Google+ Badge

Thursday, March 8, 2012

KONY 2012 - You have to watch this. Objectively.

So Kony is quickly becoming a household name ... thanks to a viral YouTube video that exposes the Ugandan warlord as the bloodthirsty leader of a child army and child prostitution ring.

In the YouTube video, producers beg for celebrity support to raise awareness and showed a picture of Rihanna, in an effort to get her involved. You have to watch this, and also read about the criticism the organizers are facing.

To me, the video reeked of over-egged rhetoric and poor attempts at emotional blackmail. But Gavin is cute! Watch it, and keep in mind that Kony hasn't been in Uganda since 2006. Evangelical Christians have bad days, such as naked meltdowns; it's normal in California. 

I had to ask myself: Am I falling for something or am I standing for something? The answer is neither falling or standing; I am sitting, just staring while watching it all fall apart with all the drama one could expect of a dramatic arts major. Wasn't the goal to make Kony famous?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Currently Reading: night road :: Kristin Hannah

 For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices.
To hold on…
To let go..
To forget…
To forgive…
Which road will you take?

For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude. Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.

Jude does everything to keep her kids safe and on track for college. It has always been easy-- until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.

On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget…or the courage to forgive.

NIGHT ROAD is vivid, emotionally complex novel that raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

 I enjoyed reading this novel because it satisfied my need for suspense. Another thing that I found interesting is it allowed me to see the point of view from the 'overprotective parent'. 

 Literature describes these types as 'Helicopter Parents' - the kinds I see usually only have one child and have the idea that stifling their independence and coddling them means that they love them more - and that the child will always need this 'love'. 

Maybe this might be why there are mostly parents that attend university information sessions - they are protecting their 'investment' but I digress. Interestingly, I can't help but see a correlation between the helicopter parenting style and kids who are 30 and not sure what they want to be when they grow up. 

I identified with Lexi - no my parents weren't drug addicts and I was not neglected. But I had an upbringing that allowed me to make my own decisions without interference or objections. My parents guided me, they didn't guilt me into their idea or their plans for how my life should be.
They always knew I would be helping people to achieve their own ideas and aspirations. They also knew I was happy with what I have and wasn't driven by money or by status. I was destined for something else - Not-for-profit, which eliminated doctor and lawyer careers.  

It also resonated with me when Lexi was judged because of her poor socioeconomic status while going to a school far away from her trailer park - at a high school with the well-to-do. Of course, she stood out from the other teenagers; how about the clothing, the homes, the cars? And what sort of influence would she be - after all, her deceased mother was a heroin addict and she never knew her father. What would happen if she made friends with someone - and her parents didn't approve of her because of her circumstances?

Rich parents often blame poor kids when their offspring effs up. Poor kids aren't effing up because they cant afford to. It becomes a question of pride - the doctor and teacher couple, well, their children must excel; they have no choice because it looks bad if they don't do well academically (I mean come on - what kind of 'teacher' are you if your own kid can't learn? What kind of doctor are you if your kid screws up one question on their test; was it because they fell off their bike and you weren't there to catch them?). Tough life...


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Breaking up isn't fun.

A friend of mine recently found herself out of a relationship. They only met last year, but she truly thought that he was 'The One'.  He was everything to her, which in my opinion, was The Problem.

Just like the movies, natch!
This isn't a novel, nor a movie. It happened. Now it's over.

Blinded by love, she had unfortunately missed many of the 'red flags' that were always there. She chose to overlook them because she was following her heart and not using her brain to realise he was still married didn't love her the same way. She was more positive to be around after going through the denial, anger and depression stages. At some point though, she finally resolved to the reality -  that life goes on - and carrying baggage causes one to sink deeper and deeper into Lake Nowhere. She had to find out on her own that it was time to let go instead of hanging on to nothing in her attempt to understand why he ditched her. The hardest thing for a girl to do is to let go of the one guy she would do anything for.

It is a hard lesson for her but let's face it; he will treat her exactly how she lets him treat her. He is not doing anything to her that she didn't allow him to do. However, her needs and wants are just as important as his. She should've put herself first because if she doesn't care about herself no one else will. It's best for her to practice some self control and let this go. It takes some discipline to stop thinking about the person, especially if there are unanswered questions, or a desire for a second chance. At least an explanation for disappearing?

On Letting Go - I think that technology makes it somewhat harder to do this. My friend is always trying to creep on his Facebook profile to see what he's up to. She sees that he is also maintaining a profile on a dating site. She Google's his name and finds random irrelevant non-informative things about people with the same name that live in other countries. 

It's as if she developed a obsession with someone who has moved on and obviously not thinking about her at all. Why re-open the wounds by sabotaging the healing? It is a waste of time and emotional energy. Put that towards something positive like volleyball (it worked for me and it is a passion that will never leave or confuse me and we are all high on endorphins and sports drinks yelling, 'I GOT IT!!!...Oh GOOD TRY!!!' And the guys are hot......   just sayin ^_^ ).

I'm not a relationship expert (In fact, I am single and likely so because I live up to what I advise as a question of principles i.e practice what I dish) but it seems a lot easier to just accept a situation and move on. Life shouldn't change that much once you're over the pain and suffering and all the stages of grieving are through. Make it better. Accept that it is over because then healing can start.

Obviously,  I like The Smiths
 A person who has been rejected is going to feel bad for a while. This is inevitable, expect to feel like a reject and worthless and even like you want to die. Wait for the clouds to clear and allow tears and anger in the meantime. Keep a journal of how you feel - this will come in handy during the weak times. Bottom line - Don't spend a lot of time worrying about someone who really doesn't deserve a second thought. Just be glad that its done and try to focus on your life and keep it moving positively forward. 
Somehow, when you decide to let go, it eventually doesn't  hurt as much. Being accountable also helps because it acknowledges that it takes two - my friend recognizes where she made her mistakes and has learned from them. A real relationship doesn't come with rules, it comes with respect boundaries.

   I don't think her manfriend was being honest with  her from the beginning. All the signs of Andropause were there:

  • He complimented her excessively, 
  • acted like he loved her excessively, 
  • talked excessively, 
  • lied excessively, 
  • sent lines of poetry not written for her (which she found cute in a misguided way - but it turned my stomach to read it)
  • Her parents were concerned - why is this guy overreacting the 'ideal guy' persona?
  • he didn't seem real. 
  • He made excuses not to see her
  • yet made plans to travel with her, 
  • made plans to live together, 
  • made plans to have a family  - 
    • she wasn't too keen - she needs time to think about these things
  • underwhelming disappearing act; not even a goodbye - more like a 'fate made me go'
    What a relief! She dodged a bullet? Well, it's just a silly game. What more can a woman expect from a separated Catholic; they aren't allowed to divorce. They made a vow. They are like a mouse spinning in a wheel, running, running, running all the time. Adios, mouse-man.

    No one around her believed his charade and they hadn't even met him yet. No more complaining about him acting strange and shady. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, she loved him. She was crushed and once she was over the pain she had to resign to the inevitable.  She had to let this go - completely let it go because:

    1. love doesn't run away;
    2. it isn't confusing either
     In fairness, a break up is never one person's fault. though. We usually see what is not there or ignore the warning signs of an approaching breakdown. She did what she thought was right for her at that time. Most people do that. 

Cheers, mate.
I have already been through this whole process of moving on. It is tough and it is important to allow yourself time to grieve and face reality instead of looking for distractions and/or rebounding with an unsuspecting person who is dealing with a broken heart that they didn't break! The truth is, most people are not ready to accept the demise of a relationship. They look for answers that they sometimes already have. They look for answers to understand what happened; I wasted time thinking about explanations for being let down/betrayed/ignored/discarded. The reality is - no one owes me an 'explanation'. I just didn't want to face the reality of the end of my relationship, mostly because it was ended for me. I had no say in the decision. I consider this a gift - it's like they did the hard work for me and I didn't have to do a thing nor say a word.

I waited around for a while - enough time to be sure this silliness was actually happening - until the excuses and the obvious lies became unbearable to receive. The worst mistake he made was deciding to forget about the person who actually stood there and waited for him; all effing winter. Good thing the winter was so warm and mild  - spent enjoying the outdoors, the sunshine, good friends, new friends, and the best New Years eve ever. I've been blessed with the best of people in my life.

Why be upset about something that wasn't there in the first place, like genuine honesty, support, humanity and authentic reciprocated love? I know what that feels like, I was raised with all of it. Surprising how real someone may seem; they have a pulse, they do nice things but if it seems too good to be true or feels weird, then it usually is too good to be true. The act is finite; they're emotionally bankrupt and physically cannot fulfill the plans they make. Which is why I had so many doubts early on...ah hindsight 101... Know when it is over.