Thursday, December 08, 2016

Change reflections.

Can I just say the world has changed since my last blog entry on September 23rd? A few reflections, because, we all know I love a good reflection.

Change is the only constant in life. If it catches you off guard, you deserve it because you got too comfortable and you forgot that life and change are much bigger than just you and just this moment.  In the wise words of Janet, “like a moth to flame burned by the fire, that’s the way life goes.” Life doesn’t care about what you think you deserve, or whether you’re ready, quite the opposite. The bitch will just burn you, like, snap. There. You're crisp.  Ready or not. 

Change is the world pushing you out of your comfort zone because you sat too long there. The more difficult the change, the deeper in the comfort zone you are and the more you needed to get out.  Comfort zones are where dreams get "settled" and eventually die. Get out. Stay out.  

“Getting out” is a state of mind, an epiphany of understanding that this is the universe doing you a favor, something you haven’t been able to do for yourself but needed. "Staying out" is to follow through with your actions and actually living the life the universe intends for you. Staying out is also paying attention to the signs, because there are always signs. Gut feelings. Annoying family members who tell you what you don't want to here. Jealousy. Feeling unfulfilled. Pain. Questions. Doubts. Or shock due to imposed, unexpected and difficult change. 

When (not if) you torment yourself by asking why, and particularly why me? you are simply denying the fact that life happens, and life isn't about just you. We torment because we selfishly think of ourselves as deserving more than what we got, and feel entitled to more. But life does not judge or discriminate. It does not reason, or consider how deserving you think you are. When you let go of what you think you deserve, you free yourself. Go ahead. Be free.

Unexpected and difficult changes force you to confront who you really are, and what your real purpose is in life? For me, it's like dusting off a time capsule I buried ten years ago and going, “Shit! Haven’t see you for ages!” and getting excited about what I found there. Pieces of myself I put there, presumably for a time like this, when I needed reminding, when I needed to see my reflection.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

This week

This weeks trials
  1. One Sick daughter, the other one went to school.
  2. Sick husband
  3. Being sick but still having to work
  4. No exercise
  5. Gave in to bad eating, pretty much every meal
  6. Got told I was fat by masseuse that I was paying $70 to make me feel better about myself.
  7. 5 year old daughter giving me thirteen year old attitude during homework time, or tauloto time, or bedtime.
  8. 1 year old is leaving damn wooden shapes everywhere. Slept on some last night.
  9. Washing machine is dead
  10. This week has felt like it would never end!

This weeks wins
  1. Sick husband stayed home so he did all the school pick up and drop off duty
  2. Sick husband stayed home with sick daughter
  3. Felt sick, but not sick enough to stay home with sick husband and daughter.
  4. No exercise!
  5. Ate what I wanted
  6. Had amazing massage. Felt better.
  7. 5 year old is doing homework, learning tauloto and going to bed on time.
  8. 1 year old is learning her shapes and colors. Her favorites are “Triangle” and “Purple”
  9. Can finally get energy efficient washing machine.
  10. This week ended!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Pageant Season

It’s that time of year again, when ladies are on display for the judgment of the entire nation, vying for the burden opportunity to be scrutinized honored as a national ambassador for youth, women, and the nation for the next year. Ah yes, it’s hunting pageant season.

It’s a little unsettling, this notion that women need to parade before a group of “judges” to be graded like cattle assessed as the next national flag bearer. And it’s even more unsettling how appealing this is to our society today, in 2016, where women not only have the vote, they become the President. (#ImWithHer)  And what's probably most unsettling, is that people not only engage in it, they almost relish the chance to pick apart someone else’s well intentioned efforts.

Why are we so engrossed with pageants? And why is so satisfying to cast our eyes and cast our judgments over women, in pageants, like it were sport?

If you think about it, at their core, Pageants are/ have become like spectator sport.  There is an element of competition, of skill, of talent, of preparation, and there are winners and losers.  It’s fun to see who wins, we gasp when they impress us, and we point and laugh when they make a mistake. What makes this warped is, we are judging women for being women. It is implicit in this "competition" that there is a more skilled, more perfect way of being a woman, than being the woman that you are.  It reinforces some of the old stereotypes that women have fought against for years, that there is some/ one society approved "correct" way to be a woman.

As modern, progressive women, how do we reconcile and celebrate the “pageant” when it tells women, you must be judged, and are only worthy if you meet these criteria.  You could say it implies, that the losers are in some way "less of a woman."

As a modern, progressive woman, who is also a supporter of opportunities for women, and celebrator of women, there is no easy way to do this.

I think it would be the easy thing to say, pageants are an archaic notion that oppresses women. We should ban them. I think that idea ignores the fact that pageants celebrate and showcase our culture, our causes, it also highlights the achievements and bravery of women who choose to stand before society, and say, this is who I am, and I am proud. 

It would be easy to call all the people who participate and go to pageants as being ignorant or not “woke” enough to the fact that they’re actually supporting some sexist old tradition of judging women for sport. Even though they kind of are.  But they are also championing women, granting women scholarships and giving them a voice and a platform.  Pageant winners have been some of the most talented, smart, inspirational women I’ve ever met/ seen. You can see that they have seen and seized an opportunity to further themselves and be of service.

At the end of the day, what it boils down to is that neither side is right or wrong and probably both are true. Women, like most things in life are complex.  You cannot pin us down into a narrow box.  There is no one definition and one judgment on what women can and should do.  We are varied, and we are wonder filled (like Oreos). As is the very premise of equality, you can exercise your right as a woman to make up your own damn mind. It is after all, 2016.