Sunday, January 31, 2010

I can't believe it's already February. Poop.

I have been a miserable, cantankerous, melancholy sad-sack lately. I have been too morose to move much, let alone write or take any sort of look into my psyche. But I found something that moved me, really resonated with my thoughts lately, and I wanted to share:

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to."
—Jim Jarmusch

P.S. I just bought the director's cut of Amadeus, my favorite movie. I have been wanting to see this for such a long time... but since I can watch this movie 3 times in succession without getting bored of it, I'm afraid this will make me even more of a recluse. I may not post too often until the end of February, when this depression is expected to lift a bit.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thwarting the Runaround

I am full of inadequacy and
full of resentment and
full of jealousy and
crying comes quietly, locked behind doors.

I step forward an inch and fall prey to your
avalanche of progression and see you've moved
further than I in the world we both love like you have some
piece that I don't understand.

I grapple with words and I bend them and
fold them like origami nuisances all
crumpled and creased and I hate that you never

I watch how you dance with your art on your nimble
twinkle toes and hold your sparkling future lights as they
glow and I drop mine and step on the feet of the damn things I love.

I watch as you do all the things that I do with
more grace and more confidence more self-assurance
and you're not awake in the evening thinking of me in
a green sort of way.

I hate that my fumbling and punctuated stabs at
creativity and originality and poignancy are
cleaved straight in two with a swish of your terrible
pen that is terrible, yes, but great if you're anyone else other than me.

And I hate that he chose you, that he still thinks of you and
I think of him and I wonder what would have been different if
I kept my mouth shut and stayed unhappy, but a different
unhappy where I still had him and didn't try to make things better.

It's plain that you'll always be better at boys and at girls and
at friends and at art and at living the life that I've been dreaming
of with the fire I blame you for dousing and dampen my spirit with
tears that you probably cry better than I've ever cried because tears
are cliche in a poem.

And there's nothing that I could ever do because maybe
you do sit and home and think of me enviously but I'll
never ask and you'll never write silly verses about how great I
am and how you wish you were me and how my words
have perfect origami folds.

Maybe the truth is that we both make seams, we both
make waves and the ripples extend to the places where
we can't see their marks on the beach and we can't see if
our words have the quality of the seawater that makes the
jagged pieces of glass smoothen out and calm themselves down.

Or maybe you just don't think about me at all and I'm
just trying to make things seem better or worse than they
are anything other than just what they are because if things
just are then what I see could be right and maybe
I'm right (but you're righter than me.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fuck. This.

I feel like no matter how hard I try, and no matter how much I want it, I am just too dumb to apply and enroll in college or be an active and contributing member of society.

So if you need me, I'll be the nutter living in a box on the street chucking pennies at people as they pass me by. And ranting in tongues, of course. Making up conspiracy theories about sea lions and manta rays will occupy a huge chunk of my time. Make sure to catch the 3 pm show where I talk to my socks and blame them for making me the way I am.

American Idolatry

I recently came across a spectacular video of a guy named Sam Tsui, a Yale student who has a stellar voice. He did a Michael Jackson medley and sang all 5 harmonies by himself and taped it using overlay. It's a really cool video, you should check it out. Hey, and while you're there, scroll through the comments. Every 5th comment or so, someone inevitably says, "You should audition for American Idol!" And this brings me to the days Meaningless Opinionated Rant (hereby known as MOR.)

American Idol: Big Break or Big Bother?

I don't mean to brag, but I can't tell you how many times I have been told to audition for this damn show. It seems to me that anyone who has a decent-to-good voice has been told this by someone they know. It bothers me that people assume that that is the best (or only) choice for a talented singer. Winning or getting a jump start to a singing career through AI is highly unrealistic. Above all, AI is a TV show, not an instant fame-maker or even a true singing competition. It's about ratings and making a dime, not true talent. I have seen talented singers audition and fail to advance in the competition based on low marketability. After all, it doesn't even become a serious singing competition until after the first round of auditions. The cattle-call shows are an open forum to poke fun at those who can't sing. The producers put prospective competitors through a screening process before singing in front of the judges. This means that while they screen for true talent, they also pick the least qualified- just for entertainment, knowing full well that they will not move forward. It feels like exploitation to me. I admit that it's fun to laugh at all the terrible auditions. (Hey, if you decide to go on national television and scream Whitney Houston, you deserve to be laughed at.) But when the public eye holds a TV show designed for entertainment as a standard of talent, I get bothered. What happened to paying your dues, playing gigs, and working for things? It's not like AI even helps many people. True, a few people each season are moderately successful, but it's still no guarantee. When's the last time we heard from Ruben Studdard or Taylor Hicks? They won the show and still haven't really made it. It makes the whole debacle seem like a waste of time. Since there was popular music before this show, I assume singers can get there by themselves. We don't need shows like this bastardizing the music profession.

So no, everyone. I will not be auditioning for American Idol. I have talent, yes, but I have taste. I'd rather sing in a seedy piano bar full of cigar smoke and empty chairs than sing on this show.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I feel like I just got a future-bomb dropped on my ass

This job, if anything, truly amplifies the magnanimity of commitment. With Valentine's Day coming up and my relationship with Andrew progressing really nicely, I've been thinking a lot about marriage and lifelong commitment. (Don't get scared, honey. Read the rest before you panic.)

Today, I was cleaning up around the house when I found an old Valentine from the kid's dad to their mom. I started thinking about how long they had been together and whether that Valentine was from one of their first together. And then, out of nowhere, I thought, "Just one Valentine for so long... marriage must be the ultimate obligation." I surprised myself. While I can be sarcastic about a lot of things, I wouldn't call myself a cynic, per se. Especially not about love. My parents were a great example of true, selfless, unconditional love. Even when my dad's health went down the tubes and it became a great burden on Mom, she stuck it out. She stayed with him -and us- through some incredibly difficult times. I have always admired her for that, and my parents gave me a positivity about love that I've never been able to shake. But there I was, wrist deep in dishwater, thinking about marriage and "settling down" as an undesirable consequence of giving up the things that matter most in life. I felt very immature. Granted, I am 18. It is perfectly within reason for me to consider marriage a burden. I'm nowhere near the place where I should be thinking about staying with one person, FOREVER, let alone having kids and a life with obligations that tie me down. But the fact of it is: people my age are doing it all. the. time.

I'm not sure how many of you know this, but I lived and received treatment for depression and other emotional difficulties in a center for young girls from Oct. 2006-Sept. 2007. When I was there, I lived with 20 other girls; most of the girls were about a year older than me and none of them had kids. As of now, two and half years later, over half of the original 20 are either a) pregnant 2) have children or 3) are married with children. THIS TERRIFIES ME. I hate to judge others, but I can't help but feel like these girls are throwing their lives away. I can't speak for all, but I definitely know that some are horrifyingly ill-equipped to be parents. I got to thinking about this when I was talking to one of the more mature and capable ones (with a 3 month old child and a rock on her finger). She told me that being a mother was wonderful, rewarding, and "the perfect place" for her at the moment. All of that at 19- incredible. She told me I should "give motherhood a try". Does that seem weird to anyone else? Does that seem horribly backward? I brushed off the question with some excuse about school and not having found the right person, but the question bothered me.

I don't understand how these young girls can be so comfortable with motherhood and lifetime commitment to children at this point. I can't even commit to a diet plan for more than a month!! Am I hopelessly immature or are they delusional? I thought it was an occupational hazard of the newly-minted adult to face situations you've never met before with fear and ineptitude! Am I the only piss-soaked late teen quaking in her irresistibly fashionable slouch boots? Am I missing the secret of domestic contentment? Am I the only one who thinks the future is filled with as much terror and responsibility as excitement and gleaming opportunity? Or am I the enlightened one- when anticipating the bad with the good isn't being negative, just smart? This dumb transitional period is awfully confusing and I'd just like some answers.

It doesn't help that my application to Columbia College is nearing completion. I've dreamed of going to college for years, but now that I'm sending off my app to a school that will most likely accept me, I find myself balking. I've been out of school for so long, will college trample me? Will I fail? Do I get any sort of assurance that I'm doing the right thing?

Guh. I hate being an adult. It's not like I need my hand held every step of the way, but some indication that I'm not completely fucked would be nice.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lying on the Couch

My mind is a cage; this world in my head is bustling and busying itself with worry. Electric, frenetic energy buzzes and blips about my thoughts giving charge to my greatest fears. With so much to choose from, so many people I can look like, feel like, think like, be like- my head forgets itself. The whole, bright world is happening around me and I catch myself locked in my head, restrained in the padded walls of my psyche. I sat on the edge of a great glassy lake, so crisp with clarity that when I peered in I could see a second world of earth and sky and trees and mountains and myself, standing in the middle of all of the wonders of God feeling very much misplaced. I stood on this beach by this lake in this wood on this mountain on this land by this ocean that flowed water to all the corners of the planet and I felt scared by magnitude. I am too small for this world, too small for this earth and with every thought after I pushed deeper into myself and grabbed hold tight, trying not to fall off the face of the Earth into insignificance. Now I'm small in the world inside my head, the world of my creation, the one that I only can control. With every poke and jab and poor decision I shrink and shrink and collapse into a heap and there are no helpful "Eat Me" tablets and "Drink Me" potions to build me back up again so easily. I lay every piece of my insecurity down like brickwork to pave the road ahead of me, stepping on every disappointment and slight to push them down into the Earth. I've grown better than these words, these labels, these diagnoses. After the path, I sow seeds of Zoloft and Wellbutrin and Depakote and Seroquel and Geodon and Trazadone and Lamictal and pill after pill after pill. What do you know, perfectly controlled and conformed flowers sprout in their place. They never grow thorns and they resist weeds and as long as you feed them the medicine cabinet, they'll never fall out of place. The butterflies who drink in the comforting nectar climb under the glass and pin themselves down to admit defeat rather than fighting, fighting to fly and retreat from the case on the wall of the scientist; he's to busy laughing at the ease of experimenting on push-pins and pincushions who take the advice from the "professional" to notice- when you earn your degree, then you can disagree. Just one more butterfly stuck through the heart as he stares from behind the blank screen to dissect my memories and fears and sexual perversions and thoughts of my mother. My thoughts are his toys to play with and probe, until he tires of his playthings and wants to play God. Ice-pick lobotomies, quick in and out and if you sign here right now, you get two hemispheres for the price of one! Brain in a jar, you can't feel the pain if you can't feel a thing. Shock it or slice it or shrink it and shuffle the pieces around but the sadness, confusion and terrifying feelings don't go away, they just find a settle into the new place you've put them. They lay there dormant for years while the scientists celebrate rehabilitation and chuck me back into the world, unprepared with a shiny new smile and a glassy look in my eyes. I suppose this is health, this is wellness if all appears well then they did their job well and isn't it swell and I don't talk of hell and don't I feel well? They count their dollars as I count the pills, take four in the morning and two after lunch and six in the evening and call me if anything hurts, but nothing hurts since you took out my brain and keep it in that jar on the shelf with the others. How many others have you saved this way? Just one more glass jar on the shelf with more behind me and more to come, but we still call this medicine. We still call this better. We still call this happy.
I haven't posted in a bit. Nothing of particular interest has happened lately, so I don't have much to fill this space with.



So, yes. I'll be back to regular blogging again when a) this headache goes away and b) details are finalized and I can brag tell you all about my upcoming exciting life opportunity!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two new life goals in one day

I'm kind of big on planning. I like to hammer out plans and get specifics decided at least a couple hours before I do anything. Spontaneity can be super fun when things are completely spur of the moment, but I don't enjoy sitting around waiting for things to happen. Thus, it makes sense that I have a list of life goals I'd like to complete. Today, I added two more. Here is the updated list of:

  • Graduate with a BA from a good college
  • Work at a magazine/newspaper/in journalism
  • Write a book
  • Write a play
  • Enjoy a modicum of success (not necessarily monetarily)
  • Visit every single country in Europe
  • Learn another language
  • Be interviewed by James Lipton from Inside the Actor's Studio
  • Become a jazz singer in a piano bar
  • Write a best selling fantasy fictions series and then turn it into a movie deal.
So, there we are. Not all life goals are realistic, and all are subject to shifts in priority. For example, if the zombie apocalypse rains down upon us all, then all life goals shift to just one:
  • Keep being alive.

So, I had a thought

Sometimes, when I'm in a mood, I like to flip through my favorite books or read my favorite poems and find lines that jump out at me. I'm always searching for the perfect phrase, the perfect quote that sums up how I feel. I get very frustrated when I can't find one, as was the case today.

And then I thought, why don't I find the perfect way to fit what I'm feeling into words myself? I'm a writer, I can come up with my own quotes. I don't need someone else to vocalize it for me.

It was a really liberating thought. I forget that I put myself in boxes sometimes, and it's nice to open them up and let myself free once in a while.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Once upon a time, I started a book...

[[UPDATE: Broken link is fixed! My apologies, all.]]

I started working on a book project ages ago, and true to my writing ADD, I haven't looked at it or touched it in months. I just reread it, and I don't hate it. It may even be salvageable.

What do YOU think?

What, another one of your blogs? God, woman.


I'm exhausted at work, and I've just put the little one down for a nap, so here's a quick update before I catch 20 minutes myself.

I've been feeling very out-of-sorts lately. Its a frustrating emotion, because I'm not necessarily sad or upset or anything like that. I'm just very... jumbled. I feel in over my head and overwhelmed, even though I really have no reason to be so stressed. Its strange. This weekend has been far too emotional and disappointing for my taste. I keep worrying that I'm making people mad, when in reality, I'm probably just reading far too much into tone and body language. I need to just slow down, take a day or two and get my head back on straight. I think my awkward sleep schedule is contributing to this out-of-whack feeling. On weekdays, when I need to get up for work, I usually fall asleep around one a.m. and wake up at seven a.m.- I could use one or two more hours, but this works out well for me. On weekends, though, I've gotten into the bad habit of staying up until about 6 a.m. and waking up at 2 p.m. Not good. Sleeping like that is frustrating, because it eats into my day and wastes time I need to do things. I'm going to work on turning that around this week.

Blaargh. Things just need to sort themselves out and fall back in line, thank you very much.

[P.S. I bought new boots this weekend. This is exciting, mostly because a good chunk of my shoes are brightly colored flats. Very impractical for winter. No more snow in my shoes!]

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ineptitude, Putrescence, and Spray Cheese.

I am unoriginal. I am an idea-stealing, style-reproducing, awful writer who can't seem to put any two words together without them sounding overworked and forced. I piggyback on books or poetry collections I've read and loved and then emulate the style (poorly, I might add) into my own writing until everything I do is some awful, synthesized conglomeration of great, previously written literature and horrific, whiny, teenage mess. Ungh.

Really terrible creative dry spell, you see. It's got my thoughts locked up in a bind and the only thing that can escape are terrible, gut-wrenching, scathing things about myself and my abilities. I don't often have this low self-confidence; in fact, I haven't ever had this little opinion about my skill as a writer. I've always had a small grain of glowing confidence tucked securely in the back of my brain offering light and heat and fire to my love of writing. I've always been able to tell myself that, in comparison with other writers at my age/maturity level, I'm not crap at all.


I had a lovely evening with Andrew tonight (or, technically last night now that it's 4:00 am). I haven't been able to see him as often as I'd like, since he's been at college and has had a 9-5 job for the entirety of Christmas vacation. I've been a bit frustrated about seeing him so little, so he had me pick him up from the train station after work so he could come over and watch my favorite movie with me. [Side note: favorite movie is Amadeus.] It was really nice to be able to snuggle up and just be together. It makes me feel wonderful to rest my head on his chest with our arms wrapped around each other. He wears Old Spice, which I think is the most incredible scent on a man. My father wore Old Spice, so it triggers all sorts of safe, happy scent-memories and good feelings associated with spending time with my dad. Andrew is convinced this is some sort of sick Electra complex and enjoys teasing me about it. (This is when I slap him and tell him I hate him and he can never touch me again, followed by a castration threat. Then we kiss. It's quite cute, actually.) Unfortunately, he had to get home much earlier than I wanted him to leave... as is usually the case. After I took him home and came back home to bed, I realized that I could still smell the Old Spice on my pillow. This triggered all sorts of awful romantic, sappy, cheery feelings that I just wanted to put into poetry.

This is when the fucking creative drought kicked in. Everything I wrote sounded like a 14 year old with her first crush wrote it for a project in English class. I read some Pablo Neruda to get me into the dizzyingly romantic and passionate mood and tried again. Frustratingly, all I came up with was a basic, bland, watered-down version of I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair with clunky metaphors and similies and far too much cheese. Not even good cheese, like soft-ripened brie or smoked gouda. Nacho cheese. Spray cheese. Canned cheese. Can-survive-a-nuclear-blast cheese.

So here's to having lovely, blissful, squibbly romantic feelings... and all the phrasing capability of an addled parrot. Harrumph.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I am sore in more places on my body than I knew existed. I spent over an hour shoveling my driveway yesterday only to wake up to a new blanket of snow and ice covering it. This is why I hate living in Midwestern America- blistering summers and frigid winters. I'm more of a tepid, wet weather kind of person. I'd like to live in Seattle, or maybe Portland. I hear Oregon has a great gay scene.

Moving on.

I've been thinking a lot of my future lately, more specifically "where I see myself in 10 years". I don't want to be married and I don't want to have a family (when my mother was 28, she had just having her fourth and last child. *Shudder.*) So where do I want to be, then? Well, this fall, I want to go to Columbia College Chicago. It's got an incredible creative writing program, unparalleled by any other I've seen. Plus, the fiction writing building is on Michigan Ave., directly across from the Art Institute. How awesome is that? The last time I went, I sat in the courtyard reading poetry for hours, and what with my art-inspired poetry collection idea, what could be more perfect? I can be creative and submerged into the artists community, and that's super important to me. It's incredibly frustrating to be stranded here in Bumblefuck, IL with people who read more magazines than novels. I love being in an environment where rampant intellectualism and snobbery is recognized and embraced. I may be that self-important person who drinks red wine and reads Kafka and says, "I feel lugubrious today", but you know what? I'm okay with that. As Susan says, it's not pretension if you're not pretending. [On a semi-unrelated note, another thing I'd like to accomplish in college is to have a torrential love affair- the painful, messy, dramatic sort of relationship that all great artists have in their past. If anything, it'd be an interesting place from which to draw new inspiration and perspective. Art is nothing if not driven by raw emotion, and I definitely write best when I'm full with feelings of frustration and fear and...fastidiousness (if only to perpetuate the alliteration.)]

Whenever I think about college, I get goosebumps and nice, excited, tingly feelings on my scalp. I have a feeling that college will really be a place where I blossom. But then, quicker than I'll be comfortable with, four years will go by and I will graduate. Here's where the tricky bit comes. At this moment, I have no idea what's going to happen in college. I very well may change my major, discover new things, and take myself in a completely different direction. The thought of this doesn't bother me, as it seems that self-realization is what college and early adulthood is all about. I wouldn't mind coming out the other end of college a completely different person with new wants and aspirations. What does make me nervous is the idea of aimlessness. I can handle switching directions because at least I'm doing something, but doing nothing? Being no one? This worries me. So much of my artistic drive is made up of the idea that I'd like to "be something" one day. I have no idea what it means, what I'd like to do, but I do know that I want to mean something to people and contribute to society and art and culture. The argument could be made that every person means something to at least one person, but I'm thinking bigger. I want to influence people. I want to make people feel things, make them cry, trigger their emotions with my work. Plays, stage acting, poetry, books, whatever-- I want to be able to reach people on an emotional level. I was always the one who cried in the theater and felt a touch of melancholy when I finished a good book. I've made personal connections with almost every. single. damn. show. I've ever seen or listened to. I know the richness and depth I feel when I get swept into art, and I want to be able to do that for other people. It's a lofty goal, and an incredible selfish one, but it's what I want. When I think about where I could be in 10 years, I become frightened that I'll end up some hack writer who can't get published because she doesn't realize she's shit at writing. Or worse, that I'll give up on my creativity completely and be some boring slob at a dead-end job trying to find meaning in my dull, pointless life.

I may be too young to be worrying about this now. I should calm myself down and concentrate on just getting to college first. But having this fear, this anxiety pushes me to write and create. As long as I don't let the fear get the better of me, I think it'll help me achieve the things I'm setting out to achieve.

I'm super excited to start living my life.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Frostbitten by vampires


I went to see New Moon with a group of friends tonight. I was going to center my post around the Twilight Saga/phenomenon, given that I have read all of the books and seen all of the movies and totally love them and can't wait to find my own Edward and vampires are totes hot, like OMG!!! (JUUUUUUUUST kidding.) Instead, I spent an hour and a half standing in the snow in three-inch heels trying to jump my car. And failing. And freezing. So, I'm going to bed instead.

[The long and short of it is: while I have read the books and seen the movies, I am not a fan. I think the books are poorly written and have major plot holes, but the movies have pretty people in them. All in all, I could take Twilight or leave it... it's not something I vehemently despise, but I don't like it either. (However, I do despise the Twi-hards or Team Monsters or Sparkle chasers or whatever the fans call themselves.)]

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So, this happened today

Anni: Miss Emily, I like Pee-Wee Herman!
Me: How do you know who that is?
Anni: He was in a movie on TV. He's a fake guy, of course.
Me: Why 'of course'?
Anni: Because who would name their kid Pee-Wee! Pee is right in the

Bill Cosby was right, kids really do say the darnedest things.

A poem from start to finish in 15 minutes, or your money back!

I've been working on a set of poems inspired by my favorite pieces from different artistic movements. I began with neo-expressionism (view poem here ) and now I'm slapping out a quick one inspired by impressionism. This particular painting, Madame Monet and her Son, is dear to me because there has been a print of this hanging in my living room for as long as I can remember.

Fortune Telling

My child- what do you see when you stare?
Beyond the hill lies a fragile world
Where man is greedy with lips all curled
Is that what you see when you stare?

My child- what do you see when you stare?
Beyond where my arms can hold you fast
Shadows like fissures in broken glass
Is that what you see when you stare?

My child- what do you see when you stare?
Beyond to the church where we bow our heads
You'll be married and buried in the same flower beds
Is that what you see when you stare?

My child- do you know what I see when you stare?
Beyond repetition and day's obligation
My son standing tall, light with proud jubilation
That's what I see when I stare.

Monday, January 4, 2010


In my first post, I stated that I'm a feminist lesbian. But, I have a boyfriend. You ask: "How are you gay? You have a boyfriend." Well, there really is a simple answer: I just am. I know, that sounds like an excuse or an evasion of the question, but it is the honest answer. Good ole Webster defines sexual orientation as:

sexual orientation
one's natural preference in sexual partners

The key word there is preference. My preference in sexual partners is women. I prefer to date women, I prefer to be in relationships with women, and I would prefer to marry a woman. However, as it happens, I'm dating a guy right now. I found someone to whom I am attracted, with whom I'm happy, and it just so happens that he likes me right back. This doesn't mean that I am not attracted to women, this doesn't mean that I don't prefer women. I don't like men, I just like Andrew. I don't identify with the term "bisexual", but at the same time, I don't identify with "homosexual" either. If one has to label it, I feel "pansexual" describes it best. Before you ask if that means I'm attracted to pans, let me turn things over to Webster:

pansexual adj.
exhibiting or implying many forms of sexual expression

In other words, I don't discriminate between genders. Bisexuality implies preference, choosing male and female. Pansexuality, on the other hand, is like the come-one-come-all sexuality. It doesn't matter if you are male, female, transexual, or some other gender identity; I fall in love with people, not genitalia. And finally, I didn't choose this, it's just how I feel. It's the thing that I feel best describes me. Sure, the popular thing to do nowadays is to reject labels all that, but I don't mind identifying myself like this. It makes me feel like part of a larger group, makes me feel closer to my gay community.

So, in a nutshell, that's how I am dating a man and I'm still gay.

P.S. Because I've brought him up and all that, I suppose I'll take the time now to say that Andrew and I have been dating for about three months and I'm very happy with how things are going. He's a great guy, and I'm glad I'm with him. He's a terrific boyfriend.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Shamlessly importing posts from old blogs

In order to ease the transition of my old, halfhearted blogs to this one, I've decided to post some of my old entries. The reasoning for this is simple: they weren't very widely read, but I liked what I wrote. If you were one of the few who read my other blogs, feel free to skip the next couple of entries. Sorry to waste your time with repetitive things.

From my livejournal, dated Dec. 5, 2009.

"As much as I adore those little rugrats, I love the weekend. I don't have to wake up at six in the morning, I don't have to watch Dora the Explorer or comfort a crying toddler. I don't have to answer to anyone or be in charge of anything, and it's a wonderful break. Sometimes, the weight of my job comes crashing down about my head. I think about how, when their parents are away, I am the sole person responsible for four little lives. If they are sick, dying, bleeding, crying, unhappy, angry, anything-- it's my responsibility and my fault. The youngest is dependent upon me. She would not be fed if I didn't feed her, she would not be changed if I didn't change her, she would not be safe if I didn't keep a close eye on her. Hearing the smallest thuds or the beginning whimper of tears jacks up my anxiety level, and it's hard to come down again until I know everyone is okay. Some days, this is constantly on my mind.

There are the great days too, when all the kids are happy and I'm well-rested. We play and laugh and joke and tease and have a great time together. I pick up the kids and sling them over my shoulder, they laugh and scream and ask me to twirl them around. They cuddle into my lap and ask me to read a story. They dance and shake their teeny booties around when I play music. It's wonderful and endearing, and it makes all the anxiety worth it. I think about how the family is doing when I'm not around. I hope they're having a fun and relaxing weekend, and I feel for them when something unpleasant is occurring in their lives. My heart is invested in this job, and I don't mind it.

It makes me think about motherhood a lot. I have maternal instincts, yes. You can't survive as a caretaker without them. But do I actually want to have children? Do I want to commit my life to the well-being and safety of a child? As much as I love those kids, I crave weekend time to be adult and de-stress. As a mother, the majority of my day will most likely be filled with the trivial tasks of daily life. Giant drifts of laundry will pile everywhere, never fully being completed. There will be dishes and diapers and sweeping and mopping and scrubbing.

I contemplate what my life would be like if chose motherhood... and I don't think I can live a life devoted to my children. I don't think I'm cut out for mothering. I would always feel that life is somehow diminished, no matter how much I love my children and adore my family. It reminds me of the mother character in the book The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. She has a lovely house, three beautiful children, a devoted husband, and friends to spare. Yet, she feels empty inside. She wanted to go to France to write, but she didn't because she got married. She wanted to go to grad school to learn more about art and literature, but she didn't because she had children. She wanted to BE something, and instead, winds up feeling trapped with her family. I don't want to be like that. I don't think it would be fair to either my spouse or my children.

I know that 18 is a tad young to be worrying about this sort of thing, but being a nanny changes things. Because I am, in essence, a mother for 36 hours a week, I can't help but think how I'd handle raising my own brood. And with time and maturity may come different priorities, I'm well aware of that. It's not advisable to become a mother at my age anyway. I just can't help but think that I'll always feel trapped in that lifestyle."

Why I'm Here: An Explanation

So, this is what I've come to: blogging. I've started a number of blogs within the last few years. I had another blogger account I used to save my writing, given that I didn't have Microsoft Office at the time. The only blog I was ever faithful to was my xanga (remember those?). I wrote religiously in that thing when I was 14/15, but nothing I ever had to say was in any way interesting or pertinent to anyone's life but my own.

Not many things have changed. The things that HAVE changed, however, are significant.

1) I'm older, which means that I'm not going to be whiny about petty things and drama, drama, drama. I did that a lot on xanga.
2) I'd like to be a playwright one day, and I keep coming across the same advice. "WRITE EVERY DAY." Now, a blog is... not quite the same as a play, but it will help me get in the habit of writing every day. Which is good.
3) I need an outlet. I need a place where I can say the things that are on my mind. I find that on certain social networking sites, I filter a lot of things because of my friend base. I'm friends with a lot of conservative Christian types (and their parents). Given that I am a progressive, liberal, feminist lesbian, there are those who might be shocked/offended by the things I say. I don't want to cause anyone harm, so it is up to YOU, dear Reader, to decide if you'd like to continue.

Moving on.

I'm a nanny. I work Mon-Thu, 6:30 am-4:00 pm. I drink a lot of coffee. I love my job, and the family is superb. It's just... well, a bit of a bipolar job. The highs are spectacular. There isn't anything quite like holding a toddler to your chest and hearing her say, "I love you, Miss Emily" as she falls asleep. These little joys brighten my life. The lows, on the other hand, are significant. I'm lucky to get through a week without one of the kids telling me I'm "no fun", "the worst babysitter ever", or " a big stink-head." What can I say, they're all under 10. Even though I love my job, this is not what I planned to be doing this year. I graduated from high school in January, 2009- a semester early. I performed decently in high school, but nowhere near what I know I'm capable of. (This is mainly due to several unfortunate and devastating experiences in high school that affected absolutely every aspect of my life.) After I graduated early, I focused all my time and energy on applying to ONE college: Smith College, one of the Seven Sisters schools. Now, I am of superior intelligence. This is just true. (Don't expect modesty, here. It's my blog.) However, it was silly to apply to one reach school and expect to get in. I wasn't accepted. I understand why completely, but it was pretty devastating at the time. I had no idea what to do, where to turn. So I ran away to California for the summer to be a camp counselor. I lived in the Sierra Nevada mountains for two months, taking care of children and teaching drama classes. In essence, I hid. When I came back home to Snoozeville, Illinois, I realized I needed a job. So, thus: the nanny thing. I am spending my days immersed in Dora the Explorer and dirty diapers. I feel like I've skipped my late teens/early twenties completely and went straight to being a 30-something mom with four kids and a mini-van. It's true. I drive a mini-van (complete with car seats!) I've read more Junie B. Jones than John Keats lately, and it saddens me.

So, here I am. I plan/hope to post every day (schedule permitting) in order to get used to carving out writing time every day. Who knows, I may completely abandon this thing by next week. It's very possible. But here's to hoping that, for once, I follow through on something I set out to do.

Optimistically yours,