For my Tai Chi class we do a fitness test twice, at the beginning and near the end of the class. Today was the second fitness test and, in my opinion, I pretty much bombed it. How do you bomb a fitness test? I would say it’s because the majority of my results were worse than they were at the first test.
For the fit test we measure a couple different things. The first one was weight and height. I’m 27 so my height isn’t going to change unless I do some yoga before hand. My weight was back up to what it was when I first started Tai Chi last year. This doesn’t surprise me because work is hell, I’m a stress eater, and I work next to a bakery with 50 cent donuts. I think this change is what negatively affected the rest of my results. I did fewer crunches in a minute than I did last time. We do a “step test” were you step up and down on a step for three minutes and then measure your heart rate after resting for ten seconds. The lower your heart rate is after the 10 second rest period, the healthier your are. My long jump was shorter than last time. Lastly my flexibility and ability to hold a horse stance was the same:
The one outlier in my results was my blood pressure. The last time I went to the doctor my blood pressure showed I was pre-hypertensive and my first fit test results showed the same thing. This time that was not the case. I was so shocked by how low my blood pressure is that I tested it three times and tested it again when I got home.
So what does this mean for my health? Honestly, it means I’m not going to sweat it (pun intended). I’m stressed because it’s coming near the end of the semester (meaning two weeks until finals) and work is awful. The reason work is awful is because we’re too understaffed to meet the performance standards that the powers-that-be want and we have a bunch of new folks so I spend half my time babysitting and the other half playing catch up. Yesterday they screwed up my schedule so I had 20 minutes to get an hour’s worth of work done and then run to class in time for a test.
Schedule conflicts are literally my worst nightmare. I haven’t been sleeping well these past two nights because of terrible nightmares about scheduling conflicts. I would much rather be dreaming about world domination. Also, three quarters of my paycheck goes to tuition so I can finish this fall (fingers crossed for luck). At this point I just want a job that gives me the chance to sit down for dinner and has dental insurance. And a linen closet. I’m told the epitome of functional adulthood is owning a linen closet.
So basically I’m stressed, tired, not sleeping well, not eating well, and what the HELL is up with my blood pressure? Right now, I’m not going to sweat it. Right now’s problems aren’t forever. I’m not going to be paying for tuition forever. I’m not going to have to deal with bratty high schooler coworkers forever. I’m not going to be living with my parents forever. Fitness goals are great, but I have to deal with reality too. The best I can do is keep up with some small changes, tea instead of soda, oatmeal instead of a doughnut, and go from there.
A while back I did this post about activism and political engagement, but something I missed was individual effort versus group/organizational effort. This post, A Political Cost of Social Unorganization, by Sara K. brings up a really important point that the most effective political impact isn’t accomplished on the individual level, but by politically active groups and organizations. It’s tough if you’re an introvert/ambivert like me and don’t warm up to groups very fast or really have time to be politically active on top of daily life. However, doing anything is 100% better than doing nothing so go ahead and check out the posts mentioned above.
[This is my submission for the Carnival of Aces for March on the topic of “Ace Pride” hosted this month by (Purr)ple (L)ace. For more information on the Blogging Carnival see the Call for Submissions link.]
Since I’m not out to the majority my friends, family, or coworkers my Pride symbols are going to be very subtle. I have a couple ace rings; my favorite is one with a heartbeat line on it because to me it says, “I’m here! I’m real!”
I’ve sewn a couple pride patches into my favorite hoodie. I have one on each arm for aromantic and agender and then one over my heart for asexual because the patch was heart shaped.
I also buy clothes specifically in pride colors only. It helps that the ace, aro, agender, and nonbinary colors are all very flattering for my coloring. I’ve actually made myself a cheat-sheet for when I go shopping. For me it’s pride colors or no sale except for bluejeans.
Lastly I have a couple pride posters on my wall in my room. Here’s one for asexuality-
It’s my favorite ace artwork. I love simplicity.
Blue is technically my favorite color, but I invest in a lot of purple, black, and gray things. I’m super lucky those colors are flattering for me. I’m not a fashion expert so this has actually made my life a lot easier when buying and picking out clothes and outfits. I do most of my pride shopping on Etsy and Redbubble. The pride patches are my favorite pride item because I can undo the stitches and reuse the patches if I get a new hoodie. So far nobody’s asked about what my patches mean and I take comfort in asserting my identity quietly in public.
That’s pretty much it. This was a fun topic and I got to show off my stuff so I won’t go any deeper than that for this post.
Edit: I forgot my ace pride sticker that I wear on my name tag. Here it is-
March 8th is International Women’s day and the #womensmarch folks are trying to organize a strike called “A Day Without Women” (similar to the “A Day without Immigrants” strike) and my mom was encouraging me to take the day off from work.
But I’m not a woman. I’m not out to my parents as agender because I had a negative experience coming out to them as asexual. For me I think it would be an even more powerful symbol not to participate in the strike/boycott because it asserts my identity as a non-binary gender. Currently I have both work and school that day so I won’t be taking time off from either. Early on I felt pressured because of my mom, but I’m much more comfortable with the decision now that my schedule is set and it’s too late to change it.
Over all I think I’ve been doing better taking care of myself with regards to my gender identity. I’ve used self-help techniques (mostly diet and exercise) to help manage my gender dysphoria and it’s to the point that I haven’t had a major dysphoric moment in several weeks. I can look at my self in the mirror now and actually smile and feel comfortable with my image.
There’s still a long way to go on many aspects of human rights and I still plan to stay committed to social change, but this March 8th just isn’t the event for me. So, I’ll just wish for the best to everyone else who wants to participate.
Somehow I accidentally deleted this post from my phone, so oops. On March 8th my mom brought up the issue of the protest again and I once again declined to participate despite her urging because it was more important for me to assert my agender identity than protest as my assigned gender. I still haven’t told my mom I’m agender, but I have told a coworker and my two youngest siblings. When I came out to them I felt comfortable asserting my identity, it felt real, it felt like I wasn’t just pretending, and I was very happy after the fact. I don’t like that I have to give an Agender 101 lesson every time I open up to someone and that’s another reason I don’t come out often.
The week following Valentines day is Aro Spec Awareness Week where arospec folks and their friends raise awareness and talk about aromanticism. Several tumblr blogs are hosting prompt challenges and posts, but this year because of time constraints I’ll just be making one post. I’ve touched on being aro before, but for this post I’ll try to get more in depth. I’ve been identifying as aromantic for about a year now. I found out about asexuality first, but because romance is so ingrained in our culture, including in several of the ace resources I was looking into early on, it took me some time to figure out that I was actually aromantic.
Being aromantic means I do not experience romantic attraction. In simplest terms it means I don’t get the warm fuzzy urge to date or be romantically intimate other people, but that description barely scratches the surface. I was cleaning out some old boxes on Monday and I came across a diary from the 7th grade and another journal from the 10th grade. I had only glanced at random pages but in diary entry I had written, “I don’t have any crushes” and in the journal from the 10th grade I had written, “I don’t like romantic themes [in stories] because I don’t understand them.” I didn’t even know aromantic was a thing until much, much later. I feel cheated for not knowing about something that is a core part of my identity sooner because it’s not something people readily know or talk about.
Continue reading “Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week”
[This is my submission for the Carnival of Aces February 2017 on the topic of “Resistance, Activism, & Self-Care” hosted this month by The Asexual Agenda (click link for more info on what a “blogging carnival” is and to see previous topics)]
Frustrated by recent political actions and inspired by the Women’s March, a wonderful group of folks came together to hold an 8 hour conference this past weekend called the Rise Up – Texas Action Event in Austin, TX to talk about current issues, ways to take action, and to exchanged some ideas and best practices for resistance and activism. I was able to attend this event so I’ll be sharing my 6 take-aways from this conference for my Carnival of Aces submission.
Continue reading “Carnival of Aces February 2017: Resistance, Activism, & Self-Care”
When I told my mother about my all time favorite film she thought I might like a PBS Nova episode from 2007 called Judgment Day: Intelligent Design On Trial which had some very similar themes to the film. She was right. I loved watching Nova whenever I could catch an episode and this episode was a nice companion to the film.
The episode is about a small town divided by the belief that evolution should or shouldn’t be taught in public school. When a creationist gets elected to the school board he triggers events that snowball into what I can only describe as a fiasco. The school board latches on to a theory called “Intelligent Design” and try to have it be taught in schools alongside evolution. The thing is I remember this incident because I was a freshmen in high-school when the court case happened and I remember my parents talking about it.
The case itself is interesting. For the episode Nova did dramatic reenactments based off of the court transcripts and spliced interviews from the residents in between the court clips. The sound bite that left the deepest impression on me was a local woman saying that because she believed that God created everything she didn’t need to know anything else. I logically understand that she has the right to believe whatever she wants, but she and the other creationists do not have the right to impose that belief on everyone else. The court case came about when 11 parents sued the school district saying that teaching intelligent design violated the separation of church and state.
As the case took place in the U.S. the burden of proof is on the accusers. The parents assembled a team of experts to prove that a) Intelligent Design was not a science or scientific theory and therefore was no appropriate to be taught in public school; and b) that the purpose behind Intelligent Design was to promote a religious agenda. The defense argued that Intelligent Design was a scientific theory and that evolution, which they argued was flawed, shouldn’t have a monopoly in education and that students should be given access to alternative theories.
My interest in both the film Denial (2016) and Judgment Day: Intelligent Design On Trial (2007) leans more towards the idea of free speech and what both cases mean for the right of free speech. If I ever wanted to do a collage paper on them I would pick that at my topic.
The case is also interesting to me because I’m not Christian. I wasn’t raised Christian because my parents stopped going to church for the same reason I still don’t; Organized religion is too political for me. I’m a agender. I can’t find a local religious group that will accept this. Gender roles play a part in many religions and I don’t fit into those gender roles. I’m missing out on the community aspect of religious gatherings, but I would rather be my own intelligent person, not someone else’s design.
I won’t go into too many details about the court case, but the Nova episode was really interesting to watch and there are full versions of it available on Youtube.