Sunday, March 01, 2015

In Which I Start Anew

So. I disappeared again. Whoops.

But instead of it being because of depression and/or laziness, this time it was a socially acceptable reason. It's because I was getting ready to move across the world to South Korea!

I told you all about this around a year ago when I made the decision to go, and well... I'm in South Korea now!

It has been quite the challenge uprooting myself entirely to move across the world, and there were a bit of growing pains for the first week (blog post to come later on HAT Korea). All in all, though, I think that after we're all settled in and whatnot, everything will gravitate toward a happy little rhythm, regular blog posting included.

I have lots of stuff to catch you all up on, so prep for more blog posts this week!


Friday, February 13, 2015

In Which I Am Single & Happy On Valentine's Day
And How You Can Be Too

Ever since Hallmark and Kay Jewelers cashed in on the veritable feast of consumerism that occurs every year around February 14th, society has informed us - women specifically - that being single on Valentine's Day somehow made us deficient as human beings.

Why is that, I wonder?

Most of us also know about Singles Awareness Day (SAD), which was created to combat the overwhelming feeling of lonesomeness on a holiday that is designed for couples, but honestly? I think it does nothing but perpetuate the idea that not being in a relationship on February 14th is abnormal and less than desirable.

Hello. My name is Stefanie. 
I am 28 years old, I am single, and I am happy.

I am not old. In fact, I still believe that I am a child that has somehow become trapped in an adult's body, but that doesn't really bear any importance to the topic at hand, so I'll just leave it at that.

I have reached a point in my life when everyone I know is pairing off with significant others, getting married, having babies, and just general being all adult-like. But therein lies the rub. Why is it that I equate those things - marriage, children, etc. - to being activities that make one an adult?

I pay my bills on time and on a monthly basis, I have no debt*, I have life goals and career prospects. Why do I feel that I can't be a real, bonafide adult until I jump the life hurdles that society has told me are required to move from adolescent to adult?

The truth is that I am an adult. I am an adult, and I am single, and that is ok.

Maybe marriage isn't in the cards for me. Maybe there is something else better suited to my lifestyle and personality in The Plan that has yet to make itself known. Who knows? Why are we all so stressed out about this?

Being sad out of sheer jealousy on a holiday that celebrates something that is incredibly rare (true love) is not only ill-advised, but it is also self-debasing and self-destructive behavior.

After all is said and done, you are valuable. You are worth it, and just because you're single now doesn't mean that you'll be single forever (unless that's what you want, in which case, more power to you). 

I personally am taking the day to spend time with one of my dearest and closest friends, but there are lots of ways that you can enjoy yourself.
  1. Pamper yourself. Instead of hiding in your apartment all day for fear of people judging you for being out in public all by your onesies, go out into the world and get a massage. Get a pedicure. Go see a movie by yourself (it's actually really great, trust me). Love quality time with yourself; you so rarely get the opportunity to do so.

  2. Have a fun night out with friends. Even though it may not feel like it, you are not the only single person in your friend group. You could also take this opportunity to spend time with someone you don't normally spend a lot of time with.

  3. Have a fun night in with yourself. Similar to #1, spend the night inside and catch up on that TV show you've been meaning to marathon. Read a book you've had in your "To Read" pile for a long time. Have a glass (or five) of wine. Enjoy yourself unapologetically.

  4. Treat it like any other Friday night. What would you be doing any other Friday night? Do that. This holiday doesn't have to drag you down or change your day at all.
I, for one, plan to have a great day regardless of the holiday, and I choose to be content with my singleness at the moment. I truly hope you can do the same.

How are you spending your Valentine's Day? Let me know in the comments section!


*I'm about to take on around $20,000 of debt because I'm going back to school for my Master's in Human Services. Oy. I'll just keep telling myself that there is, in fact, something such as "good debt." Excuse me while I go hide in a corner and sob uncontrollably.

Friday, December 19, 2014

An Ode to Sissybug
Happy Birthday

I don't do poetry, so don't you dare expect that from me, even if this post is called an ode. Stop nitpicking.


Today is your birthday, and I wanted to let you know that I love you. We don't say that enough, you know?

Newborn Stefers fed by Sissybug!
You were born on December 19th, 1983, which makes you 31 years old today. That weirds me out. You're 31. When did you get old??

SIDE NOTE: Shhhhh... 3 years in sister age difference 
is equivalent to a decade, so I just turned 21 this year.

When we were kids, specifically once your teenage years started, you and I were not friends. I was the annoying little snot of a sister who wanted to be like you, to do everything that you did, to tag along with your and your cooler, older friends instead of my own.

Your face speaks sooooooooooo many words in this photo.
We fought like cats and dogs, said terrible things to each other, and (until I grew to be larger in size than you) got into some pretty wild fisticuffs. 

Our ritual "Sissybug plays a game while Stefers watches" time.
You were never very good at sharing, but that's okay.
I just liked spending time with you.
I remember the very moment that you realized fighting with me was probably ill-advised:

I don't remember what we were fighting about, but it was something that either one or both of us thought was very important at the time. Most likely, it was about ownership of some item or something like that.

You grabbed me around the shoulders, and I bent over and lifted you off the ground, completely debilitating any plans of dominating the fight that you had. You didn't know what I was going to do, so I imagine you were thrown off and a little bit scared, but after you stopped struggling / screaming (streagling?), I put you back on the ground and walked off. Knowing me, I probably made some unnecessary, biting comment as I walked off, but I can't remember what it was. The point is, I made it clear that you might be the older sister, but I was the bigger one. We still had our squabbles, but things never got physical after that.

This continued on into your moody, depressive high school years (same time as my moody, dramatic middle school years), and despite the constant bickering I still looked up to you. You were creative, smart, did well in school, and you always had a connection with Dad that I have never been able to experience in my own personal dealings with him. I envied you a great deal for that.

We liked wearing those dresses for around a minute.
I missed you dearly during your college years. It was like you had forgotten about me, that you had found new friends and family that you liked better, and it was a sore spot for quite some time for me. Not only that, but I hate that I missed out on such a large, formative chunk of your life. I understand that there were extenuating circumstances, but that doesn't make it any less painful.

It wasn't until many years later, after you had finished college, that we reconnected and actually started behaving like people who enjoyed one another's company. And boy, am I happy that we finally decided to grow up and do that. We even went so far as to live with one another. Crazy? Perhaps. But it helped us grow closer after years of separation. Never again, though. Never. Again. I'm sure you agree with me.

We abandoned pants long before Lady Gaga made it cool.
Our friendship as sisters has only grown over the last few years. Yes, we have our disagreements, and we don't always find resolution to the fact that we are different people and think differently from one another, but somewhere underneath all of the ideology-clashing and history of fights, there is a sisterly bond that we'll never be able to find in a single other human being, and I find that to be invaluable.

It has since opened up a lot of creative avenues for both of us (Dear Sissybug Book Review, for one), but it has also allowed us to pontificate upon our past and grow even more from it, understanding why something happened now that we were privy to both sides of the stories.

Why did Mom react this way when I did "x?"
Well, it's because she had just gotten finished yelling at me about doing "y."
Oh, I guess that makes sense then.
Man, we were such little twats.

At the end of the day, we are different. Everything about us is like night and day, and it makes sense that we fought, squabbled, swiped, and punched each other growing up.

That being said, however, I wouldn't trade you for anyone else in the world. You're my Sissybug, and I am proud and happy to be your sister.

May you never stop growing and learning, 
and may you always keep your eyes pointed toward the horizon.
Here's to the future.

Happy Birthday, Sissybug.
I love you.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

#100HappyDays: Day 72

I'm a big proponent of language acquisition, even if it's only a little bit. It broadens your horizons, and you can learn so much about so many people if you just take the time to learn a little bit about the language they speak.

To see an explanation of this post series, go HERE.

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