Archive for April, 2010
I like this The Frisky post about 30 things you like about yourself so much that I spent my lunch hour yesterday thinking of the things I love about myself. I then sent my two BFFs the following sms: “OMG! I’m like, so much in EL OH VEE EE.”
I thought it’d be difficult to think of 30 things I like about myself but obviously it wasn’t that difficult. It helped to think of how I handle different situations. And I tried to see myself through someone else’s eyes.
I need to keep this list around for whenever I need some cheering up.
- I have learnt to love my curly hair. It’s OK and great to love curly hair but the transition from [nearly] hating it to loving it is what’s praiseworthy.
- I can talk about frivolous stuff as well as the deep stuff. It obviously depends on the situation and the person I’m talking to.
- I donate blood.
- I LOVE that my skin looks good even on closer inspection.
- Ideas excite me.
- I’m really just a big kid [child?] at heart. Gimme a swing and a jumping castle any day.
- I get awesome ideas like all.the.time.
- I have finally learnt to stick to a budget. It’s so freeing to be beholden to a budget.
- I am improving my net worth, even though it’s going to take a dip when I go away on a diiirty weekend…with myself.
- I try not to judge. And I don’t hate myself when I slip up occassionally.
- I can laugh at myself.
- I don’t laugh when someone hurts themselves.
- I can (mostly) handle criticism.
- I don’t get impatient with people who need some time to compose their answer.
- I’m beginning to understand what’s good for me.
- I LOVE that my crazy laugh is like, totally infectious.
- I pamper myself.
- I am assertive.
- ‘Why’ is my favourite word.
- I’m a nerd.
- I have made peace with my hips. I’m still working on the peace treaty with my tummy.
- I am an enthusiastic listener.
- I LOVE that I LOVE spending time with my niece.
- I’ll try most things at least once, kinda like Samantha from SATC.
- I can ask for help.
- I can bounce back from setbacks and learn from them.
- I am interested in stuff.
- I take care of my friendships.
- I can find cheap/free things to do when I’m Beyond Broke™
- I can forgive and forget.
- I love how I dress at least most of the time
- I enjoy learning something new.
- I sometimes just don’t care what ‘they’ think.
- I’m trying to let go of my attachment to things.
- I can just enjoy doing nothing.
- I (sometimes) have excellent self-discipline.
- I can be a bit odd sometimes.
- I’m an awesome writer.
- I LOVE that I love so many things about myself.
- I don’t need to buy stuff to feel happy [about myself].
- I can compliment [random] people without expecting them to return the compliment.
- I demand the best service at all times.
- I can bargain.
- I give myself random hugs.
- I recruited myself to be my own cheerleader.
- I can market myself.
- I ask great questions from time to time.
- I do not torture my feet in ridiculous heels.
- I am learning to appreciate things for what they are.
- I am still figuring out the functions on my Sony Ericsson X1.
- I LOVE that I’m in love with myself.
- I tell outstanding waiters’ managers that they’re outstanding.
- I can lose myself in researching something on metal alloys or the difference between a recession and a depression.
- I love my job.
- I see the funny side of things.
- I send my BFFs random text messages that make them ROFL.
- I can ‘conceptualise’ awesome article and ideas [for work].
- I can see things from a different angle.
- I roll my r’s: it makes me ‘authentic’.
- I enjoy solitude.
- I LOVE that my blogging experiment is still happening after 3 years of ‘giving-it-a-try-to-see-whether-I-can-commit-to-something-for-longer-than-3-months’.
- I can find ways to minimise my workload.
- I’m OK with failing at something so that I can learn from it.
- I LOVE that I have such an expressive face.
- I give myself pep talks from time to time.
- I prefer ‘quality over quantity’.
- I LOVE looking at my PhD from The School of Hard Knocks and Tough Surprises that hangs over my desk at work.
- I enjoy being ‘bougie’.
- I really enjoy healthy food.
- I don’t do gossip.
- I enjoy scrubbing my kitchen floor.
- I’m getting better at Scrabble.
- I LOVE that I don’t even know how to spell ‘bored’.
- I enjoy exercise.
- I have goals and that I work towards achieving them.
- I can get ridiculously excited about [insert something random].
- I say what I mean.
- I hang out with people who ROCK. (I know, I know, I’m corny. Whatevs)
- I can fucking MURDER a Pac Man game.
- I read books on philosophy, economics or Afrikaans poetry to my niece.
- My breasts are awesome.
- I revel in my friends’ successes.
- I’m a bit of a girly girl.
- This list started off as “30-odd not-so-odd things I LOVE about myself”
- I fucking LOVE that I can do things by myself and not wait for someone to go to a movie/book launch/lecture/wine tasting with me.
- I allow my emotions some space.
- I’m learning what exactly I need in life.
- I’m getting over being sans a degree, though I still have lofty ambitions of teaching Philosophy AND Afrikaans AND History at Harvard.
- I’m forgiving myself for being such a fucking slacker [in high school] and for not getting that bursary that I never applied for.
- I can [sometimes] blag my way into [nearly] anything.
- I fucking LOVE that I feel no fucking need whatsofuckingever to get a car. Ever.
- I love silence.
- Ek is ‘n vrou van min woorde
- I don’t give a shit about labels. (Except LV, of course)
- I wear what fits me, ergo I don’t give a shit about ‘sizes’.
- I LOVE that, even at my ripe old age, I still get outraged over stuff.
- I make a mean spaghetti bolognaise
- I appropriate Bushisims.
- I’m starting to realise that men aren’t put off by smart women.
- And I am one of them women.
- I am grateful.
- I wait for people to exit the elevator before I get in.
- I don’t litter.
- I am a gadget freak who’s content to go without more gadgets: the insurance premiums…
- I am killing off my prejudices.
- I LOVE that I have a curated wardrobe.
- I give my mom stealth kisses.
- I talk to random people just sommer.
- I remain calm when the shit hits the fan.
- I am the most important person in my life.
- I love my strong jawline.
How to want to change your mind — Rationally speaking. It’s OK to be wrong sometimes.
Five false beliefs – Org theory. What are some of the things you used to believe?
In praise of deference — Ionian enchantment
20 Things you’re never too old for — The Frisky. It’s OK to eat that teaspoon of peanut butter, yes, even if you’re 27 years old.
Sex and the single black woman — The Economist. I can’t help but wonder whether they’re overlooking the [recent] influx of eligible immigrants from Africa.
What did you read this week?
I stumbled upon a blog that I’ll probably check out regularly from now on. It’s called Black Skeptics Group. One of the posts asks questions about the reality of being a skeptic/atheist who happens to be black — Black atheists survey.
I’ve been an ‘out’ atheist since before my 16th birthday. The Bible made me do it… So here goes with my answers to the survey:
What is your current identification (atheist, agnostic, etc.)?
I identify as an atheist but I call myself a ‘heathen’ when I’m in safe company.
What is your cultural/religious background (i.e. were you raised in a religious household)?
Our household only became religious during my high school years.
How has atheism or freethought shaped your world view as an African American?
I don’t see the relevance to race here. Being an atheist has shaped my world view and it influences how I fit into my community — I am an atheist so I don’t always feel that I fit in. Nearly everyone is religious or appears to be religious. It can get lonely but thank god for my friends who are atheist or heavily sceptical of organised religion.
As an atheist/freethinker what are some of the main issues you’re concerned with?
I’m concerned that too many atheists are still in the ‘closet’. I’m also concerned that not enough people know ‘out’ atheists so they’re surprised to find out that atheists do not eat babies…
How can atheism and/or secular humanism be promoted to appeal to larger numbers of African Americans?
I’m not sure that we should promote atheism for its own sake. (I feel kinda proud for finding atheism on my own and can’t imagine what it must be like to be an atheist by default.) I believe that religion can still play an important role in people’s lives. I would, however, promote critical thinking skills, humanism and skeptimism. Some of the best ways to ‘promote’ atheism/secular humanism is by living a good life. I know, I know, some of them [religious nutwings] suffer from confirmation bias so they’ll think that atheists who happen to be good people are flukes. That’s the problem. So the other good way to ‘promote’ atheism/secular humanism is through the media. Many of us have that power — we’re creative and can create characters that question the status quo over things such as religion. How awesome it’d be to watch a movie about a black female scholar/con artist/writer/hooligan/poet/architect who just happens to be an atheist…
If you are an “out” atheist what has your experience been with black family and community members?
It hasn’t been positive.
If you are “closeted” what are some of the main issues that keep you from revealing your “orientation”?
If you have children how have you (or will you) negotiate their upbringing with regard to organized religion? Have you had any experiences with religious folk that reflect this difficulty?
I am happily childfree.
Does religion have any role to play in African American cultural life and communities?
I presume that the writer wanted to know whether religion ‘should’ have a role in African American cultural life and communities. My answer is ‘does it matter’? If people feel the need to be religious, then let them be religious. But they should be tolerant of those who do not share their views.
On a scale of 1-5 (1=tolerant, 5=intolerant), how tolerant are you of organized religion’s role in African American cultural life and communities?
I blame old age for becoming more tolerant. I’m probably a 4 on that scale.
What are some reasons African American women should question and/or forgo organized religion?
African American/black women in particular? Christianity worships a [white] male trinity and unless their representatives have grossly deformed the message, the trinity appears to not be all that loving [of women]. I’m not even going to talk about their followers’ actions because apologists will tell me to judge the religion on its sacred text instead of its followers.
How can atheism and/or secular humanism aid African Americans in developing a moral outlook on life and the world?
We shouldn’t look to atheism for our morals. Humanism can teach us that we should be good because it’s the right thing to do, and not because we fear that we’ll burn in eternal hell if we’re bad. It’s something I realised when I was 12 years old or so…
What role does atheism have in politics? For example, are you involved in advocacy efforts or groups that address separation of church/state issues?
I am, yes. And thank god that I am a South African who benefits from our wonderful constitution that promises that separation between church and state.
What kind of visibility would you like to see from black atheists/agnostics/freethinkers in the African American community?
I want to see them everywhere. I want to see them run for president. I want to see them on school boards. I want to see them on television/youtube/blogs/twitter.
If you have traveled and/or lived in other areas have you noticed any regional differences in acceptance or “tolerance” of black atheists?
I haven’t travelled much so I can’t speak about the differences.
Have you noticed any regional differences in the numbers of black atheists who are out of the closet (more on the East Coast vs. West Coast, etc.)?
I can’t say but I guess it’d follow the familiar old pattern — urban blacks are far more likely to be atheists/freethinkers.