Monday, November 25, 2013

The last week of NaNoWriMo and what's going on in December for me (it's 4 AM so obviously this isn't going to be the most cohesive post)

So if any of you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I've been participating in a NaNoWager with Jason Cantrell (@CantrellJason). We're trying to see who can have the highest word count at the end of the month, and whoever loses gets punished. So if he loses, he has to record a 90 second dance video to the track of my choice and post it to all his social media websites! xD If I lose, I have to write a short story for his blog based on his outline (and knowing him, it's probably a ridiculous story about killing weredragons so I can invoke Beau Barnett's wrath). But we all know that I'm going to win, so I'm not even worried at this point.

Ok, I lied. I actually am worried a little bit. This year we're going to a relative's house for Thanksgiving. I'm totally bringing my laptop and notebook with me, but socializing with the relatives is going to take a huge chunk of my writing time away. But I've planned to do a LOT of writing on Tuesday to give myself a bit of a buffer.

So there's that. If you want to keep updated on our NaNoWager, visit our Twitters, because we're constantly sassing each other/borderline trash-talking each other about it. I love it. xD

Part of me is sad that NaNoWriMo is coming to an end. November is just full of crazy awesomeness and I've gotten so many words written. I know that after November is over, this energy will fade. No more crazy word wars, etc. I mean, sure I could do some "off-NaNo season" word warring, but it just feels 10 times more awesome doing it in November.

With that being said, I'm actually sort of glad November is coming to a close. I've got a dance performance next month, and while it is a small one (right here in town), I'm looking forward to it nonetheless. It's been so long since I've been up on a stage and dancing. ;3

I have dress rehearsal on the 9th, then I'm performing on the 10th and possibly the 13th. I'm in two routines, but there are no costume or shoe changes, so that makes things a bit easier. I'm super excited, needless to say, but I know that the rest of the girls (even myself) are feeling a bit of pressure. We're the competition team, and while this Christmas performance isn't part of a dance competition, our teachers exert a lot of pressure on us during the year. I don't mind it, per se, because with that pressure they're making us become better and better. But it's hard sometimes to be lectured, especially by Ms. T. (eek!). While she's not the head teacher, she can be pretty scary. (Yet she's a wonderful teacher and is actually a really funny person most of the time. She does tease us about how one day we'll thank her for all the stuff she's put us through in technique class and stuff. And I am thankful, believe me. No pain, no gain, eh?)

Right now we have two more in-studio practices. Today and next week. Then it's dress rehearsal. Two freaking weeks. Wow. O_O

Anyways, that's what is going on for me. Sorry if I'm rambling at certain parts, or scatterbrained. It's 4 in the morning and I told myself I should have gone to sleep a few hours ago because I have dance class in the afternoon.

Happy NaNo'ing!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A ranty, stream-of-consciousness post about bullying, body Image, detoxing, and the crappy people who screwed with a certain friend's self-perception

(No names will be used, because I respect the privacy of the others. Although a select few may know the names of the people referred to in this post, I still want to give my best friend as much privacy as possible.)

I met my best friend when I was 11/12 years old. Funny girl. Love her smile and everything about her. Plus we're both nerds so we clicked, as you might say.

I started attending her church;s youth group not soon after I met her. Lovely group, for the most part. Until the time came that a particular girl wanted to be friends with me.

Now nothing was wrong with the idea of that at first, but this girl had bullied my best friend and had been for a while. Still, for some darn freaking stupid reason, I became friends with the bully. (I'm not sure if I understood/knew the entire backstory of the bullying situation, but still, can someone go back and slap 12 year old me?)

Things were okay, at first. Then things started to get a bit heated. The bully became overly controlling and did her utmost to break the friendship my bff and I had. It didn't work, and the bully started to bully me.

I'm not sure how long she bullied me. I know it was at least for a few months. I could handle it at first, sort of, then one day I just broke down because I was sick of all the nasty text messages I'd been sent.

But everyone that knew about the situation was on my side, except for the bully's mother (who was a...shall we say....very defensive woman). And eventually, the situation became resolved and the bully was no longer in my life.

My best friend was affected more deeply than this situation than perhaps I ever was. Yes my 12 year old self was traumatized by the whole ordeal, but I know that my best friend endured the bully's harassment/etc for much longer than I did. I think that's what may have partially made her the way she is today.

Fast forward 3 years to the future. My best friend is no longer attending the youth group, mostly because her family decided to go to a different church, but because the youth group over the past 2 years have formed into cliques. Which means that 99 percent of them practically ignored my best friend and I, the nerds. Sure I'm a dancer and some of the dancers were attending, but they seemed content in their own group.

Ok, maybe that wouldn't be so bad if that was the only thing that was happening. But when the church had movie night and we were all down in the dining hall, my best friend and I have always been sitting alone on those nights we go. I mean, a girl did try to sit with us once before someone else had her leave for God only knows why. :P But their ostracizing us hurt, really really bad. And it affected my best friend to the point where she is worried about people not liking her, and she claims that she has a hard time making friends.

Yes we're homeschooled. Yes we're the slightest bit different being nerds and all. But that doesn't freaking mean that we should be ignored by others. If anything, church/youth group is a place where people should be coming together and having fellowship everyone. There was diversity in the youth group and it needs to be accepted.

(On a side note, we're not the only people that have been ostracized by the youth group. At least 3 others have felt the same.)

Anyways, I learned last night that my bff has a crappy view of her body image, appearance, and overall self-worth. And I got really, really emotional. She doesn't talk about this stuff to most people (I'm one the few she will actually talk to on occasion about personal stuff), and I'm shocked to learn that she, of all people, had such views about her body. She says that she "doesn't fit society's image of beautiful" and that she's always been "bigger and taller than other girls".

I'm not lying when I say that I truly do think she's pretty. Yeah she's like 5'8 and I can totally understand where she's coming from with feeling slightly uncomfortable with her height (I'm 5'6 and when I was 13 I was as tall as most 16 year olds I knew). But her body? Really? She's not even fat. She's only got the slightest bit more weight to her than I do. The slightest bit.

I'm not sure if I just misunderstood her a bit last night, because she very well could have been referring to her height at the same time. But for heaven's sake if she is talking about her weight (she's always been so encouraging and body-positive to other people), she's not fat. I've known her for 3 years and not once have I thought of her as fat. And the other people she's around? I don't think she's really ever weighed more than they.

Ugh, I've just found this incredibly frustrating and saddening. She's one of the people in my life that I look up to, and I can't believe she's felt this way. I don't know what to do to help her without coming off as pushy and overdoing it. I sent her a FB message before I went to bed last night, and she messaged me back and said that it was really encouraging, etc etc. But I truly hate that she feels this way about herself. She doesn't really expose herself to all that much secular media when it comes to stuff about weight and beauty.

And now she's of the opinion that she eats too much and is detoxing. (Cutting out carbs and sugars for a while.) She's been doing well so far, and while she seems to have more energy for it (either that or the fangirling over LOTR, Loki, the new Doctor Who episode, etc have just given her a lot of excitement), I'm worried for her. She told me what she had yesterday for breakfast and lunch. She's not skimping on food, but she says she hasn't decided for how long she'll be on this detoxing thing (although she'll "most likely still be on it when Thanksgiving rolls around"). I just don't want this to escalate into something dangerous.

Anyways, I needed to get that out. Posting it on my Twitter feed just wasn't relieving the stress I needed it to.

Thanks to those who read, and if you're a Christian, please pray for my friend. I love her to pieces and I want her to be happy.