Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On Self-Love.

So my main conquest has been trying to figure out this little riddle of mine.

What is self-love?

Is it measured upon the number of people that love you? God no.

Is it vanity? In it's most crass form, yes it could be. Is it  something you can achieve, once it  is "reached" you're good? What does self-love entail? Is it the same for every one person? 

I want [this] so much because, I can't be pending on another's. To be loved is awesoume but never enough. I want to be self-sufficient, sustainable. Because what is more scary is this idea that another's love is pending your self-worth, especially after knowing that the decision another person makes is never, never under your control. God how scary is that. Love. 

So, to prevent this indelible self-destruction, we should build a fort where one can stand on his or her own two lovin' feet. That way, when ever shit hits the fan, you're still standing in shit. Wait, that didn't work out as well as I wanted it to. I mean, you are standing in shit but at least you are surrounded by this fortitude by your own two feet? Wow, still gross. Hmmm... 

Well, let's start from the beginning. How does one fall in love, in general? By getting to know them, by getting coffee with them, by sittin in silence with them while simultaneously feeling comfortable, with arguing and finding things out about them that may not be as pretty but yet worthy to be loved. So, first you get to know. Then, you tumble through a few arguments (to test resilience and durability) and then, accept that person through love. Make the commitment, active conscious commitment that you are enough. More than enough but good. Love in its purest, most intended form is commitment. So, self-love is commitment to you. It is this ongoing, every single day process. It's not like a trophy that once achieved is done but rather, this internal dialogue that is everlasting. Honest. Real. 

So it begins with dating yourself. Figuring out what yo want to do, what you like/dislike, the music you want in my ears, conversations you want to have. You know, doing the thing "you" want to do without the need of a plus one to hold your hand, so that you two are not alone. Don't get me wrong, companionship is a beautiful thing. Just make sure that companion is worthy of you, all of you.  Then, after dating (hopefully) yourself you fall  madly in love and treat you the way you would a person you had loved. The best part of this recipe is that by doing you, falling in love with you, others often follow suit. As a friend or a lover, the more sweet you make your honey, the more bees want a taste

So if it wasn't obvious before, its obvious now. I just ended a beautiful relationship of 3 years with a man I really loved. I was spoiled with support and great, great things. But for what it is, it just can't be now. And surprisingly very surprisingly I am doing well. Very well in fact, the other day I mentioned to someone that I could not imagine going back to the person I was then to the person I am now, even in spite of the heartbrokenness that came from it. I would not trade for the woman I came out of it. Ever. I am so happy, grateful. But I can't help but question even after all the good that came from this, why was I not worthy of his love? Fuck. I know my worth, I know I am delicious. But why this residual lack of self-love? 

Because. I thought to be worthy of love was measured by the love from others. Simple as that. So when someone treats you with less "love" you bust out your measuring stick and think less worthy. So then you proceed with meaningless dates, alcohol, and one night stands to fill this void. Not in that particular order and all hypothetical, of course :) The only thing I can do, only thing I'll ever be able to do, is love the me and the others the best way possible. And in exchange, with hope, that there will be people along the way that will match that love of mine with an equal, mutual, loving love. 

So what is worthy to remember through all this, is that the actions of another is not all about you but a decision that they made for themselves. The only thing you can do is respect the ending of a love with honor and acknowledging the loss is not you. Love fleeing was never love, because it never had the commitment to do so. And the beauty, the best, the secret to the best kind of love, self-love is that it is impermeable to alllllll that. Shit from the external world and people. Absolutely untouchable. Invincible. It is yours, all yours to spoil rotten. 

So to quote from Parks & Recreation, Treat Yo Self [gooooood] every day, every year! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

On Vaginas.

Original title to this post: "On VDay" or "On the Letter V"

Vagina. Valentines. Violence. Victory.

The word "Vagina" has came out of my mouth more than a normal person in the past couple weeks. Partly, to promote for the show I was this past weekend and partly because that word is actually part of my daily vocabulary. Aside from that, I had time to actually meditate on what that word means when asked by many what the show Vagina Monologues entails.

It's more to than just that word. Yes - vagina, cunt, coochie snorcher, pussy, vay jay jay, etc. - there are all synonyms for the female genital that we are all oh-so-familiar from both the male or female perspective. We know what it is. And the sort of funny-ness that comes from saying that word. But when describing to those about the show "No, it's not a vagina talking on the stage... No, it's not like those parodies you've seen ... It's sorta funny, but sorta not" For those who have seen it, I challenge you to describe what this show is. It's almost impossible to give the show its justice in 3-4 sentences. Imposible.

It is not this uber feministic, semi-butch show where we denounce all men and hail and praise the vagina on a pedestal. It is this empowerment, this re-claiming, this identity of multiple women and their story about their lives, their bodies, their relationships with men, people, institutions, stigmas and how they interpret those interactions with those people or objects. The best part of the show, I believe, is knowing that at any one point, there were thousands of women saying those same words, with a similar intent, with the same goal to work against violence (since proceeds of the show go to both local programs as well as the VDay movement) by saying just a few scripted words.

I have never acted before except for that one time again for VagMo my Senior year of my undergrad. When people say I performed well, I just think its just their nice way of saying that I am (at times) overly dramatic and that "luckily" I can use this dramatic personality of mine on a stage in a somewhat productive manner. But, seriously, what I think I do well is that it's not that I'm "acting" but I just try to embody the real stories of the women in each of these monologues and think, how would I feel, where would I be, what would I have done. How different would my life would be, my decisions, my relationships.
I was molested when I was a child. Yes, this is extremely unfortunate and actually one of the most terrible things to ever happen to me and I feel like I've gone through a lot as a child. This isn't a "bragging right" either, comparing scars and such. God no. But by exposing this, I want to say that, if it wasn't for this show - where there was a medium for me to just be able to speak - even if those words were not my own, were not written by my own hand, I still mirrored the very sentiment they held. I remember the first time I got to see the audience stand when asked if they were victims of sexual violence or knows someone that was, it took my breath away. A weight lifted from within. Knowing that I was not alone. Knowing that stupid shit happens to women that are just so unjust. And yet, and yet. I am here, and as for those who do know me, would say you could not see the injustice in me. Because. I was able to rise from, knowing that this unfortunately is not out of the norm, knowing that there are lives living on, moving on, flourishing. Life goes on, they move on. Partly because there is no other option but to do so. Yet there is this subtle resilience, translating to the stage, is a very remarkable thing.

So yes, the V - this word vagina or violated or violence (sexual or domestic) or vengeance or victory - all come from this shit. That is why I praise it so much, because it means more than just the 6 letters it is. It encompasses strength, stories, the actual lives of women that had to see the world through that hole. Now, do you see? It's all about the "Power to the V".

So help me celebrate today's VDay and be part of the world, the people that empower the V. Giving it the respect, the honor, the life it deserves. http://www.vday.org/about/long-term-vision So with today being Valentines-  the day for lovers, couples, hook-ups, and the alike. I want to wish everyone a very safe and joyous VDay. Consent is the key. V love.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On Gold.

The past two months have been a bitch. One hell of a bitch. Had the highest of my highs and the lowest of my lows. And, why?

Because I gave my value, my self-worth to someone, to anyone, to no one.. but myself. Where does that lead to? [Detroit, jk hah]. Where does that bring me to understand my worth by serving it to anyone else that does not know all of me other than myself. We see ourselves, each and every day, we spend the most time with ourselves. We share the most deepest secrets, share the best moments of laughter, with ourselves. Not any one person in our lives, no matter how much we love them or spend every minute of our days with them, will never ever (never ever?) get to know you better than yourself. No one. So then, why do we leave it to others to tell us who we are - what we would need to be - what our choices should represent - and more importantly, what our worth or value is to this world?

I gave it to him. To him. A person that could not understand me for the life of me. Who had this image, this passing thought of who he thought I was. He wanted me to be the "best person I can be" which in his eyes, meant to be a doctor. The dream I created and generated for my own self. But what is it, though he would never admit it, would never be enough for him. And why, why why why would that fucking matter. I am lame. Cool but so lame, sometimes. I wanted that for myself and it became a dream that I had to achieve to be "worthy" of love. Fuck that. I am aware this makes me look like a fool. But that is not to say, that I am pretty sure that ya'll have been here before. This sentiment. This feeling of low. Where your life was held in the hands of another - an institution, an admissions board, a family member or dear friend, a lover or crush. We all have put ourselves in a position, so vulnerable, and inevitably harmful to our most precious goods. 

So [I] don't care whether you give me pity, I don't want it but can see why you'd feel that towards me as I describe to you my past life. Nevertheless, I put it out there, this vulnerability because it took me forever to understand this and hopefully you can find value in my very few words: your self worth has nothing to do with ___. Ever. Because for some strange reason, what they think of you, how they think of you, where they see you as, and how they can benefit from you, your love, your attention matters... will always be biased, selfish, and un-focused on you. Only you know whatever is, can, and will be. 

For a person that you spend the most time with, the person you get to talk to the most, argue with, sleep with, every single day - is yourself. Get to know 'em and be damned surprised when yourself comes out in ways you would have ever imagined. The way you have dreamt yourself to be, known yourself to be - because of your ancestors, your legacy, and your self. Because in the end of the day, isn't that person matter the most

I end with this more positive, lighter note. When asked how much I was worth, my aunt said to me it was gold. "If I can wrap you in gold, I would. And yet even then you are far more worth than that. But you should know that for yourself and not because I told you." So there. Remember this for today. Not because I told you are but because you are. Golden.