The Importance of Being Awkward

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On the first day of class, my mythology professor asked us to state our name and tell the class something interesting about ourselves. I scrambled for a second, trying to think of something exciting that would draw the class towards me. It had to be bold, but not too crazy; it needed just the right amount of spark necessary to convey the message Hey. This is a person you want to know.

In situations like these, I usually pick one of two stories: The time I accidentally shaved off one of my eyebrows (well, I suppose it wasn’t really an accident. I mean, I definitely did intend to take a razor to my brow, but my 13-year-old mind could not have possibly foreseen the consequences) or the time my dad snuck a pizza into the movie theater. I feel like both of these stories sum up what I’m all about in a pretty concise way: Funny, weird, and maybe a little uncomfortable if you think about it too hard. In other words, these stories accurately convey the mythology that I’ve created for myself.

When you watch old movies from the nineties/thousands, you tend to see certain archetypes pop up over and over again: The Jocks, the theater kids, the popular crowd, the goths; the nerds and the awkward protagonist that the audience is supposed to root for. Perhaps there was a time when these sects existed, but by the time I got to high school, they were mostly obsolete. Maybe we all realized that adhering to such antiquated social norms was boring. Or maybe we all thought we were the awkward protagonist.

I’m not really sure when it was decided that I was “quirky”. It was probably around the time I showed up to class with only one eyebrow. People started telling me that I was different, and I just kind of ran with it: I started doing whatever strange thing popped into my mind without fear of the consequence; after all, everyone already thought I was weird. For a while, I actively pursued bizarre situations just so that I would have something to talk about at school. I fully embraced the idea of being more strange and interesting than my peers. The (ludicrous) idea that I was doing something different, something truly original, fueled me.

It seems to have fueled others, too. These days, if you ask a young person to describe themselves, it is almost a guarantee that the word “awkward” will come up. I wonder how many of these people are truly awkward; how many of these people would have fit neatly into some other role, had they only been born in a different year. I often question the sincerity of my own life: I want my myth to at least represent something real, instead of just being a collection of interesting stories to tell at a dinner party.

I suppose that at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. After all, this archetype of the awkward protagonist is doing great things for people: it allows them to fight their inhibitions and find out what feels right for them; it allows them to dare to be original and creative and put themselves out there in ways they wouldn’t have other-wise. Most importantly, I think that this archetype is the reason why we have so many young people pursuing their dreams; this very website is proof of that. And even though I sometimes find myself confused about where the archetype I’ve chosen for myself ends and where I begin, I think that I’m that much closer to figuring it all out.

A letter for my brother 

 

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✌🏿️🙏🏿

Did you know that I’ve been blogging for almost four years? 

Probably not. Both because I blog so sporadically it must be hard to keep track and because I don’t really talk bout it.

There’s a lot I don’t really talk about on this blog. Whenever some weird or embarrassing situation befalls me, I always remember to write it down. But the other stuff, the good and positive things that make my life worthwhile, tend to slip through the cracks.

Case in point: Did you know that I have a brother? Maybe you did if you’ve been reading for a couple years or if you know me personally (which, let’s face it: the vast majority of the people who read my blog are friends who I’ve somehow tricked into paying attention to me). But I do. I have a brother, and his name is David.

David is nineteen years old. He likes music, learning new things and entertaining people. He’s pretty cool. A LOT cooler than me, if you think “Performing concerts to raise money for those in need” is cooler than “Almost getting into a fist fight one time because some rando mistook you for another black girl”. Which you very well might.

He graduated high school last year and is still trying to figure out life in the ~*Real World*~. In honor of National Sibling Day (which I KNOW was a couple of days ago) I have decided to write him this letter:

Hi, David!

Let’s get right to the point: 2015 was a trash year (we can both agree on that, right? Your agreement is a necessary component of this letter). It was just horrible in every way. Much like myself, all of 2015’s inclinations were to badness; every time it was given the opportunity to straighten itself out and correct its course, it made a sudden turn and veered into some new horror.

Like I said: Trash.

But who cares about that! We are finally free of 2015’s cold embrace, and it’s time to act like it. 2015 was a decidedly terrible year for our family, but 2016 is different, and we cannot punish it for the previous year’s mistakes. 2016 is limitless-yes, I realize that we are already in the middle of April, but that’s still eight good months!

So what are you gonna do with them? 

I realize that that isn’t really a fair question, especially coming from me, a person who has basically spent the last four months scrolling down various news feeds and avoiding responsibility, but I’m asking it anyway. Mainly because I believe in you.

I believe that you can do anything that you want to do. I believe that truly and deeply, from the bottom of my heart. Like the year 2016, you are full of so much potential and the ability to see it through. So much of it that it almost makes me a little jealous, but then I remember how great you are and feel happy for you instead.

So I ask again: what are you gonna do? But while I ask that question, I also want to emphasize the point that there is no rush. You’re only nineteen, after all. But this is the prime time to figure out what you love and experiment with it, whether it’s photography or business, and find out what fits you best. Otherwise, you might end up accidentally going to school for nursing for three years only to randomly switch to teaching in the middle of your junior year. Basically, what I’m saying is don’t be like me.

But do take my advice! Tons of people read my blog looking for advice! Well, not for advice so much as tales of shame…

Regardless.

You’ll always be my little brother (Because you’re younger, we’re related, and you’re a boy), and I love ya! Happy (belated) National Sibling Day! 

Kiana

 

POWER MOVES ONLY

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This is one of the pictures that comes up when you google “power move”. Feels accurate. 

I’ve been thinking about new years resolutions a lot lately.

Usually, when someone asks me what my goals for the new year are, I say “My only resolution is to be a bad bitch,” and ignore the angry glare that always follows. But this year, I’ve decided to take things a bit more seriously.

I think we can all agree: 2015 was a garbage year full of garbage things. On a large scale, we saw various acts of terorism, bigotry and the rise of Full body contouring. On a smaller scale (i.e. things only relating to me) we saw accidental breast grazing, unfortunate hair decisions, and endless stains on cardigans. I am more than ready to leave all of that behind me.

So I’m making a resolution. I saw one of my Facebook friends resolve to do this, and I am jumping on the bandwagon: 2016 will be a year of power moves only.

Now, you may be wondering: Kiana, what exactly does that mean?

Well, dear reader, let me start from the beginning.

I have always had trouble asserting myself. For example, when I was seventeen, one of coworkers wished me a happy Kwanzaa, assuming I celebrated the holiday because I am African. A normal person would have just told him they didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa. A normal person would have said it with poise, and grace, and maybe a dash of charm for good measure. Instead of doing any of these perfectly normal things, I fell into a little something I like to call an insanity spiral.

For some unknown reason, I became convinced that just telling him I didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa was too awkward a situation for me to bear. So I thanked him…and he went on to ask several very specific questions about the nature of Kwanzaa.

“It’s…really just about togetherness, you know?” I mumbled dumbly.

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Is…is this Kwanzaa?

And that is just one example of many when I had the opportunity to stand up for myself and say one simple thing and I just…didn’t.

Well, I’m sick of it! I’m sick of being timid and quiet when it matters the most. I’m sick of sitting in the background while interesting things are happening all around me. I’m sick of being a supporting actor in my own life. From this moment on, POWER MOVES ONLY. 

This, of course, begs the question: What exactly constitutes a power move? 

Unfortunately, I cannot give you a true answer as the essence of the power move is vague and undefined, but I will try my best: A power move is a subtle way of taking back dominance.

If employed correctly, a person will not even realize that a power move has been played on them. Not right away, at least. They will just wake up one morning feeling weak. Any sense of pride and ambition they once felt will be dashed down, replaced only with a deep, newfound respect for the you. This will seem perfectly normal to them; they will feel as though things have always been this way, with you as the alpha, and them as the beta. It won’t even occur to them to be concerned, so complete will be your rise to superiority.

You are victorious: It’s time to claim your rightful place on the throne, scepter in hand, and bathe in the warm glow of the adulation of your former superiors. This is your kingdom now, and you will rule with an iron fist.

…Or, in my case, it just means actually using my voice. I want to dedicate this year to speaking up when someone is making me uncomfortable; I want to speak up when I see someone doing something wrong to others; and I want to speak up and actually communicate how I think/feel (something that has been notoriously difficult for me). I know that this will be an uphill battle- being passive is one of my dominant personality traits- but I’m feeling hopeful about the new year.

What are your resolutions?

Kiana.

 

Back, and Better(?) Than Ever!

*Blows dust off of blog*

Hello, dear readers!

I’m not gonna lie: I’ve been trying to write this blog post for three weeks. Every morning, I got out of bed a flipped open my laptop, willing an interesting story to pop into my mind. Then, I would have a sudden flash of inspiration and feverishly type out a couple paragraphs, only to realize that it was all garbage. I hung my head in shame, convinced that I would never again be able to write anything of substance. I imagined you scoffing as you read my blog, shaking your head in both sadness and disgust as you reflected on how far I’d fallen; Long gone are the days when I was capable of churning out literary masterpieces without even breaking a sweat.

I slowly shut my laptop and curled into a ball of the floor. I heard a low moan fill the air around me; it seemed to be coming not from my throat, but from the very center of the universe. It was a mournful cry for the girl I once was, for the girl I would never grow to be. I shut my eyes tight, willing the tears to stop, but down they poured, clouding my vision until I could see nothing but regret. Together, me and the universe wept, and I began my journey into the void.

…Then, I remembered that I once wrote a blog post petitioning America to change the National anthem to “Party In the USA” by Miley Cyrus, and that really put things into perspective.

Anyway: I’m back now, and I plan to begin blogging regularly once more! For now, here is a picture of a yorkie dressed as a pug to tide you over.

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Conversation with my mother (Part 3)

Today after class, I decided that me and my mother needed to spend some quality time together. Usually, whenever we hang out, we do what she wants to do, and it’s always awful. My mother’s interests are limited to cooking really complicated dishes, doing yard work, and complaining about the youths that run free in our neighborhood (“It’s past eight! Where are their parents??”).

After eighteen years of cultivating exotic cabbages together, I decided to mix it up. And what better to induce bonding than a Disney movie?! I popped in the classic cartoon Lady and The Tramp, excited to see what she would think of it. I spent most of the movie with my eyes flitting frantically between my mother and the TV screen, eager to catch her every reaction. Lady and the Tramp is one of my favorites, and I was certain that she would feel the same.

I was very wrong.

Everything was going fine until we reached the famous Bella Notte scene.

The music! The setting! THE ROMANCE! Though I was captivated, my mother quickly expressed her distaste with the situation.

Mom

What is this mess?

KIANA

What do you mean? It’s beautiful!

MOM

(Full of righteous indignation)

IT’S DISGUSTING.

KIANA

(stunned silence)

MOM

(with rapidly increasing rage)

Why are they sharing a noodle? That’s just sick. Think of the spittle!

KIANA

But…romance!

MOM

They’re dogs. This is nonsense! Why did you make me watch this?

KIANA

I’m…sorry?

MOM

I’ll never eat spaghetti again. I told you we should have just raked the yard.

Sigh. You win some, you lose some.

Kiana

We can’t stop! (But we probably should)

I’ve decided that every Wednesday here on the theory of everything will, from this day forward, be known as video Wednesday! I’ve made this choice because I spend a lot of my time surfing the net and, as a result, I have seen a lot of funny/interesting videos that I think you might enjoy as well.

That, and I am totally out of writing ideas. Yay, bloggers block!

Anyway, today’s video is this cover of the Miley Cyrus hit” We Can’t Stop” sung by the awesome band Bastille.

My friend Kaitlin (who has a blog!) introduced them to me a few months ago and I fell in love. Then, I heard this cover and my heart exploded (in the best way possible). Enjoy! Because I have nothing else to offer you!

Kiana

This post is mediocre at best

Every time I write a blog post, I have to search my mind for something remotely interesting to share with you guys.

Every now and then, I’m blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with something horrible or outrageous to share with you, but recently, I’ve been going through a bit of a dry spell. I guess that’s what happens when you never interact with anyone ever??

So, yeah. Not much to report lately. Um…this morning, I went to the grocery store and when the cashier reached out to take my money, I got confused and thought he wanted a handshake. It only took about five seconds for me to realize what I’d done and release him, but those five seconds I spent holding his hand and making uncomfortable eye contact were among the worst of my life. And his too, probably.

Anyway, I’m sorry I’m so boring lately! I promise I’ll do something embarrassing and life-altering soon to entertain you! In the meantime, here’s this video:

Kiana