It’s a Love Story. Baby Just Say Yes. 

Today I was sitting in Barnes and Noble and the song Love Story by Taylor Swift came on and I was singing along and I accidentally said “throwing peasants” instead of throwing pebbles and the kid behind me looked up from his laptop and with the straightest face was like, “Okay, but maybe don’t throw them in my direction, okay?” And then went back to his computer like it was a totally normal exchange of words. 

Sometimes I love people. 

Have the Hero Hack It

There are moments in life in which we are forced to make decisions based on what we want versus what is good for us. I am not talking about the age-old, banal cliche that challenges mediocrity and bad choices in a considerably weak statement of the obvious.

“Sometimes you have to choose between what is right and what is easy.”

No shit, Sherlock.

No, what I am talking about is the extremely thin line between fear of consequence and actual pain.It may seem that I have just created an innovative way to say the exact same thing, but bear with me.

Neither fear of consequence nor acceptance of pain is easy. There is no simplicity in two choices that can force you into an astronomically vile pit of bitter nothing that you will have to drag your unwieldily self out of with an excessive amount of effort.

We both know you aren’t quite that muscular.

The reality of the situation is that death is not a choice. Ultimatums come in many different, sometimes inconceivable, forms. What will hurt the most? What will be the hardest to recover from? And what in a theoretical god’s name do you do if the resulting pain of both is equal?

And what happens when you have to choose between relief of your own pain and the incineration of someone else’s? Who do you love more? There is no right answer; just guilt and shame. It isn’t at all fair to claim that saving yourself over someone else is an act of evil. There is no law in the universe that says that, in order to be good, heroic, upstanding, you must sacrifice yourself for the sake of others–no matter the intensity of your love or how great they are in number.

Hero (noun): A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
-The Oxford English Dictionary

But our society has skewed this definition and created the notion that the opposite of this is egocentric, perhaps even narcissistic; But to stand down from nobility is not a selfish act. It is a decision to simply be.

But to come full circle to my original point, I have this to say: when you come to pick your poison, sometimes the best thing to do is close your eyes, pull your decision out of a hat and take a leap of faith.

Swallow my Doubt & Turn it Inside Out

I discovered that a teacher at the school I work in played “I wish they knew” with the kids. The point of the game is to anonymously put in “I wish they knew” comments in a hat about a particular person. I didn’t know my name came up, until today.

Apparently, one of the kids wrote, “I wish she [me] would smile more. She has such a pretty smile.”

We also played name charades, and when a student pulled my name out of the hat, she said, “This person is really sarcastic and reminds all of us of disgust from Inside Out.”

Everyone immediately yelled out my name.

I’ll take it.

Dear White People: Labels, Labels, Labels

Watching controversial shows like Netflix Original ‘Dear White People’ has an extreme tendency to spark up a case of the fairly fluctuating fickle feels. One issue that has risen above the fold that I am inversely besotted to is the argument for and against “labels.”

Now, let’s get this straight: Subscribing to labels isn’t necessarily a juxtaposition to being independent and unique, and the opposite is also true. However, we can’t choose to refrain from being clad with specific labels if we don’t know we don’t understand which we would belong to if we did. If we are, we are simply following the newest trend of our society: It’s not cool to subscribe to anything but magazines.

Think Schrödinger’s Cat; The cat is in the box, but you have no idea if the cat is dead or alive unless you open the box. On a much, much smaller scale, we also cannot decide whether the labels really personify us until we actually explore them–i.e open the box.

So let’s talk labels. There are an ash ton of them floating around just south and north of the equator, but let’s simplify the list to our trending top three: sexuality, race, and gender.

Sexuality: an overarching umbrella. In its most basic family tree, you have your heterosexual, homosexual, and (perhaps arguably) asexual. But it gets complicated. You’ve got your Kinsey sixes, Kinsey threes, and just plain old Kinsey ones. You’ve got your zeros and you’ve got your fluids. Good luck counting them.

Next, race. You’ve got your classic black/white/hispanic hushed segregated system, but what happens when you’re biracial? Do you belong to two labels or have you created one of your own? Perceptions are everything.

Finally, there’s gender. You’ve got your cis, your trans, and your androgynous. The list goes on there too, but you belong to one of them, and you can’t escape that.

So, I would be an aromantic asexual Muslim Arab-American cisgender female.

These are labels that I cannot change.

And if we’re getting into the even more detailed form of my personal category, then I am an aromantic asexual epileptic diabetic Muslim Arab-American arguably marginally sociopathic cisgender female with an oppositional defiance issue and ADD.

That is a hell of a category, and those are a lot of labels. I carry each and every one of them, just like everyone else.

The only one I refuse to validate is “heteronormative.” Absolutely not.

Point is, believing that you do not subscribe to any epithets and are simply a unique, kindred spirit is nothing more than a delusion. You are branded by many individual labels. You are simply a compilation of them all.

Yes, you are you, and that is truer than true. Sure, there’s no one around, who’s you-er than you.

But that’s not what the cool kids say.

#DrSeuss

Why Weddings aren’t Weally Worth it

I don’t understand weddings.

Or to be more specific, I don’t understand the importance of weddings. People spend thousands of dollars on a few hours. Can you stop and think about all the other things in the world that you could use that money for that would be so much more enjoyable, more useful, than a party?

Weddings are just a manifestation of one’s personal hubris. The prettier the wedding, the better we feel about ourselves. People who attend have to “wow” themselves to sleep that night because they’d never been to so expensive a shindig. Otherwise, the union was unsuccessful.

Who cares what kind of food is served, or which designer made your dress, or what color uplighting Sir Disk Jockey used? Why does it matter if the center pieces aren’t perfectly crafted in an ostentatious formation that’ll make your bitter Aunt Ellie jail-house jealous?

The concept of a wedding being the “most important day of your life” is borderline insane. How is wearing an uncomfortable outfit for five hours and being stared at by tons of people you barely know or talk to special?

“You only get married once” is no longer a plausible argument. 50 percent of marriages in America end in divorce. You might think you’re a special snowflake and are irrevocably in love, but people change over time. The chances you aren’t going to make it are pretty high, and now you’re out all this money that you could have had as back up just in case life happens.

All because you just had to have the sexiest wedding south of nowhere.

Band or DJ? Chicken or beef? Vera Wang or off-the-rack discount Davy’s Bridal? White or ivory table cloths? Four cameras or five? Sacrifice one virgin or two?

Who gives a fuck?

Why not keep the money for a down payment on a house, or an awesome honeymoon, or a saving’s bond for a rainy day?

I just think it’s disgusting that we spend a fortune to make a huge production of something people do all the time. Getting married is not some huge achievement. It’s a dated process that doesn’t really accumulate much envy on your guests’ parts. Can you imagine the amount of people you could feed with that money? How many lives you could improve with just a fraction of how much you just spent on food for people who eat pretty well all on their own?

A wedding is just a party. Nothing more. There is no reason to make it rain diamonds just to show that you’re better than everyone else. It doesn’t make you look happier. It just proves how desperate you really are for attention.

Trust me. People are not going to remember your “special night” for very long. You will be filed away in the deepest corner of their minds, right at the very bottom of the “Irrelevant Memories” cabinet. Even you will never look at those pictures, again.

So let it go.

To Whom It May Concern

To Whom it May Concern:

I have written many a post about depression and anxiety; I have explained it, described it, and defended it extensively in cyber space and real life. It seems, however, that despite all of this people still are unable to recognize it when they see it. This isn’t about me. This is about all of those around me that are subjected to labels by people who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.

The girl who stays up all night and sleeps all day isn’t just lazy. The guy who’s always on a screen of some kind, be it a computer, video games, or any other gadget that prevents social interaction, isn’t just addicted to technology. The people who keep to themselves for the most part do not think they’re better than others. Often, it is the exact opposite, and nothing is more terrifying than seeking help.

The girl who’s up all night is anxious. She can’t sleep, because all of the things that she thinks are wrong with her are running around in circles in her head. She is analyzing everything that she has ever done and is torturing herself over all of it, because she is simply incapable of moving on. Her mole hills are mountains she can’t climb, and when the sun comes up and she can see more than darkness, her mind finally lets her sleep.

The boy who is always staring at a screen is terrified of socializing. Crowds make him nervous, people make him anxious, and the real world is far more intimidating than the virtual reality he has created.

The girl who keeps to herself has low self-esteem. She compares herself to others and seems to always fall short. She looks down on herself and wonders why she couldn’t be as talented, smart, or beautiful as the people around her. It is easier for her to be alone, than to find herself in a position where her thoughts turn into self-deprecating beliefs that stick with her for life.

Just getting closer to God isn’t going to fix it. Being told that nothing is wrong with their lives, isn’t going to fix it. Telling someone that things are going to be okay isn’t going to fix it. Inserting our opinions and getting angry when the other person doesn’t get better isn’t going to fix it.

Telling people that it’s all in their head isn’t going fix it, because it is all in their head.

That’s kind of the point.

Sincerely,
The Guy Who Can’t Stand Your Type

Bet Your Bottom Dollar You’ll Lose the Blues in Chicago

I had the audacity to take a weekend trip to Chicago with some friends to see my brother. I anticipated a long drive, plenty of rest stops, and shit ton of money spent on gas.

What I did not anticipate was the fact that I would have a terrible fucking time, because I am legitimately stupid. I went to Chicago with two married couples, only to meet up with my brother, who is engaged.

Three couples, and me.

I should have known that things were going to take a very ugly turn when we were all getting ready. All the women in the apartment were busy putting on a shit ton of make-up, primping and bedazzling like they were on an America’s Next Top Model challenge.

It was like watching an ant farm. Three girls scurrying about, taking out curlers and liners and other objects I didn’t recognize. I truly didn’t understand why they were doing this. It didn’t change very much. They didn’t look any different, and all of them were already beautiful.

And as we took our first class-trip into the heart of Chitown for eighth class seats at Lolapalooza, my aro-ace anxiety hit me like a rusted freight train off its rails. They were all walking in pairs; Each guy had his arm around his girl, and I was just walking in the back all by myself. I was now officially intruding on couple’s night, and it fucking sucked. It was a mild representation of what my life is actually like: people pairing up around me, and me taking my phone for a walk.

What’s even worse, it was also a reminder that one day I might have to be like them, because I have to get married. I’m going to be stuck doing things like that, because he won’t have a clue what he fucking married.

It wasn’t resentment toward them. I was getting extremely anxious, and I couldn’t hide that with anything other than anger. I wasn’t mad that they had left me on my own. I love being on my own. I just couldn’t mask the anxiety any other way, and they bought it hook, line, and sinker. We turned it into a joke and went on about our business.

But then we got home, and every girl was in her guy’s arms, and I was sitting on my own, again. It’s not like I can be upset with them over it; They’re married and happy. There’s no reason they should disguise their love because I am disgustingly abnormal. The only thing keeping me grounded was my friend back on the East Coast, who was texting me the entire time. Even after everyone had slept, she was miraculously not tired, and we stayed up until 4 a.m. talking and messing around.

But she had to go to bed, eventually. She had work the next day. I was alone in the dark, now. I couldn’t ignore the anxiety anymore, and since there were people all over the apartment sleeping, I had to sit in the bathroom with the light off, music in my ears and trying not to cry.

How disgustingly pathetic is that?

I had zero reason to react that way. I had a panic attack because I was walking by myself among people who clearly just wanted to be with each other. So what? Why am I so uncomfortable being so ridiculously different, even after all these years? I am twentyfuckingfive.

People shouldn’t have to edit their lives just because I’m a mess. They can’t act differently around me simply because I might fall apart.

But I don’t think I can take this, anymore.

Never, ever again. Single friends only.

Time to get the hell out of Chicago.

Fuck off, Sinatra.

Pretentious Perpetuation of Problems Per Pop Culture

Before we begin, I would like to say that I am not writing this to promote or demote pop culture. How I feel about the dazed masses who revel in elements of entertainment and fashion solely due to their popularity is not the issue at hand, particularly since pop music is obviously solving deep-rooted social issues in America.

Remember when there were xenophobic ‘Muricans who hated Spanish? I guess ‘Despacito’ was the key to solving ethnicity-based hate and bigotry. Good on you, Justin. Who knew a reverse-oreo Ryan Seacrest would be the cure for racism?

Any-word, the real problem is the the bigotry of those who color themselves liberal and tolerant. It may be the latest fashion, but calling yourself a liberal does not actually make you a liberal.

Being a liberal isn’t just about equal rights. It isn’t just about wanting people to be allowed to love who they want. It isn’t just about believing people can practice whatever religion they want. It’s isn’t just about politics. It’s about not lording your likes and dislikes over people who happen to be hanging out on a different cumulus than you are.

And I know this might be a stretch folks, but hear me out.

You cannot call yourself a liberal if you talk about how stupid people who don’t like popular culture are; i.e Game of Thrones, Justin Beiber, Tay Tay, pop-rap stars. You cannot call yourself a liberal if you are telling people they don’t like something because they “haven’t given it a real chance.” You cannot call yourself a liberal if you’re calling people “pretentious hipsters” for not being part of your fandom.

And what’s worse, we as a society have become so undeniably brain-washed that we change how we feel about things as soon as the pop culture icons we idolize voice an opposing opinion.

For example, a great number of people hate country music, but if Taylor Swift somehow stumbles back over her own roots, what is the likelihood that they will stand by their attitude on a scale of Impossible to Absolutely Not? Country music lovers will no longer be dubbed hillbillies, Thomas Rhett will be the sexiest man on earth, and Folk music will be the new dead horse.

Sure, it is about keeping this lovely US of A the land of the free and the home of the brave, but our culture has dictated that we cannot be free if we are not brave, and alienating each other because we fundamentally disagree on things that dont really matter is exactly what is tearing us apart.

This country isn’t in need of a Mexican standoff. It is big enough for the both of us. No one on either side should be preaching to the other to get them to change their minds.

If you’re going to do it, you might as well start a-knock knockin’ on people’s doors with pamphlets and scripted conversation starters. It’s the same thing; We just don’t like going outside, anymore.

The Idea Guy

I had to take a communication style test today, along with the other trainees and my boss. We sat in that room with that damn sheet of paper, answering questions that were just a tad bit intrusive. And I can’t say I didn’t struggle, because I knew that all of my honest answers would put me in a category I didn’t really want my boss to know I was in.

But I did it, anyway.

Because I’m stupid, and didn’t know we would have to share.

When we looked over the results, everyone in the room ended up in Communication Style 3, except me. I was in Style 4, and it wasn’t exactly a good place to be in, at that moment.

Style 3 is people-oriented. The listeners. The caretakers. The empathizers. Everything a therapist should be.

Style 4, however, is the Idea Guy. The abstract thinker. The artist. The writer. The challenger. I can’t say I’m shocked, but no one else? No one?

I am always the oddball. I am always in a category all on my own, swimming in a soul-sucking sea of solitude that’s really just dark as fuck. What good is it being an Idea Guy if nothing I come up with is worth being read?

All it means is that I’m playing for a losing team, because numbers outweigh strength.

Strength I don’t even have.

Yay for self-esteem.