’30’s are Weird … Pt. III .

THIRTY REASONS

{ that’s not true }

OUR THIRTIES

{ Pt. III is here : see what I mean }

ARE WEIRD

{ … }

AS F.

{ … }

Pt. III .

{ Thirties. Right now, as we speak, the biological age of “The ’30’s” — I apologize, in advance, if anyone perceived this to be about the 1930’s, which really wasn’t that weird … but almost equally as tragic — is a true Phenomena. International, Technological, Cultural, Economical, Political: being ’30 during the latter teens of the Millennium is quite harrowing + requires the emergence of a completely new Cultural Identity. }

This is a 3 Part Post : 30 Reasons Our Thirties, in 2017, are Weird. As F.
I will publish in 3 installments — possibly a week apart, possibly more. { I can’t say. I’m a confused 30-something: give me some space. } Whilst reading, you will either completely relate, + I will give Voice to our Unidentified Generation. Or — possibly And — you will deem me crazy. With outdated cultural references, an over-reliance on “Mean Girls,” shoddy extended metaphors, an illegible Writing Voice { hey I’m not gonna’ change that }, and someone who is clearly incredibly neurotic + insecure about her ’30’s. … But hey, at least I can admit it.

Cont’d. from Part II { posted Tues., 5.9.2017 }

Not yet in my ’30’s, celebrating my friend’s 30th. … #meta.

Thirty Reason your Thirties, in 2017, are Weird. AF. 

In condescending order of importance.

10. Money + The Great Unknown. … What is “healthy”?

Student loan debt v. “healthy” credit card debt v. “healthy” retirement v. … Too many variables. Don’t even tell me to speak with a Financial Advisor, because honestly, current-’30-somethings are the Lost Audience. I don’t want to know what was healthy for my parents at age ’30-something. I want to know what’s healthy for me. And, thing is, Globalization is changing our World so quickly … that No One Knows.

9. Dog Moms + Cat Lady’s. We joke but … we’re actually self-conscious.

Is ’30’s too young to become full-on Dog Moms/Dads + Cat Lady’s/Sir’s?? Maybe, we’re just growing up too damn fast. …

8. Lifestyle + Travel. So you’re unmarried, yes … and no kids??

Well, my friend, you have the world at your finger tips. Oh, but you were also late getting your career started because — recession — and you’re not sure about too much credit card debt because — student loan debt! — so … where does travel fit in.

  • Do we vacation every once in a while??
  • Do we turn travel into a Lifestyle and start small with day-trips + Staycations.
  • Most Importantly : Is it still okay to couch surf at your friends. … Or is that what Air BnB is for. Never a debate in my ’20’s. But not that I’m ’30+ … couch surf is unreasonable? And, apparently, it’s also a thing.

7. Tiny Houses. Studies have shown

Jk, Tiny Houses have barely existed long enough to show how much they:

  • decrease in value
  • tear relationships apart
  • come loose at the screws — quite literally — whilst driving on the side-road before the freeway road, let alone the hairpin road to that National Park you dreamed of visiting … in your Tiny House.

Don’t get me wrong. I fully want to build as well as live in one. Don’t get me wrong.

{  Surprise!
There are only 25 reasons … and that’s a stretch.  }

1. Social Media RevolutionDid 2012 change everything? YES.

  • Personal Experience – Exhibit 1My older brother is 4 years older than me, and our childhoods, including high school, quite similar : internet happened at school & Encyclopedia Britannica flanked bibliographies.
  • Personal Experience – Exhibit 2My younger brother is 6 years younger than me, and our childhoods, especially high school, quite differed : he IM’ed anytime of day { not just after 9pm }, Facebook { ‘nough said }, + he obtained his 1st cell phone as a freshman in High School — 4 years earlier than me.
  • Blow Your Mind MomentStill — regardless of these vast differences named in E2 — a 2003 high school graduate and a 2010 high school graduate have much more in common than, say … anyone in high school in-and-around 2012. In other words :

If you’re 10-ish years my junior { 20 – 23, 24 } right now, we are all Millennials … and still Universes apart. Why?

It’s not just cell phones. It’s not just WiFi. It’s not just Facebook. It’s not even Twitter. It’s Share-E-Bus! The Three-Headed Social Media Beast-Dog. In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram, mainstreaming the latter { trust me : Insta was once obscure + so much better }, and Snapchat grew in usage. Social Media devoured Adolescent / Emerging Adult’s { see past posts! } lifestyles.

I’m not sure if Share-E-Bus guards the Underworld or has opened its gates for actual Hell on Earth. 

But I do know that Social Media is no longer just an add-on. A side-dish we use to complement our meal or an appetizer before the actual interaction. Social Media is the Main Course: a mainstream channel through which current ’20-somethings — certainly generations younger — actually interact + socialize. I’m not saying they don’t meet-up IRL. { This isn’t Virtual Reality, yet. } But I am saying that Share-E-Bus devours all. … And its gnarly three heads has devoured the 2nd half Millennials, and future Generations, more than it has ANY of us.

Mind . Blown .

In Summary, ’30’s are just … weird . … a . f.

#shoplocal
{ because , always }

#30sareweird

#af

X . 

’30’s are Weird … Pt. II .

THIRTY REASONS

{ that’s not true }

OUR THIRTIES

{ wait for Pt. III : see what I mean }

ARE WEIRD

{ … }

AS F.

{ … }

Pt. II .

{ Thirties. Right now, as we speak, the biological age of “The ’30’s” — I apologize, in advance, if anyone perceived this to be about the 1930’s, which really wasn’t that weird … but almost equally as tragic — is a true Phenomena. International, Technological, Cultural, Economical, Political: being ’30 during the latter teens of the Millennium is quite harrowing + requires the emergence of a completely new Cultural Identity. }

This is a 3 Part Post : 30 Reasons Our Thirties, in 2017, are Weird. As F.
I will publish in 3 installments — possibly a week apart, possibly more. { I can’t say. I’m a confused 30-something: give me some space. } Whilst reading, you will either completely relate, + I will give Voice to our Unidentified Generation. Or — possibly And — you will deem me crazy. With outdated cultural references, an over-reliance on “Mean Girls,” shoddy extended metaphors, an illegible Writing Voice { hey I’m not gonna’ change that }, and someone who is clearly incredibly neurotic + insecure about her ’30’s. … But hey, at least I can admit it.

Cont’d. from Part I { posted Wed., 4.26.2017 }

Thirty Reason your Thirties, in 2017, are Weird. AF. 

In condescending order of importance.

“It’s so new, in fact, that most boomerang kids and their parents are still struggling to make sense of it. Is living with your parents a sign, as it once was, of failure? Or is it a practical, long-term financial move?,” -Adam Davidson, “New York Times”

20. Non-Trendy TrendsettersEmerging Adulthood : The previous post used some Logic / “logic proof” to contextualize Emerging Adulthood. { #29 … if you can get through that, we are bff. } The real irony is that ’30-somethings have the responsibility of setting a new trend. Think about it this way:

  • Fact. ’30-somethings are NOT trendy. I’m sorry, we can’t try to take this from the 2nd-half Millennials. We just need to know when is when, and what is fleek is fleek.
  • Truth. … And yet. It is True that the ’30’s need some New Life. New Voice. New Perspective. New Benchmarks. (#21)
  • Conundrum. So, what?? It’s up to the non-trendy to … set the new trend?

I do NOT got this. If you do — let. me. know.

19.  Boomerang Generation. This is a confusing time in our history, and definitely messes with the cultural identity of ’30-somethings. Read link to understand.

18. Marriage. Nope!

17. Kids. Also no.

If you’re a 30-something who is married, or on their way, or who has had children, or is on their way — hell, if you’re a ’20-something who has : this post does not apply.

16. Where do we sit at the bar?? Obviously, with our friends.

But, where do we actually want to sit? Is it weird if we end up near a group of ’20-somethings + don’t mind it. Does it mean we’re living in our past?? Are we still weirded-out if we sit near obviously older-somethings: say — gasp! — ’40’s, even though we’re now older?

  • Don’t pretend like you haven’t wondered this.
  • We’re all imagining Cady Heron’s drawing of her HS cafeteria. And please be impressed that this is my 3rd  4th “Mean Girls” reference …

15.  OMG. Are we still allowed to say this??

I mean actually say — Oh. Em. Gee — or is that “beneath” us. But we’re still allowed to type it right? … This technology revolution is confusing. It is messing with our development. TBH IRL #icannoteven b/c IDEK. <– Wave of our Future Language, PS.

14. 401K + Projecting. This matters. And yet … will we actually be able to retire?

We grew-up with Enron + Madoff: we know that companies can just lose our money. So … do we continue to invest in our 401K’s because this is what people do … or do we learn from history and redefine this? That’s a large-charge.

  • TBH. This isn’t just our battle.
  • But also. … Doesn’t it feel like we need to spearhead it?

13. Organized Hobbies. I’m lost.

It was cool + normal to have organized hobbies — i.e. kickball — in your ’20’s. And it’s totally badass to join an Artist’s Guild or a Rec Soccer League in your ’40’s: it’s a resurgence, a Renaissance of sorts. But, in your ’30’s, unless you’re an actually >> good << artist + unless you’re like vying for semi-pro sports … doesn’t it feel weird to engage in organized hobbies? It’s like brandishing to the world —

I HAVE NO S.O. I HAVE NO HOUSE I NEED TO TEND. I HAVE NO CHILDREN. I AM THE LOST ’30’S FIRST-HALF MILLENNIAL OF MY GENERATION.

Which, is fine. But I’d like some actual slogan / identity to cling to as I throw all convention into the toilet that I rent, and do not own.

12. “Dating.” Not only does every age-range within every Generation have a different definition for this … 

But also, so does every human on the face of the planet. Check-it:

  1. Teens have … high school. Even neighboring high schools, if you’re daring.
  2. Early-Twenty-Somethings have … college. Or their friends’ colleges.
  3. All Twenty-Somethings have … the bar. And apparently Tinder, and Bumble, … and Sea Plenty of FishIt’s not creepy yet!
  4. ’40+ Somethings have … internet dating. It seems super appropriate + successful for that demographic.
  5. … ’30-somethings. … Look, I get that ’30-somethings have the bar, Tinder, Bumble, + Plenty of Fish too. … It just feels more acceptable in your ’20’s. So cheers to my ’30-something friends who are crushing it.

Not sure this is “appropriate” ’30’s attire … and also not sure I care?

11. Fashion. Fash.

I forever shop at Forever21 … even though I’m not 21. { “Forever” is the brand name for a reason … . } I definitely #ShopLocal. It’s not so much — I dunno where to buy clothes. It’s that — I dunno what to f-ing wear. Somewhere between >> s8er hoody and full-on blazer << there’s a healthy ’30’-something medium. I struggle to find it.

Brain / Life Cramp, Again.

{ That is it, again, for now. Tune in for Pt. III — it continues to get way more relatable, and just a bit more academic. … Talk soon. }

#shoplocal
{ because , always }

#30sareweird

#af

’30’s are Weird … Pt I .

THIRTY REASONS

{ that’s not true }

OUR THIRTIES

{ wait for Pt. III : see what I mean }

ARE WEIRD

{ … }

AS F.

{ Thirties. Right now, as we speak, the biological age of “The ’30’s” — I apologize, in advance, if anyone perceived this to be about the 1930’s, which really wasn’t that weird … but almost equally as tragic — is a true Phenomena. International, Technological, Cultural, Economical, Political: being ’30 during the latter teens of the Millennium is quite harrowing + requires the emergence of a completely new Cultural Identity. }

This is a 3 Part Post : 30 Reasons Our Thirties, in 2017, are Weird. As F.
I will publish in 3 installments — possibly a week apart, possibly more. { I can’t say. I’m a confused 30-something: give me some space. } Whilst reading, you will either completely relate, + I will give Voice to our Unidentified Generation. Or — possibly And — you will deem me crazy. With outdated cultural references, an over-reliance on “Mean Girls,” shoddy extended metaphors, an illegible Writing Voice { hey I’m not gonna’ change that }, and someone who is clearly incredibly neurotic + insecure about her ’30’s. … But hey, at least I can admit it.

. 18 ? . 25 ? . 32 . ?  {  . . .   }  Nobody knows … The older I get : the more likely I chalked my ID .  {  . . . }  This is my Life .

Thirty Reasons your Thirties, in 2017, are Weird. AF. 

In condescending order of importance.

30. FriendsWhat the actual f. 

By the way — a totally outdated buzz-phrase. { I’d have to get my PhD. in BuzzFeed Linguistics if I wanted to know the on fleek version … andtheregoesmy’20’somethingreadhership . } “Friends,” possibly “How I Met Your Mother” is  >> Everyone’s << greatest reference for Life in your ’30’s. … FYI: “Friends'” ’30’s is not Our ’30’s. I’m sure it semi-worked for ’30-somethings 15-ish years ago. … But the whole crux of this Series is that The ’30’s of 15+ years ago has become Legend — wait for it — Dary. It ceases to exist. It is no longer. The Limit DNE. Times, they are a changin’.

TBH, ’30’s is the new ’20’s. And not in a totally carefree, party, travel-the-world kind of way. … And it is so much more.

29. TV + Film, overall. Magical Realism?? Idek.

Screw “Friends,” because we got bigger problems… Like … let’s take “Old School,”. What in the actual age are those main characters? Is Mitch implied to be … 25? I refuse to re-watch the movie for the 24th time or to even Google Search to find out. Because — you know — the fact that I have to, proves that these characters portray Any-Age. Obscure-Age. Some magical age that can cover anywhere between 25-45.

We have far greater representation problems in both TV + Film for this to warrant grave concern … but the actual ’30’s — at least 1st half of the ’30’s — get no representation in film or TV. … Unless I’m missing something.

  • { Context: I haven’t owned a TV for 4+ years, which also severely limits my film viewing, since I don’t have trailers pushed into my face every 3-5 or 5-7, or whatever, minutes. #unreliablenarrator ?? }

28. Thirties is the New Twenties. Sorry not Sorry Meg Jay.

I have no research. Just epistemological life experience. And some Logic: Generation Wikipedia { solid }, is my reference point.

FAIR WARNING – This some PhD thesis-ish, so gear-up … or skip: your call.

{ So much generational code-switching. }

  • Generation X { b. late 1970’s – early 1980’s } : Axiom — this generation paved-the-way for Emerging Adulthood; ergo, the ’20’s became a time (“distinguished by relative independence from social roles and from normative expectations,” [Arnett, 2000],) to >> galavant << …

a.k.a.: party hearty like Baby Boomers’ teen-years.

  • Analogy: Adolescence didn’t emerge until the late-1800’s. The term didn’t become lexicon until the 1920’s. Significance?? Fifty-ish years passed wherein entire generations carved-out a culture & a lifestyle, before having a word with which to name it. …

Same thing has happened now: it’s called “Emerging Adulthood,”
and it’s spearheaded by Gen X-ers.

  • Personal Proof: Cool thing? While “Emerging Adulthood” might not make it into our lexicons for decades to come … it is widely accepted that the ’20’s is an acceptable time to party, figure out your career, wait to get married and have children, etc.

In response to Jay’s TED Talk 2013: it’s not that our ’20’s are an excuse for “benign neglect,”. It is that the ’20’s have become an acceptable and empowering time to Harness Personal Identity + Make Big Fat Mistakes, as opposed to following the algorithm that calculates our Baby Boomer parents’ foot-steps.

  • Millennials { b. early 1980’s – mid 1990’s } : Axiom — We’re the same generation, and there exists a grave difference between First-Half Millennials + Second-Half. There exists some sort of undefined gap. Ergo: first-half Millennials have the now-responsibility of redefining the ’30’s. … You’re welcome second-half Millennials. 
    • Analogy: First-half Millennials are doing to the ’30’s what Gen X-ers did for the ’20’s.
    • Cultural Proof: Wait for #1 to come out … . Okay, but to tease: Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012. Social Media transitioned from a tool, to the foundations. From a trend, to the convention. … If you don’t Social Media … you don’t socialize. … Oh, and the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008. Many people { me! } from the 1st half of this generation graduated college at this time. Many from the 2nd half weathered high school and graduated college, say, five years later in 2012, during an economic recovery. { Hey — it wasn’t a Boom or a Bull, but it was significantly better than ’07. }
    • Explanation: You know, the times — they keep changing! First-Half Millennials are now responsible, like Gen X-ers. We have the onus of redefining the ’30’s … before it’s even given credit and context.
    • The Bubble Effect: This is Barbara Ellen terminology, + when this post goes viral { never }, I want full credit for that term.

… Picture a bubble. Now picture a bubble being made. It takes a hella lot more energy to blow the bubble, then to rest comfortably inside of it… Like Gen X-ers, First Half Millennials are blowing the hell out of this bubble. To redefine what the Weirdo ’30’s is.

  • Logic Proof: So —
    1. IF Baby Boomers had the Teen Years to Party + { try to } establish a Personal Identity, AND if Gen X-er’s redefined The Twenties to Party + { try to } establish a Personal Identity … THEN it follows, such that First-Half Millennials redefine the next sequential generation: The Thirties. To — what? — you ask: to ….
      • That’s the problem … and what I hope to resolve through this Post Series. That’s the crux!
    2. First-Half Millennials are to Second-Half Millennials as Gen X-ers are to all Millennials.
      • Gen X-er’s redefined the ’20’s, and paved the way for all Millennials to have this “Emerging Adulthood” context. First-Half Millennials are paving the way for Second-Half Millennials to have some sort of evolved context for their ’30’s.

(pic: i.e. of puppies or something to calm — { post -edit : this never happened . click link instead . } )

27. “Dirty Thirty.” … I don’t get it.

Etymology behind that? Urban Dictionary has not helped to clarify.

26. Milestones. Lemme break it down:

  1. ‘Tweens have 13. { Or something like that … they’re young, so proportionally to their age, 1 milestone is enough }.
  2. Spolied-ass Adolescents have: 15, 16, 18. { But you still can’t drink legally, so there losers. }
  3. Twenty-somethings have: 21, 25 … and the entire decade of their ’20’s. { Seriously, get to know yourself: be young, be wild/dope, be free … in the words of the great Lana del Rey (apologies for her #culturalappropriation / #culturalappropriatetrigger / #culturalappropriatewarning) … and in more than 1 of her songs. }
  4. WTF do ’30-somethings get? … { Dirty Thirty? … No. }

I used to negotiate this by prescribing to both the tacit + also extolled fact that, ’30’s are the best years of your life!, and, You figure it all out in your ’30’s. … But that some BS.

Hence: First Half Millennials pave the way / redefine / Bubble Effect this-ish.

25. Mental Visualization. … Can anyone actually picture their ’30’s?

I can’t. It’s some cloudy, obscure bubble. Which really worries me. I’m quite visual. I could always picture my teens and twenties. { Duh, because a) teens are so conventionally defied by high school and college and b) because antithesis of #28: they got     w   i   d   e    TV/film representation. Shout-out to “Broad City.” Werk. } … I can even picture my ’40’s, ’50’s, ’60’s, etc.. But ’30’s? Nope. I’m going to need some Virgil to get me through this faceless limbo cloud.

24. BuzzFeed. Am I your audience … or nah. Because: I know the ’90’s quite effortlessly. But also … this. And this. … And also, finally, this.

23. If not BuzzFeed, then … ? I’m not sure. { That’s the point! }

Then, what, PopSugar? I am not that old yet. >> It’s a formatting thing. <<  Like, get that professional-sleek-basic style outta my face. And I refuse to be pushed into thinking I’m that old { read: put together } because Society — and therefore Pop Culture — hasn’t figured it out yet, either.

22. Snapchat is causing an Existential Crisis. Not required to Snapchat, yes.

As a ’30-something, it’s completely normal + appropriate + perhaps looked-up upon if I never once SnapChat, in my life?? Not to say it’s wrong if you do SC { or whatever the “fleek” kids are saying } as a ’30-something. I look up to you, if you do: for you have evolved; you have kept with the times. Am I Luddite because I haven’t, and don’t want to?? In the words { not true } of Henry David Thoreau: What the f even is my life.

“To be awake is to be alive,” -Thoreau, “Walden” … #nonsequitor

21. Redefining the ’30’s. The ’30’s aren’t something past. They’re something new.

The ’30’s require us to do, essentially, the impossible. Create New Matter.

First, let’s recap. The ’30’s hold a complex duality: They are —

  • Economically Like the ’20’s. They’re similar to post-Baby Boomer ’20’s in the sense that — largely for economical reasons — many ’30-somethings are just beginning to establish financial independence, and — either ergo or by no causation at all — many of us aren’t committed to marriages and/or children … AND
  • Socially Unlike the ’20’s. They’re dissimilar to post-Baby Boomer ’20’s in the sense that — it’s still pretty widely accepted that ain’t nobody a “real,” functioning “adult” if they’re partying in their ’30’s, they way many of us >> galavanted << in our ’20’s. Now, you’re just the Wooderson of our generation.

So … What are ’30-somethings supposed to accomplish? What are our benchmarks? What defines our decade??

It seems all to be quite nebulous. Things like:

  • Harnessing an Identity
  • Honing your Voice
  • Furthering a Career

Don’t get me wrong. I love Core Values. I love non-material, internal — as opposed to external — things. I Prioritize them as the Highest Values in my Life. … And, yet I’m still confused. Gah!!!

Brain / Life Cramp.

{ That’s it for now, foo’s. Tune in for Pt. II + Pt. III — it only get’s less academic + way more relatable, so — talk soon. }

#shoplocal
{ because , always }

#30sareweird

#af

X.

Film + Feminism: The Contender.

{ Kickboxing at UMAC, formerly on Monroe Ave in Brighton, and now on School St in Victor. Check us out Wednesdays + Saturdays! }

FILM + FEMINISM

THE CONTENDER

FREEDOM FROM OPPRESSION

{ This is a #shoplocal blog + today’s Week Wrap-Up post is not about shopping local. Certainly, with Fashion Week of Rochester having been this week and the Boutique Crawl today, it could be. But, more than anything The Shop Local Campaign, is also about sustainability. And with sustainability, empowerment. Today’s post is about empowerment. }

The Contender is a 2000 film with Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Gary Oldman, and Sam Elliott. It’s a political film. About electing a woman to the vice-presidency. It’s also the first film that’s ever really made me understand the need–the dire need–for representation of empowered women in mainstream media.

 3 REASONS TO WATCH

1. Inspiring Leadership in the President – In my lifetime, I’ve not been inspired by 1 president we’ve had. Not one. It’s disappointing, if not shameful. For one – Why is Bill Clinton the hero? And Monica Lewinsky the demon mistress?? Even Barbara Walters made fun of her, and that girl-on-girl–woman-on-woman–bashing has shaped me. I want to extricate it. Additionally, I REFUSE to let my presidential inspiration be a man who allowed his secretary to go down for him … and I mean that he let her take the blame.

Jeff Bridges for president. Or at least the character he plays here. (Or maybe even The Dude. I’m not sure.) What I do want is a president who is:

  • strong
  • brilliant
  • unafraid
  • in it for 1 term (and if the 2nd follows – okay fucking great)
  • and who is the truest bluest leader I will have ever laid eyes on.

This is what I want.

2. Challenged Me to Face Sexist Assumptions – In spite of the above, I am pretty liberal. At least in respect to human rights. In fact, while watching this film, I paused twice to pen the below 2 pieces on Tumblr:

I very clearly believe in women’s rights, feminism, and human rights in general. Because I believe in human rights, I absolutely strive to uncover my own prejudices. Here are a few the film helped me to unearth:

a.) 1st Scene where we meet Laine – She’s having sex with her husband.

  • My assumption: “She’s going to be the slutty female politician of this film.”
  • What this reveals:

i. A woman having sex in a film has to be a slut … Especially a woman of power.

ii. A female politician in a film who is feminized … has to be a slut.

The film challenges this in a wholly believable way, throughout, by leaveing both the audience and characters in doubt before reaching resolution.

3. Continued to Challenge me to Face Sexist Assumptions – Laine is accused of engaging in a “gang bang” while in college.

Pause. Throughout all literature in all cultures throughout all time, that is the ultimate heroine downfall. A one-way ticket to you’re-fucking-done.

a). No credibility. No grace. No intellect. No decorum.

b). Having unmarried sex–let alone “deviant” sex–might as well equate death.

c). The woman’s expected to atone.

d). Which just means she’s permitted to live in society. Not that she’ll actually get all of “a” back.

{SPOILER}

Laine does not atone. She does not apologize. She refuses to explain. Further, she does not blame or sling-mud. And you question it! You will question it. (Or, at least I did.) And good. That is the best thing you can do. So long as you can reconcile any doubts you have or any short-comings you realize about your own insights and,

instead of projecting your discomfort and doubts onto something else, look inside, dig real deep, be a fucking strong adult, and grow from it.

This film also has good acting. Just in case you need another reason to watch.

* * *

This film actually made me feel safe. Safe to be an empowered, sexually liberated, intellectual woman.

I’ve felt it crack. That shell we wear as women that compels us to harbor shame and resentment and doubt. I feel it cracking, and after watching this film, it actually feels easier to breathe. … This is what freedom from oppression feels like.

I want more mainstream media like this. I crave it.

#humanrights

#empowerment

XO.

Shop Local. The Real Barbara Ellen.

BARBARA ELLEN LOVES SHOP LOCAL.

BARBARA ELLEN LOVES ROCHESTER, NY.

PERSONAL BIO

Below is a personal bio I wrote about myself and emailed on April 10, 2014. It tells about who I am, where I come from, and why I love Shop Local + Rochester, NY.

EMAIL – SENT APRIL 10, 2014

Nothing about me, Barbara Ellen, has been, is, or ever will be typical. With a name like Barbara Ellen, born in the mid-80’s when everyone else had pretty-girl-names like Stephanie or Christina, how can you? Add tightly wound curls, bunions (yes…developed early on), a voice that lisps and that knows no decibel limit, add all of this to a young girl, from the hood, who attends Catholic school, and what do you have?

You have a dreamer. You have an innovator. You have a doer. You have an old soul with fresh vision. What you have what is not so typical. I am not your typical Barbara Ellen.

Where I Have Seen

I grew up in the Beachwood Neighborhood of Rochester, NY. The first decade of my life I played kickball in the street and 500 with the big boys, got bullied by the big girls, pretended to play school during the sweltering summer heat, made whirl-pools in plastic pools that collapsed, dreaded every single second of the Catholic school I walked to and from each and everyday since Kindergarten, and, when old enough, I waked, proudly, around the corner, to a tiny store on Culver then named Romano’s though there no more, and, with the rest of the city kids, I saved pennies and quarters to buy pizza by the slices. I loved living on Hazelwood Terrace in the city of Rochester. It’s my forever badge. But I hated that, until we moved into the public school system, I never knew I was smart. I never knew I was smart until, at Iroquois Middle School in West Irondequoit, in the middle of the 5th grade, I never knew I was smart until the meanest teacher told me I was smart. In 6th grade, when middle school ended, I never received the President’s Award because I didn’t take the proper state exams while attending Catholic School, and when everyone else received the Principal’s Award, I didn’t because my grades far surpassed the standards. By 7, I knew ignorance. By 12, I understood injustice. Everything I’ve done since has combatted both.

Advocacy and empowerment. I analyzed English Literature in undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh and Irish Literature while studying abroad at University College Cork in Ireland. I studied pedagogy, multicultural, and special education while obtaining my Master’s at Teachers College, Columbia and finally Nazareth College of Rochester, from whence I graduated in 2010 (sic). [Clarification: Master’s Coursework studied at TC: 1 semester completed. Graduated from Naz.] Am I a professional writer? Not yet… Am I a classroom teacher? Absolutely not. Even when they should, advocacy and empowerment don’t always follow professions. Advocacy and empowerment do follow vision. Advocacy and empowerment follow action. When I found teaching unjust, I left. When I found banking lucrative though corrupt, I left (as quick as I could). As an educator who is also a writer with a keen business sense, I now work for the NYS Department of Labor in conjunction with the non-profit RochesterWorks. Truly, I help Rochester—all of Rochester–get back to work. As a writer for my blog Barbara Ellen Shops Local, I turn consumerism into activism.

What I Foresee

The Shop Local Campaign in Rochester, NY is sustainability. Shop Local is sustainable for entrepreneurs. Shop Local is sustainable for community development. Shop Local is sustainable for cultural identity. Shop Local is sustainable for individual budgets. Shop Local is sustainable because it preservers local talent and nurtures sustained growth. As initiator of the Shop Local Campaign in Rochester, NY, I will make sustainable our cultural identity and economy by turning consumerism into activism.

According to Go Buy Rochester, an equaTEK Interactive initiative and online Shop Local oasis for Rochester, The Multiplier Effect reveals that, “every dollar spent with a locally owned merchant has three times the impact of a dollar spent at a big box store.” With The Shop Local Campaign, I help Rochester make shopping local a daily lifestyle. By promoting, marketing, interviewing, and providing links to local Rochester business owners, artisans, publications, and bloggers, I connect our community of Rochester to the everyday ways we can realize our city. Shopping is a highly personal construct. The Shop Local Campaign shifts engrained ideas and practices to empower Rochesterians to make convenient, affordable, unique choices they otherwise would have ignored due to habit. Not due to money or choice or critical consciousness. Due to habit. Habit is changeable. Critical consciousness is essential. Empowering Rochester means advocating for Rochester. Through the Shop Local Campaign, this is what I do for the city that has given me and continues to give so much.

This is what I’ve always done. I just do it in a Not So Typical Way.

Where I Will Be

On January 1, 2006, New Years Day, I left America to start a new life—a study abroad life—in Ireland. Cork, Ireland. Alone. I left by myself, boarded a plane, traveled to Europe, rode a bus with several other American students, many of who already knew each other from college or from home, and I—luggage lost—embarked upon this new journey. Alone. Eight years later, I’m still best friends with three of the most amazing women I’ll ever meet. While we bonded almost immediately, traveling to live and study abroad in Ireland, by myself, is one of the bravest moves I will make.

And still, it compares nothing to the culture shock I experienced upon moving from the city of Rochester to the suburbs of West Irondequoit before I started the 5th grade. Nothing.

Suburban life has never been much for me. Dodging the social circles of soccer moms and dads and relishing their trailer that sits in a trailer park along the shores of Lake Ontario with a bunch of other trailers: I don’t think suburban life is much for my parents either. Unconventional. This is the fiber of my genes. I have grown up in a unconventional family. I will always live an unconventional life. Not to be different. Not to be separate. But because—understanding, analyzing, questioning–I am in constant conversation with society. While I relish and almost worship a routine, I cannot stand to be stationary within society.

I mentioned my parent’s trailer. Modest doesn’t begin to describe this small hunk of metal, which rests not even on wheels. A wooden deck built around the front that looks upon Lake Ontario is the grandest thing about it, and even these roots are humble. This trailer is minimal. If unconventional drives me, minimal sustains me.

No matter the success I reach, I will always live minimally and consciously. Sustainably.  A micro-home on a flatbed that travels the US. Well-made, locally crafted and/or sourced clothing and food and household items: only those I need. These are my material dreams. From Pittsburgh to Cork, Ireland to Manhattan to Rochester, of the myriad of apartments and spaces I’ve lived in, the studios have always suited me best. A 5th floor walk-up on the Upper West Side of New York with 1 open room for kitchen, bedroom, living room, and office or its equivalent in Rochester, where I live off of Park Ave. For me, meaning and consciousness in smallness is true luxury.

Five to 10 years from now? Home ownership—convention—is not the goal. Five to 10 years from now? My goal is to influence my community and my city that have given me so much. Five to 10 years from now? Shop Local is already a way of life for most of Rochester and the Greater Area. Five to 10 years from now? I’m a published writer. Local and national and, once the memoir comes out, internationally.

Beyond 10 years from now? This is almost easier for me. Beyond 10 years from now, my life’s work, will be advocating. For mental health. For mental health rights. For a voice in the mental health world. Beyond 10 years from now, I will be purveying sustainability and shop local, and I will be changing the face of how society perceives mental health in this country. Probably other countries. The only thing that’s not changed about me? Unconventionality.

There is no other way I want to be or dream.

Now, Rochester, you know even more about me. Barbara Ellen. The Real Barbara Ellen.

And if there’s 1 thing you need to know about me for sure, it is this:

ADVOCACY

I am an advocate. I work hard to create spaces where everyone has voice. I work hard to empower everyone to exercise this voice.

I do not have a boyfriend. I do not have a husband. I do not have children. I do not have pets. I do not have a best friend.

I have my writing. I have Rochester, NY. I have Shop Local. And that is all.

#TheRealShopLocal

#TheRealRochester

#shoplocal

#ROCsteady

XO.