Timbrus Wine

A few friends asked me to take some photos at a wine tasting they were hosting.  The wine was Timbrus under Purcari Estate.  The oenologist who helps create the wines is Spanish Manuel Ortiz Martinez was also at the event.

I nearly jumped out of my socks – its not clear to me if I was wearing socks at the time but if I was – then I jumped out of them.  I almost felt like a real-life photographer at this party.  It was so awesome.

This was my first time actually taking more focused pictures of people and it was actually really fun.  People actually posed for me and that gave me this feeling of great excitement.

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Can I just start telling people I don’t want to talk to them because their entire being makes me anxious?

Have you ever met someone that literally makes your internal anxiety organ twitch? Not a slight twitch either – like a full on muscle spasm?

I meet people like that sometimes and I feel as though I should have a universal pass that says:

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my calling card

Personally, I’d like to think they’d be so caught off guard my clear lack of understanding of human anatomy that they’d wouldn’t notice as I try to melt into the closest wall.  But, they might believe the anxio-brachial organ exists.  Does it sound official enough? Someone let me know.

While we are at it,  invisibility is really something I have to work on.  Every once in a blue moon, I have days where I wake up and say, “You know what! I feel fancy today.  I would like to be noticed.” Without fail, two hours later someone does that exact thing.  Except the exact thing is a man on the street groping you.  The universe basically said ‘Fuck you” and I went back to hiding in my house.  Or under my desk.  Or in my bed.  Or hiding behind a food stand, because I saw someone from work and my first instinct is to run in the other direction.  My survival instincts are clearly intact even if they are usually flawed in logic.  I have a great penchant for hiding from people I don’t want to see, but then I ignore a bladder infection for three days for no reason and don’t tell anyone.  When I kick the bucket, it’s going to be for ignoring something strange and some person will find my body 6 days later.  The autopsy will show something mundane and everyone will be confused and suspect fowl play.  Flowers of Lys, I say (GoT reference).

I’m not sure how I spun that paragraph to end with me dead, but oh well.  The entire point of this post which I’ve done a great job deviating from is that some people make the anxio-meter go up 100 points and I’d like a pass in dealing with them.  Inevitably, I fumble and they freak out because usually they are people in some kind of position of power (shocking, I know) and then I spend three hours trying figure out how to ask them a question or re-type an email 85 times.

You know who I really need those cards for, though.  Those people in the mall who want to stop and talk to you about your skin.  Also, god. Anyone in a mall stand who accosts you instead of following the WELL KNOWN RULE THAT NO ONE WANTS YOUR HELP THEY JUST WANT TO SHOP QUIETLY WITH THE LEAST AMOUNT OF SOCIAL INTERACTION POSSIBLE.  Wait, is that just me?

 

 

Enough

It’s the holiday season.  Gratitude and gift-giving is in full swing. Except, we never feel so good about ourselves.  Or, I don’t. But, what is new?

So, I’m here to tell you that life is messy.  We are messy.  Feelings are messy.  I am messy.

And that’s okay.  And it’s okay to not to be okay.

So here are some pictures of real thanksgiving.  It’s real. It’s messy and it’s beautiful.

 

 

An open letter to a person who feels too much

Hello, you.

I know you thought I couldn’t see you back there hiding, but I see you shining like the sun on a cloudless day.
You are not invisible.  You may wish to be.  You may hope to skate by blending in with that wallflower pattern on the fly.
I see you.
I see you when your emotions flood your brain.
I see the lies those fickle demons tell you.
I see all the good you do and hope no one says anything.

I know you think that you are too much.
You feel too much.
You want too much.
You say too much.
You are not.  You are.
You are here.

You love people with the force of a goddamn waterfall.
You hurt like a baseball bat to the mouth.
And on those special days when you let yourself be free, you are Apollo.
Daring to fly close to the Sun.
Taking that orb in your sweet hands and firing the flame that is your soul.

I wish you freedom from your brain, from people, and from expectation.
I wish you freedom to just be.
I wish you adventure in the face of utter terror.

I wish you hope and dreams that are never afraid to say “I want this.”
I wish you the courage to say “no,” instead of making some cock-eyed notion of self is presented to you. You don’t need to be anyone else, anymore.
I wish you a steady hand to drive your fears back to the farm.
And, I wish you matches and lighter fluid to all those nightmares that made you believe you are too much. All those voices in your mind and surrounding you that ask for more than their worth.

I wish you destruction for rebirth.

Because I see you.
You are here.
You are everything you need to be.
No more and no less.

You.

Fuck me, I need therapy

Again.

If you are anything like me, I know you’ve had that thought. Your perfectly respectable (also perfectly fucking annoying) mental illness is acting up again and you get to a point, after you’ve cried 12 times in one day, had vicious mood swings, and have the anxiety shits for three days, where you are contemplating handing over $175 for 50 minutes to someone you love but can’t afford.

I’m sitting here with her email address up, wondering if I should take the plunge. Deep down I know what she will say. In fact, I can name them:

1. You’ve gotten married, moved, and basically have no job. That’s a lot of personal stress.

2. Do you have a routine? (In case you are wondering, no I don’t because I’m a fucking child and I’m floundering in some level of personal crisis.

3. Are you taking your meds appropriately? No, because once again clearly I can’t be trusted with my own well being.

4. Are you eating? Yes, I’d like to eat a gallon of ruffles chips right now, but this motherfucker resisted.

5. Are you pregnant? No. Not unless my unborn child is a ninja. (No, really. I checked because I’ve been convinced I’m losing my fragile little mind. Yes, my ass actually took a test out of sheer desperate in a weird parking lot bathroom).

6. This is a lot of transition and change for you to deal with. Do you have a support system? I can’t really bring my anxiety and depression with me to dinner. Unless they were wine bottles named anxiety and depression, then I could do that. I’m trying with people. I generally kind of suck at peopling. I’m trying with people. I generally kind of suck at the social scene. If I’m trashed, I’m wonderful but I don’t think that’s a great way to handle things that make my brain shake.

7. Are you going outside? Yes. I have to walk everywhere. Yayyyyy, physical activity.

8. What’s acting up? Well, I’ve had five anxiety attacks in four weeks (did you know there is a differenxe between an anxiety attack and a panic attack? I did not. I’ve been using the wrong vocab all this time). Then the depression sucks the air out of this windbag and promotes pathetic amounts of slouching.

9. Do you think this has anything to do with returning to a similiar country as the one you were physically attacked in 2012? Probably, but I wish it were more obvious. I try not to let it stop me from doing stuff. Then this guy touched me unnecessarily last week (because stroking my side is a great way to flirt with a random pedestrian) and I just turned around and walked back home. We got stopped by the police and my hands wouldn’t stop shaking. So, maybe its acting up more than I’d like to admit to myself. I don’t want it to act up. That’s the thing about someone using a metal pole to hit a home run with your head, it doesn’t really matter if you want it to act up or not. It just does. The other night I was at a function and it was outside so it was pretty dark. The shadows reminded me of people running across the highway in Nigeria and for some reason I couldn’t handle them.

10. How’s this effecting your marriage? It makes me hard to deal with. It’s exhausting. I feel guilty. I’m trying to bury it in the backyard but then the bitch floods.

That’s probably covers a lot of questions she would ask. She’d probably tell me to not be so hard on myself which is generally not my greatest talent.

I guess the thing that makes it worse is feeling like I need to pretend to be ok. Generally, people want to hear that you’re good and life is instagram level fun and move on. I understand that. But, life is messy, people are complex, and joining yourself with another human is an ongoing series of unfortunate events with little peaks of nice-nice.

I guess I don’t have to pretend, but at the same time no one wants to be the debbie downer in a conversation. I mean, I don’t even want to feel like this so no one wants to hear my shit.

Also, I’m pretty sure there is no Wi-Fi on this flight which will severly impact the next ten hours of my life.

Update: I survived.

The Composition

There is often talk of what makes us.
Composition. Composed. Decomposed.
As if our bodies and souls were the same flesh. The same cells.
Isn’t your heart and your mind the same thing?
As if I could tell you that my mind is made of mud and you’d understand.
When you are made of a universe of moments –
the ones before you and the ones make’d, made, construed, destroyed, and mangled during this present.
The quip is “sugar, spice, and everything nice.”
Isn’t it?
Little girls. Women.
Gods.
The woman is not so simply composed.
You are Diana. But, you are also Venus.
Ares exists in their two bellies.  As if Bacchus didn’t make the wine to bind this time.
The stains of pain with Eros shame.
For you are not one thing.
You are an empire made of magic and the ends are always tragic here.
Because there is no end.  You wade through life against the waves of hurt, the moments of serenity, and the bile of expectations to make something that is your own.
You make your soul, because this story isn’t simple.
Life is jumbled and blurry.
It captures you like an ocean – so perfectly silent that it roars.
The rip tide pulls you away.
Away from home. Away from love.  Away from what is safe. Away.
And in that moment, what looks like freedom may only be a mirage.
What is right?
You are not one thing, dear woman.
You walk through this life on jagged rocks and sharp glass.
Your soul bleeds from carrying this weight.
And in the pain, there is clarity.
You are a thousand moments.
A million mistakes.
And yet, you are the world.

 

Wake up

Tw: suicide

If you’ll do me the honor of putting on Wake up by NF while you read this, it’ll set the mood.

I’m sitting at the feet of the Nelson Mandela statue right now listening to this song on repeat.

Someone good committed suicide recently. Someone so kind. Someone too fucking good for this world. And I’m so goddamn torn up about it, that I can’t even form sentences.

She was one of many who were plagued by monsters. The kind that attack your mind and make everything so dark that you can’t find your way out. She fought them to death.

It’s so easy to write off suicide as weak. It’s so easy to say “they should of decided to live.” It’s so easy to shame those who suffer from mental illness. It’s so easy to forget the people who are different than us. It’s so easy to judge another’s suffering by ambiguous standards. It’s so easy to write a shitty blog post about suicide.

I’m so tired of being embarrassed and ashamed that sometimes I can’t keep my depression and anxiety locked away. I’m so tired of running away when the panic sets in. I’m so tired of hearing the excuses about mental illness. I’m so tired of hating myself. I’m tired of fighting.

I want people to wake up. I want communities to stop pretending they don’t play a part in suicide. I want people to not give up on us. I want you to stop excluding someone your friends call weird. I want people to stop walking away when they don’t understand a panic attack. I want you to go after the kid crying at work. I want you to ask how are you and not be afraid of the answer. I want you to reach out to someone you know and ask if they are ok. I WANT YOU TO ASK HOW TO HELP SOMEONE SUFFERING.

All it takes is one action. One moment. To change a person’s life.

I know what you are thinking. Families feel the strain of mental illness. Husbands and wives watch the person they love become a shell and they don’t know what to do. Sisters and brothers get tired of checking on their sibling. Friends are tired of the person turning down their invites. Sometimes they just want this disease to go away.

I get it. We get it. We need to stand up with our pain. We need to scream “here it fucking is. I carry this monster with me and I am not ashamed.” We need to ask for help. We need to get help. We need weapons to keep fighting. We need to get up when a hole in the ground seems like a great idea. We need to stop believing we are worthless because it’s not true. We

I want you to know what ever monsters that you carry with you, they are not bigger than you. You keep on fighting. This world is not better without you. Put down that knife and back away from the fucking ledge because we need you here. We need you.

So many of us have felt that temptation. So many of us planned it. So many of us almost did. So many of us tried.

I’ve been on that bridge, friend. I’ve wanted to watch all my pain fall with me. It takes everything to pull yourself back from the edge. Don’t let those monsters take you. They don’t deserve your life.

Sometimes Depression is Annoying as Fuck.

I feel like no one talks about how annoying depression can be as the person experiencing it.  More often we talk about how we don’t want to be treated during a depressive episode.  Or, how people can be shitty during a depressive episode.

But, I just want to put out there that my depression annoys the shit out of me 90% of the time.  I want to hit Depressed Lindsay with a tire iron.

Ok, so that was violent and uncalled for. Good job, self.

These feelings just pop the fuck up like I don’t already have stuff to do and inconvenience the shit out of me.  Like a bunch of paper-cuts on my brain.  And, I currently have a paper-cut under my thumbnail so I feel like I’m an expert in this field.

If people think it’s confusing because you are randomly leaking from your eyeballs – imagine how I feel.  I don’t even know why I am crying right now.  I CAN’T EVEN LOGICALLY EXPLAIN THIS TO MYSELF – HOW CAN I EXPRESS MY FEELINGS TO ANOTHER LIVING HUMAN?

And then, you have to expend all this extra effort to get out of bed, shower, and leave the house – because apparently being a hermit is not socially acceptable. I’ve been aware of this “hey, lets just melt into a puddle of violent self loathing and sadness,” for about 5 years.

It’s like going to a really terrible state fair – all the rides are the same and literally everything is gray. Sad Ferris wheel. Sad tea cup ride. Uber jolt-y kid roller coaster. Moist funnel cake, with a side of shit lemonade.  I expend all this energy trying to leave this awful fair, but it takes FOR FUCKING EVER because all the exits are blocked.  So, I ride these rides and go through the motions until I can get out.

It sucks. And, I’m annoyed by it. The end.

Joburg Zoo & Constitution Hill

In this edition of Lindsay (+ hot husband sometimes) does South Africa, I’ll share my photos of Constitution Hill (with sad feelings) and the Johannesburg Zoo (with not so sad feelings). Choose your poison. Also, I wrote them in reverse order.

On Sunday, we trekked to the Johannesburg Zoo.  By trekked, I mean we walked a mile to the train then got off the train and walked what was supposed to be another mile, but was probably more like two miles because google maps IS A DIRTY LIAR sometimes. Because we walked google maps took us through this fancy neighborhood which was not at all creepy and if my mom was here she would be trying to climb walls to see the houses because she’s nosy.  Then she’d get electrocuted by one of those fences and hopefully it give her super powers or something.  Or we’d get arrested for burglary.

(Also, burglary does not sound like it should have two r’s. Thanks english language.)

We finally arrived at our destination despite the lack of appropriate signage and google maps FAILING.  This zoo was clearly not the best zoo. I mean, it was nice…but weird?

Upon entering we were accosted by a nice gentlemen who wanted to take our picture (the kind they take and then you pay for) and I said oh no thank you (because I wasn’t emotionally prepared for this interaction).  His response was ever so tersely “IT’S PART OF THE EXPERIENCE. LET ME TAKE YOUR PICTURE.”  Did you just imagine him talking in a demon voice? I did.

Hot husband being one big muscle was, of course, hungry, because cardio. He went to the snack truck which was, again of course, out of everything.  Including water. No water for you.

We began our promenade around the turtle enclosure where a young family was VIOLATING THE RULES BY TRYING TO FEED THE TURTLES. WHY DO YOU DO THIS HUMANS? WHAT CAN’T YOU FOLLOW THE RULES? Hot husband noticed this immediately and I gave them the benefit of the doubt.  Clearly, I was wrong again. Don’t tell him I said that.

We then saw Violet the Turtle try and fight Buttercup the Turtle.  Turtle fights don’t really show up well on camera.

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Turtle fight:  evidence or lack thereof

Photos from our adventure

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Then, we had to trek back and beat the rain.  Oops. Overall successful event despite walking 9 miles.

The next day, I took myself to Constitution Hill where the Constitutional Court of South Africa sits and the historical prison #4 sight.  Initially, I was hopeful because I managed to leave the house and do a thing – always a feat of strength if we are being honest. Then, I asked some guys where I go to pay for a tour (to be fair to myself, they were at a desk in what I didn’t know was the Constitutional Court welcome center.  I was then promptly told that I “shouldn’t go places alone because then I ask the wrong people the wrong questions.”

I feel as though this is a philosophical statement, because it is clearly not based in any level of reality.  Am I not supposed to go anywhere unless I have someone to go with? How do I know I am asking the wrong person? WHY DON’T YOU HAVE APPROPRIATE SIGNAGE FOR THESE HISTORICAL SIGHTS? IS THAT NOT A REASONABLE REQUEST?

Anyway after I was verbally dressed down by a very mean bus tour guide – I found my way to the further spiral into situational depression.  Photos are no substitute for experience, but Prison number four was a horrible place were people were treated very badly for crimes, political activism, and for simply breaking curfew until 1983 during Apartheid in South Africa.   The guide showed us the solitary confinement cells and after she finished discussing the conditions and various stories, she allowed us to look around.  I walked into the entrance of one cell which was the size of a small half-bathroom covered in writing and swathed in darkness from the lack of light through the tiny peep hole door, and I felt terror.  The tiny room was so loud, violent, sad, and I felt like my chest was going to explode.  There are not many places that make me want to hyperventilate while simultaneously ugly sobbing, but this is definitely number one.  There’s not much more I wish to write about it, but I suggest you google it.

Following the tour of the prison we visited the constitutional court which was full of symbolism for traditional South African justice.  Twas beautiful.

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The Spin Instructor

I’ve recently decided to go to spin classes as an alternate form of exercise and except for causing a sore vag from the seat – I have to admit that its pretty ok. (I’m not sorry for admitting that. My vagina is a tender beast)

Last night, I have to admit I developed a mild crush on my instructor for to reasons:

1. His playlist was fire (delicious South African beats, Lady Gaga, Whitney, a remake of “You don’t own me” and ABBA).

2. He vogued and made us boogie on our bikes. He probably could have said “TWERK BITCH,” and I would have tried.

The majority of the class did not have as much fun as I did. I will cop to getting down on my bike and singing really, really loudly. Also, sweating like it was my damn job.

I have pretty intense anxiety sometimes and doing things with my body publicly is more likely to send me spiraling into panic than be fun. However, this time around I felt good and for one hour I stopped caring so much.

I almost asked for his playlist, but that was a bridge too far last night. All in all it was a great 60 minutes.

Until I got home and realized that I left the hose on refilling the pool and almost flooded the yard a smidge. Oops.