Monday, June 8, 2015

A break from Pop Culture-Best Friend Day.

This Monday morning, after an intensely heartbreaking episode of Game of Thrones and very little sleep, I want to blog about something positive and uplifting. And, since it's National Best Friend Day, why not blog about friendship? It's something everyone can relate to and hopefully everyone has at least one or two good ones. The kind that lift you up, that are there for the good and the bad, the kind that get you through times you just don't think you'll make it through. The kind of friends that have your back no matter what, but who will call you out and let you when you are wrong. Those kind of friends, that's what makes it all worth it. Especially when you feel alone-they remind you that you are far from it. 

"WE" is a simple word but so powerful when you feel alone. The "I" in single mom can especially be overwhelming, so when "I" becomes "WE", it changes everything. It changes perspectives, it changes ideas, attitudes, it gives confidence....it's a big deal. When I found out (VERY unexpectedly) that I was going to be a single mom, it was my friends (and sister, she is in this category) that got me through. They rallied around and let it be known that "WE" would be ok, "WE" got this. When said sister was diagnosed with 9 brain tumors and it felt like the world completely stopped spinning, it was them who, once again, said "WE" would get through it and she would fight those tumors with the strength of all of us behind her. Most recently, when I found myself happy, falling in love yet terrified to my core after meeting a man and introducing him to my son/family, it was them again who said "WE" think he's amazing, "WE" think he's worth it, "WE" want you to let that guard down finally and be happy. And I thank God for them for being able to see that that he was worth the risk- especially after realizing they have all been right! =)  In short, they continue to be the "WE" behind me. I feel like I can do anything because I have this amazing core group of friends that will help dust me off when I fall, but will push me to try it again. They are diverse in background and ethnicity's but their true character are all similar. Some are quiet, some are loud, some are married and are mothers or fathers, others are single and mingling. Some give quiet strength and advice, others will put it right there on Front Street and simply say "STOP BEING AN IDIOT". But what they have in common is that they all have hearts that are huge, they all have compassion and empathy for anyone in their life, and they all (in their own way) are funny as all hell. I find those combinations to be harder to find, so I treasure these lunatics of mine with all my soul. 

To my circle of friends, the girls and boys in this crazy crew: Thank you. Thank you for being there, thank you for ALWAYS being there for my son and I. Thank you for taking the frantic 10pm phone calls when I inevitably cannot get out of my own way. Thank you for telling me when I fuck up-yet loving me anyway. Thank you for seeing not only my side but all sides of things. Thank you for having the baseball bat ready at all times when someone does one of us wrong-because when one is wronged, we all are wronged. Thank you for being there through the good, the bad, the ugly, the ridiculous, the absurd, the boring, the hilarious, the REAL. I love you more than you can ever know and appreciate you from the bottom of my heart. Happy Best Friends Day y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I've taken a bit of a hiatus on blogging because, well, life. But I am back today to speak of what is now the hottest thing happening in pop culture: Ms. Caitlyn Jenner. Initially I had been following this story at sort of a distance because I really can't stand anything Kardashian related. Much to my relief and surprise though (thankfully) it is a singular story of someone whom I find extremely brave-and it's gotten to me. I heart Caitlyn Jenner. I heart her and I heart the mostly positive responses I have been reading regarding the whole transition. People seem to be letting go of judgement and ridicule that has plagued people that are "different" in the past -it's a progression that brings tears to my eyes honestly. The transgender community has such a high rate of suicide that it's a beautiful thing to watch someone so public become whom he was always meant to be-a gorgeous woman in every sense of the word. 

When he was Bruce Jenner, the Olympian, I always liked him. Years later, he was the only thing I could stand about the Kardashians. The thing that always struck me about Bruce was that he loved to give back. He was always out doing motivational speaking, trying to better other peoples lives and not taking for granted the role model status he earned. He took being an Olympian and a public figure very seriously and I love that she is doing that now. Other people may disagree, but I feel like Caitlyn coming out on the cover of Vanity Fair was the least self-serving thing on the planet to do. She is being so public so that other people, people like her, to live their true selves through her example and is willing to take the brunt of any mean, hateful, vicious comments to do that. She will be the face of the transgender community but in all honesty, the easy thing to do would have been to disappear and live a quiet life in the tropics. She certainly has the money and means to do that. But to grace the cover of an international magazine and to put out there in no uncertain terms that this is who she is-to me, that's the bravest thing in the world. (And, just a footnote, she is absolutely stunning).

 I cannot imagine being uncomfortable in my gender. I mean, sure, there are times (as all ladies know!) that it sucks to be a woman with our biology. We all know body struggles, wishing we were shorter, taller, thinner...but I have never once felt like I wasn't meant to be a female. That internal struggle of feeling like you are not "right", you were born "wrong"-that has to be the hardest thing in the world to deal with. You live with that every second of every day and it has to be torture. I hate to think of anyone in the world struggling, honestly, but to struggle with something you literally have zero control over has to be excruciating. I applaud anyone brave enough to break barriers, cut through the bias, the judgement, the discrimination and the mean spirited comments to be who they are. I doubt that I could ever be so brave. It honestly warms my heart to see this happening. Progress and acceptance are a lovely thing-it's truly a testament to our times to watch this happen in such an accepting way. This couldn't have happened twenty years ago, so to be a part of a time where we can accept people for who they are makes me so, so proud. 

 In Bruce's interviews you can see how he was in so much pain about transitioning, how sad he was that he caused his family hurt and pain. On the now infamous cover, she radiates happiness. Her children have accepted her and will still love her for who she is-and that has to be the most freeing feeling in the world. I give a lot of credit to his children, his ex wives, and his family for being as accepting as they are and for having the ability to come to terms with mourning the man they knew, and embracing the woman they have in their lives now. It couldn't have been an easy thing but it IS a beautiful thing. I hope that anyone going through something similar finds her story inspiring and that it helps those who need it. So shine on Caitlyn Jenner, shine on.