Archive | December, 2014

Self-Discovery is a Bitch

Posted on 31 December 2014 by Valkyrie

self discoverySelf-discovery, it is a path we are all on at some point in our lives. I think more so for us forty-somethings. To which many would deem this process as a mid-life crisis.

I’m a deep thinker, always have been. My first deep thought was straight out of my mother’s womb, wondering why the heck I was suddenly thrust into bright lights and introduced to my first cold chill.

It seems nowadays I do my deepest thinking while in the throws of PMS’ing. Ah yes, that wonderful journey our eggs take every 28 days, slowly sauntering to its own methodic rhythm. All the while this process leaves us feeling like we are about to lose our minds and sanity. Estrogen seems to wash our brains down with acid of losing our self-composure. Men think it’s rough to be on the outside of this crazy-ride phenomenon, I think it’s worse to be inside of it, navigating a ship that has no real course except straight to all things hypersensitive and emotional.

The crazy thing is, is that you’d think we women would get used to this natural occurrence. “Ok, this happens once a month, next month I WILL remember how this plays out and will keep a solid head about it all”, I say to myself monthly while bracing myself. Only to find out that it never really goes like that at all. It’s like the chronic dieter who says to herself every Sunday night, “Tomorrow, I WILL start my diet and WILL succeed”. We all know how that turns out.

Leading to my point, the last week I have been in this phase. I am held captive on a lonely vessel in the seas of treacherous estrogen that has all but knocked my sense of strong direction completely off kilter.

In some fashion, I feel I should not even be writing this article because it still seems to be a taboo topic to display openly. But here goes – Uterus, Ovaries, Blood, Eggs, Period, Menstrual Cycle, Menses, Fertile,Tampons, Pads, Cramps, Emotions, Crying, Cravings, the list goes on really.

I have probably lost half of my audience with my last paragraph, but those who are still with me, clearly can handle life in all its splendid “misery”.

So, you ask where Self-Discovery comes in to play. Let me connect those dots. You see, I fear. I fear with one area in my life. It’s called fear of Abandonment. It was easier for me to type the descriptive words above about the female body, than it was to type “Abandonment”. Typing that out even caused me butterflies in my tummy and my heart to quicken and my palms to get a cold clammy sweat. Yeah, fun times.

Admittingly, and totally putting myself out there, I am in the throws of feeling both those things the last few days.
1) Ovulating/PMS
2) Fear of abandonment.
Not a good mixture. Not a fun ride. But, I am on this ride and yes, it feels like the worst rollercoaster a kid has ever been thrust onto due to peer pressure.

In the midst of this ride, I have come to realize that I need to do a bit more work in the area of my fear of abandonment issue. I will not describe in vast detail where this fear comes from, as it is not found in one place… it has served me doses, more than a few, throughout a lot of my earlier years. And yes, it saddens me and shakes me to my core.

I fear – there, I said it. I am hoping in my admitting that openly, it will be a release for me even more so. I read an article this morning that came at the right time. It was about using heartbreak to overcome heartbreak. I know the key here is to not fight this fear. It is to embrace it and let it go; which is great during most of the month. I am a disciplined person in my nature, but that ovulation thing occurs and sideswipes me every darn time.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, as I don’t believe in them. But I am ending 2014 in the midst of estrogen running its course in every aspect of my body and hijacking my common sense. Amidst this loss of common sense, I am simply sharing that we all have fears. We all have weaknesses. We are all human. We all hurt in some aspect or another. Life does that, it’s just how it works.

Come 2015, I hope to release more and more of what I cling to that leaves me so fearful, and I hope to gain peace and understanding in this one area that trips me up every 28 days, to the day.

But hey, “Next month I will be more aware and will separate myself from this estrogen ride of madness!” Mhmmm, nice try.

Happy New Year, may you all do some of your own self-discovery and even go to those places that paralyze you in fear, to come out of it on the other side finding a place amidst harmony and peace.

Hugs.

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Stereotyping, Profiling and Paranoia.

Posted on 29 December 2014 by Thraxxus

Stereotype map, the world according to Americans

I met this guy for lunch. We were told that we needed to meet to discuss this business thingy that we were both working on. I told him my name, he said his name was Terry. We shook hands. We were quickly sat at a table in this typical American restaurant where they serve basically something from every cultural background in some limited fashion. The menu, suffice it to say, was massive.

Our conversation was odd and got me to thinking, it is listed below:

Me: Terry, where is your last name from?

Him: I am Italian.

Me: Oh! What part of Italy?

Him: Well my family immigrated there, they live in the north.

Me: Immigrated from where?

Him: Spain. My grandfather’s business expanded there so that is where my father was raised, Northern Italy.

Me: Ah but you are of Spanish decent?

Him: Technically, no. I have Moorish blood in me as a result of the invasion that happened years ago.

Me: How do you know that? You don’t look like you are from Northern Africa.

Him: Well that was centuries ago. My family did one of those ancestry lookups and it lead there.

Me: Do you follow Islam?

Him: Nope. I am a Catholic.

Me: So you are an Italian, Spanish, North African Catholic?

Him: Me? Nope. I was born in the United States. Los Angeles to be specific.

Me: Wow! i was born there too.

I laughed.

Why did it matter where he was from? Why did I even ask? At the end of our conversation I had learned absolutely nothing of value about him that would enlighten me as to his perspective in the upcoming discussion we were about to have – the real reason we were having lunch to begin with. The answer is that we prefer to have a point of reference to reality – humans like to have a starting point. Thus, I asked all of that to try to get myself a point of reference to the man sitting in front of me, when in fact it gives me none – if anything, it only made our conversation more strained as he could have taken my questions very badly.

This leads us to the over-arching concept, and a hot topic within our society presently – stereotyping, also known by professionals as profiling. The concept is simple – look at someone in a category, or series of categories, that you have identified them to be in and suddenly you know quite a bit about the person before having been told anything about them directly. This concept seems logical, except in many instances it totally isn’t – such as the example I stated – I received  a list of nationalities that describe this person, and in the order I heard them, I could have made a series of judgments and expectations about this guy, all being dismissed in order with new information revealed – thus my point of reference changing because it was constantly proven to be wrong.

This lead me to consider how we profile people in day to day life. For instance, there is a load of racially charged turmoil in the USA right now regarding the Police and how they interact with various races – the Black community to be specific. Is it fair that the Police seem to profile Black Males in our society? Many arguments have been made in both directions – but it seems that there is a fundamental flaw in the arguments for racial profiling: If you look hard enough at something you will find what you want to find. With regards to the Black Male population in the USA – if scrutinized, blamed, and profiled enough, over and over again, then eventually people are twisted into what you blamed them for to begin with – a self fulfilling prophecy.

Therein lies the crux of the problem. Instead of giving people a chance for not being what you assume them to be, we treat them as if they have already committed a crime simply for being a part of a group of people that are labeled as criminals – wrongfully. We profile black males to be criminals, treat them as such, and thus we look at their lives under a microscope and find whatever it we can. Face it, everyone breaks some law almost every day. Why? We can’t possibly know all the laws. Speeding to work? I did it just today. So if I put a black male under a microscope at some point I am going to catch him breaking a law, even if he didn’t knowingly do so, and now I have a reason to say “SEE?!?! BLACKS BREAK THE LAW!!” Preposterous – yet it happens daily.

The tough part is learning to set that aside, as we have all, in some fashion, been programmed to think that way. Why? The assumption is that it works. Why? Consider how people of Arabic decent are considered at airports. At present the USA government identifies terrorists as being mostly of Arabic decent (totally ignoring the USA born white, christian guys that blew up buildings). Consequently the airports look a lot harder at people of Arabic decent because chances are a terrorist is of Arabic decent. Has it held true? Nope. And yet we continue to do so.

If we, as a race, are to actually get past racism, we must get past the idea that someone always fits into a mold. Sometimes, yes, a person can fit a mold – hell they can even be the mold – but since that is not always the case, or in many instances isn’t even close to being accurate, then why do we continue to stereotype others? The sad truth is insecurity – humans are insecure creatures on a singular basis, and cultures, on a whole, are down right paranoid. Ironically, the more paranoid we get, the harder we look, the worse we treat certain people, causing them to distrust us in kind, and thus facilitating even worse relations leading us back to the beginning – being paranoid.

Congratulations – we have an endless cycle.

 

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