“Cooking is love made visible”

Cooking

As defined by dictionary.com, is the art of preparing food. The art, not the act, not the practice… The art of preparing food.

I love that. It’s rather poetic, I think.

12662707_10153568551508558_284141729785233262_n
Risotto, beef and goat cheese spread, bruschetta and grilled mushrooms.

A few weeks ago I shared that I went to see a therapist; I initially went to see her because I was struggling to adjust and cope with Lucas living far away. I was very afraid that being in different cities would cause us to become distant. In my very first appointment I talked a lot about how I was constantly reminding him how much I cared, loved and missed him. And while he always said it back, I didn’t feel as though he put as much effort into doing the same for me. My therapist, Angelika, immediately introduced me to the 5 love languages.

turf
Surf & Turf with garlic butter and a green salad.

The 5 Love Languages is a book by Gary Chapman. He says that there is no right way to express love and that each and every person expresses and experiences love differently. Chapman has broken down these ways of loving into 5 categories or love languages. Any given person may use one or all of the love languages at any given time but it’s very common to value 1 of the 5 languages above and beyond the others.

  1. Giving words of affirmation
  2. Spending quality time
  3. Giving/receiving gifts
  4. Acts of service
  5. Physical Touch

As I described above, I highly value the love language of giving words of affirmation. I feel that it is important to tell someone how you feel. Perhaps this comes from my literature background or my theatre background, who knows. All I know is that words have a lot of power and meaning for me, so when I tell someone that I love and care for them, I really mean it.

Lucas, on the other hand, values the love language of acts of service above the others. He feels that it is more important to do something for someone as a means of showing love than it is to simply say it. He is an actions speak louder than words kind of guy.

12065754_10153381863703558_1532889524850629661_n
Pork tenderloin, asparagus and mango salad.

In his book Chapman explains that it is pretty common for couples to use love different love languages to express how they feel. The issue arises when one or both parties don’t realize that they are speaking different languages. Since learning about the 5 love languages I am have had a much easier time experiencing and expressing love. And not just in a romantic way, towards my family and friends as well. I’m more in tune now to what they need. For example, cleaning the kitchen for my mum means so much more to her than just saying to her that she’s great, although she also appreciates a the words when they are said.

As for me and Lucas; I was feeling down because he wasn’t reciprocating my words of affirmation, ie. He wasn’t expressing love in the language I understand best. Instead he would provide acts of service, for example, cooking me a romantic meal. Being a chef, cooking is Lucas’ favourite way of expressing his love. When I visit him at school Lucas spends most of the day deciding what he’s going to make for dinner. In the afternoon we go shopping and in the evening he cooks! We listen to music, we drink wine, we chat about life and he cooks. I offer to help but he enjoys cooking for me because that is the best way he knows how to express love. And man oh man, do I love him for that.

12650896_10153568551018558_7729595105121475215_n
Charcuterie board.

“Cooking is love made visible”

Anonymous

Advertisements

BYOB – Bring Your Own Book

Ever since I graduated from University I have had a craving to start a book club. After spending 4 years reading and talking about books for academic credit, I was itching to read and talk about books for fun.

books

But here is the thing with book clubs… They kind of suck. Let me tell you why:

1) You have to buy a new book every month

This isn’t such a bad or outrageous thing but sometimes it’s more important to buy groceries than a new book. Sometimes books are really expensive. Sometimes you buy a book and you find that it is the worst book on the planet but you’ve already paid for it and written your name in the front cover so you can’t even return it and get your money back.

2) If you don’t finish the book then you can’t participate/attend

Life is cray. This is a fact. As hard as we might try, there are days when curling up with a good book just isn’t an option. Then days turn into weeks and before you know it the next book club has arrived and all you know about the thing is the title. Now what? Do you attend but not join in on the conversation, risk discovering major plot points and spoilers? Or do you not go at all? There is no winning in this situation.

3) You read the book but can’t attend the meeting

Before bed, on the train, at the gym you were reading reading reading and then the next meeting is rescheduled last minute and you will be out of town! Well doesn’t that suck. Now you have bought and read this book that you didn’t even really like that much and you can’t attend the book club after all.

I could go on. I won’t, but I could. There are just too many reasons why traditional book clubs don’t work for me. So my friend Kim and I came up with an alternative to the traditional style.

BYOB.

Bring your own book.

book Club

This is how it works. Everyone brings a book that they have already read and that they want to recommend to others. At the meeting everyone gets a chance to share (without spoilers) why they are recommending this book. And then everyone trades!

Short on money? No problem. As there is no purchasing. Just borrowing.

Didn’t finish the book before the next meeting? No problem. At the next meeting you can request to keep the same book.

Hated the book and decided not to finish it? No problem. At the next meeting you have the chance to share (without spoilers) why you don’t recommend this book.

Can’t make it to the next meeting? No problem. You can choose to meet up with the person who borrowed your book/whose book you borrowed outside of book club and trade back, or just hang on to the book until you can make it to a meeting again.

The BYOB method solves all the issues that I have with traditional book clubs. The only snag we ran into was that someone brought a book that we had all read. But this will only be an issue for the first meeting. At the next meeting, in addition to bringing back the book you borrowed, you should/can also bring a new book from your own collection to recommend and trade. So after the first meeting there will be more books than people in the rotation. The best part about this system is that you are receiving a recommendation from someone you trust.

Worried about getting your beloved books back? I feel that. I used a google docs spreadsheet to keep track of which books belong to which person and who borrowed the book. I also took down everyone’s phone number and email so that everyone had a means of getting in touch with one another. We also all wrote our names in the front cover of the book. Just in case.

Me and my friends really enjoyed chatting about books in a very relaxed setting for an evening and we can’t wait to have the next meeting.

Do you participate in a book club? Share in the comments!

 

I Went to Therapy and it was totally normal, helpful and not a big deal

It’s no secret that mental health is a stigmatized subject. Research tells us that mental illness affects people of all ages, all educational levels, all income levels and all cultures. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association 20% of Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. That is approximately 7 million people! And still people get awkward and weird when the topic of mental health is brought up.

This September I started regularly seeing a holistic therapist, Angelika. This is like the naturopathic version of a normal therapist. The biggest difference being that Angelika doesn’t have a doctorate and so she doesn’t prescribe medication. Most of her methods and techniques focus on belief change using methods such as guided meditation, positive visualizations, supportive mantra’s, hypnosis, ect. It sounds fancy but for the most part my sessions consisted of me talking and her listening, just like in the movies but without the fancy couch.

I decided to start seeing Angelika when I realized I was struggling to cope in everyday life. She had worked with a friend of mine who saw real positive results and I knew that talking to someone was my best option. You see, a lot happened in September. I moved into downtown Toronto, Lucas moved 2 hours away for school, I started a new job. All very exciting stuff but it was a lot all at the same time and as it turns out, I had some trouble adjusting to it all.

One Monday evening in September I went to yoga class to help calm me down. While in the change room, I put my jewelry in a side pocket of my bag. The next morning I went to get my jewelry from my bag and it wasn’t there and I went from panicked to hysterical to ballistic in minutes. I ended up having to call in to work and take the morning off as a personal day. I couldn’t breathe, I was hyperventilating, I couldn’t stop crying. It took hours for me to calm down. Was the jewelry special? For sure. Was it worth that much stress and anxiety? Hell no. It was just the cherry on top of the overwhelmed pie and that was the moment I knew that I needed to get some help asap.

I met with Angelika 5 times over the course of 4 months and it has made such a positive difference in my life. I feel so much more relaxed, I am managing stressful situations better, and I have a much more positive outlook on the big and small things in my life. We talked about all sorts of things but when whittled down most of my fears and anxieties were rooted in communication with others. Communication with Lucas, my friends, my co-workers, my sisters, my parents. With Lucas, it was a fear of being unable to communicate while being far apart and I was so afraid of that happening that I was making it happen. With my sisters, it was a judgement thing. I thought they judged me and so I treated them a certain way in response to what I assumed they were thinking. It put strain on my relationships. Working with Angelika I have learned how to be less hard on myself and less judgmental and presumptuous in my communication with others. My relationship with Lucas (despite being long distance) has never been stronger. We share more now than we did when we lived together and we have learned how to make each visit more meaningful. Also, my relationship with my sisters is so much better. We used to bicker all the time, which is normal for sisters but was also very sad. For the first time in my life it feels like my sisters and I are friends rather than frenemies and it feels so good!

In October I slipped up while talking with a co-worker and said “oh I was talking with my therapist about that this morning”. He looked at me like I had three heads. At the time I was embarrassed. Even though I was making so much progress, I was proud of myself and I felt like I was controlling my life instead of my life controlling me. I was embarrassed that I had admitted this secret to someone. But now I am realizing that I have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. So I need someone who is unbiased to listen to me vent every once in a while, so what?! It’s healthy! I’m getting things, emotions, thoughts and feelings out into the open and then dealing with them in a rational and clearly thought out way. The way I see it, everyone should be taking the time and energy to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about, it would make the world a much nicer place.

So if you have been thinking about therapy, any kind—do it! Let this post as a sign! Yes, the first appointment is awkward and weird and nerve-wracking but also so incredibly worth it. Let them think that I have three heads… I feel great and that is all that matters.

Apprendre le français

Bonjour mes amis! Hello my friends!

New life goal: Learn French.

“Aren’t you Canadian?! Isn’t French your country’s second language? Didn’t they teach you that in school?”

Yes, I am Canadian. Yes, French is Canada’s official second language. Yes, I studied French in school from grade 4 to grade 9. But sadly, I can’t speak, write or read French.

I have some words in the back of my head from my many years of French education (jambon = ham / bibliothèque = library / papillon = butterfly). But after grade 9 (age 14/15) French language is not a mandatory course and I between then and now (ten years…) I seem to have forgotten basically everything. In addition, I wasn’t all that great with the language even when I was studying it on a regular basis.

So why do I want to learn French now? After all this time getting along just fine with English.

french

Well, I suppose it’s a number of reasons. I want to give myself a challenge. I want to be a more rounded citizen. I want to be able to travel and communicate with different people. That is the true goal here, communication. I wont be reading French novels or anything like that but I want to be able to talk to people and get by on my own with French.

They say that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. Well I can’t go to Quebec or France anytime soon so here is how I will be immersing myself in french.

  • Facebook – I have changed my facebook default language to French so that my brain has to work a little harder while browsing the web.
  • Duolingo – This handy little app teaches you the basics of a language through little quizzes and tests right on your phone. So I have a goal to do 20 minutes a day.
  • Talking – I have a few friends who are bilingual and they have agreed to talk to me in french sometimes so that I can become more familiar with the language.

Here’s hoping this will be a fun, challenging and rewarding learning journey!

Au Revoir!

 

Looking backwards. Moving Forwards.

Happy New Year! 

NYE

I am a little late to the game but I hope everyone had a safe, fun and happy new years. My roommates and I threw a very successful party. Potentially party of the year, I’d say! More on that in another post. 

Last year I took some time to lay out 3 new years resolutions. It is a healthy activity, I think, to take time to look at your life and focus the lens a little. Here are my goals/resolutions from 2015:

Learn to cook: checkmark-clip-artI am no chef by any means but for the most part I have figured out how to make myself a decent meal. Sometimes it’s a super amazingly delicious meal and sometimes it is just edible but hey, I still cooked it! My best meal in my books is probably the sweet potato medley or perhaps chicken. 

Embrace the now: download This is still a work in progress, I have a feeling it always will be. It is so easy to look forward to the future and imagine all the possibilities and doing that sometimes isn’t a bad thing. But I still feel as though I spend more time in my head, enjoying my pretend future, than in the real world with my present. 

Run a 5k Race: checkmark-clip-art Success! This year I ran not one but two 5km races! Checking this off the list was a very big highlight of my 2015 and proof to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. Go Me! 

IMG_6397

So there you have it, folks. Two out of three resolutions deemed successful!

Now onto 2016! 

Live in the Present: download I am rephrasing the above resolution a little bit. This year I want to be present and enjoy the here and now. I think digging deeper into my yoga and meditation practice will really help with this, so I guess this resolution is a fancy way of saying “do more yoga”.

Start Saving:download I’m a real life adult now and that means I need to start acting like one financially. So I am going to create a budget and stick to it!

Embrace fitness as a lifestyle, instead of a chore: download The goal here is to have fun being healthy. Right now I feel obligated and almost forced to go to the gym. I am hoping to modify my mentality and enjoy my workouts as a part of a healthy lifestyle instead of as punishment.

These goals are less tangible than those from 2015. Well, other than the money one. But I think these are the things in my life that can be improved on. Personal growth is always a good thing. So hopefully by keeping these goals in mind throughout the year, 2016 will be the best year yet.

Be sure to check in about 365 days from now to see if I was successful!

Share in the comments! What are your 2016 New Years Resolutions?

The time I met Rachel McAdams

On December 19th, 2015, I met the one and only Rachel McAdams. For those of you who are think “who?” Allow me to refresh your memory.

Canadian actress best known for Mean Girls, The Notebook, The Time Travelers Wife, Wedding Crashers, About Time, Sherlock Holmes, ect. She is beautiful and talented and did I mention that she is Canadian?!

She is without a doubt one of my favourite actresses and last Saturday, I met her! How?! She was at my choir concert! Right in the front row! Do you know what that means?! RACHEL MCADAMS SAW ME SING!!! I SANG FOR RACHEL MCADAMS!!!

This is the story…

After the concert ended someone whispered “did you hear that Rachel McAdams is here?” Me and a few other singers were determined just to catch a glimpse and luckily the exit for the first row was right by the singers door. So when she came out (looking flawless) another girl asked if we could get a picture and she was so sweet and said yes! So we all jumped into the picture with her.

945295_10153463566668558_6468309240316856953_n

Then we thanked her for coming to see us sing and she very sweetly said that she loved it and that our show really put her in the Christmas spirit! I PUT RACHEL MCADAMS IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!!!

The best part of this story is my best friend’s older sister. Right there next to Rachel McAdams, is Catherine. Catherine has downs syndrome and she is one of the kindest, sweetest and sassiest people I know. Catherine joined the photo at the very last second. Afterwards we said “Catherine, do you realize who you just took a picture with?” and she responded with “all of my best friends, of course”. She had no idea that she was standing next to Rachel McAdams. So we told her and she was SO happy. She gave Rachel the BIGGEST hug and said “you are incredible”. Rachel very graciously agreed to one more photo with Catherine and I am honestly not sure who looks happier. It is really important to me that she was so kind to us but especially to Catherine. That makes her a great person in my books. It truly was such a lovely experience to meet her. Hopefully we’ll see her again at next years Winter Concert!

12294831_10156362111815252_8539056843625614265_n

How on earth is it already December?!

Oops. I did it again.

I let another 5 weeks go by without a post.

Honestly, I have no idea how it’s already December! Time is literally flying! In my last post I shared about my new role as an event planner. I am still loving the new position and it’s still super busy but to use my job as an excuse again would be dishonest.

I’ve just been lazy.

Okay, that is also not entirely true.

Life has been busy. Not just work, life in general has been busy. It’s actually quite a shame that I haven’t been posting because I have had some good stories to tell. Anyway, recently when I get home in the evenings I find it much more appealing to do nothing (like literally nothing) than to sit down and concentrate on writing a blog post.

But I like sharing my stories and adventures and goals and happenings, I like writing. So let this be my second attempt at getting back into blogging.

For my first post “back” let’s recap the exciting goings on of October & November.

11013463_10153381891213558_2722628597736842054_n

This year for Halloween Lucas and I went as Clarke Kent and Lois Lane. It was a pretty last minute costume. Lucas wanted a costume where he could wear a suit. So this seemed like a pretty easy option. It sort of felt like I was just wearing my work clothes. When Lucas wasn’t around people asked me if I was a boss… Which is a great question to be asked most of the time but on Halloween it wasn’t exactly what I was going for.

12195986_10153798318804015_6009631043307632512_n

Still, we had fun getting dressed up together. The party that we went to was a little bit of a let down. It was advertised as a blow out dance party at a dance hall but it ended up being a small amount of people in a very large room. Do you remember how awkward dances were in middle school? That’s basically what this Halloween party felt like.

It was at this awkward party that I decided that I don’t like going out. Expensive drinks, strangers, excessively loud music. Nope. No thank you. I would much rather go to a house party where the drinks are free, the people are friendly and the music is the most perfect volume (it’s also the perfect playlist because it’s your iPod). I think it must be the event planner in me, but I would so much rather host a party than go out to a bar. But hey, that’s just me. Speaking of hosting parties, my roommates and I hosted our first (and presumably only) house warming party!

12119123_10154274387741040_5799760427448978820_n
This is Jessie, Karin, Katie and me. Obviously.

We’re pretty fun and exciting people and we were super pumped about our party. I have to say, despite a slight hiccup, the party was a huge success. Lots of people came out and we all had a great time. The hiccup was a hour long power outage around midnight. Normally complete and total darkness would end a party pretty quickly. But we got some candles and the party kept going well into the morning.

dark

Another major highlight of this past month was one of my work events. Our annual fundraising gala! This is a big event for us because its a 3 parter. First is a singing competition. A selection of the country’s best opera singers compete for the title of Canada’s next Opera star. It’s a bit like american idol for opera. The audience gets to vote and everything. Part two is a classy little cocktail hour. And for part three, about 300 people join us on stage for a gala dinner. It is incredibly grand! The decor was my favourite part.

centre stage
Photo by Ikonica Images

Aside from those major events, I’ve been trying to revamp my workout routine. More on that in another post. I’ve also been reading a lot. Trying to keep up with my goal of reaching my 50 books, although I probably won’t reach that goal this year. Again, more on that later.

All in all a pretty great fall. And now onto an even better winter! Only 19 days till Christmas!

12036535_10153369795618558_400401531322178560_n

Life as an Event Planner

Hello Blog world,

It’s been a while, eh? I’ll be honest; I’ve been actively avoiding my blog. I hate admitting that but there is no sense lying. As per usual I have a long list of excuses and I can’t even begin to explain them all in this post because two months’ worth of excuses would make for a hella long post. So instead I am going to share just one of my excuses, which I briefly talked about before my long hiatus.

COC_FINAL-65
Photo by: Inna Yasinska

I was promoted to the events team at work in August and man oh man, it has been so busy! I originally predicted that I would be posting once a week with the new job, I obviously under estimated how crazy busy event work can be! In my old position I worked the good ol’ 9 to 5, now I am still doing 9 to 5 but I am also putting in evening and weekend hours for all the events. I don’t mind doing the extra time, in fact I need the extra time in the day to get everything ready for the events. It just means I have less of my own down time and recently when I have had down time I’ve used it to read or hang out with my roommates or catch up on all the new fall tv. That is why the blog has been neglected.

COC-20150916-095
Photo by: Henry Chan

Despite LOVING my new role, I have missed blogging and everything that comes with it. I’ve missed reading and responding to comments, I’ve missed reading other people’s blogs, and most importantly I’ve missed the activity of self-reflection that blogging allows me to do. So I am going to try really hard to be a little more present here again now that life has calmed down a little. I won’t make any promises on how often I’ll be writing and reading but you can expect it to be more frequent than the last little while.

195A8141
Photo by: Dave Cox

I figured since I’ve been so busy with my events I should talk a little more about those. I am responsible for planning and executing all of my company’s engagement events. That is small scale events that encourage involvement between the company and the patrons. That could mean a number of things; a cocktail party featuring a musical performance, a dinner and an educational chat, or an opening night celebration party!

DSC_8965
Photo by: Joey Lopez

A lot of what I do is coordination but sometimes I get to make decisions like what the menu will be, the floral arrangements, what linens and décor to use. I know it seems trivial but this stuff can make or break the atmosphere of a good event. I have learnt so much already in my short time in this role. The fall events are over now so I’ve got a bit of a cooling off period before it is time to gear up for all the winter events. I can’t wait to use my new knowledge and make the next events even better!

To see more of my events and behind the scenes photos follow me on Instagram: @canadianopera_events

Photo by: Inna Yasinska
Photo by: Inna Yasinska

So here’s to my mum and dad!

I just have to take a moment and tell the whole wide world just how wonderfully amazing my parents are. Seriously! There are not enough descriptive words out there to describe how just how incredible they are.

10698482_10152809796802642_3574263055124424823_n
Cutting the cake at their 25th Wedding Anniversary Party
Firstly, let me point out that there are 4 of us. Yup 4 kids! By today’s standards that just a pretty big family. And the age difference is decently spaced as well. I’m 24, my first younger sister is 22, my second younger sister is 17 and my brother is 14. So they had toddlers with teenagers and now they have teenagers with emerging adults (which is basically the same thing as a toddler). That alone sounds like a challenge, right?! Well on top of just raising us to have good manners and be normalish human beings they managed to come to every dance recital, hockey game, choir concert, baseball game, play performance, and got us to every rehearsal and practice in between. If that isn’t superhuman powers then I don’t know what is.
10268507_10152682773903558_804318979357537822_n
Our big ol’ family.
Once when I was in third year, my university friends and I decided to book a vacation to Cuba. We had everything figured out except for how to get from London, Ont. (where we went to school) to the Toronto airport. It’s about a 2 hour drive. We looked into shuttle buses and taxi’s but it was all so expensive and so complicated. So I was venting to my mum one afternoon about how much money I was going to have to shell out for an overnight shuttle bus and she said “oh don’t do that, your dad will come get you” and next thing I knew my dad was picking up me and 4 of my friends (and all our luggage) from London. He drove us back to Toronto where my mum fed us a fantastic home cooked meal, she then set us all up with beds in the living room and then at 3 am my dad woke us up to drive us all to the airport for our 6 am flight. Then a week later he picked us all up and drove us all back to London again.
My parents have also helped me to move in and out of 4 houses in 3 different cities over the course of 6 years. And somehow every moving day is excruciatingly hot. One time we opened my storage unit to find that a fine layer of mould was covering everything. So I’m addition to moving everything from point A to point B, they helped me to wipe everything down with bleach and water before carrying it into my new place. And they took all the un-salvageable stuff to the dump for me.
They let my friends use the cottage for free, my dad lets Lucas drive the boat, and at the age of 24 my mum will still pick me up from the train and drive me home to Lucas’ house if it is cold and I’m getting home too late. All that and so much more. They do so much all the time and they never ask for anything in return. Give. Give. Give. And just when I thought I had seen the  most of their kindness hey went above and beyond again. This time not only for me but also for Lucas.
We needed to get his furniture to his new apartment in London but after a series of unfortunate events Lucas couldn’t do any heavy lifting and we also couldn’t get a moving truck. We thought we were stuck. for real, I thought Lucas would be sleeping on an air mattress in an empty apartment for the first two weeks of school. But my parents stepped up and came through for us again. Since they were making a day trip out to London anyway they took a load of Lucas’ heavy furniture all the way to his new apartment. That is a two hour drive and up a flight of stairs and everything. (Naturally today is very hot). The kicker, Lucas and I weren’t even there to help they did it all on their own. And again asking for nothing in return and without a single complaint.
I’ve always known that I was loved. I’ve always known that I was lucky to have parents who are willing to give me so much but it’s just now as I’m entering adulthood that I understand why they do what they do. I think it’s more than just love. I think it’s the fact that they truly want nothing more than to see their children happy. And so they don’t buy us fancy toys or spoil us with money, instead to do everything in their power to help us succeed, to help us be the best versions of ourselves. Now I’m not saying they are perfect parents, my family is just as dysfunctional as the next family and I really do feel that nothing and noone is ever perfect, but there is no denying that my parents are pretty darn fantastic.  So thank you, thank you, a million times thank you for all that you do for us. I know that if I can give to my children and loved ones as much as you have given to me then I will have succeeded in life.
So here’s to my mum and dad. Thank you, again. You are both incredible. I love you.
1910322_124135163557_7864423_n

Call Me Cait

Today, I came across a post shared by an acquaintance on facebook. This post was written and published publicly by someone else, a stranger whom I have never met, it was then shared by the person who I know. I wont name names, this isn’t an all out war. This particular post was in regards to Caitlin Jenner. You can read for yourself below, but the post was rude, biased and in short, completely absurd. Needless to say I was angry. So on my lunch I wrote a pretty well worded response (if I do say so myself), and had every intention of posting it on the acquaintances wall. However, after maliciously typing I thought better of myself and decided to post it on this public forum instead. First you will find the original post by the stanger. Followed by my response.

11168431_10203882476055502_4122802562499440895_n
Original Post

I’ve heard you say you “identify as a woman”. But I find that highly unlikely and insulting. You see, Mr. Jenner, there is more to being a woman than beautiful gowns and fake boobs. There is more to being a woman than makeup and pretty hair. This is something we mothers begin teaching our young daughters at an early age.

As a woman of nearly 50 years, I can tell you what it is truly like to be a woman. You may be able to understand or even empathize, but you are definitely NOT able to “identify”. For instance, you will never know what it is like to wake up every 28 days with searing stomach pain so bad it doubles you over, yet still trot off to work or school as though everything is fine. You will never know what it is like to have your car break down on the side of the road and when a couple men stop to help your prayer is that their intentions are good because there is no way on earth you have the ability to physically hang let alone overpower them. You have no idea what it is like to long to have a child only to have your third miscarriage, yet still manage to be able to share in the joy of all the other young mothers in your life. You will never know what it’s like to get pregnant, gain 40 lbs (1/3 your total body weight), hurl all morning long for 4 months straight, yet still care for your other two toddlers, and not drive your husband to the brink. You will never know what it is like to give birth to a 10 lb. baby boy with absolutely no medication!!! You will never know what it is like at the age of 50 to be walking down the streets of Phoenix and popping in the Dairy Queen for a cool refreshing treat only to be gripped at that moment with your fourth hot flash of the day.

I have, in my life, met many women who have been widowed. For me to walk up to them and say I identify with them would be ludicrous. Like I said earlier, I can empathize with them, but I cannot identify myself as one of them because I don’t know what that is like – I can only imagine. And let’s not even talk about women who have worked through their double mastectomy.

No, Mr. Jenner there is more to being a woman than you could ever experience or even imagine. And lesson #1 for all true women is this – botox injections, plastic surgeries, designer clothing, and public approval is NOT what makes a woman. A real woman is one who in spite of the stretch marks, age spots, dirt under her nails and tired eyes, and even with 1/2 plastic photoshopped supermodels as her competition, she has carried herself in such a way that her family, husband, and children, see her real beauty and find her far more valuable than rubies or diamonds and they rise up and call her blessed.

Mr. Jenner you are a privileged white male living in the U.S.A. In fact, you are so free and so privileged, you can even spend your massive amounts of money to change your outward appearance to whatever you wish. That is NOT something most woman around the globe are free to do even if they wanted. MOST women in our world don’t even have access to a high school education. So, Mr. Jenner, I find your claim to identify as “a woman” disingenuous, uneducated, and honestly – quite offensive.

tumblr_npfrrf8yxS1r5wwi8o5_500 nadia cover6n-1-web 2974A8A200000578-0-image-a-94_1433793321137 2974B90C00000578-0-image-a-93_1433793315132


My Response
I have to start by saying that I do not normally do this. And by this I mean leave preachy comment on people’s posts. One because nothing realistically nothing I type is going to change the way you feel and two, because I hate dramatic feuds. But this
post, this bothered me, it irked me and it frustrated me. So much so that I have spent all morning thinking about it, instead of focusing on my job. This then frusterated me even more because I have got shit to do. So here I am commenting on someones post, doing something I do not do simply because this portrayal of what it means to be a woman is so severely closed minded and narrow that I can’t just ignore it.

The first paragraph of this post is not incorrect. There is more to being a woman than beauty. However, this is the first and last thing written in this post that I can agree with. Let’s make a list shall we:

– Not all women get periods. Many do. But many do not, be it because of health and fertility issues or birth control, or because they are trans-gendered. At the end of the day not all women get periods.
– Not all women assume that any man who approaches her to offer help is actually intending to attack them. This is incredibly sexist and misguided.
– And even if a man had bad intentions, some women could totally overpower these men because some women are super strong, some women are super smart, some women are super precautions and rely on more than just a prayer to keep themselves safe.
– Not all women have miscarriages
– Better yet, not all women have children, not all women try to have children, not all women want children
– Not all women have nausea while pregnant, not all women get super duper hormonal while pregnant, some do, but not everyone.
– Not all women get married, and those who do don’t necessarily get married to men.

Each and every one of these claims is just ridiculous. Most of these claims are stating popular biological facts about the female sex. And Caitlin Jenner is a women who will never have the experience of being female. Because she doesn’t have female sex organs such as a uterus, ect. But womanhood, and the woman gender is not biological. It is a social construction. Therefore Caitlin Jenner can most definitely identify as woman. If she, or any trans-gendered person for that matter, feels that they connect with and relate to and identify with the social construction of what it means to be a woman more than a man, then who are you to disagree with them.

Some trans-gendered women will change their names, some will take estrogen pills to prevent things like facial hair and body hair (things that are more inherent to someone of the male sex but don’t necessarily appear and all people who identify as men) , some will have plastic surgery to greatly alter their appearances. And some will not. But that does not mean that either person is more of less of a women.

I guess, at the end of the day, what I am trying to say is that all people experience life, gender and sexuality differently. What I experience as a female who identifies as a women is going to be different from what my sister experiences as a female who also identifies as a women. And our experiences will be different from a male who identifies as a women and from a female who identifies as a man. Yes, it is a difficult concept to grasp, gender fluidity, but no persons experience should ever be discounted and discredited just because it is different from your own.