Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Real Life is Admitting When Things Suck

I am scheduled to have heart surgery in 2 weeks.
I have been very public about my surgery and certain things I am going through, but I want to get real real today.

I know I put a really brave and positive face on social media. I get emails all day long about how inspiring I am and how my positivity is so great. And most of the time I do try to stay positive. I keep smiling. I show up to classes and shoots and film my videos and keep that peppy Cherry face on.

But the truth is, I feel shitty. I feel shitty most every day. And nothing any one can do will make it better. And it takes all of the strength that I have just to get out of bed in the morning and not wallow in pain and self pity.
I feel like someone is sitting on my chest and I cant quite catch my breath. I feel like there is a little demon in there flicking my heart every now and then so that it doesn't beat quite right. I feel more tired than I ever have in my life. I find myself nodding off during the day like an 87 year old man. I don't know why it is like a man, it just made good sense in my head. I am sick, give me a break. I am tired of doctors appointments and tests. I feel like all I want to do is cry or sleep. And I have spent a lot of my days lately doing both.

I rarely see any of my friends or family anymore. Part of this is self inflicted and part of this is friend inflicted. I am not good at reaching out. I don't want to be a burden on anyone when all of my people are going through so much themselves. But part of me is becoming resentful. I cant even tell you the last time a real life friend or family member, and not some lovely social media stranger, has reached out to make sure I am ok. Love from strangers is amazing-- but nothing makes up for the love you get from people that you truly love back. And social media strangers aside, I have had more casual acquaintances texting and messaging than anyone that is close to me. And I try to ignore it. But it hurts. And I am already in so much pain all of the time.

I am scared. At least once a day I go into a full on panic attack. I think about them cutting into me. I think about the pain after surgery. I think about the possibility of having to go back. I think about the possibility of being left with a pace maker. I think about not being well in time to continue working. I think about the bills. I think about not being fixed and dealing with this forever. I think about losing my insurance after the ACA is gone and not qualifying for new insurance because I am a pre existing condition. I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind races.

I am a really active person and I am working really hard to get my body in shape. But my heart consistently holds me back. Sometimes even just walking up a flight of stairs leaves me so winded I have to sit down. I am frustrated that I can't push my body as hard as it needs to be pushed to see the results that I want. Especially when the rest of my body is healthy and ready to be pushed. My heart is like a fitness limiter. If it had a face, I would punch it right off.

The reality of having a medical condition isn't fun. No matter how many positive posts and happy smiles I put on my face-- I am hurting and I am scared and I am lonely. I appreciate all of your kind words and messages and letters and gifts, don't get me wrong. All of these things are the little rays of sunshine on my dark days. But I thought I owed it to everyone else struggling through health issues to be honest. If you are feeling all of these things too, you are not alone. Just do your best to keep going and keep that smile on your face even when you don't feel it. I can't say I am anyones champion, but I am doing my best.

I just want to be better.

P.S. My husband is the best husband that ever husbanded and has been my rock through all of this!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why We March

So today I attended the Womens March in LA, and as I often do when I post anything on the internet, I got some backlash. "What is the point?" "Oh cute, all of the women went on a walk together today" "What are you actually changing? nothing!"

Here is the thing, marching does change things. Marches and protests aren't new. They have been the forefront of every major social and political change. Religious rights, sovereign freedom, women's rights, civil rights... these marches have been happening for hundreds of years and they have been the catalyst to the real change. A LOT of change.

And why do people riot? Because they are angry and afraid and they feel helpless and don't know how else to express that. And yes, it does tend to be people in more impoverished areas because they feel they have no way out. Is it right? Probably not. But it is reality and the more it happens the more we have to stop questioning the effect and start questioning the cause. (not saying that there were any riots today, it was definitely all love and peace)

Is the march that I took part in today going to change the world tomorrow? No. I don't believe that anyone who was there today actually believes that. But it is a step forward in making people heard and giving them the strength and motivation to actually make the changes we all want to see. I spoke with so many people today about what is next. What do we do? How do we protect our rights and help the rights of other humans? How do we hold onto this anger and despair but turn it into a positive motivator to change the things causing those feelings?

A protest is a great way to get people off of their computers and phones and into the physical world where they are forced to interact with others and be proactive humans. What am I changing by marching? What are YOU changing by sitting behind your keyboard attacking people? I learned things today. What did you learn sitting alone on your butt in your house eating Cheetos in your underwear reposting unsubstantiated memes that support what you believe without questioning anything you have been fed?

It is easy to complain and attack and victimize ourselves. Express yourself however you want, but also know that it is my right to do the same. It is easy to say all of the things that NEED to happen or that SHOULD happen to make this country better. But you know what? I am going to stop saying and start DOING. You can post all of the angry memes you want-- this is my country and I am taking it back.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Unfollowed.

I have never been the type of person that ever just wanted to be a pretty face with thousands of adoring fans telling me how perfect I am. I have always had really strong opinions and a giant mouth. I have always been unapologetic for taking a stance for the underdog and for my people. I have always been strongly outspoken on womens rights, LGBTQ rights, civil rights, environmental issues, health care, etc. This isn't new.

I know we all saw the Meryl Streep speech the other night. What I find so interesting is the backlash. I feel the same backlash on a much smaller scale-- but it still blows my mind. Why, just because someone is an artist, are they not entitled to opinions? Does being a public figure all of a sudden nullify any rights you have to being a human and having human emotions and thoughts? Is your doctor allowed to think and speak freely? How about your mechanic? How about a banker? Lawyer? Nail tech? Hair stylist? Can your neighbor express their thoughts as they see fit? I hope your answer to all of these is yes because we are all humans living in the free world.

Celebrities and artists have a bigger reach, yes. And they also have more influence, totally. And with that comes a great responsibility. But in my opinion the responsibility isn't to censor ourselves-- the responsibility is to speak out on the things that matter to us. If I make a post saying I will miss Obama and 500 Trump loving, gun toting, flag waving Republicans unfollow me... cool. If I make a post about gay rights and 1 person who thought being gay was wrong goes "wait! I really like Cherry and what she believes in, maybe I should take a second to rethink"... that one moment is worth those 500 lost "fans." I AM NOT YOUR PUPPET. I am not here to dance for you as you see fit.

I want to get one major point clear here-- I DO NOT DO WHAT I DO TO COLLECT FANS AND TO BE TOLD HOW GREAT I AM ALL OF THE TIME. Is it nice to hear nice things, of course!! Does it make my spirit soar when I get to hug a girl and she tells me my videos changed her life? YES! Am I going to cry myself to sleep because some girl that posts 1000 videos of contouring and looking "perfect" has about 15 times the following that I do? Nope. We all do what we do for our own reasons. I happen to want to share my passions-- which include both superficial and non-superficial topics.

Another point I feel strongly about-- my page is not your playground for "free speech." My pages are my online living room. If you walked into my living room and started attacking me and calling me names, I would gladly tell you to get out of my house. I have that same right online in my own space, just as you have that same right on yours. But just because my space is public, doesn't mean it isn't still mine.

I love when people leave comments to try to bait me and call me a whiny liberal baby and say I will probably delete their post because I can't handle an opposing opinion. And then I hit delete and laugh. I am all for differing opinions. It makes this world interesting and colorful. And I am all for well informed, educated arguments presented without attacking or name calling. I rarely delete comments from my page. But you better believe when some ignorant man calls me "a retarded bitch" for being sad that the Obamas are leaving office, he gets deleted and blocked. I don't encourage that behavior and will not dignify trolls like that with a second of my attention.

Lastly, if you find what I post SO offensive and distasteful that you cannot bear ONE more second of following me without perhaps dying... Feel free to just hit the unfollow button. Making a big dramatic announcement that you are unfollowing me will only be met with an eye roll and will only make you look silly. Exit with grace. Move on if you must.

All of that being said, I welcome anyone to follow me that likes the things that I post and is willing to skip past the things that they don't. I welcome open minded, free thinkers. I welcome anyone interested in engaging in respectful, adult conversations. If you want to see a pretty face with a vacant space between the ears and in their heart, I am not your girl. And that is ok.

I am a different flavor.