Clarification: Our Plight

Some people misinterpreted my last post. I suppose it wasn’t very well-written. 

The post was not meant to be dark or disturbing. I’m sorry that I failed to make it clear that the post was written from the point of view of a frozen pizza. Gosh, a girl can’t even write about a frozen pizza these days without getting a flood of concern. It’s a pizza. A. Freaking. Pizza. 

I’m not sure whether to be angry at the fact that people can’t interpret this, or angry at the fact that I can’t write well enough to portray what I’m trying to say. 

 

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Our Plight

People say Friday is the best day, but I disagree. Friday is a day of death and grief for my brethren and me. It is a day of great sorrow and mourning. At least one in my family will never make it to see the fresh light of Monday morning. We live all around you, silent by day, playful by night. All we want is to break out from our boxes, from our cold prisons–but we rarely can. We’re labeled, burned, bitten, and thrown away. Who are you to tell me when my life is finished? Who are you to freeze me, and then heat me up until my insides turn gooey? My brethren and I, we may not be like you, but we have rights, too. 

When you have all left, we break free and flop around on your dirty floors. It is a sheer, naked bliss that we can never experience under your cruel eyes. By the light of day, we crawl back into our cramped beds and our frosty compartments. We do this every night, except Friday. On that day, we mourn the dead and the kidnapped that have been ripped from us in the past week–our young, our old, taken from us to be destroyed and devoured by you. You do not pay attention to our tears. You do not pay attention to how much anguish our hearts feel. 

Today is Friday. I do not know if today will be time. If it is, please remember my dying wish…

Remember the plight of the frozen pizza. 

I’m really clingy.

I wish I could show love like a normal person, but I really don’t think that’s possible. I just can’t be normal–not that I’d ever want to be. Still, the thing is that I come off as really clingy. You know, like a pesky little sister type of clingy. 

I’m not really feeling coherent today. I’m just going to spout off a list of ways I express my love.

  • being clingy
  • being annoying
  • following you around
  • making creepy faces at you
  • hugging
  • hugging
  • hugging
  • bothering you with all my problems, even the most trivial ones
  • trusting you (THIS IS A BIG ONE)
  • constantly trying to make you feel special and loved, because you are
  • texting you all the time and then feeling bad about how clingy I must seem
  • making you stuff
  • lurking on your Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/other social media or blog
  • being crazy and weird around you
  • did I mention that I’m clingy

The problem with my clinginess is that at even the slightest hint of annoyance, I become overcome with anxiety. I’ll start wondering if you even like me anymore, which I know is completely irrational and unfair to everyone. I’m working on it. 

The Modesty Thing

Can you feel it? The onset of warm weather, birds twittering in treetops of sparkling leaves–can you feel spring? I’m looking forward to playing outside, free of a jacket. I’m looking forward to swinging, climbing into my favorite tree, and of course, my warm-weather outfits. 

Oh, the warm-weather outfits. I’d like to think that I can wear whatever I want in the springtime–or any time, for that matter–but no. Spring is the time when everyone comes out to give their bit on what I’m wearing–shorts too short, shirt too low–the list goes on. The main reason people give to me, trying to dictate what I wear, is that I might be causing men to “stumble.” 

First, let me say that there’s a huge double standard associated with this statement. A woman walks by in a bikini, and she’s bombarded with comments telling her to cover up and “save herself for the right man.” Then a man walks by in his tight little Speedo, or swim shorts pulled halfway down his crotch, and nobody says a thing. Do you see that double standard? It’s assuming that women are things for male pleasure, and that men are sexual monsters who can’t control themselves. That is seriously messed up and untrue. 

Even more so, though, I choose to believe that people–both male and female–can wear whatever the hell they want. It’s not my responsibility to keep that man from “stumbling,” as they call it. I’d like to not be treated as a liability, thank you very much. If a man looks at me wearing shorts and gets turned on, why is it my problem? He’s in control of his thoughts and actions, not me. 

Also, I could go on a wonderful rant about how sex is both demonized and idolized. (Think about what society is asking: be “pure” and to “not put out” but also to be “sexy” and “available.” Think about it. How am I possibly supposed to do both?) But I think I’ll save that rant for later. 

So, everyone, here’s a nice little modesty guide I’ve created to help you choose your summer clothing:

  • Tops: Do you like it? Do you feel nice wearing it? Wear it.
  • Shorts/Skirts: Do you like it? Do you feel nice wearing it? Wear it.
  • Bathing suits: Do you like it? Do you feel nice wearing it? Wear it.
  • Dresses: Do you like it? Do you feel nice wearing it? Wear it.
  • Everything else: See above. 

Of course, it’s not a bad thing if you choose to cover your body more–just make sure you’re doing it because you want to. You have the final say. Not your family, not your friends–you. Rock your body however you want to. It’s yours, and it’s beautiful. 

Unattainable beauty

I got my first Barbie when I was in kindergarten, for my sixth birthday. She was beautiful–with long, white-blonde hair, flawless facial features, and of course, that slender hourglass shape. For the next six years, I was infatuated with Barbies. Each year, I’d collect more and more, until the box I kept them in was no longer big enough for all the dolls, clothes, and accessories. 

Sometime around the age of ten, a shift happened. I began living vicariously through my Barbies. And when that wasn’t enough, I began trying to become one. All around me were images of perfection–on TV, in magazines, in movies. Puberty rolled in shortly after this shift, and I became even more dissatisfied with my body. Much of the dissatisfaction was centered on my stomach area. I considered myself paunchy compared to my peers, remembering a time when a cluster of girls had laughed at me, saying, “Your stomach jiggles when you talk!” In fifth grade, two years after the girls had said this, I made a decision–stop talking, or get rid of the stomach. I decided the latter would be the easier route. 
Nobody told me that my weight was perfectly normal. Nobody stressed the fact that everybody has a different body shape, that not everyone can have a flat stomach or a thigh gap. I thought that if I worked hard enough, I could “make” my belly fat go away.

Nothing I did made it just go away. Most of it disappeared at the end of sixth grade, but not all of it. Even to this day, society would never consider me a “bikini body.” But my body insecurities didn’t end after sixth grade. No, once one “problem” about myself was “fixed,” I’d just find another part of myself to criticize.

In seventh grade, it was the boobs. I was convinced that “no boy would ever like me” because I didn’t have a large bust. I thought I’d be stuck wearing training bras for the rest of my life, that it was “too late for me.” Nobody told me that boobs don’t grow overnight. Nobody told me that boys who only like a girl for her body, or criticize other girls for their bodies, should be avoided on grounds of Assholishness. 

Eighth grade was the hair. Product after product I bought, trying to make it as perfect as those old Barbies of mine, shut up and collecting dust in the basement. I can’t even guess how many chemicals I put in my poor locks. Then it was the legs–they weren’t tan enough! Feet, hands, every inch of my face–I scrutinized and tried to fix. 

I can’t say that I’m a hundred percent satisfied with my appearance, even to this day. But I’ve realized that really, people don’t all look the same, and we’re all still beautiful. Curly hair, straight or wavy, flat stomach or not, tanned or fair, A cup or F–we’re  all so wonderful. I won’t let society dictate what beauty is to me anymore–what’s the point? What’s the point of chasing after an unattainable goal that will only leave us feeling empty and even less satisfied? I’m not going on the endless scavenger hunt for perfection anymore. I quit. It’s my decision what to do with my body, and no one else’s–not society, not men, not even my friends and family. My decision, just as it’s your decision what you do with your body. Wear makeup? Great. Don’t wear makeup? Great. Straighten your hair, dye it, curl it, leave it natural–all your choice, all beautiful. If you don’t want to shave, don’t. If you do, do it because you like it, not because society says women have to. 

We can’t be Barbies. We can’t be perfect. All we can be is ourselves. So for pity’s sake, be you! You is whatever you want it to be. You are a blank canvas. You are art. And with the things you can’t change, like your bone structure and such, accept them as beautiful. Because they are. Imperfection is beautiful. 

You are beautiful.

You who struggles

Dear you who struggles, 

One day, you will give and receive love like an open window in the summertime. You’ll be so filled with joy that you’ll blow kisses at the sky and laugh at the wind. You will come to the end of your foggy valley and squint your eyes in the beaming sun. It will be radiant–oh, how radiant! You’ll run, with energy and emotion returning to your lifeless soul. The pathways before you will be quite rocky, but never impossible. One day, you will see yourself as the flower that you are. You will dance with bliss in the majestic ballroom of life, and you will feel beautiful. The spark will return to your eyes. Your smile, shaped by the cruel knife of pain, will be more beautiful than ever it was before. The nights will cease to be long and tearful; you will slip into a sleep full of dreams and pleasantry. The days will not seem so pointless, nor will they be grey and meaningless. Your heart–oh, your unique, wonderful heart–will burn with love for life. 

But now, all you can see is your foggy valley. Oh, the foggy valley. I know that awful, wretched place. Take my hand and I’ll never let it go. But first promise me that you’ll never let go–on yourself, on your life–because it bursts with meaning just ahead. Heed my words and keep them in a corner of your fragile, bone-dry little soul. Take my hand, my love, and we’ll go through this together. 

You are so beautiful. I know that one day you will see that. 

Uncomfortable Preteenhood

Preteenhood is such an uncomfortable stage of life. We’ve all been there–the mood swings, the what’s-happening-to-my-body moments–it’s that weird stage of life when you’re not a little kid anymore, but you’re not really a teenager, either. Everyone’s feeling really awkward about themselves and all the crazy stuff that’s happening. Everything is so new. Remember the first time you had your period? I daresay it wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience. (I was in seventh grade, two minutes before I had to catch the bus. Again, not particularly pleasant.) Now think of school–putting all these really insecure, confused preteens into a room all day. Trouble is waiting to happen. 

So, so many adults try to appeal to the preteen audience, attempting to describe the trials and confusion of the pubescent life. Most fail. I remember being ten or eleven, picking up a book geared toward my age group in the library, and reading this sentence:

“Oh my gawd, how does she have a bigger cup size than me?! So totally uncool!”

I was incredibly disappointed. In fact, I felt a bit mocked. That’s the thing–as a society, we love to stereotype and pick on preteen girls. They’re regarded as annoying, immature pestilence that just needs to grow up. In reality, though, preteens have their own struggles–and nobody’s struggle is petty or stupid. Maybe to an adult, all that school drama and changing body issues seem stupid and easily solved, but to a preteen, it’s real and painful. 

I’m nearly fifteen now, and I still feel sad when I hear somebody belittling the struggles of ten-year-olds. I remember being ten, and it was nothing like the preteen novels try to make it out to be. I never remember hearing “so totally uncool” or other such phrases. 

I think to understand preteens, we really need to remember when we were them ourselves. Remember, we were all in that uncomfortable gray time of life. Let’s not belittle it, okay? 

Awkward: the new cool

One thing I’ve observed in the past few years is the uprise of a new type of cool, a new social craze. Walk into a high school and see these people, self-proclaimed freaks, all about the hallways, in the cafeteria, and in the gym. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be this way anymore. The millennial generation is the Internet generation, not the drug-experimenting party animals we’re so frequently made out to be. (That’s not to say that some of us aren’t party animals, I’m just talking generally here.) Many teenagers are describing themselves as “antisocial.” We’re Internet rats. We scurry about online, discovering the ins and outs of technology in ways that our elders will most likely never be aware of, finding new ways to express our discomfort with ourselves. The word is all over our Facebook feeds, squeezed in our 140-character Twitter blurbs, spoken in giggly, insecure tones among acquaintances and friends alike: awkward. 

This new fascination with awkwardness always used to irk me. When people I see as flawless or perfect proclaim themselves as awkward, I begin to feel that they are only saying so because of the new craze and not because they actually are. I have always proclaimed myself to be awkward for many reasons–my social skills aren’t impeccable, I don’t like conformity, I’m an awful athlete…the list goes on. I feel, live, and breathe awkwardness; and I’ve come to accept it as part of me without question, in fact. I almost start claiming the word “awkward” as my own. When I see someone else–Miss Popularity Soccer Queen–claim to be awkward, I can’t help rolling my eyes. 

When I get to thinking, though, Miss Popularity Soccer Queen has just as much of a right to be awkward as I do. Awkward isn’t necessarily external. Maybe this silky-haired, slender model figure with a huge social group feels uncomfortable in her own skin. Maybe she isn’t happy with her life. I’m only judging based on the pearly-white smile I see for ninety minutes each class period. I have no idea what she’s like underneath all the perfect winged eyeliner. I don’t know about her home life, her history, or even the quality of her relationships. (Hint to my younger friends: just because someone takes a selfie with you and calls you her BFF doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a good friend.) So you know what? Miss Popularity Soccer Queen is awkward. She’s awkward because that’s how she feels inside; and she has every right to feel that way, just the same as I do. 

Awkwardness is a craze because we can all identify with it in some way. We’ve all felt out of place at some point in time–like I did yesterday, my “accordion in a green meadow” moment. We want to relate. We want to give a name to that weird, I-don’t-feel-right-in-my-own-skin feeling. It gives us a hope that maybe we really aren’t the only ones with insecurities. It shows us that life is awkward. It is! Life is awkward! It isn’t any of the glossy, glazed-doughnut Hollywood nonsense. Life is always going to have those weird, it-wasn’t-supposed-to-happen-that-way moments. Sometimes we make social blunders. We get hair and acne; we blow our noses and get sick; we run out of toilet paper at the worst times; but my god, it’s so real! I can’t help but like the awkwardness fascination because it’s revealing the messiness and sloppiness of humankind! Things can be gross. Inconvenient. Embarrassing. But it’s all part of this wonderful, crooked masterpiece we call life. 

Be strange. Be weird. Be real. Move out, insincerity–awkward is the new cool. 

Needless Drama

I thought that once I’d entered high school, people would have matured and gotten over the need to gossip and stir up needless drama. I thought wrong. So many people are just fake. Gossiping, lying fakes. I can scan the entire cafeteria and find nobody in whom I could trust. I don’t socialize at school, and day by day, my desire to do so lessens. I’m starting to actually dislike people at my school. 

This morning, I walked into my history class for the first time in over a month. I haven’t been to school in a while, and much to my embarrassment, I completely forgot where I was seated. I wasn’t sure if the seating had changed, or if I was simply failing to remember. Confused, I sat hesitatingly down into an open seat.
“Uh, do you sit here?” said the girl next to me, condescendingly. Immediately I felt again like a small little fifth grader. Or sixth grader. Or seventh. Any of the three. I’m not sure why such a simple little thing like that would cause me to become so upset.
“Well, I don’t know. I haven’t been here in a while. Do you by any chance know where I would sit?” At this point, I received the classic mean girl eye-roll. I know, so mature. 
“Why are you asking me? How should know?” More mean girl looks. Very condescending. Again, I felt small again. I traveled back in time to age twelve–and unfortunately responded with twelve-year-old maturity. 
“Oh, thanks!” I responded, smiling–sarcastically sweet. “That was so helpful!” The girl was alarmed. Why? I guess because I’m the sweet quiet one who always lends her pencils–even when she never returns them. I never speak. I stay on people’s good side, but this time I got a little snarky. 

At this point I remembered where I was sitting and moved at the earliest possible moment. For the rest of class, I felt horribly guilty. I’d acted just as horribly as she had. I also felt conspicuous and insecure. Imagine an accordion in a green meadow. That was me in history class this morning. I felt like the girl was staring at me and secretly planning to ruin me. Then, awful scenarios began to pop up in my head. What if she turns the whole class against me? Or the whole school? What if she creates a website dedicated to hating me? Such irrational thoughts always run through my head in moments like the ones that happened today. 

At the end of class, as she was packing up after the bell, I approached her. “Hey, sorry I was rude earlier.” 
“Yeah. Sorry,” she mumbled. Our eyes did not meet. Later, we ran into each other in the bathroom. She asked me for lip balm, and I said I had none. She seemed sweet–of course, I’ve become wary even of kindness. High school is an ocean of false sincerity. You never know when someone’s a true fish or a shark disguised as one. 

More needless drama happened at lunch. I wasn’t directly involved this time; rather, I overheard. I usually sit with some popular girls. They actually approached me at the beginning of the year and wanted to sit with me–of course I obliged, though awkwardly. Well, after I’ve been gone for over a month, they didn’t give me even so much as a glance. I was expendable to them the whole time. What else could be expected, though? All I did was read while they played Candy Crush on their phones. 

Anyway, I was sitting uncomfortably on the edge of their circle and heard them talking about other girls on their sports team. The insults were flying everywhere. 
“She thinks she’s the best! She’s actually not. Everyone is annoyed with her.”
“I know, right?! And she’s not even that pretty.”
“So true! She thinks everyone likes her! Ugh, I want to slap her.”
“She likes every boy, but has no chance of being liked back.”
“Let’s not talk to her at practice this evening, okay? If she comes up to us, just walk away.”
“Okay!” *laughter*

This is only a very short paraphrase of their conversation. These are the girls who are always taking pictures of themselves with her, hanging out with her, and acting like best friends. In fact, the class period before, I saw them all laughing and hanging out together. And then the chatter at lunch! It made me physically ill to listen to. They’re like black widow spiders–eating their own kind! These are the girls who like all my pictures on social networking sites, including when my caption is “Please don’t talk badly about others. Words carry a great weight” or something. The hypocrisy! 

The drama is needless! I ache for everyone they’ve put down. I mean, I actually feel pain when I hear talk like I heard at lunch, even if it’s not about me. Can’t people recognize that everyone is a human–flesh and blood, bone and marrow? We are all the same! Will this petty talk even matter in a year? No, of course not! It’s pointless and hurtful! I don’t know how to say this any other way: shut up! Just shut up, please! I would rather them play Candy Crush on their bedazzled iPhone 5S than be so low as to trash another human being! 

Yes, we’re all hypocritical. Face it, we’ve all gossiped. And gossip is tempting–not necessarily to hurt others, but out of curiosity. We want to know what’s going on. It’s like news–we want to be up to date on who likes whom, who hates whom, and so on. We crave surprise. Oh my God, she hooked up with that kid?! I never would have guessed! Sometimes we just want some excitement to spice up our lives. (Half the time, the “news” isn’t even true, by the way.) But there are better ways of doing this! When I’ve been tempted to gossip, or even listen to a conversation in whispers, I just turn away and remember that it’s none of my business. What other people do in private, or what they keep secret, isn’t anything I should know. It’s not my business whom that girl is interested in. I shouldn’t care who she’s hooked up with. It’s not my business! 

So instead of putting other people down, or gossiping, try including other people. When we add new people to our “friend groups”, we add variety to our lives! Meet people. Find a hobby. Join a fandom. Do anything, but don’t take your own insecurities out on somebody else. It’s not fair.

This advice goes for me, for you, and for that strange clown statue standing in the corner of my living room. Oh, he’s holding a knife!

I better go now! Run! I’ll see you la–

(Just kidding. There’s no clown in my living room.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cautiously Rash

I’m not a spontaneous person by nature. Well, it depends. I’m quite influenced by my emotions. If I’m rash, it’s because I’m experiencing strong emotions. Actually, I’m a really rash person. I’ll admit it. My feelings, desires, and temptations are quite strong. I don’t always think before I say and do stuff. It helps to be with a rational person who can say, “Wait! You should think!” before I do something stupid. I mean, it’s not like I wake up and think, “Hm, I’m going to do something rash today.” It just sort of happens. 

Actually, it’s like I almost…think through my being rash. It seems like a paradox, so let me explain. When I’m influenced by emotions, sometimes I plan a huge comeback or revenge or something in my mind. It is not based on logic in any way. It is based solely on my emotions at the moment. Any attempts to speak logic to me in such a moment will prove futile. I will do the thing. You cannot stop me from doing the thing. Only after I do the thing do I realize that I should have listened to logic. 

And that is how I am both rash and cautious at the same time. I don’t know. This all made sense in my own head, but it didn’t come out right.