Friday, August 29, 2014

Inside Story: My Tattoos Part 1

So way back when, almost a year ago, I got my sixth tattoo and shared the story behind it with you all.

Here's a refresher for you.

I realized that I haven't shared anything of my others with you or why I chose to have them done. So, in the next few posts, I'll open my personal world with you and share some stories.

Since my first post was about my most recent tattoo, I'll go backwards from the fifth to the first.

Pardon the bad photo quality. Taking a pic of your own ankle is a tad difficult.

Spirit. What does it mean and where does it come from?

Well, let me give you some background information. There's a book series that I love. Not many people know about it; it's kind of got one of those cult followings. It is called the Sword of Truth Series. The author, Terry Goodkind, is an amazing writer. Detailed, emotional, complicated plot lines, character development (even for the minor ones), love, war, death, life, celebrations, magic, dragons, wizards, witches, sorceresses, philosophy, religion, etc. It's wonderful. Look into it.

If these books are of interest to you, caution! There will be some spoilers!!

At the very end of the fifth book, Soul of the Fire, one of the main characters that you follow from the first few pages of the series is in trouble. She's a powerful woman who's above kings and queens, and people of magic, and regular folk. She is also a being of magic,not a witch or anything, but a living weapon created from powerful magic many years ago (that's summing it up a Lot). Anyway, a negative part of her lineage is that she cannot bear a male child. If so, he will become evil. In an earlier book, a witch predicts that if she ever becomes pregnant, the child will be male. So, to prevent this from happening, she tries not to become pregnant. Due to a failed magical item, she becomes pregnant, but doesn't tell her husband right away because she knows she has to abort the child to save the future.

She gets a potion that will do the trick, and walking back to the place she's been staying at, she decides she's not going to do it, that it's her kid and she's going to try to raise him so he doesn't become evil. So she dumps out the liquid, ready to tell her husband the amazing news, and she's attacked. Jumped by a group of men willing to do anything to kill her. They beat her senselessly, to a bloody pulp, so much so that she's on the brink of death and once discovered is no longer recognizable - by her husband. He's a nice guy though, takes care of her for a bit, and after a few weeks, realizes it's her. (Crazy!)

In the sixth book,  The Faith of the Fallen, he takes her away to a secluded area to care for her until she's better again. This spans the time of about 6-8 months (about 18 chapters). At one point she wakes and asks if the baby's okay. It died in the beating and that's how her husband finds out that he was almost a father. (How sad is that?) Anyway, she's been in pain for so long that once she's actually better, she doesn't believe it and feels absolutely worthless; she wants to die and stop being a burden. She's afraid that if she tried to move or get up, she'll be in pain again. While she's feeling sorry for herself, her husband widdles out a wooden statuette for her. He tricks her into getting up one day by leaving a glass of water out of reach for her. Afterwards, he gives the statuette to her, she connects with it immediately.

He names the statuette Spirit. In the book, it says, "it invoked in her some visceral response, a tension that was startlingly familiar. Something about the woman in the carving, some quality it conveyed, made Kahlan hunger to be well, to be fully alive, to be strong and independent again." From there, she committed herself to gaining her strength and muscles back, to be 100% again and take back her life.

This book, especially that chapter, was just so inspirational that I was taken aback by it. The name of the carving held so much meaning and power it just resided in me ever-so-strongly. I had to get it.

The reason for putting it on the bottom of my ankle was for symbolic purposes.

"Kahlan could see Spirit standing in the bedroom window, looking out at the world, 
her robes flowing in the wind, her head thrown back, her back arched, 
her fists at here sides in defiance of anything that would think to bridle her."

To stand your ground, to fight for your life and what you believe; it starts with putting your foot down. Feet have to move forward in order to carry the rest of you with (for the most part), so Spirit starts from the sole of your feet and moves through the rest of the body, hence why I chose to place it there.

Thanks for reading today!

<3 Tawny

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lessons in Religion

If you were to tell me three years ago, or really anytime in the past, that I would find and become a part of a church community, I would probably laugh in your face. But that has been the case for me as of late. I actually look forward to Sunday mornings. I've talked about the basics of the church in a past post here, so I won't go over that again.

But, about a week or two ago, we watched a UU minister perform a sermon about spreading the word of Unitarian Universalism. (His name is Aaron White and I've linked this sermon a few times for you here.) The main takeaways I want to point out to you are centered in italics.

In the past when someone has told me about their religion and their church, they would tell me why it's the best and why I needed to convert that very moment. Because, you know, if I didn't then I would go to Hell. Telling someone you'll go to Hell because they don't believe what you were raised to believe is not an effective way to sell your religion. The same goes for telling someone they'll be denied admission to Heaven. If you're talking to someone, for example, who doesn't believe in God to do so, talk to them in a way they can understand you, not the way they already don't believe.

If you want people to learn about your religion, you have to speak in their language.

The minister said that religion should be about bringing Heaven to Earth (something I've always tried to achieve in other words). Why can't we make the world we live in now the best possible world?

Everyday I see people making choices that will hurt others, just so they can succeed, so they can have a better life, and so they can go to Heaven. From what I've always understood, the first rule of just about every religion is LOVE. He reminded me about that rule.

Religion is about love and building a world that loves.

In order to love each other, we have to understand each other. I've quickly grown to hold dear the community I found here. It's a nice escape from the close-minded world of living in West Texas.

I know it may not be the place for everyone, but I want to share my community with others. I enjoy discussing it, but I also enjoy learning about others' religions and I respect the multitude of things people believe in. We should be sharing our beliefs with each other. But when you share, you should never condemn others for sharing. We are all individuals and as individuals we have differences. It is inevitable. That's part of what makes life awesome.

The UU church cam to be by people who believed in building a better world. Our roots actually stem from Christianity. Thomas Jefferson was a Christian (later a Unitarian) who believed in love, science, and the future. He even believed that by this day and age, everyone would be a Unitarian Universalist.

Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion.
(Not to be confused with liberal politics.) And we are not the only ones. There are plenty of religious congregations that have more liberal beliefs as well. Most UUs do not find the church until after being raised Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, etc. and come in with a lot of religious baggage. I was not raised with religion and even I carry some baggage - perceptions of religion that I either didn't understand or only knew negative stereotypes about. But I'm learning now that not all religion is as bad as I once thought. :) I am at a comfortable point of knowing that I can never know the truth for sure. My new religion let's me hold this untruth as my truth (if that makes sense).
God is not fully known to us.

Each member sees God in a different way. Whether one of our members are Atheist, Agnostic, or non-denominational, we're all just searching for the truth. For some, that truth is science. For others, that truth may lie in the secrets of nature. For me, it's science and love. And yes, I struggle sometimes, but that's why I've started on this journey; why I decided to join the church.

I want to be a better person. I want to love as many people as possible. I want that love to spread to others as well.

"God is too big for any one religion to own," said the minister we listened to that day.

He reminded us that our religion is not a creedal church. We do not require our members to believe in the same things in order to remain members. The only thing we require is openness and acceptance. We may not verbally express God in everyday practice, but this is how we see Him in relation to us and our world.

I've been going to this church since February(ish). I didn't realize how much I actually enjoyed going until recently. I find myself talking about it any chance I get. It's like falling in love. You want to tell as many people as possible. And trust me, the more I learn about, the more I plan on sharing.

It's difficult to share everything in one post, and he says everything a lot more eloquently than I've just done here, which is why I've linked the video throughout this post. Listen to it while you're sending emails or sweeping at home. It's a nice listen.

Thanks for reading at least,

<3 Tawny

Monday, July 7, 2014

What's Wrong With Femininity?

Okay, I've been refraining from positing this for a while. It's been in my draft box for a long time and in my mind even longer. I have to warn you, this post goes everywhere, because my mind is kind of everywhere. So I'm sorry if some parts don't flow.

Women can do what men do, but not the other way around:
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about girl power and if a woman wants to be CEO then by all means, go for it. If you want to be a female president, shoot for the stars.

But if you want to be a stay at home mom... well, then you're just not aiming high enough.
Why do we say this kind of stuff? A woman should be able to have her own goals, dreams, and aspirations. Feminism claims this to be the ultimate truth but I see contradictions everywhere I turn.

I don't consider myself a feminist, only because to me, the term is not very inclusive. But I do believe in equal rights among all. Without putting a label on myself, I would consider myself to be an egalitarian. It's not just about girl power for me, it's about allowing men to show a bit of femininity. I don't think that many realize that men aren't always given equal opportunities themselves. But before you lash out on me, know that I'm Not talking about the pay gap or workforce inequality among genders. That's an entirely different topic.

I work in very female dominated  field. I also have a bachelor's degree in a very female dominated field. Coincidence? I don't know. I don't really believe in them. This just happened to be the path I chose. But let me try to find a way to break this down.

Men become engineers. Women become teachers.
Can/should women become engineers? Most definitely! Can men become teachers? Yes. Should they become teachers? Maybe? Do many people find it odd to see a male elementary school teacher? Yeah, just a bit. Why though?

Contradictions: I've noticed this happen a few times in the area that I work in. For example, when we're required to dress professionally, the men wear suits and the women are excited to break out their power suits. Power. Suits.

Why, tell me, can't they be power suits for men, or just suits for women? Yes, this is a very small matter, but if you think about it. This makes it seem like women can only get power from dressing like men. (That statement is a bit over-exaggerated, but I'm trying to get you to think.)

Or when trying to hire people, if a woman appears to be bossy, well, that's just not what we're looking for. Or a guy is really shy, well, he's not going to be successful. Why? How do you know? You're judging someone on preconceived ideas of how a (fe)male's personality should be. How dare you? Hire people on the skills they have and will be able to pick up through training and experience.

Feminine aspirations:
I feel that in today's society, traditional feminine aspirations among women are scoffed at sometimes. Yes, we're encouraged to wear the dress that highlights our curves and make-up that highlights our natural beauty. But we're also expected to climb that ladder, break that glass ceiling, over and over and over. In my field, getting a PhD is expected - especially if you're female. But if you don't, well then why would you go into the career? Or if you do, then you might want to get your PhD before you have kids, because then it becomes exponentially more difficult to reach that goal. Personally, I  just don't want a PhD. I don't really ever want to be a VPSA (Vice President for Student Affairs). That's just never been an aspiration of mine.

But Tawny, you have so much potential and skill. Why wouldn't you want to climb the ladder? We need more women at the top. Don't you want to make more money?

- Well, readers. Potential, skill, and the need to fill a gap just isn't enough motivation for me to put more stress and responsibility on my shoulders. Money's a good motivator, but I would rather live a simpler life if that meant spending more time with my future family. I want babies. I want to spend time with them. I don't want to be the mom who brushes off little Timmy because I have a dissertation chapter to write. I don't want to be the person sending emails late at night to keep up on work. That's just never been an aspiration of mine.

Here's the Truth:
I finally decided to touch on this topic (trust me, this is only skimming the surface. I could talk about it for days.) because of an article I read about Kirsten Dunst. In the article, she talks about how she personally feels that being a mom is the highest honor and "sometimes you need your night and shining armor". I loved this, but other people were outraged. Why? These are her values. If you were really a feminist, you would appreciate her for sticking to what she believes is right for her. She's not ruining anything for you. She's not making a law declaring we go back to the 40s lifestyle. She's making the choice that all of you are fighting for her to be able to do.

You can knock Disney all you want but you know what? Snow White came out in the 30s. That was a much different time. Also, Cinderella is allowed to wear glass high heels if she wants. If you're afraid your child will fall into the gender binary because of a movie, then you might want to rethink your parenting. Just because Legos come in a blue box doesn't mean your daughter can't play with it. And just because a doll has pink clothes, doesn't mean your son can't learn how to care for another. Get over yourselves and stop picking fights over things that don't matter.

So what's wrong with feminitiy?:There shouldn't be anything wrong with it. If you want to take over the world, do it. If you want to be a model, do it. We need to just stop knocking down people for wanting to do what they want to do. We shouldn't be knocking people down for voicing opinions. We shouldn't be blaming all of our failed relationship ideas on Disney princesses. We shouldn't scoff at people who don't want to be CEOs. If you're a feminist, or call yourself something else, and you truly want us to have equal rights, then you have to start acting like it. A suit isn't going to make you any more or less powerful just because you're a woman. You don't even have to wear a suit to dress professionally anyway. Stop it. I think you just want attention.

Thanks for trying to follow along with this mini, scattered, post,
<3 Tawny

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I'm Coming Back

I realized today that I have not posted in about two months.  I'm ashamed.

But today I've decided that I'm coming back, and I'm coming back in full force.  Since I started graduate school, my posts have been infrequent, censored, and overall limited.  The purpose of me starting this blog in the first place was to express my thoughts, feelings, comments, and concerns in a forum that I just can't in everyday life.  I can't sit in a meeting at work and start talking about how much the Texas GOP's recent decisions unnerve me.  I can't start a conversation in the middle of class and rant about something I saw on Facebook that offended me that day.

Yes, I understand I'm working in a field where people are constantly observant of my actions.  Where I'm being monitored on my professionalism and maturity.  I have been told in the past that I should be careful and conscious of what I post on here because a coworker or a student might read my thoughts and view me differently.  I've been told that I should conform to the norm so that I'm more accepted.  I've obeyed and it only made me miserable.  How can I be thought provoking and make changes if I'm conforming to others' values?

So I'm back.

I'm angry.  I'm confused.  I'm joyful.  I'm saddened.  I'm excited.  I'm outraged.  I'm human.

And I am voiceless no more.

Shall you condemn me for speaking my mind and being my own person, then that is fine by me.  But if you think my blogging will affect my work ethic, my school work, my professionalism, or your perception of me as a human being, then I ask you to unfriend me on Facebook, quit following me on Twitter, and delete this URL from your browsing history.

This blog is a piece of me and if I can't be me on here, then I can't be me anywhere.  This is the only place where I feel appropriate and comfortable to voice my opinion to the extent that I feel necessary.  So please, if you would like to join me on my journey, I encourage you to subscribe by email on the right hand side of the page.  You don't need a blogger account to subscribe, just an email.

Thank you for reading,
<3 Tawny

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Love's Paradox: Highlight and Giveaway!!

Follow the Blog Tour {{Here}} Paperback, 1st, 288 pages Expected publication: May 5th 2014 by Revolution Publishing, Inc.

Stalked by her abusive ex-fiancé, Rae Zachery retaliates by singing karaoke and spilling all their dirty secrets to the entire bar. When her ex attempts to silence her brazen performance, sexy, leather-clad Parker comes to her rescue and soundly punches her ex in the face. As valiant as that may be, Rae finds Parker’s violent assistance unsettling, yet she can’t help but be drawn to him and his tragic past. Fighting her attraction for Parker is a battle Rae can’t win, and soon their night of sharing secrets morphs into an undeniable bond. But fate won’t so easily relinquish her grip on their happily-ever-after. Instead of blissfully skipping into obscurity, Rae and Parker are subjected to her ex-fiancé’s vicious proclivities. Who knew love could hurt so good? 

Join the Facebook Release Party! Party kicks off May 5th! Gift Card is open INTERNATIONAL Paperback copies open to US Residents Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway Laura Kreitzer is a best-selling fantasy and science fiction author who hails from western Kentucky. Her full-time 9-5 job used to be working in a lab devoted to water dye-tracing investigations at Western Kentucky University, though her passion was always writing. After seven years of dedicating her life to the environment, she made the tough decision to leave the university to pursue her writing career. Now Laura has two series and eight novels published, with several more in the works. Website † Facebook † Twitter † GoodReads HTML POST – Just copy & paste and add your review/excerpt and/or teaser.
Follow the Blog Tour {{Here}}

Paperback, 1st, 288 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2014 by Revolution Publishing, Inc.

Stalked by her abusive ex-fiancé, Rae Zachery retaliates by singing karaoke and spilling all their dirty secrets to the entire bar. When her ex attempts to silence her brazen performance, sexy, leather-clad Parker comes to her rescue and soundly punches her ex in the face. As valiant as that may be, Rae finds Parker’s violent assistance unsettling, yet she can’t help but be drawn to him and his tragic past.

Fighting her attraction for Parker is a battle Rae can’t win, and soon their night of sharing secrets morphs into an undeniable bond. But fate won’t so easily relinquish her grip on their happily-ever-after. Instead of blissfully skipping into obscurity, Rae and Parker are subjected to her ex-fiancé’s vicious proclivities. Who knew love could hurt so good?

You can read the first 5 chapters of LOVE'S PARADOX 
{{{ HERE }}}

Join the Facebook Release Party! Party kicks off May 5th!

Gift Card is open INTERNATIONAL
Paperback copies open to US Residents

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Laura Kreitzer is a best-selling fantasy and science fiction author who hails from western Kentucky. Her full-time 9-5 job used to be working in a lab devoted to water dye-tracing investigations at Western Kentucky University, though her passion was always writing. After seven years of dedicating her life to the environment, she made the tough decision to leave the university to pursue her writing career. Now Laura has two series and eight novels published, with several more in the works. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tigers, Horses, and Goats?

You know how I have strange dreams every now and then? Well, I had another one last night/this morning.

I was walking around downtown at some city, and there was one of those large, shallow fountains that are usually just, pretty outdoor decorations, ya know? Well anyway, baby farm and zoo animals were running around everywhere along with horse-drawn carriages giving people tours of the downtown square that I was in. And I guess I was with a large group of friends, but all I remember for sure is that my sister was there with me.

Well, she was playing with this baby goat (he was adorable by the way) and then a tiger cub was released for people to play with. My sister threw the baby goat into my arms and ran away. I decided to put the goat into the fountain and sit on the edge and dip my feet in. But then water all of a sudden became super deep and I couldn't see the bottom anymore. I handed my phone to my sister so that it wouldn't get damaged.

And then the goat jumped out of my arms into the water. I got super scared because I didn't know if goats could swim and some random person said, "Calm down, he's fine. Goats are excellent swimmers." But the goat was barely holding his head above the water and as I reached in to grab him, I turned to my sister and she had put my phone on the ground to play with the tiger cub. The water in the now pool-fountain-thing started overflowing and now my phone was soaked. I yelled at my sister and grabbed the phone. Somehow it was covered in a plastic waterproof case. I was still angry though, and then I started falling into the pool-thing.

I don't understand my brain. And sorry if this was a boring post for y'all, but I really felt that I had to share. I think my subconscious misses San Antonio and the zoo animals. Also, I'm terrified of drowning. So this dream was quite fun for me... not.

Thanks for reading!
<3 Tawny

Monday, March 24, 2014

Love's Paradox Cover Reveal

Love's Paradox is the first book in a New Adult Contemporary Romance series by Laura Kreitzer to be released May 5, 2014. And today I'm revealing the cover! But first, a little bit about the book: Stalked by her abusive ex-fiancé, Rae Zachery retaliates by singing karaoke and spilling all their dirty secrets to the entire bar. When her ex attempts to silence her brazen performance, sexy biker Parker comes to her rescue and soundly punches her ex in the face. As valiant as that may be, Rae finds Parker’s violent assistance unsettling, yet she can’t help but be drawn to him and his tragic past. Fighting her attraction for Parker is a battle Rae can’t win, and soon their night of sharing secrets morphs into an undeniable bond. But fate won’t so easily relinquish her grip on their happily-ever-after. Instead of blissfully skipping into obscurity, Rae and Parker are subjected to her ex-fiancé’s vicious proclivities. Who knew love could hurt so good?
Read the first 5 chapters for free by clicking here.
Now the cover! Are you excited? I know I am.
Love's Paradox
Don't forget to add Love's Paradox to Goodreads!
If you're a reviewer, check out Love's Paradox on NetGalley!


Laura Kreitzer is a best-selling fantasy and science fiction author who hails from western Kentucky. Represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, partner at Foreword Literary. Laura's full-time 9-5 job used to be working in a lab devoted to water dye-tracing investigations at Western Kentucky University, though her passion was always writing. After seven years of dedicating her life to the environment, she made the tough decision to leave the university to pursue her writing career. Now Laura has several novels published, with several more in the works.
You can find her online here:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Am I Pretty or Ugly?

After you read this, I want you to share this. I want you to send it to your friends and family. I want your daughters, nieces, granddaughters, students, neighbors, etc, to watch these videos.

This is serious stuff, and sharing on FB isn't enough because guess what? The majority of these girls who are affected by the media and self-esteem issues are young, and they're getting younger.

I also want to recognize, before going any further, that this does occur in men and boys also, but the videos I've found specifically address women, so if I find some strong notes on men, I'll post on that another time. But for now, maybe even show boys these videos as well. It might just be beneficial.

Little girls, starting at the age of 5, sometimes younger, are concerned that they aren't pretty enough. They've resorted to asking strangers on YouTube if they're pretty or ugly. And the comments don't help! There are actually folks out their, other children, teens, and adults, who are encouraging this denial of beauty to these young, impressionable ladies by leaving terrible comments!

You can search the words, "Am I Pretty" into YouTube, and MILLIONS of results show. Look at that number. Look at this video. This is the first one that pops up. The top comment? A very hateful message left for this child. Keyword: Child!

I saw this next video a while ago, posted to FB from Upworthy. It included a compilation of these little girls, but they recently changed it instead to show teens who embrace their quirky characteristics. I decided to attach it, even though the original message has changed, to show some uplifting words from girls. The video is linked directly below.

And I have one more quick point to add before leaving today. This TED Talk that was posted, presented by an actual model. Her answer to the question that all young women ask her, "How can I become a model," is something I would never expect. But she makes a great point. And if you're curious to hear what she has to say, watch this video too.

Watch more. Talk to the young ladies in your life who trying to understand the meaning of beauty. Sit down and have a talk with them. Watch YouTube together, read inspirational books, watch documentaries. Show them what beauty is and what it is not. It's not in the media. Those pictures, videos, movies, aren't real. Let them know.

And above all, tell them that They Are BEAUTIFUL! (And so is everyone else, we don't need them to continue to tear others down.)

Thank you,
<3 Tawny

P.S. I hope that you do share these, at least with one person.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Today, I Went To Church

And it was very new to me, but also a little refreshing.

I attended a service that, before it even started, stated that no one in the room had to believe or agree with a word that was said. There was no prayer, there was no communion, there was no scrutiny for not contributing to the collection plate, just a wonderful welcoming crowd of individuals.

The first part of the day was a small class called Intersections, where we learned about opposite strengths and how we use those to our advantage, staying in our comfort zone, eventually getting stuck, and finding a way to push out of that zone and into a new feeling of refreshment. But what does that have to do with religion or church? It means everything that it's all based off of.

Love, appreciation, and understanding: Not just of others, but of ourselves.

And that's what the service was about today also. The topic? Trust and Tolerance. And who facilitated the service? Not a priest/minister/father, etc. But a professor with his doctorate in Philosophy of Religion. A man who spent years studying literature of many different religions. A man who understands the basis of human beings.

I went to a Unitarian Universalist church. :)

But unlike many churches that I've been to, as soon as we walked in the door, we were greeted with open arms and a plethora of handshakes. We met just about everyone before the first session had even started. Everyone joked and laughed and it wasn't like other churches that I had been to, where everyone was serious and grumpy because they were up at 6am on a Sunday morning. Nope. It started at 10am instead and there was coffee and tea for everyone to enjoy while they sat in session or at service.

And, there were the traditional aspects of candle lighting, concern/joy voicing, greeting your neighbors, and there was even a cutesie little hymn at the end.

Then there was a potluck after, but we didn't stay for it, though. I gotta ease into the whole business.

Anyway, I may go again next week. Part 2 of the intersections session is next week!

Thanks for reading,
<3 Tawny

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Planning a Wedding

And spending thousands of dollars on a 6 hour event scares the living crap out of me.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm excited and everything about getting married in the future. It's what I've wanted since like, I was 5 years old. And I've been pinning random ideas for the past couple of years on a board called, "Someday". But now, thinking about actually Buying things? Spending all of my money on this event? It's scary. It's even scarier knowing that I have champagne taste with beer pockets!

I'm getting the question,"Is there a date yet?" I wish I had an answer! No! there's no date. There's no budget. There's no solidified ideas yet even! I get asked this question, and you know what happens in my brain? Whirlwinds of information, thoughts, fears, numbers, logistics, etc. *shakes head quickly with widened eyes*

Here's why:
I went to this website, saw this buzzfeed post, and a ton more other information out there that was just... overwhelming. One blog post said something along the line of, Think of a budget. Now add $20,000 more to that. and That's how much your wedding will be. NO. Thank YOu.

I laugh every time an article says, "Traditionally the bride's family pays for this and the groom's family pays for that..." HA! Ain't no one got the funds for that. I've seen enough episodes of SYTTD to know that allowing others to pay means they have to like it. Sorry. But I ain't about that life either.

Then it's the logistics. My family is in WI. My bff is in IL. His family is in NC and FL. How is this even going to be possible? Where are we going to go? Because I sure as heck don't want a TX wedding! (No offense y'all!)

It's just all too scary to think about!

The Dress Alone is Enough to Freak Out About:
I actually tried on a few dresses one day with a couple of friends. Just for a little stress reliever... Yeah um, I put one dress on, and I felt naked. I said it was because of the dress, but I felt naked in all of them. For some reason, it just felt wrong, like I wasn't supposed to be there. I don't know why either! I love looking at them and everything, but trying things on, was a whole new experience.

A new collection came out at David's Bridal. I saw one dress and thought, I want this. My best friend said that I needed it. Desperately. I looked at the price... $1350. Not including the veil(if I choose to have one), alterations, shoes, jewelry, etc. etc. That's way more than half of what I would want to spend on a dress. If my dream dress is going to cost me that much, how much am I going to pay for a classy-ass wedding? I ain't doin' no outdoor barn wedding with mason car candles. I mean, it's cute and all, but I am not a country girl. And neither is Chris. Which is great and all, but that means we have more expensive taste now.

I Just Don't Wanna:
Every time I look at a magazine/website/blog post/Pinterest item now. I start mentally hyperventilating and tell Chris, "You plan this thing. I don't wanna do it anymore." Is that bad? Are my feelings to blame? Am I being over-dramatic? I don't know. This is Not like planning a residence hall program. I don't have the qualifications for this. hahah

Just know this. Right now, I have no answers. On anything. And I don't know if I'm ready to find those answers.

Thanks for reading,
<3 Tawny

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Motivational Porn

When life is great and we're sailing along, getting things done, and convincing ourselves that we're going to change the world. We don't need any help with motivation! The world is in our hands!

But then life starts becoming a little difficult or we have that one last paper to write before a vacation, and all motivation to continue is lost. We just don't care anymore.

Then we look for someone else to pick up the slack that our mind gave up on.

Why can't we use the same drive -- the kind we have when we wake up on that rare Sunday morning, clean the entire home, do all the laundry, iron everything down to the underwear, catch up on every show that we're behind on, finish the crafts we've been neglecting, call all of our family members, and read 100+ pages of our favorite book, all before 3pm -- on the mundane things in life?

Why is it that, as soon as we actually have to do something, we now have no more motivation?

For example: the end of semester is coming up and you have a schiesty ton of work to do. Two assignments "standing in the way" between you, and a long awaited break. What do you do?

  • Complain to FB
  • Watch Netflix until the last possible hour
  • Search Pinterest for quotes from a historical figure to help push you through
  • Tell yourself that the faster and harder you work now, the more time you'll have to enjoy everything else later
The answer? 9 times out of 10 it's probably not the last choice. But why not?

In my opinion, the answer is simple. We live in a society that encourages knowledge and education, but ignores the reality of hard work. A society that pushes for balance, but rewards those who become experts in one small detail of life. There's too much pressure put on us to be this perfect, well-rounded, intellectually balanced person. But then again, if you're a smart scientist, you won't get nearly as much recognition for your work than an upcoming movie star who's already been treated for two drug addictions. 

I think we should stop focusing on what the world wants us to be, and start putting more faith in what We want to be individuals, what We can contribute to the greater good.

Time to Re-Evaluate:
If you're in a job where you need constant motivation to get through a day. Get out.
If you're in school and you're constantly screening quotes for the perfect combination of words to get you through a semester. Maybe you should rethink your education. 

Why are you where you are in the first place? 

Why are you still there?

Why Aren't you somewhere else?

Who's looking up to you? (I think we forget that aspect constantly.)

Who do you want to be?

Who can you be? (The answer is anyone you want.)

You are the only one in charge of your happiness. If you're not where you want to be, FIX IT. Stop relying on others and take on the world the way you planned to when you were that ambitious little 6 year old who couldn't wait to grow up.

Thanks for reading again,
<3 Tawny

Monday, January 27, 2014

I Have Always Been An Outcast

I've been reflecting on this subject a lot recently. And it's been kind of bringing me down. So I figured I needed to vent about it in the best way that I know how... by letting the whole world in on my thoughts.

Elementary School:
I was a cute kid until about 4th grade. I don't know what happened, and I don't remember much. I just know that whenever I had a birthday party, I would invite all of my 'friends' and most would reply with statements like, "I can't because my family will be spring cleaning," or, "My mom has to do her taxes, so I can't." I don't know. Dumb reasons. I had a couple of close, good friends, but we lost touch as soon as we "graduated".

Middle School:
I was pretty much ugly and awkward throughout middle school. I had some friends, but they had their own besties, who always took precedence over me. I was picked on by the pretty girls, and even though I dated one of the cool guys in 8th grade, the pretty girls still didn't like me. I was told, to my face, that I didn't deserve to be with anyone like him and that I wasn't worth it. And I didn't have a best friend to back me up. I was outcasted.

High School:
There was maybe one girl who for a while, I considered to be my best friend. We always chatted in school and we were on track together. But we never hung out outside of school. There was always another friend that she would hang out with. I, of course, never noticed that. I started becoming a lot less awkward in my Sophomore year and got more involved and came out of my shell a little more. I had more friends, but they were people that only hung out with me when we had group projects or small get-togethers. It was never just me and a friend being goofy like I always saw with other friends and their besties. I joined cheerleading, thinking I would maybe fit in with a different crowd. Yeah, that didn't work.

Here again, I was friends and/or acquaintances with whomever was in my involvement circles, but I can honestly say that I never really felt like I had that close, real friend. I have Alyssa now, and I'm so thankful she's in my life, I would probably keel over and die if I didn't have her as a rock for me. But other than her? Just friends I would casually hang out with during work functions, programs, or bumping into at the bars every now and then. And maybe it's just me, but one on one interactions were great, and I loved my institution and my peers, but in big groups, I never felt like I quite fit in.

I have friends, and we hang out. But that really only widdles down to about 3 or 4 consistent people. I love my fellow co-workers and all, but sometimes I feel like I'm trying harder than I've ever tried to fit in before. I will force myself into conversations just so that I can feel like I'm truly a part of the group. And I know I don't need to be everyone's friend, but their are times that I feel a little excluded from group activities, or I'm the last one to know about a certain event. It's always been difficult for me to reach out to particular individuals and I try to initiate things when I can, but sometimes it's just hard to hear that someone hosted a game night one day and invited a bunch of people, but never though about me. And then proceed to talk about it in front of me. Games are my favorite past-time people. Am I really that un-likeable?

Don't get me wrong, by all means I love my job and I love my institution, and I love the folks I work with, but a lot of the time I just feel like the black sheep of the family. Everyone else seems to have inside jokes with each other. When people see each other in meetings, they squeal each other's names. I don't get any of that, though if I did, I would probably be scared for my life. But I've accepted my outcast status years ago. And I know that is just my life, it's just hard when the only best friend I've ever had lives 1000+ miles away and the friends I have here only invite me to things that Everyone else gets invited to. I don't know. Maybe I'm being overdramatic. Or maybe I really am Not trying hard enough... Or maybe I should just be grateful for the handful of close friends I have.

I just wanted to get that out there. Thanks for listening to my soapbox. I know this isn't usually how I operate my posts on here.

<3 Tawny

Monday, January 13, 2014

You May Think I'm Crazy

Buuut I really don't care.

I've never enjoyed doing things the way they're "supposed" to happen and I make my own rules quite often.

Time is Irrelevant
You should brush your teeth for exactly two minutes.
You should only steep your tea for two minutes.
You should only weigh yourself before 9am.
You should never eat within three hours before bedtime.
You should sleep 8 hours every night.
You should only tap 20 minute naps.
You shouldn't drink coffee after noon.
You should wait half an hour after eating before swimming.
You should spend 3 hours for every credit of classes studying, per week. (I'm sorry but, never.)

I will drink coffee and eat snacks right up until I'm ready to turn off Netflix and go to sleep.
I will swim and eat at the same time... if I ever swam.

I will "study" exactly what I need to do well and then I will go right back to Netflix.
I will sleep for however long my body tells me. 
I can't nap. They make me angry.

I don't believe that we should live our lives on a set timeline that some random magazine has published in an article. I don't think that it's right to have everyone living the same lives.

This is why you may think I'm crazy.

To my faithful readers: I have not blogged in a long while. But I've been busy. And quite lazy just as well. Sorry not sorry. But I think you'll like this next thing.

I. Am. Engaged
(Reader say what?!)
Yes. It's true. I just didn't post it on FB.
I didn't post a cutesy-pie status saying, "He asked and I said yes." Those are boring. And partially annoying.
I didn't post a surprise picture wearing a ring all of a sudden causing mass panic amongst my friends and family.
I just don't do things the way I'm expected to.

Why Didn't I Tell You?
Well, because I didn't want to hear the same questions/comments over and over again.

"When did he ask?
How did he ask?
And you've only been dating for how long?
You're not ready for that!
You don't know enough about each other!
You haven't had a screaming match/ground-breaking fight!"

I don't give a damn.

"But you've only known each other for five months!"
We're still in school, so don't worry, no plans anytime soon.

Yes, we haven't known each other for very long. We haven't dated for very long either. We haven't lived together. Yes, yes. This I know. But even though I'm not following the socially-constructed timeline that's expected of me. Technically, I'm ahead of everyone else in this society.

I'm in grad school. I have a job. I don't have any kids. I have a future. Etc. Etc.

Why is it such a surprise? Why is it so controversial? Because it's not how you want it?

Why, is it that we see a 70 year old couple, hear a story that they met and got married within two months and are still happily married, and think it's the cutest story in the world? I think if you react a certain way towards me, you're not giving my relationship a chance.

Because there are people in this world who date for 12 years and still aren't sure that they're ready for a commitment, even though they have a family, house, and life with this person. It's a scary world, eh? Divorce rates so high? Because people get married just to get married these days, or they're so concerned about finding the perfect partner that they spend their lives thinking there has to be someone better for them.

I've found my perfect counterpart, and I'm claiming him because I'm positive that he's my match.

If you think I'm wrong then,... for the first time ever... I don't want your opinion. You may think I'm crazy, or dumb, or whatever, but this is my life and I will live it however I choose.

Thank you,
<3 Tawny