The Road So Far: Back to School

Standard

I didn’t expect to enjoy going back to school. My plan was to take it easy with a few classes. This way I could focus on the classes and not take on too much with a full-time job. The goal being to at least get my Associates degree. I figured it would make the time upstate seem less wasteful and would look better than just a handful of random classes.

I  ended up at Borough of Manhattan Community College and took two classes a semester. I paid for most of it myself and was determined to get my money’s worth so I never missed class or slacked off at all. School was nice after working all the time. I started remembering why I had liked school as a kid, I was actually learning new things and moving forward towards a goal. I wasn’t just going through the motions because I had to do it.

Most of my general education credits were done upstate. So most of the classes at BMCC fulfilled my writing and literature major. I got to take classes that really interested me. Like journalism where I had write several stories and they required me doing interviews. While I had done journalism writing in school before I never had to do interview. It made me nervous and the first one I did by email to make it easier but eventually I had to do an in person interview. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. There were some interesting literature classes. And one of my favorites, creative writing. The professor was a bit of a hard ass but he really whipped me into shape. With his help I was able to really improve my editing skills. I was never really good at editing my own writing. He pushed me to get better and I did.

I also got to take a multimedia class. I was glad to have the head start with the html, for the website design. The class went over hand coding before moving into using Dreamweaver. We also created flyers, website banners, and animation using Photoshop and Flash. While I haven’t really mastered designing, a lot what I learned came in handy.

It took several years to get the degree. While I was doing that I moved, changed jobs a couple of times and generally kept myself very busy.

Advertisements

It’s my body, I’ll condemn it if i want to

Standard

As with all hot topics, social media has been a buzz with chatter about female body image and standards of beauty. Interesting enough I noticed a few men chiming in with their opinions and/or words of wisdom for us women. I found the intervention of these men pretty amusing. Especially those who felt it necessary to let us know that women come in all shapes and sizes and that we shouldn’t compare women’s bodies. Laughing I thought, while he’s at it maybe he should tell men to stop equating penis size with manhood or that their sons will be just as manly if they play with dolls instead of trucks or to stop comparing guns, muscles and real firearms. Just maybe if he says it enough men will stop debating what makes a real man or what activities are suitably masculine.

I don’t automatically assume men can’t have opinions on female issues, just that I really don’t give a shit what they have to say. They may have had good intentions but it really came off sounding arrogant. I wondered if they really understand why this is an issue for women. Most men don’t seem to understand women at all. So for your pleasure here are some random thoughts from a woman.

  1. I don’t take what men say about looks seriously. Men do not see the same things as women, plus they usually wont tell a woman she looks bad. Whether they don’t want to hurt my feelings or they want to get laid men will lie about how I look.
  2. When I go out and get dressed up it’s not about attracting men or impressing other people. The shoes, the clothes, makeup, and even the sexy underwear are all for me. It’s fun, makes me feel special and helps not to worry about stupid things like being insecure. Once I’ve decided I look good, nobody elses opinion matters.
  3. I strive for both comfort and looking good. But I will sacrifice comfort on occasion, but it better look damn good.
  4.  On good days I don’t care what anybody else thinks. On bad days, a wrong look can send me spiralling into depression. The goal is to have more good days than bad ones.
  5. I will never have the body I want. It’s not that I don’t think I look good. I know I’m hot shit. But I always think I can look better. There’s always going to be something that could be smaller, bigger, tighter. It doesn’t consume my life, but the thoughts are always there.
  6. I criticize other women. I look at pictures and judge them. I’ve said a model in a picture looked too skinny, too fat, or pointed out body parts I didn’t like. I’ve picked apart women walking down the street. So does every other woman I know. There are women, and even men, who have made a career out of this for entertainment purposes. People that are famous for pointing out flaws and shaming people for them. I don’t approve of either.
  7. I don’t walk around telling people how they should look, unless I’m asked. I might make a suggestion to friends or family out of concern. I give my honest opinion because I would hope for the same in return. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see what I want not what’s really there.
  8. My opinion of somebody’s appearance is a small part of what I think of them. But I am aware that I judge them by their appearance. I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing.
  9. People don’t know what’s real anymore. I’ve had total strangers, men and women, ask if my breasts are real. (For the record, they are real and they are spectacular.) I was almost more offended that they had to ask than by how inappropriate it was.
  10. Everybody’s beautiful is bullshit. If everybody is beautiful than nobody is. Beauty is subjective. Everybody is beautiful to somebody but we all see some ugly.
  11. Once I hit 12 my body started changing and has never stopped. I constantly have to relearn how to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’ve been thin, I’ve been overweight and everything between. I feel like there are days that my body looks completly different from the day before.
  12.  People and Maxim create lists of the most beautiful people. InTouch and Star point out flaws and shame women for them. Heavy women are the punchline of jokes, while stars share their secrets to staying skinny, and weight loss success is a lifetime achivement. Women’s bodies are remade into unnatural figures in photos and real life, because it’s somebody’s idea of beauty. I can understand why women feel the need to declare what they think is beautiful.
heavier me pic

About two years and 15 or 20 pounds ago.

These are all just my own random thoughts. Some maybe relevant, others just popped into my head. I don’t claim all women feel that same way. I may get in trouble because no matter what I say somebody will be offended. But should I keep it to myself because it might upset some people?

Drugs are Bad, Mmkay.

Standard

Do I use drugs to enhance my life or change my state of mind? Well yeah of course. If I said otherwise I’d be a liar and my legs would be covered in some serious burns.

The truth is on a regular basis I use drugs and I’m fairly certain than many others do too. Every morning I drink coffee to wake myself up, caffeine is one hell of a drug. Fairly often I drink alcohol to help me relax or even just to loosen up and have a good time. And very rarely, I may take a pill to help me fall asleep. Everyday I take a pill to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. I also take aspirin, ibuprofen or other painkillers to help with pain. I also suffer from allergies that I take care of with antihistamines and other drugs to relieve the symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes and congestion.

Does it make me weak or lazy? Does it make me an addict or an abuser of drugs? Does it make me a plague on society? Does it mean something is wrong with me? Or does it simply make me a modern citizen that takes advantage of the technology made available through the progress of society. Now to now be perfectly honest I’ll even admit to experimenting with illegal drugs. Simply because I’m curious and want to understand what draws so many people in.

Does it make me any less hardworking or intelligent? I don’t know, you tell me.

Lifes little lesson for Monday

Standard

Yesterday, I was really in a funky mood. I woke up later than I wanted to, so I stayed in bed being lazy. Just felt like lying around. It didn’t help that I hadn’t really gotten anything done in a couple days. I basically wasted my time, by hanging out, and my money . Not that I didn’t enjoy it or feel like I needed it but I just couldn’t get myself back into a working state of mind. So after I finally got up, sitting in front of my computer I just couldn’t think of one thing I wanted to do. Then I get a text to go hang out with a friend. I did want to go hang out because it’s not like I was being productive. But then I thought about the money issue and if I did go anywhere then I would be upset the next day because again I had gotten nothing done and I would be completely broke.

So as I sat there contemplating what to do I went through my choices.

1. I could get right back into the bed and wait for the day to be over and just start all over tomorrow hoping it would be a better day.

2. I could go hang out and spend the last of my money. I could also hope that hanging out would put me in a better mood and that at least I would have had some fun before I tried starting over again tomorrow.

Or I could do the smartest thing. Just try to work through it and force myself to do something, anything. I thought for a minute and pulled out the easiest thing I could possible do. Take out a journal and just write about how I felt. I just sat and wrote out the whole ordeal, it came out real easily once I began. About half way through it I was already feeling better. I’m not sure how long I wrote but it was about two pages. I stopped to eat and do a couple of other things in between but kept going back. (I tend to always multi-task once I get motivated) But by the time I wrote the last paragraph I felt totally better. I did still get back into bed but with different intentions.

I was just going to do a little mini restart of the day. Instead of getting in the bed and staying there until the next morning I was going to take a little mini nap and get up later to get some stuff done at night. I did get in bed but never up taking the nap. Eventually, I got some work done later in the night after watching a little television.

Whether or not I did get anything done though was besides the point. Writing my way out of my funky mood made me remember why I began writing in the first place. The writing experience has always been very cathartic for me. It was the easiest and most natural outlet for me to channel my energy into. Over the years I’ve lost my enthusiasm for writing. Well actually the better way to put it is I lost the momentum I once used to have. At some points life’s distractions took over. At other times it just started to feel too much like an obligation. With attempting to turn my passion and something that I did purely for fun into a legitimate career I had to write things I didn’t always enjoy, so it became forced. But while I was writing the journal entry it just all flowed out of me, it wasn’t forced and the more I wrote the better I felt. I just realized this is a sign that I’ve got to work out a new routine. I have to do more of that natural, fun writing so I don’t get that burn out from just churning out work.

I have to find a balance so that I don’t forget again that I actually do enjoy writing.