Magical Yellow Room

Well nice to see you again.

It’s hard to break through the fuzz of the day to set some time aside for myself to do anything, much less write what I want to. Even now I’m distracted by the thrum of the TV.

I’ve been wanting to get back into writing lately. Inspired by You, a Netflix original. Funny to feel inspiration from a show about a stalker, but his cynicism in poetic storytelling is both funny and accurate. The problem is, and always will be, time. Time and money.

My nice cushy job doesn’t bring in enough for us to stop worrying about finances, so I continue to work my fingers to the bone. I used to be so proud of myself for having that hardworking attitude. Now I realize that’s the theme in this country — destroy yourself to take care of others. What an American dream.

I miss the days I was able to practice yoga, meditate, do ANYTHING to care for myself without thinking “there’s something else I need to be doing” in the back of my mind. Frankly, it’s exhausting. I feel like I’m expending so much energy just picking up the trail we leave through the house. It’s overwhelming just thinking of adding another human to this mess.

I’ve been thinking about that more and more though. As someone who said she never wanted kids, I’ve come a long way. I’m still unsure — I’m a baby with pain and I’m not actually good with children, but I know it’s what Andrew wants. I feel it’s the next step, and I’m not as afraid of it anymore. There are plenty of other things to be afraid of.

The future is a syndicated shitstorm in my head. Staying in PA, moving to be closer to my family, but then where will the kids go to school and where will we work and will we have enough money and what about traveling and doing it all in one shot. What about making sure you’re happy along the way.

I used to always envision myself typing away at a computer in a bright yellow room with a beaded entryway at a beach house. Still living a modest life. Enjoying what I’m doing. I never knew what I was writing, I just knew I was writing. Yawning and stretching as I get up to hug the man of my dreams on a sleepy Saturday morning as the golden godly rays of morning sunshine streamed through a window.

And I had that yellow room, and I still do. I hung beads on my childhood bedroom door, I painted my childhood bedroom yellow, and hung twinkle lights to inspire my thoughts, because light and beauty inspire the masses. We moved into our new house and even here I have a yellow room, this time with a desk and lamp but also a yoga mat because life is a balance. Can anything be tacky when it’s what brings you back to your childhood dream, your life’s vision?

But what they never tell you is living in fear is not the same as living a modest life. I’m not choosing to live a modest life because I want to right now. When it comes down to it, I would still choose a quieter life, but I don’t know anyone who would choose to live with the anxiety of how big will that next paycheck be.

Once so enthralled with the idea of becoming a writer, I eventually became intimidated. I blame my senior english class for that — looking up realistically what authors make scared me out of wanting to stake my livelihood on whether or not someone thought my writing was worth something. But as I get older, I wish I would’ve taken the shot anyway. Everything anyone does is judged by how well they do it. Can I pick up legalese quickly so we can jump in to getting the work done? Am I good enough at X to achieve Y. My livelihood is already at stake based on my skills — why shouldn’t I have just tried my hand with writing?

Especially while I have the time. Now between having a full-time job and a house, I don’t have time for much. Next step is a wedding and babies, both expensive and time-consuming. The only reason I have time today is I have a half-day at work.

Being an adult is much more boring than I thought it would be. I’m excited to have found the love of my life, but would I appreciate if he did the dishes more often? Of course. I love having this house, but would I enjoy not having to pay any bills? Absolutely! As a 23-year-old would I love to spend my money on dying my hair a crazy color and traveling to an exotic place? You betcha! Instead, I’m sitting on my couch in a robe after downing an entire bag of chips, thinking about how I have to go back to work in 15 hours. I’m surprised how easily I have slipped into the adult-that-dreads-work-and-battles-menial-depression-every-day lifestyle.

Like I said, I never expected an extravagant life. I just thought I’d be happier right now. Then again, don’t all great artists go through a blue period? Maybe this is mine, as I sit in my blue robe.

One of these days I will have to try my hand again — when I have the money to rebuy my subscription to Word. And maybe I’ll have the courage to dye my hair blonde like I’ve always wanted. Move to a house on the beach with the love of my life, typing away in that yellow room, spinning yarns someone actually wants to read, something that actually touches someone’s heart and soul and changes them for the rest of their lives or at least the rest of that afternoon — the way books spoke to me as a child. Maybe I’ll finally say something worth listening to. Or maybe I’ll move to the mountains so I can be snowed in all my life. I guess the bright side to 23 is everything’s still a mystery.

But 24 is coming soon. And I still fight with myself on what I want, what I need, and what I feel. I write for me.

Now I must go shower so I can continue to take care of me.

Love

Drink Your Poison

Noise overstimulation has become a big problem lately. I’m not sure if I had would have more patience if I wasn’t surrounded by blaring sirens and the honking horns of pissed off drivers, but I can hope. It’s gotten so bad that sometimes it’s unbearable to listen to my roommates’ mundane and polite conversations.

Yoga usually helps clear my head. Alex and I chuckle side by side as we pick apart our yoga videos online. It’s probably the brighter side of most of my days, just social enough while also allowing me to retreat into my mind shortly afterward. Plus, when you feel limber you feel good.

Today we watched Boyhood, a movie that follows a boy and his family over approximately 12-13 years of his life, from age 5ish to his first day at college. We all kind of criticized it; the mother for her horrible choice in men, the father for his immature parenting style, the daughter for her boring and sassy attitude, the boy for his gloomy speeches about existential crises.

As much as we criticized, it was interesting to watch, and in ways it was very relatable. You grew to connect to certain characters and their fucked up life stories. I definitely related to Mason on not wanting everyone breathing down my neck about what to do with my life, something I’m sure many people our age experience. Even following the petty high school break up experience. There was something so quietly entertaining about watching these events unfold, partially because there wasn’t really any action – kind of like real life. There weren’t many dramatic scenes, no thickening movie plot. Just life and how it moves, changes, unfolds. How people develop, for better or worse. How life just goes on.

It’s an incredible juxtaposition to the other show I (and the rest of America) have been watching: 13 Reasons Why. That is quite the dramatic show. With some terrible acting and cheesy one-liners, but that’s what sold in middle school, when I first read the book that the series is based off of.

It seems to glorify suicide in a vengeful way, something that I can’t get behind showing to the vulnerable young-adult public viewers. It makes me mad. This girl is so dramatic. The things she faces in life are by no means easy to go through, but I think they are things she could get over without taking her own life. Granted, I didn’t have the mental stability I like to claim I have now when I was back in high school, so she probably doesn’t either. Hindsight, I guess.

Regardless, the thought of vengeful suicide angers me. It’s such a final, definitive move. But in the same vein, it’s not final. Hannah commits suicide and supposedly her pain is over. Except her pain lives on through other people. It’s not a final move, just the next one. A transfer of that energy. A selfish act. It hurts me most when they show the parents as they struggle to find out what went wrong, why their daughter was capable, why she felt this was her only option. This girl had a support system – two loving parents. They weren’t drug addicts, she wasn’t neglected. They cared about her. I can’t imagine doing that to my mother. I can’t imagine someone doing that to me.

It really struck a nerve because my friend’s dad committed suicide in December, and that was its own transfer of pain. But the cases were different. Scott had a mental illness that he couldn’t beat, and it took him. It took him from his wife. It took him from his three kids, the youngest of whom is only about ten. It took him from his friends, his church, his community. It left a scar so deep we don’t talk about it. People ask me how my friend is doing and all I can say is “good” because how am I supposed to delve into that kind of pain with my friend? How am I supposed to ask him how he’s holding up since the man he looked up to from day one decided he couldn’t take it anymore? It’s created a barrier between him and his friends, the wound we never touch, and one that will never heal.

But no, Hannah Baker gets groped by some jerk, nasty rumors spread around her, a stalker taking her pictures. And that’s all it takes to push her over the edge. (I’m not finished with the series. Maybe it gets worse and makes more sense, but for now I’m just angry). And the show seems to glorify suicide as the final, vengeful act, this girl only caring about how to end her pain than think about who her death with destroy. At the very least, the number to the suicide hotline should accompany each episode.

*   *   *

One episode brought me plummeting right back to you. You know how indie shows now use indie songs by unheard of artists just to seem cool? Yeah, well, I recognized Lord Huron in there. A beautiful song shared between Hannah and Clay. But I couldn’t pay attention to the show once that song came on. I just thought of you.

I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you.

A heaviness hit my chest. I don’t think that song was even out by the time we ended things. Maybe it was. Did you listen to it? The summer that Lord Huron was your muse? The medicine that also broke your heart, that album on repeat as I danced my cares away with a boyfriend that shouldn’t have been more than a rebound? Did you torture yourself with one of my favorite bands as a way to expel your thoughts, your sins? You deserved this, you thought, to wallow in pity and despair. You did that whenever you messed up.

I broke away from you, turned my back and ran. That was when you finally listened to all the songs I had been suggesting for months, the movies I’d wanted you to watch for years. I just wanted to share them with you, appreciate them and analyze them with you. We were insightful, emotional.

My favorite memories with you aren’t even memories. We would lay in your bed, ready for sleep, wrapped around each other, talking. Just talking. We would have those insightful conversations, ones that I wouldn’t remember in the morning. We would talk until we couldn’t move our lips anymore, couldn’t form the sounds. Sometimes we talked about how much we loved each other. When things got bad, we talked about what we were sorry for. How we could work on things. And sometimes we just talked about our thoughts. The world. The universe. We were in love. We were present in that moment, our energies floating through the universe, anchored by a warm blanket and each other’s presence.

I think back, and I miss those moments. Will you always be one step ahead of me? Would I feel the same as I did back then? Or would I be afraid, as I am so often now. Of letting you in, of being hurt, of committing to loving so wholly again. I know it is brave to love. But it is also tiring.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that you are my first love. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know if I’d believe romantic love existed at all. I’d think romance was all just a game. That connections were impossible to keep for more than two months. That boys were all liars that just wanted to fuck. Thankfully you showed me that that isn’t the case. You showed me love, intelligence, emotional and intellectual intimacy, and I am truly lucky to have found that in my first boyfriend. And this time it’s me who fucked up. But it’s all about how gracefully you let go, right? You were water.

Thank you.

The Only Path is the One You Follow

Spring break is almost here! I know it’s going to fly by, as I’m planning on working 7 out of the 9 days I’m home and generally have fun stuff planned the other days I’m home. Hopefully I’ll find time to hike and get a little more realistic incline in.

So, I have an interesting “problem” I guess. More of a thought and situation. Have you ever loved someone but wanted them to go back to their first love? My love interest used to date this incredible girl. I hated working with her because she was so bossy, but the more I read her blog, learned of her personality, saw more of her heart and mind, the more I liked her. She’s beautifully artistic and she radiates confidence. Things turned messy for them, and they ended things on not-so-great terms, meaning whenever she makes her way back to our little town, her old place of work, the bartenders will warn him he won’t want to mingle tonight. The last time they were in the same building, he finished his food and left without a second thought, didn’t even come out for drinks with everyone that night to get his mind off things.

I know he was really hurt by her, more than I think he has ever let on. I have heard him talk about her, both in admiration and in bitterness. They are both such beautiful souls that I’m not sure he will ever love anyone as much as he loved her. What stuns me is that I’m not jealous when he talks about her, but I genuinely feel sorry for him. I want them to be together, even though I have such strong feelings for him. Even when I ask the universe for him, I want him to be with her because I think they could be the greatest love story, so passionate and pure. High school sweethearts, best friends, both fiercely independent but with gentle love for each other. It’s beautiful to me – I have so much respect for it. Which is weird right? I’ve asked the universe for this man! Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should ask for his happiness and see where it leads him. Maybe I’m just a sucker for a good love story.

Maybe I know how he feels. Because who doesn’t wonder what could have been?

Another thought I’ve been wrestling with constantly is my relationship with my best friend, and I think I’ve expressed it before so I’ll keep it short. Shouldn’t you be in love with your best friend? The one you’ve known since high school, the one where you can mutually tell each other everything, you’ve met each others’ families and it’s not strange to just spend all day together doing nothing and still having  a good time. I want nothing more than to love him, and I know so many people that agree and want to see us together. But there’s something in me that just can’t picture it, and I wish I knew what it was. But shouldn’t I listen to that gut feeling now? Before it’s 20 years down the road and I’m regretting not branching out in my life?

If you had the chance, would you want to know your future? I think I believe in some kind of predestination. It’s the least anxiety-inducing method of looking at the future. Everything is as it should be. Whatever happens, it is for a reason. I think I had to adopt that method, because the pathways were just too expansive for me to think about all of them, about every person I could be.

I actually remember that moment that I settled on predestination. I was hiking by myself, I think in Gambrill. My sister had recently been going through some of her anxious/depressive thoughts, and she shared with me that sometimes she felt overwhelmed by all the choices she could make in her life and all of the paths down which she could go. And I told her that I shared those same anxieties sometimes.

I remember when I was choosing which college to attend, I was like this decision is going to decide my life. And in many ways, it does. But I was worried that I would choose the wrong college and somehow miss out on meeting my future husband. Which is crazy for an 18-year-old to be worried about. (Although maybe I was right since, ya know, still single).

But on that hike, as I followed that beaten path, the one forged by so many others before me, set up by the parks’ services, I realized there is only one path in life. You can take many directions, you still have the chance to choose. But what if choosing is an illusion? What if your path is already predetermined, that everything is already aligned for you, all you have to do is follow?

I was very relaxed then, like I had just figured out life. All of my anxious thoughts were put to rest. It’s very easy when you think “what I am doing is what is supposed to happen.” That the universe is constantly guiding me in the right direction. It helps me have faith in my decisions, but I still don’t make choices blindly (not all of them anyway).

Anyway, here’s to love and other drugs.

CheersIMG_0005IMG_0003IMG_0001