Plato believed that we lived in a world of
images, three-dimensional shadows of the true one. What we see with our eyes is nothing more than a cheap imitation of its true state.
example, the chair we see before our eyes is nothing more than a shabby image of the true chair that exists. We carry on everyday with
flawed perceptions of the true ideal form.
Life After College:
Year 3 - In Transit
[Tuesday, September 30, 2003]
When they got mad, my parents used to say that they hope I have a kid that's exactly like me.
I never used to think that would be such a bad thing. I didn't think I was such a bad kid. I chalked it up to immigrant/american-born culture gaps. My parents don't know what it's like to be in your 20's in the U.S. and to want a lot of things. I don't carry any credit card debt, I pay all my bills on time, and I've never had a hard time making rent. As far as I was concerned, that's considered "responsible" for a 22-year old. To my parents, that's irresponsible as I should be saving for a rainy day.
I got into a fight with my parents this past week. My mom called to tell me she'd mailed me a card yesterday that had a check for my birthday, and she wanted me to let her know when I got it. She then proceeded to give me a lecture on prudent spending and how they're giving me this money so I won't have to worry about things like food. I told her that birthday money shouldn't be spent on food. I'm probably going to take the money and buy myself something nice, because birthdays are supposed to be special days. I don't want to spend my birthday money on boxed macaroni and cheese. That escalated into an argument about the nature of gifts. I told her that it's not a gift if she's going to give it to me conditionally, and that I hate how any money they give me always has strings attached to it. If she's going to dictate how I should spend it, then I'd rather just not have the money. My dad then got on the phone and told me I was a bad kid. I told him they were too controlling, and then told them never to call me again. I have exams right now, and everytime they call, we get into a fight, and then I'm all worked up and can't study because I keep thinking about it. That last part was true. But the former about not ever calling me again was said in a fit of anger. I told them not to call me unless it was an emergency and that I can't afford to not be studying at any point in time right now (I didn't mention that the only reason why I'm working so hard now is because I slacked off for the first month of classes).
Today, I received the card. Not only was it a beautiful card (my mom normally picks uber-cheesy ones, but this one was gorgeous), but it contained a check for an extraordinary amount of money. It was easily two times, three times, four times the amount I had expected. My heart plummetted and I got upset. Not at my parents for once, but at myself. I am a terrible terrible person, and all of a sudden, I felt sorry for my parents for having a bad kid like me. And written inside the card was the typical sort of message that comes from parents who aren't from the U.S. - full of spelling errors. "Stay a sweat lady forever." My mom always misspells "sweet", every year. For some reason, this year, it only made me cry harder. Sweet is the one thing I haven't been to my parents lately.
I left her a voicemail on her cell phone. She isn't taking my calls because of the fight we had earlier this week. I'm not even sure if my mom knows how to check her voicemail, but hopefully my dad will show her how. I'm not very nice to my parents.
I am a bad kid. I am a bad bad person.
Posted by ink |
[Monday, September 29, 2003]
Oh for lack of the X chromosome.
Unfortunately in Boston, my dating life seems to have taken off before my "female friend" life has. And let's face it, one good woman is worth a few good men. I am DYING for female companionship here, if only so that I can complain about my cramps and PMS without having people cringe.
I have hit new all time low's today (funny how I keep doing that every few months). I told Skinny that he couldn't come up to my place after class because I was planning on cleaning my bathroom. The good news is: we now have a clean bathroom. The bad news is: that was one hell of a lame excuse. Even worse, he kissed me on the sidewalk before I went up to my room. I hate being kissed in public like we're necking teenagers. The only time it's okay is if it's dark out. I think we've had more kisses (2) than actual dates (1). However, the phone calls for booty (3) outdo the number of kisses (2). Of the phone calls for booty, 0 can be categorized as "subtle hints", but all 3 can be considered "Trying very unsuccessfully to be subtle". Luckily, the number of successful calls for booty (0) is less than both the number of dates (1) and the kisses (2). However, the kisses (2) may be stepping stones towards an increase in the number of successful calls for booty. Hrm. Much thinking must be done.
Posted by ink |
[Sunday, September 28, 2003]
Some days I hate everything, and quite possibly - everything hates me too. Today is one of those days. Or more specifically - tonight. I went out tonight in Boston to a placed called Pravda 116. It reminded me a lot of New York, but somehow more pretentious, and missing all my college friends. About halfway through it, I realized I was only half-heartedly there. My body was dancing on auto-pilot but nothing else was. It became symbolic of my life so far in Boston. Auto-pilot. A shell. No heart. No soul. Skinny called. He's this guy I've been pseudo-dating, who was great on the first date but then quickly deteriorated into just another guy after booty. Oddly, I'm more likely to give booty to those who don't strive for it. If you want it, I'm likely to dig my heels in and resist. It isn't so much a matter of playing the "game" as it is a desire to -not- be objectified. Those who don't objectify me (or who are smart enough to hide it) are rewarded, even if it's only for making me feel respected. Skinny called tonight to tell me he wasn't going to make it out. But he wanted me to stop by and "see his apartment" afterwards. He topped that off with "I hope you're drunk." I told him I was tired, so he offered to stop by my place after I got back. I turned him down. Could he be any more obvious about this? But even that fit in with the whole night. The only guy in the city who calls me on my cell phone only does it to get into my pants. And to really complete the whole picture, I came home and talked to my best friend Kenmore about the general sense of dissatisfaction, only to be told that I'm -always- dissatisfied and he's sick of hearing it. Normally, I would've felt angry. Or betrayed. But I felt none of those things. Because I am a shell. Somewhere in the distance, I vaguely wondered whether he's right. Maybe I'm just not capable of being happy. The little that was left of me pondered this. It's like all of me drained out on Wednesday night with my tears. Or at least, the part of me that was emotional, living, and dependent on other people. This is a return to the basics. No frills. No friends. So I accepted Kenmore's declaration quickly and quietly without struggle, and made a mental note that I'm not speaking to him anymore. Maybe he is right, and I am always perpetually dissatisfied, but that doesn't diminish or make my current unhappiness any less real. I am alone in this world and I have learned to accept this. I belong to no one. As I was walking along the street today on my way home tonight, I felt very much single. And not in the romantic sense. Single - as in a single person, without anyone else. Detached. And for once, this realization settled down on my shoulders and I didn't flinch or flail or fight it off. I let it settle down and just hunched my shoulders under its weight. I accepted my new mantle without protest because I recognize it to be a necessity. No more pining over my previous life because not only does it no longer exist, but it never will again. I am alone.
And somewhere in the back of my head, that little annoying voice whispered "Like myoglobin! A single subunit, exhibiting no cooperativity because it's Hill constant is 1. Your Hill constant is 1, Ink."
Seven days left until the biochemistry exam. This will be good for my grades.
Posted by ink |
[Wednesday, September 24, 2003]
Open up your skull. I'll be there.
I've been a mess for the past few hours. I'm not one of those people who can throw themselves into work when they're bummy either. All I do is lie on my bed, leak tears, and listen to Radiohead. USELESS. Especially as I have my first exam next week. Biochemistry. I can't say I've done too well in the transition from corporate life to academic life. I'm behind, I have no motivation, and I've wasted the past 5 hours of my life doing nothing but lying on my bed staring at the ceiling with all 3 Radiohead albums on endless repeat on winamp. I'm starting to think that this might be unhealthy. I have this strange craving for salty snacks, but I have none in my cabinets. I want to eat chips and dip. I normally indulge in morbid fantasizing, but today, not even the Radiohead line "A handshake of carbon monoxide" helps, and it usually makes me feel -much- better. In fact, instead of making me feel better, all it did was make me think about the biochemical reason why small doses of carbon monoxide are lethal. Because it irreversibly binds to the heme group on hemoglobin molecules. Chapter 4, Biochemistry. THERE IS NO ESCAPE.
Even worse, I finally realized why I have to dump the Architect. This past weekend, I found out a few interesting facts about him. Namely that he's practically one step away from being the UnaBomber, and that he's the most egalitarian person I've ever met. We split everything, including the cost of dinner, which was 11 dollars TOTAL. We bought a small bag of chocolates for 6 dollars, and we split that also. I had to give him 3 dollars. Then, before he left, he dumped the chocolates out, counted out half, and took them with him. The bottle of wine that he brought up that we never ended up drinking? He packed that up and brought it back too. I have never met a guy who's more.... fair. Sadly, whereas a few years ago, I might've looked upon this favorably, now - I don't. This is a place I'd like to be when we're in year 7 of our relationship, but honey - we're on the second date. But those reasons really have nothing to do with why I'm dumping him. The real reason struck me on Sunday morning when I woke up and looked at his profile beside me. It struck me with a sense of dread as it finally clicked home. He has an eerie resemblance to Big Dawg, my manager from NC. It's the nose. I wanted to throw myself out the window and run away screaming. At that point, I knew I couldn't date him.
"It's not me, it's you."
I wonder how well he'd take to me telling him that I can't date him because he has a passing resemblance to my old manager.
I've got that strange washed out feeling in my body that you get when you've cried too much. That feeling like you're thin and transparent, wrung out by tears. I have that bone-tired feeling. And my eyeballs are hot.
Posted by ink |
What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here.
There are times when you suddenly become conscious of things that you were doing unconsciously. And when that happens, you can't help but examine yourself to find out why you were doing this seemingly nonsensical thing, even when you don't want to. It's like roadkill - you don't want to look but your eyes are strangely drawn to it.
Today, I realized that I had been avoiding my friends. I'd been avoiding them on the phone, on AIM, in every way possible. So I questioned myself, why. I didn't have to wait long to find out. My friend Brin from Charlotte hit the nail on the head when he told me "Pint and I went to South Park Mall the other day. We were like "Aw man, last time we were here, Ink was with us." He could've driven a stake through my heart and done less damage. With that, my carefully constructed house of cards crashed down around me. This was exactly why I had been avoiding talking to my friends. I didn't want to be reminded of how much I missed them, and as long as I stayed away from them, then maybe I wouldn't think about it so much, it wouldn't be such a sharp contrast to my life in Boston, and that was when I faced the harsh truth - despite all my efforts at covering it with a bandage of classes and study groups, I was miserable in Boston. And once I started thinking about it, it was over. The bleak truth stared me in the face and I couldn't do anything but look back at it. It's like when Medusa finally takes her veil off. I'm not doing too hot in Boston. I haven't made very many friends, and I can't figure out whether it's because of the nature of the program (all a bunch of hard core premeds who are here to get good grades, not to be social) or whether it's because of the kids themselves. They're practically a different species from the people I knew before. They talk about different things, and they've all only worked in academic environments. I don't know if it's me, or if it's them, but it doesn't even matter - because none of it changes the end result, which is the fact that I'm pretty miserable.
Talking to Brin made me miss people with such an intensity that it hurt. But I didn't just miss my friends, most of all, I missed being loved. I'm not sure if that's wrong or not, but I missed being loved more than anything else. I missed having people around who loved me for who I was and who wanted to be around me. I missed having my phone go off at least 3 or 4 times every Saturday night, and I missed having people readily at my disposal if I needed something. In New York, my best friend Kenmore was always just a subway ride away along with my college roommates BABAE J. and H1, Fisher lived 5 blocks from me, and in NC, Brin and Pint lived in my apartment complex. I suppose people are still just a phone call away, but at this point in my life, I think talking to people on the phone only hurts me more because it just makes me more cognizant of how very far away they are.
Everyone I love and who loves me is far away, and their lives are moving on, even without me in it. I won't be a part of their major events or even their daily lives. I won't be making memories with them any longer, but isn't that the nature of moving on? You replace the memories you would've made with your old friends, with new memories that you make with your new friends. But ah, that's the catch isn't it. I'm not making any new memories. I stand alone at the memory machine, and no multi-colored soap bubbles are coming out of mine because there is no one to churn it with. And meanwhile, far away, my friends are making their own soap bubble memories, without the ingredient of Ink in it.
I miss my friends. That's all.
Posted by ink |
Music makes the bourgeosie and the rebel.
I have this theory, that all human beings need music in order to truly be happy. After all, not everyone is blessed with the abilities to eloquently express themselves creatively. And what is more eloquent than the expression of an emotion or a story within the confines of a song? What rings more with the soul than those simple 4 words in a lyric that really hit you, oomph, in the middle of the chest and make you hurt? And when every human being hurts like crazy, nothing relieves it sometimes than the blaring of a song that puts that pain into words and makes it real. Nothing flushes the wound out like wailing along with the music video. Nothing makes you feel less alone than the radio, speaking the very words that are so hard for your heart to quantify.
When I was younger, I didn't really listen to music. I wasn't up with the latest rock bands, I had no idea what pop was, and hiphop was nothing but noise to me. I, however, was quite the oldies-expert because that was what my mom listened to in the car, and when you're little - you automatically listen to what your parents listen to. My mother never had the radio battles with me as a teenager because I just didn't really care what was on. Besides playing the violin and the piano, which I had done all my life, I felt that music really had no impact on me. It was much like chocolate, I enjoyed it while it was there, but if it wasn't, I didn't particularly notice.
When I hit college, as violin and piano left my life, I began to fill it with commercial music. Though I'd viewed violin and piano as chores that I had to suffer through, I didn't realize how important music was to me, period. Since I was no longer making my own music, I started to fill my life with all the music that was made by others. Dance music. Beats. But I didn't really start getting into music until after The Great Dumping. It happened my junior year of college, and I was a train wreck. I managed to fail a pass/fail class (now -that- takes effort) and started getting into harder rock. I was a 110 pound girl, buried in her bed for 18 hours a day, with Limp Bizkit pounding in my room. From Limp Bizkit to Linkin Park, and my parents started to wonder where their sweet little violin-playing daughter went. But somewhere, a metamorphosis was happening. I started to really understand the noise, to hear melodies underneath the screaming guitars. I started to hear the melancholy under Guster's otherwise peppy bongo beats. Music is an expression of the soul's torment and its joy, and when you haven't experienced anything but the muted shades of life, it's impossible to truly understand music. It gives your personal suffering some color and voice, without having to compromise yourself.
There are times when I step back and suddenly realize that I wouldn't enjoy the music I do now if I hadn't had the experiences that I had. It makes me wonder whether kids in high school who were already listening to this were just ahead of me in the emotional curve. I was a blissfully ignorant child. Nothing much fazed me and I wasn't much for teen angst. It makes me wonder exactly how "lucky"are the kids who always have it good in life. How lucky are you if you can't share in an experience that millions of others partake in? Radio and music are like the new collective unconscious. Everyone tunes in and understands. After all, who can't relate to the yearning in Radiohead's Creep?
Posted by ink |
[Tuesday, September 23, 2003]
I went through a little period of time where I wasn't so sure what was going on, whether I'd made the right decision, what my thoughts were. I operated on auto-pilot while I quietly panicked below the surface. I'd just given up a job in which I was making more than my parents, New York, all my friends - for this, Boston, a bunch of kids who are pretty much the equivalent of aliens, and a whole new language of amino acids that I didn't understand. Was I mad? The more I think about it and the further I get from corporate America, the more I think I must've been mad. What made me think that I would be happy sitting in a gray cubicle for 40 years of my life? It frightens me to think that after 4 years of an expensive Ivy League education and 2 degrees - I could still make such obviously wrong choices. My parents got ripped off.
It's been about 3 weeks now that I've been back in school and I'm finally swinging back into the academic groove of things. It's amazing how quickly those undergraduate habits start to resurface. I told myself I had 2 years off, plenty enough time to start afresh. By day 1 I was zoning out, and by day 3, I was sleeping in class. I sleep daily for about 5 or 10 minutes through Biochemistry. I've given up on trying to even stay awake and instead go into "damage control" mode. How I'm feeling when I walk into class dictates whether I sit near the back or further near the front.
Growing pains kicked in for the first 2 and a half weeks. I was miserable, I thought daily of my old life in New York and what my friends were doing, and I heartily hated everyone in my class. At the same time, I longed for my "old life", but the thought of going back to my cubicle in Charlotte and my Firm made me recoil. No way. Can I have the icing on the cake without the cake please? The PreMeds here are a totally different breed of person. They had never heard of my firm (oh horrors!), which for some reason made me defensive. And to think, when people used to ask me in bars where I worked, I used to whisper in response. And the phrase "Your parents must be proud" made me feel sick inside. Largely because they -were- proud, and it made me uncomfortable and anxious to think that I'd have to break it to my parents that the firm was warping me and that I wanted to quit. The phrase "You must be smart" always struck me with a certain irony as I was convinced that anyone who was -really- smart would've never signed on that dotted line to begin with.
Now that I'm out of corporate life, I'm beginning to get a handle on REAL life. I'm catching up on the music scene again, and it's odd for me to think back on my life for the past year that was completely devoid of any pop culture besides that found on EOnline. Music used to run my life when I was in college. Getting a new CD and popping it into my discman ran a close second on my list of "Things I Absolutely Love", right under "Getting my hair washed at the salon". Last night, I downloaded Kazaa Lite onto my laptop and started finding songs. I was amazed at how much I'd missed in the past year. As I was browsing through songs, listening to them, making cuts as to what I wanted to toss and what to keep, some of my old co-workers started messaging me.
The cubicles feel so far away now. I can't think what possessed me to think I would ever be happy there. I never fit there really to begin with. I remember being baffled when my team was in an uproar about my leaving. My consultant burst into tears. Had I just stepped into the twilight zone? Were these the same people who had been stepping on me since day one and criticizing me? "One of your Points for Improvement Ink is to..." Resentment was my name about 90% of the time. I used to glower and simmer about it and relieve my feelings by indulging in an orgy of fantasy. What if I stood up and just... tossed my computer monitor out the window and watched it smash down into little pieces with glee. What if I turned around with a grin, said "Well, that was fun!" and then sat back down to work again? What if I tossed a bouncy ball randomly into the air just to see what cubicle it would land into?
I -had- just entered the twilight zone. The entire corporate world is like a parallel universe where things simultaneously are and aren't quite right. You are still yourself, but stripped of all the trappings that could've possibly made you unique. You're placed into a strict dress code and any expression of self is frowned upon. Laughter is written up on your performance review as "unprofessional". Like the Nazi concentration camps, you're put through a shower gas chamber called "Training" that washes out all your color, leaving only a diluted version of yourself that's business-casual, business appropriate, and completely professional. Like the alphas and betas of Huxley's Brave New World, corporate America produces little businessmen and women standardized and bottled for your convenience. Labeled neatly with "ALPHA", which should make you proud - after all, you're now part of the decadent club of young people who make ridiculous amounts of money and know it. You go out with your friends who are dressed equally well, working in equally prestigious firms, complain about your jobs, and then drop 500 dollars each per night. And all those little misgivings in the back of your head that whisper "This isn't right..." are pushed away because you -want- to believe that this is it. Because "success" has been defined to you as exactly this and therefore it must be right.
Part of why it's so hard to leave corporate America isn't just the lifestyle, it's the psychological blocks that society has set up. They've glamourized the business world to a point where it's difficult to leave because that would be equivalent to telling all the television shows, movies, and magazines - YOU'RE ALL WRONG. It's always been difficult being the salmon swimming against the current. Besides, we're all products of pop culture, and no one wants to be its killer. Quirks of the business world are made fun of in Dilbert and tv shows like Ally Mcbeal, but really - who in those shows and comics ever leaves it? It becomes like a club where your misery is a badge of your status. The misery and blah-ness of it all become symbols of success, because you've now gained membership with the big boys and can speak the same language as them. "Proactive". "Let's circle back and..." "How does your bandwidth look like for today." "I'll ping you later on." And most of all, now you can laugh at Dilbert. Why don't we all pat ourselves on the back.
Once I started working, everything fell to the wayside - not because I was so important at work that I was busy, but because I was busy trying to cling onto the remnants of what made me, me. I no longer had time to browse Kazaa and download music. I didn't have time to read my favorite magazine Wired, because I'd just sleep on planes from physical and emotional exhaustion. And I'd sit in the limos that took me to and from airports and tell myself that I am happy. The music in my discman was the same music that I had when I graduated. I hadn't downloaded anything. Corporate America is like this bubble. Once you step in, time stops but you keep aging. I was still listening to the same music I listened to 2 years ago when I first entered consulting. I was still thinking the same things were fun. I found small joys in things like toilet paper being stuck to my manager's shoe. I was becoming my parents and I was only 22.
At times like this, I am thankful that I got out. Med school may or may not have been the right reasons for leaving, but it's "right" just by virtue of the fact that it got me out of something that was so wrong. It's so hard to see it when you're there because your vision is clouded by things like... the money. Who was it that said that money was the source of all evil.
Posted by ink |
[Tuesday, September 16, 2003]
I had a date this past Sunday with a boy from Haaaah-vahd. He was charmingly nervous and awkward, and I chattered on and on about nothing. I thought I was doing well, until I bit my lip in the middle of dinner. REAL CUTE. Especially when I started bleeding profusely. I was forced to shove a napkin in my mouth to put pressure on it to staunch the flow. Then I pulled the napkin out and of course, had to look at it to see exactly how much I had bled. He never called back. I bet I'm not dignified enough for him.
But I hope to redeem myself this week. I have a date on Wednesday (with another Haaaah-vahd boy), a date on Friday, and The Architect is coming to visit this weekend. Who would've guessed? Both that I'd have dates (I'm doing better after 1 week in Boston than I did over a year in New York), and that The Architect would've wanted to come to visit. In fact, he's called every week so far. This defies logic! By putting out on the first date, I broke all the "How to get a boyfriend" rules. And yet, it looks like I've got at least a "We're seeing each other on and off" sort of guy, which is still more than I've managed to do in a year of dating in New York the "right way". Figures.
I'm a little baffled by this sudden influx of dates and male attention. Where was all this when I could've really used it in the Big Apple? Is this some sort of compensation karma for all the years that I spent being unnoticed by men? I'm convinced that the planets must be aligned, and that this period of fertility will be followed by utter barrenness for the rest of the year. Regardless though, it makes me want to giggle quietly to myself in my room the more I think about it. (teeheeheeheehee! TEEHEEHEEHEEHEE!).
Posted by ink |
[Monday, September 15, 2003]
They're dropping like flies!!!
I'm starting a club. Dot just got her first performance review from Ink's Old Consulting Firm, and listed neatly under her Points for Improvement was "professionalism". I'd received more performance reviews than anyone else in my training group at my consulting firm, largely because I'd been staffed on more projects and "professionalism" had been a Point for Improvement on all my reviews. I thought it was just me, but apparently - the problem might simply lie with the Firm. I'm president of this new club of ours, and my club nickname is Bra Strap. Lux's is Booty Pants. And Dot's will simply be "Say Daddy!"
The exact wording was: "Be more conscious of behavior and speech in client presence outside of the office."
I've gotten that on all my reviews. My main downfall was the time my bra strap was showing by mistake. Lux was called on her "excessively tight pants", which really - were nothing but low-rise pants. Dot was overheard in the empty cafe mid-afternnoon by a colleague who was at the snack machine. Dot had stepped in there to have a conversation with her parents and was caught using the word "Daddy". And what if a client had been nearby.
I quit a month ago. I was being recommended for early promotion. Lux just put in her application for a leave of absence and doesn't plan on coming back. She had just been placed into a Team Lead position a few weeks ago. Dot has been commended for being a great worker, very organized, etc. .....and being unprofessional in the cafeteria. She is currently looking for a new job, desperately.
Posted by ink |
[Wednesday, September 10, 2003]
"Excuse me Ms. Financial Aid Officer. But according to the package you gave me, I believe this means I'll be living below the poverty line."
According to my financial aid officer, I'm supposed to do quite alright on a room and board allowance of $1000 plus an extra $100 per month for "personal expenses". Let's do the math.
Rent: $800. Not including utilities.
Food: $50 per week on groceries.
What if I need buy a sweater for the winter? God forbid I need a winter coat too.
Financial Aid Officer 1: "Honey, if you're going to be buying your sweaters at J. Crew or Gap, then you're obviously not going to make ends meet. We can't compensate for your expensive taste. There's a KMart right down the street you know."
Financial Aid Officer 2: "Cell phones and internet access are not considered necessities in our calculations. If you want to live so richly, you'll have to find some creative ways to make money then."
What if I just wanted to live the standard middle class life? Looks like I'll be volunteering for all those psych studies and participating in those drug trials. Shortly thereafter, I will sell my eggs (they go for 5k a pop!) and then my body as I engage in turf wars with the local prostitutes over the best corner.
First to go though, will be my clothes. Business casual anyone?
Posted by ink |
[Monday, September 08, 2003]
What is it about Monday mornings that makes them so conducive to deep thought? Now that I'm finally getting settled in, I'm trying to get a better gauge on this program and exactly why I'm here. I have moments when I waver and wonder if I'm doing the right thing. I keep getting sudden pangs where I miss my old life. "Old" as in, 3 weeks ago. I miss my friends, I miss having a paycheck, I miss knowing what I'm going to do tomorrow - even if it's another 8 am conference call and another 10 hours spent in a cubicle. Most of all, I miss the lack of accountability. Deadlines existed, but nothing had 50% impact the way an exam has on your final grade. Regardless of how much soul corporate America lacked, it provided a measure of security and establishment that being a student lacks. Being a student - you settle so quickly back into the habits of those who are rootless and migrant. Any furniture picked up off the street will suddenly do. Cheap is good, as long as it works. Makeshift is even better. To be plunged into this world after living a life of relative decadence in New York is strange and disconcerting. To be in a new city without any friends is strange and disconcerting. Meeting my first lesbian and have her turn out to be my roommate is strange and disconcerting. No easing-in period where I have lesbian friends first. Talk about being dumped into the water on every level - sink or swim, Ink. From corporate America to science academics, from financial services to medicine, New York to Boston, friends galore to no friends. I'm struggling. An object at rest will stay at rest unless a force is exerted upon it. Even then, it will resist change. Liquids of high viscosity will resist movement. I feel myself clinging to my old life and questioning my choices, not really because I doubt the validity of those choices, but because I question the necessity of change. I've been here less than a week. Hardly long enough to really know whether this is right or wrong. And that is how I know that my uncertainty cannot possibly be based on anything but emotions and insecurity brought on my change and the sudden unknown. Man fears and resists change, not because we are cowardly and are boring, but because change represents the unknown - and all animals are genetically programmed to be wary of the unknown.
Posted by ink |
[Thursday, September 04, 2003]
This is the ad I did NOT see. When I ran into these sitting on the kitchen table, I picked them up and laughed and told my new roommate that I've always wondered whether 'gay friendly' implied that the person currently living there is gay. To which she replied, "Well, I'm gay." Wow. You could've knocked me over with a feather. This is something you'd think she would've mentioned to me -before- I moved in, if only to find out whether I was homophobic or not (I'm not). And here I'd been asking her about whether she had a boyfriend or not. Apparently, this is a recent change for her. I wonder if this is equivalent to living with a guy, except much much cleaner. She likes girls. I would've never guessed. She looks like your typical popular Jewish girl. Long straight brown hair, petite, opinionated, short-girl build (you know, not fat but not skinny either). Not a lipstick lesbian or a butch gal. Just like every other girl I know. My own surprise at this last thought makes me question my own prejudices. Did I really expect to be able to pick lesbians out? What stereotypes exist in my brain? Would my housing choice have been any different if I'd known that she was a lesbian before I signed the lease? Am I really any better than someone who's homophobic? I have a large number of gay male friends in New York. But I identified with them in so many ways. We both liked shopping, and most importantly, we both liked men.
This coming year is going to be interesting. Especially since today's the second day of classes and I'm still a complete mess. I'd originally thought that after my 2-year hiatus from school, I could now start afresh and establish new habits that will be stellar. I didn't realize how hard old habits die. About half an hour into my first class, I caught myself doing it. Zoning out. About 15 minutes into my second class, I found myself doing the other thing. Falling asleep in class. In both classes, I had to lean over and ask the kid beside me whether I could borrow some paper. He gave me a strange look. I could practically hear the voice in his head, "How did this girl get into this grad program?"
Posted by ink |
[Monday, September 01, 2003]
Is this a sign?
Why is moving always such a disaster? I rented my UHaul truck today, was stopped by the police on my way to Public Storage ("Safety check, ma'am. Can you please open the cargo hold?"), only to find that Public Storage is closed today. My poor dad drove up 2 hours to help me move only to have the whole thing cancelled to tomorrow. AND the friends I recruited won't be available tomorrow either. Now I have this truck, no stuff, and nowhere to keep the truck overnight. As it happens to be, the only open parking space in midtown New York large enough to fit my UHaul truck is right in front of the Indian embassy. I fully expect to see a SWAT team around the thing when I wake up tomorrow morning at 7 am to move it.
big change, the choices we make
in life, gut instincts, on-the-whim
hairpin turns, the search for truth, the desire to be happy, the journey to finding out what
makes us happy.
being young and clueless, hoping
that we're not blindly leading ourselves to our own demise with every
tentative step we take, the pitfalls of dating, the trials
and travails of being a young woman in the post-feminist era.