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Monthly Archives: December 2013

I Resolve

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Art by Jamie McKelvie

This year has been the very definition of “growing pains.”

When it was good, it was good. I have the most amazing friends and I did the coolest things. There was a lot of new fiction and music that filled my life and it feels nice to say I’m employed and volunteering my time and writing to an online publication I love.

However, when it was rough, I could feel it. I can pretty much pinpoint exactly where my feelings about myself began to turn from “majestic women worthy of praise and love” to “world’s biggest loser.” It didn’t help that I was still working out stuff with my mother and trying my best to get off the couch I was sleeping on to not a whole lot of success for a few months. Feeling like I wasn’t spectacular and special dug that hole further.

In 2014, I say that’s no more.

I expect there to be growing pains. I’m 23 years old. I nearly kicked out my car radio every time I heard ’22’ by Taylor Swift because it sounded like what a sixteen-year-old thinks being 22 is like. I seriously can’t believe I bought into the high school lie that I would have it figured out by now because I really, really don’t. I expect some serious desk-flipping frustration.

However, I’m going to face them head on. Because that’s what Cindi and Carol would do.

Last year, I resolved to bring more color into my wardrobe and my life and it has worked out spectacularly so far. I’m not turning back now.

This year though, I had two things that inspired me to go to another level: The Electric Lady by Janelle Monae and Kelly Sue Deconnick’s Captain Marvel.

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Art by Sam Spratt

The Electric Lady is my favorite album of this year along with Save Rock and Roll by Fall Out Boy. Continuing the story of Electric Lady #1 Cindi Mayweather, The Electric Lady is an album about growing pains, but also putting on the brave face and transcending beyond that. It’s standing up for your beliefs and being electric and unreal in the face of people that are determined to knock you down. And nothing drove that home further than seeing Janelle Monae perform a sold out show to the Tabernacle in her hometown of Atlanta. I had seen her perform three songs live before, but not on the level of that show. She was everything I expected Cindi to be and more, blurring that line between fiction and reality and electrifying everyone into a frenzy. I wanted to be that. I want to be an Electric Lady. I want everything that comes with it and everything that means, even if it’s just a fraction of it.

Captain Marvel was late in the game. I had only read In Pursuit of Flight earlier this month, but I unexpectedly fell for Carol Danvers in a way I hadn’t with any female superhero since Kate Kane when I read the first issue of Batwoman: Elegy in 2009. Much like Greg Rucka’s writing for the tenacious Kate, so much of my feelings for Carol come from Kelly Sue Deconnick’s writing of the character. Carol is not the one to lay down and die. She doesn’t give in, and she goes out fighting. I mean, she stubbornly refuses to stop fighting even in the face of her brain exploding. (Though, I haven’t read The Enemy Within yet. I’m getting it in the mail today. No spoilers!) She strives for more and encourages others to do the same. I’ve found myself multiple times in the past few weeks muttering “higher, faster, futher, more” to myself and vowing to punch holes in the sky and dinosaurs in the face. Matt Fraction’s Kate Bishop and Suzie may speak to my sarcastic sides, but Deconnick’s Captain Marvel has given me something to strive for. Flying high and not backing down.

So this is what I resolve for 2014.

I resolve to be electric and unreal. To catch eyes and ears and make people not forget me. To make them wonder if I actually exist.

I resolve to not give in. That even in the face of sadness and adversity, I’ll keep going instead of laying down arms. I will love where it is appropriate, and punch it in the face when it isn’t.

I resolve to raise antennas and fly high and soldier on.

I resolve to do this concurrently with being magic, and to remember that loving and punching goes well with being a magical girl too.

I resolve to remember that it’s okay to be sad and angry, but that it can always be worked out somehow.

I resolve to punch holes in the sky and dance until the end.

But above all things, I resolve not to forget how wonderful and worthy I am. I will always remember that I am electric, magic, unreal, and spectacular, even if no one else does.

I’ll post my year ends this week. Happy New Year to you all and hope that you all have a fantastic and safe night.

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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Comics, Music, Personal

 

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Six Things I Rarely Admit Out Loud

This post is a little more personal than my usual fare, but hey, it’s the holidays. A new year is about to start. I’m thankful for everything that’s changed in the past year or so, but there’s still a lot I’m holding onto. Maybe I should be honest about these things. Some are silly, some are serious, but they’re all true things about myself that I rarely admit for fear of being judged.

1.) I’m terrified of political discussions thanks to my family

My family is painfully conservative. Well, maybe that’s not completely true. It’s more like they fall on a scale of Libertarian to Tea Party. Still, one of my first memories is of my parents telling me that Bill Clinton was a bad man after I was talking about seeing a picture of the then president eating lunch with school kids and thinking that was cool. Not because I was interested in his politics. I was 5. I just thought it was cool he was eating lunch with kids.

Of course, I became my dad’s worst nightmare when my politics turned liberal feminist.

You think this would have encouraged me to stand up to my family and try to share my views, but nope. Every mention of liberalism was matched with scoffs and disdain with my family. I already feel like the outsider in my family for so many reasons that I’m about to touch on. Being liberal was something best kept to myself. And when I don’t, it just gets me chewed out, like the time I yelled at Sean Hannity on the radio for bitching about Common performing at the White House and my grandmother chewed me out for five minutes about how Common was actually a violent man.

This is probably why I hate internet arguments or talking politics with my friends on Facebook. I’ve permanently abstained from posting political things after day long arguments have been put on my feed because I shared the opinion that Lorde’s ‘Royals’ is kind of racist. I back out because of my own demented sense of self-preservation from a family that treats liberalism as the end of the world.

They seem to be okay with the fact I’m queer, but I could be kidding myself.

2.) I’ve had a lifelong fear that everyone secretly hates me and just doesn’t want to tell me

And I mean everyone. Family, friends, coworkers…

I don’t know exactly when this started. Maybe it’s just one of those human things or just being constantly teased in school, I feel like everyone just puts up a smile when I’m around and just laughs at me when I’m gone. I even feel this way about my own parents. That somehow, I’m just a disappointment to them. Because I’m not stereotypically pretty or that I went into communications instead of something more “prestigious.” That I like weird music or strange TV shows instead of being normal. That I turned out liberal instead of following blindly to make them happy.

I need constant assurance that people want to be around me, but then there are some days where it doesn’t feel like enough. That maybe I should just disappear and that no one will miss me.

There are days I know it’s not true and that I’m just paranoid, but if I get a glean that someone might actually not like me, it sends me into a tailspin because maybe I am as useless and terrible as everyone clearly thinks I am.

Maybe that’s just a side-effect of my anxiety.

3.) I’m really bad at saying what I want or how I’m really feeling

I grew up an only child. A spoiled one at that. I’m grateful for the fact I didn’t need to worry about much as a kid, but I wonder if my family constantly telling me how spoiled I was made me afraid to tell people what I want. Because saying ‘I want…’ is selfish, and I’m not allowed to be selfish. I have food, clothes, and a family that takes care of me. But it makes me afraid to say things like ‘I want you to give me just an hour of your time because I miss you,’ ‘I’m scared,’ or ‘I just don’t want to do this.’

Maybe it’s also my commitment and loyalty that bites me in the ass here. If I volunteer to bake hundreds of cupcakes, I need to commit. Don’t get mad if people don’t show up to help or think that all your work isn’t good enough for them. Don’t whine when you’re tired. If you bail, you fail. You fail, it gives you a reason for people to hate you.

I even fear saying this because I’m sure people will just see it as fishing for compliments or whining instead of being honest, but I want to be honest. I’m tired of being scared.

4.) My love of Butch Walker was slightly founded on a basis of spite

I still grouse about my middle and high school bully, who I will call ‘Sour Patch’ for the sake of this blog. I should let it go, but there’s a part of me that is driven by wanting to prove her wrong about everything she ever said about me.

And I’ll admit, part of that was Butch Walker.

Not every bit, of course. I still discovered he was from Cartersville after looking him up on Wikipedia one night the summer before my junior year of high school started and felt hopeful. A month later, a girl who later became one of my very best friends sent me his entire solo discography, but I was still very casual about.

And then there was Sour Patch.

I was sitting at lunch one day listening to songs from Left of Self-Centered when Sour Patch came sliding over to annoy me. Because we had separate classes for the first time since middle school and she missed doing that. She then looked at my iPod, gasped, and declared I wasn’t cool enough to listen to Butch Walker.

Right then, something flipped. I wasn’t cool enough, she said? Well then. I’m just going to have to listen to ALL the Butch Walker then because I sure as hell wasn’t going to live for her satisfaction.

Heh. I guess I have to thank her. Nearly seven and a half years later, my life has been made so much better because I REALLY started listening to an artist just to piss her off. So long and thanks for all the Butch.

5.) Butch and DragonCon are what tipped the scales for me to go to Georgia State.

I was severely depressed in my junior year of high school. Between IB making me feel like I was a complete dumbass and having no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I just hated getting out of bed and going to school in the morning.

But I still had to pick a school to go to, and I had no idea what I wanted. Except that I didn’t want to go to UGA because fuck going to college with everyone I hated in high school.

Sometime after the first time I saw Butch though, I decided screw it and to look into going into a music management program. The problem is that there were only two schools in Georgia that offered a Music Management major: Berry College and Georgia State University.

Berry College isn’t a bad school. In fact, it’s a lovely private school in Rome, Georgia, even if it is completely funded by the Cathy family to the point a LGBT organization couldn’t properly form on campus until just recently. However, it is in Rome. It was further out in the boonies than I already was and the once fact I remembered about Berry from when I was there at the camp on campus for a folk art program was that the deer outnumber the students 3 to 1.

Georgia State however was in the middle of Atlanta. Which meant city. Which meant no deer and that I was right around the corner from where the DragonCon hotels were. And I could keep going to Butch Walker shows.

I didn’t need to know anything else about GSU. That’s all I needed.

Probably a bad idea, but I think it worked out pretty well in the end.

6.) I used to write slash fanfiction.

Well, still do sometimes. It’s what really got me into fandom was participating in fanfiction and it helped me come to terms with my sexuality. Maybe not too shameful, but I needed to make this list an even six. What my main fandom squeeze was? Hey, some things need to stay secret.

Huh… you know what. I think I feel better now…

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Personal

 

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