Stuck On Replay

It’s like my life is stuck on replay.This nightmare that I keep having. Only it’s not a nightmare because I’m not asleep and the douche bags are actual men.

Douche Numero Uno

Almost a year ago today I was sexually assaulted by someone I trusted. Someone I valued as a friend and fellow scholar. The first person I wanted to call was Mr. International but I didn’t. I cried, asked why, put my uniform on and went to work. My boss was a 24-year-old douche bag with a stuttering problem that made him sound like he was always deep throating something. He didn’t like me because I would tell him no instead of doing exactly what the little prick said.

My ability to say no is the same reason my ex said he assaulted me. Because to him, like the 24-year-old deep throating manager, being a female meant that you should do as you’re told.

So, I sent a message to Mr. International once I got to work. I worked a double that day to avoid reality.

When I left for work that morning, the ex was exhausted and sleeping like a baby; being a narcissistic, chauvinist asshole coupled with being a rapist can take a lot out of someone…

Fast forward a year later, I have met some really great people, a couple to be exactly. They are genuinely good people and absolutely perfect in my eyes because of the similarities. I also think they are a little crazy because they think the same about me but that doesn’t keep the smiles at bay.

Fast Forward

Things have been getting better. I have even been sleeping better at night if I don’t stay up talking to him all night, she goes to bed earlier than us. I’m usually not much for talking on the phone but can talk to him for hours. We talk a lot about how insanely adorable she is, I’m getting off track, point is things have been better, finally.

Today, three days before the year mark of what my shit bag ex considers a life lesson, I had a stranger open the door to my bathroom as I was getting in the shower. Not a complete stranger in the sense that he works for the state as a housing inspector and has a key to all of the apartments. So, again, there was a certain level of trust because his job is to check the condition of the apartment, the foundation itself and check for needed repairs. His job involves a levels of trust when given the role and a key to numerous apartments.

Douche Numero Dos

His job requirements don’t involve him to go in unannounced and cause the tenant physical and emotional harm, helping himself to her body.  I mean, the state of Tennessee has determined him fit for entering a tenant’s residence to inspect and ensure safe living conditions. No one wants to feel unsafe in their home.

I had just started the shower to get the water hot and was brushing my teeth when the door started moving. There is not a lock on my bathroom door but there is one on the front door of my apartment. I didn’t give him permission to come in and never invited him in. To him, he didn’t need permission to enter and to both of us, I was home alone.

The way he was trying to creep his head in the doorway told me this was not the first time he did something like this. The douche fully expected me to be in the shower. I should have slammed his demented head in the door. But, that would “technically” be me causing physical harm.

So here it is, again. My life stuck on replay. All these emotions coming back I had a year ago. Mostly anger over the lack of justice.

Stuck On Replay

Just like my ex, he entered uninvited. I called housing authority immediately. They replied like my old employer saying they would “see what they could do for me”. Basically telling me be a good girl and stay quiet while they figure out what their story will be. But they didn’t mention doing something about him and what he had done.

I also called the cops and thanks to our justice system’s extremely poor case handling when it comes to shit like this, crimes against women and their vagina, he did not even know what to tell me because there wasn’t any physical harm done. His hands were up in the air, go figure.  The cop could not even tell me what law had been broken since “he didn’t actually touch me”.  I am not even comfortable enough to let the person I date see me fully naked and since the State of Tennessee deems this perv bastard fit enough to have a key he “technically did not break in”.

There is always a reason they get away with it, a person that cranks or twists a law or two in favor of the perverted, a way to justify the lack of justice, a reason to continue treating women like weaker, inferior beings by completely disregarding a woman’s right to say who sees, touches, or enters her own body. But there is never anything done to him

Brian was the first person I called. Then, just like a year ago I text Mr. International crying about what had happened. But what would have happened if I was in the shower, if I didn’t see him opening the door, then what?

Three guys walk into a bar

Okay it wasn’t a bar, it was my life. All three of them different in their own way but all the same, each flipping my life on its axis and walking away fully intact. Every time seemed like a new journey but it wasn’t, I only had a new passenger.

But that’s what dating is I guess, a routine thing. We meet someone, we smile, we laugh, we stick around, or we move on in search of our next passenger. It always hurts but we also alway heal.

Anyways, the three guys… I won’t include their names, two of them encouraged me to start this blog and the third doesn’t know about it. In fact, the only three people who know about my blog are three of my ex-boyfriends, that doesn’t mean they read it but I would like to think they can at least keep this between us.

If you have read any of my previous posts then you have read about two of the three already, one a businessman and the other a sheriff.

The “businessman” is the one I met in fourth grade… asshole came in class spouting off the answers to every math problem Mrs. Davidson put on the projector like he was some big shot. Then he did the same thing back in December when him and that smile of his walked in my apartment, only this time he had all the right answers and the problems were mine.

He was the person I could literally tell anything to and he wouldn’t judge me. He would correct me if I was wrong and said “hell yea” when I did something right. Not that hillbilly kind of hell yea but the kind that said “good fucking idea”, it meant a lot and still does, or would.

He tought me about crypto, the stock market, and we would bounce ideas off one another on ways to make money. He was encouraging, comforting, and there was a chemistry between us I have never felt before. He felt good, he felt scary, he felt like forever. Then he decided he loved his ex.

He said we will be friends but he lied, everyone says that. The rekindling of their relationship had unforeseen insecurities and trust issues that restrict his ability to be friends with me. I want to say I understand but I don’t. Maybe it’s a maturity thing or my ability to separate business from pleasure but not everyone can, that part I understand.

Then there was the sheriff, complete the opposite of the business man but equally smart. His body, his mind, and kind heart are enough to make any woman want forever with him. But also someone I could tell everything to.

After months of talking to this man at night and him being there every time I needed someone I had him on this pedestal. And I didn’t realize how much I liked him until the businessman tried to come back in my life. Apparently the ex wasn’t what he thought but my feelings for the sheriff were more than what I felt back in December, so I said no.

He went back to his ex, again, I stayed with the sheriff, they both turned us down. Go figure.

Right when I realized how much I cared for the sheriff he realized how much he didn’t care to be around me. Something had clicked and no matter what I did, I couldn’t change it. He said we would still be friends but we all know how that goes…

If I could change anything though I would change it all to be able to actually be friends with both of them. Drink beers with the businessman and yell at our computer screens as we watched the numbers go up and down on the exchange.

Or to be able sit and talk to the sheriff all night even if it meant we would never meet. Having someone you can count on is so much better and meaningful than a temporary fling where the person can’t stand to look at you. If it ever becomes too much though, missing her, let me know and I will bring the cookie dough.

I don’t know that it is a good thing, how the heart can heal over and over again. Because it can break just as quickly and there are too many people in this world for us to love just one.

Seems pointless now to tell you about third.

image

Anonymous

Pearl

I logged on the other day to write this and first things first, I checked The Daily Prompt. I always check the prompts before blogging to see what the word of the day is and maybe scroll through my social media accounts to see what airdrops and bounty programs are popping off and hopefully dodge all of the bad ones. Who am I kidding though, I get lost in the drops and before I know it three hours have passed and I have entered into ten more bounty programs.

What’s worse than a bad habit? One that fuels itself. Mine is crypto and I am addicted to airdrops, bounty programs, and free cryptocurrency. My friend says I’m in too deep and there’s no chance of getting clean but he created me then left me here to go back to his ex.

Who doesn’t love free money though, am I right or am I right? Ha! And yes, I will post those links with my referral codes on my page. So do me a solid and use them, we will both benefit by getting free tokens.

Anyways, back to the topic. I was already having a difficult enough time with the subject I had originally planned to talk about. I guess because it’s something I feel so strongly about and so traumatized by but outraged at the same time because it is so openly ignored by the masses, by people I thought were friends, and by family I thought I could turn to in my dark times.

People act like it’s a burden to listen, it’s much harder to be the narrator of a story you wished to never write, much less be the victim.

Dominant” was the prompt word, ironic. I say ironic because my initial post was about rape, much easier to type than it is to say. Rape, no one likes to talk about it and no one likes to hear about it. The people who fanaticize about being ‘raped’ don’t even actually want it to happen, they just want to play a role. Kind of like the people who say they will be there for you but are only play a role and after a while they won’t answer because their role doesn’t involve helping their friend who has become a depressed rape victim. Whew, I mean who am I to be such an inconvenience to those who said they would always be there for me. I guess I missed the fine print clause that stated how it was only a role to be played during happy times in one’s life…

My rambling is only avoiding the original topic, a word that my lips still can’t form without the actual word itself shapeshifting before it exits my mouth. It always comes out as ‘he sexually assaulted me’ or ‘that thing he did’.

Now I’m kind of scrambling around, trying to find the right keys to form the words of what was going to be a blog on rape culture, how the justice system fails victims time after time, and my own assault case. See that, it even happens when I type. It is extremely hard trying to make a post out of something I can’t even vocalize and the people closest to me don’t want to hear. It’s not as hard to say it when the word culture follows. I guess it’s because when you say culture it pertains to everyone and not just what happened to you personally.

People act like it’s such a burden to listen, it’s much harder to be the narrator of a story you wished to never be the victim of. Like you could sit there and let me think you’re a good person and the whole time be tuning me out and not even listening. But I cannot escape the nightmares that come every night where it happens over and over.  The nightmares that keep me awake night after night.

He had the angel of death tattooed on his chest. At one point it was no longer him holding me down in the nightmares but the Angel of Death instead, hovering over my body. Both were so real, I hated sleeping. It has been a year and I still hate it.

Rape. It happens to more people than not so why do so many get away with it? It is one of the more traumatizing violent acts that can happen to a person but so many victims are ignored or silenced. We only have our bodies when we come into this world, what happens when that’s taken from us?

You have to punish people for the things they shouldn’t do or there’s no reason for people to stop doing those things. People are more fearful of it happening to them again than rapists are about what will happen when they get caught, if they even get caught.

What chance do you have of getting justice from a system that doesn’t listen to the victim’s pleas for help but instead trades Iraq war stories with the guy that assaulted you. What reason is there in giving the investigator the clothes he cut off of you in your sleep because you had said no two hours before that if they will never even be presented in a courtroom. What is the point in giving the police text messages where the guy from footwear admitted to what he did to you when he cut your clothes off if they never met the tips of a jury member’s hands.

I told him no and he didn’t listen. He said he did it because I didn’t know my place, that I was too strong. He told me he wanted to destroy something beautiful after months of looking me in my eyes and saying that he loved the way my mind worked in such beautiful ways. He didn’t deny what happened, that thing he did to me. He just forgot to include the part where I said no to his requests for sex a couple of hours before because we were then just friends and there to study for exams. He forgot to tell the investigator the part where he laughed after he was done, and the part where he told me to ‘get the fuck over it, that they are just clothes’ as he rolled over and turned his back to me and went to sleep. Rape must take a lot out of a person, he fell asleep fast.

They were not ‘just clothes’.

When he met with the investigator he told Daniel that I was ‘kinky’, which the investigator in turn shared with the DA that was in charge of presenting my case to the Grand Jury for prosecution. The DA said I must have made him think I wanted it to happen, that I must have asked for it in some way because of my ‘kinky’ desires. Silly me, I never knew the word ‘no’ had so many meanings.

Why is the statement of a rapist more valued than evidence from a rape? Why are victims punished and rapists victimized. I still can’t say the actual word and he’s still laughing about it.

This post is not meant to discourage or keep anyone from reaching out for help. It is instead meant to shed light on the cases that go unheard and the ones that are mishandled by the justice system.

There are people who will listen and resources out there that can help you.

National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org)

TIME’S UP

Bitcoin Token

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Bitcoin Token (BTK) doesn’t only stand out due to its satisfying transaction speed but also due to its lower transaction fees, peer-to-peer technology and lack of centralized authority. BTK is ERC20-compliant making it easily tradable on de-centralized exchanges.

With BTK being a community driven currency developers incredibly active on the Community’s social channels, ready to answer any questions and welcoming creative ideas. The response time is incredible when compared to others I have dealt with and easier to understand in comparison to some of the business based currencies out there.

BTK is a refreshing newcomer to the crypto scene with its speedy transactions, secure Ethereum platform, ERC20 compliance, and community involvement. Wether you are new to Crypto investing or you have been in the game a while, BTK‘s open source, peer-to-peer technology, faster speeds, and lower transaction costs makes it one for the masses and a (r)evolution you don’t want to miss.

First Airdrop:

Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 7.27.52 PM

January 19-31

Pre-Sale of 10% of total supply. This will allow for BTK to be listed on exchanges and the future 90% of airdrops to be free

There will be a #Bounty and other #Airdrops announced on the Bitcoin Token social media channels closer to time so be sure to follow the links below.

Join with our Community:

Website: http://bitcointoken.droppages.com
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/BitcoinToken/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bitcoin_token 

Token Information:

Token Name: Bitcoin Token
Symbol: BTK
Decimal: 18
Token Circulation : 10,000,000,000
Contract Address: 0xdb8646f5b487b5dd979fac618350e85018f557d4

Please remember that this is a blog post. This is not meant to be used as any form of advice on crypto investing or trading. These are opinions of my own, not advice. Before investing please do your research.

 

hesterspearl.wordpress.com 

https://en.gravatar.com/hesterspearl

 

What day is it again?

It’s never enough. No matter what you do there’s never enough time.

It’s like the older I get there’s seriously less time in the day. I get further into my education, there’s more homework, more pressure, more time focused on my studies when it’s needed elsewhere. I get further in my career but there’s more tasks to complete, more weight on my shoulders.

My kids move into the next grade level, there’s more homework and more after school dance rehearsals or sports to get to. Which also means more take out and less money, which leads to more late nights of my own homework and before I know it everything is piled up. Laundry, bills, unfinished tasks, messages and missed calls that never receive that response I meant to type or that call I forgot to make. Kind of like the blogs that never leave the boundaries of my mind only to be forgotten because I didn’t have time to write the moment the feeling hit me.

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to co-parent. More now then before.

To be able to have that parenting partner I could ask to take the kids to a football practice or dance rehearsal so I can type that essay or study for that big final. I mean I know I’m not the only one but it’s lonely. Being the only parent. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining nor am I looking for pity or pats on the back. I’m no damsel nor am I super woman. When I say it gets lonely I mean the nights that are longer than the days because I have so much to get done for the three of us. If I don’t no one will but there’s SO much to get done that I don’t know that o will ever get it all finished.

I don’t want to party or neglect my children in anyway, those two babies have taught me what it means to truly love another. I just want to read a book from beginning to end, maybe make it through a semester without stress crying, have someone that could pay attention to my kids or help them with homework when I can’t because I have to work or have a night class. I want to be able to take them on vacations and show them the world but we can’t. I want the partnership that some people have in a co-parenting relationship, someone to say “I got it” when I can’t.

I hate the nights that both of them have a rehearsal or practice and one has to outweigh the other because I can’t be at both. Then there’s that thing I hate even more than those nights, it’s the times when my children have all these activities they want to be a part of but I have to watch them cry and choose which one they want to do the most because mama’s a single parent/ college student/ self-employed person who just doesn’t have the time to devote to a relationship because like them I always have to choose and messages go without replies. It’s hard. It could be easier with that partnership but who the f**k has the time??

Just a thought… didn’t want it to get put in the pile.

Did you say crypto?

Okay, so I lost my job back in June of last year. The dreadful 2017, so glad we got that behind us. Anyways, I was SUPER broke. I needed to focus on my health and my finances were shit which in turn only made my health worse. I was seriously applying to so many jobs that I had applications zooming all over the internet. I couldn’t keep track of what jobs I had applied to because I was applying to so many places.

Then, I started looking for ways to make money at home. I mean why not? I was already on my laptop 23/7, okay maybe not that much but you get the point. So since I was on the computer the majority of my waking hours I figured I might as well try to make money doing it.

Turns out there’s a ton of ways to make money from your laptop! BUT the majority of them let you get two-thirds of the way through the registration and BAM, they want a credit card number. Complete bs, you’ve hit a dead-end and have to start over.

Then a friend of mine from my baby-faced days started posting on Facebook about this cryptocurrency and how he’s just got the dough rolling in. So of course I was like sign me up!! The, me being me,  I asked a ton of questions… he responded with “do your research”. He wasn’t much help at all really but at he was being honest about his profits and it being a legitimate investment.

So once again, I thought why not? And I wiggled my toes in the digital currency waters.

I started with very small investments, three to be exact. That way I wouldn’t lose too much if it flopped or maybe dude was right and I would gain enough and end up investing larger amounts in the future. Either way it wasn’t a huge amount but I way too broke not to risk it.

I invested into bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin…don’t ask details I’m no better at supplying you with what those words mean than friend. But I can say it is worth doing your research.  I wish I would have invested sooner.

Remember me saying I was broke? Yea well, it got worse. I had to pull two of my three investments. It was that or we didn’t eat and my amazing kids aren’t so nice when they are hangry. They get that from their mama.

Of course, within weeks ethereum and litecoin prices both started climbing. And which two investments did I take out you ask? You know it!!  I had taken out both of my ethereum and litecoin investments. Major facepalm!! But I didn’t have a choice.

A lot of people hear the word “crypto” and it puts up this mental shield. We are like noooope, not me, no crypto- here…thanks Super-Man. Or at least that’s what kept happening to me. But that guy from my other post with the smile that’s good with numbers… I shouldn’t have even brought that up. Now I’m off track.

Anyways, he helped me grasp a better understanding of what some of the words actually mean. He told me to completely erase that word “crypto” and focus on the idea of digital currency. He says it’s like sending an email instead of mailing a letter. He always breaks shit down into some easier picture for me like that and at the drop of a hat too.  It’s hot!

Where was I? Oh yea…he makes it easier to grasp. Instead of saying just making the investment for me he’s actually teaching me how the digital money world works, very small pieces at a time.

Now instead of wiggling my toes in the digital currency waters I want to dive off the diving board… but I can’t. I’m still sitting at the kiddy pool learning to doggy paddle. But point is that I’m eager to do more now that I have a better understanding of the basics, he tries to teach me more but I get to looking at that smile and swoon, I forget to listen every time.

You see all these pages and links advertising how someone wants to make investments for you or tell you to “do your research” and they all want to keep a percentage. But what do you do after that? How are you going to throw me in the deep end and not teach me to swim? Okay they make the initial investment but you’re left there to drown, just as clueless as before.

Do your research before hand. You don’t need to pay someone to tell you that, I just did it for free. And hey, if you still don’t get it I know a guy with an amazing smile and a great way of explaining things. And you don’t have to wait until you have a chunk of money to invest, there’s stuff you can do to earn free coins.

You will have to download Coinbase so that you can get paid and then download the coin spinner to start earning that free digital currency. Seriously, he is the one that downloaded the app for me and we both play it daily. Once you start that I will post more ways to earn free coins.

Happy Hump Day!

 

They Say It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn…

I’m not sure what I am writing this for really, not this post. I just feel a need to let my thoughts pour out onto these keys because no one can hear the shit that goes through another person’s head but some how typing this makes it feel possible. Like someone is listening to the thoughts I can’t form into words or ever really find the right moment in a conversation to bring them up.

We hit hour 124 last night and I felt the need to write laying next to him and I should have, but I dozed off only to wake up shaking. These nightmares are starting to piss me off. Seemed like I was for hours, so much can happen in a dream compared to reality but I was only asleep for a few minutes.

Right now there’s a page from the book I am reading that stuck out to me the first time I flipped through the pages. It’s the whole reason I was so eager to read the book. Danielewski must have been predicting my future thoughts or something because the first page of the intro cannot in any way be more perfect:

I still get nightmares.    In fact I get them so often I should be used to them by now.    I’m not.   No one ever really gets used to nightmares… I’m so tired.   Sleep’s been stalking me for too long to remember.   Inevitable I suppose.    Sadly though, I’m not looking forward to the prospect.   I say ‘sadly’ because there was a time when I actually enjoyed sleeping.   In fact I did it all the time.

-Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves

Have you ever just been so lost and alone that you feel like you’ll never find your way back to the light, to that happiness you once had? The happiness that you took for granted because you never even realized that you were “happy”.  That kind of darkness even makes the stars look different. I’ve developed an appreciation for the nights where the moon seems blown up. Those nights where it’s so beautiful that it illuminates the sky and the darkness doesn’t seem quite so bad. I have spent countless nights looking at the sky hoping that I wasn’t alone in a way but also wishing that this feeling wasn’t caused by something that happens so frequently.

Then right when the darkness had consumed my life and I am getting used to living there, he shows up. The days had become filled with darkness and nights were now my days, I had adjusted my life to accommodate the dark. He makes me want to go back to my old ways, the “normal” ones. When your up at night like the ones who work third shift jobs it feels like a whole other world. It’s a different life style. You sleep during the day, for the most part, you live a night, and know a completely different set of people. The ones that live in the dark rather than light. Some by choice, some not, and others out of fear to what will happen if they succumb to it.

Two nights ago he asked me my favorite color. When I told him my favorite color is black we went back and forth, him trying to prove it’s not an actually color and me validating my choice. Funny if you think about it. How darkness has consumed my life the past 364 days to the point that even my favorite color is now black. Just another word for dark.

So he asked my second favorite…red. Two colors that are usually combined to instil fear in people or depict something bad. That’s not why I like them, I don’t know why really. But I asked his… green and brown.

I find humor and comfort in what might seem like such a small detail to some people because it’s just our favorite colors. But when juxtapose them a small detail can represent so much. They can represent fear and comfort, the known and unknown, light and dark, death and rebirth, dusk and dawn.

Today he asked to stop by after work, only different because it was during the day.  I was going to ask if something was wrong because he usually comes over after he puts his daughter to sleep. Plus I usually ask him to come over and hope that he will want to even though he’s just left a few hours before that.

He walked in with that smile that makes my body quiver. He handed me flowers and a bottle of sparkling grape juice for my kids. The flowers are red and black. 

It was the perfect surprise at the perfect time!

It was a 1000 times better than anything any man has ever done for me. Not just because it was a surprise but he paid attention. He listens when I talk. He put thought into it. I mean he went the extra mile to find flowers my favorite color and he also thought of my kids in the process. He is everything I have never had, exactly what I needed, and at the perfect time. This year that has been filled with nothing but pain and darkness  is finally almost over. He is the dawn.

 

 

 

 

They’re Always Watching

Sometimes I forget just how much my children are paying attention to everything I do. In the past eight years of being a single mom I have become painfully aware of a lot of the little things I do that will eventually add up to being huge factors in their lives. I am still new at this, some days I am horrible at it. It’s a learning process for all of us and they teach me just as much as I teach them.

Appearance, how we view ourselves, how we view others. I was a little asshole that tried way to hard to fit in during my younger years. I am still an asshole now, I just stopped trying to fit in. I was never much for judging people on their appearance though, my family was far from rich and I also grew up in a single parent house hold.

Looking back now I realize how hard my mom worked to give us the things we had. I am sure some days she wasn’t even able to stay above water, not quite drowning but fighting for those quick gasps of air every now and then. She did her best to hide it but I was always up her ass following her around, worried that she would cry if I left her alone. So I annoyed her instead that way she would be forced to smile when she came up for that quick gasp of air, she always did.

As a mom I get it, as her child I wish I would have been able to do more, want a lot less. I try to teach my kids the value of diversity. The beauty that comes with being around people from various parts of the world. The valuable wisdom that comes with being open to learning why people believe what they do instead of closed off to ones that don’t believe the same things as them. I try to teach them to respect another person’s religious practices, being open to the fact that not all are the same, and the fact that that’s okay. That some don’t have any rituals at all and that is okay too. The world’s beauty lies in the fact that we are all different.

The same diversity that I teach them to be so open to because of its overflowing beauty is the same thing will cause them to miss out on so many life chances because of how mean the world can be and its refusal to actually change into a beautiful, kind thing to be a part of.  That’s the part I don’t teach them. I don’t teach them how their beautiful skin will intimidate some people, the kind of people I teach them not to be. I shield them to that because I don’t want it to shape them into that kind of person. I don’t want them to see someone and determine a person’s worth before they have the chance to hear who the person is on the inside.

I don’t tell them that some children are taught differently than them. I can’t tell them that some parents teach their children the opposite and that they should judge a person from a far, sizing them up and basing their opinion on image instead of the goodness of their character and beauty of one’s soul. How sometimes it will be okay for them to date some people until their “one-way” lifestyle parents find out that they aren’t sun-kissed but are in fact bi-racial with a mother that is caucasian and a father that is african-american. I don’t teach them this because I don’t see a point putting a label on their beauty, a category label on them like so many people feel the need to do.

Some of you know what I mean, those random individuals from older generations, people you have never met a day in your life that walk up to you at Wal-Mart and say “Oh my word, what pretty children. What are they?” That question always confuses me.

I guess it confuses me because so many people have fought given everything to steer us away from race having such a negative impact on our everyday life that I can’t understand why strangers still feel okay walking up to us at the store and asking “what my children are”. Don’t do that, it’s rude. It’s never too early to start teaching them self-defense classes and you’ll be the practice dummy. Why can’t they just be beautiful children?

I just don’t see the point in defining a person by their skin tone. Embrace your heritage and learn from it but don’t let it define the person you become, some of us are better people because of it. Some people should not take trips to Wal-Mart with their parents and learn that it’s okay to ask random people what their children are like it’s the equivalent to asking which aisle the milk is on, it’s not. This blog is not about race issues exactly though. This is about image perception, how my children are learning to view themselves and the world around them. It’s about how the world is so hell-bent to separate us all into these categories.

I tell my kids equally that they are beautiful just as much as I tell them they are smart. God, they are both, I am truly lucky. They are beautiful, they are extremely intelligent with a hunger for knowledge that is never satisfied, and they are respectful. They don’t pick their nose in public or repeat the stuff that comes out of their mama’s foul ass mouth. I am young and it is a struggle trying to balance being a mom and no option of a co-parent lifestyle while also juggling school and work but I have amazing parents that have helped out tremendously when I couldn’t be there.

School is the biggest thing I have seen my children pick up on. It’s amazing, they place so much value on school work and even though they are only in first and second grade they are determined to go to college. To them school doesn’t stop when you graduate high-school. That’s just another stepping stone before they go off to college and mama leaves to travel the world because she will still be in her thirties. Heyyyy! I’m kidding I’m kidding, they know I will following them to whatever college their heart desires. Okay that was really a joke, I am catching the first flight to Italy.

A person can tell my kids that they are beautiful and handsome all day but to them it means so much more when you acknowledge how smart they are. I always make sure to say it too, whenever someone compliments their appearance. I always point out how hard they work in school and how they are so extraordinarily smart and that’s always the point when they look up and have a huge smile across their face. Image doesnt’ mean nearly as much to them as wisdom does and as their mother I am so grateful for that. That is what makes them truly beautiful and I hope they don’t allow the world to take that from them. Beauty is fun to look at but life’s true beauty is when you meet someone with a good soul and I hope they have the chance to encounter many in their lifetime.

I was almost lost…

2017… it almost killed me. I almost gave up. There’s two days left, we hit the 100 hour mark and I am happier than I have been all year. I have smiled more in the last 100 hours than I have all year. I haven’t slept anymore than I usually do but the hours have passed too fast where they once crept.

I have been riding that euphoric high a person gives you when your soul connects with another. A mix between finally returning home after a horrible trip and the feeling in your gut once the roller-coaster makes that huge drop after climbing to the top of the tracks. Breathtakingly beautiful yet horrifying.

But I almost didn’t get home, I almost gave up.

I didn’t think I would make it to see the end of the year but I kept getting back up for my children. This was the worst year of my life but I couldn’t leave them. I have seen what it does to the ones that are left. I started to see it in their eyes, the depression and horrible shit I had been shielding them from was starting to become noticeable. They started asking me if I was okay and giving me extra kisses at bedtime.

That might all seem normal but a mother knows when her child becomes aware of something you try so hard to protect them from. Sometimes it happens no matter how hard we try. The world tends to seep through the cracks, stealing a tiny portion of our innocence each time.

I don’t have a New Year’s resolution. I just want to have more better days in 2018. More days spent in the sunshine with my children, I have spent 2017 in the dark. It was a melancholy year.

I want to ride this roller-coaster as long as I can and not worry about the what-ifs. I want my shoulders to bend when the world creeps in so I can allow more stuff to roll off, the weight of her hands can be so heavy. I want to be happy again, I am envious of the person I once was, before 2017.