Once more unto the breach

They say that insanity is repeating the same actions hoping for a different outcome. Yet, isn’t that the sum of human existence? We follow the same routines, repeat the same actions, always hoping for the day that it all changes. The question is, if we keep repeating the same behaviors will it ever change? Will we ever change? And, even if we keep failing, keep needing to strive again, isn’t the best part of humanity that we always pick ourselves up and try once more?

I know we haven’t come far enough. But, consider that freedom for all people is a relatively new concept – that rights for all people is a relatively new concept and I think we’ve come further than we even realize in the last two hundred years or so. Obviously, we still have a long way to go – but don’t go giving up on humanity because we haven’t got it right yet. Just keep striving and we will make it there. We will.

I have to believe that no matter how many times we as people fail that we will keep picking each other up and holding each other and that we will never give in. I have to believe that even when it seems futile to keep trying, that we will make strides and breakthroughs. I believe we are better then where we are even with how far we’ve come from where we were.

Maybe it is insanity. To think that we can change things. To think that we can change at all. But my hope is that we are stronger than insanity. So once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

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Moissanite

Delaney-9515I will never forget the moment when we went looking for my engagement ring. We got engaged on a Saturday night, it took until the following Tuesday for us to head to the mall. I really had no idea what I wanted, but I did know that I loved sparkly things. The ring we bought fit our means at the time, but it didn’t really make my heart sing. Don’t get me wrong, what it symbolized – our love – was everything to me. But, the ring itself was not.

Delaney-9531It didn’t take me long to start lusting after something bigger. There were the minor slights, people asking to see my ring and responding with “ohs” that voiced their surprise and disappointment. And there were the major slights, people with obviously bigger rings directly comparing their own to my simple solitaire. But, there was also my own love of big, flashy jewelry. Be it necklaces, rings, bracelets, or earrings my motto is the bigger, the better. I hated myself for it.

Delaney-9551It took almost four years of looking and lusting at larger rings for me to voice my desire for an upgrade to B. I did so in shame and writhed with guilt. The funny part being that B, ever the pragmatic one, was far from upset. One thing we both agreed on from the get go is that we didn’t want my next ring to be a diamond. Diamonds are over priced, come with a lot of environmental and social issues, and frankly are not that special. I started looking into manufactured stones. Which led me to moissanite. It exists naturally in meteorites and as the inclusions inside of diamonds. Manufactured, it’s hardness rating is just below that of a diamond, it’s luster and light dispersion is higher. Even better, it’s ridiculously inexpensive.

Delaney-9541I knew I wanted a two carat stone. For a diamond, low quality stones of that size start around 18-20 thousand. High quality stones can obviously soar into six figures. Even if we had the money to put the down payment for a house on my finger, I wouldn’t ever feel like I could wear it. My two carat moissanite? Even with getting it reset, cost less than my original engagement ring. I get to have my huge sparkly rock, without guilt or worry. Delaney-9562I know¬† that manufactured stones aren’t for everyone. I’m just really glad that they are for me.

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Easy

my heart

my heart

Life is anything but easy. We’ve certainly walked a road that has shown us that. It isn’t easy to fall hard for someone only to say goodbye. It isn’t easy to date when you live 1500 miles apart. It isn’t easy to move across the country and then move across the world to start your lives together. It isn’t easy to move five times in four years and have to start over at each location. And yet.

to hold

to hold

It’s easy to love you. You let me put my cold feet on you, even if you complain, you never make me move them. You let the dogs out when it’s cold outside and never sigh or huff or tell me it’s my turn. You take me out for dinner way more often than we should and you always do the dishes when I do cook. You go after what you want, whatever it is and you never give up. More importantly, your self-voiced main goal is to make me smile.

Delaney-9256

to love

It’s easy to be myself with you. You love every quirky thing about me. You make me want to be the best me possible. I look at you and want only the best in life for us both. When I find myself going to dark places, you pull me back and don’t let go. I’m not too smart for you, I don’t intimidate you, and my dreams are just as important as yours. You never blink when I wear heels that make me taller than you, just pull me in and tell the world that you’re the lucky guy with the arm candy. You believe in me.

to be

to be

It’s easy to be with you. We have our ups and downs. Everyone does. But we’ve always fought our way towards each other. We’ve always worked our way through whatever life has thrown at us. We make an amazing team. Whether it’s coordinating transcontinental moves or dabbling in day trading, making dinner, or playing video games, we play off each others’ strengths and protect the weakness. We know that supporting each other means taking turns. Right now, I’m supporting your job hunt. You’ve already said that once we get in place at our new home that I get whatever time it takes to figure out what I want to do. We make each other better people.

forever

forever

So, life may not be easy. But walking through it with you makes it easier. More than that it makes it better, richer, and far more fulfilling than I ever hoped it would be.

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Betwixt

Balance. Fight to keep it all even. Wonder what that means.

Lean. First one way, love conquers all. Then the other, some things cannot be unsaid.

Ache. Fairness is your favorite. Never accept that life isn’t fair.

Rage. Find sympathy in pain filled eyes. Share in the healing of old wounds.

Hope. What you thought you had is no more. What you do have is precious beyond life.

Risk. Pushing away won’t solve anything. Pulling in is the only solution.

Focus. See what is important. Ignore what doesn’t matter.

Breathe. Inhale the pain and awkwardness. Exhale love and family.

Love. That is all there is. That is all that matters.

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Thoughts and Things

Recovery is both going better than I expected and irritating me at how slow it is. I came off the Percocet within 48 hours of the surgery, but I’m still using the muscle relaxer and taking extra strength tylenol. I can shower, walk around, and open the fridge door, but I can’t let the dogs outside or move the milk from the table to the fridge. I’m mostly comfortable when sitting up with a slight recline and find laying flat on my back to sleep fairly torturous. I’m already chafing at my restrictions and this was really only my first day alone with them.

I still go through moments where I can’t believe I’ve done this. I mean, I know I have and it’s something I’ve wanted for a long time but I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and realize it was some bizarre dream.

I still feel like I have to justify having this done. That I have to explain my reasoning. But, I don’t. I don’t owe anyone an explanation of why I wanted to have an augmentation. I don’t have to be understood.

It sucks to feel like people are judging me. It hurts to feel like I’m being looked down on because of a decision I have made. But there it is. I’m the girl who went and got a boob job. Judge away. But remember, you know nothing Jon Snow.

The biggest reason I refuse to justify my behavior is because there is no magical formula that will make people accept my decision. No one explanation I offer will make everyone understand. Thus, I keep my reasons murky and to myself and let people think what they will. Because you are going to think it anyway. Nothing I say can change that.

I find it sad that it’s okay to cut your hair, dye your hair, wear make up, use shapewear clothing, diet, exercise, tan, paint your nails, wear heels, and otherwise change your appearance until it comes to plastic surgery. Women are told they should feel empowered and to make their own choices, but then when they do they are shamed for not making the choice everyone else would make. Fuck that.

It is my body. No one gets a say but me.

I’m glad that recovery is going well. I’m back down to my pre-surgery weight, which is nice. Technically I’m up some, but my implants also weigh quite a bit on their own, so in the end, I’m the same weight when you factor that change. I’m just ready to feel more like myself. And to not find myself exhausted by showering, running one errand, and going to dinner.

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Implants and Image

I woke up from my Percocet nap this afternoon to a facebook post that almost made me cry. A friend was wondering why women are supposed to lift each other up unless they’ve had plastic surgery and then we’re supposed to shame them. A few other girls commented that they would love to do surgery and one mentioned saving up for it.

I posted a truncated version of what I’m about to put here – including the statement that I am recovering currently from my own augmentation surgery.

First, let’s talk about image. As a woman who works outside my home in a professional setting, I am encouraged to not just have a neat and clean image, but to add polish by having my hair and make up done. Think about the advertisement, “maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s maybelline.” The whole idea behind make up and the female image is that we aren’t presentable without it. In this regard, society has no problem telling a woman she should alter her natural appearance.

Now, I like wearing make up. I like having shimmering eyelids and well defined eyebrows. Just like I like dying my hair and either curling or straightening it. I don’t feel like I have to do this every day, I have a husband who tells me I’m beautiful the way I am, so I feel pretty well adjusted and healthy in my relationship with makeup. But that doesn’t change the fact that women are told from a young age that they need this product to make them more attractive and, in some cases, presentable for work conditions.

Second, let’s talk diet and exercise. Here’s another socially acceptable way to tell men and women to alter their appearances. Slim down your waist, bulk up your shoulders, arms, and chest, and never skip legs day. Count calories, eat this and not that, here’s how to drop ten pounds in just two weeks. The litany is unending.

Now, it happens that I actually like to work out. The endorphin high for me is phenomenal and makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. I hate dieting though. I like fried foods some days. I like salads other days. What I really like is being able to eat what I want in moderation and not think in terms of what I can and can’t have. Food is more than fuel for me – it’s something to enjoy and delight in.

Why are these means of altering one’s appearance deemed ok to do and to encourage others to do? More, why are things like plastic surgery treated as such anathema? I can’t diet and exercise my way to larger breasts. I can’t highlight and contour my way to more cleavage. But I can go out and get implants.

I wish society would butt out. I don’t need to be told that I have to wear make up to be presentable. No one deserves to be told they need to lose weight or tone up to be considered attractive. And no one deserves to be shamed for having plastic surgery.

I don’t need an excuse for having it either. This wasn’t a reconstruction from having any cancer removed. This wasn’t me hating my body and having no self esteem. This was me wanting larger breasts. Nothing more, nothing less. Haha, definitely nothing less.

I wish we would all be kinder to each other. I wish we would look at women and mean it when we tell them that they don’t need make up to be beautiful, but to wear it if it makes them happy. I wish we would tell men and women alike that being healthy is a great goal, but that they don’t need to weigh a certain amount to be considered acceptable, attractive, or what have you. I wish we would tell people having plastic surgery to do what makes them happy. I wish we would tell everyone that. As it harms none, do as you will.

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For Me

It’s interesting to me, this concept of doing something for myself. Not just a small something either, but a fairly major one. The last several years of my life have been about supporting B, following him wherever the AF takes us, and making do. I’ve been asked more times than I can count about what I’m doing for myself or when it will be my turn for the focus to be on me and I’ve felt bemused.

I didn’t get it. But, now I think I do.

Earlier this year I came to terms with something – that I didn’t like the size of my original engagement ring. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed. I felt unworthy. I also was unhappy and wanted my sparkly stone to be bigger. I remember that I had to get tipsy in order to tell B. His response was to take me to Zales and let me try on a 1 carat ring. When we left, he told me that he figured if we were going bigger we should go bigger and we ordered a 2 carat moissanite ring that night. I don’t care that it’s “fake” because it’s big, sparkly and didn’t cost us the down payment on a home.

That sparked something in me. I realized that I don’t want to apologize for who I am. I am a woman who likes big, sparkly jewelry. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with being true to myself, even if it isn’t how other people would do it.

The other thing I’ve learned has come from my most recent decision to screw it and do what I want. In eleven days, I’m driving down to the Cities and getting a boob job. I’ve wanted to do this for years. My sister got all the boob genes in our family and while I don’t want as much as she has, I’d like quite a bit more than what I have. When we (I) made the decision to do this, I told B that we weren’t going to tell anyone. My body, my secret. I didn’t want people thinking I was that girl.

But I am that girl. I’m the girl who is getting a breast augmentation because it’s what I want. No apologies. The funny thing being, that the reaction I’ve received from the people I’ve told (because I suck at keeping secrets) have entirely been positive. From people saying “go you” to the ones telling me they’re jealous and they wish they could do it, I’ve realized that the only way something becomes or stays a shameful secret is if you let it be a secret.

This is what I’m doing for me. I’m ending my twenties by living the life I want and not apologizing for it.

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