I didn’t wear makeup to go to my car; Stories of Adulthood

One of the reasons I hate living in an apartment is that as soon as you walk out of your nice, cozy, PRIVATE home, you’re in PUBLIC. The door is the only buffer. Contrast that to a house, where you have this nice buffer zone of a garage and a yard, and a street, more or less. Unless you live in a bizzaro place, you don’t have people outside your house to see you should you need to get something you left in your car or take out the trash or whatever.

Not so in an apartment. Now, used to be I’d worry about my presentation all the damn time. I’d put makeup on if I knew I was getting food delivered, and put on real clothes instead of sweat pants, and generally look like I hadn’t rolled out of bed. Because, after all, everyone CARES so MUCH what I LOOK LIKE.

The nice thing about getting older (and wiser… *sips coffee*) is that you begin to care less and less about what other people think. Taking a leaf from Sarah Knight and her F*cks Budget, I’ve realized that I want to spend my F*cks wisely and less liberally. And giving a F*ck about what I look like just isn’t as high a priority as, say, writing.

And let’s be clear, not putting on makeup is a big deal, when you’ve worn it every day since you were sixteen and then had a real bad flare up of adult acne when you were in Taiwan and now have the scars and shame to prove it. So makeup = armor = me being okay. But not anymore.

The other day, I’d left something in my car, to get back to the title story, and my car was parked a level above me in the parking garage. I did not put on makeup to go get the stuff. I did put on pants, because decency, but wore slippers and didn’t brush my hair, either. Yes, I was one of those people. Pretty soon I’ll be wearing pjs to Walmart. No, I won’t. It was a step in the self-love department, not the giving-up-self-hood department.

I even saw someone coming down the staircase, and they said hi. Not, oh god how could you show that face to the world, but hi. How nice. *snark intensifies*

Being an adult sucks on a lot of levels, but today it sucked a little less as I accepted myself for myself a little more. Thanks, self.

Hello, I’m a Feminist.

Dangerous. Subversive. Radical. Selfish. Sensual. Worldly. Evil. Shameful. Shameless. Foolish. All words used to describe feminism in my circles.

Growing up, feminism was a bad word in my community. Church, family, and friends alike treated the word and people who identified with it as either criminally naive or just plain evil.

It was in this atmosphere I grew up, independent, fiercely sure of my own worth and intelligence, but also firmly aware of my place in the world.

I’ve been a feminist for a while, but it took me quite a long time to accept the word. Accept, and them embrace.

At first, I was careful. I believed in equality, I stressed. Not women’s superiority, so it wasn’t really feminism. Never mind that I had never done a lick of research into feminism. Never mind that the only things I heard about feminism were from its opponents. Feminism was a bad thing. Like liberalism. Destroying America, and the family, and worldwide faith.

So in the beginning, I was careful. Not real feminism, but equality. Women could do anything. They just shouldn’t do…certain things. It wasn’t right. 

But that didn’t mean we were unequal. Nope. No way. Oh, dear young self. Dear many, many younger selves who are stuck in this loop.

I am feminist now. Adamantly so. I take issue with how women are portrayed in media, how words associated with the feminine are used, and how the idea of the female has been relegated to a secondary status in almost all areas of life.

I’m not starting a lecture. I’m not going to get in a debate or list all the ways women have been subdued or oppressed. It’s not my time for that. For now, for the first thing, I’m just declaring what I am. I am a feminist.

One Year Later

It always surprises me how quickly a year goes by. Today, December 22, marks the one year anniversary of the day I came back from Korea. If you haven’t been around, I had an epic health meltdown that prompted my quick return, and this past year has been one of healing, discovery, and baby steps on the path to…well, something. The future, but that sounds cheesy.

Taking stock, I’ve done a hell of a lot this year.

You can see that in between the small things, life has taken a quick upswing in momentum. I got a job, a car, and a new home all within about four months, and those were four of my five big milestones for my life I wrote back at the beginning of this year.

One year later, everything is coming up roses. I’m still stressed out about money and life and the future and everything, but I’m learning to live with that fear. I’m learning to walk with it instead of constantly fighting it, and overall, I’m feeling eager, hopeful, and curious about life. If this past year has taught me anything, it’s that life can change in a day, and what you thought would be the trajectory of your life is but the next ten feet in the fog, and you really, really can’t see beyond that.

This next year, I have so, so many plans, and some of those will succeed and most of them will fail, but always, I will strive to fail better, and so life will go on.

Happy New Year, friends, and happy anniversary to me.

Why Romanticize November?

Ever since I was young, I’ve loved November. Though I also love October, and September, and all the -bers, really.

The clue’s in the name. Ber. Brr. Cold.

I am a child of wind and snow. I always attribute that to my birth in Seattle, but it goes farther than that. Like my pale skin is a throwback to some icy past. Like ice and driving rain and wind are in my veins.

Maybe in a past life I was a peasant in the Siberian wilderness. An Eskimo. A snow otter. Whatever the truth of the matter, I am always more comfortable in cold weather.

When the wind begins to brisk, my whole being perks up. It’s like something inside awakens, and sniffs the air, and my mind and soul seem taller. There’s a spring in my step and a renewal of hope in the world when the cold begins.

Crunching leaves. Dark branches of bare trees. Grey, cloudy days. Wind whistling through windows. Fireplaces. Blankets. Frosted eyelashes. Boots covered in snow. Breath visible. Hands shaking.

These are a few of my favorite things.

When I was seventeen, I went on a mission trip to Russia in January, when it was cold enough to freeze the inside of bare nostrils. I loved it, and soon enough acclimatized to the temperatures.

When I was in Korea and the snow came, before the cars threw it into sludge on the roads, I loved the soft sound of walking to school through snow, carefully, delicately, while the world slept and dreamed.

We talk of eternal summers, and I get it – the freedom and laughter and joy summer evokes. But in me there is an eternal winter – peaceful quiet bliss, clean, pure as the driven snow, and waiting…

I once had a dream to chase winter, as some people chase summer, all over the globe and across hemispheres, to be in snow year round. Perhaps someday I will. Perhaps my dream of herding reindeer in Finland will pan out.

Until then, I satisfy myself with hoodie dresses and opening the windows of my Texas home to let in all the cold I can.

November is the grey month.



What I Really Mean

Facebook status: Went to a museum today! Takashi Murakmi is so inspiring. His work is weird and wild and incredible.

What I really mean: Went to a museum today to take pictures to post on Instagram to make it seem like I’m doing stuff, instead of just working and watching Netflix and binging on jalapeno chips. Also my feet hurt the whole time and I bought an overpriced pin so people would know I’d been and am so, so cultured.

Instagram picture of RPG stuff: Another session down! Went great, almost lost a PC but they saved with a clutch move! Night to remember!

What I really mean: I freaking love D&D and want everyone to know it so the nerds will think I’m cool and the not nerds will think I’m quirky and maybe some hot but sensitive guy will see and ask me out like my friend’s husband did with her…

Instagram selfie of me looking rad: Autumn is coming. A time of renewal.

What I really mean: I took this awesome selfie that I actually like and now I need to caption it so people will like it instead of just saying I think I look awesome because I don’t have that baller confidence yet.

Instagram picture of all the presents I got for my birthday: Look at all these presents! I have the best friends!

What I really mean: I have the BEST friends.