The Long Haul To Love Via Australia

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The first few minutes of the flight are exciting. It’s a struggle just to sit still in the seat. Nine months of waiting has finally landed with a big, fat thud on my cool new suitcase, that can split into two bags of exactly the same size so I can load it up with souvenirs, or, even better, a couple pair of extra shoes. This is how the “Trip of a lifetime” begins.

Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney, Australia, the second longest direct flight in the world. The Flight Tracker scares the shit out of me. Really? Halfway around the planet? Only 15 hours and 41 minutes left? All of it over the ocean? Xanax. Thank God for Xanax.

The trip turned out to be everything a good travel adventure should be: Fun, exciting, stressful, and full of wondering and personal discoveries. I could lay it all out here, but nobody would read it. A blog is too short a medium to share something as huge as a “Trip of a lifetime.” I’ll break some things down later, once I’ve digested a little more, and I’ll share it as I can. I used to do some travel writing, so there’s a chance I can string together a few sentences that summarize an event or two. In the mean time, here’s the rough cut.

Sydney-The Opera House-The Harbor Bridge-(Kick Ass Flat Whites)-The Blue Mountains-Uluru/Ayers Rock-(Reverence)-Cairns-The Great Barrier Reef-(Swimming with sharks)-Palm Cove-(Ahhh)-Rainforest-Melbourne-Cricket-Penguins-Koalas and Kangaroos-Sydney-Climbing the Harbor Bridge-(Wow)-Home.

Time Frame:                            Three weeks.

Air Travel:                              Six flights.

Tour Buses:                            Too many.

Miles Walked:                         50

Pair of shoes ditched:              2

Hotels:                                    Five, one of which was particularly scurvy.

New Friends:                          Dozens.

Questions about Trump:     Hundreds.

Magic:                                        Every. Single. Day.

Quick summary: Once you discover travel is simply a way of meeting yourself in other people in a different venue, (the simplified version) you get to experience the real deal. We are all the same. We are all love. Travel Safely in the new year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrap Party

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As the end of the year approaches most of us reflect. Some digress. You decide.

Still Writing

In 2016 I completed a book length project, and have been trying to find the right literary agent for the work. A difficult prospect at best, I’ve learned a lot about Social Media involvement, which is a requirement, it seems, for publication these days. Social Media has felt like living inside an ongoing episode of The Real Housewives of (insert city here). It makes me feel anxious and aggressive much of the time. Despite this, I have continued to write and post some blog content that is similar to the way I write, but not exactly the way I write, because I’m always worried some person I’ve never met who happens upon my words will leave a comment like the mean spirited, rude shit I see all over the Internet Every. Single. Day.

Twitter Love

My very first follower on Twitter was a group that publishes the work of writers who have mental illness. I should have known this would be the case.

Facebook

Ok, I know what FB does with their data, and they are seriously naughty. I’m late to the party on this one, but I showed up (albeit) kicking and screaming. Continuing to have a Facebook page is a daily decision, and not one day passes without me saying to myself, “Why am I here again? It feels like my brain is being sucked out of my ears. Where did the time go” It makes me think I should just go outside and play.

Post office

The United States Postal Service and I continue our uneasy relationship. I love to read, and so a plethora of books came to live at my house this year. Some were used, others new. Most were damaged because of the common denominator—my asshat of a mail carrier who shoved them into my mail box like he was a participant in a psychiatric study reinforcing the diagnosis that there are just some twisted fucks who will always try to cram a square peg into a round hole.

One year later, after multiple discussions with Station Managers, Regional Vice Presidents, and even a nasty gram to the Postmaster General, I’m happy to report, my guy is putting all packages, no matter the size, on the porch. Just at the edge of the rather large porch mind you, so whenever it rains, which is often, my packages are completely soaked, but they are not bent. It’s the little things, right?

Miscellaneous Shit

I’ve traveled some this year, which always opens my mind to new things and reminds me that we humans are all the same. We all want to be loved, and we all want to find home, whatever that means for each of us. Also, I use a lot of anti-bacterial sanitizer, or as I call it, “Hand Sauce” Some people call me a germophobe, but the truth is, I catch things easily and don’t recover as quickly as I used to. This naturally means that sick people gravitate to me. I’m the person most likely to be sneezed at, or coughed on. It’s like people with cat allergies that are kitty magnets.

I was with a family member when she died this year, and for the last three weeks of her life. It was the biggest gift I received in 2016. For me, the most precious honor is to be trusted enough to witness and bear another person’s transition.

In 2016 I stood tall and strong for my family. In many ways, I took charge when others couldn’t, and it showed me, completely, the woman I am and always have been.

Wrapping Up

Lastly, 2016 is the year I decide I’m no longer combing my hair, and this time I really mean it. Many of my friends know me as a “tender headed” kind of girl, but I’m sensitive all the way around. Luckily, I have my hair cut in a way I can mostly get away with this, but I am saying this for the last time. I am done combing my hair.

Finally

I do still have unanswered question about many things. Some cannot be answered, I know. Among those, how could our country have elected Donald Trump? It seems like a dream I might wake up from any day now, but alas, I think not. More important things weigh on my mind though, like how is it possible that I’m still unable to spell occasion without spellcheck? This is a big deal for a writer. I mean, come on. English major. Seriously. Also I wonder, if asshat and clusterfuck are one word or two. This is the shit that keeps me up at night.

Very Lastly

I wish you LOVE and an extremely prosperous new year, whatever that means for you. I appreciate your attention to my words in 2016, sincerely. Robin

 

 

How Social Media Has Added 15 Years To My Life

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Social Media and I have an uneasy relationship. It’s like avoiding your drunk uncle at the family reunion and then discovering he’s the designated burger flipper. If you’re hungry enough you’ll swallow your discomfort, walk up, and say hello.

My job is writing, and if my intention is to share the words I write with anyone other than a few close friends who think I’m clever, I have to put myself out there. What that means anymore is Social Media. It stands as the gateway to my dream.

It’s an avenue I avoided for years, a place reserved for hipsters and the intrinsically cool to share their thoughts and opinions on everything from cat videos to the current political clusterfuck. Not the place for someone like me—holed up at home hour after hour engaged in what I think is serious writing.

I used to scoff at friends obsessed with constantly checking their Facebook page. And let’s face it, me sending a tweet is as effective as shooting a message into space via potato gun, then sitting at the Very Large Array (VLA) and waiting to see if there’s been contact from another life form, i.e. hipsters and the intrinsically cool.

But here’s the thing about Social Media. I got involved, surfed the learning curve; I posted and tweeted. And my self-esteem walked itself back 15 years. I don’t mean my crow’s feet lessened and my body leaned up. I mean there’s nothing like someone calling what you felt was a clever reply to a post, stupid. Nothing smashes someone’s self-esteem to smithereens, like being called stupid. It pushes every button we have, and most of us have a stupid button among the others residing near our fragile egos.

Twitter. How cool, I thought, to follow writers whose books you’ve studied every word of, or comedians and celebrities you admire. You can actually send them a Tweet! And just like in real life, they live in one world, the rest of us in another. This pretend place will not bring us closer together.

Perhaps I’m playing in the wrong sandbox. (Also, crow’s feet reduction should be a pre-requisite on this crazy play date). Honestly, I don’t think people are as nice as they used to be. I need the Social Media where people encourage and champion each other. The one where I can bounce ideas around, and hear what other people think who don’t have to spit on me when they speak. Please tell me that place exists, and then if you would, kindly send me the directions.

In the mean time, I’m getting younger by the minute doing my job, writing and navigating the gatekeepers to get my words out there, and hope to hell someone will read them. Otherwise I’m headed to the VLA and beaming my shit out into space.

Also, don’t bug me because I’m checking my Twitter and Facebook Page every few minutes to see if anyone’s liked my last post.