Midterm Week

Crashing and burning seems to be the theme of my semesters at UT Martin, and that’s usually halfway. That’s what happened with Math, the Ethics class, and the frickin Geology class. I keep overwhelming myself. I never learn. So I’m tackling this as hard as I possibly can. I’m not giving up. I’m annoyed, I’m tired, and I think I need a break from this babysitting job (because I’m getting paid sporadically, not at the end of every month, and I don’t want to be a dick cuz this is family, but A: Savings account is pitiful and B: Checking account is worse.) to fully gather myself.

I have decided that I want to move back to Chicago. I can’t afford it now, but I want to go back. I want to live in one of those nice apartments that cost 900 a month, I want to eat the food I like, freeze how I want to, and become the person I’ve always wanted to be. I’m tired of faking the “make do” of this life in TN. I think the last straw was being ditched Sunday for an SGI meeting, with everyone suddenly so sick and unable to get me.

I get it. I’m uninteresting and pathetic. But small town life has sort of done only two things: 1: made me binge eat out of emotions and boredom 2: encouraged my shopping addiction. I’m unhappy here, but it’s not like I have anywhere else to go. And just sitting here pouting sort of makes people pay attention to you.

This has inspired me to create some new goals to help finance my future move, as well as maintaining my wavering spirits. I have depended on the opinions of others, who have already judged me. I am looking to myself, now. My goals:

  1. To stay true to this Jenny Craig thing, on top of fitness, until I am able to plot out my own food plans. This starts with a goal of losing 20 pounds.
  2. To fight my cravings a lot better than I have.
  3. To combat the triggers (YES DAMN IT, I SAID TRIGGERS.) that usually drive me to binge: people hurting my feelings, stressing out, and fucking boredom.
  4. To complete my supernatural drama by the end of this year. I am tired of sitting on it.
  5. To actively save 1000 dollars in my savings account. Not touching it, not moving it around, not shaving off 40 bucks.
  6. To make a strong return to my poetry, as that’s the only way to curb my emotions. It’s raw, it’s gritty, it’s sad, self-absorbed, very Millennial, but it keeps me grounded and far away from being destructive.
  7. To take better care of myself, despite the crippling depression. This is not easy, but I refuse to toss away the amazing baby-faced genetics my family has given me.
  8. To practice, whether or not my so-called SGI family here in TN is willing to take me to Murray for meetings.
  9. To take the advice of people who have “climbed the mountain”, but have forgotten what the struggle is like with various grains of sand, salt, and mustard seed sizes of faith and whatnot. Some of it is sagely, but a lot of it is deadass judgement, and I usually seek support and solace, not the kind of “honesty” some people couldn’t gauge to save their lives.
  10. To return to video games, when I have the time.
  11. Not to “make do” because of this TN thing, but invest time in myself. “You’re here for a reason” rings in my ear, but my restless soul says “you were thrown here because nobody ever knows what to do with you”.
  12. To make my 30s what I want them to be, mixed with responsibility and challenges, but NOT what other people think they need to be. Getting a lot of mixed messages about this, but seeing so many people who are my age or in my range that were late bloomers too.
  13. To clap back and defend myself. Milktoast is not my name-o. This surprises people and they often put me in the wrong for defending myself, but who is the one who stepped on my tail? Riiiight.
  14. To stop chasing/checking for people who would rather give me silence and punishments than address me like an adult. I chase no one. Not anymore.
  15. To master roasting a chicken. Just to say I can.
  16. To continue to walk the imperfect path of loving myself.

The list is ongoing and ever-changing.

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February Frost

We–most of us–have a month or an event that becomes hard for us. As the years go by, maybe the hurt gets a little better, or you just learn to adjust. Or, like me, you either suffer in silence or burst onto the world, somehow.

February has always been a double-edged sword. In previous years, it was because of Valentine’s Day. Oh what, that commercialized thing that I shouldn’t care about? It’s awfully hard, when all you’ve ever gotten is pity gifts. It’s…kind of worse when you see endless adverts for what to get s0-and-so, and people are saying up and down “oh it’s just a holiday, I show him/her/them love all the time, sooo…”, but end up getting their boo something nice, or THEY get something nice. It’s kind of like you KNOW the whack to the head is coming. You see it, you hate it, you anticipate it. Meh. Anyway…

Me?

Usually in the corner, sigh of longing escaping my lips. Sad eyes, wondering when’s it going to be my time to get a gift. I mean, I LIKE HEARTS, OKAY? I like pretty hearts and campy candy. I like fuzzy bears and love mugs. I like cards. I’m a sappy yutz. You don’t have to break the bank, but for fuck’s sake–I love love. I don’t think V-Day is THAT bad. The USA is one consumerism machine, anyway. So we can’t act like we don’t like stuff. Maybe not ALL the stuff, but you like stuff.

The interesting (not really.) part is that for the exception of one beau/boyfriend/boo, I have had one pretty decent Valentine’s Day. He had to work that day, but eventually found the time to slip me a little white bear, some chocolate, and some good ass lovin’. I was TOUCHED. He was the only one, bless his curly-haired, Undertaker-loving self.

The rest of them?

“I don’t believe in this holiday.”

or

“It’s a commercialized [insert variation of what it is here]”,

And I’m sitting there all defeated, trying not to show it. Just agreeing, but not really. It made me feel like my worries and confirmations about not being worth it were true. Not even worth a campy gift? Oh dude, if he can’t go to Walgreen’s to at least try to throw some shit together, throw in the towel. NOW. What else won’t you be worth enough for?

Then I also felt bad and stupid for asking them what THEY wanted. Like a child, if you will. Here I am, all wide-eyed and idiotic, asking these non-believers what they want. How innocent, how basic, how…embarrassing.

I sort of did it again this past month.

When that old feeling came back–the stupidity feeling, the not feeling worth it thing, I started to ask myself why any of this mattered. Why I wanted a gift, beyond my love of hearts and shiny baubles. I didn’t need the entire world, but I just like celebrating holidays. I can give and get love at any time, despite very few people crushing or desiring me. And yes, I was right there with A–but even that was complicated.

I was already feeling like extended time with me sort of turned him off from me. Which…really branched off into some soft ass feelings. I didn’t want to keep bothering him with my feelings. He has so much going on. I’m…here, you know? But to chase him and hound him isn’t my style. It also felt stupid/pathetic/odd to be defending the holiday, let alone hinting I wanted something/wanted to give him something, and he’s so…not for it. It means nothing to him, but the world to me. Anyway….

It wasn’t about being selfish or ungrateful. He did a lot of nice stuff for me. I realized that maybe–like most moments after February 1988–I just wanted comfort. I wanted to forget that one of the worst days of my life happened the week of Valentine’s Day.

To be honest, I never knew the exact date until I read a program almost two decades later. I knew it was cold when she died. I knew my dad didn’t want to take me to the funeral. I have written about this before. Yet as I get older, smarter, and mature–I realize that what my dad says is true; you never really get over the hurt of losing someone when they die.

Listen.

I get that this day is crap to some people. I get that stores and websites pounce on it to get sales. I get it. I get that love should be given daily. Believe me–being a single loser idiot for so long gives you a lot of time to think. Trying to cope and pretend and adjust will do that too. I just wanted love, okay? It’s hard getting sad in front of all these people I live with. Which makes no sense, but I sometimes don’t want them to know I’m like this. That I am 31 and weeping for my mother, whom I barely remember. That holidays colliding with the week of her death mean something to me. That I have so many memories of pity gifts and family gifts, and held on to the entitled comfort that there would be more.

How dare I.

I will never ask for the moon. Just something nice. Just some consideration.

I spent a lot of time online trying to find other sad souls. Reaching out to them, saying something nice. I wanted to spread the love. I still kind of feel like…an idiot for having these mushy feelings.

Then, last year, something happened.

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This beautiful, loud, wiggly nugget of softness and perfection was born. I started watching her February 2016. I think this was the first year the loneliness wasn’t as bad as it used to be. It gave me hope. I always feel like I have so much love to give, but nowhere to put it. Or that I’m so repulsive or annoying that people don’t want it. Then Imani was born, and it became different.

Her birthday is the 4th of February. She will be one this year.

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I love her. It was instant. I don’t care if we are not blood related, she is my beautiful step-cousin. Loud, silly, and a little diva, but she is my heart.

That pain will not disappear. The embarrassment of liking what I like won’t go, either. I guess there will always be an innocent coping method within me. I don’t really like my birthday either, and sort of need to escape the fact that my grandfather died the day before it. But, you can’t escape it. You can only soothe the soul for a little while.

I don’t think I will ever be able to voice my defense of Valentine’s Day. I hated it for a while, too. Whole neighborhood full of men, rushing to get their girl something. My dad, rushing to get his girl something. He got some some candy too, but….I mean…I wanted romance. I like romance. I like giving people attention and care. I like getting it back. It’s been a while and maybe I’m rusty, but romantic affection is nice. I’m grateful for the gifts I have gotten, though. Can’t stress that enough.

I then realized that love comes in more than the lust and romantic forms. Perhaps that is what I wanted, but love is everywhere. Love is within me. It’s lonely sometimes, but maybe I need to look a little harder to find other people to love. What if they’re lonely just like I am, and don’t have the Internet?

Please don’t think I’m a selfish and needy person. Or that I need a lot of stuff to feel a certain way. I like stuff, but I like the concept of giving behind stuff. Maybe I want the kind of love my uncle and aunt have–imperfect, but so often it is in sync that the little things seem so big to me. I wish I had that.

When A tells me to slow down, it kind of makes me feel like I am going too fast. It’s just that I know what I want. I’m not trying to rush it, but I just want my hands on it. I don’t want to always silence myself. I want to show someone I care about them all the time–even on campy holidays.

I like camp, sometimes.

My mother was a Pre-K teacher, for crying out loud. Campy decorations were sort of her thing. She was sort of sensitive like me, so…yeah.

So I’m starting my own tradition. Party City and Dollar Tree–just get V-Day stuff. Enjoy it, like it. I’m not going to hint at wanting stuff. I’m not going to bring it up again once the topic has been put down. I’m going to enjoy my campy commercial thing. I’ll…sort out the moist feelings later.

Or, eventually….

Get more used to them?

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Anyway.

Love you, ma. Miss you.

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Jacked Up Wisdom

….Teeth

Long story here, short story now.

Lower left hand (not lower stage left. As in, lower left hand like the hand I don’t use to write) wisdom tooth has been coming in super slow for years. Decides one steamy July eve to begin what I can only call “bumpin”. As in aches, throbs, irritations, and the kind of you-know-what that makes me want to rip it out myself. It’s just one, not all four. The one on the right has been cutting too, but the left one has been the cutter with mild teething irritation for years in my late 20s.

So yeah, pain upgrades and I go see a dentist. Not my first, but the one who says “all four come out” vs “let’s see how it goes”. At the time of “Let’s see”, I was 28 and it wasn’t bothering me. I am 30, have an appointment on the 8th for gas and removal, and I’ve been taking two 650 mg pain killers every 5-7 hours since two weeks ago. I’m trading that in for soft food, upright sleep, and PLEASE PLEASE SOMETHING ABOVE 650 MG. Vicodin, yes?

None are infected or impacted, so that’s good.

I was already broke, but now I’m going to be even more broke, and called myself posting a fundraiser to help with the cost of my limited food regimen and medical apparatus I need, but people are better at signal boosting than…helping. Which is better than no boosts at all, and none of them owe me, but I’m seriously about to be out of 1 to 2k of bucks of money I already don’t have. Scared ain’t the half of it.

…From a Boomer to a Millennial, About Marriage

So while my body has been jolting me awake at 4AM to rinse and repeat the song and dance of food and pill, my brain has been mulling over this super sexist idea my dad came up with/believes about women who are unmarried at a certain age. I’m 30, past my 20s, and probably looking into my crazy cat lady and poetry life as we speak, so it GOT to me. I’m also a liberated womanist, so it DOUBLY got to me, because my “All-American Raised” dad has this idea that any woman over 40 who isn’t married/has never been married has something wrong with her.

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I get it. He was born in 1953 like a day after Lucille Ball’s son. So this whole idea of motherhood, wifehood, home maker-hood, and any other hood you can throw has been hard-wired into his head. For crap’s sake, digital media and digital apparatus have been singed into mine since the late 80’s, and Nintendo and Sony could wipe me clean if selling organs got me games. I get it. All generations have their….thing.

Still.

I get into this (respectable) debate with him about it all the time. I’M not married. With my luck with men and women, I might not even have a life partner. So what is he saying about MY potential future as a single woman? Some people don’t want to get married. Some people just…never do. There’s nothing wrong with them. A lot of people also have attitude problems that carry over, no matter WHAT kind of relationship they’re in. But the human experience shouldn’t be dwindled down and demeaned into this…thing where not being married–and this is usually geared at women–is a huge red flag.

He always refers to my cousin and her friend, his ex. And yes they are both the most flashy cops you’ll ever meet in Chicago, but they are also on their own terms sexually and relationship wise. My cousin’s friend wasn’t a match for dad because she likes to spend more than she makes. Which is…her problem, not his. My cousin is on an adjacent boat, but her “problem” is that she doesn’t keep a man “or know how to”, and I’m like….

wait….

What if she doesn’t want to? What if she has seen what marriage is like/can be, and decided that having fun is better than the risk?

What I hate is that dad is all “do you want to die alone”, and of course nobody does. But if marriage isn’t a part of my future, would you rather I force it? I could still be married and end up alone. I really don’t think there is anything wrong with being unmarried or just having a partner. And that’s not necessarily a “Millennial thing”. I’m tired of THAT, too. Everything free and liberal has to be “our thing” because we don’t follow the rules, like the Gex X folks followed all of them.

I guess it makes me mad/upset because it makes me feel like yeah, there is something wrong with me if I never get married. That all the things people like about me don’t mean anything, and that there is, again, this force that won’t allow closeness of any kind. I would be the exception in my dad’s eyes because I’m young (ish), and his kid. Yet facing all my old school friends and internet friends who ARE with someone, the idea of “something is wrong” is already there. Hearing it from a figure I admire just….makes it worse.

But then again he could be internally worried. He’s a Capricorn. Having him admit anything means it really bothers him or it’s a midnight hour deal. Considering how he feels about wanting grandkids and acting super weird when I tell him about the dating pool and relationships in this age, he’s probably beyond worried.

I guess I’m not worried enough?

The crippling embarrassment, moist poetry, and sadness usually cover it well.

Meh.

…About the Internet

Rule of  thumb, feed ye not the trolls.

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Another rule: Feed ye not the snooty asshole in the comment section of BuzzFeed’s video about whitewashing, because he’s a picky, irritating, smart ass purist. They’re everywhere and they know everything. Spare yourself the….everything. Mute notifications despite the maddening urge and the shaky hands.

Rinse and repeat, try not to get into a flame war at the age of 30. It’s bad. It’s on your Internet permanent record. You are NOT going to get published. You’d think after years and years of pushy boys on the adult swim forums, the cheezeburger political section, and YouTube in its early days, I would learn? Yeah.

Deepest sighs.