Twilight. And why, as a 28-year-old, divorced, bitter old hag, I can’t help loving it.

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Okay. I’m not one of those crazy obsessed Twi-hards. I’m not one of those creepy old ladies who tattoos herself with Edward Cullen’s hollow gaze. I don’t swoon every time Jacob appears shirtless (I’m not sure how you have time to recover from one swoon before moving along to the next). I’m not gaga over Bella’s trembling bottom lip. I was reluctant to the fandom (and I still don’t really like most of the Twi-verse).

But I still love it. I devoured the books (except the second one – ugh), and I’ve been looking forward to the release of the last movies. I think the story says interesting things about our culture and… well… us. So here are 5 reasons Twilight appeals to me. And maybe to you.

1. There’s something to be said about the allure of two mythical creatures fighting over your affections. Amirite? I mean… come on. Who can’t get into that?

2. Sometimes there’s more than one right choice. Team Jacob? Team Edward? Team Bella Sandwich? I think everyone can relate to the feeling of having to choose between two equally valid, acceptable, even desirable options. Especially knowing that a choice means devastation on the part of someone else. I’ve been here a handful of times. And I’m not just talking about love – we have to choose which candidate to hire, which employee to lay off, which the-same-as-every-other politician for whom to vote, which bill to pay, which music to remove from an iPod to make room for more, whom to choose for our kickball team, and on and on and on. Life is full of decisions that are exquisitely, excruciatingly painful, and we get to watch that played out on the big screen in Bella.

3. Bella is just like me: awkward, clumsy, mousy brown hair, nothing all that extraordinary to look at. But there’s something special in her un-special-ness, and people see it. Sometimes people just SEE us, and those are people with whom we want to connect. We want that. It’s part of that need for interaction and connectedness that makes us wholly, perfectly human. Something in me sparks when I see someone recognize Bella as special, because it means someone might see ME as special.

4. Even when something is terribly written, the content can still be worth your time. We live in a world where one typo on your resume’ can eliminate you from consideration for the job of your dreams (or any job, for that matter). I’m the most guilty of the bunch. If there’s a typo in the local paper (about 2341234124 times/day) I tune out. If a blog has a gazillion misspellings, I move on. Heck, I might not even read my own blog – my punctuation is terrible, I use parentheses entirely too much, and I have a million fragments. But the person behind the imperfect resume’ could be an extraordinary employee, the local paper still has news I need to know about my area, and blogs worldwide can have an incredible impact on our communities. The MESSAGE is still there. The content is still relevant. I just need to get off my high horse and learn to appreciate it.

5. The perfect guy is still kind of an asshole. People make mistakes. Sometimes people abandon us, heartbroken and helpless, in the middle of the woods for several days. Whatever. It was a mistake. Even several-hundred-year-old vampires who should know better are imperfect. Because everyone is. The perfect guy doesn’t exist. I think that’s an important message for our young people (and those of us who happen to be 28-year-old, divorced, bitter old hags). Everyone’s human, and we should extend the same sort of acceptance and forgiveness we want for ourselves.

And there you have it… The five ways I see a little bit of myself in Twilight. If you’re human, I suspect you can see yourself in there, too. If you’re a vampire or a werewolf, it’s even easier.

You’d better put some beauty back while you got the energy.

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I woke up with one of my favorite songs in my head this morning – Ani DiFranco’s “Back Back Back.” Have a listen:

This is the best I could do for a video of this song on YouTube.

 

Or, if you’d rather, read the lyrics.

back back back in the back of your mind
are you learning an angry language
tell me boy boy boy are you tending to your joy
or are you just letting it vanquish
back back back in the dark of your mind
where the eyes of your demons are gleaming
are you mad mad mad
about the life you never had
even when you are dreaming

who are these old old old people
in these nursing homes
scowling away at nothing
like big rag dolls just cursing at the walls 
and pulling out all of their stuffing
ever day is a door leading back to the core
yes, old age will distill you
and if you're this this this full of bitterness now
some day it will just fill you

when you sit right down in the middle of yourself
you're gonna wanna have a comfortable chair
so renovate your soul before you get too old 
cuz you're gonna be housebound there
when you're old you fold up like an envelope 
and you mail yourself right inside
and there's nowhere to go
except out real slow
are you ready, boy, for that ride?

your arrogance is gaining on you
and so is eternity
you better practice happiness
you better practice humility
you took the air, you took the time
you were fed and you were free
now you'd better put some beauty back
while you got the energy
you'd better put some beauty back, boy
while you got the energy

Lyrics courtesy of Danah Boyd.

So, the song is all about tending the garden of your soul before you’re stuck with yourself as someone you don’t like in your old age.

“So renovate your soul before you get too old, ‘cuz you’re gonna be housebound there.”

A warning. An instruction manual on how to treat the earth and other people and your mental health.

Of course, there are other reasons to live like this:

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” –Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

Because someone once did it for us.

“Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.” –Annie Lennox

To change the world.

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” –Lao-Tzu

To create a world where we want to live.

I’ll be honest. I don’t live this way. I don’t live like I’m trying to cultivate my future peace, or anyone else’s, for that matter. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have a biting tongue, a skepticism, and a snarkiness that ranks up there with… Well, with someone really snarky and critical.

But I’m working on it. I’m keeping the life I want to lead in the forefront of my mind. Eye on the prize, right?

What are you doing to “put some beauty back”?

LeChatelier’s Principle and this blog

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Chemical equilibriumis that point when the rate of the forward reaction equals the rate of the backward reaction. So, we’re not powering forward, full steam ahead. We’re also not retreating. No two steps forward and one step back. The reaction is in a comfortable place, and it’s not going anywhere.

Until we do something to change it. We might add a little reactant or a little product. We might change the temperature or the pressure or the volume. And that’s when our friend LeChatelier comes in. The Principle basically states that once a change happens to a system, the system will shift and establish a new equilibrium. Cool, right? When we disrupt an equilibrium, the system just adjusts and finds a new happy place.

rainbowbeakers

I feel like that’s sort of like my life for the last 4 years or so. Something happens? That’s cool. New plan. New equilibrium. Something else happens. New plan. New equilibrium. Lather, rinse, repeat. When will stuff stop changing? I suspect never. I’m thinking that’s just part of life.

So that’s why this blog is called “Megilibrium.” I’m finding my equilibrium, my balance. Even if that equilibrium point keeps changing, I’m working my way there.

Blogging isn’t new to me – I started my first in 2000. But this is the first time I’m actually planning on telling people I’m writing a blog, so that’s all part of the change. Finding a new balance.