Don’t Ask Me- A Woman

Don’t ask me why I am beginning to drop my normally sweet demeanor and opt for a cold-faced unimpressed personality. Ask me what the effects are of people dismissing the facts I have said and asking for a male to speak to. Apparently for some men and women, you have to be ‘packing down south’ to be heard as credible. I am not generalizing. Not everyone is like this. The percentage of those who are like this have made enough of a dent in our society, however.

You have to talk like a traditional man to be respected. To gain any traction myself and others have had to change their entire personality in public and at school to be heard. It does not gain a person smiles. It gains an individual glares and hostility. The reality is though that people start to listen to you. Just by faking your personality. By talking differently. By lowering tones and changing how you say your sentences.

This is not just a few words from one angry female that can be put down as the words of some crazy feminist. I have been taught in a college class for my degree that generally masculine forms of communication are respected in a working environment while generally female forms are dismissed. Deferring to hear all opinions of coworkers and customers and using key words of understanding is considered weak in the eyes of the workforce. Using firm language and not waiting for other opinions is considered to be admirable.

So yes. Women will begin to act like men when speaking in a work or power environment. If you don’t like that and you choose to glare at them, remember that these women are doing exactly what you have done to them.

Self Realization 

Self realization is like a continuous drip that becomes a puddle. There’s nothing on the floor below a break on the roof. Then after time, suddenly, there is an inscermountable mass that’s brought to the forefront. You can’t deny it. You can’t wish it away. You are what you’ve become, for better or worse. There will never be any going back. And maybe you don’t wish to go back. Maybe you wish to stay where you have found yourself. Just another move down the path. 

Chessboards of Life

I’m not a game. You can’t just save your progress now and come back when you feel like it. You can’t evolve me to the next level when you get bored of where I am at currently. I don’t want to be a game. For anyone. 

You want my best qualities, but none of the worst. You want my smiles, but not my tears. I’m moody. I’m independent. I’m ambitious. I’m passionate. That is what makes me who I am. Take me or leave me. 

I’m full of love, so no, I do not need yours. Don’t forget that. I’m sure of myself because I know what I want: to be love. Not gain it from other people. I want to give love to others and to myself. 

I’m not a pon on a chessboard. I am the chessboard. I neither win or lose a game. I simply am. I don’t care if you are a friend, lover, or family member. If you want to win, then stop playing the game. 

Dreams

One of the best feelings in the world is the euphoria of knowing that the ones you love the most understand your dreams. Does this happen often? I don’t know.

It’s not that these people won’t be supportive. A lot are. However, sometimes it seems that you keep hitting a wall when people question why you sacrifice so much and think so decisively about your future.

My eyes have almost always been future focused. It has been when I glance back at the past behind me, or find myself settling for the present that I lose my identity. I forget what it is to be myself. My worst fear in life is losing my identity. The betrayal of forgetting myself is heart wrenching. Adversity is comfortable to me. Betrayal is not.

Sometimes I feel insane when people ask me what I am doing or why I am putting myself through this stress. I feel as if there is something fundamentally wrong with me and my structure of being is trembling around me. I know that I will never stop because I can never afford to.

I have to keep analyzing my future with pinched eyes because my dreams are such a big part of what makes me what I am. Even when people don’t understand where I’m coming from or insist that my reasoning is irrational. I sacrifice to make myself sure of who I am. To create my own happiness.

Keep dreaming.

What Are We Doing? 

What are we doing?

I sit in class and watch all the people. A girl puts on deodorant and mascara. She must have woken up late. A girl shops for athletic tanktop and sips on her smoothie. Others sleep, watch sports, or doodle in a notebook. And I watch. Take it in. Wondering what we are all doing?

I tune into the professor’s lecture, trying to teach what I consider common sense. Do others think this is common sense? Or is it just me? Is this why they tune out? Or is it because they don’t care?

There is this world around us, full of possibilities. We can be anything we want to be because we were lucky enough to be born in a first world country. And yet. We do nothing. We sit here. Texting. Yawning. Sleeping. Shopping.

Where is the adventure? The social activism? The familial love? The inspiration to do more and build ourselves? Prosper not through money or basic knowledge, but through spiritual growth?

Self Reliance

I don’t know when I started realizing that I had to depend primarily on myself. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of people whom I love and trust. They have their own lives though, and I can’t expect then to be my will power through the hard times. 

I used to have a friend who I thought was my friend-soulmate. We had so many shared interests, the same sarcastic humor, and hated ‘the man’ (a.k.a. the school staff who favored the partying and athletic kids). We were the outcasts of our high school and clung to each other through the worst times. Or what we thought were the worst times. We both had depression issues, mine were worse, and I had anxiety on top of it. This was due to serious medical issues from our pasts and bullying in my case. We healed each other and used each other as life rafts. For her help I will always be thankful. 

Eventually in my junior and senior years, I went through some…things. Sexual assault from someone I considered my best guy friend, a boyfriend who cheated on me when I didn’t give into his advances, and a very sick grandfather were only a few of the occurrences I dealt with. 

Through all of this I just needed support from my friend. At this point she didn’t want anything but fun and pushed me aside when I wasn’t ‘fun’ anymore. 

I had to pick myself up from the ground again. Of course my mother was there, but for the first time it was ultimately myself that had to push through it all. My mother couldn’t hold my hand through the anger, my friend wasn’t there for a shoulder to cry on, and I had to keep a rational mind in order to begin college. I had me, myself, and I. 

And I did it. I realized my love for writing and editing, and I made the decision to switch from a psychology major to English. I powered through the grief and focused on my classes. My security in my own strength and mind increased. Eventually I began to love myself like I had never before. 

I felt more accepting of myself and others because I know now that you never know what a person is going through. I remet myself and gained so much willpower and knowledge from what I went through. 

You have yourself through it all. Be kind to yourself. 

Coffee Isn’t Just For Mornings

I love coffee. It’s not the taste or even the warmth of it as I clutch it my hands. It’s the memories that accompany each taste and sip.

Pumpkin spice lattes remind me of the fall shopping trips I took with my best friend in high school. Rap, country, electronica, and indie songs filled one of our cars as we fought over playlists on our phones.

Black coffee reminds me of my late grandfather. He’d trail his finger back and forth along the handle of his mug as he related to my sister and I stories of his childhood. Now it is my sister’s hands that continue this habit.

Caramel lattes bring forth the shifts I worked at a fast food restaurant with my friends. The giggles that erupted from spraying each other with the dish hose and were quickly shushed when customers approached late at night.

Iced coffee reminds me of the relaxed days I watched Jane Austen adaptations when life became too much. Constant repeats of Pride and Prejudice calmed my rancid and racing fears as I fell into step with Lizzy’s quirky attitude.

I don’t know why the smell of Arabica beans makes me smile. It is a strong and strange smell. I do know coffee triggers memories that are forever linked to my identity and will take me back to any time in my past.

Taking

My energy is spent like the money I have been counting for six hours. Smiles have creased my red lips trying to make someone smile. Hoping that someone will laugh with me. Many people do. Many people don’t.

I give others energy hoping and pleading for them to give some back. Anything. A smile, wink, wave, nod, or even a twitch. Usually I get a grimace, a stare, or a leer.

It is as if we have been raised to take something, say thank you, but never regard whether any energy should be given back to the person.  A bunch of social vampires sucking from the energy of those who haven’t realized what the game is. That caring is losing because we all want to be cared about but most will never be the one to care in the first place. And not just caring that is an ‘of course I love’ or ‘you’re my bitch’. Deep bonding of souls. Acknowledgement of others as unique beings worthy of attention. Something and not nothing.

These victims go home wondering why am I different? What can I do to keep these people around? Why do these thoughts keep racing through my head? I’m not good enough. Will never be enough. Can never be enough. Maybe eventually someone will appreciate the care I take for others. They harden their hearts to prepare for more pain and many eventually become vampires themselves.

Never giving, always taking.

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