Dance, if you wanna

One of the most upsetting things in our society right now for me – one of the day-to-day things that really bugs me and kind of breaks my heart – is how much gender is used as a restrictor by so much of society.

I mentioned how I thought my nephew really would love learning and doing ballet and other dances, and I was met with a passive laugh and a certain, somewhat snarky comment to say that it never would happen, but what a cute idea. I was gobsmacked. The person didn’t even think I was saying it because I meant it. She actually thought I was just saying it passively, as opposed to my sharing something I genuinely believed and had hopes could happen.

Granted, my sister has very much played the gender toys game for her kids – pink and purses and baby-dolls are for girls, and blues and trucks and superheroes are for boys. However, dance is something amazing for any and all people to do, especially athletes. My sister is an athlete, and she can understand that benefit of dance especially. I think she might be willing to consider the idea of dance for my nephew, if it were presented appropriately and he showed interest in it openly.

Even that, though, has its own degree of upset and disappointment for me: that it has to be presented appropriately. I don’t just mean showing that dance is awesome, but showing that dance is so awesome that it is okay for both genders. Because I know, that likely would be part of it for her.

If I ever have children, no matter the gender of each and every, they all will do karate and dance and volleyball and all the fun, beautiful, beneficial stuff out there that we can find and/or create for them to do. Gender will have no value in the matter. It merely will determine which bathroom they use while at the activity.

Post-a-day 2021

^ Wrote that wrong at first again, but caught myself before submitting! Happy 2021, folks!

Motorcycles and memory

There’s a guy at work who is getting a motorcycle next week, apparently.  When he talks about ‘getting his motorcycle license’ and motorcycle, there’s a part of me that reacts with envious awe, “Woah… a motorcycle license… that’s cool… motorcycle,” placing the man temporarily on a shining white pedestal with a glowing golden spotlight on him.

But then, as I mentally gaze up at this god-like figure of a person (who is thus due to the motorcycle status, of course – nothing to do with his actual body or anything) surrounded by shining lights, another part of me slowly wakes up and says, “Uh… hello… it’s actually called a motorcycle endorsement, not a license…. And, heLLO, Banana: you have one of those… and you drive a motorcycle… derr… you dope.”

And then I just feel silly and giddy all at the same time, laughing at my odd forgetful moment and delighted in the recovery of the relevant memories and information.

I guess I am really cool still.  And I still just keep forgetting how cool.  B.A., really…  in many ways, I am that shining person up on that pedestal.  And that is totally baller.  I am ever grateful for such beautiful blessings and opportunities in my life.

Thanks, bruh… I love you.  😉

Post-a-day 2020

Kid talk

Talking with a little boy at a small birthday party yesterday, while he played in an inflatable water slide thing and I took photos of the little cousins for their parents – he being one of those cousins – I was reminded of the fun that can come of simply having little kids around. His little brother told me that he, the little brother, is two. Then, the older of the two tells me that, yeah, he is two and I am four. Oh, I see. He’s two and you’re four.

“Yeah, but I’ll be five soon.”

“Oh, really. You’ll be five soon,” I say in the question-like statement I tend to give little kids oh, so often.

“Yeah.”

“When will you be five?”

“Oh,” he almost sighs, giving a little pause before saying, “after a couple a years,” and he nods knowingly.

I nodded with him in understanding… a couple years really does make up a long time. Half a lifetime, it even could feel… but I didn’t say so… I didn’t trust myself not to hurt his feelings… I swear, I barely kept it together and didn’t laugh right in front of this child in uncontrolled fits. 😂 My entire insides were shaking with a desire to burst forth in laughter.

Fortunately, I was able to tell me mom about it afterward, and we got to laugh really hard together over it. 😛 Clearly, the kid got the phrase from his parents or some other adults, and just applied it without any idea of its actual meaning, but knowing that it was used for something that wasn’t going to happen quite yet. 😂

It was beautiful.

Post-a-day 2020

Barbie Who?

My mom sent me a photo the other day of a hippy-like Ken doll. I wasn’t entirely sure that it was actually Barbie, or, even, Mattel, but I could tell it was something different. It was different from the standard, anyway, and intentionally so.

Today, while checking out some fabrics and yarns for making dresses for these Barbies that I’m painting for Día de Muertos at the end of the month, my mom stopped at an aisle in the store to show me something. Low and behold, it was the Ken doll… surrounded by several other new and different Barbies. And yes, they are Mattel and Barbie. They are the real deal.

Turns out, there is this whole line of Barbies and Kens that I had never even heard mentioned, let alone seen myself. From hipster baristas with man buns to prosthetic legs to heavier everyday girls, Barbie has released a line of dolls called “You can be anything” Barbies.

And, at Walmart, anyway, they are only $8 plus tax (total of $9 exactly in Texas), and I am kind of in love. Something within me wants to own, to have and to hold a couple of these Barbies…, specifically, the man-bun barista Ken and the hypopigmentation black Barbie.

Here’s a closer look at the lot.

Note the size and shape of Park Ranger Barbie and the neighboring Fashionista Barbie #144 (that seems to be the generic term for the ones that haven’t been given specific names yet). Big fan over here of the human-shaped Barbies. 🙂

Check those prosthetics! Baller! I still remember the video of the little girl who got the first doll she had ever seen with a prosthetic, how she cried, declaring, “It’s got a leg like me!” (Info here, and original video here. Fun fact: That girl is actually from Houston.)

And that hunky man-bun barista Ken… there’s just something about the hipster that always gets me! ❤ 😛

I know this is only a single step in an ocean of stairwells, but it is a huge step and it is definitely is a very good direction, so far as I am concerned.

Thanks, Mattel, for taking this seriously and to heart. It is very much appreciated, and probably more so than you ever will know. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Progress

I think I have worked out some of the concern around my exercise and desperate motivations. Unfortunately, it is ridiculously hot these days, so it is looking as though my only logical option is to get up for the now-imaginary 5:15am classes again on the weekdays for my regular. Of course, it is almost midnight right now, but I have a laser hair removal session in the morning, so I won’t be able to work out in the afternoon – morning is my only option tomorrow.

Here’s to hoping I make it happen! ❤

Post-a-day 2020

A Memory

I think it was the summer before my junior year in high school that I didn’t really put much effort into playing the trumpet… I had played since sixth grade, and had never had to work too hard to have a good sound and play decently.

At this point, I think I had taken it a bit too much for granted, and so practicing had dropped quite low on my list of activities the summer before junior year.

I had also just spend a chunk of the summer studying in Spain, so my focus was more on Spanish – a subject I did not study in school – than on preparing for August chair placements for band.

My brother picked me up from the audition/chair test – he was an alum of the school, and so had spent a bit of time looking around while we were doing the test – and drove me on his motorcycle to a dance class.  I wasn’t taking the dance class, but I was working the welcome desk for it, in exchange for a free group class of my choosing later on… I also had the added benefit of watching this class happen, and learning from the seated sidelines.

Basically, I was focused on doing my best to live frugally with dance, because I was all too aware of my family’s financial situation – well, my mom’s side, anyway… my dad’s was a different story, but I functioned with the mind of one with extremely limited funds, so that’s why I was spending hours of my time working the welcome table at dance classes, in exchange for a ten-dollar class…

Anyway, so I rushed from the chair test to the dance class, loving the first ride on my brother’s motorcycle – while simultaneously being terrified(!) – and had asked a classmate to send me a text message with the results, when they came out in another ten or so minutes.

I was placed absurdly low in terms of capability…, and it hurt my spirit a lot.

But, I imagine, it was entirely valid based on the amount of practice I had put into it all.

I had begun this with a certain incident in mind, but I am not wondering if that incident was even that year… I am beginning to think it was the following year, my senior year, that this incident happened…, but I’m really not sure.

I shall continue with the incident, nonetheless…

So, I was placed after this one kid, who had become a semi-distant friend of mine.  We sat side-by-side five mornings a week for 45 minutes, and chatted here and there, so we were comfortable with one another’s company, but we didn’t spend time together outside of band, right?

Anyway, I had liked being in the Jazz Band, and you had to be placed so high in the count of trumpets in order to be included in the Jazz Band each year.  I had placed one below what was included in Jazz Band membership.  So, I initiated a challenge.  The two band directors each picked a selection of our current music, and told us to prepare to play those and any two scales that they would say at the challenge.

The day of the challenge arrived.  I played beautifully for the selections, and my sound quality was stellar.  The guy had incredibly powerful sound, though with a very odd and un-musical edge to it all, as usual.  The scales they selected, naturally, involved playing really high… something which I was not great at doing, but that usually didn’t matter at our area in the chair placements (higher notes for higher chairs), and I could play the ones that popped up in our music… what’s more, this kid and I played off the same sheet and stand, meaning the only difference, if I were to win the challenge, would be that we would switch chair spots, and that I would be in Jazz Band when it started up, but he would not be in it.  In terms of performance in the band, nothing would change.  Nonetheless, they picked scales that were hard for me, and I made the decision to play beautifully for a single octave, instead of iffily on the second octave… one I had been taught by the band director himself.

We had assigned ourselves the letters of A and B.  When the challenge finished, the directors came out from behind the wall, an area from which they had not been able to see us during the challenge.  They told us that player A had won, and who was that?  The guy wasn’t quite sure which letter he had been, and so looked to me questioningly for help.  I, processing much more than the result of the challenge, informed him kindly that he had been player A, and so nothing was changing with our chair rankings.

What was I processing?

Well, the way the band director had delivered the news… He had put on an air of unknowing, as though he hadn’t known who player A and player B had each been.  I had only been on the planet a teen number of years, and had minimal musical training,  – he had had probably more musical training than I had had in years of life itself – yet I could tell the difference in almost every player in our band, especially the trumpet players.  And he played trumpet, too, so I knew that he knew each of our individual sounds.  Especially between this guy and myself, the identification was easy… even for someone who had never heard us beforehand, one could accurately guess whose sound was which.

So, I knew the band director knew who had won… yet he pretended not to know, to be utterly unaware of who had been which player… It felt like he was proving a point to me, that I needed to practice more… no matter how good of a sound I had, if I didn’t improve further, I couldn’t even beat the nice guy with a weird sound.  I had taken lessons from the band director during my freshman year, but had been able to manage on my own eventually, and so we did not continue the lessons after a while.  For me, no matter what his intentions were, his pretended ignorance of who had one the challenge was like a slap in the face and a terrible scolding… I was embarrassed and somewhat heartbroken.

I had let someone else down, too…, not just myself.  I knew that he had wanted me to be in a higher chair placement, and that he had wanted me to be in Jazz Band.  But he was not going to let me do that without putting in a lot more effort.

Again, that is all my own interpretation at the time.

But it still holds about the same, looking back on it all today.

The irony of it all, however, is that, when Jazz Band started up that year, the band director casually upped the number of trumpets in Jazz Band… by one player.  So, I ended up in Jazz Band, anyway.

The following year (Or the year after that, depending on which year this had all been during), I ranked even lower in the chair placements at the end-of-summer chair test.  After several weeks of Jazz Band rehearsals, someone was sent one day to bring me into Jazz Band… so, I ended up in it then, too.  I was clearly good enough for Jazz Band – I even practiced that music, including when I didn’t really need to practice it, because that music came so naturally and easily for me – and the band director agreed with that sentiment enough that he kept letting me be part of it, even though I didn’t ever do well with the whole ‘practice on your own over the summer’ thing.  During the school year, I was always fine, and I always got A’s on my playing tests at grading periods.  It was when there wasn’t a concert or performance coming up, and I wasn’t surrounded daily by musicians and music that I struggled to practice and perform well.

I’m not entirely sure what brought all of this up today… I am reading a book about poetry that was recommended to me as a novelist/writer, because it is supposedly applicable to all forms of writing (which, the author even says this in the book, and it seems so far to be entirely true…, but it makes me want to write poetry now, too!).  Something in that got me thinking, and somehow sent me to that memory moment of embarrassment after the chair challenge with that guy.  I wonder if he even remembers it… if any of them do.  Clearly, it had some significance for me… whew…

Anyway… I’ll let that muse in the background, while I move on to other things in my day now. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

The pressures of production

So, I just did this for productivity tonight:

I felt a need to do something tangible… as though the list of today’s accomplishments weren’t already long enough (Trust me: It is long enough already.).

It is called an anti-stress coloring book.

Just like the rest of its kind, though, it stressed me out with all the details.

So, I went for how I really felt.

And I actually like it a lot better this way…

Sigh

Do you ever feel tired of being productive? Like stressed out about it, I mean…

I have been so productive the past couple weeks or so, I feel that I now have the pressure of a standard I have set to be very high…

For example, this past week, I discovered song-writing, right?

I wrote three songs, one right after the other, spending about two days on each, beginning last Friday.

By this Friday, I felt sick about writing songs, because I felt this huge standard weighing on me suddenly, in the form of ‘another week means another two or three songs’.

And I just felt like I would fail, which has made the pressure even worse…

(Plus, on that topic in particular, when I even begin to revisit writing a song now, I grow instantly annoyed with the fact that nothing feels real – feelings and emotions from within myself – except my worried, upset, annoyed, and longing-for thoughts in relation to this guy I DON’T EVEN KNOW…. [Like seriously, I barely know him, and getting to know him better has not been going very well… he seems way less interested in getting to know me now than he did at the start…] Can I get over this already, please, so that I can return to my regular set of absurd emotions?… I can totally handle crazy, but it needs to be my crazy, not whatever these past three weeks or whatever have been… exhausting is what they have been, and I’m tired of it…)

So, I feel all this pressure continuously popping up to hang around for a while – maybe even a long while – and to make me feel like snuggling up and crying into a large stuffed animal in my bed – because we all know that I have no person with whom to do this – and sleeping the world away for a while…, I love being productive, but it has somehow become more like a contest against myself, and I very much dislike it – it is not empowering for me… just stressful, and it makes me want to give up and run away…

So, yeah… that’s about where I stand tonight… sigh… and I don’t particularly want to do anything to turn the emotions positive right this minute – I just want to be heard (because, again, we all know there is no one out there calling to see how my day went, and to wish me a lovely night’s sleep tonight).

Post-a-day 2020

Okay, I think I need to go to Italy.

At this point, the only thing left would be for someone to meet me and offer me a place to stay in Italy, in order for my trip to be made certain.

(That, or someone offering me passage to Italy…, though I had kind of planned on managing that one myself, I don’t mind letting someone else handle it… again…[I just remembered that I actually did have a free trip to Italy that one time I went for a long weekend…yes… anyway…])

Italy just keeps popping up around me: in conversations unbidden, in my calendar (it is a page-a-day with Italian phrases and culture, and it genuinely was the only one on Amazon that seemed even remotely interesting… I mean seriously, Amazon?), in a whole handful of conversation partners reaching out, in comments from others, and even in the book I spontaneously started reading today (It’s the first in a series and it has “gelato” in the title, but the second book has nothing Italian about the title, and that‘s the one that got me interested in reading the series!), where the girl up and moves to Italy from the US… I mean…. wow… the world really wants Italia to be on my mind right now.

And so, I am letting it.

I am embracing all the Italia I can, and am beginning to look for more around me.

I have a friend to whom I plan to reach out (not in the middle of the night) about finding a conversation partner/tutor here in town, I have begun a challenge on Duolingo, I am reaching out to the online conversation partner offers, and I have a whole plan for how to practice my Italian.

What’s funny is that, whenever I ask the whole “Why now?” to the world, though I get no distinct answer, I suddenly start thinking of what it might be like there, and I think of all the Italian men, and I suddenly have an almost overwhelming thought of, “Well, I can probably handle the Italian men now,” and I suddenly have my answer.

I just wasn’t ready for Italian men before.

Now, I actually am ready to take them on and run my own way.

If you don’t know anything about Italian men, I don’t have the words to teach you much about them, nor can I fully speak on them, for I have not truly spent time with them in Italy.

However, everything I have been told about them from others has proven exactly true with the Italian men I’ve come to know here… even just the Italian heritage ones… oof… anyway.

So, now, I think I’m about ready to take them on, and, by the time I actually get there, I’ll have had enough mental prep (and physical prep from the gym) to take them with a grain of salt, and to smile about it. 😉

This is going to be fun and absolutely amazing – I can feel it in the humidity around me… yes…

Italia awaits… me. 😀

P.S. And I don’t mean just for a short visit – we’re talking a month plus here…. just FYI.

Post-a-day 2020

By golly

I don’t know what it is that has me always pining after some gorgeously awesome guy, and always wishing hat somehow, someday could he possibly ever be interested in me, want me?

I mean… grow up, right?

When am I going to let go of this little girl nonsense and be a woman about it all?

I don’t necessarily behave like a little girl out in the world – though I occasionally do – but I definitely do in my head.

If I had been being the woman I want to be way back when, I would have told him hen and there: Whenever and if ever you get over your breakup, let me know – I’d love to go out with you… no pressure intended.

But I didn’t do that.

I sopped around feeling unwanted and undesirable – thereby making me les want-able and less desirable – and depressed myself slightly by constantly considering all the ways I knew I was inadequate for him and which made it make perfect sense that he wouldn’t be interested in me.

And so here I am, months and months later, a whole new calendar year later, and he is in a relationship with someone else, and I keep having the same thoughts of inadequacy about myself, still wondering if, even in an alternate situation, he ever possibly could want to be with me, of all people…

I mean… Seriously(!), banana…. wt??

I am amazing as a human being.

People love learning just about anything from me, and I have a plethora of worldwide knowledge and experiences and oddities and silliness and wisdom… I am gorgeous both physically and on the inside – and I’m healthy and enjoy silly jokes – and am an all-round wonderful human being whose main goal is to share her talents with the world as an expression of her God-given love for Creation… I have silly quirks and I love wholly and truly and intensely; I am a natural teacher and communicator; I love myself and am grateful for my life; I take care of people, and have recently learned to start taking care of myself, too… I will not settle in life, and I aim to empower others to go for their own dreams and goals and what works for them in life… I have been through total bull and have come out clean in the other side, ready to use my experiences to help others in the world around me… and I am very smart and rather highly educated, and I am a genius dancer (not joking either)… I accept people for who they are while simultaneously hoping for and helping empower them to be the best possible versions of themselves… I tell the truth…

I am darn lovely as a human being and as a woman.

I need to get over this nonsense of always semi-subconsciously considering myself not good enough.

It isn’t like I actually say to myself, “You aren’t good enough for him,” or anything like that.

I just have all the other comments that show that I think I’m not good enough for him.

But I am good enough.

And for anyone.

I think being our highest and best selves means to be who we are meant to be…

Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.

Teresa of Avila

And I am doing a very good job, especially in this past year or two, at being that person… and my world keeps lighting up more and more…

I have minimal money to my name right now, yet I had someone tell me tonight that I am “lit up”… and I know that I am.

I am terrified at the risk and the newness of a lot of this stuff, and also at the extreme potential I have to be my best and most beautiful and most powerful self in this current world around me… and I am lit up by it.

I don’t know right now what else I want to say about the sulky pining situation… perhaps I just needed to express that I am acknowledging its existence… for now, anyway.

Maybe, just my naming it and calling it what it is, it will disappear… that is kind of a thing in life already…

Yes, perhaps…

For now, though, I shall go to sleep, for I need to sleep and I want to start going to the gym again starting tomorrow (I only just got back home over the weekend and have been sick since then)…

So, goodnight fair world.

May we all recognize fully the beauty that we are and the love that we each bring to the world by our own individual existences…

Post-a-day 2020

Embarrassment by Inbox

The other day, I received what I thought was a final effort from the laser hair removal place to advertise their extended Black Friday sales.

I didn’t fully read the subject line, since only the beginning shows up on my phone without opening the actual e-mail, but I saw the sender, and so opened it to see if their Cyber Monday piece to their Black Friday sales was anything worth noting.

I scrolled down, searching for the expected pricing options, but couldn’t find any… the e-mail wasn’t making any sense, somehow.

Where were the Cyber Monday discounts I expected to see inside this e-mail?

I was processing what on Earth this e-mail was from the laser hair removal place for Cyber Monday and Christmas Presents….

I read the bottom piece first, and hen went tot he top of the screen to see if I could make sense of it all…

Like What does that have to do with hair removal….? Does the hair really make that big of a difference for people? And what does it have to do with having babies….?

I was completely lost in this e-mail.

I needed to start from the beginning again.

And then I scroll up to see this:

And then super sexy guy at the gym walks in the door, we look each other right in the eyes, and I feel like my face turns bright red.

I say hi to him, somehow able to talk, despite my brain still being in the middle of processing this whole e-mail thing, and simultaneously panicking that he definitely can read my mind and the e-mail currently showing on my phone, and he knows exactly what I’m contemplating at the moment (i.e. vaginas and babies and sex)…, even though he 100% has no way of knowing what I’m thinking unless I were to tell him, and he is too far away to see my phone.

I can’t bring myself to share with him the embarrassment I am feeling, and so I message my friend who gyms with me (and who, of course, knows how firmly I stand on the belief that this guy is the most gorgeous and attractive person I have ever known in real life), and tell her what has just happened.

She laughs at the part where the super sexy guy walks in, and then asks simply, “Is it the vagina steamer?”

I laugh something terrible in the inside, and tell her, “Didn’t even get that far,” because I didn’t, and she laughs once again.

Of course she knows all about this thing of which I had never even heard.

Typical. 😛

Haha

Eventually, I start smiling, as my embarrassment fades and my logic finally wins against my panicked insanity, and I finally can enjoy the hilarity of the situation, as opposed to only knowing it to be hilarious without actually feeling anything beyond panic and embarrassment. 😛

It was a good couple minutes, that was. 😀

Post-a-day 2019