Category Archives: #selfi

Childless By Choice

Time’s August 2013 article, the Childfree Life, was the first time childless living was given the cover of a respected magazine.

I’ve struggled for most of my twenties with ideas of motherhood, but during my adolescent years it was clear; I was meant to be a mother. My mom is one of those generous, selfless, endlessly maternal beings. Her capacity to love my brother and I both inspires and bewilders. How could I possibly let her legacy down by not having children?

Time Magazine cover August 2013
You can be fulfilled without children.

In my early twenties, my childhood goals of being married by 26 and pregnant by 28 were too close for comfort. I decided to put off marriage and motherhood ’til my thirties. Although some of my peers are excellent parents, I didn’t feel ready to spend my time and resources on somebody else…. even if they were my kid.

Then, I learn about the world. I feel uneasy about internet culture, wildlife extinction, carbon pollution and overpopulation… not to mention government corruption, electronic surveillance, and psychographic datamining. I think of the future.

I start to think that the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement isn’t crazy, and I read lists with hundreds of reasons not to have kids. I begin thinking of Otherhood, the persecution of the childness. I realize how deeply the values of motherhood were projected on me by society; how a childless woman brings to mind spinsters, ugliness, and too many cats.

So, I talk to people about why they want kids. The only answer that made sense to me was, “Who else will be there when I’m old?”

But that sounds selfish. I begin to notice that the relationship my grandmother and her friends have with their children isn’t so sound. Their kids live far away, ignore them for months on end, and think a semiannual Skype session is enough to postpone a real visit.

In the Book of Small, Emily Carr recalls childhood in the 1900’s. It’s hard to deny that communities and families deteriorated in somewhere the 20th century. We have more freedom and less rules, but our relationships with those closest to us (in proximity and genetics) have become less cohesive, less crucial, and less complete.

I don’t hate kids! I think babies are cute and I know I’d make a kick-ass mom… but those are terrible reasons to become one. The idea of watching one grow up and stuff doesn’t excite me – at all. Raising a dog is the perfect amount of responsibility for me. Besides, I can still make an impact on a child’s life through the Big Sisters program, volunteering, and spoiling the kids of friends and family.

As I get older I realize I don’t want a kid of my own.  If I had a child, I’d always feel like I was missing out on a more fulfilling life. Maybe that’s selfish. The world hates childless women and that’s the only reason it’s a difficult decision.

There’s a reason we’re “Generation Me” – too busy “doing me” that I’ll never make a “little me”.

Advertisements

3 Steps to being SEX+

Whether you’re commited, casual, or spontanious it is a fact that humans want – nay, need, sex. It should be as natural as breathing, or eating, or any other basic bodily requirements, but in today’s society it is still taboo. In this “evolved” day and age, we still demonize sex, and attach all sorts of meaning, rules, and expecations to something which is, essentially, mashing body parts together till stuff comes out.

I can’t go into the long, sordid history that sex had had in human society, nor can I presume to know why it is still the monster today that it was a hundred years ago, but I can tell you this: someone, somewhere is doing it. And I applaude them. The ideal encounter is one where each person is a comfortable, consenting adult; Preferably two that have the good sense to protect themselves (against stds, pregnancy, and honey badgers), and who each work towards the gratification of the other. In reality though, it is often as unfullfilling as a Paulie Shore movie, and leaves you feeling just as dirty.

If we are to be sexualized, and dehumanized, and left wondering what we did wrong while our partner basks in an after-orgasm glow, then at least let’s make it fun! Let’s take back our sexuality, not in a “Burning bras” kind of feminist way, but in a gradual call-to-arms for the female gender. We can’t single-handedly break the glass ceiling for women, but at least we can have our own personal revolutions, every day.

Tips to being sex positive in your everyday life. Photo by E.M. Photography, Model: Emm
Tips to being sex positive in your everyday life.
Photo by E.M. Photography, Model: Emm

We’ve already talked about how SEX- language can impact you, well here are 3 steps you can take to being more SEX+ in y0ur life:

Step 1: Open up the lines of communication.
Talk to your partner, your girlfriends, your mom or even your dad. Talk to whoever your most comfortable with, and talk candidly. Start by saying “hey, did you hear about this awesome thing called Fucking?” (Just kidding. Please don’t say that). It doesn’t matter what you start with, just start with something. Instead of letting that elephant hang out in the room, bring it into the light, and give it an awkward mouth kiss. If you’re happy you got laid last night, say it! if you wish your lover had done something different, tell him! If you have been having sex for years and haven’t had an orgasm with anyone but yourself, by GOD WOMAN you must rectify that situation, post haste! I like to make mildly shocking observations in crowded places, as if it was normal to comment on the nipple in the painting in the art gallery. Everyone’s thinking it, so let’s start saying it.

Step 2: Want more.
Want more fun, more passion, more orgasms. Want more stability, or spontenaiety, or more partners. Whatever you want, so long as it’s safe, is a good thing, and you should have what you want.  I was very repressed for much adult life,  and I used to struggle with my sexuality and lack of entitlement in the bedroom. Slowly, through the encouragement of a select few of my vivavious friends I have learned that it’s okay to demand, and expect more out of sex. Even if that just means having the courage to refuse bjs and handies if the man isn’t planning on putting his face in my lovely lady parts. Baby steps, ladies.

Step 3:  Do more. (Good.)
We are our own worst enemies, and our criticism of ourselves and others only hinders us as humans, and as sexual beings. The next time you find yourself critiquing another persons flaws just take a step back, and check yourself before you wreck yourself. Women should stop being catty, because the rest of the world is already hard enough on us. So, please, for the sake of your sisters, take a minute out of every day and appreciate something new about yourself, and stop at least one stranger to tell them something nice. Maybe if we put more good into the world it will one day start to cancel out the negativity.

This goes for men too: you have no right to terrorize women the way you do. Stop being jerks, just because it’s socially acceptable doesn’t make it right. I can’t fathom why men feel the need to call down a woman, as the guy in the elevator in Vegas felt the need to make a double take at me, and say “whoa, hideous!”,  where his friend replied “what, that?(me) That isn’t half bad.” To that I say a hearty “Fuck you”. And I really  wish I’d said it at the time. You rarely see women attacking men like that, and while it’s fair to say that they have to endure hardships as well, it is in no way comparable to the ones girls face on a daily basis.
If you see a pretty lady just appreciate her, and the effort and perhaps genetics that went into making her as beautiful as she is. And if you feel the need to tell her how much you want to bury your groin in her backside then at least do it with some tact.

Get your shit together.

A pandemic of distraction has infected us.

Are you busy? Life not simple anymore?

You have things you are yearning to do, but there’s never time?

You can’t lifehack your way to shit-togetherness. Although there’s at least 99 ways to try.

If you: 

  1. Receive notifications on your phone.
  2. Spend a lot of time online.
  3. Watch a lot of TV/Movies…

… Then you might suffering from the modern condition. I’ll break it down.

PHONE = URGENT?

There is a popular priority management theory to separate your  tasks:

  • Urgent and Important: These things are not only serious priorities, they are also time-sensitive. A text from your significant other, an email from your boss, or a project/task  someone needs right now.
  • Important: These tasks are the tasks that matter most to you or your business. These are daily tasks, managerial duties,
  • Urgent: This is where you fail. Notifications, emails, phone calls – they can be urgent without being important — in your face, not in your heart. Get to them when the stuff above is done.
  • Not Urgent and Not Important: Everything else, aka, what you aren’t getting done, ever.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to prioritize your tasks this way, but it can help you identify distractions… like that Facebook comment someone just made on your photo. GET BACK TO WORK AND CHECK LATER.

Which brings me to my next breakdown.

TIME ONLINE = TIME OFFLIFE

It’s incredibly easy to find yourself in wikipedia freefall or endlessly browsing trashy tabloid sites. That’s OK in moderation, but are you actually moderating yourself?… Why not force yourself to do the creative things you actually want to be doing?

Luckily some people already have solutions:

  • Pomodoro Technique – Make an activity list. Put on a timer for 25-minutes. If you get distracted, start the timer again. After 25 uninterrupted minutes, you get 5 minutes to recap and relax. After 2 hours, a longer break!
  • Emergent Task Planner – Daily task planner for people who have constant distractions that have to be dealt with.
  • Creative Time – The writer of 43folders is known for his awesome productivity tips for artists and creative types.
  • Getting Things Done – GTD… if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a cult for geeks that like actionable items and assessment. I only include it because it’s kind of famous.

The essence of this is to decide how you want to spend your time meaningfully, and use the online distractions and videos for your down-time.

VIDEO WATCHING < VIDEO GAMEPLAY < VIDEO CREATION

What a perfect segue!

All I want to say here is that interactive creativity is OK. If you’re online – but making a website or editing photos, that might be your art and expression. Video games are kinda halfway. If you’re playing video games, you’re interacting and learning from the virtual world.

TL;DR

Watching, listening, looking and reading are good for you – but they should be sources of inspiration, not everything you ever do with your life. Take time to accomplish the things that are important to you.