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Here’s your chance… and I know how you’ve always wanted it… to decide my future for me. Or at least to weigh in and give me your opinion, or weigh in by giving me your opinion…whatever, I’m not finished with my coffee yet and I’m reading about the Comparative Method in Political Science, so that should tell you where my brain is.

Here is the question.

What should I aim for after graduating college?

1. Law school
2. Graduate school
(sub question, in a) Political Science, b) Public Policy, c) International Studies, d) Sociology, e) Women’s Studies)
3. Apply to the Peace Corps
4. Apply to Teach for America
5. Attempt to find some other kind of job in the “real world.”
6. Other, please specify.

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Life has been stopped up with massive amounts of adult-type things lately. Communicating, and then snarking, and now full-out screaming at my bank. Submitting applications for a new apartment. Trying to find free furniture. Making sure I never spend any money at all. Throwing away Credit Card applications. Not being able to afford to go to the doctor due to said Bank mistakes, calling the pharmacy, having things faxed… How adult is it to have something faxed? Faxing was something that was very big right between my being a child and an adult. By the time I grew up it was something people did in the past…it was passé, and yet, here I am faxing things. I never even learned to use a fax machine for Exclamatory Tone of Voice: [RELIGION RELATED NOUN]’s sake…Drinking excessively…Yes, drinking. Vodka, wine, beer, I don’t care, hand it over. Make this end of the semester thing a little easier to bear.

And school things: bombing a final in a class I cared a lot about, but doing well in a course that was amazingly difficult and mind-blowing. Signing up for summer courses, trying to get research approval so that I can get my fellowship money, communicating with the Financial Aid office. No, you can’t sign up for classes until you pay for them; no, we can’t give you the money to pay for your courses until you’re signed up for them…You can’t take this class, even though it’s listed as open. No, you can’t have that one either. Here, have a donut. Ah! Kidding! No donuts for you! Buy your own donuts!

I hear Andrew Bird’s new album is simply fabulous, and am tracking it down to try it out myself… stomping and slurping my way through the IRB approval process for my thesis research, although the amount of money they’re giving me and the manner in which they’re dispensing it is going to make it impossible for me to do the project the way I had previously planned… re-thinking. GTD GTD GTD.

Meanwhile, I’m just drinking lots of water. I know that’s good for me! It’s something, right?!

P.S. In 5 days, I will have been alive for 10,000 days. I think this calls for a celebration, no? How about drinking and donuts?

This has been a nearly impossible semester, but it is finally, blessedly over.

Last summer hit me this semester. One night stands turned into life-long plans without my having a bit of a say over any of it. I was inspired. I was saddened. I was deprived. I was cherished. My mother got on a red-eye and flew across the country to be with me when I needed her.

I auditioned for a part in a play.

I got a part in the play.

I was in the play.

All was full of love, and I learned about myself and the nastiness and dirtiness of my soul – and some things about its beauty as well.

I learned about the necessity of silence, and of space. I learned that life comes at its own pace no matter what you do to speed it up or slow it down. I learned that I can fail, and that I can choose to fail. And that sometimes choosing to fail at something is the bravest decision a person can make. I made the decision to fail in some things this semester. It was hard to let go. There are still fingernail prints in my palms.

I learned that I have an almost limitless capacity for forgiveness, but that I sometimes cannot figure out how to stop the anger. I learned that I can love and hate at the same time, that I can cry and then be okay, but not. I learned that closet moments are sometimes safer than being hospitalized.

I learned that the hospital is a bad, bad angry place with scary lights.

I learned that sometimes, what I will give to you isn’t what you asked for – but it’s what I have to give, and it’s what I need to give. And that’s okay.

I learned to scream.

I learned to say goodbye.

I learned to smile again.

I learned.

Sparklepants made a comment about craving a clear mind, and I am so there right now – not having a clear mind, but craving one. I saw a lot of people who are very special to me this afternoon, and it made me miss parts of myself I didn’t even know were gone. They’re not gone, they’ve just been shoved on the back burner as one confusion after another slams itself over my head. Our shared professor came into the Library and I immediately ran barefoot through the assembly room and cuddled myself into her back. Somewhere inside of me there is this person who is more than this fucked up shell of psychosis and insecurity.

I was officially inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha today, Alpha Chi chapter. I wore a pretty dress and did my makeup and everything. I watched my gorgeous friends who are graduating this year get their honors tassels and whisper/bitched through the whole thing with a dear friend I miss way too much. And then we stood around and bitched some more after – when they gave us free food. Everyone is getting ready to leave, to go somewhere that is not here. Hong Kong. Central America. Little pieces of Chapel Hill sparkling their way out over the face of the globe.

All I can think is how terribly I’m going to miss their sparkling right here with me. My loss is the world’s gain, but I’m not ready for that loss yet.

I forgot about that part of college. The ending part.

So I’m coming down from two of the worst days of my entire life, during which I spent most of my time attempting not to throw up, staying out of my house, going to the lake and … oh, right, there was that bit where the cops came to my apartment because someone called my University and alerted the Dean to the fact that I was suicidal. Which was funny, because I wasn’t. But at least now we know that the City of Chapel Hill takes its random student phone calls very very seriously.

The problem is, I’m already on record as being “suicidal” from back in March when they hospitalized me (I wasn’t then, either, but I finally got to hear the notes from the meeting with the therapist and damn if she didn’t make me sound like I had a gun in my mouth). I had to fill out all this paperwork to stay in school and not have to, you know, get thrown out on a medical and have to reapply after taking a year off – something I really thought I was going to have to do two months ago… something I cannot cannot do now.

So now there are reports filed with the Dean saying that, in fact, I am still a head case. The same Dean who had to be convinced I wasn’t so I could continue going to school.

And the girl who called… to whom I’d said all of “I’m having a bad day” before saying we’d meet up at the pool in my complex that afternoon to hang out and cheer me up… now says she’s sorry if I hate her, and if I got thrown out of school, but it was “better safe than sorry.”

I am so sick of better safe than sorry.

I am sick of a lot of things.

I am mostly sick of confusion and misunderstanding and frustration, and right now, El Boyo is bringing a lot of that into my life. Before I met him I was not sane, but I was pretty well established in my interactions with people. The people I knew I’d known forever, I could read, I could understand… this learning someone else thing is making me sick to my stomach. This not being sure if someone is trustworthy, or … just not being sure of anything really. I asked Diary of a Fangirl if she would have a problem with me if I were a lesbian, and she paused and then said “…no.” Because really, I think I am just much more comfortable with women and emotional relationships with women than I am with guys. I have guy friends and they drive me insane. I’m talking out of my ass right now because I have no idea what to even say about the entire situation. I am confused, and I am sick to my stomach, and El Boyo is confusing me and making me sick to my stomach (not cause he’s gross, just because my stomach is tied in knots). And finals are this week and I still don’t know if I get to, you know, keep going to school.

And that’s my life with entirely too many ellipses. Did anyone understand that?

I can’t begin to explain the way I’ve been feeling for the last few weeks. I don’t think there are words to explain it. I wrote the most incredibly personal final paper for my English 666 course and turned it in on Tuesday. There’s no doubt I’ll get a horrible grade on it, but it seemed like it marked a turning point in my writing. There was something more raw in it than there usually is in anything I say or do.

Maybe because I was actually telling the truth.

Things have been a roller coaster of insanity. I’m not sure whether I’m going up or down. Everything that should make me smile makes me cry, and everything that should make me cry makes me cry harder. I got to school early this morning and no one was in my Economics classroom, so instead of turning on the lights in this huge hall I just waited until my eyes adjusted and walked down to my usual seat. It’s completely dark except for the exit signs above the back doors, the light from the hallway way back behind the 50 odd rows of seats and this laptop monitor. I wish it would just stay this dark. I wish I could curl up in a ball on the floor, with all of the toe jam and old gum and empty water bottles of thousands of entitled Carolina students, and sleep for a million years. Sleep until it all made sense.

A question for those of you with sane and stable relationships: How does one go about being an emo and moody girl while dating a non-emo or moody boy? Especially when said emo girl doesn’t feel comfortable sharing her emo-ness because of said non-emo boy’s lack of it?

So we spent the night watching El Boyo jazz hands his way through being a member of Hitler’s army, oh, and also reacting emphatically to what people around him were saying. If there were an Oscar (oh, I’m sorry a TONY) for emphatic facial reactions, I would definitely say he won it.

I am still trying to figure out exactly how… okay it is for me discuss El Boyo on this blog. So bear with me while the dust settles and I drill this hole right into solid plaster and try to hang a 59 pound painting from it. When things crash down, ignore the screaming – it’s probably just a broken toe or something.

Then we had entirely too many French Fries, and I ate them ALL. And then they got cold, and I lost interest in food, and then I lost interest in everything and was grumpy for awhile, and then I watched King of the Hill and was EMPHATICALLY grumpy. With facial expressions! And I think *I* could have won some sort of award for my emphatic grumpiness, the aftereffects I’m still sort of trying to puzzle through this morning.

I feel like I’m back in ‘Nam. With the land mines and the fox holes and the what not.

Today we go to look at another townhouse. I have my heart set on one we’ve already seen, but this is cheaper and closer to town, and I know we have to comparison shop…but…FOREST! Forest that smells like the Sierra Nevada! Forest that reminds me of home and summers on the American River! A Deck! A closet into which I can fit both a chair AND my guitar and be very emo for HOURS if I choose to. And write songs! That are emphatic! And grumpy! And reactionary! A closet in which I can fling myself about and get streaks of mascara on the walls and bemoan the emo sadness of my life and be completely non-conformist – just like every other highschool student who listens to The Cure. I can eat chocolate in my closet!

But I must not get too attached to my closet. I must hold myself back. And I must go watch an Adam Brody movie instead of writing a 22 page paper which is due Tuesday – the paper, not the Adam Brody movie. And I will see it DESPITE the horrible reviews it is getting, because it is Adam Brody! And he is very ADAMY in his BRODYISHNESS. And then I will ogle rugs and lamps at Urban Outfitters which I cannot afford! And maybe even get more paint samples! But there will be no cleaning of my room today! Why? BECAUSE I AM GRUMPY! AND REACTIONARY! AND DISINTEGRATION WAS THE BEST ALBUM EVER!!

As a decoration in my new bedroom.

No, I will not get it (I mean who could afford that much for a lamp anyway), but I will sigh over it a lot, instead of studying elasticity and preparing for my Economics study session.

On Monday a panel of people gets to decide whether or not I get to go to this school anymore. I am oddly noncommittal about it. Mostly, I think, because if I sit down and realize what is happening, I will die.

There is a crazy guy threatening to make Virginia Tech look like a day at the park near my hometown. How sick do you have to be to threaten something like that after what’s happened? How sick do you have to be to copycat such a disgusting and horrible crime?

I don’t quite know what to say – or even if I should say anything at all. I don’t know who all reads this (though you should comment right now and tell me if you do, just so I know – I’ve declared it delurking week, just because, you know, if I get all personal, I want to know who is here) and I’ve lately learned that being too candid with the wrong people can get you thrown into hell.

Monday, I was into the fourth or fifth solid day of an unbelievably bad panic attack. It would not go away, no matter what I did, and all the things I usually do when in a situation like that didn’t work. I was sitting in Davis Library on the first floor, I’d finished reading my portion of Daphnus and Chloe for Classics, and was trying to get caught up for my Friday midterm in Economics…all of a sudden I just felt this wave overtake me and I mentally fell over, got knocked out. It was 20 minutes til class and I packed up my things and instead of walking toward Room 104, I headed across campus and requested a walk in appointment with a psychologist at Student Health. It was evident that my medication wasn’t working correctly, or enough, and I needed to be doing MORE to deal with all of my anxiety syndromes and depression…I felt overwhelmed, completely – and absolutely out of control of my emotions. Everything was broken and I couldn’t fix anything.

And the crisis counselor thought I was a danger to myself, and had me checked into the Crisis Psych ward at the University hospital.

The second I got there, I knew it was not going to help – in fact it made me much, much worse. Flourescent lights, people walking around playing with themselves and being, generally, crazy; the loud television blaring Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Dancing With the Stars… I asked to sign myself out, and they gave me the papers, but said I wouldn’t be getting out for at least three days. Sparklepants was there, and I couldn’t stop sobbing, because the bare, bare room was so terrifying, and they had put me on the highest level of suicide watch – they said that the fact that I was crying was proof that I was “upset” and so they definitely needed to keep me. They let Sparklepants go home and get me a book, because all I had was Thomas Merton and I’d been reading him for the last three days. They let her come back for twenty seconds to say goodbye to me and I collapsed there in my bare room, alone. They never told me she brought me things, I had to go out and ask, and then they remembered to go through them. They never gave me my toothbrush or toothpaste – it was a danger to me, somehow, or my saline solution for my contacts…no electronics (though a doctor did give me written permission to keep my laptop, but I wasn’t allowed to have DVDs, because I might have broken them and slit my wrists), but refused to give me my cord (hanging). I snuck my cell phone out of my purse before they went through it, and was thrilled that they had to dig through my sobby, snotty tissues to make sure I didn’t have anything “bad” with me. They took my spiral bound notebooks, my diary, but left me with my pens. They took my iPod and my incredibly nice headphones that I am super careful with and threw them into a box, all tangled up with the cord from my laptop. When I finally fell asleep, they woke me up to check my vitals, then again to stick a needle in my arm and take blood. They shook me awake to tell me they had to take my blood. There were no clocks, so I don’t know what time it was, but it must have been around 4 in the morning.

At eight in the morning a med student came in to wake me up for a meeting with a team of doctors, who instantly made comments about not understanding why the hell I was in there, and I didn’t belong there. They’d get me out that day, they said. One of them wanted to talk to my mom and Sparklepants that morning. The nurses hated me because visiting hours were 5-8pm, and even though mom and Sparklepants had been at the hospital since 6am, they were allowed to come up at 9, and stay until I was discharged. While I was in the bathroom they bitched about the fact that I hadn’t been to any groups. Groups like planting flowers in little dixie cups and decorating them. Groups like coloring my feelings or balancing my checkbook. I stayed in my room and waited and waited and waited, and the doctor came in and said the paperwork was going through and I’d be out by 3pm. I was so incredibly relieved. And I got out, and filled a scrip for something to help me sleep (that doesn’t work) and an upped dosage of one of my medications… I went to a psychiatrist the next day to deal with my meds and she tweaked them as well (all I had wanted in the first place), which cost me 45$ that I didn’t have.

And now it’s Sunday. My mom left this morning. I have no idea what to do about this semester at school. I have a 2pm appointment with a psychologist tomorrow that’s going to set me back another $35…And nothing is getting better. I know, give it time, give it time, but I can’t stop freaking out. I’m just…

Messed up. And I can’t imagine how to get un-messed up.

And my babies are losing in overtime, and that’s never good.

La la la, feminist political theory, la la la Chandra Talpede Mohanty, la la la Judith Butler, la la la Maquiladoras, la la la post-colonialism, la la la patriarchy, la la la machismo, la la la boobs, la la la femicide, la la la de-genderization, la la la mass graves, la la la seven year old rape victims, la la la Uma Narayan, la la la kill all feminists, la la la, kill all women with jobs, la la la.

The purpose of that last paragraph was just to cheer you all up when you are stumbling around half awake and blog checking in the morning.

New thesis. Yes. Maybe. If I can get twenty-five pages written.

Too much to do. Can someone copy me and send me to me, so that I can get more things done? That would be nice. But maybe a little scary.

Also, my mother does not know the meaning of the word “yes”, as in, the ninety times she’s asked me in the last two weeks “should i tell your dad about your blog,” and I say “yes,” and then the next time I talk to her, she asks me again, and I say “yes.” And yet.

My mommy is so silly sometimes.

It is time for Sudoku and knitting and old married people things. Clearly the old married person is starting to come out of me, because I was accosted by a very pleasant elderly Indian gentleman tonight who wanted to know everything about the retirement community in Ashland, Oregon, and Bend, as well. I suppose I look like I’m the expert on retirement communities in Southern Oregon. I do not know how I feel about this.

I avoided talking about how people in Ashland are either racist fucks or raging hippies (w00t) or both (double w00t! that’s a perfect description of me!), and just told him that anywhere West of the I-5 Corridor was going to be beautiful and that if he could, he should definitely move to Oregon, because it is the land of sparkly magic fairies, and glitter and ponies.

It’s been four months and I still don’t know what my mom got me for my birthday, but speaking OF!!! I BET IT’S A PONY!!!!! OH, MOM? IS IT A PONY?!!!!!

Currently Reading

Eve Ensler, Insecure At Last

Brettell and Sargent, eds. Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Quoth the Raven:

"Girls aren't beautiful, they're pretty. Beautiful is too heavy a word to assign to a girl. Women are beautiful because their faces show that they know, that they have lost something and picked up something else."

-Henry Rollins
October 2017
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