Who am I and Why am I Here?

30 Days to a Better Blog… Well, I could use a better blog! Why not? I’ve had this blog for a little over a year, it was born out of my frustrations with my health, joblessness and the idle time that accompanies that. Lately, my health has been good, work has been steady, and my hands have been full so my frustration/call to arms posts have not been present recently. If I’m not bitching, do I have anything to say? I hold on to this because I think I do. I’m still on my path of unconventional growth, my book-lust has been going strong for about a year, I’m back in therapy analyzing every thought and feeling, I’m applying what I’m learning in therapy to my professional development. Stuff is happening, I’ve yet to articulate it in this format but it’s something I want to do. I want to leave evidence of where I’ve been and what the journey looks like (mine anyway), what I have to offer.

Introduce Yourself
Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

Hi, I’m Melissa, sometimes melissa, sometimes Mel.
I’m here because I’m inspired (and also frightened) by disclosure that leads to connection, I’m here because I want to participate in that and experience that for myself. I’m here because I want access to a wide variety of people and the individual wisdom they hold.

I’m about ideas, inspiration and the process of reading and research that comes with trying to identify ways to address an issue. I’m about starting that process of addressing an issue, but I’m often on to my next idea before I can see it through. Having said that, I’m also about procrastination.
I’m about self care. I’m about having peanut butter, video games, crackers, and beer for dinner. I’m about sushi, fried cornbread, and all the parts of a coconut. I’m about singing in the car and listening to a song on repeat. I’m about stimming, spinning, and rocking.

I’m about books that challenge how I see the world. I’m about books about my profession that were published before 1985. I’m about myth and metaphor. I’m about running with the wolves and laughing full belly laughs.

I’m about my imperfections and learning to love them. I’m about distractibility and absent-mindedness. I’m about taking “flaws” and making them strengths.

I’m about irreverence, sarcasm, and cursing. I’m about saying “F*ck it!” I’m about facing and engaging my darkness. I’m about doing things that scare me.

I’m about constantly asking “why?” and “so what?” I’m NOT about rules, I’m about dismantling them. I’m about experiments, I’m about tapping the fish tank, just to see what happens. I’m about learning for learning’s sake.

I’m about documentaries, dark comedies, and dysfunctional family flicks.

I’m about a cup of hot tea, in the morning and after lunch. With a cup of tea, I can face the day.

I’m about meeting my varied needs in a variety of people, rather than having all my needs met by one person. I’m about vocalizing my Needs.

I’m about gratitude. I’m not about debt.

I’m about selfishness. I’m about going with a person on a journey because it’s fascinating and redemptive, not out of an altruistic desire to help. I’m about the feeling that comes with being an instigator, a container, a mirror. I’m about people and if I’m spending time with you, it means I like you.

I’m about knowing and being known. I’m about visibility.

I’m NOT about keeping it together. I am not together. I will never be together. I’m not about pairing my socks, I often grab my clothes for the day out of a basket. I’m NOT about being “good,” I am about humanity and wholeness.

I’m about the search for answers, not having them. I’m about the journey.



I think I loathe/fear this word more than any other. Broken. Damaged with a feeling of finality. Broken. No longer (or never will be) useful. Broken. Trash to be thrown away. Unable to perform it’s intended use. Unable to be of service to others.

Having said that, I love quilts. A comfort both physically and metaphorically. I’ve heard it said, “when life falls apart, make quilts.” Gather up all the broken, useless, and discarded pieces and dare to make something beautiful. Ultimately, that is my purpose.

Mapping How Emotions Manifest in the Body – Olga Khazan – The Atlantic

An interesting graphic in my Facebook feed today… I talk often of being mindful of where you feel sensations bodily when one experiences an emotion. The following is a graphic of a collection of anecdotal reports of the location of physical sensations when a person experiences a certain emotion. Personally, the graphics for Disgust and Shame look familiar, I often feel those things in the pit of my stomach. I may have to make use of this article with my more visual consumers…

Mapping How Emotions Manifest in the Body – Olga Khazan – The Atlantic.

Mapping How Emotions Manifest in the Body - Olga Khazan - The Atlantic

The Way…

From If You Meet Buddha on the Road, Kill Him:

The way is not without danger. Everything good is costly, and the development of the personality is one of the most costly of all things. It will cost you your innocence, your illusions, your certainty.

Reconnecting with Music…

In responding to my trombone withdrawals, I started attending rehearsals with Tri-State Community Orchestra near my home. As a lifelong band kid, I had yet to have the experience of performing with a group that included string musicians. It’s been fun so far, although my engagement hasn’t been as strong as in other past musical ventures. However, it’s been a good place to let go and engage in a little self care after a full day of work. To speak without words, to commune with others non-verbally is a need I have I think. To breathe and move with others, to have a common language, to be able to connect in a different way… I find this all very sustaining, and when I am without it, it’s something I crave…

And with most of my musical ventures, there is eventually a performance which offers it’s own natural highs…

Having Trombone Withdrawals…

To most folks in Southeast Alabama, we are entering the holy season of college football… But to me, that’s just what happens before and after the band plays! A former bandmate directed me to Troy University’s youtube channel, where videos of my days in the Sound  (2000-2003) were posted. So many great memories! I thought I might share a few…

Also, I have to give a shoutout to Atlanta Freedom Bands. So much love for this great community band! Also, many congrats for being selected to host the 2013 Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) conference. Indeed a great honor and I am very honored to have been a part of this band, even if only for a short while. AFB is probably what I am missing most after moving away from Atlanta… Anyone know of a great community band in Columbus or SE Alabama, be sure to let me know!

Pickle and Praline Party!!

I can’t believe I’ve had my blog all this time, gave it a “crafty” name, and have yet to make a crafty post!?! Well, time to remedy that…

I’m going to give a bump to Jessie’s (my sister-in-law) blog, It’s Pretty Much Permaculture, that features her and Nathan’s (my bro) crafting and permaculture adventures. Jessie seems to have this amazing ability that I have yet to learn… how to actually FINISH projects consistently… I’m in awe! <AD/hD problems>

This past weekend, Jessie and Nathan were gracious enough to share the fruits of their pickling labors, of which they have outlined on their blog. They seem to have altered a recipe from the cooking god, Alton Brown. Additionally, they seem to be collecting pecans in the area and have been roasting, spicing, and making some into sweet and savory pralines. Nathan is quite talented in the kitchen and has been able to get to me to try (and like) things that I never would have tried otherwise. So of course, Mom and I were very willing participants in Pickle and Praline party!

Yummy, pickle-y goodness!!!❤

the random musings of a backwoods, bleeding-heart counselor…

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