Raise Them Up

I’m done with the trolls and their hollow, spewing hateful opinions.
I am over the ambivalence.
I’m done with people who say they don’t care about politics, only the value of their stocks, guns and the art of the deal.
I’m done with friends and family who live under the crowded veil of ignorance.
I’m done with the bullies, the posturing, the greased palms, the narcissists.
We won’t recover from the great divide or reign of terror.
I’m happy I don’t have kids who’ll have to clean up the hate, greed and arrogance.
Will there still be a world with flowers in bloom and clean oceans to traverse, or will we be buried under a mushroom cloud fast forgotten?
If I could I would foster ten million lost children from the poorest, farthest, gang infested, malnourished corners of this earth.
I would shelter them all and tell them everyday how truly beautiful, strong, brave and tolerant they are.
Every single day, I would tell them over and over they were safe and loved showering them with pride filled kisses.
I would raise them up to be kind, curious, doers, artists, empaths, dancers, deciders, givers and leaders admired for their tolerance and passion.
I’m done with the assholes, “adulting.”
I’m not done with the belief that all children are born good.
I’m not done with our best and wisest hope for the future.
The kids.
I’m not done with them; I’m down with that.

Good Stock

I left home for NYC at eighteen with neon bracelets, combat boots, Madonna CDs, and a duffle bag filled with brass balls and big dreams. I’m not sure where I got the courage, maybe it was more stubbornness when my mother said, “if you don’t go you’ll regret it and end up working at Walmart.” There’s nothing wrong with that, except I was born with a restless soul, wind in my ears and gypsy feet. What I didn’t know, which she’d tell me many, many decades later, was that she was heartbroken and cried for three days. I could never do that. I could never be that selfless. I could never be her, I could never be you. A mother. I thank God everyday I never had a daughter or son who was beloved and adored; who I’d teach strength, honor, respect and responsibility by osmosis.

I often wonder how many dreams and compromises she made so that I could be independent and free, to follow my dreams, to royally fuckup and yes, to come crawling home when broken. Some days I don’t recognize her in me at all. We are so wildly different, and not really that different at all. Her mind is sharp yet the body fails her, and that is the most agonizing fate and miserable thing. We’re all dying a slow death, with tiny victories lived in between the inhale and exhale. Every milestone I called her, every dream fulfilled I wanted to tell her, and every moment I am her daughter, I thank God my hands and heart are free from the daunting and thankless job of being a good mom from excellent stock. Helicopter moms are forever hovering, trying to anticipate looming disaster, sighing with relief when there are no messes to clean up, when the skies clear and the sun shines down. To all mothers, I celebrate and applaud you.

Please remember your daughters and sons’ fuckups are not yours to carry, they are solely their very own. I’m so glad I did not have the awesomeness of birthing a life, the burden, the tears or the privilege to carry a child. I fear I would have been buried alive by the weight of a mother’s love. I’m lucky to be on the receiving end, this I know.

Vanity Rains Optimistic

Someone recently said to me, “you’re vain,” and I was shocked. I never, ever thought of myself in that way. When I wrote an essay, “You’re Skinny You Don’t Have Any Problems” with Feminine Collective which was taken out of context about how challenging and horrific my life would become, I was criticized and blasted for the title. Duh, did the troll read the piece?

I mulled it over in my head, and guess what I am vain, women need to be more vain. When I was younger I should’ve been proud and more confident with my skinny body and face instead of constantly apologizing for the way I looked. Just the other day, a woman (of course), made a snide comment when I joked about ‘getting older and fat.’ Fat was a poor choice of words, I work hard in the gym and always have. I eat healthy, don’t drink, and don’t smoke. I live clean and quiet.

So, fuck-off I’m done apologizing. And to my twenty-year-old self, I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate your privileged supermodel beauty and all the chaos to come. I wish I’d been happier and grateful with the woman I was trying to keep up with, a fantastical, unrealistic image I suppose.

Today, I’m shooting for vainglorious, and not apologizing for taking care of the fifty-year-old me, free from the critics, naysayers and judges. To be proud of sane mind and body.

Opinionated

It seems there’s a whole lot of hate, shame and blame going around along with a whole lot of judgment.

Here’s the thing, I only care about what side you’re on politically because I care deeply about all human beings. Shocker, I know. I try not to care, not to get involved, to go about my day oblivious.

I can’t help myself; I can’t avoid the man literally standing on the corner waiting at the food bank, who won’t make eye contact because he’s embarrassed. He’s embarrassed, can you imagine?

Well, I can. I am not homeless, I have a very comfortable roof over my head but I am middle class, and perhaps even what’s considered below the poverty line. Because that is my current situation and that’s all right. I have been rich, and trust me life is not much different. The only true commodity that has changed is time. I have more of it now, go figure. I have more time to think about the atrocities that are happening in the world.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t, but then perhaps I would walk right past that man completely indifferent. Can you imagine?

I wonder, would Trump see him? No, he would tell him in a tweet to ‘get a job’. I’m not worried about the red state or the blue state; I am terrified of the ugliness, immoral man and his cronies leading our country. My country, my parents’ country, and my grandparents who were indeed proud immigrant dreamers. Your country.

This is our country. The United States of America. How did we become so divided, heading backwards in time? We don’t have to look so far back when America was a proud, envied nation, Camelot. A time when we were not a global farce, an embarrassment. I can’t explain the logistics or the inner workings of politics; it’s way over my head.

But people, yeah I know people. After traveling the world immersed in other cultures, I developed impeccable bullshit instincts. I am a serious, first-rate bullshit meter reader.

And Trump is the ultimate bullshitter, con artist and grifter. He doesn’t care that women are being sexually assaulted, he doesn’t care about the dreamers, the mass shootings, he doesn’t care about the mentally ill, homeless, elderly, or that all lives really matter, black, gay, poor, female. He doesn’t care about the environment. (Global warming isn’t real, remember).

He doesn’t care, plain and simple. I call bullshit. He cares about money and power. He cares about narcissism and taking as much as he can with his opportunistic, dirty little fingers. He cares about divide and conquer. He wants to tear us apart, make us hate each other. We are so much better than hate. We are so much better than judgment, pointing fingers.

Aren’t we?

When you tell me you don’t care about politics, you’re telling me you’re indifferent, that you don’t care about everyone’s right to life. When you tell me your stocks are ‘the highest they’ve ever been,” I say how about that recent nosedive? Did you lose precious dollars?

How about pride? What about honor? Decency?

I ask myself every day, even though I can be selfish and wrapped up, did I do one good thing, something kind? Did I show respect, because that is how I was raised. Did I help others without showboating and broadcasting, puffing up my chest? I’m not famous, powerful or important. I’m just a girl, a grown up woman who’s been around the block and seen some horrible things. Some not so nice, but some positively mind blowing beautiful things too.

Trust me I have a big enough mouth, with my very own well-informed opinion.

I hope that Trump never finds himself outside a soup kitchen, head bowed in shame, penniless and broken. (Actually, I kinda do). Humility is the ultimate life-lesson, as well as sacrifice and service. I know in my heart that some good, decent human will be on the other side with a hot meal and a smile, nodding and happy to serve him.

That’s grace.

Yes, I am a feminist. Yes, I am a liberal. I have never been prouder to be a liberal who believes everyone deserves the same respect, decency and empathy. That is my God-given right, freedom and my choice.

Let’s cast politics aside.

Empty Shells

If you are desensitized over mass shootings and more preoccupied with Award Season and Entertainment News, you are not listening at all.
I’m begging you not to turn away from a corrupt government, greed, and the narcissistic, evil billion dollar machine that is the NRA .
Violent acts happen every day.
I do not want or need a gun in my home, schools, concert halls, or vacation suites.
They won’t protect me, they won’t protect you.
They’ll leave you riddled with bullet holes, tears and blood spilt on your shoes.
To the motherless child who grieves the loss of her child by the barrel of a loaded gun, I’m sorry.
My prayers mean a goddamn, fucked up nothing.
I promise you are not a fifty second afterthought blip on the tube.
Or some shallow, vapid, ridiculous Trump tweet.
You are pain.
You are love and loss.
You are heaving sobs on Sunday afternoon, and hollow grave visits.
You are lies and propaganda, buried six feet deep.
You are humanity gone haywire, and modern time’s biggest failure.
Borrow my voice, my disgust and shame too, so that we might stand strong, peacefully united and stop ripping each other apart.
Future generations will breed empathy, novelty and grow flower gardens from empty shells strong. 

Seeing Red

When activism is no longer a fad, fashion statement or whim that’s when I’ll say cautiously optimistic we’re winning. I love the conversation that is happening around the globe, at the forefront thanks to some fierce, brave Hollywood power women speaking out and banding together, Oprah, women in entertainment, and a few good men but we must be careful not to lose momentum, or become complacent. Bullies, poverty, LGTBQ rights, injustice, inequality, racism, sexual harassment, basic human needs, inhumanity and social imbalances are the all too prevalent reality. Perhaps the next big, fancy award show or event, or any social platform where women have to stand up we should all wear red. Even in auditoriums and schools across the nation.

“Red, is the color of blood and fire, associated with meanings of love, joy, strength, leadership, courage, vigor, willpower, vibrance, radiance, and determination.”

When our young girls no longer feel the need to cower, hide their bodies under layers of bulky protection but feel empowered enough to express themselves and not overexposed, or embarrassed we’ll be winning. To stand up for our sisters and brothers that is beautiful truth, and activism in the making. Be bold enough to stand up, be brave enough even when it hurts, and be kind enough to stick up for the less fortunate. Let’s face it Hollywood is setting the stage, but we the ‘common, everyday people’ need to be the A-listers. Because our freedom, our little girl’s and boy’s innocence and equality has absolutely nothing to do with fame, and everything to do with harsh REALity. We too are the dreamers, the born activists of a lifetime who stand for harmony, safety, peace, equality and positive change. 

Rebel Rouser

When they zapped my brain, I did not recognize the nurse who had been there all along.
I recalled my mother’s face, worry lines and all.
Too familiar.
I forget sometimes with all these cells coarsing through veins, tripping up emotions that things came easier once.
Life was uncomplicated, and I took it for granted.
It was the little moments I shrugged off, the nothing less than important.
Vital lessons of joy and exhilaration.
With no electronic distractions and tortoise shell healing, I ventured out.
Creating fairytale landminds of imagination.
Words, oberservations, storytime coffeebook tales and me.
Those were the happiest, carefree minutes I can recall.
Where did the feisty, rebel rouser go?
One bad-seed simple cell becomes a life so jaded, so messy complicated.
Most days I am angry, sad, inconsolable, regretful longing.
Ambivalent.
Most days I’d rather be dead than carry the weight.
Most days I wish to hurry them along.
Stupid, stupid wild child be quiet and let me think.
Other days I long for a reboot, sunshine and a fresh start.
Palm Springs, majestic mountains and course sandy beaches.
The bloody burden of living.
To hell and back.
Am I allowed to say this?
Surely you’ve felt out of sorts.
No, no, no sour grapes please.
The vines are frozen solid anyway.
To choose life even when it stings.
To follow love.
To take a naked selfie.
And a big, big, big long look in the mirror.
Self-love requires discipline, conviction and a healthy dose of rebellion.
Post it notes are positively lovely.
Dreamy reminders that stick.
Even when all roads feel exhausted.
To choose the smallest room for living and sit in stillness.
That is torture and pain.
That takes courage.
That is patience.
Self-awareness and empathy are no small feat.
One red cell quantifies a fate.
I am not mean-spirited or selfish.
I am too damn honest.
Scribbling words you may not wish to hear.
Screw it.
Few have traveled where I visit.
You have not embodied this small room.
Overcrowded.
Egocentric, over-eccentric, paranoid, panicked, depressed, suicidal, and manic at times.
So what.
It’s all mixed-up.
The ugliest parts housed right alongside the beautiful.
So be it, mind of mine.
Some cells went haywire.
Others did not.
Shock me back to your absurd reality.
Fucking crazy, isn’t it?
To think we are all dying differently.
Silly.
Call me a rebel rouser.
Insanity feels perfectly normal to me.