momebie: (A:TLA Sokka OMFG)
I have a day and a half left of this job. I'm in that weird place between entirely stressed and overwhelmed and just not caring because I'm over it. Which is progress from last night at 11 when I was STILL WORKING and only being entirely stressed and overwhelmed. I have an impossible list of things I want to do today, but even if I get them done Co-worker D is STILL going to have a heart attack, so really, why should we both? It's not like I haven't been telling people I was terrible at this job for A YEAR. HEY. I SUCK AT THIS. WE CAN ALL BE GLAD I'M GOING TO DO SOMETHING ELSE NOW.

Anyway, to diffuse my stress about this I've been putting together my list of Things I'd Like To Accomplish In 2012 That Are In No Way Actual Resolutions and I've decided that too many of them are incredibly mainstream. I mean, I may not write a song or publish a short story, but that doesn't mean a million other people WON'T next year. So I've decided I need to punch it up a bit. That's where you come in. It's like a NaNo challenge, only with my life.

[Poll #1806843]

Hm. Maybe if I do get around to fulfilling some of your New Year challenges I'll like, film them or something. I think I need a new camera.
momebie: (Sisyphus has never had a gf)
I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Oh, I had the usual string of dream jobs on hold: astronaut, paleontologist, famous author, etc. I just never actualized them in my mind as solid possibilities. I was mimicking the people around me, as all children do. Until about the age of 17 it didn’t occur to me that I might live through my senior year of high school. It’s not that I was suicidal—that came later—it was merely that the idea of being an independent human being, separate of the structures I’d built for myself, didn’t appeal to me. So I dismissed the thought. Time would stop.

Of course, time didn’t stop. In the last ten years I’ve gone from ignoring the idea of the future to dwelling on it too intently. I can’t sleep some nights. (I didn’t sleep last night, which is why you’re getting this instead of more fiction.) There’s a tag in this journal for ‘the dreaded future’ for a very good reason. The future terrifies me. It terrifies me because everything is going to change and I am going to have to be the one to make some of those changes and I am ultimately responsible for where I end up. That crushing responsibility, above all else, is what I believe in now.

I took a lot of philosophy and religion classes in college. It was the only way to productively work through my fear of free will and how it related (poorly) to my Calvinist theological upbringing. If things are predestined and predetermined, why spend so much time dragging myself through life? I still haven’t found a reliable answer to that one. My solution was to eschew theology altogether, which is a tailspin of a feeling if you were raised with all of the comforting, violent, gilded words of a specific religion.

At that point it was the existentialists that caught me. In them I found the desperate explanation of life that I’d been looking for. It’s all on me. Regardless of whether there are gods in the sky or the earth or the perfume ads they stuff into women’s magazines, I’m still responsible for myself. I have to create a meaning. I have to create myself every day. Every day. Sartre is my boyfriend and Camus is my mistress and even though it means that sometimes I don’t sleep at night, I’m most comfortable when living through the illusion that I’m in control.

And it is an illusion. The world is large and dense and sometimes it feels like it doesn’t matter how much of a path I manage to forge through the brambles, the Universe can come through and just as easily drown me out through no fault of my own. As a child I was taught that it happened to the people Noah didn’t have room for. It can happen to me. So even though I’ve built myself a world of lonely, commanding words, I have to leave room for eventualities. I’m not hedging my bets as much as it sounds like I might be, but in a lot of ways I still am and always will be a little girl, pretending to know what I want to be when I grow up.

There’s a tattoo I’ve been planning for several years now. And those of you who know me will raise your eyebrows and go ‘a tattoo? you want every tattoo’, which is true, but this one is special. This one I’m reserving for a moment when I take one of those large, startling leaps. Right now I go back and forth between deciding whether I want to get it when I move across country or when I graduate grad school. Both are things I’m feeling compelled to do. (Don’t you find that sometimes, as you’re making your way through life, certain decisions feel like they travel in well worn grooves in your soul? They come to you and you wonder in what life you’d ever choose the other option?) I haven’t settled on a design, but I know exactly what it will say.

Some marble blocks have statues within them, embedded in their future.

It’s a quote from the Alan Moore comic Watchmen. (Yeah, not only am I an insufferable pretentious douchebag, but I’m also an insufferable pretentious comic book geek. You all probably noticed that by now, though. I just really like Batman, okay?) I wish I could share the panel the line comes from with you, but I don’t have my copy on me and my quick Google search hasn’t turned it up. (Thanks to [ profile] edincoat it's now at the bottom of the post!) Long story short, one of the characters realizes time as being simultaneous, so he doesn’t feel he’s moving through it linearly so much as bumping up against events as they happen at all points. And I don’t have a giant blue penis, but sometimes, in spite of everything I believe about making me me, that’s how I feel. I’m a blank slate. I’m an ornate statue. I’m a weather worn, pock marked rock. I've blinked out.

I am already who I’ve made myself, and sometimes that futility will just keep you up nights.

This post was written for Topic 25: Uncarved Block at [ profile] therealljidol. I know there's been a lot of meta lately about fiction vs. non-fiction and how some people feel like they don't really get to know those of us who write fiction. I'd be interested in knowing if you feel like this tells you more about me than my fiction did. As always, I welcome all comments and questions.
momebie: (Trigun Vash/Wolfwood couch)
The not so unexpected consequence of watching the first episode of Portlandia is that it made me want to move to Portland.

No, that doesn't quite convey what I mean. I've wanted to move to Portland for years. The complication that arose somewhere between Getting To Know Your Free Range Chicken and Locking Steve Buscemi In A Tea Store was that it made me want to ALREADY BE in Portland. Like, yesterday. And the day before. And on and on.

Everyone who commented on the first episode on Hulu mentioned how living in Portland is JUST LIKE THE SHOW. Needless to say I have very high expectations. How do you say that in French? Is it "attente très haute"? No really, I want to know. I'm considering getting a pretentious tattoo to mark the occasion. It's that or a Bright Eyes lyric.

Listen, don't ask me why I want to move there. I can't really tell you. And I'm not just saying that because it's classified information and I'd have to kill you. (I always err on the side of maiming anyway. Blood stains are a bitch to get out, you guys.) I honestly don't know. I've never been to Portland. I've never even driven through Oregon. I have some friends there, but knowing a place doesn't really work via osmosis through the internet yet. I just have this inexplicable tug in my gut and an empty cavity in my chest where home should be. It's right to the left of my heart. If you knock on my ribs you can hear it.

I am fully expecting Portland to fill that hole.

Talk about setting yourself up for disappointment. I am not a proponent of running away from your problems. I know that when I do finally manage to pick my sorry ass up out of my cube and drag it across the country, the main source of my problems will still be there. Namely, me. But sometimes you just need a change of scenery to put everything into perspective, you know?

I'm saying that like my problems are plentiful. They're not really. I have a pretty good life here. I have friends and hipster douchebag farmer's markets and low lit coffee houses and a decent indie record store and a vegetarian tea house. Watching the show this evening actually drove home just how much of what I'm looking forward to having out there I already have right here. A city is just a city. It's a thing. You have to put into it what you want to get out of it. After all, the Orlando I inhabit is not the one you are likely to find if you come here to visit the mouse or the boy wizard.

I expect to put so much into Portland. Right now, getting up in the morning feels like revision. I go to the same places and do the same things. Orlando is my rosary and I click through the beads deftly, without looking. All around me are the vestments of the person I used to be. And as I re-write and edit over the history of that person I can't help but keep an eye on the blank page where I'll start the new chapter. It's so important to me to get this chapter right before I move on, but I've always been enamored with possibility.

Right now I'm head over heels in love with the possibility of what I can make of Portland.

[ profile] remembering sent me a post card from Portland when she visited the city a while back. On the message part of the card it simply says 'Come home, KL'. I'm working on it.

This [rare non-fiction] entry was written for Topic 11: Haute at [ profile] therealljidol. All comments and questions are welcome.


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February 2017

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