Saturday, January 28, 2012

Becoming Clean

I like this place.


It’s an odd place.


We had an original place in mind. Sort of. But I like it here instead.


As I sit and observe, I hear my professors voice in the back of my mind, trying to remember our original reason for being here.


“Your assignment this week is to observe a space outside of school for one hour. I will assign you a partner, and you are to agree on a location together to visit before class next week. You are to write no more than one page on what you observe while there. Do not speak to one another. This is an independent project.”


I was assigned Jordana, the tall brunette sitting beside me in Film 101. We were both too indecisive to choose a location that day, but we did agree upon a time, Sunday at noon.


Sunday came, and about 2 pm she texted me asking if I still wanted to meet. I forgot. Of course. But she forgot too, which made me feel a bit better.

We decided to meet at 8 that night, intending to head to a library for observation. Thankfully her desire to walk 1.5 miles to get there was just as low as mine, so we decided on a coffee shop in the neighborhood instead. On our way we discovered that the coffee shop was closing soon, forcing us to continue our search. We passed bars (who sits at a computer at a bar?), sushi restaurants (fish=ew), and many closed shops (typical Sunday nightness). We nearly settled on faking the essay (don’t worry, we didn’t) or just sitting outside at the park. Finally we found our safe haven, rescuing us from the peril of lies and frostbite, The Laundry Bar.


The Laundry Bar, located in Fort Greene, was a laundry mat that looked like it was still stuck in the 70s. Run down to say the least, the walls not been painted in years, leaving tiny blue chip fragments scattered about the floor. Among them are old socks and Sears catalogues littered the floor. The soap dispenser in the corner depicted a warm toned rainbow and font that should only be used at a disco. It was out of order, of course. While the d├ęcor of the place was very dated, the washer and drier units themselves where bright and shiny, most likely very up to date. They tossed and turned their contents with the low hum of proficiency while their drab customers waited patiently in silence, possibly contemplating their own proficiency in life.


I could go on and on describing in detail this tiny, run-down place. However, I am more intrigued by the context that brings us here tonight. Nowhere to go, broke, and tired, we found this place and it is now our little gold mine of stories. I wonder how many others came here in this fashion. Inspiration has obviously found my partner, who sits across from me, etching her way across the pages of her purple Moleskine booklet. Who would know that this place would be our savior tonight?


You see, on the outside, the Laundry Bar looks like a dump. On the inside, it looks like a dump. But this is where people come to accomplish something. To get clean.


It is interesting to me, this process of becoming clean. The contents that are being cleaned are all different. How they got there, the context that each sock, undergarment, and shirt, the sizes vary etc. but the actual process is becoming clean is the same. Insert clothes. Add money. Add soap. Push on. Wait. Take items out. Carry to Dryer. Insert money. Push on. Wait.


I feel as if I could make endless stories based purely on the context of the Laundry Bar. What brings people here. How the Laundry Bar came to be. The story of how things got dirty and how they got clean. The story of the owner of the matt, the others that work there, etc. I could go on forever. I tend to think more in metaphors than in obvious ways, so it is fitting that after an hour of observing this place, I still can only see it as a metaphor for the human condition. “We pick the dirtiest ways to become clean.”

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm baaaaaaccckkkk

Hello, people.

I haven't blogged in a very long time, obviously. My last post was three years ago. HAH. By the way, I really hate blogs that start out with "Oh hello! I haven't blogged in forever!" but I feel like it's the right thing to do. I need to tell you that the majority of my posts will probably be much different than this one. Much more pretty and up beat, artistic maybe, but definitely more on the side of well written and less "Dear Diary." But that's for later. Now is the time for honesty. Here Goes.

________

Today was an odd day, y’all.

For no particular reason I slept until 4:30 pm. I missed two classes. Ate half a pizza by myself. And watched the same episode of Once Upon a Time three times.

I feel like today a lot of things came to halt today. I think I realized the weirdness of the situation I was in and I mean… really realized it.

I forced myself to sit down and write a letter to God, detailing every single thing I did today, right down to the items I put in the garbage.


I have butterflies in my stomach right now. The weird kind that only come when something is very wrong or I am very nervous.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

There is much more that happened today than merely understanding this quote. While asking God about when my life was going to change, when my day to day life was going to change, this quote popped into my head.

You see, for the past oh I don’t know… seven years of my life I have been in planning mode. Always looking forward. Figuring things out, finding solutions to problems. I had levels of solutions, categorized by how pretty and shiny they were- how desirable I find them, and how much honor I would gain from others by attaining them.

I have come to the very top of my list. And now I want down.

And it’s funny because you see, everyone has been taught the lesson I am being taught. The lesson is this: You can’t escape from your personal problems, no matter how many cities you move to, they follow you.

Everyone has a different style of learning. Some are audible, visual, hands-on, written, etc. I’m not sure which one I am, but I am not an audible learner. So every time someone told me that, I never believed them. In fact, the majority of things people have tried to help me with, I never really believed them.

“Yeah, but in New York I will WANT to do __________ because New York is so awesome and inspiring!”

“Yeah, but in Austin I will want to _______ because there will actually be things to do there!”

“Yeah, but I will LOVE art school because it’s something I am passionate about and I know it will help me!”

I always thought that the things I didn’t like about myself would just go away on their own. Eventually they wouldn’t sound good any more or something. Buuuuuut unfortunately, unless you make them go away, they probably won’t. What you do in day-to day life can never really be inspired by my surroundings. It will really only be determined by what I “feel” like doing just then. I’m in New York…. And I still slept until 4:30 pm, which is something I said I’d never do in an “exciting city.” I missed two classes today because I “didn’t feel like going” even though it’s ART SCHOOL and I’ve wanted to be here for years.

Nothing really changes unless you personally want it to change. There has to come a point where you say “enough is enough” and you do something different. I can’t keep expecting things to get better but never do anything to actually get better. That’s literally the definition of insanity. INSANITY, yall. INSANITY. There's a gigantic freaking difference between being all cliche and like "OH I'M GONNA CHANGE AND BE A BETTER PERSON YIPEEE" and "I have to change, otherwise I will literally go insane."

We say a lot of very sad and melodramatic things because we think they're funny. My friend Michelle and I practically bond over how messy we are or how many classes we can miss in a week or how many hohos we can eat in less than 10 minutes. The difference between those ironic, funny, weird or whatever things that I joke about all the time and what I am telling you now is that these are actual problems that actually stress me out and will actually qualify myself for insanity if I don't change them. In case you still think I'm being dramatic, here's my example:

"I really hate that I am messy and not all put together. UGH."

*Continues to sleep until 4:30 pm, eat nothing but pizza and fudge bars, miss class, and not answer emails for days*

"UGH! When am I going to get over this?"

*Goes back to bed, watches Parks and Recreation for the fourth time that DAY*

.... Catch my point?


This is what I realized today. and I now feel light as a freaking feather now that I have fully realized the gravity of my situation.

I am a very lucky girl. Right now, I have the opportunity to deal with the issues that I have hated about myself since high school. I'm in New York, have a dorm all to myself, attending school, planning a business, etc.... I don't know how to fully describe it but I do know that I am extremely lucky. It's like God specifically planned out this whole thing for me to figure out on this exact day. It's quite amazing, actually. I began this most feeling depressed and overwhelmed, and now... I feel sort of brilliant. Thank you Jesus for revelation!

I'm okay with being humble and admitting that I've been wrong for a very very long time. I'm very stubborn and it takes A LOT for me to completely understand some things. I usually don't take someone else's word for it, I have to realize it for myself (something I'd really like to work on as well). God has really been patient with me and is finally revealing things to me in a way that I've needed for a very long time. I'm glad that I'm beginning to understand how to go about the things that I want to achieve in a healthy way. I'm excited to share my process with you. I was nervous about 30 seconds ago, but I just asked Jesus if it was okay for me to share this journey publicly and he said yes. So here goes, guys! I get to share what he does with me in the next few months with you :)

(I know that this isn’t one of my super majestic writing pieces or quirky funny posts like they used to be, but it’s what’s going on with life so whatever. I already am feeling a lot better and I expect to really enjoy some accountability :)

Goals:

1. Being cleaner. Seriously? I should be able to walk in my room. I should be able to invite other humans to hang out in my dorm with me.

2. Write more. I cannot even express to you how much I miss writing. It was so good for me back in high school when I blogged all of the time, and people are always asking me when I’m going to start up again. Also, my articulation has really sucked lately and I know blogging can help that.

3. Get in shape. I am not okay with how round my face is getting. IT MUST STOP. I’m not overweight and I’m thankful for that, therefore I shall keep it that way.

4. Draw/paint more. I used to have so much fun doing this as a form of hanging out with God. I miss it.

5. Read! GAH I MISS READING. The bible has so much good stuff and I’d love to re-read all of Augusten Burroughs’ stuff. I still love him.


Woohoo, that is all. Off to clean my room now. I shall post pictures tomorrow of my pretty dorm room :) Yippeee