Pearl.

Forty-five years ago today Janis Joplin was found dead in her hotel room in Los Angeles at the age of twenty-seven. Many people remember the lethal drugs that tragically ended her life instead of what contributed to the drugs in the first place.

NEW YORK - MARCH 16:  Blues singer Janis Joplin and  the Kozmic Blues Band perform on the Ed Sullivan Show on March 16, 1969 in New York City, New York. (Photo by David Gahr/Getty Images)

NEW YORK – MARCH 16: Blues singer Janis Joplin and the Kozmic Blues Band perform on the Ed Sullivan Show on March 16, 1969 in New York City, New York. (Photo by David Gahr/Getty Images)

Janis Lyn Joplin was a Texas girl just like me. She was born into a period where freshly trimmed lawns, party dresses, and upholding the perfect image were all too important. From an early age Janis actually tried to fit in well as her family had wanted her to. Plagued with a boy-ish figure, not the ideal face, and severe acne she was discriminated against, pushed aside and bullied. Naturally Janis’s response to this was to rebel which introduced her to a whole new side of herself she had never  seen. Crossing the state border to go watch “Blues Bands” and to drink became a frequent thing to do with her “out cast” friends, and from there on she began to sing Blue-grass herself. When Janis decided to move to Austin, Texas for college, she met a new group of friends where she began to sing with actual bands. She felt as though she finally fit in only months later to be nominated the “Ugliest Man on Campus” which naturally crushed her. Once again, she was laughed out of the state of Texas, and left for California. Janis of course then met Big Brother and the Holding Company through friends, and her career changed after her stunning performance at Monterey. Finally, the world saw this woman as who she actually was instead of a clashing outward appearance with society’s standards. Still though, the attacks against Janis didn’t stop. Despite her powerful lungs, she was rejected among so many.

Janis Joplin, Hotel Chelsea, March 1969, #4

Janis Joplin, Hotel Chelsea, March 1969, #4

This is the part about Janis that is so disappointing, but that I love. Women in these days were expected to be a certain way. A career woman, married, children, a manicured outfit, and to sit down and let the men speak. Janis wore crushed velvet pants, sparkly shirts, feathers in her hair, bracelets stacked on each arm, she spoke her mind, and was proud of it. When asked why she didn’t sound like other female singers at the time on the Dick Cavett show, she said “I don’t know why. I always wondered because it seemed so natural to me, but um, I don’t know it’s not feminine maybe that’s why. To really get down, and really get into music, to get on the bottom side of the music instead of float around on the top like most chick singers do. I think they float around on the top of the melody instead of getting into the feeling of the music. I don’t know.”

Janis was the first of her time to display such an outrageous feminine outcry. Not because she wanted to, but because that’s who she was. She wanted to get down with the boys because she loved it, and she wanted more. She didn’t care about the makeup, hair, and candy-shop beach wave love songs. She wanted the audience’s hair to raise at her screaming onstage. People loved her, people rejected her, and ridiculed her publicly. She never knew where she sat; if she was good or bad in people’s eyes contributing to her many many emotional and self hate problems. Janis truly just wanted to be accepted, and loved. Janis is so special to me because she presented a new idea of a woman. A woman who could get onstage with men, and belt the blues; a woman who didn’t have to be in the home. She presented this idea that you could do what you love, and feel like doing despite what society is screaming at you. In return, society ridiculed her saying that she was out of control, and crazed. Except, she was still was a woman with heart, and values saying on the Dick Cavett show that she eventually wanted to “learn how to bake organic bread, and have babies.” Janis was progressive for her time, ahead of it, and I truly believe that is what killed her.

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In society when it comes to being progressive, or presenting new ideas, we haven’t changed much from Janis’s time period. You are called a “dumb liberal”, or a “bitch that needs to be put in her place.” We are still trying to contain this image of women, dumbing them down, and refusing them rights. When we feel something that is so new for this economy, in return we are ridiculed, and we are hated. We are taught to think we are not worth loving, and we should hate ourselves too. It teaches you to be overly self-aware, and it drives people to do things for escape. Alcohol, drugs, whatever you can get your hands on. We are taught to be unworthy, as Janis was. She depended on a regular supply of Southern Comfort, heroin, or speed because humans had wronged her. At least these things accepted her, and gave her an overwhelming feeling of comfort (or high) regularly.

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People knew she was different, and that she was making a mark. To some she was a taboo topic, a typical drugged out singer, and surely within enough time she could disappear so everyone could go back to normal. They were right. While recording her new album “Pearl”, Janis found herself alone in her hotel room. She hated being alone because alone gives you time to think, possibly to think about how alone internally you feel. To take the edge off, her dealer stopped by with a new batch of heroine. After recording that whole day, she went back to her again empty hotel room where night had fallen. Thats where she then prepared her needle, and injected heroin that had a purity of forty to fifty percent…when the average is around three percent. Immediately, the drug knocked her to the ground where she fell between her bed and bedside table, where this final fix of heroin finally stopped her heart.

Today I am sad because someone who is so fun to listen to whether it’s her songs, or her just talking about ordinary things accidentally killed herself. The world lost someone who was a game changer for Rock and Roll, and for women. I am sad because she was taught that she was not worth of love here, and had to find comfort in such awful, and dangerous things. What a different world it could be if we learned to accept others instead of all the name-calling and shaming. The public was right – she did disappear physically, but Janis never ever went away. Her voice is still pounding through stereos’ and her face is now on the United States forever stamps. I wish she were alive to now see how loved she actually was.

-haley.

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Human Hurricanes.

My life is so full of physical limitations, but I still become that person where if you tell me I cant do it, I will. But sometimes when I find myself breathing harder, or losing consciousness (oops), I realize that maybe working my physical body is not my calling. While looking at someone who is physically appealing (those fabulous abs, and arms) it shows this discipline and strength that radiates off of them. But what about when you choose to constantly work on or workout your soul, and heart? Yea…what? A renovation, or working on your soul is probably one of the hardest things a person can do. To change themselves internally, to change everything they think they’ve ever known, or to work on something that is not tangible. It sounds insane, and most of the time you feel insane when you realize that maybe something things in this area will be, um, hard to reconsider. Understatement.

You see, for a long time I really didn’t care about people. I floated through high school on a very unhappy cloud (I have no regrets) and didn’t give two damns. I’ve always cared to an extent, but not once did I exercise a bit of patience with anyone or myself. Working with young children was a turning point in my life. I was working with tiny, and happy souls, some more than others, and they felt everything so deeply. They were brand new, empty of judgement, and they hadn’t reached this adult stage yet; they were not broken. I saw the humanity in their eyes as I felt their tiny arms wrap around my knees. Everyone was here at one point. We are still human, and despite how much we choose to cover it, we are so worth loving. Extending past my Pre-K and first grade experiences, and onto fifth grade, these tiny humans were hormonal devils. They were going to show you how insane, mouthy, experimental and defiant they pretended to be before they were ever funny, or told you how much they cared about you. Despite the fact they were leaving me for middle school, I still saw them as a version of my pre-k kiddo’s with a few bumps, and scrapes society left upon them. But the days they buried their faces into my shoulders crying, screamed my name down the hall because they were excited to see me, or felt the need to deliver me Valentine presents were worth the awful human hurricanes from time to time. But, I believe there is a hidden beauty in each person, and I so deeply want to find it, and teach them how to radiate it. Seriously though, it’s there in everyone.

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Overall, that job worked me internally. I might not have abs, but my heart has been strengthened more than I thought possible. I felt things beyond deeply, my stomach fell into itself sometimes, and you never knew when you had to step into an empty classroom to cry for a second after handling a situation that blindsided you. That job made me see the humanity in this society (sometimes the inhumanity as well) and showed me that every person is so worth loving. It taught me a lot about my disease, my life, and how much I choose to love others. People will often say, “I just don’t like that person” , “They are so difficult to deal with” and I find myself loving that person the most. Why? As I’ve heard many times “the people who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways.” My response? Everyone is So Worth Loving.

Check out the beautiful company that I am beyond a fan of, So Worth Loving, and their blog post about my story. I hope they show you the worth that exists in you, and other people.

Dedicated to all my wonderful students. Even though I was the teacher, believe it or not, you taught me too.

-haley.

Instagram @haleyann92

Silencing Thoughts.

I guess when you have been “up” for so long, the very second you realize you’re “down” for the first time in a while, it’s a hell of a fall, and it hurts.

Tonight was the first time my stomach shriveled into a little ball, and wanted to be anywhere but locked up inside this body. After hours of attempting to try on “summer” clothes, I gave up, storming out of the store with “workout” gear instead. I drove around for hours today trying to shake my body conscious thoughts, but I felt it eating my mind alive. Upon arriving at home with a salad, and new diet pills, I did some extensive research on getting published which is pretty much a road block for anyone who isn’t someone. Over, and over again I felt attacked by the repetitive negative feelings, and found myself held a prisoner. For the first time in months, the whole idea of suicide was once again dancing around in my mind. What a silencing thought.

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I honestly don’t know how we get to this point, or how powerful such negative emotions can be. It’s ridiculous that even when we feel happy, or positive, it almost never holds a candle to what negativity can do. The dark, the horrible, is just so destructive. What amazes me, and what is viciously dangerous, are people who can hide it. People who can swallow back the pain until they are so numb that they do not feel the effects of  a knife sliding across their wrist, a bullet going through their skull, or a noose snapping their neck. Thats what is scary, are the people who suffer in silence, and the people who don’t state the obvious for them. Suicide is not only terrifying for the individual going through the actions, but also for the friends or family who will be left standing to plan a funeral. What you are doing is vitally important.

Now, with that being said, no I am not fine, and no I am not okay. Eventually, I will be, but until then that is the dumbest question to ask. Your job is to show support to anyone who can’t be themselves because they hate who they are so much. Your job is not to say vague phrases, and hope that ignoring the harsh yet truthful words they need to hear will help. Your job is to not criticize, or judge. Your job is not to throw things in their face for them to “deal” with. Your job is not to make us feel different, or “special” in any way. We don’t know what makes us this way, we just now that we are this way and it hurts. Dont make us hurt anymore than we have to; help us heal.

-haley.

Hello Spring Break.

Finally, I have a decent amount of free time. Rocco and I are loving just vegging out at home. First off, I just wanted to say thank you to those who have submitted their pic for the PH Pets contest! There is still one day left! Check out the contest tab for more info. Also, I wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU to anyone who has ever clicked on this page, commented, voted, liked, shared, or supported. It means so incredibly much to be the winner of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association 2014 Young Outstanding PH Citizen Award. I’ll be at the conference in Indianapolis to receive the award, on top of all other functions, and I cant wait to meet y’all!

Moving on…

Since we’re broke as a joke, Rocco and I will not be hitting the beach, the mountains, or a resort. However, we are determined to make this a fantastic spring break. So here are some things to keep y’all busy my loves, and feeling fresh!

WORK OUT

I’m not saying go run some laps, but as a heart and lung patient, it is important to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Unless being told by the doctor, you should do everything possible to stay active without putting yourself in dangerous health situations. I used to be a dancer, so I will always have that love deep in my failing heart. I absolutely love Yoga, and pilates. If you can, start with simple Sun Salutations to your favorite (relaxed) music. I choose Frank Ocean sometimes, for all you young kiddos out there. If you’re wearing oxygen, make sure you have a long cannula so you can set your oxygen down, and move like so without choking yourself out. The goal is to control your breathing during these movements, and to keep your muscles controlled, and head and neck STRAIGHT (aka, mountain pose.) Do not bend your head and neck. Also, squeeze your gut to maintain your balance. If you choose to do hip opening exercises (they feel AMAZING but will PULL a lot at first), they will work on releasing all the tension in your hips. Women carry a ton of stress in our hips, so opening and loosening these muscles will feel fantastic after a while, and you may even notice yourself emotional after this exercise. Remember, do NOT do this before bed thinking you’ll tire yourself out. Your body will release endorphins to make you feel great, energized, and refreshed, which will do the exact opposite. Do these in the mornings to help yourself wake up. 🙂

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GET ORGANIZED

Spring cleaning is underway! It’s proven that when our physical lives are cluttered, we feel literally cluttered, and stressed. It takes a lot to be able to get on here, post, respond, and stay on track on top of working, and what not. I feel like I don’t have time to clean, but I promise, it’s all about time management. Take some time each day to work on one side of your house,  or room. The other day I completely cleaned my room, and today I brushed Rocco’s winter coat off of him, and gave him a flea treatment. It’s the little things to get out-of-the-way that will truly help!

photo(2)Where the magic happens. Ha, just kidding, sort of.

GET OUTSIDE

Yes, feel the sunshine on your skin, breathe actual fresh air, put down the phone, and gadgets! Social media has been killing me lately. Today, the weather has warmed up (almost the 70’s), and sister and I are taking advantage by going and walking! If there wasn’t wildfires, I would be in Palo Duro Canyon. Anyways, get outside and DO something. Unless, its snowing…BUT, if there is sunshine, you should be under it!

mountainsThrowback to being in my mountain home.

A LITTLE SHOPPING

Of course, my favorite, unfortunately. Drive to your favorite place, vintage shop, or even shop online if you have the resources. If you’re in a tight spot, one of my favorite things to do that is shopping, but doesn’t cost a dime is shopping online, but only putting your favorite items into a wish list! When you eventually hit payday, all your favorites are there to choose from. I’m excited, because I just ordered a fabulous shirt from So Worth Loving. Check them out!

BKCM39 CLUELESS (1995) ALICIA SILVERSTONE CLUS 001Clueless is Classic

Enjoy this new season approaching us loves! Stay tuned for more to come this week on some more serious issues, as well as PH fun! Our song of the week? Better by Saint Pepsi. Soooo catchy.

-haley.

Follow Haley on Instagram! @haleyann92