I'm turning 33 in four days. The last couple of weeks have been marked by an overwhelming sense of isolation and sadness; and a few days ago my car got broken into. I was playing Car Insurance Roulette, trying to keep my rate affordable; and, while I'll miss my 80GB iPod that kept me company for over 200,000 miles of road-comic travel, I'm not above burning CD's like it's 2002. What I'm going to miss most are the original, no-copies-in-existance, photographs of my deceased, bad-ass Grandmother.
While it would be very easy to dwell on the stupidity of petty criminals, especially given that I have a history with anxiety, depression and PTSD... I'd like to take a moment and do what Dr. Brené Brown calls "piss and moan with perspective."
Because of some thoughtless, asshat thief, I've spent the last 90 or so hours in a state of twitchy, paranoid anxiety, flinching at benign car noises, unable to sleep, remembering at least once every hour that I've been awake another item that was in my ridiculously large messenger bag, or realizing new sets of steps I have to take in order to replace items or get my life back to some kind of safe, normal flow. Replacing a window in sub-freezing temperatures was expensive and annoying, but the kid whose job it was ended up being cool to chat with. If any of you have had your bank account(s) compromised, you'll know how irritating the last 48 hours have been with precious few, yet unmovable, funds. But at least, for now, I have a bank account. What I don't have are duplicate copies of pictures of my dead Grandmother.
I've been threatening to write about her for a long time and I've kept the photos with me for at least three years as a reminder to write her story. I have an almost paralyzing fear of being an awful writer (read: This is the first blog I've written in OVER A YEAR!); and while I started to write about her a few times, I stopped as soon as any easier, distracting tasks arose. Now, I feel more shame for not having anything written to show, after countless months of gazing at her pictures, than anger toward the person who robbed my car. Yes, I'd like a replacement iPod to keep me company on the many long drives I must take over the next year but, even more so, the notebooks that were taken held photographs and the beginnings of the story of my Grandmother: one of the most complex, fiercely talented, generous, bitchy, loving feminists the world has never heard of.
She was the Presidential Tailor from John F. Kennedy through George Bush, Sr. She was brave when it wasn't safe for a woman to be brave; and when President Johnson grabbed her rear-end during a suit fitting in 1964, saying, "I hope your husband appreciates all this." She stood up, measuring tape in hand, and said, "Yes, he does. And don't you ever touch me again, you son of a bitch." She just didn't take shit from anyone. Ever. And she would've hugged me, called the theives bastards, and told me to let go of the past, get on with writing, and "Forget what anyone else says, Kendra. Keep your eyes to the World. You're an artist and a damn capable young woman. Show 'em."
I'm not used to asking for help without that surge of guilt for not being completely self-sufficient into my 30's, but am always imbued by anyone else's courage to ask for what they need. They couldn't have known it, but if the person or people who broke into my car had asked me for help, I would've assisted them--no broken windows or precious, irreplaceable, missing family photos necessary. My Grandma would've given them a Medusa-like stink-eye while emptying out her change purse to hand over the contents, and given a hollow apology for not being able to do more, as we were running late for the dollar picture-show. I was not born with, nor have I managed to acquire, wealth in this lifetime. All I have are some talents and artistic skills; and right now, in the face of emotional and financial vulnerability, I'm asking for help.
First, I'd like to ask everyone to embrace whatever connective spirit moves you and tell anyone you love that you love them. Especially if you've got bad-ass children who are likely to break into someone's car later in life. Hug 'em now, damnit, and prevent future robbings!
Second, I need encouragement, feedback, and accountability. I want to take my Grandmother's advice and put myself out there--this means write, inspire, and bring more laughs in 2014; and in order to do that, I need you to join my E-mail list (NO SPAM, EVER, I PROMISE, I'M NOT THAT DISCIPLINED!). This is WHY: According to AdAge, Facebook said, “We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time…” And a Facebook spokesperson said, “the best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it.” This means you may not receive my content anymore via the Facebook page because it doesn’t make sense for me to pay Facebook to send you blogs and comedy links and event announcements. So, if you’d like to BE SURE to join me for positive, fun, funny, healthy, inspirational, thought-provoking blogs, shows and shenanigans beginning in 2014, you should hop on My E-Mail List HERE.
Third, if you're so inclined to help financially, I'd like to trade what I have: Artistic Talents. No pressure to buy or donate anything. Seriously. If all you can do is hug your loved ones and tell me to keep up the work--or, more likely, to get my ass in gear--that will make my Birthday, Christmas AND New Year! But, if ya' wanna get some cool stuff, you can get one of my T-shirts HERE! Only $20/each...OR...
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to order a One-of-a-Kind, Nitrate-Free, Crocheted BACON SCARF, made by Yours Truly! (All bacon scarves come with an uncooked look unless otherwise requested!) $100/each...
At any rate, I'm grateful to be alive and well and able to drive and blog--not at the same time. Muchlove & Happy Holidays!