Disney: Life Lessons

I know children’s media in general has a reputation for being educational to some extent, if only to appease what’s known as the “moral guardians”.

However, Disney is my most favorite when it comes to (animated) films and recently, I found a pattern in their movies, particularly the Disney Princess line. All of their DP follow the expression about things getting worse before they get better. Right before the situation improves and the happy ending comes, it’s made to seem like there’s no way it possibly could improve.

And I like that.

Obviously, animation isn’t to be taken as realism, but it’s certainly true in life things sometimes do worsen before they finally improve. Sometimes, people do hit rock bottom before they finally move back up.

It happened to me. At first, I could think only think of two major things where that was the case – my job and my boyfriend – but upon further thought, I’ve been through it more times than I can count.

Before I had my very first job interview, I’d gotten myself trapped in another city due to following a shady job agency I was too desperate to see through. That was one of the days I genuinely came to close to giving in to the heavy depressive thoughts that returned. Before I met my boyfriend, I was ready to give up on dating because I’d gotten nothing out of it in that two years and it didn’t feel worth it to keep trying. Despite the “downs”, I’m very happy with him and he’s the best relationship I’ve had. I had never kept any steady friendships beyond school due to moving and I was prepared for high school to end the same way. I met my best friend in 11th grade and we’ve been friends for five years, and still are.

That’s not to say I’d be willing to repeat those worst periods again, or that I’m happy they happened. You’d have to kill me before I return to high school or anything lower. I’m happy there was something get out of living through them.

There’s another low point I’m anticipating this May, but I foresaw it years ago. I’m not sure what good will come out of passing through, but hopefully, I remain pleasantly surprised. The upside is this time, I have much more support than I did with any of my previous low points.

As for Disney, I hope they do continue this trend of things hitting their absolute worst before getting better. It may not be new or original at this point, but it’s definitely an important lesson.

Ending One Chapter Starts Another

I know I’m probably going to eat my words somewhere down the line, but this year is already starting off well. And that means something since it didn’t particularly end well.

My job as a cashier is a seasonal position, so after a certain date, I was supposed to be let go. Key word: was.

I learned today it’s planned for me to stay on the team after the seasonal period ends, although it’s probably news I wasn’t supposed to learn this early. When I was working today, I confided in the supervisor on duty it was a concern on my mind, but I didn’t want to come across as a nag for daring to ask the manager in charge of it. She told me to ask anyway since we’re allowed (my workplace has an “open-door policy”, which means you can speak to any manager or supervisor you want at any time if you need something) and since I was already at work, I swallowed my fear and asked when I went on break. The answer was yes. When I returned from break, I very happily (but quietly) thanked the supervisor for encouraging me to do that. She was happy for me.

I work my first job and I didn’t fail at it! I still marvel at being able to hold down a job, so to learn I’m keeping it blew me right out of the water!

The other goodness for 2017 is, although it was unneeded, I got a reminder of just how strong a certain person’s love is for me. The circumstances that revealed it weren’t so pleasant and I have enough humility to admit those circumstances were my fault. No, I’m not asking for a cookie. The end of the matter of was when he became hysterical over me and sobbed for about five to ten minutes. Few things have crushed me with so much guilt as when I realized I caused that. To top it off, he called himself pathetic for crying and pushed me away when I tried to comfort him (after asking for me to do it just two minutes ago), insisting he didn’t deserve it. Let me make that clear: I hurt him, but he was crying over me. He was hysterical over the person who hurt him because he believed it was the other way around and he’d hurt me.

Before that happened, he’d been prepared to wait all day for me because he didn’t yet know I’d already left home. Now, I’ll admit that sounds stalker-ish on the surface, but these plans were arranged and agreed to, and he didn’t have reason to believe they changed.

I’m fortunate to have someone who loves me so much, he deems me worth having an emotional breakdown over, and right after I hadn’t been so kind to him. I deserved that guilt and, really, so much more than that. He once said I spoil him because I often pay for much of our outings since I have a job. He’s wrong. He spoils me with so much love and patience like that. I genuinely love him and I don’t plan on putting him to a test, especially when I know all too well the misfortune of not having people who love you or have your best interests at heart.

I already know the happiness won’t last and there are some difficult times coming up. In fact, there’s one I’ve been aware of for a very long time. But I’ll have to face it when it comes and knowing I have the above, I’m not afraid of it anymore because it’s not a problem I created. For now, however, I’ll simply enjoy the joy ride.

I’m Not Leaving

The last time I made a post like this, it was in December 2013, and I’m not linking it because all but one of those things are completely and wholly untrue now.

Recently, I started thinking about Disney’s upcoming, new Disney Princess, Moana. I plan to see it in theaters with my boyfriend and it will be the very first Disney Princess movie I’ve ever seen in theaters. What crossed my mind was if I’d acted on any of suicidal thoughts I’ve had in the past, that wish wouldn’t be becoming reality.

In truth, I have those thoughts more often than I feel comfortable admitting. I suppose it’s not really bad, but aside from my boyfriend and my best friend, the things I list are usually small. Video game series, television ones, art and stories I’ve created, even this blog. I’m happy to know these things. While I still hold the belief I’d prevent my existence if I could go back in time to do so, since I’m already here, I don’t want to leave.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with my self-worth and value as a member of society. I very much do, as I’m sure I’ve made evident. Even as I type this, those thoughts of if I’ll ever be more of a contributor than a tax burden are going through my head. Every so often, those thoughts do take over and become very powerful, but the upside is it usually passes within about two days. A very mentally painful two days, but two days nonetheless. It’s not enough to make me wish I wasn’t an adult or make me miss my childhood.

This past weekend, I was with my boyfriend and I realized I frequently call his house “home” when we’re together (“Are we going home after this?” “Who’s home?”). In the latter example, it might make sense because I’m asking who’s at his home, but the former example is obviously including myself. He’s fine with it, but that was the first time I caught myself doing that. I do feel at home with him, not only in his house, but in the state and city he lives. Not so much I’d dare venture around it alone, but enough to have no anxiety about ever going out there. If it were possible and I knew for sure I wouldn’t become homesick for the city I live in, I’d stay there for a week if he and his family allowed it.

I don’t have everything I want in life, but I’m happy because I do have what I wanted more than anything as a kid. I wanted to be surrounded by people who love and care about me. The “surrounded” part doesn’t exist in a physical sense, but I feel it’s there. I never cared if it was a huge team of people. Him and my best friend really are enough (although that doesn’t mean I’d be closed to more). I wanted to go on trips like I did as a kid. I go out of town, out of state, to visit him and it’s a lot more fun than the same museum five times in a row. I wanted another place to call home. I found it.

I’ll keep trying, particularly since I can’t do much else, but I’m not completely unhappy with where I’m at now. I understand things do happen slowly. It certainly took a lot of friends to find my best friend, and a lot of bad dates and relationships to reach my boyfriend. It only makes sense it’ll take a lot of missed jobs to finally find one. I still did score an interview, so that’s something. At least, I know I’m worth being considered.

I’m not happy to be alive, meaning I’d still have preferred not existing to begin with, but I am happy to have things and people in my life that make it not so bad.

Lying Versus Lying

Not all of my family members know I have a boyfriend, and the few who do have never met him. The reason for this much of my family is racist and I don’t feel my boyfriend deserves that. This means more often than not, I’m not honest with them about where I may be going with him or what I’m doing. In short, I lie. Yes, I know lying is wrong and I’d never claim it’s not. However, while I’ll admit my own lying is as wrong as others, it seems some people disagree.

What prompted this post is I had a certain relative told me if I have to lie to do something, I shouldn’t do it. The problem here is this same relative also regularly lies and has been doing it for years on end to keep multiple relationships hidden, not from family, but from the people he has those relationships with. When I brought that up on one occasion, his argument was that’s a different matter. I’m not claiming to be any less wrong than him, but I fail to see how lying to double-cross people is better than lying to see your partner and keep them away from your family.

In fact, to one of my family members, my boyfriend’s race does not exist. To him, there are white (Caucasian) people and black (African-American) people. That’s it. No other race exists to him. He refuses to acknowledge there are many more than two races in existence. I do not feel guilty about keeping my boyfriend away from him, even if it is through lying. While I’m on the subject, this same family member is also guilty of lying for the purpose of starting family drama and getting other family members angry with each other.

I’ve had some people tell me I should be honest anyway and my family would come around, but I know this is not true. My best friend shares the same race my boyfriend does, my family has known her for five years at this point, and they continue to be hateful and distrustful of any person of that race. I’ve had to stop them from making racist comments within earshot of her because they believe being in the next room means she can’t hear them. If meeting my best friend multiple times in five years isn’t enough for them to come around, why would meeting my boyfriend be any different?

Another reason I know this is purely about race is when I was with an ex who is the same race, my family had absolutely no objections whatsoever. None. There was no care for where I was going or what I was doing with this person. Only the time I’d return would be in question and that’s merely because my family knows it’s unlike me to stay out after night falls. They never met him because that relationship was short-lived, but I told them everything and got no arguments. Yet the second I mentioned my boyfriend’s race to answer where he’s from when they asked, suddenly, there were a thousand terrible things about him. They didn’t even know his name.

Sometimes, I’m not sure if I will ever tell my family the truth. They may not ever meet my boyfriend and while that does make me sad, it’s a possibility I’m okay with. Maybe it’s the behavior of a teenager, but I’d rather keep our relationship hidden than let him be exposed to that. I’ve told my boyfriend about their racist beliefs, so he knows why I refuse to let him meet them and he’s unsurprisingly fine with it.

When I think about this and read all of this post over, I feel like I’m justifying my own lying, which is the same as what the relatives I mentioned above do. Perhaps I am justifying it and excusing myself. I can’t say I don’t feel like it’s justified, if only because I’m not trying to cheat on my partner or start family problems where there are none. Yet, aside from the one time I tried to explain the hypocrisy, I keep my mouth shut because I still don’t feel I’m right in calling them out on their lying when I also lie.

Love Doesn’t Hurt

Originally, I wasn’t going to write this because I feel like I share too much at times. However, I wanted to write something, and it was either this or a post about how two-faced people get away with everything. Frankly, I’ve had enough of the world’s mean-spiritedness for one day, so I chose this instead.

Today is mine and my boyfriend’s anniversary! We have been a couple for a full year and known each other for 18 months in total.

There’s a somewhat odd feeling with it.  I knew the day would come, yet I’m still surprised it arrived. I didn’t at all feel like we would break up, yet I’m shocked we’ve been together this long, despite that a year, all things considered, isn’t a long time. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s still that “honeymoon phase”, where a new couple is in love and fawning over each other constantly because they’ve only been together a short time. Neither of us have ever been blind to other people or aspects of our lives, however, so I doubt it.

Yes, I think I’m making it obvious I’m still really inexperienced when it comes to relationships. Or rather, when it comes to good relationships.

I feel like I have a weird way of being in love. I don’t swoon, my heart doesn’t race, and my palms don’t sweat. Instead, it’s when I think about losing this person. I’ve experienced heartbreak once and it hurt very much for a week. It wasn’t the most painful thing I’d felt, but it certainly isn’t something I’d want a repeat of. However, I never experienced it again, even when I cut ties with men I developed feelings for. I can only assume my heart locked itself up, although it doesn’t feel that way. I can’t say I’m curious enough to want to find out.

Similar to my best friend, my boyfriend has become a big part of my life and happiness, and he’s one of the few healthy parts of it. With the kind of family I grew up in, that’s a very good thing. He’s not a therapist. He’s not fixing me. Without trying, he’s shown me over time something I wish had been told to me as a child: love is not supposed to be painful! I can imagine my life without him, but I don’t want to. I question myself a lot, but I believe the day I became certain I loved him was when I did picture losing him and felt pain. The image of him being absent from my life hurts.

I’m willing to bet there is someone several years older than me who’s reading this and rolling their eyes, thinking to themselves, “This silly 22-year-old thinks she knows what love is”. Maybe I don’t know as much as someone 10 years my senior, or even 5. What I do know is love is not meant to hurt. Love is caring, love is patient, love is kind, and love is gentle.

If I say this to him, he will tell me he’s undeserving of it and he’s not special, which is very much a lie. He is very special and deserving and wonderful to me. Were technology advanced enough for a mirror to exist that allowed people to see themselves through others’ eyes, I would show him just that to let him see himself how I do.

I’m going to end this with a quote that’s become a favorite of mine: “I wasn’t planning on loving you, but I’m happy that I did.”

And it’s truly one of the happiest unplanned events of my life.

The Reset Button

I’m part of a Facebook group for depression and self-harm support, and someone recently posted this image.

Some people said yes and some said no. The answers were about evenly spread. Mine was as follows:

I want to say yes, but I’d lose my boyfriend and best friend, so I say no.

There’s more to it than that, but I didn’t want to go deep into answering the question at the moment.

If I reset my life, I’d lose everything, which means my life would most likely happen identically to how it already has. Resetting would be pointless. I might grow up in a different generation if resetting meant simply reverting my life to newborn instead of reversing time as well, but that’s it.

I used to say I would go back in time and prevent my existence if I could. On occasion, I still feel that way, but the feeling is rare now. Were this question posed to me back in 2012 and I would retain memory of my current life, I would be tempted to say yes, if only to fix the mistakes I’ve made. However, the full truth is I’d prefer death over repeating any part of my life prior to 2012.

No, I’m not totally in love with my life as it is now. I’m having a hard time. I’ve yet to be able to find a job, I can’t return to school for at least two more years, my family is irreparable, and I live with someone whose biggest priority is how my hair looks, to the point I’ve had to assure certain people there isn’t any sexual abuse going on in my house because without the knowledge he’s a family member, he sounds like a controlling partner. I don’t see myself as an adult and feel like a worthless member of society much of the time. I could definitely be doing better.

At the same time, it’s taken me a long time to finally reach a point where I can genuinely feel glad I have my life. My best friend and my boyfriend aren’t the only reasons I’m happy, but they are a big part of why I feel the way do. If I were somehow promised they’d be waiting for me, I still would refuse the chance to reset my life. Why miss out on that time with them? Not to mention how unfair it’d be to have them wait on me or forcibly reset their lives along with mine.

Naturally, my feelings do flip-flop a lot, but overall, my answer at the moment to this question is no. No, I would not reset my life if given the chance. I’m not willing to go through everything I’ve experienced again and I’m absolutely unwilling to lose any more people than I’ve already lost.

My First Valentine!

Happy Valentine’s Day! I had a wonderful day!

My boyfriend and I agreed to get together for today. Admittedly, the weather wasn’t favorable, but when is winter ever favorable for outing plans unless you’re doing winter sports?

The plan was only to go a buffet and, later, a bakery, but we filled in the time between with a bit of shopping. The buffet was great, although it was busy! The wait staff didn’t get a moment’s peace! I guess that’s standard for Valentine’s Day. I only had two plates, but he had five! And he still finished before I did, although his plates weren’t as full as mine after the first.

We were in the buffet for an hour. After that, we went around, looking for belts and razors for me, and a pair of gloves of him (because I’ll be darned if anyone’s hands freeze on my watch!). The belts were easy to find, but it took a few more stores to find the razors and gloves we were after. We also window-shopped around a game store for a little while. Just to see if there was anything new.

The bakery was great! We each had a slice of chocolate mousse and it was one of the most delicious desserts I’ve ever tasted in my life! I took my time eating mine because it was so good! He took some jello for later in the evening. Apparently, jello can spoil within an hour if it’s not refrigerated. I didn’t know that.

We got the gloves for him after the visit to the bakery and that was it. It was time to go home. I waited with him until the train came, we kissed goodbye when it did, and we left. Honestly, as much as I wanted to get out of the cold, I was still kind of sad we had to split ways. It’s the same way I feel every time we have to go home.

Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays because it’s supposed to be a day about love, but this one will probably always be my favorite for being my first one where I had a valentine. The year is still very early, but I’m going to consider this as one of my favorite days of this year.