Zings, Odes, & Estrogen.

Sometimes I write. Sometimes I don't.

An Overdue Post.

The last year of my life has been a wonderful, blessed blur. I haven’t had the time to actually sit down and write something of substance, and I had initially abandoned this entire blog because I was feeling pretty bummed for a while. But as I reflect on the last year and approach the conclusion of my third year of college, I can’t help but gush over how much I’ve actually grown up and how excited I am to face the growing up I have left to do. In the last year I outgrew and abandoned dead-end and depressing relationships, pushed my boundaries, dabbled in corporate America, jumped out of my comfort zone by revealing more of my personality and identity to the world than I ever had before, took risks, leaps of faith, failed, tried again, succeeded, learned more about myself and my purpose in life, lived more than I ever thought I was capable of, got more piercings (much to the chagrin of my mother), stood up for myself, made connections, made friends, mentors, memories, good grades, bad grades, and sometimes I even had time to sleep.

In short, I can’t help but acknowledge that this has been one hell of a confidence-boosting hallmark of a ride for me—and it’s only the beginning. And deep down, when I’m completely honest with myself, I think a lot of this run-on sentence-induced happiness has to do with both coming out of my shell, and more importantly, my determined attempts to once and for all cultivate meaningful relationships and aspects of my life while rejecting and distancing myself from those I no longer wish to be a part of.

I started off the first two years of school feeling trapped inside of many things I simply was not, and when time came to break that mold I approached it with fear and hesitance because I first mistook those feelings for a fear of change. Later I realized it was really a fear of being myself—and being rejected for who I was. And when I finally understood the reality that I had to stumble, fall, and change who I was and what I was surrounded by, I learned that embracing the positive changes in my life and rolling with the risks and punches could lead me on an incredible journey where I learned who I really was and where I’m supposed to go.

When I look back on all of the foolish things I’ve done and the stupid manner in which I did them, I’m so proud to say I don’t look back on those moments with regret. Instead, I see them as an experience where I learned something that helped me become a better person. I have faith that my attitude and approach to life will continue to lead me to great things. Above all, I’ve learned to laugh at myself, live with myself, and love myself, no matter what others think. I’ve broken some hearts, bent some rules, and pushed my limits more than a few times. But I’d like to think I’m a stronger woman for it.

Don’t get me wrong—I still have a long way to go, and it hasn’t always been a smooth ride, but even in my weakest moments I still feel stronger and more empowered than I ever have before. For the last few years I wearily tiptoed into a whole slew of new experiences with reservation and self-doubt. Now, I’m ready to sink my teeth into anything that comes my way, and I’ll do it my best to take on anything and everything head-on with grace (as much grace as I’m capable of, anyway), enthusiasm, and an open mind.

I’m. So. Ready.

I wouldn’t have gotten here if it weren’t for the help of countless individuals. So if you have touched my life in any way, I thank you. Even if it was an awful experience and I hate you, thank you for teaching me something about life, the world, and myself. And if you’ve been a part of my life in an absolutely wonderful way, I love you and thank you from the bottom of my heart and ask that you continue on this journey with me.

"Perfect" is a Stupid Word.

Within the last week, I’ve seen four articles on the front page of Yahoo! Featuring something in the headline about “the perfect guy”.

One article presented a list of things men can do—and how often to do them—for their significant other so they can be “perfect”. Here, I learned that women should be complimented at least 21 times per month. 

Another article featured a survey that determined who women thought the perfect man was. They were all TV Characters. (For anyone interested, the winner was Patrick Dempsey’s character from Grey’s Anatomy.)

I think it’s sad that society, and women in particular, are all obsessed with finding the perfect guy. It’s a waste of time.

He doesn’t exist.

The first clue should have been that the survey list of “perfect men” were all fictional characters.

And, come on, ladies. We can’t expect men to “do four random acts of kindness once a month” and mindlessly follow some made-up formula of perfection and find the relationship satisfying. I’m not saying I wouldn’t appreciate 21 compliments every month. Actually, that’d be nice. But there’s a difference between genuine, out-of-the-blue compliments that make you feel special and some feverish attempt to complete a honey-do check list in hopes of achieving perfection.

But more importantly, I think us women are missing something here.

We aren’t perfect. We can’t walk on water, we say stupid things, and—newsflash—we’re all unquestionably human. (Except for Paula Deen.)

So if men can’t expect to find perfection in us, then who are we to demand perfection of them?

I should also stop expecting to find decent articles on Yahoo! Shine.

I was using my dad’s phone to text my mom something and I saw this. Now I can’t unsee it. 

I was using my dad’s phone to text my mom something and I saw this. Now I can’t unsee it. 

Bro.

People are never stagnant; we’re constantly evolving. Similarly, when you put two people together, no matter what label their relationship has, it will never remain constant.

It’s with that in mind that I’ve recently chosen to embrace an opportunity presented to me with a new perspective.

For those of you who don’t know, I come from a blended family. I have four siblings, three of them being eight to thirteen years older than me, one being six years younger. And my relationship with each of them has never been and will never be stagnant.

My oldest brother, Bubba, (His real name is Kenny, but we call him Bubba. Or Bubbutt.) and I have always had a peculiar relationship. We aren’t very similar beyond the fact that we both like money. In fact, that’s probably our only mutual interest.

My brother left home when he was sixteen. I was four. Since then, I’ve always described our relationship as one where if we were close, we would have a very typical “big brother-little sister” relationship; however, we weren’t close. In fact, for most of the last sixteen years, I probably only saw him a few times a year. Every time I did, though, empty promises were made and I always got excited that things would be different and I’d eventually start spending more time with him.

Those promises were never fulfilled, things never changed, and eventually, this disappointed little girl simply gave up. Why bother?

And so, any hope I ever had at being close to him diminished greatly. When he came around, it wasn’t for very long; on holidays, he showed up for the food—usually food I cooked—and left; when he called, I didn’t show much enthusiasm at all; when he asked about things going on in my life, I kept conversations at a minimum; when he started inviting me to hang out with him, I quickly declined. To make matters worse, I’ve always shown a harsh favoritism amongst my siblings; while my relationship with my sister is in constant disarray, I’ve always been close to my brother, Chad. Sometimes, when my little brother, AJ, takes a break from being an angst-ridden thirteen year old boy, we get along, too. But I always described Bubba as this somewhat-estranged brother that never really comes around.

Recently, my brother has been going through some hard times. As a result, he started going to church with my parents every Sunday about eight months ago. When I’m home from school on Sundays, he’s always there. A few months ago, he started staying at my parent’s house a lot more frequently. I guess a couch is your best bet when you don’t really have anywhere else to go. A few months ago, my parents were blessed to have the ability to purchase the almost-condemned house behind ours. They’re paying him to tear it down, so it only makes sense that he spends the night at our parent’s house. In other words, I’ve spent a lot more time with Bubba in the last six months then I have in the last twenty years of my life combined.

The other day, he came into the living room to watch game four of the NBA finals. While I have never had an interest in basketball whatsoever, he’s a Lebron James fan-boy. I was just about to leave the room, when he asked me who I was rooting for. For some reason, instead of my usual, “I don’t care,” response, I decided to mess with him and say I was pulling for the Spurs. This led to a bunch of smack-talk over a stupid basketball game. It also led to me watching the rest of the NBA Championship with my brother (elevated smack-talk included).

I didn’t think much at the time, but we’ve never bonded more than we did over those dumb basketball games. Beneath all of the sports-fueled battle of wits, we were actually talking. And not just about Lebron James, either. I actually opened up.

It wasn’t until my dad mentioned in passing that Bubba had told him of his determination to re-establish a relationship with me that I started feeling really, really awful.

Looking back, I think my sentiments were painfully obvious that I really didn’t care what happened between us, because I never expected anything to change. I’m embarrassed by the lack of empathy and compassion I had towards the situation. On the outside, I just seemed like an emotionless bitch. On the inside, I was hurt, but I never had any intention of making that known. (Note: I’m ignoring the fact that he’s spent the last sixteen years struggling with his own issues, because at the time, that’s not exactly something that crosses the mind of someone when they’re upset, too.)

It’s overwhelming to try and wrap my head around the concept of someone trying so hard to reach out to me when I spent so much time making it clear that I didn’t care.  Can you imagine the patience that must go into something like that? That he cared that much that we have a close relationship, despite my cold shoulder treatment, is pretty cool.

With that being said, that tiny ounce of hope inside of me that I let die a long time ago is alive again. It’s time that I start trying, too.

It’s really sad that people have to be told that they should prioritize their kids over other things. It’s also pretty sad that people who are more concerned about their dogs than their newborn child are able to procreate. 

It’s really sad that people have to be told that they should prioritize their kids over other things. It’s also pretty sad that people who are more concerned about their dogs than their newborn child are able to procreate.