Things I want

A dog.

My own place. Preferably with things like a kitchen. And a bathroom.

To pass theory. With all of my heart, I yearn to pass theory. In fact, if I could kick its ass all the way from here to Never Land, that would be optimum.

To go to grad school for free.

To write a book this month. I promised myself last November that it would happen and it didn’t. I guess I hadn’t wanted it badly enough.

A 3.5+ GPA this semester.

To take Intermediate Deutsch next semester without getting yelled at.

To learn to learn to learn to learn to learn to learn to learn without fear of failure

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Real, and well this is my life right now

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.

Some days I think, I should shut up. Today is not one of those days

I don’t want to do my diction homework. I don’t want to learn IPA right now.

Okay, I mean, I do, but not the way that we’re learning it and not in a stuffy room crammed full of singers and open e’s and o’s and headaches.

I don’t want to wait for my laundry. In fact, I didn’t want to laundry at all today because I just don’t want to. But no, I shoved two dollars and fifty cents worth of quarters into that machine and by God I will have clean clothes. They just might not be all the way dry by the time I go to get them out of the dryer. I have class at three thirty and I don’t want anyone else touching them while I pretend to enjoy Rep Singers.

I don’t want to do my theory. I don’t even want to go to theory any more. I can’t believe how awkward I made it for myself.

Um, but please. My recently vocal sassy side shakes her head and does the Z-finger-snap thing because hey buddy. If you don’t want me, say so and don’t mix your signals. In my experience, drunken behavior is the most telling because you are at your most relaxed and uninhibited in an intoxicated state. Therefore, it leads me logically to the conclusion that you’d want me if I’d say so.

Don’t lie to me now that you’re sober. Don’t ignore me now that you’re sober. I don’t appreciate it and it makes me lean toward the notion that oh my, you can be a jackass. It’s not my fault I’m mysteriously attracted to you. In all honesty, I cannot think of a solid reason why I am. Okay, you have some really pretty eyes and you’re not a tenor.

Those aren’t even Good Reasons. Like, what the hell. What’s wrong with me?

Or better, what’s wrong with you? Since apparently you can flirt with everyone else and not with me? Unless you’re drunk? I’m so confused. Don’t lead me on. I don’t have time.

I do have a significant amount of stubbornness and crankiness though. I can be kind of a pain in the ass if things don’t work out my way here. But I’ve taken steps and now I’ll wait for you to make yours and if they’re in a direction I don’t like I’ll do something else and pretend it doesn’t affect me at all.

I mean I probably will care but it will look like No Big. But just so you know, I’d have an open ear or arms for you if you ever wanted them.

Finally yellow

It’s been my favorite color since I was old enough to know my colors. It’s sunshine. It’s a dandelion. It’s my hair.

And it’s happiness, for me.

I wanted to put that happiness here, for anyone who reads my thoughts. The negativity some associate with yellow should vanish upon reaching this page, because, well, crap. I really dig “happy.”

It’s here. The big eighteen. I’m so old. And in some ways I still feel like I’m three again and sliding down brightly-tinted plastic with my hair static-ed all around my face.

Two years ago, I was going to get my learner’s permit with my mother.

One year ago, I was so insanely busy I don’t even remember what the heck I did. Oh wait, I think I went to musical and ate a giant cookie with purple frosting. Or that could have been the AIDA year. It might have been, because Kiener and Emma were there. Yeah, whatever.

This year, I’ll be in theory and in aural skills and traveling to get pizza with a completely different group of people in a still-new place. I’ll voyage to sing with ladies I respect and admire and return to be initiated in the ways of Student Association.

It’s so different. And I can’t help but think, it’s where I’ve wanted to be and worked to be for the past eighteen years without knowing it. I’m finally here.

Simple peace

I sit in the woods right now. By the time I copy and paste this online I won’t be anymore, but as of this very second, 7:24 pm, I am sitting on Faerie Rock in the woods and writing.

I’ve wanted to do this for such a long time. Have a laptop and go into my favorite place to write.

When I’ve thought of doing that, I’d always picture myself typing out some novel, putting some spectacular story into motion. Instead I sit slouched here pondering my own sad story and craving to know how the forest always holds what I need.

A few years ago, I needed a playplace to live out my imagination. I needed a fantasyland for a warrior, a setting for a wandering heroine, or a hideout from pirates. A few months ago, a good friend and I needed winding beauty and distractions to keep us from making a silly mistake that we made anyway. A few weeks ago, I stood just over there and needed silence, smothering silence to blight the sounds of breathless, passionless, horribly chemistry-less kisses. This land has given me all that.

And if lore and conscience hold I shouldn’t blame the earth for the mistakes of her children. (But between you and me, I frigging hope she disowned this particular child. I’m not the clingy sort, I’m just sad.) So I’ll forego the blame, skip over the empty betrayed emotion that surfaces whenever I consider that night, the night the forest blissfully forgot for me. Instead, I remember that she gives me all I need, even when I don’t know what that is.

Apparently today, I just need solace. I need forgiveness for misusing this stunning place of my childhood. Just because this place is so, so special won’t mean that any boy I bring to see it is or ever will be. I need the trees to come alive in Tolkien fashion and tell me themselves that they don’t hate me for misunderstanding.

This raw undiluted place knows my beginnings. I feel as if it know of my darkest mistakes and half-feigned innocence but chooses to love the innocence more. Allows me for just a little while to become part of the world humanity once belonged to.

That little while is enough to hold me until the next time I come. The vivid greens, the ripe mud and leaves and debris, pounded into one thick ground. The soft trickle of the stream you can hear tinkling at you if you just listen hard enough. The constant vocal constructions of the birds and wildlife that are too real to be called music. Yeah. The little grey squirrel that’s coming to check me out as we speak. It’s enough to tide me over until I see it again. I can pull it up in my mind crystal-clear but it doesn’t compare.

It really does let you become part of it for a while, too. The little rock-grey rodent that just leapt from tree to tree on my right was totally chill with me being here: or at least she didn’t really give a crap enough to be subtle about her traveling plans to the bank-side. It’s a kind of acceptance that you have to just sit and be still for; a kind of peace that hits you quietly but keeps you quiet, and feeling as if you’re part of something. It’s something I’ll never willingly give up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to come visit this place, it always seems to be just as pleased to have me, bumbling about or writing away.

Anyway, the mosquitoes are out in full force now and there is some stench that makes me feel that something’s died nearby. Oh, hey, new scent: some skunk doesn’t accept me as much as that squirrel seemed to. Cute.

So I’m off, out of the forest. Off my rock I’d christened Faerie Rock when I was probably no older than three, wandering in here with my dad or grandpa. Twelve or fifty bug bites later, and I’m out of the woods and into the real world yet again. I wouldn’t pass up this haven for anything.