Sunday, September 30, 2007

one year older

My birthday is coming up again in just a few weeks. As I get older, I tend to get all weird and self-reflective, and this birthday is no different. I have spent the last year or so confronting some things that happened to me that were not OK, feeling sorry for myself (or grieving, as my therapist calls it), and doing what I had to do to get through. Nothing more, nothing less. I'm not saying this was wasted time or opportunity because I believe I needed to experience this to go through to the other side.

If I had to spend the next year doing anything, it's firming up the vision of what I want my life to look like, and putting the steps in motion to get there. I had a dream that I had my own kitten. A beautiful orange calico kitten. Seems random, but I cannot tell you how much my heart yearns to have something or someone to nurture. Something to come home to. Maybe this is part of my maternal instinct manifesting.

I feel like I'm rambling now.... Anyway, any progress, real or imagined, is welcomed over here. I'm anxious but I look forward to this next year because it means moving forward.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

in over my head

I'm overwhelmed. It feels like life must be secretly conspiring against me. I'm about to officially shut down for the night even though I have a number of things to do. I need a time-out and there is not one coming.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

showing my hand

Creative writing is going along swimmingly. Surprisingly (or maybe not so) it is the highlight of my day. It's my turn to be workshopped. This means that I had to distribute 20 copies of an original poem to my class for critiquing next week. I was so nervous about what to turn in. I had written one poem about my relationship with Chicago, another about being a disappointment to my "revolutionary" father, one about Michael Vick, and one about my XXX stash (haven't turned that one in yet!).

The poetry prompt for the day was to write a poem from the perspective of an animal, something that tells you something about people. OK, so I was stumped. You know how people do those stupid icebreakers like "if you could be an animal, what would you be?" I didn't have a real answer. A dolphin... because they're smart and friendly? Can't write a poem about that. So I started with a poem about salmon swimming upstream. It turned into a piece about drowning under the weight of my parents' expectations and feeling that weight when visiting home. No personification of an animal, but I digress. I still think it turned out great.

We did a mini-workshop with a partner. He read my piece and said that he absolutely loved it. *Yay, a fan!* I've gotten great feedback from my instructor on my second poem - the one about disappointment - and good reviews from one kid in class. lol. I'm really, really looking forward to hearing from the entire class during my workshop. If only writing my dissertation could feel this exciting and wonderful!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

let the church say AMEN!

I didn't write this, but it really resonated with me today. This is probably a huge contradiction of some of my former posts, but whatever... I'm FEELING IT TODAY! It's a pearl of wisdom gleaned from a marathon thread on "Unpopular Opinions. " PREACH ON, SISTAGIRL!

This is my unpopular opinion:
We women are selling ourselves a bag o crap.

When women are alone the general comments are:
Wait for the right one to come along. Have Faith. The common denominator in your failed relationships is YOU - fix your problems. You must be attracting these types of men. If you want a man of a certain caliber, you have to be a woman of a certain caliber. Change this. Upgrade that. Fix this... and on and on.

When men are alone they get this:
Ask someone out. If she doesn't work out, ask somebody else.

I'm just sayin, Ladies.
Isn't it possible, even slightly, even a teensy weensy bit - that in this male-chavanist driven society, where women are generally commodities whose insecurities support billion dollar industries in beauty and apparel, where men can leave their families at the drop of a hat to forge new ones, where the idiot balding slob in a sitcom is married to the stunner of a wife, where women judge each other, not simply on the basis of their accomplishments in life - but how well she aged (because looking your age is somehow unfathomable), where an increase in any attribute (age, weight, skin color, education, executive position, children) statistically DECREASES your chances of being with a mate - isn't it possible, that the problem is NOT YOU?

There are too many dayum women chasing a photoshop illusion of perfection and a glossy hardcover book fantasy of a well balanced have it all woman.
The yoga practicing, ceo, marathon runner, married to an international executive, highly organized, great cook, impeccably decorated house bought one year after graduating from top ivy league school, fantastic lover, perpetual kegel practicer, all natural vegan recyclable, totally even tempered and soft voiced, had 3 honor roll kids but can make it to everyones games/practices/recitals, 5 language speaking, dressed perpetually in designer, 800 credit score never paid a bill late, loved by in laws and family, historically aware and politically active, volunteers every Tuesday, high class but never bourgie, 36-22-36 since 9th grade, dated/knows umpteen stars, never had a yeast inf or even a slight cold, weekend yachter who makes chitterlings cuz she's still DOWN woman is not attainable.

I just wish sometimes - we'd say to each other -
Hey, being single and alone, it happens. And sometimes it SUCKS. If you think that there's something to learn from a bad situation, learn - but sometimes things JUST DON'T WORK OUT. Don't analyze, poke or prod yourself. Don't FIX what most likely AIN'T broken. Don't lock yourself in a room - fasting and praying for something to happen. Get up, get out and LIVE. Use your time on this earth to bring some beauty to it in whatever special way you can.
With that said, I'm about to write a personal resolution to "do me," and whomever doesn't like it can kick rocks. I'm about to learn how to separate the bullshit of life that has nothing to do with me, push it aside, and do it big -- regardless of who is or who ain't blowing up my phone or beating down my door to be with me.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

being brutally (and painfully) honest

Reading a messageboard that I frequent, I ran across this post. It's not about me - primarily because I don't tell my business out in public forums on the 'Net - but it hit me hard.

Uh, I wasn't going to post but I must.

This isn't really about him. It's about you believing that you don't deserve any better so you accept what little bit of nothing he gives. You've become co-dependant and your relationship has now become that of mother and son.

I would strongly urge you to take a long, hard look at yourself Try to figure out how you became the enabler. What is it about you that requires so little?

He is selfish, irresponsible and lazy. You can't change him but you can damn sure change your circumstances. Stop falling for the okey-doke like your name is Celie. Take care of your business. If he's the one he'll do whatever it takes to keep his place in your life.

I sincerely wish you good luck with everything.

What hit me like a ton of bricks was the line about "the problem isn't him; it's you" and "you believe you don't deserve any better." Being brutally honest, sometimes I look objectively at my mindset about certain things, and I often wonder why my own self-esteem and self-worth is shot to hell.

What in the world happened to me? I am not one of those self-loving and self-actualized women that speaks up for herself and demands the treatment she deserves (and not just in romance, but any type of relationship I have with any other living human being). When did I just learn to shut up and go along to get along? When did I internalize that I was just unworthy and unloveable (and yes, there are many days, despite any type of outward appearances, when I feel exactly this way)?

I've stayed in relationships too long. I've watched as "friends" took advantage of me. I've stayed silent and not spoken up on my own behalf. I've let other people do the talking and thinking for me. I've stayed in abusive situations.

I. I. I. I. I.

The common denominator is me.

I don't have anyone in my face anymore telling me I'm fat and too black and ugly. Now I do it to myself.

I can't point directly to any childhood trauma. Or I guess what I define as trauma. You know, child abuse, neglect, and the like. But the damage is there. I have broken bits and pieces of my self scattered all over the place.

What happened to me?

And this is what I realize about Chicago.... It's not him. It's me. The same dysfunctional relationship I share with him, I also share with other people in my life that are not so easily cut out. And it's not always bad. Sometimes it's good. But when it's bad, it's really bad. Like devastatingly painful bad. No matter how bad it got, I've always just learned to deal with it. Suck it up and move on.

This is the real story of my life. The one that no one sees. The one that has always been there. I know I'm not right. I can't help it. I can go to therapy and vent and cry and post out all of my thoughts on a web page, but I can't erase 27 years and start my life over as someone else when it's all said and done.

big thangs popping

There is now an official dissertation plan in motion. I have my ideas for studies. The data has already been collected. Now I just have to find one last committee member and write up a proposal, which I will defend in November. "Now I just have to" is a funny phrase. As if this is a small task in any way, shape, or form.

On another note, it's yet another boring Friday night in Neverneverland, and I'm home alone starting at a computer screen. *le sigh* I'm about to go deep condition my hair for the second time this week. This is a thinly disguised attempt to distract myself from the utter boringness of my life. I tell you what -- I may have shrivelled up from lack of sexual attention by the time I leave here, but my hair will damn sure look amazing!

Friday, September 14, 2007

maybe there is hope for me

I'm kinda being tongue-in-cheek with the title of this blog. I had an enlightening conversation with the instructor for my creative writing class. We were discussing the class, how to make the most out of workshopping, and writing in general. She shared some information on a very interesting course on turning other genres of writing into fiction. She had taken the class herself, and while poetry is her forte, she turned one of her poems into a short story. Apparently the class is open to all types of grad students - from English masters students to masters/doctoral students in other fields. And I'm seriously thinking about taking it next semester. I can already imagine turning one of those boring journal articles into a captivating short story.

Our conversation gave me some ideas on creating a career for myself. She told an anecdote about a friend of hers who adapted his dissertation into a book for the general public. This same guy also stretched the limits of his career (he studies something about communications, copyrights, and freedom of speech, especially for music), stepped outside of the box, and now has Chuck D on his cellphone call list. How cool is that?!?! If I'm going to do academia, I want to do it like this! Making up my own rules as I go - and not being so concerned with being scholarly all the damn time.

It's a little late in my graduate career, but this is the first time in a long time that I've felt nourished by my studies. Maybe I can create my own interesting blend of psychology, race, gender, and sexuality with creative writing. Who knows?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

today's screwup

I'm a screwup. Who forgets that they are supposed to teach a class? Well, I didn't forget. I just thought the class was at 3, but it was at 2 p.m. While I was supposed to be teaching, I was in my office preparing for the class, thinking I was ahead of the game. Can you believe that? Either way, I effectively missed showing up for work. Aww man, it is truly no wonder that I don't get kicked out of here. It's way too early in the semester for this mess...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

adventures in neverneverland

Things are relatively good over in Neverneverland. I survived the first week of classes. This will be a busy semester for me (and hopefully a productive one as well). I'm teaching again. It's my final semester of indentured servitude, Hallelujah. I have three classes of 25 students each. Even still, I ain't letting these children stress me out this time around. Teaching evaluations be damned. I will be released in December. Knowing that I won't have to necessarily teach again keeps me in a chipper mood. And maybe for the first time ever, I feel competent as a teacher. This is awesome news, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm supposed to assemble my dissertation committee, finalize, and present my proposal this semester. Yeeeeeaaaahhhhh, this scares the shit out of me. But as a friend reminded me, my job is to just get this shit done so I can move on with my life elsewhere.

I took another job this semester. I will be grading papers for another course as well. It's not soooo bad because it's similar to the teaching gig I had last year, at least paper-wise. If there's anything I should know by now, it's APA-style writing. I can do this. Plus they're paying $17+ per hour. Consider myself having signed at the dotted line.

As if I didn't have enough writing to do, I'm continuing with my plans to take this Creative Writing Workshop class. I've been to two classes so far and I actually enjoy it. It's very different than a psychology class, that's for sure, but different in a good way, using a separate unused part of my brain. Finally, after all these years, I am learning my craft. I promise you, I'm more of a writer than a psychologist. So let's see...

I'm attending a support group for Black women with depression. We had our first meeting on Friday. It went along swimmingly. To dialogue about how depression affects us, to know that I'm not alone in the ups and downs, and to meet some other Black women I know in a context other than grad school will be a good experience for me.

I kicked off my resolution to leave Neverneverland at least one weekend per month. This weekend was a road trip to a sleepy little town about 2 hours away. The occassion was a wine-tasting. By the by, I know little-to-nothing about the technique of wine-tasting. I've never been to one of these things before. I just know I like sweet, fruity wines. I tasted a couple I liked... and by the end of the night, I was sloshed, lol. Anyway, these excursions are an excuse to get away, leave work behind, bond with friends, and stay in a hotel on the low-low, so I'm satisfied.

I'm trying to decide whether to stick with Weight Watchers. I've been half-assing since I joined a few months ago and went completely AWOL these last few weeks, so I'm afraid to step back on that scale. I'm still hovering in the same 5 pound range. *sigh*

I'm still going to therapy once per week. We did a check-in after not meeting for a month or so. It's the same old same old with me. No easy answers and issues that run deeper than any particular messed-up situation in my life. Such is life and human behavior, I suppose. If my schedule permits, I'm also continuing with my group therapy as well. I can't imagine not participating because it has nurtured my personal growth over the years. We get into heavy, deep shit, but we still get together and laugh as only Black women can do. I've missed it over the summer and I'm raring to get back.

No new interesting men to speak of, but such is the case for Neverneverland. Some things never change.

And.... that's all for now, folks. Damn, evaluating this list of activities almost makes me overwhelmed. But everything is everything. I'm in good spirits.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

i will be watching this one too

I love Michael Moore's films.

His upcoming docu-commentary on racial profiling and policing.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

because i'm in desperate need of levity

This commercial made me chuckle. It's really cute.

over and done

I'm over and done with Chicago. For the last time. I took time out of my precious vacation to ride him halfway around town and help him fill out job applications. I asked my daddy if he would agree to give him some man-to-man advice on how to gain some stability in his life. Blah, blah, blah.... And what does this fool go and do? Goes out, gets drunk, and starts some shit that ends up with him getting arrested. Now this nigga is blowing up my phone asking me to help him out on some bogus shit that he never should have been involved in.

You know what finally got through to me? This endless cycle of drama is something I do not personally want to be involved in. I understand when life gets hard for folks, but you gonna go out and incite some more drama on top of an already impossible situation? Naw, buddy, this ain't no mistake. This is a lifestyle. And I want no part of it.

I'm angry. I'm hurt. I'm pissed. And this shit is ending right here and right now. I'm out. He wasn't thinking about me nor his family nor his kid nor his upcoming job interview when he went out and did what he did. I'm even disconcerted that he had the gall to do what he did in the first place. [And what he did was catch a ride to Babymama's house, start some shit on her doorstep, refuse to leave the premises, and busted one of her windows in. And the boys in blue came right on over and picked his ass up and hauled him off to the Duval County Jail.] I don't have time for this shit. If this is the lifestyle he wants to lead, that is his choice. But he will do this without me.

Angry is not even the word. I am incensed. From Michael Vick to my pregnant and clueless dear friend to Chicago, I'm sick and fucking tired of folks just doing what the hell they wanna do without even considering the consequences, and then crying tears afterwards when shit ends up fucked up. Ya'll need to not only grow the hell up, but wake the hell up! No one is playing with ya'll azzes nor about to cut ya'll any slack for your stupidity. And that's my final word.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

i'm still upset...

...But now the tears have started.

You know how when everything feels wrong and you're really upset about it, but you feel like you don't have anyone to turn to?

I feel like this right now. The story of my life, I guess.

There are so many things that have to change. Starting right from this very moment.

pissed the fuck off (multiply that isht by 2)

Why are some folks just stuck on stupid? You just might have an unconscious wish to royally fuck up your life because that is exactly where this is headed. But you know what? I ain't going down with you. No way. No how.

I really try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I'm not a cold, heartless person at all. I understand making a mistake... but damn... when is this shit gonna stop? And then, when you got folks in your corner, trying to root you on and help you out, you go out and do some more STUPID SHIT just for the hell of it?

And you know what... my feelings are hurt for you. But that's where it ends. All of this is happening because of you and your carelessness. And so if you don't give a damn - which apparently you do not - I absolutely don't give a fuck. Not any damn more.