Saturday, July 31, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Fourteen: To Someone You've Drifted Away From

Dear *******,

Confession #1: If I'd just met you recently, I wouldn't be your friend. In fact, I think part of me would scoff at the idea of us being friends, because when it comes to the things that shouldn't be important but totally are, you're totally not on my level.

 But lucky (?) for us, I didn't just meet you recently. I met you what seems like a zillion years ago on the new playground at our elementary school, and truth be told, I didn't pay much attention to you then. A few years later a giant hole was ripped out of my life, and you stepped in to fill it. The rest is, as they say, history. 

I've been saying this for years, but sometimes I really doubt that history is enough to push us through. I know it's supposed to be Breakfast at Tiffany's and we only need that one thing, but I...need to feel like there's a reason we're a "we" now, besides the fact that we have been for the last 8 years or so.

When I first started feeling this way, we used to fight all the time. And I hate us fighting; it's like you're so huge and critical a part of my life and my memory that when something is wrong with "us", little pieces of my whole world come crashing down around me and everything is a bit shakier. I know it's not like that for you, and it never has been. I can accept that. We don't fight as much now anymore, and when we do, it's less vocal and full of cursing each other out and other terribleness. Now we'll just go a few days without talking to one another until one of us assumes we have both cooled down enough to apologize without fully meaning it and keep on keepin on. 

Confession #2: Sometimes I really miss those loud violent fights, because they at least showed that we still cared. Sometimes I feel like this new way is like it's not even important enough to waste the energy, which frightens me.

Confession #3: Do you ever feel like we're faking it? Like we're trying to make ourselves fit into roles we've outgrown and pasts that have grown fuzzy and misshapen? 

We don't do the things we used to do anymore. I can't believe we used to talk on the phone for hours every single day and now I can't even remember the last time I called you. But on the flipside, you used to almost never come over and now I joke about getting you a key to the house. So maybe this is just the natural next step to our relationship. We gain ground some places, and lose ground in other places...maybe it balances itself out. I still love you with as much of my heart as I can spare, and I'm going to keep telling the little voice in the back of my head that sometimes wonders do we even like each other anymore? to  because you're always going to have that place in my heart, okay?

There are things I hate about this place we're in now. I hate that I don't know any of your other friends anymore. I realize it's just because of the way our lives are organized now, but it sometimes kind of makes me feel like the significant other you don't want anyone to know about. I hate that I feel like you're growing up so much faster than me now. I think I did my growing up faster before we knew each other. I hate that there are silences in our conversations both online and in-person, and I find myself wondering if they're comfortable or not. I hate that voice in the back of my head that questions us, and I want to convince it that it doesn't need to. 

Help me out by taking me on an adventure, k? Help me by really being you around me, and I'll really be me around you, and we'll find a new kind of friends to be, since we're not the people we were when we were BFFs.

I love you and I miss you and I'll see you when we both get back to Jersey,


Friday, July 30, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Thirteen: To Someone You Wish Could Forgive You

Dear Me,

You do realize that you can't be perfect, right? Like, despite the crazy expectations people have had for you over the years, it's actually not possible. Impossible is nothing is a great motto until you keel over and die at 45 from all the stress and lack of happiness in your life. I really need you to stop treating every slight mishap as a total failure, and regarding yourself the same because of it. You don't always have to be the best, or the one on top, or the one who gets the credit for doing whatever. You don't always have to be in charge. It's okay to not always have an S on your're a strong woman, and a sensual woman, and a sassy woman, and a smart woman, but you don't have to be a superwoman. You really don't. It's okay to be vulnerable sometimes. It's okay to not know the answers to certain questions. It's okay to not always be smiling and happy. It's okay to be scared. It's okay to feel like you're in over your head. If running this conference for the past week has taught you anything about superstrength, it's that it's the most exhausting thing in the world, and it WILL wear you down. Regular strength and savvy can come in and save the day though, as long as you keep pushing through. Ask for help when you need it. Stop trying to take on the whole world with one hand tied behind your back; you'll lose your balance. Accept the fact that you are and have to be human, and accept it with poise and grace. It's not really something you should have to forgive, but forgive yourself for needing to eat and sleep and breathe and take care of yourself. These things are more important than leaping tall buildings in a single bound...

Just looking out for the both of us,


30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Twelve: The person you hate most

Dear ******,

As a general rule in life, I try not to hate people. I feel like it's bad for the soul. I try to see the good in people, to remember that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, etc.
I make an exception for you.
The last time I cursed someone out in these letters, I was being sarcastic. Let me make it very clear that I'm not in any way joking when I say you're a trifling piece of fucking shit, and if I never see you again, it's too fucking soon.
I hope you know your daughter hates you too. She finally saw through that mask you show them to see you for who you really are, and I wouldn't be surprised if she isn't ashamed to call herself your blood. I know I sure as hell would be.
You know, me and my mom could have had a good life. Sure we were kind of struggling when you met us, but we would have made it. We're strong like that. But no, you had to come sweet talk your way into her life, and go and get her fucking pregnant, and then offer to marry her like an idiot. And her, the single woman living with her sister with one kid and about to become the mother of another, what choice did she really have? I was too young to remember your wedding day, but I guess you don't remember either, because you certainly didn't honor those vows you made. 
You left her a week after your son was born. Your son that she named after you. What the fuck kind of human being does that? What kind of man can live with himself after doing that? Evidently you can, because you came crawling back to her with your tail between your legs, and now the mother of two of your children and not having a college degree, she [thought she] needed you to survive.
Then you yelled and screamed at us all the time, and beat us kids mercilessly with belts and physically fought with my mother every time the two of you got into an argument. God, it happened so often that when I was growing up, that's what I thought was normal. 
Then you left us again when I was 10. If I was ten, your children were four and five. But I mean, you were used to walking out on your family; this wasn't the first time you'd done it--or the first wife and kid you'd left. I'm sure you don't know that I was awake that whole night, listening to the two of you. You threw the fucking TV at her head. I still believed in God then, and I thanked Him for giving her the wisdom to duck. I'll never forget the sound of the glass shattering as it broke the window, or as the tv smashed to the ground outside. You slammed down the stairs and out the door, and once all was quiet I finally got up to go to the bathroom. She asked who it was and I said it was me, and I called out, "Goodnight Mommy. Goodnight Daddy," (I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE YOU MADE ME CALL YOU THAT. YOU ARE NOT MY FATHER. I HAVE A WONDERFUL FATHER WHO TRIED TO BE AS BIG A PART OF MY LIFE AS HE COULD, BUT YOU DIDN'T LIKE HAVING HIM AROUND, AND YOU DIDN'T LIKE SEEING THAT YOU'D NEVER MEAN AS MUCH TO ME AS HE DID, AND YOU MADE ME CALL HIM BY HIS FIRST NAME. FOR THAT, MORE THAN EVERYTHING ELSE, I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU.) and she said "Daddy's gone, and he's never coming back."
I don't think she remembers that. The next morning as I was getting the kids ready for preschool I smelled something burning downstairs. I rushed down and found her curled up in that pink bathrobe on the kitchen floor, spatula in hand, sobbing. I'd never really seen her cry before. The eggs were on the stove, burning. To this day I still won't eat eggs, because they remind me of this moment. I told the kids to go back to sleep, and called the school using my best grown-up voice to excuse us for the day. And then I sat down Indian-style next to her and rubbed her back and let her cry. And she talked to me. She told me all her plans to get us out of this bad neighborhood and out of this whole mess and into a new life. And she scraped and saved and bought us a new house and finished school and got a teaching job and I was SO IMMENSELY PROUD OF HER. 
And then you did the second thing I will never forgive you for. You made me hate my mother. You made me hate her, because after all her big strong talk and everything she did, you came back from fucking that other woman and wanted another chance, and despite all the promises she'd made me that day on the kitchen floor, she took you back. I had been free and fatherless and almost happy, but then you were back and in control of my life all over again.
But I can forgive the stress. I can forgive the unrealistic expectations. I can almost forgive the welts and the bruises. If I reached deep down, I might even be able to forgive grounding me for 3 months over a pair of damn sneakers. What I cannot forgive is that you had the gall to leave again. To cheat on her again. And then to move to Georgia and promise your small children that you would come see them for Christmas or for their birthday, and to unfailingly call the night before to say something came up and you were sorry. I can't forgive having to hold them while they cried and promise them that you still loved them, when I couldn't even believe that you were capable of love.
I can't forgive the fact that you basically abandoned them for your new family and the wishes of your new wife.
I hate you. Not even for what you did to me, as fucked up as all of that was. Not even for what you did to my mother, though she deserved none of it. I hate you because I watch what you did to your children get worse and worse every day. I hate you because now my sister has to know what it is to hate her father. I hate you because you brought a brother into my life and took him away.
I hate you because I owe you this broken little life I lead. Without you, there would be no brother and sister. There would be no Mays Landing. We would have headed to Savannah with Deece if it weren't for you. There would be no everything I've ever known without you, and I hate you for that. I hate you because I owe you my very life.


PS I hate that this letter is making me cry, because you're not fucking worth my tears, goddammit.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be?

Probably a dolphin. They're pretty and fast and fun and spend all day in the water and they're supersmart AND they're the only other known mammal to use sex just for pleasure. XD

Ask me anything

I think I just discovered that I am attracted to BBQs (beautiful black queens). Help?

haha you don't need help anymore. ;]

Ask me anything

I noticed that you're considering not running for a position in Quad next year. Why not?

I'm trying to simplify my life. Fact #1: I can't always be superwoman. Fact #2: I have been in denial of Fact #1 for as long as I can remember. I love being in Quad, but honestly, I feel like being an officer of Quad was just like, something I did because Maya is an officer of every club she's a part of, not because I really really wanted to. And while I had a great time, it's time to start doing things for me, not just to do them. I need to stop spreading myself so thin in so many different directions.

Ask me anything

I am a Grecian myth buff, and your hair reminds me so of the legendary Medusa. How do you keep your snake-like locks so beautiful?

:D <-- this question makes me happy.

In truth I don't do very much to them. I condition in the shower every morning, I usually do some kind of light scalp-oiling, and then scrunch some kinky-curly curling custard in there to keep the coils tight. If I want a more untamed look, I lose the kccc. I don't comb it out as much as I should, and I never use shampoo because it's bad for you.

If I was going to do one more awesome thing for my hair, I'd buy a satin pillowcase.

Ask me anything

Why so many self-taken photos of yourself? You don't think that makes you come across as a little vain? Or maybe makes it look like you don't have a lot of friends so you take pictures of yourself?

Eh, I think that I like taking pictures. You can think whatever you want about it, I don't really give a fuck. I don't really like other people taking pictures of me; if you want something done right, do it yourself.

Ask me anything

Why do you wear ridiculously tall heels on a consistent basis? Are you insecure about your height? Or are you trying to balance yourself out?

I used to be insecure about my height when I was a kid, because I was so much taller than everybody else. Then I decided that I was just going to own that; that I would be the tall girl and that would be what was cool about me. And then like, freshman year of high school when all the boys suddenly grew like 6 inches, I started wearing heels to maintain the image of being tall.

Now I've gotten to the point where they're kind of annoying, though, and recently purchased two new pairs of flats in an effort to weed the "stilts" out of my wardrobe.

Ask me anything

maya, do you think your gift for poetry comes straight from our lord and savior jesus christ?

lmaooooo. no. That would require a belief in your lord and savior jesus christ. Which is never going to happen, sorry. But thanks for thinking my poems are a gift!

Ask me anything

Realistically, what do you see being your ultimate (or ideal) profession?

oh how I wish I knew. Right now I'm thinking I could work at some kind of Afam history/studies/culture nonprofit or museum. But the part of me that wants to write books and inspire young minds still entertains the idea of being a professor.

Ask me anything

Do you ever wish that you were somewhere else other than US and had a cool foreign heritage story? Which country would you pick?

Do you mean that I was FROM somewhere other than the US? Hmm...I wish I knew where my ancestors were from, so that I could have a better understanding of my roots, but I'm not sure I would actually want to be from somewhere else. This is all I know! I also kind of like being a bit of a mutt; as cool as being 100% something is, it's also pretty cool having a lot of different flavors mixed up inside of you.

Ask me anything

Are you attracted to people outside your race? Are you attracted to ALL other races? Is this answer for certain without any lingering doubts?

My ex is a white guy, and throughout my growing up I was attracted to a lot of white guys, because I never really had that many male friends of other races. My ex before him is black. I've been attracted to Hispanic guys, African guys, Indian guys and the occasional Asian guy. I can pretty confidently say that there's not some whole race that I find wholly unattractive.

Ask me anything

Why Quad?

Why not? It was the only club I ever really partied at, they have Soul Food night once a month, the whole staff is black and pretty cool, I had a lot of friends in it already, and the people I met at the zillion soph events they had were all pretty cool too. It's not gonna be crazy expensive and they even let me be a soph officer. And I kind of like having this core of people on campus and a place to go chill that's not my room. AND I've got a shared meal plan so I'm not losing late meal? Seems like an epic win to me. :]

Ask me anything

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Eleven: To a Deceased Person You Wish You Could Talk to

Dear my father's mother,

I don't even know if I deserve to call myself your granddaughter, because I don't know even know your name. I want to say it's Ruth, but sometimes I think it's Rose. You'd passed before I was born, the victim of some terrible disease, if I remember correctly...I don't know if I get to call myself your granddaughter at all. 
But if you'll let me, I think I'd like to.
Daddy used to say you'd like me if you'd ever gotten a chance to know me. I don't know much about you, besides that you were the one who put literature so squarely into his life, causing him to put it so squarely into mine. I thank you for that. A few days ago I thanked Maya for inspiring me; I must thank you for inspiring him. I wonder if you were a writer too. I should ask him. We don't talk about you much.
Maybe this is weird, but sometimes I like to think we're kind of similar. I imagine that you're the one who would make me feel like less of an outsider in this family. I imagine we could have read aloud together over cups of tea. I know you shared my love of butterflies. He used to catch them for me and tell me about you. I also know that you had more patience than me, because a) you were able to live with him for 18 years (I'm only slightly joking), and b) you used to knit. He's jealous of my mom's new boyfriend, and is trying to one-up him by sending me an afghan you knitted before he can get me an NJPD blanket. 
He loves you. Probably more than he ever loved any other woman (except maybe me. That makes me feel bad.). I wanted you to know that. 
If there's something after this and you're somewhere watching over him, make sure he takes care of himself, okay? He's all of you I've got.

 Your granddaughter, if you'll have me,


And unlike yesterday... I feel like this whole situation could have just been boy makes girl feel good. end of story. and that might not be the end of the world.

we'll see? I'm still gonna keep my promise.

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Ten (A Day Late): To Someone You Don't Talk to as Much as You'd Like to

Computer fiasco last night=I'm sorry this is late.

Dear ***,

(I can't believe this was) Four years ago, we exchanged handwritten letters--which, being so high school, we referred to solely as "notes"--every single day, and without ever agreeing to do this, we both kept every single one. 

Confession #1: I don't have all of them anymore. In a fit of trying not to be so ridiculously emotional and sentimental, I sorted them down to the most meaningful, the ones nearest and dearest to my heart, and tucked them into my high school memories box. And then, after kissing my fingers and placing them on the top of the shoebox, I picked the remaining ones up and threw them into the giant trashbag that most of my bedroom went into last summer. It was a horrendously painful experience, and I wrote a poem about it after...I felt like I owed it to you. I really and truly hope you no longer have all of mine, or I'm going to feel like an ass for the rest of my life.

Confession #2: I think that I have written 28 poems for/about/relating to you, the vast majority of which were written in the span of about a year and a half. I won't claim that they're all good or even that they should all survive into the future, but they're there. And I'm pretty confident that no one's ever going to beat that, so feel special. (Heh. Feel special. That's what I was always trying to get you to do, right?)

Back to this letter thing though: four years ago, that was our relationship. And now almost every day I sit on my computer and look at your name on my buddy list or my skype contacts and I want to click it and say hi to you. I really do. But I never know what would come after hi, how've you been? And the one thing I hate more than not talking to someone is trying and failing to talk to would make me think about all the things in our friendship that have died since those days. And that would be sad.

It's weird though because I feel like on the RARE occasion that we're both free at the same time and can hang out, then things aren't as weird as I expect them to be. We can sometimes fall back into this semblance of how it used to be, especially if we're in a larger group, and it makes me really happy. 

So I guess the point of this letter was to say hey, I kind of miss you. One of these days I'm gonna say hey, and I hope we have something cool to talk about, because you're kind of a cool person. (Except last summer you kind of started to scare me. I hope that anti-you phase is over, pleaseandthankyou.) I really hope we get to hang out once I get home, because right now you're like, an example of how growing up so often means growing apart, and that makes me saddddd. So let's stop that, k?

<3 (Heh, you're the one who introduced me to <3),


PS--Hah, it's funny that I was worried about writing this on here because you follow me, but then I remembered that I used to hand you my diary every day. Oh life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I spend so much time sitting around wondering which one of us is the idiot. The answer usually varies depending on my mood. I wish I could just STOP thinking about him and the fact that he has yet to return my message when he has obviously been on facebook and talked to other people. (Yeah because this is obviously stronger evidence than, like, all of our interactions from the last year. Getting caught up in dumb shit like this = why I think it's me that's the stupid one.) It's like, okay, I know I'm crazy, but am I crazy for thinking there could be something here, or is it so obviously palpably here that I'm crazy for doubting it?
There is a thin line between reality and idealization, and I'm flirting with it (since I can't flirt with him.) Too bad that's probably going to be the death of this. When one leaves my overzealous mind with memories to pick-and-choose from, and my overactive imagination with endless possibilities to explore, bad things tend to happen.
But I don't want something bad to happen. So I need a DISTRACTION. Something to make me stop focusing so much on him and this and my craziness. I just want to let this GO until September. But how??

Monday, July 26, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Nine: Someone You Wish You Could Meet

Dear Maya Angelou,

I promise I don't just want to meet you because I was named after you. That's a big part of what got me interested in you as a child, but over the years I've become incredibly drawn and attached to your work. As cheesy and stalker-ish as this sounds, I feel like we're connected somehow. Being someone's namesake should be some sort of cosmic connection, right? When I'm going through a dark time, I turn to India.Arie when I want music, and I turn to you when I want poetry. Sometimes the woman I imagine the speaker of your poems to be is myself, reminding me of my glory. Sometimes she's the self I imagine I will one day be, telling me that I'll get through this to a brighter day. Sometimes she's my mother or my grandmother or a woman from the topmost branches of my family tree, telling me that she has been there too. Your words, they comfort me, and inspire me to reach higher and walk taller. You remind me why I do all that I do. 
Sometimes I ask myself if I poet because of you. I haven't been able to come up with an answer to that question yet, but it goes without question that you were enough of an influence on my childhood that some part of my interest in wordsmith-ship must have been inspired by your work.
One of the memories my father always smiles back on is of a day we were in the Pleasantville public library. If we were in Pleasantville, I was in the fourth grade. I was checking out a biography of you, and most likely a volume or two of your work, along with whatever else I was currently reading, and the librarian who was helping me asked if I was doing a school project. I must have given her a strange look, because she elaborated, "You're checking out all these books on Maya Angelou." I cocked my head to the side and said, "No, I just like her," and grabbed my books and walked out. My dad says she stared at us until we pulled out of the parking lot, and he likes to reminisce about this as being one of the things that marked me as "different."
 It's one of my absolute greatest dreams in life that you will come to Princeton before I graduate. I will quite literally kick, bite, and claw my way to a ticket to see you. Going back to cheesy and stalker-ish, it would genuinely be an honor to be graced with your very presence.

Thank you,


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Additional Weirdness

I have also realized that when I spend these 5 weeks at home once I leave Chicago (*tear*), it will most likely be the longest consecutive amount of time I spend in ML and/or with my mom and siblings for the rest of my life. 

That's actually really scary and makes me feel superold. It also makes me want to have awesome adventures with my friends while I'm home, because omg we're getting old and not going to have much time left together to do these things. D:!

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Eight: The Last Person You Made a Promise to

Dear me during the week of September 19-25, 2010. 

KEEP IT! Do not, I repeat, do NOT be a scared little wimp and back down. Do NOT give him it more time. It's been too damn long already, and we both know we're not a patient person. You made a promise to yourself, and you. will. keep. it. Do you understand me?


Me on July 25, 2010

Not-So-Strong Black Women?

"But who doesn't want to be strong? Who doesn't want to be endlessly dependable and independent? Me, that's who! I want to be more. Heck, I want to be less."

I'm not saying I want to be weak, but this resonates pretty deeply with me. I want to not feel like being vulnerable is a crime punishable by death or, worse, disappointment. I like being dependable, and I like being independent, but some days I just want to lay in bed and cuddle and flake out on the world. But hell, when even the CEO of my company jokingly calls me Maya-Strong-like-Ox, what's a girl to do but slap on a fake smile and soldier on?

What good is a lion...

if he spends his whole life in a cage? How can he be brave? Does he even know he's supposed to be a king?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Seven: Your Ex

Dear *,

I've been trying to give you not-so-subtle hints about what I want our current/future relationship to be, but you haven't seemed to be getting them, so I'm just gonna be straight up with you for a minute:

I. don't. want. to. be. friends. There, I said it. I've been trying really hard to figure out how to let you know that I am always going to make up some excuse not to hang out with you when you call, or that better yet, I don't want you to call me. And that probably makes me a fucking bitch, and I'm sorry for that, but it's how I feel.
And don't get me wrong, it's not because I'm still hurting from our relationship or because I'm still in love with you (ha!) or because I'm jealous that you've had like 3 girlfriends since we broke up and until about 2 months ago you were still the only boy I'd ever kissed. It's not because of any of these things.
Sigh, I suppose I should stop pussy-footing around this. There is no nice way to say this. It's because...I really just don't like you. Not even as a person. I look back on our little fling-in-disguise now and can't understand wtf I was thinking, besides that you wanted me and I wanted to be wanted. And that's not to say that I didn't develop real feelings for you as time went on, because trust me, our break-up hurt way more than I was expecting it to, but now...that is gone, and as rude as this is, I'd really appreciate it if you were gone too. I still don't regret it, but I kind of feel like we were as close to a mistake as it is possible to be without regret, and I'm really surprised my mother and all of my friends did not just slap me repeatedly until I woke up and realized wtf I was doing.
You were the first person in a long time to make me feel beautiful or sexy or like someone wanted me around. I needed that then, probably more than I've ever needed a lot of things. And you giving me that made me overlook...absolutely everything else? Now that you don't fit into that role anymore, I really...don't know how you can fit into my life. 
There was once a hole in my life that I contorted you to fit into. That hole is now gone. There's really nothing more I can do with you. In my new-and-improved life, that hole never existed. That really means you can't be hanging around anymore either.
I'm sorry. We can't be friends. There's nothing I even like about you. Well, maybe one or two things, but hey this isn't Breakfast at Tiffany's and that's not gonna cut it. I'm happy for you and the newest girl; from talking with you, things seem to be different with her, and I hope things work out for you. (While I'm being totally honest, I'm also pretty happy that you've downgraded, while I'm in the process of making a serious upgrade.) As per our last conversation, you seem to be making a general happiness upgrade though, and I am really glad for you about that. And I wasn't kidding when I said I was proud of you for going to school, even if it is in drama or whatever; it's a step I never thought I'd see you make.
Thank you for being what I needed when I needed it, but I'ma need you to stop hovering around now...


Friday, July 23, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Six: A Stranger

Dear Bitch who emailed me to register as we were fucking driving shit to the university today,

Yeah that's right, I called you a fucking bitch. I'm sure you're a very nice woman, and I will smile my best fake-ass smile and welcome you on Monday morning, but for now all my stress and rage about this goddamn conference is going to pour out on you.


haha. I promise you'll get my biggest smile Monday morning. That's how you'll know who you are, stupid bitch. And you ain't gettin no goddamn nametag. So there! 


Thursday, July 22, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Five: Your Dreams

Dear Dreams,

You come in so many forms. I suppose I'll address them all. Or at least the most important few:

Actual dreams I dream at night: I wish I could remember you more often. I also wish that when I do remember you, you weren't so abstract and crazy. You're always changing places or times or both in the blink of an eye, and your storylines are the most ridiculous things ever. Please make some semblance of sense. Kthnx. I also really wish I could see people's faces in you. I know I never have been able to, and can just weirdly tell who is who, but it would be nice. There are some people whose faces I really miss. Additionally, you often put me in situations with people whom I don't recognize but who are not strangers to me in you; I am usually totally comfortable with these people. WHO ARE THEY?! Will I ever get to meet them? Will I know it when I do? Have I already met them in previous lives? Are they the ghosts of awesome people? I would really like an explanation of this. 

Oh dreams of the hopes-and-dreams variety: I really wish you kind of like, existed more concretely. I'm getting to the point in life where I'm beginning to feel like my total lack of certainty about what I want my future to look like should start to bother me. Dreams of the future, you are so vague and blurry and hazy and totally undefined. I dream of being happy, having enough money to donate to Pton every year and maybe take a nice vacation every once in a while, liking what I do, etc. I dream of having wicked awesome hair that people adore. I dream of loving and being loved. I dream of being at peace with myself. What does that translate into in the real world? What do I want to do with myself post grad school? Where do I want to live? Do I want to get married? What is this crazy new feeling like I could have kids someday? I would like for you to take on some real weight and tangibility in the near future. Kthnx.

Oh dreams my heart dreams: Very few things in life make me both so happy, so frustrated, and so worried. I guess that means you should feel special. You are so sappy I just want to gag all the time, but the part of me that is inspired by my best friend thinks it's cute. You make me feel like Meg from Hercules. I feel like you're leading me down a path that's scary because I can't see the end, but I'm still fairly willing to follow you. Sometimes I look around and freak out and turn and start to run away, but you and your trusty lasso reel me back in before I get very far every time. Must be something you picked up in Kansas, XP

K, that seems like enough dreams to address for now. Can't think of any other major categories. 

TTFN, ta-ta for now!


So weird.

I realized some weird things this week.

1. This week marks exactly two years since I've been in a relationship. That doesn't bother me as much as I'd once imagined it would. 

2. My skinny-white-girl-from-Michigan roommate owns and regularly uses a flat iron, and I don't. Of course, she calls it a "hair straightener" though. XD

3. If I was my mom, I'd be three months pregnant with me right now. How freaky is that?! :O 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Four: Your Sibling

Dear Bryan,

This is probably cheating because technically we're not officially related anymore, but you will always be my brother to me. (Besides, thinking about you as this random little boy I used to take baths with is just sketch.)
And this is probably pretty sketch too, but I've been searching for you. Either you're supremely good at making your Facebook private, or you don't have one. I check periodically in hopes that you suddenly appear, but it's pretty hard because I don't know if you still live where you lived when we were kids, or where (if?) you go to school. 
We miss you a lot. Me and my mom especially, but the kids too. If I remember correctly, it was your mom that always tried to keep you from being too close to us, but now that we're both 20 and she's not really standing in your way anymore, I want you to know that wherever you are, you still have family in South Jersey, if you'll have us. We don't even have to do a big reunion if that would be weird after all these years, but every year on your birthday I wish I could call you. I would like to actually be able to someday.
The twizzler picture is still framed on the bookshelf in our living room. So is the picture we took in Central Park that year at Christmas. And I tear up a little bit every time I see the picture from Christmas when we were four playing with those boxing robot things that when you lose the head shoots up. I don't remember what they're called, but I'm sure you remember what I'm talking about.
It's really unfair that you can have been such a huge part of my childhood and now I have no idea where you are or what you're up to or what happened to you. I'm in Chicago right now; if by some twist of fate you're here too, and we walked passed each other on the busy streets downtown, would we even recognize each other? Has it been that long?
Regardless of marriages, divorces, and other strange familial happenings, you will never stop being important to me, or loved by me, and I will never stop trying to find you.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Three: Your Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

...This is weird. The whole, thinking about the two of you as a unit thing. I've never really had much occasion to do that before. I'm not sure how much I like it.
I guess that's kind of weird too. I'm sure I did when I was younger, but I can't even remember wanting us to live together as one big happy family. To this day I can't understand how you two were ever together, or how I even exist. I mean, I have exactly 3 photographs of the three of us together in the last 20 years. Like, come on. 
My relationship with each of you has its highs and its lows, and each has its own strong points and its own ISSUES, but I can honestly say that both seem to be improving baby-step by baby-step as time goes on. I hope that pretty soon we'll be able to leave most of the traditional parent-child stuff behind and both consistently behave like adults.
I'm sorry that I sometimes go too long without calling either of you. I don't mean to worry you; life just gets busy sometimes. I'm not sure if you guys know this, but I usually try to call both of you on the same day, so it doesn't seem like I'm favoring one of you over the other. Is that silly?
Daddy, I'm sorry I don't let you ask questions. I'm working on being more forthcoming with you.
Mommy, I'm glad you're finally letting me be independent, but a) I wish you wouldn't worry so much, and b) sometimes I wish you asked more questions. I don't know if I'd answer them, but as much as a rag on Daddy, it's nice to be asked.
Haha, I guess the weirdest thing about our messed-up little family is that my relationships with the two of you are almost mirror images of each other. I guess in a perfect world I'd like to see our relationships come back to the middle a little, but I think that's going to take a lot of growth on all of our parts, so we'll see.
I love you both.



PS--Don't go anywhere, okay? I may not be a kid anymore, but that doesn't mean I won't need help, guidance, and an older-wiser-someone-to-lean-on. <3

Monday, July 19, 2010

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day Two: Your Crush

Dear *******,

First off, I think the word "crush" is frilly and silly and belongs in a 12-year-old's vocabulary, and I refuse to use it again for the rest of this letter.
Secondly, I'm going to try my hardest to keep this as un-sappy as possible.
Hey there. I miss talking with you. As much as I joke about them, I really like our random philosophical conversations, and I really do love the way you say the most ordinary things in the most elegant manner, and you make me laugh. That's a plus. And I wish I could say I miss hanging out with you, but I almost feel like we don't spend enough face-to-face time for me to really say that. Let's work on that, okay?
Shutting my dreaming little heart up for a minute, I feel like we've had some really great times together in the past, and I feel like I've both sent and received a few little hints. This culminated in a fairly drunken particularly liberated night at the end of the year, which we've since talked around but not really about. I was worried for a while that it could lurk like an elephant in the room and kind of ruin even basic friendship things, but we seem to be pretty okay, which makes me smile. Our conversations range from politics to horseshoe crabs to academic mindsets and nearly everything in between, the exclusion being us.
So in this little letter I guess I want to tell you: Hey you. Yes, you, stop looking around like I'm talking to someone else; it's just you and me here. I, uhm, I kind of like you. And maybe I'm delusional, in which case feel free to stop me, but I think you maybe kind of like me too. And if I'm right then I want to stop talking around things and face this, because I think maybe we could have something here. I think you're worth a real shot, and that's more than I've been willing to give a guy in a long time.



PS--I'd really appreciate it if you refrained from leaving the country for extended periods of time so I wouldn't have to miss our conversations so much. Kthnx 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Sappiness Disgusts Me.

Until the Fall
When we say goodbye,
you hold me way past polite,
                     even a few seconds past good friends.
I like that                               People notice.
The first time I held your hand
(under the pretenses of temperature and alcohol)
you gasped as I intertwined my fingers with yours.
In that moment, frigidity, the long walk, and my aching feet aside,
       I remembered why Christmastime is beautiful.
The second   you grabbed my hand mid-gesture
       and didn’t let me go. And maybe it was the cheap red,
       or maybe the air of celebration, or the excuse not to pack,
       but I didn’t want you to, not even for a second.
Your other hand had begun to travel the landscape of my legs,
       which had found their way across your lap of their own accord.
I remember wondering why I wasn’t mortified I hadn’t shaved,
       fearing a wince at my decidedly un-ladylike stubble,
       but you were so at ease with my body that I was too.
I don’t know what else to say but that I’m comfortable with you.
I’ll never forget your hands on the small of my back
       or the breath they made me snatch.
Your touch was so tender, so pure,
                                  like the first time should be
                                  like we might never be this bold again,
so we ought to make a beautiful memory.
In the process, you made me feel equally as beautiful.
I’d never been wanted by someone as wonderful as you.
Eventually the wine won, as wine tends to do,
       stealing away a moment for which I’ve pined,
but its curse was a gift, granting me instead the joy
of awaking to your delicious weight on top of me,
and my waist between your arms.
       It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done not to snuggle closer
and sleep deeper.
I hope the hardest thing was also right;
       I was only trying to preserve the beauty of the night,
not to be roped off and labeled Do Not Touch,
       but so that it stays fresh in the cupboards of our minds
       until September, when I’ll be brave enough to take the leap
and hope to fall.

30 Day Letter Challenge--Day One: Your Best Friend.

So I realized that my subject matter of late has been a bit focused around one topic, and for that I apologize. In efforts to a) diversify my posts, and b) post more frequently, I'm beginning a 30 day letter challenge! I'll write a letter to a new person every day. Today's letter is to my best friend.

*Disclaimer: I have lots of besties, but this calls for me to pick just one, so I'll pick the one who loves letters. I think she deserves it most anyway*

Dear *****,

No lie, I have no fucking idea how I survived without you when we were going through stupid teenage drama and didn't talk for a few years. Now if I go two days without hearing from you, I'm like, COME BACK TO ME, MY LOVE! *withdrawal* 
I saw this little black girl and this little asian girl making a sandcastle at the beach yesterday, and it made me think of you. 
You're one of the few (and growing fewer) people in this world that I feel like I can be totally real with all the time, and get the same in return. That means I call you on your bullshit and you call me on mine. It means that when you're going through a rough time I'll run around to all the weird little shops in the town of Princeton and make you a basket of loveliness to remind you of how wonderful you are. It means I can post vague random and weird messages on your Wall and always expect a response that is usually a phone call, as opposed to at WTF?!? It means that even though you're supposed to be the crazy ninja, I am always lurking in the shadows with 2 cans: one of mace and one of whoop-ass, prepared to fight off whatever nasty little demons life throws your way. 
YOU'RE ALWAYS FUCKING RIGHT ABOUT MY LIFE. And I claim that this bothers me, but really it's just one more thing on my never-ending list of reasons to keep you around. Sometimes I feel like I'm this crazy balloon that would just go floating off into a land of all my fears and worries and dreams and random ponderings, and you're like, the adorable little teddy bear weight that keeps me tethered to the ground. 
So I guess I wanna say thanks for dealing with the ball of craziness that is me, and let you know that you're kind of the best and I don't really know what I'd do without you. And now that that silly boy is out of the picture, I shall return to my plan to make you mine!!!! mwahahaha *Steal*

In all seriousness though, until something crazy happens in the future, you are the love of my life. 



Thursday, July 8, 2010

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. 

So I should try something new, right? 

But what about when the things you're doing are conflicting? I usually punk out and don't say the things I want to say until it's too late, and miss whatever chance I might have had. 

So I should say something before he leaves, right?

I also almost unfailingly try to have control over every uncontrollable aspect of my life (Impossible is nothing.) and have the tendency to get angry/self-destructive when placed in unpredictable situations. I'm a control freak, and this doesn't really work too well for my life.

So I should just go with the flow, right? That's what people keep telling me. But going with the flow means saying nothing, which has failed me in the past. But saying something means putting pressure on a tender situation that could end before it starts. But even if I was gonna say something, this is the kind of conversation that should happen face to face, not while I'm a thousand miles away and he's packing to go even farther. 

So what do I do when I'm trying to open myself to the idea of intimacy and the concept of commitment, but one leg wants to run while the other begs to stay, and one hand pulls the wrist of the one that's covering my mouth, and the butterflies in my stomach flutter between fear and fantasy?

I jumped into this game without knowing the rules or the objective, and I haven't really been keeping track but I think it's my turn, and the clock is ticking and I have to make a move. If my only options are $10 grand or bankruptcy, do I even spin wheel? 

I have to. Right? You can't ever learn to fly if you're scared to take both feet off the ground. But jump before you're ready and you're only gonna fall.

What do I do when even the choices are driving me insane and I can't have both? Is there a neither that's not the same as none? 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


^heh, that could be a funny emoticon. A cookie for you if you can figure out what face that's making, XD

Anyway, this is a post about a quote! The last words of the last chapter I read of this book before bed last night have been on my mind all day...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Most embarassing moment?

Hmmm...probably when I dropped it so low at a party at the field center that my jeans actually ripped in like 3 places and I had to make my friend who was visiting walk very closely behind me to the coat rack so I could tie my jacket around my waist and then try to get back to my room as quickly as possible, XD

Ask me anything

Are you a proud virgin, or do you wish you weren't?

hmm...neither? Simply, it wouldn't have been right with my ex, so I don't regret not having had sex with him. I'm certainly not waiting for marriage or anything like that, but for something at least semi-serious.

Ask me anything

"Ah, the things we do for boys..."

So said my best friend last night as we were both up well past our bedtimes talking to our respective boys (her boyfriend and my...uhm...about that...). 

While we were chatting with our boys we were also chatting with each other, and I was complaining to her about how I hate this whole "talking" situation (if we're even there yet? I've never been "talking" before, I don't really know the parameters), because I hate flirting. It makes me feel like a girl. And I mean that in the like, girls have cooties way.
And trust me, I'm not trying to hate on females or femininity. I love being feminine. I love feeling like a woman. I just hate feeling like a confused 12 year old girl at a loss for what to say next. 
So when I told this to my friend, she said, "So flirt like a woman."

...I've been trying to figure out what that means.

And I guess it's kind of like a lot of other things I'm trying to do now that I'm *clears throat* in my twenties. It's like, it's time to start doing things for me, you know? How and why and the way I want to do them. It's time to be myself, not the person people expect me to be or want me to be or think I should be, but the person I want to be and like being. I mean, I'm really kind of tired of doing things for other people, you know? (Not in the like, helping people sense, but in the conforming to norms and other people's wants sense.) At the end of the day when you crawl into bed all that really matters is how you feel about yourself.
So I should stop doing things I feel like I have to do to be flirty. One of the big goals in my life right now is to be genuine, and I think what's making me feel 12 is thinking of guys as a game with rules and molds that I need to fit into. Fuck that mentality, man. Fuck Cosmo and Seventeen magazine; I'm not seventeen. And fuck Ten Ways to Fuck Your Man so Good He'll Never Leave. 
How about being sincere? How about being genuine? How about being real? How about being me and saying fuck him if that's not good enough? How about being strong enough to be these things all the time, regardless of the situation or the people it involves?
I gave him one real genuine not second-guessed compliment last night, and I could tell he could tell it was different. Instead of a "haha" or a smile or a wink, he said, "wow. such a nice thing to say" and I said, "I mean it" and then he smiled and that smile felt real...(well as real as a facebook emoticon can feel...)
That feels like a good direction to go in. *tentatively takes a first step*

Just put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walkin' 'cross the flooooor, just put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walkin' out the door!

BGLH Meetup

I haven't done a hair post in a while, but this totally deserves blogging about.

So two Saturdays ago I journeyed down to this neighborhood called Kenwood on the South Side, and went to a Naturals Meet Up for women with natural hair in the Chicago area. If that's not cool enough, it was run by this woman named Leila who writes this blog I've been reading since last year ( <--check it out) and I got to meet her and personally thank her for being awesome, haha. 

So in addition to with a bag full of cool unique new artisan jewelry and a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of bellydancing (!), I left this meet up with a renewed sense of self-worth and validation. I still remember one of the first things my new coworkers said to me on my first day at my internship was that they loved my hair. Here I have actually been stopped on the street numerous times to be given compliments about it. And coming from Mays Landing, NJ, where I struggle to remember a time when I have ever even seen another natural woman, this means a lot. 

At the meet up I saw women with hairstyles I'd never have thought of but now want to try, and got cool new tips--I might try henna!--but the things I'll probably never forget about this experience are the great things other natural women said to me. I went up to this one woman I'd been ogling throughout the entire discussion to compliment her on how beautiful her curls were, and she smiled and thanked me and then said that she's incredibly jealous of the way my hair falls. While I was at the product-swap table (you know free is just my price, haha), this new natural came up to me "just dying" to know what products I use, and when I told her my basic staples, a woman nearby said, "Ain't none of that gon make your hair curl like that though. That's your natural curl pattern, ain't it?" And I smiled and said yeah and the look on the woman's face made me feel really really proud, proud in a different way than if Darnell likes my shoes or the woman at the bus stop likes my dress, and in a more important way. 
Proud because I'd finally accepted the true beauty that lies in something I'd tried to hide and destroy for years and years, and because despite what certain other people in my life--**cough** my mother **cough**--think, the world is beginning to accept it to. Proud like a peacock must be proud of his feathers, or a lion of his mane. When I was going to the gas station to get more money to buy more jewelry (don't judge me), an older black woman sitting in her car stopped me and said, and I quote, "I haven't seen this many afros since the sixties!" I explained what was going on and that she should drop by and check it out...I'm proud of how far we've come.