Standing Up

1/9/2019

Recently, I’ve been stressed. Okay, I’m always stressed, but this stress is new, something I’ve never dealt with. This stress comes from fighting (peacefully) for equality. Yeah, I did just type that. That is still a thing that has to happen. Sad, right?

A student was transferred into my science class a couple of months ago, and to put things bluntly, he has expressed anti-feminist, homophobic, and transphobic beliefs. Now, I see right through this kid and I can tell that he’s just repeating things he’s heard at home or from friends and he really has no original ideas or beliefs. I’ve unfortunately come across someone who is a mere product of a toxic and unaccepting environment.

Now normally, I’m the kind of person to shut my mouth and wait until whoever it is realizes that nobody is listening and they aren’t getting attention that way and for the most part, the person will usually move on and try something else. But not this kid. He will go on and on about these beliefs.

And I can handle the anti-feminist jokes and quietly ignore him, even the general homophobic comments because my friend in the class (who happens to be quite an amazing LGBTQ+ activist) will take care of him. But then, when all else fails to get him the attention he seeks,  he starts making direct attacks. Specifically about the transgender kids in our school.

I’m only good friends with one of them, and he is one of my closest friends. I know how much he’s been through and I cannot let anybody ever say things like that about someone I hold so close to my heart. So, I started not to stand for it and challenge his comments.

It is exhausting, but what kind of friend would I be if I let this kid stomp all over my friend and I didn’t defend him? What kind of feminist would I be if I didn’t at least try to assert myself?

I’ve realized that things are only going to change for the better if we make them change. Sometimes, no it isn’t worth wasting your breath on someone who sees nothing wrong with their actions. But I won’t let some guy talk over me just because he thinks that girls will always shut up for him to say whatever he wants.

I will correct you when you try to spread false things about people. I will tell you to shut your mouth when you call a girl a “whore” the second she leaves the room. And when you try to tell me that my friend is “confused”, “attention-seeking”, and that their identity “doesn’t exist”, I will fight back.

It’s tiring, even more so because I like to hope that people are better than that. But I won’t stop

I’d love to raise my children in a world that is accepting of them, whoever they may be. If that’s going to happen, I have to be part of the movement that makes it happen.

Whether or not I ever get through to this kid doesn’t matter. It’s the principle. Part of my ideal “take no shit” attitude. Nobody deserves to feel that they aren’t accepted for being themselves, nobody. I encourage you to do your part, educate others about things you’re passionate about. Fight for the changes that this world needs to see.

Thank you for reading.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

 

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On Realizing You Aren’t Who You Thought You’d Be

1/8/19

Happy New Year! I haven’t posted in a month, sorry.

In the time I’ve been away, I’ve had a realization that I’d like to share. This blog has become somewhat of an open diary. A place where I can let you inside my head to experience things with me.

When I was a little kid, my life seemed to be lied out in front of me very simply. I’d go to school, make friends, get good grades, have a boyfriend, etc. The typical life of a teenager. Or so I thought.

I’ve since learned that there is no such thing as “typical” but that’s another discussion for another day.

When my life wasn’t going that way, I figured it would just sort itself out and eventually lead back to the path I thought it would take. But the longer that this has gone on, the more I realize that that won’t be my life. Maybe it never would’ve been.

I thought I knew exactly who I would be as a teenager. I thought that I’d have amazing friendships and perfect grades. I thought I’d be tall and pretty and attend the highschool I’d always driven past with my family. The one my dad went to.

And now, I sit here reflecting. I’m sixteen now. I haven’t had the party I thought I would’ve. The one I really wanted. My friendships are awkward and unsteady. I find myself over-sharing and regretting it later. I’m unable to communicate when I’m uncomfortable with something, when I don’t want to talk about something.

I always thought I’d be strong and confident in myself. I’d know what to say and would never let anyone walk all over me. But I lack that confidence and strength. And the more time I spend with some people, the more they talk about things I don’t want to, the more they hug me, touch me, lean on me, when I want to be left alone, the worse I feel.

I end up overwhelmed and unable to cope so I bottle it all up until I get home, where I’m comfortable. And every night I promise myself I’ll say something tomorrow, end this cycle tomorrow. But I can never bring myself to do it.

I don’t find myself pretty, it’s quite the opposite. And don’t even get me started on boys.

But most of all, I’m not going to that highschool. Not experiencing what I want to be. On a certain level that’s okay because it’s what I need right now but really, it bothers me. Hurts me even. I remember being excited for freshman year because I would get home first and have the house to myself. I never got that.

I know who I wish I was. I know what she looks like, the way she acts and how she talks. I spend many nights when I’m unable to sleep thinking about what she’d do. I idolize her. I love her. Long for her. But I’m not her. She has the life I thought I’d have. And realizing I’m not her, the person I always thought I’d be, hurts.

Maybe I can make myself her, I don’t know. It would take time and a lot of work. But I want to be as close to her as I can be. She is the picture of beauty and strength and confidence. She says what needs saying but also knows when to hold her tongue. She goes to that school and she smiles and bounces through the halls powered by her own happiness and enjoyment of life.

She’s not completely out of reach. But it will take me a while to get to her. I trust that she’ll wait for me. I trust that I will get to her. It’s just a matter of time and work.

-Dani

(^^)/

Healing

12/8/18

First, I’ll address the glaringly obvious: two posts in one day? Don’t worry, you haven’t fallen through a wormhole to December 2015, this is happening.

*hold for laughter at my comedic genius*

The events leading up to this post are a bit odd, but they’ve made me think regardless.

A few weeks ago, I made the (horrible) decision to shave my legs despite already having razor burn from the previous time I’d shaved. So, as you can probably imagine, this made things immensely worse. And even though my legs have been itchy and red and uncomfortable, I’ve kept up with my shaving routine.

Bad idea I’m aware.

Last night, I was brushing my teeth when my mom came into the bathroom, sat on the edge of the tub, and began applying Vaseline to her feet. Now, it’s winter in the US and my poor mom is so sensitive to the cold, dry weather that her feet get dry and crack. She’s usually in quite a bit of pain this time of year.

I asked her how long she’d been having to do that, and she said, “A few days. I probably should have started doing it earlier.”

This got me thinking. Despite both of us knowing what to do to heal our bodies, neither of us did anything until we absolutely couldn’t take it.

For me, this sort of think happens a lot. Often, I’ll know the exact steps I have to take in order to feel better about something, but I just won’t until I don’t have another option.

Call it laziness, procrastination, or a side effect of depression, but it happens so much.

As of now, my room is a mess, I have homework to do, etc. and although it’s stressful, I have no will to make anything change.

Or at least I didn’t until about a half hour ago.

I was having my usual 45-minute shower concert/daydream/overthinking session and my mind drifted here. To this. I am capable of changing these things and making myself feel better. So what’s stopping me?

The answer is still unclear, and I think it’s different for everyone. But I’m going to change this. I paused to write this but as soon as I press “publish”, I’ll be on my way to cleaning my room, doing my homework, and planning/making my holiday gifts for friends and family.

I used to put such an effort into being productive and always doing something to better myself and life. I’m not really sure where that person went, but I’d like it if she came back and stayed a while for some much needed healing.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

On Turning Sixteen

12/8/18

So, 3 days ago, I turned sixteen. Which is crazy. I remember when the first friends I made on here were sixteen. And now I’m there.

It used to seem so far away, even a week ago, me turning sixteen just seemed distant.

I honestly don’t think I ever fully grasped that I’d grow up. Every birthday is a little shocking to me. I have a tradition where every year I watch the clock turn to the minute I was born and that always solidifies things for me. Watching the number change makes me realize how much I’ve grown.

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of looking back at old photos. Having my baby cousin run around my grandma’s house the way I used to makes me really nostalgic. And looking through photos, remembering the moment they were taken, remembering myself fix my hair and smile, is kind of crazy.

I went through that phase where I thought teenagers were the coolest people on the planet. So to be a teenager makes my 7 year old self really excited. But it makes present-day me feel really bittersweet inside.

This year, I went to school on my birthday. Which I know a lot of people hate and a lot of students take off to celebrate. But for me, going to school on my birthday made me so happy. I haven’t been in school on my birthday in 2 years. I remember last year I spent the entire day home in my room feeling lonely.

This year, I walked into my homeroom which had been decorated for me by my friends. There were presents waiting for me and a giant card which had been passed around all the homerooms for people to sign. The thought that went into the gifts I received from my friends was astonishing and I almost cried. I am so grateful to be in such a happier, healthier place.

Time really does heal all wounds. If it hasn’t healed, not enough time has passed.

But my birthday also made me feel pretty sad for a number of reasons. There’s quite a few people that I wish I could’ve spent it with but unfortunately, they’re not around anymore. I really wished my grandpa had been sitting at the dinner table telling stories of when he was sixteen and learning to drive.

That’s another thing, I got a freaking learners permit! I can drive a car now. I went for the first time on my birthday and kinda ran over a curb but it was fine. Sitting in the drivers seat, being in control, was mind-blowing. I’ve watched my parents drive for years knowing one day I would and there I was, doing it.

Also, they make it look so easy. Oh my gosh it is not that simple. I’ve never had to focus on so many things at the same time but also not focus too hard because there were other things to focus on.

Turning sixteen has really opened my eyes a bit. I am responsible for myself way more than I ever was. But that also means that I am in control. For the first time in a long time, I feel capable of controlling my life instead of turning to the people around me and trusting them to take the reigns.

I can do this. I can get to the place I want to be in and do the things I want to do. I’m not the same person I was at thirteen who was losing her mind and falling apart at the seams. I am 16, and I’ve got this.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

Taking Steps

12/2/18

I have no plan for this post. Not a clue where it’s going. But I have thoughts I’d like to share.

First of all, I turn 16 on Wednesday! That’s absolutely insane to me. You guys have literally watched me grow up. And your continued support is incredible. I’m going to be able to drive! (pray for me)

But, even among the happiness, I can’t help but feel a bit sad. This time last year, I didn’t know it, but I was on my way to a really, prolonged, dark time. And this year, thankfully, things are totally different. I’ve cut off toxic people and pushed myself into beginning to actually recover from my mental illnesses.

It’s hard to think of growing up without some people. But I know that they’d be proud of me. I also know that they’d be able to provide a whole lot of wisdom right now, and I could use it.

I’ve touched on it before, but recovery is scary. I’m starting to experience emotions that have either been lying dormant for a long time, or I’m experiencing things in full for the first time.

Most of these emotions are positive, I’m not really sure what to call them though. Regardless, it’s scary. I’m afraid to let go and allow myself to truly immerse myself in positive things because part of me is worried that it won’t last.

Something else I’ve been working a lot on is boundaries. Re-establishing healthy ones after lines got blurred is important, but difficult. It’s a necessary step to take before other parts of recovery, but I wish I could skip it and throw myself into new, normal teenage years.

I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that, try as I might, I can’t be a normal teen. I have to work a little harder, do things a little differently. Things have to happen at my pace, and that’s okay. I might not love it, but I’m okay with it.

My goal is long-term, sustainable happiness. Which I have to take steps towards. So I start here.

Also, Happy Hanukkah if you celebrate! Hope you spend it well. I’m off to my grandmas now to celebrate with my family. Thank you so much for reading.

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/

Gray Autumn Days

10/17/18

It’s days like this, the ones where the cold bites a little harder, the wind whips a little harsher, the sky a little less blue and quite a bit more gray. The days without the sun where the once beautifully painted leaves now look dull. The days that drag. The days where the blue jays fly to the trees. These are the days I feel the worst grief.

It’s these days when my eyes, yesterday filled with wonderment, are now on the brink of tears. It’s these days where in every other sentence, my breath catches in my throat and suddenly it’s all too much. It’s these days when it hurts the worst.

When I can no longer feel the presence of those lost beside me, when I look desperately for a cardinal’s red wings to let me know that they’re here. When the lake is colorless and still, a physical representation of my own mind displayed before me, when I can’t take it.

And on the bus ride home the same song plays over and over in my headphones because I can’t be bothered to change it. And in class I snap at people, making things as sarcastic as possible, but annoyed that they can be happy when so many people can no longer share in the joy.

Days like these, cold and gray, make me desperate. And despite never being brought up religious, I have the urge to walk to the closest church. To shuffle down the aisle between rows of empty wooden pews, and collapse in the front of the large room overcome by my sorrow. To ask a God to whom I’ve never before properly prayed to, why he’d take them. Why was their time up? How could he dare take them and leave the rest of us here? Why am I so struck by some of these loses, left in the wake of it all to mourn people I never got to truly know?

Days like this make everything seem so trifle. Why learn about how dense the center of the earth is when we can all be taken from it at any moment? Why should I rotate this triangle 90 degrees if they can no longer even write their own name?

But, nevertheless, I carry on. Holding the grief the best I can, although it’s heavy. I walk through the halls a shell of a person, yet still aware of every last person’s displayed emotion. I get annoyed that the sun dares to shine between the clouds as they roll by, but I still welcome it.

I miss those I’ve lost. I never let them slip my mind. They stay in a place in my heart, never to be forgotten. I keep the memories and smile though I know there will never be any new ones.

This is in memory of them.

-Dani

(^^)/

Goodbye 2017

12/31/17

Hey guys, welcome back. Today is New Year’s  and boy what a year it’s been. We thought 2016 was bad, oh my gosh we were not ready. At least for me.

I’ll be dead honest, this year sucked. Bad.

But you guys could probably tell from the extreme lack of posts. So I won’t waste my time talking about how awful my year was. Let’s talk about what 2018 is going to be.

I learned that it’s up to us to make our year the best it can be.

Last year, I left all the work to 2017 to be a good year. Just kind of sat back and let it be whatever it was. I never made any effort to make it good. Now, I don’t know, and to be blunt, I highly doubt that if I had tried any harder that it would’ve been any better. The year just sucked. And maybe it had to. I’ve learned a hell of a lot. Grown so much as a person. I am not the same girl I was when I sat down to recap 2016. That’s for sure.

And so, through a lot of hard work, I am going to make my one and only New Year’s Resolution this:

Make 2018 the best year it can possibly be.

And I hope you can do your best to do the same. You owe it to yourself. As this is my last post of the year and I want to end on a high note, I’ll leave you with a quote that I read just yesterday. A quote that is unbelievably true and for some reason it just really stuck with me.

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one. -Brad Paisley

See ya soon!!!

-Dani

(^^)/