’m always subconsciously planning my next move. Is that because I’m dissatisfied with life? Or because I’ve got the hunger to know and do and constantly keep things new? I’m still figuring this out, and I know that’s okay.

I remember writing a long diatribe of sorts when I was about seventeen or so on this exact thing – thinking I’ve got myself all figured out and that I really have my shit together. Let me clarify by saying I didn’t know then and I don’t know now and though it’s getting there, I definitely don’t have it all together yet. I’ve been married – a wife, a role I was excited to play and I thought I was doing a good job until I realized how unhappy we both were. I constantly search for an answer to the, “why,” part of that equation and it wasn’t until this morning that it really donned on me; I don’t really know who I am. How was I supposed to love another completely and expect him to love me just the same if I didn’t fully understand how to love myself? I know we’ve all read articles that express the same sentiment before and I’ve definitely rolled my eyes to those very words, but until you’ve lived it you don’t know how true they really are.

I don’t want to discredit the soul-searching I’ve been doing for pretty much the entire year of 2014. I’ve fallen in love with yoga and written a book. I’ve moved home and made some extremely kickass friends and strengthened my relationships with old ones. I like to think of this year as a true awakening.  I’m exploring many avenues and I truly believe I’m getting there, but I now know I shouldn’t have made any binding life decisions before I could look at my own reflection and understand who was looking back at me. I’m getting to this place, as my dream-boy would say, my eyes are becoming, “a beautiful, welcomed sight.” It’s nice to look in the mirror and recognize who you are, for real.

Here’s another great article from one of my favorite daily reads. It was absolutely the perfect article to stumble upon this morning and I honestly wish I’d written it myself.

Cheers to my own reflection, and liking what I see. I hope you do the same.

8 Powerful Questions we should Ask Ourselves Immediately.

ALSO. I’m obsessed with the French Kicks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbd6qmWO3p0

avalanche

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it’s a funny thing, heartbreak.

it happens when you least expect it. sometimes its self-inflicted pain and other times our precious loved ones are the cause of our insides spilling out on the floor. what happens when a block of salt is lodged in an already gaping, bleeding wound?

you stitch that shit up and keep going. that’s what.

I read about yoga a lot and practice as much as I can to not only test my limits physically and become stronger, but to open my heart. Through this practice and semi-inconsistent meditation, I’ve taken the words Rumi has offered and pondered.

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” Rumi

It’s weird to say this since I’m generally perceived as as sweet, warm person, but I’m fairly certain it’s just a warm-hands/cold-heart situation. I didn’t realize until recently how shut off I’ve been emotionally, for years. Maybe I wouldn’t be in the situation I’m in now had I self-actualized. Regardless….it’s all starting to snowball and I feel like it’s way out of my control. I really hope there isn’t any serious collateral damage, but I fear it’s too late.

I don’t know if circles and lines have been drawn already; I’m not sure I can rearrange this room again. I’m so afraid that if my heart breaks again or a little more, like even if it adds the tiniest crack, an avalanche is going to fall out. I already feel flooded with more emotion than I knew existed inside my soul, but an avalanche; that’s what coming if my heart breaks one more time before it’s healed again.

Heartbreak can be positive I suppose, but I’m worried I’m not going to be able to get it back in a shape that I recognize. Maybe this is a good thing…I’ve been going through so many changes lately, learning so much about who I am and how I deal with things. I am an eternal optimist; I fervently believe in silver linings and choose to see the upside to just about every situation. Unfortunately this leads to landslides of disappointed me and heartbreak and I need to get a grip on that. I feel like it makes me seem weak and that is a word  I am not remotely comfortable with at this point in my life.

At the end of the day though, I can’t beat myself up for having feelings and expressing them enough to meet my needs.  I don’t need anyone else to deem them acceptable because I feel them. Because I feel them. I don’t expect people to completely understand where I’m coming from, but I do expect respect. I don’t care if you accept how I feel and I don’t anticipate a reaction or a explanation or anything of the kind; I anticipate acknowledgement and decency. And Christ, sometimes kindness, even though I realize that’s a stretch.

I can feel the first bit of snow starting to rumble, so I’m going to cut this off before I’m completely covered in a mess I can’t get out of.

just in case you’re interested in this sort of stuff: http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/science/avalanches.html

otherwise, here’s the usual –