Monday, January 15, 2007

an ordinary day in my extraordinary life

The searing pain I feel behind my eyes as I open them this morning is all too familiar. It’s a staple in the waking life of every dreamer and is caused by the violent separation of my brain from it’s preferred home, la-la land. Who, might you ask would do such a thing? Why, only the devil incarnate…my alarm clocck.

A flurry of covers disrupts the quiet of our apartment. The dog, which had been keeping my feet warm all night, looks up at me indifferently and sighs as she falls back asleep. I envy her. The carpet is harsh and unwelcoming of my tingling toes. The process of making my coffee seems loud and echoes off the walls of our kitchen. I sit at the table, eyes half closed, listening to the drip-sizzle-slurp of my favorite machine. My roommate doesn’t drink coffee, in fact she doesn’t even like the smell, I however, am dependent. My favorite mug is stolen property. It came from California by way of my suitcase a few months back. It has a scene of trees, and birds, and grass. It reminds me of the mountains and has the perfect handle. I pour my first searing cup of dark, black, magic and proceed with my morning rituals. Someone once compared my coffee to embalming fluid. I smiled and said simply, “I am my father’s daughter.”

Occasionally, if I have the time, I sit in the bathroom after my shower with the door closed. Perched on the edge of the tub or the closed toilet seat just letting the steam hover. It’s easy to imagine yourself somewhere wonderful when everything is misty. The second violent separation of my day is the opening of that door. The now colder air outside my makeshift sauna invades every inch of my body, terrorizing my flesh and making me want for my bed again. As I wipe the fog off the mirror and see my reflection appear, it occurs to me that I am looking older. As young as I may be, there are countless lines, scars, and blemishes that haven’t always been there. I look tired. I am tired.

I’m sure watching me get ready in the morning is a sight to behold. It starts off peaceful enough, until I wake up to the fact that I will most likely be late…again. It doesn’t matter where I am going…I will be late. I hope I marry someone who doesn’t mind a twenty-minute whirlwind of the following: toothbrush, body lotion, baby powder, underwear, socks, bra, jeans, blow dryer, concealer, eye liner, powder for the shine, mascara, t-shirt, shit! I forgot deodorant, favorite necklace, a spritz of something that smells nice, shoes, cardigan sweater, don’t forget your cigarettes, or your keys, out the door, wait…the dog, grab your books, and your coffee, dog in cage, body in car, start the engine, blast the radio, destination known too well. Maybe someday I’ll get my act together.

For all the relentless moments of my day, there is one that makes it all ok. Without this moment, I feel as if the rest of my day might not be bearable. Without this moment things are somehow out of sync. Without this moment the beginning of my day would be comparable to “starting off on the wrong foot,” or “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.” I know I need to quit, and it some ways I honestly want to, but lighting up that first smoke, behind the wheel, music turned up, window rolled down, aviators on and the sun coming up…makes a girl feel like she’s got it all figured out.

The third violent separation of my day isn’t really a separation at all, but rather the merging of my idealism with the world’s harsh reality. I love people. More accurately, I want to love people, but they make it hard sometimes. That feeling that starts out my day, the feeling of having it all figured out, is quickly vanquished by an all consuming ignorant, apathy; particularly of many people my age and unfortunately a vast majority of people I work with. I currently feel as if my life is on pause. I finally know how the characters in a movie feel when you press that button, to get more popcorn, go to the restroom, to answer an important phone call, or forget about them all together and never return to finish out the rest of their story; they feel like college students. Everything about your life is on hold, you don’t know what you’re going to do next and you hold your breath going from one scene to the next, you enjoy a lot of them along the way, but at what point does it all come together? I can’t help but wonder…when does my life begin?

I read. I listen. I punch a time clock. I smile politely. I fain interest. I help people. I study. I speed. I cram in a lunch break. I smoke too much. I watch people float around in their self-blown bubbles. I binge on caffeine. Sometimes, I cry. I miss my mom, but I do things for myself. My day is littered with moments of utter hopelessness, but somehow I keep going. I tell myself that if I take this class, nail that interview, go to bed earlier, budget my money, say nice things, it will all eventually work out for me. I am happy…for the most part. Sometimes I want to ask other people to do things for me, pay my bills, do my homework, and buy my groceries, but I don’t. When things go terribly wrong I want to curl up in my mother’s lap and have her make it all go away, but for the most part…I don’t.

At the end of the day, after all the madness, the laughter, the striving…I come home. I come home to the apartment I help pay for, the dog who sleeps on my feet, the roommate who isn’t really a roommate at all, but my best friend, the coffee pot I probably forgot to turn off and an overwhelming sense of independence. The violent separations of my day merge into the violent separation of my life as a whole. I am rapidly, furiously, and cruelly being torn from girlhood and am gloriously plummeting into womanhood. I am frustrated, but it’s ok. I’m learning everyday to worry a little less about where I’ll end up. I’m enjoying this roller coaster, this whirlwind that is my life.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

no amount of coffee, no amount of wine, no no nothing else will do, i gotta have you

so i won't say this year is going to be different, because i fear i'd be setting myself up for disapointment, however i have finally decided on my main objective for the year. to live a life i can be proud of. i refuse to spend anymore time doing things of which i am ashamed. i don't ever again want to feel the way i did in my last post. i don't ever want to get sick over preventable mistakes. this doesn't mean i won't make them, but the ones i can't help making i can deal with. it's the ones i could have somehow prevented by using common sense, thinking ahead, or let us be honest; not drinking too much, that i hope, and plan, and pray to eliminate. instead of putting my money where my mouth is, as they say, i hope to put my actions where my big fat mouth has been. to have a more structured, loving, honest, healthy, happy exsistence. what this looks like exactly i don't know just yet, but breaking down the previous list looks something like this, although it will entail much more, i am sure...

structure-going to bed before 5 in the morning and getting up early a.k.a not five minutes before class/work/exercize or coffee with mom (may or may not happen tonight)
love-i do a decent job of loving others, but this year i've got to love me
honesty-plain and simple: learn to say no
health-quit smoking!!!!!! and only drink occasionally, oh and exercize more, stop drinking pop, and let people love me (apparently i have several suggestions for this category)
happiness-accomplish all of the above and allow god to be a part of every single step without beating myself up for not being as "good" as the next jane doe. i serve a different purpose than her anyhow.

all of this sounds really good to me. and although i can't do it on my own, i can think of a lot of good friends, one in particular ;) that will be more than willing to help me out if i ask. so, jesus...i'm asking. and please allow me to recognize the help you send.

and seriously if i don't start using the canvas bags i bought to carry my groceries in i am not going to allow myself food (which might be a good thing since extreme weight loss is also a vanity goal i have) because the condition of our enviroment is no laughing matter and i need to atleast try. conserving toilet paper and water are also on the top of my list. you don't need as many sheets as you think you do and nobody needs to run the water while they are brushing their teeth, turn it off unless your toothbrush is actually under the faucet!

i am done preaching, but only because it is 4:23, i have to work in the morning and technically i'll be getting in bed before 5 a.m.-look at me i'm already making progress...