Unsent Letters

Hey friends! I know I haven’t blogged in a while, and I apologize! I’ve actually been writing other things including an extremely non creative fictional story. But hey, its something I enjoy doing so I’m gonna keep writing it! Maybe one day I’ll share some of it here, maybe not. I also recently wrote a long letter to someone that I don’t actually intend on sending. That’s what I’m here to talk about.

A little over a year ago I was encouraged by a friend to write a letter to someone with whom I’d had a falling out. I’d grown resentful of this person for causing another friendship of mine to falter. So I took the advice. I wrote a letter that I would never ever actually send. I was feeling extreme anger and said some incredibly hurtful things that I would never in a million years actually say to anyone, even my worst enemy! But the thing is, it really helped. I knew I was feeling angry and hurt, but until I wrote that letter I couldn’t pinpoint why. After writing it, I knew exactly what my feelings were, and I’d processed them in a safe way. It felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.

A year later (a few weeks ago) I was dealing with some different feelings. The situation and person could not have been more different from one another. I’m not going to get into too many details, but I thought to myself, “maybe I should write a letter.” So that’s what I did. I wrote a letter. This time the letter was much friendlier. I talked about all of the good times we shared and even smiled while I wrote it, a far cry from the previous letter. In some ways, it still hurt me to write it. It felt like I was talking directly to the person I was writing to and it truly sucked, but in the end I again felt a weight lifter off my shoulders.

Why am I telling you all of this? I’m encouraging you to do the same. If there’s anyone in your life that you have a lot to say to but you can bring yourself to admit it to their face yet, write them a letter that you don’t actually send. Make sure you use pen and paper or Word, not email. That could end up bad! I’m telling you that it works, especially when you just need to externally process! If I’m being honest, I could easily publish a novel of all the unsent letters I should’ve written by now! It doesn’t have a to be a long letter; it could be just one paragraph, but if you feel like you just can’t get something out of your brain, write a letter!

I hope this was all coherent! I’m not proofreading tonight. I’ll write a better blog in the future, but for now I’m gonna go write another letter because I just convinced myself that I need to!

When the Timing Just Isn’t Right…….Ever.

First of all, hey all! I got a new computer so I’m able to blog again! =)

I’ve been thinking a lot about timing recently. Not too long ago I posted a Facebook status that prompted my friends to like it and in return I’d answer a few questions about them. The questions were as follows:
“How did we meet?”
“What was my first impression of you?”
“What do I like about you?”
and finally, “What is my favourite memory of you?”
It got me really thinking about the past. About how some relationships, both platonic and romantic, would have been had the timing just been different. Right. Questions came to my mind like, “what if I hadn’t moved?” and “what if I hadn’t listened to what that particular friend told me?” These questions brought up this idea that if the timing had just been right, everything would have worked out.

I was originally planning to tell a few tales of relationships that could have been very different had the timing been “right,” but as I tried to construct my sentences, I was having a hard time making certain people unidentifiable, and since I share this blog on Facebook, there is a chance that they could read about themselves, and I’m just not ready for that. (I know I said I started this blog so I could openly talk about whatever I want, but that’s just it. I don’t want to share certain feelings right now. Not publically at least.) Let’s just say that there were many instances, in each case, that had I thought the timing was right, I would have said or done something different. For example, at one point I was potentially going to move in with a friend who disapproved of the guy I was interested in, so I stopped talking to him. I didn’t want to be in a relationship with someone who my roommate didn’t like because it could lead to an awkward situation. So I “sisters before misters” that mister because the timing just wasn’t right. The kicker? I didn’t even end up living with her! My point? I let go of something I wanted because it was “bad timing.” (Hey look! I shared a part of one of the stories I was originally going to tell! Go me!)

So when is the timing right? To tell you the truth, I have no idea! You’re asking the wrong girl! But honestly, I don’t really think anyone knows. In movies we always see that perfect moment happen. Whether its landing a dream job or finally getting together with a crush, fictional characters seem to always find the right timing, and it makes us expect the same. We all expect everything to feel right, but to be honest, some of the best things that have ever happened to me didn’t feel “right” at the time! So why do I still try to wait for things to feel right? That’s an excellent question that I don’t have the answer to!

I’m having trouble coming up with a conclusion here, so I’m just going to say don’t try to wait for the right timing. Don’t give up on something you want because the timing just isn’t right. Its never going to feel like the “right time.” Go for it! Whatever it is, go for it! (This blog was kind of a letter of sorts to myself, sorry. But y’all probably needed to hear it too!)

 

Pink vs. Blue: Which Restroom Should I Use?

Recently there’s been a lot of controversy as to which restroom trans people should use. There are really only two sides to this argument. One being that people should use the restroom of the gender they were anatomically born as; the other being that they should use the restroom of the gender that they identify as. I’m on the third side of this argument. Yes, I meant to say third. Let me explain why.

In my opinion, there’s really no sense in having separate restrooms for males and females. With the exception of urinals in the men’s room, when you walk into a public restroom you don’t see people taking a leak out in the open. Each toilet is in its own private stall with a locking door. So why in the world do we need our own gender specific bathrooms? I’ve come up with a couple of reasons I can think of.

  1. Men don’t want to wait for women- I get it. There’s often a line for the women’s room, and men don’t have this problem. There have been many times when I’ve felt the urge to just use the men’s room so that I didn’t have to wait in a line, and I have no reservations using the men’s room if they’re the single bathrooms like what you often find at gas stations. (Single bathrooms being gender specific is just ridiculous anyway!)
    Solution: There could be urinal stalls. Women can’t use urinals anyway, so the men are set if they just have to pee, but really they could just have some patience.
  2. Sexual predators- It seems like a lot of people think that all men turn into sexual predators when they walk into a woman’s restroom. It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but apparently it’s a real concern of some people.
    Solution: A solution is not needed. The idea that this would be an issue is absurd! Do these people not realize that sexual predators exist outside of public restrooms? Do they not realize that this could happen without the mixing of genders?
  3. Women want their privacy- We all know that women go to the bathroom in groups. If you didn’t know, it’s often to gossip about men. If there are men and women in the same bathroom, us women won’t be able to gossip. Another way that women, and probably men too, like privacy is that we don’t like to take a dump with the other gender, or really anyone, around.
    Solution: Get over it!

What I’m really saying here is that if we eliminate gender specific restrooms, which serve no purpose other than segregation, then we eliminate the controversy over which bathroom trans people should use. Yes, I know it won’t happen overnight, but new establishments could, and should, adopt the idea of a co-ed restroom situation. Sure it’ll also create controversy at first, but eventually people will get over it and it’ll be the norm!

Side note: If you’re curious about my actual stance, I believe that people should use the restroom of the gender that they identify as.

It’s a Small World After All

I just wanted to make a quick post to talk about how amazed I am by this blog so far! I started this blog on February 16, 2016 purely because I wanted to openly talk about things. I tried to keep a schedule of Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, with Saturday being a day to share recipes, but lately I’ve had a lack of inspiration. I could talk more about my lack of inspiration, but that’s not my point today. My point today is that it’s a small world after all. Now you probably have the song stuck in your head. You’re welcome!

Since I made my first blog post just two months and three days ago, I’ve gained eight followers. Eight followers isn’t a lot, but it is eight more than I thought I’d have! What’s more amazing than that is how far my thoughts and recipes have reached in such a short amount of time! WordPress does this cool thing where they track where your views come from, and as a lover of all things geography and maps, I absolutely love it! So I decided to write a list of all of the countries my readers have been from in the past sixty-three days. I have reached THIRTEEN countries on FIVE continents! I am seriously amazed! And just for fun, here’s a list of those countries:
1. United States- I mean, duh. It’s where I’m from after all.
2. Canada- Also no surprise. As a great man I met in Louisville, KY once said, “[Canada] isn’t even another country. It’s like a suburb.” And I have Canadian friends.
3. United Kingdom- I know people who live there. They speak English.
4. Australia- Also English-speaking. Makes sense.
5. New Zealand- I know one Kiwi. Jo, did you read my blog?!
6. Germany- Yep. I’ve got German friends. I also used to live there.
7. Denmark- Okay, so I know some Danes too.
8. Netherlands- I mean, we had a Dutch foreign exchange student in high school…
9. Poland- It’s in Europe. That’s not too crazy.
10. Indonesia- I know people of Indonesian decent. Does that count?
11. Russia- I feel like this should surprise me more than it does.
12. Colombia- What up South America?!
13. Curacao- I don’t even know where you are! =/

And because I like maps:
countries

The internet is a crazy place! When I was born twenty-six years ago, no one could probably have imagined that one day people across the world would be able to read what I wrote sitting in my house in Missouri. It’s amazing to think that I can easily reach people worldwide! Next goal: have someone in Africa read my blog!

My Greyhound Experience

A couple of weeks ago, I rode the Greyhound bus for the very first time. I’ve been on numerous planes, a few trains, and multiple different subway systems in my life, but the Greyhound was a new experience for me. Wanting to be prepared on what to expect, I perused the web reading blogs about others’ experiences riding the bus. Many people talked about how since the bus is relatively cheap compared to other transportation, the passengers can be some interesting people. They also mentioned the poor quality of bus stations, especially the bathrooms. Naturally, all of these things made me nervous about travelling alone, especially as a female, on the Greyhound, but I have to say, my experience was not all that bad.

The most uncomfortable part for me was waiting at the bus stations in between legs. Throughout my trip, I spent time at three very different stations. I would use the word station loosely to describe the stop in Joplin, MO. It’s really just a desk inside of a gas station on the outskirts of town. The waiting area is a like one of the little sheds you buy at Lowe’s with some extremely uncomfortable seats inside, along with a couple of old video games to waste your money on. Although the bathroom inside the gas station was the nicest of the three, this was my least favourite station due to not having any staff inside of the waiting area. It was quite uncomfortable. The second station I waited in was Kansas City, MO. This was an actual station, and although it’s in a rough part of town, I was the most comfortable waiting there. The station was quite busy despite it being after midnight when I arrived, making it somehow seem safer. The bathrooms weren’t spectacular, but were no worse than your typical public restroom. My final station was in Omaha, NE. When I arrived, it was dark out, and I did notice that it was also in a not so nice area, but I didn’t notice anything else until a few days later when I was leaving. The station itself wasn’t terrible, just very clearly an old building that felt dirty, especially the bathroom. Overall I’d say that yes, Greyhound stations are not the nicest of places, but all together not horrible.

Before I began my trip, I was most worried about the people. I read a lot about how a lot of drug addicts and ex-convicts use Greyhound, and was nervous to travel alone around these types of people. When I was waiting in Joplin, I did end up meeting an ex-convict who was arrested for drug possession along with two other former drug addicts and a truck driver. The truck driver was a young respectable looking man and had he not been there, I may have been really uncomfortable. I was already uneasy being the only female in the station with these four men even though two of them mentioned that finding faith in Jesus Christ helped them overcome addiction. It was actually really cool to hear the witness of these two men though. Eventually another lady showed up which helped me relax. I witnessed extreme generosity from this woman. One of the men didn’t have much, so she gave him here hoodie to keep. I also met a couple of people while boarding my bus from Kansas City to Omaha. One was a man from Texas who was on his way to visit his son in Omaha. The other was a guy about my age moving to Omaha from Atlanta for a fresh start. He was really nice, and even offered to share his snacks that his mama packed for him. My point here is that no matter the background of people, they’re just there to travel too.

Was my experience taking the bus bad? No. Am I glad I experienced bus travel? Of course! Would I choose to travel by Greyhound alone again? Probably not. With another person? Possibly. Do I recommend it? If you can’t afford a plane and the train doesn’t go where you need to go, it is a viable form of transportation as long as you’re cautious of your surroundings and open to meeting interesting people! If its more than a day’s trip, it might be worth making a vacation of it. Take a day or two in the cities where you’ll switch buses the explore if you can swing it. It could end up being like a road trip where you don’t have to drive if you take someone with you!

The Words of My 18 Year Old Self

Call me crazy, but I actually kept the essays I wrote my senior year of high school. I think at some point a teacher pointed out that they might come in useful in college. That didn’t happen, but I did get an idea last week when I didn’t have a planned blog. This week I found myself not knowing what I’d blog about, so now those essays are going to come in handy on this blog. If you read my blog every week, you’ve probably gotten a sense of my writing style, if I have one, so I thought it’d be cool to share something I wrote eight years ago. (I also can’t believe I was a senior in high school EIGHT years ago!) This particular excerpt is from an essay I wrote about a book we read in my composition and rhetoric class. (I’m pretty sure that I didn’t read the whole book and wrote this the night before it was due. You’ll notice how I barely talk about the book at all, though this isn’t the whole essay. Yay procrastination!) According to my works cited page, the book was called Maiden Voyage and was written by Tania Aebi. The only thing I actually remember about the book is that the author sailed around the world solo. So without further ado, here’s some words I wrote as a high school senior! (Hopefully this isn’t too embarrassing.)

(The first quote is from near the end of the book.)
We often take what we have at the moment for granted. “I could have walked faster than Varuna was sailing and I felt like jumping off the boat and running over the water to land.” Although when in context this quote does not have much meaning, it does make for a good analogy. All through our lives we are looking forward to the next step, not enjoying what we have right now. All through high school we look forward to college; we want to jump off the boat and run towards the land, but now as we get ready to graduate in a few weeks we realize that that land is closer than we want it to be. I have looked forward to graduating and going to college all through high school. Up until a few weeks ago, I have been extremely excited for graduation, but when I went to the post office the other day to mail off my graduation announcements, I realized how close I am to leaving high school behind forever. Throughout this year I have become closer to a lot of friends, some people I didn’t even know before this year, or even November, (not sure why I felt to add the November part…) and I am wishing that we would have become closer long ago. I feel like I haven’t had enough time to get to know them as well as I should. I have also started to get along better with people that I have never got along very well with in the past. I sometimes wish that I could start my high school journey over again in the middle of the ocean, my boat far away from the land, but I will always regret something and feel the same way when I get to this point, no matter how man time I get to start over. I can’t start my high school journey over again though. It is about time for me to jump off of my boat onto the land and start a new journey, a new chapter in my life. After I came to this realization, I started to make the most of the time I have left in high school and appreciate everything that I currently have. Leaving behind my life that I have known for four years will be incredibly difficult, especially feeling like I haven’t had enough time here. It will be hard for me to start my new journey. For most of us our journeys will most likely be much easier than Tania’s. Going to college or starting a career seems to me to be much less challenging than sailing around the world alone. Starting our new journeys will be hard for all of us, but no matter how much we might want to, we can’t stay right where we are forever.

There you have it folks! This paper is dated May 1, 2008 and I graduated on the 17th that same month, so it was pretty timely. I used a lot of really long sentences, and I still do, but the idea of my final statement remains true. Don’t be afraid of what’s to come! Embrace the future! When I wrote this, I had no idea what my future had in store. All I knew is that I was going to Missouri State University. I never could have imagined all of the crazy experiences I’d have or all of the amazing people I’d meet!

And just to add a photo somewhat relevant to the blog, here I am during my senior year of high school (I had to return that hoodie, but I really wish I still had it!):
ice skating

Controversial T-Shirts and Over-Sensitive People

I recently watched this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J61rjizQ564

You might be wondering why I’d watch this video in the first place. The answer is simple; I subscribe to this YouTube channel. The channel posts videos featuring two regular hosts, John Iadarola and Hannah Cranston, discuss their opinions on different topics. Some of the topics are serious, while others are all in fun. This particular video features Hannah Cranston along with a guest co-host, but the premise is still the same.

If you didn’t go ahead and watch the video, the two hosts are discussing a t-shirt that was recently released in, and soon after pulled from, Forever 21 stores. The t-shirt was a part of their men’s line. (I didn’t even know that Forever 21 sold men’s clothing in the first place.) Here’s a photo of it:
tshirt

As you can see in the photo, it’s a pretty simple white shirt with the phrase, “Don’t say maybe if you want to say no” printed on it. Apparently a lot of people found this t-shirt offensive. They say that it “promotes rape culture,” but nowhere on this shirt do I see a reference to sex/rape of any kind. The idea that this promotes rape is totally implied. However, enough people complained that Forever 21 took action.

“Forever 21 strives to exemplify the highest ethical standards and takes feedback and product concerns very seriously,” the company said in a statement.

“With regards to the t-shirt in question, upon receiving feedback from our customers, we took immediate action to have it removed from our website. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by the product.” –Today.com

According to the video, I didn’t do my own research on this, Forever 21 did not actually remove the shirt from their website but rather listed it as sold out so now, as Hannah Cranston pointed out, “It’s a popular shirt promoting rape.” This is another issue in and of itself, and one that I will not get into.

Here’s my opinion on the matter. I don’t see how this t-shirt in any way promotes rape, unless you are purely assuming that it is in fact referring to sex, and as a good friend of mine says, “Assumptions are like armpits and butt holes. They stink!” That refers to this too. Let’s say you don’t assume that this particular t-shirt refers to sex. What is it referring to then? Personally, I think that it’s trying to relay a positive message. In our culture it’s almost taboo to tell someone no. At work and in our personal lives we feel pressured to always say yes. Whether its taking on extra work at your job when you’re already stressed out or going out with friends when what your body really needs is rest, it can be hard to tell someone no. Maybe is our cop-out answer. If your friend asks you to go out Saturday night and you want to say no, you’re likely to say, “Maybe, I’ll have to check my schedule,” and later give her an excuse about being busy or forgetting instead of using the word no. I think the t-shirt is empowering people, men and women alike, to not feel guilty for using that two letter word.

Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I think people got way over-sensitive about a shirt. If it in some way actually insinuated that it was referring to sex, sure I’d understand the controversy, but it doesn’t. I can honestly tell you that I think people were upset about this because in this day in age we’re always looking for something to offend us so we can complain about it. I’d almost bet you that more than half of those who complained to Forever 21 wouldn’t have if someone hadn’t pointed out to them that this could be referring to sex, but because we can’t think for ourselves anymore (an entirely different problem that maybe I’ll address in a later blog), a bunch of people jumped on a bandwagon with someone else.  So if you didn’t get anything else out of this blog, at least take away this; remember to think for yourself! You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to agree with your family. You don’t have to agree with the media, and you certainly don’t have to agree with the general public! Get educated and make your own opinions!