Sunday, August 31, 2014

Things I've Never Said #3

Dear All of the People Who Have Been Assholes to Me Once I Tell Them I'm An Atheist, 
I always have to hold my tongue around you people, and I freaking hate it. I know I should probably tell you to go fuck yourselves, but if I did that, I'd already be confirming your opinion about atheists. So usually I try to meekly defend myself or change the conversation. Usually, however, you people are so disturbed by the fact I tell you that I'm an atheist that you just can't let it go. And usually, if you're Christian, you get to talk about your religion all you want If you happen to be fundamentalist, every once in a while some more moderate Christian people will slam you for it and make fun of you, but I definitely think I get more slack for being an atheist. I'm not allowed to criticize your beliefs, because somehow religion is different from all other beliefs in that it's somehow immune from criticism. 

Here are a few things I would like to explain to you, because most of you seem to be pretty ignorant and are usually otherwise awesome people. In some cases, I am the first out atheists that these people have met

#1: I don't have to explain myself to you. I don't owe you an explanation for my atheism. My beliefs and personal opinions are my beliefs and personal opinions are honestly none of your business unless I happen to let them be. If you want to nicely have a conversation about our theological differences, awesome (I actually love these conversations). If not, then let's let the topic of religion drop, shall we? I know how much some of you would just prefer I silently pretend to be religious, but I like to be genuine about myself. You might think I should be ashamed of this aspect of me, but I am not. 

#2: Being an atheist does not make me a monster or some alien creature. I'm still the person you knew and loved before.I have a conscience. While being religious may be a large part of who you are, being non-religious is a very small part of who I am. Most of the time, I don't even think about my being an atheist, except when it comes up or when you try to make me feel uncomfortable about it.  I'm probably more like you than I am unlike you. I put my pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else. In fact, I almost wish the word "atheist" didn't exist, because that almost makes it sound like my atheism is a part of me, which it is not.

#3:  I don't actually care about the fact that you're religious or spiritual or whatever. Seriously, I don't. I know a good deal of you act like my atheism is somehow an affront on your religious beliefs, but it's not. I mean, yes, I care when you shove it down my throat. I care when you use it to justify your bigotry. I care when you think it gives you a free pass to be judgmental or be a totally awful person. But in general, I don't care that you're religious. It really doesn't affect my life whatsoever. Do I like religion? To be honest, not really. I think it does more harm than good, because I think all of the good things that religion does can be done through secular means. But it's your life. I've found most atheists don't really care, either, and the ones who do are usually just as obnoxious as you are. In my early days of atheism, I can say this wasn't always the case, but I like to think that I've evolved now. I know and love a good deal of people who happen to believe in God. It's fine. 

#4: I don't hate God. I don't believe in God. Saying that me being an atheist means I hate God is like saying you hate Santa Claus because you don't believe in Santa Claus. You can't hate something you don't believe exists.
#5: It's extremely obnoxious when you ask, "Don't you believe in anything?" Yes, I believe in many things: love, family, kindness, the Golden Rule, etc. Just not in any gods. I have found that it is quite possible to be moral and be an atheist. I don't try and be a good person because I think someone is watching me. I try and be a good person because I care about the welfare of society and the people (and creatures) around me. It brings me great pain to see someone around me get hurt, so I want to minimize the amount of harm that I do. 

#6: It's also obnoxious when you say, "But wouldn't it be so much better to believe in a god?" or "Why aren't you more open-minded?" or "Why don't you just believe in a god? It wouldn't hurt" or worse yet, "I know you know deep down that you believe in God." Honestly, concerning whether or not it's better to believe in God, everyone is different. If it makes you feel better to believe in a god, awesome. Overall, it doesn't make me feel better to believe in a god. If you believe in a god, especially in an infallible one who controls our fate, then you have to contend with a lot of awful things: world hunger, natural disasters, horrifying disabilities (ex. Tay-Sachs), inequality, most awful things. I don't have to worry about that. Anyway, it's not like I can change what I believe anymore than you could make yourself that fire is hot. I just don't believe in a god. And no, I don't believe it deep down. I just don't believe. Also, it's an issue that I've thought about quite a bit, but it's ultimately what I think. I might change my mind, but for the present being, this is my opinion. Perhaps you're the one who isn't so open-minded. 

#6: Oh and, by the way, when I tell you that I'm an atheist, please don't tell me that my grandmother is "in a better place" and "looking over me". You're only making yourself feel better, not me. When my grandmother had recently died and people kept telling me this, I only felt like they were shoving religion down my throat at a time when I was vulnerable and it also hurt because it only reminded me that I believe that she is gone and gone forever. As much as I would like to believe in an afterlife, I don't. This is one downside to being an atheist, but it is what it is. So if I lose anyone else in the future, please don't do this. 

That is all. Now, you were saying? 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Things I've Never Said #2

Dear People Who Are Assholes About Me Having Pet Rats,
I am so sick of dealing with you people. Like, seriously I am. I have had enough. It's one thing when I get a rat hater who keeps their hateful comments to themselves. That's fine, I guess; everyone's different. Yet when you feel the need to share your opinion totally unprovoked, I get angry.

I'll happen to let you know that, yes, domesticated rats do make wonderful pets and I don't mean that sarcastically. I'm not talking about their wild relatives in the sewers, but the rats they sell at pet stores ( no, they're not the same, any more than wolves and dogs are the same). Rats are friendly, cuddly and can learn tricks, making them not only awesome but the superior rodent. You can meet my rats if you'd like, although I doubt you'd be open to the possibility. It's a shame you're so close-minded. If you want a little less love in your life, that's a shame.

Another thing: my rats will not give me the plague. They will not kill me. In fact, domesticated rats have just as many diseases as their cat and dog brethren (oh to all the smart asses who would like to respond "the bubonic plague", that's not A) not a disease pet rats carry and B) it's not even a disease in the Western world). Read it and weep, bitches:
So how about you bite your tongue and read up a little, hmm?

Anyway, I know that, once you get past your "logical" arguments, you'll finally admit their tails gross you out. A cosmetic thing isn't really something I can argue with. The occasional one of you will suggest I cut them off. Not only is that cruel and barbaric, but those tails do, believe it or not, serve a purpose and that's to help with balance. I personally think it has a lot of character, but that's me.
At any rate, I happen to love my babies. You may find this difficult to wrap your head around, but I do. So seriously, just screw off.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

College Frenzy

Apparently, I was supposed to actively start applying for college in the summer. My bad. Anyway, now I'm going to try to catch up when I get back from vacation, so that isn't a big deal.

What is a big deal is this whole college thing in the first place. I mean, exactly how many hoops do I have to jump through to get into college anyway? These college books make it sound so complicated. It just seems that there are so many complicated maneuvers you have to go through: ACT/SAT, all of these prep classes, the college essay. Then, even on the application itself, there are all of these short answer questions and you're supposed to tease out just the right way to answer them. I mean, what am I supposed to say? Failure doesn't seem like an option when I'm competing with thousands of other people.
I don't know why I'm stressing out so much over this, but I am. At night, I'm thinking about it and it's giving me the creeps. How in the world am I supposed to do this? What am I supposed to do after this?
I feel a bit at a loss. Maybe it won't seem like that big of a deal when I'm actually in college, but for now the task seems absolutely monumental. Community college is starting to seem more and more appealing. I suppose I'll find out soon enough how I fare. Wish me luck

Monday, August 25, 2014

Things I've Never Said #1

Here's to all the things I wish I was able to say, but never quite could...
Dear "Virginia",
I know there's a slight chance you might be reading this blog, but I doubt it. You never were much interested in things that I did, but you always expected me to be interested in the things that you were interested in. I guess our friendship was always like that, one-sided.

I don't know why I've been thinking about you so much this summer, but I have been. You come up at odd moments in certain dreams, in conversations. I still share many of your interests (I am not as obsessed as you are, but I enjoy them quite a bit and when I am watching them, I often think of you). And I don't know why, but I miss you.

You were not the best friend in the world. The fact that you failed to bother to try to keep in touch with me proves that. So often, you were too wrapped up in your problems to notice mine but, to be honest, I was often too wrapped up in my problems to really pay attention to yours. We had drifted. I admit that, towards the end, I might have pushed you away a little. I had written you off.

Yet there were the other moments, too. I will always cherish those Thursday nights I spent at your house where we binged on Coke and Domino's pizza without a care in the world. I will smile as you tried to teach me the choreography to the Thriller dance.

There was no big finale to our friendship, no final blow. It simply dissipated. There was no resolution to any of this. And that is probably what has been bothering me even now, that lack of finality, what could have been. Or it's probably that frustration knowing that you never cared about me the way I cared about you.

I bet you'll never read this, that you don't think about me as often as I think about you. And that's just the way it is. I will go in one direction, you another. We may meet again, but probably not. I wish you well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Random Thoughts: Friendship

Friendship has always been so complicated for me. It feels like the harder I try to hold on to it, the more it eludes me. Over the years, I had to say that I have only found two genuine friendships. By genuine friendships, I mean friendships that are two-sided, friendships that require effort on both sides. You know, with both parties making it a point to stay in touch and hang out, both parties listening and confiding in the other.

I do believe that most of my other friends cared for me in some way, just not enough. Not enough to bother to keep in touch or to pick up the phone. I suppose they enjoyed me while I was around them and then forgot about me while I was gone.

Perhaps this would do for others, but it didn't do for me. I need close, intimate friendships, a variety that's hard to find. So far, a good deal of my life has been desperately seeking these friendships out and mourning when I didn't get it. It wasn't all in vain, though, because I did find it.

It was so much simpler when I was younger, when a friend was someone I could call upon to play with me and slights could be so easily fixed. Yet in other ways it was much the same, because even then I was different from the other kids.

In my lonely moments, it's easy to say friendship isn't worth it. Yet, in better moments, I know that it is. At its simplest, friendships can offer a good time. For instance, I've went away on a lot of two week camps and, during that time, I've made some pretty intense connections. I can't blame them for not keeping in touch given the distance. Friendship makes you feel like you're not alone, like someone actually cares. It gives you someone to confide in. I think a lot of the problem is that I'm looking for too much and I'm way too desperate about it.

I treasure the two deep friendships that I have. One friend is far away, someone I talk to online every day. I don't see her that often, but when I do, I have quite the time with her. The other friend goes to my school. I don't talk to her every day, but we're together more. When we are together, we can't stop talking; we click so well.

This will probably be a struggle for quite some time for me. I don't think I'll ever really understand it, just appreciate it when it comes

Monday, August 11, 2014

Getting My Wisdom Teeth Pulled Out

This was me, but not as nicely made up
Bye bye wisdom teeth!
On Friday, I got my wisdom teeth pulled. Fortunately, I only had two teeth that needed pulling as opposed to a full set of four. Now, I am still at home resting, but at least I'm lucid at this point.

I tried not to think of it most of the summer, because I knew the thought of it would dampen my summer with dread. But as more time passed, I couldn't avoid it anymore. The truth was unavoidable: I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled.

At first, I tried the course of denial. I looked all over online and presented evidence against it (an estimated twenty percent of wisdom teeth procedures are unnecessary). Looking over the evidence, my mother simply said, "It's already scheduled."

After that, I kept insisting that I was going to eat shortly before the surgery, so that I wouldn't have to do it. But then I realized that I would be left just with just my dad and also that I would have to get the surgery eventually so I

might as well suck it up. So I stayed up until like 11:45 and had one last solid food binge, and then compliantly went to sleep.

I didn't have much time to sleep since I had to wake up in the morning, but I figured it didn't matter, because I was going to have plenty of time to sleep once they put me under.

At least the wait wasn't that long. I had some time to read, but it wasn't forever. There was another girl who had to get her wisdom teeth pulled out as well, and she was just as nervous. We both got our x-rays, me first. The x-ray showed that I still had my two wisdom teeth to pull out, both on the same side, and that she had to get four pulled out (she thought she only had to get two pulled out). The dentist said I had the "best case scenario", although the best case scenario would be one where I didn't have to get any out at all (except for him, obviously). My teeth were already impacted, so the surgery was necessary after all.

Finally, I was taken back for surgery. The dental assistants gave me a mask and put it over my nose. They called it laughing gas, but it only made me more nervous. Instead of simply blacking out, I zipped in and out of consciousness, stars and dark spots dancing all around me as I became increasingly dizzy. I registered the sensation of someone putting an IV in my arm while someone asked me if I knew someone from my school who graduated two years ago. The last thing I remember was the dentist asking me to open my mouth.

When I woke up, I was incredibly confused. I didn't quite understand what had happened to me, how I ended up on a chair one minute and laying down on the bed the next. My mom tried to explain things to me, but I was still confused, prattling nonsense as I tried desperately to make sense of everything. I was so dizzy I needed both of my parents to help walk me to the car.

I gained more awareness as the day went on. My cheek was pretty sore, but it wasn't too bad. I also looked like a chipmunk due to my swollen cheek.

For the next few days, I had a hard time swallowing anything and the only thing I could really manage were cold liquid things (mashed potatoes were painful too).  I had (and still have) a battery of medication to take. The swelling in my cheek reduced, which makes swallowing easier now. Now it just feels like I have a giant ulcer.

Overall, I've been healing pretty well. I was told that I was going to possibly experience a black eye due to how close the one wisdom tooth was to my sinuses, but I have not. I also haven't experienced any nausea (if anything, I've had a bigger appetite than ever). Last night, I had my first solid meal in a while (crab cakes, baked potatoes and blueberry pie!). The pills have me pretty knocked out and my mouth is still pretty sore. I'll count the day I've officially recovered as the day I can brush my teeth without wanting to squeal in pain.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Hiatus

I decided to take the month of July off from writing this blog, because I had realized that, in the pressure to write a certain number of blog posts every month, I had been writing blog posts that haven't been up to the standards that I've wanted to write. So I took that time off.

In that time off, I've spent my energies on other things: other writing projects, other activities to spend my time with. I've decided that I probably shouldn't pressure myself to post as often, because it isn't fair to me and probably not fair to you, especially with school coming up.

I've been planning a few different things. I'll continue the "Random Thoughts" idea to see what my random streaming of thoughts and if it's of any sort of interest to anyone else. I might write some memoir-type pieces on here too.

But I'll see. I'm back now and here to write. Maybe a little less, but that's okay.