Facebook & Twitter are exhausting. They’ve given way for everyone to scream about how they’re right and everyone else is wrong. Expressing an opinion about homosexuality and / or homophobia if you aren’t gay? You know nothing, so shut up. Not politically active or uninterested in politics? You’re ignorant and have no right to express an opinion. Feminism? There’s totally a right way to do it, you’re just doing it wrong. Forget trying to evolve or change your opinions with time. Something you said a decade ago will be dragged up just so someone can prove they’re “right”.
For example, I have zero interest in politics. All I know about current events is what Boy tells me or what I happen to catch on the TV at work. To some people, that makes me an ignorant cow. So be it. I’m not going to get hyped up over something because someone else thinks I should. If I don’t know what’s going on, I won’t vote. Conversely, I won’t bitch if I don’t agree with the current regime’s politics. I support everyone having the right to marry, regardless of what’s between your legs. That’s not my business, so I’ll just stay out of it. I love my friends and family dearly, but I don’t always support or agree with their beliefs or opinions. My dad’s side of the family are staunch Catholics. That’s not my scene. I have my beliefs, but certainly don’t impose them on anyone. I think doing porn is a bad idea, but if you’re willing to take the risk, have at it (if you will). I’m not the one who would have to explain to a prospective employer why they saw my ladybits displayed on the internet. The term “white privilege” is bandied about frequently on social media. Find me someone who chose to be born in a white middle or upper class family. Find me someone who chose to be born in a first world country, skin color or sexuality put completely aside. Puts a bit of a wrench in that, doesn’t it? Because I’m a white, middle class female, I’m somehow at fault (in certain people’s eyes) because I’m not deworming orphans in Somalia or marching over to Crimea to politely request the children stop fighting over who gets the last piece of land.
That’s the funny thing about right and wrong. Coming from a girl who lives in black and white, there’s never a right or wrong side for an opinion. No one has your unique combination of experiences, education, genetics, personality, or where and to whom you were born. No one will ever “get it” because they aren’t inside your head. You can stomp your foot and scream all day about why you’re right. That doesn’t make it true. If everyone just took 10 seconds to shut up and listen, you might hear a new idea. You might be exposed to something you never thought of. You just have to be quiet first. Next time, let’s try listening. Yes?
I spent over 2 hours at the DMV yesterday for about 2 minutes of paperwork. I brought literally every piece of paper having to do with the DUI. All they asked for were my passport and proof that I completed the DUI class. I had to fill out one of their internal forms and that was that. There were a bunch of teenagers taking their driving tests, so we sat through those litany of numbers. While I’m still convinced it’s the 8th circle of hell, I have my license back. I’m officially free to go wherever I want whenever I want. I started crying as we were walking out from sheer relief. I’m no longer at the mercy of anyone’s schedule or whim. I don’t have to wake Boy up an hour early to drive me to work. I don’t have to beg for rides to dance or circus. I don’t feel guilty for asking any of the above from anyone. I can finally call one place home and instead of bouncing back and forth like a ping pong ball. This comes at a particularly opportune time as my dad’s surgery is tomorrow morning. I’m sure everything will be fine. They told me to go into work as normal. If nothing else, it’ll be something to distract me. I know some people think I’m crazy for not staying home or going to the hospital. Given how my mom has (understandably) been acting because of it, it’s better that I stay away until later. I’ll go see him later in the week when he’s conscious and bored.
Of course, now that I can go wherever I please, I feel overwhelmed with choice. I have three dance studios and the circus classes to choose among. I know I’ll be bingeing on classes this week simply because I can. I don’t know about you, faithful readers, but I have to keep the momentum going. If I don’t go to class right after work, I’m not going to. If I have time to go home and relax a bit, it’s unlikely I’ll be going back out. There are definitely classes I’m interested in at later times, but the odds I actually go are slim to none. Fortunately, there are plenty of options. Classes are constantly rotating in and out or changing times or days. Maybe some days I’ll need to stay late to work and end up being able to go when I otherwise wouldn’t (I had a moment like that on Friday, mildly terrifying). Just see what I feel like taking that day. No need to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or disappointing anyone. There’s plenty of chances. It stops being fun when I start forcing myself. N’est pas?
We have the door to the porch open. Boy and the kitty are sitting outside enjoying the weather. The sun is just starting to set. This is the kind of weather I could deal with year round. Unlike most Atlantans, I don’t forget how hot and disgusting summer is. What we have right now is ideal.
Today was the first time I got to be the interviewer rather than the interviewee.
I had a minor meltdown over it last night. The perfectionist kicked in. I *had* to be an excellent interviewer right off the bat. I *had* to impress everyone. I *had* to take my boss’ previous experiences with several of the candidates into consideration. I was given a total of 16 resumes and narrowed the field down to 8 for interviews. At the same time, I have to pick up everything in my new position with 100% accuracy. If not, I’m an epic failure who deserves to be publicly flogged for her shortcomings. I put myself through the “BFF” filter. Would I tell my closest friends the same things I was telling myself? Absolutely not. I’d probably kick someone who spoke that way to someone I love. Yet I keep listening to my own bullshit. I take those horrible words as gospel. Once I turned on that filter, I backtracked most of the rest of the night. If I caught myself going down that path, I’d put it through the BFF filter. Only about 2% of the thoughts passed. That’s a bit scary, n’est pas?
I’ve got 9 interviews scheduled from today until next Tuesday. A second batch of resumes will find its way into my inbox tomorrow morning. I navigated the first three with no problems. My boss sat with me for the first one, gave me feedback, and I was on my own for the next 2. I’l give him my feedback on everyone I talk to. He made it clear that this is my decision. He has his opinions and advice, but I have the last word. I’ll interview people through next Friday, then make my decision the week of the 10th (P.S. when did it get to be March?!). I didn’t think it was fair to the people who applied later to not get a crack at it. I also purposely scheduled a lot of people to interview for my own practice. Hopefully by the last few people, I’ll have come up with a better question than “what are your strengths / weaknesses?”. I hate that one. Too bad my BFF filter doesn’t have a solution for that one.
On a completely frivolous note, I’m trying some new perfumes. I learned the hard way to test fragrances out first before committing to anything. I have several small samples to test run. I keep smelling myself to see how they’re mellowing on my skin. I’m not crazy about the one I’m wearing now. I liked the one from yesterday better. Conveniently, there are a total of 7 samples to try. I’m also eyeing more glittery things to wear on my head and ridiculously sized rings. If I could get away with wearing the glittery animal ears at work, I totally would. Until then, I’ll just have to settle for my big, stupid earrings.
The end of last week wasn’t exactly stellar. On Boy’s birthday, I found out that my dad had a brain tumor. The cancer had metastasized into his brain. Way to get kicked in the stomach, right? I spent the night alternating between sobbing & feeling completely numb. Boy wisely talked me into showing up to work the next day instead of stewing at home all day. I only cried once at work right before I got a text from my dad. The prognosis is excellent. The tumor can easily be removed, he’ll need minimal radiation treatment, & he’ll be back at it in about 6 weeks. Far from the worst case scenario.
Boy & I had already planned to go to Savannah this weekend & it was definitely the right choice. A little change of scenery, sitting in one of the squares sipping Italian soda, & laughing at each other and everything around it was just what I needed to get out of my own head. We crammed pretty much everything worth doing into about 14 hours. I was totally brain fried at work today, but it was worth it. We played every silly road trip game we could think of, I kept him awake with my Lady Gaga playlist during the last hour on Friday night, and hilarity ensued.
I came back to the parents’ house today and my dad was back to making cancer jokes. He wants to show off the staples in his head to add to his street cred. We’ve been debating the various merits of shaving his head then which ridiculous wigs we could get for him. My rainbow mohawk idea is currently winning. Jokes about how he would be totally safe in the event of a zombie attack because his brain is already rotten. Some people may look at us and think we’re cruel or downright crazy for laughing about it. Hell, what else are we going to do? Bury him already? He’s already survived one round. There’s no reason he won’t come out of this round with better stories and more sick jokes. Some days, we laugh to keep from crying. It always ends better that way.
P.S. We’re headed to Bonnaroo in June. So, so, so stupidly excited!!
Five years ago, I never thought I’d say this. In writing. On the Internet.
He’s not a monster. He never was.
It’s all too easy to paint someone as an inhuman caricature. It’s all too easy to use that as a dumping ground for everything that’s gone wrong or hurt or upset me over the past decade. I read something about forgiveness recently that made me stop. Realize that person is still a person with faults, thoughts, feelings, good sides, and bad sides. Monsters, as it were, are few and far between. I’ll never know what was going through his head all those years. I’ll never know if he knew what he was doing. What I do know is he’s human, too. I’m certainly no saint. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t give me free rein to lay every bad thing that’s happened to me, or that I’ve done since then, at his door. That’s my responsibility to clean up what needs cleaning up and dumping out what can stay in the trash. I don’t have the right to point at him and say “He’s the reason I don’t like cartoons! He’s the reason I’m covered in all these tattoos!”. I don’t like the way it makes me look or feel. It’s worlds easier to point at someone else rather than say “Yup, I screwed this one up,” or “No, that’s just not my bag,”. It’s finally seeing a picture of yourself in the baggy sweatpants, messy bun, & old sneakers in public and realizing what the rest of the world is seeing. Then it’s getting off your ass, washing your hair, putting on clothes that fit, and walking out of the house knowing you look like a completely different person. I don’t know about you, fair readers, but I would much rather be seen in public looking fabulous.
When all this occurred to me last night while I was falling asleep, I felt nothing. As strange as it sounds, I didn’t feel a sense of relief or a deep gut reaction. Maybe this is what real peace feels like. It doesn’t provoke a strong reaction either way. It just is. I forgive him for having his faults and making very poor choices when we were young. I forgive myself for hanging on to something so horribly broken, I cut myself in the process.
Just like yesterday, another small step. A small step that when I look behind me has left a trail of hundreds of miles.
Today’s theme: Little steps make more progress than big jumps.
I’ve been reading several other blogs which decry “fitspiration” and “thinspiration” as little better than anorexia or bulimia campaigns. That’s fair. I won’t argue that point. I did, however, take issue with “strong is the new skinny” being another slogan for self hate. I admit my bias. The silks gym’s slogan is “strong is the new skinny”. Let’s face kinesthetic facts boys & girls. The more muscle mass a female body has, the less space it occupies. When I was doing CrossFit regularly, I actually gained weight because I gained muscle. However, people were constantly asking if I lost weight because I was more compact. I could also do a push up on my toes for the first time in my adult life. About the time I fell out of CrossFit, I started aerials. I still couldn’t do a pull up, but I was stronger than I’d ever been. I took great pride in being able to physically do things that seemed impossible before then. I was focused on what my body could do from day to day rather than obsessing over a dress size or the number of calories I was eating. Again, I concede there’s a very fine line between “fitspiration” and actual motivational slogans for alternative work outs like aerials, boxing, martial arts, and Olympic style power lifting, the latter three being rarely marketed towards women.
A while ago, Boy bought a pull up bar. We mounted it in the doorway between the living room and the bedroom. After a few days, it got taken down so I could close the door and not be disturbed by light or the TV. It never went back up again. I decided to do something about that today. I remounted it in the doorway and every time I pass from the living room into the bedroom or bathroom, I make myself do something. Whether it’s a straight arm hang for as long as I can hold myself up or hanging leg lifts, I do something before I finish walking through the door. When one is doing laundry and the washer and dryer must be accessed through the bedroom, that adds up to a lot of arm work during the day. When I finish an episode of TV (I’m currently bingeing on The Borgias) and before I start the next one, I get up and do 5 different exercises be it hanging for a few seconds with different grips or more hanging leg lifts. My grip usually gives up after 3-5 seconds. It’s still something. By the end of the day, I’ll have done around half an hour of arm & lower ab exercises. I attempted bicep curls with a 15 pound weight while I was stuck in the house last week. Doesn’t sound like a lot, right? I barely managed 5 reps and didn’t keep any kind of form trying to do the last few. If nothing else, it helps keep me on track until I can get back in the air. On that note, time to change the laundry.
What better way to celebrate the (made up) holiday of love, chocolate, and cheesy cards than with adorable fluffy creatures? There is no better way.
“Mommy, was I adopted?”
“Don’t be silly dear. Your father and I love you very much,”
“Look at me! I’m pretty!”
“Get off me, you’re heavy”
Hope everyone has a lovely (and loving) weekend. Go cuddle something cute.