Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

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05
Mar

Love and Marriage Part II

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© Mamz | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I want to love someone. A man in particular. Right now would be a great time. Honestly I haven’t been in love for a long time and I miss it. I miss the euphoria, the companionship, the friendship. Sure I have friends, but I’m not in love with any of them.

I have a public account on Facebook due to the fact that I advertise my blog. I don’t know why but I get a lot of stalkers. A man just sent me a pic of his junk. I blocked him immediately but the issue is, first of all, there must be a girl or two who has been wooed by a dick pic. I don’t know any of these women, however, these dudes would not be doing this if it didn’t work for someone.

Now don’t get me wrong, no one is stalking me in real life. In real life I have trouble getting a date. But online, these men who are usually from other countries, want to get to know me. There is one guy who messaged me from England and he is very intelligent. I do correspond with him, but he actually reads my blog and has something thoughtful to say about it.

I’m not saying you have to read my blog in order to be my friend, or my lover. It would be fantastic, but it’s not an actual requirement for me. What do I require in a mate, you ask? Ok, you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyways.

I want someone who is above all kind. Kindness is very underrated. You can be smart and witty and hot, but if you are not nice what’s the point? I don’t really believe in the notion that nice guys finish last. Guys who ‘think’ they are soooo ‘nice’ finish last. They are usually so busy thinking about how nice they are that they forget to act on it.

Nice is as nice does. I need a man who isn’t afraid to open up to me emotionally as well. I don’t particularly desire an emotionally guarded individual. I’m not a therapist: I don’t have the patience to discover your true self. You should have discovered it by now if you want my attention.

My friends tell me I’m a real bitch because I want someone who went to college. It’s not a total requirement for me anymore because recently I accidentally dated a guy who didn’t go to college. I suspect he is just as intelligent as me even though I teach in college and have almost three degrees.

I used to have salary requirements for my man. Nothing under seventy-five grand I used to think. Then again, I dated someone who made considerably less than that and realized that I don’t really need a sugar daddy. Again, it comes back to kindness. I want a good man. That is basically all I require.

It helps if you can make me laugh and make me think. People ask me all the time why I haven’t gotten married yet. A lot of people I know are divorced or unhappily married. I mean I love the idea of marriage, but I don’t need it. I think people come into your lives for a certain period of time to give you an experience, and once you have exhausted the shit out of each other, it ends. Or they die. Or you die…Forever? We don’t live forever, so what is this forever love bullshit anyways? It would be great to grow together with someone, I’m not suggesting I like having to switch partners, but I am suggesting that maybe we are putting too much pressure on our relationships.

We make these commitments until death do us part, and then we go ahead and break them. So why make them? If it is so happens you are together until you both croak, then halleluiah. But maybe, just maybe there is something the universe wants to give you by giving you various partners throughout time.

Some people think there is a ‘one.’ The ‘one.’ I used to think that until I realized there is more than one, one. At least that is my experience. If you have found the ‘one’ than you go ahead and be happy with that. But don’t like require that things will not change, that you and this person will not change. Time changes everything and everyone. People grow apart.

We all know this, but we somehow are attached to the notion of marriage being final, even though more than fifty percent of marriages in this country end in divorce. If we are probably going to divorce the person we love to death, then why don’t we just go in knowing that it could end? Wouldn’t that make things easier? Maybe it wouldn’t end if we did this.

I’m not suggesting that you be a pessimist. I’m totally an optimist. Have a good time while you are together. My parents would kill me if they knew I thought this way, but just know that it is OK if things eventually go south. I think that a lot of people get divorced because they think once they are married, the marriage itself will make it last a lifetime. I assume the wedding or marriage is not what makes it last, but the hard work it requires. If people thought about that more it might actually last.

Yes, people don’t understand that good times and bad times come and to stay together through the bad times is the hardest part. Yes there is something to be said for standing by someone through it all…but what if you start to despise that person? I don’t believe in hate, but what if you can’t stand them after a while? I mean this happens in marriages that do last a lifetime, but what if you just can’t do it anymore?

Are you going to hate yourself because you couldn’t make it work? Maybe it wasn’t supposed to work forever. I know, I know, I’m not traditional. I’m breaking the idea of marriage apart. I don’t think so though, this is all talk. You, our society, has broken marriage apart. Most people are either divorced or in a marriage they might want to get out of.

Those that stay who are unhappy, are staying because of some cultural norm. As I’m writing this, I swear I just got a message from a random dude on Facebook. He is named after a popular prophet, that’s all I’m going to say. “Good Day to you Nina Kaur …This is blank that you accepted her friend requested that i sent to you ans thank you so much more for doing that for me,The purpose of me sending you a friend request Is….I’m Interested In Meeting You,and i will always make you happy all time and all days.”

You can’t make this stuff up. He is in the army and he lives in the United States of America. His language skills, forgive me I’m an English professor, but his English is a little off. He might not originally be from the U.S.

Why is this happening to me? I mean I’m alright looking. My friend says that they are after me because my profile picture looks like I want sex. I don’t know if that is true, and what is this ‘look’ that says ‘come get me.’ I am not changing the picture yet, I took it last year, but I’m not changing it yet because it’s like having to change your phone number because some asshole keeps calling you. It’s invasive.

Getting a dick pic from an unknown source is also invasive. It’s downright dirty if you ask me. I mean if you are in a decent relationship, than it would be different, I mean if you really ‘know’ that person. However, we can all agree that men are really taking it to a new low on the Internet with complete strangers.

Facebook is not a sex site. It is not a dating site. I only use it to promote my writing. I don’t post stuff otherwise because I don’t think I’m that interesting. Although I bare my soul in my blog, I don’t know what to say on Facebook just randomly. I like a lot of things people say on Facebook, I’m pretty generous with my ‘likes.’ But I don’t get the fascination with showing people what you ate, or that you were just at CVS.

I go to CVS quite a bit. If I posted my location every time I was there…I mean why would I do that? The gym is a little different because it motivates you to go to the gym when you are being held accountable. If I ever went to the gym, I might write about it because it would be a historical event, however I don’t know if I would tell you what gym I’m at. I already have a problem with these online stalkers. I am very serious when I say that I do not by any means want a real life stalker. Let me repeat that, I might laugh at cyber stalking, but ALL stalking is sick. Get help.

I want to be honest. I think this might be karma. I stalked someone in my twenties. Well let me confess I didn’t follow this person around or anything, I sent him letters and a few gifts. They were long letters: I am a writer after all. I was not in my right mind at the time that I did this. I was having manic episodes. I would like to apologize to the person I did it to but I don’t think he wants to hear from me again. I tend to be wordy: my apology would probably scare him.

I thought this human being was the one, like I thought we had been together in past lives. I don’t in fact remember any of my past lives. I believe I’ve had some. I no longer think the man that I harassed is the love of my life or lives. I think he’s just a dude, a nice guy. Come on give me a break, a good man is hard to find. Flannery O’Conner said that and she could not have been more spot-on.

This should be my Match.com profile: I’m a stalker who is mentally ill, although I’ve sought help and I’m totally OK now. I’m a writer who will probably write about you in some way shape or form if we date. I don’t want to be with you forever.

Who wouldn’t want to date me? I’m such a catch. I kid, I joke.

I hope I’m always laughing about it…

nina

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 March 5th, 2016  
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04
Mar

Stop Hate

For those of you who do not know, I’m a Sikh. Sikhism is a religion. What does that mean? Oh it means so many things, I suggest you Google it to find out more information if you are not familiar with this faith.

I’m proud to be a Sikh. I may not be a traditional Sikh but generally have faith in my religion. Alongside the rise of Donald Trump some scary stuff is happening in this country regarding religious freedom to Sikhs in particular. Some people are confusing Sikhs as Muslims because Sikh men wear turbans. Some people are spreading hate:

Spokane’s Sikh Temple vandalized, holy book desecrated

THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2016, 1:27 P.M.

A naked man who was arrested early Thursday inside the Sikh Temple of Spokane is facing a possible hate crime charge after he allegedly desecrated sacred items there. About $30,000 in damage was done to the interior of the temple…“actions like this are indicative of growing Islamophobic sentiment across our nation, where there has been a steady increase in backlash and hate crimes targeting Muslim, Sikh, South Asian and Arab communities.” —The Spokesman Review

LA Sikh Bus Driver Assaulted and Called “Terrorist”

sikh bus driver

On November 6, 2015, a turbaned Sikh bus operator for the Los Angeles County MTA was brutally attacked by a bus passenger who called him a “terrorist“ and “suicide bomber,” and accused him of hijacking the bus.

December 8, 2015 (Buena Park, CA) –  A Sikh gurdwara (house of worship) in Orange County, CA, along with a community member’s truck in the parking lot, were vandalized with hateful graffiti. The graffiti included the phrase, “Fuck ISIS,” along with gang references.—-Sikh Coalition.

Another NYC Sikh Injured in Hate Attack

2nd Attack in 2 Weeks

Shocking Hate Crime in Queens, NY: Sikh Man Struck, Dragged 30 Feet By Pickup Truck

August 8, 2014 (New York, NY) – A Sikh resident of New York City was attacked and injured on Roosevelt Island last night in an apparent hate crime. The attack occurred just days after another suspected hate crime, in which Sandeep Singh—a Sikh American—was run over and dragged on a public street in Queens by a driver in a pick-up truck.—Sikh Coalition.

Gunman Kills 6 at a Sikh Temple Near Milwaukee

oakcreek vigil

OAK CREEK, Wis. —In an attack that the police said they were treating as “a domestic terrorist-type incident,” the gunman stalked through the temple around 10:30 a.m. Congregants ran for shelter and barricaded themselves in bathrooms and prayer halls, where they made desperate phone calls and sent anguished texts pleading for help as confusion and fear took hold. Witnesses described a scene of chaos and carnage.—New York Times

Honestly, did you know about any of this? All of this? You should know.

Sikhs and Muslims are not the only ones being targeted… Some people are so ignorant that they are confusing Sikhs as Muslims. They don’t care who they are discriminating against or being violent towards. They see us as all the same: we are the enemy. It makes you think, who is the real enemy?

donald muslim

If you ask me I’m more afraid of a white man with a gun shooting up a school than I am of a Muslim terrorist bombing an airplane. Forgive me but I work in schools, I barely fly. I am more afraid that I will be a target of some racial hate crime because I too look Muslim, than I am of being the target of an actual ISIS attack. I’m more afraid of police officers beating up my brothers for being brown or black than I am of Middle Eastern men populating the streets of Dearborn, Michigan, a city nearby me that has the largest Middle Eastern population outside of the Middle East.

Actually let’s be realistic: I’m more afraid of Donald Trump than I am of ISIS.

Let me explain this: Donald Trump is a bully and bigot. The government of the United States is at least trying to protect me from terrorists and they have protected me thus far, even living in New York City during 911. If the government itself starts hating minorities, where does that leave me? Yeah, this is personal.

The idea that we should sit around fearing terrorists is an easy escape from our real local problems. People in the inner city do not have jobs, poor kids are dropping out of school and we have more people in jail than any other country. Let the government worry about ISIS, while Americans try to get decent jobs. People have more immediate concerns.  There is more of a chance that I will die in a car accident because some idiot is texting and driving than some random terrorist incident.

donald mexican quoteAfter all is said and done I am the most afraid of having a dictator like Donald Trump in office. He doesn’t know I’m not Muslim; he doesn’t care. He would throw me under the same bus that he would throw all minorities. For god’s sake he is not really that upset that the KKK is following and voting for him. He basically hates Mexicans. Now the leader of the Nation of Islam is praising Trump because he hates Jews. This is getting complicated.

If a large enough percentage of people are for Trump, what does that say about the people in this country? Although actually it is much less than half the population, but it is still a huge number. I’m not going to lie I’m deeply disturbed and a little scared. I lived in New York during 911 and I wasn’t as afraid for my country as I am now. Terrorist attacks are isolated; a dictator is pervasive.

“His proposal to close America’s borders to people from a single religion, if taken literally, would leave the country a global pariah and play into the propaganda of extremists from such groups as Islamic State. If his proposal were to include American citizens (the details are vague, the proposal being nonsense) it would trample the constitution.”—The Economist.

In the beginning I thought it was a joke when people started to compare the rise of Trump with the rise of Hitler.

donald and Hitler

It’s not funny anymore. He is so completely ignorant that he accused a Sikh man of wearing a ‘hat’ in one of his rallies, and had the man escorted out. African American people who were simply peacefully attending his rallies have been escorted out, or more accurately thrown out.

After being assaulted by known white supremacists and other Trump supporters, this brave young student from the University of Louisville spoke out to a local interviewer. “I was called a nigger and a cunt. They were pushing and shoving at me, cursing at me, yelling at me, called me every name in the book. They were disgusting and dangerous.”–Shiya

Many of the people I associate with would love to escort Trump out of this country. He is not an American. Even his own party does not want him as a leader.

A man who defends referring to women as “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs” and disgusting animals,” is not really good for women.—Huffington Post

What exactly is going on here? They say people are angry so they are turning to Trump. Who are they angry at and what are they angry about? Are they angry because their jobs are not paying enough and they have to work more and get paid less? Are they angry because minorities will soon comprise the majority of the population of America? Are they upset that minorities are taking away jobs from Caucasians?

Let’s break this down. It is true that jobs are paying less and the cost of living is going up. The reasons for this are varied depending on who you ask. However if you ask some people it is because Wall Street and big businesses are eating up all the wealth in this country. They are profiting while we are suffering. Trump owns big businesses and has no agenda to thwart their progress.

Yes it is true that minorities will be the majority soon. I’m sorry, but America is a country that was started by immigrants and will continue to be a tossed salad of different ethnicities, religions, and races. America was not really built on White Supremacy as much as it was built on the backs of Black slave labor. People of ‘color’ are just as American as White people are. If ‘minorities’ are getting all the good jobs, it may be because they are sometimes more hardworking because they know they have to be better than the average American in order to succeed in this country.

I am a minority but I am an American.

I may not look like the American that Trump sees as legitimate. I may not be as pretty as Trump’s wife, but I look more like her than he does. The irony is that this man’s children are born of the blood of immigrants. He is more than just a regular hypocrite; he is what I would genuinely call a monster created by the rhetoric of fear and hate on the right. Republicans he is your ‘Frankenstein,’ you created him, now stop him.

Let me make something clear I don’t hate Donald Trump, I fear Donald Trump.

See the thing is, as much as I want to insult Donald Trump’s followers, I don’t believe in hate. I don’t think that hating the people who are voting for Trump is the answer. I think that hate breeds more hate. I want to talk to these people, reason with them. I know, I know, I’m a dreamer. (Want to join me.) These people who are on the side of Trump voted for presidents like Ronald Reagan, who now looks like a saint compared to the Donald. I don’t believe that they are bad people.

I think they are just tired of the same old bullshit, year after year. They want someone to talk to them on their level. They want to hire a person, not a politician for the presidency. I agree that Donald can shoot the shit with the best of them. His watered down uneducated words somehow resonate with regular people who are tired of hearing politicians talk politics. We all want a human being up there as president, not a robotic political machine.

The problem with Hilary Clinton is that she talks the talk of politicians. She does not sound genuine. She is too polished and primed. She says all the right things at all the right times. The Donald pretty much says all the wrong things at all the wrong times. As idiotic as he seems to liberals, he seems human to conservatives. He’s messy, he doesn’t always make sense, and he swears every now and then. That is what they relate to.

“I know where she went – it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting.” –Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton taking a bathroom break during a Democratic presidential debate.

“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America.” –Donald Trump

“We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.” –Donald Trump on his performance with poorly educated voters who helped him win the Nevada Caucus.

So how do we relate to them, the Donald followers?

I don’t know. I’m at a loss. This man represents wealth and success to a lot of people who are looking for that in their lives. The fact that he has been bankrupt several times does not even bother these people. I guess what I would say to his followers is this:

I know you are better than this. You know this man is a tyrant. He will lead the presidency as a dictator and no one will comply with his orders. Nothing will get done because no one in Washington wants him there, even his own party.

Actually who am I kidding? I can’t change your mind if you want to vote for Donald. However I can tell those who don’t want to see Trump in office to vote. Tell your friends to vote. Go out and rally people to vote. Please, please. More people than not want to make sure Trump does not win. The more people that vote, the more chance we have of avoiding a huge, gigantic political mess.

Remember this is America. If you want something, you have to vote for it. If you don’t want something, you have to vote against it. You might not like the options you have, but if you don’t pick an option other than Donald, if you decide to be complacent and not exercise your right to vote because you don’t like politics or the democratic candidates: don’t complain when America doesn’t look like America anymore. I don’t care if it is Hilary or Bernie at this point, I don’t care if Ronald McDonald runs as the democratic nominee. I will blindly vote for anyone who can stop the Donald from getting into office.

This is the time to act.

Our country is at stake.

nina

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 March 4th, 2016  
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03
Mar

Repost—Randomness and All Its Components

 

head question

July 31, 2014

So I have Pandora on, an Internet radio station.  I put it on Indigo Girls, but truly I’m sick of the Indigo Girls (I know that’s very unfeminist of me).  But I love their radio station.  I like all the other songs.  Can you choose an artist and say everyone who sounds like them except the artist themselves?  Who knows, sounds like a computer program to me.

I’m getting annoyed that I get up at six everyday to deliver my blog, it’s like delivering a newspaper.  Can someone figure out how to have it deliver itself at six a.m. so I can sleep?  Anyone that can figure that out on blogger gets a prize.  I promise it will be good!

What would I give out as a prize on my blog?  What would you want?  I mean I can’t exactly give you ice cream…I could give you a free copy of my unpublished book.  Can you believe some website had my real name and my book’s name on there and it looked like they were selling my book!!! I got it removed but I’m pissed.  They said they didn’t have the book, but I’m suspicious of this Internet and all its capabilities.

And what about my intimate messaging conversations on Facebook? Do the workers at Facebook or Zuckerberg read those for fun?  I wonder sometimes.  Somebody is watching.  Someone is always watching.  Remember that next time you sext.  Of course I know nothing about that.

Someone was telling me writing is like bullshitting for a living.  It’s professional bullshit I like to think. I’ve been cleaning toilets all day today at home.  Writing vs. toilet cleaning—both will help you get the shit out that’s for sure.

You know my dad fought for me to have an easy name for Americans to say.  In fact my mom wanted my name to be Paramjeet.  Can you imagine me as a Paramjeet? I would have a really long braid I think.  I would be nicer.  I would probably be a better person.  I think I would be less wild.

Who knows if those name theories are correct?  Maybe I’d just be the same person.  But there is freedom in having an international name like nina.  At least I’m not named Apple, isn’t like Gwyneth Paltrow’s kid’s name Apple?  Some celebrity kid is named Apple.  Poor kid.  I mean I’m all for giving your kids unique names, but have a heart.  I mean if you are going to give your kid a funky name, it better be for a good reason.  Not because you are so rich and famous you can’t handle yourself.

So what else is there to say in this world?  What else can I say?  Everyone is gay!  That’s from a song by Nirvana.  I don’t actually think everyone is gay, but I think there are more people who think about it than we know.  Some of my closest friends are gay so I am really and truly offended by anyone who hates gays.  Just want to put that out there.  That’s all I have to say about that.

I’m trying really hard to watch TV and I’m just not good at it anymore.  I get bored so easily; it’s weird.  I grew up watching the shit out of TV.  I mean me and the tube were buds.  Besties in fact.  Now I turn it on and it’s like some strange reality show or some kind of contest for talent.  What happened to shows?   Just shows with actors and scripts and an audience.  If I wanted reality, I would not watch TV and just live my life.

I left my clothes in the washing machine for hours; I forgot to put them in the dryer.  That smell of the clothes all wet and yucky: is like nails on a chalkboard.

So this good friend of mine said my blog is a blog about nothing.  I want to take that as a compliment.  It’s kind of a backhanded compliment though.  Is this all about nothing?  He called it the Seinfeld Blog.  That’s kind of a compliment.

I mean this post is truly random.  I don’t really even have any transitions between my thoughts.  I kind of like it like that.  What do you think?

I think our real thoughts are completely random, there is no rhyme or reason to most of them and they don’t really have good transitions either.  We go from one thought to the next.  The thoughts can be repetitive and boring and meaningless. They really have a mind of their own, our thoughts.

Sometimes I think I can think away my life.  But just thinking is not enough.  I need to think about what I’m thinking.  I read this book that said the part of your brain that does all the negative, random thinking is like your roommate that won’t shut up.

I had a blind roommate the first year of college.  She wasn’t actually blind, the situation was blind: we didn’t know each other at all.  We ended up not liking each other at all also.  That was probably the first time in my life that I purposely did mean things to someone.  To annoy her I would heat up Indian food and put it in the garbage because I knew she couldn’t handle the smell.  She would not give me any of my phone messages, especially the ones from the guy I liked. It was a mess.

One time her boyfriend came into town and we had a bunk bed.  Let’s just say I had to leave for home that weekend.  Why do I bring this up?  Because again I think the guy who is thinking in your head is like a bitchy roommate.  Those thoughts can make you do mean things for no reason; they make you do things that are not really you.

The randomness of your thoughts are not who you are.  I don’t really know we are, but we are not our thoughts.  If we were our thoughts than I am something like this:  “I have to go to Staples to return that cartridge, will they return it since I opened it and don’t have the receipt?  I have to clean my bathroom, I hate cleaning my bathroom…I ate too much yesterday I’m sure I gained a pound.”  If all of that garbage that goes through my head is who I am, I don’t really like myself.

But it’s not who I am.  It’s just a part of me.

The universe is more random than my blog.  One day it will make you laugh, another it will make you think.  So don’t be mad at yourself if nothing ever makes any sense, I don’t think it was set up to make sense.

That’s just my two cents.

nina

Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 March 3rd, 2016  
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02
Mar

Feminism is the Radical Notion that Women are People

Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, thinks that men should feel free to call themselves feminists. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It’s about time a man in power somewhere said that. Should men be feminists? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Trudeau laid it out, “We shouldn’t be afraid of the word ‘feminist.’ Men and women should use it to describe themselves anytime they want.”

Why do I applaud that? Look men: at the present time you happen to have more power than us. We need your help. We need you to educate other men. We need you to help us change laws that protect us from abuse, violence and unequal pay etc.

I know many women are turned off by the word ‘feminist.’ Let’s clear that up first. If you are for equality for men and women, you are a feminist. Period. You don’t have to call yourself that or go to ‘feminist’ meetings where you think you might run into butch dikes on motorcycles. You don’t have to hate men and think women are better. You don’t have to be a bitch.

Madonna likes to call herself a humanist instead of a feminist. The only problem with that is, it’s like saying All Lives Matter. Sure all lives do matter and all humans should be equal. However the reason we say Black Lives Matter is because there are certain inequalities that the African American race must deal with that is unique to them. Just like that all humans are great, however feminism deals with problems that are primarily about a world that is ruled by men. Women in particular suffer from inequalities that men do not.

Maybe this is what you believe: “Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians,” Pat Robertson.

There is a popular notion that feminists are against the idea of family. That is not a fact at all, feminists believe that they have the right to be head of more than just a family, but be a powerful member of society as a whole.

Will everything be solved once Hilary Clinton is president? No. It’s a start, but just like Obama didn’t erase all Black inequalities, a woman president can only do so much for women. Women have to do it themselves to a large degree. And we need the help of men.

See we are looking at things the wrong way. We tell women to be careful, we teach them to be aware of men who could potentially violate them. However, we don’t necessarily teach our boys to not become violators. There are more men in prison then women, more men rapists and murderers, and the victims are often times women. There would be less violent crime against women if men educated each other on how to respect females.

“Feminism isn’t simply about being a woman in a position of power. It’s battling systemic inequities; it’s a social justice movement that believes sexism, racism and classism exist and interconnect, and that they should be consistently challenged,” Jessica Valenti.

malala feminist quote

Malala Yousafzai

What is feminism really about? It’s about you. Whoever you are you are suffering from some kind of social injustice. Even if you are a white upper-middle class male. Maybe you have the pressure of being ‘a real man’ and the pressure to be financially stronger than your female counterparts. What does being a ‘real man’ even mean? Maybe you have pent up frustrated feelings that you don’t know to express because you’ve been taught that ‘boys don’t cry.’

It’s not really about getting in touch with your ‘feminine’ side. It’s about getting in touch with all of you, seeing yourself as whole. Feminism challenges the notion that femininity and masculinity are real labels that are fair to use. In the end it is actually about seeing the humanity in all of us. We are people made of complex and sophisticated parts, not gender labels.

Are men and women different? Yes. We are biologically different. However that does not mean we are unequal. Just like white culture is different than black culture, neither is superior. Neither is inferior. It is just different. We have to find the strengths in both genders as opposed to pitting against each other to find out who is ‘best.’

Why is it important to be a feminist as opposed to not being a feminist? It is important to declare that you are for this fight for Women’s Rights. It is imperative that you announce that you are for the advancement of women and girls in a society that holds them back. If you sit quietly and do not identify with this movement you are implicitly saying that you don’t care.

If you think women deserve equal pay, protection from sexual assault and abuse, and the right to choose what to do with their bodies than you already are a feminist. So why is naming yourself as one important? It’s like signing a petition saying that you are in this fight against inequality.

I repeat: feminists do not hate men. Most of them in fact are in loving relationships with men. We hate patriarchy, an old antiquated notion that men deserve to hold the power in society and women should be excluded from it.

It is not crazy to be feminist. It’s not a radical idea. It is a very simple notion that men and women are equal. What does it mean to be equal? Neither gender is more worthy of power in our society.

In America at least there is the notion of feminism. There are countries where women are stoned to death, denied an education, beaten, sexually assaulted, or condemned to genital mutilation. These are just some of the issues that the entire world needs to be aware of. We don’t just live in a country: we live in a world. Artificial lines on a map and walls only superficially separate us from the rest of the world. Feminism acknowledges that the fight for women is everywhere, and that ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, etc. are all elements of this battle. It’s not just a battle for women; it’s a battle for those who are not heard.

Whoever you are, whatever your issue, is your voice being heard? If not, feminism could be a stepping-stone in your struggle for equality and respect.

nina

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 March 2nd, 2016  
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01
Mar

And the Award for Whitest Person in America Goes to:

© Erik Lam | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Erik Lam | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Is it just the Oscars that are so white? Or are there are a lot of places in America that are so white? I grew up my first 12 years in a white town. I was the only person of color in my class in Elementary School and many people did not know how to deal with me being different. I did not know how to deal with it.

We did a project in school where we logged all the food we ate, to see if we were getting enough nutritional value. I was too embarrassed that I was eating Indian food every night so I made up things to put in the log. Things I though white people ate like steak and mash potatoes.

Were the white kids racist towards me? As Chris Rock so eloquently put it on Sunday night, they weren’t burn me on a cross racist. They were more like sorority racist. It’s like,”We like you Nina, but you’re not a Kappa.” Later on in college I never tried out to be in a sorority because I honestly felt like I wasn’t sorority material. I didn’t realize until later that it was a blessing that I wasn’t sorority sister snobby.

Looking, feeling and being different than everyone around you is weird, at best. I always thought I was weird. Actually the notion of being ‘weird’ stayed with me until very recently. I told a white friend of mine from High School that I was weird, and she said “No you’re not.” I was surprised, she knows me very well. She said I was confusing ‘unique’ with ‘weird.’

Why did I spend decades thinking I was weird? Maybe because it’s weird to smell like curry and have kids laugh at you. It’s weird to have them chase you around calling you ‘Stinky Nina’. I was generally bullied by white boys.

It’s hard. I’m not very dark skinned, so maybe it was easier for me to ‘blend’ in better. I don’t want to blend in anymore. I like that I stand out. I stand out in both realms. In white America I’m a person of color. In Indian America I’m an anomaly because I am a writer and not a doctor or engineer.

I play up being Indian sometimes with white people at parties etc. I will do my mom’s Indian accent and I always get the crowd roaring with laughter. I’m hoping they are laughing with me and not at me. The fact that I moved back home at the age of forty is something that is not strange for an unmarried Indian woman to do in Indian culture. However, in American culture you might be considered a tool. I don’t know how to explain my living situation to a lot of people who are not Indian. Sometimes I just don’t know how to explain myself period.

On the other hand I like being unique. I like the power it gives me as an individual.  However, there are certain white people that make me feel ‘darker skinned’ when I am around them. I can smell their attitude towards me because I’m different. Then there are white people that make me feel that I am neither different, nor the same. They make me feel human.

I’m going to be honest, out of all the white people I work with and know personally, some of them make me feel like I’m not cool enough, good enough…Maybe that’s my own shit, or maybe they are partially to blame. Even a guy I was dating who was white wasn’t interested at all in my culture, I mean honestly he was just so damn white.

What does it mean to be ‘so white’? I guess it means to me to not be aware that there are other worlds out there, other cultures, other ways of thinking and being. I understand not everyone is going to be amazed by my Indian culture and I don’t need them to be. I just need them to see me as a person, a real person first, a person of Indian origin second. Just notice and appreciate all of me.

See white people look at it this way: I know about your culture, I eat your food, I watch your T.V. and I know every pop song you like. I just want you to acknowledge even though sometimes I eat different foods, watch Indian T.V. and sing Indian songs…I’m still cool. We can still hang. We can still shoot the shit.

We have a lot in common. I have a white friend who claims that I’m whiter than her. It’s possible since I honestly listen to white light F.M. I’m not even sure what else really makes me white except that I specialize in the English Language. I also teach white kids about white stuff in a primarily white college.

I taught in the inner city in secondary schools. Honestly the reason I quit that was because it was too hard for me to handle. There was a lot diversity in those schools, and there was socio-economic hardship. Am I too white for all that?

No. I just wasn’t getting through to them. I couldn’t find a way to discipline them. I’m not a hard ass. I’m a lot softer and I need peace. It just didn’t fit with who I am.

So who am I if I can’t work with students who are challenged economically, socially and racially? I do want to work in diverse areas, just not with young kids. And I realized it’s not because I’m racist or elitist. I just like working with adults. I don’t know how to work with kids very well.

The point is that maybe there is no such thing as being ‘too white’ or ‘too black’ or ‘too Indian.’ Maybe we are all just caught up in our own cultures. It’s true I grew up in white America, that’s probably why I prefer teaching in white America. I don’t know if that is a bad thing, it might just be a thing.

Even as minorities, Indian people are financially and educationally privileged. But I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m OK with the way things are. I might have a lot of privilege but the one thing I do not have is white privilege. Sometimes I look at my students and feel oddly uncomfortable that I’m in a room with 25 white people and again here I am, the only minority. There are a couple minorities in my classes, but not too many.

Do I feel inferior to these white people that I’m teaching? I hope not. God I hope not. I feel something odd sometimes, like I’m different, because I am. I need to really realize that white is not better, its just different. We all need to realize that.

Being white is also not a crime either. I’m not accusing anyone of anything. If anything I’m accusing myself of having a racial inferiority complex that has roots that are thousands of years old. No white person, I’m not blaming you personally for the fact that white people used to rule India. Maybe I grew up with a notion that I have to impress white folks. My parents taught me I have to be better than them to be considered equal.

But it turns out I’m not better, I’m not worse, I’m just me. Equality is not about measuring things into equal parts. It’s not an equation that anyone of us can solve. Equality is really acceptance, and part of that is acceptance of oneself. I like being considered ‘exotic’ sometimes or ‘special.’ Maybe I like the attention. But in the end I just want to be considered.

nina

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 March 1st, 2016  
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29
Feb

To Whom It May Concern:

You’ve heard all the same horror stories as I have. You’ve sat in your nice living room with your designer clothes, that you got on a clearance rack at Macy’s, just like me. You speculate and hear whispers about how these clothes were made from slaves in like Indonesia, or worse yet my own India. You don’t think about it too much because they are pretty, and what are you supposed to do? Where would you shop where there is no slave labor? Kmart? I don’t think so. No one advertises, “No slave labor here!”

A woman shops at the Macy's store at a mall in a Denver suburb

And that coffee you bought from Starbucks on the way to the mall, that coffee was created by prison labor. You don’t even know what that is, for all you know prisoners should be laboring. For your morning coffee.

You try to be healthy so you spend more money at Whole Foods to get cleaner, fresher food. Then you hear they are doing it too, the prisoner thing. There is organic meat there, for god’s sake. Organic! You know about all the animal cruelty in the world, you have animals you love, but you still eat meat. What do you want us to do? Become vegetarian? Let’s be real.

But the thing is, I hate it all. I hate all the violence and poverty that I am supporting. I like to think I am a prisoner too. I have no choice but to fund these industries. I’m not that strong, I got to watch out for me. I can’t worry about every goddamn politically correct action that I must take in order to make the world a better place.

starbucks

Maybe that’s true for you too, maybe its just me. What’s the answer? I’m not going to boycott nice clothes and caramel macchiatos. I am not accustomed to sacrificing things I like. I am privileged. That is who I am.

I’m sitting at a Panera Bread right now, writing this monologue. I don’t even know what dirty business Panera is up to and quite frankly I don’t want to know. I got nowhere to go but these places you tell me engage in evil practices. Come’ on I’m good, I don’t do drugs, I only drink socially, I don’t beat my kids. I don’t even have kids to beat. One thing I did right: I didn’t perpetuate the population explosion on Earth.

What are we going to do about all this, if most of us are uncomfortable leaving our comforts? Most of us are not bad people, per say. We pay our taxes, we even buy Girl Scout Cookies. We are against the Iraq war.

I don’t honestly know enough about what goes on in this nasty world to be horrified by it. I close my eyes lately. I don’t watch the news as much. I get snippets from headlines of articles I see on Facebook. I don’t read those articles. They would upset me. I’m serious, the world and its state of affairs is slowly making me sick, making me sad. I’m depressed enough on my own, I don’t need input from this world to add fuel to this fire.

whole foods

The thing is I’m lonely. I don’t have a particular community of like-minded people that I can escape into. Everyone around me is isolated. I can’t change the world on my own. I have to pay my bills. I shop at Wal-Mart even though they treat their employees like shit because they are the cheapest groceries in town. I’m not cheap. I’m frugal. Like I said, I got bills to pay and a life to live. I can’t do it all. I can’t be that perfect consumer who watches out for every guilty corporation that is raping the world and still live a functional life. You don’t even know: they are raping me, right now. I work more and earn less…

The only solace I have is a nice hazelnut cappuccino and a new pair of skinny jeans from Target. Don’t try and take away everything that is good in my life. Maybe you have the luxury of being like Tarzan and living in the jungle, being vegan and eating plants. Good for you.

If you ask me this conversation is horribly depressing. It’s not my fault. None of this is my fault. I don’t go around doing bad things like causing slave labor. I’m the slave if you ask me. Who is looking out for me?

I don’t like to end things in this ugly way but what else can I say?

Sincerely,

Miss Consumer USA

nina

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 February 29th, 2016  
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28
Feb

Dear Girl Scouts

girl scoutsDo you ever think you are a good person? Do you ever think you are a bad person? And maybe, just maybe, sometimes you are a stupid person? Like I bought two boxes of Girl Scout cookies today. I know, I know, I’m officially dieting and therefore I’m a bad person. But then the lady gave me change back for my twenty, she gave me four bucks less, I’m sure by mistake. I’m sure Girl Scout cookie moms don’t go around swindling customers.

The moment she gave me back the change, in my head I knew she gave me the wrong change But you know how that song goes, ‘you got to know when to go, know when to hold em’…you never count your money, they’ll be time enough for countin’ when the deal is done.” I didn’t count the money. I know, I know, I was buying Girl Scout cookies, not betting thousands of dollars.

Does that make me a good person? Not counting the money I mean. Now before you click off this screen because this story really has no point, let me tell you the moral. I went in the car and counted my cash. I was right, she stiffed me four dollars.

Why didn’t I go back and tell her? Because Girl Scouts is considered a good cause. Because I was a Girl Scout once. But the thing is, I don’t donate money. Period. I don’t have enough money that I can go around helping other people. I get emails from Bernie Sanders asking me for one dollar, and honestly, I don’t have a dollar to give him even though I love that man. If I ever wanted to donate to anyone, it would be to women in third world countries.

Did I have an extra four dollars to give to the Girl Scouts of America? No. But I didn’t go back in there because I felt like I would look like some cheap fool. And I am after all, a cheap fool. Maybe a stupid, cheap fool. I mean I’m still talking about this hours after it happened.

I didn’t need to spend eight dollars on cookies in the first place for many reasons. What is this all about anyways? I don’t know it’s a random story OK. I feel like the woman who sold me the cookies would have looked down on me if I asked her for the right change. I only didn’t face her because I was scared of her, not because I wanted to give Girl Scouts the extra money.

The things we do to be polite. I learned that in Girl Scouts, how to be lady like. I didn’t want to seem like a jerk. I truly did not want them to know what a jerk I really am. I’m sure Girl Scouts is a great cause, but if they came to my door asking for money without the cookies, let’s be real…a girl has to pay back her student loans.

coco chanel

I want to tell that to those girls. Those innocent faces selling delicious cookies they will later shun when they obsess about their body image. I want to tell them it’s not fair that companies like GM give large donations to the Boy Scouts of America, without even thinking about it. Girl Scouts have to sell cookies.

Get used to this, I want to tell them. Girls, get used to having to do double the work and getting much less of the pay. On the cookie box, the empty box in front of me, it says that selling cookies helps these girls learn Business Ethics.

Let me tell you about ethics: you are a girl and when you become a woman I can bet that at the first office job you get, someone will expect you to make the coffee. I worked on a floor with all men when I was much younger and they actually expected me to make the coffee. I refused. They looked down on me, and it scared me but I stood my ground. Then I was sexually harassed by one of the other male employees.

Girls it is OK, it is more than OK, to speak out about these kind of things…I’m sorry to tell you that statistically some kind of sexual violation will probably happen to you. Girls, it’s OK to be mad, not just sad.

Oh coffee, cookies…I just ate an entire box of do-si-dos, they are like nutter butters. These Girl Scouts that I bought from didn’t even have my favorite cookie: Tag Alongs, the chocolate peanut butter delights.

The box also says the girls learn People Skills. Girls let me tell you about people skills: you have to learn how to be that bitch that everyone respects and likes. Forgive me for using the word bitch, but you will learn what I mean. If you want your way, you only get it when you get a little tough.

The box further tells me that the Girl Scout Gold Award goes to a girl who does a project that makes a lasting difference in the world. Girls really think about what you want to do. Girls maybe you haven’t gotten your period yet, but you may have heard about it. Imagine if you were poor and living in the streets and you got your period without access to any feminine hygiene products. Girls, make sure to help other girls. One day instead of selling cookies, I’d like to see you giving out free tampons.

I know, I know, you are learning to be polite ladies and may not like the fact that I’m talking about being a bitch and wearing tampons. I don’t know if your Girl Scout leader will tell you about these things, so I will.

We did a fashion show in my Girl Scout troop many, many years ago. I learned how to be elegant and beautiful. At the same time the Boy Scouts were learning how to survive in the forest.

Of course that was a long time ago, and I’m going to hope things have drastically changed. Maybe there should just be ‘scouts’ of no gender who learn gender-neutral lessons. I know, I know I’m being incredibly politically correct. But girls, let me tell you something there might be a woman president soon. Girls, there is nothing you can’t do.

Girls listen to me, you are perfect just the way you are. Don’t worry about being perfect, worry about being happy. Girls I want to tell you, it’s OK to indulge in that box of cookies, it’s OK to cry when you get your period, it’s OK to hate boys. Girls you have plenty of time to fall in love and have sex.

Girls for now, think about how to survive outside the forest. While the boys are starting fires, learn to put them out. Girls they will accuse of being crazy. Let them.

Another trait that selling cookies gives you is Decision Making. I hope you make the decision to be strong, no matter what. I hope you dance. I hope you sing. Girls, you will need each other more than you realize. Boys will come and go, but your girls will be there for you through all your heartbreak.

“She’s a good girl, loves her Mama, loves Jesus, and America too…”—Tom Petty.

You don’t have to be a good girl. You don’t have to be a girl forever either. When you become a woman make sure you realize there will always be that little girl inside you though. That innocent girl.

Girls, you are precious. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

nina

girl scouts

 

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 February 28th, 2016  
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27
Feb

Dying to Live

I wonder how many people feel like they are dying. I mean we all are, let’s face it, dying. I wonder if we would worry so much about little things if we realized, really truly realized, that it will all vanish soon. That we will no longer be in this life, in this form.

Is that depressing? I don’t know; it is sort of the truth. A way of looking at the truth. How many of us have died already? I think a lot of us are zombies. Maybe this really is the zombie apocalypse.

Pablo Neruda says that if you don’t travel or read you are dying. When is the last time you read something that wasn’t on the Internet, like an actual book? The last time I traveled was this summer, and the winter is starting to kill me.

I feel like I’m half alive sometimes. How many people are not satisfied with their jobs? I am finally happy with my job, however, that is after many years of trial and error. I hated working at one point so much that I thought I wasn’t meant to have a job. I realized in the end that it was the wrong jobs that were killing me.

What is killing you? This is making me sad. Do you kill your self-esteem? I don’t know how many times I have thought that I’m not worth it. Things like finding love and having a family, I sometimes think I don’t deserve these things.

We argued about the Death Penalty in my class the other day. One thing that came up over and over again is that there are worse things than death in this life. Putting someone in jail for the rest of their lives could be considered worse than death.

Are you in jail? One of your own making? If you answered yes, don’t worry. There is always a silver lining. Realizing that you have cancer of the soul is the first step in getting a cure.

What’s the cure for death? Really living. You can fight your metaphorical death by choosing to live. What does it mean to live, I ask again? I will answer it again and again in different ways.

It’s not about flowers, but it is about flowers. Smell them. Talk to them. Or better yet talk to someone who cares, who sees your worth. It’s true that we all die alone, but we don’t have to live alone. We need each other.

That may seem like an oversimplified answer to an ancient problem. But I see no other way out. I want to feel passion and make my heart beat faster. What do I feel passion for? I guess I feel passion for this very song I sing, this tune that I write.

You don’t know this but I sing when I write. I think I’m Adele at times. It’s very clear to me that I’m not, but I’m passionate about every song I sing. It’s little things like songs, and water that we don’t even notice. We have clean water: it’s so clear and wonderful.

© Steve Mann | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Steve Mann | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I know that seems mundane. But actually it’s not. If you don’t appreciate the small stuff you’ll never really appreciate the big stuff. Because every day it is only water that you can count on to be there for your bathing etc. We don’t think about these things, the beautiful water running through our fingers.

There are people who would die for clean running water. I don’t even give a shit about it most of the time. Not until I’m thirsty.

I think noticing the small things, that are actually big things, can change your life. I often feel blessed that I can see. My father is blind and has been for more than twenty years. The fact that I can see should be a reason to live.

There are so many beautiful things to see. And you don’t have to go to the Grand Canyon to see them. They are in your very backyard. Whether it’s squirrel, or a blade of grass, I know you have something mesmerizing to look at.

I think that most of us think you have to go after big dreams in order to be happy. I think it’s noticing the dreams you already have that can lead you to fulfillment.

So step outside, outside of yourself. Appreciate yourself. Appreciate life.

We don’t know what happens at death, but if it can’t be worse than your life, than maybe it’s time to change. Is this preachy? Is this obvious?

Maybe. Maybe you have heard it all before.

People who are close to death, older people and those that are sick, know something that we don’t yet know. They can see what is important in life before facing death. I don’t think we should have to wait until we get to that stage to appreciate our existence.

We all know the story: don’t work too much, don’t sweat the small stuff, love thy neighbor. I don’t even like my neighbors, but the other day the next door woman who I constantly judge as being some sort of backwards housewife, helped me shovel some snow when my car got stuck in the driveway. I didn’t ask for her help.

© Ostenbaken | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Ostenbaken | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I could just think it was nothing, her helping me in the freezing cold. But it was something. Something I can wrap my head around. Something tangible to which I can say, hey, people aren’t so bad.

I know that my neighbor loves flowers, she meticulously grows them in her yard. I think I will anonymously send her flowers one day. And the card attached will say: Thank you for all that you do. I notice you. I’m paying attention.

Yes, that might translate as creepy. But that’s the problem isn’t it? Someone would not even recognize a nice gesture in world where everyone is beating themselves up.

Give yourself a break. It’s time we realized that whether the cup is half full or empty, maybe we are looking at it all wrong. There is a cup with water in it. Thank god for that. It’s time to drink it.

nina

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 February 27th, 2016  
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26
Feb

Pretty Is as Pretty Does

© Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime Stock Photos

There are moments that I just want to be pretty. I mean I don’t care if I’m smart or nice, I just want to be pretty, period. It’s twisted, it’s sort of sick. I read a quote somewhere about how unattractive women are the only women who truly understand men. But being pretty does not really have anything to do with men, or does it? Do I want to be pretty for men, or for myself, or for the world? I hope it’s not for men, that’s all I can say. No offense.

I guess I’m sort of pretty, but definitely not as pretty as I want to be. I’m fatter now, so it translates in my head as less pretty. When I was younger, and thinner, I really did rely on my beauty sometimes. I let it define me. It’s funny I didn’t really like myself then. It’s ironic I was pretty, but not happy with myself.

It’s very empty to base much of who you are on what you look like. You know, you know the truth deep down inside you…that some men want to own you and hurt you, and some women want to be you and hate you. You know that you are more than a pretty face, you know something is telling you that you are only being looked at and not heard, because you think you aren’t supposed to have a voice. Because you think you are here to be looked at.

Now I am starting to like myself more, maybe even lovish myself a little. I am more me now because I can’t rely on just my looks to be noticed. I have to be somebody…somebody complete to really even notice myself. I noticed that I really existed as a human being when I started to really struggle with my weight and consequently my ‘beauty.’ I see myself clearer now.

I’m not suggesting you get fat in order to know or be your true self. I’m suggesting you notice yourself as more than a pretty face, or a plain face, or even an ugly face. Let’s face it, there are ugly people in this world, and it is the most difficult on women. There is something deeply wrong with how much emphasis we put on our looks.

Yet I still worry about my appearance. I will go to the grocery store wearing sweats, however I won’t go to work without wearing really nice clothes and make-up. Especially when I’m teaching.

I wonder what that is really about. I need this mask on in order to stand up in front of a bunch of people and profess what little I know. Maybe I think ‘they’ will like me better if I look ‘nicer.’

My students could care less, right? It’s me. It’s all about how I perceive myself. Sometimes I can’t act as smart when I look like shit. After all, I’m a strong feminist but I still worry about the size of my breasts and the curve of my hips. I’m not totally convinced a man will love me because I’m not the size I want to be.

I stopped caring about random men, or even men in my life. I just want one man to find me beautiful. There was a time when I wanted to be wanted by a lot of men instead of just one man. I’m too old for that now. I’m too tired to care.

Psychologists would tell me that I gained weight in order to protect myself from sexual advances from random men, and they would not be wrong. I’m uncomfortable with my body.

I told my friend the other day that when I’m around tall, thin, beautiful white women, I feel small and inferior. It’s disturbing to me. My pretty white friend told me that it was probably because they represent some ideal in our society.

I’m still a slave to this bullshit? Why am I not smarter than that? I expect more from myself. My self worth is attached to the way I look. The problem with that is, I will progressively look ‘worse’ the older I get, the fatter I get. The problems with that ideology are endless…I am not an object. I’m not a thing. I’m a whole being. If I had a burned face or covered my face with a scarf, I would still be me.

Who the fuck am I anyways? I promised myself I would not be that girl, now I’m that woman. I’m that woman who looks at other women and I compare myself to them. I envy ‘perfect’ women, young women, even though I’m not that old…yet.

I know, I know in my head that all that matters is who I am inside. But it brings tears to my eyes when feel like it’s not good enough to have a wonderful, fabulous personality. I’m not even sure I have a glamorous persona, but I do know that I have to accept this person that I am. Inside and out. There are actual people in this world who love me. Despite the size of my ass and the dark circles under my eyes.

I want to ask those people sometimes what they see in me. Why I don’t always see it is beyond me. There are times when I feel so ugly and so alone. Don’t get me wrong I have a lot of confidence. Enough to go up in front of many people and speak my mind. I can work a room at a party. But sometimes it is an act.

I think of real actresses and models, there is now a movement to allow ‘plus size’ models in mainstream modeling. In fact on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swim suit issue, there was a woman who wears size 16. When I saw her picture in a bikini I can’t tell you how empowered I felt in that moment. But the truth is I can’t wait for society to empower me, I have to do it myself, for myself.  Yes we should all be accepting of every body shape, but that’s not going to happen. I want to stay empowered, but I fail sometimes.

You want to know something sad and disgusting? I saw a picture of Kelly Clarkston’s face and thought to myself, she sure has gained weight. I didn’t know she was in her last stage of pregnancy. I didn’t know that I am ill. And even if she wasn’t pregnant, why does she not have the right to be big and beautiful? Who am I to judge?

I see these people with their lip augmentations, a lot of Indian actresses are getting them, and wonder if I would look better with bigger lips. I’m not actually against plastic surgery if it makes someone feel better. But the real question is why do we think that surgery will cure us from the sickness of feeling inadequate? If it’s not my protruding belly, it’s my jiggly arms. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY BODY.

This is a problem. This is not right. Something is very wrong with this story. This is not just my story…

We have to fight this..we have to end this. It’s about time women realize that real equality starts in our minds. We must not kill our inner selves because our outer selves are not in line with an ideal that does not exist.

What this is really about is the way I feel inferior because I’m not ‘perfect’ even though I intellectually know there is no perfect. I will not ever take a full-length picture of myself. What am I supposed to do with this self-hate?

It can’t end this way. I got to come up with something.

Maybe I chose to be writer because you can’t see me in these words. But maybe words and ideas are more important than photographs and selfies. I don’t need to be pretty for you and I don’t need to be pretty for me. Life is not a beauty pageant, and if it was I would protest it.

Because I am better. Better than that. I deserve better from myself.

I will feel better because I know better. “And when you know better, you do better,’” Maya Angelou. And like Maya I’m a phenomenal woman, that’s me.

nina

pretty

 

 

 

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 February 26th, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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24
Feb

Rain In My Head

© Fred Goldstein | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Fred Goldstein | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I know this is a weird question, I know I’m strange but, anyways. Do you ever wonder how to live? I mean how it’s supposed to be done. I guess the question really is what are we really here to do? Today so far I’ve woken up, drank two cups of coffee, showered, and now I’m sitting at work…writing my blog because I have no clients. One of my jobs is being a writing tutor. I’m telling you this because I had a mundane morning and I feel like I might have a pointless existence.

Perhaps I’m just bored and I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s times like these when you can take a moment to take stock of your life. Did I come on this earth to tutor middle class students with writing? I also teach more middle class students in my classes how to write. I also write books on the side, books I hope that more middle class folks will buy. I use words like ‘folks.’

Am I doing a service to anyone? I’m not helping economically challenged children learn how to read and write. I’m not assisting Syrian refugees with how to learn English as a second language. There’s a whole bunch of stuff I’m not doing.

My father told me that teaching anything to anyone is ‘service.’ Perhaps. But am I doing something real, like making a difference in this world? I feel like writing this blog is the only form of real activism or something that I have the power to do. But realistically, only people who have access to computers can read this. Only people who can identify with my privilege will read this.

Sometimes I feel like I’m barely alive, that I’m not ‘living’ but going through the motions. I mean some people have kids; now that is something to live for. Raising a kid is really contributing to the world. I want kids too, but I’m worried that I will mess them up. Although there are kids that are already messed up, I mean how much more damage could I do? (I don’t want to know). It’s hard though, to you know, be a foster parent or adopt a child. Every kid is not as cool as Punky Brewster.

I want to do something real. Something I can truly be proud of. I have no idea what that could be.

Maybe you work for a car company or something and you can relate to my dilemma. I’m not suggesting we both quit our jobs and join the Peace Corps. I don’t know what I’m suggesting. Maybe even thinking about being a more useful human being is a start. Gandhi started out as a high-class lawyer.

But you and me are not Gandhi are we? We are just regular people trying to make it in the world. Trying to make ends meet. Trying to get ahead. Trying to be happy.

Is that enough? Should it be enough? We are just animals after all. All animals want is some food and a safe place to live. Every now and then they like to reproduce.

The only things that really makes us different than animals is that we can choose what to eat, where to live, and who to reproduce with. Besides that there ain’t much difference between us and them. Or is there?

We have this thing called a conscious, we are aware that we are thinking. I am aware that I have too much and do too little. The only real ‘service’ I’ve ever done is read to my blind father, but even he has talking books now.

What can I do? Why am I alive? I wish I could come to some grand conclusion that this life is just that, a life. Maybe our only job is to live it. Maybe our job is to love it, and love each other. I have to, after all this contemplation, believe the only real thing in this life is love. I do love quite a few people. I mean I really love them.

I should tell them. Or better yet, show them.

There is meaning in that. I got nothing else…I came here to love. I don’t know why you are here, but that’s my personal reason. You might have bigger and better goals; you might have more ideas and reasons to exist. Good for you.

For now I will stick to life as I know it, and when an opportunity to do something that really matters comes along, I might take. I might not. But at least I’m opening the door to think better and bigger thoughts. The rest will come when it comes.

nina

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 February 24th, 2016  
 ninakaur0  
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