On Editing and Censorship: Notes from Farenheit 451

In case you missed some of my ramblings, check this out on my new (and very, deplorably empty) blog:

On Editing and Censorship: Notes from Farenheit 451.

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Moving Forward

So, I’ve posted a lot of random things onto this blog. I’m so sorry if you thought this blog would make sense.

As I make a transition in my life outside of the internet, I have decided to try and make a transition inside the internet (pretend like that’s an acceptable way to phrase it).

I have a new blog, that is hopefully going to be a bit better managed and a bit more structured.

If you want to check it out, feel free to follow this link: http://girlmeetsworld14.wordpress.com/about/

I’d love it if you followed that one. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue posting on this blog or not, so if you want to keep up with me, you should follow the other one.

If you’re looking for a way to escape my ramblings without unfollowing me, this is it.

It’s been nice sharing my thoughts with you guys.

TTFN!

“Stop Saying I Have a Boyfriend”

This is a very insightful blog post.

Link

Butterflies

Ok, but can we please talk about butterflies for a hot second?  I know people make fun of girls for getting tattoos of them or just for liking them.  I myself was kinda ashamed of liking them.  But then I realized how awesome they are.  It’s not because they went from something ugly to something beautiful.  Caterpillars aren’t that ugly set all.  I’m impressed by the fact that they go from this fun,  easy (ish) life where they eat and sleep in one small area,  to these high energy,  brave creatures who just get up and fly away to start the new phase of their life. Embracing a transformation like that takes some guts!

Flights of Fancy

When I was little and things got rough, I used my imagination as a means of escape. That’s why I fell in love with reading in the first place. I could escape the real world and go with someone on a wonderful adventure, full of fun and laughter. If there was drama I knew it would be resolved by the end, unlike the drama I so often faced. Eventually, though, I needed to escape from the real world when I was really upset, and I couldn’t focus on a book. I had to act out my imaginings. So, I played pretend, like most children do. I used my imaginary adventures as a way to resolve conflicts or fill holes that I had in my life. If I was feeling bored, I’d invent a new world to explore. If I was scared, I’d invent some monster and make myself the hero who would defeat it. If I was lonely, I’d go on wonderful new adventures with a bunch of friends. If I felt powerless, I’d pretend I had powerful magic.

I never really stopped playing pretend. It’s a wonderful coping mechanism, really. I went through a phase where I’d write poems to deal with my life, or I’d write countless scripts or short stories. Sometimes all I had to do was write down the idea for a book and I could spend an hour imagining how the rest of it would go. It was a great distraction.

As I grew older, though, I needed my imaginings to become even more specific, and the fanciful ones weren’t cutting it any more. I needed something realistic in my life. I had to imagine that life was different than it really was. If my parents were fighting, I’d imagine instead that we were all off on a family vacation. If I felt lonely, I’d imagine that all of my good friends came to see me from across the country. If I was scared, I’d imagine either that I stepped up to the challenge and succeeded, or that someone would come and save me.

I still go off on flights of fancy, even today, when I’m supposed to be a mature adult. I often catch myself daydreaming: that I am living this wonderful, put-together life in a cute apartment with a great job, or that I am out with friends instead of stuck in my room doing homework or trying to find something new to watch on Netflix, or that the people I really want to pay attention to me give me the time of day.

It’s harmless, I suppose. Where would ambition come from, if not from dreams?  The main problem, though, is when you have to land. They always say that landing is the hardest part of flying, and I can agree. You have to somehow ground yourself again after imagining that your most fervent wishes had come true. It’s hard to come back down to Earth when you’ve been up in the clouds. Earth seems so hopeless, harsh, and unwelcoming.

So it’s important to watch how often you daydream, I suppose. Make sure you aren’t putting yourself through too many rough landings. Don’t go back out until you’ve put some plan in motion to achieve your dreams. Start looking for that dream apartment and the job that will pay for it. Make plans with friends so that you aren’t left alone. Work hard at always being your most fabulous self so that if someone looks at you, they can’t look away.

Use your dreams to guide your reality.

No Regrets

A lot of things have happened recently that made me want to write this post, such as friends unfairly (in my opinion) judging me, supposed rumors being spread, and a recent conversation with a close friend.  This is an important issue, I think, and even though I’m not an important person, I’m going to put my two cents in.

“Love. Sex. Ladies no regrets.”~Christina Aguilera: Express

Everyone who doesn’t live in a cave has been told that women are held to unrealistic sexual standards. There’s really no way to win. If you have sex with someone out of wedlock (or out of a long-term relationship), then you’re a slut. If you don’t have sex until you’re married, you’re a prude. Even though people seem to be loosening up a bit about this, we still feel pressured and judged every day. It isn’t just men judging us either. WE are judging each other.

That pisses me off.

I used to judge people about that. I used to make character judgments based off of “how far” someone had gone. If they had sex with their boyfriend, they were obviously loose and stupid. Then I got to college, and realized that the world is so much bigger than I had imagined. There are hundreds of ways to look at a single issue, and there are thousands of different experiences out there that shape those viewpoints. I began to realize that the world wasn’t really black and white. Excuse the reference, but when it comes to sex, it’s not so much black and white as it is 50 Shades of Gray (p.s. I haven’t actually read that book, but I couldn’t resist the reference).

I’m not claiming that I’m 100% enlightened. I am no Buddha. Honestly, I don’t know too much about sex. See, I’m a virgin.

SURPRISE!

So it came as a bit of a shock to me that I was being judged by a friend about my activities with boys (and honestly, it was probably my activities with one boy that sparked this, since she didn’t approve, but I’m getting off topic here). I was chastised for “not going about things the normal way.” Well, I guess I missed that day in class when they handed out the Guidebook for Dating and Relationships, because I didn’t realize there was a procedure to be followed.

Now, especially in college, the “rules” seem to be more like “guidelines,” and everyone interprets them differently. There are various levels of commitment, from one night stand to “just hanging out” to “I think it might be something” to “exclusively hanging out” to “Dating” to “Yeah, we’re practically married.” I’m probably missing some levels, but it’s hard to navigate in this world of hanging out.

If it’s hard to define where you are in a relationship, it’s even harder to decide what the proper sexual behavior is at each level.  Also, different people seem to be able to get away with different things. I know some people who just casually have sex with people. Not randos, but just different people that they know well and are attracted to. But they are “DEFINITELY not dating.” I have had friends who were so attached at the hip that it was disgusting. I have friends who only make out with people when they are drunk, and I have known people who just flit from person to person playing the “this could be a relationship” game. Everyone is apparently doing their own thing.

But they are also judging other people for doing it differently.

See, that’s what I don’t get. None of us know what we’re doing, so who says that your way is the right way for anyone else but yourself?  Don’t get me wrong, both parties should be of legal age, in their right minds, and both parties should consent to what’s happening, but after all those requirements are met, it’s really up to you to decide what you feel like doing. Kiss him on the first date if you want to. If you are comfortable with overnight cuddling (which can be super fun, fyi) then do that.  People will try to tell you there’s a certain way to go about this, and they’re full of it.

There are a lot of different factors you’re dealing with when you’re trying to decide whether or not you should do X, Y, or Z with a person you like. You’re not only dealing with the close proximity of potential prospects (thank you college dorms. No, but really), but the raging hormones, the social pressure, religious rules, and your own feelings. It’s confusing to try to reason through them for yourself. I honestly believe that situations are different for everyone. I can’t tell you what’s right for you. The most I can do is tell you what I would do if I was in your situation.

Here’s my rule of thumb: act in such a way that you won’t regret it.

I’ve regretted some sexual interactions before, and it’s not fun, no matter what your reason is for regretting it. Probably the worst time was when I was pressured into doing something I wasn’t ready to do. I wound up curled up in a ball crying on the shower floor for an hour. Not fun.

But I learned from that experience to be more assertive, and not worry so much about making someone else happy that I ignore what I need to do.

I’m rambling, but the point is, I try now to think about my choices and see if I really want to do them before I commit to doing it. I think about how I feel about the other person, what level of a connection we have, where I see this going, etc. and I figure out if I would regret this experience if things don’t turn out the way I want it If you do that, then you know what you think about your decision, and you probably won’t care much about what other people think, because you can defend your logic (not like you should have to, but people are people). to, or if I’d always regret not giving it a try. It’s a lot of thinking, but I tend to over-think things, so I’m used to it. If you think it through, then you know what you think about your decision, and you probably won’t care much about what other people think, because you can defend your logic (not like you should have to, but people are people).

This doesn’t protect you from rumors, though. I’ve been told that a certain rumor is going around about what I’ve done with someone. Well, honestly, I just think that’s silly. No one should really be that concerned with other people, especially not enough to lie about what you’ve done with someone. And if someone is lying about the rumor, then that’s a whole other issue. What’s great, though, is that I know the people I care about know me and know the truth, so it doesn’t really affect me. Also, I’m not ashamed of being a virgin, so if it comes up, I’ll correct the misconceptions. Again, #noregrets.  I’ve given my actions some thought. So I just have to be content with my decision and tune out what other people think. Of course, it sucks to have your reputation sullied (without getting to actually partake in the fun sullying process), but there’s only so much you can do. Just make sure you’re not the one going around lying about your sexual exploits.

While telling a dear friend of mine about all of this silly drama, we got off on a tangent about how it feels to be a virgin in your twenties. Neither of us are actively trying to lose our virginity (or it would be gone by now, honestly), but we are tired of feeling like our virginities are handicapping us. She is frustrated enough that she said she just wants to “get it over with” sometimes. Yes, that’s right, she and I are so fed up with the pressures that we joke about getting it over with so that we don’t have to worry about it anymore. Hopefully, this sounds awful. Society should not push us to a point where SEX is a HASSLE. While I know neither of us will actually follow through with the threat (meaning we won’t just randomly have sex to get it over with), it still upsets me to think that people can feel that way. We shouldn’t feel ostracized for being virgins, and people shouldn’t feel bad for not being virgins. If you put thought into your decisions, be proud of what you chose. I have no issue saying I’m a virgin, and other people shouldn’t have an issue saying what they are either. Don’t apologize for being who you are and doing what you need to do for you.

Life is too short to live it according to other people’s rules. It’s WAY too short to constantly worry about what people are saying about you. Just make the decisions you need to make.

Live so that you have no regrets, and everyone else can just go… well, you know.

[“Forget”] Valentine’s Day

I’m going to say something that seems wildly radical, verging on insane. I need you to bear with me for a little bit.

What if Valentine’s Day isn’t that important?

Forget what Hallmark says. Forget what Lindor, Dove, Hershey’s, etc. say. Forget what your mom and grandmother say. Forget what BuzzFeed articles, magazines, and romance novels say.Forget what your friends say, and definitely forget what pop culture says.  Think about it for yourself. What does Valentine’s Day really mean?

The way most people think about Valentine’s Day is as a day full of material goods or extravagant gestures made by their significant others (or recently found significant others) that validates their relationship and reminds them that they are loved. For single people, it’s a day when we are made incredibly aware of our single status and is seen more as a day of moping, mourning, and/or drinking.

Why?

Why does one day have to mean so much? It’s just fluff. Valentine’s Day is in no way the meat of a relationship. Valentine’s Day does not your importance make.

You aren’t somebody special because someone gave you a stuffed bear on this random day, and you aren’t insignificant if you weren’t given anything by someone.

This is in no way an attack on couples. I love the idea of healthy romantic relationships. In fact, I hope to be half of one one day. However, I do not think that Valentine’s Day should be such an important day.

Do I hate the act of gift giving on Valentine’s Day? No. I give the people I love and care about valentines every year. I participate in Secret Valentines and enjoy getting recognition for Valentine’s Day. However, I am sick of feeling bad for myself because none of these gifts came from the person I like. I’m tired of feeling like I have to be sad that I’m single on this day (more-so than any other day). I’m sick of getting weird looks when I say that being single on Valentine’s Day isn’t such a big deal to me. Honestly, I’m single every other day of the year too, which means I’m not getting affirmations of love/attraction/liking from a romantic partner on those days either. Why should I be pressured into believing that this day is any different than any other?

Again, don’t get me wrong. I think you should tell the person you love or like that you love/like them. I think you should find a way to do this meaningfully and often. If you express your love through gifts, then more power to you. However, I don’t think that all of this pressure should be put on one day.

Valentine’s Day isn’t the ultimate authority on your love life.

Which also means that people shouldn’t feel it is necessary to have “anti-Valentine’s Day” parties, or post those negative and sarcastic statuses, cards, etc. (I’m guilty of this). If you are fine being alone, you shouldn’t have to pretend you aren’t and go out and party, drink, or buy yourself some chocolate. If you’re not fine, you shouldn’t have to broadcast that (unless you want to. That’s a different blog). If you’re in a relationship, then celebrate that fact as you want to.

Do what you want to do on Valentine’s Day, whether that’s watch Netflix in your sweatpants, party with your friends, drink alone, or go to a fancy dinner with your person. Just don’t do it to prove something.

So, whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or not, think about why you’re doing it. Are you doing it because you think you have to, or because you want to?  Don’t let the internet, culture, or anything pressure you into participating if you don’t really want to.

 

 

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