Monthly Archives: November 2012

Now that I have my M.A.

I passed Orals!!!

Now that I have my M.A. (in two weeks), it really frees me to develop my hobbies. Like judging the s#*t out of everyone on howaboutwe.com (myself not included of course).

xoxo,

Mistress bryoneyh

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Ambitious people move on

Spending the holiday alone is not for the feint of heart.

Of course, I wasn’t “alone” alone…I spent quite a bit of time with good friends.

Still, because I didn’t go home to my family, and because we were off from school and work since Wednesday at noon and because I have been spending an inordinate amount of time shut away in my apartment poring over books in preparation for orals,

I sort of spend this holiday alone.

And that is not for the feint of heart.

Spending a family holiday more-or-less alone really puts you in contact with yourself. Especially when you’re in a quiet study environment. Things catch up to you that you didn’t even know you were running from just because it’s either contemplate life or make these phonology charts…and procrastination over everything.

For me,

It’s put me face-to-face with the notion of moving on.

It’s funny how it’s so easy to move on….outwardly. And yet have no idea how to move on inwardly.

Inside,

I’m a clutcher. My heart is wrapped so tightly around people and experiences and failures, even years after I have stopped speaking about them and even stopped thinking about them.

When I was in undergrad, I tried to get into my school’s graphic design program. Without getting into all the reasons why this was a really ill-conceived idea for me (for example the fact that art/design had never to that point been something I’d done with great practice), let me just tell you about how long I dwelled on the fact that I didn’t get in.

Even after I realized that being a graphic designer required a level of detail and patience that I found to be extremely frustrating (…and then I went to grad school for Linguistics, go figure)

Even after I went on to take another class (the art of bookmaking) that I found to be fantastic and refreshing and creatively stimulating

Even after I found a job that actually allows me to apply what limited skills I did end up garnering in graphic design,

I still held onto that experience of failure.

For years.

And the way I know this is not that I think about it all the time. It’s in how I think about it when it does cross my mind. With a sense of defeat.

Last night I was talking to one of my best friends from childhood, and I was telling him that it sucks because people move on and I don’t, and he quite simply said that ambitious people move on. And that if you don’t move on, you’re lost.

I didn’t like that. We were g-chatting, so I replied with a :\ and then quickly moved to cover it up. “Yeah, you know, I used to didn’t move on but now I do because I found me” etc. etc. etc.

And I almost convinced myself of that, until today, when an experience with someone from my past showed me an area of my heart that was still quite bitter, even after years, even after not speaking about it, even after not thinking about it, even after thinking that I meditate now and it’s cool; I’ve learned to let things go.

But moving on outwardly is different than moving on inwardly, which I guess is the reason why outwardly ambitious people can still be so lost sometimes.

I don’t know how to move on inwardly. I guess, as with all things, awareness is the first step?

Loving someone who doesn’t love you back

Loving someone who doens’t love you back won’t kill you,

It will just make you want to die because it’s just AWFUL,

really,

Just awful.

But then slowly, after an amount of time that you think is waaaaayyy too long,

that person will begin to fade from your consciousness

and you will begin to recover the will to live

until finally you only think of them on occasion,

and in passing,

and only as it relates to you,

like “Gee, I wonder if so-and-so ever thinks of me.”

Until the holidays.

When you start to get sentimental

and someone brings something up

and then you dream about them again

and you wake up and they’re on your mind

and you ignore it for a few days but it doesn’t go away

until finally you facebook stalk them because even though you know you don’t want to see what’s on there

you just think that maybe seeing it will quiet your brain

which doesn’t work,

because it seems like they are with someone now

while you’re just facebook stalking them an inordinate amount of time after yall have ended

and then you remember that they didn’t love you back

so you decide you can’t sit at home any longer,

and you pull it together and go out,

but you’re still half thinking of them and half putting into practice all the buddhist teachings you picked up in the last year to get over them which tell you to be kind to yourself; to notice these thoughts; and to let them go on their own,

until you talk to one of the people who were truly there for you when you were curled into a fetal position in your bed for days wondering how you could face a life where that person didn’t love you

and you tell the person you’re talking to what you saw on the facebook and how you think they never think of you and how frustrated you are that all this time has passed and you’re still thinking of them

and then person you’re talking to just tells you that everyone gets sentimental around the holidays,

and anyway it sounds like that person is still dealing with the same issues of only wanting people who give them a hard time

and at least they sound unhappy,

and even though you know the person you’re talking to was joking about that last part,

it’s what you tell yourself every time those thoughts creep back in,

and it works.

and they fade from your consciousness again.

 

 

Some things I don’t understand

I have been labeled “smart” my entire life, and without getting into the details of why I think that “smart” is not a very accurate label for what people are seeking to describe when they call a child smart (sharp, bright, curious, attentive, perceptive, precocious are all better labels in my opinion), I have pretty much accepted myself as a “smart” person (at least in the sense that I can memorize and regurgitate information in a manner that gets me As–and some B+s, to my chagrin).

Still, over time and my interactions with people, I have noticed that there are some things about simply functioning in the real world that my brain just does not cognitively process. I truly do not understand:

1. Mail.

I don’t get it. I don’t get why there’s so much of it. I don’t get why they send it every day. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it when I get it. I don’t know where to put it. I can’t keep the fact that it exists as something valid and important in my mind long enough to open it but if I do open it and it is actually valid and important and not a tree-killing coupon book then I still immediately forget it exists while at the same time putting it somewhere in my apartment where it manages to multiply on its own.

Yet I’ve been to other people’s homes and they almost never seem to be overrun with mail. Why is this? How do people handle mail?

2. The accumulation of stuff in general.

This pretty much harkens back to the mail thing. Listen. My whole apartment complex, which is like 16 units, are all one bedroom, and I’ve been in two of my neighbors’ places. Their apartments, which are all similar to mine in size and layout, possess a very reasonable space-to-stuff ratio.

Then there’s my place, which is just crammed with stuff. I don’t get it. How do people manage to not have all this stuff? Even stuff like clothes….I have probably literally one zillion pieces of clothing. I give away bags of it like every couple of months yet I always have one zillion items of clothing. Where does it come from? How do I make it so that I don’t have it?

3. How anything in my possession eventually gets destroyed

People keep things for years. This is a fact. And yet, anything in my possession begins to immediately undergo a process of destruction. This also seems to be a fact. Pieces of my lap top fall off regularly. I wish I were making this up. It’s expensive and weird and unnerving. I don’t know how to not destroy stuff.

It sucks.

4. How to both answer texts and interact with the people in the room

Seriously. My brain does not know how to do this. If I am texting you back, I am alone. That’s a fact. Because I don’t know how to both answer texts and converse with real people in real time. I cannot hold those two thoughts in my mind; I will not answer the text. Because if I do, then I will totally disconnect from the people in the room. It’s so weird. I’ve been around other people as they both used their phones and interacted with me. It seems seamless. Sometimes I don’t even notice they’re using their phones. I can’t split my attention like that. I just can’t.

So anyway, those are some things I just don’t know how to cognitively process.

Good night.

Soon I’ll have to start lying about my age

Yesterday as I was getting my feast on at my practicum’s Thanksgiving Potluck, the topic of ages came up. I was about knee deep in turkey, the Saudi Arabian national dish and some kind of Japanese pork pancake thing (ah-MAZE), but I still tuned in to the conversation.

One woman, who looks super young, asked how old another teacher was. When they said the teacher’s age, she mumbled, “Damnit. Everyone’s younger than me.”

When two other teachers revealed themselves to be 26, I piped in, saying that I’m 26 too.

One of the teachers goes “Really? I thought you were younger than that.”

Thinking about how that comment made me feel still gives me chills. It was so generous. 

I can’t quite remember when it began to happen, but I’m getting to the point where I’m not being ID’d for things anymore. On the one hand, it’s useful (because sometimes my ID is in my other purse). On the other, it’s like……..”so what are you trying to say?”

Which, I said all of that to say,

I don’t like being 26.

Seriously.

My mind doesn’t know where to put it. People are still like “oh, you’re still so young,” but I’m starting to feel the pressure of time. Not that I ever didn’t feel it, bit there was a time when I could tell myself “it’s not a big deal. I’m still really young.”

Now, though, I mean……I’m still young……but I’m not really young enough to use youth as an excuse. And I feel like I’m at the age where I really need to start establishing what type of life I want for myself and moving toward that life in a tangible way. 

I’ve been doing a lot of Self searching lately because I’m coming to the end of my degree and I’m kind of at a fork in the road in terms of paths, and I’ve got to choose which path to take. I’m pretty sure I’ve made my decision. It’s been hard because at 26 I’m starting to feel like I’m running out of time to find myself and wanderlust and then come back and start my life. 

At the same time, though, the route that I chose to wanderlust is in teaching English and, full disclosure (now this stays just between you and me), teaching English to support my travel lifestyle is not my Ultimate Dream.

My Ultimate Dream is and has always been to write. Plain and simple. It was my Ultimate Dream when I was 5; it was my Ultimate Dream when I was 15; it was my Ultimate Dream when I was 25; and it’s my Ultimate Dream now.

I want it so bad I’m afraid to pursue it because I’m afraid to fail at it. So I keep pursuing…not it. Teaching English….adjacent to it…but not it. I’m starting to understand more and more the importance of believing in yourself when it comes to your dreams because at the end of the day you are the one making the choices. And you’ve got to believe in yourself enough to make the choices that will allow you to build toward your Ultimate Dream. And that is terrifying, because if you fail at the one thing that your heart has been telling you to do since you can remember….well then what?

I guess you go teach English overseas. 

 

it’s either racism or complete idiocy

Dear Texas and the people from the other 19 states who have petitioned the White House to secede because of “economic policies,”

I have someone I’d like you to meet.

Now, you probably won’t like him much. He’s pretty wise and he doesn’t say things that people want him to say. People sometimes twist his credible reputation to make themselves seem more reputable, but if you talk to him directly, you are pretty much always going to get the truth.

His name is Math.

And as is plainly discussed in the video below, he pretty clearly states whose policies are responsible for the deficit.

Hi, I’m Math

…so tell me again why yall wanna secede?

…and I don’t even miss drinking

Tonight I went line dancing with my friend A.

And we. had. a. BLAST.

Seriously,

It was so fun.

Last weekend I went to a Halloween party dressed as “We Found Love Rihanna.” I went with my friend B; it was her friends’ party. I know some of the people at the party, but I hadn’t spoken to them in a while, so I was a little uncomfortable at first.

In that moment, I pictured myself grabbing a drink. That is what I’ve used to get past my shyness/discomfort before.

But I didn’t because I no longer consider drinking to be an option. Instead, I put on my smile, asked people about themselves, and ended up having a total blast totally sober.

About five weeks ago, I quit drinking.

It was a personal decision that I made after being confronted with the long-term effects of alcohol abuse. I also had to admit to myself that I had a relationship with alcohol that could lead to abuse if not put in check immediately.

Because of the situation that forced me to look at those things, I mean REALLY see them,

I quit cold turkey.

A switch flipped and alcohol became, to me, a source of destruction. And I couldn’t continue to destroy myself.

Since then, I have mostly had no problem abstaining from alcohol. Though there are things I miss (like the sensuality of wine, for example), I can honestly say I don’t miss being drunk. And I certainly don’t miss feeling like I embarrassed myself while drunk.

It’s crazy, because there was a time when I was drinking daily. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine myself relaxing and having a good time without alcohol. There was a time when the thought the continuous stretch of sobriety that is quitting drinking scared me.

Since I quit five weeks ago, though, I’ve been able to see more clearly the role drinking played in my life. I’m able to take a sober look at the situations in which an inclination to drink arises, and I’ve been able to take them apart and get to the heart of them.

I’ve also been able to recover one more piece of the little girl I was when I was in middle school–this is very important to me because she is my most true self. Back then, I was a little shy when encountering new situations the same way I am now…but because at age 13 reaching for a drink was not an option, I had no choice but to open up as I got more comfortable with my surroundings. Now that I’m sober, I can see where that tendency still lives in me, and I can see that it’s really not a bad quality. It also doesn’t mean that I can’t relax and enjoy myself. Though alcohol is the social lubricant, and though I sometimes do feel a little awkward not drinking (especially since anyone who has known me socially for the past few years knows me as someone who drinks. A lot), I have used this as an opportunity to show myself that I am the same person sober. I can still have fun. I can still go out and make friends, and if they are the type of friends I want to keep they will respect the fact that I don’t drink.

And so far, all of my friends whom I’ve shared this with have. And nothing has changed between us.

Tonight I went line dancing and I had an absolute blast with nothing to drink but water and O’Douls (not gonna lie, I do miss beer. But I miss the taste, strangely enough, not being drunk). A, who went with me, also did not drink. In the end, we both had a great time, and I felt so much safer coming home.

I felt cleaner and healthier, too.

And renewed in my choice. I don’t need alcohol. I don’t even miss it.