One

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Ah, Star Trek.

My first Sci-Fi love.

When I explain what Star Trek is to non-Trekkies, I simply say- “Star Trek is not about starships, planets, or aliens, It’s about people”.

That tends to surprise people because of course all of the wormholes, phasers and Klingons are much more flashy than the subtleties of humanity.

But, then again, maybe not.

As a 13-year old girl in a new town, in a new school, with no friends, the quieter story of people being people was the most gripping aspect of the show.

I especially loved all of the characters who didn’t fit in…

So many of them didn’t.

One of the most compelling of these characters is Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager. Born human, she was taken, brainwashed, and assimilated into the Borg collective at the age of 6 years old.

Through a certain chain of events she was rescued by captain Janeway and liberated from the collective after many years. For the remainder of the show she must work to regain her humanity and discover her identity.

She was brilliant, innovative, talented, and assertive. Not to mention the fact that she was drop-dead gorgeous even with her Borg implants.

She had it all. She always kept it together, but even in all of her perfection she struggled with a deep loneliness that she herself could not define.

I see myself in her story even more at 23.

I’ve escaped my own collective.

I know what It’s like to leave the only thing, the only tribe you know. To have to reinvent yourself. To realize that perfection isn’t what you really want after all.

Truly, all we want is to be human together.

Which, for Seven and I, is much more difficult than it seems.

If I had a Borg designation it would have been “Three of Three”.

It is a terrifying and completely isolating moment when you realize that you have become simply “One”.

One voice.

One decision maker.

One movie ticket.

One chair at a restaurant.

Especially for someone who had grown accustomed to and relied on the voices of the others.

Seven never gained back the entirety of her humanity. She remained always on the outside, if only by a smidge.

Human alone.

Because sometimes, that is simply the lot One is given.

Sugar Spice and Everything Nice

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Have you ever done something a little crazy in a good way?

Like, “Omygosh, no one is gonna see this coming from me because I didn’t even see it coming!”

Maybe it was a decision, or a change of direction. Something that thrilled your curiosities, and pushed you out of your comfort zone. Something that was completely uncharacteristic.

Well, all of those feelings, that’s exactly how I felt when I decided to take up martial arts.

I’ve always been known for being weak. I’ve been called “skinny” more times than I can count, even after I started lifting weights.

And don’t even get me started on my lack of coordination! I am the antonym of the word “graceful”. So, when I found myself in a room with a bunch of black belts for the first time all I could think was- “What am I doing here?”

My first week of training for Modern Arnis, I took off my shoes before stepping onto the training mat, and to my horror discovered that I was wearing my bright pink Blossom PowerPuff Girl socks!

Picture it for a moment: I’m inside of this obscure club tucked away in an ally, surrounded by punching bags, rattan sticks, and four other people dressed in black and decorated with tattoos; the floor is blood-stained, and I have the cutest cartoon character known to man on the tops of my feet.

Talk about embarrassing!

Thankfully, they were mostly merciful about it. Haha!

Now that I’ve been training for a few months though, I realize that those were the perfect socks to wear that day.

My love for the PowerPuff Girls is no secret. The original show first came out when I was a little girl, and I immediately related to them. As cheesy as it sounds, they were huge role models for me and were a representation of the woman I wanted to become.

I wanted to be sweet like Bubbles, confident like Blossom, and tough like Buttercup. I wanted to be feminine but also self-reliant and strong.

The PowerPuff Girls embody that. They are small and girly, but they also save their town against impossibly large creatures and the evilest of threats.

So yeah, I’m small. I’m cute. I’ve got blue eyes, long lashes, and a sensitive soul. I cry over squished spiders, and I like pretty things. I’ve also got callouses, scars, and bruises. I love sweat. And I’m learning how to throw a good punch.

And even though I’m not a little girl anymore, those adorable, colorful, butt-kicking, monster-slaying PowerPuffs still inspire me.

They taught me that you don’t have to sacrifice your softer parts in order to be strong. They proved to my seven-year old psyche that tiny can be mighty, and that has stuck with me.

So, go ahead and call me skinny if you want.

Accuse me of being scrawny in body and you would find me guilty. But accuse me of being scrawny in heart and you will find no evidence. Because I am resilient through and through.