Something I’ve Had on My Mind

Recently, I had a friend say to me (more or less), “lesbians are gross, like I think vaginas are just gross… I just don’t get it, how can you like that?” L.o.l.

In said friend’s defense, I really don’t think it was intended to be judgmental or discriminatory. What she was trying to express was that she simply cannot wrap her brain around a girl wanting to be sexual with another girl, given the fact that she has personally never felt that way before.

But although it came from an innocent place, that still doesn’t make it okay. I get irrationally defensive and angry about comments like this because I feel so differently about it. I know we’re all entitled to our own opinions……I GET IT OK, FREEDOM OF SPEECH, YADDA YADDA, I KNOW. But I think that when your opinion is negatively targeting someone who identifies as part of a minority group, your opinion is offensive regardless of your initial intentions. Minorities are already historically oppressed, so by spreading more disapproval, you’re just furthering the oppression.

Also on a less serious but still important note, why do you care anyway?????? Is some girl trying to force you to eat her out and THAT’S why you’re so offended by the concept??? Because in that case, you’re going to have to have a nice lil’ chat with that girl about boundaries and consent. Otherwise, from what I can gather, I don’t think lesbians are affecting you in any way? So can’t you just let them live their lives happily and in love just like you want to do? For example uh, I don’t necessarily care for the idea of an orgy but likeeee personal preference, man. Let the people love how they want to love. PLUS, wouldn’t you, as a straight girl, be offended if someone said “I just like, don’t get straight girls…like I think the way they have sex is just gross”??

I don’t know. I guess I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by so many people in New York with such open-minded opinions that I don’t often hear comments like that anymore, so it really shocks me when I do.

Love is love and I sincerely cannot wrap my brain around why that concept is so hard to grasp. Our world is so dominated by this straight, cis-gendered culture and it doesn’t make any sense because its 2016 and we know there is so much diversity so why are we still fighting it!!!!!

FOR EXAMPLE (I’m going to get personal so bear with me), my dad is gay. Or bi…or whatever label to you want give it. My dad hooks up with dudes sometimes. He was also married to my mom for decades so I guess if we’re going to label it, let’s go with bi. Anyways, moving on. This is so massively important BECAUSE in so many ways he was/is so, so ashamed of it. And in so many ways it basically ate him alive and now he will suffer years and years in jail (sort of) as a result.

I only found out my dad was bi a couple years ago when he was already mid-downward spiral. That breaks my heart. Obviously it is something that has been difficult for me to admit, but in all honesty, that difficulty only stemmed from the fact that he hid it. And the fact that he ALWAYS taught me to accept any and all sexual preferences, but he couldn’t even fully accept his own. In a way, his shame turned into my shame, and for lack of a better explanation, it just confused the shit out of me.

I know that “times were different” a couple decades ago. I’m sure he struggled a great deal and I can’t be mad about the fact that it was extremely difficult for him to accept himself. ALONG WITH THAT, I know that it is still very hard for soooo many people to come to terms with their sexualities today…. BUT THIS IS MY WHOLE POINT.

WE, AS A COUNTRY, ARE THE REASON THAT THIS IS STILL SO DIFFICULT. By spreading negativity we’re basically preaching that you should be ashamed of your differences. 

Do I think my dad would not be in jail if our community was overall more accepting? Not necessarily. He has plenty of other issues going on that factor in to that situation…….BUT I do think I would have had a much deeper and more honest relationship with him if he had been less afraid to love who he wanted to love.

To hide part of who you are out of fear is a horrible, horrible way to live. Why are we STILL actively letting people suffer this way? Why do we STILL care about sexuality (and gender) SO MUCH.

I know I say all of this as if change should be easy. And I know, in a way, I might sound like I’m minimizing the situation. But in reality, it really should be that easy. I know it never will be. The world will always be filled with as many opinions as there are people. And I know my opinion may not change a single person’s mind, but I still think it needs to be said.

I still think people should be reminded that it really can be that simple to change your outlook. It can be that simple to accept that everyone is different. You may not agree with their actions, but you can live a life full of compassion regardless.

There are so, so, so many worse things happening in the world to worry about. Quit wastin’ so much negative energy on this topic and fix world hunger or something IDK, GOD. 

Apparently I’m Neurotic

alexkrump:

 Lol

I say that as if it is a surprise BUT I guess I never really understood what “neurotic” meant until recently? Actually, I still don’t really know what it means in its entirety, but that’s besides the point.
They other day I took a personality quiz, and before you say anything… I KNOW I need to take it all with a grain of salt, okay????
But it was just a little eye opening and I want to share why:

I took the quiz with 3 other friends and when we finished we compared results.
It was 120 questions with results that were broken into categories like extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.
Those categories were then broken into subcategories. Some key subcategories to note: trust, anxiety, depression, self-consciousness, vulnerability, emotionality. 

(You can take the quiz here: http://www.personal.psu.edu/j5j/IPIP/ipipneo120.htm)

To sum it up: for each category you are given a score between 1-100, 1 obviously being very low and 100 being extremely high. For the subcategories above I scored:

  • Trust: 1
  • Anxiety: 98
  • Depression: 98
  • Self-consciousness: 94
  • Vulnerability: 99
  • Emotionality: 91

All total, my neuroticism score was 99/100. The description for this reads: “Your score on Neuroticism is high, indicating that you are easily upset, even by what most people consider the normal demands of living. People consider you to be sensitive and emotional.”

Am I surprised by that? No…. But also kind of. My friends’ scores for trust fell anywhere between 65-95. Their scores for depression/anxiety/etc where all below 20. AKA THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF MY SCORES INCASE THAT NEEDED EXPLAINING.

I couldn’t help by immediately isolate myself within my own brain and replay the same question over and over: “why am I SO far on the opposite side of the spectrum?” Or atleast why is that how it looks on paper?

Why do I look at every person that I find attractive and automatically envision them hurting me before they even talk to me? Why do I immediately assume they won’t care about me enough, or won’t understand me enough, or won’t like me enough to like me and only me? Why am I so cynical to the point where I don’t even know how to have feelings for someone anymore? Why do I pick out every flaw in everyone I meet before I even know them? I have a endless track of critiques playing every time I eye up someone I find even mildly attractive.

DO YOU KNOW HOW EXHAUSTING IT IS TO CONSISTENTLY BE THINKING THESE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT EVERYONE (MYSELF INCLUDED)?

A couple of my friends recently started new (serious) relationships. I used to get so jealous of my friends in new relationships because I thought it was so cute and I wanted to experience those happy feelings too. Now I can’t even imagine myself feeling the way they feel, and I get almost angered(?) by my friends’ happiness.

THAT IS NOT NORMAL.

I’ve always lacked trust… fine, fine, whatever, okay I get it, BUT it’s never been this bad.

I know a lot of it is subconsciously related to my dad (and also the subconscious fear than no one in their right mind would want to date someone with “daddy issues”… Isn’t that like the #1 turn off in the unwritten book of turn offs?), but I think a lot of it also has to do with having really unstable friendships growing up.

I know that is where a lot of my anxiety stems from too. I’m very accustomed to the idea that if a person decides they’re bored/annoyed/etc of me they can (and probably will) just stop hanging out with me. It’s so hard explaining that to people that grew up with reliable friends, because they don’t consistently struggle with that little bit of fear lingering in the back of their minds like I always do!! It influences basically every interaction I ever have.

Then add some hypersensitivity into the mix and it’s just one adorable endless cycle!! I get hurt by something, I add it to the list of reasons why I don’t trust people, then I judge others and isolate myself, I feel alone, I wonder why no one will love someone like me, then I get hurt, and start over again.

And I think the feelings just slowly get worse and worse over time too.

God it’s lonely.

But how do I fix it????

Podcasts

alexkrump:

I have listened to a lot of podcasts and I am running out of one’s that I enjoy. So naturally the first idea I jump to is: I should start one???

L O L if only it was that easy. But in all seriousness…should I?? 

I listen to a lot of really awesome podcasts. Some that I listen to are just about interesting unsolved crimes/mysteries/etc (ie: Criminal, Serial, Undisclosed, Unsolved Murders). A lot are just interviews with people I find interesting (ie: Anna Faris in Unqualified, Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig, Zall Good with Alexis G. Zall, Off Camera with Sam Jones), And some are just about life, emotions, and the issues we all may encounter (ie: Beautiful//Anonymous, Mental Illness Happy Hour).  

There are SO many other genres of podcasts out there that I didn’t even list (and many that I listen to that I didn’t even mention), but my point is: PODCASTS ARE COOL AND INTERESTING AND I THINK I HAVE SOME GOOD IDEAS.

Is that narcissistic of me? What if the reason I want to start the podcast is because I want my friends voices to be heard via interviews? 

I want to actually think harder about this idea because it could be v cool. ok 

6.27.16

alexkrump:

I took a gymnastics class today for the first time since I was 16(?)… aka it’s been a decent 7+ years and I learned a few things:

1) Using the excuse that you’re “too old” to do certain things is soOoOoO silly.

Last year I was a nanny for 2 kids in DC. At every sports practice I took them to, I used to sit on the side lines, jealous, feeling secretly a little sorry for myself, because I was “too old” and “too out of shape” to play anymore. I remember taking Zoe to gymnastics so many times and feeling so nostalgic… like I had had this long, hard breakup with the sport or something. Gymnastics was my life for over 12 years. I really missed having that passion more than I had realized. If only someone had told me sooner how silly I looked for being so jealous of her and not doing anything about it. I should have started this a year ago ~regrets~

2) NYC is full of so SO many amazing people… you just need to step out of your comfort zone to meet them.

In a single hour and a half long class, I made so many friends. And it was soOoO easy because we had something in common to bond over. There’s an immediate feeling of camaraderie when you’re all brought together by a similar appreciation. It felt like I was part of a team the minute I stepped on the floor. People clapped for you, they encouraged you, they helped you get better. It’s so awesome to just fall into a group like that without even trying.

3) One friend is all you need when you’re afraid to put yourself out there.

I’m pretty shy when I’m by myself. Put me in an environment filled with strangers and you’ll be lucky if I say a word the whole time. My friend and I agreed to go to the class together tonight and it made a world of difference in me. Having her there gives me the confidence to be myself.

4) Finding something you like to do feels GOOD

I haven’t felt this good after working out since I was a kid. Good like emotionally good. Like endorphins flowing, adrenaline still pumping, good. I’m in so much pain but I can’t stop smiling. Everything you’re stressed about literally disappears when you’re working out and actually ENJOYING it.

Privilege

alexkrump:

Earlier today I took a Buzzfeed quiz about privilege. It basically consisted of 100 questions that relate to race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, mental health, etc. Essentially the more boxes you check off, the more privileged you are. (You can take the quiz here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/how-privileged-are-you?utm_term=.xte7Xjp8e#.nmPWlxLjp

I got a 60/100. To me, when I originally saw that number, I felt almost sorry for myself. I immediately looked at it as 40 reasons why I’m not good enough. But I read the description associated with that number that said “You’re quite privileged. You’ve had a few struggles, but overall your life has been far easier than most. This is not a bad thing, nor is it something to be ashamed of. But you should be aware of your advantages and work to help others who don’t have them.”

This gave me a whole new perspective on my privilege and how I compare to others around me. I’m so quick to pity myself sometimes, because I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by a good amount of friends with lives substantially easier than mine. It’s really nice and humbling to be reminded that, although not EVERYTHING is easy for me, a lot of things are, and it’s not something I should ever take for granted.

PLUS it’s such a huge motivation-booster to see people that are considered to be substantially less privileged than I am, doing amazingly successful, great things with their lives. It helps me to remember that just because some things are difficult, it doesn’t mean I can’t find happiness and success too.

 And even more so than that, it gives me hope for the future. It makes me think that maybe, slowly, we are actually moving closer to equality in America. That just because someone is female, or queer, or of color, or trans, or poor, doesn’t mean they can’t have all the same accomplishments as an upper class, white, straight male. Don’t get me wrong, I can safely assume that those people less privileged had to work at least a little bit harder than the stereotypical white male, but they’re still succeeding and showing people that it’s possible to defy those odds! 

This is what we need to keep fighting for! I’m so adamant about equal rights and I think that confuses people sometimes because they see me as an upper-middle class, straight, white girl. But 1. it’s easy to judge me and assume those things based on my appearance AND more importantly 2. you do not have to be part of a minority group to care about their rights!!!!!!!! Allies need to help the cause or nothing will ever change!!!!! Ugh that part infuriates me because, to me, it feels like a lot of people I know only care about issues that directly affect them but PEOPLE’S RIGHTS MATTER AND YOU NEED TO CARE.

Okay this post took a ramble-y turn but anyways those are my thoughts thanks for listening!!

alexkrump:

There’s no eloquent way to say this…or if there is I don’t really feel like trying (lol)… but I just wanted to say how weird it is to look back at old pictures I posted on my Tumblr during the first couple years I was using it. 

Someone recently liked a picture I posted during my freshman year of college (2011) where I stated, “a couple of the biggest changes in my life thus far have happened recently”. That comment alone boggles my mind.

I feel so far removed from that person I was 5 years ago, yet I am consistently having this crisis about feeling like I’m still an 18 year old trapped in a 23 year old’s body. 

I posted that picture in 2011 before my parent’s divorced, before my brother’s accident, and before my dad’s arrest. Since then, I’ve also made so many new friends, lived in 6 different houses/apartments, and worked in 3 different cities.

Sometimes I really have no idea who I am right now, because my life is basically just constant change. When I posted that in 2011, going to college was one of the first real HUGE changes in my life and I really craved it. Now all I crave is stability. 

No point to this post aside from the fact that LIFE IS WEIRD MAN.

It makes me excited and also extreeeeeemely terrified for the future. 

Perceived Confidence

alexkrump:

I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence recently, or at least perceived confidence. As I’ve mentioned multiple times before, I have a problem with being passive and letting my social anxiety take control. For a long time I think I just assumed the two went hand in hand. Being socially anxious does sometimes make me passive. I avoid conflict. I avoid conversations with people I’m not completely comfortable with. I avoid anything that makes me vulnerable and that could potentially make an interaction become uncomfortable. I let others determine every aspect of how my social interactions will go. I, by definition, am pretty fucking passive. But if New York has taught me anything, it is that being passive is not only not going to get me anywhere, but its ultimately going to eat me alive.

I let my perceptions of myself be defined by other people’s perceptions of me. When my dad was arrested last year I let my shame determine how I handled all of my interactions. I always found myself making excuses for people that started treating me differently because of it. I was always walking on eggshells hoping not to offend anyone with my presence. I literally remember apologizing to so many people as I opened up to them about my dad. As if my personal struggles were in some way something I needed to be sorry for? ? What I failed to realize at the time, was how often I was offended in the process and how badly my emotional stability was suffering as a result.

This weekend I went out to a bar in my hometown for the first time in a very long time. (Backstory: I haven’t truly lived in my town since high school, but until recently, my mom still lived there and I visited often. My relationship with my “home” is complicated… maybe I’ll elaborate in another post sometime. But for all intensive purposes, I really like it there, regardless of some of the negative memories I have associated with it.)

Anyway, I’ve always been a little hesitant to go out to bars in my town. But I have some awesome friends from home still, and I don’t see them as often as I should almost entirely because I am afraid that I’ll be put in uncomfortable social situations with people that will judge me based on my family.

So on Friday I decided to go out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. While at the bar, I ran into a lot of people I used to know/be friends with that I haven’t seen in years. The idea of seeing these kinds of people in this type of setting usually TERRIFIES me because 1) my anxiety makes the thought of small talk with acquaintances seem literally crippling sometimes, but more importantly because 2) almost everyone in my town thinks they know about my family due to all the publicity my dad’s arrest got and all the gossip said publicity created over the past year and a half. This aspect of the situation alone is usually enough to keep me far away from any social situation at home.

This time I faced my fears head on. I threw caution to the wind and spent my night divulging a LOT about my life to a lot of people who definitely were NOT expecting it. Granted, I was drunk so I had a lot of ~liquid courage~ but that’s never helped me to be more ballsy with anything like this in the past! I went on and on about my dad being arrested, my mom hooking up with guys I graduated with, my brother being bullied after the arrest, my own mental health, etc. Basically, when it came to anything that people could and have read or talked about over the past year – I was an open book. It was a RUSH! AND I’ve never had such positive responses! I felt like the most confident girl at the bar.

Now listen, don’t get me wrong, this shit still hurts. These things still get to me and clearly I’m not all that confident with any of it yet. But if I can act like I am, and open the dialogue on MY terms, then I finally can be in control. I finally feel like I don’t have to be seen as someone begging for acceptance, but instead someone promoting understanding.

I think it opens people’s eyes a bit to see someone acting visibly confident about something that can be seen as controversial. And honestly, even more-so than that, I feel like opening up about personal issues allows people to be more comfortable vocalizing their own. Everyone has something they’re struggling with. I’m a strong believer in the fact that there really is no such thing as “normal”. 

The experiences we go through in life, both good and bad, make us who we are. I’ve always been willing to accept that about others, but It’s pretty liberating to finally be accepting that about myself too. 

Currently Listening To:

alexkrump:

Living – VERITE
Weathered – Jack Garratt
King – Years & Years
Guillotine – Jon Bellion
Wildfire – Seafret
Close – Nick Jonas, Tove Lo
Hide & Seek – Amber Run
Human (Acoustic) – Jon Bellion
Wild Horses – Bishop Briggs
Meteorites – LIGHTS
Jackpot – Jocelyn Alice
ILYSB (STRIPPED) – LANY
Veins – Keyes
Secrets – Jacob Whitesides 

I’ll elaborate on these later. My emotions have been all over recently, which I think is VERY apparent to anyone who follows me on Spotify right now (lol). 

These songs are a good mix of happy, sad, passion, and everything else in between. Hope ya enjoy

Confessions of an Eggshell Walker

alexkrump:

I’m trying to write more like I used to. My first couple posts on tumblr were very emotionally driven i.e.: about my feelings on graduating college, about my struggle with emotional expression, etc. But I want to share other thoughts too. Who said blogging needs to be intense!

Today I saw a new therapist. This is the 4th therapist/psychiatrist I’ve gone to in the past 2 years. The initial meeting is honestly like a drug. I get a high from divulging a bunch of information to someone I pay to listen to me. I almost want to cancel my next session with this therapist just to find a new one and do it all again. In the past 2 years I haven’t ever added the emotional factor to therapy. I guess that says something about me. I’m all for sharing until I have to be vulnerable… then count me out!

Today I also told my therapist that I have never ruled out the fact that I could be attracted to women. That’s something I’ve never said out loud before today, but why!! I’ve honestly had that viewpoint for a while now. Why am I scared of anyone knowing that? I have always grown up with the understanding that sexuality is a spectrum and can be fluid. I genuinely preach that belief to people. So why am I so ashamed to put myself somewhere on that spectrum just like anyone else? I have no idea who I’ll fall in love with one day!! That ain’t somethin’ to be ashamed of, at least I don’t think so. Love is love, man. Just because I’ve only kissed boys in the past doesn’t mean that I might not want to kiss a girl in the future. Honestly, can any of you “straight” people confidently say you disagree with that? Maybe. Agree to disagree I suppose.

Anyways, I think my point in that is that I’m often hesitant to share my thoughts on certain topics out of fear of judgement or disapproval. But I’m almost 24 years old and I’m done trying to live my life by consistently walking on eggshells to be accepted. You gotta like me for me, ~DUH~.

Way easier said than done, clearly, but HEY. I don’t want to look back 20 years from now and realize I’ve spent my all of my time tailoring my actions to fit other people’s ideals.

Being bullied as a kid fucks with your trust, man. So does anxiety. Having this voice consistently telling you that no one really likes you, your relationships aren’t genuine, and your friends have ulterior motives is hard! But the more I talk about it, the more I learn to navigate my life even with those little voices there.

So it turns out sharing a little bit of my personal life on here has already had some pretty cool outcomes

alexkrump:

Although these may be little accomplishments, bear with me, because its progress nonetheless. The morning after I wrote that long post about my inability to express my feelings, one of my best friends reached out to me about how she felt like it took a lot of courage for me to share those thoughts publicly. I know its silly, but things like that, even from someone I talk to everyday, feel really great sometimes. 

Sometimes all you need is a reminder that what you’re doing takes guts. It is so easy to beat yourself up and feel like you’re weak and cowardly and incompetent because you don’t have everything (or anything at all) figured out. As cliche as it is, we really are our own worst critics. I am so guilty of that every single day. But positive affirmation from someone can really go a long way. I need to remember to try to share that positivity with other people more often also. 

Today another friend of mine happen to stumble upon my tumblr and that post too. It felt good to know that I have people that genuinely do care, and genuinely do want to listen and want to let me be open and vulnerable with them. It is so easy to automatically assume no one wants to hear what you’re struggling with. At my anxious moments, I work myself up and assume that because no one is asking if I’m okay, they don’t care about my wellbeing. But in reality, how does anyone know to ask how you’re doing if you don’t give them a reason to? 

It takes a lot of courage to admit to someone that you’re not okay. But I try to remind myself that that courage almost always brings a massive reward. It is terrifying to feel like you’ve given this big part of yourself to someone else. Especially because they can literally do anything they want to you in return. No one has to accept and support you, and honestly not everyone will. But I can pretty confidently say that most people will, and with that support you will grow. Those people who do end up judging you will help you grow too. 

Not every day is a good day for me. I actually had a few pretty bad days before this, but I’m thankful for today. I am thankful for the reminder that I have people to rely on, even when my anxiety is trying to convince me I’m so completely alone. With this support I will hopefully start to take more and more baby steps towards allowing myself to be a more honest and vulnerable person. Maybe one day I’ll be able to share these feelings in person with someone! 

It’s also pretty cool that my post last week got 3 likes. I know that is such a minuscule number, but to me it means a lot. It means there are 3 people out there that read that post and could relate to it enough to like it. There are 3 people out there that understand how I feel. 

Maybe one day soon I’ll have the guts to share something more detailed about my dad.