Sunday, October 12, 2008


Today is my birthday, and with it comes the usual strange longing for nostalgia and renewal. I woke up early today. It was pleasant. I had breakfast. I read the New York Times. I walked to Overton Park. I walked for an hour, and when the hour was over, I found that I was not tired. I sat in the grass. I spoke what I'd been thinking for a while. I made a decision. And now, I feel free. Regardless of the outcome of my decision. I feel like I have made it and shared it, and it is no longer up to me. It was a gift that I decided to give to myself. I like not knowing what tomorrow will bring. I am filled with an overwhelming sense of peace.

My mom gave me a zoo membership and book. I have been reading the book at random times (it's hard to find time to read anything I really want to read these days), and the more I read, the more it means so much to me. A simple book. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. She wrote it when she was 27. It's kind of a Walden Pond idea. She won the Pulitzer. The first chapter she begins walking and talking about the things she sees, and it felt like I was walking with her, crouching down to peer deeper into the mysterious, complicated and fantastic world that we live in. Her poetry is magnificent.

I am planning on having dinner with friends this evening. I am planning on relaxing and enjoying myself. I am not thinking about the future or what 29 will bring. I am thinking about right now, and I can do what I want...because it's my birthday.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Where am I?

The first word I said this morning upon walking out the door was, "gross." The mist was coming down like...I don't mom would say pea soup...but I don't know if that translates to me quite the same. It's not like it's's just...wetting. It's wetting. It's like England. It's just wet...wetness. It's wet so much in England that the world smells kind of mildewed sometimes. This morning reminded me of about 75% of the mornings I spent in London.

I walked from my house to the tube over this hill, and I would try to imagine myself geographically. I was not on a huge continent, but rather a small island. I imagined a cloud covering the entirety of the island...often it was a cloud of smog (but those were good because they trapped in the heat of the city..YES!). It was easier to imagine myself on an island when there were seagulls flying overhead. I pushed my hands into my pockets and tucked my nose under my scarf (eventually you give up on the umbrella and accept the fact that you will be getting wet). On heavy traffic days, I got to race the bus over the hill to the Tube bus stop. I would give everyone crammed into the double-decker bus a sly sideways glance as I used the gift of my legs to overtake them.

By the time I got to April, the street sweepers were out at the same time, desperately trying to dispell the "myth" that Haringey was the "dirtiest burough in England." Then, past the street sweepers and down the steps to the Underground I would go...

So, I say...What is this nonsense? My birthday's coming up. Let's get the sun back in here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Too Strong

Man. Starbucks is ridiculous. I didn't have time to make my own cup of coffee at home today so I bought a small (tall) cup of the coffee of the day at the starbucks kiosk in Patterson...and I feel like I took a large dose of an illegal drug. I didn't even finish the cup of coffee. I'm sitting in the library reading an incredibly boring chapter in a book I have to respond to, and I can hear my damn heart beating like it's going to shoot out of my chest. Nobody needs that mess. I like the pleasant buzz that I get from my normal cup of coffee. Seriously.

I suppose it doesn't help that it's Monday, and I feel like the sky is going to fall down on top of me. It doesn't matter what I do, I keep getting covered in avalanche upon avalanche of work. I'm to the point where all I want to do is sit still and stare off into space. That's ALL I want to do. I don't need a vacation. I don't need a night out. I need a good 48 hours sitting in an empty room and staring off into the distance...okay...with occasional conversation interspersed between long stretches of thick silence. It's the damn tipping point. If Monday doesn't get better, I'm going crazy (not "going to go" oh no....I've could be fun).

I told a student today that it doesn't get clearer or gets fuzzier and much more just get used to it. It gets funnier. Although, Starbucks makes it slightly less funny. Get this stuff out of my blood!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What I'm Saying is...

SO, I started with my idea...with the re-expression of my inspiration to be honest. Part of that need to be honest requires the need to be happy and the need to be sad without sparking any sort of concern from anyone. We are people pleasers...too often. There are so many instances that I can remember wanting to be honest about my feelings but worrying about how it would make other people feel. I was worried that I would worry someone. The truth is...the honest that sometimes life isn't pretty, and sometimes people aren't happy, and that doesn't mean we need concern or sympathy. I prefer the empathy approach. It requires common ground, rather than assumption and judgment. Empathy means: the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another. Rather than looking at my experiences and my expression of my feelings and feeling concern or some need to help me, I have more affinity towards those that are able to identify with me on an intellectual level, those that do not assume that I need help, but rather understand that we are all on a path towards greater self-awareness. My peace comes from lifting myself out of the holes that I happen to tumble down into. My peace also comes from the knowledge that my friends are always there, coaxing me along.

I have known powerful people. I have known beautiful men and women. I aspire to reach the same heights that they do. I do not ask for their sympathy. I ask for their inspiration.

If we are to be honest, we need to be able to do so without looking like a victim. I think there is often a guilty side of me that wishes to look like a victim, that longs for sympathy. However, when I finally rise up, out of the ashes of my defeat...or, rather, my side-step...with clenched fists, I want nothing more than to stand alone. To bask in the satisfaction of my success. There is peace in the knowledge that I have survived the storm. Diana and I spoke on the phone in May a few days after Liam and I broke up. We cried together, and Diana reminded me that the pain was good...that the pain was beautiful. And it is. It really is. We don't have to be victims.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Let's Start This Month!

DUDE! (I have recently reincorporated that term into my vernacular. It is the mark of Americanism) It is October! The best month of the year.

Much has happened in 2008. I spent the first five months of it in another country. I spent the next three months in a bathing suit and/or shorts, skirts, layers upon layers of sunblock, and pigtails (in other the Memphis Heat). I have spent the past couple of months running around (occasionally) like a chicken with my head cut off, but I'm getting my stride back. I can remember coming back from England and being so angry because I had a life before. I had a way of doing things, of being together and getting it done, but being in love and throwing caution to the wind had set me off my path. I have decided it is not such a bad thing, getting thrown off track. How do we live if not off the track?

I have made a few decisions about the future: I am responsible for the decisions that I make. I am also responsible for the feelings that I feel. It is such a weight off my decide to take responsibility for my actions and feelings. I am no longer pointing my finger. I am learning to love myself. I am also learning to forgive. I hope it lasts.

Remember that blog I wrote back in March? About wanting to be really honest and up front about things? I have decided that I need to do something about that. I recently spoke with an old friend at my high school reunion about the struggles that we have had since we graduated, about the differences and similarities in our paths. It reminded me of the article I read in the Guardian that inspired the blog in March. If you are interested in reading it, and you SHOULD be, here is a link: Inspiration, for free!

In any case. My conversation, along with this article got me thinking that it's time to DO something. I mean, I've been pretty honest about my experience, and I've gotten a lot of encouragement on the way to continue to be really honest about my experiences, encouragement from people that felt connected to my pain. Well. I think, it's time for us to start sharing. I don't know how to do this, but I'd like to start some sort of forum for women...and men, and just be honest about their experiences. Like...unabashedly, unashamedly...honest. What more can we offer each other than the truth? A safe place to tell the truth. This is my idea. A place to share...without fear...of any kind of judgment or ridicule. Read the article in the link. Tell me what you think...tell me what your reaction was, and if it was the same as mine...let's talk about starting a club...I'm down.