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“You can make anything by writing.” ― C.S. Lewis

Posts for Non-Fiction Category

A Toast: Here’s to Women.

Feminism, Fierce Lady Tribe, Life, Non-Fiction, Thoughts - Emily - November 11, 2016

Here’s to women.

Here’s to women who get up earlier than everyone else to start the coffee in a dim kitchen with the glowing light of sunrise pressing in from the window.

Here’s to women who go to bed later than everyone else, switching over the laundry and turning off all the lights, checking the locks on the doors.

Here’s to women who wake in the night, from bad dreams or snoring or to tiptoe into a bedroom and check a little one’s breathing. Here’s to women who can’t sleep, who lay awake on their pillows cataloguing all the tasks they will have to perform tomorrow, all the smiles they will have to fake, all the comments they will have to ignore.

Here’s to women who walk the sidewalks with headphones crammed in their ears, the volume up as high as it will go, just to block out catcalls and horn honks.

Here’s to women who layer on foundation and blush and eyeliner and mascara because they want to, because it makes them feel empowered. Here’s to the women who layer it on because they feel obligated, because they feel naked without it. Here’s to women who wear none of it, proudly.

Here’s to women who suck in their guts, here’s to women who flaunt them. Here’s to women with bubble butt and pancake butt, here’s to women with muffin top and droopy boobs and perky tits. Here’s to women in a size 4 and a size 14 and a size 24.

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2016 Election Aftermath

Lessons, Non-Fiction, Opinion Piece, Thoughts - Emily - November 9, 2016

I see a lot of people saying, “well, we’re still a country united and we have to accept what happened” or “what happened happened, let’s move on,” and to that, I say – NO. This was not the average election situation of Republican versus Democrat. I’ve lived through that type of election before, and won some according to my beliefs, and lost some according to my beliefs. I can live with that, I can accept that’s the reality of a democratic state. But that was not this election.

This was an election where a completely unqualified, hate-mongering reality TV show star with sexual assault accusations in the double digits and an endorsement from the KKK was running against a highly qualified and experienced woman. Maybe she wasn’t everyone’s favourite, maybe we had some qualms with her actions – like we would have and have had for any politician in the history of politics. But any choice – any choice – was better than Trump. I started my “I would have voted for 101 Dalmatians over Trump” thread as a sort of tongue-in-cheek way to deal with my frustrations, a sort of way to whistle in the dark on a very dark day indeed. But I meant it – anyone was better than Trump, a man who peddles fear and hate, a man who has no experience in running a political office of ANY size, much less one of the hugest and most powerful nations.

Maybe you’re not scared today. Maybe you’re only a little disappointed, or maybe you feel America made the right choice. But to that, I say – maybe you’ve always been exactly where you needed to be. Who you needed to be. Maybe you’ve never questioned your sexuality. Maybe you’ve never been targeted for an act of aggression just because of the color of your skin. Maybe you’ve never questioned your religion. Maybe you’ve never been sexually assaulted. Maybe you’ve never been undermined and ignored just because of the gender you’ve been born with and had no choice about. Maybe you’ve never felt like you were born in the wrong body, completely trapped there with no way to escape.

Maybe you were born white and straight and Christian to white and straight and Christian parents in America. Maybe you have never felt the need for change. Maybe your beliefs have never been marginalized. Maybe you have always aligned with the most common, acceptable way of life, and therefore, you’ve never had to question that the world needs change because the world isn’t accepting of anything different from you.

Maybe that’s you – but that’s not me. That’s not my family or my friends. That’s not so, so very many people in this country. We have been attacked or assaulted or ignored or threatened. We see the need for change. We are citizens of this country and citizens of the world just as much as anyone else, and we are scared. We are scared for our future. And guess what – it is not unpatriotic to want change for your country when your country is making dangerous decisions. We who want change are just as patriotic as you – because we don’t want to see our country become what it is poised to become. We don’t want to go down in the history books as another black mark on the page of humanity. We believe in our country, and our leaders – and we believe we are better than this. We are better than Trump, and although I wish I could wake up to find all of this a bad dream, in the next four years – we are going to prove it.

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BIRTH IS IMMINENT: The Final Shadea and Emily Pregnancy Chat

[Previously in this series…]

Emily: So, let’s start off by me explaining that we totally just DID a short-winded version of this chat through texting, but I decided we had to do it again because I’m long-winded and need access to a full keyboard.

So, bless you, our entire pregnancies, for putting up with my OCD and perfectionist needs.

Shadea: I am not inconvenienced in the least!

Good – I swear, this will be a theme both through our pregnancies and especially this chat — I think in a lot of ways, you have a more go with the flow vibe going on, and I have more of a fixated focused vibe. They’re both good in their own ways, and I like exploring how we meet in the middle.

So, remind the lovely people how far along you are…

I am exactly 38 weeks and 5 days today, 10 days from my due date.  Which I’m trying – again, go with the flow – not to fixate on. 

Because it really it a bit arbitrary and because I have a few things to wrap up at work next week!

And I’ll be 37 weeks tomorrow.

So we are both at that point of — it COULD be any time now…or it could be several more weeks.

We’re both straddling the possibilities of NOW! and WAITING.

Yeah, it’s a strange place to be in. One of the things you and I were texting about is trying to find that middle ground between being TOO aware we’re ticking time bombs, and also not emotionally prepared for the very real reality that we could go into labor at any time.

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HELLOOOO, THIRD TRIMESTER: Another Shadea and Emily Chat

HI SHADEA CAN YOU BELIEVE WE ARE BOTH IN OUR THIRD TRIMESTER LIKE HOW DID THIS HAPPEN HOW IS IT THIRD TRIMESTER CHAT ALREADY

ALL CAPS ARE APPROPRIATE BECAUSE MY PERCEPTION OF TIME PASSING HAS BEEN A CONTRADICTION IN SLOW AND TIME WARP SPEED

Exactly!

On the one hand, I remember us doing our very first chat, and imagining doing a third trimester chat, and that seemed like centuries in the future.

I blinked, and have +/- 6 weeks left of this incubation period.

Any time someone asks, “Has it gone fast or slow?” I always go, “Both?”

For me, the time has gone slow, which I’m grateful for, as it gives time to adjust, but then also now I’m kinda ready to be done being pregnant and get used to the baby/mom stage…but also, I’m astonished it’s already, eight-ish weeks left for me.

I have gone through 2 bottles of prenatal vitamins and am now like, “Do I really need to buy another bottle at this point?” lol

Yes!! I kept getting surprised every time I had to buy a new bottle. Oh, right, we need more of these…

I feel like I’m just being confronted with actually being physically inhibited by being pregnant – the bending over, the can’t walk for long, the swelling, the very real fatigue. So, I think that time will definitely slow down as I’m having to endure more.

Yeah — this is a good topic to get started on, I think. I’ve gathered for you, this has been a harder trimester?

It’s just different, but if I had to pick one, I would actually say the last one was harder.

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On Being Seen.

One of the most infuriating opinions I often overhear is this degradation of poverty, of those so down on their luck they’re homeless or panhandle on the side of the street, or need assistance with bills or health care. I hear too many people say they deserve it, or they’re freeloaders, or drug addicts, or basically just worthless non-people, people whose existence apparently doesn’t count anymore.

There are a lot – a lot – of things I could say in reply to this opinion. And sometimes I do – and yet, there’s a very specific memory I have, one that stuck with me for a few years. I wrote about it a while back, and any time I reread it, I just think – yes. This is why it matters.

As we turned off of Third Street, and onto Grant, we passed a woman standing on the corner. She looked tired. Not in the I didn’t get enough sleep last night way.  More I’m tired of how hard life is, all the time, nonstop sort of way.

Lauren, Becky, and I had just spent the morning lounging on the IU campus in the sunlight, and then had a delicious lunch at a Creole and Canjun style restaurant. We were tipsy on sunshine and laughter.

We drove past this woman and I read the small cardboard sign she was holding: Single mother. 2 kids. Homeless. Anything will help.

She looked tired, but strong as she stood there at the corner. Cars rolled by, people on the sidewalks walked around her. It seemed like she was completely resigned to the fact that most people were going to overlook her, let their eyes wash right over her and pretend not to see her, a person. But she felt like she had to at least try.

We paused at the stop sign and I purposefully didn’t look at her. I started to be one of those people that walk on by without acknowledging her.

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