checking in with you, tumblr, here at the dawn of the summer, and i’m happy to report that my life has indeed taken a turn for the better. a wise old prophet once said, when god gives you lemons, it’s time for you to find a new god. wait no, that’s not the one. i meant, when life gives you lemons, go get a new life.
and so i did. moving into manhattan, albeit a painful process, was just the fresh start i needed. i’m not going to say i’m not always going to be a bit of a brooklyn girl at heart, but being at the center of everything, being so close to and surrounded by people i love who are so young and so fun and hopeful, has really helped me. and i opened my eyes and saw how many people there were around me who loved me, cared about me, and appreciated my company. I guess I would say I picked my ass up and out of the extended pity party I was holding for myself, came out and saw the sun.
what i needed was this- something as minor as a location change but significant enough to trigger a whole new perspective. I know I need to start looking forward and stop looking back. My past was real and amazing and beautiful, and I gave it my all. But now I’m excited for things still to come.
the summer has always been a magical time for me. Since graduating from high school, I haven’t had a single summer that wasn’t in some way extraordinary. They say children born in the summer thrive in the summer, and it’s true that this season turns me into a whole other animal. basically, watch out, new york. the beast has been unleashed. i’m going to approach every day now with unshakeable, possibly sickening optimism, and you’re going to have to deal with it.
to my past, i say, give me a little bit more credit. there are some things i don’t want to and don’t think i have to throw away. i’m done being angry and resentful. i’m done being sad, and i’m done, in general, with hanging on to the vestiges of dead dreams. but the sun can give new life to what we’ve sown and what we’ve grown with its infallible midas touch. I just want to do what feels natural to me. (here’s March May looking at herself in the mirror again: YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING YOU DON’T WANT TO DO, AND YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT!)
well, after that cryptic interlude, here’s an expectations vs. reality snapshot of me at governor’s ball today, avant de pneumonia et apres getting drenched. If I could last through that shit, I can last through anything:
Alright, i admit it, i left after four hours. but hey, I think the sun’s coming out tomorrow.
the dog with the sad eyes is haunting my dreams
those deep night-hued pools, sending silent screams
bindie, her name, is nothing but a pun
she is bound, like i am to the things I have done
last night in the brooklyn apartment. if ever there was a time for a reflection, this would be it.
staring at all the boxes (fruits of days of bare-handed, sigh-filled labour) around me silhouetted against the dark, starry brooklyn night sky far beyond my window panes, i can’t help but think, with feeling: this has truly been a month of absolute shit.
Really. I wish I wasn’t writing this, because one resolution i made to myself during my healthy-new-you period was to stop complaining as much, or, at least, stop letting other people I know I’m complaining as much. but i have to say this, and i have to admit this. this month has been shit. please let it be over. PLEASE.
On the first of the month I posted what now to me can only be described as a truly ironic instagram picture exclaiming how excited I was for “the best month of the year.” well was I wrong. In the past month I have cried more times than I can imagine, was personally attacked and affronted, got into multiple fights, made numerous inexcusable mistakes, and not a single moment was worth it as a valuable life lesson or growing experience, or whatever else people call shitty moments to make themselves feel better.
My only hope is that June will bear good tidings, or I’m getting out of this goddamn city and this goddamn country as soon as I can. This place sucks. I hate it. I love it. but I hate it. really.
It’s not that my life is very miserable here. It’s not. On paper it looks fine. Most of the time I think it is fine. But this city is so freaking lonely and so freaking alienating. when you’re down in the dumps, it tells you oh boy don’t think we’re done with you yet. when you think you’ve gotten to the bottom of the hole, it hands you a shovel so you can dig further yourself. nyc makes sure the shit times are even shittier by holding you to the memories of how amazing the good times can be. this freaking city, like my own personal heroine addiction, keeps giving me shots of adrenaline and ectasy to string me along while simultaneously reminding me all day that i’m injecting myself to death. i’m so freaking done with this place. so why am i moving into manhattan?
fuck me. you know how i’m going to get through this? I have a resolution. I’m going to start acting like an absolute bitch from now on. maybe if i turn into something really out of character, everything and everyone surrounding me will become so disoriented that things will just start to turn themselves around. maybe i can find a new life. maybe i can find a new self. maybe i can stop moping about.
this may be a good idea. or it may be 11pm at night. i should go to bed and think about how to shock my life back to working order. maybe tomorrow will be a day full of delightful surprises. or at least let the goddamn moving company be on time.
there’s something about the summer that scares me. this warmer weather is making me restless. all the pollen in the air, it’s making me think strange things. all these people out there, the mass of brown faces and limbs emerging out of their cocoons, turning their faces towards the sun, all these resurfaced lovebirds and their insufferable flaunting of affection grown more insufferable with the warming weather— the summer is making me think counterproductive things, subversive things. This strange month, this one last week before my birthday, the conclusion of the 22nd year of my life which didn’t turn out at all the way I thought it would, everything that’s happened recently has been throwing me off the healthy-new-you self improvement schedule I instated a couple months ago. This week i’m feeling a little mischievous, a little bad girl, a little let’s-not-do-the-right-thing… and good lord, does it feel right.
haven’t written in decades, it feels like. seems like i’ve been stuck in a perpetual state of writer’s block, or, more accurately, overwhelming laziness. must force myself to interrupt the mindless eating, drinking, blistering indulgence of new york city life and retreat back to the suburbs to get the rusty brain wheels turning again, albeit very begrudgingly.
I was watching “The Voice” and had a revelation. not very many people are blessed with revelations while watching reality shows, but I seem particularly susceptible. I mean, watching “Survivor” is practically like reading the bible for me— every other sentence goes into my quote book or log of “things to think about/ things that inspire.” anyway, this wasn’t “Survivor” but “The Voice,” and in a battle round two singers on team Adam sang Lady Antebellum’s “Wanted You More.”
This is a song I never knew existed, and even though the song was poorly written, melody-wise, and I didn’t like “that fat chick” (words of my boss, not me) who sang it, it seemed particularly lyrically on-point. If I’d ever made a bet before on the fact that i would never find lyrics to any country song ever anywhere near insightful (which is pretty probable considering my level of pretension, and if i have, someone please hold me up to it because I deserve a kick in the butt), then I have most definitely lost that bet. or maybe it’s because there’s something very universal about cheesy love song lyrics. before heartbreak, you don’t identify with any of it and you think all of it is lame. after heartbreak, you’re practically slumped over the couch sobbing over Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend.”
Yeah, I mean, that’s probably the explanation. but I looked up the song on songmeanings.net ( which, by the way, went through a terrible redesign. they need to hire our UX people to fix that shit up), and that chorus really hit home. not the part where she repeats the same line a million times, but the part where lady A croons: “my heart was open, exposed & hoping/ for you to lay it on the line/ in the end, it seemed/ there was no room for me/ still, I tried to change your mind—”
and i was floored. i mean, i thought to myself, this is some real shit. this is like, you know my life. this is the explanation to my february of failure, my five months of utter fail. I had thought up so many complex reasons and explanations with my tendency to over-dramatize, over-analyze, and then over-rationalize. but in the end everything is so simple, so crystal clear. There is nothing more tragic than coming to the realization that there is nothing even remotely unique about the love and loss you went through, that you deemed life-changing. there is nothing more tragic then coming to the realization that the pain you dramatically wore on your sleeve for weeks is not any bit more complicated than a piece of a country song you would have definitely thought was the lamest, cheesiest thing ever about a year ago.
I wish my heartbreak was less simple than the fact that I wasn’t compelling enough to make a boy want to put in effort and make certain sacrifices. I wish it was tragic and complex and twisted, and if not, I wish I had at least been at the right place at the right time. I wish seeing him didn’t always remind me a little bit of how much I wasn’t worth it for him. i’ve moved on and i’ve changed and i’ve become so much more mature and so much more confident as well. but still, it’s the sheer simplicity of the tribulations of the past that aches the most.
like i’ve said before, there is nothing less tragic than realizing that you, your life, your relationships, and your heartbreak are all utterly, utterly ordinary. but then again, there is some comfort in knowing that millions of people out there are sharing something with you. Which is why listening to that Lady A song hurts, but it is also kind of addictive. not because i’m a masochist— which i promise I’m not, though my eyebrow technician would argue otherwise— but because the most beautiful thing about being alive, in my opinion, is discovering the similarities we humans share with each other despite our differences. And that beauty is experienced in the distilling down of complex scenarios into lucid moments of raw emotion. not just pain and happiness and heavy stuff like that. but looking across a meeting room and catching the eye of someone else who’s also smirking at your boss’s dumb comment, or reflexively grabbing someone’s hand during the scary part of a movie. those moments are awesome too.
some might call me emotional, but i guess i’m kind of proud of that. and i want somebody who appreciates that too. Don’t get me wrong, I love money. I’d love to succeed. i’m ambitious, and my career is important to me. But if I had to choose between love and career, I would choose love without a moment’s hesitation (and you can hold me to that). I’m willing to give up anything for the pursuit of those lucid moments of emotional camaraderie, and the sublime height of that, l think, is love. There’s nothing more amazing then knowing there’s someone out there who feels the same as you do, about the little and large things in life, and especially about you, too. and the reason i was so sad all along is I knew that he didn’t. but there’s someone out there who will.
and in the spirit of Lady A:
I guess I wanted you more/ and looking back now, i’m sure/ But I don’t need you/ I don’t need you, anymore!
and that concludes my saturday night writing stint.
On the Q train back home, I saw somebody who reminded me of you. Grey pants, battered vans, soft worn sweater, plaid shirt collars stiffly raised. He wore black rimmed glasses, a hair cut kind of awkward, and he had your determined look on his face: a look that held all the ambition in the world. It was a look of quiet confidence, stubborn discipline, lucid reason driven by a brilliant intellect. It spoke of the determination— no, the need- to go places above and beyond, to create something, to be extraordinary. It was a look that I thought belonged only to you. He got off at my stop, and I hurried out to see where he would go. But he surged ahead, took a turn, disappeared, and i remembered all the things that made me sad. because your look, the look that i fell for, the world that it spoke of— is yours and yours alone. and I will always be on the fringes looking in, trying to catch up, wishing you could hear me say, honey, come home.
But I’ll always remember you the same: eyes like wildflowers, oh with your demons of change.
missing someone is a strange feeling. I used to think it would consist of continuous, torturous, burning pain, but it’s nothing like that. when you miss someone you alternate between feeling distraught, empty, and then nothing at all. Like someone went at your heart and insides with an ice scream scoop and slowly scooped you all away. when your friends make you laugh, you laugh, and when they comfort you, you take on this unshakeable belief that you can get better and that you can endure. but the second you’re alone the waves of despair come crashing back and the emptiness of the days stretching before you engulf you. Like opening your planner and being forced to cross out all the things you were looking forward to in the future, then being forced again to flip through the defaced pages and swallow the nothing that now inhabits them. missing someone is an alternating assault of affection and nostalgia and utter despair, and those latter moments get you so hard that sometimes you forget to breathe. Missing someone is the constant voice in your head asking why. why couldn’t we just try? and the echo back eclipsing all those thin beliefs you used to hold, when you used to think that as long as two people liked each other, then they wouldn’t ever have to let each other go.
(long island, great neck)
Holy shit. in three days, i feel like my whole world has shattered and is now just starting to come back together. what a way for a disaster to turn into an opportunity. I guess there’s a reason cliches become cliches. It took a huge slap in the face for me to realize that I needed to wake up, refocus my life, and rethink who I want to be as a person. This whole time, I’ve let my insecurities engulf me, take over me. I channeled all my energy into something to compensate for what I felt like I wasn’t getting in other areas of my life, and I made that something absolutely everything. i let my happiness hinge on that; I practically let my own sense of self-worth hinge on that, and there is nothing less attractive than a girl who constantly reeks with desperation. My eyes are finally open as to everything that went wrong. I couldn’t stop obsessing over fixing problems with that something, and I forgot in the process that what I really should be focusing on is developing myself as a person and becoming someone who I can be happy with. I want to be and do believe that i can be someone who is extraordinary, and I absolutely do not need to have other people reassure me of my self worth. I know that I’m just feeling strong now, and that my pity party probably wont be completely adjourned for a few days, but at least now I’m seeing things with complete clarity and realizing the steps I need to take to be the person I want to be.
Thank god for life lessons.
(long island, king’s point)
it’s funny when you realize that the person you’ve turned out to be is nothing like the person you thought you were. this whole time i’d fancied an elevated version of myself, and i had assigned all these tragic but romantic qualities to that imaginary me. but really, i’m nothing but a normal girl, if not even a little less than that. i’m insecure, petty, weak, emotional, and none of it is because of daddy issues, or a broken family, or a turbulent past, or any of that reality show BS. they’re personality flaws that come with being completely confused as to what i want to do with my life and total lack of confidence in myself, my abilities, my appearance, and my appeal. they’re the flotsam that persistently float on the surface of my ardent need to be loved and accepted and constantly reassured of it too. is it ok to admit that sometimes you can be a worthless shit? i’d like to think that not everybody has to be perfect and ambitious and confident all the time, or even aspire to be so. how many people really are that anyway? most of us are just pretending to be, walking around with our noses in the air and our heads held high while doing everything we can to guard our family jewels down there, because we know a casual kick in the nuts could send us to that place we like to think exists in the sky. Fuck loving yourself. Fuck projecting. Take what you can get and be happy to even be alive. I’ve found the best moments in life are when you discover that you share the same weaknesses and despicable flaws as other people out there, anyway. no one ever says, hey, it’s so beautiful that we’re both A+ overachievers who earn over 200K. No, they say, hey, isn’t it beautiful that we’re both feeling like shit, standing out here in the rain smoking stupid cigarettes after leaving the club alone? or maybe now i’m just reveling in my misery, which is even more inexcusable. i suppose moments of clarity and moments of weakness tend to converge. i feel pretty small, but sober too, i guess, in this revelation of how utterly human i am.
(somewhere on the road)