Adulting Anxiety

Up until this point in my life, I have been in school. I have faced the real world in small doses. I fell flat on my face when I tried to go into Journalism after college, and so I went to grad school for Psych. I was supposed to have two years before I had to fall into a respectable field of work.

But grad school wants 600 hours of psych work in order for me to graduate. So, I am starting my internship at a Mental Healthcare Facility.

I am so not ready to adult this hardcore.

Then again, who’s ever ready?

Oh, right. Normal people.

Cracking Open the Closet Door: Being Aro-Ace and Muslim

I am not entirely sure how to start this. Introductions are high on my list of horrors, finding themselves ranked above my pesky pigeon plight and just under the frankly fearsome fate of failing if I try to publish, again.

Forgive me. I resort to humor when I am uncomfortable. Allow me to turn off my taciturnity toward this tediously troublesome topic and return readily to my rattling rhetoric.

Okay. That was my last one. Promise. I’ll just get right to it.

This is my personal tell-all on how I pretended not to be aromantic and gray-asexual for the entirety of my life, displayed on the internet for all who do not know me to see.

Because no one I know goes on my website. Ever. This is our little secret, internet.

Just a little background on what aromantic and gray-asexual mean–at least in my case. As an aromantic, I have no desire to be in a romantic relationship. As a gray-asexual, I have no sexual attraction to people, regardless of gender. I can be sexually aroused, but not by someone else. People who are gray-asexual are considered to be on the asexuality spectrum.

I was raised by Muslim, Middle Eastern parents. My entire life, I was told that my future consisted primarily of three things: going to school, making something of myself, and starting a family of my own–kids, husband, the works. That last one was not an afterthought. It was important both culturally and religiously, and I never doubted that.

I still do not.

On a trip down memory lane, one could see little me growing up completely different than literally everyone else. I was weird. People commented on it openly. They said it to me; They said it to my parents; They said it to almost everyone who knew me. It was never a positive thing.

My parents were very loving and supportive. I was their daughter and that was me, and they loved me. I have always been absolutely terrified of disappointing them, because everything I have, they gave me without a second thought.

Growing up, I had a ton of friends, but I felt extremely isolated. I didn’t fit in. I didn’t get the things other girls liked and they didn’t get the things that I liked. I was weird, and everyone knew it. I couldn’t control that, and it was hard. You try being one of those kids who know that they are complete deviations from the norm, all by their lonesome, not really sure what to do about it. So, I clung to at least one thing that would make me the same as everyone else: crushes.

I had crushes on the most random boys; I had nothing in common with them at all, but all I needed was to fit in, so anyone fit the bill. I had to start faking it since elementary school, and I got very, very good at it as I grew older. I even had myself convinced:

“This is normal. This is what I am supposed to want, so this is what I want.”

It became a sort of mantra. I stopped wanting to fit in very early on, but I now understood that it was extremely important in my most basic belief system. I had to get over it. I had to get over not wanting to be with someone at all, because I had to do it eventually.

Then, I hit college, and I “fell for” my best friend at school. We hung out all the time, and I thought, “Okay. This is good. This is okay. I can deal with this.” I completely convinced myself that I had fallen for him, but the second it was about to get real, I couldn’t take it. I ran. I screwed up and did some idiotic things. I remained attached to him because I was still obsessing about my screw ups. In my head, I figured, “This is obviously love, right? It has to be.”

It wasn’t. It was me, once again trying to convince myself that I was just like everyone else. I wanted this. I wanted him, so clearly I did not have an aversion to having a relationship. I even had my friends convinced that I was truly into him, and the lie got so out of control that I had to tell even more lies to cover up that lie. I couldn’t admit it, but I was too terrified to even contemplate the possibility of the truth, let alone tell someone else.

After that, I went through guy after guy. It became a cycle. I’ll give him the time of day, I’ll have “won” him, and then I’ll come up with any reason to high-tail it out of the relationship as if my feet were on fire.

I had–and still have–everyone completely convinced that it isn’t that I don’t want a romantic relationship of some kind, but rather, I have too tangled a mess of commitment issues to stick to one guy. I welcomed that label. It was served to me on a silver platter. I was not aromantic or gray-asexual. I was afraid of commitment. It was perfect.

I have lied so many times to so many people, because I couldn’t let one soul know that I was this much of an anomaly. I have always known that stepping out from under my fairly comfortable invisibility cloak would go one of three ways: people would think I’m either lying, completely screwed up beyond human comprehension or that I still haven’t met “the right person.”

Not one of those possibilities was appealing in any way.

And I was right. I told someone very close to me, and I regret it whole-heartedly. I am positive that she thinks I am confused or lying.

It might not seem like a big deal, but I struggled with this for the vast majority of my life.Being aromantic and Muslim is several degrees of hard, because even though there is nothing that mandates that I must get married or “I’m going to get it,” marriage is too fundamental to just ignore.

I am a girl who will get married because she has to get married, not because she wants to.

I will stay in my tiny little closet, making no noise and pretending I don’t exist.

That is my burden to bear.

Dietary Difficulties and Dreary Drills of Doom

Melodramatic. New for me, isn’t it?

I’ve started exercising and dieting. It’s really hard for a Type 1 Diabetic to juggle that, because I’m an evil monster when I’m at a low.

I am, however, an uncharacteristically sweet person when I’m at a high. I get high after working out.

So…good for the people around me, I guess.

Here’s the problem. Food tastes really good. It’s delicious. I enjoy it. It’s the only thing in life that comes easily–no drama, sadness or unnecessary excitement, there. It is always your friend. It comforts you and makes you happy. Food is just…food.

I want to say that I love my body no matter what. I want to be one of those girls who thinks all body types are beautiful on everyone. I mean sure, all body types are indeed beautiful, just not on me. I don’t look particularly good when I’m overweight. I’m insecure about what I look like, and you know what? That’s okay.

It is okay to be insecure. It is okay to feel uncomfortable and want to better yourself. Not everyone has to, but there is absolutely no reason to degrade or ignore the legitimacies of insecurities in the name of glorifying the female body. It isn’t about being fat. Plenty of people are unhappy about being skinny. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. I see it in being thin. Not everyone feels that way, and that’s what we like to call “a matter of opinion.”

Only you know how you feel about yourself. I have never seen anyone and thought, “Wow, I think she needs to lose some weight.” I think people are absolutely beautiful the way they are. That does not in any way mean that I would look at them strangely or condescendingly just because they don’t feel the same way.

Be happy with who you are. You are beautiful, but it’s okay to want a change. Be healthy. Be happy. Be whoever you want to be.

But I seriously need to stop eating. It’s time. Really. It is.

I say this as I am eating a muffin top.

Tomorrow sounds like a wonderful day to think about dieting.

Oppression by any other name is Censorship

In our society, we have an unsaid obligation to keep ourselves boxed into two categories: the classy and the classless. It is either one or the other, and apparently, using “obscenities” tends to land you in the latter.

They are swear words. Curse words. Words of questionable decency. They go by many names, many meanings, in fact. They’re censored on both television and radio–my condolences to George Carlin–and using them is likely have some serious negative repercussions on your entire future.

That sounds dramatic, because it is dramatic.

However, I don’t think I could ever do without them. They let out frustration in a truly therapeutic fashion. Try it.

“What is going on?”
“What the FUCK is going on?”

The latter feels far more satisfying if you let it.

And let’s talk about censorship as a whole for a second. No one should have the power to control what we can or cannot say in any medium. If people find the possibility of hearing a crude word or two too harsh on the hearing aids, rate the content of the channel or show as a warning.

Or maybe it’s time to sit the general public down and have a talk about irrational fears and popular culture. Calm down. Relax. They are just letters arranged in a specific order to relieve tension, anger and stress.

Sometimes, curse words add flavor, even gusto, to what you are saying. There’s a sort of confidence associated with it; a true, “devil-may-care” air to your words that make you feel like a boss.

Censorship in itself is a form of oppression, and the rules and guidelines created are the collective opinions of a group of people who probably think the same way. It doesn’t make sense for us to allow people–most of whom we do not even know–to tell us what is acceptable to come out of our own mouths in what can be referred to as “mixed company.”

The Federal Communications Committee probably just needs to get laid and have tree branches surgically removed from their asses.

In the immortal words of Marshall, “The FCC won’t let me be, let me be me, so let me see…but it feels so empty without me.”

So, why the fuck can’t I tell people to fuck off in public?

I think I’ll do it, anyway.

Guess this is why I can’t find a journalism job to save my life.

Just a Random thought before I tragically forget

I need a new wristband. I have four on, now; two on each side. The one on my right was on for six years and the one on my left for only one year each. I need another addition for the veteran side.

Any ideas? I’m struggling.
On my left are a Slytherin band, an Unforgivable Curse band, and a band that says, “Potentia Par Vis.”
On the right is just Bullet For My Valentine.
I don’t listen to BFMV anymore. It’s just been too long and I can’t just take it off.

Anyword, I need another band. I’m caught between Aerosmith, Rancid, The Distillers, Social Distortion, Dropkick Murphys, the Rolling Stones, and…well…a lot more.

I am stuck.
Suggestions, anyone?
Not that I gave you much to go on.

Tales of Thievery and Extortion

There once was a girl who decided that she would spend a few of her vacation days at her parents’ house in New Jersey. During these few days, an old friend came to visit, and she spent the night in the house. They had not had an overnight guest for quite some time, and they all had a gay old good time. The guest left the next morning, leaving the girl in a peaceful sleep.

When the girl woke up, her mother asked her if she had seen a substantial amount of money that she had left above the microwave. The girl told her she hadn’t, and then went off to Shop Correct to buy herself butter of cookies. She found that purchase to be a complete mistake, but that’s another story.

Upon returning home, the girl found her mother on the phone, asking her husband if he had seen the money. Her husband explained to her that he had seen them that morning, but had not taken them.

Point is, the money was magically gone and our guest was the only one who had come in our house. Yes, our house. The sleeping girl was me. Anywho.

My mom called our guest and asked her to come over, and I hit the basement because I sincerely didn’t want to witness the throw down. Anyway, our guest denied taking it. My mom pressed, and she said no one more time, and then left in a huff.

Why am I telling this story?

I want to tell as many people as I can that it is extremely important to remember that, if evidence is circumstantial, labels and accusations are just not okay. If there are no witnesses or concrete proof that someone committed a crime, you do not have the right to play the blame game. Ask if they did it nicely. If the person says they didn’t do it, leave it.

Think about it this way. What if you were accused of doing something, even though there is no real proof that it was you, and it really wasn’t.

My parents live in a very safe suburban neighborhood. There hasn’t been crime here since we moved in when I was six, but they don’t exactly lock their doors all the time. There is always another possible explanation, always another possible underlying factor.

I have been falsely accused, before. There was evidence pointing to only me, but I really hadn’t done it, and it felt horrible.

You see, even when you are blamed for something and turn out to be innocent, the incident doesn’t disappear. If the same situation happens again, everyone will think back to the last time you were accused of this same thing and wonder if you really were indeed innocent before.

Moral of the story: just be careful what you say.

Words can hurt more than anything.

Oh, and obviously, stealing is bad, so don’t do it. Okay? Okay.

Getting Over Guilt

It can a difficult endeavor, evading guilt. It comes in many forms: guilt over past mistakes, guilt over not fulfilling responsibilities, guilt over not being what you are “supposed to be,” and many others. It looms over us, like a dark cloud of regret that neither quite goes away nor entirely consumes us.

Guilt can be the driving force that makes us commit more sins in favor of resolving old ones. It is an ache in the pit of your stomach that manifests at the worst of times, sneaking up on you and capturing you in its grasp and lulling you into a sort of daze that seems unshakeable.

Sometimes, it is easy to swallow it, to pretend it isn’t there. It is possible to keep it at bay, forcing it to consume someone else as you live your life without it, but it catches up. It always, always catches up.

The only way to keep it from hurting you is to accept it. Accept your mistakes. Accept that you are not an angel. Accept that to make mistakes is to be human, and the very fact that the guilt exists proves that you deserve forgiveness and redemption. You have a conscience, no matter how feeble, and in the very deep burrows of whatever girth of a heart you have, there is at least a semblance of good. As long as you still have this, you are ultimately safe.

The deepest and most detrimental mistake we can make is to allow guilt to make us do things that we do not want to do. It is not a sin to be who we are, and better a broken promise than a picture perfect lie.

Guilt can eat away at you until you no longer have the strength to simply be, and our biggest challenge is finding a way to forgive ourselves. You will never overpower anything if you cannot learn to allow yourself to be sorry without feeling sorry for yourself.

You are often your own worst enemy. You have to learn to fight it without managing to lose yourself in the process.

Remember that you can only ever be human.

Some cliches exist for a reason.

Be. Racist. Do. You.

Let me begin by stating that this is is no way a post about the horrors of racism. I am not tearing into my vocal cords to preach about equality and fairness and all those wonderful–or perhaps awful–things, because I refuse to waste my time. Racism is what it is. Please, go on to be self-righteous, bigoted and deluded.

Be racist!

I am, however, asking you to have the common courtesy not to add people on social networks and then proceed to bash their cultural, racial or religious affiliations right in front of them. If you absolutely have to deal with said group of people, at the very least fake it. Have a little class. It is extremely trashy to become friends with someone and then offend them. If you no longer use “teen” when admitting to your real age, you should know better.

That is aside from the fact that it can get you seriously hurt and throw off the balance of even the simplest daily tasks or routines. Many, many people have a much lower tolerance for bigotry than I, and most of them don’t hide behind sardonic remarks and backhanded compliments to make a point.

Again, I don’t say this because I want everyone to sit in a circle and chime “kumbaya.” That isn’t the issue at hand. People who are racist remain racist even when acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Yes, physics lies.

Newton didn’t know very much about white supremacy, yet.

Or maybe he did. I didn’t know him very well.

And because I wanted to use a more provocative title, I did not use my preferred, cleverly unclever, title for this post: “Racism Rears its Repulsive…Retinas.”

Yes, retinas. “Head” didn’t exactly fit.

I am addicted to alliteration.

Blame whitey. He/She/It fucked with my poor ‘lil head.

Gregarious Gaps in Normal (k)Nowledge

We all have gaps in knowledge and shortcomings. Sometimes, those gaps seem funny, ridiculous, and sometimes nonsensical.

Well,they are, and below is a list of words that I am incapable of pronouncing correctly, despite being a born and raised American and knowing exactly how they should be pronounced.

1) Library.
My pronunciation: Libary
2) Refrigerator
My pronunciation: Fridgerator
3) Awry
My pronunciation: Aw-ree
4) Water
My pronunciation: Wooter
5) February
My pronunciation: Febuary

There are several more. I just struggle to recall them, right now. What are some of your gaps?