That hopeless, forgetful look stopped being cool at 21

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Yeah, it’s super cute and it’s endearing when you encounter a young twenty-something, out on their own for the first time and hopeless. Eyes are glazed over and you can literally see those little question marks dancing around their head.

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It’s cute when they don’t know how to schedule a doctor’s appointment, can’t find the right aisle at the grocery store, or forget to get their oil changed at 5,000 miles.

It’s endearing when they pay their first rent bill late, or eat ramen for a week because they blew their paycheck on booze.

It’s cute when they heckle at the car dealership or buying their newest cell phone because they don’t know the right questions to ask.

But see, that hopeless, forgetful look, the dazed-and-confused vibe they’re giving off? It’s only cute for so long. In fact, it stops being cute around 21.

Then it’s just annoying.

You graduate high school with high ambitions and likely very little willpower to turn those to fruition. That’s okay.

For some reason they don’t teach practical skills in high school (and even less so with the dissolution of home-ec classes). You don’t know how to balance a checkbook, how to schedule an online bill payment, whether to wash your clothes on gentle or fast, or that you need to write down your appointments so you don’t forget them and get slapped with a missed-appointment fee.

That’s okay.

Like I said, it’s kind of endearing for a while, in the same way that a lost pup wanders aimlessly looking for momma dog or food.

It’s not cute forever. In fact, when you’re a grown ass adult who has all of their shit together, it’s really fucking annoying to forever be reminding other grown ass adults of their appointments and commitments.

It’s really fucking annoying when a grown ass adult has to forever be reminding other grown ass adults of a due date, or a meeting time, or if they’ve said they’ll bring something to an event.

It’s really fucking annoying that I’m a grown ass adult with a legitimate memory problem (thanks, fibro fog) and I’ve still managed to get my shit together and take the appropriate steps to make sure I’m not relying on other grown ass adults to remind me of my responsibilities.

Do you have a memory problem? Get a planner. Download a calendar app. Set alarms on your phone.

Do you have a perpetual problem being late? Set an alarm. Wake up five minutes earlier. Lay out your clothing the night before. Leave earlier than you would normally.

See, it’s not easy being a busy mom, wife, full-time employee, social committees organizer, scouts leader, etc., etc., etc. In fact, it’s really fucking hard. And I’m not saying I’m perfect – I am far from. I forget things. I miss appointments (occasionally!). I run late sometimes, and I totally feel you when you try to explain how the warmth of your bed sucked you back in for five more minutes.

But really. Grow the fuck up. They sell planners at fifteen different stores in my small town, and there is a plethora of applications for your phone (they’re free!). All phones have a clock application already installed (wow, effortless) and you can set a billion different alarms with different ringers for different occasions.

It was cute for a while. It was endearing when you were still learning to adult like a baby penguin waddling on the ice for the first time alone. Like a toddler letting go of mom’s hand and falling into a heap on the living room floor after four or five torturous steps.

It was cute. It’s not anymore. Learn how to adult so I can get back to taking care of my own family and I don’t have to micromanage twenty other families. kthxbye.

“Mister” President, please tread lightly on this nation 

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When I woke up this morning to the results of the presidential election, I was speechless.

Now, I’m not speechless, but my words seem insufficient, muddled; my thoughts are cloudy and I’m lost. I told my husband I’d probably cry if Trump became president. I’m not crying, but I think this feeling is worse.

I’ve followed both candidates, and those that didn’t get the primary nomination for their party, since the beginning of the campaign.

I started a diehard Bernie Sanders fan, applauding democratic socialism in spite of my peers who feared the words, recognizing the genuine regard for humankind behind the eyes of an idealist man (and I don’t mean this negatively, I’m an idealist, too).

I watched debates between the candidates during the primaries, both Democratic and Republican.

I watched as Trump blatantly spewed hatred toward minorities of all races and genders.

I watched as Trump mocked individuals with disabilities and families of fallen servicemen.

I watched as Hillary’s emails were scoured by the FBI.

I watched as uninformed individuals spread pro-abortion rhetoric on social media, including misinformation about “late-term abortions” – a term that doesn’t technically exist in the medical realm.

I watched as Hillary pulled out the Democratic nomination, and as Trump won the Republican.  

I watched as the Democratic National Convention and Debbie Wasserman Schultz stripped Bernie of the nomination.

I watched as a Bernie or Bust campaign started spreading like wildfire.

I watched as similar campaigns spread, popularizing hashtags like #nottrump and #imwithher and #killary.

I watched as riots broke out at rallies.

I watched as Trump egged them on.

I watched as Hillary was ridiculed for deaths in Benghazi.

I watched as Hillary called Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables.”

I watched a Trump defended “[grabbing] them by the pussy.”

I watched as Hillary won the popular vote on 11/08/2016.

I watched as Trump won the presidential candidacy on 11/08/2016 because of an outdated electoral college.

I watched as the Republican party took the House and Senate majorities.

I watched my friends in same-sex relationships shudder in fear that their union would be attacked.

I watched my friends of the Muslim faith shudder in fear that they would be persecuted for their religion, tattooed with a symbol of their faith (whether physically or metaphorically) as Hitler once commanded.

I watched my non-citizen friends shudder in fear that they would be ripped from the arms of their wailing infant children.

See, I started as a Bernie fan, enlightened and hopeful at the idea of a democratically socialist society, and when Hillary took the democratic nomination, I quickly jumped onto the #anyonebuttrump train. While I consider myself quite liberal, I’ve never been a straight ticket voter and was attentive and unbiased while watching the Republican debates. There are certain issues that are hot buttons for me – namely, equal rights and protection by the government for ALL people – regardless of religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation. While I could potentially waiver on democratic stances regarding economics, gun control, etc., this is not something I can give up.

This country wasn’t founded on nothing. Nor was it founded on religion. It was not founded on the concept of exclusion – rather, it was founded as an escape from the exclusiveness of the Church.

It was founded on the idea that “all men are created equal…” and that we have unalienable Rights like “…Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” In 1776, it was put into print.

It was founded on the ideals of “domestic tranquility, justice, welfare, and posterity.” In 1788, it was put into print.

It’s funny to me that Hillary received such backlash over her basket of deplorables comment. She stated that “…you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.” I don’t see this as disputable. She didn’t say all of his supporters were deplorable or racist, etc., but she did state that many of them were. And aren’t they? Aren’t you?

I told you that I wasn’t a straight ticket voter and I meant that with every fiber of my being. As much as those hot topic issues mean to me, recognizing humanity as the only human race is my primary concern. It is DEPLORABLE to exclude someone for their race, gender, etc. It is DEPLORABLE to spew hatred and contempt forth from a position of power. It is DEPLORABLE that by putting this man into the White House, we are validating every single deplorable behavior. We are teaching our kids that bullying is okay. We are giving common practice (often read = acceptable practice) to HATE SPEECH and HATE CRIME. If this man changes economic policies, we will recover. If this man changes environmental policies, we will likely recover. If this man changes policies of warfare, we will hopefully recover. My biggest fear is that we will not recover from empowering a deplorable like Donald Trump. My daughter is being raised in this country—this country that I was (generally) proud of. A country that was indeed a melting pot of culture and individuals, that provided her experiences and a wealth of knowledge at her fingertips. Now, I fear that the knowledge she will pick up on the street is deplorable – the rhetoric of exclusion, belittling, egocentrism, and hatred.

I know that parenting a productive member of society starts at home, and I hope that my husband and I can instill enough goodness in this little girl that she ignores the world around her and avoids this community of hate. I hope that she is able to rise above the common-place rhetoric that will soon take shape and I hope that she is able to change the world. And I seriously hope that by the time she is out in the world
alone, that this world is a much better place for her to thrive.

If you’re comfortable or complacent after this election, you’re either a straight, white male, politically relevant, rich, or ignorant (read: uneducated or naive). But please remember that exclusion comes back around. Don’t believe for a second that you are safe in an environment that breeds hate. And, don’t for a second believe that you’re any better than anyone that doesn’t fit those “norms.” This rhetoric is all very familiar to this Holocaust aficionado/student.

Keep your bigotry. The White House is not the place for it. Our law books have no room for it. Be a racist, xenophobe, or just an asshole, but by golly, keep it out of my government. 

I am discouraged that the House and Senate have Republican majority. I am discouraged that a Republican will be appointing the next Supreme Court Justice. I am discouraged that changes will be made to Obama’s administration, after all of the amazing strides he has made in the last two terms. 

But mostly, I am disappointed, discouraged, and disgusted in the country that I live in, that we would empower a man as unprincipled and un-American as Donald Trump.

These are a few of my favorite things

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Because I can.

Movies: The Dark Knight Rises, Sweet Home Alabama, Cruel Intentions, Dirty Dancing

TV Shows: Shameless, Californication, The Originals, Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars

Artists: Eminem, Garth Brooks, Lukas Graham

Songs: I Miss You (Blink 182), Renegade (Eminem), Don’t (Ed Sheeran), This Used to Be My Playground (Madonna)

Authors: Colleen Hoover, James Frey, Stephen King

Books: Slammed (Colleen Hoover)

How to Get Unstuck (Escaping Bipolar Monotony)

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How to Get Unstuck (Escaping Bipolar Monotony)

Bipolar exists in many forms.
For Bipolar I individuals, it is an all-consuming (and generally slow) cycle of severe depression and mania.
For Bipolar II individuals, we are faced with less severe mania (hypermania) mixed with severe depression.
Those with Cyclothymic disorder alternate brief hypomanic episodes with brief periods of depression.
Some bipolar individuals are identified with mixed features, in that they may display inappropriate responses or feelings which are opposite to their current mood state.
And then there are some who rapid cycle – experiencing four or more mood episodes within a 12 month period by definition, and there are also ultra-rapid cyclers, who experience these cycles more often, sometimes changing weekly or even daily.

A lot of people who aren’t bipolar don’t understand bipolar disorder because, especially if you are in a rapid-cycling episode, it seems like mood swings. And who doesn’t get mood swings, right? But bipolar can be much more serious, and to those living it daily, it can be crucifying. And for those of us that have characteristics of many of those types? You’re spent walking your life on a balance beam, knowing that you may fall or rise, but stability is a thing of the past, a distant memory of a better time.

I was diagnosed with rapid-cycling Bipolar II with Cyclothymic tendencies in post-partum. I went to the doctor thinking I was treating the post-baby depression, when in reality, I was being labeled with the very thing that made sense, both to my current life and my childhood.

See, my doc asked the typical questions. You know—the annoying ones, the ones where they ask you to tell them about your family. She asked it after she had obtained my profile and I didn’t think a thing of it when I described my father’s reckless disregard for his marriage, our family finances, his frequent change in jobs, or his non-existent relationship with his daughter. But once I told her that he went into Charter Ridge when I was 15 for depression and then lied his way out, it clicked.

At the time of my diagnosis, I was freshly-clad with a beautiful university diploma, demonstrating my knowledge in the area of psychology. I chose psychology because of my father, actually, telling myself that I could be a better doctor who would’ve seen through his blatant dishonesty that day at Charter.
I had learned about Bipolar in many of my classes, and I had even studied the medicines used to treat the disorder and behaviors associated with the disease. I still didn’t recognize the signs in myself or in my father.

But once she said the words, I understood. I understood that I would be living a life of gymnastics, and medication, and this constant dizzy feeling of not knowing which way was up.

I didn’t know, at that time, that it would be so much. That it would be this constant tumble between introverted and extroverted, constant apologizes on repeat, this delicate decision to medicate or not to medicate (because many doctors won’t prescribe you an anti-depressant without a mood stabilizer, because just treating the depression will cause you to go UP, but mood stabilizers stop the UP, so all you’re left with is DOWN). It would be a lifelong stuck feeling, of being stuck in this body and unable to escape, of being stuck in a recliner in front of a TV playing some program that you’re not even digesting, of looking on at your life from a fixed position, stuck, wondering when/if you’ll be able to rejoin reality.

Bipolar allowed me a lot of excuses. I explained away my alcohol abuse, my sexual promiscuity, my reckless behavior. I medicated, and then went unmedicated, and then medicated again. I set goals, and lowered them, and lowered them some more, only to be disappointed that I had no goals. I still make excuses. I still make apologies on repeat. And now more than ever, I’m doing what I can to stay on the middle ground between depression and mania, finding a happy place that is both maintainable and different enough to keep me interested.

There are a lot of side effects and aspects of my bipolar that I can’t control. The stuck feeling is one of the most prominent feelings I have with regard to this disease, and it’s one of the few that I can actually put words and actions to. There are a few things that help me get unstuck. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t, but I can tell when my body and mind get restless and I need a change of scenery. I want to share them with you so that if you are stuck, you can give them a try. And please, please, please, if you have an unstuck tips, comment below. I love to try new things, especially because even the best-laid of foundations can crumble at any time in this bipolar world I’m living in.

(I’m NOT a doctor!! Feel free to listen to what worked for me, but understand that I am not trained in this AT ALL.)

1. Move furniture. This one is huge for me. It probably seems silly to you “normal” people, but I’ve always loved moving my furniture around. Sitting on the couch in the same spot gets really depressing after about 3-6 months. Staring at my computer screen through a whole work day is daunting, and sitting in the same position in my office for 6 months straight distracts me severely from my work.
2. Listen to music. Any kind of music, really. Sometimes I need the depressing shit to get me through the day. Other times, I need something extra-energetic that puts a smile on my face.
3. Move. Exercise helps bipolar a LOT. But a deeper curse of bipolar is the constant depression and fatigue that make exercise seem frivolous and like a lot of unnecessary work. Moving just a little is not too daunting, and it really helps. A yoga ball in place of my desk chair at work has been a huge savior.
4. Dance. Music + moving? That’s going to have double the impact. No, I don’t blare music through the house and dance down the halls (well, I do occasionally, and it’s very therapeutic). Usually, I play music through my headphones while I work and bounce to the beat, or I max out my speakers in my car (well, now I don’t max out because I’ve already had to have one speaker replaced!!) and jam while I drive.
5. Fidget. Depression and/or bipolar mimic a LOT of other diseases. I am not trying to take away from those other conditions, but I am just lending to the idea that things that help one person might also help another person with bipolar. When I’m feeling stuck, I am very ADD. I have trouble focusing on anything of importance, and I fidget frequently. Now, I try to embrace the fidgeting. I wear MANY bracelets that I can play with throughout the day, and my yoga ball helps with the body-fidgets. I can sit on my ball and bounce, and it helps to reduce the “thumper” leg shaking. Also, since I’ve gotten my ears pierced, my earrings are a great fidget for me too.
6. Find safe ways to experience controlled mania. This can be totally dangerous if you’re not careful, and I’m not a doctor. Repeat—not a doctor! I don’t recommend this for someone who doesn’t feel like they can return to a state of normalcy, and I also don’t recommend it for someone without a support system. But, it helps me a LOT. Promiscuity was a big marker of my uncontrolled bipolar years, before I was diagnosed. My husband and I discussed early on in our relationship having an open-ish relationship, and we have taken advantage of it a few times. (I’m lucky enough to have an amazing husband that sticks by me through the repeat apologies, and is willing to explore things like this with me. It’s not for everyone. But, we find it to be a significantly better option than not doing anything to address the issue, which has led to cheating in the past.) It’s not really the DOING it that helps the stuck feeling, but it’s knowing that the options are there.
7. Go outside. I don’t think this one really needs much explanation. Even though my stuck feeling is psychological, there are a lot physical markers in my life that contribute to it. Furniture, enclosed spaces, messes. Embrace some nature, sunshine, and the amazing sound of running water. It does wonders for the soul.

Do you have any special ways that help you get unstuck?

Memories – Repost, Originally 10/23/2005

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Just noted that my old Memories piece was showing dead images. Hopefully this will fix. Will always be one of my favorite pieces because it’s so incredible raw.

Original post:

Before reading this, I think it’s very important that you read my other post, ESPECIALLY if you think you might be suicidal. See it here: Suicidal ideation and intent: What you need to know.

This a very old poem that I hold extremely dear to my heart. It’s 99% sheer imagination, at least it was in 2005 when I wrote it. I have since experienced much of it, but I jut really wanted to share it with you (collectively). You’ve been very receptive of my other writing and I look forward to hearing your feedback for Memories.

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Create a Purpose Map: Creativity Prompt #3

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In keeping with the spirit of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Creativity Workshop, here is my response to prompt #3 of my creativity notebook.

Click to see prompt #1 and prompt #2.

Create a Purpose Map

Creativity Notebook Prompt #3

To find your sense of creative purpose or your next creative project, Elizabeth Gilbert advises: “start by deciding what you care about and then go be a student.” To do this most productively, she recommends that you “get granular and get specific.” The following exercises will help you do just that. You will move from big picture passions to concrete personal interests that you can use as a starting point for your creative projects. To create a purpose map, insert a table into your creativity notebook or grab some post-it notes and make a dynamic map on your wall.

 

Issues I Care About, Why I Care, How I Can Start

LGBT issues, I know what it’s like to be afraid of your orientation and afraid of ridicule, volunteer

Secular Meditation, powerful to me and could be powerful to others as well, get myself into a routine and then video blog it

Addiction, learned a lot about it in psychology degree, close to home with father, volunteer to counsel, do research, document through photographs

 

People I Care About, Why I Care, How I Can Start

LGBT youth, I know what it’s like to be afraid of your orientation and afraid of ridicule, volunteer

Aspiring youth writers, Want to help them move past writer’s block and know they can publish, volunteer/start a group

 

Hobbies, Jobs, Career, & Vocation: Creativity Prompt #2

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In keeping with the spirit of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Creativity Workshop, here is my response to prompt #2 of my creativity notebook. See prompt #1 here.

Hobbies, Jobs, Career, & Vocation

Creativity Notebook Prompt #2

Elizabeth Gilbert advises us to distinguish between our hobbies, jobs, career, and vocation. To help you sort through these elements in your own life, take a few minutes to complete the exercise below on a new page in your creativity notebook.

What activities do you participate in on a daily basis? Try to itemize what you do on both the typical week day and the typical weekend day. What are all the activities that you wish you could do more of that might not be included on your list?

On the typical weekday, I work a 7.5 hour day at my job (sometimes overtime), take my daughter to her activities, including cheerleading, swim lessons, library events, etc., and then go home to get her fed and in bed, relax or clean the house, and then sleep. Now that I have started a direct sales job, I am also trying to find time to post on Facebook to encourage sales, run online parties, and promote my business.

On the typical weekend, I sleep in as long as my daughter will allow, and we relax around the house. Some weekends, we have events to go to, such as walk/runs, library events, or other kids events around town, and I usually have a meeting with my book club. The weekends are generally dedicated to cleaning the house, taking care of shopping or other errands, and relaxing.

I am having trouble finding time for my direct sales, so I definitely want to find more time for that. I also want to find more time to be out on my own, taking pictures or writing at a scenic place. Right now, I take time away from “mom life” to go to book club, and I feel bad leaving my daughter, but I also know that I need to focus on me time as well. I would love to have an opportunity to volunteer also.

 

Hobbies: Photography, Book Club, Meditating/Exercising

Jobs: State Job, KEEP Direct Sales

Career: KEEP Direct Sales

Vocation: Photography, Counseling

 

Is it feasible for you to move any of your hobbies towards the career category? What will that take? What risks and rewards will be involved?

Photography, perhaps, but that would be require investment in a nice camera and some sort of technical class on photography to learn tips and techniques. Also, a time commitment to take pictures of others is required and my schedule should be pretty open.

If it is necessary to keep your day job, are there ways that you could carve out adequate time to pursue your creative hobbies on the side?

This is a huge struggle for me. What little time I do have is spent recouping from my on the go lifestyle. Especially with my chronic pain, I am constantly struggling to keep up and I generally crash or nap when I have down time. Taking better care of myself will hopefully free up more time, and I need to take better advantage of weekends that are more open.

What is your vocation? What do you need to keep making time for in your life even if no one will ever pay you for it or you will never earn wide acclaim or recognition?

Writing and photography. Counseling (volunteering) if possible.

 

Curiosity Cat Scan: Creativity Notebook Prompt #1

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In keeping with the spirit of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Creativity Workshop, here is my response to prompt #1 of my creativity notebook.

Curiosity Cat Scan

Creativity Notebook Prompt #1

Elizabeth Gilbert says that to get started on your creative journey, it can help to look for “little tiny patches of sparkle or light” inside your mind that signal your curiosity. She suggests asking: “What is effervescent in me? What bubbles a little bit? What is a little bit interesting?” You should stay alive to the things that keep you curious, no matter how tiny or random or inconsequential they seem. Once you find those sources of light, she suggests “grabbing onto them like it’s a rope” and using them to pull you towards your next creative project. Remember how she used her interest in gardening to propel her towards writing her novel, The Signature of All Things!

What are you doing when you feel most beautiful?

When I feel most beautiful, it’s usually because I’m producing a powerful or impactful piece of art. Whether it be my photography, poetry, or writing, when I produce something beautiful, I feel beautiful too as its creator. Writing is difficult for me anymore, as I generally write when I’m depressed or melancholy, and while I still have a significant amount of that in my life now, it’s a lot different when you’re married with a child and a full-time job and not just a down and out sixteen year old with the world against her.

My photography was difficult, but impactful. I miss that feeling of accomplishment. I miss my series on addictions, I miss the search for a beautiful run down barn to capture. I still remember my mother driving me around, helping me find the perfect spot to start clicking. Photography is still incredible interesting to me, as is my work on addictions. Perhaps I can combine the two once again to crank out a great photography series. The photography light bulb in my brain still goes off, frequently, reminding me that I should recapture the moments. Perhaps I should listen to it.

Genuine intentionality of language

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On today’s meditation:

Intentionality of language can be a double edged sword if the words you speak are not from a genuine soul. Intentionality of language lends to honesty and truth. I have always aspired to live a life in which I could tell the whole truth all the time. I keep no secrets and tell no half truths. I wasn’t always this way, but I pride myself on eventually reaching this milestone. This is the purest way to live because I don’t have to spend time formulating backup stories. Instead, I speak with an intentionality that gives power to my words but does not silence the genuine truths, stalling my words and filtering ideas. I talk fast, with luster, and with all that I have to give.

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More on the intentionality of language from a prior post.

Finally wearing my non-practical, pretty shoes

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Finally wearing my non-practical, pretty shoes

FDR once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

I fear a lot of things. I fear death. I fear losing my loved ones. I fear a future that is not sustainable for the following generations. I fear pain, loss, injury, disappointment, lack of control. But mostly, I fear fear. FDR had it right. I have let my fear, namely my fear of death, control my present.

I’m only 25, and while I have a family, I’d hardly say I’ve left a legacy. There are so many THINGS I want to do with my life. And, I have a while before I will get to them, unfortunately. I have to wade through the mundane (40 hour workweek, paying off the mortgage, financing my daughter’s private school) before I can really set my eyes on the prize. Retirement calls to me, and I have to constantly remind myself not to wish away my life.

But death. It’s so final. It’s so certain. Especially being an atheist, accepting death is difficult because it is accepting the end of existence. And how can I pass on my legacy if I no longer exist?

The media-infused world of hatred that I live in today terrifies me on the regular. I can still remember being a scared and confused 11 year old when the World Trade Centers collapsed. I was only 9 when Columbine happened. My twenties have been filled with even more war, terror, and fear.

Even so, I was able to keep a mental distance from the terror. It wasn’t happening in my small town. It wasn’t happening on my street. I was safe.

About five months ago, I was sitting in my supervisor’s office discussing a case. One of my coworkers and our floor’s safety monitor came in and said that it was rumored that someone in the building had a gun. Fight or flight mode? Nope. I started crying. Immediately. The loud speaker came on and announced that there was an active shooter in the building and we were to exit. I walked quickly across the sixth floor, in plain sight but trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, blocking out everything around me as I zoned in on the stairwell. As we evacuated the building minutes later, I texted my husband that I loved him, tears streaming down my face and my text grammatically incorrect because I was shaking too badly to type.

All was fine, and apparently it was just a plethora of misinformation that led to that terrifying day. But, ever since then, I’ve worn practical shoes. Tennis shoes. Slip-on sneakers. Shoes that would be good for running. I’ve never bought into the hundreds of pairs of heels thing, but I do like some cute flip flops every now and then. I’ve been too scared to wear them since that day. What if I need to escape, and I’ve chosen non-practical shoes? That could be a matter of life and death.

I am tired of living in fear. How silly is it that I actually let this scare of an incident impact my daily clothing choices? How silly is it that I am terrified to turn a corner in this building, and the hair on the back of my neck stands up every single time the fire alarm goes off?

If our building is ever faced with a similar scare, I will run like hell in my bare feet if I have too, but I can’t let those creeping emotions hide in the crevices of what sanity I have left.