Retro Post: When Did Being Human Go Out of Fashion

Posted as a “Rant” on my original crushedmuffin.com site, 2002. Still believe it.

When Did Being Human Go Out of Fashion?
POSTED  13-OCTOBER-2002
I mean, look around at the number of people having lifts and tucks, enlargements and enhancements.  Permanent makeup, there is a concept for you.  Get tattoos on the sensitive parts of your face, so don’t ever have to worry about putting makeup on again.  There are pills and procedures for removing wrinkles, removing fat, enhancing your sexual life, making your lips more pouty, keeping your hair a young color etc. etc. etc.I partially blame the advertising schemers of our century.  The models and ideals that are represented in almost every advertisement nowadays represent less than 2 percent of the actual living population.  Yet this is what people feel like they MUST look like in order to gain any sort of acceptance in society.  But you can’t just blame the advertisers.  We also have to blame the people that buy into this image.  It’s a sad fact of American society today that we feel that in order to be the best we can be, we have to look a particular way.  We accept what the advertisers tell us; thus reinforcing this image, in turn telling the advertisers this is what we WANT to see.  This is how we WANT to be judged.

It has come to the point where we don’t even realize that these images, these advertisements, effect the way we perceive ourselves.  It’s a sad time when we have diseases such as anorexia and bulimia that take toll on people’s health, just so they can try to reach what they see as the “ideal” image of themselves.  These are sicknesses were the ill person doesn’t even in realize what they’re doing to their bodies. They can’t see the damage that they are doing.  They just see someone who isn’t thin enough.

This is not a new phenomenon either.  Throughout history there have always been different “ideals” for body types.  At one point in history being large showed how wealthy were.  The more wealth you had, the less you actually had to DO.  The less you had to do, the more you could eat and retain your shapely form.  Nowadays tanning beds provide hours that people don’t actually have to lie in the sun, but can still walk away with a nice glowing tan.  In times gone by, the paler you were, the more attractive.  Lighter flesh showed that you were wealthy enough that you did not have to work in the actual sun, instead you can lounge about all day indoors without a care in the world.

Nowadays, wealth is shown by how much time you can spend a gym, tanning salons, and how much you can spend on expensive “touchup” operations and procedures.  It seems that the “ideal” body is always dictated by perceived wealth.

I can’t wait for the day when the “ideal” is being able to afford to be yourself.  When we don’t feel that we have to stand up to the measures that other people set, and that society seems to hold so dear.  In the days where the natural beauty that each of us possesses is allowed to shine through, perhaps we’ll realize how wealthy we all are in our own rights.  Not material wealth, but rather the wealth of knowledge, creativity, and beauty that each of us possesses deep inside.

When the day comes where everyone is comfortable being who they were born to be, without all the operations and procedures, pills and processes, that will be an indication that our world has come to a point were everyone is truly equal.  When material objects no longer matter, and people are based truly by what’s inside.  That will be happy day and something we should strive for.

Retro Post, Fiction: What Love Means

Written 2/7/2005, based on the prompt that is the first line. Originally posted on my writing Livejournal (nanoweylyn.livejournal.com) and then on the original CrushedMuffin.com site.

[cryout-pullquote align=”center” textalign=”left” width=”85%”]”I thought love meant never having to say you’re sorry.”

Madison stopped at the words. “No, Kyra, that’s infallibilty,” she said, and resumed her trip to the wardrobe. “And that’s something neither of us is.”

Madison removed the last of her clothing from the hangers, and shoved them in the duffel bag that sat, overflowing, on the end of the bed. “Unless, maybe, you’re God, and just forgot to tell me,” she added, zipping the bag shut for emphasis. She knew she was being cruel to Kyra, but she also knew that if she wasn’t, she’d give in to the tears that were now streaming down the younger girl’s face, and stay. Again. It was a pattern she was tired of.

“You…you know…I…wouldn’t…do anything…to hurt you,” Kyra managed to get out through her sobs. The “not intentionally” which followed was mumbled, but Madison heard it. Just as she’d heard it numerous times before.

“That’s not going to cut it this time, Kyra. It’s the same old tune you always have, and somehow, no matter how you swear it will never happen agian, it always does. And I’m the one that gets screwed, Kyra. Me. I’m not about to stick around and let it happen again.”

Madison picked up the duffel bag in one hand and flung her backpack over her other shoulder, grabbing her purse in her free hand. “I’ll send Davie or Tracy over for the rest,” she said and moved for the door.

Kyra got there first and stood in front of the door, her arms outstretched. Madison kept her eyes focused on the door. “Move.”

“Just let me explain, Madison. I’m sorry, I really am. But nothing happened, not like you think. Peter’s the one who approached me, not vice versa, and besides-”

“I said move,” Madison said through clenched teeth. The duffel bag was heavy in her hand, but she would not set it down. It was the only thing keeping her from lashing out and punching. At Kyra, at the door, she didn’t know, and didn’t care, which one she migh hit.

“Just look at me, goddammit. I know I’ve done things that have royally screwed you before, and I know it was more than I deserved each time you forgave me. How could I not? Everyone was always telling me you were too good for me. Everyone told me I should just leave, since I caused you so much pain – I know I did, and I’m sorry. And I know I don’t deserve another chance, not after all I’ve done. But you always trusted me. You always believed I could be better. And I tried to be better, because you knew I could be. But I’m not that goood, and I kept failing. But you always caught me and set me back on track. You made me better than I ever dreamed I could be, and I love you for that.”

“If you love me,” Madison said, meeting the younger girl’s eyes momentarily, “let me go.” She focused on the weight of the backpack on her shoulder and the nylon handles digging into her hand to get her mind off the pleading voice. She stared at the door, picking out individual grains to override the image of Kyra’s tear streaked face and pouty lips.

“I will, I just… I swear nothing happened this time. Not like the other times. Not with Peter. He came to me, upset, and we talked. I swear that’s all. But you don’t believe me. Of course you don’t,” Kyra said miserably. “When have I ever given you reason to trust me.”

Kyra stepped aside, opening the door.

“Thank you,” Madison said, carefully controlling her voice to keep it steady. She looked out the door, but didn’t move.

“Madi?” Kyra’s voice was tentative. Madison could hear the hope in it.

“Good bye,” Madison said, and walked out the door.[/cryout-pullquote]

Retro Post: My Thoughts on Why I Write

The following is a post I made on an earlier iteration of the CrushedMuffin site. Below the post, I will toss in my current-state two-cents; what the “now” me thinks about what the “then” me wrote.

[cryout-pullquote align=”center” textalign=”left” width=”80%”]

My Thoughts On Why I Write

POSTED  10-AUGUST-2002
I think I’m a writer at heart, or rather, soul. As my current project I was was going through my filing cabinets, purging things I’ve had tucked away for who-knows-how-long, and I have found a lot (several folders full) of my creative writing. I also have, elsewhere (another project to go through) a box of journals. I think I started keeping them off and on around the fifth grade. I began to wonder why I write so much. I think it is in order to explain me to myself.Skimming my poetry, and setting it aside to type and save on a CD ROM disc (another new project) I see some creative imagery, but also a lot of introspection. I have, in the past, tried meditating, feeling it was important to try to find the inner me, what I mean to myself, my beliefs…my core. It never seemed to work. It has just occurred to me, 25 years into my life, that perhaps I don’t need the candles, the quiet music the lying still on the bed trying to relax my entire body and clear my mind. Perhaps I just need a pen and paper. I write to release my soul, to discover who I am.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not closing my eyes and doing that automatic writing exercise, where you let the pen do what it will, calling on whatever may be present in you. Rather, I figure things out on paper. I go through my thoughts, my mind, my soul, step by step I pick up the pieces, turn them over in my hands as I examining them in words, and place these pieces in a (hopefully) logical place in myself where I can find it again later. I write to get to know me.

Well, I’ve decided, once I begin that monumental task of typing all my handwritten prose, I’m going to select bits of my soul that I don’t mind sharing, and placing them on my writings page. And this writing- it started out as a write for myself, but I decided to invite an audience. Welcome to a little piece of my soul.

I think I’m going to try to write something, anything, for my website and change it out every week or two. It may be soul-searching, it may be a strong statement of my beliefs, it may be silly prose I come up with on a bad afternoon, but I have decided to invite you to join me in my life-long quest to understand myself.

[/cryout-pullquote]

Current status: Well, I now have a two-drawer file cabinet full of folders of fiction, no fewer than eight three ring binders of novels and one of poetry (those are the ones correctly shelved, though I’m convinced I have at least one more novel somewhere). Additionally, I have electronic versions of the same stories, and of stories I’ve not yet had reason to print – on my computer, in the cloud, on flash drives and CDs.

I still journal, though for a while I was concentrating on the Morning Pages model from The Artists Way. I still have all these journals – stored away in my office in tubs and boxes and sitting on shelves.

I don’t recall how far I got typing in the handwritten pages, though I’ve had that thought (or scanning them) enough times since then that I think I didn’t get very far. At least not with the straight up journaling – A review of the old contents of crushedmuffin.com tells me I did manage to type up a significant portion of the fiction and poetry.

And I have considered traditional meditation again and again in the 13 years since this post (honestly, I was surprised to find that I had been trying it, or at least considering it, for so long – it feels like a more current development in my life). I think in some regards the younger me had more insight into how my brain works, or at least, more self awareness.

The idea that writing is how I explore my self, and come to know myself better feels both foreign (like it wasn’t my idea), and right. I wonder what has happened in the intervening years that made me lose sight of this – what convinced me that I need to seek other forms of meditation? I’m not discounting the fact that people change over the years, and how they interact with the world can subsequently change, but am opening myself up to the idea that maybe the younger me had some wisdom worth re-examining.