It’s Okay to Flirt

SKYLARITY

One of the most common questions I was asked during my time as a university lecturer was, “How do I find my passion?” 

My response to that question was the same every semester. And that was, “You flirt.” The students’ quizzical expressions to my response always made me chuckle—it never failed. Here’s the premise behind my response.

People, both young and old, often ask the question, “How do I find my passion” based on the following mindset. First, they do not know and are uncertain of how to get started or where to begin. Secondly, they made an attempt to find their passion, but did not find any fulfillment. 

My response to both groups is to flirt, i.e., to experiment with different ideas until you find the idea that aligns with your person—one that brings you total and complete satisfaction. On the journey to discovering your passion, it is important…

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With Envy

Marquita Nicole

I’ve always wanted to be like her so much, I brushed off anything positive people said about me. I don’t know when it started or if this was caused by the environment consistently pitting women and girls against one another or if it’s 100% me and my delusions, but I used to always think that the grass was greener for the next chick.

There was a classmate of mine that I was so envious of that in the 4th grade, when I saw that she was upset about something, I railed on her: “how could you be upset about anything? Your life is perfect!” And to my nine-year old self, it was. She had a house complete with a play room, well-dressed parents and luxury cars. Moreover, she was pretty, popular and got to do both dance and gymnastics. When I compared that to my life: small apartment where I…

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Fcuk Pretty

Wow

coffee and a blank page

Coming out to my 91yo grandmother, that spring I first broke the news to her about dating a woman, did not proceed according to plan.

My mother’s mother took a long moment, squinting at me intently, before she spoke.

FP_madeup-eyes

“So…when are you going to lose the weight?”

I sputtered back incoherently, shifting quickly into defensive mode while still trying to confirm if she had heard and understood what I had said. But once begun, Gram was not to be dissuaded. From critiquing my body, she moved on to my brother’s, and then my brother’s wife. When her litany of complaints reached the circumference of my preschool niece’s thighs, I stood up to leave the room.

“I don’t understand what happened,” my grandmother’s querulous lament followed me. “You used to be so young and thin.

“You used to be pretty.” 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

This is not a story about living in a fat body…

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Love or Languish

I don’t consider myself a people person, but I think they think I love them. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. Maybe it doesn’t really matter. Maybe I should stop being so vague. Maybe I should be direct and say when things rub me the wrong way. Maybe I really don’t need to kiss anyone’s ass, because asses are for sitting on and shitting out of and not for my lips to touch in any way.

Maybe I’m too lazy. Maybe I should keep my guard up and stop making myself vulnerable because I cannot be bothered to stand watch. Because the truth is, people are complex and whatever side of a person you are shown is not the entirety of who that person is. In efforts to protect myself, maybe I should not believe what I see to be all that is. Maybe I shouldn’t show as much of myself as I get the chance to. No one needs to know all the things I disclose about myself.

But how then do I satisfy the craving for human affection?

 

there is always something to cry for

and that is everything that is wrong with this world. there is always another cause another group another injustice another wrong, something else to fight for, mourn or grieve over, something else to argue or cry about.

one thing i have come to realise lately is how steadfastly people hold on to their beliefs. sometimes people are able to listen to the other side of an argument and understand the perspective it is coming from. they are able to add to their understanding of a particular issue and appreciate why others may be so very fearful, or supportive, of said issue. not everyone is able to do this and this may be why the human race is not progressing at a faster pace. not to say that we should be going at lightning speed, but more needs to be done – a lot more. i’m sure you will agree.

this is where listening comes into play – listening with the intention of understanding the story being told from the perspective of the storyteller. sometimes we hear words that ignite in us flames of anger. we are moved to retort in harsh language and, sometimes, violence. all this ever serves to do is create division and perpetuate it over time.

i think people these days are too used to their own stories – their own cultural narratives. they grew up only ever experiencing the same small pieces of the world and so became unaware of how truly large the world is. i can certainly understanding being afraid of things upon first encounter. i find that is a natural response for me. however, after initial reaction, as human beings with will and intention, it is of utmost importance for us to make an effort to understand the things with which we interact.

it is so very tiring, trying to explain to some folks why it is incorrect to call a group of people by a name they shun, simply because it is incorrect to use the name as such in the language. it is also tiring to try and tell people that even if they don’t believe in something, it is not their place to try and make it so that other people, who don’t share these beliefs, have to live by laws that force them to live by these beliefs.

i can never for the life of me understand why everyone does not live by the golden rule. it is of no consequence what one’s faith is or how strong it is, if it does exist. as a human being with emotions that can be hurt and with experience that allows me to empathize with having one’s emotions hurt, i try as much as i can to put myself in the shoes of others and thereby understand their thoughts and actions.

if this kind of attitude was adopted by, or inherent in, all of us, there is no way, i think, that men could rape, abuse, assault, or kill children. every one of us alive came here from the womb of a woman. it is incomprehensible that men make businesses out of bodies that gave them life, that they maim and kill these bodies, that they tarnish the souls within them. i am not able to understand how men kill each other and how communities stay silent about it. incorrect. i do understand. it is fear at play again. fear and the feeling of being small and alone.

and because this fear is so strong and we do not have the privilege of a second life to try again in case we lose this one to bravery, we remain silent, complacent, with our ears and eyes partially closed.

however, little by little, steps are being taken to understand, to educate, and to create new ways to go about doing things. people are reaching out and making change, helping others and bringing the world a step farther into the future. but while all of this is happening, there are still those of us who do not want to hear, do not want to listen, do not want to understand, do not want, even, to move. and it is because of us who are in this group that the list of things we have to fight for and grieve over and cry about never seems to be getting shorter.

lgbtqia folks fight for what they want to live freely and equally, as much as possible, in the society they inhabit. blacks/africans do the same. so do women. people fight on behalf of refugees. they fight for young girls being trafficked. they try to help veterans, the disabled, the poor. and all the while there are people crying for their loved ones who are killed inhumanely and unjustly, while begging, hoping and praying for the criminals to be appropriately punished.

at every turn there is something else, something else wrong, something else discriminatory, something else unjust, something else wicked. and at every turn are people turning their eyes and ears away, extending no compassion to their fellow human beings.

i grapple with this in my mind all the time, the uncaring nature of man. i can never understand it.