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Another way to live

In and other uncomfortable topics, Friendship, home, Lawyer Problems, Uncategorized on May 4, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Some of my readers may know that I have three blogs: one for personal stuff, one for business/professional stuff, and one for makeup stuff.

That actually does not make sense.

At one point in my life, I was doing these three things separately and trying to juggle all of these different aspects of my life: my personal struggles, my growing knowledge of the legal entrepreneurism, and my love for color.

But, I’m all one person. All of those aspects are pieces of one thing. So, I’m combining my blogs into one blog. It’s foolish to believe that my clients, my colleagues, my family, and my friends, and absolute strangers won’t somehow find out about my other pieces–particularly in this uber-linked-to-each-other’s-faces era.

My life is chaotic, and I’m done attempting to make it look otherwise.

Thankful for my friends

In Uncategorized on July 18, 2015 at 12:26 am

I have not written in a long time. 

While I’ve been “away,” I furthered my law practice, got married, and moved in with my husband. I’ve gained some pounds, lost some pounds, cut off some hair, konmari’d the awesomeness into my organization system, and become re-addicted to Lisa Frank, Hello Kitty, and Care Bears.

And, I realized (rather foolishly and quite recently), that I have two genuine women as friends. I have not (rather foolishly) not written about these two women before. I have (rather foolishly) spent a lot of time pondering the friendships that I have lost. Quite without being fully cognizant of it; without wishing for it; without praying for it; without weekly mimosa-and-gossip brunches…I have what I need and what I want. 

I would not dare call myself a best friend to either woman; and, that sits well with me. I don’t have that deep knowledge of either of them to warrant that label. And, that seems to be fine with both of them. For me, it is an even and (dare I say) balanced feeling. We are what we are at the moment that we are in. I am so grateful for that. It is rare to meet a person who opens his or her hand to offer nothing more than that: a hand to hold–no gimmick, no guilt, no guile, no greed.

But, I have.

And, I am so grateful for the fact that they will answer my random-anxious-late-night-depression-fueled iMessages and Google chat messages (or, Hangouts…I think it’s called, right?). I am so grateful that they each will share with me some of the difficult moments of their lives. I am grateful that they have truly rejoiced in some of my good moments. For every ill-gotten lesson that taught me that I have to always put my friends first; that I have to bait my life choices by the whims of friends; that I have to conform to the image that my friends have of me: I have been blessed with the freedom to be as potty-mouthed; as oddly-unexpectedly religious; as child-like; as ridiculous; as dramatic; as balls-to-the-wall as I truly am. 

And, they are there. Whether approving or disapproving, I know that they approve or disapprove of my actions and attitudes rather than myself.

They are there. It might be two days or two months, but they are there. I am thankful. They have brought back to me something that I had lost. They have given me back the right to be myself and to not constantly wonder “is she still my friend” and to reach out in ways that are comfortable for and to know friendship is about wonderfully imperfect and screwed up people (usually) trying really hard to love each other.

I love my friends.

If you give a mouse a copy of _Outlander_

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2014 at 2:37 am

That mouse will turn into a ravenous book-reading monster who quickly spends upwards of $100 on books and develops a taste for Scotch.

I speak from personal experience. I am the mouse.

I read _Outlander_ by Diana Gabaldon.

Mmmmmph (which is a noise all the Scottish people in _Outlander_ make repeatedly in either agreement, disagreement, thanks, suggestion, avoidance, or request). Actually, I read each of the eight books in the series, plus three of the books in a spin-off series. Let me put this into (a slightly manic) perspective for you (and myself): I ordered the first book on August 5, 2014 immediately after I read a Buzzfeed article about the book because Buzzfeed. Today is September 29, 2014–just shy of two months. In that time, I have sizzled through 9,168 pages. I went to law school and, unfortunately, never showed that sort of dedication to my reading assignments.

I don’t know what Diana Gabaldon puts in those books, but its the same kool-aid that’s in television shows like The Wire and Scandal. You have to consume all of the output. No, I don’t have Starz. Yes, I am contemplating criminal activity in order to binge watch the first eight episodes of _Outlander_. For all of you smart alecks, I may have the mens rea but I have not done the actus reus. I **did** read in law school.

You see, _Outlander_ confirms and enriches many of my basic assumptions about life:

1. First of all, one really should not refer to a penis in public. But, if you must, one will likely not use the word penis. Steady yourself for this one. There is a vast array of epithets for the penis. But, generally, the penis (when it makes an appearance in this book, and it often does) is called a “cock.” Just accept that. No matter how embarrassing, wildly inadequate, or completely inappropriate this seems. Apparently, 18th century Scottish bros were way into referring to their necessary bits as cocks. WAY into that. Or, if they weren’t, you will come to believe that they were.

You need to accept this immediately. Like right now. Otherwise, you will be distracted and possibly convinced that you have, indeed, downloaded the wrong book. But, you haven’t. Do you see the word cock twice in one page and nary a scene involving a rooster? If so, you are reading the right books.

2. The epithets for a vagina are decidedly MEH. I have great faith in Dr. Gabaldon’s research abilities (that’s right, sucka….DOCTOR). So, I believe that she would have included better epithets if any existed now or then. Please be aware that a vagina is a sheath, a home, a slippery crease. All of these are MEH. This is not Diana Gabaldon’s fault. The fault lies with each of us, ladies. We have failed ourselves.

3. Scottish and Irish are obviously different, but I am completely ignorant. I have no clear idea what a Scottish accent sounds like. I thought I did. But, I don’t. I keep hearing Tom Branson (or, rather, the actor who plays the character of Tom Branson) in my head. That’s absolutely the wrong fandom….and the wrong country.

You need to listen to someone from Scotland. Otherwise, many of the characters will sound like Scrooge McDuck or Scottie from Star Trek–if, like me, you actually hear the characters saying the words while you read. Yeah, I know……that’s both totally boss and slightly disturbing.

4. England ruined everything. Hey, hey, hey, don’t get me wrong! I love Great Britain now….solid chaps. But, Ireland? India? The Americas? Africa? Asia? Australia? Let’s not kid ourselves: Earl Grey tea does not make up for much of the ruination brought to the world through the germs, boats, people, laws, guns, and customs of England. The Scotland of _Outlander_ is pretty thoroughly ruined by the English.

Again, though, the England of today: peopled by solid chaps.

5. There is such a thing as magnetic loins. I always suspected it; Dr. Gabaldon has offered a hypothesis in the person of James Fraser. The dude has magnetic loins and, apparently, 75% of the people in the eighteenth-century world of _Outlander_ are made of metal. He can’t walk more than about 100 yards without something being drawn to him–men, women, cats, bears, fish, bullets, knives, nails, axes. Obviously, this gets kinda messy. This is why the Illuminati kill all the people with magnetic loins.

6. People of color do not time travel well to the past. This IS a basic assumption that I hold about life. Of course, I have pondered this before reading this book. Would I travel back in time and lead a slave uprising? Would I travel back in time and put my legal skills to use, totally mess up history, and be the first practicing Black female attorney? Would I use the mighty pen to write words of equality and truth?

Probably not. I’d probably end up being a slave.

Real talk: I’m Black. Not only Black, but what was once referred to (in the past to which I would travel) as cafe au lait. Time travel in _Outlander_ occurs generally across two hundred year spans (there are exceptions; read the books). Me? Time travel back to 1814? That sounds bad. Very bad. Why am I so light? Why can I read? Why is my spoken English the way it is? Where are my papers? So, then, the score becomes: I’m Black. I’m female. I’m light. I’m tall and solidly built. AND, I’m **_suspicious_**–no matter what continent onto which I emerge from the rift in the space-time continuum.

Sigh.

7. Red hair has always been sexier than anyone thought. I never realized that there were so many extremely attractive descriptors for red hair (rivaling even the sheer number of descriptors referred to at #1). It sparkles; it’s burnished; it’s bronzed; it’s copper; it’s a flame; it shines; it glows. I’m not sure if I want red hair or I want to see it or I want to be it or what. I just don’t know.

8. Homophobes always, always, always gum up the works and make things unnecessarily difficult. The Eighteenth century was full of homophobes because ignorance, repressive church teachings, unbridled machismo, etc.. Ergo, the works were always getting gummed up and things were unnecessarily difficult. There is one particularly awesome character who is homosexual, but it’s the eighteenth century and that means certain death. So, he is always having to fight duels and dodge danger, and he spends not enough time being sarcastic and generally dashing.

9. Obvious literary danger is not necessarily less exciting. Everyone is in danger all the time, but you will not grow tired of it at all. Never. You will see it coming and you will love it. I can’t tell you where or when or why or how. But, I promise that you will see it coming a mile off (like sunshine glinting off the coppered streaks of Jamie’s burnished mane) and you will love it in the same way you do the pattern of the Fraser plaid. Trust me, despite the fact that I make jokes about the Illuminati and I hear the voices of characters when I read.

10. One might attempt to watch the _Outlander_ series on television, and one might be somewhat annoyed because Frank, Jamie, and Claire do not look like the Frank, Jamie, and Claire one pictured in one’s mind while one was reading _Outlander_.

One is me. This happened to me.

Peace/Pace/Shalom/Salam/Pax/Paix/Paz

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2014 at 3:04 am

To be clear this post is about war, and my opinion on war. Chances are pretty large that my views run counter to a lot of other views, so there’s that.

In particular, the violence in Israel and Palestine weighs heavily on my conscience. I believe, in a completely sincere neo-hippie Christian way, that I am–that we all are–somehow linked together on this earth. I do not mean linked in an X-Men sort of way. Rather, I mean that responsibility (in varying degrees) goes out to each of us humans.

Perhaps my conscience is pricked because, in my opinion, the most horrible atrocities in human history happen because individual humans choose to ignore violence visited upon groups of other humans: the Middle Passage and the African diaspora; Stalin’s violence against the Jewish people of Russia; Hitler’s violence against the Jewish people of Germany and surrounding areas; the civil war in Rwanda. And, those just name a few of the most awful moments in human history. We turned our backs. We said that others would find a way to end the violence. There had to be a better way.

So, I say: even one human casualty is one too many. In looking back at those horrible moments, I so often wonder where are the compassionate people? Perhaps compassionate people don’t make history.

Perhaps my conscience is pricked because I am a Christian. Some might even call me an evangelical Christian who had a fairly conservative upbringing. So, I know that many Christians believe that what is happening now in Israel and Palestine is a predestined part of eschatological prophecy. Translation: the world is ending; Jesus is coming back; and, this violence is how one can tell.

So, I say: If God is God, then I am not. I do not rejoice in the deaths of men, women, and children. No one knows the hour or manner of Christ’s return, but until that hour: I believe that I am commanded to love, to show compassion, and to be truthful. Jesus is not an excuse for inaction.

One human casualty is one too many.

Perhaps my conscience is pricked because I am American. Born and raised. Working class. Never really wanted for any essential need of life. I’m not rushing over to Jerusalem or to Gaza right now to lend a hand. I’m sitting here, behind my iPad typing away and hoping not to offend the many people I respect, like, and admire who are ardently for one side or the other.

So, I say: I have the unearned luxury of being able to believe that peace is a possibility. I was born into a world that allows me to cloak myself in the hope–no, knowledge–that peace is an end-goal. I have never experienced war first hand, and so I have the room to suppose that there is a way to avoid war. Still, though, that’s what I believe.

One human casualty is one too many.

Perhaps my conscience is pricked because I used to be a teacher. Israeli children AND Palestinian children (did I mention that, in the vein of everything else, I believe that children are LITERALLY our future?) deserve to have schools. They deserve to have soccer games. They deserve to be able to laugh and play outside. They deserve access to healthcare. They deserve access to fresh food. They deserve to grow up in a world where they aren’t constantly fearful of enemies. There is something supremely, darkly, insidiously wrong with the fact so many Israeli and Palestinian children–Palestinian children in particular, because of the number of casualties–know so much more about death and dying than I would ever want to know.

So, I say: I will continue to hold on to Peace as a possibility and as a solution. The odd (sad) thing is that I am just now realizing that I am for peace and all of the processes and expenditures and hard work that it takes to get there. I am opposed to anything and anyone that weighs one human life against another and finds one lacking in value. I am opposed to the idea that violence is the way to peace. I am opposed to the idea that I should set my mind against an entire nation of individuals. I am opposed to the idea that I should only expect violence from human beings–that violence is, then, a default setting for humanity.

I am for Peace. I stand with those who work for Peace. One human casualty is one too many.

The Dark Glass

In Depression and Mental Health, Examining my tears #ExMT, Uncategorized, Using my words for good #UMFWG on July 14, 2014 at 3:44 am

Who do I turn to? It’s a crushing weight, but then again…it is not actually a crushing weight. Is it? I recognize that I do not have the proper perspective to judge, but the weight on my chest and confusion in my mind feel so crushing. Yet, it is rather imaginary. Isn’t it? After all, my problems–my issues–are not of a truly substantial nature. I’m not facing a lack of food, a lack of shelter, poor health–or any of those things.

But, still, this tinted glass wall sometimes drops down between me and everything else. I can’t turn around and go back. No, I have spent so much time working my way forward and I know what sadness and struggles are behind me. Somehow, though, I cannot move forward. I can see out. I can see, dimly through the darkened glass, that things are better than I think they are and that I can be better. I just can’t get there at that very moment.

Do I bang against the glass again and again, hoping that it will shatter? Do I try to tunnel underneath? Do I just sit there and hope that it will be lifted as suddenly and mysteriously as it dropped? Or, do I pretend that the wall is not there, and that the barrier does not exist, and that (even though it does exist) I don’t care?

And, who wants to hear my tangled metaphors of glass and weights? Who wants to hear all of that again–because it recurs. It recurs. That is the most shameful thing of all. No matter how resilient I was last time, I will have to–and, I will be able to–be as resilient again. That’s the bottom line. There is no choice. I can, I will, I must. No matter how heavy the weight on my chest, I can, I will, I must take another breath. No matter how dark and how thick that glass, I can, I will, I must press my forehead against it and wait for it to lift or crack or shatter.

I want so badly to be able to exercise my way out of it; to think my way out of it; to faith my way out of it; to pray my way out of it; to laugh my way out of it; to talk my out of it; to do anything at all to get out of it. But, those things are not permanent fixes. Maybe there is no permanent fix; maybe there is, and I have not found that fix yet. So, I fake it. I smile and laugh and eat and do without really feeling anything except the shame of having to fake the whole thing again. I hold out hope that at some point, a switch will flip and it will change from a performance to me being genuine.

Who can I really face while carrying that shame again? So, I hide. I don’t have to explain. But, eventually, I begin to wonder if anyone notices that I am hiding. Then, I begin to believe that it’s just easier if I hide. I can repeat the struggle again without disturbing anyone. My struggles for breath and my head-banging against the glass will not distract anyone else. But, mostly, I just don’t want anyone to see. I don’t want to be judged too emotional or incompetent or hysterical or crazy. I do not talk about those minutes, days, weeks behind the glass. I’m strong, smart, practiced enough to get by without talking about the hours behind the darkened glass.

I have a gift that many others who deal with the weight, the confusion, and darkness of depression do not have: I have hope. Even the thinnest scrap of hope has the instructions on how to make it to the next minute. And, that is what I do. I live one minute to the next, knowing those minutes will turn into an hour, and those hours will turn into one day. It is not about tomorrow being better; it is about making it into the next minute with another scrap of hope and with the belief that the glass will lift.

If I think too far ahead, I (somehow by some sort of mental sleight of hand) will be reminded of losses and that leads to regret, guilt, and shame. But, when I live from one minute to the next, making it the way I am, making it as who I am, and making it with the bare essentials of life is possible. In that minute, I am enough. When I think too far ahead, I am not enough. I am inadequate. I am weak. I am stupid. When I think too far ahead, I accept the dark glass as the best thing.

Distance and Engagement

In Choosing to see the wonderful #CTSTW, Depression and Mental Health, Encouragement, Friendship, Law School Problems, Love and Romance, R[evol]ution, Uncategorized on April 21, 2014 at 2:42 am

On April 2, 2014, my boyfriend went down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes. He and I were by ourselves at this moment, and we went to celebrate by ourselves. In the coming days, we were quiet and savored the newness of the thing largely alone. Despite what movies and novels would have you believe, I didn’t have friends who I immediately called to gush over the news. Many of the women who I might have called for that reason have distanced themselves from me and I from them–perhaps due partially to this man.

But, it’s not a new distance among us. The drift had begun before he and I took real notice of each other and it quickened as soon as two weeks after he and I started dating in the summer of 2011. We met in law school, probably very early during my first fall semester since we both rode MARTA then. We were each involved in our own lives and really didn’t overlap each other. I was certainly swallowed up in the emotional and intellectual tides of first-year law school. At the end of the Spring semester, though, I called him to apologize for not coming to his graduation party. From there, we talked and saw each other regularly.

After about two weeks, we had our first real date and I met two of his friends and he and I went to watch movies at his friends’ home. It was all so deliciously normal that I began to feel guilty…..as if I was dragging this man into all of my friend-losing, engagement-breaking, prozac-taking drama. The criticisms of others had long before become the rain that watered my soul. Also, I have very little sophistication when I comes to relationships. Later that evening when he and I were alone I started to cry and all of THAT came tumbling out in (what I can safely assume was) a rather jumbled tale.

It was a little embarrassing at the time, so I can’t truly say that I remember it clearly as the significance did not dawn on me until later. What I remember most is how gentle and kind his eyes looked once he realized that I was serious and in some distress. There wasn’t really any pity and absolutely no shock in his voice or face. In those moments, he was quiet and listened. He said to me then what he continues to say to me now: that we all have our scars, weaknesses, and troubles. That mine were not worse than those of anyone else.

In the coming days, I watched for a sign that he thought I was different, crazy, soiled. But, that sign never came and it has not come. I did not recognize that I was in love and even if I had, I would have found it hard to explain it to my women friends. What I did know was that I felt comfortable, peaceful, at ease, and unsuspicious with this man–and those were things I experienced rarely then. Even though I communicate(d) in short, pointed, expressive, honest bursts punctuated with silence and he is more comfortable with conversation and words, he made (and makes) me feel an equal. I did not have the words to explain that to them–and did not (for whatever reason) search for the words to explain it.

I was, honestly, a little selfish in absolutely basking and camping in these experiences and not being particularly open with my friends about how I felt. The feeling of acceptance was such a God-send and I had no desire for anyone to remind me of the doubts I was slowly putting to death at the time. Maybe I was wrong to hoard that positivity. But, it was beautiful. And, it was mine. And, I had a chance to forge a healthy relationship with a balanced and open-minded person.

I took that chance, and I have not regretted it.

The hardest part of hurt

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2014 at 2:06 am

When I’m hurt, I find myself caught in the moment and it seems that the breathless emotional pain will never subside completely. I believe that I will always bear the weight of that feeling. This seems to be worst part of being emotionally wounded.

But, right now, I am realizing that the hardest part of being hurt is to resist the urge to be bitter. Up until this moment, I had no working definition for bitter until I was faced with the ugliness of how I feel. Bitterness is being so fond of the hurt that I want to inflict that same pain on others. Instead of healing and getting out of the pit, bitterness wants to drag others into the pit with me.

I’m having to beat back the desire to be bitter so much so that I cannot mention the topic of my hurt because I know the itch, the urge would begin to spill over. My words would be a heat-seeking missile bent on destroying the energy, the hope, the positivity of others. I would completely reverse the Golden Rule; I would do unto others as others have previously done unto me.

I am placing all my chips on–putting all my eggs in the basket of–laying it all on–hope. I am thinking of all the things written of hope (both the corny and the true). Hope springs eternal. Anyone who is among the living has hope. I have one (probably slightly selfish) hope: that by refusing to let bitterness wash over me, I can change the tide just a little and that my life won’t drown in anger and unforgiveness. Maybe I can do unto others as I would have those others do unto me.

Sifting through Suicidal Thoughts

In and other uncomfortable topics, Depression and Mental Health, Encouragement, Uncategorized on April 3, 2014 at 3:20 am

First, I have to say that suicidal ideation is not a laughing matter. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please be kind to yourself and do not pressure yourself to do anything suddenly. You do, however, need to seek professional assistance. I am not a doctor or medical professional (they won’t even let me play one on TV). If you are in a crisis situation, you should go to a safe space and call 911. There are trained professionals available to talk at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

What I say below is not the result of science, and it is not an organized therapy plan. What I say below is simply a collection of anecdotes and thoughts.

I have experienced suicidal thoughts several times in my life. The sad thing is that people rarely talk about suicidal ideation, and focus instead on the aftermath of suicide itself: the loss, the sadness, the grief. Talking about suicidal thoughts is a particularly stripping, bleaching, burning, vulnerable experience. I know that former and potential future supervisors might read this; former students and parents of students; family members; friends. All of those people might read this.

But, some of those people are likely experiencing suicidal thoughts right now and have no idea where to turn or what to do. Thankfully, I have lived through all of my bouts with suicidal thoughts–and I anticipate being able to make it through any future bouts.

1. When I am in that PLACE, I feel lost and disoriented.

I always remind myself that I have been in this PLACE before. That’s what it is: an emotional and mental location. Just like any other location, I took a path to get to that PLACE and, maybe, retracing my steps will take me away from that location.

Can you go back the way you came? Can you look at each emotional road marker that got you there and realize that the opposite could be equally true? If you can do that, maybe you get away from that PLACE.

2. Often, I get to that PLACE because I am involved in a tough life problem and I cannot see a way to solve that problem. The more I cannot see a way to solve the problem, the large the problem seems, and the harder it seems to solve. Then, I begin to think that if I cannot solve this problem, my life and myself will be a disappointment.

And, the sad thing is that there are some people in the world who will focus on your failures, your weaknesses, and your disappointing moments more than your triumphs, your strengths, and your everyday average glories. Those people are assholes. For some reason, seeing you alive and striving for peace and balance really pisses them off.

Your life is not a scale in which you must outweigh each failure with two triumphs. I have no empirical proof, but life just does not work that way.

3. Sometimes, I get to that PLACE because the criticisms of others have soaked into me and become a constant inner banter of negative talk.

I find it odd that I never play the positive words of others on loop in my brain. I have to remind myself of the positive words that others have spoken to me. Perhaps that is because critical people are more likely to talk (far too much). Perhaps that is because I am wired to best remember negativity. A more likely answer is that I am giving space and power to people who do not deserve either in my life.

Begin to exercise power in your life by resolving to live tomorrow with the purpose of pushing those people into a menial and small place in your life.

4. While I am in that PLACE, I feel silenced and ostracized.

I have to remind myself that there are people who will truly listen and empathize.

When I was in law school, I was a part of an amazing therapy group. Obviously, group therapy means that everyone comes with the expectation of having to listen and empathize and share and feel. But, these people showed me that there are people who want to help and listen and feel and share. But, I have to make the effort to share and be open.

I urge you to reach out. Your hurts are just as serious and critical as knife wounds. Hearing another voice or seeing another face may help you to contextualize what you are feeling. You may not, through one conversation or meeting or call, find a solution to what is hurting you. But, you may recover a spark of hope that can get you through the next minute; the next hour; the next 2 hours; and, on until tomorrow.

Remember, there are assholes out in the world. Please don’t be swayed by the thoughtless words of some jerk. Keep pushing until you find a safe person to talk to. You are not alone. Maybe I have not been exactly where you are, but I have been somewhere similar.

5. I often get to that PLACE because my mind is racing and attempting to tackle the challenges of other days, weeks, and months.

Take it moment by moment. You don’t need to solve the entire problem right now. Focus on solving the next minute right now. This may sound discouraging, but each minute presents its own small challenge(s) that you can overcome.

When I am in that PLACE, looking ahead to the future is not usually helpful because of how powerless I feel and how unlikely a bright future seems.

6. Try to be powerful–even in small ways. Dialing that hotline number is a way to be powerful. Making a doctor’s appointment is a way to be powerful. Being insistent about getting help is a way to be powerful. Getting up to go sit at Starbuck’s so you can be around other people is a way to be powerful.

I made it, and I am in no way remarkable. You can make it, too. Your life is worth living. Please leave that PLACE.

Woman loves self, internet outraged

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2014 at 6:37 am

Forgive my use of made-up curse words.

Ermergag. I am so tired, so tired of the internet imploding every time a woman loves herself. No, no. It’s not even that revolutionary. The internet implodes when a woman is herself. Jennifer Someone without makeup? Egad! Some lady smiling while sitting on the beach? Yikes! Woman quits job/keeps job/gets job; woman cuts hair/wears weave/uses curling iron; woman shows too much skin/not enough skin. Woman leans in; woman works out!

We must, we must, we must talk about it. Reflect on it. What does this mean to femininity? What does this mean to feminism? Doesn’t she know who she is? Who does she think she is? Doesn’t she know how she looks? Doesn’t she know how we think she looks?

Yes, it all comes down to looks. At least on the internet, often times. And the snark is nauseating. There is snark from all sides. Every woman gets a snootful of mean talk. Much of it from other women. But, it all starts at home. It starts with how we talk about ourselves. Each of my female social media friends generally have a picture or two in which she bemoans her waistline, her leg length, her butt size, her cheekbones, her hair, her lips, her breasts…..something is inevitably not quite right. I have several myself.

And, it’s sick. The way we cut ourselves down and expect each other to meet this same cutting self-talk. Then, we reinforce the standard by aiming cutting talk (sometimes known as shade) at other women. And, yes, it is a symptom of patriarchal dominance. After all, in the patriarchy, the archetype is always that the pretty girl gets the worm (so to speak). But, in the patriarchal archetype, she is more than pretty. She is perfect. Therefore, she is desired. So, she gets love and, presumably, fulfillment.

The perfect is the enemy of the good here, as it is in so many other situations.

You are not perfect. I hate to break this to you, but you will never be perfect. Because you were never meant to be perfect.

So, can we all admit to our stretch marks, freckles, frizzies, fly aways, scars (physical and emotional), dry skin, split ends, bitten nails, short eyelashes, patchy eyebrows, knobby knees, big feet, crooked teeth, crow’s feet, wrinkles, double chins, low cheekbones, high foreheads, flat butts, small breasts, plump butts, large breasts, round waists, flat tummies?

Can we all admit to these things as natural–not perfect–but well within what’s natural?

And, can we use acceptance when talking about our own bodies as well as the bodies of others? That would be truly wonderful! Women would be able to hear love and fulfillment from the words and actions of other women. Then, maybe the internet wouldn’t seize up every time a woman appears comfortable in her own skin.

Dear Douchebags: social mental illness

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2014 at 5:02 am

Dear Douchebags of the World:

I am sick of you. All of “you people” who aren’t happy in life, who have given up on dreams, who don’t feel worthy of more, who are dissatisfied with what you have, who refuse to attempt happiness, who find joy in perverse bitterness, who spread evil words. You make me sick. In fact, you make society sick.

Those who aren’t happy in life feel it their God forsaken right to point out the unhappiness in the lives of others. Those who have given up on dreams feel a responsibility to stomp on the dreams of others. Those who don’t feel worthy of more spread the famine of dissatisfaction. Those who are dissatisfied with what they have infect themselves and others with greed. Those who refuse to attempt happiness sap the energy out of others. Those who find joy in bitterness are like a mold over the compassion of others. Those who spread evil words that bring their barbed wire of envy and jealousy.

Today, I realized that I am angry at douchebags. But, I’ve been turning that anger in on myself and blaming myself for associating with douchebags who pricked my jealousy and dissatisfaction and unhappiness. I’m not depressed or anxious or anything of the sort. I mean, I am but that’s not what I am. Not really. I’ve been surrounded by douchebags!

As much as it pains me to admit it, I cannot blame all mental illness on the douchebags of the world. But, in my highly unstudied scientific opinion, I think much of the addiction, abuse, depression, anxiety, and hurt in the world can be blamed on douchebags of various levels.

The worst thing that you douchebags do is to convince average, quirky people to focus on their flaws and their impracticalities and their weaknesses until the average quirk no longer sees himself in the mirror. His reflection is clouded by your venom. Every person has a collection of strengths and weaknesses. In fact, I didn’t really learn my strengths until I became sure of my weaknesses. But, what you douchebags do is to pick at the weakness until it’s red and inflamed and impossible to miss.

So, my advice for all douchebags: shut up. Shut up. Shut up. No one needs your poison. No matter how you dress it up. You can call it observations, words of wisdom, advice, prayer requests, friendship, leadership traits, evaluation meetings, gossip, girl talk, tea, love……whatever. It’s poison. Just know that no matter how much of your poison you pour out, you will still be full of it. No amount of pushing someone down is actually going to uplift you.

No amount.

Furthermore: everyone knows that you are, in fact, a douchebag. You can smile, you can laugh, you can make nice. But, in the end, you make yourself known. Sooner or later (maybe at this very moment), some average quirk who you’ve screwed over is mustering up the courage to expose you for who you are.

The saddest thing is that you can change. You know you can. We’ve all seen “A Christmas Carol.” It takes just as much energy to speak encouraging words as it does to speak evil words. Oddly enough, it takes no energy at all to keep your mouth closed.

But, douchebags always think they’re in the right. That’s the nature of douche baggery. History is full of douche bags who thought they were in the right who were later hunted down like dogs and exposed to public contempt. Don’t argue with me, that’s history bro. History always repeats itself. Always, in some way or another.