Monday, May 17, 2010


Hey guys! I'm moving... to tumblr :) Here's the url, I hope you follow me there!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

God loves gays.

It's been so long since I've last written I don't even know where to begin. I guess I'll start with tonight, because what I REALLY need to get off my chest is what happened at work this evening. I had a new patient admitted today with a diagnosis of breast cancer with liver mets. The metastasis in her liver cause a lot of toxins to be left in the blood so her thinking is impaired, she's slow and she periodically hallucinates. Based off of my experience in hospice and no real medical knowledge or concrete fact, I would guess that she has less than 2 weeks to live.
She was scared tonight so I went in her room to sit with her and hold her hand. She's generally a pretty anxious person and the move from her home to a strange residential hospice would freak anyone out, so I didn't think too much of her behavior until she said "It's not going to kill me. Cancer's not going to kill me. I don't know what will. I don't know. I don't know...." trailing off and looking at the wall where she professed to seeing moving shapes. I asked her what was on her mind, what she was worrying about and she said "I'm here and I'm supposed to die and I don't know when it will happen or how it's going to happen...." I asked her if she was scared. She looked me straight in the eye for the first time in the conversation and said "Yes. Wouldn't you be?" All I could say was the truth. Yes.
We talked for a bit and a little while later the Director of the Hospice/Hospice Chaplain came in to sit with us per this woman's request. He spit a lot of bible verses at her and I could see her getting swallowed by his quick pace, big words and memorized verses in old school bible talk. He thought he was saving her, helping her find herself in God but she just looked so lost. After ten minutes of this she interrupted him and said "WHY? Why do you believe this? Why do you believe in all of this?" He looked as if he'd never been asked that question before. He looked shocked. Dumbfounded. Confused as to why a woman who professed to being a Catholic was questioning her founding beliefs so late in the game. He said "Because the bible tells me that it's the truth." Not a good enough answer for this woman. She turned to me and said "You're a young girl. Do you believe this? Why do you believe in all of this... stuff? You're young. You have no reason to believe, you have other things to believe in. Why?" I said a quick prayer for God to help me find the right words to give this woman her peace. "I do believe it. I know that I'm young, and also pretty dumb, but things have happened to me that aren't fair, just like they happen to everyone. And the only thing that gets me through the night and into the next morning is God, and knowing that He's on my side and He'll make everything alright in his own perfect timing. It's like how you were saying earlier, that you didn't believe love existed until you met your husband. It's like that. I can't see it, or touch it, but I KNOW that it's real because I can feel it in my heart. I can feel it." She nodded slowly. The conversation trailed off, call lights beeped, people needed to be toileted, and the night went on as my thoughts remained with her.
The thing is, she was asking the same questions I've been asking myself my whole life. And somehow by being asked by her, I answered them for myself. So I've spent the rest of tonight thinking about why I hold the beliefs I do, and it's come down to this: When I was 15, my friend Julia died. I stood in front of her open casket with all of our friends, all of us reacting and grieving in our own ways, yet still somehow so connected. I didn't know how to grieve. I was 15. My friend died. I was looking at her dead body with The Flaming Lips song "Do You Realize?" playing over and over through speakers next to the casket. I was barely crying at all, which I remember feeling really guilty about but I was in such shock because the person lying there wasn't her at all. It was someone who looked like her, with too much make-up and tinted-blue hands and glasses on just a little too straight. I didn't know where Julia had gone. And then it hit me. Of course. Of course she's in heaven. Even with her teenage sins, her rebellion, her numerous attempts at suicide, I KNEW. I knew it. I can't explain how powerful and all-encompassing and reassuring this feeling was. It wasn't a belief, and it wasn't faith. It was a God-given fact. My friend went to heaven. That's a fact. The intensity of that realization has never gone away and to this day I would still throw myself in front of a train for that belief. So... that's how I know there's a God and a heaven. I want to tell my patient that, to make her understand, but they always say "There's no tomorrow in hospice" so I don't know if I'll get the chance. I hope I do but either way, tonight was batshit crazy full of epiphanies and realizations and flashbacks. And I don't have the energy to edit this post or tie it up in a nice little bow for whoever might be reading this. So that's it. Goodnight.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I’ve been incredibly intimidated to write this post. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of love, disappointment, fear, comfort and insanity.


First things first: I met a girl. She is beautiful, and awe inspiring… and when I hold her my heart feels like it’s jumping on a trampoline. When I lay my head against her chest, I’m assured that she feels the same way. We’ve spent the last month doing a passive aggressive love dance… making out, pretending like it doesn’t mean anything, making out again, kissing with intensity and then laughing it off later.


And then there was last week. Last week she introduced me to her friends. I was so nervous, and as we sat there on the couch together she brushed my arm with her fingers and slipped her hand into mine. My stomach somersaulted because I realized that for the first time, I CARE about someone I’m involved with. I genuinely care what her friends think of me, I care about her feelings and if she feels good when I’m holding her. I hold her. I’m letting my emotions creep into this and its SCARY, and different, and new. It’s wonderful.


We’re both insomniacs and we’ve been spending every other night together pulling all nighters… watching infomercials, driving around, buying candy at the 24 hr Walgreens, etc etc. Over the past couple weeks my mom has been expressing concern that I’ve been spending so many nights away from home with someone she hasn’t met, so she took the liberty of facebook stalking my girl (she learned her stalking skills from me, so it’s my own fault). She saw that my girl is gay and asked me on Saturday if I’ve been questioning my own sexuality. I was stunned and speechless. I had not planned on coming out and I wasn’t prepared to do so… but I also wasn’t prepared to lie about it.


“I’m not questioning it Mom... I’m gay.”


She looked at me and after a long pause, sighed and said “Oh…. Okay. This is going to be hard, and it’s going to be a challenge, but we can do this. I still love you baby.”  By this time I was sobbing and hugging my mom like I was a 5 year old with a skinned knee. I begged and pleaded with her not to tell my dad, who walked downstairs in the middle of all this and saw my slight mental breakdown. He mentioned something about car payments and awkwardly shuffled away. My mom asked that I tell him but told me she would respect my wishes if I chose to wait. I couldn’t ask her to keep a secret that big, so I told her I would tell him myself. My parents left to go out to dinner and I wrote my dad a letter, packed a bag and left.

The letter went something like this, only about 3000 words longer:



 I love you, I trust you, and I’m about to hand you my heart. Please be careful with it. I’m gay. I know this is not what you want for me and this is not how you pictured my life. I know you support homosexual reparative therapy, but I ask that you please respect me as a person and as your daughter when I tell you that this is not something that can be changed. I wouldn’t change it even if I could. This is who I am. I’ve known this for years but I’ve been terrified to tell you because I’ve been afraid of your reaction, of the backlash my telling you this would bring. Please know that this does not change who I am. This has always been a part of me, it’s just a part I have been hiding from you. I know that our relationship is about to change, but I’m ready for that. I love you and I hope that someday, with a little bit of that liberal perseverance (haha) and a lot of faith, you’ll still walk me down the aisle. I won’t be coming home tonight. I want to give you time to think about and process this. I love you so much and that will never change, no matter what.

Love, Emily


I left around 6pm and picked up my girl. I didn’t hear much from my parents that night, and I slept at my girl’s best friend’s house. The next morning I got a text from my dad asking me to come home and talk, but I was too scared to face him. I went to work and somehow made it through my shift without messing up TOO many times, and came home around 10pm that night. I walked in the door and my mom looked at me and simply said, “He’s upstairs.”


I walked up the stairs, knocked on the door to his room, and went inside. He stood up from his bed and hugged me, and started sobbing. I cried too and we just stood there for a minute or two, holding each other and crying. We sat down on his bed and although he said he still loved me and wouldn’t kick me out or pull my funding for school, he told me he believed my gayness was just cultural influence. He said that men aren’t indispensable, that maybe I don’t like ALL men, but…. Worst of all, he said that if I prayed enough and read the bible, I could be “changed”. The God that my dad seems to know is SO different from the God that I know.


I left again that night and stayed on my best friend’s couch. Her parents were incredibly supportive and let me know that whenever things are hard at home, I always have a second home with them.


And so that leads me to what I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving: I am thankful for love. The love of my girl, of my friends, of my surrogate families, of my siblings, of my mom, and of my dad (despite our differences and the endless fights that are sure to fill the coming months). I’m thankful for everyone who came out before me, who paved the way for me. I’m thankful that I was able to come home for Thanksgiving. And I’m thankful for YOU.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

If this is what I call home, why does it feel so alone?

This post is going to be  a little different than usual. I need to talk about something that’s been weighing on my heart for awhile. I think I’ve mentioned before that I work as a nursing assistant in a residential hospice, meaning that a great deal of my time is spent interacting with terminally ill cancer patients. I’m supposed to tell them that everything is going to be okay, I’m supposed to comfort them when they cry, give out hugs like candy and react to grieving families with the ease of a skilled counselor.


Here’s the deal: I’m 19. I DON’T believe that everything is going to be okay, every time I see them cry I want to lie down next to them and cry too, and most of the time I just don’t know what to say when a family member comes to me with tears in their eyes, looking for some kind of faith or reassurance.


I don’t have that. I don’t have the answers. And sometimes, at the end of my shift, I have NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE. I’m completely and utterly emotionally drained and I have nothing left for my family or friends. I feel like a robot.


Last week I took care of my classmate’s dad. His DAD. His dad was younger than mine. His brain tumor showed up suddenly 2 years ago and just like that… 24 months to fight. 24 months to live. And then it’s over. Even though my dad and I have our differences I love him more than life itself, and I would be completely lost if he were taken from me. I can’t even imagine losing him.


This work is hard but it lends a valuable lesson with a teaching style most don’t have the opportunity to encounter: Life is precious. Life is short.  So eat your dessert first, count your blessings, love without fear, take risks, and roam if you must… but come home when you’ve seen enough. I’ve asked every one of my well traveled patients what their favorite place is and I always get the exact same answer: home.


But where is home?  WHAT is it??


I love traveling, I love roadtripping. It’s not unusual for me to pack a bag, jump in the car and drive. I wrote this a couple weeks ago when I was doing just that:


Home is not a place.

It has no spot on the map, no address where birthday cards can be sent.

Home is a time.

A time when things were safe,

A time when if I scraped my knee, it only hurt until it was kissed.

A time when every rainbow was a miracle, and a time out was the worst of my fears.

Home is a feeling.

It’s the feeling I get when I drive on open roads,

The windows down and my cell phone turned off.

Home is in the vast green prairies,

The abandoned K-Marts and empty parking lots.

I’m obsessed with empty parking lots,

As if they are tangible proof that I’m not the only one afraid to stop.

Afraid to slow down, because maybe I’ll miss something or someone.

I’m not running away from anything.

I’m running towards something.

I’m running home.


I’m looking for home. Let me know if you find it. ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sick Sick Sick

I'm going to write this blog post as quickly as possible, with no edits because I'm fairly sure I'm coming down with some strain of the flu. My entire body aches, it hurts to move, I've been throwing up all night, the lights hurt my eyes, I'm dizzy... basically I just feel like shit. (Note: H1N1, if you find me, I will hurt all that you hold dear.) 

BUT I have missed writing a ton, so alas, here I am. I am officially out to ALL of my friends now, as well as anyone who asks... and anyone with a penis trying to get inside these jeans. I'm still keeping my parents in the dark, especially after an event last weekend where my mom saw two women kissing on Grey's Anatomy (Callie and Erica, I'm still on season 4!) She turned her face away and shouted "Ew, I don't want to see that! Get that off the screen!" Needless to say I was teeter-tottering between being mildly embarrassed and fairly turned on. 

In other news... I kissed a girl and I liked it. That's right. I liked it. A lot. She was soft and tender and sweet and... everything good in this world. It's like a bell in my head went off: "THAT'S what it's supposed to feel like!" 

Alright you guys, that's all I can take tonight. Touching the keys with my fingertips actually hurts. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tonight I am FEELING

TONIGHT I cannot sleep. 

I can only think of my future, of everything that lies ahead of me, of the next few weeks... months... years. 

Tonight. Tonight it feels like time is standing still. Like nothing can get done fast enough, like my heart is aching and yearning and struggling SO HARD for something more. I can feel it pounding out of my chest. It feels like it's on the verge of breaking. It feels fragile. 

What I want, more than anything, is a vacation. I feel like that's the cliche thing people say when work gets stressful. They picture themselves on a beach with a beer and their significant other. It helps them get through the day.

That's not what I want. I want a REAL vacation. I want to sit by myself in the middle of a forest. I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to explain myself to anyone, I don't want to own up to anything. I just want to be with myself.

Because I'm pretty fantastic. I really do enjoy my own company but lately I feel like me myself and I haven't been spending enough time together. I feel like there's a part of me that I don't know yet; a part that I haven't had the chance to discover yet. I think it's going to be the best part of me. Have you ever felt that way before? 

Tonight. Tonight I'm sitting in the living room with the windows open and a gentle breeze blowing through. It's dark outside and the only thing lighting the room is the glow from my laptop. I feel like I can be honest. I can hear the cars on my busy street and my cat snoring one chair away. I can feel the soft blanket covering my bare legs and the calluses on my guitar playing fingers are rougher today than yesterday. 

All of that is not ENOUGH for me. I want more. I want so much more.

I'm tired of being non-committal, I'm tired of playing games with other people's hearts, I'm tired of being scared. 

I think that what I want more than anything is to fall in love.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm back... from Pride Fest!!

I am soooo sorry for being such a horrible blogger. Commitment is obviously not my thing. But huzzah! Here I am! Take me back!! 
These past few weeks have been crazy. I'm not using that as an excuse... okay, actually I am. I've been really busy with all my nursing classes and I'm learning guitar and I'm trying to become a professional hackey-sacker and I've discovered my new favorite band and I've been making travel plans and I've been taking pictures of my cat while he sleeps... aaaaall very important things. 

Last weekend my best (straight) girl friend and I drove 2 hours north of the city to go to Pride Fest! I was expecting maybe 20 or 30 flannel wearin', ax-weildin' lesbians (I live in the north, people). I was pleasantly surprised. We stepped out of the car and to my amazement... there were hot girls! Everywhere! Live and in the flesh! In the middle of nowhere! And I even got checked out a few times! 

When I got home my parents asked me why I had driven 2 hours to go to a Pride Fest. I responded "....wouldn't you?"