one day my thoughts, however irrelevant, will fill a book
like a real book,
and blue ink.
one day my songs, however foolish and romantic, will be sung
by a real person,
and my love.
one day my dreams, however meaningless right now, will be brought to life
in their own time
and my blood.
one day my voice, however bright or strong, will be silenced
the world won’t drop a beat
no more words
no more dreaming
no more song.
one day i’ll pass, unknowing of what-all i leave behind,
but the singing
and the thoughts
and the dreaming?
Sometimes you just need a time to not think. To forget– or at least, not dwell on much– how insignificant or misconstrued your life is or has become. To disregard your acne or your ugly hair or chipping nail polish. As you try to ignore the fading natural light or the uncomfortable chill in the air or the constant miserable lurch and clatter of the bus.
There are times when you need that stillness. But when you take those moments, thoughts leak in seeping like a familiar ooze of blood from an oft-picked scab. Thoughts like, “there are so many problems to solve– how–?” or “what if the bus crashes?” or the recurring “life sucks.” But these viscous thoughts twine and blend in a way that makes it impossible to hold onto any one of them for very long. You pass an interesting building or the cold shifts and slaps your face, or you’re reminded of your undone theory homework and the world continues its spin, dragging (or leading?) your mind along.
Feel free to judge for yourself which is which.
I almost wrote a book today.
I’ve stopped reading the Bible. Huge surprise there.
I’m managing my River Campus class pretty well, if I do say so myself.
I wasn’t falling asleep in theory today.
I got up and ready in time.
I really want Chinese food, and have since Monday.
I will probably run tonight.
I’ve been dizzy all day long.
I am not having a good hair day.
I hate when this room is dark.
I need to repaint my nails: I don’t have remover and I hate when they chip.
I don’t know why I painted my nails hot pink to begin with.
I don’t know what I want to do with my life; although ed psych and also Erikson say I should have figured this out already.
I’m going to be really upset if I can’t get Chinese food tonight.
I guess no one wants to go with me to get Chinese food. This is totally acceptable and normal. To work off the pathetic feelings of abandonment and the intense loathing of the idea of going to U of R on the bus by myself and waiting there for an hour–also by myself– I will probably go to the gym early. I can be skinny and miserable. Awesome.
I’m still dizzy. So over it.
I don’t know anyone else here well enough to feel that they would be comfortable and not awkward travelling with me to the River Campus.
I hate complaining.
I hate being sad and pathetic.
I hate the idea that I cannot reverse my own sad and pathetic-ness.
I’m getting off the computer now to figure out how the hell I’m getting Chinese food tonight. I would go to Dim Sum but I have to pay real money there and I can club U of R food. I’ve literally thought of everything. God.
Okay, for real though. I’m going.
Why is it that the Avett Brothers always pull me back to myself? When I’m a little out of it, or shaken, miserable, glum, whatever… they pop up on shuffle and voila, reassurance. Or at least closure; or more importantly, a reminder that life isn’t about the little stupid dramas that are pointless anyway.
I want friends that I can care about. That let me care about them and can trust me. As I rely on them. To be honest, if not kind. “I want to have friends, that I can trust.”
That’s really all. Otherwise, you could probably be a psychopathic slasher and I’d probably not care. It’s really just honestly, or the lack thereof, that hurts. Is it something I did? Should I have left a friend to dwell on his own mistakes without talking them over? Should I have asked about things right away instead of speculating on my own time? Is there something I should have done differently?
Or does it not matter at all? As long as we care about each other and can forgive, and move on, does it matter? Aren’t we all thrown into this outrageously difficult world with our own problems and situations and manners of dealing with them? Shouldn’t we disregard mistakes– our own, others’– and make an effort to love everyone without judgment, without anger or jealousy or anxiety?
If I felt like tossing a reference out into Brendan’s neck of the woods right now (and I do), shouldn’t we love one another unconditionally? Without becoming jaded or sick about it? Like Jesus would. I guess I went there. Well, I said the Avetts brought me back to myself when I’m upset. Myself tends to love God, and also wants to love people. “I want to fit in to the perfect space; feel natural and safe in a volatile place. I want to grow old, without the pain… give my body back to the earth and not complain.”
I’m sitting at my desk right now in my chaotically organized yet still zen-providing pretty space of a room. My hair’s outrageous and I still haven’t taken my scarf off from outside. My left contact is itching and my neck’s regained probably about half of its normal tension already.
But I’m so, so happy.
Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know if I could tell you without gushing about twelve hundred different probable causes. Nothing spectacular has happened (except I have a GREAT second semester schedule, minus the fact that I don’t have any River Campus classes… which is a bummer). I haven’t lost a ton of weight or anything. My sock has a hole in it (I’ve just discovered).
But I am so happy.
Maybe it’s the sunshine. Maybe it’s the sparkling white curtain of snow I walk out in at 830 every morning. Maybe it’s the morning time I currently enjoy; maybe it’s the music. Maybe it’s that I’m finally reconnecting with the self I lost in the shuffle of a new time.
I don’t know. But I’m happy.
So I found this quote on Ivy’s blog and nearly started crying. It’s silly, I know.
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. May your coming year be a wonderful thing, in which you dream both dangerously and outrageously. I hope you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), I hope that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind. And I hope that somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
-Neil Gaiman, “A New Year’s Benediction”
But it’s just that I think I’m experiencing a period of self-hatred right now. I know that is probably silly, too. There’s all this crap about loving yourself floating around and being shoved down everyone’s throats, and up until recently I believed it. I wasn’t truly deeply happy, although seeing my family always inspires a serious dose of love. Upon reflection I think it’s that I hate myself. I love everyone around me. I love them so much it hurts and would never want to leave them (that’s why going back to Eastman generally just makes me sick). But me?
I feel stupid. I feel undereducated and barely literate. I know of few ways to rectify this and in any case my schedule this coming semester absolutely would not allow it. Those “fine books”? Yeah, right. Because I can read for fun. And if I could, where would I get the books? Rush Rhees? Because I have that much time.
I feel ugly. And I know it’s not what you look like that matters. That’s what I tell myself every day. I tell myself that just because I’ve gained a little weight I am by no means fat. I’m curvier, and that’s supposed to be attractive. Right?
I can’t even fall back on cleaning horse stalls to tone up. It’s winter and the tractor is clogging the barn. My dad cleans them every few days because he uses the tractor and if I tried messing with that whacked-out setup I’d break the barn. And if I make an effort to work out it will be like confirming I’m a mess and need to fix myself. I’m just scared to make a change, and for that I despise the insecure and procrastinating parts of myself that slap and tug, each in opposite directions.
The idea that I will kiss someone wonderful this year is unlikely at the very best. I need to not focus on boys or relationships. Boys terrify me. I hate writing that and I hate that it’s true. I hate that I’m too much of an insecure coward to take steps to get to know anyone like that. I hate that the only boy who would kiss me has two other girls he’s also propositioning and I hate that I would even consider that offer. I won’t take it. I know that he won’t care and we’ll move on and stay friends. Chemistry means nothing, the physicality of it all means nothing unless there’s love. And that’s just not in the game plan. I won’t waste my time when there are so many more important things to be doing.
That looks so dramatic and stupid and I’m sure that three years ago I’d’ve been scolded and told to stop being… oh shit what was it. “Emo?” Yeah, well… That was a long time ago and I know the psychology of my situation then back to front. I’ve put it aside.
But I’ve also thought through my life in terms of the big scheme and if I stumble across someone in the distant future who can value me as more than a good time, more than someone to manipulate, and more than a secret meeting, I’ll maybe reconsider. And to be honest I’m jealous of the normalcy, the innocence of my sister, because she has so many options and the good sense and sharp mind to tell all the jackasses and lost causes I seem to attract to go screw themselves.
So this is one step I can take. One thing I can and will firmly refuse. Without love, I won’t make myself vulnerable to anyone. It’s such a hopelessly romantic statement and looks like I’m a giant loser, but the drain that kind of attempt at loveless commitment can take would cost me too much, in terms of emotion, and time.
Most importantly time.
But I will sing. I will write and I may finger paint. If nothing else I will progress musically to the best of my ability, even if that ability happens to be less than everyone else there.
I keep returning to a thought: that I’ve been told I need confidence.
Well you know what? You get too confident and then life sucks when you find out you’re not even close to as good as you thought you were. You try your damnedest to mix humility with the confidence and hope you shine, hope to God it’s working because you crave to do what you love, and it hurts even more when it’s destroyed. You think you know something and you keep seeking that knowledge and you try and fall flat on your face. I’m in a place right now where if I take those kinds of chances and fall, I may not be able to get back up. Everyone knows everyone and they talk. They talk they talk and I keep thinking I don’t want to go back and spend as much time socializing because sleep is great, but apparently their opinions matter and I don’t quite know why. It’s only three and a half years more.
But these people will be around, connecting in the future, for the rest of my life. What do I do? I don’t know. I don’t know.
What do I want?
I want to dream. Dangerously, outrageously. I want to do, and do something useful to benefit people. I want to serve, I want to help. I want to give of myself to improve the life of someone else. I don’t want to dwell in this place where I’m sad and I’m stuck and miserable because I’m ashamed of myself.
I don’t just want, no– I don’t just want to.
I need to surprise myself.