Lighter Notes

I’m pretty psyched that the end of 2016 is quickly approaching. This year was a lot; a lot of change, of uncertainty, of everything being up in the air. It challenged me to learn, to be my best self, to figure out what I really wanted. With all the bullshit, I still managed to meet the most amazing, loving, supportive, present man and fall crazily in love with him – and he with me. The months with him have passed so quickly. Seeing how he interacts with my children, how he guides them, advises them, and befriends them blows me away. There is a knowing, a safety, and a comfort being with him. He’s my present and my future. I’m set.

Work is coming together. I’m enjoying what I do, I’ve reclaimed my passion for my industry. I’m no longer seeking a way out, but a way to make myself more useful in my profession. This is a blessing. I have found my calling and at 30, I have a blossoming career.

I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a good group of women and to develop friendships with some of them. I am easing into these relationships, as I am cautious and reminded of the some traumatic events from years passed. I want to allow people to become close to me, but not for their amusement or malicious benefit. I will wait, patiently observing behaviors to determine the safety of the situation. Extreme? Maybe.

 

My next three major goals:

  • Reclaim my physical health by maintaining a weekly workout regime and healthful eating habits
  • Raise my GPA to a 3.0 by graduation
  • Eliminate credit card debt, a car payment, and begin to build a savings nest.

 

What I will not do is allow my children or my romantic relationship to suffer. After everything that has happened this year, my priority will always be to protect my children and ensure that my guy feels loved and appreciated. Without him, I may have given up here and returned to a life I hated, but was comfortable in. He saved me more than he knows or is willing to admit. I am a feminist, do not be mistaken, and he is a man who is strong enough to support me in that and kept pointing me in the right direction, even without directly telling me what to do. He saved me by being there, physically and emotionally, by having my back and being my safe place when I felt like everything was crumbling around me.

This is everything I’ve been asking for. I am grateful, humbled, and amazed by my good fortune.

Room to grow

The past several days has taken quite a bit out of me. Over the past few years, I’ve become quite accustomed to being alone and having few friends. It’s had its lonely moments, but it was safer. However, safe isn’t always the best thing one can do for oneself. So, I’ve branched out a little and opened myself back up to the possibility of maintaining friendships. It’s not easy. I imagine there will always be people that I hesitate to build connections with. Those that I have connected with require attention and that’s especially true over this weekend. I had a few friends who came to me for guidance, assurance, or general griping. I value their confidences in me. But by the middle of the third day, one of my closer friends could read on my face just how exhausted I was of it and how much I just needed to not help someone at that moment.

I still have work I need to do. I still have edges I feel need smoothing out. I’m still not great at picking up nuances in conversations sometimes. It’ll come with practice and as things change, eventually all these things I see as hindrances will become funny anecdotes. Maybe. I’m not really great at stories, but it’s possible. There’s room to grow here.

I feel like I’m hitting my stride; I’m beginning to understand what life is about. That’s a weird sentence to read. Throughout my 20s, I don’t remember giving life’s purpose much thought. I don’t remember being overly concerned with my personal growth or what I could be doing with my time on Earth. I was just sort of there. I was tending to my children, tending to my ex-husband and his family, tending to just about everyone but myself. I’m grateful I was able to realize what I was doing, and how it wasn’t going to help me feel fulfilled. I’m grateful for the choices I’ve made leading up to this point in my life, and thankful for the people I know and am getting to know. I don’t know if I’m ready for more challenges, but I’m sure they will come regardless.

 

The Divided States of America

How far left is too far?

Is it safer in the middle, were we might all find some common ground, some middling area where our beliefs can mingle, even if they never come together?

When does passion become hatred? When does heartbreak become anger? When does passionate feminism become misandry? When does speaking out against systemic racism transform itself into anti-white sentiments? Do we know if we’ve crossed the line if we are caught in the vortex of our emotions? The line is fine.

How can we express our anger, our pain, our heartbreak, our anguish without letting it consume us? How can we come together in the middle, where maybe we can mingle, even if we never come together? What is it going to take for us to be able to look at each other and say, “I see you for who you are, whatever color you are, whatever gender you are, and you’re human, like me. You are me. I am you.”

The line between passionate feminism and misandry is so fine, it’s almost invisible. Feminism is never about hating men- it’s supposed to be about changing the system which keeps women subservient and incapable of surviving without men.

Intersectional feminism is essential – as a white woman, I will never know the pain of a black woman, a Hispanic woman, an Asian woman. I never disavowed my heritage – I am a well-disguised Asian woman, but I have to claim it or you’d never know. And how quick are you to tell me that my quarter Filipino blood doesn’t count because I don’t look Asian? I don’t need to prove my Asianess to you; I don’t need to prove to you that I grew up multicultural, I don’t need to speak Spanish to you with a perfect accent for you to see that where I come from, we love everyone regardless of their heritage. I can walk these streets as a white woman; I can hide in the masses and you would never know. But I don’t want to hide and I don’t want to claim it to make me different. I claim it because it’s the truth. Because it’s who I am and how I’ve lived and where I’m from. My half-black nephew, my Mexican stepfather, my half-Filipino father, my Filipina grandmother. I claim them all, regardless of how I can cloak myself in the light. I am them, they are me.

I don’t want to be angry, I don’t want to be frustrated but there is so much to do. There are so many walls and ceilings that still need to be broken down. Maybe not for me, a white woman in America, but for anyone who isn’t a white man. Don’t misconstrue my anger or my passion as hatred. I hate no one. I am simply so frustrated and I’ve just awoken to this misery. I can’t imagine the depths of the anger of the black woman who has had to deal with generations of oppression.

Tomi Lahren can say it’s perceived oppression; that it’s not a real thing; that it can’t be because there is so much equal opportunity now. Tomi, dear, really? There is so much equal opportunity? The Equal Rights Amendment still hasn’t passed; we’re still debating whether a woman deserves the right to decide if she’s ready to be a mother (but hey, the guy? the guy can totally bail and oh, what? He possibly gets jail time for not paying child support over an extended period of time – doesn’t really benefit the mother, either). The picture perfect family structure that Great White Right wants to proliferate isn’t a THING because our education system sucks, we don’t promote people based on merit, and we as a people, as a collective, have all of these biases and judgments and stereotypes that rattle through our minds and we are simply not AWAKE enough to realize the pain we’re inflicting on ourselves. Reality is perception, perception is reality, Tomi. The fact of the matter is that you were ablaze in all your white privilege. You are privileged. How wonderful it is to be you. And while you have every right to criticize the Black Lives Matter movement, Colin Kaepernick, and anyone else you damn well please, for the love of all that is holy and just, bring with you a solution. Don’t say you don’t protest because you’re not a victim. You don’t protest because the system benefits you. Why would you bite the hand that feeds you?

These things are real. The pain is real. Just because it doesn’t directly impact you doesn’t mean that it ceases to exist. It simply means that you don’t care. And how can we ever coexist if you never acknowledge someone else’s pain?