Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism


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Chick-Fil-A: A matter of convenience?

I’m sure you have read plenty on the Chick-Fil-A issue in the last few weeks. I do not want to take a stand for either side (Is it ok to base your business on such values and support them financially? Is it ok that a mayor voices his opinion on the matter? and so on). But I have a general impression on this issue that I want to share.

What struck me most about the entire debate is this tiny little fact: It’s all revolving around fast food.

Who doesn’t like fast food, who doesn’t consume it at least occasionally? Mean tongues may even whisper that fast food is among the central aspects of American food culture (not necessarily a bad thing!).

And now, with Chick-Fil-A, we have two camps: The supporters, who are now consumed more chicken sammich than usual because they support the anti-gay-marriage movement, and the ones who refuse chicken in order to support the pro-gay-marriage movements.

I never knew just how politically uninterested Americans are until I learned about it and saw the situations here in Europe. I don’t want to generalize, there are many Americans who work very hard to express their political interests. That’s a great thing. But there’s a general disinterest in politics. Only a little more than 50% of all Americans make use of their right to vote. In Germany, an average of 75% make use of that right, other European countries go up to 95% of all people with the right to vote. I think from this point of view it’s safe to say that people don’t really care about politics and how it influences their lives as well as the lives of others.

Shame on those Americans who refuse to vote on a regular basis. Don’t bother me with the argument that freedom also means the freedom not to vote. Yes, it does, but to maintain freedom you have to vote. Not voting because you have the freedom not to vote is a strawman argument for people who like to watch those partially scripted, finely acted out debates on TV but at the end of the day they’re too lazy to move their asses out of the house. Not voting is not an appreciation of freedom, it is the sheer ignorance of the freedom you enjoy and, if you ask me, a punch in the face for the millions who died and still die until this day (and will do so in the future) to obtain the right to vote. But, let’s move on.

Considering that actual engagement in politics is quite a bit of work, eating or refusing a certain type of fast food is the easy way out. People who don’t give a rat’s ass about politics (and expressing this by not voting, for example) suddenly have the option to engage in something because it’s so much easier than it usually would be – it’s so much more convenient.

Suddenly, our politically uninterested John Everyone can sit at work and loudly express their politic interest by voicing that he had a Chick-Fil-A meal to support anti-gay-marriage. And Lisa HobbyLGBTpride-supporter(but it’s actually too time-consuming) may announce that she’d rather eat her shoe that something from Chick-Fil-A.

An important aspect is the fast food environment in general. First off, fast food is not something Chick-Fil-A is the only provider of, or the most popular provider of. It is not even a large provider! Avoiding Chick-Fil-A is so very easy. Chicken fast food can be obtained at almost every other fast food chain. There are much bigger and more popular ones (think McDonalds, Wendy’s, etc). It’s not hard to avoid it geographically, there are many places where a different fast food restaurant is just round the corner. It’s literally a difference of one street that you’re driving in your car. And that seems to be, unfortunately, as far as most pseudo-politic activists are willing to go. And the reason why politicians actually have the guts to speak up against this company only have the guts because they’re not facing a giant that might just screw them into the ground so deep that they’d end up in a kangaroo’s bellybag.

Let’s think about this in a different way: What would have happened if we were actually dealing with a company that means something? One that is not so easy to avoid as just driving 100 more feet to get food? What if, highly hypothetically, Microsoft were in this situation instead? Would we avoid it? Would we refuse it? There are other options, but they’re not as convenient. Would we feel like doing the same thing? I’m sorry, but I don’t think so.

At the end of the day, the Chick-Fil-A is a pointless debate. Because sometimes, a chicken sammich is just what it is: A chicken sammich, and nothing more.

You’re not going to change the world, politics, or anybody’s opinion. You’re not going to take down an ebil company. You’re not doing anything that really matters except saving a poor, tortured chicken’s life. Well, that’s the one good thing in this.

And for the record: I am an avid supporter of gay marriage and the LGBT community. I support all people who work to change something in the world and who are involved in politics, no matter what side they’re on. I am pro active society.

But I can’t like a debate that is nothing more than an instrumentalized fast food debacle.

(One last edit: I have nothing against this form of protest and I still support all writers who have taken on this issue in the past weeks as well as honest, sincere refusers and supporters of Chick-Fil-A. It is about the dimensions, especially among the usually disinterested crowd and the general media attention it gets compared to other much more severe issue than a small fast food chain being homophobic.)

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The internet and me.

I have never been good at the internet. Really. I constantly forget to check the comments on my blog, or the messages on my Facebook, and reaching me via email is about as likely as meeting the pope.

People make fun of me. “Did you see the link I sent you on Facebook?” – “No. I didn’t check my Facebook in… 4 weeks.”. Or “Are you coming??” – “Coming where???” – “OMG did you not see it on Facebook???”

And on top of all that, I’m not quite sure why I own a cell in the first place. I use it as an alarm clock in the morning. That’s about it. Sometimes people call me, sometimes I even pick up – if I don’t have it set on silent, and the battery is recharged, and I actually carry it around with me and didn’t leave it on the nightstand where a normal alarm clock would spend all day, typically.

Texts are even worse. I read them all. But I never reply. Not because I’m a bad person or I don’t like you, I simply forget! A while ago my boss texted me (on Tuesday) to ask if I would come in on Sat to cover for someone who called in sick. I went there on Friday for a coffee with my friend. My boss came running at me asking if I didn’t get his text.

“Oh, yeah, I got it!”

“Then why didn’t you reply??”

“Well, I forgot. But I’ll come in tomorrow.”

“Why couldn’t you just tell me on Tuesday???”

“Well, (giggling) I thought thinking that I’ll come will do it.”

 

Yes, people get frustrated with me, but I also get frustrated with people.

I don’t understand why you would need your phone at all times unless you’re essential for the survival of the human race in case of an alien invasion! I hate when people keep texting/what’s apping/emailing while talking to me. I hate that everybody has to check everything on the internet. I hate when people sit with me, drinking coffee, interrupt me to tell me “I have to update my Facebook so people know where I am”. People most likely do NOT want to know where you are at all times. I hate when people keep downloading useless apps just to show me what they can do with it.

I generally hate when people can’t concentrate on what’s really going on because they’re so caught up typing crap into their phones that won’t change ANYTHING about reality for ANYBODY.

I think it’s rude, it’s inappropriate, it’s bad manners.

And most of all: I hate when people freak out because they don’t have their phone for, like, an hour. Most can’t imagine being without their phones for a week.

Here’s an update: You do not die if you don’t play around on your smart phone for a day. Nobody will miss you. The internet will keep existing even without your constant input of information nobody asked for (and cares for, for that matter).

Can you tell how much I hate phones?


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Gay marriage and pedophilia?!

Among other things, I am pro gay marriage. This is mainly because I honestly and genuinely do not care the least bit whom my friends and, more importantly, people I do not know nor will ever meet, are married to. I simply do not feel affected by the fact that two men in Maine are married and live together in a nice picket fence house. I don’t care if they live across the street from me either, or in the same apartment building. I do not care if one of my friends is married to a man or a woman, because it isn’t any of my business. I make my own choices in this matter and I don’t think it’s anybody else’s business who I’m dating, or marrying, or whatever. Live and let live, to be accurate. Why would I get upset that two men want to get married by law?

Sure you might throw in some economical and social issues here: That gay men can’t have children together and therefore shouldn’t have the advantage of paying less tax because they’re married, or have cheaper health care rates, or whatever. But on a more realistic note: How many couples are there who do not want any kids, ever, or simply cannot have kids. It would only be fair to families with children that these couples pay as much tax as if they were unmarried, right? Once you step on the area of social and economic issues, the ground gets shaky. Let’s not even go there.

I understand that churches don’t want to perform gay marriages and that’s perfectly fine. Hey, it’s your religion, do as you please. But the state, the law should give every single citizen the chance to make his or her own choices and be treated accordingly.

Now, there’s a lot of rage going on in the christian world against gay marriage. That’s alright, but you get your freedom of religion, let others have that too. The christians are still an important force in the fact that gay people are prohibited certain choices in life.

You are not allowed to be married because you don’t want to marry the opposite gender. That’s freedom right there. What happened to the legendary pursuit of happiness? That’s only allowed if you conform to the standard.

I even understand people who have doubts about the socioeconomic consequences. Really, I do. But you have to realize that allowing gay marriage will not “make” more people gay. The percentage stays the same. Gay couples are just as productive to a nation as any other couple who doesn’t have kids – or no biological kids for that matter, since gays might still adopt one if they wish. Plus, this logic doesn’t apply in all cases! I know that many lesbian couples, in fact, do have biological kids. It’s no problem for them at all. I have even heard of one couple who ended up actually having sex with a man in order to get pregnant because they couldn’t afford artificial methods. Sure this isn’t for everyone, but matter of fact gay couples do have biological kids. Likewise, a male gay couple might just as well find a biological mother (and maybe a surrogate mother as well) and have biological kids – may it be through natural or artificial methods. It’s simply not true that gay couples don’t contribute by not having kids. And, as I said, there are just as well heterosexual couples who don’t have any. If you go down the road of social and economical value of a couple, you might as well punish every couple who doesn’t have kids by not allowing them to marry. I suppose every couple fill out a contract that forces them to have at least 2 kids within the next 5 years. If they do not, they’ll be automatically divorced. How’s that sound?

But moving on the my actual point: It creeps me out, it disgusts me, how any living person could compare gay marriage to pedophilia.

To quote Answers in Genesis on that matter:

The majority in power in many of our Western societies once believed the institution of marriage should be one man for one woman. But this has changed. Many are now allowing “gay marriage.” So how long before polygamous or pedophiliac relationships are allowed, which some people are starting to advocate? Who is to say they are wrong, if the majority agrees with them? (Full article here)

I also think it’s wrong to compare polygamous relationships to pedophilia, but that’s a different subject.

What’s being done here is lining up forms of relationships that are formed between two (or more) consenting adults to a form of “relationship” in which one adult in some sort of position of authority over a minor who is, by law and by developement, not in a position to consent. The first two forms are an agreement between adults, the last one is a form of child abuse by pressuring him or her into doing things he knows nothing about, with consequences he or she can’t understand yet, by making him or her believe “it’s ok”, “just don’t tell anybody”, it’s “their secret”. How can you possibly put that on one level?

It’s funny how suddenly supposed wrong behaviour in adults is made equal to certainly wrong behaviour (towards children). It’s especially funny to me because to those very same people, violence and physical abuse are two different things depending on whether the victim is a minor (and related to you) or an adult. Beating your children with spoons and belts is right, doing the same to your wife is wrong. Why differentiate here when you don’t differentiate sexual relationships? Why is two consenting adults having sex just as bad as having sex with children?

I get the point that sin is sin is sin, and in that matter they might be right, it might be viewed as “just as bad”, but so is stealing and envying your neighbor for his beautiful cow. But, speaking strictly from a point of view that puts freedom and equality of each and every citizen as the focus, gay marriage is NOT like sexual abuse. And the fact, the mere fact that you would publish a sentence such as the one I quoted above, and put this material into young people’s minds, that’s irresponsible and disgusting.

Have not enough people suffered and died because they were gay? Must you put them in a place where they are just as bad as people who sexually abuse girls and boys? What’s going to happen if these gay people end up being in a place where they are at mercy of maniacs who believe they are just as bad as child abusers? They’re going to hate them, beat them, and in some places on the planet, stone them. It’s done, just read the news.

Oh my, I can’t tell you how much these things upset me. We all scream for more freedom, consider us as people who live in countries of freedom. Not everybody here is free, nor will ever be. But, bah, can’t we at least try?

(I wrote this post a while ago and just now remembered it after I read one of Melissa’s recent posts. It’s not connected in any way and I don’t mean to associate her or her story with it. I simply remembered because she’s saying the same thing about gay rights and I think that’s something that needs to be said. Anyway, I encourage you to read her posts, I was very touched by her honesty and courage. How many people would’ve just given up? Sounds cliché, but Melissa is a role model for me – and so is her husband.)


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“A nice place to run”

ATTENTION, A QUICK NOTE: This is purely fictional. Nothing of this has ever happened to me or anybody I know. I felt like actually posting one of my private fictional stories here because I somehow felt it makes sense in the context of this blog. It’s not really spell- and grammar-checked, so please forgive me some weird expressions. It’s kind of long, so if you don’t care for it, you won’t really miss out on anything!

I’m not much of a runner. I’m not a sports person at all to begin with. But a few months ago my doctor told me I needed to do something. Some sort of sports would be good, he said. Well, I can’t do much. I’m not good at team play. I’m not very patient, or anything that would make me a good sport really. I figured I could at least put one foot in front of the other. Step, step, step. Yes, that I can do. So why not run?

I was very exhausted at first. I didn’t manage more than a quarter-mile without getting real close to death through a lack of oxygen. But I got better. By now, I can easily run three miles without major signs of exhaustion. Five if I’m really pushing it. But I always go more. I read somewhere that if you always stop at what you think is your limit, you will never actually get past of what you already can do. So I push it as hard as I can. Step, step, step.

I don’t like running through the city. I look like a terrible mess within the first five minutes. Hair messy, sweat dripping down, clothes disparaged. No, it’s not a pretty sight. I usually get into my car and drive into the woods, not too far from here. There’s a small house with some parking spots right in front of it. My car isn’t the only one there. Lots of people go there to walk their dogs or run like me. But the woods are big and I’m not too worried somebody will see me all messy. It’s a very nice place to run.

That one day, I tried to warm up before running, but I already told you, I’m not very patient. So I took off without bothering too much. First I ran along the path that leads away from the small house towards the woods. It zigzags through fields of wheat and I don’t know what other grain. Wheat on the left, other grain on my right. The woods are maybe a quarter-mile away. From here, I can overlook the area because it’s on a small hill. It falls down on both sides, revealing fields of wheat, more fields, patches of trees here and there, and then, finally, the forest stretching out for I don’t know how long, infinite, maybe. Surrounding me like a soft warm hug. It was a sunny day, I recall, the warmth burning my exposed shoulders, the dried up path feeling hot and dusty under my shoes. As I entered the woods I instantly felt reborn. The fresh, cool air breezed through the lush greens of the trees and noise, noise everywhere. Birds sang, pecked, rustled through the bushes. It was such a wonderful day, I felt as if I could go on forever. Maybe if I did, I would get to the ends of the woods. I suspected there would be a cliff, and nothingness. If I jumped, I’d fall off and stop existing. Or maybe only time would. I’d be caught there forever, watching the eras pass.

The crowns of the trees formed a roof over my head and I followed the path. Here and the sunlight broke through the leafs, spotting the soft, damp ground yellow and white. It smelled of freshness and greenery. Step, step, step. And then, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful patch of white flowers just a few feet off the path. The wonderful smell ran over me like a wave and I stopped, completely in awe. A huge patch of may lilies, their sweet, lovely scent covering every inch of me. I left the path to pick a bunch. The ground felt so different there, softer, covered in year old needles and leaves of the trees around me. The perfume was incredible. I don’t think there is a better smell in this world than fully blooming may lilies of fresh forest earth. I took deep gulps of the air there and suddenly felt whole. I followed the patch of flowers, bigger than I first thought it was, followed it into the unknown depths of the forest. With fresh may lilies in my hair, I took up running again, enjoying the bouncy feel of untouched ground. I closed my eyes and the woods lit of with an explosion of the loveliest sounds I know. Birds, birds, more birds. I took a deep breath and –

I lost the ground. It was gone, suddenly. For just a second I though I had actually reached that cliff, and fell off, and cursed myself for making it real. With a loud thump I hit the ground, my bones moaning at the power of the impact. I immediately felt it, the cold, the awful cold, and when I opened my eyes, I saw the darkness all around me. I didn’t move at first, waiting for the pain to shoot up one of my limps or maybe even my spine, but it didn’t come. After a few minutes, my vision focused on the world above me. Dark all around, but there, a hole in the roof, and through the hole, the woods and the pale sunlight. I got up, sighing from the numb throbbing in my entire body, rubbed my back and tried to look around. I couldn’t place it at first, or rather, I refused to place it, until the words came out as a whisper. „A cave.“ I looked up again. I couldn’t really see the tunnel I came through or how deep I was, but I suppose it was something like fifteen feet. I felt to see if I could find a wall, and as my hands reached stone, another stone, neatly aligned and sealed, I knew this was man-made. The floor was soft, covered in leaves and needles, but under it, concrete.

I don’t know how long I stood there, yelling for help, trying to climb the walls to no avail. And even if I could climb them, how could I reach the tiny tunnel in the middle of the roof? It was pointless, and the muddy forest probably swallowed my voice.

Time passed and it got darker and darker. The sun was setting. I was shivering from the cold, from the fear, from the anger. The less light was coming in from above the better I could see the cave around me. And once darkness had completely fallen, I noticed something. In the distance, to my right side, I saw the weak shine of green light. Green light, in the distance? Here, underground? I went through my options, there weren’t many. I slowly started to feel my way towards the light and realized that there was another tunnel, leading into the deeper undergrounds. Hypnotized by the possibility to find light, I followed the small doorway into the tunnel. It wasn’t a high tunnel, but I could walk upright. The tunnel formed an U-shape over my head and again I could feel the signs of man-made construction running my fingers along the walls. After 25 feet the tunnel ended into a sort of hallway, continuing to my left and my right. The hallway went on for a long distance, I could not see the end of it. And every ten feet, a green emergency light. Even with the lighting, it seemed endless. I called out „Hello? Is there anybody?“. No answer – no sound except the muted whizzing of the power through the cables. In the hallway to my left I could see something on the ground, pieces of wood or furniture, or something like that. I decided to follow that hallway. My steps bounced off every wall, creating echoes, sounding like an army marching. Long before I had reached the rubble on the ground I saw that there were doors every few feet. In the low light I could see they had writings on them. „Amunition Storage 4-A5“ and „Power Supply Hallway 1-A“ and „Dorm 23-A36“. I called out again. No answer. I kept following the hallway until I reached the pile of garbage. A broken down wooden door. Dusty. Destroyed. The door belonged to a room that was now open and lit only by more emergency lighting. I stepped into the room. „Hello?“. Silence. It wasn’t very big. Some closets on the walls, a desk and a chair, all covered in dust. But under the dust, right there on the desk, I saw some papers. I took a quick look at them, nothing that I understood, weird texts of aunts with green tea and babies bitten by lions and the uncle having left for Hawaii. Then I spotted a more familiar sight, a newspaper. The yellow paper and the paled ink looked unfamiliar, and the headline read like a foreign world: „We will not surrender!“ and under that, a pictures of happy soldiers on a tank. I scanned the first page and found the date: April 25th, 1945. I stared at the date for a long time, trying to make sense of it. I looked around again, the newspaper still in my hand. There, through the slightly open closet door I could see a piece of clothing. With a squeaking sound I opened it. A grey uniform and on the collar two white letters, „SS“, on black ground. I turned away, put the newspaper back on the desk and went back to the hallway. I screamed. I called for help. I screamed again. Nothing. Just the hallway stretching out to both sides, silent, staring at me, wondering what I was doing there. Just before my eyes could fill up with tears and blind me, I took off running again. Ran along the hallway, passing doors with more writings on it, reaching more hallways, a maze of hallways, stretching out for I don’t know how many miles, green light everywhere. I must have ran at least five miles, I could feel it. And still no way out, no door saying „Exit“ on it. I stopped, slumped together in the middle of one of the endless hallways, right under a green lamp, and cried. I cried for minute, for hours, for days. And as I looked up, I recognized the writing on the door right before me: „Nutrition“. My thirst suddenly seemed endless. I steadied myself, stood up and turned the handle on the door. It sprung open with no effort. The room was dark. In a sort of reflex, I felt for a switch next to the door. As I found it, and pushed it, single lamps started to flicker up, enlightening the large storage room I was in. Shelfs over shelfs, going on and on and on, filled with water bottles, with cans of food, untouched. I walked along the first row of shelves and grabbed a water bottle. It was full. Thirstily, I drank what felt half of it. I tried to memorize the location of that room and followed the hallway, this time calm and slow. I was incredibly tired. After a little while I reached a room marked „Dorm 75-C63“. Again, I could easily open the door. It opened up into a small hallway. As I turned on the light, I could see the signs on the walls. „Bathrooms“ and a little arrow pointing, „Community Room“ and another arrow, and finally „Bunk Room 1“. As I entered Bunk Room 1, I realized that at least 50 people must have slept in there. I followed through the bunk beds, all neatly made, untouched. I walked all the way to the back wall and climbed a bunk bed. I could oversee the entire room from there. I decided to settle there for some sleep. I left my bottle on the bed and took a look at the bathroom. It was dusty, a bit dirty maybe, but in a good condition. I turned the water on, and after a few minutes of noise and sputtering, dirty red-brown water started to flow steadily. After another few minutes, the water had taken on a sickly pale yellow color, which I deemed clean enough to use. I let the cold water run over my arms, my legs, and sprayed some into my face and onto my neck. I grabbed on of the towels, hung on hook on the wall, and dried myself up. I went back to the bunk room and settle for the night’s sleep.

I don’t know how long I slept. I didn’t feel much better afterwards. But I got ready anyway, putting my shoes back on, to find a way out. I wandered through the complex, not finding anything interesting, close to giving up, when I saw the sign on the wall. „Exit“. Arrow pointing. I suddenly had new energy, started to run towards it. Down the hallway. Another sign. Exit. Arrow pointing. Step, step, step. And finally, the bunker door. Sturdy, possibly made of tons and tons of heavy metal. A huge wheel to open it. I grabbed it, and turned. Nothing, Turned, harder this time, still nothing. For hours I tried turning it – nothing. I collapsed crying. I screamed, I called for help. Nobody.

 

I tried to open it with all sorts of things I could find. Never anything. I tried to find other exits. All locked too hard for me to open. I slept in my bunk bed, night after night after night. I rummaged the Store rooms, ate canned meat and beans and all that. Never anything. Never anyone. None of the doors had ever opened for me. I tend to forget how long I have been here for. No clock that works. No time. I finally seized to exist, I guess. I suppose I did fall off this cliff.


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JOY isn’t always a reason to be happy

A while ago Daniel and I were sitting in his kitchen. I was working on some school stuff while he was doing his laundry. The washing machine was running and he was ironing his clothes for work. One shirt after another. He took very, very long and I had troubles concentrating on my school work because he was just doing everything in a way that made things much more complicated. At some point I offered to show him a trick how to iron his clothes faster. I got up and showed him how to get the shirt into a position that will allow you to iron without ironing more wrinkles into it. I ended up ironing that shirt myself because I told him that now I started, I might as well finish that shirt. So he pulled the next one out and attempted to iron again. I saw that he wasn’t doing it the way I showed him and took over again. Another shirt. He was getting impatient with my bossy attitude and told me to stop ironing his stuff. I told him that I didn’t mind doing it. After all, I could iron three shirts in the time it took him to finish one. He said he minds, though. I told him to quit acting all hurt just because I criticized him. It was just a shirt! He started explaining to me that it wasn’t me criticizing him that annoyed him. It was the fact that he could very well do it on his own, even if it took him much longer. It was his work to do, his chores. He didn’t want me to act like his slave. That made me kind of angry and I ended up saying “I don’t mind doing it, I like to help. Don’t go all weird on me.” He was kind of upset at this point and shot “I won’T go all weird if you won’t go all quiverfull and shit.” Outch.

I left the kitchen and started to watch some TV. I was really upset and hurt. I don’t like having people throw things like that into my face. “Going all quiverfull”.

A while later he joined me in the living room and apologized for saying it the way he said it, but explained that it’s this thing I do all the time, to everyone. The thing where I “help” without looking after myself. The thing where I do things for others and drop all my own issues, even if it means that I’ll have a hard time catching up with my own stuff. Like dropping the schoolwork to iron his shirts.

Of course I denied that this was true. But deep inside I knew he was right. The same thing kept repeating in my head: J O Y, Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. Was I still doing that?

We kept talking about it and he could name a whole lot of occasions where I was acting this way. I ignore my own schedule to help others by driving them places whenever need be. When being asked what I’d like to do, I always say “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?” and then end up doing that no matter what. When somebody asks me where I would like to go for dinner, what I’d like to have, I always say I don’t care. I’ll eat Pizza when I’d rather have chinese. When we do a cooking night, I always ask people what I should cook. When they ask me what I want, I say “I don’t care, what do YOU want?”. When it comes to seeing a movie, I do the same. The list goes on…. and on…. and on….

It’s so frustrating. I never realized I was doing it. I asked my friends and they all agreed. Pretty shocking to me.

All of this put me into somewhat of a depression for two days. I thought I had changed, my life had changed and then I saw that one of the most painful philosophies of the QF movement was still the major philosophy in my life.

Daniel came up with a 6 week “challenge” for me. Whenever he would ask me what I wanted, I’d have to give him and honest, “selfish” answer. Of course, he would sometimes decide what to do, but about half of the time, I was supposed to make the decision. If I would say something like “I don’t know”, he would ignore me and do it on his own. Like, go and eat on his own when I didn’t know what we should have. I’d have to get my own then as well. It didn’t sound so bad. Boy was I wrong! It is so hard.

Three days later, he asked me what I wanted for dinner. I gave it a quick thought, remembering that I couldn’t just ask him back and then answered a casserole dish that I know he loves. He gave me a very sort of humored, sort of disappointed look. “You can’t just pick my favourite dish, especially when I know you don’t like it.” He was right. I do not like that dish very much. I eat it when I have to. I was so disappointed with myself. It sounded like such an easy thing to do. Why couldn’t I just say what I want?

Since we started I’ve been constantly feeling guilty about my decisions. Whenever I have to pick, I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

As weird as it sounds… I want others to make those decisions. I don’t care if I end up eating food I don’t really like, or watching a movie I’m not interested in. I feel so guilty and selfish, selfish, selfish when we end up doing something that I want to do.

We’re still on the six weeks and it’s a nightmare for me. Every single day he doesn’t ask me what I want is a relief. I do want to change… but it’s so hard.


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University?!

I’ve been incredibly stressed out with school and family life lately. I had a whole bunch of tests to take before the holidays as well as in January and since I was to do real good I spent most of my time studying. I’m not really good with math so I had a math-genius friend help me out a lot.

All of this school work got me thinking what I want to do after school.

Right now I’m 99% sure I want to study at some university. But that comes with a lot of questions! First off, WHERE do I want to go? Stay here? Go to the US? This question was rather easy for me to answer: I’d stay and study here. The very simple reason for that is that school and university here are entirely, 100% free. I wouldn’t have to worry about getting the money together or getting a loan. A loan is something I’m very, very afraid of. I guess that’s because of my upbringing, where dept was among the “worst sins” you could commit. Obviously it’s not a sin in the biblical way, but I was told to fear it and that’s just how I still view it.

But if I stayed here, where would I go? Lately I’ve had a thing for the big cities, just the dream to live in a big city for some time, be a city girl, do city girl stuff – whatever that means. Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt – so many places I’d love to live in! But there are Universities in smaller towns too! Most prominent there is Heidelberg, a University which is also considered one of the best in Germany and Europe (Berlin still tops it in subjects like medicine etc).

And once I decide where to go, what will I study? I’m leaning towards teaching. Not elementary school though, I’d rather go for older kids aka high school. I’m thinking English would be great but I’ll need another subject (at least one more) to teach. I’d love to take history, mainly because it really really interests me, but to sign up for a degree in history you need to know latin, which I don’t. Maybe German would be good but I heard it was really hard.

And all of that opens up another bunch of questions: If I were to get a teaching degree, what would I do if I wanted to go back to the US? I think it’d be a major issue to get a teaching licence for the US, and if I studied in the US it’d be very hard to get a licence for Europe.

Oh my, it’s really a complex issue.

But among all those questions and worries I really do find some positive things too. I’d never be here, at this point, wondering, if I stuck to my old life. It’s so freeing to worry about these things ON YOUR OWN. Nobody to tell you what to do. Nobody to hold you back. I can be what I want to be and in that, I’m already what I always wished I could be.


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Hopes, dreams and age

I’ll make a confession: I actually found the first grey hairs about 6 months ago. I put some color on to hide the fact that I’m turning grey as a donkey before I hit 25. When the color grows out about half an inch I start seeing the greyish hair again… Annoys me. I think aging with grace is a beautiful thing but I feel much to young for that at the moment!

Enigma posted about her birthday and that got me thinking. Aging is, in fact, something beautiful. I’m glad I’m not a kid anymore. I hope in 5, 10, 50 years I can look back and say “I’m glad I’m not 20 anymore!”. I think wrinkled skin has something beautiful about it and so does grey hair.

Our struggles, problems and lessons learned leave marks on our bodies, wrinkles, scars, a grey hair here and there. Having many of them is like a badge of experience. A medal of sorts.

I admire people who can tell stories about their lives. I remember listening to my mom telling us stories of her childhood in Europe. The picture she painted was vivid and exciting and whenever we sat down on cold evening to listen to her stories and sip hot chocolate the air smelled of old, long-lost times.

Living in Europe I have the chance to visit a lot of really old places and ruins. I love ruins and old houses. There’s a castle nearby which was built around 1100. I sometimes go there just to sit in the ruins and wonder who lived there and what happened there. I imagine scenes of medieval markets, kids playing games we forgot about. Scenes full of detail, like a girl and a boy secretly flirting in one corner, a little boy stealing some sweet bakery goods, a big woman slaughtering geese and so on. When I touch the stones I can’t help but wonder who else touched them, why they touched that stone and how their life went on.

And sometimes I wonder if, in 200 years, somebody else will come along and sit there wondering the same. Will he picture me sitting there, wondering why I was there? Will he wonder how I spent that day, week, the rest of my life?

I know for sure I ask these questions about myself, but that just makes me angry. Growing up I had such a secure vision of what my life would be like, obviously shaped by the teachings and beliefs I grew up with. I might have had interest in worldly jobs and careers, but I was sure I’d be married to a great man, he his help-meet, a housewife and mother. I was so sure that was my calling. And to be honest, that’s not the worst thing that can happen to anybody. A family should be a beautiful and fulfilling experience and if you can achieve that, what better purpose could you possibly put your life into?

I’m not talking the fundamentalist vision here. As a teen I had already dreamed of a rather secular version of family, where I could make decisions and not be under the authority of my husband but rather an equal partner with my own strengths. I wished for a man who would ask my advice and needed my support. And yes, I wished that he was a man who could cry and despair and then seek my comfort and strength, not suppress his emotions and act big and strong just for the sake of it.

When I left the movements I took these dreams with me in a little box, neatly folded up and hidden. I felt that I needed to change all my being and those dreams were not part of my new, worldly self. They couldn’t possibly be, after all one of the major reasons why I left was the fact that I did NOT want to get married – yet.

Just recently I realized how strong my longing for a family of my own is. Of course, not now, not at all cost. I want to settle things in my life and build something of my own before I even consider dating anybody. Call me nuts but I know that, for example, alcoholics are counseled not to start dating while recovering. I think that’s good advice for anybody who wants to break habits, change lifestyles, get out of depression or addiction. I still don’t want to stay dumb and muted like I was supposed to be. I want to educate myself so that I can go out and make my own money and support my husband and kids if need be.

A few months ago one of my friends, Daniel, visited me at the cafe I work at during his lunch break. We talked about a couple we know. The woman of those two has a much better job and the man is very content with it, so much that he in fact considers staying at home with the kids once they have them. My little fundamentalist demon voice laughed out loud and said “Why would a MAN do that?”. Daniel was a bit surprised by my half-mocking, half-shocked reaction. He said that both men and women were equally well equipped to raise kids, in different ways maybe, but still equally good for the children. And to top it all off, he said: “You know, if I was in his situation… why the heck not? There’s nothing more beautiful than raising your own kids and seeing them grow up each and every day. I don’t want to be a part-time dad, I want to be a really involved parent.” Now while I might have laughed at that couple at first this got me thinking, mostly because I really like and respect Daniel and pictured him as a very strong man.

Maybe it’s not that weird after all. Maybe men have the same desires to be a full-time parent. Maybe it troubles men more than I can understand that they miss out on the daily life of their kids. It must be hard to come home in the evening and hear all those great stories about funny events, first words, first steps, school events and everything else they couldn’t see. A story never lives up to actually being there. Maybe my dreams will be fulfilled in a way I never thought of: Ending up in a marriage where the man doesn’t have to be the alpha-provider to feel like a man, where I don’t have to feel guilty for working and not caring enough for the kids.

Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to figure out a way for myself, no matter how strange it looks to the people around me.