Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Disney Pictures! I couldn't resist sharing...

Best Halloween Costumes I have ever seen!
Small world
Splash Mountain!!!! I WAS SO SCARED! (there is a funnier picture, as soon as I get it from Brian I will post it- it is us going down the waterfall!)
One Love <3
So much dessert!
My original #1

Monday, October 27, 2008

Don't know?

I came up with a really good way of starting my blog tonight but I decided that more important that starting my blog entry was listening to my body and relieving my bladder before proceeding. And so of course I don't remember what it was...but, I feel like this was was pretty good too.

I stopped writing for a while. I don't think that was a good idea. I got really caught up in other things and that is not an excuse. Especially since this has been such a good outlet for me to express my self, process and document what I am going through here.

So where did I leave off.

I need to make a list of what to talk about:
best friends forever
new client

Okay. Before I start talking about bellydancing, I am going to look up my next class so I stay accountable and go. Hold please.

Alright I guess I am going tomorrow evening. Truth be told I got sucked into some youtube videos of my instructor dancing and wasted some time with that- sorry, it is just really interesting and I don't want tv so sometimes I need an entertainment break.

Anyway- I started belly dancing class. It is very fun. Different. Hard. My weird phobias and skin irritations seem to come out while I am doing it so for now I have to wear a long sleeved shirt or I feel uncomfortable. But the instructor loves it and her job you can tell. So I think I will keep going. I gotta start going back to the gym too. I keep letting life events interrupt my schedule, my flow. Which is a problem because then I get into ruts. Before I close this tonight I want to include my plan for the rest of the week.

I'll talk more about my belly as I learn about it. Either way it brings me closer to Middle Eastern culture and we all know how I feel about that. <3

Disney! I had my first official now-that-I-can-remember trip to Disney world! A great friend from college and his absolutely amazing parents took me with them on Friday and not only did we complete 11 rides from 3-12, we also had time to eat dinner leisurely, watch the parade and fireworks! It was scary to go- I mean, I can't imagine going with a happier more wonderful group- but I don't do theme parks. I don't like feeling wreckless, like I might die...buuuuut I did all three of the mountains- the railroad one, splash and space! And I know they are rides intended for little deet-deets but for me it was very, very challenging. But you know, I kept telling Brian the whole time "I strongly believe in doing something everyday that scares me" and oooh I did. Scary. And for the record- the dumbo ride is actually scary! Aside from the fact that you are flying through the air in a big elephant, the ride goes super high! I am just saying I don't blame little kids who are scared of Disney World. For that matter my siblings and I were- particularly of the Small World ride. Which is so interesting cause I made sure to do it this time for that reason and you know what- that is truly what ignorance is all about! I mean, sure, smiling little dolls FILLING rooms as you are trapped on a boat flowing through them could be creepy for some.....but I loved it! All of the cultures, all of the openmindedness! It was great! And I realized that the last room is definitely my world. I would love everyone recognize the uniquely human commonalities and respect the differences. It is so funny so see that ride now though because I was being ignorant too. For years I thought I had reason to fear it and then I faced it and realized it actually had a lot in common with me- isn't that usually how ignorance works? No really, I am actually asking because I don't understand it well enough. I'd like to though I don't want to be ignorant about ignorance.

Also, for the record, the Mickey's PhilharMAGIC was my favorite ride. I loved it! And I totally sang along. We did it twice cause I loved it! :)

More importantly than going to Disney was having the opportunity to have family. I love and miss mine very much, and having Brian's welcome me in with SUCH open arms was wonderful. I love his parents dearly. I wish you could meet them too because I can't imagine nicer people who might make you feel as safe and loved as they made me feel. Brian included. They are just a truly special family for all the good that is naturally in them and it was just the most wonderful day.

Alright I am exhausted and overslept today because my phone didn't go off and it was bad and I don't want to go that again so I am going to go to bed but I made the aforementioned list to hold my self accountable to report on those things so I will refer back to it later when I go to write the next response.


Tuesday: HOMEWORK! Halloween Costume, Call Marc Durance, Gym

Wednesday: Clean Ebonie's Closet, Belly Dance

Thursday: Gym, Ali's Final Farewell Dinner

Friday: Halloween Party with my clients! Trick-or-treating with roomies/dressing up and acting silly with Laura and Megan??

I need to add more to that. I have so much more to list. I don't think I will post my schedule again but I feel myself slipping in the accountability department so I am.

Man I am sleepy I really need to quit. So I am-

V & <3

Thursday, October 23, 2008


"Inches And Falling"

I love Love
I love being in love
I don't care what it does to me

Take these tattered boxes
that used to hold your clothes
Break them down
Build them back up with your bones
All you did was construct a mess
You're good to me when only flesh
You're a memory with nothing to show

When we would take trips
We swore we'd never take pictures
Pictures only prove you can't convince
Now I wish those photographs
could convince you that what we had
would only turn out a negative


If fingertips are relationships
then I could barely carry your weight
If fingers are mistakes
Don't use this one to point the blame
Just sing

I love love
I love being in love
I don't care what it does to me
These pills are fine to pass the time
'til I find my new drug
We'll take our chances
we'll last a month
we'll never speak again

How I love being in love

And don't pick up the line
You're dressed to have a good time
you don't need him, you need to be seen
so someone else can treat you wrong
so you my love can sing this song

I love love
I love being in love
I don't care what it does to me
These pills are fine to pass the time
'til I find my new drug
They'll take advantage
I'll claim that's what I want

To be the new statistic

How I love
How I love
How I love being in love

Take these tattered boxes
That used to hold your clothes
Break them down
Build them back up with your bones
All you did was construct a mess
you're dead to me if love is death
You're a memory with nothing to show


If fingertips are relationships
Then maybe I could use a break
She smiles
She points at me
shes says:
Baby I love how you sing
so just

I love love
I love being in love
I don't care what it does to me
These pills are fine to pass the time
'til I find my new drug
We'll take our chances
we'll rise above
we'll last until the end

How I love
How I love
How I love being in love.

hard reality check for myself ^

i have things to speak to about pentecostal church, about my belly dancing class...about a poem one of my girls wrote today.

but for now, i am sleeping.
today was a sad day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Leave the Pieces When You Go

Woah baby I am tired!

Today was very long- again! But wonderful.

Work was not the most productive today...though I did have a really wonderful heart to heart with a youth that has been able to move me in a special way after I found out she was making death threats to another resident. We spoke- well, really I spoke to her kind heart and it listened and she left smiling and better prepared for aggressors. It was nice.

I also sat for about an hour and read letters (one of the girls gave me a stack and told me to read them) from her 'fiance' who is currently incarcerated. It was so strange to read the things he said to her- and I totally understand why this 19 year old thinks she wants to marry this kid. He is very aware, he is not lacking depth for someone who grew up in a culture lacking it. But he is in prison, for assault...he is a crip (though his brother is a blood? and it does not interfere with their relationship)...and kept telling her that even if he spent his days out doing his business, referring to the involvement in these very destructive activities....that he would come home to her everyday. He promised. And that he wants her to be his only wife, the only mother of his children. And this girl...is seeing his potential, the wisdom he does seem to contain and is ready to hand her life over to him. Maybe he turns out to be the best guy in the world...or the worst. It doesn't really matter. It is the fact that while I read his letters I could see a kid searching for love. In her eyes and her laughter I could see a kid searching for love. In myself I see a kid searching for love. And these kids I work with they are so broken their whole childhood and unloved that they end up finding love in the wrong places.

And then my first client came into my office and told me that she would like to leave to go and move in with her *older* girlfriend and girlfriend's 5 year old child. This youth has been destroyed and broken her whole life. It is miraculous that she is still here...and she is making so much progress, she is so strong and resilient. Now she wants to hand her fate, he success over to a relationship...at 19. I know I am only 22 and learning my own lessons....but...we just sat together and talked. And she said she values my advice but will still end up doing what she wants to. And I told her exactly what I thought- that I would be happy for her, but that I will worry and that I think that she should wait to leave on her own terms, for herself not someone else. And then we both just had a moment. And we agreed that we would both pray for her to know what the right choice for her is. And I told her I will care for her regardless, and I will hope that this woman does not hurt her as everyone else in her life has...and that I believe in her so much she might never even realize. It was a hard conversation- to see a youth I love so much risk all this progress and potential on love. And I am a hopeless romantic...but also a realist. And I don't want to see her get hurt. And I know she doesn't love herself. It is very hard...

I will let you all know how that works out.

After work I laid out by the pool and just re-centered myself.

And then I got in some valuable Ali time = ). She took me to her Pentecostal church, which was an eye opener. Interesting place. I learned a lot about the proverbs...and am now in search of my bible to match the notes that I took up to the passages and see what I think. We discuss...ooh I can't remember I will let you know when I am not too tired and sore to get up and find the paper...the proverb about soft words removing anger from the angry. I paraphrase poorly but still...I was happy to hear that. To see that my soft, gentle nature with the youth instead of being abrasive might really be exactly what they need.

I will probably talk more about the church tomorrow when I am not so sleepy.

Then we went to the gym...oh my word. She is the best trainer ever. She kicked my butt- I can barely move! But it was good. We bonded and that makes almost anything worthwhile.

I returned home and took and wonderful candlelit, indie shower and am so, so ready for bed. Tomorrow there is work all day...then helping Ali pack? followed by belly dancing and perhaps Miss Genesis's church?! Another busy one! And Friday is Disney with Brian and his wonderful parents! And this weekend...so much going on! I don't know when I got so busy.

Oh. And for the record, yes the record because I am excited about this...I got in touch with a counselor today and should be starting asap. I am very thankful for the opportunity.

Oooh, and there was a woman at the church we went to who sat and held my hands and prayed for me to figure out what I should be doing, who I should be coming...what I should be believing. I very much appreciated it. She was kind and made me feel loved.

I am way too sleepy for this.
I am going to sleep now.

I am leaving you all with a song that I feel strongly about today. Very strongly:

I hope you get something from it.



Today I am Thankful For:
my growth. I am growing so much by the second- my muscles, my heart, my mind, my understanding....my tolerance....my patience. Everything. It is wonderful. Oh, and I am thankful for all the support arriving when I need it most.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I will follow you into the dark...

Today...oooh today.

Well, let me backtrack and as we say in the jargon of case managing...write a late entry.

Late entry- 10/20/08 12pm- oooh my goodness! The concert was...exactly what I needed. And more for that matter. I have been to so many concerts...soo many...and all I can remember is the background noise. The people around me...the person I am with...all of the drama and loudness and drinking and drugs and nonesense that I really feel uncomfortable around. But last night-it was just me and the music. I have never felt so exhilarated during a concert. I was just listening to my favorite musician perform (he is a very talented performer for the record) and being right where I was. There were people 'partying' all around me, not really listening....2 very small women to my left TALKING (loudly) the entire time waiting for him to play his single...and all the while I was swaying, bobbing and singing along...smiling. I love his music. It makes me peaceful and his poetry is exactly the way mine is; I find sometimes it is hard to speak the same language in the arts so to find someone who has the exact same dialect is wonderful. It was just wonderful. So wonderful.

Special thanks to Harley for accompanying me on my exhilaration---make.cute.mixes.asap. haha

So now back to today....during which I spent a total of 10 hours in the wonderful CHF walls.

It was long. We are always understaffed. That is frustrating and scary in a crisis shelter. But that is life as well.

I wish I could post more about my girls...I wonder how much information I can expose without giving any details that would identify a youth...I think I will check on that tomorrow because I think we can all learn from their stories. I have one youth I would like to tell you all about and ask for your prayers...but for now (since I don't know what I can expose)....please just pray for her if you believe in prayers....think of her if you believe in energy....or just know that there is someone out there who never deserved any of her scars and now struggles daily to keep herself from snapping for good.

That is my thing I am thankful for today actually.
Today I am Thankful For...the opportunity to love the aforementioned youth. She is so special and doesn't see it. I guess I understand what my friends have been telling me for so long....when you shine to others but can't see your own light. I don't know if I reached her...but during a conversation I had with her today (that was 2 hours long...) I stopped taking notes, I stopped going through the normal run through...and I just looked her in the eye and said "I just want you to know, I will never, ever give up on you. I know you have trusted people to be there your whole life who haven't been, who have in fact caused you more pain than anyone deserves. But I want you to know that I will always, always care for you. No matter what. Even if you do something unforgiveable...I will find a way to forgive you. Because you deserve that kind of faith. And I want to teach you that not all people are bad...not all people will hurt you. I care and I will prove to you that no matter how many times you make mistakes, I will accept you and help you keep going." I am sure I said other things. It is so cliche but so true that jobs like these help you more than they can ever help another person. I meant everything I said to her. I mean it with my entire heart. But as I reflect on it...I realize that I have never had anyone do that for me and show me that the mean it. Prove it. And I know that I will do whatever it takes to show this youth my unconditional love. I think that is the guiding force at the center of my heart. I have always thought this was a flaw- that I could always keep loving someone, no matter what they did or said. Now I see that it is a gift for those people who deserve it. She deserves it. I think I deserve it too. So tonight before I go to sleep (and anyone reading this can hold me to it) I will have the same talk with myself.

I told her that the only thing I can be sure of so far in my life is that until you can really love and accept yourself, you will always struggle in your relationships with others- because the truth is they are filling up a void that you need to fill yourself. They may leave, they may pass away...they may change. It is not another persons responsibility to save or make you whole. I am learning about this...and I will do whatever I can to help these beautiful, capable and moving young women that I spend my days with understand this too. They really are amazing. I mean...I know I could just be saying that...but I love these girls. I love them. If I could I would just sit and hug them all day and show them that they are amazing and worthwhile.

I am having a real hard time not hating the people who have hurt my girls- taught them that the world is this ugly and unfeeling. Parents...families....strangers...friends....lovers....these girls have no solace. They have no protection and they may be 'grown' but they are still children in their hearts who needed nurturing and respect and have never found anything but pain. I will also talk to myself and pray this evening about forgiveness for those people- I know that they are clearly struggling and in need of my prayers...I just wish that people would stop hurting children. That is the one thing I have never been able to understand or tollerate. It is a child...an innocent, trusting child. I am trying to have forgiveness. To have grace about it.

So anyway...please hold me accountable any of you who see this. If you see me detereorate as the year goes on and suddenly I am frustrated and unfeeling (which man I would have to incurr some serious damage for my nature to change that much), please remind me of my promise to do whatever it takes to love these girls and be there for them. And pray for them/think of them/learn from them. I wish I could share them with all of you so you could love them as much as I do...but since I can't, trust me. I love them and they need all the support they can get.

So on a lighter note, I wanted to share a funny story. Today a male youth came RUNNING through the dining room while the +18F's were eating breakfast and myself and my co-worker Miss Kristi asked him to slow down- and he replied to me to shut my face. Miss Kristi had a talk with this youth, to which somehow someway he decided that the reason she was frustrated with him was because she is not well endowed as a woman *hint hint*. I don't want to repeat his vulgarity, out of respect for Kristi, my affiliations and the fact that one day that boy will be a man and maybe regret having said it....but....it was a very, very funny moment as somehow he equated a safety concern with a cup size. I mean...it is very hard to be graceful when these very angry youths make such blatanly disrespectful and out of line comments...and so for Kristi and I...it is about finding a small corner to ourselves and just laughing it off. She is "Barbie" and I am "Miley Cyrus"...and we just take it with stride and a laugh. Everything is so serious when you are 18, but sometimes ridiculous to those of us past that marker. Grace....oh my...grace.

As I already gave my thankful comment, and I just returned from a 2 hour workout with my original secondary (who is like my new trainor at the gym...and she seriously kicks my butt- my poor stomach!)...I am going to shower...and then sleep, I am sure, better than I have in days.

I love my friends. I love my family. I miss all of you who are not here, and probably even those of you who are because right now you are all only in my heart (as I am alone in my room, haha) and I will go to bed loving you all with Mr. Albert bear and Army-Dude Steve bear. Keep me, my youths and the messy beautiful life I have in your hearts/prayers/minds.

Mmm...a song...a song...

This is my FAVORITE Death Cab for Cutie lullabye. I hope it calms your heart like it does mine.

Sweet dreams.

= )

Monday, October 20, 2008

And when we can see things clearer than we think we see them now...

Today was a hard day.

I was at work way too long. My unit is melting down. It has gotten to the point where the +18F staff (aka me, Ebonie and Kristi) just have to laugh- or we would go crazy.

But I love my girls. As much of a mess as it is and as much as they are causing problems right now...they are so loveable and wonderful that I almost think there is something wrong with me that makes me love these broken, disrespectful, messy, rude people so much. But I do. I held 'my baby' all morning (her mom is okay with the fact that she is mine at this point, haha) and just thought about how lucky I am.

I get to spend my days with my family- with the ones I love. And I never feel crazy when I am there because I see the world is a sea of problems- for those of us who are forced to deal with them....well, I think we are special, strong people.

It was a hard day though. I missed someone very much. It was a beautiful, beautiful day when I left my house. It smelled exactly the way fall should....and I started to smile but ended up crying because I so wanted to share it with them and they weren't there. They aren't here anymore. That is a hard thing to take in.

But for now I am going to put my feelings and confusion aside- for it is Matt Nathanson night. I am sooo over letting other people ruin him for me. And so, I embark on the beautiful journey of seeing his concert with a totally random new completely emo friend who at the very least can embrace the music with me as he is a music nerd himself. And honestly...if you don't like Matt Nathanson, I am convinced you have no soul.

So off I go. And I leave you with some of his most prominent ballads in my life presently:







jai guru deva ohm.


hide and seek.


So the least I can say is the view from the bottom makes everything going up look SO much better. Why am I writing this at 8:40am when I am supposed to be at work at 8am? Well that is simple. Life is not simple...and I find when one thing goes wrong others follow. I am laying in my bed not sure if I breathe or move if I will be able to keep myself from losing the wonderful bowl of pasta I made for myself last night (I knew it was too soon to eat but man pasta sounded simple enough to work). Unfortunately my stomach bug (thanks ladies of the +18F unit) has not left my body, which for the record, is very appropriate considering the ouch that still encompasses the rest of my being. I think I am actually smiling about this right now because...that is life. Man I am tired...

But I am finding my way. I think that is rare in the world. I mean, most of the most wonderful people I know find a wall that they hit too hard and that is it. The end of progression. I hope that I am always a person who beats my head against that wall until I am able to break through or make sense of it. Hopefully there will still be those of you who love my deformed and fractured little skull throughout the process. Ha.

I owe Candace a huge holler (no, the word will not die out of my diction, i love it). We may never know how old she is, but, I think her mind has years on her body. And I like to think people like her never let their hearts get old. I have spent years being afraid of the limitations others would place on me if they saw my struggles...and my experiences thus far have taught me to be afraid. But as Jessica was telling me this weekend...it seems the stronger you become in yourself, the more you love yourself...the more other people are moved towards you...see what you are capable of. I don't know what Candace is seeing right now- and that is probably a good thing because it shouldn't be about what anyone else sees it should be about what I see. But, what I need is support and help- to have others believe in me and be there as I really need them not as they think I do. And for that I owe her my sincerest gratitude.

Sidenote- Jessica, I will continue to be grateful for you existence in my life...but perhaps better than paying homage to you in my blog, is actually acting upon the things we discuss and showing you that I hear and respect you. <3

Well I can freely move without being uber ill now...so I am going to get going to work. Prayers please...I still don't know what they mean in terms of God...but they mean so much to me.

What I am Thankful for Today:

Two roommates who find their own way to be here for me. They are not indebted...nor were they asked....they just are there. Unconditional love. I love and respect both of them more than I can ever find words to let them know. Perhaps I will work harder at my actions...

And for me, this song always makes the world better. I just can't hate life when I dance around in my underwear to this.
I will save the dancing till my stomach settles though...haha.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sometimes someone else's words are your words too

Occasionally I am just going to put up songs because they are who I am better than me writing something is who I am...

right now, i am in a grey room.


From the Bottom Up

And so it seems the only thing I have been able to consistently learn throughout my 22 years here has been that I only really learn who I am and what I am capable of when I am ripped of all my layers, whatever protection and comfort I have acquired, and forced to face the world alone. Unfortunately that is not always something I am looking for when it happens. Lets face it, I never want it to happen.

After spending two days glued to my bed, looking for courage and grace, experiencing every single individual tear, ache and test of my character...I am ready to say that I may just be the person that I have always been trying to be. I think it took all the events that have occurred so far in my life to bring me to a place where I am ready to accept myself for who I am and expect others to let me be. But that is always where I have failed myself. And that is tragic. To realize that I am the only person in the world who truly suffers from me not standing up for myself, for demanding that I be appreciated and respected for exactly what I am.

A real friend told me today that this is just a journey I need to do on my own...and you know, she is right. Certain obstacles I am faced with are mine and mine alone. I have always confused that with feeling stranded and alone. I guess that is what I realized today...if I can find the strength to love myself, and be patient with the world, I can open myself up to the world, to others, and love them, without them taking anything away from me when and if they go.

To those of you who always find the strength and love to stay; thank you. Without you, I would be without faith and hope.

Well, that is how I feel for now. I guess we'll see about tomorrow, tomorrow. I'd really like to stay right here, right now.

Today I am thankful for:
all of the other sensies in the world, in particular Ingrid. You all help me to know I am not alone, I am not crazy and this is a gift I was meant to learn from and share:


Ps. The preceding exposure was the thing I did today that truly scares me. Please be kind.