My Rogue One Obsession is Getting Out of Hand

I have never been a huge Star Wars fan. That was before Rogue One came out and I fell in love with all of the Star Wars things. I thought I would get over it after a few months, but here we are in July and I still cannot even with how good this movie is. Yes, this is my current desktop wallpaper and cell phone lock screen. Shut up.

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After watching Rouge One yet again (this time at an outdoor screening with the NC Museum of Art), I am still obsessed with how much Cassian is in love with Jyn. In every situation she is his focus. It starts early in the journey with his desire to save her and keep her safe in Jedha and Eadu. After Galen’s location is discovered, Jyn has no value for the Rebellion. He would have been perfectly justified in leaving her behind in Jedha or Eadu, but he insists on going back for her in both dire situations. Maybe he fooled himself into thinking it was some sort of code not to leave a soldier behind, but he clearly cares for her.

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He disobeyed orders to assassinate Galen, not because he saw Galen being beaten by Director Krennic, but because of what Jyn told him. It was partly his consideration for her feelings that he disobeyed orders. He even called for the Rebel fleet to not attack the base because Jyn was on the platform. Again, not sure anyone at headquarters would have cared if she died there, but he did. As far as I know, he didn’t have orders to bring her back alive or even at all. He wanted to.

And OMG the fight they had in the stolen Imperial ship after Eadu was so full of tension. You can tell they had a lot more they wanted to say to each other. The whole scene reminded me of the first proposal scene from Pride and Prejudice. #dying

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Then when they finally got to Scarif, his whole mission was to support Jyn and her mission. Even when Jyn finally yanks the Death Star plans free of the storage facility and is thrown off balance he yells “You okay?!” He reaches for her, not the plans. She doesn’t respond. She doesn’t care about herself. She’s only focused on her mission.

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When Cassian is shot and falls, getting injured on the way down, Jyn hesitates and looks back at him. I believe she wanted to go to him but she remembers his words a few moments before: “Keep going!” A lot of people wondered at why she didn’t look more upset that he fell. They are saying that she didn’t love him because of this, but I think she was just focused on her mission. I think she knew Cassian would have wanted her to go on without him so she did. The fact that she’s in love with him is clear when he arrives on the platform and shoots Krennic. She transmits the plans and then basically falls into his arms. She doesn’t even notice Krennic until she realizes that Cassian’s gun is still pointed at him.

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Everything after that is basically porn because they are having eye sex the entire ride down that elevator and it’s awesome. What I love about Cassian the most is that even when he knows they will die together and they only have a few moments left, he chooses to affirm Jyn instead of talking about himself or his feelings. Honestly, I don’t think there was a more loving act he could have done in that moment. The look in her eyes is clearly more than gratitude. It is also respect, admiration, and love.

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People like to try and get a rise out of me by reminding me that Cassian and Jyn both die and don’t get a happy ending. They don’t live. They don’t get to really know each other in a Biblical sense or otherwise. But I don’t think it matters. Just because they don’t kiss or have babies doesn’t mean they were somehow unfulfilled or not a real couple. In the moment they held each other they loved each other perfectly. They were smiling and happy. That moment can never be erased. That moment in space and time will always be there, so in that sense their love will last forever. Who cares if it didn’t last long? It was real. For me that means they did get a happy ending.

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And don’t even get me started on the love between Chirrut and Baze or the adorable cinnamon roll that is Boodhi Rook or the perfect sassiness of K2-SO. Ugh. I caught all the feelings.
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Find a guy who looks at you the way Cassian looks at Jyn before a suicide mission.

Someone take the internet away from me before I lose interest in life.

Beck

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I Sing More Than I Talk

and I talk a lot.

I received a message from a friend earlier today encouraging me to record a video of me singing and upload it on YouTube. I love singing, but I’ve never found an outlet that allowed me to perform what I’d like in public. I’ve sung a few times at various churches, and now I’ve joined the worship team at my church, but this limits me to worship music. I want to sing all kinds of songs including jazz, r&b, folk, and whatever else I get stuck in my head.

So why not start posting videos on YouTube? Who cares if they are not professional quality? In my experience, even artists that create for themselves are not fulfilled unless they’re sharing their work and receiving feedback. Art is a soul cry that desires to be heard and recognized by others. YouTube is a great way to be heard. Now every time I wish I could perform, I’ll channel that energy into a new video and post it here.

Hopefully, I won’t get blocked due to copyright infringement…

Beck

I am single, and that’s OK.

I am single, and that’s OK.

This is a new sentence that I’m writing to myself, something I try to remember when I feel lonely. It’s new to me because no one has ever told me this before. Since I was born, everyone and everything around me told me that I would really start living when I found “my special someone”, “my soulmate”. Only when I was in love and married would I truly be fulfilled in life. “There’s no good that can come out of singleness. A woman can’t find self-worth unless it comes from the admiration of a man.” These are the messages that I have heard all my life, and they have damaged me.

For a while, I believed them. I waited for guys to start taking notice of me. I waited for my first date, my first kiss, and my first boyfriend in high school. When that didn’t happen, they told me it would definitely for sure happen in college. Well, here I am four years later, still never been kissed, still single, and yeah I’ll say it, somewhat bitter.

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But I’m tired of waiting to be happy and fulfilled through a romantic relationship. I’m tired of feeling like I’m missing out on something. I could either use my single years to grow personally and enjoy my independence, or be miserable and bitter. That doesn’t mean I don’t still get lonely sometimes, it just means I don’t waste time regretting something I don’t have. I wish I could really be as strong as my words make me seem. I wish I didn’t feel pain when I see my sister and her finance kiss for the thousandth time from the corner of my eye. I wish I didn’t wonder if I just met my future husband every time I meet an eligible or attractive guy my age. I wish I could focus on my relationship with Christ, one that really would fulfill me, rather than my absence of a romantic relationship. But this is a learning process, and my feelings are still catching up with my new ideas about singleness.

My mother frequently tells me that she can’t die in peace until she sees me “married and happy”. That’s usually followed by a variation of, “If you lose weight, men will pursue you.” Is it any wonder that I have struggled with low self-esteem and poor body image all my life? It took a long time for me to re-educate myself so I wouldn’t believe in her harmful message; that my body was to blame for my singleness. I don’t resent my mother for saying these things; she truly does believe it and only wants to see me happy. I do wish that she had taught me to love myself and value my body at a younger age. Nowadays, I correct these statements as best I can by telling her that I am happy even though I’m not married, and that I don’t want a husband who desires only my body, but all of me, and I’m willing to wait for that.

Why did I spend the first two decades of my life obsessed with love?

Our culture is obsessed with love, both physical and emotional. We’ve been fed romance and love songs since we were in diapers (Disney, anyone?). We saw sex at an early age, most likely introduced in a negative way, and continued seeing it everywhere; movies, music, ads, clothes, books, news. We saw it so much that we’ve become desensitized to it. It no longer surprises us to see a woman exploiting her body to advertise a product or company; in fact, it makes perfect sense to us. Hardee’s commercials are a great and disgusting example of this. What does fast-food have to do with a beautiful/sexy woman? Absolutely nothing; but by creating a connection between a desirable woman and the desirableness of food, Hardee’s sells more burgers. It’s simple, sex sells.

Hardee’s ads are so good at what they do that they work on a deeper level. That’s what scares me, it’s subliminal. Our waking minds may not notice overt sexuality plastered over the walls of our media, we’ve learned to “ignore” it. But our inner minds and bodies absorb those messages and internalize them.

America’s Real Favorite Pastime

Traditionally, baseball is considered America’s favorite pastime, but I think most people would consider football an even greater American sport. The National Football League certainly makes more than Major League Baseball every year, bringing in about $9 billion dollars annually (Source). Would it surprise you to learn that the pornography industry is a more than $13 billion dollar industry (Source)? If where we spend our money is any indication of how we spend our time, well, you see what I’m getting at here. The pursuit of sexual experiences consumes us; it’s our favorite pastime.

What does this mean? It means that our society and the messages it is sending us about physical and emotional love are finding a home in our minds and bodies (and our browser histories). We’re taught at a young age to lust after things, celebrities, food, and wealth. We’re told we need these things to be happy and fulfilled. We’re told that our self-worth is tied to attaining these things; that we’re lesser-than if we cannot achieve these things. We’re hyper- sexualizing ourselves and then wonder why there’s a growing rape culture and a strong sexual trafficking infrastructure in our neighborhoods.

I’m not saying the sexual act or expressing one’s sexuality is bad, in fact, I believe quite the opposite. What I’m saying is that we need to evaluate how these messages are affecting us on a deeper level. Maybe sex/porn addiction is not just an individual’s lack of willpower or lack of a better hobby; maybe it’s a manifestation of those lustful messages we’re constantly bombarded with from birth. Maybe it’s a symptom of a larger societal problem. I am not suggesting that those with an unhealthy relationship with sex blame society for their problems. Rather, I am suggesting a deeper look at the root of those problems to better understand them with the goal of overcoming them. We all have natural tendencies, but our society is nurturing us to act in a certain way, and just because you may not watch pornography doesn’t mean you’re immune.

You may wonder why I am addressing my acceptance of singleness as a healthy state and larger societal messages about sex and love in one blog post. I believe these two topics are interconnected in complex ways. My previous ideas about singleness as “bad” or abnormal have their origin in the idea that women and their bodies are for men (a patriarchal idea), so by not being in a relationship, I was not living life to its fullest potential. I wasn’t “fulfilled” because I wasn’t doing what society was telling me to do in the majority of its advertisements and media, fall in love have sex with men. I also wasn’t “happy” because a man had never shown me attention or told me that I was beautiful, talented, sexy, or intelligent (all of which I am, by the way). The same societal ideas of love and sex that contributed to my frustration about being single are the same ideas that encourage self-destructive tendencies in women and men (i.e. eating disorders, sexual addiction, rape, even suicide). Since I have declared my selfhood by saying it is OK to be single, I have come to not only appreciate my freedom, but love myself and my body more. I’m not counting down the days until I meet my husband and live happily ever after. My story doesn’t begin with me meeting “a guy” and end in marriage, my story began years ago and my happily ever after is now.

Beck

Sex and Love in That Order?

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There’s something I’ve noticed about loves stories in movies and tv shows that has been bothering me for a while: People fall in love by having sex. Or they don’t realize they are in love with someone until they have amazing mind-blowing sex with them.

Think about it. How many tv shows and movies have you seen that revolve around a couple having sex and suddenly realizing they’re meant to be? Chandler and Monica from Friends, Harry and Sally from When Harry Met Sally; the friends with benefits story arc is well known and the list of examples could go on forever. Sometimes there’s a PG version of this when couples kiss and things change, but for the most part, I feel people jump right to sex and fall in love.

What bothers me about this is that it’s a completely unrealistic expectation and is a harmful model to follow when beginning a relationship. I know this is a plot device used to escalate the falling-in-love process in film, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s unrealistic to think that just because you have sex with someone you like, or are even in love with, that they will suddenly fall in love with you. People, men and women, don’t “call back” all the time, probably most of the time. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, I’m not saying this doesn’t happen in real life occasionally, but I think the whole “why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free” adage applies here. Why be in a relationship if you can have sex and sleep around without any consequences? People are selfish, especially college students, and will seek relationships that will benefit them and not you. If you buy in to this fairy tale that the media sells us and expect “true love” after having sex, you can end up getting hurt physically and emotionally (sexual assault, STDs, unwanted pregnancy to name a few).

Your milkshake may bring all the boys to the yard, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to stay there and love you or marry you.

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Sex changes things. Your body releases hormones that make you form attachments to the one you sleep with, which can make you fall in love or at least become infatuated. (That’s why being friends with benefits doesn’t work most of the time.) I’m not saying women can’t or don’t enjoy casual sexual relationships, I just think it’s difficult to do so without getting feelings involved eventually. When enough of these failed experiences occur, it can make you feel insecure, desperate, and unworthy of a healthy relationship, which further perpetuates the potentially harmful behavior. That’s why I think keeping your pants on before marriage is a good idea. I’m a Christian, so this belief originated from my knowledge of the Bible. But even if I wasn’t a Christian, I would still want to wait until marriage, because like I said, sex changes things. I wouldn’t want to form a strong emotional and physical connection with someone who won’t be there when I wake up. It damages you, even if you don’t or can’t realize it now.

I’ve never been in love or had sex, so I don’t speak from experience, but I have witnessed my friends go through horrifying and damaging relationships/non-relationships throughout college. It pains me to see them go through things like that. I’m not saying everyone needs to convert to Christianity (although that would be awesome). I am saying people need to have realistic expectations when they begin a physical relationship with someone. Ask yourself if you are okay with them walking away. Because they probably will. If not, zip up your pants and find someone who wants to stick around. If you are okay with them walking away, that’s a whole other issue, because you deserve to have someone stick around. Everyone deserves to be with someone who loves them, not just someone who wants to get in his or her pants. I’m okay with waiting for that person, because I know I’m not missing out on anything except a lot of heartbreak and bad sexual souvenirs.

Beck

PS: I was going to name this post “Great SEXpectations” but I talked myself out of it. Haha

 

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My Life

“If you think, from this prelude, that anything like a romance is preparing for you, reader, you never were more mistaken. Do you anticipate sentiment, and poetry, and reverie? Do you expect passion, and stimulus, and melodrama? Calm your expectations; reduce them to a lowly standard. Something real, cool and solid lies before you; something unromantic as Monday morning, when all who have work wake with the consciousness that they must rise and betake themselves thereto.”

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte

How to Talk to Guys 101

Oh my goodness, I don’t know where to start with this blog post. I was debating with myself about whether or not I should mention my latest adventure…it may be too soon to call it. (You can decide for yourself after reading.)

I sort of met someone.

There is a sentence I didn’t think I would be writing this year let alone this week. I say “sort of” because nothing has come of it yet, but numbers have been exchanged. Omg, I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no reference book for interacting with guys. Just thinking about it makes me nervous. But I’m getting ahead of myself now.

This weekend my best friend from high school came to visit me at school. There was a party at The Bar near campus and we decided to go. After sharing a bottle of wine in my car (parked of course), we decided to go ahead in, even though it was pretty early. On the way in, a guy I met last time I was at The Bar tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I knew you’d come back.” I honestly can’t remember what I said in reply. I think I smiled. Last month when I was leaving The Bar, he introduced himself to me and kept saying, “I really hope I see you again.” By the way, he’s a bouncer at the club.

Later while I was paying for drinks, he came up to me again and starting talking to me. I was trying to be friendly. I promise I wasn’t drunk, but I don’t remember much. I was too nervous. The only question I could think to ask him was “Do you live around here?” which is probably the most generic question that you only hear in movies right before a guy strikes out. I decided to leave the bar before it got too awkward, which I kind of regret now, but my friend was waiting anyway.

After dancing for a few hours, we decided to call it a night. Here’s where I get out of character. He came up to me to say goodbye and came in for an awkward side hug. I can’t believe I did this, but I leaned in and said, “When are you gonna ask me for my number?”
“Right now” he replied and smiled. I can’t believe I said that to him, but really, it’s not like I didn’t know he was interested.

So…I gave out my number for the first time this weekend. I have no idea what I’m doing. I wish there was a class I could take to teach me how to talk to guys. -_-;

Help!
Beck

My Tinder No-No’s

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This is the part when I complain about how hard it is to meet people. I know I’m on a college campus surrounded by people my age, but for some reason that doesn’t seem to make it any easier. My track record with guys is literally nonexistent. That’s when my friend told me about an iPhone app called Tinder that allows you to chat with guys that have “liked” your profile.

Oh boy.

I make a profile and quickly get a few matches. Every time I get a notification, I turn into a middle school boy-crazy version of myself. It’s completely trivial but I’m hooked. After a few days of guys not talking to me, I start sending messages myself, most of which are not answered. Gradually, I lose interest and leave the app for a few weeks. Recently, I started using the app again out of idle curiosity and boredom and I realized something important, I don’t like anybody. I don’t think guys know how to market themselves well. Some of the things they show and tell in their profiles make me wonder if they are really trying to meet girls at all. Tinder is all about snap judgments and I have a few cues that tell me immediately to swipe left. Some of these things are specific to me, but some are just plain bad.

I swipe left if you are:
wearing a fraternity shirt or have Greek letters in your profile (You know, just in case we didn’t know you were a d-bag from your pictures.)
in the military (I love you guys, but I don’t want to be an army wife.)
in a boat (because)
with too many SWB (Skinny White Bitches) (I’m not your type.)
with too many bare-chested guys and I can’t tell who I’m looking at (I hope you’re the cute one?)
holding a beer in every photo (Future AA member)
in too many selfies (Self-centered much?)
holding a baby ( I hope it’s not yours…)
playing extreme sports (I won’t be joining you anytime soon.)
holding a gun (Nope.)
holding a fish/are fishing (I just don’t understand fishing culture.)
wearing or waving an US flag (Not super patriotic on this end)
a tattoo enthusiast (One is fine, more than one is excessive)
wearing earrings (Just no.)
wearing a Bieber haircut (NO)
exposing a severe injury/stitches (Seeing your bloody flesh really gets me going.)
mentioning your junk in your profile (SMH)
growing the longest beard in the world (No one wants to kiss that.)
the owner of a weird name (Some of my favorite examples are “Aymen”, “Bo”, and “Shrimp”)

I’m not left with many options after I rule out everyone on that list, which is why I’m convinced I’ll be a spinster. Not that I’m looking for anything serious on Tinder, but it makes me wonder how this whole “fall in love and get married” thing will work out. Usually, the only thing I have in common with guys on Tinder is that we both like the Panthers or Adele. In real life, my opportunities to meet guys have been very few since I have never really been in the “going out” scene. I got my first booty call message on Tinder a few days ago. (For the record, I don’t like cuddling naked…not with you, weirdo.) I’ll probably delete the app soon…as soon as the profiles stop being ridiculous.

Forever alone
Beck

What are your Tinder no-no’s? Let me know in the comments below!