love

Roller derby love – we need your help!

I need your help.

For those of you who have read my blog at all, you know that since I moved to Washington I’ve struggled to make friends. It’s just not something I’m good at. Last May I joined a roller derby league. I’ve never been an active person, I’ve never been on a team, never played a sport.
It was an entirely spontaneous decision. And I can’t express to you how happy it made me.

I skate three times a week with strong, intelligent, fearless women, who encourage me and serve as an example of the bad-assery I hope to achieve. (It’s a word. I promise.)
Playing roller derby is the best decision I’ve made since moving to Washington. It keeps me active – I am constantly surprised at how amazing my body is, which makes my self confidence sky rocket – and it surrounds me with friends. This sport and these people are the best part of my week.

Now. We are the only (as far as I know) league in our area that have our own practice space where we can hold bouts – complete with locker rooms and concessions and a beer garden.
And we might lose it. We are struggling to bring in what it takes to keep our Skateway up and running. The thought of losing our facility breaks my heart, this is the only derby home I’ve ever known.

We have two fundraisers, for 20.96 you can purchase a fucking snazzy-ass t-shirt here

(Pretty cool, designed by our own rollergirl, Classless Chaps)

If you don’t want to spend that much, or don’t want a t-shirt, we have a GoFundMe campaign. And trust me- EVERYTHING helps. Two, five, ten dollars. EVERYTHING.

This is me, Mellory Noelle, begging you to help us save our Skateway. We need you.

Xx Mell

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Short, angry, and a little comical.

Really fast post from my phone. I just read someone’s rant about the whole labiaplasty craze, and wanted to add my outrage.

Because seriously.

What
The
Fuck.

Stop comparing yourself to other women, stop comparing your body to porn stars, JUST STOP.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

YOUR VAGINA LOOKS THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO.

And for god’s sake, men (or anybody without a vagina) if you ever see a vagina and are like “wait, that looks wrong” just remember, you’re wrong. If it’s there, that’s how it’s supposed to look. Genitals are funky looking. Have you looked at a penis? Ever? They’re kind of goofy looking, let’s be real.

Stop being ridiculous.
You’re beautiful.
Nothing is wrong with your labia.
Promise.

As someone who’s struggled a lot with wondering whether or not my body looks “normal”, I get so angry when I hear about these kinds of fads.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
SO IS YOUR LABIA.
STOP HACKING BITS OFF.

I love you.

Xx mellory

I found stillness

In this craziness
Of bustling and movement;
Of constant reminders gusting around me,
Tugging and whispering “go, go, go”

In this madness of life and confusion
Of indecisiveness, anxiety;
Of self doubt and self hate,
Of gale-storm winds of society telling me I’m not quite there,
To not stop
Never stop
Keep moving
Always moving
Always going
Billions of nagging thoughts constantly pulling me in every direction,
Demanding my attention
Demanding I nurture it, solve it, remove it,

In this chaos of the world that surrounds me,
Seven billion people moving,
Laughing
Talking
Eating
Singing
Loving
Hating
Living
Crying

I found stillness
In your breath.

Today, this feels like home.

I spent most of my first few months up here in Washington incredibly depressed. At first I wallowed in my home-sickness, and all I wanted to do was go back to Utah and my old life — even though the very thought made me want to start crying all over again. I went from there to spending a lot of time inside my head, running circles around every thought or idea I had until I was dizzy and wished I could just turn my brain off, but learning a lot about myself in the process. About what I wanted, where I wanted to be, and why I wasn’t happy. Slowly, I became okay with things. Just okay. It was what it was, and I wasn’t going to let it get me down anymore. When I started working at Panera I was happy just be working with people again. Slowly things have started getting better, and I don’t know if it’s because my perspective has changed, because my life is changing, or a mixture of both. I do know I’m happier now than I’ve been in a long time, and not that ‘happy but waiting for it to end’ kind of happy. I feel like I’m truly happy. I am here, this is now, and I’m enjoying the moment.

We had a birthday at work a few days ago. I don’t really know the guy very well, but he’s nice to me, and he’s funny. Someone had bought him a cheesecake from the grocery store, and we all gathered in the back and surprised him with it while singing ‘happy birthday’ to him. Everyone was smiling, and in that moment, in those eleven seconds that it took us to sing to him, this felt like home.

After we sang, everyone dispersed and went back to work, but that stuck with me for some reason. It was a moment of unity and love. I felt like I was part of something, and it meant a lot to me. It’s something I haven’t felt since I moved up here, and I didn’t even realize how much I missed it.

xxmellory

So Much Bigger On The Inside

I was on the YouTubes earlier listening to the song “Dear Daily Mail” by Amanda Palmer (great fucking song, although don’t watch it at work), when I saw a song I’d never heard before called “Bigger on The Inside”. I was intrigued because A) It had the possibility of being a Doctor Who reference and B) I thought I’d heard most of her music. Expecting something cheerful or joking or just fun and goofy with an awesome underlying message, I clicked the video. 

Eight minutes later and I was crying. 

This song caught me off guard completely, and even though I know it’s about her personal experiences, and I know that I don’t know her or her life or what she’s been through, I connected with this song on a level that surprised me. I think most people who hear it will. 

We’ve all been made small. We’ve all been taken advantage of. We’ve all been hurt. We’ve all had to find a way to keep fighting, even when we have no idea how we’re going to.

“You are bigger on the inside, but your father cannot see. You need to tell someone, be strong, and somewhere some dumb rock-star truly loves you.”

This line, although in the song directed at someone who wrote her a letter, just… got me. You are bigger on the inside. People may not see it. They will hurt you. They will insult you. They will try to tear away everything you love. You are bigger on the inside. Be strong, and somewhere some dumb rock-star truly loves you. 

I’ve been there, you’ve been there. Whether it seems small or monumental. That moment when you think “I can’t. I can’t fight anymore. I can’t be strong anymore.”

That moment when you’ve been crushed and defeated to the very core of your being. When you can’t find the beauty anymore. You can’t find the point anymore. They’ve taken your sense of control, they’ve taken your sense of worth.

“We are so much much bigger on the inside, you, me, everybody. Someday when you’re lying where I am you’ll finally get it, beauty. We are so much bigger than another one can ever see, but trying is the point of life, so don’t stop trying. Promise me.”

xxx with love. 

-Mellory. 

Listen to the song here: 

What are your thoughts? Feel free to start some discussions in the comments.

…Pubic Hair and All

Earlier today one of my FB friends posted this article about setting the pubes free:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/19/year-of-the-bush-female-body-hair-cameron-diaz-pubic

I read it, loved it, and shared it proudly. I didn’t expect anybody to comment on it or say anything negative. I thought if anything they’d be a little embarrassed and skip over it. But I got some surprising responses, such as “Gross!” and “I manage my hair unless the female likes it, it’s not society fully, it’s just that generally people don’t like hair, if I wanted hair rubbing up on me id make love to a burly man.” and “in my experience people too lazy to trim and care [are] usually too lazy to shower..” and from the same guy, after talking about how having pubic hair makes you smell bad, “Now listen to the professionals please.”

The professionals, eh?

Because you, sir, surely are the all-knowing when it comes to female bodies.

Now don’t get me wrong, I respect everybody’s right to like what they like. Be it shaved, trimmed, bald as a baby’s bottom, shaped into stars and hearts, whatever. I don’t care, it’s your body.

What gets to me is when people start talking about how disgusting body hair is, how dirty it is, how people with body hair don’t take care of themselves.

Because that is straight up and down utter and complete bullshit.

Like it says in the article linked above:

“Before the first world war, virtually no American woman shaved her legs. By 1964, 98% of women under the age of 44 did so. Before that war, underarm hair was not a cosmetic consideration. Fashions up to that point, while often clingy and form revealing, covered up most of a woman’s skin. But female fashions became ostensibly freer, and Gillette’s first razor for women came out in 1915, triggering aggressive advertising campaigns on behalf of more than a dozen “beauty” companies. Female body hair was suddenly deemed unsightly.

The capitalist drive to convince us that female body hair is unnatural and unclean has been alarmingly successful. The removal industry is worth millions, and uncountable women are ashamed of and distressed by their post-pubescent hair. But the industry is greedy. It must now convince the world that female pubic hair is dirty too.”

1915, my friends. 1915. How long as the world been around? How long have women been growing body hair? Newsflash: It’s a long longer than one hundred years. 

Not only are we told by the beauty industry that we need to be hair-less, but porn has also been an influence. According to some of my older acquaintances, seventies porn was all about the bush, but once the eighties hit it was all hairless, all the time. Unfortunately between porn’s ridiculous and unrealistic standards and the push from the beauty industry, women start to feel like they’re abnormal if they let their body hair grow wild and free — and I don’t just mean your lady-garden. I’m talking armpits, legs, and with some women, even arms. There’s this idea, like the dipshit from my FB said, that if you don’t shave, trim, wax, epilate, and pluck your way to pre-pubescent hairlessness you’re lazy and probably don’t shower.

What the fuck, guys?

Before I get into the whole “Men don’t have to do it, why should we?” I’ll take a little pit-stop over in “Why the fuck do we keep it going?”

I shaved my down yonder once. That’s right, once. The razor burn and itching that appeared the next day was enough to convince me I was done with that. Never again, no thanks, bye. Jesus Christ it was awful, and the idea of what it would take to maintain that shiny, hairlessly smooth porno vibe? Vom-canoes. I don’t know about you guys, but I do not have time every day to rid myself of every unruly hair.

A couple of years after my horrible shaving incident, I had a partner that was surprised to find I had pubic hair. I told him that I was willing to keep it nice and trim for him, but I wasn’t shaving it bald. It’s my body, and I don’t believe in doing something so incredibly uncomfortable just because someone can’t get over a little hair. He would nag me non-stop about it. For 2 1/2 years.

So to answer the question “Why the fuck do we keep it going?”

I think it has to do with keeping up with what we think/know our partners expect from us. Which to me just seems silly. Your partner should be with you because they like you, hair or no hair. Your partner should be able to respect whatever decision you choose to make concerning your body hair. If you’re comfortable shaving it all, shave it all, if you don’t give a shit and let it grow, let it grow for god’s sake. Don’t let society, the beauty industry, porn, your partner, me, your neighbor, celebrities or anybody else in this crazy world dictate what you do with your body. It’s your body. Not your parents’, not your pastor’s, not your doctor’s, not your partner’s, not God’s, yours. Own it. Pluck it, shave it, grow it, braid it, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we accept people for whatever decisions they make. Body hair isn’t gross. It’s not dirty, it’s not smelly, it’s not laziness. Whatever you choose to do with your body hair just don’t buy into the bullshit.

Because you, my friend, are beautiful. Pubic hair and all.

 

 

Feel free to comment, discuss, send hate mail, whatever floats your boat. 

Residence: Planet Earth

One thing I’ve really struggled with over the past year or so is the fact that I’m twenty years old and have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I used to think I had it all figured out, you know? I was going to graduate high school, get student loans and go to college for culinary arts, graduate before the age of twenty-four, then open my own coffee shop/ bakery. So far I have completed… none of that. 

Well, kind of. 

I got my GED about a month into my junior year of high school, not because I was giving up on school or because I was stupid, but because I was struggling a lot with depression and anxiety, and it was destroying my academic performance. Everything was going down hill and there was absolutely no way I was going to graduate on time unless I started putting my back into it right this minute. The therapist I was seeing at the time convinced me that getting my GED would be the best plan of action for me, and that most colleges and employers weren’t so uptight about people having “just a GED” and not a high school diploma. It sounded like a great idea, and honestly, for me at the time, it was the best thing I could have done. I know for a fact that I would have continued to struggle in school and probably would have ended up getting my GED somewhere down the road anyway. 

After I got my GED I gave myself a year to just kind of fuck around, I didn’t do much at all in that year, but the next year I started University. I was so proud of myself. Seventeen and heading off to University. I could be done with all of my schooling by the time I’m 21. But then reality set it and I realized that school was school, and I was treating University the same way I treated high school. I almost completed a year, but near the end of my second semester I got a job, stopped going to class, and went to England. Which I don’t regret one bit, I loved that trip so much, and being out of the country made me realize how much I dislike the whole American way of thinking and living. You can’t help but have a load of self-discovery hit you in the chest when you live on your own in a different country for a month. 

When I returned state-side, I got a job and went to work paying off the 5,500 dollars I now owed in student loans. This didn’t bother me — I felt like it was just they way life goes. You borrow a shit-load of money to (in my case not) go to school, then you pay it back over the rest of your life. I didn’t really think about going back to school, I really wanted to pay back the loans I already had out before I returned, instead of just piling on the debt. 

I lived like that happily until I went to Ireland this last autumn. While I was in Ireland and Scotland I met a crew of amazing people, all my age or a few years older. But the more I talked to them the more worthless and depressed about my life I started to feel. We’d be sitting around talking and eventually the question would come up: “So what do you do at home?” 

The majority of the answers ranged from “I’ve got a prestigious job” to “I’m working on an impressive degree that will get me a prestigious career” and sometimes bled into “I have both an impressive degree and a prestigious career”. 

My answer made me want to cry. 

“I’m not going to school, I quit my job just before coming on holiday, and when I get back I’m packing up all my shit and moving to Washington state.” 

I felt like it translated to “I’m twenty years old and doing absolutely nothing worthwhile with my life.” 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I love that I’ve grown up without the restraints of ‘I can’t’ that so many people seem to have. I would happily live through my twenties and into my thirties working, saving, and traveling. I don’t care if I live in a small apartment, I don’t care if I’m renting for the rest of my life. I don’t care if I don’t have a lot of stuff; I’d rather not have a lot. Things drag me down. Things make it hard to move around. I love traveling, I love meeting people. I love being able to tell people that I’m twenty and I’ve sent myself to England, Scotland, Wales (twice) and Ireland. I am proud of the fact that I know without a doubt that I can go wherever I want in the world. I love having the freedom of mind to be able to leave everything on a whim and move 900 miles to somewhere that doesn’t guarantee anything. 

Name: Mellory Noelle

Residence: Planet Earth. 

Addresses are for people with no imagination; the world is my home, nothing can stop me, nothing can sink me, nothing can bring me down from loving who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I’m headed. 

And yet talking to all of these people, people in their twenties like me, that seemed to have all of their shit figured out… It planted this horrible seed of “What the hell am I doing?” into my heart. 

Most days the fact that I don’t have a high school diploma doesn’t bother me one bit. In fact, I’m kind of proud of the fact that at sixteen I not only passed, but did incredibly well on (I scored above the 80th percentile in all areas, my lowest score being a 680. You need a 480 to pass in any section), a test that essentially said I’d learned everything I was expected to learn in high school, and I missed over half of my sophomore year. I kind of felt like it was a kind of a big ‘fuck you’ to societal norms and our flawed school system. Usually it doesn’t bother me that I dropped out of University after not even a full year. After all, I am only twenty. These are my party years, I’m young and have time and energy, shouldn’t I be using that to do what I want and figure out who I am?

I tried to fight this seed of uneasiness, but after moving up here it really hit me. 

“What the hell am I doing?”

Who would want to hire me?

Who would want to date me?

I felt like I’d wasted my schooling; I wished I could go back and try that again — graduate high school early, get my associates degree. 

Name: Mellory Noelle, high school drop out, college drop out.

From the time we start school we’re told that we need to go to college. That’s just what you do. You grow up, go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, and grow old. We’re groomed to believe that we should be spending our young, vibrant years in classrooms, accruing debt, and in offices, building our retirement, and then, once we’ve schooled, borrowed, and worked our way through the years, if we’re lucky in our old age, we can travel and have fun. 

I’ve always thought of myself as different, as someone who could think for myself instead of accepting what I was told was ‘the way’. But after being in Washington, alone and friendless, I began to wonder.

Would my life be better if I had a college degree? Would I be happier if I’d stuck to “the plan”? If I’d just agreed to what I was told my life should be? 

It took me a bit, but now I can happily say this: Bull. Shit. 

Sure, I’ll never make the most money, I may never be able to tell people about my impressive degree and prestigious career. 

But I won’t be caged by hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. 

I won’t be strapped into a job that I hate, working to live and living to work. I’ll never wish I’d taken the time to live while I had the chance. I’ll be creating laugh lines instead of worry-wrinkles, I’ll be embracing my vibrant youth while I’m young and mobile. I will be able to say when I’m old that I grabbed life by the balls, and I hung on for all it was worth it, and goddamn, it was a good ride. I’ll have stories to tell my children and my grandchildren about all of the places I went, all of the people I met, and all of the things I did. I’ll have a collection of photographs and souvenirs documenting me living the life I love and loving the life I’ve lived. 

And I will never, ever, forget how much I love this life I’ve made. 

Name: Mellory Noelle

Residence: Planet Earth

The world is my home, nothing can stop me, nothing can sink me, nothing can bring me down from loving who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I’m headed. 

Simply Rambling (a four a.m. post about religion)

I believe in love. I believe in equality. I believe in acceptance. I believe in beauty.

I do not believe in a God that condemns whole groups of people. I do not believe in teaching people to fear doing wrong, but instead in promoting love and the joy it brings.

Promoting love changes every aspect of your life. We’ve all heard the stories before, about the person who has nothig and yet finds something to give to someone in need. It’s that kind of selfless love I believe in. And love begets love. When you do something selfless for someone the love inside you will grow, and your self-love will grow. When you look at someone and find the beauty in them, your inner glow shines through a little bit more. When you accept others completely, without judgement, your acceptance for your true self grows.

I’m sick of being told I need religion; stop shoving God down my throat, because most of what I see in his followers are generations of people raised to fear and bigotry.

Raised to be afraid of exploring other lifestyles. Raised to be afraid of even accepting other lifestyles.

I don’t mind if you’re religious, I don’t care if you believe in a god – or several gods. What you believe in is your decision, just please, live and let live. Love and let love. Accept people for who they are, find the beauty in every person. Stop patronizing me; I don’t need saving or celestial grace.

This world is enough for me, this life is enough for me. I don’t need the promise of eternal life to have happiness. Simply knowing that I can bring joy to others and spread love is enough for me.

Be good to yourself, be good to others, be good to the earth.

Call me simple, call me stupid, but there’s no room for judgement and hate in our world.

Find the beauty, spread the love.

A Simple 2013

I guess I’ll jump on the year-end round-up bandwagon. (With pictures!)

2013..

Jesus. Kind of a crazy year.

I went through a lot of self-discovery this year.

Like I discovered that I’m actually a really rad person. I discovered that I’m actually really happy without a boyfriend and I don’t need someone that always brings me down. (He used to tell me that I’d have a great ass if I’d just work out a little more).

In 2013 I went on a family vacation to Disney Land over Valentines Day (a stupid holiday) and discovered that my nephew’s got that shit covered better than my ex did.

The Valentine my nephew gave me. (he’s four) 

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In May of 2013 I broke up with the guy I’d been dating for 2 1/2 years. I don’t regret it at all. (Although he keeps trying to convince me that I’m in some sort of denial and am actually miserable and will wake up one day and realize how much I miss him). (He’s wrong.)

In July my friend and I went on a random, penniless vacation to California. It was probably the highlight of my summer. I called her at about eight o’ clock on a Wednesday night and said “Zie, we’re going to California. Pack some food, I’ll be there in twenty minutes.” Half an hour later we were on the road.

The sunrise while we drove. 

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We called up some friends and crashed at their place in Clovis for a couple of nights before taking my car and camping in it on the beach. Which is the coolest thing I’ve ever done. We were able to drive our car onto the beach, park it, and sleep in it. We ate dinner sitting on top of my Santa Fe, watching the sun go down over the ocean. It was beautiful. I also built my first ever sand castle. It was awful, and I loved it.

Dinner on top of the car.

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Of course, on our way home we ran out of money, and then gas. We ended up being stuck over night in Baker, California until someone could wire us some money to get home. If you’ve never been to Baker, don’t. It’s an armpit, and way too hot. It was the best road trip I’ve ever been on.

In August I quit my job and went to Ireland, Scotland and Wales with my mum. It was amazing. I made so many friends, and learned what it’s like to wake up and still be drunk. I kissed the Blarney Stone:

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And tried Guiness for the first time. Which as far as beers go is actually not too bad. We stayed in what felt like a million hostels, which was super fun, and I found that Dublin is my favorite city that I’ve ever visited.

The sunset over the Liffey

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In Scotland I got proposed to by an Irishman one drunken night. I wish I’d have said yes.

Edinburgh Castle

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In Wales we met up with a friend of ours. One evening we chased the sunset so we could watch it go down over some cliffs on the coast.

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When I got back into the US, I packed everything into my car and moved to Washington. Which is where we started this blog.

And that, friends, has been my 2013.

It was a good year, after about May. I made tons of amazing friends overseas and had tons of fun experiences with friends here at home.

Cheers to next year and the opportunities it brings.

Simply Ranting (a four a.m. post about feminism)

I wouldn’t call myself a feminist.

But I do believe we live in a society where the pressure for women to look and act a certain way is much heavier than that put on men. I do believe we live in a society where instead of teaching our little boys that ‘no means no’ and to respect women, no matter what they look like, we teach our girls to cover up their bodies and that it’s their responsibility to protect themselves from rape or sexual abuse, then shrug our shoulders and say “boys will be boys”. I believe we live in a society where men are congratulated and encouraged to have as much sex as possible, but when a woman does the same she’s branded as a slut and becomes a target for slut-shaming, when we as women should not feel ashamed about our sexuality. Slut is a socially constructed idea to bring down women that fight this double standard. I believe we live in a society where the doctors and politicians calling the shots are men who have no real interest in or idea of how complicated and beautiful the female body is. I believe we live in a society where you are cast out, judged, and looked down on if you step outside of the normal gender roles. I believe that we are not treated equally.

“But Mellory, women can vote and have impressive careers and go to school and own land. Where is the inequality?”

It’s in the fact that women are expected to shave their legs, their pubic hair, their armpits. It’s in the fact that men are more likely to be hired for that impressive job. It’s in the high percentage of women who get sexually harassed on a daily basis; it’s in the numbers if women who are raped and told they deserve it. It’s in the taboo surrounding women’s sexuality. It’s in the fact that birth control and abortion access are still being debated; that my body is in the hands of a politician that doesn’t think I have the right to decide. It’s in the companies that pay women less than men.

I don’t hate men. But I do think being treated differently because I don’t have a penis is outdated and overrated.

We are all beautiful and worthwhile, men and women alike, and deserve to be treated as such.

Worth doesn’t discriminate based on sex, gender affiliation, race, social status, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, height, weight, body hair, etc. You are worth it.

If that makes me a feminist, then I guess that’s that.