Social Evolution is a Process

I will start this statement with this;
When the slaves were freed, do you think that the racist slave owners suddenly saw their former slaves as people with the new law change?  Do you think the slaves just instantly let go of their resentment of their former owners and others like them?
The answer is a solid and resounding, “NO!”
Their only way to cope with the sudden idea that their slaves were actually people was to think of them as their own race. And they, in turn, taught their children their way of “not being racist”.
On the other side, the slaves learned to hate their owners and that doesn’t just disappear overnight either. They probably taught their children similar tactics to cope with the new laws as well.
It’s been less than a century since the Civil Rights Movement and less than a century before that, the slaves were freed.
I’m not condoning the practice of what I call “softcore racism”. I’m simply saying, it takes time to weed out that kind of mentality with tolerance and education. The people who don’t know they’re racist honestly don’t know they are and need to understand that they’ve simply been taught by their parents (who were taught by their parents and so on) to think a certain way and it’s not entirely their fault.
And I’m not naming any specific races because A LOT of people of my race are racist as all hell and I’ve seen it in other races(besides white) as well and it ALL needs to stop. But we can only combat it with patience, understanding and education.

Great Attitude

A Big One

Alright, I am currently having one of those big cravings for a cigarette.  This sucks.

I wonder if I’m the only one who gets this weird feeling in the chest when craving a cigarette.  I actually liked the feeling of the smoke going into my lungs and that burning sensation of breathing it in then out.  Strange.

I also feel like I’ve just had too many cigs already.  Every smoker knows that feeling.  Especially if you’re like me and have had those nights of parting where you wake up the next day and wonder why the pack you bought at the beginning of the night is empty.  And then by the time, you get yourself together to go get another pack, you discover that you apparently already bought a new pack while out partying and smoked half of it already.  By now, you realize you can’t breathe and you feel like shit and your mouth tastes like an ashtray at a dive bar on karaoke night.  But you light up anyway because that’s just how strong the urge is.
That’s just me?  Okay, nevermind.  You can stop reading now.

Excuse the snarkiness but every single smoker out there feels like shit.  They all feel like shit and they either know this and choose to ignore it.  Or they acknowledge it and choose not to do anything about it.  Their reasons for choosing not to do anything about it are as varied as their reasons to start smoking to begin with.  But that doesn’t change or erase the fact that they all feel like shit.

Especially us singers.  Oh my god.  If you’re a smoker and a singer, you know the feeling.  That your voice is being squeezed.  Like your vocal cords are so dry they might disintegrate mid-song.  Or how about when you wake up and can barely talk because you smoked too much while partying the night before?
I wish I could find a karaoke place that was non-smoking….

Anyway, my point is that smokers feel like shit.  Period.  And most of them, like myself, don’t realize just how shitty they feel until they’ve stopped smoking for awhile.  That’s when your body is making its attempt clean and repair itself.  I never really stops trying.  But you only get a chance to feel the difference when you’re not smoking.
It’s just like in the old cartoons where two guys are digging a hole.  And they’re digging back to back throwing the dirt from their hole into the other guy’s hole and end up getting nowhere.

That’s basically what you’re doing when you smoke.  Your lungs are trying to clean themselves and push out all that crap and you’re just puffing away on that sweet, sweet cancer stick.

So, here I am.  Writing a blog post to wait out the urge to smoke.  And I realized something.

I don’t want to quit smoking.  More like, I’m afraid to quit smoking.

Part of my way of fighting a cigarette craving is to picture myself strong and healthy.  And I get absolutely terrified by that thought and the urge to smoke gets stronger.
Just like obese people choose to stay that way, I’m hiding behind being out of shape and the smoker’s lungs.  I’m basically wrapping myself in a cloak of tar and hiding from the world.

I know exactly where it comes from.  It comes from my fear of outshining people.  I remember when I was really little, I was good at so many things.  I had an advanced intellect, I was tall for my age, I was athletic, nimble as a ninja, strong, beautiful and talented.  And that pissed every one of my peers off.  I started getting bullied. [there was also a matter of my skin not being the right color but that just made all the above factors that much more painful. imagine being racist and getting poor grades while someone of a different color gets perfect scores on the same assignments you did.  yeah.  the pride burneth.]

I began forming a habit back then, of holding myself back.  Making sure to dumb myself down and dim my light so that no one else feels bad or has a reason to hurt me for it.  I’ve held myself back for so long.  No wonder I’m so unsatisfied with my life at this point.

See?  This is why it’s so hard for so many people to quit smoking.  It starts with something simple; “I want to quit smoking.” and ends with a comfortable seat on a couch while some jackass with a degree and a clip board listens to you whine about how everything wrong in your life now is the result of something in your childhood and not the poor choices you’ve made as an adult.

Okay, fuck that.  I don’t need a therapist to tell me there’s only one way to get over my fear of outshining people.  Just get over it and be awesome.

You too!  Just be the awesomeness you are!  And yes, I know that’s easier said than done.  But I’m here.  And you’re not alone.  We can do this!  No worries about what other people think.  And fuck the bullies!  Okay, not literally, they don’t deserve it.  But you get me.

Okay, I’ve wasted so much time writing about this.  I’ve been going back and forth between playing with the Bear, eating, watching tv, youtubing, and writing this blog post.  Hell, I even went grocery shopping and did some yoga and all kinds of things.  I started this post around noon and it’s almost 6 now.

Now, that I’m back from the store and Jiraiya needs his floor time which means I gotta go.  Crisis averted.  See ya later!

A Nice Start

Yesterday was a lovely first day of the year.  I only had a few anxiety attacks over my father spending money on me.  And we got a new movie on blu-ray.  Batman: Assault on Arkham, I do believe was the title.  All I know is it’s awesome.  And I’m all over it.  I’m pretty much one of the main characters.

Jiraiya is growing so fast.  I still can’t believe he’s a whole year old.  And his first birthday party was awesome thanks to his Grandma Tina.  She brought cupcakes and ice cream and chips and hot dogs.  And the burgers were awesome.
I meant to get him up at 7:37am on his birthday because that’s what I want to do every year on his birthday is get him up at the time he was born and hold him and tell him how much I love him and how glad I am that he’s my son.  I love that we can create our own traditions just like that.

So, today it the second day of the year and I haven’t smoked at all.  Before bed last night, I got some yoga in and started drawing a self-portait.  Jiraiya got me up at 5:30 this morning.  I definitely didn’t get enough sleep because I didn’t get to bed until almost 2.  He didn’t even want to be up yet.  He kept rubbing his face the way he does when he’s sleepy.  Then finally, after a bottle and playing about ten minutes with his baby laptop he got for his birthday, he laid back down and went back to sleep.  But by then it was too late.  The Animal Crossing alarm I set for 8:00 went off only minutes after his snoring started.

I gotta tell ya, I’m so tired.  I’m struggling to stay awake right now.  And Looney Tunes is not helping like it did when I was a kid.

Time to do something about this.  Time for Shower Time Karaoke.

New Year’s Resolutions

I am so happy.  Had a couple bumps in the road the last couple weeks.  I failed to quit smoking.  And I instead made it my New Year’s Resolution.
I didn’t write about my failure sooner due to the shame I felt for having failed in the first place.

Mr. J and I had a couple fights started by me.  I blame that on George’s visit and nicotine withdrawal.  Oh and the anxiety of seeing my dad for the first time in years and the Bear turning 1.

But we’re okay now.  Mr. J has demonstrated a level of forgiveness and patience he has never previously surpassed.  That was a wonderful present.  I feel like I can enter 2015 with a clean slate and a brand new attitude.

Also, my dad got me the full version of the video capture software, Debut and the video editing software VideoPad.  I am so stoked about that.  Now you’ll be getting more video updates to go along with my written blog posts.  I really hope you enjoy them!

Well, the new year has come as I was typing this up.  I smoked my last cigarette at 11:21 and I’m feeling really good about this.  I have a new yoga mat, my 2015 planner, my 5lb weights, my vitamins and calcium supplements, my shake cup, my protein powder, and a boat load of art supplies.  I am ready.  Ready to tackle these resolutions and come out of the other side of 2015 a brand new Harley.  A brand new Jacqueline.  A better mom, better wife, better yogi and a happier, more peaceful person all around.

Well, with a new year should come a new look, so I’m going to fight this alcohol induced cig craving by giving myself a manicure and a pedicure.

Happy New Year, everypony!

Mental Desease

You Are Not Your Disability

I have depression and anxiety problems.  I’m not depressed and I’m not anxious.  I am Jacqueline.  And Jacqueline just so happens to struggle with depression and anxiety.

I don’t want your pity.  I don’t even want your sympathy.  I don’t even want you to be “sensitive to my needs”.  What I want is for you to be a decent person and not be an asshole to me or others just because you’re in a pissy mood or whatever lame excuse you can come up with.  I am not a fragile thing you need to tip-toe around.  Don’t be afraid to criticize me.  Don’t be afraid to tell me what you really think.  Just don’t be an asshole.

Is that so much to ask?  I am a firm believer in not just talking to people any old kind of way because you never know what their mental state is.  You could make a rude comment to some guy on the street and he could turn out to be a sociopath that follows you home ties you and your whole family up, tortures your dog in front of you and then slowly, mutilates you and your loved ones until he gets bored and then just leave you all there bound and gagged and bleeding out.

Yes.  I went there.

But really, this whole, “Oh be sensitive to people with mental disorders and/or disabilities because they can’t change who they are. Blah blah blah blah” bullcrap, needs to go.  I mean really, people talk all kinds of crap about each other all the time until they find out the person they’re talking crap about has some sort of disability or mental disorder.  Then all of a sudden, they’re so “understanding”.

And then there are the people with said disabilities and mental disorders who make it, their whole identity.  And it might be for different reasons, but it’s manipulative regardless of what they tell themselves.  That’s why I was disappointed in the judges’ choice in the winner of Project Runway: Threads.  Not because I don’t think she has talent but because her very first look was supposed to be an introduction to her personal aesthetic as a designer.  That’s why the name of it is “Show Us Your Style” not “Show Us Your Mental Disorder”.

With suicide being the number one cause of death in our country right now and most of those suicides being teens, there was no way the judges would have risked sending her into a downward spiral.  Not after Simon Powell caused that one guy to blow his brains out back stage.  I mean seriously.  If she had showcased her actual talent and not her disability, the outcome could have been a lot different or it could have been the same.  But I would have liked to see her win based solely on her talents and not the liability risk the judges were faced with.

[Oh by the way, since that encounter on twitter, she has blocked me on twitter. I don’t know why I feel the urge to laugh every time I think about it but I do find it funny and sad at the same time.  But that’s a teenager for you.  Always so dramatic.]

You don’t go into an interview for a job and introduce yourself like this: “Hi, I’m paranoid schizophrenic.”  And you don’t put it on your resume.  When you meet paraplegic people, they don’t say, “Hi, my legs don’t work.”    So, why do some people feel the need to make their chemical imbalance, their identity.  Or how about addicts?  You don’t see them introducing themselves like, “Hi, I’m a crackhead.”  Or, “Nice to meet you, I’m a raging alcoholic.”  I don’t have to get into AIDS or cancer, do I?  You got the point?  Good, moving on.

These people think they’re drawing strength from doing this, but really it’s crippling them.  I mean really, how shallow, insecure, thirsty, weak-minded and just overall pathetic do you have to be to think that the greatest thing about yourself is your disability?  And for the people who give them the special treatment, they’re seeking, shame on you.  Seriously, do you really want to encourage people to live with the illusion that they are no more than a disability with a face?  Or do you want to encourage them to realize they are people first and foremost and people with disabilities second?

I don’t know about the rest of you that have depression and anxiety but when people treat me like I am my disease, I feel anything but understood.  I feel disrespected, patronized, pitied, discriminated against, snubbed, and every other feeling that comes with people looking down on you.  It just sucks.  I don’t feel like I’m being treated like a human being with thoughts, feelings, dreams, and talents just like everybody else.  I feel isolated too.  When people walk on eggshells around me, I feel like I’m just in the way and I’m an inconvenience to them.
Does anyone notice people treating them this way?  Does it make you feel the same way?  Or am I completely alone in this?

Writing this post inspired me to write about a similar topic involving skin color.  Look for that in the next couple days.

I Hurt Someone’s Feelings Today

I watched the season finale of Project Runway: Threads and was pissed at them choosing the winner they chose.

Okay, pissed isn’t the right word for it because I wasn’t actually pissed.  But that’s the word I used when I tweeted about it.  And apparently that girl saw my tweet and got very upset.  She even responded.

And I could tell by her words that this little girl was spoiling for a fight but I knew why.  My words hurt her feelings and she felt the need to defend herself.  In fact, she even went so far as to make a passive aggressive jab at me.

She succeeded in getting under my skin not because of what she said, but because I was disappointed that the confidence boost she was supposed to get from having won the competition wasn’t enough to keep a nobody’s words like mine from chipping her armor.

It made me sad to think that instead of just brushing it off like, “She’s a nobody from BFE.  What does she know about fashion?  In fact, I’m not even going to dignify her petty statement with a response.” she was more like, “Find something better to do with your time. Than criticizing a 16 year old girl.”  To which I thought, “You’re a big TV star and up and coming fashion designer.  You already have better things to do than argue with rude strangers on the internet at 5 in the morning.  Go do that stuff instead.”  But instead, I corrected her word usage (I edited the quote using the word she meant to use instead) and apologized for saying what I thought out loud.

And sure, I should never have to apologize for exercising my freedom of speech in a way that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others but I wasn’t apologizing for what I said.  I apologized for the manner and format in which I said them.

She is yet another person who, like me, struggles with depression and anxiety on a daily basis.  My mistake was thinking that because she’s winning her battle a lot better than I ever have so far to the point where she’s actually accomplishing something and actually going places in her life, that my words couldn’t possibly affect her.

What I didn’t take into consideration is that successful or not, talented or not, she’s still a kid and kids don’t have as thick of skin as much older adults who have been weathered and beaten by what the world can dish out.  I remember myself at that age, I slept all the time, dropped out of school and every time I slept, I wished I wouldn’t wake up again.
It’s got to be hard enough going through all of that and still being able to maintain one’s drive and passion for something.

So, yeah.  I learned something today.  She had said she would hope I would practice what I preach.  I preach honesty.  Hell, I don’t preach at all.  I’m like that guy in front of you in the bike race who didn’t hear the guy in front of me yell out “Hole!” and fell right in.  As I see you riding up, I hobble over to it with my busted bike and wave and yell, “Hole!  I already fell in it!  Go around!”
Sure, I may get criticized about having fell in the first place, but the least I can do is try to ward more people from falling in the same hole.

Anyway, basically I’m saying two things in this.  One: don’t listen to critics and don’t respond to them.  They’ll always be there. By responding to them, you’re validating their statement. They’re not worth your time and unless you’ve committed some kind of criminal act, they’re words are most likely coming from a place inside of them they’re not pleased with about themselves.  Basically, if their words don’t include something you can take from it and use to build yourself up and improve yourself, then they’re not worth listening to.

Two:  Think before you speak.  Not every thought needs to be shared with the world.  Be mindful of what you say and how you say it.  Just because you feel something doesn’t mean you have to broadcast it to the world.  And if you do, that doesn’t mean the world has to accept what you have to say.  There will be butthurt.  There will be disagreements.  There will be people who will tell you you’re wrong.  Get over yourself.