Saturday, July 22, 2017

Heavy

Teens, adults; work colleagues, school friends; the successful, the unsuccessful; the unknown, the revered; Oscar & Grammy winners. 

Suicide.  It impacts and reaches into the lives of so many.  We continue to talk about it, but we continue to see lives extinguished that are experiencing turmoil and turbulence.

It's Saturday night.  I'm looking at articles, watching youtube videos, and reading lyrics because of the death of Linkin Park's Chester Bennington. 

Lyrics like these:

Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real

from 2000's "Crawling"

I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I've felt so long
(Erase all the pain 'til it's gone)
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I'm close to something real
I wanna find something I've wanted all along
Somewhere I belong

from 2003's "Somewhere I Belong"

Take this all away
I'm suffocating
Tell me what the fuck is wrong
With me

from 2007's "Given Up"

Now in my remains
Are promises that never came
Set the silence free
To wash away the worst of me

from 2012's "In My Remains"

I wanna fall wide awake
Watch the ground giving way now
You tell me it's alright
Tell me I'm forgiven, tonight
But nobody can save me now
I'm holding up a light
I'm chasing up the darkness inside
'Cause nobody can save me

from 2017's "Nobody Can Save Me"

I'm holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
To so much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what's bringing me down
If I just let go, I'd be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?

from 2017's "Heavy"

Did I know Chester Bennington?  No.  But, I've known pain, confusion, darkness, depression.  Do I know his journey?  No.  All of our journeys are unique.  But, when I read that someone's journey has led to the outcome of Chester's, I ache.  And, I contemplate my own journey.

Personally, I've used Lifeline before.  I've called that number when I didn't know who to call.  I have family and loved ones who would want to tell me that I'm special, worthwhile, valued...but there have been dark times in my life when I was lost enough I didn't want to turn to them.  So, I called Lifeline, and I'm grateful that I did. 

Lifeline Australia 24/7 hotline: 13 11 14

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline USA 24/7: 1 800 273 8255

This link may be one of the most helpful things I've ever seen on Wikipedia:  List of suicide crisis lines by country

Rest in Peace, Chester
from Linkin Park's twitter


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I'll show you my books...you show me yours...vol.30


Yep.  I'm late to the party.  Yep, I didn't participate as much as I'd like in the previous link-up.  But, I need to forgive myself instead of beat myself up over that fact.  I probably won't interact as much as I'd like this go-around either, but why should I allow that to stop me from talking about one of my favorite topics to talk about - books!?  Plus, I know our hosts Jana & Steph wouldn't want me to be hard on myself or skip this link-up because I may not be reading and posting as often as I used to.  I read some really great books this month, and I really shouldn't deprive you from me sharing them.

What I've read since the last link up:

1.  All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood - I picked up this book at the campus bookstore when we visited Stanford.  I'd heard many things prior to reading it, yet I didn't really know what to expect.  It was written really, really well.  The story and the characters' experiences are disturbing, intense, thought-provoking, and emotional.  It deserves all the attention it has received.  5/5


2.  Violent Ends edited by Shaun David Hutchison - Another book I purchased in America.  Another book that I didn't know what to expect.  All I knew is it was about a school shooting, and Jana highly recommended it.  I didn't realize that it read like short stories, and each chapter was written by a different author, yet they all examined the same school shooting in a different perspective.  Super different and interesting way to read about a topic that I've read about before.  4/5

3.  Summerlong by Dean Bakopoulus - It is not uncommon for me to read a book in which I despise all the characters but love the book.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen this time.  My frustration and annoyance at almost every single character in this book overpowered my enjoyment factor.  Ruth saved it for me.  She is a badass.  2.5/5

4.  The Cleaner by Paul Cleave - I love reading a thriller author that is new to me whose book I picked up at a secondhand bookstore just because.  I will definitely read more from this author.  There are some messed up scenes and fucked up characters in this book.  4/5

5.  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein - One of the reasons that I am a self-professed book challenge junkie is that I am encouraged to read books that I've been intending to read but haven't made time for.  When Bev picked the category for my challenge to "read a book with a non-human main character", I knew that I wanted to read this one.  Finally.  And, I am thankful I did.  My emotions were all over the place, and I cried big, ugly, sloppy tears.  4.5/5 
SPOILER ALERT!  PLEASE MOVE ALONG IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT ONE ASPECT OF THIS BOOK...okay, I knew the book would be about a dog and its full life and that the dog would most likely die.  BUT, for someone who had a loved one (my stepmother who entered my life when I was 15 and left it when I was 30) die after a heart-breaking battle with brain cancer, well, I wasn't expecting that part of the storyline, so I was crying big, ugly, sloppy tears a whole helluva a lot while reading this one. 

6.  Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - What an impressive debut book from a young author!  This book tells the stories of generations from a family tree whose origins began in 18th century Ghana. It was fascinating and heart-breaking, devastating and beautiful.  The Sociology major in me especially enjoyed the final chapter.  4.5/5

Let me know if you decide to add any of these to your "to read" list, or if you've read them before, what did you think?

My dilemma

Howdy folks, remember me? 

So, I decided to take a mini hiatus while I took a little vacay back to America.  That mini hiatus has lasted much longer than planned.  Here's the dilemma.....

Time, and more specifically, prioritizing my time.

No, this is not a dilemma exclusive to me.  You see, at my previous job, I was able to write blogs, read blogs, comment on blogs, read emails, answer emails, and interact with all of you during my work day.  (Hmmm...could this be a reason the business failed?  Focusing on blog stuff instead of work stuff?  We'll leave that for another time.)  Now, at my current position, there is no time whatsoever for any of that activity.  And, I'm working longer hours than I expected.  So, prioritizing my time took a big shift.

Also, previously, I worked and commuted with my guy.  Now, I don't.  Now, after work, I want to devote a little time to him and to us.

By the time I get home from work, do household stuff, eat dinner, have some family time, do a little reading (which, by the way, had changed too because my daily commute is significantly less)...and currently, I devote some time daily to my book challenge admin duties (which I love and will not give up), then my "me" time is up. 

You see, what I enjoy most from my blogging experience is the interaction.  I've established some relationships with some of you because I've gotten to know you, we shared some genuine conversations, I took the time to read what you were putting out there, and you reciprocated.  I feel like I can't, or I don't, or I haven't found the ability to carve out the time I want to give for that kind of interaction.  And, I don't want to half ass it.  This is my dilemma.

Here's a glaring example of this ~ you all know I love Show Us Your Books day.  Last month, I posted, but I only read Jana and Steph's posts.  I don't think I answered any comments, or if I did they were quick responses that lacked any depth and didn't stick with me.  I did not feel good about this.  Then, this month's SUYB happens, and I didn't even know it was coming

I've caught myself grabbing the laptop and preparing a post.  But, I don't want to post if I can't adequately interact.  I don't want to post if I can't read yours and again, adequately interact. 

I mentioned before that I love my book challenge and won't give it up.  That is true.  It takes a bit of time, but I find the time to do it.  So, why haven't I done this with blogging?  I love blogging too.  I value the friendships and relationships that have grown from this space.  Again, I have a dilemma, and I'm trying to work it out. 

I am open to any thoughts, opinions, advice, and suggestions.  Again, I value you guys that have found your way to my space and care enough to read along and interact with me. 

Until I get this all figured out and learn to prioritize my time in a way that works, I sincerely hope life is treating you well.  Each and every one of you.