Saturday, May 21, 2011

i meant to post this in April.

1. finishing a paper i've been struggling with for two weeks.
2. i realized today that a pair of pants i've had a janky time getting into earlier this semester fit much better ;)
3. finding out the final paper for the class in #2 includes a question about love. yes! (i can totally write/indulge in that.)
4. Stevie Wonder sighting in Amy Ruth's
4a. while having a beautiful belated birthday dinner with close friends!
5. another belated birthday dinner with a great group of different friends last weekend!
6. cupcakes on my birthday!
7. sunshine on Monday
8. found out I'm receiving a King's Crown Leadership Award on Monday
9. will be receiving graduation cords from the Office of Multicultural Affairs
10. extension I REALLY need, granted.
11. residual magic love/delayed to response to awesome exhibitions of sweetness & love
12. Feldenkrais session on a day I was REALLY struggling a couple weeks ago
13. talked to my friend who is studying abroad in DR on facebook chat
14. red, warm hands from clapping for a stranger's friends celebrating her birthday in the library

EPIPHANIES? epiphanies.

i don't get it.

and i'm pretty confused.

it has taken abt two days for me to get into a quasi-argument with my family about my appearance. and i'm trying to look at it objectively.

1. fact: i should take care of my hair. i will do my best to handle that. for me, that means making sure i use a good shampoo and conditioner, keep it moisturized, etc. this is something i look forward to. every once and a while i also twist it, whether dry or first after i wash it. that's cool.

2. i don't have a problem with my afro. in fact, i love it. i think abt altering it, as in it looks cooler when i first get the sides and the back trimmed. i like my little angular look. this is an aesthetic pleasure for me, i like angles on faces. apparently my family does not.

3. if i hear, "you need to dress it up." one more time, i may lose it. and it feels pretty pointless talking to them about it, because they simply do not agree with me.

4. "you don't even wear funky earrings. you don't even wear makeup. you don't even..." "you look lackluster." "you have beautiful hair and a beautiful face but you do nothing to enhance it." "if i looked at you, i would just say she's pretty she has nice hair, but it's just sitting there." "and sometimes you look like a tom boy. you don't even make your outfits appropriate to your hair."

5. sigh. i love my hair, as it is. i love me, as i am. i wear makeup when i want to. i change my hair when i want to. apparently, this will leave me in danger of being unemployed and alone (boyfriendless). sigh. "i'm sorry, but sometimes you have to play the game."

6. i'd honestly rather be alone.

7. seriously.

8. objectively, yes, i am attracted to people whose physical appearance i enjoy. what this looks like can vary.

9. fact: i do realize that some people, boys and girls, put a lot of work into their appearance. their look is "a product" as I've been told. i understand that now. and sometimes i even appreciate the fruits of their efforts, but it bothers me that my family wants me to do the same. i'm not saying there is anything wrong with putting effort into the way you look, i mean hell, i put on a nice outfit every and a while (read: i like my style).

10. i just don't get it. people seem to be tiptoeing around the idea of wanting me to overhaul my look, and i don't see a real justification for it other than being in opposition to what i like. and i have to walk around in this body, so why should i try to please other people?

11. this all came up because i'm actually supposed to be going to dinner with my dad right now, to celebrate my graduation. my sister warned me that my dad is going to bring up my hair, and do it gently, something like, "if i paid for a hair appointment, would you go?"

12. my dad is the one who, upon me returning home for the summer (last year) just having cut off my locks, after unpacking all of my stuff and saying goodbye, told me i "went from A class to C class" by cutting my hair. just what every woman wants to hear from her father when she makes a change she's happy with. actually, i wouldn't know what the desire for your father's approval would look like, i've never had that. he's not really around much for me to seek it. his criticisms of my appearance started first with him telling me that, "ladies always wear earrings" in high school.

13. on the issue of me never getting a job because of my hair, i throw my hands up. really? not any job? not any artsy of nonprofit job will have me? so the issue of hair and career always reminds me that my family has some other idea of what i want to do. or rather, no idea. i'm still figuring it out myself. i just have a problem with a group of people that have been "realistic" and are now, at their core, unhappy telling me what i should do with my life. i walk out of the room because i can't take it seriously. right now, my dream is to be taken as i am, and who I seek to be, not adjust to what is "realistic."

14. on the issue of me not finding a quality man because of my hair. well, damn. if a bit of eyeliner, a red lip or dangling earrings is keeping a man from seeing me as someone worthy of paying attention to then, damn. i just don't know what to do about that. i know that, for the most part, what we first see about people is their physical appearance but i find it extremely hard to believe that my light is that dim. my light shines much too bright. i agree i should smile more. i agree i should strive to live my life in a way that makes it rather easy for me to smile. this is a beauty aesthetic i am willing to conform to. smiling suggests some beauty coming from within, some happiness. make-up & a feminine haircut is not the key to happiness. and neither is a man that wants me to perform in a way that i'm just not interested in performing. period.

15. so, i will learn how to count to ten when my family speaks about this, once and for all. i will make changes that i want to make. i will wear make-up when i feel like it. i will wear funky earrings when i want to, which is actually often.

16. my life is my life. and living in someone else's house impedes that. so the key is to get out. i trust that will happen soon enough. i have to figure out what and how i want so i can set myself up to where i want to be. 

two days after graduating from college and

i feel the need to make a plan. but first, the familiar, warm, freeing, release of a random brainstorm/list/mahjigga

1. i took 22 credits AND was president of an organization AND acted in two productions my senior spring
2. my therapist said i had a crazy idea and she knew it would be hard but that i could do it. she believed in me. a couple people did. she reminded me to acknowledge and sit with my accomplishment.
3. i did once, i cried for like a min out of joy & then started dancing around in my room to oldies. how else do people celebrate??
4. but other than that, i have to learn how to relax.
5. i relaxed a bit at school. i drank the night before i moved out for good, went to an impromptu (read: illegal) party for the senior class, hung out with friends i enjoy.
6. the last day, i woke up in my mostly empty room: only sheets and my suitemate's pillow, a couple posters and a bookbag with a change of clothes for the day, and my laptop and i lounged. then i handled errands. then i made sure we got all of the stuff out of our suite that was extra. got something to eat, watched online television. left, had to stop halfway to the train bc i was carrying entirely too much stuff home (extra books and some household items: dropped some of this off with a friend)
7. caught the bus and i immediately felt like i was going the wrong direction.
8. that night my mom lovingly tried to get me to talk abt what i'm gonna do for the rest of my life, or at least the summer.
9. i woke up the next morning and she asked me, "Why a hightop?" the saga of my family not accepting my hair continues...
10. i long for New York where people enjoy my afro & my other bits of outward presentation. where i feel accepted, and even unremarkable at times, bc everyone is always doing the most. i can be me. i can be the me i've become. my family and Philly is still stuck on high school me. i can't go back to high school.
11. i have to find a new Philly. i've wanted to run out of my house a couple of times btw Thursday night and Friday night.
12. i'm getting out today.
13. when i relax, it looks like lounging and writing and tv. but i can't be in my house too much. so i have to make it look a little different.
14. i also want to make a checklist, so to speak, not so much a plan for the summer.
15. all i know is that i want to experiment for a year. and i don't quite know all everything that's gonna look like, and i'm perfectly fine with that. it's everyone else's anxiety abt that, that if i'm not careful, will drive me nuts!


  • learn how to drive/get my driver's license
  • get my passport
  • see/get involved in theatre in Philly
  • write stories/poems/experiment/skeleton some memoir. trust myself in this process.
  • learn more abt cooking
  • visit a couple different places in the US/or maybe i just mean, allow myself to go to New York when I want and maybe save up for a trip to the West Coast. i don't really know many places i want to be in the US, but when i figure it out, maybe.
  • research where I want to go internationally. 
  • JUST DO. Because the doing will lead me closer to understanding, even if the lesson comes later. Thinking can't get you everything and everywhere.
  • Take a couple more risks than you would've last year. Forgive and/or Celebrate yourself for them as appropriate.
  • Meet new people. 
  • Especially, meet new people doing what I want to do. In the fields I'm called to. 
16. I'm allowed to change, add, subtract, multiply whatever whatever.