Month: January 2015

Absent Blogger

Hello friends.

I should not be allowed to make sweeping statements and promises. They never get me very far.

At the beginning of the year I said ridiculous things like “I’ll be here all year,” and “I will blog every weekday” and blah, blah, blah. Empty promises. (Empty chairs at empty tables…) I made plans for this blog that I couldn’t keep. (I also had some job interviews and got a job–WEE!!)

I’m sorry I couldn’t keep up with what I said, but this is not goodbye. I will still keep up Staving off Disaster, but perhaps not daily. I now have a full time job, and I’d like to keep writing/editing my novels. So blogging is taking a backseat. But I will still be around! If not daily, hopefully weekly. I like this blog, and I intend to keep it up.

Ok, no more mushy stuff.

You’re great. We’re all great. I’ll be around.

(WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE)

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Year of Selfies: An Experiment





I’ll admit, like most people, I initially rejected selfie culture. I thought the whole idea of taking pictures of yourself, sharing them, begging people to like, share, reblog was a bit ridiculous. It screamed attention-seeker, desperate, needy. It was everything I hated about social media, about the inconsequential rush of someone “liking” something you’ve uploaded. I mean, how true is the validation I get when someone double taps my face, anyway?

But the more literature I read about selfie culture, the more I struggled to find the flaws in it. (And yes, I too rolled my eyes at the idea of “selfie culture literature.”) Selfies are one of the greatest things to come from the camera phone, and here’s why: it encourages us to feel good about ourselves.

Weird, right?





We live in a world where images of perfect people are constantly shown to us, held up as the ideal. We strive to meet this ideal with fad diets, self-deprecation, self-loathing, under eating, over eating, excessive exercise, and lots and lots of self-hatred. We think we ought to look like these people, that we won’t get the job, find the significant other, have success if we don’t look the part. But then selfies come in.

From Laura Argintar at Elite Daily:

For once, putting a woman’s body on display does not spell doom for the female gender. In fact, our selfies are actually a way of proliferating body acceptance. We’re now witnessing real girls from all different angles, perspectives, shapes and sizes. They’re on the beach, on the streets or just in their bathrooms. The more pedestrian the setting, the more accustomed we’ll become to seeing authentic women in a bona fide way.

We’re working toward a more accepting society, by first accepting ourselves. Do you know how hard it is for me to dislike a girl’s selfie? It used to come easy. I used scoff, and call her needy, shallow, vain. Now, I see her in a new light. She’s confident and strong. And if she’s not, who I am to say these selfies aren’t helping her to get there? So what if she’s vain? Why is it a bad thing to feel good about ourselves? In a world where girl-time often means group pity-party, it’s refreshing to experience selfie culture. It’s time to feel good about ourselves, to own up to our strengths, our beautiful faces. It’s time to see more of the world—to see more big noses, wide foreheads, acne scars. Real people living real lives and feeling great about it.





If you’re not on board with me yet, check out Laci Green’s video on the Selfie Revolution. This girl knows her stuff. She’s got a great view of body positivity, and backs it up with some hard facts.

All this to say, I’ve decided to try Laci’s experiment this new year. I’ve decided to launch a selfie instagram account. Rather than clogging up your feeds (because, let’s be honest, not everyone is part of the selfie revolution), I’ve created a separate account to post daily selfies. But they won’t all be glamour shots and feel good photos—I really want to chronicle this journey, to discover more about my self-perceived beauty (and my self-perceived “ugly”), self-worth, and body positivity. I”m excited to document my life in such a personal way, to gauge how I feel on a daily basis, by really looking in the mirror (or, rather, the front facing camera lens).

Want to explore your own body positivity? Start a selfie-a-day. Maybe you don’t upload them, maybe you immediately delete them, but take one. Really pay attention to how you feel about it, and delve into why. So you made a funny face, your angles are wrong. Does that devalue you as a person? If it does, why? What can you do to combat that initial reaction? And how can you be more body positive?





If you’d like, follow my selfie insta here. I’d love to see your selfies, so please don’t hesitate to share. I’ll definitely double tap back.

In Lieu of a Post

Please accept these photos of a recent flight. I promise to get back to you tomorrow!

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S/o to Lake Superior and Wisconsin for looking fabulous in the winter. I am glad to be rid of you -31 Minnesota windchill. We’ll talk more about the importance of travel in reference to self-care this week.

What do you do on a flight? Fan of introspection, or do you love escapism?

Better Late Than Never

Hi.

It’s been a while.

As is tradition right before the new year, I abandoned all self-made promises, and made tons of excuses as to why. “I’m taking a break from writing–I mean, I wrote a novel.” “It’s so cold outside, and I was sick, so of course I couldn’t run.” “I haven’t blogged in forever, I can’t just sit down and start again, I need to explain why.” “I have so much work to do!”

All lies, for the record. Or, perhaps excuses is a better umbrella to put them under. I come from the school of thought (and the place of privilege) that you make time for the things you love, things you’re passionate about. And I haven’t made time. I have procrastinated (I just watched through the entire Lizzie Bennet Diaries again) and pushed everything I ought to do to the perpetual “tomorrow morning.” I have argued circumstance and life situation (sickness and NaNoWriMo shouldn’t get in the way), and everything a serial procrastinator has up their sleeve. I can run circles around things I need to do—it’s a gift.

But no more. It’s a new year, and while I’m kind of against sweeping life statements (despite the fact that I make them quite often), I might as well get into the spirit of self-improvement. No goals this month, just… hopes. As you might know from previous entries, I’m a pretty big fan of forgiveness, especially when it comes to yourself. And while the new year is a great time for becoming the better you, it’s also important to remember that you are only human. Trying to become the super human version of yourself will only bring you disappointment. So rather than steadfast resolutions, let’s talk about hopes for the new year. Let’s talk about all the ways we can find happiness.

Yesterday morning, over toast and scrambled eggs, my best friend read last year’s hopes aloud. Rather than writing down all the ways she should improve or change, she’d decided to list all the things she could do for a fuller life—a happier existence.

So let that be your challenge. Even if it is the second of January—no one says you can’t begin something new any time you want. Write out a list of things you can do this year to improve your overall happiness. And check them off as you fulfill them. Whether it is greater forgiveness, walks in the park, drinking more tea, visiting friends, road trips, readings, finding religion. Improve your life, but don’t forget to take time to enjoy it along the way.

And welcome back to Staving Off Disaster. I’ll be here all year.