Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Already Begun

   Lately I have been pretty much pretending that it's not summer... while, the excitement remains in part from the habit of looking forward to summertime from having spent a majority of my living years in school, it is not quite the season of my dreams like it is for some others. I enjoy the things about summer that most people do, cook-outs and driving with the windows down in my car, more time outside. But overall, I prefer the feeling of those same things in the beginning of the Fall season than I do in the midst of the heat of July... One thing I do love about summer, however, that I miss out on in the remaining months of the year, is swimming. Oh how I love the water. Luckily for me Bastian seems to be quite the fan of it just like his Momma.

   Yesterday we had the pleasure of an impromptu swimming session at the home of my very best friend, and oh my does that boy love the water. Watching him learn to let go and trust the floaties to hold him up, in a pool that I remember swimming in as a teenager before the thought of motherhood had entered my mind, was nothing short of surreal. It seems like each time I leave the house I feel more and more like an adult. Or at least closer to what I had imagined being an adult would be back when I was that teenager hanging out at my best friends house after school. It's strange but it's the insignificant things that make this whole adulthood endeavor seem real to me. The packing up a cooler of taco supplies so that we could make ourselves dinner, in a kitchen, instead of driving down the road to Taco Bell... the conversations about the different relationship dynamics between different people, and the ways in which choose what will continue in our lives and what we will do away with, instead of gossiping about who got suspended for what. I mean, when exactly did this happen? When did I make the shift? Because one day I felt like a kid living an adults lifestyle, what with the husband, the house and the kid, then the next day I really truly felt grown up. I no longer feel like I'm "playing house", this is actually my life. And I am really living it. Every moment.

   And the best thing about it is that I really do love it. This is the time of my life that I was always waiting for and it started without my knowing it. It is here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Seven Twenty Nine

   Ten minutes. 7:30 officially. Ten minutes of writing. Some days I go off on wild tangents and write far more than is required... but, sadly, most days I don't. Most days (today included) I write just enough to get by. How I ever think I will be a significant writer someday by doing this I do not know. But at least I have come this far. I am finally able to identify myself as a writer without a huge gulp of guilt. Because I do write. I write every day. Almost never anything of great consequence, but enough to keep me going through the motions so that if at any point inspiration decided that it wanted to find me it would not be a long interval before I was next at a screen of some sort. Perhaps even writing on paper from time to time. The thing is that I am just lazy enough to lack the trust in myself that I would heed the calling of inspiration much less hear it if I was in the midst of writing when it did come a calling... because most likely I would be seven minutes in to my self-required ten and I would be distracted, checking the clock between keystrokes willing the time to pass faster so I can get back to things of far less importance. Things that don't take so much of my drive and my spirit to accomplish. I wonder if Sylvia Plath wrote this way, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway. Was there a point in the lives of each great writer where they begrudged their gift? Forced themselves to do the work of it in spite of their complete ambivalence. I wonder if any had such a poor grasp on language, spelling and grammar that even while identifying themselves as a writer they misspelled the word "writer" itself. Two "T"s seems much more important, right? Distinguished.

   In writing all that is above I began to succeed in falling into rhythm, and subsequently a sense of not caring for the time but for the words needing to get out... then from of the corner of my eye saw that it was 7:29 and could not coerce myself to keep from checking again and again until the minute rolled over in it's non-corporal grave. It is now 7:32. I do at this moment desire to keep going. But feel as though I was merely rambling anyways. What if I stopped at 13 minutes in due to a combination of a lack in substance and a fulfillment of my time allotment that I committed myself to... but, had I held out one, two, ten minutes longer, would have received divine inspiration. That proverbial "second wind" that in this scenario would technically only be the first... but the point is that, I have this overwhelming anxiety that I will miss it. Or pass it up intentionally. Potentially more than once. Hell it's likely I would do it over and over and over again. I am truly scared of my own propensity to put off my own destiny. Squander all that has been, and will be given to me... and this fear is often the cause of my nonsensical typing about typing. Writing about writing. Because at any moment that can be easily changed... but knowing myself, if I commit to ten minutes of writing on a decidedly unworthy topic, I may be unable to stray from it as a result of my own stubbornness, should the right moment, mood or message come along.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

On Immodesty (a response)

   Today I read an article written by a female Author that I greatly respect and admire, Shaunti Feldhahn. I was about teenage girls and immodesty. A topic that gets under my skin for a multitude of reasons. From the cringe inducing feeling I get nearly every time I leave my house and see over sexualised and suggestive clothing on incredibly young girls, to the defensive feeling I get when I remember being that confused 12 year old girl grappling with my new identity as a young woman with a sexual element to my being... to the pure anger I feel whenever these topics are handled in such a way as to let the entirety of the male gender off the hook, perpetuating a dangerous mindset and attitude towards women's and girl's bodies.

 {Image C/O D Sharon Pruitt}

   Let me start by saying that Shaunti is the first female Author whose book (For Women Only) on how to better relate to and understand men not only didn't offend me at all, but actually succeeded in handling the modesty topic in such a bold yet careful way as to make the case for modesty without inferring anything negative regarding women's bodies. Or their responsibility for mens thoughts about heir bodies. See, the thing for me is that, much like my stance on music artists with explicit content and parents of young, impressionable children, it is important in these conversations to always go out of our way to state outwardly that both genders have responsibilities. Yes, this should be a given, but in our modern world it is not.

   I agree with the principle Shaunti is getting at, which is that the majority of teenage girls honestly genuinely do not think through what images are elicited in the minds of teenaged boys (and grown men alike) as a result of the way they dress. And that the majority of teenage boys wholeheartedly believe that girls know exactly what their "outfits" make guys think... and that they choose their clothes knowing this. That it is intentional. They must want this reaction. But see here is where I get uneasy. It's true that due to the inherit differences in the way that the male and female brains are wired, these assumptions may seem rational and natural... but they also contain scary undertones about the messages that our society teaches children and adults alike about the female body. Assumptions about the correlation between the way a female dresses and what she wants as a result of it.

   So yes, I feel it's absolutely necessary to make this young generation of girls aware of the extent of the influence their clothing choices has on the thoughts of the opposite sex. Not just that it elicits attraction... but full on visual pictures in the male mind of things that they likely would only want thought about them by certain someones, intentionally not accidentally, and accompanied by genuine feelings of desire for a more complete companionship (more than just a physical encounter). We need to combat the message of our ever present media which romanticizes the idea of being "fantasized" about. They need to know that the reality is far from romantic and is not something to encourage, much less strive for (because lets face it, a lot of these girls aren't entirely innocent in their motives, though most are at least a little misguided). BUT! And that is a big but on purpose... we also need to be careful of two other extremely important aspects of this conundrum when passing this message along to girls. The first being that we need to make sure that they know that there is nothing wrong with their bodies. There is nothing wrong with them wanting to be attractive and dress in ways that make them feel attractive. It is far too easy in these difficult conversations to insinuate that the female body, especially the sexual components of it, are something to be ashamed or even scared of. That message can result in countless negative side effects and I am sure is responsible for a lot of the inappropriate dress to begin with!

   The other thing we need to be incredibly cautious about is ensuring that we make it completely clear that no matter how sensitive we as females choose to be regarding the struggles that come with possessing a male brain, ultimately, always... someone else's reaction to her body is their own responsibility. Yes, I 100% agree that it is the right thing to do, as females, to be conscientious of how our clothing choices affect males and when possible (without stifling her self expression or assigning an undue amount of mental/emotional effort on it) choosing things that wont add to the pre-existing struggle of our cohorts. But we absolutely must teach boys that the girls and women they encounter do not think the way that they do and as such they don't fully grasp the effect that their appearance has. Teach our boys to give grace on this matter. To assume the best intentions of every female they encounter. To assume that they simply want to feel beautiful and not that they are asking for their impure thoughts (or worse actions) and to treat them with respect regardless of how covered or uncovered they are. Teach them that their thoughts, while normal, are their responsibility and that they need to do the work of shutting them down and learn to respond to them appropriately.

   How about this... male or female, let's all just stop assuming that we know the motives behind someone elses choice in clothing and self expression. Let's give each other grace wherever possible. It's hard to be a woman and I am sure from what I've heard and read that it is hard to be a man. Let's cut each other a break in whatever way we can. For us ladies that may mean putting more thought into our wardrobe and for the guys it likely means treating woman as beautiful regardless of what they wear, respect them even if they're scantily clad and treat them as beautiful even if she's dressed sloppily to help her avoid the insecurities that often lead to the desire to dress in overly revealing ways.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Schizophrenic Style: Fourth of Jul-Eyes!

   This 4th of July I didn't put as much thought into my outfit as I sometimes do. In fact it's not even worth posting... blue jean cutoff shorts, a long red tank top with a thin white tee over it... nothing spectacular. BUT, I did go pretty all out with my makeup... or my eyes anyways. It was too hot out to worry about lipstick and all of that.

   I had seen an image floating around Pinterest of a really striking eyeshadow look that I would have sworn that I had pinned, but I didn't, so unfortunately I cannot share my inspiration with you. Suffice it to say it was black, white, bold and beautiful! I figured it would be simple enough to substitute red and blue for the black portions and I turned out to be right....

   I was pretty pleased with the results. So pleased that I would do a tutorial, but I am not so sure there's enough to say about how I created the look to constitute an actual "how-to". So here are the basics and I will answer any questions you can think to throw at me... how does that sound?

  1. Normal foundation routine etc.
  2. Primed entire lid (and thin line undereye) with Urban Decay Primer potion
  3. Cut section of scotch tape in half so that it is half as wide and place carefully down the center of the lid gently rubbing out any creases to prevent any shadow from getting under the edges.
  4. Apply Sugarpill's Love + in the inside corner of eye right up to the tape and blend
  5. Apply Navy eyeshadow to outside of the lid in the same manor and blend (I used a shade by Loreal H.I.P. that I got at Walgreens ages ago) 
  6. Remove tape and carefully apply Sugarpill's Tako in the center and on brow bone. I used a small angled brush to avoid blending shades together on the line as I wanted the straight, bold seam look from one color to the next.
  7. Eyeliner and mascara as normal 
  8. Fyrinnae Fluff to seal the look   
   That's it! Much simpler than I expected. And it lasted through the 90-something degree heat all day with no problems. One of those novelty looks that is awesome for holidays and special occasions!

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