February 13, 2017

Fuck you it's magic My 2016 mantra was “I got this.” The Universe went out of its way to prove that I ain’t got shit. 

My 2017 mantra was “ease.” It’s mid February and there’s no ease around here for miles. My favorite brat Billysirr has suggested I focus on POSITIVE OUTCOMES. I love that, because you know that if it doesn’t have a happy ending, it isn’t the end. So here’s to positive outcomes.

And magic. Because I STILL believe in magic. 

February 10, 2017

I’ve been off the antidepressants for about a month. I think the depression is back, but I’m functional. So I’m feeling my feelings and getting out of bed every morning. That’s a combination I haven’t experienced since Rupert died. I think that’s good. I’ve never been depressed before. I’ve told people it’s not in my DNA. I’ve just never felt it. I was surprised when I realized what a difference the Wellbutrin was making in September. Oh shit, I thought, I’ve got depression! By that point, I was able to get up and leave the house on my own. It felt amazing. 

Now I’m living life every day and I need to keep going. My career is on an amazing trajectory and school is going really well. My kids and I are loving, silly, and supportive with each other. I miss the crap out of Haley, but she’s happy where she is and thriving and I need to support that. I have so many amazing friends and love surrounding me. I should be happy. 

Am I happy? I’m not sure I even know how to define that anymore. I think I am happy, yet with this deep internal depression. I wonder if that’s a part of me now, or if time or something or someone wonderful dropping into my life might change that. 

How do you know if you’re happy? What is depression? Am I on the right path feeling the feelings, putting pants on every day, leaving the meds behind?

February 8, 2017

22!

Twenty two hugs today. Well, the first was my daughter, and so were 3-19. I told her I was focusing on hugs today and only got two and she threw her arms around me. And let go. And yelled, 3! And so on till 19, then put the dog in my face for 20.

That was awesome to focus on hugs today to help me with a case of the lonelies.  

I’m working in an office 9-5 the next two days which I haven’t done in a very long time. I’ve picked out a cute, professional outfit and have reframed my office dread. Thank to the power of my brain and my Klownselor, I’m now excited for two days of not working on my own shit. No school, no businesses, no social media. A brain vacation, with a paycheck at the end of it!

I was reminded tonight that my mantra is ease, as I picked my grinder that read, Eaze. It’s in my hand almost every day and I just saw it. Just in time. 

February 7, 2017

There is a difference between being lonely and being alone. I can get out and see people whenever I want, and I do. Being suddenly single because my partner died last summer, it feels somehow harder to be alone this time. Different than a breakup. But deep down I know I’m not alone. There’s three other people in my home – my daughter and two housemates. All amazing people I love who love me. How many hugs did I give and receive in Sunday? I’m going to guess around 50, no kidding. These are the anchors I travel back to late at night when I’m tired of studying and I get into bed alone. Lonely? How could I be? Just alone. I have a busy day tomorrow and will see a lot of people. I’m going to focus on hugs. Let’s see how many I can get. I’ll report back tomorrow and let you know. 

February 7, 2017

Gah. I went to a couple of day parties today, and a friend asked if I had blogged in a while. I told him I hadn’t, that what I’d written had been used to hurt me, and I was hesitant to go back. This began a long and interesting conversation about money, family, aging, power, control, how family ancestry can create fear, and the narrow window of happiness money brings. He was very sympathetic and kind. 

Then I got in my car and cried. I miss Rupert so much. I haven’t cried in a while. Maybe that has to do with being off my antidepressants for a month. Maybe it’s because life feels like it has gone sideways. I feel strong and focused, but nothing is quite right yet. It’ll all take some time. 

I saw the Katherine Hepburn quote on Instagram earlier and it really resonated. Life is difficult. Dreadful things have happened. In a six month period, I lost my partner, my parents, and my money. The money enabled me to be available for my daughter who lives with me all but every other weekend, focus on my two start ups, attend grad school, and live a comfortable life. With that financial stability gone, I am moving on, and I am being tough with myself and I won’t let myself be defeated. I’m going to not only survive, but thrive. I know life will come back together. It has before and it will again. I have everything I need already. I don’t need to add to my life, I need to work with what is here and expand it. I have a wonderful, honest, loving relationship with both my kids. I have the most amazing group of friends. I have a sweet, supportive friend & lover. My business partner is the best. My relationship with my siblings is getting stronger. I’m working hard to stay in school and get good grades. I have financial aid coming through soon. I have contract work starting this week, and I’m planning to start driving for Lyft again. I have contacts helping me envision my businesses at the next level and to obtain financing to grow. I’m being careful with whom I let into my life and trust, and I feel like I am making excellent choices. 

I know that whatever happens to my heart, it can’t be as bad as Rupert’s death. I feel like I can handle anything that comes my way now; nothing will heart like that.  Wow, I meant to write hurt but I’m leaving the heart typo. Nothing will hurt like that. That life changing event took all the fucks in my bucket and washed them out to sea, never to be seen again. I’m focused on letting other people be themselves in their own world. I’m focused on Absinthia being Absinthia in Absinthia’s world. I listen to my committee, that is, my group of close friends I call on when making decisions. I only care what other people think if it will in some way hurt them. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I hold secrets – mine and others – close and secure. 

Sometimes it all hurts so much, and yet I am moving along, getting on with it, and being tough with myself and making a deadly effort to thrive. 

Thank you, today, for allowing me to cry and be sad. I release those feelings and will work towards my goal to thrive tomorrow. 

January 14, 2016

Dating a man who worked in forensics gave me a new perspective. Rupert’s day job gave back so much. He worked specifically on sexual assault and battery, and he helps get criminals off the street. While my two startups bring people joy, at the end of the day, I’m just helping people drink better cocktails. 

I want to do more. 

I booked tickets to D.C. for the inauguration. I nearly made it out to Standing Rock. I gave free hugs in San Francisco at the Ferry Building the morning after the election and in Oakland during the protest later that same day. Then 36 people died in the Ghostship warehouse fire just down the street from me. 

I live 2.8 miles from Ghostship. I thankfully didn’t lose anyone in the fire, but I have a friend who was first on scene and three others who almost attended that night. I knew I’d found my pro bono work. This was local. This was important. This was where I could make a difference. 

I attended a meeting at Omni Commons a few days after the fire. We broke out into groups, and I announced to the fundraising group, “I’d like to create a non profit that raises money for DIY warehouse spaces at risk of eviction or that are simply dangerous.” I quickly saw that I was in good company. 

Four short weeks later, we’ve created a fiscally sponsored non profit and have raised over $15,000. We have an attorney, a former fire fighter, the architect that wrote the Oakland fire code, several pro bono architects, artists living in at risk warehouses, and their advocates. I’m one of three leads in the finance group, and while every other team has one lead, the three of us operate as one. We’ve only just met and we just feed off each other in the most amazing way. 

I’m home from a fundraising event with nearly $500 cash on my desk. A few friends organized an event at a small bar in Alameda, invited some bands, and contacted us. Of all the funds related to Ghostship right now, Handsome Hawk told us, this was the one that had boots on the ground and was actually working in the DIY Spaces. He gave us a moment at the mic. I started us off by thanking Alameda’s Fireside Lounge and Handsome Hawk, the evenings promoter. I then asked the crowd for a moment of silence to honor the 36 lives lost in the fire. Quieting an entire loud bar was an amazing feeling. It was moving. I was inspired by the moment of silence the DJs asked for at the Flaming Lotus Girl’s fundraiser. The benefit it provided was that we had everyone’s attention. Isaac spoke about the community’s proximity to the tragedy. Everyone in that room was no more than one degree away from at least one of the 36. Ari wrapped it up with info about the fund and asked people to approach us with questions between bands. 

And the band played on. 

We have two more events benefitting our fund this month. We have a Facebook page and a website and an Instagram account. I am being put in touch with reporters and city officials. 

Most importantly, we are making a difference in our community. Community was there for me when the man who inspired me to make a difference died at age 45 in a motorcycle accident.The guilt that I felt when I saw myself beginning to move forward with my life without him has faded, and now I am honoring him and respecting his memory by remembering how high he raised the bar and not settling for anything less, be it giving back, career, love, familial relationships, and friendships. 
Safer DIY Spaces can be found here