The Roundup…

Well, it’s been an interesting week. By “interesting” I mean I’ve been a nervous wreck and barely slept more than a couple of hours at a time.

The national outrage is growing.

There were protests all around the country today. The protest in NY was, contrary to most people’s belief, actually peaceful, and no destruction of property that I know of. I was not there, but certain people I know were. They are safe, and I’m glad for it, and here’s to hoping they made their voices heard.

There was also a surge of hate crimes around the country by people who are emboldened by the election results.

God, this goes right to my soul right now… Just like post-9/11, but worse. And what about the people I care about? I have a diverse, vibrant circle, and I fear for them all.

I’m not linking this time around just on the account that I’ve seen enough. There’s a point where someone just can’t take much more. You can Google if you want to know what I mean.

One thing for sure: the country is not happy. And contrary to whatever spin you are sold, Hillary has won the popular vote hands down. But – this country doesn’t decide the president on the popular vote.

People who are genuinely confused about why people are protesting, may want to have a look at this quote by Andy Borowitz:

EMPATHY CHECK: It seems like an appropriate time to bring up the topic, seemingly obscure these days, of empathy.

Trump supporters are having a difficult time understanding why people are protesting.

Trump has said that he would send troops door to door to remove millions of people from their homes and then from the country.

This is not an exaggeration. There is video of him saying it.

I would ask Trump supporters: if you and your family were facing such a threat, what would you do?

You might protest.

I know: EMPATHY SUCKS.

What I will say, however, is this: you cannot expect cooperation and “coming together”. Trump ran on a platform of division and marginalization, and people actually expect the very same groups that were divided, marginalized, discriminated, etc. to come together and sing kumbaya at the campfire? No, no, no. Reality doesn’t work that way. For every action, there’s a consequence, and words are never, ever, ever “just words”. There are consequences to the speech. And you don’t get to push someone away, accuse them of being “criminals” – which has  been recorded on tape – and then expect their support. This is just one such example; there’s many more.

The real world doesn’t work like that. You sow something, you reap its direct results. You run your mouth, you get to see the fallout.

I’ve gotten a lot of media-blaming for this… but honestly, let’s not blame the very vehicle that got us to this point in the first place. I don’t watch television for a reason, but even I couldn’t miss the disproportionate airtime given to the current elect. You see the media pushing someone in front of people’s faces, broadcasting every word he said, and then you want to blame the media for portraying him negatively? What you see is what you get, and shooting the messenger is ineffective.

Everyone has the right to have an opinion – but everyone else also has the right to soundly reject it. The Ninth Amendment of the US Constitution basically boils down to “Your rights end where mine begin”, and it seems that too many people forgot that.

This is a something I’d like to restate.

You know, there’s one silver lining to consider in the fiasco of this election…

You get a hell of a lot better at drawing boundaries.

Politics and crises bring out the best and the worst of people – that’s always been the case. But the one thing that it never fails to do is show what priorities people have, and show what they find acceptable in their lives. And based on that, you can make the decision on whether or not you find those things acceptable or not.

And according to that line of thought, you can get seriously good at drawing boundaries on what you tolerate.

And I now know where a lot of people in my life – whom I thought well of otherwise – stand. In some ways, I was pleasantly surprised. In other ways, not so pleasantly.

Look, you have your opinion, that’s fine. That’s your right. But your right ends at MY right to not allow your opinion into my life. If your opinion is wrong and factually proven wrong, more so. MY right to reject your opinion is exactly equal to you having it. Apart from the very basic tenet of the First Amendment, it’s also called “consequences”. People have the right to boot me from their lives too – lord knows I’ve had that happen often enough! But – you don’t get to weasel out of the consequences of your opinion, your actions, or your words. That’s just the way the real world works.

One good piece of news is that I got to know who my real friends are as of this election. Because where I stand as a woman, as a woman working professionally, a woman who travels in many diverse circles and thus exposed to many, many, many different lives and views and priorities, these next four years are very. damn. important.

And I plan on being a better friend to my people in light of this. Even if it means that some folks have to get out of my circle to make room for the people who will need me in the future.

I will admit that I lost my temper with a few people, because they couldn’t grasp the above concept. I asked someone to put themselves in the protesters’ shoes, and their response was “LOL, yeah right” (paraphrased). Really? So basic empathy isn’t even necessary? Oooo-kay.

It’s perfectly fine to remove people from your life. Trust me, it is. Because as I found, for every person you remove from your life, there’s a much better individual in the wings waiting for a chance to show themselves to you.

Politics has and will always expose the best and the worst in people. But I find that if someone’s not capable of basic empathy insofar as asking, “Why do they feel the way they do?” and asking that as a genuine question, rather than a reason to laugh at them for being “sore losers” (this has been making my BP rise the past few days, for sure), then their reactions tell me a lot more about them, than about me for finding that unacceptable.

People really lost sight of the saying, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes”. This is a tenet old-school moms have been trying to teach their kids since time immemorial, but I guess the lessons don’t stick, huh.

In the coming months, and years, there will be people who will need me. If some folks have to be jettisoned to make room? I’m okay with that.

K.G.

Posted in The Usual | 2 Comments

House of Horrors

That was the Daily News headline this morning, and it captures what I feel very succinctly.

Dear mother of God, what have we done.

What. Have. We. Done.

Look, people. Put aside the fancy slogans and the “USA!” chants, and just look at what the hell happened last night: we elected someone who is as grossly unqualified for President as one can possibly get, who ran on a platform endorsed by the KKK, who made absolutely no qualms about whose lives he was going to make hellacious. Hint: it’s all of us.

If you’re not (1) Rich, (2) Male, (3) White, and (4) “Christian” – by which I mean the fake cherry-picked Christianity that’s practiced to cover for hypocrisy, you are fucked. You are fucked to beyond belief. You are going to lose everything that matters to you, and no, I’m not exaggerating. The GOP had a clean sweep in the election results last night, and this does not bode well for anyone except those who long for the “good old days” of the 1950s – which we know exist only in people’s imaginations.

My mother depends on Social Security and Medicare, because she’s retiring. And how’s she going to retire now? On what? Am I even going to keep my job? How am I going to support a household of two in NYC on one salary with costs of living out of control already? Three, if you count my brother.

And health insurance? How many of us will lose it if we got it thanks to the ACA? How high will our medical costs be before we are flat broke?

I wasn’t going to announce this until I was actually closing on something, but just the other day, I got news that I had a mortgage pre-approval. I could actually buy a house, like I dreamed of for years. And now? God, now I can’t even think about it. Right now, the idea of owning property is galling. No equity will be worth it…

This is a man who has casually bragged about sexual assault. A man who had wiped his feet on the backs of small business owners and smilingly bankrupted them to build his properties and brands. This is a man who made no bones of agreeing with a lot of what Hitler had to offer – not a Godwin argument, kids, he has been reading Hitler’s speeches for years. His business ventures have failed. And somehow, the US population thought that he would somehow make everything better?

You may tell me to “have a little faith” – but I can’t. My family, in the country of my birth, has already had to go through something extremely similar. I already know just how all of this turns out. And history, obviously, does repeat itself, and what is killing me at the core is that we could do nothing to stop it. We had an opportunity to stop it, but our best efforts were, obviously, not enough. My grandparents, thankfully, are neither of them alive to see this. And I am glad for it, because I cannot possibly imagine having to tell them that the very thing they’ve survived and fought a war to overthrow is about to happen again.

Don’t even start me on the protest voters. Don’t. Just don’t. This is precisely why I say that Isaac Asimov spoke prophetically.

And I should’ve known better than to underestimate bigotry, stupidity, and hate in large numbers.

I guess the only thing we can do now is buckle down and get through it. Somehow. But here’s the thing: do not expect me to acknowledge Trump as president. I don’t care that he won. If the conservatives got away with not acknowledging Obama for 8 years, believe you me, I can avoid acknowledging this fiasco. Don’t ever question that unless you want to be called out for a hypocrite, and I am very good at public shaming.

And because I know who reads this – thank God for whoever invented IP trackers – and my audience is global, I have a few messages.

To the rest of the world: We are so, so, so sorry for putting you through this. If you believe in a deity, start your prayers now, we will need them. And please, please don’t be afraid to check the US as needed, because good mother of all holy, we. are. going. to need it.

We will not back down without a fight, though. We will not stand by and let this country go to the pits without putting up a hell of a fight. We just won’t. That’s not what we do.

To my friends, majority of whom are nonwhite: Stay safe. Stay in touch. Stay close. We will need one another to get through this. Nothing is going to be more important than staying united, even if nothing else in the country is. Right now it’s on us.

And I know, I know that now is not the time to think about it, but… while the stock market is bottoming out, buy some stock. In about 4 years, you will see why I say so. Trust me. Opportunities will be growing few and far between, but this may be a great time to grab what little stock you can. Even if it’s one share.

To my mom, in the event she ever finds this blog: Mom, I tried to warn you. I tried to tell you. This is not how I wanted to say “I told you so” – not at this cost. I am sorry that this is happening. We are really going to be in a bind, and I hope you have enough family stories to get us through this, because my faith is gone, gone, gone.

To a former friend in TN, who I hope will read this: Look – whatever personal clashes we had, please stay safe. I won’t budge on where I stand, and nor will you, but certain things are more important, such as survival. You, being in TN, are at a huge disadvantage in what’s coming, and if anything, I am just as fearful for you as I was before all this. More so, actually. Regardless of where we stand, I still want to know that you’re going to be OK. And that’s all I’m asking – just be safe. I’ve asked for very little in the years I’ve known you, and I’m asking this completely regardless of whether or not we’ll ever speak again. In fact, I’m fine if we never do, but I still want you to stay safe in the coming four years. If you want to touch base with me, you know how. I didn’t block your number.

Oh, and the Trump supporters who are reading this?

Save your gloating. Seriously, save it. I don’t want to hear it. I already heard the victory gunshots in my neighborhood last night. I do not want to hear your damn voices in my little corner of the web.

Here’s the deal: I know history a hair bit better than most of y’all. I already know what will happen to your hero. Time and karma equalize all, and enjoy your moment of victory while it lasts. What I hate is that you’re making the rest of us suffer through what’s coming.

Good gods, give me the strength to get through to next year’s Capital Jazz Cruise… I don’t joke when I say this may be the only thread to sanity I will have left.

K.G.

Posted in The Usual | 3 Comments

A quick follow-up to prior.

I’m sure my fellow CapJazzers received the letter from the production in their production.

My assessment?

Well done, Capital Jazz!

I truly mean it, well done.

They acknowledged what happened, they formulated a solution, and offered a goodwill credit in an effort to make things right. And it may not seem like much, but consider this: the amount of the goodwill credit is equal to almost the full amount of one person’s port taxes/charges/fees. That? Adds up.

This is excellent crisis management, and gets points for both promptness and content.

Bear in mind, please, that this could’ve gone very differently. But – the most important thing, at least to me, is that they have taken what happened and learned from it. This is what a good production does. This is what happens when someone wants their customers to be happy, who knows when something has gone wrong and takes the time to acknowledge and learn from what’s gone wrong and then tries to make it right.

This is exactly what I like to see from a production.

And this is, again, why I am a loyal patron of Capital Jazz.

K.G.

Posted in The Usual | 2 Comments

CapJazz X: The Day After

First of all, CapJazz knows about this post, and I fully expect to hear feedback from the people there about it.

Second, I had an absolutely nightmarish experience flying home, wherein a flight that’s 2.5 hours on a good day turned into nearly seven, and between not sleeping at all on the last night of the cruise (very choppy waters) and flight issues, I’m sure you can imagine my temperament. So far, I’ve taken a mental health morning – sushi and sake, mani-pedi – to get myself back into gear. I think this is the second night in the past week that I got halfway decent sleep, and I don’t think there’s enough wine in the world to banish that experience from memory.

Now, here’s the nitty-gritty.

I won’t repeat the complaints that people had on board CapJazz this year. I do agree with them, and I will say they were valid. But I have another outlook on it and will dissect a few things here, and how correct I am or am not – y’all tell me.

But here’s the thing: I think CapJazz’s only error in this case was contracting with Norwegian for this year’s (and next year’s) sailing. The frustrations with the reservations, the itinerary changes – that’s much, much more on Norwegian than it’ll ever be on Cap.

Allow me to explain why I think as such.

First things first – this is not Norwegian’s first go at a charter cruise. Sixthman is on Norwegian and while I’m not too into the sort of events that Sixthman has to offer, this does tell you that the cruise line has experience with the process.

Second: the format of the ship is just not conducive to the scale of the production. For those not familiar with the history of the cruise, at Carnival, there’s one enormous theater that can seat close to two thousand people. The theater on the Norwegian ship is 1/3 the size, and the premise of it is multiple shows to accommodate everyone. Not just the early/late as we did before, but more shows. Think 3-5 shows instead of just the two.

I’m sure that on the pre-cruise – it’s standard for charters to pre-cruise to see how the logistics would work out – the cruise line was singing the praises to the skies of streamlining and offering more variety, etc.

The problem with Norwegian is that they were just simply not prepared for the demand.

Here’s the thing. Because Norwegian thrives on variety, you’re going to have multiple venues and a lot of it is “reservation required”. Just like on Carnival, you’d book a spa appointment or a steakhouse meal in advance, similar applies to the Norwegian shows. You have all these fancy screens at every stairwell where you book your stuff. You can book it through your stateroom TV as well. Or a pretty handy app.

Except – demand. You have 3,500+ people trying to book at the same time.

The booking system crashed.

The app wasn’t working.

Nor were the TVs. Everywhere you go, you got “Denied” “Denied” “Denied”.

And of course, they didn’t tell us that the dinner-and-show venues had to be booked elsewhere altogether. People were in line for hours and still ended up getting locked out.

Norwegian just. simply. was. not. ready for this.

CapJazz, in retrospect, may not have known about the restaurant-reservation tables for dinner seating. And of course, when asking questions, one finger pointed at the other.

But honestly, no. It was Norwegian. They just weren’t prepared for the demand that CapJazz brought with it. Sixthman Productions has a smaller, more traditionally designed fleet pledged for its shows, but Cap has a lot more attendees and requires a lot more from its ships. Norwegian probably thought, “Oh, it’s jazz, it’s just like Sixthman, so we can X and Y and have done” – except no. It’s not just like Sixthman. And it is jazz – but the party style of jazz

As a result, tempers frayed, and it showed. Believe me when I say I was just as vociferous as most other people. The balcony cabin I decided to splurge on and book was a saving grace; I am so, so glad that I put out the extra money to have that (tiny) balcony. Sitting outside in the daytime listening to the waves was truly essential to my sanity, especially after the last two years.

In retrospect, looking at the shows I’ve earmarked and the shows I’ve actually attended, I missed a grand total of no more than three shows.

Honestly? That’s no worse than the previous sailings.  In the grand scheme of things, frustrations aside, this turned out to still be the cruise production I have grown to love over the years.

But the reservation thing is for the birds.
keycards
In this pic is what I call my “adventure bundle”. These are the keycards from all the cruises I have been on so far. The X on the white card in the back is from the Celebrity Century ship, the All Star cruise by Haven Entertainment, and the only card that’s not from CapJazz. And I was wrong: I said on the ship that the 2016 sailing was my sixth. It’s actually my seventh.

So. Six great years with Cap on Carnival versus one iffy year on Norwegian? Guess what: the stats are still in Cap’s favor. And here’s the other thing: I have yet to ever hear of Capital Jazz Productions not setting things right.

Those of you who have been in attendance with Cap from 2010-2012 probably remember that they used to have the midnight jams in the back lounge. That changed to the theater. Why? Demand and complaint! Ken Ford was put into the back lounge, and the effect was similar. There was a traffic jam on every staircase around the lounge. Again: lessons learned. Bottom line: complaint does work, and I know Cap sets it right.

I don’t work for CapJazz, but I do know this: they will set it right for those of us who were there. How, I don’t know. That remains to be seen. They took a hit, and they are taking the punch and rolling with it. But I know they will get right back up and do something for those of us who were there.

I am booked for next year – and staying with it. Issues aside, this is the only week out of a year where I feel like I can be myself and enjoy seeing people I’d ordinarily not see at all.

But – here’s the one thing I’d like to see happen:

I would like next year to be the last time that CapJazz is on Norwegian.

And if it’s possible at all for this year to be the last time we’re on Norwegian, I would love that.

If there is any chance for a parting of the ways for Cap and Norwegian, I’d like to see that, for sure. Norwegian did not deliver, at all, if they were promising an experience of more variety. No, they couldn’t have predicted that the rezzy system would’ve gone splat, but I got the sense that there was a lot of miscommunication between the staff at Norwegian and the Cap staff as to what the boat was capable of providing, and whether or not that fit in with the expectations that CapJazz had for its production.

Moreover, the main feature of the cruise isn’t the variety. We already know the variety is there. We know it in the months preceding when they tease us with the lineup. We get it – and that’s why all of us keep coming back. But the biggest thing that CapJazz attendees love is accessibility. On Carnival, we knew that we’re lining up only to get the first bite at the good seats. But with Norwegian? We didn’t have that sense of security. We were lining up not knowing if we’d even get in.

And again: it’s not Capital Jazz. Have you, in the past, ever heard of Cap not wanting people to see as much as they can see? Personally, no. And come on, let’s be logical: their work is concerts. It’s in their best interest for people to have plenty of access.

So don’t be too harsh on them. Yes, this year could’ve been better. And next year, I’m sure it will be, because now they – and we – know what does and doesn’t work.

But I would certainly like to not come back to Norwegian past 2017 if I can help it. The cabins are tiny, and the beds feel like bricks. For someone with a questionable L5 disc and insomnia? Not a good mix.

And the lighting techs for the venues at Norwegian need a slap upside the head. Seriously: turn off the fucking blue filters!!! I don’t want to have a mess of photos where everyone looks like a smurf. It’s the same in the big theater too. Turn. The blue. Filters. OFF. It’s not too much to ask.

The music is still tops, and despite this, Capital Jazz Supercruise still remains the charter that I will cruise with.

K.G.

Posted in The Usual | 4 Comments

Musings at 30,000 feet

It’s that time of year again. Capital Jazz is the siren song and I, as a music lover and a music photographer, cannot resist it. It’s a trip that I look forward to every year and after a particularly difficult year – actually, a difficult two years – my soul and nerves alike can use the healing. 

I think it’s very fair to say, and I’m sure I speak for many, when I say that we should thank whoever invented inflight Internet. It’s a thing of beauty. :) but you knew that already.

But that aside… good grief, this year truly took the wind out of me. 

I will never speak ill of my job on account that I am almost certain that at least one person in management is reading this blog. And that’s fine. I curate my content for that and other reasons. But for those of you who do not know me, I work in tax accounting. And it is by no means an easy job. I think of it as a numeric jigsaw puzzle; a Sudoku work of sorts that involves making logical order of numbers, expenses, laws, deductions… it’s no different, as I see, from a basic game of mahjong. But the stress levels are incredible. My job has gone through a merger, and so far it works, I won’t deny it. But as it were, that added to the stress. And for those who are unfamiliar with tax deadlines, it doesn’t just end on April 15. 

 And it was stressful. And unfortunately, when I get stressed, I stop sleeping, first thing. Then my short-term memory starts Togo. Then my digestion is out the window. And a prolonged stretch of this generally adds up to, for lack of better words, “I’m a fucking nervous wreck”. 

The stress, to be fair to my job, started last year. Not a story I’m willing to hash here because more than one person is affected by it. Then I lost my grandma and one of my best friends, back to back, in close succession; a hit I never recovered from. I was a mess coming into the current year, and between tax season, people being people, and then losing another relative and one more friend unexpectedly…. yeah. My nerves are shot to hell and next week. 

Despite this, obviously, I am still doing what needs to be done, if only on account that no other option exists.  No one but me will live my life, and no one should have to take my responsibilities. That’s just not how I roll. Some may call it strength, but I call it resilience, if any such a thing applies to it. I just know this: I can’t afford to fall apart. 

And yes, I am doing NaNoWriMo again. National Novel writing Month, in case you wondered. 
Last year, I wondered just how the hell I was going to get through it, when I had just lost Bruce Nazarian. He was my greatest cheerleader in this crazy endeavor, as well as all my other crazy endeavors. But in no small part channeling the loss into inspiration, I pulled off my tenth win. Ten for ten, a decade of writing a manuscript in a month – or continuing a prior, as I did in 2014 and will do again this year – a challenge to both discipline and creativity. And I have claimed the goal of 50,000+ words within 30 days or less, and am endeavoring to do it again. 

I’ve made a commitment to my writing, even if the bulk of my creative life is my photography. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was 6. It’s a mission that, for all intents and purposes, I’ve accomplished. Ultimately, writing is the best focus exercise. It forces a chaotic mind (especially one as chaotic as my own) to focus and organize a pattern of character and events into a believable storyline. Whether or not it will ever get published or read has never been the point, though I do have five manuscripts published and more in the can. The fact is, I’ve participated in this challenge as a way to discipline and focus myself when my natural inclination, like it as not, is more along the lines of winging it. 

But I never call it quits. Not unless I have to, and writing is the one thing that, for my own benefit, I need to stay with. 

So onward. I’m already upward – 32,000 feet upward at this moment, in fact. 

K.G.

Posted in The Usual

One year

A year ago, I woke up to a voicemail and a text.

The voicemail was from my close friend, who said, “You’re going to wake up to some terrible news.”

The text asked me if it was true that Bruce Nazarian passed away.

Not that I’ve put myself back together from having lost my grandmother just some scant three weeks before, but that news was what broke me.

And it’s been a very difficult year. Putting myself back together has been first priority, and these are some of the days where I feel I’ve not quite succeeded at it.

My grandmother was 95 years old. While painful, her death was not unexpected, and it was something of a miracle that she had held on as long as she had. We had more than a few close calls with her at the last years, but it was something that my mom and I have seen coming. And if that’s the case, you have time to brace for it, to steel yourself – not that it’s less painful, but there is something to be said for forewarning. It’s easier to accept with a forewarning.

With Bruce… there was no warning. Just woke up to this news, and it cost me more strength than I could muster at the time to go into work that day.

The irony of losing someone whom I thought of and regarded as a father figure and finding out on my actual father’s birthday is not lost on me. At all.

The one thing I did learn from this is that there’s some losses that you just don’t “get over”. Those are the losses that you just learn to live around. The reminders crop up everywhere; you skirt around and try to ignore them, because you know too well that you risk falling apart at them. You catch yourself on about to dial that number. And you especially miss just being able to talk to that person about anything.

There have been more hits, but that’s the one that I haven’t recovered from. Not all hits heal. Not all bruises fade.

This one is likely such a one.

But – as before, the only choice I really have is to keep going, and that’s precisely what I’ve been doing.

K.G.

Posted in The Usual | 3 Comments

Let’s not forget

The importance of these things called boundaries.

You may have heard me say this before, and if you’re unlucky, you may have experienced this on yourself: I’m not a person known to be forgiving. In fact, one of my go-to sayings is that I don’t forgive as a habit, and forget exactly nothing.

Here’s the thing: every religion espouses forgiveness as a virtue. Every philosopher I know of has preached at least one course on forgiveness as a necessity.

Two words:

HELL. NO.

No, no, no, and no. They are wrong. They are all 100% wrong, and I will explain to you why.

Forgiveness is not a virtue. Forgiveness actually is allowing a person who has wronged you to think that they can do it again. If not to you, then certainly to somebody else. Forgiveness means allowing people to see that they can do whatever they want to you and know that they will get away with it. Why? Because they know you to be forgiving. This is an easy way to take advantage of someone’s nature.

I have no idea why people equate not forgiving someone with holding a grudge. That’s not correct. When you refuse to forgive someone, it does not at all equate to holding a grudge. There’s a huge, massive difference between a lack of forgiveness and a grudge. Oh, everyone holds grudges to one degree or another. That’s just what human nature is. But forgiveness is something that’s a human invention, and it’s greatly foolish to equate an absence of forgiveness with a grudge. It’s entirely possible to never forgive someone and never think of them again.

What not forgiving actually does is set a boundary for yourself and sets a standard for the treatment you do and/or don’t accept.

I bet y’all didn’t think about that, did you?

You didn’t consider that refusing to forgive someone is part and parcel of drawing boundaries, and is an essential part of boundaries overall?

You didn’t think that refusing to forgive someone who wronged you actually sends a message that you’re not to be wronged, or messed with?

You didn’t possibly consider that people who do badly by others are very likely to do it again, and there’s nothing at all wrong with cutting them out of your life and holding to it?

Then I suggest you begin to re-evaluate exactly what you were taught about boundaries, respect, consideration, and quality of people.

Never assume that just because someone is refusing to be “forgiving” that they’re selfish, bitter, grudgey, vengeful, etc. You don’t know what their reasons are for not forgiving someone. You don’t know what led them to the point where they said no and stuck by that no. You simply do not know what their situation is, but please don’t get sanctimonious on them. Your faith is yours – and their circumstances are such that they do not agree with you. It isn’t your place to question why someone’s forgiveness tether had snapped, but you do need to know that those tethers do not grow back.

I, for one, don’t forgive because I know, through repeated experience, that if I do forgive someone, they generally go right back to the same behavior that had them needing forgiveness in the first place. I’ve had one experience too many with giving people second chances for them to blow up in my face later to go down the same path again.

As I always say: when you step on a rake, the handle will always fly up and smack you in the head. So why would you ever step on the same rake twice?

My boundaries are more important than someone’s need for forgiveness, or their feelings, or their sense of validation. Sorry but not at all sorry. I don’t give a damn whom I offend or piss off by cutting them or someone they’re affiliated with out of my life. Why? Because in my life, my boundaries are hugely damned important, and there’s no person on the face of the earth who’s immune from that. You can be the Queen of England, and I would still cut you off without a backwards glance if I find that you bring chaos to the table.

Leave the “forgive and forget” at the door. I don’t forgive. I never forget. And I am a staunch believer that karma always comes full circle.

K.G.

Posted in The Usual