2015 Summer Favorites

Hello! It’s been a while! Again! Don’t worry, I’ve still been blogging over on my book blog. (Here’s the link if you’re interested: http://lkeyser8.wordpress.com/) But I still want to post something on here every so often as well. Today I bring to you a few of my favorite things that have been filling my days with happiness this summer!

1. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: I don’t know why I haven’t been watching this! I’ve been catching up on this Marvel series that follows agents from a secret government organization as they try to protect the public from super heroes and villains alike on Netflix. I remember hearing that it was sort of mediocre when it first started but I have to disagree. At first, some of the episodes seem disconnected from each other, but give it time. Everything intersects and it’s so much fun! Funny too!

2. Badass lady athletes: Between the World Cup of Softball and the Women’s World Cup, I had a blast cheering on amazing athletes and will definitely be following both sports more closely in the future. Who knew I would find soccer interesting? Not me! But it’s kind of great!

3. Tor.com: I may have been living under a rock but I just recently discovered this site and it fills my nerdy little heart with glee. It’s got read alongs, news, short fiction, essays, and so much more. If you’re a fan of anything from Lord of the Rings to Captain America to Star Trek, this is the place for you. There seriously is something for everyone.

What are some of your summer favorites?

Until next time,

Bye!

Sometimes I am the Worst

So many people have stories about the “one that got away.” Well, I have one of the stories too, only mine isn’t about a high school sweetheart or a college boyfriend that should have been the love of my life if life hadn’t gotten in the way. No, mine is about my best friend.

I still think of her as my best friend even though we’ve hardly talked since I graduated high school six years ago and that probably will never change. My loyalty is still hers and so is the title. I’ve made some wonderful friends that I hope will be life long since, but nothing compares to the friendship we shared since we were four years old.

We were inseparable as children. We rode the same bus to school, lived five minutes from each other and spent so much time together we practically became sisters. Her family was my family and mine was hers. Sure, we fought and couldn’t stand each other sometimes, but I always saw us cackling together as old ladies and telling stories of our youth to anyone who would listen. But it didn’t work out that way and it is something I will always regret. Six years later, I still miss her.

It was my fault that we stopped being friends. I was judgmental and harsh and just plain mean. That’s the worst version of me and I let her ruin something so precious. I’ve of course apologized since but things will never go back to what they were. There are some things that cannot be fixed.

I saw her today at a party. We said hello and that was it. I wanted so badly to talk to her, to learn about her life, to get to know the person she is now, but I couldn’t. I still feel so guilty about how awful I was and that held me back.

Sometimes I am the worst.

2015 Favorites (So Far)

Hello everyone!

It has been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog! I could say that I’ve been too busy for blogging, and that would be partly true, but mostly I just needed a break for a while. But now I’m back with some favorites from the year so far.

1. Movie: Whiplash. Oh my goodness, if you haven’t seen this movie then you need to. LIKE RIGHT NOW! The story of a young jazz drummer at an elite music school and the terrifying teacher who torments him might not sound that interesting to everyone, but believe me, it is amazing. JK Simmons, who you probably know from Juno or those Allstate commercials, is perfection and has the Oscar to prove it. The movie, which meditates on greatness and whether or not it is worth the sacrifice, has one of the best closing scenes I have seen in a long time.

2. TV: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: This is a Netflix original series from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, creators of 30 Rock, and is just plain awesome. Kimmy Schimdt (played by Ellie Kemper of the Office and Bridesmaids) has just been rescued from an underground cult where she has been held captive by a crazy “reverend” for 15 years and now has to start her life over. Filled with hilarious supporting characters such as Kimmy’s roommate Titus, landlady Lillian, and boss Jaqueline, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt shows that it’s never to late to start over.

3. Food: Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea: Simply put, this is the best tea I’ve ever had. I drink mine with a teaspoon of honey and it is delightful.

That’s all for now. I’m not certain how often I will be posting on this blog but I will keep at it.

Bye!

Thoughts From a One Time (Almost) Anorexic

Growing up fat sucks. Growing up fat and being female might suck even more. Take it from someone who’s been there, having your worth as a human being based on how much space you take up in the world feels like getting punched in the stomach every five seconds. I was called fat for the first time when I was seven years old by a classmate that made it his priority to make me feel like I should apologize for existing. Then it became a regular occurrence by a family member who talked about me as if I wasn’t in the room but still managed to notice how big I was. Middle school and the first years of high school made it very clear that I was never going to be liked unless I lost some weight. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. And I developed an eating disorder.

It started off as a plan to get healthy. I was far too big for my height and I knew I would feel better if I lost a few pounds. So I started restricting what I ate and exercising almost everyday. The weight started to come off, slowly at first, and then more quickly as I did whatever I could to leave the fat girl behind. I began exercising multiple times a day and eating less than 1000 calories. My journals filled with calculations of how much I was allowed to eat and worries over gaining a single pound back. I was cold and sad and hid it all from my family, but most importantly, (at least at the time), I was finally thin. Sure, I had stopped getting my period and sometimes cried myself to sleep at night from the hunger pangs, but everyone was commenting on how much weight I had lost and how great I looked. I couldn’t stand the thought of disappointing them by going back to who I had been.

But I couldn’t keep it up. I was so tired and drained, but most of all I was angry. I was angry that so many people only started being nice to me after I fit a certain standard of beauty. That they thought I was worth their kindness and time only after I was no longer fat. I was angry that even though I was finally thin, I still didn’t love my body. I still felt fat. I was putting myself through unnecessary pain and for what? So people who really didn’t give a shit about me would stop being assholes to my face? I mean, what had I ever done to them to earn their cruelty in the first place? I guess I liked sweets a lot and preferred to spend my time reading rather than working out. I took up more space than the average person and couldn’t fit my arm into a size 2 pair or jeans. But I was kind and I was smart and I was funny. And what gives anybody the right to determine what another person should look like?

So I slowly started to heal. I finally got to a place where I could see how I was hurting myself and couldn’t do it anymore. But it took years. And all because someone decided to tell a child that she wasn’t worth kindness because of her size.

My struggles with my eating disorder have faded now. I was able to break my damaging habits and continue to move towards a place where I like, if not quite yet love, how I look. But so many others are still struggling and even dying because of the importance we put on being thin in our culture. Commenting on a person’s weight unless you are that person’s medical doctor is not okay. I don’t care if you want someone to be “healthier” or if you think you are giving someone tough love. Just don’t. It’s harmful. It’s cruel. And frankly, it’s none of your business.

Where Has the Time Gone?

Hello,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this blog, but that’s not because I haven’t meant to. I’ve just been super busy lately with most of time spent working two jobs trying to make rent. With all the hours I’ve been devoting to work, at the end of the day I have been too tired to do anything creative. It’s becoming apparent to me how important time management is and how not great I am at it. Does anyone else have this problem? I’m finding it super difficult to balance work, friends, family, and all of the projects I want to accomplish without leaving something out, which I am not willing to do. Maybe balance should be a goal I work towards this November because right now it feels like my life is a little bit skewed. If anyone has any advice or tips on how to do this, I would love to hear them! But until next time,

Bye!

Are You a Feminist?

Are you a Feminist?

For some, this is a very loaded question. Perhaps naively, I did not realize how polarizing the word feminist is until I went to college. And although college is a place where one’s ideals and beliefs are challenged and molded and reshaped, the first time I heard a man claim to be against feminism, in a room filled mostly with women wanting to further their horizons through education, I was floored. This was one belief that I could not imagine being challenged in a place of higher learning, again, perhaps naively. And in my senior seminar, when a fellow classmate did his presentation on the importance of racial equality in the military, while also vehemently denying being a feminist, I was more than annoyed. To me, equality is equality is equality. And I wonder, if that room had been filled with Persons of Color, would anyone have dared admit to being racist? But instead, although there were mostly women in both of these instances, neither man seemed the least bit concerned with their claims. And I couldn’t understand why.

Another eye-opening experience has been the realization that there are women who don’t consider themselves feminists. Now you may be wondering what rock I’ve been living under but it’s true. More and more I am aware of the negative connotations attributed to feminism and those who support the movement. Man-haters is thrown around quite a bit. And that is one of the tamer terms. So I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify what I mean (and what I think the majority of people mean) when we call ourselves feminists.

For starters, feminism is the belief in gender equality. The idea that regardless of gender, people should be afforded the same opportunities and rights. Now, there are many different sub-genres of feminism and in no way do I mean to simplify it too much, but this is the very core of the movement. I don’t hate men or want to rule over them. Nor do I think this is a conversation in which men have no place. Men are impacted by gender inequality too. If women are allowed to be strong, men won’t always have to be. If men are allowed to be nurturing, then their duties as parents won’t be considered less important than a mother’s. It works both ways.

Now, I know there are those out there who are totally against feminism because they see it as a threat to the status quo. And true, change can be frightening. But change we must. However, I am not necessarily concerned about them at this moment, although I do realize the harm they have done and their ability to twist something good into something sinister. But what concerns me more are those who believe in gender equality and yet, continue to distance themselves from feminism or to consciously fight against it. Yes, I understand that, like every other movement, feminism has its fair share of radicals. But we can’t discount ideas because of those on the fringe who take things too far. If we did, progress would never happen. But to some, feminism conjures up images of women enslaving men and I think this is unfortunate. This is not what I believe in, nor what the vast majority of feminists believe in, but still the title breeds fear. And to quote Hermione Granger, fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself. So we need to talk about feminism, not just with women but with men too. This issue belongs to all of humanity, not just half of it.

So, are you a feminist? I am. And I suspect many of you, whether you like the title or not, are too.

(Also speaking of Hermione Granger, you should check out her UN speech about the Heforshe campaign. It’s pretty great!)

Embracing the Questions

Since I started this blog, I’ve found myself using it as a way to work through some of the worries I’ve been dealing with after graduating college. Questions about careers, money, my purpose in life, and if I’m falling behind and wasting potential that keep me up at night or sneak up on me during the day often times find their way into my blog posts. And as helpful as trying to answer those questions here can be, perhaps I’ve been thinking about them in the wrong way. Maybe they’re not supposed to be answered. At least not yet.

When I was in school, for as long as I can remember I was the kid that always finished my homework first. I didn’t like letting it go until the last minute or even taking a long time to think about the questions. I wanted to be finished. For me, it was always about the end product, never about the journey to get there, which is a perfect way to think about how I have lived my life up until now. I want results. Now.

But results are not the point of life. You don’t get graded on how quickly you achieve goals and you don’t get an A if you’re the first of your peers to land a good job, or buy a house, or travel the world. Life, as they say, is about the journey. And part of the journey is the questions. So now, I’m trying to embrace those questions rather then let them fill me with anxiety, and enjoy the process of figuring them out. Yes, it’s true that I don’t know what I want to do for a career. But maybe I don’t want just one career. And that gives me the freedom to try things. To make mistakes. To learn. Which, if you ask me, comes as close to the point of living as you’re going to get.