A Letter to My Ex’s Future Girlfriend

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When I find out you exist, I will cry. I will cry out of sadness but also out of relief. Relief that finally, maybe he isn’t hurting so much. Maybe he isn’t thinking everyday of the many ways and times I broke his heart.

Due to our common love’s high standards, I know you will be beautiful. I hope you are more beautiful than me. But sometimes I hope you won’t be. I know you will be smart. I hope you are much smarter than me.

I think about you a lot. Enough to change my mind on the type of girl you will be and the type of girl you should be. The common denominator is you should be sweet. One of those girls that never says a bad word about anyone. Show him the bright side of every situation. Never make him feel like he needs to constantly cheer you up. That was a fault of mine.

While you’re at it, being all happy and sweet and shit, be honest too. Please. Tell him every single thing you’re thinking. Don’t sugarcoat things to protect him. If you communicate 100% of your feelings, his appreciation for you will grow immensely.

Support him. Support his passion for writing, tell him to write more because he should. Tell him to draw more. Make him draw you, even when he says he could never do it well enough to capture the way your face actually looks. Encourage him to keep creating. I never did that enough.

Most importantly, be his equal. Don’t be someone that he needs to take care of. Someone that clings to him in desperation. See him as your partner, not “your man”. If you put yourself up next to him as his best friend, his partner in crime, his rock, his sister, and then his girlfriend…I promise, you will succeed at something together that I could never reach with him.

The Time I Dumped My Soulmate

It was August. It was pouring out. It was unseasonably cold. It was a Tuesday. That’s when I ended my going-on-three-years relationship with the love of my life.

My boyfriend that I met freshmen year of college. The boyfriend that I dumped my high school sweetheart for. The boyfriend that everyone was envious of. The one who helped me through every problem I had. The one who took me on dates and bought me little presents for no reason. The one that I couldn’t go one night without.

So why did I end our seemingly perfect relationship? The exact reasons I loved him so much…he was my rock. The one I leaned on and cried to. The one I completely forgot my independence for.

It took me a long time but I eventually saw the light. You can’t be with someone because you need them. You have to be with a person when you WANT them, but only NEED yourself.

This was not the case with me. I couldn’t complete simple tasks without him by my side. And of course I wanted him there; there was no point where he was oppressing me or telling me I couldn’t do something. It’s just I chose to rely on him for everything.

As a 21-year-old woman, I decided I needed time to figure out what exactly I wanted from life without another person to consider. I needed to prove to myself that I CAN be alone and be okay. That I AM strong and independent. That I don’t need another person to help define me.

Even though it’s an ending of a beautiful and loving chapter of my life, I still feel like it may not be the end. Timing is everything and sometimes not everything can work out like a fairy tale. But the thing about life is you never know what could happen. It’s not over until it’s over.

Holly Jolly Gender Roles

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That time of year is here again!! Christmas time! Now Christmas should fill every believer’s heart with love and joy when they think about snow and giving and singing and decorations and food and family. But something that you may not think about when it comes to oh-so-innocent Christmas, is implied gender roles.

They’re EVERYWHERE! In commercials, in advertisements, in Christmas specials, holiday episodes of your favorite shows. But even more jarring is these gender roles are inlaid into our own minds and followed without question.

Think about it, who bakes all the Christmas cookies in your house? Who puts up all the decorations? Most likely the answer will be a female. Except of course the outside decorations. No way is a woman going to get up on a ladder to put up the lights on the house and no way is the able-bodied man going to allow her to do it.

Who wraps all the presents? Who straps the tree onto the car? Who makes sure the gifts for the Yankee swap are bought? You get the drift. There is an implied answer to all of these questions. Whether male or female, each gender has a very specific role to play during Christmas time.

If you don’t believe me, check out this video that displays perfectly what roles would be like if they were reversed. Now tell me this looks like your everyday household.

If You’re Not Part of the Solution, You’re Part of the Problem

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Gender equality. It seems like an unsolvable problem. Far too large to tackle with the help of just the activists you know. A problem that encompasses our wonderful country along with the most of the world is almost too overwhelming to picture a solution to. But like every issue or problem you encounter in life; you must start small.

Think about it in context of a different issue. Global warming for instance. It seems like such a HUGE issue. But recycling and carpooling are two small solutions that are widely known AND easy for everyone to act upon in order to contribute to the bigger problem of global warming.

Back to gender equality. There may seem like there is nothing you can do to conquer this enormous issue. But starting small is a great way to begin to be part of the solution. Because remember: if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.

SO one option is to take a look at your own actions. Do you place people into categories based on their gender? Do you act a certain way because of your own gender? If so, STOP! If you’re a girl, you don’t need to only run on the treadmill at the gym. You don’t have to allow men to allude to ownership of you. If you’re a boy, go ahead and follow your passion into nursing school. Go ahead and tell a girl her best quality is her brain and MEAN it.

And if you see your friends or companions or whomever being fake in order to fit a gender role, let them know it’s totally cool to do what they actually want. And most importantly, if you hear an ignorant comment about this issue like “well girls love to gossip” (direct quote from my uncle at the thanksgiving dinner table) be sure to tell them off.

PLEASE!!!! Do this all for the sake of a safer community and the happiness of everyone. You’ll be glad you did, trust me.

The F-Word

Guest contribution by Ashley, writer of TV Gaga

Why does the word feminism have such a negative connotation to it? I recently stumbled upon a pretty disturbing Tumblr page called “Women Against Feminism”.  Reading the posts from these women made it very clear to me that people of both genders completely misunderstand what feminism is.

I used to hate feminists. I used to think that all feminists were extreme, men-hating, angry women with hairy armpits. I was young, and just didn’t understand. Now at 23, I realize that every single sane person should consider themselves a feminist. Both men and women should not be afraid to say, “Hey, I think that women should be equal to men in every way!”

While a lot of stars are “against” feminism (I’m talking about you T-Swift) , others are not afraid to come out as the F-word. Mindy Kaling, creator, writer, and star of The Mindy Project on Fox, recently spoke to the Huffington Post, saying, “I am a feminist. So if that leaks into every episode of the show, I (a) like it and (b) don’t do it on a conscious level. That’s just our standpoint.”

Lena Dunham, creator, writer, and star of HBO’s Girls, said ,”The idea of being a feminist—so many women have come to this idea of it being anti-male and not able to connect with the opposite sex—but what feminism is about is equality and human rights. For me that is just an essential part of my identity. I hope Girls contributes to a continuance of feminist dialogue.”

Feminism is getting a revival from celebrities outside of TV, too. Beyoncé made a declaration in her song Flawless with an excerpt from a Ted Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie called “We Should All Be Feminists” (If you haven’t seen it, please take the time to watch it. It’s great). Emma Watson made a speech at the UN for her campaign HeForShe, which seemed to garner a lot of hate by people who don’t understand feminism, but did a great job displaying the main message.

I think everyone needs to forget what they think they know about feminism and start over. Look up the word like you’ve never heard it before.

fem·i·nism
ˈfeməˌnizəm
noun
the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

So, are you a feminist? I am.

(Written by Ashley from TVGaga)

Restless Heart Syndrome

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Imagine you’re a single girl. Early twenties, still in college with a serious case of restless heart syndrome. The thought of settling for anything right now makes you want to vomit.

But you love meeting new people, trying new things, experiencing different cultures. You love establishing relationships with people. Not the “omg we’re facebook official” kind of relationship but the kind where you get to know another person on a level that’s unique and special to both of you.

Now imagine opportunities arise to casually date a couple people. They like you, you like them.

But most importantly, you’re 100% honest with all of these people. You give them the preliminary speech: “I really like you and I enjoy your company but I’m not trying to get into any sort of commitment at this point in my life or anytime in the near future. I’m also seeing other people other than you”.

Are you still imagining all of this?

These people understand and things continue on. You party with them,  you meet their friends, you hook up sometimes, you have deep talks, and experience their lifestyle. They teach you about life and you teach them about life.

Now imagine that one day, none of them are okay with this causal relationship anymore. They get uncomfortable because you don’t want to belong to them. You don’t want to be their girlfriend and commit fully to them. You don’t want to only think about them and hang out with them and check in with them. You’re not going to do that and they’re too attached. So whatever relationship you had with them, it’s now ended.

Now if you were really imagining this, how do you feel about it? Because this happened to me a few day ago and I still don’t know how I feel about it. On the one hand, I commend them for being honest with me. But what did they think would happen? I would just change my mind about my whole lifestyle and commit myself to them?

So my question is, does casual dating ever work? Because my experiences with it just haven’t ended well. Can’t we get to know other people and have fun with total freedom? Why does old fashioned commitment need to get in the way of exploration?

Forward Progress

As a female in this society, I believe it takes many experiences to figure out the way girls are portrayed isn’t necessarily respectable. For me, I’m only realizing it now. When I first got to college, I fell right into the set of standards laid out for college girls. It took so many bad experiences and so many injustices witnessed and so many stereotypes fulfilled to realize how fucked up it was that I was falling right into the script written for me.

Now I’ve come to terms with the fact that we deserve better. And, trust me, a lot of bad shit happened to me before I realized our society was to blame. How we raise boys to treat girls, and how we raise girls to be submissive to it. Nothing extreme ever happened. But regardless. I can tell some stories that will piss you off just like they pissed me off when they happened.

I was constantly being pulled back and forth when I first started thinking about gender inequality. I would fall back into expectations. Push forward into what I felt was better. To and fro. Back and forth. Until I finally realized why I felt disgusting every time I would get honked at walking down the street.  Or every time a boy would tell me I look like a sexy librarian when I wear my glasses. Or every time I was told that a boy was only talking to me because he wanted to have sex with me. I’m still learning. But I’m further now than I ever have been.