I Wanna Be Simba

HELLOOO internet!

I envy people who just know what they were born to do and therefore put their whole being into that thing. Whether it’s being a doctor, singer, entertainer, lawyer, librarian. Whatever. They can say they’ve always known. They started organizing books by the dewey decimal system when they were three. That has to be such a great feeling, just knowing what you’re called to do.

I wish I was Simba, before he went to the elephant graveyard. I think that’s when his worldview changed. I wanna be ignorant Simba, the one that was promised everything that the light touches.

Post college questions I wasn’t prepared to answer:

  • Are you going back to school? What will you study if you do?
  • Why aren’t you married yet? Don’t you wanna be married? Just get married already!
  • Are your current financial decisions positively or negatively affecting your future?
  • Is it worth it to get your cat neutered? Why did you get a cat?
  • Should you be actively pursuing other professional things during your time off work? If you don’t, are you wasting away your potential?
  • Do you need a car? Or can you survive without one? What’s too high of a car payment? Should you take on a car payment when you have other debts to worry about?
  • Why is your sister calling at 1 am? Oh god, has something happened? You’re independent, but you still need family!
  • Why did you take a job so far away from family? What were you thinking?
  • How does one build a support/social system out of scratch? Should one even bother?
  • Will everything quiet down eventually? Will all my thoughts join together into one, cohesive plan? Am I thinking too much?!

 

*SCREAM*

Have a great day guys!

Dusting of 2015

Time flies.. when you’re typing sentences about the passage of time.

Hello internet. It would seem that we are but a few days from the end of another year. This has been the first year I can truly say, wow, what a year. So many firsts, so many life lessons learned, so many sad things, so many good things.

Since the internet likes lists, I’m going to list 2,015 things I learned in 2015.

Just kidding that’s ridiculous.

But here are some things.

  1. Do it. Just, do it. Nike wasn’t kidding. I’m still learning this lesson, still forcing myself to understand the concept of ‘just doing it.’ I’m the kind of person that likes to think something into a bloody pulp, and then while that thing is lying there, gasping for breath, deformed and afraid, I watch it squirm around, refusing to put it out of its misery until I am convicted to do that thing. I believe they call it seizing the moment. I’m trying to be more of a ‘Yes (wo)man’ and while I have a ways to go, I hope 2016 will give me more opportunities to flex this new muscle.
  2. Being happy is not a default setting (for me anyway). If I do not make the effort to find reasons to be happy, to seek out happiness, my cruise control is set at dismal. That sounds terrible, and while I’ve never considered myself a pessimist, I am in a way. I try not to crap on other people’s dreams, but when it comes to me, myself and I, I am my own worst enemy. So, here’s to being intentionally joyful.
  3. Questions are okay. I’ve been asking a lot of questions this year, especially about God and my church. I’ve seen and heard some things that’s got me thinking, ‘something isn’t right here.’ But instead of quitting, I’m trying to understand, to believe, to trust, and to not be bitter. And I’m no quitter. (RHYME)
  4. The right people are worth the effort! We should be kind to everyone, we should be willing to give of ourselves for the betterment of mankind. But, when it comes to friendships, life is too small to pick the wrong ones. I think I’ve picked the right ones, and I hope 2016 lets me see them all, and make some more!
  5. Life is about being happy. A friend told me this once and I disagreed with her. But now I realize that she was right. Life is about finding happiness. Christians I think object to this more than anyone. They will say, well no it’s about worshipping God, glorifying Him. Okay, but doesn’t one’s belief system bring them joy? I always heard people in church say happiness is temporary, but joy is everlasting. That even when you’re sad you can be joyful. I think those terms are synonymous. Joy, happiness, glee, whatever you want to call it, it’s the feeling you get when you realize everything is going to be okay. It’s something you can hold on to. Even when you’re sad or depressed or angry, you can seek out that thing that brings you happiness. Whether it’s Jesus, your best friend, your spouse, your pet, exercise, food, whatever. The world is dismal, and we are all seeking a reason to keep existing in it. So we find that thing, and we hold on to it because it gives us a purpose. And purpose makes you happy/joyful. Whether it’s temporary or long-lasting.

Anyway, 5 is enough, and this has gone on forever. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. If you do not celebrate Christmas, then I hope you had a wonderful day and that in some way you let that Christmas spirit temporarily infect you and that you didn’t ruin everyone else’s day. I hope that everyone can brush off the dust of this year and head into 2016 expecting all the wonderful, tragic, blessed, craziness that is the human experience. Till next time!

No Man Is An Island And Such

I have not been “okay” lately. In my non-okayness, I’m beginning to wonder if any of us are really okay or if we all just pretend for the sake of solidarity. Are we all pretending because it stops us from crumbling? Like, if we fully accept that we are deeply flawed and broken inside, will everyone just unanimously decide to quit and jump into the ocean? What keeps us pretending? Or are there people out there that are really just “fine”?

This isn’t a cry for help, by the way. We all experience our times of existential crisis, I’ve just decided to blog about my current one.

My non-okayness is linked to many things, but the one I will publicly share is this post college life that I am continuing to muddle through. I remember thinking that I wish there’d been some kind of prep-course in college for ‘what happens when I’m unemployed for a year after I get my diploma? How do I stop myself from walking into oncoming traffic?’ Well, now I’m starting to wonder why no one prepared me for the ‘your first full-time job out of college may or may not be your dream job and also it doesn’t mean you’ve arrived at ‘figured it out’ station. It just means you got off of the ‘what now’ train temporarily for coffee and snacks.’

But, there isn’t anything anyone can do to prepare you for everything that is early adulthood. All we can do is be there for each other. It’s a really simple answer, but I think it’s the most important thing I’ve learned in my very short time as a human. Human need other humans. ‘No man is an island.’ It’s why God created more than just one, why He gave us the ability to reproduce. In our small, sometimes bleak, existence, we are supposed to be there to make sure everyone is okay.

And if the news is telling us anything right now, it’s that we’re not all okay. So those of us who are good, who care about others, who have close friends and family, we should take extra time to be there for one another. Because you never know when someone is not okay. Social media is not a reliable way to measure whether someone is doing well. So pick up the phone or text someone, actually check in. There’s at least 7 billion of us on this big ‘ol Earth. And each of us has at least 3 people in our circle of influence. Make sure you’re people are okay.

For your reading pleasure:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

 

Thoughts On Things And Such

So many opinions, so little time.

 

Just a quick recap of my thoughts on the issues I’ve seen floating around the interwebs lately.

  1. Caitlyn Jenner won woman of the year at some award thing I’ve never heard of. People think she didn’t deserve it. Blah, blah, opinions. Listen, my mother has never been awarded woman of the year and Lord knows she deserves it. If you want fairness, you’re on the wrong planet people. Get over it.
  2. When are we going to stop legitimizing the full-sized Oompa Loompa (Donald Trump) by getting ‘outraged’ every time he opens his weird little mouth? You know how if you punch yourself a kid will laugh every time because they don’t have a sense for when something isn’t funny anymore? And you keep punching yourself until you are bruised and numb, but the kid keeps saying ‘Again! Again!’ America, we are bruising ourselves by entertaining that giant baby and his fetus brain. We must stop this.
  3. This ISIS thing is out of control. I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of it, so I can’t even imagine what world leaders must be feeling when trying to figure out what to do next. I can’t begin to assume to know what the next strategy is, but I can only hope and pray there is a right answer.
  4. Syrian Refugees. Seriously America? Seriously? I meeeeean… there’s gotta be something we can do. We’re whining about our safety from perceieved outside threats and yet how many people have been gunned down within our own borders by maniacs with citizenship? Some claiming their violence was in the name of patriotism?
  5. E. Coli outbreak linked to Chipotle.. I’m willing to sacrifice life and liberty for Chipotle. If you abandon ship during hard times, you were never a true warrior to begin with.
  6. QUEEN ADELE MAY YOU REIGN FOREVER MAY THE LIFE FORCE INSIDE YOU BURN BRIGHTER THAN A MILLION SUNS.
  7. People who take dumps on well intentioned trends, what’s your deal? Who hurt you? If someone wants to #PrayforParis, let them. Yeah, we know, the whole world needs prayer. Conflict never ends, sadness never ends, tragedy strikes every second of every hour across the world. That is fact. But if a few million people decide they want to unify under one tragedy, let them. It’s better than a million people saying, ‘So what? I don’t know anybody in Paris. Shut up, Keeping Up With The Kardashians is on.’ So let people unite, even if it seems simpleton, even if its singular and fleeting. It’s humanity sounding off in support of each other and there is nothing more awesome than that. Let it be, jeez.

Okay that’s enough. I’m going to go now, thank you for indulging my 2 cents. :)

Happy thoughts be unto you.

My Sisters Are Emotional Sadists

Time for a life quiz!

  1. Your sibling calls you early in the morning and you answer the phone, already on edge because of the morning phone call stereotype and because she never calls you this early. She answers the phone in chocking sobs. Do you:
    1. Assume she just finished watching The Notebook for the first time.
    2. Assume one (or both) of your parents are dead and start processing it before she confirms this.
    3. Assume a close family member/friend of the family has died, begin processing this before confirmation.
    4. Assume she is actually laughing so hard she is choking, get angry because it’s too early for jokes.

If you were me, the answer is B.

Now, as you can assume by the fact that I am blogging this experience, it was neither of the more tragic options. I wouldn’t be funny blogging about those right now, I’m not a monster. But it wasn’t the other options either.

My sister called me at 7:58 am (which may not seem early to you, but it’s 6:58 am her time and also I work at night so I was just getting into my REM). She was bawling guys. And my heart was beating faster than I thought possible. My stream of thought was “No I can’t handle this right now, how much time off work will they give me, which one was it? Not that it matters I will be equally devastated, Please God no.” 

She cried for a good.. minute? before using her words, and for that whole minute I thought about how much I was going to miss my mom/dad. BUT THEN, I heard her mutter the word dream. I flew through the 5 stages of unintentional grief, and then I started yelling at her. “Joanna, pull yourself together! What happened!” I started laughing too, my brain probably trying to alert my heart that if it doesn’t calm down it will burst in my chest.

Then she finally told me she had a horrible dream that I had died, I yelled at her some more then confirmed that as far as my current reality, I still qualified as being alive. We laughed, well I did anyway, she kept sobbing, and I went back to sleep.

I’d just like to say this is not the first time one of my sisters has sent me into a false life-altering panic attack. Another time my younger sister called me crying and saying, ‘Dad was in an accident.’ I of course began wondering what happens next? Then, she said, after a few seconds, but he’s okay. -___-

I hope you guys are better at delivering non-tragic news than the members of my family.

Good day!

Racists Statements About Cats And Other Things

Hello there Earthlings.

This is rested, zen Janelle coming to you from my apartment that smells like spiced pumpkin pie. Mood lighting on fleek, the compositions of James Horner filling the living space. I am at peace.

How are you all? Everybody coming down from an Adele filled Friday? I was unsure whether or not the western world would’ve survived today’s Adele mania, but it would seem we are okay. Until November 20th that is, when she unleashes an entire album upon us and we all, literally, figuratively, and collectively die because we cannot begin to even.

I’m not being sarcastic guys.

With Adele back in the spotlight, Taylor Swift can absolutely (and maybe permanently) take that break she’s been promising. We can all pretend like Selena Gomez’s music doesn’t exist (because does it, really? Or is it just a collaboration of all of our musical nightmares, and we have not woken up? Good For You can’t actually be real).

Anyway, Adele your musical gifts are appreciated.

ZEN.

There’s a black cat outside of my apartment building that’s been there for a few days now. She looks exactly like my cat, but bigger (because all black cats look the same, a stereotype cats cannot be bothered to fight against). I’m starting to think that maybe she is my cats mother, and she’s come to reclaim her child. Do black cats only birth more black cats? I really don’t know how that system works.

Anyway,

Have a peaceful weekend worshipping, meditating, eating, singing, dancing, drawing, punching, or whatever it is that you do to bring light into your dismal existence.

Kidding. 

No but seriously, have a good weekend. :)

Politicians Say The Darndest Things And My Cat Isn’t A Ninja

“I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” Mr. Carson, who has been surging in recent polls, said on Fox News. “I would say: ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.’ ”

Ben, Ben, Ben… oh Ben.

I remember reading Gifted Hands when I was younger and thinking, wow, what a story. The faith of his mother, the perseverance it took to go from being a D student with a shiv, to a neurosurgeon making history.

Oh but Ben, how you have demonstrated to us that even heroes fall from grace. I’ve seen it before, how someone I thought I knew or respected uttered just one sentence about their political beliefs and everything grew dark and ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ started playing in my head and I thought, ‘surely this cannot be.’

Ben Carson’s achievements cannot be erased, he still saved lives and has accomplished more than a lot of us ever will. But why must he say these things? Why must he show this side of himself?

I used to say that kind of thing when I was younger. All the ninja moves I’d pull on someone if they thought they could break into my house. How if I were attacked I’d immediately go for the groin and fight like mad. ‘Ain’t nobody gonna take me down!’ Of course, I said all that jokingly, and without any real frame of reference for what it’s like to be robbed or sexually assaulted. What I wouldn’t do is go up to a rape victim and say, “well why didn’t you fight harder? Did you even try a nut punch? What’d you just lay there and take it?” Because that would be pretty insensitive. How can I speak about how I would react to a situation (in a non-joking context) without ever having gone through it? I don’t know Ben Carson’s life, but as far as I’ve been told, he’s never been present at a mass shooting. So for him to presume he’d be some kind of hero in that kind of terrifying situation, that’s a bit much. And have you heard Ben talk? Can you picture him rallying a group of terrified people to mount an assault on an armed assailant? I mean I could see him quietly suggesting it to the person hiding under a table with him but…

Having (thankfully) never been in a situation like that, I cannot say what I would do. I have no idea. I know what I would like to do, what I think would be best to save my life and possibly others. But when crippling fear becomes a factor in any situation, we become unpredictable. And I’m not talking ‘that is the biggest spider I’ve ever seen where are you God’ kind of fear. I’m talking, ‘this morning may be the last time I said I love to my children’ kind of fear. Those are different BEN. 

Either way, I believe that his words are the kinds of things people say to their friends or spouses behind closed doors. I mean, it’d be nice if you didn’t say those things at all about people who have endured a tragedy, but, we don’t live in a perfect world yet. Or maybe he thinks the loved ones of the victims can’t read or don’t have TVs so they won’t know a presidential nominee basically called their son/daughter/husband/wife/friend a coward, essentially blaming them for their own deaths.

He also thinks Obama is politicizing tragedy by offering his condolences to the victims families and traveling to Oregon to see them. I just.. I don’t know. I don’t know what is wrong with this man. In a sense he’s worse than Donald Trump. Everything Donald Trump says is a joke. Anyone who expected Trump to come into this race with intelligent insights must also get their life advice from Cosmo.

IN OTHER NEWS..

The biggest spider I have ever seen in real life was in my bathroom the other day. I put my cat in the bathroom thinking, alright here we go, ninja cat to the rescue. What I got was an aloof stare, then she walked out. I screamed at her, “What are you doing? Kill the spider, this is why I bought you!” And then I thought of what a horrible thing that was for me to say (however true it may be) so I got my Independent Woman on and bludgeoned that spider to death with a broom and then vacuumed up the massacre. While I am proud of myself, I am also traumatized and no longer trust my bathroom or my cat.

Anyway, have a supa dupa day!