Where Do We Go From Here?

Optimistic

How do you fuel the fires of optimism?

Day 2 - Overcast

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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

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

 

This Is Me

You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?


 

I, like I am sure many of you, am the type of person who flounders when the conversation switches to anything along the lines of ‘tell me about yourself’. In brief, every exciting moment of my life seems to vanish the second someone questions me about it. Years could pass by since I last saw a person, and the instant the question ‘what’s new with you’ comes into the conversation I would still undoubtedly respond with ‘nothing’.

Throw me in a room full of strangers where I am forced to tell my story in four minutes, and you might as well have thrown me to the proverbial wolves. I will choke. It’s my nature.

If I’m given time to prepare, the results might be a bit different. After some prep, the story I would weave in my four minute time span would be one of growth.

“I have never been known as a positive person,” I would say to the masses. A deep breath would follow, as I amped myself up for the rest of my speech. “In fact, more often than not, people choose to comment on my dark soul or heart. Friends have even called me an ice queen, because I have a tendency to shut people out with what seems like little to no regard. That’s not really me.”

My eyes would be cast to the side, unwilling to face the people I am about to bare my soul to. “In fact, telling you about me isn’t something I’m prone to do. I may not cry as freely as those around me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel. Maybe I’ve avoided talking to a friend a time or two, but that has nothing to do with a disinterest in them. It’s all a mechanism of fear. Hiding how I feel is my mode of operation; it’s how I’ve learned to survive. The thick skin I’ve created is a wall, because only I can decide who is let in.”

As I continue, my story would include snippets of who I was and how far I’ve come. It would hold anecdotes about how I’m still growing and learning every day. The end would be a reflection of the beginning, as I state: “And it’s only when a person begins to see those little things about me, that they realize I’m not as dark as they once thought.”

~J. Spade

 

Beholding Beauty

We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? is all beauty contingent on a subjective point of view?


 

Beauty can come in many different shapes, forms, colors, and sizes. The most piquant aesthetic of beauty is that it is not limited or confined. It can be a million different things or it can be one thing; but all in all it is something that draws the heart and eye.

It is because beauty is so variant that is said to be ‘in the eye of the beholder’. There is definitely a lot of truth to the phrase. What one person finds beautiful another may not.

Jealousy is an emotion that can twist beauty into something untrue. If, per say, a person was jealous of another person for being more beautiful than he or she, then they would not perceive the former person to be beautiful. Though jealousy is a very powerful stimulant in terms of beauty, it is not necessarily the only one. Just because one person doesn’t find something to be physically compelling does not mean they are jealous of it, it just means it does not hit their particular fancy.

Nature versus nurture can be called into question in terms of beauty, as it can with many subjects. The environment a person grew up in might make them see certain things as more beautiful than others, and the genetics they hold might also influence their feelings.

Beauty is profound because undeniably there is not one thing on this planet that someone somewhere does not find beautiful.

~J. Spade