9/19/15

I struggle assimilating into female culture. I struggle assimilating with people my age. So far there’s a lot of struggle with friends. I do have friends, don’t be confused but I’m not sure how to make new ones without a common interest.

There are girls who have no trouble

As soon as I find someone on the same maturity level, I find out they’re w

These women would make ice if you let them

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            Feelings for me get pretty tricky. I used to feel them so much and so often, I had to turn them off for a long time. Eventually that would erupt into some kind of giant crying scene complete with me writing poems for hours and smudging around the ink with my tears, feeling very sorry for myself wondering how the world could have wronged me so. But then again that was fourteen for most I believe. Then all those angry years took all the tears and turned themselves into screams and broken glass from all the bottles I smashed in my alley when I couldn’t figure out what to do with all those feelings.

            It’s taken some time but I don’t really do any of those things anymore. I know part of the mess was hormones but it was also that my mom and I were learning how to grow up together. She went through a lot of passive aggressive attitudes and dirty maneuvers before she became someone I wanted to talk to. She told me I was a druggy (because I’d smoked weed and drank alcohol at a friend’s house in high school). She told me I was neglecting her because I didn’t come to visit more than twice a year – even though it’s a four and half hour drive (one way) and I was only fifteen. She called me repeatedly throughout the day to talk to me even if my friends were around and I couldn’t hang up because of the guilt I felt if I didn’t stay on the phone – not to mention the manipulation I’d be unwittingly forced to endure for days (even weeks) on end.

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            And then I she wrote me her last horrible, seven page “intervention” letter for my 18th birthday and I didn’t talk to her for a year. She stopped. We’ve both grown up since then.

            It took me a long time to visit her after I started talking to her again. I’ve been back once or twice since my 21st birthday.

            But it doesn’t fail to amaze me each time she makes me feel better when I don’t even know I’m down. Since I’ve never had a conventional mother-daughter relationship, I’ve never had one to compare myself to. I’ve seen things from a window I’ve always looked in on but never experienced. And I still don’t really know what it is that I’m a part of. It’s like a horribly unhealthy relationship that finally blossomed. I feel like our bond is kindred to tales of those old, aging sisters that live off in some secluded house on the top of a hill somewhere who spend their days making jam and painting.

            Whenever there’s a separation from someone who’s supposed to be an instrumental part of your life and they come back, there’s this awkwardness. What do we do now? How do we act? Where do I put my hands? Is it okay to laugh at this? Am I holding on too long? Can we sit in comfortable silence? What now? And even at visiting, there’s still a little bit of that. But over the phone and via letter, it’s completely washed away. Ironically enough, I feel closer to her when I only hear her voice than when I hold her hand. Because in person, she’s still a stranger to me — but her voice, I know it by heart.

            She tells me I’m a good person, that she wants me to dream big, that I’m smart, tough, strong, loved, needed, beautiful. She tells me things I’ve never known I needed to hear. My dad has always said those things (albeit sparingly, he stresses the intelligence thing, that I’m the spitting image of him and therefore beautiful, all in good humor of course) but for whatever reason, hearing it from her makes it feel a little realer. And I feel bad that I didn’t know I was unsatisfied with my dad’s validation but to be honest, a mother’s love is different. Plus, considering she’s somewhat of a hardened OG nowadays it’s even more of a ego boost than it might’ve been before.

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She told me today that she makes 15 cents an hour. That she’s happy she got a new job and took the pay cut even though she was making significantly more before (enough to support herself). She said being able to work at night and see the moon and be surrounded by quiet is worth more than money. She said it was the first time she’d been outside at night in nearly ten years. That made me cherish the moonlight a little bit more.

 

Blissfully awake

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I love feeling crazy. My first love, that horrible and bewitching first encounter with my heart strings that left me broken and scared made me fear ever enjoying my time by myself, told me I was crazy and psycho and a bitch and I was so afraid I’d be alone forever because I thought he could only speak the truth.

But as I drive along with the windows down, my power music blasting, the feeling of my hair whipping back and forth in the wind, my hands orchestrating the energy I feel in every sound, I can’t help but be captivated by the feeling.

I love laughing by myself because I feel happy or just plain grateful to be alive.

I love feeling dangerous and predatory as I glide across the street, be it walking, skipping, or driving.

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I love dancing to my iPod in the middle of campus as passersby state and wonder what I could be so happy about.

I love yelling in victory as I leave my astronomy final that kicked my ass. (I passed that by the way and it felt GREAT).

I love wearing whatever I want because I don’t care if my socks match or my hair looks a little bit like a rat’s nest.

I love that my roots have grown out so much that people think I’ve died my hair again.

I love that I bite my cuticles down to the nubs because it gives me something to do when I’m waiting and I kind of like the way red fingertips look as I drag them across my art.

I love writing about my feelings because it helps me understand myself and it helps me communicate them later.

I love pulling a book out in public as everyone else scrolls across their electronic screens because old things aren’t always bad things and reading is never a bad thing.

I love jabbering away with people in elevators and doctor’s offices because I’ll never see them again and what’s better than having a meaningful conversation with a stranger?

I love feeling free and alive and I love having a good time and if that makes me look crazy as I dance my ass off in my car in traffic I don’t care because I think it matters more to me that I smile every moment of everyday than if you think I’m crazy or not. Because I’d rather be crazy and happy than normal and complacent. Because complacency to me is the worst sin. Embracing it is a nightmare in daylight.

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Impersonalities

        It’s taken me quite some time to understand that I have no personal relationships. Which is really sad considering. The ones I have with family are different. I have about a dozen of my cousins living in my neighborhood, two of which have been sleeping on my couch for the past three weeks. We all played in each other’s yards and houses since birth.

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         I live in my grandma’s old house. It used to be the family hub, all holiday dinners and special events went down in my dining room. When she died there was a lull and quite a bit of drama over family central. The only times we ever saw each other was at funerals which we had a lot of for a while. You could find us gathered around the graves picnicking and taking photos.

         When it comes to relationships and romantic partners, I’m a frigid bitch. And I really didn’t want to think that but honestly if I deny it, I’m a big fat liar too. I sleep with people when I don’t even really know them and it always turns into this awkward and unexplainable kind of relationship. I never know where I stand, what’s acceptable in public, or how they feel about me. I never wait to find out who they are because we either part ways long before that or we spend our time together as strangers. I heard about a couple who’ve been together for twelve years, got married, had kids and yet they still don’t know each other. And that kind of scares the crap out of me.

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         The last guy I was with for an extended period of time, I thought I knew him. Until about a year after things ended my younger sister broke down and told me he touched her. Right under my nose. In my house. On the pullout couch we shared.

         That fucked me up a little bit. She’s pressing charges but only because I kind of coerced her into doing so, which is really messed up considering the circumstances. But there’s no way she’s going to let this hide in the closet like all the other women in my family who never spoke up for themselves. It’s happened to me, my sister, my mother, my aunt, etc. For whatever reason, it doesn’t skip a generation like one would really hope it might.        

         With these new dating apps and websites, social media, texting, all that jazz, come new rules for communication. These strange regulations for expressing yourself, emojis and emoticons that are supposed to do part of the work for you. But there’s just so much deception and miscommunication that I honestly don’t understand. I follow the code but it still has no meaning to me. It’s empty, a lot like the relationships I find myself in.

         Where do you find love in a world where everyone just wants to keep on walking, straight through to the next person? I was in love with my best friend for a long time and I had no idea. I was that girl, so oblivious. And it’s so bittersweet to think about. We talk every now and again but we don’t get to know each other anymore. We’d been friends for a couple years before this but it took me overhearing he and his girlfriend talking about me from the other room that I actually understood what all the late night talks and sleepovers were about. It was my eighteenth birthday.

         Thinking about it now, I’m really stupid. I’m just so stupid. But to be honest I’m really grateful too that I understand this lesson. It’s saved me from making a couple more mistakes in the meantime. He’s got a new girlfriend now and I think he’s pretty much the same.

         So now, I flit from one sexual partner to the next, searching for a guy who sees me how I see myself. And part of me knows that most guys in their early twenties are douche bags and not worth a damn but there’s a part of me that still has hope in the male population. Even after all the burns and bumps.

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