trinsy: (home)
The reason I will probably never do anything practical or concretely useful with my life, but my friends will with theirs:

I don't like American comedians. Okay, that's a lie, I do like John Stewart for reasons I can't even explain to myself. He's the exception though. I don't find Dane Cook and his ilk funny at all. I like American comedic actors, but Americans standing around monologuing? Not so much. I prefer British humour. Generally it's subtler and more intelligent and makes you think for your laugh. I like that.

I don't like realistic fiction either. I prefer fantasy and sci-fi, and I think it's for the same reason: they're subtler. People don't get that because people aren't looking, and I suppose that's really the point. That's what makes the beauty of fantasy/sci-fi so subtle.

I hate telling people Doctor Who is about an alien who travels through Space and Time in his time machine spaceship because that's so not what Doctor Who is about. That's the premise, but that's not what it's about, any more than Harry Potter is about a boy who lives in a cupboard under his aunt and uncle's stairs for ten years before finding out he's a wizard. They're both about life, far more than any realistic book or show I've ever read or seen, and I think there's a reason the fantasy/sci-fi genre is actually more conducive to portraying life realistically than realism.

See, if we're being honest, real life is incredibly boring. Fiction can't be. So to make it interesting, realistic fiction has to throw in sex scandals and pregnancy and affairs and family feuds and murders and mysterious fires and kidnapping and any number of other things that yes, happen in real life, but almost never all to the same person or group of people, and never in the space of about three months.

But fantasy/sci-fi doesn't need that sort of thing to be interesting, because it's got wizards and aliens and evil emperors bent on destroying the world as we know it. Which means the characters can focus on acting and reacting and thinking and feeling like normal people instead of worrying that their girlfriend's best friend's boyfriend's best friend's girlfriend, who has been ostracized by her family for dating said girlfriend's best friend's boyfriend's best friend since their families have been feuding for ages, is going to take revenge on them for that thing they did to her family so she can be accepted by her family again. Because you really can't deal with things that are real if you're supposed to be dealing with things that are real. Aliens, however, make a nice backdrop (and sometimes frontdrop) to hold the viewer's interest, so the characters deal with pain and love and loss and sacrifice without straying into melodrama and ridiculousness.

You can see that and get that and live and love and feel with the characters if you're looking for it. If you're not, then yeah, it's just a semi-interesting story about aliens and magic and whatever else.

That's why I have a totally impractical major. That's why all my friends have jobs lined up for next year and I don't. That's why they'll all make perfectly acceptable adults and I won't. That's why there is a huge part of me they affectionately tolerate but will never understand.

Because that's how I see the world: Subtle.

It's more than charts and numbers and anatomy. More than rent and groceries and a paycheck. More than getting married and having kids because that's what you do. It's just more.

I never thought life was perfect. My imaginary friend and I used to fight all the time, and if that doesn't sum up my life, I don't know what does. But I've always known there's more than meets the eye.

That's why I want more out of life than just getting a job and settling down and having kids, more than the white picket fence, more than the American dream. I want more, but the frustrating thing is that I have no idea what that looks like outside the TARDIS and Hogwarts and Narnia and Middle Earth. So I'm just this fantasy/sci-fi geek with no practical skills and no future because I don't know how to live in the confines of face-value reality.
trinsy: (I can see that)
I've figured out why I hate Jane Eyre. Or rather, I've figured out why I hate Jane Eyre so much more than my classmates. In fact, I think I've figured out why people think I hate men.

See here's the issue:

I've never liked Cinderella. I mean, I've NEVER liked Cinderella. As in, even as a four-year-old kid I hated it. I hated it because I didn't understand it. I didn't understand why Cinderella was such a doormat. I didn't understand why she let her stepmother enslave her. The only version of the Cinderella story I genuinely like is Ella Enchanted (the book, not the film, obviously) because that actually makes sense.

This is my problem. This has always been my problem. I don't understand how slavery works. As in, I learned about the events leading up to the Civil War back in fifth grade, and I didn't understand why, if there were so many more slaves than plantation owners, the slaves didn't just burn down the owner's house or something.

The same goes for Stockholm and Battered Wife Syndromes. I mean, I'm educated, okay? Intellectually, I understand the psychology behind all of those things. But I still don't get it. I don't think I'll ever get it.

Guilt trips, emotional blackmail, reverse psychology, peer pressure -- they all don't work on me. Not really. It's like, whatever part of the brain it is that causes people to act and react in these twisted ways is disconnected in me. It doesn't work. I just don't get it.

It's like when I was a kid and my parents split up and people would say to me, "You know it's not your fault, right?" And I'd be like, "Duh! Why would it be? I wasn't married to them." And I always felt like kids who did think their parents' divorce was their fault were stupid.

And that's the problem with Jane Eyre. I think she's stupid. The End. Yes, she's starved for love, and yes, Rochester is the first man she's really ever met (who counts, I mean), and yes, she's constricted by her time and class and whatever, I don't care, she's still a MORON! Intellectually, yes, I know why she does the things she does. But I still don't get it. It makes no sense to me.

I cannot comprehend letting someone treat you that way. I cannot comprehend allowing someone to make you feel that way. I literally cannot comprehend it. I just can't wrap my mind around it all. It doesn't make sense to me.

And to people who think this is some backlash from my dad or whatever: Guess what? It's not. Because I've always hated Cinderella. It has nothing to do with being angry or hating men or anything like that. It's just that a part of my brain doesn't work (or a part of my brain actually does?).

And you know what? I'm perfectly okay with that.
trinsy: (I'm always all right)
Sometimes I wonder if maybe I’m so insistent that being single doesn’t mean you’re less of a person because I subconsciously know I’ll probably end up single, and it’s easier to convince others – to convince myself – that that’s okay now. I hate myself for thinking that, but … I don’t know. To be known so completely by someone else. It’s not what marriage means, but it is what a relationship means, or should mean, or was meant to mean. I want that more than I want marriage and everything that entails, I think. To be known; to be validated. To not have to hide any part of myself, to not have to pretend. And that’s not what happens in a relationship, really. Relationships are compromise.

Well, I’m tired of compromising. I’m so, so tired. Tired of giving up little pieces of my soul every time I’m not alone. Tired of being stubborn, of waiting for the world to give me what I deserve, of thinking the world owes me something, when it doesn’t, really, nothing that I didn’t give it willingly, anyway, because I was four and stupid and thought that’s what it wanted. It’s funny, that, a decision you made at four haunting you into your twenties, practically (probably). It’s funny too, you get into college and people start telling you that “the decisions you make now will affect the rest of your life”, and I can’t help wondering why people weren’t telling me that at four, that the person I chose to be in public at four would be the person I had to be in public for the rest of my childhood, for the rest of my life, probably. Set down the neurological pathways, or whatever they call it. The cycle’s gone on too long, runs too deep, can’t be changed. Some habits are impossible to break, and if you choose to be who you think people want you to be when you’re four, you’ll always have to change for people; or, alternatively, the backlash will come, and you’ll be in your teens and hate people, hate them for doing this to you, for making you think at four, when you didn’t (couldn’t) know any better, that being yourself around people wasn’t okay, that it never would be. They don’t tell you to be yourself at four, not until you’re older and it’s too late, and they don’t mean it then, anyway, not really. They mean don’t be stupid, don’t be who the bad kids say “yourself” is. And you don’t know who “yourself” is anymore anyway, because you lost that at four when you changed.

And just … where did I learn that? Where did I learn that being myself wasn’t okay? How did I know, at four, that people will always want you to be someone you’re not? Tuck away your real thoughts and feelings in a corner of your brain, only visit it when you’re alone, live in your head and talk to those imaginary people in the bathroom because that’s one of the only places you’re alone and thus safe. It makes me wonder, really, how many people are just wearing personas, how different the people you interact with are from the people they are in their heads. You can touch a heart, fine, it’s just an organ, albeit an important one. But to hold someone’s brain.… That’s where they live, that’s where the true person is, and the heart swells and breaks in a firing of neurons, if you really get down to it. Hold someone’s brain? You might as well hold their soul.

My grandma had surgery and suffered some minor brain damage, lost a bunch of inhibitors, and it’s like she had this complete personality transplant. But sometimes she says something and I just sort of think … I can’t help but wonder if that’s who she actually is, you know? If maybe she’s become the person she kept tucked away in her head for seventy-five years. Like, there is the person everyone knows as me, and then there is actually me, the me I keep in my head, the me I know. And I can’t help but wonder if I suffered the same brain damage as my grandma, if I would become a completely different person, or if people would think I’d become a completely different person but I would actually become myself. Like maybe the person I present to the world would actually be the person I am inside, if that makes any sense at all.

Now I’m just rambling, and this went in a completely different direction than I intended it to go, so I’ll just wrap it up for now.

trinsy: (I'm always all right)
So I've been at school four days ... and the panic's come.  It hasn't fully set in because I've been holding it off through sheer force of will, but I've felt it hovering on the edge of my mind from the moment we drove onto campus.

And just ... I hate it.  Not just because my own panic scares me more than anything else in the world, but because it just doesn't make sense.  I was trying to explain it to my roommate last night because the thing is, I never panicked in Scotland.  Not once.  I was on the other side of the world, and I had no friends, and school didn't make an ounce of sense, but I never panicked.  I mean, I was failing school, and there were nights when I went to bed hungry, and I was lonelier than I'd ever been in my life (which is saying a lot), but ... I slept at night; I didn't cry; I was happy.  And that logically makes no sense at all.

I mean, here I can go to class and know what's going on (usually); here I have people who actually care about me; here I'm not completely on my own.  But here I panic.  I was telling my roommate how, emotionally, Scotland was really good for me because "it kept me stable and it kept me sane."  And then I paused and said, "Or maybe it kept me delusional."  Because the truth is that Scotland was the first place since I came to college that I didn't feel homesick.  And it took me nearly the whole semester to work out why, but one day it finally all clicked into place:

In Scotland I was so far removed from everything that I was able to tell myself that at the end of it all I could go home.  And here I just know that's not true.  I can't lie to myself in Texas because I see all my stuff in that unfamiliar house; and here I can't lie to myself because I grew up fairly close to my school, so when I'm here I know what I lost.  And I know that I can't go home because there is no home.

And so the panic sets in.  And I hate it.
trinsy: (I'm always all right)
I always think about my dad in May.  May is when he moved out, and for some reason ever since I was nine and noted the one year anniversary, I've always counted up the years in my head -- one year, three years, seven years now -- like it somehow makes a difference.  But I've been thinking my dad more often this May because this year it's the ten year anniversary of my parents splitting up, and I can't really believe that it's only been ten years.  Last year in February it was officially half my life they'd been split up, and I knew it because in a weird way I'd been counting down until I could say that, like somehow them being split for the majority of my life would give me a license to do ... something.  Be okay with it, or move on, or put it behind me.  Stop getting those looks from my friends when I talk about it like it's no big deal.  Something.  And when that didn't happen, I started counting down until the ten year, like that one would actually make a difference where the halfway mark couldn't.  And in a weird way it has made a difference, because I've had fifteen more months to think about things and sort them out in my mind.  It's not going to change those looks I get, but for the first time I know what I'm planning to do with this situation, and I know why, and I know that I'm strong enough to do it.  That does make a difference.

After my parents split up, everyone told me it was a bad thing that good things were going to come out of, and as the years went on they would point out these "good things" like they were trying to justify this point of view to me.  But I didn't need it justified because I don't see it as a bad thing that good things came out of; I see it as a good thing that a lot of bad things came out of.  The more I hear about my parents' marriage, the more I'm amazed it lasted the nearly twenty years it did.  It seems like it should have ended so much sooner, and it's hard for me to believe that when two people so utterly wrong for each other get married, their inevitable divorce is a "bad thing".  But the things that resulted from it?  Yeah, those were bad.  My dad yelling at my mom in garage, and my grandparents sending my mom hate mail, and my dad falling into depression, and my sisters and I forced to go out for an awkward dinner with my dad once a week.  The emotional wounds and scars were bad things.  But the split needed to happen.

I've been thinking about that recently, but more I've been thinking about the awkward dinners, and the fact that I haven't spoken to my dad in four years.  When I first stopped talking to him when I was fourteen, everyone told me that it was fine; I just needed space, they said, and time to work things through.  "But someday," they would add, "someday you'll have a relationship with him."  Even my mom told me that.  Even my grandma.  And I always wanted to ask why this was such a given, but I didn't because I couldn't really justify why they were wrong.  I can now, though.

It wasn't until I was sixteen that I finally worked out why I was so angry with my dad.  In January of 2006 I wrote what I believe is the single most revealing diary entry I've written to date, beginning with the words, "I don’t know why I reacted the way I did to my parents’ divorce."  What followed was a thousand word entry, around the middle of which I was finally able to verbalise what made me so angry: "My dad never showed the slightest interest in me for nearly nine years.  The whole time he and my mom were together he couldn’t have cared less about me.  He didn’t care about spending time with me.  It wasn’t important to him to make it to my birthday parties or plays or piano recitals.  He didn’t have a clue ... who I was or what I liked or anything about me!  But suddenly, after he left ... then having a relationship with me was his topmost priority!"

Maybe the split was a wake up call and he actually did want to get to know me afterward, I don't know.  But to me it looked like a power struggle with my mom, and I was the weapon he was vying for; and even if that wasn't the sole reason he wanted to spend time with me, I do know that that element was still there.  I'm his daughter, and I'm sure he loves me in his way, but throughout the years he's seen and treated me as a responsibility, a duty, a weapon, a trophy, and a right.  He's never seen me solely as a person.

People think that because he's my dad he has a right to have a relationship with me; he thinks that.  But they're wrong.  He isn't entitled to a relationship with me just because we share DNA.  That's something you earn, and he didn't bother trying to earn it when he had the chance.  Sure, I can look back and say that I was a "Mommy's girl", and that I hid behind my sisters, and that I didn't seek my dad out, and that's all true.  But at the end of the day, he's thirty-eight years older than I am.  At the end of the day, it wasn't my responsibility as a three/six/eight-year-old to plan out father-daughter dates.  Cultivating our relationship was his responsibility, and he didn't bother to do it.  And now it's too late.  He's never given me a reason to want to have a relationship with him.  I'm not going to "rebuild" our relationship, as people keep telling me I will, because there's nothing to rebuild; there's no foundation; there's nothing.  We didn't have a relationship to begin with.  And I don't even have childhood memories to incite me to start one with him now.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't have a heart of stone.  I'm sure it must awful to be fifty-seven years old, and divorced, and have three kids who won't talk to you.  But you know what?  It's not my fault that that's how things turned out for him.  Those are the consequences of his choices and his mistakes.  He screwed his life up, and it's not my responsibility to fix it for him.  And I couldn't fix it even if it were!  So I'm not going to be guilted into having a relationship with him.  It's not fair to me, and it's not fair to him.  And it wouldn't be worth it to either of us.
trinsy: (hug)
In high school, I didn't really have friends.  I mean, I had friends in the sense that there was a group of certain people that I always sat with in class and at lunch and hung out with at school events.  But I didn't do stuff with them outside school; in the summer I never saw any of them, so in the summer I effectively didn't have friends.  It would be a lie to say this didn't bother me, but by high school I was too used to being on my own most of the time to be overly fussed about it.  In fact, in high school I actually had more of a life then I'd ever had before, so even though it bothered me that no one ever invited me to the weekend gatherings, it wasn't like I felt like I'd suddenly become a reject (and I wasn't a reject, just forgettable; there is a difference).

Probably the biggest adjustment I had to make in college was having friends.  I mean, it was very bizarre for me to suddenly have people outside my immediate family actually genuinely care if I was sick or sad or didn't turn up for dinner.  It was weird for me to have people come into my room and ask if I wanted to do something that weekend, and even weirder when they seemed genuinely disappointed if I said I was going home.  Even more bizarre: I wasn't the forgettable one anymore.  There actually is a forgettable girl in my group of friends, and I can never get over how it's not me.  Over the summer these girls called me, planned a trip with me, and pestered me if I didn't update them about what was going on in my life.  It was all very new and weird for me (in a good way), and I honestly don't have any idea how it happened because a huge reason I didn't have friends previously is because I don't know how to make them.

That brings me to my point: I don't have friends here in Scotland.  I actually have friends to a lesser degree here than I did in high school.  I mean, the classes are all so huge that it's basically impossible to have "class friends"; and while my flatmates are all nice and I get along with them, hanging out with them is awkward, and I don't really interact with them beyond the occasional friendly greeting in the corridor.  Basically, it's like high school all over again, minus the chats at lunch and the in-class banter, and also minus my mom bugging me to get off the computer when I'm home.

This doesn't really bother me.  Do I wish I had friends here?  Yes, of course.  Am I miserable because I don't?  Far from it.  I couldn't take more than a semester here for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is not the lack of friends.  That said, I don't regret my decision to come here this semester, and in some senses I'm less miserable here than I am at my home university (certainly in the sense that here I don't cry myself to sleep every night (or any night, for that matter)).  I only have one problem:

I don't know how to explain any of this to my friends from home.  I've basically given them general, evasive, and I'll admit misleading updates about my time here because I don't know how to tell them that a.) I don't have friends here, and b.) that's okay.  I'm used to being on my own, and in some senses I prefer it (and it's probably where I get the attitude my friends have told me they both hate and admire so much: No one who's not an authority figure in my life is going to tell me what to do!).  It's not like it wouldn't be nice to friends here, but I don't require friends.  I can get by on my own.

Normally, I wouldn't even worry about it, I'd just keep giving them the misleading updates over the next two months and avoid giving them specifics when I see them in August -- hey, it worked all summer! -- but I've encountered a huge problem.  One of my friends is coming to visit me here next month.  And yes, I've basically led her to believe that I have friends here.  And I don't.  Crap.  Because what am I supposed to do now, go find friends the last two weeks of classes?  How's that going to work?  But I don't know how to tell her that I don't actually have friends here because this is the one girl who is still in close contact with her high school friends (even my friends who had real friends in high school don't really talk to them anymore); this is the one girl who I know will never understand that it's okay for me not to have friends.  I don't even know what to do because I'll never be able to explain it to her but it's not like I can go get fake friends to show her, you know?  And honestly, I'm tired of having to lie about not having friends.  I just wish I could level with someone in real life, you know?
trinsy: (cold)

Everything in this entry is true.

Not that that makes much difference to the few of you reading this, but it would make a difference if my RL friends read my LJ.  They’d think that I’m exaggerating, being overdramatic and cynical.  Well, I am cynical, but I’m not exaggerating.

Last week I was visiting my uncle, and I finally got to meet his girlfriend after hearing about her for two years.  I was rather wary about her because she’s nineteen years younger than he is (only one year older than my oldest cousin, in fact), but I absolutely loved her.  Anyway, they were dropping me off at the airport yesterday, and she went to the bathroom, and my uncle asked me where I thought their relationship should go.  It was the first time we got a chance to talk about it, or rather, the first time we had a chance where he brought it up; I think he waited until then because that guaranteed the conversation would be brief.  But anyway, he asked me what I thought, and I said, “You and I both know anything I say isn’t going to make a difference in what you decide to do.”

“You never know,” he said. “It might.”

I shook my head. “You know even if I said she’s a great girl and I love her –– which, for the record, I do –– you still wouldn’t marry her if you didn’t want to.”  He didn’t say anything, and I added, “And that’s how it should be.  It’s your life, and you’re the only one who really knows if it’s going to work for you.”

He said, “You’ll understand when you get there.”  Looking back, I’m not entirely sure what he meant, but I do know that he meant it in the least patronizing way possible, which is a refreshing change from all the similar yet extremely patronizing comments I’ve received from my mom and my friends.  Anyway, then he sort of laughed and said, “You’ll probably make some snap decision.  Just meet a guy and be married in a month.”

“No,” I said, “it’s going to take a lot to get me to marry.”  He frowned, so I continued, “I saw what marriage did to my mom, and I don’t want that to ever happen to me.”

He nodded. “That’s understandable.” Which, given how great my mom’s marriage is supposed to be, was an interesting response.

It’s funny how much your perspective changes as you get older, and it’s funny how much you realize people … well, I don’t want to say lied to you as kid, but they didn’t tell you the true nature of things.  When you’re a kid, all the stories end with the wedding like marriage is the ultimate, like after that it’s all sunshine and daisies, and that’s just not true.  Isn’t it funny how you never stop and wonder what Cinderella’s dad and step-mom’s marriage was like?  Or how the girl in Rumplestiltskin felt after marrying a guy who loved her for her money?  You just think, “Cinderella and her prince lived happily ever after.  I want that too.”  And no one bothers to tell you that that’s not how it works.

I don’t want to get married anymore.  I used to be leery of it for the reason everyone is: divorce rates.  I was just talking with my roommate about that last semester.  But after living with my mom and stepdad for over a month, I’m no longer scared my marriage will fail; I’m scared of the price I’ll have to pay to make it successful.  I’ve seen what making a marriage “successful” has done to my mom, and I don’t want that to ever happen to me.

My mom has always had this sense of guilt that she couldn’t make things work with my dad because she thinks she “failed” at showing my sisters and me what a good marriage looks like.  That’s not speculation on my part, by the way; she told me that.  But now with my stepdad she’s overcompensating, and she doesn’t get that it’s backfiring.  Yeah, I guess my perspective on marriage was always a little messed up; but living with my mom and stepdad for over a month completely killed any desire I ever had to get married.  I would never tell that to my mom, of course; it would devastate her.  But it’s true.

She’s into this whole “submissive wife” thing now, and it’s absolute crap!  I know why she’s doing it, too.  She’s afraid that the girls and I, after living with our angry-with-men grandma for sixteen years, hate men.  What she doesn’t get is that strong women don’t make me hate men; weak women do.  I hate that a man can turn my strong, intelligent, independent mother into a ditzy, kowtowing housewife.  I hate that my friends have to ask their boyfriends for permission to go out on the weekends.  I saw what marriage did to my mom, and I’ve seen what relationships have done to my friends, and I don’t want that to ever happen to me.

Relationships change people, and in my observations, ninety percent of the time it’s not for the better.  That scares me about relationships, too.  I spent my entire childhood changing for people, acting like someone I wasn’t because I thought that’s what people wanted.  It might have been worth it if it had gotten me the love I craved, but it didn’t; it just made me forgettable.  I’ve morphed so much over the years that I don’t even know how to act like myself anymore.  Even now, at college, I have a reputation for speaking my mind, and it’s so cruelly ironic because people have absolutely no idea what’s going on in my head.  Not even my family know who I really am.  God, that sounded emo.  It’s true, though.

I don’t change for people as much anymore.  Sometimes I still catch myself doing it (old habits die hard), but for the most part I’ve stopped.  But I know I’m susceptible, and I’m scared that any intense sort of relationship will make me weak again.  I don’t want that.  I don’t want to fall into the relationship trap.

I don’t want to get dependent on someone; I don’t want to have to get permission to go out at night; I don’t want to change.  My independence is worth more to me than the gamble that maybe I won’t end up alone.  Because marriage doesn’t guarantee you won’t end up alone, not anymore.  And I saw what marriage did to my mom, and I don’t want that to ever happen to me.  It’s just not worth it.

trinsy: (cold)
Southern California is having a heatwave, my dormitory does not have AC, and 95 degrees is stifling even if your room does overlook the ocean, so today I did something I've never done before and went to Starbucks to do my homework.

It was really lovely. I got a frappuccino (even more wonderful because of the heat), and sat in one of the big, comfy armchairs in the AC, and read Madame Bovary. And when I finished my coffee, I got ice-water, and scribbled down quotes from Madame Bovary while the ice melted on my tongue. I have to say that while the beginning is fantastically dull and the ending rather abrupt, the book is actually rather good. There are many quotable paragraphs in Part III, and while I think Flaubert over-dramatises Emma's emotions in particular, there are several parts of human nature he got spot on. But reading it reinforced something I'd been thinking about as I drove to Starbucks:

I'm not happy; I'm not sure I've ever been happy, really. I was thinking about this because my oldest sister is working for the Peace Corps in Ukraine, and half the time her water doesn't work, and she can't use a computer right now, and she has to walk everywhere. And she's happy almost all the time. I wonder about that. I mean, not that water and computers and cars automatically ensure happiness, but it's just ... when she was here -- when she was like me -- she wasn't happy either. And I wonder about that.

I wrote this poem in class the other day. I wrote it in about five minutes, so it's not very good, but it sort of gets at what I'm saying:

My life is like a melody
Sweet, but just a bit quirky
Notes all blending perfectly
Then dissonance begins.

My room is large
My problems small
But I don't know I have it all
The harmony unnoticed 'til
The disaster descends.

The thing is, I look back at my life and think that I should have been happy, that I should be happy right now, but I wasn't and I'm not. I remember little periods of time when I was happy, but it always freaks me out when I get happy because I'm so used to being unhappy and life just doesn't work the other way round. Happiness just isn't natural for me.  Everything just sort of blends into this weary discontent that I've known for so long I don't even question it anymore.  And I wonder about that.

I'll close with another poem I wrote in class. It's made up of (most of) my lines from the pass around poems we did the first day of class. It's a little weird, but I like it all the same.

Pictures of the Soul

The wind churned the leaves like an ocean wave
Glass shattered, the shards fanning across the asphalt
Living pictures on a 2-D surface

Birdsong starts and swells to meet the sunlight
Homesick for a place that’s nonexistent
But here there is no movement but the water
It pushes forward still, unrelenting
Never thinking, only feeling, always creating
No brain for speech, no heart for emotion
Is it the only real thing in this world we inhabit?

Should I reveal my soul to an objective world?
Or be forever homeless, flat, and small?

trinsy: (wall)
Today is my eighteenth birthday. I’m not very excited about it, to be honest. I liked being seventeen. Seventeen was an age that suited me: hovering on the edge, old enough to join in with the adults but young enough to avoid the responsibility, almost grown up but not quite there, in transit between child and adulthood.

Eighteen is legally an adult. It doesn’t make me one, but now more is going to be expected of me, and it makes the idea of being grown up even less of a distant dream and more of a frightening reality.

This is it.

Time flows relentlessly forward. I won’t be a child forever. The government considers me an adult now, and that means that someday in the no-longer-distant future real people will too.

And that scares me.

trinsy: (diamonds)
It hit me last week that I’m closer to being an adult than a child.

Actually, it hit me that I am going to be an adult.  The truth is, I never realized it before.

It’s funny, because you spend so much of your childhood talking about “when I grow up.”  But I think the thing is that when you’re a child, time drags on so painfully slowly (I can’t tell you when it starts to speed up to scarily fast; it seems like one day you wake up and the more recent half of your life all squeezed itself into yesterday).  And I think that you spend so much time (I’m finishing up my eighteenth year of it, currently) talking about becoming an adult that you stop believing it’s actually going to ever happen.  It’s like it turns into one of those ridiculous daydreams that’s fun to toy around with, but is too far out of reach to ever be a danger of becoming a reality.

Only I realized last week that it is going to become reality.  I am not going to be a kid forever.  I’m not going to go to school for the rest of my life.  And even though I complain about it and always say that I wasn’t meant to be a student, the truth is that school is all I’ve ever known, and the thought of not having that as the constant in my life is more terrifying than anything else I can imagine.

One day I will buy a house.  One day I will have to pay bills.  One day I will have to make myself dinner with groceries I went to the store and bought with money I made from the grown-up job I have in the career I chose.

One day I am going to be just like the adults that surround me.  The only thing more frightening than the thought that every adult was once a child is the idea that every child is {barring tragedy} going to become an adult.  I mean, I’ve always known that this is what happens, but I’ve never really understood it.  It seems like I’ve watched everyone around me going through this cycle – all this bother of growing up – and I’ve stayed just the same. 

And I can’t decide anymore if I’m a kid playing at being an adult or an adult playing at being a kid.
trinsy: (too late)
Grandma had a stroke on Tuesday.  It was really minor, and she doesn’t have any lasting effects from it.  But she’s still in the hospital because of all the stuff that’s happened since the surgery.  They don’t know what’s wrong with her.  It could be anything from cancer to epilepsy; right now they’re leaning toward the latter.

     I went home this past weekend and went to hospital to visit her.  She looked awful: pale and weak and thin, and her hair was gray because she hasn’t been to hairdresser is so long, and it was horrible.  Mostly she sleeps, and when does talk she’s usually confused, and she has to speak slowly and her speech is all slurred.  And it suddenly all hit me that she’s old and that she could die.  I mean, I always knew she was going to die, but I don’t think I ever really let myself believe it … I didn’t want to.

     This is the woman who helped raise me: she took me shopping and out to eat; she taught me everything I know about cards, and read to me, and sang me those amazing lullabies nobody sings anymore; she’s the sole reason my mom, and two sisters, and I didn’t end up sharing some rundown one-bedroom apartment somewhere.  You know, she looked so young that when she took me shopping people thought she was my mother.  How can she die?

     I used to think death would make you flip out, but it’s really much more subtle than that and much more horrible.  I’m just sitting here, helpless, and life is going on, and I don’t understand how.

     How can things go back to the way they were?  How can I carry on with all of life’s little commonplaces?  Who cares about what someone is wearing or how short the shortest pair of shorts you own is?  How can I worry about doing my research paper and studying for Bio and registering for classes?  How can I dance to ridiculously loud music and check the Internet and watch Friends like nothing’s wrong?  How can I hold it together, when inside I am falling apart?  And to think that a week ago I was worried about something as trivial as a guy!  And this whole week has been so surreal, and I want to cry and scream at people for being so stupid and self-absorbed and caught up in trivial things.  But mostly I just want everything to go back to the way it was.  I want to know she’s at home, okay, and the way she was, and I’m starting to think that’s never going to happen.

     And I don’t know why people keep telling me about the stupid stages of grief.  Like that’s supposed to make me feel better.  “Oh, I’m in the anger stage right now.  Only two more stages to go.”  And then what?  And then I’ll be able to carry on with my life, without this person, and life is going to go on.  And to me that all says, “Who cares that they’re gone?”  Besides, I’m not convinced those stages are accurate.  I seem to be experiencing denial, anger, and resolution or whatever the hell it is, all at the same time.  And why do I care what stage I’m in (if they even exist) and why does it matter?

     And fuck it all.
trinsy: (wondering)
My uncle and I hung out all yesterday.  We went out to lunch, and shopped for school supplies, and then we went to the beach.  We walking on Laguna, and at one point we got over the basketball courts.  My uncle was telling me about how he and his friends used to come down to the beach and play basketball when they were in highschool.  As we were walking away from the courts I turned to him and asked, “What’s the point of basketball?”

He thought about that for a minute.

“I guess,” he said finally, “winning.”

“But what’s the point of winning?” I wondered.  I was really only asking this because I’m reading Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller, and in it he tells a story about this time he was watching this TV interview with Tom Arnold, who was promoting a book he wrote.  And when Tom Arnold was asked why he wrote his book he answered, “The I wrote this book is because I wanted something out there so people would tell me they liked me.  It’s the reason behind almost everything I do.”  And Donald says he thinks, and I agree with him, that that’s basically why anyone does anything: to get people to like them.  But I was wondering if my uncle was going to say something to this effect.

My uncle, however, started relating it to mountain climbing, which is something he loves to do.  He talked about the rush you got, and the pride you found in the accomplishment.  I was just nodding, not asking any more, not questioning why you needed the rush and the pride, but finally he turned to me and said, “It’s like you wanting to direct films.  Why do you want to make films?”

I thought about it for a moment.  I considered what Tom Arnold said, but I didn’t want to steal his answer, and in a way I think I wanted to make it more complex than it actually is.

“I suppose,” I said slowly, “it’s because I have all these visions in my head, and I want someone to see them and say that they’re valuable.”

My uncle nodded.

“It’s for the same reason,” he said.  And I knew that we were finally talking about the same thing: Validation.
trinsy: (too late)
Tonight is my last night at home before I go off to college.  And, to be quite honest, it kind of feels like my last night as a kid.  It’s strange, because all this past summer there’s been the part of me that knows I’m going to college; and then there’s the part of me that’s still thinking I’m going to be home forever, that come September I’ll be going back to my old school with my old friends, that I’ll have all the time I want to chill in my room, sleep in my bed with my dog, and (as dorky as it sounds) hang out with my mom.

And then tonight, when I realized it’s my last night home, it suddenly all hit me that that’s not true.  No, instead I’m going to a school where I know virtually no one, living there, sleeping in a bed that isn’t mine; and neither my mom nor my dog are going to be there.

And that’s when I realized that we’re all growing up.

Hannah graduated from college this past May, and she just joined the Peace Corps, and she’s leaving next month for training, and then she’ll be in the Ukraine for two years.  And suddenly it just occurred to me that if she’s leaving home to go live in Ukraine for the next two years, then that means she’s on her own now.  And if she’s on her own, that means she’s grown up.

I don’t think I’m ready to have a sister who’s grown up.  If she’s grown up, it means that at some point she got older.  And if she got older, then at some point I did too.

And tonight’s my last night at home.  And when I come back all the glasses will be on the wrong shelves, and my mom will probably have rearranged my room, and my fan will have moved, and I won’t be able to find anything in the house ... and it won’t really be home anymore.

And my mom’s getting married in January, and she’ll be moving to Texas in June; and Camryn’s graduating next year, and then she’ll go to grad school in some other state, and then I’ll be all alone.

And tonight’s my last night as a kid.

I don’t mean that tomorrow I’ll be an adult.  I just mean I won’t be a kid anymore.  Something will have changed.  Something will be lost.  Dynamics will shift.  Everything will be different.

And home somehow won’t be home anymore.
trinsy: (too late)
Real Acting

I cannot act,
I’m too afraid
Of looking like a fool.
‘Cause crying, wailing,
Fearing, failing,
Won’t make me look cool.

What if I laugh
And it seems fake?
Or I show poise instead of fear?
What if I cry
And yet my eye
Refuses to shed tears?

Or even worse,
What if I
Actually show emotion?
If something frees
And someone sees
My inner commotion?

What if the draw
Of acting isn’t
The spotlight at all?
If its appeal
Is being real
Before the curtain call?

It would explain
My stage fright:
I fear letting someone see
All of the tears,
All of the fears
That are inside of me.

Even someone
Who is not real
Is not a strong enough shield.
My heart is walled,
And if that falls
I fear it won’t be healed.

So I cannot act,
I’m too afraid
Of showing my emotions,
At least today,
So look away
From my heart’s deep commotion.
trinsy: (too late)
I was cleaning my room last week, and I started reading my old diary.  You know, the one I used to keep in a real journal, instead of on the computer.  I kind of wish that wasn’t the one that’s going to be preserved, because it was absolutely horrifying.  It was from when I was thirteen; a freshman in highschool.  Looking back at those entries, I am completely disgusted with myself.  I was bitchy to a degree only popularity excuses … and I wasn’t popular.

It’s weird to look back at how much I’ve changed.  Who was that little person who claimed my identity four years ago?  If I met her now I don’t think I’d like her much … self-satisfied, self-righteous bitch that she was.  She thought she was too good for everyone else.  Adults always told her she was mature.  She thought she was beyond her peers.

Is it strange to look back because of how much I’ve changed, or scary because of how little?  Wasn’t it just nine months ago that I told my sister I felt “so beyond” my ex-best friend?

In the past four years I’ve discovered that life is much bigger and more complex than I ever imagined.  But has that made me feel smaller, more humble?  Or have I simply accepted the idea that I too must be bigger and more complex than I originally believed?  I wish rather than believe it to be the former.

Who am I?  What have I learned over the past four years?  What follies of childhood have I thrown off?  I’ve gotten over boys … because obsessing over them detracted from obsessing over myself?  The thought it too disgusting to even consider. It’s true that I’ve overcome materialism … at least to the degree that I’m not going to sell my soul to satisfy it.  But what about narcissism?  What about my unwavering trust in my very fallible judgment?

I am such a child.  I have changed so little.  True, four years ago I would never have written something like this.  But in a way, this self-awareness is worse than ignorance.
trinsy: (Default)
So there’s this thing for Juniors and Seniors this weekend. A sort of camping trip my school’s having. I’m not going. No one I know is going, but that’s not the reason why. It’s just, I hate camping. But today Jeremy came in during lunch and asked us all (me, Christi, Weston, and Judie) if we were going. And we all answered no.
     “Why not?” he demanded.
     “I want to, but I have a bunch of commitments involving my brother’s wedding,” Judie explained.
     “I have Yoga,” said Christi (don’t worry, Jeremy apologized for laughing).
     “Basketball,” Weston mumbled.
     “And Trinity won’t go because she’s too shy,” Jeremy finished, before I could explain about how I haven’t “done” camping since my twelfth birthday, when my mom made me go to Yosemite with my church and, well, it’s a long story, suffice it to say I don’t “do” camping.
     “I’m not shy!” I said indignantly.
     “She’s not shy,” Judie agreed. “You just have to know her a few years to know that,” she added, which Jeremy seemed to think proved his point.

It’s always interesting when you find out how someone else views you. I mean, I know that’s how people perceive me, but it’s weird to have someone say it to my face. I wasn’t lying to Jeremy though. I’m not shy.

Oh, as a child I was shy. But that was before the divorce. Before my world crashed in. Now I’m just scared. The problem is, I don’t know what I’m scared of.

There was a time when I would have said I was scared that they would stop loving me. But I know now that’s not true. Because they never started loving me. I never gave them a chance to. I’d say I’m scared of their dislike; but that would mean admitting that I’m so afraid of dislike that I’d rather accept their indifference than run the risk. And I hate their indifference. I hate being forgettable. But I am, and I know it’s my fault.

It took me sixteen years to find myself. But now that I know who I am, I don’t know how to show it. I’m used to hiding, because for sixteen years I was trying to hide the fact that I didn’t know who I was. Now I’m trying to hide the fact that I don’t know how to show it.

But I’m not shy. I’m just scared. And I’m not nearly as numb to the pain as I make them all believe. I’m not emotionless. I’m just afraid of feeling. I guess what I really wanted to say to Jeremy, to all of them really, can be summed up in this:

(I don’t know who made this icon. I got it from an icon quiz. I don’t remember where I took the quiz, either)

trinsy: (Default)
I wish I could fly into a blind rage, demolish a room, and then throw myself into the arms of someone who actually understood me, and just sob my heart out.

To anyone who was confused by that statement (as I certainly would be, were I you), I thought this excerpt from one of my original fiction stories would clarify it.

     “SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” Trinity shouted. She snatched up a book and hurled it across the room. “SHUT UP! I DON’T CARE! I DON’T CARE!” She was tearing the room apart now, ripping pages out of books, knocking over tables, smashing lamps. “I DON’T CARE! I DON’T CARE!” she repeated. And now she had unleashed her fury; she was channeling every bitter, and angry, and resentful, and scared, and horrified thought into her actions; she was blind, unaware of what she was doing, outside of herself; and yet inhabiting herself more fully than she had ever thought possible. What she did didn’t matter anymore; what people thought of her didn’t matter. All that mattered was that someone know and feel and understand the horror within her.

I'm not sure if that really cleared it up, or if the excerpt even makes any sense at all.  This scene would work so much better in a movie.  But at the moment, writing is all I have...

I wish…

Mar. 19th, 2006 08:47 pm
trinsy: (Default)
  • my back didn’t hurt;
  • my heart didn’t hurt;
  • I weren’t so cold all the time (and I don’t mean just physically);
  • I weren’t so scared to let other people in;
  • I had more ambition;
  • I felt as talented as people say I am;
  • I didn’t have to feel embarrassed about being smart;
  • I hadn’t skipped a grade (or rather, that I didn’t have to feel so uncomfortable about the fact that I skipped a grade);
  • people wouldn’t give me such weird looks when I say I’m home schooled;
  • people wouldn’t ask me what highschool I go to (who. gives. a. rip.);
  • people wouldn’t ask me what I want to be when I grow up;
  • people wouldn’t make me feel like I don’t have a shot at it, when I do tell them what I want to be;
  • I were genuinely interested in politics;
  • people wouldn’t make me feel inferior because I’m not interested in politics;
  • people wouldn’t automatically assume that because you like to/are good at writing, you must like reading (or visa versa);
  • I could make small talk;
  • I weren’t so forgettable;
  • I weren’t so angry;
  • I weren’t so scared;
  • I didn’t want to cry all the time;
  • I could fly into a blind rage, demolish a room, and then throw myself into the arms of someone who actually understood me, and just sob my heart out;
  • my dad had actually been interested in me as a person, and not just as a weapon;
  • I had had a real “daddy” as a child;
  • I had a different dad … I really wish I had a different dad;
  • I weren’t so certain that it’s never just one thing … because then I could blame everything on my dad.
trinsy: (Default)

So Jazz found out I have an LJ.  She was like, “Oh, I have one too, let’s be LJ friends!”  Which, on the one hand, is really cool, because Jazz is really cool.  But I gave her my old LJ, saying, “I don’t update it much.” (which is true) because, well, it’s just that…

I mean, it’s funny, but my life on the internet and my real life don’t really mix.  I mean, I talk about both of them on my LJ, but I really only talk about my real life because no one in my real life reads it, so I know it’s safe.  I mean, I can vent about it and such, and I know no one is going to be like, “Hey, I read what you wrote about me on your LJ, you jerk!”  Not that I generally write mean stuff about people on my LJ.  At least, I’m pretty sure….  But, you know.  It’s more like I’m brutally honest about myself on my LJ.  Because the people who read it either a.) are related to me and know it about me anyway, or b.) don’t know me in real life, so can’t really judge me.  I mean, my “Introspection” post on Saturday… I guarantee you that none of my friends knows that about me.  They don’t have a clue I’m that scared and vulnerable.  And the post below that, about my dad.  They don’t know I get shaky when he calls; they don’t know that often times the very thought of him makes me break down and cry.  I’m strong about parents’ divorce; I’m emotionless; I’m the girl who hasn’t seen her father in over two years and doesn’t give a damn.

And then there’s the fan fiction thing.  Maybe it’s the fact that writing is so personal to me.  Like I said on Saturday, my characters are so emotional because I repress my own emotions.  How often I’ve longed to throw something at someone; how often I’ve longed to storm out of a classroom; how often I’ve longed to burst into tears in the middle of a crowd; how often I’ve longed to lunge at someone I truly hated.  But I don’t.  I’m calm … controlled … emotionless.  If people could see what goes on inside my head…. Because the person in my head and the person I present to the world are two completely different people.  In my head I’m a hundred times angrier, and meaner, and jerkier; and also a hundred times friendlier, and kinder, and nicer.  Maybe it’s more like in my head I actually have more than one dimension.  I don’t know.

But back to the fan fiction thing.  I don’t really know what it is.  But, in a way, I’m really embarrassed about it.  Like, I really, really don’t want anyone I know to find out I write it.  I mean, it took me like, four months or something to tell my sisters I write it!  I mean, I only started writing it because I was depressed!  How pathetic is that?  I was majorly depressed, and what saved me?  Harry Potter fan fiction!  I don’t care if I know millions of people write and read it, somehow I find that really embarrassing!  I don’t know.  I’m overreacting.

No, that’s not true.  I’m actually reacting.  And in real life, I don’t do that.

trinsy: (Default)
  • I think I send a “back off!” message to guys, even if I don’t like them but wouldn’t mind being friends with them, because I’m afraid that if I trust them, even a little bit, I’ll get hurt.
  • I think that a lot of times I seem hardhearted, but it’s only because that’s how I’ve learned to protect myself.
  • I think that even though I say I’m “realistic”, I’m really more cynical than I’d like to believe.
  • I don’t believe that it’s ever just one thing.
  • I think I’m nicer to the person that rings me up at Starbucks than I am to my friends and family, because the person at Starbucks isn’t going to know me long enough to be able to hurt me, but my friends and family will.
  • I think the characters in my stories are often overly-emotional, because I repress my own emotions so much.
  • Sometimes I feel like Tibby, walking around going, “Screw the world!” because it seems so, so much easier than feeling something.
  • I think the real me could probably be such an amazing person, if I weren’t so afraid to let people past the tough, sarcastic shield I put up.

June 2013

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