Is it sad that a Britney Spears lyric is relevant to my life right now? "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman." Sure this lyric proves how much of a 90’s child I am, but it's also pretty deep for a cheesy pop song. I've been feeling conflicted about my age and level of maturity.
I'm twenty, but I kind of feel more like I'm 20 going on 16. My parents have kept me pretty sheltered all my life. I was never allowed to go to high school parties, or play at my neighbor's houses when I was little. Everyone had to come to my house so we could be "safe" and supervised. I didn't get my license until I was eighteen. Even now that I'm obviously a legal adult, I still have an 11pm curfew. Sure, I'm living at home and respect my parents, but that feels a bit extreme to me. Actually most of the things my parents have kept me from doing, and forced me to do over the years, feel extreme.
I think that in trying to keep me safe, my parents have stunted my adult growth. I'm more at ease hanging out with my sixteen year old sister than a group of twenty-somethings. I've never been interested in things like drinking, drugs, sex, and partying, but I know most people my age have done them all. On one hand, I feel more mature than people my own age. I am proud of the fact that I'm responsible. On the other hand, I feel younger than I actually am because I have no real life experience.
What is normal for a twenty year old girl these days? I've never even had a job. At the same time, I'm responsible for taking care of my house and younger sister while my parents are working. I'm sitting in the carpool lane at after school pick-ups. I'm doing laundry and helping my sister with her homework while others kids away at college are partying it up in the evenings. I feel very conflicted. I want more freedom so I can act like a normal twenty year old, but I don't want to do dumb things. I guess what I'm saying is that I'd just like the opportunity to show my parents that they didn't raise an idiot, and they have a responsible adult on their hands (not a child).
I don't know how to prove to my parents I'm responsible, since I'm not allowed to do anything. I don't want to grow up to fast, I appreciate my childhood. I'm glad that my parents haven't forced me into working to help pay for things like my car. I'd really like to find a job though, so I can help out on my own free will. I’d also like to drop the curfew. Driving at 10pm is really no different than driving at 2am. I'd like to be able to go out with people and not get grilled about who they are. I want to stop having to text my mom every hour and tell her where I am and who I'm with.
I think my mom is so overprotective because she was never a normal twenty year old. She got married when she was seventeen, and by the time she was twenty she already had a baby, me. She's always been a mom, and her mother wasn't overprotective. If anything, my grandmother was under protective. My parents love me and just want me to be safe and have a better life than they did. I understand that. I just can't understand how I'm supposed to have a better life when I'm not allowed to live my life at all.
My question for you: How can you show your parents that you're not a child anymore? How can you gain freedom the responsible way?
Most of us can look up into the night sky and find perfection among the stars. At some point millions or even billions of years ago, we were all simply particles floating amongst the stars. So I love to imagine myself retaining a little bit of that stardust. What's more beautiful than being connected to one of the most naturally beautiful things in existence? I'm going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the writer Oscar Wilde, "We're all in the gutter; but some of us are looking at the stars." Live and love yourself, celestial beings.
It never ceases to amaze me how sexist the society we live in is. Even in 2012, a lot of people live by and only accept traditional gender roles. These roles say that the woman is a nurturing, emotional, child rearing being, whose place is within the home. On top of this, a woman is expected to keep up her physical appearance, remain fit, and pleasure her husband each night. Men, on the other hand, are still expected to rough and tough, blunt and burly. Men are responsible for bringing home the money, and their only contribution at home is to do yard work. The wife is supposed to make things easy on her breadwinning husband at home.
What I don't understand is the lack of a woman's desires and needs. Why can't a female be the working partner, and her husband be a stay at home dad? When this does happen, society looks at these couples strangely. Or what about the women that chose not to marry or settle down? They are seen as old maids, and lonely cat ladies. A man that remains single is known as playboy, and this isn't questioned in society.
Where are the women in power? We still have never had a female President in the United States. Strong, and empowered women are often called crass and bitchy. Many would say that a woman in power lacks a nurturing heart, and could never be successful and happy. I'm not trying to go on a feminist rant, but that absolutely infuriates me. I have never wanted to depend on a man for my happiness or sense of self worth. I've always known that if I want to make a name for myself someday I'll have to do it on my own. I'm not going to earn my titles on my knees or by riding the coattails of a man.
I feel like there needs to be a push towards presenting independent women positively in our society. Traditions are fine, but they aren't rules. If they were, these would certainly be the ones that need to be broken. I'm not only talking about women now. Men shouldn't always be portrayed and rough and tumble. To me, a real man is someone that's not afraid to show emotion or be vulnerable.
I guess what I'm trying to accomplish with his post is to simply get everyone thinking. Are you passively slipping into these gender roles without even stopping to question them? If so, are you happy with that? We are shaped by our environment to some extent, but if we want to make changes, we can't be afraid of standing out to reshape our environment. Like rules, some molds are meant to be broken. I'm personally ready to end the foolish gender roles being forced down our throats in this society.
Perfection; something we all strive for, but how many of us actually reach it? The word itself has many connotations. We all picture something different when we attempt to conjure up the perfect image or person. With so many different ideals out there, why does it seem like so many of us are looking for the same things?
In America, for example, when you ask the average person to describe a beautiful woman they'll give you a pretty typical list of features. Things like thin, larger breasts, a perky bum, long, blonde hair, tall, nice clothes, etc. Well, maybe this isn't the average Americans idea of beauty, it's probably the average American mans idea. That cookie cutter image of a woman is what we're all bombarded with on the television and movie screen from the time we are children.
Who set these standards? An even better question is how many women can actually fit into this mold? Not many, without a personal trainer and great plastic surgeon. I find this absolutely depressing. Many women like to pretend that they don't try and conform to this "perfect" standard, but they're lying to the world and themselves. If you can find one woman that hasn't dyed her hair, attempted to diet, or worn high heels, then I'll call myself the liar. We can try and blame men for the harsh standards placed on women in this society, but we have to blame ourselves as well.
We're harsh on our own bodies, and we nitpick at the women around us. We're constantly judging how thin or large those around us are; we're sneering at women in head to toe designer clothes, and laughing at women who can't afford them. What the hell is wrong with us?
How will we ever be able to move past old standards and expand the definition of beauty if we can't even walk down the street or out of our front door without being judgmental? They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Clearly the beholder found diversity beautiful since we're all different. You might say hold up, what about twins? Sure, they look alike, but they have distinct personalities that make them individuals. Why can't any of us seem to embrace our flaws and the quirks of those around us? I'm just as guilty of buying into the sickening cookie cutter idea of perfection.
We all need to expand the ideals associated with beauty. I'm including myself in this. I'm sick of looking down on myself because I'm not tan, I'm not tall, my hips and thighs aren't skinny, my hair is a mousy shade of brown, I have misplaced dimples on my face, I have crooked teeth, I wear glasses, the list could go on and on. Who fucking cares? The things that I see as flaws within myself could be absolutely beautiful to someone else. What right do I have to deem my features imperfect? Perfection is completely subjective. Therefore my objective is to feel beautiful and make sure you feel beautiful too. We're all worthy of feeling adequate in a society that is constantly telling us we'll never be good enough. Trust me, you're better than good enough. You're the best you there will ever be. Embrace your individuality, and accept every inch of yourself.
Once again, something I've said on here has gotten me in trouble in my personal life. One hand I feel like it's a good thing that I'm so honest on here. Then again, some of the brutally honest things I say end up hurting the people I care about most. The things I write are a collection of my thoughts at any given moment. My thoughts, feelings, and emotions are anything but static. What I say I'm feeling in one post can be miles about from what I feel 20 minutes after writing it.
I don't want to call myself emotionally unstable, that's notreally true. My emotions are just very scattered. I believe that's one of the things that makes relationships so unstable for me. I can be madly in love with someone one day, then just wake up completely out of love. Then give me some time and a little personal reflection, and I'm in love again. I sound like a crazy person when writing that, but it's true. I just wonder if that's normal, or healthy.
I know I don't have the healthiest thoughts about myself, so maybe what I feel for other people is unhealthy too. Relationships to me are like really acidic foods. They taste great, but all the while they're eating away my insides. Eventually I have to give something up, the great taste or my personal health.
I have no idea where my unhealthy relationship with relationships comes from. My parents have a seemingly normal and healthy relationship. So I've always had a very stable role model when it comes to love. TV always glamorizes love, so one would assume if I was going to have unhealthy expectations when it comes to love, I would have high expectations, not low ones.
Maybe some people are just meant to be alone. They say there's a soulmate for everyone, but there's not an even number of people in this world. So how can that be? I read somewhere that the average person falls in love ten times before getting married. With my track record, I'll be lucky to fall in love three times. Does this mean I'll never get married?
Marriage is all about stability, but what happens to those of us that are emotionally disconnected? My head and heart are never aligned it seems. I know that a lot of people have some issues when it comes to dating and expressing their emotions, but my issues seem to be greater than the average person.
Maybe I just need to speak with a therapist. Then again, I'm only twenty, are we as young adults expected to have everything about life and love figured out already? I get that we're supposed to learn from our experiences, but what if all of my experiences seem to fall into the same pattern? Clearly I'm not learning what I'm supposed to.
It's like I'm being handed all of these opportunities for love and happiness but I passively let them slip away. I know a lot of my issues spring from fear, but you would think I would learn by now that we sometimes have to face our fears. But what am I really so afraid of?
I talk myself out of my feelings for people. I am the hardest on the people I love most. I smile in the face of my enemies and spit in the face of my friends and family. Sure that's an exaggeration, but it's a pretty small one unfortunately. I feel like something is wrong with me. Im emotionally unaligned. I feel like I've cut my umbilical cord that connected me to reality. I'm slowly suffocating from my lack of clarity.
I want to live and love and love like a normal person would. There's no clear definition of normal, but I want to be in touch with my emotions. Instead of hiding from my feelings, I want to embrace them. If I love or care about someone I want my feelings to be clear to them. I'm tired of hiding behind this wall I've built to keep people out of my heart. I'm not just talking about potential relationships, I shut my family and friends out of my personal life too.
So ultimately I want to be more open, with myself and those around me. Sure I'm open on my blog, but these fragments of my feelings don't even come close to fully expressing what I feel on the inside. They are simply snapshots of this massive roll of film that is my life.
So here's my Challenge to you: Since I'm going to try to be more open with my feelings, I want you to do the same. Stop hiding behind your mind, and let your heart take center stage for once.
I’ve slowly come to realize something about myself; I am completely screwed up in the head. I constantly find myself running away from people and situations that would actually be good or beneficial for me. I run out of pure fear. Opportunities for things like jobs, and relationships come up quite a bit, but I won’t take anyone up on these chances. I think I’m ultimately afraid of failure. I’m scared that I’m not good enough, for anything or anyone. I’m human, and I have flaws, but I don’t think my insecurities are coming from these flaws. My ultimate flaw is probably my brain. I have a very skewed view of myself.
I’d like to sit here and pretend that I know myself inside and out, but I really don’t. I am always putting myself down, and pointing out my own flaws. This pretty much makes me a hypocrite because I’m constantly talking about empowerment and embracing flaws on here. I think I’m really good at accepting others, and their quirks. However, I can’t look in the mirror without finding something wrong with my reflection.
When it comes to relationships, I like to run away before I actually invest all of myself in someone. I do this in hopes of protecting my heart, but I also think there’s a deeper reason. I’m not secure enough in my own skin to feel worthy of another person’s affection; and certainly not for an extended period of time. My friends make fun of me, and I say that I have a six month time limit when it comes to dating someone. Sadly, this is true. My longest relationship to date has been eight months, but I was steadily slipping away by the six month mark.
I say I’m not ready for a relationship, but deep down I kind of want one. I hate the idea of being alone. I don’t want a rebound though, that’s just too unfair for the other person. I’m actively searching for someone that I could potentially fall in love with again. It’s hard for me admit that I love LOVE. The hopeless romantic down inside of me still feels like there’s a chance for me to be happy with another person again.
Before I get myself into another relationship though, I am committed to fixing myself. I don’t mean that I’m going to attempt to fix the flaws I see within myself, I’m going to work on the internal part of me. I have to find a way to accept the person I am. It won’t be easy, but it has to be done. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, you have to love yourself before you can love another person. I’m ready to find love again, so I need to start loving myself.
I have officially decided that I hate winter. This has actually been a relatively warm winter so far, nonetheless, I still despise it. I hate bundling up in layers. I hate wearing pants, and stuffing my feet into fuzzy boots. I hate being pale, and seeing my breath when I'm outside. I hate how my hands turn purple and my nose turns red from the cold. I look like Rudolph's corpse or something. Winter is only good for five things: snow, hot chocolate, my birthday, cuddling, and Christmas.
I am a million times happier in summer. It is my favorite season. You can just do so much more! I don't mind being hot, and sweaty. I love being barefoot, in a pair of cutoff shorts, hair messy, a pair of sunglasses, a loose top, all perfection in my eyes. I look forward to laying out under the stars late into the night. Swimming, hiking, biking, walking, just being outdoors. To me, it just feels like there's so much more to do in summer. I'm never bored. Everything is lush, and full of vibrant colors. I never have to look far for inspiration.
I get so depressed in the winter, so this little rant was a small attempt to perk myself up. Summer is getting closer by the minute. I think the fact that cold weather screws me up so much is just further validation that I need to live somewhere warm and sunny in the future. I'm thinking a small coastal town would be perfect. I'd be perfectly content in a little house right on the ocean. Nothing fancy, just comfy. I can get very stressed, and I always feel the most relaxed by a body of water, with the sun kissing my shoulders. I think I'm a beach bum at heart.
I hope the thoughts of summer warm your soul, and help you make it through this winter a bit easier. Sending summer loving your way! -Lindsey
I just wanted to make a quick post before the first day of 2012 is over. I have been enjoying a wonderful winter break with my family and friends. I have had many revelations about myself and my life in general. It may seem like I’m constantly writing about some new revelation I’ve had, but honestly, I have one every day. We’re molded by our experiences, and my experiences are shaping me and all my decisions. I’m a terribly indecisive individual, so any form of clarity in my choices seems like a revelation to me.
I’ve made a bit of a to-do list for myself in 2012. I guess it’s my alternative solution to a New Year’s resolution. My to-do list includes:
1) Update this blog more frequently
2) Get back into creating art
3) Laugh every day
4) Be more honest (with myself and others)
5) Appreciate what a beautiful life I have
That’s the short list. I’m pretty much an open book on here, so I figure I can keep some of my goals to myself (at least for now). I hope everyone had a New Years Eve and Day that was half as wonderful as mine. I look forward to sharing my 2012 with you, one blog, picture, poem, and post at a time. Cheers to this new and possibility filled year!
My Question to you: What are some of your goals for the upcoming year?
Lindsey. Twenty-Five. Currently pursuing a degree in Professional Writing & Film Studies.