Welcome to May's Use Your Words round-up! This is how it works: participating bloggers chose four to six words or short phrases for another blogger to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
My words are:
coffee ~ drawing ~ outlet ~ infrastructure ~ voice ~ performative
It was submitted by: https://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com (Thank you, Jenniy, for such thought provoking words and the wonderful discussions we have had recently!! Also, coffee. <3)
This is going to be one of those posts, where I just ramble on and on, and hopefully you follow along, and maybe you don't, but in the end at least I got stuff off my chest. Not the best type of post, but probably the exact post I need to make at the moment. I have so much on my mind lately, and this blog is probably my best outlet for my thoughts and emotions. When I was younger, my biggest outlet for my thoughts and emotions, was art, and it was definitely my happy place. I don't care if I was drawing on random scraps of paper, painting on canvas, experimenting with charcoal, or attempting to create a 3D art piece, I was definitely in my happy zone. I spent every possible moment of my senior year, in the art room.
These days, I would definitely say that art has taken a backseat in my life, and reading and writing has become my thing. I know part of it, is because art supplies are expensive, and I could never justify the spending, when really I would just be doing it to get my mind to calm and my thoughts to sort themselves and simmer down. I definitely think I spent my teens and twenties using my art in place of my voice, on many occasions. These days, I use written word to be my voice, and I am not sure if the irony is rich or just sad. When I was younger, I was not scared to voice my thoughts and opinions, but I think I felt like my art shared it better than my words ever could. These days, I am still not all that scared to voice my opinions, but I am more cautious and conscientious of potential consequences, and so I often just write out my feelings.
One definite irony to my current method, is that the vast majority of the stuff I write, where I voice my feelings and thoughts, is never even read by anyone other than myself. I guess it really does not matter who hears or reads what I have to say, just as long as I say it, and get it off my chest. Most of the time, it comes out in the form of poetry. Sometimes, it is in the form of a blog post or a Facebook status. I do sometimes tweet out my thoughts, though that does not happen all that often. I have become more aware lately, of the importance of me getting things off my chest, and I have also become aware of the potential consequences of speaking out, and I had even created a completely anonymous blog, so that I could just say anything and everything. It never really developed into anything, though I have been thinking about trying to make it work again lately, as I notice more and more, the impact stress is having on me physically.
The main reason I basically abandoned the anonymous blog, is because I feel like if I have something to say, and I choose to say it, I should stand behind my words one hundred percent. I really did not want to say anything too crazy in blog posts, but I definitely wanted to be less edited. This is my blog, and I can write anything I want, and I do, but often I find myself holding back some. Sometimes, it is simply by not adding in swear words that I think in my head, and other times it is by writing an entire post on a subject, and then simply never publishing the post. I do not mind being controversial, but at the same time, I want my blog to be a peaceful place. These days, it seems like when controversy strikes on the Internet, it can grow out of control quickly, and I really want to avoid that on my blog.
A good example of this, is something that happened to me recently. It seems like everyone wants to be YouTube famous these days. I know that is a terrible generalization, and that the number of people who could care less about being YouTube famous, far outnumbers those who want it. It is just undeniable that people are often hungry for recognition, and trying to be the one with the video that goes viral. Sometimes, that comes in the form of actions that I find to be terrible. A good example of this, is the videos you see of someone who obviously needs help, and yet people are more worried about getting the incident on film, than on helping.
Another thing you will often see are pranks. Sometimes, I feel the pranks go too far. I know some people have even gotten in actual legal trouble over stuff done in videos, and I am grateful for that. Sometimes, the pranks seem harmless enough, but if you look at the bigger picture, it is not as harmless as one may hope. Recently, on an episode of Live PD (A show on A&E, which is similar to COPS, but just live), one such prank happened. As I was watching the guy interact with the police, I remember thinking... This cannot be real. This has to be a joke. I was also very worried for the guy. I was thinking, either he is on some hidden camera show, or he is mentally unstable and possibly a danger to himself/others.
The next day, I found out that it was a YouTube star, and he was filming a prank video. He purposely stalked the area where he knew the Live PD officers were filming, and did everything he could, within a reasonable level of wrong, to get pulled over, and then he put on quite a show for the Live PD cameras. Of course, his followers knew what he was doing, but for those of us who had no clue who he was, it was quite the confusing segment, and many of us were genuinely concerned for him. It was actually a relief to find out it was just a YouTuber doing a prank.
I did not find it funny, because I guess I have zero sense of humor. However, after thinking about it for a few minutes, I actually was a bit upset with him. He wasted the time of those officers, and did it all in hopes of going viral and growing his YouTube fame and success. The more I thought about it, the more I felt what he did may have been a simple prank, but it was also just plain wrong. So, I commented on his video of the prank, saying I hope he gets in trouble, so he can learn a lesson, and that I think he should be fined. I wrote the comment, in hopes he would read it, and realize that not everyone felt he was funny, and to let him know that he deserved to be punished for his prank.
I also hoped that if he had not taken a moment, to realize that his prank really was a waste of valuable manpower, my comment may make him think on it. I have no clue if he read my comment, but I can tell you that his fans read it. They did not waste any time before jumping down my throat. So many assumptions were made, as were some downright hateful comments. I was called a racist. I was called a cop lover. I was called various horrible names. I was accused of being a horrible parent. I was told multiple times to kill myself. I was blown away by the absolute level of hatred that was unleashed on me. I was grateful that I am as strong as I am emotionally, and not some young kid feeling lost and alone. I could see how many of the comments could negatively impact a person's well being, particularly their metal well being. It was then, that I decided YouTube really is a horrid place.
Not that I owed anyone an explanation or a reason, but I did reply to many of the first comments, but then I eventually just quit even reading the comments. One of the very first comments was someone calling me a racist. I still really do not even understand what their thought process was, that brought them to this conclusion. Considering I am a "white" person, and I wanted the guy in the video, also a "white" person to be in trouble for his prank. There were no other races involved, so how was race even a factor in the situation at all?
I simply told that guy.... My own child is black, so please get out of here with your ignorant assumptions. I really wanted to add on, asking how they even felt the need to bring race into it at all, but honestly I did not want to drag out any communications longer than necessary. Of course, saying that opened me up to a bunch of people making racist comments to me. Racism and my daughter are definitely subjects that I am most sensitive about, but I just reminded myself that these were ignorant people on the Internet, and I moved on.
It blew my mind, that many of the people who were commenting and insulting me, were also saying that I needed to get a life and lighten up. They said that if I had a sense of humor, I would realize that it was such a funny segment. I do not find it funny. I know all too well what a difference a few seconds can make, in certain situations. I told them that they were laughing now, but that if their loved one needed the help of an officer, and the closest officers were being kept busy by someone doing a prank for YouTube, so the second closest officers had to rush to help their loved ones, but did not arrive in time, they would be the first ones to be outraged. Nobody should ever waste the time of cops, firemen, or paramedics. Not ever. In emergencies, every second can be the difference between life and death. No Internet fame is worth more than a human life.
I do consider myself an ally. I am not just an ally to certain groups of people. I feel like I am an ally to everyone. Well, everyone except for racists and rapists. Fuck you, assholes. You may need allies, but I am not the one. Bye. Anyway, I am not just someone who says I am an ally, and then when situations arise where I need to stand up, I don't because of the negative backlash I may face. No. I am not a performative ally. I am a genuine ally. If you are transgender, and you need someone at your side on Capitol Hill, to fight against a law that wants to deny you your basic rights... I am there. If you are black and there is a group of KKK members harassing you, and I am walking by... Do not worry. I will not keep walking. I will stop and be in front of you. If they are going to hurt you, they will have to go through me first. If you are a Jewish person, and you are being harassed, you can bet your butt that I have your back, and you are not alone.
I simply won't stand for hate. I will not tolerate it. We cannot tolerate it. If we do, it will win, and we cannot let hate win. We cannot let hate take over our world. We cannot stand up for what we "believe" in, but only when it is easy and does not cost us anything. We must always stand for it. If we are an ally, we need to really be an ally. I have been told more than once, that I am going to die one day, for standing up to someone who ends up being violent. I always say the same thing... That is okay. I died doing the right thing. I would rather die fighting for what I believe in, than to live forever, watching hate destroy everything I believe in.
Plus, if I am honest, I don't understand how I could not be an ally to the LGBTQ community. It is my community. How can I not support the community as a whole?! I am asking this genuinely, because it was recently brought to my attention, that a certain makeup artist, who is obviously a member of the LGBTQ community, has actually spewed hate against a branch of the community. How?! Talk about confusing nonsense. I was a lesbian for many years. I was older when I finally genuinely liked a guy. I had had a few "boyfriends", but they never went very deep in the connection. I was always a woman who loved women. Period. After I was an adult, I met a guy that I actually liked on a very deep level. That is when my "label" changed. I honestly do not label myself. I honestly don't see a need for a label. I feel like my sexuality does not need to be announced or explained. I am just me. I love who I love. That is that.
I have never hidden my sexuality. In many ways, I have always felt like I wore it on my sleeve. It is not my fault that people have not properly figured it out, and I have never felt the need to correct people who assume wrongly. I figure that people will figure it out eventually, and it really does not matter anyway, so why waste time on the subject?! That being said, I would never deny my sexuality either. If I were ever asked by anyone, even someone I know would hate me, I would speak the absolute truth, and stand proud for who and what I am. Period.
So, lately, I have been planning out blog posts I want to write. Some of them may never even get posted, but they will most certainly get written, if for no other reason than I need to get it off my chest. Also, I often write blog posts in my head, and never actually write them out, but some of them, I feel would actually be really good posts. I should get better at writing those down. Others, I am sure you would all be grateful that I do not actually take the time to sit down, and write down all the thoughts I had, while I was mentally drafting the blog post.
A good example of that, happened this week. Gigi was recently diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism by her doctor, and was referred over to a Endocrinologist. That is all good, except for the fact that will take weeks for her to actually get into the doctor, and she has symptoms that are bothering her now. After a lengthy call with her future Endocrinologist's office, I was told that we needed to bring Gigi into the ER. Sadly, the ER that was associated with her doctor was two hours away. When it comes to Gigi and her health, I will drive any distance necessary. So, that is why I ended up on a road trip with Chad and Gigi on Tuesday. I am hoping that by tomorrow night, she has improved a lot, and that by Monday she is back to good. Unfortunately, if she doesn't improve quite a bit by tomorrow, we will be back in the ER on Saturday. That was when the doctor wanted to see big improvement by. So, if you pray, and want to send some her way, I know Gigi would appreciate it.
Now, back to blogs you would be glad I did not actually type out. On our way home on Tuesday, I mentally drafted a blog post. I wanted to rant about the road and highway infrastructure here in California, and how it not only needs massive improvements, but that I would love a detailed explanation. The roads are absolutely terrible here, and yet we pay sky high taxes, and often pay extra, with the very purpose of bettering our highway and railway infrastructure. Something tells me that the money cannot possibly be used properly. If it were, I cannot imagine our roads and highways would be as terrible as they are. Something definitely needs to change, because I have traveled on roads all around the United States, and the ones here are by far the worst. Amazing views but terrible highways.
I mentally drafted a post earlier today, and I got sidetracked with caring for Gigi and raging against the post office, for the mishandling of my package, but I still may actually write this post. It was about coffee. You're not surprised are you? I know, I am predictable. I was just waiting for a delivery from Dark Side Roasters, and I started thinking about writing a post, to tell you about my favorite coffees. I am loving several that DSR offers, plus I have favorites from a few other brands. My post about coffee quickly became a post about small shops. I thought I would highlight my favorite small shops to buy from, and what items I love the most from each shop. I do not know if the post will ever get written, but it just might.
I told you I was going to ramble, and I certainly did not let you down. I did exactly what I said I would. I do not know whether to say you're welcome or I am sorry. Maybe both? I will tell you that you may start getting more of my rambling posts, because one of the main reasons I started this blog, was so I would have a place to voice my feelings and thoughts, so I would not go insane from holding it all in. Gigi was a baby, and I was overwhelmed. Now, she is about to graduate Kindergarten, and I am still overwhelmed. In some ways, I hope that never changes. In other ways, I could use a break. Maybe that break will come in the form of more rambling blogs, so I can get more of my thoughts out into the world.
I promise to try to focus more on things like coffee and awesome shirts and magical cups, and less on the highway conditions in California. In the meantime, you should definitely get yourself a drink, get comfy, and go read the rest of this month's Use Your Words posts! I will see you there, right after I get a fresh cup of coffee, and make sure Gigi does not need anything. Fingers crossed we do not have to return to the hospital, especially since the road we take to get there is horrendous.
Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts: