In an ideal world, when you give respect, you get respect.

No one lives in an ideal world.

I have also heard that respect is earned. Well, how do you earn that other person’s respect? You would think by being considerate, kind, and oh…I don’t know… maybe even a little…RESPECTFUL towards the other person would garner some reciprocation, but that is not always the case either.

But then, people are tricky creatures. We have feelings that have many meanings at any given point in time. And right now, for me at least, I have feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, embarrassment, and unhappiness. Because I have no respect. That is, I am being given no respect in certain aspects of my life and that is a difficult place to be in and function normally. I don’t think I am ever unclear about how I feel disrespected and I try to model the kind of respect I would like to receive, but I don’t think it is being taken seriously. Or maybe my feelings are so unimportant it doesn’t even register. I don’t know. I just know that sitting here, thinking about it all, a bright shiny flashlight is highlighting this all in my thoughts and I can’t stop dwelling and I just want it to stop.

I want the disrespect to stop.

I want the dismissal of my feelings to stop.

I want the intentional embarrassment to stop.

I want the denegration to stop.

I want the respect that I deserve, that I have earned. I want to feel like I matter.

I don’t think that is too much to ask for in life.


via Daily Prompt: Oversight

It was gradual. But powerful. Sitting back and watching the protests in  Ferguson, where ever there was violence against people of color, the beginnings of #BlackLivesMatter movement, I thought to myself, “Wow-how angry these people are.” And went about my own business. I wasn’t indifferent, just ignorant in my understanding of their experience. Sure, I could watch the tv news every morning and night and see the violence that people of color are subjected to daily by the government meant to protect us all, but hey-it didn’t affect me, so….I didn’t think about it too much. Am I showing how deep I was in my own white privilege?  I hope so. Honestly, I am still shoveling my way out of this deep hole I am in.

Then I spoke with people. SPOKE with them about their experiences. SPOKE with them about their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs. And it started to sink in. I wrote a piece earlier last year…about 6 months ago…and I stated that violence begets violence begets violence…but I better understand WHY there has been violence. I was still mired down in my own privilege and allowing that to influence my thoughts and feelings. But not anymore. I GET IT NOW. We have, since the founding of this country, used non-peaceful protest and actions to achieve the desired results (Hello…the American Revolution! A giant war that included an act of rebellion and governmental property damage in Boston). WE WERE FOUNDED ON NON-PEACEFUL PROTEST. I get it now, my friends of color. I get WHY there has been so much violence. I get WHY peaceful protest does not always work. And I understand that, if I want to be a part of this protest against the atrocities taking place in our country against people of color, women, immigrants, the LQBTQIA community, I HAVE to WAKE THE FUCK UP to the fact that it will not be peaceful, silent, or pretty. I HAVE to be okay with that because if I am not, I will remain in my bubble of ignorance surrounding myself with the unrealistic and idealistic point of view that just by talking about it, something will happen.

NO. I was WRONG to think that a peaceful protest will always be the best way to be heard. And it is uncomfortable. I feel guilty. I feel ashamed. I feel like I have been part of the problem. And I am going to try my damndest to correct my oversight. I am going to try my damndest to continue to be uncomfortable, because when I am feeling this discomfort, I am learning about what I have done to overlook the truth of it all. And MY truth is that I was too scared to be fully involved because I didn’t want others to think poorly of me, to think I was stirring the pot, to think that I was supporting something just to support it and not because I truly believed in the movement. I didn’t want to catch shit from my family, whom I love dearly, but I do not share the same political beliefs as they do.

The amount of emotional labor that my friends of color and my friends in the LGBTQIA (of which I identify as being a part of, btw) have put in to educate cisgender, heterosexual white people has been tremendous. They are the ones experiencing the violence, condemnation, anger, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc and then they have to EXPLAIN WHY they are upset?? No. Not okay. NOT OKAY AT ALL. I should not expect them to go through all they do and then do MORE work to try to explain why things need to change. So, I plan to stay uncomfortable. And I plan to make other folks uncomfortable as well by talking about it.

So, my friends of color, my friends in the LGBTQIA community, stay angry. Keep protesting. Keep speaking out. I am going to be a better advocate for you. I am going to be a better listener. I am going to pay attention to the ignorance that is around me and try to educate people as best I can. And I may come to you from time to time to help me use the right words so I am not furthering misconceptions or passing along unhelpful and ignorant information. I am going to stay #woke.

The Insecure Woman Who Could

via Daily Prompt: Capable

It wasn’t as though I always believed myself worthy of success. Growing up, I was always scared of success. Because if I could succeed, then surely, I could fail. The fear of failure is crippling. Things I never relayed to my parents, why I hated the “P” word so much (Potential, in case your mind went other places), why I always performed up to, but not fully, my capabilities all through school. I always held back. Because fear. Fear of failure, fear of disappointing my parents, teachers, and mostly, myself. My fear kept me from being the straight A student I could have been and that harmed me more than failing ever could. I stunted myself because of fear…and I let that trend continue as I got older.


It took going through hell-fire to learn how to fail without fear. To learn how to live without fear. It took doing things that scared me the most to realize the experience and the journey is so much more satisfying because I *did* them rather than fantasizing about them. I feared failing when I went back to college. I was a young single mom to three children. But I had an amazing support system and that gave me just enough confidence to take that leap and apply. I got in. I feared failing my classes because I did not want to waste the money and the time that I had. College is expensive! And I was paying for this, securing all the grants and loans, on my own. This was my debt, my educational burden to bear. And I won’t lie, I failed some classes. Oh did I ever fail some classes. But, I didn’t let that discourage me enough to quit. Instead, I used that to propel me forward to do better, so I could graduate. So I could get my degree. And I did it. I rocked my senior seminar class, wrote a thesis that led to me acing my senior seminar class, and that was a great accomplishment in my own eyes. And I got my degree.


Post graduation, I was afraid of moving forward into the big, bad world to get a real “big girl” job, because what if no one wanted me? What if I thought I could do it and was wrong? What if I…FAILED?!?!?! SURPRISE…failure happens. I’ve had a few jobs since graduation. One of them I was actually fired from because I was not performing to the standards of what the owner of the company thought was necessary. It wasn’t that I was not doing my job, it was that my job expectations and duties kept changing and zero effective communication took place. But I also don’t handle micromanaging very well and he was slightly…well, super extreme type A and had a really condescending and slightly explosive attitude. And as humiliating as it was to get that pink slip, I was more relieved than anything because I wasn’t happy there. I wasn’t respected and I never would be. So getting fired was amazing. ALL that stress was simply gone. And guess what? I didn’t die.


I still do things that scare me. Just to try it. I traveled to NOLA all by myself, twice, to vacation in the city. I loved that time to myself and wish to return to NOLA so bad I can taste it. I fell in love with a city when I did something that scared me. I went to a haunted house that had zombies who chased my husband and me. It scared me. I cried. I didn’t die. But I do know that I will  N E V E R visit a haunted house again because I do N O T like any of that shit. I contributed to an anthology that was recently published. THAT was scary! But they didn’t reject the essay I wrote. And it was reviewed well. So I conquered, at least a little bit, that fear of failure.


There is still so much more that I can and want to do. And now I know, for the most part anyways, that I am capable, I am worthy, I am better than good enough. As long as I do not let fear dictate the steps I don’t take, as long as I continue to maintain confidence and realistic expectations, I can do what I want and need to do to succeed.

Don’t let fear take away your ability to move forward. Don’t let your insecurities steal from you life experiences that are rewarding, gratifying, once-in-a-lifetime events that you will regret skipping over. Let that fear drive you to push past the boundaries you have set because who knows? You may find that pushing past this fear has led you to the most successful time in your life.



Dream A Little Dream Of Me

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” ~Victor Hugo

I often find myself humming a song that I have heard in movies mostly. It’s been recorded and re-recorded and re-recorded. It’s a love song, as most songs are, but it’s a sweet song that has notes of whimsical melancholy interspersed throughout and it makes my heart smile every time I hear it.

I hear it when I daydream. I hear it when I am sitting at my desk, humming to myself as I work through the day. I hear it when my love and I aren’t together. Want to know the name of it? Enjoy the music! I hope you enjoyed that  little tidbit. I love to share the music that makes my heart happy. I love it when others share music that makes their hearts happy as well.

I grew up with music. One of my earliest memories was when I was younger is of my father, plying his guitar and telling us stories he made up to go along with the notes he played. He would lull us to sleep with his gentle playing, singing softly to us as we drifted into slumber, dreaming of the places about which he sang.

Music is the language of the soul. It can speak to you in a language that is understood by all. Music can bring tears to your eyes, a smile to your face, peacefulness, excitement, boldness, determination. Music is the universal language that no one can deny understanding. Music evokes feelings long thought dead, reviving them with ease and grace and reminding us of people and places and times gone by. When I dream, melodies long since forgotten replay themselves as a score would play in a movie, narrating my dreams with sound and emotion. Music, simply put, is my happy place.

I grew up with music. I listened to classical symphonies, danced to country and blue grass, jumped around to pop and classic rock, banged my head to heavy metal. I heeded the call of music, picking up the violin and playing all through school. I still play today. I pick up my violin and draw the bow across the strings, watching the dust of rosin puff up in swirls as I create sounds, bringing the notes together into a cohesive group that becomes a song that sings to my heart and my soul and lets my story be told without words.

I will continue to let music be my happy place. I will continue to fill my life, and that of my children, with music. Music is imperative, at least in my mind, to dreaming dreams, living life, and experiencing emotion. Music is good for the soul.


“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” ~ Plato

Bricks and Ice Cream

I want to take that brick and smash his face in, Tamsin thought as the neighborhood bully continued to exert his reign of torment on the younger kids. The summer had just begun. Tamsin was a new kid to the neighborhood. She was 15, pretty in an unconventional and exotic sort of way and deadly smart. Her cunning and wit got her into as many scrapes as they got her out of them and now her mind was working in over drive as she watched Kyle-an obnoxious 16 year old wrestler with an ego the size of Russia and a brain that rivaled a goldfish-oversee a game of touch football in the cul de sac where they both lived.

Kyle wasn’t tall, but he wasn’t short, either. He was stocky, solidly built with a thick neck and meaty arms and legs. He wore his signature basketball shorts and muscle tee and basketball sneakers with no socks. He was the captain of the high school JV wrestling team, a football player, and he was a cocky little shit. His voice was deep, loud and commanding, with a touch of cruelty that became more prominent when someone caught his attention and they appeared younger or weaker than him. Tamsin sat back on her porch steps and continued to watch him over the top of her book. How was it he had become so damn mean, she wondered. She shook her head and sighed to herself. Thank goodness she didn’t have younger siblings. They would have to put up with his obnoxious attitude anytime they went outside. That would be miserable.

“Hey!” Kyle’s deep voice was loud again. “Hey…what’s your name again?”

Tamsin looked up from her book. Kyle was standing at the bottom of her driveway facing her. She had only lived next to him and rode to school on the same bus as him and sat in a few of the same classes as him for the past two months. But she was also quiet, so maybe he hadn’t paid much attention to her. She looked at him a little more closely. He looked nervous. Awkward. Something about the way he kept shifting his weight from one foot to another.

“Tamsin.” She called back to him.

“That’s right. I’m Kyle. So…um. Hi.” He started to walk towards her. Tamsin noticed more about him as he walked the length of the driveway. His hair was dark, cropped short and close on the sides and back. He looked almost terrified under that mask of feigned confidence. His eyes were bright blue and shy. He would glance at her then away quickly, always before their eyes met. Tamsin glanced to her left…the brick was still there. If he started acting like an asshole, she would pick it up and drop it on his head, she told herself.

“Hi.” she replied. Kyle had reached the steps by then. She could see his face better now. His cheeks were flushed-from running around outside or from embarrassment, she did not know- and he was smiling wide. He had a nice smile, she decided.

“What are you reading?” Kyle asked her, propping a foot up on the bottom step.

Tamsin blushed slightly. Her book wasn’t what she normally read, but it was different and it was a nice break from all of the classics she normally buried herself in for hours. “It’s some romance smut book I found. I think it’s my mom’s? Anyways, it’s mindless reading. I’ve finished all my other books.”

“A sex book?” Kyle laughed,”My mom reads those, too. I’ve looked at them some.”

They both looked down. The silence was awkward. Tamsin shifted on her step. Kyle took a deep breath, climbed the stairs, and sat down next to her, exhaling forcefully.

“So…” he said. It was obvious he was trying to make small talk. Tamsin closed her book, not even bothering to mark her place. She turned towards him until their knees were almost touching.

“So.” she echoed. He looked up at her and at once their eyes met. Tamsin held her breath. His eyes were beautiful. Long, curly lashes. Bright blue eyes that were deep and sparkling. Okay, Tamsin thought to herself, he’s kind of adorable. Kyle smiled again and she found herself returning the smile easily.

“I was wondering” He began, his voice a little shaky,”if you liked ice cream. I mean…of course you like ice cream. I saw you eat it in the lunch room one time. I mean…I wasn’t watching you I was just…um…I mean…wanna go get some ice cream with me?” The last bit tumbled out of his mouth and he held his breath and looked away.

“Sure.” Tamsin said.”I could go for some ice cream. When?”

Kyle looked back at her, astonished. “Really? I mean…you do?”

“Yeah, it sounds like fun.” Tamsin smiled. “I’m new, ya know. I don’t know where to get ice cream that’s good. When do you wanna go?”

Kyle stood up quickly. “Let me go change. I’ll be out in 20 minutes.” He took off down her steps and to his house next door.

Tamsin watched him run in the house. As soon as the door slammed shut, she bolted into her house. She brushed her dark auburn hair, threw on a pale green sundress, slipped on her sandals, and smoothed on some lip gloss. Her skin was already bronzed from laying in the sun after school and on the weekends so make up wasn’t really necessary. She sprayed her favorite body spray and walked into the mist. The fresh, light scent of jasmine kissed her skin. As she was walking out her front door, she saw Kyle walking over, freshly showered and in a nice polo and cargo shorts.

“You look nice.” He said and offered his arm. Tamsin smiled.

“Thanks” she said, “So do you.” and took his arm. They walked together to the ice cream shop down the road as Tamsin thought to herself, glad I didn’t use that brick.



In the vastness of this land

I walked alone




Stumbling over obstacles as I searched for meaning in the dust

Your heart’s fire was a beacon

Your soul’s light was a signal

Calling to my starving spirit

Beckoning me home

Your warmth a comfort

Your touch nourishment

Your words the water to satisfy my thirst

I found what I was searching for in the dry, unforgiving dust

With you, I am alive

With you, I flourish