Thursday, September 1, 2011

We've moved!

Hi friends.

As of today, the blog can be found at my personal website:

Heather Minton

Come say hello, and tell your friends.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When someone's in trouble.

So, I've debated this post for a little while now, but I think it's important. I'm going to keep the details of the post very vague, so I can respect the privacy of everyone involved. If you find this post helpful, please feel free to link to it and share it with your friends.

A few nights ago, I began to receive texts from a friend that concerned me. The messages were increasingly despondent in a brief period of time, and my friend made it clear they were planning on taking some drastic action. I had just arrived at another friend's house, and was not sure how best to respond.

I texted with this friend for a short time, asking repeatedly if they were alright, if they were alone, if they had done anything to harm themselves. My friend refused to answer any of my questions. I know this person to be a devoted parent, and they would not respond to questions about their children or other family members.

I was growing more and more concerned, and called my friend.  I was concerned by what I heard on the phone, and my questions were evaded. My friend said goodbye and hung up.

Not knowing what else to do, I called the local Suicide Prevention Hotline. Based on what I told her (in about ten seconds), the woman on the phone advised me to call 911 immediately.

I did so, and heard from someone a short time later. I don't know the details of my friends' situation (then or now), but I know that help arrived.

If you find yourself in a similar situation:

1. Call someone. 

Regardless of where you are, or if you are calling for a friend or yourself, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-784-2433 (Portlanders, the local number is 503-988-4888). 


No matter what. In this situation, being wrong is the best possible situation. Don't let the fact that you might be wrong stop you. 

2. Don't try to fix it yourself.

Especially in cases when you believe someone has harmed themselves or is about to, I don't believe you should intervene. Sometimes talking helps, and sometimes it doesn't. In the case of my friend, there was nothing more I could do on my own. Call someone who can get them help, and let them do so.

3. Release.

This seems simple, and maybe even lazy. But it is vital to your health, and to the health of those you care about. Understand that "release" does not mean "ignore". It means doing what you are able to do, and then opening your hands. I think, in some cases, releasing also means "not demanding to be more involved". Obviously, the situation is different if the person in trouble is a child or a significant other. In my case, this was my friend. If my friend wants to find me and talk. they can do so. I'm going to give them space to breathe and heal. I may never know all the details of what happened and why, but that's ok. I did everything I could. My friend may be angry with me, even. That's ok, too.

I hate to think that anyone would despair so deeply they would feel the need to give up, but we know that people do. I hope that someone reads this and remembers that, whether it's their own sadness and pain or a friend's, that there are always options, and there is always help.

Be well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Before and after.

The last couple of weeks have been odd. That's all. 
First there was Tuesday: 

And then there was Wednesday morning, early.
And then I said, Stop being self-absorbed, taking pictures of yourself. If you haven't guessed, I have very little photo-editing experience, and a phone with a less-than-impressive camera. So I took one final one, and went to bed. 

Let's check in next week. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

The same boat.

So, I've been hanging out at Karma Cafe this week (as evidenced here) working on job-hunting, resume-updating and the like.

I also bought a domain name for my own website, which has no content yet. If you want to see the digital nakedness, it's here. Want to help me with the website? Get in touch with me. I'll welcome the input.

In my attempts to finish the resume today, I hit a formatting hiccup that had me frustrated. I emailed several friends, and one of them was able to help, thank goodness.

Another of my friends wasn't able to solve the issue, but she provided me with the following email exchange, which I found encouraging and enjoyable. Names and some details have been changed or omitted--sometimes anonymity helps.

I feel like I am in the same spot with what you said about goals and passions for my life. So you are truly not alone if that helps at all. 

Someone told me the other day they thought that my life went off course when I went to Seminary.

Now I answer phones.

So trust me, you are not alone and this may be terrible of me but it makes me feel a bit better that although most people cannot really empathize with what I'm feeling; you can.

I think that you need to either write humorist essays (which I have recently decided is my dream career) or host your own radio show. Perhaps both.  I would be a sponsor.

I replied: 

Write me a check, sister. I'll go on the air tomorrow. 

This will be my opening song (on the radio at this very moment, and I feel like the very sound of it--not even the words--is my life right now. A little hopeful, a little urgent, a little desperate, a little driven, a little aimless. 

I included a link to my favorite song of the moment--it's Young the Giant's "Cough Syrup". Pretty much encapsulates things. Enjoy:


 In the meantime, I'm accepting donations for my new radio show/first essay collection.

Just because.

Friday, July 22, 2011

To everything there is a season...

I remarked to a friend several months back that I felt like big changes were on the way in my life, but I didn't know what they would look like. And now I have a slightly better idea.

It's time for me to look for some new opportunities to serve. and for chances to bring my skills into a new position. I'm officially placing myself back on the market, so to speak.

Am I excited? Extremely.
 I don't know what's next, but I believe it will be good.

Am I scared? Absolutely.
Change is scary, period. But I've been reminded lately of something I wrote when I was at the coast--it was in the previous post:

Why settle for a river when the ocean is right next door? 

So this is me, stretching for the ocean. I am ready and open to accept any tips, help, suggestions. I'm happy to share my resume, glad to sit and chat over coffee about what motivates me, or what motivates you.

Expect more updates from this space, but please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or updates. I'll be here, and I'll be ready.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beach, Day Two (part two) AND...

So, a big change came down for me yesterday. There will be another blog coming soon, but I wanted to go ahead and finish up my time at the beach. It might be time for another vacation, though I doubt it. :P So...

Day two, part two:

I am sitting at Kyllo's and the older woman at the table nearest me just said, "You don't think they'd send grungy girls, with a story like that."
  There's a younger man with her, and her husband. "Girls with sturdy ankles and bad teeth," the younger man said.
Probably because I looked at them, the woman looked at me.
My ankles are weak, madam, I rhought, The weakest. 

The ocean spills into a little inlet right here, a shallow river. The ocean--the full, magestic, huge ocean is 20 feet away. People are still playing in the river, lying by it. Why settle for a river when the ocean is right next door?

...I'm back at the hotel now, and thinking that I am jealous of people whose attentions, whose affections seem wonderfully undivided. I don't know how they do it. Maybe, in all actuality they do nothing of the sort, but they can certainly put a good face on things. Me, I sing a hymn with one breath and have decidedly unholy thoughts in the next. Is this normal? I don't know. Let's say yes, I'll feel better. Thank God for His grace.

My pastor told me the night before I came out here, "You're not going to look at the ocean and suddenly understand God more." It's a paraphrase, so don't hold him to it, but it's a good thought and an important one. I said I was putting no expectations on this little jaunt to the sea, but part of me deeply, deeply wants an epiphany; to come back a changed woman who is more: more grounded, more passionate, more awake.

Be ye warned: My head is foggy with wine. And yes, I already hate that I wrote that sentence. From up here, the beach looks like pockmarked skin. Rivets and pockets are set.
  I finally got the crashing waves I wanted. Not huge and stormy, but enough to truly slam the shore and send up white bursts of Ocean, capital O.
  I know the ocean, as a whole, is constant, rhythmic and continuous. The half-mile I can see (or quarter-mile, who knows, really) is wildly unpredictable. The tide comes in, recedes, and comes back again, pummeling the sand sometimes and kissing it others.
There is someone running toward the waves, now running away. He is braver than I would be, especially in the dark. He has left his friend on a piece of driftwood and is now running away, it seems very fast. Hard to tell from this many stories up. Fast enough that if it were me on the piece of driftwood, I would say, "You are so far away. Where are you going?"
But I am on the balcony.

I am coming back here in storm season. How wonderful it would be to sit on this balcony or behind the glass and watch mayhem that is not mayhem at all. Men make mayhem. Nature exerts power. We call it mayhem when it doesn't do what we want.

I am both sad and relieved I only brought one bottle of wine.