Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm Nobody's Mud-Duck

My friend George has told me on several occasions about the mud-ducks he's run into in his life (Not familiar with Southern slang? Mud-duck: relatively unattractive person.) but constantly tells me that I'm not one of them. Until recently, that sentiment hadn't set in.

Lately, I've been noticing things. My hands are soft and small. My forearms are strong but not too muscular. I've got soft skin, bright eyes, and thick hair. Things that I take for granted every day that are always staring me in the face and it's taken this long for me to realize how beautiful (and functional!) they are.

I was walking past a mirror today while talking on the phone. When I'm on the phone, when I'm moving, when there's life in me, I seem so different. I seem more vibrant and alive than when I'm just myself in silence (not to say my silence isn't beautiful my parents can attest to that). Maybe it's the talking? Talking about myself and what makes me who I am reminds me that there's so much more to me than this body; there's a soul too, and a mind made up of so many great ideas and hopes and together they make up the bundle of beauty that is Tes. But while walking past that mirror it was like I was seeing myself for a split second as others see me. I was seeing my spirit shine through this body. I was gorgeous.

I'm five feet tall with crazy scars across my back. I'm a little over-weight. My skin's uneven. I'm stretched marked up like a seismograph gone wrong; but I'm nobody's mud-duck. I'm curvy and fit. My eyes are windows to my soul; my voice is addicting and sweet. My hair smells like sunshine (says a little girl on my bus route, which by the way, made my day). I'm equal parts beauty and flaw, and that's what makes me.

I forget that it's equal parts internal and external that make people attractive. I forget that these things that I find wrong with me are the things others may value in me most. Most important though, I forget to not take myself for granted and to seek out the beauty, even when the flaws seem innumerable, because the beauty, if I'm true to myself, will always be there.

Seek the beauty ya'll. :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Reconcile Yourself Sucka!

I'm a bit earthy. I've been known to lay on the grass at my college campus and study and do work. I play in sprinklers (especially now that my hair's natural and water isn't considered cryptonite) and I blow bubbles (don't judge me :P ). I'm also very analytical. I make lists, I study chapters a day and write copious notes about everything.

I sometimes find it hard to reconcile the two very different parts of me. I was that kid in pre-k who, when asked what I wanted to be, I said "a happy mommy." Apparently that was wrong, and over time I learned to say the right acceptable answers of 'teacher', 'editor', and more recently 'I have no idea'. If I could spend my whole life doing anything it would be listening to music, writing, and eating, but what career can I make of that, especially with the economy the way it is?

Nobody thinks kids my age are paying attention to the politics and economics of life, but the truth is, most of us are, and all of us who are are terrified. We've been told our whole lives that getting a degree is the way to succeed in life, but now, there are people with doctorates and masters on the street with sandwich boards asking for jobs. I hear the questions all the time; those, who do you think you are/what do you think life is questions. Who am I to think that what I want has any merit out there? That a job that speaks to me is just going to leap out and be because I want it to?

To that I always say I'm Tes, and I'm an idealist; if it doesn't exist now, I'm going to have to make it exist not only for me, but those who think like me. I came up with an idea for quick money that I'm actually shopping around my school for; cheap tech support. You ever go to Geek Squad and they talk you up about needing this and that to fix your laptop? Ever get really upset when you go home or call your techy friend and they fix it for you in five minutes? The plan is charge a small fee for a diagnostic which really only takes a few minutes, then charge another small fee to fix it (when I say small I mean low double digits not low triple digits and that's saying something). I have to recruit actual tech people because what I do is pseudo-tech; I research what the problem is, and find ways around it to fix it. The tech people can do the hardware issues and charge what they need to and get it done. Sounds like a plan right?

But tech isn't what I enjoy, it's just what I'm good at. But like reconciling those two parts of me, I have to reconcile what I enjoy and what will make me money as that's what adulthood is about. I can still achieve that child-like aspiration of "happy mommy" while doing a tech job that I'm good at, and a side English/music/food job that I love. Will it be difficult? Hell, it's difficult now and I'm in the infancy stages. But will it be worth it? Most definitely.

How do you reconcile the parts of you to make one person, or have you done that? Is it viable to hold onto the same childish dreams you had but adapt them for the real world? Does ingenuity pwn know-how or are both necessary to be successful at what you do?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

6. More on Hopes...

My best friend W is one of those people that I was never expecting to find, but like lost keys, once I stopped looking for her, there she was. We've had a few bad fights totally her fault, I swear that we always managed to get out of or work through. We even dream up impossible and crazy things to do together just for the hell of it (i.e getting our bones engraved either before or after death). We uplift each other, but also tell each other when the other is on that bs no Chris Brown. In short, she's my rock.

My guy best friend George who I'm kinda in love with is equally as amazing. Admittedly he's been the cause of a little drama between me and W (and he knows this) but even so, we just don't shake each other. He has very mannish ways of not calling me (which I hate) and I have very womanish ways of not answering his calls (which he hates) but when we do communicate I feel like a better, happier person for it. He uplifts me in a way different from W, but in the same lane as her.

Today's challenge is something you hope you never have to do. In a crazy world like this one, where people are seemingly being told they're replaceable left and right, these two people, in my world, are just not. I've done it a lot in my younger days, replace people with more people, but only because given my parents' lifestyle, that's what I had to do. So when that roller coaster life stopped, I didn't know how to adjust to having people there for me. I would find myself being present for people but never being there for them, never for too long anyway. I was politely disengaged. These two people though, I just can't. They've given me so much, in such a short amount of time. They've shown me that I can trust people. They've shown me that yes, people do sometimes hurt you, but there are those who are worth a little pain and there are those that aren't.

Given their status to each other as exes, there's a lot of animosity and "not sharing" between them. I hope they do get over that because I plan to have both of them in my life for a very long time. But if there's one thing I do hope to never have to do, it's lose either of them, or chose between them, and thankfully and with the grace of God, I probably won't have to.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5. So Far To Go...

 Not just a Common song , but the story of my life. It's ironic, because before even looking at the list for day 5 of the challenge, I wanted to do a blog about the things that keep me going, my hopes and dreams. The song is actually in my top five favorites because it says everything to me...listen and I think you'll understand my perception of love and life a little better...or my general headspace when it comes to good music. ;)

In any case, the things I hope for seem so impossible to me, but to those around me they say they know I can do any and everything. I question that; how can they know when I can't? Is it my fear of making mistakes that keeps me from seeing my own potential as clearly as my friends and family, or is it just that I don't see myself as unmarred and fearlessly as they do? Is it the world I'm afraid of, or is it me as a part of it?

My hopes...I hope to finish school, but the longer I'm in it, the less and less it all seems to matter. I'm a freshman with a few credit hours and so many more to go just to get my associates of English. That means if I want to finish in 2 and a half years I have to be a full-time and a half student, taking on 15-18 credit hours per semester. I'm smart enough to do it, I think I can take the pressure, but at the end of it all, is it even worth it? I'll still be looking for jobs like most of America, I'll still be so far from where I want to be, which is my Masters of English. Is it worth it?

I hope to one day be a mother and significant other. I think I've tackled so much in my life emotionally, mentally and physically (and still have so much more to go)  but never that, not yet anyway. I don't think anything else means as much to me outside of myself than that goal of one day seeing something that I brought forth albeit painfully flourish and do great things. And the significant other thing is just that; I've never had one for more than a few days. I think it'd be nice to experience something more long-term and less wishy-washy than the angst ridden dating scene I've been used to.

I hope to one day look at my parents and know that I've made them prouder than I could ever have imagined. I tell my daddy all the time that right under making myself proud on my list of things to do is making him and mother proud, and he tells me every time he talks to me that he's so proud of what I've already done. That motivates me further and further to be greater and greater, so I know eventually, somehow, this hope is going to happen.

I know I'm strong enough to do these three or four things, but they seem so daunting in my mind until I realize where I've come from. I had titanium rods placed in my back at age 9. I survived swine flu, avian flu, and the influx of teen pregnancy. I've kept my sanity in this world this long, what's another twenty years? I've come so far...but got so far to go.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4. I Forgive...

I do a lot of forgiving of other people. A lot. Under my veneer of self-assured and secure, I'm actually emotionally sensitive and a little insecure (which is something that took a lot of work from going from "extremely insecure" to just a "little insecure"). Most people treat me like a robot; my one function for them is all that matters and when it comes time for me to put some tears on their shoulder, all of a sudden they have places to be. Such is my lot in life.

One of the people who mean the most to me in this world is my daddy. We lived a military life, so growing up I wouldn't see him as often as I'd have liked, but he was always there writing letters, sending cards, and on the end of a phone line. Once he and my mother divorced I saw less of him than before, especially given his job and how far we were from each other.

I never realize how much anger I harbored towards him for leaving me so much with my mother. She's not a bad mother, quite the contrary she's very strong and is always pushing forwards. However, given the type of person I am, my mother's brand of parenting was hard on me. I would shut down and not speak, and just do everything quietly. I wouldn't walk or breathe too loudly when she was upset for fear of bringing her ire onto me. I think when I was younger I learned to just be there for people and not expect them to be there for me, partially because of the way my mother was with people, and partially given the fact that my father had left.

My father though, is nurturing and reassuring. He always tells me he's proud of me, even if I'm not sure there's much to be proud of. He sends me Hallmark cards for daughters (the really ornate ones) and he calls me to make sure that I'm okay. I always thought that if I grew up with him I wouldn't be so fearful of life, nor as held back as I am in my actions. I never did forgive him though, for leaving although I knew it hurt him and mother just as much as it hurt me.

So I forgive my daddy, because it really wasn't his fault. He did what he thought was best and it just didn't work out exactly that way for me, but I can't fault him for the lesson it taught me; if you're unhappy, you have to do something to change it.

I wonder if forgiveness is valid if the person you're forgiving doesn't know they're being forgiven?

Monday, April 25, 2011

3. I Forgive Myself for...

There once was a time I was so caught up in getting attention. I was used to dudes I liked falling at my feet by the dozens in heaps of bliss and passion with the unadulterated essence that is Tes. Okay, no not really, but I was used to getting what I wanted. And then this guy Chris came around.

Now Chris wasn't really anything special; actually he was quite average. He was a little older than me, but still at community college "hanging out," which should have been my first clue. I figured I could get him to like me, my quest for attention would be over, and I could move on to my real interest which happened to be his friend, and my now best friend, George. It didn't work out that way. Instead he strung me along, knowing that I was craving that attention and was actually beginning to care about him as a person and not an objective. However months down the line he decided to drop kick me in the chest by saying that he just saw me as a sister.

I felt terrible. Sure, he was a douche for what he did, but the fact remains that I saw it happening and I still went along with it in hopes of getting that mild attention high. Time has passed and I've forgiven him, but I'm still in the process of forgiving myself. I kept telling myself I was too good for him, hell, he kept telling me I was too good for him, but my blind ambition wouldn't let me see the forest for the trees.

I feel like I brought it on myself. I spent so much time stressing over making him like me, and so much energy trying to make myself more appealing to him, not realizing that by doing that I was becoming less and less appealing to others, and ultimately less and less appealing to me. I didn't know who I was at the end of that whole debacle, and it took me awhile to regain my sense of self, and that's why it's been so hard for me to forgive myself. How could I let something come between me and my soul? How did I let one bad experience sour and scare me off dating for so long?

Well, today's as good a time as any. I forgive myself for failing to remain true to me. I forgive myself for being young and learning things the hard way. I forgive myself for wasting so much time on fear, when I could be enjoying my time with adventure, romance and all the other things that Disney dreams are made of.

Why do you think it is it's so easy to forgive others, but so hard to forgive ourselves? I used to think forgiving those who trespass against you was the right thing to do as it would set you free of their influence, but if you still harbor anger and resentment at yourself for that trespass, does the act of forgiving lose it's merit?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

2. I Love My Spirit

Day Two of the Challenge! Of course after something you hate, you have to follow with something you love. In my case, it's a bit harder to do; I'm still young and I'm learning myself. I like a lot of things about myself, but when it comes down to what I love only one big thing sticks out.

Once, my mother hired an older Hispanic man to come and fix our washer and dryer. He spoke very little English, I speak very little Spanish, but somehow we understood each other and he got the washer fixed with my help. When my mother showed up later, the man's son had also shown up to cart away the old dryer and help install the new one. Instead the elder man, Mr. Hernandez, called to me (I think he called me pequena which means "small one") and showed me how to fix the new dryer if anything ever happened. At the end of the day, in his broken English, he told me that it meant a lot that I was patient and observant because not a lot of people are. He told me I had a beautiful soul and gave me a hug.

I once knew a deaf guy in my last semester. I could only "speak" so much sign language, but one of my friends could and he translated to me. The guy had seen me around helping people, having fun, and being myself and he told me I had a golden soul. Things like this happen to me all the time and I've learned to take them in stride but every time I hear them it makes my heart get all heavy and junk.

I don't know what it is in me that calls to people, that makes them want to be themselves, or be better than they are, but I've had many past associates tell me that just seeing me be myself silently gave them the courage to do the same. I'm reminded of a quote by Maryanne Williamson about our greatest fears. When I give my light, my spirit, permission to shine, others automatically seem to follow suit and we are all brighter for it in the end.

So if I had to pick one thing that I love most about myself, it's my spirit. My spirit is kind, genuine, and apparently very vibrant. It's gotten me monikers and handles like "Tes the Sweetheart" and "Sugarlump," which I can live with (it's better than the alternative, right?) So with the ease it brings to others, and the solace it brings to me, my kind spirit is the thing I love most about myself.

Don't forget, you can take the challenge too! No pressure though ;)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

1. I Hate That I Can't Adapt Faster...

So I was reading around the web about a 30 Days of Truth Challenge* and wondered two things. 1) Could I possibly blog 30 days straight? 2) What could be gained from taking the challenge? The answers are possibly, and I don't know. But it sounds interesting enough so I'll start it anyway and see how it goes.

I don't hate many things or many people. In fact I don't think I have the capacity to hate another person or thing. I do hate ideas, and the things people do, but never the people themselves or the ideas themselves but rather what they represent for other people. That being said, I hate my life in Texas.

I've lived here for seven years all together, a few in Killeen and a few in San Antonio, and no matter where I am in the state I just feel so trapped. There's a lot to do; you can visit the Alamo, you can go to Six Flags, you can go to Cold Stone (admittedly their ice cream disturbs me as it looks like somebody threw a bunch of stuff together and put it on a cone). But what is there to do for a girl like me with so much wanting? I've been to the museums, I've been to the art galleries. I've been to Six Flags a few times, I've been to the Alamo. But where are the earthy poetry places? Where are the lounges for the 20-somethings wanting to discuss everything from politics to facts of life? Where are the people like me?

I've also noted that I get really depressed here. I didn't notice it until I moved away to stay with my father for about a year. With him I seemed to flourish, albeit after a brief period of "new home fear";I was afraid that if I started living there, I would be shipped away, so I tried to not do anything and keep my head down for half a year. But boy, when I finally started living did I ever live. My schoolwork slacked a bit (okay a lot) but I had close friends who I did everything with, I had things to do on the weekend, I tutored people for a little extra cash, and I finally felt like I was living my life instead of waiting for it.

My father was away a lot, but living in his house I felt his presence, and he'd call all the time so we could just talk and reconnect with each other. I've always been a daddy's girl, but I think that's because I feel like my father encourages me a lot more than my mother does; I feel he's always on my side, where sometimes I wonder if my mother even likes me at all.

Eventually though, he had to go and save the world, which put me in the position of either finding a job and a place in 30 days, or coming back to Texas. I tried my hardest those last thirty days. I had a few interviews that nobody knew about (which I think is an issue with me; I don't like people to know I'm doing things unless they pan out in the end) and went to the unemployment office. I found an apartment for a few hundred but without the job I couldn't keep pulling the landlord's chain. Eventually I had to move back. I think that's the saddest I'd ever been in my life.

At first, it didn't seem so bad. I got a seasonal job at a clothing store and I applied for school, but none of that seemed to be enough, at least not for mother. I had to get a better job, go to a better school, and do so as soon as possible. I know she means well when she pushes, and I know she doesn't mean to come off to me the way she does, but I get so dispirited by the things she says sometimes. I don't have many friends here and the ones I do are usually working. I'm searching for jobs everyday. I'm trying to make it work, but it seems it won't end up according to plan. But then again, what ever does?

So the thing I hate about myself is that I can't adapt to life as fast as others need me to and I hate that a bi-product of that is being disenchanted with my own life.

*If you're interested in the 30 Days of Truth Challenge, the list is there.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Respect - Not Just an Aretha Song

I respect myself. I think anybody who knows of me will know that from jump street. I respect my mind, my body, my spirit. Alladat. But what I'm realizing is that not everyone holds that same kind of respect for themselves, and not everyone will extend that kind of respect to you. So what's a girl in my position supposed to do with that?

I was talking to my friend George who told me that nice girls finish last and good girls never finish (no that's not exactly what he said, but it's exactly what he meant). Because I'm a nice, good girl I take offense to that; just because I don't do what everyone else is doing or think what they think, I'm never going to finish? He said that girls like me have to work to find somebody to "take us" because we're usually picky, short-sighted and have hang ups like you wouldn't believe. Yes, I'm selective (pardon me for liking men who read more than I like men who don't), and yes, I can sometimes be short-sighted, but all of those things don't make it so that somebody has to "take me" (read as: put up with me/settle for me).

I don't think a lot of women respect themselves. I don't think they know that they're worth is in more than what they can do for a man, but who they are to him and most important who they are to and for themselves. And I think men (my age especially but not exclusively) don't have patience for respectable women. In this microwave generation, for every girl that doesn't put out, there are maybe 5 or more who do. For every girl that says something isn't up to her standards, there are 10 or more who settle. I always try to remind myself of that when a guy hits on me in a completely wrong way ("Say guh, how much your rent is? I'll pay it.") that somewhere in some point in his life that works. It's disheartening.

I believe you are only worth what you think you are; if you're not willing to look at yourself and think of you as more than parts and limits then how is anyone else going to see anything else about you? The fact that I hold so stringently to my morals and beliefs may make it look like I'm too picky, but the fact remains that there's not too much to my ideal guy: he's kind, he's smart, he reads, he's respectful and he's creative. The rest is up for discovery. Is it difficult for men to rise to those standards or is it the fact that other women don't make them want to rise to those standards that makes it so hard for girls like me? And why am I deemed the black sheep for wanting a guy who either possesses or is willing to cultivate those things?

What is respect really worth if it doesn't get you any closer to your goal? Is it worth lowering already low standards to let everyone in, or to keep them and wait for the right one? I often fear my timidness and ardent adherence to my morals will scare men off, but then I remember that if that scares them, there are other women out there for them.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meaningful Relationships Have To Mean Something...Right?

I love my parents. I understand that a lot of people love their parents, but for clarity's sake, I love them the most. I feel like, because they were teen parents and none of their friends had children either, they grew up with me in a way. My dad would play video games with me when he was home from saving the world, and my mom would get me books to read that were above my level and read them with me. They were my parents, they were my friends (to an extent) and they were the only constant I had in my life.

When I got older and my parents' military life slowed down some, they would either send me or we would all go to spend time where we were from. I didn't like it much; everyone there treated me different. I was either treated special, or treated with the littlest respect a child could be rewarded and there was rarely an in-between. My extended family were strangers to me, as I grew up abroad and away from them and that chasm has never been mended. I try with my grandmothers (and my grandfathers who, though very different, speak with the same grunting, lovableness that makes me smile) because I remember and know them, but aunts, uncles, cousins...they all fall to the wayside.

Admittedly I don't make much of an effort with them; my aunts and uncles never seem to make an effort with me (unless my father tells them to) and my cousins and I, though not far in age, are far in wisdom and experience and thus have little to discuss. I wish I could talk to my grandmothers more; I want to know about them and who they were when they were my age. How did they get here in their life? If they could impart only one thing with me, what would it be?

I'm not sure if my lack of enthusiasm with my own family translates in other places. I make friends easily, but find that I don't like keeping most of them as what we initially had in common is sometimes the only thing we have in common. I have a few friendships that I've maintained for years but many that never get out of infancy. I'm always thinking ahead with people; if I see they are drama filled for a majority of the time I'm with them, it's safe to assume they'll be drama filled if we remain friends. Can people change? Sure, but not as rapidly as it would take for me to not get accosted while with them, and therein is the problem. Should I make these relationships knowing that they may never be what I need?

I suppose my parents raised me to be okay alone; I'm an only child with a library that spans nearly three bookshelves, a hunger for knowledge, and great taste in music and movies (not to toot my own horn or anything) and all these things are things I've learned from them. Not to mention I can play a mean console game. Back to the point; I've been okay alone for so long that I suppose I'm used to the loneliness, but the fact still remains that I need a connection with someone. It doesn't have to be romantic (like my best friend keeps telling me is what I want), and it doesn't have to last forever, but it has to enrich me in some way.

Am I too much of a forward thinker? Do all relationships have to mean something to be cultivated? Am I just scared of people and have a latent fear that people will leave due to my military upbringing? Most importantly, is there any way around this?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Going Natural is Working for Me

My last relaxer was disastrous. It burned my scalp in one large area that wept for three days. My mother said that was the price of beauty and at that point, warm water rushing over an oozing chemical burn I realize that kind of beauty? So. Not. Worth it. So I've been transitioning to natural hair for about a month and I've noticed a few things, not only about myself but those around me.

1) I needed a routine. I'm not fond of doing the same thing all the time. I dislike schedules. I don't usually plan to do things, I just feel the need to do them and do them. That's not going to work with natural hair. Natural hair needs time. Natural hair needs a set of rules and routines for it to grow healthy and strong. While realizing this I realized life was similar. Life needs structure, and just because I want it to just be free-flowing and what not doesn't make it so and doesn't make it healthy. So in that vein I've started planning more and sticking to a routine. It's tough because I'm lazy because I've never had to stick to anything before and now, for my health all around, I have to.

2) Not everybody understands why I'm doing it. My grandmother on my father's side, Nana, has been straightening my hair for as long as I can remember; she thinks I'm doing it to ward off people. My Gram thinks it's awesome and that I'm doing it to be trendy. My Dad doesn't really care why I'm doing it, he just doesn't want it to cost much. The reason I'm doing it is because I feel like the real me is in there. The real me is hiding in the curly-kinky-coily roots that are now growing naturally from my scalp as God intended. That's amazing. It's incredible. To think that I've never felt my natural texture until a few weeks ago and now I can't keep my hands out of it. I'm doing it for me.

3) The natural hair care blogs are saying it's a "journey" and a "trial" and all these other phrases...not quite. In my mind all those things denote struggle and strife and a world chocked full of people who don't understand. I have a support system who knows that I'm doing this and are behind me. I have a blast doing things for my hair and learning new things about it. Going natural is like anything else in life; you just have to jump in it with faith and a good spirit and hope everything turns out fine in the end.

4) The looks are different. I'm only at an inch or so of natural and five or so inches of relaxed ends. The looks I get from people now are they're actually noticing me (hair first, eyes, boobs, then back to hair). As a perpetual wall flower I'm not used to being noticed so often so I get a little paranoid and wondering if people are having Don Imus monologues about me and my hair in their heads. I have to tell myself that it's time I was noticed and that it's time I became a person and not an ornament in a room. Plus, most likely nobody's thinking that exact thing; they're most likely saying "Wow, she's reading and walking at the same time, that's tough!"

5) It makes you want to be better. Personally, I'm always content with just being "above average." I've been that way since maybe middle school when I noticed that knowledge and learning was easier for me. I could coast and get above average grades. I could coast and be above average socially. I could coast on life and nobody would be any the wiser. That was a cop out. Now I feel so socially inept sometimes that I just stay in my room and read. There are times now when my college work gets hard and I freak out because I never learned how to effectively study and fight for the grades I got. I started going natural a month ago and since then, my grades are better. I'm trying to find friends here in this do-nothing city. I'm trying to be better than I am. I think that had I just continued straightening I would've just gotten deeper into the depression of coasting. Coasting doesn't give you options, it limits them, just like, in my opinion, being relaxed limited my hair's potential.

I'm not saying this is the norm for everyone. Some women go natural and relaxed in cycles, some women chop off all their hair and cry into their pillows at night. Some women get so many chemical burns on their scalp that over time, the hair won't grow anymore. I'm doing this for me. I'm doing this to better myself. I'm doing this, even in the face of my own fears of inadequacy. I'm doing this.

Does fear of being different hinder us in the long run or protect us? Do feelings of inadequacy ever get validated outside of ourselves or is it primarily us that set up these limitations?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Musings (1)

A lot of my time I spend thinking. My mother thinks it's a bad thing (because I think and don't live in her opinion) but I think (see what I did there?) that those who act without thought are usually the ones who end up somewhere they don't want to be. Not every thought I have is gonna take me somewhere, but I muse a lot of the time (mostly between classes) and figured I should start keeping lists of them. So here goes!

  1. How much is respect really worth? I know there are men who die for respect and fights get started over it, but with me being me and being respected so much by objects of my just doesn't seem to cut it. "I respect you" is like the new way of saying "You're awesome, but I wouldn't date you" at least by the dudes in my age bracket. Does it mean something else once you get older?
  2. Teaching is calling me but I'm trying to ignore the call. I don't want to get caught up in the "Rah rah!" of it all and forget that, as an advanced student, I was completely privy to all the crap teachers have to put up with, not just from parents but other teachers, their kids, the school, the board, the state... When children are getting progressively dumber with each passing generation (google it - it'll scare the crap out of you) and parents tending to coddle and throw them to the lions so to speak, that leaves a small window of opportunity for educators to try and pull something out of these kids. I think I have the moxy for it, but I'm so damn anal about everything I think I'd get disillusioned really quickly. And I don't even like kids.
  3. There are a lot of creepers out there. A lot of creepers. From the ones who leer at me from car windows, to the ones who call me their soul mate after knowing me two days. I know logically not every dude I meet is going to be a creeper, but it's gotten to the point I expect dudes to be creepy which is so no bueno. For instance I met a guy at school who seemed perfectly normal. Asked me out on a date, super polite, all that jazz girls really like, right? Wrong. He called me that whole first night, texted me that whole next day, and invited himself over to my house (without the directions, cause please believe I'm not that far behind the curve) when I told him emphatically that I like to go slow. *facepalm* I realize you gotta kiss a lot of frogs to get your prince or whatever, but this parade of froggy creepers is starting to look like a sign of the apocalypse.
  4. I wanted to be a home-maker today. See, everyday, because I don't know what I want to do with my life (though everyone around me assumes I should by now) I go through careers in my head, or what I know of them rather, and see if I could fit there. Housewives are cool unless they're being televised from every major and minor city/town/province in America; they maintain the house, which sounds easy but requires lots of planning and charts and calendars. I could do planning and charts and calendars. But later, I went to a Chinese restaurant and opened my fortune cookie and it said "Avoid uncomplicated jobs; they will squander your talent." Really though? The one time I even open a fortune cookie and it has to be relevant like that? On to the next one then...
  5. I don't like outings with my mother. Don't get me wrong, I love her dearly. But sometimes I just look at her and wanna hug her throat. She tells people things about me in a tone that says "Isn't that the stupidest thing you ever heard?" or "Mmhm, right like she can do any of that." No, before you go there, that's not what she says, but it's all in the tone. I also don't like how she volunteers me for things; her friends will need a baby sitter and she'll say "Oh, Tes can do it, she's not doing anything." Okay, that may be true, but who says I want rugrats intruding on my nothingness? I feel like the Bentley to her Diddy, and even Bentley got tired of getting wet after awhile. That's all I'm saying.
  6. I need to get a interesting job. I'm sending out resumes and calling a bunch of places but I keep getting the same answers. I don't like to tell people that I'm trying, because then they impose themselves onto, into and all around my plan; I like to have my ducks in a row before I tell anybody, which I don't see anything particularly wrong with...but is it wrong? Do people need to know what I'm doing for their own peace of mind?
  7. I want to live in a cabin with running water and Internet, with an awesome antique bookstore in the town a few miles away from it. I don't know where I'm gonna find it, how I'm gonna afford it, or even if it's possible, but I am surely going to try my hardest to get it.

What about you guys? How often do you just muse on things? And what do you think about children getting dumber, or rather, what do you think we can do as a community and country to reverse that? Can fortune cookies give good advice? Am I wrong for wanting to plan things out before I tell people (even if that prohibits movement for the time being)?


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Knowing and Understanding = Two Different Things

When I was sixteen, I knew absolutely everything. Mom would tell me to do my homework and I'd say "I know Ma." Dad would tell me I needed to get up for school and I'd say "I know Dad." Sometimes they wouldn't even finish their statement and I would interrupt with "I know!" And it was the truth, I did know, but I usually didn't understand.

I never knew how infuriating that must be - to have someone say "Yes, I know," and know that they didn't understand. My best friend and I have this circular discussion about once a month about how I feel and what I think and I swear, if she was sitting next to me when we were talking about it, I'd hug her throat.

The conversation is one of love and life, living and existing. I think too much, says she, and I don't go out and do enough in my life. Friend or no friend, that's wrong; how are you going to tell me what I am and am not doing? What I do and do not feel? And the more she talked, the madder I got. I told her that she didn't understand and she said she did, but the more she talked the more I realized she didn't.

She doesn't understand what loneliness and fear feel like inside of my soul, she only knows what they feel like for her. She doesn't understand where I'm coming from because she doesn't understand or even know where I am in my life at this point. Eventually I told her the conversation was over, because we were getting nowhere with each other and the conversation ended (for this month at least).

She knows who I am and what I think about most things, but she does not, for all that knowledge, understand that much about me, or not as much as she thinks she does. And the more she says she does the more I feel like she's belittling anything I've said prior or anything I could say after to the point where I just shut down on her which benefits neither of us.

There are parts of me, parts of my soul that are so hidden from other people because I fear the let down that I feel always comes with trusting people. I fear moving too quickly; those who move quickly make rash and usually wrong decisions. I fear becoming a catlady, especially when it seems everyone around me is pairing off like they've gotten the call for the Ark and I didn't. She knows. I know she knows. But does she understand? Does she feel it? Does she hear it? Does it keep her up at night like it does for me? No. And I don't think it ever will, which is why I don't like having that conversation with her, because not only does it not go anywhere, it takes me down into those deep dark parts of me that are so hard to get out of and so hard to shake. If she understood, she wouldn't take me there for nothing but the fact that she frequently does just lets me know she doesn't and there's nothing I can do about that.

Is empathy only valid if we've been there ourselves? Is compassion wasted if it can't be reciprocated to those we're compassionate to the right way? Am I being too hard on her?
Talk to me,