Monthly Archives: April 2012

A dear friend, dearly confused.

A friend of mine is getting married to a man that has not treated her well in the past. I’m fairly certain that she’s marrying him because he has money. I’m sure she has decided to get married because her younger sister got married a year ago, and she feels like she is going to be forever alone. Countless times, I told her that she would find someone wonderful. I tell her that she was young, beautiful, and a sweetheart. I want to see her happy, but she wants to be wanted by a man.

It breaks my heart, really. She has grown up in a patriarchal culture, where a woman’s worth is determined by when she gets married, to whom, and how many children she has and is able to raise well. I know that culture, and I am always telling these girls that they are valuable not because of who they marry, but because they are human.

I saw her Facebook status today, and it’s a quote that translates to something like this:
“Happiness to a girl is to become a beautiful bride, a beloved wife, and a happy mother.”

My heart dropped. No, no, no, no. Happiness to a girl is being the best she can be. Happiness to a girl is becoming a woman who is intelligent, confident, and strong. This girl is in her twenties, and she believes her life will become better by being a bride, a wife, a mother. I’m not saying those things are not wonderful,  I’m sure being a princess on your wedding day is fun, being in a loving relationship is wonderful, and being a mother is a one-of-a-kind experience. I’m sure it’s great, but that’s not the point. 

I believe that happiness for humans in general is not found in relationships. Happiness is a personal endeavor, it’s about being comfortable in your skin and with your life. Happiness is about learning, loving, just being. 

It saddens me to think that my friend believes that her worth and her happiness is defined by her marital status. It saddens me to see a young life’s journey determined by culture. It just makes me so darn sad to see her make this choice, not because she really wants to be with him “forever,” but because she believes that this is what her whole life culminates to. 

My dear friend, is so dearly confused. 

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I saw you.

I saw your face, before I closed my eyes to sleep.
The image so crystal clear, I shrieked.
I felt like I could touch it,
But your skin, barely covering your bones, was too blue 
And I was afraid.
My heart worked too hard,
As I attempted to breathe.
I forcefully closed my eyes, only to open them and find that I could still see you.
I saw you.

 


The only thing I want:

I want to love life. And I mean really love life. The kind of love where I want to skip in the morning when I’m barely awake, stay up as late as I can laughing, enjoy every single day just because it exists. The kind of love where I want to shower the world in hugs and kisses.
I just want to really love life. I want to be happy and joyful and hopeful. I want to believe that my best is good enough. I want to make others believe that they are more than good enough. I want to be the kind of person I sometimes mistakenly think I am. I want to be certain that the trivial things don’t matter. I want to approach challenges with a curious, unafraid, confident mind.

I want my heart to be open, my life to be full.

I want to love life, and I want it to love me back, too.


Manners, freedom, and feminism.

The three things were going through my mind as I sat in a Starbucks, sipping my soy chai latte. I tried to read something or other on moral philosophy, but I could not concentrate. This is what happened:

The place is packed. Students are everywhere. Up in the loft area, there is one power outlet. Everyone twitches every time somebody in the general area of the Outlet moves, hoping that they are leaving. As soon as someone gets up, some other desperate coffee addict appears. The power outlet is calling us all by name, as our “low battery” notifications flicker.

The bell-tower rings. I’m still holding my spot in the general area and my charger is plugged in. I am lucky. The nice old man sitting behind the table in the corner, the table right in front of the Outlet, gets up, smiles, and says goodbye. Everyone is glaring. Little do they know, trouble is on its way.

A man dressed in tan corduroys, a light blue colored button down shirt, and polished dress shoes quickly appears. He’s wearing black glasses, because obviously the sun’s rays are overwhelming inside the dimmed coffee shop. Ridiculous. He also has a long board or a skate board, some kind of board.
Odd, but that’s besides the point.

He sits down. He did not purchase a drink or have a backpack. He sits down and a girl hurries over from a different table asking if he wouldn’t mind switching seats with her. But he says, “I was sitting on the couch for a long time and I have been waiting for this seat.” The girl, disappointed, says okay and leaves.

The man, maybe in his early thirties, takes out his phone and its charger. Everyone’s relieved that he is taking advantage of the best seat in the house. In the corner, by himself, he starts messing with his phone.

He waited for that seat not because he wanted to text his friends, call someone important, call someone unimportant, check his email, listen to music, etc. No. He waited for that seat because he thought he could hide what he was doing. He faced the room and mostly me, with his screen facing the corner.

Porn. He was watching porn using Starbucks’ complimentary Wi-Fi. He was nervous, looking around making sure nobody knew what he was doing. In his creepy dark sunglasses and his business casual attire, he was sitting in a dark, public room watching porn.

I’m not even going to elaborate on my disgust with porn in general. I’m just commenting on this man watching it in a crowded public place at 2:00 P.M. As a feminist, I was offended. I am still offended. I wanted to throw things at him. I wanted to confront him. I wanted to tell him to get the fuck out. There were kids in that room. He was lucky none of their parents or tutors were sitting where I was. I wanted to yell at him and tell him that his behavior was disrespectful and unacceptable. Maybe, sir scumbag, you don’t share my values or beliefs or whatever, but your actions are not okay.

But I didn’t say anything. I wish I had said something. I just shot dirty looks and he definitely saw them. He tried to hide his screen more. So he turned his chair and was facing me. I put on my over-sized sweater. He noticed my dirty looks. He left.

I don’t really care what people say about male sexuality. I don’t really care about any of it.
We live in a civilized world. People can control their desire to eat (which is something totally necessary for  health and survival). You can control your obsession with sex. And if you find it too dificult, there are treatment centers for that. Use them.

The world is a shared space. You may find corners in which you think you’re totally alone, but the truth of the matter is, your actions and you are never truly hidden. Your actions affect other people.


Hopeless apartment hunting.

We’ve been looking for an apartment for quite a while now, but with no success.
If anyone can point me in the right direction, that would be greatly appreciated.

In the meantime, wish me luck.
So in need of a miracle.  


“Be humble for you are …

“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars”
― Serbian proverb


Your own goals at your own pace.

I’m sitting in a campus café, overhearing conversations about classes, jobs, internships, etc.
I’m feeling inferior – I am definitely not taking as many classes, not applying to excessively time demanding positions, not doing as much. Period.

But then I step back and drown out the noise.
I have to stop and remind myself:

Grade point averages don’t define my worth (sometimes I wish they did)
The number of classes I am tackling this semester does not define my intelligence.

We all have different talents, work habits, interests.
We all have different plans, world-views, strategies.

We need to stop comparing ourselves to everyone around us –
We need to be the best we can be;

We need to give everything we do a hundred percent,

Success is the reward for effort and perseverance,

Achieve your own goals at your own pace – you’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of.

Listen to your mind, body, heart:  Only you know what’s best for you.

 04102012