Monday, July 30, 2012

Write the Truest Sentence You Know

"Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know," Ernest Hemingway.

Today, I chatted with a former professor about writing and how someday, my book will be on the NY Time's best-seller list. He taught a class called leadership in the media. He would ask us what leadership meant. What is leadership to YOU? As my life unfolds, and yes I am very young, but leadership is the strength to never back down when life is kicking the shit out of you. It's the ability to never give up, but most of all, it is not giving a shit about what people think. It's not letting assholes and the ignorance of the masses dictate how you perceive and write about the truth. The truth is the truth, no matter what. Yes, I'm a Christian, but I don't lie about who I am or my past. I say what I think, to a fault, but at times I find that there's no other way to say things. It is how it is.

That being said, I don't give a shit if I make people uncomfortable. I don't care if they don't want to hear about rape or injustices. I don't care if what I have to say is unpopular. I don't care if how I believe is outdated, or if I am what some consider to be coarse and unladylike. I am who I am, a flawed being to say the least. But I fight for what I believe.

Why do we skirt around simple truths? Why do we shy away from harsh and coarse things? Why are raped women treated like criminals, and why are women who were forced into sex slavery treated like low-lifes? Do you know what people have been through? Have you been there? I honestly don't think anyone should pass judgment until they walked a mile in that person's shoes. Not a step or a few feet, no. But a mile. That's a while to walk, don't you think? If we spent more of our time walking in other peoples' shoes, this world would be better off. This is easier said than done.

I think about people we label. Don't we all do it? Oh, and with such an ease. We classify people into these perfect little groups. We put them in boxes. I feel like it's time to forgo the cookie-cutter American dream life. How about I live a life without much money, and I fight for those who can't speak and don't have a voice. I believe that it's only when one does this that change actually happens in a nation. If you started giving your life to understand someone else, what would you find? I challenge you to do that. Invest time with someone you've probably labeled to be troublesome or annoying. Chances are that you have more in common with them than you think.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Do you ever have the feeling that your life is a dream?  I still try to remember mine.  I look at pictures, stare at images of myself to see if it was all real.  Pictures of Breck and I when we were so young.  Who would have thought?  He's now my husband for almost a year!

Time is flying by me, so quick and fleeting.  I guess that can be something to be grateful for.  Seasons of pain won't last forever.  Seasons of restlessness will come to an end soon.

The more I write, the more I realize there are so many women like me.  Girls who have had the same things happen.  How many of us are there?  There are so many silent sufferers.  We're all afraid to speak up and say what people have done to us.

I'm not afraid anymore.  The more I speak out, the more I see that there's so much that needs to be changed about our society.

It is little wonder that rape is one of the least-reported crimes. Perhaps it is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused and, in reality, it is she who must prove her good reputation, her mental soundness, and her impeccable propriety.--Freda Adler

I'm going to continue to speak out.  Who cares what people think and say?  There are so many girls that I want to reach out to.  You aren't alone.  Those nightmares you have, the nauseousness and tears that come at the smell of his cologne, it does eventually go away.  You won't always be afraid.  You won't always be hurting.  It does get better.

I promise.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Opened Up a River

I unstopped the dam, I've pulled the plug.  Complete avoidance of writing and my more sensible emotions has failed.  I just remembered how much I love writing, regardless of who is listening.  I love words and the flowing healing that comes from them, no matter how difficult it is to write them.  Writing is therapeutic, indeed.  I know that I'm breaking all the rules of writing.  I know I write so sloppily and passively.  I can hear Dr. Clark's grumble if he read my blogs, not because of the content, but because I write so lazily.  Passive...oh, yes, I write what's on my mind, and it's such terrible writing.  That's why I decided to do journalism and not creative writing.  Creative writing requires a lot of thought about placing words perfectly in nicely flowing sentences.  If a piece contains grammatical errors or passive voice, it must be planned.

When I write, I'm not good at planning or structuring.  Things just come out of my head and onto the paper.  They are raw thoughts.  In a structured environment, like journalism, it was easier for me to write because journalism is formulaic writing.  The inverted pyramid, short concise sentences that get to the point in an active voice--all those things came fairly easy.  I miss writing about the facts.  I miss interviewing people about their jobs and lives.  The haunting hunt of the story looms above my head.  What can I say?  I was born to be a journalist.  Asking questions was firmly ingrained in my soul from the beginning.  Just ask my mother.  She could tell you of how annoying I was.  I always wondered "Why?" and "How?"  

You can take the girl out of the newsroom, but you can't take the newsroom out of her.  I'm laughing to myself even as I say this.  It is my destiny.  I will find my way back someday.

Of course, my main interest in writing is how women are treated and abused.  I've always told my husband that I feel called to undercover reporting in Europe or even here in the brothels.  I want to capture the life of women that are ensnared by the sex trade or abuse.  It's important to raise awareness about sex slavery.  The more we know about it, the easier we can stop it.  This is my true passion.  I feel a deep sense of empathy for mistreated women.  My heart bleeds with each story I read.  

Besides my interest in helping women, I love hearing people's stories in general.  Stories from the great generation are my favorite.  World War II stories, with or without happy endings, remind me of how dark the world can get, but also that a generation has the power to rise up and meet the evils of the day with strength and perseverance.  My generation needs this strength now.  I foresee a more difficult time for us in the future.  What are we going to do with the given times and circumstances?  I hope we rise, but sometimes I feel like we're lost.  Just like those after World War I.  We're partying and drinking to get away from the misery in our own lives.  We're trying to forget about evil, instead of confronting it.  It makes me sad.  Time will tell which generation we'll be, either the Lost or the Great Generation.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Baby Daddy

I'm starting to feel that little tickle in my stomach.  The one that tells me that I need a cute little baby, like many of my already-parent friends.  Sigh.  If life were super simple, it would be an easy decision to make.

Last month I had a worry-fit about whether or not I would be a good mother, and blah blah blah.  But I'm really sick of worrying.  In fact, I really don't care anymore.  I want a kid.  I've been back and forth on this, so here it is.  Who's to blame for this sudden shift in attitude?  Well, you can blame my husband and how amazing he is with children.  It makes me melt.

Yesterday, he was holding a little boy in his lap, tickling him and teasing him, and I remembered one of the biggest reasons I was attracted to him.  My good gosh, he's going to be an awesome dad.  He chases our friends' kids around, lifts them up, and the children just love him.  He has a gravitational pull and all the little children just run to him.  I mean, literally.  I love the smile he gets when he's playing with them.  I love the way he talks to them.

We can't really have children right now, because he's still in college.  And after that, he's going to get his graduate degree.  So, really children aren't a possibility right now...I guess.  I also have to put him through school with a job, so yeah, it's going to be hard being the one working and having the baby.  But I don't want to wait five years.  I don't think I could.  I'm ready now.  But, I'm going to try to be patient for at least another year.  Maybe.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Today, four years ago, I lost my best friend.  I lost her on the night of her wedding day.  Just half a day earlier, I had stood by her side as she said "I do."  Four days later, they held her funeral in the same church where she was married.  It was so surreal.  I remember, I sat next to my husband.  We weren't even dating then, but I remember.  Yes, he was the one who was there for me through it all.  He sat next to me, and I remember putting my arm through his to steady myself.

I was living a nightmare.  Numbness and disbelief overcame me, so that even when I went to view her body, I didn't cry.  My mother cried, but I didn't.  I couldn't.  How can you cry about something that you don't believe is real?

How could my best friend die the night she was married?  How could she slip underneath the water in her tub?  Why didn't the police know CPR?  Why did they make her husband, who did know CPR, leave the room?  Why did they let her just lay there? 

By the time she arrived at the hospital, she hadn't breathed in 10 minutes.  Because of some weight-loss drug, her heart was too weak to be revived. 

They tried to revive her all night.  I was there...sitting 10 feet away from her.  I could hear them shuffling in and out, using all the shots of adrenaline that they could.  The machines beeping, the doctor's conversations hurried and passionate at first, then exhausted mumbling as hours ticked by.  But they never got her stable enough to life-flight her to Amarillo.  Why?  

I got to see her after that.  Looking at her hair that was curly...she hadn't had the chance to straighten it.  She would have flipped out if she saw herself in that casket.  Her makeup and hair were always immaculate, but not then, and nevermore.     

When they wheeled her casket out of the church, that's when it hit me.  I started wailing.  "Wait!  Wait!"  My mom caught me.  "I'LL NEVER GET TO SEE HER AGAIN!"

Four years ago.  I thought I was over this.  But I'm not.  This year is the hardest yet.  Maybe it's because I know she wouldn't call me crazy or psycho.  She would see what I've become, the mess of me.  She would understand.  She would sit me down and criticize me, lovingly, for never straightening my hair.  She would then do it for me, and somehow make me look like a model.  Then she would say, "I hate what that asshole did to you.  You don't deserve that.  Screw him.  We'll kick his ass."

It angered her to know that I had been raped.  I don't remember her being so mad as she was then.  "Kaylea, I'm so sorry.  I can't believe this happened to you.  NOT YOU.  You were always the innocent one."  She cried.  I sat in the dorm hallway, and I talked to her for hours.  Life changed for both of us.  It brought us back together again, just to tear us apart.  That's how it goes.  Sometimes there's just no answer.  There's no meaning.  How can I understand?  I just can't.  I have to keep going, because time doesn't stop.  It won't ever stop.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

FĂȘte de la Bastille

Today France's 4th of July!  Only it's on the 14th.  I'm going out with my husband tonight.  Should be nice.  I'm loving this mild summer.  I wish it had been this nice when I was getting married last year.  It was like 108, and my cake was melting from the heat.  I know.  Super awesome right?

Lately, I'm more level, emotion-wise.  It's weird.  Me, peaceful?  Who knew that was even possible?  Breck has been so sweet.  I guess some people probably find my posts on here weird and overly personal, but I just need to write what's on my mind some days.  It's the best therapy.  I know I'm strange.  I like that about myself.  I'm trying my best to show people this wonderful side of me.  It's full of life and breath.  I'm wearing this beaming smile.  I'm dreaming of a life that one day I'm okay, and I don't need to know everything.

Perfect love casts out fear.  I'm going to let my fear be cast out now.  I'm going to live my life without fear.  I'm going to let my life be.  There's a song about that.  I know things will work out in time.  It's nice to believe that today...I may not believe that tomorrow, so I'm going to enjoy this moment.  I need to hold on to it before it's gone.  Time is so fleeting anyway.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When Life Kicks Your Butt

Lately, I've been crazy busy with the book thing.  Not only that, but life itself has been quite overwhelming.  I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder a month or so ago.  I'm reading a book over it now called "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me."  It's very helpful in helping me understand my disorder, but it also tells stories of people who struggled with this disorder and ended up committing suicide.  Sometimes, I feel like that.  I'm fearful of the future.  I can barely handle what is currently going on in my life.  How can I handle being a wife and mother?  How can I raise a kid without screwing them up like I'm screwed up?

These are questions I constantly ask myself.  I'm so afraid.  I have a real job now.  I have a husband.  I thought graduating from college and living the life I now lead would make me feel like some kind of responsible adult, but it didn't.  I feel like a child more than ever.  I feel so weak and pathetic.  I'm so blessed, and yet I feel so empty at times.  My husband is wonderful and  so kind to me, I know I don't deserve that.  Maybe if you saw me at home, you would agree.  I'm crazy.  Yes, impulsive, fiery, angry, psycho crazy.  The kind of crazy that I wouldn't think twice about beating the crap out of people who cross me or those who hurt the people I love.  The kind of crazy that hates people because of what's happened to me.  I'm such a cynic.

The bright side to all of this?  I have started writing a book about it.  It's called Pieces of Me.  Here is an excerpt from one of my darker days:


I'm disintegrating, baby, into oblivion.  A billion little pieces.  I don't know if you can catch me, or even hold me now.  I'm like an atomic bomb that goes off...I destroy everything in my path.  I'm splattered all across the universe, scattered  like dust in the wind.  I slip through your fingers every time....cascading over an edge you can't follow.  How could you ever understand if you've never been there?  But I go there all the time, and the next day try to piece myself together again.  But I can't...I'm losing all the pieces.  Each day, more of me is missing.

Some days are brighter.  They're so bright that I can barely breathe because I'm bursting with happiness.  That's how my life is.  Up and down, never anything in between.  Black and white, no grey.  High and low, but it's a bittersweet kind of thing.  I see this world through such different eyes, and I'm grateful for my family and a God that chose to love me.  Why He did, I'll never know, but I don't have to try and justify that.  I don't have to live up to anyone's expectations.  I just need to love Him, and from that overflows and spills into all the other areas I'm so torn up about.  That's the beauty of grace.  It's a day by day thing.