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Flexing the Brain Muscle

Today I got off work around 2:30 in the afternoon for my break between shifts. As I waited at the bar for my cash out, I struck up a conversation with a guy sitting there. We ended up chatting for a half an hour about politics and religion (yes, in a bar!) — but not the way you think.

You see, we spent a half an hour discussing the ways people approach these things through their own respective biases. Our conversation rarely showed any red or blue, crosses or crescents, or any other indication of our own views. We discussed the way people think about politics based on their own religions. How the inherent irony in works like The Terminator and my current read Robopocalypse manifests itself — like how the technology we have all come to rely on so fully eventually turns against us and thinks for itself.

We discussed books, and how his favorite six-book collection of Winston Churchill’s recollections of the Second World War is loved in part because of the coffee stains on some of the pages. We discussed quantum physics and string theory and how physicists sometimes consult philosophers as they reach their arms toward the upper echelons of the universe’s mysteries.

I realized something profound as I left my restaurant to spend my couple hours at Starbucks blogging and reading.

I miss learning. I miss my brain.

I miss learning languages and struggling to meet each threshold of understanding. I miss conversations like the one I had today, where two or more minds just talk about life and history and science and evolution and faith and religion and all those subjects. I miss the stimulation of being surrounded by others who push my mind in new directions, who force me to analyze and evaluate instead of regurgitate and accept.

I don’t have any funny quips or bits of wisdom to offer. Only a yearning to find that kind of camaraderie again. I have so many interests, from microbiology to art to String Theory to philosophy. Language. Not just my own.

As I walked in the discordant warm December rain, I found my life wanting. I love my husband. I love our home. But I think if you were to ask him, he’d say something is missing as well. Neither of our careers are where we want them right now, and though I can usually get through a day or a week or a month chugging away paying my dues, today reared its head to show me that change is coming soon, and soon indeed.

This isn’t to say I’m foretelling my imminent success as an urban fantasist. This is not even to say I’m foretelling my imminent piddling attempt at urban fantasy. What I am saying is that no matter what my writing career holds in terms of the c-word (career), something must change soon.

Whether it means I go back to university and hire a Caterpillar to dig me into another mountain of debt to get my Ph.D or start building a freelance career in non-fiction isn’t the issue. One of those things will probably happen.

About the future I know three things:

1. I want to move to Scotland and raise a family with my husband.

2. I will write no matter what I do to pay the bills.

3. If I am to have a long-term career, it must be an intellectually stimulating one.

Those are evident in my every day life. While I have the occasional enlightening moment with my tables as I wait on them, it doesn’t change the fact that Sunday when a guest was looking for me to order dessert, she couldn’t so much as describe me by my fiery red hair. To most of the people I serve on a daily basis, I am faceless. Nameless as soon as they walk out the door. No amount of cooing over their babies will change that for many of them. As much as I love the regulars who do treat me like a worthwhile person, I know this isn’t my place forever.

And so I find myself today contemplating the future and what it might hold.  I know I’m getting close to something big, but I feel that it lies just around the bend in the mountainside. It’s coming, and I don’t know what it is.

If I were to be run off the road on the way home, what would I regret?

I would feel like I was being a bit wasted where I am. I can do more than waiting tables, I know I can. This is not to be down on people who do this for a living — I chose this job. It didn’t choose me. There are aspects I enjoy, but ultimately this job does not challenge me.

I would feel like I got stuck somewhere that wasn’t the end goal. I would wonder why I didn’t try just a little bit harder to do what I want to do with this life.

Could I die today and be content? No. I couldn’t. There would be that something missing.

In one area of my life I am fulfilled, and that is love. I could not ask for a better family, a better husband, or better and truer friends than the ones I have. In this one area, I know that I am content.

But the others need some work.

I will close with a quote from one of my all-time favorite authors, a man who helped me discover epic fantasy and showed me that it doesn’t have to be high prose full of doom and gloom — that you could build a fantastical world full of humor and laughter and real people who eat and sometimes discuss bathroom breaks. David Eddings passed away two and a half years ago, shamefully outside my notice. His passing did not make headlines that reached my eyes. I thought of him just the other day and wondered how he was getting on. The question got answered much by accident.

This man will not be forgotten, and I will ensure that his words endure, if only in a tiny library owned by a redhead writer.

This is what I was talking about earlier when I suggested most aspiring fantasists will lose heart fairly early on. I was in my mid-teens when I discovered that I was a writer. Notice that I didn’t say “wanted to be a writer.” “Want” has almost nothing to do with it. It’s either there or it isn’t. If you happen to be one, you’re stuck with it. You’ll write whether you get paid for it or not. You won’t be able to help yourself. When it’s going well, it’s like reaching up into heaven and pulling down fire. It’s better than any dope you can buy. When it’s not going well, it’s much like giving birth to a baby elephant.

-David Eddings, from The Rivan Codex

The MacGuffin

In writing and film, a MacGuffin is a plot device that gives the characters a catalyst for action. It can be an object to quest after or a nebulous concept, but it makes them go. It’s like my gorse bush.

Right now what’s making me go is my writing. I feel good about my story and the people who have so graciously volunteered to help me edit my monstrosity of a manuscript and prepare it for submission. I’m coming to the end of draft two, and I’m excited to get it going with the polishing round.

Writing has been a dream of mine for so long, and now that I have a completed novel and another one almost done, I feel like I can move forward. It’s the career I want. I’ve been pretty deliberate about my steps, trying to make sure that I put the effort in on the front end to save some time and heartache later. I don’t know what to expect once my work starts spiraling around the ether, but we shall see.

That’s my MacGuffin right now. The wedding is in two weeks, and I’m starting a life with my fiance. We’re both the classic broke twenty-somethings. We’re both creative types. The driving force for me is getting my writing out there, because at the end of the day, I write for an audience. I want others to read my work.

The past month has been very busy. I’ve been writing in every spare minute. Sometimes in those minutes I can’t actually spare. I’ve been blogging and building, tweeting and grinding my teeth. I’m painstakingly digging a foundation for a career I hope will encompass my life. I want to show agents that I’m worth the risk of taking on a new author. That I’ll make us both money doing what we love: producing new books for people to cuddle up to.

A lot of the past month has been borne with frustration that I have to work fifty hours a week at another job. That’s fifty hours I can’t spend writing and honing my craft. That’s why I want to make writing my career — so that I can focus on getting better, push myself to creating more vivid language, sharper imagery, characters people long to read over and over again.

I remember how I felt when I discovered that by Jo Rowling’s timeline, Harry wouldn’t be the age of Dan Radcliffe — he’d be my age. That all of this took place parallel to my generation. It made it so much more powerful to me to think that Harry was my peer. I will love those books forever. I will never duplicate the Harry Potter phenomenon — nor do I want to — but I want to make that connection to readers. Make a place in their hearts where my characters will live as their friends.

The dream is there. The drive is there. The will and determination are there. Even with the wedding coming up a mere two weeks from now, writing is the pulse of my life.

Perhaps this entry belongs more on my other blog, but perhaps not. It applies to my life. It’s a shift that has occurred subtly over the past few years, and it’s starting to materialize. I’ve gone from sheer terror to hopelessness to confidence to resolve when it comes to my career — now that resolve is moving my feet forward into a new world.

Tired

Okay, I gotta complain for a second.  Sorry.

I am so tired of being tired all…the…time. I’m sure the long-term effects of sleep deprivation are somewhat as serious as alcoholism or drug abuse.  Possibly zombification. Basically, I’ve been living on 2-4 hours of sleep a night every weekday for the past nine months, and my body is just shutting down.  I am beginning to fall asleep pretty much anywhere, only to be startled awake half the time by pounding waves of anxiety and a bitter taste in my mouth.  I get headaches every day.  I’ve gotten three migraines in the last six weeks.  This is not normal.  This is not good.

I consider myself lucky if I manage to get six or seven hours of sleep in a night.  Even on weekends it’s hard for me to sleep soundly and wake up rested because the anxiety is so bad.  I can’t relax.  It’s been like this for months.  I only have three more weeks to make it through.  I hope I can manage it.  It’s to the point that I can’t sit down on my bed after work without falling asleep.  I managed to make it three days this week without napping like that and got a little extra sleep, but then last night I tossed and turned until 4 again, and bam, I’m back in the pain cage.

I sincerely believe that some of us are not built for mornings.  And the world is not built for us.

Museless Maunderings

I wanted to spend some time writing my book tonight.  What did I do instead?  Took a “nap” at 4:30 and slept until 10.  That’s what I get for this sleep schedule — I run myself to exhaustion, and then my body shuts down and I pass out.  That is not a good thing. Tomorrow is going to be a long day; we have a meeting at work (awful), I have a doctor’s appointment for my treatment, then I’m meeting a friend about living together.  All that is a long day for me with this injury.

In other news, I’m thinking a lot about the UK election.  The Tories made some significant gains.  I’m not hugely well-versed in UK politics, but I know enough to get by, and I’m not a fan of the conservative party.  For one thing, they’re super anti-EU.  They say they’re not, but when they say they’re going to introduce a big referendum on UK sovereignty immediately, that speaks to some sentiments I don’t like a whole lot.  But then again, I’m not a huge fan of the political UK as it exists — I think that Scotland and Wales should have sovereignty over their own issues.

Specifically, about Scotland, I cannot imagine that they are happy with this new government and with David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.  Only 15% of Scots voted for the Conservatives, and that leaves a whopping 85% who didn’t want the Tories in power, yet because they are still subject to UK sovereignty in many ways, they are going to have the Conservative agenda imposed on them.  I find that hugely immoral.  Even in the reddest of red states in the US, democrats get a higher percentage than that.

With the Scottish National Party in power in the Scottish Parliament, I really wonder what will transpire in the future.  It seems to me like this election is a decent chance for them to push their agenda, which is an independent Scotland.  I’m a big fan of devolution, and if independence is the right route for Scotland, I would support it wholeheartedly.  As long as her people want it, I say go for it.  I’d like to see a free and independent Scotland again.  I think she got bullied into signing the Act of the Union in 1707 and was treated infamously in the 18th century and into even the 19th and 20th centuries.

That said, I don’t think it would be as easy a route as the SNP would like it to be.  Even though Scotland does provide the vast majority of the UK’s energy between North Sea oil and other sources, it would necessitate a lot of very careful and diligent planning, as well as an attention to the actual needs of the people, which I’m not wholly convinced any government can really do.  We’ll see where it leads.

On a fully emotional level, the thought of an independent Scotland is enough to bring a lump to my throat.  I hope I live to see it happen;  honestly, I think it really is just a matter of time before it does happen.  I just don’t know if it will happen as soon as the SNP wants it to.  I’ve heard tell of a possible referendum as early as next year — if that’s the case, then wow.  We’ll see though.

Sigh.  I’ll admit, the biggest issue I have with the new gains of the Conservatives in the UK is what I’ve read about their stances on immigration.  What is it with conservatives in any country that immediately think slashing numbers of immigrants is the way to go?  It’s not a cut and dried issue at all, but in general, I think immigrants benefit countries.  It’s a large scale indicator of prosperity — if people want to move there, you must be doing something right.

Anyway, that’s really all I have to say about that.  I feel a little foolish dabbling in others’ politics, but those are just my two cents, unsolicited.

Musings of a Chronic Insomniac

…Actually, I prefer hypnopompic rebel.  Simply said, I don’t think people should have to be confined to the sleep hours prescribed by the 9-5 grind.  I have never been a morning person, I cannot adapt myself to that schedule despite years of trying, and I sincerely doubt that I ever will be a morning person.  The only time I’m okay with seeing that godawful hour of 6 a.m. is when I’m looking at the back of its head.  Its bright blue eyes staring me in the face are the absolute last things I want to see when I wake up.  Ugh.

When I was a young’un, I used to stay up until 2 or so in the morning simply reading by my nightlight.  Of course I got in trouble for it, but that never stopped me.  Going to bed at 9 never worked for me.  I clearly remember being in 4th or 5th grade and watching the lime green digits on my alarm clock keep on turning and turning as the hours would pass.  I feel like I’ve been tired my whole life because the world simply is not built for people like me.

I’ve tried drugging myself.  I’ve tried staying up all night and all the next day.  I’ve tried getting up early even on weekends.  It.  Never.  Works.  Here it is, at ten till 2 on a Monday (technically Tuesday now) night, and I am bright eyed and bushy tailed.  I would stay up all night again, but I have stuff to do tomorrow.

I read something a few months ago that talked about sleep habits being governed by genetics.  My mother is the same as me.  Her normal hours to sleep are somewhere between 5 a.m. and noon.  I function just fine on 6 hours of sleep, sometimes as little as 3 or 4.  However, that sleep is ultimately more beneficial to me if it falls between 3 and 11 rather than 12 and 8.  I don’t know if that makes any sense at all to anyone but me, but there it is.  My boyfriend is the same way.

My sleep schedule is one of the largest reasons I was hesitant to take my current job.  And finding a job conducive to my schedule is going to be a prerequisite when I start hunting again.  If you know anyone hiring in Rockville for shifts between 11 and 8, do let me know.

My schedule isn’t really that different from someone who works a 9-5.  I still like to get up, go straight to work, come home, and have a nice evening.  I just do it on a delay of several hours, in which breakfast (if there is one) is around noon, lunch is at 4 or 5, and dinner is at 9 or 10.  I then go to bed at 3 or 4 and wake up again at 11.  It works just fine for me.  Normal.  So why is the rest of the world so different?  Sigh.

I’m not going to take any of my meds tonight.  They leave me far too groggy when I wake up, and on Friday, I was so groggy I turned off my alarm clock.  Hardly surprising when I only got 2 hours of sleep, but still.  Not particularly endearing to the bosses.

Well.  On that note, I’m off to see if sleep evades me or not.  For me, going to bed at 2 is like the average person hitting the hay around 7:30 or 8.  But we’ll see if I can make it work.  Going to bed before midnight makes me feel like I’ve completely lost my evening.  Night is such a peaceful time.  It’s quiet and comfortable.  I’ve always liked the night.  It only makes sense that it’s my natural habitat.

light and shadow

I don’t have anything extraordinarily witty to say tonight, nor do I really have any particular direction in which to write.  But my goal is to try to write a thousand words per day, and though I have been on facebook and the like, I don’t really think that counts.  So here I am.

Today hasn’t been the best day.  At best, I feel directionless…much like this blog.  Or rather, I know where I want to go, but I haven’t the foggiest idea how to get there.  At worst, I feel jangled and emotional, and I want to cry.  A lot.  I feel guilty for being home for the past three and a half weeks with my injury.  I’ve missed a lot of work, and I’m catching some flak for it.  I understand why; I mean, three weeks is a lot.  I also am feeling super weak and lame.  In the traditional sense of the word.  Lame as in debilitated.  I can barely stand for an hour without severe pain.  Driving is just as bad.  I’ve been pretty much alone in my room for the past three weeks, which has made me lonely and helpless, and although I don’t really want to throw a pity party, I just want to feel like a human being again.

I don’t want to be a negative person.  I know that negativity is far from attractive.  So I think perhaps I will use this entry as a chance to force myself to try an exercise my mom has pointed me at several times in the past.  So here it is — a list of the things I like about myself.

I’m compassionate.  I’m able to put myself in other people’s shoes pretty easily and try to get inside their heads to try and understand where they are coming from.  I’m also fairly empathic, and I tend to be very sensitive to others’ pain.

I am loyal.  If I care about someone, I will stick with them.  I’m also very tenacious and rarely give up on anything I’ve set my mind to.  I’m patient.  I’m creative — I like to make art.  My kind of art just happens to be with words, and I try to do it as best as I can.

I’m a daydreamer and I have a good imagination.  While it can get me into trouble on occasion, I like seeing the world through my own lens.  I think if I were less shy, I would have been a good actress.  I can read expressively and with emotion.

I’m good with languages, both my own and otherwise.  I’ve always been able to pick up new languages easily, which is cool because I really enjoy them.  On a purely superficial note, I like my eyes.

I’m only about halfway to a thousand words, and I have to apologize for the quality of this blog.  I have a bad headache that came on sort of suddenly, and I am a bit out of it.

I really want to travel more.  I am going to try and go back to Scotland this summer if I can find a cheapish fare.  I’m hoping to fly out of Toronto so I can see Julia.  I haven’t seen her for almost a year and a half, and I miss her terribly.  It’s funny how you can meet someone so briefly and form such a lasting relationship — that’s been oddly true about the most important relationships in my life.  I met Julia when we both lived at the Inverness Tourist Hostel, and we became best friends after only a few short weeks.  That was in 2005, and nothing has changed.  She is still one of the only non-blood related people I count among family.

I miss Scotland, as well.  A strange peace comes over me when I’m there, ever since the first time my feet touched the rather unromantic tarmac at the Prestwick Airport an hour south of Glasgow.  It’s a place I’ve returned to so many times (Scotland, not Prestwick) and just felt like I was home.  I don’t think I have ever seen a parallel to the beauty that exists in Scotland.  I remember driving through Stirling on Megabus and looking out the window as the sun slanted through the clouds and lit up the earth as though it had flipped a switch within.  I remember the golden sheen of the mist on the hills, the Wallace Monument rising like…well, to be honest, rising like a giant, spiky phallus.  Perhaps that just ruined the romance of the shot.  Ha.

I remember Dollar Glen and Loch Ness and the way the ocean at John O’Groats is such a deep navy blue and contrasts with the shining white sand.  The earthy scent of soil, dust, and rock that makes up the interior of the Maes Howe, the rough-hewn slats of standing stones.  The smell of peat and the warm amber brown it turns the Ness River.  The Sisters of Kintail and Glen Coe.  The lone tree on Rannoch Moor near the cone-shaped Buachaille.  I have a hundred thousand memories of Scotland, each one stored away like delicate treasures within my mind.  I know I will return someday — it’s only a matter of time.  I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.  And I long to share it with my boyfriend.

If I can get there this summer, I know it will be a short visit, probably no more than a week or two at the most, but it will be a time of renewal as well.  A time to refresh my memories, see some dear friends, and rest my weary soul.

In the film What Dreams May Come, they espouse the philosophy that we choose our own heaven, or at least that we create it from our minds.  If that turns out to be at all true, I know where mine would be.  It would be a land of drums, of silver-smooth lochs, of smoky scotch and the scents of the earth.  There would be stone circles and sapphire seas laced with white sand beaches and forests with floors of soft moss where the rowans turn the circle of the seasons as their branches burst into bloom, the blooms turn to snowy berries that ripen into deep red before the leaves fall once more.  An eternity there would be an eternity of bliss.

I don’t plan on dying any time soon, so for now, I’ll look forward to the time when I can jet my earthly body there.

Well, what do you know?  Over 1,000 words.

you can’t bleed a stone…

…at least i’m pretty sure that’s what a stone would tell you.  i mean, who wants to be bled?  better to discourage people from trying.

i used the above as a beginning to a short story i’m writing…sort of a tragic farce sort of a deal–with zombies.  you know.  for that je ne sais quois…or just for the ambience.  it’s still very much in vomit draft format, but i’m excited to see where it goes.  gore galore.  you know it.  i thank r.l. stine for that; his descriptions of purple rotting flesh have stayed with me since i was a wee thing using fear street as my bedtime stories.  always did like to be scared.

funny thing about that.  gimme monsters, zombies, vampires, ghoulies, ghosties…long-leggedy beasties and all those who go bump in the night, and i’m fine.  what really gets me quaking in my stylish, yet affordable boots is much more prosaic.

it’s life.

life is…really damn scary sometimes.  there have been times in the last few years where i have found myself reeling, thrown from hand to grasping hand without a clue of where i might land.  now is one of those times.  i’m scared shitless.

joss whedon really had it right — life is the big bad.  and i don’t know how to fight it.  i think if you handed me a stake and said, “vampire.  go, kill.”  i’d be fine.  that’s something you can fight — kill or be killed.  life’s got a much bigger gray area, and i don’t know where i fall right now.

some days i think i’m floating.  treading water, maybe.  other days — like the majority lately — i’m fairly certain my lungs are half-full (i’m an optimist, even in the face of sudden death) and i’m starting to see spots.

i’m working a job where i feel…grossly underqualified.  every day i walk through the doors of my high school and wonder who decided i had the right to teach these students.  i don’t have a license.  what makes me able to do this?  add to that the fact that someone has a rather quirky sense of humor and has decided to bypass regular curveballs for heat-seeking missiles, and you get…a mess.  i’m a mess.

i realized a few days ago that i needed to get back to myself.  somewhere in the last few months, i lost me.  not sure where.  this weekend, i wanted to go to the renn faire to see albannach — they’re my go-to for me-ness.  something about the drums, the kilts, the pipes…yes, the tattoos…it brings me home for a while.  although unfortunately, my body decided to pick this weekend to crap out on me, and i almost passed out from a fever mid-set.  probably didn’t help i was wearing a corset.  nope, probably didn’t help.

on the way back to my car, a guy started hitting on me.  being woozy, uncomfortable, and a little oblivious, i tried to politely tell him i was sick and needed to leave before i fainted.  to that, he replied, “i could give you mouth to mouth.”  i stared at him for a second, processing that.  before i could get my fuddled brain to compute a suitable response, he went on, “i could give you penis to mouth.”

now, if i had all my wits about me, that guy would have found himself the recipient of fist to face.  first of all, who the fuck says that?  it’s almost funny in a way…but then i remember the way i felt, standing there, feeling awful and sick and weak as a kitten…and how absolutely dirty and…violated i felt by that.  i turned and walked away as quickly as i could manage.

i spent this weekend home in bed, shooting shit on xbox.  and i realized that i need to get back to myself.  my life has been almost entirely taken over by work.  when i get home, all i want to do is sleep.  i never see my roommates; i have virtually no social life and very few good friends.  so i did some thinking, and this is what i came up with.

i need to write. i need to get back to my stories and being creative.  i think part of my problem is that i’m sort of…constipated.  in a creative sense.

i need a social life.  as usual, i’m stuck with the problem of most of my nearest and dearest being ever-so-far away.  and frankly, i’m lonely.  which may or may not be my own damn fault.

those are the biggies.  which is funny, cos they’re more personal life than anything…mainly i think because my professional life is so out of balance with my personal life right now.  some aspects of my personal life are in a healthy place and are good…but i feel so out of balance.

i’ve been listening to this band called hey rosetta!, and i’m loving it.  specifically the following songs:  new goodbye; i’ve been asleep for a long, long time; death is quick.

in congruence with my flustered state of mind…i’m gonna end this blog now.

up too late, no sleep in sight

i’ve just teared up for the second time in a few hours.  the first was because i watched the bucket list, and aside from the point the movie was trying to make, i couldn’t help but be moved by ray’s wife.  it shows in the movie that theirs was a love that had fallen into ruin over the course of years.  yet when he came home finally, she lit up like a young girl.  she was ready to put on her sexy lingerie and make love to her husband…only to have him collapse on the floor and then die days later.  my heart wrenched for her as she came out of the bathroom glowing.  and saw her husband’s twitching legs on the other side of the bed.  to see her smile change to absolute agony was really…affecting.  she’s a secondary character in the film, and i felt like her story was tragic and painful.

i teared up again tonight talking to an old friend.  i’ve known him since 2006 — we were in poland together.  he told me the story of how his girlfriend and he got together.  it’s a beautiful story — they met four years ago and had a summer romance and never forgot about each other.  she found his number last november, and now they’re together, although they live three hours apart.  that’s not what made me teary though…sweet as it is.

karsten told me that i am strong.  he was the second person this late night to say that to me, and it kind of got to me.  today was a surreal day.  got up, was going to go to the arboretum, ended up doing paperwork for tfa and then going to see star trek…in the midst of the hum drum, i got a friend request on my second facebook account from an unwelcome source — a source i blocked on my normal account months and months ago — and a package of very odd easter trinkets from my dad, from whom i’ve barely heard in months.  he called me literally about 20 minutes after i got picked up at the airport last week here.  add to that a couple other slightly odd (but not bad) happenings and a bout of my chronic insomnia, and i was feeling a little less than strong.  karsten went on to say that he’s always thought i was a very strong person.  maybe i am, but i don’t feel like it.

a lot of the time i’m confused.  i don’t know what is expected of me.  i tend to be so blunt and candid that i forget that most people aren’t used to that.  there are all these nuances of human interaction that escape me.  i feel unsure of myself and nervous about how i’m perceived.  and i hate that something so arbitrary as a facebook friend request can send my heart into flutters and tie my stomach into knots.  i hate that i get nervous and a bit tongue-tied and shy.  there is so much to my personality that a lot of people never get to know because i’m afraid to let it show.  it’s stupid.  i’ve come out of my shell a lot, and i really like myself, but even when i feel strong, i never think of others seeing me that way.  not sure why that is.

so i teared up at that.  karsten told me that he thinks it’s amazing that i live my life and do what i need to do, wherever it takes me.  i always figure that people just see me as flighty.  i spend so much time trying to…i guess offer up what i have to give and wanting so much to share myself that i think i’m afraid it falls by the wayside.  not so much that it goes unnoticed but that it goes noticed and unwanted.  it’s almost five a.m., and i’m really not sure what i’m trying to say here.

i guess that…after an odd sort of day…watching a new day dawn from my own bed, i feel strangely hopeful.  maybe there’s hope for me after all.  so many things in my life right now seem to be falling into place.  some neatly with virtually no effort, others that will take work.  right now, at this moment, i feel like every one of them is worth the effort.  so i’ll keep moving forward and see where i end up — with teach for america, with washington dc, with people.  everything right now is the product of months of striving, toil, wondering, planning, hoping, working, and waiting.  and i’ll see it all through to the best of my ability.  maybe that’s strength.  if it is, i’ll take it.

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“i’m looking for a new love…”

“…not just someone who loves when she’s drunk and fucked up…”

words by parachute musical, quite possibly butchered by me, on account of the fact that i’ve only heard that song a couple of times played live.  i’d definitely like to track it down.  but that’s digressing before i even get started.

this blog might get down and dirty a bit, in terms of personal.  i’m often willing to get personal on here–i’m a pretty open person.  but just…be warned.  i’m feeling a bit melancholy today, at a loss.  unsure of myself.  this is me at my not so hot.

“i’m looking for a new love.”
i don’t know if that’s true in a literal sense–meaning i’m not actively looking.  searching, maybe, on a philosophical level.  i’m someone who is pretty afraid of commitment.  if i think someone is more interested in me than i am in him, i get panicky.  i think it’s at least partly because i’m always afraid that if i’m interested in someone, he’ll be scared off.

i know where that comes from.  everyone has hang-ups–that’s one of the cool prizes for being human and interacting with other hung-up humans.  that’s one of mine.   and i know the source.  i waited seven months to tell my ex i loved him.  i waited until i was sure.  and he wasn’t.  sure, that is.  he left me a month later.  well, officially–he left me a lot sooner than that.  there was a lot more to it than that, but that image pretty much sums it up.  i told him how i felt, and he bolted.

i was filling out one of those stupid myspace surveys the other day, and one of the questions was, “do you think relationships are ever really worth it?”  my answer was an unequivocable yes.  i do think they’re worth it.  but it requires a lot of self-awareness and a willingness to battle with whatever baggage we have from previous encounters.  that’s what i’m doing right now.  battling.

everyone has issues.  the important thing is to recognize them and try to work them out–and to be open about them.  you can’t expect others to understand what you’re thinking if you don’t tell them.  i’m working on mine.  unfortunately (albeit as per usual), circumstance isn’t making it easy.

“…not just someone who loves when she’s drunk and fucked up…”
chemical intoxication aside, my thing here is that i want something mutual.  i’ve wasted far too much time in the past on people who just weren’t quite sure.  it’s exhausting, and i’m weary of it.

people are fickle critters.  emotions are seldom constant.  and it’s impossible to interpret silence.  relationships are such a mess.  and yet.

“will i have to spend this life alone?  where is my companion?
words by catherine maclellan.  it’s been a long, long time since i’ve wanted a relationship.  i’m very gunshy.  i’ve fled relationships for the last year and a half.  but now…there’s a longing here.  i miss waking up in the morning and finding someone there.  sleepy smiles and starting the day together.  i miss hearing someone’s breathing as i go to sleep at night.  i miss sharing this life with another person.  sharing struggles, memories, present.  laughter.  i’m tired of the dating world.  i don’t even understand how it works.  the terminology is confounding to me.  when are you dating?  seeing someone?  where do other people fit in and how?  or do they?  when is it exclusive?  i don’t understand what the fuck all of it means.  it’s too much for my head, and i’m sick of trying to understand it.  i’m also semi-convinced it’s a crock.  dating is supposed to be, at its root, a way to get to know someone, right?  what if you already know them?  do you skip that part?  call me cynical, but i almost think it’s just an endless distraction.  when people find something special, they usually just go for it.  it works because it works, without the mind-numbing confusion.  dating’s just a way to pass the time till that comes along.

now i’m just ranting.  i suppose i’m lonely.  that’s the common word for wishing there was someone there.  i miss the companionship, the intimacy, the sex.  all of it.

“love never finds you when you want it to, it waits till you’ve stopped waiting.”
i know this is true.  and so i suppose i’ll just chill out.  i made the mistake once of trying to be with someone i knew wasn’t right for me.  biggest dating mistake of my life.  i know two things.  one, i don’t want to settle for someone who just isn’t sure if he wants me.  two, i don’t want to settle for someone anything less than extraordinary.  the trick is to find those things at once. and when you do find that, knowing enough not to let it slip away.  to be brave enough to take that risk.

waiting is hard.  hoping at all on some flickering spark of a chance is hard.  it hurts.  it’s messy.  wondering what will happen–or if anything will happen.  that is where i am right now.  stranded in the realm of “we’ll see,” where anything is possible.  i don’t even know what to think.  maybe i’m stupid to hope for this.  i don’t want to let it slip away, but i’m only half of it.  it’s not all up to me.  and i guess, at the end of the day, i’m afraid that he’ll let me slip away.  i don’t want to get away.  i want him to keep me.  but right now, i just have to wait and see.  be happy if something happens and if it doesn’t, be sad and then go on with my life.

lonely.  yeah, that’s it.  i don’t just want anyone, either.  i want the chance for something really special.

“all these things i can’t figure out alone; they don’t matter with someone.  maybe i should learn to let it all go and just have some fun.”
catherine maclellan is probably right.