Sunday, May 25, 2014

Senseless Violence and Sorority

Those are two phrases I never believed would go together. As sorority women in college and the 'real' world we're faced with stereotypes and people's judgement of our college decisions. Yes we have pithy comebacks for the standard 'you bought your friends' and refer to non-greeks in negative terms, we've coined websites like TSM and own a ridiculous amount of themed clothing. Hell, entire brands exist because of sorority stereotypes... Frat Collection, Southern Tide, etc.

I'm guilty of all those things; I've worn a lettered frocket with a monogrammed necklace, paired it with neon shorts and Jack Rogers sandals. I can be a walking stereotype. I refer to my twin sorority sister as Twin, my big sister as Big, and call my friends my sisters, despite being out of college longer than I was in it. I give you the right to judge me. The right to decide that I'm shallow or that I'm judgmental. But you don't have the right to sleep with me. The right to show up at the door of my sisters invading their safe space. You don't have the right to negatively impact their sorority experience.

Somehow sorority women have become the center of obsession when it comes to the 'college experience'. The young man who killed 2 Tri Delta women on the Alpha Phi lawn this week and injured another felt he was owed something. He was owed his version of a 'college experience' from sorority women portrayed in movies and social media.

Well hell, by that standard most sorority women I know are owed a 'sorority experience', our lives aren't movies. My sorority sisters who went to law school didn't do it because of a boy (sorry Elle Woods), they did it because they are smart, determined, and driven. The women who went on to pageants didn't have small goals, they raise awareness, they volunteer, they are well spoken and work hard.

The trauma caused by his actions will shake the sorority women and fraternity men on that campus for a long time. Trauma caused by stereotypes. Caused by the belief that women are something to be dominated, something that can owe you. Caused by senseless violence based on membership in an organization.

We can do better.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Moving Mishaps

If you're moving half way across the country, learn from my mistakes.

1) Don't get overzealous with the packing! - or you will get to the first hotel and realize you packed all your brushes with the movers. Chewbaca hair.

2) Check your windshield wipers before you commit to driving through insane thunderstorms. - just because your car is less than a year old doesn't mean it doesn't need windshield wipers and rain-x. Lesson learned.

3) Don't drink a whole Snapple in Mississippi. - Because no one wants to stop in Mississippi and if you're my father you won't stop. Which means every mile seems that much longer.

4) Maybe don't pack the bags you need out of your car every night on the bottom. - Not that I did that (I did) because being tired and sleepy makes you really excited to pull everything out of the car to get the stuff you need (minus a brush because I like being Chewbaca)

5) Don't pack your kindle in the trunk. Because after 7 hours in the car, even candy crush and instagram can't save you.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

And then it was over.

I read this article today about ugly truths of modern dating, #1 was "the person who cares less has all the power".

Today also officially ended my 3 year relationship. And damn that article hit me. I've always loved like I was taught to love, like I was loved by my family. Openly, whole-heartedly, and without contest. Despite modern times I send snail mail, I make phone calls, and I believe in love. I also didn't hold the power.

Our relationship ended because he didn't know what he wanted. There are a million of options out there and in the end I was just an option. And I'd rather be nothing over an option.

Then this hit my instagram feed.

This is a Great Truth: Life is Difficult via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo #quote M. Scott Peck Road Less Traveled
I'll be heading to Texas. To a state I've only been in twice, both times with a boy I thought I had a future with. I'll be creating a new future without him. I'll be hitting a killer learning curve. I'll probably cry. I may adopt the ugliest mutt dog I can find. But I'm not going to stop being who I am. I'm not going to degrade myself to the level of an option. 

Life is difficult. Love is difficult. But I'm still better off hurt, sad, and motivated.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Doors, Windows, and Other Beginning-Ending Metaphors

I moved to Atlanta for grad school and a boy. It made sense to follow education, ambition, and love. I graduated, started job searching and 'the love' was moved to Houston for a new job.

Yesterday I got a job offer working for a great nonprofit which helps people with a rare genetic disease, in Houston. I ecstatically told 'the love'. He said congrats and followed it up with a sentence about how he was deciding if he wanted to be in a relationship. 8 days shy of our 3 year anniversary, on the day of my announcement of a job offer in Houston, he suddenly has doubts. Pushing the facts about all the times he had to vocalize this, including the 3 interviews I had with them, away I was shocked and then pissed and then sad.

Giving myself about 8 hours to cry, I quickly realized 2 things.  (and my quickly I mean after I talked to my mama; strong women raise strong women)

1) You can't make someone love you. And you shouldn't have to try. I've invested every part of myself in my relationship. Need someone at 4 am at the airport? I'm there. Always. I'm not perfect by any means but for all of my flaws, I'm there.

2) I want this job. I want it enough to move to a new city where I wouldn't know a single human being. I want it enough to push my comfort zone to a new part of the country.

That said, I don't know what 'the love' is thinking. He needs time to decide what he wants to do. I'm giving him the time and the space and meanwhile I'm looking out for what I want. I'm not made of stone but I'm strong.

I'm sharing this because I can't do marathon texts. I can't do 20 phone calls. I'm not Facebooking my life and I don't want you to. I'm focused. I have a list. And dammit I have the best damn village ever. You are my people. I need you, I love you, and I appreciate you.