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Archive for September, 2010

Social propriety and why it sucks.

“But You never said it would be easy, You only said I’d never walk alone.” Ginny Owens “If You Want Me To”

It’s no secret that life is tough, yea? We all have experienced one or another of the many colorful ways that life can screw us up.  No one really gets to escape that. No one. I think we all have the tendency to try to hide what life has done to us… and some are so very good at it. It’s truly amazing. But the truth is, we all… in one way or another… get fucked by life. (sorry, but screwed just doesn’t represent the truth harshly enough.)

For whatever reason, biological or environmental, I have never had that filter. You know? The one that helps keep us in check? The one that keeps certain stuff locked away, so that only socially appropriate emotions and behaviors are seen by others. THAT filter. The propriety filter. Yea… I don’t have that. As a young child, I was constantly saying things that were inappropriate and embarassing to my mom. I was the girl who would mention in casual conversation that my Dad had been sleeping on the couch for the past few days, or that late one night I heard my parents “wrestling” in their room. you know? THAT kid. My mother would hear me and intervene. She’d laugh and try to correct my “mistake” and dispell the awkwardness that had flooded the room. Then she’d take me out and tell me for the 13th hundred time that “there are things that other people just do not need to know, Britt.” I so never got that. I always felt bad, and would cry and tell her that I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for… but lordy, I’d do it all over again.

I’d like to say that as an adult, this has been completely ratified and that I am the very model of social propriety, but lying is bad. And anyone who knew me even slightly would know the truth. That truth being that I still don’t get it. But, I’m not so sure that I need to be ashamed about this. Let’s think through it:

 Socially speaking, there are rules to govern behavior. I’m not sure that everyone really is completely aware of just how many rules there are, except for my fellow muck-ups who are constantly breaking them. But there are a lot of rules that form what the collective “us” view as appropriate behavior. Think back to jr. and sr. high. Remember how cruel others acted towards people who were clueless about stuff like social order or acceptable behaviors? Or do you remember how fun it was to laugh at people who just seemed so awkward and weird. Why were they so weird? Who decided that the way they were behaving was wrong, and that the way you were behaving was right? Where did all those expectations for proper behavior come from? Did you ever gather with a bunch of your peers and sit down to discuss and vote on what is acceptable and what is inappropriate behavior? I think not. We all just know. Are at least most of us do. And those who do rule and judge over those who don’t, leaving them feel as though they are stupid and backward.

Why? Why are there rules? Can how we feel really be contained due to rules? SHOULD it be? Should victims of abuse feel the pressure so strongly to be “normal” and to make sure no one knows or could ever guess that something awful has happened to them? Should we all have to shove down how we truly feel just so that we don’t tar the image of how perfect our families or friendships are?  After years of being teased, made fun of, and socially isolated due to my inability to lie to myself or others about what I was going through… I’ve come to the conclussion that it is not healthy to hide and shove and completely cover up the pain, and hurt, and joy, and love we are feeling just so we can fit into this nice little emotionally stable but mostly dull mold that society wants to press us into.  I’m sorry, but it’s not right. Now, do I think we all should be controlled by our emotions? No way… that’s not healthy either. But I also feel like we give power to the bad when we foster a society that is silent about and unable to handle issues like abuse, depression, addiction, and disease. We trap the victims, giving power to the abusers. We allow the hurt to continue and become bigger… and then we dare to pity and look down on those who cave in or crash under the weight and pressure we have put onto their broken shoulders.

This is not right. I refuse to be a part of this. I may be a loser and a social retard… but I’m not going to allow society to crush the people around me. So come on, air it out. Come tell me about your hurts, your pain. I promise you, I will not jude you. I will not care about propriety. I will listen, I may cry, but most of all I’ll be able to handle it. Together, we both can handle it. Screw society and their rules. I will not define others by their ability to be confined into the role prescribed for them. I will not judge or condemn. I won’t sit in awkward silence trying to deal with what you just told me. Because life sucks sometimes, and real strength is the ability to acknowledge that… to feel that pain… and to truly process and deal with it. That’s true humanity. That’s life. So let’s throw out the little pussy that is society and it’s dumb expectations… and lets build a community of people who see life for all it’s beauty and pain, and can embrace and handle both.

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i may not totally get the whole point of blogging.

okay… so serious and thoughtful post has been completed. Check!

so here are some things I’ve been tossing around a bit. I want to get a Brittany Spaniel. Not right now, because that’d be nuts since I’m living in a rental that isn’t even MY rental. But!!! the next time I get a pet?? totally is going to be a Brittany Spaniel.
also? i kind of want to get married. Now, before you roll your eyes and prepare to #1) leave the site, or #2) brace for some weepy, needy chick’s sylloque about how she isn’t good enough or wants to be loved so bad and wahwahi’msodesperatewahwah… know this: I am not the type of chick who is so desperately needs a guys and therefore chases down and stalks any guys who is nice to her. Actually, I’m not a “chick” at all. I’m a young lady. I’m also the type of young lady who is very independent. I didn’t date in highschool because I thought highschool relationships were stupid and a waste of time. You either end up giving up your virginity in some cheap way to a  guy who will be working at Joe’s Body Shop the rest of his life and will have aquired a size-able beer belly 3 years after graduating with a “C” average and a varsity letter, OR you end up promising to “love forever” just to find your loverboy in bed with another girl when you show up at HIS college for a surprise visit a month into college. Either way, you end up cheated out of anything real, true, and long-lasting. So… why do it?? I also didn;t date in college because I am terrified of spending time and money building up my dreams and plans only to completely abandon them for sexy eyes and nice hands sometime around sophmore year. I’d wake up 20 years later with 6 kids, hips as wide as the Grand Canyon, and the crushing realization that I will never go to India, I will never work in a majority world country, and that I will never fulfill my dreams of being some great humanitarian who helps other people to realize a better way of life.

okay, so you have the back-story on me. People used to say I was going to grow up to be either a nun or some crazy bohemian cat lady. I’m not “that” kid of girl. I’m not the good little christian girl who goes to college for their “MRS” degree. I’m the weird kind of girl who has to be told by her mother that maybe I should try to not shoot down every guy who offers AND that it’s not normal to like a guy a lot… until I finally realize he likes me, too… and then suddenly I find him not so attractive. (Honestly, y’all… how can I HELP that? MAKE myself still like them?) So i’m not the girl who talks about how much she wants a boyfriend/husband. That’s just not me. Buuutttt… today I was thinking… I have all these big dreams and ideas and goals. I want to go to all these places, and work on all these projects… and I like singleness because it leaves all possibilities wide open. I have me to worry about. That’s it. So if I want to up and go somewhere… I can just GO! no talking it out with “him”, and making sure that….blah blah blah. I can just GO!!! The thought came to me today,though, that it might be nice to have someone to go with me. You know? Someone to share the experience with, and to reimagine this or that with together… talking about how fun this was, or how crazy that was.  I don’t know why it seemed like such a novel idea. It just did. I had never considered that. Even thinking about the place I just hiked this weekend, I’ve been daydreaming about going there with my two Brittany Spaniels and running the trail, exploring the hills, etc… alone. Just me and the dogs.  And it kind of felt a little lonely…

this is new territory for me, guys. It’s weird.  Because I don’t do this. Even when I think about having kids… I think about me and some kids. No man… no father figure at all. (Just how that would work, I don’t know. sperm bank? adoption? who even knows.) My natural instinct is to push this all away. To not think about it. My default phrase is “If it happens, it happens. If not, oh well.” but… I think I’m going to ponder this some. At 22, maybe it’s time to consider this possibility.

*influx of estrogen, much? haha*

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F for Fail or Life in the Rockies or How I fell in love with hiking or why I shouldn’t be allowed to blog

It has been a month since my last post. I am running on little sleep right now and am feeling rather obnixious. That is to say: I’m annoying myself right now.

update: I have been in Colorado for almost a month at this point. I have a part time/ got-my-foot-in-the-door job. I will be worknig as an Educational Childcare providered. The local school system has this program for adults that helps them to increase their literacy. It takes place in the evenings, and they may bring small children with them as this will increase the likelihood of attendance. My role is to help 3+ year olds to gain literacy and exposure to organized learning. I will be reading books to the children, and encouraging reading/ the development of reading skills. We will also be doing crafts, games, and activities all based on themes. It will be an interesting experience, for sure. Mostly, it will be a job. I am perfectly comfortable worknig with kids, and will have fun teaching. I always thought that if I hadn’t been led towards social work, my english major might have been transformed into english and education double major. … I digress.

Colorado has been wonderful. I get along fairly well with my brother and sister-in-law. I am nervous, because the more comfortable we all becoome with each other, the more my quirks and psychosis will become obvious. I do not want to be an annoyance to them, or a source of stress. So, that’s a fear that is hovering.  That, and worry over my inability to find full-time work yet. Other than those, I have felt at home here in Colorado. Chad and Jess both really enjoy hiking. It would probably be their main hobby. So, i have gone with them on two hikes since being here. And it is some of the best fun I’ve had. I absolutely love it. Colorado is beautiful. The place we hiked last night was a fair easy trail that went through two peaks. Many little streams and rivers ran across this area, and there was plenty of plants and colors splashed everywhere. It was gorgeous. Scattered along the trail where the various remains of old homesteads, which we very much enjoyed exploring. I even got in a little jog, as the ground between the waters was pretty flat and clear of debris. It was just beautiful.

God knew what He was doing, sending me out here. And even though it is awkward at times, trying to adjust to living with C&J… and even though I am constantly stressing about jobs and school loans and such… I’m glad i’m here. Walking that trail last night, laughing with Jess and Chad, jogging with the dogs… feeling all that I was… I’m so very glad i’m here. So glad I came. I have a feeling that I’m going to fall in love with Colorado.

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Reya

"Please love me."

Zane

Just some pictures of a niece and nephews. (the dog is definitely a nephew.)

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Five Days

I used to not be a morning person. And I never used to eat breakfast. Ma used to say that I was like a zombie in the morning… I didn’t talk, I had no expression on my face, and it would take me a while to process stuff. I did not like mornings.

I realized today that one of the biggest things I’m going to miss once I leave is mornings. Specifically, mornings with my Ma. Ma believes in mornings, and eating breakfast. On the days that she doesn’t work, she always gets up, comes to the kitchen for a cup of tea or instant coffee, and then goes back to her room to watch the main portion of the morning news show. By this point, I’m up and moving around. So, she comes back to the kitchen and starts to make breakfast while I prepare and make some *real* coffee. (I usually make a whole pot and ingest it by noon.) Then we sit down to breakfast, and talk. Our best talks are in the morning. We talk about our plans for the day, and things that are going on and random stuff. Like yesterday, we started talking about Grandparents and Great Grandparents, and the next thing we knew it was noon and we had started a family webpage on ancestry.com.  It is really the best way to start the day. We will sit for a couple hours and talk, and when it gets to the point that we both start feeling guilty for just sitting there in our pjs talking about what we had to do that day instead of actually doing it, then we take care of the dishes and go about our daily duties. It’s my favorite me&Ma time. And it’s something that I’m really going to miss. It’s something I’m always going to cherish.

Because things probably aren’t going to be exactly like they are right now ever again. I know that sounds so very sad, but really it’s a good thing. Life is all about seasons. As the Bible says: “There is a time and a season for everything under the sun.” I totally get that. And I’m excited for what lies ahead… for the new season and adventure that I am moving into. But I would be remiss to not cherish and mourn the season that is ending right now. Some sadness is definitely appropriate. Cherishing and locking something into your memory is a bittersweet process. It’s the mix of pain and warmth that etches specific moments into your heart forever. It’s something to embrace for now, but not linger in later. Lingering in the things from a past season will only result in depression and deadness, the inability to transition into the new season correctly. There comes a point when we must turn our head back to the horizon and the future, leaving the past behind us where it belongs.

But right now… now is the season for remembering. For random, last minute kisses and hugs… for last visits… for last breakfasts and lingering around the table with a cup of coffee with your Ma. It’s good. It’s something we both will need to have in remembrance later.

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