Category Archives: Robinson Ramblings

When Marching Isn’t Enough…

I know, I know. With a title like that, this post could be going any direction, right? Well, stick with me ’til the end and you can decide for yourself.

Today, myself and half a million other women (and men!) marched in Washington, DC (and millions of others around the globe) for women’s rights.

The experience was unlike anything I’ve ever been through before, and I am forever changed by it. We were shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of thousands of people marching through the streets of Washington, DC a day after one of the most contentious elections in the history of our country.

I expected fierce. I expected loud. I expected drama.

And it was all of those things, but it was so much more. The march was soft and kind. It was generous and giving. It was open and warm. The air was alive–literally electrified–with spirit and excitement and unison. I’ve always spoken of wanting a unified country, but for the very first time I felt it.

Strangers held hands and sang together. People danced and twirled. Chants and mantras filled the air as women helped each other stand taller, stronger, wiser, firmer.

Women offered me free snacks, waters, hats, and other merchandise. We were just sisters, and generosity of spirit ran rampant in the crowd. There were for-profit stands on the sides of the march selling products, but they were all men. Draw whatever conclusions you’d like from that.

There was no question of what we were fighting for in that crowd. Our signs called for equal pay, affordable birth control, safe environments, an end to rape culture, and so much more. We weren’t anti-Trump. We were pro-women. We were afraid. We were brave. We are staring into the future, terrified, but facing it head on and not backing down.

My sign!

However, here’s where the rub comes.

Upon arriving home, I saw two things online and on the television: support or confusion. There were countless posts praising the marchers, and from the marchers, all around the globe. Do you understand the magnitude of that? All 7 continents, and dozens of countries marched for America, for women, and for American women. When’s the last time you saw a march in downtown Washington, DC for another country? This is record breaking. It is historic. It is unprecedented. We, as Americans, and as humans, owe people around the entire globe a thank you for supporting us in a time where it feels like our own government isn’t. Thank you.

They got it. They were there, or they wanted to be. They saw the purpose. They knew what it meant and they knew why it mattered.

Then there were all the men and women who didn’t get it. Who said on social media that women were already free, so why are we complaining. Who talked on the news and boiled today down to a one topic issue (ie: abortion) and decided the whole thing was shit. Who said women in America have it better than women in some other countries, so we should be grateful. Who said…stop marching. There’s no point. It means nothing. You mean nothing.

And that, ladies, is why this post is called When Marching Isn’t Enough.

They weren’t there. They didn’t see the crowd of extremists with a megaphone shouting “fags will burn in hell” and the crowd of women singing love songs, arms linked, in front of them.  They didn’t feel the strength and unity of women smiling and holding their head high despite the men in “Make America Great Again” hats on the side laughed and called out ratings for the women’s attractiveness level as they walked past, and the women who invited those men to march with us anyway because this march is so much greater than a new president. They didn’t see the women who had made hundreds of hats by hand and were distributing them freely to the crowd. They didn’t see the mothers who’d made snack bags for marchers just to make sure we were all okay.

They didn’t see the look on a woman’s face when she realizes her male coworker with less experience and time at the same job makes more than her. They can’t understand the frustration of paying exorbitant fees for birth control and pap smears when a man’s erectile dysfunction pills and prostate exams only cost a small copay. They didn’t feel the flush of humiliation when a strange man gropes us with zero regard for our wishes, reminding us that this body isn’t ours, but rather a dispensable puppet for any man’s fantasy. They didn’t feel the rise in blood pressure, the panic in our lungs, when walking alone and hearing footsteps behind you and quickly wondering what you’re wearing right now–would it look like you wanted it? They didn’t feel that sinking in their gut when the judge tells you the man who raped will only receive 3 months on probation because his future is more important than your justice.

They weren’t there. 

So, ladies, bring the march home.

Teach the people around you what “equal rights” really means. Hold your head up high and don’t be afraid to ask for what you know you deserve. Educate the next generations on how we can do this better. We can demand better. Feel the strength of the millions of women who were there today now standing behind you telling you that you can do this. We got you.

You deserve equal rights. You deserve affordable healthcare. You deserve to make your own choices about your body. You deserve to feel safe from sexual assault. You deserve laws that will punish abusers. You deserve the same pay as your male counterparts. You deserve to be defined by who you are, not what sex organs you were born with. You deserve freedom.

It wasn’t enough to just march today and then move on. This isn’t over. This problem doesn’t just go away. In fact, it may get worse. Take the march home, ladies. Take it with you wherever you go.

#WhyIMarch #WomensMarchonWashington

PS: I met Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants, and spent the day with her! It was amazing!

For more photos, check out my Facebook or my Instagram.

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Healing In A Moment: My Vermont Trip

It’s always a sobering and awe-inspiring moment for me when I look back and see how all the puzzle pieces fell in just such a way to create our lives how they were always meant to be.

It’s no secret that New Year’s Day is a tough anniversary for me. I’ve been open about why on my blog (here and here and here). Today is seven years since the day I was raped, and the first year that I’ve actually dealt with it head on.

Healing only happens with time, but it also happens in a moment. It’s all the little guard rails that push us back onto our course and keep us centered. It’s the fated people and places that point us to where we needed to go.

This weekend, I’m in Vermont staying at an AirBnb that I randomly chose off their website. It was the cheapest option, looked safe, and so I booked it. Upon arriving, I realized that the woman who owns the home I’m renting a room in is everything I’ve ever needed, and everything I wasn’t ready for until right now.

She’s a therapist, and a writer. Just like me.
She’s an animal lover, and a spiritual soul. Just like me.
She’s quiet and introverted, but loving and inviting. Just like me.
She’s recovering and healing from her own New Year’s Day assault…just like me.

The coincidence is shocking, but also…not. Life is magical like that. It puts the perfect people in front of you that you needed in that moment. She healed a vital piece of me in the moment our confessions melted together and we recognized a shared brokenness.

In that single instant, I felt a mend.
Small, but substantial.

We spent the weekend together, facing our same demon together, burning effigies and writing confessions and sorrows on scraps of paper to toss into the ash at midnight on New Year’s Eve. We had dinner and talked for hours and it feels like I’ve always known her, because maybe in a way, I have.

I was always meant to meet her. She was always meant to meet me. We were always meant to mend a tiny piece of the other.

Tomorrow, I leave for Canada and I already feel more spiritually full and happy than I’ve felt in years. This trip has barely started, and yet, I never want it to end.


Follow Sarah on her trip by following her on Instagram (@booksbysarahrobinson) and/or Snapchat (@booksbysarahrob)!

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2017: The Year of ‘Me First’

Burlington Earth Clock, Vermont

 

On the last day of 2016, I stood in the center of the Burlington Earth Clock and thought about time. Seems obvious, I know, but stick with me. In (corny) truth, it really was the perfect setting for considering the time behind me and the time stretched out ahead.

2016 was, by far, one of the hardest years of my life. I lost myself so entirely, and hadn’t even seen it coming. By the time I realized I was lost, there were nothing around to help me find my way back.

At first I looked for who was to blame. My job. My marriage. My husband. My town. My house. My “friends.” My family. My anything that wasn’t me. This wasn’t my fault. Someone else gave me bad directions and now here I am, lost and angry.

So goddamn angry. But the anger is good. Really good, actually, because it fueled me. First, in the wrong direction, but at least I was moving, at least I was changing. When I finally realized that lashing out at the world around me wasn’t making me feel any better, I started looking within. I realized that despite all the shitty breaks I’ve had and crappy circumstances (or people) I’ve been forced to deal with, none of those controlled my happiness. Nothing that was happening to me had anything to do with who I was or what would make me happy.

Only I could do that.

And then, I wasn’t so lost anymore. When you are the one drawing the map, it’s impossible to get lost. Everything is in your control…everything is in my control. I can choose to be happy, even in an unhappy place, unhappy time, or with unhappy people. Those things and people aren’t in charge of my soul, my spirit, my mood.

I am in charge.

2017 is going to be the year of “me first,” and I won’t apologize for that selfishness. I’m no good to anyone until I’m good to myself first. Years of putting my needs on the back-burner for other people has taught me that, and taught me that it’s time for a change.

In the coming year, I’m drawing my own map. I’m slowly going to find myself again, and revel in everything that I forgot I once loved about myself.

I’m going to fall in love again, but this time…with me.

 

Follow Sarah on her trip by following her on Instagram (@booksbysarahrobinson) and/or Snapchat (@booksbysarahrob)!

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I Have No Answers…But I’ll Find Them

I want to start this post by saying…I’m sorry. You deserve better from me, as my readers and my friends and my family. I also want to say that this post is going to be long, maybe sad, and there isn’t an “I’ll try harder” or “I’ll do better” at the end.

There’s just me saying “this is all I’ve got” and “I have no answers, but I’ll find them.”

[warning for those with triggers, this post gets real]

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Every December since 2010, I’ve spiraled. Hard. Anxiety hits me like a truck, and depression swoops in to feast on what’s left. I told you all this in my blog post on my website in November about my long struggle with depression. What I didn’t tell you was why or…why now.

I didn’t tell you that at a New Year’s Eve party, only 3 hours into 2010, I was raped and assaulted by a man I trusted. A man I’d considered a best friend. A man I’d considered safe.

For a long list of reasons I may or may not talk about one day, I dealt with this alone. I turned the police officers away in the emergency room when I was being stitched up, and I kept it to myself. I put that night away in a little box and never touched it again.

I spent every year since avoiding New Year Eve celebrations like the plague, always finding an excuse to stay busy. And as the years past, I thought I’d dealt with it. I thought I was okay.

For the first year since, I’m struggling to find the reasons why I’m okay. I’m struggling to remember the distractions I used or what I focused on instead, and for the first time, I’m realizing…I’m not okay. Not even a little bit. I’ve never dealt with this piece of me and never realized that it had already crept out of its box and infected so much of my life. I’m not okay because I’ve never healed, and that is okay. I wasn’t ready then, but I think…I think I’m ready now.

I had a book release ten days ago and I’ve struggled to keep up. I’ve struggled to promote this book the way I normally would, to be online as much as I should, to be as jovial as I should, and I know that’s reflected in how the book is doing. You, as my readers, deserve better than that from me and I’m so sorry.

I know this entire post is different than my usual comedic ramblings or upbeat optimism, but everyone is their own fighting battles and I want to show you both parts of me. I want to be real and open because I need to be, for me, and because I want to be, for you. Because maybe one person will read this post and think…”I’m not alone. I was hurt, too. I haven’t healed, too. I need to heal, too.”

If that’s you, walk this road with me. Feel with me. Heal with me.

I don’t have the answers, but I’m looking for them. I want to feel the same *stars in my eyes* excitement over this book release (because this book is so great and it so deserves that!) that I’ve felt before, but the reality is I’ve closed everything off–both the good and the bad. I can’t feel…anything. And I need to find it again–both for myself, and for my writing.

I need to find me, and I’m going to. I’m going on a trip alone for New Years Eve (thank you Digit Savings for helping me afford it!). I’m spending it by myself in total silence, and not letting a single distraction get between me and healing the parts of me I’ve left broken for so long.

So, this whole post is just me saying I might be stepping back from social media a bit, or seeming a bit off. I might even be a little quieter than before, and I hope you’ll understand. I’m on empty, and I can’t really find where it all went, but it’s gone and I feel, in a way, so am I.

The only thing I do know is I won’t be lost forever. I will find me. I will come back with a roar, beating my chest like a warrior who fought her way out and triumphed. All I really hope for this post and this message is that you’ll be here waiting when I do.

Don’t give up on me. Please.
I haven’t given up on myself.


Above content originally posted on Sarah’s Facebook page here.

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Sarah’s Top 5 Favorite Apps That Cost $0

Everyone who knows me knows that books are my favorite thing of all the things, because…books. However, in the spirit of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the shopping happening this week, I’m going to tell you some of my favorite things that won’t cost you a gosh darn penny and really have nothing to do with writing or reading, because why not?

Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite apps or programs that I use literally every day and kind of make my life. Everything on here, I’ve tried so you can be assured I mean it. However, keep in mind that for some of these I’m also using affiliate links which means I get a little credit, or some times a couple dollars.

TL, DR: We’re talking Digit Savings, theSkimm Daily News, Shine Daily Texts, Breaking News App, and Starbucks Rewards (because, duh).

Anywho, check it out and tell me in the comments which apps you use and love on a daily basis!


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When I Can’t Save $ For Sh*t

A friend introduced me to Digit last Spring and it’s seriously been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself (aka, I’ve saved $2,000 without even trying). This is a real bank account (yes, real bank account with FDIC insured and the whole nine yards) that saves for you without you having to do a thing. It basically automatically pulls a few dollars here and there from your checking account and puts them in a Digit Savings Account.

How It Works: Set up the Digit app (also done via text) with your checking account and start saving! That simple! You’ll get weekly alerts (or more/less frequent if you want) and you can set how aggressively it saves for you. You can also transfer $ back to your checking account in 1 business day, and you get $5 if someone signs up with your link (Hint!). It won’t overdraft you either, but if on the off chance it does, it will reimburse you everything including the bank overdraft fee (you can also set it so it doesn’t save if your account is below a certain $ amount just in case this makes you nervous!). Now you’ll have a nice cushion of money for emergencies, or a fun goal like a vacation fund or car fund or whatever else you’re saving for! We’re saving up for a car (or maybe that mythical honeymoon we never had *sigh*).

Learn more about Digit at https://digit.co.


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When I Don’t Know What’s Up In The World

Thankfully, a team of snarky, smart, sweet millennials is at the ready to give me the latest news in a less-than-2-minute read in my daily Skimm that goes out to millions of readers, including big-time celebrities like Oprah. Yes, this is Oprah approved! Also, this is bipartisan, so whoever you voted for, you can feel safe reading this!

How It Works: Every Monday through Friday, you get an email about the latest current events happening all around the world. You’ll sound a lot smarter at dinner parties and family gatherings because of it, plus Amazon Echo’s Alexa can read it out loud to you (set that up here) so you’ll feel knowledgable as hell during your morning pee! Side Note: They do have an app that’s $2.99/month and totally awesome and more in depth than the free email, but hey, free is free!

Subscribe to theSkimm today at theskimm.com.


When I Need A Happy Start To My Day

The Shine text has been my lifeline through this election season, and hell, every season. Every Monday through Friday at around 8:30am, I receive an uplifting text message about life, motivations, and positivity.

Here’s an example of the last text I got:
“It is not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are happy.” Love. Connectedness. Stretchy pants. Take it all in today, Sarah. #ShineOn 🙂 

Now who wouldn’t want to start their day off with a sprinkle of encouragement?

Sign up to receive your free Shine text at shinetext.com.


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When I Can’t Wait 30 Seconds For The News

The Breaking News app is perfect for news junkies like me because I can get all the latest breaking news in one sentence or less immediately.

How It Works: Download the app to your phone and make sure notifications are set. Now pick up to 10 categories to be alerted on (like the election, US news, local news in your town, etc). If you want more than that, I think you have to pay for it. Now each time something happens, you’ll get a notification on your phone about it! You can get the gist from the notification itself or click on it to read more in depth.

Download Breaking News at breakingnews.com/apps.


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It’s You. It’s Always Been You, Coffee.

I don’t get anything but a pat on the back from myself for telling you this, but if you’re a Starbucks lover, or even occasional buyer like myself, you need this app. I get free drinks all the time just by paying attention to their daily doubles or freebies or other cool promotional days. I also can order drinks from my phone and pay for it with my phone. In fact, if I don’t want to wait in line, I just order it from my phone ahead of time and swoop in at the last minute to pick it up while everyone in line stares at me with murder eyes. It’s fun to be hated by strangers.

How It Works: Download the app and link it to a Starbucks giftcard that you can reload again and again (or once you hit gold level, they send you a personalized gold card!). Order through the app and you’ll collect 2 stars per $1 spent. After 125 stars, you get a free drink of any size or type (you know my free drinks are the fanciest, biggest they have with 8 extra shots and would normally cost $20). It’s really easy to get to 125 stars without spending the $60-something you’d think you need to spend because Starbucks does tons of promotions for 50 free stars, 150 free stars, free daily double star points, free stars for ordering XYQ, etc. You just have to pay attention to the deals! 🙂 If you buy cheap drinks (think tea, coffee, iced coffee) instead of fancy drinks, then you really end up spending a lot less and getting the free drink sooner.

Break It Down For Me: For example, they recently had a deal where 9 purchases (over $1) within a week got you an extra 150 stars on top of the stars that each of the purchases normally gets you. By ordering 9 simple drinks like a grande brewed coffee between me and my husband, we spent $22.50 in a week and earned 150 stars, plus the 45 stars that our purchases got us (aka 195 total). In case that seems like a lot of coffee to you, I’m there every day all day writing so it’s kind of like rent to me (I seriously am talking like 50+hrs a week). That’s almost 2 free drinks right there (250 would be 2 free), and since I get a trenta-sized speciality holiday coffee drink with extra shots for my free drink (a $16.86 value according to my receipt), I pretty much paid $5.64 for 10 drinks, including a fancy as hell drink, and I’m only a few stars away from another free drink in a few days. Side note: I’m horrible at math. 

Side Note for Writers: If you get regular coffee or iced coffee, and I think even tea, you can get a $0.50 refill if you’re still in the store when you finish it! You can hang out all day and drink 6 grande coffees for under $5 and only a minor heart attack. Talk about a cheap office! (Note: the 50 cent refills don’t earn you star rewards). 

Join Starbucks Rewards at members.starbucks.com.


 

For more about Sarah Robinson and her books, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at eepurl.com/RUobv.

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I Didn’t Get Out Of Bed Today, And I Might Not Tomorrow

Trigger Warning: If you’re familiar with my blog, you know things are about to get real AF. You also know you’ll probably feel better at the end of this post than you do now when you realize you’re not alone…or maybe I’m just hoping I’m not alone. Either way, take care of yourself. 

PS: I also curse a bit…because who doesn’t?


 

I didn’t get out of bed today, and I might not tomorrow. I might not the day after tomorrow either, and I’m trying to be okay with that.

I’m being slightly dramatic, since obviously I went to the bathroom and the fridge, then wound up on the couch wrapped in blankets with my laptop…but the feelings are the same.

When I first considered writing this post a few weeks ago, I was going to wait until I was “all better”. Until I was out on the other side, after I’d already reached the bottom and climbed my way up to the top. Because I will be up on my feet again…eventually. That’s how living the last two decades with Major Depressive Disorder works.

For a while, everything is okay. It’s tolerable, and some days, it’s even amazing. You’re happy and chill and things seem like they finally have all worked out. And you’ve earned it because you’ve been there, you’ve been at the bottom, you’ve gone through the worst, and you’ve paid your dues. This is your moment. This is what you were striving for during all those tears. It’s delicious and intoxicating…but it’s also fleeting.

Next come the days that aren’t so great, but not horrible, and that’s okay because it’s still not a depressive episode. It’s still tolerable, and you’re still managing your life.

But even that melts down over a few weeks, or months, or years that are hard. Really fucking hard. Your defenses are knocked down and one day, you just can’t put them back up again.

A little over a year ago, my walls started crumbling. My life suddenly didn’t look anything like I’d anticipated, or wanted. But I’m a strong woman–really damn strong, actually.

So, I powered through and tried to keep a smile on my face, and humor in my words.

I powered through a car accident. Through a miscarriage, then another, then another. I powered through losing people I loved, supports I’d come to depend on, and even the very basics of life–my home, my car, my income, my finances. I powered through losing my freedom, my weekends, or even remembering what a full fridge looks like.

Because I’m a strong woman, I powered through.

And then one day, I didn’t. My walls fell for the last time, and I scrambled like hell to find a way to build them back up, but found myself empty-handed.

I had nothing left.

I know the exact second it happened a little over a month ago now. I remember the feeling…one second I was there, then the next second I wasn’t. There was no specific trigger or reason or traumatic event that deserved this.

I’d  given the very last of what I had, and now I was empty.
It was that simple. It was that fast.

I knew my next depressive episode had started…but no one else did. How could they? I still went through the motions, and met the bare minimums, and smiled when people asked how I was doing. Only my agent saw the pages I wasn’t turning in or the phone calls I wasn’t answering. Only my husband saw the daily tears, or found me  crying curled on the shower floor unable to stand. Only my closest friends saw the emptiness in my eyes and probed further. Only I felt the physical pain of seemingly unbearable heartache throbbing in my chest.

People continued to love and laugh with my online posts or pictures, because they didn’t see that things had changed. I didn’t let them see. They cheered me on, and a few women have even told me they wish they were just like me. I’d smile and laugh it off, because they didn’t really know what they were asking for.

Sometimes I wish I was like the me they saw, too. But it felt like a lie….how could anyone want to be me?

I don’t want to be me.

They just love the online me. They think I’m great because they see the me who’s smiling and tells funny stories and writes sexy books and is always there to help other authors when they need it and so much more.

But that me…is me. Somewhere along the way, I forgot that I am both. I am all of those parts put together, and how could I want anything else?

I can be the woman laughing about a silly encounter with a stranger at the local coffee shop and the woman who feels everything is falling apart and she doesn’t know how to put it back together. I can be the author who helps her friends with their books and the author who didn’t write any words today because depression stole her motivation. I can be the happy fur-mom who posts a thousand pictures of her dogs and the almost-mom who’s lost three babies before she ever could hold them and tell them just how much I’ll always love them.

I can be both, and all of the above, because humans are so many puzzle pieces mashed together and it doesn’t always fit. The picture is sometimes blurry, but it’s all still me. I’m still me.

Someone told me once that I should always be striving to be my best self. Fuck that noise. 

My best self is a full life, and that has to mean I won’t always be at “my best.” There will be tears. There will be grief and sadness and anger and hatred and an ache that feels it may never go away. And that’s okay, because my best self is also joy and love and kindness and celebration and everything else combined.

I’m choosing to live my full life, not my best life. To accept the down days and celebrate the happy ones. To appreciate the laughter because I’ve been best friends with the tears. To mope in self-pity where everything is horrible because the world is vicious and at the same time, be overwhelmed at the genuine kindness of strangers who only wanted to remind me this world can be so wholly beautiful.

My full life is wonderful and painful and joyful and devastating.

I am a strong woman…even when I’m not. I am kind, and loving, and difficult, but worth the trouble. I am all the things people tell me I am even when I don’t believe them. And in the same breath, I’m in so much pain that every breath feels like a question.

But, one day I won’t be. One day, I’ll smile and feel it in my chest, in the beat of my heart, and the lightness in my soul.

But not today. And maybe not tomorrow.
And that’s okay. That’s a full life. 


Author’s Note: If you’re someone struggling with depression or feelings of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text the Crisis Text Line if you need someone to talk to in a non-life threatening crisis by texting START to 741-741. Please seek help if you need it. You are strong. You are brave. You deserve to be here. 

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Shout Out to The Mom I Didn’t Come Out Of

Literally my favorite photo ever.

The ridiculously tiny woman in the photo above is my mother.

You won’t find her on my birth certificate, or in the delivery room. She can’t complain about how big my head was or how long labor was. She didn’t hold my hands when I took my first steps, or teach me how to tie my shoes. She missed every cute baby smile and giggling little girl moments when everything was easy and happy.

No, I met my mother when I was a pre-teen and she began dating my father. The happy little girl was a distant memory, and in her place was an angry, bitter young woman who had no idea what anything meant or why her biological mother hadn’t loved her enough to…stay.

For years, I fought her being a part of our family. Imagine the worst behavior a pre-teen, then soon, a teenager, can possibly display, then double it. Maybe even triple it. I threw everything I had at her, but for some damn reason, this new woman stayed.

 

Despite my best efforts, this woman was happy. A LOT.

 

She didn’t push me to be her friend, or call her mom, or even like her. Yet, she also didn’t let me walk all over her, or ignore her, or disrespect her–though I gave it a real college try! When I pulled back, she reached out and reminded me that she was there and that she loved me and that she also wasn’t going to take my shit.

This woman loved me, and she wanted to be my mother.

She may not have been there for my first steps, but she was there for every school function. She was there for every birthday party and comforted me when only one friend showed up (bitter child doesn’t equal tons of friends, y’all). She was there when police dragged me back home, and principals called home complaining, and for every other time I messed it all up and everything came tumbling down around me.

She encouraged me to write, turning my moods and penchant for beating up my siblings, into journaling my feelings with angsty poems written while wearing all black with thick eyeliner inspired by raccoons. She put up with Avril Lavigne at full blast as my 13 yr-old self sat and contemplated how unfair everyone was, how no one understood me, and how lonely and unloved I was (reminder: I was 13, guys.)

But, she was there the whole time, and she loved me. My father loved me. My siblings loved me (okay, there’s still some debate on this one). Everyone loved me, except me.

Maybe that’s why I fought her so much to begin with. And by “begin with”, I mean like 10+ years. She dealt with this for a DECADE, you guys.

 

This was only 4 years ago, and you can see what a delight I am.

 

She gave me something from day one that I couldn’t give to myself–unconditional love. And it was terrifying. I didn’t recognize it and I couldn’t understand it, which meant I couldn’t accept it. From her, or myself.

I’d like to say I grew out of it in a few years, learned my worth, learned her worth, and everything righted itself…but no. My teens came and went, and I was an adult before I could truly look back and see everything for what it was, rather than what I’d wished it had been.

Learning radical acceptance, and to take life and people at face value was a process, but when I finally embraced it a few years ago, my perspective shifted. I realized that my expectations of others were so much higher than my expectations for myself, and that I needed to love myself before I’d know how to accept it from others.

And now that I do, everything is different, even though everything is the same. But the difference now is me. I learned that loving myself meant loving all of me–even the parts that make me cringe.

I also learned she wasn’t perfect, and that I didn’t need her to be to love her. Just like I wasn’t perfect, and she’d never held that against me the way I had against her. I learned that the shame I harbored for my younger behavior was irrelevant, because it was long forgotten in her eyes. She’d loved me…always, and she always would.

I learned that my biological mother wasn’t trying to hurt me when she left, but that it was okay to feel hurt anyways. I learned to stop judging myself based on people who didn’t love themselves, and therefore couldn’t love me.

But most of all, I learned that I was a motherless daughter only because I’d spent so much time refusing to accept the mother who’d been standing by me for the majority of my life without fail. Because the truth is, I had a mother all along, and her name is Lucy and she didn’t give birth to me, but she loves me just the same as if she had.

I did everything I could to get her to leave, because I’d been taught that that’s what mothers do. But Lucy stayed, because that is what mothers do.

❤️

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.

I’m so glad she stayed.
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Why My Elopement Was So Much Better Than My Wedding

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I got married for the first (and best) time on October 11th when my (now) husband and I eloped secretly to nowhere.

A simple ceremony in an empty local chapel in the middle of a weekday, with only our pastor and church staff as a witness. I’d never been the kind of girl who grew up dreaming of a big wedding, or any wedding at all, and I never even thought I’d get married.

Yet 13 months after meeting him, I walked down an empty aisle in an empty room to a man whole filled both that room, and my life, in more ways than I’d ever dreamt of.

There was no cake, no dancing, no flowers. My dress was $80 from a bridal thrift shop, and my shoes were wet from stepping in a puddle of rain. We went out to the range after and shot at targets with our matching guns (mine pink, his black), then to dinner somewhere I can’t remember, and then home…like it was any other day.

A little under a year later on September 20th we would do it over, and that would be a mistake. While getting married a second time was fun and lavish, and the wedding was beautiful with all our friends and family there to be a part of it with us, it also brought us a lot of heart ache. It brought us family members who couldn’t get over themselves long enough to be happy for someone else, and giant bills from venues and wedding expenses that we were way too young and naive to realize how those decisions would effect our finances long term. Those things tainted our second wedding, despite how wonderful and special that moment had been as well.

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So, when I look back and think of marrying my husband, it’s October 11th that I think about. It’s the non-glitz and unglamorous moments that make me fuzzy and warm inside. It’s the rainy puddle I stepped in, the cheap but cute dress I bought an hour before, or the look on his face when we said our vows and truly knew in our hearts what it meant, even though we didn’t actually know at all.

Because all those years ago on October 11, there was nothing distracting us from what mattered. There was nothing but two young kids in love, making big decisions they didn’t yet understand, but going in with everything we had and laying our hearts on the line.

It was the most beautiful, yet simple, day of my life.
October 11th…the day we eloped.

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Change Our Normal. Vote.

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Two weeks ago, a female friend of mine was grabbed on the subway. The police officer at the next stop said there’s nothing he can do, after all, “all” the guy did was grab her ass.
 
A month ago, a female friend of mine was turned down for a promotion she more than deserved because the company owner’s nephew was hired for it instead, though he had zero experience in the field.
 
Last week, a female friend of mine was told she didn’t deserve her vacation days because “all the time she took to pump her breast milk” should be considered vacation enough.
 
This summer, I was told if I wanted to write in literary fiction, I should pick a gender neutral pen name so that people wouldn’t know I was a woman. I was told I would be taken more seriously as a man.
 
These stories are just a tiny fraction of a fraction of the stories out there about what women go through. We may want to believe we’re in a progressive society where women have equal rights to men and are valued parts of society, but the truth is, we’re not there yet.
 
In fact, we’re farther away than we realize.
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Women are not paid equally for the same job. We work twice as hard for the recognition a man readily earns. Our sexuality is judged and used against us, when a man’s is prided and encouraged. We’re looked down on for “just” being a stay at home mom, while at the same time, working mothers are chastised for not being home with their children. We’re attacked and assaulted and the first question is what was she wearing? Did she encourage her own rape? Boys will be boys–he couldn’t help himself.
 
That’s our normal. The stories above are our normal. As women, we hear these stories every day and barely bat an eye. They’re not surprising anymore, and every single woman has at some point or another experienced something like these stories.
 
Less than a hundred years ago, women couldn’t vote at all. This year, a woman is running for president. That is progress. That matters. No matter what you think of Hillary, her campaign is a milestone we should revel in as women. (And no, this isn’t a post telling you to vote for Hillary or who to pick at all.)
 
A woman can be President.
We can tell our daughters to reach for the White House.
We can lead a country.
 
And yet, still there are women out there who are saying they won’t vote at all. (And, yes, this post is particularly for women.).
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Don’t let anyone tell you your vote doesn’t matter, or that you hate the choices so you’re not making one at all. Don’t let someone tell you if you’re voting for a third party, it’s throwing your vote away. Don’t let someone tell you if you vote for Hillary, you’re just doing it because she’s a woman. Don’t let someone tell you if you vote for Trump, you must hate women.
Don’t let anyone make your decision for you.
 
Look up the facts. Look up the promises. Educate yourself on the truth and what resonates in your heart, with your morals, your values, and your intellect. Make a decision about what and who you believe in, or who, at the very least, you could stomach as our next President.
But either way, make a decision.
 
Or the stories I mentioned at the beginning of this post will keep happening. They will continue to be our normal.
And that “normal” fucking sucks. 
 
For the sake of every mother, daughter, aunt, grandmother, baby girl, or baby-girl-to-be, change our normal.
Change our world for the next generation of daughters. Make our new normal a world where women are paid the same as men for the same job. Make our new normal a subway trip where they don’t worry about being groped that ride–or worse, and if they are, it’s taken seriously, and they are victims, not asking for it. Make our new normal a country that values motherhood, maternity leave, and doesn’t avert their eyes and cast shame at something as natural as goddamn breastfeeding. 
 
Make that change by voting.
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Don’t pick Hillary just because she’s a woman–that’s the opposite of feminism. But do vote for whoever you think is going to be the best President of the United States…for you, for your daughters, for your family, for your community, and for our country as a whole.
 
There was once a time we couldn’t do even that, and there’s no telling what our future holds. But at this moment in time, we as women have the power in our hands to make a choice and exercise that choice. So, make it.
 
Vote on November 8th.
Because, as women, we need a new normal.
And we can be that new normal.
But only if we vote.
 
#debatenight #vote #rockthevote
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Posted on Sarah’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorsarahrobinson

Images from:
http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/on-this-day/July-August-08/On-this-Day–19th-Amendment-Gives-Women-Right-to-Vote.html
https://www.the-pool.com/archive/news-views/lauren-s-blog/2015/11/the-election-hots-up
http://javitas.info/files16/women-voting.html
https://www.pinterest.com/agrewin/world-war-ii-propaganda/
https://contemporaryfamilies.org/gender-revolution-symposium/
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The Best Compliment An Author Can Receive

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“I’d Read Her Again.”

There’s a lot of debate in the writer/publisher/book world about why an author should write, or why a book should be published. Is it to record a moment of history? Or make a shit ton of money? Maybe it should be for vague artistic reasons and cost nothing. Or maybe the artist/author/writer should be paid more than $0.99 for a book they spent hours and hours and hours and hours on.

Whatever the reason, it all tends to boil down to one thing for the author themselves. Take away all those things and you’ll still find a writer putting their words out into the world for one simple reason.

I wrote it because I wanted you to read it.

That sinking, thrilling, horrifying, exhilarating high of knowing your words are in someone else’s hands right now and they are READING YOU! *breathes into a paper bag*

There’s really nothing like it, and that high is why writers put their work out there. They want you to love their words, come back for me, and be forever changed by what you’ve given them.

So, to say I was shocked and ecstatic to see a recurring theme to the early reviews for NOT A HERO would be an understatement. I’m FREAKING HONORED AF! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Check out the snippets below and don’t forget to preorder Not a Hero today!!

PS: Preorder Not A Hero: 
(Click on the desired retailer below to purchase!)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA
TBR on Goodreads | Visit the Author Website
*available on Kindle Unlimited!


I Hit Shuffle On Reviews, & Keep Getting the Same Amazing Song

“This is a wonderful “coming home from deployment” story with fantastic well developed characters. This is my first book by Sarah Robinson but it will definitely NOT be my last.” – Cheryl

“This is an epic love story full off all the feels and I may have shed a tear or two along the way. This was the first book I’ve read by Sarah and it for sure won’t be the last.” – Tracy

This is the first book I’ve read by Sarah Robinson but it won’t be my last for sure, definitely another author that’s been added to my favourites.” – Jordan

“This was a beautiful story which touches your heart in all the right places. This is the first book I’ve read from Sarah and I wasn’t disappointed.” – P Leslie

This is my first book by Sarah Robinson, and it was wonderfully written, with a heart-wrenching, engaging plot and endearing characters. I finished the book over the course of one day, which shows how much I withdrew from reality to enjoy it.” – Meghan

Not a Hero was my very first book by Sarah Robinson but it sure won’t be my last. Being a military romance, I instantly wanted to read it and this book delivered with so much more.” – Melissa

This was my first time reading a book by Sarah Robinson and I found this book well written and that I enjoyed her writing style with the dual point of view.” – Pratna

This is my first read by this author and I’d read her again.” – Ayekah


Preorder Not A Hero: 
(Click on the desired retailer below to purchase!)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA
TBR on Goodreads | Visit the Author Website
*available on Kindle Unlimited!
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*these reviews were all copied from Goodreads reviewers!

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