Saturday, October 20, 2012

I lose too many days. Maybe we all do. I have never known what to do with my time, there are so many things I could do that I just end up doing nothing instead. I can't commit to one thing, and never could. I'm notorious for multi-tasking. I can't just sit and watch a movie, I have to be watching a movie and doing a crossword. I can't just walk, I have to read at the same time. I'm sure there is some psycho analysis that could be done to explain this tendency, but I've been this way for forever, so it is more a matter of learning how to use it to my advantage than get rid of it altogether. I've been in a post graduation rut. Emotional rut. Physical rut (do I ever move?). Job rut. I can't say that I am sure what I would rather be doing, which is why I spend so much time sitting around. Being home has been good, my mother is always working which makes me feel like working too. But today, for example, I am house sitting and I feel glued to this chair. Because I am not sure what else there is to do besides sit in this chair. I am full of excuses to not do things, I always have been. But usually social engagements convince me to get up, if not jump up. I like people. Or I used to. Or I do, but I am struggling to remember I do. Or something. But today, I am sitting here and I feel like a real piece of shit, but everyone I now is busy or was busy and now I have to work in three hours so I don't have time to bike to see them and bike back and gather and iron my work clothes. But I have too much time to sit here. God, I am boring myself writing this more than I was when I was sitting here. But I've been trying to make myself write more often, trying to dig bits of humanity out of me, trying to dig stories out of myself because it seems like something worthwhile.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's hot again here. All summer I've been melting inside, there is almost nothing solid left in there. It's not sad or tragic, it's just a phase, the knowledge that it is such is both a blessing and a curse. I feel like I'm back in middle school, younger than I have since I was 13, angsty but bored. Right on the cusp of sweet slumber got a message that said "Your Mom says you're depressed. Don't be.", which kept me up all night. It was strict but soft advice, as advice from this "elder" always is, really the only type of advice I'll listen to, most everyone else I choose to ignore or get a little upset with. Labels make me too excited and always feel inaccurate which is why I never use them. I will never call myself a writer, an artist, a singer, any of those things, they make me too giddy, too important. People tell me my problem is that I don't think I'm worthy. But I know it is this same quality, "modesty" that is likable, charming about me. I don't think I'm worth it, which is what makes me worth it. Or something along those lines. Not to say there are not other reasons I am a person worth knowing, or that if I lost this quality I would lose all my friends, but just something to make note of. I haven't been writing enough this summer, I want to write more things like this, like blog posts, but I am trying to find a way in which I can turn blog posts into series, into viable pieces of literature that people will read as such and not tell me I reveal too much of myself on public forums. Because if you want to write things, that is, in essence, what you do, whether it gets put in print or only on the interwebs. So that's the new plan. To start to edit and piece together my various ramblings from various times and various places and put them together. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Here's a positive one just for you P! Something I wrote a while ago and posted on my other blog but it is so important to me that I have decided to post it on all my blogs, because it is something I would like everyone to read. There are things that are important to talk about. Most things, in fact. I grew up in an environment that fostered discussion, then I went to college where there was more discussion, then I went to Kenya and gained the confidence I needed to become a part of all the discussion. I don’t like to state my opinion about things until I’ve carefully analyzed and re-analyzed it, ‘til I’ve scoped out its flaws. Even then my arguments are not always strong, and are always particularly confusing and complex. I’m better in dialogue, better when I get to bounce ideas off of someone else, even when they don’t agree with me. But what I am trying to say right now is, I want to talk about things. I know “things” is vague, but that is really what I want to talk about, is about all things, I don’t want to talk about feminism or racism or religiousism (is that a word? it should be a word? I have decided to make it a word), but about everything, at once because I am so tired of all of the divisions and all of the disconnect piling on top of each other. Isn’t the point of everything, of life, connections? I don’t go to other places looking for differences. I am interested in other places, other thoughts, other ideas because I am looking for similarities. For areas where we overlap, where we connect. My whole life has been about connections, it’s really the only thing I care about when it comes down to it, and it is the thing that has propelled me in life thus far. I get myself in trouble, almost daily, for saying that I am not a feminist. As a woman, not being a feminist is problematic. Don’t I care that women, on average, get paid less than men? Don’t I care about the decisions being made about what I can and can not do with my own body? Yes. I do care. But I don’t care about these things on the basis that I am a woman. I care about these things as a human being who believes whole-heartedly in justice and fairness and balance. I care just as much about the women being underpaid as I do about the men (even if there are less of them) getting underpaid for their jobs. I don’t want to categorize myself as a feminist, because what I am really concerned about is all cases of people being slighted. There is this tendency people have (myself included) to want to speak for other people (see, I’m doing it right now, you’re all like “bullshit, I don’t have that tendency”). We can’t. For example: I know how I feel about development in third world countries, and I have talked to people who live in third world countries about how they feel about it. But even if I wrote what I thought was an accurate interpretation of their views on it, it would still be my interpretation. Does this make sense? This goes the same for writing, if I chose to, as a woman. I mean, of course I am going to write “as a woman” because I am a woman. But just because I am woman does not mean that I suddenly feel this pull and connection between myself and other women. Doesn’t mean I know what it feels like to be a woman outside of myself. But people are afraid to write about themselves. Afraid it is narcissistic, afraid that they, as a singular person are not big or important enough to be written about, feel that they must take on something bigger than themselves to give their work meaning. This applies to many forms of art, I feel. But here is what I think: You are important enough. If you write/live honestly from your own stance, people will connect with that on an individual level. Lots of people. By carefully looking at the details of each of our personal stories we will find things that we relate to, things that resonate. We will more easily be able to see the similarities. Everyone’s problems/triumphs/joys are important and valid. You don’t have to have had something “earth shattering” happen to you to have something important to say. I believe in you. I believe that you have something interesting to tell me. This is half the reason I encourage people to write letters. Because letters don’t ask too much of you, the way other forms of expression sometimes do. They just ask you to present some information about yourself to one other person, to whatever extent you are comfortable with. And people write me really really beautiful things. It seems to me that by specifically addressing feminism and racism and all those other isms we often maintain this divide between people. These characteristics aren’t even definitive. Not like the things that actually relate us to one another. Why not protest against all people receiving unfair pay, not just women? Are we not just oppressing ourselves by staying within the categories that continue to offend us? Doesn’t it seem like maybe we’re just getting distracted by these and losing sight of what’s important? What these sorts of movements do, is simplify something that is not simple. Embrace the complexities, sweets. The complexities are simple. We are all different, so different, each relationship so dynamic, so impossible to replicate. And we shouldn’t want to. We should embrace each individual connection. It’s these that will unify us. The idea that we all know what sadness feels like, what happiness feels like, and all of those complex little emotions in between. Not because we know what being a woman or a man feels like. Or what being a Kenyan or an American feels like. Or what being a black or a white person feels like. WE KNOW WHAT BEING A HUMAN FEELS LIKE. That should be enough to understand each other. I’m overly optimistic, I’ve been told. That’s probably true. But shit, I’ve got to believe, that we can all connect. I can’t think of one person I haven’t connected with, when bothering to sit down and have a one-on-one conversation with. People from all different backgrounds (aren’t we all from different backgrounds?). People I don’t agree with about a lot of things. But I’ve never really left an honest, person-to-person conversation without feeling some sort of positive connection. So I have to believe that it exists. That we can all connect, if we approach it from the smallest scale, from our daily person-to-person interactions, rather than always trying to approach it by uniting over characteristics that are so much less important than most the other things in our life. I believe in us. I believe we have it in us to understand each other, but we have to stop intimidating each other first. We have to be less offended. We have to forgive each other and then we have to talk to each other about our lives and all those little things that seem mundane but make up most of our days. We need to be a lot less afraid of each other and a little more in love with one another.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I love when poetry workshops feel like a therapy sessions. On my poem someone wrote "I just don't understand what the speaker loved about him when he was obviously such an asshole". The number of times the word "bitter", "spite", and "sarcastic" came up. And this "People act as if they know all about us after knowing us for 2, 3, 12 months or what have you and act as if they are bored. But in reality we are bottomless wells. In each one of us is a mystery to be forever absorbed and yet we treat each other like dirt." I think that is sort of beautiful. What I love about poems is the way it allows for people to share very acute feelings.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I had a long dream about Kenya, about leaving Kenya, about being heartbroken about leaving Kenya. Except, when I left Kenya, I almost didn't cry. I remember looking out the window at Nairobi, and a few tears sneaking out of the corners of my eyes, but that was about it. The leaving feels harder now. I wish I had cried. I wish I had paid better attention, wish I had been a little less excited to come home. I was excited to come home for all the wrong reasons. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, not really on purpose but just sort of it seeps into my brain when I am doing other things. I am remembering how I felt there and how I feel now and what that means. My heart feels a little raw today which is much better than the alternative of it feeling numb. Just yesterday, birds started chirping out my window, and it makes it seem like spring. The end of college is coming near and I think that makes the end of a lot of other things, some of which are a relief and a lot of which are sad. I like to tell myself nothing is permanent, because it is a comfort, but in this case, not quite. In the same way I know I can never go back to Kenya and have it be the same as it was last time, can not relive my MSID experience, I know that when we get all spread out across the globe we will never be able to be back here, to be like this, and that makes me ache. I haven't put much thought into what being separated from these people means, and I won't, because it's too hard, but I hope we manage to stick together.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I've been (once again) thinking a lot about feminism lately, because I seem to hear "that's so sexist" a hundred times a day, and I don't even know what that means. So the first half of my problem with western feminism is, after taking a women's international rights class, realizing that most western feminists fail to address/to stand united with women in other countries who have yet to earn the same rights we have, and sometimes pushing these concerns off the international agenda in favor of ensuring equal opportunity in employment etc.
It's not that I am not in solidarity with my fellow women. I mean, who run the world? girls. But I think that many of the self-proclaimed feminists I know take too much personal offense to things that are not actually intended or necessarily "sexist". And also, most of these women seem to have particularly negative things to say about men and equally awful generalizations about them, which doesn't seem to be the right spirit. I don't think you can make a fuss over being judged unless you are willing to let go of all your own judgments. Like assuming someone who is homeless is "shady" and that certain places are "janky" because of who hangs out there. Or assuming that a girl who wears fake nails and lots of make-up is not worth their time. To pretend as though you deserve to be acknowledged equally as everyone else when you refuse to do the same just seems wrong. And it's exhausting. And I think the best way to move forward, is to not sit and analyze whether something is sexist or not or racist or not, but to do your own personal best to live outside those boundaries (as much as you can). I am not a feminist. I am a "humanist" or whatever you want to call it. I am for people. All people. Not just my fellow females, but everyone. I think that sometimes, feminism can be a divider, can continue to push the two genders against each other. I don't tell my friends they are being sexist when all they do is talk about how good the various boys at the bars asses look, and yet, I am nearly positive that if they heard of a group of boys doing the same to them they would be disgusted. And that bothers me, above anything. If you believe in something, you have to fully believe in it, you can't half-ass it (hahaha). I know I offend my friends when I say things about not being a feminist. But they equally offend me when they make generalizations or unfair assumptions about other groups of people. I said something to a friend yesterday about "not really liking feminist things". And I guess what I meant was not that I don't like them, but that I don't like them simply on the basis that they are feministic. I like Jane Austen because I like both her female and male characters. Not because someone told me she was a feminist. In the same way I don't love the Brontes, despite them being feminist. End 'o rant. Someday, when I have the time I'll turn it into a proper essay.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

alright sweet life, let's begin