Some Sort of “Feminist” Rant…

I was listening to the radio on my way to work this morning, and while I’m not sure what the song was, the lyrics were something along the lines of how amazing the singer’s man was. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the song, it just wasn’t all that catchy to me, I did like the sentiment in the lyrics. I love hearing people praise their significant others. Why bother being with someone if they are such a terrible person, right?

But then I got to thinking, why are there so few songs like that? Most of them it seems like anymore at least are about cheating and all of the things people are doing behind their partner’s back. Unfortunately, many of these songs are sung/rapped by men. I’m not saying men are the only ones who go around partner-bashing in one sense or another, but you see it a lot more often than the other way around. Also, when women want to take the “dirty road” they tend to go for the seduction of one man versus the “player” model. Men on the other hand tend to talk more about being sneaky and going after various women and being players or cheaters.

One male artist that comes to mind is The Weeknd. Don’t get me wrong, I love his voice, and his songs are catchy as hell, but if you have ever listened to the lyrics they are pretty raunchy. Why is it that as a society we love these songs so much? Are they affecting people in negative ways? Or are our natural negative behaviors resulting in these songs? Why do we accept these kinds of things?

Now before anyone decides to start jumping on me I need you to understand a few things. For one, I am in no way in agreement with censorship. I don’t think these types of songs should be banned or censored in any way. Second, I do not like to consider myself a “feminist” or any such label. I do agree with equality and the like, but I don’t agree with every angle that these labeled groups take. I don’t identify as a woman strongly enough to make these types of claims. Certainly I get pissed off when someone says I can’t do something or I should do something simply because I’m a woman, but just because I feel that way doesn’t mean that I need a label about it. Third, I don’t care if people want to be hoes. I don’t even care if it’s disproportionate between men and women. What I don’t like is people exploiting each other. Why do we feel like cheating is ever ok, or even glorify it? Why do we want to hurt each other in that way? We don’t want it done to us! I’m all for open honest relationships. If you want to be with multiple people, make that very clear to the people you are involved with. You don’t have to be monogamous but could you at least be honest?

I just have to wonder how these songs are affecting us as a society. I know when I get into a song by The Weeknd, I find myself fantasizing about a party with lots of good looking folks, drugs, music, and just being a bad girl for a while. I know that’s not the type of person I am, and I wouldn’t manifest it in real life, but I feel like if I went out and had some drinks and found myself in a similar situation, it would be hard not to want to at least dabble in it. I know I would regret every bit of it if I actually let myself go, but the thought is definitely there. Would I still feel as drawn to that type of situation if it wasn’t portrayed as so appealing in the songs? Not everyone has the greatest self-control and I feel like these types of things could sway the more impressionable mind.

The same goes for the “good” songs though. Do you think if we had more good songs about great relationships and strong partnerships and supporting each other that it would inspire more people toward that? I think that is the way to go. I’m not saying JT and I don’t have any issues, of course we do, we’re two human individuals. One thing I can say, however, is that JT and I make one hell of a team. We work together, we pick up each other’s slack, we support each other, and we always, always make each other laugh. I can’t imagine bashing JT to others, or sneaking around to do things that would clearly hurt him if he knew. I do my best to always keep him (and us) at the forefront of all the decisions I make. This doesn’t mean we are obsessed with each other or that we have to be joined at the hip. I’m totally fine with him going to do something he enjoys. He plays basketball on Wednesday nights. I don’t ask him to tag along, I don’t call him repeatedly asking where he is, I don’t get mad that he isn’t spending time with me. Wednesday nights are his thing. Sundays I go to the temple, and occasionally he comes with me if he feels like it. I never force him, and I don’t get mad because he doesn’t want to. I do a lot of volunteer work. I don’t make him join me, the option is there if he would like, but there is never any pressure. When I’m off on these ventures, I never even consider jumping into bed with someone else. I don’t even think of entertaining someone else. That’s not saying I don’t have friends, I most certainly do, and so does he, of all sorts of genders and sexual orientations. Ultimately, however, we come back to each other each and every time.

I don’t see the appeal of leading someone on or cheating or any of that game playing sort of stuff. If I’m in a relationship it’s because it matters to me. If I’m not in a relationship, openness and honesty are still the biggest concern. That’s not to say I don’t like to have fun, but my fun doesn’t include crushing the hearts of other people. I like to be sexy, but why can’t I be sexy with the man I actually care about who is my partner in life? It feels nice to be able to give that to him as my gift for being my support system and my teammate. And I get that from him too. It’s a nice exchange.

Like I said, I don’t advocate for censorship, I’m not suggesting we get rid of these songs, images, writings, or anything, I just want to try to be more mindful of what I support and how I do that. I mean I’m a big Eminem fan too, and we all know he’s not the most friendly or supportive of women. I like to be able to distinguish, however, what is general expression of feelings versus what is actually an ingrained personality trait. We all have “bad” thoughts sometimes, and sometimes the best way to rid ourselves of those thoughts is some sort of artistic expression. That I totally get. Just because someone makes art a certain way doesn’t mean that is how they act or what they truly believe, it may just be some outpouring of disturbing thought. That’s totally fine. The problem is that so many folks can’t make that distinction. They hear these things and think that is how life is, that’s what is cool, that’s what is right…and ultimately I don’t think it is.

I don’t think I’m going to stop listening to Eminem or The Weeknd anytime soon. I do believe I’m going to be more mindful and analytical to what I’m listening to though. I’m going to let these songs pass through my filter and be able to say, “Eh, the subject matter is sketchy, but I also understand that I’m listening to this because of the catchiness of the beat, not because I agree with what is being said.” I can also make the distinction of “This is a song” versus “This is how I feel in real life”. Distinctions need to be made between these things and I’m not sure that enough people do that kind of critical thinking. Before they know it, things become normalized because that’s what they think, breathe, do, and say. Don’t let that happen to you. We as a society have the power to become better. Don’t let yourself be dragged down!

*~*MR*~*

 

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I don’t want to do this anymore.

Do you ever just get to a point where you think “I don’t want to do this anymore!” I’m not talking about the daily struggle of getting up and not really feeling like going to work that actually gets better at some point. I’m talking about literally waking up and having the existential crisis of just not wanting to live life the same way anymore. Thankfully, I’m moving in 65 days and if I can just deal with it for that long, everything will be ok. Or at least different, and right now, that’s what I need, is different. Luckily, I’m leaving in 65 days, so I actually will be leaving my job in 61 days, which with days off leaves me about 40-some days left to work, some of which are only 4 hour shifts. Really trying to look at the positives here.

This seems to happen to me roughly every 2-4 years. I just start hating everything about how I live my life. My job, my routine, everything. I like starting over. I love starting new. I love change. Some change is scary or intimidating, but I love shoving myself into the fire over and over again. By continuing to do this, I learn that if something sucks, I have the power to change it. So many people are terrified to try something new because “what if it doesn’t work out?” Well, if you changed to the thing that doesn’t work out, why can’t you change again? Eventually something will work out. Something will feel right, even if it’s just for a while.

Now I’m not saying to run from your troubles, that won’t get you anywhere. You can’t use the I need to get out of here excuse too often. Sometimes it is absolutely the skillful thing to do, especially in the instance of an abusive relationship (that can be a significant other, family, co-workers, boss, or any other combination), or if there is something really harmful to you (like trying to escape from a life of addiction or prostitution). However, if you decide to change your life on the basis that you want to learn new things, expand your horizons, and experience life in a different way, then go for it! Don’t run from your past, but definitely choose to expand your future.

Some people are totally content with doing the same thing their entire life. Actually, this country was at one time pretty much based on that. You worked the same job for 30+ years, you bought a house that you lived in for your whole life, with your spouse and children, and then you passed that house on to your children, and some people even went as far as to build homesteads where their offspring and their offspring all built and lived on the same property! People didn’t move to other states or other countries as often. People didn’t begin and end relationships as quickly. I’m not saying these things are good or bad, I’m just saying it’s a lot different now. As far as the relationship part goes, I’m fine with having one partner and building an empire together, but I also need someone who is as adventurous as me. I need to be with someone who is willing to uproot their life every so often. Thankfully I’ve found that in JT.

I’m not saying that every time something is wrong you should jump ship. I do believe that not every situation is worth fixing though, sometimes it’s just time to move on to something else. Everything is changing in this world and we need to stop seeing ourselves as stationary objects. We too can move with the world and make it better along with our own lives. Make some changes, try something new, challenge yourself. Its a huge world out there, don’t miss out on it!!

*~*MR*~*

The Time

The time
Where does it go;
When I’m done with it?

Who has the hand-me-downs
Of moments that have passed me by?
Here I am, left with memories
Ashes of the days I’ve left behind

Sometimes I search frantically
For a moment I held once
But I find nothing
Other times I bathe in joy, or sorrow

Some memories flash by like a movie
Vivid as they fill the screen in my mind
Some are black holes
I can’t seem to find what I’m looking for

“I’ve been robbed!” I proclaim
As I plead with my mind to give me back
Those moments I held so dear
But they are gone, twisted, just a story

Even my memories can’t be enough
To hold on to the past, it’s gone.
Did I live it well enough?
Was I even there?

Where does the time go?
Where does the mind go?
It’s over before you know it,
And once you do it’s too late

Where does the time go,
After I’ve used it?
Had I only known then what I know now
I might have paid attention.

*~*MR*~*

 

All of the happenings

It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. As a matter of fact, I’ll admit, I kind of forgot I had a blog for a minute. Life has been a little crazy. I spent a week at a Buddhist retreat and took my vows last Sunday. Buddhist retreat meaning no phone, no internet, very little talking, and lots of meditating. It was a wonderful week, but living like that really changes your perspective on things, and it’s been a slow transition back into the “real world.”

With that being over, my main focus now is on the big move. It’s only 76 days away now. I’ve started getting boxes, sorting through my things, and most importantly, saving money. Saving is slow going, because in addition to saving, I also have a lot of things I need to spend money on to get ready, like car repairs and cat supplies. Luckily, I’ve been using LetGo and Facebook Marketplace to help get things a little cheaper and even sell some of my extra stuff.

I’m excited but I’m nervous. I’m nervous about the money situation since we won’t have jobs right away. I’m also nervous about our housing situation. I know we won’t be living with family for long, but relationships can be damaged even in a short time if respect isn’t both given and received. I don’t feel like there will be a problem with me, but JT sometimes oversteps his boundaries, and that might not fare well. Even so, once we are down there and everything is in place, it won’t be so bad. Hypothetically we can get a place of our own pretty quick once we’re there, the issue is getting there. With 76 days left, I’m getting close to having to notify my apartment complex and my boss that I’ll be leaving. I have to give ample notice, but I’m also scared that I might give my notice and someone will change their mind. I’ve had so many plans fall through, especially big ones, that I have a hard time making plans without some sort of worry. I know things will work out one way or another, I just don’t want it to have to get harder in the mean time. I’ll feel better once we have a contract and things are moving forward. Right now is kind of a stand still. It’s too early to do much, but getting close enough that certain things need to be done.

The hardest part is addressing others. I don’t feel like a lot of people are taking us seriously. They think this is just some flight of fancy and we’re not actually going anywhere. They keep trying to make plans for dates beyond November, and I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to say no and force the issue, because I get a lot of backlash (i.e. you can’t do that! You don’t have money! What are you going to do about jobs? What is your grandma going to do without you! ect.) Also, if for some stupid reason plans were to fall through, I’d rather be able to go do the other thing without an “I told you so.” At the same time, I don’t want to be misleading and be like “Yeah, we can do that!” so it usually ends up being a “Yeah, we’ll see, I don’t really know what’s going on right now.” It’s frustrating, because I want to be open about it and be able to continue have positive relationships with people through every stage of this move, but it’s getting to a point where I almost feel like I have to hide things, and I don’t want to do that. I need as much support as I can get right now. Problem is, I know there are folks who would love to sabotage this for me.

I feel like things will get both harder and easier as time moves on. I’m ready for the fun stuff, I’m ready to have things in order, I’m ready to get on with my life. I’ve been at a standstill for so long, it’s time to go. It’s an exciting time, but I’m equally terrified. Here goes nothing!

*~*MR*~*

Falling into place

One of my favorite things is making a to-do list..probably the only thing that satisfies me more than making a to-do list is being able to check things off as they get done. With my big move coming up, I’ve been doing a lot of lists. Not just lists, but sub-lists, and sub-lists of my sub-lists. I have 89 days until takeoff. That means it’s too far away to do anything drastic yet. I can’t really pack, because I’m still going to need things. I can’t apply for jobs, because most employers want you to start way sooner than 3 months from now, plus I can’t afford the extra travel to accommodate interviews. Phone interviews can be an option, but generally most people want to meet you before they decide to bring you on the team. I can’t make my savings account accumulate faster, I can’t get certain things done until certain other things are done, and I can’t actually make my online listings sell any faster. It’s all very frustrating. It’s scary, and I feel like I want to do something but there isn’t much to do. I do, however, feel particularly confident in the fact that The first 2 week block I planned out went exactly as planned. I have the exact amount saved that I said I would, the bills are all paid (including car insurance for 6 months), I’ve located a second cat carrier for cheap (thanks to the LetGo app), and I’ve found some boxes so I can start sorting through things and getting rid of things I won’t need.

I’m really glad that this move is going to give me a chance to live as a minimalist to the fullest. I don’t need a lot of the things I have. They are nice things, and there is nothing wrong with them, but how beautiful will it be to be able to move without worries about how all my stuff can come with me! I’m glad that I’ll be able to sell items and make a little extra cash, and the stuff I can’t sell is going to be donated to those who really need it, which is a beautiful thing.

I found this wonderful site/app called Freedcamp that allows you to manage all of your projects in one place. The organizational side of me is really excited about this and I’ve been having fun playing with it. I love being able to list out the tasks and events I have coming up and know when I finished even the smallest project. It’s amazing how much even a little progress means when you’re waiting around like I am, totally filled with anxiety. Each little check box is another victory. Seeing the immense amount of things I have to do combined with having each thing broken into the tiniest elements really helps me feel like I’m getting somewhere, even if it doesn’t seem like I’m doing much.

So for the next 89 days I’m just gonna keep on truckin’! We’re almost there…Florida here we come!

*~*MR*~*

So close, yet so far.

I’m moving to Florida in 95 days. I have to keep saying it, because I’ve read in a multitude of places that constantly affirming your plans helps them come to fruition. I’m nervous as hell that something is going to happen between now and then and plans will have to change. The date seems very close, yet it’s far enough away that there isn’t a lot I can do yet. I’ve told my boss my plans, but it’s too early to put in an official notice. It’s also too early to give notice to my apartment complex. It’s too early to pack, it’s too early to hunt for jobs…so I pretty much have to just sit back and wait, which is killing me.

The past couple weeks I’ve been trying to sell some things I won’t need between now and then. I haven’t been as successful as I’d hoped. I have a lot of nice stuff, but no one is buying. I’ve also spent a lot of time just moving things around. Somehow it makes me feel better to feng shui the shit out of my house when I can’t do anything else. I’m trying to decide what I need and what I can do without. I’ve been getting a lot of crap from my mom because she thinks it’s rude that I’m getting rid of things she gave me. Well the truth is I have too much stuff. I keep telling her to stop giving me things, but she doesn’t listen. I don’t have much of a choice but to get rid of it, unless I want to be a hoarder.

Another thing about my mom is that she clearly doesn’t want me to move. I’m sure she has a number of motivations for this stance, but none of them work for me. I know she’s going to miss me, but she never just puts it that way. She makes up these scenarios in her head that I’m going to end up living in some crack house or a box under a bridge because I’m not going to find a job. Trust me, I’ll find a job, even if it’s McDonalds or Planet Fitness, or whatever minimum wage job I have to take until I find something else. I have an associate’s degree and a certificate, plus a coding certification, I think I’ll be able to find a decent job in a reasonable amount of time. Also, for the first few months we are staying with family. I don’t think anyone would allow me to live in a crack house, or a box. Worst case scenario, I come back to Ohio. No harm, no foul. If I don’t make this move now, I never will. I’ve been putting things off for long enough, and now I need to make it happen. The other thing I know my mom is worried about is me not being able to do things for her anymore. My mom is not ill, not disabled, not injured, and neither is my dad. Despite their great health, my parents seem to struggle to function as adults. My mom can’t write an e-mail without my assistance (her claim is that I type faster, which is a BS excuse, she has to type her own stuff at work, so no reason she can’t do it at home). She refuses to bathe her pets without my assistance. Neither one of them can seem to figure out basic directions. All of this is part of my motivation for moving. I need to get away from their co-dependence. The whole situation is bringing me down to a level I don’t want to be at. I need time to make my life flourish, not to be running everyone else’s. It’s hard to explain this to them, and it usually ends in a fight. I will miss them, sure, but we can talk on the phone, and I hope they will be able to come visit. I’m sure I’ll make trips home every now and then as well, but this is a thing that really needs to happen, so I’m going to make it so.

I keep repeating the date, I have countdowns in a few places. I regularly reach out to the people we are going to be staying with. I keep up to date on various job boards in the area I’m moving to. I make outlines to decide what I can do in what time frame to facilitate this move in the easiest way possible. I’m determined, and it will happen…in 95 days.

*~*MR*~*

Taking the Plunge.

I joined a writer’s group. What the hell was I thinking? Well, I guess I was thinking it would be great to be able to have some peers pushing me to complete some of the things I was working on, as well as get some positive feedback, and eventually maybe be connected to people who could help get me published. What it turns out I’ve done is put a bunch of pressure on myself to make things happen again. That seems to be a standard for me, it’s like I don’t know how to take it easy. I guess I’m happy about that. It means I grow and learn. It’s tough, but I suppose it is also exactly what I need.

On another note, speaking of tough things and pressure, we talked to the folks we are planning on staying with in Florida. It looks like we have most of the bugs worked out and we just need to sign some contracts together when they are in town in October. I’m so excited…and nervous, and scared, but mostly excited. I just fear everything falling apart before we get there. But I’m trying not to think like that. I really think we’ll be fine. It’s all in your head anyway, right? If you want it to work and you put your mind to it, it will. #97days. I’m gonna keep up the hashtag until we get there. Positive thoughts, positive mind, positive results.

*~*MR*~*

Every Day I’m Hustlin’

So I’ve been trying to find ways to make some extra cash to help with my big move. It’s hard out there! I already work too much, but I do have a lot of free time at work. I stumbled upon inboxdollars.com and I’ve been using it to take surveys, watch video clips, and even clip coupons to help save and earn money! No, it won’t replace your job or make you a millionaire, but every little bit counts, right? I don’t like to keep good news to myself, so here’s a link for you all to get started with your own account! Free to join, and you get 5 bucks just for signing up! You can’t cash out until you have earned at least $30, but it will get you on your way! Hope you can gain a little extra income in your spare time too!

 



 

*~*MR*~*

Weighed Down.

So I was always the skinny kid growing up. I literally could eat anything and it didn’t even matter. I know they say when you grow up, your metabolism changes, but 2 years ago, mine straight up took a dump.

My nutrition and activity levels hadn’t changed, but suddenly I had gained 30 pounds in a month, and it wasn’t stopping there. I went to my doctor concerned because even if I had been eating full buffets full of food, a 30 pound gain in a month was outrageous. The doctors pretty much laughed at me and told me I was exaggerating and I probably just didn’t realize what I was eating. I knew I had been on a few medications that could cause weight issues so I asked to change some of them. I got off of a few of the meds, but I was still  having weight issues. I desperately wanted to get off birth control pills but I didn’t want a baby under any circumstances. I finally decided to get sterilized so I could go off the pills worry-free. After surgery, I started really working hard to get the weight off, and I lost about 20 pounds in the first 4 months, which I thought was great progress.

I’m still not happy with how I look at all, however, I know it’s a work in progress. With that in mind, I’ve also still been working really hard, trying to eat right, exercise, and just generally be more fit and active.

So I went to my doctor for a physical the other day and she pretty much crushed my soul. It wasn’t, “Way to go on losing 20 pounds, keep it up!” Instead I got a whole lecture on how my weight to height ratio is awful and that I’m putting myself at risk and I’m going to get diabetes and it’s so dangerous for my heart ect. She told me to stop drinking pop and eating sweets, which if she knew anything about me, I don’t drink pop anymore and rarely eat sweets. I’ve been doing a food diary for a few months and I already only get 1680 calories, which isn’t much at all. I work out at least 4 days a week. What else can I do? I already feel fat and undesirable. I’ve had little to no “sex life” for the past few years, and most of that is because I feel disgusting. No one wanted to address this problem when it started to become one, but now that I’m taking steps to remedy it, it’s not enough.

I know my weight is unhealthy. I know I look gross. The thing is, I can’t change it overnight. I need healthy encouragement, not scare tactics and being made to feel like I’m a bad person. I wanted help with this a long time ago and no one would help me. I don’t know what caused it, but I’m sure my medication combinations weren’t helping. Either way, completely making me feel like shit didn’t help, it just solidified my idea in my head that I’m disgusting. It made me feel like I’m not trying hard enough. I struggle with depression and anxiety as it is, and I don’t want to be on medications because they don’t give the results I want. I don’t want to be zoned out and unfeeling. I just want to handle my feelings as they come up. What I don’t want is for a medical professional to totally ignore my concerns than make it an issue and my fault. I don’t even want to go back to the doctor now, and that’s not the first doctor who has berated me for something like this (once in high school I went to a doctor for a sore throat, he walked in the room and took one look at my acne-ridden teenage face and before even checking to see why I was there said, “Do you want something for your face?”…like wow…thanks).

There’s very little compassion in healthcare anymore and it’s sad. That’s not the way to treat people and it doesn’t fix the problems. I pretty much don’t even care anymore. I’ll go to a doctor when it’s absolutely necessary and no more than that. I’m done being treated like crap.

*~*MR*~*

When Dreams Become Real

So with all of the turmoil at my job, I started getting serious about moving to Florida. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but I’ve been putting it off because it’s so easy to just keep saying “maybe tomorrow.” With all of the uncertainty here, I decided that come hell or high water,  I’m leaving by November 1st. It’s terrifying. It’s scary to put a date on it and know that I have to get things in order by then. But I’ve always been the type of person who works best with a deadline.

The scariest part is that I told my boss today. I asked her if I can continue to work full time until I leave, and she is totally on board with that. Now it’s real. It’s official. Once my boss knows, there’s not much going back. I have to give her notice to be able to fill my spot, so I felt like she had the right to know since she is making a bunch of exceptions for me. I wanted to let her know that she only needs to make the exceptions for a little while. But that means, when its time to go, it’s time to go.

I’m so ready for this change and I know it will be a positive one, but it is definitely a leap and definitely scary. Glad I took the plunge though, it’s the best way to motivate myself, and if I don’t do it now, I might not ever do it at all.

*~*MR*~*