Assorted podcast reflections, life updates and randomnesses

I recently edited my “About Me” page on my website. I happened to randomly hear VoiceOver tell me that a word was capitalized that should not have been capitalized, as the word was in the middle of a sentence. IDK how that even happened. But also, I changed the way some things in this mini bio of myself were worded and I like the changes I’ve made to this piece of writing. Because for example, when I very first wrote this mini-bio about myself, I referred to my family of origin as “blood relatives” or some other super harsh-sounding term. But then as time has gone by, both in terms of my own personal growth, but also in terms of me realizing that if I want to build and maintain lasting relationships with others, part of making that happen, is for me to have had this realization that I can use less harsh terms to refer to this specific group of people…without the meaning being lost on the point I’m trying to make about them. Like, I can acknowledge the truth that they are all bad human beings, without using terms that can often alienate people from me rather than bring them closer to me. And that isn’t to say that I never use the terms “blood relatives,” “birth canal” or “sperm doaner” to describe these specific people; but rather, that I’ve evolved and found other options that are just as valid and valuable as the options I used to describe them when I’d first created this mini-bio about myself.

In my last blog entry, where I wrote an album review of the R&B singer JoJo’s latest album, I forgot to clarify something in that album review. More specifically, in the chorus of the song “Think About You,” that is where I heard the repeated sound of a rain stick. And in fact, one of my friends confirmed that he heard this same sound, just as I did.

So I figured that now would be a good time for me to summarize the show I love called Once Upon A Time. So said show is about a little boy who believes that he lives in a land with numerous fairytale stories in it; and this young boy leaves that land for a time because he wants to find the woman who he says gave birth to him. And his reason for wanting to find this woman, is because he’s also convinced that she’s a part of this fairytale land, just like he is. But the show Once Upon A Time combines the boy, Henry’s story with other well-known stories that really do exist in the world we live in today. But also, Once Upon A Time makes things modern-day again, to fit with the times that we’re currently living in. And so, Henry’s mission throughout the entire show, is to get his birth mom Emma to believe his story about how she and Henry are connected to each other. There are, of course, tons and tons of trials and tribulations along the way; there are 7 seasons of Once Upon A Time, after all. However there’s entirely too much happening in the show to go into super-specific detail about it.

In an episode of Multiamory that I recently listened to, Jase, Emily and Dedeker talked about the way people think of labels that folks use to describe themselves. And personally, I’m someone who goes back and forth about how I view labels…and this has been the way I’ve always functioned, for whatever reason. Like, even at times when I’ve used a certain label to explain who I am or how I move through the world, there have been people who claim that I can’t or shouldn’t use this particular label. And the main reason that people have used as justification for why they tell me that sort of thing, is because those people misunderstand the meaning of a particular label. But not just that, but it’s also easy for folks to criticize things that they don’t understand…or that they flat out don’t want to understand. And these things have seemed to both be true throughout my life whether I’m having this kinda discussion with folks online or in-person. And so needless to say, I don’t think it should be surprising to anyone why I go back and forth in terms of how I feel about using labels to describe myself. But ultimately, as even the Multiamory hosts point out, people should feel comfortable using any labels because the labels they use reflect them as individuals…and I agree with that stance completely.

Similarly, in another episode of Multiamory, Jase, Dedeker and Emily talked some more about people’s right to identify however they feel best suits them. So for an example of this in my own life, even though I’ve yet to actually have relationships with multiple people at once, I’ve known for years that conducting myself in this way is exactly what fits me. And the hosts of Multiamory point out that they believe that folks don’t necessarily have to have dated several people at once to know that doing so is who they are; but honestly, before I’d started going back and listening to these episodes of Multiamory, a huge part of me felt almost guilty for defining myself as polyamorous, when I’ve yet to actually try that way of life out. But that’s just it: I have thought about this for years and years; it’s something I still think about on a daily basis even now. Because the more information I gain throughout my life, the better armed I become to continue to make decisions for my life that make me happy. And so, if anyone were to negatively criticize this choice of mine, assuming that I also took what they said to heart, that would translate into me never being happy in my life. I’m glad I don’t actually believe that I don’t deserve to be happy, though, as my life wouldn’t be anything close to what it currently is.

Something else that listening to Multiamory podcasts has gotten me to think about lately, is this idea of preserving relationships. And I think about this concept both as it relates to my non-existent relationship with my bio mom, as well as in relation to the past romantic relationships I’ve been in. Because in all of those relationships, I was always made to feel like I needed to stick around those people, even though each of them were bad for my over all health and well-being for one reason or another. Because the majority of society seems to think that because someone say, gave birth to you, that automatically makes that person your mother. But people that give birth to people are not immune from the possibility that they themselves can be toxic human beings. And so, I think that society gets things wrong, in deepthroating folks with this idea that the person who gave birth to them is inherently good.

In yet another Multiamory episode, Jase, Dedeker and Emily talked with someone who’s heavily into the Buddhist philosophy/lifestyle, I’d say. And something this particular guest said that stood out to me, was something along the lines of “if you meditate and say that you wish someone who has been shitty towards you safety, health and happiness, you’ll change the way the two of you interact with each other.” And when I say that this particular thing stood out to me, I mean it made an impression on me in an awful way. I think it’s ludacris to even assume that people would even want to take this sort of action. For example, I don’t want to minimize the unforgivable things that people have done to me because I don’t want to in turn forget how those folks have influenced who I’ve become. But at the same time, I don’t want to hold grudges against anyone. But even so, not holding grudges doesn’t have to mean that I allow these people to continually treat me like shit, nor does it mean that these folks deserve a free pass, simply because they too have had trauma in their lives as I also have. But another reason that this concept stood out to me in an unexpected way, was because I felt like this lady was saying that if you did all the steps she’d highlighted in this entire discussion, you’d be such a calm person that literally nothing would ever bother you again. And I of course do understand that she was speaking about this from her experiences/from experiences that she’s heard about from other individuals…but personally, I can’t relate to this way of thinking very much.

In a Multiamory episode where Emily and Jase talked with a mom-son duo who has a podcast with one another about sex, something that stood out to me, was this question from the mom-son duo about how the Multiamory hosts conduct themselves on their podcast. This particular thing was brought up because the mom-son duo were saying how the both of them are open about their lives on their podcast. And so, when they asked Emily and Jase this question in reference to Multiamory, I could relate to the response that both of them (Emily and Jase) gave. And what I mean by that, is that I operate similarly to Emily and Jase, in terms of the things I write about on my blog. Like, when I’m actually in a romantic relationship with someone, I don’t write about the things that happen between us unless whomever I’m withokays me doing that first. Because I know that it would be even harder for me to try and generally talk about things but also, I’ve found that when I’m in, say, a toxic relationship (whether it’s a romantic relationship or some other form of relationship toxicity), it’s damn near impossible for me to view the relationship as toxic whenever I’m actually in it. And I guess that that makes sense, given how society tries to make human beings believe that we must keep our family of origin around, simply because they’re related to us by blood.

In another episode of Multiamory, this one in which Dedeker, Emily and Jase discussed boundaries and agreements, this episode brought up some reflections for me about harmful things that I’d allowed to happen in romantic relationships I’ve been in. One of these harmful things happened with the last man I dated, and that was the fact that he was a frequent smoker. Now, I absolutely cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke; and not only that but also, being around cigarette smoke for even five minutes’ time, makes me have trouble breathing. And to my knowledge, I don’t have asthma…but that’s still how my body reacts to that awful smell nonetheless. But yet another harmful thing that I let happen in my last romantic relationship, was not speaking up when my then-boyfriend tried to control what clothes I wore or what food I ate. He’d literally tell me that since he didn’t eat bacon himself, I was not allowed to eat bacon in his presence, either. And then as I’d also said, he’d tell me that I couldn’t ever wear shorts around his family because they (his family) would see that as a sign of me disrespecting them. But the thing was, in most of these instances, I should not have allowed my then-boyfriend to dictate the way I dressed, ate ETC. Because I’m a grown woman who makes her own decisions about what she does or doesn’t do to her own body. But back then when he and I were together, I didn’t know that I actually did have a choice to speak up for these things. But also, given that he and I were living together for a few months when I’d first arrived in this state, I felt like I should stay quiet, so as not to possibly piss him off so much that he’d kick me out of the apartment. Because if that were to happen, I literally wouldn’t have had anywhere to go…and I wasn’t about to do that to myself.

When it came to the fact that he was a frequent smoker though, he didn’t seem to believe that the nasty cigarette smell was always present wherever he was, even if he tried to mask said smell with cologne. And in fact that insensitivity on his part made it difficult for me to live with him: because I don’t feel like he took my health Concerns as seriously as he should’ve. But then again, I also didn’t enforce that it wasn’t just that I couldn’t stand the smell of cigarette smoke but mainly that that smell made me have serious breathing trouble. So I do take responsibility for my part in this particular situation going the way it did. And I’m hopeful that in the future, I don’t hesitate to speak up with regards to what my boundaries are…because it’s important to me to respond to things in the exact ways that I’d want to respond to them. I know I won’t get things right every single time though, and I’m OK with that.

In another episode of Multiamory, Jase, Emily and Dedeker talked about how if you know that someone is in a toxic relationship, it can be hard to decide whether you should say something to said friend or not. And TBH, listening to this Multiamory episode made me think of past situations I’ve been in where I had assorted toxic relationships with different people. And in literally all of those relationships, I was so busy minimizing those people’s actions or words, that I became too afraid to let go of those relationships altogether. Because at that time, it seemed more important to keep those relationships in-tact than to remove myself from them. Like, I can vividly remember thinking that my life would somehow have less meaning, if I were to sever those ties with those toxic people. And also at that time, that perspective of mine was a black-and-white thought process. Like, there was no in-between of like, me simply lessening the amount of contact I had with these toxic people. But ultimately, me having such black-and-white thinking about this issue, was what eventually helped me examine why I thought the way I did…and how I might want to change that for the better.

But another thing that this particular episode of Multiamory made me reflect on, is the question of whether I’d tell someone I’m close to that I feel like they are in a toxic relationship of some sort. And personally, I don’t think it’s my place to metal in someone’s business, no matter how close I may be with a person. And the reason I feel this way, is because I wouldn’t like it if someone took it upon themselves to just randomly tell me that they have a problem with a relationship I’m in. Like, it would be one thing if I were to engage someone in a discussion about something that happened in a particular relationship that I’d like another person’s perspective on. But if I’m not the one who initiates this type of discussion, or if a friend themselves doesn’t open up to me about something they’d like my feedback on then I don’t think anyone has the right to get involved in other people’s business, period!! But also, I know that I’d feel smothered if I was being given advice by someone who cares about me/who I also care about.

In another Multiamory episode where Jase, Emily and Dedeker talked about how to shift one’s thinking after having a fight with a partner, something that came up for me, was reflecting on how the last man I dated lived very differently than me in ways that were ultimately incredibly hard for me to live with. One of these examples, was that he was/is a night owl, while I am/was a morning/day type of person. And it was interesting to think about those differences between us, most especially because before I’d dated this man, I wouldn’t have thought that this difference would be significant. And similarly, another difference this guy and I had, was that he lagged all the time; whereas when I had to be somewhere, I’d arrive to my destination early. This particular difference between this guy and I was never something I’d even considered could be problematic…until it was problematic!! But I bring these things up now because in my personal experience, I can’t physically just start staying up later and easily change how my body responds to said change. And while I’m sure that many people would debate me on this, there are always exceptions of folks who can make this significant change happen for themselves…and feel like said change doesn’t create problems for them that are damn near impossible to work through. But a valuable lesson that I’ve learned through having these particular experiences, is that any future partners of mine and I would be wise to have discussions with each other about what these things look like in our lives. And when I say that we need to discuss these things, I mean that we should feel safe enough to talk frankly; because personally, I’d much rather someone tell me that dating me is a dealbreaker because they’re a night person and I’m not, than for us to waste our time being in a romantic relationship with one another…when at least one of us knows that this kinda situation just won’t work well for us.

So it’s been awhile since I’ve written about this particular thing; but it relates to the Go React app I had to purchase for the American Sign Language (ASL) class that I chose to take this particular semester. And what I have to say about this particular app, is that because my professor is Deaf, this app would allow us students to create videos of assignments for said class that were done outside of actual classtime. And so, given that the Go React app was strictly a video recorder/video uploader, said app literally took up the majority of space on my phone. I don’t remember how big the app is exactly; but I had to delete several apps from my phone so that I could make space for the Go React app. But not just that, but my phone hadn’t been backed up since before I’d gotten this particular app…because my phone literally couldn’t be backed up because Go React was taking up so much space. And so, within the past week, I’ve deleted the Go React app off of my phone for good. And TBH, I don’t even know why I’d still been holding onto said app, given that I can’t participate in this ASL class anymore. So needless to say, my phone is back to having tons of space on it, now…which makes me very happy. And of course, my phone can also be backed up again…which is lovely. The little things really do make the most difference, sometimes.

I recently contacted the Elizabeth Warren merchandise store, to find out why I hadn’t received the shirt I’d ordered back in March of this year. And the person who’d responded to that email of mine informed me that the store doesn’t currently have any of the shirts that I’d ordered in stock. And while receiving that information was disappointing to me, I’m glad that Elizabeth Warren’s merchandise team did at least respond to my email. I just hope that I do actually receive the shirt at some point.

In the Childfree FB group I’m in, someone posted a question about whether group members would be OK with folks with disabilities, chronic health conditions ETC having biological children. The response I wrote to that thread reads:
No, I think that sort of thing is unethical. But I’m someone who thinks that having kids is a bad decision, anyway. But as a multiply disabled person myself, if I ever did want kids, I would never actually go through with making that happen; because there would be no guarantee that my kids would not be disabled. I would never want that for anyone, even though I’m a confident person myself.