Saturday, November 28, 2009

perpetual liminality

I'm at an inbetween time in my life right now that I don't particularly like. I don't want to feel like life will be good once [fill in the blank] happens, and that I will finally be happy on that day. I want to avoid that perpetual state of liminality, where one is always becoming something, always stuck in an inbetween stage, and never getting to where one wants to be. I want to be who I am now and find satisfaction in myself and what I do today. It's a nice idea, but hard to implement. Right now I am applying to go to graduate school in the Fall. So I feel as if my life will begin in 10 months from now, provided that I am actually accepted into a program. And what I do from here until then is survive. I'm not making enough money to do anything I'd like to do, such as travel, but I can't get another job right now because I have plenty to do with my applications, with planning for the conference I'm attending in the spring and with finishing up my thesis. I also should be trying to get myself published, and so there is more than enough to do and finding another job right this moment would be distracting. So I'll push through until spring and hopefully will know if I have a spot in a PhD program or not, and then I can continue on with my life.

I spoke with some professors this week about writing me letters of recommendation, I worked on my personal statement and I'm feeling optimistic. I'm applying to six schools, so I hope one will accept me, and I hope I'll be cut out for more graduate school. This is something I always wanted to do and realized in the last year that it's something I can do. I just wish I could do it already and not have to jump through these hoops.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

oh well!

It's so late and I am so tired that I cannot fall asleep.  Today was a little crazy and my brain is still hurting.  I took the GRE and got a full 10 points more than I did three years ago.  You would think after attending graduate school and learning copious amounts of information and new vocabulary words for three years that I would make a vast improvement.   But no; it was instead almost the exact same score.  So what is this test measuring anyway? I think it must only measure how well I take tests, which apparently is not well at all. 

I'm starting to think more seriously about beauty school.  I come from a long line of beauticians.  Both my grandmothers were hairdressers.  And my great grandmother and all of one of my grandma's sisters.  I have an eye for makeup and hair and I love doing it, so why not? may end up being my only option if academe decides it doesn't want me.  I've got to find some way to pay off all these student loans.  It may also be a life with less pressures than academia, and I can continue learning on my own.  As I said in my last post, maybe now I have to realize that life really is about survival, but I think there is something noble in that.  Surviving and helping others survive, easing their suffering and building them up, is pretty important.  I thought writing and teaching people about art and beauty was what I was meant to do to help make the world a better place, but who knows, maybe there's another way for me.

So, even though this week I've had some set backs, I'm not going to let them keep me down.  The universe has a way of setting things right and I'll find my place somewhere in it. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the angsty meanderings of a twentysomething

Warning: this blog post is quite angst ridden and kind of disgusting, but I'm posting it anyway. You don't have to read it.

I spend a lot of my time feeling disappointed or upset with myself. I'm not necessarily who I would like to be, but at the same time I am very stubborn about being myself and not conforming to every arbitrary social norm out there. It's the same sort of thing that I hate and love about my mother. She won't conform to any social norm, reasonable or not. She is who she is, and this is good in theory, but I don't think she is very happy and she tends to make other people feel awkward and unhappy. Will I do the same? Will I lash out at every thing telling me I should be a certain way and be miserable for not fitting in and for finding myself always alone and frustrated? I mean, if I choose to not conform to people's expectations, I can't possibly expect people to conform to the way I do things.

Part of me thinks that conforming may be a reasonable sacrifice, and another part tells me over and over again that I have to stay true to myself no matter what and if I am always true to myself life will be hard but I will be happy.

I have a feeling life is always going to be hard and that the things I expect and hope for will not happen simply for the fact that I hope for them. I remember learning this lesson when I was a child. Whenever I had an idea that something good was supposed to happen I would stay up all night thinking about every single detail of the coming day and how wonderful it would be. Soon, I realized that nothing ever turned out how I imagined it and that if I wanted something good to happen that would mean for a fact that it would not happen. This continued to prove true over and over and over again as I grew up, and I stopped imagining the wonderful things I hoped would happen to me. Then my imagination turned to disasters. If I stayed up all night thinking about the horrors of my house burning down, it would surely not. Nothing expected actually happens, good or bad, and I could only count on unexpected happiness. The problem is that now I expect the unexpected wonderful thing to happen: does that automatically mean that it won't? I mean, I can't remember the last unexpected turn of fortune that occurred.

Oh, I'm getting old and realizing just how hard life is going to be. I'm going to continue to be rejected, from men and schools and jobs and scholarly journals. I used to believe that I was amazing, that any one who met me would realize how amazing I was and hire me or fall in love with me on the spot. All they had to do was talk to me and see my goodness. I don't really believe that anymore. There are a number of better qualified, smarter and more attractive people out there and now I feel like all I can hope for is to eek out a meager subsistence, just survive because I have a survival instinct built in.

I'm setting myself up for disappointment now. On Friday I will take the GRE and hope against hope that all my studying will actually pay off and that I won't screw it up. Then I'm applying for 6 grad schools, hoping again that one, just one will deign to let me attend their school. If they don't I'm going to beauty school and embracing all that beauty school represents.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

eyes or ears

I am weird when it comes to reading. I have a hard time focusing on words on a page and so I've started listening to books on tape recently. Right now I'm listening to A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, and I like it. My problem is that I don't read often so when I do I can't stop. If I stop I often don't start up again and then I leave the thing unfinished. I want to finish it in one sitting and so I'll read, or listen to a book, until I'm sick. I listened to four hours today of this book and I have a headache and a backache and my brain feels numb. I noticed my own inner dialogue is starting to sound like the reader's voice. But I have to get through it. There is not time enough in the world to read all the books I want to read, so I have to just suck it up and listen to it as much as I can. I just downloaded Whuthering Heights and I think I'll start it tonight when I go to bed. I'm considering getting something huge like the Brothers Karamazov, which is 34 hours long, because I don't think I could get through that book otherwise. An hour a day of that and it will only take me a month to listen to. It's tempting.

I've been wondering, however. Is listening to a book on tape and forgoing the act of actually reading bad? I have to admit that sometimes I just want to pick up a copy of the book I'm listening to and read it. I'd probably get through it faster. Am I losing something in doing it this way?

Monday, November 2, 2009

halloween zombie fresh

One of my favorite times of the year is Halloween, and this year I tried really hard to get into the spirit of it. I partly love the season because it gives me an excuse to do one of the things I love doing the most: watching horror films. I watch horror films regularly throughout the year, but this is the time when its easiest to get people to join me, especially if they too are in the Halloween spirit. I also put in the time, money and effort to make my own costume. I decided I would make a dress from a film I love, True Stories. If you go to 1:45 in the video below you'll see the big blue poofy dress.

I couldnt find blue tulle, so I chose red. 35 yards and a week worth of sewing, this is what I ended up with:

When people asked I told them I was a giant shower loofah. The costume was a big hit. A lot of people expected me to be a zombie, but instead of me being a zombie, my friend Brittany had the pleasure of me dressing her up as one. We bought a cheap prom dress at the thrift store, tore it to shreds and dirtied it up, then I made some wounds out of tissue, latex and marshmallows and made her into one disgustingly lovely prom queen zombie. Her costume was also a hit, and I am very proud of my work.

It was so much fun to make my friend a gory zombie mess that another friend and I started thinking it would be a really interesting project to make up as many people as I can as zombies and take photos of them. I'm hoping I can build up quite a collection.

I also wanted to add these wonderful things I found: some terrifying vintage Halloween costumes. The paper masks give me the creeps, especially this one:

Scary, no?