reasons why my ex is not Satan…

It is sad-making as well as appalling the number of women who broil their ex-significant others online, be it in their own space or on any number of social media websites. The irony is that as adults, we all know that once we put things out there, there can be no guarantee or privacy, and while I do understand the therapeutic quality of letting go once and again, am curious to what end these rants accomplish. Is it to feel empowered, to feel safe, or simply one-upmanship?

I am not speaking of people who endured abuse, regardless of situation, but of those who are getting a fair sum of money, support for their children, and in some cases, even a birthday card or two. WHY do humans delight in mudslinging over acts of kindness? In shrieking with laughter at the discomfort of others, when we know how painful discomfort is? Why must the collective WE continue to disappoint, wallowing in the base reactions of humanity instead of finding ways to uplift us all?

I am writing today about my own Hubby-no-More. He will not see this post, so it is not self-serving in this way, but in another, one for just me, and those of you who decide to grab a coffee and read my meager words. I am here to say that despite our differences, discomforts, and even down-right fights, my ex is not the enemy. Sure, he stands for a life wrenched from me, but one I also willingly mentally vacated years before his courage brought us to a sad goodbye. Without further ado, here are a few reasons why he is not Public Enemy #1, Mr. Hyde, Dorian Gray, or any other manner of wretched human being that so many claim to have shared part of a life with.

1. He willingly gives me more, by a good percentage, than the court requires.
2. He pays for ALL of our foxling’s medical care, including insurance, co-pays, therapy, meds, and everything else, literally, leaving me with a 0% liability.
3. He does these things so I can stay in school without working, thereby allowing me to qualify for scholarships not otherwise available to me, as well as allowing me to keep the near-perfect GPA.
4. He encouraged me to re-sign my lease for another year, at an increased cost to himself, in order to give me weekly access to our child, even though said child is almost​ 17 and really couldn’t care less if I resided here or on Mars. =)
5. He responds to my texts usually within 24 hours, even when he pulls a 12-hour​ shift at the hospital. This is better than my school advisor, mother, and several friends. ​
6. His girlfriend invited me over to meet their new kittens, because I do not have any of my own, and we visited all morning without weirdness. Ok, this one really isn’t him per se, but it was his house, and his kittens​, so it counts in my book.

I could go on, but have classes this afternoon, a presentation, and working on an independent research proposal for next spring. My point? I realize many people, both men and women, have an ogre for an ex. BUT… not all of us do. Not every human in possession of a dick is a dick. And for us to air only our dirty laundry instead of our blessings is to perpetuate the stigma surrounding divorce and parenthood under less-than-ideal​ circumstances. I am tired of reading only about the negative, so thought I would​ share some positive vibes. Please chime in if you have something​ to share. Thanks as always for being there, peeps… Have a lovely!

a sad realization​…

Try as I might to blog on a more regular basis, school has really been ramping up and when looking for ways to squeeze extra minutes from the daylight hours, small spaces like this one get pushed to the back burner, then the broom closet, perhaps put in the trunk with the clothing donation I still need to drop off…

Applaud if you can relate…! =)

I am enjoying my cross-cultural education class, as well as the inquiry-based technology class this term. But I have a small seed of unease growing in my tummy, right nest to the watermelon seed I accidently ate last summer… As I turn further away from the mechanics and beauty of the written and spoken word to focus on hypothetical classroom scenarios that will apply to, at best, 10% of the graduating teachers who land sought after spots in affluent districts, I realize a little more of my spark is extinguished each day. I am most emphatically NOT looking for that cushy job with a Keurig in each of the 4 teacher’s lounges; instead, I am searching for the poorest school, the one in which the children desperately need every moment of instruction that I can dole out, until I finish the Doctorate program, after which I can live my passion by relocating and working for a Tribal school out west, where my heart resides and is whispering to me still…

Here is a statement that is going to break the internet… but I need to say it, because I am exhausted by the now-familiar undertone that my professors and classmates alike have when speaking to my specifically. It is not my fault I am white…

I am a 40soemthing, white woman. I did not order this body or these life circumstances, but I am in possession of them, and like people of every other color out there, I am trying to live my best, authentic life within the confines of said life. Every suggestion I make, no matter if it comes robbed shamelessly from the professor’s textbook itself, is met with “Well, ok, but the kids REALLY don’t need another white teacher to go in and save them.” Ok, valid point, but I do not want to SAVE them, I want to EDUCATE them. Maybe then, with a solid background and degree, they can go back to their towns and teach their children in a way that I cannot because I do not share their cultural similarities. Additionally, I am not looking at a “me versus them” scenario, instead I see myself as a resource that ALL my students can utilize to reach their own, best potential. I have to say it just one more time, I am not white because I tried to be white, I am because I was born this color, and no amount of tanning will erase my Scots lineage. And I am exhausted beyond belief from constantly apologizing for myself, and trying to smallerize my big and happy self in order to appease other students, who are getting a mere fraction of my GPA. Perhaps if more time were spent in studying and pursuit of the A, and less time criticizing my innate desire to push forward equality, everyone would have the grades I work so hard for, and the opportunities and scholarships these hard-won grades have EARNED me. But today, these “perks” are not seen as my hard work, but as something I was handed, due to my skin color. What no one in class sees is my anxiety over how I am going​ to pay rent without working and thereby making myself ineligible for thousands of tax-free scholarship dollars, or how my insurance tax credits got revoked, cancelling my policy, because I earned $499 more dollars, for a total of $17,620 in 2015. Or the fact that I take care of my car because it is an affordable lease that I am trying​ to keep spotless so I do not pay damage fees when I return it, even though it has a smooshed front bumper from a trip to the grocers. They do not see that I am a part-time mother​ who sees her child on the weekends only, during which time I am frantically working to keep that GPA up in my 6-7 classes a term, while my contemporaries take 4 classes and live on campus. I do not wear fancy clothes or have a nice haircut not because I am “old and lazy,”but because I simply cannot afford​ them. Funny… were my skin ANY other color, I would be told I am being marginalized. But I am white, so I am merely complaining.

And this group of “peers” is the ones who I will be spending the next 3 years with. No, they are not the teachers and families I will be interacting​ with in South Dakota, or New Mexico, but it is a long, hard road to that point, and I am tired. So let’s just say that skin color has nothing to do with one’s​ ability to be exhausted by the bullshit that life throws our way in the form of small-minded people. And maybe, in the future, we can celebrate our differences, and when we see someone trying to help those who have been given less-than, we can support them, regardless of their age, color, or pant size.

hello, wednesday…

It does not escape me that I am an English major, one who has found a passion for the structured intricacies​ of form and function rules of our ever-adapting language, yet I insist on NOT capitalizing the titles of posts. Is this a quirk, an unconscious play on words, or simply a middle finger thrown at the thesis board committee? Probably a mix of the three, as we have already established I am rather a complex creature… =)

At any rate, I find another week half gone, January melting away faster than the disappearing snow from the filthy shrubs lining my Little House in the Big Wood. I was tempted to set aside my schoolwork today and chat here by an unexpected visit from an old bloggity friend. I realized last night that I miss the interaction with you all, the ones who have been around for the long haul, and the new ones who have such insight to share with yours truly.

However, as previously discussed, I am metamorphosizing at an alarming rate, and my wants and needs develop and shift seemingly with the wind. Of course, there is more to it that that… I am becoming something more, something new, improved, and focused. As it is with everyone, I must decide what I want, what I need, and where this space fits into my increasingly busy days. I can tell you that I am here to stay, even when it seems I have disappeared. =)

So what has this student been up to as of late? I am taking 5 upper-level courses this semester, with EDU designators, finally signifying my first steps toward licensure​ in my chosen field. I am also enjoying my Chaucer class, much to my amazement and delight​. It is frightfully hard, and my professor is so brilliant​ my head hurts after a convo with her, but after only 3 lectures I have already learned SO MUCH! While I am not going to take my grad degree in Medieval Literature, this does prepare me well for my Senior Seminar, as well as meeting ALL upper-level​ requirements for both school and state. So I was able to make a truly smart choice when registering, for a change. Feels good to be a bit in control, even if it is only the illusion of control and nothing like the real thing… I wonder how I will fit back into the “real” world once my degrees are done, and “all” I have​ to do is work, and not plan every decision 9 months ahead? ​My sweet Paul, 21 months into our relationship (how the HELL has it been so long already??!!), still does not “get” my need to constantly do so much ahead of time. His work as a lineman consists basically of putting out fires all day. Something​ breaks, he fixes it. Something blows up, he replaces it. Tornado blows away lines, he strings new. Drunk driver rams pole​ at midnight, his crew is there to dig a spot to plunk down a new one. All this while dealing with enough voltage to literally disintegrate anyone foolish enough to not be completely aware​ of their surroundings every moment of the obligatory 20-hour​ shifts… in other words, he REACTS. It suits him; he is great under pressure, calm in an emergency. But planning ahead? Not so much. Where he has spent the last 20 years trying to not burst into flames, I have spent the last 3 laying foundations for professional exams 2 years out. Ridiculous, no? How will I ever learn to live in the present again? I am hoping with enough homework-free weekends and cold beer, I will adjust just fine.

And here I am once again, not saying anything of real import, but blathering on in true Tish-fashion. But as you all know me so well, I am hoping you would not have it any other way. Namaste, peeps. Glad to be back, and glad that you decided to stick around. =)

haiku…

Tuesday looms ahead,
Park, walk, vote, hurry straight away…
Exercise your right!

I know, way too formulaic and without a shred of creativity, but brain being utilized now with research pertaining to environmental history; not much else left in there.

I will not presume to tell anyone how to vote. I will not presume to know the path best for this country. I will not presume that I could do a better, or more inclusive, job. BUT… I will say that the citizens of this country have not only rights but responsibilities. I will say that even when we want to hide under the bed until December and hope this was all a bad hallucination, we are RESPONSIBLE for maintaining our current government until such time as we see fit to COLLECTIVELY change the status quo. I will say that if you hate the candidates PERSONALLY so very much, perhaps try to separate​ them from their stance on the issues. Make a spreadsheet, circle those opinions which align with your​ own, tally up the circles, and vote for that candidate. FORGET party lines, personalities, crude remarks, questionable attire, smiles that seem too sincere, or not sincere enough. THINK about what is important to you and yours. THINK of what you hold most dear, and how to either maintain or improve upon it. THEN… if you STILL cannot find a way to get yourself​ to the voting booth, understand that opting out is not an answer, and it might be time for you to put your money where your mouth is. To advocate for change, run for office, support third-party candidates… the list goes on. But by all that is holy and for fuck’s sake, peeps, DO SOMETHING! Because sitting on the couch in your pajamas, eating cheese curls and flinging them at the television in disgust while whining is simply NOT going to create a nation anyone wants to inhabit. Love to everyone, and much respect. Please remember your voice this coming Tuesday, and take one second to be thankful that while we live somewhere imperfect and broken, we STILL have a chance to create a better tomorrow. Namaste!

tupac and mis-education…

Yes, I realize I am a white female, formerly of upper-middle class means. Yes, I realize some of you may dismiss my words because of the aforementioned niche I find myself in. But I have eyes and ears, I have used that past money to travel and volunteer, and I have seen and heard things that made my blood boil, and made me fear for those of you not protected by the insulating layer of white privilege I have spent much of my life under, until I stood alongside those of you of richer colors, fighting for change, and your glorious shades began to bleed over onto my embarrassingly pale flesh…

He was by no means a saint, but he was not all sinner either. Tupac was a man of complex ideals, a poet and a provider, an activist yet also someone who spent more than a few nights behind bars, often admitting to the 9 kinds of wrong he had been up to, and often not, as the case may be. But do the negative aspects of his life necessarily negate the man’s entire existence? I think not, and hope for my own sake that I am correct, or we all will be in for a world of hurt in the afterlife…

I re-read Woodson’s “The mis-education of The Negro” recently, and the words seeped into my soul as they did dozens of years ago, in becoming aware that what African American children were being taught later “crystalized into deep-seated insecurities, intra-racial cleavages, and interracial antagonisms.” How can a book written in 1933 be so relevant today, heartbreakingly correct STILL in the admonishment that we are literally forcing a sub-par life onto some of our nation’s best and brightest?! How can race STILL be an issue, in the year 2016CE??!!

So while I finished up another paper detailing another painting of white people by even more white people, I am listening to Mary J and Tupac and Erykah and thinking how different my life would be were I born in Color… I am wondering why we insist on white-washing our history, our nation, our children, and yet, millions are spent at tanning salons every year in the good ol’ US of A, presumably to make us white ones darker… anyone else see the fucked-upped-ness of that situation, folks?! This still feels dangerous to me, this intolerance that has not for one second let up. Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Dubois and Washington and Haley and Hurston and Hughes and Ellison… all dead and gone, and everything they stood for and stood against, namely the uplifting of the African American and the defeat of bigotry, people, is still a struggle here and now, today, right this second on our collective experience. Isn’t it about damned time we let all this hatred and fear go, and embrace the possibility that we can be great together? She sighs and heads into the kitchen to make popcorn and coffee, too upset to eat a real dinner, and realizes she will not let her child relax with friend this evening, but will lecture them and get them to embrace their inner activist, in the hopes of a brighter and more colorful future… exit stage left, cue curtain.

 

the cusp of…?

Ooh, I am in SUCH a period of growth right now!!! I feel like I am stretching the confines of my soil, my roots exploding beneath me even as I raise my head to the sun and grow, grow, GROW!!!

It is an awesome feeling in every sense of the word, and is accompanied by no small sense of wonder, and if I am honest, unease. For while I know I am getting closer to the precipice, I am on the cusp of… well, of what exactly?

If you have been here any amount of time, you will know by now that I am in tune with the seasons, and I ebb and flow right along with the Solstices and Equinoxes. I grow, then prune out of necessity, and after a period of stagnation, new and unexpected areas explode with passion and purpose.

Many aspects of myself and where I am going in this life have changed drastically, yet the underlying themes are always the same… being of service, living and playing close to the water, creating meaningful relationships, being  good steward of this beautiful planet, tonnage but a few. Even my writing has evolved through the years, and I was recently told by a professor that if Hemingway and Jamaica Kincaid had a baby, it would be my prose. =) Flattering to the nth degree, yet what am I to do with this knowledge?

So here I am smiling and windswept, at the edge of my cliff. Seaspray whispers across my arms as grasses caress my toes as I inch closer to the rocky precipice. In my mind’s eye, I can hear the gulls crying in the distance, and my heart beats in time with their calls, as the words “To what end?” pulse through my veins.

I should be working on yet another paper, but I am taking the day off to allow my soul to speak to me, promising that I’ll listen and not be distracted this time. I packed a bag with fruit, water, and some nuts and laced up my hiking boots. My ball cap is on, sunglasses perched atop, and I am heading out the the forest that dumps out at my favorite dam. After some invigorating me time, I’ll stop at the library and explore some unfamiliar genre’s, such as Gothic literature. And just maybe in the next few days I’ll have some news for you all. Here’s wishing each and every one of you a beautiful day of discovery and light. Namaste, peeps. =)

blood is thicker than…?

My kiddo came out to a family member recently. I was proud of him (my kiddo, new pronouns, hard for me to remember so don’t feel too confused), and encouraging while that sinking feeling grew in the pit of my stomach, knowing all too well the way “love” in my family has a tendency to be fleeting, conditional, and cruel at the best of times. Admitting to being a trans child is not the best of times…

The response was lightning quick, and pc in all the right ways. I got an email as well, informing me that kiddo had reached out, and that love was always freely given, because, my “kid could be an axe murderer and even if one may not appreciate it, love is tougher than that to kill.”

I should be happy with that response, I should thank my lucky stars and the family member for allowing my child to be who he wants to be. But the comparison was made to an axe murderer. Is this purely a generational thing, or more imperfect love? Am I being too sensitive, and need to suck it up, or is this a symptom of the growing gulf between this person and I, and therefore, my kiddo? Is this another reminder of the unending litany of ways I have managed to fuck up everything I touch, that I am again seen as being cute as I work thru my struggles in life, struggles this person has figured out and is merely waiting for me to get there? Ah… co-dependency, two sided swords, family. Sigh.

I am in unfamiliar waters here, and the growing feeling of unease between this person and I is not letting up. I depended on this person to come thru for me, as promised, but things did not go as stated and I am now uncomfortable when I needn’t be. This person has begun making excuses for others who are acting inappropriately, and then projects onto me that perhaps I am just too judgmental. I am facing the decision to either accept this person for the flawed human we all are, or discontinue contact. Again, choice would be easy if not for them being close family. Again, sigh.

So this post comes from a confused place, and from a person who tries to accept all beings as being where they are, and who they need to be. But this does not mean I have to put myself in a position of being hurt and smallerized just so they can be who they are. Decisions, decisions. I would normally drown myself in fair-trade coffee and hike until legs fall off, but it is 91 degrees out, knee is still out of whack, and coffee is making me barf. My other two stress relievers other than 30second dance party and working out are fantastic sex and reading. Paul is at his home for the weekend (sob, no sex) so that leaves books. I am happy to report that in my infinite wisdom, while the heat increased early this morning, I had the foresight to stop at the library, so now have a couple of Oates’ books to occupy my brain. Have had a few suggestions from Alice, and wish I had managed to get back before closing time, but there is always next week for those little gems. =)

I think I am going to eat a sandwich… GASP, bread, irk??! Slushy almost-frozen apple juice and watermelon and a good book stretched out on couch trying not to let boobs melt off… yeah, it is hot in my den this evening. Sounds like a plan. Talk again soon, peeps, and thanks for letting me vent. Any advice on how to allow family members to be themselves while maintaining your sanity? Really want my knee to mend just a bit faster, if I can’t jog thru the woods pretty soon, I am going to go round the bend! =)

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