More Multimedia reflections, life changes and Timecrest fun

In the comment exchange on FB that I’d talked about in my last blog post, I have one last thing to add to that discussion. Because there was a bit more of a back and forth about it, since I’d initially posted about this. And so, to summarize the back and forth between these people and I, one of the people said something like “you keep misinterpreting what I’m saying.” And my response to that last comment of theirs reads:
This is my last comment here. I understand just fine that you are denying people’s human rights, and saying that you as a heterosexual person are superior to us as people in the LGBT community. I understand that very well but that doesn’t mean that I agree with you. And for the record, when I said that you win the Internet for the day, that was not a compliment!!! How sad that you found that humorous–you are clearly the one not understanding what this mutual friend and I have been saying.

In the FB group entitled Childfree by Choice that I’ve talked about on my blog before, I recently made a post there expressing my frustration about homophobic/racist idiots having spawn, who they then raise to also be homophobic/racist. More specifically, I was referring to someone I used to know, who always seemed to be weird around me because she knew about my being gay. But anyway, I posted about this on Childfree by Choice because it disgusts me that people actually think of themselves as loving individuals, when they are actually hate-filled folks. And I knew that me posting in that particular FB group would help me feel less alone…and thankfully, I was right about that.

Within the last week, I received a call from a number that I didn’t recognize; and it turned out that when the person left a message, it was my therapist calling to let me know that they’re switching all their patients over to having appointments by phone. And in the message that they’d left me, they gave me a few dates and times to choose from, for our next appointment. So once I’d picked a time that I liked, I sent them a message using the MyChart app to let them know what I’d chosen. And then, another person from this medical facility called me, also with the information that this facility was switching everything from happening in-person, to happening over the phone. Life just keeps getting weirder and weirder, to me.

Friday evening I bought my first-ever AirPods; and I hadn’t even felt what AirPods look like, prior to getting my own. I didn’t even read up on them beforehand which was different from how I usually do things when it comes to technology. But I felt like I knew enough about them that I’d figure them out. And I did…but there was a bit of a learning curve initially. Because they come in a small square case and there’s a fairly big hole/dip that each AirPod sets in. However the tricky part here, is that there’s an even tinier hole for each AirPod to go into…and I didn’t catch that bit of information at first. And in fact, it took my caretaker saying with words that there’s a tiny hole to stick the smallest part of the AirPods into, for me to actually connect those dots so to speak. LOL. But once I realized exactly what to do, I could easily put the AirPods into their case. And also on each side of the case, each AirPod fits nicely inside of the case, once the smallest part of the AirPod is set into the tiniest hole. Because the AirPods are actually magnetic. I just can’t believe how tiny each AirPod, as well as the case for them, is!! They’re soooo cute.

When I was touching the AirPods case yesterday morning, I realized that there’s a small button located on the back of this case. And so, being that my AirPods weren’t making any sound whatsoever, I pressed that button on the case. And long story short, that was the wrong thing to do because the button on the case unpairs the AirPods from your phone. And so, I then had to get my caretaker’s help turning the AirPod case back on because there’s no audio cue that tells you whether the case is on or off. There’s only a visual cue that signifies the case is on or off…which was pretty annoying. But then my caretaker paired the AirPods with my phone again. He also discovered that I’d actually put the AirPods inside of their case incorrectly which made both AirPods unable to charge. But after making this particular discovery, my caretaker explained to me that the AirPods only have one way to go into their case; he then informed me that the part of each AirPod that goes in one’s ear, faces away from the case that they’re inside of. And also while he was at it, my caretaker helped me set up what each AirPod can do; so for example, I set the left AirPod to play/pause my music and the right AirPod to skip to the next or previous track. And so far, I love those functions. And TBH, it kinda surprises me that I feel this way about these functions because I’d initially thought that it would be hard for me to remember which function I’d set for which AirPod.

So ever since I last wrote about Timecrest on my blog, I’ve actually been playing said game again. I remember mentioning on here that I didn’t know if I’d take a break from playing it or not…but writing about it again, honestly made me remember why I absolutely love this game. Because the thing is, I’m still making new discoveries about it; one thing I’m doing differently in the game this time around, is that I’m trying to accumulate enough Time Crystals which will allow me to pay for an object within the merchant store that I’ve never been able to access before. And part of what makes me aiming to purchase this object exciting, is the fact that said object may add even more magical elements into the game. I’m not sure what this object does though; I think that knowledge is kept secret from Timecrest players for a reason. But hopefully at some point in the not-too-distant future, I’ll get to see for myself what this object has to offer me. I’m choosing not to even say what it’s called yet because I definitely want to write about the moment I acquire this object as a big exciting part of my writings here.

Something else that’s related to Timecrest that I don’t think I’ve ever talked about here, is the fact that in addition to their being Time Crystals that players can accumulate, players can also accumulate gold coins that are from Alyncia, (the world that Ash and Ash’s friends live in). And what the Time Crystals do, is that Timecrest players can use time crystals to skip forward in time, rather than waiting for say, 17 hours in real time, to be able to continue playing the game. But the trick about using time crystals though, is that you have to have a certain number of them in order to move forward in the game. And so, if you don’t have thousands of time crystals which is what would be required for you to make the game timer move ahead when it’s a several hour wait period that you’d otherwise be waiting for. So, put another way, you can’t actually make time in the game move forward, unless you have the specified amount of time crystals that the game claims you’d need for that particular amount of time. And come to think of it, the same thing applies to the gold Alyncian coins that I’ve mentioned above: if you don’t have the specified number of Alyncian gold coins that’s required to purchase drinks and such from the Timecrest Merchant’s store then you have to wait until you accumulate the amount of coins that you’d need for whatever the item happens to be.

Yet another thing about Timecrest that I want to write about here, is the fact that there are items called Teleport Orbs that can be extremely useful to players in the game. These particular items are a quick way for Timecrest characters to transport themselves to and from places; but the other transportation method that’s available to Timecrest players, is called Griffin Transport. And griffin transportation, is where the characters in the game get on the backs of animals called griffins and fly to their destination…but that particular method of transportation is far slower than teleport orbs are. But throughout my time playing this game, I’ve used both of these transportation options at different times, depending on whether I wanted the characters to arrive somewhere instantly or whether I didn’t mind dragging out the time that the characters spent using Griffin Transport. Because even having played this game for as long as I have, if I can try to gain access to all of the different rewards and things that players accumulate throughout the game, I’d love to do that!!

I recently searched Netflix for LGBTQ+ themed movies or shows, by typing the letters LGBTQ into the search box within Netflix. And one of the movies I found within that particular search, which I’d never seen on Netflix before, is called The Roommate. And according to the synopsis of this movie, two women who are college roommates with each other, end up being in one another’s lives in a way that I honestly didn’t even see coming. And what I mean by that, is that Sara, who we as the viewers are made to think is heterosexual throughout the movie, has a dorm mate named Rebecca. And quite frankly, the character of Rebecca was literally nothing like I’d anticipated she would be, when I’d read this movie’s synopsis.

And so, to elaborate on what I mean by saying that, I’ll need to jump ahead in explaining the movie’s summary a bit. Because the character Rebecca actually ends up having serious mental health conditions which cause her to do things that are harmful to herself as well as to other people. And an example of this, is that she (Rebecca) physically harms a few characters in the movie because she can’t handle her roommate Sara associating with anyone but her. And yet another example of how Rebecca’s mental health issues show themselves, is through her (Rebecca) causing physical harm to an animal that Sara had brought to their dorm because she (Sara) thought the kitten was adorable. And so, what Rebecca does to the kitten, was that she put the animal in the washer at the dorm and then we the viewers are made to wonder if she actually kills the kitten or not. But in addition to these things happening, it becomes clear pretty early on in this movie, that Rebecca is a disturbed individual. Like, at first, I thought that she was paying so much attention to her roommate Sara in a stalkerish sense…and I thought that we’d most likely continue seeing Rebecca stalking Sara for the entire duration of the movie. And that’s why I said above, that I was totally surprised to see the Rebecca character go as far as she goes, killing other characters who she didn’t want to be in Sara’s life.

Another aspect of this movie that stood out to me, was the lengths to which the Rebecca character went, to attempt to convince other characters in the movie that she was actually Sara. So what she (Rebecca, does to achieve making herself look like Sara, is that she gets a tattoo on her chest that looks exactly like Sara’s tattoo on her (Sara’s) chest. She (Rebecca) also dyes her hair the same color as Sara’s hair. Rebecca even wears clothes of Sara’s, when she’s going to harm people who have been in Sara’s life, and she (Rebecca) knows that her looking like Sara will give her the upper hand that she’d need in those situations. But even though I’ve written many of these things down, it was fascinating to me to watch the Rebecca character be so detail-oriented, in terms of how she did her best to learn everything about Sara that she possibly could. But also, I was amazed at how Rebecca did her best to keep Sara from knowing the fucked up things that she (Rebecca) did to try and keep Sara all to herself.

And TBH, I’m not sure if this movie felt so scary to me because I watched it kinda late at night or what; but I was surprised to read that this movie was only rated PG13. Because not only were the things that happened in the movie scary, but the music/sounds that were played throughout the movie, were also scary-sounding as fuck. But ultimately, I can’t make up my mind about whether I liked this movie or whether I’d never watch it again. But I do know that I’d encourage people to watch it at least once, for the simple fact that it gets you hooked from the beginning to the end. Like, it’s definitely one of those movies that has you on the edge of your seat literally all the way through it. And so, I’d be curious to know what folks think of this movie that’s called The Roommate, if you do choose to watch it.

In an episode of Multiamory that I recently listened to, Dedeker, Emily and Jase (the hosts of the show) talked about what the concept of committment means when you’re someone who’s in a traditional monogamous relationship, versus what commitment could mean when folks are in consensually non-monogamous relationships. And so, for my reflections on this particular topic, I’d like to start by saying that like many people, I grew up hearing that heterosexual relationships were the only valid kinda relationships in the world. I was also told that if people weren’t heterosexual, those people were somehow considered to be less than other human beings. And as is also the case in my life when it comes to lots of other things, I believed that being taught in this way was correct…until something shifted in me. Because the thing was, as I became older and as I read more books on sex and sexuality, I came to realize that not everyone lived the same exact way as each other…and that that was a matter of personal choice for each individual. And so, it’s been through this way of thinking, that I’ve found that this particular thought process resonates with me. Whereas even though for most of my life I’d heard that monogamy was the only kinda relationship style in the world, that idea felt restrictive to me…even though I had no language for why this was true for me.

And so, another toxic aspect of committment that it’s important to me to talk about, is this idea that human beings ought to stay in romantic relationships, even if those relationships are abusive or the trust between couples has been broken within a romantic relationship. And I say that this kinda viewpoint is toxic because it’s never OK for a higher power, or a fellow human being for that matter, to tell another human being how to live their life…or how not to live their life. It’s also never OK for a human being to assume that just because they believe a certain way, that that means that others ought to follow suit. Because as I’ve said numerous times on my blog before, no one should ever be forced to do anything, or to believe or not believe, in a certain way.

So nowadays, when I think of what the term “commitment” means to me, I think of the fact that every day, I consciously choose to put myself before anyone and anything else in my life. Because a huge part of what putting myself first means, is that I want to actively choose how I conduct all of my relationships with others. A huge part of what putting myself first means, is that I intentionally prioritize wanting to have romance in my life, along with the understanding that that doesn’t necessarily mean that one romantic relationship is going to be put before any already-established relationships that have existed before I started dating this person. A huge part of what putting myself first means, is that I understand, and that I even would encourage my partner or partners to not change the structures of their other relationships that are meaningful to them, simply because they decide to be in a romantic relationship with me.

In another Multiamory episode, its hosts talked about couples making intentional time to be with one another; and initially I thought about how resistant I am to creating a weekly date night in my own life. And the reason I’d initially felt this way, was because I thought of date night as folks going to a sit-down restaurant and therefore paying for whatever food they eat. But the thing that the Multiamory hosts pointed out in this episode of their show, was that people’s date nights with each other don’t necessarily have to look a specific way. But then another reason I felt strongly about this, was that I’d initially viewed people creating date nights in my own life to mean that I wouldn’t ever get alone time for myself. And TBH, that’s one reason why I don’t ever see myself wanting to live with a partner ever again: because my alone time means as much to me as my time with others. But that being said, if I don’t ever have my alone time because I live with a partner, I would be incredibly unhappy. And that’s something that I became clear about, due to the fact that I lived with the last guy I dated for a bit…and while we worked well living in a shared space with each other, I found myself becoming irritable whenever I wouldn’t have the alone time I so desperately require. And so, one way that I could create healthy romantic relationships in my future, would be to continue having my life as an individual, and allowing anyone I’m with to do the same in their lives.

That being said, as I listened to Jase, Emily and Dedeker explain why all three of them find having a regular date night something that helps maintain each of their romantic relationships, they definitely gave me some things to think about. So on some level, I can relate to what they said in this episode about folks being intentional about setting aside time for people that they’re dating. I can relate to that way of thinking because part of my reason for wanting to remain childfree, is so that I can spend one-on-one time with whomever I’m dating. But on the other hand, as I’d said above, I’d initially thought of date nights meaning that people leave their house or their partner’s house and go elsewhere together. But honestly, I don’t even know where I came up with that particular formula, because it certainly wasn’t modeled for me by anyone. I didn’t have any healthy role models growing up, in terms of how both sides of my family of origin conducted their relationships. But even so, not having healthy role models that were related to me by blood, did unintentionally teach me how to ensure that I communicate well with fellow human beings, no matter how we may be interacting with each other.

Assorted podcast thoughts, speaking out and hopeful life updates

In a recent episode of the This American Life podcast, the host of the show Ira Glass opened the show by telling a story about how a live theater play went horribly wrong. The show that was being performed was Peter Pan and the woman who’d directed this play had never actually done anything like this before. But from the start of this production, things were not being done correctly. And in fact, the first thing that happens, is that the folks who were in charge of making the kids in Peter Pan fly at the start of the play, had no earthly idea how this contraption they were supposed to use, actually worked. And then from that point on, things became far worse; someone ended up getting seriously hurt during this production, to the point where numerous people crowded around the hurt individual. But then, to make matters even worse, the lady who’d directed this productionn, tried to encourage the actors that were still on stage, to allow the show to go on. That part of the story blew my mind in an awful way!!

But in the next segment of this episode, a story is told about a man who’d called the police because he needed help getting rid of a squirl that was causing a ruckus in his attic; yes, you read/heard that right. But when this story first started being told, we the listeners didn’t actually know what kinda creature was making this disturbance. So, it turns out that when two policemen had arrived on the scene, one of those men said to the other policeman that they should probably stay away from this incident, given that this situation didn’t actually have anything to do with anything police-related. But the kind policeman who’d thought he and his teammate would be able to resolve this situation quickly and easily, said that he’d do what he could for this guy and this guy’s wife who’d called the police. But long story short, the situation didn’t turn out well at all. In fact, both of the policemen ended up getting hurt because the squirrel kept dodging them. And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the squirrel ended up running into the fireplace where the house owners had a fire going…and the squirrel then caught itself and other items in this couple’s house on fire. But the squirrel somehow made it out of the fire alive and neither of the policemen, nor the husband and wife, were severely injured from this particular experience. But damn, what a fucking story this was!!

The next segment of this show, was about a comedian telling a story about the worst comedy performance he’d ever given. So as he tells this story, I as a listener was honestly expecting this story to be funny. Like, the audience in this recording was nearly laughing every single second in this story. And so, how this particular experience ends up going horribly wrong for this comedian, is that he doesn’t actually make people who are attending this event laugh. And instead, what ends up happening, is that the person he’d brought with him to the show tells him, the comedian, that he wants to stay at this event after this comedian’s horrible routine had finished, just to see if either of them will win the drawing that was due to happen right after that comedic awfulness. And I’d say that that was the funniest part of this entire story, in my opinion.

In the last segment of this episode of the This American Life podcast, the host Ira Glass tells a story about an interview gone wrong. This woman had been sent to interview Moon Unit Zappa (who’s the daughter of Frank Zappa, a well-known musician and singer in the 1960s). And so, when this woman is hanging out with Moon Unit Zappa and Moon Unit Zappa’s mom, the interview doesn’t seem to be anything worth writing home about. But then something happens that changes these folks time together: the interviewer takes a huge drink of her coffee and that’s the exact moment when Moon Unit Zappa tells her a joke that makes her laugh hysterically which then causes the interviewer to spew her coffee through her nose. And so, from that moment on, these three women, Moon Unit Zappa, Moon Unit Zappa’s mom and the woman interviewer, somehow bonded over this random and unexpected coffee spill/coffee shooting out of the interviewer’s nose. And for several years afterwards, this was apparently a running joke between Moon Unit Zappa and the lady who’d interviewed her over a decade ago.

In an episode of Multiamory that I recently listened to, the hosts of the show discussed what it means for human beings to fight with one another. And what’s made me dig through the episodes of this particular podcast, is the fact that I learned a lot of toxic behaviors from both sides of my family of origin that I want to evaluate/figure out how to fix. And some of these things have been things that I first started working on when I first started going to therapy in August 2017. But other things, I’ve discovered could be problematic just as I continue going through life or podcasts that I listen to, like Multiamory for example, will help me do some serious introspection. Because I find that the names of each episode, along with the discriptions that are written for each episode, are a great way for me to know whether I’ll find a topic of conversation worth listening to or not.

And so, something that’s stood out to me in a Multiamory episode, is that Dedeker brought up that the reasons people cry in relationships can usually be traced back to the way their biological family members responded to crying, or because their family of origin taught them to respond in some way to it. And Dedeker saying this made me think about the ways in which I handle crying in my relationships; one toxic behavior I learned from my bio mom always calling me a crybaby whenever I’d cry, was that I learned to create a tough outer shell. And I don’t necessarily think that creating a tough outer shell is a bad thing; it’s just that for me, I recognized right away that doing things this way was something I figured out could serve as a coping mechanism in my life. But that being said, it’s hard as fuck to undo this, but doing so is definitely a great goal for us human beings to have.

But yet another thing I learned about crying, from my biological family members, was that crying could be used against me to attempt to guilt me into responding to someone, or multiple someones, a certain way. Because there were numerous times throughout my life when my bio mom would make herself cry, during times when I wasn’t responding to her in the way that she thought I ought to respond. And so, the fact that those kinda instances were done much of the time she was in my life, I think that part of my brain is trained if you will, to see crying as a weapon, rather than as something that’s done because I’ve hurt someone in some way. And even though I can’t recall instances in which I’ve intentionally used crying to hurt others, I think it’s great to at least think about this when I’m not fighting with someone.

In another Multiamory episode that stood out to me, its hosts Jase, Emily and Dedeker discussed the fact that as human beings, we each have our own ideas about what it means to be a good friend or a good romantic partner to people. So for example, in all but one of my romantic relationships, I was incredibly clingy towards the folks I was dating. And I completely became dependent on the partnership we’d created as people who were in a romantic relationship together. So like, when I was dating someone, I’d always put that particular relationship first…even before only slightly acknowledging my relationship with myself. And in fact, until just a few years ago, I didn’t even believe that I deserved to take care of myself as an individual. But I’ll talk about that later; for now, I want to continue to talk about the fact that I operated this way mostly because I literally thought that doing so was the only way for me, as well as for others, to live.

So that being said, I totally did away with my identity as Chelsea, every single time I’ve gotten into a romantic relationship with someone. To a certain extent, I even stopped doing certain hobbies that I’d liked participating in, prior to me getting into a romantic relationship. Hell, I’d even tried to make myself like the show The Office, for example, because my then-boyfriend loved said show. Another thing I did that I realize now was harmful, was that I let multiple people I was in a romantic relationship with tell me what to wear, what not to wear, what not to talk about ETC. And just to clarify, I’ve only been in monogamous relationships, so I dated two people at different times. But I bring these things up because I wanted to show some things in my romantic relationships that I’d thought of as being supportive when they were happening…but now, I realize all of these things that I did or believed were actually quite unhealthy. But I also realize that such toxic behavior was all I knew, for the longest time. So I try not to beat myself up about that now, the way I once did.

But similarly, something else that this Multiamory episode on how to be a supportive friend or romantic partner made me think about, was the way in which my bio mom used to assume that she had to do many things for me, whether that was because she didn’t want to teach me how to do things or for some other reason entirely. But the thing was, when she’d do most things for me, that choice of hers made me suffer from learned helplessness, in a way. But to her, being that she thought of me as someone who couldn’t survive without her, she was being helpful. And it’s weird to me to think about this now, especially because she didn’t ever like being involved in my life, that I could tell.

But yet something else that this particular Multiamory episode brought up for me, is the realization that I’ve been guilty of defining being a supportive person as trying to fix the lives of partners I’ve dated. I’ve also been guilty of thinking of support solely in terms of how I’d want to be supported, rather than recognizing that each individual might define support differently for his or herself. And so, now that I’ve reflected on these things, hopefully I’ll be able to support folks in the future however they want to be supported.

I recently contacted someone at the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) at the school I go to. Because since everything school-related has totally transferred to being done online for an unspecified amount of time, I needed to find out how to ensure that I get signed up for Priority Registration for the upcoming fall semester. And thankfully, the person I’d emailed about this updated my education plan and recommended my next few courses. But for whatever reason, VoiceOver on my phone couldn’t read my ed plan to me very easily. I’m guessing that that was because it was formatted in a way that wasn’t screen-reader friendly. And in this counselor’s response to my first email, they’d said that I could meet with them on this new platform they’ve started using. And so, that’s exactly what I did: but given that I wrote a pretty lengthy FB status about it on Wednesday, I’ll let that speak for itself. What I wrote reads:
Good morning…or is it? My morning started off with me spending lots of time trying to figure out how the online platform to speak with a school counselor works. Because I wanted course advisement for the upcoming summer/fall semesters. But being that I’m blind and therefore use speech output software to navigate using the internet/everything else on my phone, it was a nightmare. Not a total disaster; I was barely able to meet with a counselor. Like, the platform would only let me read messages one time and so I was unable to copy their course recommendations to the clipboard. This was frustrating as fuck because I know that when this information is accessible, I can read it and copy whatever I need to the clipboard with no trouble whatsoever. So as things stand, I had to email the counselor that I met with on this new platform and ask for that information via email…even though she’d just given it to me…all because the platform they’ve switched things to is not screen-reader friendly!! Thankfully, this person gets accessibility issues…but damn, what a way to start off my day!! Oh, and the one bit of hope she gave me during our meeting on this platform: she said classses may not be online for summer/fall semesters, if things slow down with Covid19. God, I hope that’s exactly what happens cuz…I hate this.

Also on Wednesday, I surprisingly received an email from Elizabeth Warren’s merchandise store. In the email I’d been sent, I was informed that one of the items I’d purchased had been shipped. The reason I was surprised about this was because I’d received an email shortly after I’d made these purchases that notified me that this store couldn’t be in business because of what’s going on worldwide at the moment. But that being said, I’m very much looking forward to receiving this item…and I feel like I can also be hopeful that I’ll receive the other item soon too.

A friend of mine from school posted a status update on FB, saying that they are scared about our political future. They talked about how the current US President is racist and homophobic and some folks commented about that, defending the US President. One of the people who’d commented on this FB post said something along the lines of “only men and women are considered right for each other in a romantic way. Anything else is a choice.” My response to that reads:
You being homophobic is not a matter of opinion or belief. I don’t believe that I’m gay. Being gay is who I am, period. Bigotry/hate though, is, as you say, a choice!! That is what makes you wrong, and not just you, but anyone who shares your “beliefs.
Another comment I responded to, talked about how the person commenting thought I was making bullshit arguments. The response I wrote to them reads:
Look, I realize that you are not affected by homophobia, and so to you, it is therefore easily justifiable to be homophobic. But that does not make you write in me wrong. As I’ve already said, this is not a matter of I’m coming after you because you don’t agree with me. Homophobia really hurts people, some of whom kill themselves because people being homophobic is something that they internalize and that damages them severely. This is the reason I’m speaking up and speaking out. I know you don’t know me and you probably don’t care, but my gayness was at one time, the thing I hated most about myself. I was at one time, one of the people I just spoke of above, who wanted to die because I was gay…and I internalized that hatred of my sexuality because people who think like you, told me that on a regular basis. So all I’m doing here, is urging you to think, and really sit with the fact that your homophobia/other people’s homophobia can and does, really fuck people up. I’m sure that can’t make you feel good to know that you have that affect on people, just by denying a huge part of who they are.

And so, now to talk about why I got into a bit of a discussion with these people who believe vastly different things from me. First and foremost, there was a time in my life where I wouldn’t have spoken up when people would say harmful things of this nature; because at one point in time, I was dealing with so much internalized homophobia that the last thing I wanted to do was acknowledge that truth about myself. And also at that point in time, I didn’t think, even for one second, that there would ever come a day when I’d be able to live my entire truth. And so, the fact that this dream that I never thought would come true, has actually come true, is one of the best feelings in the world. And so now, any time I read homophobic comments online, I want to at least let the homophobes know that their behavior damages people in ways that some of us will never, could never, recover from. And from there, it’s obviously out of my hands…but at least I’ve spoken my truth/been a voice for other folks who may not feel safe speaking up. Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters most: speaking our truths, living our truths and trying to become a little better each day, learning not to apologize for who we are or defend who we are. And I say these things for myself too, of course.

In a dream I recently had, this one involved an aunt on my bio dad’s side of the family and her husband. The three of us were somewhere unknown and I was asking them about that one cousin of mine who I’d learned had gotten married within the last few years, through looking it up on Facebook. But that’s literally the only part of this dream that I remember; LOL. But that being said, it makes sense that I had this dream because I was thinking about these people pretty recently.

And yet another dream that I had recently, was about the R&B singer Brandy. And in this dream, I was at WalMart, walking around the Electronics Department with someone; I was having this person look at the B-section of the CD wrack because I wanted to see what albums WalMart had of Brandy’s. The other interesting thing about this dream though, was that the Walmart employee who was going through the CDs with me, ended up driving me to my Oma’s house from the store. But there wasn’t a conversation between she and I about how we’d met; she just literally took me to my Oma’s house and left. And that was the end of the dream. But I’m pretty sure that I had this dream because I’m currently waiting for Brandy to release a new album. Because she hasn’t released an album since the year 2012. Thankfully she’s released songs individually since then…but being that Brandy is one of the artists I stan, I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for her to release an entire album soon.

Numerous life happenings, podcast thoughts and a heated discussion

In an FB group I recently joined called Amazing Childfree Singles, someone created a topic asking group members whether we thought they should stay single and never go on dates or whether they should do something entirely different. And the reply I wrote to this person’s thread reads:
OK, I’m sure I’ll be the odd one out here, but here goes: life is short. So fuck the societal norms and/or judgy people. If you wanna date around, in hopes that you will eventually get to having a long-term relationship, then go for it!! But also, it can be healthy to be single, if you don’t know yourself very well. No one has the right to tell you how to live, or how to do relationships. Hugs and best of luck to you.

On my personal FB page, I recently shared a status about a well-known store called Hobby Lobby closing its doors and not offering their employees any helpful benefits. Someone commented on that post of mine, saying something like “Well, this store was forced to close by the government.” And the response I wrote to that comment, with some expansion, reads:
OK, regarding the fact that Hobby Lobby was shut down by the government, I don’t give a fuck about that. Why, you ask? Because them being shut down by the government doesn’t change their shittiness. It doesn’t change the fact that the folks who own this store/others who run it, are still homophobic and judgemental of anyone who doesn’t follow their religion or religious beliefs…and shut down by the government or not, that still makes them shitty people!!

And TBH, I hate this way of thinking that people have of like, ways to justify things like homophobia; and the thing is, if you’re homophobic and you own/work at a business that you bring your homophobia into, that makes you a shitty person personally, and business-wise. I don’t care who you are or what fucking religion you choose to stand behind, as long as you keep those things *OUT* of your business in every way, I do support your right to live exactly as you choose…whether or not I share your beliefs. But that being said, homophobia or policing people’s bodies, is never OK.

I bring up the policing of people’s bodies because Hobby Lobby has also tried to police their employees’ bodies, at one time. More specifically, these store owners/operators, told their employees that they, Hobby Lobby, would not pay for employees of theirs to have birth control…because doing so would go against their religious beliefs. And just as I’ve said above, as business owners, they should know that discrimination based on one’s sexual preference, or based on a grownup’s choice to be sexually active, is wrong. There are *NEVER* situations where this behavior is justifiable!!

One of my FB friends commented on this particular status, saying that they agreed with the perspective I hold but that they simply wanted me to know that Hobby Lobby didn’t just shut their stores on their own. I replied to that person, letting them know that I may have come across as being bitchy, in the way I’d written this FB post. But then I stepped back from it and realized that I shouldn’t have apologized for the anger I displayed in said post. But I think that I apologized to lessen the blow, so to speak. But then, why did I even do that? Clearly, I’m passionate about this particular issue…and I have every right to let that show however it does, as long as it’s constructive. But the thing is, I’m socialized by the majority of society to do this kinda thing. And I think that society socializes those of us who identify as women in this way because of the stereotypes that exist of women being perceived to be softer. And so, whenever we as women are seen expressing anger or some other negatively-perceived emotion, we feel like we should attempt to change how we’ve been seen by men. But being that I’ve recognized this particular thing in myself now, I’m definitely going to try to catch myself, the next time I start to apologize when no apology is warranted.

Something else that’s recently taken place on my FB page, is that one of my friends from school shared a petition that was created by someone who’d felt it would be beneficial to ask for those in charge of making huge school-wide decisions to take into account how our world has changed so drastically this particular semester. And TBH, initially when I read this petition, I thought to myself something along the lines of “oh brother, I doubt this petition will influence the powers that be to act any differently than they have been acting.” And specifically, the wording on the petition that caused me to feel this way, said something like “we students at this particular college insist that the powers that be, allow every single college student to pass this semester automatically.” But that being said, there was also some parts of this petition that I very much supported. One of the things that stood out to me in a good way, was that the petition encouraged professors to not count any of students’ work as being turned in late, given the drastic changes that we’ve been going through worldwide lately. So all that being said, I’m hopeful that this petition does create the right kinda noise where it’s necessary, so that none of us students has to worry about how our semester actually turns out, in the end.

One of the books I’m currently reading, is called The Whole Lesbian Sex Book. And I’d actually read this book for the first time last year, though it was through And being that I used Audible through my Amazon Echo Dot, I felt self-conscious about turning up this particular book too loud, given that I share a house with others…and just didn’t want them to know my business. But anyway, I’m re-reading this book now, as I found it on Bookshare. And so, to let you folks know who haven’t heard of or read this book before, this book is written by a woman named Felice Newman. This woman has known that she’s been attracted to people of her same gender for as long as she can remember; and being that lesbian sex is something that she’s passionate about, she decided to write this book, and other books, about lesbians, how we live, how we get off and even how we navigate things like homophobia. And so, needless to say, I love the way in which this book entitled The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, aims to be both informative as well as evidenced-based–the author uses her own research to showcase that she actually does know what she’s talking about.

Another book I’m currently reading, is called Atheist Universe. This book is by a man named David Mills and at least from what I’ve read of it thus far, it can become quite sciency which can be a bit too much for me. And what I mean by saying that, is that sometimes when people know a lot about a given subject matter, their knowledge can lead them to explain things in so technical a way that it can be hard to understand for people who aren’t sciency in that same way, as I myself am not. But that being said, an aspect of this book that I love, is the fact that it’s broken up into small sections, rather than like, long chapters. I think I love this particular thing so much because it allows me to easily take breaks to take things in. Whereas if books that are sciency are just one long block of text, it’s hard for me to even figure out where a good stopping point might be.

Something that I don’t think I’ve written about on my blog before, is the fact that I choose to write about being an atheist because I rarely talk about this particular stance of mine in my offline life. This is the same reason I’ve written a lot here about my choice to remain childfree. Because I don’t talk about it offline a great deal, given that it isn’t socially acceptable to express such a strong difference of choice, than the majority of the world decides for themselves. But honestly, it’s so disgusting to me how much of the world is very kid/baby-centric. Like, there are plenty of other things to talk about and to love, besides kids; some examples would be to talk about your love of trains, to listen to music and share music that you love with other people, to blog about a wide array of subject matters, as I do, so that your legacy can last longer than you will last…and on and on and on. Personally, I’d be willing to talk about almost anything besides kids/babies.

As I continue listening to more episodes of the Multiamory podcast, I’m also continually reflecting on what I’m open to, in terms of how I want my future romantic relationship to look. Because I fully admit that the more information I’m armed with about the different relationship styles that exist besides monogamy, and the more I think about this particular thing in my own life, the more I discover about myself. Because when it comes to the kinda romantic relationship I’ve thought I’d like to have, that continues to evolve, just as I continue to evolve. And so, in past blog entries I’ve written, I’ve said that I want to be with one woman long-term. But I’ve actually realized that using that statement is not me being intellectually honest. Because the truth is, I’m open to non-monogamy; I just haven’t been upfront about that until now because I wanted to think about it as much as possible. Because I’ve been in monogamous relationships for literally my entire life; so I already know that I haven’t ever felt suited to having such a traditional relationship. But that could be because I flat out haven’t met the right person to have a traditional loving relationship with; or it could be because tradition of any kind really isn’t my thing. I don’t know a for-sure answer yet, though…and I’m OK with that.

And so, to clarify, when I say I’m open to alternative relationship styles, what I mean is that I’m open to operating that way in the future. Because I haven’t actually had any life experience of my own where non-conventional relationships are concerned. And so, it’s possible that I might meet an awesome woman who I want to be monogamous with; but it’s also possible that I’ll find multiple people I want to be in deep, loving relationships with. And so, to tie this into what I’d said earlier about me being able to finally admit that I don’t feel it’s intellectually honest to say that I want to be one way just because it’s what I’ve always done, it’s important to me to keep an open mind.

Because the thing is, I’ve always been the type of person who forms strong connections with folks, no matter where it is that I am, at a given time. And some of the people I’ve formed lasting relationships with, are people that are family members of people who were in the same hospital room as me, at one time. And even though I don’t actually talk to these people on the phone, I do exchange messages with them through Messenger from time-to-time. But all these things considered, most people in society would devalue the relationships I have with these people, just because our relationships with each other look different than what folks are used to seeing. And as I’ve said on my blog numerous times before, I don’t think it’s right that the majority of society sees monogamy as the only valid kinda romantic relationship style; because it isn’t.

In a recent Multiamory episode that I listened to, one of the things that was brought up by the hosts of the podcast, was that oftentimes as polyamorous people, they’re able to remain friends with folks that they’ve dated. The way they put that was by saying something along the lines of “using the word ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend gives folks a clear message: that this person is no longer in our lives, because we’ve broken up with each other. Whereas the way the three of us who do this podcast have all been intimate partners at one time. But even now, we’re all three great friends who simply didn’t want to continue dating one another.” I absolutely loved the way that they articulated that, and it’s something that makes sense to me. Because I’m not friends with any of my exes, due to the fact that all of my exes are all toxic human beings in some way, shape or form.

In another episode of Multiamory, the show’s hosts talked about self-esteem. In particular, listening to this episode made me reflect on times in my own life where I’ve struggled with self-esteem, as well as times in my life that I’ve had a high self-esteem. And in fact, an example of when I’d say I had a low self-esteem, would be when I very first started going to mental health therapy in August 2017. Because at that time, I totally saw myself the way both sides of my family of origin saw me/wanted me to see myself. But as my time in this kinda therapy progressed, I started seeing myself in a much more positive light over all. And along the same lines, some examples of when I’ve had a high self-esteem, were when I’ve trusted in myself to make the right decision regarding getting my tubes tied, or when I’d relocated from one state to another. But all this being said, I agree with the hosts of Multiamory, in that each of us human beings finding a balance of low and high self-esteem, rather than having one constant extreme of it, high or low, is a great goal for us to have.

Another episode of Multiamory talked about how even nowadays, the way that people generally view romantic relationships has not changed much. Another way to put this, is to say that the way people think about romantic relationships, also mostly only recognizes heterosexual couples. And I want to talk about that for a bit, because this bothers the crap out of me. So after each of the show’s hosts reflected on what they were taught as children about how romantic relationships and heterosexual relationships should be conducted, they mentioned that the main study that they are evaluating on this episode was from 2015. And so, when I say that I’m bothered by the fact that this study from just a few years ago failed to take into account anyone who’s in non-traditional relationships or even in same-sex relationships, I mean that that’s mind-boggling in the worst possible way. Because when I think of the fact that there are ways our society has made progress, like giving gay and lesbian folks the right to marry each other, I thought that society recognizing non-traditional relationships and same-sex relationships would be a great additional indication that society is mostly moving forward. But alas, we still have a long way to go, in terms of society’s even recognizing that monogamy is not the only valid relationship style in the world. And we also have a long way to go, in terms of society’s willingness to recognize that gay and lesbian folks getting married to each other is no less real than heterosexual marriage is. And while I doubt that either of these things will progress to the extent that I’d like to see in my lifetime, I definitely hope to see them do so much more than is currently happening.

So as I’ve said on my blog lots of times before, I grew up placing high value on getting married to a man and having kids with him. But the thing was, back then I was not even aware that there were other relationship styles that people could choose to be a part of. But when I was in my late teens/my early adulthood, and when I started to realize that I’d most likely have a lot of serious health issues for the rest of my life, I began to look at things very differently. And this shift in myself just happened naturally; but what made things complicated about it though, was that this curiosity only transferred over into some parts of my life. So like, that was when I first started to really think about whether I actually wanted to have kids, or whether I simply felt pressured by society to do so. And of course, as many of you may know, the answer ended up being that I’ve actively chosen not to have kids. And if I were to say that there was something that makes this choice difficult for me, it would be that much of society considers this very personal decision of mine to mean that my life is somehow devoid of meaning. But just to clarify, when I say that being judged in this way by much of society can be difficult for me, I mean that it’s incredibly frustrating that people who are not even affected by this decision, continue to place my worth in that one decision itself. And this brings me to yet another thing that I hope to see more of in my lifetime: the fact that more of society learns to truly embrace people’s individual choices for their lives, rather than looking down on anyone who chooses to go against the grain so to speak. But as I said with the other things I’ve mentioned here, I doubt that I’ll live to see this happen much more than it’s currently happening.

Something else that this episode of Multiamory made me think about, is how fucking toxic society is, in terms of what it tells people about us human beings finding true love. I say that what we’re told is toxic because if we only find true love once, then I’ve already found it…and it was abruptly taken away from me when I was a teenager. Because my soulmate was TJ, who I’ve talked about lots of times before, in my writing. And so, if this message that society tells us is true, then that would mean that I’m just shit out of luck, when it comes to ever finding true love again. And that being said, this is one huge reason why I’m pro-alternative relationship styles: I don’t believe that we only have a specific amount of love to give others, or that we only have a specified amount of love to receive from others. And in fact, I think that entire idea is literally the most morbid thing I could ever think of. I wholeheartedly believe that given the fact that we love multiple people in our lives as it is anyway, that of course also includes romantic relationships we have or potential romantic relationships we may have. At least, I’m a lot happier thinking that I’m not shit out of luck finding love again, even though TJ’s been dead since I was 16-years-old.

I recently contacted the person I’ve seen for mental health therapy to ask them if we could continue doing our sessions…but have them be over the phone since I’ve been ordered by my main medical provider to stay home right now. And I also contacted my neurosurgeon’s office recently, to ask them if they’d write me a letter that I could give to my school as to why I had to suddenly drop my classes last fall. I explained to the person I spoke with exactly what I needed this letter to say; and they then assured me that they’d take care of this. But quite frankly, as I’ve said in blog posts before, I hate doing things like this over the phone. Because people can essentially say anything to you that they want, just to get off of the phone. And so, for me to be put in the position of not knowing whether this situation will have the desired result I’m hoping for, is beyond frustrating. But what I can control about this, is the fact that I’m making sure to document in detail every conversation I have with this facility.

Thoughts on the Netflix show Ozark, more assorted podcast thoughts and other randomnesses

In an episode of the This American Life podcast, the guests on the show talked about how here in the United States, Corona Virus has literally taken over our world. There were several stories told about people who work in the healthcare field who are having a rough time because they can’t even touch the human beings that they’re trying to keep safe. There was even one story that was specifically about a husband and wife who were both sick with symptoms of this virus…and because of that crappy circumstance, this couple’s little kid could only see one of its parents for a time. It was a really sad episode to listen to and it definitely made me get teary. But at the same time, listening to this particular episode of This American Life also made me feel good, just knowing that I’m not the only person who is experiencing/has experienced a wide array of feelings about this unwelcome change in my world, in the world as a whole.

But then on the opposite side of the spectrum, I recently read a post on social media where someone bitched about the fact that people are complaining about how the Corona Virus has forced us to become isolated from people that we don’t already live with. And so, in response to that person’s post, I said something like “LMAO, you’re complaining about the fact that people are complaining; yet you probably wouldn’t classify what you’re doing now, as complaining. The reality is that this virus fucking sucks…and I’m not someone who’s going to stop talking about that truth just because someone’s going to get their panties in a wad about it.”
I then added something like “if you aren’t someone who has had to deal with how shitty this virus has taken over our lives here in the US and otherwise, I hope you realize what a place of privilege you’re coming from.”

In an episode of Multiamory, the show’s hosts talked about privacy versus secrecy; the main thing they brought up that I could relate to, was telling people I’ve dated information that was never mine to share. And what the Multiamory hosts said that got me thinking about my own past patterns, was that it’s a human thing to share everything with our romantic partners; because society really conditions us to hold people we date in high regard, including attaching meaning to this idea that we don’t hide anything at all from our partners. And personally, I’ve been guilty of viewing things this way, in every single one of my romantic relationships. But in reflecting on that, after being made to think about it in the context of sharing things that have not been mine to share, I want to change that way of being, in the future. So instead of continuing to let society dictate how I conduct my romantic relationships, this is something I definitely want to change for the better.

Another aspect of this Multiamory episode that made me think, was in regards to the fact that in several of my romantic relationships, my partners have wanted to keep our relationship status quiet. And that was something that even though I internally hated, I never let those feelings be known to anyone. And in thinking about the why behind this choice I made multiple times, the only thing I can say for myself is that I had a low self-esteem for most of my life. And so, the way that that translated into many of my romantic relationships, was by me not speaking up in situations that made me feel incredibly uncomfortable…like being kept secret as someone’s romantic partner. But nowadays, if I ever do date anyone else, I feel like I’m strong enough now, that I wouldn’t tolerate someone wanting to keep our relationship status secret. Because I value myself more than I did in the past and also, because I in turn feel that people should love saying they are my romantic partner.

But to elaborate on what felt so hurtful about someone I was dating wanting to be secretive about us as a couple, it was this idea that it was OK to hide a decision that we as adults supposedly made together to be a couple…yet my partners, whether they were men or women, didn’t even seem to think twice about this being unethical. In fact, I ran into this very problem pretty recently with an ex-partner. And even though again, the two of us were adults, they still created chats with me that were secret, they still wanted to call me their girlfriend…even though they’d tell me that they were in a relationship with someone. I could’ve confronted them about it but I chose to walk away. Because it was an automatic dealbreaker that they were going behind their current partner’s back. But this time, what was different about the way I handled this situation, was that I chose to leave the situation as soon as I figuratively saw that it was becoming trouble. Whereas in past situations, I’ve wasted time sticking around with shitty partners.

In another episode of Multiamory, this one discussing online dating, the main thing that stood out to me referred to how people classified their dating profiles. So, in other words, Multiamory’s hosts said that one of the wrong aspects of this that people spend too much time on, is trying to create the greatest profile on whatever website/app they use. And what the Multiamory hosts say folks should do instead, is to get opinions from their close circle about whether their online dating profile does who they are, justice. It made me smile to hear them say that, because I too, believe that this particular advice is excellent. Because for me personally, at least I know that my dating profile truly represents who I am, now. Because the last thing I’d want to do, would be to create a perception of me that’s false in some way.

In a Multiamory episode about things that people perceived as failures within their romantic relationships, this particular episode brought up a few different reflections for me. One of those reflections was that one of the men I dated wanted me to be his caretaker. And this wasn’t even something that either of us had discussed with one another, nor was it something that I even wanted to do. But being that this was the same guy who was incredibly possessive/abusive towards me, I thought that perhaps I was the one in the wrong for not wanting to be this man’s caretaker. But the thing was, being with him felt normal because he treated me similarly to how my bio mom had always treated me. And also, I thought that as this guy’s girlfriend, I was obligated to pick up where it seemed like he couldn’t. So for example, if he’d choose to not get the medical care he needed, I felt like I was personally responsible for doing that for him. And when I felt so burnt out from actually doing that for him for a time, I felt like I’d failed in this relationship. But fortunately, as time went by, I came to the realization that as a grownup, he’s responsible for taking care of himself, just as I’m responsible for taking care of myself, as a grown woman.

Another thing that this Multiamory episode brought to mind for me though, was the fact that by default, society sets us human beings up to consider ourselves failures, if romantic relationships we’re in don’t have a specific outcome, or if we don’t get a job that we really wanted and on and on. But what I’ve personally learned throughout my life experiences, is to not have such a black-and-white way of evaluating things. So for example, when the romantic relationships I’ve been in haven’t had the specific outcomes that I’d thought I’d wanted them to at the time, that doesn’t mean that I should accept society’s view that those romantic relationships are failures…or that those romantic relationships being broken up mean that something is wrong with me as a romantic partner. I’ve had to do lots of work on myself though, to really undo these harmful beliefs that society has tried to insist I adopt. Because society has this idea that there are specific milestones that romantic relationships should have…and so, if people actually do things differently, their going against the grain should be frowned upon.

In another Multiamory episode, the show’s hosts talked about how specific characteristics were related to men and women; and it was interesting to me to hear that some characteristics that were labeled as negatively representing women for example, were things that I personally, thought of as being great qualities. The fact that women are outspoken, was one of the things that’s perceived by many men as being an awful thing about us. And in fact, I can attest to that being the way many men think about this trait in women. Because I’ve been told by men, numerous times throughout my life, that me being outspoken is something that makes me as a woman somehow less than men. And along those same lines, I’ve been told that the fact I’ve slept with more than one person in my life, makes me promiscuous. And quite frankly, I fucking hate these double standards that people who identify as men force onto me. I think it’s important for me to talk about these thoughts, especially as a woman; because as I’ve said on my blog multiple times before, women deserve to be heard…and so, if you’re someone who thinks otherwise, then perhaps you should closely examine the things that society has forced upon you.

But to list some things I find problematic about how men view women, first, there’s the idea that women are fragile flowers…so men should watch what they say to us/how they say things to us. And then there’s this belief that many men have regarding the fact that they as men, feel that they are above women, in nearly every sense. Then there’s the idea that when a man and a woman marry each other, that automatically means that the man runs everything about his life with the woman he’s married to. Then there’s the idea that many men have regarding any romantic relationship he’s in, that there are certain things he has to do, simply because that’s what you do as a man, according to most of society. There are also many men who believe that they are entitled to sex from a woman, whether they’re in a romantic relationship with her or whether they’re married to her. And this thing in particular, really gets under my skin…because consent should always be a thing we as human beings, practice. So for example, even if our partner had sex with us 10 minutes ago, that doesn’t mean that they owe us sex now. No human being is ever entitled to anything!! But that being said, the common theme in all of these things that I’ve listed here, is that there’s no equality whatsoever. And to me, that’s problematic because I’m a feminist who strongly believes that no particular gender is better than, or less than, another one. Also, as a woman myself, I treasure the fact that I’m outspoken. As a woman, I treasure my individuality, whether I’m in a romantic relationship with someone or not. As a woman, I’m not a sensitive human being that someone other than me, has to protect.

Something else that stood out to me in an episode of Multiamory, discusses the subject of us as human beings having tons and tons of things. The reason I found this particular subject worth talking about on my blog, is because I’m the sort of person who tends to get rid of things that I don’t use or that I don’t immediately need. And when thinking about this truth about myself, I’m aware that I come from a family of origin where both sides of said family had people in them who have accumulated tons of shit throughout their lives. And so, while back then I didn’t know that there was specific language to talk about this, I did internally assess why my family members of origin had this kinda behavior. And what many of these people had in common with each other, was that they all seemed to be attempting to fill a void within themselves. But also, I noticed that a few of these people in particular, had such crowded fucking living spaces that it was damn near impossible for folks to even walk around in. And so, from the standpoint of someone who has physical mobility issues as I do, trying to make my way in those specific spaces, seeing this way of life really became something that shaped how I personally, wanted to live. And then, add my blindness into me trying to get around in these spaces…and that made things even more challenging!! But needless to say, even things that we perceive as being negative, as this particular thing was for me, can be great teachers in our lives.

But all that being said, it’s interesting that this issue has come up for me because I can admit that there are things that I’ve attached lots of emotional value to, throughout my life. And even now, there are times when I find myself thinking about physical things I no longer have. Because for whatever reason, I’ve attached a deep meaning to my high school diploma, or to the items that my soulmate TJ had given me before she died, or to the things that TJ had written for me…and on and on and on. And the thing is, the actual memories of these things have not gone away, nor have I forgotten the details of any of them. And so, as I’m writing about this right now, I’m trying to ask myself why I’ve attached so much meaning to physical objects. And TBH, the only thing that comes to mind, is that I’ve been conditioned to do this, by society as a whole. But even so, maybe the fact I’ve written about this now, can be fuel for me to actually go through my things to see what I can get rid of.

For the past few days, I’ve been binge watching season three of a Netflix show called Ozark. And in fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ve written about said show on my blog before. But I think it used to be hard for me to explain to you dear blog readers what the show was actually about. But now that I’ve seen the entire third season, I can explain it just fine. So, what said show is about, was a family who’d repeatedly laundered money and committed other crimes for the Mexican drug cartel. The show was insane because both the husband Marty, and the wife Wendy, were lying to their two children, Jonah and Charlotte, about what they (Marty and Wendy) really did; and they (Marty and Wendy) both tried to convince Jonah and Charlotte that everything they, Marty and Wendy, did, was done for the benefit of their entire family. But not surprisingly, Jonah and Charlotte eventually let their parents know that they knew way more of the truth than their parents had ever been willing to tell them. And in fact, season three of Ozark literally ends with Jonah shooting part of the inside of their family house. It was fucking insane!!

I recently wrote the following status on my FB page which reads:
FYI, for any tech-nerds who have an Amazon Echo Dot, if you don’t know where your phone is, you can say”Alexa, where’s my phone?” And she’ll call it for you. Also, apparently she uploads your contacts and I just called a friend of mine using Alexa…and this friend is an Android user who does not have an Echo device…#TheresYourHandyTipForTheDay

I recently replied to an FB friend’s status update in which this friend asked how folks are currently doing. The response I wrote to this post reads:
I want to start off by saying that I’m blind and have cerebral palsy. In addition to those things, I have lots of chronic health issues that could become life-threatening at any moment. I say this so that people will hopefully have an understanding of why I say this next thing. I’m not a praying person, but since this serious virus has become a huge thing, I’ve literally been praying daily that I don’t have to be hospitalized when all this mess is going on. And it doesn’t help that I’ve seen other folks with disabilities say that some people in the medical field find us easily disposable. As for how I’m taking care of myself through this, I’m making sure to take lots of deep breaths whenever I start to feel stressed or worried about what might/could happen with any of my health issues. I’m also watching a lot of things on Netflix, Hulu and Disney Plus. Listening to all kinds of music is also one of my favorite passtimes. I’ve also been reading books and writing about podcasts that I listen to, shows I’m watching and have even started to write album reviews of albums that have really touched me.

Assorted Multiamory podcast thoughts

In a recent episode of the Multiamory podcast, the hosts talked to people in the polyamorous community about the different types of relationship styles that people find work for them, besides traditional monogamy. Listening to this particular episode of the show made me smile because I fully support alternative relationships; and even though I don’t currently want to be polyamorous specifically, I do love the concept of still being able to have alternative relationships of some sort as an actual part of my life. So for example, me telling a potential partner that I don’t want her to completely change her other relationships just because she and I become a couple, this stance of mine would be considered something that differs from how society generally conducts traditional romantic relationships. Or if the tables are turned and we’re talking about a man I’m having sex with/that I want to have sex with, I wouldn’t want him to feel like our sexual relationship was somehow less meaningful to me because he knows that I identify as gay/lesbian.

But to get more technical about this relationship creation difference that I talked about in the previous paragraph, in another episode of Multiamory, the hosts of the show talked about a term for this particular practice. The term is “relationship anarchy,” which in a simpler way, means that each individual, for his or herself, decides whether they want to allow society to dictate the way their relationships work or whether they want to carve out a completely different system for the romantic relationships, or all of their relationships. And one reason that this particular model if you will, appeals to me, is because by default, I’m the type of person who constantly questions why society functions in certain ways and not others. And so, it doesn’t require much thinking power for me to think outside of the romantic relationship style box/the all relationships style box that I’ve just always unconsciously been involved in. But also, part of loving whomever you’re with, in my opinion, is the viewpoint that you shouldn’t want to control the other person or people…but rather, you should want them to consciously choose to be with you. Because the idea behind relationship anarchy, indicates that people’s relationships are not governed by figurative societal chains but instead, all adults involved decide amongst each other, how they want their relationships to look and feel.

Another thing that resonated with me in this particular Multiamory episode, was when the hosts brought up something that’s ingrained in many of us by society…which is this idea that when we’re in a romantic relationship of any kind, we might have to compromise on the kinda person we’re looking for because society tells us that we can’t be too picky. But the thing that the Multiamory hosts accurately point out, is that when it comes to the values that mean the most to us as individuals, we have the right to stick by those truths about ourselves. Because no one but us truly knows that we’ve thoroughly thought this particular thing through. And also, it’s considered non-traditional to challenge the harmful belief that us sacrificing any part of who we are, is a necessary part of what it means to be in a romantic relationship with anyone. And so, for example, when I say that I want the woman I’m in a long-term relationship with to be an atheist who’s childfree, yet who’s also feminine as I am, those are all things that I believe in my core. Put another way though, I don’t buy into this toxic thought process that I shouldn’t have standards like these that I’ve talked about here.

In another episode of the Multiamory podcast, the guest was named Andrew Gurza (who is someone with disabilities who is also in the LGBTQ+ community). I loved this particular episode of Multiamory because I’ve never heard the hosts of this show openly talk about those of us with disabilities, before this point. But also, I really identified with what Andrew Gurza pointed out to Jase and Emily which was that all human beings fuck up. Disabled people are not exempt from that human truth–but what Andrew Gurza added to that truth, was that we could all become better at forgiving folks when they use terms that are different than the ones that we ourselves, use.

So for example, when I talk about being blind, I use the word “blind.” Because there’s no part of me that’s impaired in any way; and I don’t care that it’s legally correct to use the term “visually impaired.” Because when you’re interacting with me, no matter who you are, I expect that you’ll follow my lead as a sign that you respect me…and if you don’t follow my lead, even after I’ve explained to you why I use the particular language I do, then that will most likely be the only time I interact with you ever again. The same applies to misgendering people; if I tell you how someone prefers to be identified, it’s a piss poor excuse for you to then say “oh well, I’m going to keep calling them the gender I think of them as because that’s what’s easy for me.” It’s 2020, and as our lives evolve, so too, does the language we use. If you can’t get behind that, then keep your blatant disrespect to yourself.

But anyway, going back to the Multiamory podcast, in another episode of said show, a couple of the show hosts talk about ways that we human beings can lovingly come back to our partner. They talk about this in terms of if we or our partner have been getting to know a new partner; and they talk about it from the angle of partners one and two sharing a living space with each other, while each of them also makes space to go on dates with other folks. And this particular episode was interesting to me because I think it’s important to be aware of powerful ways that we can make our partner feel safe and cared about, whether we’re talking about this happening after we’ve had a heated discussion with one another or whether one of us has just gotten home from having a date with someone new. And honestly, listening to more episodes of this show is great food for thought for my potential future with someone long-term.

So to elaborate on some of the examples given in this episode of Multiamory, one of the ways that we can communicate effectively with our partner, would be to say something like “I know that we’re having to work our way through something that’s challenging; and I understand that you’d like to resolve this situation right now. But in order to give this issue the attention it deserves, and in order to also ensure that I’m fully present for both of us, I need some time alone to think about my perspective.” And the reason that this is great communication, is because you’re letting your partner know that you value their thoughts, needs and desires. Whereas, if you just say nothing, your partner might feel like you’re blowing them off, for any number of reasons. And in fact, this sort of thing was a huge problem with the last romantic relationship I was in, because I liked to communicate with my then-boyfriend about how we could make things better, while he seemed to prefer to avoid discussing difficult subject matters altogether. This particular thing was far from the only thing wrong with that romantic relationship, though.

In another Multiamory episode, this one discussed how to remove yourself from situations in which everyone involved acts as different characters, for lack of a better word. So for example, what this particular episode brought up for me, was that it became clear to me what kind of part I’ve played most often. And I was able to see, going all the way back to when I was a little girl, that I’ve mostly been the person who wants to take everyone’s pain away, whether that pain is physical pain or emotional pain. Like, even going back to the relationship I had, or didn’t have, with my bio mom, I was always determined to find a way to fix her life in some way, shape or form. And even with the romantic relationships I’ve had with men, I wanted to be the person who made their life better…because I could see them so clearly. I totally believed that I had what it took to make those men, and my bio mom, into better human beings. And so, in listening to this particular Multiamory episode, I immediately recognized that part of myself that wanted to mold people into the versions of them that I thought they ought to be. Because as I’ve just said, that can be traced back to my childhood, when I had this idea that I could make my bio mom’s life so much better…even if it would take me years to do so. And this same thought process could be applied to all of the men I’ve dated.

And so needless to say, it always feels really empowering to me any time that I discover the fact that I can make different choices for myself as an adult. And I know I’ve talked about this on my blog before, because it’s been something that’s really helped shift my perspective from one where I felt I had no control of my life, to one that showed me the polar opposite: that actually, I have the power to change the stories I tell myself, and also, the world. Because it’s only been a few years ago since I’ve unlearned the ways in which my childhood caused me to act/live. And TBH, it was difficult for me to do that, especially because I felt like I was doing something dirty or wrong, even, by unlearning those harmful ways of being/thinking. But that being said, once I truly became comfortable with carving out my own path, it also became second nature for me to then continue thinking of different ways that I could re-write my story. And so now, I’m even able to be a comforting source for others who are currently going through what I went through just a few years ago. And that’s a great feeling, not to mention, I realize that in a way, it also feels like I’ve come full circle.

Another Multiamory episode that I listened to, made me think about past experiences that I’ve had. In particular, this episode discussed important things to think about when you’re considering whether to live with anyone, be they a romantic partner, a sexual partner or anyone else. So when I very first moved to this new state, I lived with my then-boyfriend for a few months’ time; and we honestly worked great together, for the most part which may surprise people, given that I’ve discussed areas of this romantic relationship that were problematic for me. But seriously, the two of us had similar values as far as our housekeeping habits went. Neither of us were messy, nor would we leave piles of clothes just laying around the house. We were both also able to cover rent sometimes, if the other person was falling short of all the money that they’d usually pay. We were also good about having hard conversations which kinda feels weird to me to say, given that my then-boyfriend usually preferred to avoid discussing topics that were difficult to discuss.

Something else that this particular episode of Multiamory got me thinking about though, was what my thoughts were and are regarding people coming into my home space and automatically treating said space like it’s their house, where they can do whatever the fuck they want, whenever the fuck they want. And it’s interesting to reflect on this because I vividly remember times when I had my own apartment back in Texas, and people would disrespect that that was my space. And for awhile, I didn’t even know that I had boundaries around certain things, like a particular person just going into my kitchen and taking one of my drinks for themselves, without even asking me if they could even do that. Because the first time that this happened, I just thought that perhaps they were thirsty because it was summertime, especially being that Texas heat is so awful. So I didn’t say anything to them, until they took drinks that I’d had in my apartment a few times, without asking me beforehand. And so, being that that was my own personal space, I realized that I could control how I wanted that to look and feel. So, the next time that this particular person took a drink of mine from my kitchen, I spoke up and I said something to them like “I’ really don’t appreciate you just making yourself at home here and taking a drink that I bought for myself. If you wouldn’t mind buying me another bottle of soda or can of soda to replace the one you’ve taken, that will be fine. But if you’re just thinking that you can take my drinks without me saying something to you about it, then we’re going to have problems.” And not surprisingly, once I’d said that to this specific person, they didn’t handle that new boundary I set well. In fact, they tried to make this into something that I was overreacting about, rather than trying to understand that in my apartment where we were, I had the right and the authority, to decide what was acceptable within that space and what was unacceptable within that space.

Another episode of the Multiamory podcast that stood out to me, was one in which the show’s hosts discussed the terms “sex positivity” and “sex negativity.” This episode stood out to me because I haven’t always been someone that’s comfortable with my own or other people’s self-expression, when it’s come to sex. And personally, being that I was raised in a religious household, I internalized the belief that sex was bad, unless we were referring to a married heterosexual couple having sex. But the thing was, even as a young girl, I’d experiment with other little girls by kissing them and fondling their breasts…and they’d do the same with me. But of course I’d never talk about that part of my life to anyone; and in fact, the girls that I’d fooled around with were also fine with just keeping our sexy times between us. But what makes this issue complex for me personally, is the fact that on some level, I’d always known that I found girls sexually attractive. Like, I vividly remember that my first celebrity crush, as well as my first crush on someone I knew, were both crushes on girls. But yet as I’ve said above, I was raised in a household where the grownups who lived there were deeply religious…or at least, they claimed to be. And so, because of that circumstantial truth, a huge part of me believed that keeping sex secret was something that everyone in the world did. And also, I of course believed that sex was dirty or bad, outside of the confines of a married heterosexual couple having it. And these complex beliefs of mine held true, until I’d gotten my own apartment and felt free to start having heterosexual sex myself. Because the truth was, even when I’d left my bio mom’s house, I still lived with members of my family of origin…and so, I didn’t even want them to know that I wanted to have straight sex. And so, that’s why I waited until having my own apartment, to actually make that happen for myself.

But before I go any further, I want to clarify that the reason I specified me having heterosexual sex, over me having lesbian sex, was simply to indicate that I was raised to believe that there was only one kinda sex in the entire world. Because that particular belief was what the grownups around me most likely wanted me to think. And the thing was, I’d grown up hearing my bio mom say “nasty,” when she’d see two females holding hands with one another or kissing each other on the lips. And so, that’s where the internalized homophobia that I had, actually came from: having years and years of that sort of thing happening.

And so, all that being said, I didn’t necessarily see me fooling around with females as being a sexual thing…even though it was. And so, even when I was in a romantic relationship with a grown woman during my early adulthood, I still didn’t consider us being sexual with one another. And it feels weird for me to think about that now because I live so differently, but self-refllection is important.

But going back to when I had my own apartment, I saw that particular change as being a huge life change for me, for multiple reasons. One of those reasons, was because I knew that I’d finally have the freedom to do grownup things that I’d never done with men before, such as have sex with them. And so, once my environment had physically changed, so too, did my confidence about becoming a more sexual human being. Because perhaps deep down, I’d known, at least on some level, that sex would be a quite pleasurable activity. And even then, I didn’t have the language to describe that I couldn’t have sex with anyone that I didn’t already have an emotional connection with…but I just instinctively knew that truth about myself. And in fact, that’s still true for me to this day. But that being said, if I happened to strongly connect with a stranger at an event where people were being sexual with one another, I wouldn’t be opposed to having sex with them. Because as I’ve thought about this sort of thing thoroughly, and for several years at that, I’ve come to realize that sometimes we just have to live in the moment because we’re really feeling it, whatever it happens to be at any given time.

30 Things I can’t stand, that most people like/love

I recently participated in this FB game where people listed things that they can’t stand, that other folks actually really like. I’ve amended my initial list and added more to it. But first, I want to let folks know that these are in the order in which I thought of them; other than that, they aren’t in order of subject matter.
So with that being said, what I wrote reads:
1. Camping.
2. Spicy food of any kind…and just to clarify, by spicy food, I mean food so hot that you can’t even taste the food’s actual flavor.
3. The Netflix show Tiger King.
4. Going to church.
5. Summer.
6. Hair spray, perfume and cologne all make me have trouble breathing if they are in my immediate vacinity/if someone has put too much of these things on.
7. Licorice of any kind.
8. Religion of any kind.
9. Owning pets.
10. Raisins.
11. Bananas.
12. Sports, both participating in them and watching them.
13. The show called The Office.
14. Broccoli.
15. Going to beaches, swimming pools, hot tubs ETC.
16. Drinking alcohol.
17. Heavy metal/death metal.
18. Singing.
19. Going to museums, art galleries ETC.
20. Country, classical and opera music.
21. Kids/babies.
22. Horror movies, shows ETC.
23. Bowling.
24. Playing Scrabble.
25. Mustard.
26. McDonald’s chicken nuggets.
27. Taco Bell.
28. Barbecue chicken as a pizza topping.
29. Onions on salads.
30. Anchovies.

Another review of an album I love

My over all thoughts on JoJo’s album called “Mad Love:” I feel like it’s fitting to put my over all thoughts of this album first because it’s important to reflect on the drama and trauma that JoJo has been through in this past decade. So mainly, when JoJo was a child, she’d signed a contract with a record label called Blackground Records. But being that she was a kid then, she didn’t have the knowledge about what that actually legally meant for her career-wise. And well, it turned out that Blackground Records literally owned not just what music JoJo had recorded under the contract they’d created with her…but also, Blackground Records owned JoJo’s actual voice. And so, all of this to say that JoJo’s album “Mad Love” that I’m currently writing a review on, is clear evidence of her work ethic and love of her ability to create meaningful music in the world. And truthfully, as someone who’s been a JoJo stan literally from day one as I have, this particular album of hers is one I’ll treasure for years and years to come. The album came out at a time when I needed it most; I listened to it a lot in 2016, whenever I’d do home health physical therapy that was required after having finally gotten a huge health diagnosis. I also listened to it a lot in 2017, when I was in Arkansas for a few months, learning about Apple products like Macs which I knew nothing about. And I really feel like this album is super empowering, in a way I found deeply healing for myself. Because similar to JoJo’s story of dealing with traumatic experiences, I’ve also suffered numerous traumatic experiences in my childhood and even through most of my adulthood. But also, this album makes me proud to be a woman, every single time I listen to it!! I feel like a fucking bad-ass, listening to every single song on it; I feel like I’m sexy as fuck when listening to every song on it. I also feel empowered when listening to every song, because I’m someone who wants to grow and become better and better every day. But also, in my dark moments, listening to this album also reminds me that even though I sometimes feel like I’m alone in certain life experiences, there’s always music to help me feel less alone.

Track #1: “Music;” the sound of this song was surprising to me, meaning that I wouldn’t have predicted JoJo singing an entire song with just the backing of a piano. I mean, she has interludes on her mixtapes where she’s backed by a piano…but those times don’t even compare to the arrangement of this song called “Music.” And also, I think it’s perfect that JoJo is backed by a piano on this particular song because it allows her voice to soar beautifully. Plus, it’s a sweet tribute to her deceased father. There are times throughout the song where she sounds like she could cry at any moment…and that’s powerful in and of itself.

Track #2: “I Can Only;” this song is a duet with Alessia Cara that talks about how we as women can only be true to who we are. I also take it as an empowerment anthem though, encouraging us as women to not let negative critics in the world steal our shine, so to speak. I think that JoJo’s and Alessia Cara’s voices blend magically together.

Track #3: “Fuck Apologies;” this song features Wiz Khalifa and is one of my favorites off the album. It’s empowering to me because I identify with its message 100 percent. Like, whenever I hear this song, I think of how my bio mom used to tell me to apologize to her for ruining her family. She’d say that she has proof of that being true but she’d never actually show me this supposed proof. But also, “Fuck Apologies” is a great song that I feel signifies exactly how I feel about the fact I’ll never apologize to anyone for anything, unless I truly do mean that I’m sorry.

Track #4: “FAB, which stands for Fake Ass Bitches, is yet another song on this album that I identify with so much. It features Remy Ma (a well-known rapper) and talks about how there are people in the world who act one way in front of you and then they act in a totally different way behind your back. I’ve known plenty such people like that throughout my life and this song is a great way to remind myself how they are…and why I cut them out of my life once I know that they are not their authentic selves. I also created this song as a ringtone around the time the album came out…because I really do love it that much.

Track #5: “Mad Love;” this is one of the slowest tracks on the album but I love JoJo’s vocals on it. I’m not typically a fan of slow songs but the slow songs on this album are exceptions to that rule. I can also relate to this song’s message of wanting romantic love to be a part of one’s life…but at the same time, not wanting romantic love to happen because all relationships are difficult in some way, shape or form.

Track #6: “Vibe.” This song is just a fun-sounding track, from start to finish. JoJo is clear about the fact that she doesn’t want a man to change the energy that she’s around because she’s confident in what she brings to the table, period. And throughout the song, she also lets it be known to any man interested in her, that her girlfriends will have her back…so he can’t be someone who wants to play games with her. This song was another ringtone I created for myself…because I love it so much.

Track #7: “Honest.” While I don’t have this song as a ringtone for myself, it’s certainly in my top five favorite tracks on the entire album. It’s basically a song where JoJo tells people that she is who she is…and part of who she is, is someone who’s honest throughout her life. This song is definitely one that I’d say could sum up who I am now, as I don’t care what people think about me, because ultimately I’m doing what I know to be right, every single day. And I think it’s fair to say that I, along with JoJo, am proud to be a woman. I’m also comfortable living as a woman, and being an outspoken woman, regardless of the fact that there are folks in the world who don’t like my opiniated nature.

Track #8: “Like This;” I love the beat and the over all instrumentation of this song. The fun beat, I think, helps convey JoJo’s confidence about how she plans to please her man. And I can definitely relate to wanting to please my partners too.

Track #9: “Edibles;” this is another fun song where JoJo gives us details about how she and her man are going to do edibles together and have awesome sex. And while I can’t relate to the doing edibles part of the song, as I don’t enjoy edibles personally, good sex is always a great subject to sing about, write about ETC.

Track #10: “High Heels;” this song is just about the sexiness of a woman. I interpret it as JoJo recognizing that it’s sometimes hard as fuck to be a woman in a world that oftentimes doesn’t embrace all of who you are, even though you do embrace it. And quite frankly, I’m grateful that this album has so many songs on it like “High Heels,” that portray a woman who feels sexy, empowered and confident in who she is. I think that, as I’ve said before, these things are part of the reason why I feel confident, sexy and empowered myself, when I listen to this album.

Track #11: “I Am.” This song is one of my top two favorite tracks on the album, most especially because I can relate to the message in it, as well as the circumstances surrounding where this song came from. Because in some ways, I feel like I grew up with JoJo, simply because hers and my lives have so many similarities between them. Like, for one thing, JoJo wrote this song after she’d been going to therapy for a time; more specifically, she wrote this song because her therapy had helped her shift from someone who’d felt unworthy of receiving good things, to someone who eventually came to realize that she was not, in fact, the traumatic events that had happened to her, throughout her life. And in my case, I too, went to therapy and started off being in a place where I felt like I was totally a piece of shit person. But then as time went by and I started shifting how I saw myself, this particular song came to deeply resonate with me. And that’s why this song is hands-down, my absolute favorite one on this album.

Track #12: “Clovers;” this song is another fun, upbeat track. JoJo’s harmonies, combined with the song’s instrumentation, make me happy. There are some things throughout the song that JoJo does with her voice, like making some of its harmonies sound chipmunky. I don’t know how else to put that.

Track #13: “Wreckless;” this song is another one of the sexy songs on the album. JoJo talks about getting drunk with a man that she’s having sex with, but also, she admits that she has been irresponsible, in terms of only thinking about herself and her needs. I can relate to this kinda story though, as I’ve been in a similar position, at least when it comes to one particular potential relationship I could’ve been in. But ultimately, I know that that was for the best because things wouldn’t have worked out between us, anyway.

Track #14: “Good Thing;” this track is definitely one of my favorite ones on the album. It has a fun beat that makes me want to dance…and I’m not a dancer, at all. But also, JoJo really sounds like she was in a great moment whenever she’d actually recorded this particular song. Like, she really provided the feeling that she’s been in love before, and that being in love has made her happy. And as I’ve said about other songs on this album, this song too, is one that I can totally relate to. Like, I’ve been in romantic kinda love a few times, and there have definitely been moments within those romantic love experiences, that I’ve felt truly happy…but the thing is, all of those romantic love experiences were just fleeting moments…or snippets of intimate love, even.

Track #15: “Rise Up;” I think that this song is the perfect fit for the end of the album. Like, I literally could not imagine JoJo having picked a better song. Because what the message of this song says, is that she calls people out for only wanting to be in a romantic relationship for the good parts of what being in that kinda relationship entails. In fact, I can relate to this song on a deep level because I have these kinda experiences whenever I’m in romantic relationships. Like, people act all lovey-dovy about being with me at first but then, when it actually comes down to being with me long-term, no one wants to do that…at least, not once they find out what a medically fragile person I am. And I’m saying this because it’s been my actual, lived experience, time and time again. So every time I hear JoJo’s song “Rise Up,” it makes me smile, knowing that she has similar feelings as I do, even though we don’t actually know each other, nor have we gone through the exact same things.

Some multi-Media thoughts and more social isolation

I recently read a book called The Atheist’s Way; the author of this book is named Eric Maisel. And TBH, reading this book came at the perfect time, meaning that given the turmoil that the entire world is in right now, reading a book about making one’s own meaning in life was literally just what I needed, to help me start thinking about how I’m going to create meaning for myself, given how drastically our world has changed within these past few weeks. Because honestly, I’ve been feeling tons of different emotions lately, from feeling calm, to feeling sad, to feeling totally hopeless…and I haven’t been looking forward to changing how I ensure that I continue to find meaning in life. And that’s a weird place for me to be at, because in nearly all other circumstances, I happily embrace change. In nearly all other circumstances, I even look for ways that I can change my life from one day to the next, or even change my life in long-term ways that allow me to live according to the principles I strongly believe in. But being forced to figure out how to make meaning out of something that’s depressing as fuck for me, is going to be challenging, for sure.

And so, this book talks about the fact that it’s an easy way out for human beings to pass off whatever they don’t understand to a higher power. But it can be difficult for folks to accept the truth that each individual has the power to create meaning for his or herself…and then to live their lives according to the things that they individually, value most. Because for many people, it can seem like a harsh truth when they hear an atheist such as myself tell them that there is in fact no way that the universe itself has any interest in us human beings. But if these folks took the time to really sit with the beautiful knowledge that each individual has the right, and even the duty, I would say, to create lives that they as individuals are happy with, they might not feel so hopeless anymore. And so, it deeply saddens me to constantly see religious people be unhappy with their lives yet feel that their unhappiness is God’s will. Like, that isn’t even logical!! Things will not, and do not, just happen to us. If we want to find true love, we have to actively do things to increase our chances of finding it. If we want a job in a particular industry, we have to actively do things to make that happen for ourselves. And lest anyone misunderstand where I’m coming from, I’m not saying that if we actively look for the things that we want, that will automatically make those things come to us. What I’m saying, is that we cannot just sit around, hoping that a higher power or a fellow human being will bring us exactly what we want. Although, if you’re someone who believes that that’s how the world works, you do you…because I wouldn’t want you to move through the world aimlessly, if you don’t actually want to be the driver in your life.

Another thing that this book The Atheist’s Way talked about, was the fact that the way many people see atheists, is very different to how folks who are atheists actually are. So the best example of this that I can think of for myself, is the misconception that by default, being an atheist makes me into someone who confronts people who are religious constantly…and that is flat out insulting. The reason that this belief about me/other atheists is insulting, is because no one in the world has the ability to fight every single battle that happens in their lives or that they see happening to others. And so, when religious people put that imagined pressure onto atheists, that gesture on the part of those religious folks, only helps bolster the harmful belief that atheists as a whole, are bad people. But the thing is, people who are religious, no matter what religion they are a part of, are not better human beings than us non-religious folks. Just because the majority of the religious world tries to instill in people that religion is what makes them moral, that doesn’t actually mean that that is really the way the world works. Just because the majority of the religious world tells people that if they do certain things that a sky-daddy decides are horrible, they will then go to hell, that doesn’t mean that that scare tactic is a valid way to create meaning for oneself. But it’s easy to just keep believing in things because people value traditions…and for whatever reason, many folks think that if you are an atheist, you can’t, or don’t, have traditions in your life.

Something else in The Atheist’s Way that I think it’s important to clarify here, is that if folks take the book’s title literally, that can lead them to have harmful thoughts about atheists right away. But as the author himself asserts, he titled this book The Atheist’s Way because he wanted people to sit with the fact that all atheists do not live life the exact same way as one another. He wanted people to fully understand that even though some folks use atheism to create a ton of meaning in their lives, other atheists make different decisions about how little, or how much, atheism influences who they are. And so, the short version of this, is that all atheists are different, just like all blind people are different, just like all sighted people are different. And also, just because some of us have atheism in common with each other, that doesn’t mean that we’re alike in other ways that matter. This concept can be applied to people who love Pokemon, being childfree, reading books…or any other thing that we can think of.

In the book I’ve been reading called Dyke Life, something that this book currently has me thinking about, is the numerous ways that lesbians choose to look. What I mean, is that people have told me before, something along the lines of “you don’t look gay!” And while I know that there are gay women in the world who look very manly, I’m not one of those people. In fact I’m a girly-girl, meaning that I not only identify as a woman…but I outwardly act very feminine in most ways. But until pretty recently, I hadn’t even thought much about the assorted labels that exist for lesbians in the world. And the thing is, the book Dyke Life has me thinking about the fact that I don’t look gay. And because I don’t even look gay, most people probably just assume that I’m heterosexual. And that assumption is wrong, for so many reasons. One reason it’s wrong, is because people’s looks don’t necessarily reflect their sexual preference. Because people for the most part, do whatever it is that makes them happy. But also, hearing such comments directed at me is infuriating because it’s bothersome that my sexual preference is automatically heterosexual, by default. This bothers me because that way of thinking/judging people is incredibly toxic. But this also bothers me because it isn’t just heterosexual folks who judge me as being straight, simply because I dress and act very feminine. But the thing is, I love the way I look. I love the way I feel personally, as well as in the world, as the feminine woman that I am. And there’s part of me that wishes that there will come a day when the world gives feminine women like me a chance to just be: to just exist in the world, unapologetically ourselves, without us women having to concern ourselves with incorrect ways that society at large perceives us to be, as sexual beings.

So, just as I said I’d do in one of my most recent blog posts, I looked up Jewel’s music on Apple Music. And I have to say that while I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of her music, there are a few songs among her catalogue of music that I quite enjoy. But one thing I also discovered when listening to her music recently, was that she’s one of those people who can sing anything; the different styles of music she’s recorded are pop, folk, holiday songs and country. Now, in case I’ve never said this anywhere on my blog before, I cannot stand most country music; so it hopefully goes without saying, that I didn’t actually listen to Jewel’s country-styled songs. I also didn’t listen to Jewel’s Christmas/holiday songs, as I only like Christmas/holiday songs from a select few singers. But despite the number of times that I’ve tried to make myself listen to Jewel’s album called “Pieces of You” because that album was one of my favorite albums in my childhood, I just can’t bring myself to listen to it in full. And I think that’s mostly because it makes me think of being around my bio mom and learning what it meant to be in a constantly unstable household. And TBH, that’s an interesting transformation to me, to see how at one point, this particular album got me through tough times…to now, where listening to said album just figuratively puts me back in that awful environment.

I recently listened to an episode of Hidden Brain in which its host Shankar Vedantam talked with someone about how society has been through a pandemic before. And honestly, this episode of Hidden Brain was pretty boring to me; however I felt that it was important that I give it a listen anyway. That being said, I was also curious to learn about this pandemic that society had dealt with, prior to the current one that’s known as the Corona Virus. And the thing is, society was ill-prepared for the virus the world became infected with nearly 100 years ago…and even this time around, society was not prepared for the Corona Virus to happen. But something that’s different about the Corona Virus, is that the current United States President does not have anyone’s best interest in mind, except his own. And that makes things incredibly dangerous for the US.

In a recent TED Radio Hour episode, the new host of the show discussed why she believes that it’s crucial for us human beings to be bored from time to time. And she explains that being forced to stay home, could really be a perfect time for us to explore our creativity, in new and exciting ways. And TBH, this episode reminded me of how within these last couple years, I’ve realized the importance of listening to my body, all the time…and then following whatever my body is telling me to do. And I think of us human beings experiencing what it feels like to be bored as a similar eye-opening experience. And in fact, that’s one reason why I’m trying to make myself keep writing: because if I don’t exercise the muscle that is my brain and constantly think of new and exciting blog content to create, then I’ll lose the motivation to write. And I’d also lose readership, most likely…and that’s the last thing I want to happen.

In a recent episode of Multiamory, its hosts talked about the differences between how people process information. So for example, there are folks who process things inside themselves; but there are other individuals who process things by talking them out with people in their lives who they trust. And so, it was interesting for me to reflect on the kinda processor I am; because my truth is, the way I process things changes, depending on the situation and/or depending on my relationship with the people involved in my life situations. Like, when I made the decision to leave Texas for good, I didn’t tell most people what my plans were, ahead of time. I literally only told the people who were helping me sell all of my things and the folks who trained Planet Fitness members. I told the folks who were training me as a gym member about my plans because I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have to come up with a large amount of money or something, when I canceled my gym membership there. And the reason I chose not to involve people in this outside of these two instances, was because I didn’t want to have to hear people trying to talk me out of doing this. I didn’t want to listen to people doubting me because of my disabilities, or telling me five billion times that they thought I was making a bad decision for some other reason. Because truthfully, I’d made the decision to relocate years ago; but I had to wait until I wasn’t so sick that I could barely move, even around my own apartment. And just because I enjoy thinking about how many years in the making this decision was, I’d say it was nearly a decade in the making. Because going back to my time as an LCB student, I knew, at least on some level, that I could create a meaningful life for myself. And then in May 2009, I left my bio mom’s house for good. But ever since my journey as an LCB student had taken place, I knew that ultimately I wanted to end up living in a liberal-leaning state.

In yet another situation that I handled differently, when I left my bio mom’s house for good in May 2009, I knew that I couldn’t make her aware of my plans to finally make this happen for myself because if I did, she’d go ape-shit and hold me at her residence against my will. And so, I prepared months and months prior to May 2009; I bought myself a track phone and lots of storage containers. I’d purchased a track phone to make sure I’d still have a phone, in case she stole the phone from me that she’d given me a few years prior. And I’d purchased the storage containers so that I could gather everything of value that I possibly could. I even kept all of these things hidden away at a neighbor’s house, until the day came that I’d be leaving Austin Texas for good. So I bring this situation up because I had to handle it with lots of planning, figuring out literally what had to happen minute-to-minute. And so, it turned out that I didn’t tell my bio mom or her husband about my plans to leave their house, until the very day I actually made this happen. And then, once I’d gotten everything together that I could, I left their house…and then went to a neighbor’s house to wait for an aunt on my biological dad’s side of the family to pick me up. And TBH, I feel like there have been tons of situations throughout my life, that have had to be handled differently from one another. And so needless to say, that’s why I can’t say with certainty that I process most things talking them through or thinking about them in my own head. And the fact that I’m this way is mind-boggling to me because most people do have a straightforward answer about the kinda processor that they are.

But another situation in my life that comes to mind, that I handled differently, was something that had happened in my last relationship. In fact, the very day I started blogging publicly, was when I’d gotten back from a trip with my then-boyfriend and his family. And one of the traumatic things that happened to me while we were on that trip, was that a relative of my then-boyfriend’s told me that I was in the way…and so I should go into a room by myself, where I’d be out of the way of other people. And given the numerous previous traumatic experiences I’d had where my bio mom would tell me something along those same lines, I immediately started crying. And I then of course, did run into an empty room, just as this relative of my then-boyfriend’s had instructed me to do. And given that that had happened in December 2017, I didn’t have any language to explain to anyone, including myself, why this person’s comment had hurt me so deeply. And how I’d handled things differently in this situation, was that I took time to allow myself to process what had happened within myself. And given the complexity surrounding that situation, it took me at least a day or so to really get to the bottom of this traumatic event. And so, once I did that, I was able to tell my then-boyfriend about why I’d reacted by crying uncontrollably, when a relative of his had made that insensitive comment towards me. I was able to get into the specifics with him about how my bio mom used to say something identical to me, all the time. I explained to him that whenever his relative made that comment to me, I was immediately transported back to my bio mom’s house, in my mind. Because his relative making that shitty comment to me, immediately set off alarm bells. And so, when it came to how I processed that particular situation, I knew that it was necessary for me to reflect on my own, before I involved my then-boyfriend.

But yet another situation that comes to my mind, that I handled in yet a different way, was one that happened when I was in the hospital in early to mid-2015. The man I was dating at the time was incredibly possessive of me, not to mention abusive towards me. And through the time when he visited me in the hospital, some people who were taking care of me happened to be men. And when the guy I was dating found that specific information out, he became territorial of my body, saying something like “your body is mine. No other man is supposed to touch it.” Now, I’m pretty sure that I don’t have to spell out what happened here but I’ll do so because people need to see the full picture of what a piece of shit person this boyfriend of mine was.

So, the comment that this boyfriend of mine had made about my body being his body, was likely meant to scare me into submission. Because the thing was, this fool had the balls to sexualize the experience of me having medical professionals who were men, take care of me. He literally told me something like “these men are probably getting off because they’re interacting with your vagina. I think the fact that you’ve had emergency brain surgery has made you not think clearly…and that’s why you’re letting these men touch you!” Him saying that to me of course made me cry uncontrollably which felt very familiar to me, given how my bio mom always said things that also made me cry uncontrollably. But what was different about the situation with this boyfriend of mine though, was that I knew that if I didn’t get out of that relationship as soon as possible, this man might literally kill me. And so, it goes without saying, I think, that I broke up with him literally the same day I’d left the hospital for good. And once I was back in my apartment, I called him and broke up with him; being that he lived in another state, I prayed that that meant he’d leave me alone. And there were several times he’d tried calling me or emailing me afterwards…but I was totally done with him. And so, I tell that story to say that I internally processed what had happened with him in the hospital, literally as it was happening to me. And then from then on, I knew that there was only one way that my time with this guy would end: I’d have to sound firm and assertive, two things he hated to see me embody.

This morning I wrote the following thread on Twitter which reads:
Yesterday I found out some truly sad news: for the rest of the semester, my school will be moving every class online. As someone who’s blind&has other disabilities&chronic health conditions, who’s also an extrovert, I’m not happy about this. But given that I’m a medically fragile…person, I know that my school making this decision is the best choice…for me&others. Given that I’m taking American Sign Language 101 this semester though, I’m not sure whether my professor will take everything I’ve already done in this class&call my work completed…or if…something else will happen. But my hope is that my professor just takes the work I’ve done both in&outside of class&calls it success. Cuz being that I’m an imune-compromised person, I can’t imagine that anyone would tell me to put myself at risk by having someone come from…outside to help me…or even have me go to the campus. We’re still on extended spring break this week, so I probably won’t know anything until later in the week or even this weekend. I never thought I’d be a young person going through something like this though.

My music review of an iconic album

So, given the crazy times that the world is in right now, I’ve been wanting to make sure that I keep up writing in my blog. I want to do this for my own over all health, as well as for others who enjoy reading what I have to say. I’ll also do my best to continue writing light-hearted things here, as well as heavy things.
So, being that I’ve made at least a few blog posts about my love for Britney Spears, I’m going to write a tribute post to her now, given that her second album entitled “…Oops…I Did It Again” was released 20 years ago today. I’m going to write the track numbers and each track name from this specific album…and then write how the songs have affected me or write about specific memories that this particular album brings up for me.

Track #1 “…Oops…I Did It Again:” I remember being so excited about the way this very song sounded, that I made sure to show it to my elementary school teachers. And the thing was, I had no earthly idea why everyone in the world was not reacting to Britney Spears’s greatness with the same level of excitement that I was. I loved the song’s slow yet happy-sounding beat, not to mention the fact that I loved the changes in Britney Spears’s vocals throughout the song. I even had a CD that was imported from another country, that had different remixes of this particular song. If my memory serves correctly, I’d purchased this imported CD from Warehouse Music, Tower Records or Waterloo Records, all of which were stores in Austin, Texas at the time. And given that I don’t have the physical copy of that import anymore, I’m thankful that YouTube does have the remixes on said album, available for folks to stream.

Track #2 “Stronger:” this song has literally gotten me through so much hardship throughout my life. When I’d have surgeries as a kid/young adult, this song was always on the motivational CDs that I’d create for those times. This song was also a constant reminder to me when I’ve lived with my toxic family members throughout my life; this song reminded me to just keep believing in myself and to continue trusting that I’d have what it takes to eventually get myself out of that toxicity for good. This song was also a gentle support for me, in terms of the lyrics in it. And fortunately, I did end up leaving the toxicity that was the state of Texas/many of the people who lived in Texas who made up my family of origin/folks who associated with my family of origin, for one reason or another. But back to when I made that big change, this song became an anthem for me, in terms of me saying a literal “fuck you” to anyone who used to call me a nobody/anyone who said that I would never make anything of myself. Because ultimately, it didn’t matter what the situation was that I was going through…because whether it was small disagreements with people, relationship struggles with people or physical hardships like me having surgery, coming back to the song “Stronger” has literally saved my life, every time I’ve needed it to. And I have no doubt that it will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

Track #3 “Don’t Go Knockin’ On My Door:” this was and is just a fun, lively-sounding song. I love how Britney Spears assertively tells someone off, letting it be known that she isn’t going to believe their bullshit. Hearing this song as a child made me distantly dream about a similar event where I’d tell people off, multiple times at that; and having an escape in a way, as this song was for me, helped me at least in some way, feel comfortable with the truth I knew deep down, which was that my family of origin, who were supposed to love me, didn’t…but they felt like they needed to put on a show signifying to others that the opposite were actually true. And nowadays, ever since I’ve gone full no-contact with both sides of my family of origin a couple years ago, this song holds a special place in my heart, as a constant reminder to myself that I’m succeeding at this thing called life because they are not able to hold me back, the way they once could.

“Track #4 “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction:” this song is a remake of a Rolling Stones’ song of the same name…but I very much prefer Britney Spears’s version of it. She made it fun, much like I imagine her personality to be. She also made it a nod, I would say, to the fact that as a woman, she wasn’t going to take crap from people in the industry who wanted to try and mold her into a specific kinda pop star. I always felt empowered, when I’d listened to this song…and I still do, in fact. Because the song speaks to how as women who choose to be outspoken members of society, we’re very much aware that that’s going to piss some folks off. This song literally lays everything out on the table, too, by ultimately leaving the listener with the message that no one in the world is loved by the entire world.

Track 5 “Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know:” this song was one of the love songs on the album; its beat is soft and mid-tempo, I’d say. I remember that in my own life, this song was definitely one that’s often made me think of boys that I’ve dated, throughout my life. Its message of encouraging boys/men to be honest with a woman when they like her, is something that’s important no matter who you are, what gender identity(s) you choose to use or what age you are. I love how, in this song, Britney Spears sings about such a seemingly simple behavior as total honesty. I wish I knew of more songs that advocated for human beings to act this way.

Track #6 “What You See, Is What You Get:” this song was definitely one of my favorite songs on the album; it was another of Britney Spears’s anthems too, though. But the reason that I loved this song so much as a young kid/teenager, was because it allowed me to think about what it would be like, if I were actually a confident person. Its lyrics were a perfect window into the fact that in my mind, I had total control over not only what I thought but also, about how I framed all kinds of situations. So for example, there was a small part of me that, when I’d think of how horrible my toxic family of origin treated me, I’d smile when I’d listen to “What You See, Is What You Get.” Because said song would give me hope that I could have a better future, sometime down the road. And nowadays as a woman in my 30s, “What You See, Is What You Get” is one of the songs that totally describes how I see myself. But for me, this song also tells people that, at the end of the day, I love every aspect of who I am…and so I’m not going to change anything about myself, unless I want to do so.

“Track #7 “Lucky:” when I was a young kid/a teenager, I felt like this song described how Britney Spears was trying to find herself. And more specifically, I felt like she was also letting people know that just because someone is famous, that that doesn’t necessarily mean that those people are content about the fact they are famous. But for me, the song “Lucky” made me think about the fact that personally, I had no desire to ever wear makeup, the way many girls did. Every time I’d listen to “Lucky,” I’d feel a sense of pride because I believed in my whole heart that I would always love myself for being the natural beauty that I was and am. And that belief of mine still holds true, to this day.

Track #8 “One Kiss From You:” I love the instrumentation of this song, as well as Britney Spears’s vocals on it. And this was another song on this album, that made me think of boys/men I’ve dated throughout my life. I think that this song also has a powerful message though, of Britney Spears encouraging her young listeners to be confident about being young and in love…especially because more often than not, society tells us that as young people, we view love differently, simply because we’re inexperienced. And so, given that in this song “One Kiss From You,” Britney Spears seems to want to encourage folks to be who they are…and to be proud of who they are. And TBH, I think that’s why so many of Britney’s fans and stans are in the LGBTQ+ community: because Britney Spears has always been outspoken about her support of, and her love for us.

Track #9 “Where Are You Now:” this song has always been my absolute favorite track on the album. It’s a ballad but at the same time, it showcases Britney Spears’s voice in a way that we as listeners/fans rarely get to see from her. Whenever I listen to this song now, and even throughout my childhood/teenage years of listening to it, I’ve felt like Britney had a super relaxed nature, in the way she sang the song. Like, I feel like she wasn’t even thinking about the kind of voice she was given…but was instead focused on her first love: singing. And hearing that always has been, and probably always will be, refreshing to my ears.

Track #10 “Can’t Make You Love Me:” this song is a fun, up-beat one. You can tell this throughout its instrumentation, Britney Spears’s vocals on it and even in its lyrics. This song has been yet another one for me, that’s made me think of people I’ve been romantically interested in or people I’ve been in actual romantic relationships with. Listening to this song as a youngster/teenager honestly made me feel comfortable in the fact that I experienced love, in ways other than friendships with people. Like, even though I knew that when it came to my life outside of my head, it wouldn’t be wise for me to voice my feelings about love/what being in love was like for me…I could at least internally take comfort in the fact that Britney Spears normalizing love in all its forms meant that I again, was not alone. And that truth was sometimes hard as fuck for me to accept…but yet, when I accepted it without reservations, I felt slightly lighter.

Track #11 “When Your Eyes Say It:” this song is just sweet–it’s literally the softest song on the album…but it works really well. The way Britney Spears harmonizes with herself, in combination with the way her speaking voice sounds, along with the orchestral-type instrumentation this song has, is very calming. This song has been yet another one on this album that’s made me think of people I was romantically interested in but never dated, as well as people I’ve actually been in a romantic relationship with.

Track #12 “Dear Diary:” while this song is my least favorite song on the album, I do love how it’s one of the few songs that has minimal instrumentation in it. I love this because the fact that this song is literally Britney Spears and a keyboard all the way through it, allows us as the listeners to hear what Britney’s singing voice sounds like on its own. And while she’s been critical of the way her singing voice sounds for as long as I can remember, and while her singing voice isn’t similar to, say, Christina Aguilera’s singing voice, Britney Spears’s singing voice is in a league of its own…and I mean that sincerely. There is no one else that sounds like her.

My final thoughts on the album “…Oops…I Did It Again” as a whole: I was 11 or 12 when this album came out…and that was back when CD stores that you could walk into, where you could lose yourself in the excitement of the amount of music you were around, still existed. And for me, it didn’t matter whether those physical CD stores were stand-alone stores in the city, stores in malls or simply a few rows of CDs at a random store that didn’t typically carry music. I remember that even before this album’s release though, going to music stores was something I did as often as possible. In fact, there were even times that I’d visit some music stores so regularly, that some of the employees would know my name, I’d know their names and we’d often chat with each other about upcoming music releases that we were excited about. Also as a young kid/teenager, I’d often play this album while I showered. I had a karaoke machine that was small enough that I’d take it into the bathroom with me when I was going to take a shower. And lastly, I remember that on the “…Oops…I Did It Again” album cover, Britney Spears is wearing a two-piece bathing suit-looking outfit. Hell, maybe it is an actual bathing suit, IDK. I just remember that that two-piece bathing suit outfit was dark-colored and her stomach/belly button were both visible. I remember her looking sexy in that particular outfit.

Numerous podcast thoughts, and numerous other reflections

Since I love to read and since I have tons of books downloaded onto the Voice Dream Reader app, I’m going to attempt to do more pleasure reading in the coming days than I’ve done lately. All of the books I’ve downloaded onto the Voice Dream Reader app are from Bookshare. And quite frankly, Bookshare is honestly my preferred source for books nowadays. The reason for this, is because Bookshare has tons of book categories; hell, I even got the books for my American Sign Language 101 class on Bookshare. But so far, as for available book resources for people who are blind, I’d highly recommend Bookshare. And since I’m thinking about it, a close second would be iBooks. Third, I’d have to say Audible. These are just my preferences; I’m sure other folks who are blind have different preferences than I do.

But anyway, a book I’m reading right now is called Dyke Life; it’s a book that details different parts of women’s experiences regarding their sexuality, their coming out process, their family of origin’s support or lack thereof regarding their relative’s sexuality and lots more. And something I noticed pretty early on in reading the book, was that this book has given me insight into how truly difficult women’s journeys surrounding their sexuality can be, most especially when their family of origin rejects that part of their identity. This resonated with me, I guess because I’ve been my own worst critic, not to menntion, I’ve downplayed the fact I’ve always known that I’m attracted to women. Like, one example that’s given in this book called Dyke Life that speaks on how traumatic women’s situations can be, is that women suppress their same-sex feelings, fantasies ETC and date men. I did exactly that, even including having sex with men. But before I’d read that particular thing in this book, I was unnecessarily cruel towards myself because I felt alone in this particular struggle. But I’m glad I decided to download and read this book, as I think it’s important for me to learn to be kind to myself, just as I would be to another person. But it’s easier said then done, though.

I recently made it all the way through Timecrest two; I’ve been playing said game from Timecrest one ever since the game’s developers released a new design for Timecrest earlier this month. And in doing some reflection of how I’ve gone through this game in the past, to how I’ve gone through it recently, it’s been interesting. Because I remember that when I very first started playing this game, I’d make choices that were how I’d probably do things in real life, if this were the life of Chelsea as it really was. But then, the more comfortable I became with the layout of Timecrest, the more relaxed I became, in terms of making different choices within the game. Because I eventually got to a point where I thought to myself “the developers of this game have taken their time to create a story with rich detail, so why should I as a game player not go as wild as I can with regards to the choices I make within the game?” But that was the thing: I had to literally give myself that permission to play the game as it was meant to be played. And then once I’d realized that I didn’t have to be so literal or even that I didn’t necessarily have to be kind in this game, I became unstoppable!! But now that I’ve reached what is the actual end of Timecrest two, I don’t know if I’m going to play the game again or not. Like, I don’t know how much longer it’ll be before Timecrest three is released…so between now and then, who knows what I’ll decide to do.

Michelle and Barack Obama have created a show on Netflix that’s called Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution. And this show is one that I’ve been excited about seeing for some time. So, the show goes through how even several decades ago, the world as a whole was not built with people with disabilities in mind. And also in this Netflix original show, people with disabilities share their stories about how they’ve had to come together as a people, in order to demand for the world to see them, to see us, as the equals that we are. There were people in this show who were wheelchair users, people who had Cerebral Palsy, people who were deaf and so on. But to be honest, this Netflix original show won’t go down as being one of my favorite ones. I say this because there was just something about it that rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, I understand that part of the reason behind why terms like “handicapped” and “crippled” were used, was because those very terms were correct ways to address folks with disabilities at one point in time…at least, that held true until people with disabilities spoke up and let the world know that they, that we, actually wanted to choose for ourselves what terms best identify us as people with disabilities. But even so, hearing words like “handicapped” and “crippled” still didn’t sit well with me. But then again, there’s another part of me that also acknowledges the truth that there are folks in the world today who are disabled, who prefer to describe themselves as “crippled.” And in having the perspective that I do, I have no desire to take anyone’s agency away from them, even though they may use different identifiers for themselves, than I do for myself.

But along similar lines, I’ve written here in my blog before, about how when both sides of my biological family used the term “gay” to describe anyone who was not heterosexual, it felt personal to me. And so, combine them acting that way, with the times that I did outwardly communicate to them that I was not straight…and you’ll hopefully understand why I’ve hated myself for most of my life. But then something in me shifted, once I’d left Texas for good. And what happened during that shift in my life, was that I decided to use the term “gay” to describe myself, as a way for me to change how I thought about that term as a whole. And when I’d made that shift mentally…and then as I’d started smiling whenever I’d use the term “gay” to describe myself, I felt like this new shift had become second-nature to me, very quickly at that. And so, TBH, my life has felt much freer, since I’ve shifted the way I think about the term “gay” as a whole. And that’s important to write about here because this shift has become a huge part of what’s become a powerful re-write of my story.

In a recent episode of Multiamory that I listened to, the show’s hosts discussed how we can all ensure that we take the best possible care of ourselves and others that we can. And one of the things that stood out to me in this episode, was the suggestion that people in romantic relationships of any kind talk with one another about how their biological family raised them to think and act in situations surrounding people’s health. And the Multiamory hosts having this particular discussion made me reflect on how both sides of my biological family operated when it came to my health/the health of other loved ones. So with regards to my biological mom’s actions when I was sick, she pretty much avoided me, with the exception of when I’d ask for her to get me food or drinks. But then when it came to both sides of my grandparents, all of those folks were great at making me feel loved and cared for whenever I was sick.

But then when it came to the issue of me doing chores, my biological mom rarely made me do anything at all. And so, her operating that way has really stuck with me throughout my life, in a difficult way. And what I mean by saying that, is that not only did I not learn to be responsible like many adults do learn and should learn…but I also didn’t act any differently when it came to the romantic relationships I was in, at any given time. In fact, in my last romantic relationship, my then-boyfriend and I had discussions about this sort of thing. Because there came a time when I realized that something was making my then-boyfriend frustratted or upset…and so, upon having that realization, I opened up a discussion between us. And what the two of us ended up learning from each other, was that we were raised totally differently. So for me, given what I’ve said above regarding my biological family not letting me be responsible for chores, this transferred over into my romantic relationships: I would never just help my partners with things around the house…and until this last relationship that I was in, I never even asked my partners how they felt about that particular thing. I mean, to be fair, I’ve only had a few serious relationships where I’ve visited the people I was with for a week or more at a time. And then on top of that, those serious relationships of mine were pretty spread out from each other…so it was easy for me to not give this issue much thought. But as I said above, the last romantic relationship I was in, was the first real time I’d had an actual discussion with anyone about my part in doing chores.

And so, the thing that my then-boyfriend and I discussed together, was the ways in which our biological families differed from one another. And the main point that I brought up, was to say that both sides of my biological family raised me to not do chores, unless someone flat out asked me for help with something. But prior to me encouraging my then-boyfriend to have an open discussion with me about this, he was just stewing inwardly…and I had no idea why. Like, I could tell that there was something that was bothering him, but that was the extent of my knowledge. So that being said, when he and I actually openly talked about this, he learned that I was not trying to be unhelpful or lazy…but that both sides of my biological family literally taught me to never help do chores of my own accord. And I know that that probably sounds hard to imagine to some folks, and it was even hard for my then-boyfriend to understand. But I let him know that I wanted to talk about this so that I could figure out how to then fix it. Because the thing was, it was important to me to care for him in the ways that felt caring and loving to him; but the thing was, I couldn’t become a better person/partner until we had a serious discussion about what that looked like for each of us. And what ended up happening, was that my then-boyfriend found out that when he used his words and told me “it would be helpful if you would do the dishes,” I would take care of that task no problem. I also explained to him that communication was important because otherwise, people could easily get into situations with their partners where one person starts to feel resentful towards the other person…just as happened with him and I. So needless to say, I definitely didn’t want this to be a continued problem between us, or in my future with anyone else.

But then, another thing I thought of along these lines, was the fact that when I was a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB) I shared an apartment with another female who was also a student at the center. And in that particular situation, where I knew from the get-go that I was at least partially responsible for keeping the apartment clean/neat-looking, I followed those rules, no problem. Because in that specific situation, part of what I did to prepare for becoming an LCB student, was to research exactly the kinds of things that being a student there would teach me. And the main thing that was my biggest demon at that time, was having to undo years and years of incorrect behaviors…and TBH, that’s something that I’m pretty sure I’ll struggle with for the rest of my life in different ways. Because unfortunately, there’ are just some things about repeated abuse and repeated trauma, that I don’t think folks can ever get over completely. But that being said, that’s one reason why I’ve learned the importance of me being open about what I’ve endured/how I’m constantly working to undo anything I discover about myself that’s unhelpful. Creating this blog in fact, was one avenue that I thought would be great for my overall health as well…and not only that, but the things I have to say will hopefully help others, even if it’s just in a small way.

In the latest episode of Love Someone with Delilah, the guest Delilah has, is the singer Jewel. And listening to this interview with Jewel really took me back. Because one of the very first cassette tapes I’d listened to, was Jewel’s album called “Pieces of You.” I played the hell out of that cassette tape and I could sing nearly all of its songs. And so, this interview Jewel did with Delilah is actually going to be a two-part interview which leaves me plenty of time to listen to Jewel’s music and reflect some more on how listening to her music really helped me, in my traumatic childhood.

Monday I wrote the following FB post which reads:
Today’s win: being able to navigate a website independently to purchase some merchandise for myself. But before I get to the good part, I have to give a short background to you all. Last night while scrolling through FB, I read a post where one of my friends talked about the fact that Elizabeth Warren’s campaign merchandise store would be closed soon. So thanks to that reminder, I checked out Elizabeth Warren’s merch store for myself. And the reason this is a win, is because Elizabeth Warren’s website had typed up image descriptions for each of her items in the merch store; literally, for every, single, item, that’s, there!! Whereas, when I’ve bought other merchandise in the past, I’ve had to have a sighted friend make the purchases for me because otherwise, I would have no idea what I would be getting, because I can’t see. So, when I kept reading some of my blind friends’ FB posts saying that Elizabeth Warren’s merch store was accessible to people who use screen reading software to navigate the internet/word processing ETC, I knew I had to support this cause. And I did: I’ve just ordered my Elizabeth Warren Braille buttons and my Elizabeth Warren “Debate Champion” shirt.

Now, I want to make it known for those of you who don’t already know, Elizabeth Warren has been the only one who thought about blind people during her campaign. She not only thought about us as blind people, but she combined action with her thoughts and she was even outspoken about the fact that those of us with disabilities exist and that we have just as much right to be heard as anyone else does. She created buttons with Braille on them…again, because she cares about us as the fellow human beings that we are. So it will be repeated once more: every, single, product, in her merchandise store had image descriptions. So when you say “I know you’re sad about her being out, Chelsea,” know that I’m not just sad. I feel like Elizabeth Warren sees my humanity/other disabled people’s humanities in a way that our world typically does not…because she took the time to make her shit accessible!! I don’t know of anyone else who has done this…but I love this woman so, so, so, so much. And I’m grateful that I’m living in a time where she exists as well.

Now, I hope some of you have a better understanding of why I ask you to describe your photos/videos. I do it, not to be a pain in your ass…but because I even as a blind person, want to be a part of your world. I want to feel like I can share in your life happenings…but when I hear the word “photo” and then my speech output software says ‘no text available,’ that makes me sad. And when you put tons of hashtags that are not capitalized on any form of social media, I can’t understand what those are either, unless I scroll character by character. That’s why, when I use hashtags, I always capitalize them. If they aren’t capatalized, that’s how you know I’m having someone post on Instagram or Facebook for me. But please, from your friend (me), please try to do better. I don’t expect perfection. Even a little more inclusive posts would brighten my day/life, truly.

Also that same day, I sent an email to the Financial Aid Department of my school; I needed to ask them how things should be handled to rectify my situation, given the order for this entire state to stay home. And the next morning, yesterday in fact, someone responded to the email I’d sent. The person told me that I could email the required documents to them directly or to the main email address for this specific department. But the thing is, I still have to physically go to pick up that documentation from my doctor; because said documentation is supposed to be attached to the paperwork that the Financial Aid Department had given me whenever I visited them earlier in the month. So hopefully I can figure out a time to have my caretaker or someone else take me to my neurosurgeon’s office soon, as it’ll be much easier to explain what I need them to write in-person. Because I’ve gone through hell before, at times that I’ve needed people to fax things to doctors…and it’s been incredibly stressful to not have any idea whether the medical staff even did what I needed them to do or not. So I intend to bypass that crap, this time around. But that being said, it’s such a fucking hassle!! Nothing in my life can ever be easy. Ugh.

Another infuriating thing that happened yesterday, was that I received an email from Elizabeth Warren’s merchandise store. In this email from them, I was informed that given the majority of the world’s order to stay home, said merchandise team couldn’t fulfill people’s orders. So it’s frustrating that I’m back in this limbo position. Because if you’ve read my blog at least since last fall, I was in a similar situation with Christina Aguilera’s merchandise store, at that time. And in that situation, I flat out didn’t receive all of the bundle that was supposed to be released with a 20-year anniversary release of Christina Aguilera’s self-titled album. And I kept hoping and hoping that the digital release of said album would eventually get into the public’s hands. But long story short, there came a time when I just realized that that was not going to happen. And so, I’m bringing that up now, when I’m in a similar situation with Elizabeth Warren’s merchandise team…because I’m worried that I’m not actually going to receive any of the items I’d recently ordered that were part of Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. And it would totally suck if that exact same thing does happen.