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Positive Affirmations?

Anyone ever gotten into those? Did you borrow them, or dig deep and write your own?

This has been a difficult week. And it hit me, I’ve been having a lot of difficult weeks lately. The only, and I do mean only, consistent factor is… me.

I used to think positive affirmations were a joke. And maybe, deep down, I question their validity. But, I’m gaining a scientific mind these days. I like to investigate. Experiment. Prove or disprove an idea. And, no worries, I won’t be pushing them on the world. I’m just curious about other’s experiences.

In Which My Memory Goes Berzerk

I was sitting on the porch when I saw a miniature doberman chase a leaf down the road. Suddenly, I remembered my first bus ride. It was my introduction to kindergarten. Our school was about 20 miles from the town in which we lived. We loaded up on the bus, (me and my sister) and made our way through town. The next block over the bus driver hit a dog. It was a little dog that reminds me now of the doberman. He belonged to a man named Don, who several years later would be lost at sea. He was fishing and got pulled into the water, never surfacing again. His brother was named Mike, and Mike was married to Geri. I used to sit beside Geri during church and rub her arm while I sucked my thumb. Her arm was a stand-in for by blue and pink blanket that no one would let me take to church. That blanket disappeared one day much like Don. We were at a rattlesnake roundup, and when I went to grab my blanket out of the pickup, it was gone. My dad told me it blew away with the wind, and now some coyotes were using it for their babies. This truck was my favorite truck. It was blue. With a dark blue stripe down the sides. It was a Ford. I loved that truck. We had another truck, too, which I think as an adult I would have liked it more than the blue truck. It was older. Looked classier. The Ford looked like something you expected some backwoods, skoal-dippin’ serial killer to drive. The other truck, which I don’t know what it was, was all white. It was more curvy. It had more style. But it allowed something mean to happen to me once, and I never forgave it. I crawled under it, and got stung by a boatload of wasps. Although, it also saved me once, too. There was a guy, he was hispanic (which has absolutely no bearing on the telling), who liked to hotrod his muscle car on the gravel road in front of our house. This is also where I liked to hotrod my big wheels, and more than once he would pretend like he was going to run over me. One time, he did smash my big wheels, but I jumped off of it before he got me and slid under the truck. I probably should have appreciated the truck more. But sliding under it for safety did’t burn a memory like the hurt of getting stung by wasps did, so the pain it caused trumped the safety it provided. Hmmm. Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever seeing that guy or his car again after that day.

I think they paved the road, though. So, that might be why.

White Bread

White bread. White bred. I’ve never been sure of the spelling when it comes to white bread (bred?). I’m not talking about the two pieces that hold a sandwiches innards in, either.

I don’t know my heritage. Almost everyone I know tells me I must have some Native American blood. And when I was a kid, I really, really wanted that to be so. Of course, this was when I watched Lone Ranger reruns and was totally sold on teepees. (Which, by the way, I have slept in. Not that great. Now, you know.)

When my grandmother had her youngest daughter, she shared a hospital room with another woman. The woman’s family came to visit, and the woman whispered to her son, “I can’t believe they have the nerve to put me in here with this indian.”

Grandmother swears she is not native american. I’ve come to learn, back in the day, a lot of folks denied their heritage. On hospital documents, census records, etc… native americans would deny their lineage and mark “white.”

I have what some would assume are native american features. When I was born, my grandaddy, picking me up with great pride jokingly announced, “There’s an indian in the woodpile somewhere.”

He wasn’t native american, either. Although, I never actually heard him flat out deny it. But he insisted we were Black Irish, which for anyone interested, is not something the Irish recognize. We weird Americans came up with it. We’re just like that. And I do know for a fact, we do have ancestry that hailed from Ireland.

But I’ll tell you the truth. I think there was more than one indian in the woodpile. And there is one document that suggests we have a little soul in us, too.

Thanksgiving (Minus the Trip)

I won’t be going home this year. Not to the town where my family has gathered for years. It won’t be the first time I will have missed the get-together, but it is the first time distance, or illness won’t be the precipitating factor. With my grandmother being 94-years-old, I do hope I don’t regret the decision. I have good intentions of visiting her when the crowd has dispersed, and it’s a more intimate affair.

The reason is silly. It’s selfish, and self-preserving. It’s because I can’t keep my emotions in check, or handle on onslaught of ridiculous conversation. It’s because last year, as I sat/stood/ran from house, I promised to celebrate Thanksgiving in place that felt like celebration.

My family cannot shut-up about politics or religion. It’s a large family. I don’t know how many different affiliations there are with varying churches, but I do know that only one of them is the right one depending upon who is doing the proclaiming at the time. As for politics, there are only 2 affiliations with the ratio being 1 to everybody else.

I approach Thanksgiving in this manner every year, “I will not discuss religion. I will not discuss politics.” My out is walking. If something comes up, I’ll go for a walk. Last year, I went on a lot of walks. A lot. Two of my uncles, one expected, one really unexpected were relentless in making jabs. Loud jabs. The jabs yelled from the dining room so that everyone in the living room could hear. It starts to wear on you after awhile. And I know it’s in jest, but you can only hear, “The only good (party affiliation here) is a dead (party affiliation here)” so many times. I don’t find it funny. But they know I won’t fight back. They know I’ve never been a fan of confrontation. And taunting has become sport. It might be fun for them, but it isn’t for me. I don’t want to be in a place where I am made to feel so inadequate, small and stupid because I don’t buy into the majority mentality.

I don’t because it feels so hateful.

Several people took me aside and said they were sorry about the degree of antagonistic behavior. But in a group, they stood silent. Silent like me. Without the constant hammering away at their psyche. And I don’t need that. I don’t want that. So, I’m not putting myself in a position to experience it again.

This Thanksgiving, I’ll be thankful for a lot of things. Intentionally thankful. Protectively thankful. Politic and religion free thankful.

All Good Compulsions Must Come to an End

I think… I think my compulsive need to write has passed. While doing Chemistry homework this morning, I didn’t go off in a crazy, uncontrollable direction while naming chemical compounds. That will be a nice break for the professor, because the last assignment I turned in was chronic ramblings. I do that. Or doodle. A professor from my first semester has deemed me brilliant because of the doodles. Poor soul. She just wants to believe. It’s good, though, because she has a little sway at the place I am next applying, and a recommendation letter from her is already in my possession. Sometimes, frantic crazy pays.

I don’t expect a letter of recommendation from my Chem Professor. She doesn’t seem so easily amused.

I am grateful, though, to feel this incessant need to write lift. It gets somewhat pervasive, where I can do nothing else. And never do I write anything productive in these periods, like say… the paper that is due tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. I should probably get started on that now. Sigh.

I miss the old days. Or somewhat old days. Just sayin’.