You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch.
Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy.
You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like.
If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way.
Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference.
Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
after the night was over,
the next morning
at dawn, we held each other.
the room smelled like butter.
Each stage of life greatly pleases us, but unfortunately not while we are in it. The young are eager to be adults, adults look forward to being retired, the retired envy youth. Daters crave marital stability, the married miss the thrill of dating. College students and graduates would swap places. We possess the pieces of a happy life, too bad we cherish them out of sequence.
— Brian Jay Stanley,
We Love Our Life in the Wrong Order (via missfolly
Diana Vreeland reminds me entirely of my Grandmother. Or Vice Versa.
I’m convinced they were the same person. In sartorial clairvoyance, and in boisterous personality.
on tuesday afternoons
in the room opposite from the kitchen
my mother sat on the rice bin
picking her nails, waiting for the garbage man.
during wednesday dinners, my sisters and i
shoveled rice in our mouths (what hunger pains?)
barely noticing the slivers of Mama, mixed in with the grains.
you have it good now,
dad tells me this story over and over again.
we didn’t go hungry.
but grandma died from cancer and,
the garbage man never came.
which would you have preferred?
pirouetting in traffic
today I almost got hit by a taxi. i could hear his horns blaring, his lights glaring at me. and I felt my shoulders shiver and for a second, I doubted my legs. my ear lobe throbbed violently. and then it was over. my bike and i pirouetted away from him and I was safe again.
in a brief of moment of life, possibly death, i was OK.
and then i think,
some people live like this – times 100 – every. single. day.
i look at the cookies
it’s on the table, taunting me.
the elastic bite,
the chocolate chips—melting, (like that Dali painting).
And I can’t stop myself.
I know this is a problem
but it just feels
marching band boys
in my town, marching band boys had a certain appeal to them. they were athletic, down-to-earth, and generally possessed a more creative zeal compared to the usual high school boys at the time. when I was sixteen, I became obsessed with a boy who was in marching band with me.
looking back, he wasn’t all that ‘amazing.” he had green eyes, brown Bieber bangs that semi swooped across his forehead and a large, inviting smile. he wore polos and khakis and slinked around his jansport backpack. he wasn’t a jock nor a nerd, but i later realized he possessed a bro-ish tendency that would manifest itself once he entered college. i was mostly attracted to him because he made me laugh and was a class clown. he possessed a sort of Sawyer-eque spirit that other boys lacked.
i was nearly consumed by his presence. i would take a certain route just so i would see him in passing while getting to class. i would arrive to 5th period just a tad tardy because i’d wait for him to walk by me before lunch was over. he was a senior when i was a junior, so that meant i hung around the band room, pretending to read my book, while he hopped off his jeep, laughing with his friends while strolling to class.
he barely noticed me.
it’s funny to think about that memory now, randomly, considering i haven’t thought of this boy in close to 8 years. he stayed in california for college and i left the west for the east. we would exchange the obligatory holiday texts of hi, hello, what’s up? how’s it going? and somewhere between christmas and the new year, the whole thing would die, revive, and die again. our friendship had a Frankenstein flair. i never understood why he continued to reach out to me years after high school, when my interactions with him in those short years had been brief, restrained and only punctuated by my infatuation with him. after i graduated college, he texted me again about grabbing coffee. i saw his name pop up on my phone and for a second, i felt a flicker in my stomach. unsure whether it were the butterflies conditioned from years prior, or true hunger pangs, i picked up the phone and tapped away,
"i’m moving to new york tomorrow, but let’s definitely get together when i’m back."
S-l-o-w-ness—it gave meaning to everything. It made everything royal.
As in any great relationship (whether the dynamic is friend or lover,) the respect must be mutual. I think my being selective in love will halt me at 19, but hopefully it will be worth it in the long run.
— what I wrote on my birthday blog entry on May 23rd, 2009. I was nineteen.
peering from the door, still holding the sandwich
letters ooze, all gooey.
he writes a novel.
suppose life is a billowing curtain:
It stands cowardly: collecting dust.
every once in awhile, i replace the curtains
It bores me.
(i want a multicolored one).
i switch. i am unhappy.
the curtain stands the same
just different colors.
i’ve outgrown it.
a beautiful passage that’s stuck with me, always
“And she loved a man who was made out of nothing. A few hours without him and right away she’d be missing him with her whole body, sitting in her office surrounded by polyethylene and concrete and thinking of him. And every time she’d boil water for coffee in her ground-floor office, she’d let the steam cover her face, imagining it was him stroking her cheeks, her eyelids and she’d wait for the day to be over, so she could go to her apartment building, climb the flight of stairs, turn the key in the door, and find him waiting for her, naked and still between the sheets of her empty bed.”