Boys are Stupid

“Jake and I talked, I think we are going to try and work things out.”
“That is great! Did he apologize for when he said [fill in the blank]?”
“No, but Jake is a boy; boys are stupid.”

boys are stupid

It bothers me whenever I am telling a story involving something a guy did or when I am inquiring on a friend’s story of something a guy did and as an excuse for the guy’s behavior they claim: boys are stupid. Let me be clear: boys are NOT stupid. Sure, they can be imperfect, unobservant, and have one-track minds, but that does not make them dumb.

There has been so much hype going on about the phrase “like a girl” and how derogatory it is, but I cannot help but think about how often I hear the phrase “boys are stupid”… how is this any different? Just because I am a girl does not automatically make me weak, wimpy, or incompetent and just because someone is a boy does not automatically make them ignorant or irresponsible.

Guys and girls alike say things they don’t mean and overreact, but so often we dismiss comments made by guys that hurt our feelings or went unexplained just because he is a guy. Just being a guy does not mean that they do not need to take responsibility for their actions or inactions. By saying ‘he is a boy, boys are stupid’ does not make the situation go away nor is it a valid excuse to brush whatever happened under the rug. 

Just last night I said something that came out completely wrong, but I doubt the two guys I addressed left thinking “Lauren is so rude, but it’s okay, because she is a girl and girls are stupid.” So if I assume guys are not going to think that about me, why do so many of us let whatever they say slide just because of their gender?

Guys have thoughts and feelings just like girls, but sometimes they don’t come out right. Why not ask them what they meant or why they thought it was necessary to bring that subject up? By claiming ‘guys are stupid’, you are deciding that they do not understand what they are talking about or that they don’t think when they speak. I believe the opposite. I think they are just people who don’t think before they speak, but I think that more times than not there is meaning behind whatever was dismissed. 

So next time a guy does something irritating, wrong, or confusing don’t just ignore it and assume it meant nothing just because he is a boy. Bring it up and let him have a chance to explain, because most likely there is more thought into what happened than we give them credit for. Let’s start believing that boys are smart!

Time is Precious

Reflection #3

alarm clock

It has always been said that women do not know what they want. As much as I would like to fall into the category of women who can denounce that fact by going after exactly what they want, I cannot. Looking back on last year, I realize that most of my frustration was brought on by confusion.

I had trouble deciphering the needs from the wants. I wanted to be [insert type of person here]. I wanted to do [insert activity here]. I felt that if I could just accomplish this want, then I would be happy or more satisfied or fixed, BUT I learned that it does not work like that.

One of the problems was that I was basing these wants and needs off of everyone and everything else. What they needed and wanted or what they thought I needed and wanted. I never really dug deep inside myself to figure out what the root of my feelings really were.

I really struggled with feeling alone. Of course I had friends and people around, but I wanted more… I wanted to be chosen and I wanted to be invited (and given the opportunity to decline). That was always such a big deal to me and I could never really figure out why I cared so much. I am an introvert, so spending time with people should be the least of my wants, but it never was.

Resolution

I need to analyze myself and really learn about who I am inside and what makes me tick. There are reasons I feel certain ways and I just have to pinpoint what they are. So I set out to figure out why I seemed to crave just an hour out of my friend’s day or a conversation here and there and what I found out is that I cherish quality time.

quality time

I took this quiz and my results were so accurate it was scary! As I read more information on being a ‘quality time’ person, it all made sense. Having this kind of insight into my own personality made me view my feelings and actions in such a different light.

This past semester was especially difficult, because friends who I was accustomed to talking to and spending time with had graduated and I was feeling quite neglected from the few friends I still had around. Instead of changing my mindset, I just holed up and isolated myself which only made matters worse.

It feels so good to have some clarity on why I was feeling the way I was and I am hoping to start learning more about myself and the people I care about, so I can be the friend that they need!!

Spin Master

Reflection #2

bowling

Always trying to figure out who the crowd around you expects you to be is exhausting. Never feeling comfortable in the situations you find yourself in is frustrating. That was me last year. Over-analyzing every little thing about every little thing. It constantly gets you down, because you are normally always lacking in something.

I would second guess all conversations and interactions, beating myself up after realizing that if I had done this or said that it may have ended slightly better. Eventually I just could not find the good anymore, everything resulted in something negative. Well, I cannot live like that anymore.

Feeling comfortable in my skin and being the wacky human being that I was created to be has been on my mind a lot. I want to stop second guessing, over-analyzing, and feeling inadequate, because I do not believe those qualities come from God, but instead are a result of the insecurities that I chose to focus on.

Resolution

So I have decided that positivity is going to be my word for 2016. Being positive and finding the positives in every situation. For example, this past Tuesday I went bowling with some friends and I suck at bowling. I prefer to do things that I am good at, because I am a sore loser, but I make an exception for bowling.

Well, like usual, I am doing really bad and can’t seem to knock down all the pins, but one of the guys that was playing with us was really good, but seemed to knock down 9 pins every time. So instead of being the sore loser that I am, I decided that 9 was going to be the goal. Sure enough I knocked down 9 pins on my first time up for the second game. I never did again, but it felt good!

The 9 pin goal really caught on and all of us started aiming for 9 instead of 10 and it made for a really silly and fun night! So many laughs and so much encouragement, but I think it helped us not get upset at ourselves for not being the best, because we were only aiming for 9. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it really worked!

We were all just obnoxiously encouraging to each other, giving each other high 9’s, and making a big deal out of whatever was knocked down. I would bowl every day if it was like that. I really hope to put that much effort into finding the positives in every aspect of my life, if I am good at whatever I am doing and feeling confident… or not!

But another thing that was great about that night were the friends who allowed me to be absolutely myself. The best part was that they joined in on the ridiculousness that was the 9 pin goal. It completely made my night and I am so glad to have people who remind me that being me is enough!

Unintentional Hurtful Words Still Hurt

It is finally a new year. With the beginning of a new year comes so much promise and hope and intention, but also reflection. 2015 was a whirlwind of emotion from the very start to the very end, so I have a lot to think over.

I have yet to make any resolutions, because I never stick to them, so I figured I will just take it one reflection at a time and see how I want to approach it differently.

Reflection #1

typing

Quickly after last year started, I felt like I was drowning. Nothing was going the way I planned or the way I wanted. I became so frustrated, angry, and irritable. I needed a safe place to try and get my thoughts out; since I type faster than I write, I decided a blog would be a good option.

The blog started as a positive outlet, but gradually turned into a place where all I did was vent and complain about all the negative situations in my life. It could be about literally anything or anyone. At first no one knew about the blog, so I would say whatever I wanted in the heat of the moment as I typed out my frustrations and clicked publish.

I very rarely thought clearly about my posts, because I always felt better after getting all of my clouded thoughts out of my head. I also did not think about the effect these words might have later on, because I wanted everything I said to be raw and real. BUT in reality some of the thoughts I have do not need to see the light. Ever!

Having such anonymity through the blog in the beginning turned out to be a not so good factor. It ended up being more of an encouragement for me to write mean things about the people in my life that I did not want to say to their face, but I never set out to intentionally hurt anyone (because for one I never expected them to read it).

Although not everything I wrote was malicious or negative; some posts I was extremely proud of or felt gave good insight into how I felt, so in the end I gave the link to a few friends not realizing what I had written in the past. Well hidden things never stay hidden, so those post were read, feelings were hurt, and trust was broken.

It took me awhile to realize that what I put out there can be interpreted however the reader wants to take it and that my friends do not like to be written about in a negative light no matter how I feel in the moment.

Resolution

Sincerely apologize to those who I have hurt by my words. I am so notorious for blowing off their feelings, because “that is how I felt” but I understand now that is no excuse and that speaking to them personally would have been better than airing our disagreement or my frustration to the world wide web.

I also want to be more mindful of what I say and how I react to people and situations. I cannot pinpoint when negativity started to cloud my mind, but I want to find the good and focus on the positive. I have learned that dwelling on and catastrophizing the bad that happens does not lead to a solution.

Asking for forgiveness will be a slow and difficult process, but I need to right the wrongs that I have caused. I know that through prayer and positivity I can do it, but I need to go about it without the expectation of immediate forgiveness. It will take time, so patience and understanding will also be required.

Last Year Does Not Disappear

Happy New Year’s Eve!

January 1st holds such a special place in the lives of all of us. Even if you do not write resolutions, make mental goals, or tell yourself you are going to change at least one thing in the upcoming year, you still look forward to it. It symbolizes a clean slate, waking up fresh, a deep breath.

We often view it as our latest chance. Having friend troubles, no worries, you can make new ones. Having relationship problems, no sweat, you can look for someone new. Having school issues, no big deal, you can do better this semester. Having money struggles, no problem, you can actually get a job. Instead of dealing with the things that are currently not going as planned, we have the mentality that we can just up-and-change our lives, because it is the start of a new 365 days.

I would be lying if I did not admit that I am one of these people. I like pushing aside what I need to work on, telling myself I will deal with it a different time when I am really just waiting for the year to end so I can start over and just forget about what I have slid under the rug. But we cannot do this. The people in our lives matter even when they are being difficult. The friendships we have made are important even when they seem to be slipping away. The way we view ourselves is vital even when we plan on loving ourselves soon.

Even though it is a new year, the hard times, the friendships, the grades, the empty bank account is all still there. So instead of starting a new story on a blank page, why do we not just revise our old one?

The year is long. Times will get tough. The excitement you have about your resolutions will fade. You will see that friend. Classes will start again. Your bank account will increase and dwindle. Let last year be a reminder and a guide to how we respond to these situations. By not forgetting about the mistakes or hurt, we can learn from them and better choose what path to take.

Why Am I So Unsatisfied?

I cannot figure out why I am constantly wanting to change or “fix” what I already have or who I already am.

Blaming the society I live in is not the answer. It is that I let the ways of this world get into my head. With this fast-paced, me me me, I need the newest best thing right now mentality that is thrown my way on a daily basis, it makes it very difficult to be satisfied and happy with who I am, the clothes I wear, the things that I have, the activities I like, the family I was given, the opportunities available to me… the list goes on.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:14

I know that nothing about me is a mistake or an accident. God created and formed me as an individual with unique abilities and interests. I was not made to be like everyone else, but neither were you. We were all made to be different and original, so it is difficult to stand firm in this when I am constantly being pushed to conform.

Honestly, needing the next best thing is not really a downfall of mine. I like my style and do not mind wearing inexpensive clothes and my old Jeep is definitely my favorite form of transportation. But I do fall into the trap of feeling that I am not worthy or enough for those around me. Yet I know that I am, because I am a work of God.

“In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.” – Genesis 5:1

I was created in the image of God! That is a powerful statement and one that I need to dwell on a lot more than I do. It needs to be more of a mantra that I repeat to myself anytime I start to feel unworthy. I am beautiful and special and look exactly the way God intended.

“… I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness.” – Psalm 17:15

I do not believe that God wants me to be sad or depressed or unsatisfied, but I do believe that He has given me the means to not be. He sacrificed his son, so that I could be SAVED, LOVED, and FORGIVEN. There is nothing about me that He does not know nor is there anything about me that He cannot restore.

God has a plan for my life and is just waiting for me to choose Him each morning and live accordingly. He is not just going to hand me what I want or wiggle his nose to morph me into what I think I need to be. He can satisfy every need and want that I have, but only if I let Him. 

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” – Isaiah 58:11

Beautifully Bowman

There is a song by Miranda Lambert called The House That Built Me. If you have heard it, you probably have an idea of where I am going and if you have not,  you should definitely go listen to it. This song never fails to evoke nostalgic feelings. It does not matter that my life does not match what she is remembering, because in place of her memories, I put in my own.

I am not one to think back on my childhood all that often and luckily my parents still live in the house I grew up in, so holding on to those memories is not as difficult as it is for others. In the song, she says it is the house that built her, but I see it as more of the people and lessons that built her. I began thinking about my own home; the people and moments that shaped me into the woman I am.

I remember my parent’s bathroom where my mom and I would stand for twenty minutes, if necessary, in order to get my pigtails perfectly even. I remember the old, stained, blue and white couch that had removeable cushions that my brother and I would fashion into a fort. I remember sitting on the kitchen counter as my mom cooked, reading one sentence at a time aloud from A Tale of Two Cities inquiring if she understood what it meant. I remember going outside barefoot in the warm summer evenings to stand beside whatever car my dad was fixing just to watch him work.

All of these moments happened at my home with my family and not a single other soul has the same memories as me. This is a mind-opening thought for me to ponder. Everyone has their own families, memories, and moments that built them. No one is the same. This is a strength that we each possess. I am a Bowman. I have always been indifferent about my last name. I never had too much pride in it, but not because I was ashamed, but because I did not realize the strength that it carried.

Not only do I resemble my parents with my mom’s hair and fair complexion and my dad’s toes and facial structure, I also have taken away some of their character traits: my mom’s perfectionism and encouraging attitude and my dad’s responsibility and attention to detail. But it does not stop there. My grandparents have rubbed off on me as well. I am stubborn and outspoken like my Nana, I love to learn and read like my PaPaw, I appreciate the simple life like my Grandad, and I dream of traveling from hearing about all of their adventures.

So I am a Bowman. We are a group of broken, but beautiful people who love fiercely and are unmistakably loyal. We don’t always see eye to eye, but we are forgiving, because we are family. Learning to understand the people who helped shape me, analyze the lessons they teach me, and take away the traits they showcase has become important to me in grasping who I am and who I strive to be. Therefore I believe I am beautifully Bowman.