Tag Archives: politics

2018 year in review:

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2018 year in review:

Haven’t done one of these in a couple years. Seems fitting as I am in my 38th year… which is the year I’ve been thinking about since I was 19 years old.

It’s been a wild ride.

And a long life.

Hopefully, I get 38 more years.

1. Codependent is not the same as interdependent… no matter how you package it, some people will never understand the difference.

2. Never take friendships for granted; even after 28 years, they can end without proper maintenance. Even with proper maintenance, people grow apart. That’s ok.

3. There are social contracts that we all must abide by, to some extent. However, any social contract that requires you to be anything but your authentic self (save for concrete moral deviance) can go fuck themselves. This is your life. You probably only get one. Love it. Live it. Choose it. You’re the driver.

4. “Stairway to heaven” really is truth. 🎵“Yes, there are two paths you can go by… But in the long run…There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”🎵 Two paths. Fear or love.

5. If you’re all the way right or all the way left, you can’t see the whole picture. Take a couple steps back and listen.

6. Echo chambers are bad.

7. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a parent is stop parenting.

8. You can lose/leave most of your things and be happy.

9. Dogs really are better than cats. By a small margin. But still better.

10. Money definitely doesn’t buy happiness. Always choose the job that feeds your soul. If you’re doing things right, someone will feed your belly.

11. When you have enough to feed your belly, feed someone else’s. When you have enough to feed your soul, feed someone else’s.

12. Energy is cyclic. I knew that years ago but I was definitely reminded repeatedly this year. Be mindful of the energy you put out. It’s easy to become comfortable, complacent, and forget.

13. Choose love. Even if it ends badly, you will end up better for it. You can leave with love. You can lead with love. You can heal with love. Always love yourself first. Insert some cliche about airplane oxygen masks.

14. Experiences are better than things. But… sweet gestures are still sweet.

15. Excitement and exuberance count. More than you realize.

16. Gratitude begets gratitude.

17. Douglas Adams really is a genius.

18. You can be aware and understand without co-opting and/or being offended. It really isn’t about you.

19. Except when it is… if you have a boundary, don’t let yourself or anyone else violate it.

20. There is healthy shame and unhealthy shame… learn the difference.

21. People tell you who they are and what they want through actions. You have to listen and watch. They often contradict each other.

22. Timing is everything. Sometimes things circle back around when you’re ready, sometimes they don’t because they were only there for the lesson.

23. The world, and humans, haven’t really changed. Comparisons are moot.

24. You can’t save anyone but yourself.

25. And Hobo Johnson/Frank is a lyrical genius.

Huzzah. Xoxo

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Peaks and valleys or Axis II? just kidding, DSM 5 uses no axes.

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Peaks and valleys or Axis II? just kidding, DSM 5 uses no axes.

As always, in this non-stop over-analytical brain of mine, I have been pondering a lot of things as of late; mainly the fact that over and over again I am told that I am a narcissist due to my verbal observations that I am the common denominator in all of my failures, from relationships to interoffice communications. I have been reflecting on this a lot, as I was studying for my clinical board exam. (I do not fit the criteria, in case you were wondering).

However I do find that I tend to be a pessimist, I feel paranoid often, and I make trust issues themselves suspicious. It’s a thing. I know it. I have done lots of therapy over the years.

As a teenager, I used to tell people I was bipolar, as if it were a cool thing…something to be proud of that explained how much of a special, creative, and emotional snowflake I was… Not knowing how fucked up that was. Ignorance is bliss right? But I do know that I have occasionally fit the criteria for a variety of personality disorders, namely dependent and/or borderline personality disorder, but they wax and waned over the years to the point that while I may feel it sometimes it is no longer acutely “diagnosable”(sp). I know that is the least professional way to put it but I am not sure how else to word it. Go with me, please.

Many times, I have found that I am jealous of people that are bubbly, happy, ridiculously positive. I have even caught myself assuming that they are less intelligent than I. I mean come on, how can you know what is happening in the world and still be that FUCKING happy? But the world is always fucked up. I have nothing to show that it will ever be anything else. We just have more knowledge of it these days, right? So what is the secret? Mindfulness? Ignorance? “staying present”? How do you get there? I believe that thoughts are things and that aside from being a commercial success, things like “The Secret” have something to them, albeit financially fleecing as they are. That does not mean they are not correct, real, or accurate. If the people getting rich and being successful from sharing this info are doing it, then huzzah, it works? Who knows. But how do you maintain it? How do you stay positive, happy, etc in the life we are given?

It seems to me that there is a common theme throughout all written history of humans, we suck, we are unhappy, and yet, we persist. We run the spectrum, from being capable of the worst things imaginable, to being capable of the most awe inspiring things. I always think of the movie, The Abyss and the part at the end where the distraught aliens decide NOT to annihilate us because of this observation. There is always the question of why, for what, how come, what is the meaning, what is happy, how do you find it, etc etc etc.. I have no illusions of being a special or creative snowflake for thinking about this. I am no narcissist in this regard. But really, how do people do it?

What is THE SECRET?

How do you feel satisfaction and fulfillment in a sustainable way? How do you maintain relationships? Jobs? Sanity?

How do you become a Katie fucking Couric? So maddeningly fucking positive that you can find a direction and impetus in tragedy?

How do you stay in the moment, when everything is distracting you with shiny lights or terrifying depths?

You know, asking for a friend.

 

Fire walk with me…

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Fire walk with me…

I haven’t blogged in a while. It’s been a combination of not having time and not having really anything nice or uplifting to say about anything. Yesterday was probably the lowest day energy and attitude-wise I have had in a couple years. I don’t think that it was necessarily anything in particular, just a lame culmination of the last few months and the proverbial straw on the camel’s back. So as things just seemed to domino in my world, professionally and of course personally because I am not one of those cool people that can leave my job at the office…. I just kind of gave up yesterday.

 

But as I always do, I woke up this morning and decided to try again cause really that’s all you can do.

I went to work, decided no matter what I was going to have a good GD day.

And I did.

I helped a family get housed that has been in shelter since January and it was a win. I really left work yesterday sure that it would not happen for them and rehearsing that conversation of sadness.

When I went to the shelter today to meet them and have them sign some final paperwork, I was showered in the grace of the experience. Everyone there is like a family. The family I work with has been there longer than anyone else in the shelter and literally had a couple days left on their 3rd extension. Everyone was happy and congratulating them, high fives, hugs, tears, etc. Their kids? One of them was so happy he was about to burst. He couldn’t even imagine having a room of his own again. The mom who has not let herself have any hope the last few months was over the moon. I honestly had never seen her smile a real smile. She had not even allowed herself the anticipation of this house.

It was the best experience I can remember having in a long time.

And it reminded me of this song:

So I ask you….

What is YOUR fire?

Is it waiting for fuel?

Are you the fuel for someone else’s?

Whatever lights that passion in you, however briefly….

FIND IT.

FEED IT.

The fuel is out there.

Let the spin stop.

Ignore the distractions and feel the burn.

 

So maybe I am a capitalist swine.

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So maybe I am a capitalist swine.

But if I couple my need to chase paper with serving people and advocating for the oppressed…. Does it balance out?

Can you be a good social worker and want to make a lot of money or does that make you unapproachable and even more privileged? Yes. And yet, no….

“Money is the reason…We exist….Everybody knows it, it’s a fact! *Kiss, kiss*”

This is an interesting article that delves into the topic…watch the ted talk too.

I struggle with wanting a job that will fulfill my intrinsic needs and my financial ones… but find that if it pays my bills plus, I usually feel less than awesome about what I am doing.

I’ve struggled with balancing having a partner who can financially share in the support of my world but still fulfill the physical/emotional intimacy needs as well…

As to both, I have always found that if I have one the other is lacking regardless of which I have… Yet, I have recently come to the conclusion one can have both but it can’t be expected… only appreciated.

It’s an interesting reconciliation of thought.

Onward.

xoxo

Sentinel

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Sentinel

Jani wrote a song.

It’s been a tick since she did that; chords and every junk.

(Thanks Jess, I am thinking of you and others)

Sentinel

Even during times of peace….

you’re always watching for the doors.

Allowing yourself to relax and drift,

catch yourself…

nodding off to sleep….

It sends you back into the panic

that you had just pushed back

down into your soul

hidden deep…

You know, I remember what it feels like,

I can feel it too,

But my triggers are limited and peculiar;

not everyday, ordinary things,

everyday…

just like you.  

A blacked out window; an old building next to the sidewalk;

drinking all the memories away  all in vain;

sitting with your back to a door…noises on a television,

children in the street, dog crying out in pain….

Even once you came home….

you’re always watching in front of the cars.

Looking for a change in the baseline ,

catch yourself…

thinking about shrapnel….

Sends you back into autopilot

Running on limbic

our walking talking sentinel

You know, I remember what it feels like,

I can feel it too,

But my triggers are limited and peculiar;

not everyday ordinary things,

everyday…

just like you.  

A blacked out window; an old building next to the sidewalk;

drinking all the memories away  all in vain;

sitting with your back to a door…noises on a television,

children in the street, dog crying out in pain….

Even while you were with us….

You were already good and checked out.

To protect us, you forgot us…

Calculating every risk,

Staying three moves ahead….

Kept you hopped up,

Back to the new normal,

What is it I didn’t hear,

what was left unsaid

 

Sallie Mae AKA The Wicked Witch of the East

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Sallie Mae AKA The Wicked Witch of the East

Dear fellow students, former students and future students:

Please note the following things:

    k

  1. When consolidating your student loans be advised *as they will not advise you* that you need to get a 3 month forbearance while said consolidation is being completed;
  2. When you apply for consolidation, all grace periods become null and void;
  3. Sallie Mae is the fucking Antichrist and when Direct Loans consolidates all your loans into one big giant cesspool of fucking BS; they sell it BACK to Sallie Mae for management;
  4. Make sure you read that loan summary reaaaaalllyyyyy fucking carefully, because if you don’t know exactly how much you owe because of interest and capitalization and it’s a huge number anyway,  it’s really easy to miss 30gs.
  5. IF YOU HAVEN’T TAKEN STUDENT LOANS, DON’T.
  6. FUCK COLLEGE.
  7. Fuck Grad School.
  8. Join the military.
  9. Or the circus.
  10. Or keep bartending;
  11. Or learn Spanish and move to Costa Rica and open a house of ill repute.

 

That’s what I should have done. Yep.

Huh, well I’ll be damned.

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Huh, well I’ll be damned.

Most of my life, I have really enjoyed being around people that are very different from me; that being said, I also spent a lot of my life being incredibly irritated with people who disagreed with me and felt particularly defensive. I love being right. Don’t f*ck with me, I will Google that sh*t.

Recently however, I am noticing that I am less inclined to enjoy being around people who agree with me. Like-minded people are not necessarily people who agree with me. It’s been a real epiphany.

They don’t encourage my passionate debate. And that sucks, because it is one of my favorite things. It’s not that I like to argue…Really. I like to learn….Read on…

I’ve spent the last three years in graduate school: the first year was spent in a very small cohort in a very small town. It was nice, I really love some of the people there…others, meh. It wasn’t very diverse, that is for sure.

The second two years were spent in a much larger metropolitan area with people from all over the place. Very diverse. Sounds cool huh?

Not always. Now, mind you, I have met amazing people who I have no doubt that I will be involved with my entire life in that program. But there are others that were in the program that “agreed” with me, but they just made me feel really robotic about my thoughts. I have been trying to critically reflect on this and what I have recently decided is that my learning ends when I am around people who agree with me.

 

And it doesn’t matter what the topic is.

Politics, economics, race, religion, class warfare, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, social work, or even something as benign as micro brews or freaking music. I find it much more conducive to the fine tuning of my own opinions, my own truth if you will, to have to understand someone else’s point of view and more thoroughly explain my positions without being defensive. It is a real skill. I like having practice in it and I cannot practice with people who are all “oh, yeah, I totally agree.” 

I’ve always told my kids that if they can’t explain something to me, they don’t understand it well enough…go back and study or try again…

And yet, I haven’t fully held myself to that.

It’s nice to be undefensive and feel validated in your opinions. 

But only for a minute. 

Until you look around and realize that you are either surrounded by “Yes, people” or people who you intimidate that aren’t going to question what you say. Talk about boring. *YAWN*

I am really enjoying learning from people who are different from me. I am really enjoying the fire in my gut that lights up when someone says something that gets my hackles up….but learning to control that fire long enough to come up with an awesome counter to continue the conversation? 

Oh yeah. That’s the good stuff. 

Bring it on.

 

Oh my poor vanilla car.

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Oh my poor vanilla car.

The first time someone told me I didn’t live in Portland and my bumper stickers were going to cost me jobs, I rolled my eyes and laughed.

regina

The second time someone pointed out people might be suspicious of me as a social worker because of my bumper stickers, I was like “oh well, people learn when they are uncomfortable.”

judy

The third time I was like:

“OK FINE SWEET JEBUS. No, I don’t want to alienate my damn clients.”

walter

grumble grumble grumble hiss

So I finally stripped my poor car today.

Luckily, I was married to a redneck who did auto body and paint once, soooo I knew how to do it with out scratching my car but gees…

My poor car is humiliated.

She is vanilla.

She is now an asexual gender neutral it.

It is now apolitical.

The only thing that could offend my client’s now for sure is the fact it’s not American made.

Oh! And that it’s white. Damn it!

I have to draw the line.

But I suppose this is what being a grown-up anti-oppressive practitioner is.

Boo.

Today could be historic! C’mon Merikah, don’t be a Merkin!

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Today could be historic! C’mon Merikah, don’t be a Merkin!

Today there are old, frightened, white, straight men as the majority of our Supreme Court making decisions for the rest of us….I hope they make them in the best interest of all….toward equality and what is right and just….not maintaining status quo for political bullshit.

Don’t make hate your precedent. Don’t rule for inequality.

Do what Batman would do SCOTUS. Do what Bruce would do. The right thing.

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Are you f***ing kidding me?

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Are you f***ing kidding me?

Ok, I know that this is going to abound with moral relativism issues and non-cultural competence but this really bothers me on a personal level. Especially after yesterday’s butterflies from my arsehole post; but in this day and age, is this really necessary?

Accused witch burned alive after being tortured

I mean, yes, the area has been pounded by devastating earthquakes for the last week, but c’mon. Yes, I made a “Joe and the volcano” joke yesterday about throwing Meg Ryan in the volcano to make them stop, but it was a joke.

This is not. This GIRL was 20 years old. Accused by a 6 year old BOY and viciously tortured and killed by her own village.

Groupthink IS the only Devil in this world.

This is murder. Gender based murder.

Think a positive thought for this girl and those like her please.