Friday, July 29, 2011

To marry or not to marry~

Now, I don't plan on getting married any time soon. I want to focus on school and career.
But I am secretly (well, not such a secret anymore) afraid of marriage. I'm afraid I'll choose the wrong person, or get divorced. I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket. Perhaps that comes from watching the marriages in my family.

My parents were married fifteen years. Soon after they got married, they had me and my brother. They divorced soon before I turned fifteen.  My dad was very much in love with her, maybe still is, but she wasn't.  At least, not anymore. She had an affair with the guy who put an addition onto our house.  A house which my father put so much work into. This not discovered til much later, after the divorce, and she has no remorse.

Now divorce on my Dad's side of the family, all Irish Catholics, I can't think of a single person. It's just not done, and all seem to have happy marriages with lots of children (emphasis on a lot). But on my mom's side of the family it is frighteningly common. I can only think of a handful who are still married, and half of them are miserable in their marriages. I hope I don't end up like the latter.

When I get married, one day and hopefully the rest of my life, I will take it seriously. I will work hard on it.  I will be faithful, as going into the arms of another doesn't fix problems, only creates them.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Forever and Ever

One day I was sitting in my living room watching television with my family. I looked over at my parents and thought... these people are each other's best friend. They really don't talk to anyone else. Possibly a friend or sibling every once in a while. They sort of talk to their co-workers but it doesn't seem like it is about very much of importance. They hang out with other couples sometimes too. But really they are what each other has for the most part.

(My parents and I)

Sitting there I had this horrible feeling in my stomach. It freaked me out. I have always been a believer in love and marriage. Even though I have seen some stuff through my parents. While in high school my dad cheated on my mom and we went through a very trying time. But they stayed together. That solidified what marriage meant to me. No matter that it may affect trust issues or the what not. Marriage is meant to be for good. Marriage is forever and forever.

I am definitely of the ideal that if i get married or when I get married that I take that very seriously. There will ultimately be no divorce if I have anything to say about it. I know that one cannot always get what they want. I also understand that it may not go the way I would like it.

Since a young age when I had my first "boyfriend," I have always felt almost sick when I would get affectionate pet names or gestures from them. It always made me want to drop everything and run to the farthest place from that point. It has always confused me. I am perfectly okay with diving into something with a guy who is totally wrong for me or just easy to be with... those "bad" guys I guess you would say. It was easy to do that. But the good guys the ones that would the good best friend type like my parents have... Those guys I would get to that first time they would say something great or call me a nice little name or give a great gesture and then I would bolt. I would convince myself... I don't have the same feelings as they do.


But I think that is how I know that I am definitely not in the place for marriage. It could have something to do with the fact that I am not currently dating or in love with someone as to why I have that feeling right now. But I don't think that explains all the other times. I think that always helps a little bit to put you in the place for that kind of a commitment. I am not surprised though. My older sister waited a while to get married and she acted exactly as I do. She is extremely happy now and has twin boys in her world now :)

That gut wrenching feeling I had in my stomach was scary. I think that is because it is a scary step in someone's life... to be ready to have that person be the one you have when most of your friends get married and your siblings go places... they will be that person you talk to at the end of every work day... not your parents.

Ultimately I think the forever and ever made my stomach jump around a little bit in me there. Letting myself love someone that much is terrifying. I know I am definitely capable. I do feel very intensely like that quote I put in my post about shame. "Honey, at least you have the courage to feel. You feel everything so deeply. You're your father's daughter." 


(my college roommate and her husband on their wedding day)


I am sure when it is the right person it will all make sense. But for now I am not going to search. I am quite content and comfortable in myself. I'd rather be alone and happy than married and miserable. My parents give me a lot of hope though. Even with everything that has happened, they love each other more than ever.

Have a great week all!

<3 Tracey

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Marriage...a Natural Selection?

I'm going to get married. Well, not now. But eventually.

I am a skittish worry-wart. Here are the top 3 things I'm afraid of:
1.
Clowns.
2. Anything creepy-crawly with too many eyes and furry body parts.
3. That I'll
marry someone who is secretly insane, someone who doesn't actually love me/I actually don't love, or not get married at all.

If nobody has taken a gander at my picture in the "Authors" page, I'll just let you know...I'm Chinese American. Chinese culture emphasizes "smart" marriages, especially when it comes to the women. First question my parents will undoubtedly ask: CAN HE SUPPORT YOU WITH HIS HIGH-POWERED JOB THAT HE MUST HAVE?! I am prepared for this. Oh, further proof that Chinese-heritaged women often choose power over good looks or whatever: the uncontested 3 top Chinese actresses Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, and Zhang Ziyi all married/dated really unattractive, powerful men. Gong Li has the most beautiful face and healthy-looking body I have ever seen a 40 year old woman have and her husband, not even being silly, looks like a potato.



Are you serious?

Michelle Yeoh married and I'm pretty sure is still married to the guy who owns Nascar. And Zhang Ziyi, still young bless her soul, dated Aviv Nevo, a major Israeli business mogul or something like that. He is terrifying. Yes, world...these are my role models.

My parents made a smart marriage. Luckily they actually love each other. It could be because they're both the product of a super specific kind of hyphenated Chinese community that I'm actually not allowed to specify for my own protection (think daughter and son of the 2 most powerful families in the region kind of thing). It could be that they love each other, it could also be that divorces are huge f-cking deal in Chinese [American] culture. I have a big, big family, and I can't think of anyone who has gotten a divorce. It's just...not done in my family. Loyalty, dedication, weathering the storm with your spouse...those are the values of marriage my parents instilled in me. I don't know if this is a Chinese thing or what...And those who don't get married are judged. Reeeeeeeally badly. My dad is actually putting up his older sister, my aunt, a spinster that we in the house can barely tolerate because she's so socially awkward. Unmarried. My sibs and I are unsure if she's even ever had a boyfriend. It's really uncomfortable to think about. My sibs and I live everyday in fear of becoming like her. My parents use it as a threat: "You need to get out and do something or else you're going to end up like
your aunt." Dun dun DUNNN. My youngest brother already told me he wouldn't let me bum off him if I never married.

I went through this phase in my freshman year of college where everything I did was scientific. It must've been because I was taking Introduction to Anthropology, which is all about primates and natural selection and sexual selection. I wanted to date and marry for the sake of my future offspring. I needed someone tall and Chinese American (what can I say, I'm a Slytherin, I want pure-blood children JUST PLAYIN' it's a cultural thing) who comes from a good family with no health problems and good grades. Then I met Jon. He was a 6'3" fútbol player majoring in biochemical engineering who was also quite nerdy--his nerd forté was Lord of the Rings. He had the longest lashes I've ever seen. He was the stuff of romance novels. Shy, unassuming, chivalrous, good-looking, smart. He also wasn't Chinese, he was puertoriqueño. It was doomed love. I was still suffering from my scientific phase when I got my acceptance to transfer to uni in LA...and I broke up with him based on the development that we wouldn't be going to school with each other any more and on the constant nagging sad feeling that he wasn't Chinese.

I don't know when I decided I would marry Chinese American. Maybe it was when I self-discovered how much I
hate yellow fever in guys, and one of the only ways to avoid that is by marrying ABC (American-Born Chinese). Maybe it's because most of my long-lasting friendships with guys have been with other Asian Americans because there is less culture clash. I'm not obscured by the Oriental veil with them. Note: The "Oriental veil" is the phenomenon when a non-Asian American can't get past my Chinese appearance and assumes I'm not American/can't be American, and thus treats me like I don't know what July 4th is or something ridiculous like that. I can tell my parents are super duper happy that I've decided quite firmly to marry a Chinese American dude.

I'm only 20, so I have the rest of college and eventually business school to think about marriage. To be honest? I can't wait. I'm really excited. Chinese American weddings are the bomb.
I always tell myself that I can't worry about divorce because I'm not even married. If I avoid marriage because of divorce, then I've defeated myself before I've even started.

---
Speaking of marriage, have you guys seen pictures of Duchess of Cambridge's wedding gallery? Personally, I thought the display of her dress was kind of creepy! But her dress is so gorgeous. Shame the display wasn't better thought out, yeh?



Hurry baaa-aaack, hurry baaaaaa-aaaaaack! Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, anyone?

Happy Humpday, errbody~
xo
É

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Playing House


I am only nineteen and three failed relationsips into this game of chance and already I have sworn off marriage and children. One could say that the reservations that have built up within me like cancer were inevitable. For instance, the married couple in the photos that adorn my house are not my parents, and the smiles that in turn adorn their faces are not genuine. My mother had me with one man, two years later had my next sister with another and finally my three youngest sisters with the man who is now her husband (and i use the term man loosely). Most children are taught that one falls in love, marries in white and finally has children. I on the other hand shunned those expectations early on because I was experiencing a different reality. A backwards one that defied all of the things I was "supposed" to do, a reality product of love lost, abandonment, so called sin and empty marriage. I blame life's wry sence of humor for throwing five girls into the whirlwind that is my mothers love life. How could we ever be expected to survive; seemingly mission impossible.


I have been jockingly proposed to a number of times in my life and each time I have responded with some cliche soap opera/romantic comedy mimic or another. However, part of me dies just a tincy bit inside after each role play. I am above all else a realist and I understand how hard it really is to locate and maintain true love and how much harder it is to keep believing in the ideal of a soul mates. "Playing house" is as close as I feel most people these days ever get to a happy marriage and it's disheartening when we are forced to leave our scripted fantasies in order to read the latest statistics.

These statistics have the power to spark fear, to promote doubt and even diminish hope. My opinion on marriage is : Who Cares. Don't say when I'm older and I get married, instead say when I'm older and I am in Love ... because that is what made marriage so speacial in the first place, the unconditional love that it promised. If I have learned anything it is not to fear love but to be careful with it.  

Camii

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Will Not Be a Statistic

In Plato's The Symposium, he presented the theory of soul mates with the story of humans who originally had four legs, four arms, and two heads. Zeus, threatened by their power, tore humans in two each, condemning them to search their whole lives for their other half in order to complete one another. Well, let's just say that my parents weren't one of those lucky couples to find their missing arms and legs and they promptly divorced when I was seven years old after fourteen years of fighting. 

My parents are 1 out of every 2 couples in the United States who get divorced each year, in fact, you could argue that the statistics say marriage isn't logical or even rational when you look at the numbers. But if you look at the facts, bees shouldn't be able to fly either.

At that point in my life, I didn't know too much about it. I knew what divorce was, what marriage was, and understood a basic concept of what Love entailed. But I was seven, so naturally I didn't understand that much. As I've gotten older though and grown up in the wake of my parents splitting (quite messily, I might add), I've started to see things in a somewhat newer perspective. I ended up turning into a bit of a hopeless romantic as I got older and I started to think about Love on a much deeper level, what it meant to be "In Love," how you'd feel, what you'd think, if you'd feel different -- I ended up falling in Love once, well, at least that's what I thought it was. I can never be too sure.

My father's parents have been married for 53 years, my mother's (less happily than my father's) for 47, my Aunt and her husband dated for 25 years before finally getting married to one another at a seaside ceremony about a year ago, while my mother and father have found their own respective new loves who have weathered through the years with them. One couple that my parents have known for over two and a half decades have been together since they were 16 and 17 -- they're now in their late 70s. How did they do it? I wish I knew, but I know they had one method I plan on applying in the future. Whenever they fought, they refused to go to bed angry with one another. They would never fight and go to bed having said something cold to one another before sleeping should something happen. They'd go for days without sleeping, often ending in mutual apologies from sleep deprivation. For as crazy as it seems though, it worked. They have a successful farm, operated two businesses, and raised three children.

But for all of that and all the prospective dating and potential suitors that have come and gone, I've only had one person remain as a constant partner in my life and that's really convinced me of a couple things in regards to marriage. Ironically, he's the first person I thought I loved, who my friends often remark is perfect for me or how he and I are clearly meant for each other, and has been with me longer than most of my high school friends. We recently spoke lightly about marriage, the prospect of it, and I said something to the effect of this:

"Most girls I know have planned their weddings down to the flowers since they were little, I haven't. I never even thought about getting married seriously and I don't want to, not unless I'm 100% sure I won't get divorced. I'm not going to get married and have kids just so it can fall apart. I want to be as sure as I can that it's going to work."

His response was almost identical -- his children will never go through what he has.

I don't know when I came to this conclusion exactly or even, but I've stood by it. I'm not going to let myself become a statistic. I won't allow myself to haphazardly get married to someone which is what seems to be the biggest problem for people. I'm going to be sure, I'm going to know that they're the one for me even if it takes years for us to get it right, and I won't lose them no matter what the fight because I will never fall subject to the 1 in 2 statistic that plagues American couples. I expect fighting and sleepless nights, cold words and troubled times, but I don't plan on getting divorced and I'll find someone with those same values.


I saw this post on Tumblr today. It said this....

I've Always Wanted...
A Story like Jack & Rose
A Kiss like Spiderman & Mary-Jane
A Fight like Elizabeth & Darcy
A Friendship like Ron & Hermione
A Connection like Robbie & Julia
A Dance like Troy & Gabriella
A Strength like Edward & Bella
A Secret like Romeo & Juliet
An End like Noah & Allie

And with that in mind, I'll end this post with a video that sets me off bawling every time I watch it.




Hope everyone has a nice week and my apologies if this runs into Tuesday -- I spent the day with my aunt and her girls who leave tomorrow afternoon for San Jose.
Vicki xx

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Marry Me

Marry Me by Train
"Forever can never be long enough for me  Feel like I've had long enough with you  Forget the world now we won't let them see  But there's one thing left to do  Now that the weight has lifted  Love has surely shifted my way  Marry Me  Today and every day  Marry Me  If I ever get the nerve to say  Hello in this cafe  Say you will  Mm-hmm  Say you will  Mm-hmm  Together can never be close enough for me Feel like I am close enough to you  You wear white and I'll wear out the words I love  And you're beautiful  Now that the wait is over  And love and has finally shown her my way  Marry me  Today and every day  Marry me  If I ever get the nerve to say hello in this cafe  Say you will  Mm-hmm  Say you will Mm-hmm  Promise me  You'll always be  Happy by my side  I promise to  Sing to you  When all the music dies  And marry me  Today and everyday  Marry me  If I ever get the nerve to say hello in this cafe  Say you will  Mm-hmm  Say you will  Marry me  Mm-hmm"






Marriage. Marriage means a lot to different people. Some people don't even believe in marriage. Me? I do. I believe in love. In fate. In companions. Marriage is very important to me. It's about finding that right person to spend your life with. To make a family with. To cherish and to hold. To take care of and be taken care of. About making a house and a living together. Does it matter if that person is a man or a woman? Not to me. It matters if that person is right for you. Do they complete you? Do they make you want to be better? Do they inspire you? Do they make you feel alive? Do they make you happy? Do they love you? And most importantly, do you love them?






It's a lot to think about and a lot to put on a checklist, but marriage is nothing to take for granted. Yes it's about romance and security and a whole bunch of things but it is also about you. You need to have a checklist otherwise who knows what you'll be getting yourself into. I couldn't imagine marrying someone that I didn't love and didn't love me as much or more. My husband (yes, husband. but if I was gay I'd have a wife. I don't discriminate) will make me happy. He will complement me and complete me. We will be made for each other. There will be romance. There will be security with each other. That doesn't mean that it's about the money, but we will secure each other. Take care of each other. Have a family.






I had this plan when I was younger. Married by 22 and have my first child by 24. That's obviously not going to happen. I mean, I guess it could, but it's not realistic. My boyfriend, Sean, I can see myself marrying him and spending the rest of my life with him. And yes, there is a possibility that we could get married in the next few years. Engaged, most definitely. But it's also about compromising. He may be ready to call me his and marry me but he's not ready for children any time soon. After we get married he'd like for it to be just us two for a little bit. And it makes sense. Newlyweds do need their time for each other. And I would like to be married for at least 2 years before having kids. So, I will sacrifice what I want and have it at a later time rather than not having it all. You do that when you're in love. He sacrifices a lot for me as well.






Marriage is very important to me. Some people think that it's just a piece of paper. But to me, it's so much more. It's a pledge of love and commitment. It's a special bond. One of my biggest fears is not getting married. Am I the only one in that boat?


Anyways, just some rambling about marriage =]
xo
Stephanie


P.S. Have a good week, everyone!

"All's Well That Ends With Me"


"Me" from Beauty and the Beast on Broadway


First off, hugest apologies for not posting on Wednesday. Who has two abnormally long, slender thumbs and got jury duty? This girl.

So..."me." Such a complicated thing, if you think about it too much. There's always the archetype self-less hero who never thinks of him/herself and then the really annoying character who only thinks of themself. It really reduces the significance of "me" when people in reality can be really full of themselves. Often we can't win. Either you are really full of yourself or you are so not into yourself that you're insecure. Has anyone come across a happy medium? I honestly believe I have.

One of the big things with me, if you haven't noticed yet, is being happy with myself, and kicking anyone in the balls who tries to put down whatever makes me happy. I like to think one of my most obvious traits is that I'm really secure in my self-identification as a nerd. Being a nerd....makes me extraordinarily happy and stable. Isn't that what makes a satisfactory human being? Emphasis on stable, because I can think of a few notorious historical serial killers who probably liked themselves and the way they were but in a way that was not okay. In this way, humans can be the best "me" without pooping on anyone else's sensibilities. Happiness is infectious and if one person is happy with "me" (meaning themselves) then it'll pass on to others around them and before you know it you have a chain reaction of happy and it's a beautiful world. Right? Maybe?

And I also firmly believe that everyone deserves some "me time," you know? If we try to be like Harry Potter and constantly think about other people, then we'll at some point explode like he does in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and yells at his two best friends because he feels entitled to being in the loop because of what he's done to save everyone else. I know I get cranky when I don't give myself some me time. There isn't anything wrong with wanting to focus inward on what "I" want. It's a human trait and survival mechanism. I mean if we were all selfless, we'd all be going around sacrificing ourselves to save each other. That's a really counter-productive chain reaction for the human race.

So while the selfless hero is admirable and a great role model morally, humans can't survive without the "me." We need "us." It's a little uncomfortable that "It can't always be about you" has become such a hurtful phrase because that's kind of a fact of survival....

Me Snippets:
I'd like to take a moment to send my prayers to Norway where someone really unstable wreaked havoc and dimmed the world with his crazy last Friday. Also prayers to China where a bullet train derailed and killed another number of people. Prayers to the midwest-to-east coast which are suffering from major heat waves––I am lucky LA is being spared...And although I never liked or listened to her music, r.i.p. Amy Winehouse, who hopefully can get some peace now.
---
In happinews (hehe. happiness + news oh I'm so clever), I saw Captain America tonight and I actually quite enjoyed. I recommend viewage of this film. The CGI was amazing. The acting was phenomenal. Everyone was good, which is so rare. The music, superb (it was Alan Sylvestri, how could it not be). And most significant of all, it made me like Captain America. Context! Before I thought he was just a blue bird man who conked people with his blue circle shield. But he is so much more. Just...just go see it.

xo
- É

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Me, Myself, and I

I like to think of myself as a straightforward person. But the topic of the self was approached in class (a couple of semesters ago), in particular- multiple selves. No, not multiple personality disorder, but the way we present ourselves in different circumstances in front of different people.  For example, how you act towards an elder is not necessarily how you would act around your friends.  And another set of questions were proposed: "1) Who are you? 2) What are you? 3) What do you not let others see about you?" At first glance, we all thought, isn't #1 & #2 one in the same?  Such questions lead me to discover how I perceived myself. 

This exercise forced me to realize that I too often defined myself by accomplishments rather than character.  Too often people, including myself, define ourselves by our achievements or occupations. So, #2 surmises such self-definitions forcing us to look beyond titles and look closer at our character.  I was going through the motions, snatching up academic achievements- just doing what I was expected to do. I now know I have so much more value than 'Dean's List'. I have been able to change and grow as opposed to being 'stuck' on one path, now able to answer #1. As for #3, for me it's always been tied to the stresses of #2. I fear failure. and What is someone finds out that I'm not as certain as I appear to be? No one's perfect. It's pointless to strive for perfection as it doesn't exist. All I can do is grow at my own pace.


((Sorry for my absence last week. ^^; Work's been wicked hectic.))

Friday, July 22, 2011

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.- Robert C. Gallagher

Who am I? This is probably one of the most frequently pondered questions of all time… And I honestly believe that there is no true or correct answer. 

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. -  Bertolt Brecht

Wants, needs, hopes, fears, desires, goals- although some do remain the same most are perpetually changing for all people…If these things change then so do you. 

Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.- Arthur Schopenhaur

I see life as an exciting, ever-changing adventure in which I would never tie myself down to one definition of who I am.

 Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress. – Bruce Barton




Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Ever Changing Me

It's funny. When people ask you to tell them more about yourself you could list of a bunch of descriptions that you or others think of you. Many of those words just alone are not particular to you but put them together and they bring part of your personality to life.

Certain ways to describe a person are permanent fixtures in their personality. But like many say one thing that is constantly changing is people. This is not to say that prominent facets of a person's personality will change.  But it isn't impossible.

I think this is why some of the second chances, rekindled romances, and once broken friendships happen. If one is willing to change the things that are a problem in oneself, they definitely can change. That can be attributed to experiences in life. Take a rekindled romance... If there is such love for this person that they have been through things with they may change the things that were a problem with the goal in mind to get that person back.

Moreover, experiences have a great affect on the way one may react to other things in one's life. It could possibly not affect the core of someone's personality. But it usually does affect what happens when faced with similar situations.

I do, however, think there is partly a way to control that as well.  We can choose to not let things that happen in our lives affect how the rest of our life goes. But to contrast that as well (hehe) sometimes there are things quite traumatic that we cannot possibly control how we deal with those sort of emotions.

All in all, life is ever changing just as who we are is ever changing. The one thing I think stays constant about each person is their core personality. For example, I have always been a sort of "pushover" or generous person. To what extent has changed through the years. I tend to like to help people out. But when I was younger and A LOT more shy all I really wanted was for people to like me. So I would do whatever people wanted.  Now I don't normally do "anything" people want. There are certain people I would drop anything for but not everyone falls under this category anymore. That isn't to say that I don't help people that need it. But I think that is one way to exemplify how one can change yet still stay the same at the core.

Peace all

<3 Tracey

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Mothers Daughter

With that title I would like to proceed by wishing her (my mother) a happy 39th birthday. Almost two decades ago she fearfully cannon balled into motherhood. I want to take these few sentences to thank her for not nipping it in the bud. I would not even be able consider the theme of ‘Me’ had it not been for her courage to let me be born. Beyond the idea of destiny and fate there is in fact actual choice. You see, I believe the type of life I lead if my fate; something that is currently beyond my control. However; this fate would not have been available to me had my mom not chosen to let me be. 


I Was…
From what I can remember, raised by my grandparents. I remember a lot of soccer, Spanish and screams smothered in the tone of my grandmother warning me to be afraid, very afraid. Mi Abuela is as overprotective as they come. She kept me near, fed and loved. This woman single handedly built a cocoon for me to seek shelter in, well my grandfather built it and she ordered him around, metaphorically speaking of course. You see this cocoon does not physically exist, but it’s there, located deep in the heart of an otherwise cold woman.

I Am…
Young and Hungry with shit to prove, in a nutshell. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Finding Self

William Shakespeare
When I was around 12 years old, I had a teacher named Mrs. Morris who I absolutely loved; she was my English teacher and the wife of a literature professor at a nearby university. Towards the middle of the year, she pulled out a box of paper stars, where she wrote the names of everyone in our class followed by one or two words regarding us. Most people had the word 'creative' if they were artistic, 'dancer' if they danced, 'amusing' if they loved to make people laugh -- you get the picture. When I finally found my name on the door where she hung the stars, my name was the only one with two words on the star in her neat, perfect handwriting.

"Finding Self"



At that age, I had never heard of such a thing and I didn't understand it. Neither did my friends. I felt a bit sheepish about mine, even self concious. When I asked her about it, Mrs. Morris explained that at some point, everyone goes through a period where they begin to search for themselves, their true identity. I didn't think it was very accurate then and I always felt a bit insecure about that star, but now I sort of wish I still had it -- to remember her and to always have a little piece of that class with me.


Nostalgia aside, I think that if you fast-forward five, almost six, years and were to meet me now, you'd have a pretty good idea that I know who I am and what I'm capable of. I've been described as many things, most good, a handful bad, most of these things are merited -- fiery, strong, loyal, understanding, intelligent, manipulative...the list could really go on. 


It took me years to find who I am and in some ways I think I'm still finding out who I am more and more each day. I suppose that it's probably one of the biggest things I've ever sought out in my life, finding yourself is a major part in everyone's life. Who you are shapes everything about you when it comes down to it. Finding myself has been a process, one that I'm sure will never end and will go on for as long as I live; I loved every minute of finding who I was. 


I'm not suggesting for a minute that you sit and do nothing but try to find yourself or waste your whole life trying to figure out who you are. If you haven't figured out who you are yet and would rather waste your time dwelling and lamenting, then shut up, stop talking about it, and just do it. You're never going to find yourself that way. 


Finding out who I was didn't come from me sitting around, thinking and dwelling the mysteries of the cosmos. Hell, I don't think it came that way for anyone. It came from experience, conversations, friendships that were forged and lost, bridges that burned behind me and new doors that opened before me. Experience and opportunities were what helped me to learn who I was, it's what helps everyone to learn who they are. Your experiences shape you, develop you, and how you react to those experiences that says so very much about you. 


Quite honestly, I've never been able to talk very well about who I am, I don't think anyone can because no one is ever 100% certain, because you're always changing and growing as a person. But I do think that knowing yourself, being true to that self, and never straying from your true identity is really what matters and I'm glad that I learned at such a young age and had so many people willing to guide me in the right direction. To think it all started with a little paper star, too.


Take care 'til next week,
Vicki xx

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's not all about me, me, me; or is it?

Many people think that when people only think about themselves is because they're selfish. I don't think that's always the case. Sure, there are those people in the world who are all me, me, me, me, me, oh yea and me. And they don't take a second to think of anyone else. I think it's okay to think about yourself. I mean you have to, right? Obviously, you think about the people you care about and your pets. That's how selfish-ness is different. Selfish-ness doesn't even think about others...how they feel, what's more important, yada yada yada. But people who know their self-worth can balance that out. It's good to know your self-worth. It's good to have confidence. And more importantly it's good to have good self-esteem. Self-worth, confidence, and good self-esteem can all come hand in hand with one another. People who think about themselves and protect and fight for themselves has a sense of all three of those things. It's harder for some and easier for others but I think everyone and anyone is capable of it. As long as they don't ONLY think about themselves.

I've had some trouble in the past. With depression and other stuff, it's hard to get your mind in a place like that. I have depression and let me tell you, it's not easy to think about yourself. But I have gotten to the point (with the help of some medication) that I deserve the best that I can be and get. My self-esteem is getting better. And I have a sense of self-worth. I think it's important for people to know these things and work and improve on these things. It's healthy and normal to think about yourself. To improve yourself. To like yourself.

So go out there and get some confidence. Think about what makes you feel good and do it. Dare to dream. Overcome and conquer those fears or problems or addictions, whatever it is that keeps you from letting yourself care about yourself. I've been down that road, it's not pretty.

Have a good week!
xoxo
Stephanie

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shame on Me


"Eve After the Fall" - Auguste Rodin

I could sit here and preach about how shame is a waste of time just like embarrassment (which is different from shame don't let anybody tell you otherwise). But isn't shame just evidence that we have a conscience? Shame is a really sh-t feeling, yeh, but it also is indicative of something really great in human beings...the ability to feel bad about something.

I'm not talking about when someone guilt trips you into something. I'm talking about when you see something you've done and you feel like you want to shrink into the size of a penny and lock yourself away because you want to work on yourself and fix the crap you've done. When you feel like you've messed up so badly that you don't deserve the people in your life that are wonderful.

I don't usually feel shame. I grew up surrounded by selfish people who always made me feel bad for things that really weren't bad at all, like using a certain basketball hoop in the gym when I wanted to practice, or not placing at a music competition, or wanting to leave a really boring party. So I had a dulled sensitivity to feelings of remorse or shame. I just kind of did what I do and if what I did really upset people when I didn't mean to upset them (like I dunno I didn't text them back fast enough because I was in the shower or
whatever) I didn't try to make it up to them by sucking up or anything. That's nothing, I realized. That's not real shame. Shame is a withering, horrible combination of feeling like you f-cked up really badly and let down someone you really love. Really, anything less than this shouldn't even be paid any lasting attention. Not to discount other people's shame, of course.

I felt that kind of shame when I messed up really badly last year and really hurt my closest friends by letting the stress of transfer university acceptance limbo manifest itself in some really stupid, hurtful words. I felt so small. I had never done anything like that before...and what I did wasn't something I normally had in my repertoire because it just
wasn't me. I was ashamed that I had 1) been capable of such an ass move and 2) hadn't stopped myself from doing it. It ruined our friendship, which hasn't been the same since. Do people ever get over this shame? I'll let you know if I ever find out. This is something where every day I wish I could go back and reverse everything back to the way it was.

And the funny-except-not-really thing is, it's like I've been marked by shame. Ever since I did that awful thing, I've gained stress/unhappy weight, I'd had dark circles under my eyes, I've just been a lackluster person. I had been blacklisted and it showed.



This guy knows what I'm talkin' about.

Sometimes other people will make you feel ashamed even if you have no reason to. When this happens, you can choose whether or not to let it bother you. But when you actually do something that you, yourself, really should be ashamed of, you will know. It will haunt you everyday––think having your liver eaten daily a la Prometheus. Let this be a warning...try not to let the little shames bother you.

xo
E.

Apologies for posting late! I forgot to click publish post yesterday....derp.

Mistakes turned to shame?

"We're not perfect, any of us. We make mistakes. We screw up. But then we forgive and we move forward. Honey, at least you have the courage to feel. You feel everything so deeply. You're your father's daughter." - The Last Song

My first thought when I hear the word shame is guilt over something you have done. To be ashamed of something is usually to not want people to know that something. I believe the shame in things you have done can make one very vulnerable when faced with those things of which they are ashamed. Being ashamed of things you have done can turn into being ashamed of oneself. 



It is funny when I think about how few people truly know the real me... where I have been and what I've come back from.  Those shames can eat you alive at times. I choose to not let it eat me. But unless directly asked I do not divulge such truths. Even then, it depends on the person.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to write about what I am about to write, but over this past week as I have thought about this word, shame, I have had one nagging thought in my head. I believe this will express such vulnerability from shame that I am talking about... just a preface.

I am ashamed of how "weak" I have gotten at certain points in my life. At one point, I was getting depressed. I didn't find any reason to get out of bed. I didn't want to see my friends. I wasn't happy about myself and the things I had let myself do through my eating and my behavior. I wanted to feel something so badly. I began cutting myself sometimes. When I would get particularly sad is when I would go to this outlet. I saw the open wound and suddenly felt like I could breathe. I don't have far as many scars as people that have resorted to this type of action. I was only doing it for about a year before I realized how terrible of an idea it was, so I am much more fortunate. 

But when I think back about these actions, I feel shame. Deep shame. I am embarrassed that I would do something like that because of my emotions.

I am one with many emotions. I have been known to let them get the best of me... I believe that is part of why I resorted to those things. I have always been one to feel things deeply like the quote I started with says. I think even not feeling like I was feeling anything was felt so very deeply. Something I am really happy to say I have learned to control as of late. It's about learning to stop letting the things you are ashamed of... sad about.. mad about... whatever... letting them go. Take control of your emotions. Every day is what you make it! :)

Another way to deal with things that you have ashamed is turn to a support. This particular instance I felt I could not tell my parents. It was too disappointing for me to know let alone, my parents. But there is a group called To Write Love on Her Arms that I have come to find quite amazing. They are all about helping people in dark places in their lives whether it be drugs, cutting, etc.  They let everyone know they are not alone. It is an amazing group of whom you should really check out!




Many people that are part of this organization or a follower of it get tattoos that say "love" or one of the many phrases that they have made as their own. I am definitely determined to get that tattoo over one of my scars someday.



As I quoted: "We're not perfect, any of us. We make mistakes. We screw up. But then we forgive and we move forward. Honey, at least you have the courage to feel. You feel everything so deeply. You're your father's daughter." - The Last Song

This quote is definitely true and the first relatable thing I thought of besides my "shame." 

Keep Calm and Carry On! :)

<3 Tracey




Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Three For the Price of One


My Laptop crashed about two weeks ago and is taking much longer than anticipated to be un-crashed: P So today I will be playing catch up with the themes. Thankfully they are all themes I find interesting. I have also added a song suggestion that relate to each theme. 






Zodic Signs: The Virgin

Virgo! All day every day, unless Virgo has a crappy horoscope reading that day, then I am a Virgo with a hint of Libra. Therefore that hint entitles me to inherit Libras good fortune for the day. When I was younger I read my horoscope religiously, I would frantically decode them each morning before homeroom and let them manifest into my actions for the day. Now I realize what an unhealthy habit it actually was. It got to the point where I would let it dictate how well a relationship I was in was going. If my horoscope suggested I should be weary of anything then I was. I did what it took to make my horoscope evolve from simple novelty foretelling to proven fact. Being categorized into one of twelve signs is too general a classification, especially if you are going to let this alter your state of mind. However, I must admit I still indulge in this guilty pleasure of mine from time to time; I just throw a spin on it. I live my day first and read my horoscope before bed. This allows me to have my cake and eat it too.
Tegan and Sara: Dancing in the Dark

Body Image: Her Mangina
She is a twenty one year old schizophrenic with the healthiest sense of self worth I have ever personally known. In her twenty one years of living she has never once been on a diet, taken dietary supplements and or exercised in hopes of improving her body image. I questioned her according to my insecurities, since we are about the same weight. I compared her level of confidence to mine and the contrast was evident. I am nineteen and have a list of things I wish I could change about myself; I have this illusion that in the accomplishment of those changes hides happiness and satisfaction. She on the other hand lets life happen to her. She has gained weight over the last ten months due to pills she must take in order to control her mental illness, yet she is unfazed by it. At first I thought there was something wrong with her, how could someone who had a decent body gain weight carelessly and never once bring up the necessity to diet. I was more concerned with her weight than she had ever been. So, the one with the issue here was clearly me, me and my obsessive tendency to criticize rather than accept. In a sense she is the one who is perfectly sane.
India Arie: Video

Shame: Love Me Do
I have never been dumped but I am always heartbroken. I have a seventeen and a thirteen year old sister and had they followed my path to love they too would be lost and alone at this moment. I was a late bloomer in the world of dating. I considered it a strategy in fact, taking that time to find myself before I began looking for someone else. That time turned into fear, I began running from possible suitors and sometimes even hiding between false reasoning. I am ashamed that I can’t seem to love genuinely or entirely. My sisters are currently in relationships, I over hear them fight on the phone and they always seem to work it out. If I ever fought with a boyfriend that would be our first and last fight, I wish I had come to some beautiful realization but I’m still working on it. I believe I have found myself for the most part, or as much of myself as anyone can hope to have found at this point of their life. I'm ashamed that I never evolved into the sultry relationship guru every younger sister seeks advise from. I'm ashamed I lack esteem in the one part of life the rest of my family seems to have been born with.
Jazmine Sullivan: Lions, Tigers and Bears

Camii




Monday, July 11, 2011

You'll Bring Honour to Us All

When I was a little kid, one of my all time favourite Disney films was Mulan, which I'm pretty sure everyone knows to some degree. One of my best friends and I cut the entire film down to ten minutes and performed it together for a Forensics tournament in May, it went off with a bang and most everyone loved it. But when you think about it and ignore all of Mulan's general badassery (I mean, come on, she runs away from home, joins the army, kicks some serious Hun tush, and gets the guy who just so happens to be her commanding officer all while hiding the fact that she has boobs and -- well, I think you get the point) you find a story that genuinely can hit home with most people. Mulan is looking to make her family proud of her, but in the process of all these numerous attempts at being the perfect woman, bride, and daughter, she fails each and every time in a disastrous way. Each time she fails, she feels ashamed and is told that she brings dishonour to her family. Mulan is the first real film that taught me about shame (dishonour versus honour). It was the first and only really good thing that popped into my head all day while I mulled over the weekly topic.

Dishonour on you!
Dishonour on your cow!
Dishonour on your whole family!
(Mulan, 1999)
One of the most famous scenes I can think of besides the Matchmaker scene is probably when Mushu, a guardian from Mulan's ancestors, and Mulan meet for the first time. After Mulan slaps him for a crude remark, Mushu proceeds to yell at her, proclaiming that she has brought dishonour to herself, her cow (horse), and her whole family for being so brazen. Mulan immediately apologises. Why? Because she's so afraid of bringing shame to her family yet again.

Part of the reason my friends and I connect so well to the film is because we're familiar with the pressure to not shame our respective families by screwing up academically, personally, or socially. We often pressure ourselves as well. And if we do manage to bungle things up, well, let's just say the sunshine and rainbows of Carefree Land tend to be a foreign concept for a little while. For me, that was something that I really connected with while performing with my partner at our tournament together (we took fourth place by the way and we were simply ecstatic as it was our first time ever performing and we'd only practised briefly). Mulan's just like everyone else, she doesn't want to screw up because it upsets not only her but her family as well. And I don't care what anyone says, somewhere inside everyone, I'm more than certain there is something that wants nothing more than to make good old Mom and Dad proud.

I've been ashamed of things countless times in my life, hidden mistakes and failures, and later faced punishment for my immaturity. I think it's something that everyone can really relate to. At some point or another, there's bound to have been a time in your life when you've felt the weight of the world was resting upon your shoulders in some way and if you failed, you were no doubt embarrassed, ashamed, and perhaps a million more emotions on top of those two.

I can't even count the number of times I feel like I've let people down. I know I do, in various ways really and I hate it. I especially hate knowing that I've disappointed someone, I think that out of everything I've ever been told, nothing has ever made me feel worse or more ashamed of myself than hearing, "You know, I'm not mad at you, I'm disappointed. You really let me down." It's possibly one of the most crushing things I've ever heard (among a variety of silly things relating back to my love life, but that is another subject on a whole. Maybe if the weekly topic is "burning train wreck" we can go there and have a chat).

I'll admit that I'm actually pretty jealous of Mulan, mostly because she doesn't necessarily (or so it seems anyway) ever carry those feelings of shame with her after saving China (then again, who in their right mind would after the Emperor bows to them?). Meanwhile, back here in reality where there aren't any Emperors bowing to me, I know that I'll always carry the knowledge that I let someone down with me. None of us can expect to be perfect, but I often wish it was as simple as killing Shan-Yu and getting the guy at the end of the day for being so BAMF versus going through the long, arduous process of making amends and living with the repercussions of your actions for good.

Shame's a nasty brute, but that's the price we pay for being human I suppose. Failure is a part of human nature, but one that I despise more than anything. At the end of the day, I try my very best not to dwell and to simply say "C'est la vie" in the face of such obstacles. It tends to get me by best, at least until I have to face the music another day.

Anywho, have a nice week, everybody!
Vicki xx

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shame.

Hello everybody. I am so sorry I missed last week. I'll make it up to you guys sometime. Anyways, it's a new week which means it's a new theme: Shame. Also, please don't forget to vote for next week's theme and send in a guest blog and we will vote and pick our favorite(s)!! Anyways, here I go.



shame

  [sheym]  Show IPAnoun, verb, shamed, sham·ing.
–noun
1.
the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done byoneself or another: She was overcome with shame.
2.
susceptibility to this feeling: to be without shame.
3.
disgrace; ignominy: His actions brought shame upon his parents.

Shame. According to dictionary.com the above definitions are what describes Shame as a noun. But what does shame mean to me? It means basically the same thing. The feeling of something that is dishonorable and well damn right "shameful." A lot of kids I went to high school with had gotten pregnant. I know of at least 20; some of them being my best friends. However, the rest of the kids at school would ridicule them about getting pregnant. They would say that whoever gets pregnant should be ashamed of themselves. I didn't think that way. Nor do I still to this day. Just because someone gets pregnant out of wedlock or in high school/at a young age, doesn't mean that they should be ashamed of themselves. In fact, I kind of think the opposite. Getting pregnant in high school doesn't necessarily ruin your life. In fact, I think about 90% of the kids in high school are sexually active and only a handful of them end up in pregnancy. The fact that these teen parents (well most of them) step up and take control of it, is rather honorable and admirable. My friends who got knocked up took control of their lives. They grew up. They realized that they had sex and there were consequences to that act. I'm extremely sexual and I know there are consequences. But the fact of the matter is that even though they messed up and either didn't use protection or just got unlucky, they took control. They figured out what would be the best for their baby and did everything in their power to make things right and wonderful for their unborn children. I admire that. I don't think that is anything to ashamed of at all.

One thing I do think is shameful (and this is coming from past experience) is when those parents end up being trash. One of my best friends who got pregnant our senior year in high school had her child and was doing great. Her boyfriend at the time.. well he's another story. He was watching the baby girl while my friend was at work and the next thing we know is that my friend got a call from her boyfriend saying that there was something wrong with their girl. She rushed to the hospital only to find out that her daughter had died. Normally when infants die, one would think of SIDS, but this unfortunately was not the case. The father of my niece (not by blood but because I am basically family) had murdered his child. He had shaken her and thrown her at the wall. She didn't have a chance. Thankfully he is in jail and justice is kind of being served but an infant does not deserve that. That is what I think is shameful. It's been almost 4 years (this September will be 4) since it has happened and none of us are the same. 

It's still hard for me to talk about this because I don't want it to be real. But the reality of the fact is that this little girl who holds so much love in so many hearts wasn't able to even begin to live. She didn't get to fight. She was a little innocent child and her father, of all people, decided to take that away. That is shameful and he should be ashamed of himself. 

There are other things that I feel are shameful but this is the one that hits me the closest. It's the one that really sticks with me and that's probably because it happened to family. Dishonorable and disgraceful; that's what shame means to me.


[Sorry, I'm a bit late and that it's technically Monday here by me. But my grandma was in the hospital today and everything just started to settle down a little bit ago.]

Much love to all of you
xo

Stephanie