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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Tag: Jasmine

Sabotaging Your Own Happiness

jasmine banks

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It was just a moment that you felt it. You know what I am talking about. You felt deep pride in your accomplishments. You felt contentment with where your relationship was. You were peaceful. You only allowed it to happen for a moment, because as soon as you felt that feeling you sabotaged. You whipped out your invisible list of all the reasons you can't be happy and recited them in the town square of your mind. Somewhere along the way you were taught that you didn't deserve happiness, joy, love, connection and contentment. You also crossed off peace and excitement. Someone taught you that rule first, directly or indirectly, and then you adopted it as your own. I am not talking about the hedonistic pursuit of excess. I am not talking about greed or an unquenchable drive for more, more, and more. I am talking about the basic good feelings that counterbalance the pain and fear that we experience because the world isn't perfect. Why don't you believe you deserve them?

In those moments, when your shoulders have loosened and the white noise in your head softens to an almost impossible to hear whisper, you are feeling content. As soon as you realize what that suspect feeling is you kick fight and flight into high gear and search every corner of your relational and emotional surroundings. "People are not to be trusted" also becomes "I can't trust myself to choose the right people to love me and look out for my welfare."

Some people are assholes and don't deserve your trust. But not all. You don't have that kind of luck. It stands to reason you'v met at least a few people who were deeply kind and wanted to love you well. The problem is that you were suspect of them too, so whatever potential was there was likely ignored.

No! Don't do that! Put the mental pencil down. You don't get to add what I am saying to the list of "Why I always fail at everything". This isn't a reprimand. This is a request for you to recognize your rights.

Did you know that you have the right to feel as good as you can? Did you know that taking the easy way out is actually a really good form of self-care. It is a really good way of saying: I will choose gentleness for myself.

What if you let someone help you?

What if you let someone love you?

What if you trusted that you will be safe if you experience peace, because even if the worst happens you are an adult who will be just fine?

What if you stopped sabotaging your own happiness and stopped being so comfortable with the painful path?

 

Saying Goodbye to Fiona

jasmine banks

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Fiona died two weeks ago. She was a darter. She was hit by a car. I saw it happen. As much as you can train a dog, put them on a leash, and teach them... some still dart. That crazy little thing loved to chase cars and bolted out the front door anytime she got the chance. She'd gleefully run around like a lunatic and then voluntarily come home. Chasing her was nowhere near realistic. I knew, eventually, she'd be hurt. She acted like she was invincible. Cars usually win. I've lost many loved ones in my life. Their deaths were strewn with all kinds of issues and history. The thing about the death of a family pet is that the memories of them aren't strewn with ambivalence and difficult histories. The memories of our pets seem to be only marked with moments of unconditional love.  I LOVED Fiona in a deep way. Maybe more than my kids sometimes, but don't tell my kids.

I hated watching her die the way she did. Accidents happen.

I planted Peonies over Fiona's grave site this weekend. My last way to say goodbye.

Photo on 2012-03-25 at 20.31

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Photo on 2012-08-13 at 21.32 #4

So I Went To A Strip Club...

jasmine banks

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Alternative titles were considered:

  • 5 Dudes and a Neurotic Chick Walk Into a Strip Club...
  • No I don't Have Meth, Don't Ask Me!
  • I Bet You Could Crack a Walnut With Those Thighs!
  • ALL the LEG WARMERS!

and

  • Are You Just Happy To See Me Or Are We In a Strip Club?

 

This weekend I attended a friend's bachelor party, well technically two weekends ago, but I am talking about an epic bachelor's party... so lets not get hung (hanged?) up on details.

SO I went to a strip club with some dudes...I know, progressive and shit. I was there for two reasons. Or maybe three, but the third I can't say in public. The two reasons were, I adore my friend and he has become a great part of my life (we were semi-friends in high school but Facebook reconnected us and AWESOME) and the other reason was ohmygodstrippers. Why would I NOT want to go to a strip club? It makes for awesome material!

I am prone to over-think life. I am highly analytical and deeply contemplative. I could have been a monk... if monks swear a lot and go to strip clubs. So of course, when Madison explained that we were going to go see "dancers" I felt a deep sense of obligation to figure out how the hell to act.

Lets just say I hypothetically typed "Strip Club Etiquette" into Google. I also took a Facebook poll. Because obviously, everyone on Facebook knows the answers to everything and I have no shame.

I had four glasses of wine and decided to recreate my experience.

I know, aren't you lucky!

 

ENJOY!

We arrived at the strip club  in the dark and rain. I wasn't too worried about going inside. I knew I had more than enough hand sanitizer

 

The grumpy guy at the window was all, " WOMEN CAN ONLY COME IN IF THEY ARE ACCOMPANIED BY A MALE!" I am still not really sure WHY, but I wanted to be all, "OH! SO because I have a vagina the world wants to pay me less AND I can't see boobs! NO no NO! Susan B Anthony would NOT stand for THIS!" Instead I quietly signed my name to the book and paid the man my money.

 

We walked into the strip club and my first thought, "WHOA!" My second thought was, "O-M-G, I did NOT bring enough hand sanitizer for this experience." Ladies and gentlemen there were nekkid women everywhere! They were on ALL THE THINGS, including people. I quickly scanned the room for a chair and push my way pass the throngs of people.

We sat near the side of the stage. The stage was sunken in with a pole in the middle. I was expecting something from Showgirls or Coyote Ugly or something. None of that, y'all. These folks were streamlining this process. I guess to highlight the "dancers"... I have no clue. I was highly let down from the lack of disco balls and boas.

 

 

The ladies all kind of wore the same things. HIGH shoes, and skinny g strings. There were a lot of piercing and tattoos (my tattoos were better).  The moment the first girl took the pole. (<--- OMG that line is TOO perfect.) I was thoroughly impressed. Not by her parts, but by her athletic ability. Seeing those women move gracefully while not busting their ass from falling off a pole was worth the price of admission.

I tried really hard to figure out the formula on which ladies made more money and why. Frankly, several times I felt like paying them to change the song they were dancing to... seriously. I think there should be some kind of rule that says strippers shall not dance to country music.

 

Of course there were boobs. I was in a strip club, after all. I was sort of underwhelmed. All the portrayals of exotic dancers in pop culture show the ladies with GINORMOUS breast. Alas, there were no giant breasts in this shift.

 

What there WAS a lot of were lower back tattoos and backsides. Maybe I am just not cut out for strip clubs... but I was underwhelmed.

We didn't stay too long. Long enough for our bachelor to be whisked away for a mysterious lap dance.

*Side Note*

What do you even SAY to a stranger as they are awkwardly circling their bum in your lap?

*End Side Note*

I can say officially I've experienced that rite of passage.  I learned a few things:

  • Strippers have awesome muscle control but poor taste in tattoos
  • If an elderly man named Manuel hits on you and asks if you are married make sure to deflect and let him know your sister is interested in him... (yes I did that, and yes my sister is still mad at me).
  • Strippers should wear name tags because addressing someone as, "excuse me stripper" isn't the best idea.
  • Men should be required to wear pants without pockets while in strip clubs, because EW!

and

  • There is such a thing as skin burns from too much hand sanitizer.