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.

Friday, August 06, 2010

I Can Hear Clearly Now

I recently paid a visit to my doctor that inspired an idea in me. She suggested using something like a favorite TV show or audiobook as incentive for exercising. Hmm...audiobook, eh? That certainly appeals. I like reading but I don't like working out...why not combine the two?
But wait a minute, audiobooks are usually completely against my book morals. Why be lazy and listen when you can make the effort and read? It just doesn't make sense, and since I'm in the business of disciplining myself, I couldn't see much of an option.
And then! A loophole! There are hundreds of books out there that I would love to read but I just don't have the time or money to collect all of them when I'm not even sure I'll be able to get through them. So why not listen to them? It'd be about the same thing, and allow me to multitask as well as encourage myself in my weight-loss goals. Perfect!
And may I just say how well it's worked so far. I've downloaded Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I'm limiting myself to specifically books that I'm interested in, but would never be able to get through reading on my own. So far, I'm on chapter 3 of Eat Pray Love and I'm dying for more. But by forcing myself to wait for it, I'm actually trying to come up with more ways that I can work out. It's a fantastic incentive, and I can't believe that I've never considered it before. I'm hoping this can only be a good thing for my life.
So when someone says, "Can you hear me now?" my automatic response will be "Only if you're reading to me!"

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Something Old, Something Blue

Today, a good friend of mine and I perused the local antiques store, and let me tell you, I'll probably be spending my next paycheck there. I love the vintage, aged feel of all the stuff there. How you can tell that it was something somebody loved and wanted, something somebody used and passed on. It's also a great way to just recycle beautiful treasures that would otherwise end up in the dump.
My initial intent on going there was to get a typewriter. I've been dying to plunk away on a typewriter for several weeks now, and I was at my wits end waiting to get enough time to go and find one. I had seen the absolute perfect one at the antique store, a little brown portable one with extra ribbon and a manual for only $25. I'm now kicking myself for not getting it. However, I did find one, a rather nice Underwood with the classic round keys and manual bar. I am falling in love with it, although I need to get some more ribbon for it asap. It was a good buy at only $15 because part of the slide bar was broken, although that in no way affects it's typing. So now I can live out my little vision of staying up late at night, click-clacking away at the typewriter with a single light on and soft jazz playing in the background, a hot cup of tea at my side and my glasses pushed up on my nose...ah. Heaven.
My other find at the store actually came before I had even decided on the typewriter. On a whim, I dove in between the clothing racks to look at the purses. I ran into a horrid navy blue satchel with faux-snake rope accents and a tassel zipper; blech. Next came a brown kiss-clasped little bag with a mighty high price tag for such a simple piece. But after that, third time's the charm: there it was, a blue little bag with a slip clasp and white sides and handles, the blue a faux woven pattern. Dread filled me, however, as I opened the bag to assess the lining damage. To my surprise, it was beautiful. Not a stain or tear in sight. And only $10! How on earth could such a beautiful little bag go for so cheap? I wasn't about to question. Instead I held on to it for dear life until I could get to the cash register.
So, I've got a bit of advice for you in this: be sure to stop at the antiques store next time you're in town. You never know what vintage deal will be waiting for you. And always remember, one girl's junk is another girl's summer purse.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Inspiration Never Stops

Well first off, let me just share that the almost-kitten-heel is a total sham. Give me a solid 2 and 1/2 any day, just keep that low-riding bull away from me.
The main topic here today, however, is the recent explosion of fashion-related inspiration I've been having. And it's all stemming from music. I listen to a song and suddenly there's a whimsical waif of a girl floating around in my mind in a very specific dress and atmosphere. I've successfully executed 4 of these visions and I have about 3 or 4 more to go. My only frustration now is that I don't have the seamstress skills to bring these creations to life. So if anybody knows someone who likes to sew and wants to make clothes but lacks the entire imagination, let me know.
This also brings up my other recent obsession: Vogue. I am absolutely obsessed with it. It's fascinatingly creative, it keeps my addiction to fashion rolling, and also gives me some cultural enhancement that I can't get around here. I tried that with Elle but it was just too sporadic in it's layout and articles. It couldn't keep me focused. Vogue keeps me focused as well as deliciously satisfied.
My new obsession has gotten me to thinking about my future. What about writing for a magazine? Why couldn't I do it? I could do it and live the life of independence I want, but also have that freedom of creativity (to an extent) at work. I highly doubt that my current University offers anything in that field, simply because it's Murphy's law that I want it and they don't have it, but maybe that's a good thing. If it's something that I've decided I want for sure, then I'm more likely to really push my own limits to get it. Let's just hope that it all works out soon, because I'm not getting any younger and I'm eager to start my career. Until then, I'm just going to keep making my choices and plugging along.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm Plum Outta Answers

I'm going through this phase in my clothing and accessory purchasing. It's a purple phase. I'm in love with plums, berries, grapes, lavenders, if it even says purple in the name, I like it. I'm not sure where this came from, but I'm excited to start pairing them up with some gorgeous oranges and blues. Green is always good, but I can't seem to find any green around here that I can stand. Most of it reminds me of what I found in my cousin's daughter's diaper when I was babysitting one time.
However, according to Vogue, the big fall trend is supposed to be black, red, and white graphic print. That might be what's hot on the runway, but for every day street wear, it's my personal belief that women will be looking to jewel tones for fall refreshers. Deep emeralds, brilliant rubies, even the occasional yellow diamond. It's all there, on display at the local boutique, and even some in my closet.
There's another trend that's coming back full-force that absolutely thrills me to no end: 1950's glamour. I see it everywhere, and even the 40's are seeping in. It makes me want to get a credit card just for the dresses and pumps alone.
The one trend that I'm not a fan of, however, is the kitten heel. Come on, ladies. Have we really stooped that low that we can't pull of a comfortable 2 inch? Besides, what's the point of beauty if there isn't a little pain involved? I'm going to try out a semi-kitten heel, however. It's a gorgeous pair of peep-toe mixed materials in red that I got, and the heel is no more than an inch, but just low enough to be mistaken for a kitten. If it wasn't for the red crocodile, I don't think they would have made the cut. I'll be leaving a report as soon as possible. Until then, don't be afraid to get a little purple with it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

And So It Goes...

Well, freshman year of college has come and gone, and sophomore year is fast approaching. I am to enter this coming school year with a bittersweet attitude. I can't find my little corner of school, my little pocket of ability. I seem to know for the most part what I want out of a career. But there's nothing here to give it to me. Ah well, enough of the b*tching.
Traveling is fantastic. I think I could really be happy just flying all over the world and seeing the sights. I can't wait to go back to Paris. I can't wait to get to Egypt and Rome and Florence and Madrid and London and Moscow... I know how to get there too, I think. I just need a successful career in magazines or fashion or reporting. Let me at it!
This new job I've got will really be giving me a leg up, too, I think. I mean, City Hall? That looks awesome on any resume. I've just got to get the degree to go with it. Hopefully I can get the job at the college newspaper too, even if it's horrendous. At least it will look good on a resume as well.
At the end of all this, I'd like to say two things. One, I'm glad I don't have the distraction of a boy right now. Boys around here, they just want to screw girls or get married and have little house cleaning baby machines. I'm not up for either of those last two things at the moment. The second is, I've finally found my style: retro classic mixed with 21st century chic. That's probably the more important of the two. A girl's style is the most important thing she can have, because it never leaves her and it's always a mood pick-me-up.
So just remember, girls, if the shoe fits, buy it and keep the box for storage.