Friday, December 28, 2007
And I’m a little distracted by my Word program that is insisting I capitalize the new year. I don’t want to. I mean talk about pressure – New Year in caps, like it’s a pronoun of relevance. Its not, it just another year, right? Don’t pressure me Word!
Introspection is not a bad thing and something new is always fun, right?
Reflections of 2007
I got my Master’s Degree in Social Work.
For some reason, this act confirmed that I need to write. Don’t know how that happened. I’m trying to be practical. Find a job I like where I can make decent money to maintain myself…but in the end, I would prefer to stumble and fall writing. At least I almost have a day job to support my stumbling. I look onto friends who write, like Jim C. Hines, to encourage me to make cardboard then to not try at all!
I got disowned from my family.
What can I say? My fam and I have been fighting for years about the subject of me. I thought we were doing well when they accepted my sexuality. But for some reason, I have failed them at every turn. I thought I was raised to be an independent woman who could take her time in finding love and family. Every year I don’t produce a grandchild and every year I fail to win the heart of a long term love is a direct insult to my mother. Three days after I graduated with my Masters, the event my family decided not to attend, my Mum calls me up and lets me know I am an ungrateful brat and I can be done already. Goodbye GoGo!
I think I practice this exercise in my own life as I find it immensely easy to push people away and discount them as insignificant, and if they are significant, I run. Damn insight! Damn you self-awareness!
I am grateful to my family though. They pointed out the obvious behavior I’ve internalized and perform in my own life. Even without them in my life, I know they still love me and I love them. Funny how comfortable I am with that statement. With that said, I’m ready to learn how to do this differently. We don’t have to run or disown when things get tough. Sorry they have to, but I do not. Easier said than done, right.
I stopped sleeping around gratuitously.
Did I mention the above? Sex is great, but let’s face it; I am that person who finds relationships that embody my twisted sense of self-worth. And though I have loved all my lovers and dysfunctional girlfriends, I am ready to do it different…okay I was dysfunctional too…it wasn’t all them. The point is it doesn’t work anymore. Good news, I am happy enough with me to wait for something worth while. Not that one night stands, for now relationships, and friends with bene’s aren’t fun. It’s just that I think I get it now. I get where I put my worth. So excuse me while I go and grab it.
I lost over 40 lbs.
Woo! This is a hard one for me to talk about. First, I am glad to be loosing weight and becoming healthy. Somehow I feel like I am betraying fat gyrls everywhere because I prefer a healthier body. I feel more comfortable in the world. I have dreams that entail climbing a mountain, hand gliding, and yeah shopping at any store I want. My body wasn’t giving me what I wanted out of life, so we decided to do something about it. I like activity. I like growing into a body image I can deal with. I also like the fact that at every step of this journey, I’ve questioned my internalized fat phobias. I love myself for choosing to do something for me, not because I am getting thinner. In the end, I know this makes me a happier and healthier person.
With that said, I am so glad I have lived a larger life. I’ve been liberated from such HUGE social pressure that as I grow into a healthier body I find it easier to pick out the people who value aesthetic completeness. You know that person who loves because “she’s hot” or “she’s at the social level I want to be at”. I totally get to be hot and to be honest I have the in on so many social levels that this isn’t the thing that completes me.
How do I describe this for others to understand? Okay, so as a fat gyrl I am pretty loved and “popular” by that social definition of having many friends and people in my life. Okay, let’s just call that true. So, me being thin is a bonus for me. And yeah, thin gives me space to get away with more things. Now, I get to sing in an elevator with other people who will join in because I look the part of cool. Holla. I get to be me and you can’t help but love it, even if it’s just a surface value. Don’t get me wrong, I’d sing in the elevator anyway. Everyone wants to and it just takes one person to begin the round.
Okay, so I never sang on an elevator with others around. I just made it up as an example. Course, now I want to try and see what happens. Can someone give me a bflat?
I totally went off subject didn’t I? I think I am still working on my value systems with this one.
I forgot to go to London.
Okay, so I decided not to go…for now. I’ll get there though. I know I will. What happened was, all my clothes were too big and wouldn’t fit before I was to go. Literally. I had nothing to wear in London and well…I hear they expect folks to wear clothes.
God and I decided to call it quits.
I decided my relationship with “God” is too interconnected with the Christian version, so we split up. We’re considering it a trial separation, but so far, I’ve appreciated the silence between us. I’m thinking of moving in a lesser deity any day now.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I walk myself to the back of the bus and sit down. The bus is full. We are a crowd moving down Michigan Ave. The bus is noisy, everyone seems to be chatting, laughing, and yelling all over the place. The bus feels heavy with winter coats and boots. Me, I’m trying to conserve the last slurp of coffee in my cup until I can get to work and purchase my second cup. I got the joneses bad, I tell myself as I joke about my own coffee addiction. My internal dialogue entertains my tired a$$ this morning.
I’m not an 8-5’er. Especially the job I got. It’s not my thing, I tell myself as I wipe the tired that has crept into the corner of my eyes. So, what do we do about, Moe? I ask myself. I have three applications out there for jobs, received one rejection last week, and 1 new job I found to apply for. I go through my list and sigh. I’m doing what I can. I’m in that wait-and-see part of life where I should be grateful I do have two incomes keeping me holding out for the job I want.
This woman next to me distracts my thoughts as she yells at this child, “If you don’t put your butt in that seat, you’re gonna get hurt.” The kid as defiant as I feel towards the dawn shakes his a$$ at his Mom then puts it in the seat. Though entertained by the kid, my too early in the morning blues puts me right back to my internal pout. I imagine myself a super hero. By weekday I am a temporary executive secretary, waiting in the professional stream-lined attire for someone to give me something to staple while on the weekends I am a social worker in a mental health program holding folks hands while they mentally melt down. Go me!
The kid starts to rise again, this time shaking his butt at his mother. She roles her eyes and leans into me. “This kid was born to annoy me,” she whispers. I try and slightly push myself away, but she winds up grabbing the collar of my coat and pushing me closer. Um, boundaries! I think, but say nothing. “We think he’s going to wind up being an entertainer. Probably a comedian, but as long as he’s happy.”
“Oh,” I say, not really caring. The woman then releases me from her hold and tries to grab her kid who dangles his rear in her presence only to move it quickly when she lunges forward. He does this twice chuckling at her each time. I hide my own smile behind my scarf.
“Boi, you need to sit down before you get hurt!”
And then suddenly, the bus stops without warning as if for her alone. The kid goes furling into the main way between the seats and yells out “Owe. Mommy, I hurt my head.”
Mom, I swear she blinks twice before saying, “You can blame that butt of yours for not staying seated.”
Then the kid picks himself up, rubbing his head he turns his butt towards his face, kind of like what a dog would do and says, “Butt why did you betray me so?”
I laugh out loud and realize mornings aren’t so bad.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I really wanted to see Melissa Ferrick and Erin McKeown play at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton for the New Year. Alas, I'm stranded in this damn town with a grainy video from You Tube.
You...if you get a chance, go see Mel and Erin! AND Take me with you too!
One of them is this huge cat, complete with neurotic neediness and bullying behavior. If he wants you to pet him, he will lean his head into you with all his girth and push. It’s fine during the day. During the day I just pick him up, lifting him a few times for the workout (he’s at least 20lbs of cat), and then put him down away from me. It’s the night time that his need to be petted NOW drives me crazy as I usually am woken up in the middle of the night by the force of his head butt against my chest. Have you ever been head butted by a 20 lb cat? Ask someone to drop a bag of flour on your chest while you lie prostrate. Now, ask them to do it while you’re sleeping.
Cat #2 is this cute yet homicidal puss who spent the first month standing in front of me staring and hissing. Seriously, she would stand in my direct line of sight and randomly hiss at me. When she wasn’t hissing she was hiding. Usually I knew where she was because if I inadvertently walked passed her hiding place she would…yes, that’s right, she would hiss. She also has a tendency to wail at night, randomly without real cause except perhaps she misses her real human Mom. I feel bad, except it’s a loud howl of suffering like she alone has suffered the worst possible life EVER.
Now, those are the first two cats. The third one is…well she’s my cat. I didn’t mean to own one. Didn’t plan to add a cat to my life, though lets face it, who didn’t see this coming. She, Sammy, was a cat that hung around my house this summer so thin that her fur hung from the outline of her bones. She was so loving and beautiful. A blue and white kitty, she has these badboi stripes along her two front legs. And talk about man hands, this cat has the biggest paws. I began by feeding her as she took to living on my porch. This turned into vet visits and then one bitterly cold day, I let her come in.
Now, I’m a foster mom to three cats! I’m so overwhelmed by cat fur I’ve given up on trying to get rid of it. I have 4 sticky rolls things just so I can peel off the hair that sticks all over my clothes in any room at any time. I admit I used to judge people with animal fur on them. Now, I understand it’s just too damn impossible.
It’s not as bad as that, perhaps I’m too sarcastic about the whole affair. Homicidal cat has learned to appreciate me in her space. Everyday when I come home, she is the first one who gets a good pet as she sits on top of my chair and leans into my shoulder while I give her a good rub. Mr. Big has lost some weight under my supervision and he is so distracted by the fact he has to share my attention with YET ANOTHER CAT, he now spends his time trying to one up Sammy (my cat). He tries to pick a fight with Sammy about everything – chairs, corners and food. Sammy ignores him, which in turn increases his obsession with her.
At night, I have become accustomed to the white noise of Sammy and Mr. Big fighting over which one gets to sleep closest to my face while Homicidal Kitty wails for her lost Mom to quickly come and save her. Of course, this means no dates get to come home as I have no furfree space AND I’ve fallen behind on my cleaning. Oh, and I am not going to even mention the disproportionate amount of shit these catz produce.
Did I mention that homicidal kitty likes to take my clothes, wash cloths and knickknacks and put them in the middle of my living room floor? Yesterday one of them knocked over my entire collection of CDs, again. And Mr. Big has taken a couple sticky rolls hostage. They all take turns lying on all my stuff and someone has figured out how to open my closet, pulling down my clothes from their hangers.
Phh. What I like about my cat, Sammy, is she matches my personality the most. She has a tendency to do her own thing regardless of the other cats. And at night, when I lie in bed and write or read, she waits patiently for me to settle in and just lies beside me. No head butts or whines, just hanging with me until I am ready to give a good pet. And when it’s all said and done, she knows she’s the one who gets to stick around. That and she kicks butt with those man hands of hers when pressed by Mr. Big.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
I’m stuck. I’m stuck and I don’t know how to move. I put my car in neutral and get out of my car, hoping that with my own strength I can push it out of the two snowy holes I made for my front tires. I slip on the solid ice I’ve exposed below me, knocking the wind out of me, but I am not dismayed. I can do this.
I grab the car thrusting my arms against the door and inside roof with my steady hands and I push.
I fall. The ice is too slippery, the snow too solid and deep and I can’t stand on it much less get my brute force to will power the car to move.
I get up, brush off my coat, and look around briefly to see who might be watching me make a fool of myself. I’m actually hoping that Murphy’s Law provides me with an entertained voyeur so I can solicit their help in this madness.
No one. I turn around, walk around my car investigating my predicament like a professional. I shake my head at myself wondering what I was going to do, I say to the air, “Yeah, I’m clueless here.”
So I go door-to-door of my apartment complex looking to disturb someone in their warmth. I find my neighbor. He helps. We push, we pull. Then another neighbor, getting into his own car spots our fanfare and comes to help. Eventually, I am in my own driver seat, driving away with my hand out the window yelling thank yous as my car drives on.
I’m late for work, again. This time, I would have made it on time, had my car not gotten stuck.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
“Did you just ask me…”
“Yeah, yeah I did.”
“Are you saying, you think…”
“Yeah, yeah I am.”
“What makes you think that?”
“It’s kind of obvious.”
I had to record a conversation I had tonight, just 'cause it was soo inarticulate and funny. Not funny not true, but more like funny I can't believe you just rocked my world while saying nothing!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Snow covers my car with a thin layer of dusty whiteness as I unlock my door and kick the upper right corner to release it from its frozen lock. My thoughts are slipping into knots of disappointment. I’m late again for that temp job I have. I can’t seem to motivate the sleeper tucked away in bed to wake up early enough to make it to work on time. It’s a St@te job, bureaucracy at its dullest, and I’m the contracted secretary for three months while I look for that job in my field. I’m tolerating the job like I’m tolerating the cold stiffness creeping into my hands while I brush off the car. It’s just something that needs to be done.
I jump in, start it and go. I’m at the corner of Penn and Kali Ave before I realize I forgot my coffee cup. “Sh!t.”
I can’t go back. Not now. I’m hoping to sneak in before the big boss. My hands yearn for the hot cup permeating the cold still thick in my car, so I turn up the heater hoping it will work before I am there…at that job!
The light, it’s long. The back window defrost begins to work and I see cars pile in line behind me waiting for the green light. I’m agitated and cold. It’s the first moment since I decided to stay on the Eastside of this Midwest town that my internal compass feels a little pissed off. It’s not the job. It’s a temporary job. I know how to handle the work even if the monotony rubs on the brain like screeching chalk on a board. I tune it out. Remind myself it’s only temporary.
Cars pass in front of me, speeding tires spraying slush at one another. I watch this woman cross the road in front of me. She’s got to be freezing, I think.
I know that this normally early riser is late for work because it’s not something I want to do – literally sit and wait for the opportunity to organize the business life of someone else, particularly at the St@te level. Does anyone need something stapled, please! To be honest, I prefer to sit at the light ticking away at the minutes I have to be there.
But angry? Where is this coming from?
A car horn blares from behind me impatient as I wait for the speeding car to slide through my green before I go. “What! You want me to crash into the passenger door, a$$hole!” I yell at the car behind me, completely aware I am taking out this early morning chill of frustration on the guy behind me. Why not, he can’t hear me, I think shifting into gear and going forward as the guy behind me gives me the obligatory middle finger.
I’m almost half way there, passing compounds of office buildings, when I realize why today I just don’t want to be late or going or driving or cold. I’m not talking to folks about why I choose to stay in this Midwest Capitol.
Sure, I’ve said it’s expensive to move to London and I want to save up more money. It’s a practical response for such a huge move. The truth is, I can handle being broke in London. I come from a long line of workers and pan handlers, able to make even a button into 2 cents if we need to. It’s not the way I want to live, but I could do it. The truth. The truth is something that makes me feel uncomfortable when broached. The truth, which has spurred me to take this temp job while I take my time finding a job in the social work field, is the aesthetic. It’s not the only reason, but it’s the primary one. I want a little more time to feel good about my body again before I head to England.
I flip this thought in my head like a coin. Heads. Was this a good idea? Tales. What if I get stuck here all because I want to finally like my body?
It’s an old story, body image and the woman. This morning, as I park my car and go into building number 4 of the bureaucratic complex I work in I realize that my silent plans are eating at my calm nature. I still want to move and this self-imposed exile from my dream…temporarily…is eating at my mood. It’s in the silence that shame and vanity reside which as always turns into mad frustration.
Heads. I must be pretty pathetic if I don’t like my body. Tales. I must be vain to think I’ll like myself after I overhaul this self*.
I show my ID to the guard and disentangle my scarf from my throat. I head down to the bureaucratic complex’s food court and grab a cup of joe. So far, I think to myself, my decision to add on a year here hasn’t felt empowering. It’s muddled with all that baggage we carry with us, heavy and complicated. My body image these days reeks of self-loathing and I need a do-over.
It’s time, that internal dialogue pipes in, to get back some empowerment in this game plan. I agree with myself as I turn on my office computer and begin to type...