Yeah, I know. The title is very cliche but it works with what I'm about to explain.
Society states that its "weird" to go to a restaurant, to a movie, to a dance, to some sort of social gathering by yourself. Newsflash: its not. It is only weird if you want it to be weird. It is like my viewpoint on awkward moments. Whenever people tell me stories there is always an "awkward moment". That usually pertains to a silence that no one knows how to fill or to a clumsy meeting or catch up with an old friend.
I don't believe thing to be awkward until the a-word is mentioned. Especially when it comes to a pause in a conversation. I don't see it as an awkward moment until someone utters the words, "well, this is awkward". No, its not. Its just a break in the conversation where people are thinking of something else to say. It doesn't have to be that bad.
Now, to go back to the topic at hand: since when did it become weird to go to places alone? I remember going through high school and people were basically going crazy to find a date to a dance because they'd rather not go alone. What's wrong with going alone? You get to be with your friends and dance with whomever. You get to enjoy your time instead of trying to impress the person you're with. Now, I'm not speaking down on those who do go with other people. I have been to a few dances where I went with a date and I had a great time.
I think its just the social pressures of high school. It is weird if you don't like the same things the popular guys and girls like. It is weird if you don't wear the latest style of clothing. Its weird if you don't date. Whatever happen to individuality? Or, as humans, are we all so obsessed with fitting in and showing off we don't really understand individuality anymore?
So, last Friday I went to the pool by myself. I do that often anyway because I like going to the pool. I really enjoy swimming and that is something, like the beach, where you can go either with someone or by yourself without a care in the world.
Later, I went out and grabbed lunched at The Lunch Bell, a local restaurant that focuses on serving lunch food. When I arrived I was asked if someone would be joining me and I said no. The hostess was a polite and left me to think about my order. I never got a sense of judgement form her. Then when my waitress arrived she asked if someone would be joining me. Again, I said no, and then gave her my order. I felt, that since I was eating by myself she wanted to really make sure I was going to enjoy my time at the restaurant and was very engaging and checked up on me to make sure my food was good and everything.
The food was delicious. I could tell that they had made everything fresh instead of frozen or re-heated from the last day. Afterwards I went out and watched a movie. I watched the new film, Lucy. I liked it but the ending was anti-climatic. Plus, it was short- with a run time of 1h30min.
Now, I never felt weird going to movies by myself, but I've never been to a chick-flick or rom-com by myself. I always go to action, comedy, animated, thriller, horror, etc films. Maybe, I should try that out one day.
I've found that is really easy doing things by myself. I need alone time every once in a while and its a great way to get out of my comfort zone and it forces me to get used to ineracting with people one on one. People don't do that much anymore because of phones and other technology.
I've been debating on whether or not I should write and post a blog entry about this, but I feel like it needs to be said. It helps me to write out my feelings more than saying it so here we go....
So two things happened this week, both of which are hard to comprehend.
The first thing is that one of my co-workers was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. They caught it early so we're all positive she'll make a full recovery. Sometimes when my office sits down for lunch we'll talk about the steps she'll take to get rid of the cancerous cells or ask her questions, and what surprises me is that she's open about it. So open that she makes jokes and is smiling all the time.
Well, that's always been her personality. Since I met her on my first day I noticed she was always bright and funny and had a smile on her face and didn't seem upset over anything. She calls her diagnosis "her speed bump in life". She's basically facing it head on and with one step at a time, with a joke or a funny comment alongside her.
The second thing that happened this week is that one of my friends from Hollins passed away on Friday in a car accident. Everything in life was working out for her. This does prove that life is short. I worked with her on campus for three years and I had a great time. She and another co-worker got the entire office to really get into online Family Feud. So much so, that we would yell to each other from across the hallway for help on a top 5 answer about baby books, for example.
The outpouring of response, messages, and prayers from Hollins members towards her family made me come to terms about the school. The school is a tight community.
I'm not going to lie, but I questioned the school about something for a long time.
Mainly because its a single-sex institution and mainly because it was all female. Girls are cliquey. Hands down, girls are cliquey and its how we survive through life. We make friends with people who are basically exactly like us.
When I first was attending Hollins people would tell me "there's no cliques here and everyone is a sister to someone". In turn, I'd think: "there are no cliques? really? are you sure? there are no cliques at all?" Not to be a pessimist as to what I was told, but being a realistic teenage girl who noticed cliques forming even as young as lower/elementary school.
The school is right though: we are a community. With the passing of my friend, I saw numerous Facebook and twitter posts about her or in her memory. Some of these were from people I knew most likely hadn't ever met her because she graduated a year before I did and so left before they arrived.
Seeing this act made me very happy because it shows that whether or not you know someone, like someone, or are very close to someone, the school can come together from various places and on various social media platforms.
With both of these news this week, it really puts a lot of things into perspective. It helped me come to terms about my life, my friends, my family, the direction I'd like to go in, the career I want, my "happily ever after", etc. A lot of small things that we, as humans, tend to blow up over or dwell upon are just not worth it.
So, on that topic, who cares if someone borrowed a book and accidentally lost it? (okay, I might care) Who cares if someone drinks the milk and only leaves a smidge left? Who cares if a book you ordered online didn't arrive in the estimated arrival time-frame and actually arrived two days later? Is it necessary to have fights when you're tying to help someone assemble a piece of furniture, or help them move to a new house, or help them tend to their yard work?
Unless of course you're my sisters and we fight over insignificant stuff all the time. Which, over the years, I realized we mainly argue because we're essentially saying the same thing but in two different ways. Also, we tend to prolong out arguments by restating our ideas over and over again.
Speaker 1: "I know, but....."
Speaker 2: "I know, but....."
Speaker 1: "I know, but......"
Luckily for us we get over things like this in about five to ten minutes and then we're back to laughing and talking like crazy.
What it all comes down to is perspective. It is how you choose to let even the smallest of things cause a big reaction out of you or just roll it off your back and move on. Something could seem so big at the time, but in reality it could be a small blip on the radar or a bump under your bike tire.
African American hair, most cases, is either relaxed or natural. Sometimes there will be weaves or extensions (or even wigs) but most cases it is relaxed or natural. For the past four months I have been working towards natural hair and it is a daily struggle to stop myself from putting relaxer back in.
Relaxer uses chemicals to straighten African American hair. This lasts for about a month to a month and a half. Your roots will eventually grow and curl to show the natural state of your hair. Every few months you are to put relaxer on your roots to keep your hair straight. The only way to get your hair back to its natural form is to cut off all the relaxed hair.
If anyone is friends with me on Facebook, go through my profile pictures album. You will see a cycle of my hair long and straight or short and curly. This is my never ending battle with my hair. I love my hair short and I love my hair straight. I'm not too fond of my hair curly and I don't think long hair looks good on me.
There is no way I would ever get a weave. You basically sew the hair piece onto/into your head. No thank you. I have thought about extensions but those cost a lot and in some places you have to supply the hair you want. I wouldn't even know where to start. I also don't want to make monthly trips to the salon. I don't have enough money to go that often, plus most cases the hair or style I want I can do myself.
One thing I hate about natural hair is that I can take so little or so much time to make it look good, and then once humidity or water hits it, it shrinks back to normal. So my only compromise is to either relax my hair or straighten it with a flat iron.
I've run into problems with both. I cut the last relaxer out of my hair after noticing that after touch ups my hair wouldn't be straight, it would be wavy/straight. I worry that if I use a flat iron a lot my hair will become dry and damaged.
I...what's the word for it...fret over my hair because I want to be different from my sisters. They have either natural hair (afro style) relaxed hair, or braided hair. I like to have different hair because people will be able to differentiate us faster. It is also a way to show my personality and my identity. However, there is not much left I can do to be different. I do want to dye it red one day, but until then I need to decide to either keep my hair natural or relax it.
Right now, I'm leaning really close to the latter.
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you." - Walt Whitman