Stuck

finding memo

There were so great cat memes on being stuck, but because I despise cats so much I bypassed ALL THE CAT MEMES for this Finding Nemo meme, which I aptly named in my pictures folder as “finding memo” 🙂

I’m baaaaccckkkk.

I don’t know why I made a dramatic introduction. It’s not like I have a bunch of followers on this blog ATM. Shoutout to whoever is reading this post right now, though. *tips hat*

Full disclosure: I’m sitting on the couch in my apartment about to take some Tostino’s pepperoni pizza rolls out of the microwave. I ate better as a child, y’know, during the ages when it was more appropriate to eat pizza rolls. Anyway, I digress.

So here I am on a rainy Tuesday evening. It’s been raining/storming on and off for several days. As a result I was without internet for a gut-wrenching 2 days, and I’m already at over 75% of my allotted data. For the month. I listen to a lot of Spotify…

In a stunning series of events/challenges I’ve done some self-assessment. I’ve taken a look at my life, and looked at it for what it is. Structure. Regimen. M-F/9-5/Weekend. Chores, exercise, an obscene amount of grooming, binge-watching shows (although it still takes me forever to actually finish an entire series) and YouTube videos. Sprinkle in some time throughout the week for quiet time (but never enough time) with Jesus, spending quality time with my boyfriend (&& the homies), and with girlfriends who I “have to do this more often” with. Boring. Kind of sad, really.

I took a more-than-brief pause to clean up the pizza rolls plate, and was distracted by Buzzfeed via Facebook aaaaand now I feel like I have an attention disorder. Hmmmm.

Earlier this year I decided that I wanted to transition out of my current job, out of finance, into something more interesting and meaningful to me. If I’m being honest with myself I’ve had short spurts of motivation, and longer spurts of complacency where I haven’t done much digging/applying/networking. I grumble about work and come back the next day, the next month, this fall it’ll be the next year. Why? Because I feel stuck.

I’m toting the line between comfort and progress. Progress requires discomfort – not all the time, but a good bit of the time. I’m so exhausted from this job, that is now increasingly more stimulating in the wrong ways, that I just want to come home and sit. I want to comfort myself from the woes of the day, and in doing so I don’t really accomplish anything for myself.

Over the past couple of weeks a loved one of mine pointed out the monotony of my life, and asked me what I look forward to doing when I get home from work (that doesn’t involve sitting).

— Mind you, I recognize that I’ve mentioned sitting an alarming number of times, but in an effort to minimize whatever judgment is coming my way from whatever random reader(s) I’d like to mention that I’m in Zumba/the gym several times weekly in an effort to still be able to eat ice cream and not look like a blob. So there. —

I didn’t have much to say. I mentioned that I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I didn’t have any activities or hobbies explicitly my own (outside of activities with the people I care about) to look forward to. That bothered me. A lot.

When I was in college I was constantly stimulated (in the positive ways, as long as I wasn’t procrastinating). With my school work, involvement in student organizations, and such easy access to all my friends, I hardly had enough time left in the day/night for sleep. My life was full ALL THE TIME. It was exhausting, but everything was so well defined and purposeful. I studied what I wanted, had money to do what I wanted (which I’m now paying off to the Federal gov’t and Navient), and had a well-defined path. Take these classes, become involved in these things, graduate, get a job doing the thing, etc.

And you know what happened? I graduated. I moved back home for two years. I started working in a restaurant, feeling inadequate because I didn’t go to college to end up in a job I could have worked…before college. So I took the first legitimate full-time job opportunity to feel a certain amount of pride and worthiness. It was exciting for a brief period of time, and then miserable. I left. Worked a crappy job, worked what I thought was a dream job (but actually a poor fit), left, and now I’m here.

So what now? I have bills and responsibilities. There’s stuff I want to do – nothing fancy. Maybe go to the beach with my boyfriend. Watch the sunset. Eat some tacos. Go to the beach and watch the sunset while eating some tacos with my boyfriend.

I’m older so I know better than I did at 22. People work corporate jobs for the benefits. I like having health insurance. Not sure what my options are going to look like under the current administration. (I’m looking at you human-rights stripping, immorally scary GOP).

Something that I have now that I won’t have as much of in the future is time. Time to practice my violin, to learn tagalog, to work on this blog and make it cool – not just so I feel comfortable making it “public” but so that I’m proud of the platform housing this content.

I’m already frustrated about not having all the time I want to to run through scales and old sheet music, to create and study flash cards for Tagalog, to learn how to edit websites so that I can have a cool-looking blog.

This is a good frustrated, and I’m proud of it.

For the sake of time I’m going to call it quits on this blog post. I had a lot to say, and I’m not quite sure how to tie this all up in a neat bow. Hopefully I’ll be back on here sooner rather than later

Cheers,

J.

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Representation Matters

So I’m watching the Oscars red carpet show – y’know, the show on ABC that precedes the actual Oscars awards show.

I’m not a particularly movie-savvy person. My boyfriend and I JUST saw Hidden Figures. It was fantastic, empowering, and depressing all at the same time. Fantastic because YAAASSSS black girl magic. Empowering because it served as a reminder that black girls are smart, valuable, and can do anything. Depressing because these women had to jump through ridiculous hoops to be recognized. They were all brilliant and diligent. Despite their hard work at NASA they faced all sorts of unnecessary challenges because of their sex and skin color – two things that literally have nothing to do with their intellect or ability.

These challenges still persist today. Many images we see and hear of black people in the media are caricatures and stereotypes. Black men are often depicted as violent and dangerous. Black women are often depicted as loud, bossy, and purely [exoticized] sexual objects (which is not specific to just black women, but nearly all women [of color]). Black men and women are typically depicted as genearlly inferior: less smart, less prosperous, less capable of attaining more respectable roles and privileges in today’s society.

In the age of Oprah and Obama they are still not the “rule,” they are the exception. It sucks. Racism is as alive and well today as it was 40 years ago. Institutional racism exists. Intersectionality matters. Issues of access and equity that have existed since the inception of the United States continue to affect the same marginalized groups, and, therefore, still matter.

Now I could pull out some scholarly articles to serve as “proof” for my rant in this blog post. I can dig through my notes from Black Women in America, Health and Human Rights, Sex and Gender in Society, Justice in Public Policy, etc. If you’re seeking hard evidence for the reality of my existence, and the existence of anyone who is part of a marginalized group then you’re missing the point of this blog post.

The Oscars have officially started, and I’d like to pay attention to this awards show, so I’ll wrap this up shortly.

Today I am still a minority in any place of privilege. I have been very lucky and blessed to have had relatively easy access to healthy food, shelter, and a decent public education in both grade school and college. I work a full-time job that pays a salary with benefits. I am now my own means (via my company) of health, vision, and dental insurance; a 401k to save for my retirement, sick days, and actual paid time off. These things are not entitlements, they are blessings. These blessings grant me a great deal of mobility inaccessible to a lot of others who work harder than I do to earn less money because perhaps the work they do is inaccurately regarded as lesser.

I am one of 3 black women in my office. I’m tired of being the token black girl. In the future I want the Janelle Monaes, the Taraji P. Hensons, the Viola Davises, the Mahershala Alis, the Barack Obamas, the Michelle Obamas, and all of the incredibly noteworthy people of color I’ve neglected to name to be the norm, and not the exception. I want honorable and prestigious roles and awards to feel possible to both my peers and my [future] babies.

And it would just be really freaking great for there to be a bunch more black women and women of color in an office space that hang out with an equally diverse group of men and it NOT be such a strange, rare occurrence.

I’m super happy and grateful for all the people who have helped paved the way for my peers, my family, and myself. In the future I’d like for all my peers to be equally considered and praised, not patronized or overlooked because of characteristics that do not define our intellect, ability, or creativity.

The Oscars is about halfway over, and I’ve been profoundly distracted throughout the course of this blog post. I believe I’m going to call this one quits for the night.

Until next time folks.

-J