Exercising My First Amendment Right

First and foremost I will start out by apologizing if this offends anyone, but if it does, please feel free to leave my blog. Trust me it won’t hurt my feelings. I am going to vent. I have a horrible mouth so beware of the cussing. I will not name names but if I do say something about you I’m sorry. My blog is my way of sharing the real me with the world. I can’t do that in person. In a way I refuse to because I’ve been judged too much in my life. I am a writer and I write what I feel. Read on with the understanding that I could piss you off but after the things that have happened over the last few months, I believe I need to say this before I can move on. All I can say is – this is my warning to you. You have about half a second to turn around. With that said…

I am an American…
 “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I am a firm believer in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Over the years I have been subject to issues and situations where people have questioned and judged me but in the end I had the First Amendment to back me up. There are some people who believe I should remove the pentacle I wear around my neck with pride because they find it offensive. HELLO PEOPLE – I AM A WITCH! I could easily tell a Christian to remove the cross from their neck because I find it offensive, but I don’t because, unlike a lot of people in this world, I am not afraid of any religion. I was raised to respect every religion for what they are and support the people of the many faiths that make up this world. My family is Catholic, Pagan/Wiccan, Jewish, Buddhist/Taoist, and Christian. Guess what? We all get along.

Don’t judge me because you don’t know me.

So lately some things have been said to me that have pissed me off, for lack of a better word. I started this blog and joined Twitter as a way to vent any frustrations and feelings I have – whether they be about work, my life, the asshole that order twenty drinks in the Starbucks drive-thru, whatever. I have never mentioned names of my bosses, co-workers, customers or anything and if I have I am truly sorry. People have to vent. When I was teased unmercifully in school I learned to keep my feelings to myself to avoid any more teasing until I snapped. Then I ended up saying things that I didn’t mean and have regretted doing that ever since. I’m learning to not let it build but the truth is, I have a hard time opening up to people because I‘ve held back so much for so long.

This is the generation of bloggers. We write about things that mean something to us, family, life in general, bullshit… the list goes on and on. The fact is I have things to say and am willing to share that with the world for those who are brave enough to listen. I’ve always told people that I have a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen and an Irish temper to back you up. In a way, my blog has become that to me.

The First Amendment says that I have the right of Freedom of Speech and of the Press. Blogging is (or at least should be) protected by that. I don’t blog while on work time, but on my own time while I’m at home.

I live in a small town and I’ve been saying for years that these people need to learn to mind their own fucking business. This is a place where everyone knows everyone. Their parents grew up together and their grandparents grew up together. I was the sixth person, fourth generation to graduate from the same high school. We are a tight community. You mess with one of us and you’ve pretty much messed with the entire valley, not just the town but the valley. Unfortunately that also makes some people believe they have to right to tattle on others. You don’t. Period. If you can’t tell me to my face, don’t go and tell the people I work with or for. That makes you a coward.

I’ve messed up in the past but seriously who hasn’t? And don’t get me wrong. I know everyone has the right to their own opinion, but so do I. Don’t treat me differently because I’ve said something (in person or on the internet) that has upset you, but don’t censor me. I have the right to my own opinion and will not be told what I can or cannot write on my blog or Twitter. And please don’t tell me that I cannot cuss. I have a horrible mouth and have had one since I was three when I called my dad a fucking asshole (I have a lisp so it came out “bucking athhole“, but he knew what I meant). I don’t remember it but have heard and told the story for a long time. My cussing gets worse the madder I get. Sorry but that’s me.

I am who I am and refuse to change. Don’t even try.
Okay so my venting is mostly over. There are times where I can talk or even scream until I’m blue in the face and never get heard. But the minute you put something in writing, the entire world hears you.

Flashback Friday – Week 1

For my first Flashback Friday, I chose a memory that all starts with a fire. I’ll never forget that day in 1992. I was helping my dad with giving out bags for the Boy Scouts Food Drive and I remember sitting on the steps of the Boy Scout Hall when the fire whistle (we have a volunteer fire department – small town thing) went off. I watched the trucks pull out of the station, located just down the street, and scream past us with the sirens blaring. The only thought that ever went through my mind when that whistle went off was, “I hope it’s not someone I know.” I still think that whenever I hear it. When my dad and I got home, my mom wasn’t there, but there was a message on the answering machine. My dad hit the button (I was down the hall but could still hear it) and it was my mom. Her voice was a little shaky and I don’t remember her exact words but it was something like “I’m at Mom and Dad’s. Their house caught on fire.” The message was longer but that’s about all I remember because my heart just sank. My great-grandmother, Mert, was in the beginning stages of her dementia (she died of Alzheimer’s in 2004) and was living with them. Panic…

Thankfully one of the firemen lived right behind them and saw the smoke. Even though I know I’ll never forget that day, the majority of it is a blur. Bishop is a small town where everyone knows everyone, for the most part. It was surreal as my dad drove down Ma and Pa’s street and see the various lights of all the emergency vehicles parked in front of a house you’ve known your whole life and practically grew up in. Lucky for them it was just an attic fire but they lost just about everything up there. All the Christmas ornaments were lost, even the ones my mom and uncle made when they were kids. I remember clutching on to someone, I think it was my mom, as we walked through one part of the house and into the backyard where people had laid out the things that were salvaged. Someone just kept telling me that things, possessions can be replaced, people can’t and thank God no one was hurt. Grandma Mert was sitting pretty much right below the fire and suffered a little smoke inhalation. 

Not too long after that, once the house was fixed, I had my 10th birthday party there. I think I remember that day a little better than I do the fire. I didn’t have too many friends over but we did have a blast. We split up into groups and went on a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. The last thing on our list was a wing nut. Even with my grandfather building stuff (he build a grandfather clock) I learned what a wing nut was on that day and the guy who lived in the second house from the end of the street just happened to have one. I don’t remember if my team won but we sure did have fun. Then we played dress-up with a trunk full of dresses from the 60s and 70s (there may have been at least one from the 50s thrown in somewhere) posing for my mom and grandma and banning my brother and his friend Jarrett from the room. I think that was the year I got my Monopoly game too.

In the picture (from left to right) is me, Mindy (my best friend of 21 years now), peeking out from the back is Abby and on the far right is Amanda (whom I’ve known since we were both 2 years old growing up down the street from each other). The two girls in the middle I honestly don’t remember their names and I feel really, really bad about that. Sorry. What can I say? It was 18 years ago.

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