Posted in Reflections

Thoughts on a Tuesday

You know sometimes I think about myself and ask,


Am I dateable?

And I think about the app days
And how people would ask me what do you do for fun?

And now I would say,
I lay in bed at 645 and drink camomile tea.

Haha and there’s no shame in that. Like my life isn’t something to be pitched. I remember I use to pitch this story like I was something exciting when I never really was. Now being honest, I’m thinking, dude I like routine. I like sleep. And
I’m a grandma inside a 27yr old body.

And I’m completely cool with that.

Posted in My Poetry

Dear Diane

I feel aligned with you.
I see me
In you.
When I first met you,
I knew.
I could feel your energy too.
The perfectionism, pride and potential
were swimming around you.

Me and you.
You and me.
We’re bonded.
Don’t you see?

Our past pain
Has brought us together
In hopes
that one day
We’d find to be,
What I would consider,
The key.
For your forgiveness of your trauma has unlocked the mystery.

Posted in Reflections

Cat calling

The horns would honk

The whistles would blow

And the men would stare.

It started when I was fourteen

Walking down the street

in Sacramento.

I felt the attention.

Part of me liked it,

I’m not gonna lie.

But then part of me also felt scared

I was being sexualized and I didn’t even know what that meant.

But it kept happening.

I’d walk

And they’d drive by.

For years this went on

When I was a kid.

It was weird

But it became normal.

And now as a grown adult,

It stopped.

Which some would say, thank god.

But in my fucked up head

I’ve been conditioned to think

“Am I not beautiful anymore?”

Whick makes me wonder

How any woman survives puberty

Unblemished

When they’re taught as children

That only their looks are worth attention.

Instagram : @harleyray.blog

Posted in My Poetry

Tears

Tears

I hear

They run

Not walk.

Is

Running

More

Exciting?

Why do they run down your face

Instead of glide

Swim

Jump

Skip?

Are we to assume they are not

Playful?

Or are we to assume they aren’t able?

What if they only could crawl?

Would that not be worth it all?

So let them crawl, glide, swim, jump, skip.

Describe them with intention.

Don’t assume they need tension.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

What am I grateful for?

I would say, definitely my new job. Honestly, it feels good to be able to breathe again. To be even more honest, I cried when I found out. Steph, my recruiter at appreciating talent, called me and told me the news. I was stunned. I didn’t think they wanted me. She told me they wanted someone else when I first interviewed with them so I wasn’t expecting them to change their mind. And so I started crying. Not on the phone of course! That would be a bit too boundary pushing for me. But after I hung up, I truly started sobbing. I’ve been carrying this stress on me for 3 months now, but maybe 2 months because the first month I was processing it so I wasn’t really stressed then. I was more numb. More in limbo. Losing something tends to have that effect on me.

I actually have a very tricky past of not handling loss well.

Loss of my grandma dying in church, my puppy being rehomed, and now losing my job to a pandemic.

So when I lost my job I did the best I could with the information.

But I still lashed out.

And how I lashed out was I called the cops on my dad and destroyed any kind of connection my family was trying to preserve.

 But that’s better than getting almost blacked out drunk and having a threesome with strangers, right?

Because that’s what I did when I “lost” my dog.

And before that, I soberly fucked strangers on tinder for almost a year when I found out God killed my grandma.

Like I said, it’s a tricky past.

So the cop calling. Well my dad is abusive, right. You know this if you have read my past work. And my mom is still married to him so shit gets complicated because all I want to do is save her, but she thinks God will punish her if she leaves. So what the rest of the family has done is ignore it. And dude I ignored it too. For over a decade, I’ve told her divorce him, but she doesn’t listen. So what else can you do? Well one day, after I lost my job, she told me on the phone he called her a Bitch and a horrible mother and she told me she was playing around with the idea of suicide.

So I got scared.

But I had never defended her before so I didn’t know what to do. And what do I do from all the way over here when they are in California?

So I called the cops in their neighbourhood and asked for their advice. I told them the history and the woman cop said, “It’s tricky. You can’t forcibly remove her. She has to want to leave on her own.” So she gave me a number of a safe house in California that protects women.

I called this number. The woman on the phone told me the same thing. She said, “I can go over there and talk to her if she is open to it, but unfortunately if he isn’t beating her, it is really hard to do anything.”

So I decided to email my family and ask them for help. They called me and asked if I believed she was unsafe. I said, “yes” because experience told me she was. They called her. She then downplayed it. She pretended it was fine. Everything is fine.

My dad found out.

Things escalated.

I called the cops and begged them to get to the house.

My sister then called me screaming at me that this was all my fault. That I handled it poorly. That it’s not that serious.

My dad then text me saying “you’re disowned.”

And there you have it folks.

My lashing out to the universe.

And how is this related to losing my job?

Well, when I am in pain I will do anything to run from that pain.

Even if that means distracting myself with another pain.

Because if I could distract myself with my dad’s failures, then I wouldn’t have to look at my own.


To find more, please check me out on instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/harleyray.blog/

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Last Book Review of “Sorry I’m Late I didn’t want to come” by Jessica Pan

The biggest obstacles Jess took part in within the book were joining an improv class and a comedy class, two separate classes. She chose these classes because she had a huge fear of public speaking and didn’t know how to solve it so she sought professional help. Though I have never taken on such a daunting task as that, I did adopt a puppy back in Charlotte, North Carolina after having no friends for three months. And I would like to think this could be seen as a huge commitment similarly to agreeing to perform a comedy skit on stage at a bar, which is what Jess did.

My puppy was amazing at filling the void I had back in North Carolina, but it came with a cost. The cost being she was not potty trained nor did she ever want to be. That girl would piss and shit every day on the floor. I tried everything, but that girl just loved to make a nice pile of dung on the floor for when I got home. It was great.

But what I lost in cleaning supplies, I gained in friends because Harley knew how to work a crowd. She was a people pleaser and my ice breaker to making real friends in Charlotte. I started taking her to the dog park every evening after work and slowly but surely I became friends with the other dog parents at the park. We would talk about their personalities and training tips and use dog voices as dog owners do to describe their dog. Yes, this is a thing. Just ask one of your friends if they talk for their dog or assume what their dog is thinking and watch as they give you that goofy guilty smile. It’s real.

Cat owners do it too.

Anyways, these dog park people became my people just as the improv class became Jess’s people and the only soul to thank for that is Harley.


And that wraps up the series! Hope you liked it.

Cheers!

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Book Review #2 of “Sorry I’m Late I didn’t want to come” by Jessica Pan

The second thing Jess did that I have also practiced before is “talking to strangers”. How she describes this is “disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.”

Just her description alone makes me laugh because I can 100% relate. Every time I have spoken to a stranger I feel a huge resistance inside me. The kind of resistance that wants to cringe in the corner because the task at hand is likely to be too awkward. And many times I have had to buck up and tell that resistance to quiet down or else I wouldn’t be able to socialize with my co-workers. However, now at the age of 27 I do feel more practiced with this endeavor, but the road hasn’t been easy. It has been full of extremely cringy moments that led to nothing except a lack of pride and a bottle of wine.

Scratch the wine. What am I talking about? I was broke as fuck in college. There was no wine!

Anyways, when I went to college or university, as Aussie’s like to call it, I was alone. None of my high school friends went to my college. They traveled to L.A. or New York whereas I stayed in Sacramento. And as I said before, I am an introvert so college parties did not tempt me. I hate crowds. I hate small talk and I hate talking over music. So what I was left with was the library and the gym. And you can’t really make friends in a library since you can’t talk…so I decided to try and make friends at the gym.

What I would do is run around the indoor track and look for other girls running. If they didn’t have ear phones in, I would ask if they wanted to run with me. This sounds innocent, like a child, but trust me I still cringe at the memories. It was so hard for me to ask this question! The fear of rejection was very real for me. And I also felt like a weird stalker in a way because I was looking for girls to talk to. It just didn’t feel natural and it didn’t work so I would advise not doing this. But! It did break down some of my fear because it was practice. AND PRACTICE IS KEY! In those moments, I was practicing being confident, but most importantly I was practicing being vulnerable. And though no one wanted to run with me, I survived. And I was okay. The cringyness didn’t break me.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Book Review of “Sorry I’m Late I didn’t want to come” by Jessica Pan

This is my first time writing a book review and I thought I would do it differently since this story creepily resembles pieces of my own introvert journey. How I will do it differently is by breaking it up into a series as I would like to share a few stories that are just as embarrassing as Jessica’s and since I have a few, why not spread them out?

Alright! So the book is similar to “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, where the author has a mid-life type crisis and wants to do something way over the top to solve it. Except instead of traveling to Italy, India and Indonesia to solve her crisis, Jessica solves it in her own backyard, also known as London. Jessica’s crisis is her lack of ability to make friends around the age of 32. I believe she is 32 in the story, but if not it doesn’t really matter as everyone knows you can have a crisis at any stage in life, let’s be real.

Now, Jessica realizes her crisis when she quits her job in London and notices she has no one to talk to except her husband. Her friends are spread around the world and she realizes all of her friends came to her through external circumstances such as: sitting next to them in university or working together as colleagues. She never went out of her way to become friends with them. They just naturally came together. But now without a job she realizes she needs to spread her introvert wings a bit if she doesn’t want to fight loneliness forever. And thus the story begins as she dedicates one year to extroverting in order to make friends.


Okay, now how does her story resemble mine? Well if you don’t know this about me, I am also an introvert, but not the typical shy kind. Instead, I am the bubbly, goofy and openly speak mind kind, but at the end of the day people exhaust the shit out of me which is how I know I am still an introvert. Also, living alone doesn’t scare me. Ask any extrovert if they like being alone because I have found most of them hate it. Of course there are other signs as well, but those are the main factors.

So what did Jess do during her year of extroverting for friends, which I have also done?

Well, she joined Bumble, which I have also done.

The swipe swipin for friends? Yeah. It’s weird, but lends to a good story.

I joined it when I moved across the United States from California to North Carolina in 2016. I was 23 and living alone. I knew zero people in North Carolina and the only person I talked to was my mom on the phone everyday at lunch. So you could say, I didn’t know what else to do.

The girls I would match with were also new to Charlotte, North Carolina, which made sense. I soon found out that most people who lived in Charlotte were not from there, which made meeting people a little easier as they were looking for friends too. However as most dating apps go, the people on there were half ass. I believe I only met up with one girl, which is funny because so did Jess.

The girl I met with was petite, showy, insecure like me, and tried her best. We met over lunch in the middle of the city during work and it started out with the basic questions. Where are you from? What do you like to do for fun? How long have you been here? And it was awkward. There was no spark. No zazz. Just two lonely girls eating pasta trying to pretend like we weren’t lonely. The whole experience was kind of pathetic and she felt the same way too because when we passed each other on the street one day, she pretended like she didn’t know me. Or maybe she just forgot me because that’s how forgettable that friend date was. And yeah I would call it a friend date. We were literally at lunch scoping each other for spark. It was a date!

Stay tuned to next week’s blog as I continue this series of embarrassing stories of how I’ve tried to make friends.

Cheers!

Posted in Relationships

Road trip thoughts

The thing I like the most about being in a “long term” relationship. Haha “long term”. It has been 2.5 years. That’s nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it’s all I got so fuck off. Anyways, the thing I like the most about it is the reliability. I have tested this through and through and I know without a doubt that this relationship is reliable.

We are two people who can sit in a car for five hours and say nothing to each other.

We are completely content with the silence.

We don’t rely on each other for entertainment. We just float in our own thoughts and once in a while touch each other’s knee for a love check-in.

It is pretty bad ass.

It’s not awkward or weird.

It’s still.

And as introverts, we thrive in the stillness.

And to be able to rely on the stillness with him is probably the best gift he could give me.