Thursday, May 23, 2013

Real Women

Begin Rant:

There are a few things that bug me. Running out of ice cream is one of them. Another is when people, women in particular, SLAM one another, especially over the internet.

A picture is posted and the girls aren’t a size ___________.

Internet comment: “They’re fat/unhealthy.” Or…. “They’re anorexic.”

Since when did it become okay to comment on photos of women that most likely the commenter doesn’t know, and furthermore, comment on their physical wellbeing?

Did I miss that memo? If so thank goodness.

How is this okay? In this world there are all sizes and shapes of women, and there is a reason for that. We are all made genetically unique. We all have different stories, different life circumstance, different goals, and different bodies. I have never met someone whose legs looked just like mine, or who had eyes the same shade of green as mine, or who had the exact same proportions everywhere that I do. That’s the beauty of our world!

There might be an “average” size woman in this country, and if there is why does it really matter? There are also average ages, average years of schooling, and many other averages statisticians calculate on a regular basis. Women might be above, below, or at this average but that has absolutely no bearing on their worth, and it should have absolutely no bearing on how strangers see them, especially on the internet.

People can judge me if they want. I try my very best to not let that bug me (especially the opinions of those who don’t know me), but what in anyone’s right mind makes it okay to tear a woman down online based on her body? A girl could be a size you think is “above average” so that makes her unhealthy? Or a girl could be a size you think is underweight so that must mean she hates food/has an eating disorder?  Almost worse is when women who are choosing to build musculature and working damn hard are being told they “look gross.” WHAT about our society made this okay?

I guess I just really don’t get it. As a woman I know the battle we all face everyday when we look in the mirror. So why would I choose to pass body judgment on another woman I don’t know? You know all the complexities that go into why your body looks the way it does any given day (did I eat 3 bowls of past last night, am I bloated, did I forget to eat dinner cause I was studying, etc.) so realize before you make a judgment call, or worse a hateful comment, that their body is complex too!

And the whole “real women” thing. There is absolutely no body type that makes someone a real woman. Perhaps it is when we stick up for one another, embrace what makes us feel feminine individually, and celebrate womanhood that we see what  real women look like.

End Rant. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Perspective. Get Some.

I’ve decided a few things lately……

1. The song Africa by Toto is my all time favorite. This was only solidified when at a volunteer event this weekend they dedicated it to me. Boom.

2. My life is basically a movie.

Girl from small town moves to the city.
Graduates college.
Gets dream job.
Uses her vast savings to move cross country to pursue dream job.

Oh wait, not a movie. My vast savings include a collection of Harry Potter books, a mixer, homemade pottery, and a cat named Peaches. Unfortunately, these do not pay for a 1,500 mile move. Fortunately, they all make me very happy.

So as I prepare to move, I find financing this venture is incredibly overwhelming. In addition, I have found myself realizing there are a lot of boxes to pack. More than that, there are many car rides to be taken with Peaches so instead of hearing “MeeeeeeeeOOOOOWwwwwww” for 24 hours cross country I hear a gentle, soothing purr. (Not. Likely.)

It has been so easy for me to feel stressed about this new job that I really haven’t taken a moment to celebrate it. With the tests, the costs, the adult paperwork, and the whole “get your life together because you’re about to move it 1,500 miles away,” I have been less than thankful.

And just when that lack of thankfulness hit me I watched a series of videos yesterday that gave me some intense perspective. This intense perspective hit me in a wave of tears as I watched a woman find her dog after the storm, teachers comforting students whom they had protected, families dealing with loss, and a boy who faced a diagnosis of terminal cancer with a spirit I had never seen.

I have an apartment full of beautiful things, a family full of wonderful people, a career I can be passionate about, and I have my health. By all accounts I have more than I need, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. It is so very easy to forget this and instead focus on a Uhaul bill, or any other stressors. Instead I should focus on my new career, the support I have around me, and all the things that go right.

Many of you who know me know that the past few months have been filled with a few “downs,” but there have been “ups” too and that is what should be focused on. Find the positives, and work with what you have. Things work out. They do. It takes a little time. Sometimes it takes a really good cry. Sometimes it takes intense perspective.

If you’re interested in watching one of the videos I have in the last 24 hours here is a link. Be prepared with tissues and chocolate. In addition, you can find the music video for Africa by Toto. It is just that good.

This is Zach. He will change your outlook.

This is Toto. He will just help you dance around your living room.

Much love.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Letter to my Mom

Today is one of those days where it is overcast, cold, and just windy enough to make the wind chime on the patio swirl around. It reminds me of the days you would wake me up with Nag Champa, and Annie Lenox/Sarah McLachlan/Alanis Morissette echoing through the house. I remember walking out and the entire living room would be taken apart, and all the furniture would be in mid-rearrangement. These were the days we spent cleaning, singing, dancing around, and debating the finer points of moving the couch to a new wall for the 4th time that month. Days like that make up some of my sweetest moments from childhood, especially the days where the couch stayed half-moved for a week or so.

Today also happens to be Mother’s Day, and, like last year, we are about 200 miles apart. Soon that number will be about 1,563 (but really whose counting?) Perhaps the thing I’m looking to forward most in Utah is when you come to visit and we can spend 8 hours in IKEA, and about 4 hours driving through the mountains, windows down, listening to CCR/America/Fleetwood Mac, and not thinking even a little bit about the gas mileage, sorry Dad.

The last 23 years I have not had a single person in my life more dependable than you, more supportive than you, more loving than you. I have called you at literally every hour of the day for reasons ranging from a cute outfit, to a tough test, to a “should my cat really be making this noise right now?” Your ability to always come up with a plan of attack never ceases to amaze me, and 99% of the time they are great plans. The other 1%? That is when you call me the next day having looked at the caller ID and you don’t recall our 10 minute talk at 4 AM. Those are usually fantastic conversations too.

Those things aside, the most important thing you have taught me is how to embrace life in so many ways. How to try the sushi, buy the shoes, walk the log, take the job, and give the boy a chance (I’m sure Matt is grateful). You are one of the only people I know who truly lives. You have a spiritual wealth, a joy that radiates to others, and a passion for the everyday-the things I strive to bring to the world too. Where I would find monotony as a teen you would find an opportunity. You also may be the only human who doesn’t worry. Like they always discuss a “mother’s worry.” I think your Iron Woman because you’re cool as a cucumber, constantly.

You have also told me many times before in moments where I typically said something really weird, “How did I wind up with an amazing child like you?” The real question is how did I end up with exactly the mother I needed to learn about life, and all the beauty it contains? How did I get the mom who just gets me, in all of my oddities? How did I get to be the luckiest girl in the world, truly? Thank goodness Chafonda stepped aside because I don’t know how easy it would be for me to share you.

I can’t really keep writing because at this point I can guarantee the both of us are crying (I get that from you, you know.) I’m also hungry, which you can understand only too well (I’m hungryyyy). I am so grateful for you mom, for every talk we have ever had, every argument I have ever lost, every chore I was forced to do, every fear I was encouraged to face. You are the type of woman I can only hope to be like someday, and I love you more Meemaw.

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life." -Abraham Lincoln

Happy Mother's Day Sheila