Posted by: mydarkestplaces | August 18, 2021

Women in sports

I know we’re coming off the Olympics right now where we saw many of the greatest athletes in the world compete, but I’m left with thoughts.

When did I start to be interested in sports.

I’m sure wiffle ball and pickle around the neighborhood helped. As did Amanda and Home Brandi befriending me. As did, as always, my parents supporting my interests. But the first time I remember soccer, my sport of choice, being a real interest were the Atlanta Games and the US Women’s National Team winning the gold.

Following that triumph it was like a switch flipped. I wanted to know and do all things soccer. Travel teams, school teams, for a (very) short period of time ODP. I was all soccer all the time.

That was never a question for me once that flip switched.

As I’m watching A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN tonight I’m more grateful for the precedent set by these women than I normally am.

I’m already looking forward to watching this movie, and the 1996 gold medal game if it’s streamable, with my nine year old (swiftly approaching adolescence) niece. She needs to know things can happen when a woman has hopes, dreams, and the willingness to work to achieve them.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | June 12, 2021

Family revisited…

Seven years ago I wrote of family for the HuffPo. My family is nigh everything to me. My sisters, my brothers, my in-laws, my pseudo-parents, etc., etc.. I wouldn’t trade one of them for the world. Heck, even when I was a child I recognized how good I had it with my brothers and wouldn’t have traded them then either.

Everything there remains true.

Then I had a eureka moment a couple weeks ago. A lot of the folks I call family I call chosen family. That family is tremendously important to me no doubt, but then I realized I have a couple siblings who I don’t use that qualifier. I’m looking at you Hippo and Tall. You aren’t “chosen” family you’re just family.

I feel so lucky and blessed to have these sort of semantics present themselves in my brain at any given point. You all are pretty swell.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | January 19, 2021

Hopes and dreams rekindled?

I don’t know if I’ve written about it here, I know I have on Twitter, and now I’m definitely writing about it here.

So. A few years back I got a pipe dream in my head. Ask anyone (at least Stateside) about Josef Stalin and what will come up will be Russia saving the day during World War II and maybe references to that photo from the Yalta Conference with Churchill and Roosevelt. Okay. Great. Fine. That was a thing, it happened. But what very few either know or acknowledge is what was happening in the USSR at the same time as Hitler’s Third Reich. Millions of people were being killed by the State. They were being accused of being traitors, of trying to sow upheaval, they were being accused of looking the wrong way. There were perhaps more ways to end up dead in the USSR under Stalin as there was under Hitler.

But that’s just not what we hear about or learn about. Unless, like me, you search it out.

And let’s be real. There are very, very few heart warming things to be read about from Stalin’s time. There’s some excellent writing and art – that emerged AFTER Stalin’s death – but not too many feel good stories about his time.

What I’m proposing lacks the feel good. But what I’d like to do is open up history so when asked what someone knows about Stalin they’re mentioning more than just that picture from the Yalta Conference.

Why this is coming up today.

I haven’t done any research or writing in months. I haven’t cracked a book, opened an article, or talked to a friend about it. When one finds their country under the power of a despot it’s hard to read about how bad it could get.

So. I’ve put all these pipe dreams on hold. I haven’t read anything, written anything, talked about it with anyone. Whatever.

Today I talked about it in the future tense.

I got out my tablet so I could read some words and take some notes.

I don’t know what this means. If it means anything. But I can’t help but feel it significant.

And this is the internet. So I’m allowed to just ramble about it.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | August 26, 2020

White Privilege

I know there are people not just in THE world, but in MY world who question the existence of “white privilege.”

Let me learn you.

White privilege is thinking you’ll get a “Black Lives Matter” tattoo and then changing your mind because it would create challenges and difficulty in town and the work place.

I recently moved to a much more conservative community. A community whose Biden signs may, almost, equal the number of Trump signs in Portland. Maybe. I might be overestimating that.

But I’m making the choice whether to (or not) get a BLM tattoo in order to make my life less combative. My black friends don’t have that luxury. They’re kind of stuck being black.

I’m going to be thinking deeply about this for awhile. If you’re someone I typically bounce thoughts off of be prepared for more bouncing.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 13, 2019

Different ways of learning…

I like hearing smart people talk, particularly when it’s about something they’re passionate about, but that’s not always the best way for me to retain information. It’s something where, as often as I’m told something, I won’t retain it.

That being said. If I write something down I’m far more likely to retain the message. An example. I recently re-enrolled in Become a Master Writer, a course put together by a friend to help her writer friends become better. To sum it up it is a lot of time spent copywriting writers from all spectrums to learn writing from the masters. One has to copywrite in hard copy not just typing something so it means one is processing in a different way than just hearing and seeing something. What’s remarkable about this is that I did this this morning. The piece being copied talks about the beginning of being a writer and looking for more from your writing.

I’m lucky enough to have folks telling me often that I’m a good writer. Heck, sometimes I tell myself I’m a good writer, but because I’m a precious snowflake my issues are all unique and I start to doubt that I’m a good writer the moment I finish reading the piece I’ve written.

Today I hand wrote a piece saying, “It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, [between thinking and knowing you’re a good writer] and your work will be as good as your ambitions.” After writing it out the goal is to listen to a partner piece. Because in my venerable age I now follow directions that’s what I did.

I weighed my comprehension of both messages. Writing and reading has me thinking, “Maybe I can do this. Maybe I can be better.” Listening had me talking with the baristas at Bryan’s Bux. Had me talking with some of the other customers. Had me wondering what the hell I was doing thinking to be so presumptuous that I’m a good writer.

I think, once I remember to bring a ballpoint pen with me (as opposed to a Sharpie) and remember to do further sessions, that maybe I’ll start to find the power to do more writing.

I want to be a writer who believes I’m a good writer. I want to be a writer that (heaven forbid) makes money from my writing. I want to be a writer that can be held up as an example of good writing.

Maybe these are things I can do.

Thanks, Elisa.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | October 3, 2018

For the first time in awhile

I’m posting for the first time in a while, politically for the first time in longer. I’m sorry if this offends anyone – regular reader or happen upon – I’m sorry? You’re welcome to your opinions? But so am I.

If you’re reading this you likely have a working knowledge of my political alliances, but you also hopefully have an idea that I’m open to opposition. I think differing points of view, meeting in the middle, only makes the structure having the conversation stronger.

It’s my opinion that having Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court isn’t just a move to build a stronger structure it’s a move to undermine many structures.

I’m not even bringing Dr. Ford into this (though her story has merit, strength, and I believe her), but I just don’t feel Brett Kavanaugh is capable of sitting on that bench unbiased. I wouldn’t have wanted a leftist on the court under Obama or Clinton. I don’t want a rightist on the court under Trump.

By stacking the deck in any particular way for generations to come we’re not doing anything “to pass the world on a little better than we found it.” [Quote courtesy of “Crackpots and These Women” episode of the West Wing]

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | July 17, 2018

Nailing down an aspiration

So. If you know me in any way or, at the very least, follow me on social media in any way, you know that one of my hopes and dreams had been to write a book about Stalin’s despotism. Particularly it had been to write it in time for publication around the centennial of the Russian Revolution. Well. That ship sailed. We’re now 8 months past that anniversary let alone 18 months past research, drafts, and publication solicitations.

Oh woe is me. This is horrible.

Then the last couple weeks have happened between our unfortunate commander in chief and the equally despotic Russian “president.” My hopes and dreams have been revitalized. World circumstances break my heart, but this is something I can do. Despotism happens, and maintains, because those noticing what’s happening don’t speak up.

It’s time we who do notice don’t go quietly into that dark night.

So. Brace yourselves. I’m going to be posting more about Stalin and his despotism. Hopefully to help teach people about what can happen if power runs unchecked.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | June 21, 2018

Current events

So. Okay. If you’re reading this chances are you know me well enough and/or have known me long enough to know I would have to process current events. What the United States of America is currently doing to immigrants is deplorable. And unpatriotic. And just downright hateful.

Seemed particularly fitting that this piece of history showed up in my Digital Time Capsules this morning.

We’ve seen what happens with behavior like what’s going on today. This is what the piece of history down on the Portland Waterfront warns us of. To ignore tyranny sets us up for sixty plus years of suppression. Recovering from that will be harder than standing up to the suppression to begin with.

We cannot forget the tyranny? We cannot forget the results of complacency.

It’s a short walk from “this is only happening to X Demographic,” to “this isn’t happening to me just my neighbors,” to “this is happening to me.”

By standing up for all we stand up for ourselves. By protecting all we protect ourselves.

We cannot rest on our laurels without imposing suffering upon all successive generations.

Call your representatives, your senators, your governors, hell, even the president. Go on the record that it’s not okay what’s happening now.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | April 3, 2018

Online Psychiatrist

I’ve been rather profoundly lucky when it comes to my med management for my mental health issues. Wasn’t for nothing I called my first psychiatrist Dr. McDreamy nor that I call my current doctor’s office whenever I’m in need of something more. Even when that call is at 3am.

What had me exploring this link (Reasons to Choose an Online Psychiatrist) is that my source of med management is predominantly a Residency program. And that’s cool. My insurance knocks down the amount for seeing the residents. Also when seeing doctors new to the field they haven’t been IN the field long enough to be jaded. What’s challenging about it is that the minute I get actually talking to the psychiatrist about my head issues their residency is up.

I think I’m ready to commit. Ready to commit to actively pursuing better head health (TM pending). In order to do that I need to be seeing a doctor regularly for more than a year. Residents have to split time between individual clients, rounds through P6 (my local hospital’s psych wing), and their own lives. I don’t begrudge any of them that aspect of their training. They’re going to be better doctors for seeing every aspect of psychiatric care. What I think I’m looking for these days is someone I’m not expecting to be gone within six months.

As tends to happen to me I’m thinking. A lot. At rocket speeds. I appreciate the opportunity to explore options for further care.  All that’s left is stepping up to pursue the options presented.

Once again the Internet has me thinking things. It’s good like that for me.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 29, 2018

Passage of time

I’m 34 years old and my last grandparent just passed away. My grandmother, rest her soul, was in her 90s. She’d felt lonely since my Grandfather’s death several years ago. She had dementia or alzheimer’s or some combination thereof. She wasn’t herself. Hadn’t been herself for a long time.

But still. She was my Grandma. She was supposed to be there always. I hadn’t seen her in years, purposely. Since walking into the halls of Alcoholics’ Anonymous, and into the rooms of various Med and Talking Head Shrinks, I’d realized that my grasp on being alive and being sober is very, very tenuous. Seeing such a staunch anchor of my life not who I remember her as would have knocked me flat on my ass. With a bottle and a knife in hand.

I want to remember her as the woman laughing as my Grandfather and friends shot the potato gun off the porch into the lake. I want to remember the woman reading Tikki Tikki Tembo to my brothers and I. I want to remember rainy days putting together puzzles while listening to The Great Mouse Detective playing in the background.

Because I’m me, yes, a slice of me will regret not going to see my grandmother in times when the opportunity was afforded me, but the part of me that will have mostly memories of my Grandmother with it knows that those are the safer memories for me to have.

I anticipate this being a hot topic of conversation with the various Shrinks I work with for the foreseeable future.

What this is also nailing home, though? Oddly? Is that I’m supremely lucky to have a care team not unwilling to say, “Get your ass to the ER now…” If you find yourself in the spot too often where you’re wondering if you should go? Have yourself a care team that will say, “Yes, you should.”

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