So my roommate and I are moving, which I am actually pretty excited about. We’ve found a gorgeous new apartment and I’m looking forward to decorating and getting all our stuff into it. What I’m not so into, is the actual move itself. We started moving this past weekend and the only thing running through my head is “Why am I doing this to myself again?”. I mean I have been at my current apartment for a long time (for me). And this new place is really just awesome. And I have been really ready for some sort of change to take place. I know not everyone is like this but I’m not much of a person to set down roots and since I like Chicago enough to not want to run away from the city and look for another job on another continent or at least another state, moving apartments seems to suffice. Also, I find moving to be a cleansing process. Out with the old, in with the new and a time to make changes in your life. Some will stick, some will not but it’s a good time to just reset everything. While I do think there are a lot of positives to this move, I really just wish it were overwith and that lifting heavy things were not so painful. Or that there were some magic fairies that would do it for me. Sadly, this is not a fairytale and I’m pretty sure we just have to suck it up and deal.
Ok has anyone else seen that article that’s been making it’s way around about the guy at Wellesley? Yes, the one where he talks about how Wellesley girls are whores etc. I know Jezebel isn’t exactly somewhere that I frequent but I found this posted on my facebook news feed and was absolutely horrified. Being a women’s college graduate I can understand that it is difficult for a man to live at a women’s college. I remember my first year when one of my friends came to visit me (Daniel is generally quite the ladies man) and even he was a bit intimidated and flustered. We can be quite a fierce and intimidating group when you put us all together in one teeny location, I’ll give you that. But my dear, I really don’t think it’s a brilliant idea to call your peers whores. I mean these are the women you have to see on a daily basis, it’s just not that bright. And if your chief complaint is that you aren’t getting laid then perhaps the label “whore” is a misnomer, I believe the word you’re looking for would be “prude” (which I doubt would win you many friends either but would, at least in my opinion, be a touch more acceptable). Also I believe that you’re missing the point entirely of doing an exchange if the only purpose of this is “to get laid”. I mean I’m sure it would be a nice bonus but I believe exchange programs were instituted so that you could learn in a different environment not to pick up girls. Then again, what do I know, I’m sure had he been at Mount Holyoke I would be just another one of those “whores”.
So my friend, Deidre (of Decoybetty) was writing about the phenomenon of “relationship status” in a guest post she recently did called You’re A Lot More Than Your Relationship Status and I have to agree with her. I am constantly flabbergasted at all the people who define themselves as single, in a relationship, it’s complicated or whatever. We’re only in our 20’s, whether I’m dating someone or not really doesn’t define me.
If you want to know if I’m single or taken, you should ask because that’s not who I am. If you ask me who I am, I’d still say I’m a renegade physicist even though I haven’t done physics in years. I’d say that I’m a confused 26-year old grad student trying to figure out her consulting gig the best she can and get to where she wants to go on that crazy corporate ladder. I’d say I have a very serious relationship with Grey’s Anatomy and that I could dance all night long. I’d say that I have a penchant for wearing ties but I’ve recently discovered that wearing dresses and fitted clothing is awesome since I’ve worked really hard to get in shape. I’d also say that I love soccer even though I think I suck at it and that I’ll keep going to ballroom classes until I can some day afford to compete (at least as an amateur). I’d say that I’ve had my heart broken but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in love and fairy tales and happily ever after. I’d say that I believe the best in people and am constantly disappointed when I get let down but I never learn that lesson and I like myself for always giving people the benefit of the doubt. I’d say that I am thoughtful and a fierce friend which are the characteristics that I value most in my friends too.
Here’s the thing, none of what I’ve described above has anything to do with whether I’m in a relationship or not. And perhaps I am a little more fierce about some bits more than others because of the fact that I very recently got my heart broken but I don’t define myself as single. I just happen to not be dating anyone, it is not a defining characteristic of my personality or even remotely who I am. In fact even when I was dating I never thought of myself as being not single. It’s just not something that I identify with. I am my own person and I would hope my partner would be as well. Perhaps when we’ve spent half our lives together I may start to consider my relationship as a defining characteristic of myself but at the moment I think my friends and my family have far more influence on who I am today than anyone I have ever dated has.
I mean I’d say I’m a feminist because I grew up with extremely strong matriarchs in my family and going to a women’s college just ingrained that further in me. I’m a cross-culture kid and I often forget this because at 26 it’s pretty much just who I am and I don’t even think about it anymore. The person I am today is made up of the environment I was brought up in, which was the huge sprawling metropolis of Houston, Texas. It’s in the Bengali that my family speaks at home and the way we flip in and out of this weird mixture between Bengali and English; as if everyone speaks both even though we live in the US. It’s in the conversations with my friends where I talk about how marriage is a “patriarchal construct” and this is “normal” because we went to a women’s college.
Quite frankly the excuse that society puts so much pressure on this is a cop out to me because aren’t we a part of society? I mean I don’t believe that who I do or do not date is really anyone’s business but my own. If I want you to know I’ll tell you, trust me. It’s pretty similar to how I feel about people asking whether I date girls or boys. If I wanted you to know, I’d tell you. I mean I don’t understand why people have this desire to be defined by whether they are in a relationship or not. Actually that’s pretty similar to how I felt in college about everyone making a big deal of coming out. I mean yes I understand it can be an empowering experience and all but there is so much more to who I am than who I date. At this point in my life I define who I am and no one else. Sure there are people who have touched my life and changed me but I’d say that my friends who I’ve known for 8+ years have probably had a more significant impact than any relationship I’ve been in.
I hear so often how we hate how the world views people who are single as if there is a stigma attached. Well, folks, we are part of society, it’s up to us to change it. If you don’t want your relationship status to be a defining characteristic then don’t let it be. I don’t talk about mine. I rarely ever have. I mean recently I was with someone long enough where I did start talking about things in we’s but I’m not there anymore and I’m ok with that. Am I going to let it define who I am? No, certainly not.
So do you like physics? Have you ever watched the sunrise over a river? Can you quote “the little prince”? Do you love 80’s music? Can you two-step (cause I might just fall in love with you in that case)? Who are you? Because I’m sure it’s more than just “single” or “in a relationship” or “married” or “it’s complicated”. At least I certainly hope so.
I’m not sure I ever would have thought that mapping the ocean would be that cool… ok, that’s not entirely true, I definitely think it would be cool but I certainly wouldn’t have thought about it for the same reasons that Dr. Sylvia Earle has. In fact, after reading this beautiful article about her, I would kill to be like her when I grow up… except that I, technically, am already grown up. Oops.
You know my favourite section of the newspaper is the Science section on Tuesdays. It doesn’t always have great stuff but there are definitely more than a few interesting articles to be found there.
Anyway, whenever I read things like this I am always stunned by just how much one woman can accomplish just out of sheer interest/fascination with a subject. Who knew that mapping the ocean could be so cool especially the plant-life. It’s just amazing what curiosity can do for science. The world would be a far less interesting place without people like Dr. Earle.
So I was just perusing blogs with interesting titles and there was one mucking up Obama’s name, yet again. And I am not exactly Obama’s biggest fan but I don’t appreciate making up stories about anyone… except maybe Dub-ya and that’s just because the stuff he does is so outlandish to begin with it’s hard to figure out when something is just a flat-out lie. So anyway there is some article somewhere claiming that Obama has a half brother living in a shack in Africa and is too ashamed to admit that he is related to the famous American. I don’t know if I believe that or not, read it if you care, don’t if you think it’s junk. I’m undecided.
BUT what really got my goat was on the side of the blogger’s page was a link to this. Ok people, with all of the environmental crises that are happening, have we *still* not figured out that drilling all over the world is a bad idea? Are we truly that stupid that we have not learned from the errors of our past? I don’t understand how it is possible to not think that now is the time to be progressive. Now is the time to start investigating renewable energy sources. Now is the time to make a difference. It is not tomorrow, it is not another day, it is now. This is the time when we get a chance to make a change for the better. We need to take responsibility for our own actions or we won’t have a world left to live in! How can we be so blind to think that drilling in more places and using up *all* of the oil in this world will make things better?! I know that I am generally a cynic about the intelligence of the world at large (and particularly Americans) but I really didn’t think we were this stupid. I really thought that maybe we had learned something. Clearly I was wrong. Clearly that was a silly assumption (and yes I know assuming anything makes an ass out of you and me). *sigh*
You know if we don’t make the effort to look into renewable energy now it will continue to be more expensive and oil will continue to be a problem. If we don’t make a change for the better the economy will be hit again with another loss in the future. This is not a problem that is going to go away. You know, it would be nice if the US were to actually be on par with Europe or Japan in their progressive moves toward being environmentally friendly. We have the scientists and we’ve got the money to do the research at a pace that would make all the difference in the world. If only we could get the funding and not be bullied around by Big Oil, as we have been for so long.