Tag Archives: Woman

2015

I went to Hong Kong last week, and that’s where I rang in the new year. Oh, but it wasn’t glamorous. It was actually me being the fifth wheel, me crying a little, me rushing down 16 flights of stairs to catch the fireworks, me eating (authentic!) Chinese food, me drunkenly calling my aunt to whine.

It was great because it was honest.

You don’t always want to party and go nuts.

I rang in the new year feeling a little….prickly. A little uncomfortable, and a lotta bit in my head.

I’ve been traveling alone recently, but I went to HK with a friend, and I would definitely say that over the past year D has become a close friend, but still this trip taught me a lot about myself because it taught me how much I don’t want to show who I am.

I don’t have a problem with who I am, mind you. I’m me, and I’m a little morose, and I tend to overthink and I feel self conscious about my hair and I like to read a lot and I don’t always (or ever) want to talk, and that’s fine.

Things affect me. Things make me want to cry. Things make me want to hole up in my apartment for days, or at least for the rest of the night, and just sit alone in my own stuff and feel things through until I can face the world again with the face I’m comfortable showing.

But over the week of this trip I was so damned uncomfortable because I was with this girl for an entire week and over the course of that week I had to, inadvertently, unavoidably, honestly and truly show who I am.

I don’t mind being who I am.
And I don’t mind telling who I am–I’ve been doing that for five solid years with this blog.
But I do mind those moments when I’m stressed and overwhelmed and feeling ugly and feeling sad and feeling irrationally scared–I mind showing them. I mind when there’s nowhere for me to retreat, when I have to do the ugly work of knowing that it’s showing on my face, of knowing that there’s nowhere to run and how can I sort this out and will this person accept these feelings that I can’t help and don’t mean to hoist on them?

It all sounds way too intense, but that’s kind of the thing. For the past two years I’ve been playing at who I am, playing at a newer, lighter version of me: BryoneyLite, 2.0. Stay in my square, stay in my safe space. Funny how being in such a foreign environment, a place where everything external is generally uncomfortable, makes it so easy to stay inside my box internally.

I’ve been brave these past two years. I’ve traveled on my own, and I’ve faced down many fears. But inside I’ve stayed squarely in my box, stayed committed to the face I put on in public. BryoneyLite. Not prone to depressions or melancholia of any sort. Reader, “writerLite” (no actual writing done).

But that’s not me. I’m as cheery as I am morose; as motivated as I am depressed.

I want to be me again, and I want out of this square little box.

I think I did well in 2014. I’m drinking less, I’m eating more vegetables, I’m sleeping more. I go to the gym four times per week, I do face masks once or twice each week and I’ve saved a little money. I’ve even managed to get a couple things published that I’m really proud of, though I’m no closer to writing that novel (oh well).

But I’m going numb inside, and I’m losing connection. I’m losing my creativity, and I’m starting to really believe that there’s nothing about me that says my life shouldn’t be ordinary. More and more, I’m feeling like a face in the crowd.

So in 2015, what I really want, is just out of this box. I want to feel again. I want to feel intensely, like I did when I was 18 (but maybe not exactly like that because it was a bit much). I just want to feel. And i want to write. I want to write something for me, something that is beautiful, a story that is moving and touching, that I see through from start to finish. Something I can be proud of.

I want out of this box.

The Awesome List

So ever since that movie came out, I’ve been hearing a lot Bucket Lists. Everybody has one and it’s a really common question to ask folks on dates and whatnot now. But I’m not bout that life. I don’t particularly care to have a list of things that I need to do before I’m OK kicking the bucket (wait–kicking a bucket might just go on my awesome list). 

Instead, I have a list of things that are awesome that I want to do. It’s called The Awesome List, and it’s not really a list. It’s just stuff that I’ve always wanted to do but never done for some reason. I feel like it puts awesomeness into the forefront of my mind, rather than death. Or buckets, which really just make me think of mopping and leaking roofs. And death, mopping and leaking roofs all suck.

It’s really quite contradictory. 

I don’t know. After the semester ended, I got really down. Like really really down. Like friends were calling my mom and coming to sit with me in my apartment because they were concerned about me down. Thank God it was like the week before my Central America trip, which was able to snap me out of that downness with the power of awesome. Though I can see it in my pictures from the first half of the trip, by the end of Belize I was back and I was surfing a wave of awesome.

And that was the start of The Awesome List. And so far since I’ve been home I’ve gone skydiving, tubing, tango dancing and made a super cute video. Next up is the gun range, white water rafting, jet skiing, surfing and zip lining in Costa Rica. Plus I went with my mom to a flight lesson I got her for Christmas, which was also really awesome because she loved it (so of course a flight lesson of my own is also on The Awesome List).

I know everyone is different, but for me this Awesome List just serves to make me feel so good and have such a good time that it reminds me that what I’m dealing with isn’t the only thing out there. Plus, I don’t want to be one of those old people who is skydiving for the first time because it’s on their bucket list–I want to be one of those old people who is wearing a squirrel suit because I’ve been skydiving THAT many times because for me, awesome is a lifestyle, not a one-time thing.

I’m just saying. Now is the time to be who you’ve always wanted to be and do what you’ve always wanted to do.

Skydiving was…

crazy terrifying exhilarating nauseating 50-seconds-of-screaming oh-my-god-im-flying beautiful cold tranquil my-entire-life-depends-on-this-harness warm again small-talk-with-the-instructor is-that-my-shadow what-color-is-my-parachute nauseating i-can’t-believe-this-is-actually-happening giddy ohthankGodi’malive

next up: Zip Lining. In Costa Rica.

…YOLO? Is that appropriate here? Nope, I got a better Drake song:

Image

(me and K, my partner in crime)

These are the times…

Here are some random moments of the past week that I thought were noteworthy:

Sitting on a plane next to some guy who was telling me that I absolutely need to go to Dubai; that the water at Virginia Beach is nauseating; and that I was right in suspecting that my ex husband (can I call him that if we were annulled??) would ruin my life because he had no established credit.

Coming out of the club and seeing a sausage wrapped in bacon with grilled jalepenos and peppers (no I didn’t get it–one of my deepest regrets)

Realizing beyond a shadow of a doubt that one of my absolute dealbreakers is getting along. If we don’t get along you’re getting cut (Thanks for that one, Matthew. I couldn’t have done it without your blood pressure-raising ass)

Seeing an older black gentleman reading to a lady I can only assume is his wife on the plane…it was just such a sweet, loving moment.

Having a homemade pizza party with my friend K and getting the rum punch right finally!! (The good times from Belize are still a-rollin!!)

Bringing back SoCo and Lime…..and then putting it away again (that drink is strictly Undergrad, and there is a reason. But oh, the memories)

Being able to encourage a friend

Taking a long walk with my Jamaican neighbor listening to him tell me about his open marriage and the quickest way into a lady’s panties (make her laugh) (guards up!) and try to slip in slick ish into the conversation in Patwah (which I think I have finally convinced him that I actually do understand)

Saying a few sentences in Patwah myself! As ‘im would a say, “encouragement sweeten labour”

Tonight’s tequila taco party followed by a night spent on the town in a sequined red dress; red lipstick; and high heels which I am going to try my good gosh darndest not to fall in (wedges are practical but I’ll save my practicality cards for my 30s)

Tomorrow’s skydiving

And realizing that, man, these are the times, you know? These are the freaking times. For all of my worrying that I’m ruining everything all the time, I’m doing it. I’m travelling and going to school and making good friends and amazing memories with those friends and this is what it is, you know? I’m 25 and I’m making a mess of some things but overall I’m living and I’m learning and I’m slowly starting to leave these vagabounds alone and I’m finding my voice and I’m questioning things and I’m deciding things for myself and at some point all of these experiences will shape me into a competent human being.

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

25: The Moment I Decided I Had Swag, I Did

I turned 25 this month, and my motto for this year is “more money, less stupid” because for the first time in my adult life I actually feel less stupid than I did this time last year PLUS I am living a little more comfortably.

What more could a person even ask for?

People ask me how I’m doing and I feel like I’m being one of those jerks when I respond, “freaking fantabulous. I love my program, my internship, where I live, I look good, I feel good and I have great relationships with my friends and family members.”

What. A. Jerk. (OK maybe I don’t have to be so detailed about how every aspect of my life is awesome–but I’m grateful to God that it is and I want to express that gratitude!)

Or worse, what a “oh yeah, welcome to Facebook, where everyone’s life is perfect POSER.”

I can’t help it though guys–I’m really happy right now. And I want to enjoy it because I know that not everyone gets to experience this magic synchronicity in life where they like everything about their life and also because I know that there will come times when everything is not awesome, and I really want to have the memories of how good I feel right now to sustain me.

I just turned 25, and I must say I’ve learned a lot this year. I guess that’s part of why I’ve been silent lately (not blogging–the other is because I didn’t like how my blog had degenerated into a chronicle of my thoughts about boys; I told myself I wasn’t going to blog again until I had something other than boys to talk about).

Part of what I’ve learned this year is to hold myself together. To keep some things in (haha even if that seems hard to believe due to the word vomit-ie nature of this blog). I was drawn to writing when I was younger because I wasn’t really raised in an environment where children were even considered as having things to express–writing was often the only medium I had to say the unsayable, if you will permit me a little creativity in language. When I discovered this new electronic medium of self-expression that was constantly accessible and in the written form, it really permitted me to go balls to the wall in expressing my every thought and feeling.

The past summer, though, I’ve been really coming to a place of quiet in myself, more than I’ve ever been before, and as a result I’ve started to find less and less of what I think to be things that could be the subject of blogs, tweets, fb statuses and the like.

It’s a subtle change, and one that many of my friends probably wouldn’t even really believe because I’m still just as talkative and bubbly with them as ever, but I guess I’ve started to understand that you only share some things with some people.

This, my friends, I believe is the beginning of self-restraint. And that’s probably the most important thing I’ve learned this past year–a little self-restraint. Am I a master at it? By no means. I spent my last $18 last night on some chicken tenders and wings in response to a massive meat craving (I only eat 1 meat a day now and it works fine for a day or two, but I always rebound with these powerful meat cravings) just last night. I got a long way to go.

But I can tell by the way people respond to me that I have come a pretty far already. Little things just dropped in casual conversation that show the way they view me, things like “Oh, but I already know you would never….” And in my head I’m half-laughing because if they only knew me 2 years ago. But they’re right. Me at 25 would never [insert action that is so foolish that a 24-year-old might do it but a 25-year-old has learned her lesson and outgrown–say impulsively get married?? =P ]

That feels good. More money less stupid. Every effing year. I wish the same for all of you too.

For When I’m 30

I can’t watch prime-time TV anymore because there will inevitably be some variety of the two types of shows I can’t STAND: 1) reality TV or 2) “early 30s, college-educated, childless couples” TV.

I mean, I get it. Those are the two types of people who WATCH TV (for the most part); either people who want to be famous but have no talent or work ethic or luck or connections, or “early-30s, college-educated, childless couples.”

But I don’t like seeing it. Can’t there be like one TV show for the “mid-20s(ish), recent graduate, still-getting-on-their-feet” crowd? Dangit! Ain’t I a woman?

^^Excuse me. That was terribly inappropriate.

Lately, I have found myself caught in the swing of emotions that comes with being overtired. I have a lot on my plate, and I don’t really mind that. I like to work, especially when I’m working at things I like and do well. I find that really fulfilling. And overall, I would have to say that as far as perfect goes….my situation ain’t far from it. Really. I’m a Recession Graduate with a full-time job with benefits. That’s, in the words of my good friend Denny, sorta in my field.

Him: “I mean, how many of your friends are still looking for jobs?”

Me: “Several.”

Him: “Several! Several! And my job’s sorta in my field. I mean, I speak Spanish to people on the phone.” (He was a Spanish major who works in a corporate office).

Me: “Oh, like how mine’s sorta in my field: I  review things, check for errors.” (My job is in accounting and I was a journalism/editing major).

Him: “Yeah!”

Truth be told, I don’t mind my job. I like answering emails, and I like getting people’s errors resolved quickly. And just overall, I like tackling and conquering an enormous challenge. And I like learning new things. And my job really does involve reviewing things and correcting errors. And I find the work environment pleasant enough. And I have a sweet a$$ office with a window–now that’s saying something. And overall, I have a lot of autonomy in my workday–they let me set my own agenda and don’t micromanage. So I would go ahead and say that I have a really good job.

But I’m still not in a position to watch these 30-year-old prodigies who own their homes and give presentations at their jobs all the time and have significant others whom they married for love as evidenced by the fact that they 1) don’t have kids and 2) all live in the same area and hang out regularly with their college roommates and have things like disposable income that they can spend on shoes and fancy restaurants where they go “I’ll get the check” “No, I’ll get the check” “Au Contraire, mon frier, I’ll get the check” even though like six of them ate.

If I got the check for six people at a fancy restaurant…well first of all there would have to be a Groupon involved at some point and second of all, I would probably NOT get the check and use my Groupon to cover my order only.

And I understand that this is a life stage, and I don’t mind it. But I have to remind myself sometimes when I’m sleepy or want to go to the spa but have to pay my car note instead (haha I officially paid my first car note this month) that the purpose of this particular life stage is to lay the foundation for a solid future. Mid-20s(ish) is sort of a liminal time in life; there’s not a whole lot to live for in it’s present, not like earlier life stages.

When you’re a kid, you live for the moments of being a kid (or you spend your childhood like me DYING for the day that you can wear bras and drive!). And then you hit high school. And that’s sort of a liminal time–it’s no longer about living in the present; it’s about planning for the Future (either college or trade school or whatever). But even still, you get caught up in being in Orchestra and Drama club and convincing your parents that you’re old enough to date (oh, I’m sorry, was I a nerd?), and you can’t really conceptualize the Future because there are a lot of really big things going on in your present.

And then you make it out and get to college or trade school or whatever and bam! You’re back in the present. You’re in college. Your present is it’s own point and purpose again for a few short years. You’re living on your own (sorta); you’re turning 21! You’re heading to class hungover, you’re planning Twisted Tuesdays, Wasted Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays…And then, as if it all flew by in some sort of blur, you realize you’ll be graduating pretty soon (if you can just get that one class to fulfill the requirement for this…) and  you start planning for the Future: to Get A Job.

…and then you get it.

And nobody tells you that for like the first few years you are going to be BROKE. It’s not the Broke College Student–it’s the Broke Post-Graduate.

And then you start to try to build yourself some sort of home because it’s no longer OK to have one stars and moons sheet thrown on your air mattress, one rainbow sheet covering your body and one faded flowers comforter for when it gets cold.

And then you start to want to take trips, because suddenly everyone around you asks you things like “hey do you want to go skiing this weekend” and you’re like…”uh…we do that now?”

And you slowly start to wonder: “What the hell am I going to do with the rest of forever??” Because for the first time in your life, shit ain’t laid out in 4-year increments.

And that is why I have decide to break my own life into increments that I can handle. This time in my life is officially dubbed For When I’m 30. Everything I do now–every time I’m tired but push through; every time I choose to be smart financially instead of frivolous; every time I buy a new piece of furniture–it’s all for when I’m 30.

When I’m 30, I’ll kick back and drink bubbly at the spa like the women on TV and get into misadventures that involve me trying to recapture my youth. And I’ll plan for when I’m 35.