i have a poster in my shower

hc that when bitty sees jacks “be better” poster hanging up in his new apartment he starts covering it with little notes.

he starts off writing just like facts about jack, like “you always beat me at jeopardy”, “your playlists are always a+++”, and “youre the best sous chef a boy could ask for”

but they slowly get less factual and becomes like “you have the best ass in hockey. possibly the world.” and “hearing you sing in the car/shower/kitchen is the best part of my entire day” and finally escalates to just random doodles of baked goods and jack and bittys teammates and jacks butt and beyonce lyrics and rabbits.

but in the middle of the poster (thats now completely invisible behind all the notes) jack still keeps the first one bitty wrote and stuck on his wall, one just reading “i love you!”

3

I’m having a shit day, so here, take some happy selfies

(They/Them)

Home is different for everybody.
For some people, home is the place with all of your favorite snacks. Home is the place where you know which cupboard all of the dishes are in. The place where the mattress is worn in just right, where the shower pressure is perfect, where your wall is covered in posters and pictures.
Sometimes it’s a person- your mom, your grandmother, your best friend or partner or sibling. Maybe it’s a place- a house, or a room, maybe the city or the ocean. Some people have lots of homes. Some have just one.
When I think of home, I think of two. I think of my mom, who works so hard for our little family, and helps me in any way she can, and how she always smells nice and comforting when I hug her. But I also think of my other home. And it hurts, because I miss it too much. My home is a place where my anxiety isn’t as painful as it usually is, where I never feel empty. It’s a place where people are accepted and loved no matter what their gender or sexual orientation is. My home is a place where it takes a team for everyone to get ready for the dances. A place where I can waltz by myself during a slow dance and be applauded for it, or lead a big group in the Macarena to every. single. song. A place where one boy can ask another out and get applause from the entire cafeteria rather than hurtful words and hateful actions directed at him. A place where I can discuss headcanons with big groups of people and fear being made fun of, where friends can make a big cuddly pile of cold teenagers and pillows and blankets and hot chocolate when we all have to run back to our dorms in the rain. A place to make really bad jokes and be stopped by total strangers to be complimented on your lipstick or eyeliner. My home is the place where my roommate tells me she loves me and holds me when I cry. My home is a place where everyone is a family and everyone is safe. Where everyone is loved and cared for.
I want to go home. I want to go back to TiP. Back to the people who have become my second family, and to the three weeks I wish and wait for every single day for the rest of the year. Back to the place where I feel needed and uplifted. I want to go home.
—  Homes, by me, for all of my tip family, written with a lot of tears.

“I am 16 years old, American, Muslim, Pakistani parents, cover my hair. Sometimes people ask me if I have hair, or if I “shower with that on,” or if my dad can see my hair. Sometimes I am a poster child even if I didn’t sign up for it. Sometimes whenI go to the airport they pat me down, and sometimes it makes me cry. It’s okay though, part of the job description. Muslims are the new gays who are the new blacks who are the new Irish who are the new Italians who are the new women who are the new slaves. 16 year old girls have been brought to tears for generations for hundreds of years by some guy who thinks he’s real tough. They all come out stronger in the end. I want to be stronger too.

And no, I don’t shower with it on. Obvi-duh.

P.S. Stop staring at the girl at the grocery store who covers her hair. Say hi instead. Her life is a series of awkward moments as it is. Awkward moments, and too many clothes.”

My first hallucination was the spider on my wall,
the size of my fist and working its way between
the posters. I jerked up and turned the lights on
and I laughed when I saw that nothing was there.
That was at 5 AM and later on, when it was safe enough
for morning to be morning, I met you for breakfast.
Afterwards, with muffin crumbs under our nails,
we hugged goodbye, which should have been an indication
that I would never love you like that again. By then,
I was already slipping down a shower drain of
disappointment and anxiety.  No, if I stayed up late
or forgot to eat a meal, it would be on me. I’m done
giving my responsibility to someone else. And anyway,
it works. I can tell you I’m doing fine,
but if you saw me now, you’d recognize the lines
on my face. If you saw me now, I would look like
that girl, the one afraid of imaginary things.
If you saw me now, you’d call me an imaginary thing.
—  Yena Sharma Purmasir, “three of thirty” (2016)
2015: The Best One Yet

Ya’ll, I was taking a shower last night. (By myself! And not because I had to be in public! Just because I wanted to!) And I was thinking about 2015. This year has been hard in a lot of ways but also, truthfully, has ended up being the best year yet. 

In my 33 years on this planet I have never had a year as full of success as this one. I want to recap it for posterity. 

In 2015:

  • I was told in January that the chances of my husband and I conceiving naturally was practically non existent. We briefly discussed IVF and decided to pursue adoption instead. January was by far, the worst month of the whole year. It was scary and involved a procedure I am affectionately referring to as my $900 uterus power wash. 
  • In February we started the adoption process by visiting with our adoption coordinator, who in later months would come to be known as Fucking Ann. 
  • Also in February I was given a raise at work and shortly after that I was promoted from a coordinator to a manager. Both of these things happened without me asking for them or begging my employer to see the level of dedication I put into my job. This was the first time in my life I’ve been promoted or given a raise without essentially demanding it. It was really nice to be recognized for my hard work before I was so overwhelmed that I started screeching about being appreciated or I’d leave. 
  • ALSO in February I was given the opportunity to join the team for a client that I am personally very passionate about. The person who was doing social media for this client left our agency (actually to work for the client directly in a different capacity) and I was able to bring my years of training as a victim advocate to my new job in social media. It was for me the culmination of many years of work in various fields all coming together in a perfect moment of allowing me to work with an organization I am passionate about without having to sacrifice my emotional well being by doing direct advocacy work. 
  • In March I participated in my first client pitch meeting and along with the rest of the social media team helped secure another new client for our agency. From there I’ve been able to help them shape their social media strategy over the last 9 months. 
  • In April we finished our homestudy and began the wait for the State of Nevada to approve our homestudy so we could go on the books looking for an adoption match. I was patient. 
  • In July we went on an impromptu trip to Memphis as a sort of “babymoon” and had a great time. We stayed in a beautiful historic home with a fabulous host and ate our weight in pulled pork. 
  • In August Jay and I celebrated three years of marriage. We still like each other. 
  • I SAW SLEATER KINNEY LIVE WITH MY BABE CHEENA MARIE AND IT WAS MAGICAL AND NOW I HAVE A PERMANENT ROCK INJURY FROM DANCING TOO HARD IN MY 30′S. 
  • Unbeknownst to us our daughter was born on August 21, 2015. We wouldn’t even know she existed for another month. 
  • In late September we put in a pre-application to be considered to adopt a beautiful baby girl in Chicago who had been born with a port wine stain on her face making her a risk for a neurological disorder and therefore hard to find a placement for. Somehow, magically, we were selected out of more than 500 applicants to be her parents. 
  • Between September 24 and October 7th I annoyed the shit out of the State of Nevada so much that they finally pushed through the last bit of paperwork we needed to finalize our home study so we could adopt Ava Marie. There is a woman in the state adoption office who will likely be very glad if she never sees the name Daniella Cortez Alvarez again on a piece of paper, email or voicemail message. 
  • On October 9th, 2015 we met our daughter for the first time in the large Belonging Room of The Cradle nursery. 
  • On October 14 we took official placement of her and became a family. 
  • The last two months since that day have been filled with more amazing moments than ever in my life. Learning how to be a mom has been humbling and terrifying and overwhelmingly beautiful. 
  • On December 9th, thanks to the generosity of our friends, family and coworkers not to mention a fair dose of hustle selling hand crafts, writing resumes and cover letters and scrimping and saving for more than a year, we wrote the last check needed to pay off the adoption fees in cash. Aside from a few lingering credit card balances we incurred no debt during the process to adopt. A feat I honestly did not think would be possible when we started this journey in February. 

Guys, 2015 was one for the history books. I don’t know if I’ll ever top how much was accomplished this year but at this point, I don’t care. It’s been an incredible ride (and one I am not eager to repeat any time soon) and I could not be ending this year on a higher note. 

After years of wallowing in despair this time of year, it’s a welcome change to close 2015 out feeling this good.