Ramblings

New Year’s Eve

So here I am, approaching a new year chowing down cough drops and reading a book.  Not that I have any complaints, I outgrew the “let’s begin the new year shitfaced” a few years ago, but it’s low-brow enough to be a high-brow thing going on here.
I spent the last two days of my Christmas vacation sick at my mother’s and the first hour of my return home silently crying in the backseat of a car, wishing I could be sick at mama’s house again.
Not often do we get to have our mother’s take care of us and pity us when we’re sick once we’re grown and moved out, so I sort of basked in it… I have to admit.
I bought a new journal during my trip home which is always exciting for me.  It’s like a fresh start, however, it always ends up filled with the same crap at the end of it’s lifespan.
At some point, even our pleasures become cycles – dull patterns of our life that we get stuck turning in.  Not to sound pessimistic, I’m certainly not viewing it all that way, but there is a sad truth to it that can’t be ignored.  I’m not really the free-spirit type, more of a silent, creative-type that moves along in the background and freezes up when any of the last shines close.  I shy away from any recognizable credit but still beg for it.  I’m still not entirely sure if that’s an insecurity or just a personality trait.

I don’t even really know what I’m talking about, I picked up a computer to write and crap came out.  It happens.  I just figure writing is the important part.

some old thangs

I miss writing poetry.  I recently bought a small pack of moleskine “mini journals” to begin writing poems again.
I used to be decent… I think…
I’ve always preferred short, simple poems with depth over long, detailed ones.  The challenge of being able to press incredibly deep emotions in to so few lines is amazing when done properly, plus, it’s easier to maintain the interest of the poem-reader.  Something Emily Dickinson knew how to do well.  I’m not claiming that I’ve done this all the right way, but this explains the length of the poems.

Here are a few poems from the past:

Phosphorus
The match meets the box
The wick has browned
It’s remainder dances
But dwindles down

xx not title xx
To feel so much –
There is no better thought to humble –
The turmoil of it’s darkest hour.

The Plague
Through the many suns
Does love exist?
A colossal feeling
of pain and bliss.

Spoons
Spoons.
Hold little,
but fill large bellies.
All upon a gesture.
How swell!
An arm –
To be so humble,
To fill my needs
Even when the taste is foul.

Selfish
The storm drew back
a hell of breath
That blew rain across the open fields
It licked low-
To the thirst of the bare
And I still know not why-
I weep with despair

xx no title xx
Love, like a balloon
Slowly losing air
Soft and soggy
Though sharp edges become less threatening
The shape loses it’s will
And becomes submissive

Haiku
I like to pretend
That I am very clever
But mostly, I’m not

the beauty of giving music a second chance

When I was a teenager and impressionable rather than cynical, my love for music flourished beneath my pain.  I let music guide me through everything I couldn’t handle.  Part of me still clings to that sentiment, but I’ve found that musicians and songwriters are just as fucked up as (if not more than) I am and it’s like the blind leading the blind.
Of course, I still look to music first when I feel like I’m drowning, but age and experience have provided me with heroes and role models to help with the mental pain while music mends the emotional bumps and bruises.

Not that any of you are just dying to know what the hell I’m on about, but my god, I’m not often blindsided by music these days.  I feel like my ongoing 14 year music search has turned up quite a bit and provided me with grade-a band-aids for my pain.  But, every couple of years I go back and listen to bands I never quite grasped before, and a lot of the time I actually have a change of heart.
Recently it was Fleetwood Mac (the Stevie Nicks years).  I used to hate Stevie Nicks (no reason, just didn’t like her), but now I find myself reading everything I can about her and bookmarking sites with the cheapest Rumours and the self-titled 1975 re-prints.  Whatever I didn’t understand before, makes total sense in my life now when I listen to the Mac.  That is the most wonderful thing about age.
But that’s not what I’m going on about.  Fleetwood Mac didn’t’ blindside me, I just found warmth and understanding in a place I felt unwelcome in before.

No, it was The Jesus and Mary Chain.  Yesterday, they came at me like a sledgehammer.  I used to hate them.  I remember buying a Sebadoh album and a Jesus and Mary Chain album at the HUGE Warehouse Music I used to go to every weekend when I was a teenager.  My love for Dinosaur Jr. folded over in to Sebadoh so my guard was down on that one, but the Jesus and Mary Chain.. forget it. “Go back from whence you came!” I said when I put that album in a garage sale and that was the end of that.
But what’s this?!  Welcome back 27-year-old pre-mid-life crisis crisis Whitney who happened to put her not-enough-room-for-shit iPhone library on shuffle yesterday after downloading Darklands and Psychocandy a couple of weeks ago without yet a listen (this run-on sentence is absolutely necessary)…
I cannot explain the life that exploded inside of me the second Deep One Perfect Morning shuffled it’s way in to my life.
Who says:

“Deep one perfect morning
As the sun is heading up
Into the sky
And i’m sitting here warming
To the coldness of the things
That meet my eye
Something in me’s stirring
And the moon and all the stars
Fail to comply
And my thoughts are turning backwards
And i’m picking at the pieces
Of a world that keeps turning
The screws into my mind …”

behind such a wonderful backdrop of musical melancholy and understanding?  It’s those two elements combined that keep my head afloat when I’m lost somewhere in the dark moments of my past.  It’s those ingredients that have given music just the right amount of fluff through ages of amazing talent and made those with the gift legendary.  That place where you can feel miserable and listen to miserable music and feel understood and welcome in the world that seems to be pushing you out.
It’s one thing to be a talented musician, I have infinite respect for those who have that sort of natural partnership with their instruments, but to put down words that echo across an abundance of feelings and tie them all up neatly in a 3 minute song.. you have to stop and wonder “wow, what the fuck just happened to me?”
Poetry is like an amazing drug that lies in a world where music doesn’t need words and words don’t need a meaning.  Where all of the letters blend in to perfect metaphors of things only the irrational mind can understand.
But when you can take the components of that world and mesh them into the world of the rational mind… then you have something rare. I’m not saying that the Reid brothers are the best songwriters there ever were, I’m just saying they are part of a rare breed.

This meaningless blog post is just me welcoming The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Darklands to my future and to my coveted list of comfort albums.  It’s also me kicking myself for thinking of all the holes that could have been filled in my past if I’d just saw the JAM Chain (like that?) through instead of putting a $2 sticker on their album and forcing it out of my life.
Growing up has so many benefits but with the benefits come regret.  Second chances are always worth the risk.

My Hermit Hole

About a week and a half ago, my friend sent me a picture of a set of yellow knickknack shelves she saw at Goodwill.  Determined to see if they were still there, I went last weekend and they were…. Also there was a 70’s television set for $1.00 that I have talked about on every social network I have a profile with…
This weekend will be gutting this bad boy and converting it in to something, I just don’t know what yet.  But gutting it and seeing what I have to work with is step one.  Because I feel the need to flaunt my incredibly outdated cozy hermit hole that I’ve worked so hard to get juuuust right, here it is:
A for bookshelf my entire library and all of my records are next on the list… also a proper space for my record player…

photo 3photo 1

To Be vs. Not To Be

It’s interesting how people’s morals differ or rather, the things that cause one person to experience guilt while another doesn’t bat an eye.  Of course, this is far from something new, you’d have to be a total idiot not to recognize that people are different, but it’s truly amazing how morals one person can value so deeply can quickly be discarded by another.
As most of you well know by now, I take the bus to and from work and tote my bicycle along.  It’s a glorious life, I know.  Each bus has a total of 3 racks for bicycles (on rare occasions, two) and if all of the racks are in use, you’re shit out of luck.
I find that people in Arizona are generally rude and a lot of them seem to lack basic manners, so it’s up to my non-existent assertiveness to get my bike on the rack when there is one available spot and another person with a bike is also waiting.  I guess part of me still expects more from people, but I’m so incredibly cynical that I experience miserable anxiety when I see another person approaching my bus stop with a bicycle because a lot of people are total assholes and quite honestly, the majority of bus patrons have displayed more low societal standards than even the most pessimistic person could imagine.

Just as recent as last Friday, I literally had knots in my stomach after watching bus passengers crawl over each other to glimpse a motorcycle accident.  I swear on everything I love that I was the only one who remained in my seat out of about 8 people on the bus.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all denying the presence of my own curiosity but even in my general dislike for most people, I still feel that even the slightest form of respect is necessary when it comes to situations such as that.
Imagine, the whole of 5’oclock traffic stretching their necks so far that their mouths gaped open, all hoping to catch a glimpse of some gory accident and possibly a handful of those people had enough respect to place their manners before their urges.  I felt so nauseous and sick afterwards, that it wasn’t until after getting home and taking a shower before I felt any relief.

However, I’m a little of track here.  The whole point of even bringing up contrasting morals was to sort-of confess my own wrong-doings.  You see, in order to avoid the miserable plight of anxiety and the fear of full bike racks, when someone with a bike is headed for my bus stop, I hop on mine and ride to the stop ahead of whichever one I’m at.
This act alone makes me question more about the changes I’ve made in my life than a lot of the things I’ve experienced the past couple of years.   It’s awful and I feel damn guilty doing it, but I have lived my entire life putting everyone else before myself and you know where it’s gotten me?  Nowhere.  I’ve taken shit from just about everyone and the second someone realizes that I’m kind and considerate, they take advantage of me quicker than a starving lion approaching an injured animal.

This has been the very thing that has made me as cynical as I am because it is so much harder to be a nice person than it is to be an asshole and the pressure has finally broken me.  Some people would just say I’ve grown up, but no, that’s far from the truth.  I know because of the guilt I feel when I do something unkind.  It’s miserable and it haunts me.  I’ve dug out a pit the size of a landfill to hide all of my emotions in and I don’t know what’s more terrifying:  turning in to the cold-hearted bitch I try to pretend I am or the breaking point.
I’ll always be cynical, I’ve given up that battle because it grew out of necessity from being extremely naive and vulnerable.   However, I refuse to become some bitter, old lady like Vera Donovan from Deloris Claiborne.

My life has changed so drastically in this 27th year that I fear some of the changes are irreversible.  Yet, I still feel a loving warmth that is ever present in my life.   I’ve simply grown a thicker coat in order to survive and the need to survive (both emotionally and physically) seems to outweigh all moral obligations at this point in life.  You can call it cruel or weak, but I will fight the argument until I can no longer breathe.

What amazes me about myself, that I have mentioned countless times, is that despite what I have experienced, I still believe in all the things that have disappointed me.  Despite everything horrible, I believe enough in myself and  my dreams, that nothing can break that confidence.
I truly do believe in the inherent good in people, regardless of what I’ve seen.  I don’t know why or how, but I know that it’s there.
I still believe in love and romance, even though the past couple of years have shattered my hopes and dreams of both.
I still believe I am a good person even though I do things that stretch the boundaries of the morals I was raised to uphold.

In all of the miserable and wonderful things I have experienced even in the past year alone; I’ve realized that while actions speak much louder than words, sometimes the circumstances are greater than the person.
As long as the cruel realization of reality doesn’t burn out the light inside of you – there is always hope that you can overcome even the worst of yourself.

Any Advice?

I’m in a bit of a quandary.
I was recently moved to a different position at work and have been forced to get to know other people, something I’m not very fond of.   One co-worker, in particular, I cannot stand.  No matter how hard I try to understand him or how hard I try to lay my judgments down and just tolerate his incessant rambling, I cannot stand this guy.
We will call him Tim because I don’t like that name either (no offense to any Tims).
Tim is English.
Tim lived in England for the first 10 years of his life.
Tim is now 28 and still miraculously has an accent.  He even uses English terminology regardless of the fact that he has lived in America for the majority of his life.  Why?  Because his accent is the only interesting thing about him.
Our immediate supervisor is currently in Chicago which means more chit-chat taking place in the cubicle we all inhabit.
Tim spent the better part of yesterday echoing his thoughts across a sea of people who didn’t give a shit because he is the anti-Christ.  For whatever degree he is studying towards in college, I guess a basic psychology class is required.  Basic psychology apparently makes this guy an expert in the field which makes it very difficult to talk people on a normal level because of his excellent education.  No, I’m not exaggerating.
He disappeared for half an hour yesterday to talk to the CEO of the company and burst back in to the cubicle with air of superiority.

Tim (looking around to make sure an audience was present): Wow, I can’t believe I was gone a half hour… that guy knows A LOT.

Other co-worker: Oh?

Tim:  Yeah, he knows A LOT of theories, he’s really smart.  We just bounced thoughts [not his own, obviously] off of one another and he knew all about that one theory I was telling you guys about earlier [not going to bore you with psych 101 bullshit]… it was just really nice to be able to talk to someone on the same academic level as myself.

The rest doesn’t matter, I swear on everything I love and fantasize about, that this piece of shit had the nerve to say that.  They offer the same psychology class he’s taking in High Schools!  What kind of sad person needs that sort of glorification?  What sort of psychology expert needs the approval of people he deems inferior?  What sort of person thinks condescending to people earns them interested listeners, much less any sort of respect?

My quandary is this: Why is it bothering me so much?  Why can’t I just let it go?  The guy actually knows what he’s talking about, but he doesn’t hold any firm belief in any of it, he just wants to talk and make everyone else “look stupid”.
I wanted to scream at him that I’ve been reading philosophy, psychology and sociology books since I was 14 while he was discovering the miracle of masturbation.
I wanted to disprove his theories based on my actual experience and observation and tell him that it’s called a theory for a reason.  But I couldn’t.  I just sat and acted stupid and felt useless because even when I know I’m right, I don’t know how to open my mouth.

What’s more is that it made me consider why I, myself, need to prove to him that I’m not stupid.  I’m at this incredible point in my life where everything is unfolding beautifully and I’m growing in to the person I’ve always wanted to be and yet, I still can’t speak up.
In all of the confidence I’ve gained in myself as an individual, I still can’t open my mouth and tell people to shut the fuck up when I know I’m right because it makes me feel arrogant and condescending and that’s worse than looking stupid.
However, then I’m facing this situation again and I’m filled with actual anger.  Not just at my co-worker, but at myself for allowing this.
At what point do these two worlds collide and let me take the weight of inner-thought off of my shoulders? I’m so tired of listening to people talk to me like I’m an idiot and I’m so ashamed of myself for letting them make me feel this way.

sorry about this

I’m not one to write about celebrity crap, but I’ve been spending more time than usual on Tumblr and my dashboard is filled with photoshopped wrecking balls and a topless Miley Cyrus.  I have seen endless text posts of women and girls bitching about Miley’s turbulent lifestyle, how she’s being exploited, how she’s become a slut or whatever else they find offensive about someone who has no direct impact on their lives.
All I have to say regarding that is BRAVO to whoever is marketing this girl because I struggle to name a single pop song of that last decade, but I know more about her than I do about our president.
My opinion (as if it really matters) on the controversy over Miley Cyrus is that this and this are totally different:
aaa
They may be in the same ballpark, but Spears fell into a dark, black hole from which she will never return, while Cyrus just turned in to white trash.
I think the most entertaining aspect of the entire pop star worship thing is that people feel so personally offended by her actions (and her haircut) that when they write or talk about her (or anyone of equal celebrity status), they are filled with (an awkward, questionable) passion.
Our culture has become so incredibly mesmerized by the lives of beautiful people and it’s no wonder, they’re absolutely EVERYWHERE!
They’re right in front of us every day in every form of publicity possible and social networking is like a church of fellow worshipers.  Can you really blame young girls (and boys) for feeling personally attached to these people?
These people have become part of their everyday lives.  It’s truly mind blowing if you thinking about it.

To be fair, in black and white, it’s really no different than getting angry at politicians or feeling your heart melt when you read about something Pope Francis has said or done  (I really do like that man), however, these people have societal impacts whether you pay attention to them or not.

I won’t lie though, I’m a sucker for looking at the magazines they line the grocery store impulse shelves while I wait in line, however that fascination does not extend past my transaction and Amanda Bynes throwing a bong out the window does not make a single difference in my life.

I guess my point is this: who gives a shit?

milestone

There are no words for the emotional maturity that has blossomed inside of me.  For as long as my mind stretches into the past, I have struggled to balance my emotions, thoughts and reality.   Like the moon pulls the tides, I have struggled to resist the pull of my emotions, but I have finally learned how to maintain my balance in the trough of the waves.
I have, of course, been assisted by many great minds through the years; Nietzsche, Whitman, Rilke, Dickinson, Harper Lee and most recently — Dickens.  All of these great writers and thinkers (and so many more) have comforted me when I was held captive by my emotional turmoil and held a flame for both warmth and light in the velvet darkness.
Of course, music and friends/family have served as a lifeboat as well, but there is something about books — how you can wrap yourself in the world of someone else and escape your own while somehow pressing the two worlds together.  I’m not really sure I’m capable of fully expressing the love and appreciation I have for reading and the gracious impact the words have had on me, but I will never stop trying.
It is only within the past couple of months that I have noticed the deep, solid change that has taken place inside of me.  Not like the spurts of positivity that I have been showered with and then disappointed by.  This is a deep rooted change that has put me in control of how I let circumstances affect me.   I have not grown cold, but focused.  I have stopped trying to change what I do not like and simply accepted that it is alright to be recognizably flawed.  In fact, I enjoy my flaws, I no longer feel ashamed about my desire to be introverted, but I enjoy it almost to the point of overzealousness.  I no longer feel guilty or wounded by sudden changes in behavior of someone I considered myself to be on good-terms with (obviously an isolated incident).  In fact, I quit caring about so many small things because I started accepting myself ENTIRELY, not piece by piece, and I started believing more in the good-natured part of myself and believed that no matter what, the good in me would prevail.
I still consider myself in the threshold of this change, but this is concrete.  This is the milestone I’ve been struggling to reach for the past 5 years and it has greeted my life with incredible warmth and sincerity.
Normally this is where I would say something along the lines of, “I hope this feeling lasts forever” but for the first time in as long as I can remember, I know this is one of the building blocks to the person I’m growing up to be and I really, really love and respect her.

Pep Talk

There is a curse in being intuitive when it comes to other people.   It’s amazing to be able to pick up on a personality within minutes of meeting someone, but it’s a horribly lopsided ability.  It’s mentally awkward when a person you have no qualms with subtly stops being polite to you and/or doesn’t acknowledging your presence unless you say something.  Granted I’m no stranger to this behavior, but I’ve never suddenly “turned” on someone I considered an acquaintance without a good reason.
This sort of thing has been happening to me my entire life; I will form a friendship with someone when suddenly I’m being shunned with no explanation.  I’m generally pretty good at pinpointing the problem, but nothing has happened and yet, here I am in the arctic breezes of the cold-shoulder again.

Although I’ve formed a pretty thick shell and buried any physical signs of hurt feelings, it still stings like hell and it still makes me feel kind of shitty.  It doesn’t do any deep, internal damage anymore because I’ve grown to the point where I actually respect the person I’m growing in to and in light of that, I quit blaming myself for other people being total assholes.  For the past five or so years, I’ve been working really hard on my unpleasant qualities and molding myself in to what I believe is a good, stable person.  And as far as I’m concerned, I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself and those who have always supported me.
Every time this happens though, I dig deep through the pain of it and work to better myself.  The ability to do that is an actual gift – to take something from a bad situation and create something beautiful from it’s debris without letting the negativity affect you negatively.

Even my best friend, who is mad at me and hardly speaks to me (completely my fault) will always be my best friend because despite my major fuck-up during my 10th tour of best-friend duty, she still knows I’m a good person beneath my mistakes – no matter how big or small.  Even if she doesn’t know how much she doesn’t hate me right now, I know she opens every message I send her even if she doesn’t respond.
In fact, I don’t even know why I felt the need to write this, I’m irritated at a co-worker whom I actually liked among a sea of co-workers I don’t like, but fuck it; I have dinosaurs on my desk next to pictures of my mother.  I have my iPod with me filled with over 100 GB of music from the past 4 years (lots of emotional healing there) and even though my best friend won’t talk to me (which I really hate), I still annoy the hell out of her with text messages and pictures because I’m annoying and that’s okay because it comes from a good place and she knows I mean it.

I suppose I wrote this because I needed to remind myself that I’m a decent person capable of becoming a really good person.  And even though I’m far behind where I want to be in life, I truly do not worry about not becoming the person I want to or not doing the things I want to in life.  I have no idea how I know, but I know that I will be fine in every aspect of my future, and even though these little emotional mosquito bites itch like crazy, they’re only small happenings that help sharpen the image of the bigger picture.
It’s not even a lemonade thing, it’s just realizing that you’re in complete control of how you let life change you.