Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Star Wars: Parallels, Legacy, and a Tragic Loss

Hello everyone! New Star Wars fan reporting in. I did not grow up with Star Wars. I have only seen up to now, Episodes IV-VII and now Rogue One. And this is as of just a year. So yes, I'm a serious newbie, but I fell in love with the story immediately.

If you're reading this post, you are most likely already familiar with the plot of Star Wars, so I'm not really going to go in depth on that, but I'm probably just going to ramble on about my feelings. This post will contain spoilers for Rogue One so if you haven't seen it yet, please proceed with extreme caution!

So I saw the movie about a week ago with my best friend Jen. She introduced me to the wonders of this amazing series and I thank her so much for allowing it to enrich my life. Other friends have also urged me to watch the series in the past too and I'm so glad I can join in the fandom with them.

The movie was completely amazing. It was crazy seeing how much went into retrieving the plans for the Death Star, and how much sacrifice was involved. I'm not really going to name drop characters too much or anything or talk about anything too specifically, but I can say that I was both devastated by the extreme losses and martyrdom that unfolded. Massive spoiler alert....everyone dies. Pretty much everybody. All the main characters that we grow to learn about and love, they all die. This is the ultimate sacrifice. All to retrieve a flaw in the mechanics of the Death Star that was purposefully engineered by Jyn's father, Galen Erso. Without this, the Empire would not have been defeated in the subsequent trilogy.

So after the movie came to it's tragic end with a silver lining, I began to think about the current state of things in America and in the world. I started thinking about how the upcoming President and his subordinates and eerily similar motives as the Empire. All policies that they say are there to keep the cosmos safe from peril and strong in the face of dissent, but in actuality, they are the largest threat to the well-being of the the galaxy. All power struggles, fight for control, meaningless slaughter and threats against of those who oppose their word. This may sound dramatic, over-arching, sure but this is really what is coming to pass and it's terrifying.

But then I thought about the side I'm on. I'm on the side of the light.

(I like to joke around that I'm on the Dark Side just to be "cool" but legit though, that is not the case at all)

Then I really thought, and I don't mean to be cryptic, but would I be willing to make unspeakable sacrifice for the sake of the well being of those I care about and to uphold my beliefs in the face of evil?

I really couldn't believe I was actually having these thoughts, legitimately. I began to feel extremely moved, yet also afraid of my own thoughts. I feel really strongly opposed to so many things going on in our world right now. I'm opposed to toxic masculinity, the absolution of the patriarchy, white supremacy and racism, homophobia, climate change deniers, classism and the rise of super elites, and ultimately the new Presidential regime.

Emphasis on regime.

The Rebel forces faced so much unsurmountable uncertainty. They took chances, shots in the dark, all because they held in their hearts a cause to be free from the tyranny and oppression of the Empire and the Dark Forces. They rejected it. They knew that they were fighting something bigger and more powerful than they were but yet they kept on fighting.

I tell myself, when I'm feeling really down about the current state of affairs, when I'm angry and I want to punch walls and fight for my rights and my friends and loved ones rights, that I have every right to be that way. I stand up and say to myself that I won't go down without a fight. I may not individually succeed in that moment in time, but I also didn't give up and let oppression crush me. I want everyone to know I fought until I no longer could, and even when I was on the ropes, I was still kicking and punching my way.

I have not faced anything in reality yet on a personal level. I've only looked at the threat in the distance, like Empire warships blocking out the sun and casting a shadow on my future. But here I am, weaponizing the gunships, fortifying the battlefield, and preparing for war. How will I personally fight them? That I do not know the answer to specifically, but I'm preparing for...something. Anything. Everything.

I know my rights and I know what I'm capable of.

And I'm not alone. I have millions of Rebel fighters backing me up. Millions of allies, ready to fight right along side me. I should feel strong and ready to take them on. I just have to be even if I'm not fully ready. There is no room for complete weakness. I might falter, might begin to lose hope, but I can't let the light burn out, and it won't.

This is a real threat that looms over us, and for all those people who just want to sit back and do nothing, and the others who want to join the oppressors out of fear or greed (screw you twice as hard by the way), I see you and I condemn you openly and loudly.

I will not back down.

And I must of course take a moment to speak about a tragic loss in the Star Wars community. We lost Carrie Fisher, our beloved Princess Leia, or rather General Organa. Inspirational inside of the Star Wars persona and outside in the real world. She battled so many personal hardships including alcohol and substance abuse and mental illness. She wasn't shy about admitting her downfalls and speaking openly about her struggles. I'm new to her legacy, but knowing about her and what she stood for could not have come at a better time. We need strong women as our role models. We need intersectionality. We need support from all angles and people who can uphold the importance of multiple beliefs. We need just morals and righteousness and those who can carry them despite their past mistakes and misgivings. Those people are so few and far between in this world, so when we lose one it's like a major blow.

Carrie Fisher's legacy will always live on in our hearts. I will never forget how much she was and still continues to be a feminist icon, and also an icon of humanity.

Let the force guide us on the right path as perilous times loom ahead. Do not let the darkness consume you. Do not forget those who have sacrificed for us to have achieved what we have accomplished today. Nothing can take those achievements away. No despot, demagogue, tyrant, oligarch, dictator. The fight to maintain freedom will never be easy, so never expect it to be. Do not fall into complacency, that is the first step to falling prey to the enemy.

We fought the Empire, and the New Order has risen from those ashes. The fight isn't over and it never was. It might never be, but we have to always fight. Always.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Morning Reflections: Lolita Fashion and Personal Happiness

Merry Christmas everyone! I bring you a reflective post this morning. I think I will begin to do these more often as getting my thoughts out there really helps me to focus my mind.

This year, and the past few months I have realized yet again, not that I didn't know this since day one, but it has fluctuated and changed a bit over the years but I wear lolita fashion first and foremost...


I could honestly care less about what other people think of me when I wear it. I love sharing pretty pictures online, though the likes and sweet comments on social media make me feel good, I think I get the most joy and happiness out of looking at how cute I am and wearing the frills and feeling really special. I also love creating frilly items and seeing them come to life.

Forget getting a bunch of new stuff, I'm realizing that I have not even maxed out the amount of combinations I can make out of my current wardrobe and I've been getting more and more creative with my coordinates all the time. I make a small purchase every now and then (like some socks or tights ever couple months), and this year I only acquired about 3-4 new main pieces (all from Chinese brands like Souffle Song, Krad Lanrette, and Inori) So basically I make a quarterly purchase of a single item and I'm good with it.

This is not to shame people who buy a lot of stuff, I'm just saying what is enough for me. I don't need much, and honestly I'm trying to make it less. I still have a couple things I haven't worn yet and some that I've only worn once.

I say it every year, but I hope to wear lolita more in the coming year. I think with all the horrible shit in the world right now, we have to try to keep ourselves happy. I, as an empath, have felt numbing pain and heartache from reading about so many awful things daily, and we all have to give ourselves recovery time. Lolita fashion is still a form of escapism for me.

It's becoming easier for me to wear lolita as more "everyday" wear. I still reserve it more for events by comparison, because I guess my mentality was always to make sure lots of people, especially fellow lolitas, see me in my coordinate so it's "worth it" to go out of my way to dress up, but then I realized...

"Hey, then you aren't really wearing it for yourself are you now?"

That's a problem for me.

So lately I'm opting for simpler outfits, more mature and streamlined. BUT I do still think my "simple" can still be a bit over the top because I can't help my personal style, and you know what, thats OK.

The last two times I wore lolita, being yesterday for Christmas Eve and Friday to hang out with a couple friends, I wore my natural hair. I loved it. I might be selling some of my wigs soon because I think wearing my natural hair is becoming easier. I'm not giving up wigs all together, but a lot of times they give me headaches and are uncomfortable (though they do serve as a "hair hat" in the winter!) I like them because if my hair isn't perfectly styled, I can throw on a wig and style that instead. I can also achieve other lengths and colors without damaging my natural hair with permanent colors or extensions.

I like the variety.

But I love my natural hair, and I think I should be flaunting it more with my daily lolita looks. I was thinking of coloring my natural hair, but if I do any unnatural colors I will probably opt for semi-permanent, even though it might be frowned upon to have purple highlights with an elegant classic lolita coordinate, but you know I'm not one to adhere perfectly to "rules", you know because they are more like guidelines, heh! Anyway, if an outfit requires a more natural colored hair, that's what the wigs are for, so I will still be keeping some but just the best ones. I'll probably sell some of the ones I don't really need or care for wearing anymore. I also realized its better to wear wigs without a wig cap, as I think thats what gives me the headaches. I just put my hair in soft twists and shove it under.

I think my point is again, it should be up to me and I should have choices. That's what fashion and self expression are all about!

My natural curls with frills.
So in the coming year, I'm going to do my best to choose happiness. Life isn't always easy, but hey it's not supposed to be. Bad things happen, we pick up the pieces. People do everything in their power to make things harder for you to succeed, you keep trying. I'm a determined person by nature, it's rare that I give up. Sometimes I'm hopeless, some times I cry. I was very sick most of 2016 (which I will write a reflective post about later when I'm ready to talk about it again) so I learned that sometimes your own body will turn against you, but you have to somehow continue to live your best life. I'm saying these things from a better place now, but even as I write this, nothing in life is promised. Everything is random, luck, a series of fortunate or unfortunate events, and as a human being on this Earth, this is the cards I am dealt. I'm here to play the game.

I remind myself, hey guess what you are? You are a tiny speck of dust floating in a huge vast universe with billions upon billions of insurmountable infinity. You are both completely insignificant and immensely significant all at once. But I, the tiny speck, will be the best tiny speck I can be for as long as I can be. I will help other specks, I will be a happy speck, I will do what I can. I won't destroy myself for what I can't accomplish. I was born imperfect, and so were all the other specks and we haphazardly bumble around without complete purpose or reason. When my speck is done existing as it's current state of matter, whenever that may be, I will become one with all the other billions and trillions of specks to create something new, somehow and some way, in the eternal vastness of the universe. The thought of that brings me peace, when everything seems overwhelming. Remember, you are just but a speck.

Channeling some Carl Sagan there.

So anyway, yea that got a bit beyond my original point, but really I have been doing a lot of reflection lately, and I'm not done either, so expect several more posts of this nature. Ultimately again, I write these for myself above anything or anyone else, but I hope I have somehow inspired your thinking or got you to do some personal reflection of your own.

Lastly, be happy, do what you can to help others, even if you happiness lasts but a single moment or second in time, just try. I know it can be difficult, I'm not saying that it is at all easy, but just try.

Until next time, fellow specks.