Thursday, November 28, 2013

List of Thanks 2013

The following is a list of things I am thankful for.

  • My education. I am thankful for the opportunity to expand my mind. I am thankful for reaching the goal of graduating SLCC this year and I am thankful for the opportunity to attend the U this semester. It has been an awesome semester and I am thankful that it's winding down. I am so thankful for all my wonderful instructors this semester, my insightful classmates, my chill advisor, etc. I am so thankful to be able to learn about gender studies and question social norms without fearing my safety. 
  • I am thankful for my sweet, thoughtful, beautiful, partner Allan.
  • I am thankful for my family: my mom Sandy, my dad Terry, my siblings Cassie and Daniel. I'm thankful for all of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I am thankful that my aunt Michelle moved back to Utah this year and I get to hang out with her much more.
  • I am thankful for my closest friends: Anna, Andrew, Emilee, and Casey. I wish we hung out and talked more. I care deeply about each of you.
  • I am thankful for my flexible, laid back job.
  • I am thankful to live in America. I am thankful that I don't think that it is the best country in the world; I'm thankful I'm not ethnocentric. I'm thankful that even though the American government is flawed, it could be a lot worse.
  • I'm thankful for Davis county, where I've grown up and live currently; it may lack diversity but it does not lack safety. (ok... at least compared to other parts of the world) 
  • I'm thankful for Salt Lake City. This beautiful city that I'm getting to know is diverse and unique and increasingly queer-friendly.
  • It feels uncomfortable to say this, but I am thankful for my white privilege, and my other privileges. I am thankful that I am (trying to be) aware of my (perceived) privileges. And being aware of them, how could I not be thankful that they have given me safety, power, and a lack of feeling less than.
  • I am thankful that it has not snowed much yet this season. I am hoping that it will be a calm winter.
  • Even though it's sketchy sometimes, I am thankful for public transportation. Although I anticipate that it will not be fun to use in the cold snowy winter, I am thankful that it means I will not be driving to the U in the snow and fearing for my life and stressing about parking.
  • I am thankful for my brain, and my learning and growth. I'm thankful for change. I'm thankful for empathy and for introspection.
  • I'm thankful that this list could go on and on and on, because I am so blessed and because life is so beautiful.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Making History: My Thoughts Anticipating the Decisions from the Supreme Court about DOMA and Prop 8

Well, the Supreme Court is supposed to announce their decisions about DOMA and Prop 8 in the end of June. What I've read claims this will happen on Monday, June 24th. I am so nervous, and excited.

First, a little background. DOMA stands for the Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996. In part, it basically says that the federal government will only recognize legal state marriages between opposite-sex couples. Same-sex couples can't receive any privilege from the federal government. Proposition 8 is a ballot proposition in California that was voted for in 2008. Earlier that year, marriage rights had been granted for same-sex couples. This proposition reversed that change, ammending the consitution to (again) saying that marriage is between a man and a woman. Thankfully, the same-sex marriages that had been performed before this proposition are still valid, but Prop 8 caused a lot of uproar.

When I heard that the Supreme Court was going to rule on these I was shocked. I didn't realize that America was ready for big change so soon. A month or two before I heard that DOMA and Prop 8 were going to the Supreme Court, I remember thinking that it would happen in maybe five years. I am so glad I was wrong.

If the Supreme Court rules that DOMA and Prop 8 are unconstitutional, it will mean so much to me. Obviously, their ruling won't magically change things. But it will set in motion changes towards equality for non-heterosexual people when it comes to marriage (which I imagine will impact other rights as well.) So what will this change mean to me? If I choose to get married, a) I will have the freedom to marry whom I choose, and b) I can marry with peace, knowing that my friends and neighbors will have the same privilege that I do. If I have kids, I can know that they will grow up knowing that they are equal and never doubt whether their relationship is valid and deemed worthy by society.

I am passionate about equality for all and LGBTQI rights. I feel lucky to be in the middle of all this change happening around me, and to be a part of history. I may be biased, but I am very hopeful that the Supreme Court's ruling will be that DOMA and Prop 8 are unconstitutional. I am excited that history will be made on Monday, and I am excited for the change that is coming. :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Death and Memories

After watching a TV show in which a main character dies, I started thinking about death. Death is a weird concept. It can be seen as a cessation of the expectation of making new memories. At any given moment, any given relationship consists of merely memories. And, most relationships involve an expectation that more memories will be made in the future. Death is a guarantee that no new memories will be made in the future.

Most often, the cessation of the expectation of new memories is involuntary, as in death. But sometimes, it is voluntary, such as in break ups. There are a couple people I have known that I wish to never interact with or make new memories with again. But there is no guarantee that we won't run into each other someday. Then there's that awkward stage of relationships where there's no plan to make new memories, yet you miss the old memories. One particular person stands out in my mind as I type this. I think I'd like to make new memories with this person, but I don't think this person reciprocates. It's a different kind of heartbreak (than death). It's awkward and uncertain. And painful at times.

The person closest to me that has died is my great-grandpa Gene. He died about six or so years ago. I anticipate that my family's dog, Sam, will die somewhat soon. It will be weird when he dies. The mother of my sister's boyfriend, and his twin who I am also friends with, died about two years ago. I never knew her, but it's the most recent death I know of so it makes me emotional. I unfortunately have two other friends whose parent has died. I anticipate that my grandparents will die somewhat soon (which actually could be anywhere from now to thirty years from now). I think about this sometimes, but not too much because it makes me feel sad and scared. It's inevitable.

This post may be too personal. So I may delete it. I am feeling very pensive.

In the end, I guess this makes me grateful for the relationships I have that involve anticipating new memories.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Summer Bucket List and To Do List!

I have one more month of this semester left, and then I graduate with my Associate of Science in Sociology from Salt Lake Community College! It is bittersweet. But lately I have been so unmotivated, and so ready for summer! I keep thinking of all the things I want to do this summer, and I decided to write them down in this blog.

Summer Bucket List:

  • Go to Disneyworld!!! My family is planning a vacation to Disneyworld. It's so exciting because we've never been, and it will probably be the biggest vacation we've taken as a family. (: I'm stoked.
  • Visit Bear Lake
  • Visit Park City
  • Read a lot! including:
    • The Help
    • Created Equal: Why Gay Rights Matter to America
    • Finish some of my textbooks 
    • My aunt is graduating with her Master's this month, and I am planning on reading her Master's project this summer. It is about the ways in which our education system is failing and what we can do to fix it, I'm excited.
    • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • I am going to watch so much Netflix this summer, guys. Some TV shows and movies I want to watch are:
    • Finishing Desperate Housewives! bittersweet
    • Life of Pi
    • Argo
    • Modern Family
    • Anchorman
    • The New Normal
    • many other shows
  • Volunteer
  • Go hiking (with Anna and others)
  • Take some type of lessons with Allan. Ideas include voice lessons, cooking lessons, or dancing lessons. If anyone has any recommendations let me know!
  • Learn how to drive manual
  • In general, I just want to be spontaneous this summer and enjoy it! I will have work but I won't have the commitment of classes this summer, and I want to take advantage of it (:

Summer To Do List:
  • Clean room, and keep it tidy
  • Clean shelf
  • Go through clothes and get rid of some
  • Renew my passport
  • Start being healthier and exercising more, even if it's just taking walks every day

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Question Everything

If I am ever a parent, the number one thing I want to teach my children is to think for themselves and  question everything.

I have always been a curious person. I always had trouble doing things I didn't want to do if I didn't understand why I should do them. When I was a child I would often stand around with the adults and listen to their conversation rather than play with other kids. I was weird. :) And now, particularly in this stage in my life (being a young adult in college), asking questions, doubting authority, questioning social norms and media messages, and seeking new truths for myself are of utmost importance.

I tend to pity people who just sit around and watch TV all day (not that I am not guilty of that on occasion haha), or follow social norms and a specific path just because they think they are supposed to. I pity people who don't ever stop to question norms and what they've been taught. This is a bit of a flaw of mine, and I'm trying to work on it, because it's not my decision how others live their lives. But I hope you can understand that since questioning everything is so important to me, I feel like it should be important to others as well.

I understand that I have the privilege to question norms, sit and ponder, and find my own truths. Some people aren't really able to do that because they are focused on making enough money to put food on the table, or taking care of their children or parents 24/7. (It is still possible to question everything if you are in this situation, I am just acknowledging that it may not be as easy.) I have time to think and ponder. As a student, it is pretty much expected of me to learn, think, and question. I am grateful that I have this opportunity.

I've never been the type to conform and go with the flow, and I love that. I think that there are a plethora of things that are not right in the world, and I don't want to just look away from them. The only way things will change is if we acknowledge the wrongness first. And in order to do that, we have to question the status quo.

Here are some things I've been questioning lately; hopefully it will prompt you to question even more (:

Why is religion (a choice) so much more protected (legally and socially in America) than sexual orientation, which is not a choice?
How did early Americans justified ruining Native cultures by oppressing and assimilating them? How did early Americans justify slavery?
How can one world religion be right, and the rest be completely wrong?
Gender is the very first thing an individual notices about someone else. Why is gender so important to us?


Realized: I am so obviously a social sciences major.. haha (: All of these questions are about society and social norms.

Thank you for taking time to read this. It means a lot to me. It would mean even more if you strike up a conversation about these ideas. (:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Random Thought About Socialism

I recently read this little story about socialism on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4734824481247&set=a.1783438738448.100250.1013870014&type=1&theater Socialism is far from a perfect idea, but I just don't think it's as awful as some people think. And I feel pretty alone in this opinion.

Let's say I was in a class that graded on a socialistic curve. Let's say I worked hard and came to every class. My classmate missed classes and seemed stressed. If I got a B instead of an A, and that classmate got a C instead of a D because of the socialistic curve, I would be okay with it. I would actually like it. Who cares if I get a B. It's still a good grade, it's still passing. But what if that classmate needed a C to get credit for a required class. What if that classmate was extremely busy and less privileged than I? I am privileged. I get As and Bs easily. But some people have different backgrounds and greater stress in their lives. They may be ESL students, single parents, sole breadwinners, caretakers, disabled, etc. What if, by not passing that class, the classmate had to retake it, spend thousands of dollars, waste time, and have stress? What if passing that class allowed that person to graduate, get a better job, and generate income to provide for hir family. What if that classmate graduated and made money to feed the mouth of my future son- or daughter-in-law?

I just don't think the world is so black and white. We do not have the same situations, opportunities, or privileges. But we all contribute to this world. And I want to help others contribute in the best way they can.

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year

2012 has been a great year! I want to take a few moments to look back at it. Here are some things I experienced this year:

  • In spring semester, two classes (Psychology as a Science and Profession, and LGBT Studies) influenced me to change my direction with school and my career. I decided that going all the way for a Ph.D. in Pyschology might not be the best plan for me. I may end up doing that, but right now I'm just focusing on a Bachelor's of Psychology AND a Bachelor's in Gender Studies. I might go for a Master's after that, but I'm taking it one step at a time. I am SO excited to study gender studies; I know it's a great fit for me.
  • Allan and I celebrated our first-year anniversary this year! We had a rough patch at the beginning of the year, lived through him going to the hospital which strengthened our bond, yelled at each other for the first time (for only two minutes, and promptly apologized), had a great anniversary celebration, talked about our future, and became best friends. I love you, Allan, you're one of the best parts of my year. (:
  • Some exciting changes happened for some of my friends this year. Emilee, Robbie, and Adrienne moved to California and have their own place and are creating their family within military life. Matt and Aleesha got married! Otto and Alicia got engaged. Santi and Mandy had their first baby, Mathias. Harrison went on his mission. It's been so cool to witness these changes.
  • I, unfortunately, have lost touch with a few (aka most) of my friends this year. But I have also grown closer to new friends, specifically Steven and Sydney. And, even though Emilee moved, we actually talk more than we used to. (: I've also gotten to know some of Allan's friends.
  • This bullet is for something that changed this year that I don't want to tell the world about. It has given me a peace of mind and freedom, and it has been a good change.
  • I turned 19, tried hookah for the first time (with my super cool aunt Michelle!) and didn't really like it.
  • I voted for the first time! This year I got to witness an openly gay senator be elected, an ally President get re-elected, and many states legalize same-sex marriage, among other triumphs! (: It has been a beautiful year in the fight for equality!
  • This year I worked at Chick-fil-A (don't want to talk about it), worked for the second summer at OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center - super awesome job that I love! - and then started working at DesignerLines which has had its pros and cons but right now I like it. I am so grateful that I've had these great opportunities. (:
  • I started stretching my ears (again) and Allan and I are at 4g right now! It's been fun to do it with him. I also got a second piercing on my right earlobe, so yeah I'm pretty badass.
  • I got to watch my sister Cassie turn seventeen, finally get her driver's license, start her senior year, and get voted as an S.B.O.! She also started a very healthy relationship with this semi-cool Kris Kringle-look alike (aka Steven). We (Steven and I) have gotten in a few arguments this year... but are still friends. (:
  • I got to watch my brother Daniel turn fifteen, get his permit (I may or may not have taken him driving for his first time! :O ), start high school at NUAMES (an early college school for smart/motivated kids), and grow into a more social and healthier young man. (:
  • My dad dealt with a lot of changes at work this year, which resulted in him going to D.C. for five days every month. My mom worked part time for a while, was restless, found two new part-time jobs, and I think is still finding her niche. My parents have been great this year and I am very grateful for them. (:
  • I volunteered during the summer at the Utah Pride Center, which was so cool. I also volunteered a bit at a senior center for one of my classes and it was a good experience.
  • This year, I experienced the best class of my life, Social Health and Diversity. It opened my eyes to the different groups of people that are oppressed, and what can be done to fight for social justice and equality. From it I have a strengthened passion for equality, social justice, community, unity, and love. Ugh, I can't even describe the beautiful change my soul went through because of this class. (:
  • Lately I feel like my soul has taken a little bit of a break from growing, comparatively. Maybe it's just part of being older. I feel like I know and love myself, I know what I want in life (kinda), and I am relatively mature when it comes to communication and emotion. But learning and growing is my purpose and fulfillment in life, so I know this stagnation won't last long. I feel pretty comfortable with my life, which makes me uneasy! I think I feel more alive when I'm hurting and changing and learning and growing. I'm not always a huge fan of change, but I guess what I'm saying is that I hope next year brings more growth and learning.

I am looking forward to a new year of experiences! Here are some resolutions I have for 2013:
  • I resolve to not get married and not get pregnant this year.
  • I resolve to graduate from Salt Lake Community College with my Associates in Sociology, then move on to the University of Utah to pursue bachelor's degrees in Gender Studies and Psychology.
  • I resolve to continue learning how to communicate with and love people, especially my family, friends, and boyfriend.
  • I resolve to expand my mind, build neuron connections, break down walls and assumptions, and learn about the world around me.
  • I resolve to continue to grow and learn about myself.
  • I resolve to continue learning espa├▒ol!
  • I resolve to continue to fight for equality (specifically for LGBTQAQA people) and learn about oppression and how we can fix it.
This has been such a long post. Even though I write these firstly for myself, thank you so much for reading them. (: