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Who We Are Now

Welcome to Washington

So I’ve officially jumped on the House of Cards bandwagon. Better late then never, eh?

As of this moment, we’re half way through the credits and I think I may already be hooked. I have always love Kevin Spacey but for some reason with this slight southern drawl, he becomes even more sexy. I find it ironic that the only southern accents I find attractive are the fake ones on TV…not the real ones where I live, here in the south.

I love the idea of Washington, of politics. I watch a lot of television shows revolving around politics, Washington and this Nation. I love even more when journalism is mixed in. That’s why I think I’m going to really dig House of Cards. It seems fast paced, deep and complicated.

I do wonder if politics and Washington are really like this; catty, back-stabbing, manipulative. Honestly, I’m pretty sure it is. And I totally love that. People think it’s black and white, simple and easy. It absolutely is not. We have no cell-sized idea of what goes on over there; and I doubt any real civilian really will.

It just really reminds me how much I wanted to be an investigative journalist in college…the dream lives on I guess…

 

Paper Books

I have always been a seasoned reader. As a child, I had a very worn library card; begging my mom to take me to the library and once there, stumbling my way to the check out counter balancing a pile of books. I credit my family for giving me the love of words. My parents are big readers and we never really had TV as kids. There was nothing better then getting lost inside the pages of a good, long, meaty book.

Sadly, as time has passed my recreational reading time has shrunk, even though my love has not.

I lived in Toronto from 2012-2013 and was the first year I really got back into reading since I graduated college in 2010. I spent 3-4 months at an internship on the northeast side of Toronto while I lived in the south central downtown districts. I would hop on the subway and pick my way among my fellow riders to find a seat and settle in. I was given one blissful hour each morning and each evening to myself. I had nothing to do, no cell phone to play with, no texts to return or Facebook to check. I spent 10-14 hours of my week reading and it was phenomenal.

It’s almost two years later. I now live in Arkansas; where commutes entail mass honking and bird flipping. Lunch hours are spent running errands and making personal calls. At night I catch up on blogs and Facebook, more e-mails and updating my planner for the next day. My daily reading time has dwindled.

I think that is until this moment. In my attempts to better myself and my future, I’ve been reading a lot of articles and resource articles on The Muse. While searching for some inspiration for a blog post this evening,  I read a really interesting article about a simple task to make you appear smarter; reading.

I’m pretty sure I’ve always known this, but reading this article in this moment has motivated me to dig out my Kindle from under my bed, dust off my piles of books on hidden away bookshelves and to start scheduling time into my day to read.  I am going to revive my Bucket Book List and start crossing things off. Not only will this bring personal joy but it seems that this could help me in the future, expand my mind again and help my creativity.

Our lives today are taken up by so much technology that we forget that words were once written only for paper. I highly recommend reading this article, it may bring you the motivation it brought me!

Measurement of Success

How do you measure success? The perpetual question, I know, but seriously, how do you measure success? It seems as I get older that’s a more difficult question to answer.

At the ripe old age of 26, I find myself constantly on the edge of the canyon, looking out and wondering how the fuck do I get to the other side. It’s like I live on that edge, teetering between being confidently solid on the ground and dangling a foot over the edge, just tempting the idea of jumping into the unknown. This is all because of success; how do I know if I’m successful or not? How do I know if I need to jump or not?

This question conjures the most rose-colored answers, too. The whole you’re-successful-when-you’re-happy answer is popular. Some say if you don’t hate your job you’re successful or if you have a lot of money. I think the issue is that I don’t know if I know what success is. I mean I guess you could say I’d know if I was successful so by not knowing what success feels like, we all know I’m not there yet. But is everyone predisposed to get there eventually? Will everyone, at some point in their life, be successful? I think that answers itself, really. We all know there are people out there that you may or may not know who will be forever-fuck-ups.  But even they could have hit success at some point in their life.

I struggle between finding the small successes, the small wins if you will, and looking at the big picture. For weeks I’ll be in my routine (work-gym-sleep-work-gym-sleep) and I’m fine, totaling content, happy, good. Having a good day at work, success! Feeling my pants just a little more baggy, success! Going to a party and not being the first to leave, great success! Little success after little success after little success.

Then one small hitch sends my universe spiraling out of control and before I know it I’m hyperventilating in the bathroom at work, feverishly texting my fiancé for reassurance that I’m not a fuck up, that I’m part of something important and that I have time left in life to be successful. Those small hitches, however, are so draining, so devastating, that they leave me breathless and exhausted. I find it hard to recover. But I do, I find breath again and wipe away the tears and move on.

I never seem to move on enough to get past the first stage of small successes, however. I rebuild my strength and start from the bottom; counting each small success to build up to a bigger one. I rebuild my strength and start from the bottom; working my way back to that cliff edge. But when is it time to jump into something bigger? Into a bigger success?

Waves

First, it’s the cold hands. Ice cold and paper white; their blue veins seeping through. My rings become loose, sliding around to hide under my fingers. Stretching my hands out, they shake ever so slightly. Once I notice the cold, I begin shivering. Rolling waves of Goosebumps; I can feel them trace down to my ankles. Then the nausea and flipping stomach follow.

I clutch my fingers for warmth, touching them to my cheeks. I try warming them under my thighs. I start fiddling with things around me, my jacket buttons, my cell phone; focusing hard enough so I don’t end up chewing my nails off. But I can’t sit that still for long.

Sometimes I resort to spinning my already loose rings around and around and around; reminding myself how cold I feel suddenly. I chew on my lips, peeling off little pieces of rough skin or applying chap stick and forcefully rubbing them together. I rub my lips hard, drawing them across my teeth in a way where I can feel all the bumps, biting down a little until it hurts.

If none of that works, I go to the bathroom and hold my hands under the hot water. It feels like the most amazing thing ever. I have fantasized about a hot bath many a time while in my cubicle. When my fingers aren’t so cold anymore, it’s time to pop all possible joints. All my fingers, my toes if my shoes allow and my neck; then I rub my hands together, and rub and rub, putting on imaginary lotion.

Eventually the nausea starts to fade either on its own or with help from sipping water or hot tea. My legs stop jogging and my muscles relax. I feel like I’ve been working out, my body is tired. I try to hold my fingers again; still icy, I find it more bearable.  My stomach grumbles as if telling me it’s angry at me for making it sick. My rings are loose so I shake my hands around to hear them clink together.

Minutes pass, usually just a few minutes then it’s over. I’m off the ledge, a little warmer, getting back to work.

The anxiety passes.

We’ll See Creation Come Undone

I don’t remember the last time I felt so emotionally connected to something like I do this album. It’s like the music is coming from inside my soul.

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[moominsean]

Before I saw Porter Robinson play this album live, I loved it already. It’s hard and deep and beautiful and complex. Each song obviously has a meaning and reason for being and a reason for being where it is in the album. But after standing in that crowd and experiencing the energy flowing out from him…after listening to the commentary about where each song came from and the reason he wrote them…it just all built up and I can’t seem to get over it. I feel like I’ve come up to a giant cliff face and am standing at the bottom, looking up into the misty clouds searching for the top but can’t seem to find it. I can’t listen to the album on shuffle like I do most albums or playlists. To me, it has that order for a reason; that is how it is meant to be listened to. I follow this journey in my mind every time I listen to it. I have a vivid imagination, a very actively dark imagination, these beats and melodies and hooks all dug deeply into me and I want to just stretch my arms out and gather them closer. I want to lay in the dark and just listen to the journey.

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 [Eneas De Troya]

It wasn’t a random attach on my soul, this album. I think it was all destined to be this way. I think this show came at such a point where my soul was tired and lonely and exhausted from trying to be something it’s not. I‘ve spent so much time being a soul-hermit, hiding inside who I think I really am. Jake and I can’t really let it go here, we can’t have the discussions we had with other people in our lives. We can’t do the same kinds of things we used to do; we can’t find that release that we used to have. I have been exploring my mind lately and I think I need to fight for it, so I can pull who I really am out of the box where I shove her, bring her out and let her breath again. I really felt like I was whole during that show. It was so emotionally beautiful and horrific and depressing all at the same time.

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[Kevin Dooley] 

I think it just reminded me that there are people out there who feel the same things I do, who see the world like I do. I’ve always been a little dark, but I’ve always managed to see the beauty in the darkness. I think we spend so much trying to be happy and forcing everything into the brightness of positivity that we don’t give the world a chance to show what it really is. I accept the fact that there is more darkness then there is light in the world. I think its okay. The first step is realizing what we have and where we have gotten ourselves. After that, it’s the fight to being the light back. It’s a rolling sea and right now we’re at the bottom of a giant swell, looking into the crashing water above, waiting for is to crash upon us, forcing us into the turmoil of the sea. The beauty is that we’ll resurface stronger and wiser than before.

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 [Dave Sutherland] 

I find that I’ve been wishing a lot that I had the ability to make music or be artistic. I think I want to find a different way to express myself, since writing has become more difficult. I find music to be so important in expressing feelings and emotions. It’s the best way to communicate with others and get a point across. Music can make people feel so much emotion and take you on such a crazy journey. I am so inspired by Porter Robinson and this new album. He took such a risk but I think transcended the world of EDM and has taken electronic music to a completely different place.

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[Guian Bolisay]

Original images provided by: [moominsean] [Eneas De Troya] [Dave Sutherland] [Kevin Dooley] [Guian Bolisay]

The Danger of Silence

I truly love TED Talks. I love to download them and listen to them throughout my day. I used to listen to them on the subway, it was my favorite time of day. My fiance played this for me this morning on our way home from the gym before the sun had come up.

I realize that I experience a lot of times where silence is all I can give. Especially living here in Arkansas. I find that almost daily I am challenged by the people around me and I find that I am losing. I choose silence over speaking my mind or telling my opinion because…well I don’t know why. Because I know I’ll be judged or mocked. I get called crazy liberal or fucking liberal frequently. While I choose silence, I let those who challenge my opinions, my morals, my soul beliefs. I recognize there is a time and place that silence is appropriate, I know there are times where my blood heats, my face turns red and I have words to spit…but I know when to pick my battles. But maybe what I need to work on, what I need to focus on, is not the hot, heavy words that first come; maybe I need to find a way to cut my silence with balance, intelligent, full words. I know there is a time and place for my words but I can’t let silence speak for me.

Trouble

I am troubled. The trouble with my trouble is that I have none. This is why it haunts me. As I drive down East Main, I pass the cemetery. Those people are troubled. They are dead. What makes their problems so real? I pass a young girl, high school aged, with her gray hood up and long black hair streaming in the cold, early October wind. She has patches on her sweater, probably for bands she likes and concerts she’s been to. She’s in high school of course she’s troubled. If the dead people and the high school girl can be troubled, why can’t I?
          The right turn comes and I focus back on the road in front. My left hand is cold; it hangs out the window with a half smoked cigarette. I hate the taste so I throw it out. So many things had changed in the past few weeks. Social habit turns to addiction. Thrilling casual run-ins with good friends doesn’t make me feel better anymore. Time to find a new good friend, I think. The heat is up too high and the window is down, somehow that feels ironic to me. Smokers usually have the heat on high while the freezing winter air pours in through the open window. I should stop smoking for winter.
          Out of the car, I cross the street and through the little square in the center of town. A small group of homeless youths or just dirty high school kids trying to be something different gather around a park bench smoking cigarettes and plucking at guitars. Nobody is original anymore. I want to tell them someone has already written that song, but I keep walking. Inside the shop of my choice, I look at different candles and bags and posters and listen to the old rock video they play on a big screen in the back of the store. Nothing catches my eye so I choose not to spend money just yet.
          Downstairs in the clothing section, I observe a young girl with her grandmother. She is getting new boots. Not practical boots that will hold up against winter snow and rain, but slightly stylish boots that look too old for her. I think she looks stupid. A girl maybe fifteen years old wearing boots that came just from Paris, her straight-legged jeans tucked into the top. Right off the page. I see myself getting nowhere here so I leave.
          As I walk towards the door, I stop and browse the nose rings, hoping to see something I like. I pick a simple silver loop and give the lady behind the counter my money. Driving home I notice my car smells like cigarettes and it disgusts me. I make the choice right then to not smoke in the car, and to maybe clean it out. At home, I put the nose ring in. I think it looks slightly odd on me, but then again, I am not original and so it doesn’t matter.
          My alarm goes off. It’s four o’clock. I set the alarm incase I fell asleep on the carpet and wouldn’t miss work. Sleep is all I can think about lately. Nothing seems in interest me more then sleep and food. I look at the collection of sweaters that makes up what I wore that week to school and I get sad. I started birth control again so I think I’ll get fat. The sight of sweaters makes me nervous. Winter is coming, or is already here, and that makes me anxious.

Middle Finger

I find it interesting how life is never dull. Truly and honestly, never dull. Right when I think things will start to settle down, they get thrown down a hill again. I’m not saying that being thrown down a hill is necessarily a bad thing…I just feel like I finally got my balance and now I’m free falling389329_586597209102_662047726_n.

But I think the important thing about the hills in life is to take what positive I can find within that fall and make to prominent. I want to look at this hill and use it as an exercise in character building (boy, don’t I sound like my parents) and as a time to reflect on the kind of adult I want to be. I know, for a solid fact, that I will come out the other end a better person.

But at the beginning of the hill…as you’re losing your footing and feel the slide coming on…all you want to do is throw up the middle finger.

In The Saddle

Getting back into blogging is like meeting up with a really old friend from high school. You spend the whole morning getting ready, primping your hair, getting the right outfit on, feeling good. Because, let’s be real, if you don’t feel at your prime then this whole meet up thing is going to be shit.

Finally after pep-talking in the bathroom mirror for 4 minutes, it’s time to shake hands and catch up.

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Somewhere over the midwest

Yeah. That’s exactly what it feels like.

It’s been at least 3 months since my last blog post (or at least feels like it) and it’s been longer than that since my last habitual blogging. When I realized I had stopped regularly blogging, it made me feel different inside. How come something that used to be second nature slip away from me so suddenly? While I know it was something that happened over a long period of time, it felt more like something that happened over night. Is this what it means to get older? You lose time to do the things that made you human and fall into a routine of work, sleep, work, sleep, work…

Well this just can’t happen guys…that is just not okay. When you’re born to do something, shouldn’t you make the time to do it? I think you are all nodding at me.

There have been a lot of changes in my life over the last year. Time has tested my patience, my acceptance, my ability to handle challenges. It’s been really real. I plan to explore these experiences, to feel my way through my daily life, while trying to make heads or tails of it all.

After all…this is who I am now.

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