On Educating On Important Issues, or I’m Trying To Figure Out How To Not Alienate People By Being Too Passionate And Stuff

On Educating On Important Issues, or I’m Trying To Figure Out How To Not Alienate People By Being Too Passionate And Stuff

I’m the first to admit I’m an acquired taste.

When you first meet me, I’m painfully shy and have a difficult time carrying a conversation (especially if I don’t find you particularly interesting…shhhhhh…)

And once I warm up, I’m a passionate flailing-muppet-arm word-vomity mess.  Without a filter.  I overshare.  I’m brutally open and honest to a fault.  Some may even call me abrasive or obnoxious.

Especially when you get me going on issues I’m passionate about.

This has been something that has become painfully clear to me over this past year on my path to a deeper sense of self awareness.

And so, here I am, with a whole lot to say about things that directly affect me and the people I care about, trying to figure out how to speak about them and gently educate people who may not be aware of them and/or strongly disagree with them.

There’s a fine line to walk and, over the past election season especially, I have witnessed all sorts of variations of communication and debate.

Continue reading “On Educating On Important Issues, or I’m Trying To Figure Out How To Not Alienate People By Being Too Passionate And Stuff”

On My Journey to Being A Bleeding-Heart-Liberal, or How My Christian College Made Me This Way

On My Journey to Being A Bleeding-Heart-Liberal, or How My Christian College Made Me This Way

CW:  Homophobic slurs, gay bashing, hate speech against people of color

I was born into one of those nuclear families, with two parents who were still together, one slightly younger sister, and various dogs, cats, bunnies, lizards and an ill-fated hedgehog.

spaanstra-family
Our church photo from the early 1990s.  My sister and I were wearing dresses my mom made for us.
We went to church every Sunday, and lived in a conservative area in the Midwest, surrounded by the homogeneity of other blonde haired, blue eyed people of predominantly Dutch heritage.

Continue reading “On My Journey to Being A Bleeding-Heart-Liberal, or How My Christian College Made Me This Way”

On Waiting For Godot, or How This Existential Absurdist Play Made Me Contemplate My Relationship to Ideas of Partnership, Depression and Religion

On Waiting For Godot, or How This Existential Absurdist Play Made Me Contemplate My Relationship to Ideas of Partnership, Depression and Religion
Waiting for Godot set at Theatre Royal Haymarket 2009

 

Since I have an MFA in an aspect of theatre, I’ve read a lot of plays, and I am no stranger to the work of Samuel Beckett.

I first saw a production of Waiting for Godot as a senior in high school while visiting what would become my undergrad theatre department in 2004. I knew nothing about the play, and, while I claimed to be an artsy and intelligent student, I was pretty perplexed by it all.

Waiting for Godot is an existential absurdist play in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, are stuck in an eternal loop of limbo in which they are constantly waiting for a character named “Godot” who never comes.

Continue reading “On Waiting For Godot, or How This Existential Absurdist Play Made Me Contemplate My Relationship to Ideas of Partnership, Depression and Religion”

On Sexuality or How My Conservative Christian Upbringing Shaped Me In Super Surprising Ways

On Sexuality or How My Conservative Christian Upbringing Shaped Me In Super Surprising Ways

WARNING: This post goes into quite a bit of detail regarding my sexual history. If you’re a family/friend/person who would rather not know these things about me, turn back now! 
Continue reading “On Sexuality or How My Conservative Christian Upbringing Shaped Me In Super Surprising Ways”

On Inadequacy and Self Loathing (Part II) or How A MadTV Sketch from 2002 Called Me Out On 30 Years of Damage

On Inadequacy and Self Loathing (Part II) or How A MadTV Sketch from 2002 Called Me Out On 30 Years of Damage

NOTE: This post is dealing with similar themes, though a different aspect of my life-long struggles with feelings of inadequacy.  You can read the companion post here.

This spring, there was a seminar held at my workplace in which we were expected to dig deep within ourselves to discover what our biggest roadblocks were to peace of mind, joy and satisfaction personally and professionally. 
It was going to be 16 hours of who-knows-what, and I had no idea what to expect, and what I could possibly get out of it. 
There were a lot of wise platitudes uttered which proved to be a bit of a mindfuck for me: “We’re only our perception and our experiences. And the way we perceive others doesn’t make it true–it’s just our experiences.”

Furthermore, we were introduced to the concept that “What you see is what you anticipate seeing, what  you’ve always decided things were. How do you ever see anything new?”

Basically by the end of session three, I was convinced it was entirely probable we were living in The Matrix. 

But then, we were asked to write down the biggest issues we had at work, and in our lives in general, that kept us from experiencing joy. 

Most people listed issues with coworkers or protocols or family.

But all of mine came from internal forces.

Continue reading “On Inadequacy and Self Loathing (Part II) or How A MadTV Sketch from 2002 Called Me Out On 30 Years of Damage”

On Homeschooling or How I Refused to Align With The Denim Jumper and Bobby Socks Crowd

On Homeschooling or How I Refused to Align With The Denim Jumper and Bobby Socks Crowd

This morning on my walk to work, I was listening to the most recent episode of one of my new favorite podcasts “2 Dope Queens” which features stand-up comedians.

And I had to laugh when their first featured comic, Shane Torres opened his set with this bit:

“Do you remember meeting your first homeschooled kid? They always act exactly the way an alien would act if they took over a human’s body. Like, they kinda get it, but if you watch them from a distance, you’re just like, “that one’s eating cereal with a fork.” And they just show up one day, just walk out of a house in your neighborhood you thought no children lived in, and when they come out, they always smell like laundry that wasn’t dried properly. And the first thing they say to you is always nuttier than squirrel shit. It’s never “How you doin’?” It’s always something bizarre like, “My name is Baxter and my dad puts honey in our milk.”

Ah yes, Mr. Torres. I understand completely.

I was one of those weird homeschooled kids.

Continue reading “On Homeschooling or How I Refused to Align With The Denim Jumper and Bobby Socks Crowd”

And so it begins…

me

Who am I?

That question gets more and more difficult to answer as time goes on because of its intricacies and complexities, and yet my identity it is slowly crystallizing before me.

I am turning 30 in a month and ten days.

I am newly divorced (3/28/16, ya’ll.)

I was in a same-sex marriage for one year and seven months from wedding to finalized divorce.

I married my first girlfriend.

I am attracted to people of all gender identities and expressions.

I am vaguely-genderqueer-but-mostly-female.

I have had severe battles with depression and anxiety since high school.  I am just now pulling myself out of a pit I had found myself in for at least three years.

I have shaved my head for over six years, and I feel my most attractive and confident when I do so.

I have lost 50 pounds over the past year (initially due to stress, anxiety, then a healthier diet and exercise and a healthy dose of Wellbutrin.)

I was rendered completely asexual by Lexapro for years.

I grew up homeschooled in a very conservative environment.  I am now extremely liberal, but I still seek faith and spirituality, as long as I can find a place of worship that I feel welcomed into.

Senior Photo July 2003

 My senior photo, Fall 2003.  To those who know me now, I would be
unrecognizable in every single way from who I was then.

Some may call me the ultimate conundrum.

When I think about all of my identities and their strange conflicting aspects, I realize it’s probably pretty difficult for many people to wrap their head around.

But here I find myself in a new job, in a new state halfway across the country from everything I have ever known, having to “explain myself” to an entirely new batch of people.

Continue reading “And so it begins…”