sometimes you dig yourself so far into a hole that it becomes cavernous, and you look around at your dark, dripping hole and think, “hm, i could stay here awhile.” and then you have yourself convinced that this is the way things will be and you can accept it if you numb the part of your consciousness that objects. it’s silly, however, when you don’t recognize that if you only crawled a little further that bright sky and cool water lay just beyond the stretches of your imaginary solitude.
I pray that I never become complacent. I have the tendency to be lazy and sleepy (much like a sloth). But when I wake up early, have a cup of coffee, and greet the world around me with brazen assurance, i feel most fulfilled. So today I will begin to learn the guitar. Why? Because I want to create art and the guitar seems versatile and I already have one in my possession. I could have picked up the clarinet again…but I’m no longer in 6th grade and I am also unable to play and sing simultaneously. If anyone has suggestions on how to best begin playing I’m all ears. Any lyrics I deem worthy from here on out I will post here. But now, I’m getting train sick so I will write more later.
sailing is fun. today, after quite a late start, I rolled out of bed and headed down to south beach to sail. Today’s weather could not have been more conducive to beginner’s sailing. The small waves lapped against our boat, the sun shone mildly from a cloudless sky, and we were able to put our feet up and enjoy the view of Chicago.
afterwards, we bought out Jewel and prepared for a Labor Day feast. Corn on the cob, burgers, brats, salsa, queso, potato salad, macaroni salad, carrot cake, watermelon, flavor ices, and pizza strips were some of the many items we indulged in. Happy, full, and a little sore (womp womp) I’m headed to bed to get back to the grind tomorrow. Adios Summer! Cannot wait for Fall.
I finally watched the season finale of Girls tonight. Yes, I’m late to the party but thanks to the generosity of a certain friend of mine, I was finally able to access HBOgo and go ham on all the shows I have been missing. (For the record-netflix is useless. So is Hulu. And I am not nearly tech-savvy enough to know how to find shows on random sketchy websites like sidereel. Props to people who can though! S/o to Kaj who works the internet machine like magic so we can watch sex and the city. Our friendship wouldn’t be the same without your marketable skills)).
So I finish watching Girls, the credits roll, and I’m stuck thinking about the characters for hours afterward. Is it because I enjoy watching the show? Honestly, not really. It’s pretty sad, and the plot line is relatively pointless. What really makes watching Girls so worthwhile is its uncanny resemblance to reality. It captures emotions that aren’t so glamorous. It depicts scenes that aren’t so magical. And at the end of a season, there isn’t an obligatory happy ending. In fact, you feel like the characters don’t really have their shit together. And it’s awesome. Every other freaking thing I watch, consume, hear about, or read are people getting it right. My newsfeed is filled with happy pictures, congratulatory statuses. My twitter feed highlights celebrities and instagrams of people who have more money than they can spend. I watch shows and movies that center around high-rolling meth dealers or fabulous single New Yorkers who seem to be employed full-time to eat lunch with their friends around the city. And I like it. I enjoy watching the successes of others. But when I start to feel like I don’t amount to much by comparison, or that I haven’t done enough with my life at this age, there is nothing that I watch or see that validates my feelings of inadequacy.
That is why it is so refreshing to watch Girls. Because it serves as a reminder to its viewers that it is completely human and normal to feel vulnerable, and that it doesn’t always turn out alright! Girls is empowering because it places the spotlight on women who make mistakes and don’t claim to have everything in their lives figured out. They face average problems, like unemployment, STI’s, rent, weight, complacency, unresolved conflict, and feelings of inadequacy. Truth is, sometimes I don’t want to escape my (temporary) funks. Sometimes it’s more therapeutic to revel in someone else’s funk for a little while to help you reevaluate your funk, and realize a funk is just a funking funk and you can tell that funk to get the funk out and go funk with someone else! So thank you, Lena. I feel much better now.
Hello everyone! I have safely arrived at my abroad destination for the next few months! Easily enough, it’s the same place I’ve been living for the past year. Yes, I am still in Evanston. And thus begins my own “abroad” blog.
Going abroad was never a question, it was an answer. I have been waiting to study abroad since ninth or tenth grade, about the same time I realized the homogenous Grand Rapidian monotony wasn’t for me. I wanted adventure, and I wanted to awaken a passion within me for foreign culture, ethnic cuisines, different ways of life, people, and experiences. I applied and was accepted to study at an American school in the Czech Republic. It seemed so far-fetched that I would be afforded the opportunity to traipse around Europe with all of my college friends for four months, but I was excited to make my dream a reality. Around the time I attended the program’s orientation on campus in May, I was offered a position as a Marketing Research intern at Morningstar…for the full year. This put me in a pickle. Do I accept the (paid) position for a year that would help set me up for my career and future? Or do I run off to Europe for a few months to spend my parents’ money?
Now I am not a mature person. Far from it. In fact, given the choice to sleep in or go to class…I will almost always choose sleep. Given the choice to stay up or go to sleep early, and I will be out all night. Given the choice between a big, fat delicious slice of double chocolate cake and a salad? Please.
But this decision I thought long and hard about, and I chose the job.
I’m not going to say I won’t regret it, and that it won’t be hard to see my newsfeed full of skylines in Spain or hipster Parisian instagrams. It will be so hard. One of the hardest things I have had to do thus far at Northwestern. But it will make me stronger and more independent (and God knows I need a big dose of both).
So here I am.
Still in Evanston.
About to begin Abroad Fall 2012.
But the thing that I’ve been thinking is this: Why does a location truly matter for adventure-seekers? True adventurers are able to create excitement and spontaneity wherever they are. Sure, it may be a little easier to find fun in a new, exciting city that you haven’t been living in for two years. But truth is, you can find adventure anywhere. And yeah, I’ve been living in Chicago since Freshman year, but how much of this city have I really seen? How can I claim to be a true Chicagoan if the only street I know like the back of my hand is Sheridan? I can’t. So that is the purpose of starting this blog back up again. I want to become a Chicagoan. A city-goer. A cultured native. I want to meet new people, explore new neighborhoods, eat new foods, listen to live bands, and shop in niche, underground thrift stores. Being in Evanston is not impeding my ability to have blog-worthy adventures, I am.
So here I am.
In EVANSTON FREAKING ILLINOIS
About to begin a new year.
With new classes and new friends.
Bring it on, bitch.
What have I done this year? My first instinct is to regret everything. It’s easy to think a year ago this time things were much simpler, yet were they? Was this complicated net of rumors, cheating, anger, sadness, and distrust just lying dormant past the polite facade we all wore as freshmen? Yes, unfortunately it was. Equally unfortunately, I cannot continue to run from my issues and find solace in a newer more comfortable setting, as tempting as it sounds. No, I need to realize for the first time that everything, I mean EVERYTHING gets complicated if you stick with it longer than the honeymoon phase. You find something you love, you dive headfirst throwing caution to the wind, and then you’re plummeting, faster and faster and you see things whirling around you that you once had securely fastened in your safe, albeit jumbled, psyche. You grab wildly for anything that could catch your fall because you’re falling much too fast. Falling is nothing like you thought it would be.
I’m falling. Fast. And this time, I want to make the conscious decision not to pad my fall. Instead, I’m going to brace myself. I’m going to steel my body against the landing I know is nearing. I will control my descent, and I will deal with its consequences. I will nurse my wounds, and reflect not on the bad, but the good that brought me to the edge in the first place. I will face the phantoms that continually ebb at the edges of what is good.
I will make the most of my summer internship. I will acknowledge the love in my life and revel in it. I will mend broken bridges, and if they don’t need mending, I will walk away with a full heart. I will wake up with hunger. I will create, build, question, relish in the moments that are only mine once. I will be confident in my own skin. I will not question the decisions I have made, but learn from them in the future. I will see past the temporary, and appreciate the extraordinary. I will experiment, taste, grasp, chase, and dance in the opportunities life brings me. I will begin anew. I will be strong. I will fall with grace.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked frantically.
“Why are you asking so many questions? You used to be fun! Live a little, Jesus.”
Pete’s whimsical response did not match the tight grip he kept on my forearm as he dragged me through the muggy patch of trees leading us further and further away from where his beat-up Volvo station wagon sat parked near the edge of the woods. The night was completely silent, and the whizzing sound of cars passing grew increasingly distant. We stopped after we pushed through a thicket of bushes and fell into a clearing. Panting, I glanced up at Pete. The top of his brow was bleeding and a rivulet of red streamed down his face. He stared at me intently, his body shaking with passion. Passion for what? I was constantly trying to determine what mood Pete was in, his deep green eyes always searching my face, blazen with emotion. He held out his hand, the two purple pills visible even in the low light of the cloudy sky provided us. He nodded suggestively to me, and I slowly shook my head.
“You promised,” he growled menacingly.
“I said when the time was right, when I felt comfortable,” I hesitantly replied.
“And I’m telling you the time is right.”
“Pete, you scared the living shit out of me. You dragged me out of that concert, Gemma’s probably scared out of her mind, we left her dancing with that coked out freak.”
“She’ll be fine. I’m worried about you and I.”
“What do you mean?”
My heart was racing, his eyes were darkened, he stepped closer to me, he grabbed my arm and took my face in his hands roughly.
“You promised me we would have these moments together, I don’t want them with anyone else. You’ve caused me so much pain, this is the least you can do to make it up to me.”
“Pete, I don’t want to!” My scream shattered the silence of the night. Suddenly I was very aware of how alone we were.
“You don’t have a fucking CHOICE! Why would you not trust me you fucking whore!? You think you can trust anyone in your life but me? Where are your parents right now, Lissa? Where’s your saintly sister? Where’s Gemma? I’m the only one who cares about you! Who will put up with your fucking shit!? If you don’t do this with me I’m leaving you in this fucking clearing and I swear to God I won’t turn around. Don’t fucking test me!”
My knees buckled beneath me. I felt the taste of copper in my mouth, I was trying so hard to keep the tears at bay. My body betrayed me as I felt him grab my hair. Suddenly I was shaking, tears welled up in the corners of my eyes and ran down my face, smudging the glittery make-up Gemma had insisted I wear. Pete finally let go of my hair, sat down beside me. Grabbing my face so i could look him in the eyes, he took a pill and swallowed it with a defiant gulp.
“I did it. You have to do it. You won’t let me be alone. Lissa, I love you. If you love me you wouldn’t leave me alone.”
With my forearm finally free I looked at the dark pink spot where he had grabbed me. A deep bruise was already forming below the surface of my pale skin.
He stared at me and scoffed.
“No, Pete. I’m done.”
“I’m all you have, Lissa.”
I could already see his hands shaking.
“You have no idea what I am without you,” I said quietly, but with sure confidence.
I picked myself up. He reached a shaking hand toward me but I backed out of the way. He tried to stand on his unstable legs, but I couldn’t wait.
I ran to the clearing, my skirt ripping in the thorns, my hair catching in the branches. I covered my face with my arm and ran.
we read Bridget Jones’ Diary for Girlhood in Public Culture this week,and the book is an incredibly humorous portrayal of a thirty-something’s quest for self-improvement. The enitre novel is written in diary-entry posts, with the top of each post stating her weight, number of “alcohol units” consumed, number of cigarettes smoked, and number of calories eaten during the course of one day. Her entire life is defined by controlling her appetites. I thought it kind of funny while reading the book, but my perspective has changed upon discussing it in class the following day. My professor said something of note, why are women always concerned with controlling appetite? Eat less, smoke less, drink less, be less promiscuous, count calories. Control one’s body. Why is femininty defined by constrictions?
i love the classes im taking.