I had a terrible realization…

I had this little realization the other day…

See I just bought a bike a few days ago.  I was all excited because this meant I could run errands on my bike, bike to work (cause my new job is super close!), and get some exercise/relaxation at the local bike paths and forest preserves.  All around, pretty happy right?

Within a mile of my first fucking outing my self kicked in.  My brain.  My stupid brain.  My stupid internal competitiveness and attitude of self-hate.  All of the sudden, instead of going for a leisurely bike ride, I was competing with myself.  Timing myself and setting immediate goals.  What’s my time now?  What’s my speed?  How far can I go today?  How long until I can do 20 miles?  That’s too easy, 30 miles by the end of the month.  What schedule should I be on?  How many days a week can I get in an hour bike ride?  What’s my speed now?  What if someone is better than me?  How long before I’m better than them?  How much weight can I lose?  How much muscle can I gain if I do this 5 times per week?  Should I take a class or do a race?  Not until I can finish in the top 5%.  What’s even the point of doing this unless I’m going to compete.  I should at least be better than that rando I just passed.  I bet I can be healthier than my sister if I stick with this.

This thinking style sneaks up on me pretty much every time I start a new thing.  If I start running, I can’t just run.  I have to building.  I have to be competing with someone, even though they usually don’t know that they’re competing with me.  I can’t just have a hobby, I have to do it to until I pass out.  I have to give it my all.  It’s do or don’t.  And I don’t just let myself enjoy any of it.

It’s a terrible mentality that was drilled into me when I was a kid.  I was already a kind of obsessive kid (neurotypicalities kinda run in my family).  And then I started playing basketball.  Just a little background: in the town I grew up in, girls’ basketball was INSANE.  Like, we were just kind of expected to go to state.  You played year round, be it summer leagues, preseason conditioning, etc.  It was hypercompetitive to even make the team, let alone get any playing time.

I think my parents tried to put some limits on it when I was younger.  I wasn’t allowed to play travel teams (although I think this was also partly cost).  But my parents told me that high level of competitiveness wasn’t good for kids.  I was just bitter about because it meant I was falling behind.  So, just to make the team, I had to work harder and harder and harder.  Dedicate so much time to it.  It wasn’t healthy.  I knew it, because I wasn’t eating well, I wasn’t focusing, and I didn’t even care about playing so much as I just wanted to be better.  I was actually pretty miserable playing.  Especially once I started high school.  I didn’t even have any friends on the team and I’m pretty sure I cried out of frustration or physical pain every time I came home.  But I played for another year, and intended to play the following year.  I quit partly because of depression and partly because I felt I had to work.

But then that hyperfocus, hypercompetitiveness just transferred into my work.  I took like all of the hours that I could at work.  I wanted more and all the responsibilities.  I ended up moving jobs to get more time and experience and money.  By my senior year of high school, I worked two jobs, was enrolled part time in college courses and part time in high school, and was acting as a tech crew leader for the theater.  I was also applying to colleges and trying to get scholarships.  I don’t think that I ever stopped to enjoy any of this stuff.  I mean, it helped me to avoid the depression.  That was great.  But I just had to keep doing things and keep doing better and be a better worker than everyone around me.  Even if no one else knew.  (In fact, the other AP students would often say I didn’t deserve to be in the AP classes because I wouldn’t do the homework and they thought I was dumb.  Fuck those guys.  I killed the tests, which was all that mattered).

I struggle to slow down.  I struggle to relax and enjoy what I do and what’s going on around me.  I just have this constant need to work harder.  Go faster.  Do better than whatever I was doing.

That doesn’t sound like a terrible thing to some people, right?  No.  And in some ways it has been super helpful in getting me through college and grad school.  Getting a good job, two good jobs.  And putting my life back together when things get rough.

But at the end of the day, I end up exhausted.  Burnt out.  Isolated from the people and things around me because of my hyperfocus.  I know that it pushes people away.  And maybe I do it because, in addition to helping me avoid negative moods, it enables my social anxiety.  When I’m focused on work, I have a reason to avoid people.  I feel like if my friends saw this, they would be confused.  Because I don’t really do hobbies, at least I don’t get into them.  I don’t because I hate myself within 6 months after I start them; I’m burnt out and angry that I spent money.

Since I’ve had this realization, I’ve decided to try and be mindful about it.  Use it when I want to and try to manage it when I don’t want it interfering.  It’s a work in progress.

My Weekend as Told by The B in 23

This weekend I learned that I should never leave town.  And there is a world of people I need to never interact with.  Because when I leave my house and interact with people…

justhityou

Seriously.  It was bad.

gofuckyourself

I tried to give fucks.  But there were none to give.

help

Luckily, there are a few supportive entities in the world.

support

But now I need a break.  I return to my hole with my internets and dog and boyfriend.  Or else.

strangle

 

But that’s behind us now.

thepast

 

And anyway, I suppose it could have been worse.  I was preparing myself for worse.

murder

I think I’m just awful at being a human being.

The more I’m forced into Adult World the more I’m forced to realize that I”m bad at being a human being.

Really, I’m horrible.  I find human interaction absolutely exhausting.  I just legitimately DO NOT understand so many things that go into being a functional adult.  I’m learning that questioning things that are ” just what you do” get you hella side-eye.  Oh, and apparently you’re not supposed to admit how much you hate thing or try to be funny with your boss.  If your hobbies aren’t crossfit or something on pinterest, you are a weirdo.

arielgross

Instances that brought me to this conclusion:

Commiserating with co-workers about expensive travel, I said this: “I’m glad I don’t have any friends, it means I don’t have to go to a lot of weddings.”
Coworker:  “So…essentially you just said that friends a hassle.”
Me:  “Well…yeah…right?”

humble

Co-workers talking about weekend drinking, workouts, etc.  Then ask how my weekend was:  “Oh!  The antique shop down my street had a sidewalk sale!  It was so cool, OMG!”    *co-workers blink, then stare*

swordandthestone

My sisters asks me how I like my neighborhood: “It’s fucking weird.  All these people wave at me and shit and try to be friendly.  They invited us to a block party.  Who does that?”

My friend and I getting out of my car and neighbor waves “Hello:”  *awkward wave and forced smile* “quick, get inside before he thinks he can chat us up.”

idon'tlifeyou

Family leaves after visiting for a weekend: begin immediate cleaning, hug dog, and tell him “it’s okay, it’s just me now.  And ice cream.”

On discussing the zombie (or other type of) apocalypse:
Me:  “I think I’d just die.”
Boyfriend:  “What?  Wouldn’t you like try to fight or save people or anything.”
Me: “No.  It just seems like it would be really hard.  Like, everything would be hard.  I don’t want to do that.”

2014officespace1

Debating the worth of Indian Jones movies with a history buff:
History buff:  “But Indiana Jones is like history adventure and action.  You add aliens and it’s just ridiculous Chariots of the Gods stuff.”
Me: “But all the other movies are based on religious myths.  I see religious myths and alien myths as the same….but I think that’s offensive to say isn’t it? umm….”

sherlock sorry

Boyfriend getting ready to go out of town for weekend:
Boyfriend: “What are you gonna do while I’m gone?”
Me: “Transcribe research interviews.  Analyze.  Self-loath.”
Boyfriend: “Why don’t you go out with friends?”
Me: “…I don’t….have friends?”

smegle

After my graduation ceremony:
Mom: “Did you want to go to that cocktail hour for your graduating class and see your classmates?”
Sister:  “You know she doesn’t.”

sisterkatniss
When my friend comments on my back tattoo being hard to read:  “No, I like it that way because I don’t like when people comment on my tattoos and ask what they mean.”

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It’s become kind of a fun game, my utter lack of social grace/interest.  I’ve learned that if I laugh off the more offensive things that I say (only noticing how offensive they are as I get to the end of the sentence) I get people to just think that I’m a funny bitch.  This doesn’t always work and I often come off as just a bitch.  But I’ve also discovered that when I really REALLY try to be social and engage with people I’m fucking miserable.  I just don’t care.  I don’t care about the lives of 98% of people around me.  If you are my dog, boyfriend, or one of the very few friends and loved family members that are important in my life, I’m probably not going to try.

IDGAF

I know when I really have to try.  I can do it for a bit at a time, socialize and be casual.  But, and I can’t stress this enough, it’s exhausting and stressful.  It’s who I am.  I’m bad at being a human.  I’m okay with that.

bowie

How to get a job (In Chicago)

I got a job!!!!  WOooot!!

Fiercetyra

Actually I got a job like a month ago (ha!  One day before my arbitrary and unrealistic -May 30-deadline that I gave myself to feel some sort of self worth that obviously backfired because it resulted in 2 months of self-loathing before I got the offer).

selfloathing

But that’s in the past now!  And through this sorted process of job finding I learned a few things about how you get jobs.

You see, for the past 9 years I have been in the stressful, but protective bubble of school.  Scholarships, work study, student loans, practica, etc all protected me from the real world.  I had jobs, bartending, serving, tutoring, I was Sauerkraut Girl for one glorious winter break.  But I never felt bad about these temporary and low paying jobs because I convinced myself, well, deluded myself into thinking that I would be better on the other side.  I would be big fancy doctor pants and it would all be worth it.  Not getting a serving job that I didn’t care about didn’t matter because there were 100 bars all over the place that always needed someone.

Enter impending graduation and forced entry into the real world.

fight-my-way

It turns out when you work really hard on something, a degree, you want really hard to prove that you deserve it and that you’re good at it.  The first step to that is finding a job that utilizes said degree.  Every single time you get rejected it provides a little proof that you do not deserve that degree.  No matter how hard you worked, you still suck.   Every single time a cohort member gets a job, you hate them and yourself more.

angst

You polish and polish and polish your resume.  You realize you are polishing a turd.  You cry.  You eat feelings.  This goes on for months.

But Bowie explained all of that.

Gratuitous use of the most ridiculous moment in film.

Gratuitous use of the most ridiculous moment in film.

Anyway, I actually got two fellowship offers.  And you know what I realized through these offers?  There are only two ways to get a job in Chicago.  Nepotism or amazingly cute shoes.

Add shoes and a connection and you have a job in this town.

Add shoes and a connection and you have a job in this town.

I know right?  I mean, nepotism doesn’t surprise anyone.  This is Chicago.  We can quit pretending like this surprises us.  My first job offer came from a friend of a friend.  Friend passed CV to her friend, kablam!  Offer.  Legit, like no interview until after offer was made.

Shoes?   I wish I was making that up.  I wear different shoes all the time.  I love shoes.  But I have one pair of shoes that I have worn to pretty much every successful interview, save my current placement.  They are old and they are cute as hell.  I bought them for grad school interviews and those bitches have kept me solid ever since.  And this is not even belief in luck.  I always have someone comment on the shoes at the school or agency.  I wore them to interview at a site way beyond my reach, and those fuckers hired me!  Only, of course, after commenting on my shoes.  Now, these shoes are not comfortable in any way.  Or even fancy; I bought them at Target in 2008.  But they are my “Hey, I’m a 6 ft tall badass therapist” shoes, apparently.  They’re old and worn out.  But I’m afraid if I get rid of them I will be forever unemployed.

Shoes

Anyway, that is the story of how I got a job and value as a human being.

The End

Aww thanks, Cumby!

Aww thanks, Cumby!

Job (or Postdoc) Searches as explained by Bowie

(Because this is all there is in my head.)

obliette
First comes the sudden realization that you are graduating at some point.  That the graduate school bubble of security will end.  Oh, and also, you have to pay back all those loans.

panic

But it’s okay, right?  Because through all of that schooling and training you gained awesome experience.  You know what you want and you can do it!  Who would pass up someone like you?  This is completely delusional, you just don’t know it yet.  So you start confidently sending out application after application.

bowiethenextday

But after one or two or three dozen and no responses…

ponderingbowie

And then you start to think there may just be something wrong with you.  Because seriously, WTF?  Are you not even worth a rejection letter?

waiting

And you think maybe that professor that openly hated you, that you had constant mental warfare with, might have been right.  And maybe you should have taken the hints and reconsidered this a long time ago.

But then, just when you’ve finished that 5th pint of Americone Dream (because it’s inspirational ice cream), you get an interview!  And after one second of celebration, you suddenly realize that means you have to be impressive in person.  That’s really hard and sucky.

almost

But you try to pretend like you’re capable or something like that.  So you get all dressed up and put on your game face.

dressing

bowiegameface

And when you get there, you try to be all confident and shit.

bowieclass

But halfway through the interview, you realize you haven’t breathed in like 10 minutes and you’re running out of ways to say “Please dear god hire me.  I will do anything.”

breathing

So that was a bust.

bowie done

(Or, I don’t know.  Some people have that confidence thing and walk out of interviews all like this:)

bowieyay!

I don’t know. I don’t get it. Is this real? Do people ever actually feel like this after interviews?

Then people want to ask you how it went.  No matter how much you try to hide from people.  Your friends and family are always going to ask how things are going.  If you’re excited for graduation.  What your plans are.  And you have no answers.  Like, at all.

questionquestion2

And then your friends and loved ones will try to distract you.

distraction

Or sympathize.

notalone

And you’re just all like:

keepyourmouthshut

Because:

getting older

bowietears

 

More fails in jobs searches

Is there anything more painful than job applications?  You fill out one after another until you completely lose track.  You hear nothing for weeks.  If you ever do hear anything, there’s a 90% chance it’s a rejection.  One the off chance you get an interview, you get so excited that you spend your last 50 bucks on a new outfit to feel confident and impress the world with.  You get to the interview only to find 10 other people who did the same thing.  You start to have panic attacks.  You make up stupid answers to stupid questions, when the reality of the fact is, nothing you say or they say matters, you just need a job and will do anything they ask.

daisy

“What do you think you can add to this agency?” “Well, I’m totally adaptable and am willing to provide any answer you want to hear.  I work well with others, but I’m also a great leader, but also I can play a supporting role if that’s what you need.  I’m totally proficient at *insert computer/billing program, and if not I will spend countless sleepless nights mastering it.  I will do anything you ask and I will never let you down and if I ever do, I will completely tolerate the entire office throwing shade at me for weeks.  Also, I poop rainbows and stardust.  I’m willing to buy donuts and Starbucks for everyone everyday forever.  Please, please, please.  I’m begging you.  If I kill all the other applicants, does that mean you have to take me?  Because I think that shows real dedication.”

hiddleston

Of course there are those few times that you are applying for (and maybe even interview for) your dream job.  And you try so hard to impress them and be all like “I’m the greatest!  I’m so awesome.  But I am nothing compared to you!  Please just let me be in your presence!”  And they’re all like, naw bitch.

arieldisapp

And then of course, you apply for jobs that you absolutely no interest in and would probably be bad at anyway, but you need something, so hey, why not?  And these are inevitably the ones that call you for an interview and you get there and you’re like “….ummm, yeah no.”  And they’re like “…ummmm, yeah no.”  And even though that interchange was mutual, you still leave feeling like crap.

cumbyinterview

Sometimes you hear nothing for months.  But you somehow convince yourself that maybe, just MAYBE they’re still getting around to making their decision and there is some hope that you might still have a job opportunity.   You know you’re lying to yourself.  And you can’t even feel good about telling yourself that lie, but you’ve run out of ice cream and alcohol and all you have left is that lie.

blair1

And your friends and significant others will try to tell you how awesome you are and you know that they’re only being supportive.  And some of them might actually believe that you are awesome.  But this too, is a lie.  Because how can you be awesome if none of these jobs think you’re awesome?  You can’t be.  It’s just not possible.  Clearly you suck and have nothing to offer anyone.  They’re not even interested in your rainbow/stardust poops.  What more can you do.

mulder
Enter quiet desperation.  At this point, I only talk to my dog because he can still think I’m awesome.  Until my current internship ends and I can no longer afford his food or denti-bones.  And I lose so much weight from not being able to afford to eat myself, that I wither away to nothing and I’m not even comfortable to sleep on.  Then he will not think I’m awesome.  And then I will have lost everything.

Beagle-Puppy-3

But I will continue to look for jobs and fellowships, because I have no choice.  I will continue to lay my self-worth in the hands of directors and committees.  For they are the deciding factor on whether or not I am worthwhile as an employee and therefore a person.

bowielove me

What is this “confidence” thing you speak of?

One of my earliest memories in life comes from my first parent-teacher conference (or maybe just a school meeting that I had to be at in Kindergarten).  My teacher told my parents something that I now hear on a semi-annual basis: “She’s just very shy.  She really needs to work on her confidence.”

blaireyeroll

At my mid-year review a few weeks ago, what did I hear again?  “You just need to work on your confidence.”

scullyeyeroll

What have I heard in just about every review/evaluation/what the fuck ever, is “…work on you confidence.”

sherlockthankyou

There is honestly no worse sentence to hear.  And I don’t see myself as supremely lacking in confidence.  Am I a bit socially anxious and insecure?  Yes.  Do I enjoy talking about myself and being forced to “identify strengths”?  God no.  But I see myself as capable and decent at my job?  Sure.  And what is wrong with a healthy level of self-doubt?

jennyme

I’ve met “confident” people and , to be completely honest, they annoy the fuck out of me.  They don’t bother to doubt themselves even when they’re obviously wrong.  And when you correct them, they smirk and give some condescending response.  Fuck confident people.  I would rather check in with someone and get feedback than go about my life assuming I’m doing everything right.  Seriously, I understand there is a difference between confidence and cockiness, but show me people who regularly walk this line well.

notokaywatson

Ugh.  That is just a rant that I needed to get out.  I’m so sick of being told to work on my confidence.  Alright, let’s go.  What “work” do I need to do?  Some push-ups?  I hear this kettle ball thing is supposed to be great?  What work should I be doing to get this confidence?  I think I have enough to deal with.  And I’ve made it this far apparently lacking in confidence.  I think I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing.

jessicalange

Internet Woes–Warning: This post has an offensive number of Cillian gifs–because I need to entertain myself somehow.

If one more person tells me I should be enjoying life without internet I’m going to cut them.  Detroit style.

boredcillian

Please don't judge me, friend.

Cumby! What are you doing here? This post isn’t for you!

Thanks to the lovely people of AT&T and Comcast/XFinity, I have been without internet for 3 weeks.

angrycillian

I have the occasional Starbucks trip.  But when your post-move budget allows for nightly meals of pasta with “butter” and carrot sticks, Starbucks is a rare treat.

So three weeks.  Three weeks and I have no internet, no Netflix, no news.  Yes, I have my phone.  But even that is extremely limited in what I can do.  I am also not working right now.  So I’m at home.  All day.  Broke.  Internetless.  I’m ready to go insane.

I warned you.

I warned you.

Honestly.  I can’t follow news.  I have limited ability to follow up on emails.  I can’t begin copy editing my diss or begin dissemination of findings to my sites.  My facebooking is limited.  I can’t amuse myself with gifs and memes.  I can’t learn weird random things.  I can’t find new recipes.  I can’t fantasy shop.

Most of these things sound frivolous.  But think about all the stupid things you do online that you get immense enjoyment and escapism from.  And then remove any of that escapism and enjoyment.

death

But what is the most infuriating about this is that when I complain to people, they tell me I should “enjoy it!”  You know, “get out of the house,”  “go outside,” “read a book,”  “enjoy the city,” and the like.

bitchplease

I am a recluse.  I like being a recluse.  I generally like spending days in the house at a time talking only to friends and family on facebook.  Having lively discussions with intense use of gifs and kitty stickers with my best friend in another state is my favorite way to spend a Saturday.  I am in a committed relationship with online documentaries.  I read nearly every article on io9, BBC Future, and the Mind & Brain section of Science Daily.  Buzzfeed is like water to me.  I google just about every question that pops into my mind because I hate leaving even rhetorical questions unanswered.  I was actively following Snowden and the NSA case (until I went over to Julian Assange’s statement on Bradley Manning from the Wikileaks website and my computer blue screened and strange things stated happening…but that’s another story…).  I have no idea what’s going on in Egypt.  And I’m sure I’ve missed some amazing Shepard Smith moments!  I am a fucking Millennial.  Internet is all I know and I like that!

shep400

Aside from my unwavering adoration for the internet, I would like to ask these people what they think I should do all these weeks without internet?  I keep hearing “Read a book!”  Bitch.  Something Wicked This Way Comes, 137, Self-Reference Engine, The Information, A People’s History of American Empire, The Greatest Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (nearly the entire fucking collection), The Trial, and Born to Rebel have all been read in the past two months.  Don’t pull this shit on me.

Red-lights-pics-cillian-murphy-34017653-500-213

So then I get “Go outside!” and usually something ridiculous like “go Kayaking!”  My exact response to this one: “I don’t like interacting with nature” not that closely.  I will hike and run and appreciate it.  But fuck interaction.  Have fun with your hobbies and interests.  Those are not mine.  I have exactly zero interest in things such as camping and canoeing.  Last time I tried I ended up tipping over in a gross river.  Why would I do that to myself again?  Oh, and did I mention that I live in Chicago?  Where the summer weather is either 90 degrees with 80% humidity or a week of constant rain?  Did I also mention that I’m pale as fuck and have irrational fears of sunburn, skin cancer, and what I have called “old lady tits” (you know those old ladies who never wore sun block in their youth and by the time their 40 their cleave is constantly the color of cheap leather and wrinkly and covered in unhealthy looking moles?)?  Did I mention that?  Oh, I also hate bugs and the smell of children in the summer (you know the smell, dirt, cheap sunblock, and pb&j?).  So, no thank you.  You have all the fun with that.  To each their own.  I’m sure my hobbies would bore you as well.

cillianmwenn5511372__oPt

“Enjoy the city!”—You can’t do this on less than $60/day.  Fact.

So here I sit.  Typing this on Word because, no matter how hard boyfriend and I try, Comcast hates us.  And I can’t go to Starbucks anyway because it is raining, so I can’t walk, and I don’t have money to put gas in the car, so I can’t drive.  Now I’m gonna watch Breakfast on Pluto and remind myself that Cillian is a prettier girl than I could ever be.

breakfastonpluto

The Downfalls of Being Tattooed

I am a tattooed lady.

tattooed lady13

Right now I have 5 tattoos and they are all super badass.  Just kidding, they are really geeky.  Suffice it to say that David Bowie, Robert Heinlein, and Carl Jung are all featured on my skin–no portraits, just inspirations–and soon there will be either an Assimov or a Sagan.

I fucking love my tattoos and I love being tattooed.  I think tattoos are beautiful, expressive, unique, and fucking sexy.  I think they can show that you have fully taken ownership over your own skin.  This doesn’t mean you have to have tattoos to do this, of course.  But for me, I love them.  Good, well thought out tattoos are one of the most amazing things in the world to me.  I love the atmosphere of a tattoo shop and a good conversation with other people in the tattoo culture about their favorite styles and pieces.  I’ve wanted tattoos since my dad first read The Illustrated Man to me and my sisters.  I’m not heavily tattooed, but I hope to be one day.  I’m still young.

illustrated_man

However, there are a few things that I hate about being a tattooed lady:

1) Every time I start a new job/training placement I have to strategically plan my outfits during the first few weeks/months to keep them covered and then work my way up to slow reveals.  My tattoos are placed so that they are easily covered or revealed.  But I don’t like having to think about the professional ramifications of being tattooed.  My most recent placement was really tattoo-friendly, my supervisor had a few that she would show at times and had no problem with them.  However, previously placements have been less supportive and I found myself wearing long sleeves in June.  I have had almost exclusively good experiences with my clients about my tattoos.  It actually opened up an interesting conversation with a child client with an abuse history when she saw one and said “people aren’t supposed to touch you and that means drawing on you too!”  So we talked about how me and the “drawer” talked about him drawing on me and he wasn’t allowed to draw on me until I agreed on what we were drawing.  Parents haven’t really had a problem either.  Mostly my problems have been with administrators who tend to be more old-school and look down on tattoos or piercings.  It is disappointing and very frustrating.

2) I hate being touched by strangers because I have tattoos.  You don’t go to the museum and put your dirty, grubby hands on things do you?  You don’t walk up to non-tattooed people and grab at their skin because they have an interesting birthmark?  People who touch tattooed people should be slapped.  And my other problem with this is that it seems to only happen to girls.  I have asked a ton of dudes with tattoos if this has ever happened to them and they look at me like “Of course not!  Why would anyone do that?”  Only people without tattoos do this.  They grab and pull and trace the tattoo like you are a fucking freak.  I think this comes from the mistaken idea that people with tattoos somehow do not respect their body or have no boundaries.  I hate to break it to you, but we do.  We love our bodies, that is why we decorate them.  I also think that it partially comes from people thinking that we get tattoos to “shock” or otherwise be on display for others.  Again, FUCKING FALSE.   Go fuck yourself.  I get tattoos for much the same reason I wear eyeliner, because I like it and it makes me feel pretty and like an ultra badass.  Do not touch me.

tattoo etiquette

Oh, and on the same note, the other day, while walking home from CVS, some creeper was very obviously taking pictures of me!  I was wearing a strapless dress so tattoos were all out and this creepy fuck was just snapping some photos of my back on his iPhone!  WTF?  I dodged him in an alley before he could drug me and cut off my skin and hang it in his study.  Again, NOT OKAY!

3)  It’s really annoying to be stopped by people on the street asking what my tattoos mean and being expected to carry on a conversation about them.  I don’t like to talk to people.  Again, my tattoos are not for you or your amusement and I don’t like talking to people.  Ink does not change my natural tendency toward introversion.  I think because I have some script and such, people think there is some deep meaning to shit that I want to share with the world.  Nope.  Not the case.  I get slightly annoyed, but more amused when people think they know the meaning of the tattoo and are super off base.  I overheard someone whisper “that’s Vonnegut” to their glaring elevator friend in reference to my Heinlein tattoo.  I corrected in a tone that I felt equaled the rudeness of the glare.  Someone else began to tell me what a big Harry Potter fan they were when they saw my Bowie tattoo.  That was funny because I responded to his comments with ones about Bowie and I don’t think he caught on.  “OMG what did you think of X book?  That’s my favorite this part when Harry blah blah magic stuff!”  “Well, you  know Diamond Dogs is a really underrated album.  But it must have been hard to come out of the shadow of the Ziggy Stardust era.”  If I have be surrounded by idiots, I’m at least going to amuse myself.

4)  Gawkers and behind-the-back lecturers.  Recently, while on vacation with my best friend, we were on a little boat between islands in the Great Lakes.  We are both tattooed and lovely.  The ladies in front of us on the boat, with their “yay Jesus” apparel, began talking about how terrible tattoos were and how they could never respect anyone who did that to their bodies.  Implying very openly that we were degenerates.  So, I decided to fulfill their expectations.  I began talking loudly about how, when I was a child learning geography the word tricks I used to remember what a Peninsula was and hypothesizing about how many people died in the lake.  Please don’t gawk.  You get what you deserve when you loudly judge me, acting like I can’t hear you.  At least have the balls to turn around tell me I’m a bad person.

judging

5)  In the opposite vein, I hate being sexualized because I’m tattooed.  I did say I think tattoos are sexy.  Because they are.  I think they’re attractive on all people.  But having art on my does not reduce me to an object.  I remain a full, complex person even with ink.  Please respect that.  I have subscribed and “liked” a lot of pages about tattoos because I like to see different styles of art and I hope for more acceptance of tattoos.  Most of these pages encourage followers to  post pictures of themselves and their tattoos.  Almost immediately the women on these pages are rated on their looks, not their tattoos, as “10/10 would bang” and “She’s so gross” and every in between of that, even if the picture is not sexual in any way.  Their body is pieced apart and they are judged in a disgusting way.  I want to scream.  About 10% of the conversation is about the art or any actual encouragement for tattoo acceptance, the rest is criticizing the woman, her profession, her body.  INFURIATING!  It is very hard to love your tattoos and your body at the same time when you are a chick and feel like a person when people are picking it apart.  I can’t speak to this for guys, but I would like to know if they experience this.

I'm so sorry.  I thought this page was about tattoos, not porn.  I was clearly mistaken.  Carry on.

I’m so sorry. I thought this page was about tattoos, not porn. I was clearly mistaken. Carry on.

6)  Tribal/Cultural/Ethnic tattoos outside of your particular culture.  I’m not even starting on this.  It is a whole different rant.  But, white folks.  just stop.

I don’t really get bothered when people are like “What is that going to look like when you’re old” because I figure I’ll be funny looking when I’m old no matter what.  Nor do I care when people, mostly my gram, say things like “what about on you’re wedding day?”  Because, boyfriend and I are not having traditional marriage things anyway and, even if we did, why would I worry about covering up something I already think is beautiful on a day that I’m supposed to be all pretty anyway?

That is it.  I think.  IDK.  But I leave the non-tattooed world with this piece of advice regarding tattoo etiquette:

If you want to compliment someone’s tattoos, say this “Excuse me.  I’m sorry to bother you, but your tattoo is beautiful/interesting/unique….Have a nice day.”

Other comments/questions may follow in this fashion:

“I admire them.”
“Who is your artist?”
“I have been thinking about blah, what is your experience?”
etc in this vein.

If someone as awkward and socially inept as I am can figure this out, why can’t others?

My mind rebels at stagnation–bahhhhhhH!!!!!!

Dear World:

It has come to my attention that I am bored.  Like SOOOOOO bored!  I defended my diss, finished classes, and finished my prac training within the past 6 weeks.  Since then I have read 6 books and a graphic novelization of some Zinn, I have watched like every documentary ever, way too much Pretty Little Liars for my health, ran an average of 23.2 miles per week (thanks Runkeeper), and organized my filing cabinet…

So, clearly I need a hobby.  And according to my dearest friend, stalking gifs of Cillian Murphy and Cumberbatch is not a hobby.  Nor is obsessively following the release of the new Season of Sherlock.   Although I will contend this with her privately, I fear she may be right.

And thus, I ask you, oh great and wise world, what does one do with one’s self when they have an excess amount of time on their hands?  I have not worked one job, a limited 40 hours per week since I was like 16.  This is all too foreign to me.  I haven’t written much on the blog because…well my mind is so static.  I’m having a mad Sherlock moment here.

sherlock4

sherlock 2

Please don't judge me, friend.

Please don’t judge me, friend.

I think boyfriend is going to kill me if I don’t find something to occupy my mind.

So, hobbies?  Keep in mind, 1) I am broke, 2) other than my amazing cooking talents I have no domestic skills and am not interesting in learning any, and 3) I am not graceful/coordinated so nothing that involves complex movements (like Yoga or dancing).

A list of hobbies I have already attempted:
Teaching my dog to do impressions of Eddie Veddar
Learning Spanish–It took multiple years of Speech Therapy to learn to speak English properly, so I decided any continued attempts at Spanish would be futile
Flirting with awkward people until one of the two of us out-awkwards the other
Getting in fights with my landlord
Perfecting my impression of Tom Waits
Counting the freckles on my left shoulder

As I’m sure you can tell, all of these efforts have had limited success.