Five Things About Me

This is a positivity blog, so not any old five things, but five things I like/love about myself. Because a friend asked me that the other day, and I had a hard time answering.

1. Bravery
I’ve been brave many times in my life, thinking on it. A high school girl, shaking so bad I would’ve spilled water all down my front, on stage auditioning for a play. Moving to Japan, twice, alone. Many smaller instances, like standing up for myself at work when I was being treated unfairly. I’m not always successful, but I can count on fear not stopping me from trying.

2. Support
Being there for my friends is important to me, and I like that I can be there for them at least some of the time. I don’t always have the right things to say, or a good enough wit to make them laugh, but it’s not always about doing the right thing. It’s about being willing to ignore how tired I am to pick someone up from the train station in the middle of the night. It’s about not simply saying “let me know if you need something” but making an effort to think about what they might need and providing it in case they didn’t want to ask. Or simply being present. All your other choices can be wrong sometimes, but if you’re present, it’s enough.

3. Intelligence
This one is easy to forget these days because I’ve so successfully made a wonderful group of brilliant friends, but I’m smart, y’all. These days, being reminded by my tea ceremony teacher–who is not quick with praise–that I pick up her criticisms within one or two times of being told, or she’s impressed that I improved something from watching her correct another student, helps me remember this fact about myself. It’s easy to lose sight of, and why it’s important to try your best not to compare yourself to others, when surrounded by people equally or more smart on a regular basis. Feeling dumb and being dumb are vastly different.

4. Organization
This one may make some of my friends laugh who have seen how well (or not, more to the point) I keep house, but it’s actually true. When working on professional things or together with a group, I’m impeccably organized. The files I kept on my schools in Japan, all my extra materials for classes, my lesson plans, all of it was organized such that I never walked into a class not knowing what I was doing that day. (I may have had too much or too little to do, but I always knew what I was doing.) I only rarely had problems with my materials being wrong or missing. I love that when it counts–to me, that means when other people rely on it–I’m organized. At home, which is personal, is a totally different story.

5. Sensitivity
This one also might sound counter-intuitive, but for a wider audience. “Sensitive” is generally thought to be kind of an insult. But as I’ve written on this blog before (get a link for this later), I’m quite proud of my emotional sensitivity. I love how easily I laugh, even though it’s a bit detrimental to my performances. I love how easily I cry, even when I wish I wasn’t. I love how deeply I feel, because as bad as the lows are, the highs are exhilirating. Most importantly, I don’t end up numbing myself off from these things. I don’t learn emotional lessons very quickly. I don’t close myself off from something after having a bad experience with it from someone else. It’s not terribly smart, and has led to wounds, but I’d rather leave myself open to the good than close myself off in fear of the bad.

What are five things you love about yourself? You don’t have to be as detailed, or you can go even more in depth. You might have to dig deep. This post was not easy for me to write. I had to think harder than I’m happy to admit. And if you need to revert to small things, go ahead. Large or small, deep or shallow, five things you love about yourself. Go.

When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression

The Boeskool

I’ve never been punched in the face. Not in an actual fight, at least. I’m not much of a fighter, I suppose… More of an “arguer.” I don’t think I’m “scared” to get into a fight, necessarily–There have been many times I have put myself in situations where a physical  fight could easily have happened… I just can’t see myself ever being the guy who throws the first punch, and I’m usually the kind of guy who DE-escalates things with logic or humor. And one of the things about being that sort of person, is that the other sort of guy–the sort who jumps into fights quickly–tends to not really be a big fan of me… Not when he first meets me, at least. They usually like me later. Not always. You can’t win ’em all…

fight-club-brad-pitt-fight-image.jpg The first rule of White Club is you do not talk about White Club…

When I moved to…

View original post 1,543 more words

Words Branded on my Self-worth

Allow me to preface this with a brief explanation about myself.

I’m tiny. I’m a weight class below the itsy bitsy spider. I’m short and thin, I’ve always been short and thin, and going by my eating habits and family I’ll probably always be short and thin.

In actual numbers, I’m 5’4 and I hover between 85 and 95 pounds. I’ve never once in my life broken 100. I’ve tried.

I don’t have an eating disorder of any kind. I never have. No matter how much I eat, I never get any larger. No matter how much I sit around on my mysteriously round but small ass, I never get any larger. This is the way my body is built. I have no advice on how to achieve this kind of body because I have no idea how I did it. I just am.

I’m asked sometimes, and in order not to sound like a complete asshole (“be born thin?”), I offer the easiest answer: exercise. I don’t do it all that often because I’m lazy, but that seems to be the general good advice for losing weight, right? At the least, it can’t hurt. (As opposed to dieting, which absolutely can.)

I’m so painfully aware of how my own body is built that I don’t find fault in anyone else’s. Maybe it’s the way they were built or maybe it’s their fault. I have no way of knowing. I have no reason to care. It’s their body, and not my responsibility or business.

By complete coincidence, my shape resembles this society’s ideal to a degree. Enough of a degree that it elicits concern for my health. I’m often told to “go eat a sandwich.” A group that I very much love knew me as “Twiggy” for a while when they couldn’t remember my name.

For anyone who’s never been thin and may not think about this end of the body size spectrum, these are shockingly similar to, respectively, “put down the ice cream” and “fatso.” The comments come from the same line of thinking. But because I’m the ideal, right, it’s not hurtful somehow.

The internet has a lot to say about a wide variety of topics. Body positivity is one. I’m a huge advocate for it. (See what I did there?) Everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin, and not be made to feel ashamed because of the arbitrary shape of their hips.

If you’re on the large end of the spectrum, I want you to feel more comfortable. From the bottom of my heart, I do. I want you to look in the mirror and find the things you see that are beautiful, and I want them to be numerous. Finding them in myself did wonders for my personal happiness. Not just confidence: happiness. I want everyone to feel that.

Including myself and people my size.

Years ago, a friend posted a meme to Facebook. It was years ago and a stupid meme, but I remember every word of it.

“Love women with curves and tattoos,” it said, “because no one wants a stick with no imagination.”

I wouldn’t think I’d need to explain why that was branded on my self worth, but the fact that a friend posted it in the first place suggests I probably should.

Insult #1: According to this meme, not having a tattoo means you have no imagination.
Insult #2: I’m not a woman. I’m a stick.
Insult #3: Because of the choices I made about what happens to my body, and the arbitrary shape of that body, no one wants me.

I politely pointed out that her meme was hurtful, and she said she never meant to hurt me, but sometimes she would be posting things like this, and maybe I should unfollow her if I didn’t want to see them. Which was not the point I was making.

Here’s another example I saw the other day.

“Curvy women are beautiful,” said this meme. “Bones are for dogs; meat is for men.”

Insult #1: The second half of the meme implies that the first part includes an understood “only” and should be heard as: “Only curvy women are beautiful.”
Insult #2: …I’m sorry, I can’t find another way to put this. “Bones are for dogs” is hurtful enough without finding a new way to say it.

I politely asked him not to spread things like this because we shouldn’t lift up some by standing them atop of others. He did not take it down. Far more people liked the meme than liked my criticism of it. He did not even respond.

I will never understand why spreading hatred of other groups is supposed to spread love for your own.