Monthly Archives: September 2012

Nearly All My Life I’ve Lived a Lie

When I was a kid, I used to watch this old VHS tape.  It was your standard motivational-child sing-a-long.  I don’t remember much about it.  It’s all half-formed fuzzy childhood memories.

But I do remember that the last song said something along the lines of “you can be whoever you want to be.”

This paired nicely with Barney telling me that I was special and Kidsongs telling me that I could practically do anything ever.

Then I got older.

Everything was fine until middle school when I suddenly didn’t fit in well anywhere.  I was too awkward to hang out with the girls (who discovered makeup, fashion, and hair-styling ages before I did), and the boys would never do more than tolerate me because I was a girl.  I was not one of them, no matter my interest in video games, sports, and Pokemon cards.

This awkwardness persisted well into high school, where suddenly there were couples.  Everywhere.

Around this time, I discovered the concept of Feminism.

I clung to only one tenet:  That I was a strong, independent woman who didn’t need a man to complete me.

I believed this not because it was true, but because it gave me a shield against the hurt I felt because I was alone.

Today, one of my coworkers asked me if my husband was coming on a business trip with me.

I don’t have a husband.

I try to be the fun, creative person I know I am.  I try to live life to the fullest and not worry about relationships.  I know I can have just as much fun as a single adult as I could if I were dating someone.

But when she said that, when she asked about a nonexistent figure in my life, a deep-set sadness pierced through me.  I realized that I still cling to that tenet of Feminism, for the same reasons I had in high school.

I’ve said I’m happier alone.  I’ve said I want to be alone.  I’ve said that I don’t think I ever want a relationship.  I’ve said these things recently. Like, less than a week ago.

All of it, lies.

I would argue that my self-deception isn’t all bad.  It’s allowed me to stay single during most of my academic years–allowing me to focus on my grades and not a boyfriend.  It’s allowed me to make decisions without taking into account someone else’s opinion/desires.  It’s made me learn how to take care of myself in the real world.

But now that I’ve graduated, now that I can allow distractions…

My self-deception is preventing me from pursuing something that I undeniably want.

But now that I perceive my deception, will that awareness stem the tide of its reach?

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Like Death Warmed Over

Fall is in the air! It’s cooler, crisper, and The Crud is running rampant.  I’ve been sick for the last week and a half.  Hooray!

Yeah, I missed last week.  I’m calling it a state of emergency.

I was not just caught in a Crud-induced coughing fit.  Oh, no.  Because I just can’t quit when it’s good for me, I decided Friday that I was going to go shopping.  I’m going to a semi-formal dinner-thing next weekend (in VEGAS.  I’m ridiculously excited.  Ridiculously.) and I needed some sort of frilly semi-formal dress-thing to wear.

After work, I marched right over to the mall, thinking “Oh, this will be easy! Lots of stores, lots of dresses–surely something will work out!”

I’m an idiot.

The very first rule of female clothes-related outings is that nothing will ever fit for the first hour and a half.

The stores were lacking in options, what they did have didn’t fit well, all the good things were never in my size, and everything in my size was ridiculously expensive.

Not to mention, the whole time I was there I was hacking away like the Crud-sick cold-zombie I was.

I remembered why I hated shopping.   And colds.

I did finally find something–four and a half hours later.

And then I took my frustrated, physically and emotionally exhausted self home, gave myself a slightly above recommended dose of Nyquil, and put myself to bed.

I had forgotten you already. I am sorry.

But my night wasn’t over yet.  Because when I reached down for a book (I read before I sleep.  Almost always.), the book was oddly textured in little moving black dots that turned out to be a home invasion of fire ants.

So then I got to spend the next four hours moving all my furniture and spraying ant poison/repellent everywhere.

Then I could sleep.  But I couldn’t sleep in my bed–my room smelled like ant poison and it hurt to breathe in there.  I wound up sleeping on a couch in another room that was just big enough to be comfortable while also being small enough that I couldn’t move or roll over.  It was a rough night.

I feel rather accomplished, though.  I’ve beaten back the Crud, battled droves of fire ants, and gotten almost everything together for my Vegas trip.

I’m trying to do more planning in regards to my blog, to schedule things so that I don’t have to worry about missing Friday posts.  I’m still trying to find balance.

But hey, at least I didn’t miss today!

Here’s to a better, non-Crud and ant filled week next week!

 

 

Indecisive

Politics, religion, career paths–how am I supposed to choose what I stand for?  How am I supposed to decide what to care about?

When I was little I had conviction.  I believed what my parents told me wholeheartedly.  There was no doubt in my mind.   My church and my family conditioned me to think and believe in a certain way.  The whole time I believed that I had chosen my path.  But in reality, I had never even begun to consider the possibilities.

There’s a great falling out in the church.  Young people are turning their backs on religion (specifically Christianity, I’m not qualified to talk about any other religions) and I think I know why.  It’s because we feel like we were never given a choice.  We sit in a pew every Sunday and listen to the pastor tell us that God gave us the free will to serve Him, that we were given a choice.

But if you were born to Christianity, then how is that a choice?

Kids believe anything.  They’re brainwashed into believing and never given any other options.  No alternatives because Christians are convinced their religion is the only way to heaven.

In my household, my parents are adamant about what they believe.  They have no problems telling me what they think.  Or spouting off angry comments when someone does something on the religious or political scale that they don’t like.

I admire them for their ability to speak their mind.

But I find myself unable to speak mine because of it.

I wonder if all children feel trapped like this.  I remember a family gathering when my uncle confessed to my grandmother that he’d been a street racer as a teenager.  Twenty years after the fact, he was finally able to tell her the truth.  Is that my fate?  To tell my parents that I’m way more liberal than they are twenty years from now because right now I’m too petrified to face their disapproval?

All my life, I’ve allowed my family, friends, and church to define what I believed and what I stood for.

Now I’m finally throwing off the chains and trying to learn to think for myself.   A friend of mine laughingly says I’m finally a teenager.  It’s strange, because I always considered myself so much more mature than my peers.

In reality, I was just too much of a bigot.  I thought I was better than them because I had fear-imposed restraint.  Because I couldn’t bring myself to be free like they could.  Because I was caught in the web of trying to be what somebody else wanted me to be.

I’m caught still, but at least I can see the web now.  I’m trying to free myself.  And I’ve made a few controversial decisions that don’t sit well with my family.  I’ve also made a few that I haven’t told them about.

But I still wonder how I’m supposed to make the decisions that don’t have easily defined answers.  I know how I feel about things, but these decisions tend to be more broad than just my perspective.  I don’t understand how someone can stand up and say that not only is their opinion right for them, but it’s right for everyone else too.

I understand why people say that gay marriage is wrong and why they think abortions should be illegal for everyone.  I understand that they’re following their religion–that they have to stand up and say it’s wrong for everyone because that’s what their religion says.

But I also understand that the other side doesn’t necessarily follow that religion. They don’t believe that it’s wrong for everyone just because some ancient text says so.  That according to their logic, they’re being oppressed.  They’re having someone else’s belief system forced upon them through the legal system.

And so I stand here.  Fragile.  Indecisive.  Standing in the eye of a politically religious hurricane, unsure of which side to choose–or even if I want to choose a side at all.  Angry at myself because the only reason I’m on the fence is because I’m not in any of the oppressed groups.  Because the decisions our nation is warring with don’t directly affect me.

Angry because I feel forced to choose a side anyway.

Can I be impartial in a such a shitstorm of anger and hate?    Would that impartiality damn me in the eyes of both parties?