Pumpkin Spice Latte

The 20s are all about being basic. Yup, I said it, basic. In a time when everything seems so complicated with so much extraness, there's something to be said about keeping it calm and simple. Get to the point. Let's get down to business (Mulan had me like ...) and do what we have to do. It's tiring to be in places, doing things, and with people who unnecessarily take up time. Let's move on. Let's stop beating around the bush. Let's get it started already. Sometimes life is complicated and other times it's not really ... like at all. Sometimes it's a simple as a pumpkin spice latte.
Shout out to all the baristas for making me the latte I am today.
*To be clear, I freaking love everything pumpkin. Like deadass though, pumpkin flavored anything hits me right in the feels.

There's this meme, trope or stereotype - whatever you want to call it - about white girls being "basic" in the modern sense of the word meaning unsophisticated, stupid or easy. At first it seemed harmless but that's only if you look at stereotypes having no social power over dominant identities (accurate).  Can you think of any detrimental stereotypes about people who identify as male, cisgender, heterosexual, white, Protestant, middle-class, temporarily able-bodied, etc? Even if you can, they wouldn't prevent someone from getting a  job, being taken seriously in a classroom, or be believed as what it means to be represent that identity. So what could be so infuriating about people assuming that you love Chipotle, frequent Starbucks, and speak in nothing but textual language + duck-face selfies, bad twerking, uggs, iPhones and all the randomness in between. When I reexamined the stereotype, I told the dominant identity out (white), and I was left with a basic girl.

I wondered why the stereotype doesn't exist for men and specifically white men. What I saw was sexism plain and simple. It's demeaning to think of women as unintelligent, superficial and materialistic. So what if a girl likes her damn latte to be spiced with pumpkin, chain brand Mexican grill, and loves to talk, that's not the entirety of who she is. It's that not stereotypes are always wrong, it's that they don't tell the whole story of who people are. When we reduce people down to stereotypes they lose their three-dimensionality. They become static, unchanging, and flat. They loose their substance, they loose their humanity.

Stereotypes have power, and some can have very real repercussions as demonstrated by sexism (oversexualization of women), racism (people of color being perceived as dangerous), classism (concluding that those with low socio-economic status are lazy or uneducated) and all the other -isms. Stereotypes do more than provide juvenile punchlines to dim-witted jokes at the expense of others, and they help reinforce systems of power, privilege and oppression. Look past the stereotypes and find the substance of those behind them. We're all more the stereotypes we fulfill or reject. Chug down or sip on your pumpkin spice latte in peace; be done with the pettiness.

There's something to be said about brevity and simplicity. I've spent my college experience in way too many meetings where loquacious ramblers incessantly went on (like the ridiculousness that was the Wolf of Wallstreet) but didn't actually say anything worthwhile. More and more often I find myself questioning exactly what is the point of what's going on and often times there's not really one. I've hung out with people for hours on end where nothing memorable happened dialogue-wise. Can we stop talking just to hear ourselves speak? It takes two to converse. Who actually says stuff just to get a rise out of other people, that's some immature Unfabulous type of crap.

People's time is valuable and so I try to get my point across as eloquently succinct as possible. People can't always stop for a conversation and oftentimes their not meaningful. We skim the surface of the most obvious things going on in our lives. We're all busy with classes, clubs/organizations, work, relationships, friends, and all the other stuff. It means nothing at all to say that you're busy. I'm weaning myself off of it. It serves no purpose whatsoever. When people ask about things and I'm not particularly captivated about my go to has been "I'm busy." It's a simple but believable lie. It's okay to say no. People don't take things to heart as much we as perceive them to. It's not the end of their world and there's not that much disappoint me. We're not the most important person in everyone else's lives. 

It is however about time we start making time for people. If you don't have the time to listen then do not expect anyone to get over go deeper with you. Ask real open-ended questions like why, how, and what did mean for you. Talk to make progress not to fill up airspace. I'm striving to cut the crap and all the small talk. It's nice to have time to hang out and just take it there (Degrassi style) but even more powerful is it to be able to have a captivating conversation in just five minutes or less (sounds like a new Rachel Ray show #EVOO). Keep it simple when you need to, and complicate it every once in a while. Sometimes you're a pumpkin spice latte and others you're some finicky bougie technical-ass mad adult drink.

This week has been one of my trying to get back to the basics. I'm trying to understand fundamentally who I am and where my passion lies. It's so weird to know definitively about certain aspects of what I like and dislike but to be oblivious concerning other things. There's a special gift that your friends have to be able to tell you glaringly clear things that you yourself are incapable of seeing (note that you do the same for them; 90210 throwback Naomi and Annie). Little by little I'm finding clarity just by connecting with people. It's also funny to be getting advice from those I never would think to ask. I'm finding beauty in the little things in life like the way the clouds clump together and rumbling through the air, how the last glimmers of golden light glisten in between them, and how the gentle breeze both chills and refreshes me all the same time. Fall is in the air and my favorite wardrobe season has come. I'm so ready but let met get back to my point. Things may be complicated to us but straight forward to others. When we have a different perspective we can find new things out that relieve our doubts and cure our anxious apprehensions. I'm looking to others and trusting that for the first time in my life they may know what's best for me. Advice is always just that, advice - you take it or leave it. Recently I've wrestled with the question of why do I matter. Is my story really as unique as I think it is. Doesn't everyone think their special? I have reached a definitive conclusion but there are things that keep reminding me that yes I am something awe-inspiring, I am unique, and that there is literally no one else like me for so many reasons.

Weekly Recap: Connecting with higher educators about their work, smashing an art history exam, being more accessible to my friends, rediscovering why some people are no longer in my life, missing a class but touching base with a professor during office hours, riding the bus all around campus, stepping back from my unwarranted negativity at a movie night, attending Bible study, attending court hearings for my journalism class, supporting some of my favorite people, and feeling the love of my siblings through our five-way group text.

My blog post question for the day is ... what is your favorite Starbucks beverage? I'm partial to the shaken passion iced tea but for the fall I like the caramel sea-salt hot chocolate.


Popular posts from this blog

Man Down


Trust Issues