15.9.12

growth

I have not written in this blog for so long. There's probably good reason for that.

Let me explain what is happening right now, at least.

It's 6:50 on a Saturday morning. I've been awake for about an hour now. "The girls" came over last night (I am becoming more and more of a typical American girl every day now) and my roommate had us all do tequila shots. When tequila hits my brain, I go to sleep within an hour or so. I fell asleep before the party even started.

And so I woke up at 5:50, surprised, a little upset with myself, but pleased with the opportunity for solitude. I've emailed my boyfriend, read through this old thing, putzed around the internet, gotten a glass of water. It's so funny to read the things that I've written here. And so sad, too, to be honest. I was in a bad space for a long time. Things feel different now. I know what caused the change, too. So here is an entry in this silly old blog about why I don't feel many of the things I wrote about in it.

First of all, Viktor Frankl was right. Having purpose and meaning in one's life is really the only reason to keep pushing through, especially when that purpose and meaning involves others. This job has given me that sense of meaning. I now feel like I have a cause to which I can dedicate myself. The vast separation of urban black America and suburban white America is the civil rights movement of our time. (I know, I know, gay marriage...but seriously, come to Detroit, and I'll show you why I prioritized it.) I want to keep working on this issue once my term is up here. I'm not sure how, of course, but I finally have a real fire in my belly. Yes, I loved music, and yes, I'm a little sad that I've pushed it out of the center of my life, but music is so selfish sometimes. I have to sit alone for hours on end writing, and although that appeals to me, the amount of good done for others per hour is significantly lower than what I'm doing now. You dig? And who says any music I write would have made any difference anyway? This way I know I'm doing something impactful for sure.

The other thing that has changed are my relationships. I am in love in a much more real way than seventeen-year-old me could ever have imagined. It blows me away sometimes to listen to him speak and realize just how well-suited we are for each other. And the way he looks at me. I don't think I have ever been loved this much, in this way, in my life. (I throw in the "this way" caveat in order to protect my mother's interests as being the one who loves me the most, in a mom-way.) I spend time with him whenever possible. Sometimes he comes over entirely to sleep, because both of our days have been long and our schedules don't always match, but it feels good to wake up to each other. He loves me more than I love myself most days, and that's okay. I love him more than I can articulate.

My friendships also fall under the category of changing relationships. I think I am figuring out what I want out of friendships. (Mainly, mutual respect, understanding, and a similar worldview.) I only have the time and energy for a select few friendships, so it is a process for me to weed out the ones that will tap my reserves only to leave me with nothing in return. I like the friends I have now. I have a good boyfriend, good roommates, a few good co-workers, and a few good old friends that I keep in touch with. And that's all I need, really.

I think I might try to go back to sleep for an hour or so in order to wake up with the crowd. I haven't written in so long, though - this feels good. Maybe I'll be back soon.

26.2.12

lightweight

things I like:
whiskey, peas, disappearing sometimes

things I am learning to like:
white russians, mushrooms, staying awake and involved until most members of the party have disbanded





it is still easier for me to talk to people in groups of 2-5 than anything bigger than that. but I am learning. thank god for good friends. and good extroverted friends.

20.2.12

heartbreak.

one of my (favorite) kids got arrested for having a loaded gun in school.

I have a lot of feelings about this. I have a lot of anger about his choices, about his situation, about his neighborhood and about the whole state of urban america in general. I have a lot of sadness for him, his family, and his friends. I have sadness for myself; I have lost a mentee. it is so strange. I wrote him a letter and I'm going to work on finding a way to send it to him. it would be nice to keep in contact.

it's just so sad. this didn't need to happen. three hours before his arrest we had a conversation about his life and how he felt that nobody understood him, how he felt lonely, how he was so excited to talk to me because I actually listened and he didn't really have other people who did that. and maybe if we had had that conversation a few days earlier this wouldn't have happened, you know? but that's not how it works. no, it's never how it works. you just get what you get and wondering why doesn't help.

ugh ugh ugh.

this job, man.

they told me it would be hard, but I didn't expect it to be hard like this.

15.1.12

because I need to start writing about this.

we are two people in a single bed, lying to ourselves and saying that it's comfortable. we wake up in the morning full of backaches and smiles. he has discovered that, perfectly positioned, his face can make fart sounds in my armpit. we laugh and laugh. we make eggs, toast, tea. we wake up slowly, me more so than him, and he reminds me that, in the morning, I constantly look like a cat who has found a stash of catnip. and I do.

he puts on music and I dance, awkwardly, unabashedly. there is no reason to be nervous or embarrassed, even in the most ridiculous moments. there never has been. he lets me know that I am silly, hangs his head in faux incredulity, smiles faintly. I kiss his cheeks, freshly-shaven. we are happy.

there is so much snow. I was going to go back to my apartment. I was going to shower, to clean, to lead a productive day. we sit and read. we watch dr. strangelove. we look out the window. more snow. we prepare canned vegetable soup ("I ate so much of this in college. my bloodstream must've been full of sodium") and grilled cheese ("I wish I had nice cheese to make fancy grilled cheese." "maybe if you mixed the mexican cheese and the cheddar together, it would seem like it?") and he shows me how to use non-stick spray. we talk about foods we never ate growing up; foods we ate too much of growing up. we talk about growing up.

our families are startlingly similar in some ways, but different enough to keep talking about. both sets of our parents are divorced. we each have a parent with too many siblings. we each understand the kind of upbringing the other had, why it makes us the way we are, why we have not had a fight in the four months we've been dating. why we will not have fights. (hopefully.)

we sit on the couch together and read. every once in a while one will reach over to touch the other's knee, arm, thigh, hand. sometimes we make eye contact and kiss. sometimes I lean on his shoulder. sometimes he leans on mine. we are quiet. we are happy.

tomorrow we will sit on the couch and read the new york times. he will take the news. I will sift through, finding whatever grabs my attention, less dedicated with keeping up with anything. I will not have showered in 36 hours and he will not mind, or at least not let on. he will have showered twice since I came over. I will not have left the night before, partially due to the snow, partially due to laziness, mostly due to the fact that I don't feel like going back without him. but I will need to go back to take that shower.

we will leave, come back to my place. our friends will be there, as they always are, watching football and cooking and laughing. we will read a little more, I will pretend to watch football, he will add clothes to my pile and I will do laundry and try to clean. we will talk about books and complain about having to go back to work ("the weekends go too quickly." "everything goes too quickly").

but for now, we are on his couch, reading. everything is quiet. the apartment is cold but we make each other warm. we are happy. we are happy. I am happy.