Wednesday, September 17, 2014
It was there, looming, waiting for the moment to pounce on me, but today it has decided to tap me lightly on the shoulder instead and say a whispered "boo!" --- yet I'm not so easily scared this time as I was when I turned 25 and felt the big ~*crisis*~ coming on. Okay, okay, that smirk is a little faulty as I’m a wee bit shaken as I carry a flashlight down that dark hall into the unknown depths of 28-dom. I'm in the twilight of my 20s. I’m edging closer to the big 3-0, and being nonchalant about it is a difficult task as I didn't plan on my life to be so well, beige, and so utterly stalled at this moment.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Trusting myself is something that doesn't come easy as I often waffle between confidence and cowardice. Some days I know what I want, and will say what I want. Other days I'm swallowing my opinions and clamming up or catching myself asking others what I should do.
This isn't the same as 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all'. This isn't the same feeling as asking for genuine help, because there is nothing wrong with asking for assistance or advice with tough decisions. It's just that some days I don't trust myself enough to know what's the best thing for me to do and or to say. The situation could be simple, but I'm always thinking (or over-thinking) that someone else may know better or may have said it better. That's stupid, right? Only I should know what I want for myself, how I want to engage with others, but that's because the trust I have for myself is sometimes wrapped up in the craggy foil coldness known as 'fear'.
Fear is something that I've discussed before in concerns towards my writing, my sharing of it, and how I'm trying to utilize fear as a motivator to get me to achieve my writing goals, rather than have the boogeyman, the fear, crowding me in a closet. I am determined to be Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween with my writing. I want to take the hanger and stab the boogeyman (aka the fear of writing) right in the eye.
But as for applying that image to the rest of my life --- that is easier said than done.
Friday, August 29, 2014
August has been a real nesting doll of awful. Where one tragic event was unveiled, another popped out from inside it, and then another, and another...what started it all was the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown who was shot, unarmed, by police officer, Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9th. The incident caused a stir in the community as Brown's body laid dead in the street for hours in the hot sun, shot six times, twice in the head. No arrest followed. A day later a candlelit vigil turned ugly when looting became a core issue, diverting attention from the death.
Outrage mounted as the Ferguson community sought justice for Brown's death, but at nightfall on August 13, everything became a cluster of hell as a peaceful protest turned massively violent as the streets of Ferguson began to resemble the clouded battlegrounds of the Middle East.
Over the next few days an up-rise in social media activism brought the incident to a global stage. Journalists on site were either arrested or hassled. Journalists elsewhere remained ill-informed. Protesters were arrested or doused with tear gas and came face-to-face with the Ferguson police force and their arsenal-packed garb straight out of a Halo video game. Lengthy think-pieces about the state of racism in the US and the appalling surge of African-Americans being killed while unarmed were written and spoken. Opinions over whether Michael Brown was innocent or a cigarette-stealing-hip-hop hooligan were spat out. Anger and frustration bubbled and boiled over as looting occurred. Curfews were enacted, and government and Ferguson's city officials ran around with their heads cut off trying to enact some form of "order". Somewhere in those days of tweeting, digesting every article, every newscast, I got immensely ill --- physically and mentally.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Are you a lady who has been told that you don't smile enough in public? Are you suffering from permanent resting bitchy face? Are you brushing off dudes and their oh so cavalier advances because you're not smiling like a lunatic at all times to feed their pleasure? Then The Smile Bitch Training Camp is exactly what you need to cease that pesky daily catcalling!
Created by comedienne Janelle James, this "recruitment" video is the hilarious truth of the day.
Monday, August 4, 2014
Being a feminist means being true to yourself regardless of whatever expectations society throws at you --- or so I thought. Other voices started talking...and talking...and talking...and talking and pretty soon feminism became an abundance of ideas, practices, and declarations to me. Then somehow rules were set, criteria was instated. You don't do this, you do this. You identify as this, you sure as hell don't identify as this. Then it became generational. It became womanism. It became #solidarityisforwhitewomen. It became #yesallwomen. It became Women Against Feminism. It became complicated as fuck.
Pliable as Play-Doh are the concepts of feminism, and yet some have built unmovable, hardened statues with them allowing the idea to become daunting to those unfamiliar to it or disdainful for those conditioned on stereotypes and whatever jargon talking heads spew. The definition of "feminism" is pretty straightforward. It's described simply as, "the belief or theory that men and women should have equal political, economic, and social rights and opportunities". What is also straightforward is Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie's essay, "We Should All Be Feminists", which yanks away all the conversational barnacles that get attached to feminism and its practitioners, and brings a centered and thoughtful dialogue toward it.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
...and this is why I adore Eartha Kitt.
In less than three minutes the auntie in my head drops some purrfect knowledge on what love and compromise means to her and what it should mean to a lot of others. This clip, which is probably posted on a ton of Tumblrs by now in .gif form, is culled from All By Myself, a 1982 documentary where Kitt reflects on her life and music. I've been looking high and low for the full doc, and like usual, we cannot have nice things because it's out of print. Still this abridged wisdom she shares will forever be imprinted in my mind because what she says is the haunting truth. We often times forget that ourselves matter in the process of love and relationships. We're so much in the process of loving someone else that we, ourselves, our ideals and our emotions, dissipate.
Kitt's rebuttals to the interviewer may seem a bit harsh, but every scoff, scowl, and laugh is valid. I'm learning that love is about being honest with yourself, that you have to truly like yourself in order to extend that honesty and like towards another. When Kitt says, “I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share it with me. I want someone to share me with me" she's not tripping off of her ego, she wants to see herself, her all-true self reflected off of the person she's involved with, and have that honesty reciprocated.
Though I've never been in a serious relationship, from viewing my own parents and their 30+ year marriage I do see a lot of compromise, even sacrifice, in order to make things work between the two of them. I don't know the ins and outs of their marriage, because that's their business --- I'm just noting things on the surface--- but there are moments where I do catch the candor they share between each other, how comfortable they are with each other, and how they have a balance, where one doesn't outweigh the other even when things aren't so lovey-dovey.
With so much cynicism on romance and marriage these days it's hard to find someone who meets you at minds-level. Still even in my doubts and eyerolls, I hold onto the fact that as long I know myself, know what I want, and how I want to be treated that eventually I'll find a like-minded person who will understand that, and who I'll have no trouble understanding all their mechanisms as well. Knowing yourself and sharing that self with others is a deep and powerful thing and Eartha Kitt has that power on lock, and that's why we should open our minds to the real talk she's articulating here.