Monthly Archives: May 2012

Function

My apartment looks like it houses a person with mental illness. A hoarder, or something. There are piles of clothes everywhere. 

I came back from Central America feeling like I have to get rid of all of this STUFF. I have so much stuff. I have so many clothes, and nowhere to put them. I have so many dishes, and nowhere to put them. Couches, tables, a giant pink victoria’s secret shoe (which I NEED)–I have all this STUFF and nowhere to put it. And every time I go home, my mom sends me with a box of something from my childhood, which just adds up to more stuff. It’s overwhelming; I have to get rid of all of this STUFF, but how? I am not strong enough to get this furniture OUT of my place. And even the thought of putting all of these clothes into trashbags to give to Goodwill is overwhelming because first of all it’s mainly just like T-shirts and clothes with tiny holes in them–who would even want that? And then, what store would I go to? And do I even own enough trashbags?

 

And that’s when I start to question why these fairly regular tasks are so insurmountable to me. Why is it so hard for me to do regular, functional things like keep a house I wouldn’t be ashamed to invite folks to?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-iC-irllqY

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losing your shoes is like…

losing your shoes is like losing your panties: 1) why were they off in the first place and 2) there is definitely more to this story…

Womanhood, Manhood and Arbitrary Self-Definition

Womanhood, Manhood and Arbitrary Self-Definition.

Womanhood, Manhood and Arbitrary Self-Definition

There is someone very close to me who is struggling to figure out what it means to be a man. A black man, specifically. He is approaching his mid-twenties, and his relationships with his family are strained. He did not get the guidance he needed in a sufficient amount as he was approaching and passing the critical ages where one begins to define oneself. As a result, now, he has molded himself into what he thinks it means to be a black man based on the very negative environments where he has encountered them. 

Nightmarish, indeed.

And we who love him and haven’t given up on him are left wondering whether this can be undone; whether or not it is too late to deconstruct the image of the black man as he understands it and separate what he thinks it means (fighting; aggression; anger; drugs; alcohol abuse; thugging) from the fact that no matter what it means, this meaning is arbitrary as it pertains to a person defining himself.

I was laying here tonight, in bed, freaking exhausted from Guatemala, thinking about this young man, when it hit me that just as he thinks that being a black man means being angry, violent, indolent, etc., I think that being a woman means having a man. That is how I define womanhood. Whenever I encounter a man and fail to make him love me, I don’t see it as que sera sera, I see it as a fundamental failure in my foundation as a woman; someone will be around shortly to collect my vagina.

But,

If I can look at this man, who I love so much, and see that the definition of the black man that he is trying to emulate is completely arbitrary (besides very damaging),

is it also possible that this definition of womanhood that I’ve gathered and imprinted on my heart and self-esteem, that a woman is someone who can always get any man, is equally as arbitrary (and also pretty damaging)?

Yes.

I think I will have to work on redefining my womanhood as it pertains to me, and I will have to divorce that definition of men. And although this may seem nigh-impossible, seeing as how the woman-man dichotomy has been emphasized everywhere for generations, this does not make it any less arbitrary. Just as how stereotypes/images of black men as angry, violent, aggressive, indolent have been around for generations and are also completely arbitrary as they pertain to how one individual young man struggling to figure out who he is in this world defines himself. 

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Sometimes I feel like, ra…

Sometimes I feel like, rather than being simply chaotic, that I actually AM chaos; like I am a living, breathing process of entropy…

Killing time on my last night in Central America

Well,

Before reading this entry, you{ll have to forgive me if there seem to be random signs where stuff like apostrphes would normally be–keyboards in Central America are different and I haven{t figured out how to access the regular oi apostrophe.

Anyway,

Mi compañero has a guest in our room, so I am chillin outside on this here hotel computer killin time on my list night in Central America. What an experience. What a chance to observe both myself and the world.

One thing I have learned about the world is that black people and Guatemalans eat exactly alike. There are so many fried chicken chains down here. Even the McDonalds and Burger Kings serve it (P.S. and BTW I definitely tried the McDonalds fried chicken–it tastes exactly like what fried chicken from McDonalds would taste like; take that as you may). Also, like black people, Guatemalans put ketchup on anything. And I swear to goodness one night while waiting in a bus station, my friend ordered eggs and hot dogs and I ordered cup noodles. I just had to shake my head and laugh because I had a Salvadorian-Honduran friend in high school who told me that hispanic people don{t like black people and I couldn{t stop thinking why the heck not–they{re just alike.

So that{s what I learned about the world. What I learned about myself is that you really cannot run from yourself. Whatever it is that a person is dealing with inside is going to roll with them like carry on luggage–i swear to goodness, since I{ve been in central America I{ve found myself attracted to both a man who was in love with another woman and a mooch. You can{t escape you, man.

I{m really disappointed that I didn{t get to make out with the man who was in love with another woman though–he was freaking hot.

That{s it for now. I is sleepy, and I gots to get up at 4 a.m. to catch this here flight.

Also, if anyone{s interested in L2 transfer, I got to observe firsthand both as a second-language learner and observer the way that L2 grammar can influence L1 sentence structure during the acquisition period.

Lingustics say whuuuuutttt??!!

……

that{s OK. Nobody ever says whuuuutttt when it{s linguistics haha

Looking for my life to change

In fewer than 24 hours, I will be on a plane to Guatemala. If  When I come back, hopefully everything will be different. And I do mean hopefully. Thanks for finally acknowledging that, AP