On Missing Home

When your family makes up about 90% of your best friends, it’s hard to move away from them. Even now, eight months later, it’s still hard not to have the option of seeing my family regularly. The only time I am ever envious of my friends who don’t have close relationships with their parents and siblings is when I’m feeling homesick–so, about once a month.

Missing home can make for a confusing time emotionally. Consider this: while I love the wide-open spaces and quiet calm of the prairie, and the sweet peace that comes from the small, mannerly Kansas population, I hate everything about the way the Kansas government is being run right now, and I hate the often overly-conservative, small-minded opinions that the majority of the voter population holds. While I would love more than anything to be able to plan a day trip home on the occasional weekend to see my parents, or to be a short car ride away from babysitting my nephew, my work life and social life would be stunted. Sure, I could find a copywriting job somewhere. I could find a copywriting job anywhere, truthfully. But would it be driving me towards a fulfilling career in an industry that interests me? No. Would I be making new friends and growing my social circles? Probably not. Kansas City isn’t a very sociable city for singles and people who don’t already have friends and relatives living there. Why? Because you have to drive so far to get anywhere, so you only go out in groups.

I’ve thought a lot about my choice to move to a new, big city where I don’t know anyone, and the truth of the matter comes down to this: there is only one question you ever need to ask yourself; “Am I happy?”

This is so simple, and yet I think you will find–as I do–that it is the hardest question you will ever have to answer in your life. Am I happy? Well, about what? Your life? Your relationships? Your career?

So here is what’s at the heart of the matter when it comes to me missing home: I’m not sure how to answer this question. Am I happy? Well sure, somedays I’m really happy, and I love LA, and it’s exciting, and I’m excited, and there’s so much to explore, and life is good and life is beautiful. Am I happy? Well I’m not exactly where I want to be in life yet, and I don’t have a place I can call my own yet, and I have to live on a pretty tight budget which makes it feel  like I’m always working or number crunching, and my family lives pretty far away in a different time zone and my work commitments mean I don’t have a lot of options for visiting them or them visiting me, but am I happy? I guess in a sense I’m mildly comatose.

I love Amy Poehler’s comparison of a career to a bad boyfriend. It’s so true; my career is never going to make me happy; it’s never going to completely satisfy me. I’m always going to feel like I’m somewhat running in place, reaching for the next thing and never getting there. But do I feel accomplished? Oh heck yes. Am I proud of where I’ve gotten so far? Beyond belief. I’m working on a freaking studio lot as a Writer’s PA. When I think about where I am in terms of what I’ve dreamed my whole life, I am immensely proud to say that so far, when I’ve set my mind to do something, I’ve accomplished it.

But in the end, what my eight months in LA has shown me so far is that family and your relationships will always be more important than any job, no matter what. In the end, it’s made me realize that if it’s the difference between getting to see and spend time with the people I love, and having a lucrative career in television, my family is more important. Right now I feel as though I am straddling somewhere between these two things–family and career, and I’m not sure which life is going to pull me towards more. But I do know that if it takes me away from my family too much, and prevents me from building new relationships with more people, than it’s not worth it. You should never pick your career over your family. I think my greatest personal challenge right now is finding the balance between the two, hence the homesickness.

-tlc

An Open Letter To Josh Hutcherson

Dear Josh,

If I ever have the glorious opportunity to meet you in person and somehow befriend you, and then you find/take the time to Google search me, find this website, and subsequently this post, I will seriously regret writing this. Or if you read this, and then I meet you, same thing. Works both ways. Until then, here it is:

Dear Josh,

J-dawg, J-Hutch, Mr. Hutcherson, “The Hutch”, J-Law’s B.F.F.–however you wish to be addressed, I’ve got my eye on you. You’ve basically grown-up on the screen, starring in everything from that cute little Manhattan Love Story (or whatever it was called–I vaguely remember you riding a scooter in literally every scene of that movie) and Bridge to Terabithia, to JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (This movie has always struck me as needing to be entirely in Caps), to what everyone has been calling your “breakout role” in The Hunger Games. Yes, your “breakout role” because apparently you were some unknown, young actor who hadn’t caught a break before Peeta took over your life. In this world, Winter’s Bone doesn’t exist, either.

Lordy, how long have you been Peeta? I feel like I read a Seventeen interview you did with Liam Hemsworth where you guys where Bromancing so much for each other I got the vague feeling I was at a Frat party. And I haven’t read Seventeen Magazine since I was like, obviously, 20.

And now you’re dipping your toes into the whole producer’s ring with this video/trailer/competition thing, and let me tell you, it was so tempting to try to organize some help and film myself getting dressed in drag and catcalled in the street. But I didn’t do it because I’m lazy when it comes to organizing something complicated like filming with multiple people, so sorry. You missed out on the biggest “breakout role” of your life because I was lazy. I hope we can still be friends after this.

Anywho, I won’t chit-chatter your time away because I know you are a very busy person. I just wanted to let you know that the real reason I’m writing this is because I find you very attractive, and I’ve been very disappointed that none of the celebrities I’ve seen and interacted with thus far during my time in LA have been you. Get your act together, man. I see Justin Bieber everywhere. Literally, EVERYWHERE. For someone who almost got deported to Canada, it’s amazing how much that kid gets around (all innuendoes intended…I think).

So, until we FINALLY meet,

A blogger with a crush and limited ideas,

tlc

 

On Mistakes

So recently I think I told you all about starting my new job. It’s been amazing, and I don’t think it’s truly hit me yet that I’m not only working on a television set like I used to dream about as a small-town teenager, but that I’m also working around the writers and directly with the writer’s assistants, which is a tremendous first step forward for becoming a writer on a show here in LA. Honestly, I’m not even sure it’s really set in that I’m living in Los Angeles–and I’ve been here for eight months!

I know I’m extremely lucky to have fallen into the job I now have, and it happened so quickly that a little part of me is worried about losing it just as quickly. It’s a slightly irrational fear, as I’m not (to my knowledge) doing anything that would get me fired, and there’s a whole season of episodes to shoot ahead of me. And it’s an even more irrational fear because I work with literally the nicest people I have ever met in my short time in this business.

Still, every time I mess up I cringe a little like a dog who knows their owner just discovered they ate the laundry. I know there’s a learning curve to every new job, but that doesn’t make me any less hard on myself. And then there are moments when I am hard on myself for being too uptight or flustered because I’m too hard on myself! What a viscous cycle.

And then something weird happens. In these moments of feeling low, I start to wonder at the path I have chosen to stroll. I’ve come to that point of clarity that can only be reached after some distance from college and some water-treading in the career/job market where I’ve come to acknowledge and accept the fact that most people live several lives and usually work several jobs within their one lengthy life. And this is a bit comforting, because it means that I can spend a few years exploring this trail, and if the time comes, I can venture off into the wild and find a new trail to blaze. And then I can do it again, and again, until I’ve lived the life I want to live. In fact, it’s usually the people I meet who seem to have stuck to the same trail passed the trail’s prime that make me nervous.

But despite my reassurances to myself that I am still young, and still have a long story to tell, I wonder at myself. Am I wasting my time?  Have I chosen a path that will lead to a fulfilling career? Is this job good enough for me and my talents?  Am I good enough for it? Maybe this where the whole “I still don’t have the answers” conclusion that seems to haunt every age comes into play. I look at friends who seem to have so much forward momentum in their jobs, careers, lives, and goals, and I wonder if I am stagnant; but this is only my first job, right?

I dunno.

Things That Make Me Really Angry

Alright, real talk here. Though I do have a million and one opinions on a million and one things, and though I do let myself get worked up rather easily, there are only a few things that truly boil my blood. These few things just happen to be very prevalent in today’s society. Here, in order, are the things that make me really angry:

1) Stupid people.

2) People doing stupid things.

3) Stupid people.

4) People who have stupid assumptions and the ability to change the world around them because of those stupid assumptions.

Let me elaborate on this last point:

There are a million and one things I could complain about to illustrate this last point: Sam Brownback and his stupid politics, beauty magazines (particularly geared at teenage markets) and their stupid beauty ideals, or even consumerism in general and its stupid ability to brainwash the societal masses. Instead, I would like to complain about people who take up issue with Feminism.

First of all, let me remark that I saw several posts across social media linking to articles about Patricia Arquette’s comments both during her Oscar acceptance speech and afterwards. Most of these articles consisted of negative reactions to her call to action, particularly among the gay and black communities. Let me also take this moment to acknowledge the fact that while yes, I am a woman, and therefore considered a minority in some respects, I also acknowledge that by being white, I have a certain amount of privilege over my fellow minority communities. I cannot speak for every ethnicity, race, gender, and identity. But I can use my privilege to raise my voice and bring light to the inherent issues at hand, just as Patricia Arquette used hers to do the same.

So, here’s my beef with all those articles written out of anger at Patricia Arquette’s call for other oppressed communities to band together and fight for women:

First of all, I am ashamed that there are people out there who think that they are entitled to fight for their own equal rights without fighting for the equal rights of all citizens, no matter race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. People who take issue supporting equal rights for all women–including white women–are people who don’t see that their arguments are inherently flawed. Saying that one community owes another community nothing is like saying, “Well I expect you to give me the respect that I demand, but I won’t give you that same respect in return.” And yes, I am fully aware of the problem of whitewashing feminism. But you know what changes that? All people, of all colors, genders, orientations, and what not, supporting women of color speaking out, and speaking out LOUDLY! Yes, I realize that my privilege, and Patricia’s privilege makes it easier to be seen and heard because other minority voices are often ignored, but if this is your beef, it’s not with me and Patricia. Your beef should be with the jerkwads who choose not to seek out and find those voices, because believe me–those voices are there. And we’re all trying to lift our voices together in a choir of kick-ass rainbow feminism.

A few years ago I read Gail Collins’ When Everything Changed and it changed my entire viewpoint on feminism. Something that struck me deeply, and has stuck with me since then is the subtly with which women face oppression. Did you know that throughout the Civil Rights movement, and particularly during the March on Washington, women and their voices were left largely unheard? The Civil Rights movement was led mainly by men appealing to other men, and to be honest, when I try to think of women associated with the cause, the only name that comes to the top of my head without a Google search is Rosa Parks.

Did you also know that during what was called the Women’s movement–which happened around the same time as the Civil Rights movement–feminism not only advocated for the equal rights of the sexes, but also for gay rights? The ERA that Patricia Arquette mentioned in her comments after the Oscars? It stands for Equal Rights Amendment, and it was a bill that almost passed through congress way back in the 1970’s, after Alice Paul started advocating for its realization back in 1923. If that bill had been passed, America would likely have been looking at the legal acknowledgement of gay marriage three decades ago.

And do you know why the Women’s movement quieted down in the ’70’s, and became almost stagnant during the ’80’s, ’90’s, and early 2000’s? It was because enough voices raised up, nitpicking the women advocating for change, and misunderstanding the foundational aim of feminism. Sound familiar? The media began depicting stereotyped images of ugly, haggard “feminists” who burned their bras and hated the idea of family and men. None of which is true, by the way, and if any bra burning did happen, it was such a small and incidental thing that really, why would anyone care? (Besides, bras are really, really uncomfortable after several hours anyways.)

And what’s scariest of all (and probably most angering) is that there are people in this world who think that there is no need for feminism any longer. I’ve had close friends–and even family–tell me that the wage gap doesn’t exist, that sexism isn’t real, and even that women and men are truly equal now, so what am I huffing and puffing about?

Let me tell you a little story about something that happened just the other day. I was walking down the street in a dress and tights. This dress was a little bit shorter than what I’m used to wearing (we’re talking maybe an inch or two) and so I was wearing biker shorts underneath it, just incase the wind picked up and my hands were full, or my bag worked my skirt up without me realizing it. I was happily walking down the street checking myself every few minutes, when a man pulled to the side of the road and told me to “Pull your skirt down”. Embarrassed that my bag must have worked my skirt up just as I feared, I sheepishly pulled at the hem of my dress, said a quick thank-you, and began continuing on my way. However, the man wasn’t finished yet. Now, I don’t know why he felt he had to continue on after this first remark–maybe he saw the embarrassment on my face and felt compelled to ease my mind–but he proceeded to say to me, “I mean, I don’t mind the view, but…” And he shrugged.

The first part, embarrassing and maybe a little rude, as after I had tugged at the hem on all sides, I was a bit confused because my dress didn’t seem to have ridden up like I thought, but the second part? Completely, and utterly, uncalled for. Why would a person–man or woman–feel that it’s alright to say something like that? If he was hitting on me, it was completely tasteless, and also, he was definitely 20 years my senior, so gross.

This is why feminism is not dead, and sexism does exist. While there are still people on this Earth that believe that comments such as this toward women are acceptable, there is a need for feminism. Comments like this show the inherent lack of respect with which women are often treated. Anyone who respected me just as a human being on a basic level would understand that this comment is degrading. If I was your daughter, your sister, your mother, or even just your friend, would you think it was okay to hear someone speak to me this way? When this man said, “I mean, I don’t mind the view, but…” what I heard was, “You are an object I find attractive, but you’re coming off as scandalous, and I assume that’s not your intention. Though, if it is, I give you permission to be that way.” News flash: I don’t want, or need, your permission.

This is why people of every class, category, identity, race, orientation, gender, and species for that matter, need to stand together and realize that until we are all equal, equal rights does not exist. If you do not fight for women, you do not fight for racial equality, gay rights, or any other kind of rights. So stop nitpicking and start fighting harder for justice and equality for all. We are all in this together, and if you don’t see that, then you’re stupid and you make me very, very angry.

-tlc

P.S. Here are two articles that shed a little bit of light on the Patricia Arquette issue. I’d like to add that while I agree with the issue of intersectionality, I still think that her comments were nitpicked completely out of proportion, and I don’t think she at all meant what she said the way the media portrayed it. But please read and enlighten yourself, and form your own conclusions.

What Patricia Arquette got wrong at the Oscars

Black America’s hidden tax: Why this feminist of color is going on strike

^While I think this second article is a good example of how Arquette’s words were skewed, (“Patricia Arquette seemed wholly unaware of these histories, elaborating backstage that it was now time for all other groups to fight for white women”) I love the information provided on the history of black feminists and everything they’ve fought for and accomplished in the last century. I definitely learned something!