I. Love. Salads. Probably more than any person I know. I pretty much eat a salad at least once a day. Here is a pretty picture of one I recently made. It has homegrown alfalfa sprouts, and everything else is from my CSA. ❤
I used to eat a TON of meat and within the last year I have cut that down a lot. But I still love grilling. Having BBQs is one of the best parts about summer to me! So here I have zucchini, beets, and fennel, all being beautiful on that grill.
I’m not really a food writer, or the best photographer, so I mostly am just going to be posting mediocre pictures of the non mediocre things I cook. Cooking brings me lots of joy and I like to share that joy with people. 🙂
For my Blogging 101 course, the assignment for today is: Publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.
First of all I figured I should probably figure out who this dream reader would be before I try to write to them. It took me about .0 seconds before I knew exactly who my dream readers were. This might sound weird, but my dream readers are women who are feeling insecure, disempowered, or just low for any reason. Simply put, I want them to read my words and feel empowered and strong.
Ever since I started to understand and see the hugely negative effects of sexism and misogyny in my late teens, I have had this immensely strong desire to help women rise above the struggles they face just for being just that, women. It’s not only the feminist stuff though, I just want to make women feel better about themselves in a world that always tries to make them feel like they aren’t not good enough.
In particular I’ve always wanted to help women with their body image. I want to help them realize that they are worth SO much more than their appearance in the first place. And if they DO insist on putting so much emphasis on their appearance (as many of us do, myself included) I want to help them love and accept their bodies despite what society tells them they should look like. I want to help them love their bodies for what they can do, rather than whose eyes they can attract.
I want to help them better their characters and souls, instead of their hair color. I want to help them stop worrying about what people think of them so much. I want to help them realize that they do not absolutely need a partner and that they can be any sex or gender or any combination of the two they want to be! I want them to know that they don’t have to adhere to the gender roles that society still places on them today.
I want them to know they can express their sexuality and sensuality in whatever way that empowers them and makes them feel good. I want them to know they can be weak and vulnerable sometimes and that is OKAY.
Most of all, I want them to know that they are loved, that they have the ability to be strong, and that they are capable of anything. And ya know, I don’t even think I need to say anything anything else to them in this post because frankly, I think I already said what I wanted them to hear.
If you didn’t catch it, I’m supposed to be Sully in this gif thingy. Boo represents my readers.. Yeah, I’m new at the gif thing.. Whatever, I liked it and it was the “new-to-me” part of my assignment.
Note: In the past few years I have come to realize that the patriarchy has negative effects on men and boys as well as women and girls. I now know that not only women struggle with body image, but males do as well. So, I am just noting this because I do not want people to think I don’t understand some of these struggles exist within men too. However, I have just always had a passion for helping women overcome them ever since I was young and that is why I am choosing to address them foremost.
Random Fact: I shaved my head in January and this is the succession of my hair growth over the past 8 months. 🙂
I have decided to embark on a newbie blogger journey. I have done several random travel blogs in the past few years but nothing that I have wanted to sustain or keep up with until now. I started this blog a few months ago and still have very few followers and views. I am doing this little blogging class to get more experience and get some feed back on how to optimize my blogging and writing in general. The first assignment for this is just a little introduction which I will now delve into. Here are some of the questions they recommended I answer so I will just go ahead and utilize those.
Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
Because I do keep a personal journal, and sometimes after I write something I think, “Man, I sort of want to share this thought with other people.” So I guess my desire for public writing comes from a sort of craving for a community of writers and thinkers. I also have people in my life who have told me they want to read my writing and since I don’t really plan on getting published anytime soon, (doubt I could) I think blogging is a really good way to get my ideas and sometimes rants out into the world for my friends and other people to read. I also think a big part of it is wanting feedback. Even though I haven’t got a ton of feedback so far, I think that is a big part of why I am doing the blog in general. I am used to being in school and writing essays every day (I was an English major) so I am used to professors and classmates giving me feedback on my ideas and writing and so in a way I crave that.
What topics do you think you’ll write about?
I don’t really know. This is one of the things I have struggled with determining. I am a feminist and a literary critic so I have a feeling those topics will come up a lot but I don’t really want to pin it down to one or even two things because I don’t want to get to the point where I don’t feel like I can write random posts about my social media detox or why I prefer sweating in a gym and not in a forest because they don’t fit in with the theme or category of my blog. I realize that it is probably better for a blog to have a specific topic because then it has a certain audience to aim to but that just really isn’t what I want. So I really don’t know how to deal with that that but it is something I have been thinking about quite a bit and would like people’s feedback on.
Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
Other people passionate about the same things I am. Which, is actually a LOT of things. Reading. Writing. Feminism. Gardening. Permaculture. Education. Film. Cooking. Fitness. Traveling. There are just SO many things that I care about and am interested in. I want to connect with people who care about those things too. I want to be empowered by them and I want to do the same for them in return.
If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?
I want to establish a fairly large follower base. Not because I want to promote myself so that I can get to some certain place in my career or anything like that, but because I want people to hear what I am saying and thinking. Because I think I have important things to say and not in a narcissistic, selfish way but in a confident, self-assured way. I want them to tell me if they agree with my thoughts or not. I want to stimulate discussion and enable powerful realizations. I want to share the overwhelmingly confusing and complex things that come into my head. I want to form a sense of community really. Because communities do good in the world. We cannot make improvements to this world by ourselves. And ultimately, if we aren’t trying to better ourselves and better the world, what are we doing here?
I have a LOT of outdoorsy friends. Growing up in Montana, that’ll happen. I also am pretty outdoorsy myself, don’t get me wrong. I truly enjoy being outside in the sunshine, walking through woodlands, swimming in rivers, camping under the stars, all of it. I love that shit. Really. But I have noticed something over the years that I don’t love. That is when my super athletic, active, outdoorsy peers chuck a big bowl of judgement and arrogance on my head when I talk about how much I love working out in a gym. I hear things like (in the most snobby voice you can imagine) “Ugh, how can you work out inside, I just need the fresh air in my lungs.” to “You know, working out inside on those machines isn’t even that good for you.” First of all, I am pretty sure my working out inside is better than the alternative, you know, not working out at all. So anyways, I decided to vent about that for a bit and then explain a little bit about WHY I prefer sweating in the gym and not in the lovely outdoors.
I think the first reason is very simple. The energy. The second I walk into the gym I instantly feel this excited, tense, competitive energy that I absolutely love. There are nerves. There is anxiety. There is pain. There is triumph. There is defeat. There is everything. There are just SO many different emotions and feelings that emanate from each person that honestly inspires me. I love that everyone in there is trying to make themselves better. Who knows what their reasons are. They might not be the best, or they might be the most inspirational story ever. But one thing is certain, everyone is there to improve themselves. Being amongst a room full of people working towards their own betterment motivates me more than anything.
The second reason is also simple. The bodies. Now I know it’s most people’s worst fear to hear that people are actually staring at them at the gym but thankfully most people are mostly concerned with their own bodies to care about yours.. Except me. I love looking at the diversity of people’s shells. I was talking to a massage therapist the other day and I realized I envied him because he got to observe and interact with SO many different body types. I just find it fascinating how radically different human bodies are and I actually enjoy observing the ways in which those diverse bodies accomplish great things.
The third reason is again, quite simple. I go to the gym to sweat. If my shirt isn’t soaking when I leave, I didn’t work hard enough. I am 100% serious about this. You can verify with my poor gym bag that smells terrible.. While I am at the gym I am focused and I am there for a reason. To improve my physical and mental health. On the other hand, when I go for a hike, I don’t want it to be a freakin’ sweat bath. I want to enjoy being outdoors and I want to breathe in the lovely fresh air, not wheeze it in. I don’t want to be in pain while I am amongst the beautiful aspects of nature. To me, that sort of ruins it. I like getting my heart rate up anywhere.. But I just REALLY prefer to do my hard core body improvement, in a gym.
Now, I don’t expect everyone to feel the same way as me about this. I, unlike some of the people I know, understand that everyone is different and everyone has different ways of doing things. But I just couldn’t help feel that most of the people in my life were looking down on me because I’m running on a treadmill and not on a trail. And that sort of pissed me off.. So I just wanted to share with them and other people who find it so hard to believe people want to work out inside WHY I love going to the gym so much. I felt like maybe they just really didn’t know. So now hopefully they do!
Greetings faithful followers!
I want to say I am sorry for kind of disappearing for a month. I have been going through some crazy personal stuff and figured I should keep my highly emotional writing to my physical journal where it can stay hidden for a very very long time. 😉
Now, onto the fun stuff. As I mentioned I have been going through some stuff ( I know that that is painfully vague and I am sorry about that) and that was a big reason why I chose to do what I am calling my social media detox. I do want to make something clear though, I have always loved facebook and instagram. I was never one of those people that bitched about how terrible it was or what a waste of time it was. I really did always like it. And I will probably like it still when I go back to it. But I found myself starting to feel really fake though. I just was at a pretty low point and felt ridiculously in-genuine posting stuff that made it seem like I was super happy and loving life. It just didn’t feel right. On top of that, when you are going through a rough period you really don’t need to be comparing your life to other people’s overly positive representations of theirs. It’s hard enough to do when you are in a really good place in your life. It’s just unhealthy for your mental state. Well, it was for me at least. So, there you go. That’s the run down of why I chose to break up with social media for a while.
Next order of business: how the past 4 weeks have gone without it. It has been really good and enlightening to be honest. It has almost been a month and I have finally stopped having the urge to open up a new tab and click facebook. I had some major withdrawals for a few days. It made me realize how TRULY addicting it is. It is so fascinating to me how humans can get so entranced by looking into other people’s lives. I still don’t really know why it is so easy and enjoyable, but the fact that I am realizing it, is enough for me right now.
This month has also made me realize how much time I did waste on it. I realized I would easily blow through three hours just going down the rabbit hole of profile after profile. I didn’t see that until I quit it and realized how much I could get done in those three hours! I really never knew how much I depended on it as an escape from boredom. That is what scares me, is that I just got so stagnate in being okay with spending so much time on it that I could have been doing other things. I have read 3 books since I gave social media up. That makes me so much more happy than scrolling through profiles of people I barely know anymore. I don’t miss seeing what is going on in the people I love’s lives because I use this thing called a telephone.. I actually think it has been better for my relationships because not seeing everything my friends and family post on facebook makes me more curious about how they are doing and it makes me ask them myself instead of just assuming they are fine because they posted a cute photo of themselves. I think it is safe to say that overall my social detox has been a really good thing for me. I am going to keep away from it for a while. I do want to come back one day.. But I am just weary of relapsing into full on addiction. When I do come back I want to be ready to set boundaries for myself that allow me to continue the healthy way I have been living without it. 🙂