December 31, 2009

So the end of another decade is here. Remember Y2K? Remember all the crazy shit that went down in the last 10 years? I don’t. Well I do, but I don’t care. Here’s why:

The past 10 years will probably be the most memorable in my life. High school and college both took place within the last 10 years, and everyone remembers that shit. I try to forget parts of it, but it haunts me. I feel like the next 10 years should be more influential… ages 22-32? Obvs. This is my young adult life, and shit is changing constantly. I’m trying to find myself, find my place, find my calling… the next decade is the decade when it’s all supposed to come together. The last 10 years were the 10 years it came apart.

I hate New Years. I’ve said it a million times to a dozen people. But I think this next decade should treat me well, and if it doesn’t, well, father time and I are going to have a really serious conversation.

I’ve got some good stuff going on right now. Don’t want to get to specific and ruin it (like I guess I did last time) but I’m having fun, and at this point, I think that’s what I’ve got to focus on.

Happy last day of 2009, guys.


Gift of the Magi

December 26, 2009

Several weeks ago, I asked my roommate if he wanted to exchange gifts this Christmas. I had a really great idea of what I wanted to get him, so regardless of if he was going to get me something, I had a plan. “I’m not good at giving gifts,” he said. “I don’t know how.” Glenn and I did our best to describe the gift exchange process, but for a boy who has never celebrated a traditional Christmas, he seemed awfully confused.

Christmas rolled around and my roommate had made last minute plans to fly home; he got a cheap ticket – I couldn’t blame him – I would have done the same thing. We had originally planned to have a “Jewish Christmas” – Christmas Eve we would get Chinese food. On Christmas, we’d go see a movie.

After the plan was modified, I figured it would be okay. We both worked Christmas Eve and by the time my roommate got home, we were both a little buzzed and ready to celebrate. He walked out of his room, holding a bag from the wonderful cooking store in Williamsburg and said “How do you do this? Do we just do this now?” I figured now was as good a time as any… I ran to my room and grabbed his gift. We unwrapped in the living room – me first – as soon as I took it out of the bag, I knew exactly what it was. It was like that Peyton Manning commercial where he gives a guy a football and says “YOURE NEVER GONNA GUESS WHAT THAT IS!” I unwrapped it an almost cried – my roommate has seen me bake several times, and somehow remembered me taking the giant empty wine bottle I keep on the mantle and use it as a rolling pin. It was something I didn’t need, but he knew I would use it. He nailed it.

He opened his gift from me – a french press – he’s been using mine for the last few months, and I figured when he moved he’d want his own. He was so thrilled; I was so glad he was so pleased. Gifts we didn’t need, but wanted and didn’t even know it.

It was a perfect Christmas Eve. After gifts, we walked a block to Fiore, and then grabbed drinks all over town. Went into the city, caught up with some of his friends, and spent the night laughing and carrying on. We both slept late Christmas morning, and he left that afternoon to fly home. I thought Christmas was going to be such a bummer by myself, but the people who I really consider friends have come through for me. A friend staying up late and talking me through some stress. A friend making me laugh when he knew I needed it most. And a friend who bought me the perfect gift without even knowing it.

I hope you enjoyed your first Christmas as much as I did, AJ.
Merry Christmas.

Becoming Natalie

December 24, 2009

That title didn’t come out as cool sounding as it did in my head.

I recently discovered I had broken an old habit and I am giving myself a huge pat on the back. It’s something I’ve done since I was about 15, and I learned it from an American Girl self-help book when I was 10 or so.

The habit? I stopped being someone else in the presence of people I’m attracted to. I’ve almost come into my own as just an awkward, lush loudmouth, and haven’t felt like I’ve been anyone else for awhile.

The American Girl book was a book called “Help” based on the advice column in their magazine. Basically, girls would wirte in for advice, and American Girl would answer with practical ideas. At the time, I was totally convinced that if I wrote in, I would get in the magazine. (It never happened.) But where it steered me wrong was the following letter… I mean, it’s not exactly, but this is how I remember it:
Dear Help,
I like this boy at school but I don’t know if he likes me. I want to talk to him, but I am afraid. Please help. Sincerely, Shy

Dear Shy,
You should find out what sort of music he listens to, what his favorite tv shows are – things like that – and see if they relate to your interests. Start a conversation with him about something you have in common. Sincerely, American Girl.

I admit, I took this to an extreme. In high school, a girlfriend and I memorized football stats so we could keep up with the boys. I remember listening to all this shitty ska and punk music (my least fav :/) that a college crush listened to so that we would have something in common. I was constantly trying to act smarter than I actually was for my boyfriend in college, and when I started dating in the city last spring, I found I was trying to pass myself off as some sort of confident, film pro. I was constantly adapting traits of the men/boys that I liked in hopes it would make them like me more. Now, I am perfectly aware that taking interest in your interest’s interests (wtf sort of sentence was that, Natalie?) is part of a relationship – learning to like new things and sharing. But the fact that I was predetermining what I should know and how I should act left me with a jumble of “who the fuck am I?”

Only recently in my dating experiences have I learned how to just be myself, and boys will like me for that. There’s the occasional false front… a wall of sorts, that protects parts of the “real” Natalie from escaping and sabataging everything (as chemically deprived Natalie constantly tries to do…)

Anywho, my point is, I don’t feel like I’m trying to impress anyone anymore. There are a few people that deserve great thanks for that, but my confidence in who I am is somewhat legitimate instead of a defense mechanism.

I don’t know if this is making any sense to anyone, but I don’t really give a shit. I’m actually kind of happy I’m not pretending to like shit anymore. (Listening to all that goddamn terrible music almost killed me.)

Holiday Stress

December 22, 2009

Last night I had one of those manicky episodes where I’m so squirrely all over the place I can’t think properly, nobody has the right answer, and I’m in a big black hole I can’t see out of. I wrote a big long post, deleted it, and then was on the phone with my therapist for 1 in the morning. (She certainly is a badass for staying up all night talking to me.) I made the mistake of calling a friend or two that I thought would have a word of advice, but instead I got a voicemail and someone in an altered mind state who wasn’t exactly helpful.

November used to be the month when I lost my shit. Since I was about 16, significant emotional bulletpoints were created, and subsequently, November always stressed me out. By Thanksgiving, I would be a puddle on the floor and would be just about worthless to everyone. This year, I thrived through November, and for some reason, it may have been shifted on to December. It’s the first year I’m not going home. It’s the first year I’m really confused about my romantic and social life. It’s the first year I really feel like I don’t have an outlet or purpose. I don’t really know where I belong… and I think it’s finally caught up.

It’s easy for most people to tell me I’m out of my mind. That I’m overreacting and everything is fine and I just need to chill out. But for the most part, the people I know have got their shit together. They’ve got full time jobs (if not a consistent income) and, as far as I know, everyone’s got some sort of family to have for the holidays… even my sister – who isn’t going home – but is spending Christmas with her boyfriend’s family in Colorado. I thought my roommate was sticking around, but he got a cheap last minute ticket home, so I really AM alone on Christmas. I am a Christmas orphan, and the idea of sitting by myself in a bar on a night that has always been about spending time with people you care about is killing me. I’m already having difficulty coping with the not to distant future… it was like my birthday in Oregon this past year – it will arrive and disappear and not even matter to anyone, but it will haunt me. It will tease me profusely that nothing marked that moment.

I think the only thing keeping me alive at this point are these tiny rushes of bad behavior… breaking tiny rules and rebelling against what I feel is truly right in my heart. Every day, it’s like getting a tattoo… I’m a human advent calendar and nobody knows what’s behind the next door…


December 18, 2009

I’m not sure how to express what exactly I mean to say. All that I can really think of, without directly spilling my entire personal life out on the internet, is that I am strongly affected by changes in energy. Charges. Lack of them. Where sparks once flew, now simple waves exist… an ocean with a strong undertow suddenly just lapping the shoreline. How do you verbalize such a thing?

I don’t see changes in energy necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it just means things have settled, that comfort and natural energy sit and exist. I feel as if the difference between romantic and friendship relationships IS a charge – those sparks – and without it, you’re just floating along… you’re “just friends.”

I’m not good at being “just friends.” I never have been. I have successfully failed at being “just friends” with just about every relationship I’ve ever been in. I can only say one boy I’ve ever really cared about is now “just a friend.” I was very attached to him, and for our time together, he was just as attached to me. In the end, the energy settled, and while he knew it had dissolved, I was still grasping for sparks… while even admitting they still existed, he no longer felt them the way he used to (quite frankly, because of someone else) and we went out separate ways. I didn’t speak to him for several years, and only after moving on and being heartbroken by others did I realize that he had always liked me as a person – that never changed – just that his energy had shifted to someone else.

These experiences have made me somewhat paranoid… attached to little bits of baggage that I seem to drag from one person to the other. While at the same time, I call that baggage experience, and my gut tells me that when energy shifts, tread lightly. Guard yourself. Do not avoid the fact that things may have changed. So while words say one thing, actions and energy say another, and there’s something frighteningly undeniable about it; even though the feelings may be there, the spark isn’t, and you have to really question the line between really feeling for someone and being friends. Fortunately (and unfortunately) this deliberation is often made for me, and I am just the victim of someone’s change of heart. It’s happened before, and I know I’ve got so many years for it to happen again…

This post exposes me and makes me vulnerable to misinterpretation, but what I hope is that this is read as simply my expression of fear and insecurity- something I am not comfortable expressing to many – and I am not sure if and when to approach any topic of this nature. Last time I felt like this, I was backed into the corner and had to make a decision for someone who couldn’t… I hate the thought of being there again, but I hate feeling uneasy and unsure just as much…

I can conclude that it’s not really energy, or sparks, or feelings that I lack. If anything, I am almost over=expressive and transparent about how I feel. What I lack is confidence – confidence in my own feelings, and confidence that others are honest about theirs – and I’d hate to let my own fear ruin something I see promise in.

Whatever Works

December 15, 2009

I tried to bake pretzels last night. I failed miserably. I blame the oven. I’m going to try again today, but if it doesn’t work out, I’m givin up on that one. Maybe I’ll try to make bread instead. The pretzels (the ones that baked properly) were delicious, and luckily my dad sent me a 3-tier cooling rack for channuchristmas. I’m still not feeling 100% – my brain is all sorts of squirrely too – so I’ve been trying to consume my days with things that are low-stress and complete super short-term goals. I made pretzels. Goal completed. I’ve got to go grocery shopping.

This weather makes my head itch.

Lately, I’ve had the strong urge for physical contact. I feel like I’ve got this tank that’s gotta be filled. Like I have to be hugged a certain amount or high five a certain amount. I often feel like I’m the only one that has this problem.

I had a nightmare last night that I was staying at someone’s houses… there were riding horses involved (indoors), some sort of choir performance, getting kicked out of said house, and a trip to Home Depot. A trip to Home Depot. I’m sure you can figure out (roughly) what happened at home depot. It wasn’t pretty.

And when I woke up, I figured out that I had found all of the qualities I loved, but attached to ambition and passion. To honesty. To someone who’s actions reflect their words.

And I’m terrified.

I’m still really good at sinking threes from my bed… those tissues just SWISH in the wastebasket.

I think I need to sit in a coffee shop for awhile. Clear my head and muse over something.

Generator ^ Second Floor

December 12, 2009

And I could never tell as a kid
What that window door went to
Only told to stay away
I almost had an accident at age 6
When I found the key in the attic
And now the smell of these wood frames
Is the only sense I’ve left
So as you pull me from the bed
Tell me I look stunning and cadaverous

And since you are my friend
I would ask that you lower me down slow
And tell the man in the black cloak
He doesn’t need to trouble his good soul
With those latin conjugations
And if it’s all the same to them
You should tell your gathering friends
Please not to purse their faces grim
On such a lovely sunday

Don’t fix my smile, life is long enough
We will put this flesh into the ground again

Generator ^ Second Floor – Freelance Whales


December 12, 2009

Sorry guys, it’s been awhile. I’ve been spending a lot of time writing in other places than my own blog, and eventually I’ll get around to posting some of the things I’ve written.

I will share, that I’ve spent the entire morning torturing myself on facebook, so I’m gonna not write about what I’m feeling right now and go outside and try to survive this… masochism.