Saturday, November 26, 2011

Reblogged from PostSecret


That's what the fight for marriage equality is about. Everything else is just a fringe benefit. The important thing is to recognize and validate love and commitment wherever they come in this world full of false starts and not-so-happy endings.

This ad actually made me tear up a little. 

Tried this new twist-out method for my bangs today

and absolutely love the results! I'ma hafta try to do my whole head like this sometime in the very near future. 
Please ignore the awkward angle of my face.
Brought to my head by:

Style Crush

Reblogged from 18° 15' N, 77° 30' W
She knows she has no business sitting in the dirt in such light colors, though.

Full-Figured Woman Chronicles:

Though I did some shopping earlier this week, the only thing I bought on actual Black Friday? 


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Style crush

Reblogged from 18° 15' N, 77° 30' W
I love this from her fro to her shoes. But skinny jeans and I aren't friends :/

What we're celebrating today.

I have a friend who is a quarter Native American. We were talking about what we were doing for the holiday over our Thanksgiving dinner on campus, and she laughed and said her family doesn't really like Thanksgiving, for obvious reasons. And that was when it hit me, that Thanksgiving celebrates many of the same atrocities that Columbus Day lauds, and it's a bit hypocritical for me to abhor the latter while wholeheartedly celebrating the former. I feel obligated to recognize how problematic this holiday is, how we are officially celebrating the exploitation and subsequent near-destruction of a people.

But there is one major thing that separates Thanksgiving from Columbus Day: no one knows what we're celebrating on Columbus Day, except a day off of school or work for some. On Thanksgiving, we know what we're celebrating: family, friendship, love, and quite a bit of privilege. We journey across the country to visit our families, taking part in old traditions and creating our own, cooking together, laughing together, sharing memories, and remembering how much we really do love each other, even if we don't get together as often as we'd like. Today, Thanksgiving is meant to be a day of joy and togetherness, and so even though the day was created out of terrible legacies, I am thankful for what it has become in modern times. 

First and foremost, this year I am thankful for my family and all of our relative healths, and that I can sit in this room typing this with my grandmother reading a book on one side of me and my mother on the other side. I am thankful that we are all able to come together and cook this meal together this year, a tradition I hope we'll be able to continue for many years to come. I am thankful that my grandmother wants to write her recipes down into a cookbook, and that she wants my help. I am thankful for the counter full of sweet potato pies, some of which have my name on them. But most of all, I am thankful for the powerful powerful love in this room, even when it comes in the form of teasing. I am thankful for my loving father, and my caring older sister and niece, and my recently re-discovered ex-step-brother, even though I couldn't be with them this holiday.

Next, I am incredibly thankful for Princeton, as corny as it sounds. Nearly everything about my life as it stands today is unrecognizable from my life a mere four years ago, and the change is for the better is the vast majority of ways. I am obviously thankful for the academic atmosphere, the classes I've taken and the incredible minds (both of my professors and my classmates) that I've gotten to work with, and for the myriad opportunities I've been given (financial aid, job, internships, mentors, acting, leadership, trips to Broadway, meeting famous people). I am thankful for the friendships I've spent various fractions of the past 3.5 years cultivating; I mean it when I say you all have changed my life for the better in so many ways. I might even be more thankful for the lessons I've learned outside the classroom, as taught by my friendships and other relationships, than for that which I've learned from books and lectures. I have learned myself by knowing you. 

Two particular subsets of Princeton deserve shout-outs. Firstly, I am thankful for what I will call "Black Princeton," being "the Black community" ambiguously defined, as well as the Center for African-American Studies and the Carl A. Fields Center. You introduce me to sides of myself I didn't know, eased an uneasiness I hadn't even been aware of. I always say I "learned how to be Black" at Princeton, and that was all you, and I'm so incredible grateful. You taught me the meaning of community, both in giving me the all-inclusive-ness I desperately needed and in giving me the space I needed to branch out. And secondly, I am thankful for the community I branched out into: Quad. I am thankful for the somewhat haphazard series of decisions that brought me to you and to the officer corps. I am thankful for the diversity of backgrounds, experiences, majors, and ideals we share, and the ever-expanding dinner table and large library where conversations that explore this diversity happen. I am thankful for having been turned into a functional alcoholic responsible drinker, and for a safe space in which my inhibitions have been lowered to a level I'm much more comfortable with. Both of these communities have changed me fundamentally, and I don't know what I'd do without either.

I am thankful for my friends from childhood/adolescence, because even though sometimes I feel like I've drifted away from you guys, as soon as we have a good conversation or hang out, it's like no time has passed at all. I'm thankful that we grew up (and are still growing up) together, and that after all these years, many of my memories with you all are still counted among the best of my life. 

I am thankful for the privileges I have been afforded, for technology, for my job, for the #Occupy movement, for online shopping, for dreaming about roadtrips, for music, for clearance racks, for Integrated Gmail, for etsy, for ebay, for libraries, for my health, my memory, for being able to help my mom when she needs it, for feeling appreciated, for having others to appreciate, for the fight for social justice and equal rights, and for the struggle, because growth must be rooted in frustration. I am thankful for my life, and everything it entails. 

A conversation I just couldn't have

I saw S, one of my oldest friends, for the first time since early September last night. We had the obviously necessary catch-up conversation about how school's going, how surprisingly unweird relations with my ex are, and what kinds of jobs I'm applying to and where on my end, and how moving out of his mom's house is going and whether he likes his new job on his end, and Thanksgiving plans and fabulously boring love lives on both of our ends. It was touching to listen to him protest to me applying to jobs in faraway places like Chicago and California, and when we hopped in the car for a late night Wawa run, I realized that there was one other thing that has developed in my life of late that he should know.  

Sitting next to him in the semidarkness of the car, I mulled over how to bring it up. I opened my mouth and closed it again without saying anything. You shouldn't deliver bad news while someone is driving. You also shouldn't do it once they're back in your dining room enjoying a turkey bowl and donuts. You shouldn't do it while you're exploring etsy together, and you shouldn't do it after he yawns and says he should be getting home. Life is full of inopportune moments for this conversation. Is there a right time? How do you say, best friend from childhood, who once made my mother a macaroni necklace for Kwanzaa and whom she often refers to as her favorite son (my little brother's existence notwithstanding), my mom has cancer?

Compounding all of this is the fact that I'm not entirely sure I need to tell him. Does he have to know? (Of course, when something happens with him, I tell my mom and she is genuinely concerned. I know that he would care.) I just...this isn't a topic for casual conversation. I'm not at a point where I can discuss my parents' illnesses in the context of catching up with someone. I wish he read this and just knew; that's how everyone who knows but E, K, and my dad found out. I feel like a hypocrite having shared this with people all over the internet, but some things feel too close to home to be shared with people I distinctly feel as though I'm losing touch with. I don't want this to become one of our regular topics of conversation. I want to stick to safe topics. I want our most complicated things to revolve around our love lives or how this process of trying to grow up is going.

I don't think I'm going to tell him, unless we somehow start talking about my mom and some sort of seamless segue seems possible (which seems highly unlikely). And maybe that signifies all sorts of terrible things about how I'm letting my friends from childhood/adolescence go in favor of my Princeton friends, many of whom I'll probably let go over time in favor of the friends I form in later places and times. Maybe there's a level of emotion that I can't bridge with them anymore; maybe we're just not close enough for them to need to know everything about my life anymore. 

And I don't really think I need to feel bad about this. It a natural consequence of personal growth and relocation. This post may seem like a counterargument, again, but...I feel like it's different talking about the details of my life with people who haven't known me and my family since elementary school. And if that's's tough. Get a helmet. (Boy Meets World ftw.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Itty Bitty Confesssion Time:

I will not post the Katy Perry song because her existence tends to annoy me, but...

I kissed a girl. And I liked it. (No cherry chapstick was involved, however.) Like, an actual kiss as opposed to just a little peck. There was some very minor tongue involved and I had my hand on the back of her neck. A room full of people may have been cheering us on a little bit. She was sober and I wasn't particularly drunk. 

I'm glad this finally happened, though I was expecting it to happen for the first time with someone else. Anyway, the experience was brief and passionless (more like exploratory), but all in all quite pleasurable, and I feel like I've accomplished something towards "earning" my heteroflexible identity, if that makes sense.  

Good life advice:

Reblogged from Indie. Radiant.

Le cosign

Reblogged from come correct



Reblogged from 18° 15' N, 77° 30' W
 Helloooooo Christmas wishlist.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I can never say Idk what to do with this scarf ever again:

courtesy of this fantastic video. She's so cute about it, too. I highly approve. 

The new problem, however, is that I own one silky scarf like this. I want to own like, 15 now that I've seen this video. *cue shopping spree*

Style Crush

Reblogged from 18° 15' N, 77° 30' W

Sometimes the things I read for class actually inspire deep thought.

I read this pretty highly disturbing novel this week called Time's Arrow for a class I'm taking on Crime, Fiction, and Film. The narrator is an unidentified and undetected presence living inside a Nazi death doctor who is re-living his life from death to birth in a world that's running trippy, and so disturbing, as you must do violence to someone to heal them. Anyway, the narrator finds it incredibly interesting how humans forget everything, but he remembers, and it occurred to me that even though he means how humans "forget" everything in this scenario because it technically hasn't happened yet, we are quite adept at forgetting things in the real world too. I wrote in my response:

We remember what we want to remember. We have a tendency to downplay or even repress memories of unpleasant or traumatic incidents in our pasts, and it is not uncommon for two people who were once lovers to regard each other with mere cordiality in the future, as politely as if they are strangers. We would be unable to function in society if we remembered every trespass against us, if we held every possible grudge, and/or if the weight of our own actions was constantly bearing down upon us--we are, indeed, talented at forgetting.
And it was one thing to write that for was another to see  it taking place within the context of my own life. I don't even think about my interactions with my ex anymore, though they have been both the thing I most anticipate and the thing I most dread about days in the past. He has a tendency to sit at the desk closest to me in the room at my eating club I do all of my work in, and this doesn't phase me. When one of us groans at our work or laughs at something, we share it with one another with no problems. When we run into each other around campus, he smiles and acknowledges me, and my smile back is genuine. He asked me for help with STATA (a statistical software sociologists--and evidently, economists--use to analyze data) the other day and I didn't hesitate to bend my head over his laptop and try to figure out what was going wrong, or to point him in the direction of further help. When my mom and I were leaving Quad today to go home for Thanksgiving, I specifically called out to him to wish him a happy holiday, and that too felt genuine.

I will admit, however, that later on in the evening on the night I tried to help him with STATA, I wondered whether I'm being too soft on him. Should I be colder? Should my politeness feel fake? Should my kindness come from a place of social responsibility, rather than of genuine feeling? Did I let him off the hook of hurting me too easily? Are my current actions negating our prior mistakes? Do my current feelings cancel out the pain and hurt of before? Am I somehow doing myself a disservice here, or not teaching him the lesson I should? 

And then I realized that I just don't have the energy for all of that, let alone the desire to walk around with sandbags of anger and hurt tied to my legs. Harboring all of that negativity wouldn't serve any purpose. It's not that I've forgotten what we were or why it ended or how he made me feel; when I want to, I can recall all of that in great detail. But on a daily basis, it just serves me better to ignore it, pretend it didn't happen...act like I've forgotten about it. Making us both live in those unpleasant moments forever is so...7th grade. It's just...easier this way. No one has to walk on eggshells. There is no shooting or receiving of dirty looks. We don't each have to be eternally sorry. I remember passively, and I live my life for me.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Accessories crush:

Reblogged from 18° 15' N, 77° 30' W
Bangles never fit me. :( I have big hands (and particularly big knuckles), and I can never get bangles over them. It makes me so sad, because I love them.


Reblogged from Indie. Radiant.
I actually love everything about this image, thought I'm not sure the look is something I could pull off.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This must be "Be a Gentleman Weekend" or something

This guy I met last night takes the cake. He was here from NYC with one of the dance groups on campus, which was having an afterparty of sorts at my eating club's party. He was chilling at the bar for a while while I was on tap duty, and he was laughing/chatting with me and some other hanging-out-by-the-bar-ers. A bit later, when the other people who were at the bar had wandered off, he asked me

Him: Do you know that song about the bartender?
Me: Which one?
Him: The one by T-Pain.
Me: Oh yeah! That's a good song.
Him: Well, I'm in love with the bartender. 
(He is actually combining two songs here, but they're both by T-Pain so I'ma cut him some slack.)
Me: *blushes* (y'all know I can't actually blush, so read this as: smiles demurely and lowers eyes) *rushes off to pour a few beers for the people who have appeared*
(After I've finished) Him: So are you working all night?
Me: No, I get off at one and then other people will be behind the bar.
Him: So maybe later you can come out here and dance with me?
Me: *blushes again* Yeah, I could do that. 

He wanders off elsewhere into the party. When I get off a little after one, I don't see him and am kind of sad. But whatever, I go and dance with some other people, and then I want another drink so I make my way back into the tap room, and run into a friend of mine. She's talking to two guys, one of whom happens to be my suitor from before! He's being a wingman for a friend of his who is trying to get my friend to dance with him, and then he says, "Well I'm going to dance with her," gesturing to me, "so you should dance with him," and we walk off. I was trying to go out to the dance floor, but he says no, we're going to dance right here, so I turn around and start to back up on him. He is impressed by my moves, especially when I bend over for a minute after he suggests we move backwards to the wall so that I can push up on him better, and he puts his hands on my waist tenderly. I put my hands over his, to say that I like their placement, and he interlocks our fingers. Everything about this man cries sweet and gentle, yet strong and forceful enough to be pleasing, and I just want to keep dancing with him. 

So when mere moments later, another man I don't recognize walks over to us to tell him that they're leaving, and he backs away from me without letting go of my hand, I am legitimately saddened. I'm not ready for this to be over. He explains that he doesn't want to, but he has to go--that guy is his ride back to New York. He thanks me for the dance, saying he had been waiting for it all night, and with that he begins to turn away. I let go of his hand slowly as he turns, every fiber of my being screaming reluctance. 

Nothing beats a man who can make me feel simultaneously sexy and respected. And I hate the fact that I don't even remember his name. Ah, what might have been.

[I feel obligated to mention that he was White, but couldn't think of an appropriate place within the story to insert this detail. And since he was here with that group, he most likely breakdances.]   

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A beautiful fro

Reblogged from Fuck Yeah Curls Curls Curls

RiRi is actually fire right now:

Exhibit A:

Reblogged from A Winding Road...


As in, a substantial percentage of the African-American male population is being silenced throughout our country. Variations in state laws make it so that different proportions of the population are having their voices--and their supposedly inalienable rights--stripped from them, but only two states in the entire nation have refrained from engaging in this terrible practice, and to be frank, there aren't really many Black people in those states anyway. Really though, this is disgusting. How can an ex-felon ever fully be rehabilitated into a quote-unquote normal life if he or she can't fully participate in society, if he or she has no say in what goes on in his or her own daily life? When this extends to large parts of entire communities, we are creating color-by-number portraits whilst missing a few crayons. We'll never get the whole picture, and the voids we're leaving behind are just dangerous. I can think of no stronger way to suggest that these people simply don't matter to the American state. 

Reblogged from Sociological Images
"Embrace and love yourself as you are even if it makes others uncomfortable."
--Advice from maneandchic.

Shoutout to those guys

who know how to talk to a woman.

Princeton had a Ball tonight--please do your best to refrain from snickering at how pretentious we are--that seemed more like a high school dance than anything else at times. I had a cute dress, matching shoes, fly ass jewelry, and a baller hairstyle as inspired by this video:

Successfully tried it at home:

Anyway, I'm not tryna sound cocky or anything, but quite a few people told me they liked my hair or my makeup or my dress (or any combination/permutation of the above). A few even told me how great/pretty I looked. And all of these things made me blush (kind of) and smile and express much thanks, but none of them compared to when E told me I looked "beautiful." 

Maybe it was a line. Maybe he said that to every girl he saw tonight. I don't care. It didn't matter. In that moment, I felt like he actually saw me as a whole package and liked what he saw. I felt special. I felt...noticed and appreciated. It just makes you feel so good about yourself, as shallow as that may be.

And then later I ran into another friend of mine walking in the door to Charter, the eating club that is the farthest away from campus. I was leaving as he was coming in, and though I'd already run into him a few times tonight, I decided to stop and give him a goodnight hug. I tapped him on the shoulder and he stopped, looked at me, and said that I was "just about the only person he'd stop for in this cold."

Again, I felt like I'd just been honored.

So this is a shoutout to all the guys who know how to talk to a woman. How to make her legitimately feel good about herself (and your relationship, of whatever sort) with just a few words. I want you (and guys like you and guys unlike you and guys who just want to be like you) to know that I appreciate your appreciation. That it will stay with me for the next day or two. That you will be behind the little smile on my face as I finish this post and go to sleep. 

I felt so...visible. These aren't just things people say in social situations because they're deemed acceptable. These things felt meant, and that more than anything else makes tonight memorable and more than worth it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Do something different with hair...await perplexed commentary

"Maya, did you get a haircut? Or did you just work magic and make it do something different?"



Reblogged from Currently Obsessed with...
This really makes me want to see the pictures that woman took of me and my friend C's heads at the naturals meetup we went to in NYC. She had a fancy camera and was really interested in our textures. She worked for Essence. 

Also, swingsets. <3

This makes me want a photoshoot:

Reblogged from 18° 15' N, 77° 30' W

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wanted: Someone to play hookie with me

Sometime in the not-too-distant future--preferably once this batch of unseasonably warm weather runs itself out (although I won't complain if that never happens, haha), but I wouldn't be against this happening tomorrow by any mean--I want to take a day off from my life. I want to say fuck class, fuck reading, fuck my thesis, fuck the color-coded Excel spreadsheet of jobs I still have to apply to, fuck whatever meetings I have...Life, I'm taking a vacation day. I want to wake up, revel in how warm and cozy my bed is...and not have to get out of it. I want to stay in bed all day.

And I don't want to do it alone. The only thing better than waking up and being able to snuggle back into your warm bed is waking up and being able to snuggle up to the warm person in your bed. I want to wake up and snuggle with someone, and once we're awake enough to move without feeling like a spell is being broken, I want to make us tea to lift our spirits. I want to watch movies or funny Youtube videos on my laptop with this person. I want us to give each other massages and have a tickle war or three. I want to order Chinese food and just put on my bathrobe to go to the front door and get it, and I don't want my feet to get all cold while I'm walking in the hallway. We could move to the desk for the purpose of Bananagrams and maybe a crossword puzzle we're not too concerned with actually finishing. I want to go exploring through the fantastic landscapes of each other's bodies, and I want conversation that is just as stimulating. I want the easy whole comfort of temporary co-ownership of one another. And as impossible as this is in the hectic world of Princeton, aka the overwork Olympics, I don't want either of us to feel guilty for this day off. 

I can't imagine this will actually happen, but hey, a girl can dream.


This is a wonderful song I've stumbled upon by Inna Modja, called La Fille Du Lido. Part of it is in English, and all of it is awesome. Also, her HAIR! And her OUTFITS! And her SOUND! Loving all of it:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tried it at home:

The results from my attempting to style my hair like the woman whose picture I posted on Friday:

 Could have been better, could have been worse. Will most likely be experimented with again.

Routine and the Never-Ending Quest for Balance

I had lunch with a good friend of mine yesterday, and I realized that I hadn't had a legitimate conversation with him since before classes started, despite the fact that we live within a 5 minute walk of one another and have a large mutual friend group. Talking to him felt almost nostalgic, and took me back to times freshman year when I was so welcome in his room I might as well have been one of the roommates. And then I realized there are other friends I actually haven't talked to except in passing since last semester. I have only seen/hung out with one of my 6 ex-roommates in the last three weeks. There are some very good friends of mine on this campus with whom I only interact via Facebook. What kind of friend am I? When did this happen to me? And how?

And then I realized that I basically do the same thing every day. I wake up, I go to Quad, I go to class (if it's one of the three days I have class), I go back to Quad, repeat the previous two steps as often as necessary until dinnertime, eat dinner, chill at Quad, and then if it's a work day, go to work. If not, be at Quad until it's time to go to bed, lest I have a meeting or something that requires I be elsewhere. 

That means I see Quad people. And people who are in my classes. And occasionally people who are in the same non-Quad clubs as me. And...basically no one else. 

How did I used to see people? Ah, we used to eat together in dining halls, and who you were eating with was a big deal. There would be texts and agreements and waiting. It was kind of a big to-do. But those days are over. And most of the friends I never ever see aren't in eating clubs, so eating with them would require using one of my two guest meals a month (which go SO FAST) or...going to a dining hall. That's only really cute for breakfast/brunch, haha. 

But...I guess I'm going to have to start going to dining halls. Or find out what my friends from my life before Quad do with their free time and start doing that with them. Once upon a time I just sat in people's living rooms and chatted. I...miss my friends. I don't want to lose people BEFORE graduation (or after either, but that seems less feasible...).

This makes me wonder what else I'm missing out on due to my routine. Not only seeing my friends, and all the laughs and thought-provoking conversations we might have had, but perhaps developing other friendships further, perhaps certain events or outings, perhaps...I'm not sure, but I think it's interesting that that which makes us happy may also be working directly against other routes to happiness. There are no takebacks for time passed, and thus doing something you love works directly against opportunities to do other things you might love. Conversations you have and time you spend with one person can bring you great joy, but are simultaneously preventing you from spending time with someone else. Can there be room for spontaneity within a daily routine? 

I suppose what I'm struggling with here is balance. It seems like that will be the keyword of my senior year. Balance. 

It's fall break and I've done work every single day, but even now I can't find the right balance between work for class and work for thesis and work related to seeking future employment. I wanted to get so much more done than I've gotten done, but I can only keep thesis-ing through tonight, or I won't finish my reading for next week's classes. I want to implement thesis Fridays Friday mornings/early afternoons to help keep me working on long-term goals as I meet short-term requirements, but I don't know if that plus breaks is enough for this semester. And I'm good about getting applications with established deadlines in a few days before they're due, but what about positions that are "open until filled" or have rolling deadlines? I wish I could take like, a 24-hour period off to just tweak cover letters and send my cover letter and resume to all the jobs that just require that, but there always seem to be more pressing concerns. Balance.

I'm taking four classes right now, because I thought it would be better to front-load my senior year so that in the Spring I'd have a very light classwork-load and could devote two or even three days a week to Thesis. That was a great plan, until the Course Offerings list came out and there are WAY TOO MANY AWESOME-SOUNDING CLASSES for me to pick just two. I've whittled my list down from 12-ish to three classes that I feel like I absolutely have to be in, but...I only need two. Now, I could drop this class I'm in now that I never go to and am not at all invested in, but am currently getting an A- in. The class has two more papers and an exam, though, so that current A- doesn't mean much. And if I dropped it, I could devote the time I've been devoting to doing those readings/Blackboard posts/papers/studying to thesis this semester...but I'll have dropped a class I'm getting an A in. And is three semi-intense but REALLY REALLY INTERESTING classes senior spring a good idea anyway? Didn't I want to finish my thesis and then get drunk every day? Balance.

My friendships with people I've known my whole life are taking the backseat to my friendships with Princetonians as we all get pulled in different directions. It's so easy for each of us to just lose ourselves in school and work and those networks of people--when we hang out, like I did with two of my pre-Princeton besties last night, everything is great, but we can lose each other in the meantime. I realized last night that I haven't even told T or S about my mom being sick, whereas K and E hear about how scared I am all the time. (K even looked up some info about it on the internet, since he's doing cancer research for his thesis and knows way more than I do. He's a sweetheart.) Balance.

When I used to play Tony Hawk Playstation games in high school (I want none of your judgment), I used to try to rack up these sick combos by doing a bunch of flips in the air and then landing into a grind on a railing or a fence or the top of a ramp or something. And I remember there was like, this little meter that would appear on top of your character when you were grinding, to represent how you were balanced, and there was a green zone of safety and red zones of death (well, falling and losing your combo score) when you leaned too far to either side. I need to find a way to lean to that I'm in the green on all of my meters. Because right now it's Fall Break and I took exactly one night off to chill and have fun. Right now my shoulders are always tense and I can't quite seem to loosen up. I need Balance.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Someday when I'm a professor

I will be able to send texts as awesome as this:


I'll have my TA grade the tests, she needs something to do anyway. Wanna race to the bar on segways?

Sometime this weekend

instead of being even remotely productive towards my thesis, job applications, or coursework for next week, I'm going to spend about an hour or so (hopefully just about an hour or so) attempting to mimic this: 

 Chunky twists in the front, puff in the back, cuteness all around. Let's see if I can pull it off.

Will post pics when I'm done! Whee!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

So I quite regularly participate in fMRI experiments on campus

because the psych department needs people to be in their studies, and I like knowing I'm helping to make science, and they pay me quite handsomely. I made $52 today for about 2 and a half hours of my time. I just got a small raise at work, so I'm now making $11.70/hr to do nothing in the basement of a library, but only the Psych department really seems to understand how much my time and minimal effort are worth.

Anyway, it's a wonderful system and everyone wins. 

The only slightly annoying thing is, I can't have any metal on my person when I go into the scanner. This means no makeup (because evidently some makeup is made of very small bits of metal that could burn your face in the scanner...not cute), no bras that have wires or clasps (i.e. the one sports bra I own), and no pants with zippers or buttons (i.e. sweatpants). Basically, I go to these things clad from head to toe in Princeton gear and sneakers, and look like a bum with a lot of Princeton pride. Sometimes in the spring I can get away with wearing a dress without a bra, but it's cold in those scanners...

And it's break right now, so not that many people are on campus. I've been wearing cutesy outfits and not even getting compliments on them, because all week I've only really been hanging out with K and very occasionally a couple of other Quad people. After my friend and I rescheduled our lunch date to tomorrow, I decided to put my fMRI-required sweatpants early this afternoon and hole myself away in the student center doing work with K.

Then I was thirsty and had a package to pick up--my winter hat!--so ran downstairs and ran into a cute friend of mine, who hung up on whoever he was on the phone with to have a conversation with me about the take-home midterm we have for a class we're both in and how break is going.

If it was just that, this day of sweats wouldn't have been so bad. I would say that I came away from it relatively unscathed. But no. Then when I was on my way back to the student center post-fMRI and dinner, in a Pton hoodie on top of my Pton t-shirt and Pton sweats, I ran into another friend of mine whom I may or may not have had a small, back-of-my-mind kind of crush on since April of 2008 coming out of the student center, and he wanted hugs and convo and then asked if we could do dinner or hang out when he emerges from thesis-hole in a few days! Of course I flashed my best smile and said yes, but inside I was just cursing myself for being a shapeless lump in sweats instead of the form-fitting sweater I would have worn was today not an fMRI day. 

Whatever, the day is still looking like an overall win. :D

How I realized I was actually over it:

"I have let you go, and everything I went through was beautiful." --Jill Scott, "When I Wake Up"
Very-drunk-dancing-with-random-Asian-kid me did something sober-reflective me was quite proud of last Thursday. Asian kid had maneuvered us against one of the columns that conveniently frames Quad's dance floor, and I guess I had my eyes closed or I was looking down at my gyrating hips or something, because all I remember is looking up at seeing that a girl I know was grinding all up on my ex...

...and the world didn't end. I didn't stop dancing with Asian kid--didn't even lose track of the beat. I certainly didn't freak out about it. In fact, I can't remember thinking about it any more substantively than just like, noticing because it was in my direct line of vision. I subsequently noted for the third or so time that night how ridiculous his outfit was, and then I...kept it moving.

And I didn't want to say anything for a few days, because I was fairly convinced that some sort of feelin some kinda way would creep up on me, but it's been almost a week and I've only thought about it as it relates to writing this post. I was bracing myself for flashbacks to when that was the two of us, to our first kiss that happened on that same dance floor...and let me tell y'all, I got nothin.

I watched some other chick grind all up on the first guy to ever tell me he loved me and I really and truly didn't give a fuck, and it wasn't just because I was busy gettin busy with someone else, because I still couldn't possibly care less. It was as uneventful to me as watching any two other friends of mine dance, because we stepped pretty seamlessly into that friends role when we got back to campus, and while I'm certainly missing ze cuddles and ze cocoa as the weather gets colder...I don't miss him. 

I suppose this is what it feels like to realize that you're over someone, rather than just to declare it and hope it comes true.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ground Rules:

Reblogged from Rosetta over at Happy Black Woman:
  I’ve found that it’s helpful to remember a few truths to ground myself in my own experience, not the experiences of others:
  1. I am responsible for my own stuff. This life is mine alone to live and my happiness is mine alone to determine. Whether or not other people approve of my choices is never a good measuring stick for success or fulfillment.
  2. I am not responsible for other people’s stuff. (And by “stuff” I mean other people’s desires, hangups, frustrations, or opinions.)
"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." --Joseph Campbell

Living for tomorrow

Rarely do I make my dad say "Wowwwww" without having made reference to some Princeton-related or -inspired incident, such as running into Forest Whittaker or the array of mouth-watering options my eating club had for dinner, but I elicited such a response from him on Saturday when I was talking about the jobs I've been applying to. He was shocked that it's job-application season already, and asked whether I was just getting a head start--I had to tell him that no, I actually came into the game pretty late, and there were some deadlines that had passed before I even started looking. Then I started getting into the specifics of three places I've applied so far, and when I told him about how these were "real-people jobs" with salaries and benefits and vacation packages, he couldn't handle it. Seeing my senior portraits was one thing, but considering things like health insurance and paid time off made my impending graduation seem concrete for him, finally. 

I spend sooooo much time right now thinking about the future. I suppose that, on the surface, doing these job and fellowship applications isn't incredibly different from the internship and research program applications I filled out sophomore and junior years, but symbolically, these have so much more weight. Those applications were to find something to do with my summer; these are to find something to do with my LIFE next year or (most likely) two before going to grad school. Shit's important. And I'm putting a lot more thought into it; paying close attention to descriptions and seeing not only whether I can visualize myself in a certain environment performing certain tasks, but also whether I can visualize myself enjoying such a life. I'm cutting the bullshit and not applying to positions that don't meet my standards. I'm searching more comprehensively and casting my net more broadly than ever before. Basically, something's wrong if I go a day without doing something that's ostensibly for 7 months from now, at the earliest, and I'm finding it easier to put effort into these things than into, say, my reading on ethnic antagonism in Yugoslavia for my Race and Ethnicity class.

One of my favorite blogs, The Write Curl Diary, posted the following quote today: 
"As you seek new opportunity, keep in mind that the sun does not usually reappear on the horizon where last seen." 
~Robert Brault

I must remember to be creative in my search. I must be proactive. I must keep myself open to the possibility of possibilities in unexpected places. I'm playing a grown-up version of hide and seek, and I'm not going to find anything if I keep looking only in the most obvious and/or traditional of hiding places.

This has been my desktop background for the past week or so. Now is the latter time.
And I'm not the only person who feels this way, it seems. I was chatting with a friend on Facebook earlier, and when I asked him what was new in his life, he said it was all about the hustle, trying to go out and get "it". It's another friend's birthday, and instead of posting a status about how he's tearing up Hong Kong, he just posted this:
"Now is the time to capture the future."
Kudos to him, I thought. What a great thought-scape upon which to construct the next year of one's life. 

But then I remembered high school. Particularly my junior and senior years of high school, which arguably revolved almost solely around capturing the future. I remembered the clubs I participated in/ran without actually enjoying, the parties I didn't go to, the relationships I didn't have, all because (I'm over-simplifying here, but go with me) I was too stuck on tomorrow to remember to give a shit about today.

So while I'm chasing opportunity and sowing all these unpredictable little seeds of possibility, I must remember to concern myself with the present with as much vigor as I concern myself with the future. I can be neither fulfilled nor prepared until I find an appropriate balance.