Pusillanimity

This is an open letter to anybody I’ve ever bailed on. And trust me, that’s quite a broad audience.

To the perfectly nice boy who’s been asking me to coffee for MONTHS, but I always seem to have other plans. To the girl from high school who wants to catch up over dinner, but my car keeps breaking down, or I have to go see my aunt who’s last night in town happens to be this one, and can’t we try again next week?

To my old coworker who cheerily invited me to go jogging with her week after week when I started complaining out loud about my general lack of fitness, but I was always “too tired.”

To the genuinely good and nice and warm people who did nothing but request my company, but I wouldn’t or couldn’t show. To the ones I ghosted; too much of a coward to even offer a fabricated explanation.

I want to start off by apologizing. My tendency to inconsiderately back out on plans that we’ve made together at the last minute has absolutely NOTHING to do with you. In fact, I want nothing more than to have followed through on those aforementioned plans, and gotten to know you and perhaps even have had a little bit of fun.

If I may, i’d like to offer a bit of an explanation of what is going on in this anxiety-ridden noggin that the good Lord gave me. *If there is one*

I never make plans with someone that I don’t 100% intend on following through on. My intentions are pure, I assure you. I’m always eager to meet people and create new experiences with them and so forth.

But then, as we near our time to meet up, my anxiety elevates. Gradually, at first, and I start to have doubts about following through on the plans I’d made. “What if he/she doesn’t like me?” “What if they hurt me?” “What I’m uglier/dumber/less funny than they expected me to be?”

I start to feel unsafe. Not because of the person I have tentative plans to see. Not that, at all. It’s like a reflex, a constant need to protect myself from an unidentified threat. A lump in my throat and a sinking stomach. Thoughts that move at the speed of sound.

I slowly stop responding to your text messages. I pop a Buspar (a fast-acting anti-anxiety drug intended to prevent panic attacks). I convince myself that I’m much too tired to engage with others now.

You send me a “We’re still on, right?” text.

I don’t even open it. I turn your notifications on “mute.”

“M? You okay?” you inquire.

Ignored.

I probably end up passing out at 8 PM, and waking up to one or two more messages from you, with an air of either completely justified disappointment or frustration. And I ignore it. And then we likely don’t talk again.

And I feel alone.

The worst part of it is that it’s entirely self-inflicted.

I hunger for human connection constantly. Watching other people grow and develop amongst each other is devastatingly painful, because I can”t seem to allow myself to do the same. And I end up frustrating people I care about and want to be around, but I keep standing right in my own way.

In summary, I really appreciate everyone who’s ever reached out and tried to make me feel included and wanted. Even if you’ve ever just asked me to go on a walk in the park or get an ice cream cone. And I’m truly, genuinely sorry that I was unable to follow through. I’m sorry if I made you feel sad or mad or frustrated because I flaked on you. It’s not you, it’s me.

I’ve found myself struggling with this especially lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to return to therapy, and stay compliant on my medications, so that’s my fix-it plan. If you haven’t entirely given up on me, I’d still like to get that cup of coffee or see that movie with you.

Wish me luck, friends.

M.

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Isonomy

Women are people. 

Women are not objects, property, toys, second-class citizens, baby vessels, commodities, sandwich-makers, or psychologically/physically incapable of “masculine” tasks. 

Women are people. 

Men are people. 

Men are not financial plans, sugar daddies, jar-openers, or objects. 

Men are people. 

Homosexuals are people.

Blacks are people. 

Hispanics are people. 

(Insert any minority/group of people that differ from groups of people you belong to) 

THEY ARE PEOPLE, TOO. 

I am willing to bet that a majority of you stable-minded people would be willing to come to a consensus that all of the the above statements are fact, and if you’re not, feel free to discontinue reading. 

Tell me this then: Why do sexism, racism, ethnic stereotyping, or homophobia exist? 

Those of you who are still reading have previously agreed with my argument that all variations of people are indeed people. More than that, they are equal people. 

Because all people are equal, all people are equally capable of making their own life-decisions, regardless of cultural norms or gender stereotypes. 

I am going to focus the majority of this post on the issue of sexism. 

Now, I understand that each sex is maybe better-equipped to fulfil certain roles in our world. By this, I mean that men are GENERALLY (not absolutely) physically more muscular, thus being able to develop a greater amount of physical strength at a more rapid pace than women. On the other hand, women are given the ability to bear children, thus making them GENERALLY more capable of nurturing their offspring. 

Both of these instances are due to each sex’s physical makeup, and I realize that there is nothing I could possibly do to change that. 

Because both instances are GENERALLY the case (not ABSOLUTELY the case), there is always deviation from the “norm.” Just because one sex may TEND to be better at fulfilling specific role, it is crucial to remember that every individual’s circumstances are unique. 

Each person ever born was born with this thing called “agency.” Agency means that we are willing to choose how we want to live our lives, regardless of our biological sex, skin color, religious beliefs, socioeconomic class, etc. 

Because all people are equal, it would only make sense that they should all be able to decide what to do with their lives, and other people should shut their fat pie-holes about it, even if they disagree with another’s choices. 

In my Utahn culture, it is virtually expected that a young woman marry as soon as she can so that she can pop out a half-dozen children and then spend the next 20 years raising said offspring. 

I have no problem with girls deciding to take this course in life. If being a housewife will be fulfilling to them, I say go for it! Even though I have prioritized my life a little differently, I respect their decisions to work within the home. 

Because I respect other peoples’ life choices, even if they are the complete obverse of my own, I expect the same from them. I have no desire to be a housewife. My aspiration is to establish myself in a successful and personally empowering career. Just because my decision deviates from the cultural norm, this does not make me any worse, less, or more selfish than those who choose to stick with what society expects of them. 

I believe that whatever will make a person happiest and help them to live the most fulfilling life possible, is the correct choice for the individual. May that be to join the marines, become a school teacher, or a stay-at-home mom. (Which, may I remind you, is a full-time job of its own. Don’t ever say you’re JUST a stay-at-home mom.) 

All I want out of this is to be presented with ALL the same opportunities as my male peers, and to be able to choose whatever is most suitable for me without being judged or questioned for pursuing said opportunities. Think about it. Nobody ever questions a GUY for earning a PhD. But when I say that getting a doctorate degree is my goal, people always ask me when I’m going to fit in marriage and a family. And the answer is, when I am good and ready, and inevitably fixed on achieving my educational and career goals. 

I am a feminist, because I am just as human as my male peers. And it’s about time that I begin to be treated as such. 

If you’re with me on this, congratulations! You’re a feminist, too, and you can sit by me. 

M.