justsylvari

Just another polar bear adrift in the sea

Ain’t no Mountain High Enough May 1, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — sylvarih @ 12:59 am

When most of us were younger we couldn’t wait to get older. There was always a magical age where we thought all the problems and misery we were currently experiencing would disappear. Life would be stress free and we could do whatever we wanted. Then you get older and realize each age comes with it’s own set of rules and regulations and you set the bar for the next landmark age. We take on roles which add to the constraints we feel. Brother, son, father, mother, daughter, wife the list goes one. Each label locks us in to a role a mask we put on that hides our true selves until the masks become our reality as well. It’s ok though. We comfort ourselves with the knowledge that the next age, the next milestone we will be free in some way. We will ascend the mountain of our personal universe and live the life we think we would live if only we were not held back by .. well.. life.
Then hopefully comes the moment when you realize that the only one putting expectations on you is yourself. That freeing moment when you understand that approval from other people when you meet their expectations isn’t important. There is no magical age where you are free to start living the life you want to except the one you are right now. If people walk away from you because you chose to be true to yourself it’s ok. That doesn’t make them a horrible person nor does it make you one. It makes you people whose paths have diverged and that is ok. Many will stay and new people will join you in joy.
Today I am walking my own path. If you feel up to it come join me for a bit.

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Strangers in the Flight January 15, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — sylvarih @ 10:44 pm

This will come as no shock to some of you but I love flying. Airports are a great way to meet random fabulous people and make connections. Some will be brief and some last longer but it’s the fun of meeting new people that makes me enjoy this mode of travel so much. It also lets me eavesdrop on conversations that probably shouldn’t be had in a public space.
Today as I waited for my flight I overheard a young woman on the phone alternately crying and swearing angrily about someone who had done her wrong it seems. In truth I was on her side until she said ” Well I’m sorry I hurt her feelings but I certainly am not sorry for what I said”
Oh man… talk about a blast from the past. How many times my ex said that to me are too too many. This is such a classic non-apology. She isn’t sorry for anything but she needs to find a way to say she is sorry without admitting she is wrong. It reeks of narcissism.
Then there was the lady with the dog who did not understand why she had to board last even thought she had been reserved front row seats. I get that you need your dog with you but have a little compassion for the flight crew. Have a little compassion for the dog too. Not having to deal with a steady stream of humanity might make the flight a little more relaxing for him too.
A lovely lady who thought, despite having a boarding number of 56 she could slip in with the first 20 passengers. Then decided to double down on her rudeness by insisting it didn’t matter what number she had because we all had to get on the plane anyway. To which the gate agent said “Exactly, so why not wait your turn”
A poor young fellow who had clearly just broken up with his girlfriend and went through all five stages of grief on the phone with one of his bros.
Right now as I type there is a couple from Green Bay absolutely delighted by the fact that their team is trouncing the Cowboys. The rest of the restaurant/bar is solidly behind them despite being fans of the Pats, Seahawks, Broncos and even one lone Raider fan. Terrible fun.
In an age where many people see flying as a chore or burden I sit here among my fellow humans and simply enjoy their many faces.

 

That’s it! I’m pulling over the car June 12, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — sylvarih @ 7:43 pm

This morning in response to my statement that I have no sympathy for the Stanford Rapists mom and her statement that she now fears for her son’s safety a person I know said that he feels sorry for any parent who fears for their child’s safety. And I thought about whether or not my response was too harsh. Then the news about the nightclub shooting in Orlando came across my Facebook feed and things slid into perspective.

So I say “fuck her and people like her”. She should worry about her son’s safety. He is a safety risk to everyone who he comes into contact with. She thinks it’s unfair to lump him in with child molesters and pedophiles. Because somehow raping a grown woman is less serious than raping a child. As someone who was molested as a child and assaulted as an adult let me tell you there isn’t enough of a difference. So I say “fuck her and people like her”.

My son is gay. He and his husband lived in Orlando for many years. While they aren’t the clubbing type it still I pause and think about his safety. As I do all the time. He is at risk every day from hate like the hate which was behind the Orlando attack. Not because he is sick enough to attack a vulnerable human being like the Stanford rapist but because he chooses to love in a way some disagree with. So I say “fuck her and people like her”

My daughters only crime is being female in a society that treats us as property or less than our male counterparts. I worry about her safety every day because if, gods forbid, someone like the Stanford rapist choses to indulge in “20 minutes of action” she will be the one who suffers, who is humiliated by a system that still sees us as chattel, who will be forever changed by someone else’s violence. So I say “fuck her and people like her”

Those people in Orlando were killed for the unforgivable sin of being alive. The woman in Stanford was raped for the unforgivable sin of being in the path of a rapist. The people who preyed upon both do not deserve safety. They do not deserve to be in the company of good people. The mother who fears for a son she clearly thinks doesn’t deserve to be known as a danger to the people around him doesn’t deserve that comfort. Her son is a monster. He is the danger and other mothers need to know so they can keep their children safe. So I say “Fuck her and people like her”

To the people who think the gunman in Orlando did the right thing, to the people who are intolerant to the LGBTQ community, to those who think that cruel jokes, disrespect, anger, insults and hate speech to those of us who do not fit into the mainstream are ok because they are only words I say “fuck you and people like you”.

You are part of the problem and you should be ashamed.

 

Thou shall not pass June 11, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — sylvarih @ 6:34 pm

I’ve been sitting here for a while trying to figure out how to write what is in my mind down on paper in a way that makes it coherent and meaningful. As you can see..I’m not doing such a great job. So let me tell you a few stories instead.

I have a friend whose husband gets “handsy” when he has a few drinks. He will inappropriately touch the women around him. No one says anything because they don’t want to make a scene or hurt the wife.

I have a friend whose spiritual leader made inappropriate sexual comments to her. Because they held a position of power over their progress and spiritual well being she feared setting boundaries.

I have a friend whose boss put her in a position of choosing to share a room with a male co-worker or lose her job. When she refused the boss relented and got her her own room but slowly cut her hours back until she was forced to find something else.

I have a friend whose partner frequently made inappropriate sexual comments to and about other people. She kept silent because she felt she had to keep the relationship.

I have a friend whose partner assumed that because she is bisexual that she would willing sleep with a girl he found “for them” even though he never asked her beforehand.

I could go on but most women who read this understand the scenarios I laid out. We are asked every day to put up with, to compromise, to think about the other person’s feelings first and so on. We get this. One of the things that makes women seek out groups of other women is to get relief from these daily intrusion by the men around us. These sisterhood gatherings are our safe spaces. They should be.

This is why it’s so important to treat our sisters (and all women are our sisters no matter their background or biology) with love and respect. Lately I have seen women treating others poorly. We are each other’s safe space from the world, yet so often we are bogged down by jealousy, pettiness, possessiveness or a need to make others as miserable as ourselves.

I’m here to ask us to stop. Men intrude upon us every day.They push themselves into our space, take their desire out on our bodies and minds whether we want it or not, put their wants over ours. Even the nicest, most enlightened still have moments of stepping over the line. It doesn’t make them bad, just male. With all the bullshit coming from them let’s not add to it.

Let’s be sisters. Let’s stop treating each other horribly and stand together.

 

I am woman January 31, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — sylvarih @ 3:09 pm
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I know some pretty amazing women. All ages, all sorts of jobs, all sorts of sizes, shapes and body configurations. The one thing they all have in common is their ability to be amazing time and time again.

They’re not always perfect. Many of them are struggling with personal issues that would stop an average person in their tracks but they keep on chugging along. Many of them face uphill battles with devastating physical aliments. They are part of all sorts of relationships including enjoying one with just themselves. Kids, no kids, dog people, cat people, no pet people and so on..

There is no real point to this post except wanting to sing their praises. Ask yourself this… do you know me? Are you a woman? Then I am talking about you! Yes.. you. I think you’re fabulous.

 

Keep on keeping on January 26, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — sylvarih @ 11:42 am

This is going to be a little rambly so bear with me kids.

It is sometimes surprising the things you learn about yourself in the strangest places or oddest moments. Like your car or the shower or the parking lot of a Walmart. (they have a good price on Fage. Don’t judge) Last week with Mercury going out of retrograde it was my turn to be graced by the clue by four not once but twice. Some girls get all the luck.

First was the realization that I am simply not made for sitting still. Oh don’t get me wrong, I like a good couch surf as much as the next person but honestly, if I want to be active I have to stay active. Doing so makes me happy. This may seem like a no-brainer to you but we can’t all be graced with that kind of wisdom. For a long time now there has been this huge internal struggle where I beat myself up because I have no energy to do the things that need to be done when the cure all along was to simply keep moving and almost if by magic things get done. Who knew! Just as a rolling stone gathers no moss a rolling Sylvari gathers no …. things. Since going back to an outside of the house job things have gotten cleaned, food has been cooked in buckets, working out has happened on a somewhat regular basis (ish) gyms have been joined so weights can be lifted! However the biggest and best part is that being busy simply makes me happy. It’s not a perfect system but it’s a damn sight better than the one I was using.

The second was that sisterhood is far more important to me than I thought. Not those sisters forced on you by circumstances of birth but the ties that women share that men, as much as we love them, simply can’t understand. The most important of these is a feeling of safety. After hearing the story of a lovely lady in the Pagan community¬†whose story of a person in a position of authority who took advantage of her I am filled with rage. We should be protecting one another. We should be able to go into circle, take a teaching, even just spend time with those in who we placed a sacred trust without the pressure or fear of unwanted attention or manipulation. Worse is when progress in your path is held back as a way to manipulate those women. I am angered on her behalf and on behalf of any woman who has fallen prey to unscrupulous so called religious leaders. My goal is to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else if I can help it. From this moment forward I’m calling people out on their poor behavior. grr…

In other news , seeds and plants are ordered for the new gardens. Fifty six days till spring.

 

He ain’t heavy January 23, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — sylvarih @ 1:25 am

He’s my half brother. Some of you may already know parts of this story. For those who do just read past the first part.

For most of my life I have been fatherless. Even my birth certificate lists no paternal name for..reasons. It honestly hasn’t bothered me since leaving grade school and the obligatory “make something that looks like a tie for Father’s Day” crafting projects. Over the years curiosity about my ancestors on the unknown side of my family was the one lingering question in the back of my mind. Asking my mom was not an option. On the few occasions I was brave enough to do so I was quickly shut down.

When she passed away it was time to do a little digging around. The first place I looked were the DNA ancestry sites. Knowing my mom’s family came from Poland meant anything that wasn’t clearly Eastern European would be from my father’s people. In theory. I tried DNA Tribes first. Interesting information but not quite enough. Then 23andMe came along with their family finder feature (weeee!!ffffffffffun) and I thought..ok, a distant cousin or two might be fun to know in a distant, non- stalker way, so I signed up. Now we were cooking with gas! There was some fun information about the amount of Neanderthal DNA I carried, (lots) where my earliest maternal ancestress came from (Siberia or Iran) and my British Isles heritage. Plus cousins! Not close mind you, but people with names. I learned a lot about mtDNA that year.

Then Ancestry.com had a sale on their DNA testing kit. So I gave it a go. Pinky and I had spent quite a bit of time there going down a rabbit hole of family tree research. Being able to combine the fun of tracing my known roots with the possibility of tracing my unknown roots was too good a combination to resist. So I took the plunge. Then something I did not expect happened. I had a relative. A close relative. First cousins or better close. Eep! Nervously I reached out.

And met a sweet man. We exchanged information, he put forth the theory that maybe his grandfather might be my unknown father but he would poke his dad and grandfather for more information.

Now understand, as a child I just assumed my mom didn’t include my father in my life because for whatever reason she simply didn’t want him to know about me. as I got older I assumed it was because he had another family, another life, that I could not for reasons, be a part of nor should I be. As my grandmother enjoyed reminding me I was just a bastard. A mistake of immense proportions. So I approached these newly found potential family members cautiously. After all as far as the 12 year old in me knew, they didn’t want me bringing my bastard spooge into their golden family circle. All I was looking for were names to add to the barren side of my family tree. What I got was something else entirely.

I got a brother. Once Ancestry and digging made it clear that the father of this newly minted first cousin or closer (now nephew) and I were related in that serious way. Nervously I waited to see what his first email would bring. His reply was “welcome to our dysfunctional family” . *sound of birds singing as the sun appears from the clouds in a Monty Python-esque cut scene*

Fast forward thru a bunch of emails and a few aborted attempts to work up the time and nerve to call and here we are today. Today my shiny new, wonderfully welcoming brother has informed me he will be in my neck of the woods next week (or the week after) and would like to meet me. EEp! again! Of course I want to meet him but there is still this voice in my head that says who wants a black sheep. Luckily for me I am well versed in ignoring that voice.

What an adventure this year has been already.

 

 
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