Heather L. Barmore
No Pasa Nada Heather Barmore Elsewhere About
Heather L. Barmore
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Heather Barmore
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    Change In Action at Babble Voices


    You Are Here 

    "A bosom friend — an intimate friend, you know — a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul." ~L.M. Montgomery

    I. There are people for whom change comes easily. They embrace it with wide open arms. Accepting and willing to go with whatever comes next. At least this is how I perceive it. Who knows; all of these people who seem down with going with the flow might be dying inside. I do not do well with change. It’s gotten significantly better over the years and this past year, in particular with my nine month sabbatical, I willed myself and meditated and yoga’d my way to getting through the crisis du jour. So, when I got a job, moved, travelled, and went through personal (boring, I assure you) crap in a span of three weeks, I thought I would be able to go with it just as others have before. “No big deal!”, I told myself. It’ll be great. I wish someone had informed my brain of all the wonderful things to come because while my body was physically present my brain was not. Depression is quite the bitch. It can be, at least for me, a manifestation of the myriad changes. Apparently, I am not designed to cope with several things happening at once. Something inevitably fall through the cracks and my brain says, “I TOLD YOU SO. I TOLD YOU THAT YOU’RE NOT WORTHY!” From there it is a spiral of self-degradation, overwhelming sadness and sleeping through glorious, sunny spring days.

    II. I feel bad complaining to Heather. She has enough shit on her plate with being a full-time working parent of two small children. She doesn’t need my going to her with my BS. I feel guilty, at times. There was one day in early April, during a time in which she constantly replays the worst day of her life and I went and sent her some pity, woe-is-me message. But she responded. She always responds. The week before departing for Scottsdale for the Mom 2.0 Summit I messaged her that I needed to be gentle with myself.

    “What can I do?”, she asked. She always wants to know what she can do even from 3,000 miles away. And honestly? I just appreciate that she cares and worries and loves.

    “Nothing…”, I started. “But if I decide to leave early, just let me go.”, I had decided. That was it. If I was having a bad time at the conference, I would leave and go home. I had to allow myself that space and I needed to have at least one person there to whom I could throw a knowing glance.

    “Ok. I understand.”

    III. I draft bits of writing in my head. If I’m driving, I’ll throw on my earbuds and speak into the mic. Sometimes the words I’ve managed to string together wind up in public but for the most part they live in an iTunes folder. It’s not a fear of putting myself out there or anything it’s just finding - well, making - the time to sit down and write. Anyway, I started, stopped, and started again to write about Scottsdale. Perhaps it was the healing properties of the desert or purposely surrounding myself with a group of women who I love and respect, something happened during that trip and it lit a switch in me. A positive. I wanted to write about my trip but everything came out covered in saccharin. I rolled my eyes at my trite words of adoration and women and fuck yeah, feminism. Heather wrote about last weekend. She wrote it in the exact way I would have written it and using the exact photos. In my quest to be gentle, I found myself producing full belly laughs from the across the dinner table, talking into the wee hours under the brightest moon, whooping, drinking, even a few tears were shed. I needed all of it.

    At the end of the weekend, I was asking Heather (Spohr) for advice while standing in the bathroom doorway. She threw her USC cap on backwards and told me to go for it. Recalling a weekend fully of small gestures that led to the most necessary of personal break-throughs makes me grin. I am OK.

    IV. On April Fool’s Day, my friend Jeannine, who works at the ONE Campaign called. I remember the exact date because her message before the call was, “I have something to tell you and it’s not a joke”. And then I was like, obviously someone is dead because I am terrible like that. She was calling to see if I wanted to go to Malawi. I held my yes for three days as it took two whole days to quell the anxiety of asking my employer if I could leave the country for a week, just three months into my employment with the company. My bosses were like, go for it. I am going for it. Tomorrow - Saturday - I leave for Malawi for a week and I’m still kind of pinching myself because I’m going to eastern Africa for a week because I can. Yesterday, my boss called to tell me to have a great trip, “I saw that email and I knew that you had to go”. Just like that.

    I’m going with/am giving my humblest thanks to the ONE Campaign and Heifer International. You can follow along on Twitter and Instagram and perhaps I might try Periscope one evening.

    All last weekend people kept asking if I was excited and while I was excited, I couldn’t help but think of all of the other things that had to happen before my departure. Tuesday rolled around and I was knee deep in bug repellent and light colored t-shirts. I stood out on my back porch in a sports bra and yoga pants, singing along to Lianne La Havas.

    I’m ready. I’m excited. I am here. I am OK. Let’s do this. For the first time in a long time I can say with absolute certainty, I CAN’T WAIT. I'll see you on the other side.



    "I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all." ~Richard Wright

    My writing ebbs and flows. I took the month of March off in order to get adjusted to a new job (I got a new job! I'm moving! I'm doing something other than watching HBO On Demand!). I'm currently working on pitches for April because I realized that when I'm not writing I feel lost. It has nothing to do with the quality and content of my full time job but if I'm not working on an essay then I feel out of sorts. I also must admit to the brief high of having the president of NARAL tell me that she enjoyed my work. Like...WHAT? NO. I'm supposed to compliment you! Not the other way around. But, that is what happened one evening in the District of Columbia. It thrilled me to the core and yet I knew that I needed to focus on one thing and one thing only which was not writing for others but writing for a position I fought for.

    Anyway, in due time there will be a website update. Cobwebs will be removed from this space, the light will begin to filter in once again. I have found what makes me happy and what I am good at. Finding the latter made the former that much more significant. If you are curious, here is what I've been up to. Spilling my guts across the Internet including in THE GUARDIAN...which...will never not make my heart beat with joy and pride because I did. I fucking did it. I AM a writer.

    Patricia Arquette Wants Peole of Color to Fight for Women. What Have I been doing?

    "As a black woman, I cannot segregate one part of my identity from the other; those who discriminate against me don’t separate out their racism from their sexism from their homophobia. I am a woman, but I am a black, bisexual woman; those things operate together to disprivilege me. Ending discrimination against white women doesn’t end discrimination for me; history has show us instead that it can actually make the unique discrimination I experience as a black woman – not simply a black person – worse."


    NO, You're Life Doesn't Have More "Value" Because You Have Kids

    "Would you like to know why I don't have children? Because kids are work. There are plenty of other reasons such as "preparedness" and the fact I can barely get myself up and out of the door each morning, let alone another human being. Then there's the whole permanent nature of children and, oh yeah, they are people. People with needs and feelings which leads me back to that whole notion of work. I'd rather just sit here and watch this terrible movie that I have seen 900 times and drink this wine. Enjoy dealing with another person's bodily fluids!"


    Selma through my father's eyes: 'What did these people die for?'

    "If you were to meet my father, you would notice that he is quick to sarcasm, perhaps even a bit caustic. You’ll also notice me, his only daughter, quick to jab him in the side at the first sign of something inappropriate. My relationship with my father hasn’t been one without its strife; he’s gruff and closed off. When angry, he becomes dismissive and walks away. I also love him more than anything. But the ways in which we approach life – me, with my writer mentality, wanting to know the entire story, and him, with his “why must we discuss this? It’s in the past!” demeanor – have made for an intense relationship."


    Status Update: Dear White People, it's OK to talk about Ferguson. Isn't it on your mind?

    "So, when I demanded to know why my white friends weren’t posting en masse about Ferguson, they told me they fear dipping a toe into any conversation on race. They admitted that when they do speak up, they’re told to back down; that they’re told they don’t know what they’re talking about; that they’re accused of tone-policing; that they cannot comprehend the black experience. My white Facebook friends said that they’re told they know nothing, that they’re reluctant because of the potential backlash from their white friends."


    I Discovered I Loved Women (And Myself) At Girl Scout Camp

    "From September to June, I admired (and attempted to approach) the boys in my grade and was quickly rebuffed. It seemed I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, popular enough for them. I simply wasn’t enough at all. Come July, I officially switched to the other team, so to speak. Nothing serious, mind you, just casual flirtation and a willingness to be open and affectionate with women."


    Play it Again

    "My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require." ~Edward Elgar

    I am a creature of habit. I like my stuff where it is and my routine and knowing what happens next. There is more to this but let’s leave it there for now. Anyway,even my music is repetitive. I listen to the same playlists for each time of the day beginning with a Morning Acoustic mix with my coffee to my Getting Through The Day mix featuring the sultry sounds of Common when I need a pick me up. It was recently noticed that I have something for every move, mood, activity and time of day. Which is true. The closest I have ever been to professing my love for song -especially a good band - is that time I played the clarinet and made first chair and spent the rest of my junior year of high school convinced that I would make it to an orchestra pit on Broadway. It did not happen and no, there is still not time. But I love music. I truly do. Beyond the words it’s the way it makes me feel moved or, at times, lack thereof. Music has been known to make me feel even when I’d rather not. Interestingly enough I’m not a live music person. I go to one live show a year which is a Jazz festival in Saratoga. Last year I made my dad and brothers, reluctantly, dance to Earth, Wind and Fire. Music remains deeply personal and something that I enjoy the experience of by myself. Which is the theme of my life but, again, we can discuss that later.

    I’m normally reluctant to share my musical preferences because sometimes it’s straight up terrible but in this case I will make an exception. These are the songs that are always in my head and often on repeat. These are the songs that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and sometimes I pretend I’m conducting to Kenny Loggins. We all have our weird things: