Can’t Find My Trail Mix

Happy NaNoCamp Eve, writer friends!

Anyone else suffering the dread of not having the right idea or temperament or schedule or brain space?

pexels-photo-761977.jpeg

I am not at all prepared for this!

Advertisements

The Kids Are Not OK

I work with kids and teens in an after school-type activity and one of them had an assessment yesterday. This girl, maybe 8th or 9th grade, came in crying and freaking out because there was just too much going on in her life and this assessment was the last thing she was prepared to deal with on top of everything else.

pexels-photo-568027.jpeg

I talked her down, reminded her that it was just us, we were just there to determine what was going well and what needed improvement, and that the only reason there was a Pass/No Pass type evaluation at the end was to … well, to scare the lazy kids into taking it seriously.

But man… I have to reevaluate that tactic after my conversation with her.

She is so stressed out. I’m stressed out because I have two young children and two jobs and not enough money and less than not enough sleep but compared to her? I’m doing pretty well.

I just started thinking about all the kids her age and why they seem to be struggling so much more than I did back in the day. And mind you, I struggled too. But not like this. Not the weight of the whole wide world.

I mean, set aside for a second the whole school shootings/you could actually die from trying to get an education issue for a second (as if you could, honestly) to think about the message they’re always getting:

Everything you do now has DIRE CONSEQUENCES! Don’t mess up. Don’t slow down. DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES, CHILDREN! YOUR DOOM AWAITS YOU!

My GAWD, we need to let up! We need to stop enforcing the idea that adult success is predicated upon adolescent decisions. I mean… things change, people change, circumstances change. I got an F in math once but I’m not whoring on street corners because a bad grade in math directly correlates to an inability to manage my finances or find adequate work.

Why are we all so afraid of failure? So very afraid of making the wrong decision, of buying the wrong brand, of saying the wrong thing and having it haunt us forever? And why are we infecting the brains of kids who FOR REAL have much more important things to deal with (like being MURDERED AT SCHOOL) with our own insecurities?

Listen up, kids: There are things you can’t come back from, yes. Being murdered or kidnapped or abused or raped. Being someone WHO murders or kidnaps, abuses and/or rapes. But failing a class? Choosing the wrong major? Not scoring perfectly on an assessment? Those are things you learn from. You make adjustments and changes. You discover new things about yourself.

And adults: LAY OFF! Worry about MURDER AND KIDNAPS AND ABUSE AND RAPE. Then help your kids deal with disappointment, failure, mistakes. Give them the space to screw up and come back from it. Love them for exactly who they are and what they can already do and then encourage them see what else they’re capable of.

But I shouldn’t have to comfort a crying teenager because she’s so afraid of not being perfect that she breaks down when admitting that she’s not.

And let’s freaking do something about those GUNS, huh? Vote out the NRA whores and elect officials who aren’t so transparently corrupt. Because there’s no excuse for it. There’s no logical explanation for children having to fear for their lives at school. Any politician not willing to DO SOMETHING about that doesn’t deserve a job in public service.

Those of Dubious Morality

More of us are Andrew than we’re willing to admit. Let’s just put that out there right away.

I should be writing so naturally, I’m taking Buzzfeed quizzes and learned, as the result of one, that I am a combination of Andrew and Dawn from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While I would like to believe that I’m more of a badass combo of Buffy and Faith or a brilliant combo of Giles and Willow, I think… yeah, I think Andrew and Dawn are more accurate. And I don’t think I’m alone on the isle of Misfit Humans.

It’s easy to be Dawn. It’s easy to show up several years into an epic battle claiming that we’re important enough to turn the tide but find out later that we’re really nothing special so we better study up and find a way to be useful. Any ordinary person with the desire to do more good than evil can be Dawn.

But being Andrew is innate. He’s more human than human. Andrew gets a little bit of power and abuses it. He falls in with whatever crowd will have him. He gets led easily astray by stronger personalities and then set back on the righteous path by a confident woman with killer fashion sense. He bakes cookies as the world burns and then bitches about minor inconveniences. And then he survives the apocalypse because he’s just not super interested in playing hero.

I mean… how many of us aren’t Andrew?

a slayer is born

This chick. THIS chick is NOT an Andrew. ❤ ❤ ❤

Preschool Assessment

My brilliant child received his first preschool assessment this week and the best way I could describe it to my friend was this:

“They’re assessing a monkey in a cage doing human tricks not a monkey in the jungle living its best life.”

I mean, you can only assess what you can see and I totally understand if my little simian, in that maelstrom of stimuli, can’t concentrate on answering inane questions or performing feats of mundanity.

But that don’t make him a dummy who can’t word good. Daaaamn.

pexels-photo-261895.jpeg

My son is glasses smart.

Irregardless

“Ugh, that’s fustrating,” says my coworker in a meeting with me and our boss.

“Yeah, that’s frustrating,” my boss responds with a subtle emphasis on the first r.

“Totally fustrating,” she repeats with slightly more of an emphasis on the first syllable.

“Yeah,” I say, biting my tongue.

 

pexels-photo-942418.jpeg

Side eyeing the camera like I’m on The Office.

Get Back to It or Buy That TP Holder

You know when you have a pretty clear couple of hours that you had intended to spend writing but then…

I’m hungry.

I should just check Twitter first.

This email has been sitting in my inbox for a month. Now seems like a good time to read it.

You know, I really haven’t checked out the new offerings on edX lately.

Maybe if I just start a new photobook on Shutterfly, I’ll be able to finish it later.

I really need to find a matching toothbrush holder for my bathroom.

pexels-photo-785746.jpeg

Not sure what’s happening here but it captures my feelings of frustration with myself as well as my love of cozy-necked sweaters.

I wrote two actual sentences in the last 45 minutes.

Wild and Free

I understand the need for adventure, even if it means leaving what’s warm and dry, where you are loved and protected, fed and hugged and taken care of. Sometimes, a wild thing needs to be wild.

But my cat is 17 years old and scared of the dishwasher. Dude, I think you should stay home.

taylor-grote-516831-unsplash

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere!

Oh you think you’re going to jump over that 3 foot pile of snow to escape my loving embrace. Ok, big dreamer.

Get in here, jackass.

Let’s Camp Again… like we did last summer

I just signed up for CampNaNoWriMo again but THIS TIME, I am writing something new instead of attempting to edit!

Also, I’m not pregnant, so that might help. But I have two children now and that will not.

So winning is not a given… is all I’m trying to say. But it’s a good chance to switch WIPs without completely abandoning one to work on the other.

CampNaNo April project page screengrab

NANO GOOOOOOOOO!

Russian Bots Aren’t My Problem

There are days I spend away from the internet and while I can’t say I feel refreshed and renewed (because I’m not out camping and enjoying nature so much as running the kids all over town and catching up on To Do tasks), I do feel moderately less annoyed with humanity.

I blame Facebook. For many things, actually, but hating other people has a lot to do with inane and/or offensive garbage I see on Facebook mostly from people I know in real life and the people they know in real life who maybe I need to know a little less about.

Twitter is a different story for me because I’m on there almost exclusively to engage the writing community and stalk Riverdale creators and actors. All of those people are lovely and I can easily ignore anyone who isn’t.

Instagram is fairly new to me, my personal account is private, and I really only engage with a select few people… and Riverdale creators and actors.

Tumblr, I abandoned long ago, back when raging Teen Wolf fans couldn’t handle life and stopped creating adorable memes to lash out in grammatically infeasible ways that hurt my brain.

And I don’t do anything else because I’m a Gen Xer and I’m too busy being broody and polishing my CD collection to learn anything new.

So I will continue to look at the pretty pictures on Instagram and play writer hashtag games on Twitter and feel all peach fuzz and puppies about it.

But how… do I get away… from Facebook? Honestly? I have business-related pages and an author page and a private friend group comprised entirely of pictures of my children so I can continue minimal interaction with family while still providing life updates. But I want to stop all the rest. How do you just… stop the rest? How do you kill the Facebook feed?

smartphone-friends-internet-connection.jpg

This is definitely me in a Calvin Klein crop top with my manicured nails and dangling bracelets being all addicted to social media and whatnot. Certainly not a generic pic that google has allowed me to use.