Family and Politics

I think I’ve said it before, but will repeat it: my family is filled with right-wing, ultra-conservative, rednecks. I think I am the only progressive, bleeding-heart liberal in the whole lot of ’em. And it has become even more evident during this political election cycle. I am currently “at war” with these family members on Facebook. Yes, I post left-leaning articles and posts on my Facebook timeline. Yes, I am extremely anti-Trump. I am not pushing my agenda on anyone (i.e. I don’t go to their posts and scream and berate them for their right-wing, Trump-loving posts), but they delight in coming to my posts and spilling their hate-filled rhetoric – and I do mean FULL OF HATE. I’ve asked them to please stop, but they cannot grasp that I have the right to my opinion on MY Facebook without being harassed by them. They are family. I don’t want to have to delete them, but I am getting  close to that very action.

One of my cousins tonight called me a “nut case” because I don’t fall in line with her way of thinking. Well yes, dear cousin, I am a certified “nut case” but not because my heart is hardened and all I can spew is hate. But I would rather be a “nut case” than to just blindly believe that Trump and Trump alone will solve all of this country’s woes (and apparently in his first hour as President!) while filling people’s heads with hate, destruction, and doom.

There’s no talking to them. No amount of “please stop” seems to sink in. They think they deserve their opinions, but apparently I am not entitled to my own. If it isn’t an ultra-right opinion, then it isn’t warranted. It’s like free speech only runs in one vein with my family. But then, that is the atmosphere of this entire election cycle.

I get it. I really do. None of the candidates this year are worthy of the Presidency. Donald Trump is a misogynistic, narcissistic bigot who used to be a Democrat and still has a lot of liberal-leaning ideals (he’s just good at turning himself into whoever he needs to be at any given time – a good Con man). Hillary Clinton is a lying career politician. Gary Johnson is a pot-smoking idiot (not to be confused with my intelligent pot-smoking friends) who has no clue where Aleppo is nor can he name one foreign leader that he admires. And Jill Stein, well… I don’t know enough about her, but what I’ve seen and read rubs me the wrong way. And although I supported Bernie Sanders, even he is flawed and far too angry a man for my taste. There is not one single honorable candidate in the bunch. No one to get enthusiastic about and respect. (Oh how I wish there was a Bobby Kennedy in the bunch!) And, because of all of this, this election is ripping families apart.

And so the battle will continue with my family, probably long after November the 8th. I will never see eye to eye with the majority of them. They will probably continue to view me as a “nut case” for it. But I will say this, if it gets any worse, I will start deleting and blocking them on Facebook. It’s not as though they’ve made any effort my entire life to actually get to know me, and with their hate-filled rhetoric, I don’t want to know them.


Thoughts on Being Worthy

I had a breakthrough this morning while watching Tony Robbins’ I’m Not Your Guru on Netflix (if you haven’t seen it, you should. Really, you should). Truthfully though, it was not the first time I’ve had this eye-opening experience, but I think this is the first time I’ve felt it deep in my heart and not just in my head. I’ve asked myself so many questions over my life related to my relationship with my mother, my siblings, my friends, my teachers in school, my other classmates, my partners and even my employers. Questions like, why did my mom almost always chose my siblings over me? Why did my creative writing teacher in high school tell me that I would never be a writer? Why don’t my friends choose to spend more time with me? For that matter, why don’t my own siblings want to spend time with me? Why did none of my partners ever want to really get to know who I am? Why did they always want me to be someone I wasn’t? Why even bother to be with me if I wasn’t their ideal companion? Why? Why? Why? And it all boils down to the very same question… Why am I not good enough?

In the film, Tony told the audience to close their eyes and think back to their earliest memory. I did so. I have two that stick out in my mind the most. The first is waking up during the tonsillectomy when I was about five years old. I’d had Reye’s Syndrome* and as a result, I went into a coma. For whatever reason, my tonsils were shot and had to be removed. I remember waking up and feeling the intense pain and the metallic taste of blood in my mouth and crying out. Then I was put back under so the surgery could be completed. The next memory that I have is related to that experience. I was lying on the couch in the living room, eating either jello or ice cream because my throat was sore from the surgery, and I heard my parents arguing about me. I remember being upset and crying because I didn’t know what I had done that made them fight. I still don’t remember what they were fighting about, just that they kept saying my name and they were shouting back and forth in the kitchen.

So my two earliest memories are both traumatic memories. And I think that early memory of my parents fighting about me left the impressions on me that I had done something horrible, or that I was a burden, and definitely that there was something wrong with me that disqualified me as being worthy in everyone’s eyes. I grew up with the feeling that I was the sickly child that needed to be guarded and protected, but also kept at arms’ length – meaning that if I was shown too much love or affection, then perhaps I would become sick again and possibly die this time. I mainly got that impression from my mother. The running theme was not to let me get too excited or exhausted because I could have a relapse. That’s what the doctors told my parents. I am not sure though that the doctors meant for that to go on until I was ten to twelve years old (I cannot recall exactly when my parents stopped being overly protective of me as my memory is very fuzzy now about that time of my life). I wasn’t allowed to play hard or help mom in the kitchen with dinner. Instead, I was told to go sit down with my dad. So I felt abandoned by mom because she pushed me off on my dad. With dad, if he was watching television, which he usually was, I had to be quiet until commercials came on and only then could I talk and ask questions about whatever we happened to be watching – generally football, baseball or a western. Sometimes my questions would get answered, but not always, and of course, commercials only lasted less than three minutes, so a lot of my questions went unanswered or rushed through. Eventually, I just stopped asking questions. With my mom, if I did go to her for advice, I generally got stories about her horrible childhood and that I should be thankful that I don’t have her childhood and to just suck it up, or at least that is how it felt. So I stopped asking her for advice or even telling her anything about my life.

I guess what I am getting at here is… I learned early on that I was not good enough. Not good enough because I wasn’t a healthy child. Not good enough to play with my siblings or cousins. Not good enough to help my mom cook. Not good enough to get my questions answered or be given advice. Not a good enough writer. Not the perfect mate or lover. Not a good enough friend. Just not good enough, period. And those early messages stuck with me my entire life. As a result, I have become guarded, introspective, withdrawn, suspicious, doubtful, and self-sabotaging. I will jump into things with all the passion in the world, and then wait for the proverbial shoe to drop – someone will think I am not good enough and if it is not someone else, eventually I will think it of myself. That gnawing doubt always lingered – What if I really am not good enough?

I am now 50 years old and for the past 45 years of my life, I have lived with the pain of not being enough. This pain has prevented me from building solid relationships, friendships, life goals and job opportunities. It has made me feel like a phony, imperfect, and unlovable. It has driven me to the brink of suicide too many times to count. And it has fueled depression for the majority of my life. I don’t accept praise because I don’t believe people are sincere. I don’t trust people because I am scared I won’t live up to their expectations. I don’t seek attention because I am scared people will discover that I am really not good enough. Worst of all, I wallow in self-pity.

Tony Robbins would tell me to fucking get over myself. To stop believing the story I’ve been telling myself all my life. That if I am going to blame everyone (including myself) for this pain, to also blame them for the good things about my life. He would tell me to list those good things. To believe in them. But most importantly, he would tell me that I AM GOOD ENOUGH.

So what is this incredible breakthrough that I had this morning? I need to stop “thinking” and start being and doing. I know I’ve been told this many times before from friends and therapists. I’ve even told myself this. So what makes me think this time will make a difference? Because for once in my life, I am going to start listening to my heart and not my fucking head. I am going to begin living a heart-centered life. If I want love, peace, joy, acceptance, involvement, and success in my endeavors, I won’t find any of that by living in my head and letting my mind tell me the same old repeated lies it has for decades. Only by listening to my heart and believing in myself can I begin to live the life I truly deserve. Because I really am Worthy. Thank you for the reminder, Tony Robbins.

*Reye’s Syndrome is a serious disease resulting from a fever treated by aspirin. For more information, please visit the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation website.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #47 — Huh?

It’s time for another one of Calen’s questions. This one is from July 12th. Hopefully, I will eventually catch-up with them. This one also made me pause and think, and I will try to keep it a bit more on the light-hearted side then the heavy side of recent questions.

What don’t you understand?

I am curious by nature and spend a lot of time doing research on various interests, but I will admit that there are some things that I just cannot quite grasp. I don’t know if it is because I am more right-brained than left-brained or if I just have a mental block on some subjects. I have an excellent grasp on most things creative – art and literature, to be sure, and I am also very interested in history. I enjoy music, but cannot read music to save my life. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s the same with higher levels than Calculus with Math. I can grasp some understanding of science, but when it gets deep into Quantum Physics, I go all “what the fuck?” Math and Science really do interest me though. I am fascinated by those who understand them and can articulate them, even if I don’t completely understand.

It may come as a surprise to many, but one place I have a lot of difficulty is reading comprehension. I read well and I understand all of the literary techniques, but when it comes to relaying those things back to others, I get a mental block. That’s hard to share, especially since I am an avid reader and a writer. I have to keep “cheat sheets” on all things literary so that I know what a writer means when they use a literary device and I know how to use them myself when I write. But there are literary techniques that I just cannot understand. The worst one for me is writing form poetry, especially when it comes to writing in iambic pentameter or some other metered form. Doing all that counting to get a correct rhythm just confuddles the hell out of me. Maybe I am lacking a rhythm gene. I had a professor in college who kept trying to get me to write in Blank Verse, but I just couldn’t grasp the concept. I don’t seem to have that problem when writing Haiku, Senryu or Tanka though. Does not understanding meter make me a bad poet? Perhaps. Or perhaps I don’t need to understand those things to write decent free-style poetry, which is what I mostly write anyway.

So yes, there are many things that impact me as a curious-minded person that I don’t quite understand, that I get mental blocks, and have many head-scratching moments over. That doesn’t stop me from continuously attempting to understand though. I guess you could say that I keep forcing myself to delve into topics that confuse me in the hopes that eventually my brain will have an “aha!” moment.

Creative Question 17 – Political Porridge


CQ17: Do we need to rethink our version of democracy; of elections and governance; of reconnecting with real people and their issues?

It is quite the political season, what with the US Presidential election looming, and since I am of a political mindset today, I figured I would attempt to delve into Kate’s Creative Question.

Normally, I am not a politically-minded person, but I am a history buff, so politics does interest me from a historical point of view. And I will admit that I am not a fan of Capitalism. I am a liberal progressive and I believe in inclusivity. I am not in favor of the top 1% having the bulk of the wealth while the lower 99% falls deeper and deeper into poverty. This is what Capitalism has done to this country, not just now, but throughout our history. In the past, huge monopolies gave the top 1% an economic advantage. These capitalists controlled our country’s wealth through our banking, trade and labor systems. The bulk of Americans lived in poverty-like conditions while these wealthy Capitalists lived in luxury. We saw changes during the late 40s and 50s when a middle class emerged through FDR’s policies and our country became economically strong.

So when did it all begin to go wrong? We can trace the decline of the middle class back to the 1980s when Reagan first proposed his “trickle-down” theory. The premise of this was that if we gave corporations (capitalists) huge tax breaks, then they would open more businesses, thus creating more jobs, and the wealth would trickle down to the lower 99%. It continued during GHW Bush’s administration when he first proposed NAFTA, the North American trade deal with Mexico and Canada. This deal was supposed to allow Mexican and Canadian companies to trade openly with the US. It was signed by Bill Clinton during his administration. What happened instead was that US corporations found cheaper labor, mainly in Mexico, and began moving their corporations out of the US and into Mexico. Other trade deals followed in the ensuing years, allowing corporations to move overseas to China, India, Bangladesh, etc. All of these corporations were looking for the same things – cheap labor, a lax on environmental laws, and more money in their pockets. And who got the shaft? American workers, the 99%.

So now we are looking at the same situation that we faced as a country before the 1940s. Capitalism has once again turned us into an economically backwards country. Those at the top love Capitalism because it makes them wealthy. They tell the American people that if we just worked harder, we too could reap the benefits of Capitalism, but they are merely feeding us a pipe dream. We are being lied to by those who hate the very idea that the 99% could be as rich as the 1%. Both sides of our current political agenda want to keep us living in poverty. They occasionally throw us bones to keep us pacified, but the truth is, as long as Capitalism is the American Way, the 99% will always be poor.

So what is the alternative? There are many corporations in this country who do the right thing. They allow unions and incentive programs, like sharing company profits with the workers. These corporations know that American workers are happy and satisfied when they benefit from their labor. Most of these are medium to small-sized businesses. They don’t get the big tax breaks of large corporations. And perhaps, that is what makes these companies better for our current economic situation. But what is more important is that these companies reflect a more socialistic atmosphere.

Socialism isn’t the “devil” that many Capitalist paint it as such, and it definitely is nothing even remotely close to Communism. Socialism is an unselfish form of government. Its premise is that when we help the less fortunate in our communities, we also help ourselves as a whole. It says that even the lessors of our people have value and should be taken care of – children, the elderly, the disabled. And we do this by everyone paying their fair share of taxes, the poorest and, most definitely, the wealthiest. Critics say that Socialism is Un-American, but those critics have been fed the Capitalistic pipe dream for centuries. It goes back to the days of Kingdoms and fiefdoms.  The wealthy deserve to remain wealthy and the poor must just endure. We see Socialism in action in small communities all over this country – charities, churches giving aid, food banks, bake sales for children’s school activities, etc. Capitalistic-minded people even participate in these kinds of events, but they don’t realize that these things embody the very spirit of Socialism.

Our government would benefit from adopting more Socialist ideas by giving incentives to companies that enrich their workers through unions and profit sharing programs, by creating a fair tax plan for all Americans (the poor and wealthy), by investing in schools, our infrastructures, and our health care, and finally, by punishing companies who outsource their jobs overseas. We need to stop being a selfish country where we think of ourselves as individuals and only look out for number one. We all have value and we should all reap the benefits of what this country has to offer.


The Sandbox Writing Challenge #46 — A Matter of Perspective

I am still behind on Calen’s challenges, but since they make me reflect, I am determined to continue writing about them. This one is from July 5th and it has definitely challenged me. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it now for well over a week, trying to figure out just what I want to articulate.

06Whom do you look down upon?

I like to think of myself as an accepting and inclusive person. I try not to judge others or interfere in their decisions about life, but I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some whom I consider “unsavory” and yes, I do look down upon them. This is a hard thing to admit. Unfortunately, my admittance comes from watching this year’s Presidential election play out. It has been a long time since I’ve been involved in politics. I haven’t voted since John Kerry ran for President back in 2004. I became so disillusioned with the whole process after he walked away without a thorough counting of the ballots when he said he wouldn’t during his campaign. I began to see the political world in a whole new light, but I am not here to discuss conspiracies theories.

So what makes 2016 any different? Donald Trump and his ardent followers. I started paying attention while he was still going through the primary process. I listened to some of the things he was saying, his crassness,  his ability to say anything and everything regardless of how wrong or inflammatory his words were, and how his crowd of fans reacted with enthusiasm over those words. You see, I am a history buff and I have seen crowds respond this way in other historical venues – Hitler and Mussolini’s rise to power in the 1930s to be exact. I know what it looks like when people are angry and upset by the established government who doesn’t seem to care about the “little guys” out there. I know what can happen when a leader is careless with his words (or crass on purpose). Trump has stirred up the sleeping giants in our society – the White Supremacists, racists, bigots, and misogynists. These people now feel not only justified in their thinking, but they also feel like they have been given a mandate by Trump to openly do or say the points in their horrible credos.

Trump has consistently used violence in his campaign speeches – telling his followers to punch anyone who gets in their way, stating that he wants to “knock out” his critics, and alluding to gun owners to assassinate Hillary Clinton and/or any Supreme Court justices she may appoint if she is President. His apologists continually come behind him to clean up his “missteps” and refer to them as mere jokes. But the only people who are laughing are Trump and his followers. The rest of us see the seriousness of his words. Words that could have long term consequences in the future, especially if he becomes President. On August 24, 1964, John Pastore gave the following words during the keynote speech at the DNC about the Republican nominee, Barry Goldwater:

“What does the Republican candidate choose to have anything mean at any given moment? This world cannot wait until Saturday to learn what he meant when he spoke on Monday. The man in the White House doesn’t have the luxury of a second choice. He has to be right the first time.”

Pastore’s words are just as important this election as they were fifty-two years ago. We don’t have time for Trump or his apologists to clarify what Trump has said on any given day. If he were President, his words would have to be correct the very first time he said them. If he were to say something inflammatory about a foreign country where our ties are not so strong, we could be facing another major war. We could lose allies. We could even lose the backing of important trading allies. But then, Trump doesn’t seem to care about these things. He has stated that if NATO countries haven’t paid their bills, we won’t defend them. He wants to renegotiate all trade deals and impose huge tariffs on imports. He admires Putin, Kim Jong-Un, Hussein, and Gaddafi. He sees them all as being strong leaders and wants to emulate them. I’ve even read that one of his wives said that he kept copies of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside. These are not the values of Americanism. These are fascist values.

So who do I look down upon at this moment in time? A would-be President who embodies fascism and his ardent followers who embrace his ideas.

Confessions and Thoughts on Hate

I have a confession to make. My family is racist.

This is hard to confess because I’ve always been an inclusive person. I believe in diversity and that all races should be treated equally.

It’s hard living in a household where the N-word is thrown around far too often. Just today, it was used twice. Once by my brother in relations to Black players in the NFL and once by my dad in reference to a Black player attempting to steal a base during a MLB game. They know how I feel about the use of that word, but since when has anything I care about deterred them? Never. Racism is embedded deeply in their hearts and nothing I say or do prevents them from being racists.

I have another confession. They are also anti-gay.

My family knows that I am bisexual and support LGBTQ rights. That doesn’t stop them from throwing around the word “faggot” often. Just recently, my dad said that he didn’t like Tim Kaine (the Virginia Senator who is now Hillary Clinton’s VP pick). Not because of Kaine’s politics, but because in my dad’s eyes, Kaine looks like a “faggot”. That’s his only reason for disliking the man. Doesn’t matter that Kaine is a straight man who is married and has children. Nope. Not in my dad’s eyes.

I’ve heard racial slurs and anti-gay sentiment in my household all of my life. I’ve even heard it from extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins). Living with these people, hearing their disdain for anyone who doesn’t look just like them, has always caused me deep pain. I’ve spoken up, but my words fall on deaf ears. One of my cousins even called me a Commie for my inclusiveness. What she fails to understand is that Communists are not inclusive people either. The proper words would have been a Liberal Socialist, but you cannot tell some people facts.

And now the news is filled with hate, racism, bigotry, misogyny and anti-gay sentiments on a daily basis thanks to the recklessness of Trump’s campaign. These people are crawling out from under their hate-filled rocks in droves. Hatred is fueling violence everywhere in this country.

I am finding myself retreating more and more to my spiritual base. I have to surround myself with crystals, meditate, and practice Ho’oponopono constantly. This isn’t just the sin, evilness, or whatever you want to call it, of a few; we are all responsible. Collectively, we cannot continue to allow such hatefulness to thrive. We have to speak up about it and never stop fighting against it. Love must always triumph over hate.

Creative Questions 16 – Childhood Memories

CC1CQ 16:  Please share a sweet childhood memory?

All of my fondest childhood memories come from the summers I spent with my paternal grandmother between the ages of ten through fourteen. Grandma was a loving, giving woman. She enjoyed simple, yet hard-working things – gardening, milking cows, raising chickens, canning and cooking. Leisure for her was snapping beans on the back porch or listening to her favorite am radio shows in the evenings after cleaning up the kitchen. Anyone who showed up at grandma’s house would be welcomed with a hug and a cooked meal. I don’t think there was ever a moment that a kettle of something wasn’t simmering on the stove.

Grandma also made me feel important. She made my favorite dishes, saved me jars of chunky applesauce, and whipped up batches of pistachio pudding for me every single year that I stayed with her. There were no televisions in her house, but she knew I loved to read and I was always welcomed to browse my aunts’ bookshelves for something to read (two aunts lived with her). Early mornings, I’d help her with the chickens and cows. By mid-morning, we’d been in the garden weeding or picking vegetables. When it was too hot to be outside, we’d go inside, drink lemonade, listen to music on the radio and I’d read while grandma prepared food. She didn’t like anyone fussing around her stove. Evenings were spent snapping beans or peeling and coring apples. At night, we’d gather in the living room to listen to her radio shows and of course, I’d always have a book in tow.

My memory isn’t what it used to be and it fads more and more each day, so I don’t have any specific memories. Just the lingerings of my time with grandma and what we routinely did each day, because with grandma, each day was a routine. She never swayed from her daily chores, even when she was tired or ill. That’s just the kind of woman she was. Always going about the business of doing things. She taught me that and to this day, I function better when I have routines and something to always be doing.

I didn’t get to spend the last summer of her life with her. In 1981, she moved from her farm back to the small town where she raised some of her kids. That summer, her kids refused to allow her to plant a garden because they said she was too old. I did visit a few times that summer and autumn, but I saw how “wilted” she’d become. Gardening was her life’s blood and she was cut off from it. By the following April, grandma passed away in her sleep. I still cherish the values she instilled in me and I’ve missed her every day since.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #45 — Take A Stand!

Time for another catch-up post. This one from June 28th. Calen has perplexed me with this one. Mainly because the title and the question seem to be at odds with one another. Here’s the question:

9_FeelingSmallWhat makes you feel small?

I’ve been thinking about this one for a couple of days because of the juxtaposition of the title and the question. This is not a bad thing though. Many of the things that have made me feel small throughout my lifetime have encouraged me to take a stand. I will give you some examples.

I am a middle child, and throughout my childhood and even into my young adulthood, I always felt “small” in both comparison and contrast to my older sister and younger brother. I was never perfect enough, or loud enough and often left out of opportunities within my family. Sometimes, I still feel small, unwanted, unloved and abandoned. I still feel the sting. However, I didn’t let that smallness prevent me from becoming a self-sufficient woman who went to college and earned three degrees.

I also know the smallness of being stigmatized due to mental illness, not only from society, but also from family and friends. I’ve been shunned, gossiped about, called horrible names, and even lost jobs because of my mental illness. The only way I know to stand up in this instance is to tell my story with the hope that someone out there who has mental illness will hear or read my words and know they are not alone.

And lastly, I’ve known the smallness of living with domestic violence at the hand of a Narcissist. No one can cut you down and make you feel less than human than a Narcissist. They pride themselves in shredding you of all sense of dignity. And because they see you as property to be held onto, it is difficult to get away and stay away from them. Again, only by leaving and telling my story to others, can I take a stand against domestic violence.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge #44 — Lighting Up Your World

Another catch-up post, this time for June 21st. Calen has given me a lot to consider with this question:

light-bulb-technology-and-business-by-prophotostock-d7114sxWhat inspires you?

These days, I can’t seem to find inspiration anywhere. It takes me hours to even write journal posts here or in my paper journal. My mind is just too foggy. I have no light-bulb moments, no sparks, no ah-has. The creative side of me is just silent. A deafening silence. When you are accustomed to hearing three distinctive voices in your head giving you inspiration and then they are silenced through medication, it’s almost like being deaf and blind. Everything I do hear or see is bland, dull, monotone. Not even my glorious mountains inspire me these days. Instead of writing or drawing all day, every day, I spend my time binging on Netflix, but even watching my favorite scifi shows doesn’t spark anything within me. I no longer watch as a writer, but now merely to entertain my fogged mind. I keep being assured that this brain-drain won’t be permanent, but I remember how long it took me the last time this happened to recover, and recovery only came once I stopped the medication. I was medicated for 5 years and it took nearly two years un-medicated to get back to my true creative self. So as I struggle with my dilemma of whether to remain medicated or not, I guess I will go back to my deafening silence as I am mentally exhausted just from these two short posts I’ve written tonight.


Circle of Friends – July Edition

For July, Raili has asked us to consider “Absent/Lost” Friends. She gives the following questions for us to consider:

As I was getting my head around the theme for July’s Circle of Friends, what kept popping into my mind was the thought of friends who I have somehow ‘lost’. Some of them have died. Some have moved to distant parts. Some have drifted away. With some, we’ve drifted apart. The question then remains, were they friends at all ?  Is there a friendship legacy left behind by those who have passed through my life? The ones who have left an imprint on my heart ? And what about the ones who unexpectedly lob back in? Or the friendship that just picks up again as if it were only yesterday we last met even though it was decades ago. Are these friends ever truly ‘lost’ ?

I’ve stated many times that I have only a very few close friends and that has remained true for the majority of my life. I’ve gone through periods of friendships. I would have two or three friends for a couple of years and then we’d drift apart or we would move on with our lives. I’d make new friends, one or two, and the same thing would happen all over again – the drifting away or new directions. This has not only happened in my personal life, but in my online life as well. I remember so well how important the people from Pagan Lake on Yahoo Chat were to me so very long ago. And those I’d met while playing Vampires: A Dark Alleyway. I spent years getting to know these people, even meeting some of them outside the internet, and now they’ve all drifted from my life as though those moments never happened.

I don’t believe that any of these weren’t real friendships. We were friends because we had so much in common at the time. Many of those friendships helped mold me into the person I am today. To say that they didn’t matter or they weren’t real is ludicrous.

There have been a few times that past friends have come back into my life. With some of them, I was able to pick right back up where we’d left off as though not even a full day had passed between us. With others, it was awkward to see or hear from them again, especially since our lives had taken such very different paths.

I think what is truly important is the memories of those friendships. I’ve written in my journals about most of my past friendships because my memory has been failing for quite some time now. Even now, I cannot remember some of their names without reading back in my journals. Those that I do not have pictures of, their faces are fading away. I write down as much of the experiences that I’ve had with them in order to remember how happy our friendships were. I have to do this on a regular basis these days with each new friend that I make because I know there will come a day when I won’t even remember who I am. This is how I save those who’ve become lost so as not to be forgotten too. It is how I preserve the legacy of those friendships.