Poetry Corner: Sell Yourself

Sell yourself

“She reminds me of you
But she sells it.”
That feels like an insult.
Should it?

What exactly are you trying to say?
It’s okay to be myself
If I do it for show?
Only to sell a business?
Or an idea?

Am I not able to express
Interest in my passions
Unless I’m getting paid?
Or is she faking her own interests
Just for a profit?

Is one of us right
And the other wrong?
Do you wish I was her?
Or her me?

Instead of leaving me with these never ending questions.
Or a desperate need to prove my worth
And justify my existence.

Let’s Not Celebrate

I really hoped I’d have some awesome Cards Against Humanity pairs from the family to post up today.  It’s one of my favorite games, even though I’m struck with how terrible of a human being I can be.

Okay, maybe a not so right human being.  Someone with an odd sense of humor.

But it didn’t happen.  No one was interested in spending my birthday celebration this way or heck, even really staying for anything besides a quick lunch.

Yeah.

Can’t leave politics at the damn door for lunch and can’t spend an hour afterwards playing a game with the whole family because family doesn’t want to or leaves.

Cake was good though, so there’s that.

I should probably stop agreeing to a family birthday.  It’s fine for everyone else.  We all go out and do what they want.  But for me?  It just never ends well and I’m miserable most of the time either doing what everyone else wants me to do, or getting let down from the lack of interest in actually doing what I want to do.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Not a Party Girl

With my birthday coming up next week, the barrage of inquiries have started.  “What should we do for your big day?”  “Where are we eating?”  “What do you want?”  etc.

These quickly get replaced by “suggestions” of things to do, eat, etc.

And those quickly get replaced by massive amounts of exasperation over what I really want to do and my less than receptive acceptance of all the “suggestions” I’ve been given.

Sure, I bet that all sounds a little petty, but trying to make a big to-do over my birthday doesn’t really make me super excited or happy.  Because at the end of the day, when it’s all over, I’m usually sent on a guilt trip for doing anything at all.  And no matter what I pick, it isn’t really for me in the first place.

Getting a bunch of suggestions saying “We should go bowling for your birthday” or “Let’s play Mini Golf for you birthday!”  It sounds fun, but I know my dad has a bad back and always hurts after bowling.  Besides, if I go bowling, I want to do more than one game.  And no one wants to go into the arcade.  And after activities like these, it’s a lot of “That was so expensive.  Geez,” moments.

When it comes to dinner, it’s similar.  Let’s recommend all these fancy restaurants that cost a whole bunch that you would never go to in the first place, then complain about it afterwards if you do go.  I’m not really interested in the food at those places.  They’re all choices that others would rather go to and usually do frequent.  But if I suggest a place I’d like to go, I get chastised for it being a place I can always go to.  Isn’t that the point though?  It’s supposed to be my choice?  Regardless if I go there on my own?

Heck, even my choice of cake was ridiculed when I was asked what type of cake I’d like.  (Ice-cream cake over regular cake, because I don’t really like frosting, but chocolate with minimal frosting is good too.)

For the record, what I did decide to do this weekend has me pretty thrilled.  Cooking out with the family and playing Cards Against Humanity while having a few beers before band practice.

Give me great conversation, music, and fun at home rather than an extravagant outing any day.

The Creative Bucket List

“I am the Bad Wolf.  I create myself.”  -Rose Tyler/Bad Wolf, Doctor Who

Oh my dear family.  I get it.  I really, truly, and honestly get it now.  It must seem like your daughter is all over the map.  Like she doesn’t have a clear direction or any type of goals in mind.

It must make me look like I bounce around from one thing to the next.  That I cannot commit to anything.  (Which must mean the fact that I’ve been married for 6 years now a miraculous act in and of itself.)  And the field that I chose to pursue in college and bounce around the United States for isn’t traditional by any means.

And that’s where things are confusing for me.  It should be the easiest thing for you to see, since I am the daughter of a musician and a painter.  Sure, dad became an electrician and mom worked as a secretary for many years, that never changed the fact that you both are creative people.  You never stopped making music or painting.  You’re both.

Your jobs never defined you to me.

In Stardust, there is a scene where Yvaine and Tristan are being held by pirates and she tells him about shop boys and boys that work in shops.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about all my year watching Earth, is that people aren’t what they may seem.  There are shop boys, and there are boys who just happen to work in a shop for the time being.”

It’s our passions that make us who we are and there are no limits to what we can do.

My dear parents, your daughter isn’t lost.  She’s creative.  She is a writer.  A creator.  An artist.  She’s so many things, just like you are, but the projects I’ve taken on, the things I’ve chosen to surround myself with in my life utilize all those bits of me.  I tried putting them on a shelf and that was the silliest thing I could have ever done.

I know that you won’t ever fully understand what I do for a living.  Heck, I break it down to its simplest form just so I can understand what I’m doing some days because even I have trouble wrapping my head around the fact this job exists!  (I usually tell people I lock myself in a room most of the day and talk to myself when I say I’m a working voice artist.)  My job lets me do a lot of things for a lot of different projects from explaining how to work a brand-new piece of software, to talking about clothes and great sales at retail outlets across the country, talking about musicians and music tracks on a radio station in Mississippi, or even recording High School teens and creating spell binding audio clips for their fall musical.  Every day is different.  Every day is challenging.

Some days I’m writing commercials for radio stations.  Other days I’m doing paperwork at radio stations.  I’ve discovered I have a wide range of talents that slide into different positions and roles when need be.  Some days it pays all the bills.  Some days it comes up a little short.  Working for yourself and running your own business, you have days like that.  For the most part, I don’t do too bad.

I know I’m insanely blessed to have married a guy that was enthralled by my passion.  It’s possible I caught his attention with my voice, a bit like Ariel from The Little Mermaid, but he admits he was pretty hooked by how enthused I can get over the little things. The things I enjoy.  The things I love.  When I get carried away, sometimes I tend to take others with me.

And that’s what creative people do. We’re a little funny that way.

And it’s perfectly okay to be that way.

It’s not okay to tell yourself you’re not an artist because your work doesn’t look like someone else’s or because someone is better than you.  The only one you’re in competition with is yourself.  That’s how you get better.  Admire others.  Let them inspire you.  And then let your creativity flow.

In the last 30 days or so, I found myself looking up definitions of writers and authors.  Being published wasn’t a must have to be a writer, but if I must have that footnote to be a writer in my parent’s eyes, done.  I’ve written commercials that were broadcast quality and played in several markets across the nation.

Seriously though, I’m a writer because I’m writing.  That was incredibly empowering to me to make that realization.  And that is when the community of friends around me rejoiced and slapped me on the back calling out “FINALLY!  SHE GETS IT!”

“You’re creative.”

“You’re an artist type.”

“You’re a storyteller.”

I happen to work as a receptionist in my spare time, when I’m not running a Voice Over Business or being a Disc Jockey in a different part of the nation.

I look flighty because there are so many things I want to do.  So many things that grab my attention that I want to learn and experiment with.  I was never content with the idea of knowing what you wanted to be by the time you graduate High School or before because there is so much out in the world to learn and explore!

Now that I’ve figured out who I am, or at least have a better idea about it, I’ve realized that what I actually have on my hands and in my head is a Creative Bucket List.

-Write the Reluctant Adventurer series.

-Turn Reluctant Adventurer into a Podcast Drama Series for younger audiences.

-Write and publish a book. Even if it is just in e-reader format.

-Keep a blog where I can be my geeky self with games, music, movies, books, and fantasy writing.

-Learn to Sew

-Sew aprons and dresses

-Learn to Crochet and make some cute little animals or toys

-Learn to knit fearlessly and make a sweater or more vests!

-Learn Photography

-Photograph Tattoos.  (“The Story I tell…” series featuring the stories behind the tattoos and the tattoos themselves.)

-Have a successful Patreon whether it’s writing or photography.

-If I like photography, sell a picture!

-Photograph things in a way that shows that there is beauty all around us.

-Voice a video game character.

-Take acting classes.

-Be comfortable with character voices.

These are the things I’m interested in.  These are the things that I wonder if I would like them or not.  What’s great is I can do all of this and more because there isn’t anything to stop me.  Aside from owning a camera, but hey, I can even cross that bridge eventually!

It’s a beautiful thing realizing that the only one shutting the doors is yourself.  But you can always open them again.

They might be a tad silly to others that just don’t get it, but this list, it’s right up there with the one my husband and I have.  While ours consists of cities we wish to visit, museums we want to see, hiking and camping trips we’d love to take…these lists are the same.  They’re aspirations that pull at your soul.

How about you?  What’s on your list?  Are you going start working on crossing any of them off?  Let me know and leave a comment below!

The Storm and Petition

It’s been quite a week here.  Two sentencing hearings.  Something that can really only be described as a courtroom circus.  A lot of emotions, screams, accusations, tears…

Personally, there’s been a lot of meditation, tea, and more questions as my husband and I have dove head first into Kansas laws, sentencing regulations, and the like as this shit storm rages.

Short recap:

Last August, my husband and I’s niece lost her life as a result of child abuse.  It’s become very clear that drugs were very much an issue in this case.  In the end, both parties, the boyfriend and the child’s mother, ended up making plea bargains to lesser charges that could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

As a result, you can imagine the amount of questions that have risen from the plea agreements and the sentencing.

And the outrage from a good majority of people that feel the sentences weren’t tough enough and this isn’t justice, even though both parties received the maximum sentencing  they could as dictated by our laws.

And of course on the flip side, sentencing being too tough or unwarranted or there should have been no charges at all.

It’s not hard to see how something like this can divide a family pretty quickly.

It’s extremely tough being in the middle: to have an open mind to both sides, both arguments when you’re surrounded by family, friends, and a community out for something they call “justice” which smells an awful lot like blood.  And when everyone wants you to pick a “team.”  And even if refuse to choose a team, treat you like you’re automatically against their team.

AppelJuice and I have tried to maintain that neutrality as there are other children involved in this case.  It’s because of them we’ve tried to sit back and examine the evidence, the laws, previous cases that while they appeared open and shut to the outside eye ended up not being so cut and dry and shocking communities, how past history does and doesn’t play in to sentencing, etc.  It’s been a hard road to be on, especially when his sister is the mother and it’s his family threatening to tear each other apart.

It’s because of the above that AppelJuice, and myself, have chosen to take the route of advocacy, regardless the outcome of this tragedy.  He and I have realized that there’s a lot of gray areas in these cases and that while lawmakers seem to be desperately trying to protect the rights of fetuses, once they become children, there is a gaping hole they can fall in to.  The law (in Kansas) is tough on people who hurt, endanger, or sexually violate children, but when it comes to taking a child’s life, the law has no differentiation.

This is why AppelJuice has created a petition for the Kansas State House, calling for Harsher Punishment for Child Killers in Kansas.  At the very least, the laws need to be reviewed and revised.  It’s why I’ve been tweeting about it and a bit more about what our family is going through on Twitter.

If you can, if you’re so inclined, please take a moment to read the petition.  Sign it if you feel moved to do so.  I urge you to look into your own state’s laws regarding these matters. Look in to ways how you can be more informed about Child Abuse and its prevention.

This is a matter that no one wants to hear on the news or see in the papers.  Child abuse is needless and senseless.  With the right knowledge, awareness, and tools families can help prevent it.  As a family going through this, it is my sincere wish that no family have to endure this turmoil.

With love, light, and probably a few stray Raid dog hairs,

Scruffy, the Druid Lady