The Quiet Feminist Speaks

I’ve always heard stories of people having social interactions with people that invoked their inner-feminist to act/speak out/think differently about how males & females are perceived differently, and how this difference is harmful majorly to females. Having read tons of stories on the news & tumblr, especially those about the dress code of females (whether it be at school or in public), I’ve always wanted to encounter such a situation so I could stick up for not only myself but for females and educate someone with what I’ve learnt as right & wrong.

However, when this wished incident occurred I couldn’t place my finger on where to start in educating this person on where they should start learning about this stuff differently. So hold up, let me take a minute to tell you exactly what happened and what got me so hyped up to write this post.

About 2 weekends ago I was volunteering for a festival in my city, as a volunteer from a city division. Our tent was in a lot full of vendors and other city services. The festival was geared toward the general public in the town of the city I live in. As such, there were many families attending the festival where there were many family-oriented booths. One of the volunteers from the tent beside us remarked at how the weather was of course very warm, and how there were “girls wearing those itty bitty tops that show their stomachs, and guys wearing those macho-looking shirts”.

It’s been 2 weekends and I still can’t forget what this person said, partially because of my reaction at that moment. As much as I wanted to tell this person to stop being an ignorant fool and degrading women the way they were, I just sat there thinking about their comment at first. My first thought actually started degrading these girls in my mind for a split-second, thinking “yeah, why are they wearing inappropriate clothing at a family type event”, but the next second I realized my mistake… It’s people like this that shame women, and make it our fault for stepping out of line, when in fact the females that day should never have been degraded in such a way, knowingly or unknowingly. And what held me back from giving him a piece of my mind? Me doing the job I was there to do, representing the city. Not knowing how this person would take what I would say. Worried that I might know what to say after the initial comment. The fact that it’s harder for me to speak out to someone I don’t know than it is to point out something wrong to someone I know personally.

In the end, I had a situation at hand finally but I chose to not take action. Maybe because of my reassurance that “old dogs can’t learn new tricks” and to let the situation be. Regardless of what my reasons to not go through with any actions were, I thought to myself after the shift that small steps were better than none. Realizing and understanding what type of thought harms this gender divide, is the first step to correcting it, right?

In regards to my worry about not having a proper come back if the reply was not something I expected, I’ve also come to the realization that I don’t have or need to know everything about a movement or have an opinion on everything there is in the world. I will always not know something and that’s ok. As long as I keep educating myself and taking steps to ensure a better future, these are the steps that will make a difference (even if it’s not big, it’s something!) somewhere down the line.


Judging People

So this one’s been on my mind a fair bit (i.e. I should be able to ramble for a bit)

We’ve come to the age where judging friends, colleagues, and essentially whomsoever we meet with, is a norm. It’s something we do without thinking. It seems fine. Harmless really.. and not as big of an issue as I feel I’m making it out to be. But I think there is a certain line crossed when you label people as b****** or c*** or any other demeaning word. When you label their actions, assume who they are, and how they act to attach a rating of how ‘fake’ a person is, you say it while assuming that you aren’t. It’s all about perspective and it’s hard for me to sit in a circle and observe these mentalities.

I’ve learned that everyone has a group of friends around whom everything seems normal. What they do as a routine, how they treat each other etc. To another group of unrelated friends, they seem weird, unlike the norm and not the right people to hang around. But really, they don’t know who the other group is, how they work together or support each other. Sure maybe knowing one of them from high school or middle school means you know this apparently b****-like person ‘more’, but did you ever find out WHY they acted that way, or just took it as it seemed?

You might say “this writer is too innocent to know the type of people living in the world and how they need to be treated”. Sure maybe. But at the same time that I don’t know those people, you don’t know A LOT of people personally either. By you I mean the general population, because we all judge, even I do. I try my best not to and make a conscious decision not to.

So after this whole thing, what was the point of it all?

I guess the fact that you have to understand that everyone has their own perspectives and groups of people who think alike, but at the same time, think differently than other groups of people. As one of my mom’s colleagues said, “You don’t have to agree with someone’s words or actions, you should just be able to understand them.” This seems pretty simple, and allows for the opportunity to learn more about others than you could imagine.

As I write this, I feel like I’m alone when I think about stuff like this, but from experience so far at university, I’ve found that you never really are alone when you voice an opinion. There are so many people like yourself, and when you find a connection its nice to hold on to it, but most definitely not important to do so. Saying that, let me know if you think anything similar or different in regards to situations of judgement. It’ll be nice to see another perspective.

Till the next post: keep smiling, keep thinking and keep learning 🙂

Peshawar Attacks

This may seem like an odd beginning to a gruesome story of the day, but bear with me. You know in movie beauty pageants (and real life ones I guess as well) where each participant is asked what their biggest wish in the world would be? Or something they would improve on and the most generic answer heard would be “World Peace”. As cliched as it may sound, that would honestly be my first and final wish.

And by world peace I mean no wars, more understanding of people’s positions, actions and thoughts, cooperative countries moving towards keeping this world alive instead of losing to Global Warming etc. Anything else you can think of?
How about cons: Slower progression in technology?  ….. ….            …………
I may just be thinking of this with my “_____ will solve all the problems of the world” thinking right now, so take it with a grain of salt.

Regardless, it has boggled my mind from the very start as to why we live in a world of war. Is it literally just jealousy that another country is better than us, or has better resources?? because that is plain dumb and sounds like a kindergartner’s excuse for getting into a fight. You want MORE power or control over more people/land? Hate to break it to ya but it will get you nowhere. Peace among humanity, however hard it is to imagine, seems like a utopia, something so perfect, yet out of our reach. At the same time, it starts with little steps that we see people from everywhere in the world accomplishing from apologizing for a misconception, or understanding a situation to its fullest extent- that ends up educating the world further.

Now, in light of the Taliban attack in Peshawar, I fail to find the words to communicate my distress with the situation. When I first heard of the situation it seemed so outright dumb and ridiculous, that I didn’t believe it. 10 seconds on Google or any social media site right now would show you that it is an actual event that happened today. My first question to the Taliban (the group who seem to have done it according to news): WHY? There does not seem to be a proper reason as to why this is something that must be done to make ANY sort of point to the world.

Other questions that come to mind: Why on this planet earth, would you go to a school, and shoot children in order to make a statement!? What point are you trying to prove? What statement are you trying to make? Why do you enjoy seeing the grief experienced by not only family and parents of these children, but anyone that is human? Anyone with the knowledge of your actions has enough power to decide when enough is enough, what is right or wrong, and when things need to come to an end. In my books this should have been put to an end a long time ago.

Now I don’t know if anyone has ventured into the issue to say, do the Taliban know what they’re doing? They may know but do they understand they’re consequences? On what basis are their actions justified to them? Though it seems like the reasoning would be wayward or just not understandable, it would be worth seeing why they do this, and take action from there. And by action I mean educating action. I feel like I sound like this naive innocent girl by saying, literally just TALK to them. But at the same time, it seems like the action that makes most sense, because how else are you supposed to find out why they do this?

It makes me upset to see this happen in the world but at the same time, taking the initiative to bring the subject to light is educating and taking action. I can only do my best to educate AND learn from the world around me, and continue to send the message on. It would be a miracle and gift to see hate in any way shape or form, eliminated from out lives.. in this generation.

If you have additional thoughts to add, comment away or let me know your point of view. This was my little rant on the attacks today. I hope more of you who read this actually take a bit of time today to read up on it and learn what is happening in the world around you. The world only learns when you decide to DO something… anything with information that you gather and learn.

In the midst of Semester 1: Final Exams

It’s the middle of exam season, I’ve finished my 1st two university exams, and though it seemed very nerve-wracking to begin with… I pulled through and now I have 3 left. I finally understood after a long and painful realization of what “keeping up with your work” in university means.

It seems like a very obvious scenario of “everyone knows what it means but no one does it because we all want to enjoy life and that’s how all university students work”… which is all perfectly fine… but that’s not me. After dealing with the IB program, I know it sucks to fall behind in work, it bites you in the end so bad. Knowing that, I stayed on top of some of my work this term at least…. but at the same time I still have no idea how to study for exams. I made an attempt. Yet somehow in the end, some/most of my attempt seems to going to waste right now because the stress level is way more than it should be right now. I get overworked, time and time again with the same stress of “I don’t know how to study” and “life is hard” and “I don’t want to do this anymore”.

The revelation of this post comes along in sight of knowing I have to make changes and in my conscious decision to try to change some of them for the better. One thing I know I’ve done for the better is, for the past semester I’ve been part of a First-Year Student’s transition program where upper year leaders mentor a small group of students in how to handle stress, midterms, time-management, different resources at the university to help with specific issues, or even to lend a listening ear. This group has no doubt made me more aware of what I know I’m doing wrong, and pushed me in A direction towards making positive changes for the future if I didn’t like the way something turned out.

So the jist: What I need to do next term to have a better time in dealing with school, friends and exams.

  • Complete the work assigned as soon as possible instead of waiting for a break of period to get it done.
  • Create a short daily schedule of what I need to get done.
  • Sleep and work when you need to, but don’t be afraid to say “no” to someone, in order to get your own work done.
  • Prioritize, sleep and don’t forsake your mental health for studying.

Other than that, to anyone else in exam-mode, happy studying and remember you’re almost there 🙂

“You don’t want to look back and KNOW you could have done better”

The Rush, The Excitement & Settling Down

FYI: This post is mostly for my sanity and to get back into the routine of blogging.

I’ve come to the realization that it’s been well over a month that I’ve posted anything new and though I remember I had promised to try publishing more regularly… I failed quite miserably. More on the terms that I would be too lazy that day or so with an idea in my head, inspiration on my fingertips but no motivation to write. This has caught me a little off-guard at the start of this new school year that I’m still getting used to. Let me recap so you get what I mean…

  • The last time I had posted (end of July) I was in the middle of working and had not started packing for the adventures of university yet. That was a very frustrating time where I wasn’t getting any of my summer goals done, but I was enjoying the work I was doing regardless.
  • As August rolled around, packing started and that meant even more thoughts muddling my mind considering how university would be? would I meet new people? would they be nice? will I forget my old friends? is the program too hard for me? will I make it a good first year?? All-in-all lot’s of self-doubt and questions about new experiences waiting to take place.
  • Finally at the end of August/beginning of September, I move in. As big of an experience as it seemed to hold, it felt like I was packing for a big trip simply. The realization of not being at home started to hit the second week here, AFTER Welcome Week (i.e.Frosh Week). After meeting less than 1/4 of the school population in under a week, it was time to get down to work and study.
  • As boring as it sounds the remainder of September passed by in a blur but made ME feel more welcome and comfortable than I ever thought I’d ever feel with moving out for university.

Through these past months and every moment in between I’ve probably thought of 5-8 topics to write about or a blurb that I wanted to share. But my procrastination is queen and denies the opportunity. The stress seems to be getting to me every little while from all the work I’ve collected and not completed. Thankfully though, the friends that I’ve found here so far are wildly motivating. *Sometimes all it takes is another confirmation that you’ll make it and you will be alright*
While having what few topics I remember floating in my head these days I realized that I needed to get them out, off my chest to have feedback, or simply look back at what I had written and improve the process in the future.

New Goal: Next time there’s a topic on my mind. Put it out in front of you as soon as you can 🙂

Frustration and Quirks.

Current feelings: Happy, a bit excited, annoyed and confused.

All those feelings just for the start of university in the fall. Actually no I lied, there’s probably more going around but that’s all I can name right now….

I’m happy and excited to be starting afresh and getting a chance to explore the possibilities that encompass me… more freely 🙂 I’m annoyed and confused with the way the preparation is going so far at home. Let me explain: Considering that in the fall I’m starting a-new, living on res, getting my own food, taking care of myself essentially… I had expected that I would be more involved in the process of considering what to buy, taking more charge, and getting ahead of the game with tons of research so that I can spend more of the summer relaxing. It’s eating away at me at how stressful and annoying the whole situation is, as part of the family insists waiting till August. That leaves 2.. max 3 weeks to get everything together AND pack. It might be do-able but it would be super stressful. Why would I do that to myself?

So, today I’ve just been thinking about stress and my little quirks that everyone gets annoyed by but no one (especially the fam) tries to understand or accept. FOR ONCE in my life so far I’m trying to get ahead of the game and plan so that everything runs smoothly but no. Part of my family decides, “We’ll wait till our guests leave and start looking for things THEN.”. I’m baffled as to what I should be learning from the situation when they stop me from taking charge of a situation…. Any ideas?

But my quirks are all over the place… one of which considers the situation I mentioned above — hypocrites. Whether it’s myself or other people, when people say one thing and do another it bugs the world out of me. To me it shows how dishonest you are of your values, beliefs and responsibilities (Bye Bye stranger). There are exceptions to any situation but this is the foundation of that quirk.

Hey, lets name another quirk that got a hold of me today! 😀 I’ll start off by explicitly stating that over the past few years my “staying neat” obsession has deteriorated. I can be extremely neat when I want to be, but when I’m in a hurry or not in the mood… the process has hit a wall… many times. Given my neat obsession though, I make it a point to stay as organized as possible or try to get things back in order ASAP. I also dislike it very much when anyone from my family tries to clean up the room I sleep in. Regardless of the number of times I’ve told them directly to refrain from cleaning my room in any way.. or tidying up or MOVING things for that matter… they continue to do just that. They know it bugs me, its so annoying and I am still unable to understand why they would do that… “Let’s walk in and move everything around – yup fabulous idea.” Like no. There’s a reason you don’t live in the room with me, and ok fine, I get that it’s your house and we all want to maintain the house commonly but give me some space to be myself and chill. I don’t go around the house putting my stuff everywhere. This the one space I CAN do it and you won’t even allow me that??

This is the point where I have to ask myself when is too much? For me or them? One side of the brain argues that “It’s just family, they don’t mean any harm and only want the best for you, let it go.” while the other screams “GIVE THEM A PIECE OF YOUR MIND. YOU’VE TOLD THEM ENOUGH TIMES AND THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS NOW. IF ANYONE ELSE IN THE FAMILY WERE TO SAY THE SAME THING YOU DO, ABOUT NOT TOUCHING ANYTHING, EVERYONE LISTENS. WHY JUST ME? THIS IS NOT FAIR AND I WILL NOT REST TILL SOMETHING IS DONE. So after that brain attack, I pretty much lose it and sit down in my room sleeping and crying because dealing with the situation is too worse for me to even think about. That’s a brief summary of today’s events in a much more dramatic way. Enjoy the rest of your day without this rant writing.

2 weeks and some time to reflect

Its 2 o’clock in the morning and I can’t sleep. It’s also been a long 14 days through which I’ve gotten the chance to mull over things that I’ve been thinking about and figure out what I actually think about certain situations. Time to jump right in.

In stride with the previous post I have been working at a new summer job for 9 weekdays now and I’m impressed by how much I’ve actually learnt. I am simply a summer intern at this new office which has actually got me tired out by the end of the 8-5 working day. I’ve been able to so far, come home, relax, prep some lists for university and get some time to myself without feeling too overwhelmed. I really didn’t know this was possible – considering that for 4 years I’ve had the procrastination monster breathing down my neck. During 8 hours of working time I’ve begun to learn a lot about the small administrative tasks each department of a company needs to do and picking up loose ends that executives need help with. I might be the “gopher” in the situation that just does what it’s told for now, but hey work experience FTW! The best part I think is the people that I’m working with. My coordinators are helpful and if I have any questions I’m not afraid to ask them and I think that’s really important when you have to work with a variety of people to run a company. It makes the learning experience that much more interactive and expansive… It makes you want to learn more! And I can’t remember the last time I had a hold of this feeling. 🙂

So other than an enjoyable job for the next two months, the reality of shifting into residence in less than 2 months is settling in… As a side note I’m a very organized person and like to have lists for EVERYTHING. It’s very annoying sometimes, even for me. But as I create a list of everything I need for the upcoming school transition, it puts into perspective all the things I will have to learn to do slightly differently or I can keep within my comfort level. Things that will make me feel at home and things that I will have to get used to. From sleeping on a twin bed to spending 10 min in the bathroom instead of my regular half hour. It’s a process but mental preparation helps when I actually have to deal with the situation, which seems to be comforting.

I also have a list of fun stuff that I plan to do this summer that includes projects such as finishing the Supernatural series to creating a giant dream catcher to hang in my bedroom (dorm or home bedroom? I don’t know yet..). I’ve been chipping away at the list ever so slightly so far but as I budget my time better through the coming weeks, I’ll be running through it at top speed. Right now I’m in the beginning with the possibility that 2 items will be crossed off by the end of this week!! (Let’s not jinx it yet…so you’ll know after I’m done!)

As for the family I’ve had over for the past couple of weeks? It’s been eventful and I guess I’m beginning to learn more about their whole understanding as well as their perception of certain situations. While trying to maintain myself as who I really am while around them, its important to consider but not give into their perception of any situation. Acknowledge, understand then act appropriately. Does that sound too mushy or philosophical? Maybe. Let’s hope my past 2:45AM ramblings are as comprehensible and worthwhile as Germany’s winning goal in the FIFA 2014 finals. 🙂

Time to get some shut eye. I’ll have to find something new to write about next time now….