He was right, I may be crazy.

December 23, 2008

He said that our love shouldn’t be directed to only one person and that physical relationships do not equal love.  I fought, said I couldn’t understand him, and that by no means did I want to be having sex with other people while in–what I define as–a committed relationship.

Today I sort of had a breakthrough of sorts.

I have love for so many people.  While this love may be different for the people who whom I direct it, it’s love that is impossible to harness and throw onto only one person.  While visiting at the nursing home today, I sat with a woman who usually finds her way into a chair next to me when I swing by for a visit.  We spent about half an hour simply sitting in silence with one another as she tried to eat a candy cane that my mother gave her. I may only have known this woman through the limited contact I have with her a few times a year, but I love her.  No, I don’t just throw this word around, I truly do.  I get attached to each person that enters my life; the only difference is the extent to which I do this.  Some people linger, therefore, I typically have a stronger bond with them.  While many of these people are entirely unaware of these attachments I form, the moment they are out of my life, I feel a loss.  It’s not a loss that causes me to stay awake crying at night (although some of them do) but it’s a loss that is present at different moments throughout my life.  Some days I recall a face that I saw while working at a job I had in high school, while other days I think about a relationship I had in junior high while I drive to campus.  

My love is without limits.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to love in a different kind of way.  This person has shown me that love is truly open to being shared with more than just the person you want to grow old with; instead, you can share that wonderful emotion with anyone around you.  While I’m typically reckless (hense the handful of broken hearts I’ve dealt with in the last twenty years), I honestly love without regret.  Every bad moment has taught me something new and every great relationship has blessed me in a unique way.  

and now, back to some crappy television.

..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.

…if you read back to the first post, I think I recall stating how I’m terrible at keeping a blog, how journals never worked for me, and how after awhile, the appeal wears off and I realize that I’d rather spend the half hour that I use to blog hitting the snooze button instead.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to write and blogging is fun (when you look at those stats pages it’s quite exciting–even if it’s just the same person visiting twice in a day).  So here I am, “working” (I use quotations because I’m essentially getting paid to watch an empty room) and I feel as though the best way to kill time between knitting and doing program layout is to blog.  About how I forget to blog.  

I finally finished my “To do + finals” list today as of 9:26am.  I am now officially a senior despite having three semesters left at the college, but I’m looking forward to the absence of gen eds (minus one more terrible lab science) and the influx of art classes.  I jumped half a grade (B- to a B+) with my art classes this semester, so in the words of someone else, it was “a step in the right direction”.  I’m hoping to find more luck in other places (printmaking, anyone?) so we’ll see how that goes in the spring.

So with the new year a few short weeks away, I’ve been trying to figure out a short list of things I want to work on.  Not really resolutions, but more a to-do list for the next six months.  Something a bit more ambitious than doing the dishes but slightly below saving the universe.  In no particular order, my to-do list for January-June 2009:

> get more ambitious with my work:  It’s not that I’m slacking, but I often feel like I “play it safe” when it comes to academics.  I don’t take the easy road, but I rarely challenge ideas or think too far out of the box when it comes to my artwork.  I’ve been told I have great ideas for what I’m creating, but I just need to take the steps to put them into practice and make them realizations.

>keep on top of stuff:  I never was forgetful.  Sometimes I feel as though I’ve aged sixty-five years because of my tendency to walk into the kitchen with a hair brush and not remember what I was doing or what in God’s name I carried something across the house for.   I’ve pulled too many all-nighters, watched too many projects get thrown together in a hurry because I simply forgot.  Not that I did something else, but that I didn’t notice the scribble in my planner or I washed my hand that had the reminder scrawled across it.  I just have to get on top, stay organized, and somehow work on my memory skills.

>nag less, love more:  I wouldn’t call myself a bad friend or lover, but I feel that after living with someone or knowing them for who knows how long, we tend to get nit-picky.  I need to back up, remember why in fact I love these people, and do just that.  Who cares if they leave the toilet seat up or forget to make the bed?  Why should I mind if they don’t always have the time for me that I wish they did?  I just need to love what is available and enjoy what’s here now.

>stop worrying so much:  Getting worked up over small stuff only irritates ulcers.  It doesn’t stop the C- from coming back on my Science exam or fix the thing that I forgot to do.  I need to just “roll with the punches” over things that I don’t have much control over.

>lose ten pounds learn to love who and what I am:  I have to just do that.

So I have six months to try, another part of my country to see, a visit to Central America, and lots and lots of people to meet.

Can’t wait.

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?

where do I belong?

November 5, 2008

This is getting overwhelmingly complicated to keep up with.  It’s not that I don’t have stuff to say (alright, sometimes I don’t) but it’s that I can’t remember.  And I don’t have time.  I don’t even have time to eat most days.  But when I finally do get around to doing stuff, I realize that I neglect things that shouldn’t be put off. 

Like schoolwork, for example.

Right now, I belong in the photo lab with my class, working on prints that are due Monday.  4 prints.  Where are the negatives that I’m going to enlarge, you might ask?  Still in the camera, still half unexposed, still waiting for me to do something with them.  And I just can’t find it in me.  Every time I think I have something good–something “on the edge”, as my professor has asked me to be–I can’t photograph it.  Either it’s too far away, or the person doesn’t consent, or it’s not adaquate lighting.  I feel like if I could just release my thoughts onto the photo paper I’d always come out on top, but sadly, that’s not how it works.

So I’m home instead.  I’m sitting on the sofa, tapping at the keyboard, waiting for a phone call and afternoon Barnes and Nobel run (so I can finally get a new planner.. who knew that I’d need a 2009 planner two months before January even hit?).  I’m leaving dishes piling up, forgetting laundry in the dryer, not cleaning the bathroom, letting the bed go unmade–essentially for nothing.  I have nothing to show for my genuine lack of interest in most things these days, except for mediocre grades and a portfolio that needs some serious revising.

I just can’t wait for December 15 so this is all over.

Keeps me going

October 24, 2008

Yet again, I’ve made to beloved Friday–day of dates and the dreaded 11-6 day of work.  My life has turned into a seven-day schedule that ends with a huge repeat sign.  I’ve realized that my semester is nearly over (although I still feel as if I’m establishing myself in all my classes) and thanksgiving and winter break are only a few calendar pages away.  I’ve picked my spring classes, (almost) decided what I’m doing for spring break, and (tried to) set my work schedule for next semester.  In all due time, everything will be complete.

The last few days I’ve really focused on settling into myself.  As odd as this sounds, I have learned that there is much in my world that I’ve never really been comfortable with.  I’m learning to take things as they come, accept what I can’t change, and realize what I bring to the table now rather than problems that may arise in the future.  I’ve learned that my worrying doesn’t solve anything (instead, it aggravates an ever-present stress ulcer) and that I’m not as bad as sometimes think I am.

I’m doing this all for me.

I have realized that everything I do–the work I create, the hours I put in at my job, the studying I do (or don’t do), the love I give, the conversations I have–really only come down to what I feel about them.  My diploma isn’t going to have my GPA on it, half the people I know now won’t know me in ten years; there’s little now that will follow me into my future.  I need to let go of the fears that are limiting me and instead just throw myself in head first.

This blog isn’t for who reads it (because, to be quite honest, I’m not sure anyone does)… it’s for reflection, rambling thoughts, stream-of-consciousness that tends to be entirely incoherent.  I am not exceedingly concerned with public opinion, because in the end, the only person I’m going to have to answer to is myself.

Piling Up.

September 23, 2008

The book-binding process has begun.  Yesterday I purchased somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 worth of materials to begin working tonight on creating a hardcover book.  Tomorrow I plan on photographing my objects during class, printing, and inserting pages.  It’s going to be a process but I’m extremely excited about working on it.

I will be adding a written component to the blog that explains each image. I will post it Monday evening (after the book is presented) so interpretations can remain open during the initial presentation.

Beyond that, the week is going to be very busy.  I have four prints due Monday (and they aren’t even started), this book due, work, two hours of dance, and a life to attend to.  I also have a roll of film due Monday that hasn’t had the chance to be worked on yet.

What a week already.

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.

What are you holding out for?

September 18, 2008

How is it that just when you think everything is under control–your relationships, your academics, your life in general–something really unbelievable happens and sends it tumbling?  I’ve been asking myself this for about a week now.  After disproving some rumors and getting my life seemingly back to normal, something happened to send it out of control yet again.  Now I’m playing a waiting game, hoping that everything settles down within the next two weeks.

This is why I often don’t get too settled in any situations.  It’s also why I have a horrible fear of losing people.

I have always had difficulty getting close to people without becoming clingy.  I’d like to blame this on something awful from my childhood, but honestly, the only person who ever left was my father.  I just find it extremely difficult to try to open up–really let someone get to know me–without a great fear that they might not be there in the future.

I’ve had that problem with every relationship I’ve tried to keep up.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve thrown Zach into the obligitory role of problem-solver because I have a meltdown about something that is at least five years in the future.  It’s not as though I’m not happy with the here and now; it’s just the idea of losing what I value.  I become attached while remaining independent; I worry while I stay strong.  It’s quite the destructive cycle.

So, in the next few weeks I wait (and hope) that life gets back on track.  That I can focus on the five art classes that fill my day, the job that occupies my time, and the apartment that has fallen into disarray.    If anything, the last week has taught me to appreciate the quiet times in my life.

And to be careful for what we wish for.