Joseph (pt 2)

I had only been in Austin for one week. Endlessly partying with Dee, Ray, Dumplin, and Seth. I had this fear like being on the edge of a cliff. Grasping onto anything of familiarity while distracting myself by avoiding being alone in a new city. Dee had Ray now and I had just left Seth alone at a bar burning the bridge of friendship with an explosive. Other men may have blown it off but Seth instead starting blowing me up with voicemails and texts threatening my life and threatening my potential social life there in Austin. While I was surprised by the extent of his rage, I wasn’t intensely worried about the outcome. Austin is small yet there’s a ton of people in the states capital.  

I started my new job at Regis and was ready to calm it down. The salon was in a mall near downtown. I had assumed it was a busy area. I had done my interview on a Monday a month prior and thought nothing of it being quite slow in the mall. When I met with the manager on my start date, she didn’t even remember me. There was 4-5 open chairs though so she made the space for me. You got paid minimum wage or commission, whichever was higher. I hadn’t done hair in a salon in years but did house calls here and there. My first day ended with no clients. I was surprised and walked around during my lunch to realize that most of the mall had been abandoned by their prior occupants. There was maybe 10 shops in the mall open. Only maybe 3 food court storefronts open. This was strange to me at the time but I was going to be optimistic about my new beginning. I had worked mostly as a front desk member in high end salons up until this point and a short stint at an Ulta Salon in Rockwall as a stylist. Regis carries Wella color and during school we carried that so I wasn’t completely in the dark about the line itself. Honestly though I had no understanding of color theory beyond platinum blondes. As a teenager, everyone wanted that white blonde hair so through my livejournal groups I had learnt how to do that well but with no regards to the health of the hair in the process. From being a fan of more shattered Toni & Guy haircuts, I had somewhat mastered in my mind the use of a razor. I could do the Justin Bieber cut all day.  

Still with some savings in my account, I chalked it up to a free day and got off work around 4pm and gave Dee a call. I wanted to go on a celebratory first day of work happy hour. Dee had gotten a job as a host at a high end sushi restaurant downtown during the day. She probably got off work at 3-4 ish. As she picked up the phone she explained to me that she was stuck downtown with Ray and couldn’t find her car. It seemed as though she had already started drinking but no judgment from me, of course. I asked for her closest cross streets and she told me two parallel streets that don’t meet up at any points, but I headed out to the general vicinity that was close to the bar she had named. Once I reached the area I called her again. She said she was in front of a bar. I too was parked in front of this bar. I assured her that she was wrong and to look for me if she was close. Then she named another bar about two streets over. So I headed there. Only to call back and ask where she was again. This went on for about 30 minutes and I felt like she was fucking with me as a joke. Finally, Dee and Ray  find me or I found them and they are belligerently confusing. I’m surprised they could be this wasted by 6pm. I asked Dee about work and she tells me she left early because she didn’t want to pay for the parking meter any longer. I found this absurd and asked if it was slow and if she was the only hostess working. She was still in training though and assured me it was slow. I was concerned on how Ray was going to make rent because I hadn’t seen or heard of him working since his arrival a few days earlier. Dee then told me he works remotely on design for his uncle. Sounded legit so I let that fear go. I drove them through Whataburgers then took them home. Hoping that once they were sober enough they could call a cab to take them to their car. I was disappointed that they had partied too hard earlier in the day because I still wanted to go out, so I called Jo B. 

Jo B was a nickname from since he was young. Putting together his first name with his last initial. Jo B migrated to Austin about 10 years prior from a town near Corpus Christi. He had a large group of friends from skating and then a group of friends from his small town that had moved here as well. That night we met up alone around 8 back at Barfly’s. Barfly’s was a dive off Airport close to Hyde Park. The crowd consisted of regulars, punks and hipster depending on the night. This was Monday night so it was relatively slow as I walked into the second story bar above an old shopping center. Jo B was sitting in a booth to himself. I was immediately greatful for him not sitting at the bar as it makes me self conscious of my side profile. It sounds silly as I’m sure it is but the dimly lit bar and sunken in worn out booth seats were perfect for me. He remained quiet most of our date but stared so intently on me as I talked about my life and moving here and experiences. He had an air of coolness surrounding him. The fact he wasn’t talking much made me think he was wiser and older. Only later I figured out he was black out drunk. I followed him in his truck to his nearby duplex. The duplex itself was in the perfect location of North Campus right on Guadalupe. Yet the floors were made of cracked and old concrete, the sink in the bathroom didn’t work, and the walls were yellow from smoke. This didn’t appall me at the time because of the types of men I was used to dating. For some reason I was made to believe this is how men live until a woman comes along to take care of them. Also I was impressed he was living alone and making it. Although he was 35 at the time, I was a mere 22. I hadn’t ever dated anyone longer than a month. I dated only men that disrespected women. I had a deep self hatred that was met through the treatment of these men towards me. I was deeply broken through years of rejection and verbal abuse from friends and enemies and my own parents. I had the absolute lowest self esteem you could imagine. In the last year though I had lost 50lbs and men were coming out of the woodwork. Instead of reveling in the new attention, I used it as a weapon to hurt men back. To treat them as if they didn’t matter and blow people off once they felt close. I didn’t feel sorry for it. You couldn’t just treat me like shit for years and now suddenly hang on every word I say as if it brought new meaning. The shallowness disgusted me. I feared new rejection also. I didn’t want to go back to that place.

But I had never met him before. Jo B and no one like him had ever met me before. How he treated me was new. He had no prior notion of who I was. He didn’t think I was a drunk or a slut or that I was worthless and didn’t treat me that way. Jo B had a sister my age and friends of all shapes and sizes and wasn’t the slightest bit full of himself. To this day, I think he has a sweet sad soul. I wanted to throw myself into his hurt and fill all the voids. I thought he was just like me and I could make us better... but that was all later. 

We slept that night on a mattress on the floor. I remember feeling so excited that this was all new. I could be someone different to this man.  

Joseph

I had always had this fantasy of moving to Austin as a teenager. I was in a lot of punk Livejournal groups and these older women in their 20s were the closest thing I had to role models. A group of them lived in Austin plus I went to Austin all the time as an early teen to go thrifting with my mom. It was a completely different world outside my own. When I dropped out of school at 16, I forged my transcripts using Windows Paint. Then I took the ACTs and did semi well. Well enough to get into this private university in Austin called Concordia University in downtown Austin. After I had arrived though, I realized how in over my head I was. I knew nothing of writing in MLA format, citing references, factual non opinion pieces... and I didn’t know how to do anything but party. I ran out of my small savings from working overnights at Waffle House then dropped out and moved back home defeated. I wasn’t giving up the dream of moving to Austin though. 

5 years later, after a rift with my current roommates, I decided to move back and try again. I was on a high of having lots of friends and doing well financially. I was working and partying every night and making around 700 a week. Which was a ton compared to everyone else I knew at the time. A lot of what I had though, work wise, was due to my friends and family giving me jobs. So I was a little inflated beyond my actual networking abilities. I was young and fearless though so I put it into motion and went on a job interview at a Regis salon and found an apartment. Last minute though, I had a friend reach out saying she really needed to get out of an abusive relationship and wanted to move to Austin with me. This seemed like a win win to me, I’d have a friend in Austin to hang out with and she really needed support to leave. Well call this friend Dee. She said she was going to stay with friends in Austin until I got there a week later. I changed the apartment from a one bedroom to a 2/2 and started tying up loose ends. I was the happiest I’d ever been. I felt like Austin was a magical place and I was finally in the next step of my master life plan.

Dee was an insanely beautiful woman with long thick dark brown hair, almond shaped dark brown eyes, and a Peruvian tan. She was a self described free spirit and a secured sense of self. Small and petite, men were immediately attracted to her anywhere we’d go. Of course though I had never lived with her and never really saw her with a boyfriend. It’d always be us going out and having fun.  

The day finally came for us to move into this 1980s built apartment off of Riverside. I had brought my mom and a truck full of furniture and my car full of clothes and small things. When we arrived on a regular Monday in October the apartments were closed for the day. On my move in day. I tried calling emergency maintenance to no avail. My mom started flipping out on me saying she was just going to dump my stuff and leave. Typical of my mom in the face of stress. So I knew which apartment was ours because we had already signed the paperwork a couple weeks prior putting us all on the lease. So I walked to the back of the apartment with Dee and wrapped my hand in a shirt. I punched out a back window and cleaned the glass away and had Diana crawl in and unlock the doors. We were in. 

After moving everything in, my mom left back to her home in Royse City and she called a guy friend of hers and we replaced the window. The next day, I went to the office and got our keys and no one was the wiser. It wasn’t the best start to our new lives but I considered it hilarious. I took a week off before I started my job just to go out and meet people and get a feel for the city. In that time, Dee had a guest come over one day. It was none other than her abusive boyfriend, Ray. She told me he had promised to be better and it really wasn’t that bad and a big misunderstanding. Dee wanted him to live with us and we’d spilt the rent 3 ways. See, I knew at this point that I could either say yes or I could say no and he’d still be there but we wouldn’t be splitting the rent. I had serious doubts about her claims that anything would be any different for them as well, but I was kind of cornered in not having any say about it realistically. In that first week, I had started hanging out with an old ex Dumplin, as he goes by. He had introduced me to a whole group of guys super similar to the guys I’d hang out with in Dallas... but worse. Much worse. Kind of like the loser party guys that have no respect for women and think being absolute assholes with no morals is the coolest. But they had killer parties. I had started hanging out more with this older guy Seth. I immediately felt protected by his demeanor and getting me into cool parties. Seth would tell me where to go what to do. Kind of fatherly, I guess. But it quickly turned to controlling and name calling and yelling. With the stress of moving and my roommate suddenly taking a turn in the direction in which I thought our time in Austin would be, I clinged to him as a friend. At the same time though, I was getting more scared of his behavior and that I’d quickly become more isolated by his controlling behavior. He’d be quick to tell me how I wasn’t cool enough or skinny enough or how I came across as absolutely desperate around new people.  

One day I came home to Ray, Dee, and a friend of theirs in the living room watching TV. It was like 11am and I asked if everyone wanted to play a drinking game that I loved. I put on an It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia dvd and explained the rules to the game. As it went along they started adding rules as well. The friend proclaimed how cool and chill I was. Which was a great contrast as how I was being treated by Seth and his friends. This friend was about 5’7-8ish with chiseled cheekbones, large pillowy lips, and sad deep eyes. He wasn’t beautiful and not just that, he had mannerisms that I found endearing. He was older but didn’t seem old in any of the telling ways. His head was shaved and he work a black zip up hoodie with a leather jacket over it. But Dee told me he had a girlfriend. I was bummed but wasn’t super invested or anything.  

So I continued to hang out with Dumplin and Seth most regularly. One night Seth and I went to jackalope to drink when I got a call from Dee.

”You need to come to Barflys right now! Jo B just got broken up with and he’s sad and you need to swoop in!” 

”Are you okay? Do you need me to come get you?” 

”What?” 

”Okay I’m at Jackalope right now with Seth but I’ll leave and get you. Just stay safe til I get there.” 

”Ohhhh I get it. Okay you sly bitch.” 

”okay keep your phone on and I’ll head that way.” 

So I hung up and explained to Seth that Dee and Ray had got in a fight and I needed to get her. He protested that he’d come with me and I said no no she’s really upset and it would just annoy you and I need to be there for her. So I left. I felt like a super good actress and like a complete shitbag at the same time. I get to Barfly’s and find Jo B sulking upstairs. So we sat and talked. He wasn’t talking much but I loved the way he looked at me, like I was the only person in the room. Jo B was mysterious and handsome. I melted with infactuation. I silenced my phone when Seth started blowing it up after I wasn’t responding.  I was decidedly all in to venturing into something with Jo B from that point on.

Houston

If you follow me on Instagram or know me personally, you’re probably aware of my life and will to survive has been falling apart over the last few months. Has it been self imposed? Maybe, but at least half of the events, I couldn’t have formulated on my own. The other half would have been more manageable I’m sure if I had a better financial situation to handle the issues. As things got worse, my ability to try again faded more and more. I won’t go into the details at this time but I thought I should address the lack of posting over the winter. 

 

Yet it was a cold and dreary Friday, when against all odds, my tax refund went into my checking account. It’s crazy what a sense of security having money can bring to a persons psyche. Suddenly everything will be okay. The day before I was counting change for gas and now... I am in a different mental space altogether. You see, I didn’t think I’d get my tax refund for two more months due to putting it into the wrong account. I went to the bank that Thursday to see if they could flag it and reroute it to my personal account. The banker said there’s a small chance but not to get my hopes up. I mentally accepted that I wouldn’t get the money. 

I know everyone’s personal struggles with poverty differ. It’s hard to compare really but let’s just say I lost my housing, lost 80% of my income and 90% of my will to survive at this point. When they say money doesn’t buy happiness ... I think they’re looking at upper middle class to upper class, because when I saw that money in my account I was elated.

 

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Samson had woke up in a fever so we weren’t leaving the house for the day anyways. So I started pouring through my promotional mail section of my emails. Checking the weather. Just seeing what the best options were. My mind stuck with Houston as having the cheapest hotels and warmest driest weather within five hours of Dallas. Easy sell. As most of you know, most Dallasites hate Houston. Mostly referring to it as trash. So as a trash person myself, I knew I had to check it out. 

I booked us an extended stay hotel with a king size bed and told Dustin I was packing his bag. Luckily he went along with it and arrived home from work around 2pm that afternoon. I was so peacefully happy to have some control over my life for the first time in months. Even just a weekend trip with no real plans in mind felt like freedom. I put together some planned outfits for all of us and we hit the road. 

 

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Google maps sent us on a detour down 34 to all these backroads making the trip much longer but once we hit 45 we were making decent time. Listening to “Last Podcast On The Left” tell us about skinwalker ranch and Dustin’s preferred rock music. When Dustin needed to pee we made a stop at a random highway gas station where I found this super white trash energy drink supporting gun rights for 99 cents. It was the perfect drink aesthetic for our trip. But once we got closer to Houston I begged Dustin to play Lana where I theatrically danced in the car to. The energy drink had me crashing hard when we arrived at the hotel. Samson was feeling the effects too and we decided to make an early go of it the next day. I had sent Dustin to pick up some to go food from BB Tex Orleans fusion cafe. We both went for a roast beef sub claiming to have po boy roots. As well as French fries with quest beef and brown gravy. Then off to bed we all went. 

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The following morning, I woke up at 5am with the excitement of a seven year old on Christmas morning, ready to explore the city. With much resistance I woke up the others and we went to Buffalo Bayou Park  to hit the running trail. Unbeknownst to me there was also a skate park for Dustin. Win, win, right? Well the skatepark was closed because it was hella early. I got in my light jog with a great view of downtown hiding in the clouds.  

From there we got our fill of much needed caffeine at Blacksmith in the Montrose neighborhood. It’s a small but modern clean looking cafe which states to only utilize chairs out of necessity because of crowding. Across the parking lot was a cool mural with a bear. While we were sitting outside looking at the mural and making jokes, Dustin said, “ I know I’m just your backup boyfriend.” I don’t exactly remember what I said to get that response and the lack of funniness in which he said it made me sad. We’ve been so on and off, but honest and straightforward in everything we’ve both done in the last year... but him saying that so factually made me feel sad for him. He deserves better than that. I don’t want to lose him either. I tremendously love and hate him at times. He’s the only non family member that I trust and maybe not completely but he’s not malicious like every other man I have recently been in contact with. From there we drove around Montrose and Rivers Oak kind of striking out on museums that were closed or not allowing small children, so I got kind of bummed for my poor planning. In my travel how tos: Always check for hours and rules of places before you go! Wasted time is wasted potential fun. 

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So we went to Retropolis down near Yale st., and the actual street it was on was popping with a crawfish festival which personally I had zero interest in BUT it was people and energy so that was cool. I like to see how the locals look and act and interact. As if I’m in a foreign country and not just a couple hundred miles south. Inside the store was ... at first I thought super basic blah retroesque clothes. But not authentic what I look for vintage. But then I went upstairs where the real paradise was. They had sections by decade and style and I felt incredibly happy. When I thrift, it’s finding a needle in a haystack almost so imagine finding a bucket of needles... well... you know what I mean. 

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Samson wasn’t the happiest leaving the store so we dipped into a place called Sweet Bribery. It was a cute and well designed little corner ice cream shoppe. Yet Samson wasn’t having any of it. So I had to eat his food and mine... and he knows I’m on a diet so it was kind of rude of him. We got to the car then headed to get him pizza and he fell asleep. So I had seen a mural on the way out so we stopped by and shot some portraits of Dustin and I. From there we just drove through McDonalds for Samson and went back to nap at the hotel. 

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Upon arriving though Samson awoke and I just laid on the bed editing pictures but felt like I was wasting time. So I changed clothes and redid my makeup,  and headed to the downtown Main Street Square to check out some public art. Downtown seemed about as dead as downtown Dallas on a weekend some 10 years ago, but bigger. Dustin and I argued over the size and height of the two downtowns in comparison. Turns out, like always, I was right Houston is bigger. What’s also bigger is the homeless and displaced people of Houston staying downtown. Which I understand... the weather is better for outdoor living in the winter. 

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After walking around we saw this restaurant with adorable font pressed on the windows and decided to walk in. We grabbed a coffee for me and Dustin got a beer and we talked about the interior design and lighting in the building. It was very Art Deco and I liked it very much. At this point I had had too much cofffe and we walked back to our car and headed to Goode Co. Seafood. Which is seemingly a lot like pappas co. In that they have several restaurants with all different themes in close proximity to each other. I am not a huge seafood person but when in Rome. As I looked over the menu, I was scared to spend so much on something I might not like. I ordered the mesquite grilled chicken and twice baked potato. I’m no food reviewer but the food exceeded any and all expections I had that night. I wondered why I bothered eating bad food my whole life when something so amazing existed out there. Then I remembered that I’m actually poor and that was why. 

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Another night early to bed but this time I convinced myself to sleep in until 8am. We packed up and left the hotel by 9 and went on over to Agora, which was a picturesque Greek cafe with trees covered with vines in the front. It was perfectly adorable. Inside was a thoughtful cluttering of pop culture icons of the past and Greek faces and art hanging from the walls. Above the main dining area was a loft with more seating. We ordered this huge croissant for Samson and lattes for us taking in the eclectic cafe. Have you been to spider house cafe in Austin in the mid 2000s? Like that but smaller and Greek.  

Then we headed across the street somewhat to a vintage store Dustin saw earlier in the weekend while picking up the po boys. This store was friendly and helpful. Littered with overstock from places like Urban Outfitters as well as vintage. I found some cute dresses and we went out for lunch at the Hobbit Cafe deep in Middle Earth. It wasn’t too hard to find though. Right near River Oaks actually. Who knew? 

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I ordered chips and salsa which was definitely Picante sauce which apparently is huge with hobbits. What else is huge with hobbits? Their portion sizes. I got the biggest sandwich even a human of my size couldn’t finish. The place seemed like a cool college hangout to play Dungeons and Dragons and nerd out.

 

The last stop on our trip was a little further west to a Hindu temple. It was on a list of beautiful places in Houston and it did not disappoint. The temple had so much detail in the marble, Samson had fun telling me the names

 


2018

While the year as a whole doesn’t come as a surprise in retrospect, it has been one full of turmoil and closure. When your life evolves and grows and you’re still hanging onto thoughts and identities of the past, there will be a collision and for my ego, it didn’t go the way I had wanted. I think since June I’ve been pretty shut off. My problems only got worse but my coping mechanisms disappeared much to my dismay. I kept trying to force people and situations into being what I felt I needed at that time only to expose my desperation to escape my reality. 

 

I hadnt really had a life plan for life beyond 25. I kept just taking the results of my destructive behavior as they came for the last five years. I loved the ability to destroy everything and start over when I was younger but I couldn’t do that anymore. There were suddenly consequences to everything that you couldn’t undo anymore. I felt trapped and alone in my prison. Then guilt for considering a life others would be grateful for ... undesirable to myself. I didn’t know how to maintain a job, relationships, and mental health. I’ve always just been trying to survive to get from day to day and numbing the pain in between. Not getting too close to people but having an array of people to call on when misery needed company.  

 

Now i had to be someone else. And it was hard to know the balance. Then later to realize that you can’t have one foot in your old life and the other in trying to be a functioning member of society. When I’d open up to people about feeling not good enough at this better life, they’d reassure me that I was doing so much better than most. I knew it couldn’t be true. Secretly I was taking out loans to survive, severely depressed, desperate for companionship, and angry at myself. And almost annoyed at the naiveness of their statements. Everyone has something boiling below the surface. Honestly the comparison to others wouldn’t make me feel better. I didn’t want any of this. I didn’t still want to be alive at this point.  

 

Ive been on five medications over the last four years and have been met with shallow advice about exercise and mom meet ups from medical professionals. Most of my friend choices in my life were made by our misery and laughter about it. Which makes most people uncomfortable in my experience.  

 

Until about June everyone I opened up to and leaned on for support and visa versa, had humiliated me and talked down to me. Talking to my partner was like desperately screaming for help into a black hole. No one and no thing could fill the void inside me so it was futile to ask or speak. I’d lie awake at night retracing the steps of my life wondering where I went wrong. Desperately working and focusing on projects as a new form of escapism. Hoping that it’d change the value i saw in myself. Yet still I’d break down every couple of days just wanting to shut off my brain for the final time. 

 

Eventually my luck ran out. I had ran my resources dry of borrowing and paying back loans. I was working 6-7 days a week and couldn’t pay my bills. Then my panic attacks worsened. I stopped answering voicemails from clients and cancelling appointments. It felt like all my work had turned to trash and I couldn’t get it together. I felt the weight crushing down. I just wanted to disappear. I wanted a vacation even. Anything. But I couldn’t stop working because the financial stakes were too high.  

 

After crying all day on my day off one week, I text the owner compulsively saying I was giving my notice at the salon. It was hard to be around clients and not break down by the simple asking of my day. I was miserable. I was severely depressed and running out of steam.  

 

I havent even directly mentioned my son. And that’s a hard thing for me to even think about. Let alone discuss. The feelings of failure and guilt. Just recently he was diagnosed with Autism, learning and speech disabilities. I couldn’t even pay my own bills, let alone $1200/month for speech therapists. So I kept applying for preschools and a week before school started he got accepted to a new school 25 minutes away from where we lived. The idea was to get him in DISD with a diagnosis so from there we could hopefully get him a scholarship to a better private or charter school next year. So far things are on track. It’s just so saddening to not be able to talk or communicate with your child. And to imagine his future if things don’t change for him. My heart is completely broken. Life is hard enough without disability. It’s also just hard to have a relationship with someone you can’t seem to have any depth of communication with. I love him so much but he hardly wants to be touched most of the time. 

 

i just wanted so much better for him. I wanted him to want a future that would be attainable for himself. 

 

Things have definitely gotten worse as of late. Finances and depression, I mean. I’ve given up on a lot of fantasies for a different life. I’ve given up on the idea that someone would save me from all this. Which honestly I think is a good thing but for a couple years those fantasies were all that I had to make me hopeful. 

 

I keep trying though. I keep working. Having panic attacks. I work out 5 times a week with no results. I’m about a month out at catching up on immediate bills. I still don’t know goal wise what will make me happy but with things in such chaos it’s easy to be distracted. I think the hard part of finding a reason to live is having a complete hatred for humanity. And the shallowness of existence. But sometimes ... I enjoy Mexican food. 

Downtown Dallas Staycation!

Last week, while it was insanely hot, I decided I couldn’t sit at my moms hot house all weekend next week. I booked a room for the following Sunday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The name sounds fancy enough. A couple days before I enlisted the help of my brother and Dustin to enjoy a night out with me.  

 

 

After check in, we all three walked to Spice In The City on Elm. I had never tried it even though I know it’s super popular on UberEats. It’s mexican/Indian fusion. That’s my two favorite cuisines so I was in heaven. 

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I think we were all pretty impressed. After we finished we walked across the street to the new Otto’s Coffee shop attached to the Adolphus Hotel.

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it was really the most perfect little shop full of coffee, pastries, and fresh food on the go. The interior was dark was traces of crisp white as well as vintage portraits decorating the walls. I had fun walking around and shooting pictures. The barista was absolutely sweet as well as he talked to both the boys.

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From there we took an Uber from a man who’s notes said he was partially deaf so I immediately felt sad for him. Which is maybe equally as awful. Nobody wants to be felt sorry for. But I’m sure it’s good for tips. 

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We get to Dots in Deep Ellum where I try a Cucumber Margarita. We sat in front of a fan which at first felt good until my eyes were so foggy from dust and dander that I couldn’t see.  We had a few more drinks before walking to 711 to buy a new phone cord charger because both of our phones were under 5% and we were I’ll prepared for the night ahead. As my brother and I stood to the side while Dustin made this purchase, a man rushed out the store with two cases of Budweiser causing the cashier to jump the counter and run after this elderly black man. He was tackled while other patrons condemned the actions of the elderly man.  

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We then walked from the 711 to down the street to Twilight Lounge. I had switched to strictly low end beer while the bartender quizzed my brother on his favorite drinks before making him a specialty cocktail specific to his tastes. Dustin said hey to the singer Madison King who was bar tending before we made our way to the wind blocked backyard. Because we had zero airflow, it was muggy and hot and the smoke lingered midway in front of ourselves. I could barely see at all anymore and decided to head back to the hotel.  

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I waited for my brothers Uber to pick him up and Dustin left back inside to pee. By the time the Uber driver arrived Dustin still hadn’t come back so I checked my phone and he text me saying to come inside. Upon entering there he was laughing with his ex girlfriend who I’ve heard from her staff on a few occasions that she’s not very fond of me. While standing there, from behind a lady barked “Uhhh Excuse me?” And at first I stepped forward and apologized then looked back to see there was plenty of room to move around for this waitress. Who the longer I stared at from behind realized it was my ex employeee at the salon. Dustin had set me up for a real shit show and I grabbed his arm and said we’re leaving now! 

I was insanely pissed and dragged Dustin into this speakeasy called Truth & Alibi where we couldn’t move to even get a drink and got lost in a sea of people. We quickly left and went to the hotel. Dustin ordered a pizza to pick up even though we were sans cars. Then he went to 711 to pick up snacks and forgot his wallet. Then our card stopped working at some point and I was in the lobby in my swimsuit hating him something awful for this series of embarrassments. 

 

The next day we slept til noon exactly.   It wasn’t a great night. Are  there any great nights involving Dallas? Like I hate seeing people I know because I hate 98% of people I know. 

Tyler, Texas

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Leading up to our overnight trip to Tyler, Dustin had accidentally gotten my car towed. So the morning of the trip was hectic and I barely made it to the salon in time to get ready for my first client. I ended up running a little late and then rushed home and met up with Dustin and jumped out of the drivers seat so he could drive because I was feeling too anxious. As per usual. 

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We got into town after so many wrong turns from Dustin and traffic around 7pm. We had reservations at Lago del Pino at 9pm so I just got dressed and ready and we headed that way a little early. I was underwhelmed by the amount of cars in the parking lot. The food was great but the restaurant was empty leaving you wondering why. We asked the waitress where we should go for cocktails. She recommended Rose City Bar which wasn’t too far away. The reviews on yelp were okay so we headed that way.  It was in a strip mall behind a Dillard’s. Very college aged crowd. Long lines. We ended up talking to this couple who I told I was an investigative blogger and I was going to blow the lid off this Bible Belt town. 🌚

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I mean I’m sure I am but ... like I’ve been busy so. Anyways that next morning we got up and headed to The Grove which was a block from our hotel. Pulling up I felt super confused about where to enter but once inside I was shocked at how cool this place was. While we waited for a table we got drinks in the parlour and were offered candied bacon. Which was the most amazing thing that’s ever been referred to as bacon. 

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The outdoor area is like a hipster dream of instagrammable photo ops. How have I never heard of this hidden gem?! We then received a text for us to return for our table and so we do. At the table we are offered more Bacon. How can I refuse? I ordered the burger medium well with cheddar and another mimosa. I then wonder why haven’t I spent my whole life drinking mimosas and eating candied bacon? THEN the burger comes...

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it was so good I felt like I was making out with this burger. No lie. The best burger I’ve ever had. Hands down. I was high off the experience. I even spent five minutes in the bathroom taking pictures and being silly.

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we headed from The Grove over to a recommendation from Megan to go to this vintage store.  

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The vintage store / record shop offered us beer or mimosas while a black lab roamed at our feet. Both the owner and her employee gave us a tour and I explored the back patio sale section that seemed to have more in my size. I scored a ton of stuff that I’m super happy about and have yet to unload from the car.

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The people here were friendly but much too authentically cool for me so we purchased and left quickly and I asked Dustin to take me to the state park. We pulled up to a wooded area and there was suspiciously a skate park and I was like wait a minute! Did you understand what I was saying? This can’t be a state park. Lol

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I allowed some skating to happen then we headed to the STATE park. Which was about 30 minutes outside of the town of Tyler. 

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it was super crowded there and I was unaware there was a lake for swimming inside the park. It was getting pretty hot but bearable as we made our way over to the boating area.

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We kayaked for about 30 minutes and it was actually super fun and way cooler out there on the lake! I’d love to come back with the kids! 

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Taking Responsibility

The first time I considered I had a drinking problem was around age 14 when I blacked out an entire day the summer before Sophmore year. From there my drinking escalated to drinking almost everyday at school until my mom withdrew me and forced me to homeschool because she was worried about how out of control I had gotten. She assumed I was on drugs but at that point I wasn’t but really probably behaving just as bad. 

From 14-18, my drinking would consist of benders where I wouldn’t be able to deal with what I had done or what had happened to me from the night before, that I would just keep drinking for days. Until I ran out of money. On these benders I would stop showing up for work. Stop coming home. Not shower. Live out of my car. You’d think... what would compel someone to live this way? 

I had extreme anxiety from an early age and I didn’t learn coping mechanisms to deal with social situations or problems. I had super low self esteem because of the situations I had put myself in by drinking. I allowed awful, awful things to happen to me. I self injured as a kid and this seemed like another way to hurt myself for being such a worthless loser.  

I was really bad off until my carjacking experience. That kind of woke me up for a while. But within a year I was back to drinking again. New friends though that were nicer to me, that didn’t know my past. After that I’ve just had stints of sobriety, followed by stints of drinking. After having my son, I’ve really tried to keep myself in check. 

But that’s the thing about alcoholism. You don’t really have control over it. Especially if you’re prone to blacking out pretty quickly or at all. Like it’s a flip of the coin. I already have a hard time making friends and being close to people so putting a label like that on yourself seems even more damning. 

I don’t want to be a bad person. I don’t want to hurt other people. I want to be a good mother and a good friend. And I can’t if I continue drinking. I can’t rationalize my behavior anymore because I don’t want it to be true. And it’s no one else’s responsibility to keep me in check and I don’t think that it’s actually possible either.  

Im afraid of this post disappointing those closest to me because I haven’t been honest about my drinking to everyone. But I pride myself on being transparent. And maybe it will help someone else. 

Sulphur Springs

I commented on my friend, Megan’s instagram Friday inquiring about a waterfall she had taken a picture with. Very soon afterwards she gave me a call and invited me out Saturday afternoon to explore her new hometown with her. I never have a weekend day off usually but I had blocked my schedule for that day to go to a fitness event that morning. 

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Megan has been my friend since I was 16, but with three kids and moving an hour away we haven’t had time to catch up. I agreed to make the trek out there with Samson and Dustin. Saturday after the fitness event, I hurriedly got ready and got in the car to enjoy the scenic route along I30. 

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I dropped the boys off and Megan got in the car with me and we took pictures downtown. I was surprised by how well kept the downtown was. The streets looked brand new and it was bustling even with the soaring summer temps. She showed me the memorial park and the see through bathrooms. Which is definitely worth checking out might I add. 

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After making out round around the square, we dipped in for some ice cream at a cute little place. After picking out my favorite flavor of Banana Pudding we headed upstairs to the game room where they have board games abound. 

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From there we decided to go to the local beer hall and German restaurant. Sadly it was misleading as they only had two beers. Both of which were sour and at first mine was warm. I sent it back to only get a sour colder beer. And this was not a sour beer to begin with. But the little boot mug they served it in was a delightful touch! 

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The food was below mediocre. But the place ended up packed before we left. From there we headed across the street to a wine bar. Inside wasn’t anything fancy but clean and well kept. The owners were beyond kind and helped us both pick out a class to have. A bottle to take home was only $10! Oh to be away from Dallas!  

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Having my second glass of wine, I started imagining living there. Away from all the pressure. Away from all the skyrocketing prices of the city. To be able to breathe without the constant weight of the world resting on your shoulders. To have no one know my name.  

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The thoughts have stuck with me since I left. Maybe life doesn’t have to be so hard. Maybe life doesn’t have to be a fight. Maybe things aren’t so concrete. I had a great time with Megan and didn’t want it to end. If it was up to me and I didn’t have to work the next day I would have spent all night sitting on the street talking to her. ☺️ 

Brewed + Pressed Apothecary Pop Up

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Sunday afternoon I headed to West Village in the promise of free mimosas and natural body care products. I had asked my friend, Tiffany, to meet up with me to get a first look at Brewed + Pressed new line of face + body care line.

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There at the normally medium sized coffee and juice bar they had two tables set up offering drinks and skincare items to try. As well as a DJ outside in front bumping music only suitable for those that weren’t hungover on this gloomy day. I was in luck though and grabbed some rose and waited to get my hands scrubbed. I opted for a coffee scrub, as I opt for anything coffee in flavor and smell as of lately.

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The scrubs were aromatic and were gentle. We both purchased the scrubs we were sampled. From there we sat down and finished our drinks. Before we knew it the manager offered us another of his fresh made juice mimosas. Champagne and watermelon with a hint of cilantro. It was perfect and I don’t see myself ever being fully satisfied with a regular mimosa ever again. 

 

Check out their new products at the shop in West Village! 

Full Psycle

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when a brand new spin studio rolls into town, you know I have to check it out. I saw on insta story that a girl I followed said this new studio was giving away free classes for three weeks! 

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Full Psycle is more of a competitive based spin class. Which to me yields the best workout if you’re competitive. If you’d rather be distracted by a fun dancing spin class I’d check out Zyn22. 

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What’s different than other competitive spin classes is that you race in teams, based on your row. Which is ultra cool. But you race yourself too in other portions. Their computer screen calculates what your goal should be for short intervals based on what you’ve done in the class so far. Way high tech. 

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The class was packed and mostly young women. I recommend sitting a couple rows back because I was on the front row and had to strain my neck to look up at the board most of the time. 

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there was one guy next to me that sat the entire class. I think he just came for his girlfriend so I was annoyed. 🤷🏼‍♀️ But then I saw his stats and he placed higher than me. So... maybe he wasn’t the weak link holding the team back in second place.

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Grand opening is June 2nd with free rides to those attend the party from 11am-1pm 🤗.

 

btw I places 16 out of 33 🌚🤦🏼‍♀️ 

The Time I Found God In A Trailer Park (Pt. 2)

We started driving towards the highway and he told me to go south on 75. In my mind I assumed we’d be going north. I was way more familiar with places north of Mockingbird at that time. He directed me to exit Martin Luther King Blvd. off 45 which for those that don’t know is what 75 becomes once in passes downtown. An area I had never ventured into. We pulled up to this house which was his family’s. As we sat there outside he told me that he owned his cousin money and they probably wouldn’t give him the key that he gave to him as a spare unless he repaid him. I told him I only had this $100 bill that I had from the night prior. I kind of assumed he’d say nevermind but he said that was fine and he’d get me change from him. I wasn’t overly alarmed but somewhat annoyed as I waited outside for a while. When he came outside he had this tall large black man with him. He opened the back door and got in as well. I was confused but quickly the man introduced himself and they explained that the cousin wasn’t there and we needed to go down the street to another house and find him. 

We ended up going from house to house and each time I waited in the car. I was annoyed at myself for giving him my money and wasn’t expecting this long journey for the night. When they got back in the car the second time I started to feel overwhelming panic in my chest. I started voicing this strange feeling. I didn’t feel anxiety. I don’t think I knew what anxiety was then. I felt a wave of fear wash over me. As I was voicing this, the black man in the back said he had to go suddenly and asked me to stop the car and just got out. It was strange but I was glad. 

I told the guy that I needed to take him back to Mockingbird. He agreed. We headed back north when he told me that he wanted to stop by his parent’s house. I asked where it was. He instead just fed me directions as they unfolded. We ended up in Highland Park. We pulled up this great mansion. He got out and knocked on the door. This man and woman invited him in. I saw them through their big windows talking in a dining room. Then the guy came outside and back to my car. I immediately felt better about the situation. That was his parent’s. He is a good guy. How silly of me to feel so scared suddenly.

I then drove him back to the Dr. Pepper station. He got kind of panicky and asked me to take him back to his cousin’s house because if his girlfriend found out that he was out with me then he’d be in so much trouble. This story seemed… your girlfriend has been here the whole time? How does this make sense? This guy was very charming, and I don’t mean in a romantic way. Like I feel like I could be saying no but yes was the only thing that would come out of my mouth. 

I drove back south but then started to think WHAT THE FUCK am I doing? I started to tell him that I needed to go home and couldn’t keep doing this and was there anywhere I could take him on the east side of town. He started to freak out and say No you have to do this No-NO and grabbed my wheel as I was avoiding the exit for 45 and veered me towards it.

I went silent.

We exited MLKJr Blvd. again. This time I went to the left and entered an vacant lot. Suddenly my car was swarmed with people. Out of no where. I felt so much panic. This time the guy didn’t get out of the car. He just started slapping hands with some guys and then the guy told me to back up and leave.

I got back on the highway and headed east saying that… I really had to go home. It had been 4-5 hours at this point. He agreed and told me I could drop him off at his friend’s house. He instructed me to exit Lawnview/30. I’d never taken that exit before. We took a right and a couple streets down we took a left into this trailer park. 

So my main emotion right now is angry. Annoyed. Taken advantage of. 

We pull into the park and I tell him bye. He says, “OH, let me give you your money back now.” And I said that’s cool. He starts looking around in the car. 

“I think it dropped between your seats. Can you turn on the light?”

I just cracked my door to make the light go on because the manual switch was broken.

Suddenly, he jumps over in my lap. It freaked me out so I put one foot out of the car and stood up.

“Oh my gosh! You scared me!”

He looked up at me and said, “You should be scared.”

And just like that he shoved me out of the car and sped off.

It happened so quick, I feel like i stood there five seconds just re registering what happened. I let out a scream. I gasped and grabbed my chest afraid he would come back. The pure bewilderment of the moment made me let out another scream. I was horrified. It hit me in that moment that he was getting drugs that whole time. I felt sick. I fell to the ground and continued to scream. 

Not a single person came out of their trailers.

Maybe 3 minutes went by and I shakily started to walk. I’d walk a little bit then start to have a panic attack and hyperventilate and fall to the ground again. When a car would drive by I would think to wave them down then be overcome with so much fear that they would hurt me. Or what if it was that guy coming back to kill me.

In the midst of this breakdown...suddenly this bellowing voice stopped everything.

“This happened for a reason.”

In that moment time stopped all around me as my life flashed before my eyes. Showing me all these ...things that I had done...my whole life that led to this point. That I was constantly choosing evil every single day. Like everyone I slept with. How they treated me. The friends that I kept. The way I treated myself. How I treated my family.

Just as quick as it came on, it stopped. I could hear the sounds of the highway up again. A large red truck pulled up next to me. The man inside asked if I needed a ride. I had just had this spiritual awakening moment. I don’t think this man was ready for that. I asked him for help and I think he was wanting a prostitute… because he asked me if I was a prostitute. I started crying and asking him if he was a good person. He just stared ahead not responding. We pulled into a dark gas station around the corner. He told me to go use the phone inside. As I opened the door I asked him to please wait for me. 

Before I closed the door behind me he squealed away. My panic attack started up again as I screamed and ran to the gas station doors. They were locked but there were lights on inside. I banged on the doors begging for help. No one came. 

Suddenly I notice a figure in the dark walking down the sidewalk. I start to walk towards him but then stop frozen in fear. I just sit down on the curb and curl up instead. He walked over and asked me if I was okay. Again I asked if he was a good person. I couldn’t stop asking that over and over again. He assured me he was and let me use his phone.

The police arrived two hours later. They treated me like shit and treated me like a crack head when I was having a mental breakdown. My mother came to pick me up. Seeing my mother is a sobering experience. Even if I’m on the verge of complete devastation, I have to calm my mother down first. She was angry. How could I be so stupid. 

I was afraid to sleep. I was afraid to leave the house. My mom took me with her to Galveston a couple days later because I was too afraid to be alone. A man approached the car asking for money and I felt like I could see the devil in his eyes. Again I had a panic attack. 

It changed my views on people. I had gotten fucked over by people before but I never thought someone would take everything I owned. My car was all I had. I lived out of my car. It taught me to not care for material things in the same way. Maybe in a negative way. I’ve never cared about anything that hasn’t been destroyed. At that time I truly believed that. 

Later on I heard that my friends were hanging out a week later and were laughing and joking about what had happened to me. One guy said I deserved it. Even 11 years later I still remember that. But now that guy has 3 DWI’s so I feel pretty okay about it.
 

The Time I Found God In A Trailer Park (Pt. 1)

So I was 18 years old. This was between my attempt at college and before I went to hair school. After I failed horribly at being a college student I was drinking a ton. I wasn’t keeping a job. I was in between homes a lot because my mom and I weren’t getting along mostly due to my drinking. At that time, I had just went through some real rock bottom moments. I had had a job and was living out of my car then decided to spend my whole paycheck on cocaine thinking I could double my money and resell it. Instead I did it ALL in two days. Stopped going to work. Was living off change. I then found another job being a bartender at a random Indian themed bar off 35 and Royal. I spent a couple weeks between this horrible drug bender and getting this new job to realize that I needed to sober up because I was getting taken advantage of sexually. I had no place to live. I got kicked out of the place I was staying on the couch. I had plenty of friends but I was so ashamed of how bad things had gotten. To be that young, you know, you think that this is how the rest of my life will be. Like I’ve ruined things so badly that there might not be anymore chances. Even though that is somewhat naive, I think its a good mentality to have because otherwise you might spend the rest of your life rationalizing your bad behaviour because you don’t think you’ll run out of chances or bridges to burn.

On my first night at this bar, I actually lied about being a bartender. I was just making up the drinks if they were complicated. I guess people thought I was funny because one table tipped me $200. I gave the other $100 to the barback because I thought that’d be nice. I drank my first redbull that night. Closed the bar and drove all the way back to Royse City which was an hour away. Before I got too far I got in my first car accident with another vehicle (the time I drove through someone’s backyard is another story for another day) while assuming I had the right away at this intersection. The accident wasn’t bad AT ALL and we traded info and parted ways.

I had used clear tape to hold on my front bumper of my car because it was a clean break and ripped it off during the accident. I told my mom the next morning. She went ballistic but I reassured her I could pay for it because I was doing so well at this new job.

That day despite having all these awful things happen to me inside the punk scene in Dallas, I was going to a day show at Aaron Margolies house. I had huge “Fear Of Missing Out”. I was afraid of not being relevant anymore. I fed off that attention of being well known. I felt like I always had to up the anty every time I went out  to maintain importance. I told myself that this was the last time. I was going to quit going out after this. But I wasn’t going to drink. Instead I went alone and just hung out. I had a lot of enemies there that day. A lot of people didn’t like me because of my disregard for … well being and that I dated a lot of guys. When I dated these guys I didn’t have a regard for them either. I didn’t think anyone really liked me so I wasn’t being nice. I wouldn’t say I was mean either. I’d just “date” anyone I wanted whenever I wanted. Men hate that, so I found out.

So here I am hanging out in Mesquite. I’m at this party where there’s people of all ages. I notice one girl in particular is young. I know she’s young because she’s my ex boyfriend’s girlfriend after me. So I didn’t know her personally and they weren’t together anymore, but I knew that she was 15. As the day party goes on, I notice she’s wasted. Which could be okay but she’s going up to guys and making out with random dudes. I’m kind of side eyeing the whole situation.

Then she passes out on the ground like half conscious and this guy gets on top of her and starts fingering her in front of everyone up her skirt. It’s still daylight so this is very visible. I don’t even personally know this girl. No one is doing anything. No one is stopping it. I know this guy is near 20 years old. I walk over there and tell him to get the fuck off of her. He starts saying she was asking for it and came onto him. I just don’t give a fuck she’s 15 years old. She can’t even talk at this point. I ask someone else to help me pick her up and we walk out to my car. As I’m walking out some of the dudes that don’t like me come out to the front yard and start talking shit to me. Being sober I just say, “You really think I give a fuck about this petty drama when some girl is getting raped? Like ya’ll are so laughable”.

The thing is I have been this girl. And no one does anything. I would have wanted it done for me. So she’s not forthcoming with any information about where she lives or her mom’s number. I just want to get her home. Apparently she lives way way way far north like near Frisco. A friend of her’s finally gives me her home number and I get ahold of her mom on a borrowed cell phone of her friend’s. We agree to meet in Plano. I didn’t have to be at work until 9pm that day but I was already feeling like .... I’m going to call in. On my second day. I’m feeling that real hard right now. 

The girl is passed out in the car and when we meet up with her mom, she seems unphased by the whole thing. I wasn’t sure if I should tell her mom what happened but when I met her mom I was like ...doesn’t seem like the type to care. Seems more likely to just yell at me. Or her daughter. 

So I turn around and head back towards Dallas. I’m going down 75 Southbound when I think, ‘Oh geeze, I’m going to call Megan and see if she’s down to chill and hear about my crazy day.’ So I exit Mockingbird and hit up the Dr. Pepper station and use the payphone. I talk to Megan quickly and tell her I’ll be at her place within the hour. When I turn around there’s a young man standing there waiting to use to pay phones I assume.

This guy is young. Probably 24. White. Tall. Wearing a wife beater and gym shorts. I really don’t think anything of it. He stops me to talk saying he had just got locked out of his apartment at the Phoenix which was right next door. He was wondering if I could give him a ride to his cousin’s house down the street to grab his spare key. His wallet and everything was upstairs but if I could do this favor for him he’d give me $20 and would be so grateful. The Phoenix at the time was super nice and swanky. I could see him getting locked out while going to put out trash or something. The story seemed feasible at the time. He said it was just an exit away. I shrugged and thought, ‘why not?’. I wasn’t going to work that night so I might as well make $20 and help someone out.

I told him sure and that I hate when things like that happens and totally didn’t mind helping him out. I liked helping people. But that night and that ride changed my life forever.
 

CHANGE!

I think a lot of us have heard the saying, “Make decisions not based on the person you are today but as the person you want to be.”

 

Maybe you don’t understand it. Maybe that sounds nice in theory but how will that get me anywhere in life? Or maybe you have a lot of excuses of why you need to hang on to the person that you are. 

i can understand where all of these thoughts come from. I think inside most of us is a rebellious defensive person afraid of friction and the unknown. 

The basis of this idea starts with our perception of reality. Your reality is your perception of life and events and your awareness of your surroundings. Your reality is also often partially the reflection of the reality perceived from your peers. It’s hard not to be influenced by that. To see things the same way as those around you. You will be perceived vastly different if you’re at a high end store by their employees versus at a thrift store wearing the same outfit based on their reality. What their expectations are, lifestyle, etc. Yet you are the same in both situations you might have vastly different feelings about who you are. 

So with that in mind, what do you want to give to peoples perception of you? Maybe you feel inadequate. Maybe you get told you are a type A personality all the time and are dying to be more creative. Maybe you’ve been filling this role as the friend that just plays a supporting character in your own life and you want to be someone else. Yet it’s hard to see yourself as someone else because you allow people to define you.  

 

So so let’s wrap your head around this idea. 

 

Everyday you wake up, you can be anyone you want to be. Your decisions of yesterday do not dictate your future. Silence the voices inside and out that hold you to this characater that you clearly are not anymore. You have that power. The power to change at will.

 

For many of us change can be an uncomfortable thing. Less so though for those that aren’t changing. They are just being this new person. Changing would mean that you’re in a transition between two ways of being. Accept that you are this new person. This new character that has new traits. At first you’ll feel like an actor until one day you don’t have to be completely self aware in the moment of your decisions as this new person because it’s so instilled in you. 

So that’s just an idea, right? How do you truly know who or what you want this new person to be? How do I align myself ... with my true self? 

Theres many ways I like going about doing this. It isn’t some new wave transcedal meditional divine intervention... thing. I mean I’d love if that was attainable as this but it’s actually much simpler. So write down a list of qualities you want. If that’s too hard to define start with why you wanted to make this change. A list of qualities that you want to not have anymore. Then figure out what it is you WANT. I hate to focus on any negative but for most people this is what you’re used to so it might be an easier start.

 

After you know the qualities you want to have then visualize who or what started this mentality. What inspire you to envy this trait.  

Now create a vision board. Either print out or even better, draw what originally inspired you. Take your time and make it as beautiful as possible because this is who you’ll be. I love to draw myself doing what it is that embodies this person. Put up the vision board in a place you spend the most time. You need to be reminded of who you are daily. Wake up early and meditate on this vision of you. Imagine who you are and walk through your day in your mind, imagine magical sparks going through your body and lighting each step you take with pure joy.

 

Meditation is the best part about this. Do it everyday. What makes your waking life more of a reality than your daydreams? Take the two together as your reality. 

 

Hope this helps inspire anyone to be the you that is truly who you are 👯😻 

DESERT VACATION!

A pictures worth a thousand words. 

And really I could go on forever about how much I loved this trip and how meaningful it was and how much I recommend these places. But instead... LOOK AT ALL THESE COOL PICTURES OF ME...and some of Dustin.

Tent Rocks, Santa Fe, NM

Tent Rocks, Santa Fe, NM

Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon

El Cosmico

El Cosmico

JEMEZ SPRINGS

JEMEZ SPRINGS

SANTA FE

SANTA FE

DEEP SPACE, Albuquerque, NM 

DEEP SPACE, Albuquerque, NM 

MEOW WOLF

MEOW WOLF

El Cosmico

El Cosmico

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El Cosmico, Marfa, TX

El Cosmico, Marfa, TX

ALBUQUerie 

ALBUQUerie 

PALO DURO CANYON

PALO DURO CANYON

MEOW WOLF

MEOW WOLF

Hotel Pasiano

Hotel Pasiano

WHITE SANDS

WHITE SANDS

FRIENDSGIVING!

Anyone who knows me personally knows I love to plan things. Almost more than actually doing things. I’m an expert goal and executer. I love having complete creative control. Because I’m a control freak. With trust issues. 🌚🤷🏼‍♀️ 

 

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A month before the party, I made a list of recipes that I wanted to use from Pinterest. Wrote down the ingredients. Added said ingredients to a Walmart online pickup order in the app. After revising my pins for decor, I wrote down mini projects and the supplies I’d need for those. Then listed the websites featuring items I would need at the best prices and created an amazon wishlist to keep it organized.  

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In the back of my mind I knew there was a big probability of not many if any people coming. My friends are either frenemies or unreliable. And I don’t show up to most anything either because previously due to my own anxiety. So I can’t be upset about people having their own issues or lives beyond me. That being said I still wanted to give as much effort as everyone showing up. I hate doing things half assed. 

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I had cooked for two days breaking it up so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed on the day of. The day of I just made the turkey and the appetizers. Two hours before the party we decorated the apartment dining room. My mom came over and we let the kids play pool and help with decoration making. I wasn’t stressed until we had issues hanging balloons due to the weight of the wire that gathered them. So we used string to create a better way to distribute the weight further away from the wall. All was good. 

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The guests arrived from 7-815pm. Shelby & Shawn brought drinks curating a fall drink list to rival the hottest craft cocktails. Sadly I wasn’t drinking. And we actually only had Capri sun as a mixer. But I did bring a cocktail shaker and had fun runnning around shaking up icy shots. 

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Next came Justin & Jenny arriving fashionably late on motorcycle. I’m always a little extra excited to see Justin because I never see him anymore and I used to have such a good time with him. Besides family, for a long time he was the only constant guy in my life that seemed to listen to me at all.

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Jenny brought her Polaroid and took cute pictures of everyone which was so nice. I tried to go around and be a good host, which is my least favorite part of having a party. But in this instance it was more authentic because I liked everyone there very much. At the very end Megan arrived having drove all the way from Sulpher Springs where she has moved to. Quickly the party started to dissolve. People had work and ate too much.  I started to worry I did something having never thrown a party that ended at dinner. Or at the first location. Not my first sober hosting party though but definitely the first not to end in numerous fights from guests. 

 

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I mostly feel far removed from my feelings regarding others. But at this time I do feel really lucky to have people that care about me enough to show up. I feel like I’ve been pretty alone for a long time now. I’m just now making an effort to show those around me that I care. So all in all, a successful Friendsgiving. 

The Time I Married My Stalker (pt.5)

For the first month or so, I didn't work. All I did was drink and eat awful food. I wouldn't get up from the couch all day while he was at work. I began to have agoraphobia. I couldn't leave the house without extreme anxiety and fear or needing someone else to be with me. Though I wasn't really talking to my friends so those moments were super rare. Now I still have agoraphobia I think, but in a way that makes me impulsively always wanting to leave the house so that I don't get stuck in that place ever again. No matter where I am. I felt like when I left the house people could just see what a lowlife I was. How shameful I lived. 

This infuriated Matt more and he would tear me down even more about how stupid I was. What a waste of a wife I was. He wanted me for some sort of arm candy and... that wasn't who I was. In a matter of two months, I gained 30lbs... easy. 

Finally I decided to get a job. Cock-tailing at a high end German concept off of Henderson. Every night I would work if Matt had the opportunity he'd come sit up there with me. It was a slower time in March and I think the staff was just happy to be making sales. One day my friend Ashley was up there and commented on how romantic it was that Matt would just stare at me while I worked like he was so in love. I laughed because I knew otherwise. He just didn't want me to be talking to anyone else. Any reason for him to blow up at me at home. 

Two weeks of working there and I caught mono. It's pretty rare to catch after age 25 but I was 25 and attracting all the negativity I could.

For months I was sick with a 104* temperature. Maybe I forgot to mention but I also have a fear of doctors. I refused to go and I also knew there was nothing they could do for me. I wanted to die so the sickness seemed appropriate at the time. I didn't try to get better. I just laid on the couch and drank and would drink until I passed out. Would sometimes wake up to Matt screaming over me. Now I would just shrug it off. My Matt problem seemed on the back burner as I thought I was going to die. I was too weak to stand up. I could barely make it to the bathroom without taking breaks in the hallway. 

One day, I was having another night of high fevers to the point of delirium and just decided that I wasn't going to die here in this house. That if I was going to die it wasn't going to be this boring of a death. God, there was so much more I wanted to do with my life. There's so much I haven't seen. I didn't drink that night and for the rest of the nights to come. Day by day after that I started getting better and was pushing myself to do more. My muscles ached from lack of use. 

In the midst of that my brother offered to let me come live with him at his house. I don't remember how I did it but one day I just left. I cut things off with Matt. I was still insanely depressed when it came to getting a job or leaving the house. So I made a spread sheet. All these things I needed to do every day to feel better. Workouts. Weights. Walking around the neighborhood. Applying to jobs. I didn't have any clothes really anymore so I went to the thrift store and altered dresses to look seemingly nice. I sold my car so that I could buy this laptop I'm using now. 

In that fever, I promised myself that if I was going to die... and have let all these fears dictate all of my dreams. What a waste. What a waste of a life. Matt was right. Not in the way he was meaning it but he was. I had always wanted to bike long distance but I felt scared. I had always wanted to eat healthy but felt I couldn't afford it. I wanted to be a less materialistic person. 

I started off walking to the bus stop a mile and a half away riding the bus downtown. Transferring to the train. Then walking a half mile to work. It was brutal. Plus an 8 hour shift stocking at a grocery store. I would come home and cry because my feet hurt so bad. But also happy that I was being fully alive. 

One night, my friend, Megan, wanted to hang out with me. She pulled up to my brother's house and we went off to visit my friend, Jenny, at a bar she worked at. On the way there Megan noticed this car tailing us and driving erratically. I jokingly said that it was Matt. Quickly I realized indeed it was Matt. Once we got to the bar we were afraid to get out or start something there at the bar so we drove back towards 75 and he continued to follow. We pulled into Cafe Brazil and he parked right next to us but we already ran inside. We ordered food and drank coffee and laughed about how crazy he was being but not really thinking it was super dangerous.

Then he pulled out and parked further away for a while and turned off his lights. I thought it was odd but thought he left at first. We go to leave and as soon as we pull out there he is behind us. On the way back to my brother's house he's swerving and pulling up next to us and flipping us off. This was the first time anyone else saw how crazy he was and it was kind of a relief. Like I wasn't just interpreting it wrong or...maybe said the wrong thing. Like NO HES FUCKING CRAZY YALL.

So this really scared Megan and she pulled over to a group of cops in a parking lot. The cops went after him super fast and he was arresting for DUI and possession of marijuana. Apparently his family also told him that if he continued to stalk me that they'd cut him off. I started to put a restraining order on him but the whole mess was hard to deal with and I just wanted it over with.

I continued my biking and within six months I was up to 80 miles a week. That was my happiest accomplishment ever. EVER. From how i felt when I started to where I finished. It saved my life. That bike means more to me than any person in my life at that point. I mean my brother was tight too for giving me a place to live. But my bike though. Shoot. That bike showed me what I was made of. It gave me a way to care about myself again. It gave me value. It gave me a reason to like myself again. 

Seems creepy/ weird, right? Maybe it is but I'll  never forget those six months. I felt happy and stress free. I was walking around in a dangerous city unafraid for the first time. Maybe it was being that I already felt dead there was nothing left to lose. I'm glad I took one more chance.