Sunday, May 27, 2012

Things I don't know.

Am. I. Good enough?

Writing is one of those professions that usually takes people years and years to get into. There's college, then MFA programs, then the actual getting published thing. Other people stumble upon it later in life because they realize they have stories to tell that need to be heard. But for some reason, I, Amanda Coats, 20 year old student, am compelled to believe that now is my time to sink or swim. To go big or go home. To get out of the kitchen if it turns out that mine is a cold dish.

And for the longest time that scared me beyond belief. Because, writing is the only thing that has ever really felt like it was mine. Like it defined me in all the ways that I didn't mind and none of the ways that I did.

And now, I'm just going for it. I'm holding my breath, and jumping in.

I went to this reading put on by other creative writing undergrads last week, and it was a bit of a wake up call.

What if know one likes what I have to write?
Oh my god how did that person come up with that that's amazing.
I take so long to edit I could never get something that polished.
All my ideas suuuuuuuuuck.

And as easy as it would be for me to just move on, to try something "practical" and make lots of money and study something that people find "useful", I can't. I just can't deny such a fundamental piece of myself. I have to do this.

And as much as I'm afraid of finding out that I'm not good enough, I have to try. I just have to.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quarter in Review

The quarter is finally over.

I'm feeling pretty good at this point. This has been my hardest school session so far, but I think I handled it well. Things will just get harder the closer I get to graduation, so I guess I should get used to it. I'm trying not to get too excited yet - I'll let myself relax (or not) when final grades come out.

This quarter has been a lot different from the last one. I feel like I've grown closer to different people, and distanced from some people that I didn't expect to. I've been working harder in classes, I've surprised myself and been thoroughly disappointed a few times too. I think if anything this quarter has been a lesson in expectations. Too often I come up with expectations of what I want to happen or what I think should happen, and about 80 percent of the time these plans don't develop the way I want them too. It's silly, I guess, to get so invested in the way things aren't or the way I want them to be, but I don't really know how not too. I see my life, and I see how beautiful it is, but I can't help but see the things that aren't there at the same time. I almost think that all of my problems would be solved if I could learn to let go of a few things, but I love them too much. I somehow got this weird idea in my head that one day I will wake up and things will be easy, that they'll be fixed. I know this doesn't really happen, but doesn't it? Sometimes I look around and just think, "doesn't it?" . Life hinges in moments, but I guess even the universe isn't that good. But I'm working through things as best as I can. And I really am happy, honest. I'm just trying to take care of some loose ends.

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's in the air.

Nostalgia gives way to potential,

The homey homely to the imagined image -

The things that buzz, drunk on desires,

Granting glances at what may only be guessed at.

They move freely and happily between

What may only be traversed through pain.

These are my fireflies; palm trees by day, neon by night.

You can try and kill them if you like,

But it’s more than them you’ll have to reckon with.

Vision is almost as flimsy as thought

And neither may die, only move, only hope, only cry,

Gilded with the shadow of membrane that curves

around what is hidden by ivory and wine

and what gains passage on the wind.

The paths I’m peddling towards,

Map-less and blind, lie somewhere in between.

So I’ve been told.

*For reals post later this week, hopefully.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The reversal.

Everyone wants to say what I am
bolts and screws holding together
bits of flesh and glue
stretched over squirming things
and veins and lungs
my own little park living in my chest
and growing and creeping
past my bounds, where my skin hugs it in
so persistent it starts to poke
through my eyes and through my nose
pores leaking bits of blood and hope
until I'm a bloated mess of things and thoughts
the pieces people have thrown away
and couldn't get enough of.

Now, I'm outside in
and inside out
here with my insides
ugly and purple and wet
 perfect and content
existing in wholeness
with the pieces you've never seen
and the parts my heart can't help but beat.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Paint by numbers.

Sometimes, I become so utterly devoted to an idea that I frame my whole consciousness around it. Not purposely, of course. It's like when you read a really good book. While you're reading it you just can't help but see the rest of the "real world" through that vane. The shade of the narrative voice echos in your own, it casts a new kind of light on the things you see around you.

Of course, you eventually finish the book. Maybe the coloration lingers for a little while, but you eventually forget. The world reverts back to its old ways and the only voice you hear is your own (unless, you know, you're crazy). It's kind of like that with ideas, too. When I say that I am an idealist, I don't mean that I have this overly optimistic view of the world, because i don't. I am an idealist in that when an idea pops into my head I become attached to it. it colors my world just like a really good book does. The only difference is, that the loss of this new form of sight isn't mutual.

The idea of a book might turn away from you, but you also turn away from it. You close the book, put it on the shelf, and leave it for someone else to read. With ideas, it's never that simple, and I'm starting to feel some ideas I've held onto for the past couple of months pull away from me. They are siphoning their color from my world before I've remembered how to see in my own shades. And even if this reality is forcing my to kill the ideal of the idea, I just can't bring myself to kill the sentimentality associated with it. And I can't stand the idea that someday someone might pick it up and read it for themselves.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dealing With It

Sometimes, when I am feeling a little off, I just sort of let myself wallow in the sheer unfavorable-ness of what ever is bothering me (I say unfavorable and not bad because, if I'm being frank, I find bad to be kind of a useless term. It's lost it's punch. It makes everything sound like an exaggeration. With unfavorable, there's no pretension. No expectation that what you are going through is fundamentally worse than everyone else.).

It should be obvious, of course, that wallowing doesn't actually accomplish much, unless you consider the frantic introspective ravings of a 20 something who is way too self-reflective for her own good and the tragic loss of a half dozen cookies or so to be "much". But, somehow I've got it in my head and in my heart that wallowing is something I need, nay, deserve to do every now and then. I guess that makes sense in a weird twisted way. For someone who is consitently know as being icy, tightly woud, and uncomunicative, submitting totally to self-sorrow kind of helps me remember that I'm life. It's almost as if hating my life reminds me that I have a life - at least a life beyond a single dimension of "somewhat satisfied can't complain" - ness.

But the biggest problem I have with wallowing (despite the fact that I find it to be a very vain practice. Think about it, what could be more selfish than preoccupying your consciousness with how bad your life is.) is the fact that it only breeds more wallowing. Once you allow it passage through your mind, it is almost impossible to stop. trust me, I know.

I've only managed to find one other way of dealing with myself when things go bad. It doesn't solve any problems, it accomplishes even less than the first, but some how i always find it the most satisfying of the two. In short, I trivialize my problems. I make them the requisit tragic scene of some woefully hopeful movie that I apparently have been starring in my whole life. I turn them into laundry. I turn them into marathons of painfully bad tv shows. I turn them into the necessary "dark period" of my life, the suffering that all the greats go through, and will likewise spurn my rise to stardom as the next great American novelist. And today, I turned them into Otis Redding and Solomon Burke.

Because if they can sound so happy singing about heart break, why can't I?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Things lately

haven't been the greatest. The self doubt, self criticism that I left behind me at the end of last quarter have bubbled back up to the surface of my day to day remarkably fast. My life has so much potential to be so good - and most of the time it is - but the see-saw of it all is unnerving, exhausting, and I fear worst of all, unavoidable.

It seems like these past few days have been calling me to come to terms with , or at least recognize a few of the things that I have done my best to forget about. Bringing them back out hurts, but I can only hope that this period of pain and frustration can be followed with one of comfort, joy, and - dare I say it - constancy.

I need to get back to this, to getting it all out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I have this weird little quirk.

Well, I have many quirks, but there is one in particular that's been on my mind lately.

I am fundamentally inept at letting the people who are important to me know how important they really are. I think it has something to do with not wanting to come off too enthusiastic, or being afraid that these feelings wont be reciprocated, of not knowing how to show it, or of just coming across as "emotional".

Because, the people who are most important to me are the obvious ones, but they are also some of the people you would never guess. People I don't talk to everyday, or don't know the best. These people may never realize how much they mean to me, and that's a shame.

But that doesn't mean that they stop being important, and that doesn't mean that I don't wish everyday that I could come up with a way of letting them know.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Every now and then, only not as frequently as that phrasing makes it sound, I will have a moment - an instence - of pure contentment. A moment where I think, if I could just freeze time, if I could just live and re-live this moment for the rest of existence, I would be happy. I remember the first time I had this thought, at least the first time in my semi-adult existence, and I remember most of them that have happened since. They're all different. Some seem a little silly, others, idyllic. Almost all naive. But I can still remember the ways these moments made me feel, the assurance, the relief they offered.

It's funny to think how, if I had had my way, I could be stuck under a tree in the rain, or staring contentedly at someone I used to know so well, or looking up at a set of bright stadium lights.

But living in any one of these would have meant missing out on every other moment that followed. It would mean I would be perpetually 16 and happy, or 17 and confident, or anything else that I have been. But it would also mean being nothing that I am.

Because I can't be anything other than the product of my troubles, finding refuge in the light of my days. I don't know how. And I'm okay with that.

More than okay.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I was once told that there is a seasonality to life beyond the changing of the natural world around us - in our attitudes, relationships, and thoughts. Lately, this has been proving itself true in my life. The easiest way for me to describe the past couple weeks of my life is as being hot and cold. One minute I'm excelling, the next I'm stressing. One day I'm everyone's friend, the next I'm feeling like no one cares.

Each morning I wake up at 7 to get ready for class, and everyday while I'm riding the bus I have this moment where I catch a glimpse of  the sun really beginning to start to poke through the morning fog with some force, and I have this momentum inside of me to live and be happy doing it. And then, bit by bit  through out the day, little pieces of that fall away and are replaced by  the obstacles that cross my path, and by the end of the day sleep feels like my closest friend. And it's exhausting.

It seems like consistency is the hardest thing to find in life.