Was not very sexually active.
Was not very sexually active.
Let’s get back to bra things!
I haven’t bought anything new for a while because my current drawer, with my staples like CK Romances and Cleo Lucys, have been taking good care of me. But because of some of them falling apart, lots of them getting discolored, and me just also wanting some shiny new playthings, I hopped back onto ebay to see what was going on.
Hey… where’d all the Lucy’s go?????
When did Freya come out with all this stuff???
Who’s this Lepel character and why’s she all over the place?
I clearly have not kept up.
I vaguely remember seeing Lepel during my last stage of bra-buying, but wasn’t it all non-professional photos on mannequins?
This time around, they were professional stock photos, models and all, and sold by one of my usual ebay stores (shout-out to the ever-reliable Belle Lingerie!) so I grabbed a nice black padded Fiore balcony.
Really, it’s good.
It’s comfortable and supportive, and simple enough to be a reliable day-to-day bra, while detailed enough to work with slightly fancier occasions.
There’s a small, barely visible stretch of rubber elastic along the top of the cup, but it doesn’t push down at all.
I’m relieved that it’s solid black. I’ve been snipping off the colorful little decorations at the top of the cup of almost all my bras lately, and it’s great that I don’t have to worry about that here.
One caveat is that the straps are a little too far apart, but not unbearably so.
The caveat is so negligible, in fact, that I went and bought two more Fiores (a red-and-black, and a blue, full-cup, both unpadded and just as comfortable). Yeah, it’s a good bra. I usually don’t like full-cup, either, but they feel great.
I should have gone with my normal 28GG, though. I bought all of these in 30G, feeling like I’d gained weight and needed the extra length in the band. Nope.
This is probably why I found it, actually. I went back to search 28GGs, and well, hello again Freya!
I guess the selection for my actual size hasn’t really changed.
Happy New Year, and best wishes for all of us!
It was your fault. Not all of it, but a lot of it.
It was your actions, your face, your personality, your smiles, your apologetic frowns, your loaded sighs, and your timing that sent me into the long trip of unhappiness that I’m finally out of.
If I’m out of it, why am I bringing you up and rehashing it?
Because I have to grieve you.
You were an amazing friend, someone I loved and trusted and admired.
But because of what you did, and how you acted, and how you didn’t act–none of which I blamed on you, once upon a time–I no longer trust you. And I can’t admire you. It sucks, but that’s the way it goes. Some people help you and create good histories with you and everything is good until it’s not because shit happens.
You’re not toxic. I’m not toxic. But our connection is toxic to me now. Investing in it is poison to me.
So I’ve dug a hole and buried that connection. I miss you, but we, as a two-person relationship, have to die.
Maybe I’m running away.
Or maybe I’m walking away.
The English language assigns two different nuances to these sentences, but the ideas are the same.
I’m grieving for it.
I’m good now.
I can identify a lot of reasons why my city is no longer the fluffy glowing greatness it used to be for my emotions. The city itself hasn’t changed much. It has the same great restaurants, the same adorable children, and the same crazy drivers. I still enjoy those restaurants, I still adore those children, and I still fear traffic.
What’s changed? For one, people. Thanks to the contractual nature of employment we all enjoy here, friends come and go. This year, it’s been more significant that some friends have stayed. It’s been significant that some have left.
The ones who stayed… my relationships with them have somehow morphed. This was unexpected, and these are the people I was badmouthing when I talked about feeling abandoned earlier this year.
The ones who left, well, of course that was a huge change. I was expecting that.
Missing them is a given. Fondly remembering the fun we had is a given. Longing for these times to be like those times is a given.
What I didn’t realize was this: those people who left for other cities, other countries, other continents, they were my wise friends. A little older, not that much older, but dependable and full of life and understanding and encouragement and all the sweetness that an adult in transition with a heart in turmoil didn’t know she’d been counting on all along.
I’m leaving. I love the city where I live, and I’m grateful for what it’s given and taught and shown me but I’m also finally recognizing how it fucking kicks me in the face sometimes. I can’t avoid it, as long as I work and live here, but I can certainly spend my weekends outside, with different people in different cities.
I’ve been doing that.
And it’s been freeing.
And I feel myself getting better.
Yesterday I walked across a bridge that I’ve walked hundreds of times, and I had to stop and stare at the trees because the autumn colors were breathtaking, and I realized that I didn’t even know how long it’s been since I’ve found colors pretty.
I love you. And while I’m loving the illusion of you, the reality of you has been treating me like shit. I’ll spend the time–pay the cost of hours–to go to places and people who spend their care and love on me. Because I’ve found trust, and I’m feeling it again, and it feels so damn good.
I’m on the verge of feeling safe again.
Of all times, of all places, of all situations in which to find myself suffering from numbing depression, I think I’m quite lucky.
I feel abandoned, but I have the language and the expressions to express this. Sometimes I find the nerve to express this to the people who I feel have abandoned me–and a few times, they’ve responded. It doesn’t help that they do or don’t. When they say to keep reaching out, and that they’re around to help, I can’t believe them. But the words are there. And I know that for so many other people, there aren’t even these words to disbelieve.
I have a whole, healthy family. My parents are happy and healthy. And my not telling them about this situation of mine is my way of making them worry a little less about me. And I can hold onto that. As hard as it is, as useless and stupid and uncapable as I feel sometimes, I know I can take care of myself, because I’ve done it. And even from here I’ll take care of myself just enough so that I won’t disappoint them. They’re probably biased but there’s a family in my life who I can make proud of me.
I may not have taken the step to get professional help yet–I can’t make the time quite yet. But I have the option. I consider it a good thing that I live independently for this manic pit of emotional exhaustion. I don’t have to think about asking my parent’s input on going to find a mental health professional. I don’t have to figure out transportation, because I can get around in this city on my own.
It’s a good thing I live alone. I used to be able to control where and when I collapsed from physical exhaustion; I could make sure that I got home and closed the door behind me before passing out in a dead heap on the ground. I can’t control my nervous breakdowns in quite the same way but I can hold in the immature angsty screaming and the clumsy falling out of various pieces of furniture until I’m alone at home.
Can’t control when though; a few nights ago, I was having an insanely bad breakdown at 4 or 5 in the morning when I should have been dead tired. I’d been writing a paper for grad school until late, late enough that I should have just dropped motionless into bed. But I crawled in and instead of passing into sleep from overusing my brain, I shook. Just lay there shaking. I could hear the bed rattling. And then followed the nope, guess I’m not sleeping, and the screaming, and the breathing problems, and the falling out of chairs and the falling over the floor and the panic.
Good things. This is about how this is a good time in my life for this to happen.
I have resources. I can’t fix what’s going on in my head but I can poke at it and try to get reactions from it. I can go into a massive number of websites–reddit’s twoxchromosomes, depression, board games sections, fitness have been on top of my list lately. I can learn about others’ stories, and I can see how others deal and how others have met good and bad people. And I have started using Spotify. And this has come into a weird loop of procrastination but also focusing on something else. I grabbed almost all of the songs from a reddit thread about songs that made women feel bad ass, and created a 8 hour playlist on Spotify, and I’ve been listening to it and learning more about my music tastes away from people and my personal history and it’s me and I’ve called it anthem and it’s mine damn it because I don’t feel bad ass right now and these are the anthems that will fucking get me there kicking and screaming and sobbing but I’ll get there.
My favorite TV writer is, by far, Joss Whedon. I didn’t get to grow up watching Buffy, but the summer I graduated college coincided with an Amazon sale for all of his work. Having heard my friends sing his praises, I jumped on that sale and engulfed myself in Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, and Firefly.
Joss Whedon uses these shows to confront issues that plague the minds of modern society. While other writers may concern themselves with being politically correct, finely controversial, and just inventive enough, he digs out the problems that are relevant to the lives of normal people like me, and fights them on screen for me.
His trademark issue is strong feminism. He writes strong, well-rounded, unique female characters who move his stories as heroes, villains, supporting characters, and people. His shows also face issues about rape, about dating, about abuse, about manipulation.
And his characters show love. Friendship. Family. Loyalty. Passion. Dedication. Justice. Honesty. Determination.
These come together in another one of Joss Whedon’s trademarks: found families.
His main characters often come from broken families, don’t have a home, or have ambiguous origins. However, they seek out and create an ensemble, who over a course of time, becomes a family unit. Supportive, loyal, and occasionally frustrating. A family.
Out of all the features of his shows, I connect with and admire the found families the most. I don’t come from a broken home, not at all, but I’m a proponent of having a haven that’s created with purpose, populated by people you’ve come close enough to be a family unit of friends.
And then my life went to shit.
I turned around to grab their hands.
After all, they’re family, they’re there to help, they always say so.
“I’m here for you.” “I’m 100% your friend.” “If you ever need anything, just speak up.”
I’m speaking up.
I guess we’re only friends when it’s convenient.
I’ve been having problems. Lots of problems. Solvable problems. I haven’t solved them. I’m struggling.
I grew up in a very hybrid household. I think that’s the right word for it. Chinese/Hong Kong-based family with increasing influences of American and Western ideas and attitudes as my brother and I grew up. One effect of this was compliments.
Compliments do not flow well in my family. This meant that until a few years ago, I was extremely uncomfortable giving compliments and even more uncomfortable receiving them. When my parents praise me, I have a moment of shock to register what their intent is before I actually get to process what they’re saying to me.
My mom’s getting more generous with compliments. Dad too. Like I said, we started out with the ‘tough love’ foundation and have been adding in positive reinforcement. So I was focused on the “this is praise!” part of the message before I realized what premises the message assumed.
I’ve somehow become the adventurer of the family. Going to new places, doing new things. Sometimes it’s because I’m curious about new things, new places. Sometimes it’s because I’ve been socialized to push my comfort zone and just feel obligated to put myself in an uncomfortable but potentially educational environment. Sometimes I just want to be able to go and do something that no one I know has done before. Sometimes it just feels like something I could do, so why the hell not?
A combination of these reasons led me to take a trip to Nepal last summer. My mom sent me this in an email:
I hear this and am proud. I’m making my mom proud! That’s what I want to do as a daughter.
But why do I have to be stronger than boys? Ovaries of steel, not balls of steel. I can be strong and tough and lovable and comfortable and free while still identifying completely as a woman, just as any other person could be those things and identify as any gender they like. But here, in this message and in most of society still, “BOY“, “MEN“, “MALE” are the first standard, the most convenient standard. The standard. Am I strong? Sure. What about compared to a guy? Because, you know, the automatic standard for strength, and stability, and coolness, and sturdiness, and unwaveringness is GUY.
I’m aware of this standard. I’m aware that it’s not ideal. I’m aware that I’m my own person.
Why do I feel the need to be stronger than boys?