Moving Day! (Tomorrow)

“we are picking up the uhaul this evening”

a uhaul, haha, you’ve never needed one of those!” - my mother

We pushed our departure date a week forward, something was telling us to do it. Our first apartment together, though we’ve already been inseparable. There are more moments filled with little giggles of excitement over us moving in together.

Yesterday Chris calls me from work to let me know that I should go pick up some putty for the wall before the store closes. Success. Return home to do the patch work thanks to my dog’s annoying separation anxiety behaviors. Go to open the putty with the putty knife and suddenly my thumb is sliced open. Hmm that’ll be a good scratch. Oh…..oh shit okay it’s bleeding a lot, that was quick. Blood droplets mark the bathroom floor and sink - that stuff is not easy to clean out of tile flooring, I don’t know how people get away with murder….

Painful little slice, my god. Woke me up three times throughout the night with a pain that made me moan. Looked sealed up nicely this morning but oh god, the pressure, couldn’t put much on it without feeling like I needed to vomit. Had to have a seat to regain myself. There is something about my own pain/blood, makes me weak. Passed out in my old house in Park City at the depth of a pedal to the thigh wound. Too much meat exposed.

Moving has become one with my anxiety, goes unnoticed until the key moment. Christopher is missing this place already. 2 years, I haven’t been away from Utah more than six months at a time, I can’t imagine leaving a place after two years….oh wait, that was Utah. I wonder if we will ever get called back to Big Sky. Can’t believe I am moving again, the UPS must not think highly of me.

It’ll be the first time that I tow anything personally. Sure, I’m used to twenty foot beds but something on the back of my own car? Thank god Christopher understands the importance of loading placement with trailers. “We don’t get to ride together” “maybe we can download some kind of walkie talkie app…..or wait, I guess just call each other hah”.

5.5 hours from Big Sky, 4 hours from the desert gems we miss oh so much, 7.5 hours from friends and family in Colorado, 1 international airport in town….and to think that we had looked at Spokane, WA. Chris looked over at me the other night, “how do you feel about going to the desert….maybe….” “next weekend? yeah yeah yeah yeah” we are like children.

I can’t wait to get back to cooking. I miss that the absolute most. And grocery shopping, normal grocery shopping in an evenly priced store. Oh what we have been missing!

You're Going to Write Until Your Fingers Bleed

Not everyone is going to listen. Shit, people hardly take the time.

It’s kind of amazingly funny how many people will encourage you to follow your dreams and then spend no time showing their support.

But that’s the basis, I don’t write for others, I write for myself, because it feels better to get it out than it does to keep it in a journal.

Sometimes, I am disappointed to be a woman. To be apart of the bandwagoning events that we create. I know our society is fucked, it’s more than fucked up. Women, no, victims, can’t speak up because they don’t know how, they know better, they know that their words won’t matter. We’ve been taught this. Ingrained with this. Unless you have every slice of evidence at your disposal, someone else is working to manipulate what was factually found. It’s just a fact. It’s the system we have bred: innocent until proven guilty.

It’s not going to change for us, not now. They are closer than ever to making it illegal to rid your body of the filth that’s been created because a man decided his actions and desires were far more important than what you desired in life.

We are victims. It’s not a role we signed up for. At some point, someone violated us. Violated. Not made uncomfortable. See, when you’re uncomfortable, you should have the ability to speak up, but then, oh then you are violated for speaking up. Where is the right turn? There wasn’t one for us.

I hate watching such key platforms on social media, suddenly share their victim stories. Where were you before the trend started? You were living and breathing with your trauma. So why now? Why did someone telling you that you were a bad dog owner suddenly help you identify the connection of how you were a victim 15 years ago? You would have known well before that. These people, these platforms, they are doing it for the reach, for the seeming “connection” that they “hope” to provide to their followers. Ha, no. You just want more clicks.

If you cared enough, you would be fighting harder. I gave up a long time ago. I can’t do anything to help the next person, because that attacker will still exist, no amount of self defense can stop some people from their desires. They kill for them. You aren’t helping anyone by creating a space for them to relate to. Maybe that’s the hypocrisy behind my entire blog. I always wanted to help people, to help them find healing. People don’t want healing, they want attention. They want publicity. Fucking Social Media.

So bandwagon, you fools. Bandwagon away. Cry in your pillows when they make abortion illegal. We saw it coming. Cry when your birth control becomes as expensive as your monthly grocery bill. FUCKING CRY. This world, our American Society, it. is. not. changing. No matter how much publicity, no matter how much we march and demand, it’s never going to change. We have corrupt folks running an even more corrupt business. That’s all American Society is, one big business scam.

Make a choice to keep living. Make a choice to stand up for yourself. Do you know that women are still stoned to death in other countries? Be thankful for the fucking freedom you thrive in, the freedom to have an opinion without being executed for it.

Scariest Stories from The Outdoors

We all have them, those stories that have changed your life since their occurrences or the ones that taught you a lesson. Sometimes we are lucky enough to walk away from them, sometimes they leave us changed forever. Here are my two scariest stories from the outdoors:

. . .

#1) As I turned around to calculate his proximity to me, he was gone. Gone, into thin air, as if he had never existed. Every cell in my body was screaming at me to run, so I sprinted.

There has never been a time where I felt uncomfortable in going into the outdoors alone, on my own. Until the hike that I went on a few years back in the beginning of summer.

Walking up the trail for less than ten minutes, I began to close on the distance on the elderly gentleman hiking in front of me. Passing politely, I greeted him, spoke casual words with him, and anticipated a silent journey to commence thereafter. Something that was spoken between us had kept me grounded by his side; he was a kind, elderly man who’s energy gave me a sense of deeply rooted knowledge and experience. We welcomed each other’s company and hiked onward to a lake neither of us had seen yet.

Roughly one mile from the lake, I came across a bright blue, aluminum, backcountry shovel head. I immediately thought about the friends I had who would love to have this and seeing as it had been left behind for the melting season, I strapped it to the outside of my backpack. The clanking of the shovel and my keys made me sound a lot like a cowbell, to which I jokingly said something about to the gentleman. He responded, “all the better to hear you with”. It had struck me with an odd energy but I chose to forgo the vibe and explained to him that I was planning on hiking the ridgeline before making do at the lake. He asked if he could join and I felt no threat in accepting. As we scrambled up the ridge and found a great selection of boulder slabs to sit on, we emptied the contents of our packs. Jackets for the wind, snacks for the bellies. My mind wandered, “what is the one thing that you would tell me about life that you wish you wouldn’t known?” His response brought tears to my eyes and unfortunately it was all that I will ever remember about his response due to the stress that ensued in the following moments after.

Finishing our snacks and ready to get out of the direct wind, we began to work our way down to the basin where the lake sat, centerfold, between ridgelines. Before reaching the immediate path around the lake, we came across a large, hollowed out tree’s trunk where we sat like grade school children, getting high. As I was packing away my items, I felt the shift of energy between us. It went sour. I was suddenly at threat. He said something to me and the finger he placed on my hand began to make me wildly rip through a viable excuse to use in order to get myself back down to the safety of my car….four miles away. “I need to get going soon, my friends are expecting me for a nice dinner and I am supposed to cook a dish for it”

stay a little longer, they will understand, I will hike down with you”

“no really, it is okay, I just need to get going so I will probably go down alone, not to rush you”

At this point, we had been walking around the lake and stopped so that I could capture a picture of the landscape; there was a couple seated on top of a large boulder about 25 meters away from me and the gentleman. The young male jumped off and approached us, “would you two like a photo” he said with excitement. I literally stumbled through my response, “no, no oh no thank you I don’t really kn-” and I was cut off by the young male, “come on lets just grab a photo”. The gentleman steps in, “it’s just one photo, come one!” *click, click* “Thanks.” I grumbled to the young male. I was furious.

My tone became heavier, “okay, I need to start heading back now” as the gentleman followed me along the lake loop headed back to the trail. I had started to pick up my pace without being too noticeable about it. Keep walking McKenzie, just keep walking. My head was down and both hands were on my backpack straps, death gripping them. As I turned around to calculate his proximity to me, he was gone. Gone, into thin air, as if he had never existed. Every cell in my body was screaming at me to run, so I sprinted.

I am not a runner and not because I don’t like running, I mean my body is physically incapable of running nicely. The shovel on my backpack was rattling away, creating a high pitched echo throughout the woods. I swung my backpack around to the front of my body so that I could hug the shovel to my chest, so that I wouldn’t make any noise, so that he couldn’t follow me. I ran, I ran so hard. I passed people on the trail, completely panicked, and yet not one single person stopped me. Frantically approaching the end of the trail, my brain was tortured with the thought that he had only been minutes behind me and that he was going to stop me from driving off in my car. I scrambled for my keys and after making it into my car, I locked myself inside. Shaking from the most running I’ve done in years, I started my car quickly and got myself out of that canyon as fast as I could. I balled all the way home.

The worst part about this experience was that when I went to go edit photos a couple days later, I came across the one taken of me and him. I wasn’t smiling. In fact, I look terrified, my shoulders were collapsed inwards. Next to me, he stood with a gleaming smile and hand on my shoulder. It was haunting. Had he even been real? Why did he feel that it was okay to physically touch me? Had we not talked enough about his children and the similarities I shared with them? Stranger Danger, yall.

. . .

#2 As I heard the loose rock crumble to the depths below us, I turned to watch him disappear into the black hole of the mountain. Oh my god. I just watched someone die.

It was the beginning of the warmer summer days in Utah and we were headed for a hike that neither of us had done. The normal hiking route, for the underachievers, comes out to a short 2 mile round trip, and therefore was not enough for us when we approached “the end”. We sought out what we wanted to be our end goal for the hike and decided on the area located just below the existing snow pack line. Having a clean, neat trail pretty much the entire way up, we had to scramble for the last ten minutes to reach our resting point which was a sweet little nook that had a small pool of fresh runoff that we could keep our beers in.

It was a grand spot, with spectacular views, and not a lot of room to play but that was okay. Below where we sat on the rock cliffs, was a part of the snow pack that was being undercut by the melting runoff. It had created a large opening in the snow pack that looked like a tunnel against the mountainside. Imagine standing on top of a tubed water slide at a water park, it looked like that. Very intimidating to say the least but not among our concerns (for some reason). We packed up our things and began our decent down, my hiking partner had chosen to take the rock face that did indeed look stable, but to our surprise, was not. As I heard the loose rock crumble to the depths below us, I turned to watch him slip and disappear into the black hole of the mountain. Oh my god. I just watched someone die.

Clinging to the rocks and a nearby tree, I turned myself around so that I could look down mountain for where his body was going to appear. I hardly had a breath in me, let alone words. Blink Mckenzie, fucking scream, do something! I was frozen. Somehow it clicked and suddenly my scream rippled through the canyon, “ALEX! ALEX! ALEX!” I couldn’t stop screaming for him. Holy. Actual. Shit. This was not happening. As I screamed, as my eyes widened, I saw him walk out onto the rock below this dangerous water slide, almost 200 meters below where he had fallen in. Disbelief. He was walking. As I watched him scrape off rubble from his arm, I regained my mind and worked myself down to him. He was…okay, literally just a bruised arm, not a single broken bone, no concussion. Our hike down became a consistent check-in, “what year is it? what’s your name? do you know where we are? what day is it? what trail are we on? when’s your birthday?”

He and I did not talk much after that day, or ever again really. I think that we were both pretty shaken up. I thought that I had just lost my friend, he thought he had just entered death. I am sure that that was the craziest thing either of us had ever experienced to date and I think that we did not know how to carry on after it. Strange concept but nonetheless, the reality of it. Alex, if you ever find this and read it, I am so damn glad that you made it out alive. We almost rewrote our cards that day.

. . .

Have a scary story from the outdoors that you want to share? Comment below or email me directly at mckenzieroers@hotmail.com - I would love to hear them (and share them if you are okay with it!)

How to Use IG with a Smile

P o s i t i v i t y (with a does of reality):

Have you heard of the acronym, “fomo”? It stands for the Fear Of Missing Out, a coined term that’s heavy in the social media world now, but where did this originate from?

Here are my un-factually based opinions on social media, the term FOMO, and the reality behind it all:

I actually remember when Instagram was used to post somewhat daily recordings of your life, whether it was a picture of you and your friends, your food, yourself, you name it - it was usually “live” in that it actually happened within the three days of posting it and it probably had a goofy filter slabbed over it. It was exciting, to share your life in photos. I was sixteen when I first got my Instagram account and I literally have never had another one since; you can scroll all the way down my feed (bless your heart if you do) and you will find the photos that are living proof of the original IG days.

Let’s skip all the way forward to today. I tend to have a lot of time to scroll through the public feed to which I have no shame in doing, however, before hearing the term FOMO, I just thought that I was experiencing the projection of my own self doubts: why wasn’t I doing something more with my everyday life too? Well, that’s when I started looking closer.

There are so many accounts, too many accounts, that have backlogs of photos, many of which are still awaiting their time to shine. What do I mean? Scroll down on a popular IG account, you’ll find a similar photo posted four months ago as the one posted today. This can lead to so many things. One - it makes it appear as if that person is always on the go, when really they are sitting behind a desk. Two - it provides a warped sense of reality. Three - they’re doing it for the ‘gram.

You have these perfect accounts that showcase what appears to be a perfect life when in reality it is all just one big show. What is going to keep their followers engaged? Keep them following the account? There’s one outdoor account that every. single. post is a picture of the girl who runs it. Is that a form of narcissism? Is it a public stance of their level of comfort with themselves?

Personally, it’s been a mental conversation for me, of how uncomfortable I feel posting a photo of my face and writing a caption to go along with it, that is actually relevant to the photo. I am guilty of not putting on the fake show for people, in fact, I have been a little too honest, a little too real, and a little to harsh. It’s been a long standing issue with me: superficiality. Ask the people I don’t talk to from high school….

Why would we want to share our genuine realities? Is it a coping mechanism for always trying to maintain the perfect life? I giggle now as I scroll through the public feed, what a ridiculous amount of photos from “perfect hikes” to “perfect campsites” to “perfect whatever”, it’s all so precisely perfect. Buy this preset and your life will look as perfect as mine!

Let it be a joke, let yourself laugh at the perfectly calculated posts. That’s not reality. Reality isn’t perfect. It’s okay if you don’t spend three hours perfecting your face for a selfie, let that pimple shine and fuck the natural lighting. It’s okay if your hike didn’t have all of the qualities that make it IG worthy, enjoy the nature that’s trying to comfort you and remember why you sought it out in the first place….not for the post.

I love the captions that have to do with “but if IG didn’t exist, would this photo?” or “would you still do it if you couldn’t post it?” basically anything that is directly related to the people who cannot stop thinking about the content for their next post. They are probably the ones making money off of the social media account but what mark of a difference are they making for society? Meh….

The most crucial factor to living happily with social media is to remember that it is usually not an accurate display of reality. It distorts reality, as my good friend Anna Cole has written on her IG bio. You’re damn right girl. Post what makes you happy, post what makes you sad, post what makes you HUMAN.

Financial Yikes

While doused in boredom, I found myself scrolling through articles of “why millennials aren’t buying diamonds” and “maybe millenials should stop eating avocado toast”. Honestly, I am pretty sure I am part of this generation but somehow feel both connected and disconnected to it.

A couple years back, I complained without censorship about the financial hardships that my bank account was facing than that of my parents’ when they were my age. Car payment, car insurance, rent and utilities, phone bill, gas, groceries, entertainment….

I began to wonder how on earth people my age were even entertaining the idea of having a baby…where were they getting that kind of money? According to Time.com, the cost of raising ONE child to the age of seventeen totals to $233,610, so that is excluding all college finances to come. To push it further, the average student loan debt is roughly $37,000 (taken from Forbes.com). No wonder people can’t pay for themselves to live.

I got to thinking, how did my generation get stuck in this (for lack of a better term) shit storm? I feel like we had incredible childhoods: the best cartoons, our long days spent playing outside, Gameboys that had connection cables so you could play against your friends, and Warheads Sour Candy. Our childhood was almost…too good. In fact, it was so good that we didn’t see this shit storm coming, the one that was brewing for us as we were young. I bet you, if someone had warned this generation of what was to come, we would have been far more proactive.

Right now, my average cost of living for one month totals to over $1,600 and that includes rent, car insurance, car payment, netflix, spotify, itunes, adobe, groceries, gas and dog food. Not too bad right? Here’s the catch, I make only $1,700 a month. I have less than $50 in my savings account which used to have $1600 in it, at all times. My checking account? HA, I am lucky to keep it in a three-digit range.

I cannot complain, I mean, I can and I am, but overall, I have a safety net that understands how hard I am trying to provide for myself (and not succeeding in doing so). Yes maybe I am in debt to my parents at this point but it’s better than being in debt to myself via the bank. My credit score has been dropping since I moved away from Utah in February and last month I was not able to pay off my whole bill so there is another tick against me.

It’s such a bizarre concept to me, that we stress out so much over these aspects, that we feel like we can’t breathe today because we need to save half of it for tomorrow. Half of our generation is out chasing their wild in a van, not paying a dime in rent, and probably experiencing a better overall life while the other half are strapped to what society told us we should do: 9-5 job = career. But wait…..you mean to tell me that we all die? That when we die, the money we made won’t matter? That when we die, the only legacy that remains is the good we put into the world around us? Where’s that college 101 course?

So no, no I am not going to stop eating my avocado toast but you also won’t see me buying a diamond ring for my finger, nor will I ever let someone do that. I will spend my money on experiences more than I will spend it on the decor in my home; on my dog more than the clothes in my closet. Am I scared about the mishaps and misfortunes that will present themselves along the way? Like my car going completely dead in the middle of a four day rain storm in a town with only one auto body shop that can’t actually fix anything so you have to take it an hour to the nearest major town for work…..yeah, it scares me. But it’s life.

I would rather die happy, in debt, than die with my pockets full of money and not a damn thing to show for it. Chase your wild, the money will come.

End in Sight

On March 4th, 2018 I quit my job in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I spent the next month drowning in job applications, silent employers, and what was left in my bank account. In August, when my old housemate visited me in Montana, he pointed out a fact that I had honestly gone without recognition of: I lived in my bathrobe for almost three weeks straight. No way, had I really done that? THREE weeks Kenzi? You were more depressed than even you knew at the time…..

On March 21st, 2018 I got the call, leaving Wyoming and bound for Utah and ultimately Colorado. It was Big Sky Resort with a job offer in their Human Resources Department. My saving fucking grace. I was in the middle of my drive south when we confirmed my start date of April 9th. I had over a thousand dollars in my savings account so I did the stupidest thing I could have done: headed straight for the desert.

On April 6th, 2018 I began the drive north to Montana. Arriving at my place of residence for the next however long, I quickly drove Zuke and I up the mountain to go check out our new resort. Simpler than Park City, that was for sure and definitely not the Jackson Hole commute….thank you GOD for this one.

 This is breakfast, lunch, and snack for one day and it totaled to $16.00 / Dinner will probably rack in around $25-45 depending on what we make, if it has fresh ingredients, or will yield leftovers.

This is breakfast, lunch, and snack for one day and it totaled to $16.00 / Dinner will probably rack in around $25-45 depending on what we make, if it has fresh ingredients, or will yield leftovers.

I trained quickly while in waiting for my position to vacate and in turn, became great friends with the girl who I was replacing (she was going to grad school, nothing negative) to the point that I didn’t want her to leave. I had my own desk for the first time, my own little space in an office, a place to hang my photos. It was such a step up from my previous HR position and I was digging it. My team was great, the office was small, and I knew employees by their name for once.

In Big Sky, Montana life exists solely to provide for tourists in the sense that our grocery stores consist of small specialty markets in town that charge you $6.00 for a carton of Minute Maid Orange Juice. As you begin to look closer, you learn to start pricing your groceries at about $5.00 for each item and at the end of the month you are suddenly looking at a $600.00 credit card bill for nothing but damn groceries. Housing listings for one room for rent goes for $700.00 at minimum and that’s if you’re lucky. New rentals in town are starting at $1500 for a one bedroom. I started pulling from the leftover savings that I had before moving to Montana to which I no longer have a savings account. Every pay check has been consumed in whole by rent or by my car payment or credit card bill. The financial burden began to drown me.

My decision to look for not only a new job opportunity but a new livable location was fueled. My partner was not going to resign his highly sought after lease as it would lock him down for another year and I was not going to make it another six months, even if I switched to ramen noddles for life. Powered secondly by my director half jokingly telling me to, “STOP LEARNING” I was at a loss. I loved my job, my coworkers, and even living in Big Sky. It had been the opportunity that I so desperately needed; I met my soulmate here and if I only had one thing to take away from Montana, it would be my gratitude for bringing us together.

On October 12th, 2018 I will depart from the place that we’ve called home for the past six months with a heavy heart but intention to return often. You get to know a place in a way that you can’t write it out of your life. It will probably still remain Christopher’s favorite mountain to ride. I will begin my new job with a small company called Utah Pet Access as their Executive Office Coordinator/Manager, attempting to successfully provide them with organization and ease in daily operations. It’s three dudes and me…they are about to have everything color coded twice and whiteboards everywhere. I <3 organizing.

I say this every time I move: I hope it’s the last for a while. My parents have heard me say, “I just want to settle for once” one too many times now. It is the second time that I’m returning to Utah, the state that I have just gone ahead and identified as my home state now. I can’t seem to stay away from Salt Lake and the desert. I daydream about the time Christopher and I will spend in our home, listening to him create magic with his guitars and having the space to feed my wild without having to leave. As for my hopes in our return home to Utah, I want to focus on the book I’m writing, I want to get photographs printed for sale/finally buy myself a replacement camera, and I want to spend more time with more people. That last one may sound silly but I feel connected to folks back home that six months ago, a year ago, I would have never found a connection with. I am thankful for the souls that understand how delicately time takes to change a person.

So here it is, the end is in sight.

To close…Montana has been such a treat. My mother was ecstatic for me upon hearing the news, she has been fond of the state since childhood and had spent some time trying to grow my interest in it. I told myself not to fall in love with the state too quickly. It has given me so much: wildlife encounters with animals I had never dreamed of crossing paths with (mainly out of fear haha), beautiful vistas of so many mountain ranges, a wildfire season unmatched to anything I’ve experienced, the courage to play in the water without (as much) fear, my wonderful partner in life, and a redefined sense of gratitude for all that the mountains have provided me with (Jackson Hole shit all over that for me…). All in all, Montana sucks, tell your friends.

(:

Raising a Soul

Crispy morning air held my nose is a suspended drooling faucet drip this morning on my walk with Zuke. A smile cracks across my face when it’s just the two of us, we don’t share this time together much the same anymore, but we like it.

He is always searching the tall grass for the slightest indication that something he can chase is lurking, taunting him. Springing from a stopped position, the boy’s hind quarters are stronger than my thighs, he leaps into the four foot tall like a jack rabbit. It’s rare not to witness a smile on his little face.

Bliss.

The warm feeling of gratitude and awe takes over me as he dazzles me without ever knowing it; it’s his light steps, how he practically dances when he walks. I have fallen deeper in love with you than I thought imaginable….

I have always held a strong opinion against ever having children, it’s honestly the pregnancy side of things that terrifies me, oh and potentially raising a serial killer, as my college friend Courtney said spot-on in her recent post (she’s preggers with her first).

This morning I was brushed by this acknowledgement that my dog had become more than just an animal in my life. I can see his reactionary facial expressions with my eyes closed, I can feel his personality through photographs, I feel connected to him, physically, emotionally, and mentally. This is my baby. The pain that swells in my heart at the thought of him becoming hurt or disconnected from me is practically unbearable; I see people that lose their beloved friend and I pray I never have to experience that prematurely with Zuke.

I raised Zuke to the best of my abilities (and time…) having always worked a 9-5 job since adopting him; it was the most terrifying experience to suddenly be hit with the reality that I would be raising this dog alone. I had a partner who “helped” raise our first dog, Shadow, and honestly just having a second body to rely on was the biggest asset. So when it hit me, I knew I was ready but I was also in panic mode. See, I had purchased Zuke’s crate almost a month before I got him, I let it sit in my room as if a dog was meant to be there, just to test myself for how ready I thought I was. My housemates were actually the ones who kept saying “when are you bringing home a puppy!?”

Positive reinforcement was key to me, I even had the name “Milo” picked out for Zuke before I realized how much it also sounded like “no” which I did not want to him to have that association. So far, it has gone a long way for us both, but it has also shown light onto where it hasn’t worked: my underwear and drywall. With him being a border collie, his is very in tune with his bad choices and overly apologetic when I come home before seeing the damage he has done. But that’s owning a dog for you, you’ll probably always have a little something to deal with…keeps our lives exciting right?

Zuke is voice trained as well, something that took a lot of time and patience, almost going over the handle bars of my bike when crossing a busy street, and practically getting hit a few different times by vehicles. I do not believe in leashes for a dog if they are not needed. At this point, as he approaches his year and half mark of age, he listens on the first drop of his name from my lips. He does lose and ear of listening when there is another dog around in the sense that he gives me pleading looks of “oh mom but please can’t I just go meet them”…..No. He also responds to the snap of fingers and stops dead in his tracks if you administer a loud clap…all in all, well worth the time, effort, and mishaps along the way. We are able to cross busy streets with vocal and visual commands and despite feeling like we’ve made it, he still has a lot to learn.

Zuke is a year and a half this October 20th; we just had our one year adopt-iversarry on September 9th upon which I was slightly shocked that a year had flown by the way that it did. He has honestly put up with so much of my instability. Days that I rationed his dry food by adding water to it because I was waiting on a paycheck to come through to buy more; begging my parents to buy him a Bark Box subscription because I couldn’t afford to give him anything extra or nice like I wanted to (lord, you guys saved me so much with that….). The countless days spent in the closeness of my Outback, traveling for hours upon hours to a new home, never quite understanding if this move was permanent or temporary.

Of all the rambling that I just did about a damn dog, I’ll close with this. Don’t let someone tell you that you should adopt instead of choose a dog, or vice versa. Although I am a huge supporter of #AdoptDontShop, it’s important to understand that just because your dog does not originate from an animal shelter, it doesn’t make you less of a dog owner. What matter is the love you provide, the warmth, the security. The only thing that should be most important is in regards to how good a life you are going to give a soul. I have seen plenty of owners who do not deserve their dogs’ life yet I encourage everyone to think about owning one, one day. They bring you so much joy and chaos all in one bundle. There is nothing better than waking up to dog kisses when your alarm goes off…..

Where Were You: 09/11/01

It was a Tuesday. Seventeen years ago. The year two thousand twenty seemed unfathomable.

It was a hot day, the air conditioning was still blasting in our buildings on the military base in southern Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country.

Still in class, I was just a first grader with no understanding of the distress and chaos unfolding in the country that I had spent all of less than three years in.

My parents had never been glued to the television like that, my mother shielding my eyes and eventually convincing me to reside in a different room for a little bit. She told me later, that people were jumping from the buildings, she didn’t want me to see that. I wouldn’t see the footage from 9/11 until I was a sophomore in high school attending a summer camp in Washington D.C.. I starred at that museum television’s muddled footage of the billowing flames and the people jumping for their lives from sky scrapers, I couldn’t swallow it.

They wept, my parents.

In the years that followed the 9/11 attacks, we watched our normality of living peacefully beside our Muslim friends diminish rapidly. Our cars were scanned, one by one, before we entered back onto the base; they were looking for explosives, for threats. Our nannies began to disappear one by one, every week a family had lost one because the military base was increasing regulations.

Then 2003 happened.

My third grade class size began to dwindle. More families were returning back to the United States. And then came the mandatory civilian evacuations and our world was ripped from under us as we were packing our bags with no idea of when we would return. The worst part was that we were leaving behind our fathers, our mothers, the only ones in the family that were active duty - they were staying behind. I spent four months away from my father, my mother pregnant with our third sibling. I have never talked to my mother about where her mind went during that time frame; we were all in shock until I think we were on the floor of our home months later, still standing next to my father as one family.

9/11 shaped my generation, it shaped my parents’ generation. It was shocking, rattling, unbelievable. I learned the most about corporate media in those years, dumbfounded at a young age that they had control over wrong portrayal. I watched as the Muslims that I called my friends, my family, being painted in a light that didn’t match them. It rocked me with confusion and never knowing which side hurt the most, my american or my cultured side.

Dose of Reality

I couldn’t have asked for a better worst interview experience than what I received on Friday, day one of my weekend long planned of interviews.

After sitting down, sweating in anticipation for the interview of my dream job, I was hardly thanked for coming down from Montana for it. The next forty minutes became a giant critique session that resulted in my confused, “do you like anything I am doing?” because it felt like I was being deterred from the job itself. I thanked them for their time, closing my notebook filled with questions for the position, company, and owner, and said that maybe I was not the right fit for this job.

The thing about applying for a job that utilizes the work you do independently comes with open doors for critique - you are applying for a job that will ultimately suit your style exactly or demand a new one from you, either way, you still need to be capable of change. The people asking for those such changes are just as scared of them as you may be but this is the line of work that you signed up for. Maybe my photos, my writing, maybe it didn’t suit the company to the golden t it wanted but I also wasn’t willing to sell out to please someone else’s vision, not when I was treated the way that I was.

The interview ended without a single hand shake or thank you. I was held back by the HR Rep who had been apart of this process with me since the beginning and upon the first question he asked, the tears fled my eyes. I had no idea what had just happened; I had tried to convey that I was malleable, that I was capable of executing a vision of someone else. He agreed - it had gone pretty poorly, the entire interview. Ultimately though, I was thankful for the opportunity and to experience an interview like this because it set the bar of “worst case scenario” for me.

I wasn’t able to shake that interview all weekend. The follow-up voicemail was burning a hole into my cell phone all weekend as I thought if it was worth it to have my dream job with a nightmare of a situation. As Monday approached along with my other interview with a different company, I was hanging my head pretty low with confidence. Almost too calm because of the first interview, I walked in with little expectation for this one to go outstandingly better. After a proper forty minutes, I walked out with two hand shakes, smiles, and well wishes on my travels back to Montana. O n e t h o u s a n d times better, holy cow.

But the six hour car ride home…..oh how our brains tortured themselves. We want so badly to relocate and we have been so dedicated to finding ourselves a better situation. We left Salt Lake each with one good interview and one “meh” interview. Our backup brainstorm was rampant but we kept lining it with the hope that one of these jobs was going to be the answer for us. Alas, we are in the throws of the game of time while we await responses, potential second interviews. I myself have already begun to apply to even more positions in the area, I promised Zuke I would have us a better life, a better routine.

We felt it leaving, we were already missing it. Oh Salt Lake, we will be home soon…

Calling

Open roads, new lands, and endless opportunity, oh how it tickles me with familiarity. I miss it so much. 

The other day, my partner was brainstorming with me regarding our move to Salt Lake; for me it was never really a thought, at least it hasn't been since I lived in Washington, when I also started to minimize. While house sitting for a couple for over three months, I began to adopt their practices without them even being present - it was their lifestyle that existed even when they were not there that inspired me. Slowly but surely, I would analyze my closet daily, leaving the right hand side of the closet for the clothes I picked out often to wear versus the left hand side, where the clothes that hung were not commonly chosen. Eventually I dwindled down to almost three of everything, with a handful of extra socks and underwear because let's face it, a person can never have too many socks. Socks rock. 

My life can fit into my Subaru. Does it mean that I don't miss my desk? Holy crap yes I do, I miss the freedom of that space and how much more productive it kept me. But the passing landscapes through the car windows, the silhouettes of a city of rocks surrounding you as you lay your head to rest for the day, that I will always miss more. 

There have been more times in the last six months that I have whispered into Zuke's ear, I'm going to make this better for us, I'm going to get us back on the road. For a person that doesn't dream at night, the daylight is what gives me something to stay dreamy about. A restless soul, I miss the dirt in my hair and befriending the lovely human at this week's local coffee shop; I miss the gusts of wind that make you feel like you can fly for a second and connecting with other people about the grounds we smother with our feet. 

No one ever told us, about the beautiful mess that life becomes when the structure of a classroom ceases to exist; our 9 to 5 becomes a lifestyle instead of a checklist. They don't tell you how lost you will find yourself, how the universe strings moments together to bring you yours when the time comes. Maybe if they told us, we wouldn't move, we wouldn't pursue. 

The feeling of holding a camera in my right hand, my dog tailing me, knowing that I have photos to edit when I return home to my absolute level of comfort, it's something I want to chase for the rest of my life. There was a point that I looked at that very camera and almost decided to give it all up. If I was going to delete all of my social media accounts, why take photos? But it's the dream, the wall made of cork board that's littered with my photographs, some small, some large, all full of life, with stories begging to be told as they stand as moments of time. 

I'll keep chasing it till I'm running with it. 

The Flip Side

Positivism: the art of letting your brain swim in the comforting waters of warmth, happiness, and carefree

I read it more often than I practice it: creating your own happiness. Knowing with every square inch of the muscle responsible for thinking, breathing, and blinking, it is still something that I chase relentlessly. 

Tell me, have you felt the sensation of a positive though process? Have you felt that sweeping softness that consumes the thoughts swirling around, making them all feel a little lighter, a little brighter. It's intoxicating, the bliss. 

After numerous eye rolls regarding how much better individuals feel when they dedicate the time to write five things that they are grateful for at the end of each day, I finally succumbed and tried it. The little things become more apparent: the breaths of air I get to take with ease, the two feet that allow me to walk, run, hike, and bike. 

Living with Bipolar, even with it being minimal compared to the extremes it provides, I have found myself in the ebb and flow of learning how to manage the lows in a way that it doesn't let me dip too low. That's where the above practice came into play - switching up my mentality and recognition of positives instead of negatives. Easier said than done, especially when you can't get out of bed while your mind swims in misery with itself. 

I wanted to address it because I wanted to normalize it. My daily functions exists, they have never ceased to in regards to my mental state. Somehow, there is always something that picks me up and pushes me forward. 

Medication

My heart, it's dressed with sympathy and shaking with empathy, for the individuals that do not have a choice when it comes to medication. 

Mental health is a battle nonetheless, but it's a different type of fighting, one that catches you off guard when you least expect it to. 

I've tried three different times now: anti-depression, anti-anxiety, and now a mood stabilizer. 

The first one robbed my creativity in one scoop; the second made me want to run my car head first into a brick wall at a speed that would eliminate us both; the third, the third one just made me sick. 

I took the first dosage of 5 mg, the week-long trial period of the low dose, around 10:30 am that day. I was nervous, I was excited, I was hoping to notice a change. Well, change is what I got alright. My anxiety came in first, full swing, followed by a headache/loopiness that took me off the hill after riding two laps. I couldn't keep my head up long enough without feeling like I was going to puke or straight up collapse into a little weak ball. The nausea...god that was persistent but my hunger raged as my stomach growled and groaned just hours after eating something. After finally heading home from the bike park in defeat, I collapsed onto my bed and drifted into an uncomfortable nap, tossing and turning, eyes closed but where was the sleep? 

Okay, maybe I should take this thing at night to avoid some of these symptoms. I want to be able to ride tomorrow...so at 11 pm that same day, I took my second dose, another 5 mg tablet. That night, my body was layered in a cold sweat almost all night long, my brain was tormented by such a vivid nightmare, and I woke feeling like I had never slept. It was the most sleep I had gotten all week: 7 hours and 13 minutes (fitbit tracker, thank you). I was met with an immediate headache upon opening my eyes, the kind of headache that felt like my brain and been squeezed out like a towel and then left to dry like that. Chris helped me get out of bed, out of the misery. A walk outside. Breakfast, nothing too heavy. And caffeine, just a little for Ms. Queen-Sensitivity. I got through enough of the breakfast sandwich and downed my iced chai latte; the headache was dissipating but my nausea wasn't following suit as willing. 

First bike park lap wasn't ideal, I had a hard time tracking and keeping my eyes open enough, plus my brain wasn't matching the speed I was putting out. Second lap was a bit better. Third lap, better. Fourth, fifth, it all started to come together. The nausea came in waves at this point but the headache wasn't there. After coming down the mountain and snagging some grub for lunch, my headache came back with a vengeance. On the verge of tears, I was scouring the internet to make sure I could take acetaminophen with what I was prescribed and stumbled into numerous chat groups that discussed their experiences with Abilify. Some people had no problem, others were in the same boat as me, quitting in under a week's time due to the severity of the side effects. I decided that, for me to have five out of the seven major side effects that one could potentially have, that my body was not okay with me putting this in it. 

I haven't taken another dose and do not intend to either. For me, it was debilitating more than it was ever helpful. Many will have the argument that I did not try long enough to make it through the adjustment period, however to me that is the choice of ignoring what my body is trying to communicate with me. 

My next step is to try a more holistic approach. So far, CBD has been a great alternative and something that I have been comfortable with as far as experimenting with dosage and intake. I have been limiting my THC intake as I document more of the effects felt from CBD, just to get a more legitimate read. I also quit drinking completely with plans to refrain until further notice. The next change will be my diet as best as possible, as it is difficult to do so in a small mountain town with outrageous prices. 

 

 

The Road to Biploar Diagnosis

The reality tends to ground you. Wrapping my thoughts around it. Am I angered? Hurt? Mislead? How long.......

It makes more sense the longer it lingers, yet it silences me with embarrassment, the answers that I've been looking for without searching. 

First it was behaviors: first grade. Sitting in the school nurse's office, my mother beside me in a separate chair, my hands out in front of me on the desk. We were analyzing the bleeding and pussing sides of my fingernails, a habit that no one was proving successful in breaking me of. Try Tabasco sauce? She doesn't bite them though, just picks at them. Nervous habits aka the first sign of how severe my anxiety was. 

Then it was depression: middle school. Marking my skin with a blade and watching the color seep from its protection. Sometimes that's the only reason why I did it, to watch my pain instead of feel it. My parents hid everything, but they didn't know about the cheap metal bracelets that I had received for Christmas one year, how easily they snapped in half and created a jagged blade made for carving. They found those too eventually. 

The rape didn't help: junior year, age sixteen. 

What I thought was the final diagnosis: my anxiety. Two ER admittance in under two months, unexplained pain throughout my body and physically feeling like I was getting sicker...I found myself sitting in a tiny doctor's office. She was holding my test results, all of them. The blood work, the ultrasounds, the EKGs. Her face was almost sadder than mine, for a minute. I was not ready to accept it. Your tests came back normal McKenzie...your brain is a very powerful tool, and it is making you sick. I wanted so badly to be told it was different, something fixable, something that could be removed. I walked out with three pages of therapists' contact information and a note about this being my final warning to seek help. They were demanding it of me now. 

The roller-coaster to now: bipolar diagnosis and treatment. My parents have reserved the comment of my unpredictability since I was a child; my moods were dangerous. A childhood friend of ten years, commenting the same aspect about me: always having to tip toe around what mood I might be in. Then it came from the lips of my ex partner. Fine. FINE. Maybe it's time....

Where to go from here: I am not surprised. It makes more sense the longer that I reflect on my years. Am I going to lose my creative process? Will I stop chasing such highs and stabilize? Will the lows finally not feel like the depths? Why now. Maybe there are answers still coming, of course there has to be. Why does fear rippled through me now? Maybe now I won't get as mad and shut down over a missed turn on the way home from a new place...

Processing

Numbness overcomes with great speed, I lost the feeling in my fingertips when I dialed your number for the first time since high school. 

You had looked right through me. I didn't realize that it had been the accumulation of almost ten years of friendship. 

After everything, this was the payout. 

I listened, I choked on the tears that began to flee as I found myself squandering in apologies for instances that I had never been told about. I listened to the words, "you" drip from your lips with vengeance and a forgivness that you claim to have settled your debts with. 

My rape was just a statistic to you now. Confirming the lack of emotion you had seven years ago, standing in front of me with news that we both couldn't wrap our heads around. All I wanted was for you to hold me, to let me cry, to make the reality seem a little more real. All we did was stare at each other before I couldn't look at anything but the ground. We both didn't know. 

In the midst of the most toxic relationship I've encountered, you decided it was time to forgive me, and I met your words with anger and emotion, drunk in the middle of the day, sitting on a couch in a house that was supposed to feel like home. 

I didn't ask about freshman year. You didn't ask about the rape. I never asked about your anxiety. You never let me own the disease that's riddled me since birth. You wanted it all to be yours. 

I gave you the sorry's that you deserved. You gave me more blame in return. I was trying to move forward but you decided to remain in a time that we both did not know the people we were becoming. 

You've moved on you say, so have I. Until it's nightfall, and I am crawling into bed, racking my brain for why I became nothing to you. Until it's morning, and my dreams have been cluttered with unanswered questions, robbed of sleep. 

I turned to my closest friend; in my first breath I apologized to her for who I am and she wondered in response, you're just a very independent, free spirited person and that for us to be good friends I need to not smother and nit pick stuff like that. 

My heart wept. Ten years of friendship that you had the final say on but what I finally feel liberated from. Maybe I needed for you to hate me all along, maybe it would have exposed you to be just like the girls we grew up with in high school, that you so desperately wanted to be apart of but you had me instead as a friend. 

Once again, you've taught me one of the greatest things to know about myself. Maybe now, your name will be just a memory, maybe now the memories can finally fade into the hole they belong in. For now, now I am able to give myself to people who deserve these parts of me. 

For our friends that remain lost in translation, maybe they too will have closure on a friendship that they swore would never see the end of its days. I have admitted to my faults, may you find the courage to admit yours too. 

 

 

For Emma

Sometimes,

the morning drive

carries a windshield 

full of misplaced thoughts

Maybe I was not kind enough 

to you

or to myself

Sometimes,

my mind is riddled

with the replay of memories

in the attempts of

cutting them free

from the weight of burden. 

Maybe in the fainting years

they will flee,

you and I,

like the ash from a wildfire. 

The Forgiveness You've Begged For

In a notebook, on the last page, the words sprawled across the page read, 

"maybe if you write their name enough, it will write them out of existence: your name"

I wanted to believe my own words, to rid my mouth of the taste that the two of yours brought me. 

There will always be the folks who only saw your side of everything, accepting that has been almost harder than forgiving you. It's exhausting trying to expose a soul for the light it doesn't bring to the world, begging it to just give in to kindness instead. 

More often than not, my questions drain into the universe, trying to understand why our paths crossed, laced with thorns and gasoline, ready for ignition. Nothing has tasted more like poison bleeding on my tongue than the memory of you. 

I told my side, you said it was riddled with inaccuracy, and my head shook with the understanding that change was not something you were capable of; people don't soften over night, people don't soften over days or months, they soften when they're present under the blanket of genuine connection. 

In the years of understanding, I have been told too often that god, whatever or whoever that may be, gives his toughest warriors the hardest battles. I sank to the depths of responsibility for a life that felt ruined and wasted as I watched you deplete me with each passing hour of everyday. I couldn't fight this one for myself, it was all that I ever could feel or remember when I thought about leaving. 

But my reward has been sweet. It has been soft, kind, and luminous. It has been understanding and patient, it has been unconditional. It has been worth the journey, the wait, the misunderstandings, and the burdens. It was worth experiencing you to comprehend what love is supposed to feel, look, breathe, and live like. 

For that alone, I release you, your memory, our past. But you will live in infamy on the pages of the book that young girls will read, reminding them to wait for a love that does not hurt them.   

s.b. may this be your final chapter in the lessons I hope you learned

Today

Today is the day

forgiveness swelling in my veins

it's time to not just forget

but remember and release. 

Today is the day

that they will have to form

their own opinion 

about the soul that you carry

and what it's capable of. 

Today is the day

that your name crumbles

into the winds of change

as if nothing was.

Today

is freedom. 

Write-Up: Nexplanon (the arm implant of birth control)

On May 3, 2018 I received the Nexplanon Arm Implant,  a birth control method that is covered by almost all insurances and that allows you the freedom from remembering a daily pill. I wanted to share my experience to serve as a reference point for women who are considering other birth control options.  

Birth control usage history: 

I was a junior in high school, stuffing three packets of birth control into my backpack from a friend who had switched and did not need them anymore. I was desperate and way too scared to inform my parents that I needed a doctor's appointment for the sex that didn't think I was having....so a friend helped me out. *Disclaimer: I do not recommend this method; if you need birth control, seek a professional.*

When I finally did come clean about the fact that I was on birth control, my mother was not overly pleased but she was glad that I had at least thought that part through. She was more displeased that I did not just come to her in the first place. So, I scheduled a doctor's appointment to be assessed for a birth control option that would work best for me. At the time, my only options were the traditional pill format, that was taken daily and still had me producing blood during my menstrual cycle. I personally did not notice any specific weight changes; my acne remained as it had before and I even began to experience less painful periods. They were not usually debilitating, like they can be for some women, and this was not my reasoning for wanting to be on birth control. I simply was strongly against becoming pregnant, ever. 

In 2013, before leaving for New Zealand, I began to experience side effects from my birth control pills that caused major headaches, back aches, and increased cramping during my period. I decided to come off of The Pill. 

I did not return to this method until I was living back in the United States, where I sought out a medical professional to reassess me for a new prescription. She prescribed me a birth control pill that had a lower dosage of estrogen in it, hoping that with the lowered amount, I would not experience the side effects mentioned previously. It worked great for me. 

In the midst of increased anxiety levels, my depression began to take a stronger hold over me, and I was again questioning the pills that I was putting into my body. I was convinced that, having taken birth control pills since I was sixteen, I was suffering from imbalances at this point. Taking an increasingly large notice over my behavior and reactions, I decided that it was time to start exploring what other options I had. 

After moving to Montana, my health insurance completely covered the costs of birth control and I made an appointment as soon as I could. Luckily, my doctor let me ask questions for 45 minutes, as I was extremely anxious to have something placed into my body. My options included the arm implant and a vaginal implant. I made the appointment for the insertion, choosing to go first with the arm implant, Nexplanon, in case I ended up freaking out about having a foreign object in my body. 

 This was taken just hours after the procedure was finished, I bruised pretty much immediately and my arm was tenderly swollen.&nbsp;

This was taken just hours after the procedure was finished, I bruised pretty much immediately and my arm was tenderly swollen. 

The Insertion: 

I chose to have the device in my left arm (non-dominant arm for me). It felt very much like a dental visit: I sat in the chair, my arm was slightly elevated into position, and I was given a shot to numb the area of my arm that would be minimally sliced open for the device. I felt nothing, in fact, I had to ask my doctor if he had even placed the implant because in less than five minutes it was completely over. The implant is supposed to be inserted in the layers closest to your skin, not deep tissue, therefore making it somewhat visible and easy to touch/check on. My upper arm remained numb for roughly five to seven hours after the procedure and no soreness on day one. I did notice a minimal amount of swelling, to the point that it was not comfortable to wear my watch on my wrist or have a hair tie in place. 

 

Day two was different. I developed bruising at the site (common for most) and my upper arm was extremely sore, all the way into my shoulder. This comes as little surprise if you are familiar with receiving a shot, however the soreness extended a few days past what I was hoping for. The only marking left on my skin is a small dot of a scar from where I was cut open. I experienced the soreness in my arm for about one week in totality and my "recovery" lasted around two to three weeks before I began to stop noticing it's presence. 

 

 First week with the implant; here you can see the bruising that I&nbsp; had for roughly 1.5 weeks.

First week with the implant; here you can see the bruising that I  had for roughly 1.5 weeks.

The Adjustment Period:

I received my implant just days prior to my scheduled period according to my pill packet. This is the preferred method so that you do not have to continue to use your pills after the implant is inserted. That being said, my period came roughly three days later than expected and nothing was out of the norm. *side note, I highly recommend The Diva Cup as you will save tons of money on a very sanitary device that won't give you TSS*

After having about three days of spotting, lighter flow, my period was gone and I did not experience any of the expected spotting that I was told might happen within the first three to six months with the device, until roughly two months after my last period. 

 A close up look at the implant; you can see the faint 3 inch line that rests under the surface of my skin. The darker, single spot marks the incision site used for implantation.&nbsp;

A close up look at the implant; you can see the faint 3 inch line that rests under the surface of my skin. The darker, single spot marks the incision site used for implantation. 

The spotting was extremely light and not as irritating as it could have been; I did use my Diva Cup but noticed that even with a whole day of it in, I was not producing nearly enough blood to really have it in (exciting news for me). I was informed before agreeing to the implant, that my period could and would most likely totally disappear, much like the IUD implants. 

So far, all that I have noticed in the sense of discomfort, is that certain ways that I slept made it feel like the little implant was going to slide right out of my arm through the incision site (ridiculous of me to think this...I even asked my doctor about that possibility and he laughed a little with me). The longer that I have had, the less I notice it now, and sometimes it even is something to fidget with. It definitely feels like you've been "chipped" in the sense that it is RIGHT under the surface layer of your outer skin, sometimes being visible depending on your arm movement (noticeable in my opinion if you already know it's there). 

So why did I not go with the IUD vaginal implant?

Fear. For me, the arm implant is easy to have removed, easier than having something go potentially wrong and needing to have it removed in an emergency. This was my top concern as I can be overly sensitive to pains that my body produces and I tend to jump to conclusions. Having the arm implant right under the surface of my skin gives me the ability to "check" on it, something that I did religiously for the first three months of it being in. 

I have yet to meet another woman who has the arm implant however I have found myself surrounding by women who have chosen the IUD instead. Their stories vary from having a painful adjustment period but beyond that, nothing negative. In fact, I have had some gals excitedly tell me, "I LOVE this thing", commenting that their partners have not been aware of the implant unless otherwise told about it. 

Overall, I would and will get the arm implant again, as it's due to renewal in three years anyways. I have been extremely pleased with the switch, even though my doctors claimed that the hormones in my pills could not have been affecting my moods, reactions, or emotions (I still don't agree with them on this). The freedom of not having to remember a pill is by far the best one so far; I live an active life that involves a lot of time away from home base sometimes and therefore remembering to pack pills was often times forgotten and I would get into phases of "oops *pops two pills on day three of forgetting*". 

Want to share your story, thoughts, or questions? Please feel free to comment below or to personally email me at mckenzieroers@hotmail.com

Please visit https://www.nexplanon.com/ for more information!

Not For You

Here...

I am not here for you. Not for your opinions, not for your judgement, not to know if you are listening or if you are ignoring. If I was here for you, there would be no sustain. 

Rash. Rude. Unexquisite. 

I was not designed to be defined by the guidelines that were given to me by someone who does not live and breathe in this body. 

I felt myself give way to the perceptions of others, I felt your eyes lay judgement on me while you learned to hate me through the words coming from my own lips. 

Who set your world on fire? Who keeps throwing gasoline onto it?

Use your wings.

Use your might.

Put out it.

Make it right. 

You beg for my wandering eyes, the weightlessness in my footsteps, but when have you turned to yourself for the love you crave? 

A picture of perfection could never be painted, perfection is a myth, the greatest lie of our time, dressed in variety, dancing with superficiality. 

To let another soul, tell you that she wears hers always with a smile, does not mean that you must too; take his words and wrap it in the pretty lace he hoped to experience you in later and remind him that he has no place to say what is sweeter or softer than you. 

If I was conceived to bear comparison, I would have already been drifting at the will of the wind as dust and ash.