Game On

Today was a day. Literally my first step out the door I slipped on black ice and gave myself a possible slight concussion. So knowing I’m gonna be woken up throughout the night (because comas) while I plan for precalculus and wonder just how long I can put off grading those related rates calculus quizzes, I figured I might as well write a bit.

Because I had an amazing idea in the elevator this morning!

You know, three steps before I concussed myself.

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Psst! Do you like music?

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted–first I got sidetracked when I was told my thesis was due earlier than anticipated (by a month! but don’t worry, I finished it–and passed my defense), and then I had to catch up on homework, and then I’ve been attending a YOGA for Youth teacher training and it’s been busy (forty hours? two weekends? check!).

Excuses, excuses, of course, but it’s my way of saying if I could have been here, sharing ideas and experiences with all of you, I would have been. =)

I’m still in a frenzied state, of course, attempting to stay on top of everything as graduation and Teach for America barrel toward me, but I want to take a quick moment to share something with you–call it my three-day-early throwback Thursday.

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Where the Heart Isn’t

My writing desk vibrates with the hum of Florence + the Machine, the echoes of her voice as it thralls and throws the air, a soft vibrato all the way to my fingertips, my toes.

My toes sit soft at the ends of my shoes, slightly sweetened by sweat and the long walk across campus I made today–twice–beneath the blistering North Carolinian sun.

My right shoe is pressed flat against the floor of the faded maroon carpeting of my new campus apartment, only the ball of my left foot hitting the floor, my heel raised as I lean forward, poised for creativity, ready for my words to rewrite the world.

I’d say it feels like home, but it doesn’t. It isn’t.

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Identity Crises

Friends, I said in a weekend Facebook post, I need your help.

I’ve learned a lot about systems of (dis)advantages over the past few years, and newsflash, I have a lot of privilege. In fact, it’s hard for me to find much in my life that isn’t a result of somewhere someone giving me me something that someone else was denied–whether it’s my assumed intelligence because I’m white or my assumed leadership skills because I’m male or so many other things.

So how do I hold onto any sort of self-worth when everything I thought I had fought so hard to achieve was really just handed to me?

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From Cookies to Life

What My Experiments with Baking Have Taught Me About Life

Or: I want to talk about cookies, so let me make it a metaphor.

I like cooking (and I like eating what I cook–most of the time), but like blogging, being in school (and often over-committing myself), it’s not something I get to do as often as I’d like–so when the opportunity to cook arises, I jump at it. Team potluck? Let me try my hand at salmon casserole, spicy chicken dip, or cranberry kugel. Need a dessert for a bake sale or snack at the meeting? Let me make a hundred oatmeal cream cookies (those were a hit! and they lasted for months, great snacks between classes!), gluten-free black bean brownies, or red velvet cake batter cookies. My mouth is watering at the memories!

So I’m going to a friend’s housewarming party tomorrow night (no spoilers, Katie, stop reading) and I decided I wanted to surprise her with some made-at-home cookies!

But sometimes baking doesn’t always go so well.

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Grand Unifying Theory

The fault in my stars made me a Gemini. Not only was the sun in this sign on the day of my birth, at the minute of my birth the earth watched as Gemini rose on the horizon. Expanding outwards through the solar system, three of the other nine astrological planets also stand in my first house.

I was destined for duality from the start.

In its most basic ailment, this often manifests itself in my having clearly delineated inner and outer selves, one known only to myself while the world witnesses the other. But as my particular brand of fate would have it, it doesn’t end there.

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The Heartache Addendum

It’s been a few days since I wrote last. On Wednesday I felt like an emotional wreck–a feeling that had been building up for days since parting ways with my boyfriend. But it wasn’t just emotions at play, you see, and when I realized what else was going on, things took a drastic change in direction.

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Happy

Today I’m happy. And for as much as it fills me up and pours in puddles upon the ground wherever I step, I’m somewhat surprised by how unbridled and brimming I am. It’s like the sun rose inside me and now shines its brilliant rays through my pores–endless light everywhere I look.

Yesterday was a long day. I slept late, missed my tutoring session (even after running across campus in the April heat to try to make up for it), and when I got home, my bedroom light had died. Thankfully I’ve got a bedside lamp I was able to use, but it wasn’t nearly bright enough to keep me conscious and focused.

So when I went to bed, I didn’t have much happiness to hold onto.

Then: this morning, my alarm set for 10:30, I woke up at 7:30. I expected to feel terrible if I got out of bed, and knowing I had time, I rolled over and tried to sleep some more. It worked only partially, and within an hour or two I was out of bed–but despite fewer than six hour of sleep, I felt vibrantly awake–vivaciously alive.

I spent some time doing a few yoga asanas (since I exercised last night with a run and some push-ups every so often down the line) and then I did some graphic design stuff for the mere fun of it and organized a list of things I’ve got to get done today. I’m right where I need to stand to finish up the semester, except I’m a fair bit behind on my research paper–which is on a topic I love, so why I’m procrastinating, I just can’t say.

But when I left my room this morning, I just felt overflowing. I played some music and sang my way to lunch, then sang my way to class. I haven’t stopped smiling. Not one moment. Well, I might have frowned a bit when I saw the 75 I got on my last math test, but with my professor’s adjusted grading scale, it’s still a B, so I’ve still got something to smile about, don’t I? I just need to study more and do better on the final, that’s all.

Back to my room, I studied another Duolingo lesson–I’m about two behind where I’d like to be before I leave, but I can catch up in the airport if I have to–and then I got to other work: I even took a five minute break to call on Representative Ellmers to sign on as a cosponsor for ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that will grant federal workplace protection to the LGBT community, and trust me, it felt great.

The smallest things, you know?

Only a few days ago I was writhing in stress–piles of homework, unmanageable amounts of reading and research, the terrifying excitement of meeting my boyfriend–but today, all that anxiety is gone. I got to speak with a trusted counselor on Thursday, I got to visit with friends yesterday, and all the while I’ve got to talk with him–the love just bubbling up between the syllables of every word we share. I’ve given up counting the days until I see him–now I’m counting the hours, the hours so slowly yet swiftly disappearing into minutes.

Today I’m happy. I’m overflowing with joy and jubilation. And I’m thankful–because I’m not the only one responsible: all the people who teach me, who guide me, who love me and care for me–they’re why I’m happy.

And it’s an amazing feeling.

Artificial Constructs

Today the semester began. This could mean any of the following:

(a) All my free time has suddenly vanished in a burst of nothingness.
(b) The stress I thought I knew last semester will seem like relaxing.
(c) I have to deal with people. Lots of people. All the time. Always.

Though it’s true each of the above will likely apply at some point this semester (and my restless sleep last night certainly seemed to foreshadow two of the three), it’s the third that’s got me thinking today.

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Welcome to the Cosmic Order

I have a friend who likes to tell me–whether sincerely or sarcastically I sometimes cannot tell–that I’m the kind of guy who, when life throws shit at me, just keeps on smiling. And I suppose it’s true. If you’re a longtime reader, you might recall past discussions on regret and pessimism that asserted I believe everything must work out in the end, and that the best way to survive is to keep smiling–even if it’s only a choice, not a direct response.

So I keep on smiling.

But sometimes it feels there’s no need–because everything’s in order anyways.

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