February: The (other) Season of Commercialism

Much like Christmas, Valentine’s Day has become less about love and family, caring and kindness, and more about who can give the coolest, most expensive gift.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love a good holiday and any excuse to give/receive gifts or spend a romantic evening with my boyfriend. However I do have a few minor qualms with this particular holiday. Let’s take a look:

1) Why are we limited to one day of romanticism a year?

I know we’re not truly limited  per se, but Valentine’s Day sets a sort of precedent that it is the only day you should bother to do anything sweet for your honey. Why not be spontaneous and do sweet things just because?

2) If it’s supposed to be about love, why do we have to get such expensive gifts?
My boyfriend and I have, thankfully, made something of a continuous pact to not go overboard on V-Day. I don’t expect him pay exorbitant amounts of money, nor do I wish to myself. This year we got each other a card and some inexpensive chocolates.

3) Why exactly do we have to isolate the single people?

I have quite a few single friends and have myself experienced the “shame” of being single on V-Day before. Honestly though? I don’t think the holiday should be focused so strongly on lovers. If you want to have a girl’s night out with your best friends or take your granny out for dinner, why should that be so terrible? Love isn’t shared only between lovers, but between all types of relationships.

So what do we do?

Well, this year I’m giving silly Valentine’s to some of the people I love most and spending the day at work enjoying heart shaped donuts with my co-workers. Tonight I’ll go home and watch movies with my cats, because even though I have a boyfriend, we can’t see each other this Valentine’s Day. And you know what? It’s really not so bad.

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Doooooom Spiral

Today I’d like to talk about a very personal issue, for myself and others. I’ll start the conversation with a story.

In my first year of college, as is the case for many I’m sure, a lot changed and a lot happened. Some of which was expected, much of which was not.

In that time I made friends. More importantly, I lost friends. Loneliness coupled with boredom attached to self loathing led to what I now refer to as a doom spiral. In fact, it was the biggest spiral of my lifetime.

Calling it a doom spiral makes it seem a bit more comical and a little less devastating, but in reality it was the largest bout of depression I had ever and have ever had. My Facebook was filled with self-deprecation and anguish, which in reality were the biggest cries for help I could manage. My roommate had moved out of our dormroom and all the friends we had shared went with her. I was two hours and a hundred miles away from my family and all my friends from high school and I was (or so I felt) utterly and blatantly alone.

My parents had a vague idea of how unhappy I was. I went home as often as possible and would offhandedly mention my lack of friends and how much I missed home while feigning that I still had any semblance of happiness left in my body. They had only an idea the extent of the storm raging inside me.

Oppositely, my best friend of six years quietly despaired for me, seeing my Facebook and being able to interpret the meaning, sending caring messages which fell to deaf ears. She later told me just how scared she had been for me. Scared and useless at not being able to do anything for me.

Finally, I began to admit the problem to myself and that I needed help. The first step I took was talking to my RA. After a couple visits where I hinted at my issue,  she suggested I make an appointment with one of our school counselors and even offered to walk over with me and help me set up the appointment. I declined, but after another couple weeks of listlessness, I finally scheduled a meeting.

The remainder of the semester was a bit of a blur. Things still weren’t perfect, but they were improving. I started feeling better, started making friends, and slowly stopped feeling like I was falling apart. I stopped spending so many weekends at my parents and started attending events. Instead of thinking I wouldn’t come back after the summer, I made plans and landed a job as an RA for the following year.

My hope had returned. My despair thrown to the wayside. Life continued as it always does.

Now, I think it’s important to note that I don’t mean this to be entirely self-serving. I am not looking for pity or sympathy. I simply wish to raise a little awareness. Since that time in my life, I have never reached that level of depression, though I do occasionally fall back into doom spirals.

What I think is important is that we as people, as friends, as family members, learn to be more aware of these situations. Whenever I see something that reminds me of that time in my life appear on Facebook, I leave a kind word, or send a message to check on the person. If someone does a need to talk, I listen. I look for signs, because I would wish on no one what my life was like back then.

If you yourself suffer from depression, I enthusiastically recommend that you reach out to someone. A friend. A forum. Your doctor. Anyone. Because holding it in doesn’t make you feel better and doing nothing will only allow it to get worse. Know that you are not alone, no matter how much you may feel so. Know that there is help and even if you can’t see it now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

All my love,

Skyler

A Community of Love

Just yesterday I posted something relating to MLP: Friendship is Magic. At that time I was simply commenting on a fan product. Today I will comment on the Community that product resulted from.

But first, the reason why I feel a commentary is necessary. Today while traipsing through my Facebook news feed, I came across a post from The Hub, the network which hosts My Little Pony. That post was as follows:

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First seeing this, I was extremely confused as it offered no real details on the situation. My first thought was that perhaps it was one of the voice actors for the show that had fallen ill or passed away.

Curious, I googled the name to find out what exactly was going on. This was what I was greeted with:

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Micheal Morones is an 11 year old boy who loves My Little Pony. His favorite character is Pinkie Pie. He loves the music of Lindsey Sterling and Pentatonix. He sounds like a great addition to the nerd community. Unfortunately, he has been bullied by his schoolmates for his Brony interests. The result is…. well, you can read the story here.

While this is a terribly tragic situation which saddens my heart to hear about I am truly amazed by how much the MLP community, and others, have stepped up. Carla Goldman helped to raise awareness of the situation and bullying by writing about it in her blog. Through her I learned that the actress who voices Pinkie Pie as well as other members of the cast have been sending Michael messages of inspiration from our Ponyville friends in hopes of helping him get better. Which I think is absolutely wonderful. Hasbro has offered their condolences and support. A GoFundMe campaign is raising money to help with Michael’s medical bills. Bronies around the world are sending their love.

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All in all, I am thoroughly impressed with the amount of love and support the community has offered to Michael and his family and I hope that his story will be beneficial in the fight against bullying. The results lead me to believe  there may still be some hope for humanity after all.

To the Bronies I say good work and keep at it! The world may not accept you and your Pegasisters, but take stock in the fact that you are doing good. Thank you for taking a stance and making a difference. Know that I love you and the things you are doing. Rock on Bronies.

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I Don’t Like “People”

I’ve been waiting fo someone to write about this.

Wandering Thoughts

(You, on the other hand, are awesome.)

I enjoy a good rant every now and then, but I’m going to try to keep this very civil, polite, and light-hearted.  I’m going to start with a simple fact.  People are exceptionally stupid.  Yes, this is the most civil way to express the painful degree of willful ignorance and the general auto-lobotomistic tendencies of the masses.  This came up recently because I have access to the internet, and so do people, but I’m going to be more specific and provide a few examples in response to a pretty tame and pleasant advertisement for Coca-Cola (you can watch it here).

I really don’t like to pay attention to these sorts of feces-flinging protozoa, as it generally just feeds their shallow pleasure in being observed.  So please note I can’t describe my level of disinterest in these people.  My concern is that they…

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FlufflePuff is Most Important

Whether you’re a brony, a pegasister, a person who doesn’t classify, or even someone who doesn’t normally like My Little Pony, I believe this is something that can provide excessive amounts of entertainment and smiles.

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I was introduced to FlufflePuff by a friend who thought it would motivate me to blog more. He left this video on my Facebook (thanks again, Ian). Well, I enjoyed it immensely and thought it was only proper that I write a blog about it, because it did indeed make me smile. Several weeks later I was able to use FlufflePuff to help another friend smile.

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Turns out that there are various FlufflePuff videos and it seemas she originated on a Tumblr Ask Account. Which I am now enjoying thoroughly.

So if you find yourself in need of a laugh and a smile, stroll over to Fluffle’s place and pffftftpfpfffttff for a while.

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Candy Crush Tyrant

What's Your Tag?

Candy Crush Tyrant
Recently King, the developer responsible the overly successful mobile game Candy Crush Saga, took legal action againstStoic Studios in an attempt to block the trademark for their latest game, The Banner Saga. King has trademarked the words “candy” and “saga” to “protect it’s intellectual properties.” Now any title, big or small, shall be subject to the rule King’s pack of powerful attorneys.

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Family Matters

So, for the past month or so I’ve been hearing this advertisement on the radio while driving to/from work. I have bristled with contempt each time I have heard it. I don’t even remember what it’s about now, because as soon as I hear the first line, which is the part that bothers me, I change stations.

What could this line be, you may ask, that offends me so? It is as follows:

“As a woman, my family is most important to me.”

This seems fairly unimposing. Why would this be offensive. What strikes me each time is the “as a woman” bit.

As a woman, family is most important to me. I’m not sure why this rubs me the wrong way so much. Maybe because I feel it makes the assumption that family should be the most important aspect of life to a woman. Maybe because it suggests that as a man, family is not and cannot be the most important thing.

Honestly, I feel like those three words “as a woman” are a hugely unnecessary addition to whatever it is this commercial is advertising. Like caring about your family is conditional and if you aren’t a woman it can’t possibly be the most important thing to you.

Who knows? Maybe I’m just not womanly enough to understand.

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