Long Overdue. (By A Lot)

I am not sure where to begin with this post (hangs head). I mean… it’s been a reaaaallllly long time since my last post. And I can tell you one thing for sure: Not writing is not indicative of not wanting to write or not having anything useful to say. (Let’s be real, I ALWAYS have something to say.) It is indicative of that life moment we reach where our brains (my brain) cannot churn out more than it’s taking in. For well over 18 months, I’ve been hard at work on a project. Work projects, especially exciting ones, have a way of sucking me in like that jet engine did to all of those caped superheros in The Incredibles. Late last week, it spit me back out and I am re-assembling myself accordingly.

Atlanta. Next week marks a year I packed up my life and headed south for work and for a better quality of life while I worked. The move represented a burst of self-preservation that had long been dormant for reasons I won’t bore you with. But I’ve adjusted just fine. More importantly, MY HAIR has adjusted just fine. And my New Yawk accent? Happy to report it is so ingrained that no amount of y’alls I let slip shall shake it loose.

Golf. I know, GOLF?? Just checking if you’re still with me… I’ve been learning the game with a great coach and am proud to report I have a pretty decent swing. He seems pleased with me, and our morning lessons are some of the funniest moments of my day/week.

Volunteering. I am still at it, completing 12-hour shifts each month at the local rape crisis center. I was doing the 7pm-7am shift on weekdays but they were kicking my butt because I never really slept on those nights and they rendered me worthless for the high level of work I wanted to achieve each day in my real job. Also, my sleep room had some, um, critters I wasn’t too fond of. It happens. But I couldn’t sleep after that. So, I do day shifts 7am-7pm now instead. What I am struck most by the victims I encounter is the variety of ways rapists operate yet the commonality in their actions. The end goal is always to overpower, take what isn’t theirs and think nothing of it. One victim, in particular, has stayed with me well past our time together. She was so shocked, so… struggling to grasp her new reality. And I just watched her beautiful, tormented face in the very early morning hours, unable to take that from her. Those moments are gut punches and they are renewal to someone who works in an industry that has very much lost its way.

What’s Next. I spoke two weeks ago in Austin at a summit for high school athletes and will write a separate post about that. It was a fulfilling and challenging experience for me that I am certain helped me grow as a speaker. Up next, I am traveling to university athletic departments this fall to speak about sexual violence and healthy relationships. I could not be more excited about those opportunities. In some ways, they are my sanity. I feel a super strong pull toward that kind of work lately, like I’m up against the clock or something to get to as many people as possible to talk through this crime.

Life. I’m not certain anything this past year will resemble anything in this coming year. And that’s ok. Life is a series of skins to shed. To wriggle out of and take on the new. I look forward to fiercely reclaiming my personal time and my sense of peace. I deserve it. I keep telling myself that – I DESERVE BETTER. Furthermore,  I am putting down roots, best I know how. The fatigue of having a litter of addresses and no one place to truly call “home” has gnawed at me for so long. I think I’ve finally fixed that. I look forward to telling you all about it soon.

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