If the Buddha Dated

A friend of mine shared a book with me to help in some changes I am making regarding my romantic relationship. It is called “If the Buddha Dated: Finding Love On A Spiritual Path”. There are lots of questions asked and many prompts to sit down with a pencil and paper to answer them. Truthfully. In doing so I realized I have never really thought much about what I want in a partner. One of the exercises has you make a mock personals ad based around what you want, and another has you make one based around negative things you think about yourself. So, for perspective, I will be sharing both of them below. I used to think this kind of stuff was silly, and this doesn’t mean I’m joining Tinder, but I’ve learned a lot about myself by being honest with myself (no matter how silly). I recommend it!

Regular Personals Ad:

30 year old woman with a great sense of humor and adventurous spirit seeks partner to laugh and have fun with! Preferably dark and handsome with a humble spirit and conciousness about the world and issues. A lovely partner, lover and friend all around 🙂

Negative Personals Ad:

Fearful 30 year old woman unsure of what to do with herself or life. Anxious, somewhat annoying, very stubborn and quite aggressive in her opinions. Sad and fed up with being ill, but unable to move forward because of it. Sees that as an excuse.

Hiding

As I continue on my journey of life I feel like I am starting to come out of hiding. Maybe this is what real “growing up” feels like. Maybe being 30 is the shit.

As a child I adopted this hiding thing when I didn’t want to feel my own emotions or those of my family. I would go into my room, lock the door and listen to the positive tunes of Hanson. Sometimes I would write my own music, always starting with lyrics, probably as a way to process the words I was hearing from myself and others. Looking back at these early works, hiding and not feeling heard was a theme.

At other times I would hide in the corner of my closet, carefully hidden behind clothes, hoping for someone to come find me even though I made sure I was so well hidden. I wanted to be alone so I could process my emotions, but I wanted to be found because I wanted to be heard. It was a double edged sword.

As I started entering “adulthood” I believe I got trapped in metaphorical closets of the mind. I was simultaneously starting to experience the serious pain of Endometriosis. I wanted more than ever to be seen and heard, because I didn’t want to be in pain.

There were quite a few closets in my mind. But I told myself I would only be stuck in them temporarily. I was working on that music career while I nannyed for the kid with the crazy mom. I was just surviving. Waiting for someone to listen to me; to come find me. I did that for about a decade.

But all along that person who I needed to listen, who I needed to look for me, has had to be me. I have to open those closet doors. I have to walk out alone.

Drafts

I have so many potential posts sitting in my drafts folder. There has been a wide variety of strange occurrences in my life in the past few weeks, and I simply cannot wrap my thoughts up tight enough to conjure a single-subject essay of any kind. This week, instead, seems like a good time to share a poem.

 

Masculine energy

Is ever prevalent

In myself

In them

And the female president

 

It’s no comfort

To be accosted

With the deep sounds

Of patriarchy

 

This bench

I chose

Serves it’s purpose

Or so it goes

 

I will not budge

I will not fight

This bench

Is mine

It is

My right

 

This bench

I chose

Serves it’s purpose

Or so it shows

 

Masculine energy is

Ever prevalent

Sinking deeper

And deeper

Into the pavement

 

Off they go

And I still reside

On this beat up bench

That I found

Outside

 

 

Bad Ass Book List

Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the beauty that is the public library. I read a lot, and without access to free books I don’t think I would be able to do so. The opportunity for anyone, at any age, to learn about pretty much anything is life changing. Here is a list of some bad ass books I recently read courtesy of the public library, in handy subcategories, with links!

Feminism:

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran – An amazing take on what feminism actually means. Skeptical? Then take this quiz from the book:

“So here is the quick way of working out if you’re a feminist. Put your hand in your pants.
a) Do you have a vagina? and
b) Do you want to be in charge of it?
If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.”

Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran – In this most recent collection of columns from The Times writer, we get a fantastic read on a broad spectrum of topics. From misogyny on the internet, to Benedict Cumberbatch, Syria, how the Oscars are evil, wind energy and of course, her very own manifesto.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay – In this collection of essays, Roxane points out that it’s totally OK to suck at feminism sometimes, because at least we’re trying.

Punk Rock:

M Train by Patti Smith – My guiding light, Patti, invites us into her life of cowpoke dreams, a beloved cafe, routine solitude and detective shows. I loved this world so much I was sad when I finished it in a few days. I have since read it again.

Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus – Music would not be where it is today without the women and girls of the Riot Grrrl movement. I bow to them whilst loudly playing my electric guitar.

Memoir:

Just Kids by Patti Smith – The story of Patti’s beautiful relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe in 1960s and 1970s New York City. “I imagined myself as Frida to Diego, both muse and maker. I dreamed of meeting an artist to love and support and work with side by side.”

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah – There can be only one man on my list, and that man is Trevor! In his first book, the comedian tells us about his early life of being born during Apartheid in South Africa to a black mother and white father. It is a wonderful story about identity, solitude, the power of language and loving your mother. He grew up to be a really great human.

Fiction:

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran – The first novel from my love Caitlin was slightly inspired by her own British working class upbringing, and very nearly makes me want to go back to being 16. It is a true inspiration at any age, really, about being yourself and having a bit of fun along the way. “You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.”

Awareness:

Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson – When I’m not smashing the patriarchy, I’m trying to protect the environment. Actually, I do both of these things all the time, every day, with every ounce of my being. Bea has helped me become further aware of the problem of waste and how to change it. Yes, we can all make a difference! It starts with you.