Greenlight – Lorde

This song’s been on repeat all morning.

Lorde’s music has a way of bringing things out in me I’d forgotten. The way she phrases topics we’ve all heard before in a fresh new light always draws me in and keeps me.

This time I’m reminded of all of the heartache I remember, how I got over it. I burned a lot of items, watched the words written float up to the sky, ran from how I felt. That’s the only time I really struggled in my life. I lost three beings that had been the most important in so little time, the ebb and flow of my emotions lost me.

One of my go-to metaphors are rocks in a stream. The water is rushing around you, lifting me (the rock), carrying me miles downstream in a few minutes. The current slows, as does the speed of the rock, until gradually the current drops the rock to the riverbed. When I hear this song, when I remember that time, this is what I feel and hear. Varying currents, strides being made, losing momentum, wanting to be free of the rhythm.

I hope she found her green light.

Life and Death

I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but there’s such a delicate balance to feeling strong and weak at this stage. With my friends, with my family, and with myself I feel strong. I was shedding perceptions and growing into the life I wanted for myself when I was younger. I’ve settled who cares about me in their heart, and I’ve given them the best I can. Mistakes have been made, hearts have been broken, and I’ve owned up to it.

Tough situations, moment reactions, making the hard choices…. those all come naturally for me. There’s no fear in my heart, no hesitation in the moment. I push all of that away. I focus on what needs to happen, and everything else is slurred noise.

The weakness comes to me in the stillness of the world. There’s this click bait picture circling around with a doctor doubled over, one hand clutching a concrete barrier, screaming (or what I imagine to be screaming). I don’t know if it’s true, but the tagline is “ER doctor who just lost a 19 year old patient”. That’s how I feel afterwards. Everything hits at once, in the stillness. I don’t want to show anyone else who it affects me, because that’s not what they need. I deal with it in private, doubled over, clutching the concrete after seeing my grandmother roll out of the house in a body bag. The same wonderful woman I spent weeks trying to coax to eat even a spoonful of food. The same beautiful human who withered away right before me, in spite of all of my efforts.

I remember waking up in the early morning wide awake. I remember visualizing letting go of a type of balloon, and watching it climb in the sky. As the balloon lifted higher, I drifted back to sleep.


 

It’s so hard to comprehend most people are not like me when a loved one’s time comes to a close. The well family members tend to go about their lives, and maybe visit. The visit is always short lived, and they usually leave with a sigh of relief as they enter their easy life again. I carry a lot of weight in my heart from always making the tough decisions, but I would never trade them for anything else in the world. When I love, I will love you fiercely until your final breath. I will be there in those last memories, and I will be there to make sure you have the best parting possible. I just truly hope someone will do the same for me, even if that makes me selfish.

This Is Vaguely About A Concert

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Eisley, I’m Only Dreaming Release Tour, 2017

I’m not sure how to begin this blog, or really what I’ll even end up talking about. I guess the easiest opening is to describe the beginning of my love of the band Eisley.

I was young, living through the internet (which was on a schedule thanks to having a technogeek Dad concerned I’d end up on How to Catch a Predator). I was one of those proud music Myspace geeks, and would surf for hours finding new bands with a good technique and sound. I’d put them as my Myspace song and wonder how long it would take before they had a record deal.. then I’d start all over again. I liked my music discreet and underground, but with a lot of potential. Sadly, I was also one of those kids that would fight you to the death for stealing my music. I liked this private little world I’d created, and I didn’t want to expedite their fame any more than necessary. It was a complicated, somewhat convoluted philosophy… but I was bored with nothing else going on.

That’s when I stumbled upon “Telescope Eyes” by Eisley. Even though they’d already had a record deal by the time I discovered them, I admitted them into my discreet music library. The sound was just so beautiful to me. I grew up on a LOT of folk music, and the sound was such an interesting blend of all of those comfortable loves with new indie rock. I set “Telescope Eyes” as my MySpace song, and began growing with every new album the band released. By the time they’d lived the struggles I was going through, wrote an album about it, and then released the album I was in a similar place. I went through some of the toughest life challenges of my whole life during those years, due to a series of family deaths, family almost-deaths, friend’s family’s deaths, and the usual turmoil one feels when coming of age.

All of these memories and feelings come alive when I listen to older Eisley, even now. I’m somewhat obviously a steadfast believer in acknowledging your shortcomings, and documenting your past. Now I’m going through a whole new sphere of feelings as I gear up to begin adulthood.

Valentine’s Day

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day, though I’d hardly admit it to anyone. I love doing things for the people I love, and I also appreciate a good sappy movie with some accompanying chocolate. When I was young my dad would bring me back some small trinket for Valentine’s, of which I loved immensely, probably beginning my love of the holiday. Even as an adult I prefer smaller presents. My favorite Christmas present was a box cutter, in all honesty (it’s so convenient!).

Presents aside, Valentine’s is also a holiday of reflection. I take a moment to consider all of the ones I love, and how I could be a better person to them. Self-reflection is a valuable part of my life, and always has been. I’ve kept a consistent diary since I was 11 years old, and looked over the pages to remind myself we all grow and change. Writing things down has also given me the ability not to lie to myself… It’s easy to throw aside what an old friend or family member says you did, not so easy to throw it aside when it’s written in your own handwriting. Usually, I’ll take a moment and look over the pages, just to keep myself humble.

This year I didn’t look over my diary.

When a loved one goes through their first family death, I’m reminded of all my loved ones that have passed, or that I’ve watched wither away.
Unfortunately, the worst part about being the youngest of your generation on both sides of the family is that you see death much younger than anyone else. I’m awkwardly old enough to know the meaning, awkwardly young enough to live my adult life without them. Now in my friend group, I’m usually the only one to have seen someone close to them die. Usually, someone would say I should use this to help someone else, but that’s just not how death works. You can’t warn someone. You can’t show them. All you can do is nod and promise to be there.

Even sharing my experience becomes too much for me sometimes. I have a terrible time letting go of anyone I love, let alone something as permanent and long lasting as death. What hurts me more than anything is my memory of them fading, and forgetting what life feels like with that person in your life. Every time I lose someone, I immediately sit down and write everything about them. I don’t want to forget a single detail of their life. Not everyone else is so connected to that idea, thus making it hard for me to console people who aren’t like me.

These emotions and memories have left me in a strange place. As a result, my nonstop song this year was The Hunter.

“All the love I’ve shown, given to the ones I’ve known. All the love I make, is equal to the love I take.”

Relationships

Jessica Lea Mayfield is one of my favorite artists of all time. Her songs are so grounded in reality they’re kind of hard to listen to the first time around, or the third. If you’re familiar with her music you may be thinking “BS” on a few of those songs, but even the far out ones describe real and close feelings. When I was in a particular low point of college, and my opinions on relationships, this album was very dear to me. There’s a constant battle of feeling like you deserve better, and not feeling good enough at this stage in life. Age means nothing as a young adult. By this point in our lives, everyone’s developed completely different from the next. One person could be 27 and still live with his mom and act like a teenager. That’s what made dating so hard for me. I never knew who I was having dinner with until a good two months or so of knowing them. After awhile it felt kind of useless, and I was ready to give up. Of course, that’s when I met my boyfriend now, and it’s been wonderful.

Grooming To My Dog & Me

Recently I’ve been attempting to focus my off time on fulfilling activities to refocus my mind. Especially with everything going on in this country, it’s easy for me to lose sight of clarity. Once I’ve done that my off time becomes lay-around-in-bed-watching-tv time. Good work, what I define as labor-intensive work with your hands, has a way of returning me to a natural calm.

Enter: my dog

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Before his groom

 

 

I’ve had Sam for a little over 10 years. He followed me through life, largely by his own choice. I left him with my family, where he could enjoy a large fenced yard, but he would cry every time my visit ended. As a part of his fit he would jump into the driver’s seat of my car to prevent me from leaving.

When I finally brought him to live with me, I quickly realized I would not have the funds necessary to groom this massive fluffball. On top of having limited funds, I live in a particularly terrible area for grooming. I would get him back wet, depressed, and mopey like they’d promptly beat him upon my exit. Some of that is Sam’s natural flair for drama, but in the end it was not a good option for either of us.

I already had been working for a chain of pet stores, and decided I needed to make the next step. I began to study grooming, and insisted on a job change at work. I learned industry standard for bathing, cutting nails, cleaning ears, and drying dogs at work while studying extensive grooming catalogs at home. I bought a pair of Oster clippers, and after receiving some advice from a retired groomer and a demo session, I began carefully grooming Sam’s face and feet (he used to have clean feet).

Apparently the ability to shave a poodle’s feet made me a hot commodity in the local job pool. After some career changes I began to study full-body grooming. Sam was a large part of my training process. My mentor taught me strategies, and I would go home and practice on Sam. Our bond began to grow, and grooming became important for both of us. Grooming tested our naturally strong communication, in many positive ways.

To be a truly successful groomer, your animal communication has to be perfect. Every dog has an entirely different personality, especially while being poked and prodded all day.

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For example, a groomer must determine what this glare means. Is Sam going to bite you? Or will he continue to glare until you allow him a snack break?

 

The groomer has to determine when to be strong, when to be gentle, and when to assume the role of the parent. In Sam’s case, he has to be treated exactly like a human. Instead of doing the fatal flaw of just grabbing his foot hurriedly, you must inform him politely of your intentions. The fact that many people think dogs don’t care to be talked to is mind blowing to me. In all of my clients (dogs in this case), they loved being talked to. Many dog parents talk to their dogs all day, and the shock of being prodded all day without being treated with the same respect is usually a tipping point.

Sam and I grew together, and we grew to appreciate the difficulty on both of our parts. In a way, grooming has become us showing appreciation to one another. I don’t exactly want to have back cramps all day, and he doesn’t exactly enjoy standing stock still all day. Because we both do hard work for each other, it’s become a tradition that brings us together.

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Sam after his quick groom

 

 

Depressing Insect Thoughts

I grew up a wild child. Every day I was outside playing in the creek, finding crayfish and building dams. My brother and I studied how beavers made dams and modified their recipe to suit rocks instead of branches. Almost every picture of me ages 1-10 I was holding some sort of animal. As I grew older I got into the pet industry, and now am happily living with a corn snake, a dog, and several fish.

That being said, the animals I can’t stand are roaches.

As a child, we vacationed at a beach often, and on one terrible occasion, the rented condo had a roach infestation. Not only was I terrified by their uniquely intimidating ability to feign death, but I was also disgusted by their ability to detect food. I woke up with a roach in my bed, and have forevermore remained terrified.

Roaches exist in the wild here, in excess. To keep them out of my home I have to spray every 4-6 weeks, which I don’t like doing for health reasons. Last night I had a really intimate experience with one of the roaches who got in. A juvenile German Cockroach snuck in my door, and while I was putting shoes on the damn thing bit me and ran out of my shoe.

Now, I really wish I’d bought a pet lizard to accompany my corn snake. The lizard could run about freely and save me from any more horrible confrontations with roaches. That’s how it works…. Right?

I attempted to crush the roach with my shoe, but thanks to another terrible ability, the roach apparently survived by cramming his little body between my wall and carpet. Later on in the day I gathered my senses to investigate the area of confrontation…. But lo and behold…. No roach!

Later that evening I devised a trap for the guy. I made Annie’s Mac N’ Cheese for dinner, and left the cheese pan out. I turned all the lights out and went upstairs. An hour or so later, I returned and flashed the lights on quickly.

Sitting quite neatly on a bottle of fish dechlorinator sat the escapee.

Now I’m faced with a problem: how do I fix this without touching the bug, our harming my fish with pesticides?snapchat-486152558Quickly I devised a plan. I would place the escapee under a jar making the classic cup trap used for spiders you want to set free or move. Then I grabbed my highly effective pesticide that came with a thin straw I could sneak under the cup trap without letting the escapee roach flee again.

The first attempt I forgot to shake the pesticide first, which is essential for powder-based pesticide sprays. I ended up flinging the roach, panicking, and closing the trap.

After a hurried body check to verify he’d not been flung on me, I shook the can and tried again.

This time I got him. Horribly so. He began shaking and convulsing. He was trying to escape the pesticide but it was everywhere, all around him. His legs would not work due to the pesticide attacking his nervous system, and he stopped moving.

Watching this occur, a strange feeling began creeping up my spine and into my heart. I’d expected to feel relief, but now that I’d finally killed the roach I pittied him immensely. What feeling, and aware person would wish that death upon any being?

The next day I’d still left him under the container, but he’d moved halfway through the trap and turned upside down. I researched why that occurred, horrified after what I saw him go through that he might have still been alive. Apparently poisons attack their nervous system, rendering their legs useless. Once that occurs they slowly starve to death.

What had I done? Why did he deserve this? What makes my life more?

There is an episode of Black Mirror that I am going to SPOIL if you haven’t seen it. There are soldiers, trained to kill these infected beings they call roaches. One of the roaches stabs the soldier with an injection device, and he begins to see them as regular people.

For some reason my mind keeps wandering back to this concept since I killed the roach 2 days ago. Why do humans precieve our lives as more? What actually makes me more deserving of resources than the roach?

I’m not sure what to do.