There are days where I feel the past close in on me like a vice. I feel all the mistakes I made crowd around me and my mind warps them into a sort of horrid little nightmare of my own making.
Through my hardships, though…. I’ve learned a lot. Like how to not let it get to me quite as badly as it otherwise could. This is where I practice the change I preach. I’ve also had a crash course from a certain someone straight up nudging (shoving, really) me toward self-reliability.
The dreaded GED explanation–I’m probably going to have to give it to the university I am applying for.
The questions… they come to mind and are pretty heavy.
Why would a girl who was supposed to graduate in 2004 end up with a GED years later? Surely any girl like that isn’t the kind of girl we want at our institution. Why would she leave the school so abruptly and so close to her graduation date?
What the hell am I supposed to say that could make this less awkward? My father, the lone stabilizing authoritarian ringmaster of my family’s 3 ring freak show died of cancer right before I would have graduated. The only thing that kept me going past his death was a musical performance, and once that was over– I was out of commission. Well, not exactly out of commission. The years fighting his illness–our own illnesses–each other, the suicide attempts by multiple family members, all of it crashed and made a mess of everything everywhere. Mom was such a mess after daddy died that I ended up taking care of things more than I could have. There was a point when Steven started calling me mom because the nurturing figure he needed was MIA in her own grief, and Grandpa, who had been living with us since my grandmother died, was so concerned and kind but also incredibly socially awkward. By the time the dust cleared from that, I was out. I would stay away and out of the lives of my family as much as I could… Steven was regressing hardcore and would torment me by blaring music 24/7, ignoring personal space, and even engaged in physical violence. Even my body wasn’t left unscathed, I cut, pierced myself, and even had my nose broken by my brother in one of his aforementioned fits.
By the time the second dust storm settled, I spiraled so far out that going back to school didn’t really have a place in my life because I was trying to work. Then, there was the whole childhood home foreclosure thing, and the way we scrambled to save what little we could. Jesus, What the hell am I supposed to say? That by the time I had my self together after the emotional shit storm that was that already turbulent period of my life, I was expected to be a good little housewife and mother? That I was told systematically that the time for education had passed in my life and I should make do with what I had at that point? I am not some innocent little victim; I could have fought anyone. God knows my father insisted I become a lawyer because I could talk circles around anyone, and for anyone i couldn’t talk circles around I was stubborn as a mule. That fire left when dad died. Where my father was charismatic, persuasive, and in-charge… Mom is a wet nap. Not that wet naps are bad–they have a place in the world. Typically a supportive, nurturing role that requires a guiding hand, but she was a wet nap woman who lost her life long guiding force. Who the hell am I to say anything bad about her. I fucked my life up good and plenty without any of her assistance.
I really want to get into this school. In fact, I need to in order to stay in Japan as I would like to…I will fight this if I have to. I tested in the top 1% of the country on my GED. I worked my ass off for years at a community college to build myself a name and a reputation for being a trustworthy student and employee. I had something big to prove–at the time I thought to others, but I realize mostly, it was to prove to myself that I could belong.
When I decided to leave Michigan, I was scared that I might one day have to look at an admissions panel and say: “This is my life–all the bloody, sordid details of it.” And I am scared. Scared of laying myself bare to a group of strangers who might decide that all of the hardship that had defined me and the hardwork that redefined me isn’t good enough and cast me aside. I don’t want to lose the beginning of the life I have established here–the family I have gained and friends I have made. The progress I made to walk in a city alone with my head held high, and the joy of having the one person I can show all of me to who doesn’t flinch also walk beside me. I want to grow more in Tokyo and let those roots dig deep.
Responsibility and accountability are important lessons to learn. I just wish I could have understood the gravity back then that I fully understand now. Wish me luck.
A Sort of Productivity
There is a poem in my heart
Words needing to reach ink and paper
Memories stirring, simmering in the quiet warmth of the afternoon light half veiled by curtains
Flimsy characters insufficient to carry the weight of such sentiment
Yet they come unbidden
Procrastination against the miscellany in towering boxes needing a home
The memory of the faint smile on your lips
Bemusement all Mona Lisa captivating charisma
The brightness of a gaze enough to warm
A face stinging with cold, damp winds
Bare hands, chilled from the walk to the station
Weave across bags and fluttering scarves to reach for you
All intuition with the beginnings of a more practiced touch
Such contented newness in blissful mundane domesticity
A simple hello brings such sweetness which bleeds
satisfaction across already blue skies
The world thrums with a current –magnetic
Feet guided with a grace unknown to the red door on the corner
We made it.
The sweetness burns brightly like a beacon
Settling potent homeliness over chairs, table, and boxes alike
while our shoes are silently removed.
Such fortune finds such reckless lovers.
I keep surprising myself at the sheer sappy romanticism I find myself living.
Well, a return to blogging. A return to giving myself that particular spaciousness that can be found in the realm of creative writing and journaling.
I’m in Japan and have been so since Sunday. My sense of time is ridiculously a blur. Despite it being ass-o’clock in the morning, sleep eludes me and my thoughts begin to zing through my fingertips onto parched keys seeking elaborate prose to fill the void of the strange new world I inhabit. Deep breath; this might pinch a little.
That restrained efficiency
Mingling flash-bang gadgetry futurisms with subdued ancient wisdoms thrumming alive with tradition
Surroundings part concrete jungle, part anthropology study
All fascination gone mute aside from simplistic phrases and gratitude laden bows
Proves and provides in sesame pudding-ed chu-hi cups running over
While the ching ching of train crossings and subdued enthusiasm of polite populations
Etch paths across familiar silhouettes and old shadows
Casting light on ghosts turning transparent with a dawn of chapters just begun
The skyline tattoos maps across my heart, and my world shades a bit more lucid dream
Than the inky deterministic foggy purgatory known
Like I’ve been bitten by some x-ray powered gamma infused spider
I feel that precious poisoned lingering tingling
Indicating a mutated neural shift about to upstart miracle grow my way into an overhauled self
Melodious Mayhem wrangling the smarmy demon lingering just outside my door something fierce
Indecent while psuedo-patient
Waiting for the red light to blare green.
The cross walk’s an iconic reminder of winding roads that will never lead to longing doors.
My shoes just don’t fit now that your gone
Walking won’t work right in fuck me pumps and
vicious eyelashes batting silver tongued flicks of fancy
that does nothing but cause disdain.
Wild hair like a gorgon blows across my face, turning me to stone
I don’t see no slithering.
People love to see what they want to see
hear what they want to hear
believe what the want to believe
That was my delusion.
My heart wanted so badly to believe that it was willing to be deceived
that I was different
that my own capacity to see the world was unclouded
by sheer will alone.
I am no different.
The photo on my desk
The space in my bed
and the sorrowful song lingering in the corner
of self-conscious eye contact
proof of my own hubris.
It was as though my only certainty in uncertain times became my own fear.
“Pretty is as pretty does”
and I’m feeling haggard and undignified.
An exhaustion so deeply settled in a simple question:
When will my tireless mourning end?
No amount of enjambment can make that appealing.
But there is a sweetness to be found here.
Honesty is a balm, and sometimes it is better to be respected than to be liked.
There lurks the dangerous capacity to be inconsistent in regards to validation
My love a radical admission in the longing for experience of shared autonomy
Once misconstrued as a shelter of comfort and safety from the storm of fear and anxiety
There can be no reasonable affirmation to such self-absorbed and self-involved sabotage
If I could flick a switch, beloved, I would spontaneously burn away heuristics
Until those contradictory conceptions are tempered into reliable care.
Let actions be the illustration.
I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.
I love you only because it’s you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.
Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.
In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.
Thank you for the challenges. Thank you for the heart ache. Thank you for the sorrow. Thank you for the ability to feel gratitude. Thank you for giving me anxiety. My anxieties are the death throes of my self conception of being lesser. A chapter in my life is closing, and there is the sweetest sorrow I have ever experienced in this door shutting. My world is brighter and darker. The long shadow of Europe Nietzsche mentions finally is viscerally real to me. This darkness that is molded to me is not hopeless, and this brightness that emanates from possibility isn’t pure radiance. This freedom is terrifying, but it is mine. My life may contain regrets, but the regrets are mine. I may never again find what I lost, but I know I’ve had it once. I am so blessed to be a part of this incredibly flawed world. With life there is hope and possibility, and I cling to that knowledge like a man lost at sea clings to a lifesaver. For the first time in my life, come hell or high water, I will claim what has always been mine.
x x x
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.