Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Do You Remember?

Every day, someone dies. Several someones, in fact. A mother. A father. A sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandpa, grandma, daughter, son. A baby. A senior citizen. A new bride. A high school student. A drug dealer. They all disappear, Houdini's final trick.

It happens all the time, and yet when it happens close to us, we panic. We freak. We say, Oh my God, how could it happen to THEM? But we don't even realize that right now, at this very moment, the same thing is happening in about a hundred other places all across the country, even more across the whole planet. Our perspective is skewed by our juxtaposition to the event. But is that such a bad thing?

I recently lost my paternal grandmother. I purposely didn't share this information with most people, people at school, various extended family members, etc. because I didn't want to have them do the same thing that we all do: Oh my God, how terrible! on the surface; but secretly, Wow glad it wasn't me. I didn't want to give them that satisfaction, that little moment of instinctual gloating. It seemed so disgraceful to me, so barbaric. But then I thought about it in the context of my previous statements: they only reacted that way because they didn't think about things in a universal sense. They saw what happened to someone near them and breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't them, they didn't have to deal with it. They ignored the inevitable for one more day.

I guess my point is not quite brought across in that last paragraph, so let me make it more clear: the fact that things happen all over the globe shouldn't belittle our feelings when it happens to us. Who knows how many other grandmothers died the same day as mine, but that doesn't mean that I should push aside my feelings and avoid sharing my pain with others. Certainly, their reaction is the typical ingrained human kind, but that doesn't make it any less genuine.

I still don't talk about my grandmother, or my maternal grandfather, or my uncle, or my great-aunt, or my great-grandfather, or my dad's best friend. I don't talk about the people that I've lost, because I still feel like it's something that others don't deserve to gloat about. And I suppose I also feel guilty sharing it. But I often remember what few snapshots and smiles I had with them. And I find that that's talk enough for me.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Ramblin Writer

Well, I suppose I should try to update this more than once a year, eh? Of course, on the other hand, nobody reads it but me, so I'll just update whenever I feel like reading something from myself.
I thought about deleting some of my older posts, when I first got on here. The very first few, for example. They're absolutely rotten and so riddled with teen angst they're practically a chapter of Twilight. (Oh! Humor! That's new!) But then I realized that each of those posts is a little piece of me. A dreadful, horribly written, self-loating piece of me.
I think we try to delete pieces of ourselves as we go through life. We look back at a certain time or action and we think "Ugh, how terrible! I'll just forget about that." But the problem is that when we start deleting parts of ourselves like that, after a while we start to repeat those actions or attitudes. We forget about the consequences, we forget that we even did it, and then suddenly we're doing it again and we go "Shit. Been here, done this. Idiot."
The truth is, the more little pieces of ourselves we get rid of, the more of the whole of ourselves we're deteriorating. There comes a point where we have to just embrace ourselves, past, present, and future as a whole. Take in all the mistakes we've made, and hope we can apply what we've learned in future situations. Because after all, isn't that what life's about? Making mistakes. Learning to love yourself. Enjoying the ride.
Well, this is a short post, but I'm going to be trying to update more frequently (I'm pretty sure I've said that before), and hopefully that will be easier if I can get my hands on that Blackberry Curve I've been eyeing. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Speaking of Chatting...

I was hanging out with a friend of mine today and she commented on the fact that she likes to hang out with me because of the steady stream of talking I tend to keep up. I didn't take offense, because I know that I talk a lot, especially when I'm around my friends. It did get me to thinking about talking, though.
I learned to talk, my mother tells me, well before my second birthday, and didn't stop until I was probably 12. Then I went through a phase where I barely talked to anyone but the few friends I had at school. I became introverted and isolated, on purpose really, because I had a low self-esteem. I still have self-esteem issues, but nothing horrible. But all this leads up to the fact that there was a point in my life where I learned more than talking.
There was a certain point, and I think it was when I was in Greece this past summer, where I learned to do more than talk. I learned to converse and be at ease with people in what I said. I stopped worrying so much what people thought about me and just enjoyed the back and forth of a fun conversation. It was almost non-stop through the trip, and I found myself always coming up with new things to talk about.
It's a trait that has continued into my every-day life now. I find that if someone says the right thing and is willing to chat, I will go on forever. And I love it. It doesn't bother me a bit. I don't feel self-conscious or awkward at all. It's a glorious feeling, my friends.
Now I've got to put it to good use tomorrow with the tire boy ;-].

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

On a Gloomy Day

I'm feeling very indie and light today, despite my lack of sleep, and so I decided to share a good poem I read today. It's not the happiest of poems, but I like the imagery it provides.

Acquainted with the Night
Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain - and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

I noticed that my last few posts have been rather dark, or gray, in subject matter, and since today is a particularly cloudy day as it is, I thought I would brighten the mood with some light chit-chat. Unfortunately, I haven't much to chat about. I'm sitting alone in a coffee shop waiting for my next class to start. But it's an interesting people-watching moment:
A mother with two children and a laptop sits by the fireplace, where usually an artificial fire would be glowing and dancing in the shadows. She reprimands her toddler with a gentle voice and goes back to her screen. People filter in and out like grains of sand through a sieve. A woman to the left and behind me has been here longer than I, hard at work on her middle-aged degree, no doubt laboring for children unseen or a family in turmoil. Another woman, farther left, in a black dress with brightly colored stitching that is far younger than she, works eagerly on her computer. I can see energy in every movement she makes, an eagerness that is not to be taken lightly. Surely she has an important job.
The man in front of me is interesting as well. He is wearing a shirt advertising a youth program, subtle but eye-catching. The book he is reading is orange and looks to be non-fiction, perhaps a self-help or philosophy. They are all middle-aged, respectable-looking people. I feel out of place, a teenager in a grown-up world.
The man in front of me surprises me by apologizing for his phone conversation, which I hadn't noticed in the first place, and leaving to make his further calls. His politeness is astonishing in a world where we are subjected to constant rudeness and inconsiderate behavior.
These people are gathered around me, and although I do not know their names, where they come from, what they like or dislike...I still feel as if I know them. There is a quality about them and me, about this place, that knits us together and makes us forget our regular lives. A feeling of warmth and comraderey that we seem to have forgotten in our world.
And to think, it's only just a coffee shop.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's Just Not Rational

I was in class today, and my professor was talking about the Holocaust. In particular, he was talking about the wife of one of the men in charge of Auschwitz. He said that the wife had claimed that she knew nothing about what was going on, and had no idea of what her husband was in charge of. He wondered how on earth you could be unaware of this, and came to the conclusion that there is simply a part of women that is irrational.
I started thinking about this after I left the class, and I think maybe he's right and wrong at the same time. Women do have their irrational sides, but then again, everyone does. And how can we judge what is rational for one person or another? It's all based on our own personal world view, and perhaps there are a few other people out there who share our views, but all in all, it comes down to just what we think. So really, rationality is all relative.
Another thought occurred to me, in the same string. Perhaps that wife of that German officer was not irrational. In fact, perhaps she was completely rational, in her own way. She probably knew what was going on, for as my professor pointed out, how could you not, but she was probably ignoring it as best she could. Think about it: she has been married to this man for some undisclosed amount of time, most likely a few years at least; she has known him and loved him and seen all sides of him, or so she thinks; then, suddenly, she discovers that he has been doing the most horrible things to people, that he has become the devil to someone else's nightmare, and what is she supposed to do? Leave him? She probably still loves him. Tear her hair out? Go insane? Throw herself on a gun? She could only do the thing that seemed most rational to her: ignore it and try to move on with her life.
I'm not saying that this is for sure what she did, because obviously no one but her really knows, but this is where I'll put my money for the time being. Because really, we all do that. When there is a situation that is totally out of our control and that we know we can't deal with, we do what comes naturally, and possibly rationally, to us, and ignore it. It might not be what everyone else thinks is "rational" but then again they're in a whole different set of shoes, so they can't really pass judgement. Although, God love em, they will try. After all, we're only human.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Paging Doctor Life?

Several years ago - so long ago it seems like a past life - I broke my wrist playing games at recess. As I sat with my mother in the hospital, my mind began to go over all the horror stories I'd heard about bones growing back improperly and doctors having to re-break them. Oh the pain and torture that must have been! Luckily it was a hairline fracture and healed up perfectly.
Now, however, as I'm getting older, I realize that re-breaking is something that might not be so horrible after all. In fact, it's downright good for us. And I'm not talking about just bones here. What about all the heartbreaks? All the emotional trauma we go through in life. When our heart is broken, it often cannot heal properly, and we are left bitter and confused and angry. Wouldn't it serve to reason, then, that our heart should be re-broken in order for it to heal, properly, a second time?
I know that I've had a small taste of heartbreak and heart ache, certainly not enough to warrant a doctor visit yet, but I've observed it in other people, and I'm beginning to think that re-breaking is the path to healing for some. I've heard plenty of friends who've just been through break-ups talk about how much it hurts and how they'll never find anything better. Then a few months later, after they've been sufficiently bittered and angered against the world, someone else comes along and hurts them. Only this time, the aftermath is a lesson rather than a self pity party.
But it can be different things for different people: a death, rejection, alienation, even something as simple as ruining a favorite piece of clothing. It happens, and suddenly your world is rocked and you realize what mistakes you have been making, how much of your life you have been wasting in bitterness and resentment.
So let's just say that when it comes to emotional hurts and broken hearts, I can only hope that if you can't heal properly, Dr. Life comes along to break you again and give you a fresh start.