Thursday, March 13, 2014

Adventures of Myself

It's hard to pick up a pen again, so to speak, after being out of practice for so long. Especially if, for so long, the things that you were writing were from being broken and suffering and confusion and...lost. And now that you're not broken anymore, but happy(?!) and content (?!!) and working for something better, it's hard to put things back into that introspective perspective that you once used as a tool to survive. Because what if you look too deep, and you find that you're actually still broken and suffering? And what if all this happiness and contentment and forward-striving-ness goes away, as all good things are wont to do?

People always say you're supposed to face your fears head on, which is a little silly if you think about it, since what else would you face your fears with, your ass? But regardless, here I am. Ass in this seat, head facing the screen, fingers on the keyboard.

And the truth is, I am happy. Maybe things aren't perfect, and maybe there are still many what-ifs and the feeling that all this is still pretty temporary, but being happy isn't about being surrounded by perfect situations or being perfectly sure of your future. Being happy is, and it's been a long road to figure this out, a choice. A real struggle every morning to wake up and go about your day and your business, and even if the circumstances are crappy or just not what you expected, to choose to get through it and be happy with your lot in life.

Deep stuff for my first real foray back.

I like it.

I'm gonna keep going with this.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

One Year Later

Is it time to sit down and try to figure out how to blog? MAYBE.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Almost Depressed, And In Love

From that title, you might think that this would be about a girl's unrequited love, causing some heartache and dramatic sighs that descend upon us all in the shorter months of the year, sort of like the flu, when the cold wind and blah days following the cacophony of practically overlapping holidays inevitably bringing forth two reliable and depressing marks of January: the start of another year of uncertainty and naive/self-denial-ladden "goals" that last for a few months, if you're lucky, and the influx of terrible movies that Hollywood couldn't find a place for in either the summer blockbuster bloc or the Oscar-bait "serious" films that get stacked in with the already crammed months of November and December. This is not about unrequited love, at least in the sense that most young adult novels would have us believe. But there are some heartache and dramatic sighs, if you're into that kind of melancholy thing, as I am. 

There's something to be said for all the resolutions that people have in the first few weeks of the beginning of every year, and that something is that I love it. Not in the way that it signifies people's hope and wishes of a better self and better life, and how that sense of renewal and rejuvenation and redoing is uplifting for a person's drifting spirit, but in that I am a super Nosey Parker and any opportunity for me to find out more tidbits of other people's secrets and lives is an opportunity that you'll surely find me casually asking questions and then hastily tucking away new information in my mind's filing cabinets bursting full of "Other People's Lives." 

It's a sign of self-awareness and integrity, I think, that the older I get, the more aware of the fact that I am quite a selfish and self-absorbed person. As an adolescent and a teenager, I spent so many hours thinking and daydreaming about other people, concerned for their feelings and welfare, feeling helplessly overwhelmed with the sense of being a single tiny wisp in a vast universe of souls and experiences and thoughts. Now, those thoughts still linger in the recesses of my undercurrent, but mostly, I am consumed with thoughts of ME. What is my purpose, why am I here, why can't I be like everyone else, how am I supposed to live, why isn't there a god damn manual to this thing. It feels like my life has an unrequited love for me. I don't really understand it, and I like it, too, enough, most of the time, but the feelings just aren't quite mutual. 

I am blessed and lucky in many ways that I recognize easily - and also in many ways that takes me longer to understand or acknowledge - and on paper, I totally get it. My life isn't perfect or exceptional or even that interesting, in a overall sense, but it's got it's good stuff. Family, friends, dog, boyfriend: all of whom I love deeply with every single bone and sinew in my body. But these joys are a metaphor of  beautiful and thick Persian rugs nailed hopefully to fragile doorway to muffle the furious and desperate storm just outside: used confusingly and inappropriately and inadequately. Take a jar of thick black paint, slide your hands in one at a time to cover them with the tar-like consistency, and manically smear and wipe it all off on a large piece of canvas, and you'd have the beginnings of an idea of my insides. 

It's the nosiness that keeps that messiness at bay. Hearing stories of other people, reading obsessively (most recently: a lot of noir-ish books for children 9-14, The Bell Jar, and The Virgin Suicides), watching a television show from beginning to end (sometimes twice in a row), and trying to revel in other people's weirdness and normalcy - that's how I stay afloat in my loneliness. It's a way of wrapping myself up in a crowd of consciousness, without having to actually be in a crowd, which usually just depresses me more. 

Yet, I'm not actually depressed. Yet. It's come to me before and I would recognize it's crushing presence if it had come back. You know what else I have? I have Carter, my real-life bodyguard against the tide of self-pity and self-loathing and self-doubt. Dogs are true and happy and so perfect in their trust and love, how can you waste time drowning in sorrows when those pure and loving eyes gaze at you, and that overly-warm and overly-large 107lb body forces itself against you, and that pungent odor of canine gas wafts toward your nose to bring you back to the shores of the present. I have Albert, my real-life life-partner who has undergone the abnormally painful growing pains of a relationship with me for the last 8 years, and who gets me and supports me and loves me, even when he thinks I'm a little weird. I have parents and a brother, who don't really get me, but try, and that counts for something. I have friends who don't always get me, but always accept me, and that counts for a lot, too. 

So I'm not exactly as in love with my life as it is with me, but I am in love with the souls and spirits and hearts around me, and those are a good number anchors to keep any ship from drifting too far, even in the rocky and tossing waters of epically biblical storms and floods. I need to get better at metaphors. And at writing cohesively, instead of all over the place, like this was. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Secret Desires

My ultimate wish in life is to be a writer, staying at home with my kids and dogs, you know, kind of like a working mom. I do like binders. ...

What other people find fun: going out (what does that even mean, anymore?), trying new restaurants (being "foodies"), drinking, staying out late, etc., I find slightly tedious. All that effort! Picking an outfit, getting cleaned up, making arrangements for my big puppy, driving, standing around, making small talk, ugghhhh just thinking about it is making me stressed out and tired. I just can't do it.

A fun time for me includes: eating junk food or breakfast food, reading a book, taking an afternoon nap, going to a museum alone, watching a movie I actually wanted to see (either alone or with people), doing crafts, going shopping with my mom, talking with my dad about our dogs, talking with my boyfriend all the way in Afghanistan. FUN! To me, those are exciting and entertaining things to do. And if people want me to call me boring or lame, I'm okay with that.

Man, I'm really out of practice with this whole blogging and writing thing, huh? Baby steps. There's that quote that gets tossed around on Pinterest and Reddit all the time by Ira Glass from This American Life, "...something something something, keep writing."Clearly, I need to take the man's advice to heart.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wallflower Syndrome

Today, I re-read "Perks of Being a Wallflower," 8 years after I first picked it up on my boyfriend's bookshelf while waiting for him to mow the lawn. And while I remember loving it and being overcome with it's sadness and wanting to just lie there upside-down on his bed with the summer sun warming me with the muffled roaring and grinding of the lawn mower outside - tonight, when Charlie signed off for the last time, I curled on into a ball on the floor of my apartment and just cried.

Stories like that one, whether in a book or a movie or a blog, make me remember the pain of first love and the confusion of growing up the naive oldest child of strict immigrant parents and the floating emptiness of being lonely and bored and I relate. The melancholy is beautiful; what cynics or people who don't want to remember those strange and uncomfortably large feelings for a single moment call disdainfully, "emo." I guess I've always been a pretty sensitive (some might say over-sensitive) person. Good stories just bring me to these depths, and then it takes time for me to climb back out. And as long as I'm not also concurrently suffering from my own darkness, I like it. It feels right and it feels real.

I really wanted to write more, but it seems like this small effort has taken out more from me than I anticipated. If you've read a good book or seen a good movie or heard a good story lately, I'd like to hear about it. For now, the evening will end with some My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and some forced cuddling with my best friend, Carter.