Wednesday, February 29, 2012

just a little existential rambling going down, carry on.

My life  ...

I don't even know how to finish that sentence actually. I kind of just want to convey myself gripping my face, eyes squeezed shut, as I sway back and forth in front of my computer. But in a good way.


Depending on what day of the week it is, I alternate between viewing the future as a land of opportunity and a deliverer of DREADED CHANGE. In short, I have no idea what I'm going to do with my time on this earth, how I'm going to organize my life or even where I'll be living five months from now.

I mean, I'm turning 18, guys. Eight-freaking-teen. In two months. I have two months left of blissful childhood before I enter the harsh adult world. Or something. I don't really know what I'm saying but I've heard things.

The thing is, I have a general image of what I'd like to do and it's pretty simple. I want to drink chai tea lattes and philosophize and grow my own food and write things that change lives and play my ukulele on grafittied steps and have fun with my friends and fall in love with more fictional characters from the great books I haven't read yet*.

One of the issues with this picture is the whole, how am I going to produce income, and am I going to be dependent on my parents, and for how long (to a lesser extent, where am I going to do this and with whom). These are the quandaries that plague me. I assume that a fair share of contemporary grown ups have gone through this very thing that I am going through but it does little to comfort me.

I suppose I'll keep you posted on how this existentially fraught period of my life goes**. It's nice to think that it is going. Though on uneventful leap days like today, it doesn't feel like it, my life is far from static.

*also save our species from completely destroying our habitat.
**hey, maybe it never ends! Wouldn't that be great?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


There's a certain awkwardness to the moment when you text your friend asking if they've seen your changed relationship status on facebook and they're like, No! That's so exciting. What's he like?
And you're kind of like, um actually i have a girlfriend now.

And I know that our society basically spoon feeds heterosexuality starting from the first Disney movies we watch and also that I haven't technically come out as gay or bi or whatever but I can't help wishing there was a moment of doubt before the assumption that I'm dating a guy.

I never sat down with my parents and told them I was straight and that it wasn't a choice, just the way I am. My facebook profile doesn't specify my gender, let alone that I'm "interested in" men, strictly.* And I know it's not the most important aspect of who I am but I can't help wishing that people would not make assumptions of this--or any--variety about me.

*I like to share as little with facebook as I see necessary, meaning no birthday, no gender, no "interested in."**
**but apparently my romantic relationship can go on there *shrugs*

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What if I'm secretly an ostrich, what then?

I'm being courted, in a sense. In the really Victorian-era sense, with all the interacting parties putting on their best faces and acting polite towards one another to prevent even the slightest suspicion that they are in any way unsuitable.

By colleges, not people. (Well, yes, people, deans and directors and whomever else puts their name at the bottom of a piece of paper, all claiming personal interest. Some I've committed to memory for no explicable reason--Todd Rhinehart, Karen Schrum, Marc Harding, Jessica Eads--my own little group of suitors.)

It's weird, this whole process: kind of exciting and ego-boosting and wanderlust-inspiring and overwhelming and just a fuckton of mail to sort through. At the end of emails and letters, they all say to keep in touch or something like that, like we're buddies already. I'm pretty sure it's someone's (possibly not the person whose name is in the closing) job to insert my name into the opening paragraph about how exceptional I am and how much potential I show and how the educational institution would love to have me and then click send. Or they've got computers doing that, I don't know.

I play my part too, not exactly keeping in touch with all my new dean friends, but mailing in cards for brochures or logging in to the school's website, being engaged and studious. Being the lovely person full of potential that the letter was meant for. There are things I'm not telling them: that I'm not really well-rounded, that I haven't shaved my legs in over a month, that I have no sense of direction, that I entertain myself by lip-synching Disney songs, alone, apropos of nothing, at midnight, and most definitely that I'm terrified they'll all hate and reject me and I won't be good enough to get into any college at all. These don't seem like college-bound-person traits. There are things they're not telling me either, though: that the showers are mildewy and the English professors have distractingly unkept facial hair and things like that, I'm sure. We'll learn these things about each other eventually.

I should go to bed.

Friday, February 10, 2012

It's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't care

I have this persistent habit of destroying things.

I don't mean that as some depressing metaphor. I just can't keep anything in pristine condition. I crumple and rip the edges of papers; I fold parts of pages of books; I'm more effective than a paper shredder when it comes to disposable cups. I don't know why I do it; I just can't stop myself. I think that somewhere in the back of my mind it all just relates back to how for a person who has so many things I am hardly at all sentimental about my actual physical possessions.

When my computer hard drive crashed in September last year, and me being me didn't back up half the files on my computer, I instantly lost virtually all of my pictures and files from my middle school years. Such is my attitude now that everything's gone digital; I hardly ever print anything out, and unless it exists somewhere on the internet, it makes its lonely home on my computer, and maybe a flash drive, if I don't get too lazy. You'd think that I'd be really upset about losing all these fond memories from my relative youth. But what upset me more than losing all of these files was that when my laptop was rebooted with an empty new hard drive, the dock from my desktop was missing. Never mind that I easily downloaded it from the Dell website later, when I turned on my laptop and it was missing, I burst into tears.

Yeah, that small outburst was just my release of my frustration over my computer dying in the first place, but the whole thing is just reflective of how I am sort of aggressively unsentimental about most material things. That is not to say that I live a life free from materialism or that I don't care about anything I own -- because there are certainly some things that I would be really upset to lose, and god help me on the day that I become too poor/financially independent from my parents to afford, like, new slipper boots -- but I just sort of have an implicit just-let-it-go attitude towards most things I own. I don't let the physical things replace the memories I have associated with them -- my memories, the ones that really matter to me, are meaningful to me without a physical token to represent them -- so I guess I'm just not that bothered when the actual thing goes missing.

(And, okay, when you lose a whole bunch of stuff, it makes the few remaining pieces from that collection all the more special. I have a few pictures and such from middle school and I think that ultimately those show more about me than the hundred crappy ones that I took with our old digital camera when I was 13. It's annoying but also sort of peaceful to start from scratch.)

That's also why the copy of TFioS that I'm annotating is the signed copy that was signed actually-in-person by John and Hank. I have two copies, and the other one I want to keep clean for lending out to people, and I didn't really want to get a third copy just for annotating... so I was like what the heck, it's just a book, and books are all about the interaction between the text and the reader, so I will write all over this goddamn signed copy because it's not the signatures and the pristine pages that make this book special, it's what I take from it.

I kind of like that attitude, to be honest. I figure all things in this world are some kind of fleeting (even memories, really, when you get into the whole memory reconstruction thing), so why bother getting so upset about the inevitable?