Statement of Purpose

I’ve really got to think about where I’m at now in my life and what values I stake my faith in. My frame of mind is still skipping over a track that’s small-time, insular and selfish. This isn’t to say that I haven’t achieved wonderful things, or that I’ve made no progress. I have personal struggles that reflect on the way I act when I’m out in the world and these have to be dealt with so I can be a stronger, more confident person. While I’m working on my political/environmental/religious standpoints, overcoming my inner obstacles will give me the freedom to raise my voice. Here is my statement of purpose:

1.  It’s okay to be critical and it’s okay to criticize. There are issues that need to be called out. We have people in government behaving irresponsibly, whose eyes aren’t on the citizens they promise to serve, but on the power and privilege that accompanies their influence.

2.  Sometimes I’m going to feel like I have no friends. Other times, I’ll remember all the joy and warmth my friends have given me. I’ll encounter those who dislike me, and I’ll make mistakes, and I’ll hurt other people. I’ll carry on, trying to know better, but inevitably I’ll be confronted with similar situations again. Such is the nature of being with people and without them.

3. But I can’t stop dreaming. I’ve worked so hard, though not hard enough yet. I may not see a definite publishing deal or a “dream job” in my future, but it’s time to visualize success.

4. Everyone has value, even if I can’t see it at first. Sometimes I’m not meant to be the person who sees it.

5. People will always be happier and more successful than I am. There’s no point in trying to cast a shadow over them, belittling their achievements or their life choices. I should strive to share in their celebration of life, and believe that we can all be successful on our own terms. We all grow from different circumstances, and their life is in a completely alternate context from mine.

6.  Much of my inner conflict and resentment toward people comes from my inability to express myself articulately. I really need to work on having these important conversations with people where I can communicate what’s bothering me. Otherwise, I’ll just internalize and blame myself for negative feelings that could’ve just been remedied if I were better understood.

Now I just need a plan of action.

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Something

I’m so worn out by this.

Some friends don’t even reply when I’m upset, or they’ll change the subject when I’ve got an issue to address. I can understand people being busy, but when I don’t hear from them for days or months, it stays on my mind and I feel hung out to dry just waiting for a message.

If I bother them too much, I feel desperate and whiny. If I leave them alone, they don’t know about it. So why is it so hard to say something, even to simply acknowledge that I’ve been heard? Just speak and let it not be nothing.

It’s not like I haven’t tried. I’ve opened myself up, written love notes, attempted to stay involved. I’ve listened hard; I’ve obsessed about us. What more can I bring to the table?

I went to a job interview today where half of it felt like a therapy session. I feel a bit drained right now and I don’t know how to let it out.

Why is it such a struggle to communicate? It can’t always be my fault.

I’ve tried so hard to make this work. YOU try. You’ve got so many friends you rely on when you’re having a tough time, but when I come to you, it’s because I really need you.

And there’s only so much dead air I can handle.

Sleeping On It.

I know it seems that I’ve been sleeping on this blog, but I don’t update it haphazardly. I want to find the most suitable thing to say, with the best way of saying it. I’ve been writing a few unfinished songs, and it’s a real challenge to get a song all the way out of me. So I have a ton of drafts that have been me interrupting myself, thinking “this isn’t a good idea, I probably shouldn’t take it any farther” or “this started out great, but where do we go from here?”.

I’ve also been working on a novel. I’m about eighty pages in, and I’m still unsure of what the major action is going to be. I mean, I have no idea how everything is going to turn out. I worry that I’ve put my characters in a room without a door, that I’ve created something I can’t coherently and eloquently write my way out of. I have to remind myself that it doesn’t have to be amazing; it just needs to work. Writers use the most basic tropes because they work, but they put their own original spin on it to make it fresh. I’ve got to keep trying though; I’ve done so much research and really done a lot to put it together at the back end. So what if it starts out slow? It’s not a final draft!

But I’ve gotten a bit scared. I didn’t write as much over the winter holidays — when I could have spent a couple full days doing it — because I was afraid the plot was stupid and going nowhere. I have to get accustomed to that feeling.

Good, pure and loving thoughts in which you truly believe can build you up, while negative, prejudiced thoughts can break you down. Get in a positive headspace. It makes such a huge difference to speak and act through a soft heart.

Blessed.

It feels so good and amazing to be alive. Being back in my hometown reminds me of how far I’ve come, how I’ve been doing things I never even imagined I could (achieving high marks, moving to a new city, maintaining steady employment, exercising more than once a week). I’m learning that I can never really guess what the future holds.

But I know I can be kinder, more dedicated. I can strive to live with a pure heart and a clear head. I’m pretty much stuck in my ways, but I don’t want to be too judgemental or morally superior. Sometimes I get annoyed and feel like I can’t handle things anymore. I feel like when I’m in a crowd, I always have the right of way — so if someone gets in my way, I have a right to be annoyed at them and to express my annoyance. I try to suppress it, but I worry that it shows through sometimes.

This year, I learned that it is in my advantage to be patient with people and to step away from trying to control everything. I’m especially grateful for my friends, parents, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I value their presence; they don’t have to show up, but they do! I suppose I’ve healed a lot more from losing friendships and having to make new friends in a new place. I’m more confident in myself.

If anyone is reading this, know that I have an open heart and there’s love enough for you. I’m shy and I’m scared, and I don’t trust easily, but I’m willing to give it time. I think about the people out there struggling and I’m weak for them. I sympathize. I’m trying to be brave while there’s still time. I’m trying to stand up while the social justice warriors are taking roll call. If not now, when?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, lovelies. Goodbye 2014, you beautiful number attached to a beautiful year.

I’m so proud

…that I’m hanging out with the people in grad school I’ve wanted to hang out with since first semester. They are the cool, cultured, intellectual, tasteful friends I’ve always aspired to know and they’ve made me feel so welcome as part of their group. They invite me to the bar with them and wait for me to get ready to go, with the door held open. When I talk, they listen to what I say, and when they talk, I learn so much about cultural influences and the interpersonal relationships going on in the program and in our professional world. I feel free to share my opinions and debate in a safe space. We can exchange small talk comfortably and they’ll tell me about their day-to-day lives. We even follow each other on Twitter! I’m so grateful and delighted to be included, and I feel a lot less alone.

This experience has opened up so many doors for me. Sometimes, when I feel so afraid of my public perception, I look at them, at how relaxed and accepting they are, and I feel alright. I’m learning about so many different lives through being in this program. People who have recently had kids, people planning their weddings, people who are constantly juggling family responsibilities, a job and high marks in school. It’s so amazing to get a glimpse of these worlds that I feel light years away from.

But I’m still me, and people seem to respect and accept that, even if I have no roots here. It’s wonderful to feel myself opening up again, making conversation and expanding my network of diverse friends.

I found twenty dollars on the ground.

And it is my mother’s birthday. Today is a good day. 🙂

Sunset

It doesn’t make you suddenly sad
To see me sullenly shake my head
Maybe you’d see past this fragile mask, if you’d been around to ask
But you don’t have to read my past, to perceive that you should get out fast
I don’t have the words to catch you, and if I did they wouldn’t last

And so I go on shrinking, but truthfully I can’t help thinking
That if I can’t act drastic, you will always use your own tactics
And one of us should learn to hurt better; we both need the practice
Where’s the teachable moment if we can lean away like nothing happened

Maybe I’d potentially be your friend, if I knew the magnitude to expect and depend
Every truth will only serve you to a certain extent
So eventually I’d curve my answers to fit into your sentences
And if I swerved my words with demands I’d repent my way back to acceptance

But if you reject my empty hands, well, I can’t help but understand
These crooked pieces connect my thesis and lead me out of line, so I can’t
Pander to your sympathies, it gets less feasible to believe that I am simply
the unanswered question of every rejection left to me.

But if you don’t mind, I’ll ask where you go to leave behind
Every broken hope that time fractures
And rest your mind while the disasters diffuse
As you gracefully consent to lose,
Your sunset quickly returns to focus

Whereas I, like a child,
Never stayed up late to notice.

Maybe I Prefer the Lie

I went out on a date on Friday, August 22, and ever since then I’ve wanted to tell the world what a beautiful time I had.

It was so spontaneous, but it felt empowering to allow myself to be around someone I was comfortable with, to take that risk for a chance at being happy together with a guy. I had so much to say to him, my words were flowing like a river, and I wanted to know everything about him. I let myself be playful, fearless, confident, intellectual and in control. He seemed quite happy to be with me, even when he was helping me pick up beer cans that had been thrown in the park. I felt like I had something to offer and for once it was easy for me to be myself. I wonder if he was being himself too.

I loved being part of his world for those brief three hours. It’s immensely flattering to know that a guy as successful, charming, talented and kind as he is would see something special in me. After the time he took to get to know me, it seems odd that he wouldn’t have seen anything more than a nice body. But he hasn’t spoken to me since, so I can never be sure…

Maybe it’s better to not know, and to preserve the magical realism of him in my mind. A parallel universe where we kissed and then went out to dinner. Or the pure, simple reality of listening to Radiohead In Rainbows on his crystal clear sound system in his freshly purchased SUV, less than a year old. In a relationship, I really have to stick around to get moments like these. They get overshadowed by the disappointments. I would’ve had to have told him how complicated I can be, and that would’ve taken something away. I would’ve found out about the other girls (what an easy flirt he was!) and grown wary and distrustful. But I had an amazing day walking through the park with him, on paths that seemed to take us through a forest of possibilities. I’m glad to just have that, no matter how far away it is from the truth.

http://avenueedmonton.com/articles/mars-attracts

Feeling blue today…

…I don’t quite know why. Maybe it’s because the weather suddenly changed and it’s trying to rain, although usually I enjoy the freshness it brings to the earth and the warmth it sheds on the indoors. Maybe I am affected by my friend’s mother passing away yesterday. Maybe it’s because the show I watch is losing its glamour as the series nears its most probable end. I don’t like being a hardcore fan anymore. It really wears down my emotions to love something and despair for it so wholeheartedly, something that will never return any of the commitment and enthusiasm I show for it. I’ve been a pretty devout follower in the past, constructing future plots in my head months after watching the series’ finale, but I’m not as ardent as the core fan base pressing for more seasons and movies. It’s okay to let it go.

Maybe I’m just tired. As I was pulling books off the shelves at work today, I thought of all these writers who got published and whose books ended up in our library, giving people across time and academia the chance to read what they had to say. Their books are proof that they existed, however distant in the past. They believed in their ideas enough to write a whole book about them, with the chance that not even one person would care enough to put it on their shelf. Is that tenacity something I have? I’m surrounded by brilliant minds and I feel so small. Even with what I’ve achieved during my Bachelor’s degree and what I’ve done more recently, it seems like I’ve moved inches, still leagues away from what I could be. It’s so hard to force the words and feelings inside me to the surface, where people can connect. I want so many things from other people to be present within me as well.

I want your travel.
I want your knowledge of Shakespeare.
I want your recipe for homemade iced tea.
I want your informed political opinions.
I want the way you smell when you walk by.

But life crumbles and falls apart so easily. Yesterday morning I woke up and was so grateful to be inside this bodily container, to have my mind tied down inside it, to have real things that I can touch existing right in front of me, but also have the ability to retreat inside myself . How do I push myself while continually being grateful for what I have?

End Scene.

I’ve been hiding too much in a TV show lately. I get wound up, absorbing the plot, so that I can write elaborate scenes in my head to trigger whatever it is inside me that I want to feel. There’s none of that ease in real life. Here and now, there’s just my errands, next week’s plans and, very faintly beyond that, the elusive “bigger picture”.

After months of stress, I finally have a job! This is what I’ve wanted and strived for, reluctantly refusing to give up. But I still want something more than the main plan. Sometimes it feels like I don’t have a story worth telling. Who wants a story about someone who can’t even hold down a relationship for an entire year? Someone who’s so emotionally detached from intimacy they’re beginning to suspect they may be asexual? Who is so anxious about meeting new people and having a basic conversation that they withdraw from friends into the excitement, drama and safety of a book or a TV show? What’s there to show for that? What’s there to talk about? 

People are always trying to find a connection to what they see, even if it brings painful truths to the surface. I manage being alone most of the time because I’ve always got my head submerged in these puddles of make-believe worlds. When I’m knocked back out again, I’ve got to pick myself up and keep on going. It can be damaging to witness the uncontainable, unattainable euphoria people seem to have when possessing something different than I do. They’ve found their dreams, and I’ve still got a long way to go on mine.  Our society treats life like cash; we have to know how to manage it and spend it wisely. But for all our ownership of our bodies and thoughts,  our realm of control and self-determination is so minute. Money doesn’t determine your value as a human being, just as comparisons to a romance or adventure novel don’t determine the quality of one’s life. We don’t get what we deserve, but with a good deal of effort, luck and perseverance, we perhaps get what we aim for.