Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Problem

with the speed reading that is necessary to do when you're an English major, are the lyrical gems that often get disregarded, or blown right past. Like this one, from Hawthorne's Blithedale Romance:
"It is not, I apprehend, a healthy kind of mental occupation to devote ourselves too exclusively to the study of individual men and women. If the person under examination be one's self, the result is pretty certain to be diseased action of the heart, almost before we can snatch a second glance. Or if we take the freedom to put a friend under our microscope, we thereby insulate him from many of his true relations, magnify his peculiarities, inevitably tear him into parts, and of course patch him very clumsily together again. What wonder, then, should we be frightened by the aspect of a monster, which, after all,--though we can point to every feature of his deformity in the real personage,--may be said to have been created mainly by ourselves."
And to think that some people call reading a waste of time...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It Must Be Wonderful,

not having to be held accountable to anyone but yourself.

photo from we heart it

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I went salsa dancing with my best friend. Neither of us had tried it before, but I was getting extra credit for my Spanish class, and it was free, and I had nothing else to do, and you would have to be missing a couple of wires to pass up that combination.

I was a bit nervous about how the evening would go, given it didn't get off to a very good start. We had a little bit of trouble finding the room it was in, even though the class was taking place at my school. In my defense, it was in the P.E. building, which I didn't exactly knew existed. No one takes P.E. in community college, sheesh. Then, of course, there is the ten minutes or so of awkwardly waiting for the class to get started. When ever I'm in a new situation like that, I always use that time to a) scope everyone out to see if there is anyone I know, or if anyone has a flashing neon sign over their head screaming "HELLO I'm A CREEPER" , and b) avoid eye contact. Maybe I'm rude, but there is nothing more uncomfortable than getting stuck in a conversation with someone who won't stop talking just because you happened to look at them the wrong way. Luckily, I wasn't alone, and my best friend Lisa is a good person to have with you in these kinds of situations, if you catch my drift.

The class began with the teachers splitting up the boys and the girls so they could teach each group their parts. Automatically it became clear that some of us would not be getting a partner. The girls outnumbered the boys two to one.Yet, when the time came to find a partner, one man came running up to me and asked if I could dance. Yes, that's right, I was one of the first people picked. By an old man. Apparently, I have some kind of appeal to the older crowd, because I have a history of getting hit on by the 60 and up bracket. But I couldn't turn this guy down, especially considering the lack of gentlemen in the house. So, before I knew it, I was being spun, thrown, and thankfully not dipped by a complete stranger.

That was the trend of the night, actually. Even though the teachers taught us one dance, everyone else insisted on improvising and doing their own thing. One minute you're doing a simple front to back step, the next you are being thrown across the room in a triple spin. I swear, there has to be a loony toons episode about this.

Apparently, my ineptitude got to my dance partner, and after 20 minutes or so he thanked me and moved on. After that, Lisa and I traded back in forth with a very nice guy we had met the same night. He was a pretty good dancer, but I was also about a foot and a half taller than him, making our turns a little... uncomfortable. On top of that, there was one step in the dance that required me to put my arms straight in the air while he turned me, putting his face right at my arm pit level (which by this point was working overtime). All I can say is sorry, random dance partner.

One thing that was interesting about the night is how quickly you have to become comfortable with a complete stranger. Salsa is a pretty close type of dance. You barely learn a persons name, and then boom. Personal bubble gone.

Before the night was over I was asked to dance one more time; by the best looking guy in the room. He was d r e n c h e d in sweat, but by far one of the best dancers there. That was when I thought, "Yeah. I can see why people really Like this".

Thursday, April 7, 2011


By the end of the month, I will have made my decision. By the end of the month, my college admission confirmation is due. I envy people who have no shame or doubt about moving into a new role in life, but now more than ever I find myself conflicted. Maybe it's the unfaltering concept of the unknown that holds me back; the absolute blindness of not knowing if or where I'll be happy, or how my units will transfer. Not knowing if I'll make friends, or be forgotten by my old ones, or be constantly homesick. Not knowing if I will thrive on my own and living off of top ramen, or be constantly working, or fall to the pressure and guilt of my job.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I don't know what it is that I'm looking for. One path tantalizes me with the possibility of restoring everything that I once loved about my life - all of those cold evenings that have been lumped together in my mind as one grand memory of what contentment felt like. That feeling has so long been forgotten, that I'm not even sure if I will recognize it again, or have the courage  to chase after it, or even want it at all.

Another path offers a new start, in a new place - where the potential for happiness is great, but the potential for catastrophe is greater.Would I even be able to pull off what I've so long been searching for? Will it be what I expected? Am I even capable of experiencing the all too romanticized college experience? Or would it change me, like so many others I used to know? Will the person I've fought to become and strive to be fall away? Am I strong enough?

The final path offers beauty, and freedom. But I know that it would also allow my tendency to turn inward to become all consuming. From that point, there is no turning back.

In my head, I keep playing back something an old teacher once said: once you go, there is no coming back. Nothing you can do will change that. It is mirrored with my own precaution. Two years are gone. You don't have time to not get it right.

Even as I write this, I can hear you scoffing. I really am envious of how easy it is for you. My mind is the best thing I've got, but it can sometimes be the worst.

I really can't be expected to focus on pilgrim lit. when I'm in this frame of mind.