Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lemon Blog Pie


Well, hi there! It’s three in the morning, and I really should be in bed. Unless I’m sleep-typing, and it appears as though I’m not. Insomnia is one of the fun symptoms of depression that I have learned to live with. Have I mentioned I suffer from…wait, fuck that. Have I mentioned that I own clinical depression? (I like to make it sound as though I possess it at my own will, as opposed to being mentally raped by it; which is the reality.)

Although I’m sure all of you are dying to read a weepy ass blog about my mental disease  the mental time share I own, today is not that day. You see, I’m loopy as hell, and really probably most likely definitely do not have any business attempting to write something coherent. And this is exactly why I am! (Writing, that is. Never mind the coherent part.)

Right now, I am on what I call an Up Swing in my depressive cycle depressive voyage. Up Swings are a good time, in which I am more ‘myself’, and functional. The opposite, or my Down Swings, (see the clever word play, there?) are not so fun. Although more productive, I’ve come to notice that the Up Swings have this obnoxious side effect of sleeplessness.

So I’m taking my insomnia lemons, and making some insomnia Lemon Blog Pie. (I could just make insomnia lemonade, but a pie crust sounds really delicious right this instant.)

Lemon Blog Pie Ingredient One: the Lemons-

Ever have one of those sour moments in life where you can actually almost see yourself mid-fail, and you kind of want to die inside? (Yes, this is me on an Up Swing. Just imagine how I’d describe that if I were on a Down Swing.) Twenty minutes ago, I realized that sleep would not be happening for me, and decided to step outside for some fresh air to listen to the babbly brook creek dealy thingee that runs in the woods. (Again, don’t expect some Pulitzer Prize winning descriptions, here. Take what you can get.) I went to perch upon my porch swing, but much to my consternation, it was sopping wet from what I’m assuming was rain. (Unless someone really had to pee. And if they peed on my cushions, a plague upon their house.) I spied a large rock I could sit on, instead. So sit down I did, and began to listen to the dreamy trickle of the creek. (Unless the person who peed on my cushions was peeing nearby, creating a dreamy trickling noise.)

I sighed contently, and went to lean back on the back side of the rock that unfortunately didn’t exist. I felt myself falling backwards slowly, and managed to tighten some sort of emergency ab muscle I didn’t know I had to slow myself as I descended. “Huh.” I thought mid-air, “This is going to suck in second.”
I do love being right, and I sure was. I landed face up in a rock and mud pile, with my legs straight up in the air like a sexy beetle on its back, clad in pink striped pajama pants, and a hoodie. You’d think that I would have leapt up indignantly, but I actually didn’t move for a moment. I stared at my pink stripy pajama legs in the air, and thought, “Huh. Yeah. This sucks.”

I love being right.

I realized that leaping up in mud and rocks wasn't a bright idea, so I rolled over onto my side; and really felt like I was starring in a Shamu the whale National Geographic pictorial. As I lumbered back inside to assess the damage, I noticed my wrist was now sporting one of those irritating epidermis scrapes that peels back the first layer of skin, does not bleed, but still manages to burn like a mo-fo. These really suck, because you cannot complain about them to your friends without sounding like a whiny toddler. Blood and guts are what earns sympathy, not dry superficial scrapes that don’t even require a Dora Band-Aid. 

When you send your get well cards, I accept cash or personal checks.

Now my rear end was a different story. My pink pajama pants were now a flattering shade of mud, and as I de-pants-ed myself in the mirror, I saw the blushing right on my pork butt (Or are those considered ham hocks? Where are hocks located, anyways? A hock sounds disgusting.) of what would eventually be some nice bruises on my ass from the rocks. I felt quite offended, as I can’t garner any sympathy from ass bruises. Showing those off only earns you an indecent exposure charge.



Lemon Blog Pie Ingredient Two: Attention Deficit Disorder-

I think this is the part where I’m supposed to mention a crust, or Cool Whip, or some other Martha Stewart shit like that. But you know what? I’m bored with writing. I’m rocking some sleep deprived dry eyes, scraped up wrist that doesn’t like my keyboard, and a stone traumatized booty.

Lemon Blog Pie Ingredient Three: the Final Touch-

Some things are better left unsaid. And some things are better left undone. Like this blog.

Lemon Blog Pie Final Step:  Formal Presentation To the Famished Guest-

Assuming they don’t strap a strait jacket on me and send me to Hotel Padded Wall Inn, I’ll see you kiddies next time. I’m off to (maybe) sleep.
Bon Apatite! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Open Letter To Nineteen Year Old Self


I read in an article that writing a letter to your past self is a great way to bookmark the past, and also reconcile how far you have come since. While that is all great and good, I found it to be a sensational opportunity to make fun of myself, especially since myself at nineteen was pretty unintentionally comical. (as evidenced by this god awful picture of me…yikes!) Fasten your seat belts, ’cause here goes!

 

Dear Nineteen Year Old Self:

Look at you drunk off your ass, telling people’s fortunes in a popcorn bowl having a nice, quiet evening with friends.

Where to start in this piping hot mess?

Let’s begin with the most captain obvious. That hair and you are not a good combo. I know it’s not your fault that it’s so short k.d. lang would even say, “Dayum, girl. That’s butch.” You got a terrible perm (happens to the best of us) that completely fried your hair, and you had no choice but to hack off all of the dead length into this below the ear crop. However, you really shouldn’t have dyed it black. You look like the unfortunate child of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and Elvis. I know in your wildest fantasy, you are a raven haired, porcelain skinned, blue eyed beauty, but your genetic blueprint tends to disagree. I’m not even going to start on the artsy zig-zag hair part you were trying. I’ll just leave it at this. Fail.

I see the three hoops per ear thing you have going on. You’re trying so hard to quietly rebel, and you’re having major issues in reconciling who you are, versus who you wish you were. Right now under this innocuous cable knit sweater, is a fairly fresh tattoo on your mid-back. You lied and told your mother you were going to Pocatello, Idaho to hang out at the mall. Unbeknownst to her, you were actually headed to Token Tom’s Tattoo Emporium to make some of her worst nightmares come true. About three months from now, she will discover your tattoo, and all hell will break loose. A war of words will ensue. You leave the house in tears, and it will be the first time that you and your mother don’t speak for well over a month. Although you are devastated to have let her down, I assure you that this is the beginning of your path in discovering yourself. It is the facilitator to you understanding that you need to live up to your own expectations, not hers, as painful as it is.

At this time, you are driving a crappy red 1991 Nissan named Katiya Jovanovich. This is going to sound odd to you, but this will be your favorite car. Don’t worry, you’re going to have other cars after Katiya, namely Mabel the Honda, Ravi the Toyota, Maggie the blue Nissan, and Alejandro the Jetta, but Katiya will always be your favorite. You will eventually discover that the love for this trashy hunk of tin is based solely on the fact that it is your first key to what you perceive as ultimate freedom. Although you hate the fact that it doesn’t have a functioning air conditioner, someday you will look back fondly on the times that you would drive aimlessly down the highway with all the windows down singing loudly to Prince’s Little Red Corvette. (Except you change the words to Little Red Nissan.) Five years from now, when Katiya finally bites the dust at some 190,000 miles, you will be strangely saddened. You realize later that it’s because there is something about the baby steps into adulthood that this car represented that you’re going to miss someday. Enjoy Katiya in all her tacky bumper stickered, ugly grey cloth interiored, busted out headlight glory.

There are so many things I could tell you about the future, but I wouldn’t want to scare you. I will tell you this, however. Everything you go through will add to your inner strength and character. You won’t always loathe yourself the way you do now. You will find pieces to the puzzle that you couldn’t even fathom existing at this point. Even better, around the age of twenty-five you will stumble upon some strange comfort in your own skin that will reflect on the exterior. Although you’ll never gain the type of beauty that you hold to be ideal, you will end up creating your own that is a triumphant middle finger to the mold you never fit.

Over the next decade, you will lose so much, but gain even more. You will turn thirty, and find yourself using cornball euphemisms in a letter to yourself. In April of 2013, you’ll roll your eyes at the things you find yourself typing, but keep on writing.

Jane, friends and lovers will come and go. Your family will always be there, because they really have no other choice. (Seriously, I’m pretty sure there is a contract that says something like that.) What I want to emphasize is that you need to appreciate your family before they are gone. Again, I won’t get specific here, because it would scare the shit out of you. Just get to know the ones who share your blood, as they will help you understand yourself more than you could fathom. Someday you wish you would have asked more questions, and talked a little less.

I could go on, but you wouldn’t listen anyways. You’re just a punk ass kid.

If you absorb nothing else I say, I want you to walk away with this petite pearl of wisdom I wish to offer to you at the seasoned age of thirty.

Don’t ever to that to your hair ever, ever again.

Fondly,

Yourself, 2013.

 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Erosion Interrupted


I watch as the last tendrils of sunlight slip over the horizon, and leave a soft grey blue touching the tree-tops out my window. Though my eyes view the present, my mind is very much enveloped in the past.

“Dusk,” he had once said, “Is the loneliest hour.”

Oh, but I had disagreed. I’ve always been a lover of the night, and feel as though the light can be too demanding. The presence of sunshine implies that there are things to be done, places to go, priorities to be made. Darkness, however, is a shroud of rest. It softly hints at possibilities, but only if you chose them. The black canvas is soon decorated with glittering stars, and if you’re lucky you can catch the moon in its brightest phase, the ethereal beauty that is so easy to take for granted when you’re looking at the ground.

I think he was always looking at the ground.

Fear propelled him, drove him blindly, made him it’s captive, and stifled his beauty.

When I was in high school, my competitive speech coach wrote a quote from Nelson Mandela on the board, and told us that it applied to each of us. It said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

I remember sitting at my desk, fourteen years old, and shaking my head cynically. That does not apply to me, I thought. My deepest fear is that I do not measure up, and I never will.

I was not one of those lucky people who are born with a natural confidence. Mine was earned, through experience, trials and tribulations, errors, pain. At fourteen years old, I knew next to none of this. I had no pre-planned path or self-plotted destiny; I more or less stumbled along until I found my way.

My bravery was earned from disaster, when picking up and carrying on was my only option; and it fostered in me a steel core that I had not come naturally equipped with. Yet I was not aware of what was to come in my impending world yet, at only fourteen.

Truth be told, I envy people like him. He was brilliant, wise, talented, charismatic, artistic, and unfortunately a prisoner of his own mind. His limitations were self-imposed. What a pity to possess such  natural gifts, yet through the confines of his inner workings, be robbed of the ability to share them with the world.

I considered myself pretty exceptional when it came to him, that I was able to see how magnificent he really was, when everyone else could not. It was if I had discovered a rare pearl floating on the surface of the ocean, entrenched in fog and hidden to all others.

I scooped the pearl up from the ocean immediately, and did all I could to cultivate it. But you cannot cultivate someone who hates themselves. His hell bent nature on self-destruction made my flirtation with it at times look like child’s play.

However, I loved him furiously and recklessly. It was the sort of breathless abandon of common sense that sustained me only briefly, until I ran out of air.

I gasped at the surface, thinking he would be there with me, but I was alone. Although the air filled my lungs sweetly, my longing for him overshadowed what nourishment I felt from the breaths I gulped greedily.

I was alone. I sank below the waters, and without him I welcomed anything, wanting for nothing; but did not grasp for death willingly. To maintain the life force through repetition alone, I became numb.

And at dusk, there he was again, but this time it was different. I had too much time without him, and had hardened my heart too much to let him in, even if I wanted to.

I floated on the water for a moment, and held the pearl in my grasp. I noticed how my body began to sink with my hands still wrapped around the pearl, the pearl and I were sinking together. Tears blurred its beauty, and I reluctantly pulled my fingers out of the grasp, one by one, until the pearl floated away.

With that, I let him go.

Years later, I ended up finding the rest of the Nelson Mandela quote. Strangely enough, the speech coach had only shared the beginning with us. Mandela’s words reverberated deeply within my soul, and gave me the permission to release him, but this time for good.

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

A part of me hopes he reads this, another part of me hopes that he doesn’t. I know at this point he would only blame me, hate me, and I would be the pinpoint in the downward spiral of his pain.

I don’t want that.

This is my love song, my farewell, the words that will say to him what my voice cannot.

To liberate him, I liberate myself. I will let my light shine unencumbered, solitary, finally free.

I hope someday he will be free.