So maybe there’s hope

I’m not talking about Trump so don’t get excited. Or depressed. I’ve been really struggling with work, home projects, my sexuality, money, all that big shit that can be triggers on their own. Here’s a quick summary for those not close to me or those out of the loop. 

I’ve renewed my teaching credential and am seriously considering going back to that field. It’s a solid choice because I know I can do it, I know what the challenges are, and that I’m good at it. It’s a difficult choice because there is a 99% chance that I’ll have to move. I LOVE my home, I’ve an adopted daughter here, and friends, and it’s the most beautiful place I’ve lived. It also requires that I face the music again, which I haven’t done since my voice teacher killed himself and I said fuckitImdone to my opera career. So there’s that. 

I’ve been trying to tackle a huge home improvement project all by my lonesome. Floors, paint, appliances, trim. Many of these things I’ve never done before. I’ve made solid progress over the last 7 months (7 fucking months…), but I still have many full days of work ahead. I don’t feel like I can put energy into possibly teaching until I have my home done. I’m trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel but then there is:

Work… yeahhhhhhhhhh. Too many hours and too many stresses that bleed into the rest of my life. Original, no? 

As for my sexuality, I’ve finally met a guy that is kind and fun. He seems pretty in to me. Perfect timing if I’m going to leave the area. Good grief. So now that I’ve had a tiny bit of experience with that, it’s awoken a side of me that I find, frankly, frightening. I’ve been talking about acknowledging the gay/bi/whateverthefuck side of me for a while now and the reality is so much more vivid than the mental exercise. I’m now crossing bridges I had only imagined before, and can see new ones in the distance. Ones like, “Hey Mom, meet my boyfriend.”  Holy fucking shit. Others are sexual and I’m just not going there here, yet. But I will say that there is a power and a longing for the male sexuality that is so compelling. Again, frightening. So much processing to do with that. 

I’m actually hoping I didn’t fuck it up with him because of the shit mood I was in this weekend. I can totally see myself doing that. 

Which brings me back to why I’m writing tonight. There might actually be hope for me. I’ve been looking for many years for a good resource to help me as an empath with absolutely no luck. I’ve gone to my spiritual teachers, the internet (the internet doesn’t have all the answers?!?!), books, etc, and I’ve had minimal luck. A tidbit here and a morsel there. It’s so disheartening. Some things that work have side affects that I loathe. It’s basically like anti depressants that are also anti boner. Fuck. That. Shit. So tonight on a whim I renewed my search for empath resources and found a book that actually excites me. The bits I’ve read so far are honest and resonate with me. The author gets it. So maybe there IS hope for me and I can live a life that isn’t so goddamned lonely. Trees are lovely beings and all,  but I so want a community and family and to not feel like I have to be a recluse all of the time so I CAN spend time with others. I don’t think for a second that this book will be a miracle book and fix all my shit and teach me to be super empath. I’ve been around long enough to not believe that. But I feel hopeful. And that feeling is refreshing. It’s been so long since I have felt it.

And a quick shout out to my dear friend, Cindy, who doesn’t really like poetry but reads my poems anyways. That’s some serious love. This one’s for you. #notapoem

An Odd Mix

Feeling an odd mix of emotions today. My allergies have been very bad this year, necessitating my old asthma meds.  It reminds me of the years I spent trapped inside my Willamette Vally home for 8 months at a time. When I take care of myself and I still suffer it is frustrating. This afternoon I looked outside and saw an ideal day, but the sleepless night fresh in my memory told me to stay in and breath the filtered air. Once again feeling the prisoner.  I even missed my dear friend’s graduation ceremony. Thankfully she understands, but it doesn’t help me feel like a good friend.  Last year this only lasted a few weeks. By that mark it should be over soon.  I’m crossing my fingers for that. 

On the plus side, i’ve got a positive outlet playing some games I quite enjoy. I can’t imagine how miserable I would feel choosing to stay inside all day without activities I enjoy to pass the time. 

So, gratitude and suck. That’s my odd mix. I wish the gratitude was strong enough to lift me outing this low. Here’s hoping I fall asleep soon and awake rested. 

An Open Letter to my Daughter on her Graduation Day

Today my daughter is graduating from high school. She mentioned the other day that she would like for me to take her clothes shopping for her graduation present. Such a simple request, so like her. Of course I smiled and agreed, but I also feel that the occasion presents an important opportunity to go beyond a token gift that I know I would regret not taking. A bit of back story: she is my non-legally adopted daughter and we met when I was dating her mom. She calls me Dad. It’s the family we chose when there was no other present. Even though we no longer live together we have tea dates every week and chat when we can and need.  I don’t get many opportunities to publicly acknowledge her, so I am joyous to say this here. 

Dearest Triana,

Today I can say that I am more proud of you than ever, and that is truly something. Because at this moment, this culmination of all of your work and trials, you made it. Completing the requirements to graduate from high school is momentous, and I am so, so, so happy for you. Bravely done, my sweet daughter!! 

I’ve been reflecting over the last few weeks on all that the two of us have been through in the few years that we’ve known each other. Some pretty tough stuff, honestly. And somehow we came out as we sit now.  I treasure the hugs I get before leaving you. I smile when I see a text from you, even when you’re struggling, because I’m so thrilled that you include me in your life. And when I’m able to help you, for the rest of the day I feel triumphant. And now, Triana, you have become someone I not only love, but someone I admire. You have such a strong sense of right and wrong. You stand up for what you believe in, often eloquently and always passionately.  I’ve seen you become outraged because someone was lying and I’ve seen you incensed at bullying.  How miraculous our lives are that we can grow and change so much in so short a time. I still keep the note you wrote me when I moved out because it meant so much to me to know my impact on you. Please believe me when I say that being a part of your life has challenged me and changed me for the better. I am grateful for you. 

And I am thrilled for you!!! Today is a transitional day. The end of high school, and the beginning of the best part of your life: when you get to figure out who you really are. It’s the best journey there is. You’ll learn how to do new things, that you can be passionate about work, you can use the money you earn to do things you have yet to dream of, and you’ll learn what things are the the real treasures in life. This all starts for you now and I can’t wait to hear about it all. 

I know you are nervous and have no concrete plan which is likely intimidating. I have an idea about that. You know how drawing helps you when you’re stressed? Think of this next stage as a sketch. Have an idea of what you want, spend a little bit of time thinking about it so it is a solid idea, but then just start sketching. Let the thinking stop and take action. Put your energy into that for a while. And when you feel like that sketch is done and you’re ready to move on to a different job in a different field or go back to school, grab a new page and start again. I don’t know that most people hear during their schooling that you can do that, but it’s true. So far I’ve played music professionally, installed Internet service, sold cars, ran a technical support department, taught high school, sang opera, and run a dispatch group. Those are all really different jobs. And anyone can change fields like I did if they put enough energy into it. 

I want to share with you another secret about life in the work force. Most people don’t put much effort into what they do. They do the minimum. If you give a job 100% of what you are capable of, chances are you will shine at it. My older brother told me that when I was your age, and I’ve found it to be completely true. 

And now, with the support of all of those that love you, go forth and create. Create laughter and beauty and quality you are proud of wherever you find employment, doing whatever it is you choose to do. Work is not the obligation it seems to be, it is an opportunity to create a better life.  That opportunity can happen every day with the choices you make. 

Congratulations on graduating from high school, my beautiful one. You are worthy of great celebration! I love you, and I’m so proud. 

With a full heart,

Dad

I lose my mind

Little by little 

I lose my mind

In hopes of other gains

At some point I chose

Seems foolish now

I cannot say ’twas good

Only that I grow different

Stronger in ways

Society shuns

Or fears

Do I rake the earth with my nails

Seeking crevice to anchor

When from force of gravity

And wind burnt skin

I know I’ve fallen

Into my body

I pray for this fear to release

For finality of acceptance

The safety of wool blankets

The searing heat of truth

And the lush calm

Of love’s embrace

Aho

Interview 2

Tell us about yourself.

What do you like to do for fun?

You have to get rid of one of the fifty states in our country. Which one and why?

If you could be any kitchen utensil, which one would you be and why?

Tell us about a time when you exceeded the expectations at work.

We are coming over to dinner at your house, what would you cook for us?
What do you know about our company?

We have some time left, what questions do you have about the job?

I left feeling high. Elevated. I nailed it. And just a couple of feet closer to my car, I realized I didn’t like one of my answers. And then another. And, little by little, I dissected and labeled each organ of the interview, giving special attention to scar tissue, scanning for a cause of death. I see an enlarged prostate, and the lower intestines are clearly distended. But when the lungs are examined, they show signs of low oxygen, and the heart is oddly 5 degrees colder than surrounding tissue. Compelling but frustratingly inconclusive data.

Truly, the company is impressive. I rather want to write a Yelp review on the interview process alone.  The results remain to be seen, and I neither hold hope nor dread for their decision. I’ll know soon enough. Either way I continue forward movement.

My Favorite Holiday

There were many reasons for me to loath this holiday, but when I look beyond those to how I choose to see Thanksgiving, I hold it to be most high of holidays. What better reason for celebration than gratitude? And I know fat people are supposed to feel shame when overeating, but fuckitall because I love me some turkey dinner!

I am always thankful for those that love me and support me. I feel more cared for now than I have since I was a child. My thoughts of gratitude today go especially to the earth. Our mother and keeper, our bones and blood, she is why I am here. Aho.

Also, Washington drivers: what the fuck is wrong with y’all? Holy shit! I suppose I should thank you, too. I appreciate not being killed on your roads.

Mazel tov!

A Snapshot

Quick story that I think will be telling of my personality:

When I was a Junior in High School I took a Psychology class.  It’s one of the rare classes that actually inspired me to pay attention.  When we learned about mindset we were discussing how 10 people could witness an accident and all describe it differently.  I swore to myself that I would be the person that set aside my biases and would see the events as they actually happened.  Naïve little idealist, wasn’t I?

The Farce of Words

I tend to agonize over word choices.  I constantly check definitions of words I already know to make sure that it means exactly what I want to say.  Passages are re-written to be more similar to the way I speak. And even still, some of my personal interactions with readers responding to what I have written have not gone well.  My words have been taken out of context, misconstrued, misused. People have even added their own words to mine, which gives whole new meanings that were completely unintended. This happens in all of my writings; blog posts, emails, texts, yeah.

So, I have this realization that sometimes it doesn’t matter how much thought I put into my word choices when I cannot control how anyone will think or feel or respond to what I write.

Maybe this is the same realization inspired James Joyce to write Finnegan’s Wake?  Maybe I should just write what I want to most, what interests me, what entertains me, and fuck the readers? Okay, that doesn’t work either.  If I did that it would read like a jazz musician pounding their way through an improvisatory solo where no one in the audience has a god damned clue what the fuck they listening to. At best, writing that way would entitle me to a membership with the Chronic Masturbators Society.  No offense, James Joyce.  Also, no offense to masturbators.  I love you, masturbators!  Thanks for doing what you do.

My initial feelings when encountering these confused interactions have been anger and frustration. I am the kind of person that accepts responsibility for everything I do and say, and for understanding what I read or hear.  That’s a lot of pressure to put on myself. I’m thinking now that I should put some of that responsibility on others.  It’s a two-way street, right?  I can hold myself accountable for doing my best to express myself in a clear and thoughtful way, and expect people to read the words I actually write…  Yeah I’m so fucked on this one.

I am, at this moment at least, resolute in that I should look for the humor in these situations.  The truth is and will always be that people will have their own mindsets.  Certain words will trigger reactions that I have no control over.  And especially on emotional topics, my obsession with being clear and precise may not matter.  I don’t want to write with a billion footnotes and citations.  That is tedious for everyone.

For now, because I feel like it, and because it is oddly appropriate, I will leave you with a favorite quote from the inimitable Tom Robbins:

“It is what it is.  You are what you it.  There are no mistakes.”

Stone
blog.stonehooper@gmail.com

 

A Necessary Cry

Last night I watched a movie, and something about the ending just got to me. It wasn’t even tragic. My chest started heaving beyond control, and the tears welled up. I managed to to control most of it until I left my friend’s house, but once I got into my car it was all over. Full on sobbing and everything.

I decided to take a 6 week break from my Ex.  It has almost been one week. I am still not sure it was the right decision, because I’ve been fucked up ever since. My work has been constantly reinforcing my desire to find a new job. And I’m still trying to understand how I could possibly have buried my attraction to men for so long. Also, why are men dicks? I know, I promised I wouldn’t say that anymore.  Fuck me. That’s what he said? O.o

So I had a good cry. I need more, methinks. I didn’t get it all out. Maybe I’ll have a mopey marathon. Quick, everyone name the saddest movies you can think of. Go!

Vignette the Ninth 

I do feel a tremendous amount of gratitude and appreciation for all of my friends, who are indeed my loved ones, that helped me and supported me in trying this out, in taking this chance. It was a pivotal night for me. I will cherish the memories of picking out the costume and agonizing over little details, of shopping for makeup, of getting the corset fitted, trying on the shoes for the first time, getting advice on shaving, and putting the full costume all together on the night of. Taking pictures. Walking down the street in my costume next to someone who loved me. All the compliments and cheers. Every person that told me how impressed they were and that they could never do something like that. I am thankful for the security guard at the club that threw his hands in the air and cheered me on EVERYTIME I walked by. Seriously. Every single time. I’m thankful for the bouncer chick who, when we were leaving, was so excited upon seeing me that she shoved my head in her boobs and shook them. Twice. Okay, I didn’t love that part, but I am thankful for her joyful reaction to me.

I know my other writings didn’t focus on any of this appreciation.  I did feel it everywhere I went, but I wasn’t blissed out and oblivious to the challenges. I needed to write about those separately.

So, from my heart: thank you to everyone that helped, smiled, cheered, boobed, and appreciated me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Love.