Friday, 26 April 2013
Where do our mistakes go after we make them?
I said something to someone today that was probably hurtful, but didn't realize it until later. I would have felt silly seeking them out and apologizing because it was only a little hurtful or maybe wasn't at all but I couldn't be sure... So I mostly just felt guilty about it for a little while and promised myself that I would be more careful in the future.
What happens to our words and actions after we release them into the world? I have come to realize that part of being an adult is knowing that you can never magically re-do anything. Things that we do can't be recalled and hurts that we cause are permanent things that just have to be lived with from then on out. I wonder if the people who caused little hurts to me ever realized that sometimes I still look back and remember those things- not because I am holding a grudge or because I want to dwell on them, but because they made little impressions on how I am today, and in turn shapes how I react to things and interact with the world. Of course, the good things that people have done also impact this.
I hope that if there is an afterlife, when we get there the first thing that happens is we'll get to see all of the little ripples that we've caused with our existence in the world. We'd see exactly what our actions did and how they spread to impact other people. I could see that being a cause for a lot of happiness and a lot of sadness at the same time. Even though I never try to hurt people, I still end up doing it sometimes. It'd be... a relief, I guess, to at least know what damage I'd done. Then I could at least say "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to," even if I could never apologize to that specific person for it. I'd want to at least know. I'd also like to know how I helped the world- how my existence caused happiness. Who knows if we ever get to know that, though.
Sunday, 14 April 2013
When I read the writings of other women, or talk to them about things like life and love and what they think of their place in the world I sometimes feel a bit lonely.There are very few women I’ve met that are confident in who they are. A friend of mine is one. My sister is another. Others… They think so poorly of themselves. How is it possible to go through life thinking that people don’t want you? Or that people will hate you because of who you are, even when you are perfectly within the bounds of normal and are simply feeling and thinking what every human being feels and thinks? Sadness, silliness, fear, passion, joy over whatever little things in life mean the most to you- these things make them cringe and say “why am I so wrong?” How is it possible to go through life thinking that because you are a woman you must be quiet and small, weak and unnoticeable? Why do so many try to beat and twist and mold themselves into something that they consider more “woman-like?” They lose who they are in an effort to become something that they don’t even want to be. Who told you this lie, that this is just the way it is?
A phenomenon in DC recently is guys wearing suits to clubs. It’s mildly funny because they can’t dance properly with suits- they’d get too overheated. All they can do is stand around and sip their drinks. As I was investigating the roof bar with my friend a man in a suit made eye contact with me and asked me how I was doing. I said “good” and asked him how he was but I was moving on, not starting a conversation. He asked “Hey, where are you going?” in a harsh, razor-edged way like he required something else besides just a “fine, how are you.” It made me want to tear him down, expensive suit and all. How many women has he bested? How many of those girls has he convinced that they are to be quiet, weak, unassuming? I would destroy his senseless ego, but I press on through the crowd because it gets dangerous, besting a man who isn’t gracious.Not only because of him, but because I can feel that wash of ego in my own soul, clawing its way into being again. I remind myself of my shoulder blade,what it means, and beat the ego back with that twinge of pain. Remember your place and what happens when you flare up into unchecked self-importance. Calm,calm and reality.
A blog I read today was reassuring women that they are loveable, even when they don’t think they are. Another questioned honestly whether it was ok for a woman not to defer always to her husband’s decisions. Comment after comment from other women saying they knew exactly how she felt. It made me feel alone in a way, for I was in middle school the last time I questioned whether or not I was loveable and I have never thought it was audacious to consider myself the equal of the other gender. It has simply never crossed my mind for I have lived in equality since birth. Thank God. Equality is inherent, not some hierarchy of humanness. Everyone is an equal until we are convinced or convince ourselves that we aren’t. I was told that I’m surprisingly confident for a woman. I was told I’m surprisingly strong for a woman. I was told I was surprisingly smart for a woman. I wasn’t sure whether they were compliments or insults. Something is wrong with the world when I do things that are ordinary for a man and people are surprised by it, like being a woman is a disability that I must work to overcome.
I have read books that suggest that women are dangerous by their very nature, that they are tempting in body and conniving in mind. It suggested that without even knowing it we were a burden to the men around us and that men had to guard themselves against our unwitting wiles. It instructed how to curb our innate evilness, how to speak carefully, dress carefully, not put ourselves in situations where compromise might occur. I hurled the book across the room in disbelief. How dare they? How dare they suggest that I am dangerous because I am a woman? How dare they insult me by suggesting that I am dishonorable enough to pull men from their senses or that I do it as a child would, without even being self-aware? (Furthermore, how dare they suggest that all men are weak enough to fall into such a trap? I know many with more sense than that.) No, I am dangerous when and where I choose. I am dangerous if you threaten me, I am dangerous if I lose who I am in a moment of poor restraint. If I chose to be conniving then I am conniving. If I choose to be manipulative then I am manipulative. These are not things that merely happen because I am a woman. They are part of every human if we are self-serving. If a man feels that I have in any way “drawn him in” then he is sorely mistaken. I have treated him the same as I try to treat every human being- with respect and kindness. If he feels that I haven’t, he should call me out on it and I will consider whether I’ve had one of those moments of poor restraint.
If I could erase all of those lies that women have been told and tell something else in its place, I would tell them this: Live as fully YOU as you can be. Don’t twist and mold into something that you’re not, because who you are IS good enough. Never let anyone tell you that you are unequal, or that you are not expected to be as good as someone else. Let ability and personality determine that through demonstration, not through assumptions that you just ARE this way because you are a woman. I feel sick for you, those of you who believe that you were just created lesser. It aches because it isn’t true. It aches because I shouldn’t be told that I am surprising. I shouldn’t be surprising.This should not be a surprise, for it isn’t an epiphany it’s a truth that I’ve lived throughout my entire life: You are yourself, and yourself is whoever you choose to be- you are not obligated to act a certain way. You choose how you’re going to behave. Then no matter what happens you’ll never feel like you don’t know who you are, because you’ve been yourself all along.
Wednesday, 03 April 2013
Ok, so I'm venturing into a topic that I've sorta watched from the sidelines for quite awhile. However, I think the observing has raised a few good insights that I'd like to share with my fellow Xangans. :) There has been so much talk recently about the right for same-sex couples to marry. If you are on the interwebs you've been whacked over the head with it every time you open facebook. Awareness and acceptance of all the things that circle the idea of a "gender spectrum" has been increasing too. When I was a kid the idea of homosexuality or transgender was a hush-hush sort of thing and society didn't quite know how to react to the person. Now it's a common occurrence for me to interact with folks who are in a same-sex relationship- they may be holding hands and chatting comfortably in the middle of Starbucks, or I may be introduced to someone's significant other, and it is slowly becoming (thankfully) a thing that society in the US is no longer hush-hush about. And you know what? It's pretty dang awesome, because it's not just about homosexuality. Certainly not to downplay the significance of the topic for those who it directly impacts, but really, it's a bit about all of us. Let me try to explain a bit better...We used to expect one person in a committed relationship to do all the child raising, while the other went to work at a full-time career- defined by whether they were male or female.Now we have the opportunity to question who gets to do what and take on what roles- and we have homosexual and transgendered relationships to model from because their relationship had no pre-defined roles to begin with. I'd like to thank the LGBT community for helping me to be more confident in knowing it's not only possible but acceptable for me to be in a career that will probably flip-flop the traditional roles of man and woman in my heterosexual relationship if I get married. It is TOTALLY ok.
We used to define physical and mental attributes by a specific sex and then place excessive value on that attribute in a slant toward what we wanted from that sex. (We're still working on this one.)Now we have more freedom to share attributes without being ridiculed or exalted unfairly. Women are not just worth something if they're beautiful and can have children. Men are not just worth something if they're strong and can provide resources. A man can be beautiful and a woman can be strong and there's nothing odd or wrong about it. Ze can be whatever ze is, because gender is something that is poorly defined at times, and maybe we should start looking at what a PERSON can do, not what a man or woman can do. I'd like to thank the LGBT community for pointing out that these attributes we thought were gendered into us are really more nebulous than everyone supposed. There's such freedom in that!
I'd like to thank the LGBT community for making society in the US talk about sex more openly, and in a way that highlights that it is not a stand-alone thing, but a part of a whole, complete relationship composed of two whole, complete people. Same-sex marriage flies in the face of all stereotypes about homosexuality automatically equaling rampant sex addict. It flies in the face of the assumption that people need the other sex to "complete" them. It makes us ask "what is the real purpose of marriage? How are sex and marriage related? What defines a monogamous relationship, and how can we have good romantic relationships that are built around a life together, not defined by sexuality alone? And for the love of all that is good and right in the world, can we stop snickering every time we hear the word 'sex?'" >_>I'd also like to thank the LGBT community for making kilts more acceptable attire everywhere. Because hecks yes. Any increase in kilt wearing is a great thing for society. (My great-great-grandaddy was from Scotland- IT"S IN MEH BLOOD!) *cough...where was I...*Oh yes, so in short this whole topic is good for everybody, regardless of whether or not you think it's good, bad, or are just tired of hearing about it. Your life as a human being is improving because of it! ^_^ Keep on being bold and awesome everyone!
This post brought to you by my reading through #edgeyheadlines. http://storify.com/nishachittal/some-of-the-best-edgyheadlines-tweets I could never quite pinpoint what was wrong when they came out with pink Legos because "that would make little girls more interested in them." Now I can say "aha! See, there was something weird about that statement!" Switch it around to "Lego introduces blue bricks so boys can join in on the fun" and suddenly it's crystal clear what's wrong with the statement. Why must they be a certain color to attract a certain gender? There is no such thing as a "pink attraction gene." *facepalm*
Thursday, 14 March 2013
I spent last weekend looking in various animal shelters, hoping to find a nice easygoing cat that I could take home. I was hoping for a middle aged cat- one that would be ok entertaining itself while I was at work during the day. I went to the first shelter and it was a small one, so they had all the cats in one room with cages just for the kittens so they wouldn't hassle the grown cats. I thought I'd seen every cat in the room and was about to leave when a little grey cat suddenly appeared at my feet. He'd crawled out from underneath the cage cart that the kittens were kept in. I sat down to pet him and he just crawled into my lap and curled up there. Obviously a keeper. lol.I looked at about three other shelters, but the only other one I saw that fit my cat-personality-criteria was one that was part of a bonded pair. I would've gotten both of them but my landlord doesn't allow more than one pet per apartment and I couldn't bring myself to split them up. So... on Wednesday I went back and got the grey one that seemed so chill and friendly. :) He's younger than I wanted... only about 6 months to a year old, but he's remained pretty low-key so far.We'll see how he does when I am off of vacation and back to work on Monday. (My boyfriend is in town so I took a couple of days off to hang out with him while he's here. He helped me with cat shopping. haha.) Otherwise he's just perfect. ^_^ He's so polite and doesn't claw anything, even if you reach your hand down right after he's gotten done playing with a toy. I'm slightly obsessed. haha. I decided on the name TimeCat long before I ever got a cat. I can't quite remember why I decided to go with a Dr. Who themed cat, because I've only seen a few episodes of Dr. Who, but I liked it and I liked the idea of a cat who might wear a bowtie and sleep/play in a cardboard Tardis so there you go. hehe. Also, he does have a habit of popping up out of nowhere, so that's a very TimeCat-like quality, I think.
Thursday, 07 March 2013
So I thought I'd share how I could've potentially died today over a stupid move that I made while half asleep and getting ready for work. >_> Since I feel that it is an appropriate medium for the herp derp-ness involved: Rage comic.And thus the brilliance of fuses saved me from death via sheer stupidity and half-asleepness. *facepalm* In the long run, it turns out it doesn't matter how many times your mother told you not to use electronics around water. If you're feeling lazy enough apparently death is just an inconvenience to starting your morning... Luckily I get another chance at life thanks to the engineers who developed fuses and the electrician who installed it correctly. Thanks guys. I owe you one.