The Best Medicine

Maybe I laugh too much; that’s probably the only reason why identifying a true hearty laugh from my past is so difficult. Or I have the memory span of a five year old at a birthday party, and that’s probably the truth of the matter.

Laughter fuels my day to day, and it is not always in the best of ways.

For instance: I laugh when I’m nervous, I laugh when I’m sad. Sometimes I laugh when I’m in pain, or I don’t know what to say. Laughter is there to get me through each day unscathed, but when it comes to true honest laughter I can’t identify a moment.

There’s times with my friends when I laugh myself into the bathroom, and those are always on my mind. Other times I laugh so hard I cry when I see a funny picture online.

While laughter might come in abundance, it is the true, honest laughter that shines through all else. Remember those moments, because when you’re feeling down they can be the reason you pull through.

~J. Spade 

 

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Moving Fast

If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?


 

As an avid believer of there not being enough time in the day, I have to say that if given the choice, I would be set on slowing things down. Even if it were only for a moment. The activities I partake in that tend to drag on are not boring enough for me to speed them up.

I once mentioned that if I were to have a super power it would be to control time, and there are many reasons for that.

If I could control time I could hit the pause button and write for as long as I want to without losing any hours in the day. I could slow down the moments of the day I spend with my nephew, because they are few and far between. With this power I could go back in time to reminisce over the long lost memories that I may have forgotten. I can cherish my loved ones much more, and take trips into the time I had with them when I can’t spare a moment.

That is the reason I would never chose to speed up time, because even during those moments that seem to drag it is worth it to spend time in my thoughts.

~J. Spade

We Deserve Equality

After being bedridden for the better part of  four days due to this damn stomach virus I have, I feel that I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ll spare you the gory details, but you’ll just have to know that I’m still not feeling well. Which means that this post might be a bit loopy and very short.

That’s it. That’s my whole post.

No, I’ve got a bit more juice left in me.

After miserably rolling over and seeing the date something pinged inside of my brain. I didn’t know what alarm was being triggered, but I knew I would find my answer online. First I checked to make sure my homework for the day was done, and then, when that didn’t yield any results, I came over to wordpress to see if I could find my answer here. Today’s prompt helped me remember.

As much as I wanted to write some long, thought out post about inequality, I fear that my time here is going to brief today. Hopefully no less powerful though.

Inequality is something I have seen a lot of in my life. When I was younger I saw it, but I did not understand it. A few key facts about me are that I am the youngest child and the only girl.  I was treated differently than my brother’s, and I am not sure if it is because of the younger aspect of that previous statement or the fact that I’m a female. That’s a story for another time though.

Inequality in society is based off of unequal opportunities presented to different individuals based off his/her gender, race and ethnicity, as well as social class. Other factors can be involved, but those are some of the main ones seen.

Inequality means that not everyone is being paid the same. That some people out there are being promoted quicker just because they have a different gender, race, or social class. It means that clothing for men is cheaper than clothing for women. In certain states, inequality means that an unstable mother can gain custody of the child over a stable father simply because she is the mother. It means that because of a person’s race they are being persecuted more swiftly and harshly than those around them. There are so many examples of inequality out there in the world, and yet still they remain unseen to a lot of the population.

It’s going to take a lot of people to stand up against inequality. To let people know that we won’t stand to be treated like anything other than people just because the color of our skin is differently, we make less money, and/or because we are of a different gender.

We are all people, we all have the same human rights. I’m tired of inequality saying that that’s not true.

Let’s do what we can for equal rights, because the world deserves equality.

~J. Spade

 

To Read Or Not To Read

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell?


Throughout my past two months of blogging, I am pretty sure I have made it clear that I love reading. And if I haven’t, let me just state right now that I love to read.

Now that that’s out of the way, I feel that it is imperative to inform everyone that I don’t always read books. I suppose that could be counted as a dry spell from books, but not a dry spell from reading.

If I don’t have my nose stuck in a book it is because I simply do not have time to immerse myself in the fictional realms I often indulge in. Usually that means textbooks have taken over my soul. I will never count those as “books”, because, even though I enjoy reading them for the most part, I do not become lost in them. When that happens, instead of picking up a book in my much sought after spare time, I tend to lean more towards fanfiction. Those are generally shorter, and a much quicker read than novels tend to be. At least the ones I choose. It helps me keep the mediocrity of school-required reading at bay by adding a bit of spice to my brain.

Overall, I’d say it’s hard for me to actually come upon “reader’s block”. I hesitate to say it is impossible, because I know that the minute that phrase crosses my mind I’ll be jinxing myself. That would be really horrible considering I’ve got a lot of school-required reading waiting for me.

I’m also feeling the urge to read a novel. Which means I will probably be up all night in order to cram all my fun reading in with my required reading.

If I’m not around for the next few days, it is probably because I am stuck in this chair.

It’s a good thing I don’t own anything like this chair. I’d never leave.

~J. Spade

Upturned Noses

Even the most laid back and egalitarian among us can be insufferable snobs when it comes to coffee, music, cars, beer, or any other pet obsession where things have to be just so. What are you snobbish about?


As much as it pains me to admit it, I can be snobbish about a lot of different things. Small things, of course, that don’t mean much to anyone else but mean a lot to me is the ground-level of my snobbery.

Tea, for instance, is something that I can be called a snob about. There are so many different types of teas out there, and I have tried them all. From green to white to black and every flavor in between, I love them all. The “snob” classification comes to head when brewing the different teas. Steep almost any tea as long as you would like, and I would love it. Except black tea. That’s a two to five minute steeping tops. Otherwise it turns bitter to my taste buds, and I don’t like the way it coats my tongue.

I’m probably also a bit of a snob when it comes to being asked questions like “what would you like to drink” because more likely than not my answer will be some form of tea. It’s something I inhale on a near daily basis.

Music is also something people have called me out on. Never using the term of “snob” per se, but I’ve become known in my group of friends as the person with the most eclectic taste of music. I’m the go to person for new music finds. It’s a lot of pressure, actually.

When asked my favorite band of the moment I have two answer. One is a very popular band that I throw out there when I don’t feel like going into a long explanation. The other, my actual favorite, is an indie band that not a lot of people have heard of. I say the name Marianas Trench and some might immediately jump to the conclusion that I’m referring to the deepest part of the ocean. In actuality, I’m referring to a Punk/Emo band that I absolutely adore.

See? Snob.

While I don’t often call myself a snob, I do know that I like what I like; and I’m never going to feel the need to apologize for that.

-J. Spade.

Transportation

Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?


There are moments in time that allow us to either slip to the wayside or participate. Transit can provide us with those moments; you can either sit in your own bubble or converse with those around you.

Life is full of choices after all.

I don’t know about all of you, but every time I visit a big city (i.e. Portland, Oregon or Seattle, Washington) I am told the same thing before getting on any form of public transportation. Phrases like “keep your head down and don’t make eye contact” and “don’t engage with strangers” are constantly thrown at me. It’s logical advice, yes, one that I’ve heard many of times during the course of my life. Namely when I was well into my adolescent years and wanted to go to the mall on my own.

The fact that I still hear it now, in the midst of adulthood, makes me question if I’ve been put into a bubble for a reason. Am I fragile and I don’t realize it? Or maybe people think I can’t judge a situation well enough to make smart choices.

The fact of the matter is, I’ve had great conversations with people on city buses before. On those rare occasions when I felt the need to be outside of my shell. I’ve also been in situations where it would be safer not to bring attention to myself on public transportation.

Transit can be a place to make connections with people, but it is also a time where some feel it imperative to sit within their own thoughts and not engage with others. Neither option is more right or wrong than the other; it is simply a choice that the participant will have to make for his or herself.

Judging the situation can help you to decide which choice you will make if you’re feeling unsure.

There was one day on the bus when a man walked on and started yelling about his day; his words were not directed at any particular person, and he didn’t want to talk to anyone. It was his time to vent, and it was clear that if you interrupted you would become the source of his ire. Sometimes people don’t have an outlet to properly express themselves, and they choose to do so on the bus. That’s fine. Let them. If it’s not hurting anyone, or disturbing them then that person should be allowed to have a moment.

I’ve also spent hours on a train trading jokes with a complete stranger. She complimented my sketchbook and we bonded over that. Though I never got her name, I will always remember how she wholeheartedly laughed with me: a complete stranger.

While usually I prefer to sit in silence while in public transport, I do like to people watch. I blame the writer inside of me. Constantly, I am trying to make real life inspire my writing. Maybe the way a person gesticulates with her or his hands becomes a trait my character possesses. Perhaps the words someone speaks strikes the match of inspiration inside of my chest that. Real moments inspire.

It’s a writing exercise in a way, which is one of the reasons I will always enjoy public transportation. Since I plan to live in a big city at some point in my life, I can only be grateful that I am not scared of the transit system.

My mother, though, is a different story. I’m probably going to have to call her five times a day for the first year just to assure her that I am alright. My mom seems to constantly forget that I’m in my twenties; it’s one of the perks of being the youngest child and the only girl.

~J. Spade

 

Moonlight Madness

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” — Allen Ginsberg

Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?


While it is great to push the limits and test boundaries, it’s also important to know that there is a time and place for everything. Do not let your inner moonlight be diminished by the rules and guidelines set by society, but do not let your madness get you in trouble either.

It’s a fine line, the art of listening to your inner self.

Whether you are focusing on writing or everyday life, you should know when to use your power. A reader is not going to want to read page upon page of ranting madness, just like a person is not going to want to endure hours upon hours of listless ramblings.

Moderation is key, so use it wisely.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is, that with living and writing I hope to keep those around me interested; that’s why I chose a balance between boring and outrageous.

~J. Spade

To Be Or Not To Be

To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you better?


There are so many verbs out there, and I feel I have a connection with all of them. Or maybe, I just need to have a connection with all of them.

I am an active mind, constantly in a state of want because there is so much that can be done, written, or thought. In one post, I mentioned how I was never bored; I believe this is the reason for that.

While I would love for my spirit verb to be any of the aforementioned, I know that it is probably something a little more basic.

In fact I’ve mentioned it in this post and in many others.

I want. Period.

I want for me. I want for my friends, family, and even mere acquaintances. It’s a selfish and selfless action all rolled into one. This is the verb that best describes me because it encompasses all others. I want to be, to have, to think, and to move.

I am best characterized with want because I know that I don’t always succeed in my endeavors. But I damn sure am going to try, regardless.

~J. Spade

Knowing the Truth

We live in a world of self awareness, and that self awareness is brought forth because we assume to know our own self worth. In some cases that self worth might be more focused on the lack of, which really happen to be just lies we’ve spun to build up walls. After all, we know who we are or who we can be, and yet all we see are the flaws that take up the day to day. These flaws that we only perceive ourselves to have is because we are stuck in a loop of comparing our worst days to somebody else’s best. That is not fair to anyone.

We see our bare selves and we pick at it, and we see someone’s day-face and decide that we need to be like that all the time. It’s unhealthy, and it distorts your own view of your day-face.

I’m guilty of this, and we all are on some degree.

As a strong “love your body” advocate I feel like a hypocrite every time I look in the mirror. My mom used to tell me I was my own worst critic when it came to any of my creative works, but I don’t think she realized how much my critiques bled over into my daily psyche. Nothing I did or wore was ever good enough. While I’m getting better, those moments of self doubt still leave me bed-ridden and sad from time to time.

I find it ridiculous, all of it. Because I know I’m not really all that ugly or fat, but I still feel those things as many of us do. Why we feel the need to put feeling to these words that really are only descriptive I will never understand.

I wish it was easy to stand up and face down those societal molds and say things like, “Yes, my love handles might be a bit more prominent than what the media deems ‘normal’ but that’s not me, because it doesn’t show that I can paint and write and that helps make me who I am.”

Okay, so it’s a bit easier to say than I had originally accounted for, but I want to be able to say it and feel it with every fiber of my being. I want my words to ring just as true in my mind as they do in the air.

Our self awareness should just become awareness as we realize that all of us have day-faces that we hide behind. As I sit here with my top-knot of a bun, sweats, and spot-treatment mask of a face, I need to understand that this is not my ‘red-carpet’ look. Therefore, comparing this behind-the-scenes look to some A-Listers glammed up persona is not going to do anyone any good.

Except maybe the 1/2-gallon of peppermint ice-cream I bemoan my troubles to at the end of the day, but that’s beside the point. I’m also just using this moment as a shameless promotion for my favorite seasonal treat, because I am so happy it’s here.

Back on topic though.

The next time you see a picture of a celebrity all dolled up with thousands of dollars worth of makeup and clothes, just know that you’d look just as fantastic under the same pampering. Even if you can’t bring yourself to think that’s true, just knowing that someone out there would think you’re beautiful might be enough to do the trick.

And if that isn’t enough, then maybe the proof will lie within the meme.

~Johana Spade