Saturday, February 22, 2014

Something I have never done in my life

I am embarking on a journey that it seems like I should have started long ago: I am dating. Now this seems weird at my age. But I'm not just dating, I'm trying online dating. For the last month, I have been a member of a popular and free dating website, because I frankly don't meet many available men through m job or in my limited free time. At first I was ashamed of trolling the internet looking for a mate, but I have since come to terms with it. It actually is a really great way to talk to new people and meet prospective men. But what makes it so exciting is that I never have truly dated before. I have been on a hand full of first dates in my life, and rarely if at all a second date. This is not to say that all my relationships were 'failures to launch'. The few men I have dated to the serious point of calling them my boyfriend have been from my circle of friends. In these situations, we'd go on a date, decide to be exclusive and there we'd be. Recently though, at the ripe old age of 23 I had the first second date I can remember going on and the very first third date of my life. He's sweet and kind, but there is no hurry or rush, and we really don't know each other very well. And this week coming up I'm going to have another blind date. It is very interesting to note the changes in the way my thinking has changed regarding this 'dating' business. It is totally unimportant to jump headlong into things and for things to get super serious at once. And as long as everyone is honest, it is okay to go on dates with different men and the same time. For the first time in my life I feel incredibly confident in my commodity as a desirable partner. I should have tried this ages ago.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Today I've been musing over the labels given to us by society and by ourselves.  Sometimes a label is helpful in defining who we are, or why we are they way that we are.  However, everyone is familiar with the way that labels can hinder our growth or make us see ourselves in a negative fashion.  A pastor in my life today gave a sermon in which she defined herself by labels of both a helpful and hurtful nature.  I thought the exercise would be an interesting thing to try, so here we go!

I am a single, straight, white, female in her early twenties.  I am disabled.  I am the product of a middle class, white privileged family.  I am also the product of a liberal yet traditionally valued mother and a conservative but loving father.  I have held a job for most of my life starting near the age of eight, and I have had success holding these jobs for long periods of time.  I am well educated and a hard worker.  I am part of the tattooed population.  I am considered an artist by some and talented by others.  I am in debt.  I am not a home owner.  I am too young to be called experienced, but too old for college phases of exuberance.  I am an ally.  I am also a Christian.  Recently I've found out that I am a cat lover.  I'm a best friend, and an aunt by heart.  I'm a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece.  I'm a volunteer.  I'm an ex-fiancee.  Some might even call me a survivor.  But truly only two labels in my entire life truly matter: I am a child of God, and I am love.

Hmm, that was pretty fun. :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Yet another year begins

It seems that the general attitude towards New Years Eve/Day is that last year was awful and so everyone is excited to begin a new one.  I usually have this same idea, but this year is so very different.  2013 was a great year for me.  I became more comfortable with myself and all my faults.  I feel like I give less thoughts and worries to things that are beyond my reach of change.  I have made some amazing friends, and reconnected with old friends.  Many beautiful days were mine to be had.  My choir has become my family.  I have a great home that is all mine.  I have faults, but all in all I am a beautiful and loving person.  And I have finally gotten to a place where I can say I love me, and if you don't that's fine but please be nowhere near me.  It's only taken 23 years to get here, but I really dig the view.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My thoughts on Miss Representation

I'm in this women's Bible study group with my church, and for the past two weeks we've been watching a documentary called Miss Representation.  This is all about how women are viewed through the media and what effect this has on women.  I planned to write last week on it, but I was simply too angry to make a reasonable post.  Now I feel like I've had sufficient time to cool down and I'm able to write and get myself all upset all over again. :)

Week 1 The Media and Body Image

The title itself will explain why I was so upset.  This segment was an in-depth look at how the media makes women feel as though they are not measuring up to these invisible standards.  Through computer enhanced images of naturally beautiful, women hold themselves in comparison to other women who literally do no exist.  It also touched on the fact that women are often very hard on other women.

Week 2 Women in Leadership

Women in politics or on television are constantly barraged by men and women in other forms of media.  If it isn't about their clothes, it's about their hair, or did they or did they not get a boob job.  This is an awful mistreatment of women who have important things to say about important issues.  Women are either sexualized for being pretty and feminine or they are described as the battle ax woman who crushes men and is constantly being a bitch.

This has led me to think about the differences these ideas create in our society.  They are basically setting relationships up to fail.  According to this documentary the message that women are getting from the media is, "You have to look like Miss America, have sex like Samantha from Sex in the City, and think like June Cleaver".  Women have movies about women, that are seen as for women with powerful lead characters.  Thelma and Louise and A League of Their Own are both mentioned in this documentary.  Media such as this gives women a positive outlook on themselves as multidimensional human beings.  However, in movies that are geared towards men, women are simply hot bodies wearing skimpy clothes and have one dimensional characters.  To an extent, this even extends into the 'nerd mainstream culture'.  Batgirl, and Supergirl are simply female versions of their male counterparts.  Wonder Woman was designed after the dominatrix mistress of the original cartoonist.  Even in the latest Avengers movie, Black Widow is hardly in the film, yet she is sexualized when she does appear.  How are women and men supposed to make meaningful relationships together when both sexes are taught to see women and sexual objects that are less than their male counterparts.

These two weeks of study have led me to think a lot about how I grew up in this media drenched society and how I continue to work in the world I live in.  As you may or may not be aware, I have a skin disease that alters my appearance.  I was diagnosed when I was the most susceptible to the media.  I went through my middle teenage years believing that I was worth less than my 'normal' female peers.  I was taught by the boys I knew that I was less, and that my disease was something that would hinder me from meaningful relationships with men.  I was told that why would anyone want to bother with me when I was deformed.  Repeatedly I was shamed by my male peers to try and get me to sleep with them.  Later in life, I became a novelty.  Guys wanted to take me out because I was different.  It had nothing to do with me.  This degraded me to the subject of locker room talk.  To them, I wasn't a full and meaningful person, I was a small disfigured hand for sexual favors.  Neither of these versions of me had anything to do with me as a person, but they both had everything to do with the ideas put out in the world by the media.

I was not, and technically am not, the ideal media friendly version of beautiful.  And that's crap.  It's not just women who have to deal with this either.  Men who are not the ideal form of 'classically handsome' are written off.  Men and women are being written off as less because of how they look on the outside.  In this system, who actually wins?  It certainly isn't the beautiful people, because beauty fades.  It isn't the young, because age does catch up with you.  It isn't the ugly, or the less than perfect, or the people with physical differences.  It isn't men, and it isn't women.  So why do we continue to buy in to this idea where everyone loses?  It's hard enough to find who you are without all this pressure to be something that you have so little actual control over.  One high school girl in this documentary got it exactly right, "When will it be enough?"

Monday, August 19, 2013

And today makes nine

Nine years.  Nine very long years.  Today is the anniversary of my diagnosis with linear morphea.  This certainly has been a year for change.  For the first time in my life I met another person with a localized form of scleroderma.  She is a lovely lady, and we bonded over our years post diagnosis.  For the first time, I had another person who totally understood where I was coming from with my insecurities.  She has coup de sabre, which is a form of scleroderma on the face.  Her attitude about life and her looks is amazing.  She really has an incredible grip on the whole thing.  I really admire her.  This got me to thinking, if this is how people see me.  I mean, you have to cope no matter what, so why not make the best of it?  But do other people see my dealing as a thing to admire?  She is flourishing. It just makes a person wonder.  And I also met someone who had met another someone with morphea.  It was interesting to not be so unique to him.  As soon as I said it, he said, 'oh yeah, I knew someone with that when I was in my twenties'.  I liked not being so special for something I can't help.  It's kind of amazing.  Next year it will be an entire decade since I found out about my disease.  And this was the year that so many things changed in my life.  Pretty cool I'd say

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I guess it's about time for some semi-profound thoughts

I guess I really haven't been feeling so introspective lately, which is why I haven't written since April. But also, not a lot has happened. I moved to Tulsa for the summer. And this has led me to call this the 'Summer of Insight'. I'm working for a company that I don't intend on returning to. I like most of the people I work with, but the company overall has some communication issues that drive me bonkers. And I'm living in this sort of limbo because I know that I'm getting my job at home back, but now I don't have an apartment so it will be a mad dash to get one when I get back. But more than just that I'm kind of dreading seeing Tye Dye again. I haven't seen him since October, and I haven't spoken to him since March. However, now that I'm mostly over being super pissed off that he forgot my birthday, I'm kinda missing him again. I feel like that just can't be healthy at this point in the game. We're going on a year of being broken up here, but this damn wound seems to refuse to heal. More than any of this that has me kind of nervous, I'm upset with myself. I have realized that I've become a bitter person. Before I feel like I was delightfully cynical with a dark sense of humor, but now I honestly cannot stand some people. It's like my brain has shut off that part of itself where I can remember what it was like to be 17 and super excited about a job, or how it feels to be 19 and away from home for the first extended period of time. I constantly catch a little voice in the back of my head saying 'I don't care', or 'Why don't you shut the hell up?' I hate that this is what I've become. I'm not sure if it is the unsatisfactory working conditions that make me feel this way or if this is a new facet to my personality, but I really hate it. I can't help but wonder, what happened to the lively young woman I was? Where did she go? Is she still around, or did the world stomp her to death? I know that I'm the only one in control of my attitude, but I'm feeling less and less in control all the time. Is everything spinning out from under me, or am I just using it as an excuse to think bad things about people I don't particularly like?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Not standing, but not falling

Things are stagnant, but not really. I don't feel like I have anything solid to stand on. I have no relationship to stand on. I'm not that close with any of my friends. I fight a lot with my family. And my health has never been stable. But now it appears that my job is also on rocky terms. That was the last thing I had left. I now just feel like I have nothing really stable or secure in my life. I'm certainly not falling, but I'm not standing on solid ground either. Things feel like they're constantly changing, but that I'm no where different. What happens when you finally know what and who you want to be when you grow up, and then you get there but then it all disappears?