Random thoughts from one of the most emotionally wearing weeks of my entire life

  • The amount of times I’ve had to tell myself, “It’s really none of your business; you don’t have to have an opinion on everything.” in the last week is astounding considering the fact that I am, in fact, a 26-year-old woman who manages to keep old friends, make new ones, and maintain a decent relationship with most of my coworkers and family members.
  • Really the fact that any one of us puts up with the rest of us is the common grace of God in His understanding that His creation needs companionship.  Because, really, we’re all such self-centered messes.
  • I trust people’s philosophies way too much and their motives way too little.
  • I would really, really like a dog.  A great, big, floppy dog who I will name Theodore or Remus or Paddington or something.
  • I absolutely have some of the most devoted, kind, loving, patient, wonderful, and dear friends in the entire world and I’m very glad the Lord has placed them in my life.
  • I find my brain to be buzzing more and more with useless and absurd imaginary conversations simply because I’m so used to thinking constantly. This week has been so crazy that my brain wants to be quiet but habit dictates that I fill the void with something.  These aren’t even conversations that I expect or want to have; they’re more like A Word from Our Sponsor filling the space between thoughts.  I think maybe I need to learn to sit quietly, mind included.
  • I’ve had such sweet conversations this week despite the tossing and turning of my mind.  It has been quite wonderful, really.
  • Sometimes, sleeping on a giant pillow and a giant stuffed bear really does make most everything better somehow.
  • Astoundingly, I don’t have to continue to feel as if I’m responsible for the actions of others.  I’ve known this for awhile, but it’s just now sinking in.
  • I have a friend who has two sisters and the three of them are essentially best friends and it’s really the most lovely thing.  I wish I saw that sort of sibling affection more often.
  • The Lord really does come through with His promise to progressively sanctify His children.  He equips, He chastises, He encourages, He loves.  Utterly phenomenal.
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My thoughts on the Myth of the FriendZone

So, say you’re a guy and you like some girl and you express your like for her and she responds with, “I’d rather just be friends.”

Uh-oh.  You just got FriendZoned!

Or, maybe not.  I’ve been thinking about this the last couple of days because I hear/read complaints about it fairly often.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the FriendZone doesn’t actually exist.

It seems that being FriendZoned equates to one of two things.

Take Scenario A:

You’re a guy and you like your friend Julie.  You and Julie aren’t super close, but you know her well enough to know that you’d like to go out with her.  You ask her out and she turns you down, adding, “I really like you as a friend.” You have been:

a. FriendZoned.
b. rejected.
c. none of the above. If I keep trying really hard, Julie will finally realize she’s interested in me romantically.

If you answered b. rejected, you’re correct! I know it’s hard to admit and sometimes difficult to handle, but Julie has not, in fact, put you in some sort of undefined social Zone that exists to torture you and you alone.  She has been honest with you; she isn’t interested in a romantic relationship with you and that’s that.

Now, I can’t speak for all women, but I can say that when I’ve said this to guys it’s been because they expressed romantic interest in me and I wasn’t interested for whatever reason and wanted to break the news in a nice way.  It wasn’t because I wanted the guy to act like one of my female friends or because I’m just cold-hearted and didn’t appreciate how nice he’d been to me or whatever.  (Sidenote: if you’re nice to someone with the expectation that being nice will eventually earn you the right to demand their romantic affection, you’re doing it wrong.) I think this may be where the disconnect lies in these scenarios: the woman doesn’t want the guy to think she’s rejecting him as a person or that she thinks he’s a loser or something, and she can’t give him what he wants, so she offers the best thing she can give him, which is friendship.  She’s being honest, but tries to spin it toward something positive.

At this point, the best thing for you to do is to put that hope for romance with her to rest.  If you can remain friends with Julie without a huge amount of discomfort to yourself, please do.  If you find that you need some distance from her, you should communicate that.  It’s really terrible and confusing to the other person if you just slowly creep away from the friendship when they didn’t do anything other than express their feelings honestly.

Scenario B:

You’re a guy and you’re really close with Lauren.  She texts you all the time, tells you about all of her problems, has you drive her places, etc.  You wouldn’t normally do all of those things with such consistency for someone, but you like Lauren and you want to do things for her.

It takes a few months…years…decades, but you finally mention to Lauren that you’d like to date her.  She responds with, “Oh, but I just like being friends with you!” What does your relationship consist of?

a. all I can see around me is…The FriendZone.
b. absolutely no understanding of boundaries, terrible communication, and a woman who (probably unwittingly) thinks she can have all the benefits of a boyfriend without the commitment and affection.
c. none of the above. If I keep on doing everything she wants, she’ll eventually fall in love with me. She has to.

Once again, b is the answer. (Though I did touch on c briefly above, let me say it again: you should be nice to people in general. You should not be nice to someone in order to try to earn the right to their affection. That’s less being nice and more heinously manipulative.  This goes for both genders.)

Okay, first of all, communication is key always and forever.  If you thought Lauren was interested in you because of something she did or said, it’d be good to bring that up.  You can even use fancy phrases like “mixed signals” to drive the point home.  This gives Lauren a chance to explain her point of view concerning the situation.

Second of all, if you’re doing a bunch of stuff you generally reserve for a girlfriend…even if that “stuff” is something as simple as seeing Lauren multiple times a week, it’s probably time to explain that, too so that boundaries can be set up.  You don’t have to say, “I only do this for someone I’m dating,” but be honest about what boundaries you need to set up for yourself so that your relationship is clearly defined.

And, to the Laurens out there: if you’re using a guy as a fill-in for a boyfriend, stop it.  It’s confusing for both parties and is an abuse of the friendship in general.  Guy friends aren’t the same as your best female friends and they certainly aren’t just like a boyfriend without the commitment.

To sum up: using the term “FriendZone” to describe any guy who has unrequited affection toward a girl who wants to remain friends is skirting the issues at hand. In my experience, said guy needs to accept the rejection that he’s been handed or both parties need to strive toward clearer communication and healthy boundaries within their friendship. I’d really love for the term to go away completely, but as it won’t, I think I may just start calling people out for using it.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on this issue.  I’d love to hear yours as well.  Do you have a different definition of FriendZone? Is there an area that I’ve gotten totally wrong or that I need a different perspective on? If you think so, comment away!


Re: Trayvon Martin and the American judicial system

Okay, so here’s the deal: I often write notes before my current-event-related posts to the effect of, “I don’t like writing about politics, but the one thing burned my biscuits so badly that I need to write a blog post about it.” or whatever.  I have realized this isn’t exactly true, and thus there will be no more caveats of that nature.

So, having said that…let’s talk about this Martin/Zimmerman fiasco.

I’m not going to tell you my opinion on this issue as it truly, truly doesn’t matter.  What I do want to comment on is the apparent misunderstanding about how the American system of trial by jury works.

Juries exist to decide if, based on presented evidence, a person is guilty of the crime(s) with which they are being charged.  They do not exist to exact vengeance upon someone, nor to force their own moral standards on the rest of the court.  Their one job is to make a decision concerning the evidence given and criminal charges.

In the United States, in case you were unaware or conveniently forgot, those being charged are innocent until proven guilty.  This means that the burden of proof falls on the prosecution.  In this case, George Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter (source).  That means that, unless the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had approached Martin with the intent to harm or kill him, he would be considered innocent of the crimes with which he was charged.

No one has questioned that Zimmerman killed Martin.  In fact, Zimmerman admitted to killing Martin.  He claimed self-defense, the prosecution claimed otherwise.  The prosecution was then responsible to prove that he killed Martin maliciously rather than in defense.

The jury had to decide whether Zimmerman was guilt of the charges the prosecution laid against him.  They were not deciding if Zimmerman had killed Martin, if Zimmerman was racist, or if Zimmerman deserved the punishment that would be given presuming he was found guilty.  They were deciding if, considering the evidence provided to them, there was reasonable doubt concerning the allegation of second-degree murder and manslaughter.  Apparently, there was.

So, please stop picking on the jury.  Stop picking on the court.  I don’t know what happened to Trayvon Martin that night and I have no idea if Zimmerman had malicious intent.  But, what I do know is that, using the system that our government has provided for us, the jury made a decision based on the evidence was given.  And that’s all that can be asked of them.


Reflections on the difficulties of making friends of the opposite sex

Over the years I have, quite frankly, had very few healthy friendships with men. I’ve realized that this is a problem recently and have been attempting to fix that as best as I can.  I know it’s important to have friends of both genders, and I quite enjoy the company of my Christian brothers, so it is something I’m actively working on.

I’ve run into some road bumps though, and I think I can explain why.

In some groups at my age, there seems to be this unspoken awkwardness surrounding guy/girl friendships.  People like to question whether they’re a couple, which is reasonable, I suppose, but it tends to make everyone involved mildly self-conscious about the entire friendship.  The main problems I see, however, aren’t with outsiders questioning the motives of the friends, but with the attitudes about duel-gender friendships themselves.

First off, a lot of women seem to have trouble with thinking that an afternoon coffee with a guy means he’s interested in some sort of romantic relationship.  This, quite frankly, is stupid.  I feel I can say it because I’ve been that woman in the past.  It’s also a tad insulting to both the woman and the man involved because the assumption is then, “He could not possibly be interested in a friendship with me; he must only be interested in what I can give him.” I think it’s best to assume friendship unless intentions are stated as something other than friendship.

Now, on that note, guys: one of the reasons women have issues with this mindset is because of a horrid practice I like to call Sneak-Attack Dating.  For the love of your integrity, if you want to take a woman out on a date, take her out on a date. If you are interested in a friendship, communicate that.  But do not under any circumstances try to trick a woman into dating you using the guise of friendship. It’s completely dishonest and puts us in an incredibly awkward position.  Just don’t do it.  I understand it’s hard and scary and the possibility of rejection is a tough thing to handle.  But, I feel pretty safe in saying that, even if the Lady of Your Dreams returns the sentiment, starting off the relationship with deception is never, ever the way to go.

I really think that these two factors cause awkwardness when it comes to making friends with the opposite sex…at least at my age.  In my speculation, the guys who would rather stay friends are somewhat skittish when it comes to interacting with women because they’re afraid the women will think they’re interested in them romantically, which is probably somewhat true, but partially because of some other guy who Sneak Attacked them…it’s kind of a muddled mess, and I don’t really have much of a solution.

My conclusion may be totally wrong, but this is what I’ve observed thus far.  If you have any other input, I’d like to hear it and discuss it. I’m trying to integrate friendships with people of both genders into my daily life because I do enjoy the company of and want the input of my brothers in Christ.  I’m not totally sure of the least-awkward way of doing this, but I am trying.

Have you ever had issues with forming friendships with the opposite sex?


Regarding the issue surrounding the Wendy Davis debacle (AKA abortion and women’s rights)

I am very hesitant to post this as I’m not fond of entering into Internet debates about any topic, particularly political ones.  However, I think it’s time to discuss this issue frankly.  I’m quite certain most of the feedback I receive for this will be negative, but that’s okay.

Since 2010, I have been a part of a growing Internet subculture called the Nerdfighters. Nerdfighter groups are made up of loyal viewers of the vlogbrothers channel on YouTube. (For those who don’t know, Nerdfighters don’t fight nerds; they fight for nerds and for awesome.)  I watch the vlogbrothers and several other YouTube channels run by Nerdfighters because I find most of them funny and insightful.

I will admit that Nerdfighters are, generally speaking, liberal in their political leanings.  There are a few of us who are conservative, but we are vastly outnumbered.  As a result of this slant toward the left, I have been exposed to far more positive commentary on this whole Wendy Davis filibuster thing than I would have been exposed to prior to joining this group.  I am glad to have been privy to the thoughts of those whose view is different than mine.  But, it’s time to address some things.

When it comes to women’s rights and abortion, particularly regarding the Wendy Davis debacle, the attitude that I have seen displayed by those who lean to the left is that there are Those For Women’s Rights (which includes, but is not limited to, being pro-abortion to some extent) and Scumbags Who Want to Oppress Women and that’s it; you fit into one of those groups.

As you can imagine, this makes life quite awkward for those of us Texan women (and non-Texan women) who are anti-abortion.  Personally, it feels as if I’m opposed to my own gender, even though I know there are millions of women who hold similar values across the nation.  When one divides the abortion issue into Women’s Rights and The Opposition, it makes it sound as if The Opposition hates women and just wants to oppress them for all eternity.

Let me first say this: while I’m sure a few hold that idea, by-and-large, this is not true.

When this topic is broken down into Pro-Women and Anti-Women camps, it is skirting the actual issue at hand and insulting a large portion of the population in the process.  There is no reason not to address what is actually going on rather than sweeping it all under the broad title of Women’s Rights and washing our hands of it.  This debate is far more complex than that.

It’s time to call a spade a spade.  The fact is, most anti-abortion advocates don’t want government regulation concerning what women do with their own bodies.  This is not, in fact, an issue of women’s rights but of semantics.  The main area in which we differ with those who want access to abortion is on the definition of where the woman’s body ends and a child’s begins.  We don’t differ on how women should be treated or what rights they should have…just on where their bodies stop and another person’s starts.

I’m for women being treated equally as men.  I’m for women’s rights.  But I am opposed to abortion, and I’m incredibly irritated by those who act as if those of us who are anti-abortion are also anti-women. It’s not true and it’s an uneducated, dangerous, and offensive misconception.

I look forward to reading insightful comments, but please know I personally will not be engaging in debates beyond the scope of this very limited post.  


Morning thought (short and sweet)

When I deviate from my natural tendency to complain about life’s circumstances to friends who no doubt sympathize and care and instead go first to the Lord with my troubles, I am faced with the disgusting reality than my usual behavior is that of passive aggression and that my complaints assault the very character of God.  When forced to lob the whines, the wonderings, and the questions of why things are the way they are at the very Lord who created and currently sustains all creation, has orchestrated my brothers’ and sisters’ and my own sanctification in a way that most glorifies Him, and has, most of all, saved me from my own wretched state of being, I realize just how absurd my petty concerns can be and how gracious God truly is.


Traffic musing

I’m not sure if those of you who tailgate drivers who you believe to be driving too slowly realize this, but those of us who are willing to remain stubbornly at the speed limit aren’t going to be intimidated by someone creeping up way too close to our cars. In fact, we are the type of people who will plot out ways to (safely) drive incrementally slower. Just to drive you mad.

Takeaway: just go around us. Seriously.