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.

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.

A hairy situation, or not, up to you.

Hold on to you pearls ladies because I have news for you. I haven’t shaved my legs …in years. YEARS PEOPLE! YEARS!

Actually that’s a lie. I’ve probably shaved my legs four times in the past three years. And every time I have I’ve forced every member of my family to feel them. I’ve just put my leg right in my grandmothers face until she tells me I did a good job. Then of course I run around my office showing them off to my coworkers. Look! I shout at them, look at the smoothness of these legs do you know how long this took me? AN HOUR. It’s an event when I shave my legs. After all the work it takes I feel the need to strut around as if I’m a new woman.

Then the hair grows back and my mother sighs when I walk around the house in shorts and she’s made aware again of my long leg hair.

Anyways.

Since I’ve been living the hair life for a couple of years now I just wanted to share with you all a couple of things I am tired of hearing about my legs.

“Ohemgee you have so much leg hair!”

I never know how to respond to this. Sometimes I say thank you, sometimes I say why yes I do have leg hair. But mostly I just want to scream YES I KNOW! DO YOU REALLY THINK IM NOT AWARE OF A THIRD OF MY BODY ITS JUST HAIR ITS NOT THAT SHOCKING!

“So what is this like a feminist thing?”

To that I’ve said um…I don’t think so? I don’t think my leg hair is tearing down the patriarchy or anything, it’s just hair that’s on my legs. Then again maybe it is a feminist thing and I’m rebelling against a society that teaches women they need to be baby smooth and hairless to be considered feminine. Or maybe I’m just lazy and extending my shower by an hour seems like a lot of work.

It’s probably both.

“What happens when you start dating?”

Usually I’d just laugh and be like lolz I’m not dating anytime soon. Which is true BUT I would also never date anyone who had an issue with leg hair. Once again, it’s just hair. Like I’d understand if you thought I was too into Big Brother and Kpop or that I ramble about books with no concern if I’m even being listened to or not but LEG HAIR? If that makes or breaks a relationship well then I’m better off without them.

“lol I’d never let my hair get that long”

GOOD. FOR. YOU. It’s your body. Do what you want with it. I do not give a flying fuck if you shave or not. I mean I get it, I still shave every now and then I’m just not chained down to the idea that anyone HAS to shave.

I mean that’s what it boils down to for me. You shouldn’t be forced to shave your legs to uphold to anyone else’s standards. If not shaving feels right to you then hey join the club. If you must shave and have baby smooth legs then great, I’ll gladly feel your shaved legs if you ask me to. At the end of the day it’s your body, you’re the only person who will ever live in it and the only opinion that matters is your own.

So please let me and my leg hair live in peace. Unless your my mom, I’ll allow you to still sigh at me since you went through the trouble of birthing me. But everyone else? Get over it. It’s just hair.

Read, Watch, Listen – Too much media #1

I consume A LOT of media. I listen to music all day everyday, like I seriously freak out if I don’t have headphones with me while I work. I’m constantly reading, because I really don’t know how to not be reading and as any person my age I watch a lot of Hulu and Netflix. SO I’m starting this new series called read watch listen – too much media where I share what I’m currently reading, watching and listening to.

Here we go.

Currently Reading: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

the-handmaid-s-tale-movie-tie-in-

This book has been on my radar for awhile, before the Hulu series came out I saw it on a lot of favorites lists and always read good things about it but never got around to picking it up myself. Well the time has finally come and in our current political and social climate it makes this novel an eerie read. If you haven’t heard of the book or the Hulu series the general plot line is that America is no longer and women are now striped of all rights, not able to read, to write, to do anything but attempt to become pregnant by the men their assigned to. I’m only about 80 pages in but I already know this is a book I’ll take slowly because man is it going to hurt.

Random quote I love: “nolite te bastardes carborundorum

Currently Watching: Marvel’s Runaways.

marvels-runaways-season-one.96426

Okay I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m super burnt out on superhero content but wow does this series feel fresh and new. The series centers around a group of teenagers who’s parents are a part of this weird murdery organization. The kids start to develop powers and also witness something that makes them think their parents may be shitty people and band together to figure out what the heck is happening. I’m only about half way through the season but I really love the diverse characters and their group dynamic. I’ve always been a sucker for teenage superheroes (shoutout Teen Titans) so I’m excited to see where this series goes and if it keeps me interested throughout. ALSO to be perfectly honest I heard there was a gay relationship between two main characters so0o0o0o of course I’m going to stick around for that.

Random tidbit I loved: The kids use Lyft to travel which is just so hilarious to me like who got Lyft to sponsor this show.

Currently Listening: Something to Tell You by Haim

https://open.spotify.com/album/5m9rXTBF7mHFGQlFsiEHrY?si=1VKQ0XhwST2JPThAn9w_zA

A couple of years ago I stayed up all night listening to Haim’s debut album, Days Are Gone and watching all of their interviews that were on Youtube. I fell in love with the band, made up of three sisters, Este, Danielle and Alana, their music is such a great pop rock mix, their voices are beautiful and I want to be their best friend. They’re just so cool, in the effortlessly cool way that I’ve always wanted to be.

ANYWAYS Sometime to Tell You is their latest album and although it took me way too long to finally listen to it, I have now kept it on repeat. My favorite songs on the album are Walking Away, Nothing’s Wrong, Ready For You and Found It In Silence, but man the entire album is just SO good.

Random favorite lyric: “If you were gonna change things you would’ve by now” – Walking Away

So there you go , that is what I’m reading, watching and listening to at the moment. If you have any recommendations for what I should read/watch/listen to next then feel free to comment, or tweet me, or message me on insta or beep me.

Random side note after I wrote beep me: When I went to Emo Nite the DJ kept playing the Kim Possible ringtone in between songs and I never understood WHY, it was so strange.

Motivation, the elusive beast.

Motivation mo·ti·va·tion mōdəˈvāSH(ə)n (noun)
– the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

The second time I tried to attend college I thought the drive to be out of my mom’s apartment would be enough to keep me going. I hated living in her living room with no privacy, no space of my own, and constant supervision. I had to get out of there and the only solution to that was to go back to school full time. So I moved out and went back to college in a different city, determined never to find myself in that situation again. It started how I expected, I had fresh notebooks, a shiny new campus to explore, and a brand new major to start in on so I was revved up to get some knowledge. And yet a month into the semester I started skipping classes, maybe once a week, then two, then three…then all of them.

The first couple of times I skipped I would ask myself, “Kendyl don’t you want to get your degree? Don’t you want to earn a lot of money? Don’t you want to live on your own, get your dream job, get married and not disappoint your family?” Yes, of course I’d say, but then I’d roll over and take a six hour nap.

For awhile I thought all I lacked was motivation (and maybe coffee.) I just had to find that thing that would get me going again. I looked for it everywhere, is it money? Maybe if I barter with myself and go to at least three classes I’ll buy a new shirt. That didn’t work. Maybe I’m motivated by the need for love? If I go to class I’ll take to that cute girl who sits near me and maybe we will become friends. Nope. So maybe I’m motivated by spite. That one guy in class laughed at my answer so I’ll go and get an A on the test and prove that asshole wrong. Yeah, not good enough.

I couldn’t find motivation anywhere and my lack of it started to escalate until it became obvious that not having a motivator wasn’t the problem. Spoiler alert, it was depression.

Except, even now, when I can confidently say I’m not depressed, motivation still eludes me. I obsess over it sometimes as if it’s a measuring stick on how I’m handling my mental health. Like okay I’m motivated enough to get out of bed, get dressed, feed myself and go to work but not motivated to go to Zumba. Does this mean I’m still depressed? Am I just lazy? Do I need motivation for every activity or life goal I try to pursue?

I think about it often, asking myself what motivates me and what could drive me to better my life and really the only conclusion that I’ve come up with is, motivation is bullshit. You read that right, motivation is absolute bullshit and I need to stop looking for it. Nothing motivates me and I’m aware of that. Accepting that and just finding the sheer will to still live the life I want is enough for me and isn’t that what motivation is anyways? The general will?

If you haven’t guessed, the answer is yes, because I defined it up there at the top of this post. You’re welcome. So that’s what I’m going to do, not rely on some external motivator to magically keep me going. My motivation is just…me. I want to live, and I want to live well so I will.

Then again I could be full of shit so my question for you is, what motivates you? Do you obsess over motivation as much as me or are you suddenly going to start to because of this question? (If you are I’m sorry, it sucks I know.) Or has your motivation changed over time? Let me know.