Yes, This Is A Matter of Race

Our country is in a time of turmoil at a scale that has not been seen in decades. Nearly everyone across the globe has an opinion about what’s happening. I recognize that, as a white person, my opinion is not of greatest importance. Black lives matter and black voices need to be the ones lifted up during this time. However, if I am the only voice you’re hearing on the matter, please listen.

  • Regardless if Mike Brown fought back with Wilson (though he did not, ask me for sources), his death is unjustifiable. Had Brown been white, he would have been tackled, or tazered at the most. Yes, this is a matter of race.
  • Regardless if Mike Brown was murdered with his hands above his head or pumping in the air as he ran away from Wilson, his death is unjustifiable. Had Brown been white, he would have been shot in the leg, not in the head. Yes, this is a matter of race.
  • Regardless of how the protesters in Ferguson choose to respond to the grand jury’s verdict, your focus should be on the verdict itself. Darren Wilson walks free. Mike Brown is dead. Yes, this is a matter of race.
  • Regardless of the verdict, Darren Wilson is guilty of the unjustifiable murder of Michael Brown. You should know by now that a jury’s decision does not equal the truth. Yes, this is a matter of race.
  • Regardless of the color of your skin as you read this, American police have shot and killed two blacks a week for the last six years. Yes, this is a matter of race.

How dare you invalidate my opinions and silence my voice because of my age. The last time I was outspoken on social media and did not stop talking about an issue, I was encouraged to apply to become a Sexual Aggression Peer Advocate at Central Michigan University. SAPA has been leading the nation (literally) since 1997 in sexual assault/misconduct legislature at the university and national level. Our program is recognized and used by the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy. So tell me again that being loud will not change anything. Tell me again that I’ll learn to be quiet when I get older.

Fuck you.

FERGUSON IS A MATTER OF RACE.

(This post in memory of Michael Brown, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, and the countless other black boys and men that have died by the bullets of the United States police.)

Sundays

sundays

I never used to like Sundays. I’d have to wake up early, shove food down my throat, and go to church. Then I’d have to catch up on homework, or clean around the house, or make the long drive out to my grandma’s. Which wasn’t so bad, but the drive back on Sunday night was never fun.

These past couple months though, I’ve grown to love Sundays. Which is strange because in my fourth year of college, Sunday is do-everything-I-put-off-for-a-month day and I have to move myself back to my apartment after spending the weekend with Nick and I’m usually low on groceries and clean laundry and clean space in my room.

But today has been lovely. I woke up next to the love of my life. I went to breakfast with my incredible on-call team. I had the opportunity to go back to sleep next to the love of my life, before waking up to cuddle with him. We had no need to rush climbing out of bed. Since I finished my two big assignments for the week yesterday, my stress levels are low today. I just had the leftovers from my breakfast for dinner and I made a fresh press of coffee for the first time in a very long time. I have the main floor of the apartment to my self for a brief while, though I eagerly await my roommates’ return. Later, I will probably have time to begin reading The Return of the King for the first time, or maybe play some of my video game.

There’s no reason Sundays shouldn’t be awesome. I want to make them awesome from here on out. Sundays are for hot coffee, warm cuddles, and exciting adventures, whether physically or via a new and incredible novel. Sundays are for taking time to breathe, self-care, and preparing oneself for the week.

Sundays are awesome.

Things I Feel the Need to Address

  • The Lord of the Rings movies. They are epic. The acting and the directing and the scenery and the costumes and the soundtrack, oh my word. I always forget how extraordinary these movies are until I watch them again. I am most happy that Nick asked for a marathon this weekend.
  • My relationship. On that note, my relationship with Nick. Yes, I know that when him and I began dating, I stopped hanging out with many of my friends. And I know they think that’s shitty of me. But it happened, and I wouldn’t go back and change any of it. He is the very best friend I’ve ever had outside my family. I have never loved anyone as much as I love him. I plan to spend a lifetime with him but that doesn’t mean I’ll put off hanging out with him until later for someone else right now. A lifetime is very short, if you haven’t noticed. I do not want to miss a second with him. This does not make my friendships lesser or my love for my friends lesser. One day, they’ll understand.
  • These friendships. On that note, friendship is a two way street. I am tired of being blamed for not texting/calling/getting together with someone. They, too, could have picked up the phone or knocked on my door. I am not solely responsible.
  • Getting busted. If you’re going to be stupid enough to smoke weed in the residence halls, you literally have no right to be angry at someone for calling the cops. Like, that is your own stupidity. You only have yourself to blame.
  • Red Carpet lives. The most important thing I want to address is that our lives are our own. We are each the stars of our own shows. Everyone else is secondary. My life does not revolve around you, just as your life does not revolve around me.
  • Women, oh my goodness. How strange to feel my sexuality loosening while dating and madly in love with a man that I want to be with forever. But still, women.

Cinnamon Roll Hugs

It has been a rough last seven days.

Last week there was a protest at my University led by people very ignorant and uneducated on the matter they were protesting. Keeping my mouth shut about it, due to my position as an advocate, was extremely tough. Especially when the attacks turned personal.

Then I was scheduled to work twice over the weekend when I had requested it off. This is a big deal for a few reasons. First, Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. Yes, I think it’s better than Christmas and Thanksgiving and my birthday and everything else. Second, between Monday and Tuesday (i.e. yesterday and today), I had been assigned the following:

  • Lab Practical in 421
  • Lab Report due in 421
  • Annotated Bib (which I have never done) in Fem Theory
  • Essay in Civil Rights
  • Exam in 547 (aka my hardest class)
  • Exam in 318

So literally something really important in every class. (Mind you, this is two weeks AFTER midterms week, aka HARDLY ANYTIME BETWEEN THINGS.) Not to mention that I went on call last night for the whole week. So, given my work schedule, I had hardly any time to actually give proper attention to each of these assignments, and I was so stressed about them that I hardly enjoyed my favorite holiday.

So then yesterday, I completely fucked up my practical and almost cried, literally, five times during it. And then, because I had been in a rush to get there early to review, I had forgotten to grab spare tampons. Yes, that’s right, I also started my fucking period this weekend. And because of my birth control, it’s HORRIBLE. So those two things set the tone for the entire awful day that it was.

And then to top it off, when I got home from classes, I received a text. My client that I had been working with for the last month and a half had a heart attack last week and died. What. The.

Fuck.

Actually the worst Monday of my entire life.

But then I started receiving the love from the amazing people in my life. My roommate offered me as much Dove dark chocolate as I wanted. My on call team sent me beautiful messages. When I got to meeting, everyone immediately ran over, stuck me in the middle, and did a cinnamon roll hug. Holy moly, was that exactly what I needed. I felt immediately better after that. And then, cherry on top of the sundae, Nick spent the night with me so I wouldn’t have to be alone.

So my Monday was shittier than you can imagine. But goodness, am I not the luckiest person to have such incredible humans in my life?

Adventures in the Mess of Michelle’s Life

My life is a complete and utter mess right now. I don’t know as though I’ve ever been so stressed in my life for this length of time. The minute I think it’s about to end and I’m going to finally get a break, it just keeps going. I’m sick of feeling tired and totally burned out and having a constant stress headache. I’m sick of not caring about a single thing in my life except cuddling with Nick, talking to my fellow SAPAs, and watching the X Files. I miss working out, I miss my passion for my major, I miss being able to laugh and relax with my roommates, I miss having time to actually make healthy and delicious meals. Most of all I’m sick of lying on my bed, staring at my ceiling, my piles of homework sitting untouched in my backpack, doing nothing for hours. I have no motivation. I am completely apathetic.

But I realized today, when we had a guest speaker in my personal training class that competes in strength competitions, that maybe what I need to do is set some personal goals for myself. Small, realistic goals. Something to get me back on track. So, here they are.

  • Breathe. Seriously, I don’t do this enough. One time I rushed myself so bad to get to work on time (even though my boss knows I’ll always be late because of my class right before the shift) that I actually made myself physically ill. Like, what?! No. Not healthy. Plus then I miss smiling at strangers, looking at the clouds, the smell of autumn, etc.
  • Do at least 15 minutes of homework for each class that day immediately when I get home. Chances are, by doing this I’ll end up doing more than 15 minutes, and I’ll also have at least 15 minutes done when I decide to pick it up again at midnight the night before it’s due.
  • Stop spending money. Seriously, I have coffee I can make at home, I have food I can make into snacks or meals to take with me to campus, I have plenty of clothes, I just need to be more creative. Stopstopstop I will regret it when I need to pay off my loans and buy a dog and buy a house and travel the world.
  • Read a book for fun for at least 20 minutes twice a week. I miss reading so much and it will re-energize me. Plus, I already spent three times that amount of time on tumblr in one sitting.
  • Go workout at night. That way I have those preliminary homework duties out of the way, I’ve already eaten dinner, and there’s less people at the gym right before it closes.
  • Continue to celebrate the many wonderful people I am surrounded by, especially women. I can be the change I wish to see in the world. I can end this competition. I can start a new, fun, and uplifting competition. Who can celebrate others the loudest? People rock. You just have to get to know them.

I think that’s enough. They’re manageable. Maybe in a few weeks I can check back in and add more. We’ll see. I need to stop stressing myself out. Everything will work out.