New Website

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Hello my wonderful followers!

I wanted to inform you all that I have moved over a proper blog that features both my informal and formal writing. 

The site is emilywrites.net
Thank you for faithfully reading my posts for all these years. You’re all wonderful!
M

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On: Strength

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Good evening my beautiful readers,

Tonight I am thinking of strength. Whenever I feel a bought of depression coming (I can often tell up to three days in advance) I push myself really hard to be positive, to build up my friendships, bury myself in projects, attract attention — anything to keep me from falling in the rabbit hole. Inevitably, though, I fall and I sink and my spirit breaks.

The only things that pull me out of my bouts are distraction and attention. Firstly, distraction is simple. Bury myself into a book or movie or TV show and feeling someone else’s story gets me out of my own head. Sometimes this isn’t enough. The second is attention, less simple.

I do not enjoy expressing that I am depressed. I do not get any sort of pleasure out of admitting that the chemical imbalance in my brain has caused me to curl up into the ball both emotionally and physically. That said, it’s hard to talk to people when I’m depressed. I crave TLC but it’s extremely difficult for me to get out anything other than a one-word answer. I can’t just say “cheer me up” or “help” when it’s without obvious reason, it makes people think I’m too much to handle.

I am too much to handle but I don’t want anyone else to know that, duh.

In these really dark times (if you couldn’t tell, I’m in one) the strongest thing I can do is reach out to someone. Even if it’s “how was your day” because I am so in my own head and my own cruel, self deprecating thoughts that I feel hatred toward every action I take. Each word I say comes with a mental lash, but it’s all with the hope of someone showing me a little love.

When it doesn’t work, the darkness gets worse. When it does? I can see light again.

All I can do is stay strong and try.

What It Means to be “Better”

Recently, I have been engaging in some pretty hearty philosophical conversation. As someone who once philosophically bested a self-proclaimed intellectual in a 24-hour diner at 2am with a questionable blood alcohol content level, I’m a big fan of these types of discussions. But it definitely has me reaffirming my own ideals, especially about humanity.

One thing that has been on my mind in particular is the idea of being “better” than anther person. So many people profess that peoples lives can be classed. Every female rapper in the history of time has shown sassy confidence while putting others down and the corporate lifestyle pushed being bigger, stronger, better than other companies.

I used to be a tutor, as most of you likely know, so I don’t really like or appreciate this concept. I had students who may have grasped certain ideas more fluidly and easily, but that didn’t make them better than the students who struggled.

So I don’t believe that people are better than other people. But I do believe in something similar, that is that people who fully seek and take advantage of opportunities to make themselves more experienced, moral, ethical, educated, or kind does afford you a certain merit that those who ignore these opportunities lack.

Take for instance my students, I had some that were still starting out in life, late teens/early twenties and so full of potential. But sometimes they would skip tutoring or when they were there wouldn’t pay attention, were rude, or gave up quickly if they didn’t understand something immediately. On the other hand, I remember one student in particular: an old man, probably in his early 70s, taking a biology class. Now to most people it’s stupid, why would he need to learn that? He didn’t need to, he wanted to. When he first became my student he was failing the class and his self-esteem was so low that he couldn’t look me, 19-year-old blonde me, in the eyes. He came to every session diligently prepared with notes and questions. He passed with a B. That man was learning. He was taking advantage of opportunity and embracing life even if it was tough for him.

I do not think that man is better than you or I or anyone, but I hope that everyone has the same determination to make themselves an individual worth noting. We all have trying circumstances, we all have certain advantages or disadvantages, but we should never let defeat grip us. Seize opportunities to improve yourself in whatever way you can, remember that you are no better than other people, but be prideful of your accomplishments and that you took advantage of the life you’ve been given.

On: Being blurred by social norms

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As a child, I wore glasses. Not just any glasses, either, they were those really great, large, oval frames that characterized the 90s in their Macaulay Culkin-esque glory. Of course, everyone naturally assumed I wore these because of poor vision. In all actuality, I had nearly perfect vision and still do today. Why, then, was I forced into wearing this metaphorical anchor dragging down my self-esteem?

I had a wandering eye.

No, I wasn’t some pervy child who peered up skirts and gazed at the zippers of pantsuits. This is not an idiom. I had a literal wandering eye.

To this day if I’m caught off-guard to look very intently in a direction other than straight ahead you can still see the curvature of my right eyeball is unnecessarily more acute than the other. (As seen in the overwhelmingly beautiful picture below.) In my opinion, my wandering eye is one of my best quirks for the following reasons:
1) It’s sort of a secret, no one can tell I once resembled the sister that Tweedledee and Tweedledum refuse to admit they had.
2) My eyes are a very bright, Zooey Deschanel blue, so even though I once had to deal with major self-esteem issues concerning it my eyes are now considered to be one of my better features.
3) Everyone has crooked teeth and has to get braces but how many people can honestly say “Yeah my eye would just not stay put so I had to discipline it with modern medicine.” Not many. But I can.

So, what’s the point of my rant? Well, my eye reminds me to not overlook the odd ones. Someone may seem out of place or even uncomfortably awkward, but that doesn’t mean their vision is impaired. They may see the world so much more clearly than I do and they may have the most beautiful qualities inside, like the pure, sky blue of my own oddity. If we only limit ourselves to ideas, experiences, or people that fit our idea of “normal” or “acceptable” we cut ourselves off from what may be brilliant and extraordinary. I hope that when I hear someone say something that sounds strange or weird to me, I’ll remember that my vision was never impaired by my circumstances, and that maybe they’re just seeing the world more clearly than I am.

All for now

Em

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I’m officially published!

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Hello everyone!

I wanted to give all of my lovely followers a quick update that I have recently been given the honor to be included in an anthology of short stories entitled “The Salmagundi”. I am responsible for two out of the twenty stories, although in all honesty I am probably the last reason to purchase this book, the other authors are absolutely phenomenal.

All I’m asking is that you read the introduction as written by my editor/publisher (and the sample if you are so inclined). If you feel moved to actually purchase the anthology I would be so thankful, but I promise you that you won’t regret it. This $3.99 is supporting up-and-coming writers like myself and what we can accomplish if all appreciators of the art get involved! All proceeds for the time being are just being put back into production cost (a paperback is planned to come out in two weeks at $9.99, but will likely only be available in central North Carolina, USA). We aren’t looking to get rich, we simply want others to benefit from what we have been able to create.

The link to the amazon kindle page is here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KCC44EY

Please, please, please give us little authors a chance and I appreciate your support so much in my endeavors,

M

On: Religion’s Role in Social Media

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Greetings,

For anyone who spends a decent amount of time with me, it becomes blatantly obvious through my habits and behaviors that I am a religious person. For anyone who judges me based on my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages, it may not be as obvious. I realize this is slightly abnormal: most people of strong faith actively mention it on social media, as it is a major part of their lives. I am “friends” with many people of many belief systems: Islam, Buddhism, Agnostic/Atheistic/Secular, and, being raised in the Bible Belt, varying denominations of Christianity. I often see posts, pictures, quotes, or self-testimonies promoting each individual’s own beliefs and my religious content (or lack thereof) online has been questioned or mentioned to me on many occasions, as if refraining from doing so made me less Christian. Some posts even condone this type of thinking: “Such-and-such% will not share this, are you the percentage that will? Share if you love Jesus.”

This is not to say I disrespect other people’s rights or in any way feel that sharing your beliefs is wrong, but for myself personally I do not feel that social media is the proper forum for such a thing. If you were to ask me personally about my beliefs I would have no qualms expressing myself, but I, personally, do not feel comfortable publicizing it. Why?

In all honesty, one main Scripture comes to mind. Jesus, when instructing his disciples how to pray, reminded them how not to when he said: “‘Also, when you pray, do not act like the hypocrites, for they like to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the main streets to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your private room and, after shutting the door, pray to your Father who is in secret. Then your Father who looks on in secret will repay you.'” (Matthew 6:5,6) While Jesus may have been talking specifically about praying, I feel the principle applies all around. Posting on social media, for me personally, feels like I’m just trying to draw attention to myself instead of to God, where it belongs. 

Again, I am not in any way stating that this makes me better than someone who chooses to express their faith or religious experiences through social media; I am simply stating why I am so careful and particular about doing so.

I would much rather be seen as a Christian because of my actions: showing unconditional love toward others, being kind, and upholding Bible standards, than by my internet presence.

All for now,

M

On: Owning Your Voice

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I realize, my dear and loyal follower, that it has been an obscenely long time since I have posted anything. Over the past day, though, I have been revisiting advice once given to me. I’m glad that it popped up in my mind because it became forcibly needed this evening.

At the age of seventeen, I was odd, surprisingly quiet, and very unsure of myself. After having my opinions suppressed and thoughts disregarded for years by many in my life (from friends to family to boyfriends) I, without even noticing, second-guessed everything I said. All of my jokes, statements, questions, etc. ended in phrases like “I guess,” “I mean, I don’t know,” “nevermind,” or (the worst) “I’m sorry.” Again, I didn’t even realize I did this. At the same age, seventeen, I began my first official job at a chain pizza buffet greeting customers and managing the cash register. I had a manager there who I really bonded with, we had a similar sense of humor and taste in things like books and music. One day, after having given an innumerable amount of disclaimers as I did, he looked up at me and said “Why do you do that?”

I genuinely had no clue what he was referring to, so he explained it to me. Then he told me the following: “Emily, don’t second-guess your opinions or your thoughts. They are yours to have, own them! Never apologize for what you believe, and don’t ever ever apologize for how you feel.”

I didn’t know at the time, but this turned out to be some of the most valuable counsel I ever received.

So whatever you’re going through, remember that your voice and what you have to say matters. It doesn’t matter if you have a fourth grade education or a PhD, high-income or low-income, race, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, political stance, religious affiliation, country of origin, social status — none of it matters. You are important in this world and what you say matters. Say what you feel and think, stand behind it, because your voice is yours for the owning.

Obviously there is power in this realization and with power comes the potential for corruption. So yes, absolutely stick to how you think and believe and feel, but don’t assume you’re always correct in that. Hitler stuck to his guns, that doesn’t mean they were the right guns. Sometimes how we think needs adjusting and what we say should’ve been said differently: embrace those opportunities to grow as much or more than your ability to form and hold an opinion.

All for now,

Emily

On: The Overwhelming Pressure of Existence

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Hello.

The past few days I have been feeling overwhelmed and depressed for no particular reason at all, other than the obvious chemical disasters in my brain. The smallest things have been setting off major mood changes and then built upon by my own insecurity and its reactions to the fuel of living in a world full of imperfect people. Like my friends are super inconsistent in their speaking with me and some other stuff is going on that I don’t feel entirely comfortable discussing here. Basically nothing major is happening (which might also be the problem) but some minor things are happening and it makes me very sick to my stomach and just . . . sad. Creatively I feel like I’m at a wall; I wrote five pages last night, really not much, and it’s more journalistic than creative. I feel very at a loss, I just want to sleep or listen to music or have someone show they genuinely care about me. I’m feeling very alone, ignored, and insignificant. 

During these periods I tend to pull away from everyone, which I am aware is the exact wrong thing to do, but it’s what I feel like I deserve. I don’t deserve to have people care about me or worry about me, so I pull away for the betterment of everyone. People have their own problems, they don’t need mine on top of it, even if they wanted it.

You might see me write here more while I go through this bout.

All for now.

Emily