Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘perspective’

Choices: Pick What’s Under the Box or Behind the Curtain?

Life is full of choices. Sometimes it feels like you don’t have any or that they are being made for you but in those cases you still have choices about how to react to your lack of choice. Even choosing not to choose is making a choice. Remaining at that fork in the road instead of taking one of the paths; standing still is a choice.

Recently I had to make a choice. I weighed the pros and cons of both options and went with the slightly better of the two. I couldn’t not make a choice. I HAD to pick one. But after making a choice there is often the impending second guessing….

I’m trying not to second guess my choice. I’m trying to stick to what I still think is the better option. The problem is that neither option A nor option B were the perfect choice. Is there such a thing as a perfect choice in this game called life? Or is there making the best of a current situation? Both option A and option B showed potential and had different strengths but neither is perfect now. Could my choice be perfect later? Maybe.

I could eventually make a different choice. I’m not forced to be bound by this choice. I could still change my mind or find an option C. So many choices….

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Dress Codes: Are they Oppressive?

My 13 year old is constantly complaining about the dress code at school. I feel a sense of conflict about the whole thing.

On the one hand, it’s another way that we teach our children that it is up to the girl to dress in a manner that will not distract boys. The onus is on the girl. This sets the stage for the idea that:

  • women that dress provocatively or in a manner that is considered provocative deserve to be raped
  • men cannot control themselves when they see a woman they consider to look sexy
  • women bring sexual harassment upon themselves based on the manner that they dress
  • the way a woman dresses defines what type of person she is
  • there is something wrong or inappropriate with women dressing sexy
  • women cannot be trusted to make their own choices
  • and so on and so forth

This and thoughts like this are RIDICULOUS and WRONG.

Clothes do not determine who the person is. And dress codes should not be used as a way to oppress women even further.

Men are civilized human beings and should act that way.

One of the things that distinguishes people from animals is our ability to make choices rather than just run on instinct. When men walk down the streets with no shirt on women manage to restrain themselves. No one thinks any less of a man with no shirt on. And yet some men in this world think that women owe them something. Women owe them sex. And apparently that thought is even more prevalent when women wear short skirts or tight tops. (I know it is not all men, but it is too many.)

Does it all start with the dress codes at school? Probably not. The conditioning that ‘women deserve less respect than men’ probably starts way before that. But the dress codes do not help.

My sense of conflict comes with the clothes being designed today. Why do the styles out there push girls to grow up faster than ever? Why are clothes so sexy for your pre-teen and teen? Why do 13 year olds need push up bras?

My oldest and I went shopping for bras and a bathing suit last night. I almost had a stroke. The selection of bras without some type of padding was super limited. Why do we need to tell women in the bra store that they are inadequate without padding? Because really, that is what all of those bras and bra designers are telling women. Your breasts are not big enough, perky enough, adequate enough but we can fix you. No wonder women have self-image issues.

And then in addition to the bras and bathing suits, everything is so tight and low-cut and short. I guess it is me as a mother wanting to protect her daughter that I see some benefit to the dress code. I don’t like what the dress code stands for but it is a very small way to fight against the designers that constantly sexualize our girls.

I agree with my daughter that the dress code is misogynistic. But so are the clothes that are produced today.

Is there a happy medium? I don’t know what it is yet. But I hope it has to do with teaching your children self-respect and respect for one another. I hope that one day every person (not just some people) can see that women are not a commodity nor are they an object. They are people with brains and feelings and bodies and muscles, just like men. No one gender is better or more powerful than the other. We complement each other and that is a positive thing.

 

Just the Right Amount of Mean

Sven recently told me I was mean. He also said that luckily he liked mean. At first, that didn’t make me feel better. Who wants to be called mean? No one!

mean

But after some consideration, I guess I am a little mean. I have never used that word to describe myself before, nor has anyone else, but my sisters and I do have this running gag about who is the evilest of the 3 of us. I mean, obviously it isn’t me, but on some level I guess I could be seen as a bit mean.

We call each other evil because we like to give each other a hard time. We tease each other. I also give my kids a hard time sometimes. But it is all because I like them a lot. I guess I sometimes give people I like a hard time.

Sven has defined this as mean. It’s not my favourite word choice but I’ve come to terms with it. I feel that he often makes poor word choices when it comes to me. In fact, shortly before we broke up, he told me that he was dreading our date and then tried to take it back as he didn’t mean it. Once that word was out, I didn’t feel like it was something you could take back. I have since forgiven him for that incident but it was definitely an example of a poor choice of words.

Sven tried to explain mean to me. He said I was clear, direct and didn’t take any BS. All of which are true. However, I personally, would not have grouped them all together to define mean.

Oh well. I may not like the terminology but I’ve decided that I am ok with the whole thing. I guess partly because Sven said I was ‘Just the right amount of mean.’ Apparently that’s a compliment.

Benefactor of Craziness

So Sven is coming to Vancouver with me. It’s true. I still find the whole thing surprising.

Here’s what happened:

When I started hanging out with Sven again (about 2.5 weeks ago) he told me he was planning a trip to Vegas with friends in June. The plan was to go with a couple and a single friend and the four of them would hang out. I was a little jealous at first as Sven was planning on going on a trip and I wasn’t, that was, until I planned my own adventures, then I got over it.

Anyway, yesterday he asked me if I wanted to go to Vegas too.  I was a little suspicious so I asked if he was feeling a little third-wheelish. He said he was since the single friend was now inviting someone to come. However, he assured me that he wanted to hang out with me and that we would have fun. After a little texting back and forth I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and asked him when the trip was. Unfortunately, the dates corresponded to some of the time my ex is out-of-town so I couldn’t go. He seemed genuinely disappointed.

So half-seriously I told him he should ditch his friends and come with me to Vancouver. Surprisingly, his interest was immediate and 40 minutes later he had booked his ticket!!!

Now, picture me with my mouth gaping open in astonishment.

I’m sure we’ll have a great time and I don’t regret asking him for a second but I was not expecting him to say yes and certainly not so quickly. His reasoning is that he has decided to do more crazy things these days. So I am the first benefactor of his craziness and I get a travel companion for my trip. I’m pretty excited!

I really think we’ll have a great time. Neither of us has been to Vancouver before and both of us really want to go. Seems like a recipe for good times to me.

My First Time Wasn’t Pretty

I decided to look up an old boyfriend on FaceBook. A discussion with Dan reminded me of him the other day so I wanted to see what he was up too, let’s call him G.

This boyfriend was from many lifetimes ago. We were both university students, we took a lot of classes together, he had a big crush on me (while I was slightly less infatuated), and he was my first. He wasn’t a good first, we were both virgins and it was very fast, but he was my first.

There’s a bit of a story surrounding this one. It’s not a pretty story. First of all, when we lost our virginity we were not actually dating anymore. We never had sex while we were dating. I wasn’t interested in having sex with G. My plan had been to save my first time for someone I was in love with. Sometimes plans don’t work out…

Anyway, we were still friends. G still liked me. I made plans to stay with him one night and we went out to party (He lived in the city, I was home with my parents for the summer). I got extremely intoxicated. He also had lots to drink. As I can still vividly recall, 20+ years later, I can see in my mind’s eye, not being able to walk down the yellow line in the middle of the road on the walk back to his place.

I have no recollection of how we ended up naked in bed together but I do recall the actual act. I do recall that it was consensual even though I was too drunk to make good decisions. And I do recall my immediate response of “that’s it?”. I also recall physically kicking him out of bed. OMG, obviously it was not a good first experience for either of us. But just wait, it gets worse.

Then, when I woke up the next day, I was pretty horrified with what had happened. So, while he was in the shower, I grabbed my stuff and bolted. Pretty much a running version of the “walk of shame”.

Back in those days, we didn’t have cell phones (how did we manage?) so I didn’t hear from him until I got back to my parent’s house at the end of the weekend. (I had plans with other friend’s for the next night.)

When he called me, I wasn’t overly gracious. I was still horrified that I had lost my virginity to someone I wasn’t dating, didn’t love and was so drunk that my decision-making skills were obviously impaired. I kind of let him have it. After several minutes of discussion that involved me exclaiming how could he not know how drunk I was, we got to the point where I said, “If we never had sex while we were dating, why would you think I wanted to have sex with you when we weren’t?”.

Needless to say, I didn’t hear from G again after that phone call.

Now, let’s get back to the present. I looked G up on FaceBook yesterday. And there he is with multiple pictures of him and his boyfriend. Yes, he is in an openly gay relationship. I mean good for him for coming out of the closet.

He had some slightly effeminate mannerisms when we knew each other but G actively pursued me so I really had no idea that he was gay. I have to wonder if our less than optimal copulation and after-effects helped crack that closet door open.

I don’t hold any ill-will towards G. I was 20 years old and my sub-conscience did not want to be a virgin any more. I met someone else that summer who I dated and had sober, consensual sex with. Several times. And I wasn’t in love with him. And he taught me some stuff ;).

But now that I know that the first guy I ever slept with is gay, it makes the whole memory and incident all the more baffling and slightly ridiculous. And for some reason it makes me smile and shake my head with disbelief. I actually felt a little bad for the way that I treated him afterwards. He obviously cared for me and I made him feel like crap. He also made a poor decision while under the influence of alcohol. 

Anyway, it was all a very long time ago and yet just a short walk down memory lane. The new information adds an interesting layer to the story. I’m almost curious enough to hear his perspective of the whole thing. Almost.

It’s Still Personal Growth

Personal-GrowthMy oldest is in a cheerleading exhibition of sorts this weekend. So about a week or so ago, I texted her father and told him that he should bring his girlfriend to the exhibition so I could meet her. Yay me! He agreed, it seemed like a done deal. And I was proud of myself for taking that step.

Yesterday, I found out from my daughter that her Dad and his girlfriend broke up.

Wha?? They had been going out for over 2.5 years as far as I know. I figured she wasn’t going anywhere which was part of the reason that I should meet her. Apparently, I was wrong.

So even though I’m not going to get to meet her, it still counts as personal growth for me, right? I made the effort to try to meet her. I put out the invitation.

I’m going to go with ‘yes, it does count’, and the reason why is that I don’t think I would have made the invitation a year or so ago. That means I’ve made progress and grown as a person and that’s what I was going for in the long run.

Dreaming of Vacation

DidgeridooJanuary was supposed to be about dreaming for me and I’ve been dreaming about going on vacation. It started with talks of going down south and then morphed into discussing a trip to Australia. But as it gets closer to making a decision, I think that Australia probably isn’t going to happen.

I just got my ex’s work schedule for the next several months and it would appear that he has the market cornered on travel. That means that I have my kids most of the time for May, June and July and it also means that I have to save at least a couple of weeks of my vacation for the summer. Since I only have 3 weeks of vacation, I don’t think I can make the long trek to Australia this year.

It hasn’t been 100% decided, but I think it is probably 75% decided that it is a ‘no go’. It doesn’t mean that I can’t go anywhere. I can still make plans for a week down south in-between my ex’s frequent work jaunts. And I think I can probably get creative with some long weekends in there. Or even regular weekends. We live in a beautiful area and a few hours drive will take us to other beautiful areas.

And if you are exploring with a great companion, it will still be fun.

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