Ungrateful

June 29, 2009

Well, I just had the “Ungrateful Daughter Talk” again. My mother has no idea…

 

She just thinks that she is faultless. She is completely perfect. She can do no wrong.

 

Well, that’s a bunch of bull. Isn’t a mother supposed to unconditionally love her child? I can’t remember the last time she told me she loved me. Or gave me a kiss goodbye. Or told me I was pretty. Instead, she constantly nags me about my hair, my makeup, my clothes, and my weight. To her, I’m just her fat, ugly daughter. As she went on another rant today about how much weight I’ve put on over the past year–wait, let’s go back a year. Last year, I was in the grips of an eating disorder. I was eating under 500 calories a day to maintain my weight! I would not eat for periods of days. I finally helped myself recover and began eating relatively normally, but with that came weight gain. Twenty pounds in a year. It’s a lot, but it was needed. I now am much healthier, not a skeleton.

 

But my mother preferred the skeleton, I guess. I felt most loved when I was starving. And now, I’m just a disappointment.

 

So now, after I asked my mother to stop commenting on my body, telling her that she was killing my self esteem, she snapped. She went into a whirlwind rant about how I don’t appreciate her, how I don’t thank her, how I don’t do anything for her. “I have feelings, too,” she said, “and you trampled over them.” And don’t you think you trampled mine as well? Every day you remind me of how I’m not good enough, not pretty enough. I see other girls’ moms telling them they look beautiful, even if they have a zit or two or if they weigh 30 pounds more than me. And I can tell that the mothers are not lying; they believe it. I’m jealous of friends who give their parents a kiss as they walk out the door. They can actually do that. I can’t; my mom would pull away.

 

I’ve grown up in an affectionless house. It’s sad, but true.

 

I came across an email from my grandfather to my mother. He told her to be easier on us and on my father; she was driving all of us away with her antics. She needed to be kinder, more loving, less harsh. She didn’t even bother to respond. And she didn’t change. She’s still the same, and it gets worse every day.

 

I remember when I was little. My mom told me that my aunt would take care of me if anything happened to her and Dad. I wished something would, as awful as that sounds. My aunt kissed me and hugged me and told me I was beautiful, no matter how awful I felt. I wondered how two sisters could be so different. I wondered if something traumatic had happened to my mom as a child. Middle child syndrome, I decided.

 

And now, here I sit. I don’t want to leave my room to face Momzilla. I’ll just sit here a while, wishing things were different…

Untitled

June 20, 2009

I hate my naivety.

Applying Myself…

June 18, 2009

Yes, I got those little notes on my report card when I was in gradeschool: “So-and-so is not applying herself. She’s a smart kid but itsn’t doing anything with it.” And here I am. Doing it again.

 

I got my ACT scores a couple of months ago. 35. Great, right? Not at all because now I’m getting the ever-irking question, “So where are you going to go to school?” I give them a blank stare and mumble something about keeping my options open. Noncommittal (see previous post). I go over my grades in my obligatory counselor’s meeting. The woman is an airhead. “Oh wow! You’re near the top of the class? So what are you looking at for schools? Any of the Ivies?” I grumble somthing and she’s obviously content with my babbling. “Oh wow! I didn’t know you were that smart!” Yep, I get that a lot. I don’t apply myself, so I must not be intelligent. I have fun, so I must not be studious.

 

But now’s when it’s actually starting to matter. Applications. Kill me now. I have a stack of folders sitting on the corner of my desk. Each is labeled with the name of a school, and the application requirements are written in hot pink Sharpie across the fronts of the folders. I’ve tossed a few magazines over the pile of folders so that I can’t see them from where I sit here typing. But I can still here Georgetown’s application calling to me. “FINISH ME, DAMMIT!” And I sit here and type and sip my Dr. Pepper and don’t fill out the application. I don’t apply. I don’t apply myself.

 

I think that the lack of motivation comes from my pessimism. A great quality, I know. My dream is to go to Columbia (the Ivy, not the art school). I haven’t the vaguest idea of what I would do once I get there, but all the same. I’m in love. The day I stepped onto the campus, I got that fluttery feeling in my stomach, and my heart began to pound. I was home, and I knew it.

 

There’s only one teensy, tiny problem: I have a teensy, tiny chance of getting in. I’m a suburbian from the Midwest who attends a small Catholic school that doesn’t stand up against the East Coast prep schools that other applicants are attending. And, even if Hell freezes over and I DO get in, how the heck am I gonna afford it?

 

And so I sit here and ignore my stack of applications. Because I don’t know what is going to happen, and that scares me. If I don’t apply, I can’t fail. And in my weird, backwards mind, if I can’t fail, I can’t be disappointed. Now how’s that for logic? I’ll be kicking myself over never having tried. But that’s what that stupid, noncommittal spot in the back of my mind is telling me.

 

What am I going to do with myself. As much as everyone wants me to, I can never be a doctor. I can’t. I would have to care and commit and try and APPLY MYSELF. So now what? Law school? Maybe. I can’t just sit around on my ass and write all day!

On Committment

June 17, 2009

Well, this is lame.

 

And unoriginal. Sorry.

 

I had a bit of a crisis today; I realized I have committment issues. In nearly every movie I see, it’s the guy that has trouble committing. Well, I do as well…and not just on the relationship side either. It’s everything. It’s not being able to stick to promises I make. It’s not being able to keep my New Year’s resolution. It’s not being able to have one true “best friend.” It’s not wanting to get involved with a guy. It’s not being able to finish anything I’ve started. Hell, it’s not posting to this blog frequently! I’m one big noncommittal mess!

 

Well, I guess it didn’t all start this way. My fear of committment started around age twelve. I found out then that anything you give yourself to utterly, body and soul, a blood oath, handcuffing yourself to something and swallowing the key, jumping off a cliff–okay, maybe not quite that dramatic–will crumble beneath you, leaving you with nothing. Around age twelve, two major things happened: my circle of friends widened and my range of activities widened. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, Now WHY is this a bad thing? Well, here’s how it happened. My circle of friends widened because my best friend decided that it was time to broaden our horizons, to expand our sisterly friendship into a more…social…group. We added a few more giggling 6th graders to the mix. And what did we get? A very irritated and confused me. Sure, I remained as loyal as a puppy to that friend. I never talked behind her back. I was always there for her latest crisis. I cheered her up when she was down. But things weren’t the same. I never had any one-on-one time with her. I didn’t know her anymore. I trailed along behind her, still like that little lost puppy until finally, our bond was broken. She was gone. Not a goodbye, not a warning. Bam. It hit me like a bus. I was traumatized and alone. One day we were best friends, the next we weren’t. I scarcely spoke to her. We weren’t much more than acquaintances. When we were together, conversations were no more than forced pleasantries and small talk. And now I refuse to become committed. Whenever I get too close to one person, I get an itch, an itch right at the back of my brain that tickles and torments until I cut myself away from the person I’ve begun to cling to. And so, I go in cycles, awful, dizzying, noncommital cycles. And I’ve just about had it.

 

The other event that gave me my preteen committment crisis was an early retirement of sorts. I had been a gymnast for 9 years, a significant chunk of my short life. I grew up in the gym. My coach was my father; my teammates were my sisters. And I was as at home on that balance beam as I was on my living room sofa. And then The Incident happened. I whipped my body quickly, confidently around the bar, pointing my toes, tightening every muscle. Perfect, I thought to myself, those judges won’t know what hit them! And then It happened. I whipped my body around the bar especially quickly, especially gracefully, especially confidently, preparing to dismount–then froze. My grips clenched the bar; I had a new sensation in the back of my mind–an itch. What are you DOING? it screamed at me. You IDIOT. You are letting go of this sturdy bar and flinging yourself into the air, flipping upside down, and landing on  that pathetic little mat? It’s practically a CARPET, for crying out loud! Just stay here. It’s safe. And I stayed, whipping around the bar, faster and faster until I couldn’t make out my coach’s panicked face. I broke my swing. I gently dropped myself from the bar, took off my grips, and walked away. After that, the voice was a constant presence. Don’t do your flyaway. Don’t do your flip-flop. Don’t do your standing back tuck. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. And I didn’t.

 

I quit gymnastics the next month, walking out the doors on a constant, 20-hours-a-week committment and into the world of safety, of no-strings-attached. And here I stay.

 

And it slaps me in the face once again. I look at my friend; she’s planning on participating in an event in which she’ll write a 50,000 word novel in one month. A month. That’s writing every day, nearly 2,000 words a day. At the moment, my word count for this post hovers at about 750 words. And I’m getting tired already, ready to close this internet window and just scrap the post I’ve been writing for the last half hour. And she’s committed. And I wish I was, too.

 

And then there’s the biggest part of committment: my love life. Now, I must say that lack of committment makes this rather difficult. Sure, freedom is fun at times, but knowing that I have the ability to commit would be a nice change. One of my guy friends has been hinting that he’d like to be more; and deep down, I think I feel the same way. But I’ll never admit it. I’ll never tell, not because I’m scared or nervous or embarassed, but because I don’t want to commit. Being in a relationship, even just the thought of being in a relationship makes me shiver, makes my skin crawl, gives me that itch at the back of my brain. And the voice says, He’ll hurt you, for sure. But what if something better comes along? Don’t you want to be able to have a bit more freedom, not be tied to one person? And who says that he’ll be committed, even if you are? And I call the whole thing off in my mind. He goes in for the kiss, and I turn my face; he brings up our relationship, and I change the subject. And I’m still not happy. And now I have the butterflies in my stomach whenever I see him, but I also have the unbearable itch at the back of my brain.

 

And I’m scared.

 

Committment is  scary little thing.

“Consequence of Sounds” — Regina Spektor
.
My rhyme ain’t good just yet,
My brain and tongue just met,
And they ain’t friends, so far,
My words don’t travel far,
They tangle in my hair,
And tend to go nowhere,
They grow right back inside,
Right past my brain and eyes
Into my stomach juice
Where they don’t serve much use,
No healthy calories,
Nutrition values.
And I absorb back in
The words right through my skin
They sit there festering inside my bowels
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
Got a soundtrack in my mind,
All the time. Kids-
Screamin’ from too much beat up
And they don’t even rhyme,
They just stand there, on a street corner,
Skin tucked in
And meat side out and shot,
And I’d like to turn them down
But there ain’t no knob.
Run into picket fences
Not into picket lines.
All this hippie-shit for the 60’s
And another cliche for our time. But,
But a one of these days your heart
Will just stop ticking,
And they sorta just don’t find you till your cubicle is reeking.
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
Ahh ah ah ah ahh ah ah ah
Did you know that the gravedigger’s still
Gettin’ stuck in the machine
Even though it’s a whole other daydream.
It’s another town it’s another world,
Where the kids are asleep, where the loans are paid
And the lawns are mowed.
Whad’ya think?
All the gravediggers were gone?
Just cause one song is done
There’s always another one,
Waiting right around the bend,
Till this one ends,
Then it begins sqeaky clean,
Then it starts all over again.
The weather report keeps on
Tossing and turning,
Predicting and warning,
And warning and warning of,
Possibly it could be news publications and,
Possibly it could be news TV stations. That
Very same morning right next to her coffee
She noticed some bleeding and heard hollow coughing and
National Geographic was being too graphic,
When all she had wanted to know was the traffic
The worlds got a nosebleed it said
And were flooding but we keep on cutting
The trees and the forests!
And we keep on paying those freaks on the TV,
Who claim they will save us but want to enslave us.
And sweating like demons they scream through our speakers
But we leave the sound on ’cause silence is harder.
And no ones the killer and no ones the martyr
The world that has made us can no longer contain us
And profits are silent then rotting away ’cause
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds.
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds.
Ah ah ah
My rhyme ain’t good just yet,
My brain and tongue just met,
And they aint friends, so far,
My words don’t travel far,
They tangle in my hair,
And tend to go nowhere,
They grow right back inside,
Right past my brain and eyes
Into my stomach juice
Where they don’t serve much use,
No healthy calories,
Nutrition values.
And I absorb back in
The words right through my skin
They sit there festering inside my bowels
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
.
I heard this song for the first time as I was listening to my beloved iPod while dozing on the plane back to Chicago. And I immediately woke up. Now, I love Regina, and all her music is wonderful, but this particular song stood out like no other did. I don’t know why. Just one of those songs that strikes you, I guess.
I dare you. Listen to it.
.
It got me thinking. There were so many simple lines that just packed such a punch. Ah, I definitely should not be writing this–what should be a very articulate and expressive entry–at one in the morning after a long day. It won’t do the song justice.
.
I guess it is about how I feel most of the time. My words are killing me from the inside out. That’s why I’m starting this blog; that’s why this blog is named after this song. I need to get out these words before they eat their way out of me.
.
I’ve always had difficulty “expressing myself,” I guess you would say. I was the shy kid who always hid behind her mom’s leg whenever she was prompted to speak to adults or people she didn’t know. I never really began to turn into a relatively expressive person until these past two years. But now I feel as if I’m saying less than I was ten years ago. It’s ironic, really. I’m speaking more and saying less. Yes, I get all of the “Hello, how are you?”‘s and the “Pleased to meet you”‘s, but it’s all fluff. Courtesy is taking over real expression. I bite my tongue half the time. I wish I could speak my mind more often, but, like in the song, my words get “tangled in my hair.” They’re either brushed off or stifled before they get a chance to emerge.
But that’s what this world has come to. We all criticize politicians for soaring rhetoric and lies–both blatant and white–but what do we do every single day? We fill our speech with flattery and niceties and meaningless mumbo-jumbo. And our words bubble up inside us.
.
I have a friend who says everything she thinks. Sometimes, it’s great; other times, not so much. I admire her for being bold enough to put her words out there, to clear past all of the other fluff and say something substantial. But she gets crap about it. Lots. She is scorned and shunned and judged and abused. I would never bear those punishments. For a society with free speech, we sure have a lot of restrictions. And the irony of the matter is that they’re all self-imposed!
.
And so, here’s to clearing the mumbo-jumbo. This blog is fluff-free. You want an introduction? Well, you ain’t getting one! Call me Rosie. Charlie. Bob. Beth. Whatever.
.
This is my blog. This is my brain. These are my words. Deal.

Hello world!

June 13, 2009

Well, I’m finally starting that blog I’ve been meaning to start for a while now. I’m sitting on the floor of the Nashville airport, typing out this post in my phone. My bum is sore, and my fingers are already starting to get tired. Something tells me that this was a bad idea, but I definitely have some time to kill!

I rather dislike Nashville. The city bugs me; I don’t know how else to say it. There’s nothing wrong with the city itself–its people are very friendly and polite, models of southern courtesy–but sonetiing here rubs me the wrong way. And to think that I’m probably moving here! Yikes! I’m definitely going to be one of those prodigal college kids who never comes home.

I learned a lot here, though. I learned how to use a caulk gun, for example. Habitat for Humanity is a very worthy cause, and I’m glad that I was able to contribute at least a little to it.

I can’t wait to get home though! And theni can do a proper first entry that’s slightly less pointless than this one.

Gotta love Nashville…