I feel like all too often we judge situations and people with only assumptions. If you know me at all, you’ll say, “Ashley, you do that alllll the time.” True true. I’m guilty of it often, but still the scientist goes on observation first, and the real story second. Not that it’s the best way, but it’s the easiest. Observation, hypothesis, test…
Why is it though that this method is so harmful to humans? To judge others first by observation, then pretend that you understand, then hold them to that judgment… why don’t we ever not try to assume we know what’s going on?
In the wonderful film series North & South I am reminded of this where Miss Hale’s brother prejudges the wealthy business man, Mr. Thornton as a grumpy man who has a terrible scowl. Miss Hale who used to judge him in the same manner, recently learned the truth and advised her brother, “Don’t judge him too harshly, Frederick, something must have happened to him for him to be this way” (paraphrase of course). Point being: there is usually a cause.
When I started this blog a year and a half ago, I chose the title “Radioactive Waste” with the subtitle, “Her Life in a Nutshell”. Now, for avid fans of BNL (Barenaked Ladies), one recognizes the subtitle as lyrics from track 9 on “Maybe You Should Drive”. But the Radioactive Waste?
That, my friends, is the description I have always felt appropriate to my life. I have recently made major breakthroughs on this score; trying to feel like my life isn’t a “problem” to be worked out… but you know, no matter what I do… I can’t help but feel that way. I just feel like what I ‘normally’ am is just wrong. And it’s become more and more apparent to me through the comments made by those closest to me. I just can’t help but feel less and less happy. It’s amazing how this works: happiness is such a weird drug…
I hope that one day I can truly get past all of this and let go of all that I hold on to… all that keeps me down, weighs down upon me like a ton of bricks. What is wrong with me?
Nothing you say, stop being dramatic you say… funny how that’s not what you usually tell me. Maybe some day I’ll be adequate.
-and then there was none.
All my life I feel as though I can’t be myself because of the pressure to not be myself. This is not a personal thing, please don’t think that’s my self-pity request or anything. I’m currently reading a book entitled “Women and Desire: Beyond Wanting to Be Wanted” by Polly Young-Eisendrath. She’s amazing. What she describes makes so much sense that I feel almost enlightened. I have the same problem as all people, but mostly all women.
We, as women fall into two categories, with very few breaking out of this dichotomoy. We are either the Muse or the Bitch. That is our fate. Muse or Bitch, take your pick. Either we are considered pushy, bossy and overly-demanding. This can be in any form or fashion. Or we are considered to be sex objects. Women are not assertive. The assertive woman is a bitch. The submissive woman is an object. The worst part in all this, is that it’s not such a surface dichotomy. There are women who fit the category of Muse who can also be considered ‘frigid’ or just generally not of the ‘object’ type. And yet, they are still an object. They do not assert themselves… they do not say what they want. They will listen to people they don’t care about simply to be perceived as being ‘nice’ and ‘agreeable’… think of some of the “nicest” people you know. They are suffering. They have to be someone else so that they aren’t disliked. Even the nicest people in the world have their moments where they can’t stand being nice.
So about those of us who feel objectified, what are we to do? There seems to be only one alternative: to be the hag-bitch. What kind of woman gets respect for being assertive? Hillary Clinton? Dun think so. She’s referred to as a “boner shrinker” or something of that sort. You can’t be beautiful and powerful. That’s a myth. If you’re not beautiful, there’s something wrong with you. If you’re not an object of desire, then shame on you.
Now this may come off as rather feminist. Hmm… I don’t think of myself ever in that direction, as you may well know. But there is something to say about this warped, twisted society, where women are only to be defined in such ways as by men. Even women define other women (and most importantly themselves) by the definitions set out by men.
Our lives may not be our own. Indeed. But what should be ours is our livelihood. They should not be constructs.
I want to be beautiful and assertive. I want to show the world that I am not an object nor am I a doormat. I am not to be walked upon, and though you may want me, that is not my purpose.
I am loved; I am beautiful. I am smart. I am going to rock this shit like you didn’t know was possible. Be jealous.
I am not to be fixed, for I am not broken. I only allow people to play with me as though I’m a toy. I finally realize that they are the only ones who have been having fun. The game is over.
-and then there was none.
Hmmm… so a random guy who happens to have many opinions about my blog asks me, “What is the point of your blog, Ashley?” Well, if you must know and have never figured it out. The point is for me to talk to the wall. Yes, see, sometimes there are things that you don’t want to tell anyone, but you want people to know, or don’t care if people know, but to say anything would be just weird. Plus, you don’t want to force these types of things on anyone. So alas, comes my blog. It’s not something that I need to copywrite or anything. It’s just what’s inside that has no one to go to.
At this time I’m really full of thoughts. Not sure where they should go…
I’m at a loss for what I should say today, to anyone at all…. except that I am unconflicted for the first time in my life. I feel full, happy, and at a loss for words!!! I want nothing at all right now… just to smile more…..
That’s a new goal. Smile more. I have every reason to be happy right now. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to smile and I’m going to rejoice with happiness. The weather is nice… I have such a great attitude… I’m going to get a lot of work done.
This is the first time in years that I have been unable to stop smiling. I’m so happy I just want to kick and scream…..!!!
You know what else? I really like Jennifer Garner. She is so perfect when she’s sad. She completes me.
yay! You know what else I love? When you can see the fire in someone’s eyes.
-and then there was none.
PS: Timothy Olyphant is really, really hot.
Some of the hardest things to understand in the world do not relate to physics or biology. It’s not a question of whether or not the universe is expanding… It’s much harder to understand emotions. Why do you feel most alone when you have someone? Why do you love people who others think are not good for you? Why does everyone want Prince Charming? Why isn’t there a squire or a knight whom everyone dreams about? If we’re all so different, why do we want the same guy?
Why do we push those closest to us the furthest away? Why are we all so scared to be loved and cared for? In my last post I mentioned wanting to be free. Well I guess I can share with the world what I have been neglecting to talk about, but everyone is dying to know… why Ashley drinks. Last night, prime example… I had .75 L of wine within a couple hours, and no one else around me was drinking. She only drinks alone. I am not a social drinker, nor do I drink anything but wine, really. So naturally everyone thinks I am an alcoholic. In reality though, I’ve only drank thrice since coming back to the US. Twice this weekend, and once last weekend. The reason I don’t want to talk about it is because I know everyone will think I’m ridiculous, which is not the kind of reaction I need at the moment.
I drink because I’m trying to grow up. Yes, I know, I know, “Ashley, that’s ridiculous! That won’t help you grow up! OMG!” Right? Yeah… which is why I don’t want to talk about it. It’s not about peer pressure… it’s about family pressure. I feel like right now there is so much pressure on me to be ‘part of the family’ in this respect. I don’t know I just can’t help but feeling I need to be ‘part’ of the family. I know everyone, including my family, are thinking I’m crazy… but this is all very real for me. My brother and sister pressure me too. I also drink to help cut down on my nervousness around other people, which is why I drink say in a social situation, but I don’t drink because others want me to. Then there’s also another reason. Please see Joe Nichols on that one. (It opens in a new window…)
So here’s the mystery unraveled… I’m going through a freakin crisis in my head about who I am right now. Yay Identity Crisis of Ashley Bens part 37. It’s funny to see how this evolves. I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m losing what is good in my life, and so I need to work hard to get it back. I’ve too long been involved in my own little world without thinking about how it affects me and others. I was out of the vicious cycle (to some extent) in Mainz… and now I’m falling back into it.
As I said before, I have expectations in my life now, and I am going to rise to the occasion. I have the opportunity to have everything I have ever wanted. I will not be stupid and lose this. So here we go. Embarking on our mission to change. No longer will I be this way. Instead of focusing on being accepted by others, I’m going to work on being accepted by me. I remember reading somewhere that to help yourself, you need to first be able to trust yourself. Well, that hasn’t been the case for years. Time to change that? Joe Nichols again to remind… So anyways…
Here’s to change…
-and then there was none.
I have decided to start over. In everything that I do. To commemorate this, I’m starting my blog over. I’m trying to really come into my own. I am hoping to be someone who I am proud of, rather than who I’ve been the last few years. I realize that I’m graduating, and it’s too bad that I never made these changes sooner. However, I think that it inspires me even more to change.
I think for the first time in a long, long time, I have reason to change. There is inspiration in my life again. I am pressured to not be a bum, and there are expectations in my life for the first time.
I’m not saying that my parents never expected anything from me, it’s just that I never felt like there was anything to work for. I was fortunate to have exceeded their expectations just by who I was. The lack of expectations in my life is not in and of itself the problem, just that I was never taught to have expectations for myself either. How sad, eh?
I constantly lived my life to please others. I am still doing this to some extent, as I am just not worth living for, in my opinion.
I’m battling low self-esteem and confidence issues, but someone in my life is trying to help me with these. What a relief. I’m really trying now to get a grip.
I’m going to try writing more because I need to release my frustrations. I’m trying to get back to earth. The title of my posts always indicate something about how I feel at the moment of writing. This title, “Wide Open Spaces” is referring to the thing I want most right now:
My own life. Free of commitment to others. I am not afraid of commitment, just sick of answering to the same people all the time. I want to be free. Only the Lord knows where I’ll be going now.
I’m not going to let all these years go by, wasted.
For now, that’s all I have to say. I’m going to rock this place. Here are some things I need to change:
- Pepsi intake. Gots to go.
- Emotionally distraught all the time/overly sensitive.
- My stomach. See the first one….
- Confidence, need more.
- Nervous talking, let’s go with less.
- My laziness. Sleep more at the appropriate times.
- Selfishness. Correct.
We’ll see how we’re doing in May….
-and then there was none.