Let’s Reevaluate: Sex.

The word of the day is sex. Parents and family members of certain discretions, turn away from this article because I am about to be extremely candid and the last thing I want is for you to look at me in a certain way once the family reunion comes around. Or you can read on; I am not your boss and it is your mind that is about to be rewired. Happy Reading!

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Let’s Listen: Music & Lyrics.

It never ceases to amaze me how much wroth and meaning we can pull out of music. The depths it can take us, the scenery it can create, and the emotion it can provoke; it’s wondrous and frightening and insane. As a routine, to keep my sanity in check and my emotions in balance, I listen to music every night before I drift off into reverie. I lie there, headphones in, lights off and I stare at the ceiling. Not because I have glow in the dark stars plastered across it (although, I should), but because it’s the closest thing I have to a blank canvas.

I stare at the same spot in the ceiling, only visible through my depleting vision (I would have taken my glasses off already) and the street lamps casting what little orange light they can through the slits of my blinds, and I paint a picture of my life that is tune to the song.

One moment, it’s like ballet, precise and gentle. A memory of me people watching at the mall; the chaos of people, the cacophony of children screaming, and the mundanity of such a trivial chore go quiet and all I focus on is me and how I implant stories and lives to these temporary people walking by. People I’ll never see again. People I’ll never bother to wish “Happy Birthday” or want to grab coffee with. Then the song changes and the canvas is blank once more.

The rhythm is upbeat, but the lyrics hold something deeper. A daydream of me and him finally meeting at the airport. A heavy heart, a piercing look, a hopeful smile. Beyond the canvas, I can feel my left arm tingling, I’m about to cry. Tonight, I don’t want to cry so I hit skip before I could give it the chance to bring up any unwanted tears.

The bass bangs my eardrums and I’m almost instantly on my feet and still in my underwear. Blinded by the lack of corrective lenses and shrouded by the dark of night, I start dancing in the small area around my bed. My phone that is in my hand is no longer a phone, but my guitar pick. I rock along as hard as I can and without care because no one can see me. The canvas takes a break because for once, I feel like I’m living in the moment. What matters is me, the music, and my killer guitar solo.

Music can do so much and yet we so often mindlessly bob to the rhythm in the driver’s seat without giving any regard to the lyrics themselves; the messages embedded so deep within the music sheets are almost always looked over. Let’s stop that.

Homework assignment: Look up the lyrics to the last five songs you listened to and see if they resonate with you. I have a feeling they do.

With music, what draws you in is the melody, but what should keep you there are the lyrics.

Let’s Rant: Whose Last Name is It Anyways?

One day, I want to get married. This much is true.

Being twenty-two, I am of course pondering this as a legitimate possibility. Having a husband to hold with whom I can begin a family; what twenty-two year old isn’t thinking of that (hint: most twenty-two year olds aren’t thinking about that, so let’s call me a special case and move on)? It hasn’t been until recently that I have seriously delved into the thought of marriage. Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t even received equitable rights if I were to marry someone. Now that I have the option and the freedom to do so, I have one serious question to ask: Whose last name do we take?

It’s a silly thing to wonder, isn’t it? For most people, it’s simple: take the last name of your husband. Done deal, sign the license and get to your honeymoon. But when both of you are the same sex, what then? Do you hyphenate? Do you switch? Who gets the honor of being before the hyphen? Does it all matter? The idea of marriage has only recently become progressive that the inner workings are still a bit traditional. My thought process began there and proceeded to creep its way through the crevices of my brain and plant itself deep within the hippocampus, too stubborn to move and too strong the leave me alone. The idea that the woman has to take the last name of the man is about as regressive as it is archaic. Even now as a society, we are barely grasping the idea that we can do what we want. If Zoe Saldana’s husband can take her last name, why can’t we do the same? Why not pull inspiration from the ‘They’re Just Like Us” spread of your favorite gossip magazine and make an attempt at being different? Why not disregard tradition?

There are so many things society is willing to abide to for the sake of tradition. That being said, what constitutes a tradition and are those bylaws allowed to be broken? Just because your mother and father did it one way, are you supposed to be attached to the idea that you should follow suit? I feel like traditions should be seen as suggestions as opposed to strict rules. This newly imbued malleability allows a person to pick and choose what they feel is relatable to them. If you don’t want to jump the broom, don’t do it. If you want to have sponsors at your wedding, have sponsors. Don’t be confined to such limitations and obligations set within one word.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, whose last name would I take?

Seriously, whose do I take?

Fuck it. I’m hyphenating…

Let’s Avert Our Gaze: Attractive People.

Aren’t people just so damn attractive?

Let’s just, for the sake of this post, leave our knowledge and notions of the male gaze at the door and ride along the stream of consciousness. Buckle in, we wouldn’t want anyone to fall overboard.

I’m about to get extremely candid with you, dear reader, so be warned. If you are a family member who doesn’t mind or has a strong stomach, keep reading. If not, then, well, it won’t be so bad. I’ll try to keep it PG-13…R, at the highest.

When I first meet an attractive person, I can never make contact. I haven’t fully deciphered the reasons why, but here are three that I have come up with so far:

  1. Their beauty is actually a special ocular repellant made especially for my eyes.
  2. Little me in the southern region is calling my eyes lower, because he wants to look too.
  3. I am simply not worthy of their presence.

This always happens and it’s what I’m patenting my “Radar of Sexiness.” In the event that I go blind upon encountering someone, please make sure they marry me because he needs to pay for taking my sight. I first realized the actions of this radar when I went to Trader Joes with a friend of mine. We were about to check out when I caught eyes with this extremely attractive man working the cash register next to ours.

He was tall, pretty athletic looking, and had hot pink hair.

Okay, that last part probably had some deeper meaning attached to it. Maybe he was involved with Susan G. Komen or was really into switching up his looks. Both of these unsubstantiated truths are ones that I can get on board with, so I am sticking to them. Regardless, my eyes darted straight to the contents of the cart and I immediately pulled my friend in and said, “Holy shit…I can’t. I just can’t.” With no further context clues beyond those words, she understood me perfectly.

However, with my luck what happened next seemed almost too appropriate. He came over and asked if he wanted us to move to his line, which was now open (a fact I didn’t bother to realize because he was too good looking for my own good and I just can’t look in his general direction). My friend, after a five second pause, told him we were good and we went on to pay and leave.

All that being said, I feel like I should’ve just bitten the bullet and gone to that line. Said “Hey. When are you off? Want to grab a drink? Want to go to the restroom and not rest?” Then again, those are only phrases I would write out and never say out loud to someone. I mean, what good would that have been if I actually said it? If those words were uttered, they’d be to the card scanner as I entered in my PIN number. I feel like that’d be very awkward considering I’d rather have sex with the pink-haired adonis and not some machine that gets swiped every five minutes.

Am I alone in this? Does anyone else avert their gazes at the inconceivable beauty of random strangers? Or am I doomed to this radar-related curse?

Better yet, I should just learn how to properly talk and flirt with a man. I think that’d be best. Until then, you can guarantee that if you spot me looking at the ground, someone very attractive is near.

Let’s Count: The Days When No One Else Mattered.

Day 1: You were annoying and creepy. My mother advised me against talking to strangers and that night I had wondered if I was right to defy such a directive.

Day 3: Rebellion reaps rewards. The texts good night and good morning had begun and there wasn’t a part of me that wanted them to stop.

Day 6: I fear that something new and scary may be happening. I’m unaware of where it’ll take me but for once in my life: I don’t give a fuck.

Day 7: One week later and I still don’t believe it. The conversations, the jokes, the flirting. Is this what ‘dating’ is supposed to feel like?

Day 7.5: Does it count as dating if the distance between the two is roughly 2,500 miles? Society says no, but I couldn’t care less.

Day 10: The texts become less frequent and I fear the repercussions of such a short-lived “romance.” I feel the quotes are necessary because even I am unsure of its validity at this point.

Day 15: I’m in over my head. This was stupid. I should stop texting. I should stop checking my phone. Why did I just check my phone? Stop it, Jason, put your phone in a drawer.

Day 15.2: Phone has been put in a different drawer, in a different room, on a different level of the house. The psychosis continues.

Day 17: Move on. This was never, ever meant to work out.

Day 20: Admit feelings in a long, essay length text. Hit send. Regret immediately follows.

Day 21: I never thought I’d get to the point where you were the only one I saw, the only one I thought I would care for, the only one that mattered. I can’t stop smiling, nor do I ever want to stop.

Day 50: I hate you.

Day 80: A month of abstinence. I feel good; Clean…free.

Day 80.5: Why you chose today to text me, I’ll never know…but I can feel myself falling back in. Hands reach out to help me but I refuse. I blindly and gladly accept this fate and am awash in my decision.

Day 95: I’m drowning.

Day 110: I reach the surface for air and breathe in nothingness. It’s lonely in the middle of the ocean; it’s even worse when you can see your ship sailing away without you.

Day ‘Who Gives a Fuck?’: It’s Christmas, I shouldn’t even think about you. I shouldn’t be wondering what your family wrapped for you under the tree, or if your dog is taking sips of eggnog, or how I should be running to your door with a mistletoe in hand. I shouldn’t be thinking that…I shouldn’t be thinking.

The Day A New Years Kiss Should Happen: It never happens.

Day 1v.2: Hello again.

Day 14v.2: Happy Valentine’s Day.

Day 20v.2: A pointless pep talk that leads up to a large, three-worded bomb is the last thing I expected today. But I love it.

Day 25v.2: You called me tonight and I wish I had never hung up. I wished it lasted hours longer. I wished we would fall asleep on the line and act like there isn’t some rift separating us. You said you called because “[you] thought it’d make me happy.” You were right. I was. I am. Very happy.

Day 30v.2: I can feel myself becoming that much closer to saying something so big and life changing that I can’t even begin to fathom the “right” way to start.

Day 45v.2: College is over. RIP Undergrad.

Day 50v.2: I don’t think I’ve cried so hard, yelled so loud, or hurt so deeply. It amazes me how one person can lift you up so high and let you fall so easily and with so much grace. Sadly, I was finally able to say the words I had longed to profess. If only it were under better circumstances.

A New Day: Today, I vow that I will not let something encompass me so deeply. I won’t let someone cloud my judgement. I won’t let someone control me. Yet as I type this, I feel that today is also the day that I vow to break that vow, because I seldom keep the promises I make to myself. In the moment nothing is constant, nothing is set. You were the person with whom I thought I had IT. The person who wouldn’t fail or falter or fuck me over. The use of past tense has never been more appropriate. I want to say that I, in no way, regret anything. This was the best experience, the worst experience, the most fulfilling experience I could have ever hoped to have. But, I felt the need to write this because I can’t even begin to move on without acknowledging where I’ve been. I want to be able to close this chapter of my life and start on a new one. A chapter where you don’t matter as much to me as you once did. I sat here and counted the days where you made an impact on me and those days were plentiful, but they are not inclusive. There will come a day where no one else will matter and I have come to admit that you won’t be the last man standing; I will.

Let’s Experience: Closure.

You’ve locked the door, you’ve thrown away the key, and now you sit alone in your living room finally free. Now what? Like everything else in this world, everybody experiences it differently. They go through different processes, explore their feelings in different ways, but ultimately and deservedly achieve closure.

While I won’t claim it to be the best feeling in the world, it does feel pretty damn good. But what does it look like? What does it feel like? Should you be cheering at the top of your lungs or crying your heart out? Should it feel like you’re actually closing a door or like you’re opening a new one? Should you still care about who is on the other side of it? These are questions to consider and questions that I cannot and will not answer for you, simply because I am not you. If your road leads to unabashedly singing Taylor Swift at a karaoke bar or mindlessly writing about your ex in a way that shows them as they truly are, then so be it. I’m not here to judge you. I don’t know you, so that’s not really fair. Regardless of how you answer those questions, there is one thing that is nearly certain to occur: waiting.

If anything, closure isn’t immediate nor is it a panacea for the broken heart. I’m sorry if I’m the first one to tell you this, but I highly doubt that I am. There really isn’t anything worse than having a stranger tell you something that is “truth” and also something you don’t want to hear. Yet here I am, dropping some honest-tea on you (you can than the internet for that horrible pun). Like any death, you will grieve. The stages are similar, but in the end the last thing you must do is relent in moving on. You relationship ended for a reason. From experience, I’ve opened my heart out one too many times for the same person. In hindsight, it was for the same reason every time. And every time I got hurt. And every time it was for the wrong reasons. I never trusted my gut. I never truly moved on. I kept hoping that something different would happen and that there would finally be a happily ever after. That’s what I told myself; I was bargaining for something that wasn’t truly there anymore or ever truly was.

Everyone saw it but me.

I always say that no situation is universally applicable and there isn’t one in existence. But I will say to trust your gut because it’s almost never wrong, but it’s always annoying. Closure is sought after and expected, but it comes with time and patience and doubt. When it does, I urge you to be prepared for tears, for shock, and for relief. It will come in waves with small moments of relief between the crashes. Just know that it will come soon enough and bring with it a much needed and well deserved relief.

Let’s Be Prideful: Finally!

Finally is the not-so secret word of the day, as The Supreme Court of the United States FINALLY ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry across the country. Honestly, it’s about damn time because I am sick and tired of living in a world where people are denied such a fundamental right, granted to those who are:

1) alive.

2) american.

3) someone who probably wants to get married one day.

To be alive, and somewhat a part, of such a historic day makes me look back and pay homage to those before us who paved the road to this day. We can’t forget that while we made it to this goal, not all of us made it. There are people who marked the path, laid down the ground work, and poured the pavement. There are people who set up streetlights and crosswalks to keep us safe. There are people who put reflectors on the road to guide the way. Not all of these people made it to see this day, but damn if we let those who made it forget that these people even existed to begin with.

In school, I attempted to avoid history courses whatever the cause. Loopholes, roundabouts, replacement courses, anything. It didn’t interest me because I was so consumed with moving forward towards the future that nothing behind me mattered.

“It’s in the past, it doesn’t affect me!”

I’ll also add now that past me was not only young and naive, but also an ignorant idiot. Don’t worry, the recent, updated version is much more understanding and willing to take into consideration that there are different ways of thinking, being, and living.

Jason v.34.3.1 is aware that history/herstory/the past is what makes us, us, while still allowing us to acknowledge that there is room and a necessity for change.

So today, on June 26, 2015, I stand with pride. I stand for those before that could not be here, I stand for those who cannot, and I stand because I freely can. For the next month, you can guarantee that there will be bride oozing out of every orifice of every American who is happy to be a part of such an amazing feat. Well, it is Pride Month, so I do suppose that was already a given, but on the proverbial boombox, they will crank it to 10, then break the fucking knob in an attempt to achieving volume 15.

Break out the rainbow flags, your comfy shoes, and march.

March with pride because, finally, there is pride all around us.

**An updated version has (now) been featured on Elite Daily**

Let’s Rant: Communication Matters.

*begins rant*

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? So obvious its almost patronizing to even bestow upon this post the title I have given it. Yet some people just don’t really get it, so let’s talk.

If you know someone who is bad at communicating, I do hope you refer them to this post or to someone that can provide legitimate help (i.e. someone that isn’t me, because I’m just a “self-aware” twenty-two year old who has a penchant for WordPress and a word bank of big words like epistemology and phenomenological). While I haven’t been around for that long, I do acknowledge the importance of good communication. The presence of which can create long lasting relationships and the lack thereof which can destroy marriages. It’s a terrifying thought to ponder: how not talking can destroy something that you hoped would have such a stable foundation. I guess it isn’t until you start tapping at it that you realize that it’s faltering beneath you.

I have been through icy freeze of the cold shoulder and have listened to the surprisingly loud static of radio silence and can confirm that it doesn’t feel good. Tactics or not to convey a message of upset or distaste, it’s something that yields very bitter results. I do acknowledge that it’s hard sometimes for most people to communicate their feelings, but you can’t expect your partner to respond favorably to how you’re acting if they don’t know what’s going on. You can’t expect them to act in any way because they feel that everything is relatively “normal.” That may not be the case. I just want to say on behalf of everybody: I know it’s hard to communicate sometimes. I know it’s hard to say what you’re feeling. I know it’s hard to find the right words to even form what your mind is attempting to fathom. But please, please, please don’t let something that has the potential to be amazing go because it’s hard.

It can get easier. It can become wonderful. It can be so many different things if only you’re open to the possibilities that communication can hold. Just don’t fall off the face of the earth, when there’s somebody right there who’s willing and wanting to help you stay grounded; if anything, hold on tighter.

*ends rant* Happy Friday.

Let’s Write: An Open Letter to the Hopeless Romantics

There’s a knock at your door. It’s about noon on a Saturday and you’re curious as to who it could be because you live alone and all your friends decided to go to the beach without you, even though they claimed that you were invited. Curious, you turn your doorknob and open the door to reveal the guy who once bought you coffee at the Starbucks down the street. You don’t know his name or why he is there, all you know is that you wanted this to happen forever. He’s panting and is holding a dozen white roses in his fist.

“I think I could be in love with you,” he says between breaths and you jump into his arms, kiss him, and ride off into the sunset, even though it’s still noon. Your alarm goes off and you wake up. If this dream sounds like something you would think up, then you may be a romantic. Welcome, we’ve been expecting you and the first message we would like to say is:

You are not alone.

We exist, we are out there thinking up wedding proposals with flash mobs and animal assistants, and picket fences, and puppies named Chowder and Emmett. We exist, yet we are colluded by cliches; hidden beneath the romantic comedy tropes of boomboxes held over heads and love poems read aloud in class so as to profess a newfound feeling we never knew existed. We are also hidden beneath the raindrops of the torrential downpours on beaches and cold winter nights spent spooning under the covers. It’s appropriate to say that our expectations on love are constructed by these notions found in every film and television show because they are things that surround us everyday. And that’s okay. We hold those scenes so close to our hearts, because it’s what we feel is true to us. It fills us with hope and we try our best to bring those romantic professions out of the fiction and into the reality.

But in a world that is constantly changing, are these notions slowly going extinct, just as quickly as the romantic is disappearing? With the uprising of Tinder and Grindr and social media, in general, have we as a society lost track of traditional romance? Will we no longer hold boomboxes over our heads or write love poems? Have we already traded these for right swipes and thumbs up? For the romantic, these notions aren’t something that is going to be given up easily. We will hold steadfast and stoic in our ways, knowing that our romantic gestures aren’t for naught. It’s a lonely road, but it’s one that’s worth taking.

So perhaps, romance isn’t dead, maybe it’s just changing with the time and haphazardly sweeping the traditional notions under the rug of outdated cliches? But that doesn’t mean we, as romantics, should let up. That’s not in our nature. When all else fails, isn’t love the only thing left worth fighting for? If it’s there, shouldn’t we hold on for dear life and hope that it will work out? We are needed in the world, because we perpetuate the idea that true love and romance still exists out there somehow. We feel the need to say how we feel all the time in letters and grand gestures because that’s how we were taught to act. Yet to those who brush that off as cliche and tired, see us as weak. Romantics aren’t weak and whiny and holed up in their rooms hopelessly dreaming; romantics are strong and adamant. We aren’t hopeless or whiny or even hopeful; we’re certain. To all the romantics out there: stay certain.