She's Not That Positive

I’m positive about a lot of things, in a pessimistic kind of way.

Hey Sluts! October 19, 2013

As you know faithful readers I go to school with mostly 20-somethings, and for the last few months have overheard various conversations that annoy, scare or confuse me. Most of this is a result of the way people (kids) use language now. This post is about a particular word.

Now I have been known to use this word in various contexts, and I have at times had this word used to describe me. So I am not going to pretend I’m above this kind of talk but stick with me, I think I have a point (I hope).

It started last semester when I was with one of these twenty-something girls, and I saw a poster for the “Slut Walk” at my school. Not knowing what it was about I was understandably taken aback by the title; this girl and I started talking about the event. She explained that it was to demonstrate against using a woman’s appearance or actions as way to defend her rape; this got us on to a discussion about “slut shaming” as well.

I obviously believe very strongly that a woman should both feel and be safe dressing and acting in a way that makes her feel empowered. She should not be degraded for how she chooses to dress, or her actions. As women we should be having events like “Slut Walk” and fighting against “slut shaming” we should be yelling and screaming for our rights and our safety. ABSOLUTELY!

But words have power, let’s not forget that.

So here is my argument, instead of adopting this misogynistic hurtful term to shock and promote our causes, why not stop using the term altogether. My young friend argued, “Well if we use it for our causes it takes the power away from that word and makes it mean what we want it to mean”; what do we want the term “slut” to mean exactly? Someone who is in control, who has the power and the right and the freedom to do what they want with their bodies however and whenever they want? Why can’t we just call these people women? Or better yet just people?

So readers what do you think, is appropriating this kind of language helpful or hurtful?

*For the purpose of this post I am ignoring the upsetting fact that young women seem to feel (like I did at that age) that asserting your dominance and your independence needs to be associated with asserting yourself sexually.

 

Life on the Corner – 2 July 3, 2013

Filed under: General Musings — She @ 4:09 pm
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Monday June 10

This morning I left the house and an older man (60’s or 70’s) stopped in front of me and leered down my top mumbled something and almost reached out to touch my boob before catching my eye and moving on (it’s a wonder it didn’t hit a lamp-post he was staring so hard). Yes, I guess I get people staring or commenting on my chest often, but I honestly can’t remember feeling as violated as I did today, there was something super sleazy in that little old man’s eyes that I haven’t been able to get over all day. Like “Him” says, if you are going to stare at boobs do it with your periphery that way you don’t get caught. Gross.

Tuesday June 11

Using his legs to scoot himself forward he wheeled his chair up to me with that crazed look that most of the long-time drug users down here seem to share. He looked up at me and I thought “I don’t have change, and I don’t have time for this.” He met my gaze and said “can you spare a smile?” I couldn’t help but smile, not just at his request but my reaction to him. He smiled wide and gave a little laugh, I couldn’t help but do the same, and at that he pumped his fist in the air triumphantly and shouted “it’s gonna be a great day!” I laughed harder and called after him to have a good day, “I will now sweetie” he replied. It still makes me smile.

 

Encounters – Life on the Corner – Take 1 June 8, 2013

Filed under: General Musings — She @ 2:42 pm
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Every day I walk the streets of my neighbourhood I am struck by, not only the sadness and despair of the lives that live here, but the kindness, laughter and neighbourliness that I haven’t encountered in any other neighbourhood in Vancouver. I’ve decided to diary the ones that stick out the most.

Friday June 7, 2013

Red T-shirt, man in late 50’s (although it’s hard to tell with the hard livin’ my neighbours do) on Hastings Street. Screams at older man, “Come at me man, do it! What are you scared off you’re gonna be dead in a hundred years anyway, what does it matter?” Screams after me “Come at me, come on! What are you scared off you’re gonna be dead in a hundred years anyway, what does it matter?” Screams at the bus “Come at me, do it! What are you scared off you’re gonna be dead in a hundred years anyway, what does it matter?” Sigh, he’s right you know, in a hundred years I’ll be dead what does it matter?

Saturday June 8, 2013

She walked down the street towards me, little chubby in a too tight turquoise top and too short acid washed ruffled skirt. A baby face with a cigarette dangling from her lips, sadness surrounded her. Her eyes lit up when she saw me, “hello” she said smiling broadly. I smiled back as she walked past, “hi”. “How are you?” wobbling slightly as she passed me. “Good, you?” “Great!” she said. “Have a good day” I called after without turning around. “You too!” she yelled crossing the street. Made my morning.

 

 

OH-EM-GEE: Breakthrough – Maybe I can do this! May 3, 2013

The last few months have consisted of stress, sleepless nights, stress, crying myself to sleep, self-doubt, no fun, stress, days and days (and nights and nights) alone studying, did I mention stress? I knew it wouldn’t be easy going back to school full-time, but I didn’t know it would be this hard. I thought that my part-time studies and full-time work would have prepared me for this, but it didn’t. I can’t count how many times I said to myself and to Him “I can’t do this, I made a mistake” (I’m sure he can’t either). I struggled through every class and every project, part fear of failing, part fighting to prove I could do it, and mostly just trying to keep my head above water and not quit. But a week or so after final exams, I can breathe a little easier and reflect, and this is what happened:

I had a breakthrough, an actual honest-to-God breakthrough, it happened slowly as my final marks came in (wait for it).

Now this post isn’t for me to brag to you and get you to congratulate me, or say “I knew you could do it”, this post is about me, for me; because I didn’t know I could do it. At the best of times I have pretty low self-esteem; sure I joke about how smart or funny I am, and I may have convinced you, but I certainly couldn’t convince myself.

Going back to school was the first thing I have done for myself in, well, ever. After years of trying to please everyone else I took a good look at my life and what I wanted out of it and made the decision (BIG thank you’s go out to “Little One” and Him for making it financially possible to make this happen, and for everyone for encouraging it). And yes, I was pretty proud of that, but this, this I achieved ON MY OWN, I can’t say I was just lucky, I can’t pass the success on to a team of people, I can’t say “well it’s all thanks to so-and-so” because no one else did my homework or wrote my exams. I did this, I made this happen, and I FUCKING ROCKED IT!!!!!

I can honestly say, probably for the first time ever, I’m so proud of myself and I believe I can accomplish my goals now.

So this post is to me in three months, six months, nine months, one year, two years and so on. Yes, you will struggle through, yes you will make sacrifices and yes it will be hard and there might be tears, but never doubt you can do it, because look what you did:

finalgrades

 

OH-EM-GEE: I Quit! September 18, 2012

Today I quit my job. YAY!

Well actually a week ago I gave notice for the end of December, but today they announced it publicly!!

So aside from the reasons listed on my Twitter feed, why am I leaving? Where am I going?

I will be going back to school full-time to pursue a new career in a completely different field, and I am FREAKING OUT!! This is the first time I have quit a job with no plan for income, not even long-term (long- long-term yes, but that’s about 4-5 years away).

I have been a marketing professional for 13 years, in many different fields for many different companies, and now (well as of the end of December) I am a full-time student. Man, even when I was a full-time student originally I worked full-time too. (But then I was in my late teens/early twenties, who has the energy for that anymore?)

*phew*

It was a difficult decision as a result of a wonderfully supportive partner. I could probably have done this on my own, but I know I wouldn’t have.

My studies and my new career path will be focusing on helping people, not people who need a new downtown condo, insurance, want to sell a TV show or market a product; but people who really need help, people who are having trouble adjusting to a new life or escaping the traumas of an old one.

I’m oddly proud of myself and my decision, totally freaked out about the future, incredibly excited and nervous about how I am going to live on less than a third of my current yearly salary.

But I’m pretty sure I can make it happen.

(Anyone have any good “Mr. Noodles” recipes?)

 

I should be committed April 1, 2012

Yes I’ve been busy, and while my life seems crazy and at times I feel a little certifiable for taking so much on, it’s not what I mean by being “committed”. Well, it’s not that not far off, but no, this post is about something even crazier, I’m dating someone. Like the double entendre? (Like the big college girl term?)

Yes you read that correctly, someONE. I am in a RELATIONSHIP. While you might assume because of my efforts to start dating earlier on in the blog, I was looking for this, the truth is the thought of being in a relationship freaks me out. It’s not that hanging out with someone and having fun and doing “coupley” stuff freaks me out, and it certainly has nothing to do with *Him (yes, that’s his “not that positive” name), he is awesome, patient, kind, fun, laid back, and really easy to be with. It’s the commitment that scares me. It’s even the word commitment that scares me.

The scariest part for me is telling people. Why? I don’t know. Everyone of course is happy for me, why wouldn’t they be? But it makes it real and when it’s real there is a real possibility I could get really hurt. The worst part about people knowing you’re in a relationship is telling them that you aren’t anymore.

Want proof of how much of a freak I am? Here’s how I told my mum:  “Mum I need to tell you something, but I’m not ready to tell anyone else, and I don’t want you to make too big of a deal about this.” Mum sits down looking completely freaked out. “OK, of course, what is it?” Deep breath… “Well… Him and I are dating, we have been for a while.” Mum taking a big gulp of her drink and breathing big sigh of relief “Oh is that it? Thank God I thought you had cancer or something, what is wrong with you?!… Do you think it’s my fault you are so obviously afraid of commitment?” (My mother is constantly worried that she is the cause all the problems in my life. And no Mum you aren’t.)

So why is it so scary? I don’t think it is because my parents got divorced, if anything it could be that every single person in my extended family has been divorced at least once. Or the fact that my relationships seem to go amazingly until one day I see pictures of the guy who asked me if I would marry him, kissing another girl on Facebook.

It took me a long time to get over that relationship and a long time to admit to myself that I was in this one. So yes the dating experiment is officially over, and without getting super girly about it he’s awesome and I am so glad that I am letting myself trust someone again.

So there you have it, I am in a committed relationship, and because of Him, everyday it gets a little less scary.

*she

P.S. Don’t worry though I won’t be changing this into a relationship blog. I’ll leave that to the very funny and amazing He & She of I Do Already. (Although I will admit to not so secretly wanting to emulate their relationship)

 

Oh Em Gee – Where does the time go? March 31, 2012

Filed under: OH-EM-GEE! — She @ 11:50 am
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So three days ago I promised that I would blog this weekend, only three days ago was really three weeks ago? OK maybe a month, maybe more. But I swear it FEELS like three days ago. Life is speeding by at a ridiculous pace. I’ve been in my new apartment almost a year ago, I’ve been back at school for two years, TWO! Two? I’m not even sure of timelines anymore. It feels like I’m living my life on a treadmill.

Wake-up, work, school work, cook, clean, sleep, wake-up, work, school work, cook, clean, sleep, wake-up, work, school work, cook, clean, sleep, wake-up, work, school work, cook, clean, sleep, wake-up, work, school work, cook, clean, sleep, wake-up, work, school work, cook, clean, sleep… you get the idea. There of course have been small windows of time with friends, family, and yes the beginning of a relationship… but for the most part I feel constantly out of breath, like I’m running through my life. I need to stop, I need balance, I need… a nap. But you can’t stop living your life and I’m at an age where if I want to achieve my goals I need to push through and just, keep, going.

I just need a few more moments to catch my breath like I said, I need balance.

In the spirit of “I should be writing a research paper” I am working on another post for you, which should be up tomorrow (or next Tuesday or May). In the meantime any tips on time management (that don’t involve lists, because I have lists of list, I have a list addiction already), or well any comments at all, feel free to leave them below…

*she