Daily Prompt 6/18/2016 | Perfection

Remember, perfection isn’t perfect, it is fake.

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/18/2016 | Perfection]

No one is perfect. No one. Of course, no matter how often we tell ourselves this, it can be difficult to convince our brains that it is true when we pass by magazines in the stores and see women with flawless skin, shiny hair, zero cellulite, tight stomachs, perky butts… you get the idea. I’m guilty of tearing myself down every time I go out in public, and see pictures and videos of these perfect, beautiful women, that I could never look like. Well, the truth is, no one can look like them, not even themselves.

Photoshop, endless filter options, and apps like Facetune make it all too easy to alter pictures, whether you are just trying to erase a few pimples, or giving yourself thousands of dollars worth of digital plastic surgery, and it is just not fair. It is not fair to the men and women whose appearances have to be altered so much, just to be considered beautiful, and worthy of publication, when they were already beautiful. It is also not fair to the men and women who see these ads, and get tricked into thinking that that type of beauty is attainable, and that they need to spend their money to try and reach it.

You don’t believe me? Here are just a few examples:


It is all a lie. Models, singers, actors and actresses, reality TV stars… no one is ever thin enough, but if you are thin, you’re not curvy enough. Your skin is never clear enough. Your hair is never blonde enough. Your eyes are not blue enough. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right. Men and women, young and old, are being told that nothing about themselves is good enough, and that they need to buy all of this STUFF to look good, but it is an impossible feat. Even these people, who were deemed worthy enough to grace the covers of magazines, and star in commercials, were not perfect enough. No one is perfect enough. No one.

I know I might be beating a dead horse here, and being a total hypocrite, but really, we need to stop focusing so much on how we look. Your eyebrows do not need to be on fleek, your winged liner does not need to survive a nuclear holocaust, and if you don’t have a thigh gap, then embrace your glorious thighs. If you’re 14, you’re told that you need to look 21, and if you’re 30, you’re told you need to look 22. It isn’t fair, and it just isn’t possible. You don’t need big boobs, you don’t need a huge ass, and you don’t need washboard abs. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with wanting to better yourself, or lift your self-esteem a bit, but do it for you, and not because you think it is how others want you too look. You are worth more than that. Love who you are, and others will love you as well.

Remember, perfection isn’t perfect, it is fake.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 6/7/2016 | (Dis)Connected

Everyone around me had moved on to bigger and better things, and left me behind, stuck in the Dark Ages.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/7/2016 | Connected

For the last several years, I’ve basically been living in a cave when it comes to modern technology. I am 26 years old, which means I fall into the age range commonly referred to as the “Millennials“, and we are supposed to be the generation of technology and social media. In fact, nearly everyone I know, who is around my age and younger, own the latest iPhones, iPads, the latest gaming consoles and devices, play all the latest games, etc. They’re also on every social media platform you can imagine, like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, and all those other ones out there that I’ve probably never even heard of. Not me. Not even close.

Did I miss something here? Is 26 the new 40? When did all of this happen, and how did I miss it?

Up until around 2012, when I was 22 years old, I was pretty up-to-date on everything (good lord, I sound old). I had a Samsung Galaxy (yes, those were relevant then), a good gaming PC, and a profile on all of the major social media sites, a podcast, and a large group of friends, who I spent hours talking to on Skype, as well as in the various games that I played. Unfortunately, as some of you already know, 2012 is the year that the long-term relationship that I was in ended, and my life crumbled around me.

I lost my home, my computer, my phone, my internet access… basically everything that people need to function properly in first world countries these days.

First world problems, folks, I know.

I went without internet for two years. Two. Whole. Years.

During this time of living on my own, I was unable to pay for any sort of luxury, such as internet and phone, and spent the majority of my time working at my full-time retail job, and reading. I had absolutely no contact with any of my online friends, and my Facebook and Twitter profiles could only be accessed whenever I was able to get to Kyle’s parents’ house and use their internet (this was early in our relationship, when he was living in Wisconsin, and was only able to visit me every/every other weekend).

I wasn’t able to buy a new phone for a year and a half, and when I found one that I could afford, it was far from an iPhone or Samsung, and it was a month-to-month plan. I still had no internet at home, but was able to use Facebook and Twitter from my phone, as long as I had any sort of signal, or WiFi… which, honestly, wasn’t all that often.

In November of 2014, a month and a half before my son was born, we were finally financially stable enough to buy new phones, and get internet in our apartment, something we had kept putting off due to how often we moved around. I tried to get back into my old routine of social media, vlogging, blogging, and gaming, and reached out to the same friends that had been in my circle just a few years ago… but, unfortunately, it all fell apart. With the arrival of my son, and the overwhelming feeling that everyone had moved on from me, I retreated back into the life of being a hermit, and chose to focus on my newborn.

Everyone around me had moved on to bigger and better things, and left me behind, stuck in the Dark Ages.

By the way, do you know hard it is to dig yourself out of a hole, and get yourself back into the present, when you lack the finances to do so? I’ll be stuck with this 2 year old, knockoff Samsung phone, and this ancient, hand-me-down computer that can barely handle Flash games.

Once again, first world problems… I know.

Anyway. I feel like, at only 26 years old, I’m turning into one of those middle-aged moms who has no idea what the cool kids are doing these days, and tries to join in on social media, despite being completely irrelevant, and only posting things for my 14 followers. Ugh… but, hey, you should all totally follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

I’ll never catch up. I’m getting too old for all this. I guess the good news is, since I’m so disconnected from the online world, I’m more connected to real life than most? Maybe? No… probably not.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 4/2/2016

My mother and I were on our way to my great-aunt’s funeral (she is still alive in real life). The funeral went by quickly, with people coming up to us and giving us their condolences, and hugging my mom, who was very close to her. My mom and I were talking about spending the week at my grandmother’s apartment with her (she is actually dead, so…) to make sure that she was okay, and I argued that there was no way that the three of us would survive a week in her one bedroom, efficiency-style apartment.

We went anyway. At my grandmother’s apartment, she informed us that we would have to share the love seat in the living room, or sleep on the floor, because there was nowhere else to sleep. My mom got angry and stormed out, and my grandmother sat in her chair by the living room window and lit up a cigarette. I walked out of the apartment and went to explore the building.

My grandmother’s building was exactly the same as it was in real life. She lived on the top floor of a six story apartment building, filled with mostly elderly people, or low-income families. The building was shaped like a “U”, with a courtyard in the center, which was mostly used for smoking. The hallways were as dark as I remember, and a bit gloomy, and I walked up and down the back stairwells, just like when I was a kid. On the floor below my grandmother’s, I stopped to watch a maintenance man unload pallet after pallet of colorful Room Essentials towels from Target, all unwrapped and stacked randomly, which made me cringe.

Blue yellow green yellow blue red pink pink yellow blue green white red…

Something like that.

I stood there and watched him for a while, before returning to my grandmother’s apartment. When I walked in, I found her lying on the living room floor, lifeless. I stood over her, just staring, until my mother came back. She saw her on the floor, and screamed. She started telling me to do something, and I just shrugged and told her to try CPR, but that I doubt it would work, as she was already blue-tinged and cold. She kept yelling at me to do something, so I picked up the phone and called 9-1-1. While I was on the phone with them, my mom left again.

I hung up the phone and walked to the fridge, looking for something to eat. It was filled with grapefruit halves, a half gallon of milk, and coffee creamer. Just like I remember. On her kitchen table was a large, brown paper bag, which was filled with various takeout containers. I opened the top one, which had two large, meaty sandwiches in it. There was a sticker on the container dated from almost a month prior. My mom walked back in just then, and I asked her if she thought the sandwiches were okay to eat, and she knocked the container out of my hands. We stared at each other for a while, then she left again, slamming the door behind her. I picked up the fallen sandwiches, and the brown bag, and placed it all in the kitchen sink.

That is all I remember before I woke up. I vaguely remember something about Jurassic Park, but I don’t know why.