Perfection

I remember in seventh grade when one of my classmates and I were talking and he said she wished she could be like me. I was completely confused as to why in the world anyone would want to be like me, when all my life I’d been trying to be like someone else, someone better than me.

 

“You don’t care what anyone thinks about you,” she informed me. “I wish I could be like that.”

I just smiled and nodded. What was I supposed to do–inform her that I cared way too much about everyone’s opinion of me and ruin the high opinion she had of me? No. Again, I cared too much what she and everyone else thought. And hey, if she thought I was cool enough to be looked up to, I’d take that, true or not.

In the last year, I’ve begun to realize that it’s completely and utterly ridiculous to want to be like everyone around me when I could be just as successful being myself. Why strive to have hair that’s identical to that of my friend when I’ve got hair that can look good my way? Why attempt to copy someone’s wardrobe when I look better in the clothes like? Why post a Facebook status I don’t like just because I know it’ll get a ton of likes?

Being an adolescent is an awkward time. Honestly, it is. Middle school is the worst of it. You don’t know who you are, and you’re desperately trying to become who you wish you could be. Thing is, the person you wish you could be often isn’t you. That doesn’t mean one persona is better than the other, it just means that it’s not you. And you should always, one hundred percent of the time, strive to be yourself.

I’m finally starting to be comfortable with being me. I dress how I want to dress, and I don’t really care if someone likes it or not. I don’t wear a lot of makeup because I don’t think I need it. I don’t spend an hour on my hair because it’s easier to throw it in a messy bun and go. I say what think, not what will get people to think I’m funny. I do things how I want them done, not in a way to please others. I don’t consider going tanning just because my skin is pale. I stand tall and refuse to let the fact that I’m taller than a lot of people–including some guys–bother me anymore. It’s who I am, and it’s something I can’t change.

When I was a few years younger, one question took up a lot of my time: if you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I spent hours upon hours pondering that question, trying to find one thing instead of dozens that I wished I could change. My hair, my skin, my body, my wardrobe, my feet (feet are weird no matter who you are, so I never should’ve been self-conscious about those!), etc. Thinking back, it makes me a little angry at myself for wasting so much time and energy thinking like that. I could’ve been studying for a history test instead of googling ways to make my hair shinier. I could’ve been out running and getting in shape for softball while I complained that I didn’t have the perfect body. (And hello, who even has the perfect body at age thirteen? Nobody.)

I think it all comes down to the fact that we have very few positive influences in our lives. Sure, our parents are usually good role models who are there to support and encourage us. But think about it, as a pre-teen or a teenager, did you want to listen to Mom and Dad? Probably not. I know I didn’t. In fact, there were times that I purposely did the opposite of what I was told to do.

The number of negative influences far outweighs the positive. On TV, there are hundreds of skinny, flawless-skinned, tan, gorgeous girls with lots of friends and even more boyfriends. In magazines, we come to see photoshopped, unrealistic pictures as the girls we should be. Commercials tell us that we’re not pretty enough or skinny enough or perfect enough, and we therefore need to buy their product to make us better. I’ve even heard teachers tell people that they’re not smart enough and that they’ll never amount to anything.

Our culture’s image of perfection is a too-skinny, tall (but not too tall!), gorgeous girl who has clear skin and wears designer clothes. Perfect has boys chasing after her, begging for a date. She’s the best at everything she does by nature, and she doesn’t need anybody’s help with anything. And she has money. Lots and lots of money. Not to mention the fact that everyone loves her.

Please, do me a favor and name one person who is perfect. Can’t do it, can you? That’s because perfection isn’t an earthly quality. Jesus was the only perfect being to ever walk the earth, and He’s not here right now. He’s up in heaven. But even so, He wouldn’t fit society’s perception of perfection. So what does that mean? It means that the perfection so many of us strive for isn’t really perfect at all. It means that we’re looking up to people who shouldn’t be looked up to. It means that we’re wasting precious time trying to be better when we’re all incredible the way we are.

I wish I could overturn the ideas that my generation has grown up with. I wish I could tell each girl individually that she’s beautiful the way she is. I wish I could tell every guy that it’s okay to not look like they live in the gym, and that they don’t have to break hearts to be a real man. I wish I could convince everyone that alcohol and drugs and cigarettes don’t make them cool. I wish I could ensure that my baby sister and all the other kids she’s going to grow up with would have more positive role models than negative ones.

I’m glad I’m coming to peace with myself and that I’m comfortable doing what I want, whether or not it’s what society says I should be doing. But a lot of people aren’t, and a lot of people never will be. I’m finding myself, but a lot of people have and will leave adolescence as a fake who never gave themselves the opportunity to discover who they are. So do me a favor: if you’re around my age and you’re reading this, remember that you’re absolutely incredible no matter what. Don’t let anyone bring you down. And if you’re older, try to remember your teenage years. Try to remember when all you wanted to do was fit in. Try to understand that now, we’re even more desperate than you were then, and try to bring us up. Remind us that we’re amazing. Remind us that we can do anything we want to do, no matter how crazy it is. Remind us that you’re there for us. Just make sure we know that there are people there when we need them, because it’s easy to forget sometimes.

 

‘Bout To Get Controversial

This post is going to be a serious rant, so if you think you’re going to get offended by a topic that’s currently very controversial, then leave. Right now. My purpose isn’t to offend, but rather to get my thoughts out. So if I see comments that bash what I have to say, I will block them as spam, because I’m warning you to leave NOW if you don’t want to read something that clashes with any opinions you may have. Now, then… on to my rant…

 

I’m sure you’ve all heard of that Chick-Fil-A thing that’s going on. You know, where the CEO of the company publicly declared that he was for the biblical ideas of marriage and that he’s against gay marriage? Yeah, that thing. Politicians are now using the stance of a fast food joint to gain public acceptance. Other fast food places are siding with Chic-Fil-A. I’ve even read that the company is financially supporting anti-gay organizations that go overseas to kill gays and are trying to make homosexuality illegal. Honestly, I’m not sure if that’s 100% true or not, but I don’t doubt it, especially with the way people are acting these days.

So what I want to know is this: how does gay marriage affect Chick-Fil-A? How does it affect all those politicians? How does it affect other companies? How does it affect you? How does it affect me? The answer is that it doesn’t.

I’m straight. I’ve never even considered the idea of dating or marrying anyone who wasn’t of the opposite gender, and therefore, I find it extremely difficult to understand how someone might be attracted to another of the same sex. Personally, I’m going to grow up and marry a guy that I fall in love with. Because of that, gay marriage doesn’t affect me in the least. What do I care if two people who are in love get married? I think everyone should have a chance at love, whether or not they go about it the conventional way. It does not affect me.

And guess what! Unless you’re gay, this issue doesn’t affect you either.

Here’s something that might surprise you after reading this: I’m a christian. There’s a shocker, ‘eh? Especially since I’m arguing against Chick-Fil-A’s supposed support of a biblical idea. But the thing is, I don’t believe that a true christian can support one part of the bible without supporting the rest. What Chic-Fil-A’s CEO failed to mention is that yes, gay marriage is a sin, but so is telling someone that they look pretty when you’re internally wondering if they’ve been hit by the ugly stick is equally sinful. In Jesus’ eyes, a sin is a sin. It doesn’t matter how big or little. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or if you’ve told a white lie or if you’ve committed murder. It’s the exact same thing. And guess what? We’ve ALL sinned. Every single one of us. 

I’m sick of seeing people who claim to be christian post facebook statuses about how much they’re going to support Chick-Fil-A now. Grow up–this has nothing to do with any of you! The United States is putting entirely too much emphasis on the issue  of gay marriage right now, when in reality, it doesn’t affect a majority of us in any way, shape, or form. All it’s doing is drawing our country further and further apart, and over an immature issue nonetheless. What ever happened to the separation of church and state? We can’t pray in school, but politicians are allowed to publicly declare their support or contradiction with an issue that stems from a statement about christian beliefs? That just seems completely hypocritical to me.

Back to what I said about Chick-Fil-A’s support of organizations that are trying to make homosexuality illegal. That’s one of the absurd things I’ve ever heard. Teenagers can legally abort a child and never have to tell their parents about it, but apparently being attracted to someone of the same gender should be outlawed? I don’t think so. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I love my country, but I’m extremely disappointed in them right now. The United States needs to rethink their morals, because there’s a serious issue when killing a child is legal but being in love with someone that the bible says not to love isn’t allowed.

All I have to say is grow up, America. This issue doesn’t affect me, and it doesn’t affect thousands of others who are butting their heads into it. Don’t let this split apart our country even more. There’s plenty of bad things already. Don’t bring fast food into this, don’t bring politics into this, and don’t bring unaffected parties into this.

I neither support nor oppose gay marriage. Because as I’ve already said half a dozen times, it doesn’t affect me. What’s the use of having such a strong opinion when it has nothing to do with most of us? That’s completely immature.

I’ve already explained my stance on the biblical aspects–that a sin is a sin is a sin is a sin and we’re all guilty of sinning–but I want to mention a couple more things on that. 1) It doesn’t matter that we’ve sinned numerous times, Jesus will forgive us no matter what. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness. 2) Hate is a sin, too. And it’s something that the devil thrives on. So if you think that you’re some great christian because you’re hating on homosexuals, you need to get that idea out of your head right now. You’re no higher or more holy than the people who you’re going against.

One last thing before I hit publish and watch as the hateful comments stream in (even though I said NOT to read if you might be offended): I neither support nor oppose Chick-Fil-A. I’m disappointed that the nation has chosen sides over an issue such as this. There are bigger things than gay marriage that we need to be focused on, like the amount of homeless people there are or the fact that there are soldiers dying daily in the fight for our freedom. But I’m not going to take this out on Chick-Fil-A because that’s entirely immature, and one person is not at fault for this. Our entire nation is at fault because we’ve let an issue that shouldn’t be a national issue escalate to extremes.

Sorry, not sorry.

8 Reasons Why: Sucks To Be A Teenager

Obviously, I’m in a debbie downer mood today, hence my list of negatives. I was thinking earlier about how great it would be to just leave and go for a road trip, and then I realized that’s not a possibility, mainly because of this: I don’t yet have my license. Ever since I had that epiphany, I’ve been in a terrible mood. I honestly feel bad for my family, because they’re the ones who have to deal with my monster-like attitude when I leave my bedroom.

I’m not positive as to why such a small thing threw my normally happy mood out the window, but I’ve decided that it must be because my blood sugar seems to be abnormally low today. I’m not diabetic, but my mom thinks there’s a good chance I’m hypoglycemic because of the way my body tends to shut down if my sugar is low. There are lots of nasty symptoms that I go through when this happens, and as I said, today’s been especially off.

Oops, I’m getting off topic! You’re probably bored to tears. Fear not! I’ll get on to my list of eight reasons why it sucks to be a teenager…

1. Minimum wage is lower for minors than it is for adults. Plus, since I work way less hours than most adults, I’m getting like a trillion times less money than they do. Which sucks. On the plus side, I don’t have to pay any bills yet, so I don’t technically need all that much money, but it would be nice to have a little more to spend on books and clothes. 😉

2. Some concerts are inaccessible to minors. Unless you’ve got a really good fake ID. Since I don’t own a fake ID, it would be impossible to get into those concerts. Such a downer.

3. Can’t buy some things. No, I’m not referring to alcohol or cigarettes, because I don’t need to be buying those anyway. But have you ever seen those infomercials that end with “must be eighteen to purchase.”? You’ve got to be eighteen to buy a pillow pet! How ridiculous is that!?

4. People (adults, specifically) seem to think we’re incapable and incompetent. If it weren’t for the fact that I respect my elders, I’d probably yell at them that I more than likely have a higher IQ and therefore am more than capable of doing whatever I set my mind to.

5. High school. ‘Nuff said.

6. You have to follow your parents’ rules. Like, for example, the rule my parents have that I must be seventeen before taking the driving test. That one absolutely drives me insane, but it’s not like I can do a lot about it. When I’m eighteen, parental consent is no longer needed. I’m sure I’ll still consult with them over most things, because I respect them and their opinions, but it’ll be nice to actually make my own decisions.

7. There’s not a lot of freedom as a teenager. We’ve got curfews, school deadlines, restrictions on licenses and life in general, etc. It would be nice to for once just have the freedom to do what I want to do. (Hint hint, road trip!)

8. Acne. I don’t think I have to explain much for that one.

 

Anywho, I’ve gotta get to sleep. I may or may not add some good things to my list at another time. Hope you’ve enjoyed a little peek into my perspective on life!

The Sisterhood

No, not The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. This is the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers, and I was nominated by Amanda at byamandaleigh. First I’ll list the rules, and then I’ll follow through with what I was asked to do…

 

1) All recipients need to thank the giver
2) Post 7 things about yourself
3) Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of their choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
4) Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog

Continue reading

Kids These Days…

“Those who criticize our generation forget who raised it.”

 

For some reason, many adults like to believe that teenagers spend their days drinking, smoking weed, cussing, flipping their elders off, having sex, and playing video games. These same adults have come to the conclusion that my generation is useless, lazy, and will amount to nothing. Truth is, I’m nothing like that. I’ve never in my life done drugs or even had a sip of alcohol. I don’t cuss (okay, I might let out a minor bad word here and there whenever I stub my toe or fall on my face, but who hasn’t done that?) and I definitely don’t flip people off. I respect my elders as long as they respect me, and usually even when they don’t. I’m a virgin, and I don’t spend all my time chasing after boys. I don’t play video games, and I don’t sit on my butt all day, every day.

Guess what? I’m not the only good kid out there. I know dozens upon dozens of kids who are like me. Sure, I know a handful that do all of the things I listed above, but how is it that such a small number of people created a terrible stereotype that so many people jump on? It’s like people want to find a reason to judge others. Are people really so desperate to find the bad in people that they’ll look to pathetic stereotypes as justification? I think that’s completely and utterly pathetic.

I’m not saying that I’m not perfect, and I’m not going to lie and tell you that I’ve never judged someone. When I’m out for a run and a guy drives by, I instantly flip out and assume that he will a) rape me, b) murder me, and/or c) kidnap me. I know that the chances of every male who drives by being a murderer/kidnapper/rapist are slim to none. But still, I get a sick feeling in my stomach and turn back towards home. That’s a prime example of judgement right there. Why don’t I worry about women the same way? Why do I assume that every guy is a criminal who is targeting me? Who knows. Maybe I’ve watched too many crime shows. Whatever the case, my point is that I, too, have judged others.

But at least I don’t give those guys disapproving, judgmental looks like the ones I receive almost daily for holding my baby sister in public. Apparently the fact that I’m sixteen and holding a baby means she’s my child, not my sister. And apparently holding a toddler means I’m a horrible, nasty person, as well. Or at least that’s what I take away from those glares I get. I just want to slap the dirty look off their face and curtly inform them that I’m holding my baby sister. Emphasis on the ‘sister’ part. In other words, no, I don’t spend my time in the bed of some boy’s truck. No, I didn’t hold a kid in my stomach for nine months. No, my life is not going to go to waste. Because the baby I’m holding is my sister, not my child.

If I didn’t love her so much, I’d probably not hold her outside of the house.

My rant is coming to a close, but I’ve just got a couple more things to bring up before I hit ‘publish’ and go eat breakfast.

1) Not all teenagers do bad things. In fact, a majority make good decisions and avoid bad things. And even if they’ve tried something in the past, it doesn’t mean they’re doing it again.

2) Being a teenager doesn’t mean that a person has no goals or plans for their life. I’ve personally been looking at colleges for several years now and arranging my schedule in a way that will help me later on in life. SPOILER ALERT!: I’m not the only one. A good amount of people I personally know and know of have been planning realistically (and sometimes unrealistically too, but it never hurts to have big dreams) for years.

3) We’re not going to completely screw over the world. Actually, I think my generation has the potential to fix a lot of things that have gone wrong. Do a google search sometime for young entrepreneurs. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

4) Have a little faith. I’m a thousand and three percent positive that there isn’t a single perfect person on this earth. We’ve always believed in the capability of you adults, so how about we turn things around and for once, you believe in us.

5) I’m well aware that not every adult feels this way. I’m not saying they do. That would be judgemental, after all. 😉 But I’ve seen dirty looks cast my way on multiple occasions simply because I’m young. This is written as a rant, full of my opinions, not in any way to single somebody out.

Well, my stomach is growling. This whole rant is probably crap, but at least I got a good amount of what I wanted to say typed out. Agree with me, disagree with me, do what you please. For now, I’m going to go stuff my face and then head to work. Bye!

 

I’m not funny.

I have a sister that’s a year younger than me, and she’s seriously the funniest person I think I’ve ever met. She’s just so quick witted! In the matter of a second, she can come up with about six hilarious lines about one not-so-funny thing. And it never gets old! The girl could go on for hours about the same thing and have me cracking up the entire time.

The other day I was thinking about this, about how jealous I am that I’m the opposite of funny. It’s just unfair.

I mean, sure, I have better social skills than my sister. She thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to blurt out every single thought to anyone and everyone, no matter how offensive or embarrassing it may be. She thinks it’s okay to offer to smell someone’s armpits or feet for no reason. She thinks it’s okay to hold our baby sister in public, all the while mentioning in a loud voice that the child is hers. And so on. Me, I hold back to keep from offending people who are bigger than me and those who have the potential to cause me physical harm. I usually keep my nose and other body parts to myself. And I try not to earn judgmental glares from people who think my baby sister is my child. But whatever. 

I also keep better grades than my sister, who recently has decided that school is worthless and will get you nowhere in life. Do smarts outweigh being funny? I doubt it. 

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve actually told a few jokes that got people laughing. The irony of those situations is that when I tell those funny jokes, I’m only repeating the jokes my sister has told me. Whenever I try to make up my own, I get blank stares and disappointed shakes of the head. People usually walk away, too.

I sometimes say something a little ditzy that gets some laughs, too. And since I’m a total klutz, I have a tendency to walk into walls and doors and poles and trip over my own feet. People laugh at klutz-happenings, also. But tripping and blurting out something dumb doesn’t make me funny. It just makes me look like an idiot.

 

So I guess what I’m getting at is that I’ve decided there’s nothing I can do about my lack of funny. I’ve accepted it and I’m moving on. Kind of. I still steal my sister’s jokes and repeat them to others, just so that they think I’m funny. Maybe one day I’ll gain some ability to tell jokes improv-style, but I doubt it. For now, I’ll stick to repeating jokes, tripping over my own feet, and asking why I can’t pull the push door open.

Later, taters!

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That Adrenaline Rush

Hey, guys. Guess who’s back? This girl! I finally have a little extra time to post and check out your blogs, since my seriously hectic week is over. I’ve also caught up on sleep a little bit, so hopefully I won’t sound quite so crazy in this post.

So to start, I should probably inform you that I’ve recently gotten a job, and so I’ve started earning some moolah of my own. I went a couple weeks ago and got a checking account, and a few days ago I finally got my debit card. I’m younger than practically everyone who reads my blog, and I’m sure you’ve all had your checking accounts and debit cards for ages, but since it’s all new to me, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. I try to play it cool around my sisters, but every time I open my wallet and see that shiny green card, I do a little happy dance.

I just feel powerful now, you know? Like I can do anything just because I’ve got a debit card that says my name on it. Anyway, yesterday, I was absolutely dying to try my new card out, so I went on amazon to search for some books.

Note: You should know that I’m an avid reader. I read basically every chance I get. I read more often than I write, which is definitely saying something. I’m a quick reader, too. I’m the kind of person who reads a thick book in a quarter of the time it takes the average person to read it, and then I wander around for the next couple days in a daze, still taking in everything that happened. Sometimes I throw my book across the room when I get angry. Sometimes I yell at the characters, like they can hear me or something. Occasionally I think about writing an angry email to the author, explaining how upset I am that they’ve ended their incredible book with a cliffhanger when the sequel hasn’t been released yet. I’m a little eccentric at times, I suppose. Anywho, do you get the point that I love books way more than any normal person should?

Back to the story. There I was sitting on amazon, adding book after book to my shopping list. (Did you know that there are like a bajillion books available for a penny + shipping costs?) As I was reading the book descriptions and deciding which books to blow my hard earned money on, I realized something. My heart was racing and I felt like I was flying. You know that feeling that surges through you when you get off a gigantic roller coaster? That crazy adrenaline rush that makes you feel totally invincible? That’s exactly how I was feeling while I bought several new books to add to my collection.

I have a feeling I’ll be buying a lot more books from now on because amazon is just so convenient.

I love books.

That is all.