Because sometimes all lives don’t matter…

I feel like I will get so much backlash for this and quite frankly I don’t care.

The latest world events have weighed so heavily on me. I feel like I’ve built up so much outrage that I haven’t been able to articulate and if I don’t now then it’ll spill out of the seams.

Black lives matter. All lives won’t matter until Black lives matter because black lives ARE apart of all lives. Anyone who ignores this fact is racist and fall victim to their implicit biases. It’s not a matter of opinion anymore. It was never a matter of opinion. It was a truth distorted by the loud, strategic oppressor. 

Some people, however, specifically non-people of color, specifically white people, try to discredit this fact because the narrative that is unfolding doesn’t suit their liking. Even while writing this I know that people will claim that I am being racist or biased or that I have my agenda because that narrative suits them best. I am not racist by any stretch of the imagination. I would almost consider myself “racially biased”.

Let’s think about it, shall we?

The definition of the word biased would be, “a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned” or “unreasonably hostile feelings or opinions about a social group; prejudice” (dictionary.com).

The operative word in the definition being any derivates of the word “unreasonable”. History and a distinct and predictable pattern of perfidy would make being biased an impossibility. People of color are painstakingly aware of the influence that people in power have. Even more so, they are aware of the power that they wield and we all know that with great power comes great responsibility.

Read the next part carefully.

I am not condemning all white people.

Let me say that again for the people in the back.

I am not condemning all white people.

I am condemning the WHITE PRIVILEGE.

What I am saying is that white people aren’t doing enough to dismantle the systemic oppression that is racism. For all those ignoramuses, yes IGNORAMUSES, that suggests that racism ceased with President Obama or popular black athletes and performers, you are welcome to leave now!

I will not waste valuable brain cells explaining to you the reality of living in white America as a black person when you are clearly the #KarenofEverything.

For those who act as if racism and implicit and external don’t biases exist, I am thoroughly confused. You under that plot of X-men and Zootopia perfectly, but are too dense to see the parallel to life? I find this very highly unlikely.

I have to wonder where the disconnect is. Is it because pro-white means anti-black and people of color so vice versa is the assumption? Is it because the media has helped color your perception of black and other people of color? Is it that you do not experience the very oppression that you are so dismissive of?

Is it the way we protest?

Well, we tried peaceful sit-ins and that didn’t work. We tried Nat Turner’s was and that wasn’t to your liking. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Colin Kaepernick, nothing seems to suit you. Maybe it’s the protesting that the real issue.

Whatever the reason, it’s not enough. We are no longer accepting your excuses. We drew the lines firmly in the sand with our bloodshed in the name of being an “American”. Before the oh so familiar idiotic phrase “If you don’t like it, go back where you from” leave your diluted racist little fingertips let me offer a history lesson. The Oppressor captured and brought our ancestors here, emphasis on the word “brought”. No one kept a receipt. We aren’t going anywhere. Your homework is to look up Black Wall Street because our utopia burned down too.

We are now united. Do you want to find out what we can do standing together as one?

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes you are the toxic one…

Stones,

Day 3046 of the Covid19 quarantine: I bought a stuffy. Her name is Elle. She is my only friend.

No seriously though, I hope everyone is being safe, social distancing, masks and all that. I am considered essential so yeah, no break for me. Which is fine because when I’m working thousands of ideas run through my mind.

Some call it ADD, I call it inspiration.

So people can suck. People can be cruel and evil and just plain mean. Hurt people hurt people, this we know. Toxic people are detrimental to the health of those around them.

What happens when that person is you?

Now lower the pitchforks and torches and hear me out.

I am not suggesting that everyone who is toxic is malicious. I’m simply stating that everyone deals with traumas in their own ways. Everyone has been through things and has suffered because let’s be honest, life sucks. Although everyone’s pain is valid, the way we react to trauma can be problematic. It’s not logical to hurt someone because you are hurting. Most people don’t plan on. The issue comes to play when people act as if their pain is bigger and more traumatic or matters more than another person.

We as people don’t get to quantify trauma. It’s not possible and it’s unfair. We also don’t get to mentally and emotionally bleed everywhere. That is misplaced aggression and anger and is also unacceptable. There needs to be a balance between the validation of feelings and respect for others. No trauma trumps any others because we are all different and the same trauma could impact everyone differently.

So my call to action is…

Reevaluate your relationships. Reevaluate your positions in the lives of others. If you find that you are the toxic one, be aware of that. Make a conscious effort to get help to change it.

There was a person in my life that I miss very much. We ended horribly because of me and my actions. I may never get to repair said relationship because of my past traumas that leaked into unaccountability. That’s on me for not healing.

Being aware of you crap and fixing your cap are two very different things.

Until Next We Meet,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless Here

Because sometimes trust is shattered…

Stones,

Good evening as I am writing this after 10:30. Writing is a struggle. Like I love it and it’s my passion but it is not easy. Sometimes I wonder if I even measure up to “actual writers” because I mostly do editorial pieces and I don’t have a super-strong following. But this is my beginning and while building up my consistency, I know that these are the hoops that I have to go through to earn an established writing career and it’ll be well worth it when my words are used to heal people.

But I digress…

The topic of the week is trust. It is such a delegate fragile thing that we take for granted. When flourished it as mighty as an Oak. When broken it’s strong enough to destroy an entire city and the neighboring town. Trust can be salvaged but it will never be the same. It’s like a mirror that has been broken. It can be pieced back together but you can still see the cracks in the reflections.

I’m sure all this information has been regurgitated on one platform or another. Here is something that I’ve been contemplating, how many cracks are enough cracks? When do all the second chances stop? When is the breaking point?

I know I have written previous posts similar but this one has me truly perplexed. When you’ve noticed an established pattern that appears to have no end in sight, what makes you stay? What makes you think that trust can ever be repaired, especially when all the attempts are one-sided?

I speak from a place of pain and experience.

I’ve been in situations where I was giving too many undeserving chances. For the sake of transparency, most of my relationships were like that. Abusive, manipulative, unfulfilling, and one-sided. A good part of my marriage was like that. I often ask myself why I stayed so long.

Misery loves company but suffering doesn’t make you a martyr.

At some point you have to see that a mirror with too many cracks is pointless. It’s impossible to see through it, or a future for that matter.

I say all that to say this…

How many cracks before a mirror is rendered useless? I urge you to take stock of how many useless mirrors you have.

Until Next We Meet,

S.Hollisway

Purchase Scarred and Faceless

My new logo!

Because sometimes chasing dreams and motherhood don’t mix…

Stones,

First of all, I got a new logo that included in the post. Let me know what you think. I think it came out fantastic. It makes me really happy and proud as an author.

But back to this weeks epiphany.

So for those of you who don’t know, I gave birth to a little monster by the name of Oscar. I have talked about him in previous posts more notably my first Odes post here. He is one a very large part of why I am still alive today. I love him with every breath in me. As much as I love him, motherhood is absolutely terrifying.

No seriously, there should be some sort of test because I’m positive that I would have failed. I can honestly say that I have NO idea what I’m doing. I love my little monster and I would do anything for him so he’ll have a better life. But as far as a plan, yeah I’m kind of clueless. My basic strategy is to give him a childhood that he doesn’t have to heal from. That is basically my sole purpose in life.

The only issue with being a parent and especially a mother is that people expect mothering to be your only goal and sole purpose in life. I’m not sad to admit, that it’s not mine.

I have other dreams.

I have other goals.

There are a lot of things I want to do and achieve.

It’s not selfish of me to want to be more than a mother as long as I’m not neglecting my child.

This goes for EVERY mother. You are so much more than just a mother. Don’t let motherhood be your only credentials.

There are so many things I want to do. I am a writer. That is a passion of mine that I want to share with the world. No one should be limited because of a title.

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes Odes are due (Part 2)…

Stones,

This will be my second post in a row which is great momentum to start and hopefully, I can continue it. I don’t know if any of you remember my original Odes post. I will link it here. It was all about my son who will be 4 soon and about how much I wanted to be better for him. Well it’s been quite a while since that post and I’m still not where I want to me but I am one step closer. He will always be my driving force.

I am learning, however, that I shouldn’t put that much pressure on his mere existence. It has to be my choice and my decision. But it’s always good to have people in your corner cheering you on. Oscar will always have a permanent space on my bleachers. I’m learning to accept that that’s okay. I’m learning that I have other cheerleaders and that is also okay.

My little sister is one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Kyesha

Background information, I am the oldest of 5 children and the middle of 11 I believe. My sister and I who share the same mother and father were really close when I was younger. Even though I was older she was always the protector. We kind of grew about when she became a “cool girl” which was through no real fault of her own. We had rough patches like sisters do but she was always there. She went through a lot, from having children at a young age to supporting a child who spent a year and a half confined to the hospital after having multiple surgeries, to tragically losing the father of her oldest two children. She healed and now she has 5 beautiful children and is an amazing mother.

She’s always been the “mom” sibling. Before we got a “real” adult, we go to her for advice, a reality check, and support. Even with 5 kids, she seems to have a neverending supply. I love her so much and one of the reasons I exist is to make her proud of me. She has earned a seat in the bleachers of my life.

My third cheerleader is one of my best friends in the entire world. She is a fireball.

Alissa

Background information: We met at a place where minds and bodies go to relax and heal. We bonded immediately which is rare because I don’t typically get along with females and neither does she. But we bonded as quick as Meredith and Cristina did in Shondaland. For the longest time, I never knew the benefits of having female relationships. They never seemed genuine instead full of relational aggression. She is the exception. She is wonderful in every way. She loves just like me; hard, passionate, and unconditionally. If you are lucky enough to crash into her you become overwhelmed by her “halo” for lack of a better term. She is kind, warm and supportive but will tear your throat out if need be. She will have your back in the worst times and reign a vicious reality check on you when it’s needed. The best of both worlds.

She has done her very best to keep me afloat. I want to do everything I can to make her proud and pay her back for all her kindness with spades.

These are my cheerleaders for now and I hope to see my cheer section keep growing. I love this and I love accepting support and love for those closest to me. I will no longer be held down by who I used to be. It would have been easier to write a poem but sometimes words need to be written out.

Pain didn’t change me, I changed my pain.

-Icon for Hire “Demons”

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Because sometimes it’s good to break the mold…

Stones,

I have been gone. I apologize for that. I know consistency is important and doing what you say you’re going to do is important. However, I can’t pour from an empty cup. I can’t write under duress and constraint. Well, I can but I can’t write well so, I’d rather disappear then produce crap. I am doing better now I hope you stick with me through this process.

So here are the thoughts that plague my mind.

Why do people feel the need to fit into a predesigned mold that doesn’t fit them to chase after success?

Here is the backstory. Because I have issues with consistency and sometimes have issues writing I have been looking up those generic “how to create popular blogs” and “Popular blog posts” type articles and videos. I got a bunch of the same generic, one size fits all type information. Then, I downloaded a PDF of 8,000+ blog ideas. Let me say first of all that these were not bad ideas. They just weren’t what I’m about. They were about writing blogs about food, crafts, how-tos, DIY’s, things of that nature. This is great for creative people, for mom bloggers, for people who have that audience. As much as I would like the popularity that comes with those topics, that’s unfortunately not where I am. I am not of the bright and shiny collective. I am more of the “cynical hopeless romantic” variety. That’s okay. Blogging, like America, should be a melting pot.

I say that to say this.

I would like to be a very popular and successful writer and author. I can’t however, sacrifice my voice or my identity for the sake of possible success. That’s just not me that’s anyone. I see it day in and day out. Talented people who sacrifice their individuality for a quick buck. Some call it “selling out”. I call it “giving in”. Some people don’t have the strength to stay true to themselves and sadly it’s soul-crushing to settle.

I’m no expert. I don’t have all or any answers really. I can’t offer any “fix it” advice. The only thing I can offer is perspective. I can offer ideas. I’d much rather exist as me tap dancing on the lines of obscurity, then a fabulous life in the spotlight that doesn’t coincide with my values. Think about it; who’s a better you than you?

Until next we meet,

S. Hollisway

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

Because sometimes self-care is needed…

Stones,

Pardon my may absences. Life is a bit overwhelming.  When things get rough I tend to push harder to try and get past it. The harder I try to push past this pain the worse things seem to get and it only once I am stumbling and rocking back and forth on the breaking point that I start to question my methods.

Why is it that self-care is always last on our list, even when we’re staring at the barrel of uncertainty and exhaustion? Why is it that we are last on our list of things to take care of? We give precedence to everything but ourselves. Why is that? What makes us put ourselves on the back burner?

When our car starts to go wrong we give it the once over to see what the source of the problem. When things are going rough in our lives we never give ourselves the once over. At least, I know I don’t. We as a whole, need to start taking better care of ourselves. We need to put ourselves first and take care of ourselves. Again, I know I do.

Here are self-care tips that I use when I feel burn out.

  1. Stop! I stop everything that I’m doing and take inventory as to how I’m feeling.
  2. Take a walk. I get moving and try to get outside to clear my head.
  3. Hug someone. Surround yourselves with those who love you and soak all of it in. Lean on each other.
  4. Journal. I write out my feelings that I dare not speak to anyone else. I get them out of my soul.
  5. Hydrate. The body functions better when it’s well hydrated.
  6. Listen to music. Listen to songs to life your mood or that will help the bad ones wash over you and then dissipate into nothingness.
  7. Bathe. Long hot showers and baths can work wonders on a wounded soul
  8. Exercise. I sweat out the anxiety and the bad feelings. I relish the rush of endorphins.
  9. Meditate. I try to focus on 10 minutes a day on my breathe. Longer on really bad days.
  10. Logic. I know that these feelings are only temporary and they can’t and don’t last forever.

I hope everything is okay with all of you. I hope you remember to always check in with yourself. Remember, YOU MATTER. The world is more beautiful with you in it.

Until we meet again stones,

Bleed and Exist

S. Hollisway