Listen just leave my resting bitch face alone

I was waiting in line to go through airport security when the TSA agent held my drivers license up to my face and said “Now the girl in this picture is smiling you’re not going to smile for me? I’m sure I’m better than the DMV.”

If you know me at all, you know my reaction to that statement. I stared back at him with the blankest look on my face until he awkwardly laughed while handing my ID and boarding pass back. Some people, especially my mother, would say I was being rude. He was just telling you to smile what’s the big deal?

Another day, I was getting in the elevator at my office building. I was reading a book on my phone when an older dude gets on the elevator and loudly proclaims, “Everyone’s on the phone these days, there’s no communication!” I could feel his eyes on me as I brought my phone directly to my face and continued reading.

Years ago, sitting on hot bleachers saving seats before a college football game. A guy turns to me, “Hey why don’t you smile?” I put on my sunglasses and give him the finger.

Years before that, I’m twelve walking home from school. A truck drives by and honks, I don’t turn. They roll down their window and yell “HEY GIRL!” I walk faster.

Around the same time, my mom and I are in the car. A car full of guys pulls up next to us and starts honking and yelling. We speed away hoping they don’t follow us.

My entire life men have been demanding my attention. Demanding I smile, look nice and docile so they can use me for a minute of entertainment. It doesn’t matter where you are, or who you are with, or even how old you are. Men constantly demand women’s attention as if they are owed it and I refuse to play. There are so many stories of women getting cat called, followed, killed all because men think they own women’s attention. We are taught to say no, taught to politely decline unwanted attention and yet it still happens over and over and over again.

And you know I refuse to be polite, I refuse to participate in a broader culture of placating men who think they’re entitled to my time and attention.

So stop telling me to smile because I promise you I won’t.

Fan art and Korean music – Too Much Media #2

Happy Friday!

I just got back from my Seattle vacation and am sick as a dog. I’m holed up in my room with a box of tissues and water bottles trying to get better. So instead of a well thought out blog post this week, here are some various things that have made me happy the past couple of weeks.

1. Fanart Zines!

Okay so what is a zine? WELL a zine is basically a self made magazine, or in this case art book. They can center on a specific topic, or fandom, or whatever really, zines don’t have specific rules. There are a lot of zines out in the world, and I wish I could buy them all up but in the past week I have purchased two.

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The first is a studio ghibli fanart zine called Spirit. I follow A LOT of artists on twitter and one of them contributed to this art book and I when I looked at the previews I knew I had to get it. I mean come ON studio ghibli art in general is BEAUTIFUL but then when artists put their own twist on it? LOVE. Plus some of the proceeds are going towards environmental charities so getting beautiful art and contributing to a good cause? SOLD.

Order the Spirit, a ghibli zine: HERE or follow their TWITTER

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The other zine I bought was a BTS fan art zine. If you are not aware, BTS is a korean boy group with a HUGE fanbase named ARMY. Honestly, go educate yourself on BTS because they are about to take over the American music scene. You’re welcome. Anyways some fans got together to make this Love & Youth zine where the proceeds are going towards the UNICEF Love Yourself campaign, a campaign that UNICEF and BTS collaborated on to #endviolence.

Order the Love & Youth zine: HERE or follow their TWITTER

2. Dead by Daylight

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Let me tell you right now, I DO NOT like scary things. I hate horror movies, scary games, haunted houses. Just nope nope nope AND YET I’ve been playing this horror survival games with my friends the past couple of weeks and it is SO much fun.

It’s a multiplayer survival game where you can play as the killer or survivor. The goal as the survivor is to fix enough generators to unlock a gate in order to escape while evading the killer. It’s basically like all of the good things from Call of Duty Zombies but without the nonsense. It’s a game that definitely gets my heart racing but the teamwork aspect and simplicity of the concept makes for a great game to play with my friends.

3. Instagram by Dean

Dean is a Korean R&B artist and he recently came out with this song instagram.  The song has a super mellow vibe and I’ve had it on repeat the past couple of days. I LOVE Dean’s voice and if you put English captions on the video you’ll be able to see the English translation for the lyrics.

My favorite line is “There’s a hole in my heart nothing can fill it up, I’m sinking right now inside a square ocean”

I know listening to music in another language isn’t for everyone but before you shrug it off you should give it a try. You’ll open up a whole new world when you realize that music can transcend language.

Don’t call her mama, call her Cass

Have you ever watched Lost? If your answer is no then what’s wrong with you, why haven’t you watched that ICONIC TV show? If your answer is yes then you’ll be familiar with the song “Make Your Own Kind of Music” if you need a refresher that’s the song that was always playing around Desmond, the “see you on the other side brother” guy.  Anyways, now that you know what song I’m talking about let me tell you about the iconic singer of that song, Cass Elliott.

So the other day I was browsing Spotify trying to find something to listen to and happened to stumble upon a folk band called The Big Three. The music was dramatic, and SUPER folky at times but the female singers voice was so beautiful and haunting and I LOVED It.  After listening to “Come Away Melinda” (an antiwar song) “Young Girls Lament” (a song about a girl drinking and then dying??) and “Wild Women” (a super bluesy folk song with so much female swagger) on repeat I branched out and looked up the band’s female singer, Cass Elliott.

And okay WOW the thing about Cass Elliott is that she has such a huge range as a performer. My favorite songs from her with The Big Three are very folk and dramatic but then when I went into to her solo stuff it was so upbeat and almost Broadway. Songs like “Dont Call Me Mama Anymore” (a song referring to her departure from the band Mamas and Papas,) “Don’t Make Me a Memory” (a song that reminds me of Disney for some reason) and then her rendition of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (with bonus rain sound effects) sounds as if it’s straight out of a musical. The duality between the songs through me for a loop at first but I’m just completely hooked by this woman’s voice.

And since I can never like anything casually I had to look her up and know who this voice belonged to. I was surprised to learn she died SO young, she was only 32 when she was found dead in a London hotel room. There’s a really gross and fat-phobic rumor surrounding her death, since Cass Elliott was a bigger woman a coroner saw a (uneaten) sandwich in her hotel room and told reporters that she had died from choking on it. The truth eventually came out that no, asshole coroner, she didn’t die from choking on food, she had died from a heart attack. There were other stories surrounding her weight, such as almost being denied from the band the Mamas and Papas because she didn’t fit in with the “image” of the group but you just can’t quiet her amazing voice and luckily for music listeners everywhere she made it into the band.

And yet despite all the fat-phobic rumors and various situations in which people judged her for her weight, from listening to her I don’t feel like she let the world’s opinions on her body keep her down. In her album of her CBS television special she jokes with the audience that it’s so hot on stage that the other night she put yeast on her stomach and when she was done with her set she had made Toulouse cookies. She then goes on to sing “I Like What I Like” in the wake of laughter and thunderous applause like the queen she is.

All songs mentioned can be found here:

 

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.

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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.

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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.

The top 5 of 2017; life version

I’ve said many times that 2016 was the worst year of my life, and I still stand by that. It was a year that swallowed me whole, left me traumatized and alone, depressed and scared. This year though, was a year of recovery. If 2016 hallowed me out, then 2017 was about finding my way to being a full human again.

So here’s a list of top 5 moments that made 2017 a much better year than last. Even if it wasn’t the best year ever, it was still a year of progress and I’m thankful for every moment and every person that made that progress possible.

1. Kendyl made her first big girl purchase.

I’ve never owned anything that was completely in my name. Even when I was off in Dallas living on my own my apartment had my grandma as a cosigner. Since my credit was nonexistent I really didn’t ever have an option to be completely “on my own.” This year though, after building up credit and saving my money for a down payment I was able to buy a car completely by myself. At the time when I was signing all the papers, and getting my car loan in order it didn’t really feel real but as soon as I drove off the lot a huge rush of joy filled me up. I turned up the radio, and screamed. I’ve had a lot of setbacks, dropping out of college, moving home, losing my independence but this? This finally felt like I was making progress back to being a full time adult.

2. Being alone won’t stop me from having a good time.

Last year I bought a ticket to go see Halsey in concert. I had no one to go with so I was planning to just ride it out solo. Unfortunately, I chickened out and ended up just hanging out at home, ticket wasted. THIS YEAR THOUGH, I traveled to Austin to see a Korean band I really like. I vaguely knew a couple of people from twitter who were going but had never met them in real life so I was showing up alone, in a city I’ve never lived in to see a band that I’ve love. I was extremely nervous, I’d never been to a concert by myself before and this time around I was actually going to wait outside the venue all day so that I could stand near the front for the show. I showed up to Emos in Austin at like 7 am and got in line with about 30 other people for a show that wasn’t starting until 7 pm.  It was a tiring, wild experience but I was able to make friends with people in line and ended up having one of the best concert experiences ever. This really taught me that I don’t need to be with someone I know in order to attend events for things I’m interested in and that was a really freeing lesson. I’m looking forward to more solo experiences in 2018.

3. California made my feet hurt but my heart happy.

This year my friends and I went to California for E3, a huge gaming convention that was opening up to the general public for the first time. Since gaming is one big way my friends and I stay connected this convention was a big deal for us. My favorite section by far from E3 was Nintendo. We got to play with a Nintendo switch and try out the new Mario game and wow I fell in love. The entire Nintendo area was just so colorful and gorgeous and put the rest of the convention to shame. After E3 we explored the Santa Monica pier and also got to spend a day at Disney. As a huge Disney lover this was probably my favorite day even though my feet were dying by the end of it. Overall, it was a great trip and I’m so thankful I’m able to travel with my best friends.

4. So I told my mom I like girls.

High key, I’m going to write an entire other post about this but it deserved to be on this list. This was the year I finally came out to my mom that I was bisexual and that was a huge deal for me. It was a step into fully accepting who I am and having my family accept it as well but like I said, more on this later.

5. My brain is finally back to being normal.

Towards the end of the year I was able to finally say, “You know what? I’m doing okay.” The past couple of years have been hard on my mental health. I was trying to overcome depression, trauma and loneliness but this year I think I finally conquered those demons.  I’m sure it will be an on going battle, my depression isn’t suddenly cured but I finally feel equipped to handle my emotions. I’m no longer swimming in a sea of despair and am actually looking forward to my future, something 2016 Kendyl could never imagine.

So there you have it, my top five moments of 2017. I’d like to thank everyone who made this year possible, my family, my best friends and the random strangers I’ve met on the internet. If 2017 was a year for recovery, I hope 2018 will be a year for success, whatever that may mean.