Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value."
 This was a friend's facebook status. Well, a person-it-would-be-socially-unacceptable-to-not-be-facebook-friends-with-but-who-is-not-my-actual-friend-in-real life's facebook status. Anyway, I can't get over how it describes with incredible accuracy what happened between me and the guy that featured prominently in so many of my letters this summer. I guess people can be more rash, more inclined to give into their passions and desires, when the end (or in our case, I suppose an extended pause) lingers on the horizon. Kind of like absence making the heart grow fonder before the absence even occurs. And now that we're back in the same place, it's like, should we choose to take them, there are an infinite number of chances to make this work. So every time, we let the moment pass, thinking there will always be another moment. And for now at least, this is tentatively true. 

Fragile Families

I know this isn't true, and is thus entirely irrational, but sometimes when I'm listening to lectures, I feel like the speaker is talking about ME. For instance, we had a guest lecturer in my Sociology class on Tuesday, speaking about research she and a team of grad students had just done on Fragile Families--children born out of wedlock and the tenuous ties that bind their parents. She kept talking about these people, these children, these parents, like they were so far removed from our current situation, and the whole time I just wanted to scream YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT ME!
She said a lot of things I don't agree with about children supposedly like me, but if being a SOC major has taught me anything so far, it's that I'm not like anyone who falls into any of the same categories as me. Comparison is futile. So I fumed silently, then finally treated myself to a Starbucks coffee mug to make myself feel better.
But early this morning, as I was laying in bed trying to go back to sleep, I realized she was right about how the introduction of new partners into the family and the dissolution of those relationships is stressful for the child involved. I had been refuting this because the dissolution of my mother's marriage was perhaps one of the most joyous occasions of my life. But laying in my bed, I began to feel this forbidden ache: I was again missing the one person I'm really not allowed to miss.
Greg. My mom's ex-boyfriend. I recognize that he was not right for her, and that the best decision for her personally was to terminate this relationship. I understand that, and on some level I am proud of her for being able to make the decision to walk the past, I have known her to fear solitude over second-best relationships. 
And yet. Greg is one of those people that makes me question whether there is someone somewhere with some great big plan in which everything happens for a reason, because even if the 6 years or so he and my mom spent together weren't right for either of them, in some respect they were perfect for me. ...Wow, I didn't mean for that to sound so damned selfish. It's like, I mean no disrespect to my actual father, and all the disrespect possible to my ex-stepfather, when I say this, but in many ways, Greg is the closest thing to a traditional father I have ever known. (Not that he's very traditional about anything.) I guess, the relationship he and I had...he made me want to be enough of a little girl that we could go to Daddy/Daughter dances and enough of an adult to sip wine and have intellectual conversations at the same time. I would never admit this to him, but I cared SO MUCH what he thought about everything. He kept it real. He listened to my poetry and didn't judge me for it, just listened. He was trying to win my mom's heart, but he managed to get a pretty good chunk of mine too, and goddammit, I don't give a fuck if it's somehow disloyal to my mom, sometimes I miss him so much it HURTS. If ever I believed in family, it was when he was the head of mine. He lies somewhere near the root of my belief in unconditional love, too. It feels so wrong to say this, but it's how I feel so here it goes: Losing him was like losing my dad all over again.
I want to be able to have dinner with him. I want him to know about my JP topic, and I'd be more comfortable talking to him if I started dating than either of my actual parents. It's not fair that my mom wanting him out of her life meant taking him out of mine too. It's just not fair.

But you know, I still firmly disagree with the guest lecturer about one thing, and my belief about this is unwavering. She said children of fragile families would be better off with no transitions, even if they were into better relationships. That's just plain untrue. Even knowing how much it would hurt to finally understand what a father-daughter relationship is supposed to be and then lose it, I'd do it all again for the sake of the memories. I'd do it all again for the pure joy I got from running into him at Walmart over the summer, or for the shared secret joy my sister and I got from texting him to wish him a Merry Christmas.

I really do want to meet him for dinner or (in a few months) drinks or something and catch up. Maybe that's stabbing my mom in the back, but hey, I never wanted to break up with him. Don't I get some choice in who stays in my life?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I was told yesterday

that I act like an only child, and everyone just assumes I'm an only child because I don't want children and I don't seem like the loving-older-sister type. 

I suppose I wouldn't really categorize myself as the loving-older-sister type either, but somehow coming from other people, this feels like an insult.

I love my brother and sister! I don't always like them, but I love them. I'm more of the protective pushy older sister type...but that's just tough love, right??


One of my favorite natural hair blogs declared today to be a self-appreciation day, and as those are always good, I decided to follow suit.

I love the way bright warm colors look against my caramel skin. I love my collarbone and like to draw attention to it with necklaces and low cut shirts. I love that people stop me on the street to ask about my kinky curls and are shocked to hear how little maintenance they require. I love that I don't feel like I have to wear makeup every day. I tease myself about needing to go to the gym, but I LOVE my curves. And most of all, I love that I've gotten to the point in life where I can shout all of this from the rooftops (read: to a little corner of the internet) without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. Every day I look into the mirror and the person staring back seems more and more like ME.

What do you love about you?
Confession: As much as I hate to admit this, because it makes me feel like a slut, if he'd played along Saturday night, his first view of my room would have been from pressed against the wall or in my bed. But he didn't, and as such, as I was wandering drunkenly back to my room at 2 AM, I started mumbling to myself about wishing he was with me. 

...I don't know if it was just because I saw him and then got drunk and wanted someone, or if it is actually him I want.

Confession #next: the first time I saw him once we got back to campus, and he hugged me and I felt his hands on the small of my back again, I finally understood what people mean when they talk about their knees going weak.

...It's just, weak from a desire that is specific or generalizable? That is the question.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There are few things in this world I hate more

than automated customer service robots. I would like to gather a baseball-bat-armed legion to go forth and find the computers that give them such acoustically pleasant voices and smash them to pieces. Better yet, I'd like to go around the country (world?) under the cover of night and do it myself. You can't ARGUE with a robot. You tell a robot how frustrating it's being, and it just says, "Sorry, I didn't catch that. Your options are...". When that frustrates you even further, the robot begins suggesting that you hang up. When you ask to speak to customer fucking service, the robot tells you that the information it gave you is up to date, and customer service is not an option at this time. When you yell at the robot asking WHY THE HELL WON'T YOU LET ME SPEAK TO A HUMAN BEING?!?, the robot says, "If you're done, please hang up." 

Insolent fucking piece of machinery. I had to call you four times before I finally figured out how to get you to let me speak to an actual person.

GIVE PEOPLE THEIR JOBS BACK SO I CAN TALK TO THEM WHEN I'M HAVING PROBLEMS. I wouldn't yell so much if the voice on the other end of the phone could understand what I'm saying, rather than just recognize the words. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I had a geode once...

^Sort of like this.
The person I was with told me not to buy it. His argument was something to the effect of there would probably be better things I could spend my money on. My counterargument was that I'd always wanted one.

...Damn it's crazy how hindsight is such a BITCH. Those three sentences really sum up his and my entire relationship...and happened within a matter of hours before the relationship ended.

I don't know exactly what happened to that geode. I may have gotten rid of/hid it somewhere in  one of the bouts of depression and anger I wrestled with for months after this all went down. Which really SUCKS, because despite all the metaphorical deeper-meaning-ness of that statement, I really have always wanted a geode.

I bring this up now because my residential college is sponsoring a trip to the Dodge Poetry Festival. 

I'm sure most of you don't automatically see the connection here. The Dodge Poetry Festival is where I bought the geode. It's where I almost had my first kiss. It's the first place I ever publicly belonged to someone else since the days when my father wanted to put me on a leash (don't even get me started...). It is without a doubt one of the most naturally beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. 

It's also the place where my heart was broken [hopefully] harder than it will ever be broken again. It's the place where I realized that having a past doesn't necessitate a future, and that even someone I have trusted for as long as I can remember may not necessarily deserve said trust. 

It's a place I want to go back to and also a place I fear ever returning to.

The trip is free.

I should go. I know I should. I'm just going to need some time to turn that should into a will.

I mean, can returning really be that hard? Can it be as hard as turning him down when he came slinking back into my life freshman year was? Will I see the haystack we rolled in, the tree I climbed, the bench we sat on, and feel the urge to contact him? Will I kick myself for still having his number? 

Or will I just go and have a good time at a festival I love? Can life be that easy, just this once?

Bonus points if you get the literary reference.


Being angry at someone for the first time is an interesting experience. I suppose it becomes more and more interesting depending on how long you've been close to the person before having to cross this bridge of anger. One of my closest friends on campus is really flaking out and making my life difficult right now (I'm sure he doesn't mean to be, but regardless), and it's putting me in a really bad mood. It took me a while to realize that this funk I'm in is anger...this is what it feels like to be angry at him.  

Friday, September 24, 2010

So they say real women have curves

...and as much as I hate the "real women" qualifier (what the hell are fake women, anyway?), I'm pretty sure I've got that part down pat. 

...and yet, a close friend recently informed me that perhaps the guys in my life don't see me as a girl. Not the way I'd like them to, you know? This has caused me to re-evaluate the time I spend with my boys. I've come to the decision that I play one of two roles that come quite naturally to me around them: either hanging out as just another one of the guys, or as a worried protector motherly type. I'm either in the middle of watching a football game or debating the ethics of strip clubs, or worrying about a new injury and whether they're getting enough sleep. I suppose neither of these things is inherently sexy. 
I told said friend that I don't see how me hanging out with a few guys I'm close to is any different than me hanging out with a few girls I'm close to, and she says that therein lies the issue. Should there be a difference? 
I don't see why. I'd rather be thought of as being ME than as just a girl.

Dear Parents Everywhere

Why do you even ask questions that start with "You don't mind me asking..."? You know you're wrong. You admitted it yourself. Just do us all a favor and accept your wrongness before the words come out of your mouth. Yes, we mind. It's about time somebody let you know.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quack, Quack

I've been thinking a lot about baby ducks recently. More specifically, about how sometimes I feel kind of like a baby duck, and not just in that I'm cute and loveable and soft (LOL) and that some might call me high-yellow.
I've been thinking about imprinting. How when a duckling hatches, it latches on to the first living thing it sees and calls it mama. Supposedly humans don't do this. But I feel like I do, in a different way. The first place that feels nice, I call it home and don't want to let go. The first people I knew on this campus are still my closest friends, and losing one of them to Oxford for a semester hurts. I seize the smallest show of affection and in return, find small ways to scream love.
I think I care too much about everything, and I'm fairly sure it's just going to get me hurt.
My mom thinks I'm a good friend. For some reason, this makes me feel really proud. 

My mom isn't particularly a touchy-feely person like I am. She rarely says really nice things about me like this. I'm really glad she thinks so. I guess it means I'm doing something right, you know?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I believe many of us--too many of us--don't take enough time out of our lives to appreciate the simple things. I was reading an article for class yesterday, in which someone said he "abhors the dull routine of existence." I didn't realize how much that struck me, until today I was walking home from lunch and, for no real reason, I glanced up at the sun as it cut jagged little patches of light through the reddening trees. I was overcome with a realization of the true beauty of this place I nonchalantly call home, and instantaneously upset with myself for ever having forgotten it. So I beg you, the next time you're out and about taking a walk, no matter your destination, take a short moment to really look at your surroundings. Remember why where you are is where you have chosen to be, and why you have chosen it. Remember that we are products of our surroundings, and do your best to reflect the beauty that surrounds you.
Sometimes I still marvel at the fact that this is a building I have class in. It makes me feel rather classy overall...

I'll leave you with a song:

Monday, September 20, 2010

...Do you ever have dreams that are just fucking weird? Like, strange trippy sexy dreams? The kind that involve you, say, rubbing Vick's VapoRub all over the warm chiseled chest of a very close friend, and then lead you to practically drool when you run into him the next day? Do you ever wonder what the hell your subconscious is trying to do to your life?

...Yeah, right, me neither. >.<

Saturday, September 18, 2010

An exerpt from "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens" by Alice Walker

"Did you have a genius of a great-great-grandmother who died under some ignorant and depraved white overseer's lash? Or was she required to bake biscuits for a lazy backwater tramp, when she cried out in her soul to paint watercolors of sunsets, or the rain falling on the green and peaceful pasturelands? Or was her body broken and forced to bear children (who were more often than not sold away from her)--eight, ten, fifteen, twenty children--when her one joy was the thought of modeling heroic figures of rebellion, in stone or clay?

How was the creativity of the black woman kept alive, year after year and century after century, when for most of the years black people have been in America, it was a punishable crime for a black person to read or write? And the freedom to paint, to sculpt, to expand the mind with action did not exist. Consider, if you can bear to imagine it, what might have been the result if singing, too, had been forbidden by law. Listen to the voices of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, and Aretha Franklin, among others, and imagine those voices muzzled for life. Then you may begin to comprehend the lives of our "crazy," "Sainted" mothers and grandmothers. The agony of the lives of women who might have been Poets, Novelists, Essayists, and Short-Story Writers (over a period of centuries), who died with their real gifts stifled within them."

...This is perhaps the best reason I have ever identified with as to why I must create. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...

Fact: I love Robert Frost. But that's not what this is about.

I have this friend, a very close friend, in fact, who loves to ask really deep and somewhat philosophical questions out of nowhere, and expects an instant answer. I usually just give her one of two looks: o.0 (read: wtf are you talking about?!) or -__- (read: ...really?) when she does this, and wanted to do the same this last time, but I actually had an instant answer to the question. It came to my head before I could register either of the two looks, and then I couldn't deny it. 

The question? Something along the lines of "Who do you want to see but don't really want to see at the same time?" 

...You probably know where this is going.

Well, I saw him today. It...wasn't a total awkward-fest, but it wasn't totally non-awkward either. It's like...just when I'd totally and completely gotten over what it feels like when he has me in his arms, you know? I had to invite him to dinner, because in the situation, it would have been rude not to, but part of me was slightly relieved when he said he already had plans...I'm not ready to start making a fool of myself again. 

It's time to make a decision about this once and for all. (Can I even do that without talking to him about it? Is that fair to all the involved parties?) I have a date on Friday with someone else! If he asks me about Friday, will I tell him that? Will I sugar-coat by just saying I'm headed up to Rutgers? I don't know if/how he'd be affected by either answer. Just because I'm going on a date (okay just because I'm going on my first date ever) doesn't mean that the door we nudged open in May is closed on my end. I just...dammit, after all this time, I still don't know if it's open on his.

TURN OFF, BRAIN. STOP READING TOO MUCH INTO THINGS. I ever want to have to wonder what might have been? Does he?

Pretty Mama if you're single, single...

So part of me really likes living in a single. I can watch my TV shows out loud on my computer, and don't ever have anyone bugging me to put headphones in when I'm listening to music. It's a major goal of mine to be at least relatively clean this year--so I can invite people over!--but if I slip, there's no one to bug me about my desk being a mess, etc. IF I DON'T FEEL LIKE WEARING PANTS, I DON'T HAVE TO. This space feels definitely MINE, and I've never really had that before, and I think I absolutely love it.

I will admit, however, that it was kind of scary going to sleep last night. I don't know why, because I slept in the apartment by myself in Chicago a few times! But alas, I am unashamed to admit that part of me really wants to get a nightlight. 

A diva nightlight like this:


I think that one of the best things in the entire world...

is the discovery that a friendship runs deeper and is more valuable than you'd ever predicted, the realization that in a rather unlikely and unpredictable source, you have found someone who will truly be there for you in a time of need, who will listen and advise without pretense or protest, and for whom you would unconditionally be willing to give the same honor to. It serves as a reminder that the people in our lives are gifts, and occasionally the most extraordinary of gifts comes in the most ordinary of wrappings. It is in these moments, this time we take from our lives and dedicate solely to a true friend in true need, that we remember how to say plain, pure, powerful statements, such as "You are important to me," and feel the blessed weight of their joy returned to us as well.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


There are few things in the world I hate more than packing. I mean, I really and truly abhor the entire process. And this doesn't ever change, no matter how much I want to get to wherever I'm going. I'm sitting here, legitimately counting the hours (68) til I'm back home (by which I obviously mean on campus; there are few such places where I feel like I truly belong), and yet standing between there and here is a shitload of packing to be done, and camped out on the couch watching Bones online. I tried to pack this morning. I got started. I's so boring and so tedious and takes so much time and I JUST DON'T LIKE IT. *whine*

Sunday, September 5, 2010


"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream." --Shakespeare

"No more worries; rest your head and go to sleep. Maybe one day we'll wake up and this will all just be a dream." --Eminem

^Up yours to anyone who says rap isn't poetry.

But that's a side note. This post is about the movie Inception. I watched it online earlier today, and those two quotes popped into my head as soon as the movie was over, while I was struggling to come to terms with reality. I remember in 2004 when that Eminem song came out--for those who don't know, Mockingbird, one of his best, go inform yourself--sitting at the table in my high school having a conversation with my friends over french fries, about how mind-blowing a concept that was. What if the entire life we have, everything we know and everything it feels as though we have ever known, is but a dream that we will someday wake up from? What if one day we woke up and our bed wasn't our bed, our hands weren't our hands, our reflection featured a stranger blinking back at us? What if our parents weren't our parents, our friends weren't our friends, and we were no longer the ourselves? If everyone from Shakespeare to Eminem to Christopher Nolan can become fascinated by the same idea (the most resilient parasite, after all), is there a possibility that this world which feels so really is just a product of our abundant imaginations? I'm sure it's not, but chew on that one for a while, haha.

Side note: I can't see people's faces in my dream. It's not like people are mannequins or weird faceless blobs...Everything's just a little too blurry for me to make out the details. Faces, places, all of it. Like, I know where I am, and I know who is with me (even if I don't actually know that person(s)....I rather often dream of strangers who are entirely known to me in my dreams...the products of my subconscious, I suppose), but none of it is entirely clearly visible. Almost as if it's from a "real world" I can't quite remember? (If the third level was ten years, we could spend lifetimes in a fourth level...a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream...) 

For your entertainment...

Random train of thoughts!

Follow me, this one is fun.

So my music player is on shuffle, and "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton just came on. (Don't judge me, 90s music is awesome.) So I was contemplating the line from the chorus, If I could fall into the sky, do you think time would pass us by? 

Falling into the sky was the part that was interesting to me for a moment.

It made me think of Falling Up, the book of poems by Shel Silverstein, whose books were among my favorites during childhood. (The Missing Piece is still a pretty accurate description of my life as a whole.) 

Thinking about Shel Silverstein made me remember this awesome thing that happened to me when I was visiting my dad in Florida last year. We were driving somewhere, probably just to Walmart or something, and I saw the best sign ever.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

So for the longest time I've had this recurring random wonderment. It's often rather difficult to explain to much so that, as of late, I'd rather stopped trying. 

It's like, when we're little kids, our preschool and kindergarten teachers point to some colored squares and say, "That's blue," "That's green," "That's red," etc. And we nod our little heads and say yes. And we go home and our parents do the same thing with our favorite ball and our jacket and the grass outside and the sky, and the colors of all these things are roughly the same as the colors on the squares our teachers showed us, so we nod our little heads and say yes. But how do you know that little Bobby sitting next to you in class sees the green square (and thus, the grass) as being the same color you see it as? What if little Bobby thinks what you both call "green" is actually the color you see as "red" and visa versa? What if your green is purple to him? HOW COULD WE EVER FIND OUT IF WE SEE THE SAME THINGS THE SAME WAY???

...One of the really and truly incredible things about this online dating thing is that it has matched me with other people who, in their I spend a lot of time thinking about box, list that exact question (in their own words, of course). ...I didn't even include it on my profile because I thought it was too weird. Mysterious forces are at work here, verrrrry mysterious forces.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Relient K - Be My Escape (Video)

Fits my mood right now. Idk who I'm begging, though. Possibly myself.


So as I've mentioned before, I've been using this dating site, OKCupid, recently. It has led me to realize something that I find very troubling about myself:

I have extreme difficulty answering the following questions:

What are some of my interests?

What do I like to do for fun?

...These are very basic and simple questions. I should immediately be able to come up with answers. I can come up with a few, but they're not very satisfying, even to me.

FACT: This is further proof that I don't do enough things for myself, because I want to and like to, not because they'll look good on my resume or will help a lot of people. 

Fact: This is a problem.

I want to I'm going to do more to fix this...I just don't know how to do that without disappointing a lot of people, myself included. I always thought I just liked being in charge of things, but maybe that's just all I'm used to. I need to get used to something new.

I always say I would NEVER have wanted to go to a big state school...

...but that's not exactly the whole truth. There are occasionally, times when I semi-seriously wonder what it would have been like. I'm going through one of those times right now. 

What is this time inspired by, you might ask? Well, I was sniffing around on Google, trying to come up with (read: steal) some ideas for what the black groups I plan events for on campus could do to welcome new students to campus. Firstly, I was surprised by the sheer number of results I got. I was so excited, look at all these links that [supposedly] contain ideas I can bring to my campus! :D :D :D *mental cartwheels*

...Then I started clicking on them, and was SORELY disappointed. And not in the usual google-search-didn't-give-me-what-I-want way, but in the so-and-so state's CENTER FOR BLACK CULTURAL AND STUDENT AFFAIRS hosts an annual BLACK STUDENT ORIENTATION, or so and so university's BLACK CULTURAL CENTER welcomes black students in this-or-that way, or other-small-private-liberal-arts-school's African American Student Affairs center, etc. etc. etc. when the director of our "Multicultural Center" just gives us empty promises and dry criticisms. I really can't imagine a possibility in which a large effort to make black students feel welcome and included on campus comes from the center itself, rather than our student organizations begging and pleading for its "support" while we scrape something together ourselves.

Sorry, moment of *angryrant*