Sunday, September 30, 2012

i'm the one that loves you, baby, and don't you never forget it...

that's what the homeless man at the gas station told me last night.  true story.

maybe it was the full moon.  maybe it was the way i looked last night.  maybe it was because i gave him a dollar.

i only looked nice because i was going to see someone else.  i always try to look the absolute best that i can when we hang out because i want him  to look at me and see someone beautiful.  but the truth is, i don't think it matters at all to him what i look like.

Friday, July 27, 2012

some optimal degree of connectedness

i haven't written in a while.  i wanted to write, but it's been too hot. or i've been too tired.'s always something.

but, as always tends to happen, my emotions get the better of me.  and i have no place to put them.  so i think that's what always drives me to write.  it's a way of externalizing things that cause me a lot of pain.

i'm gonna go ahead and admit that i stole the blog title from a statistics paper.  as much as i experience a severe degree of anxiety regarding actually interpreting results, i love theoretical math.  in particular, i have the greatest respect for people who instead of simply acknowledging the limitations of assumptions, reconfigure things and find a new way. or, at the very least, explore the restrictiveness to the nth degree in an illustration of the extent to which the restrictions are problematic.

that is a total aside.  i am beginning to believe that my optimal degree of connectedness is disconnectedess.  or unconnectedness.  the optimal degree would, i guess.

it is incredibly hard for me to get close to people.  it takes a lot of consistency, as in consistent behavior through repeated interactions over time.  i have to know someone is there, even when they aren't.  especially when they're not.

my day was painful from start to finish today.  someone hurt my feelings and as much as i know it isn't about them,  it doesn't hurt less.  i had to revisit some things that were not comfortable.  things that i can't tell to the person that triggered this without sounding completely ridiculous.  but it is hard keeping it to myself.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

nebulous clarity

yesterday was supposed to bring me clarity.  that is what all the horoscopes said, especially the so-called lovescopes that promised that i would know where i stood, that everything would become clear and it would be wonderful  and so on.   that efforts would pay off and hard work and that dedication in interpersonal relationships would yield clear results.

there was only one thing i wanted clarity on and with the full moon in capricorn, a moon that promises that things will become unstuck, i considered my desire to be reasonable.

i got clarity, but not the clarity i sought.

unable to get the validation i wanted from the person i wanted it from, which for me was the same as clarification, i was inspired to seek validation from someone i knew would give it to ex-boyfriend.  i realize that the desire for validation isn't the most attractive thing about my personality.  however, as far as seeking temporary validation, i consider that my ex to be semi-acceptable, given that he lives hundreds of miles from me and i have no real feelings for him other than nostalgia.

but.  i knew that if i texted him, for any reason whatsoever, he would answer me within five minutes and that even if i simply asked how he was he would be quick to use this opening to segue into other forms of validation.  and after the third super strong tom collins, texting him just seemed like the right thing to do.

and it went exactly as i had supposed.

the clarification i got had to do with us, an us that ceased to exist more than five years ago when he broke up with me out of nowhere.  i mean, it wasn't out of nowhere for him as i assume he had been thinking it through for a while before actually breaking up with me.  it was a huge surprise to me.

i knew even at the time that there was someone else.  he would  never come out and say it, but it was fairly obvious.  at the time, he told me that i just needed too much.  that i was incapable of taking care of myself.  when i pointed out that i pretty much take care of everything myself, including moving and starting my academic career he said that i was capable of doing everything BUT taking care of myself emotionally.  he said that tb had taken care of me until i met him and that he was no longer going to do it.  which was pretty awful to hear.

but things go on.  apparently, however, he and the girl broke up on very bad terms.  and here is where i get clarification.  i didn't ask exactly what happened, even though the petty side of me wanted to know what fucked up thing this girl did just for the satisfaction of imagining him having to experience the kind of emotional pain that i had to experience.

but i didn't ask, because it's pretty much irrelevant. i just said that i was sorry things were fucked up.  and he said that things were fine, but that this person was crazy.

to which i replied, "crazier than me?"

and his answer surprised me.  "you were never crazy," he said and then related that this other person has no regard for other people and, apparently, no conscience.

i always had good intentions.  and for what it's worth, i always loved him.  he thought that was a very sweet thing to say and thanked me.

it was true.  but it is just as true that this is past tense love.

and don't it always seem to go...

it was all oddly comforting.

Friday, June 29, 2012

don't let it get you down

today.  today, i fully intended to get things done.

and i was doing things.

but then, i fell in a hole.  i fell in a hole of neil young music.  it started with someone posting a thirty minute concert video on facebook.

after listening to the whole thing, twice, i descended into a a two hour long voyage into neil young's song catalog.  and after that...i went and bought some beer.  because no more work was even going to be attempted.

then i called an old friend.  years ago, a decade or more, on those rare days when nether of us were working a double shift at the restaurant...we would sit on the porch and drink all day.  and listen to neil young.

and so i called him, because he's the person i think of when i hear neil young.  always.  i think of us drinking cheap beer and talking about philosophy (he loved hegel) and smoking cigarettes and playing cards.  and fighting.

i liked him a lot.  we were such good friends.  then i found out that he liked me and i balked.  while i was thinking about things, he met someone.  then i realized i liked him.  and then he met someone else.  and then i really liked him, but also someone else too.  and so it went.

long story short, it never really happened with us.  we had some fights.  we didn't speak for long periods of time.

then, we eventually became friends again.  i still care so much about him.  the idea of 'us' is not ever possible, but he is one of my favorite people.

and so there i was calling him.  asking him did he remember all those times.  and he did.  and did he also remember when he said that every girl he knew was associated in his mind with a particular neil young song and that mine was 'like a hurricane' but i wanted to be 'cowgirl in the sand'....he said he didn't remember.  he was more than likely drunk, but he laughed that my song was 'like a hurricane' and said that sounded right, but that i could be the cowgirl if i wanted.

but i know he was right the first time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the hands of the elephant man

my body is freaking out.

this year i have been plagued by allergies.  it started with hayfeverish symptoms.  watery eyes.  compulsive sneezing.  a general feeling of ill health and misery.

now i am breaking into hives.  the first one i got i thought was a spider bite.  my foot swelled up.  now, i think that it might be mosquitoes.  my hands have swelled.  anywhere i get bitten, it swells.  like really painful swelling.  it hurts my joints.

it's so bad that my mother, the least indulgent of my hypochondriac tendencies of anyone, insisted that i go to the doctor.  which i did.  but the doctor seemed really dismissive, as if i was just there because if a bug bite.

i tried to explain that the real reason i was there was not because of the immediate reaction, but because the reaction was so severe and that in some cases it can keep getting worse and eventually lead to anaphylaxis.  i recognize that this is rare, but it is a possibility.  she basically treated me like i was a hysteric.  

it mostly just scared me.  and made me feel really, really alone.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

artistic differences

i've been thinking about art lately.  years and years ago, when i was living in london, i used to go to galleries all the time.  the big galleries like the tate and the national gallery and also the smaller galleries.  i went to any gallery that was displaying work that i thought would be interesting.  i've always known a lot of artists.  when i was in memphis, i hung out a lot with the art grad students.  i didn't like all of them, as artists are notoriously narcissistic and hanging out with them was sometimes overwhelming because everyone was trying to be the center of attention all the time.  but i loved going to their shows.

what i love about art is transcendence.  when you look at true art, you can truly transcend the artificial boundaries between self and aesthetic.  pure aesthetic.  

stendhal syndrome.

stendhal, who traveled to florence and became overtaken with emotion when confronted with the intense reality of caravaggio.

i felt these feelings a very long time before i knew it was an actual thing.  it's pure unadulterated emotion.  i spend most of my life trying NOT to feel things, but with art it is the one thing that i allow myself to be overwhelmed by the experience of perception.

i  remember the first time i felt that way.  i was in st bride's fleet st.  there was something about the way the ceiling reminded me of a sky with all of this glowing light and the flickering of the multitude of candles that were burning for journalists in places like bosnia and lebanon and the carved wood and the geometry of the room.  it was the most sublime feeling.  it was like everything perfect all at one time.  everything fit together.  everything made everything else better.

i felt it the first time i saw a van gogh in person.  i had always been lukewarm towards van gogh prior to this.  i mean, his prints are everywhere.  but when you are staring right at the starry night and you can see the thick layers of paint that look like they were textured with fingers, not brushes, and you can actually feel the movement of the subject.  i couldn't look away.  after seeing them, i refuse to own any van gogh  print.  ever.

i felt it the first time i looked through larry clark's 'teenage lust.'  even though the images leave you completely sickened, in many cases.

i went to a kandinsky retrospective that changed my life.  it literally changed me.  before that i had been incredibly dismissive about abstract art.  but seeing those paintings.  painting after perfect painting.  the lines and the shapes and the colors and the balance.  i felt feverish.  i didn't look at things the same way after that.

i remember the last time i felt it in a gallery.  i was at a student show in memphis.  there was this installation piece in a room.  all of these symmetrical, hanging crystal beads.  there's no description i could give that would even begin to explain.  you had to feel it.  i didn't expect to like it.  i walked by the room several times, unimpressed with the sparkling.  then i got bored waiting for my artist date who was talking to some people about this photograph that everyone was intrigued by that was really just a bad knock-off of larry clark's 'i am one of god's mistakes'.  when is stepped into the middle of the room i caught my breath.  it was the most amazing feeling.  i felt light.

this is what art should be.  this is what i'm looking for.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

love is a many splendored thing

while i was waiting for a take-out order tonight i was sitting next to this really young couple. they were maybe twenty and i could tell by their conversation that they were on a first date.  they were telling each other all about their families and their childhoods.  and the girl had a really annoying laugh.

i was drinking a beer and being dismissive of their awkward, but sickeningly genuine, getting-to-know-you conversation.

and i realized that it wasn't the annoying laugh or their stupid conversation that annoyed me.  it was that i was, in many ways, quite envious of their hopefulness.  i resented the fact that they were having this experience that i haven't had in very long time.

if i learned anything over the past three years, it's that there's no sure thing.  love is all about probability estimation.  but the bad experiences have left me in a very dismal place from which to estimate the likelihood that things will work out in any capacity.  instead of assuming someone is telling the truth, i assume that they are lying.  i require constant reassurance. but i can't ask for that, because it's unreasonable.  and so i just keep it to myself, even though it means that i experience a lot of anxiety. and hiding that is hard, so i just withdraw.  

so i don't usually go out with people who ask me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

curious things

the more you go without sleeping and eating, the more you just don't need it.  over the past week and a half i haven't had time for either.  and now i can't do either.

i can't sleep.  no matter if i have a few cocktails.  i can't sleep past 4am.  i also can't sleep continuously through a night.  i wake up filled entirely with disquietude.

i want to eat.  but i can't even think of anything that would make me happy to eat.  and even when i do eat, i don't really enjoy it.  and that simply isn't like me.

this year has really fucking killed me.  i can't really feel anything except longing, at this point.  and not a hopeful sort of longing.  not yearning.  it's more of a hole in my soul (if you accept the idea of souls).  and i can't fill it.  i imagine that it stems from a lack of satisfaction with work.  from how disappointed i feel with myself in relation to work right now.  i haven't been working to my potential.  and that makes me feel bad.  and then i really can't work to my potential because i'm depressed.  and so it goes.  on and on until the end of things.

what makes it worse, is that i've been offered a tremendous opportunity and i need to make the most of it.  and this depends on me coming up with something brilliant.  like right fucking now.  which pretty much makes that impossible.  i hate disappointing people.  i feel like i am apologizing all the time.

i'm just so fucking tired.  and yet i can't sleep.

the worst thing about this hole is that i can't just let it stay empty.  i start filling it with all kinds of things.  i am trying to fill it with work, but the thing is that i start trying to fill it with validation.  and in the absence of healthy validation i am tempted to venture into unhealthy, more superficial forms.  and then, i'm that drunk girl at the bar slurringly imploring the drunk business man with male pattern baldness and a cheap suit to just tell her she's pretty.  metaphorically speaking.

in an effort to avoid going all neely o'hara (if you don't get this reference you are devoid of cultural knowledge), i am trying to throw myself into my work.

but it's more than that.  i...miss someone.  this is not something i am normally used to feeling.  i mean, i miss people all the time.  but mostly these people are either dead or representative of another time in my life. a time that seems happier in retrospect than it actually was.  nostalgia.  that's usually what missing someone means to me.

but this person i missed before they even left.  before they left we were talking about what we would we would do when they get back.  and that is really important to me, because making plans is important.

but missing someone also leaves me unsettled.  because of the part of me that thinks they are actually gone forever and are never coming back.  and that intersects with the need for validation in a really unattractive way and i start thinking about how i miss them, but they probably don't miss me at all and this is reinforced by the fact that they haven't told me that they miss me (which i'm sure that they don't even know that i would like to hear).

i know how irrational this all is.  and i also know that it isn't about them.  it is about me and my trust issues and my feelings that i am never good enough for anyone and that all i bring into other people's lives is unhappiness and stress and chaos.  and how i would like more than anything to make someone's life better and happier, the way that they make my life better.  i have a lot of love still in my heart, despite everything that has happened over the past three years.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

if i listened long enough to you

i woke up at 5:36 am and couldn't go back to sleep, which some bullshit considering that for the past week the ONLY thing i wanted was sleep.

the last time i ate an entire meal was tuesday.  but then i threw up all night, so it doesn't count.  since tuesday, i've had three dumplings, half a sandwich, some random appetizer from the thai restaurant near my house (where i really only went as an excuse to leave my apartment), five cigarettes, an insane amount of coffee, and like five hours of sleep.  

i've been working everyday until 1-2am and then waking up at 4am and working some more.  

i feel totally disconnected.  the paper i have been working on for three months is a fucking disaster.  it hurt my heart to turn it in.  thinking about it fills me with sadness. and the regret that i could see how good it could have been except that i didn't have the wherewithal to will it into being.  

this year has taken it out of me.  it's taken everything out of me.  actually, the past three years have just  bankrupted me emotionally.  i know that sometimes you have to give it all away to get it all back, but it's a very painful process all the same.

i've seen people do things that i could never imagine them doing in a million years.  things that caused so much damage to my psyche that i'm not sure that it can be repaired no matter what i do.

i'm terrified of other people.  better to have loved and lost?  fuck that noise.  i can't trust.  it was always hard for me.  but now it's almost impossible.

a huge issue for me is consistency.  i have to know that people are there even when they aren't.  any deviation from established patterns of behavior fills me with absolute panic.  if someone doesn't text me or call me back i start to worry that they're just gone forever.  that they've completely defected on me. that i did something wrong and that their way of reacting to that is to just never speak to me again because i'm just not even worth the effort.

i know that this sounds so super crazy. i've been trying really hard to not project this onto other people.  like the person i've been hanging out with a lot lately.  they don't always answer me and then they have some reason why they didn't after the fact.  and i always say that they aren't obligated to answer me and that it doesn't matter and that it's totally fine.  but i don't really feel that on the inside.  and i want to tell them that it freaks me out because it makes me feel like i don't even mean enough to them to answer me.  and  that it scares me because i feel like they're just gone and that maybe we weren't friends at all.  maybe we never were.

i want to explain that it isn't about them. that it's about the boyfriend that i had when i was seventeen who would say he coming to pick me up and never show.  and i would sit and wait and wait.  and about how he would disappear for days, sometimes weeks, on what i suspect were drug binges.  

it's about this guy i dated in college who took me on the first actual date i had ever been on who kissed me and said he would call me in the morning and then he never did because he started dating someone else.  a footnote to that story is we briefly reconnected and it ended the same way. then, some years later he emailed me to apologize and to tell me how much he really loved me.  i told him to go fuck himself. 

it's about the guy i dated after that who went away on a business trip.  we had been friends for over three years. he said he would bring me a present, but he never called again.  i found out (through friends) that he had gotten back together with his ex-girlfriend.

it's about my ex-boyfriend who believed that my trust issues were straining our relationship.  so i made the willful decision to trust him.  a few weeks later he called me and said that our whole relationship was a lie.  that he never loved me at all and that he could no longer date me.  yes.  he said those exact words.  it was actually because he met someone else, but was too much of a coward to actually tell me that.

and it's about the other.  one of the only people that knew about all of those things that had scarred me and were a barrier to trust.  the other who told me how i deserved better than that and how i could trust him.  and i did.  i trusted him implicitly.  and we all know how that ended.

and then there's the person that doesn't deserve any of these feelings.  sometimes i want to just tell them all of these things.  sometimes i want to tell them that that i actually need them in my life.  that their presence makes a huge difference to me.  and that, yes, i fucking hate it when they don't answer texts or phone calls.  i don't care if they don't want to hang out, i just don't like not being answered.

but i know that it isn't about them and the last thing i want is to seem needy.   because it really isn't about that.  it's about my totally broken heart that they had nothing to do with. and i want them to talk to me and want to hang out with me because they want to, not because they feel obligated to do so.

and, i also don't say anything because it has been my experience that once people know who you really are, they will take you for everything you've got.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

a very bad night and not so good morning

there are two things standing in the way of my being done with this wretched year.  i know that i have to finish them like right now.  i know that i could have finished them earlier.  i know that i am trapped in a hell of my own making.

but i also feel like i have nothing left.  after five years of applying a tremendous amount of pressure on myself, i've lost my ability to feel.  i just want to sleep.

i threw up all night.  not because i am sick, but because of my anxiety over this work.  as a result, i totally get the appeal of bulimia.  i feel shitty, but my stomach looks AMAZING.  seriously.  understand that i am in no way advocating this lifestyle and could never do it all the time, but i see the appeal.

it is during times like these that i am the most lonely.  i wish that i could go home and there would be someone there to tell me that everything is going to be fine.  that i am strong enough to do this and that even if i fail, they will still love me most of all.  actually they don't even need to tell me anything.  i just want someone to put their arms around me and hug me. but that person doesn't exist.  i go home to a house that is empty and completely devoid of life, save myself and my succulents that i am raising like surrogate children.

i really need a hug.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

gambling for resurrection

there's an idea in international relations that, under certain circumstances, leaders are willing to incur the costs of war in a last ditch effort to save themselves.  if you apply this metaphorically, you can understand why i started therapy in the first place.

i've talked about the other a lot.  i've tried to put them behind me.  i tell myself that they are no longer relevant. that they are a non-motherfucking-factor in my life.  as an individual, they are.  but the psychic damage is still very much there.  i realized this as i sat hemorrhaging emotions all over someone the other night.  someone who didn't deserve it.  in a way, they had to absorb the break-up conversation that the other was too selfish to have with me.  and they did it.  as i sat there crying on their couch, they tried to comfort me.  it was a lost cause, but they tried.

back to of the things that scared me, maybe permanently, was the constant criticism.  the way the other would always tell  me how fucked up i was.  how i needed help.  how there was this or that thing wrong with me.  i found a therapist because i thought if i did that they would stay with me.  that we could work it out.  i know this is stupid, but it's what i thought.

but, of course, this wasn't enough.  in fact, they were even critical of my therapist choice.  i see a freudian/lacanian and this person was hopelessly wed to the dsm-iv.  they never understood anything that wasn't clear cut.  they don't have the sensitivity or capacity to understand continental philosophy.

this is neither here nor there.  it isn't about being right.  it's about finding what works for you.  this person was so myopic in so many ways.  and it was always "the person that loves you will tell you the truth no matter what."

no.  the person that love you won't defect on you when you need them most.  they won't stop speaking to you when it's painful to them.  and then pretend it's in YOUR interest that they did this and not because they are an incredibly selfish, fucked up person themselves.

and then there was the person that didn't deserve it.  the thing is, they thought i was crying because of them.  and it was really because of all of these things that had already happened.

Monday, May 28, 2012

coordination over markets, bitches.

i have certain places that i go to get certain things.  i don't deviate.   it's because once you establish the transactional relationship and supplement that with pleasant (or at least consistent) interaction, then you will be able to get what you want much more efficiently.  i like that.  i also like consistency.

case in point:

yesterday i went to the chaat shop to buy some spicy cashews and spicy almonds.  basically, they cover the nuts with really hot indian spices and roast them.  they are one of my favorite things to eat. there are several chaat shops in my town.  i only ever go to this one, though.  it's because i like the lady who runs it.  she's very not into superficial pleasantries, not to mention the fact that there is a substantial language barrier between her and i.  don't get me wrong, her english is far better than my hindi will ever be, it's just we can't really have an extensive conversation.  she has, however, warmed to me over the past couple of years. 

anyway.  usually there aren't that many people in the shop and the people that are there are just getting snacks, so you don' really have to wait. yesterday, however, there were people full on grocery shopping.  first, i was waiting be hind this family that had their teenage son hold their place in line, while they were steadily adding an item after item at intervals of time.  just as the woman would get close to finishing ringing the items up, they would add three more. so that was just straight annoying.

during this time a line was forming behind me to the left of the register.  except for one woman, who felt that she would stand to the right of the register.  while it was hard to tell whether she or i was next in line, it was easy to tell that she felt that she was there first. whatever.  she only had two things, so...i really didn't care if she went first.  however, things started to get annoying as we got closer to the counter and she began a conversation in hindi with the woman behind me.  and then this woman uses this as an excuse to start edging me out of the line.  and she had a ton of things.  and they kept looking at me.  and edging me out of line.

so, finally, after a few (as in 10 or so) last minute additions, the never ending basket is emptied and paid for.  the women are still talking excitedly to each other in hindi in front of me. the woman behind the counter looks past them, at me, and is like "ma'am, you know what you want?"  which of course i do.  i paused for a second to give the other women a chance to say they were first, but they kept talking and i stepped between them to the counter.  i could tell that they weren't that happy about that, but there wasn't anything they could do. 

the woman behind the counter got my spicy cashews and  spicy almonds for me.  in separate bags.  just as i like them.  

"you like spicy," she remarked.  i do.  so very much. "ah, very good, very good," she replied.  we wished each other happy weekend and i left.

i love her.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

bb cream is the fucking truth

*not the bb cream i use

over the past year or so, i have become addicted to beauty products.  i think this partly because i try to make myself feel good by buying things that make me look good and partly because i am getting old (er).

i woke up one day and my pores are these gaping holes in my face, whereas before i never noticed them.  there are lines in my forehead.  when i pull my hair back to wash my face, there are grey hairs.  and not just one.  i'm scared i'm going to wake up one morning and find that i have become a silver fox overnight.

one product i have found to be amazing is bb cream.  i bought it without any idea that bb cream is actually its own thing.  i thought it was just the name of the stuff i bought.  after a little research, i found out that it is the secret of korean actresses.  this is how their skin looks like plastic.  it smooths lines, it corrects color, it moisturizes, it protects me from the sun's harmful rays (cause i bought one with spf 45).  it's like putting on another layer of skin.   

a big shout out to korea for giving the world something other than my worthless ex-boyfriend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

a uterus with legs

one of my sisters once worked for a woman who encouraged her to call in on the first day of her period, because women should only rest on that day.  i could not agree more.  sadly, however, the rest of the world hasn't quite caught up to this sort of progressive thinking.

so this last week has been beyond stupid.  cramps.  tears.  extreme fatigue.  and, the absolute worst...weight gain.

i'm starting to panic about my weight.  it's been really volatile the past week and half.  i'm up at least five pounds.  i was stressed when i stepped on the scale after a week only to see that my weight had shot up during the night after learning that (supposedly) the lightest you are in the whole month is on the day after your period stops.  but, as it turned out, my period wasn't over.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

on putting yourself in the place of the other

right now, i feel like the next person who asks me if i'm a mother is going to wish they hadn't.  i understand that mothers are super important.  you will find no stronger advocate of women's rights, especially in the areas of women's health and reproductive freedom.

all i'm saying is, think before you speak.  just for like ten seconds or so.  longer if you need more time.  but just think about the other person's feelings and the different emotions that they might be experiencing today, when everyone is going around celebrating a life decision that not everyone had made.  or even may have been able to make.

there are a lot of reasons that a person might not have children.  maybe they can't.  maybe they've tried and tried.  maybe they just terminated a pregnancy.  maybe their child died.  maybe they haven't met the right person to have children with yet. maybe she's waiting to adopt.  or maybe they just don't want them.

there are many reasons and they are all fine.

if you see a woman with children with her or it's someone you know who has kids, feel free to wish away.  i called my mom and my sister. but if you don't know someone's situation,  your well-intentioned wishes might be something very painful to to that woman.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

the death of desire

i've heard it said that satisfaction in the death of desire.  but there are a lot of other things that can kill it too.  things like constant inefficiency of other people that hinder every. single. fucking. thing. that you have to do on a given day.  or just the general incompetency of other people.  or their lack of self-awareness.  or the mountain of debt that keeps growing and growing and growing, while you are made to do things that are unnecessary and cumbersome.

i went to see "jiro dreams of sushi."  it was every bit as good as i had hoped.  it also made me really sad. it was basically a documentary about what you have to do to be the very best at something.  you have to give your  whole self to it.  you have to devote your whole life to it.  and you can't complain.

it made me sad because i remember what it was like to love my job that much.  i remember what it was like to work in an environment where what mattered was how hard you worked.  now i feel like i work all the time and make no progress.  the only thing that happens is that i exhaust myself.  and then i start to hate everything.

and speaking of desire....

thursday was a very strange day.  i noticed that everywhere i went people were looking at me.  i went to eat dinner and the bartender remembered our entire conversation.  from a month ago.  he remembered what i study.  where i want to do fieldwork (if i even do).  that my parents were bummed about me potentially leaving the country.  he is very good looking, so i was very impressed.

then i went to the whole foods in hollywood.  i was looking at the shampoo and soap and i noticed that this guy was there every time i turned around.  finally i looked up, annoyed, and he said "i hope you don't find this offensive, but i think you are just gorgeous."  i started laughing.  no one ever says things like this to me, so i thought he was making fun of me.  he was also quite good looking (and i am not exaggerating). i point this out because it just isn't the same if the person who is telling you how you how great you isn't actually great themselves.  superficial compliments just mean more when the person saying them is attractive.


then i was walking to my car and i was looking at my reflection and this completely different guy is allll "you look so pretty, what are you worried about?"  say what?

then i run into the first guy in the parking lot and he remarks that it probably seems as though he is following me and how he also hopes that he didn't offend me by saying how beautiful i was.  and i at that point i explained that no one ever says things like that to me and how i thought he was just making fun of me.  or something. and he assured me that wasn't the case.  and started telling me that i have beautiful eyes and great legs.

it was fucking trippy.  like the twilight zone.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

(trying) to play it as it lays

i woke up this morning to the strangest sound.  in my mind i thought "listen to the leaves blow across the sidewalk," but then i realized that the leaves never really fall off the tree here except for the two days or so in late november when fall happens.  it's as if we have all fall in a day.

the sound i heard was rain.  it's rained a lot this year.  or at least it seems that way.

i decided to take the day off.  i decided this yesterday, before it started raining.  i have to go to LA anyway, so i decided to go early and see a movie.  i really want to see "jiro dreams of sushi" and i want to see it badly enough that i am going to drive out to the westside where i almost never go.  that's the only place it's playing though.  i just don't like going different places sometimes.

i do not thrive under conditions of uncertainty.  in fact, i really can't function at all.  people like to make this huge distinction between situations of risk and situations of uncertainty.  conceptually, the difference is totally real.  what is also totally real is that we created it.  we constantly try to force order onto chaos.

i would be happier if i resigned myself to the awkwardness of life. but i cannot.

Friday, April 13, 2012

a dissertation topic or a boyfriend. i'll take either.

i can't seem to get either comfortable or satisfied today.  i don't want to do work.  there's nothing on netflix to watch.  or, rather, there's nothing i am contented to watch.  i've tried watching like a thousand different things today, but i can't seem to commit to any of them.  i tried watching 'the united states of tara,' but there's something not quite funny about dissociative identity disorder.  i mean, i know it seems as though it would be hilarious, but it just isn't so.  to be fair, however, it might  be the case that i saw diablo cody's name and became uninterested.  she's just so...gauche.  and her movies, while not terrible (i never saw 'jennifer's body'), are usually marred by some underlying awkwardness that make them almost painful to watch, but not in a good way.

i can't commit to anything these days. not a dissertation topic.  not whatever i'm reading.  not even something to eat for dinner. it's frustrating.

i have a horrible fear of investing myself into anything.  after the things that have happened in my life over, say, the past five years or so, i just don't have that much left.  and i'm scared.  the pain of having invested time and energy and...self into certain things and then losing them has left me this way.  i literally have to get up every day and tell myself again and again that it wasn't my fault.  that i'm a good person.  that i deserve to be happy too.  like my ex-boyfriend.  like the other.  like the people i know that got to parlay all of their hard work into something better, while i lost things that i loved.  and  i did use to love what i did.  more than anything.

i made the best decisions i could.  the information was imperfect and incomplete.  there were things i had no way of knowing.  i should have known them, but i supplemented my normal skepticism with trust.  the trust that people who were supposed to look out for my interests, were indeed doing so.  but the truth is that no one is looking out for your interest.  not really.  at the end of the day, people want what they can get.

this thinking bleeds over into any relationship i even think about having.  people keep telling me things like 'oh, you're just not open.  you have to be willing to be open to relationships.'  it's not as easy as all that, though.  i am open, but i'm super scared.  i hate feeling that way.  i hate wondering why someone hasn't called me back. i hate caring what other people think.  i hate wanting attention.  i hate not being in control.  i hate being alone.  i hate being stuck.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

craving, not having

i am ruled by cravings.  i am also a cancer, which means i am ruled by the moon.  saturn and mars are in retrograde.  times is ill.

i wanted more time to work on my dissertation, but now i am adrift.

i am plagued by a constant feeling of missing something, but i don't know what that something is.  i keep trying to pacify myself with different things.  but i do not find the contentedness i seek. not in the new dresses that came in the mail yesterday.  not in the dress from anthropologie that was way too expensive, but looked too good on me to not buy.  not in the bacon double cheeseburger i had for dinner.  not in the tom collins i drank after the burger. not in the cigarettes i smoked one after another, as i drank.

my massive aversion of commitment is bringing me down, above and beyond just relationships. a friend asked me over dinner when i was going to find a boyfriend.  i said when i found someone worth dating.  when i find someone that doesn't bore my to fucking death, then perhaps i'll consider it.

i'm not really so worried about that.  i think the only reason it bothers me so is simply the pressure of social convention.  and the fact that i am the only single person i know.  it's hard being the only single person at the table sometimes.  but i'm not about to settle.  i mean...why should i?  there's just no reason for it.

but that's not even the point.  i can't even commit to a project topic.  i'm terrified to commit to a topic, in case it doesn't work out.  because i put myself into everything i do and it hurts to put yourself into something and then have it not work out.  and here, you just never know.  people, like people that are supposed to have your interests in mind, will tell you one thing and then completely defect on you.  i've seen it happen.  so it leaves you in a bit of a sticky wicket when it comes to getting things done.  or even starting things.

i can't even start.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

all the people, and all the buzzing...and all the sitting around waiting.

after a weekend full of the past crashing into the present in ways both pleasant and unpleasant, i am home again.  portland was wonderful  (just like portlandia).  i had a blast with my officemate.  i ate some really amazing food.  

i got my tattoos worked on.  and that is always a treat.  even though today it was hurting me.  there's this one spot on my back that is just UNBEARABLE.  i doesn't hurt the way it hurts when facebook suggests that you be friends with the person who the person who absolutely broke your heart in every way/completely mindfucked you has gotten married to and this is how you find out (true story), but was hitting a nerve. with tattoos, i can tune most of the pain out most of the time, but there's this one spot that just hurts. and i know i kept squirming. however, my back looks fucking amazing.  and i just love my tattoo artist.  i think, partly, because he loves his girlfriend so much.  it gives me hope that this kind of love exists out there.  he just speaks so nicely about her.  it's refreshing. he tells her he loves her every time she calls.  tonight he even said "no.  i love YOU more."  and the thing is...he totally means it.  it's so nice and not at all nauseating as it would be with some people.  i think this is because it's completely genuine, whereas with most people it is completely contrived.

i'm just going to use that as a segue into  what i really wanted to write about, which is that sort of in between person that i've been kind of liking.  i always wonder if it's "kind of" because i only like them kind of, or "kind of" because i'm afraid to like them more than that. it's so hard to say.

but i do know that i'm  not sad around them.  they make me laugh.  i like the sound of their voice when they talk.  and they usually say really smart things.

i know i like hanging out with them.  but...other people have started to ask what is up.  and now it feels all weird.  i used to just call or text if i wanted. but now i think about every interaction.

i should probably stop doing that.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

and top o' the fucking morning to you

remember that part of 'breakfast at tiffany's' when audrey hepburn is telling the guy that she met someone that she likes so much that she would give up smoking if they asked her to?

well.  i've never met that person.  but i did someone whose criticism of my smoking habit made me feel....something.  they actually weren't criticizing me outright.  it was more a comment to the effect of "smoking is a disgusting habit."  a statement with which i do not agree.  at all.  i love cigarettes.  and i don't smoke that much.  only when i go out and have drinks.  or if i'm at the tattoo place.  i don't smoke everyday.  or even most days.  it's rare.  look...tuesday night is the night when i go out with my friend d and we binge out on red meat and gin and cigarettes.  and friday is when i go to happy hour and smoke, usually at most, 3-4 cigarettes.  and i won't give it up for anyone.

yes.  i said all these things in one big string of consciousness outpouring of self-justification.  and he was all 'it sounds like you're trying to convince yourself.  because i'm not judging you.  i don't think YOU'RE disgusting, just smoking.'

and i was left completely conflicted.  normally i wouldn't give. a. fuck.  smoking is non-negotiable.  but for some reason it...bothered me that they said that.   enough that i texted them when i got home to say that i it bothered me because i care what they think.  it matters to me what they think about me.

it's the worst possible position to be in.  for me.  because now my feelings are in the hands of the other.  i have no control.

and anyone who reads this blog knows how well that worked out the last time.  yes.  i am still scarred by that.  immensely so.  i wish that it weren't the case.  but it so fucking is.  i wish that i could just forget that they happened. i wish that i could just block out our whole interaction.   i wish that i never had to see them in name or in person.  sadly, i am denied that luxury.  the thing is that i think i could forgive them.  if only i knew that it hurt them the way it hurt me.  or even if i could no that i meant anything at all to them. but the sad truth is that it makes no difference to them if  i'm in their life or not.  they moved completely on.  to have the life that they said they wanted with me, with someone else.

i can forgive everything.  i can forgiive the fact that they completely fucked me over when i needed them most.  i can forgive the fact they have undoubtedly told people we know a whole bunch of distorted truths about what happened.  i can forgive that they were unsure.  but i don't think i can ever forgive the fact that they couldn't even tell me to my face.  i meant that little to them.  and they meant everything to me.  i trusted them implicitly.  i cared more what they thought than anyone else.  and they knew that.  i never once lied to them.  and they lied to me about everything.

i also don't think i can forgive them for letting me blame myself.  for making me feel like i was too fucked up to be in a relationship.  for saying that they loved me but i was too fucked up.  i have no confidence in myself now.  i feel like i only mean misery to any person that likes me.  and so i just try as best i can to pretend that everything is fine all the time.  and it isn't fine a lot of the time.  i hate that it always comes back to that.  i hate that every time i think about trying with someone else i can't.  because i don't have it in me to go through that again.  it was that horrible.  it made feel that bad about myself. i wanted to make them happy.  and i failed.

fuck.  i need a smoke.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

what goes on

today in my office....

p: how was your weekend?
me: it was great.  i went to the drive-in. i had a good time.
p: who did you go with?
me: your roommate.
p: what's the deal with that? are you bff's or are you something else?
me: you know i have a phobia of commitment.  GOD. (storms out of office dramatically)
p: (upon my return) clearly.  you can't even commit to this conversation.
me: (sigh) i know, right?  i'm so fucked.  i'm terrified to even like anyone.  i don't want to make someone else  miserable.  what if it's true that i'm too fucked up to be in a relationship?
p: that's not even true.  you aren't too fucked up to be in a relationship.  so you're afraid.  what are you going to do? not date anyone ever again?
me:  yeah.  maybe.  i don't know.  i don't think he likes me that way.

that's where i'm at.  fuck.

Monday, February 20, 2012

just tell me i'm pretty...

last night i took some time off.  by this, i mean that i stopped working at 8 and went to watch tv at someone's house.  i say someone, because i don't know what to call them, for while it is true that they are my friend, they might be more than that.  i don't know what they are.

i've been hanging out with them for a while.  we go out.  we watch tv.  we go to the drive-in.  we smoke and drink champagne.  we go to get boba tea and to yogurtland.  we argue about ideas.  all of my favorite things.

but not one time has this person ever shown any indication that they like me in any way other than as friends.  even though they never say no to hanging out.  even though they always say encouraging things to me. even when i bring up things that i think are very bad about myself.

for example, we were talking one day about borderline  personality disorder.  and i brought up the fact that i only know what that is because someone that i was in love with told me that i had it.  and how they always made me feel like i was crazy.  but i don't think that i am.  obviously, this was an excruciatingly painful thing to have to say about myself, because what if that person was right?  what if i am completely crazy? the extent that i can never have a relationship?

but this new person seemed unperturbed by this and simply commented that it is like this a lot in relationships.  that sometimes he had been the crazy person and sometimes the other person was the crazy person and that sometimes it even changes between the two people.

and lately every time we hang out, as we are sitting on the couch, simultaneously together and apart, i want to reach out across the  space that is in between us and touch them.  i just want them to touch me.  i just want them to put their arms around me.  and the entire time i am watching this tv show that i demanded that we watch, this is what i am thinking about.  about what if i breached that space.  what would they do?  is it possible that i've met the one straight guy on the planet that doesn't want to sleep with me?

and so i do nothing.  i just lie on the couch pretending to contemplate whatever we are watching.

and here is why.  i don't know what i want.  what if i am only reaching out to this person because, like the drunk girl at the bar, i just want some sort of affirmation?  what if i just want them to tell me i'm pretty or smart or whatever? what  if i'm just reaching out because they are there?

and since i don't know if what i'm doing, it would be unfair of me to reach out.  because, i fear that i will only make them miserable.  just like every other person that has had the unfortunate experience of trying to date or be with me.  and i know that they don't deserve that.  they are a good person.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

i am not an animal

i believe what i suffering from is a sever lack of autonomy over my...self.  all of my time is taken from me.  and mostly it is taken from me for things that in no way benefit me.  or the benefits are so small that the opportunity costs are far too great to ever make it worth it in the end.

my problem, of my problems (i have many), is that i'm not a satisficer.  i push myself to the limit.  i want the best.  so i take harder classes to challenge myself.  because i want to be the best.  but now i'm at the very end of what i can do.  mentally.  physically.  in every way.  i put my Self into everything.  and now i'm running out of Self.  i've got nothing left.  i've had nothing left for quite some time.  i just want a normal life.

so i've been getting more tattoos.  partly to even out my back, because asymmetry is a big problem for me.  but i also think it is an expression of my autonomy as a being in the world.  maybe it is my way of expressing my feeling that while these people  might take everything else i have, they cannot control everything about my life.  they can control what i study, how i spend my time, how much time i even have available to me to spend on anything.  but i am my own person.

or maybe i just want to feel something other than what i normally do.  like a cutter that just wants to be brought back to the reality of physical experience.

i think it's more the control thing though.

most days i feel like the elephant man in the train station.  i feel constantly beleaguered and pressed down upon by a hundred thousand different things.  all of them demanding a piece of me.  pieces i don't have to give...

i am NOT an animal.  i am a huuuumaaannn beeeeiiiing....     

Friday, January 27, 2012

a little bit sad

i haven't been writing regularly on here.  this is mostly a function of my not wanting to go on and on about the emotional pain that i feel on a daily basis.  it's like if i don't talk about the other, then what they did won't hurt anymore.

but it does hurt.  i should be clear that it isn't really about them anymore in the sense that i want to be with them.  you couldn't pay me enough.  if i could have my way, i would never see them again ever.  in face or in name.  sadly (for me), i don't get that luxury.

what i have to deal with currently is the way in which this interaction has had a profound impact on other relationships that i have, both professional and private. oh yeah, when i fuck up it's always massive.  it's never just a small miscalculation.  it's always something with massive fallout in every area of my life.  and the reason that they were able to have this effect was because of the implicit trust i had in them.  they were supposed to look out for my interests.  and they didn't.  they took what they could get and then moved on.

some people, like my best friends, put people on blast in public.  by name.  on the internets.  for the world to see.

sometimes, i wish i could do this.  i wish i were brave enough.

the reality, however, is that because of who this person was i feel so ashamed of what happened that i refuse to even tell my closest friends.  i finally told my officemate (names omitted) and i saw the way she looked at me.  it's the same judgment i have of myself.  this person made me feel like a fucking whore.  they made me feel that i wasn't worth the trouble.  good enough to fuck, but not stable enough to be with.  or even speak to.  and that's the reality of the thing.

the end result of this interaction is that it fundamentally shook any confidence in myself to have a normal relationship.  i'm absolutely terrified.

there are things about myself that i can't change.  i struggle with anxiety (sometimes crippling) and depression.  and the guilt that comes with both.  this person was very critical of this.  they constantly told me i needed help.  that i had problems.  that i was this or that thing.  and when i said it wasn't their place to make judgment on certain aspects of my self, they told me that "when someone loves you they will tell you the truth no matter what."  

i still believe that.  but what someone that loves you won't do is tell you a very critical truth and then not be there for you.  the thing was, i did need help.  i needed their help.  i needed their support.  and it wasn't there.  and when i tried to ask for it, they stopped speaking to me.

the tragic irony (for me) was that they pretty much lied about everything else.  big things.  small things.  everything.

i'm terrified to be with anyone else because i don't want to ruin someone else's life with my problems.  i don't want to complicate things for them, the way that i did for this person.  because they weren't just some random person.  they were one of the people i respected more than anyone in the whole world.  they were someone that i loved very much.  their opinion meant something too me.  it meant everything to me.  i believed every word they said.  i believed them when they said they loved me.  and i believed them when they said i was too fucked up to be with.  

and now i am having so many problems relating to other people.  there are people that i know like me.  but i can't make the connections with them.  i don't want to ruin their life.  i don't want to be a burden.  i don't want them to see awful i am underneath it all. i'm scared to answer questions truthfully about how i feel.  but it's too much work to hide everything.

so i stay back.  i don't go on dates.  i don't reach out to people that are trying to connect with me.  i don't talk about how i feel.

i have perfect clothes.  perfect makeup.  perfect hair.  perfect skin.  all the things i buy to cover up what's inside.  so that no one can see how much pain i'm in or how afraid i really am.

but nowadays if someone comments on these things, i feel physically sick.  if someone says something about my body, i cringe.  maybe it's because i know what a lie that i myself perpetrate. but also because i don't want them to think they like me.  they don't even know me.  and at this point, no one ever will.

i will probably always be just a little bit sad.  my analyst says this is ok.   that how can people not be a little bit sad.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

un poquito

i went to get my new year's reading done today.  my psychic is truly the best.  i have gone to many readers over the years, but she is the best.  she is never wrong and gives good advice, besides what is just on the cards.

she said that love is coming my way for sure this year.  someone super good looking, who drives a very nice car.  someone who wants to take me out and spend money on me.

i don't know about all that.  but she did tell me this, as she peered at the cards...

"un poquito...take small bites, not all at one time.  love, you see, it's like cake.  last time, you swallowed down the whole thing, really quickly, in one sitting.  and it made you sick.  this time, mija, just eat a little at a time.  a bite here.  a bite there."

she's always right.
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