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"Stranger Than Fiction"

All previous essay material can be found here. Just click on the date of the essay you'd like to read.

May 11, 2003
July 21-22, 2003
March 1, 2004
July 18, 2004
August 2, 2004
March 16, 2005
May 8, 2005

May 11, 2003

Don't you just hate it when you open your mouth, and all this colossal bullshit comes pouring out? Things that, if you had been thinking clearly, would never have been more than thoughts in your mind? And, of course, the last person you would choose to hear those vocalized thoughts (if someone HAD to hear you make a complete fool of yourself) is exactly the person who happens to be there at that exact moment? Why does that happen? And even thought you want to completely ignore the whole situation, you can't, because you're left feeling that you should clear the air in some way, because, after all, you're the one who screwed up. But how do you apologize for something like that? You know they're never going to forget what you said, simply because you wish they would, and you're left wanting nothing more than for a giant fissure in the Earth to open up and swallow you whole. Talk about a no-win situation.

I've spent most of my 29 years learning how to shut up, and the last few months trying to forget that I ever learned it, because I learned too well. I'm coming to realize lately that you get nowhere by holding in your thoughts and emotions. It's amazing how many barriers you can break through by taking the chance that other people actually want to know how you truly think. Of course, not everyone is going to appreciate the fact that they can't control you anymore, but the ones who stick with you through the changes are the ones who really cared in the first place, and they'll be thrilled.

However, having said that, sometimes it's possible to be too forthcoming, such as in the situation I discussed above. It seems that there's a very fine line between being honest and going just one tiny step too far.

A friend told me a few nights ago that I had a very "romantic" view of the world and then called me an optimist. Kind of came as a shock to me-I've never considered myself as being optimistic in nature. I feel as if I'm always the first one to notice storm clouds on the horizon, even before there's any reason to be looking for them. On a different (but related) note--isn't "romanticism" a form of idealism?

And last but not least, a bit of inspiration, I hope. There are many, many people in the world who don't take certain actions because they're bogged down with the seeming futility of everything. But what if everyone who felt that way did act? It could be the beginning of real change--kind of a mini-revolution of sorts. You never know....

On that note, good evening friends, strangers, insomniacs, and other denizens of the late night hours. See you next time!

July 21-22, 2003

July 22, 2003 (mini update): I'm really beginning to loathe the world I live in. I read today about how "they" are now certain that both of Saddam Hussein's sons were killed recently. I'm not saying that either Odai or Qusai were paragons of virtue or were really great guys or anything, but they were human. I don't think that it's right for anyone to decide who should live and who should die-no human should have that power over another human. What sickens me most about the whole thing is that the military and political leaders responsible seem so damned cheerful about the outcome. What's even worse is that no one seems inclined to question this-it seems perfectly all right to the majority of people. I cannot tolerate the thought that killing in cold blood becomes acceptable depending on the circumstances. (OK, mini-rant is finished.)

"Life is not logical, so we shouldn't try to impose logic upon it."

This thought occurred to me at work a few days ago, and it really struck me with its' simplicity. Because of that simplicity, I had completely overlooked it. I was expecting that my approach to living my life should be an intricate and complex course of action with a definite beginning, end, and series of steps between the two. I think that maybe I have been making my life much harder than it has to be. There's really no point in requiring myself to have a "logical" reason for anything I do other than just the simple fact that I wanted to do it. That's enough, I think.

Shouldn't all people be entitled to have their basic needs met? Isn't pitting us against each other in a competition where the prizes are money, possessions, and prestige (things that are completely unnecessary for survival) a dehumanizing experience? Doesn't it only serve to divide the human race into two distinct groups-those who have and those who do not? I do not believe that the quest for money and possessions has to be necessary, but I am guilty of that quest myself. I enjoy all the things that money can buy, but I'm starting to question whether or not it's fair for me to have those things when not everyone can.

As humans, we seek ways to divide ourselves---to set ourselves apart from everyone else---which is not in itself a bad thing. It only becomes self-defeating when we use those differences to try to prove our worth (to ourselves and others) at the expense of those who cannot afford to enjoy the same luxuries.

So, what's the solution to this? I can't really say, other than that my opinion is that everyone should try to seek ways to connect with the people they cross paths with in their daily lives. The best way that I can think of to achieve this is through art, music, and other creative ways of expression that inspire and encourage on an emotional level. Why not use your strengths to help others rather than just to promote yourself?

Until recently, I never questioned whether or not working is worth all the compromising I have to do just to get through the day. I've begun to wonder if curbing my personality (along with my desire to speak my mind), having to act, dress and speak in a specific manner, being told what I can and cannot do, and being told to keep my opinions to myself isn't somehow demeaning to my spirit.

I've always felt like an outsider---even in my own life, and I seem to be drawn to people who also feel that way about themselves. I don't know if I'm subconsciously noticing something in their character or demeanor that I recognize in myself, or if it's just a strange random occurrence. Whatever it is, I tend to gravitate toward those who share that quality with me.

I think that by trying to treat everyone you know in the same way, you undermine their self-worth and self-respect by refusing to acknowledge their differences.

I have never felt as if anyone truly wanted to accept me just as I am. It has always seemed to me that my family and friends are so insistent on treating me "just like everyone else," that they don't recognize (or don't want to recognize) the unique qualities that make me who I am. I don't want to be a carbon copy of anyone, and I don't want to be treated as if I am. However, this seems impossible to explain to most of the people who treat me like this.

I think it's harder to want to open up to someone when you don't feel as if they're going to be receptive to your idiosyncrasies and only seem to want to categorize you into a group and only relate to you in ways they've already established with other people in their lives, instead of trying to relate to you as an individual.

When someone can't or won't try to relate to you on any terms except their own, you basically have two choices: you can give in and try to sublimate who you really are, everything you want and need, and everything that matters to you in an attempt to accommodate someone's else's desires, or you can take the chance on losing them as a friend completely. Sometimes you like someone so much that you can't imagine doing anything except just giving in. I make no judgments on which is the better course of action.

Lately I feel as if I have to learn to be alone again after I've gotten used to not being alone. It seems as if everyone who said they cared what happens to me and in my life has decided to walk out of my life or, at the very least, distance themselves from me. It's not easy to take when the people who gave you the impression that you could count on them to be there all of the sudden aren't there anymore.

This may sound a bit dramatic, but it illustrates perfectly what I'm feeling right now. Imagine walking out on a circus tightrope, positive that the net is there, knowing that if you falter, it's only a minor setback and you can try again. Then when you're out there, over empty space, you make the mistake of looking down and realize that someone has taken the net down and left the building. Then, as if things weren't bad enough, the lights will invariably go out. You're left there alone, in the dark, with no clue where to go or what to do, and the only alternative you can see is to slowly inch your way back to the safety of solitude. You then start to disbelieve that there actually is somewhere in the world that you belong.

March 1, 2004

It's long past time that I updated this site, so I'm just going to dispense with the pleasantries and get on with it. I've been in a particularly bitter, cynical mood lately so this essay is likely to be short but intense. Don't say you weren't warned.

I've proven beyond the hint of a doubt lately that one of my major talents is alienating the people I care most about (or, at the least, people I think I could really care for). It's not easy to accept having your friendship(or your offer of friendship) thrown back at you as if it's something disgusting. This has happened to me three times in the past 5 or 6 months, and it doesn't get any easier to take. The last two weren't as bad because they were people I'd literally just met, although it did hurt. The first time it happened, though, was (and still is) absolutely brutal, and because of it, I've discovered that emotional pain is much more difficult to bear than physical pain. Whether it's true or not and no matter what the circumstances surrounding it are, deep inside my heart I always feel as if it's entirely my fault because I cared too much or too little.

On the same subject (well, sort of), something I've always hated about myself is that I allow people to treat me as if I'm worthless just for the sake of keeping them in my life. When I really like someone and want them to stay around, I have a tendency to become the world's most agreeable person. I don't speak my mind, or say what I'm feeling or have an opinion about anything that disagrees with theirs. For some seriously messed-up reason, part of me believes that this will make them like me more and want to remain a part of my life.

I'm beginning to believe that there is something inherently unlikeable about me, but I can't really pinpoint exactly what it is. Some people seem to recogonize whatever it is almost instantly, while it takes others quite a long time. I prefer when it happens quickly, because it hurts much less when you haven't had a chance to get emotionally attached to someone.

If I'm being honest, what I want more than anything is to be important to someone else. I want my thoughts, opinions, and feelings to be appreciated by someone. I want someone to be interested in listening when I want to talk. I don't feel as if there's anyone currently in my life who feels that way about me. There have been fleeting instances of it in the past, but they never last.

I'm not an easy person to get to know, and I've always felt that people give up too quickly. It takes me a long time to feel comfortable with someone, and even then I tend to focus on learning things about them rather than talking about myself. However, I can talk about my life and things that matter to me when I'm encouraged to, especially in response to specific questions. I realize that hoping that someone will have the patience and will care enough to invest the time to really get to know me is asking a lot, but I can't help wishing for it.

This has been difficult and depressing as hell to write, but at least it's honest. Hopefully it has merit for that, if for no other reason.

July 18, 2004

Love sucks. Love is a fool's emotion, and one that's easy to be fooled by. Love affords the person you love the chance to rip your heart out of your chest and stomp all over it repeatedly. I wish being told that this will eventually and inevitably happen to you could serve as a warning to anyone who has yet to experience love, but that lesson appears to be one that has to be learned the hard and painful way.

Whether he believes it or not, I loved someone more than I ever thought was possible, and I would have tried so desperately hard to make him happy, but I never had the chance. If we had given it a try and it hadn't worked out, I would feel better about the entire situation. As it is, though, for the rest of my life, I'm going to have to wonder what would have happened if he'd just taken one chance that I might have been worth the risk.

All of that, unfortunately, is meaningless now. Things have ended badly between us, and I can no longer even call him my friend.

And yet, despite all this, I still want to love and be loved. I still can't give up on the whole idea, as you'll see in a couple of paragraphs. I still think it's worth the risk. Go figure.

People give up on me much too easily. I've said that quite a few times before, I know, but people just keep proving me right.

Do you ever look in the mirror and not recognize yourself? Things have been changing so fast in my life lately, yet I look the same. It just doesn't seem possible that my life, my thoughts, my reactions, and pretty much everything else can be in such a state of chaos, but from the outside none of that is apparent. Sometimes I feel like I catch a glimpse of a different "me" hanging out just underneath the surface out of the corner of my eye, but when I turn to get a decent look, it goes back underground. I think that person is the real me, and sometimes I wonder how the world and all the people who think they have me all figured out would react if she started speaking up and stayed around. Somehow, I don't think most people would handle it too well.

I'm 30. I thought I was finally much too old to get "crushes." Apparently, I was wrong. Let me explain. There's this guy who comes into the bookstore where I work on a more-or-less regular basis. While I've always thought he was pretty cool, lately (in the past 4 or 5 months) I've started to really be impressed by him. He's extremely intelligent, creative, funny, and seems to be a genuinely nice guy (imagine that....), and he seems to be really interested in the answers to the questions he asks me. In just the little bit that I've spoken to him, he seems to have this completely amazingly unique outlook on the world (one that I think is extremely rare) that fits closely to my own, which is something I never thought I'd find. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to act on what I'm feeling yet, but I'll keep you posted.

I'm beginning to believe that time and religion are mankind's attempt to impose structure on a chaotic universe. To me, order seems to be the most unnatural state of affairs imaginable. It seems that most humans desire structure and stability above all else, and the only way to break free of this limitation is to change your need for such certainty. If the need for certainty disappears, then the need to impose meaningless constraints on reality will cease to exist. Once this happens, true freedom can be obtained, because you will no longer hold yourself or others to the idea of the "way things should be." You'll never have to specifically be somewhere on someone's else's schedule or be contained to the whims of those who still crave stability.

August 2, 2004

(a frustrated and sad mini update) I really hate it when people tell you to talk and that they want to hear you talk about yourself and what you care about, and then when you do, they either don't listen or don't respond. I mean, honestly, why am I even trying to do this if it doesn't make any difference whatsoever? I don't want to be ignored. I have worthwhile things to say. I wish someone would just listen to me and talk to me.

March 16, 2005

I find it extremely amusing that I only feel like updating this site when I'm pissed off. The 1 and 1/2 people who even still look at this site probably think I'm the world's biggest bitch. Maybe that's a good thing. Whatever. At this specific point in time (March 16, 2005 11:27 p.m.), I don't really give a damn what other people think of me.

Quite a bit has happened since I last updated. I've been through a semester and a half of college. I started a new novel. I've met some very interesting people, in person and online (you know who you are).

I've decided on a different major--one that will take me in a completely opposite direction than the one I've been heading in. And I'm fine with that. Before, something just didn't feel quite right and I felt like I was wasting my time even being in college. Since I made the decision to change though, my thoughts about that part of my life have balanced out and I'm beginning to feel something strange--contentment, satisfaction, or at least something like it. Settled, maybe. It's been a damn long time since I've felt like that, if I ever have.

I'm trying to commit myself more fully to my writing. I think it's very important, and is becoming even more important as time wears on. I'm beginning to realize that I don't think I'm cut out for the 9 to 5 thing. I go to work and all I can think of is slowly counting down the hours and minutes until I can leave and go back to my "real" life again. So many people define themselves by their jobs, and I used to be that kind of person. I'm finding lately that I don't want to be that way anymore. I figure if I'm going to have to work, I might as well be doing something I care about, which means doing something that will affect the world and the people in it in a positive way. I'm certainly not doing anything of the sort now. But I'm working toward it, at least.

I had considered taking (and had actually signed up for) an acting class this semester. I thought that it might help me to be less shy and reserved around other people. I thought about it for a few weeks, and finally decided against it. Why? Because I'm already the world's greatest actress. I've got the whole world convinced that I really am that shy and reserved person. I'm not, and anyone who had the courage to really get to know me would come to realize that. I am so tired of people who aren't willing to commit themselves to anyone or anything. There are some people who refuse to take an honest look at their own behavior before coming to the conclusion that the reason we can't get along lies solely at my door. I 'm more than willing to meet someone halfway, but I refuse to be the only person who has to bend. It really gets under my skin when someone talks a good game--saying they believe in truth, fairness, honesty, respecting everyone regardless of their differences, treating others well and then, in their relationships with me, treat me like I'm less than human and therefore don't have feelings. People need to take a hard look at themselves and their own actions before placing the blame squarely on me.

May 8, 2005

Well, I had planned to update this site on its anniversary, but it seems that I missed it by a few days. Oh, well, as they say, better late than never, I suppose. Thanks for the reminder and the good wishes, Corey!

My second semester of college is finished as of last week. I'm still waiting to see my grades, but I believe that they'll turn out fairly well. Summer classes start on May 31, and my first class is something called "Quantative Methods in Psychology." It sounds likes it will be really interesting, and I can't wait until it starts. After that, my last class of the summer starts on July 5, and it's called simply "Ethics," and then I'll have a couple of weeks off before the autumn semester starts. I've registered for 5 classes in the fall, which are:

Sensation & Perception
Sociology of Music
Abnormal Psychology
African American Literature 1845-present

I usually register for five courses, so that I have the space to drop one if it ends up being too much work to handle during one semester. I might have a problem doing that this semester though, since all of those classes sound like fun. Such is life.

During my month off, I've challenged myself to write 31,000 words during May. Technically, that would work out to 1,000 words per day, but I'm not really counting them like that. As long as I end up with the right total, I write more or less per day or even take a day off when I feel like it or when other things won't permit me to write as much as I'd like. What can I say? My game, my rules.

Today, May 8, is kind of a melencholy day for me. It's the anniversary of something that was once very important to me and made me very happy. Lately, though, it's become a happy-sad date. When I think back to the good memories of the person I associate with today, I'm happy because I remember the fun we used to have and all the interesting things we used to do and talk about together. Those days seemed to be brimming with potential and promise. Now, though, I think of this person and everything's clouded and uncertain and weird. He's not the person I thought he was, or at least he's not that person anymore. I don't understand how he kept up such a convincing pretense for so many years. I was completely taken in by the person he appeared to be. I find it hard to believe that he could change so much so quickly. Or, maybe, he's only changed in his regard to and of me.

Lately I've been feeling that Louisville is located roughly in the vicinity of Jupiter. I haven't been "home" to E'town in months, mainly because it doesn't feel as if there's much of anything there for me anymore. I can't decide why it feels this way. All the family I care about lives there, my writer's group is there, all my "friends" are there. But the thing is that lately, I just don't feel like any of those people really care very much at all what's happening to me. It's almost like I don't even exist unless I'm standing right in front of them. I feel like if any of those relationships are going to continue to exist, it all depends upon me. Like if I don't always make the trip to E'town, I can't see anyone. They certainly don't visit me here. Someone's even said to me "You never come to the writer's group anymore, so I haven't even seen you lately. And you expect me to drop everything to come to Louisville and hang out?" If only he knew how much it hurt to hear that. I don't know if it would have mattered though, because by that point, it seemed like he and everyone else was either pissed off at me or completely indifferent to me.

I don't want to sound like I don't want these people in my life. Hell, they're all I have, such as it is. I'm just saying it would be nice if it seemed like they actually wanted to be my friends.