One year ago, I was in a hotel room in New York City, about to leave and take the N train from 42nd street to 23rd street to see the Flatiron building, when I got a notification on my phone from CNN. There was a breaking story on Harvey Weinstein in the New Yorker. The story was by Ronan Farrow and it broke down many tricks and avenues he would take to manipulate and take advantage of women. I showed my mom the headline and she shrugged, continuing to get ready for the day. I sat down on the bed and scrolled through the story, getting chills on my arm from every account I read.
One year ago, I didn’t know the magnitude this story would have on our society. No one did. After so many years in power of Hollywood, no one knew the significant impact the fall of Harvey Weinstein would have our society. No one had seen a man fall from grace this hard and this fast. No one realized that he was the first of many who would follow in his footsteps. I was too preoccupied with seeing the Flatiron building before the remnants of Hurricane Nate rolling through New York to focus on our society breaking into two. A few hours after receiving the notification, I became overly preoccupied with trying to get home through the shitty weather.
It wasn’t until the next day when I was sitting in the hallway, waiting to go into my last class of the day that I understood how this Weinstein story hit a spark in the universe, creating an explosion of women sharing their stories. I was seeing people using the #MeToo on Twitter and Facebook. The more stories I read, the more I felt less alone while at the same time becoming angry by the fact of how common this is and how it took a hashtag for so many women to share their stories public. I was hesitant about sharing my story and after lots of trepidation, I wrote two poems about how the actions of careless boys have impacted my life.
One year has passed since #MeToo spoke to the zeitgeist in a way no one could have ever predicted. We have opened a door we can never close again. One year later, we’re listening to women’s stories and believing what they share, yet we don’t believe them enough to change the old patterns of human history.
I’ve been trying to think about how to write this post all day. Last week, this country went through a roller coaster of emotions with the Senate Hearings. Watching Dr. Ford give her testimony and answer questions was emotional for me and many women around the country. She’s an amazing woman for being brave and sharing her story. I cried several times because I, along with a lot of America, could see how the traumatic events she suffered many years ago has impacted her life. It was evident that she did experience a tragic event, whether or not it was by the man she claims is decided from whatever “side” you’re on. I believe what Dr. Ford said. I believe any woman or man who comes forward because it’s a very difficult thing to reveal. It’s not easy and everyone who has experienced a sexual assault or harassment gets to decide whether or not they want to share their stories. The fact that women are being heard and beginning to be taken seriously is a baby step on the long road we still have to go on. Believe women when they speak out. Believe survivors when they speak up. They deserve to be heard and believed.
Walking through the woods, I admire the changing leaves
on the aspen trees. It looks like fall but feels like summer.
I take off my sweater and look at the view that’s similar to
the moon. Wide open space with very little human life
equates to the feeling of being on another planet. The leaves
look like their on fire as the orange color burns the naked
eye. When I reach the top, I look out to see hills and mountains
filled with fire leaves. The hills are alive with the sound of
music plays in my head while I catch my breath.
(This photo was taken at 6:30pm, 70° F.)
I’m sitting on my back deck, something I rarely do voluntarily these days, catching up on a few New Yorker magazines I’ve been ignoring for too long. It’s early evening, almost 6:00 pm and the warm breeze is blowing. I can feel the end of summer nearing as I look up to the changing leaves in my yard. One dog is lounging near me on the deck while the other is by the fence, munching on grass. The deck is in the shade facing east. A diet coke is on the glass table, my second of the day because of a lingering migraine. A dragonfly stops on the wood beneath my feet before continuing on his way. The dog by me comes up and licks my chin. My favorite time of year is approaching faster than I realize. The only thing missing is the crisp in the air.
Thousands of feet up in the air,
I’m trapped in this metal tube.
I feel dizzy and I’m not spinning.
Overheated from the lack of air circulation.
Head throbbing that will eventually turn into a migraine after I land.
I close my eyes and the spinning becomes faster.
Minutes move along like hours.
I can’t read the book I want to read.
I can’t look at my phone for longer than 5 seconds,
Just long enough to change the song.
I look forward to the blue chair in front of me.
Nothing is working.
The amount of feeling awful comes in waves.
I sleep for a minute or two, just enough to numb the nauseousness
before the turbulence causes the spinning to return.
I feel like I’m going to throw up but I know I won’t.
I don’t get physically sick from motion sickness.
I just feel awful as my mood plummets to the ground we’re flying over.
I repeat these words in my head because I can’t write this down.
I’m hoping I will remember this when I do.
I won’t be posting a review today. Instead, I have some very exciting news. One of my essays is published!! I wrote this essay for a class in the spring of 2017. It’s about my journey to beginning to acknowledge my stutter and how that coincided with finding my passion for writing.
For almost a year, I had submitted this piece to different publications and received one rejection after another. I had gotten a DM from Z Publishing on Twitter in late April, asking if I was interested in submitting a piece for their upcoming emerging writers from Colorado anthology. I decided that this was going to be the last piece I would submit this piece to before completely rewriting it. I had submitted my essay in early May and forgot about it for about a month.
In the middle of June, I thought I didn’t get it because I hadn’t heard from them. But, by the end of the month, I got an email congratulating me on having my essay being accepted for publication. I’m still on cloud nine and can’t believe this is happening. This is only the beginning!
If you want to read my entire essay, “Finding My Voice,” you can purchase Colorado’s Emerging Writers: An Anthology of Nonfiction on Amazon or Z Publishing.
August 12th, 2018
I love when I’m in a place and my phone isn’t on the forefront of my mind.
This is so important for someone like me who seemingly can’t detach from the lure of always needing to be updated on who posted what and when on Instagram.
It’s an addiction I’ve been trying to control for a while. Habits that I’ve blissfully unaware of harder to acknowledge than one would assume.
Denial and ignorance take over my mind for a long time until my awareness over my routine becomes too strong to the time that falls out the window due to too much time scrolling through stranger’s photos on the app that’s different to detach from.
It’s only when I’m on my own and away from good cell coverage that I can step back and see what life is like when it doesn’t revolve around feeling the need to know who, what, when, and speculate on why.
Although, I had this feeling when walking through New York. Being out and about in the city, I barely thought about what could be happening on the addicting app. It was another view into a life where technology wasn’t sucking up the time in my day.
My goal is to get to a place where I don’t feel the need to check Instagram too many times a day when I’m in good cell coverage or have WiFi.
For now, deleting the app will have to do.
(Some of this is rambling, some of this is incoherent. I’m tired and excited to spend the day not on my phone.)