GOWNS

I’m turning 26 as of right now

I feel so connected to Sweet Charity and Cabiria

I relate to a handful of protagonists you know but Sweet Charity is the most relateable and true to me and my experiences

I first saw it when I was 9 years old and it was like looking into a crystal ball

I ended a long term, physically abusive relationship almost a year ago. I have been healing well, but I'm not sure what to do with the flashbacks and intrusive memories I experience. I often feel incredible shame when I think about how I allowed someone to treat me that way. Where do you put those memories and feelings? They hurt to think about but at the same time, I don't think I should repress them.

Anonymous

i have no idea :(

the most therapeutic things for me are to write it out and talk about it

[journaling and therapy]

and reading about other people’s stories, via forums, blogs, books, etc

PTSD and trauma and so on are really hard to deal with, very complicated and heavy. it’s one of those things where the ultimate answer will come from within you, but you have tools at your disposal to help you along

you might have to search for a while before you find the right tools; a rose garden can’t be tended with just weed killers, you know

i wish you luck, growth & healing

and the sincere security in knowing that it was absolutely not your fault and you have nothing to be ashamed of

hi gowns! i'm 18, and applying to university in canada. when i tell people that i want to study journalism, they always say "OH YOU'D BE SO GOOD! but it's so hard to break into!", and i value that they always say i have talent BEFORE they tell me how hard it is, but it's definitely not encouraging knowing that more journalism students graduate each year than there are jobs in the field. i've still got time to apply, but i'm reconsidering journalism altogether. do you have any insight to offer?

Anonymous

hm here’s what i think

1) your exact major does not matter as much as the skills that you learn in college and how you apply them

many people apply as one major then end up changing majors; or they’ll finish their major, but end up interested in something else. this is all fine!

i was an english and drama major, and the jobs that i’ve had since i’ve graduated college have all been due to the fact of the degrees, not the degrees themselves (and not many people care about my honor’s thesis which was a synthesis of the two, lol). they see that i have a BA, and also, here’s some stuff that i’ve done.

a journalism major will make you do many assignments, and you will graduate with a nice portfolio that you’ll be able to produce for any job that requires writing skills!

a lot of the jobs that i’ve had so far, actually, have had to do with the extracurricular activities that i did in college. i was on the campus newspaper editorial staff, and i worked with some student zines, which provided real editing experience for my future editing jobs. having a college radio show taught me how to edit audio, be a good host, use a sound board, organize endless shelves of music, and put together a show; i also designed programs for the radio station, which ended up in my portfolio and got me a couple of jobs.

all of the things that you do (and read and talk about and think about) in college are worth much more than the official department typed across a piece of paper.

2) if you’re reconsidering journalism because you’re afraid that it might be too specific, there’s nothin wrong with a good ol English major! depending on your school’s policies, it could be easier to be an english major and take journalism classes and/or write for the campus newspaper, OR it could be easier to be a journalism major and do more broad english class stuff all the same. a school counselor (the kind that helps kids put their schedules together) can help you figure out this stuff.

3) if you’re reconsidering journalism because you’re afraid that it won’t lead to a Real Job, well, this is both a real concern and a concern that’s contingent on a lot of other expectations.

FOR INSTANCE, it’s a real concern in that…. “journalist” is not really a job-job like it used to be. journalism as a field is shrinking. there is a lot of content being produced for free via shifty mediums like the huffington post and buzzfeed, and a lot of reporting being done via twitter and so on. writers who do get paid get paid very little. so hanging your hat on being a Journalist won’t necessarily lead you to anything but a shrinking hole (a la the end of a Looney Tunes cartoon).

HOWEVER, there are still reporters, writers, newscasters, bloggers, etc, out there, people who are passionately living the dream. not very many at all, but it’s still possible, and while journalism as a field might disappear entirely in like, 100 years, because we’ll all have brain scanners that download information to our brains, there’s the possibility that you can have a journalism job between like, 2018-3014, you know?

this job will likely not pay a living wage. you will likely have to find your employers over and over again for years; chasing stories and applying to new jobs constantly. this can be exhausting.

but if you’re up for it…

it depends on what you want out of it, and what you’re willing to do to survive while you pursue the thing that you want to do.

it’s very much like acting, singing, writing, photography…. all things that i do, and attempt to do, as my “career.”

god, scratch that — i don’t think there’s really such a thing as a “career” anymore! and i wish that schools would stop teaching kids that they’re trying to map out a “career” for the next 60 years until they retire or whatever. some people are doing that, but a lot of people are not.

4) just as your school major doesn’t have to define your job, your job doesn’t have to define your life.

go ahead, major in journalism! or don’t! major in english, business, quantum physics. major in anything that you’d like to learn a ton about and gain a ton of skills in the process. change your major. don’t change it. add a minor. add a major. change courses. do extracurriculars.

then — get a job. i mean, like, you will do something that will get you money. it might be a survival job, like retail or waiting tables, or it might be a more grown-up job, like data entry for a company. you could use all the great writing clips you’ll write in college and apply for a staff writer or editor position for Toronto Weekly, or The Toast, or any kind of website or publication that you see posting a job notice. you’ll send emails to these places that haven’t even posted job notices, but you’re just wondering if they have any positions available. maybe they’d like to print a story that you wrote about a local thing. you could ask 20 different publications if they’d like to print the story.

and you’ll keep writing and doing your damn thing, whatever it is, whereever it is, with whatever major you have

maybe it will make you money, maybe it won’t

this is all fine. you’ll make money doing something. you’ll be published somewhere. it just might not be the usual channels that it’s been for the past 80 years.

further questions: what is your focus in journalism? what are your other interests and possible job ideas that you have right now? what are your finances like? if you have to take out a lot of loans to go to college, my advice would be to be slightly less cavalier about all this :p  

(but it just depends on who you are and your priorities; i have thousands of dollars of debt from college but i make the payments on time and it seems to help my credit rating actually so i dunno. being in debt isn’t fun, but personally, i feel like alllll the stuff that i gained in college from my goofy Soft Majors are worth having, even for the tradeoff of this ball n chain attached to my ankle.)

as a fellow admirer of hayao miyazaki, i wanted to ask u what you like/prefer about his movies as far as plot/pacing/morals/etc when compared to the stuff put out by disney/pixar

Anonymous

heh heh

it’s hard to put my finger on it, but miyazaki movies are brimming with magic

even in a very simple story like “whisper of the heart,” very simple story, simple characters, simple words, but i dunno what it is, it’s a “je ne sais quoi” that makes it all very magic, like a lullaby from a mama to child

his grander stories are like real fairy tales, they are whimsical but also solemn, like “listen closely, this is important”

i like disney movies just fine but i’m not crazy about them, a lot of them seem made to be marketable

"brave" was pretty good, and i also liked "lilo and stitch," and "princess and the frog" was cute

"fantasia" is my faaaaavorite disney movie. i put it on the other day with my little niece and was still amped on all of it.

i just googled “miyazaki disney” and there’s a lot of stuff ppl have written on miyazaki vs disney it seems. i personally don’t think it’s a strict dichotomy. i do have to say i’d prefer him as my grandad to walt disney

I’m hoping I’ll live another thirty years. I want to see the sea rise over Tokyo and the NTV tower become an island. I’d like to see Manhattan underwater. I’d like to see when the human population plummets and there are no more high-rises, because nobody’s buying them. I’m excited about that. Money and desire — all that is going to collapse, and wild green grasses are going to take over.

- hayao miyazaki, 2005, my favorite grandad

i like the part in the salon article that i linked to where it points out that miyazaki movies invite you to think and wonder about things. i guess that presents itself as the biggest difference between disney and miyazaki: disney provides clear-cut themes, fables, and pop-culture references, while miyazaki movies tend to be more musing about things, providing no clear answers, inviting you to explore the worlds that he creates… instead of following cartoon characters’ missions like a videogame walkthrough

tfw you realize you learned a lot about a topic or were led to cool books / movies etc through a person who, in hindsight, is a really shitty person

My relationship with my mother is very toxic in a strange secondhand way. She cheated on my father for years while he was overseas (he's no peach either tho) and I had to lie to my family constantly to cover it up. Even though they're divorced now I still have to lie about how it happened. Even worse she cheated on him with an abusive asshole who I believe is simply using her to get to her money, because money my father gave to her to pay off their debts was given to him instead. But she's

Anonymous

(cont.) not evil?? Sometimes she’s really nice to me and sometimes she’s really shitty….I don’t know….I feel like I’ve really examined our relationship a lot and how its impacted my anxiety disorder and depression. Essentially, I feel like I have unpacked the damaged she caused me but I don’t know what to do with it. I feel like I don’t know how to let go and be happy, even after acknowledging the problem and reading about what I’m supposed to do or feel. It just doesn’t go away!

it won’t go away

you can come to terms with it or struggle with it or forgive or forget or whatever but it won’t go away because it’s a part of your life. all you can do is keep on doing what you’re doing: the reckoning with it

eventually you will have done so much reckoning that it all becomes background hum. like living next to a train station, it’s jarring when you notice it but after you acknowledge it and deal with it and figure out a schedule for coming home and methods to get to sleep it’s, well, it’s still there, but eventually it’s not so bad

it’s interesting that your mom is the crux of this toxicity to you, even tho there are two other parties that sound equally messed up (if not more?). the fact that she is the center of it to you might maybe have to do with the fact that she was the parental figure closest to you, and got you the most involved in the adult drama

so you love her but she was also the window into this messed up adult stuff that you shouldn’t have been dealing with as a kid

that’s an understandable feeling. it’s not an easy feeling. but it’s understandable.

just keep thinking, keep writing, express, draw boundaries, redraw, refine, name behavior, acknowledge feelings, and then it’s all out there on the table, and you don’t have to hold it anymore. it will just be there

i finally feel i have something to Ask Gowns that won't reveal my identity to friends in common! i had been on a roll trying to make new friends in a new city and i kind of fell off of any kind of social radar for a few weeks. do you have any advice for me to break the ice with people i only hung out with once or twice again? i feel very weird about it, like do i mention the fact that i've been way out of touch? how much do i apologize without being imposing/seeming to beg for reassurance?

Anonymous

hi!

just be like “hey, wanna hang out?” or “wanna get lunch?” or etc

you could say “i’m having a get together tonight, wanna come over?” and text it to many friends who you’ve seen only once or twice, and see who shows up! (if you say “get together” it’s nice and vague, doesn’t imply a lot of people like “a party” does so people won’t be awkward when they show up)

you could also send a text to several people like, “we’re gonna watch a movie tonight, wanna come over?” (or “go out,” if you’re going to the movies), just real nice and cas’

again, so each person getting the text thinks they’re going to an already pre-ordained Group but really you’re the one making a group out of individuals

anyway, you don’t have to make any apologies, people have a lot of stuff goin on and won’t be biting their nails waiting for an apology for … not asking them to hang out? i mean, pish posh! only apologize if you make a big mistake, or hurt someone! you don’t need to apologize for “falling off the social radar”

just reach out and say hello

i guess if you wanted to you could precede one of these texts (or facebook messages or what have you) with “hey, haven’t seen you in a while! wanna [do xyz]?” or “it’s been a hot minute! wanna hang out again?” or etc etc, how do kids talk these days?

gowns:

mama cass looks like my mama
you know, something that really bums me out about her death is that she died of a heart attack — not because of her heavy weight, but because she was rapidly losing weight — she was fasting in a desperate attempt to lose weight to help her solo career
the first time she fasted, she lost 100 pounds, dropping her weight down to 200, but she stressed out her vocal chords while doing so, so she drank milk and cream to soothe herself and gained a lot of the weight back. during this time, her voice cracked a lot and her performances were shaky
after she healed from that, she tried it again, and she lost 80 pounds in 8 months. and it stressed out her body so much that she died in her sleep of a heart attack
AND THEN the media reported that she choked to death on a ham sandwich, when she was actually in the middle of a severe weightloss…! what a cruel treatment!
a sunny soul lost at the age of 32

gowns:

mama cass looks like my mama

you know, something that really bums me out about her death is that she died of a heart attack — not because of her heavy weight, but because she was rapidly losing weight — she was fasting in a desperate attempt to lose weight to help her solo career

the first time she fasted, she lost 100 pounds, dropping her weight down to 200, but she stressed out her vocal chords while doing so, so she drank milk and cream to soothe herself and gained a lot of the weight back. during this time, her voice cracked a lot and her performances were shaky

after she healed from that, she tried it again, and she lost 80 pounds in 8 months. and it stressed out her body so much that she died in her sleep of a heart attack

AND THEN the media reported that she choked to death on a ham sandwich, when she was actually in the middle of a severe weightloss…! what a cruel treatment!

a sunny soul lost at the age of 32

Source: gowns

gowns:

listening to the relentless positivity of mama cass makes me so sad

i heard a live version of queen’s “we are the champions” on the dad rock radio station, and freddie mercury sounded like he was truly thankful and wanted everyone to feel like champions and it made me cry

Source: gowns

gowns:

under pressure - only the lead vocal tracks w/ david bowie and freddie mercury

Source: gowns

gowns:

it is honestly fucked up that the majority of bros that will gladly sing along to “another one bites the dust” or “bohemian rhapsody” or “don’t stop me now” or “we are the champions” would, in the next breath, use a homophobic slur or make fun of an effeminate gesture; proof of the fucked up weird thing that we live inside

Source: gowns

ardent capitalists shouldn’t be allowed to like frida kahlo and homophobes shouldn’t be allowed to listen to queen

how is married life?

Anonymous

It owns