Arkansas

did you know that Oklahoma is like an old mattress – well it is, and here’s why. you know when you have an old mattress, its familiar and could be described as comfy when you roll into it every night; but, getting out of the mattress crease is just uncomfortable and difficult and makes you feel a lot older than you really are. that, that dear reader is how i view Oklahoma. the crease in the mattress of this great and wondrous nation – that is full of secrets just waiting for discovery.

that being said i have tried to venture out to those new areas.

me and the youngest one ventured out to Arkansas to dig for diamonds and dip out toes into the Hot Springs. i must say that i do appreciate Arkansas’s beautiful trees, and forest. the drive is from the edge of Oklahoma is just beautiful.

  • multiple small town cemeteries (like six or seven for a pop of 1500)
  • homes for sale
  • no Starbucks in sight
  • very small homeless population
  • no apartments mostly homes
  • hotels and motels are mostly road-side inns owner-operated (ours were from Scotland and just as cute and kind as can be)
  • Arkansas smells better (i think Oklahoma smells like Braum’s stores)
  • I found it difficult to determine how i felt about the numerous farms along the way into Hot Springs – they have small (12×12) signs posted on wooden sticks, at the drive entrance saying things like “Tyson Super Farmer” and ones for Perdue as well. you could see the large enclosures from the road – you know the ones they show in documentaries about animal care in farming. the farms are littered with animal pens, then the home on is a tiny trailer. these are in small towns, pop ~1500 no grocery store, one gas station… i do not buy Tyson or Perdue meats or their companies products due to their treatments of their farmers. its one thing to see it on a film, but to see the real farms is another. my mothers parents farmed,on a small scale and from the stories i am told, it was such a revered thing to be able to farm, respected and appreciated. it does not seem that way any more.
  • i was smitten with this little town and Arkansas in general – we will be back.

Silly Girl

“silly girl, you bled for him, didn’t you? grew out your hair, shrunk down your waist, let him fuck you with the lights off and paint his name in blood onto your back. silly girl, forgive yourself for the bad dates, for saying yes, for meaning no, for the diets, the discounted liquor, the makeup you painted onto your face like camouflage. your dreams were made for the dark, they bloom and grow inside of you. your womb, a greenhouse. your hands, wind. you were in love except he didn’t love you, but you tried, didn’t you? silly girl, you are not the most reliable narrator. all those nights you waited up to hear from him, phone poised in your hand like a gun. you’ve always loved things that were the worst for you: trans fat, sweet tea, Black Friday sales, boys whose hands feel like triggers. you’ll grow out of it, or you won’t, and you’ll forget to delete the voicemails, the emojis you sent when you couldn’t express yourself in words. just look at the quiet shipwreck of you. it was always about the drowning, and you never learned to swim.”

interest, me

do you ever wonder if some one unknown to yourself is finding you interesting.  i mean, other than those who post comments, click ‘like’ buttons, or double tap photos. those who in secret read and hold onto your shared thoughts and photos – those who think to themselves “she must be an interesting person, she has a Thomas Tallis station on Pandora.”

i hope that some one views my work and is interested in the person behind it.

( i do have a Thomas Tallis station, and it is quite awesome)

i’m not going to count on you

a wise lady gave me a great piece of advice a long while ago… that “people will let you down, but you can count on God – so you pray for them to be blessed so that they can be the blessing you need from them.” it’s not an easy concept and one that i often forget, though today i was reminded. sometimes i place too much on others and forget to allow God to work laterally for me.

 

affection v. aggression

when she was 7, a boy pushed her on the playground
she fell headfirst into the dirt and came up with a mouthful of gravel and lines of blood chasing each other down her legs
when she told her teacher what happened, she laughed and said ‘boys will be boys honey don’t let it bother you
he probably just thinks you’re cute’
but the thing is,
when you tell a little girl who has rocks in her teeth and scabs on her knees that hurt and attention are the same
you teach her that boys show their affection through aggression
and she grows into a young woman who constantly mistakes the two
because no one ever taught her the difference
‘boys will be boys’
turns into
‘that’s how he shows his love’
and bruises start to feel like the imprint of lips
she goes to school with a busted mouth in high school and says she was hit with a basketball instead of his fist
the one adult she tells scolds her
‘you know he loses his temper easily
why the hell did you have to provoke him?’
so she shrinks
folds into herself, flinches every time a man raises his voice
by the time she’s 16 she’s learned her job well
be quiet, be soft, be easy
don’t give him a reason
but for all her efforts, he still finds one
‘boys will be boys’ rings in her head
‘boys will be boys
he doesn’t mean it
he can’t help it’
she’s 7 years old on the playground again
with a mouth full of rocks and blood that tastes like copper love
because boys will be boys baby don’t you know
that’s just how he shows he cares
she’s 18 now and they’re drunk
in the split second it takes for her words to enter his ears they’re ruined
like a glass heirloom being dropped between the hands of generations
she meant them to open his arms but they curl his fists and suddenly his hands are on her and her head hits the wall and all of the goddamn words in the world couldn’t save them in this moment
she touches the bruise the next day
boys will be boys
aggression, affection, violence, love
how does she separate them when she learned so early that they’re inextricably bound, tangled in a constant tug-of-war
she draws tally marks on her walls ratios of kisses to bruises
one entire side of her bedroom turns purple, one entire side of her body
boys will be boys will be boys will be boys
when she’s 20, a boy touches her hips and she jumps
he asks her who the hell taught her to be scared like that and she wants to laugh
doesn’t he know that boys will be boys?
it took her 13 years to unlearn that lesson from the playground
so I guess what I’m trying to say is
i will talk until my voice is hoarse so that my little sister understands that aggression and affection are two entirely separate things
baby they exist in difference universes
my niece can’t even speak yet but I think I’ll start with her now
don’t ever accept the excuse that boys will be boys
don’t ever let him put his hands on you like that
if you see hate blazing in his eyes don’t you ever confuse it with love
baby love won’t hurt when it comes
you won’t have to hide it under long sleeves during the summer
and
the only reason he should ever reach out his hand
is to hold yours

Fortesa Latifi – Boys Will Be Boys
(And Why That Is The Stupidest Thing You Could Ever Say To A Little Girl)

cheers to 2014

there is a funny thing that happens at the beginning of each new year; everyone reminds you that this is the time to start anew and fresh, live in the moment and try new things. i am not sure i feel that way this year. last year at this time i was getting ready to move to a new city, start a new career, leave everything behind to live in the moment. it was easy to embrace the unknown and live within the seconds that were just happening around me. this year, when i have been struggling to find my place in my return to captivity – my return home to Oklahoma; i am lost here. the new year brings only more indication of being a captive in this desert. it is difficult to live in the moment when each moment is the same.

please

Stay. Stay.
Come talk to me in idioms. Show up at my door smiling. Kiss me. Loom over me. Do anything, absolutely anything to me. Let me put my hands on every part of you. Tell me what has broken your heart. Go where you need to go, just come back to me. Make me your home. Love me. I can’t take another moment thinking of the rough of your jaw against my shoulder. Pull me as close as it’s possible to be. Come back. Come back. Come back to me.

September 1st, Clementine von Radics

i agree

She deserves better, you say. I say: You’re a goddamn coward. What she deserves is an actual person she can connect with. She deserves you, or me or the entire world; she deserves someone achingly real and honest. She deserves a human being equally raw to pursue her and love her and, perhaps, destroy her emotionally, but she deserves all that as well. She doesn’t deserve anyone’s sugary fairytale. She deserves to float freely, with you, or me, or the world, into the very depths of her own psychosynthesis. She deserves to explore the meaning of the word “intimacy”, with someone beside her that will care regardless. She fucking deserves all of it. So, pluck up the courage and be with her or leave her in peace but don’t you dare “sell” her your own “inadequacy” as a lie so that, again, you manage to comfort your conscience and eventually come to feel that you love her exactly because you’re letting her go. Because, darling, that’s bullshit. That’s only you own little self-created lie laying behind a much bigger lie; it’s not even properly concealed within itself, you fucking idiot.

-a the things you’d wish you’d say

almost 2am

“I stay up
until 2 am
because
it as at this time
I can use the lateness
as an excuse
to say terribly emotional things
and get away with saying them.
Let me tell you
a secret:
I am constantly
thinking of these things
that I say to you
at 2 am.”
— 2 am means freedom. (via youmakemewannabebrave)

i’ve earned a man

i’ve earned a handsome gentlemen with more sense than fear, more money than dreams, more love than lusts. i’ve earned a man that comes home to me and looks away when the younger option walks by. i’ve earned a man who looks at my children not “as his own” but as his own. who lets me take care of him, cook, clean, support and cheer him on. who in return honors and protects me, provides and uplifts me. i’ve earned a man.

memory:s

i never thought that the memories I made with someone were a big deal, even after becoming a mother. I now regret giving some of my space to those unworthy to hold it. it makes me feel anxious.

“Be careful who you make memories with. Those things can last a lifetime.”
— Ugo Eze

creative morning

since I came to chicago i have been trying to get tickets to the hottest creative act Creative Mornings–it finally happened. i was able to hear the very exceptional Raun Meyn, who creates wonderful pieces of art with reclaimed wood. he spoke of his journey from simple framer at craft stores, progressing to his own store and gaining control over what he makes. his store Found:Re creates furniture, framing and other wondrous wood creations (check him out)! the two most memorable thoughts…

“Awareness is the technique for centering oneself for achieving the inner fire”  – Gurdjieff

“if its a competition, I’m winning”  – Raun Meyn

(**drop mic**)

Imagei fucking love this city.

The Starter League

new-sl-logo

The last couple of months I have been learning to design by way of The Starter League. I went into this as a journey, to build job skills on top of my degree. I got so much more than that.

I got a community of people who, like myself started out with no understanding of design and no definition of coding – but were able to put that aside and build something based on only an idea. There is no place that I have felt such an array of emotions; within the first couple of weeks at Starter League I began to question my own judgement. Did I leave my job, my kids, the home I have had for 16 years behind for nothing? Did I up and move to a city where not only had I never been but knew no one, for nothing? I felt very alone, that I did not fit in and that this was a mistake.

BUT, I had a very strong conversation with myself. I realized that I was not giving this a real chance. I was not engaging in opportunities. I was not offering myself to this challenge. I was not lending my heart to the possibilities that stood in front of me – I was letting the fear of failure steer my course.

God did not move mountains for me to get to Chicago for me to fail. He did not turn my world upside down for nothing. I was the only one standing in my way. I had to change – it was my turn to be present and make a step in the direction I want my life to go.

So I volunteered for events. I got to meet Steve Ballmer – whom before his talk at 1871 I had no idea who he was (Im a Mac girl). I joined a Meetup.  I got to tour some pretty awesome spaces too, like Groupon. I began taking my designs more seriously,because I wanted them to be great – not because I wanted to fill my portfolio or stack my job skills. I wanted to be apart of this community, and for the first time I was.

Things changed.

I met people. I spoke to others. I introduced myself. I spoke more with my instructor Mig Reyes (Google him – he’s kinda a big deal) and other staff members.

I spent more time preparing and working smarter for my meetings with my mentor Joy Burke – who challenged my designs in ways that was so unprepared for. She told me my work was ugly, she questioned everything – to which my answers began with “I liked the color?!” to which she quickly replied “no one gives a shit if you ‘liked’ the color – what is the purpose for using that color!?” Now in all fairness I must say, that she did this to teach and not mean or harsh in anyway, she was correcting my thinking. She was getting me to ask myself what the purpose is. She was teaching me to think like a designer, solve a problem with purpose.

In preparation for #StarterNight, I participated in a Builders Weekend to jump start the build of pitch projects – the final exam if you will. Something I truly was so fearful of participating in. BUT I DID IT. I joined a group with 2 web developers and 3 html/css writers and we planned, designed and built a webpage LOVEsqrd.com, which is functional and you can buy Samantha’s upcycled goods. I am proud of my team.

I don’t know what the future holds for my designing – but I hope I can be given a chance to design a lot more. I love taking an idea and making it a reality. I never before have been apart of something so inspiring. I think of Craig Groesechl‘s LifeChurch.tv model – Bring in, build up, train, and send out. That is what Starter League has done for me. Given me the tools to be a great designer. Now the real work begins, I must use those tools.

I am so grateful to so many people.

First my brother Adam – for whom none of this would be possible. For doing more than believing in me – for investing in me.

Mig – I am forever changed by your pro tips, your understanding of my ugliness and knowing, even when I didn’t that I would get there.

Joy – Thank you for being honest with me. Thank you for sharing a small piece of your confidence, and caring about what I have to say. I hope that we can continue to meet -for I have so much more to learn.

LOVEsqrd team – Samantha, Colin, Ty, Case, Lowell: you guys are so rad! WE DID IT!

the air is coming

i am sure that you have seen the film Signs, a film by M. Night Shyamalan portraying the  different “signs” within a families life in relation to a alien encounter.

in the scene in the basement while the family is hiding from the (spoiler alert) alien encounter, the young son has a asthma attack, to which his medications are upstairs with the danger and can not be reached. the father holds his son and during this says to him “…do not be scared … the air is coming … believe …”

this has become my mantra lately. as i have no idea what i am doing, how this is going to work out or how the questions and concerns are going to be answered or problems solved. i am scared, really scared – that this will all be in vain and i will fail. not only am i afraid that i am going to fail, but that i am going to let those down who invested time, and frankly and large some of money into this. i am terrified that i am not good enough and i will snuff out not only my light but those who depend on me to be a leader, a mother.

i am gasping for air telling myself that “… the air is coming”. my heart waits knowing the air is coming, my brain however, is just thinking.

the air is coming, the air is coming, my air is coming …

i’ve been in bed all damn day – but, its not the reason you think.

so i have spent all weekend primarily in bed. i wish i could say that i’ve been ill, or at least not well. i wish i could share a story filled with romanticized escapades involving the greatest lover, or some cheeky pillow talk and scandalous stories of  love. alas, none are the case. i have spent much of the weekend reading, researching designers portfolios and trying to assimilate into knowing what i am learning or least make a case for pretending i know what i am doing. i have been watching tutorials, scouring the internet for ideas, filling up pages in my look books/sketch books, listening to music that outside of this room would not be considered socially acceptable and staring out the window at times for long periods of seconds listening to the train and the tiny ice flakes hit my window. here in this room, in this bed, where it is mostly quiet i have been submerging myself into this world, this information that is more vast than oceans, and still i feel i have only scraped the tip of the iceberg.

kissing with the lights on (love, love, this)

kissing with the lights on

by Daphne Gottlieb

You told me you like my mouth. You want to kiss me.

My mouth is a wound and you
want to kiss me.

But you’re like
that: You want to go
leaping over cliffs—
you want to go
drinking poison
and then write pretty poems about it—
and all I want to do is
fuck you.

You want flowers and sonnets and us
to be together until the end of the world and I’d
just like a blow job, I’d just like
to be friends.
that’s what I’d really like.
Something warm and snuggly like a friendship.
and to fuck you.

The flowers are going to die and the cliffs are
going to erode and we might as well go fuck
since we’re going to anyway.
We’ll fuck and fight and eat and drink and smoke and fuck and smoke and fuck and
get married

And in six months from now
we’ll stop making the world stop
to fuck each other

and one year from now
I’ll get fat and you’ll go bald and
I’ll take prozac and you’ll take viagra
I’ll get obsessed with my biological clock
and my career
and you’ll get obsessed with your hairline
and your career

and two years from now
you’d rather watch reruns than fuck me
and I’d rather be drinking than fuck you
so we’ll drink in separate bars and one night
someone who likes my mouth will buy me a drink
that drink will be attached to a hand
there will be a human holding that drink
the kind with ears

and I will tell whoever it is
all about you
and how we used to forget to eat when we were in bed for three days
and your ears will be burning across town
where you are telling whoever it is how I don’t understand you

and two years from now, that girl with that drink
she will nod that yes that I am nodding at you tonight
that nod, that yes that means you’re not coming home
because just for a second the world has gone away
because just for a second there’s someone who understands you

and that night it will be her pretty mouth you want
and that night I will pass out at home, alone
with a bottle that reminds me of us
because it’ll be empty
because it’ll be gone
I will pass out waiting for you
to come
home
listening to country music—and I hate
country music—
but I’ll be feeling tragic
it’ll be the most romantic moment
I’ve ever had and
I’ll be alone

and you’ll be across town
with that girl who right now is in high school
and right now I just met you
and right now I think you should take me home and fuck me
because it only gets uglier from here
we only get uglier from here
so take me to the edge of that cliff you love
and pour me a shot of your silky poison
you can take this mouth
this wound you want
but you can’t kiss
and make it
better.