This blog is a collection of a young woman's random thoughts, many tangents, and occasional
short stories and novel excerpts. Stay tuned for plenty of bull and brief moments of brilliance.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fads: Then and Now

Okay, so I don't consider myself to be TOO old, but now that I reflect on it, I'll be 20 next year! Looking at kids/tweens now, I see the similarities...and the differences. By then, I mean the 1990's to early 2000's. And by now, I mean later 2000's. Mainly fads and technological advances, but here are a few I can recall from my youth. So here it is, how different (and similarly stupid) childhood fads/"cool" stuff from then and now:

THEN
Stuff to do:
Pokemon cards
Furby
Gelly Rolls
Walkman
CD player
Beanie Babies
Internet (the birth of the home internet)
Tamagotchi
Gameboy
Polly Pockets
slap bracelts

Music:
Backstreet Boys
N'SYNC (but you couldn't be a fan of both!)
Spice Girls
Brittany Spears
Dream Street

TV Shows:
Boy Meets World
Barney
Rugrats
Saved by the Bell
Wishbone

Clothing:
Midriff tops
Bell bottom jeans
Hypercolor (color changing clothing)
Hi-top shoes


NOW
Stuff to do:
Silly Bandz
Webkinz
Facebook/MySpace/Twitter
Cell phones! For kids!
Digital cameras
iPods
DVD's/Blueray

Music:
Miley Cyrus
Jonas Brothers
All Time Rush
Justin Bieber
High School Musical

TV Shows:
Wizard's of Waverly Place
Hannah Montana
Spongebob
iCarly

Clothing:
"Emo" clothing
Skinny jeans
Uggs
Crocs

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Food

Food in schools. It's been a source of controversy for many years in America, brought to the forefront again by Jamie Oliver's new show: Food Revolution. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this show from beginning to end, but know deep down that it will not sustain. It's not because Jamie's work was not efficient, but because the government and large corporations will not get on board with it.

We are the fattest country in the world. We all want to blame it on someone or something else but ourselves. I saw my mom struggle with her weight for most of my life, and she used every excuse in the world, yet in the end, I know the reason none of her diets worked. She never took responsibility for what she did to her own body. Once we all take control of our own bodies, we can make real progress. Now, I know, coming from a 120lb. 5'3" 19 year old, it may not seem a compelling argument. But seriously people, when will we start caring?

Why do we as Americans always blame others and lack the responsibility of adults? Above all though, why do parents sabotage their own children? I've heard so many arguments out there about parents claiming, "My child won't eat this/that/veggies/fruits/drink milk/etc." When did parents decide to surrender their power to their children? When I've babysat children, I've forced them to eat their dinner. They're not allowed to leave the table until they're finished. Some parents didn't like that I did this, but I didn't really give a shit in the end. Your kid has to eat eventually and will eat what you serve them if they have no other choice.

It does, however, come down to schools with some responsibility. I remember our high school changed the lunch program my sophomore year, getting rid of our salad bar and only serving pizza, chicken fingers, hamburgers, and fries. And of course, there were always plenty of deserts. Gone were the delicious little pudding cups and the tomato basil soups. I know it came down to costs but in the end, we didn't like the food and most stopped buying it.

As with most things in America, Americans and the government act like teenagers in a sense: they won't make a change until things hit an all time low. I guess then, we haven't hit rock bottom quite yet.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Exercising

It wasn't until college that I learned my love for exercising. When I was in grade/high school, I could get away with running a mile on a treadmill once a week, but now that just doesn't cut it anymore.

Now I exercise for 30-50min. three times a week, cardio and core strengthening exercises. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would enjoy this. The thing is though, I only really enjoy exercising when I'm by myself and in a pissed off mood. Strange, I know, but I get I high off it I guess. It seems that whenever I'm happy, that's when I procrastinate and avoid exercising. When I'm mad and hate the world, then I do what's good for me. Luckily enough, the latter emotion is more common than not.

Everyone has their own rituals for exercise and their own rythem or running playlist. For me, I have discovered that I hate running outside; I would much prefer a treadmill to an outdoor run. Why?! Many people I know find the treadmill and it's companions tedious and boring. I, on the other hand, enjoy the mynotony that allows my brain to wander. My ADD is evident when I attempt to run outside; every little thing distracts me. Plus, by the time I feel the weather is nice enough, I get overheated. I sweat like a pig--seriously--and outside is just too much for me. Plus, where the hell am I supposed to put my water bottle?! I drink tons of water (this dates back to high school and unless you've ever attended DSHA, you wouldn't understand) and can't go on long runs without water by my side.

But most of all, I feel like I have to be "prepared" to run outdoors. I never know where to run so that I'm not running into people. Some over the years have suggested just running wherever and having an adventure. Being a person with a severe lack of direction, this is not a good idea for me; I would end up worrying too much about where I am. I know the University of Iowa campus pretty well as a second semester freshman, but I still get lost if I wander too far. I went on an "adventure walk" and ended up amidst the College of Medicine buildings on the west side of campus, completely turned around. Hell, I still get lost in my hometown of Whitefish Bay! At least at home, I have lake Michigan to keep my east and west straight.

So yeah, I'll stay in my nice air-conditioned exercise facility and on my stationary treadmill with the cup holder, thank you very much.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What Keeps Me Going

Sometimes, I suprise myself. From the people I put up with, to adapting to change, and simply getting through research and homework, I am suprised. Yet most of all, my writing suprises me.

With theater, I was never completely confident. That comes as a shock to people, for many say to me, "You're the most confident person I know!" It makes me laugh, but it also hurts a bit inside. I knew I was good at acting; I took such pride in my work, would lock myself in my room for hours developing my character, and always had my lines (and usually the whole play...) memorized before my fellow actors. When I would stand on that stage though, I could never shake the feeling that it was all some strange twist of faith, random burst of luck. Was I really as talented as my director would tell me I was? I developed a "name" for myself early on in high school, and carried it on throughout my four years at DSHA. But was my success only due to the early praise I recieved? I didn't think so; I went through multiple directors who, for the most part, saw my dedication and passion for the fine arts. I despise watching video footage of my shows. They make me sad, because instantly I am thinking, "How could anyone say this is talent?" With recognition comes pride, and along with it arrogance. I'm the first to admit I was big-headed in theater my junior/senior year. Yes, I had defining moments that pushed me to and past my limit and humbling moments as well, but I thought I was something special. Yet did I really think it, or was I just telling myself that I was worthy of praise? It was in this moment of recognition that I realized I had to find something I believed in myself whole-heartedly.

I turned away from the stage and turned instead to my pen and paper.

Do I regret the change? At times. I guess I can only say I made the switch at the end of my senior year. With my "Actress of the Year in a Comedy or Drama" award in hand, I retired from my brief, yet fruitful, acting career. In college, I was not longer the "theater girl", I was a writer. Writer, me? Could I handle this title? "Sure," said my big-headed self. "You're the shit. OWN IT." Sure, this attitude helps me get through workshops and brutal critques, but overall, I had to abandon the philosophy I outgrew.

That said, I am still the stubborn little shit I've always been, but I've replaced over-inflated confidence for realism. Accepting this is hard, and it's still a work-in-progress. I have to open myself up to the fact that I'm not perfect and that I must grow-up with my craft, not in spite of it. Even from the start of my freshman year here at Iowa, I can see the difference. I looked back at the early parts of my novel, Autumn Leaves, when I recently send my novel to a friend who wanted to read my work. I was freightened to say the least. How can I think this is worthy of publication??? Then I looked at the passages that I wrote my sophomore year compared to my junior year, then senior year, then freshman year of college. Watching how my writing evolved over only four years is shocking, yet comforting.

I see the talent within myself, the flower ready to bloom. All I need to do is realize that I'm still growing in my art. Unlike with my theatrical journey--which was, still, life-changing and taught me so much about myself--I feel confident when I look at my work. In fact, I enjoy looking at writing, even the older stuff! So no, I may not be confident in everything I do--guys, especially, and my looks are my greatest struggles--I am confident in my writing. So yeah, when it comes to writing, I do think I'm pretty fucking awesome. It's not like my acting though, for I do it for another reason. In theater, you have others around, pushing you literally and metaphorically, but not in writing. Being a writer is a lonely love, and if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will. Some say to me, "You can't call yourself a writer, you're too young/not enough experience/haven't done anything!" I just smile, because I know that they're wrong. Little do they know, I've been working on a novel for four years. Little do they know, my next book has been brewing in my mind since I was eight/nine years old. Little do they know, my imagination is swirling with plans for a trilogy.

I'm glad that people underestimate me, because proving them wrong will be that much more satisfying. My work will speak for itself. I'll show them all. Prove myself to fellow students who think I have my head in the clouds. Prove myself to that english teacher who set out to break me down and force me to abandon my voice. Prove myself to the skeptics, doubters, and those who feel sorry for me and my lack of a grasp on reality. But most of all, I'm proving myself to me.

Someday, I will be published. That's what keeps me going.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It Makes Me Wonder

Suicide. To some, it's a dirty word that means you are sent straight to hell. To others, it's something that hits close to home, whether it's the loss of a family member or friend.

And for a small number of us, it is a reality that almost became our own.

(note, the girl I am referring to will be referred to as Alexia in all blog posts to protect identities) For years I refused to talk about my dark thoughts at the age of 13. After ten years of emotional abuse resulting in PTSD (which I am now beginning treatment for with EMDR), I thought there was no other choice. I was ashamed of my thoughts, but I would go to bed, dreaming of my funeral with a smile on my face. It scared me. I was afraid of myself. Without *Alexia, the girl who abused me, I had no friends. I couldn't explain what happened to me because huge chucks of my childhood were and are still missing that I've supressed. My physical health has also been affected, since those significant years of development were interrupted with extreme stress and pain. I could never figure out how to go about taking my life though, and in the end, my perfectionist nature prevented me from trying anything for fear that I would survive a botched attempt.

If my mother had not intervened, I would not be alive today. If she had not gotten me into therapy, I wouldn't have been able to give the eulogy at her funeral four years later. But most importantly, I wouldn't have been able to turn to her a couple weeks before she died and say to her, "Mommy, for the first time in my life, I'm truly happy."

So no, there is no way I can believe that God would damn someone with a mental illness to hell. People, unless you've been there, you cannot understand. I hate hearing people talk about it; their conclusions they jump to make me sick to my stomach.
"It's the most selfish thing a person can do."
"Didn't she think about how it would affect her family?"
"It's a cowardly move."
These statements make me quiver with anger. Selfish?! A person, who is so deep in despair that she sees no light at the end of the tunnel, selfish and a coward? When I hear about a young person taking his/her own life, it shakes me to my core. Depression is one of the hardest battles in a person's life. Parents struggle how to explain it to their child. Tell him, "She was sick and she died." THAT'S THE TRUTH. There is no blame except for the chemicals in her brain. No finger to point.

Luckily for me, I never made that final jump. I have so much to say and so many books I wish to write that taking my life would have been the wrong choice for me, and because of my mommy, I was able to pull myself up out of my pit of darkness and see the light. When I look outside and see the sunshine now, I see my future.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh Sun, Glorious Sun

Iowa City has been so gloomy lately, as has most of the Midwest during the winter season. As a Wisconsin native, specifically Milwaukee, I know winter. And frankly, even though I am a Wisconsinite, I hate hate hate winter. The fact that it is 50 degrees outside makes me want to jump up and down and scream at the top of my lungs. I already take enough "happy pills" as it is, but I swear I must also have a bit of seasonal depression. When I went outside today, I didn't feel like staying inside all day and crawling back underneath my covers (okay, maybe the second part is true...). Ha, this is a rather boring blog entry, but I really don't have anything to talk about today...
Maybe I will tomorrow! :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

When's the Right Time?

Well, I've decided I'm not going to talk about my family too much; I don't want to say anything I may later regret! All I will say is that my mother, Sarah, passed away almost two years ago on April 11, 2008. What I will call the "original family" consists of me, dad, Stephie, and Nick. My dad is getting married in May to Kari and bringing the total number of people in this family to 9 with her 4 children: Brady, Ariel, DJ, and Jaida.

Today, I was thinking: when is the right time to "grow up"? Sure, it's something parents yell at you when they're pissed or something you wish would happen faster or slow down, but when is the right time? Different people say it happens at different times: Bar/Bah Mitzvah, first period, first time masterbating (no joke, this is a sign of becoming a man in the Islamic culture), losing your virginity, getting your driver's license, graduating high school, turning 18, turning 21...
So many definitions, but very few people abide by these standards. Do you really "become a woman" when you menstrate? But most importantly, will your parents treat you any differently? Probably no. You won't get any new special responsibilities or be allowed to sit at the grown-up table at Thanksgiving. Most of those milestones have happened to me, and the only one I thought would really make me an adult is turning 18. Nope, not treated much differently. Going off to college kind of forces the parental figures to let go and treat you older, but not much. Sure, there are plenty of people my age who maturity wise are about 14 and others who are 27, but my question is not when people mature to adulthood, it is when do parents accept the adulthood of their children? Do they ever?
My guess is no, honestly, because you will forever be your mommy and/or daddy's little girl; I know I will be. Letting go is hard, but that's only the first step. And parents, accepting that you no longer have the ability truly to punish your kid anymore is tough. Your darling angel may go out, get shitfaced drunk, sleep with a random guy, and that there is nothing you can do about it. She has to fuck up on her own; trust that you did enough while she was growing up. Parents who obsess about their child's behavior past the age of, say, 18, and she is no longer living in the house, seem to worry they didn't do enough. And, parents, if you didn't? Tough shit. You can't go back now; what's done is done.
Now that I'm 19, I can usually sit at the "big kid's table" on most occasions. That was a marker of adulthood for me, even though it is not nearly as exciting as I thought it would be. But for my dad? I think that time will come when I'm financially independent. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why you should bother reading this...

I have a blog for my talk show on KRUI, Up Side/Down Side, but was itching to have my very own. What do I have to talk about you may ask? Ha, my life is always pretty fucking crazy...also I was dying to swear on my other one. FUCK! Ah, feel much better now.
Well, little about myself: My name is Molly Jane and I'm from Milwaukee, WI but spend most of my time in Iowa City, IA, where I live during the the school year. I'm a freshman at the University of Iowa, majoring in English with a focus in Creative Writing/Non-Fiction and a minor in Religious Studies.
I went to Divine Savior Holy Angels in Milwaukee, an all-girls Catholic high school. It was an amazing experience, but I realized how little some people know about other cultures and religions. I am Methodist, but when I say a love of religions, I don't mean just my own, I mean all. Seriously people, who doesn't love hearing the crazy fucks in Scientology or learning what really goes on in religious cults or how the Jews explain the Holocaust through the Bible or how Muslims show the relationship between Islam and Christianity??? Just me? Haha, yeah probably.
And the English-part of my education is fairly obvious to anyone who knows me. Though I was known throughout middle school as a theater girl and became a kind of "Theater Queen" in high school, but my love for writing and english has always been prominent. I'm currently working on a novel, Autumn Leaves, and have three more lined up for after the publication of the first. You are supposed to write every day if you're a writer, which I hear often living in a Writer's Living/Learning Community at Iowa.

Alright, now you know my educational background and intrests. Think I'm worth reading? Follow me!

Upcoming: my crazy ass family.