Thursday, December 23, 2010

All Quiet on the Western Front vs War

Here I am reading something with cultural value again!  I feel relieved I can still appreciate a good novel, currently I'm almost done with All Quiet on the Western Front and feel like a very interesting literature analysis could be done with comparison to all the myths about women in the Infantry.  I recently scratched together some interesting theories, but had to take a break from the computer to cure some classic burn-out.  I will have to be very careful of that in my career, it is quite frequent I hear.  I came up with some interesting ideas though in conversation and while reading and I couldn't help but think of my recent reading of Sebastian Junger's book, War.

So on women in the Infantry.  And yes I mean combat units in general, but I prefer to focus on the Infantry because that's the classic case.  What are the differences between men and women?  We are built differently that is certainly true, down to our structural design there are huge differences.  A couples examples: men have quicker reflexes, and women have a keener sense of smell.  Culturally, there are different expectations of us.  I believe a big part of it is the natural role of motherhood, and I only mean in the scientific sense of furthering a species to avoid much larger arguments.  Women who are able, can get pregnant in a limited portion of their lives and when they are pregnant face at least a few months of vulnerability.  In the past there were less chances of a successful birth and there were higher birth rates in many modern developed countries.   Thus, a life devoted to bearing and raising children was noble and expected and in truth bettered society.  Protecting your women was protecting a valuable resource.  This extends to protecting women and children.

However, with modern medicine, more women choose to and can put off bearing children.  These women have proven in athletic and corporate fields that with more freedom they can prove prowess outside of the domestic realm.  When not vulnerable in pregnancy, women are just as competent in many fields once reserved to men.  In intellectual fields I don't see any impairment from any stage of pregnancy, in jobs that require physical work, it has been proven that maintaining physical fitness in the early stages of pregnancy is actually better than previously believed, but there comes a stage and time when one must decrease rough physical activity.  And having never had a child, I admit I am in no way qualified to speak for any of these statements, only what I gather from sweeping and light research.

However, how this all goes back to my argument for women in combat, is that old concerns with child-bearing age and child-birth limited women in some ways, and any inspection of just a half century ago reveals instructions regarding and directed to women that are in so many ways laughable today.  Women are fast increasing the athletic levels at which they perform just check this out --> and I think this only goes to further my point.  While I am a little skeptical of smaller-framed, generally having higher body fat percentage women outperforming men, I do believe the differences in our muscular build are insignificant in the field.  Perhaps this would only hold true for a lesser percentage of women, but some nonetheless.  So if we instituted appropriate physical requirements for branches and held both men and women to that standard, we could easily counter the ever-present concern that women are not physically as qualified for combat.

In regard to social and psychological the argument is thicker but it is here that I feel even more strongly.  This is where I think it would be useful for someone to run a literature analysis on All Quiet on the Western Front or another WWI or WWII novel.  Anything that describes harrowing war.  I have been thinking hard in each scene about whether a woman could handle this.  All this talk today about the "nature of war" being the same as it was in the past.  I read some gory lines about men running on the stumps of legs or the constant shelling and the trench warfare launching attacks and counterattacks.  I compare this to recently having read War by Sebastian Junger, and I feel like our war is much less intense and much less maddening than that war.  And this is a good thing, isn't it?  How can a man tell me the nature of war is still the same?  When I look at these two books I feel like that is impossible.  And how can a man tell me I could not handle this based merely on the fact that I am a woman?  There is many a man in All Quiet on the Western Front who fails mid-battle.  Many a recruit that freezes up and dies.  Who is to say that would be any worse for a woman if women weren't confined to the medical professions during that war?  And it is not as though those women didn't see their share of macabre and gruesome.  It is interesting in Chapter Ten the main character, Paul Bäumer, is embarrassed to ask a young nurse where to go to take a piss, because she is young and crisp and clean and „wonderful and sweet“.  But a little while later they all get over their embarrassment and are clear with both functions with this nurse.  Was there a catastrophe?  Was anyone raped?  No.  These professionals dealt with it accordingly and the woman was hardly flustered with these so called private and embarrassing functions.

A man once told me that it would be difficult for a man such as himself to be in what was described to me as a few day long observation patrol with a woman because the men must take all their waste with them and he insinuated that included crapping in a bag and having to hold the bag for a buddy.  I nodded but didn't really understand.  If a nurse might have to do that in a field hospital, or a mother has changed the diaper of a baby, what woman can't handle the sight or sound of shit?  And then this man went further to say that women sometimes had that - you know - problem?  He was referring to menstruation.  Oh dear, well I explained to him that was only a little extra trash... but he was highly uncomfortable with the idea.  Why should women be barred from positions because he has the opposite gender on a pedestal?  Just make some distinctions buddy.  There is your wife, and you can believe whatever you like about her that she doesn't so much as fart.  And there is the man or woman you work with.  In war there will be things that pass that would be shameful in peacetime society, but there remains professionalism and there remains the profession of Soldiers:  that is to win our nation's wars.

I have so much more to say on the subject, but this has been gnawing at me for some time and I needed to at least begin to try to explain myself.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Cadet Leadership Development System

So oddly enough when you google search "Cadet Leadership Development System joke" no huge flow of jokes, comments, or tirades ensues.  I wonder if this means that I will be in twenty years lauding the system I currently despise.  It's this idea that somehow you're cadet job does more leadership development than the mere interference it runs with your day to day life.  I mean I get it, this is life, right?  Finding inspiration in the mundane.  But this world of west point is like one of those ecoglobes with the shrimp in it, except it's gray, miserable, cold and doesn't need sunshine to survive.

Which is a bit of an overstatement I realize but here is my example.  My job is done, the grade is in.  And I could walk away and forget about it... but I feel like that's not good enough.  It's not that I'm a terrible person who doesn't care and thinks I'm better than everyone... it's that the system here... hell the system of the world can be more than a little frustrating.  I know it's not just this place it's the way of the modern world.  Everything is draped in layers and layers of red tape.

So we had to set up hot chocolate for this event, a bonfire.  And I was also in charge of procuring tools.  Well I found out "how" to get the tools.  I even went out to supervise the procurement of lumber.  I didn't do much when I actually went, I mean all I did was keep the truck running when they took the wood up to the barracks.  Anyway I told everyone who needed anything how to get it, and I suggested what times they should go.  I had already wasted many of my hours meeting up with the folks to arrange for all this stuff, and then the actual getting of the wood and then wasting time going to the motor pool (where we keep vehicles is about a 20 minute drive out) that took up a whole afternoon.  I was pulling quite a few late nights to finish some big writing assignments and doing sandhurst practices too.  So when people who are supposed to be equally responsible as I for their tasks failed, I was the one who caught flak (which means I was chewed out).  After all this my assistant and I took hot chocolate out to the bonfire.  There were no tables at the front office (called CGR - Central Guard Room at WP) and no tables at the bonfire so someone screwed up with the delivery of the tables.  So we were at a loss where to put the hot chocolate.  This person... someone higher than me, said we should put some hot chocolate in the beer tent... which may have worked out but it was after we'd set it up on these benches and bleachers behind the beer tent.  We were in a pretty bad position it's true... but I was trying to get the DJ to announce the hot chocolate but by the time I thought of it and tracked him down he said he'd disconnected everything.  Anyway this higher ranking guy thought we screwed up the hot chocolate operation and mentioned it in his After Action Review... well for one we had way too much hot chocolate, we had enough for 4,000 people to each probably double-fist hot chocolate and most of the campus who were forced to be there left immediately, those who stayed drank beer and mostly hot chocolate doesn't mix with beer now if we'd had mulled wine....  Second of all, by the time families started to wander over for hot chocolate, we had to take it back because the mess hall needed the containers for breakfast the next day.  Anyway, I replied to my cadet level boss if he could please forward my comments to this officer, but if he didn't I'd love to forward them myself.  He won't get it... and that's fine.  Like I said, I'm done with the job... but we get chewed out for not supporting "the Corps" and it's just that I wish we weren't doing something stupid or in a stupid manner, not that I don't want to support.  Well, that's all, I'll get off my soap box now.

Anyway, I guess this weekend during another Army-Navy football game, the 111th, and the like umpteenth loss to Navy... I had another dose of how grumpy and pessimistic yet secretly optimistic I am.  A guy I was setting up a date with for while I was home basically showed he was slutting around, and doesn't realize I find it quite distasteful.  It would be one thing if he was just everywhere, random and social and interesting like a different guy I sort of have a semi-crush on.  But the guy at home... he's a former grad of my fine institution and I already had my reservations but he started to blow me off a little in conjunction with going out and ending up making breakfast for someone else... and well I've been hit with that train before.  So I'm dropping him now.  I might ask him to meet me somewhere in my hometown and I won't show up because he'll deserve it and if he's not an ass he'll ask where I was.  If he is an ass, he'll probably text me a sorry about thirty minutes later than we were scheduled to meet and say he couldn't make it.  The good thing is I'll make sure I'm in a movie with my cousins or at home having tea with my mom or out somewhere quiet.  I would like to get some quiet time this break.  I am definitely guarded now though.  On the drive home from Philadelphia this morning I was in a bad mood.  I don't want to be close to a guy right now, but anyway... I'm digressing.  I've got a lot to do... and my roommate feels like it's necessary to sleep early and she can't stand my desk light anymore... I dunno how she developed a sensitivity to it this last month... but it's kinda annoying.  Whatever... I don't need it tonight at least.  Goodnight all, let me know if you think I'm bitchin' too much... but keep in mind this is sorta an outlet and I can't possibly keep it completely objective or neutral.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Epiphamatic Day!

So I had a lot of input and an upswing of mood today... yesterday had I lifted my weary head from my pillow I would have written a terribly depressing blog... today I have recaptured motivation!  And I didn't even bring up women's rights.

Was reading a book on the Iran-Contra Affair... and yes that isn't exactly riveting... but I stumbled on this paragraph in the preface (which shows you also where I am so I need to wrap this up quickly):

"As a result, I have been forced to rethink my achievements and mistakes.  Did I try to accomplish too much?  Was I excessive?  Was I obsessive?  Were my objective frustrated by... my own errors?  Despite many defeats, did I ultimately win?  And if I won, was it the war I thought I was fighting or one quite different?  Will the effort, however evaluated, deter future comparable misconduct?"

Sure this was the investigator of something huge of which there are literally tomes... but these questions are the questions of anyone who takes on a humongous task.  One so large it literally has to be largely out of your hands for real change to be effected.

Today I had a good talk with my mentor.  So maybe gonna try to repair a burnt bridge... but I am not holding my breath for the best outcome.  It's just it's better to end things on better terms and walk away with a clean slate.

He also articulated some things that had been bothering me for a while... and some arguments that my rather dim-witted boss (one of them... and jeez if he recognizes himself --which I doubt he will-- will I get shit for this.  But just to save myself in case he does... if you think this is you, than you're much too clever to be the man I'm referring to.  Got it?) proffered.  But when my sorta boss gave me the argument for leadership at West Point, it was delivered so crudely I bristled at it.  I was cynical and critical in my opinion of "leadership positions" at the Academy.  I haven't entirely seen the light... nor do I think this new and more eloquent advice addresses all things I am disgruntled with... but here's the theory:

Leadership, especially in the Army but anywhere, is about helping others become who they wish they could be.  Obviously this means healthy wishes... and not everyone knows what is the best thing for them... but it's a free will for a reason.  I think humanity as a whole consistently having members perform in deplorable ways, is proof enough that free will has some nasty sides to it.  But that's besides the point.  Given the fact that most ordinary people don't want more than to improve their situation in life it makes sense that as a leader it would be beneficial to help that person find their niche and if you could help it would make you a good leader to help.

The second part of that was the subtlety of peer and leader leadership.  No that's not a typo, sometimes you have to lead your leader.  And he emphasized the difficulty of that and gave me some examples of achieving that as well.  Much better than a crude insulting comment that I received elsewhere that may have vaguely behind it held the same intent.  And even that I somewhat doubt.  It's times like this I appreciate the lessons I received from my father, who was an excellent leadership example.  Many of the lessons West Point has taught me had been gone over by my father in the formative years before I was at the academy.  And anyone can doubt this, but talking about subtle leadership, taking a stand, maintaining the important standards, and identifying the "informal vs formal" leaders are all things my dad talked to me about even when I was 13 or 14 years old.  And yes I suppose you could argue that's not too long ago, any sarcastic readers out there.

A 1500 word paper awaits, so that's all for now, but I am refreshed and rejuvenated and ready for battle!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Blog

I am pretty amused currently.  A lot of times I am tempted to put smiley faces on this blog... right now one would be fairly reflective of my mood.  Not everything is great, but it's the lull before the inevitable end of semester cram-fest.  I mean there are other things on my mind... things about the car, issues I haven't dealt with.  Snow for example.  I don't even have an ice scraper.  I don't have jumper cables.  I haven't changed the oil and am wondering when I need to do that.  My car, Atticus is his name, seems to be doing well.  I just took a nice four-hour drive through some pretty crazy holiday traffic.  I am still pretty intimidated by traffic in general.  I was happy with how well I performed in the city once I arrived.

Both this evening and yesterday's were well spent playing some Apples to Apples.  Thank goodness for that ice breaker... sometimes I forget what to talk about outside of West Point's walls.  We share so much that is easy to talk about in our little gray fort.  I mean all you have to do is ask someone what they did last summer and everything becomes familiar acronyms and training and complicated systems that have become somewhat intrinsic to me.  I guess this is how people get stuck in the military, forgetting not what, but how to talk about subjects outside of military jargon.  I sometimes want to stop mid-explanation to civilians because as I explain one complicated system I realize it's related to another complicated system and they aren't possibly going to memorize it and no one expects them to... so how about we keep the explanation simple?  And on top of that, the academies are one big fraternity with an overabundance of rules which can all be traced back to an exclusive gentleman's code that was once associated with the place.  And I do mean fraternity because of the dominating male essence of the place.  Delicate, graceful, effeminate?  Nothing at West Point brings these adjectives to mind, except maybe the statue of Fame at the top of the supposedly largest free-standing polished granite column in the Western Hemisphere at Battle Monument.  And even Fame isn't the same, she used to have an exposed breast until some officer thought it was too arousing for the good ol' boys.  At least that's what the description was that I read in the museum, although the Wikipedia article claims it was just because the statue was too large and awkward.  I guess I'll have to go back to the museum to find out for sure...

More tedious research into the laws preventing women from serving in ground combat.  I began reading War by Sebastian Junger, since we're supposed to discuss this come the end of Thanksgiving Break.  I can't help get absolutely heartbroken when I read.  It isn't so glorious really:  war.  It is a tough job.  It is admirable of these men to take on this burden.  But whose to say women can't do this?  Who the hell has the right?  These men face a hard task it is true.  But I believe they have the potential professionalism to handle women at these isolated outposts.  Why don't they?  Why doesn't Congress?  Is the message that under the stress of combat, men are allowed to lose their ever-living minds and go on a sexist, raping rampage with any women who might have the misfortune to find themselves on a combat outpost with the sex-deprived, mentally and physically exhausted men?  Is the message that under a constant and dreadful threat men would irrationally protect women who chose to serve under the same conditions?  Is the message that the social fabric of a mixed-gender unit under heavy enemy fire and subject to constant assault and ambush would disintegrate and all hell would break loose?  What does a book like this do but show that the complexities and complications of war are as much of an issue for an all-male unit as they are for a mixed-gender unit.  I don't believe this would be much worse if there were women interspersed amongst the men.  I wonder if the psychological strength of a woman would help with issues such as PTSD.  I wonder if anyone would admire that woman, no matter who she was personally, and would anyone hold her as a hero in their hearts.  A woman who goes to war can hardly be seen as seeking glory and fame.  It does less good to a retired female soldier to have been in combat.  What good does that do her when she can never have the honor to be counted a Ranger or an Infantryman or someone whose job it was to go to a place and win the nation's wars by engaging in direct combat with the enemy?  It's an honor.  We honor those who take on this incredible burden.  It isn't the same in all countries.  This has nothing to do with my thoughts on war... but once you're in it, and once you are a soldier, you have a duty and a commitment.  A woman who wants to defend her country in the same manner by directly engaging the enemy ought not be prevented and surely ought not to be persecuted for it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Who can see the Future? And who Believes it?

I have been wanting to post a lot this week, but every time I am at the computer and have some time I don't have the motivation.  It's very much the same with my academic work as well.  At any rate there has been some introspection going on, and some curiousity about events outside my control.

On women in the infantry and armor branch.  To be honest, it seems like the same wall is there that existed here at West Point for women's wrestling.  I feel like a shell of a woman in that aspect.  Just having missed the NYAC Holiday tournament.  I am really down and out about it, like I let myself down, but I made the cogniscent decision at least a month in advance.  I was wondering if I'd have the time at the end of August.  Judging by how behind I currently remain on paper upon paper... I really need to buckle down and plow forward.

Oops, I digressed.  Back to women in infantry and armor.  The problem that is repeating is the lack of women who want to.  I want women to have the right, I would be willing to serve in infantry, but I am lacking in some ways.  I would have to fight and work hard to pass the male minimum standard of push-ups.  I would struggle in day to day PT in Infantry.  I am unsure if I could do it.

Yet another side of me argues that isn't important.  What is important is being willing to suffer for the right for other women.  And even if that was only a few women, well we all deserve the chance.  It's a patch in the social quilt that is our patriarcal society.  Let's face it, historically presidents usually have military background.  The best way to advance in our military is to be in the combat arms.  The combat arms have the most prestige.  It's not the only route, but it's a significant path.

I guess what is bothering me is even if I am not the most qualified woman and even if the most qualified women don't want to currently... can I still fight for women to be allowed in the military?  How would I deal with defeat in this aspect?  What would defeat look like?  As gradual as my defeat in wrestling?  I am worried I will never get back into wrestling.  I wonder if I've grown into other pursuits... or simply lost touch with wrestling in any way serious.  I can still roll around... but what about the future.  What about my other goals?  What about beyond the Army?  I want so much, but some of the things I want would entail maybe further service.  And I'm not so sure how the military career suits me yet.  I never imagined life as a Transportation Officer.

There are so many more things to write, but currently this will have to suffice.  Until next blog, Danke.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just to Clarify... then more Rebelliousness

A few recent events have made me a little panicky about this blog.  I just want to clarify that I'm not an investigative blogger.  I have no pretensions with this blog.  It's just perspective, it's just thoughts, and hopefully it's mostly the truth.  I believe like all people who blog what is on their minds I've had enough figurative foot-in-mouth moments of embarrassment that make me want to go back and delete a post for something I wrote... but I guess if I did that I would have only a pitiful handful of entries on this blog.

Whew! Now that's out of the way, I have noticed some hullabaloo about the full body scanners... I had to go through one in Europe.  They aren't so bad, but the scanner still picked up my zippers on my boots and the buttons sewn into my jeans, things that didn't set off the metal detectors (in some airports in Europe you don't have to take off your shoes)... so I still had to get a pat-down.  It was done by a female, but I felt annoyed.  Why did I have to go through the machine if I was getting a pat-down anyway?  Obviously the technology is lacking.  Thus far and from this side, my biggest complaint lies with the inefficacy of these new machines, I'm not too sure about radiation side-effects when supposedly we get a lot of those from holding cell phones to our heads too.

I also am suspicious of stricter measures at airports and perhaps throughout the states in the name of national security.  Airports are already nightmares of waiting.  And even if we do implement a new measure it will only be as effective as the last without the budget to go with the manpower to enforce it.  I am just skeptical that making things more inconvenient is a viable solution.

On a slightly related but hilarious side note, apparently a certain airline's insurance does not cover the following:

This plan does not cover any insured Loss caused by or resulting from:
  • Intentionally self-inflicted Injury, suicide, or attempted suicide of the Insured, Family Member, Traveling Companion or Business Partner while sane or insane;
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, or elective abortion, other than Complications of Pregnancy;
  • Participation in professional athletic events, motor sport, or motor racing, including training or practice for the same;
  • Mountaineering where ropes or guides are normally used. The ascent or descent of a mountain requiring the use of specialized equipment, including but not limited to pick-axes, anchors, bolts, crampons, carabineers, and lead or top-rope anchoring equipment;
  • War or act of war, whether declared or not, civil disorder, riot, or insurrection;
  • Operating or learning to operate any aircraft, as student, pilot, or crew;
  • Air travel on any air-supported device, other than a regularly scheduled airline or air charter company;
  • Loss or damage caused by detention, confiscation, or destruction by customs;
  • Any unlawful acts, committed by the Insured, a Family Member, or a Traveling Companion, or Business Partner whether insured or not;
  • Mental, Nervous or Psychological Disorder or rest cures;
  • If the Insured’s tickets do not contain specific travel dates (open tickets);
  • Use of drugs, narcotics, or alcohol, unless administered upon the advice of a Physician;
  • Any failure of a provider of travel related services (including any Travel Supplier) to provide the bargained-for travel services or to refund money due the Insured;
  • Experimental or Investigative treatment or procedures;
  • Any Loss that occurs at a time when this coverage is not in effect;
  • Traveling for the purpose of securing medical treatment;
  • Care or treatment which is not Medically Necessary;
  • Any Trip taken outside the advice of a Physician;
  • Financial Default;

War or act of war is my absolute favorite ^^ if insurance doesn't cover this, than I don't want it.  You can never be too sure, right?  And what's the point in buying it, if it won't cover your basic acts of war or other international incidents? Naturally I jest ;)

Once again I've written a blog over a lengthy period of time and in between work and homework.  Of course the night ends with me knowing I am still not caught up with my work and still need to work on my thesis and still need to submit those interviews!  Occasionally I feel overwhelmed.

At the last few exciting events and talks I've been to, I've had the chance to shine in natural brightness.  It's a nice feeling.  I am not claiming to be very intelligent.  Facts and figures escape me.  I open mouth insert foot all the time.  It's such a hit and a miss, but I've made some new friends and this has reaffirmed some beliefs I've held about myself all these years.  I was also spurred into more action... but still a part of me reflects on myself, my particular strengths and weaknesses and what I want to do with the rest of my life.  It's such an open road, I really promise to write more about this another blog.  Until then, tchau!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Put on my Red Dress

Hello world, it's been so long since I wrote on this blog.
Anyway, been feeling a lot rebellious.  It's another year and yet again I am spurred to fight with all my heart.  Feels like things have come full circle in many ways.  Plebe year it felt like running into a wall of bricks.  I still remember struggling on the BEAST Barracks rucks.  I was so out of breath.  I remember a female chaplain telling me (kindly) to calm down.  On our first ruck on the ski slope I felt tight-chested and then like I couldn't breathe.  I had to catch my breath.  Then and several times in between I've been plagued with self-doubt in between personal victories.  Am I suited to this profession?  Is my weakness at bearing heavy loads something that makes me unfit for this privilege of officership?  I sometimes forget how small I am in comparison with a lot of my peers here.

Tonight was Branch Night.  A branch in the army is defined as:  "a particular area of expertise" according to Wikipedia.  And we all know that Wikipedia is the absolute in common knowledge.  At any rate, my branch, in which I'm expected to be technically and tactically proficient is:  Transportation.  The me from a year ago would probably be aghast.  The me of today is more patient, though just as proud.

And speaking of things I never thought would be true.  Does anyone else wish there were more warnings on the privacy sacrifices made by using popular technology?  I mean, a lot of these friendly apps from Android linking with Facebook and seemingly innocent shares of information are a bit scary.  Here's a real quote from the Guardian Project of Android.

"The ability for a group of people to passively track each others locations in a secure manner has quickly risen to the top of the must-have list. Consider a team member traveling to another country or remote region with the support team being able to easily, but securely, ping their device at any time to determine their current location."

The website actually offers some great solutions to privacy intrusion, but this goes back to the real issue of how much protection of your information do you actually need to go to lengths to?  Where is there "reasonable expectation of privacy" in the techonologically-enabled world?  Thought the below video was pretty funny and the dystopia we all seek to avoid.  I don't believe in anything like Terminator or Matrix... but something along the lines of 1984 seems all too possible.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hours pass, and I still count the Minutes

So.. I have finally had the epiphany that age is simply a number. This has really taken me a while to learn. It was really just a fantasy of mine that you could label people based on the number of years they'd been on the earth... but while there are certain things you cannot deny such as the culture you were exposed to or the generation you belong to... you cannot assume that someone with more years is necessarily wiser.

What did it take for me to understand this? Well, a strange connection between old lessons and the rather plain statement of,

"Whether he was sixteen or nineteen, what he did was wrong, and if he pulled such a dumbass move at nineteen you can guarantee in the same situation he would have acted the same at sixteen."

Huh. Funny when you put it like that. I just always wished there was an age where you could be held culpable for your actions, and while there is such an age in legal terms... well when it comes to feelings whether of anger or annoyance and when it comes to the moral issue of placing blame... well age is a fuzzy area. And the area in and after puberty is pretty crazy in terms of maturity. There really isn't a label... and that can be downright frustrating.

However, having learned that lesson with some small exceptions... it's still hard to remember that when I consider the day to day mundane situations I find myself in.

Moving on... I feel a swell of pity for any boy who is or becomes interested in me at this point. It is regrettable that I feel a huge amount of for lack of a better word: bitchiness for the opposite gender that would like to initiate a romantic pursuit of me.

That probably sounds obscenely conceited, except that I'm twice as frustrated because I'm feeling something throughout my veins I don't usually acknowledge: bitterness. I'm completely crushed and feeling more down and out at the moment than usual. It's not guys in general, but right now it's the boys who hit on me. For some reason it's making me angry. And I don't feel apologetic for it at all. I feel a stupid sense of vindication because I've been hurt and the odds are that this will end the same way. It doesn't help that three of the last four come ons were purely physical and self-serving on the guys' end. And I'm glad I turned them all down. But at the same time I can't help but sing a woe-is-me "where have all the cowboys gone?" tune.

But it's better to take these feelings I suppose and channel them towards my goals. Gotta buy a car, get into shape, and plan a road trip. Also, spending time with my cousins and my friends. Still it's hard to supress the surprisingly strong bitchy urge to really make the next guy suffer. Oh, and it doesn't help that at the same time I'm trying to get my smart if angry mind to convince my heart to get the hell over the failures of the present. And I know I've talked about him enough and it's obvious I'm still taken with him, still charmed, and still enamored... but damnit I know better I just can't make myself change overnight. So please forgive the chatter about useless bums in foreign countries... I know what the problem is and I assure you I'm working as hard as I can on the solution.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm Proud of Where I Came From..

Haven't posted in a while, but figured it was time to.
After this essay is done for Comparative Legal Systems I can finally get down to business of getting in shape for the November NYAC tournament.

Gotta say that my motto right now is everything happens for a reason. I am not exactly thrilled at the prospect of facing all the bad things that are going to happen to me or the bad things that have happened to me so far... I've been betrayed, taken advantage of, lied to, and trodden on. I've been hurting so bad I could only laugh, the worst moment in my life and I couldn't handle it. I've loved deeply, dumbly, blindly, and been saved inadvertently by the very nature of the boys who couldn't handle me.

And I can't undo all the evil I've been responsible for... I've hurt people with my words, I've made people feel small, I've been silent when I could have, even should have, said the right thing. I've accepted defeat. I've attacked myself for every failure and I've procrastinated to the point it is unhealthy. I've been guilty of envy, sloth and pride.

But I can't wait for the future good that is going to happen. And only more can happen with the right drive, applying myself, and keeping myself focused. I think the hardest lesson for girls after they are eighteen is to learn they don't have to go out with "relatively cute good guy there is not necessarily a spark for" It's so hard to resist sometimes though. We want to be in relationships.. it's only natural. And hell it could work out, but it wouldn't be sheer happiness which is what, in my mind, it's supposed to be. So what makes me ridiculously outrageously happy now? What makes me get that look of determination and hope? What makes me babble on and on and use corny phrases and mean them? Wrestling.

So today I discovered a "grip machine" in the Pershing basement. a stick with a cord attached to a weight. That is a sign if I ever saw one. I also saw a kid working out in the basement who looked like a wrestler. I also ran 3.5 miles last week. My legs feel fine. I'm not training hard yet because of this damn essay but after that it's forgive the phrasing... balls to the walls.

Also... considering cutting my hair short again. Must check the schedule for senior pictures. Would like my picture to have an adorable braid I figured out how to do while I was in Portugal... but at the same time I think it would be a symbolic gesture. While I get lots of compliments on my hair, it's quite distracting to boys and it seems like they still can't get it through their thick heads I am quite turned off of military boys at this point.

And that's not a permanent thing, but it's a right now thing. I have met someone who I really felt a click with, and really felt for on so many levels. I think even though that didn't work, I want that sync. I want someone who can at times stay a step ahead of me, and I want someone humble enough to give me my dues when I catch him flat-footed. Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I want someone I haven't met yet. In other words, if he's not around here, then I shoud use the opportunity to put my heart and soul into my goals because by accomplishing them... in between he'll show up and I'll figure out slowly that he's the one.

I guess I am also expressing my frustration with current individuals who have really taken my rejection the wrong way... they believe if they can boast prowess in all sorts of for example military, physical and/or social levels I will suddenly fall back into infatuation with them. And if there was a way to give him a mental slap in the back of the head I would. But at this point I am trying to keep my mouth shut when people won't get it.

I even caught myself today when I started to argue with my 25 year old friend who was explaining how "old" he is. Give me a break. Some of my friends in Europe were 26, 28, 29, not to mention the great rapport I've always enjoyed with my mentors. One of my pet peeves, well occasionally I use it as a source of entertainment, is when a 24-25 year old talks about the "old days". I may only be 20, and born on the wrong side of a decade to prove my age... but for crying out loud... you're only 5 years older than me! What on earth were you processing/comprehending when you were 5 years old? And if your so wise, why are you my classmate? I would respect people like that more if they didn't try to brag about it. But... I digress.

So my first crush on a good guy who handled me fairly well and with whom I have a strong friendship and don't get annoyed with... well he was good at a lot. He made friends with people he respected, he lives his life in a good way (he would say Christian, but I would say good), he was physically proficient, extremely intelligent, and had other skills as well. I'm just glad that only one guy knows that I had a thing for him, because well he doesn't understand it wasn't all those things that made me like this guy.. it was the things that nobody knew or understood about him. It was the funny, awkward, clever, argumentative, cute man underneath that proficient exterior that I liked. But boys don't get it. It's not about physical although that is definitely a plus, and where a lot of initial attraction starts.

Eh... the point is... boys are bad news right now and maybe I am gettin a pixie cut. And hopefully the blogs will start again in better strength in July. Until then, I'm out.