On Sudden Changes

Hello, readers!

These past few weeks have been full of ups and downs for me. Mostly downs, if I’m honest. I’ve gotten bad news and worse news. Relationships have changed, then changed again. I’ve had conversations that have sparked moments of panic and crisis. All in all, the last two weeks have been kind of intense for me.

Probably the worst part about the whole thing is that I took them for granted. As things that would obviously be there, people who would probably never change. But, of course, that’s not the way things work. People do change and the things you expected to be there are suddenly nowhere to be found. And as you’re falling, suddenly realizing your entire plans have to change, you start scrambling to find stuff to cushion you when you land.

Except, very few things can cushion heartbreak. Unexpected, incredibly painful, a broken heart is all about muddling through and trying to reach the end intact. It about salvaging the pieces and figuring out how to make them fit once you’re ready. Maybe it’s about relearning new patterns for love, channeling them into bigger and better things. Heartbreak is definitely a hard one to stick the landing with, mostly you land in a messy heap. Ice cream and mascara all over the place.

Fortunately, other things, difficult as they are, are much easier to deal with. They’re still messy and insanely frustrating, but they’re manageable. It doesn’t matter how big, how sudden, how completely bereft of options you feel, there’s always a way. Finding a solution and putting it in place, can be immensely satisfying. Especially when a few days ago you were scrabbling around for a way to keep the walls from crashing down.

I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten it all figured out. Sometimes I’m still angry and sad and hurt. Sometimes, my mind wanders into those places where hope lives only to come back and face the disappointment of reality. I’m dealing with it though, day by day. Sometimes, it’s the only thing you can do.

Until next time, readers.

Rangent: On Being Better

Hello, dear readers.

Wednesday rolls around yet again, all smooth curves and shiny trails. It’s 6:14am and I’m sitting in bed thinking about being better. Sometimes you fall under the impression that you’re doing things well, only to realize that you’re not. Not even a little bit. In fact, it’s kind of a hot mess that misses it’s purpose.

Heat was applied to it. So. Fucking. Messy.

Usually those moments of realization come with crippling anxiety, overwhelming frustration, and anger born of persistent feelings of inadequacy. And, while it’s true that some of that still remains, I’m surprised to find it’s coupled with a sort of calm acceptance and, most incredibly, a plan. There side by side with a jittery need to be better, I found concrete things I could do to get there.

And I know this all sounds like bullshit. You have a problem, you find a solution. Blah, blah, blah. Except, sometimes the anxiety and frustration can be blinding. It makes it really difficult to see past them and into what can only be called the light at the end of the tunnel. (It could be called many other things, but it’s 6am and I’m having an epiphany. This is no time to challenge clichés.) And sure, after it all subsides, you still get to a solution so you possibly end up in the same place. But now I feel relaxed about the whole thing, rather than landing on a solution after a panicky struggle.

Am I explaining this well? No, not at all. Is it still important? Yes, yes it is. To me it is at any rate. Because it means things are changing and they could possibly be changing for the better.  It means maybe this new and improved (Leave my clichés alone.) version of me could possibly have some chill, some zen, some “right thing at the right time” situations. It’s a nice thought, right?

Anyway, this self-serving post is brought to you by the knowledge that things are changing. Whether the changes will stick, whether they’ll be good or bad, whether this is all an early morning hallucination, that’s all crap for another story (read: another post).

Have a good one, readers. Until next time!

The Little Rascals

Happy Friday, readers!

In an effort to shake off my terrible mood, I’ve spent the day tidying, crocheting, and generally doing things that make me feel better about the world. My room is now tidier, which is not to say tidy, but you’ve got to start somewhere! I’ve also managed to get quite a bit ahead in my attempts to make a blanket. It’s almost done, I think, and I’m really excited to finish it and be able to use it.

I decided to watch The Little Rascals tonight and OH MY GOD. I’d forgotten how great this movie is! I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record with these movies, but bear with me. I hadn’t seen The Little Rascals in years, so I’d honestly forgotten most of what happens. Except that scene with the duet between Darla and Waldo, which pops into my head quite often for some reason.

Can we stop for a second and talk about all the people that make an appearance in this movie? The Olsen twins are there having a slumber party with Darla and complaining about boys. Whoopi Goldberg is Buckwheat’s mom.  Reba is the famous race car driver who gives them the trophy and prize money after they win the race. Raven Symone pops up in the end when girls are finally allowed in the clubhouse. A young and less orange Donald Trump makes an appearance in the end credits, stealing popcorn from the lady next to him. I didn’t know who most of these people were when I was a kid, so it’s cool to watch it now and be able to recognize them.

It really is such a fun movie. It’s kids doing what kids do best, which is usually thinking that they’re more mature than they are. That exchange when Waldo and Darla first meet is priceless.

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Plus I love Spanky’s little monologue at the end, wondering if they’d let down the founding fathers by fraternizing with girls. Then concluding, “I guess things just have to change sometimes.” And they do, you know? Sometimes things have to change, but that doesn’t have to be bad necessarily. I think they found that out, which is cool. I’m still finding it out, but that’s ok. You have to let other people into the club at some point.

Have a good one, readers. Until next time!

Alphabet Soup: U is for (Completely) Unexpected

This segment titled Alphabet Soup: The alphabet according to someone with very little shame and a lot of time on her hands was inspired by blogger Mandy Wallace and the Writers of Kern A to Z challenge. Enjoy!

Happy Friday, readers!

I’m officially a College student again! But, surprisingly, that’s not the most important/weird/crazy thing that happened this week. Some things are just completely unexpected.

U is for Unexpected

Sometimes you’ll be having a beer, you’ll be in a car, you’ll be sitting next to someone. Everything is fine, mild. The conversation is perfectly ok, mild. Even the weather is just there, mild. And suddenly, out of nowhere, things change. Completely Unexpected. Because he said something that no part of you could ever have anticipated. Except some parts of you did and that’s also unexpected. Something you consider later. After the fact. When you’re alone and close to hyperventilating, but you don’t because you’ve never gotten the hang of panicking.

Instead, you sleep. And you wake up the next day with stress lodged in the pit of your stomach. Your heart throwing out a beat that’s quicker than it’s usual steady thump. You breathe deep because what the fuck else are you going to do? You suddenly find yourself racing towards something you can’t figure out how to want, but you also can’t quite figure out how to not want it. You breathe deep once. Twice.

The day moves on and you move with it. It’s a dance you know the steps to. Finally something that feels solid after a day of rolling waves and a tiny ship about to capsize. That’s you. Your body feeling too small to withstand the immensity of it all. Especially when a part of you knows a third of that immensity is self made. Like adding hot sauce to something that was already spicy to begin with. Your tongue too heavy to speak, your throat tight as it burns, your lungs full of fire that leaves no room for air.

Sometimes things are completely unexpected. They’re welcome. They’re terrifying. They’re worrisome. They’re exciting. As unexpected as the choices we make in response.

Have a good one, readers. Until next time!

Alphabet Soup: P is for Paris

Hello, readers! I hope this Friday finds you full of energy for the coming weekend. I know I’m feeling primed and ready to go. For some reason though, I ended up feeling nostalgic and thinking about that time, so many moons ago, when I was in Paris.

When I was in my third year of college an opportunity arose to visit Paris on a study/travel trip. Basically, we’d take a few classes at the university, then head off to Paris to see it all firsthand. At the time I was saving up for a car, but I decided to do the trip instead. Which, in hindsight, is when I started putting travel above anything else.

I remember being scared, but also incredibly excited. I’d never done anything like it and I didn’t know anyone on the trip, at least not well enough for them to be a safety net. I ended up rooming with the person I sort of knew, which turned out to be a disaster. But despite that, the trip was excellent. I ended up meeting people who are among my best friends today, like Nelson and Denise.

Traveling to Paris, although I didn’t quite know it at the time, marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life. A time of new friends who would push my boundaries. Of trying new things and breaking out of my shell and feeling the world change beneath my feet.

I don’t think they know it, but they’ve been such a huge part of shaping who I am today. We’ve traveled together, laughed and cried together. In the years I’ve known them they’ve become two of my favorite people.

In the end, this post isn’t about Paris, but about the people I met there. The ones I still talk to and the ones who were there and gone. Because they were all part of it. Part of the strange magic and odd convergence that was Paris. This post is about the friends I made and how my life wouldn’t be the same without them.

Have a good one, readers! Enjoy your weekend!

Destination: Christmas #4

This Christmas series is brought to you thanks to Book Riot’s Literary Advent Calendar. It’s a combination of poetry, short stories, and essays. I’ll be posting every day, some days twice to keep up with my regular posts. Click the story title for the full text. Now, let’s get this Christmas show on the road!

Day 4

Toward the Winter Solstice by Timothy Steele

Hello, readers! Friday is almost over, but the weekend has just begun! What better way to end the beginning than with some poetry? Because that’s the kind of stuff that happens in poems, right? Sure.

I read this poem a couple of times, then I looked for the date thinking it’d be something fairly recent. It was actually written in 1948, which is impressive because it feels like it could be happening next door. The SUVs flocking to expensive restaurants, spilling their human insides onto the pavement for family night. The UPS trucks going back and forth delivering packages filled with Black Friday loot and prematurely bought Christmas presents. It feels like a poem written for today, written for this very moment in time.

He says nothing changes and, while that may be true for the actions and the circumstances, there is a quiet peace in that poem that is absent in our lives today. That melting pot that casually accepts Christmas has become a melting pot for hatred and fear. Where neighbor fears neighbor and everyone is slightly afraid of everyone else, worried about what they hide under turbans and robes and ill concealed gun holsters. Wary of commenting or critiquing on something as innocuous as Christmas lights because it could lead down ugly roads. You could start an argument or worse, a friendly relationship with your neighbor.

I’m sure this poem is meant to be more uplifting. Something about the pleasantness of this neighborhood, the spirit of Christmas that blooms even in big, bad L.A. The Silent Night that still rings true even though the magi have been replaced by UPS. But, to be honest, it just makes think about how much Christmas has changed and how meaningless it becomes for people as the years go by.

I love Christmas, I love the smell of pine trees and the decorations, I even love Christmas music! But sometimes it’s hard to keep up the Holiday cheer in the midst of all the stuff that happens. What I’m saying is sometimes life gets in the way of Christmas and it’s up to us whether to let it go or hold on to it. I tumble between one and the other, depending on what’s happening. But my heart always lifts when I hear a Christmas song or the smell of pine hits my nose. Maybe he’s right, maybe even though everything changes, something always stay the same.

What do you think, readers? Is Christmas what it used to be? I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Until next time, stay cool.