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Made for More

Real Manhood means you don’t get drunk, and a man can get drunk on a lot more than alcohol. Men drunk on power, on control, on ego, lose more than all inhibition — they lose the way, their own souls. Men drunk on anything can destroy everything and real manhood thirsts for righteousness. Real manhood means that in a culture where it’s the tendency to bend, you’ll stand. That in situations where there’s tendency to look the other way, you’ll look for help. That, at times when there’s a tendency to be divisive on the secondary and a unified front of silence on the painful, you’ll seek to rightly divide the truth and unify the brokenhearted. Real Men never pressure but treasure. No one tries to crush a diamond. Because pressuring a girl? Is blackmail, coercion and repeated robbery attempts. You’re meant to be a man, not the mafia. The thing is: Real manhood means you hallow womanhood. A woman isn’t a toy to amuse your lusts, a thing to aggrandize your ego, a trophy to adorn your manhood. A woman is of your rib, who birthed your rib, who cupped your rib, who is meant to be gently cherished at your rib, at your side.

The culture of boys will be boys — means girls will be garbage and you were made for more than this, boy.

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To be made and unmade, and made again.

I grew up living with my sister, Ashley, and my mother, Ann. This is because my biological father (whose name I don’t really care to share) was is a real piece of work. He has a wrap sheet that’s pages upon pages in length, from stalking to battery and neglect. He has never outgrown being the self-indulgent child that he was before he ever met my mother. And all the other ruthless mothers and broken families he made. He created a handful of broken homes and left our families shattered, picking up his messy pieces and finding other families in the same situation due to him. For years. I have one sister that I was raised with, and many that I was not. Some, I did not even find until just a couple years ago. We bound ourselves together into a semblance of one really big, really fucked up family.

I remember the first times I met each of my siblings and their families. Siblings who I should have had an entire lifetime of knowing. It was extremely emotional. And awkward. But we grew to like and love each other, despite living miles and miles apart and being too young to really grasp what we were forced to deal with. So we grappled instead of grasped. We clung to what we knew, because it was all we knew.

Though it is confusing, conflicting, and unimaginably strange, my family is beautiful. It is the only blessing my father bestowed me. He made me, and then he left. My mom met a man named Jordan, who adored me, even though I was two, and not his. He spoke to my biological father and said, “Hey, you’re not here, and I am, let me have her” (I’m paraphrasing). So my father gave me up for adoption, and Jordan became my dad in all legal respects.  He became my shiny, smiling new dad by loving me in a way that only a father can love a daughter. When I got older and my dad (Jordan) and mom had divorced, things got rocky. When I learned I was adopted, that Jordan was not my dad, I had an identity crisis between the ages of 8 and 9. I did not know who to call “dad” any longer. I didn’t know what family meant. I didn’t understand. I couldn’t look at the man I thought was my dad all along but wasn’t, and not know what I wish I hadn’t known. I played the cards dealt me, and I got over it with time. Things got back to normal between my mother, my dad Jordan, and my Sister and I. Now, I just also happen to have a long story about a sperm donor who made me, along with a lot of other younger sisters and a youngest brother. He gifted me with the relationships that I now have with them and aaaaaalllllllll the rest of the family that came with the package. It’s confusing, and any man that decides to marry me is going to have a helluva time trying to get the family tree straight, but that’s okay 🙂

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Rest In Peace

When I walked into the department store with my mom I was one unhappy camper. I was one of the three 16-year-old girls in Minnesota that hated shopping and I’d spent my day making that clear to my mother. However, she wasn’t having it. She felt that the clothes of my last identity phase were silly, and they were, but I wasn’t about to admit that. Since I’d outgrown my black attire and my “woe-is-me” attitude, it was time to get a new wardrobe. I was moderately stomping my way through the store in huffy defiance with heavy sighs when my mom spotted a pair of jeans that she lifted off the rack. Somehow, to this day, mom knows what will fit me better than I do. That’s when we first met. It was instant attraction.

You were low rise, but not too low, and boot cut, with just a tiny flare, and you were extra long, because my mom said I have ostrich legs. Inside my head, I wanted to try you on and take you home and outline you in the chaser bulbs you see on old school movie theatre signs, that’s how awesome you were. But I was still a teenager, and I didn’t want my mom to see my sudden change of attitude because back then it was impossible for me to admit defeat or that I was wrong, so I kept a cool exterior. Looking back I think she knew I was excited, but she let me keep my illusion of dignity. Thanks for that, mom. So we went to the dressing room and I tried you on.  Mom was right. We were MFEO (made for each other). You hugged me in all the right places, covered flaws, and made my butt look great while not making me feel like I was showing off. You fit me like the sleeve cover of a good book, an outward illustration of the story that is me. I had to have you. Thus began our long-term relationship.

You were the first pair of jeans I’d wear after I washed my laundry. You were with me during every important moment in my life that called for casual clothing from live concerts and festivals, to my first date ever. You were my lucky jeans I’d wear for finals even into my first years of college. Through the years you began to fade, but I didn’t mind. Your denim just got softer. Eventually, your hemline began to fray with exposure to my life. I didn’t mind that, either. It just added character. After another year or so, your fabric began to get really thin, and you tore in the knee. I remember my gasp of surprise when I heard the unmistakable “riiip.” But I kept on sporting you with my favorite band tees and flannels until you were too ragged even for that. Then you transitioned into my work pants. You and I were a team. We got stuff done together. We painted the house I rented. We cleaned and did yard work together.

All of that ended recently when I was for some reason, wearing you in public. Maybe for nostalgia? I was walking into Caribou and I felt a breeze on my rear. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. I got my coffee to go and walked out the store. I felt that breeze again, colder this time, and I froze, my eyes wide and my mouth shaped around a silent O. So that’s why the guy at the register smiled big at me. You wore too thin and worked too hard, and left me feeling exposed. It was the end. You had reached your final breaking point and you just couldn’t handle it anymore, and thus marked the end of our 7-year relationship. You lived a long life and served me well. You were a part of the family. Rest in peace, my favorite jeans. I’ll never forget you.


What would I say?

Looking back on my life, I do not regret much because the choices I’ve made so far have led to the present, which I am happy with. But there are points in our lives where we all should reflect on our past and the choices we’ve made. If I could rewind the clock and tell myself at various points in my life what my choice in that moment would mean for the future,

I’d tell myself at ages 8-10 that though my parents are divorcing, it’s got nothing to do with me. I’d tell myself to pay closer attention to Ashley.

I’d tell myself at 14 that I’m too young to start crying over boys.

I’d tell myself at 16 that it’s okay to not know who you are yet, that’s what these years are for.

I’d tell myself at 17 not to argue with my mother so fiercely that we spent a year not speaking. I’d tell myself that a best friend is just a friend for a reason, because dating him will be the end of everything between us, that he will change and I will not like who he becomes.

I’d tell myself at 18 to not be so afraid of making a mistake that I become immobile in life decisions and to just GO TO SCHOOL (I’d be graduated by now, instead of on my junior year). I’d tell myself that I don’t have to settle for subpar.

I’d tell myself at 21 to go see a psychologist to deal with my feelings and fears, before I make a huge mistake and hurt someone.

I’m 23 now, and if I could clone myself and listen to myself, I would say

You’ve done well, you’re almost at that next stage of your life. You’re on the precipice, so don’t, please don’t, give up. You’re so close.


My Review of Burton Jet Set Insulated Jacket – Women’s

Originally submitted at REI

The Burton Jet Set insulated women's jacket flatters your curves via a blazer-inspired piece designed to keep you warm and dry when you're jetting down the slopes.

I love it 😀

By Odyssey from Minneapolis, MN on 11/18/2011

 

4out of 5

Chest Size: Feels true to size

Sleeve Length: Feels true to length

Pros: Wind Resistant, Warm, Breathable, Lightweight, Stylish, Waterproof, Durable

Best Uses: Skiing, Snowboarding, Casual Wear

Describe Yourself: Intermediate

Gear Usage: Cold Weather Living, Winter Sports

Was this a gift?: No

I love this jacket. I’d spent three years looking for a jacket that fit me just right and felt great. When I tried this on at REI, I couldn’t say no. The price is reasonable and the product is well worth it. It’s lightweight but warm, and it looks great. I like this coat for everyday use, but I’m taking a trip out to a ski resort in Colorado next month – we’ll see how it fares!

(legalese)