Self Reflection

I’ve managed to do a lot of thinking these past few weeks and months. I got my heart broken twice between the time of my last post until the present. The first one was with someone I was engaged to, and on/off with for approximately 12 years. The second one was just recently with someone that I dated for about 7 months. To fortify the fortress of my unwavering want of being a hopeless romantic, I’ve found solitude in writing and running–more so, now than ever.

Back in 2013, after reading an inspirational post about running allowing me to seek solace from the heartbreak, I realize that I’ve come a long way. With the second individual that managed to break my heart, I can honestly say that he’s the only person that i’ve experienced in my dating years that really taught me to figure out characteristic traits in someone that I want to find as “the one”. The beginning of the relationship with him was like crossing the starting line of a marathon.

You experience the adrenaline running through your veins as you face the excitement of the path that lies ahead of you, knowing that the finish line will be seen soon. That’s how things were; we were long distance (him in California and I in Hawaii), and we were constantly calling and texting each other. As we eased into the relationship, we found things we were comfortable with, and uncomfortable with. I went to visit him in California in January, and then I flew back to Hawaii after a week of absolute bliss.

From there, we stayed long distance and decided to go on a vacation with each other a few months later, in May of this year. We faced a lot of good experiences on our vacation–with the exception of the fact that I blurt out the cursed ‘L’ word (ladies and gents, you all know what this word is), while we were on the Canadian portion of our trip. We planned this trip from both of us meeting in Seattle, to going to Canada, and then back to Seattle before I flew back with him to LA.

Things that I realized during that trip that made me realize that there were traits in which I realized he was NOT the one: 1) He smoked pot, at least 2 to 3 times a day. Because pot was legal in the state of Washington, he completely took advantage of the fact that he could buy it recreationally. I’m asthmatic-this doesn’t work out so well to me, and I never was one to be attracted to the smell of the Mary Jane as he was; 2) He’d never be like my friends in other relationships-the kind that would post photos with their significant others or change their social media profile pictures to the couple-y ones; 3) He would show me more affection and attention while I was physically present, and not while we would talk on the phone or Facetime/Skype; 4) The relationship was all about him.

I’ll go ahead and explain this one more in depth. Because we were both single for quite some time (Me: >3 years; Him: >5 years), we were both individual and independent spirits. The relationship was 90% me giving in, and 10% him giving in. A relationship should be fair. Because we had to face the time zone difference of Hawaii Standard Time and Pacific Standard Time, we were always 2 to 3 hours apart. This means that i’d cater MY schedule around HIS needs. It was never the other way around.

Everything was on his time/availability, would address his needs, his temperaments, and his wants. I work a career where majority of my time revolves around compassion fatigue–I spend so much of my time and day working to get indigent clients out of situations (often times, working with domestic violence victims, single moms/dads, etc), that my way of decompressing would be trying to have him as an ear to listen to and a shoulder to lean on when I felt exhausted. His career as an engineer/project manager would revolve around little human contact.

After months of him having to “deal” with my “complaints” (not decompressing, but complaints, as he so claims), he said that he was over it. We also faced the hump of a possible little human, and he emptily promised that he’d move back to Hawaii to be with me and be supportive. Instead, as soon as he found out that we weren’t going to have a little human running around, he decided to end things.

I understand the fear of that-being responsible for another person. It’s difficult taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. But, the true trait of an adult is acknowledging the fact that your actions have consequences. I was ready to face whatever life threw at me. I still am. He decided to take the easy way out and give up. He felt like things were broken, and rather than working to fix them or communicate about them, he wanted to give it up and let it go.

I realize that after going through all of the bull**** of what happened, that I am now stronger in the aspects of knowing what I want out of my future significant other. I need someone who’ll supplement my life, won’t bring me down, will be open, honest, and communicative with me, and will complement my overall personality. Someone who’ll respect me, and my career choices. That was the biggest issue: He was willing to go along with my career aspirations, just not with the current career that I have now.

I have my life slowly back on track; I’ve started the research process for my graduate programs that I’ll be applying to this Fall, and have enrolled into an expensive Kaplan graduate prep course which I’ll be starting in a few weeks. This self reflection is also a progressive point: It’s been 21 days since we broke up. But, with the support of my friends (not so much my family) I can feel the love.

Que sera, sera.

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Living back on the rock.

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It’s funny to be back in the islands; things haven’t really changed! I can honestly say that i’ve become the fanciful loner once again… If I had my car, i’d go out and ‘splore the wonders of what this loving and warm island has to offer, however, that’s kind of impossible right now 😛

I got a full time job! I start on Monday, and I’ll be working as a Paralegal in Family Law for a local non-profit: The Legal Aid Society of Hawai’i. It’s weird to be going from the world of academia into the world of the big boys. My big girl pants are on now (not that I go without wearing pants cause that’d just be WEIRD), but it’s an exciting new step into the future.

I’ve decided to take about 3 years off of schooling, just to gain some experience and maybe even take some exciting new adventures abroad. My boyfriend (yes, I said it, BOYFRIEND), and I are hoping to take some trips, but because of his strict family upbringing, it looks like i’ll be a lone traveler once again. But I think i’m okay with it. I’ve always kinda been ‘alone’. It’s sad, but true.

But yes, back to the reality of it all. Time to go enjoy more food network before an intense session of Tennis playing and the occasional pigging out here and there… I’ll be a working woman starting on Monday, sooooo… This is my time to enjoy my last remaining days of summer! 🙂

Au revoir, for now.

Grad-ooh-aye-shunn.

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I’m graduating! After four exciting and (weather) eventful years at WSU, I’m sad and sorry to say that it’s coming to a close. Being at a PWI has taught me a lot, especially because I came from a tiny rock in the middle of the ocean. I became independent, smarter, wiser, and learned life lessons that I will keep in mind throughout the duration of my lifetime. I also made relationships that I know will last forever, and am honestly sorry to say that I have to go back home to Hawai’i.

It’s a little depressing to have to move back to Hawai’i. Everyone may take that as a shock, but in reality, students leave the islands for a reason. We all get struck with island fever, and feel the urge to explore our horizons beyond the Pacific Ocean. I can say that I am grateful that I got to convince my parents to let me go away for school, because I know that I have managed to gain a lot of insight into life beyond living on a rock surrounded by water. I’ll be happy to spend time with family and close friends, but being away kinda kills the relationships that i’ve had with some friends, and strengthened relationships with others.

I’m actually afraid of life beyond college. I’ve been so used to being a student all of these years, and after making the tough decision of taking some time off from school to pursue some work experience and make some money to help my aging parents out (sorry mom & dad, yes, you’re old), I know that the next few months will be tough having to adjust back into the island life. I’ll miss Pullman – mostly for the people, and the Palouse is a beautiful place (when it’s nice and warm, none of this snow crap). But i’m grateful for the experiences and the memories that I have made.

Good luck to everyone reading this post, and remember, once a Coug, always a Coug! 🙂 ❤

 

Gender Roles & the Internet (Blog #10)

SANDWICH

 

Utilizing Sedgwick, we can see that expected gender roles make us think that women are supposed to constantly be in the kitchen, doing housework, or be at the whim of men. When dropped into Google Image Search, these two photos lead to more photos of men expecting women to make them sandwiches, be in the kitchen and cook for them, or of men being lazy and women having to do all of the work. It’s unfair to know that normative society expects men to be the breadwinner of the family and women to be the stay at home mothers and primary caretakers of their children.

I feel like society has changed a lot since those expectancies have also changed with the times; I mean, if we look at society now, more fathers are being stay at home dads, and more mothers are dominating the workplace. I think it’s also nice for dads to stay at home and spend time with their kids, because over the years, fathers have been more distant from their kids and mothers are closer to them. Now, because the gender roles have turned the tables, it is nice to see children developing better relationships with their kids, but has it also changed the relationships that kids have with their moms? Possibly.

From personal experience, both of my parents worked full time as I was growing up. I’d have time to spend with my mom during the day, and then time to spend with my dad at night before I went to bed. It was nice seeing my parents taking equal care of my sister and me, as well as trying to see my dad actually cook in the kitchen. As I grew older, my parent’s work schedules changed, to the point where my mother would go back to cooking, cleaning, and doing the chores for all of us, and my dad would sit back and relax and do nothing. That’s kind of how it is now.

However, I know it is also because as a chef, and as a mother, my mom really enjoys doing that stuff. She likes to make me, my sister, and my dad happy with the food she cooks, and even as I write this, I keep what she told me a few days ago in mind: Not to do my laundry or even clean my apartment until she gets here for graduation this weekend… Apparently, she said it’s because she’ll have nothing better to do with her time as well. In reality, I think it’s mostly because she missed being my mom since the lovely state of Hawaii isn’t connected to the immediate 50 states 😛

But still. The guys that i’ve dated have all been a mix of expecting me to take care of them, and vice versa. I feel like modern relationships today, especially in this day and age are all equal, or mostly equal. I don’t necessarily believe in the whole men have to be the breadwinners and women have to be in the kitchen 24/7 – I believe in both the male and female sharing responsibilities and treating each other as equals: no one sex is superior to the other.

So, those two photos that are above: screw it. My future boyfriend will make me a sandwich, and i’ll make him a sandwich. Heck, we could go and compete on who’ll run to the kitchen first to make the other person a sandwich. Who cares? We’ll be equals.

User Generated Content (Blog #9)

Social Networking Sites, SNS’s for short, are all apart of the social construct of our everyday lives. Do you remember how people used to say, “oh yeah, just call me and we can go over our project”? Now it’s: “oh yeah, just facebook me and we’ll figure something out.” Uh, way to ruin people’s lives 😛

For real though, we look at and log onto our Facebooks, Tumblrs, WordPresses, Twitters, etc. on a daily basis, and it never crosses our minds as to how having such things affect our relationships with others. It makes things less direct and not as personable as having a face to face or phone conversation with someone. Thankfully, Skype and Oovoo have changed those perspectives with social media.

The culture industry isn’t as exploited online as we may think it is. I feel like it sometimes makes things harder to be exploited as it typically is. Take for instance, the example of Facebook. With so many ads posted online that try to cater to your interests, wants, and needs, you’d think that Facebook itself was stalking you. In fact, it’s companies that stalk you to try to exploit YOU, the user, to use their services, click on their links, and be exposed to their products. To use Facebook and other sites for free, we’re not paying a physical monetary price to use them, but the companies all gain some type of profit out of having us as users.

Facebook and other social networking sites used to sell off user information to other third party companies so they could utilize this information for surveys, spam mail, ads, and other things. Obviously, if we never read the terms of use/conditions, we’d never be aware of this stuff. When Kim Kardashian found out that Instagram was changing its terms of use to allow them to use user photos for commercials to gain a profit for their company, it caused an outrage. People were angrily tweeting, canceling their Instagram accounts, and threatening to sue.

That’s just one example of how we’re all exploited by the Internet; we can see it as a way that the culture industry is so exploited by the Internet, just because we’re doing all the work, while the corporations all try to gain some type of profit from what WE’RE putting up there online. After some type of public outrage via bandwagoning, Instagram eventually changed its terms of use to make people happy. It also made people stop and think about re-reading terms of use for everything.

I thought this was a hilarious example. Obviously, Tumblr can be a jokester too:

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Cyborgs: Friend, or Foe? (Blog #8)

Alrighty, cyborgs. Cool topic, I must say. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a cyborg is: “A fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities become superhuman by mechanical elements built into the body.” When we think of cyborgs, we think of crazy machines that are scary looking, intimidating, and cause fear amongst the general population. Well, in the example of the movie, i, Robot, starring Will Smith, we can see that cyborgs portray almost humanlike characteristics, but were created to help the human race, not hurt them (spoiler alert). That kind of went downhill when one particular cyborg ended up causing pain and crime, rather than assisting humans to prevent those problems.

According to Harway’s example of militarism and capitalism associated with cyborgs, we can assume safely that the human race is still trying to perfect the robot to make daily human life a lot easier than it is now. Doing simple functions like cleaning, assisting with groceries up and down the stairs, and maybe even walking your dog for you. As we can see from the example of i, Robot, the robots ended up defying commands after being corrupted internally, and so Will Smith goes through an emotional time in the movie, while (spoiler alert), revealing that he is partially a robot too. *GASP*

Robots and cyborgs are supposed to help make life a lot easier. The cyborg teaches us that humans are lazy; we do not want to make more efforts to create lasting relationships as simple as bonding with your dog while you go for a walk – instead it is supposed to ease the “difficulties” and extra stuff that life loads you down with. In a capitalistic society, such as the one we live in now, we can see that having this much ease is like hitting the easy button in a Staples commercial. Life wasn’t made to be that way, we’re supposed to go through the struggles to teach us a lesson in the long run. If we don’t learn these supposed lessons, then we’re really just doing this all for nothing 😛

You can’t gain a real sense of power, either. In Haraway’s example, power and social relations all get affected by this chain reaction of laziness. First, it starts off with your dog, then you program your cyborg to go and work for you. Then what? It really takes you nowhere. You’ll be a bum living on your couch, do absolutely nothing for the rest of your life, and try to rely on social media networks like Facebook to keep the friendships you have. BUT, because the cyborg’s doing all the work for you, it makes your life bland. Boring. and Meh.

Blog #7: Technology and Gender Differences

The technology I chose for this specific blog was a razor. Gillette has a tendency of making their ads geared toward either men, or either women. They don’t have ads that are geared toward both sexes, especially for their products.

They’ve gendered a simple item like a razor, which can be universal for both men and women. But the Gillette company has engendered this simple object. For this commercial, this is geared toward men, and it kind of shows how shaving is a masculine trait and that every man does it and needs to do it.

There is no intended class in terms of target audience, although, with Roger Federer portraying the masculine person that is using this razor, and he’s a hardcore athlete, that men who are serious and focused need this razor. This technology tells us that shaving is a manly thing, and that it is more openly discussed than women shaving.

Because honestly, who talks openly about women shaving their body parts? That’s like taboo in our country, but men talking about shaving their faces is no big deal. It’s not as intimate as women shaving.

There’s some food for thought.