(Entry below was written on 12/24/208)
I’m not sure why I’m awake right now. Little things I guess kept me from falling asleep. The fact that my bedroom is perpetually cold, the noise I heard in the apartment above me although I don’t think anyone is living there yet, my unrelenting hunger pangs even though I ate dinner, the sound of a woman crying outside my window. Pretty spooky.
So I’m awake, thinking about how I would have to get up for work in about 2 hours. hoping I can get some sleep before then. Maybe it’s the lunch that’s planned tomorrow with coworkers that’s keeping me up? Maybe I’m nervous about that?
I don’t think I was meant to live in this climate. I’m supposed to live in warmer weather. That’s when I feel my best and most happy. I don’t think I’m alone in this. But I can’t imagine all the traveling I would have to do back and forth to see my family if I were to move someplace warm. that would be such a hassle. But it is any more hassle to have to bundle up and walk slowly across ice to avoid falling and all the while freezing yourself half to death?
It’s kind of funny to feel that I’m writing this into an abyss. That maybe one or two people are reading. I wonder how many blogs are out there on the internet right now. I wish I was able to relax and go to sleep. It’s weird to go through my whole day at work, get my job done and somehow not feel like me. I start to question everything like: Why am I working here? Why was I born at this point in time? Why do I have the family I have? What if I’m supposed to be doing something else? Like working at something I truly love?
Maybe I should be a starving freelance writer after all. That would cause all kinds of money stress but maybe I will find myself again in the process. These are questions that only I can answer. Nights like this don’t help. They force me to consider these things and wonder endlessly. When all I want to do is relax, sleep, and get on with my life.
(Entry below was written on September 5, 2011)
This weekend I saw the movies Limitless and Me and You and Everyone We Know. Both movies were good. Limitless really gets you thinking about how hard it is to go after your dreams and motivate yourself, and how easy it would be to take a little pill everyday that would clear your mind of distractions and give you a jolt of energy and motivation to really start living your life on purpose.
It says a lot about our modern society and how we all want the magic fix: a pill (shortcut) to keep us from having to do all the hard work in order to achieve success and well-being. Finding time to exercise, sleep enough and meditate and set your goals (your actual goals, not the ones that other people expect of you) is really hard work. It’s hard finding a balance between your priorities and your daily responsibilities to keep yourself clothed and fed.
Me and You and Everyone We Know was a simple story, trying a little too hard to be quirky, but was entertaining anyway. It kind of highlights how all people are a little lost and no one really knows the point of life or why they are here, alive right now. I like films that examine those questions, or at least shed light on how people must actually feel beneath their socially acceptable masks.
Last night I remembered the scene in the The Haunting I think it was (terrible movie) where Catherine Zeta-Jones and a couple of other people are brought to a house to supposedly have their sleeping patterns and insomnia examined, but the house ends up being haunted. Catherine’s character says:
“You know what, the rest of you may hate your insomnia but I’m not sure I want a cure for mine. That’s when I get all my best ideas… I’m alone, occasionally… with no distractions. My mind is racing with creative ideas and come 3 am I feel like a genius.”
There is a lot of truth to that statement. I wonder what I could write if a had a clear mind and no distractions in the middle of the night, every night, for the rest of my life. Living in a quiet house somewhere, with no traffic noise, no neighbor noise, no boss, nothing but my books, my journals and my pens. What a dream it would be.
(Entry below is an excerpt of a handwritten entry done on 6/22/2013 at the Church of Sweden)
I came today to the Church of Sweden at 5 East 48th Street. It’s a beautiful day and I have no where else to be and no one to see, so I came here and bought a cinnabon and a bottle of water. The main floor has a small library with several couches and tables and the environment is quiet and peaceful. When I saw this place on television this morning, it looked like a good, peaceful place to write. So I thought I’d go, for a new, quiet place for writing and observing people.
The lady at the cafe asked if I saw the Church on television today. She said the show has run for several months and every time she sees Americans here, she knows the show has aired again. We had a laugh over it. I briefly glimpsed the Church upstairs because I was informed that a wedding would be taking place at 3pm. Right now it’s 2:46pm and the few people who were gathered here in the library have moved upstairs to the chapel where someone is playing a keyboard softly.
I hope one day I can fully realize that “life is big” (as Shirley Manson put it in a recent interview) and I won’t be afraid to go out and explore it more. I wish I could see Sweden one day, and travel across Europe and every other place I haven’t seen, whether I’m single or not, and whether I’m rich or not. The lady working here said most people like this Church because it is a quiet place in the middle of the city. I told her I also came here for that reason.
I saw lots of couples today and ironically, there is a wedding going on at the floor above me right in this building. But I can’t let that kind of stuff get to me. Maybe my time will come and if it never does, I can still explore the world on my own and at my own pace. I have to learn to let go of this constant need to be in control of all my life’s circumstances and happenings and relationships, because control is an illusion anyway.
I’m glad I came out today to remind myself that there is a great big world beyond the walls of my apartment. Life is not a movie. Interesting things and people don’t just fall into one’s lap without any prompting. Those things must be sought out.
There is a pillow here on a bench with this saying embroidered on it: “The world is a book and he who stays home reads only one page.” Isn’t that the truth? Talk about a message that was placed right in my line of vision where I needed to see it. I sat down to eat my cinnabon and the pillow lay right on the bench across from me.
I know I need to stop waiting for love, just be grateful that I had it and go on living as usual. I don’t know why it’s so difficult to leave my home, why it’s so hard to have conversation. People are all basically the same and understand that about each other. Everyone has the same needs for fun, stimulation, human contact, expression, food, rest, exercise, sunshine and happiness. Yet we believe we are a world unto ourselves, we believe we are islands, lost and adrift out there in the no where.
I know I need to see and think of strangers as potential friends, instead of fearing them. Maybe I’m just wasting my time waiting for something that will never be, even though it was once so wonderful and fulfilling. Maybe one day, all that has happened to me this past year and this past life will all finally make sense. And I can learn to actually let go of control and move on.
(Entry below was written on 10/11/2011)
I went to a free yoga class tonight, a second one. The first one I went to was last Tuesday and I thought it really helped to relax me and calm my mind because all the focus is on stretching and feeling the body, and breathing through the movements.
I enjoyed it and even got to meet someone there who works in publishing, so we started emailing each other and we decided to go out to eat after tonight’s class so I could ask her about her publishing job. I got a lot of good information and am going to still strive to make the leap into publishing. It’s what I have to do if I am ever going to realize my dream of becoming an editor and editing books for a living.
On our walk from the yoga class to the restaurant we were going to, my yoga friend ran into one of her friends. He was nice and as he said goodbye he told us to enjoy the rest of our stroll and look at the moon. It was a full moon behind a mist of clouds.
During this little exchange I couldn’t help but think of what a relief it was to be out among people again after having not gone to work for a couple of weeks and holing up in my apartment. It was really hard to get myself out to go try the yoga class, but it was worth it in the end.
Even today, I had a bad headache and was lying down but then I realized I had to get up and get ready to leave because the meeting with this lady tonight who works in publishing could lead me later to the job that I have always wanted.
Most jobs are found through contacts and friends, and since I don’t have many friends to ask, I have to try to meet new people and make contacts that way. It is better than staying home and watching as my resume disappears into the abyss of the internet as I apply for jobs that a million other people are also seeing and applying for at the same time.
The bookstore offering the free yoga class that I attended will also be offering a meditation class in November, so I’m looking forward to trying that out as well. meditating with a group of people is a lot easier than meditating alone, at least for me.
(Entry below was written on 1/18/2012)
Today on my way home, I heard two women on the train talking. One was talking about her husband’s sister who is in high school and always complains about having to go to school the next day and her homework and stuff like that. And the woman said, “I say to her, trust me when I tell you- this is easy.” And she was so right.
The other woman replied by saying “Yeah, once you start working, it’s all over.” I totally understood. It reminded me of when I was 16 and off from school over the summer and sad about stupid things like not having a job or many friends to hang out with. I was upset because my life didn’t look like 90210. I didn’t have an attractive group of friends around me who were silly, funny and fun. And I didn’t have a boyfriend.
My grandfather told me on my 16th birthday that I was in the prime of youth. I wish I had really heard him and realized it.
If I could just go back and tell myself to really enjoy that time. To bike ride and write poetry and sleep and meditate and relax and not be sad about anything! I would really do so. If I could only tell myself that summer can hardly be enjoyed once you enter the working world, unless you become a teacher or something.
But working in an office? work doesn’t stop for the summer. It barely stops for holidays or two week’s vacation. It barely gives you a minute to breathe or to think or to plan your dreams, so enjoy it while you can, while you’re young, and don’t take for granted the opportunity to not have any responsibilities, to not have to take care of and support yourself.
Because it’s an amazing luxury that I miss every single day. If any teenagers are reading this, take note. Don’t be in such a rush to grow up.
(Title of this post is a lyric from a Garbage song)
(Entry below was written on 11/1/2010)
This was a lazy weekend of lots of sleeping. I could have been doing so many things: practicing making jewelry, writing, meditating, but instead I chose to do laundry, go to the grocery store, vacuum, watch a DVD, and sleep. I guess it’s natural.
Most people in the middle of the afternoon long for a nap, and if you’re at home then you are free to nap whenever. But I tend to feel guilty when I do that. I wanted to go to the library and to church on Saturday, but I didn’t. I just couldn’t make myself get up and go out when I didn’t have to be out.
I wanted to write too, but there was this sudden weird feeling of fear that has never come up before. I was faced with more than enough time and a perfect chance to write in my journal. But I was afraid that I had lost my writing voice, and my writing self.
I thought the writing I used to do (which I liked and enjoyed reading) would not come out of me. I was somewhat paralyzed with fear and decided against it all together. It was probably a time when I needed to write most, to clear my mind out of overwhelming thinking, but I chose to read instead. I guess I didn’t think I could capture my mood sufficiently, and would end up writing around whatever topic I actually meant to write about.
There’s an exercise in a book I once read which instructs you to stop half way through a journal entry and write ‘what I really want to say is..’ and then continue writing. It’s supposed to break through the mental block that keeps you writing in circles about nothing. Sometimes the hardest part about writing is getting started.
Sometimes I get scared I’ll never stop, or that I’ll stop too soon and find that I have nothing to say – which is even scarier. I even reread Writing down the bones by Natalie Goldberg recently and not even that got me writing! There is a major block happening there, and I realize that I have to force myself to make writing a priority in my life.
Writing is much easier to do with noisy surroundings than meditation is. And writing can be a form of meditation in the way that it clears out your mental clutter. I’m going to make another attempt tonight. Even if I’m writing at 1 or 2am, I am going to do it.
(Entry below was written on December 1, 2008)
I love Janice Dickenson. Since I don’t have work tomorrow, I’m up at 3:24am watching her sell her jewelry on HSN (home shopping network). All the cocktail rings are lovely, but of course at size 5, too big for my fingers.
I adore Janice’s personality. She’s loud and obnoxious, but in a way that is fully, unapologetic-ally her. She is not afraid to be who she is. To be loud or overbearing, To be fun and stylish, sexy and fabulous no matter how old she gets. She has admirable ambition and drive and has made herself into a success in the modeling world on her own terms.
I’ve read 2 of her books- her autobiography, No lifeguard on duty which I lent to my mom who loved it too, and Everything about me is fake and I’m perfect. Her writing style is fresh and she has a natural way of telling a story that draws you in, as if you were in conversation with her. She is the epitome of strong.
I wish I could be that way. I mean so socially strong that I intimidate others with my confidence and sense of self. That others are at a loss for words when around me because I make such a secure impression on them. To be like her, not like myself- shy, always retreating, second guessing. That is my ultimate dream. To be unafraid to speak my mind. To be who I want to be and see myself to be.
I was addicted to her show back when it was on the Oxygen network, The Janice Dickenson Modeling Agency. I had rented the first season from Netflix and became addicted. mostly because Janice took every opportunity to showcase her best self.
She has talents for photography, modeling and is also a model agent and mentor. It was really hypnotic to watch her work. There was a scene on her show where she encourages one of the models in her agency by telling him that growing up, “I believed you could be, just anyone you really wanted to be.” That just sums it all up, doesn’t it? She said it with a conviction that would remove any doubt. She was dead serious.
Janice came from humble beginnings and an abusive household, and still had the determination and strength to go after her dream of being a model in a time where models looked nothing like her. They were all blonde and blue-eyed. She paved her own path and became an in demand model anyway when most agencies turned her away at first
She didn’t let anything defeat her. She later decided she wanted to have a modeling agency of her own, and film the whole process for a reality show, and so it was done. Just like that. She decided to write books, so she became a best-selling author. And it’s easy to see why.
She is a distinct personality. An amazing woman who has accomplished so much. People may ridicule her but she lives her life in her own way and makes no apologies ever. She knows exactly who she is and is unafraid to show it. and that is so stunning to me.
She makes it all look so easy and so fun because she really lives her life and makes the most of it, and encourages others to do the same in her books. So now I guess she has a jewelry line, I had no idea about it. the bracelets and rings and necklaces are very pretty too. I guess there really is no limit to what a person can do or what she can get if she really wants it.
Each new day is a new opportunity to start over, live the life you always wanted and dreamed of, and create a new reality. Each day is a fresh blank canvas just
waiting for you to paint your ideal day upon it. There is always a choice.
Life is full of possibilities and there’s no reason to stay stuck in a rut, to stay stuck in the same type of job or surroundings. You can choose to change, to edit, to enhance. You can choose to minimize the things that don’t resonate with your spirit. You are free to evolve, to grow, to learn. It is never too late.
The only time we are sure that we have is right now. Make the most of it!
At the writing group I went to recently, I asked the organizer there, Phil, how he begins when he writes a new poem. He said he takes walks a lot, and always has. And as he does, he comes upon a question he has asked himself- it’s a question he has asked of himself before birth, a question that has always been within him and that only he can answer. And he always carries around a piece of paper in order to write down a few words as they come to him, which he explores further later. I found that answer to be very intriguing, honest and true.
This past March at the Strand Bookstore, I attended a poetry reading featuring Dan Chelotti and Yusef Komunyakaa.
When Dan Chelotti was asked this question (how he begins a poem), he told a story about when he was a kid in school and he made it his mission to read every Stephen King novel. When he was starting one of the novels, it began with a quote from the poem, The Wasteland by T.S. Elliot. I wish I could remember which novel it was, but he said that reading that quote made such an impression on him that his new mission became dedicating himself to writing a poem every night.
When Yusef Komunyakaa was asked the same question about how poems emerge, he said an image or a phrase usually starts a poem for him. They both spoke about obsessions, and how it can be worthwhile to write “towards” them. I enjoy poetry readings that allow for discussion afterwords, and especially a Q & A session with the poets themselves.
This was the blurb for the event:
The First of Three Readings In Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Poetry Society Chapbook Fellowship with Yusef Komunyakaa and Dan Chelotti
March 28: 7:00PM – 8:00PM
Come to the first installment in a series of three readings/discussions celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Poetry Society Chapbook Fellowship. Join us as former chapbook winner poet Dan Chelotti author of x reads alongside the distinguished Pulitzer Prize winning poet who chose him, Yusef Komunyakaa.