I've never wanted to offend anyone severely. At the same time, I want to have freedom of speech. There will be times when someone will tell me something I completely disagree with, and I want to tell them I disagree. There are times when someone will say something hurtful. I wil want to express my emotions about whatever the hurtful comment was.
But I can't. It's not because I am shy or self-concious. It's because the people I disagree with are often people I love, and I don't want a drift between myself and them.
Sadly, there are times when I can't avoid this without letting go of my beliefs. And I'm embarrassed to admit that I have dropped my opinions to compromise. It's not like me. My mother tells me I'm too frank, just like everyone else I know. And I suppose being too frank is bad, but I'm not going to lie to people. I don't want to gush about how great something is when it's not. And because I tend to say how I feel right out, I am usually corrected when my beliefs are offensive. (My original opinion of the racist casting of Last Airbender changed after reading some smart comments on yellow face, brownface and why it's ridiculous and wrong. I am shocked at my ignorance on this topic before.)
So why are there situations where I can't say a thing? Why does my mouth shrivel up in specific situations? The answer is obvious, and I might as well come out with it.
I am brown. I am not Christian. I am not an American citizen. My opinions are not always mainstream. But I do live in the U.S. of A.
An incident of a time when I could not speak out was thisL
When the subject of gays/bi's/lesbians was brought up, there were interesting responses. A couple of my friends and I were sitting in one of their decks. Emily says that her sister, Krista, came out to her about being a lesbian. Her sister is 19, and recently broke up with a guy.
My opinion was that , wow, her sister must trust her an awful lot. Krista came out to everyone later, ad her parents were surprised but accepting. Same with Emily, who encouraged her to tell everyone. And then, back in the deck, Jenna says this: I hate gay people.
Everyobody was awkward. Except Ann, who agreed with her. When I asked them why they would single out gays as a group to hate, they say it's because of the Bible.
"The Church says that we shouldn't be gay, because the woman was made for a man." Ann says. She tells me this in a challenging tone. She looks challenging too, and talks as if she is arguing with and lecturing me at the same time.
I wasn't intimidated, but I was shocked. Krista was an incredible person. She was an art student. She was sweet and she took care of everyone. She was sort of absent-minded, and a day-dreamer. Krista was the one who taught me how to ride a bike when I was afraid I'd run into something, and she is the only person who I'd ever confide my deepest fears to. And she was the one who babysat Ann till she was eight, sneaking her cookies and letting her stay a few minutes past her bedtimes. Comforting Jenna after bad dates.
How could she suddenly be hated? Then again, I wasn't surprised that religion was Ann and Jenna's big reason for hating gays. They were hard-core Christians, believing everything the Chuch and their family told them. No questions asked, no struggle at all (or maybe there is, and I don't know). When I ask how God being jealous is considered good if love isn't envious, they tell me that he is jealous because non-believers pay more attention to others than to him. I was confused.
But he is God! He is gentle and forgiving. Right? Right. So why? Why doesn't he love us and forgive our sins? No one ever cleared this up for me. It was one of the many things about my friends and their religon/culture/behavior that I had to get used to. That I had to accept.
(They don't have to accept me.)
But anyway. Ann and Jenna apparantly hate gays. So I sigh, and look down at my sandwich. And that's when they start to yell.
They accuse me of mocking their religion because of my exasperated sigh. I didn't mean it like that. I tell them that it isn't like that.But the accusations keep on coming. I can't yell back. Everytime I defend myself, the accusation is on me or on Carmen, my hispanic friend. And I've stopped trying to defend myself because of the many warnings I have gotten.
My mother. She tells me not be too vocal about my culture and beliefs. You are brown, she tells me. If there is trouble, the blame is on you.You are the first person they suspect of causing trouble ("stupid PoC probably trying to discuss race and causing a fight/stupid not-Christian probably making offensive comments/stupid non-American being racist)
And she's right! I'm sure she would love to educate these people on respecting non-White culture. But what she cares about more than that is protecting me and my siblings. My older brother was once too vocal. He spoke out against something he though was wrong.
He still has scars.
Carmen speaks out. She is also a PoC and not an American citizen. But she is Christian. Carmen is quiet. She does not usually speak up, even when she can do so without being disregarded. Even when her opinion counts. But she stood up for me here because she knows.
And she knows, that because her mindset is very much like theirs when it comes to religion, they will listen.
Of course, this is one of the many times this has happened, though there usually isn't an ally from the other side to talk for me (I just want to talk for myself, so why can't I?!)
I am very much into music, and my teachers, friends, neighbors, aquaintnances and audience all applaud me on my music.
It makes me happy. It's my thing, and I like to be aknowledged on it.
But in order to continue to be noticed in the musical community, I must sing about Jesus.
I stand in the advanced choir. The director gives us a Christian piece without a second thought. I sing about things I don't believe in.
If they passed out music about any other religion, what would happen? Wouldn't people say something. They would and they have. WHen a Jewish piece was passed out, parents complained about their children having to sing something that they don't believe in.
But if I speak out, what will happen? I'm not stupid, and I will not be reckless. I didn't forget my brother's scars.
It's not all about religion. My opinion on the Iraq war is treated with anger because I am not officially American. When I stand up for the Muslim girl being called 'terrorist' I am told to 'chill out'. ("Those oversensitive PoC's are so dramatic, haha")
When I hear a boy mocking the Indian accent, and I roll my eyes and say 'no, that's not how we talk' I am told that 'he's just joking and I'm way too easily-offended'.
It's not all about race either. There's also sexism.
My most vivid memory of Kindergarten, other than the one where my teacher yelled at me for saying 'h' with an accent, is when these boys laughed at me when I joined the track and field day race.
Of course, you could say we were young and ignorant then. However, I'm fourteen now. I get a similar response.
It doesn't matter to them that I am in the top 5 fastest runners for track. They say 'whoo, look at her boobs jiggle when she runs!'
Is this what I deserve? This isnt what anyone deserves! I'm not a special case! What about the girls who really aren't that athletic? A non-athletic guy would be told that he is non-athletic because he doesn't practice. A non-atheltic girl is told she is non-athletic for being a girl.
This is wrong.
So why can't I say something?
I rarely get sick, but lately, I just feel disgusting. I puke up everything I eat and I'm still in my pajamas. I hate being sick.
This wouldn't have happened if Mom didn't make me visit that freak who's parents she's friends with. Everytime we visit him and his family, we argue, and the parents get along fine. And then we always go someplace. We went to see a LAKE.Wtf?
It was so freezing during the weekend. And they're surprised I got sick. My fingers were frozen and blue. And they were seriously surprised I got sick.
I have other goals though! I just don't plan on making any new ones.
And now, for the top ten best things about 2008:
10. Broken Dawn. XD That thing was hillarious, and it totally opened my eye to BellaSue and The Cullens' fail.
9. Sara Dessen's books. I heart them. <3
8. The Avatar fandom. It's great! :D
7. The parties. Gosh, I was out so often.
6. The things I've learned. It sounds so corny, but it's true. I feel like I've really grown.
5. Food, Shelter, all that stuff.
4. My iPod. It has saved my life many, many times. Well, it's saved me from the stupider everyday trails of life anyway.
3. My family. Yeah, they get on my nerves. But I do appreciate them.
2. The Holidays. They were so happy and sweet. :)
1. My Friends. They are sooooooooo amazing. I can't imagine a cooler group of people.
Overall, 2008 was great. But according to this astrologer that my grandparents know,2009-2011 are gonna be especially good.
So I was tagged for this meme by miss_silverwing, and it looked like fun. Here it is:
1. What are your nicknames?
Well, my entire school shortened my name from Ishika to Isha around second grade. My friends all call me that, but my family doesn't. It's a weird thing.
2. How do you style your hair?
Depends what outfit I'm wearing. Right now it's in two braids. Yesterday it was in a high ponytail. My hair is everchanging.
3. What's new in your life right now?
The road trip I have coming up. My cousins visiting. My presents. Yet another group date. Well, nothing is really old right now.
4. I'm wearing a pink cami, with a white top over it. One of my socks is black and the other is white (I couldn't find matching socks :D) and my jeans are blue.
God, that's boring. >_>
5. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Neither. I'm fairly social but I'm level-headed. I can be loud, but there are times when I don't want to talk to anybody.
6. What was the last book you read?
'Just Listen' by Sarah Dessen. I love all her books, but this one really got me thinking. I may even write a drabble or two on it. :)
7. Do you nap a lot?
Only when I'm seriously tired. And that's not often.
8.If the person you secrety like is already taken, what would you do?
This happened once. I had this huge crush on a total jerk that all my friends told me to get over. He liked this prep name Molly more than me though. I was bummed and a little jealous, but I got over it. If that ever happened to me again, I would probably be sad, but eventually deal with it.
9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?
My parents and I fight a lot. But what else is new?
I'm making it a resolution to try and be nicer and more respnsible. Because according to them I'm reform school material.
10. What is your favorite dessert?
Tiramisu. Yummy. :)
11. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
30-45 minutes max.
12. What websites do you visit daily?
Gmail. I drop by on LJ and the DH forums though. Sometimes I go to FFN. I'm not big on fandom, though I do love A:TLA, and Sarah Dessen's books.
13. What classes are you taking right now?
The normal requirements for Ninth grade. I take singing lessons, drums lessons, guitar lessons, and piano lessons. I also do track, but it's not gonna start again until this Spring.
14. Do you like to clean?
Who likes to clean? Wait, let me rephrase that: what normal person likes to clean. I try to stay organized though, so I'm not drowning in crap.
15. What's the last song you got stuck in your head?
Um....I think it was Jingle Bells.....no joke. DX
16. If you could, would you choose to live forever?
And be like Stupid!Bella? Nah. If you live forever, you don't live, you exist. In a mortal life, you live in one time, and you are remembered fondly. In my relgion, you are reicarnated and you live another life, and learn new lessons until you are enlightened. So living forever would kill all chances of enlightenment. That's just what I think though.
But even without all that religous shit-living forever is horrible. Imagine-it would be like you didn't exist at all!
17. What is your least favorite thing to do that have to do every day?
Nothing really. I mean, there's stuff I'd rather not do, but I know I have to do it, so I do.
18. Best time of your life?
Too many to count. My life isn't perfect-no one's is, but I'm pretty sure I've been showered with privelege most of my life.
20. What are you most looking forward to in the coming month?
Lots of stuff. I'm really just looking forward to getting together with my friends, and just kicking back. :D
I tag no one. Mostly because I have to go now.
- Current Mood: content
I got lots of Christmas stuff, including these really gorgeous earings all the way from India from my friend and her family.
Speaking of her family, her parents had an anniversary party the other day, and while they were picking up food for it, they got arrested!
Some idiot banged into their car and blamed it on them. But they won the case, so everything's cool.
I have a lot going on, I can't say it all, but I've been having fun.
So this weekend was sort of amazing. My friend's dad had his birthday, and all his friends, including my parents, held a surprise party for him. So while the parents were talking once the party started, me and a couple friends go upstairs to talk.
So it was one of those pointless conversations where you laugh and talk and just have fun. The holiday cheer is catching on. :D
Now fandom is fun, but real life when it's like this, is cool too. So started thinking-a few years from now, when I'm not involved with the A:TLA fandom anymore, what will I be doing? I figured things wouldn't be different from what they are now.
But when we talked about girly stuff like our ideal guys I wondered-should I be dating, or not. I'm gonna be fifteen next October. DX But people are already kissing and, I've been on casual dates-but I suddenly have this weird curiosity. What's it like to love-or even just like-someone anyway?
I usually don't give a crap. Dating? SHouldn't I be my own person for a few years first? Also, it also seems so mushy and annoying.
I'm being weird, thinking about this. But I'm thinking, that maybe I shouldn't blow off every guy I get set up with? And I shouldn't refuse everytime someone asks me out? Maybe I should be a bit more out there?
Jeez. It's so complicated.
And what if-there really isn't any such thing as a soulmate? And love is just physical attraction you feel towards a nice guy? I don't like the sound of that. But who does?
I don't have a type. My friends talk about how they want certain qualities in a guy. I don't know what I want. I mean, I know what I LIKE but I don't know what I want. I want someone whose looks won't matter to me, actually.
I want a guy, who could become totally disfigured, but I'd still like him. And if I were disfigured, it wouldn't matter to him either.
Does a guy like that exist? Does anyone like that exist?
Shit. I'm rambling.
Thanksgiving Break: Wasn't that bad. It was actually kind of fun. So I had some guests. One is a friend from Maryland. She moved a few years ago, but we're in touch. And then there was this boy, who lives in Chicago. I hadn't seen him in years but we sort of got along as kids. Sort of. Sometimes. Not really. No.
But yeah, he wasn't that bad. The food was great, which is always a plus. The two friends I went on the cruise with saw me again. I've been avoiding them. We got into a little fight, and I've been annoyed. But then we talked and laughed again and...I realized that they are some of my best friends. And I can't act like a stupid bitch and ignore them over one little argument.
A lot of shit went down with one of them, Emma. She was seeing a guy, who her parents like, but they didn't want her dating. She was at a wedding last year and she was introduced to him there. He seemed pretty nice, a bit of a nerd, but in a cute way. She talked to him on IM (he's in a different country right now) but then she started liking her best friend, who her parents absolutely love.
So she hesitantly broke up with the guy she'd been talking to through IM, and he calls her the most horrible names. I can't believe she lied for such a jerk.
Then her sister saw her crying, and told her mother about it. Her parents are all suspicious now, but hopefully, it'll blow over.
But things are better now. She just celebrated her birthday, with her new bf and her friends, and we all had fun. :D
School after that: Pretty cool. Academics are relatively easy right now. Nothing special has really been happening.
Kelly's birthday: So much fun. We all went outside at 11:00 at night. Her mom didn't care because their neighborhood is very safe, and no rapist could go up against 17 kick-ass girls. XD
Light Show: I had to sing outside at a light show. I love performing but it was cold!
This weekend: I went to a party on Saturday, and I was out all of today. We had yummy chinese food and I went shopping. :)
All in all, things have been going good!
Maybe because I don't want to be the only one with nothing to do on Friday night.
I do not like Halloween. This year I am planning to give out chipped ham.
Ok, I'm giving out m'n'ms. Just so the snotty little fourth graders don't go around saying that I'm a nasty old witch.
So my mom is going to be home alone with a broken leg. I should probably be cooking dinner for my family. That would be nice.
And then I should leave the candy out for the young ones.
And then I should wear halloween party costume. God, I feel so lame. It's so...slutty. Honestly.
Goodbye lj, I am going to ge dressed for that lame party now.
- Current Mood: embarrassed
It was fun, but nothing too special. And my friends kept thinking guys were flirting with them when they really werent'.
I hate when girls make guys awkward by flirting, even when you are doing something as normal as playing Guitar Hero.
That is exactly what these two were doing.
The guys that asked us to dance on formal night were flirting, this one was not flirting. He was being nice.
But anyway, it was a very cool boat.
As for my history project, my partners most definitely did not handle it. I don't want to talk (or write) about it.
On an annoying note, this means I'll have a bunch of schoolwork to make up. And my Social Studies project is now entirely in the hands of my assigned partners, who aren't exactly amazing artists. I'm afraid of what will happen to Statue of Rhodes drawing >_>.
....I gave them a lot of advice though. Maybe they'll handle it. Probably.
Speaking of these two, they are sort-of nerds. Like, they have friends, but they're made fun of a lot. I had a low opinion of them at first, but they're very nice. The girl's dad is about to lose his job, and she lives in a trailer park. No wonder she's always dressed in 75% off Walmart stuff.
The boy is very uncoordinated, but jeez, it's not like he can help it. He's great at coloring, and has an eye for design.
I never made fun of these two as much as the others. I even felt a little sad for them. But now I feel bad about ever having said anything shallow, or negative about them. :( Yet there is still something about them, that just turns me off.....anyway.
Btw, I was at singing rehearsal the other day, and saw an amazingly cute guy. My friends were gushing about him the other. I'm not into dating so I mostly didn't care, but he is very friendly. I could be friends with him.
Anyway, I didn't get a chance to paint my wooden car in IA. More work to make up.
However, I won't have to ride the bus for a week to school! It's gotten ridiculously crowded this year, but the new students in the Middle School are entertaining as hell. One fought with her sister for a lollipop. They're sweet though. I like them.
*wants a latte*
- Current Mood: refreshed
- Current Music:Who knew-Pink