The Biggest Lie We Tell Our Children

Okay.

So, I was planning on doing a blog post tonight on my first week in NYC,which I will still do, probably tomorrow or sometime this weekend. But tonight, I want to write about a topic that I have only just realized may be at the core of my emotional issues. Something I’ve realized that has been bothering me for a long time.

The biggest lie, and the truth that hurts the most to hear.

You see, sweet babies all around the world, it’s not true when we say that you can be yourself. That you can be anything you want to be. Certainly, it’s fine to be yourself – if you’re beautiful, and outgoing, and fun. If you’re six foot and blond and handsome. If you’re thin, and smart, and loved by all. If you always get the dates, the smiles, the friends. Then, by goodness babies, by yourself. But don’t be me.

You see, babies, it’s not good to be small. To be quiet. To be shy. Introversion is not loved or appreciated. Being “awkward” is more than just a funny post on Instagram. Especially if you’re a girl (can’t speak for the boys). Being an awkward girl is hard. It’s strange. You’ll spend a lot of time crying in bathrooms and hiding it from others. You’ll spend a lot of time hanging out with people you want to be. You’ll spend a lot of time alone. 

You see, babies, at the core of it all – the world will only love you if you have something to give back. If you have a voice that can be heard. And babies, not everybody has that. Not everybody stands in the sun. There are people who rise, and people who carry. Their are people who will always stand in the shadows. There are people who will always, always, be on the outskirts.

So, this is the truth. This is reality. My future child, if someday you ever come to be, I do not wish to give you wealth, or money, or even love. Oh yes, all of those things are important. No doubt. But, my sweet, nonexistent child, none of those things are as great as the one thing that will make you rise. That will pull you from the shadows to the light. 

Dear baby, please be extroverted. Be brave, be loud.

Be loved.

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Gotham

Well, I made it. I’m here. I’ve been in Gotham for a little less than 48 hours now. I just got back from BEA (Book Expo America), which, I have to say, was disappointing. I didn’t get the opportunity to volunteer unlike some other people in my SPI group. On top of that, I spend most of the 4-5 hours I was there waiting in line. Finally, the presentation I was most looking forward to seeing (which I waited in line for an hour for) FILLED UP BECAUSE THE IDIOTS RUNNING THE PACE DIDN’T EVEN BOTHER TO COUNT THE NUMBER OF CHAIRS THEY HAD. Seriously.

Anyway, rant over.

Besides BEA, NYC has been amazing. I feel fairly confident about the subway system (still learning the buses), I’ve gotten my student ID, am getting along great with my roommates, and have spent a good amount of time wandering and exploring. I’ve still got some homework to work on (gulp), but I’m getting excited about starting SPI bright and early Monday morning. So far, the few people I’ve met from SPI seem awesome.

Grocery prices, however….

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Book Review: “Necessary Lies” by Diane Chamberlain

Wow. I have never been more grateful to have been born in this era. Screw anyone who says life was better back in the day, this shit is scary. Necessary Lies follows the story of Jane Forrester, a twenty-two year old fresh-faced social worker serving in the area of Grace County, North Carolina in the 1960’s (yeah you can probably tell where this is going….) and Ivy Hart, a fifteen year old orphan living with her grandmother and mentally retarded older sister, Mary Ella, in a tiny shack on the outskirts of a tobacco farm. The set up, as anyone who knows anything about the South in the ’60’s, is grim. So, here it goes.

PROS:

Incredibly informative and well researched story – the main focus of this story is the forced sterilization of mentally retarded, impoverished, and disabled women that took place in North Carolina and other states back in “the good ole days.” I didn’t know much about forced sterilization before I read this book and reading the cold, objective opinions of Jane’s fellow social workers was absolutely infuriating. In summary: Jane fights to save Ivy from  a forced sterilization after becoming close to the Hart family, while struggling with her dying marriage to a close-minded doctor (seriously I would have not survived this era, the groupthink of white upper/middle class women of this era is fucking scary); while also dealing with the issues surrounding Mary Ella’s earlier sterilization (which she has no knowledge of) and helping her try to retain custody of her son, Baby William, who’s uncertain parentage creates more problems for the family (more about this later).

Easy but addictive – you can easily finish this book in a day or two. Chamberlain is a woman who knows her drama, and definitely knows how to reel an audience in. If you’re looking for some good, easy to read drama, then this book is for you.

CONS:

Ending is too clean – I’m the type of girl who appreciates some realism (especially when your dealing with a bunch of characters suffering under some pretty grim circumstances), but, despite the incredible hardships Ivy, her family and her neighbors go through, everything turns out groovy in the end, and Ivy and Jane get to have a tearful reunion forty years later at a Starbucks while surrounded by their happy and financially successful families. Some people like this type of ending, I do not.

Author misleads reader over one particular character – so basically, Chamberlain set out all the clues for one character to be Baby William’s father, then pulled a 360 somewhere 3/4 of the way through and decided, “nah, better be the evil rapey guy after all!” Looking back on the clues given, I actually liked the idea of the first guy being the Baby Daddy better, and I thought inserting the Evil Manipulating White Man at the last minute felt too contrived.

IN SUMMARY:

Necessary Lies  is a great read for someone who likes drama and mystery. It’s an easy weekend read, and great for people who like there Happily Ever Afters. 7/10

Daily Prompt: Que Sera Sera

Daily Prompt: Que Sera Sera.

I don’t belive in fate/destiny in the sense of “God has a plan for you” (I am an atheist); but I do believe that sometimes, crazy random shit happens that can literally change the course of your whole life. Sometimes,this CRS is so unfuckingbelievable, I might be willing to call it a miracle.

I’ve had this happen to me once, and only once.

I met my best friend of the past nine years.

I literally met Sarah the first day of high school. She thought I was mentally retarded, I thought she had escaped from a religious cult (she had long hair past her butt and was wearing really weird clothing). It was love from the moment we started talking about Smallville while waiting for the bus later that afternoon. She was catholic, I thought religion was a clever joke. She was conservative and sheltered, I came screaming into the world drenched in blue paint. She was good at math, at science,  at everything I was not. We were opposites in many ways, yet our brains CLICKED. We were soulmates.

Nine years, two different colleges, a law school and an impeding move to NYC later, and we are still besties.

So yeah, Sarah is a miracle. Maybe she was my destiny. I don’t know.

As for everything else? I believe our choices lead us down paths. A year ago, I made the decision to withdraw from my penultimate semester of university because reasons and withdraw from the education program I was in. A year later, I’m headed to NYC to pursue a career in publishing. It was a dark, depressing road, but I think it’s finally starting to make some sense. Honestly, I’m beginning to realize that sometimes you have to figure out what you are NOT good at before you figure out what you ARE good at.

And trust me, I’ve tried out a lot.

Daily Prompt: Moments to Remember

Daily Prompt: Moments to Remember.

I’ll start with a bad memory. One of the worst memories I have is being publicly humiliated in 8th grade.  I won’t go into too much detail here, because it was such a traumatic event that even today it brings me to tears, but needless to say it spoiled my entire high school experience and made me a very bitter and angry person for a long, long time. It also destroyed whatever chance their was of me ever having any sort of positive relationship with my peers. Needless to say, I will NEVER attend a high-school reunion. Robinson, TX, my home for over fifteen years, means about as much to me as a flea on a rat’s ass.

Yeah, you could say I hate small towns. Maybe that’s why I’ve been trying to run away to the city ever since I entered college.

My second most memorable memory is, unfortunately, another bad one. A little over a year ago, someone who I thought was a dear friend of mind decided to cut me out of his life permanently. Now, in all fairness, I had done and said some pretty horrible things to this person, and, at the time, was someone NO ONE (except my dear, dear, amazing friend Sarah) wanted to be around. Nevertheless, I was going through some awful times (no thanks to this person….) and to be left in the dark during such an awful time was not easy. Only just now am I finally beginning to heal.

Finally, my third is not so much a memory but MEMORIES. Memories of traveling. England, Scotland, Ireland. A castle in a city, a cliff overlooking the ocean, the wind screaming in my ear. There are so many places in this world that I have been lucky enough to have seen in my twenty-three years of life, and many more that I haven’t. The world is beautiful, and amazing, and I have always felt such pity for people who live their entire lives confined to one small corner of the earth.

NYC, you can’t come fast enough.

(I found a site through another blog that gives you daily and weekly prompts, so I shall try and do one of these every day. No promises).

And so it begins

Hello, whoever the hell is reading this. My name is Hope, and I am a writer, a reader, a lover of fantasy, and a traveling enthusiast. I have been all over Europe, most recently to Oxford, England the summer of 2013 to participate in a study-abroad program. I am a wannabe published author (more on this later), and I read so much I probably won’t even bother starting a “What I’m reading now” list, because if I did suffice to say I would have to update it far too often for it to be worthwhile. I’ve started this blog for two reason. a) I am about to move to NYC in a few short months, and b) less importantly, but more immediately, I want to write reviews of the latest season of Game of Thrones, which premiers on April 6th. This two things aren’t really related, but there ya go. Anywho, hopefully I will make a habit of this. Most other English majors are blogging addicts but I’ve always been the odd one out, so not surprising I’m late to the party. Isn’t it fashionable to be late to the party anyway? 😉 Now that my life is FINALLY BECOMING SOMETHING WORTHWHILE AND INTERESTING, I will hopefully have much more to write about.

Toodles!