Starting in May

Just a quick announcement. Starting on May first I am challenging myself to write a new post every day (except May 11 which is both Mother’s Day and my Birthday so I plan on being extremely busy) using a set of 30 day journal prompts. Any one who wishes to join me can. I will be posting the whole list here as well as every day in May. That way you can join me or skip any day that does not sound interesting. 

Also I apologize for not writing anything this week and for the things I have written this month being less than worthy. I have been working very hard on writing a particularly lovely blog for my college’s literary journal “Rock and Sling.” Be on the look out for that. I will be sure to post a link (you know, if you care to read it.) 

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Temper Tantrum

Yesterday I was awake for a record 20 hours with only 5 hours of sleep the night before. Under normal circumstances the moment I hit 16 hours I become totally useless. There is a good chance that I was still totally useless upon hitting 16 hours but I had so much caffeine coursing through my body that it was hard to tell. 

I got up at 4 in the morning yesterday (my alarm actually went off at 3:55 but we’re rounding up) so that I could be at the top of a mountain staring down the valley with my friend Kallie before sunrise. I do not see what is so special about sunrises, they are just like sunsets only more annoying. For Easter I make an exception and see the sun come up because Jesus rose before the dawn on that morning as well.

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It was lovely. It was also early. So early.

I tried to nap. After my own church’s service I went home (instead of socializing at their Easter picnic), curled up in my bed, and waited for sleep to over take me. 45 minutes later I got up and went about my life having not slept at all. 

I hope that this part of the story makes it understandable that by 8 PM when I was arriving at a BBQ with some friends that I was throwing a small temper tantrum in my head. I was so excited to be there. I am not close friends with most of the people who were there, they are friends of my friends (specifically they are the people who are friends of the men who became my friends husbands). Even with the obvious character flaw of not being my “close friends” I like these people and I think they are fun. I did not want to be throwing a temper tantrum (even in my head) around them.

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(That is the only picture I have of most of the people which goes to show you how rarely I spend any amount of time with most of them.)

I passed of the fact that I was feeling sad on the fact that I had been up for so long and maybe a little bit on the fact that I had taken my pills very early that day and their effects were probably wearing off. I did not focus on the fact that all of these people who happen to be my age are married and pregnant and whatever. I pushed aside the feeling that I needed to be drinking a very large glass of wine and muttering, “so I’m the single one? Great.” If this group of people were a sitcom I would be the obnoxious (and probably drunk) single person who shows up for comic relief (if this group of people were a sitcom it would also probably center around me and be fantastic). 

By 9:30 or maybe 10 I just wanted to cry. I used the smoke from the fire as an excuse for any attempt at crying my eyes made but I just felt like crying. Once again I had to remind myself that it was just because I was tired. Our bodies never really grow out of being 2 year-olds. When we aren’t getting what we need our body reacts. The only real difference is it is not socially acceptable for a woman who is nearly 25 to just start wailing hysterically because she’s tired. I had gotten a ride with people so I was not going to force them to leave early either (although they have a 2 year old who was not throwing a fit but was clearly tired so maybe I should have). 

The thing is that I was not actually sad. All of the things that I felt like crying about are things that I REALLY like about my life. I love that I’m single and get to be selfish about things and never have to make sure that my choices will destroy a relational dynamic (that’s the real reason people ask their wives and husbands for permission). It is odd how our surroundings change the way we feel about things or make us feel like we need to feel a different way than we do. We have to start remembering first all of the reasons why we like the way our lives are (if we did not feel comfortable with them in some way we would change them) and that what is good for others might not be right for us. I believed this was a huge break through for me because instead of getting upset and grumpy (and wanting to kill people like my friend Austin suggested I looked like I felt) I kept reminding myself that I was only feeling this way because of outside issues and that once I crawled out of my bed the next day everything would be fine.

In the movie “Austenland” Miss Charming says, “think of all the people who hang themselves. In the morning they feel different but they can’t do anything about it. Don’t hang yourself Jane.” It sounds stupid but it is actually brilliant and incredibly inspiring.

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Nerds Having Nerd Fun

This last weekend was the second ever Salt Lake City Comic Con. I didn’t go but it happened. I did not go because 1) it is expensive, 2) it is crowded and I don’t actually do well in crowds, 3) I went to the first one in September, and 4) it is Easter weekend. Easter Weekend is a particularly busy time in my life. I do love the idea of Comic Con though. I love that nerds (but we really should just say people who are unabashed about being into things) get to wander around the city dressed as their favorite things and have a ton of nerd fun together, only facing minor amounts of judgement from the masses. I love that because you see them wandering around having their nerd fun and you have to admit that you are a little tiny bit jealous. They always look like they are having more fun than the cool kids are having. Despite not getting to go to Comic Con I did get to have some nerd fun of my own this weekend though. By nerd fun this time I really believe that I need to say totally unabashed fun.  

The thing about fun is it is just something you do. If you are worrying about having fun, being judged, or “living in the moment” then you probably are not actually allowing yourself to have fun (that’s why we’re all jealous of the nerds having their nerd fun).

My friend Sarah and I went to a local amusement park called Lagoon yesterday. Lagoon is not the biggest or most thrilling amusement park out there but it has a carousel and a ferris wheel so I would say its pretty great. We then spent the afternoon running around, shouting at each other, and, most importantly, dancing. Not always to music. Sometimes we had to make our own music to dance to in line for the roller coaster. There were several times that I got the impression that Sarah would have liked to stop dancing, she was either tired or realizing that people could see us, but she kept on because I don’t care what people think and I kept dancing. We would finally make it onto the roller coaster and I would throw my hands up singing (loudly and very off-key) “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes” and Sarah would join me.

I was not too worried about what the people around me thought of me because I was having a great time with my friend. I’m almost 25, what is the opinion of high school students to me?  Its none of my business is what it is. I try not to be obnoxious or disturb everyone else’s fun but I don’t see anything wrong with doing a princess wave the entire time that I’m on the carousel or waving my arms around and cheering the whole time I’m on the ferris wheel, as if it is the most thrilling ride I have ever been on. Anyone who would judge me for that sort of thing at the park obviously was not having as much fun as I was. 

There is one thing that I did at the park that was fun but now (being a full day older) I see was not something I should have done even though it was fun. That thing would be switching seats on the “Rattlesnake Rapids” ride in order to avoid getting splashed. I do not regret that decision because of anything people could say to me about it but because I have a very large bruise on my hip from going over a bump and getting slammed back into the seat. That I could have lived without.

I suppose the moral of the story is that I still think that other people’s opinions of me do not matter and that if you are having fun you probably are not as ridiculous as you think you are. Or maybe you are that ridiculous but its still awesome.

Modesty is for Chumps

“What do you think?” I twirled around in my new jogging outfit, showing off the short shorts and the built in band sports bra that shows through the open sides. It fits perfectly and is the best/cutest work out gear I’ve worn since my track uniform my freshman year of high school. I know that being cute doesn’t really matter when you’re getting ready for a 5k but being comfortable does matter and if there is one thing I know about Utah it is that by the end of April it is HOT. If I’m going to run a 5k in 90 degree weather I want to not be trapped in a prison of cotton and sweat. The breathable material and open sides are perfect for that. 

My mom made a face. “Are you comfortable being in public wearing that?”

I dropped my arms to my side just a little bit disappointed. I thought she would love it. She liked it when I pulled it out of the bag. “You hate it.”

“No. I just want to be sure that you’re okay being seen like… that.”

There’s a full length mirror in the next room. I walked over. I twisted and turned in front of it, checking how it fit from every angle I could see. I didn’t see anything wrong with the clothes. There was an awful lot of pale skin on the sides but its only the first week that it has been warm, I’ll get tanner and I’m not too concerned about looking gorgeous while I run. “Yes,” I stepped back into the room where my mom sat. “Yes I am.” 

I had shown my mom because I needed another opinion on the outfit and she was the only person who was around. Since she had refused to give me a real opinion I had to make the choice myself. My choice was yes. Yes I like this. I like the way it looks and I like that it is comfortable so I’m going to wear it. That’s how I make most clothing decisions.

Does it fit me? 

Am I comfortable? 

Do I like the way it looks?

Then yes I am going to wear it.

Unfortunately a lot more things fit that criteria than most people, especially living in this state, would like. Crop-tops, semi-sheer flowing tank tops, shorts that are a little bit short, and most recently those tank-tops that you wear the band crop-top underneath, have all made the cut. I’m not being immodest, I’m not dressing a certain way to get attention (in fact, when I’m out in public I’d rather be ignored), I am just wearing something that I am comfortable in and would like to be allowed to do so without being told that I need to cover up or dress “more appropriately.” 

I am covered. If you’re worried about me getting raped I can tell you  2 things; 1) that the way a person dresses has nothing to do with whether or not they get raped and 2) that I’m armed and dangerous. So don’t worry, I’m fine.The modesty police can just cool it’s jets.

I have come to the conclusion over the last several years that modesty is for chumps. There are extremely vocal people in my town who have taken the job of enforcing modesty standards upon themselves. Their argument is always that somehow the way I am dressed changes the men around me’s opinion of me. That somehow allowing people to see my body, my shoulders, legs, or whatever else, hurts my future husband. it doesn’t. I want girls to know this. I am not an extension of male sexuality. I try not to dress in a way that I think would make the people around me feel uncomfortable and I certainly don’t flaunt myself I am just more comfortable with being less covered than other people are and that is okay. You should dress a way that makes you comfortable and let other people dress the way that they are comfortable because seriously I cease to be able to function at 88.5 degrees so if you expect me to leave my house in the summer months you had better let me dress a way that I think I can function. 

I guess the point is don’t be the modesty police. If you are comfortable and like what you’re wearing then you should be able to wear that without having to worry about everyone else’s sense of modesty.

I have a legitimate super power

I know that I talk a lot about super powers and super heroes. I probably talk a little too much about those things but I want you to know that I really do have a legitimate super power. The thing is that my super power is not the power that you might think it is. 

Like every person who is familiar with “Star Wars”, “X-Men”, or “Harry Potter” I have tried to summoning items when I am being lazy. Usually by reaching out my hand and squinting my eyes at whatever the item is. Every single time the people I am around make fun of me. They tell me that I’m wrong and don’t have super powers. They roll their eyes and scoff at my continued antics. Then, the people I’m with reach up to the top shelf, pick up the plate, or grab whatever it is that I am after and hand it to me. Its a legitimate super power. I make people hand me things.

When I try to summon things I never say that my super power is actually summoning things, its obviously mind control… or stubborness but I don’t think stubborness  counts as a super power so I’m going with mind control.

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I may not be Wonder Woman but I’m pretty sure that with a little training I could use this super power for awesome. 

Marvel is so Clever

(I promise there are no “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” spoilers.)

I went to see the new Captain America movie with my parents this evening. After spending about 7 hours in the car this afternoon sitting in a crowded movie theater was probably not the best choice for my back but Captain America was clearly the best choice for my soul. On my way out of the theater I stopped off at the bathroom. Women’s restrooms always have lines. I don’t know why they just do. I stood in line behind a girl who was already on her phone. I recognized her from the theater I had just been sitting in. 

“It was kind of dumb and I didn’t really get the whole thing,” she said into her phone. She then continued to bash on the film we had just seen. I did not think it was dumb. I was very confused because I thought it was a wonderful movie. I tried my very best not to roll my eyes or let the Thor Hammer (like I can spell anything from Norse mythology) I keep on my bag hit things while I listened to her (the hammer makes it harder for people to steal my purse… if you aren’t laughing you should be). I did not want to throw any judging stares her way because I do not like to berate people for not knowing every little detail about comic books. 

It is hard to know everything about comic books and where things are coming from. I cannot walk into a comic book store and pick up a Captain America comic so easily as you might think. Instead I go in and I get kind of lost. Worst of all is a lot of the time people won’t help me. I get the difficulty to just engage with the comics.

I also get it that there is A LOT to know about the comics and it is difficult to know and keep all of that strait. Walking into the theater I was explaining a bit of the comic book lore to my parents then turned to the ticket attendant, smiled, and asked “what sort of things do you think I would know if I did not know all of this useless information?” He did not answer. The point is that I do not know a lot about comics but I do know some and I had to really engage with the information to get to this stage of knowledge. 

Here’s the thing. I did not need to do any of that in order to understand and enjoy the current Avengers film universe because Marvel is so DAMN clever! The great thing about current Marvel movies is that I do not NEED to know anything about the comics before entering the theater but knowing all of that stuff makes the movie so much better. They make the movies into an entry point rather than something you have to already know something about going into the film.

I love it. I think its brilliant.

On an semi related note I think the new Captain America movie should have been titled “Black Widow: Captain America Throws his Mighty Shield.” Contrary opinions on this matter will automatically be considered wrong.