Go ahead and think your life-threatening thought: "In a few months, I will need her in my life. Otherwise, I will die. The truth is you probably won't be on your deathbed a few months from now. In fact, many scenarios can take place. You might not even want her back in your life. You may even meet someone else. Or, heck, you may even be very happy on your own. Anything can happen -- that is, if you let it happen. Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy.
A new theory aims to make sense of it all. None of us can control another person -- not even "the one. And without you, I am nothing but lifeless. Without you, my nights are covered in darkness, with no stars, and moon in them.
Without you, my heart is blanketed with confusion, and my mind is dizzy with self-doubt. And no one has ever made me feel this way before. No one has braved to take a risk, to come near me, and to actually get to know me. No one has made an effort to bring out my mega-watt smile by their witty banters. No one has challenged my beliefs and principles in my core.
No one has given me a reason to take a chance on love. You are the only one I instantly feel comfortable with. You are the only one I can laugh uncontrollably, without feeling self-conscious. There are some parts of our stories that still don't make sense. There are some parts of our stories that may never make sense. There is purpose, even when we don't understand. There is meaning, even if we can't find it just yet.
Your story is worth celebrating, and more importantly, you are worth celebrating. Even when it doesn't make sense. Especially when it doesn't make sense. Realize that your story is yours. While we may say that our story is completely ours, we so easily let others take over our stories without even realizing it. Don't get me wrong.
We need community. We need support. Both of these things are necessary. Both of those things are good. The problem is that we so easily allow others to take the pen out of our hands and start writing the story for us.
I've had several people question why I'm pursuing the degree that I am. I've even had a few offer career paths or majors. Last year, I had acquaintances come up to me and ask me where I was going to college, only to give me five other options. It seems like everyone had an opinion, to the point where I forgot that mine mattered, too.
I had to step away and realize a few things. No matter how good their intentions were, they didn't truly know my story. They didn't know my 'why' in life. That's not to say that their intentions were wrong or rude.
I say this to say that whether intentional or not, others will always have an opinion. Yes, opinions can be helpful. The problem is that we often internalize other's ideas to the point that we forget that our opinion is valid, too. It's not our job to make sure others around us understand in the moment. Maybe they will. Maybe they won't. Either is more than OK. Don't change a story that's meant to be yours to please other people. Know that your story might look different than those around you.
I've always been a perfectionist, and I've always been a people-pleaser. At times, I've placed so much of an emphasis on what I wanted my story to be instead of letting it be. I'm terrible at letting go, but I'm learning that it's so necessary. For me, letting go looks like letting go of my own expectations. Here's your reminder that social media and most things in life are but a highlight reel. We all have our successes, but we all have our struggles.
A lot of the time, we don't get the opportunity to choose what story we're dealt in life. What we do get is the ability to choose what we do with that story.
I'm a big believer that every day, we have a choice. We can allow ourselves to be so consumed with others' stories and compare them to our own, or we can allow ourselves to celebrate stories. All stories. All parts of stories. Yes, that includes the parts of our stories that are hard to talk about. Yes, that includes the parts of our stories that don't make sense.
Yes, that includes the parts of our stories that aren't like the stories of others. You can't disregard the parts of your story that have helped build you. You can't throw away the parts that are uncomfortably or messy.
Instead, I hope you embrace them. I hope you don't run away. Future you will be thankful that you didn't. I promise. Realize that little victories are worth celebrating, too. I get so much joy when someone messages me telling me that my work helped them.
I've realized that meaning isn't always tied to numbers. The same is true in life. I hope that you don't invalidate your growth or success because you think it's too small or not important enough.
I hope that you don't hide your story because you don't think anyone can learn from it. I'm here to tell you that someone will learn from your story, even if the first person who learns from it is you.
I'm here to tell you that your story is enough because you are enough. The little victories are what keep us going. I hope you celebrate your huge successes. I really, truly do. However, I hope you realize that there's a lot more to life than huge successes. I hope you realize that people see your growth.
More importantly, I hope you see your growth. I hope you see that your story doesn't stop just because one guy couldn't choose you or one employer decided to go a different direction. I hope you see that your story doesn't stop at one setback or discouragement. Every day, I challenge myself to pick at least one little victory of the day. It's what keeps me looking forward instead of backwards. It's what makes me hold on to hope.
It makes every day a celebration, no matter how small. Know that your story has power, but only if you let it have power. I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story. I hope that you don't let one person or one situation or even one bad day stop you from looking up and moving on to greater things.
Your life has a purpose, and your story has power. Embrace it, even and especially when it's hard. It will be worth it, but you have to keep moving forward.
Chase after the good, and allow yourself to reflect when it gets tough. Give in to community, and know that you are capable. Most of all, keep the pen in your hand.
Get to it, friend, and keep writing your story. You'll be glad that you did. Politics and Activism How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed.
Performing for imaginary cameras, you hum and sway. The sensation is absurd. It's in those moments that Margaret Atwood's poetry appears true. Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it's all a male fantasy: that you're strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it.
Even pretending you aren't catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you're unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman.
You are your own voyeur. From what context did the male gaze emerge? Obviously, heterosexual male desire is the ever-present subject. A woman's complex feelings, interesting thoughts, and own sexual ambitions are less important than her male framing. Examples of the male gaze abound in tropes like the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" or female superheroes who always must be sensual.
You can just think of the internalized male gaze as a facet and an outcome of the patriarchy. This concept is problematic, of course, because women may end up placing greater value on how they look than how they feel. In fact, this misguided step towards sexual equality has colonized and exploited feminism.
We should look somewhere else besides mainstream corporations for such intimate solutions in gender equity. Although we're living in a time where people seem to use their phones and tablets to do anything from order food to finding a date, for men, the iPhone was only number 42 on the list, while the iPad rounded out the top For women, the iPhone was also ranked low at 49 on the list. Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage?
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