Disclaimers Moving Forward

When I started this blog I intended it to be a longer form of sharing my sewing projects, fun events and trips, as well as what might now be considered “hot takes.” It has taken a few different forms since 2016 when I posted for the first time, and after all that time, I finally feel comfortable in my direction for this personal project. I will continue to share my life, my trips, and what makes me happy. Along the way, that will also include some informative pieces. 

I will be writing a bit on relationships, though this will mostly be on relationship structure, rather than my actual interpersonal relationships. I will be writing about trips as I slowly start to go places again (spoiler, one will be on a trip to Disney World this year). I will write as I move into a home and develop that aesthetic for myself. I will be sharing my truths and, as necessary, about events that have shaped me hoping someone who might be going through something similar silently finds peace knowing they aren’t alone. An example of that is when I posted Boudoir & Boob-iversary – I met my exact goal with that post and I’m so proud of that.

If I choose to post about a more personal topic, please know that I am not doing so seeking advice. I have a therapist, as do almost all of the people closest to me. My therapist is a trained and experienced professional in the type of life I am living. I am also not interested in advice if you are not privy to the deeper details of my life and have no experience (or at least attempted education) in the topics that relate to me.

I have spent too much time concerning myself with the opinions of others and living my life in fear of being on the receiving end of backlash for not fitting in someone else’s box. I refuse to live the rest of my life in fear of someone else’s parameters for their own life. I will be filtering blog comments for that and tightening my social media platforms because of it. 

Please do not misunderstand – if you have a differing opinion, I welcome that. It is the unsolicited advice, bigotry, and willfully ignorant commentary that I am referring to. If the way I relate to the people & world around me does not *directly* impact your life or the ability to live your life the way you want to, I do not need criticisms on how I’m living mine. If it does directly impact your life, then I’m all ears.

If you have a question, ask respectfully and I will give you a respectful answer in return. If you want to ask something but don’t know how, please preface your question with that and we will work through fleshing out what you’re wanting to know more about together. I am more than happy to do that, and welcome it because it also helps strengthen our communication.

That being said, if you do know me personally and don’t feel comfortable asking me about aspects of my life, I ask that you take a moment to reflect on why that might be. If your lack of comfort stems from it being a new or uncomfortable topic for you, I would hope I have created an open enough dialogue with you in other places that you would feel comfortable expressing discomfort that is not for a lack of compassion. If your lack of comfort is because we aren’t close anymore and the thoughts behind it tie back to a variation of “do I even know her?” in response to something you’re reading, please contemplate conversations we have had that may have resulted in my withholding personal information. This is meant in no malicious way, it is something I evaluate myself with different relationships in my life and I feel it’s something too many people don’t take time to consider. If that is something you wish to change, that is another conversation I’m more than willing to have – all I ask is that you keep in mind why I might not have been comfortable initiating it myself.

All I want in this life is to be happy and fulfilled, and see the people around me experiencing happiness and fulfillment in whatever way best fits them and does not infringe on some else’s ability to pursue the same for themself. What works for me does not work for everyone, but it’s also important to note that what works for many of my friends does not work for me. To be transparent, what works for most of my friends is outright unhealthy for me. My goal here is to share positivity, reality, happiness, and in some cases to share different ways to achieve that happiness, while also hearing and respecting others.

I have fought for myself, my happiness, and my life as I currently know it. It has been hard, but it has been worth it. Happiness is not worth sacrificing.

The White Picket Fence

**This is a re-post, updated to better articulate my feelings in some areas. Original post date 8/2/17**

**re-post to the re-post date is 1/2/2021, updates are either a strikethrough or written in this lovely shade of navy. I love the original premise of this, but it needs some updating**

Normally I don’t do “rant” posts, but this is one. I don’t know if there will be enough of these to technically have a “series” of rants, and they will only appear when I see fit. In this and all cases of rant posts by me, they are not meant to be political, there will be generalizations made for the sake of the underlying frustration fueling the post, and I’m not writing these as any kind of attack on anyone in particular. This (and any rant post that may come in the future) is a topic that has been weighing heavily on me and that I felt compelled to share my honest opinions about. Now that I’ve gotten through the disclaimer, it’s time for the rant..

Society as we know it is ever-changing and has come a long way (relatively) from where it was even 100 years ago. Among other things, women can vote, LGBTQ (and others I’m missing) persons are increasingly free to live their lives openly, and self expression via tattoos, piercings, and unnatural hair colors is becoming more commonplace. Despite that, there is still this expectation of what I call the “white picket fence.”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been put in boxes by strangers and those that know me alike because of my natural blonde hair, demeanor that seems to exude “sunshine,” and God given intelligence. I grew up going to church, and from an early age it was instilled (*not* at the fault of my parents) in me that my future would look something like the following scenario: I would get a college education of at least a Bachelor’s degree, meet a good Christian man, likely a business man or engineer, have a wedding featuring a Pinterest worthy church ceremony, and have a few kids. It’s likely I could work part time, so long as I was able to be a “good little wife” and I would spend most of my time keeping up our house with the “white picket fence.”

For some people, that works. For them, that’s great. Where my issue lies is with the expectation for myself and other girls like me to have ambition and be educated, free-thinkers, but that we’re also expected to “fall in line.” To me, it’s all too Stepford-y (yes, that’s a link to a Wikipedia page).

I’ll go ahead and start with religion. Religion can be great, but it can also be the cause of literal war. I believe what I believe, and I choose to carry out my faith/beliefs in a way that make sense to me. Through the course of my dating life, I have learned that religion is not something I need in a relationship. I know that some of my readers will need a moment to digest that, but it’s my truth and I have want to be honest about it. I have been in religiously based relationships that have been severely dysfunctional, not to mention very awkward and forced. I have been in relationships lacking religion entirely that have been very open and rational. I prefer my romantic relationships not be based in religion, and I even encourage they lack religion. I like knowing where the other person stands, and how they got to that point. That tells me more about their character, personality, and integrity than how many Sundays they attend a year. The only common ground I require in this topic is respect in each other’s views and respect for the journey to that place.

Revered occupations come next. I’m all for educating yourself, following through with school, and doing what you can do to move up. However, education, schooling, and progress can be seen in any field (albeit to differing degrees), and I would much rather my partner be successful while doing something that makes them happy and feel fulfilled than have some high paying desk job that literally sucks their soul. Yes, high paying desk job and fulfillment can come together, but that is not the norm.

Pinterest worthy wedding time – I’m all for pretty and photo worthy, but there are a few issues with this. Marriage should first and foremost be about the commitment, not the aesthetic. In reality, I’m pretty close to sold on the idea of a courthouse wedding. Despite how many I’ve attended or been in, weddings are strange to me. I support marriage between two people who wholly care for and are committed to one another, but large weddings make me uncomfortable because of how intimate and significant a marriage is; in this day and age, I feel we invite far too many people to witness this intimacy and almost expect inappropriate comments to be sprinkled throughout in regards to “wifely duties.” No thank you. Not for me.

Marriage is about respect and partnership, and I feel that many weddings tend to gloss over that in favor of highlighting the “shackling” commitment being made and the newfound expectations of sex to please the husband.

Through the last few years, I have realized a lot about myself, and that includes extreme codependence that is exacerbated in cohabitation situations, and toxicity around money/co-mingling of funds specifically. I do not see myself cohabitating with anyone for more than a few weeks (so vacationing) or remarrying. That’s not to say I will not have significant partnerships, but they absolutely will not be “traditional” in the sense society praises. In the coming months, I am going to do a whole separate blog post about my personal realizations on marriage & relationships as they apply to me. 

Children. As long as I can remember, I felt like I was expected to have kids (after getting married, of course). I cannot wait for my friends to start having kids, but I am in no rush to do so myself, and am certain that my life is not hinging on whether or not I’m a biological mother to other humans. Never say never, but kids don’t make my short list (unless they’re goats) of things to do.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time explaining what I don’t want, so I think it’s only fair that I share what I do want. My idea of a fulfilling life more closely resembles the following: owning a bunch of land with a modest house, having a husband who works hard for what he wants partners who work hard for what they want and support me working towards my goals, spending nearly all my free time traveling, and caring for a small zoo’s worth of animals. I’m sure a fence will be involved, but that’s to corral the animals.

My life goals include seeing and doing as many things as I can in my life, and none of them are conducive to coming second to someone else’s whims or being reliant on someone else for financial allowances.

The world is filled with different ideas and expectations for the “right” way to live your life, and I’ve only covered one niche (middle-class, cis-, heterosexual, Christian, in America). At the end of the day, if you’re happy, not infringing on someone else’s ability to live their life the way they want to, and you’re being a generally good person, does it really matter what “right” looks like?