Monday, September 30, 2013

To Those of You I have Met:

If I met you while I was in Elementary School:

When I was in Elementary School, I was one of those kids who was "bigger than my body gave me credit for" (to quote a bit of John Mayer). I was overflowing with ideas and personality. I was a bit intense, and I appreciate those of you who were my friends through that time. I was always sure that my ideas were brilliant, and that everyone would always have a great time if they just followed my lead. I was quite bossy. I was quite stubborn. I am sorry to everyone who played with me....I am sure I was not the easiest person to have as a friend.

If I met you in Jr. High:

I hated being "the Smart One". I didn't want that label, so I did what any self-respecting twelve year old would do to avoid a stereotype....I became a different stereotype! I am sure it was not enjoyable to be around me while I was constantly playing the "Dumb Blonde". I am sure that it made you want to punch me in the face every time I obsessed about my looks and my weight. I am sure that my obsession with "this boy", or "that boy" got old really fast. I was mean to many of you. I was self-absorbed. I know that adolescence is a difficult time for most people, and I had my share of crap to deal with, however as I look back, I frequently mistreated those I was the closest to. There were so many of you that I looked up to, and yet...I struggled to show it. Thank you for being there even when I was not a great friend.

If I met you in High School:

While I had pulled myself together quite a bit, I brushed many of you off so that I could hang out with "this boy", or "that boy". I know that many of you were concerned about my behaviors with they boys, and tried to talk some sense in to me, but alas, usually this just made me angry...and I probably yelled at you, and then refused to talk to you for a few days. The sad thing is that you were right, and I was walking a frequently dangerous line. I just didn't want to be told what to do. I am sorry. I am also sorry for being "that friend" who was so frequently that bad influence. I am sorry for how often I pressured you in to skipping class with me. I think I was just a "misery loves company" type in those days. I was filled with teenage angst and had more than a little "rage against the machine" mentality. We all had a lot of growing up to do, and we all made mistakes...I am just sorry for dragging you along with me in mine.  

If I met you in College:

Thanks to you, I began to figure out who I really was meant to be. You ladies that I lived with were my fantastic little "pseudo family". I know that I was kinda wild, and that many of you thought I had taken my "wildness" about twelve steps too far. I probably did, but I needed to explore who I was to become, and you ladies gave me the forum to do so. I thank you! I also really have to apologize to the men I ran across during that time period. I was needing to discover that I had some kind of control over my life, and a lot of that discovery was done at your expense. I treated a great many of you with quite a lot of disrespect. I justified it at the time by thinking that previous guys I had dated held all of the power, and were very domineering. I wanted to set my life back in balance by "settling the score" so to speak. It was all about me, and I didn't really take your feelings in to consideration. I am sorry that I treated you so poorly.

If I met you in my 20s:

Once I was married, and had children VERY soon afterward, I was VERY lonely. My life had been such a fun whirlwind in college, and settling in to Motherhood was a really difficult transition. I was so afraid of not being "up to scratch" with other mothers. I was filled with doubt and loneliness. To those of you who took my under your wing and showed me that everything was going to be alright, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! You were Godsends at that time for me! It is sad the way we as mothers tear each other down and make our insecurities twelve times worse, however, you ladies were paramount in helping me to overcome those insecurities and be a better mother. I love you and am forever grateful to you!

If I met you in my 30s:

It took my 30 years to figure out how to accept myself for who I am. This is largely due to the fact that it took me 30 years to figure out exactly WHO I am. I learned that I spent way too much time as a square peg trying desperately to fit into that blasted round hole! I became unabashedly my own person...however, as it was in my youth, I am "bigger than my body gives me credit for". I know that many of you don't understand the reasons behind my life choices. I have decided that it is ok not to be understood. I know that I am a favorite source of gossip, and I have decided to be happy to supply you with fodder.

To those of you who were in a band with me, I have to thank you for challenging my perspective on everything. You boys were and are a lovely part of my life/family! My experience making music with you brilliant gentlemen was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done! Thank you for the opportunity!

To those of you who are in my circle of close friends, I thank you! I know that I overschedule myself and burn out and fall off the planet, and don't give you the time you deserve. I am grateful you are my friends anyway. I know that I am not one to share my "deepest darkest", and I struggle to be truly close to people. I appreciate you being there for me despite be being difficult to connect with.

I am grateful for the person I am today, and I am grateful to everyone who became part of the rich tapestry that is my life! I am sorry for the ways that I have hurt you, and am continually blessed for your current or previous part in my life!              

Friday, June 21, 2013


There has been a lot of interest surrounding a topic that I have very strong feelings about of late. This is the topic of modesty. Many people have been stating that if a woman is a true "follower of Christ", she will abstain from the wearing of "immodest clothing" on account of what it will "do to the men". I have also seen a woman who is selling her own line of clothing (beware of any information given by someone who stands to gain financially), stating that only those with lowered standards would wear a bikini. I was raised with this thinking. "You just don't know what that type of clothing does to a boy", or my favorite, "Don't you think we as women have a greater responsibility than the men to keep their minds' pure?" were favorite lines of my parents and youth leaders. While I understand that they were truly trying to assist me in my learning and growth, as I went from girl to woman this thought process became damaging to me. I found myself in situations where I was taken advantage of by men, sometimes violently, and I felt the weight of the responsibility and shame of these situations as I had apparently "done something" to these men to "make them" behave in the way they had. My femininity was obviously to blame for the actions of the men, as my body "made them" think and act in ways that they could not control. "Boys will be boys...." My first child was a son. As I began to raise him, I realized that he is an amazing little human, with a kind of "old-soul" presence. He is very logical and intelligent. As he is now a teenager, I am grateful for the realization that he is not, in fact, some sex-crazed maniac. I worked in the field of Ob/Gyn for a number of years, and as I am comfortable with the topic, sexuality has not been a shameful subject in our home. My son has spoken with me very candidly about his sexual feelings and any questions. I refuse to believe that my son lacks the capacity to pull it together, and control his thoughts and actions! I refuse to teach any of my children that their thoughts are not their own. Sexual thoughts, feelings, and impulses are good and natural, however, it is not the person who is being thought about who is at fault for any fantasy. We can have influence over other people, however, we are not responsible for their thoughts and actions. I, for one, will not degrade my son by teaching him he is nothing more than raging hormones within a sack of skin. He is an intelligent human who is responsible for his actions. The second part of the problem with the way that we are teaching modesty, is that we are once again teaching women that they are nothing if they are not beautiful in some form or another. My value is NOT is the way I appear to other people! This is NOT my only contribution to society! I am saddened by the countless ladies that feel their only power is in their sexuality. If you are comfortable in an article of clothing, you should feel free to wear it, however, it is reasonable to assess the reasons for your clothing choices. If you are wearing something because it speaks to the world about who you are as a person, feel free to wear it. However, of you feel that you need to wear something that does nothing but get you sexual attention, you are part of that problem telling everyone that we as women are nothing more than our bodies...and our bodies are only useful as sexual objects. You are perpetuating the idea that once you are no longer sexually attractive, you have lost your place in our society. Ladies, let us re-train everyone to see us as human beings! Dress in a way that shows the world who you really are! The more we state that certain items of clothing are "overly sexual", the more we train our society in an almost pavlovian way that the items in question are sexual, therefore, handing people the thoughts that we are so concerned with. PLEASE evaluate why you are making the clothing choices you are. Do not let society dictate who you are, and DO NOT buy in to the notion that you are only a body! Dress in a way that is not an advertisement for a moment of sexual gratification for another person, rather, dress in a way that helps people understand who you are as a human. I refuse to teach my son that he is just an animal, and I refuse to teach my daughters they are just a body! I refuse to teach any of my children that there are "bad" parts of their bodies! I refuse to refer to sexual acts as "dirty" or "filthy"! I want my children to think of sex in a positive light, and I want them to feel that they are in control of their lives! Ladies, let's show everyone that we are worth more than just our sexuality! Let us make clothing choices that are not tainted with society's rules. Let us show the world our wit and wisdom!