i lost my soul on the parkway

The last two days have been some of the highest highs and lowest lows as far as life experience goes. I’ve been leaning in to this whole feeling stuff thing, but I did not expect to have to deal with “trapped and afraid” right off the bat. Thursday was horrific and I’m not sure how many people fucked up in order to bring New Jersey and New York to their knees, but I know it was a lot of people. It took me seven hours to get home, and I’m not 100% sure I would have made it all the way home without the people who picked up the phone for me. So thanks guys.

Then there was the next day, which was equally exhausting and healing. I was lucky enough to be a part of Perspective Lens: This is Amerika curated by my good friend Luisa Pinzon. I think I had forgotten how good it feels to be a part of something like that, something larger. Something that I think is important. Plus I sold a piece. I’m proud to have been included.

So here’s to the rest of the weekend being boring and quiet. I think this has been enough excitement for me until at least Monday.

numb was a dream

I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to write this post, which means this is also an accountability entry for me because I have not written in nearly a week. I am stealing this from one of my friends, but if you see me in person ask me “what did you make today?” I’m really good at keeping promises to other people. I’m not very good at keeping them for myself. Maybe with some outside influence I’ll hop back on my game.

I’ve noticed that my default reaction to anything, good, bad, ugly, or in between is to pull away. I have a pretty good feeling that this is why I haven’t really had anything to say the last two weeks. Isolation is comfortable to me. My reaction to change is to pull away from people. I am not a religious person, I’m not even a spiritual person, but the last few days I’ve had a few instances of throwing my hands in the air and giving my life to the universe. Don’t get me wrong, tragedy I can deal with, I’m a pro. I think what’s happening right now is a gradual loss of emotional numbness, which is definitely a really positive thing for me in the long run. I don’t think I’ve felt things this intensely and consistently since I was a kid, again, a good thing, It’s just, numb was comfortable. Numb was easy. Numb was kind of a dream. Only really intense stuff broke through that carefully constructed iron cage I created around myself. I’ve let down some of those walls and I’m seeing and feeling the world for the first time in a very long time. I don’t regret putting them up, I needed them at the time, I needed to protect myself. Now I’m not sure if I do. We’ll see. I tend not to trust stability of any kind, including the emotional kind, because statistically it doesn’t ever last long for me.

I would like to point out that this is not an excuse for me vanishing on people. I know I do this. I don’t mean to, but I do. I’m working on it.

Anyway,

Until tomorrow,

bri

Untitled

It’s been an eventful few days, car trouble, a lost debit card, they played the same Christmas song 30 times today while I was at work (I truly wish this was an exaggeration), I think I’m going to go insane in the next two months. Christmas is kind of hell. My brain has been either in overdrive or completely dead silent. Sometimes overdrive is good, most of the time it’s just like watching a television on 2x. It doesn’t help that my heart rate tends to match the speed of my thoughts. I do a lot of breathing in an attempt to slow both down.

If I read into my pretty consistent need to isolate myself after a day of almost any type of socializing, I’d say the permanent fast forward on my thoughts would have a lot to do with that. It’s not that I don’t like being around people, the people I’m close with who I don’t feel pressure around don’t exhaust me, but frankly every other social interaction takes something from me. I’m the most stereotypical introvert on the planet. Now with cats!

Anyway, I swear I’ll get back into putting a bit more effort into writing these, I can’t really tell you when, but it’ll happen I hope.

best

bri

Election Day

It’s election day, when I went to my polling place this morning it was busy, there was no parking. I got very wet. Hopefully it’s all a good thing. I’m going to continue to have reservations until the numbers actually come in, but there were a lot of people there. Usually I’m very excited to vote, today felt a little different, I am still happy to vote, but I think the stakes are too high to really feel anything other than anxious. It’s the same feeling that’s been sitting in my stomach since the presidential election, a little bit of dread, a lot of anger, and a touch of shock (that part has lessened significantly).

Of course that means that I am going to spend the rest of the day watching stand up while I clean in deep denial about what may or may not happen later tonight. I picked specials from before 2016 because I figured I could spend the rest of my day laughing at jokes that are mostly a-political. A reward for trudging through the last two years.

I don’t have much to say today. It’s been a couple of days since I’ve really had any motivation to write, there are a few ideas bouncing around my brain but they aren’t fully formed thoughts yet. I’m going to chalk it up to election day anxiety and hope I’m back tomorrow.

Vote Anyway

You’re young, you’re angry, you’re tired. I am too. Vote anyway. You don’t think that this election is going to bring the meaningful and radical change that needs to happen to keep this world afloat, it wont. Vote anyway. None of the candidates line up with your values, me neither. Vote anyway. You’re anxious about walking into your polling place. 100%. Vote anyway. You’re disillusioned with the state of the country and you don’t think your vote matters. Join the club. Fuck it. Vote anyway, what do we have to lose at this point?

Voting is strategy not a promise.

Mortal Peril Plus a Kind of Hope for My Immediate Future.

I am a massive Halloween fan, usually I go all out on my costume, this year I didn’t have a costume, but I still had a pretty good day. It ended with a drive home that was half of what it usually is during rush hour. Halloween is a good day. I walked from my car to the tune of Harvest Moon sung live by a band my new town hired to have a little Halloween party in the park across from the apartment, this town is kind of full of lovely little surprises. It’s nice. I don’t have anything really solid planned out today, I began to write three or four different pieces, but nothing really fit the mood I’m in. Is there a word for being half terrified half relatively content? That’s where I’m at right now. Just mortal peril plus a kind of hope for my immediate personal future. It’s fucking bizarre. I think things are starting to turn around a little in my personal life and that feels good, there are no capital P problems hanging around. Plus my mental health is relatively balanced for the first time in who the hell knows how long (and who knows for how long so I’m sure as hell enjoying it while it lasts). Then there’s this thing, this ugly political thing, hanging over all of us sucking the life out of all of us. I cannot be the only one who has to compartmentalize this shit into two totally different boxes only to be accessed when necessary. I think if I didn’t I’d just be constantly screaming, but like I said yesterday, I do not have the option of sticking my head in the sand. Please vote on the 6th, it’s kind of the only hope we have, even if you don’t love the candidates, there will never be a perfect politician, and at the moment, knowing the majority of my friend’s list, there will not be a candidate that’s “left” enough for you, vote anyway. We’ll have our turn.

Anyway, so that’s the mood I’m in. Half hopeful half mortified. I have a feeling it might be a semi-permanent state at this point. It’s very confusing and very bleak, but at least I’m consistent.

Staying Informed, Staying Sane

I come here tonight with no answers, just questions and frustrations. I’ve always been interested in politics and policy, humans fascinate me, and so does government. One of my favorite courses I took in high school was AP Government and Politics. I would have considered myself more than above average at knowing what was going on in the country even before this monstrous shitshow of an administration. For the most part I enjoyed studying it, until now. Now I have a very hard time peeling myself away from the news because I’m seriously afraid I’m going to miss something that further demoralizes or puts me in danger. It’s affecting my mental health, but I can’t really put my head in the sand and tune it out. I’m starting to see a bleak future of all of us being too anxious to really do anything because of the speed of terrible information being thrown at us. I also fear we are marching towards the polls with a little too much confidence, and collectively the fear of the ramifications of this administration is not quite high enough.

I think I pose a question more than anything else with this entry. How do we stay sane when we have to consume this insane information?

Where I Became an Artist

It’s been a couple of days, I haven’t had internet which has been strange and nice except for the falling asleep thing, I used to have to sleep in silence and complete darkness, now I need some sort of noise to lull me into dreamland. I’ve never been a good sleeper, except when I was a baby I think (mom? dad?). Consciously I’ve never been a good sleeper, I used to have to make up hours worth of stories with my eyes closed to go to sleep. Sometimes they were exciting, sometimes they were scary, sometimes they were playing out fears or dreams that I had, I think that’s where I became and artist, telling myself hours and hours of stories to get all of those thoughts somewhere other than my head, I learned that putting my thoughts, fears, and dreams outside of my head brought me enough comfort to sleep, even if I was just talking to myself at the time (I mean I’m still talking to myself, I’m just a little better at it). I taught myself there that even if the story I was telling was scary, I was a twisted kid (I’m still a twisted kid) sometimes they got dark, when it was over I felt like that darkness was out of me. If it was a funny story I felt like I could tell it to a friend and maybe make them laugh. If it was sad or moving, I’d let myself feel those things. I still tell stories, I just write them down now, or I make a photograph or a pretty shitty painting, it still brings me an incredible amount of peace even when it is very hard. I still don’t sleep well, but I do find I sleep better after I’ve made something, and I suppose now I fall asleep to someone else’s stories.

keeping it at bay

I went to a concert on Saturday, and as usual I walked away a little bit better than I was before, I am a hard believer that allowing yourself to destroy the wall for just a few minutes before having to build it back up. I am not good at being vulnerable, but when I’m at a show or participating in art I can let my guard down, and then immediately after there was healing through kinship, mutual kinship, so the guard could stay down a little longer, enough change my heart, even if it was just a tiny bit. I think I might be getting better at being honest when it calls for it.

I was reminded more than once during the show what it was like to lose my grandmother and the extremely complicated relationship that I had with her, because just because a person has died does not mean it takes away the toxic aspects of your relationship. There were not many, but there were some. Instead of dwelling on this when I was reminded to let the show take me on the journey it needed to, I allowed the catharsis of the music and musicians work its way through . Open yourself up and then let it heal right I guess, I don’t know how many times it’s going to take for it to heal right, but I think I’m willing to lean in to the process.

I’m learning so much about myself from this process, but it’s also allowing me to be a better listener, it’s changed me as a friend. I’m learning more about the people I love because of this process.

I’ve started to believe it when people tell me they love me. I never used to believe it.

I think I might be on the way to truly loving myself, even if it’s a slow slow process. There is a darkness in me that will never go away but I think I’m getting better at keeping it at bay, or at least directing the anger in the right direction.

This was a bit more introspective than I intended to be, but it’s been an intense few days. In a positive way but it’s been intense

best

bri

My Telltale Heart

my heart has had some fights lately
leaving it bruised and battered
most of the time it is a quiet scream
it needed to be ripped open again
surgically repaired with kindness
so the jagged edges turned to small scars
so it started, it stings but it itches
so it is healing, i am impatient
but i’m reassured it will heal
i will heal
my heart will be unbruised
it is already so full
that i no longer doubt that

Pat

i changed my hair today
you always liked it when it was different
prided your own short hair
a rebellion against strict parents
even when mine was funny colors
you’d joke about the color of the week
even when you forgot it’s name
you even liked it when it was almost gone
patting me on the head because it felt funny
you always smiled when i walked through the door
with a new strange haircut or color
except when it was blonde,
because i was in the middle of bleaching it
your laughter echoes in my head
my hair was blue after you were gone
i wore it that way for you
even with the mild side eyes
my own act of rebellion i guess
i changed my hair today
it made me think of you

October 11th: Coming Out Day

It’s coming out day, My queer identity is not a huge part of who I am, I am privileged enough that that identity has been safe for me to express since I decided to start coming out my Junior year of high school, and again when I came out as gender fluid, and pansexual much later on in my life. The people in my life do not care, they respect my pronouns even though I am not super strict about it, odds are I won’t correct you, but it’s so nice to have people get them right.

In fact the first time I came out I was at a friends house staying over. I couldn’t keep it in any longer, I told her that I was afraid she would kick me out of the house. She didn't. She was wonderful. She told me “I love you no matter what…in a completely platonic way. She was horrified, I thought it was hilarious. We still laugh about it to this day. I am grateful for that kind of unconditional love, and I have experienced it over and over again.

I told my best friend that I was a lesbian (since then my identity has evolved) who I was 100% sure would be supportive, and nothing would change, in the hallway at school right before first bell. I knew it wouldn’t matter even one bit to her. I did it before first bell so I had an excuse to run. Of course I didn’t have to.

I told my parents and I did get one gentle “are you sure?” and then there was no judgement.

My coming out story is the luckiest they come. Sure, there have been comments every now and then, but they do not hurt, because the people I love do not care about my gender identity or .sexual orientation.

I am privileged in my experience, and so many LGBTQ youth are not as lucky as I have been, they are brave persistent human beings fighting for the rights and safety in their own homes. I can tell you from other life experiences that are not LGBTQ issues that fighting is worth it, it is hard and it is long and sometimes abandonment feels like the absolute end of the road. It isn’t. There is family everywhere. There are people ready to hear you. To lift you up.

To those of you who are out, keep showing the world how awesome you are. For those of you who are out to your friends but can’t be out to your family, hold those friends tight. For those of you who aren’t out yet, there is time, and you can take as much of it as you need. For those of you who are scared, stick around, the world needs you. Reach out for help. Friends, check in on each other, build a network. Learn your history, continue to be bad-ass.

Coming out is not just one thing, it is every new person, every job, it is determining safe spaces.

Coming out is brave

.love,

bri

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mollasses

molasses,
thoughts come slow tonight
that the periodic poisons are
eating at my brain
molasses
but i am a superhero
i walk through it like water
cooling and renewing
thoughts come slow tonight
but they are wrapped in comfort
for i have been here before
and survive
patience comes with
age, and years are gone for me
i am older than i look
the faster the molasses gives way
to clouds, still far above safety
but cold and free

Vivamus pellentesque vitae neque at vestibulum. Donec efficitur mollis dui vel pharetra.
— Claire C.
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