More Self Care

Personal, Writing

About two years ago, I made a post with my favorite things to do for self care. That post mostly included fun relaxation things. This is part two of that post but with more practical things, for when it’s not so much “treat yourself” but more “I’m living in a dark hell pit and need to find a way to climb out of it.” (What? No, I’m fine. Things are totally fine over here.)

  1. Clean your space: I know it’s not fun and I know you don’t want to do it, but I guarantee that if you do you will feel much better. I clean my whole apartment once a week. I put on a podcast (usually My Favorite Murder) and just fully absorb myself in scrubbing gunk off the walls. Anyone else ever just walked around their house scrubbing every mark off the wall with those magic eraser sponges? If not you should, it’s incredibly therapeutic. (And if you’re lucky you might get high off the weird cleaner fumes.)
  2. Eat a piece of fruit: Sometimes I forget to eat for a day or so and I feel sick and awful. Then I eat a fruit cup and boom bam, I feel like I can take on the world. Or at least like I can get out of bed for an hour.
  3. Write a list: List making is an underappreciated art form. Make a good list and you will feel less stressed and angry. Just make lists for everything.
  4. Learn something: I always feel better if I feel like I am developing. So google a topic you’re interested about, or read a wiki page about a historical event. It’s a good way to feel productive without having to put in much effort.
  5. Go on a walk: When my counselor used to tell me to go on walks when I got angry I used to think “yea right that doesn’t help.” It does. It really really does. In fact it’s the only anger management technique that has ever worked for me. I’m sure other exercise is helpful to, but walking is very steady which is why I like it.
  6. Buy new underwear/socks/dishes: If something you own is getting old THEN REPLACE IT GODDAMNIT. It will make your life feel more put together and if it’s something you need then don’t put it off.
  7. Hit your pillows not your car: If you need to hit something that’s fine, but do yourself a favor and make it something soft. I can tell you from personal experience, if you punch start a fist fight with a car, you will lose.
  8. Go to the movies alone: It’s a little weird to sit alone in the dark, and stare at a wall for two hours while shoving food in your face—But not in a movie theater it’s not!
  9. Make a meal: Sometimes being a housewife makes you feel like you have your life together. Also eating food is good for you.
  10. Go to bed early: Sleep is seriously important. Get enough sleep.

Crushed

Personal, Writing

So Valentines Day was on Thursday, as I’m sure you were made aware by the thousands of posts of your friends bragging about how great their significant other is and how many Valentines Days they have shared up until this one. It is both the sweetest and most lonely day of the year depending on what your relationship status is.

I for one have always liked Valentines Day. Mostly because my favorite color combination is pink and red, (if you couldn’t tell from this websites theme) but also because I like stationary and any excuse to complain about how sad I am. I could be writing a very negative post about love and how big of a scam it is, but the thing is relationships are work and I think it’s good that there is a day where people can share the amount of work they put into being with another human. Due to my lack of hostility towards the holiday, I have decided to share with you a few stories about crushes I’ve had from childhood up until now. Please prepare for second hand embarrassment. I’ve changed these boys’ names for the sake of their privacy.

Fifth Grade: I’m sure I had crushes before this one, but this is the first one I have any real memory of. Let me set the scene. Fifth grade Avery was the kind of kid who cried when she forgot her homework, and volunteered to read out loud in class. I wore hot pink on an almost daily basis and pretty much thought I was the shit. I’m sure this was due to constantly being told I was “gifted” by my teachers I was a quiet kid and generally avoided other kids besides my group of close friends. I remember the day he walked into our class. He was a new student and I thought he was beautiful. Looking back on it, that was probably just because he wasn’t one of the boys I had known since Kindergarten. He was also Hispanic which was only the second highest minority in our school. He was special. We’ll call him Anthony. Anthony got sat next to me because he would never shut up, so my teacher decided to put him at the shy kid’s table. I also think my teacher knew I had a crush on him. I was never good at being subtle. Nothing ever happened between us because he was dating one of the more popular girls in our class. I remember the pain I felt when I saw him holding her hand at recess. I thought she was much more mature than I was because she was allowed to wear spaghetti strap tank tops. He moved away when we started middle school and I never saw him again. Well, until my friend sent me an article with his mugshot saying he was going to jail for robbing a casino… I did always like the bad boys. I talked to another boy that I went to elementary school with a while back that visits him, and he says he’s doing alright.

Eight Grade: Literally the worst year for teenagers going through puberty. I was heavily into “the theatre” at this point in my life. I was still riding that smart kid wave, and was just starting to realize maybe wearing gummy bear earrings wasn’t cool. I had a crush on this boy named Max. I’ll use his real name because we became actual friends after all this and I know he won’t care. Nobody is cool in eighth grade okay! He was a huge nerd, but we were in a play together and he was just the first non-gay boy to talk to me, which my brain equated to him being the cutest thing ever. I think he somehow got talked into liking me back and he asked me out on a date. We went and saw the Hunger Games (how 2011 of us) and my parents had to drive us. My sister and her friends sat right behind us and he left in the middle of it to answer a call from our other friend. We held very clammy hands and his parents dropped me off. Still the only actual first date I ever went on. Scarred me for life apparently. After that I stopped talking to him at school because I was too shy and two weeks later, we tragically broke up. I cringe every time I think about it. Two years later he told me he never liked me at all and started dating one of my best friends probably a year after that. Now our only real connection is that we probably speak the same level of French. He turned out good I think. His girlfriend now is very pretty and nice, and I think they live in Seattle or something.

Ninth Grade: Get ready for the cringiest story of all. I was a freshman in high school, developing a serious mental disorder, and had maybe two friends total. I had lost the gummy bear earrings but was still decidedly weird to most other students. I was paired up with a boy in French class, (that Max was also in) we’ll call him…Billy. Billy was probably as tall as me and I was only 5′ tall at the time. He was a wrestler, very disruptive in class, and also always grumpy because he couldn’t eat in order to stay in his weight class or something. DEFINITELY NOT MY TYPE but I didn’t have a type then (or standards apparently) so I decided I liked him. Our first ever winter formal was coming up and it was also a TWERP so the girls had to ask the guys. I was much too shy to ask him but my extroverted theater friend wasn’t! So she walked up to him at lunch and said, “If Avery asked you to formal would you go with her?” and I kid you not, he said “ew, no.” Then I had to go to French right after and pretend I didn’t know she asked him and that my heart was not shattered. I didn’t go to the formal…or any school dance ever. Except some alternative dance that took place in a kid’s parent’s airplane hanger, and now that I think about it I’m pretty sure I went to that with Max and his then girlfriend. Billings is a small town okay.

Tenth Grade: This crush was probably the defining crush for my current (horrible) taste in men which is the only reason I’m including it. We’ll call him David. He was and still is the prettiest boy I’ve ever seen. He was endearing and charming. He was also really nice to me which I appreciated and at this point in my life really needed. I would see him everyday at lunch with our mutual friends and then again when I walked home past the smoking alley. I was completely sober then and he had been addicted to drugs for years. He really liked Futurama, Kid Cudi, and he held a sadness inside him that a lot of people never saw. I was pretty open about the fact that I hated my life at this point, so I saw right past it but I think a lot of people never saw how bad he was getting. I only knew him for a year before he disappeared. I found out later that he had ended up in rehab and was completely clean. He showed up at a Halloween party, I was having years later, and he seemed really good. I think he lives in the mountains now with a dog.

There you go, those are four of my most memorable crushes. Of course there are way more, and I only talked about one of my actual boyfriends but these are the ones that make me laugh when I think about them. It’s strange how much people change and how many times they pop up in your life without you even thinking of it. Happy Valentines Day.

2018: In Review

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

I began my 2018 alone, in my room drinking sparkling cider and wearing my ex-boyfriend’s shirt. I rang in the new year binge watching Netflix (and probably crying, lets be real). My whole year continued much like this first night, lonely. Despite this ever present feeling of solitude, I made more friends than ever in 2018. I’m not big on resolutions, but as we begin this year, I though it would be nice to take a look back at some highlights from last year.

NYE 2017

January: I spent most of the first month with my second family, aka my best friend and her son, until school began to take up most of my time. I also participated in the Billing’s Women’s March alongside my sister. I got my thigh tattoo finished and I also spent an excessive amount of time in my friends dorm room that month bleaching his hair.

February: That month was a dull one, I completely stopped talking to someone who was toxic for me at the time, so I remember concentrating a lot on school. I spent a lot of time in my friends dorm room, just as an excuse to be out of my house. I finally got around to watching “Get Out” on one of many movie nights. 3/5 stars, because I guessed the twist way before it happened.

March: Made grape soda floats. Spent every night with my friend Red Willow. Dyed my hair blonde.

April: At the beginning of April, my mom, Maisy, and I took a trip down to Florida which was much needed. April also marked the opening of my favorite brunch place in Billings, Sassy Biscuit.

May: May was quite the month. I finished my first year of college! I spent the first half of the month at a lot of backyard parties, and drinking a lot of vodka lemonade. Then I got a pay cut at my job so I drank more vodka lemonade but without the lemonade this time. I impulsively got band-aids tattooed on my knees (no regrets). May also marks the month I met my dear friends Ashton and Teanna.

I get my knee tats.

June: I turned 20! and spent it making sure my adult friends child went to bed because her mom was passed out drunk on the couch.

My friend Leilahni in June.

July: dyed my hair green and ate a lot of brunch. I also took a spontaneous road trip to Bozeman with Ashton and Teanna.

August: Took a road trip to Colorado to find a place to live/work. We found neither but moved anyway. My dad gave me a tattoo. I had my going away party and said goodbye to all my friends. I also left my job at Dillard’s that month.

September: Officially moved for the first time in my life, from Montana to Colorado. Wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but I did learn that I have too much stuff. I also saw 5 Seconds Of Summer that month which was amazing.

October: My car broke down, I ran out of money and my life broke down. October was the worst month of 2018 but we coped. I still dressed up for Halloween and I still carved my yearly pumpkin.

squad gourds

November: Learned how to french braid, learned how to cook, and had the chillest thanksgiving I’ve ever had. I worked Black Friday at Target and made some more friends.

December: Took a trip to visit my favorite cult members in Boulder Colorado. I also checked out a really cool bookstore while I was there. I spent the rest of the month working, and basically forgot about Christmas. My roommate’s mom brought us down a Christmas tree and some furniture, as well as gifts from my family. I learned how to make homemade orange rolls, and spent Christmas, cooking with my roommate.

And that was my year. I hope you enjoyed this little look at my life. It wasn’t a bad year, but I wouldn’t say it was a good one either. I am mostly glad for the people that came into my life this year and I hope they stay through the next one. My New Year’s Eve this year was spent watching this shitty Youtube live stream of the ball drop, with my roommate. It’s so dumb how a single minute makes you feel like your whole life is resetting. I wasn’t different in that minute. I was still high af and I was still drinking Martinelli’s sparkling cider.

One last thing: I have launched a Patreon! So if you want to support my writing (and another special project.) Go check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/averyjamcom

Avery’s Favorite Murder

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

Since I have moved to Colorado I have spent most of my time looking for jobs and listening to old episodes of the podcast “My Favorite Murder” (full disclosure: I am listening to it as I type this.) If you haven’t heard the podcast, I highly recommend it. It’s about exactly what the title would suggest which is, the favorite murder cases and stories of comedians Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff. If you’ve heard the podcast then you know that they will do mini episodes where they read listener submitted home town murder stories. Listening to these old episodes got me thinking about the crime related things that I or my close friends and family have experienced growing up in Billings Montana. This is a compiled post of those stories. 

DISCLAIMER: This post is a fucking bummer. I’m telling you now. If you get uncomfortable about murder, just scroll down to the last story, have a good laugh at my bizarre life and then move on. Okay, on with the post.

Story #1 The Serial Rapist: When I initially asked myself the question: What is my hometown murder/crime story? a few things immediately came to mind (I’ll save the most interesting one for the end of this post). The first one took place one summer either at the end of middle school or the beginning of high school. I have mentioned my childhood friend group previously on the blog, but for those that don’t know we pretty much had free reign throughout the entire neighborhood. However, this particular summer, my mom told me and my sister that we needed to be careful and come home earlier because there was a serial rapist in Billings. Billings is a pretty sleepy town so this scale of crime was pretty unheard of. Before he had been identified and caught they were publishing articles in the newspaper about how to stay safe as a woman. This pretty much was the extent of my knowledge on the subject so I took to google. Like I said, Billings is pretty uneventful, so I found the story with a single search. The Rapist’s name was Toby Griego and in the spring of 2013 to the late summer of 2013, when he was caught he invaded the homes of, and raped 3 women, and attempted to rape a fourth. Which explains why everyone was so freaked out when it happened. He wasn’t just raping people he was stalking them, then breaking into their homes and then raping them. In the case of one victim, he had delivered a mattress to her house and then came back a week later and attacked her.  He wore gloves and pretty much covered up all evidence, so it took them awhile to catch him. He was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to 22 consecutive life terms without parole. He appealed to the Montana Supreme Court in 2014 but they agreed 5-0 that his trial was fair and he’s been in prison ever since. A job well done by the Montana court system for once.

Story #2 The Carpet Killer: In late 2017, a decapitated body was found wrapped in a carpet on a dirt trail on the west end of Billings and his head was found wrapped in a towel a few feet away. The body belonged to Myron Wesley Knight and prior to this blog post my only knowledge of the case was from driving with my friend down a quiet road when she suddenly said “hey this is where they found that headless body isn’t it?” I got the rest of the story from my dad. “He won some money at a casino. The man gave his winnings to the casino attendant and told her if anything happens to him a couple of transients were to blame. They went to the hobo camp and killed him.” he said. The two “transients” he had named, Donald Cherry and Jeffrey Haverty, had already been arrested for different things by the time the police had received the information. They both claim to have nothing to do with the murder but Cherry’s girlfriend told the police  she had came back to the camp from the gas station to find the dead body and Haverty decapitating it. What gets me the most about this case is that in the end Knight only had six dollars on him. Why would you murder someone prior to knowing how much money they had, if money was your end goal. The two men are set to appear in court later this year.

Story #3 Just a Real Tragedy: I’m going to keep this one brief because it’s just incredibly sad. A few years back in 2015 when I was in high school, a kid that I had gone to school with since 1st grade accidentally shot his friend who was throwing rocks from outside his window. He thought he was an intruder and shot his gun out the window hitting him in the head and killing him. The kid who was shot also went to our school and I remember we had a school wide assembly, and it was the only the only time everyone actually went to a school assembly. It made national news, and was ultimately ruled an accident. The whole thing was incredibly sad and awful. The kid that shot him clearly felt absolutely terrible and this case surprisingly did not change the fact that in Montana we still hand every child a gun the second they exit the womb.

Story #4 Missing Sidney Teacher: Back when I was in middle school we would always talk about current events in our history class and I remember as a class, following the case of a missing teacher from Sidney Montana. Looking back, it seems maybe they shouldn’t be discussing missing persons cases with 12 year olds and that this probably has nothing to do with my constant fear of being murdered. Anyway, they eventually found the body of Sherry Arnold, who was a math teacher for 18 years. She had been missing for nearly 3 months. She was found in North Dakota, in a shallow grave. The two men responsible for her murder were Lester Van Waters Jr. and Michael Spell, who were apparently looking for work in the oil fields and also coked out of their minds when they decided to carry out the random attack. They strangled her then purchased a shovel at Walmart to bury her with, which they later returned… and Walmart accepted that return. Waters received 80 years and Spell recieved 100 but both will be eligible for parole in the coming years.

Story #5 Jeanette Atwater Murder: When I was searching for content for this post I was texting my dad who told me about the unsolved murder of a woman found in a burning car in the 80s… Except it wasn’t the 80s it was January 16th of 2000 (there were a lot of other unsolved murders of women in the 80s though, so it’s an understandable mistake.) Jeanette Atwater was found in the trunk of her burning car, burned to the point that she had to be identified by her dental records later. She died of smoke inhalation so it was assumed she was still alive when the car was lit on fire. She had been at a bar with coworkers all night the night before and didn’t leave with anyone but couldn’t be seen leaving the bar on the security cameras, which is one of the reasons the case remains unsolved. Her 3 children were in Washington at the time with her ex husband who was extensively questioned and not considered a suspect. HOWEVER, there was a man that purchased 1 dollar of gas and a book of matches at a convenience store a couple minutes away from where she was found, just a few hours before authorities arrived at the scene. where matches were found that seemed similar to the ones in the convenience store. The store clerk was stoned or something because they had no idea what the man might look like, just that he was wearing strong cologne. They had the man on security footage but no one could ever identify him. The case is still unsolved to this day.

Story #6 Peeping Tom: I have saved this one for last because it is the only one that I am directly involved in and if you’re my friend then you have probably already heard it because I love to tell this story to anyone that will listen. It goes like this. In my parent’s house, the window of my old bedroom faced out towards the street, and it was on the first floor so anyone walking down the sidewalk could clearly see it. Our house also didn’t have any air conditioning, so I had a window fan, and only had a sheer blind over the top  half of the window. My bed was next to the window with the head in the corner of the room and the bottom against the window. My room arrangement clearly revolved around avoiding the heat and not avoiding what happened to me that summer when I was 16 (maybe 17 now that I think about it). There was a lot of gravel on that side of the house (I have no idea why) and I always thought I could hear someone walking on it at night. However, I have been incredibly paranoid and neurotic my whole life, so I brushed it off as an animal or the wind or something. UNTIL one night I was laying in bed reading, ignoring the weird gravel noises when through the fan (it was turned off that night) a voice said “Why don’t you touch yourself little girl.” Although I was 16 (or 17), I always have been quite small and look younger than I am so this voice probably assumed I was 14 or 15. For all my neurotic research on murder and the like, my first reaction was to throw my comforter over my head to hide, even though that is stupid and unproductive. I realized this after a moment and used all the courage I’ve ever held in my small heart to run out my bedroom door and wake up my parents. My dad went outside immediately with a shovel but the creep had already left, my dad did however see a door close at a house across the street and a light on inside. We called the cops and needless to say I slept on the couch for the next week. I also bought blackout curtains and never opened my window again. I would rather sleep in a puddle of sweat than being watched by a pervert. The scariest thing about the whole situation was that I had heard the gravel sounds outside before so whoever it was could have been watching me for awhile before this event and even scarier… after… but that’s a story for another day.

If you have any interest in hearing that story or any of the other cases and murders connected to Montana that I found while researching the details of these ones, like this post or let me know in a comment! Also if you have a crime/murder related story that you remember you can send it to me on social media. I would love to hear it!

A Really Big Excuse

Personal, Writing

While, I have seemingly dropped off the the face of the earth this past month, I promise you my life has been anything but uneventful. My sporadic internet hiatus was unintentional and accidentally a lot longer than it should have been. My social media has been half-dead with the occasional OOTD post and a strangely active tumblr page. This isn’t a new thing for me. If I could pick one word to describe my brain to body connection it would be apathetic.

I think one of the biggest misconceptions about personality disorders, is that when your not sad, your happy. Another big one, is that when good or exciting things happen you automatically feel good or excited. These two misconceptions honestly haunt my conversations, so let me spell it out for you. A pill cannot make you happy. Pills treat symptoms, they’re not a cure.

For those that are curious; I take Effexor and Wellbutrin (both in fairly high doses).  The Effexor stabilizes my mood and the Wellbutrin (supposedly) gives me more energy. Although the Effexor prevents me from having a breakdown every hour, it works on both ends of the spectrum, meaning that it’s hard for me to experience intense feelings of joy or excitement, and I think that’s what most people don’t understand. For a lot of people, that might not seem worth it, and I understand that. Sometimes the highs are good enough to help you get through the lows. Other times the lows are so overwhelming that you never even get a high. I’m fine with my pill regimen right now. For me, it is much more important to have the consistency of my mood but it’s really frustrating to have people get mad at you for not being excited enough. It’s like since I’m taking meds, I’m no longer supposed to show symptoms of my disorder, which is honestly ridiculous and also exhausting.

In the last month my life has had some drastic changes, and while I think change is good and necessary it also means that my brain has kind of been on autopilot for weeks. I wake up and do the things I need to do and then sit on my phone or go back to bed. The constant fear of having something happen, that could divert me from important tasks, such as a depressive episode, is greater than the fomo of daily social life. And this is why, I haven’t posted in a month or two.

I realize this post is one big, tangled excuse for why my mental illness is keeping me from doing things. I also realize that this whole post is counterproductive to the point of blogging which is to help move forward despite my mental illness. But I’m self-aware ok? And sometimes that just has to be enough for everyone. I’m a large pile of vomit as far as my brain is concerned. But the first step to cleaning up a large pile of vomit, is to realize there’s a large pile of vomit there in the first place.

Art Journaling

Personal, Writing

Disclaimer: Not all of the art in my journals is my original work. Some were recreated from images I found online. I in no way take creative credit for these drawings and give it fully to the creator of the original work.

I have been keeping journals and sketchbooks for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I began to completely finish them. When we were younger my mom showed me sister and me how to make collage journals and a few years later, I elaborated on that idea by starting my  first art journal. It was red, with thin blank pages, and I found it up in my mom’s art stuff. It had french writing down the side that meant draft book and with the addition of a couple stickers, it was incorporated into my daily life. All though I consider it the first journal I finished it is in fact blank for the last ten pages because the binding broke from overuse. Since this journal that began in 2015, I have completed two others and am in the middle of my fourth.

IMG_1154

from left to right: oldest to newest

Everyone is always impressed by how full they are and I attribute that to the fact that I don’t give myself a lot of limits with them. Except one which is that I’m never allowed to rip pages out. If there are pages I absolutely hate, then I cover them up with scrap paper drawings when the journal is complete. Other than that I keep my journals completely free. Sometimes other people draw in them, I write lists in them, and I doodle in them when I am on important phone calls. Besides my work notebook and my planner, my art journal is the only journal I have so it literally holds everything.

I think that once I let go of the need for my journals to be chronological and aesthetically pleasing, I was able to fill them, and usually by the time they were done I was pretty pleased with the final result. It’s nice to just have something that has no limits. Something that can hold all of my bullshit in one small place.

I also became a lot more comfortable with expressing my feelings and more confident in my drawing skills. Art journaling was one of the main ways I combated my social anxiety in high school.

I love looking into other people’s journals, so I thought maybe you would like a peak into mine.

Happy July everyone! Look out for lots of new things on the blog this month!

30 Before 30

Personal, Writing

Here are 30 things I want to do before I turn 30.

  1. be published somewhere that’s not this blog or a school publication
  2. start my own podcast or be a part of one
  3. read 100 books (or more) over a 12 month period
  4. travel to Europe
  5. stand in every U.S state at least once
  6. have a Youtube channel to partner with this blog and my other writings
  7. get my degree and have $0 in student loan debt
  8. get full sleeves of tattoos on both my arms
  9. travel to Japan
  10. read all the “classic” books I’ve wanted to read.
  11. give some kind of public “talk” like a speech or a panel
  12. have a 401k or similar saving plan
  13. produce at least one of my screenplays
  14. have some semblance of a healthy diet
  15. get a pet (preferably a dog)
  16. give more to charity and have a strong role in a cause I believe in
  17. learn how to cook actual meals that aren’t ramen and cereal
  18. live more sustainably and create less waste
  19. learn to speak at least one other language fluently
  20. ride a horse
  21. start playing music again
  22. visit Canada
  23. live alone for awhile
  24. watch all the t.v. shows in my Netflix list
  25. meet Kathleen Hanna
  26. write at least one full length book
  27. buy a sports car
  28. buy a dishwasher
  29. go to Sasquatch or Bonaroo or both
  30. buy an espresso machine

Turning 20

Personal, Writing

Almost 20 years I’ve been on this planet and I’m still sitting by idiots in coffee shops, that are trying to explain why the earth is flat. It’s definitely round. Just so we’re all clear on that. Last year for my birthday I wrote a poem about being 19 so, because I am feeling less creative this year but still wanted to make it a yearly thing, here is a list of 20 things I learned in the past decade.

  1. The earth is flat. JUST KIDDING. But if people believe that they’re not going to change they’re minds so don’t even bother trying to explain it.
  2. That goes for most things that people believe.
  3. Don’t punch cars. You won’t win, the car will.
  4. If you’re trying to decide between getting coffee or getting to school on time, always pick getting coffee.
  5. School is hard once it’s not required.
  6.  The best way to make friends is to message them and hang out with them until they just eventually adapt to your annoying presence.
  7. You can’t tell your car is making a weird noise if you turn your music up louder.
  8. Time goes by very slowly and very quickly at the same time.
  9. People leave but they also usually get replaced by new people.
  10. I don’t know it all. Just most of it.
  11. People can make you feel like shit to the point where eventually you just are shit.
  12. Ice cream fixes most things, except your triglyceride levels.
  13. If someone hits you, always hit back
  14. Boys are actually stupid. No joke.
  15. Love is an even worse disease than life.
  16. Music helps always.
  17. Healing is never linear.
  18. Pain is never permanent.
  19. Pretending to be something you’re not is exhausting and hardly ever worth it. Unless it’s Halloween or something I guess.
  20. The only person responsible for your pain and healing is you.

While I can’t say I’m looking forward to the next decade, I can say I’m willing to live it. I can also say that I am thankful for the stuff the past ten years has brought me. From a “gap toothed” 10 year old to a “gap toothed because she broke her retainer shortly after getting her braces off” adult, I’m a completely different person with a completely different perspective on life. I’m sure that when I turn 30 I’ll say the exact same thing because I think that all life really is, is learning and moving on.

 

Religion

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

The kids behind me in the coffee shop were trying to find a bible verse to describe love and all I can think is that the bible can’t describe love. The connection between someone and an idealistic figure whom they have never met and the connection between two humans, are two very different things. As I thought about this, the conversation behind me progressed into one about mental health and how everyone who was depressed, simply needed god in there life, and this is where I start to have a problem with religion.

I was raised agnostic in a state that is predominately christian, so from a young age I was exposed to the division between those that believe in god and those that don’t. The first time I was told I was going to hell was by my classmate in first grade, and I remember going home and asking my mom if I was going to hell because I didn’t believe in god. This was the first of many incidents involving religion in my public education, including arguments with teachers over the use of religion in teaching materials and many fights with other students over whether or not there was a god. What I think is funny, is that they were always started by the people that claimed to be the good ones. The followers of this god, who are supposed to be accepting of everyone and who are committed to a guide that is supposed to be one of love and caring, not me, the Satan loving abomination of an Atheist.

I started identifying as an Atheist when I was 16 which means simply that I don’t believe there is a god. Look, I get it ok, there are a lot of people that in order to have a meaning in their life, need to feel that they are headed for something greater. I also want to mention that I have no issues with people doing good things, and living there lives with belief in a higher power. The thing I have an issue with is organized groups that use a text and fear to control a group of people into spreading something the world doesn’t need. When a religion needs to put down others beliefs and spread hate for people that aren’t like them ,that’s not religion anymore, it’s just a power trip.

I think we all know God didn’t hate the gays, or black people, or anyone that believed in anything that wasn’t him. If god was this all knowing, loving, image he’s supposed to be then he would not be susceptible to such human emotions like hate. I think a lot of people lose sight of what their religion is supposed to be. People use religion to fuel hate and hurt others and somehow still put it on people like me, who simply choose to accept an ending at the end of life.

I remember when I was young, that even though me and my sister didn’t believe in god, my mom taught us a lot about the Buddhist and Hindu religions. We learned about enlightenment and karma, and were raised on ideals of love and caring towards our fellow humans. I would even argue that my mother is a better person than any god fearing christian, because she believes in the world, and her small role of taking care of it, which I think is an ideal that gets lost among the things god did and didn’t say.

 

 

Coffee Convo

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

Ok, so it’s not really a coffee this time. It’s actually a green tea with honey and an asiago bagel but that’s only because it’s 8,000 degrees here today and I couldn’t be bothered to drink anything that wasn’t refreshing. It’s only May and I’m already so over sun. I mean I’m not asking for 7 foot snow again, I would just like it if it was always 60 degrees and cloudy.

Since I am posting regularly again I figured I should give you a bit of an update and since I haven’t done a coffee convo in a hot minute, I figured I would share my asiago bagel with you all.

For starters, I am turning 20 in a few weeks which feels bizarre. A lot of me still feels like I’m only 14 and the other part of me is coming to terms with the fact that my sister graduates in a couple days. YES MAISY JAM HAS A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. I’m honestly probably more proud of her than I was of myself. She works insanely hard and is also incredibly smart in ways I have never been and I can’t wait to see where her life takes her now that she has been released from prison/the public school system.

Summer has also officially begun which means lots of plans are being made. I am making a trip to Idaho over the 4th of July with my family as well as trying to figure out all of the logistics of moving, which, if everything goes to plan, should be happening in late August.

My asiago bagel and tea

My asiago bagel and green tea.

I’m trying to find time to spend with all the people I’ve known for years as well as make connections with new people and it really brings to light just how many people come and go in your life. There are people that I still have genuine love for that I haven’t seen in years. It really puts into perspective how much time we set aside for things that don’t give us the love that family and friends give. We put work, money, and material things over interactions that could change our lives and that’s crazy to me.

I haven’t been reading hardly at all this year, which is frustrating because there’s so much I’ve been wanting to read. I think I need to work more on prioritizing the things I love over the things I have to do. I put work over a lot of things, and while I do generally like my job, My life has taught me that I need to make time to do things I like because, I don’t get to re-do life, and I should probably spend it doing things I love.

I’m also working on not caring what other people think about my life. I generally don’t care what others think when it comes to the way I look or act, especially when it comes to strangers. Lately though, I’ve been focusing on not needing validation from the people I’m close to. Even the people I love aren’t going to understand me and I need to accept that and be ok with it.

These are just a couple things that have been thinking about lately. If you have anything to add, I always appreciate your comments and messages, and if you want to see more photos like the one in this post, please follow me on instagram @avejam_ . Thank you for reading and you will hear from me on Monday!

– Avery