Roundup 2/13/14

1. Dallas Sportcaster’s Shocking Response to Michael Sam Coming Out as Gay:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Olc5C4SXAYM
When I saw this headline, I have to admit I expected this to be a much different video. I was pleasantly surprised. I could not respect what Dale Hansen says in this video more. The NFL is littered with domestic abusers, rapists, drunk drivers, druggies, murders, and frequenters of prostitution (alleged and convicted alike), but gay men is where they draw the line? It’s ridiculous. Being gay is not illegal; all of those other things? Very illegal!

Having gone to Penn State (main campus) for 2 years, I witnessed first hand the way the football players were accommodated. They rarely turned up for class, got premium, free housing, and breezed through their academics. It was disgusting.

Professional athletes are worse examples to our youth than rockstars in some cases, but young boys are raised by their fathers to worship at the temple of Sunday night football. These athletes carry themselves with an untouchable attitude that stems from being handed everything and pandered to for their physical abilities. They make an obscene amount more than people who actually contribute to society. How is that right?

We should be celebrating people who do good in the world, pursue intellectual advancement, and set a better example for our youth. The army no longer enforces don’t ask don’t tell and they’re doing just fine. Homosexuals can defend our nation, but they can’t kick a ball across a field? Also, doesn’t keeping homosexuals out of the NFL constitute workplace discrimination?

2. This is what I woke up to this morning… I hate winter.

About 30 minutes from my house...

About 30 minutes from my house…

3. Horrible news out of Belgium: This is unbelievable. Belgium’s parliament voted through child euthanasia without an age limit. To be honest, I wasn’t aware that euthanasia was legal there and in the Netherlands for “adults” over the age of 12, but children? Leaving that decision to a child seems highly unethical.

4. “It hurts when I backup and go ‘beep beep beep’…” A funny video after all of this seriousness. 🙂

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New Adventure #3: Vision Board-ing

Vision Board... of the things I want to attract into my life.

“Vision Board”… of the things I want to attract into my life.

My third new experience was putting together a “vision board” to focus my thoughts (that have been a little all over the place of late) on the things that I really want to accomplish/attract to my life. It didn’t turn out as specific as it probably should. I also got carried away with the eye candy. Ok, in all honesty, it didn’t start out as sophisticated as I would have you believe; it began as a hot guy collage with my girlfriends, a bottle of wine, and pizza.

Some highlights:
♦ Healthy & Happy; Healthy skin; Healthy hair; Live the good life. No sick days. – All of my general wishes for a healthy life, without the focus on the chronic pain. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, so I struggle with skin and hair issues. I’d love to have healthy skin and hair.
♦ Attractive men, specifically Harry Styles – I focused not only on the attractiveness of the men (and these are some very attractive men), but on the qualities in them that I want in my future relationship. I won’t bore you with the details, but Harry Styles in that tux is who I hope to see at the end of the aisle I walk down one day. Please don’t respect me any less. 😀
♦ Jennifer Lawrence – I’m a big admirer of JLaw. I love her style, candor, and the way that she doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Plus, I think she’s gorgeous, so I included a picture of her in a bathing suit to aspire to.
♦ Fearless; Confident; Independent; Funny; Beauty (inner); Honesty; Passion – These are qualities I’d really like to possess in all aspects of my life. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I would like to be fearless the most.
♦ Welcome to California – All I can say is I better be there before next winter. I cannot survive another Mid-Atlantic winter.
♦ Money, success, happiness and life; Great Job: Find Joy – Who wouldn’t want all these things. I’m not sure what great job that is, but I still want to do something in the humanitarian/non-profit field.
♦ Write the next great memoir – I need some inspiration.
♦ Peaceful, restful sleep; picture of a Tempur Pedic bed – I have trouble sleeping almost every night and I really need a new bed.
♦ Ron Burgundy and Danny McBride – Two brilliantly hilarious men whose humor I’d love to spend my days laughing at… or with.
♦ Mindy Kaling – An intelligent, witty, funny woman who I aspire to.
♦ Take back your freedom – From the anxiety, from the uncertainty, from the people who hold me back… I want to feel free, unhindered and enthusiastic about living.
♦ Live every moment. Laugh every day. Love beyond words. – A great little saying to live by. I’d like to do all these things.
♦ I ♥ myself – Reminder to myself, because we all forget sometimes. Am I right?
♦ Best is still to come… A promise to myself.

This was a good exercise for me. I am in a transitional period, but I have been losing momentum, because I’ve been distracted by other things. I am in a place in my life where I need to focus on myself and this was a reminder of that. I have so much I need to focus on to move forward with my life. Here’s to trying to figure it all out..

P.S. I added a little brevity to it, though. Can anyone find the three (dumb) things I did?

I’d love to have half the enthusiasm for anything in my life that a female my age reserves for wine

Can you imagine waking up every morning, knowing that you have broken parts, but your warranty has expired, so you just have to learn to function around them (or buy suspiciously cheap Chinese knockoffs on eBay. I’m kidding; that’s not an option.)? It’s more difficult than the inspirational stories you see on Extreme Home Makeover make it seem. Because, be honest, TV is your main exposure to people dealing with traumatic experiences. They don’t show you the day-to-day struggle on TV, only the triumphs. That’s why I wish my life were a movie trailer, because despite being short, at least it would be only the best bits.

I used to love rainy days.  I would get excited when I saw the dark clouds rolling in. There’s nothing more beautiful than a drive after a summer storm with the windows down. The gray sky hangs lower than a clear blue one. Raindrops lazily fall from tree branches. The roads become dark and shiny from the rain, street lamps reflecting off the pavement. I even love the sound of my tires as they kick up water. I’ve never told anyone, but I used to go out in the yard in the summer, barefoot and just let the rain fall on me. Or, go for a walk, as long as it wasn’t pouring. Nothing clears your mind faster than a walk in the rain. And, for me, nothing put a smile on my face faster.

Now, dark skies bring dread with them. I know that the rain is going to exacerbate my back and neck pain in the way you’ve heard you grandmother complain about. I don’t normally like to complain (but, I’m about to), but it really sucks to be a 28-year-old surrounded by so much life in the people around me, only to be exhausted by them. I’d love to have half the enthusiasm for anything in my life that a female my age reserves for wine, especially if it’s wine with her friends. Don’t get me wrong. I love wine, and I especially love wine with my friends, but things have lost their luster through my eyes. At least I can acknowledge and appreciate the life and beauty in the people around me. I see that some people can’t.

So, if you see me, and I’m not myself…

♦ Maybe my smile looks fake or my laugh sounds insincere.
♦ Maybe I’m impatient or short with you.
♦ Maybe I leave much too early.
♦ Maybe I don’t say much and look uncomfortable.

… know that I don’t mean anything by it. I want to be there with you, or I wouldn’t be. And, know that I appreciate you, and it breaks my heart that I can’t be myself for you. I’m in here somewhere, the person I really am; not the one in constant pain and drowning in fear. I’m finding my way out, little by little. But, as sure as I am that I will have good days and bad days, I am sure that there will be setbacks. The difference is, now, I am determined.

This song calms me every time I hear it. And, that’s something… Also, the video is beautiful: “Old Pine” by Ben Howard

Hell-evator

“There was a time when things were different. Ya know?” a woman’s voice boomed through the lobby, followed by the sharp click of her heels. I turned, startled by her presence, and watched her exit to the street through the revolving door, evidently talking on her phone.

After I was alone again, I returned to my previous position, hovered over the elevator call buttons. I pressed the little circle lit with an “up” arrow, again. I knew it wasn’t going to make the elevator arrive any faster, but my black high heels were killing my feet and my purse felt like a anvil hanging off my shoulder. Finally, a ding echoed throughout the lobby, signifying the right elevator cab’s arrival. Despite being a new building, the elevators operated with the rickety movement and questionable reliability of much older elevators.

The doors separated like they were trying to build suspense. I immediately noticed a man standing in the left corner, so I took a step back, avoiding eye contact, because I was not in the mood for pleasantries, and waited for him to exit. He didn’t move, so I finally looked up at his face, anger and impatience radiating off of me. He looked back at me with an expression that mirrored mine and made an exaggerated sweeping motion with his left hand that indicated I should board the elevator. I tilted my head in confusion, my eyes suspicious, but slowly obliged. His obnoxious tie caught my eye as I passed; it had two large parrots in the middle, one a brilliant red and the other a bright blue.

I turned around, so I could face the doors in the awkward manner that people stand in elevators. As I watched the doors close, a feeling of dread came over me, but it was too late; even if I leapt at the call buttons and pressed the “Open Doors” button 100 frantic times, it wouldn’t make any difference. The car began its ascent and I shifted my feet uncomfortably. The light above me flickered and I jumped. Looking up, I silently begged it to not go out, but it didn’t cooperate. The entire car came to a rather violent halt, darkness surrounding me suddenly.

A strange sound of pure terror escaped my lips as worst case scenarios played out in my mind. I opened my eyes as wide as possible, as if it would help me see better in the absolute darkness. My body was frozen as my mind raced. The strange man to my right made an audible movement, reminding me he was still there. And, so, my terror grew.

After what seemed like an hour, but was little more than 30 seconds, a dim light came on above the call buttons. I immediately looked towards the man, fully expecting him to be standing inches from me, holding a kitchen knife above his head. Instead, he was looking back at me with the same fear in his eyes. The tension was so high that it took me a minute to find the ironic humor in the situation, but I eventually did and suddenly broke out laughing. I felt ridiculous, but relief flooded my body.

The man looked at me like I was crazy. “Why are you laughing?” he asked, harshly.

“I thought…” I started, but had to catch my breath. “I though you were going to murder me.” His expression changed in that moment, but not in the way I was expecting. The corners of his mouth turned up slowly, but his eyes narrowed, making him look sinister. My laughter stopped abruptly and I froze under that look.

“Oh, I am,” he said, simply.

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Writing submission to The Speakeasy #147