Build Up

It was the beginning of August when a young man, barely ripe enough to be called “legal”, was shot. Some say in brutality, others say it was for a good reason. Most are confused and uneducated. And most of all, most people weren’t there to say whether or not the young man was shot.

You can probably guess by now that the young man I am speaking of is Michael Brown. A young man that may or may not have been the victim. The young man that did in fact die, while the officer that shot him is still living mightily free.

I’m not going to sit and talk about the actual situation. I believe that our court system and government is rigged, and has been since the founding fathers sat down with brandies in hand and began to “build the nation.”

However, I will talk about some stuff that’s ridiculously cohesive with old memories. Older times. Times that center around when Martin Luther King Jr. walked the Earth, when Miss Parks sat on a bus and didn’t get up, when my grandfather at an incredibly young age was asked by an elderly black man if he was allowed in McDonald’s, and when thousands were tear-gassed in their own riots and protests.

“The civil rights movement wasn’t easy for anybody.”
Sammy Davis Jr.

It was a time of disorder. People were killed daily, embarrassed moment-to-moment by the signs that signified where they could eat or drink, people were physically and emotionally abused. Not just African-Americans. Not just Spanish folk. Or gay people. All PEOPLE were put through hell during this movement that took the world by storm.

But that’s why it worked. That time of awakening was one that the world had only seen on a small, individual scale. They hadn’t seen what the force of hundreds and thousands of people could do. They hadn’t seen what kind of life love could bring. They hadn’t seen that the world had a voice that was significantly louder than hate.

All I want to do through this private vessel of an outlet of mine is to show you some comparisons to then and now.

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Can you tell which riot is which? Are you able to distinguish which photo came from the time of Civil Rights and what is currently happening in Ferguson?

Difficult, isn’t it? I won’t be the one distinguishing it for you. This is all heartbreaking. All that family needed was compassion. All each human being needs is compassion. I, to this day, still don’t really understand how the whole police system works, speaking since killing people is illegal. Yet and still…people are killed. And the way to get out of receiving any type of consequences for murder is by saying that it was in defense.

A life was taken that shouldn’t have been. And now thousands of lives are being affected by it. Millions more have questions and opinions about it.

Before you speak about this issue, or make a hard remark about it or a sarcastic joke, or anything at all; I beg you from the deepest corners of my heart to have compassion.

Think of Michael Brown as your best friend. As your son. As your neighbor. And remember that the officer is also all of those things.

And then remember…if your words are better than silence, speak. If they are not, listen to your momma’s sacred words: hush up.

Special thanks to BloombergBusinessWeek. for photos captured. For helpful hints on opening the mind. And special thanks to those that are loving and compassionate.

‘Tis The Season

Christmas time is my favorite time of the year. And I know, I know, its not even the day after Thanksgiving yet, but Christmas is to be celebrated!

It is a time of joy. It has this distinct feeling of love wrapped around it. It feels like a warm coat on the coldest day of the season. It feels like hot chocolate by the fire. The Christmas season feels like an essential part of every year.

Annually, my mom has been sending out some type of Christmas card since before I was born. A couple years back was the first time we decided to start putting our actual picture on the card.

This year my momma suggested that we go downtown to the tallest Christmas tree in Ocala to take photos in front of it. Usually, my best friend, Brittany, takes the photos, but this year my mom wanted her to join in on the fun in front of the camera. And Chris, a new edition to the family, was invited to join, as well.

Stevie, much appreciation and love sent your direction for these fantastic photos!

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The Day After Night-Audit

As thus far in my past three months at Howard Johnson’s of Ocala, I’ve strictly been on A or B shift, never C shift.

A shift, “the dream team” as its been affectionately called, has been my favorite shift to be a part of. Especially on Sundays when the dream team contains my boyfriend, my favorite boss, and myself. I love the smell of coffee brewing, saying “good morning” and “how was your stay” a bajillion times, and I really, really love seeing the morning light dance across the hotel as all the guests wake up. There’s just something special about paperwork, talking to housekeepers, guests, maintenance, the kitchen staff, and all of the front desk crew.

B shift is “the night train”, another affectionate term that has almost been relieved completely because all of the essential folks on the night train have moved on. Night train is the revenue. Its where the money is made, where deals are cut, where we up-sell, upgrade, and smile too much. We take care of the guests as though they were family; extra this, extra that, more of this, less of that. Some, like my boyfriend and my favorite boss, know the layout of the hotel so well that they can spout off what kind of room the room is if you just tell them a number. I’m great at night train. It isn’t my favorite, by far, but its definitely something I’m good at.

C shift has been a mystery to me. The “night audit”, “graveyard”, and extensively long night shift. Its usually an 11 pm – 7 am shift. The night auditor has goals, a lot of power, and they’re completely in charge at night. They settle credit cards, close out the day completely, set-up everyone else for the next day, take care of late arriving guests, deal with people being loud at night, guest issues, and all the in-between. Some of the night auditors somehow manage to sneak Netflix in the mix, but I don’t know how.

My favorite boss and I were supposed to both be off by 11 pm last night. The night auditor never showed up. No one else could come in. He ran to the store for Monsters and boiled peanuts, while I went and grabbed the grossest coffee I’ve ever had. It was $1.79, I should have expected it.

The plan was that I was to stay until 12:30-ish so he could get all of his paperwork ready and I could take care of any guests. I ended up staying until almost 5 a.m.

That shift started on B shift. I worked from 3 p.m. until 5 a.m. Never a complaint. Never a thought that I didn’t want to be there. It was just such an interesting feeling to be at the hotel that late. It was interesting that there were still guests arriving, that the doors were locked, the lights were still on, and hours were fading away.

It was quite a night. I drove home sleepier than I’ve ever driven home from work. But I now appreciate each shift equally. I now have a respect that’s quite high for the night auditor.

It Ain’t Even Over Yet

Christopher is surprising me daily with his kindness, his insight, his soft touch, and incredible intelligence. The way that our minds interlace and our movements coincide is on the verge of scary. We can talk for hours and not bore. We can be quiet for long moments without a moment even feeling like it passed. We can just be.
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Currently, we’re just “being” in St. Augustine. After meet and greets with the parents this past weekend, we were ready to be able to be ourselves in my favorite corner of the Earth. As thus far, it seems like he likes it, too.

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We’ve made it to the beach twice. Made it to get coffee. Made it to the fort (for free!) for Veteran’s Day. We made it to the pool and the hot tub. We studied. I’ve written more being with him than I have in almost six months. We’ve made it to a cute breakfast spot that we’re coining as “our place”.

There’s something about Chris and I that really lights a fire in me. There’s something incredibly immaculate in the way we feel about each other. There’s something crazy about our connection and how we came together in such a strange way.

There’s something about the way our hands fit together, the kisses are so damn sweet, and how talking is still the most intimate thing we can do.

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Escaping to a little part of Florida where no one can find us, giggling and smiling, was a perfect choice. There’s a time for everything, and currently Christopher belongs in my life with such an intensity that its almost scary.

He’s lovely, loving, and loveable.

I’m happy. And there for a while, I thought I was happy with some certain circumstances in my life, but in all reality, they just weren’t right. Now, I feel like there’s isn’t any other way. Now, I feel like it only makes sense that I have another title in my life, “Chris’ girlfriend”. It just makes sense.IMG_0550

Not because he makes me happy specifically; that’s not something that you should need from a significant other. Happiness is internal and completely and totally something that you as a person, as a soul, have to cultivate for yourself, otherwise it can be taken away from you. IMG_0561

But Chris…he just waters the flowers of my already cultivated happiness so well that even the sun smiles.

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She Moves with the Tides

My best friend is someone who will always be my first and foremost thought in the morning, right after myself and a decent stretch and appreciation of the light flowing into my bedroom. She is an extension of my own soul. Something that I remember and forget regularly. I always remember we have a deep connection. And I always remember that she’s my best friend, but until I’m right there feeling it all over again and again, I forget how incredibly strong it is.

We haven’t been around each other nearly as much as the beginning, honeymoon stage of our friendship. Work, school, boyfriends, lack of time, lack of daylight, life, in general, just rushed in. But the other day, when I was rushing around mentally about all the things I needed to do that day, I instead thought of how wonderful it would be to stay around my best friend for a couple of hours. It’s always worth it. It’s always worth the extra time for us to catch up. For us to talk. For us to cuddle and giggle. For my mom to love on her. For my dad to make fun of her. For us to be us.

My best friend, Brittany, my dear, you are an essential part of me. I know that you know that. I doubt you forget that. But if you ever do, remember that I loved you yesterday the same as today, and I’ll love you equally or more tomorrow and the next day and centuries away. Our souls are in a lifetime waltz that no one can cut into. We’re mingling in the same dance-floor, we’re listening to the same music, and we have the steps down.

Slow and Steady

Our friendship flourished just as easily as a flower blooms in the spring afternoon, when the water is poured just right and the sun hits every inch of every petal it needs to hit. We came together like a river and a waterfall, fell in the same places and went along with the same flow.

In all honesty, the whole situation was strange. I usually wouldn’t post it online, or even really tell anyone, but the way everything worked out was so meant-to-be that there’s almost no reason not to share it.

I was in a relationship with Deep. And I cared for him very much, still do. I had compassion for him and for his quirks and likes and dislikes; his personality as a whole. We may have been made for each other lifetimes ago, or lifetimes away from now, if both of us were just slightly different. But we aren’t, we weren’t. We had a ton of passion, a good connection, but all in all, the mental connection lacked. We couldn’t just talk to talk; there had to be a reason for him, and for me that’s strange. All I do is talk; I used to get into trouble as a child for talking too much, and even though I control myself well now, I catch myself desiring to talk even during the most inappropriate times.

So, I ended it. I asked him if we could remain friends. He took it hard. I was a mess for a little while, but even in the midst of intense emotion, I knew that the decision I was making was the correct decision for us both. I realized that I was supposed to be learning from the situation; I was meant to have this relationship and experience an incredible four months with him. But I also realized that I was meant to move on. He didn’t realize that we were meant to move on; he thought it was an almost forever kind of thing. But I know that us breaking up was also for him, too. Now he is completely available to pursue his interests, his life, and the things he needs to make the best of his life. As am I.

During the midst of an intense realization with Deep, I was having sparks of interest for a gentleman named Chris. I felt guilty. I pushed away the thoughts and didn’t allow myself to feel the feelings. For good reason: I was in a relationship. Girls in relationships (guys, too) aren’t supposed to have feelings for others. But the feelings kept popping up. And like diseases, the more you ignore the signs, the sicker you get. I was feeling sick to my stomach about how much I wanted to be around Chris, and how I wasn’t nearly as excited about being in a relationship as I once was. Not simply because I had feelings for another, but because I was obviously not fully satisfied…so, my body and my feelings were finding another.

Deep was great. Chris is great. But I didn’t want the relationship to come about right after another relationship. I took it slow with Deep, made sure that I had all of my t’s crossed and my i’s dotted before I decided that it truly wasn’t right. I didn’t want to be wrong. I didn’t want the relationship that I wanted with Chris to come about in a way that wasn’t organic, something that Chris and I spoke about on numerous occasions after the break up with Deep.

When the dust settled, and tears were cleared, and talks with friends were all done; when text messages were sent, and hugs given, and promises to stay friends were promised, I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to just wait it out.

Chris and I probably waited a good day before having our first date and coming to terms with the fact that whether we wanted this to happen right now or six months from now, it was going to happen.

That’s what I found out during this break-up: time doesn’t wait for anyone. It passes daily, momentarily. It passes and things pass. Feelings pass. My grieving process was quicker than I expected, but that just shows that growth is possible and not all of the sadness has to stay. Joy came in the morning very quickly.

Christopher and I are now in a relationship and I’m learning from him daily. From our connection daily. There is something so timeless about our connection that it feels like I’m staring into the looking glass and truly seeing then, now, and a future. We have something. We made it completely out of nothing.

I met him through the hotel that I work at. He came back from vacation, vibrant and intelligent and completely and totally adorable. That was the very first time I was meeting this Christopher Henry that was on the tip of everyone’s tongue as a sweet guy and great team leader. He came back with knowledge and we talked during every quiet moment that guests weren’t interrupting us. We studied together, I made my first B on a math test (this semester) because of him. We kayaked. We bowled. We drank too much coffee. We smiled at each other too much and flirted when we could. Seeing Chris’ name in my inbox, on the schedule, and every other way possible became something that would give me butterflies and make me smile.

I suppose my message through this all would be…relationships come to an end. Sometimes the person you’re with truly isn’t the person you’re suppose to be with. Deep treated me with respect, took care of me every way that he knew how, talked when he could, tried to be interested in my interests, and I did all of that him for him, as well. But the key portion of us that was missing was the mental connection. If there isn’t a mental connection, the physical and spiritual connections will become bland, habitual.

Break ups are hard, regardless if you’re “ready” to move on or not. The other person doesn’t really have a choice but to move on when you call it quits, so be ready for the back lash of denial and blame and anger and pain. But…the sun is so bright when it all passes.

I’m smiling and I’m hopeful that sweet Deep is, too.

It makes sense now why everything else didn’t make sense for the past four months. It makes sense why I was learning lessons, but not connecting with the situation and the soul perfectly. It makes sense.

Thank you for reading.

Lovey dove doveOh, and meet Mr. Henry.