Farewell

It’s been some time since I’ve written anything here, I think. Life has changed. It’s going to continue to change.

 

Maybe it’s a reaction to everything that’s happened in the world but I feel the call for a career shift is even louder than before. I’ve left the military. I hate my current occupation. My mind dances towards massage therapy, yoga therapy, life coaching…everything within the realm of healing…

I am listening, trying to ensure that how I feel and what I think is the truth and not an over-reaction to the environment I’ve been embroiled in since 2011. I had a career. I made a difference in some way. I learned that the military exacerbates my severity. I learned that there is no peace in arguing. There is no winning when it is about who is right, and not what is right.

I want peace. I want love. I want light. Now it’s time to build the life I’ve been imagining. If I’ve learned anything, it is that I can have anything and everything I’ve ever dreamt of.

So, with that I’ll close down tesswritestoo in favor of creating something more magnificent, less self-serving. It has to be about you, not me.

Farewell.

#Rebuild2017

I don’t think I’ll change too drastically over the next twelve months, and from what I can tell, I am still thinking along the same lines as ever. But, I do have goals that I’m still working towards – some changes, but overall, still the same me

  • Complete all university assignments prior to due date
  • Raise CGPA to 3.5 or higher
  • IF; 16 hour fasting state, 8 hour nom window.
  • 24 hour Fast Jan 31
  • Complete a Whole30 challenge Feb 1st- Mar 4th.
  • Recommit to the lifting/cardio work out plan @ Planet Fitness beginning NLT Jan 17
  • Utilize Piyo as a back-up
  • Yoga to my heart’s content
  • Continue to learn Russian (duolingo/lingtwins)
  • Revitalize Spanish fluency

 

See… same old Tess, even if it is a new year.

I’d been on the fence about how to approach my health this year. I’ve come to accept that 2016 was a year of transition, of challenges, and I realize that because I was distressed the majority of the year, the way I handled food was more reactionary. I used food, the wrong foods, as a stress reliever instead of yoga, which I’d used previously. I’d considered forgoing healthy habits and fitness because “I have so much on my plate right now.” I have the same amount of stuff I’ve always had. I’ve always had work, school, children, and friendships – so that excuse is bullshit. I’d considered embracing my new body, and giving up the fight for health because of “body positivity.” BoPo is a GREAT movement. I encourage and applaud everyone involved and all who are cheered on by what proponents do – however, body positivity encourages a healthy relationship with food, movement, and yourself and those involved typically love and embrace their bodies. They are happy with their bodies and find ways to encourage inclusion in the mainstream. Even at my lightest, I may still be considered just left of the mainstream – but I digress. I am not positive about my body right now. I am positive about my body when I nourish it, when I move it, when I don’t fill it with garbage. I know what makes me happy, and how to treat myself when I’m happiest – whole foods, yoga, dance, and a normal exercise regiment. I gotta stop kidding myself.

And maybe, possibly, part of my habits and mindsets are part of an underlying mental wound that has never and will never fully heal. It’s not pleasant, but being a victim, whining about it, and doing nothing changes nothing. It’s up to me to take care of myself, to heal myself. I’m rebuilding in 2017. Greater than ever.

It’s up to you to do the same. Save yourself, from whatever ails you – be it food, drug, alcohol,  or unhealthy, unloving thought patterns, behaviors, and relationships. Another day spent spinning your wheels isn’t worth the pain, frustration, and despair. You don’t have to be perfect, the situation doesn’t have to be the best, and you don’t have to have all the information right this second – learn as you go, change as you go. But don’t wait. You have now. Make the most of it.

 

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?

 

What the fuck, America

The preliminary election results are in; Trump leads Clinton, 288-215.

You only need 270 to win.

What the fuck. 

Now, get this. I hate how underhandedly the DNC orchestrated her into being the Democratic nominee. I hate that Bernie was recognized by my generation as being the one guy with an ounce of integrity, the one fit to represent the Democrats in a bid for the White House. I hate that after he was cheated out of his chance, my next best hope, Gary Johnson, didn’t know what Aleppo was, let alone where, let alone the crisis that has been happening over the past few years.

I hate that Trump is the best we thought we could do tonight. I hate that as the rest of the free world moves toward gender and racial equality, my country just decided to take 15 steps back and remind me, yet again, that I am second class citizen and my body is not my own.

I hate that we, as a nation, failed to draw the parallels between a narcissistic demagogue and a fascist leader who promulgated the same fucking rhetoric in the 1930s.

I hate that I have to go in tomorrow and face down the living embodiments of all the ideals which have held me down and told me I wasn’t good enough or reminded me how my gender made me soft, emotional, incapable of doing the work I do. I hate that if I ask for space or respect or just to be left the fuck alone, they will either fault my generation or my sex; nevermind that this election was intensely personal to me.

Nevermind that I am a woman; how about my grandparents who were immigrants?

Or both of my grandfathers, who served in the Army and the Air Force? Or me, who still serves?

How about the man that raised me, who is Mexican?

How about my nephew, who is half-black?

Or that I’m a quarter filipino?

Or that I have two daughters, one of whom is already being ogled by disgusting old men? SHE’S FUCKING EIGHT.

Why? How could you do this, America? How could you elect a misogynist, a racist, an ignorant, classless, philandering, lying, failure of a man as our Commander-in-Chief? Even with the mirror to your nose you don’t see how ugly you are.

Maybe he is you. But he isn’t me. He will never represent me.

 

She returns

About 15 years ago, when I was a spunky teenager, I would often find myself embroiled in political and religious discussions with anyone who felt like they could go toe-to-toe with me. To say that I lack social graces is an understatement. Even now I find little wrong with asking someone who they’re voting for or why they hold particular religious or political ideas.

During my time living in Tennessee, I was often quieted. I didn’t speak my mind about issues because I would often feel as if I, personally, was under attack. It never quite felt like information-sharing between two opposing ideologies; almost always the other party was set to dismantle or discredit my person, rather than my argument. This is still true.

I’ve returned to Nashville briefly, only to find myself facing the same sets of people – but I am slightly better armed this time.  But that fact is moot, it really doesn’t matter. I am a woman, a feminist, and a bit left of center – so people may think that it’s easy to take me on. It’s easy for a white, middle-aged, middle-class man to assume that I am angry when I contend that Trump is misogynistic, racist, foul-mouthed hypocrite – when really, all I am is impassioned.

I am passionate about embracing feminism and womanhood; I am passionate about encouraging individual growth and breaking glass ceilings; I am passionate about equality across the board; I am passionate about compassion, about ensuring that we all are given the same opportunity to reach our potential; and I’m passionate about ensuring the world my children grow up in is a fairer, more tolerant one.

I’m not trying to change people set in their ways; I’m only trying to be heard, so that if anything someone, anyone can understand that there is more than one perspective out there and that whoever is chosen to lead our country embraces all of our different paths of life. It’s important for all peoples to be represented in government; I, for the life of me, cannot see how Trump is that person.

every little bit…

I still question if I am living my most authentic life. There are elements of my life that feel exhilarating; that feel fulfilling; that feel like I am doing the thing that I always knew I would be doing.

But there are moments when I wonder if I’m playing out of someone else’s playbook. I wonder if I could commit myself wholly to yoga, to selflessness, to ecology, to compassion in all areas of my life.

I think it’s time to stop second-guessing myself. One thing that has always remained about me is my inability to perform in ways that is inauthentic to who I am and what I feel. I have always been stubbornly honest and wholly real – thus authentic.

Authentic, yes. But also wanting to belong. Before I awoke, before I understood how to think about things, how to question them, I accepted many things, many ideas, many behaviors that I understand now as unacceptable. I still wish I were different, further along, but I am on my way and for that, I should feel some comfort…

Self-acceptance is harder than it looks. But I’m working on it. As difficult as the journey is, it still feels wonderful to be alive, to question what to do with my time, to wonder if I’m living my best life. I look forward to answering my own questions.

That Cayenne though…

As a person with a rough family health history, I gave up most meat in February of this year – for the third time in my life. I still eat fish, shrimp, and shellfish, but that probably happens less than three times per month. And while I thought that by doing so my health would improve, I did forget one kind of important thing : protein is only one component. My biggest monster lately has been sugar.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve been using food to rebel. I’ve been rebelling against a few entities who, more than once, made comments about my weight. I stopped trying to take care of myself because my efforts were going unnoticed. Omitting most meat was a noble attempt to getting this train back on the tracks, but to supplement the now missing section on my plate, I started adding more breads, more desserts, instead of the fruits,veggies, and legumes I should have been adding. That’s my fault.

I probably weigh more now than I have in three or four years – and though that isn’t nearly as much as I used to weigh, I do have to be aware of how my body feels and what I put into it. I feel heavy, my stomach hurts almost all the time, and I’m finding that I want to move less and less. I can’t keep going down this path.

My idea is to make eating simple, not complicated. Just fish, eggs, fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, steel cut oats, and rice. Seems bland, I know, but I think there are ways to spice it up using herbs and spices. What moderate fats I use will be avocado, honey, olive oil, and coconut oil. It’s probably in line with the Mediterranean diet.

Today, or right now rather, I’m beginning again. But it’s less about what I weigh or what clothes I can wear, and more about how I feel in this body and the quality of foods I feed it. I am not only my body; I am so much more than my weight or my appearance. But my body is my home. I neither want it emaciated nor overfull; I do not want to suffer nor become unnecessarily sick. It took far too long for me to come to this realization.

Meow

Being thick is not an excuse to eat crap food.

 

I am a thick woman. I may very well always be. Even when I ran three miles a day and was a straight-up vegetarian for two years. I was still thick. It is what it is. However, being thick is not an excuse to eat crap food all the time.

I have been eating like terra-terra bad. Part of it is needing to transition well to working nights for a month. The rest of it is my legit fuckit attitude lately. So, maybe I need to stop doing that.

 

Time to up the veggie ante! I feel a soup/smoothie/juice cleanse coming on…if only to give my belly a break.

 

Huzzah!

 

Also… I’ve done well to ensure that I start taking a multivitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D every day. My SAD symptoms have been abetting. Just sayin’.

 

Begin Again

When my marriage ended five years ago, one of the deciding factors was the knowledge that I did not know who I was or what I wanted. I did not know what my own interests were. I did not have any hobbies. I had ambition, but I did not know for what. For a while afterwards, I was aimless. I followed along or I did what I was used to – neither of which was smart. I didn’t really know where to start…so I went back to what I knew I liked the last time I knew myself.

As a teenager, I loved music and art and reading. I loved dancing and yoga. I loved inline skating, wrestling, superhero and zombie movies, and writing. I revisited some of those same things on my quest to know myself better. I’ve seen where I was less genuine, and why, and as an adult, one who enjoys learning and understanding, it takes effort to be more of who I really am instead of who I think I should be.

I’ve been struggling with accepting myself for the past couple years or so and when things didn’t work out, I momentarily wondered why. When I am honest with myself, when I stop trying so hard, when I stop worrying and trying to control – things tend to just fall out the way they’re supposed to.

A dear friend of mine is going through one of the hardest things a person can experience. Everything he has held dear for the last 14 years is in question and he feels lost. To him, I’ve said – “You’ve done all that you can do. You’ve given all of yourself to all of these things in your best effort to make it work. If you’ve done all you can do, rest. These things may not be for you, and I know it’s painful to hear that and it’s even more difficult to accept – but you must rest. You have nothing left to give.”

So little in life is actually up to us. You can want, and work, and beg, and plead and still nothing will come up you. When you can do nothing more, rest. Then begin again.