On Repeat

This catchy car jam, which I’ve been playing on repeat, reminds me of the R&B female vocalists I listened to as a kid. My music preference cycles. As a toddler, it was pop that I loved, songs by belly button-baring Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

By age eight, it was Ciara and Usher and Missy Elliot that I danced to with friends. We gyrated across gym floors, much to the dismay of our teachers. “Those dance moves are too sexy,” my teacher said. “What does she know about sexy?” I muttered to my best friend.

At eleven, a love for pop morphed into indie, (The Hush Sound) alternative rock (MakeDamnSure) and rap. My friends wore skinny jeans when skinny jeans weren’t in and styled their hair like anime characters, spiky in the back, layered on top.

Age twelve was both sensitive and taut, a year that bled of R&B Ray J, Ne-Yo, J Holiday, Kanye. This was our song. Together, we cried under trees.

By fourteen, it was rap that imbued my days. I remember the look on my friends’ faces as I rapped obscure lines to Nicki and Trey Songz right before a test. We passed dull days in Spanish by singing J. Cole. In the mornings, I played Kid Cudi to wake myself up.

Sixteen and seventeen hopped onto the indie pop train of Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine, Lana.

For a brief period in between eighteen, I listened to lots of G-Eazy. Then rap. The only thing that my crushes had in common were that they liked rap. Was I interested in them? Or was I interested in their taste in music?

Everything since then has bounced from one of the aforementioned genres to another.

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A New Chapter

I start graduate school in I/O Psychology in exactly one week!

For those who aren’t familiar with the field, a brief spiel:

When you think of psychology, you may think of mental health issues or counseling. But we often overlook the psychology and mental states of people who work. If you think about it, most people work–you probably work, your friends probably work, your family probably works. And maybe one of them has run into issues of, say, a bad boss. Or a toxic co-worker. Or lack of motivation. I/O Psychology addresses all of that. It addresses the daily psychology of people like you, me, your neighbor, your best friend’s cousin, of workers.

The field is relatively broad, and it overlaps with HR. Some go into recruitment and hiring. Others go into training and development. Others go into I/O psychology consulting.

I generally don’t feel inclined to explain the whole field to people–this was just something I told a parent about a year ago. Her friend, at the time, was working alongside the I/O department at a consulting field. She seemed very knowledgeable. My boss was also familiar with I/O and asked, with a bit of a twinkle in his eye, why I didn’t choose my alma mater for graduate school. That’s where the renown organizational psychologist resides, isn’t it? I said they didn’t offer the program, ironically.

As far as academics, I know I’ll be fine. At my alma mater, the grueling cold Ivy where people locked themselves up in libraries on weekends, I still overloaded from boredom and shaved a semester off. But the field of I/O Psychology, which I’m pursuing, is less saturated in academia and more so in practical, boots-on-the-ground application. So I’m steering my focus on relationships and practical experience. In my own time, I’ve been learning basic Python, because apparently, it’s incredibly useful to know.

All in all, I’m excited to start the program, to flip open to a new chapter in my life. It really does feel like that (it be like that sometimes). I’m nervous about juggling my schedule, but I know I’ll be fine. And finally, I can pursue the field of Psychology! I’ve spent years of my life poring over psychology books and studies, signing up for mailing lists at 11, memorizing researchers and days and conditions. Now I can pursue it–professionally and academically!

New Blog Layout, Hurrah

Why am I looking up psychology studies at 12:30 AM?

It’s hard to believe that graduate school starts soon. I’m nervous and in slight disbelief.

But I have energy and resolve and whatnot. The only thing I’m wary about is…transportation.

My blog has undergone a makeover. It’s small and minimalist now. I’m not even sure if it’s intended for reading. The old layout was just dull and littered with ads. That was driving me nuts.

These image-ridden posts are getting tiring. I’m going to opt for more of these brief, blank text posts.

That’s it for now. My mind draws a blank.

Weekend Trip

This past weekend was a good one.

We roll in after five and a half hours on the road. For the first half, I immerse myself in the bloated dialogue of Altered Carbon, pausing every now and then to contemplate the soothing country road.

Do you want to make a stop? Why not? We take our bathroom break in the crowded & glorified stop. It glitters and shimmers with clamoring families and fake lashes and bustling bodies. The last time we came here, about two summers back, the bathrooms were cleaner.

A few hours in, we find ourselves trapped in miles of stagnant traffic. We drive onto the parallel local road, cruise up a few miles, then stopped again, snail-crawling our way around a closed highway. On a Friday night. Afterwards, it’s dark. I don’t pay attention to the tolls on tolls, just the small screen in front of me.

Eat, sleep, wake. There’s a stork by the lake, a spider on the window. We down some coffee, eat fried rice, drive over to GameStop, then the grocery store, and then back. Video games, dreariness, chattiness, and then the FunPlace, with the slightly overpriced roller skating arena. We glide on the cold cream concrete floor. Except for one. I am terrified watching him hobble his way dangerously on skates. He leans forward, like he’s about to topple over, and every push is a tense one. After two hours, we go home, sweaty and tired.

Another grocery run. Barbecue. DJing and grilling by the lake. Time passes. Around dinner, we pop in for food and the match. It’s a nervous match, and we’re on the edge of our seats the whole time. Good bye. Good night. You are the king, and I am the queen. I am the king.

Next day’s one spent with small people. Dolls. Fashion show. Hide and go seek. I, the dedicated hider, decide to hide for 36 minutes under a box in the garage. I send riddles with hints buried in them. We resort to more and more desperate measures. Fence hopping. Backyard sneaking. But still, the other games go by relatively quickly.

We call it a night, and half play games, while the other half plays music. Eventually, I conk out, tired, until early the next morning, when we leave.

Tiny Catharsis

after I left, I realized that, well, in this life, we may make money, we may be successful, but who the hell cares if we’re not with the people we love? that’s what matters in this life—the people we love. we’ll die like everyone else, maybe leave behind a scrapbook or a few digital albums, maybe end up on Reddit’s oldschoolcool if we’re lucky, but that’s it: we’ll be dust. but if we’re by the people we love, it makes our time existing a lot more bearable.

7/7/19, 9:56 AM

writing in my journal feels like wringing out some soggy towel of thoughts and airing my brain out in the sun.

Tonight

This is us, scream shouting 2000s hip hop into the 55 mph summer wind. Kanye, POWER. Pop, lock, and drop it. Yeah! Usher. Lose Control. Snoop Dogg. Soulja Boy.

This is me, remembering some obscure Kanye and Missy Elliot lyrics, swooshing my belly around in the passenger seat.

This is you, bewildered but hitting all the notes, reaching the much needed baritone.

This is me, tipsy on life again (and again).

This is you, parking ever so slightly behind the other driver’s open window so they don’t see our flailing arms, our bellowing songs.

This is me, this evening’s hip hop DJ, tasting the first minute of every song until the hype has subsided.

This is us. And this is summer. (Finally.)

Cocoa Butter Kisses

Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap, new on Spotify, croons over the speakers. Cigarettes on cigarettes, my mama think I stank. And then a cloud of nostalgia envelops us both, summer hues of youth and stupidity. Me–I’m thinking of faces, cocoons, mixing purple, muggy sunsets, and cool friends (you were my cool friend). Him–probably a pop rocks memory type deal of bursting moments, but I don’t ask. It’s comforting to hear him sing to Chance. Their voices fill the car. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard Cocoa Butter Kisses, since it’s felt like anything.