Racists

For me, they’re like unicorns, except when I end up somewhere that already seems like narnia, then their existence makes sense. I think I’m the type of open minded person that assumes everyone is just as open minded. I grew up in a suburb, and even though the school demographic always seemed to show that white was dominant, I always found that the schools I hopped to had a diverse population of people, ethnic background and all. So, personally, I never witnessed a large amount of prejudice because it just seemed too ridiculous and the schools I attended never stood for it. Also, my friends were a mix of different things, so it was hard to give an ignorant back handed comment without a sense of understanding or sympathy for what certain slurs or words felt like or meant.

Granted, I might have just chosen a group of people that kept me from seeing how other minorities or races were treated, but it never got to me. Again, I really never felt the sting or experience of racism unless it was pointed out to me or I when I was faced with it in my first year of college. Other than that, I see the world through a colorless lense and I assume I’m seen just the same. The reason I bring up this topic, which deviates from my original one about dating app stages (was supposed to be funny), is because I was actually a tiny bit shocked. The last time I was called the ‘n’ word was when I was 10, and back then I didn’t know what it meant, so I laughed. Now . . .I kind of cringe. . .

Here’s what happened: I was on the app that is Tinder and I was swiping my little heart out, kind of making a cute game of it as I let my little sisters choose the suitors that Tinder had to offer since we were kind of bored. I wander off and happen to match with this random guy. I can’t make a screen shot of the conversation because I  unmatched him after the encounter and I think if I could, I wouldn’t. One because it’s kind of rude to display something like that without his permission and it’s simply common curtousy. I want to be treated with respect and with/without the conversation thread, I would uphold the same right. Please take my word for it, because that’s really all I can ask:

Him: let’s start this friendship off by saying something we hate!

Me: Fruit flies. . . .they just. . .lay eggs everywhere. . .

-your turn O.O

Him:  Niggers

Me: *crickets* everyone’s entitled, I guess. . . .

My reaction thoughts: He didn’t answer for awhile, but it kind of made my heart stop a little. I know why, but I think it’s scary to think about it because, even though he might not be capable of much, I imagine that he’s part of that population of people that don’t necessarily want me to exist. That population becomes a little more apparent to me even with small things like this. I also realized his closed mindedness shouldn’t scare me because no matter what color I am, I’m DiAnre. Being black isn’t really on my list of things to worry about when re-inventing myself, unless God is willing to re-open my genetic color palette and make my skin lighter. I’m one of those people who believe that inside and outside I was supposed to be everything I am today, so why should that be a problem for me or anyone else?

Back to conversation:

Him: (says something about going back to work because I’m a slave (I’m so good at paraphrasing. . .))

Me: *sigh* you guys seem like unicorns to me sometimes. Thank you for reminding me people like you still exist. Have a wonderful day 🙂

-unmatches. . .-

*ehem* hence unicorn reference. . . .

So, I guess this post is more for me since I had such a weird, semi-joulted reaction to it. I’m just amazed that some people still haven’t gotten over things like that. We live in a world with so many cool people, yet we have racism and homophobia, and just . . .mean people. My attempt to give a significant word on this issue sounds like it’s from a five year old, but it’s so stupid. People, no matter where they’re from or what they choose, are amazing creatures. Choosing to have a narrow mindset and let hate invade your mind space are missing out on so many beautiful personalities. Just as an example, although black people are a minority, there are a lot of us. Imagine how much of the world you’re cutting off because of your past ancestry’s mind set? Imagine if I decided to be racist against white people because of what they did to my ancestors??. . . . .I’d have to get rid of a lot of friends at that point. I would be cutting off the majority of the U.S population. . .makes dating choices kind of slim in my area as well.

I like to sympathize with the opposition always, but what am I supposed to say. . .?:

I’m sorry for being born a very dark shade of brown that really just represents the color that my parents genes came up with when they made me, which is also representative of where their genes originated (Africa, most likely). My race is not a reflection of who I am, what I eat, what I do, or how I do things. The ‘n’ word may hold many negative connotations for  you and my group of people, but we are not defined by the stereotypes associated with it,  nor can I say I am as an individual. I can’t say my ancestors weren’t slaves. . .they were, but I’m not because of the milestones and struggle they went through to get me to live in the normalcy I live in now. It’s clear that despite that hard work people like you still exist, but I’m not organizing a group to harass/lynch you any time soon, so obviously I can deal with you on some level as long as we’re simply coexisting. Why can’t you?

 That’s all I would have to say. How do you express sympathy for someone that isn’t making sense. . .To me, racism is that wild card you play when you can’t make a simple, slightly intelligent opinion of your own. Saying ‘I hate *insert racial slur*, that’s why Pauleen is so ugly to me’ sounds way more dumb than saying ‘Pauleen’s into stuff that I’m not into and she’s too short for my taste. I’m not attracted to Pauleen. . .’ That example was kind of vague, but you get the point.
 
Why not choose to see outside the hate and make an effort to see the world as a masterpiece rather than paying attention to the individual colors on the canvas? Nobody likes the guy that’s standing all close to that one famous Picasso being like ‘this piece would be so much better without that mustard yellow in the corner. It’s just not tasteful.’ . . . .WHO CARES ABOUT THE MUSTARD FREAKIN’ YELLOW???? . . .what happened to just taking in the painting from a wholistic perspective and being cool with that? Why focus on race when  you haven’t really taken time to focus on the amazing collage that is the world and who populates it?

This was me venting both a frustration and fear. I kind of wish racist people weren’t a thing, but they are. I experienced a tiny microscopic slice today and may experience worse later in life. The question is whether to seek change or get used to it. The first option’s kind of my favorite, so I’ll go with that one. I know, for some, this may seem like an inflated reaction to one person’s words, and I’ll admit that I’m a sensitive person at best sometimes. I just felt like this was a decent place to showcase my feelings and ideals. Thanks for reading.

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Alphabet of Life-ing: Fear

Link to project page if you haven’t read it from the beginning:

https://rescloset22.wordpress.com/category/the-alphabet-of-life-ing-project/

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My fears are small and possibly normal, depending on who you are, what your fears may be, and what your version of ‘normal’ is. I have a tendency to care for them rather than get rid of them. It’s because I allow myself to be controlled by them. They make up the rules I set for my life to keep myself from getting hurt and, in turn, I have to keep them around. They’re etched like tattoos inside my brain and manifest themselves into tangible beings when they need to. They’re the whispered thoughts that inhabit my brain, telling me dark nothings that cause lack of sleep to post it’s status on my face.

I feel weighed down, but it’s hard to let go. It’s hard to imagine what I’d be without them. Without the fear of being loved, I’d be hurt too often. Without the fear of acceptance, I’d be pushed away. Without the fear of curiosity, I’d possibly be demonized by a body of people composed of love. Without the fear of comfort, I might be looking for release in the wrong places. These fears I have act as my sheild and my survival. How can I live without them and how could they live without me?

I’ve become ruled by them, so my unsolved problems, doubts, and worry wreak havoc as my body continues to move forward. Without these fears I know I’d be lighter and maybe even happier, but it’s a weight that I don’t want to let go of. At least not right now when I need it the most.

Project Update

I was kind of silent last week because I had too many things to think about. I was and still am in creative block mode and am trying to push through it. I’m on the last portion of the book that I’ve been working on and I’m trying to figure out ways to make it more user/everyone friendly. I don’t want people to feel like they’re 5 reading or looking at what I’ve given them. I’ve been drawing to find ways to make the creative brainstorm portion of the book more informative and. . .it’s surprisingly very difficult and I can’t think of anything so I’ve been doodling my little heart out so that I can unearth some ideas. Most of what I’ve added to this post was inspired by Brandon Boyd’s work that I’ve been using to get inspired (despite it not emulating his work well AT ALL. . .but that’s because his work is amazing so. . .yeah) I’ve also considered using another social platform to promote my project, mostly because I don’t want to use Tumblr and partially because the few I’ve been using don’t really work well and I don’t have a large enough following to get anywhere with them when the project is finished at the end of the month. Hopefully I can finish this soon and have something physically tangible to promote in August. Kind of hard to promote something that doesn’t quite exist in book form yet because it seems less believable that it’ll actually turn into something. . .to me at least.

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Rigged Optimism

I’ve learned a lot about this and I didn’t realize it was a thing until I witnessed the man that helped birth me do it. (I could have easily just said ‘dad’, but the long one sounds so much better). Here’s what happened:

My dad put my brother in basketball a few months ago. His reason for putting my brother in basketball wasn’t because my brother had an intense interest or because it seemed to ‘fit’ or anything like that. It was just one sentence uttered from the coach’s mouth: ‘the boy’s got wing span.’ What that means for basketball, I have no idea. I don’t play it, I just watch people try to do it sometimes.

After my dad heard this, he was too excited to push him into trying out. He did, but my brother made it on to the ‘C’ team, which is like the lowest grade, team wise (I sound like I know so much. . .). Anyway, he continued to play on that team and still had many problems. He was and still is working on his dribbling and passing. He still holds his hips and stands in the middle of the court while the team is playing. He still doesn’t hussle fast enough back and forth. He doesn’t practice when he’s home, he holes himself in the loft and plays games and watches anime.

My dad is saddened by the outcome and my brothers lack of attempts to improve himself. Should he be sad though? The only reason he thought my brother would have any potential is because he heard another authority say something about ‘wing span’. His optimism for my brother to be the next Derrick Rose sky rocketed. His expectations were inflated because another adult saw potential and he took that and ran with it. It was rigged. He didn’t come up with that optimism on his own. A man with a hat and a clip board did. . . .

I bring this up because I’m like my dad in many ways. I’m his daughter, so it’s only natural that he gave me some of whatever he has. I assume that if I do it, there’s someone else in the universe that does and maybe after reading this you’ll realize you’re a victim of this as well. I like to think of rigged optimism as both good and bad because I like seeing things from both perspectives. Here’s my examples for the good and bad with my own experiences:

The good one was when I was in middleschool. I drew all the time, but didn’t think much of my drawings. I still don’t, but for a different reason. Back then, it was because I didn’t feel like it offered much. Many people that I went to school with said that I was great and after awhile, it boosted my little 6th or 7th grade self esteem and I thought ‘hey. . .maybe I am better than okay.’ I sat near my dad one day and I told him that I thought I was a good artist. In response, my dad told me that I wasn’t that good because there were artists that were much better than me. Being as young as I was, and with as much respect I had for my dad, I crumbled like a little cookie at those words. I didn’t crumble because of the harsh truth that yes, I wasn’t that good and yes, there were other people better than me. I crumbled because that optimism and confidence wasn’t really mine. It was built up by the support around me and I claimed it because of how great and accomplished it made me feel.

Rigged optimism like this is good. Just because those positive feelings don’t  necessarily originate from the person they’re being given to, doesn’t make them bad. As people, it’s normal to use the optimism of others to uplift ourselves. That’s what support is for: to give the extra confidence and help you can’t give yourself. One thing that good rigged optimism does is develop confidence you have naturally within you, in turn making it your own. The support doesn’t go away, but you have whatever added bonus you find in yourself. My development in that area was snuffed out a little by someone very important to me, and I stopped drawing for a year or so, but if I had let that good rigged optimism ride, I’d probably have at least made more of an effort to make it a career rather than a hobby.

The bad one is a little shorter, but one I’m sure some can relate to. When I was in high school, I had this guy I really liked. I told him I liked him through a note and waited for a magical facebook message to appear. Meanwhile, my friends hyped me up. They told me how great we looked together and how much he liked me. I had so much optimism to the point where I was gushing. My little highschool teenage body could not handle the hormones oozing out of me (that sounds gross, but I promise it wasn’t . . .). We did go on a date, but shortly after, he admitted to me that I was a wonderful person, but he didn’t like me that way and he never really did. The only reason I kept going with it was because of the hype that me friends gave me. Without that, I would have probably been able to tell that he wasn’t into it. I say that now because I realized there were a bunch of signs he was giving me that I refused to go with.

This is a decent example of bad rigged optimism because it happens constantly to me, but I’m more  level headed enough to catch it now rather than run with it. It’s not fair to assume the biggest when you haven’t  started at the beginning. When I gave him that note, I never gave him a chance to give me an answer. In fact, I didn’t wait for him to send me a message. I asked him out because I figured he liked me because he did not say no. My friends did not help that and gave me more reason to pursue him instead of pausing and realizing that I never even asked him what he thought of me or if he even liked me more than that.

This bad rigged optimism has the same things attached to it as good rigged optimism. You have that support well of optimism that you draw from others and that well helps you create your own. It becomes bad when you count on the support alone rather than the confidence that the support creates. You lean on the words of others for reassurance and that makes you invest in their judgement rather than your own. You become enveloped in those thoughts and opinions, which makes you feel comfortable enough to be happy and excited about the upcoming future, despite not really knowing what that is. The reason you don’t know is because you’re basing it off of an inflated optimism created by someone else. . .This example is kind of similar to the one I gave in the beginning. My dad didn’t really give my brother a chance to think about if basketball was a super serious thing he wanted to pursue, he just threw him in it based off  of the sparkling potential a coach saw in his arms or wings or whatever. That potential passed on from the coach to my dad, and thoughts of my brother being a basketball star made his heart skip a beat and he couldn’t resist to seize it. Now he’s slightly deflated because the potential that was there before is fading in his eyes.

Granted there’s nothing wrong with a father seeing potential in his son. I just feel that it should come from him and not the words of someone else. It should also be dependant on what the kid wants. My brother’s a little more pumped about basketball, but I’ve always felt it was because my dad gave him a little more attention than before because of that. For other situations like this, it’s the same. It’s better to draw from rigged optimism when our logic and confidence isn’t in critical condition. When those two important things are wrecked and messed up, we tend to lean on the words and positive opinions of others rather than our own. It’s okay to have rigged optimism when it’s  a situation where it’s boosting your confidence in a certain area or thing in your life, but it’s important to keep in mind that you should be just as confident on your own. The support of others is important, but making a foundation of your own out of that helps for times that you have no one to turn to or count on because that happens in life sometimes. To piggy back off of others optimism makes me sit and wonder why I was doing/starting something. Did I do it because I felt like I could or because my friend thought I could? What happens when my friend’s not there for me anymore or can’t be there and I haven’t drummed up enough confidence to go through with what I started?

I’m not a master on this, nor do I give myself the title of ‘master’. Being a master is too mainstream because you can’t ever stop learning anything. There will always be something new to learn, so are masters really masters if they haven’t learned absolutely everything?. . . .I’m going to stop there and think about that some other time since this has already grown in legnth. I hope this maybe made sense at all and that it raised some questions or made people think.

Also, I did look over this twice, but please don’t feel shy to point out errors. . . .just minor ones, because commas and things get confusing to change. I’m not an English major, I just write stuff. . .on the internet. . .for other people to read. . . .

Alphabet of Life-ing: Exhaustion

I nearly forgot to post this today since I didn’t post it yesterday. . .also because I forgot. My brain gets extremely scattered all over the place, so things happen, but this portion of A.O.L has actual dialogue. A friend of mine that’s editing this said that deep thoughts are great, but in order for the story and the character to develop there needs to be some form of setting and interaction. That’s kind of what I tried to start with this portion, so it’s a very rough attempt that will be cut down and most likely revised into something else. My friend has not read this yet, so it’s not as ‘polished’ (not to say the other portions were perfect, but there was some adding and removing and editing and. . .other things that went into them, despite it still being a work in progress).
Hopefully you enjoy this portion and for anyone that has not read any of the other letters, it’s not extremely necessary to go back and read what I’ve written for the first four letters. It just paints an even picture of the characters thoughts and perspective. Here’s a link to the page that just has posts for the story and nothing else: https://rescloset22.wordpress.com/category/the-alphabet-of-life-ing-project/

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When it comes to the weekend, I find myself shedding what feels like pounds upon pounds of feelings I held during the week. My thoughts and emotions become louder and my brain begs and pleads for silence. My body feels aches and pains that I didn’t know the cause of and I find myself in a state that seems like a mature feet up postion/lay down combo. It’s one of the reasons I hate being left alone with myself. In these moments, I call out for a friend. Unlike most people, I have very few that I can call for moments like this. I actually only have one person for moments like this.

I pick up my cell phone and dial the number without glancing at the keys. The dial tone sounds and I hear a click. I speak without a greeting, naturally.

“Have you ever had a moment where you just felt like you couldn’t be around yourself?”

Laughter bubbles on the other end, “I’m doing fine, how are you?”

“I’m sorry, I just got excited.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine. Explain further.”

” I just. . .I just can’t stand being around myself lately. I’m having issues just spending time with myself in a room. My brain won’t shut up and I can’t concentrate.”

“Maybe that’s a good thing.”

“Why?”

“Because those are moments when you realize how much you’re feeling at once. You’re brain’s trying to tell you that you’re holding too much in. You shouldn’t do that.”

“Sometimes I don’t have anyone to talk to.”

“You always have me, Sara.”

“But you’re busy. You have school, your girlfriend, home. . .I don’t want you to have to shut off time just to deal with me.”

“Don’t think about it that way. You’re my best friend, you can always talk to me no matter what. Just because we have seperate crap means nothing. We’ve got long distance on lock by now.”

“I know.”

“Then know that I’m here for whatever you need.”

“Thanks, Rae. Besides my weirdness, how are you?”

“Semi-okay.”

“Why ‘semi’?”

He pauses,
“It’s Lace, she’s kind of . . .wanted more attention lately. It’s taken a lot out of me.”

“Tell her you need some time to rest. I’m sure she’ll get it.”

“I feel like she’s not asking for much, though.”

“She is if you’re exhausted.”

He sighs, “I’ll survive.”

I hear a beep on the other end, “Speak of the angel, she’s calling right now. Could I call you back later?”

“Yeah,” I say, reluctantly.

I press and feel a whirlpool of thoughts come to the front of my mind. I surround myself in a bundle of my sheets and comforter, hoping to drown the thoughts with sleep. Praying that my full exhaustion weighs to the point where my resistance caves in and I let my subconcious take over.

Smile! Smiling isn’t a sign of weakness, is it?

I was training last week and the manager had said that. As simple as it was, it made me think because how many of us smile on a daily basis with that thought in mind? Whenever I’m out, I feel like my smile is more of a form of surrender or kind of like a mini invitation. I smile more now because I used to keep this grim look on my face knowing that if I did, no one would talk to me and that was kind of what I wanted back then.  In a sense, smiling was an indication that my guard was down and that I was available to say ‘hi’ to or start conversation.

Never in my life have I heard someone inadvertantly descibe a smile as being a stregnth. Technically I’ve never thought of it that way because a smile doesn’t necessarily scream ‘stregnth’ in certain situations. Sometimes we smile to seem less intimidating. Intimidation felt by others is often felt because we think someone is stronger than us, so naturally they’re smiling to seem less of that, or to kind of have a very basic facial expression to relate to. If I see someone intimidating smile at me, I naturally feel at ease because I realize they’re not going to kill me with their words or arms. This makes me want to smile back because they’ve momentarily come to my level by giving me the most basic form of kindness.

Also, because smiling is such a basic act with so much power, it could be used as a weapon rather than a white flag. If someone’s trying to piss you off and you smile the entire time, it’s a really good way to piss them off instead. Their goal was to piss you off and you blasted that smile like one million pocahontas arrows, and they’re emotionally bleeding outwardly and internally now. All the result of you smiling. . . .I’ve come encounter with many people that have been sad at times, and me smiling at them (they said this, not me, I’m not that full of myself. . .) made their day better.

In both ways, a smile can be a weakness and a stregnth, I guess. Although, thinking of it as a stregnth is new to me, I feel like I might think that way more often. After I heard that statement though,  it made me think about what a smile can really do, rather than being a sheer visual for vulnerability or surrender. It can be way more than that.

My Life: End of the Week Celebration

I barely made it through this week. . .  .but it’s the end and I’m one whole human. I have all my toes, eyes, and other organs. I also am not standing in my own urine. . .which means that I didn’t get nervous enough to pee myself, because everybody hates smelling like that. No one really wants that . . .at least normal people don’t. . .

I had training for a new job this week, so it was intense. I now know every single dipping sauce, wing flavor, and specials plate at the restaurant I work at and yet and still. . .I have no idea what goes on our side salad. Luckily, we were not tested today so I rejoiced like nobodies business. I also met someone intensely amazing last weekend and spent a large portion of time talking to them and it was pretty cool. I feel like I don’t open up to people enough, and I was instantly spread out for this person (that sounded weird after I typed it. . .it’s not what it sounds like O.O)

I managed to actually get project work done today, but will be testing some parts out to see if my tutorial section can be easily followed and mimicked by others. I’m hoping it works out . . . .I’m excited O.O I will have a seriously riveting post for tomorrow and I’m excited for that also O.O even though it’ll just be me ranting. . . .