Posted on 2013.06.11 at 03:16
You know what I hate the most about tattoos? It’s not the tattoos themselves, it’s the people around them who feel like they somehow are entitled to an opinion on them and how they express it. I’m tired of the tattoo equivalent of slut-shaming.
I’ve wanted to get a tattoo of a Haida Salmon put on my body for years now. My grandparents on both sides of my family are tied to west-coast salmon: my mother’s mother was raised in Bamfield BC and spent a lot of her life around Island First Nations peoples and grew up with a deep and healthy respect for nature and how everything balances together in the world. I remember her taking me to see the local Nations walking out into the slow rush of the river running through Port Alberni to catch and gather the salmon moving up to spawn, and the meaning of salmon to those people and her. Salmon swim upstream, representing determination, life, and thinking outside of the box. My father’s father was a born fisherman: at his funeral, the lady minister remarked after all of us shared our stories that while my grandfather had no use for a church institution, that fishing was his “church” because it was his quiet of mind, where he went to connect with nature and whatever aspect of the universe he sought and enjoyed, and he developed his strength and leadership from the ebb and flow of all of the water he’d found in his life. He also loved fishing off of the west coast for wild salmon, and I have all of the digital photos from those expeditions: salmon were his excuse to experience that event that breathed life into him, out on the water, and the Haida people who ran the resort he fished through were deeply entwined in his experience of that peace and life out on the water.
I want that tattoo because it’s a highly emotional thing that reminds me that yes, everyone matters to me, and that everything and everyone that is represented in that “stupid fish” is a piece and part of me that matters. When everyone around me was rushing around catching flights and dealing with various aspects of the burials and funerals and getting their closure, I was left at home, at work, left behind to handle everything that they dropped to deal with the deaths, and while I perfectly understand that it needed to happen that way, they got closure years ago that I still haven’t.
I was stuck at work, stuck at home looking after upwards of 78 horses and two dogs all at once with very little knowhow in the field and a whole lot of emotion compounding in on itself that I had no ability to handle—totally out of my depths, unable to cope with anything, mocked for not being able to function to whatever imaginary standards society has set up for people. I was left behind, carried on as usual carrying everyone else’s loads and burdens and while that IS what you do for people, when the world is swept out from under them and they’re burning in the numb agony of loss, I didn’t deal with my own pain. I didn’t let myself hurt. My boss took me out for lunch the morning after I lost my grandmother and I asked him “why?” and caused a hell of an awkward moment. It wasn’t that I felt it was unnecessary, it was just incomprehensible at the time that anyone did something for me, and unnecessary because my role was to be fulfilled differently, as I was the rock nobody remembered to thank. That fish, that salmon I want is my way of saying “Yes, you matter so fucking much and I wish I was there for you, but see: I have this fish here that reminds me of you every single time I see it, that I got just for you, and I’ll carry it with me for the rest of my life because you’re worth remembering and I’m so sorry that I wasn’t there with you when you were dying, and so sorry that I wasn’t able to make anyone better. That “stupid fish” is a “scar” I feel is utterly worth having because everyone forgot that I was allowed to hurt with them, myself included. I want that scar, I earned that scar, by playing my role in the scattered shit-show that the last eight years have been.
I earned that scar. Not a single person I know has earned the right to judge that need, or earned the right to shame me out of it, to hold their desire for my company or my desire for their approval over me like that. I’ll admit it: I need approval, because I don’t know who or what the fuck I am other than very, very tired and very, very broken.
I should probably say “I know the other side…” and explain it, but that’s not the point of this: I spend so much time looking from the other side and being understanding that I forgot to have my own opinion.
I didn’t rush out and get a tattoo to be cool, I want this because I didn’t get to cry when everyone died, I didn’t get to go and hold anyone’s hand before they left, and the one funeral I did go to destroyed me so badly I still can’t think about it without crying. Everyone up and went away and left me behind, they always do, and never ask. I’m always here, and never argue because arguing causes someone to scream, because everyone who knows me for any length of time knows that the easiest way to get me to sit tight and behave is to be disappointed I wasn’t better, or there for them, and know that I’m not stupid enough to rebel at the detriment of anyone else’s wellbeing. I didn’t have time to feel my own emotions because I was busy holding up my mother and holding my father off of everyone else when her mother died, holding down the fort when her father died three weeks later. I’m not angry that other people did what they had to do, I’m not angry that I was leaned on—I’m honoured that I was able to be a rock for so many people, so many times, and I hope to continue to help holding people together, but I need to be allowed to feel pain too.
My family went away camping and left me on my last birthday, my boyfriend stayed with his family in the city and after an evening deep in thought and feeling moderately dissatisfied and lonely, I walked out of work and realized that my wellbeing didn’t matter to me. I didn’t matter to me. I’ve hated birthdays for years, not because I’m ageing—I love that I’m getting older, I keep hoping that someday I’ll earn that respect I need and crave that comes with age—but because the only people who celebrate with me are my parents, and my father’s father and fathers step-mother: the only person I’ve ever unconditionally called “Gramma”, both of whom raised me in my early childhood and were weekly fixtures in my life until my grandfather’s death. I don’t have friends who show up, and any time anyone does I’m the ass end of everyone’s jokes and stories which is normal, sure, but almost always used against me later. I went to sit with my grandfather: spent half an hour huddled up next to his grave, bawling because he was the only one who was there at that time of the night to spend time with who was familiar, and I didn’t tell anyone any of this because what purpose would it serve when I rejected any help offered anyways? Being lonely is apparently childish, and I’m too scared to ask for attention because nobody has the time to answer and I don’t want proof that nobody listens.
That tattoo is to remind me that they matter, and that I matter, and that I’m not alone. That tattoo is to remind me of where I came from, of who made me, and that I come from a strong line of people who leap up and do incredible things and struggle and persist throughout their lives to go against the grain because it’s worth it in the end. I’m from a family of salmon that know the value of thinking outside of the box, and that’s what that “stupid fish” symbolizes, and that symbol brings me joy and a quiet to my thoughts that I need so often.
Because that’s what you do when you burst into tears watching Ellie die in Up, knowing that’s the kind of love that your grandparents had, they’re worth remembering. Because that’s what you do when you let yourself experience the agony of losing one of the strongest mentors you’ve ever had—you find a meaningful way to remember them, and you cherish that memory because you know that they’re worth it, and you’re worth honouring their memory.
Nobody has the right to shame me out of recognizing, and experiencing the berth of that pain. It’s been shoved away for too long now.
And all of that said, that tattoo also represents joy in the memories I have, and the memories I’m regaining because with the rest of what’s happened and is happening in my life I’ve forgotten more than I can remember, and yet if I say the word “tattoo” I get one of two reactions from the living people who matter the most to me: “tattoos are stupid, you’ll regret it in no time” or “tattoos are scar tissue, scar tissue marks up all of that smooth perfect skin.”
I despise that. I despise being told I’m stupid for having a different opinion on my own being and for having a fear of devaluing myself for someone else. I had Juvenile Dermatomyositis as a child: my immune system tore me apart from the inside out, attacked and ate my healthy muscle tissue and I can actually tell you what it feels like to disintegrate from the inside out. No part of me isn’t scar tissue, not after having rebuilt my body’s worth of desiccated muscles and skin, and having the concept of “perfect” so ingrained with “purity”, the idea of someone expressing their own selfish distaste of “scars” couldn’t leave a more potently putrid taste of fear or self-loathing insecurity in my mouth if they’d tried.
But how do you tell someone that? Asking them politely to stop using the term “perfect” didn’t work, telling them it was giving me a complex didn’t work, having a breakdown over not being able to live up to theirs and everyone else’s expectations after the celiac disease, depression and anemia kicked 45lbs back onto my body didn’t work—how do you tell the love of your life that he’s not cutting you, he’s stabbing you with scissors by undermining your needs with his idealistic words that you can’t possibly live up to, where it feels literally like you’re worth less to him because you got a tattoo and had to choose between being desirable and fulfilling his ideals and taking care of yourself, which is like every other horrible analogy your family or priest ever came up with to shame you out of exploring or experiencing your sexuality suddenly looking a lot more true. How do you say that and have them understand you’re not attacking them, that you just really need them to understand that they need to fuck off or stop judging and just love me? That it’s not silly for me to really, really need this and want support instead of judgement that they’re so used to giving that they don’t even know that they are?
I really don’t give a flying fuck if nobody agrees, and really don’t care to see the snotty “everyone has problems—deal with it” responses I’m anticipating getting: this is my time that I’m taking for me, for the first time, that isn’t a superficial event like a goddamn bath or yoga class, this is my time to say my piece, in my space, and I’m taking ownership of being allowed to share that actually, yes, I was in pain and didn’t want to stay at work after finding out I’d lost my grandparents, and no I sure didn’t want to stay behind, I wanted to take my little sister with me and fly out and take care of our parents because that was important to me, and it didn’t happen because someone else was a bigger priority. I can be ashamed of being fat, be miserable about my poor health and quality of life, I can talk myself out of any personal experiences or hobbies on account of me not being worth the effort, and be miserable in my own head, but I hate that so many people have stood up to tell me that a tattoo will somehow diminish my value or that I’ll regret something they don’t understand before I actually got it.
I haven’t picked a body part to put it on yet, but I will be getting that beautiful, circling, arcing salmon embedded into my skin someday soon. I know the artist I want, I know the symbol, I just need to figure out where that salmon will have the best life and movement on this rippled, rolled, stretched and scarred canvas.
Posted on 2013.02.26 at 15:01
There is an attitude that some people have at the gym, they look down their noses at people who join the gym after New Years, refer to them as "The Resolutions" and don't expect those of us who join to succeed, to stay and see ourselves through.
Being me, I reply "just fucking watch me."
August 2011 I got sick- had an identified sleep apnea episode that scared me stupid- I was about 210-ish lbs at that point and it turns out the massive extra weight on my body was challenging my ability to breathe in the night- so I contacted a trainer a friend of mine suggested and after talking about my goals, proceeded to lose almost 60lbs by the following February. Felt amazing, met someone amazing and had a blast right up until I tried an IUD. I'm not going to blast it as the worst pHARMaceutical ever invented, because everyone I recommended it to had absolutely no trouble with it- I however had such a horrible time and was so anxiety-screwed in the head and anemic from six months of bleeding that I had it removed- I wish my problems had ended there but they didn't, and many months later the anxiety still plagues me, and I am back up to 190lbs. I'm about 5'9", so it doesn't show like out would if I was shorter, but the panic attacks, the binge episodes, the hysterical moments- not proud of myself.
Well, kind of. I did menstruate heavily for six months and still kicked ass at work, went back to school and am on my way to becoming an ND. Moments of pride.
Now I'm back at the gym, looking at the skinny women who are looking down their noses at me- I don't care, but it bothers me that they'll affect other women who might desperately want to try, who don't know what they are capable of and don't have an amazing support base.
I still maintain that if women were taught to support each other as ferociously as they compete that society would look and feel very different.
If you're considered a "Resolution" like I am, don't back down- they don't own the gym, regardless of how much they think they do (they're just upset that you got the better deal on your membership and are breathing the air they entitled themselves to).
Posted on 2012.10.21 at 15:58
Current Mood: Strong
Sometimes its hard to cope with the world, and that's okay. Sometimes you just really don't want to, and that's okay too.
Sometimes you sit back and your heart is so heavy you just can't hold it up, your bones are so tired and so old that it feels like you're grinding dust and grit every time you move something, your brain is so weary from the same shit day after day, the same negativity, anger, oppression, disrespect and the same total fear-induced self-isolation you don't even bother trying to explain to anyone else: its not even a petulant "what do they know? They don't know me" so much add it is a "what, really, what can they do about it?
Sometimes you despair because you're broke and you know that you can't afford to escape, you're too poor to in a house where the people you live with have a twelve car garage, bitch about having to spend a hundred thousand dollars on a top-of-the-line RV so that camping is "comfortable", but can't reconcile the idea of lending you any emotional support when you're having a depressive episode because depression isn't a real problem to them, so instead of leaving you alone they feel the need to follow you around and scream at you for wasting your own money on tuition for a career goal they personally don't agree with.
Sometimes you can't cope, and that's okay. Emotions exist for a reason, even if it just serves to remind you that you need to be compassionate, that you need to work hard, sometimes you need that shit day to strengthen your resolve to try harder to get away from it.
What isn't okay is what people do to put you there, to tear you down. Sometimes people ham-handedly beat at you thinking they are strengthening your skin, making you tougher, when in fact they are killing you inside. That is NOT okay.
Sometimes people think that just because they brought you into the world and raised you, gave you food and clothed you, educated you, that you owe them and that they can treat you however they want to.
That mentality is not okay.
When you live somewhere like that, remember that they chose to bring you into the world, that your upbringing is actually their responsibility, that they are legally required to provide those to you and that if they don't, that they are acting in a criminal manner.
If you live somewhere that you can't remind them that they decided to raise you instead of putting you up for adoption was their choice, that giving someone money in place of emotional support doesn't give them a right to abuse you mentally, physically or emotionally.
Nobody has that right, and you understand that, which is why the world needs you, to help defend the smaller versions of you who are living the life you hate. Nobody understands it as deeply as you, and you are so Vertu, very needed and special, because when you know that you don't always have to be okay, that's the milestone of growth you need to become something amazing for someone else. You have compassion, you have experience, and you know how to see things other people are feeling that someone who doesn't have your experience can't.
Nothing excuses the person who brought you to this understanding, nothing at all, and nothing will, but as the people around you refuse to believe in you, everything you achieve is done by your own merits, and you are better capable of growing and developing more deeply than most people can claim to.
There's a price that comes with having a true, strong perceptive experience-based awareness, and its your responsibility to learn and grow so that you can end someone elses isolation, oppression and induced self-abuse.
Sometimes you take everything you can't cope with and idol blare yourself with it, and know that when you do I'm here for you doing the same damn thing because we are separately in this together.
Posted on 2012.07.10 at 22:57
Current Mood: exhausted
I remember being an extrovert... Back in the day, when I got energized by being around other people instead of finding the mere idea exhausting and scary. If I could go back in time, I'd find my 17-year-old self and warn myself not to let go of my passions, and tell myself not to suppress who I am. I don't remember losing my smile, but damn do I miss it. I resolve to get better, because I refuse to accept that this constant numb exhaustion is permanent.
Life must be worth living, I just need to stop feeling sorry for myself for long enough to see it.
Introversion is great for giving you the opportunity to think, but its so goddamn lonely after a while...
Posted on 2011.03.02 at 15:59
Current Mood: amused
I work at a local tack shop part-time. Have been since January.
An EXTREMELY geeky man walked into the tack store yesterday, walking really weirdly and waved us off to go wander aimlessly around the store. He was rotating on his feet and it took a moment before I realized he was trying not to make noise. He didn't come across like a rider or barn-boyfriend, and I don't like sneaky people, so he had my full attention. He wandered aimlessly among the breeches for a while, then came up and asked where the "whips" were.
Ah. Have you caught on yet?
He spent close to twenty-minutes carefully examining every crop on the rack, keeping the rack between us and him. I walked by between shelves that brought me a small distance away and behind him to put something away and saw him crouched over testing them on his palm and thigh. He looked up when one of the other girls walked by and pretended to be angsting over colours and watched her until she was out of range. Then went back to testing them.
How about now? Caught on yet?
I walked back to the front thinking "... do I say something to the other two now, or later? I wonder if he'd bolt if I asked him if he needed a recommendation for something that wouldn't leave a welt..."
I'm then standing at the front of the store pricing stock, debating on putting a bet on the one he chooses being black, the cheapest one, and that he'll pay in cash when he walks up carrying a black one, the cheapest one, and proceeds to pay in cash. Anyone who knows me well should be able to appreciate how hard it was for me not to say something cheeky to freak him out and let him panic and think he's close to being caught.
He thanks us, does the weird walk out the door and the moment he's outside he straightens up and walks quickly to is vehicle and shoves the crop down under something, gets in and leaves. I whooped with laughter.
Folks, if you're going to go into a tack store and look for something to compliment your "fun time" with your partner, here's a few tips on how not to tell EVERYONE AROUND YOU what you're actually doing...:
1. Do solid homework before-hand and know what you're looking for; when a rider has to get a crop, we know what we need it for... ask where the CROPS are right off the bat and go pick the one you read up on before. Also, consider getting a novelty one from a "specialty shop," because if you forget yourself and use too much force on someone with a crop that's designed to correct bad behaviour in a very thickly-skinned horse, you need to be aware that they're built differently than a novelty one and can really hurt your partner. Some crops and whips leave a lasting sting with very little effort. I'd feed someone their own feet if someone smacked me with a dressage crop, and I'm not one to be violent.
2. Be confident: if you know you're not supposed to be there, we'll pick up on you sneaking around. We ride prey-animals and are very tuned to body language. We also sell expensive equipment. We pay attention to customers.
3. Consider ordering online: yes, you have to pay shipping, but it's delivered to your house and nobody will question your purchase. You can also then get the padded hobbles (industry-grade) and kicking chains (industry grade) without anyone giving you the pervert treatment.
4. Pay in cash: if you weird the people behind the counter out, this way they won't have your name.
5. Be polite and friendly: we like that, and you'll be a good face in our brains. We remember creeps and assholes more clearly and spend more time thinking about them.
I'm still amused... very amused
Posted on 2011.01.08 at 18:59
Current Mood: creative
Learn to quilt
Teach someone to ride who wouldn't otherwise learn to
Prove to mare-face that she's safe away from the herd, outdoors, with me
On the previous: take her out on a trail ride
On the same: take her through water (swimming? Do I dare hope?)
Finish the whale carving
Start on the seal carving
Do something WAY out of my comfort zone
Write a complete news story in one day
Get. Back. Into. Music.
Jump at a show
Get back into cars... as in, learn how they work. Properly.
Build a shelving system of my own (paint included)
Get the family fiddle repaired and working
AND learn to write a proper proposal for an idea at work...
Posted on 2011.01.08 at 01:04
Current Mood: bitchy
I have a habit of second-guessing peoples interest in me: if someone does something like invite me out somewhere, I accept it on the automatic assumption that they just want to be friends; that is what I think when asking someone if they want to join me somewhere, so why would it be different the other way? You know that thing where you ignore the small cues you get from someone because you don't want to be seeing signs where there aren't any signs? That's my best trick. Keeps my life from getting messy. It can make my life a little boring sometimes, but it has kept me from looking like a fool for the most part.
What I'm trying to say is that I often feel like a major social retard.
On January 6th, I discovered I wasn't that bad. In fact; I'm an outright social genious:
I went out with this absolute downer of a tech guy who started the date by telling me about how tired he was, how much he hated his job, then grabbed me up in a hug which he finished by slowly trailing his hand down my back and brushed it over my ass.
I thought it could have been an accident, but I was so unprepared for that kind of behaviour that I didn't make an issue out of it.
In the restaurant we were in he spent the whole time complaining and being negative about everything in his life. I actually declined to order anything (bitchiest thing I've done in a long time). Over the course of the time he spent eating, he bitched about everything, all while making flirty eyes at me. I actually couldn't help myself--I looked away. He kept jabbering on about how much everything in his life sucked and depressed him, mixed with a few attempted flirting gestures. The waitress was walking up after he'd finished eating, took one look at my face and veered off-course to go print the bill and bring it to us. Just like that--went and got it for us. I'm going to go back and leave her a huge tip some day soon, as he'd decided during the meal that her skirt was "slutty, and that she looked like a whore" and didn't want to give her one. Yes. Serious.
The restaurant is near a resovoir and there is a huge wooded area of land around it, and he tried to convince me to go for a walk with him in the park. Alone. I declined SIX TIMES, to the point where when he looked like he was going to try to insist, so I walked off.
He followed me. I stopped at his car so he wouldn't follow me to mine.
At the car, he hugged me again. I actually felt violated by the hug, and I'm not touch-shy, but I put up with it to avoid being too much more rude. He then patted my back jovially, then put his hand on the back of my neck and squeezed his fingers around the base and said I had to come see him again in a very "listen now, little girl, don't be silly and just trust me" chiding manner. I actually grabbed his arm and yanked his hand off of my neck and said "DON'T." He kept smiling away and tried to hug me again and I ducked back and said "... have a good day." and walked off.
Later, he sent me a text telling me he had a great time and asked me when he could see me again. The another one. And another one. And more yesterday...
I informed him that he was the most negative person I'd ever met in my life and wished him luck with school. He hasn't bothered me since.
So I could be worse...
Posted on 2010.08.06 at 00:35
Current Location: Home, in bed
Current Mood: sad
A well respected classmate of mine passed away suddenly during the August long weekend. I found out Monday evening. Early Friday morning I still refused to believe it.
I wasn't particularly close to him, but he was the first person I met going into the program; we met at the ticket machine in the College parking lot we'd parked in on the day of the interviews that got us accepted into the program. He was dressed in a suit and came with a mental warehouse of information and ideas he'd prepped for the occasion: there was no way he was going to be turned down. Two other people in that seven-person interview group made it in with us.
I remember being both impressed and pissed off when he smugly showed all of us up by being the first person in our year who wrote something worth publishing in the school paper. Right from the get-go, he was awesome.
First year, looking back, was a blast. It was easy, and gave us room to test our wings before throwing us off a cliff. Second year brought a screaming freight train of stresses and proved a trial for everyone who didn't drop out; we collected and produced news stories for a bi-monthly news show we ran, wrote stories to fill the bi-weekly newspaper we put together and published, often took six or seven classes at a time, all while holding part-time or full-time jobs to pay for the $3,000-7,000 worth of camera equipment we needed on top of tuition---all at the same time. Little bit of stress. "Little bit." I'm severely understating that.
That stress was brutal and did take a toll on people: we lost classmates, morale and GPA standings took a sharp dive, we lost hair and many hours of sleep, and gained what we could as we each found our own way to survive. Some people thrived, some people left, and most of us fell somewhere in the middle. I burned out, failed classes and then fought my way back up over time. He seemed to thrive on the stress and excelled with leaps and bounds.
Alan was pretty well immediately the top performer for the product he put out: he managed all of the above AND ran a section of the other school paper, and I speak for many in saying we were inspired by how much fire and drive he had to succeed. He had this natural talent for just pulling words out of himself and creating something amazing and worth reading; he wrote because he believed in his path and wanted to teach people instead of just filling space on a page to pass a class. He was also a cocky, cheeky little brat.
We expected to see him take a stage some day to accept an award for something he did for the Globe and Mail. There was jealousy in those expectations. He had the drive. He pulled through all of the stresses managed to both keep a social life AND be an editor for the student run independent campus paper. Mr. News indeed. I really respected him.
He helped everyone at least once just by sitting and listening. He'd ask how you were like he cared, and simply because it was him, I think he did.
I'd heard rumours of substance useage, but didn't see anything personally. Uppers to get shit done, downers to sleep at night when stress got really bad, and stuff to experiment with just to see what he could get out of the life the government restricts from us. He never did care much for any kind of censorship.
Other than the occasional happy-go-lucky drunken appearances he'd make during a late-night session laying out the newspaper pages, he presented himself very professionally.
Alan Mattson, I miss you dude. I didn't know you as well as most of our peers did, but you represented something I respected and was inspired by. That's hard to do, and you are missed for it. You tried hard to include everyone whenever you could, and were always present at the college/university working on something. Always found a way to get that story, to light a fire under someones ass and held people accountable for their actions. You also always had something awesome to share with everyone.
We got together on Saturday night and drank in your honour, and man, you would have been thrilled at the turnout. The Dean of Communications showed up, Terry, Shauna, Robert--even Murray. People drove in from Saskatchewan to be there for you. People you grew up with showed up to share a beer and photos with your classmates and teachers--over 50 people at least, all last-minute. We hugged, we laughed, we cried, and we remembered you.
Posted on 2010.08.05 at 23:04
Current Location: Somewhere under a rainbow
Current Mood: hopeful
Current Music: Air filter
My current job: I'm a practicum student producing radio commercials for three linked small-town radio stations. I adore the people I work with. I adore the work I do. I think they might be okay with me, as they've kept me on for the fall.
There's something amazing about being able to go home at night and actually go home at night. I don't bring my work home with me, and nobody gives me shit for not bringing it home.
They seem to care about people burning out, which is a really refreshing change from "suck it up or get the fuck out." I can't describe the feeling of working with creative talent on the showy, entertainment side of the industry. Don't get me wrong; journalism requires a LOT of creativity, but it is so extremely different...
I'll admit that I miss working with TV stuff: the editing and the actual shooting of the footage, the chasing down a lead, then rushing off for the next big event. I miss meeting the wide range of people I got to talk to while being a reporter. It's in my blood, as much as I hate that some days. I doubt I'll ever really shake it off. I just need to work on the freaking-out bit...
What makes me happy where I am is being able to turn my phone off at night (I never do, but it's an option now). To know I won't lose my job for being scooped when I let my guard down. To have room to create a social life, and the novelty of that is... "Wow." To be with the very smart, brilliantly creative and very professional people I'm helping now. They're inspiring, and I needed that.
I've picked up a notebook and started writing again...
It's been two years since I've wanted to do that...