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Showing posts from 2013

10 years: Death, where is your sting?!

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the death of my mother, brother, and grandmother.  Many people who know me, may vaguely know what happened, but I don't talk about it often, if ever, because it makes people sad and uncomfortable.  But since it's 10 years to the day, I'm gonna tell the story.
It was Winter Break 2003 and my Daddy's side of the family (minus my uncle and his children) decided to take a family vacation to Edisto Island in South Carolina.  Grandma, my two aunts and their children (two girl cousins and two boy cousins), as well as this random guy one of my aunts was boarding arrived at my family's house Christmas day.  We exchanged gifts, packed up a rented 15 passenger van and Grandma's car and we all headed down to the beach.  It was probably one of the most perfect Christmases I remember having; there was such happiness in the air.  And the week before we had gone to Grandma's house and taken family pictures for the first time in years…

Victim, I Was One

Today I watched the movie Lovelace; it's based on a true story of a woman who was coerced into pornography by her abusive husband and who became a pioneer of pornography.  The story of this woman, Linda Lovelace, was difficult to watch, yet very eye opening.  It shows the struggle that some people who are victims of domestic violence go through in their relationships; why she stayed, how he got away with it, the cycle of abuse.  And just like that, it hit me: I was a victim of sexual assault.
People (and up until tonight that included me) associate rape, and only rape, with sexual assault, but The United States' Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women defines sexual assault as "any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape."  W…

on becoming

'Becoming' is the name of the women's ministry at my church.  I thought the name was lame and therefore the ministry was lame.  I assumed the name, becoming, meant that women would be learning how to become better mothers and wives, and mainly sweet, submissive, demure women; my having grown up in the South and in the church lead me to believe that women's ministries were about making their women into the Stepford wives our patriarchal society drools over.  It occurs to me now what a stupid assumption that was considering 1) while (some of) the women at my church are wives and mothers, all of them are unique powerhouses of splendor, wisdom, and worth (they are not objects composed of a sexist society) and 2) the woman who started the ministry is one of my favorite people on the planet because she is so real, intelligent, graceful, and a delightful feminist.  While I was realizing the above about my ASSumptions concerning the women's ministry, the name, Becoming, c…

If I Was a Rich Girl

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I'm not rich by US standards, and the likelihood of me ever being rich is pretty slim; but sometimes I get displeased with something and decide that if I'm ever rich I'll remedy what displeases me by using my money.  Here are some things I'd remedy if I was ever rich.
1) Pants. I went to Target today just for some mouthwash and swung by the clothes section (a constant mistake of mine) to check out the jeans.  Currently, I have about 4 pairs of jeans and 2-3 are getting pretty worn looking and/don't fit properly because they've been worn so often, so I've decided to replace them.  I found my "fit" jeans and tried on my size, too small.  I figure the next size up should do it, too small and too large.  What?!  The sad thing is, this isn't unusual.  Pants will fit in the legs-butt-hips but will be entirely (and noticeably) too big in the waist.  Or some other combination.  So I've decided (dreamed) that when (which is never) I'm rich, I …

Shows that Ended too Soon

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I might have an affinity for television shows that don't make it very far.  Some make it just one season and others two, but they never have as much success as others out there.  Here are some shows that need to come back...for me.
1) Bomb Girls.  This show, I discovered on Netflix a couple weeks ago, takes place in the 1940's in Ontario, Canada.  It's centered around the lives of (mostly) women workers at a bomb factory.  This was a time in history when women were beginning to work outside the house, during the Second World War, in more areas than just teaching and administrative tasks.  This show is wonderful because it shows feminism in the baby stages of realization.  Watching this show makes me quite grateful that I didn't live in the '40's, even in Canada where racism wasn't built into the government.  The shit women had to put up with from men was endless and absurd.  Unfortunately, the show only lasted two seasons, but I'm pretty sure I'll …

Vegetables and Fruits I Wish I Liked

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I'm a vegetarian, a lacto-ovo vegetarian (I eat dairy: eggs, milk, yogurt, etc) to be exact, and I love it more and more each day.  I have very strong feelings about being vegetarian including what types of (typically processed) foods I will and won't eat; this means I read the ingredients for EVERYTHING I eat.  I'm that vegetarian who asks details about how the food is cooked and what ingredients were used to prepare this food.  Do you cook the eggs on the same surface that you cook the bacon/sausage?  Is there meat stock in these mashed potatoes/this soup/this rice/this whatever?  Do you use the same utensils for your meats and non-meats?  Is there meat in the vegetable soup?  (That, by far, is the most infuriating question to ask, but I've learned that people will call it vegetable soup and will leave off the beef part; let's be clear, that is BEEF soup with vegetables.  Dummies.)  People have these stereotypes about vegetarians' likes and dislikes that don…

One thing a friend should tell a friend before they become friends

I don't know if there is an exact moment when you know you're going to be friends with someone.  Surely, some friendships start off with certainty, but others just sneak up and surprise YOU'RE FRIENDS!  But wouldn't it be great if you knew some things about your relationship before you all invested in this person as your friend?!

I'm 25, so that means most people my age are either dating seriously/engaged/married, that's pretty normal.  I'm not in a relationship, and I really like it that way, but it doesn't mean that I'm not surrounded by romantic relationships.  It's unavoidable, really.  As a single person, but mostly just a person who has feelings, I would like to know some things about a person before I enter into a friendship with them.  I want to know how they're going to be when they are dating/engaged/married.

Something I've noticed about some, not all, people when they get married is that they become an island.  I actually had…

The Problem With Personality

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I have a personality.  Well, everyone does; but each of us has their own cocktail of personality traits.  Some of the traits in my personality cocktail include, but are certainly not limited to: intense, blunt, self-aware, compassionate.  These are things about me that will never change, and that's okay.  I believe that each of us should come to terms with our cocktail.  Do I believe that people should always be growing and changing as a person?  ABSOLUTELY.  But I also believe that we shouldn't try to tamper too much with our personality cocktail.
There are some personality traits I have that I like about myself.  But there are others that can make it difficult or awkward when interacting with other people or myself.  I'm 25 and I still, most times, feel inept in proper interaction with people.  I feel like I speak too quickly, or my tone is harsh, or seem to have a bitchy undertone, I talk in circles, I say things I wish I could take back (I'm quite the external pro…

Losing My Religion

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So, tonight, it's hit me hard: I'm truly struggling with my religion.  I haven't wanted to admit it, as if not looking it in the eye will make it not true.  But that doesn't work.  Last week was tough.  Last week I finally admitted that I'm angry with, disappointed in, and cynical of God.  I don't want to be any of those things, but I am.  But today at church I learned (more like, was reminded of) that it's okay to feel that way about God.  He can handle it.

I'm just tired.  And I'm tired of being tired.  I know God is real, that's not the struggle.  In fact, I know the exact struggle: why won't God be nice to me?  Exhibit A: I've wanted to be a music teacher and a missionary since I can remember, so when I finally committed to missions and tried to raise money (as missionaries do) and it didn't happen, I felt dumbfounded.  God says that the 'harvest is plenty but the workers are few' and here I am willing to throw myself in…

Ain't Nobody Got Time fo Dat: Why I'm Not Waiting

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I read this today from a friend's tweet, I didn't like it.  I've grown up with this 'waiting' talked about and preached to me and I've decided to disagree deeply with it.  The post I read today was about how (Christian women are) to wait for their husbands, like what they should be doing in the meantime and why, as well as what to wait for.  While I agree that one should not just be sitting stagnant, twiddling their thumbs as they sit pretty waiting for their 'Prince Charming', I don't like the idea, the sound, of waiting.  There are better things to do.

To me, waiting means there's a preoccupation from the present task, life, at hand.  Yes, the Productive Waiting Model (I just made that up) encourages the waiters to further themselves in their spiritual life and to make sure they have some type of concept of the man they're to marry one day, but that still doesn't feel right to me.  When I'm in the waiting room at the mechanic, I b…

Mediocre Patriotism, but mostly a list of places I never want to live

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I'm not patriotic; in fact today (July 4th, 2013) I'm probably the most patriotic I've ever been because I'm wearing a blue shirt on purpose.  I usually intentionally wear NOT red/white/blue on this holiday so as not to be mistaken for a patriotic citizen.  With that being said, I've been thinking of different places in the USA I would never want to live.  Calm down, this isn't serious, so just read.

1) New York.  It's one of the most popular places in the USA/World.  Often it's iconic busy streets and it's towering buildings are one of the first images that come up when people from other parts of the world think about the US.  But I don't want to live there: I'm uncomfortable with the amount of villains who are bent on tearing up the place: Doc Oc, the Green Goblin, the Sandman, the Silver Surfer, and Victor Von Doom to name a few.  Now, granted, Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers do a great job of fighting them, I still don&#…

because I'm not the only one

I'm really scared to put this post out there.  And I'm not entirely certain that it will make it past being just a draft.  But I knew a few weeks ago that I would, at the least, write about it and consider actually posting it.  So I'm writing, because I'm not the only one.
A few Fridays ago, I woke up and felt low.  Lower than I've felt in a long, long time.  I felt terrible, not physically, aside from an aching heart.  I cried and cried some more, and then took a few breathes and then cried more.  I wanted to lay in bed for all eternity, or at least until I died.  I wanted to not exist (which is a feeling I am quite familiar with); but please note that I did not want to kill myself, I wasn't feeling suicidal.  I felt deeply unloved, unliked, and unwanted.  Out of (probably not) nowhere I was feeling this way.  I felt alone; I felt trapped; I felt hopeless; and most of all I felt unloved.
After wrestling with the notion of literally staying in bed all day, I f…

6 Things I Will Never Find Funny

Friday night, into Saturday morning, a friend and I were talking about how upset we get when people joke about certain things.  We both agreed that we feel like we're perceived as bitches who don't know how to take a joke when we point out that it's not okay to joke about some things.  Here are the things that will never be funny or acceptable to joke about with me.
1) Rape.  I just don't understand what's so funny.  What do people find funny about it?  The physical and emotional and mental turmoil?  Is it that?  Or how about how unsafe people feel doing simple things like walking to their car by themselves.  Is it that?  Nope, I fail to see the humor in that and I'm okay with not having a disgusting sense of humor.
2) Dead Babies.  I started hearing dead baby jokes my senior year in high school and I was instantly disgusted and confused.  I thought: Is there an inside joke about dead babies that I'm not in on? and Maybe 'dead babies' is code for some…

I Like Tumblrs

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Tumblr is basically a picture sharing website.  You can create an account, much like you do a blog, and post things you find on the internet, pictures/videos you take, all sorts of stuff.  Here are my favorite tumblrs.
1) My Friends Are Married.  This blog is so funny and I can relate so stinkin' much with the different posts.  The older I get, the more people I know are getting married.  It's normal, I guess, but marriage isn't even in my foreseeable future, so this tumblr is perfect for me.
2) E is for Educator.  I am an educator and it's so nice to visit this site and feel understood and in good, fun, company of fellow educators.
3) The Bearded.  I love bearded men.  When I look at this site, I think "Praise the Lord!"  I don't know who these men are, but I enjoy their faces.  Way to go.

4) Reasons My Son is Crying.  This tumblr brings me to tears...of laughter.  These kids must be exhausted from all their meltdowns by the end of the day.  This is anot…

Footprint

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Lately, I've been feeling like what I do, teach general elementary music, doesn't matter.  It's not that I don't think music, Art, doesn't matter, and it's not that I don't think education doesn't matter.  I am a strong believer that music education does good for everyone...but I'm, somehow, not feeling like what I'm doing is really contributing well to the world.  That's a problem because all I've ever wanted to do is have a positive footprint on this world (so vague).  Last Sunday I was out to lunch with a couple friends and I asked them if they ever feel like what they do doesn't matter?  Like it's superfluous, maybe selfish.  They both said yes and that if I'm feeling that way at a job that I do find to be important, then I'm probably not at the right job.  Then she said something that her roommate had told her: make a list of the things I love and that are important to me, then find a job that incorporates that list…

Reading is FUNdamental

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So I technically work for a major book store chain.  The frozen yogurt shop at which I work is attached to said book store, so I'm considered an employee of the store.  One of the perks of being an employee of the book store is that I get a 20% discount, but this month is Employee Appreciation Month; this means, amongst other things, I now get a 30% discount on most things in the bookstore (instead of just getting 30% off on paydays).  This is pretty great, but I haven't been taking advantage of it, until yesterday.  Yesterday, I finally cashed in the $60 dollars worth of book store gift cards I've gotten from different things at work.  I ended up paying only $32 for $130 worth of books with my discount and gift cards.  It was glorious.  Here are the books I got and why I chose them.



1) A Thousand Splendid Suns.  I read Khaled Mosseni's first book, The Kite Runner, in University in some English class or something.  The Kite Runner really sobered and intrigued me becau…

Can't Sleep, Real Nightmares

It's 3am.  I was asleep, but then I woke up as I usually do.  Since I don't have to get up early, I decided to peruse Twitter for a little bit and came across this little opinion piece that will serve as my weekly list post.  Sex trafficking isn't news to me, but it's presence in the USA was made known to me in college when I learned about it's large presence in Greensboro, where I went to school, and other places in North Carolina, when I attended some kind of informational meeting(s) or something.  Reading the piece made me sad so I tried to get my mind off of it by doing a little Facebooking.  But that didn't work because suddenly my mind was racing with nightmarish thoughts about all the evil and pain and sadness and fear and hate in the World.  Suddenly, I was back to being my 13-14 year old self crying myself in and out of sleep in the middle of the night, crying out to God, because I saw, I see, all this horror in the World and feel completely overwhelm…