Look for the Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Fred Rogers

I was blown away when watching the news reports about the Orlando shooting this morning. In the background of nearly every frame, I saw people carrying or treating the injured clubgoers. In such a dark moment, those people were the light. Friends, families, strangers–it was amazing to see them come together without hesitation.

Thank you to every volunteer, every officer, every man and woman driven by adrenaline to save some else’s life, every bystander who found a way to help. You’re the light in this world.

The link below has a video showing just a few of the helpers. This is what gives me hope.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/12/health/orlando-blood-donors/index.html

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Surviving

I am entirely unnerved right now.

The last few weeks have been an interesting rollercoaster. Everything dived when my meds stopped working, but I’ve balanced out. I’m better off than I was before. I was even able to spend a few days alone without losing control of my emotions or my impulses.

Then again, most people might consider a last-minute 4-day trip to Boston a bit of an “impulsive” decision. Hey, it was fun and I survived. I call that highly successful.

I read 20 1/2 books in the month of November. I’ve read 2 more since yesterday. Yes, they have all  been young adult and middle-grade novels, but they are all about overcoming impossible odds and surviving. Since the Paris attacks a couple of weeks ago, surviving has been on my mind.

A government facility in San Bernadino was attacked a few hours ago. State-side, things are slowly escalating. Internationally, things are escalating a bit faster.

It makes me wonder if we are prepared for our overseas conflicts to cross our borders.

 

I Politely Decline Your Definition of “Impossible”

Things are going wrong right now, so very, very wrong. I don’t know how to stop them from continuing, but something has to happen. Everyone seems to be at a loss. Some people seemed to be resigned to accepting the black cloud over our heads. “It is what it is.”

If you’ve read very many of my posts, you know that I don’t believe in that phrase. I’ve even suggested to have people fired for using it. Apparently HR does’t seem to consider that a valid violation of department policy.

(98% of that is a joke. I have not actually suggested this to HR, though I have brought it up in a few management meetings.)

If you want something to get better, you cannot give into defeatism. Today, I sat curled up in a chair in the office, with my emotions written all over my face. My manager told me to stop looking so depressed.

I don’t do politics. I do results. All one has to do is look at the United States government to see that the two rarely go hand-in-hand. How do I do both without sacrificing my soul in the process?

I’ve been told this is an impossible fight. I like those odds.

Settle For A Slow Down

It’s, uh, Monday, right? So . . . happy belated Father’s Day to my amazing mother, who is by far the best father a girl could ask for, even if she never chased off my boyfriend with a ten-gauge or taught me how to change my oil.

Happy Friday to me, as I work Thursday through Monday, even though my work-week actually started last Monday and will end tomorrow. In the spirit of every country song celebrating Fridays (serious what-the-fuckery in that video, by the way), I honored my Friday with 4 ounces of Kilt Lifter at my favorite bistro of all time, Carly’s in downtown Phoenix. 4 ounces because the lamotrigine/alcohol combination is starting to kick my ass. (I asked for 8 ounces and could only stomach 4. *sadface* A far cry from putting away three bottles just three weeks ago.)

I told one of my coworkers about my mini-epiphany last week, though in a very different way than I stated it on here. I told her how much fun I had in Charlotte, how I was chasing software problems and watching the IT guys work, hoping to learn something new. My coworker got this weird look on her face and said, “You’re in the wrong department.”

“I  know,” I told her. It was weird to admit that out loud to someone other than my family. It felt like I was telling a closely held secret that could make or break my world as I know it.

An hour later, I was in downtown Phoenix and staring at the giant hole where the Scientology building used to be. Five years ago, when my lost friend first moved to Phoenix, It was a four story building with Ron L. Hubbard’s name blazed on the front door. It was the only thing you could see from his apartment window. The only thing we could see from our apartment window last summer.

Now, there’s this giant sculpture looming over the area where the street preachers used to stand on First Fridays, and a hole in the ground. Our favorite coffee shop has changed locations and our favorite restaurant has a new front patio (but is almost completely inaccessible due to construction on the street itself).

I know that grieving a relationship like ours takes a long time. I know that I’m not expected to be okay yet (or for a long time–six years at 23 is basically forever), but I want me to be okay. Today it hurts because walking through Phoenix . . . barely reminded me of him at all.

Everything is changing so fast that our places–our coffee shop, our restaurant, our apartment–don’t look the way they did with him just ten months ago. It was like I saw them for the first time. It means I can go there again, I can make new memories and not feel guilty, but it also means that our history is gone. Today, I experienced a kind of soul-deep sadness that can only be described as peaceful.

I feel insane. I feel out of control. I feel like it’s almost time to move forward, professionally and personally. I want to put the brakes on for awhile, take a little more time, but I know it’s when you try to take control that life takes control away. There’s this feeling in my chest like Phoenix isn’t the only thing changing. My epiphany in Charlotte, the comment from my colleague, the fact that I met a very handsome man and immediately started to internally freak out about breaking up with my lost friend last October, and then watching our past disappear with the dust from a jackhammer . . . nine days is too fast for all of that to happen.

God, it’s only been nine days since I landed in Charlotte. This is crazy. I feel crazy. This can’t be happening. This feeling needs to go away before tomorrow. Tomorrow, I need to be in full control. This feeling needs to be Cinderella’s coach, and it needs to turn into a pumpkin at midnight. (I literally mean midnight.)

This needs to slow down fast. I’m impulsive. I’m impatient. I’ve finally managed to get one of the two under control, but I feel like everything around me is saying this isn’t the time to be patient. This is the time to be impulsive.

What if it doesn’t slow down? What if everything changes tomorrow with the snap of a finger? Among the many things I shouldn’t confess on the internet: I am so scared of what might be coming.

I’d settle for a slow down.

Stable Again

What a strange turn of events. After months of feeling like the world was going to end, I feel good–and it’s not just one day a week! It’s every day. It’s waking up and wanting to talk to the people I love. It’s looking forward to writing. It’s . . . sitting on a patio with my favorite beer, watching the sun set over a virgin desert.

Those of you that haven’t perused my blogroll don’t know that in the beginning, I wrote about finding your passion, following your dreams–all that inspirational shit that people only read when they’re already happy. I’m an extremely passionate person, and I’ve been told many times that I have the power to inspire people. I really, really want to do that–inspire people–on a regular basis. I’m still trying to find the right platform for my voice.

Things are changing. I’m becoming stronger with handling my workload, and the stress it causes. I’m feeling positive about 70% of the time, which is a huge improvement. When something frustrates me or goes wrong, I take a walk or I lay on the floor and breathe (did that in the office this morning; no one saw, but it would have made for a good laugh). I’m starting to consider the direction my life is going, with work, with school, and with the people I care about.

Times are definitely changing.

A few days ago, following the sunset and the transcendent peace, I had a feeling. You know how sometimes people just weigh on your mind, like the Universe is saying, “This person could use all of the positive energy you can send right now?” The person on my mind was someone I formed a tenuous friendship with a couple years ago, someone who’s been a question mark in the back of my mind since we lost touch. Four times have I met someone and almost immediately determined that I wanted him in my life, come Hell or high water. Three times have those men become like brothers to me.

Well, I found number four (speaking of which, that was a terrible book). Chronologically speaking, he’s number three on the list of four. I feel like our friendship is unfinished, like there’s something I was meant to learn from him or support him with, and in the past, I might have reached out immediately. Now . . . it feels like it’s not time. It feels like he needs the positive thoughts, the positive energy, but I have to finish this chapter before I can get to the part of the story where everything starts to make sense.

I feel confused, but content. I feel passionate and productive and I’m completely looking forward to my weekend and whatever adventures it might bring. The one thing I’m not feeling is the weight of depression, and I’m praying it will stay at away for awhile. I have to find out what’s ahead for me, because the energy I’m feeling in the people and the events around me is changing fast. Patience . . . it’s the hardest virtue to uphold right now, but I just feel like it’s going to pay off.

God, it feels so good to be happy again.