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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Tag: Friendship

Opening Up

jasmine banks


So many self-help books tout that in order thrive in life you have to "stay open". Dr Quinn The Medicine Woman even had a line of jewelry about being "open-hearted". In the commercial she shows all kinds of relationships that were better for opening their hearts. We are supposed to believe these relationships, some at least, are diametrically opposed. Like the "goth daughter" with her mom. This commercial cracks me up!Kay Jewelry Open Heart Commercial

Dumb and cheesy commercial aside, this language is actually about trust. It is hard to stay open and extend trust for most people. It is especially difficult for those of us who are closed in many ways. If you know what I mean, you understand the mental wrestling matches we go through when we are talking about trust. When your primary messages were lessons about how untrustworthy caregivers are, trust is a dangerous word. Trust means letting your guard down. Trust means you aren't ready to sprint when danger hits. And danger WILL hit because that is just how your world works. When the calm of life settles in your suspicious increase, because your fight or flight tells you that someone unseen and dangerous is on the way. I've been intentional, over the years, about adopting a worldview that supposes people are born good and have the tools in them to be the best versions of theirselves. I've adopted this view as a means of survival, and because I have growing proof that it is mostly true. It has been the only way to diffuse my fight or flight responses that are almost always on high alert. There is a continual mantra in my head: "you are safe. you are okay. you are an adult now. you know how to protect and care for yourself. you are safe." I have so much proof of this worldview in my life. I've had so many people intervene with love and support and grace over my lifetime. The struggle has been the people who are not proof of that worldview. They aren't random outliers. They are people that we believe we should be able to trust: "friends", mothers, sisters, fathers, pastors, teachers, family. We all know folks who seem to continue cycles of hurt and suffering habitually. We've been those people, at times, that have hurt others- but the difference is the pattern. The line between those of us who are damaged and working through the wreckage we cause and those of us who are damaged and cause wreckage is responsibility Look for the ones who say sorry AND change their actions. Look for the ones that exercise repairing behaviors for their offenses, not compensating behaviors. After all, our pain and suffering in relationship with others is not about an exchange that requires pay out. So should we open up? Should we trust. The answer is yes. We should open up and trust ourselves first. We should open up and trust, in time, with the people who deserve that honor. Trust is something you exercise for yourself... Not because someone "deserves" it.

A Year After Suicide.

jasmine banks

Yesterday was the anniversary of the night when Vince called me from Micronesia. I knew what he was calling for before I even answered the phone. Teej was gone. Suicide. In some areas of the world suicide, or attempted suicide, is still a crime. I wonder how and why you'd punish a crime that is born from despair. Our world and our inability to face existential realities are dumbfounding. I think that is that hardest part about losing Teej: Suicide comes from deep deep despair. Despair is a place with no light. A place so dark, one would rather close their eyes forever than bear the weight of that darkness. So you close your eyes.  She was in so much despair. Her life, though, is markedly different. There was also so much hope and love.

I still can't clearly say how the loss of my dearest friend is shaping my life. It is hard to say with any loss, really. What I do know is I continue to live and honor her in how I live. I carry her with me. My child bears her name. Her drawing marks my body. The love she infused into my life cannot and will not be taken away. Suicide can do many things, but it can't shatter love.  I am working to move from allowing the loss of her life be the definition and into embracing who she was during the time I had her. She belonged to all of us, but most of all to Africa and words. I'll go there one day there and I will write.

If you need help, reach out -> to anyone->to everyone-you aren't alone Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 9.33.45 AM

pic 001 pic 003 teej Teej and Isaiah Teej Teasdale

Wine Slushie Recipe and Monday Miscellany

jasmine banks


Last week was a rough week. It was a week of memories, reflecting, and trying to make sense of why the world can suck so bad. I came up with no more answers than when I began reflecting...but what I did realize is that I am far more capable and courageous than I ever imagined. Life is a bitch, yo.

One amazing thing that eases the pain of loss and life difficulty is being around people you love. We loaded up and headed three blocks down to Cornell street, where our most favorite people reside: The Perkins.

We played and talked and ate and drank. Our kids jumped in the pool with clothes on as the sun sank into the horizon. Our toddlers waddled around shrieking and growling in their unique Brown+Perkins pitches.

We sat on Sadie's beautiful new wrap around front porch and laughed at the neighbors and their bizarro lawn decorations. Pie plates do not decorations make? "Are they there to frighten Magpies?" "But I thought Magpies like shiny things?" We craned our neck when two cop cars rolled up and spent almost an hour in another neighbor's house. We giggled at the Frankenstein Honda and the chubby kid playing detective.  Rusty wrangled babies and impressed with his cell phone technology skillz. Garrett chuffed with jealousy. Both men wrangled babies. While Sadie and I galavanted to the kitchen to prepare libations.

There wasn't a lot of topical discussion. It was just random laughter hemmed into moments of silent sitting. It is the kind of experience you have around people your soul is truly comfortable with.  You don't have to "talk" you can just be.

Sadie had the idea to make wine slushies. She, in Sadie fashion, didn't ACTUALLY have a real plan... so I brought in some structure, in Jasmine fashion, and executed her plan. What our evil geniuses yielded was the most delectable slushies. You want to try these. NAY! You NEED to try these!



Riesling Berry Slushies

1 Bottle Barefoot Riesling (or your favorite white wine)

1/2 c. Raspberries

1/2 c. Strawberries

2 c. Blueberries

1 c. crushed ice

1/4 c. simple syrup

Lime Zest


Blend until smooth and get drunk  enjoy!


Happy Monday Dear Readers!!