Tuesday, March 12, 2013

times have a-changed

All I can do is contemplate my errors.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


My relationship with APU is so weird. I'm glad I don't go there anymore, glad to be away from certain environments and certain attitudes. But I miss it enough that it's a physical ache when I see pictures from my time there, or go on Google and virtually "walk" down the street. The formation of my adult consciousness developed there, with people who are truly unlike anyone else I've known so far in my life. And that's not to say that people like that aren't here, or anywhere really, just that the ones in that particular place and time impacted me. I am the result of those relationships. And people aside, I miss the sun. It's hard to be sad (for me) when it's 80 degrees out and beautiful, if smoggy.

I think my relationship with Puyallup/Lakewood/Seattle is similar. I didn't transform here, but this is where I developed my foundations. And as I prepare myself in the next 6 or 7 months to possibly leave again, this time for Bulgaria, I'm recognizing the wonted sensation of longing for what you also can't stand. I'll miss driving 512 in the morning and seeing the sunrise behind Mt. Rainier, miss my work, miss my AVID kids more than almost anything, miss friends like Rachel, Jenna, Brennan, Ankit, miss my room with the red and gold striped walls I labored over myself, miss my dog; I'll miss the comforts of having all these familiar things so close and accessible. I'll long for what I can't stand. Not that I can't stand any of these things or people; my point is the monotony of life and the negative aspects of anything are desirable to escape, especially if they're close in time and proximity to one another.

I like going places and experiencing everything that makes them an "other" to me. But the result is leaving so many bits of my emotion and love in all of them, in everyone. So it's awesome, but it hurts a hell of a lot sometimes too. And teaching in Sofia won't be any different.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Room for Heavier Things

I am twenty-one years old and rather estranged from the version of myself I envisioned as a blooming adolescent. In my eyes, a twenty-one year old was self-sufficient, mature, had a stable if flexible understanding of their identity, was educated, on the cusp of their assuredly successful career, and overall was exactly who they wanted to be. They were twenty-one after all, liberated by graduation and their eighteenth birthday to create themselves outside the confines of the public education system and the parental intolerance that had caged their youth. If I take the memory of being small and very young, and apply that perspective to my present age, my expectations for those in their second decade is the same as it's always been.

But if I look around me, I see much more variety: those barely in school, those who work 40 hours (more often, the 38 hours prescribed by penny-pinching employers looking to skirt giving benefits) and kind of go to community college sometimes, living with their parents, living with a roommate, living occasionally in one place, and on it goes. It's possible of course that my generation is the most indecisive of peoples to have breathed our sweet polluted air, but it's hard not to consider my own circumstances. You know, the ones I've chosen.

I live with my parents.
I don't have a car.
My average work week is less than 20 hours. Far less.
I go to community college full time.
I have a 3.something GPA.
I don't know my major anymore, and I don't know when or where I will transfer to a real university.
I have close friends and a boyfriend of 5 months, but how many people am I really intimate with? Fully intimate? Not in the usual sexual sense, but in the sense that I am not revealing aspects of myself, facets that match who I am with, but the full 3-dimensional effect? 4-dimensional if I'm like that with you over a period of time (the fourth dimension is time, you know).

Everybody is just a stranger but that's the danger in going my own way.
Am I living it right?

It's hard to know when you're tangled up in the weeds, feeling insubstantial and in the midst of being suffocated by different expectations, requirements, and the general things of life that drain your soul slowly through a bed of fresh razors. The question continually surfaces, adding a peripheral context of doubt, of if the next stage will be better in any way. Some days it is overwhelming, but hope appears, knowing that it
will get all done eventually. Small steps, they say. It swells from within, and I know that whatever is inside can't be kept in the small frame of my illusionary limits, not for much longer.
Someday I'll be so damn much more.
'Cause I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for.

And I think this is true of every person who aspires to find themselves before losing themselves. (That sequence is quite vital to achieve the desired results of identity, you know)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not a fan of titles, actually

I mean for books and films they're cool. But blogs? Ehh I don't like having to sum up my 8 billion thoughts into a short phrase. Maybe I'll just name it something entirely different, throw things off a bit. Like "Mango" is about how I didn't really study for my Stats test today, but I think I did alright. Or "How do Yankee candles smell sssoooo good?" is about why I take so many vitamins/pills when I hate taking vitamins/pills. Hmmm.

There is a paradox in returning to where you've grown up. Everything is familiar and a little bit safer; after being out somewhere else in the world you realize you have nothing to prove back home; it's a good spot for a rest. But it's also stagnant. It produced you to a point, but now the big changes have occurred elsewhere, and elsewhere begins to be what you long for, it's a new homesickness. There are limitations because people simply haven't seen your transitions so they usually think you're the same as when you left. The familiarity is both comforting and oppressive.

There is a reason I was a very conservative Christian Republican (note the identity of being a Republican, who happens to claim Christianity) before I went to school. There is a reason when I am on campus I tend toward radical movements and refuse to sell out or back down from the vision. The hard part is being in the old world when your consciousness and passion are in the new. When most of your friends are living a new reality and decisively articulating themselves over and over, refining thoughts and views so they may better understand truth, it's not a struggle to do the same. There are people surrounding you showing a different way is possible. Being back home, these friends are gone. They are within reach, but you don't see their day-to-day lives and you can't get into spontaneous deep discussions and connect in new ways because you're simply not in the vicinity.

Growth and progress are empowering. Remembering where you originated from amidst this new growth and progress is humbling, and not in a noble kind of way. More like, "This sucks. I need an attitude change or I won't survive."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

5 Strengths

It's been a year and a half since I first took the Strengths test. I used to have Input, Command, Strategic, Relator and Self-Assurance. Here is me now, changed a little...

The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path—your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.

You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information—words, facts, books, and quotations—or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. These can be acquired and then stored away. Why are they worth storing? At the time of storing it is often hard to say exactly when or why you might need them, but who knows when they might become useful? With all those possible uses in mind, you really don’t feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It’s interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.

You like to think. You like mental activity. You like exercising the “muscles” of your brain, stretching them in multiple directions. This need for mental activity may be focused; for example, you may be trying to solve a problem or develop an idea or understand another person’s feelings. The exact focus will depend on your other strengths. On the other hand, this mental activity may very well lack focus. The theme of Intellection does not dictate what you are thinking about; it simply describes that you like to think. You are the kind of person who enjoys your time alone because it is your time for musing and reflection. You are introspective. In a sense you are your own best companion, as you pose yourself questions and try out answers on yourself to see how they sound. This introspection may lead you to a slight sense of discontent as you compare what you are actually doing with all the thoughts and ideas that your mind conceives. Or this introspection may tend toward more pragmatic matters such as the events of the day or a conversation that you plan to have later. Wherever it leads you, this mental hum is one of the constants of your life.

You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary, because they are bizarre. For all these reasons you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.

Your Analytical theme challenges other people: “Prove it. Show me why what you are claiming is true.” In the face of this kind of questioning some will find that their brilliant theories wither and die. For you, this is precisely the point. You do not necessarily want to destroy other people’s ideas, but you do insist that their theories be sound. You see yourself as objective and dispassionate. You like data because they are value free. They have no agenda. Armed with these data, you search for patterns and connections. You want to understand how certain patterns affect one another. How do they combine? What is their outcome? Does this outcome fit with the theory being offered or the situation being confronted? These are your questions. You peel the layers back until, gradually, the root cause or causes are revealed. Others see you as logical and rigorous. Over time they will come to you in order to expose someone’s “wishful thinking” or “clumsy thinking” to your refining mind. It is hoped that your analysis is never delivered too harshly. Otherwise, others may avoid you when that “wishful thinking” is their own.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


What if we took care of each other?


Just for a moment. What it would mean. What it would look like. Would there be need still if we answered so quickly? Would we stop perpetuating a system that created need? Where does personal responsibility tie in? Or is that just a myth that inidividualistic free enterprise, democracy and, maybe, greed have produced? I really wonder. Does it make sense to only care for ourselves? What would taking care of other people look like? Maybe it means monetary and financial needs. But what about emotionally? Sharing experiences and the wisdom gained from those? Or maybe just being with others would help, them AND us?
We are all connected.
No human is separate or alone. Their existence is connection.
No one truly wants to be alone; they just don't want to be hurt anymore.
How can we love?
How can we take care of each other?
What if we took care of each other?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I've realized that it is much more comfortable and much more safe to be angry than it is to be hurt. But truly, the world and life and humans would be far less beautiful if pain only inspired vengeance. I'm trying to remember this as I allow my mind to render the expression of my emotions. I want to be mad, I feel I have a small, but existent, right to be mad, being mad is powerful and hurts less and makes me feel like I'm in control.

But the truth is that it just hurts really bad. I feel left behind. Rather used. Insufficient. Truly by myself, which I'd never acknowledged, deeply, as being before. I feel "not good enough" on an entirely fresh and unexplored level.

And it is so frustrating to know that one person caused this.

Flawed love is what comes from flawed people. And until I am reliant on perfect love, one I've been raised to be familiar with and somehow have devalued as of late, people will always have this power to hurt.

Moving on.