body condoms.

You can actually buy this. And yes, thinking about it.
There's a lot going on in Atlanta today. Dragon*Con and The Decatur Book Festival, both things I had every intention of attending in some capacity, this Labor Day Weekend of 2015. But some things happened: per usual, I procrastinated and the tickets to hear Erica Jong and Roxanne Gay give the keynote talk at the Book Festival all sold out. (Internet, can I tell you how upset I was when I found out? It was the ONE thing I would have gone to last night, in spite of the entire week...Erica Jong taught me about the Fear of Flying - which is about how to stay open to everything and everyone, and Roxanne Gay is just...amazing. Roxanne is just amazing and funny and stunningly talented and uh-MAZING.) 

I never got Dragon*Con tickets either. Confession 1: With Dragon*Con, I didn't know what I'd be buying tickets to, or if I needed multiple tickets to different things, or if it even mattered...maybe tickets don't even matter. And there were the large crowds. 

Confession 2: I hate crowds of people. They bring out my crowd rage and they drain me, especially when I don't know what I'm doing or where I'm going or why I'm there. I always need an exact purpose, and then I can deal. I do not just...mingle

And then I got my ass kicked by work and by life. Confession 3: my ass is sore.

So instead, I'm doing laundry. 

I mean, there will be fun this weekend - Miss M and I are about to start packing to go have a fun afternoon of awesome followed by a sleepover of joyful with my sweet friend and her family. So my sweet friend and I can figure out how to write a TV show, get some producers to like it, sell it, collect our Emmys, and then go hang out on a tropical island somewhere sipping Coronas and margaritas, coming up with our next big scheme. Or whatever people get to do after they win some Emmys. 

Certainly we won't be welcome back into any public schools any time soon if this goes the way we want it to, and we may even be chased around with a lot of angry pitchforks and stuff by Teach for America fans and state lawmakers or whoever, so I figure we'll need a safe, tropical, hiding spot for awhile.

But mostly, I'm just trying to pace myself. I don't want the weekend to fly by, and then to be in this place on Monday night mourning my life (as I am wont to do lately). I just need to pull it together, and find a way to body condom all this bullshit so I can just get through it and figure out where to go next, and what I'm going to do if there IS no next, or there IS no where to go. Because at some point, this bullshit clearly got some pushpins and poked a bunch of tiny little holes all over my body condom and now all the bullshit sperm is everywhere. One giant spermy mess of crap. (I have a friend -hi, E! - who says some people wear body condoms...invisible, big condoms that make them impervious to the emotional intrusions of other humans. Confession 4: I wear a really thick, neon green and blue body condom. But synthetic, not lambskin. And no ribbing, sorry. This is about keeping ME happy, not YOU.)

I'm also struggling with staying open-minded and non-judgmental. I saw a fabulous quote by Brene Brown the other day that said how to do this: "All I know is that my life is better when I assume people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, not what should or could be.

Isn't that insanely brilliant?? If only we could all just...do THIS. There would be peace on Earth. I just know it. Love Brene Brown, so much. 

And yet I assert body condoms are very, very important to have on you, at all times. Because so many many people focus on what should or could be with you. And these people, though doing their very very best, are exhausting. 

Confession 5: I'm a very MY space, YOUR space kind of person. I don't do a lot of hand holding. I can't handle a whole lotta expectations. Not unless you're under the age of ten. Because I can barely manage my own; and I am CONSTANTLY managing my own. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll see my weaker moments with this come out now and then. I don't post this as much on Facebook, but it'll take too long if I explain why. I just have come to see and prefer Twitter as my spewage place of ill.

I mean, I'll help you if you need me to. I love to help people. But once I figure out the help you're seeking from me is both endless and exhausting, I slip on my body condom. And I'll coddle you and love on you and let you know how much I care about your well-being - I have a deep and compassionate maternal streak. But once I figure out the level of coddling and love you require is both endless and exhausting, on goes my body condom. 

The problem with my body condom is that 1) it keeps me from asking - or even knowing I need to ask - for help (which Brene Brown says is being judgmental...if you'll give help but won't ask for it, you're judging others...which I think is an interesting thought), 2) it sometimes shuts people out who it shouldn't, 3) occasionally I run into the wrong people, and usually these wrong people have porcupine skin that poke holes all over my condom, and by the time I figure out that happened there's a big ol' mess. I need someone who's gotten good at putting on and taking off body condoms to teach me how to weed out the porcupines, and to teach me when and how to put mine on and take it off. (Actually, I have an extremely long list of people I need help from, but I don't know how to ask for it.)

So it's the #3 one that trips me up. Like what happened last week that I wrote about in my last blog post. Gotta put the body condom back on. But still ask for help. While not shutting the right people out. Because I want to protect myself, but I also want to love and be loved. And I want to do this freely without parameters or restrictions or rules placed on me by society, myself, or other people. Because I think kindness and love and staying open are so very, very important. But I don't want to be a doormat. But I want to love freely. But I don't want to be chewed up and spit out. (Public education is chewing me up and spitting me out right now.)

Jesus god, Life is complicated, sweet friends. Maybe instead of a body condom I just need a big, comfy tropical deserted island. (But there should be a 5 star luxury resort there with cabana boys because I don't do camping.)

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