Thursday, November 25, 2010

the aftermath.

I feel free, so free. But I also feel completely FREAKED OUT.

I do not recognize myself yet when I look in the mirror (about 427 times since I left the salon last night), but most of me is embracing this change. After all, I chose it, right? I better own it.

I went to Whole Foods to grab some last minute things for my visit home today, and found myself reading the greeting cards.

This quote struck me:

"Just when the caterpillar thought it was the end of the world, she became a butterfly." (with a men's haircut)

Time to go laugh, eat cheese mashed potatoes with a side of turkey, sleep and watch football with the family. Happy Thanksgiving :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's about that time...

something like this.


or THIS.

Yep, I'm really feeling it!

Friday, November 19, 2010

it's where we came from.

If there is one thing my parents taught us growing up, it was to never settle for less than the best.

Things aren't going the way you want them to? Change them.

You're not scoring many goals during soccer games? Go outside and practice until sundown.

Track practice is tough? Work through it.

School doesn't come easy? Study harder. Better yet, study with Mom. You'll be reciting the entire text book by sunrise.

Whether or not we followed through on their intense desire to see us succeed was - and still is - entirely up to us. But it was instilled in each of us that we were born into a family that doesn't give up; doesn't blend in; doesn't settle for mediocrity; puts their heart into it; walks off the field/court after a win or loss knowing they gave it all they had with sweat on their backs, blood on their lip, panting to find their breath. I'm so serious about this.

Naturally, it's been very difficult for me to just throw in the towel over life stuff after being brought up this way. (This excludes my college years when I was suffering from something that couldn't be solved by my own will and even then, I can't tell you how hard I tried to get myself through it on my own).

I've written countless times (and mention it in nearly all of my posts) that I struggle with anxiety-filled thinking. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to just give up on myself; stop trying to fight through it. I wanna pull the covers over my head and stay in bed for the rest of my life. "I just can't go on!" I hear myself exclaim. "Can't means won't," my inner strength responds, (or is it my father's voice? I can never tell). Thank God for a family like mine during these instances. Despite lots of really heartbreaking dysfunction, at the end of the day, any one of my family members will pull me back to the surface if I'm ever in a place where I've decided I'd rather drown. (It's funny, my mother is rarely good for a hug, but she's always good for lighting a fire under your ass if she senses complacency, laziness or self-pity).

So, tonight I'm watching my brother play college basketball against Duke University, a team seeded #1 in the NCAA. My brother plays for Colgate; a tiny but ridiculously prestigious college in chilly upstate New York. Colgate's being crushed by Duke. It's not a game I've enjoyed watching all that much...until I see that familiar yet undefinable power emanating from my brother's every move, every pore, every ounce of his being. And guess what? I'm not the only one who sees this happening.

Here I am watching this game on in horrible resolution. I can barely make out who's who on the court. But I can see my brother because I know the way he dribbles; the way he switches speeds as he runs down the court; the sneaky dishes he gives to the lanky forwards from under the basket right before he steps out of bounds. Then I hear the commentators say something along the lines of, "there's H, named Captain of the team and doing a great job at showing an example of hustle, not giving up despite the way the game's going." (That's either exactly what they said or a horrible paraphrase, but you get the picture.) In hearing this, I instantly begin clapping my hands together so hard that my dog wakes up from her nap and begins barking and jumping around like she's just ingested 30 fudge sticks. I'm screaming, "that's my brother, that's my brother!" Tears begin to well up under my eye lids (this is not surprising, I cry when I see a leaf fall from a tree these days). But I'm filled with so much pride. My brother has always been an inspiration to me. Because like I said earlier, my siblings and I have always had the choice on whether or not to use the so-called inner strength my parents promised we had inside us, or let it go. My brother has never given me a reason to think he's ever once let it go. When we were kids, I remember spending many fall afternoons reading or talking on the phone. Thumber watched a DVD in her room or sucked her thumb and held her pillow. Conversely, my brother would be walking up and down the street we lived on while dribbling with his left hand - his weaker hand - for hours. This didn't phase me as a child because I thought this was what all boys did. It didn't dawn on me until years later that no, not all boys did this.

Nobody really did this. But he did. And he still does stuff like this. Sacrifices for his passions. Keeps his eye on the prize. Fights despite adversity. Shows courage and poise.

I'm proud of you kid. I know you guys are probably going to lose by 30+ tonight. But you are a shining star. What Mom and Dad taught us shines through in you and always has.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I have always felt - and I think many who enjoy writing may agree with me - that writing is not so much something one can do when they decide they want to. It's more like something the words decide on once they're finished rolling around in my brain. I am merely the vehicle with which the words move from my mind to paper - or in this case, the internet.

Tonight is not one of those nights, however. But I'm forcing it. Because it's Friday night, 10:06 PM, my boyfriend's on a fishing trip, I just finished having dinner with my lovely roommate and there's nothing left on tonight's agenda but sleep. It seems like the perfect time to compose a post, so I'm going to begin typing and see if the words catch up.

I'm reading, "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Specifically, I'm reading it in the shower - an activity that fascinates my roommate. The shower is basically my safe haven in life and has been for a few years now. Due to my issues with anxiety-ridden living, over time I've found that the warmth of a shower along with the actual phyiscal feeling of water hitting my body and washing all types of dirt off and far away is extremely therapeutic and symbolic to me. When my last relationship - and I - began to crumble, I would lock myself in the shower and begin writing calming words on the glass wall that filled with fog. Calm, relax, safe, good, stable, and loved were repeatedly spelled out until I actually began to believe and feel them. What can I say, I become bizarrely resourceful in times of panic, probably due to the fact that I am so familiar with the feeling and must come up with my own ways to deal.

Anyway, with that relationship - and the chaos that came along with it - behind me, I continue to use the shower as my place of peace. The apartment I currently reside in does not have a glass shower stall like the one I described above, but it is much larger, which gives me lots of room to engage in activities while showering. For example, I like to talk on the phone while in there. Most of the time I don't tell the other person I'm showering while speaking to them and I'm hardly ever asked, "why does it sound like I'm speaking to you while you're in a hail storm?" even though I know they must hear some type of loud background noise while we go on and on about our lives. I also text in the shower. This becomes more difficult than talking because too many times I get my text hand wet by mistake, which has ruined many phones I've had in the past.

Lately, my most favorite shower activity is reading "Eat Pray Love." I stay in the shower for far too long doing this, which means I often have to turn around and face the shower head, reach my foot over to the temperature dial (or faucet, I don't know, I'm not well-versed in bathroom vocabulary) and gently move the dial to the right, ever so slowly, continuously making the temperature hotter.

Tonight I was in there longer than ever, thus completely running out of hot water. I like a really hot shower to begin with. I'm not happy with the temperature until it's turning my behind a nice dark pink color! By the end of this shower - and when I say the end I mean the time the water temperature became so cool that it completely ruined my meditative shower state - I hadn't even shampooed my hair yet! But I did read fantastic chapters in Gilbert's book, namely a story about her sister's visit to Rome, that really touched me. It made me think about my own relationship with my sister, Thumber, and how our differences have begun to compliment each other over the years. I have always had a fierce loyalty to my siblings - to the point of becoming a problem, but I'll write about that another time. Anyway, for a while I never felt that Thumber was proud to be my sister growing up. When I looked at friends of mine who had older siblings, it seemed they idolized them. This wasn't the case with her and I, at least I never thought so. I am two years older than her, but can't tell you how many times I swore she was my big sister and that I would do anything she asked just to make her happy with me. I think it started when she would refuse to play when I wanted to, especially Barbies. She enjoyed playing herself much more than with me most of the time. This insecurity began to take off though, when I started gravitating in a direction that I knew wouldn't make her or my family proud of me, but even before that I was always in awe of her ability to turn off her emotions when she wanted to. I have always been the type that spews emotion like a pot of spaghetti sauce that's been left unattended on the oven. She has the ability to leave a room and walk away when she's not happy with what's going on in there, whereas I will fight to the death. When she has an irrational thought, she seems to easily be able to turn it off whereas I need to pick it apart and ask, "why?" I also couldn't understand and still don't understand how she looks put together even when she's a mess and hasn't showered in a week. I believe it's partly due to a really nice head of hair that has the ability to compliment her every outfit. But it's also her aura, her vibe, something about her says, "I know who I am, don't mess with me," even when she doesn't.

Anyway, over time my insecurity and jealousy towards Thumber has decreased because I am not so mixed up and interested in comparing myself to others. I don't feel as inferior in general. I don't want what other people have as much as I want to embrace what I got and improve what I'm already working with. I suppose I've had some type of inner shift over time. And in time I feel that she's been more open to wanting to feel, sometimes calling me to help her find the words she needs to say to her boyfriend when they're having trouble, or ask my advice on work situations that baffle her. I'm able to call her when I'm worrying about something that I know isn't worth worrying about and for some reason, her words have the ability to snap me out of it. I need her, I do.

I find great joy in this relationship we've begun to foster and sometimes get off the phone in tears. If she knew that, she might be shocked, but she might also laugh and say, "that's just you." Because she knows me inside and out and has seen me through good times and bad. Only she and I know exactly what I'm talking about when it comes to childhood tribulations.

The development of relationships fascinates me as I grow older, especially this one with Thumber. But even just a few days ago, one of my most favorite friends from college reached out to me during a difficult break up and by the end of our short conversation, both realized we'd gone through some very similar realizations and situations in life - situations we hadn't really discussed during our friendship in college. Since then, I've thought about her everyday, wanting to give her hope that she's going to be okay and thanking her for being the one to reach out and rekindle our friendship. I have changed a lot since college and haven't done the greatest job of keeping my old friendships alive. But this girl was always very important to me and extremely inspirational. While I was losing myself in college and wasting it all away, she was doing it all right and I often wondered how she was able to keep herself so responsible. Either way, it's nice to know that we may have taken different paths - but paths that are crossing now.

I guess, all in all, I feel that I'm a loner type in some ways. That's to say that I don't "roll" with a a big group of friends and I might not be the best at keeping in touch. But I can say that the relationships I have now are real ones. Deep ones. And that I am having trouble finishing this post because I am dying to go on and on about the other friendships in my life that mean the world to me.

It's much too difficult to go through this thing called life alone. Even when I'm surrounded by people who love me, I have the tendency to feel alone in my own mind. I must remember nights like these where I'm able to get in touch with others and realize I need them.

Thumber, I have a confession. Maddie threw up on a French Connection skirt I borrowed from you and it's ruined. But before you call me and give me the third degree, remember that Christmas is right around the corner and that I'll make up for it.

Love ya! Goodnight.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Today, fine.

There was a time I wasn't this analytical

I didn't need to know
why and how and where it was all going
If you told me it was all going to be okay
I'd believe you -
without question

But that stopped working
Because so much wasn't okay

I felt lied to

Where was truth?
I tried constructing my own
which was even worse
Disastrous, my mind is
at finding reality

Instead it dreamed of life as a circus
and I, the ring leader
orchestrating it all

But I wasn't.

Again, I felt lied to
this time by my own mind

So here I am
I don't trust you
I don't trust me

What then do I trust?

I sometimes find this little voice
inside my heart
It tells me to let it be
Let life show you what's real, it says
And it's powerful when it says that

Let it unfold
in its own time
like the flowers you so often admire
Their petals are at first so tightly packed
protecting the stamen from damage
until the stamen tells them it's okay to open
up to the world
up to the sun
allow light in
sometimes damage
but they're ready for this

They unfurl, extending
until they fall

Off their flower

To the floor

Some give themselves to the wind

Or to a child's hand

A dog's mouth even

They don't seem to fight it -
the truth of their existence
Perhaps they know that while they were opened, they were admired
loved even
They had a purpose

"Stop questioning!
Allow your petals to open, extend,
Allow admiration and love
Give what you can, when you can
until the end of your time."

This is what that voice tells me
This power inside that I've just begun to touch and listen to
Time is not mine

The voice is it
Truth, reality

And today, fine

Tomorrow I may begin questioning again
Where and how and why

But today, fine

I'll give the truth a chance

Thursday, November 4, 2010

think about it...

"To find the balance you want you must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have 4 legs instead of 2. That way you stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head; you must look through your heart instead. That way you will know God."

~ Elizabeth Gilbert, "Eat Pray Love"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

miniature keyboards make for half ass blog postings.

{ City Hall at dusk. I live here. I feel lucky }

Can I tell you something?

There's a few reasons I've neglected my blog over the past 2 months.

I am working. It was much easier to write like my life depended on it when I had nothing on my agenda for 7 months. Also, I moved. But more than that, I don't have cable or internet at my new digs. Because I don't need it. Unless, of course, I want to keep up with my blog. Then I begin to miss a full-sized keyboard. Right now, I'm typing on my cell phone and it really hurts my fingers and my biceps. My fingers hurt all the time anyway, because lately I've picked up my old habit of biting and picking at my cuticles and fingertips. This is awful mainly due to the season. During fall and winter, everyone suffers from dry skin, especially those who have already wrecked their skin due to anxiety ridden compulsions. My fingers look like a small animal has been gnawing on them. That animal is me. I wonder why I have no shame in admitting this disgusting habit to the few people who may check in on this blog of mine that is suffering from a slow and painful death.

I have every intention of trying to rescussitate this thing when I can buy internet or steal it. Until then, I will continue to post sparingly and vaguely. Because it hurts my hands to do much more. Its easier to write poetry on a cell phone because the lines are usually short and sweet. Perhaps I will begin writing daily haikus. I do not remember how to construct a haiku so I will first have to google it but maybe that's the next assignment.

I don't like that it gets dark at 6 and will continue to get dark sooner. It leaves me feeling like I wouldn't mind being run over by a bus and that's not a good sign.