I’m actually the worst to travel with

 

This past weekend I went camping at Otter River State Forest with a couple friends and my fiance and it became more apparent to me than ever; I suck to travel with.

I don’t like to label myself as having anxiety, but I think it’s time I become comfortable identifying as an extremely up-tight person.

My tension or whatever you want to call it, really manifests itself most inconveniently when I’m around people. I’m not really a private panic attack kind of person. I’m more of a huge, public bitch. I think part of my obliviousness to what an asshole I am is caused by refusing to acknowledge that I need to chill the fuck out.

Let me start by explaining, I am a worst case scenario kind of person. Not like, “oh it’ll totally rain on my wedding day” kind of negativity, but more like “Ok. If a shooter walks into this classroom, what do I do?” and then I spend about 10 minutes feverishly running scenarios in my mind, just in case. I get into a car and my first thoughts are to put my seat belt on or I WILL die, it’s not a negotiation. When I am cutting food up for dinner, my thoughts are always about how many ways I could potentially cut my various limbs off by accident, and so I white knuckle the knife and cut really carefully. I wouldn’t say I’m prone to panicking, but more like I’m forever on high alert, for what exactly I’m not fully sure.  I don’t usually think about this aspect of myself because these things don’t really affect anyone outside of me.

I’ve always accepted that I was really bad at meeting new friends. It’s only been in recent years I’ve realized that it’s mostly because I’m always putting up emotional roadblocks to save myself from being hurt or lured into the life of a serial killer.

I went on a road trip two years ago and to be honest, I was a fucking mess. I was so scared of not impressing the amazingly impressive people I was surrounded by, (or that I would get close them and they would hate me) that I essential boiled into this anxious, irritable bat. I remember one night in particular,while everyone sat around the fire in Redwoods discussing various trips to Europe they had all taken. Instead of learning and engaging, I sat there all tight and tense fixated on the fact that I had never been to Europe and how worthless I must be to these people. Which, in hindsight is absurd, but at the time had me so anxious that I thought I was going to be physically sick.

I know I’ve come really far from who I was when I left on that road trip in 2014.

Which (kind of?) brings me back to this weekend. I’m really bad at making friends and so my love for the few I have can bring out this really strange controlling streak in me. When I see people that I love doing things that could be (in my mind) dangerous, I can be a bit of a nag. “Look both ways!” “Wash your hands!” “Stop sign coming up!” “Don’t get wet and catch a chill!”  I know it’s annoying and my logic is that I would rather you be mad at me, than me not say anything and something happen to you.

But after this weekend, I realized how badly I want to be able to be (in the words of my hero) “furiously happy”.  I don’t want to be the wet blanket on everyone’s recklessly fun time.

 

And I guess what I’m saying to you all is: I’m sorry. I’m working on it.

And what I’m saying to myself is: Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, we will get there.

Capture

My ever forgiving, extremely talented best friend making us a delicious camp breakfast.

10450331_10203758442510065_8167458951624435437_o

The whole road trip gang hanging out in Redwoods. Thanks for tolerating me guys.

1556209_338237122968138_6396733896917664228_o

Most of the road trip crew outside the Tetons

 

 

 

Orlando

This was a blog I wrote in the aftermath of the Orlando tragedy.

 

 

What do you even say in the aftermath of this?

I read the news a lot and I consider myself pretty distanced from what I read. It’s sad, but you can’t read the news and take it all to heart, you will die. It’s just too sad. And, to be honest, with all the tragedy in the world, my life seams eons away from it. Any sadness I feel is sincere sympathy, but not painfully deep and hurting sadness. I can’t feel what I don’t know.

I am pro racial equality, but the reality is my friend circle is mostly white. I’m for a fair minimum wage, but my actual job pays really well and my friends are mostly gainfully employed. I’m very much about interfaith peace, but I come from a christian background. All the hateful, hurtful things that happen in this world, at best, glance on the reality I actively reside in.  Orlando. Orlando is so different.

I have gay family members. I had a gay musical mentor growing up. I lived theater/music all through high school and through that scene made so many friends in the LGBTQA community. And as an adult, I have so many beautiful souls that I love, who identify within the LGBTQA community.  Orlando hurts.

Part of me hurts so much because I see these news reports and think about “what if that were my town” and how many of my friends and acquaintances I would lose.  Another part hurts because I am so angry at people in my life who had all their prayers on hand for Paris, for Ferguson, for every other damn tragedy, but all they have now are quotes about radical Islam. What the actual fuck. Where are the good vibes, the positivity, the love for these people? And another part of me is mad at myself. How am I even on speaking terms with people who can look at this heartbreaking tragedy and not see only horror? Another part of me feels foolish for even feeling anything because I’m a lucky one! My family and friends are alive and well.

There aren’t words bold and beautiful enough to express everything running through my mind, so I’ll leave it with this:

To those in Orlando, my heart breaks for you. I’m sorry.

To my friends and family in the LGBTQA community. I love you. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay proud. 

Until next time ❤

I graduated…finally

It only took me three schools, about 4 different majors and 7 years to do it, but last weekend I graduated from Rhode Island College with a BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing.

Everyone keeps asking me how I feel now that I am “not a student anymore”. I feel a lot of things.

First, I am really fucking proud of myself. (Don’t quote me on this but,) I’m pretty sure I’m the only woman on my mother’s side of the family to make it through a 4 year college. I’ll have to check with my grandmother for exact stats.

Second, I feel like a loser in a lot of ways. [There, I said it first, so people can’t say it behind my back]. Believe me, no one is more aware than me that after 7 + years of school most people walk away with at least a masters if not a doctorate. It was really hard for me to feel like I deserved to be happy about graduating.

It’s also been hard because I have decided not to go to graduate school right now. I feel like I went into college trying to appease everyone except myself. While I am very happy I went, I want to make sure that whatever I get a masters in, I am 100% sure I love it. I need to go for myself, not for the sake of proving to every asshole that I can make it.

People also keep asking me what I’ve learned, so I made them a list. I’ve narrowed my list down from 200 lessons to about 10:

1. I have learned: I should’ve gone to community college first. CCRI was SO stigmatized at my high school that I wouldn’t consider it as an option. It was called 13th grade by most teachers and ending up at “CC” was used as a threat by teachers who were attempting(?) to inspire better performance out of students. The joke’s on them though because out of all three schools, CCRI was my favorite by far.

2.I have learned:  I’ve discovered that shitty teachers come in many forms. Some just straight up can’t teach, but the more harmful ones are those that can teach, and teach well, but openly label students as “worth their time” and “not”. I’ve learned I don’t have time for that kind of bullshit.

3. I have learned: I should’ve never moved to NYC.

4. I have learned: to surround myself with brilliant, inspiring, gorgeous, driven, accomplished people. Meeting my fiance and all the people who have come into my life since then has been life changing for me. For a long time I did not feel worthy of being around people who did great things and I was super intimidated when I met Chris and found out he had done all this traveling and was an artist. And I felt even more intimidated when I met a lot of his friends who were just brilliant, radiant souls. What I found is that cool people want to embrace you. If someone isn’t going to be your friend because you haven’t peaked yet at 22, then fuck them.

4. I have learned: One can hit rock bottom more than once. One can also hit rock bottom, and then pick up a jackhammer and keep going down until they burn up.  Shitty stuff happens, sometimes for a reason, usually not though, but generally I’ve learned to recover.

5. I have learned: feminism is awesome.

6. I have learned: IT IS OK TO CHANGE YOUR MINDDDDDDD  I’m 25. I have a lot of opinions. If I don’t change my mind at least 20 times a month, then I’m not learning anything new.

7. I have learned: Travel is so important.

8. I have learned: Most things are subjective.

9. I have learned: You just have to let some shit/friends/family/possessions go.

10. I have learned: I am capable and worthy of so much and I intend to go for it all, but at my own pace because my life is not about anyone, except me.

Chariot: a ride aiming to save damsels in distress

A ladies only Uber.

I first heard about this offering on NPR via Callie Crossley. I was surprised at how open she was to the idea, a service based on discrimination. A point, that to her credit, she openly acknowledged the hypocrisy of.

To be honest, I was really against the idea at first. I see Chariot the same way I see laws banning protesters from standing outside abortion clinics, as a quick fix for a larger issue.

Running with the abortion clinic example, the issue is not the protesters, the issue is stigma around abortion.  Remove the protesters, you’re not removing the stigma, but if we raise girls to be strong enough to walk through those protesters, then we’re fighting that stigma.

With Chariot, yes it offers a “safe haven” for women who do not feel comfortable with a male driver, and there have been issues with drivers assaulting female passengers, BUT (and I say this from a point of privileged where I’ve never been sexually assaulted) the issue here is not a lack of safe taxis, but rather an issue with how we raise men. We are removing women from a situation, instead of insisting men do not act violent.

The other issue I have with this service is, as we move away from the gender binary, there are a lot of people who are not strictly “female” in the traditional sense, who I feel comfortable saying face as much if not more violence toward them.  Where do trans people fall in this matter? What about gay men who get into a cab and do not feel comfortable because of the male driver?

I also think the fact this company is founded by a man who wants to save women, is very problematic.

With that said, it does offer some women an appealing choice for a seemingly less threatening alternative to Uber, but I am very hesitant to jump for feminist joy.

It is also worth noting that Chariot will need to adhere to Mass anti-discrimination laws. I’ll be keeping my eyes open on how that plays out.

Defining Providence

So this blog below is from April I think.

It was intended to be the eulogy for this site, but I’m back so it’s kind of irrelevant.

 

I’m not sure when I will make this post public, or when I will have the courage to even tell people about this website; but I knew it was time to start a new project.

This year has been a lot of change. Right after my 25th birthday I was laid off from my job. I got a new job. My brother deployed to Afghanistan in February. I am graduating in May. I am moving in June. I am getting married in November and then going to South America for two weeks. This all followed the months of November/December 2015 where I lost my grandfather, got a new cat, had surgery and took my first cruise.

The change is not all bad, but a lot of the big changes have been out of my control and I have started looking for active changes as a way to lean into that curve. Changing blogs was something I toyed with for a while. I did not want to necessarily “quit” Alli Has Words, because that blog is a record of how far I have grown in the past 3.5 years. At the same time, I think I am ready to move out of and away from a lot of the burdens and hurt that were recorded in that blog.

I’m still going to keep the archives up, as long as Blogger and WordPress exist, so will those archives. I think it is important for them to stay up as a way to negate being able to deny who I was, but I am done using the shame associated with how I use to be as a way to punish myself.

This blog is my clean slate. It’s my final forgiveness, my self protective care, my self defined providence.

Mariah Carey

Hi!

Yes, I thought my ‘career’ on this website was over too. I’m not going to lie, I wrote a lovely eulogy about how I was done with this site and my past and blah, blah, blah, but, a few things:

  1. I’ve put a lot of freaking work into this website and (I think?) I have a few followers!!  I don’t want to start over, in internet year, I’m way too old for that.
  2. Turns out, WordPress is pretty great.
  3. I just couldn’t get into the flow of the new re-branding of myself. Which brings me to the age old adage: Why fix what’s not broken?

So yeah, I’m back. I’m here to stay.

AND

I’ll be migrating over all the things I posted on my “new” now “old” site. So get ready for an influx of dated posts!

 

❤ until next time!