Storytelling is important sometimes because…

Stones,

I feel as though storytelling is for the masses.  Certain stories just have a way of resonating with people in a way that benefits them. This is not a happy story.  It doesn’t have a happy ending. It has an ending that is typical because life is typical. Although every story is unique, no story is special in the sense of tragedies. Everyone goes through them. Everyone suffers.

“Life’s a bitch, and then you die.”

-Narrorator of 1000 Ways to Die

Being homeless in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was an adventure, to say the least. I wouldn’t dare use any word synonymous with “enjoyable” nor would I recommend this experience to anyone. It’s almost like going to prison, an experience you would exchange for just about else.

I was one of the lucky ones. I never completely got engrossed in the lifestyle. I had a job, had meager funds to buy things, and wasn’t active in my drug addiction  (over 2 years clean and sober!)

There’s so much to know about being homeless. So many unspoken rules to follow. So many secrets you need to know.

Like I mention before, I had a job.  So I’d wake up, go to work and endure the nonsense of earning a paycheck. I loved my job. It was a break from all the craziness and the politics of being outside.

On days, when I didn’t work, I’d go to the local homeless shelter where you could sleep and eat lunch a noon.  It was like being in school. There were rules that had to be followed and monitored very carefully by staff. There were all sorts of things you could do there. Like take a shower, get clean clothes, get mail, get your hair cut, it was a homeless paradise.  There was also tones of trouble you could get into to, so they kicked us out at.

Then it was back to killing time til Dinner time.

There were always people coming to feed the homeless. Some people were forced to but the majority were just decent people. They’d bring huge spreads with a variety of foods for us too. Granted with the amount of us it wouldn’t last but it was, it was still delicious. After dinner, all there was left to do was kill time until nightfall. And nightfall was when all the drama began.

Nightfall was when the drugs and alcohol came out. It was when all the drama started. There was no shelter to it. The best you could do was stay out of it.  It helped to stay with people who had a sense of immunity to it. Or at least people who favored you enough to keep you out of it. I was lucky.  I ran with people who had jobs as well. People who could separate themselves from the drama. People who took care of themselves. When you are homeless, it’s important to remember to put yourself first and not get absorbed into the world around you.  Always remember, that you don’t want to make this temporary situation a permanent one.

Mine was temporary. After about 3 months, my father invited me to stay with him. Things worked out for a while, but not permanently. My point is every situation, however good or bad is not permanent. Things change in the blink of an eye. Stay ready, and be prepared.

Until next we meet

Breath and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here

Broken Hearted Girl Chronicles Part 1

Stones,

So much has been going on lately. I’ve been absent, indifferent, and unmotivated. But just recently I was hit with a spark of inspiration and post a poem that’s been eating away at me for a while. It’s been so long since I’ve written anything. Let me know what you think.

 

Not My Place

It’s not my place

To ask you to stay

I mean

What can I really say?

Fact is

I’m not your actual kid

And what you did

And have already done

Is more than enough

A battle you’ve won

That wasn’t yours to fight

What she’s doing isn’t right

And it’s your right

To walk away

But I’m pleading with you

Dad
Please Stay

 

Until we speak again

Bleed and exist,

S. Hollisway

 

 

 

 

Because sometimes it’s too much….

Stones,

Let’s admit it, as exciting as life can be it’s exhausting. Good times or bad, life has a way of draining the life out of us. It’s inevitable, so what can we do to ease the pain? We could commit ourselves to institution for safe keeping, (ill advised). We could live recklessly embracing life with no worry of tomorrow, (also ill advised). Or we could do something even scarier, live for ourselves.

I know we all may be thinking that we do live for ourselves already, but stop and think. When we sign up for that extra math class we hate or eat that salad instead of steak or use the fat free low calorie yogurt instead of the regular kind, who are we living for? Are we happy with our decisions?

We know our families and friends mean well but the best thing about advice is it’s like a buffet, we can take what we need and leave the rest at the table. They may mean well but we know ourselves. We know what we need and what will make us happy. And what won’t.

If the issue is deeper, like someone said something years ago that hurts you and changed your perspective on things. For example, someone said you don’t look good in yellow so you always stick to black. Or someone made a “harmless” comment about your weight that you haven’t healed from. Things like that are difficult to get over because the little seeds of hatred and self doubt start to grow roots. The rooms take him hold and grow into withering plants of self hatred. I know that it can get hard to get rid of. But right here right now, it’s time to let go.

Sounds impossible right, imagine this: Imagine going to that plant everyday and digging off one root up each day. Just one. One root. Imagine the roots don’t grow back after being pulled. Now if you did this every day, soon the plant would be powerless. That’s what we should do. Debulk one myth everyday. This myth could be one we’ve been told or one we tell ourselves. I say “myth” because although they feel like truths clingling to our skins, they aren’t.

I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m not good enough.

So what will be your new truth? Will you debulk your plant of doubt?

Until next we meet

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Be sure to pick up your copy of Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes being selfish is okay….

Stones,

Would you describe yourself as selfish? How many times have you been called selfish? What was the immediate reaction, to defend yourself? Why?

Who says being selfish is a bad thing? I’m not convinced. See, the definition of selfish is *”concerned chiefly with one’s own profit or pleasure”. So, what’s wrong with that?

Admittedly, being over selfish is not good, much like everything else in life in excess. But being concerned with one’s own pleasure isn’t called being selfish. It’s called self preservation.

Taking time to do self care isn’t selfish. Taking to time to rejuvenate isn’t selfish. Replenishing and putting onself first to keep going the next day isn’t selfish. Running out of a burning building before everyone else isn’t selfish. And if it is, then be a bit more selfish.

Be selfish with your time. Be selfish with your energy. Be selfish with tears. Be selfish with emotions. Be okay before giving to anyone else. Be selfish for your own well being. Be selfish and save yourself, then the rest of the world.

Until we meet again

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes business meetings are everyday….

Stones,

This morning I woke up with the fear of presenting a business plan to a bank for a loan for a business venture. I woke up early, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and twisted out my hair. In the process of all the hair fluffing and talking myself up in the mirror, I began thought about what outfit would make me feel the most confident. I picked a black dress with grey accents with pockets because a dress with pockets is the gift that keeps giving. Suddenly, I got a phone call rescheduling my meeting. It felt like someone had deflated my balloon and emptied my bucket.

I plopped down on the bed disappointed. I had done all these things to make myself feel beautiful and confident and it had gone to waste. Although, it really had not.

I felt very good about my appearance and the way I looked. I got up early enough to not rush and could pick out my look for the day. I had enough time to recite my affirmations to build and inner glow I took with me all day. I got dressed and had a much more productive day.

I say all that, to say this. If you or I or everyone woke up every morning like it they were preparing for a business meeting, there may be a change in mindset. Not a business meeting you are frazzled and stressed out about, but one you are prepared for. One that you own and fills your stomach with butterflies of happiness and excitement. Dress for a business meeting everyday. Then go out and make yourself proud.

Until next we meet

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes life happens so fast….

Stones,

It’s been a very long time since we’ve had the chance to talk.  So much has happened since September.  I will try to fill you end without writing a novel in the process.

Well first of all, I was homeless. Less of the “couch bouncing” homeless and more of the flat out “sleeping on the streets, in tents” type of homeless. It was quite the experience. Let me tell you. Most people would assume that the homeless only had to worry about the elements. This is sadly untrue. A lot of people would also assume that most of the homeless are homeless through pure fault of themselves, or that they were all addicts who lost everything due to addiction and live that way to stay in their addiction. This is again false.

Most of the homeless are a very caring group of people. It’s like a family. They may have nothing, but if you’re in need, they will break their nothing in half and give it to you. Of course there are little spats now and then but at the end of the day,  they are family. However, with everything else in the world, there is a dark side. Being homeless can be like, being on an episode of “The Walking Dead”. As dangerous as everything else is, the other people are the most dangerous. In the end, it’s survival on it’s most basic and instinctual level. Some are cruel, conniving, angry, hateful people who will do anything to get a head. Sometimes not even to get ahead, just for the sake of doing it.

So, there was that.

Then, my father couldn’t take it anymore and asked me to move in with him and my mother. I did. It’s been a roller coaster here. My relationship hasn’t gotten any better. If at all possible, it’s gotten worse, along with the majority of my other family.  So, that has been wonderful. (My father has made a few other appearances in blogs —–> Dad’s feature Blog . He’s a reoccurring character. )

But the most amazing thing happened. I got a chance to write. I’m in therapy and I have medication with a pretty solid diagnosis. But I got to write. I’ve gotten a chance to pull out a little piece of me, stitch it together, and offer it up for people to view. It is absolutely terrifying but, if I didn’t do it now it was never going to get done. There is no “Perfect Time”.  Not to publish a book. Not to get married. And definitely not to have a kid. Just dive in head first and make sure you look good doing it.

Oh, and I started school. Yes, you are reading from an author/soon to by psychologist. So I will get back on a schedule with posting here. I’m also going to be redesigning the entire blog so that should be nice.  So much is going on and so much more is going to happen.

Ever wish time would just stop for a second, just a chance to catch to catch your breath? Me too. Unfortunately, I think this may be my only chance for a while,

Until we meet again stones,

Make a real connection with someone

Change someone’s life for the better

Forgive to heal your soul

Watch the world implode with a drink and a friend

Be Brave

Bleed and Exist,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

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Getting to know me!

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Because sometimes is humor is necessary to survive + project plans and update……

DISCLAIMER: Please excuse my inconsistency, I’m going through a few health problems.

Stones,

So my dad and I have a running joke. Anytime our physical wellbeing is threatened (which is quite often then what woul be considered “normal”)  we say that we will get super drunk and wait by the door. Some may find this distasteful or morbid and sometimes it might be very true considering the situation.

Being younger and plagued with intense dibiliating anxiety and PTSD I felt the nurge and need to be prepared for every preceived and impending “DOOM”, whatever it happened to be at that moment. Maybe age, time, and hardships have made me cynical, or I’ve finally developed the tough skin that had been the solution suggested to me since I was five. It depends on whose reading my narrative at the time. Either way, the sky is always falling. (Don’t believe me, how else can you explain how Leverage was cancelled after just five seasons and yet an ignorant, arrogant, unintelligent reality TV Star has been entrusted to run a country.) Seriously, the list goes on and on people. My point being, the days of blissfully burrowing our heads in the sand are over. I’d like to say be prepared, but any parent of a toddler will tell you can never be totally prepared for what an angry entitled toddler is going to do in a day. So we are pretty much royally fucked in that department.  Take everything with stride and a shot of E & J. I mean distruction has to have some high points…like a really huge pretty bonfire.

PROJECT UPDATE:

So here is an update as it protains the actual writing bit of like because I am more than just a vocal skeptic and cynical mother, I write books too 🙂 .  I am in the process of rereleasing my first small poetry collection entitled Scarred and Faceless. I’m just debating if I should self publish again or go through an actual publishishing company. So, yeah I have a huge pro/con list about that. Any seasoned authors any imput would be greatly apperciated.  The second thing that I have been doing is working on the second book, Just Checking In. This is a lot more personal than the first book, which sounds crazy because the first one is poetry, but this is like an explanation as to why I’m so screwed up so…yeah more personal.

 

Until we meet again,

Make a real connection with someone

Change someone’s life for the better

Forgive to heal your soul

Find a way that works for you

Watch the world implode with a drink and a friend

 

Exist and Bleed,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

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Because sometimes a “No” is more motivating….

Stones,

I’ve been away for about 13 days. My dreams of posting a blog every day seem impossible about now. I have reentered into the corporate world. A pointless rat race it may seem like. But regardless of how I feel about it personally, I still have a family to take care of.

So, the track I’ve chosen to go into as my first real “adult” job is sales. I know people who work in sales has a horrible reputation. What I have found out from my current employment is that sales, in general, is just as bad, if not even worse than what people think. Pay is dependent on how much you sell, and the competition is cutthroat. Sales is a grueling business. I suppose that I am one of the lucky ones.

Yes, I too, work in sales. It’s hard work and every day I’ve gone home wondering if I have what it takes to make it in the business. But something, besides supporting a family, has got me up and to the office by 8 am for five straight days last week. It’s the atmosphere. It’s my bosses and coworkers. It’s the fact that every day I go to work with a smile, a notebook, and pen. It’s not that sales matter less at this particular job. That’s not true at all.  Sales are very important, but ringing bell is the top priority.

Friday was my first day in the field. I did not sell one, single, solitary thing. For over 8 hours, I stood outside with my talented and supportive coworkers and did not hear one “Yes”.  When I got back to the office I was super excited. Not for any other reason but for this simple fact: I could only get better from here. All the training leading up to my first day on the field thoroughly prepared me to hear “No” every day for the rest of my life. Striving for the “Yes,  working long hours for the ” Yes”, but can totally handle that “No” which is more motivating than anything else.  Well, almost anything else.

A “Yes” on my first day out in the field would have been amazing. It would have been a first. But it wouldn’t have taught me nearly as much. “No” taught me about patience. “No” taught me to be persistent. “No” taught me the value of a positive attitude and the importance of a strong work ethic. “No” shows me that I have not failed, I have just found a million ways that will not work. I will keep trying until I find a way that works for me.

Until we meet again,

Make a real connection with someone

Change someone’s life for the better

Forgive to heal your soul

Find a way that works for you

 

Exist and Bleed,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

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Because sometimes Disney (and Dads’) get it right…..

“I’m not the mistakes that I have made. Or any of the things that cause me pain.” -unknown artist

Stones,

The quote above is from the musical score of a movie that I can not remember for the life of me. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Anywho….

Have you seen the newest Disney movie,  Moana ? For those of you haven’t seen it, you are missing out. For those of you who have, well I think we can all agree that it’s one of Disney’s top 5.  Don’t want to give away the plotline for the poor unfortunate souls that haven’t seen it. What I will say is that the layers in the movie are just amazing.  One of the memorable scenes in the movie is when Moana and Maui finally return the heart to Te Fiti. As with every Disney movie, the climax was so dramatically beautiful. Before replacing Te Fiti’s heart in the spiral, she tells (sings to) her that she knows that they stole her heart but that her being “heartless” doesn’t define her. The situation that harmed her or caused her pain doesn’t define who she is as a person.  

Now where have I heard THAT before….

I met my father four years ago.* When we actually had a chance to talk while we were driving around he says that I was nothing like what my mother describes me as. I was throughly confused. Apparently, whenever they spoke of me it was always about my various health issues. I told him I did have a lot of health issues and he told me that there was way more to me than just that. 

Four years later….

Whenever I come to my dad with issue is typically always the same type of issue. 

Dad, I can’t do that. I’m too [insert insult here]

Awkard

Clumsy 

Funny looking

Ugly

Stupid

Not good enough 

His response is always the same.

Stop all that. Why can’t you?

Yeah, your different from all those other d**kheads out here

That ain’t you, man, that’s other people telling you that s**t.

Okay, so this is your life it’s not a movie. Find a healthy way to cope. 

Alright, you in a funk now but don’t stay there too long. Get on your grind, little man needs you. 

You strong Shae, you got this. I’ll be right here to help anyway I can. Just don’t give up.

A bit hard to argue with, huh? Yeah, I’d say so.  He’s one of those guys where he’s not super menacing just physically. He has a presence though, it’s fills a room and seeps out of the cracks because it’s so powerful. Anything I’m faced with, I’ll go to him to see if I can handle it and there’s hasn’t been anything I couldn’t do.  And when I need a little extra help or motivation, my father is always my wings to keep me going and my son is always the wind beneath them to keep me up.  I love my father. If your reading this, thank you for being here and staying. 

Until we meet again, make a real connecton and change someone’s life for the better.

Exist and Bleed,

S.Hollisway

*In case there is any confusion, the dad mentioned in this post is not my bio-father.  But he’s been here consistently and blood couldn’t make us any closer.

Piece by piece he collected me up off the grown where you abandoned thing. Piece by piece he filled the holes that were burned in me at 6 years old and you know, he never walks, he never asks for money, he takes care of things, he loves me. Piece by piece he restored my faith, that a man can be kind and father can stay.

-Kelly Clarkson

Scarred and Faceless