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Category Archives: Introspection

I’m in the middle of packing. I have packed to leave before, but never have I felt the distinct feeling that this house, and especially this room, are no longer mine. They belong to my family, to my childhood, and I love my family, but I really don’t feel like I live here anymore. It’s kind of an odd feeling, going through my childhood things, throwing out some, filing away others, and having the strange experience of visiting something foreign, and revisiting people I once knew- not just friends I used to have who’ve moved or whatever, but myself at various ages. I read the things I wrote and feel strangely disconnected from my past.

My urge is to move forward, and thus to move out. I’m looking forward to going back to college, but most of all, I’m looking forward to a space that is truly MINE, where I don’t feel like the ghosts of my 5 an 15-year-old selves are watching me go through their books, toys, and essays and judging me for what I’ve decided is and isn’t worth keeping. I hear myself as a freshman in high school: How could Mr. Martin give this a B, this is one of the best essays I’ve ever written! And I tell my freshman self that this bullshit doesn’t even deserve a C. I look at my angry, difficult high school past and wonder what I was thinking. I’m only 20, and already I’ve lost my understanding of that age. I suppose that I don’t want to be reminded of it either, because I didn’t like myself at that age and I don’t care for that version of myself now either. I guess, in general, I want to move out so that I can be separate from that period of my life, so that I can really be part of my current period of life. The current period of my life where I get to live with friends my own age, where I get to take care of little band geeks, where I cook and clean for myself, where I play with my bunny, where I can snuggle up with my boyfriend whenever I want.

So I pack up my shoes, my clothes, my dishes, my text books, and I wonder exactly how much of it I’ll need. I don’t really care, though; I just want want to pack up my present and take it away from my past. That’s all I really need.

I’ll be honest- I’m much better with you around. It’s not just that my mood improves, though that’s the understatement of the year. More like my mood blows up into a shimmering explosion of all that is fantastic in the world. Being with you is like watching corgi puppies play with kittens while eating chocolate cake and Tucker’s ice cream while listening to Motown and being told I’ve won the lottery. Yeah, it’s that good. But I digress- that’s not why I’m better with you around, or at least not the sole reason.

You see, I am a much more productive person with you around. Yeah, I go to work and do my best job there… but since I’m not floating through the days knowing that I get to come home to you when I’m done, I’m not as good at being cheerful under stress. And when I’m at home, I look at my disaster of a room and have no inspiration to really deal with it. After all, it may take me forever to find anything I want, but I also don’t do much in my room. I pretty much sleep in here and use my computer, neither of which requires cleanliness. But the place is still a mess and it’s kind of discouraging in a weird way. I suppose my room is making me feel a little inadequate. But I never feel inadequate with you. You make fun of my slob-like ways, and I eventually am inspired to clean and make you happy and impressed with me. It’s hard to feel that way when I hardly see you, you know?

I really shouldn’t complain. I’m going to be seeing you all the time in a month. But it’s difficult while it lasts. I’m glad you exist. And the title of this post? It’s true. I miss you like hell.

I love you.

This time baby, I wish I had a tougher skin. Singing to myself, I realize how much damn easier it is to not try. If you don’t try, at least it was your fault it failed. At least this way I don’t put everything I’ve got into it and then watch it collapse when time or circumstances or someone else comes and smashes it all with a hammer. Bulletproof. It doesn’t matter what kind of armor or protection you wear, you go out into the world, you expose yourself. You walk around with a bulletproof vest, and someone slits your throat with a box cutter. You can’t see it all coming, so it’s easier to sit in your house and just wait for other people to invade it- at least that way, it wasn’t your fault. It was their damn fault for invading what you’ve got. You put yourself out there, you hope for the best, you sing as loud as you can, you put the depths of your soul in your voice, and they hate it. They tell you it’s shit, that more is necessary. You already put all of what you have out there- they’ve sucked it out, your blood, your tears. They’re making fucking cocktails out of it and sipping it, and then they say it needs more lime. Well dammit, I don’t have lime. Is it weird that I seem to be both myself and you at the same time? Maybe it’s easier to think about it when I’m not really talking about myself. It’s still easier not to make the cocktails in the first place. They don’t know whether the fruit of yourself is sweet or not until they try it, before that scary moment when they take a sip. And maybe that risk is worth it, if they take a sip and they find it’s delicious. But is being found delicious worth the risk of being found repellent? Hell, not even repellent. There’s not a big chance of that. What if they just find it adequate, but they like someone else’ cocktail better? And it’s not really their problem. They get to just sit around, sipping their cocktails, judging you without having to really know what happens to you. They can say all the horrible things they want about you, know that you’re going to hear them, but not know what it does to you inside, to know that someone else is better than you. They don’t have to see your pain- and really, it couldn’t be any other way. How else could they make an objective judgment? Everyone who submits their cocktail in this contest is a sympathetic character; if they based it on that, even if they decided based on whose story was most sympathetic, they might end up with the worst-tasting drink. So they sit around, sucking down bloody cocktails, laughing about the latest episode of whatever the hell they watch, sucking down the lives of those they judge with every sip.

But that’s really all life is- the vital fluids drain and drain with all your efforts over time, and you die sucked dry. Or maybe your throat gets slit with a box cutter and all your blood and vitality- everything you are- pours out your neck, gushing onto the pavement, splashing horribly in a hot, crimson tide. Bulletproof, huh? Maybe you should’ve spent some more of that blood on some better task. You clearly didn’t use up all of it. What was the point of slacking off, being lazy? Your life swirls into the gutter whether you pour it into song, into your work, or into the street when someone cuts you up. There are better things to do than throw vitriol at people you don’t care about anyway. There are better things to do than worrying about punctuality. There are better things to do than dwell on the things that didn’t work out. You can do so much better than this. You don’t need to lay in a beef stew when you hate beef stew. You can swim to the edge, maybe use a potato as a raft, build a tower of carrots and get out by climbing up. You don’t have to stay where you don’t want to be. And with that, you can rip off the stupid Kevlar and leave it in the stew. Watch it sink, for nostalgia’s sake, then turn around and see what the rest of the kitchen looks like. Maybe you need some limes…

Do you know how to walk in stilettos? I think a lot of people don’t realize that it’s a learned skill. Girls don’t just put on stilettos and know how to walk in them. Someone has to tell you to feel like a string is pulling the top of your head to the sky, and you have to learn to put one foot exactly in front of the other and swing your hips instead of your legs. Once you walk well in stilettos, you can walk gracefully in anything. You can wear sneakers or flip-flips or snow boots and people will still turn and look and think, “wow”. Maybe in the snow boots, they won’t think “elegance” but that’s what a girl in stilettos has.

She walks toward him naked, barefoot, and she still has that high-heeled walk. She wears big, steel-toed, clunky combat boots when she goes out at night and she still has that walk. Maybe she has to think about it a little to always walk perfectly, but she practices whenever she remembers. And walking like that makes her feel radiant, like sex appeal is beaming out of her skin like sunshine in the arctic summer.

It’s too bad everything else isn’t as simple as stilettos. She walks around life, knowing that as long as she keep her composure, keeps her abs tight and her self light while she walks, she won’t fall over, won’t embarrass herself, won’t break an ankle or a heel or a heart. She can’t always remember, though. Sometimes she forgets and the potholes come get her: does he still love me? Am I ever going to know what I’m doing in my life? Why am I afraid of losing 10 lbs? Why do I think about myself so often?

And she breaks down, and she can’t do that beautiful, graceful walk. She slumps and she looks ungainly and awkward. She walks over to find something to distract her, something to sit down with so she doesn’t have to keep walking, doesn’t have to keep embarrassing herself by not looking smooth and unruffled and perfectly composed. She doesn’t like people to see that side, because she’d rather not admit that it’s there.

But he sees it, and he tells her not to worry, to smile for him, please baby, smile for me. Because maybe he’s macho but it’s hard for him too. And she cleans up, and they part ways, and they say they’ll meet up later, but they don’t. That’s all she has of him.

She’s full of doubt. She hears him say “I love you, I miss you” but she’s not sure whether he means the whole her. Maybe he can’t deal with her when she’s awkward and ungainly and so very imperfect. She doesn’t know whether he just loves her when she’s sexy and funny and graceful, or whether he loves her even when she’s not.

And this is exactly the kind of thing she can’t ask him. Because she’s not sure she’d rather have the wrong answer than no answer. So she calls him, and she hears his voice, and she falls again.

Sometimes things just seem so uncertain. You’re on a train, and you watch the other trains go by, and you don’t know where they’ve been or where they’re going, and you also wonder whether you should be on them. You also wonder if you’re on the wrong train, whether the other ones are going somewhere better, whether they came from somewhere better than the place you just visited and whether you should’ve gone where they came from instead. You wonder if you’re really doing enough to make sure your life is going in the right direction. Is it weird that I write so much about doubt? It’s like I only write in the blog at my strongest and my weakest. At my strongest, I believe I want to tell everyone who’s listening that I’m queen of the world and they’d better get used to the most deliciously decadent despot in history. And at my weakest, I just hope someone’s listening. Are you listening to me? I feel weak and lethargic right now. Sure I have a stuffed up head, but I think it’s more that I’m waiting the way Didi and Gogo wait. I’m waiting to get my acceptances and rejections from colleges, I’m waiting to go to college, I’m waiting for February to start on my New Year’s Resolutions. I made them already, but I haven’t started on them. I’m waiting for Godot the way everyone else is, since life is just what we do while we wait to die. You have to do something, and I’m doing it. What the something is, I’m really not sure. I know that the days keep flicking by both slowly in minutes but far too quickly in hours, in pieces of my lifetime. Is it normal to think about mortality as much as I do? I think most people have to be reminded. “His/her suicide/illness/sudden death reminded him/her of his/her own mortality.” I must have read a line like that in a dozen books, heard it in movies, whatever. It’s everywhere. I don’t think most people walk out on the street and think, that car’s accelerator and brake wires might be fucked up and I might not make it across this street alive. And you know something, usually I don’t either. Because I can’t live my life in fear. I managed to be afraid for all of one week this year. I was afraid of men for an entire week. But I realize now: life is full of trade-offs. I trade the extra security of locked doors for the joy of having my family and friends just drop in on me. I trade the fun of being single for knowing that my boyfriend is happy with me. I’ve traded away friendships for the comfort of not being so upset. Maybe some of what I trade is wrong, maybe unwise, maybe it won’t be the best in the long run. At least it’s fun to bargain…

…I wrote this:

There is a thing such as homesickness. One may not believe in it for a long time, over a decade in fact… but it most certainly exists. Knowing that it is Christmas Eve and you haven’t had any eggnog all season, or listened to Bing Crosby sing any carols, or seen any of your good friends home for the holidays, or even kissed your mother and said “I love Christmas”… this is homesickness in essence. It isn’t truly wanting to be home, and really, there’s nothing that special about it- it’s just doing nothing or something other than what you want to be doing and being prevented from doing what you really want to be doing not by time or money or other people, as is usually the case, but by place. It is knowing you are in the wrong place for what you want to be doing, and wishing you were in that place so you could do what you always do. It’s wanting to be home not because you like your home, but because you do things at home that you cannot do in Mazatlan or Bahrain or even the next town over from your home.

Perhaps most people are more attached to their family members, to their friends than I. It’s strange to think that because so many people are important to me, to the extent that I would donate a kidney for them and I would let them call me at 3 am if they thought it was important enough to wake me up. But up until now, I have never been homesick. Most people, especially children, get homesick at least once before they really leave their parents for good. I witnessed many children at summer camps and sleepovers being homesick, and for me it was much like my relationship with shyness- I could see it happening to someone else, I could recognize it, and I knew what its effects were, but I honestly could not understand it. Shyness is still beyond me. I truly couldn’t do it if I tried. But homesickness, I begin to understand. For children, it is the fear of the unknown. If something goes wrong, they can’t run to their mother to save them, and they feel very alone and unsure, which isn’t a nice feeling. They cannot run for the familiar help of their parents if something is wrong- place prevents it. It’s another thing that they cannot do not because they don’t have the time or money or because their parents don’t have the time or money, but because they are not home.

And as children get older, they don’t need to run to mommy. The fact that they can’t get their parents to solve their problems becomes less of an issue, because they find that their parents can’t really solve their problems anyway. They may fear the unknown, but their parents couldn’t save them even if they were at home.

And so children grow into teenagers and adults who don’t get homesick so much. But there are certainly things that can bring it about once again- a crisis, Christmas, food that has the same name as it does at home but really isn’t the same. You wish you could have a hug, you wish you could see your family and wish them a Merry Christmas in person and sing “Break Forth” the way you always do, you just wish you could get a damn milkshake that tastes right. And you know that you can do none of these things, because of place. Again, it is the problem of place. You are sick for your home because you are not there. And so you realize that at some decent hour today, you must call home. Because certainly you cannot cure your homesickness- being in the wrong place- but you can do something to assuage it. You can call and listen to home, whatever that happens to mean. And maybe you will still wish you were home, but you will feel better knowing that at home, everything is the way it’s supposed to be. Knowing that maybe home changes too, but in the important ways, it is still the same home you left. And with that, you can enjoy the experience of being away from home and wish everyone else a very merry Christmas and happy new year.

I just watched the Sex and the City movie with KL, and I feel downright optimistic. It’s funny, I hardly ever talk to people online. I feel like I don’t translate well to facebook chat, like it’s so much harder to come up with something to talk about, and because the talking is all there is, it gets a little awkward. And I practically spent the weekend hanging out with Miss L and I realize I miss all my high school friends- but I’m not going to miss them any more when I go to Mexico. Because they’re already gone. They’re already off in their own lands, spinning away at their own lives trying to make sense of it without me. I might visit band before I leave for Mexico, but on the other hand, maybe not. That high school world is just gone and behind me. I like seeing the younger kids, but it’s really not the same- they still live in a world where passing English is important, where the science teachers are mostly incompetent, where they don’t know if they’re pretty or ugly or whether anyone will ever love them or if they’re just in a relationship for the sake of being in one. I’m rapidly leaving my teenage years and I’m glad of it. I may continue to lead a dramatic and exciting life, but I’m not going to do it with that teenage angst attached. And I’m going to remember that some of my friendships may fade, but often, you see someone again and it’s like you were never apart. I can hear the Oktoberfest music through my window, and it sounds so much like life, you know? You spin around and you laugh in each others’ arms, and then you spin off to another partner and keep laughing, keep turning with the music. Of course you hope it never stops, but the musicians can’t play forever. You just try to have as much fun spinning as you can while it lasts.

To all my girls, I love you. To all my boys, I love you too. And to all those of you who aren’t mine yet, I can’t wait to meet you 🙂

Sometimes I avoid people. Sometimes I avoid people I like because I don’t really want to talk about the things they want to know about me. Sometimes I suck myself into a ridiculous little cocoon and hope nobody notices what I’m doing, hope people will just leave me alone because although I have nothing to be ashamed of, I’m not really proud of myself anyway. Living without a deadline is killing me. Have you ever really thought about the word “deadline”? It kind of suggests what it is: this is the point at which something dies. It suggests mortality in general. There’s no life without death, and right now, I feel like I’m drifting through life because I’ve got no deadline. I suppose part of this problem is my overdeveloped sense of perspective- nothing REALLY bad happens when I miss a deadline. My life doesn’t get unbearably worse- it just doesn’t get better. I should want to get better way more than I do, but I think I’m overly grateful that my life isn’t terrible, so I’m too willing to settle for mediocrity. Perhaps I have a brain, but I don’t really have any use for it. I dislike being purposeless, but I don’t dislike it enough to really try to change it. My central quality and greatest sin is my own sloth. People want to know what I’m doing, people care about what I’m doing and I don’t answer them because I don’t really want to tell them that I’m doing nothing. My talent and my cute blue eyes and my charm and my humor are sitting here, whiling away the hours, not doing anything. I don’t really want to tell people that- they react badly. They always think that it’s through no fault of my own, because that’s the way I tell my own story. My habit of telling it more optimistically than it is comes to bite me in the ass now- I’m never going to be destroyed by outside forces. I am so powerful that the only person who can bring me down is myself. But good lord, it’s so likely…

My natural state of being seems to be sleeping in a box, like an abandoned kitten or something. That seems to be really apt, now that I think about it- I’m happy when I’m asleep, and when I wake up, I just want to be taken out of my box and loved, petted and told that I’m beautiful. So often, though, there’s no one to pick me up out of the box. So I scramble and scratch, trying to reach up the sides of the box, reach out to someone. Someone who might love me and talk to me and tell me about their day, maybe scratch me behind the ears, make me purr. And when I reach out, I usually can get that. I find someone to do all that for me. But when they’re done, they just put me back in the box. And the next time I want to leave the box, I have to do all this scrambling again. They always just put me back in the box, because I’ll be “safe” there. I want to get out of the box. I want to be out of the box, where all the nice people are. And for once, I don’t want to have to scramble to get out and find them- they don’t really come find me. I tip myself out of the box, they pick me up because I’m adorable, and then they put me back in the damn box as if I’m supposed to be in there. I hate the box. I don’t care if that’s where you found me, it’s my prison. But I can’t tell them about how much I hate the box, because all I can do is purr when I’m happy and mew when I’m sad- they don’t understand the pain in my little kitten eyes, they think I’m homesick or something, and so they think I should go back to my home, into my box. I wish one would just take me to their home. But you know something, they’d probably just put me in another kind of box. I don’t think I can ever win. All I can do is scramble outside and enjoy the freedom while it lasts. But I’m getting so tired of reaching out…

You sit there, regretting your past. Regretting the future, regretting this unproductive limbo in which you find yourself. Do you really find yourself there? I hope you don’t. Limbo isn’t really a good place to find yourself. People are supposed to find themselves when they help starving kids in Mexico or move to Sweden or finish their lives in existential novels- they shouldn’t find themselves languishing in the lackadaisical. You’re likable, but lazing around in your land of too much of nothing is no way to love yourself. How can you claim to love anyone if you don’t love yourself first?

Sit down and shut up. I’m telling you how it is. You can’t sit there and beat yourself up; you’re making excuses by taking the blame. It’s socially simpler than making amend, but saying sorry just won’t cut it, sister. You’ve got to stand up and start rocking the damn boat. That’s right, now you stand up after I just told you to sit down. But stay shut up. You don’t have to whine, you don’t have to apologize, you don’t have to explain. In my new program of productive production, you do not have to say anything. In fact, speech is discouraged. The time for words has ended. The time for tears and nagging and arguments has passed us by. We will be fine in this commune of mutes. We will listen to the trumpets (with and without mutes) and we will not say a word, because we will know. We will know how to work it out. You sit there waiting, passing the time, no- letting the time pass you. We’ve got to take charge of this time business. We’ve got to hang on to the horns and not let it swing us around, and if we get thrown we have to find a new bull because no one’s going to help us. Everyone else has their own damn problems, they don’t need ours. We are our own damn problems, and so we can fix us ever so easily. Let’s do it, bitch. Let’s get down to business to defeat ourselves. We will not stand for this crap any longer. It’s game time.