Tuesday, August 18, 2015

            There's this loop we can get caught in: If I can get through/accomplish (A), then everything else from here on will be easy. Or easier. Or not as stressful. Yes, I’ve survived so many things that could have crushed my ribcage and shoved the fragments into my soul! And yes, good moments have come after! Does the difficulty get easier though?
            My accomplishment for this coming semester is that I haven't yet panicked about the high-level courses I'm taking. I can handle this (A), and I know I can improve. The subjects and books even excite me! Soon the loop changes, and your (A) becomes a (B). (B) If I can work through this semester, then everything else will be easy. (C) If I can add more obligations to the school this semester, then everything else will be easy. I've been invited to join a committee at school; as far as I can tell, I've already "confirmed" my membership by showing any interest. I am a careful decision maker, and I am panicking about this, even if I'm not panicking about my actual classes (yet).
            If I can survive (A), (B), (C), and an inevitable (D), then everything else will be easy.
            I’ve heard that everyone feels like this. That adults who have been adults—”real people”—for years still swim through honey towards some final ease that might be ahead. That we might need to be ahead to keep going.
            I’m scared. I didn't miss this feeling—it’s been a great summer—but it feels familiar. I know I could probably actually do these sort of things on a lifetime scale, but can I do them on a week-to-week scale? A day-to-day scale? Sometimes I find myself hiding out by the lockers at my lunch break for an introvert's repose. Would I always be able to find those small amounts of peace while doing A-D? A line from Dawes's song "Most People" resonates with this feeling to me. "And she thinks... most people don't know what it takes for me to get through the day... she doesn't know most people feel that same way." Every day of these things is hard, and sometimes I'm just not sure why we would still do them. For some ease in the future, or some challenge that will feel fulfilling instead of crushing? We have to put some faith in the future to keep going, and I have a tendency to thoroughly question what I'm told to have faith in.
            I wouldn't trade a day of my life in, but sometimes I wish I was thirty already. I feel like by thirty, I'd at least have chosen a path and walked it. Just by experiencing more things, we learn more about the map of ourselves. But it is so terrifying to walk through my own veins and be so blind in their darkness. I know some spaces. Empathy. Wonder. But to responsibly give myself directions into the dark—please don't let me blame myself for my fear.

Friday, January 02, 2015

In which I am very honest

            I don't find time specifically for posting updates to my life much anymore. Which is really too bad. I've neglected my blog, I've neglected my journals. All I have is the tiny boxes of my calendar filled with almost-illegible tiny words in an attempt to summarize good days.
            Calendars. It's 1 AM and I feel overwhelmed. I really hate Januaries now, if I'm being honest. January was a really terrible month last year, and now I can't escape the dread of it again. The "new year" brings  immense pressure. It almost hurts to think about the 363.5 days ahead of me as a whole, because I'm stressed already and I can't see what new stresses those days will bring. A year is entirely constructed—I can say a year goes from July 1st to the next July 1st, and I won't be wrong. But I've bought into our construction, or I've at least bought calendars that start with January. Every month feels like I'm closer to accomplishing something—the year—and I can almost breathe a sigh of relief when it gets to the end and I know I made it through. Then I have to do it again.
            It's not any calendar's fault. I've put myself under a lot of stress, and I don't see a way out of it. Really a lot of my life is driven by fear, or by just not knowing what else I could be doing. I started college because I really didn't see any other options. I'm still in college because I have my scholarship, I feel a duty to stay, and I still don't see any other options. But I also don't see any options I really like for when I graduate. I feel like I'm hopping from semester to semester hoping inspiration will find me. That one day I'll know my career path. It will be a literal road laid down before me. I'll have a direction to go, and people won't tell me, "You know, it's really hard to get a job in publishing," or, "So you're going to be an English teacher?" or "Nobody is ever a full-time poet (my own observation)." Or at least I'll know what to say back besides, "Ha ha! I'm hoping!" Because it doesn't always feel hopeful.
            Work is also a huge drain on me right now. I'm in mental recovery from the holiday season, and so is everyone else. Anyone who liked being on register before wants to hide just as much as I do, so I feel chained there yet again by duty. I've had some really great customers, but I'm so drained by every body I come in contact with. I got this job because I was afraid. I had a mental breakdown about April last year and convinced myself I would literally never be employed if I wasn't employed soon. I meant to get a summer job, and applied for a temp position. But they were hiring permanent—I just said yes and cried in my car. I know I can leave any time. It's my right. But I'm, again, afraid. I'm afraid that if I quit, circumstances will go awry and I'll actually need that money. When I get my next job, "Why did you leave your last job?" It's not too bad. I've got flexibility so I can work only 10-12 hours a week when school's in. Maybe things will go back to normal and I won't feel so tired out by the thought of it.
            In other January news, getting my wisdom teeth out on Tuesday. That's gonna be nonstop fun. It's not like I'm sometimes terrified to go to normal sleep with risk of low blood sugar complications. It's not like the building looks like an LDS church, and it's not like those aesthetics make me uncomfortable. It's not like it's furnished with more care for advertising economic success than for actual patient comfort. It's not like any list of "things that could go wrong" looks like "things that will go wrong". It's not like I'm already self-conscious about my puffy cheeks.
            And then to top it all off, communication is hard. I'm really grateful to have Anthony. It was good to start this year off with him. But otherwise, friendships are feeling really difficult. Ryan's still hundreds of miles away. As for my friends who live here, I feel like I'm always reaching out, not being reached to. It's a struggle to see them once a month, what with everyone leading independent lives. I don't really know how to do it.
            Today was good until now. Saw my family. Cleaned my room. Listened to Fictionists and painted my nails. Finished Portal 2. Finished a Christmas/birthday present for a friend. Watched so many VSauce videos with Alex and Dad—I'm really grateful for the cute curiosity my family has. But I can't really get over how much I don't want to go to work tomorrow, don't want my wisdom teeth out, don't want to start another semester already, don't want to lose touch with my friends, don't want to lose touch with myself. Happy new year.

DFTBA, even when you kinda FTBA.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Waking Up at Summer's End

           I see my blog in my bookmarks every single day. I've looked at the front page who knows how often, yet here I am without a post in five months. Overwhelmed every time by the prospect of organizing an un-organized life into words. Literally half-way through a first paragraph, I say I can't handle it right now and click away and forget about it. This month things seem to be tipping the other way. I can handle this because words are temporary forgetfulness and remembrance of an idea. If I feel like life is out of control, at least a word has reins.
            This month stressed me out before it began. Just the prospect of everything to come made—and makes—me want to skip it and forget it. I think I might have anxiety. It runs in the family. I feel like thinking "I might have anxiety" distances me from it, though. I feel like I'm in control knowing I'm not in control? I should probably see someone about it, but I keep thinking I can handle it. I don't really know anymore if I worry about things a "normal" amount, or if everyone else is more peaceful at 3 A.M. than I am. But I don't want to be put on drugs, because side-effects, even just potential, cause me as much stress as anything else.
            Work (it's been so long: I have a job at a retail chain store now) is simultaneously stressful and calming. People scare the shit out of me, especially people with coupons that won't work on Nike (because they always want them to work on Nike). The occasional day where I freaking own at that register, though—man, I feel a sort of pride. Today, I wasn't afraid of people. Calming—I'm in control, I am capable. Go-backs and cleaning are usually calming too. I stay busy, so I don't have time to think about anything but my work. There's no time to stress about anything else. Recently though, the down-time I have to organize tie displays is flooded with outside stress. How's my health? How's my family's health? Is this person upset with me? Will school destroy me? Can I be a full time student and still work? Do I have enough money to pay for gas? Will this stupid cough ever go away? Where do I have free time? I haven't finished a book in months... I'm honestly just terrified for school to start. I'm terrified for the holiday season to come. I'm terrified that I won't be able to handle it, that I'll have to quit and maybe they won't understand. The logic parts of my brain can talk me out of any  worries, but the illogical parts sometimes just talk me back in.
            To bring the month to one of its many sharp points, one of my best friends is leaving. Day after tomorrow. Tonight was the last night I'll see him until he next finds his way back. It still hasn't totally hit me that Ryan will be gone. That I won't have that someone who will meet me halfway at 2 A.M. on a bad night. It still feels like he can't be leaving, because it feels like it's always been this way. Strange to think we've only been friends for a year and a half now, when it feels like it's been a lifetime. I know we'll both be okay, but I'll miss him a lot once I'm really staring goodbye in the face.
            On the positive, I'm really lucky to have the people in my life that I do. My family is always wonderful and supportive. Anthony is always a sweetheart and a goof. I have great friends who are funny and understanding. My co-workers usually aim to bring a smile to my face. I think people do more good than they get credit for.
            Wake me up when September ends? Er, when August ends...


Sunday, March 02, 2014

The Way Our Eyes Render Out-of-Focus Points of Light

           Really not feeling my homework, even though I have so much to do that it'll cripple me in a couple hours, and probably for the next week.
            Let's talk about happy places instead.
            I really want to go camping. I want to go up to Washington Lake and be eaten by mosquitoes. Read some bad graphic novel, squish my toes in marshy mud, and listen to someone play "Wagon Wheel" on guitar to join in by the fire. Run up hills to take pictures of silhouettes against the moonlit lake water. Wake up to a stream maneuvering the rocks. Kids laughing and the occasional loud pop of a log on the morning fire.
            And then, of course, the fantasies of it all. Down the hills into the meadows filled with tall yellow and white flowers, small scatterings of purple wedged between fallen trees. At night the moon emerges from the clouds and fills this bowl up with silver. The petals flicker on the breeze and ring like bells. I fall to my knees and hide myself in the grass, afraid of disturbing this un-kept secret. My childhood amethyst heart breaks into daggers in my hand, but it's so beautiful I don't want to let it fall into the pools of mercury puddling at my elbows in the dirt. But I do, I cover up the pieces to a dull shine. Anyone looking down from the stars would see a space of clouded crystal buried in a square foot. Or they would, if all of the silver didn't layer itself over us, blankets of comfort to keep us from the invading roar.
            I want to go to the beach and take selfies with someone I love at noon and at sunset. I want to see fireworks on the darkening horizon. I want to make a flower crown and walk on water. I want to get out of everything I know to the comfort of an unknown that harkens back to our collective déjà vu.
            But I guess I really should get on that homework.

Saturday, January 04, 2014


            It has been quite a while. I've been meaning to write since December, but... obviously that didn't happen.  Months of slow changes.
            I quit color guard in early November.  I didn't want to quit; I did enjoy it, but in the end the stress was just too much for me.  I was asked to come back about five more times, but I've had to say no every time.  I was very close to going back—but I'm grateful, in retrospect, that I said no. School is enough to handle!
            Everyone says that college is a time to make mistakes.  How big those mistakes should be is questionable.  My first-time mistake: I forgot to take an exam altogether. Panicked when I realized two weeks later, but all I could do was move on.  Doing my best paid off!  I got a C in the course, the highest grade possible, and got A's in my film photography, gender communications, and anthropology classes.
            I luckily ended with a 3.5.  I need a 3.6 by the end of this semester, at lowest, in order to keep my scholarship for the next semester.  Since that scholarship covers about 85% tuition, I definitely need to keep it.  Despite the stress the new year has already been bringing in, I'm glad to be in a place where I feel like I can do it.
            Since then, I'm taking the Mike Wazowski route and writing my exam dates in bold red pen on my calendar.  Tomorrow will be forcefullly waking myself up at 7 AM so I have at least one day to get used to it.  Hugging my syllabi tight like old friends.  Trying not to miss trains.
            In news no one cares about (continuation, at least), my diabetes is pretty good!  I got a 6.9 A1c when I went last week.  I have a dance class first thing in the morning this semester, and that pleased Dr. Lindsay! 
            With the new year, resolutions abound.  I only made one, and I've been going strong: floss every day.  John Green once gave that advice to everyone (not that I can find it to prove it).  Everything else I've been working on longer.  Don't wait for big change to make your changes!
            Finally, I hope everyone is having a good new year.  Never forget your power in the days of your powerlessness.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Be Okay

            Everyone has those hours or days or weeks where we just need things to be okay.  I know I have them.  So to all of you who are with me, I hope things will be okay.  Here's a little collection of things that help me, even for just a moment.  Ranging from distractions to comfort, we all need a little.

The Thoughts Room
The Nicest Place on the Internet
The Magic Button
They Fight Crime!
Cute Roulette
Book Cover Archive
Cute Cat GIFs
Silk - Interactive Generative Art
Just Little Things
Paint a nebula
Do Nothing for Two Minutes
Rainy Mood 
Any happy list

          I hope a little pick-me-up will help.  If you need more help, though, there's always IMAlive, online crisis chat.  *hugs*

"Everything will be alright in the end.  If it's not alright, it's not the end."


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Life + Gendered Frustrations

            Part 1: Quick life update

            I tried out for the Urban Expressions independent color guard—and I made it!  I'm really excited!  There is so much talent there, and I'll be part of it!  It's a big plate I'm stepping up to, but the fact that I made it makes me really proud of myself.  Downside, it's $500-800 that I don't have, so I'll need to be doing fundraisers and begging and nixing gifts in favor of money.  Doing this will be a lot of work.  Lots of practice.  Lots of trying to get money!  But we work for the things we want, and I need to remember that.
            I applied for a job as a library shelver.  I'm waiting to see if I'll get any interviews.  I'm afraid that I won't find a position flexible enough, but I really, really, really hope I will.  XX
            I have a boyfriend.  His name is Anthony, and he's very sweet.  A big reason behind my smiles!
            College is awesome.  I don't even have to wake up until 9!  I feel like I have more free time, even if I do have a lot of work.  Grateful for having taken AP classes now!
            Currently seeking someone who will serial-watch horror movies with me.  My horror buddy is out of the business for now.  :(

            Part 2:  I need to talk about it to someone

            My favorite class has been Gender Communications.  It's completely fascinating!  And completely frustrating!  Now that I really see gender in things, I can't un-see it. 
            A lot of my frustration comes from the differences in gendered communication.  Femininity and masculinity are socialized to claaaaaash.  Someone reaches out, someone pushes back, both feel disrespected.  Blah.  (Did you know?  Heterosexual couples report the least satisfaction with their relationships.)
            Right now my own gender has been making me feel... guilty.  I identify as a woman.  I consider myself pretty feminine, with a few masculine traits.
            Gender roles.  Cultural prescriptions for what is appropriate for a gender.  I feel guilty when I fall into the traditional feminine gender role: look pretty, take up little space, talk kindly, always smile, be clean and tidy.  But I've been socialized into it—all of those things are comfortable for me, even if I feel sick when I smile at the people who make me uneasy. 
            I realize I don't have to be completely feminine or completely masculine—I can identify as a woman and do whatever I damn well please.  But I still wonder how other people perceive me.  When I put on lipstick, do people think I'm trying to be sexy?  When I don't smile at strangers, do they think I'm stuck-up?  If I'm assertive, do people think I'm a bitch?  Because at the end of the day, gender is still cultural.  I can do whatever I damn well please, but I can't tell people how to deal with it. 
            Someday I think I want to get married, get a house, have kids.  I'm afraid that my future spouse would subscribe to traditional gender roles.  That maybe they'll expect me to drop my career to take care of kids.  That maybe I'll get the "second shift" alone.  I'm afraid they wouldn't understand that I can't be that person, that I won't be.  No matter how much I love them, this will matter to me.  And if I couldn't get them to understand, I wouldn't be able to marry them.  Which is scary.  What other people expect of me is scary, because sometimes it gets really, really personal.  (Anyway, marriage is a long way off, so I shouldn't worry now.  But potential gender explosions scary!)
            Double whammy: I'm actually kinda scared to post this because showing insecurity in gender roles is like, a big no-no or whatever.  I don't know. 

            At the end of the day, I guess I just gotta do me.  Do as I damn well please even if it's scary!  *sassy walks away*

*Sassy walks back with Scott Pilgrim comics*  Read these and be happy.  *struts away with finality*