Tag: Thoughts

Thoughts about culture

This is going to be a pretty random, short post that is mostly the product of procrastination, but nonetheless, I feel like sharing my thoughts about this.

One of my final papers this semester (which happens to be my last semester of classes before I go on internship, HOLLAAAA) is a “cultural autobiography”. It’s for a class I’m taking about working with culturally diverse individuals in my field. Basically, I have to write a paper about how my culture and the things that have happened to me in life have shaped my beliefs and values, and why. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it hasn’t been for me.

I’m a white girl born and raised in Michigan in a middle class family. I am the essence of the majority culture where I am living. Sure, there are things that have shaped how I view the world that can be considered aspects of my culture. Every single person on the planet has a culture that they identify with and can probably pinpoint how that culture has had an impact on how they view the world. But, I’m honestly a little uncomfortable writing about how my culture has impacted my worldview when I’ve honestly had it so easy in comparison to so many others. Has being a more liberal-leaning female in a white, middle-class, conservative family been easy 100% of the time? Of course not. But those little disagreements I have with family based upon my views of the world are nothing but an annoyance to me that I get over in a moment’s time. They in no way compare to the magnitude of what other individuals in my country face.

Another aspect that makes me unsettled about this assignment is that it’s making me realize how ordinary I really am. I love the idea of being a different and unique individual (I am an Aquarius, after all), and learning about other cultures and about things that make them stand out from the majority always reminds me that I’m not that special. Not that I need to be, but it’s just one of those things that puts me back in my place regarding who I am. If I had to guess, my paper will probably look like most of the other papers that will be turned into my professor (my field is predominantly made up of white women, so there are zero men and only a handful of women of color in my class, which is made up of 2/3rds of the students currently in my program).

I have ideas of things that I can write about, so I’m not worried about that part of it, and even if I didn’t have ideas, the due date is still a few weeks out. I’m just getting my feelings out there that it is making me a little uncomfortable that I have to write about perceived “hardships” that aren’t at all hard.

Well, whatever. I better suck it up and get back to picking away at this paper (and at the other 30 assignments I have to finish between now and May). Happy Friday, kids.

– Jessica

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The Things I’ve Grown to Expect

I can’t believe I’m going to say this and probably jinx everything, but 25 has been a good year so far. We still have 10 months left to go, but it’s already gone better than 23 and 24 even combined, so that’s saying a lot.

The funny thing is, though, that up until probably this week, I was feeling incredibly depressed and lonely. It’s funny, how even the smallest good event(s) can make me forget about all the bad that I’ve been feeling. As cliché and unhelpful as it is to hear, things really do get better with time.

Part of the reason for my depression in the previous weeks, as I mentioned above, was loneliness. Where I live, I am far from nearly all of my friends, and I have been feeling rather isolated as of late. And when I begin feeling isolated, I come back full circle to this realization of my single-ness.

This single-ness has been a trait that I’ve possessed for a decent period of time now. At this point, I really should be used to it. Sure, there have been a few random almost-somethings, or situationships, or whatever you want to call them over the past year and a half (wow, actually, today would mark exactly a year and a half of me being single, almost to the exact time. I can’t figure out how embarrassing it is that I know this off-hand…), but nothing that I ever for even a moment thought would turn into the real thing.

This brings me to a conversation and a realization that happened recently. Over the past month, I’ve had two situations that were a one-and-done kind of deal. A date where I was ghosted afterward, and a drunken bar adventure night with a dude who never texted me after. And you know what? I don’t really care. Do you know why I don’t really care? Because it’s just what I’m used to now. It’s a standard that I’ve grown to expect.

A while after things ended with my ex and I had been involved with a couple of other dudes who ended up being kind of shitty, I told myself, and many others, that I had a new standard that I wouldn’t budge from from here on out. I am not chasing after anyone anymore. You’re interested in me? Then you make the first move. If not, tough luck, I’m out. I’m tired of being the one who cares way more and wants way more and loves way more. It’s draining and doesn’t make me feel good, and I’m honestly just over it.

So, for now, I’m not surprised when I’m ghosted or ignored, and it probably won’t bother me. And if it’s going to be this way, then, so be it.

But anyway, the point of that whole spiel is to say that when I feel lonely in other aspects of my life, it makes me miss the days where I had a steady person to turn to. A person who I could spend an evening with that I would have otherwise spent alone. I start to crave this kind of attention and relationship again.

The thing that gets me out of this rut, though, is remembering that even when I had my person, I still spent plenty of Friday nights alone, because he was with his friends instead of me. I still spent millions of Saturday nights at the bar as the third/fifth/ninth/seventeenth wheel, because he just didn’t want to come out and actually spend time with my friends more than once a season. And there were plenty of nights in between where he didn’t really feel like hanging out, but just did it to appease me. Or that I made him mad and he wasn’t really into being around me, but I had been drinking so I had to stay. Or a million and one other things that happened in that relationship that weren’t awesome. And then I realize that, through all these memories, I’ve always been fine on my own. Sure, I had more of a person than I have now, but it isn’t anything compared to the person I hope to have in the future. There was more that could have happened, that could have made me happier, that didn’t happen.***

So, for now, there are just shitty behaviors from men that, while they aren’t okay or excusable, are things that I can handle and brush off/get past/tolerate, because they let me know that that person isn’t what I want. My depression/loneliness has subsided for the most part, so these things aren’t going to bother me for the moment. These are things that, like the bought of depression that I felt, will be over with someday, and I won’t be able to remember how much I at times didn’t like it. At least, that’s my hope for the future.

I’m going to try to keep making 25 a good time, and if I find my person along the way, it happens. And if not, there’s always 26.

– Jessica

***Not trying to say that my ex was some horrible human being that didn’t care about me or anything. He hurt me a lot, yeah, but I can think of a few points in the relationship where I wasn’t perfect either. But in all honesty, these were very real, reoccurring issues on his part. He knew I wasn’t happy about this stuff because I communicated this to him, but it all still kept happening anyway. So yeah, that’s my disclaimer for ya.

Ruined Progress

I know everyone is probably tired of hearing me talk about my ex. Hell, I’m fucking tired of hearing me talk about my ex. I’m tired of thinking about him, feeling things about him…just fucking tired.

I was getting better. I got to this point where I didn’t really care anymore. Where I didn’t feel the need anymore to glance around at his Facebook profile when his friends would tag him in something. Finding out that he’s engaged now was enough for me to throw in the towel on my creeping for all of eternity.

Until he contacted me.

Let me just go off on a tangent for a minute and say that the State of Michigan is a fucking joke. I have had two other addresses since I lived at his place. I have gone through the tedious experience that is standing in a long ass line out the door thirty minutes before the Secretary of State office opens to change my permanent address both times. Yet for some fucking reason, they send my new license plate tabs to my fucking ex’s house where I haven’t lived in over a year.

So he texted me. Which, good for him for letting me know where they were, because I was getting worried. He also said he had some shit around that was mine still and asked if I wanted it back (which, fucking duh, dude).

So I went there. On my birthday, no less. And I saw him, in person, and talked to him, for the first time in over a year. It was short and cordial, no small talk or anything (side note: he also did not wish me a happy birthday, even though he clearly had to know it was my birthday since he celebrated four of them with me), only lasted long enough for him to hand me my shit and for me to leave.

And it fucking hurt, y’all. It really fucking hurts.

I’m so angry at everything right now. How can it be fair that I end things because I’m not being treated very nicely, and I’m still here, unable to fully move on and feel for anyone else what I felt for him, yet he fucking gets to feel all this happiness? This is just a fucking testimony to what I had always feared to be true: I am the one who felt and who loved and who cared the deepest, while, even if he didn’t realize it or whatever at the time, I was just some placeholder until something better came along. And that’s who I am for every fucking guy who I get with. Just something to keep around until they’re bored or they find someone who they like more. And how can you not even want to have a conversation with me? Know how I’m doing? Idk man.

And I really don’t even care that he’s happy. And it’s not that I’m not in general content with my life. That’s not any of it. But it isn’t fair that he doesn’t have to wonder anymore and that I do. All I know is that I haven’t met “the one” yet. I don’t know when/if/how I will meet him. I have all this wondering to do.

I hear all of these people telling me “once you stop looking, it’ll happen!” Yet, I was never looking, I’m not looking at all now, and it definitely hasn’t happened. Not that I’m itching to jump into another relationship right now. But I just wish I could know when this bullshit emotional roller coaster is going to end and when I’m going to meet the one who will make me move the fuck on, or if I’m not going to meet him, just know when I’m going to stop giving a shit.

Stay tuned, I guess.

-Jessica

The First Hiccup of 2018

I haven’t had any contact with my ex in nearly a year. Once he hurried into a new relationship, it wasn’t long before I was completely unfriended on every form of social media. However, I’m still friends with the majority of his friends on Facebook, Snapchat, etc. So I see things about him every once in a while.

Well, last night, I accidentally stumbled upon something that part of me wishes I hadn’t, but part of me is glad to know: he’s engaged. He has in fact been engaged for months now. It happened that fast.

Part of me is asking a million questions in my head. Why so fast? Why so willing to spend forever with her when he made excuses to delay that step with me? What’s so good about her that made this such a quick and easy choice for him? And so on.

Part of me thinks that my stumbling upon this discovery was no accident. Maybe there is a reason I found this, that something in the universe knew that this is something that I needed in order to really know that him and I are a thing of the past. Not that I was blissfully unaware of this fact before or hoping he would come back to me or anything like that. Just like…it makes me a little mad. Mad that he couldn’t care about me the way he does her when that’s all I so desperately wanted in our relationship. It makes me mad enough to never want to accidentally stumble upon anything about him or her ever again.

He has every right to move on and be happy, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not going to sit here and pretend like this doesn’t fucking hurt. Seeing this person who you really care about, who you would 100% still be with if you hadn’t been miserable, just latch on to another person so quickly and care about them in ways that you had longed for so badly from them, it feels shitty. It makes me feel like he was dishonest and that he knew he was wasting my fucking time, no matter how irrational that is.

I slept like shit after I found out last night, and honestly, I am anticipating a similar evening tonight. But we’ll see.

Other than this, though, 2018 has actually been treating me well so far. I’m trying to change my attitude a little bit and remember that it’s early in the year, and that one bad thing this early on won’t make or break anything. We’ll see how things progress.

Stay tuned.

-Jessica

Single, but not lonely (Part II)

The biggest issue I have with the whole single = lonely thing is the fact that I am not fucking the slightest bit lonely.

First of all, can we remember that just because I’m single doesn’t mean that I haven’t looked at a man since my ex? Sure, I go back and forth with my feelings about the whole dating thing…well, okay, maybe not so much back and forth as much as 85% of the time feeling like I never want to be around another man again, 10% of the time spending like two weeks hanging out non-stop with a guy who I actually like being around before they decide to ignore my existence, and then like maybe 5% of the time double booking myself on Tinder dates all weekend long (yes, I know, I am at times the female version of a fuckboy, but you can either play the game or get played, am I right ladies?). I wouldn’t call it good, or healthy, or anything of the sort, but I definitely can attest that the majority of the time, if I’m not seeing any guys, it’s by my personal choice, and therefore I am not feeling lonely about it all.

My next, and most important, point, is that even if I wasn’t seeing guys when I wanted to see them, there are also these people who I like to call friends that most individuals spend time with, and who I happen to have in my life. I would in fact argue that I have some of the best, greatest friends that a girl could ask for. And this incredibly grateful, lucky girl typing this out right now, has friendships in her life that go back as far as 21 years ago. That’s literally almost all of my life, you guys. How many people can truly say that they have friends that they have known since they were three, four, and five years old?

And of course, I have friendships that only go back one or two years that are awesome as well. My very best friend is someone I’ve only known for two years, and she has introduced be to a whole group of friends who I get to call my own now (shout out to Angie for being responsible for literally 90% of my current social life lol).

Finally, I literally have multiple cats trying to lay on top of my body every moment that I am at home.

See? None of this looks like I am EVER ALONE. As I type this it’s like the orange one can sense that I’m thinking about him, and just moved from his spot a foot away from me on my bed and is now laying literally on top of my arms, making it slightly difficult for me to type.

On a more serious note, though, I don’t want to just speak for myself. Maybe someone is single and feels lonely because of it, and while I’m sorry to hear it, that’s totally okay and I will be the first person to validate your feelings (because I am all about validating other peoples’ feelings, let me tell ya). But what I don’t like is when people act as if, because one is single, they should feel lonely. People are allowed to be happy and content, regardless of their relationship status, and whether you personally agree with that or not. You shouldn’t need a relationship to feel whole, and nobody should make you feel like you do.

So don’t feel bad for me, and don’t try to convince me that I need to be less happy than I think I am.

-Jessica

Single, but not lonely (Part I)

I hate that being single is thought to be synonymous with loneliness.

First of all, alone time can be a great thing. After years of constantly spending my time with another person, when I suddenly found myself single, I realized that there was something about myself that I had never before thought to be a problem: I have no fucking hobbies. Literally nothing I enjoy doing on my own in my free time, because I was never, ever alone in my free time. And, much to my dismay, people think it a little odd when they ask, “So what do you like to do for fun?” and you respond by saying, “Well usually when I’m by myself I literally just lay in my bed and stare at the wall and think about life.” And rightfully so, because yeah, that’s fucking weird.

(Disclaimer: I’m fucking weird so I’m okay with it still, but there’s only so much laying in bed and staring that you can do until you start to feel like you might be a pile of trash and need to actually mobilize your body every once in a while).

Although I will never consider myself to be anything less than an extrovert, I’ve learned to enjoy being alone and forcing myself to take on hobbies. Things that I’ve always had an interest in or wanted to learn more about, I actually do now, and I actually like it. And also, with being alone, sometimes you’re forced to pick up hobbies that you didn’t actually like before but now really enjoy. For example, cooking.

Now, the cooking story is actually a funny one. About two years ago, when I found myself applying to graduate programs, on many of the applications you were asked questions that literally had nothing to do with anything academic. One of these questions that I came across on several applications asked about what I enjoy doing in my free time. Since I thought it inappropriate to say, “drinking”, or, “laying in my bed as staring at the wall”, or a slew of other completely uninteresting/inappropriate things that I enjoy and are not at all actual hobbies, I would say things like, “cooking”. Now, two years ago, I absolutely hated cooking, and I in fact did not do it very often. I would try, but usually end up being too tired/hungover/lazy and would end up going out to eat or mooching off of whatever Mike had cooked for himself that day or week. But then I lived by myself and realized that I was gaining weight because of my take-out habits that were fueled by laziness and mild depression, and I was not happy about it. So I started cooking. And now I actually like doing it, like, a lot.

The act of being alone is not inherently bad, and it is not always something that is unwanted by those of us who haven’t found our person yet. And although it’s been shitty at times, I’m so glad that something that I didn’t think was good has taught me something so valuable.

But this is only one small sliver of why I think that we need to throw this idea that single = lonely (or, more specifically, unwanted lonely), throw it out the car window, and back our vehicles up over it.

More to come on those other reasons later, since this post is almost as long as the last paper I turned in this past semester.

-Jessica

Finding Myself

It’s been a long journey, these last 15/16 months.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past over the last couple days, as well as what I want my future to be. And I’ve been reflecting a lot on myself as well and where I was, where I’m at now, and where I want to be.

I still have questions, and I’m still my typical, cynical self. But while I have a ways to go, I realize that I’ve come a long way, and that I need to take the time to recognize this.

I’m more open to having a real relationship now than I was before. But yet, I’m more content than ever being on my own. I’ve realized, because of events that have happened over the last couple of weeks, that I’m no longer in a space in my mind where I’m receiving all of my happiness from other people.

I’ve also found ways to cope and spend my time, like through actual hobbies! I’ve never had many hobbies before, but in recent months I’ve been getting into tarot and astrology. I’m reading more. I’m crocheting a blanket for myself. I’m just doing more things on my own and actually liking it.

I feel like tarot and astrology also give me some guidance and hope for things, too. It’s so interesting, because I will pull cards and feel negatively about them, but then look at the meaning and the meaning will be positive. I feel like my actual life is a lot like that, like, I will think something is going to be very negative, but it will always turn out okay in the end.

This year has sucked nearly as much as 2016 did, if not more. And of course, there are still things going on in my personal life that are hard. Like, really hard. And that are so much bigger than me or any of my problems (but that’s for another post, because I want to try and keep this one on the more positive side). But I’m really, truly feeling better about myself, my life, and the things that are to happen now for me.

-Jessica