30 Questions- just an introduction before I start telling other people’s stories

1. Who am I really?

Really? I’m just another human. I’m Canadian but live in the US. I’m an ID molecular microbiologist but I worked in Oncology for

2 years. I’m married but separated for 5+ years. I have fallen in love 3 times in my life- all 3 loved me back. Music is really the only thing that makes my life OK. I’m a 42 year old who has recovered  from alcoholism, bulimia, a traumatic childhood including the death of the father that raised me at 19, panic disorder, depression, suicide attempts, social anxiety, PTSD, and domestic violence. I’m Rh- and highly empathic so i suck up all the energy around me bad or good

2. What worries me most about the future?

That there won’t be one. Ignorance and lack of respect for human life is rampant.

3. If this were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?

Hell NO

4. What am I really scared of?

Being trapped, anywhere.

5. Am I holding on to something I need to let go of?

Anger. I am holding on to a lot of anger. People typically don’t see it unless I get backed into a corner. Anger about my last job and how it all ended but really mostly anger about larger problems i don’t see a way to fix without constantly screaming at people. Ignorance bothers me a lot. People who do things not in their own best interest bother me. People who are “low hanging fruit” bother me. People who just tell me what they think I want to hear bother me. People with an overinflated sense of entitlement bother me. The use of the word “jealous” bothers me. Racism/Sexism/Classism/Homophobia at their basest level bother me. People who are all talk and no walk bother me. People who listen to advice from YouTube Scientists and diagnose themselves via internet bother me. People who don’t finish what they start, wasted people, sleazy people, people who don’t ask “But, why?”, the list can go on ad infinitum. I’ve always wished I were just really really stupid and had blinders on that kept me from seeing every time into the absolute truth of a person. It’s painful, this existence. And it comes with some hefty flaws of my own- arrogance, contempt, the ability to stick the verbal knife in at precisely the right spot and turn it to inflict the most mental trauma.

Here’s the funny part:

When I’m out, random strangers will approach me to tell me that positive energy just radiates out of me (I presume because I’m always smiling and laughing).

6. If not now, then when?

I don’t know. I still don’t understand why I’m here, but my best efforts to NOT be here at all didn’t work. I’m hoping that writing what I see and what happens in my daily life helps me process it more constructively. I thought finding like minded souls would solve my problems, but in the end all I do is listen to them complain about the same shit I complain about.

7. What matters most in my life?

My ability to completely connect with the universe through a loud ass bassbin and a grimy warehouse and someone who knows what they’re doing behind the decks. Because when that happens and all things triangulate properly- I see God and I am healed for awhile. I had this regularly from the age of 14 or so until around 31. Then alcohol took over and I checked the fuck out. And then, in the spring of 2014 after my first bout of tremendous betrayal (I had never in my life had people turn on me like that, not people who purportedly were family), I got my life BACK. I fell in love, started dancing again, and there was a good long sober period of rigidity prior to that. I became a human again for the first time in a long time. Violence came into it mid december (also a first), then betrayal, then shellshock and then finally the anger came back. About 2 months ago I started to become much more of an observer than a participant in my own life and it feels like being on the wrong planet. Even my best friend in San Diego started just randomly attacking me verbally about really trivial stuff, but in the manner of people in full scale black out mode, doesn’t remember any of it. I can already feel myself starting to mentally shut down, to unlearn things I learned in full sobriety. Things that make life simpler but aren’t necessarily conducive to elicit change or help people. Tolerance, patience, compassion (things I’ve always lacked if things weren’t done to my satisfaction) have started to erode and I am starting to go back into just shutting people down and discarding them.

8. What am I doing about the things that matter most in my life?

Until I get the angry demeanor projecting out from my very soul contained I am making a few proactive steps. I got rid of about 600 people on fb, which was my primary outlet to dump my weirdo crazy life stories. I don’t do well with people who have clear agendas but think they are hiding them. I also tend to not be aggressive or confrontational unless absolutely necessary, so I let a few people harass me for a lot longer than i should have (figuring that just ignoring them until they went away was enough, because that’s what works on me. If you ignore me I just go away). Conversely though I will let a situation continue if I think I might get a laugh out of it, or a lesson on being more of a normal human. Not a button pusher, just not a hot mess extinguisher either.

9. Why do I matter?

I’m not sure I do matter. But I know the world is better because I was here. I touched hearts with music, protected a large population from the possibility of a serious biological terrorist attack, made infectious disease diagnostic tests better, cheaper, and faster, and most recently figured out a way to get non-genomic DNA and RNA out of urine in a less tedious and more robust and productive manner, a task for which i was thanked and then dismissed.  I will own my part in the mess. The less people listened to me the more offensive I became. Actively did things in a manner so my boss would look as incompetent as she was. Thumbed my nose at any social event. Worked 14-16 hour days on purpose so that I could meet my yearly goals in 6 months and just generally acted like a self-righteous douche. Was I justified? Yes. Does that make it acceptable? NO. I have come to the conclusion that I am an ineffective communicator. I have zero poker face so every feeling registering in my head in is in plain view. I am not a diplomat, I don’t have much of a filter, and I won’t waste my breath repeating myself over and over. The problem is I expect everyone else to rise to my level in my time and in my way. And expectations? They’ll be the death of your heart.

10. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?

Depends on who you ask I suppose. I fought for severance from my job, hard, and won. I fought with the edd to remove any penalty for accidentally getting overpaid for 2 weeks, and that was a lot of bs red tape but I won. I tried as hard as I could to help a friend do the same when he got fired, and i lost that battle because he was more interested in taking care of a 20 year old hustler and being in total denial (not to mention becoming a legend in his own mind) than helping himself. I also have befriended 2 guys in Mexico, musicians, who don’t get taken seriously because of where they are from. So I’ve given away a lot of music to a lot of people with more power than I to get it heard. But I gained one amazing friendship and one semi-amazing friendship out of it and a whole new appreciation for what’s outside my narrow scope of view. I’ve also been abusive to someone who needed it but didn’t deserve it. I went to SF and Phoenix. But the best thing I did lately was I kept my word 95% of the time and showed the fuck up where I said I would and mostly at what time I was supposed to.

11. Have I made someone smile today?

No. Well, possibly via internet. But I will.

12. What have I given up on?

I’m pretty tenacious at this point in life. Once I start I don’t give up. I’ve given up on starting.

13. When did I last push the boundaries of my comfort zone?

I don’t know, I’m not even sure what my comfort zone is.  I guess it would have been doing something I haven’t done in a long time for good reason, because, with certain people, persistence and aggression works on me, I’ll do what you want just to get you to shut up. I learned so much from that one stupid submissive moment though. No regrets.

14. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?

Always ask questions and never stop learning!

15. What small act of kindness was I once shown that I will never forget?

Oh gosh, I’ve been given such huge amounts of kindness and love and I try and pass them along to others as best i can. I think I freak people out actually because I will just pop up with weird gifts or go out of my way to drive them somewhere. But I just follow in my mother’s footsteps there. That’s how she shows love too. Because it’s easier than dealing with having to listen to them complain. I think the one thing that sticks out in my mind is at the end of a pretty gnarly birthday weekend, where i ended up taking care of everyone else’s needs, I got something precious that meant more than anyone will ever know.  I was at Souleil – and I can pinpoint in 2014 when life began again down to a precise moment, it was sunny but there was a tiny bit of rain and I was dancing with Gabe, and Mikey (DJ at SOULEIL) played a seminal song in the history of house music that still rings so true in our world almost 30 years after its release. Joe Smooth Promised Land. It was very much a gay black anthem from a time when it was not ok to be either in the US much less the 2 combined. And there were probably 200 people all singing and dancing. It was beautiful. So this year, on Sept 13, the featured DJ that day was a guy I had met before, Oli Soulminority, and he’s just a genuinely amazing guy to begin with. So I’m there with my birthday sash and this beautiful white flower crown thing my friend made me and Oli, as his last track plays……joe smooth promised land, and Mikey and Arnel get on the mic to wish me happy birthday. I wish someone had video of the startled shock on my face and then the huge smile. And it was NOT planned that way. At least according to the souleil guys and Oli himself. One of the guys looks over at what his last track was going to be and chose that moment to get on the mic. I was in the corner talking to one of the other guys playing that day and telling him how much i don’t like his musical taste (nice, erin) but that he’s fun to watch cause he gets so into it.  And then the magic moment occurred mid-sentence. And then THAT guy, Matthew Brian, proceeded to destroy the place with the best set I’ve heard out of him, ever. I’ll post a link just in case anyone ever reads this and is a Chicago house fan. Signing off for a few.

30 of these deep ass questions is a lot for someone who “lacks brevity” (so said one of my former boss ladies)

with Ilanit, one of the best people on the planet
with Ilanit, one of the best people on the planet

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