Sunday, September 30, 2007

Baby Steps

Saturday did not turn out how I had expected. It ended up that very early in the morning I realized that I had misplaced the bag that held my Anthralin and now had to retrace my steps. The bag had to be somewhere between my work on Friday, the quick stop at my apartment and then finally, my parents' house.

Once the first half of the morning was spent running a rampage through my parents' house with no success, I realized it had to either be my place or at work. I was praying for it to be at my place.

So I had my father drive me over, and I ran up the steps, trying to focus, trying to find that bag. Nope, no bag. But I grabbed another outfit to wear (since I was wearing sweats and I was headed to a study group later on at 1 pm @ Barnes and Nobles) and headed out the door.

That left the last place: my office. I've never been there on a Saturday - much less a Saturday morning. It's quite boring - and walking into the building left a weird feeling. There was so much silence, such a sense of emptiness that I felt - as if during the week the building's walls had been so pregnant with the full bustle of workers, diners at Della Rose's and customers perusing the spa on the 3rd floor and suddenly, once 5 pm Friday evening hit, the building was quickly emptied. Just like that. It felt like a foreign country - my sneaker steps echoing against the marble - and I suddenly noticed that three quarters of the main lobby were still unleased.

Well, I found my medicine. Thank God the security guard at the desk recognized me. I had taken my work badge just in case there might be trouble, but I also knew that it probably wouldn't do me any good anyway since all employee badges are programmed with timed access. (I had found this out one morning when my ride had to drop me off at 6 AM and I was unable to get into my office. I had a nice time sitting propped up against the wall until 7 AM rolled around.)

The security guard said that it was his day off, but he had been asked to come in anyway. I told him I just needed to grab my medicine, and that I thought I had left it in one of the drawers of my cubicle. I'm glad he went with me though - I tried to scan my badge at the door first, and it wouldn't let me in.

Medicine in hand, I ran out to the car, and headed back to my parents' house to take a shower and at least get ready for the study group. I desperately need this study group if I even want to stay afloat in this class.

The study group was set up to be at 1 pm. By 2 pm, I came to the conclusion that it had to have been cancelled and I had just not gotten the memo. When I tried to call my other classmate (the girl who put the study group together) her phone had been turned off. Awesome. I called the other classmate and he called me back to let me know that work had called him in at the last minute and he needed the extra money. I understand that.

I tried to study as much as I could by myself, but technically, the whole point of having a study group is so that you can feed off of each other's notes, and other people's knowledge on the concepts that you don't understand. When there are no other persons that kind of defeats the purpose.

I went searching through the self-help, self-teaching books in the science section and grabbed a copy of Chemistry for Dummies. It helped to a point - but at that point, my stomach was growling, and I had lost all interest and focus on trying to finish the homework that was due on Monday. Besides, I was finding it much more exciting to eavesdrop on the conversation occurring two tables over.

There was a woman dressed in what looked like flowery purple drapes. They looked satin from where I sat, but at any rate, they at least appeared soft. She had dark brown hair, below the shoulder, and had a pair of designer sunglasses on her head. Beneath the table, her matching purple toenails were exposed, and she was lightly sipping on her coffee while flipping through a notebook that she had laid out before her.

Suddenly, it seemed like out of nowhere, a couple appears in front of her and they are shaking hands and smiling cordially - but nervously. A first meet, no doubt.

The couple sits down at the woman's table and she begins speaking matter-of-factly. I think that's what intrigued me was her ability to speak with almost no pause, with so much factual tone - it was friendly but professional.

"I know you saw me from my website. You were the ones who emailed me. And I assume that you've had a chance to view the site and see all of the services that I offer. Were you able to check out the photo gallery? Those pictures have been from the past few years of my experience and should give you an idea as to what to expect from me," she said, while flipping more pages of that notebook.

The couple was just nodding their heads, silently. The woman was still gripping her purse on her shoulder - a sign of nervousness for most people.

As the conversation let on, it became apparent that this woman (the one with the purple flowery drape outfit) was a wedding planner and at the end of the conversation, the couple had both agreed that they would be employing her to help plan their wedding.

That was my cue to go. No other interesting things for me there to help distract away from the awful Chemistry homework that I had to do. I quickly packed up my things, placed the empty plate on top of the trash can (the previous home of a delicious turkey and 3-cheese melt on basil infused panini bread) and decided on taking a trip to the mall.

The mall is the same as I leave it - no matter how long I go without perusing its hallways. Which has been a long time. Possibly close to 7 months or so. I bought a few things, but mostly looked. Student loans and a pending auto loan is keeping me from spending too much nowadays.

I had originally planned on staying in all weekend long - but I had gotten a text message later on in the day from my friend Sal. He was headed to Trust (which is now Stadio). Usually, he tells me where he's going and I say 'cool' and stay home regardless.

Something about last night beckoned me out. So I put my medication on for two hours, walked around the apartment trying to clean up, and then took my shower to get ready.

I called the cab at around 9:30 pm. It didn't arrive until 10:15 pm.

The cabbies that I got were truly hilarious. As I climbed into the back, I noticed that there were two men sitting in the front. I was curious, but acted like nothing was out of place.

"200 East Redwood, please."

"Eh?" asked the driver loudly.

"The girl said 200 Redwood...East, right hon?" asked the other man as he turned slightly in his seat to face me.

"Yes, East. That's right." I now knew why there were two. One was the driver and the other was the driver's ears.

It took us forever to get down there. I didn't get to Redwood Street until close to 11 pm since Ears (my name for the second man) told the driver to take a wrong turn without listening to my protests. Finally, they were so exasperated by themselves that they suggested that I get out of the cab a block and a half from the 200 block of Redwood. I agreed, mainly because I didn't want to have a $50 cab fee.

I crawled out of the cab, and made sure to grab all of my things. As I closed the cab door, the driver leaned across Ears and rolled down the window.

"Hey, besides, what is a pretty young girl like you doing out here so late without your boyfriend?"

"No boyfriend. And I'm just trying to have fun and live my life," I said, "Thanks for the ride!"

"Anytime, hon."

The walk was short, but a walk nonetheless. As I neared the valets I pushed past the metal gates and up the front steps.

"This is Trust, right?" I asked for good measure since it had been more than a few years since the last time I'd been there.

"Uh - yeah, Trust - it's not that anymore. Stadio," said the bouncer with his hand outstretched for my ID.

That night was all about baby steps. I was all by myself, had gone with no one I knew - only with the hopes of running into Sal. And just my luck that it was lingerie night - so there were plenty of women with long hair and hoochie outfits to taunt me.

It was tough the first few minutes. I was conscious that I had my hat on, and that I didn't look like any of them. But then I snapped myself out of it - this wasn't the me a few years ago. This wasn't the vibrant girl that went to all the clubs just 5 years ago. Where did that girl go?

I marched up to the bar and flashed a smile. Grabbed my screwdriver, and headed over to the dancefloor.

I decided to just dance. Dance and have fun. That's just what I did. Baby steps, right?

Sal showed up later and kept telling me how I shouldn't be worried about how I looked because I was always going to be fabulous.

Overall, a fun night. Tiring though. I collapsed as soon as I got into the backseat of Sal's car.

Alright, time for me to sleep. Chemistry is kicking my ass. Chemical nomenclature needs to get bent.

Might I mention to my happiness that despite my self-consciousness of holding the edge of my hat all night to keep it from falling out that I was hit on five times by five separate men (all pretty decent looking, too.) I know that sounds shallow, but in a very small way it helps with the baby steps. I figure if random strangers don't notice anything unordinary, then I shouldn't be so worried about it either.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Funny how life works backwards...

In the past week since I have started this Anthralin ("Dritho-scalp") treatment, I have begun to see a whole new me. Is it because I now have peach fuzz growing in patches slowly all over my scalp where it was bald before? Possibly.

It's always good to see something good happening. I remember when I noticed the first patch of peach fuzz two days ago, I thought it was dirt (because the anthralin tends to color the scalp brown) but then after washing my hair twice (and losing a ton more hair in the process) I realized that it wasn't dirt - it was the color of peach fuzz - my old black hair, although baby hair fine, growing back. I couldn't believe it. I was siked.

I still am siked. I can't see the back, but from what friends and family members tell me, they can see some growth in the back, too.

But nothing comes without a cost. I have been losing more hair, too. I have almost become completely bald - I mean I still have pieces of my old hair clinging to stay on - but a lot of my scalp is exposed now. It's impossible for me to get away without wearing a hat like I had done before.

And yet, it's funny how life turns things backwards.

In the beginning, as I watched my hair fall out, every single piece of it pushed me farther and farther into this introverted state of mind. I wanted to hide out in a corner. I wanted to crawl under a rock and never see the light of day.

But now, maybe it's because I am seeing growth and for the first time faced with something more solid to have belief in, but now - this morning when I woke up and I washed my hair, and I saw the pieces falling every where, I almost felt more empowered.

I feel the urge to be more extroverted. I feel the urge to just not wear the hat - no matter how odd it looks. And I treat my hair situation as if it is normal. Because eventually, if this alopecia continues in my life, my hair situation will be normal for me. So why not start now?

I do have to admit that it's about time to wear a wig. There are only so many days I can pull off wearing a hat and sometimes it gets uncomfortable and confining. I'd rather be able to not wear the hat and just wear the wig although the thought has crossed my mind that essentially, the wig might not be much better. Essentially the wig is just a hat disguised as hair - and I might feel confined in that, too but at least it's worth a try.

I just don't know of any good wig places.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Things that I should do

What I should do: Be worried about reading my Chemistry text for tonight's class because last class I was absolutely useless and didn't pay attention to half of the lecture.

What I'm doing instead: Writing in this blog. I should have read last night but I was actually sleeping since I got that bout of a bad case of diarrhea (yeah, I don't care, I'll tell you... I don't think it's that disgusting - it's just something you get sometimes)

What I should do: Concentrate on this Chemistry Text and even attempt to concentrate on the homework that is due next week

What I'm doing instead: Wondering why we have to play these stupid games - even with people that we love. I thought that it all ends once you find that person that you feel you can talk to about anything - but I've learned that that only goes so far as the other person's receptiveness. If they don't want to receive it - then you're stuck holding the bag. It sucks, because I should be thinking about school, about how I am paying my bills this month (because I forgot whether this week is pay week or not - and I am hoping it is because rent is due!), or about whether or not I should just jump headfirst into buying this car this weekend, and try and worry about setting up for a car insurance quote. But --- I am thinking about how much I miss a certain person, and why do I miss them so much when I just saw them last week? How much despite everything that I keep telling myself, there is a tinge of weakness inside that is making me weary - I want to know things I know I shouldn't want to know, things that aren't my right to know anymore...I gave up the right a long time ago. I want to tell that person how much I miss them, without a weird look in reponse, or even worse: no response at all. I text them this morning, telling them how gorgeous the weather was (which surprisingly, gorgeous weather recently depresses me because I have no means of enjoying it. I am stuck indoors with no ride to anywhere where I could enjoy it, unless I hop on the train to DC and just ride the Metro all day. Which, btw, I have been contemplating and if this week really IS pay week then I think I owe Latoya a visit!) and how much I wish that I could see them this weekend - maybe a picnic? Maybe sitting at a table at Panera Bread for an hour - maybe something. Just something. It's terrible when there is one single person you'd want to spend your time with - the only problem is whether or not they'd want to spend their time with you.

I shouldn't be so glum. I know it's all very melodramatic, but hell, that's what this blog is for. To get all that grit out of my head. To write it all down - and to feel better.

Technically, I did get an invite to the APA Film Festival in DC this weekend. Anyone interested in going? Email me. I am wanting to go but I'd rather go with company than by myself like a ...well, like a dork.

Back to reading that Chem book...

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Near (almost, not really) Brush with Death

This past weekend was the return of Buzz @ Glow. Of course, we all went. By we I mean: J, me, 'Nard, unni, & Gen Gen. Missing in action? Paul & Est unni. Why? The near brush with death.

The weekend before had been my crazy one and not only was it extremely emotional, but it was also Tiesto Live @ Love...outside. I decided against that due to the extreme cold, and opted for the nice, inside, cozy atmosphere with George Acosta @ Ibiza.

But not before driving by Love to say hello to my brother and Est unni. This is where this all began. She gave me hugs and kisses, as usual and then I went on my way to Ibiza.

Skip to this weekend. Est unni and Paul are all ready to go for Return of Buzz. Everyone is. A day before the event, I feel there is something terribly wrong - Paul hasn't called me back. My brother always calls me back. My clairvoyancy is kicking into high gear and I fear... well I fear something bad is happening.

Paul finally calls me later on and says that Est is sick, but it's probably just a cold and they'll see me for Buzz the next night.

Uhh, yeah. In so few short moments, we see Est, we see Paul, and then Est collapses with chills, Paul thinks she's faking, then Est is rushed to the hospital, and the doctors immediately suspect that it's ("dun dun DUN") meningitis.

They run tests on her, and then to be safe, and for good measure, they toss her butt in the ICU. Guess who's laughing now, my brother? He literally felt TERRIBLE for just prior telling her she was faking it (but in my brother's defense, Esther unni has always sorta... dramatized things before for attention. But only in a cutsey way.)

What do our dumbasses do? We still go out. Party. I mean we bought the nearly $30 tickets ahead of time. Why shouldn't we? And it was not just us - we brought other friends.

The place was packed and it was noisy. Exceptionally noisy. So noisy that even though the music was good, J and I kept looking at each other with the same uncomfortable glance because a massive amount of people were all around us - it reminded me of that time in New York with Gen.

So we left ...called to see how Esther unni was, and she had worsened. They hooked her up to IVs and morphine due to the amount of pain. Paul said that the doctors said that we should all be worried about possibly catching it if we had been in contact with her. Oh, great.

We got home really, super late. I was exhausted. Exhausted from worrying about my sister, and exhausted from all those damned people. J & I collapsed on the bed and passed out for several hours.

When I woke up, I had a fever, my throat was raspy and my nose was stuffy. I started freaking out. Big time. J said maybe it was because I was dehydrated, and to keep drinking fluids and to make sure I ate something.

I ate like a fat kid loves cake...and more. And drank Deer Park like it was going out of style. I kept overheating really fast though. So I ended up forcing myself to sleep all day with no covers, and trying to relax, and think happy thoughts like "no meningitis for me, no meningitis here!"

Paul called me late Saturday and asked if I was okay. I told him my symptoms and he said that I shouldn't worry. But if I do think I have it - to go to the doctor or a clinic and get those two day antibiotics or whatever.

So far, I just have a headache today, and a slight stuffy nose. I know, technically I shouldn't be at work if I think I have it - but I am at this point where I really don't think I do. I read on the internet that the best way to catch it would be through transfer of bodily fluids - and Esther unni and I didn't do any of that. Plus, I think that chills is a big thing that comes with it and I haven't had any chills yet.

So this is Monday. Let's hope for a quick and painless week. BTW, this Dritho-scalp has sorta been working...little pieces of hair growth here and there. We'll see though. My fingers are definitely crossed.

PS. Omgosh, Goose. I've gone through "Dying", "Light of the Moon" and "Cartwheels" and I love them all. Every single song. Some I already had - but most I didn't. I have connected on so many deeper levels to every single lyric in each song. Thank you so much.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A little John Mayer does a heart good...

"I believe/that my life's gonna see/the love I give/returned to me." - from Wheel

I'm not going to let anything stop me from being who I am. Once I start questioning why I do the things I do - they would stop being a part of what makes me unique.

I love that I'm a goober. I love that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I love that I am honest, even when it's really tough to be.

I love that life gives me the chance to experience the pain and the hurt in order to become a stronger person... but I also find it crummy.

I'm only human, and that's the best I can do.

Let me start where I feel comfortable.

I have this diamond. It's like this amazing gift that I came upon one day... it was in the disguise of a rock - but that's how all diamonds begin, isn't it? To appear as something mediocre and unusual... only to later find out that it is something precious, amazing, and beyond value.

I keep that diamond with me everywhere because it reminds me of everything good in my life with how beautiful it is to look at. It reminds me of everything complex in my life because of the cut, the prisms that connect, soak in the light and dispurse it in reflecting and refracting rays of colored rainbows. It reminds me of every single portion of my life that I treasure, the good and the bad, because no matter what happens to this diamond - its value will always hold true. Maybe not to an appraiser with his magnifying glasses pressed against his eyes - but if only to the diamond's owner: me.

This diamond that I have has scratches and nicks... but even those scratches and nicks have strong meaning to me. They allow me to keep all those memories to myself, every single scratch and nick on that diamond represents a time that I never want to forget.

And who am I to throw away the most valuable thing I own just because it has a few scratches on it? In the end, it's still a diamond, it's still gorgeous. I would be stupid to throw it away.

Most people do not understand this logic - but that doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is the relationship I have between myself and what I own - whether that be family, friends, my health... my hair. Regardless of what that diamond represents, no, especially of what that diamond represents is the reason why I keep it. The reason why it will always be something I treasure, I love, I give my heart to. And I don't regret that. It's taken me a crapload of drama, a lifetime of craziness happening in just a month - in just a collective amount of four years - to realize this.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Big Chemistry Exam Today

Too bad I can't ask for an exam make-up due to a broken heart and broken self-esteem.

I tried to study all weekend but that was just a joke. Flipping through textbook pages apparently doesn't help you retain any of the information faster or more effectively than actually reading the book.

Or maybe it will. That's what I am hoping for since that's all I was capable of doing all weekend. Flipping pages. Pages of my notes from lecture, pages from my chemistry textbook, pages from my past journals, pages from my current journal. Tons and tons of pages.

That and flipping channels. I have become an Olympic channel-flipper. I don't even have the attention span for a commercial. "Geico could save yo-" Nope, click. Flip. Keep moving.

I guess it's to keep my mind from staying on one particular thing for too long. All things in life can be played like a messed-up game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. In the end, they all can somehow be linked to the fucked-up things in your life.

Example 1:

Studying at Barnes & Nobles with my classmate. She wants to go to the Towson one. We used to go there and read through the books together. We'd pick up magazines while waiting for our friends to call us and talk to each other about the articles we were reading.

I kept staring at the magazine racks while my classmate and I were sitting at Starbucks.

Example 2:

I am up late last night. I can't sleep. Although I try to keep flipping, I land on the Hair for Men Club commercial. I am watching the testimonials. Fucking men and their societal acceptance of being bald.

Okay, so those were only one degree, technically. But regardless, I can't shut it off. I can't stop thinking about any of it. And I've decided to stop trying to. I've decided the best thing to do is just be sad for once. Just for a little while - nothing extensive. But just admit that I'm sad because sad things happened recently. And I am starting to actually feel better about them today.

At least it's a start.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tired of being strong...

In the past three days I have had hopes dashed and challenged with a less-than-perfect doctor's visit, my heart broken into two and sunken deep into my stomach for the first time in my life, and realized that no matter what - there's a breaking point in how long you can be strong enough to withstand whatever comes your way.

I'm just so tired. Tired of being so strong, tired of being positive all the time, tired of trying to be the girl that everyone sees as being so happy all the time...and tired of giving every piece of my heart away like a fool.

Life is just funny that way, I guess. Eventually, you get fed up.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Flick 'N' Pat

You know how in those cartoons sometimes, you always see Tom start to run after Jerry and then pause for a moment, only to see a "Devil Tom" appear on his right shoulder and an "Angel Tom" appear on his left?

The "Devil" is saying, "Hey Buddy, go chase after that mouse. He looks mighty tasty. You know you want to, go do it!"

While the "Angel" is saying, "Don't do that, Tom! Jerry has never done anything horrible to you, and you guys should be friends, not enemies."

As fanciful as those cartoons are, that depiction has been pretty true to life when it comes to how my thought process runs when I hit a bump in the road that I have (or haven't) seen before.

For instance, this recent idea of finally being fed up with banking and looking for a new job.
Every night, at the end of the day, I'll be sitting at home, wholly exhausted, my head hurting, and thoroughly disgusted with the lack of accomplishment I get from working at a bank, and all of a sudden, the "Devil" pops up on my right shoulder whispering into my ear: "Hey, hey, why are you thinking of getting a new job? I know you're unhappy with this one - but what if you're not qualified for anything else? What if there's a paycut? Wouldn't you rather be miserable in your life and wealthy than to be a little bit poorer and happy? And you know that the first job interview you go into your going to sink and sink hard. Plus, this boss here doesn't like you that much anyway and would give you a horrible reference if they called her."

And for some reason, I start listening to it. And I start freaking out. I'm thinking, 'yeah, yeah, that's right. I should just stay miserable. I'm too scared to do something else. I am too chicken sh-t to try a new profession even though I know I hate this one.'

Just then, the "Angel" pops onto my left shoulder. "What are you talking about? All anyone ever says is how professional you are, and how friendly you are. Everyone always says how much they like you - you've always gotten good reviews in the past. You know you're a quick learner, and you love learning new things. A new experience could be awesome for you. You never know! This could be your chance to find out what you love doing."

But I start battling back and forth between the two voices of reason in my head. There is a part of ethical logic that reaches me, and I kind of acknowledge the fact that the positive "Angel" is probably the one that I should be paying the most attention to. Yet no matter how hard I try to fully shut her up, the "Devil" on my other shoulder keeps talking. Keeps reminding me of all those negative thoughts, all that negative energy, and all those horrible memories I have in the past of failure, or not measuring up to what I wanted, or what I thought others wanted (another terrible thing that I must admit, I have allowed myself to be influenced by in the past: the thoughts and opinions of others).

One of my favorite quotes from one of my all-time favorite movies (Pretty Woman) is when Julia Roberts' character is lying in bed with Richard Gere's and they are facing each other. He starts to compliment her, and tell her how much potential she has in herself, and how she could be so much more than just a prostitute.

Her response is: "Somehow the bad stuff is always easier to believe. Have you ever noticed that?"

Yeah, I have. Throughout my life, no matter what I know that I will come out stronger and with more determination out of any obstacle - but in the beginning, the mean stuff, the negative energy, the negative thoughts: they always seem to be the easier ones to believe. Why is it so hard to truly believe that there is good in the world and that good can come to you?

I have been told by so many teachers in my life whether it be in elementary, middle or high school that you are what you think you are. "If you think you can do it, then you can do it." I always used to just brush it off. Psh, they are dorky teachers - what do they know?

And then as I got older, I realized that mindset played a huge part in my ability to see the true scope of things. The more negative life seemed, and I allowed it to seem that way, the more negative things tried to happen. The moment I started to smile or shine a light on the more positive things in my life, nothing just miraculously got cured or changed - but I was able to deal with the sh-t in my life with less strife and less anger.

This is way easier said than done, folks. Don't think I am sitting here claiming that I have all the answers, for I have not. And I know there is so much of life out there for me to grab with my two bare hands and grip with all my might. To really taste, touch, see, smell every single thing this universe has to offer me. But even still, I have my dark days, and even still, that "Devil" seems to appear on my shoulder every time.

So I decided that I shouldn't let fear guide me. Essentially, I realized, that's all the "Devil" represents. An inner fear that stems from a past memory, a present thought, a futuristic notion that something might become a catastrophe and then where would I be? Well, I'd still be alive. And that's really all that counts in the end, right? Because in the end, I don't get to take my resume printed on nice stationary into the grave - it won't matter that I got a C+ in Algebra my sophomore year or whether I was my boss' favorite. It won't matter what I wore or didn't wear. And it certainly won't matter what jobs I ever held.

That's why I started my fresh start with a single piece of paper towel. Any kind would do. Didn't have to be Bounty or the cheap Target kind. It didn't have to have the puffy "extra-absorbant" squares. Just one single piece of paper towel.

And then I grabbed a pen and began to write every single negative thought I could possibly think of. (Believe me, I wrote small.) Anything that I felt was holding me back from getting a new job. Things I felt were holding me back from attending a four-year universities. Reasons why I thought I shouldn't move to wherever it is I would want to move. All the obstacles that I could possibly think of in achieving my ultimate goal this year of owning a car.

I wrote it ALL down. Every single thing that I could think of that ever passed through the deepest cavities of my brain and tried to infest it with negativity.

There were tears. A lot of the words got blotched out. But they weren't meant to be read clearly - it was simply the act of writing them all down and trying to rid myself of all of the negativity in my life as much as I could.

The final act:

I walked into my bathroom, and stepped to the "Magnificent Negativity Disposal Machine" (otherwise known as the toilet) and dropped that paper towel right in there. (Now I know they say you shouldn't throw paper towel down there or you'll clog it, but it just so happens that I have a very very strong flusher!)

Then I pulled the latch and watched all the negative energy flush itself down the toilet bowl.

As I walked away, that "Devil" was cussing up a storm on my shoulder while the "Angel" was standing triumphantly. So I just 'flicked' the "Devil" away, and gave a 'pat' to my guardian "Angel".

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tonight is THE night....

Ugh, I have a speech to give in Speech class tonight. It's the second one that I have done so far (this class is the accelerated class and is going sooo fast!) and I am not looking forward to it.

1. Because I just came up with the topic two minutes ago on my lunch break.

2. Because I also have a quiz on Ch. 10 in the same class tonight.

3. Because it's the last topic that I wanted to do a speech on but the only thing that could come to my mind.

The topic of the speech was "If I could go back in time for a day where, when would I go? Who would I see? Why? What would I take with me and what would I take back?"

Where would I go? I kept sitting there trying to think of some lame topic that would hopefully take me two minutes to come up with - but it seemed like the lame topics were taking me longer.

My mind kept dwindling back to the same thought and I guess that it was my heart, really, telling me what my topic should be: So... if I could go back in time for a day... I would go back to 1985 in Seoul, South Korea, somewhere in those farmlands, and find my birthparents right before I was born.

I would want to show them that I turned out okay. I would want to tell them that I think about them every day and that I wish that things had turned out differently that both them and my adoptive parents could be in my life.

I would want them to know that I graduated high school, that I have a good job, that I want to be in the medical field. I would want my mother to know that I don't hate her for the letter that she sent to America a few months after I left. I want her to know that I forgive them and that if anything, I thank them for not giving up on me, and letting me live so that I could have the life I have lived so far.

Gosh, I just know I am going to burst into tears in class tonight. Exactly what I didn't want to do.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Something Happy to Replace the Rant

Okay, so I just realized that I rant a lot on this blog. Not all bad things happen.

Let's start with the fact that in the middle of the week, Paul oppa called me to just say hello. I asked him how his back was (the last time I had seen him was two weekends prior where he had coughed too hard and created blood clots in the side of his back. Hmph! I told him that he should stop smoking!). He said that his back was much better since he had gone to see the acupuncturist. He swears by those Asian doctors and always is telling me how Western medicine is crazy, and he doesn't trust it as much as he trusts Asian doctors. In a way, I cannot help to giggle whenever he mentions this because he reminds me of how ahjushi he is getting, despite his pleas that he is "super-Americanized".

He could tell something was wrong, and asked if I was feeling alright. He said my voice sounded sad. I told him what has been happening at work, and that I just came from vacation and felt sad that it was over. He asked me if I had called my sister, Yuri to see what she was doing this weekend, especially since Kuya 'Nard (now her boyfriend, hehehe) was away on business and D, L, & S were out in Miami. I told him that I hadn't talked to her since the last weekend when Nard, Yuri-unni and Paul oppa and his girlfriend (my future sister-in-law, Esther-unni) went to Ibiza and FIVE.

Five was craziness. I ran into so many people that I knew and Ibiza - AH!! All those lights! It was a blast.

Well anyway, Paul oppa said he would have to make some phone calls and he would call me back later that evening. Sure enough, while I was in class, Paul oppa called me and then text me and asked me if I would like to come and visit him and my sister this weekend and just hang out.

I said, of course I would.

Thursday night came and Gen gave me a call to tell me about Christian's dad. I was so sad to hear the news and I immediately called Christian to give my condolences. Gen and I talked for a little bit about his new puppy, DJ Elvis, and where everyone was.

The next night, I went to go check out this new apt with my crazy Aunt and my mom, but the rent was higher than what I am paying now, and it would need a lot of work so I passed.

I had this urge to go out and eat dinner, just to hang out with someone, and relax since it was a Friday night and I was still stressed over work. So I called Gen and we went out to Austin's Grill to have dinner and he brought DJ Elvis.

That beagle is soooo cute!!! I couldn't stop holding him, and kissing him. The dog is so cuddly and docile too. The kind that will just let you cradle him like a baby, and won't try to wriggle away. Gen said he likes Elvis because he's a chick-magnet. Heh, heh.

We ran into our friends Jesse, Alexis and Guy there. It was nice to see people I hadn't seen in a while. Although Gen and I noticed that must have been our sixth time in two months going and eating at Austin's Grill. We eat there all the time it seems like.

Afterwards, Gen drove me home, and the next morning I was on the train to Union Station. Because I am cheap, I caught the 7 AM train for $14.00 and landed in DC around 8. I decided to let Paul oppa sleep so I didn't call him until 10 AM and lied and told him I had just arrived just so he wouldn't worry about me.

He picked me up and we went to go get breakfast. A Korean seafood stew with rice, and broiled kimchi covered mackeral. Yum.

Then we went to go get some Starbucks and ran into Yuri unni there, who surprise, surprise - was talking on the phone with Nard.

We headed over to Su unni's house to keep her company and then she bailed on us and ran out to go on some errands. When she came back she had three pairs of Dolce & Gabana jeans...she said she paid $300 bucks for each...omgosh! They were the most adorable jeans I had ever seen. While she was gone, Paul oppa and I raided her kitchen, and started watching Korean TV. He was explaining to me some of the words I didn't understand, and then we got online and started messing around with YouTube. We are both so addicted to YouTube, it's not even funny.

We finally left Su unni's house once she got home to go grab some dinner. Again, Korean seafood stew with rice and broiled mackeral.

Then we headed over to Yuri unni's house. I love visiting my sister. We always have a ton of fun together, and since I have met her, and she's been hanging out with Nard more -her English or her confidence in her English has gotten so much better. We are able to have full conversations mixing Korean and English. We always watch Korean dramas or the Food network. Then we have fun getting ready to go to the club together. It's so awesome because she has become the older sister that I always wanted. Sharing clothes, shoes, make up tips. Sounds silly, but I never truly had a family like that.

Once we got to Ibiza, I don't know what is was but Gabriel & Dresden rocked. I danced my heart out. It felt so good to just let it all go, and I just let my feet fly. Towards the end of the night, I had so many people come up and compliment me on my dance skills - I was shocked! I guess because I have always been self conscious of what I look like when I dance because of my limp on my right foot - and I know that my dance moves don't look like I would want them to. But it felt good to be complimented so many times.

Alright, that's enough of that. Time for my ass to go to bed. Just needed to end on a happy note.

Old Post Meets New Post

I found an old college essay that I used to get into San Francisco University.

There's always that fine line...

I spent an hour yesterday, sitting on the fence in the parking lot of McDonald's, holding up the cash from my wallet to see the fine line that goes down the vertical side of the bill. I realized that no one really cared about the line, some people I knew didn't even know it existed, and you couldn't really see it unless you strain your eyes and squint against the sun. That's how racial assimilation began for me. It was this little line that went vertically down my side, and just like on those bills, it was never quite centered, and would change with each new value.

Every year, my values change, call it the wonders of adolescence if you will, or simply - puberty, but they make a distinctive shift in their views, and their importance and perspective. One of the most inconstant values or perceptions I've held have been towards assimilation. My assimilation or rather, my backwards spiral from assimilation to form a new kind of American. I've strayed too far from my original see, like the bill, like that fine line, for so long - since the beginnings of my childhood as a 'banana' or 'white-washed' Korean, that fine line was never seen. It was never sought for either. Because what good is the knowledge of assimilation to a kindergartener who is having difficulty distinguishing the difference between purple and violet, much less the much bigger picture of yellow vs. white, or race vs. race? The line was always there. I didn't begin it, my birthmother didn't begin it, and so on and so forth until we reach the very essence and depth of Asian ancestors. Maybe it doesn't even lay within the contexts of Asian Americans, but rather - Americans in general - from the time that violet became violet, and purple became purple - that is when the fine line was created.

And there it began to singe itself and embalm its symbolism in the small of my back, and soak underneath my skin like an astringent to make the color of my skin go from 'light tan' to 'yellow'. This was the birth of the line. That is how it came to be on the vertical side of my body.

As a young kid, petite, and the smallest of my class, it never occurred to point out that I was different from everyone else. That line was never burning to be seen. Neither were my parents eager to light the candle flame that would show through my transparent childhood years to show that fine line. Therefore, no one cared, no one dared to spend a moment's notice to search for the line, because it didn't seem like it mattered. My value was at about a dollar. But as time wore on, my value changed and rose. And it was only until recently that I sat back and took the time to notice the fine line that had grown more prominent.

What does the fine line stand for? I think it stands for my ability to assimilate from American to Korean culture. As the values have changed, so does the fine line's point, and it is constantly in a battle of moving back and forth, giving more of me into my American side, and then giving more of me into my Korean. It was not until recently that I discovered that, I am still growing, the change is less frequent, and that if I pay close attention, I might even see the fine line hit the middle.


It's nearly midnight right now. Just several minutes ago my eyes were giving into the heavy gravity of sleep. The opposite of the complete restlessness that I have been feeling most of these nights recently.

I haven't written in forever it seems like and I miss the ability to exert my frustrations into this blog. I haven't been in one place long enough to sit down and write out what is going on. I finally have time now, and have pushed sleep into the recesses of my mind in order to get out the recent frustrations and confusions that have been occupying my mind.

I find this tremendous solace whenever I get onto the train or the subway headed to DC or VA. Not particularly because of where I am headed (although I love my brother and sister with all of my heart, and enjoy every single minute I spend with them), but the actual moving and travelling is what excites me most. It's what awakens this energy within me, and this sort of peace of mind. I am lulled into a tranquil state of mind with the creaks and whisps of the wind pressing against the train's sides as we dip across stretches of railroads and underneath bridges and through tunnels. So it was only fitting that my cushioned seat pressed against the earliest Saturday morning train is where I found myself in order to escape last week's horrible and stressful craziness.

Let's start back at Tuesday. Something other than the fact that I had just come back from a long, and exciting, and relaxing vacation made it harder to get back to work. One, I had a whole week's worth to catch up with and of course, the week that I was gone was the week that I had a new loan, and two renewals and bunch of other issues that popped up. In addition, there was an audit that we were all preparing for, that most people had that week to start on while I was on vacation. The problem with that? I had chosen that week for the vacation time a looong time before the audit review was scheduled. I had no idea that it was going to be happening around the same time.

Not only that, but with everything that has been happening outside of work: my living situation, my car expenses that are coming up, this alopecia - have been forcing me to really stop and think about everything in my life, and what I have taken for granted and what I haven't really focused on too much: which is taking care of myself first and foremost, and not giving a fuck what other people think about me. A lot of people in my life had always been encouraging this kind of thinking, but I had continued to be a spaz, and worry about every little thing and what people thought.

Then, one Thursday morning, I woke to find my hair filling the tub to the brim, and my life changed in an instant. Sounds tremendously stupid, possibly almost silly if I think about it, but it's honest. I was suddenly faced with the challenge of re-evaluating my thought process about how I was going to keep living my life - what were the most important things to me? What were the things that I needed to start thinking about more than others? Why am I so self-conscious? What is this a sign for? Is it a sign for me to really stop and take the time to really see what is around me and appreciate everything in my life?

Yes, I've decided. Yes it is. And I have been happy in realizing how much love there is in my life. My friends that I have been blessed even through tragedy and dramatic times to have gotten to know and have kept through the years. Family that I never knew I had.

But how do you apply what you have learned in your personal life to the things in your professional? Or are you supposed to keep those completely separate? I have found that to be the hardest task of all: for me to go into work and not cry - not worry about my hair falling out and not to think about it 24-7 and instead worry about how Mr. & Mrs. Moneybags were going to get their advance in on time, or whether I would efficiently advance their loan funds so that they had their money for settlement that they didn't need anyway.

I was brought into my boss' office and told that it is because of my age, because I am so young, that I am not able to separate my personal and business issues. I find it hard to believe that it is just because I am 21 that I am unable to not worry about my shiny bald spots that are showing to the whole world - I am sure that at any age I would still be freaked out - I would still be upset, and I would still find it hard to focus on anything, much less Mr. & Mrs. Moneybags.

So last week I got reprimanded, and told that I am not working up to my "potential". I was cussed at, and I was underminded, and micromanaged (because she said "I feel I have to with you"). The way she speaks with me is completely different from anyone else in that office, and I know that it is because she is always self-conscious of the fact that I am younger than her, and she feels she has the right to demean me in that way. I am at the point where I don't give a shit, and have lost all enthusiasm for the job that I have. I don't find the importance in it anymore, especially with everything else going on in my life. I know that this is partially an extreme way to think - but I don't know how to correllate what is going on in my personal life with the professional... maybe it is my lack of experience. Maybe it is because I have never lost my hair before. Maybe it is because I know no one who ever has. Maybe it is because I am surrounded by people in my workforce who are unable to place themselves in someone else's shoes and still tell me on a daily basis, and also give me looks as I walk by that say, "you're making it all up, it's just because of stress and you need to get over it."

I know I am ranting right now. But I am so frustrated and unable to wrap my mind around this woman that I deal with day in and day out. I hope that something shows a light soon...some sort of path that I should take. In the meantime, I am on my hunt for a new job, and unfortunately, I have a feeling that I am going to have to take a paycut in order to find a new one. Ugh.

When it rains, it pours. Eh?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Feeling like a greasy side order of egg rolls...

Yesterday was a B-I-T-C-H. Class ran over. Didn't get home till 11. Just stayed over my parents' house since my Mom refuses to drive in the dark, but ended up waking up late because I was sleeping on that damn couch again (from when I used to live there).

Tonight is lab and I have a feeling this class is going to go until 11 as well. Bah. I don't think I am cut out for this continuous lack of sleep/stress. But we'll see.

More later. When I don't have so much bloody work to do.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Absolute Worst Feeling

Is coming home from an incredibly awesome vacation.

The more I go away from my "house", the more my mind wanders back to the fact that I reaaaallly don't like Maryland and have never truly felt "at home" here.

Past attempts to move westward have failed for me, but have not dashed all my hopes of eventually moving towards the land where the sun never stops shining. Until then, I guess this one bedroom cramped space of a "house" in Dumb-dalk will have to suffice.

I had a blast this past week(end). Aside from the fact that this was the beginning of the spring semester, I had taken the mandatory week off from work and thus only had school to worry about. Which, I will never do again. I was literally exhausted from just attending the looooong evening classes, finding myself falling asleep without any strength to hold onto through three hour long lectures, and even more boring labs. I am so frightened for tomorrow morning when I go back to work, have a whole week's worth of work to catch up on, in addition to the classes that last until 10:30 pm Monday-Thursday. AHHHH!!!

If there was a way to just never spend any money on anything, and save up every single penny and dime that I earned, just so I could live off of it and quit work to go to school full time - Jesus, I would.

I am starting to think that as soon as I possibly can, maybe I should start looking for a part time job, and try to cut my expenses a little bit (even though I know I am fooling myself because I cut my expenses as far as I possibly can as it is).

So now I am sitting here, with this empty feeling in my stomach that is coming from the fact that my best friend left my place about a little over an hour ago - to go back to reality. We had a fuckin' blast though. The weather was amazing, and we went to the beach nearly EVERY day we were there (except for one after my unfortunate tequila accident. That's what I am calling it. Regardless of what caused it, J will tell you, I certainly was F-ED up!!). We ate (by 'we' I mean J) ate lots of good food, and J even managed to get me to get out of bed for at least two of the days to go to the gym with him in the early morning and I even managed to get him to sleep in on the fourth day and wait to go to the gym in the afternoon!

I am really happy that I went, and I know he is as well. It was a nice ending to a very interesting summer for me.

In addition, I spent a majority of the time NOT WEARING a hat!!! YES!! Because J became my hat. I felt confident knowing that he didn't care whether I was losing my hair or not. I only thought about it randomly when I would stare at the bed and see pieces of my hair lying all over J's pillow or on the sheets. I would start OCDing and pulling the pieces and throwing them in the trash or over the side of the bed. But J definitely didn't seem to care.

AND we spent a crapload of time in that damn hotel jacuzzi. Damn was that fun. Woo hoo. We even decided to brave an OC night club "Party Block"...heh heh. Finding other Asians in that club was like a "unicorn sighting", J said. It was hilarious. That was also the night where we ran into this kid who was standing at the bar with us and started just talking about how much he loved trance and how him and his friend (who was Korean and thought J was Korean too!) were from Philly. They apparently enjoyed our company so much that they insisted on buying us shots....shots of what - J and I are still not sure. We know it tasted like ass and based on the fact that the next day I had not only cigarette burns all over my left arm (the disadvantages of being a short ass girl) but a terrible stomach ache and a case of...the big D...well, I am assuming it was tequila.

I have a pic of us that is awesome that we took while we were at the beach. I'll probably post it tomorrow - but for right now I have to work on studying for my speech class quiz tomorrow and also prepare the first speech that is due tomorrow as well (that I should have done over the weekend but oh well.)

Lots of love to everyone. A big shout out, big hug, and big old "boosh boosh" to J!! "We sure did have some old-fashioned fun!"