Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A ban on leggings? I think not.

This is the lovely topic my afternoon got to consist of: people's ignorance.

"The way women dress nowadays; they are just asking for it."

As someone who dresses conservatively, I have never had to think about the effects my clothing has on people.  I do, however, know that a low-cut top can get me more attention and I know that certain people enjoy a tight pair of pants, but I do not assume that wearing such things is the green light for someone to have sex with me.

Today, the pant of choice for women is leggings/yoga pants/stretch pants. Women leave nothing to the imagination in these form-fitting, anatomy-showing pieces of fabric.  I am not saying that I want to do away with stretch pants.  Such words would surely exile me from planet Earth.  I just know that girls could physically show their asses with no leggings on and not be asking for rape.  Attention? Sure. The wrong kind of attention? Sure again.  Rape?  Never.

There is no excuse for rape. Whether you are drunk at a party or stark naked in the middle of Grand Central Station.  To insinuate that any woman does that with the clothes she wears or even the things she says is ludicrous. Rape is never warranted.  It is never welcomed and it is never okay.

I  would love to know how anyone could possibly think so.

I usually welcome a difference in opinion as it offers unique perspective and keeps us all from being total sheep; however, if you disagree with this, you can just delete me.

No means no.  No matter the situation and no matter what a person may be wearing.  You don't take things from people. Especially not innocence.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Look at my 2014

The holidays are upon us and in lieu of that, I would like to shout out to my favorite things that have happened in 2014:

1) I started a semester in school which left me feeling broken and empty. I took a class that was so much work and so hard that I wasn't sure if I could do it.  Each week I did it anyway.  Each week I pushed through - never thinking there was ever going to be an end I could see.  I saw it and it was beautiful.  I learned more in this class than any other.  More than that, I had to the ability to see other religions from their own perspective. It was eye opening and I feel more respectful now. Oh aaand I got an A. 

2) I left a job that drained my soul.  This job was the epitome of everything I stand against.  Being in fear of an employer, being under appreciated every single day, being rewarded at the end of the week with a treat as if it made up for 6 days of horrid behavior and treatment, being surrounded by catty women who talked bad about you and throw you under the bus at every opportunity to do so.  The one thing I took away from this awful experience was a (what I hope to be) a lifelong bond with one of my most favorite people.  Hannah, you are a part of me.  Whether you like it or not, it is forever. 

3) My best friend helped me find a position at a new career where I was feeling overwhelmed at knowing next to nothing.  I found myself in an office of people who care about each other and instantly cared about me too.  A place where I was appreciated, understood, and not stalked.  A place of professionalism and a little bit of insanity. A place where I am respected for being in school at 32 years old.  A place where I feel like I can grow and become meaningful. A truly great place.
To my best friend: Jenn, thank you.  Thank you for drawing lobsters on boxes, playing trivia with me, and never stopping for a moment to be anything less than my friend.  Thank you for singing Disney songs with me, and watching endless movie trailers, and speaking in tongues with me. You're fired.  I hate your stinkin' guts.

4) My daughter tried out for a softball team with two dozen girls she has never met before.  She has never tried out for anything before.  She tried out for 3 days with the sun in her face and her sore little legs, but she gave everything she could - with no whimper... no fuss.  The only thing I was asked was "Mom, we are going to need to invest in new headbands."  My girl who loves softball so much she wants to get up early on the weekends to play catch.  My girl who went to the Tigers game and had to keep score by hand because she really wanted to understand the game better.  My girl who said "Mom, I like when you are behind home plate reminding me how many outs there are.  Thanks for that."  My girl who loves the game as much as I do.  My girl who is on a team of girls she doesn't know making new friends every day. I am so proud of her talent, her ability, and her heart full of kindness.

5) I went to a new place. Actually, it was five new places.  I went to South Haven, Ludington, Munising, Newberry, & Paradise, Michigan.  I got to put my toes in Lakes Michigan, Superior, & Huron in the course of two days. I got to sleep on the banks of the scariest (and moodiest) lake I have ever seen *coughSUPERIORcough*  I got to cram into the backseat of the worlds smallest SUV with my dog and my daughter for countless hours, eat food that made me feel euphoric... then miserable, and drive too fast down back-woods roads.  I got to spend time with my family making memories that drove me crazy and meant everything to me simultaneously.

6)  I started working three jobs at once.  And while this is not something most people would be "grateful" for, I am. Completely.  Two years ago I had zero jobs. I was struggling to pay my mortgage and unsure how to give my daughter a real Christmas.  Working three jobs was like finally breathing after drowning for too long.  It may have exhausted me. It may have drove me into small comas on the weekends, but it was well worth it. I am glad for all my opportunities; big and small alike.

7) I got to meet someone I have wanted to meet for the last decade.  A friend who I have FaceBook'ed and text messaged countless times over the course of the last 10 years, but never actually hung out with. And unplanned encounter at my favorite place for unplanned encounters: Meijer. My friend who loves to argue with me. My friend who loves to make me angry. My friend who loves to tell me he loves me when I least expect it.  My friend who murders me at trivia, but I don't even care because I love him that much.  Cheers to bumping into each other randomly - finally.

8) I became a one year non-smoker.  Technically right now is one year and three months, but regardless of that  I am a non-smoker for the first time since I was 15. I used to smoke to get breaks at work, because Lord knows all of the smokers got their breaks, but then it became something I loved.  I never quit smoking because I wanted to or need it, I quit because I am better without it; It has been a great decision.

9) I read 29 books this year.  My goal was 30, but I am pleased with my 29.  With school it has been hard for me to get very many books under my belt, but 28 is pretty damn good.  I feel like I understand things easier and have more intelligent things to talk about.  I can actually bring legitimate conversations to the table instead of mindless prattle.  Suggestion: If you have not read "Unbroken" I urge you to do so. It is one of the most incredible stories I have read about a remarkable man and his unbelievable journey in life.  Louis Zamperini is awe-inspiring and truly one of my heroes.  RIP Louie.

10) My 5'6" daughter turned 12.  She is beautiful and brave and her heart is as gentle as the ocean is deep. I am proud to be her mother. I am grateful that of all the lives on the planet, and all the lives to be had, her life gets to be spent with me.  I miss my tiny little bird who was so small she fit in my arms; my little bird with her tiny voice and her sweet little nose.  Now I have a tall, beautiful, sass-mouthed tween who uses sarcasm like breathing and makes me laugh so hard I honk like a seal.

11)  I dropped almost 30 lbs. that shall never return.  I made some changes looking at people around me who are suffering with health issues, and I decided that eating well and exercising must go hand-in-hand. Doctors don't just tell us this for laughter; it is a true testament to living a healthy lifestyle. While I am by no means as tiny as some and not my own personal "ideal weight", I am happy. I am healthier than I have been in a long time, I am happier than I have been in a long time, and I am living life the way it was meant to be lived: INCANDESCENTLY!  And when I am in my brother Scott's wedding come April, I will feel confident in my bridesmaid dress, rather than self-conscious.

In the grand scheme of life, 2014 brought me some really cool things (not all are mentioned above). Some perspective I didn't have before, some friends I didn't have before, and some memories I didn't have before. I have been given so many great gifts this year; I am so grateful for all of them.  This ever-so-short life I keep blogging about is fluttering by with each passing breath and I for one am grateful for every single moment - good and bad.  I've been tested and I have molded, now it is time to grow some more.

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Christmas to all of you!  And welcome 2015... I mean, its only 5 years til my kid graduates high school. *shudder* 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Wonder Why

Every single day someone tells me how strange I am.
And if they don't say it, they give me "the eye" that says everything.
Fifteen years ago I may have developed a complex about it.
Today I just wonder what makes people think that my own behaviors are strange, but their own are perfectly acceptable.

Here is an example of how the conversations usually go:

"I went to Belle Isle over the weekend."
"Oh, I have never been there before."
"Do you live under a rock?"
"No, I just don't go to Belle Isle."
"Man, you are different aren't you?"


"Ooo, did someone bring in those cookies? That's gonna be hard to sit next to."
"No, I don't care for cookies."
"Is something wrong with you?"
"I don't like pie or cake either so I suppose there is."

or even

"What are you doing this weekend?"
"Homework and then I intend to finish the book I am reading."
"You should probably do activities with other human beings rather than hit your GoodReads yearly goal."
"That would require me to leave the comfort of my house, put on real clothes, and NOT be snuggled up with my dog."
"Aaaand you wonder why you are single."
"I don't wonder. I know exactly why."

People astound me really.  Their judgement on my lifestyle is incredible. 
They ask me a question yet the answer is insufficient. 
Was there some other way I am supposed to answer? Something you would like me to say?

"Oh, this weekend.  I am going downtown in a party bus, going to see Wicked, and then get dinner in Greek Town."

As if catching a show and getting dinner (not to mention spending a couple hundred dollars) is superior to the exercise of my brain or the expansion of my vocabulary plus quality time with my daughter.  Don't get me wrong, I love theatre, but how is one person's activities any better than the next persons? I am not shooting up heroine. I am not getting hammered at the bar. I am not out sleeping with random people.  I am simply taking care of my house (which I love), reading books (which I love), and spending time with my daughter and my animals (which I love most of all). 
I see nothing wrong with my lifestyle.

Yet every day - it never fails - someone will ask me a question to which the answer is unsatisfactory.

I am a huge fan of the simple life.
Having a daughter at 19 stunted my ability to have a wild life, and honestly, after seeing the debauchery that my friends ensued, I am good without all of "that" being in my past.  I have no place for any of that in my life.

I also do not have room in my life for people who try to make me feel bad. So if you are one of those people, allow me to say sayonara to you now.

For those of you who support me and love me for the recluse that I am, thank you. I appreciate you. I don't even have to tell you that for you to know, but sometimes it is nice to hear.