Monday, November 30, 2009

"I'm tired of painting myself 'will be' when You are always 'I AM'" - Melissa May

I am tired of striving
All of life is striving
Striving to be a good daughter, to be less of a financial burden, to ask few questions, to have fewer arguments.
Mami, I have never said this out loud,
but on nights like tonight, I would cut out my personality and throw it away if it meant we could go the rest of the year without arguing.
I would drop out of school and make the money to pay you back if that didn't mean that the loans you took out for me would go into early repayment.
I would spend my last few dollars on presents for your birthday and Christmas if I didn't have to ask you for gas money next week.

I'm tired of striving
All of life is striving
Striving to be a good Christian, to be less volatile, less judgmental, to love like Jesus, and obey His commandments.
Savior, Father, Spirit,
the thought of dying scares me less than the thought of continuing to do this wrong.
I would give you my whole paycheck, not just ten percent, if I wouldn't be financially hurting my family by doing it.
I would enter a convent, if I didn't believe you had given me specific gifts to take with me to the masses.
I would spend all day, everyday talking to, hearing from, reading about, and worshipping You, if I didn't really believe that You want me to worship You by showing others the truth. 
I would say "all I need is You, Lord, is You, Lord. All I need is You" if I didn't think You had created me for relationship with others too.
I am tried of striving.

I think that was going to be a poem...but it's really just a complaint, the same complaint I've had for the last year.
The place I was trying to get to, but failed, is that there is nothing happy about where I am. I am only alive for the "will be." I get up every morning and pray for the strength to make it through today so that one day, I will be able to walk in my calling and my gift. So that one day, I will be able to say, I made it over. So that one say, I will be able to thank God that I'm not where I used to be.

My pastor says you can always thank God that you're not where you used to be...but I'm having a hard time believing that, because I used to be happy. And I haven't been happy for a year. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I've heard it said that I was born to be a leader.

I used to be very into that idea and therefore always sought out leadership positions and opportunities. I could list them, but that would be boring for you.

Well, since I left OCU I have been pretty nearly running from leadership positions - not because I don't think I'm capable of fulfilling them or because I hate responsibility.  I run from them because I've recently decided that I don't want to be followed.
I have often heard it said that you're not a leader if you have no followers. Well, then that's where I want to be. I don't want people to follow me anywhere, I just want to help people do whatever they want or be a better version of themselves.  And I don't know what that looks like.

Tonight, I went to a church service and is trying to start a movement. They were asking leaders to step up...
...and this is the kind of thing that's right up my alley.

But I'm no longer into leading...

I don't know. I just want to "crawl 'til I can walk again, then run until I'm strong enough to jump, THEN I'll fly - y - y!"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

There's Some Hard Times in the Neighborhood

(I came to the realization this week that a lot of people read and I don't know they read. Subconsciously I probably knew that,  but I had never reall thought about it. So thanks.)
If you've been watching lately, you may have notived that my posts fluctuate between brilliant and intellectual and angry or defeatist. That's a pretty accurate assessment of the current state of my psyche.

My fingernails and cuticles have major evidence of nervous biting. My skin is broken out. I pick fights with people because it's much easier to argue than to be unengaged. I'm either wayyy more put together than it's necessary to be, or I look like I fell out of bed without looking in the mirror.
The part that you may not know is that along with my moods comes a general dissatisfaction. I'm either really missing the past or I want to lay down and go to sleep and wake up in the future.

There are degrees and poems and competitions and books and good essays and fancy titles and legislation in my future (Thank GOD)...but for all I know that future is 5 years away. I don't like to think about the distant future when tomorrow scares the sh*t out of me.

In my past, along with the stupid things I did and mean people I knew there are a ton of missed opportunities. If I hadn't been so wrapped up in experiencing OCU college life, I could have had a good, well-paying, cushy office job for a year. Instead, I only had said job for 5 months. When I was 18 cheerleading, being in a sorority, working for the college newspaper, and sleeping in were more important than money. I was either stupid and childish, or blindly idealistic. I could have had a hard, taxing job that paid enough and got me a lot of attention and notoriety from summer 2007 until graduation. Instead I only had that job for 4 months. When I was 18, being an officer in my sorority and being on Panhellenic and having time to do nothing in my dorm room was more important that the future I could have had in journalism.  I think at that point my fault was a lack of focus. I didn't know what I wanted, so I didn't know how to get it. I could have had a relatively easy job doing soft sales and hanging out with cute kids and their neurotic parents from summer 2007 to the present. I did work that job for over a year. But then sorority and student government and free time were more important. 

Are you bored with my list yet?

My point is, back when I had all the opportunity and none of the focus, I had my choice of jobs to help pay the bills. I had three jobs at one point. No time, but plenty of money. Now that I have focus, I have no opportunity.

I'm not saying money is the most important thing. But I'm saying everything is easier with money.

I don't really know what to do. I'm technically employed at two different locations. But Chili's took me off the schedule for some reason unbeknownst to me, and I'm 96% sure Aldo is about to cut my hours wayy back (not that I was getting a lot anyway).  Part of me doesn't want to look for a new job because I'm spending three days in Texas over Thanksgiving, I want to take an intercession class, and my bestie's getting married over New Year's. But the other part of me is in constant freak-out mode because at this rate, I'm not going to be able to afford the gas money or hotel fare for the wedding road trip that's already been completely planned. Hm.

My mom thinks I should skip intercession class so that I can work pretty constantly from December 7 to December 28 and from Jan 3 through summer 2010 (my next semester schedule is WIDE open - thank  GOD for online classes)...and that might be a smart choice. But I want to graduate, damn it! I'm already a year late. I'm not particularly interested in being later.
Then I thought about it. Would I rather be poor and not get to do anything but make sure I'm done in May of 2011, or should I find a good job that pays and maybe cut back on the hours? I took 17 this semester and am in enrolled in 17 for next semester. I only need 12 to be a full-time student. But taking my time with this degree just wasn't part of the plan.

They say pray about it.
I have, I am. This is prayer. There's a prayer being prayed in a foreign language in my head. Last night's tears were prayers. Now I want some answers.

:: deep sigh ::

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Losing Friends

I'm not talking about death, so don't feel too sorry for me.

I went to college and immediately joined a sorority. That brought with it a lot of issues about money, race, class, and socialization. One of the things that was really exciting about the house I joined is that so many of us have big goals and big dreams and we want to be influential in the lives of those around us. We had the reputation of being the girls you study with or ask to co-lead your organization or initiative.  We weren't the partiers or the sex-pots.  And I really felt like I fit in there. I love my sisters with all my heart. Being a part of that sorority taught me things I wouldn't have learned elsewhere and I am the woman I today because of them.

But there is one thing I have come to realize I get older.
After approximately sophomore year in college, and especially in a sorority, you see a lot more candle lightings and bachelorette parties and weddings. You hear a lot about lace and flowers and bridesmaids dresses. And no matter what kind of person you are, conversations about marriage and weddings and futures are more "fun" or "interesting" than conversations about politics, public service, or books will ever be.
One of the girls I met my first year became a close friend of mine. We noticed ourselves often sitting together at events and talking about things. We ended up being members of other organizations together and discovered that we have vaguely similar politics and vaguely similar personalities. We got really close the summer after sophomore year and remained so until I transferred schools.

I also got pretty close to the girl who was my big sister in the sorority. We spent my birthday together when I turned 20. I was at her graduation party. She and I have double dates with our moms. It's great fun. 

Well I haven't talked to either of those girls much this semester because one is our sorority president as well as the SGA chief of staff. She also has a demanding major and a wedding in approximately 50 days. My big sis has graduated and her job requires her to travel a lot. She also has a fiance, just recently, and is now planning a move and a wedding. 

Not too far into the semester when I realized that my friend and I never have time to hang out just the two of us, I got nervous. I got even more nervous when roads of conversation always led to her upcoming wedding. I don't have much to say about that because I don't get excited about weddings. She knows this, and we've agreed to disagree about it.

I saw her last week and we talked for a while. We talked about the sorority for a minute or two and about the Homecoming celebration they had just finished. And not five minutes later, I found myself searching for topics that would strike her interest. I don't have time to keep up with politics, so I couldn't ask her how she felt about the health care bill that was on the table. I don't do any extracurriculars at my new school so we couldn't compare busy schedules. I am out of the OCU loop now so we can't chat it up about the intricacies of the student government or the perception of our house on campus. So I told her some story about work or about Frank or about something else stupid that doesn't matter, because I couldn't of anything else to say and I didn't want to waste the little bit of time we had together.

Here's the main jist of this post:
It freaks me out when people grow away from each other. I am scared to death that once she gets married on December 31 we will have even less in common and once she graduates this May we will have nothing. What do I have to say to a married college graduate? "Great wedding pictures" "How's the hubby?" "Do you have a washer and dryer yet?" Blah blah blah. I won't know anything about her new life and everything about mine will be old news because she's already been there and done that.

Marriage isn't supposed to have to be the end of a friendship, nor is graduation, but my attitude toward love and marriage is one where I can only listen to someone talk about it for so long and so often.

A couple of weeks ago I saw my big sis write on my friend's Facebook wall, and she said let's get together next week. I was going to ask if I could come along. I haven't gone and had drinks with either of them, yet and I've been 21 for three months.  Then I saw one of them say to the other - "Can't wait to get together, have drinks and talk weddings!" Or something like that. And I realized that even if I had gone with them I would have been completely left out of the conversation anytime it turned to men, marriage, or weddings. They would have tried to include me because they are nice people, but really I would have put a damper on their fun. They wouldn't have felt comfortable gushing about colors and fabrics and honeymoons if I had been there. So I didn't even ask.

I don't want this to sound like it's their fault. God bless their marriages. The guys they are marrying are wonderful. God bless my friend's graduation. She has worked her ass off. God bless my big sis's job, she deserves something that makes her happy. But my friend's life will change, has changed, and mine will stay the same. I'm satisfied with my life, I just wish I could keep my friends in the process. I wish I could still hang out with them without feeling left out because I'm not getting married. I wish we still had enough conversation topics without weddings.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Untitled Love Poem (11/7/09)

I love shoes and bags
I love what dredlocks represent
I love art and music and hot chocolate...

And I love Jen, and Kosher, and Mannie, and L'Booghie,
Christian, and all my other friends
I love my Alpha Chi Omega sisters

I love yoga and charismatic church services
I love chanting, meditation and reading

And I love my Deities: Creator, Savior, Sustainer - more traditionally Father, Son, Spirit,
but I try to stay away from gender boundaries

So I love things, people, processes, and the Divine.
More accurately stated:
I am pleased by things;
I find pleasure in processes;
I have an affection for some people in a similar way as family;
and I have an all-encompassing worshipful, sacrificial attachment to GOD

But what about you?
I mean, your lips taste better than chocolate
and I'd rather have you on my arm than a new Coach
I would like to talk to you like I talk to Jennifer,
hug you like Mannie,
kiss your cheek like Kosher
and sit next to you at Thanksgiving like my cousins
I talk to you with the same diligence as prayer,
and I'd make love to you with the same focus and concentration as performing a sun salutation

But I can't tell you I love you...
Because I'm scared you won't know what I mean
I'm scared you'll think I want to treat you like my favorite high heels...
only rock with you in photos and then take you off
because deep down I'd rather be barefoot
I'd wear my heels all day for you

Sometimes I'm scared to tell you what I really think
Everybody knows that being family means sometimes fighting,
sometimes crying, but in the end compromising,
loving in spite of differences

I want to share my processes with you
I'll read you the secrets of the universe
and you can tattoo your lifeline to my breastbone

I know you're scared I'll worship you
And honestly, I'm a little worried about that too
But I think maybe after all these years I can keep my affection in balance
I think I know now that you can accept my consideration
and my accolades as long as I never try
to make you the one I sacrifice to or the one I praise

Give me a chance
I think I can learn to tell you I love you without overplaying the romance
I think I could serve up that second helping of Grandma's sweet potato pie that you like
and I can write while you play video games
I think I can pass by several new purses and shoes if you'd be willing to spend the next few years learning to say you love me too

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thoughts on Teaching and News About BNV '10

This morning I was reading The Diary of Anne Frank for Young Adult Literature and thinking about how there are so many little random things that interest me when I read. I was thinking about how even last year when my classes were structured solely on discussion, there was no way to convey ALL of the interesting anecdotal things that ran across my mind when I was reading. So I decided, in order to create more writing opportunities and in order to give students like myself an outlet, I'm going to have an open extra credit opportunity in my English classes when I start teaching. It'll be something along the line of: anytime you want to write a short essay about something you read in the text - THAT WE DID NOT COVER IN CLASS - feel free to do so and had it in by (date). This extra credit essay should be written as if it were a formal assignment and I might hand it back for revisions before I assign points to it.

Is it nerdy that I sit around and think about the things I want to do when I have my own classroom? I do it ALL the time.

The Brave New Voices 2010 festival is being help in Los Angeles, California. My friend (business partner?) and I decided that it is imperative to our project that we go to this festival. And I'm excited because, unlike so much of the rest of the world, I don't really care about California or the West Coast in general. But this will be my reason to go see it and to get attend this amazing festival!! I'm really excited. I have to save my money. I'd like to buy a video camera before then too!
(And this is extra incentive to lose 20 or 30 pounds, LOL).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Living the Dream - poem from Oct. 1, 2008

I understand why people cease to believe in dreams.
Age teaches us that we don't always get the things
we want.
Children don't get ponies
And women often don't get diamond rings.
After a few disappointments
We stop getting mad at Santa Claus
And the man we lost
And we start to blame the dreams.

But I really do believe
That the sentiments lying at the core of things
Are real.
You can teach someone what's right and wrong,
But none of us can change what we feel.

I want a man whose features are as artistically chiseled
As his heart is deep
Perhaps not because he's an archetype
But because I want to be a beauty queen.
I didn't study anthropology because
I don't like to dig for buried things.
I find my pleasure in words because
I can tell myself that they are only what they seem
On the surface.
I don't have the diligence
to find the hidden things in you.
I want to get what I see.
I put a lot of stock in a face's value.

I don't pretend to be profound
And you shouldn't try to make an example out of me.
Because I am just a girl
Who enjoys the simple things –
pretty faces, accents, and vigorous workout routines.
The creature comforts –
Southern born, corn-fed boys whose mamas made them read.
I'm no more advanced than that five-year-old girl
Who cried because she got a kitten instead of a pony.
I'm no more realistic than clapping
Your hands to prove you believe in fairies.
And I'm no more enlightened than one
Who treats dreams like they could be reality.