#AtoZchallenge Q is for Quiet

Q

“Our culture is biased against quiet and reserved people, but introverts are responsible for some of humanity’s greatest achievements.” –Susan Cain

Famous Introverts-

  • Albert Einstein
  • Bill Gates
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Rosa Park
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • JK Rowling
  • Al Gore
  • Mahtma Gandhi
  • Michael Jordan
  • Meryl Streep
  • Charles Darwin
  • Frederic Chopin
  • Emma Watson
  • Courtney Cox
  • Laura Bush
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Candice Bergen
  • Roy Rogers
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Elton John
  • Lady Gaga

and the list goes on and on.

I consider that an impressive list and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m very quiet. I can sit at a meeting and never feel the need to speak. I hear things that no one else does because they are all talking. There is strength in being quiet and I think it intimidates those who are not. When I point out something that I heard, people appear shocked, as if my ability to hear and think is directly connected to my participation in the dialogue. It is interesting what you hear when people are talking and they think no one is listening. (I know, why are they talking if they don’t want to be heard? Well, maybe you can tell me!) I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard a comment, not meant to be heard by the entire group, uttered loud enough to be heard. Now, I’m talking about a meeting setting where a group of people are sitting around a table, with multiple conversations taking place at once. Almost always, people are talking over each other and as I look around the room, I wonder if I’m the only one listening. It’s draining and probably a good thing that no one expects me to talk- except sometimes I do have something to say…

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” -Susan Taylor

And then there is the other quiet. In a world that is filled with chaos, craziness, and sensory overload, I cherish my quiet time. I especially find myself seeking quiet places since so many of my days are filled with an energetic, talkative two year old! There are times when I find myself in complete silence, no tv or music, no talking- just quiet time. And although music is like an instant anxiety reliever, the silence around me really energizes me and gives my batteries the recharge they need.

I’m sitting in my family room right now, my Netflix show having been paused for a half hour now, listening to Ari’s breathing getting deeper and more relaxed as she settles into her nap, hearing the wind blowing,making a whooshing sound down the fireplace. The ice maker just whipped up a fresh batch of cubes and they clattered into their bin. There is ticking from the clock and creaks and groans from the house as it settles, although I’m not sure why it’s still settling after standing here for over 70 years…

I have approximately an hour before my two year old buddy awakes from his nap, and then it’s back to building block towers, pounding out tunes on the xylophone accompanied by singing and dancing, and all the noise and energy that little guy brings. And my quiet time will come to an end until later tonight, when it will be much needed- AGAIN!

Hope your day is filled with quiet or chaos or both- it’s up to you!

-Kat

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

#AtoZChallenge P is for Peace

P

“Peace is not something you wish for. It’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” – John Lennon

peace
pēs/
noun
  1. freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
    “you can while away an hour or two in peace and seclusion”
    I not only desire peace in my life, I NEED it. I function best in a peaceful environment with a peaceful mind. Having peace in my family is key to everyone’s happiness.
    IMG_4337And it doesn’t happen overnight or just because I say it is going to be- it takes work. Not everyone wants peace or even thrives on it, like I do. I’m aware that there are people who crave chaos and disorder and noise. And that is where they are happiest. I’m just not one of those people.
    In order for me to be at peace, I need peace. 🙂

    How about you? -Kat

 

 

#AtoZChallenge O is for Oddball

O

As I searched for quotes for this challenge, I came across some that I really liked but they just didn’t fit in any specific category that I was looking for. And when I began looking for quotes for the letter O, I found that I wasn’t really feeling any of my O options. So- O is for Oddball Quotes:

  • “Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.” -Emma Watson
  • “Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
  • “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” -William Shakespeare
  • “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi
  • “No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere.” – Sheryl Crow
  • “Never apologize for being nerdy because unnerdy people never apologize for being assholes.” -John Barrowman

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Have a great day!

-Kat

 

Here Goes

It’s been awhile but here is a “straight from my heart and unedited” post regarding last week’s episode of Survivor: Game Changers.

In case you are not familiar with this-

On last week’s reality show- Survivor- one contestant outed a fellow tribe member as transgender during tribal council. If you google it, I’m sure you will find videos and articles galore. I just can’t share a link or the video. I can’t.

Occasionally something comes up that I just need to say.  I need to let the words flow and I have to let them just land. As a writer, I tend to do a ton of editing and proof reading and re-reading……but when one of these posts comes up, well, I listen to my heart and I let them be. Of course, if I had shared the video, it might be easier to follow my ramblings but I really can’t do it. I went back and began watching the segment for a second time and I couldn’t finish.

As you may or may not know, outing a transgender person is wrong. It’s bad. You don’t do it. NEVER! There is absolutely no context in which it might be okay to do. The only person who has the right to share that very private thing is the person himself or herself.

As I sat watching Zeke’s reaction to being outed on national television by someone he might have trusted or at the very least thought he had formed a connection with, I recognized that look on his face. I have a trans kid. And although I have not been witness to them being outed unexpectedly, I watched my child at more social functions than I want to remember with a similar expression on their face. I recognized the tightness in his shoulders, the clench of his jaw, the checked out look in his eyes.

Zeke always knew that there was a chance he might be outed. Every transgender person who is just trying to live their life runs that risk. And I myself cannot imagine living with that- always wondering if today would be the day that someone would say something- and then how would people react. Because people always react- even when they don’t. I’ve witnessed that more times than I can count.

My heart aches for Zeke. It aches for anyone who is trying to live and finding themselves in a world that has all of these antiquated gender roles and stereotypes and expectations placed on them by society. I’m fairly certain that Zeke will be fine. I sincerely hope that he is fine and that this does not cause him to lose people in his life. I know- if he had people in his life that cannot be part of his life upon finding out that he is trans, then goodbye and good riddance. But the thing is, he will take a hit that won’t be easy to recover from. Once again, I can fall back on the experiences my kid has been faced with. The world can be an unfriendly place for transgender people. My kid is grown up so I have no control over the people they come into contact with or how they are treated. And as my child is in a different place than Zeke- being non-binary- their experience in more recent times is also very different than it was when they transitioned to male back 5 years ago.

But outing Zeke was not the only thing Jeff V did that night at Tribal Council. He made a conscious choice to use Zeke being transgender as evidence of Zeke’s deceitful nature- painting him as someone who could not be trusted because after all he was keeping his transition a secret. That was adding insult to injury. Each and every part of a transgender person’s transition is private and theirs to decide if they want to share. It does not imply that a person is deceitful. Quite frankly it’s no one’s business if a person is taking hormones or has had surgery.

There are many people who know little about what it means to be transgender. They don’t understand. Some are afraid of what they don’t understand and that fear drives them to act in some pretty cruel ways. They don’t realize how deeply their words or actions wound. (I want to think that they DON’T realize, because to willfully hurt someone like that- well, ask Jeff V how that worked for him right now?)

There are people who look through transgender people. It’s like they don’t exist, as if by being transgender, they have lost their right to be recognized as a person. Once again, I’ve watched it happen to my child. It might be worse than those hurtful words or cold stares- I don’t know. I just know it chills me to my bones, makes my blood boil and causes me to not be able to sit still and do nothing. And yet, I have had to do nothing when it happens to my child. Why? Because if I was to confront any of these people for looking through my child, as if they don’t exist anymore, I would probably do bodily harm. Unfortunately my kid has grown used to it and shrugs it off. I can’t. And now because Jeff V was willing to do anything to stay in a game, Zeke runs the risk of becoming invisible to people he thought he knew.

And since I brought him up again- Jeff V- the villain. Did he mean to hurt Zeke as terribly as he did? I don’t know. Did he know that what he was doing was wrong? I believe so. Did he realize that he had crossed a line? Maybe, maybe not. But he did think his strategy through so at some point, I find it hard to believe that it did not occur to him that what he was planning on doing was VERY BAD.

Enough about him

I would like to talk about Zeke’s tribe mates. How incredible were they! Their outrage, cries of anger and distress, support of Zeke…. all of it. I studied all of them as the scene played out. Tai and Andrea were immediately upset, crying out and calling Jeff V out for his actions. Debbie and Sarah were slower to speak but also expressed their feelings. And then there was Ozzy. See, my husband and I have been watching old seasons of Survivor and we recently watched Ozzy’s first time on the show. He’s grown up a lot over the years and I was curious about his reaction. He tends to be pretty calm and cool, and as he was not reacting, I was wondering…. Ozzy is a quiet guy so as is the case with most quiet people (see me raising my hand), others make assumptions based on absolutely nothing instead of just asking. I wasn’t sure what he was thinking. And then I heard his voice and he weighed in. Zeke’s entire tribe was on his side.

If the real world can be an unfriendly place for transgender people at times , the internet can be merciless. Small people get very brave hiding behind a computer screen. I read people accusing Survivor of staging it- that the entire thing was a carefully scripted ratings grabber. These people aren’t actors. And that chaos at Tribal Council was genuine. There are some things you can’t fake. Zeke’s shell-shocked expression, Jeff Probst’s face (and if you are a Survivor fan- you know that he’s Mr. Cool- even he was shocked and appalled at Jeff V’s words).

This episode shook me to my core. It dredged up emotions that I hadn’t felt since the early days of Kris coming out. It woke the protective mom in me and I wanted to hug Zeke and do battle with Jeff V.

But it also did something else- we are a long way from late summer of 2011 when Kris came out to us. We have gone through so many highs and lows. We have lost people and gained people. To some people who  might not have been present for the past nearly 6 years, we might appear to be only slightly changed by time and nothing more. I realize that 2017 Kris looks very much like what 1993-2011 Kerri might look today and nothing like 2011-2015 Kris did. And yet watching that episode brought all that we have been through with Kris back to the surface. It reminded me of how many people I have had the pleasure of meeting and adding to that special list I call friends. It showed me how much I have changed personally- how I came into my own as a person through Kris’s journey.

And it made me the Kat that I am today who is going to add a few tags and a category to this post and press that Publish button without looking back.

#AtoZChallenge N is for Nature

N

“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” -Albert Einstein

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Today is a great day to get out and appreciate the beauty that nature has to offer!

-Kat

#AtoZChallenge M is for Music

M

“Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I’m not sure I agree with this statement. I know that although I love music, I would rather write while listening to music than make the music. My youngest child, Andy, is blessed to be both a gifted writer and musician. His eloquence with words, innate humor and endless imagination could have easily led him to a career in writing.

In middle school he took part in a solo competition, where he played his trombone accompanied by a pianist in a room where he was judged by a music teacher he did not know. He was around 12 years old at the time. The only people in the room besides the judge were my husband and me. As always, my husband was video taping.

His solo began without incident but as he went to turn the first page, we saw a look of panic cross his face. While the pianist was playing, he mouthed to us, ‘Missing a page!’ I bent down to search through his belongings, not even sure what I was looking for. He completed the song without the missing music and with my husband whispering, “Does he have it memorized?” I kept my facial expression positive and supportive as I hissed back, “No clue.”

Afterward while the judge worked on the score, Andy spoke briefly with his pianist, we thanked her and then we awaited his results. Andy shared with us that he had improvised a good part of the song, making sure he was back in place when he reached the part where he had the music once more.

That day Andrew received the highest rating, with impressive comments from the judge. We never knew if he realized that Andy had been winging it. His ability to think quickly on his feet and improvise served him well. If he had been giving a speech and that happened, I’m not sure if the words would have come that quickly.

But he chose music. And that’s where he should be.

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat