"Uteruses before duderuses."
It’s possibly Leslie Knope’s most notable moment of genius. And it’s my new motto. Let me explain why…
My life has been a tornado lately. This isn’t some kind of weird Helen Hunt themed Twister metaphor. I truly mean that it is as if a gale force wind invaded my life, threw every single thing I thought I knew about who I was, who I want to be and the life I live day to day and threw it in the middle of a cyclone. When the storm finally passed, I was holding onto the hands of my best friends looking at the chaos and going: “shit, I have to clean this up?”
Lucky for me, I didn’t have to clean it up alone.
Now this is a weird transition, but I’ve been thinking about Catching Fire a lot lately too. I see a lot of myself in Katniss. I can be stupidly stubborn. Relentlessly tough. I will try to go it alone, even when I don’t have to. Let me say that another way: Katniss is always turning away help. IF YOU TURN AWAY HELP, STOP IT. KNOPE WOULD DISAPPROVE.
When you’re watching everything you know flail around you and crash to the ground, it’s scary. It’s easy to turn inward and push everything and everyone out until the noise and the glass and the chaos ends. But don’t do it. Don’t be Katniss. Take your best friends by the hand and cry. And when weird shit happens, like your sex toys end up on the front lawn, laugh with them too. (I’m not saying my sex toys literally ended up on my front lawn, but believe me, it could have.)
My girlfriends saved me. I told them that over and over and over again this last month. Those uteruses are the best things in my life. If you don’t have that - stop reading this - stop trolling Reddit - stop shopping on Think Geek - stop watching Avengers for the 10th time. GO. Make a date with your lady friends. Start talking on the weekly with your good friends. Tell them your secrets. Open up. In time, you will grow closer. And if you see a storm on their radar, take their hand, plant your feet firmly on the ground and be there for them.
I hope I never have to return this favor to my dear friends some day in the future… but I will be there saying, “What would Leslie Knope do?”
Life is often like Bilbo Baggins’ journey. It’s a bit unorganized. Messy. Riddled with detours. Humans can get hung up on the fact that the journey isn’t a straight and narrow path. Don’t.
Forward. Backward. Left. Right. It doesn’t matter. Your journey is your journey. Go live it. Don’t get obsessed with the “right” direction. It all works out in the end. Just ask Frodo.
Weird how gaming can teach you so much about love. It’s a partnership to stay alive. May I be so bold as to suggest that this statement is applicable to both gaming and life? I think I will be.
Playing video games taught me a thing or two about relationships over the years:
1. Both players should be given a chance to take the lead.
2. Sometimes you must embrace being player 2, even if it does mean following your partner around for hours.
3. Saving the other player may present direct risk to oneself. The key is knowing when it’s worth it.
4. It’s rare for people to “level up” at the same time. Managing these evolving highs and lows is the key to winning.
5. Never turn your sword on your partner. Always remember who the real enemy is.
6. Trust is paramount. Sure, player 1 may be three screens ahead, but you’ll catch up eventually.
7. Rewards should be celebrated together, not independently. It’s a tandem victory and both players contributed to the outcome along the way.
8. It’s OK to screw around every once in a while. Taking your time to peruse a level is the equivalent of stopping and smelling the roses in life.
9. But don’t forget what your mutual goal is. Winning life isn’t everything… nope, I take that back. Winning life is everything.
10. If player 1 screws up, you must forgive. You’d want the same in return.
Sometimes we nerds get into routines. Or ruts. Or just a quicksand of sameness. When you live life around movie premiere dates, favorite show nights and Wednesdays at the comic book store - it’s easy to become bored with yourself - no matter HOW much you love your fandom.
I suggest we all try the things we see in our favorite media. Take an animation class. Go simulate flying on a ziplining tour. Go shopping for your next Cosplay outfit. It will help.
The lady geeks we feature here each week always answer our questions with brilliance, courage and excitement. It’s always great to see what they each have to say. But there’s one question that always brings out the best answers: What would you say to your 13 year old self?
I decided to pool the advice of the ladies from the last 6 months and compile it in a visual format - as a reminder and a boost of confidence. The truth is, the things we say to ourselves when we’re 13 are still true when we’re 30 or older.
Women should be nicer to themselves. There’s enough shitty shit said about our half of the population for us to be dumping on ourselves too. I was going to write a fashion post and then I just thought, screw it. I NEED a reminder. We all NEED a reminder of just how awesome our bodies are. So enough of this:
And more of this:
You are a human. Do you know what a god damn miracle that is? Hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of sperm worked really hard to reach the glorious egg that became you.
You are a MIRACLE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION.
Don’t hate on that. It’s awesome. You’re awesome. Feet? Those make it possible for you to move through space and time without even having to think about it! Skin? Totally protects you from all the insides falling out. Your insides? Work like a fucking clock. LIKE A FUCKING MACHINE. Better than a machine, actually - BECAUSE IT HEALS ITSELF. With a few vitamins and creams - it heals faster. Your face? That’s a freaking treat. We evolved to be more beautiful than those monkeys, that’s for sure. Just adorable.
So go feel good. Life’s too short not to.