Lacrosse

It came up in a comfortable conversation today – a conversation I had wanted to have and was afraid to have, and which I began anyway – that I coached lacrosse and helped start the women’s program at a school where I previously worked.

The conversation ended with the other person informing me that he would get back in touch with me soon to follow up, and with my now talking with the head of the men’s lacrosse team.

Now, it seems, I might actually become an assistant coach for the men’s lacrosse team this year… how fun and crazy is that?

And all I did was ask about someone’s running these days.

Truly, though, I have faith proven in this case – I felt that it was perfect to go ahead and speak to him, and it turned out to be just that: perfect.

Thank you, God.

Post-a-day 2019

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Family

………………….

Journal entry for August 2, 2019

Today, we learned that C— has no penis…

………………….

This evening was an extended family evening, and a rather wonderful time.

There was chatter, discussion, story-telling, and lots of laughter.

At one point, one of my cousins, G—, shared this delightful story with us, and I knew immediately that I just had to write about it, because it was well worth sharing with the world.

She and her husband have two little girls, approximately aged four years and two years, and then a baby boy aged almost ten weeks.

Her husband, C—, was changing the diaper of the baby boy, and A—, the eldest girl, was observing.

A: Daddy, what’s that?!

C: Uh, well, it’s a penis… it’s because he is a boy… he is a boy, so he has a penis… that’s what makes him a boy, instead of a girl…

A:……. But Daddy, you’re a boy and you don’t have a penis….

C:… Actually, yes, I do have a penis…

A:….. Really?????

Conclusion from my cousin telling the story: Emasculated by a four-year-old. 😂

Afterward, my grandma commented that she thought it was such a shame that no one was documenting this sort of thing, – I had already determined that I was definitely writing about it tonight, but I didn’t mention anything about it – and my aunt said that the point was people telling one another stories…

My grandma was worried that the stories get lost, you see, and so my mom leaned over the counter, and starter scribbling with an imaginary pen into an imaginary book, saying aloud, “August 2, 2019: Today, we learned that C— has no penis.”

My uncle, whose son-in-law C— is, and who genuinely likes C—, nearly cried himself out of his chair, he laughed so hard at that – I mean, we all laughed rather hard, but he practically exploded with his laugher.

It was a very good little time tonight. 🙂

Thank you, God, for this blessing.

Note: Yes, yes, I know gender stuff is all up and about right now, however, I am not letting it disturb the hilarity of this particular stupendous father-daughter exchange – the story is not meant to offend in any way; it is merely something that happened that I find wonderful and worth sharing.

P.S. It occurred to me that, while I still am not there with the solo dancing I want to teach in prisons, I am at the very edge of receiving my yoga teacher certification, – a type of yoga that uses lots of meditation and mantra and healing exercises – and I could look into teaching that in prisons… something also incredibly beautiful and powerful and potentially extremely beneficial to those living in prison, especially as part of their preparation to move back into the world outside of prison… So, yeah… I’m suddenly rather inspired to get that certification finished ASAP.

P.P.S. And then, that had me thinking that I might somehow get the opportunity to do portraits of people in prison…. and that could be a beautiful project, be it for their future work portraits or for a neat project of sharing about prisons with the world… yeah… that’s gonna stay on the side in my mind, ready for when the time is right to act on it… definitely… 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

Discord in Dating (apps)

Tonight, I was told that a certain someone who is close to me and who, I think, is a handsome guy is “not attractive”.

We agreed on the facts that his personality is great and that he’s a great guy, but this girlfriend seemed to believe that he definitively is not attractive, not good-looking, not handsome…

And I heartily disagree.

Normally, I don’t mind disagreeing with people on this concept of attractiveness and all, but this one has really gotten to me.

When she first said it, I was actually a bit offended… I’d felt a shock like a slap to the face.

And I wasn’t sure if it was because I disagreed with her, or because it was about someone close and important to me…

Now, a while later, I am prone to think that it was mostly due to the fact that he is so important to me, and because I find him to be handsome, her comment seemed to be offensive, and also personal (to a degree).

It just reminded me that thoughts on handsomeness, attractiveness, even beauty are not necessarily universal or able to be defined, definitive… there is too much bias in every party involved…

And so, somehow, I feel better out of this…

A girlfriend of mine has signed me up on these dating apps (despite the fact that I actually dislike and distrust them), and nothing much has come of it, except for her constantly telling me that I need to be more open to more guys, so that I can find a guy to go on a date with me…

My feelings and thoughts on it, however, are merely stronger than they were before we started this app business: I will not settle for anything less than perfect for me…

It drives her nuts, but no, I will not go out with a guy to whom I am not attracted, despite how cute he may be; I will not date a guy with whom I can’t possible envision at least some bit of future together… – Yes, Michael Phelps is a great-looking guy, but I just don’t see it, so I wouldn’t seek out a date with him… If he asked me out, sure, I would consider it, but I’m not going to go after him myself…

(Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the other hand…. 😂 [You know, if they weren’t married, that is…])

Anyway, so the apps are being deleted on Tuesday, she said, when she goes on her vacation with the bf, so she only has another day and a half to make something happen from them, if she wants something to happen.

Personally, while it could be fun, I think I would be much more comfortable and rather relieved once the apps are gone… just saying.

Anyway… yeah…

Post-a-day 2019

Some days, round diamond

Some days, that one extremely rich acquaintance-slash-friend gets engaged, and you find out the ring was a “4.5 carat, round flawless, D color, Excellent cut (XXX)”…

And you think, Well, that sounds nice… big, for sure, but whatevs…

And then a girlfriend tells you that, not only is that “HUGE”, but the stone alone is worth over three hundred thousand dollars…

… and your eyes open really wide, and you sit there with your jaw wide open, and then you start belly laughing, while you begin to process it all…

And then you learn that the proposal was a scavenger hunt that involved multiple locations and a private plane (owned by that same friend-slash-acquaintance who was the one proposing), and you think, Well, sheee-itt…, he really is Christian Grey after all.

And it all feels quite silly instead of depressing in terms of your friend who used to date him, and you giggle uncontrollably for a bit, and end up having a wonderful time with that girlfriend who used to date the early days version of your verified Christian Grey…

So goes life, I suppose…. for some people, anyway… 😛

Which includes the part, I suppose, where this isn’t really a some days for most people… guess this one’s just for me and my life, after all, too. 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Gal Pals

In a comical and slightly intoxicated – truly only slightly on the one side, and then sober on the listening side – conversation between two girls (women) this past weekend, I heard the following line, delivered slightly like a five year old’s declaration of wanting her own birthday cake at someone else’s birthday party, from the girl who has a boyfriend:

I want a boyfriend who does the sex to me every day.

She then proceeded to say, “I really do,” in an effort to convince the sober, single friend who was laughing deeply beside her.

And no, English was not a foreign language for either – they were all too clearly native English speakers.

I think that’s part of what makes the silly statement so wonderful.

I am still laughing at the whole thing today, days after the fact, it was so odd and goofy…

😛

Post-a-day 2019

“Love”

I really love when younger adult men (e.g. aged 20-40) call women “love”, “sweetheart”, “darlin'”, and the likes in an entirely and obviously non-romantic but loving way.

I mean like how the guy in the student ID photo-taking station wished me well as I left, by saying, “You, too, gorgeous,” or how this particular cashier at Trader Joe’s always calls me “love” – ‘You’re all set, love.’

The first was perhaps around 35, and the cashier possibly around 25… and neither gave off even the slightest hint of desire or sexual connotation to the use of the endearing terms… they were, simply, terms of endearment on a friendly, human-to-human level.

And I love that.

Today, after class, a coach said to me, “Great job today, sweetheart,” and waved me a goodbye… it was clear that he intended encouragement and care on a friendly level, and nothing at all on a romantic level… and it felt so good…

To be cared for by the opposite sex, without there being an alternate agenda of any kind, is really, really nice.

Certainly, when someone uses the same words in a derogatory or demeaning, looking-down-at-me sort of way, it is dreadful and, even, somewhat inappropriate.

In these contexts, however, it is clear that I am respected for who I am, and the word is used as an expression of human love and concern for one another…

(I’m not sure how else to put it right now, but I hope you can see what I mean with all of this.)

I just love that these men have started doing this again – it once was somewhat normal, here in the South, anyway, but has fallen away almost entirely in recent decades, leaving only the really old men to use the terms with women.

But these younger guys are somewhat bringing it back, and I love it.

Perhaps it can be a sort of step toward showing our love and concern for one another more openly in the world, like how I always told my Starbucks coworkers every time I left work, “Okay… love you guys… bye!”

Perhaps we are on the path to show one another and to share with one another our mutual love as human beings, who are together here on this Earth.

You know?

Post-a-day 2019

More than just a physical workout

Today was my second day as a member of this CrossFit gym. My friend and I – we signed up together – have schedules that don’t align for workouts today and tomorrow, so we’re going to separate classes on both days, as will be the case going forward, whenever our schedules don’t align (that is, we both must and will go on the same day, at least three days a week, just not always at the same time… sure, there will be times where this doesn’t work out, but it is our strong intention to stick with it as absolutely best as is possible). Therefore, I went to the midday class on my own today. It was hot out, in the eighties, and I was tired… I had helped this same friend put together her new television stand and television last night after our late dinner together after class, and then I had to be up rather early this morning. Plus, of course, I had done the actual workout yesterday evening in the first place, and I was still a bit sore from the test class we’d done on Thursday evening. Altogether, I was hot, tired, and alone on my own. But I was there, and I knew it was exactly where I wanted and needed to be – everything was perfect in this. I was even nervous, because I’m new at it and don’t quite know how things work at least half the time; I’d even said we felt like lost puppies the other evening, as we tried figuring out what was going on in the middle of the class. 😛 Anyway, continuing onward…

So, I’m there on my own. I also happen to be rather un-strong right now – not that I’m weak, but I’m nowhere near as strong as I have been much accustomed to being throughout my life. And I have a good amount of fat on my body that I want to go away. In fact, I have wanted it to go away for years, but it has, instead, increased ever so slowly these past few years or so, with the occasional drop of most of it, and then the returning slow increase. You see, I can’t ever stick with it… I always hit a point where I can’t stand the fat an low fitness level, and so I do something about it. Whenever I hit a certain level of fitness and fat reduction, I always end up stopping… not from exhaustion or annoyance or anything, but from a thought that comes up of, “That’s (good) enough for now,” with a hint of something like fear behind it.

I shall return to this thought after explaining more from the class today (that is, you will figure out its relevance in just a bit).

Pushing through the workout, doing all that I could, my body shaking throughout about half of the workout, due to the struggle, I found myself in almost constant tears. I methodically reassured myself (when I was alone on the running section each time) both inside my head and aloud, that this is perfect that I am here… I can’t do this, and that is why I am here… I am meant to be here… This is perfect… This is exactly where I belong… This is where I need to be right now… This is where I need to be… This is perfect…

Over and over again, I repeated the varying versions of the idea that I was exactly where I needed to be, while acknowledging that it was difficult to do the workout (without degrading in any way), all the while crying.

When I finished the last bit, I stayed lying on the bench for about thirty seconds or so, because the tears were so strong, my body was even convulsing with a few hearty sobs as I rested my arms on top of me in a sort of relaxed hug… I let it out, so I could let it go.

And then I wiped off my tears, got up, and started cleaning up everything that I had used, reminding myself that this is perfect.

I didn’t talk to anyone initially… just the bare minimum of how long it took me, and then nods to say that I was, in fact, okay… avoiding the part where I didn’t know what I even could say, let alone would say, if talking were required.

As I put away the last thing, the bar I had used, the girl (lady) I’d met at the beginning said something to me. I don’t remember if it was a question about the workout, or merely encouragement, but there eventually came a point at which I went ahead and shared a little with her. Taking it slowly, and eventually having the tears start pouring out (but not as badly as they could have been had I not taken it slowly), I told her how a lot was coming up for me in this… My having always been one of the top performers in almost any and every sport I did growing up and as a younger adult, and suddenly being on the other end of it all, I felt like the fat kid – this workout was hard for me in places that things had never before been hard for me… My life direction and style and goals having begun and finally done a sort of plunge into a drastically different direction, terrifying me ever so slightly but intensely… The regular stresses of life, combined with the raccoons and the fleas… and, most importantly and intensely, that I am actually taking on for real getting my body to the physical fitness level and look I so long to have.

This last one may not seem like much, but it is. I told her how I had kind of hit a point of being afraid of being a beautiful female body, and that I started to shy away from the idea, aiming for the less feminine versions of clothing and such. She (appropriately) asked if something happened to me, and (appropriately) acknowledged that it wasn’t that something had to have happened to me – she just wondered if any incident had played a role in that, since it so often does, especially for women.

And, surprisingly, – but also not surprisingly, since I’ve been working on being my true self and being self-expressed truly – I told her that Yeah, I kind of did. It wasn’t exactly the catalyst of it all, – I had already started feeling uncomfortable with being womanly and all. But it did act as a strong encouragement that I was right, and that it is bad to be womanly and sexy. I even shared a bit of details that were relevant, remaining comfortable and confident in myself the whole time.

I recently had a long and tough and beautiful conversation with my best friend about my own incident, and I completed what I needed through that conversation – whatever I needed addressed or said or acknowledge, happened, and my feeling of being trapped by the incident was, after years of avoidance and mental pain and struggle hiding in the back of my mind, finally disappeared… I could see it as something that happened, and was able to talk about it fully at last. I don’t mean each and every detail, of course, but the experience itself and anything that was particularly heavy on me suddenly lost their power and weight in my mind. And my recent efforts to find the kind of exercise I want to do, and then finding the right gym to do it once I’d found the exercise, all came out of this conversation I’d had with my best friend near the end of last year.

And today, all on my own, knowing fully that I am in this at least through September – already paid of through then, essentially – and that I am guaranteed spectacular results by then (especially since it usually only takes about three months to see massive results, anyway, here), was a somewhat terrifying experience and feeling. I’ve spent so long, so many years, convinced to my core that I must avoid these exact results I am not actively seeking. I must not become an object that might be desired sexually… But my recent experiences of wanting to be able (eventually, anyway) to have that experience of not only wanting to desire a man, but of wanting that man to desire me… now those already have been huge, and were formerly unthinkable… but now they actually have a chance to happen one day soon…, and that is so scary to the terrified girl I had grown so accustomed to being inside my head.

But I want this. And I can finally see clearly enough to believe that it truly is okay for me to want it. I want my partner in life to want me in every way, and vice versa…and physically is one of those ways. And I shared this all with her.

And then she shared about her own miserable incident… and how she struggled to get to where she is today – happily married and comfortable with her body and going after amazing fitness, even showing off her body in her workout clothes (not inappropriately at all, but quite flatteringly and tastefully, I dare say) – and that she agrees with me that this is the perfect place for me to be with this. The community is wonderful at this gym – yes, there are physical beasts of men, but not one of them is anything less than a wonderful human being. And, by the way, ‘I didn’t dress like this when I first started coming here,’ she told me, smiling knowingly as I smiled and chuckled in my loose and somewhat baggy t-shirt and shorts. A hint of her midriff was showing, her top was sleeveless, and her shorts were mid-thigh and exercise style snug… it looked great and showed off her muscles modestly, but well.

As we were leaving, she told me that she regularly attends that class, clearly encouraging me to return and to see her as a willing friend of sorts. It felt good. And in a way I’m not sure I’ve known in quite a long time.

Post-a-day 2019