I’m angry

I am angry that dress codes exist.

I’m angry that someone’s religion trumps a woman’s right to decide how she uses her body and what she does or does not put in it.

I’m angry that I get a sick feeling when I have to walk past a group of men.

I’m angry that little girls are told to be modest and that taking pride in their body and displaying it will be too tempting to a man. Girls, you are not the problem and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are.

I’m angry that most men will never, ever understand how degrading it is to be cat-called or leered at.

I’m angry that a woman is a slut if she sleeps with a man/men outside of a relationship.

I’m angry about slut-shaming in general; why are you forcing your insecurity on others?

I’m angry that Hobby Lobby was taken seriously at all. I’m furious that it passed.

I’m angry that women get asked, “What were you wearing?” after they were raped.

I’m angry that someone I know was touched without her permission on public transit.

I’m angry that someone I know was raped by a friend of a friend on the way home from a party. I’m angry that she didn’t report it.

I’m angry that ANYONE feels entitled to a woman’s body in any way, shape, or form. She is not yours to tell how to dress, how to smile, what shape her body should be, what she can and cannot put in her body, how to use it or not use it.

I’m angry that I feel the need to change my outfit because it’s a bit too sexy or that I’m showing a lot of skin.

I’m angry that when I am mad or upset it’s akin to being crazy or hysterical. Dramatic, sure. Crazy I am not.

I’m angry that women are taught to be uncomfortable in their skin.

I’m angry that I don’t feel safe taking transit at night time because I’m a woman.

I’m angry that if I assert myself and say no that I’m a bitch.

I’m mostly angry because I don’t know how to change any of it. Be the change you want to see in the world, but how? I’m angry because I feel helpless.

 

Let’s talk about “love”

“I love you.” It’s serious business to tell someone that, or in my own opinion, it should be the most meaningful thing that you ever say to someone.

When I love someone, I love them for life. Part of me will always love them, so when I say it, it’s sacred and we’re bonded, whether the other person wants that or not. Even when a person leaves my life, whether they’ve gone home to God, or I’ve pushed them out the door, or whether they’ve gone of their own accord; part of me will always love them. I don’t stop loving people. Prime example of this? My former step dad- I despise him, but a part of me will always love him.

I don’t give those words to people very often, because those words are for life. I’ve often faltered in the way that I love people, and I’m hesitant to say it sometimes because once it’s out there, it is a lot of pain and heartbreak when I don’t own up to responsibility of the words. It’s not automatically reciprocal, and I won’t say it unless I mean it. I LIKE a lot of things, and I adore a lot of people, but I love a select few.

There are four Greek words for love and they have their own distinct meaning: agápeérosphilía, and storgē. My understanding of these words is limited, but I will do my best to explain them.

  • agápethe unconditional love, the affectionate love; this love gives and expects nothing in return
  • éros –  is passionate and intense love, and the appreciation of beauty from within a person, but does not always have to be physical
  • philía – is affectionate regard or friendship, this love has give and take, and is mostly the love I feel for other people. This love requires virtue, equality and familiarity
  • storgē – is natural affection, and is almost exclusively reserved to describe affectionate love between family members

I spend a lot of time thinking about love, and it’s good to know that the love I feel for a select few is not the same kind of love across the board. I still think each kind of love has a weighty implication that I will not take lightly or use in a casual sense. Love means different things, and yet in English it is all lumped under the title of “Love.” Without much diversification, to express that we feel something greater than to like or adore something, we default to love. Love is a sacred word, and yet it gets thrown out there so often. I agree that when you love someone, you should love freely and with reckless abandon, but I feel as though we’re careless in the way we use it. I apologize in advance for rolling my eyes every time I hear it, but its meaning is weakened each time it’s used without your full intention behind it, and pretty soon it won’t mean much at all.

The biological deadline

Once again I find that being a young woman has its disadvantages.

I feel like I’ve been given a very small window to accomplish everything that I need to- if I want to have children. And I do. But not yet. For all the non-breeders, I can truly appreciate why you chose not to have children and I envy that you are not limited to what I am about to discuss.

Men have all the time in the world to go to school, get their careers off the ground and then start a family. I am not discounting all the loving men and husbands that are standing by their women as they make these decisions when the biological clock gets forced on you. But they can delay procreation for as long as they want. I’m sure the quality of their sperm deteriorates as they age, but not like a women’s eggs. Men continually produce sperm (sometimes at an alarming rate.)

Girls are born with all of the eggs they will ever have, and after the age of 30 the health of these eggs rapidly declines and the risks of birth defects and abnormalities sky-rocket, and fertility drops drastically. We can thank growth hormones and all the crap in our food and environment for that, those eggs are exposed to all kinds of stuff over their lifetime. So if you can, use them earlier rather than later.

So let’s say 30 is the magic number to start trying for a baby. What do I need to accomplish before I will even consider having a child? A lot. It keeps me awake at night.

I feel a lot of fucking pressure these days. I’m 26 and I want to go back to school because it turns out Tourism Management was a terrible choice for me.  Going back to school is a difficult decision; if I choose a degree program, that is four years of income that I am not earning, and I’ll be graduating when I’m 30/31. Then I’ll need to go back to work to get my career off the ground and earn some money. So that puts me in my mid to late thirties before I can even start to try to have a family. And it might take a while to get pregnant, if it happens at all. Yes I know that all the yuppies who put their career first are waiting for their mid thirties and early forties when they are more established to start families, but they are struggling with infertility. I don’t want to take those risks and I don’t want to be an old parent. My mom had me young and I can say that I got the best years of her life. She waited another 12.5 years to produce another child, and although she’s a damn fine mom to my little sister, she’s not as agile and energetic as she used to be and she’s had to come to terms with it. She compensates by having more wisdom, knowledge, and foresight; qualities that she has perfected with my sister.

My husband and I are struggling with what to do. I’m a late starter, I really needed time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and now I feel like it’s too late to go back to school, have a career, and have a family. The thing is, I’M 26 FOR FUCK SAKES! I AM FUCKING YOUNG BUT I’VE GOT A MAJOR DEADLINE TO GET MY LIFE IN ORDER. Why do we have such a small window to accomplish everything? That window is not very long, considering I plan to live well into my 90’s. Why does everything need to get sorted between the ages of 18-40? I’m angry about this, and I want to stomp my feet and scream at the world. We have looked at all scenarios: do I have the first baby now, then go back to school? Do I go back to school, start my career, then have a baby? Do I say forget school and limp along in life and then have a baby and never be satisfied? Do we just not have children at all?

I know it is possible. One of my family members had two babies while she was in university. Not one, but two. Her and her husband rigged up the most amazing childcare/school/work/EI combo that there ever was. When the babies were small enough, she took them to class with her. When they got bigger, he took parental leave and she went to school full-time and worked at a grocery store to supplement his EI. She would stay home in the summer and look after the babies and he’d go back to work.

No matter what decisions we make, we’re going to struggle with it. Something is going to have to give. No matter how much I pray, “Dear God, more time! More time!” We’ve got to make a decision and make one fast, the clock is ticking. The most I am willing to wait before procuring my first child is five years.

I’m annoyed that all of my major decisions need to be made in the first 1/3 of my life.

*I’d like to give a shout out to my little sister who is just dying for me to make her an aunt.  If that condom breaks, you better say your prayers. I’m coming after you. 

Give out my social media passwords for a job interview? Never.

Full disclosure: this has absolutely nothing to do with my current place of work. I’m speaking out because young people and those re-entering the workforce need to know their rights in regards to privacy.

Why would you ever consent to giving someone your Facebook/Twitter/Google +/??Social Media Site passwords during a job interview? Unless you need a security clearance for something ie building a government facility, or entering the police force, DON’T DO IT.

Here is why:

In Canada and the USA there are certain things that a potential employer is NEVER allowed to ask you. They are not entitled to know information such as your marital status, your age (with the exception of determining if you are of legal working age,) your religion, if you have children etc. By asking for your social media passwords you are effectively allowing them to access that information, and that is illegal. Don’t think for one moment that it is okay for them to ‘Friend Request’ you, either. Do yourself a favour and lock up your Facebook account to the maximum privacy settings – Only Friends for everything. Otherwise they won’t even have to ask for the information, it’s there for the taking.

What business do potential employers have peering into the way you interact with your friends and family? The last time I checked it was just an applicant applying for a job, not their dumbass friends and family applying as a group package. Would you allow a potential employer to have access to your personal email? Text messages? The way you talk to your spouse/partner in a private message or the way you interact with your buddies should have absolutely no standing when applying for a job. Sometimes I’m a fucking hooligan on the weekends, and yet on Monday morning I’m in dress clothes, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to kick off that meeting BECAUSE I AM A PROFESSIONAL. Monday-Friday, 9-5 I am a professional and I get it done, and I do it well. If you looked at my Facebook profile or my Twitter feed you might not get the same picture because professional Ro and the rest of the time Ro are two different people. Should your boss care what you do in your free time? Not unless it has an impact at work, and then only things pertaining to work need to be discussed.

Let’s face it, when you’re at the office you’re probably not cracking brewskis or bangin babes in the coat closet. If you are, well, you deserve to be fired (unless it’s office-sanctioned Beer Club Fridays, then you’re fine, but sexual harassment is still sexual harassment.) I think you can say no in a firm, but professional way. Let them know that your accounts contain personal information regarding marital status, your age, and your religion that you don’t need to disclose. Assure them that your personal life has absolutely no bearing on your professional life, and your qualifications, references and demeanour speak for themselves.  You need to practice saying these things now and be confident about saying them. It is illegal for a potential employer to turn you down for not surrendering your passwords, that would be discrimination because what they are asking for is illegal in it’s nature.

Key points:

1. Lock that shit up!

2. Just say no.

3. Don’t be intimidated, respect yourself and stand your ground.

4. You are a professional, so act like one.

In the end, would you really want to work for a company who needed to pry into your personal life? I wouldn’t.

Gender Equality- or not

Yesterday a (male) co-worker called me ‘woman’ out of anger. Never before in my life have I been reduced to my gender in place of my name.

The situation was not meant to be confrontational. I asked him to clean up after himself and he retorted with, “Jesus woman! It’s just a few dishes. How hard is it to put them away?’ MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY. Just because I am a woman does not mean that I am automatically there to clean up after you. You are more than capable of putting your dishes into the dishwasher, especially since I unload it every morning when I get in. I did not resort to name calling or degrading you in any manner. I didn’t send you an email or act in a passive way because I am an adult and if the roles were reversed, I’d want to know. I’d apologize and take responsibility. I am fair to a fault, even if it meant my own undoing. I admit when I’m wrong, I’ll admit when I was snarky, because two wrongs don’t make a right. But I wasn’t either of those in this circumstance and you lashed out and called me woman and tried to put me in my place which apparently is doing your dishes.

And today I got a phone call from another man asking for the principal of the firm. Being unavailable I asked the caller if I could take a message. Then the caller said, “I’d prefer to speak with a gentleman.” I said, “Excuse me?” and the caller said, “I’d rather deal with a man.”  I told the caller never to phone this office ever again. They could have asked for another discipline and I would have been 100% okay with that, but they had to ask for someone not female. Seriously? What century do you live in? I happen to be the principal’s executive assistant, and chances are he’d pass whatever matter to me anyway.

I am balancing being livid and trying not to cry. There is no crying in the executive world, only on the phone when you need the airline to credit your non-refundable flights.

Christmas Vacation

Just a few more days and then I am off work until January 3rd. I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT. This last month has totally burnt me out.

I’ve had less help from the hot husband than I have in previous years to organize Christmas for our families. It’s not his fault, and it kills him that he’s been tied to his desk. He’s an amazing man and he works his ass off, so I feel that I can pick up the slack and work hard, too. However- we’re both drained. I got sick a number of weeks ago and I haven’t recovered yet. I’m not sleeping because I’m up all night coughing, and he’s not sleeping because he’s up all night working. We’re up at 5am most days. We’re down to one car, and we’re taking turns driving each other to work and transiting home. I picked up a night a week at Job #2 for the first three weeks of December. Our calendar is sickeningly full and it’s December 19th and I’m only 1/2 done my wrapping, I still have gifts to buy, a Christmas dinner to plan, and parcels to mail out (fuck, I needed to do that last week [It's my blog and I can swear if I want to]) grocery shopping, and I think I’m going to have to bribe my little sister to clean my house for me.

I can’t wait until I am done work so that I can hang up my drivers license and start drinking. I have some very specific goals to reach during my vacation:

1. Read a couple of books. I think I’ll just spend an entire day in my pajamas, in bed, with a pot of tea, reading. My ereader is already loaded, charged, and ready to go.

2. Party my face off at least twice, not counting New Years Eve. I need help, because right now there are no plans in place to do this.

3. Eat and blog about it. I’ve neglected What’s for Lunch BC and I have a few places that need to be experienced.

4. Go to the Vancouver Aquarium. I bought a membership for myself and some family members and I don’t think anyone used them. That was a waste. I love it there and I’m going to see all my favourite things.

5. Cooking. I’m going to cook a bunch of yummy things in large batches and freeze them so that there will be zero excuse to eat crappy food when we’re pressed for time.

6. See some people who I like but don’t generally get to see because they live far away and/or are in school. Call me, we’ll chill by the Telus Optik TV fireplace.

7. Wash my lunch bag. It looks gross.

 

Please help me obtain my goals of eating, being social and partying. I can probably swing the reading thing while I’m hung over. I just realized that I can order my groceries online and have them delivered to my house, and same for liquor to my office. Divide and conquer, I will get this stuff done by Friday.

Love,

Rochele