I was watching a youtube video of people taste testing weird chapstick and someone said “could go without” in a sentence and it somehow triggered a few voices saying those words. Then I remembered whose voices they were. Staying up for almost 48 hours does weird things.

I should probably slow down (seemingly always) and start from the beginning (despite there being no real beginning to this).  I’ve been thinking a lot about tattoos, a died friend, and my future or seemingly lack thereof.  Who knows what I’ll get through here.

My skin is breaking out and I think its because of anxiety because of PhD acceptances looming.  Acceptances are what matter because acceptances come first so if I don’t hear anything in the next week or two then I’m in trouble.  My skin is getting redder and blotchier.  I thought I might be allergic to something but that might not be that far off.

It’s happening again where I get the sudden urge to cry but can’t.  It happened tonight and yesterday I think.  Yesterday it was hearing Suheir Hammad saying Jabalya.  The fourth poem of five she read back to back, each named after a city in Gaza, in 2010 after Operation Cast Lead.  She says it as her heartbreaks but she keeps going.  The poems named themselves so how could she not keep going, what would name themselves after a place of such violence without needing to.

I’m really bad at sleeping with someone else, literal sleeping.  I’ve listened to pretty much the same playlist, with minor changes, for the last five or six years.  I have vivid dreams and nightmares.  Nightmares where I’ve seen a woman have her head bitten off by a gigantic demon while trying to get food from a storage unit.  Nightmares where I’ve been barricaded into a room with giant diseased (but not diseased just dying) dogs and when one breaks through the door (like the Shinning) I take its upper and lower jaw in one hand each and pull them apart until the dog was ripped in half.  Nightmares where I am running away through a crowd while everyone else walks to their death at the hands of a humongous monster, I know what’s coming but can’t get anyone to go the other way.  The dreams are the opposite, they’re perfect.  I have a hard time waking up and leaving them.  The playlist keeps these things in check, it also reflects my heart rate and breathing rhythm and gets me asleep.  The playlist also has songs that are for people, help me dream about them.  When I sleep with someone else I don’t have my playlist, especially if I’m in their bed.  I also move a lot before I fall asleep but I also don’t know if I’ll ever be in bed with this person again so why waste it sleeping, there’s something special about laying in bed with someone with the lights off when you’re both awake.  It’s like there’s so much potential but then the pressure too.

I was laying in his bed, he was in another room coming back and it was late.  I didn’t know what was going to happen next, the whole thing was so unique I had no way of know if I was staying the night.  He said it was bed time and started going around the left (or my right) of the bed and I started to get up assuming this was my cue to leave.  I don’t remember what he and I said next but he said I could stay the night.  I asked if he wanted me to.  He said it was my choice, like the possibility of the entire night had been.  the light went off before I could even really decide.  I got into bed next to him, he was already turned on his side of the right (my left) side of the bed facing right (left).  It had been weird, it was intimate but I couldn’t understand what he wanted, he admittedly was a little intoxicated.  I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, was his position an indicator that he didn’t want anything to do with me?  I was to stay on my side and he stayed on his? Or was it him making sure he would be the little spoon.  I’m an optimist, an unsure hesitant optimist.  I curl up around him, arm over his mid section.  I don’t get much of a response.  I eventually move where my hand is a few times, unsure if he wants or is comfortable with this.  I decide to just ask, almost asking once then going for it.  I ask if this is ok, he says yeah and I ask if he’s sure, he holds his yes.  I’m still unsure and eventually he turns and lays on his stomach, my arm wrapping around him.  I’m unsure if it’s on purpose but either way he gets my arm.  He turns in my arm so that it is, for the first time, solidly around him.  From there I know (or think I know) that this is good, he wants me there.  I had only ever slept over twice before this (twice before with someone I was actually interested in) and neither time had it gone well.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  The next morning, after maybe an hour sleep total, was no different.  I knew he had to leave or be somewhere at 9, didn’t totally remember, but he said he would be up before then anyway because he’s used to getting up for work.  I heard him get up, was slightly to out of it to do much other than close my eyes and then open them to see where he’d gone.  I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, I think I was supposed to know but no clue where I was supposed to have learned this.  I eventually just got up and got clothes back on and walked out.  He said he was going to let me sleep longer and I said it’s fine (I wasn’t really sleeping anyway).  I’d rather be with him than alone in his bed.  I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to go/be in his apartment.  He seemed so put together and his apartment matched, a stark difference from mine.  It was lived in.  He was going to drop me off at a metro on his way to brunch, he was dressed really well.  He asked me if I had a metro card which was odd, who wouldn’t/doesn’t have a metro card.  We chatted on the way out and in his car, benign things.  I might have been too short and negative, it was early and I hadn’t slept.  I’m trying to be less passive though, I overcompensated for how much I am and that didn’t work so new strategy.  Boys seem to like my personality with all it’s rough edges.  As I was getting out he said something weird and I still don’t get it.  He said to text or message (he kind of stumbled over his words) if I needed anything (more stumbling it could have been something else).  I was confused because we didn’t get each others number.  I had every intention of telling him I wanted to see him again but the morning just happened and he never stopped moving.  I could have done it in the car though, I just didn’t take control of what was happening.  I was being passive in the fear that’d I’d be too much and screw something up.  I screwed it up by trying to not screw it up.  I had a minor freakout about not getting his number once I got to the metro station and was out of his car.  Texted and messaged a few people.  Eventually asked if he wanted to exchange numbers and then got radio silence.  I didn’t think it’d be a thing, we follow each other on instagram and he didn’t block me on the other app we’d been talking on.  I guess I’ll wait.

The tattoo and the friend who died are related.  I know the four tattoos I want but I just can’t decide on the fonts and I’m concerned about finding the right person to do them an do them well.  I still haven’t visited his grave but I know what I’ll bring and the conversation I’ll have.

February 8th is the start of the major acceptances for me.  NYU, GW, and University of Michigan are all this week, and by all this week I mean they will be emailing/calling the twelve to fourteen people between them all saying they got accepted.  If I don’t get one of those emails or calls I don’t know what I’ll do.  I’ve put my eggs in academia’s basket.  Eggs being student loans and thousands of dollars in applications.  I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen this week, I’ve got good signs but signs usually don’t mean anything.  It’s really hard to hear everyone so sure that I will get into a program or even multiple but so far I’ve gotten rejections from/know I didn’t get into four of the eleven I applied to.  The three this week are the schools I fit with best so if I don’t get one of those I’m really in for a rough few months.  I’m just praying for that email or phone call.

I’m not sure how long I’ve been awake for (no more than two and a half days with awful micronaps but I honestly don’t know exactly but it’s been a wild weekend and I’ve still got tomorrow.  Though for tomorrow I’ve got lots to get done.  It’s a huge week.

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A Week

I’ve been back in DC for six days and managed to make it through the first week of classes.  All in all it wasn’t as bad as I think it was which is a little confusing.

Basically the week was just a mess but not bad, just a mess.  My sleep schedule got out of whack almost right away, I stayed awake all night two nights out of six but I think I’ve got it sorted out now.  I somehow haven’t gotten anything done until today, probably a result of me sleeping during the day.  This semester just feels weird.  I haven’t talked to any of my friends who have had a good week.

As far as my resolutions, it’s hit and miss.  I thought I was going to take a writing seminar where I’d finish my thesis but the seminar became less writing and more about ethnography which isn’t my thing at all.  I’m scrambling a little to find a new class or make a current class count for the writing requirement.  I’m not too worried because I know I’ll write it but it’s just a bump in the road.  I have a budget and less than 10 dollars for the rest of the month which would be scarier if I didn’t just get tons of food grocery shopping and have all the books I need for a little while.  I’m using my iCal and even got it to automatically sync with my phone without having to plug my phone into my computer.  I haven’t done much planning, the whole not getting anything done all week was fine but long term not very smart.  I’m not sure what any of my deadlines are except for two abstracts due January 19 and February 1.  Meaningless sex….work in progress.  I have a public instagram account and I am really loving it.  I just pretty often, way more often actually than my regular account.  I’m working on investing in my crew, some of us have already established a weekly meet up/kiki to go over readings and hang out outside of class.  The snatched body thing is slow going, I tried to make a work out schedule but my sleep schedule messed that up.  I have been eating way better and bought lots of healthy food.  I’m also not going to drink or eat major carbs (pasta, break, the obvious stuff) until my birthday and then reevaluate.  I like to think I’m speaking things into existence, we’ll see how that goes.

I’m officially done with PhD apps, turned in the last one 5 days ago and I think having a bunch of them to submit over winter break was a horrible decision.  I don’t think I really got a break because I always had one more to do.  I also will never give myself such little time before a semester.  I got back Saturday night and had my first class Monday.  Normally I try to be really prepared going in and this semester I didn’t even get a notebook until I had already had my first two classes.  Now I have a surprisingly lovely light blue 5 subject notebook which I’m loving, normally I get a three subject (one for ever class) but the extra two subjects are great for life things (like a budget) and the grad workshop I am in.

I think this weekend will do me good.  I’ve got some reading, revising, and a little writing to do but I’m looking forward to regrouping and having a second go at the semester.

2035

It’s really interesting to look back at my New Year’s resolutions from last year, some of the things seem silly now or just not relevant.  I sort of wish I was back in DC to write this cause my apartment is much more me than my room at my parent’s place but here I am and these are my New Year’s resolutions.  I think part of the problem with resolutions is that they are just way too big without anything to support them.  Hopefully having a range of resolutions that fit together somehow will make it all seem more doable and worthwhile.  I also don’t know how much of these are resolutions versus goals but I’m just going to go with it.

Finish my thesis.  I know this is going to happen but I want to say it as many times as possible.

Budget better, I have like no money but also enough so I want to start keeping track of it better.

Get back into using iCal.

Plan out my semester better so I’m not burnt out 2/3 of the way through, I have lots planned but I can’t let self care come in a frantic panic at 3am when it’s much to late to do enough to take care of myself.

Submit to the ASA conference again.

Stop having meaningless sex.  No matter how good of an idea it seems at the time it’s never worth it.

Start a new public instagram account and make use of my new iPhone.

Last year I said I wanted to invest in my cohort and this year I want to invest in the folks who invest in me.  I’ve made some great friends/allies this year that are truly phenomenal academics so this year I want to put energy and time into making sure we all succeed.

Get a snatched body for the start of my PhD and the wedding in August.  That means cutting unnecessary carbs and alcohol as well as not caving into craving a bag of chips from Trader Joe’s.  Oh and actually start using the gym in my apartment building.

Be assertive when getting my hair cut.  No more letting people ruin my hair because I go along with what they think needs done.  I know how I want to look and no one’s opinion matters but mine.

Speak things into existence.  Even as a joke say what I want out loud.

Brunette

So I just saw the image that wordpress uses for my profile and I have blonde hair in it so I first want to say that my hair is brown and gorgeous because if literally everything else goes to hell at least I have great hair.

Since you’ve been gone (Kelly reference), because I’ve been right here, I’ve finished my applications to PhD programs (submitted around 5 with around 5 to go).  I went to Prague for a queer film festival and it was amazing, though oddly enough I’m really content not going back.  I do however really want to sit with a glass of wine in Dolores Park in SF at sunset.

A lot happened today/the past month.  Not sure if I’ll really even write it.  Probably not now.

I was really excited for winter break for a very specific reason that was an exterior thing but now after today I think I’m getting excited to do me.  I have no idea how I will get outa my suburban town (Troye Sivan’s album is out and I am in love) but I’ll find a way.  I want to go to SF for a weekend and sleep as little as possible.  I want to get a tattoo I’ve been thinking about getting for almost four years now and maybe another I’ve been thinking about for a year.  I want to go on tumblr again/more often.  I want to read some things that got pushed aside because of PhD apps.  I want to write letters to people.  I am going to apply to ASA again and I’m really excited to think about the next film I want to write about.  I am going to finally get a good hair cut, and by good I mean that the last time I got a hair cut in early November I only cut the sides so now the top is long (which I love) but it’s too thick and I don’t trust anyone in DC to cut it the way I want.

I’m really trying to be done with this semester.  It’s been so all over the place and it reminds me why I don’t like the semester system because it just never ends.  I want to just start writing my PhD but I won’t know if I’m even in a PhD program till later February and even if I get in I still have at least a year of course work when I get there.

I’ll maybe write more later.  The semester is almost over, just have one paper which covers a few assignments and then I’m done and can run away to NY for a quick minute before going to California.

Let’s Try This Again

So this past week/weekend/everything.

I averaged about 5 hours of sleep a night this past week so on Friday I decided to sleep in.  I missed a meeting but it was worth it.  I woke up at 4pm, got a text from a friend saying she’s going out for drink and that I should become a real person and come join her.  I woke up and it was easily the best I’d felt in easily a week or two.  We got drink with a few other people and it was so nice to just be a normal person and not be cooped up in a library or my apartment working on my PhD application, reading for the week, or a paper.  One of the people we got drinks with was having a halloween themed (not costumes but like pumpkin carving and fall type of drinks) and reminded us that we had to be there.  After we roamed around DC a bit and then decided on a whim to get mcdonalds and ate it on the steps of a museum.

I got home a bit later and was perusing a dating app that will remain nameless and I ended up talking to this boy and ended up at his.  What was weird was that we clicked, like it was just right.  Later in the night I was laying on his couch and he just came over and laid next to/slightly below me between me and the couch.  I normally dip out really quick but I stayed and didn’t feel like it was an imposition, it was obvious that I stay.  We were holding hands, for the 10th time that night most likely, and he was stroking my knee saying he liked the fabric of my sweats.  He had already said he liked me earlier but then said it was serendipitous that we met, how he was so comfortable with me even though we just met.  We had a normal conversation, what I did, what he did, about larger cultural things vs individual fulfillment, he knew ethnographic words like the “other” and even heteronormative, he knew from which city in Brazil my bracelet was from and the ritual that happens when it gets put on.  He said me a few time during us talking that he was tired and was going to head to bed and I could join him but we just kept talking.  I never actually agreed, I said maybe or just kept talking.  Eventually he started getting up and said he was actually going to bed and asked if I wanted to go with him and I finally agreed, as if I wouldn’t have said yes the times before if I knew he was serious.

Sleeping with someone is so so different than sleeping alone.  I have slept with music for over 5 years now every night without fail, it’s the way I can help prevent graphic nightmares, so right off the bat it was hard to sleep.  I’d also woken up at 4pm so I was hardly tired.  Then there is the fact that we kept trying to figure out what was comfortable, who goes where, what position, how much body contact without suffocating or being too hot.  I think I slept a few hours at the most before his alarm for work went off at 7am.

He wanted to add me on facebook, something I am trying to give up and told him as much.  I caved and took his phone and added myself on his facebook.  He said he wanted to see me again that night, we was leaving town the next day.  I told him he had my number and to text me.  Him getting ready was a drawn out process and after every step he found his way back in front of me, hugging and kissing me.  Right before we left he grabbed me and kissed saying it was the last one since his boss was next door.  When we were at the elevator apparently there was no sight of his boss because he kissed me again quick.  We got in the elevator, I wasn’t sure if he wanted his coworkers to know he had a guy over so I texted him saying I was leaving and to just text me tonight.  He texted me back by the time I got home saying he was glad I came over and that he told to his work friend, the only other one there from SF, about me coming over.  We didn’t met up that night, he was staying in Virginia with his brother and had a flight at 9am.

As he was leaving the club to go to Virginia we talked on the phone, another oddity for me, and I asked if it was worth it to stay in touch since he lives in SF.  He said that his work has a branch here and his brother lives around here so he will be back at some point, he said he wanted to stay in touch.  We texted after that and talked about the gay guys at the house party I was at saying I should move on and ditch him, he said he was glad we met and that I didn’t listen to them.

Technically I texted a question last that he read after 2am but he hasn’t responded to.  Let’s see what happens.

Ride

Let’s be honest, I’ve been keeping up with facebook. To my credit it’s been a more normal relationship with a website, I check in and leave. I will write more about life somewhere else, this is that somewhere else.

It’s been a wild ride. I finally wrote my statement of purpose and it is nothing like I thought it would be or what I thought I’d feel comfortable writing. Somehow it’s been a little over 14 months and I still haven’t visited. I’m going to soon, I’ve been busy and hopefully you will understand.  I don’t know what will make it into my statement but I’ll bring you a rose.

I’ve been on the verge of tears for at least a week now and I’m not totally sure why.  I think it is a combination of seeing Palestinians children be brutally murdered while people spit on their bodies.  It is probably also about PhD applications, I wasn’t sure what I would tell admissions committee and now it seems as though I’m telling them some of the most intimate things of my life.  I’m good with that though, it should be said even if no one knows what to do with it once that happens.  One of the things I talk about is ever present in my mind and I don’t know if it is because there are pictures of it and it’s easier to see or if it is because I actually remember.  It doesn’t matter, I remember so many other things.

You should check out Troye Sivan’s new album, especially his music video trio.  It’s really a work of art.

So many more things happened lately and I thought I had the energy to get into it but I apparently don’t.  Another time.

Slowing Down and Generosity

I’m in the midst of applying to PhD programs which really means I’m trying to do a lot at once well enough to stay in academics.  I still don’t have a draft of my statement of purpose and my writing sample is doing saying too little about a lot of things.  My dissertation proposal changes nearly every day, only in my head though because that isn’t really written either.  I’ve got a paper and a proposal for another longer paper to revise.  I also have a runny nose and lots of reading that will have to get done eventually.  My sleep schedule is weird, not bad (though it probably is) or good (it probably isn’t), because I’m just out of sorts and drinking coffee at all hours.

Applying to PhD programs means living with cognitive dissonance because you have to believe you are worthy of one of 30 spots in the country while also being wildly unsure of what you’re doing.  In my particular situation I have no idea what my chances of getting into a program are, I’ve been told of course I will get into a top program but I also hear nothing, there is a certain silence that occurs during the process that is terrifying.  The silence has existed for a while now but it is more distinct now.  It is another moment of cognitive dissonance, I want to be told that I am good enough but I also know that hearing positive things means there is less time to be told how I can improve.  I want to be told everything will be all right but I know that nothing will happen unless I put in the work, and that means knowing what needs work.

A friend, I am going to call her a friend but she is also a teacher of sorts, gave me feedback and what seemed to be the message was that I should slow down.  I’m going, thinking, writing too fast.  Even then I wrote past the and.  I have more potential projects in my head than I can easily keep track of and many of them are being worked on right now at once.  I had been building to the slow down for a while now, I was pushing through without dwelling with what I was blowing past.  I have been told a number of times that I have plenty of time so I’m going to try and take that to heart and slow down.

I’m returning to The Strivers Row and their poetry a lot lately and something they do that is unusual is the way they introduce one another.  They are loving and generous with their introductions.  They don’t simply say one another’s name and welcome them to the stage, they say their name and what makes them cause those around them to glow.  The first class I ever took in graduate school was framed around the idea of curiosity and generosity.  Curiosity because there is something here and generosity because not everything can be said or done at once.  The last month I have been on the receiving end of an immense amount of generosity, people offering to read my work, give me feedback, talk through my project, answer questions, and more that I don’t have words for.  Often academics are or are perceived to be closed off and protective of their work for fear that someone will steal it or criticize it too harshly.  I understand those fears but know that those fears can’t be allowed to triumph.  I’m trying to slow down and be in this moment of wild uncertainty and possibility, not just because of the generous feedback and support I have but that would be reason enough.