Archive | June, 2013

On letting people (back) into your life

17 Jun

I just mentioned on recent post about how I wasn’t making friends.

That was inaccurate.

I have literally put a pause on forming relationships, period. Oh, I try definitely to tend to the ones I have. But my normally deceptively peppy self (seriously– I confuse people) has now put a moratorium on reaching out to new people. This is reminiscent of a past bad habit I had of listening and asking super poignant questions and forgetting to respond in kind until the other individual came to the uncomfortable realization a few months in that I knew them but they didn’t know me– not really. I consciously stopped that habit by awkwardly inserting knowledge bits about me into conversations at odd times ie:

Potential Friend-like individual: “I have had such a tough day. I can’t decide between lilys and roses.”

Me: (AH they just shared fact. Fact. Okay, I will now share fact): “I like lilacs.” (Shit, shit that isn’t personal. try harder good mate damn it try!) “….we had lilacs growing up. I rescued bunnies and the neighbors down the street raised them for us. (better…better…)

Potential Friend-like individual: “I’m going with roses. It’s our 2 year and that’s safe.”

Me: Cool. Good plan. (relief)

Now I am kinda falling back into same pattern– partially because I’ve been hurt, partially because I don’t want to mess with anyone’s hearts. The first girl I fell in love with called me today after being MIA, and left incredibly kind message. But I am partly guarded because of one particular relationship (on the mend miraculously) that just smashed me to bits. First girl has taken a very VERY conscious effort to get over which I have succeeded, but I’m feeling reluctant to let her back into my life because I don’t want to be yo-yo-ed feelings-wise with her even in friendship capacity. UGH what do you do when you’ve let someone you’ve carefully cultivated relationship with out of your life, and then they want back in? Thoughts?

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Body Weight and Food and Stuff

17 Jun

Okay, shifting gears here. Because I like to change it up you know… angsty poetry to carefree musings. So carefree musings it is.

I haven’t spoken much about weight yet, but merg the slave-driving ways of 40 min light elliptical machines on a Saturday night (shut up– so I decided not to have friends anymore and I’m not dating, so sue me) amongst “is-he-drunk-or-is-he-comatose” old man and sweat-slicked free-weights is forcing my hand.

So today I ate: a sticky bun and a half (pretty sister and I split the second helping– preserving our girlish figures and all), egg/cheese/ham thing, yogurt with fruit, more egg thing, a pork-chop, and popcorn. With lots of diet coke. As I am writing this I am blushing and trying to decide if “more egg thing” makes me sound fat. 

Can you see it?

“Honey– does this more egg thing make me sound fat?” 

“uh, um, well…”

Yes, yes it does. Fuck.

Well, I am trying. And by trying I mean I am trying to be healthy without thinking about being healthy which doesn’t work. I have to think about it. I have to take out the stupid pen and write it in my stupid notebook with the stupid calories per gram or else I just say whatever, pass me another blue moon. yes, number four. No, I’d rather not just have a diet coke. Pause. Double fist diet coke and blue moon, and feel hella unqualified to comment on health.

But my grams today refused popcorn saying she was trying to lose weight. Homegirl is 82 years old and spry as a 12 year old prepubescent playing Peter Pan.

“When, grandma, have you not been ‘trying to loose weight’?”

Same question for myself echoing in my head. Coupled with my history of bulimia (a long long time ago) and disordered eating to cope with shit and punish myself, I want to do it healthfully and not “feast or famine” it. So gym with comatose guy it is. 

Sexuality and Spirituality II: Cultural Context

15 Jun

So, you say you have no guilt (see last post). How, how, how?

How does that work you ask? Homosexuality and abomination and all that jazz?

The very simple answer is I don’t believe being gay is wrong or in conflict with spirituality. I chalk the Biblical angst up to culture, I follow my gut of what is right and what isn’t. We have to give ourselves a little credit for having a moral compus as humans. Mine is in-tune (believe me– a lie or angry word *does* tear me up.) Similarly to how slavery seems to be condoned Biblically, women were told not to braid their hair and kings had multiple wives– the anti-homosexuality sentiments in the Bible I accept as spoken about because men often took younger boys as sex slaves in that time and place. We live in a time and place where all people should be able to love whom we love– and in order to make a spiritual relevant, it has to be applicable to our lives today.

I do look at the life of Jesus, and His is the life I see as a model of how to be good to one another. What I can’t understand is why Christians in general have made homosexuality into such a divisive issue.

If you lived your life treating gay people the same as yourself, would Jesus really condemn you for that? Quite the contrary– if you as a Christian are literally pushing people into hating what Christians stand for because you are uncomfortable seeing two men or two women holding hands at the grocery store while bickering over whether or not to cook lasagna or tacos for dinner— then that is when I think the just and loving God you claim to know would have a bit of an issue. How is that any different than shaming someone because of their body? Guilt is not something God loves. He loves redemption and mercy and forgiveness– that is the kind of God I want to put my hope in. I just don’t understand why this isn’t a non-issue, and it has made me angry and categorize religious people as small-minded.

But as for my spirituality and sexuality? They have never, in my mind, been in conflict.

Sexuality and Spirituality Part I: No Guilt

15 Jun

As I have mentioned in a few of my posts, I came from a conservative background. I have seen this polarization of liberal vs. spiritual, and I don’t love it.

The “weird” thing is… I have never ever felt moral anxiety in regard to my feelings and relationships with women. There was no ambiguity, no guilt. Which is at once odd and good I suppose.

It is almost like the constant pressure of “not making your brother stumble” that my conservative church drilled into our heads was relieved with women. “Anywhere that you are not covered, a man has already touched you there with his eyes.” Ohkayyyy. Well, that’s disturbing. That fear, the taking away of control, that body shaming was crippling for me. I had to wear a cardigan or cover-up, and wasn’t allowed to wear “spaghetti straps.” I couldn’t help it that my body looked the way it does (I had awkwardly been told by my friend *Matt that he knew a girl who was stuck in Texas and had to make her way home by prostitution, but she ‘was built like you so had no problem finding her way home.’) Again– what is the message? Girls- your bodies are shameful. It is your responsibility, your fault, if a man looks at you. He is thinking of you sexually, touching you with his eyes without your permission, and because you have hips and breasts and pretty hair– you deserve it.

So, if that is context– my body in relationship to men made me feel like I was doing something to them that hindered their own spiritual relationship with God. If that doesn’t fuck over your relationship with sex, I don’t know what does.

In contrast– my relationship with my body and other women’s bodies feels safe and happy and empowered and never like it was causing sin. 

It is easier for me to be at ease with women because of this.

 

June 13, 2013

13 Jun

My body is a stranger

It unwillingly lumbars from place to place aching all the time under the strain of having to carry itself from the garden back to the concrete and swelter under the heat of airconditioned vents and the keys chattering away on a keyboard.

Sometimes we shut our eyes and there is the burning when the oxygen hits them and every breath is ours and we fought goddamnit for it and sometimes

the only thing I can say I’ve done is made it until I could crawl into my sliver of a bed and move the dog to the right side and, stretch out my muscles and tendons and all the other things the body is and

try and recognize my life as mine and not some distant life that I keep watching happen to some distant girl, like a movie that I have muted on in the background while I 

iron my clothes and yours too, and make food for the men in our house (because that is what the women do)

and clean the food scrapes and scraps off of the table and sweep them onto the floor until the boys then step on them, barefoot, crumbs sticking to their toes and

trying to sleep after a long, long day of apologizing

(because that is what the women do).

 

June 12, 2013

12 Jun

From my insides wretched and writhing, I have been told we are

Wretched, writhing creatures and

when I imagine this I think of exploding faiths and dogmas, the way you took my heart and scrambled it, sizzling my mind and interweaving truth and crunchy apples wrought with worms eating the flesh inside and out;

and brie (soggy on the cracker) fatty and savory, melting on the sides of my tongue. Appetite (yes), but

Sopping wet with entrails and telling me that it was caviar (but from the insides again)

How do you disentangle your own morality from the dead and expired bodies lying on the ground, rotting and seeping back into the earth? 

In the pictures of lambs painted on doors and houses and on the sides of the walls, they were always wholesome and cradled and protected.

This was never the whole truth, was it? How could it have been when the things we take we’ve deemed more precious broken into parts and pieces than as a whole?

How could you not mention the pieces of chipped white paint underneath the nails of those clawing at the images on church doors?

These pieces are needed to construct an entire portrait, yet they are splintered in the fingertips of girls with long hair that hasn’t yet had time to be twisted into braids. 

Aside

Home is where the (microbrewery and queer-friendly) heart is?

10 Jun

I am trying to find a new home.

I have new things added to my list. Weird things. Like: “Queer-friendly.” Okay… well what exactly does that mean? My current state is technically “queer-friendly” in a lot of legal ways. But I cannot tell you much about the make-up of the place I live other than it is extremely homogenous. I am pretty sure my grams (WHOM I ADORE, let’s make that very very clear!) would have a heart attack and keel over in a million pieces if she saw two ladies a’lovin’ (or men a’marryin’. eh? eh? funny, right?).

Yeah okay. Convo with mom again (I have a tight knit family).

Mom (upon spotting a girl with slouchy pants, a mohawk ‘alternative lifestyle haircut’ and a grey t-shirt): “Is that a girl? Is it? No… a guy. No… a girl.”

Me: (silent)

Mom (trying really hard to be not judgy): I mean. I bet she’s a lesbian. A lezbo. Just on looks alone.

Me: “Wow. You know, I feel… like if you are considering moving to Boulder, you might not like it.”

Mom: “Why?”

Me: “I mean… there are people there that care about the environment—”

Mom: “–I care about the environment!!!”

Me: “And there are gay people.”

Mom: “I don’t mind gay people! I just— wouldn’t want there to be all gay people. Then I might feel out of place.”

Me: (reveling in the irony, pause for effect): Yeah… maybe then you’d know how it feels.

Ohhhhh the midwest. So I have narrowed it down to a) places I’d want to live b) places I’d want to live after and during grad school since that is where your network tends to be. I’d love thoughts on any of the following cities that I’ve not yet been to but am considering on things like walkability, community, artsy-food-paint-music-theater-type scene. I also don’t like being cold OR if it is cold I like things like sunshine to make it all better.

Austin, Seattle, Philadelphia, Boulder, Berkeley

Ready… thoughts?