The birthday post

Today is my birthday. I always become very introspective around this time every year. I suppose that’s a normal thing to do…reflect on the year. Consider what you’ve done or maybe haven’t done. This is probably compounded by the fact that my birthday is in December, the month when people begin to collectively do the same thing. It’s been a pretty good year. It’s been a busy year. I feel like this year kind of got away from me. That’s probably why I’ve been thinking about time and balance a lot lately. Things seem to move so quickly, and I don’t seem to have enough time (or energy) for all the things I want to do.  If you asked any supervisor I’ve had at any job, they would probably tell you I’m great at these things because they only know me as an employee. And I’m a damn good employee.

But what about all of the other ways I identify myself? That is where I get stuck, and I can only assume that many other people have the same struggle. I sometimes lose direction without the structure of being an employee, and that sucks. Even today, I took the day off work, and I laid in bed for at least an hour trying to decide what I wanted to do with my day only to find myself in a coffee shop with my laptop doing this. Don’t worry. I’m seeing Lady Gaga tonight, so it’s not an entirely lonely day.

Creativity and art, and having an outlet are important to me. That’s why I have this website and it’s really not very good if we’re being honest. That is also why I spend a lot of time observing the art and creative outlets of others. I admire it and am envious of their drive and talent that I have convinced myself don’t have. But there is so much more I want to do that I only think about because where would I fit it in the time that I have? If we’re talking about numbers alone, I probably have the time. It’s finding the energy that becomes the problem. If you’re an introvert, and you have a job that involves dealing with people all day everyday, you can likely relate. Working with the public is exhausting in general, but it’s a million times worse if you are a more introverted person. It drains you to the point, that you don’t have much left by the end of the day, and you look forward to the weekends because you can close the blinds, and watch an entire season of a TV show on Netflix and (this is key) speak to no one except maybe your cats. Harrison has a hard time understanding this. He likes to tell me that I’m the only person standing in my own way, which is true, sort of. But then it becomes a question of self-care. Do I sacrifice that for a while? I don’t know what the right answer is.

I’m a millennial. One thing that is true of millennials is that we crave meaningful work. I only find that to be true of my job a small part of the time. The rest of it is corporate bullshit, office politics, and “leaders” making shitty decisions.

I could get a new job, and believe me, I’m working on it. It’s hard to sell yourself with a piece of paper. It’s a cruel guessing game they play in HR departments everywhere. All of us are sending in these documents, hoping we used the right key words, so a computer will tell a human they should maybe take another look or call us or (holy shit) meet us in person. I hate every piece of that process.

In the meantime, I need to recalibrate the amount of energy I put into my job and shift it to other areas of my life. It is in my nature to work hard and care a lot, sometimes to the detriment of myself. I get it from my dad. Work, contribute to a 401K, retire happy. Minus the mountain of student loan debt that is going nowhere fast, I’m doing those things with about a C average. I have to start finding things that fulfill me. As I get older the regret starts creeping in, and I do not want to be on my death bed thinking about all of the things I wish I would have made time for. The happy retirement piece might be questionable if I keep going the direction I’m going.

This is a sad birthday blog. Sorry. I’m happy. But I’m trying to figure out how to be happier as I plant myself solidly in my 30s. Being an adult doesn’t have to be plagued by things you have to do but don’t really want to, right?

#Metoo

 I’ve been hesitant to comment on this publicly because honestly, I feel incredibly lucky. In my 31 years of life, I have avoided so much of the kinds of abuse that many women I know have experienced. My face of the resting bitch variety, and the fact that I spent many of my thinnest, most attractive, and certainly horniest years surrounded by the comfort of several gay men probably helped me to avoid some of the douchiest of douche-bags.

I am lucky, but at the same time, I’ve been thinking about experiences I’ve had that I’ve laughed off because, well, dudes are creeps. And we’re used to it. I wrote in this blog about a man offering to impregnate me outside a bar. Once, at a bus stop, a man looked me up and down and said, “You look good,” as if I were actually a delicious food item. I posted something witty on Facebook about it and moved on with my day. Guys have grabbed my boobs “accidentally” in bar; a male friend of mine used to tell me that he liked my butt and was constantly grabbing it in public. It’s part of the female experience, and while it bothers us in the moment, we forget about it and move on.

Every time women are objectified and sexualized in this way, it impacts us. It creates this idea that women are pretty little things here for the pleasure of men, and our societal power structure has led men to believe that they can do anything and say anything without the risk of consequence. It chips away at our spirits, bit by bit. Hopefully, this moment we’re in right now is the start of piecing ourselves back together and reclaiming ourselves as our own. I hope it doesn’t fade.

I know there are good men. I’m with one, and I know a lot of them. I’ve also known a lot of shitty ones- like the former co-worker who used walk around the office talking about women he dated like they were nothing but orifices for him to fill while the other bros in the office laughed about it. He was finally let go, and I hope that he’s learned something. There are so many men like that, and all of those men have friends who are laughing like it’s no big deal. Stop laughing. Stop enabling. It would be so powerful it if you just said, “Hey man, that’s not cool.” Try it out.

P.S. Also, honest, opinionated, intelligent women are not abrasive, bossy, or bitchy. Stop being wimps, you guys.

 

A Saturday hike

 

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When your soul-sucking day job starts to catch up with you…

 

 

go somewhere quieter, where you can hear the wind move through the trees instead of rattling your old apartment window…

 

 

where you can only see your responsibilities far off in the distance…

 

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where you can be reminded that even the most relentless flames can’t destroy the core of a structure…

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and where strange but beautiful things begin to sprout out of what was once destroyed.IMG_2792IMG_2793

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look one direction and the outlook is dark and ominous…

 

 

 

 

 

 

but turn your head just slightly…

 

and be amazed.

 

Go higher…
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so you can see further.

 

Take it in.

 

 

 

 

 

But don’t forget who’s next to you the entire time holding your water bottle.

 

 

 

 

 

Location: Eldorado Canyon State Park

While you’re out there, I’ll be in here

Here are all the things I’ll be doing this weekend while everyone else is getting hammered in a crowded, shitty bar in face paint that is flaking off or wearing a costume five other people are also wearing.

 

  • Not waking up hungover.

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  • Yoga and maybe more yoga.

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  • Watching Will & Grace on Hulu. I’m on the last season.

  • Watching the new season of Stranger Things.

  • Reading a good book.

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  • Maybe I’ll watch Hocus Pocus. That movie’s rad.

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  • And basically not leaving my apartment except during daylight hours. Maybe.

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Happy weekend before Halloween. Be safe out there!

 

 

I’m currently leaking ink

I got a tattooooooo!

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This is what it looks like when I spend an irresponsible amount of money, but hey, when you’ve been fantasizing about something for years, it might be time to pull the trigger.

A few years ago, I went to Portland when Harrison and I were going through a tough time and were unsure if we were going to stay together. One of us needed to remove ourselves from the situation. I was in Portland alone for a couple days and then a friend met me there. It rained so much. It poured every day that I was there. I came armed with my umbrella and carrying a broken spirit. As much as I love Denver, Portland was there when I needed it. I found my independence again in those days that I was alone navigating a new city in the rain. In the past, I’ve used rain as a metaphor for feelings. You can’t ignore them. You might be able to shield yourself a bit with the help of a good friend or an everyday distraction. In a downpour, an umbrella might help, but you will get wet no matter how much you try to avoid it. Feel your feelings; feel the rain.

I still love Portland, and this year, Harrison and I were able to enjoy the city together.

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If you’re in the Denver area and looking for some excellent tattoo artists, check out Certified Customs. You can also check them out on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

I’m planning some changes and some additions around here soon. I’ve been posting here for almost 2 years, and it feels stagnant. Maybe I feel stagnant. That’s probably true. *sigh*

Maybe I’m not interesting enough. I’m not, but neither is anyone else.

The bottom line is that I want this to be better and more interesting for everyone involved. Myself included. I don’t want to bore you or myself.

If I’m being honest, I’m also feeling quite drained lately. It could be my day job. It could be the 45 presidency. I don’t know. I’m doing a lot work on finding balance and learning how I can have energy for all the things I want to make room for in my life. I’ll get there.

So here’s a bit of what I’m planning:

-A name change. “Everyone is Drunk” was funny and there was a weird meaning behind it, but I don’t think it reflects me or the things I post here very well. Sure, I can be funny sometimes, but sometimes I’m not. I’m especially not funny lately. It feels weird to be funny considering everything that’s happening. Also, this is not about drunk people, and I don’t even enjoy drunk people. I’m weighing some options. I’d like to pay homage to my favorite delicious snack- Chips and Salsa. You might see something like “_____ with a side of salsa.” Meditation with a side of salsa? Gibberish and salsa? Musings with a side of salsa?

-How about a Colorado or Denver specific section? I live here. I have always lived here. I love it here, so maybe I should talk about it more. Maybe I could make some recommendations of business to shop at, events to attend, or maybe some things to avoid.

-I’d like to share some of my yoga journey with, and maybe in doing so, remove some of the ideas about what a modern student of yoga looks like or acts like.

I have some bigger ideas to stretch my creativity that are long term. For now, I’ll work on making this a bit more interesting. It may take some time because I’m also in the middle of a WordPress course to learn more about how this shit works.

Stay tuned.

Open Letters to Senator Cory Gardner- round 2

As promised, and with plenty of snark, here is the letter I wrote to Senator Cory Gardner about my experience at Planned Parenthood.

Dear Senator Cory Gardner,

      I’m taking time to write this letter to implore you to please listen to your constituents and protect women’s healthcare, and by that I mean protect Planned Parenthood. First question: Do you have any idea how ridiculous it is that we women have to write letters to a bunch of old men begging them not to make changes that drastically restrict access to healthcare and contraception. That’s mostly a rhetorical question, but the answer is that it’s really bloody ridiculous. (See what I did there? Period joke.)

I did not have health insurance for substantial part of my early twenties because I could not afford it. This was before the Affordable Care Act, of course. I went a very long time without a Pap exam or any kind of routine check-up. I didn’t have great access to contraception either. Sure, condoms are fine, but surely you know that women use birth control to address other health issues. Oh, you didn’t know that? I thought you and your Republican boys club were the experts? Well, I have Endometriosis. It’s mild, thank goodness, but birth control keeps it under control. That way, my whole mid-section doesn’t feel like it’s wrapped in barbed wire when I get my period. I was also diagnosed with P.M.D.D. (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder) at one point in my life. Certain birth control pills help regulate moods, so women don’t contemplate suicide for about 4 days of every month. I’m not saying that to be crass or insensitive; I’m saying it because that’s what I went through.

I don’t know if you know what it’s like to not have health insurance, but it’s basically okay until it’s really really not okay. For a while, things were going fine. I mean, my periods were awful, and my moods were in the dumps, but at least it was regular. That is, until they weren’t. My periods started getting really erratic. I would bleed at random times during the month. And not just a little bit. I was bleeding a lot. My mood swings were so bad that I had to leave work on several occasions. I was young, broke, and scared. My body and my brain were completely betraying me. I called a low-cost clinic in my area, and they couldn’t see me for weeks. Then I called Planned Parenthood. They could see me the next day.

The Planned Parenthood staff was more attentive and caring than any doctor’s office I had ever been to. They listened to my concerns, and offered solutions. I was able to get a routine exam and easy, affordable access to birth control to get my body and mind back on track. When I found myself in a long-term relationship a year or so later, they were there to counsel me when I was thinking about other birth control options.

Let’s be real, Cory. Abstinence is not realistic for twenty-somethings. No matter how hard you believe it, it doesn’t make it so. You fiscal conservatives, don’t want to pay for the kids we don’t want and can’t afford, so you can at least help us out with an IUD and some pills, don’t you think?

I have friends who have been raped. I have friends who have found themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. The local clinics you and your colleagues would rather see money be funneled to couldn’t help me, they couldn’t help my friends, but Planned Parenthood could. Planned Parenthood is not a place that rips babies from the womb and tosses them in the dumpster as you and your Republican friends have brainwashed people to believe. It is a healthcare facility where women have access to routine exams they may otherwise not have access to, and where they can get contraception for whatever reason they need it. It is a safe place where women can be counseled as they make difficult decisions.

I’m sure you’re getting squirmy about that unplanned pregnancy thing. Let’s discuss this. Women do not make decisions like this all willy-nilly like. It’s hard. If you and your Republican pals were actually “pro-life,” you would vote differently on basically everything. I will never believe you’re “pro-life.” You are pro-fetus, and you’re anti-choice. Until your voting record changes, you will not convince me otherwise. If we lived in a country that supported kids after they leave the womb, regardless of the circumstance they’re born into, maybe some women wouldn’t feel like abortion is their only option. No matter a woman’s reason for her decision, it is her’s to make. Your religion has no place in legislation about women’s healthcare.

Final question, Cory: What do you think will happen if you take away a place where women can receive affordable routine exams, contraception, and family planning counseling? The answer isn’t hard. You can get there with common sense. You have that, right? I sure hope so, Cory. The answer should be a problem for someone who says they’re a fiscal conservative.

Please make good choices, so women are able to make choices at all. Your constituents are watching, and we are all waiting for 2020 if you continue to turn your back on us.

Sincerely,

Whitney B.

Not a paid protester

Denver, CO

               P.S. If any of this was too graphic for you, it might be a good indication, that you are not the authority on the female reproductive system or the care of it. Leave it to the ladies. We can handle this.