Right now I’m missing what everyone else is missing - warmth!
This happens to me every year. I have this romanticized picture of Winter that I keep in my head during the warm months, becoming excited about it as the leaves start to change. It’s all…strolls through the city, warm drinks in hand, the white lights in the trees…hearty foods like stew and baked apples…the quintessential snow sports, like sledding and fort-making. Snowball fights.
And then two days after I’ve gotten all excited because YAY I GET TO WEAR MY WOOL COAT, I’m sick of it. And probably ill. And probably too busy with school to take any night walks or build any snowmen.
I like being able to go outside without a coat, and I like being able to walk anywhere without my SKIN hurting ten minutes after I’ve gone inside.
And I miss the colour green. And taking walks through the woods, where everything smells amazing. And being able to take long nightwalks. I even miss hearing bugs at night.
Plus, my mofuckin’ twenty-first birthday is in May, and I’m kind of really anxious to get there.
And I don’t feel like going into the whole spiel about sexual abuse, because it’s getting old even to me, so let’s go with one of my more recently pertinent ones:
I’m hyperaware of my body, and whenever anything feels even a little bit off, I flip my shit. One of the best feelings in the world is going to the doctor and being told everything is okay. Having someone listen to my heart murmur and say, “Yes, it exists, but it’s not going to kill you.” And to know they actually know what they’re talking about.
Most of the time, I just need to take my mind off of whatever’s wrong with me. I try not to let it get in the way of anything, or annoy people with questions. I’m just secretly a lot more enthusiastic about visiting the doctor than most people are.
I do wish, however, that I could really understand for myself how resilient the body is, and not have to be reminded all the time.
I like people who are a little bit mean. I like to have to work for a place in someone’s heart. The one time I ever dated a nice guy, I was bored out of my mind.
I like people who have problems. I don’t want to “fix” them, like some people want to “fix” each other - neuroses just make for interesting characteristics.
I like people who like me. That’s always a nice thing for someone to do.
They have to be intelligent. Not just “I’m in college” intelligent. I prefer it when the people I’m with can argue well. And when we can trade stories about the AP classes we took in high school. And when they’re an expert in something I want to know more about (and hopefully are slightly interested in learning more about the things I know a lot about).
They have to be funny. And they have to be really goddamn hilarious and I have to totally get their humour. It might be the most important thing, probably.
Miscellaneous: Don’t be fat, or short. Have good taste in music. Smell fantastic. Don’t cling to me all the time. Want to travel. Want to have sex in weird places. Agree that religion doesn’t make sense. Enjoy walking. Enjoy movies, but not bad ones.
People I don’t know very well. For all I know, maybe they’re the wonderful people I’ve always wanted to know. The mystery isn’t dashed out yet. They haven’t ruined themselves to me yet.
Certain people seem like the sort of protagonists I’d like to read about, or write about. I like those people best.
I like people who make me jealous of their self-discipline.
I like people who don’t like themselves. They have more interesting arcs, change more rapidly, and behave less predictably. They have intriguing vices and aspire to achieve more impressive virtues. I also like to watch while they start to like themselves.
There aren’t many historical figures I’ve loved without having been ruined by some disillusioning truth. History builds people up.
I don’t care about celebrities.
Most people are boring. The worst thing you can do is be one of them. My advice, if you are boring, is to keep lying about yourself and reveal the truth in tiny doses.
If you fascinate me, you frustrate me - and I like being frustrated.
WHOA, there. I don’t have one “favourite movie.” Just like I don’t rank songs or bands or friends. It changes from day to day. Here are a few ones I consistently really like:
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - Most simply stated, it’s the story of a man (David) who goes on a mission to find out more about a mysterious space artifact. He boards the spaceship, Discovery One, and sets off with the aid of self-aware supercomputer HAL. When HAL decides he has no need for human maintenance any more, he begins tricking the humans into their own deaths. David defeats HAL and finds himself alone in space, where he undergoes an odyssey through time and space that leads him to the final stage in the evolution of mankind, sans technology and body - The Starchild. And you bet your ass I still have only a faint idea of what all that might be about. That’s why I like it so much, I think. Every watch gets me closer and closer to understanding it better, even if I’ll never be 100% there.
Shortbus (2006) - Follows the entwining stories of several protagonists, centered largely around a sex therapist who, although happily married, has never been able to achieve orgasm. She visits an underground salon, where she befriends the quirky patrons of the place and hopes to find a solution to her problem. She meets a cynical dominatrix, a previous mayor of New York City (admonished for being gay), and a monogamous gay couple with hidden suicidal tendencies. Oh, and it has a kickass soundtrack full of Animal Collective and Yo La Tengo.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - The story of a man trying to make amends with his family on the eve of his [apparent] death, years after his wife has separated from him. Now grown up, his children carry with them the matured neuroses he instilled in them as kids. It’s Wes Anderson’s most obvious masterpiece.
American Beauty (1999) - The story of a dead man’s final days on earth, and how he rediscovers himself to be a great deal more human than the robotic, “ideal” working man he once was - more carnal, more adventurous. Everyone around him is touched by and plays a role in his transformation, from the homophobic next-door neighbor to his daughter’s quasi-promiscuous best friend. It’s part whodunnit, part counter-culture drama, but for all its melancholy, it might be one of the most gorgeous movies I’ve ever seen.
The Science of Sleep (2006) - A man has almost completely lost touch with reality in favour of living in his dreams. He becomes infatuated with his neighbor and is convinced that they belong together. Paranoid that she doesn’t feel the same way, he essentially brings misfortune on the match himself, sabotaging his own chances and becoming increasingly confused between dream and reality. Eventually he breaks down to her and reveals what has been going on in his head the whole time, an honest gesture which she responds to the way he’s always wanted. Having finally brought her corporeal self into his dream world, he is able to rest. Beautiful, frantic energy in this film.
I can think of at least a dozen more I’d have wanted to include, but I should probably do something productive while I have time.
This time, two years ago, I was deciding whether or not to break up with Villainous Ex. Sexual abuse, misogyny, and tyrannical bitchiness aside, I was also starting to get really bored with him. His jokes weren’t funny, his stories weren’t interesting, and he was only starting to kind of sort of THINK about maybe listening to some modern music (nothing wrong with classical music - I love it - but other genres aren’t necessarily “trash” just because they weren’t composed by the masters). Also, he was two grades beneath me and couldn’t really understand what I was going through as a college student.
Then there was Alex, who had been my best friend for awhile during the last few months of my relationship with Villainous Ex. I “fell in love with him,” which really only meant “you’re my best friend and I need someone to catch me when I fall because I’m an idiot.” Either way, we dated for awhile and it was nice. It was a rebound, but it was what I needed. No regrets there. We still talk on occasion.
Then there was Ryan, and that story is really boring and can be found [here, in the first paragraph]. It’s also the story of the worst thing I’ve ever done to someone. But it got me acclimated to the idea of having a sex life, and that’s another thing I needed before I could be a “normal person” again.
I don’t know who I am these days, but I want to be different. I don’t like how much I lie, or how much I pretend. I tell everyone that I pride myself in my openness and honesty, but I don’t know how truthful I’m being when I say that. I don’t like how I don’t like anything. I don’t like how I look, or how I speak, or any of the things that mark me as different to the people I know. I wasted my first two years in college studying another topic, and it put me really behind when I finally realized I wanted to switch.
I get along better with my parents now that we don’t ever live together any more (excepting Winter and Spring breaks). I didn’t live at home last summer, and I don’t plan to again. They’ve cooled it on the issue of religion, and I think my dad might even be starting to see me as an adult. Living alone (and proving that I could) really helped that, I think.
I feel aimless. I feel very small. I feel like I’m in a state of research, and that everything that happens to me now won’t be important until later, when I’ve written it down. I feel like I could talk about myself forever (and I do), and not say anything significant.
I don’t watch that much television. But! Ever since I’ve been dating Boyfriend, I’ve been introduced to a few good shows - my favourite among them being Battlestar Galactica.
It’s a world in which war is waged for a [legitimately] worthy cause, rather than “Well we deserve to control everything basically, because we’re richer, and you’re all doing it wrong because you aren’t white and Christian and you work in a field and that’s your fault or something.” Yeah. None of that. The existence of humanity is at stake in the show, which is kind of compelling. A little bit. Y’know. Sorta.
Also, there’s a giant fleet of spacecraft! And [sometimes, but not always unresolved] sexual tension! And the futuristic scenery actually isn’t tacky or cheap-looking.
The best part is that it’s legit. Most sci-fi is the kind you turn on to make fun of for being so incredibly fake/lame/generally horrible, but this is the kind that sucks you in and turns you into a complete nerd. I’m pretty sure even people who don’t usually enjoy sci-fi could have fun watching this show.
It’s also a bit of a political drama, but the sci-fi element makes it refreshing instead of tired. Still familiar and relatable, but with much more urgent decisions and virtuous leaders.
Oh. And everyone’s an alcoholic. Everyone. Even some of the Cylons (“robot people,” essentially). It’s great fun.
Really fucking important, if you have something you’re passionate about and want to know as much as you can about it. Not to mention the fact that you’ll probably get a better job for it. And then the part about prolonging your wait before entering the “real world” is pretty nice.
I can’t imagine what life must be like for people who didn’t go to college, either for financial reasons or personal choice. It makes me that much angrier at the GOP for trying to make it even more difficult to obtain student loans.
I plan to go to grad school, which is going to be extremely hard on me, financially. I hope it’ll pay off. I hope I’ll be able to get a PhD and be a professor. And then, if all of that works out, I hope I enjoy it. I want to be in an academic, progressive environment forever. I don’t want my lessons to be dry or full of ivory-tower, inapplicable knowledge - I want to get students excited about their major, as professors have done for me. Then they’ll want to do a lot of the learning on their own, which is the best tool with which you can provide someone. Willpower.
My parents and I fight a lot if we’re forced to live under the same roof. They love me very much - as long as I’m two hours away, we get along just fine.
As much as we fight, I’m pretty close to them. I guess that comes along with being an only child. No matter how bitchy they’ve been, at the end of the day I never had anyone else to talk to around the house.
Religion is a divisive issue in my house, but for the most part my parents have stopped bothering me about it. When I first told them I didn’t believe in God, Mum literally throttled me. Hands around my throat, pressing me into the wall. It was very cinematic, and I probably wrote all about it in the stupid journal I kept.
My dad has, I think, finally recognized me as an adult. In some ways, anyway.
I haven’t really lived with them (except during breaks from school) since a couple of years ago, and it’s been pretty good for our family. We used to go to family counseling, but it never did much good. For a very long time, my dad wanted to push the “happy family” image on Mum and I, and we weren’t having it. The separation has been a little bit of a reality check - we’re dysfunctional, but that’s normal too. Everyone’s family is weird.
I don’t regret most things I’ve said to my parents, as they can be complete tyrants sometimes, but there have been times when I’ve been out of line. For example, in my junior year, my boyfriend came out of the closet and my dad made a gay joke about it. I punched him so hard in the ribs that one of them broke. I felt horrible. I still feel pretty horrible about that. My temper is awful.
And every time I’ve fought with my Mum, I seemed to know JUST what to say - the perfect mean things. I’ve made her cry a lot. I hate that.
But I guess they’ve made me cry, too. I’m glad we’re all patched up. Ish.
Wes Anderson movies make me feel better about my own family. That might be why I like him so much, among other reasons.
I don’t know what you’re going for, but I already answered the question about religion.
I’m an atheist, so I don’t believe in anything divine. No ghosts, no miracles. None of that stuff. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in anything. I guess I believe in people - but only some people.
I believe that I’m the protagonist in an epic, Academy Award-winning movie. And that we all are, and that if we make it so, even the really bad things that happen to us can be enjoyable if only to make us feel really strong emotions at all. Some people are numb. It’s good whenever you aren’t one of them.
I believe that everything I’ve ever been through has made me wiser. That’s an obvious one.
I believe that I won’t ever be at peace with death, and I can’t imagine a point in my life when I would be.
I believe that loving people is the most important thing you can do. It’s therapeutic to let yourself be that vulnerable, to let people know that you’d do anything to know them and have them know you. Another obvious one.
I believe that if you like something, you shouldn’t be afraid to be REALLY FUCKING INTO IT to a nerdy, fanatic degree. If that’s how you feel.