Beautiful Faces

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Its interesting how much we cater to the societal expectations of beauty. Even in rebellion. Welcome to Gravity, My Enemy. This week I wanted to talk about Valentine’s Day (Like literally every other year.)

We have this one day set aside to get gifts and romantics from people, everything turns red or pink and condom sales boost by a marginal percent in the days leading up to it.

We as a society are extremely focused on how things look, something I’ve spoken of before especially in correlation with Valentine’s Day is that we want our lives to be some sort of spectacle. My conservative adult friends tell me it is social media’s fault and my liberal younger friends tell me that people do it for themselves and to escape societal norms, which, if that were the case, wouldn’t we be relatively silent about it?

By this I mean no disrespect to the people who want to make their lives seem glamorous or more fun than they really are, unless you’re intentionally misleading others. That’s not cool.

Still, I see a lot of posts now a days of men or women who put themselves out on social media in a strange outfit or some kind of sensational imagery posted alongside them with the expressed purpose of standing out. I’m a fan of uniqueness, in many of its forms but can’t uniqueness be derived from humble and silent means instead of boisterous ones?

Wearing baggy clothing as a girl doesn’t have to mean that you are rebellious or tomboyish, it literally means you like baggy clothes and dude pockets because Valentine’s Day just passed by and you still have thirty seven condoms you didn’t use lying around in your bedroom, might as well take them and go make condom art.

(Don’t make condom art. Or do. .The choice is yours, just… consider placing condoms on public property extremely carefully. If you get caught vandalizing a stature of General Patton, well. I’m not going to be here to help assist you.)

Still, men in tight fitting clothing doesn’t have to be some grand break away from societal norms either, I like slim pants, a kid I know loves pleather. There is nothing to be gained or lost by how we dress and we as a society like to emphasize the shit out of it.

“Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”

Well, ideally, I’d like to be a full time writer but I’m not going to stroll into a 90 degree kitchen in a cardigan, robe and no pants. Get out of here with that. I’m going to be comfortable and wear what I enjoy.

This concept goes a step further I think with cosmetic enhancements. I saw someone on my Twitter TL the other day talking about wanting a boob reduction, not because she had large and cumbersome boobs but because “No one gets breast reductions + I want to show the patriarchy that I am in control of my own body.”

Call me crazy, but perhaps being in control of your own body might have less to do with the size of your boobs, and more to do with the control of your body.

This comes off as patriarchal to some, I’m sure. To those of you who are assuming I am part of the He-Man Woman Hater Club, allow me to reassure you. You can do whatever you want.

With whoever you want.

Whenever you want.

Hopefully that will have cleared up some of the smoke from the hollow gunshots I did not mean to fire into the crowd, yet somehow there are people who will still assume as such.

The point to all of this is that working so hard to fight something with actions like this, i.e. doing the opposite of the norm, quickly goes from a powerful statement to useless expense or banter in no time flat.

Have you ever used a word so much that it lost its meaning to you? I’ve laid centuries worth of vulgarities and the words themselves have lost the initial punch they had when I first heard them, these powerful statements are a lot like that.

Wearing extremely thin clothing in the winter is not a symbol of your oppression. It is a stupid decision, are you trying to get hypothermia? I don’t’ understand.

Similarly, men, those of us who steer into the skid of being “girly” by acting and overcompensating, trying to make the world believe you chop down redwoods with your hand, just be cool. It is okay to have feminine qualities and it is okay to have masculine qualities. I promise you it is not going to kill you. It will actually make you see things in a different light. Much like, for instance…

Each other.

See, we spend so much time trying to make ourselves stand out that we lose sight of the actual uniqueness within us. Clothing and physique are massive signals to others that lead to clues about our personalities. Men in suits, probably are either Mormon or have office/business jobs, men in overalls are likely mechanics. Etc. This applies to all people. I dress in flannel and tye dye exclusively. If you assume I’m either a hippy server who smokes a lot of weed or a gay hipster who will tell you why every album released in 2005 is only good for nostalgia sake, you would be half right.

(Not gay, I haven’t taken any of the electric lettuce in many months and bands that wee big in 2005 are still in HEAVY rotation on my Spotify playlist, I promise you. Fall Out Boy is A1 shit. Classics.)

Regardless, we use these symbols of ourselves to try to subvert the mainstream ideology of those around us, but all of these signal flares eventually evolve into a cluster of nonsense and no one understands what the purpose of all the showy idealism is anymore. These clothes mean this thing.

These Botox injections mean this thing.

So on and so forth, which leads us to less and less genuine interactions with one another, being less genuine means that you are less real, losing the things that make you one of a kind is a terrible fate to behold and I hope it upon none of you.

Besides, being less genuine means it’ll be harder for you to meet and befriend new people honestly, which in turn makes it especially hard for you to actually do anything with the $431 you spent on chocolates and prophylactic supplies for Valentine’s Day.

In summary, we were all created to be unique, divine in our own way, gifts given to others on this planet. Don’t squander that and force yourself to become a statement. Instead, consider the alternative…

Live in a way that makes you a statement unto yourself. You are wonderfully made. Your face, in all of its own glory was meant to be a beacon of light to others. Be a greater, better, more compassionate human being. Don’t be generic, generic things will be left behind one day.

(Except for Kroger brand cheese I am ABOUT that stuff. 15 slices for a dollar? Count me in.)

God of the Gateway

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The stars are these celestial beings spiraling above us at all hours of the day, singing hymns for the purpose of this universe. We are not unlike them, as we sing our own purpose too. With our passions and our hobbies, the way we meticulously trim grass or paint houses, we are adding to this kind of infinite chorus of the universe.

Each time you step out your front door the world changes, every time you make a decision it changes again. We live for this great meaning and yet so many of us don’t know our actual purpose.

There is a time and a place for all of us, it may not be today, it may not be next year, but every year that goes past we are given unlimited ways to build up and create our own life.

I like to think of it like this, at the onset of every morning, we are given a choice, stay in bed for a while and find the momentum to stand up, or stay there and rest. When we get up we have a handful of new choices to make. Shower, eat, get to work, play video games, paint, whatever the choice may be you have decided to move forward in one way or another. If you shower and eat, you are filling yourself with energy for the day. If you sit down to game for a while before jumping into your tasks, you are training your reflexes and hand eye coordination. If you read in the morning you are expanding your breadth of knowledge by a bit with every turned page.

Each action we make causes a new set of decisions to unfold before us. We can rarely choose multiple paths, lest we find ourselves overwhelmed by the pressure of completing many things at once. Of course this isn’t always the case and that idea is remarkable.

We can take on an infinite amount of tasks and jobs, or whatever the case may be. We will do many things in our lives but even if we stack up all of the things each of us chooses to do, let’s take the things we say, for example.

If we counted up on a celestial abacus all of the things each human that has ever existed has said, we still would not come close to the number of stars hanging in the sky above.

We are not infinite, not in our physical bodies, at least.

This also means we have been blessed with a kind of choose your own adventure that nothing else on earth is allowed to have. We can decide our own fate and our own destinies simply by the first choice of getting up in the morning. Having that kind of power is awe inspiring, isn’t it?

Within each of us there rests a small piece of something that another human needs to make it through the day. Encouragement, love, inspiration, a stern talking to. Everything we do, and I literally mean everything is watched by our peers. Every time I make a foolish decision, someone sees it and someone knows that I have done so, which will later on be used to see me in a different kind of light. When I do something that is encouraging or good for another, people will see that and they will likely turn around and do something the same for another.

We are linked together through this small connection, endless energy pouring out of our souls and into one another much like the stars that hand above us. Galaxies crash into each other the same way we meet people and become friends or partners or associates. We are all tiny galaxies adrift in the ever stretching galleon of space and time. A ship within a ship, I believe.

All of these choices we have to make, for good and for bad, come down to our own minds. Will we take up the honor of the stars and do everything in our power to love and uplift, or will we take a moment to consider that in a machine this large, nothing truly matters?

I think my answer is the former, and my response to the latter is this:

We were not built to be machines. We were built like trees. We grow upwards and our roots sink deep into the earth. We may leave our homes but those roots will always be there to feed us. My family will always support me, my friends will always be there for me. My life will always carry significant meaning because of the people that have crossed paths with me. All of these things rest in the end, on my shoulders.

I would much rather stand tall and stretch out, even on a lazy day, to be there when someone needs me than to sit idly by and watch as the world, as big and wondrous as it can be, still shake someone to the bones.

The world around us is a mean and nasty place sometimes. We know this right now more than we ever have, we can turn on any news station and see that this world is not what the peace bearing leaders of our past wanted it to be, so we should take up their mantle and fight.

Not with hands, but with words.

I believe in a God. This is not an unknown idea, and I believe this God did not design us to watch the world around us spiral out of control. I think our purpose is much grander than just picking up a passion, although important, I think we need to find our passion and use it to uplift, encourage, and to remind those around us that we are all just like stars. Each one of us twinkles in the night time, regardless of what we have done, there is purpose born into us.

We will never outgrow that, even those who choose not to use it.

The first step to all of this… is looking at the gateway before us and stepping through.

If you like this, be sure to check out the Life is not Meant to be Awful compilations over on Amazon! There you’ll find the first four years worth of blog post goodness.