Do What You Like

I spend far too much time thinking about writing and then never following through. I still have the mind of a writer, but my actions would say otherwise. I have started some cool things, but I haven’t decided what to do with them yet, so they’re still just sitting there.

Remember being a kid and having hobbies and interests, some of which matched those around you, and some of which were your own? For example, a lot of little girls love horses, but not all do. Some little girls loved dinosaurs. Some girls still do. Kids play with dolls and hotwheels and beanie babies and make up pretend worlds. Kids collect things.
But then we come to a point when the opinions of our peers matter more. For some, that’s middle school. For some that is high school. If a person has an interest that is not popular and maybe too nerdy, they get made fun of. And of a lot of people stop liking things because their friends tell them it is lame.
So I’m gonna say this: It’s not lame.

When you reach your twenties, loving Disney is cool again. Having quirky decor is trendy, like having trinkets and lamps shaped like your favorite animal. I think a lot of us would be a lot happier if we didn’t let our peers make us feel bad about our nerdy designs.

Recently, my boyfriend and I started embracing our nerdiness again. He had been talking about buy pokemon decks with a friend of ours so they could battle. But we’re moving and there has been a lot going on everywhere, so they hadn’t done it yet. One day I came home and told Bobby I would be willing to go buy decks with him and play. And we have been sucked in completely.
Did you know there are huge tournaments where people can win money? Just through strategy? It’s so crazy and weird. But we’re having fun.
Because we both liked pokemon as kids. But everyone reaches that age where things become not cool anymore, even if they don’t lose interest. I wish we had held onto that interest.

Do what you like. Do things that make you happy, even if they’re nerdy or weird or unpopular. Happiness should trump all.

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Body, Mind, and Soul

We are told to love ourselves.  We are told to stay healthy and eat right.  We are told to exercise.  We are told to go to church and to find a good community.  Because all of these things are important.

But I think we get too focused and forget the main point.  Love yourself.

I set a New Year resolution to go running and do yoga four times a week.  And I’ve done great.  My mileage is up, and I am stronger.  I look better.  I feel better.  But I’ve also been opening at work almost everyday and not sleeping the best.  So some afternoons I’m just tired.  And the last two or three weeks I’ve felt almost under the weather, but not quite, so I’ve napped, and then not felt good enough to go out on a run.  My boyfriend tells me it’s fine, and that it’s good to give myself a rest, but instead I beat myself up over it.  It depresses me that I’m so tired, and I’m so tired because I’m depressed.  I keep feeling like if I miss a day of exercise, I will be fat.  I’m terrified to lose my routine again.  It’s like I forget why I’m doing it in the first place.

I want to be healthy.  And it’s so easy to just focus on one realm of health.  It’s so easy to focus on clean eating and an exercise routine, but then forget to nourish your mind and your soul.  It’s easy to get caught up in a mantra of a having a healthy mind, but neglect your spirit and body.  It’s easy to beat yourself up if you miss church, so you focus only on that, but forget that your body is a temple and your mind a control center.

I am one, whole person.  I have a mind, a body, and a soul.  (Some would say I am a soul, but that’s beside the point.)  I’m not going to get fat if I occasionally skip a run because I’m exhausted.  My happiness is just as important as my appearance.  And no one hates me, especially not God, if I want to stay home and sleep in on the occasional Sunday morning.  Church is for community, not salvation, anyway.

Love yourself.  Body.  Mind.  Soul.

On Santa and Christmas Traditions

Working in customer service has taught me that people get meaner during the holidays.

I’m almost positive that I’ve never taken a picture with Santa.  My parents didn’t really teach the Santa thing.  I don’t remember ever really believing, but maybe I stopped before my memories began.  I vaguely remember logical conversations with my dad about how Santa wouldn’t fit down our chimney, but I’m pretty sure I knew it was always pretty much a fairy tale.
We focused more on the original Christmas story.  Yes, we did the tree for most of my life, but we opened at least one gift on Christmas Eve, and as my brother and I got older, we started to follow my dad’s family tradition of opening all the gifts on Christmas Eve, which pretty much takes Santa out of the equation entirely.
Sometimes my mom would write “from Santa” on certain gifts, but we always knew it was from her, plus, those gifts were under the tree days, if not a couple weeks, before Christmas.  Thus, it was really hard to actually believe in Santa.  And that’s okay.  I don’t really feel like I missed out.

Every year since I can remember, apart from the random years we were spending the holidays out of town, my family has gone to a Christmas Eve service at the church I grew up in.  Even after I moved away and my parents stopped going to that church, we still went to the service.  It was tradition.  Afterward, my parents would drive around and look at Christmas lights.  As I got older, I kinda got over that tradition, and started going home to wait for them.
The four of us would gather in the living room and usually eat a dessert or something and then give gifts.  It was nice.  It was pretty anticlimactic.
This year, I’ll be away from family for the first time.  I’m okay with it, I’m not complaining.  It’s just different, like almost every aspect of my life in the south.  I was expecting to work on Christmas, like I usually do, but this year I have it off.  So I’m going to cook and spend the evening with one of my favorite people.  I’m going to drink champagne.  Maybe I’ll start a new tradition.

 

Life in the Slow Lane

I talk fast.  I think fast.  I drive fast.  I make decisions fast.  I move fast.  Everything is fast.  But I think it might be time to slow down.  Welcome to the South.  Where even the state troopers don’t drive the speed limit.  Where people have a drawl, even when they’re hyped up on caffeine.

I never quite learned to rest.  I wrote a while back about staying put.  About how it might be time for me to be present where I’m at.  But I think it’s more than that.  I wonder if I’ll settle here.  Although I may never settle. My heart is learning to beat for the land.  And this land ambles.  It does not run.  It does not race.  It does not scream at you to speed up.  If anything, it whispers to slow down.  It calls you to rest.  It asks you to wait and see what might be around the next bend,  because if you take it too fast, you might miss it, you might hit it, you might kill what could have been an opportunity.  Life in the slow lane means not jumping to conclusions.

I think my heart has been so miserable because it is always racing, and I won’t listen to the beat.  I followed it here, and then I forced it to keep me awake so that I could do far too much again.  I’m not going to do far too much anymore though.  I am going to breathe for a little while.  I’m going to take things in stride.  I’m not going to worry, I’m going to listen to the constant streams of consciousness that might be telling me that everything is okay, that good things do happen.  I think I’ll live here, in the slow lane, for a while.  And for anyone who tells me that it’s time to speed up, they can exit the vehicle.  Because this is my life, and I’m going to claim it.

Blogging Everyday in July|Comment, No Comment

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That is a picture of me.  In case you didn’t notice, I am a pale, white human.  My eyes are green, my hair is red (though it will someday be blonde again), and I freckle almost as much as I tan, which isn’t much.  That’s the way I was born.  I can’t change it.

Because I’m new to the South, there are things that I feel like I can’t write on because I’m still an outsider.  Similarly, I have avoided writing about something else for quite some time, because I feel like an outsider.  I’m not a racist person, but by staying quiet, it’s like I’ve just said “no comment” on the topic entirely.  But I have views, just as we all do.
However, since I’m a pale, white human, the closest I’ve come to racism towards me is being made fun of for saying I have Cherokee in me when all the native kids where I’m from are Paiute.  I don’t even really have enough Cherokee in me to really claim it anyway.

The thing is, I’m proud of my heritage.  My dad is Norwegian, and I’m proud to say that I am too.  Froiland means “happy place” in Norwegian, and when I shorten it to Froi, it simply means “happy.”  That’s what I want to be, happy.  That’s what I wish everyone could settle for.  Everyone should be able to be proud of their heritage.
But growing up in such a small town in California, I wasn’t aware of my privilege.  I guess most white people aren’t aware of their privilege.  And whether or not that’s okay is a completely different topic.  Another thing about growing up in a small town in California, there were very few African Americans in my town.  There were plenty of people with Hispanic heritage, and plenty of Native Americans, and, of course, plenty of white people, but we could count the number of African descended families on our fingers.  Not that we did count them, that was just the way things were.
When I was really young I was concerned that I was racist because I didn’t have any black friends.  But that’s because I went to a private school in a small town, and so I didn’t have the opportunity.  In high school and afterward I realized my concerns were invalid.  The color of someone’s skin has never made me like someone more or less.
Last year someone commented that I didn’t date white guys, which I realize is almost true.  Most of the guys that I have fallen for have been of a different race, but that’s not the reason we were together.  In fact, the person I fell the hardest for was an African American (he still is), but again, that was never important to me.  He was an amazing person inside and out, and the only thing my mother had to say about his looks is that he was very strong, bulky, when I usually like skinny, lanky guys.

I have a tattoo on my collar bone that says “All is Privilege.”  When I got it, it meant, and still means, that everything we have in life, including life itself, is a privilege, a gift.  We shouldn’t take life for granted.  Now that I’m older, here, in the South, and my privilege is being suddenly announced to me in a different way, I think my tattoo means something else too.  I need to recognize my privilege.  I need to try to use it for the betterment of society, because it’s not something that I deserve, purely based on skin color, anyway.

Racism doesn’t make sense to me.  What’s the point in disliking someone because they look different than you?  I think God made us all different because he likes variety.  If anything, our differences should be celebrated.
No one can help the way they were born, and no one should be hated for it.  No one is a lesser person because anything out of their control.  No color is more beautiful than another, because beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder.  Even if the beholder is wrong sometimes.

There are cops that are racist that are killing people based on their skin color because of their privilege.  And there are cops being killed, because someone might have decided that all cops are racist.  And that really is just as bad as hating someone because of their race.  It’s just as bad as hating someone because of their gender or sexual orientation.  It really is just as bad as hating someone for what they believe.  And it needs to stop.  Stop killing each other.  Stop hating each other.  Why isn’t there more love, acceptance, and happiness in this world?  Froi.  Happy.  Literally.

But maybe I should go back to leaving this alone.  Because it scares me.  Because I feel like I shouldn’t be allowed to have input because I’m an outsider.  I will never be able to understand what it’s like to be pulled over because of my skin color.  I will never be able to understand being afraid to leave my home alone because someone might not like the way I look.  I will never understand being judged purely on my ethnicity.  Not in a fearful way.  And it’s not fair.  It’s not fair that there are people who do understand this.

This is my comment.  No comment.

Blogging Everyday in July|Some Thoughts on Why the South is Better

So I had a drink.  And yes I’m writing this the night before it posts, so don’t think I’m drinking in the morning.  I tried to call a friend back home who I texted to ask a question to last week, and he never responded.  He also didn’t answer the phone.  I’m sure he’s busy, and that’s not a big deal, it’s just part of the California dream.  They miss your calls.  But they’ll also not call  you back.  Or text you back.  Because they forget, or didn’t see it right away, and decide that you’re probably not that important.  Not that you’re not important to them, you’re just not right in front of them.  You could be ten minutes away, or a thousand miles, it makes no difference.
In California, I feel ugly.  Not that I compare myself to the all the beautiful girls, or that beauty has anything to do with it.  It’s like my soul seeps out and they see right through me, and my inner beauty doesn’t seem like enough.  It feels like I can’t do enough.

Yesterday when I got off of work I called a friend because I was too lazy to text said friend.  Today he called me back.  I wasn’t sure why he was calling, and it was simply because he had noticed that I had called him and was just getting to the point where he could call me back.  My friends here care enough to call me back.  As if I’m important or something.
My friends here try to take what I say to heart.  They try to make me feel comfortable.  They act as if  I’m part of the family, and they care when I’m not around.  There is a community that I’ve never experienced before.  It’s like I’m heard.  Like maybe I’m not ugly.  Like maybe I matter.

And this isn’t to belittle my California friends, because they mean the world to me.  But sometimes I make them my world, when I could never be their world.  This is my world now.  Big skies and clouds that light up.  Lightning bugs and actual lightning.  Humidity that could make me cry, and thunderstorms that make it all worth it.  All of the stories that meant the most from my childhood took place here.  I’ve come home, somehow.

Here, they’d notice if I disappeared.

Another Round of Thanks

So, another year, another Thanksgiving.  I’ve been going pretty good with these typical holiday posts, so I may as well keep it going.

What am I thankful for this year?  I’m thankful for unexpected adventures.  I’m thankful that I ended up in Mammoth, living with awesome roommates, working fun jobs, and making dope friends.  My life is so much different than I ever dreamed it would be, but I’m all the more glad for it.

I’m thankful that my mother’s health is on an uphill climb.  I’m thankful that my parents still love each other and me.  I’m thankful that I can always come home if I need to, and that there will always be a place for me here.

I’m thankful for Gus and how funny he is, and all he does around the house to make life that much easier and more fun.  I’m thankful that he’s not a jerk.

I’m thankful for Anu and how she’s been the best roommate ever.  I have learned so much from her in the short time that I’ve known her, and we have been fast friends.  I’d like to keep her. I’m thankful that I get to live with a girl again.

I’m thankful for Abi and how much of a blessing it has been to get to know her again.  Having friends is so fun.

I’m thankful for Jam and Nat, and the best teachers ever.  They truly know how to believe in people.

I’m thankful that Megan and Evan are super awesome classmates and that I can call them friends as well.

And I’m thankful for funny text conversations.  And music.  And poetry.

And that God has orchestrated this all.  He’s so sneaky.