Is it just me..?

January 10, 2009

So, things are close to being back to normal.  Meaning that Mare’s back in town, classes start Monday (ah!) and work is no longer full-time, but instead just something that I do for a few hours a day.  I’m looking forward to the arrival of my routine again.  

Tonight, we’re supposed to be traveling to go see a concert.  This, however, has been interrupted by mother nature, who thought it best to drop some snow on us overnight.  While it had been predicted to be the biggest snowfall in 3 years, we have just a slight dusting with the possiblity of a bit more later today.  Most people would say, “well, what’s stopping you then?”  A woman who lives about 100 miles away, that’s who.  I love my mother to death–we have one of those relationships where we really are best friends; it’s not just something I tell people–but she’s too worrisome.  Okay, I know that’s a mother’s role, but still, I feel as though her worry just translates into a migrane for me.  I feel as though I should be able to make my decisions for myself–I’m 20 years old and living on my own–without her trying to influence.  I know she’s my mother, she wants to protect me, but at this stage in the game, I need support, not criticism.

Maybe it’s just me, but for once, I think I’m right.

For real?

January 7, 2009

I work in a college admissions office.  Typically, the days aren’t very eventful; once in awhile something really interesting will happen, or I’ll come across a funny student essay, or one of the counselors will give me some mudane project that makes the day drag on.  And on.  But that’s not really the point.  Most of these counselors (3 out of the 4 on my side of the office) are fresh out of college.  Two are actually alum.  Today, one of them started talking about loan repayment.  I nearly dropped out of my seat.  Out of her paycheck, between $700 and $800 goes directly to her Staffords.  Scary? Just a bit, especially when you’re only making about $800 a month.  Okay, now I know I’m going to school full-time so I really shouldn’t be shocked at the amount of money–I’ll be working a full-time job (hopefully) after graduation, making paying the bills and actually surviving seem a bit more feasible.  The problem lies in the idea itself:  do I really feel that my education is worth the money?  Often, I say no.  I feel as though I could be taught these things anywhere, if I simply picked up a book.  Sure, the experience and interaction is great, but really, $40,000+ a year for college?  I oftentimes don’t understand it.  I feel as though I’ve been placed into such debt that it will be impossible to come back to the surface before my children are having children of their own.  Maybe it’s just me, but its tough to rationalize it.

Other things that are too expensive:

  • underwear:  come on, if I’m supposed to be wearing it every day, making it upwards of $5 kind of seems ridiculous.  I could have three coffees instead of one pair of underwear–guess where my pick would be most days.
  • cereal:  almost $4?  is there gold in that cardboard box?
  • laptop computers:  okay, these are actually pretty important, advanced little machines.  $2300 for a MacBook Pro?  That I need for what I want to do when I graduate?  Where is that supposed to come from?
  • turnpike tolls:  enough said.  What’s up with paying for shitty roads that usually are backed up because of work zones that are full of people staring at a hole in the cement?

What do you think isn’t worth the price you pay for it?

Ah-hem.

December 29, 2008

After a hellish afternoon at the local mall (what in God’s good name was I thinking?) I have decided to compile a small list of things I swear I will never do.  In no particular order:

  1.  Shop again within the week after Christmas.  Enough said.
  2.  Allow my teen daughter to dress like she’s at least five years older than she really is.  I often wonder what parents are thinking and if it’s “Oh honey, you look adorable!” they should probably be shot.  And not allowed to have sex for the rest of their child bearing years.
  3. Scream at my child in the middle of a crowded mall.  Or grocery store.  Or anywhere for that matter.  When I pass a mother dressed in designer clothing, hair done nicely, dragging around dozens of shopping bags from places that don’t include Wal-Mart or Baby Gap, screaming “Jesus Christ you’re so damn annoying” at her children, I feel that maybe something is wrong with the situation.
  4. Forget to apologize for anything.  Maybe it’s just me, but if I so much as bump into someone at the store, I say “oh, sorry”.  I had someone nearly knock me over today and look at me as though it was my fault for being there in the first place.
  5. Leave the dishes pile up.  Okay, okay.  This one might not happen, but it’s good to be optimistic, right?

Christmas was lovely in good ol’ NEPA.  I’m still waiting for two gifts to arrive (one to me, one to Zach) and enjoying my day off before the work week resumes yet again.  I’ve decided to skip the New Year’s Eve festivities and instead babysit.  A little bit of extra money sounds better than getting drunk and having to drive home the morning after so I can get to work on time.  When did I get so old?

..winter wonderland?

December 19, 2008

I’ve been told that the lack of seasonal weather is about to come to an end here in SEPA (south eastern Pennsylvania… when you’re from the northern part of the state, you grow up thinking NEPA is an actual word, or if you’re my sister, a state all its own).  We’re forcasted to get about 6 inches of snow and this is going to really mix up my holiday travel plans.  I had intentions of leaving tomorrow for my parents house for Christmas, but it looks like I’ll be sticking around just a few more days.  This means a queen sized bed to myself, free reign over the bathroom, and enjoying the early bedtime of about 10:30.  

As I sat at work today–mailing 1,052 letters, mind you–I realized that I have no interest in the holiday this year.  Typically after Thanksgiving, I’m in full holiday spirit, begging to decorate the house and buy gifts for my loved ones.  While the tree was set up the night we got back to our place, I haven’t really felt in the spirit much unless I’m home.  I love our tree and the idea of getting things for people I care about, but come on, some old guy strumming away at an upright bass crooning horrible Christmas songs?  No, not fun.  Moms trampling each other at Wal Mart? Doesn’t seem cheery to me.  Maybe it’s just my age, or maybe it’s cynicism catching up to me, but this Christmas stuff seems to be for the birds.  Sure, I love the family and the sharing and the idea behind it all, but honestly, where in God’s name did we get so far away from what it really means?  

I’m assuming Furbies had something to do with it.

So, I guess I’m hoping a few inches of snow gets me excited (and not terrified, as I have to drive my death-trap car 1oo-odd miles in the next few days) about the upcoming festivities and less grinchy.  As long as I don’t hear another Christmas carol between now and the 25th, I should be just fine.

Give me the silver lining.

November 19, 2008

I’ve learned to never say never.  Two days ago, I boasted how I never throw up.  One day later, I’m in the fetal position on the bathroom floor, praying to God that he leaves my body alone.  A week ago, I said I’d never bomb another gen ed.  Today, I find out I got a 67 on my lab practical.  

Honest to God, I’m trying to get my shit together, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening these days.  I try to get ahead, I get sick.  I try my best, it doesn’t get me what I need.  At the rate I’m going, I am going to graduate with below a 3, thanks mostly to university gen ed requirements that will not really matter in the long run anyway (has anyone in the art/comm. world ever had to weigh a balloon during a job interview? didn’t think so).  The more I think about it, the more I’d love to just load up on photo paper, grab a camera, and set out taking pictures.  I’d develop til my heart’s content and never work for a due date again.  And I’d be poor.  And have to eat dirt.

While professors are talking up the possibility of me attending grad school, the future only looks bleak on days like today.  How in the world do I explain a GPA that doesn’t reflect me as a student?  I thought that was only possibly when you were applying to undergrad school (trust me, I’ve seen my fair share of “while I have a 1.2, I swear on my mother’s grave, I’m a good student” letters come through the admissions office).  While an art school look at my GPA?  Or better yet, will I, with my under 2 years worth of work, be able to get through a portfolio review for a decent MFA program?  

I just seriously have my doubts.

On an up note, I am working my butt off on a few things.  I have my final project in Photo going and I’m starting to make a few decisions about what to stick in my portfolio.  I also have a video project coming along and the only way to describe it would be Jenny Holzer-esque.  I’m very, very excited.  

I just need a break from the bad news that is a part of being a full-time student.  I honestly can’t handle any more.

Guatemala has been booked.. only a few months until I get to travel into Central America for nearly 3 weeks (Honduras first for media stuff).  It should be great and I hope it’s just what I need after this year from hell.  It’s hard to believe (but very welcomed) that I only have three more semesters left.  As much as I love Philadelphia, I’m quite excited to get the hell out for awhile.

Don’t Read this.

November 10, 2008

I don’t yield 50+ results when you search me on Google.  I don’t improve my campus, I don’t create new groups or receive scholarships for anything outstanding.  I’m not brilliantly unique or remarkably strong.  I cry, I bruise easily, and I still sleep with a security blanket.  I’m asthmatic, I drive a station wagon, and I don’t quite stand five feet tall.

I honestly can’t fool myself; this body, this person that is mine?  Yeah, still not completely settled in.

I hear it day in and day out:  you’re smart, you’re caring, you’re creative.  I hope these things aren’t just being said to keep me sane, but that they are the truth.  I get so down on myself when I realize that others around me are doing so much more.  I feel that I too should be succeeding, not just merely scraping by.  Then I realize that I’m happy (my version of happy, at least) with my pajama-filled nights and movie marathons with a certain someone who lives with me (and loves me).  It makes me feel accomplished in a way that a certificate never could, but still, I feel like I need to make everyone more proud of the person I should be.

Why in God’s name do I let myself do this?

Nights like tonight don’t help me at all.  I don’t feel I was at fault by any means; plans were changed by someone who wasn’t included and I am to feel as though it was my fault.  It’s unfair to be thrown into a position like that.  I feel like I have no one to rely on, or if that one person (beyond my immediate family) is two hours away.

And then the emotion pours.  Like water through a colander.

We had the talk–the one that goes something like “I wouldn’t be with you if I didn’t want to be” and on and on, but there’s simply something that won’t let these words settle with me.  Something that unnerves me.  And it really gets me thinking when I realize that there’s no one trustworthy.  There’s no one who sees it like I do, and no one who will run when I walk out the door.  I worry that I’m just not enough of something–whatever it may be–to hold on to one of the few remaining relationships that weather all problems, big or small.  The one who doesn’t leave when things get tough, but instead grasps on tighter.  Someone who I don’t have to explain my problems to because he already knows.  The one who I don’t have to worry about including because it’s already him and me.

I’m just not that needed, I guess.  And I suppose I can’t blame them; I was the one who left.  For once in my life, I want to be followed by someone that I actually want to follow me.  I want to be pursued by an interest, I want to be needed by someone I need.  Too often I feel replaceable, and that might just be my insecurities.  I’ve been trying my best to get beyond them, but more often than not, I feel miserable at the thought of not being the type of person you want around; instead, I’ve fallen into being the person that you hope doesn’t show up.

When did I become that girl?

I honestly hate the times I feel this way; I’m fulfilling the typical “angry teen” persona, but in all truthfulness, it does not always come out as something pretty.  Writing is better than taking it out any other way, and this is what I’m left with:  a mess of words that sound like complaining and two nights spent alone in my two story apartment. These better not be the best days of my life.

Two Minutes, Too Late

September 8, 2008

Have you ever worked hours on something, really given it your all, only to find you made no real impact? That the project sucked?  That no one cares? While it might not always be the case, for me, I feel this quite often.  I often throw my entire being into whatever it is that I’m working on–my art, my relationships, my laundry–only to feel like it didn’t matter; that the extra time didn’t make a difference in the end.

What is the measure of change?  Of success?

Overall, this is a rant stemming from realizing that I can’t load a roll of film.  Film.  And the kicker–it was after a demo showing us the proper way of doing it.  And I still mess it up.  Now I’m left on a Monday morning looking to rescue my first Photo I project, after working on it for at least five  hours this past week.  Excellent.

So, I’m really not looking to relive this morning’s little extravaganza, so if you want the scoop, visit Zach to get the gritty details.  The overall message:  when I do something, it’s done right.  Don’t leave nasty messages on my cell phone at 9:30 in the morning, don’t criticize my decisions, and never, ever, doubt my abilities.

Going with the theme of what I can do, let me comment on some other things (besides not paying my rent) that I have been questioned about:

  • Can you reach that?:  This is probably one of my favorites.  Sure, I know I’m small, and yes, I bet that many people are doing this out of the kindness in their hearts.  The answer is yes, I can.  I might have to climb on a shelf or stand on a chair, but in twenty years, I’ve managed much more difficult tasks.  Getting that can of sauce on the fifth shelf won’t quite outdo me.
  • Are you sure about that decision?:  Would I be making it if I was not?  Would I honestly do something that I didn’t think was the best for me?  I doubt it.  While it may not prove to be the best decision, it’s my decision, and let me to it.

This list ended up being significantly shorter than I’d like it to be, but there’s a movie on, I have an online class to attend to, and I have to work on a super-cool project that will be posted on here tomorrow.  Stay tuned!