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Showing posts from 2017

Comparison

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"Comparison is an act of violence against the self." Iyanla Vanzant

For people that live in a prolific society toting the ideals of individualism, bootstrap theory, or meritocracy we sure do find ourselves spending an exorbitant amount of time comparing ourselves to others. It's completely the antithesis of one of our most espoused values, and yet we are made to do so daily. Arguably, comparison is the root of much of our despair. We want things; we want to have what others have; we want to be like others because we compare ourselves to them. We think, why not me, instead of why am I where I am? It is a total disregard for our unique talents, experiences, and contributions to the world in favor of debilitating jealousy, intangible goals, and irrational aspirations. We circumvent the massive factors in play that give some people access to certain resources and opportunities, or the ability to do things that we cannot. Some people are set up for "success" (whateve…

Rescue

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"I'm lost in space and I want to find a way home. Nobody else can get me back to the planet,  so I have to do it myself.” Susan Vaught


Sometimes we have to save ourselves. Sometimes we have to be our own heroes. Sometimes we are the only ones capable of enacting our own rescue. To this day, I think one of my favorite moments in modern film history is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban when Harry casts the patronus charm to repel hundreds of dementors, and literally saves his past self. He even says he knew he could do it because he had already done it. Sometimes we are the only ones who can help us because we are the ones hurting us. Sometimes happiness, joy, peace, love, and light at least for us, ourselves, is a choice away. Sometimes the release from bondage, incarceration, solitude lies with us and us alone. What would you do if you had the key to saving yourself? Would you use it? It seems like a rhetorical question but people are complicated, and sometimes keeping o…

Displaced

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"I'm an off-the-charts introvert. To me, being around groups of strangers is exhausting. I've had to sort of train myself to think about two tactics: finding common ground  and invoking humor." Sam Yagan
There are times where I love being me - which more and more is my mode of operation, and for that unabashed self-love I am grateful - and there are times where I wish I could take on the qualities of others around me. Being social is one of those situations. From the outside people read me as comfortable, charismatic, and confident. I tell a lot of jokes, can light up a room, and connect with just about anyone, but what people don't see is how anxious, afraid, and awkward I am, or at least how I feel. I use humor as a defense mechanism, focus on other people to avoid talking about myself, and, worry constantly about whether or not people like me. I have spent so much of my life living in fear of not being liked, namely because of internalized racism and the sick th…

Labor

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"I don’t believe rape is inevitable or natural. If I did, I would have no reason to be here. If I did, my political practice would be different than it is. Have you ever wondered why we [women] are not just in armed combat against you? It’s not because there’s a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence.” Andrea Dworkin

For once, I don't really know how to start this post but I have a lot of thoughts. Bear with me as I just go ahead and write them. I think about the ways in which I have to come to understand how to be articulate some of the more amorphous concepts that float around the concert experiences I have. One of those being this idea of emotional labor - both a term created/used in feminist theory, and in capitalist ideology. Emotional labor is basically a self-awareness of being able to consciously manage and process "appropriately" your emotions. I interpret it as being able to use emotio…

Commitment

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"The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment." Tony Robbins

I think I have commitment issues. The entire idea of permanence sends shivers down my spine. It just seems so ... final - you know? I have spent my entire life always moving on. Everything I have done has always had an expiration date. It was always going to get better because I was going to leave at some point. High school and all its social clique induced anxiety ended, college and its adventures in pretentiousness and depravity ended, grad school zoomed on by, and you get the point. Now I'm in this phase of my life where things could be permanent if I wanted them to be. There is this new possibility that I could stay, that I could choose to be here, and to do so indefinitely. People around me are getting engaged, buying houses, having children, etc. and then there's me still waiting to move on, like I have always done. I don't think I know how to do anything else. Those end dates a…

Mourning

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"Irrespective of age, we mourn for those loved and lost. Mourning is one of the  deepest expressions of pure love." Rusell M. Nelson

Devastation, destruction, despair, and death - darkness looms, and depressive sentiments run rampant. The world seems so dark, decrepit, and dangerous. Well, it is, and it isn't. It all depends on our perspectives. Depending on who we are, the context with which we are able to exist and persist, and our positionality the world may or may not seem so bleak. Perception truly can be everything. Perception is reality. But is reality perception - or rather, whatever we declare it to be? More and more, as we are inundated with graphic images, grim news, and the gravitas that things are different for different people, this phenomenon of selective mourning has come about. That is the notion that we pick and choose what we mourn. 

Don't get me wrong, in a practical sense, it makes sense that we feel more closely connected to certain happenings, peo…

Burnout

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“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde

I'm tired. I mean like physically, and emotionally exhausted. I feel run down, run ragged, and run over. I'm not as young as I used to be, and the effects of living a nonstop go life are finally catching up to me. Things that came effortlessly in college are little bit more arduous now. I have to be more cognizant of the ways that I exert myself. I also just so happen to do one those jobs that almost exclusively emotional intelligence, and interpersonal relationship building. Maintaining connections is hard. As an introvert, I use every last ounce of energy I have to be accommodating, welcoming, and warm to others at work. Constantly having to smile, be friendly, and genuinely show interest in other people takes a lot out of me. I love people, but I find interactions draining. Then I go home, sit in silence for a bit, read books, watch excessive amounts of T…

Unlike

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"Life has taught me that it is not for our faults that we are disliked and even hated, but for our qualities." Bernard Berenson


The biggest woe of dating besides superficiality, search preferences, ghosting, fizzling out, and ambiguity is the asymmetrical like. Nothing is more disappointing than liking someone and them not liking you back. I don't know about anyone else but when I like someone I have this dastardly habit of letting my imagination run wild, with them in tow no less, only to have it remain nothing more than a dream. There's nothing like being abrupt woken up from a good dream. It's all pinterest board weddings, rom-com love story arcs, and Instagram bae unbearable cuteness until reality hits, and the "I'm just not that into you" brings me back to down to Earth. The truth is being "in-like" is the same as actually liking someone. Sometimes I build people up so much in my head that who they are is distorted by who I imagine the…

Help

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"Hope is a necessity for normal life and the major weapon against the suicide impulse."  Karl Menniger

The conversation on mental health, mental illness, and suicide start with us. Here's my story: #TakeAMinuteChangeALife

Asking for help is something we're taught from a young age will always be acceptable. At some point, however, that message is truncated and the likely we actually will ask for help when we need it decreases drastically. For an abundance of reasons, namely our socialization based on gender roles, social class, etc., we opt out of reaching out when we need it most. But to what end? Wouldn't we be better off asking and receiving the help that we need, when we need it? Arguably yes, but that invalidation of requesting assistance also extends to others and their willingness to give said help. With the problematic tropes of picking yourself up, trial by fire, anti-coddling/safe-space etc. running a muck - there's a fear, both real and perceived to be…

Found

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"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw


This is my 800th blog post. I cannot believe I just typed those words. I never would have thought that I would still be writing but in all honesty I cannot imagine my life without this blog. Who would I be if I didn't have this space to write, reflect, and just be. I have learned a great deal, grown an immense amount, and most of all become someone I truly love being since I started way back in 2010. I was a second semester senior in high school and had no clue what journey lied ahead for me. I've been through experiences seemingly running the full gamut of what life has to offer, and yet still I have more life to live. What an immense gift it has been to have this place to be free, to be myself, and to be lost. It is here that I was found. It was here that I found me. It was here that I found myself. What follows is my biggest takeaways from my time existing since I last one…