Friday, July 31, 2009

i've always been a tad bit of an overachiever, so why would you expect anything less from me?

just about two years ago this time, i had just gotten accepted into grad school and was feverishly trying to mentally prepare myself for the academic (and personal) unknown. i was also just 3 months shy of leaving a job that wasn't fulfilling me in the least for the place i now work (still without a doubt a fantastic decision). there's no possible way i could have known how much would change in that time and how quickly the time would pass. two summers ago, i felt it would take me FOREVER to get that degree, and i couldn't imagine doing it, let alone being able to sustain an A average the whole time. i didn't have enough faith in my own ability to put my mind to something and stick with it. and yet here i am, having accomplished every single thing i set out to do.

and tonight i find myself at a similar beginning feeling just as uncertain (or at least slightly doubtful) that i can actually FINISH what i've started. and yet now i have clear evidence that i can do these things, so tonight i'm giving myself an internal pep talk that not only CAN i do this, but i WILL do it. and however long it takes, i will just keep working hard until i get it done. no doubt i've been tough on myself these last two years, and while some of that might not be super healthy or helpful, it gets things accomplished, you know? so maybe i'll let a little of my inner drill sergeant out again to kick some ass and take some names (even if it's my own ass getting kicked). and who knows where i'll be two years from now? one thing's for sure: i've tasted straight As and i'm not particularly interested in half-hearting my way through my life anymore. this time i'm going straight to the head of the class.

mark my words.

Monday, July 27, 2009

post-its and catalogs and half-torn envelopes, oh my!

i'm sitting here in my home office after a long day of work, work, work, and all that catches my eye are the papers i need to process, throw out, file, etc. i envy and do not fully understand those people who live a truly uncluttered life; there is always so much stuff to deal with, and i haven't yet mastered the art of utter simplification. if you go into my living room, it's the same situation: magazines, magazines, and more magazines. before grad school, periodically i would take the time to sift through, purge, and make space for new ones, but for the last two years, i've done very little except move them from one receptacle to another (and another, and another) and now i have two baskets full of (partially unread) magazines. and my pantry needs some work, too, may i mention.

i know i'll get there some day; it's all part of the process of deciding what i absolutely need and what i don't...of saying no, of making piles, of prioritizing. i'm good at it in other ways, really....just not, apparently, when it involves paper-related items and canned goods/baking supplies.

tonight is not the night for gargantuan undertakings, however. my cleaning lady is coming tomorrow, so i must tidy (i.e., create piles, around which she will dust), make dinner, wash dishes, and watch my dose of mindless (mind-numbing?) television programming. let it be known, however: i want less clutter in my life. so it is written. so it shall be....

i hope.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

seven years/one month

as of this past april, i've been blogging for seven years. seven. years. i can't believe it. and what's more, in those seven years, i have never once blogged on july 25. the 24th, sure. 26th? absolutely. never ONCE on the 25th. so i thought perhaps i'd break my seven-year itch and lay out some words, for what they are.

it's saturday and i'm one week out from the beginnings of a throat and sinus infection thing that definitely knocked me down; i'm assuming that one or more people at work with their own brand of ill got me this way, but no matter. i've been taking steps to rid my body of the unwanted.

perhaps more significant, however, is that michael jackson has been dead one month today. it feels so strange to type that, still, because my world has always had him in it, and it still does, in a way, but obviously it's not the same. i'm not gonna lie - it's been really hard to come to terms with that truth. it's like i miss someone i know, and i feel so disappointed at the realization that he'll never make any more music...that there will never be a chance for him to do anything remotely similar to the brilliance he laid down on some of his earlier tracks. to manage this, i've been surrounding myself either with his music or with music that makes me feel similar things that his does. of course, nothing moves me like the grumbling guitar at the beginning of 'billie jean' or the disco beat and soaring vocals of 'rock with you'....and yeah, i'm even a sucker for the slightly saccharin sweetness of 'will you be there' and 'man in the mirror.' i can't help it, man...he felt every word....

as a white girl growing up in suburban america living in a house where a lot of classical music was played (along with folksy stuff and early pop/rock of the 70s and 80s), michael jackson opened my world in a way that no other musician ever could. sure, my folk-loving, poetry-infused heart still belongs to james taylor, but my soul and my rhythm and my love for the funk can be traced back to michael's 'off the wall' and 'thriller.' no doubt.

and that's probably why i love all those r&b boys who croon and sing their high-pitched 'hooo' and do their runs and what-not....because all of them have at least a little of MJ in what they're doing. they took his basic palette and brought their own hues and nuances to add to the art...but let's all just acknowledge that if he hadn't been painting the way he did, they wouldn't be doing their thing now - and fooling all the young girls into believing that they did it best or first or with the most swagger. but if you look at that 10-year-old kid belting out any number of songs, he had it all inside of him, even then. a slight turn of the head, a jutting of the jaw - the funk was already there.

so, i'm sure i'll still cry for awhile when i hear some of this songs, and in a few weeks, i hope to have a little memorial of my own with a few friends who will gather to watch one of his concerts and just talk about our memories. he may be gone from this earth, but his music got into me—and into countless others—and even though "the groove is dead and gone (yeah), you know that love survives....so we can rock forever on...." and we will, michael. i promise you that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

this morning...

...i woke up about 2 hours before my alarm went off and had a few moments of wakefulness (before falling immediately into a disturbing dream) in which i reviewed some aspects of my life from a number of years back that, quite frankly, left me with a pit in my stomach. the aforementioned dream emerged from that feeling of blech and left me feeling all out of sorts when my alarm finally did go off some time later.

and as i laid in bed, listening to my alarm for a good ten minutes, all i kept thinking, over and over, was how much i regret you...you who will never read this....you who have since become the representation of all things i regret—or will regret in the future....you, the one-trick pony....you who are called by different names, depending on the day and the conversation in which you are brought up....you who seemed so positive in so many ways yet took and took and took from me and never really gave anything back....you who, if you were reading this, would know exactly who you are. OH, how. i. regret. you.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

'don't speak....don't tell me cuz it hurts'

not one month after my grad school experience is over, and i'm sufficiently waylayed with what can only be described as the great throat and sinus ICK of 2009. i have this horrid itchy scratchy soreness in my throat that is making speaking impossibly uncomfortable, and furthermore, it's making me want to cough everytime i swallow or breathe. i'm so cognizant of this discomfort that i couldn't even sleep through my trusty nyquil haze last night. people of the internets, i am uncomfortable; do you hear me?

my goal for the rest of the weekend is to drink/eat as much chicken soup as possible, push fluids like they're going out of style (yesterday i probably drank a gallon of water; i am not exaggerating), take my probiotics and vitamins, and try to catch winks of rest when i can.

not speaking is surprisingly enjoyable sometimes, you know. it makes you realize how little there really IS to say sometimes. and with that, i'm done:).

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

resurfacing

where to start? the past two weeks have flown by in a blur of excitement, exhaustion, bewilderment, sadness, and intense relief. more on all this later, but for now i will say this: i'm still here. i reached my goal of a perfect GPA. i turned another year older. i'm starting to remember how to sleep again.

in the midst of it all, michael jackson died. this has marked my days with a kind of grief that i didn't think i would feel at such a revelation. i have many thoughts on this event, but i'm letting them all marinate before i write them down. some things are too intensely personal to share capriciously.

soon. very soon.

in the meantime, hi there, world. nice to see you again:)