I’ve only seen LOTR once but this post is about a ring so.

He threw it in the bottom of the box as if it was a forgotten piece of trash, I wouldn’t have even known it was there if I wasn’t specifically searching for it. I had a cardboard box in front of me, full of books and memories sent to me from a boy I had cut off all ties with. At the very bottom of the box was a ring, my ring. I could feel the anger rising in me at the absolute carelessness, as if it didn’t matter at all if I got this ring back or not, he threw it into the box and was done. The anger boiled up inside of me as I picked up the ring. Anger turned to hurt then back to frustration until it finally spilled over into laughter. Of course he didn’t give a shit about this ring, of course he didn’t.

I remember giving him this ring, sitting in his car sharing all our fears and worries, a young idiot who wanted to show him that I cared and would always be there for him, more than any one has before. I slipped the ring off my finger and into his hand, a reminder of me to keep when we would go off to our separate schools hundreds of miles a part. I foolishly pictured him cherishing it, having people ask about it, I wanted the people around him to know who I was since I couldn’t be there to remind them. I wanted to be important, I was young and I was so very naive.

Now here it was, a couple of months later, saved from the bottom of a box. It’s a plain silver band with “strength” engraved on it, it was a gift from my mother on my sixteenth birthday. I was a moody, dramatic teenager and I use to scribble “strength” on the inner corner of my wrist, thinking I’d get it tattooed there someday but at sixteen I’d settle for a less permanent reminder, so my mom got me the ring. I had worn the ring on and off in high school until wearing it daily once I moved out for college. It stayed on my finger every day until I dropped it into the hand of a boy who could never love me.

Once I had my ring back, for reasons looking back I can only call dramatic, I started wearing it on a long chain around my neck instead of my finger. It’s visible in all my pictures from this time, dangling down past my chest, a signal of what I had just went through and all the things I lost and gained. It’s funny because the same would be true in just a couple of months when the ring would be removed from it’s chain and returned to my hand, another symbol of relationships lost and wisdom earned.

I was sitting in a cabin in the woods, on a retreat with people from the business fraternity I was in, talking to a guy from a college a couple towns away. He was cute, funny, and obviously into me. I was glowing from the attention I was being shown, ready to throw myself into flirting and forget about old hurts. I was toying with the ring around my neck when he asked me about it. I said it was from my mom and he replies, “oh so is she dead or something?”

Which first of all, who just asks if your parent is dead so casually like that? We were surrounded by people and he had just asked me if I experienced a massive loss. I was taken a back and said no, she was very much alive and he laughed. I looked down at my ring, laughing along, wondering what I was getting myself into. This exchange ended up being a good representation of the summer fling that would follow with this boy. He wanted to reach in, open me up and get all the dark spots and secrets from me, laughing as he did and always acting as if it was an easy casual thing to do. I was a riddle to be solved, a trophy to be won and then taken a part so he could keep what he liked for the future. I had something in me that he wanted for his future spouse, but not enough to keep him around. He would take what he wanted and then he would go.

I moved the ring back to my finger.

Five years later, the ring my mom gave me at sixteen still sits on the middle finger of my left hand. It’s scratched up and could use a good cleaning, the word strength is still visible but only if you know to look for it. It’s one of the only things I know I’ll never get rid of. I’m not a person who likes to keep things around. It’s easy for me to get rid of all the items of nostalgia people tend to keep,whether that be clothes, jewelry, letters or souvenirs, I tend to purge it all. And yet this ring has stayed with me for almost ten years now, a witness to all my life experiences. It’s been a steady constant, a weight on my hand reminding me I needed strength. Strength to survive high school, relationships, trauma, and changes, strength to remember where I come from and the people who will hold me up when I fall. Strength to accept and love myself, and to realize that the strength does not come from anywhere or anyone else but me. I don’t need to search for it, I’ve been strong all along.

 

~

This post is in a series from a project with my friend Rubi, we write about the same prompt every week so if you’re interested in seeing her take on “a physical thing that means a lot to you” then be sure to check out her blog HERE

If you can’t get enough of me follow me on INSTA and TWITTER

See you next week 🙂

The state of the union, well kind of.

When I was in middle school I was obsessed with this teeny bopper drama book series called “The Clique” it was basically a mix between mean girls and gossip girl except rated T for teens. In it, the HBIC would make a list every night of what was “IN” and what was “OUT” and she called these lists, The Current State of the Union. (I’m pretty sure there was a mean girls moment of the character writing her own name on the OUT list and GASP it was so dramatic to 12 year old me.)

So in the spirit of my middle school self here are three things that are currently IN and some things that are OUT.

“IN”

Deleting my stan twitter account. 

LISTEN. Stan twitter was a huge part of my life for probably a solid year. It’s where I spent 75% of my internet time. I checked it CONSTANTLY and was obsessed with keeping up with the latest news, records and D R A M A. It was an outlet that I could easily escape to when real life was getting too stressful or boring or upsetting or or or

But I started escaping too much, I got too invested in meaningless drama and found myself not being able to pay attention to my real life. I’ be talking to someone and just itching to check my phone, worrying I was missing out on the latest drama. It was a problem. SO I deleted it. I went cold turkey, sent out a “thanks for the laughs and tears” to my small following and got the fuck out of there. Which honestly, is a big part of why I decided to start blogging again because NOW I don’t have the mind suck of twitter dragging me down.

The Bechdel Cast

I’ve been listening to this podcast every day for the past week and I LOVE it. The two hosts with a special guest each episode pick a movie and watch it through a feminist lens using the bechdel test as a jumping off point to talk about how the movie represents and treats women. They do a whole variety of movies from Shrek to Pacific Rim to The Lord of the Rings and it’s a grand time. It’s disappointing to realize how shitty Hollywood treats women characters but the podcast isn’t all doom and gloom, there’s plenty of humorous banter and poking fun at the movies they watch. I definitely highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new podcast to listen to.

Bisexuality

HEY ITS #BIVISIBILITYDAY if you are not aware I am bi! I’ve written about it a couple times like here and here with plans for more posts in the future. Every year there is an international bi visibility day that just celebrates and shed light on bisexuality and all the ways in which is valid, under represented or erased entirely. Owning my bisexuality is an on going process for me and it helps to see so many people talking openly about their experience and road to acceptance. So if you have the chance I’d recommend scrolling through the tag on twitter or you know, reading my past posts on the subject 😉

 

“Out”

Deleting my stan twitter account.

I MISS IT. Even with all the drama, fights and freak outs, stan twitter was FUN. A place entirely dedicated to fan-girling with other super fans was a good ass time. It was also a place that was entirely separate from all the real world news that made my heart ache and head hurt. I’ve tried to find a balance of following fan accounts mixed in my normal stream of followings but I do miss escaping to the weirdness of stan twitter from time to time. Like where else could I post gif after gif of every BTS member? Only on stan twitter pals, only on stan twitter.

Work related stress

OH so work. Basically, I’m working WAY more hours than I have in the past while taking on a greater work load and it’s been a difficult adjustment. I think it’s been harder on me because I really have little to no support when it comes to managing it all, so my brain and body are just like what are you doing? It’s been rough and I’m trying to push through.

Post Concert Depression

I’ve never had post concert depression before. I go to a show, sing my heart out and leave knowing I had a good time. EXCEPT FOR LAST WEEK BECAUSE WOW. I saw BTS in concert and it was probably the best night of my life. Honestly I could write an entire blog post dedicated to that concert experience but lets focus on the aftermath. The first couple of days I was fine, still being able to bask in the fact I saw their gorgeous faces live and in person. Then I started watching videos from their other concerts and suddenly I was sobbing. They’re just such great performers and being in the room when they’re talking and looking at fans is an EXPERIENCE so watching the videos from the rest of their shows made me miss it SO much.

Even now as I’m writing this I have a live stream open from their concert in Canada (shout out to the fans who live stream on twitter you are the REAL ones.) I wish I had gotten another ticket so I could see them live twice, the first time I was full of shock and awe, I really needed a second viewing to appreciate and take everything in. BUT since that is impossible I will live my life crying at fan taken videos and live streams.

 

Putting together this list was a lot harder than I anticipated and I am not at all surprised most of it is related to my BTS fan girl life. Anywas, be sure to check out my friend Rubi’s blog who will be posting her own list of things she likes/dislikes which will contain far less fan girl nonsense.

 

 

and we’re back

The internet is a scary place. It’s vast, endless, and forever.

With one picture, video, or tweet an average every day person can become an overnight internet sensation. You can be out living your life when some random lady starts screaming at you while a by stander records it on their phone and an hour later, both you and your screamer have gone viral. You could be on a plane chatting with the person sitting next to you while a couple behind you documents the entire thing and the next day you have hoards of people searching the internet to identify and locate you. You could be unknown one minute, and recognized by millions the next.

That. is. terrifying.

I never use to think of myself as a private person. I grew up as social media did so the transition from myspace pages to facebook profiles to twitter and instagram feeds came naturally to me, as did the progress of how much I shared online. I still remember AOL chat rooms and knowing to lie when I was asked for my A/S/L, meeting strangers from the internet was considered extremely dangerous and everyone behind a keyboard was a kidnapper waiting to lure you in. Every username was random and you never gave out your full real name or where you lived. Until gradually that started to change. You could start checking in to every place you visited, tagging everyone in a photo and suddenly our real life was so wrapped up with our internet one that there became to be no distinction between the two. The people behind the keyboard were no longer strangers waiting to do me harm, they were my friends, family, coworkers and anyone I found interesting enough to keep up with. My entire life was on the internet from my emo teenage thoughts, pictures from every big life event, archives of conversations with friends, comments on every big news story and plenty of small moments in between.

And I hated it.

It struck me almost out of nowhere. My entire life was view-able to anyone willing enough to sift through. I got so many notifications to view what I was posting a year ago, two years ago, six years ago and not all those moments were of happier times. I scrolled through all my profiles thinking, how much would someone learn about me through this? Does this reflect who I am? Do I care? Do I want my younger self frozen in time on the internet like this? It weighed on me.

So, I cleansed. I downloaded every personal photo and video I had onto a drive and deleted almost all my social media profiles while changing the names or setting everything to private on the rest. It was freeing in a way, to be in more control of my internet life, not weighed down by past opinions or friends or embarrassing pictures, but it also stifled me a little. I was so scared of what was out there about myself that I archived this blog as well. The place I went to write down my thoughts, reflect on past memories and share what ever else I wanted to write about. In the middle of doing a writing challenge with my friend Rubi, I put everything on lock down. At first, I didn’t regret it. The pressure to write was gone, the worry of the people I shared this with judging my thoughts was no longer there and I could move on with life. But then I realized I wanted to write again. It’s been about two months since I went on the internet lock down and I realized I missed this blog. Even with my messy writing, spelling mistakes and grammar problems, I missed it.

So we’re back. I know my chances of becoming an overnight viral internet celebrity are slim but even if I do I feel more in control and comfortable with what the hoards will find. Which will include this blog, because it’s not going anywhere.

We’re just trying to have a good time, college parties edition.

“Yeah, yall are going to have to move.”

I was JUST about to throw down some cards to get a game going when this dude came up to the group of girls I was with and shooed us away. We all sighed, picked up our drinks and shuffled against the wall trying to dodge the crowd in the hallway. The entire walk the dude was close on our heels making sure we cleared the area. It was Saturday night and I was at one of the worst parties I’d ever been to but in about an hour, that would change.

Back in college, my roommates and I were kind of known for how great our parties were. We had the trash can punch recipe down, the hue lights for decor and playlists and games ready to go. We would pool our money together to supply the party with alcohol, because you know broke college kids never brought their own, even if we clearly stated in the Facebook event to bring some. Our friend group was large thanks to the student org we were in but when other people threw parties, they never really measured up. We took pride in our parties, even if the night was drama filled or we ran out of alcohol, no one could tell us they didn’t have a good time.

So safe to say I was not impressed with the situation I found myself in on this Saturday night.

I don’t know what this guys problem was but he was on a mission to be the biggest douche bag in the room. He never stopped herding people into one small room, stopping any games from happening and giving glares at everyone with a drink in their hand. W were only there for about an hour when you could start to feel the annoyance vibrating through the house. So an executive decision was made. The party we were at happened to be in the same complex as mine so my roommates and I came to an agreement, we were hijacking this party and moving it to our house.

We spread the word to our friends to leave in groups every ten minutes or so, we didn’t want to seem like total assholes, and head on over to our place. It was time to turn the night around.

Once back inside our house we turned up the music, poured some shots and got the party started. As more people drifted over from the first party to ours I was determined for everyone to have a good time. As if I was Willy Wonka taking the kids through our chocolate factory, I was passing out drinks, facilitating body shots and checking to make sure the vibe was ten times better than what we experienced earlier.

Looking back I enjoyed this party so much because I was so happy and confident in my ability to turn people’s night around. We had been treated like shit for no reason at this one house and it just pissed me off enough to make sure everyone was going to have a good time at mine. Taking on the role of life of the party isn’t something I’d likely do these days but that night? I was living for it.

I miss the vibe of college parties. When we would throw ones just because we could, select a theme, make a Facebook event and invite everyone we knew. Sure there were some parties that ended in tears and drama but for the most part I always felt happy and in control at the parties we threw. Now that I’m in my mid twenties I know those type of last minute parties aren’t likely to happen ever again. It takes planning weeks in advance to meet up with close friends, and no one has the energy for cleaning up a house after a party that ended at 4 am. But I’m glad I have so many good party memories to look back on.

Especially this party, when I was carefree, confident and in control.


This has been the first post in a series I’m doing with my friend Rubi were we take one topic and both write about it. We’ll be both posting every Sunday so make sure to check out her blog along with mine to see our take on different prompts. This week’s theme was favorite college parties and you can read her post HERE.

 

Oh wait, I might have feelings for you. Coming Out – Part One.

We were sitting side by side on her small dorm bed watching Netflix. We had just gotten back from a house party where we knew no one and had left just as the cops showed up, a typical Saturday night for us. We were drunk and giggly and at some point had started holding hands. You know it wasn’t entirely unusual thing for us, we were both touchy affectionate drunks, always cuddling up with whoever was near and yet this time was different. I can’t remember what we were saying or even watching but I can see her face and feel her hand in mine when I lifted it up and rested it on my leg and thought, “Oh. Oh no.”

It was this moment that I finally admitted to myself that I had feelings for one of my best friends, and that maybe, I wasn’t as straight as I always claimed to be.

Claimed… but didn’t always believe but okay let’s rewind.

Before I was there, a freshman in college with a huge crush on her new best friend, I was a teen who buried any thought of liking girls. The knowing and the feelings would often hit me out of nowhere. A friend brushes her hands through my hair and I like it a little too much, or I learn of someone’s aunt or cousin that had come out and I think “Oh, I wish that were me.” Before I’d shake myself out of it and tell myself, “come on Kendyl you don’t like girls stop thinking you do” as if I could somehow control it.

I remember a time in middle school when I was at a friends house with a bunch of girls for a sleepover, we were playing truth or dare when one girl turned to our friend and said, “Sara*, I dare you to kiss Kendyl.” The feeling that went through me can only be called gay panic. Why were they choosing ME, could they tell? Could they see it on me, did I say or do anything that may have hinted it? Luckily, Sara mumbled something about not knowing me well enough and everyone laughed and moved on while I sat there in panicked silence.

Looking back at all the times I realized I was gay* and immediately shut it down makes me sad for young Kendyl. I wasn’t raised in a homophobic household, I had friends and family who had come out and yet the fear of liking girls was so strong that it took me until I was in college to finally take the first steps to accepting who I was.

So back to the dorm room. I had realized I had feelings for my friend but was in no way prepared to deal with those feelings. She was straight, as far as I knew, and I hadn’t even uttered the word “gay or bi” to myself yet. So I did what I had always done, bury the feelings and try to not let them show. The rest of my friendship with this girl was amazing at times, and extremely hurtful and confusing at others. I never admitted my feelings for her, instead was content for drunk hand holding or kisses until the time came for us to grow a part.

I wish I could say that after I realized my feelings for her that I happily came out of the closet but in reality that’s not what happened. I still had to have certain experiences and relationships before I could be comfortable with who I was but this crush? This crush was a step, and I’m thankful for it.

Happy Pride Month friends, I’ve been wanting to write about coming out for awhile now but haven’t figured out how so I decided to start here. This might be part one in a series or I might chicken out and never write about coming out again but I doubt that. 

*Name changed because who knows what people from middle school may be reading this

*I use gay, queer, and bi interchangeably some people may not agree but all three identities feel right and comfortable to me 

 

 

Hey remember those Russian lesbian singers? Well now you will.

I wish I could go back and tell baby closeted Kendyl that hey it’s okay for you to watch that one music video of the girls kissing in the rain. You don’t have to run away embarrassed every time you see it. (This goes the same for that one scene in the movie thirteen when Nicki Reed and Evan Rachel Wood kiss. I’ve watched that scene through fingers covered eyes so many times.) Yet at the the time I wasn’t ready to admit I liked girls so seeing women be affectionate with each other always embarrassed and scandalized me.

WELL TIMES HAVE CHANGED MY FRIEND.

That one music video with the girls in the rain? You might know what I’m talking about if you were raised in the 2000s  but that video was the Russian girl duo t.a.T.u. and man did I miss out on this wonderfully gay music when I was a kid. Luckily, I had a friend bring the band back in to my life and the past couple of days I’ve had a crash course in t.a.T.u.’s discography and there are some AMAZING bops in there.

Such as my current favorite song Stars.

This song is insane. The first time I heard it I texted my friend freaking out.

And then there’s Loves Me Not, a BI ANTHEM. There are so little songs that refer to loving both a guy and a girl so when I first heard this one I almost jumped out of my chair. The lyrics “he loves me, she loves me not” continued to play in my head the rest of the day and wow am I just thankful for this song coming into my life.

My last recommendation is Malchik Gay which is SUCH a catchy song, like seriously be warned if you listen to this it will get stuck in your head the rest of the day. The lyrics are basically about a girl falling for a gay boy. Something I’ve never heard in a pop song before. Of course, I love it.

t.a.T.u. really does not shy away from embracing the music’s queerness. Their music videos follow the plot line of their lyrics with the singers, Lena and Julia, in a relationship, showing them together kissing, holding hands, fighting to be together and also murdering people?. Their music videos are a RIDE please go watch them if you haven’t already. This story line crossed over to their live performances as well. If it’s an older show, they most likely kiss at some point on stage and act very affectionate towards each other, but later in their career together they end up only holding hands occasionally.

So I’ll be the first to say that I love them. The songs, the videos, the performances, they’re great to watch and make my little bisexual heart sing and yet…Lena and Julia were never actually together in real life. The whole lesbian act was just that, an act. Which not going to lie, bothers me. It’s common for men to see two women kissing and think oh that’s hot and that they’re doing it for them and not for themselves. It misrepresents queer women and instead of being great lesbian representation t.a.t.u.’s dynamic becomes a shock performance for people to ogle at, and that….really sucks.

And yet maybe that’s why it’s a good thing I’m rediscovering them now when they are long done performing together and putting on an act that they are lovers. I can suspend my knowledge of them as singers and focus on the character of them and the lyrics of the songs. With queer women still being widely unrepresented in pop music I’ll continue to bop along to All the things she said and be thankful that I no longer have to run away from watching a music video of two girls kissing in the rain, and look out for real queer representation along the way.

SPEAKING OF I’d like to give a special shout out to Hayley Kiyoko, or lesbian jesus as the internet is calling her, who is an out and loud girl lover making unapologeticly gay pop music. I’m glad representation has taken a huge step forward from pretend lesbians to real ones and her debut album is out now and its filled with pop songs about girls loving girls.

Thanks for the gift A Wrinkle in Time

I took my sibling to see A Wrinkle in Time the other weekend and it was a gorgeous, funny, inspiring movie. (Spoiler alert) By far my favorite quote is from Reese Witherspoon’s character Mrs. What’s It when she tells Meg (played by Storm Reid) “To you, I give you the gift of your faults.”

That quote has been bouncing around in my head since we left the theater.

I just love the use of the word “faults” we often see lessons like what makes you different makes you beautiful! But we don’t talk about the things in you that might not be seen as beautiful or nice or pretty or whatever, we rarely get told to embrace the uglier sides of us.

Meg is smart, she’s sarcastic, she’s insecure and she’s angry. Even when everyone else around her tries to get her to give up on her father, give in to conforming, and squash her anger, she doesn’t let it go. And in the end she learns that she doesn’t have to. It’s that anger and the refusal to give up on her family that has her defeating evil and reuniting with her dad and brother in the end. She uses her faults and is better for it.

I feel like this movie gave me the gift of my faults as well. It made me look inside and try to figure out what my faults actually are and how I should lean into them instead of pushing them down hoping they’d go away.

I’m an over sharer, loud at times, withdrawn in others (a classic Gemini) I’m stubborn and argumentative, and quick to have my feelings hurt and yet I don’t hate these things about myself. I’ve learned to recognize them, use them and not turn away from who I am.

What about you?

Make sure to go see A Wrinkle in Time in theaters and support a wonderful heartfelt movie and if anything else go just to see Oprah amazing jewel eyebrows and glitter lipstick as Mrs. Which.