ignorance is not bliss.

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Disclaimer:: I guess what I had to do to start writing this “blog I’ve been working on,” in a coherent, eloquent way, was to get angry. Apologies ahead of time if you read this and find it offensive; you may want to skip it all together if you voted Trump or don’t believe women to be equal to men.

 

I just saw this post on social media and I nearly vomited in my mouth:: 16123159_238817179895045_253878076667068416_n

To say I’m appalled would be a lie…I’m mortified to know that some people think this way. People are individual of other people. A woman’s anatomy differs from a man’s, and I truly believe that to be our only difference. I don’t think our skin color, religious affiliation, sex or etc defines who we are. We do.

SO. MANY. WOMEN. and men and children showed up to march in unity on Saturday, January 21st, and I was not among them. I have been in a world of my own, pretending that my rights as a woman will stay intact for the next four years. That I wont’ have to worry what kind of world my kids grow up in. That’s not reality. I felt more than shame about it this morning, while reading through articles and skimming the news. I was consumed with the thought that I’d missed my opportunity to take part in a movement that is so pressing, so important to who I am as a person. I feel like I have no right speaking about an event I didn’t participate in, but I am a woman and my heart was certainly there.

I am upset, enraged, and genuinely hurt because I, like many others, feel zero support from our leaders and legislation. I am here to get some of this off my chest, so if you’re not interested, here’s your second opportunity to click the X at the top of your screen. I implore you to stay, comment, share and so forth because that’s how change happens.

I shared this awesome, heartfelt blog on Facebook after nearly reaching tears at its words. Reading the lines made me so proud to be part of this world, even with all of the ugly in it. Then the comments starting pouring in and it became clear to me by 2pm that I couldn’t keep quiet any longer. If you’ve followed this blog from the beginning, you know I have things to say on just about anything.

I’ve been drafting a eulogy of sorts since I found out Trump was running for POTUS; originally intended to be satirical, entertaining, and semi light-hearted because I never, not in one million years, thought that man would win.I re-read my notes now and feel an overwhelming sense of grave correctness.

I remember thinking to myself, when reality TV became a big deal, that these people have incredible, fake power because of their platform. I was young and dumb and didn’t realize that the scripted, dramatized, “realistic,” platform he was standing on then — being overly tanned and screaming “YOU’RE FIRED”– would eventually win him the US Presidency. Now all we hear is, “that’s fake news,” or my favorite, “we have alternate facts.” I just watched Anderson Cooper debate with Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway about some damn BuzzFeed article. ARE. YOU. KIDDING?

Cooper vs. Conway

I am blinded by how openly misogynistic he is, even more so by his flippant attitude towards every person who seems to differ from him. I’m not sure why, but he’s made it a point to hand select the worst cabinet of inexperienced billionaires in the world. <— that statement is more directly about the Secretary of Education that anyone else, really. I can’t get started on my gripes with the Department of Education, I’ll give myself two migraines.

a little info on Betsy. <–incase you were curious.

I suppose I should get to my point.

To me, the things happening in Washington D.C. are truly horrifying; like we’re taking a play right from the House of Cards script or some obscene Hollywood farce. Isn’t a President supposed to listen to his people? Trump is operating in direct defiance of, “Make America Great Again,” his own slogan. Women’s rights are being threatened. The LGBT community is being berated. The education system is in jeopardy. Health care is questionable. Though I am not as thoroughly researched as some of you reading this may be, I can say that the above issues are enough for me to feel fed up with living in a country that promises the best and gives nearly nothing. I know we should write, call, knock on doors, sign petitions, write petitions…get moving. But what happens when there’s no follow through? What happens when we’re shouting just as loud and as fast as we can, only to be silenced with no promise of an answer?

I understand that as an American woman, I have a considerable amount of liberty in comparison to women in other countries. However, the seeming impending decline of women’s’ rights we are facing is menacing at the very least. We are supposed to be the leading example, not the epic failure. The bra-burners of the 60’s didn’t fight with grit in their teeth for nothing. Right?

In a social media sparring round, over the aforementioned blog, the leading commentator began with, “My generation fought the womens’ rights battle and we won.” Grammatical error aside,  I thought, “Awesome, okay. Here is a woman with experience and insight and is no doubt going to show more support for a movement that needs nothing but.” Wrong.

Though she did make some valid points (I’m paraphrasing) :: We should be doing instead of complaining. We should be speaking up instead of staying silent. We should be writing, singing, screaming, and so on…I wish we all had the power to be heard. However, as it stands now, at the end of the day, there’s a cabinet full of men ready to take what former trailblazers worked for. Bras burned for nothing. Innocents beaten for no reason. Uncontrolled emotional chaos. I seriously can’t believe I’m writing about any of this…it seems like the twilight-zone. I think about the First and Second Wave Feminists and I shudder; their thoughts could probably blow DC to smithereens. I am happy to live in what is referred to as Third Wave Feminism, though I have no shred of doubt this particular time in history will have a completely different label by the time its all over. Trump’s threats and attitude towards women’s rights (among a long list of other things) absolutely goes beyond the technicality of law…this movement is dealing with emotion, morality and dare I say it…humanity. There seems to be many humans out there with nothing left but a jaded bitterness on the tongue. Hate is not a remedy for peace. Bigotry is not a remedy for understanding. Ignorance is not bliss.

During the lite inquisition I’ve endured for the last few hours (procrastination at it’s finest) the question was posed: well, what’s your solution? She followed her question up with a motherly “complaining without action is just whining,” to which I rolled my eyes at. If I wanted to complain, I certainly wouldn’t take to Facebook. I would just bore my blog audience with an alphabetized list and move the hell on.

Here’s how I answered::

I have no fcking idea what we should do. I think we should have left Trump at his desk in the middle of Manhattan and let someone else do the job. Am I responsible for the solution? Sure, we all are. That’s why the march happened. That’s why the movement will continue. That’s why the term “feminism” is exploding all over again. That’s why I’m engaging in this obnoxious FB debate with you. I am doing what I can with what I have, yet you say it’s not a solution. Voicing my opinion sounds like a solution to me.

Y’all I will take this honest, sincere moment to display the weakness I absolutely feel in this situation. I feel so helpless and quiet and just generally unheard in a group at any given time, but especially in our here and now. If I deliver any message at all during this less than eloquent rant, it’s this: These are not just “women’s rights” issues, these are human issues. We will continue to face these jarring, momumental moments unless we keep standing together to find a solution. It’s our time. HAVE A VOICE. Keep marching. Keep singing. Keep writing. It is the duty of our nation’s leaders and legislation to hear us, to actualize our needs and feelings, and to take action. We MUST keep holding them accountable. The people we elect in to these offices have to share our values, desires and will to move forward, or nothing changes.

In order to hold these people up, we have to let our demands be known, in addition to providing reasonable, positive solutions. I’ve made a list of my personal wants, with personal ideas on how these problems can be solved. I have listed my main three grievances because I’m sure you’d like to get to the end of this post.

Issue #1: Reproductive rights need improvement, not dissolution.

Solution: Do not shut down funding for Planned Parenthood. So much more than abortion happens there, the doors must stay open. The threat of “punishment” for anyone seeking an abortion is positively antiquated, so eliminate that term all together. Maybe add more real life women in on these discussions, to help with creating the laws.  We live in a world where women are drugged, beaten, raped, and left for dead. Some of you are rolling your eyes, thinking, “nothing has changed, it’s always been that way. I was raped, beaten, drugged, etc” and that is the attitude of complacency I am advocating against. We have the power to change, to be better, to provide our people with more. It shouldn’t be a debate, it should be fact.

Issue #2: Equal pay for women and men should be the standard, not an exception.

Solution: Equal playing field from jump street. Standard qualifications for men and women alike, be that degree or what have you; those requirements need to be the same across the board and communicated to future and present employees. None of this “if your performance is up to snuff” or whatever…equal for the dude who is always five minutes late and the girl who is always early.

Issue #3: Affordable health care should be within reach for every income level in our country.

Solution: This is easy, a no-brainer honestly. Standard health care for each and every person regardless of class or color or whatever stupid stipulation that is in place now. Limit the hoop jumping and circus that is healthcare and help out the doctors and nurses and insurance companies — I feel like this may make me sound unintelligent, but if the healthcare is affordable, and people can afford to have insurance, doesn’t that mean the insurance companies do well too? Call me crazy, but I think that works.

 

I could go on, but these are the main headaches that touch my life and many of the women, men, and children I love. I’m really sick of us just standing around with our thumbs up our asses. Missing the march was enough to make me realize, missing the mark is no longer a standard I’m willing to accept from my country. You shouldn’t either.

If this entire post is blind-siding you, here’s a concise run down on Trump’s plans for Women’s Rights check out what Time had to offer.(if you can call them plans) It is very, very non-committal and doesn’t quite do gravity of the situation justice, though it is factual.

 

29: purposefully defiant

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you know, I  was a little more than disappointed when I realized my birthday was going to be on a Wednesday this year…until I realized that basically gave me the weekend before AND after to celebrate because it’s directly in the middle of those two things. I have debated about what to do and where to go because I always make a big deal out of my birthday, but this year? Nothing. Not a shred of interest in planning. I couldn’t land on a specific taste bud or wish or thought. I knew I wanted to blast Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj all day while driving to and from things, but that was it. Normally, I could honestly care less about any other holiday or break or whatever — I just want to celebrate the hell out of my birthday; every year, always have, always will. This year was different; I felt…underwhelmed. I’m not sure if it’s the idea of rounding the corner to thirty that’s scaring me or if I just don’t care about a number that seems so lame…either way, I didn’t really give a fck about my birthday until everyone else did. That’s never happened. I have people in my life that give a shit about me. ……..weird. right?  I seriously hope some of you are out there experiencing some amazing friendships and love BECAUSE IT EXISTS, Y’ALL. I could expound, but we’d be here until I turn thirty.

I have hit the stride in my life where the people who don’t want to be around aren’t and the people that give a shit are. I heard from all of the major players today before 10am; I’d say that’s pretty good for a bunch of millennials that don’t have normal working hours, most with children, most still in school and balancing a millennial’s worth of work. I am beyond impressed with where my friends are and what we’re doing and accomplishing for a generation that seems so lost to the rest of society. Yeah, it’s hard. It’s ridiculous, it’s a circus; it’s far too emotional and involved than it should be, but that’s the way the cards fell. We’re the Jetsons; we’re creating everything and displaying everything and gathering humble credit by the heap. Sometimes we make it purposefully difficult for ourselves, but that’s everyone I think. For the push, for the drive, or just out of sheer laziness. I’m closer to thirty and honestly no better than the rest of the world at making decisions or choices. I keep thinking that I’ll hit thirty next year and just know what the hell I’m doing; those that I know over thirty hear that and laugh. “We make it up as we go,” a friend says in a reassuring voice, and I know it’s true.

twenty-eight led me to doing more and seeing more and waking the fck up….way more than I thought. I taught 115 (maybe more, maybe less) yoga classes. I traveled to several places in the US and visited Mexico; put on more miles than since my father was alive. I tried new foods, read new authors, explored new religions, and music and ideas. I discovered this whole new me I didn’t know was there, but felt familiar once I found her. I am a more open version of myself; less judgmental, more rational, understanding and willing to forgive. It’s a hard thing to know you don’t want to forgive a person, or situation or moment…but once you do. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew. Wowzers. The introspection is ridiculous and the clarity is unparalleled. Seriously. Approach thirty and get over yourself. It’s amazing.

entering year twenty-nine has made me realize a number of things. I made this list as I laid in bed with my best friend last night (I slept on a giant, fluffy, pink unicorn after laughing my ass off about nothing at all.) I was fearful I might not remember by morning, and I may still be leaving some things out, though these are more observations than anything else::

  1. [most] my tattoos are ten years old. they have been on me and part of my body for an entire decade. I remember walking in to the old location of Speakeasy (a place that does not even exist any more) and thinking, “Okay. One down, 100 to go.” While I don’t plan on have 100 tattoos…I don’t regret them yet. I think they make me unique and I like the idea of maybe one day having to be identified by the treble/bass clef on my right rib cage.
  2. I cannot handle a hangover. Though it does not keep me from testing my limits every now and then. (Last Thursday night was proof, though worth it. Laughter always is. Laugh hard, deal with the hangover, keep going.)
  3. when I am tired, that’s the end. there’s no going back, no second wind, no hope. I am a lost cause to the room I am left in and lets hope there a blanket and a contact case with solution in it.
  4.  i constantly miss my father. the ten-year anniversary of his passing sifted right before my eyes this year and all i could do was blink to acknowledge it. it can’t possibly have been this long. how fast does time pass? is there a way to measure grief? i can’t possibly be continuing on without my best friend, but that’s what I’ve been doing because that’s what he taught me to do; I’ll do it for ten years more, I suppose.
  5. I am finally able to find the humor in abysmal situations. I feel like I could elaborate on this, but if you know me, or if you’re over 25, you know what I mean.

twenty-nine years has really gone too fast. ten years since my dad passed, nearly eleven years since highschool, still in college, no kids, no husband. But I am whole. I am learning, growing, connecting, disconnecting, reflecting, and moving forward. Social formalities seem to allude me.

I know it’s normal to make New Year’s resolutions, but I always wait until my birthday to commit to things. There’s something about being a January baby that just makes your commitment to the happenings of the new year more connected and final. I am aware that everyone has 364 days between their birthdays, but I feel like it’s much more refreshing in January. (and how appropriate for the most OCD star sign, the Capricorn.) This year, I have promised myself to be  better to my mind and my body; to make selections on what I do, drink, eat and etc. that will have only positive effects. I have committed to being purposefully defiant. It’s in my nature to go against the grain, to feel and empathize with minorities, to always be way outside the box and color outside the lines. This year, I’m following the rules to get where I need to be; I’m defying myself — in the sense that I’m reinventing/reshaping what once was — and isn’t that refreshing?  It isn’t always easy for me to say “yes” to what is expected, but sometimes, it’s necessary. I’m following along certain paths to make my dreams easier to reach, and I feel confident certainty is the most adult gift I could ever give myself during this pivotal year. “Thirty, flirty, and thriving,” doesn’t happen over night. I cannot disappoint Jenna.

As I close my eyes to sleep tonight, I am fully aware that:: I am focused, loved, happy, driven, subtly eccentric, and smart. I’m a weirdo, I’m wired backwards..and I wouldn’t change a damn thing. Happy new year and happy birthday to me. May the rest of this twenty-ninth year be full of discovery, travels, and nothing but daily celebration of breath and life.

 

 

EDIT:: I would like to make a note that after I posted this, WordPress notified me that this was my 100th blog. I believe in coincidence and milestone. happy birthday, indeed.