Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unexpected comfort.

"Just hang in there, Grace. Don't despair."

Those words, though you didn't know that it was pertaining to much more than I told you, helped me feel at ease, just like when you used to stroke my hair and sing me to sleep.

I love you, daddy.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I wonder.

I want to say that what I'm writing about will probably be of little to no importance to me in the upcoming weeks seeing as I'm on a up/down hill emotionally. But once I get down low again, I won't have to write down why. I'm terribly sorry to have to write another downer of a blog - I always think it's over when it isn't.

I'm sitting in my parents' room listening to "Heaven's on Fire" by The Radio Dept.

I'm sad tonight.

I've been doing pretty well these past few weeks. I've been getting by, being productive. But tonight, like many nights before it, I'm sad.

Tonight, out of nowhere, emotions flooded me. I saw The Vagina Monologues with a close friend, Tina. And it was great. Honestly great. Funny, strange, meaningful, important. I had a good time. But as soon as I got home I was bombarded by loneliness. A feeling I know too well. Tonight I thought of Daniel. For no reason really. I just did. And it made me so sad. Even now I have tears welling in my eyes. A couple days ago I was thinking of the age-old question, "Can men and women be friends?" I was thinking about it long and thoughfully and I came to the conclusion that they could, so long as both of them were single and neither of them liked each other. So, in essence, yes. But in the long run, no. As soon as you get into a relationship with another person your friendship with the opposite sex is gnawed down to a pathetic version of what it used to be. Like it or not, chances are your significant other isn't going to like that you're best friends with a boy (or girl.) It's just not going to fly with them, so much is jealousy. And you'll make a decision. And that decision will be to cut down on your friendship for the sake of your significant other. And after awhile...well...you can fill in the blanks.

It's a sad thing and I know I have people who disagree with me, but I honestly don't think it's possible to be best friends with a boy forever (unless you become more than that.) Naturally, I thought of Daniel while contemplating all this.

It's funny because just a few days later...I don't even know if I want to be friends with him at all. I often have these thoughts however. Of just cutting Daniel out of my life altogether. Why you ask? Well, because he hurt me. Terribly. And, to tell you the absolute truth, I don't really think he cares. Cares that he hurt me or cares if we were to remain friends. He never apologized to my face. I waited for him to, but he never did. This leads me to believe that he either thinks I'm stupid for feeling the way I do or simply doesn't care. I really wonder if he ever knew me at all. If he ever loved me even just a little. I mean, really did. There's a difference between liking someone a lot and loving someone. I sometimes think he never did. I think that if you truly love someone you would never give up on them. And I wasn't the one who gave up. That much I'm sure of. He gave up on me first. He told me that when he told me he stopped doing romantic things because it seemed I didn't appreciated them. It "seemed." That just killed me. There's so many things he told me that hurt me to the point where I was choking out sobs, crying so hard it shook my whole body. I've woken up with my pillow completely soaked. I've cried myself to sleep in front of him. Embarrassed myself beyond compare besides that, acting like a complete fool while he just took from me, only thinking of himself. He was the first person to ever make me truly regret anything. When I told him I still felt for him, wanted to be with him, and he told me that we were not a good match, not a good pair, it was like a hard slap to the face. How could he say that after all that we went through? That we weren't a "good match" like we had never loved each other, shared first experiences with each other, gone through hard times, difficulties, arguments, heartbreak, joy, like I'd only known him for a couple hours and we'd went on a date and it was the end of the night and that it hadn't gone well and that was his response. He'd said it so....

Carelessly. Like a shrug - I even thought I heard pity as he tried to "comfort" me the night I cried myself to sleep in front of him. That just showed me so much. It broke me. This person...that I had so much high esteem for and so much love for...was now...dead.

Before this, after we broke up the first time, and he held my hand the next day I was flooded with a feeling so strong I had tears in my eyes. I thought he cared. Cared enough to give us another try. But I was wrong, like I tend to be. By the end of the month, he had stopped trying. Indeed, never started. He was like a breathing doll. Just stiff. Unloving to the point that it made me weep, so distant, so cold. Which is why I broke up with him again and felt liberated. I thought, "Yes! Now we can be the way we used to be again - just separated!"

How naive of me. We've both changed. We can't go back to how we were.

It makes me sad to know that he never saw that I tried. That after my fatal mistake at that stupid Angel's game where I was being childish and stupid, he would never forgive me for it, never let me make up for it. I wrote a letter after we went to Knott's for Halloween Haunt telling him how sad he'd made me, though I never gave it to him because I thought things would get better. I was literally out of place with all his AMC friends and he pushed me aside like a nuisance. I really tried my best to be what he wanted. I held his hand all the time, even when I got squished out by him when he talked to Aaron and I was literally tripping over my shoes so as not to step on his. I tried to hold him, make him see that I cared, that I was sorry...but it wasn't enough. After that night...it was like...

That game combined with that night...it seemed to be the final straw. Of course, I know that what I did was wrong at the game - especially since my excuses were that I was PMSing and hated the fact that he was texting while he was with me. I should have told him. I know that. I'm not perfect. Nowhere near it in fact. And I'll never be perfect. I'm nineteen. I'm still learning. I'm still, though I hate it, more of a little girl than a grown woman.

I wonder if he knows just how much I loved him, what I would've done for him. How much of me is broken because of him. I wonder if he knows how much damage he's done. What I think of him now. I wonder if he knows how I feel. I wonder if he knows why I gave him back everything he gave me, how much it kills me.

I wonder if he ever thinks about me. I wonder if he has thoughts like this. I wonder if he misses me sometimes. I wonder if he's already moved on, already talking to other girls, flirting, dating, no second glances - this I don't really wonder, I gave him ample reason for moving on quickly. I wonder if he has regrets. I wonder if he's truly happy. I wonder if he understands. I wonder if he cares.

I wonder if he cares.

Monday, February 15, 2010

And now, for one of my favorite artists...

St. Vincent "Actor Out Of Work" from Lake Fever Sessions on Vimeo.

St. Vincent "The Strangers" from Lake Fever Sessions on Vimeo.

St. Vincent "Oh My God" from Lake Fever Sessions on Vimeo.

And to think she doesn't even own an acoustic guitar.

Annie Clark from St. Vincent. My most current obsession.

Though this blog is personal I will be posting some notes for pure enjoyment. I want to share what I like/love with those that read my blog, music being a major part of that. I think that what you like is a pretty good representation of who you are. By sharing these things, I hope I come to be seen more clearly (whether it be good or bad.) Now that I'm more focused on me, I (hopefully) won't be writing anymore blogs about bad relationships, loneliness (doubtful?) and stressful hardships anytime soon. Though I will be focusing more on what I like, music and movies and ADVENTURE and God willing nice photographs of these adventures with a Nikon D3000 (who I already decided will be named Declan because I name everything dear to me.) I wrote a blog a LONG time ago about buying a Canon camera. But, after much debate, I've chosen to buy a Nikon. I'm about more than half way there and I'm REALLY hoping I'll be able to afford it by the time I go to Maryland to visit one of my best friends in the whole wide world, Vanessa. This is something I'd like to talk about simply because I'm thrilled! I've wanted to visit her at UMD for awhile. Well, really since last year. But this year I have the funds and availability to do so. It's going to be a smashing spring break vacation and I can't hardly wait!

All you need is love.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. And not just ANY Valentine's Day. My first Valentine's Day being single in almost FIVE YEARS. Thinking about it makes me want to go ker-plock. Being single is something that I desparately need. It's just a shame that I don't very much like it. Oh, I hated it at first. But now, I'm getting used to it. This I was expecting. Being single is liberating to me in a way. No attachments, no need to text so and so or call whatshisname or even allow yourself to wonder what they're doing or who they're with (not to mention the heartbreak of it all if things are going wrong.) It's all about you. Me. Me. Me.

At the same time, I don't really like having everything be about me. Being single gives you the time (wanted or not) to focus on yourself. This is never a bad thing, but...

I like focusing on other people more than me. Does that sound odd? I've always liked being apart of someone elses life and being genuinely important to them (like I'm assuming a lot of people might.) I like feeling needed and wanted, knowing that I make a difference by being involved in others' lives. I want to be of use to people. This DOESN'T mean I let people use me mind you. Instead I'm saying more selfishly, I like to be the antidote to people's problems. OKAY, not the antidote, but at least a painkiller.

Having a boyfriend...well, among other things, I believe that your boyfriend, or instead, significant other, should be (or become) your best friend. Being there for your friends is one thing. One VERY big thing. But being there for your significant other is just as big. If they're going through a hard time, it's your job to make it better (I'm not saying fix it, though if it is something easily solveable then why not?) Like all good friends, I'm the kind of person who very much wants to help even if just a little. Where I'm going with all this is that I want someone that I can take care of. Look after. I want to be there for someone even if nothing "bad" is going on. To give them the comfort that, like a good neighbor, Grace is there. I have a handful of close friends that I try my best with doing this...but I guess what I'm saying is that I want someone special to look after (not saying that my friends aren't) but someone I can have a romantic relationship with.

Despite wanting this, I'm a walking contradicton. I know that being single and having time to myself is something I truly do need. Just realizing the fact that I haven't been single in five years - minus two months or so - is RIDICULOUS. I've been in only two relationships and they've spanned a total of five years. I'm almost twenty. Ever since I was fifteen I've been deemed "taken." I don't think it's healthy. The last thing I want is to be that person who can't NOT be in a relationship. That "needs" to be in one. Because I don't. No one does. Sure, I won't lie and say I don't WANT a relationship because I do. But I don't want one now. AND I don't NEED one now. I feel like having this time alone will allow me to grow as a person, individually. To experience life on my own for once. I'm becomming, dare I say it, a woman. I am most assuredly not more woman than girl (my immaturity is something that will never fade) but I am more my own person than ever before. I feel that being single will only better me, prepare me. That when I'm ready to take the plunge into another relationship, I won't hesitate or be cautious. I'll be able to be confident no matter what the outcome. Because I've done it before. I've been alone.

About a month or so ago I was dreading Valentine's Day. I thought it was going to be horrible, lonely, and sad. But it wasn't any of those things. And I don't know why I let a stupid day like yesterday set me up for that kind of thinking. A day made "special" by corporations. Yesterday was just like any other day. Besides, why should love be celebrated one day out of the year? It should be celebrated everyday. In a relationship or not. Valentine's Day is just a silly "holiday." I'm not condemning celebrating it but I am promoting that love, the ONLY true and sure thing in this universe deserves more than a shoddy, cheesy day to be celebrated. Celebrate love everyday and always remember that it is prevalent in your life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

On a roll...

Thanks to my lame class schedule I have been posting blogs rather quickly. With New Year's more than a month ago I've been trying to keep up with one of my last-made resolutions, which is to write more. Be it blog or story or opinion piece, etc. As far as for what to write about, I have a few updates. This morning I had PT (we have to attend two PT sessions every week) and we ran 1.5 miles (like we usually do, though I've heard scary stories about 2-3 mile runs.) BUT we ran it as an "Indian Run." Some of you may be familiar with this form of torture (I pray not) but if you aren't let me explain. Your group (about twenty of us give or take) lines up in a line. The whole line starts running. The last person in line then sprints to the front shouting "Go!" which signals the next person to sprint all the way from the back to the very start all the while running nonstop. To add, we did this around campus which included a hurtling staircase (okay, it was only comprised of ten steps) and a long stretch of uphill terrain. After about a half mile I was stationed with the "slow line" as I couldn't keep up with the completely fit of the ROTC. Thankfully, the slow line only had four girls and a higher-up. The shorter the line, the better (for the most part at least.) I ran an Indian Run last Wednesday INDOORS, which makes a helluva difference, and I thought that was bad. Today was so tiring for me that afterwards when I hit the gym to shower and get ready for class I ended up falling asleep in the sauna. It wasn't until one of the gym employees checked on the temperature inside that I woke up to gentle shaking. Despite the employee's advice to take a breather I remained where I was, realizing that I'd only been asleep for no more than ten minutes. I leaned against the wooden boards on the top shelf, watching the Top 40 music videos from the glass door that looked out to the girl's locker room. That's when I saw her. The lady I would have a gender-role discussion with.

Now, I've been wanting to write down my opinion, or rather thoughts, on gender roles for a long time. Ever since I took a Women's Studies class actually. It's a funny thing because I had never really thought about gender roles before despite being a make-up wearing, shopper-going girl who used to be a tomboy (thank you college.) The discussion began with simple questions like "Did you just come from a workout?" (we were at a gym after all) to my explanation of ROTC to eating habits and then - all of a sudden - we got into talking about make-up. You see, I was wearing my beloved eyeliner and having told her I had ran 1.5 miles she seemed perplexed. "How is your eyeliner not down your face?" Giving her information about the amazing Stila eyeliner pot and the benefits of wearing eyeshadow, she told me that she almost never wore make-up because it would all start coming off no matter what she did or used. Then she told me "Well, actually, I never wear make-up because, you see, I used to be a tomboy. My mom sent me to a beauty school in high school to make me more of a girlie-girl and I couldn't STAND the amount of make-up that was applied - they just cake it on!" I looked at her with a feeling of "Oh my God! I used to be a tomboy and kind of still am despite my make-up!" This lead to a talk about how I used to be a mega tomboy, refusing to wear dresses, leggings, hairpins, etc, how all my friends were boys, how my favorite thing to wear was overalls and a hat with All-Stars or mountain boots, and how I treasured Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles above all else - until Pokemon came along that is. I even told her about the time my mom was so concerned about my boyish ways that she asked my doctor how to change it to which he supplied "It's normal. Don't worry, she'll change." She then told me the story of how one day after school she had come home only to find that her mother had thrown away all her jeans and tennie shoes. "C'mon, we're going shopping" she had said.

Gender stereotypes are products of society, like all stereotypes, but this one in particular is so embedded that a change in gender role is like committing social suicide. As soon as we're born (even before then) we're labeled female and male respectively. But this labeling reaches such great stereotypical heights as soon as we're born (or before that.) If parents find out they're having a boy, they paint the nursery blue, the father or mother goes out and buys their soon-to-be-born son a baseball hat or decorates his room with sport memorabilia. If parents find out they're having a girl they paint the nursery pink, the mother goes out and buys frilly blankets and the father may buy his soon-to-be-born daughter a cute, cuddly teddy bear. If it weren't for colors, bows, gender-oriented shoes, hats, etc there would be no way to tell if the baby were a boy or girl. Sometimes parents dress children in unisex clothing and when presented to you, you stumble over your words, "Oh, he-she's precious!" In fact, until puberty the difference between boys and girls outwardly is almost nonexistent if it weren't for their clothing, hairstyles and personality. As children, we're told how we should act according to our sex. If you're a girl, you're told to act sweetly, even told in kid-terms to be submissive. You have certain roles; wash the dishes, learn to do your own laundry, cook alongside mom. As a boy you have more "manly" chores like mow the lawn or wash the car. This is not to say that everyone goes through the same cycle. In fact, I've been told to wash the car multiple times and I've never cooked alongside my mom because she doesn't cook. I'm just saying that there are certain differences when it comes to boys and girls and it affects the way our lives are run. Even hairstyles are dominated by gender roles. Short hair is for boys. Long hair is for girls. Colors, too. Boys can't like pink but girls can like whatever color they choose. From a young age, we're fed these gender stereotypes based on mere sex. To say as a tomboy I wasn't patronized or insulted would be a lie. Boys would always tell me "You can't hit that ball over the fence because you're a girl!" or "You can't play football - you're a girl." But, being a rather strong child, I always managed to show them up and dominate over the mean boys until, eventually, they became my friends. Because of that, I learned a lot from them. What was fun in their book; daring the other to lick an insect or chase Mackenzie Kampa around with a snail, play Power Rangers on the play set and battle over which Pokemon was better, mix our hot lunches into gooey, disgusting creations - and then daring the other to eat it for a Poptart. They were mean, prideful, and funny. It wasn't until third grade that I started making girlfriends. They were alien creatures to me - much like boys think of girls even to this day. Their hair was always filled with colorful pins, they wore uncomfortable looking clothes and talked REALLY fast. They played house and pretended that one of them was a baby. They were WEIRD. But I made friends fast in third grade and soon I was the one playing house and being the baby. To this day, I can get along with boys better than girls, perhaps because I essentially used to be one but the difference between us is huge and daunting. For girls, it's a little less bad to be seen as a tomboy. But I've never heard of a sallygirl. Boys who act feminine are looked down upon more than anyone else. They make friends with girls - boys isolate them completely. Even in the midst of being a tomboy I still got along with the other girls in my class. But for a boy, it's almost unforgivable to paint your art project pink or purple. It only gets worse at adolescence. When all the hormones start kicking in and the boys and girls start liking one another. Because of a feminine boy's past they are taunted and teased by other boys, thinking that he's gay when he might in fact be as straight as a board. It's because of gender stereotypes that many people get hurt or even change to fit society. I know I did when I reached high school. I started wearing make-up and wearing "nice" clothes, even spritzing perfume every once in awhile because I was tired of making boy friends. I wanted a boyfriend. And I got one because I changed to fit the norm. Granted, it has its benefits knowing your sports and guy lingo as well as looking "pretty" as deemed, once again, by society. But is it really all that bad to be a tomboy or sallygirl? And why is it that society has made these roles for men and women?