When I was a kid, I got bullied.
There’s more than one incident of this happening in my life, one was physical by some dickheads when I was in fourth grade, but the other, the one that really cut me was being bullied by a girl who would taunt me after gym class in the locker rooms. I really don’t remember a lot of what she used to tease me with any more, which is odd to me given the fact being bullied is often something that burns into one’s developing memory like discovering a crime scene.
I remember she made fun of my body and my unwieldiness with it. I remember running during a softball game and she and another kid clotheslined me into the ground. I remember him coming to apologize to me and her claiming she had no idea I existed.
I remember fantasizing about all the many ways I would make her die. If any therapist had seen the volumes of composition notebooks I filled with sketches, macabre prose and damn-near torture porn recipes for her impending doom, I would have been expelled as a threat, I’m sure. What I remember most is crying. In a rare moment of tenderness from my older brother, (who told me that he was the only one who could make me cry) he demanded to know who she was and promised revenge.
Shortly after this, he started smoking weed, abandoned that thread of action and gave me a bunch of Radiohead CDs instead.
I remember she called me a nerd and made it a point to make explain to me why I was a nerd and not a geek or whatever else.
This last one is the one that I really remember simply because she defined it for me, and that definition, which basically had me assured I was a social reject with no hope of being interesting to anyone, made me resistant to share anything I thought was cool for fear of exposing how undesirable I apparently was.
But you know what, I am a nerd.
I love science. I’m fascinated by how the world is put together, and I think it’s amazing that we know how elements combine together to form everything. I actually think math is therapeutic, because I like knowing that there’s problems in the world that are definitively solvable. I fucking love anime. I read philosophy for fun and watch TV shows about vampires. I secretly hope to write a pilot about an Irish Catholic Cop who hunts the Vampire Mafia.
I spent a large time as a teenager ashamed of who I was. I did a lot of drugs, and became pretentious out of self-defense. I wasn’t a nerd, I was an *intellectual*, which was pretty much the same thing but in a way that made me better than everyone else, so I thought. It wasn’t that I couldn’t relate to people, people couldn’t relate to me.
This is not a healthy way to turn the tables, though. It made me mean, because by changing the label without rejecting how I’d been defined as a person, all I’d succeeded in doing was mask the chasm of self-hatred I still resided in, and therefore I remained as defensive and eager to lash out. No one could really understand how hard it was for me to face myself, and it was doubtful anyone would understand why. By all accounts of that age, I was doing fine, except I wasn't.
What did you do yesterday?
What about the day before that? If it was your weekend, what did you do your last work day? If it was your workday, what did you do last weekend?
Recently, I realized I want to spend my life writing. I don't care if nobody sees it, I don't care if the jokes I tell are for a room full of chairs. There is nothing that makes me feel more alive and interested, and passionate than writing, and by proxy comedy.
I realized as a student with a job, that I spend the bulk of my time--6 days a week at the moment, (it's been as high as 7 and as low as...6) working on those two things. I'm a nursing student and I love science, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't give me the sense of fulfillment as writing does. I struggled with this because writing seems like an indulgent thing to want to do with your life. Here's the only reason why I don't think it is: I would rather write for you, whoever you are, the one person who drifts into that room of vacant chairs, the one friend who clicked on this link on Facebook through sheer, random boredom. And if anything I've ever said has been of some help in some form, that's the most amazing thing I could ask for.
My first kiss was the word 'Kooshter' in a Michael Ondaatje novel. In some errant crosswiring of hormones, whatever I was reading was so overwhelmingly beautiful that like the cliche 15 year old I was, I kissed it. When I was the peculiar teenager that I was, I drank in philosophy, often in hand-me-down copies from my brother who was a Literature major at the time. Every book offered me something new; even if I didn't agree with the opinion, it offered me an insight as to why someone would behave or think that way. It's been invaluable to me and I owe my life to those books. Words mean everything to me.
So what does this have to do with what you did yesterday? Well, I can tell you personally, that yesterday I still wrote, a couple of lines and nothing special, but I still scraped time in between everything else I do to sit down and write something.
And when I did, I realized that I didn't want to have to squirrel away the one thing I'm passionate about into whichever minutes I could spare; I want to run erratically out of rooms to write down ideas. I want to take the long route places simply so I can read on the way instead of worrying about the time I'm wasting. When I realized that, I wondered what an ideal day would look like.
Why is it important to know what an ideal day would look like? Because, I realized, like the impetuous person I am, that my concept of what happens in the future is incredibly vague. I'm in school because I know Future Kira would benefit greatly from my effort, although past Kira has a limited opinion, given she's preoccupied with things that can't really effect the future persons if we don't let them.
So, I've created my ideal day:
Walk the dog. Get Coffee and read. Make breakfast with Jordan. Go do (whatever the thing is, money, school). Leave that behind. Write in silence. Take the train home and read the whole way. Meet up with my friends. Do something new. Go on stage, try and make people laugh.
If this sounds very attainable, I agree. And you know what, I haven't done this yet. My days are jam packed with too many things and I tend to overwhelm myself, which traps me in this weird cycle of self-loathing and TV binging, broken only to allow aforementioned dog to pee.
So I've decided to change, only slightly. I'm going to try and live my ideal day every day for the next 30 days. I won't succeed, I'm aware of that, not in its entirety. But I want to see if maybe, trying to live my ideal life will allow me to feel like I am living my ideal life, and maybe not feel so insipidly despondent all the time. I'm going to attempt to journal this, because who am I kidding, this is a blog and I'm not cool enough to claim otherwise any more. All of those posts are going to be on top of this one in order to prevent me from inundating my own site with short thought poops about this experiment. Wish me luck.
So, lovey, what is your ideal day, and does it matter if you live it?
“Jealousy is a useless emotion.”
I heard these words from a friend of mine years ago and it stuck with me. For one thing, to suggest that emotions carry value was strange to me. If you’re on the outside looking in, emotions are uninvited, often unpleasant, and rarely purposeful. Having feelings on purpose is what drugs are for.
Jealousy in particular gets a bad rap. I’ve already talked about love and hate, and Jealousy seems to be the green eyed, red headed step child of both. It’s safe to say that no one considers jealousy to be a good thing. Relationships are built on trust, right? So a jealous person doesn’t trust you, therefore your once-thought sturdy relationship is apparently founded on cool whip and ice cubes.
But it’s an undeniable, inexplicable, and often inevitable part of being in a relationship. Jealousy is often viewed as a response to a perceived threat, real or imaginary. This makes it close-kin for the knee jerk protective response we identify as hatred. Jealousy is a tear in the armor of our identity, a crack that exposes our vulnerability. It is through exposing vulnerability to someone that nurtures, respects and cares for it that we come to form bonds and love each other. When this raw part of ourselves is exposed without permission, however, the feeling of betrayal runs high. Seeing someone put you in a position of insecurity does exactly that. I think few of us want to admit that we’re jealous or mistrusting of our mates, but no one can deny that at least once we’ve thought about doing something we shouldn’t.
Here is where I tell you that I am an unbelievably jealous person. I have no distinction between my boyfriend’s casual acquaintances and people I’m totally fine with murdering when necessary.
It is not an attractive side of me.
One time, my boyfriend became friends with a coworker who was younger than me and female. I have a plethora of male friends, many of whom I’m very close to. Sometimes I choose to spend time with them over Jay. It never occurred to me that would be hard for him to do, because I assumed that I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
I was so, so wrong.
And here’s why, in its frustrating simplicity; Jay never did anything to suggest he’d hurt me in the past, certainly never intentionally, but I had. I’d done stupid things that we’d been forced to deal with, and I was left shaken knowing I was even capable. I knew that it was a lot easier for a moment to take control than we let ourselves believe, because, you may recall, we don’t have our emotions on purpose.
Good things are rare hatchlings of our negative feelings, but it’s not impossible. Jealous behavior, facebook stalking, sorting through someone’s phone, whichever rabbit hole you prefer, will not lead you to a greener pasture. The best (or worst) case scenario is that you’re wrong, and you’ve just destroyed your relationship. You’ve asserted that your partner took that vulnerable thing of yours and planned on abusing it. No one wants to be seen that way, especially if they also plan on giving you their vulnerable thing, because hell if they know what you’ll do with it.
It’s hard to face the emotions that make us uncomfortable; we try to believe we may be incapable of them. But to assume you’re infallible is setting yourself up for failure. And if there is any reasonable way to make sense of our jealous tendencies, for me, that’s it.
I hope this will seem clear to you, because it’s not fully transparent to me yet. For one, jealousy could be viewed as a device to keep ourselves in check; seeing how painful your partner’s betrayal could be helps inhibit you when faced with similar situations that maybe, you’d like to act upon. In another, it allows you an opportunity to be wrong. Admitting to your significant other that you’re jealous pretty much means you’re coming at the argument from the losing side, at least in my experience. You know your feelings can be dismissed, and it’s up to you to find a way to express yourself while admitting that what you’re feeling isn’t their responsibility. That’s barely an easy sentence to write coherently, let alone present to another human in a non-DSM V kind of way.
Jealousy isn’t useless, neither is hatred. Emotions are potent experiences we have and without them, life can seem pretty bleak. Don’t try to be above emotional fault, because no one lives up there; no one will know how to deal with that person anyway. You will make mistakes, my friend, you and so the many people that you’ll end up hurting, or that may hurt you.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.