Challenge – Day 19 through 27

Day 19

Day 19 – Sidelight

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The Life and Times of a Spade

You might want to step back, because I’m about to get all sorts of personal on your dash.

I’m sorry, that ridiculous pun sounded a lot better in my head. Getting to the point though, I’m just going to give you a brief overview of what is going on in my life, and what that will mean for my blog.

A couple of weeks ago I was hired on for a full-time phone customer service position. Not a big deal, and I don’t start until early to mid February which means nothing has changed as of yet. I don’t know what my shift is, and I won’t know until the middle of March what it will be. As it stands now, that one job won’t change much when it comes to posting.

The thing that might make my posts more sporadic is the fact that I will be looking for a part-time position as well. I know what you’re thinking, “Johana! A part-time and full-time job isn’t going to occupy all of your time.” Okay, maybe you’re not thinking that, but if you are then I’d have to say that you would be right. Keep in mind we have to factor in time for sleep as well as time for eating and exercising. That shaves a bit more off my available hours within any given week. Once again that is not what I am worried about, I’m more worried about the fact that I am also going to continue going to school full-time. With my procrastination techniques firmly in place, I do believe my posts will be limited. I’m hoping for once a week at least. We will see how well that works out.

Just wanted to keep you updated as I continue on in my endeavors of paying my bills and getting educated. With any luck I’ll be able to make it to graduate school with only a bit left to pay on my car.

Why did nobody tell me adult life was going to be so stressful?
~Johana Spade

Narrow Spaces

In a years time, my plan is to be living and attending school somewhere on the East Coast. It’s going to be a major change, and I’m going to have to make the most of whatever tiny space I can afford.

I’ve been really into looking at minimalist living lately, because there are some very fascinating living styles. Since I will not know anyone, my desire is to have my home feel as comfortable as possible.

The first design I checked out was amazing. Made out of steel and crammed into a width of five feet, this home is not for the claustrophobic. As much as I loved the concept, I’m not sure such a fit would be right for me. I do classify myself as a claustrophobic for one, and my family will undoubtedly want to visit me at some point. Not really a good location to have anybody come over. There also is the small factor of me planning to make friends at some point. I am a homebody, so I would prefer to hang out at my place when possible, and this design does not allow for that. It’s truly magnificent though, for those who are able to pull off living there.

My favorite living situation was this one:

It’s probably super expensive. Damn them for not putting a price on it in order to quickly dash my dreams, now I’m going to have to draw out the sweet agony of wanting what I most likely can’t have.

These videos serve as inspiration, because with a bit of intelligence (and money of course) even the smallest of spaces can become comfortable.

~J. Spade

 

 

The Buck Stops Here

I somehow simultaneously expect too much and too little from society as a whole. Moreover, I know how bad society can be, and I keep hoping against all else that it will change. Instead of the change I’ve been wishing to see, it only seems to be getting worse.

Yes, how incredibly fascinating that I’m yet another unspoken activist hidden behind the confines of a keyboard and a pen name. Dreary, really.

Back in the old days, that long three years ago when I was still young and naïve, I applied for the Miss County pageant. Let me amend, I was in the Miss Pageant. Circumstances lead me to not trying very hard, because all the platforms offered to me just seemed so contrived. If I was offered another chance, I’d have a platform I could work with; one that I would want to strive towards. Alas, that cannot be, so I’ll simply have to rehash these would be memories at a later date.

As I was saying, the potential activist inside of me does not quite have the means to make the change happen that I wish to see. I am so sick of the high horse people ride in on. What good does it do to tear people down?

I’m not saying this because I can’t handle hate – anonymous or otherwise – I am saying this because I can. I’ve dealt with my fair share of ridicule, and I’ve grown from it. It’s actually gotten to the point where I am quite indifferent to the insults slung my way. I am not, however, indifferent to the crude behavior taking place everywhere else. Say what you want about me, because I can handle it; it’s everyone else that worries me. Because there are so many people out there who can’t handle such abusion. And no one should have to handle it.

It’s everywhere: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Whatever social media site you’ve dabbled in the so called ‘haters’ have also forayed into those grounds. I have not been on WordPress long, but I’m sure that it receives its fair share of bashing. Excuse me if I’ve used the word fair too lightly. There is nothing fair about someone being slammed for stating their thoughts.

I do suppose that the haters use that as a defense too. “I’m just stating my opinion,” they’ll say as the write out a contemptuous review that not only berates a person for his or her words but somehow threatens and abuses all in one go. And there is the difference. I wouldn’t mind if people were merely sharing their opinions. It could range from “I don’t like this” to “I love this” and social webbing would already be a safer place. It’s the ones who feel the need to throw in the threats of death, wishes of disappearance, and the criticizing of morals and appearances that bring haters to a whole new level.

I ask again, why? Why would anyone think they are so high above the rest of us mortals that it is okay for them to think this way?

Secondhand

Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.


As the youngest child I spent a lot of my time dealing with hand-me-downs. Toys, books, clothes, and even sports seemed to belong to someone else before it came to me. At the time it really annoyed me. I was the only girl amongst my parents children, it didn’t make sense to me how my mother kept happening across used clothing for girls that were conveniently in my size. Of course, I had plenty of older cousins that helped out with her endeavor to keep me clothed in articles that were well past the point of worn.

Being as young as I was I just didn’t understand. Why did my brothers receive new things when I never did? Was it because my parents loved them more than me? Questions filled my brain and stuck in my mind, making me more confused than I had any right to be. Then one day all of that washed away. All pieces of hand-me-downs that were given to me were not merely objects that had previous owners, they had been cared for and loved in such a way that shouldn’t be looked down upon. The objects had lived, had stories of their own. That was beautiful, that was new, and the fact that I could create my own stories to go right along with the previous ones was an incredible feeling.

Once I had realized that, I ended up being happy with the things that I had. I was able to appreciate the value of them, and even to this day I still admire the quality of life found in hand-me-downs. That’s part of the reason I donate the stuff that I have outgrown, because maybe, just maybe, someone will have a place for that material in their own life.

 

~J. Spade

To The Grave

Keeping a secret, while difficult, is not impossible. Secrets are small glimpses into another person’s soul; they happen because you were trusted by that person to help keep a piece of her or him unseen. It’s an act of trust between two or more people, and spilling the so called beans can essentially mean breaking that trust. Reality is harsh, but if you fail to keep a secret that is that big then you might has well have literally thrown your friend under the bus rather than figuratively. The key here is keep your lips sealed to the best of your ability.

As with anything, there are plenty of tips that can help keep a secret remain just that. Some of those tips include:

  • Putting yourself in his or her shoes. Think how you would feel if it was your secret being shared. You wouldn’t want to tell just anyone your secret, so you shouldn’t tell just anyone their secret.
  • Listen to them. Chances are they mentioned at least once that you “can’t tell anyone”. Anyone means anyone. Even if it is someone who doesn’t know them you still shouldn’t let their secret slip. Telling a person who doesn’t know the person is just as bad as telling someone who does know them. It’s a gateway slip, it will undoubtedly lead to future slips. So just don’t do it.
  • Secrets can be soul burdens. If you’re finding a mighty need to tell the secret just to ease the pressure of your soul write it down. Use code-names of course so that if someone happened across it all parties involved would still remain intact. Writing it down is similar to sharing the secret with someone without all the horrible backlash that could result in a loss of friends.
  • Know your limits. There are some people who just can’t keep secrets. If you are one of those people, speak up before the secret is spilled. That way if for some unfortunate reason you were to let it slip later on, then it will not be entirely your fault. You gave fair warning, and they still decided to share their secrets.
  • Understand the difference between secrets that should be kept and secrets that shouldn’t. Sometimes there are people out there who give you a secret that can be harmful: to themselves or to others. If you happen to come across such a secret you will have a lot to contemplate. First you will need to know who you can turn to with this secret, because harmful secrets aren’t always best left swept under the rug.

Those, of course, are just a few of the essential guidelines to follow. There is more to it than that, but knowing the basics helps to lay the groundwork for future tight lips.

~J. Spade

Growing Up

Getting older means that you take on more and more responsibilities; you have to care for yourself and for others. If you’ve ever spent any time as a designated driver (DD) then you know that it is akin to parenting or babysitting. There is something wholly uncouth about being the only sober person amidst a mass of drunkards; especially when you’re in a fairly large city.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I am glad I could be there for them on their big day and help out; but holy crap can drunks be difficult to handle. Mainly when there is a large group of them. There is nothing more taxing than a group of eight or more drunks each getting ideas in their head, because as the DD you are bound to be pulled in a million different directions trying to wrangle up the lush’s.

Of course, there are different levels to each person. One person might be content to follow you around all night because they “love you sooo much”, whereas another might just want to go make out with someone and you’ll be damned lucky if they mention anything of the sort to you. So not only do you have to search out your friends in the dark, but you have to look for shadows of themselves behind the silhouette of the partner they have chosen. It can get somewhat awkward out on the dance floor, because more than half of the people out there are sucking face and you’ll be lucky if you can see your friend at all.

As a DD you’re not there to snub out their fun, you’re simply there to give them a safe ride home. But shit, is it hard to make sure they get home safe when they’ve all scattered like a bunch of flies at a barbeque.

You’re bound to hear the same story at least ten times, with spastic embellishments that can only make sense to those with inebriated brains. You’re going to get annoyed, your feet will hurt, and the music and smells might just give you a headache. The selling point would have to be the fact that you’ll probably spend more money than you had planned on by buying your friends birthday drinks, and sadly none of those drinks were even for you. It can be frustrating, but hopefully the drunk birthday girl or guy is kind enough to drunkenly declare how grateful they are that you did this for them.

A few tips for surviving a night as a DD would be:

  • Set your guidelines early in the night when they’re still coherent enough to understand them.
  • Don’t plan to leave the bars early. Chances are they are going to want to close it out, and if you had planned to go home early your annoyance level will be through the roof.
  • Be firm, but understanding. They’re drunk and you are not. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be a party pooper either.
  • Have fun. Yeah, you’re surrounded by a bunch of drunk, horny fools, but that doesn’t mean you have to be angry about it. Laugh, enjoy the embarrassing shenanigans that everyone is partaking in.

And most importantly:

  • Take detailed notes. It’s all going to be worth it when you’re reacquainting your friends with all of their drunken shenanigans.

 

 

Yours Truly

~Johana Spade

The Find

500 years from now, an archaeologist accidentally stumbles on the ruins of your home, long buried underground. What will she learn about early-21st-century humans by going through (what remains of) your stuff?

It’s amazing how much a person can learn simply by looking at the material items a person possesses. There’s that saying revolving around ‘judging the contents of ones purse’ and it is so very true. A lot of people can be a bit obsessive when it comes to what’s theirs: do not look through their phone contents, their purse contents, or their wallet contents. It’s a matter of privacy in a world that is all too public.

Now saying that, I tend to be more on the border of “take a look at your own risk”. I don’t care if people look through my stuff, it will fall on them if they see something they don’t like.

If 500 years from now someone were to stumble upon the ruins of my home, I think they’d be in for a bit of a shock about how this 21st century girl lived her life. Crammed into a somewhat small living space I have the necessities: a bed, fridge, kettle, and clothes.

No big deal right?

Well, I think the most important thing she would learn about 21st century life is that we were extremely good at Tetris. At least I know I am. I have packed over twenty years of accumulating crap into one room that I still don’t even know how I managed it. My room’s some sort of whacked out version of Mary Poppins’ bag, I have so much junk. 

~J. Spade

A World Without

Title: A World Without

Prompt: You wake up one morning to a world without mirrors. How does your life — from your everyday routines to your perception of yourself — change?


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