Life Updates and Musings

img_3061Life is…good. My legs are sprinkled with mosquito bites from sitting by the lake. We went for a walk, or at least attempted to, this evening after driving around the city looking for tacos and ogling big houses. We wandered around the area, criss-crossed through neighborhoods, got back home just in time to see the sunset.img_4335

Yesterday we saw buffalo mulling by the street. So we parked right by them as cars whizzed by and put Kendrick Lamar’s King Kunta on blast and repeat. We snapped the buffalo (buffalo! Can you believe it?) Then we saw two ducks I swear flew over from my neighborhood, as well as a little bunny that stood frozen 15 ft away as he tried luring her in with mint gum.

All of which has been temporarily documented on my Snapchat. Even though Instagram stories has a wider audience, Snapchat feels more personal. I guess it’s mostly who’s in the audience that differs as well–Instagram includes high school acquaintances, college friends, friends from outside of school, etc. Whereas Snapchat’s mostly comprised of people I met in high school. The space within SC is smaller, but I feel like I can better be myself, or at least see others being themselves.

Anyways. Saw some friendios over the weekend: sipped boba with FS, danced and painted with AV. Seeing some more friendios this weekend. Well, tomorrow, then Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s mine. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them, but I miss ’em. So it’ll be good to catch up.

And work’s been fun as well. Going by incredibly quickly, might I add. I like it most when my co-workers are around–sometimes they’re busy or out of office, and then it’s a little drab and I drink too much coffee. But I’m really happy when the others are in and I can talk to them and attend little meetings here and there. I like having to do a good amount of work as well. I realize that, and I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing, I don’t often do things ahead of time. My bf does, and sometimes I’ll marvel at it. Like, I procrastinate. I get my shit done, and I usually do it quickly, but I generally don’t do it way before I need to. I mean, Adam Grant writes that procrastination can lead to greater creativity, so…let’s procrastinate! Kidding, but not really. I had a huge tendency to push all my long essays at the last minute, so I was cranking out ten pages the day it was due. No ragrets. Actually, no, I regretted it every time.

That’s just me being schooly. Speaking of which, a lot of people I knew in high school (I accidentally blurted out ‘hate school’ the other day when I told my bf to not talk about it. You know that phrase that you can hate with a fiery passion? I hated my high school environment with a fiery passion. I’m also tired of trying to explain the roots of fiery hatred, like I have to justify it with some sort of persuasive slideshow equipped with logos, pathos, ethos. Feelings are valid. That includes my fiery hatred. That I love everything else in my life only attests to the particular special hatred I have reserved for it)…have finished school.

It makes me wonder where they’ll go after. What they’ll do after. At my uni, there’s a huge pre-professional push. And as much as we bitch and moan about it, we end up producing a helluva lot of successful people. It’s the norm to have full time decent-paying jobs in big cities upon graduation (if not before). And then after, give or take ten years, they’re millionaires cruising down Wall St. or situated big tech companies or running blogs or news organizations I drool over because these people, they’re brilliant. I have a little pocket of pride that goes specifically towards my university. Alumni blow my mind; I’m quietly impressed by people who’ve been accepted, either into undergrad or grad. Like, I have some lowkey pride for my school. Did I always like it? No way. But am I proud to go there? Totes my goats.

It’s just a bubble, though. What about the rest of the world, people who don’t go to this particular university? What about friends or acquaintances who’ve only just graduated? Do they leap into full-time 8-5’s, the aspirational norm for my school’s grads? And is that as easy as people from my school make it seem? I mean, I don’t know. I’ll admit that I’m rather curious about where life’ll take these people, because according to the dry template of life, after graduation, we weave into those 8-5’s. That becomes the quilt of life. Even though I’m not doing the 8-5 at the moment, I’m really enjoying my work and job, so I’m not as afraid as I was a year or two ago.

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Also. Last thing, I know this is getting rather long. I started an account documenting my past few years in university. I’d found a whole bunch of ticket stubs, news clippings and letters that I kept. The sentimental chunk in me (it comprises a big part) decided to make a scrapbook, but also start up a digital account to share images and updates with people who made those years as dope as they could possibly be. I made a scrapbook in high school, but it was a lie. I knew it was a lie when I made it. And, years later, the rose-colored goggles of the past can’t deny: it was a lie. Surprisingly, you can have happy moments in a shitty place you can’t wait to leave. We had to write some sort of letter, essay-explanation that looked back on our years then. I started with the quote:

Can I be frank? I fucking hated that place and even now, can’t fully explain why. The only conclusion I can come to is that something that’s good for one person might not always be good for another. Maybe someone else thrives in an unchanging environment filled with the same people in the same buildings for ten plus years, but by God, I cannot. I did not. I need stimulation, new people, weird challenges. I want opportunities to be spontaneous and impulsive, to try new things. Every few months, I want to get up and go, venture into the city, fly to another state, drive somewhere I’ve never been. To have been cooped up in some building for that long–what a joke. The people were nice, but that scrapbook was a lie. I did not have as good of a time as I looked. I do a lot of mental surgery to disassociate current friends from that place. But sometimes I fail. And so I seethe at them, even those who made things bearable.

Spitting fire doesn’t make me the life of the party, I get it. This’ll offend the first person who sat next to me in sophomore history. But writing this out, even if it outdated or bitter or crusty, is therapeutic in it of itself. Like talking about something that makes you uneasy, that’s why writing about this does. It releases, it rids. And even though life is the best I could have ever imagined it–no, I don’t think I could have even imagined this, and that makes it better–I’ll note that this is still here, the disbelief that I was in an environment I found to be so goddamn shitty. Subjectively speaking, of course.

See, right now, I’m so happy. With my relationship, my friends, my family, my school, my job. But even amid all this happiness, knowing that yes, looking forward did take me to a fun-tastic future, I sometimes still feel clouds of resentment looming. And instead of feeling exasperated having to explain it to people who give me weird looks for my fiery hatred, I’m just going to air it out, let it be. Write about it. Be ridiculously frank about it. In retrospect, I don’t know why I needed others’ understanding of my feelings to validate them. If there’s anything I picked up in college, it’s that you’re better off not seeking validation; we all live in our own little bubbles, anyways. It makes the feeling of understanding all the more richer. When somebody understands, really understands, or at least tries to, it’s like striking gold. Really.

Anyhow. This turned out to be a far longer “musing” post than I anticipated. Largely stream of consciousness. Since I haven’t been writing much in the past few weeks, this feels like a relief I can’t even put into words. But I guess I already did.

Last Night

I looked at a trash can strewn and crooked and swore it was art. Saw shadows from fanning lights and searched for the source. Thought things like how can this be? and how am I here? and I’m glad everything just is. But I kept these things to myself until I realized, in steady sobriety, that this was reality. That this was the nighttime. That this was the glittering town spread beneath our legs as strands of my hair swirled around free and one star peered down at us stories up above the ground. Sometimes I still don’t really believe it.

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SOFT and blurred and strange like urban carbon decay. i remember

  • that year I skipped the haunted house to instead count lonely days
  • and periods of my life measured by eyeliner type (from chalky to waxy to dark and smudgy)
  • on bad nights I’d tally them up on a sticky note by the light switch that stood by a doodle of a pink cat with an arched back with a perplexed face that asked: why so sad?
  • that my project looked happier than i felt and photos belied my true sentiments and only what i wrote was honest
  • and the things i painted were honest, too, like the black poster-size painting of what loneliness felt like even though I was surrounded by scathing, laughing, faces, faceless faces I’d forget as soon as I turned away
  • it felt like it’d be forever before I ever returned, that the walls were white and it’d be the last night (but not for long)
  • I wished to move forward. I wished to leave. I asked: am I unhappy in the present because I live in the future, or do I live in the future because I am unhappy in the present?
  • both. the present was shitty in the most pleasant way possible, and looking forward was escapism.

in retrospect, i had something (many things) to look forward to, and it’s here and it’s now. god, i know it’s cliche, but if only i could pause life right now, keep things just as they are….life, stay still. you are good, better than good, fingers-crossed things won’t change.

Free to Be

The other day I sat in a hot car for too long, maybe five hours, and by the end of those five hours felt a sort of exhausted bitterness wash over me- like my body was drained and my arms were heavy and I was irritated, irritated, irritated. I wondered for a moment why it felt so familiar. And then I remembered that that was how HS had felt like. Every day, by 3:45 PM, when I was bored out of my mind, sedentary as a sequestered squirrel, I’d feel that same five-hour-long-trapped-in-a-car heaviness. But now I can let my hair down and sprint across fields and speed across highways and go to the bathroom without raising my goddamn hand. I feel free in the simplest of ways.

Attempts to Journal, Pt. 1

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

We wore matching clothes today: bright yellow tops that ultimately looked ridiculous together. We tried to get a friend to wear yellow as well–we’d loosely planned to meet and go to an art show–but alas, plans fell through. It’s okay, though. ’twas still a good day.

God, I used to write journal entries like this all the time. I’d come home from school and go straight to the computer where I’d write and write and write. I’d write about the stupidest things, things I’d never care to remember the next day or month or year. I’d write things like, we each had baked potatoes for lunch and then made wild chants upon finishing them. Life’s a million times more interesting now than it was then. Ironically, though, I don’t feel the need to write about it as much. Or even record it. But it could just be a momentarily lapse in obsessive life-recording.

Anyways. Where was I? Right. Journaling. I’m trying to get back into it.

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Started and finished Chewing Gum on Netflix in about three days. It’s kind of hard to describe how utterly weird it is–it’s cringey in a do-I-laugh-or-cry? sort of way. And it’s so absurd that it catches you off-guard multiple times in a funny discomforting way. My best friend didn’t like it much, but the Internet’s raving about Chewing Gum. At first I didn’t get it, thought it was strange and foreign, but then it grew on me. Next thing I know, I’m imitating the hilariously uptight little sister who’s religious and shrieks a lot.

It’s quirky. But, y’know, I like weird, I like quirky.

Now I’m trying to get into Stranger Things. I’ve watched about an episode and a half, haven’t gotten too far. It reminds me a lot of the video game Beyond Two Souls–from the (Spoiler alert!) government-rooted shapeless evil blob to the hunted protagonist girl with short brown hair and supernatural powers. Update: turns out I’m not alone in drawing the parallels.

Good Ol’ Days Are Now

There is a moment in Bojack Horseman, an adult cartoon I recently finished, where one of the characters goes: I wish we knew when the good ol’ times were when they were happening so we could enjoy them then.

I have an odd little feeling that this might be one of the happier times in my life, and that I’ll miss it. I can’t say for certain–I can’t go into the future and look back to nostalgically decide how happy I was, but I am. Happy, I mean. Happy with the people in my life, happy with what I’m doing, happy to be where I am. I was pretty happy in… December, and then from February to April. Dipped into some weird existential haze come summer 2016, which would have been a sublime time to have watched Bojack Horseman. Instead I meandered aimlessly, sinking in sweaty bony skinniness and devouring Marukami, who made everything feel dreamlike.

Bojack would have been ideal to watch in the summertime. I’ve just finished all three seasons, rationing out episodes to one per night (generally around 2 in the morning). In terms of content, it’s deep, but doesn’t seem it at first glance. It’s little like treading into a pool that steepens from 3 ft to 6 ft: before you know it, the water’s up to your chin. The show is, to put lightly, dark, which is unsurprising given that Bojack’s depressed, mired in self-loathing, and manages to fuck up all his relationships. Yet it isn’t just a sad show: it’s funny, it’s clever, it’s deep and it’s strange. It’s whimsical. It’s meaningful. And it’s beautiful, in a weird funny way.

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Ironic to be watching such a sad show when I feel, in general, pretty upbeat. I guess it temper things, evens them out. At any rate, I’m grateful for the up’s in life, and if this does happen to be the ‘good ol’ times’, I’ll try my very best to savor the here and now. (This is my cheesy spiel)

Day One

My best friend and I, we’re both really sentimental and revisit our friendship stories every time we’re feeling giggly (or, in this case, sad).

Like the time I approached her while she was eating a bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich outside of our first math class. Or the time she sat me down over frappes and demanded a committed friendship, firmly stating that we would not be “Monday-Wednesday-Friday lunch friends.” Or how I was initially terrified of the eight-missed-phone-calls and attempted to flee but ultimately failed. And how, on March 2nd, she said we were best friends. I choked up a little bit, tried to wave it off, was a bit flabbergasted. She was flabbergasted at my being flabbergasted–“what? Did you think we were acquaintances? We hang out all the time, eat together, go to class together, have sleepovers–how are we not best friends?”

I’ll admit I’m always alarmed to realize how much I and others care for each other. That was convoluted. But basically it takes an explicit verbal statement, “you mean a lot to me” (and vice versa) for me to realize that ah! yes! indeed, we mean a lot to each other.

Obligatory Appreciation Post

I like blogging on WordPress because–

of you. And you, and you, and you. Imagine I’m Tyra Banks and I’ve handed out little diamond-studded containers of Vaseline and I’m screaming “you get Vaseline and you get Vaseline and you get Vaseline!”

Except instead of Vaseline it’s appreciation. And I appreciate you. And your eyeballs. For reading this.

WordPress is fun because of the community. Because I get to hear your ‘thoughts’ and word-vomit some ‘thoughts’ back. When we blog and comment it’s like we’re all sitting in a little circle and standing up to do our own tiny monologues and then offering nice feedback. Right. This is like a really encouraging theatre class.

So there’s my nugget of gratitude for you and for my favorite bloggers and, well, yeah. You know who you are. I’m really happy I joined WP this summer.

Mellifluous

Class got cancelled unexpectedly; on the walk back, I wandered into the piano lobby. There’s a song I’ve been listening to, Vanilla Twilight, that has a really beautiful melody. It’s by Owl City, an outdated band I haven’t really listened to since I was twelve and meditating on fields and spouting things about sunsets. But the song’s stuck with me for years because it’s sad and pretty and meaningful.

So I played that by ear, and it was surprisingly easier than I thought it’d be. The song sounds rife with minor notes and I’m rustier with minor black keys (couldn’t tell you if it were sharp or flat, just that it’s some sort of minor). It was mostly major notes. Simple melody. And the chord progression was predictable, too. In retrospect, maybe that’s why I find the song beautiful over a period of time, because it adheres to the magical unsaid rules of predictable melody.

A boy named Bryan stood behind me for a few minutes while I was talking with my friend at the piano. I turned to him, figured he wanted to play. He said that he just wanted to tell me that the piano-playing was beautiful. I thanked him, and then he swiped back into the building. It was kind of him to say and made me really happy.