A typical conversation between the White* sisters.

*White is our last name, which happens to coincide with our race. In this case it is only referencing the former.

Sister: Have you ever listened to Santa-Gold?

Me: Never heard of it.

Sister: <Spouts off lyrics that mention “gift” and “gold” and “wishes”>

Me: I don’t know what that is.

Sister: Here I’ll play some.

<Music playing>

Me: Is it Christmas music?

Sister: No… Santigold is a black woman from Brooklyn…

Me: That makes a lot more sense.

Sarah White

Hey look, I wrote something and it wasn’t self-published!

Check it out! I wrote something for this cool website called BurnThis. The website brings together various resources like local studio reviews and talented fitness/healthy foodie bloggers to provide you with tools to live an active, healthy life. This way you don’t have to filter out all the nonsense you usually find online. They are bringing part of their focus to Portland and I’ll be writing some studio reviews for them. I wrote a personal fitness story and here’s an excerpt:

“It was always the same, I’d lift a piece of furniture, pick up one of many adorable nieces to play “Airplane,” or spend an extra three hours sitting in front of my computer in order to make a deadline and then… Pain. Tingling, pulsating, stabbing aggravating pain would overcome my lower back. A car accident displaced a few discs about ten years ago, and after years of physical therapy and three surgeries it was still affecting my ability to be active, social, and, most importantly, the best aunt in the world.”

– Read the rest over at BurnThis...

It's also Fall so that means I'll probably start reading Harry Potter again so I can live vicariously through Hermione.

Why I miss being a teenager.

I can’t stop reading young adult novels and watching coming of age films and TV shows. I’m currently sweating off a binge-watching session of Buffy the Vampire Slayer whilst couch ridden with the flu and just caught the new coming of age movie The Spectacular Now. I also read all of John Green’s books over the summer and just started The Brothers K for the third time. I can’t seem to pry myself from stories of major transitions and heartache and redefining oneself – it just won’t stop!

It's also Fall so that means I'll probably start reading Harry Potter again so I can live vicariously through Hermione.

It’s also Fall so that means I’ll probably start reading Harry Potter again so I can live vicariously through Hermione.

Maybe it’s the nostalgia of remembering a time when I was younger and  more awkward (yes, that’s possible) and brimming with the type of teen angst that comes with growing up during the 90s, but I am experiencing bouts of melancholy that accompany the turning of leaves and crisp mornings. Fall always makes me remember returning to school every year with thoughts of new beginnings and “maybe this year I will be cooler and prettier and more popular.”

My teenage self invokes an “Oh, honey…” from my twenty-eight year old self.

My teenage self invokes an “Oh, honey…” from my twenty-eight year old self.

When I visited my parents this summer I read some of the poems and short stories I wrote as a kid; writing was a passion, therefore I wrote about everything. Memories of feeling embarrassed about my lack of boob-age, inadequate around popular boys, and incomparable around their equally popular and pretty girlfriends crashed over me like a rogue wave. I wouldn’t have called myself “unpopular” or “one of those outcasts” in high school, but I definitely wasn’t the Regina George of the place. Beneath these nostalgic feelings I actually found myself, wait for it, longing for my long lost teenage ability to feel my emotions without hiding or ignoring them.

There, I said it. I wish I had the emotional capability of a teenager again. My passion is storytelling, whether it’s about an awkward experience I had walking down the street last week, or about how pop culture affects our society. At one point in my life I purposely stuffed this passion into the attic of my mind and ignored it for more “grownup things.” It’s silly, I know. I left home, went to college, got married, started a career, paid my taxes, bought a new car, I deemed these kinds of things “important” because I thought I had to. It took a dramatic life changing event like a divorce to resurrect my real passions and put me in touch with feelings I haven’t looked in the eye for a long time, since I was in my teens.

John Green says it perfectly in this interview:

“…teenagers don’t create ironic distances between themselves and their experiences the way that adults do. They’re deliciously unafraid of feeling. As adults, we don’t tend to look directly at those questions. It’s like looking at the sun for us. Teenagers are really alive inside the emotional experience of being human.”

Boom. There it is. Nothing is more adult than the compartmentalization and repression of the feelings that come about as a result of our experiences. Yes, it comes paired with a dose of hormone surges and awkward body transformations but I want to capture a part of that impulsiveness and wanderlust in my search for real living. Nobody feels more alive and invincible than a sixteen year old and though that does tend to lead to bad decisions it can also lead to awesomeness. What can we do to make sure we don’t lose this as we venture into adulthood while focusing it toward doing awesome things?

Think about the people in this world that act on their urge to make positive changes. We have incredible young women like sixteen year old education activist/gave a giant finger to the Taliban by surviving their assassination attempt Malala Yousafzai who brought me to tears during her interview on The Daily Show last week.

Did you need to grab a tissue during that? How about Andy Didorosi who, only 25 at the time, started his own bus company when public transportation failed his community.

What if they had ignored their passion for education or love of their community in lieu of taking action toward creating change?

There are many studies in progress on the attitude and work ethic of the Millennial Generation (Generation Y), which is anyone born between 1980 and the early 2000s. We are called the “Me Generation” because of our self-entitlement and narcissistic tendencies, but at the same time we are more civic-minded than any other generation, and at a younger age. More and more teenagers are starting charities in their hometowns, twenty-somethings out of college are demanding a better work life balance while investing in their communities; who is to say we are less mature than the generations of our parents and grandparents were when they were our age? We just have a different way of utilizing our maturity and boy are we good at it.

This goes to say that we need to harness this optimism instead of calling it naiveté and capture this need to fervidly pursue a certain interest instead of calling it “a phase.” We shouldn’t ignore our feelings and disconnect from our passions. We can’t silence this teenage part of ourself and be completely happy at the same time; it’s a good part! Let it live! Let it do awesome things!

Over and out.

DFTBA

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 11.49.40 PM

Don’t Hit and Run, Kids!

I almost left the comma out of this post’s title. Don’t hit and run kids!

Also, best use case of “DAMN YOU AUTOCORRECT!”

I heart my friends.

I heart my friends.

I made the stupid decision to drive through SW Portland at 3:30 in the morning. My friend told me I could stay the night, but damn it I wanted my comfy bed and a cat under each arm while I slept before I drove four hours to my parents the next morning. I look back and curse my stubbornness and inability to sleep well in unfamiliar beds.

I pull up to a stoplight with my right turn signal on, another car is across the intersection with their left turn signal blinking away in the dark.  I’m singing over Katy Perry with close-to-sweet-desperation:

I got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR

The light turns green and I timidly pull forward to make sure I get my entitled “right of way.” The car graciously lets me turn and they pull in behind me. Alright, I’m on Scholls and will be home in approximately ten-ish minutes. The speed limit is 30, so I’m going 39 like a rebel with Katy Perry singing the soundtrack of my drive home that night:

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake your ground

<BAM>

And that’s when the car’s headlights suddenly appear in my rear-view mirror and the car rams into my behind like a spastic Saint Bernard in heat.

“GAH!”

“WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING?”

“ARE THEY STOPPING?”

“OH HELLS NO!”

As I pull over to the side of the road, the car proceeds to pass me, pulling into the other lane and speeding away, their license plate clearly visible on the well-lit road.

“I GOT YOU! I GOT YOU, YOU STUPID BASTARD!”

I chant the license plate out loud like a mantra so I don’t forget it and immediately dial the Beaverton dispatch from memory (thanks to my days at SARC) to report the hit and run. I have their license plate, make, model, color, all wrapped up with my anger. VINDICATION! Within ten minutes they send out a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy who even tried to track the car on the way, but was unable to catch them driving. I didn’t care, they weren’t getting away with this!

What baffled me and the deputy was the fact that the car was driving behind me, with knowledge of my location in front of them, for at least 10-15 seconds before they hit me. Were they drunk? Were they texting “LOL” to their adorbs bestie? Were they just crazy as hell? Who knows, but they were getting arrested that night. The deputy, who was extremely helpful and comforting throughout the whole process, sent someone out to check the registered address of the car, which was the 21 year old woman’s parents, but she wasn’t there and they didn’t know she had the car. He told me to go home and get some sleep (it was now around 4:45 am) and that he would track her down that night.

I got home at around five and my phone rang. The deputy tracked her down already and was on his way to arrest the woman. That was that!

VINDICATION!

I went to the doctor and my neck is just strained, but it still smarts some while the bumper of my car only has some small marks on it. Honestly, if she would have stopped, I would have taken a look at the minor damage to my car and said not to worry about it. For realsies peeps, don’t hit a car and then drive off. It’s a misdemeanor only if you don’t cause any harm, but if you do, it’s a Class A felony! Also, it’s a super dick move.

Take advice from Wil Wheaton.

introvert

5 Rules for Dating an Introvert

This has been on my mind for a while (and one of many unpublished posts) since I’ve seen a lot of traffic online made up of articles and lists like 23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert (why should it be a secret?), or Introvert v. Extrovert: Who’s Most Likely to Succeed?, and my personal favorite: How Not to be A Dick to an Introvert. While I completely identify with and own my introverted-ness, I don’t understand how it suddenly became “cool” to be an introvert. Seriously, Google “Introvert” right now and see how many articles have been posted about it within the past month. So what am I doing as a result? Why I am writing one of my own to add to the masses of course!
Part of me is annoyed with this outpour that seeks to tell me things about myself that I already know while also putting me in a box. Nothing causes me more frustration than when someone assumes that they have me “figured out.” At the same time I think it’s great that society is seeing the value in living a more internalized life when the tendency to over-share on social media is literally lingering at our fingertips. Yes, I really mean literally. As in our smart phones.

So how about dating? Dating an introvert can have its rewards and its frustrations. Believe me, people (a.k.a. men I’ve dated) have told me straight to my face how I’m “hard to read” or “it’s difficult to understand what hints are being dropped” (who says I am in the first place?). It goes without saying that relationships are two way streets and take work from both sides and part of this is knowing your partner’s weaknesses and strengths. Introverts’ strengths in particular, while awesome, are also a pain in the ass.

1. Be prepared to make the first moveWe’re cautious with our feelings and don’t open up to just anyone, so this goes for making the first move in a dating relationship. We aren’t typically the person in the bar that will just walk up to a total stranger of the opposite sex and strike up a conversation. We aren’t usually the one to go in for the first kiss or ask for a second date. Due to spending a lot of time on the sidelines thinking and digesting our surroundings, we aren’t one to stray into the field and into the endzone until we’ve thought through every possible outcome. Our biggest fear is this:

funny gifs

2. Be mindful of body language and facial expressions; these are the keys into our soul. For realsies. We hide behind a reserved manner and don’t usually verbalize our feelings outright because it can be difficult, and if we’re asked “What’s wrong” we will most likely become flustered and say “Nothing” until we can deliberate about it and then bring it up at a more opportune time. Timing is everything when an introvert is verbalizing their feelings, so if you can perceive a hint, it saves everyone time.  A certain coy smile or downturned/clenched mouth will be our tell that we are either pleased, or very much not amused. Also, the eyes; those bitches betray me all the time.

Beer and sunglasses are my only hope.

Beer and sunglasses are my only hope.

3. Be genuine. We see through that shit. Seriously, if you give off any hint of exaggerating a story, humble bragging, or worse yet, flat out lying, we will know and that’s that. Nothing is more repulsive to us than a fake smile or interest because we really really really really value the genuine. Introverts are very observant individuals and we notice a lot more than you may expect. If you seem false, you aren’t worth our time and you can forget about us opening up, let alone dating you.

I love you, Barney, but I would never ever ever ever ever date you.

I love you, Barney, but I would never ever ever ever ever sleep with you.

4. Be available. We don’t like to ask for help, because if we do, we tend to have this guilt complex that will cause us to feel like a gigantic burden. Yeah, it’s dumb. However, as a last result, and usually after some serious hand wringing and hair pulling (not the fun kind), we ask you to step up and help us with something important and you don’t try to make time for us, it will be a very long time before we can put ourselves in a position of depending on you again, if ever.

Analogy time: Fat guy = introverts. It would take about 20 minutes before he would ask those bitches for help.

Analogy time: This guy = Introverts. About 20 minutes would go by before he would ask those skinny bitches for help.

Awwww. I take it back. Look how nice they are.

Awwww. I take it back. Look how nice they are.

5. Be understanding about our need for solo time. Without it, we may become Manson-like psycho killers on a rampage for peace and quiet. This can include wanting to go home and sleep in our own bed, or if sharing, sleeping on our own side without your strait-jacket arms. Also, attending movies by ourselves, especially those cheap ones where you can sit in the back alone and gorge yourself on pizza and beer. While we love to be around people and socialize as much as the next extrovert, we need time in between engagements to recharge and gather ourselves. We will be so much more happy and enjoyable to be around if you give this to us. Clingy partners are every introverts’ worst nightmare.

overly-attached-girlfriend-memes-3

In conclusion, introverts as a rule are not entitled to special attention just because we are introverts. Introverts are assholes too. We aren’t some magical unicorn made of golden fleece that poops rainbows. Like I said earlier, relationships are giving and receiving, so if you give an introvert these things you will get a lot of awesomeness in return. Also, lots of blow jobs.

Sweater photo via trishwriter11.