Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Because you can be whatever you want to"

Who loves Halloween? (let the me-ing commence) I still dress up. Yeah, I'm probably too old and yes, people do give me the little half-smile "aren't-you-too-old-for-a-head-to-toe-costume?" look. I don't care and in all honesty, that kind of makes the holiday even better! Last year, I braved the criticism and dressed up like Sarah Palin. It was a great costume, especially since I actually like Palin. Somehow it was okay to scold the insults of my fellow neighbors while I was wearing Palin get-up. The year before I was a tootsie roll...it's wonderful being a candy. Before the slow and painful death of a hungry person's mouth, you're well loved. The year before I was Marie Antoinette. Let me start by saying most people thought I was a Disney Princess. "Oh are you Belle?" and other such nonsense. Ari was King Louis, but of course everyone called him "Captain Hook". This is so troubling! I wore a heavy wig and everything! Anyway, I gained a new appreciation for her, and the many back aches that silly wig probably gave her.
This year, I'm going to be a fairy. I love saying "I'm going to be a _____". It's so thrilling...reminds me of my childhood when I wanted to marry Franklin the turtle.
Being anything you want to is such a great message. I hear it everyday, but there's really only one day when it's socially acceptable to dress up like the Phantom of the Opera because "your mom made you" (even though you actually spent hours putting the costume together), like Elvis because he's the "king" (even though we all know you sing 'blue suede shoes in the shower)
So...dress up for Halloween. Even if you aren't going trick-or-treating, don't have a Halloween party to go to, and hate pumpkin flavored anything. Wearing someone else's clothes is a learning experience, and seeing someone else in the mirror is quite liberating.
I already snagged the end of a fairy wing, I'd suck as a fairy. I've gained a newfound respect for Tinkerbelle...

The ships I shape

The ships I shape shine Sunday morning sparkles

Sent to shame in the corner of my room

I see them shaking, sharing selfish gasps of oxygen, shoulder to shoulder

The ships I shape show shy sighs and wallow in sharp grief

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I still cry on the bathroom floor

I'm really inspired by people who cry in the open.
They're not embarrassed to how they're hurting on the inside, and they don't lie about having a bad day. I don't know why, but there are so many people in my family that keep their deeper emotions in check, so maybe I learn it from them. I hate crying in front of people. So much so, that one of my weekly prayers is, "Thank you for giving me tears that dry fast, and don't leave my eyes looking like I've cried".
I love Ellen Degeneres, and I especially love something she said during one of her stand up shows: "There is no silence, there's just constant noise all the time and people are talking all the time. Even with all the talking there's no communication. Even when we say 'how are you?' we don't mean 'how are you?', we don't care, just give us a 'fine' or a 'good', a one syllable and move along. And don't even say 'pretty good' that's a follow-up question, 'Pretty good? Did something happen, I don't have time...to.....what?' "
I think this is true about people, including myself.
These days when I get so upset that tears occur, I'm surprised, because I didn't have time to notice my frustration was actually that bad.
So today, when there was a possibility that something I worked for so long on was not going to even matter, I instantly felt that overheated, choking-for-air feeling I get before I cry. I'm not a pretty crier, let me just say that. And I was surprised! What?! This is not the end of the world! Nobody died! "What is your problem?" I realized that with all my observations, I forgot to observe myself, evaluate my snappy impulses without realizing how trivial they are. I've decided I'm not going to cry at school anymore for the rest of the month. That's it, no matter how angry I get with myself, or a teacher, or anyone else, I'm just going to take a deep breath and smile because I'm healthy. And if I have to cry, I'm not hiding away embarrassed to say I'm mad. Because, let me just say, my school's bathroom floor is pretty cold this time of year.

A little improv poem

I wish I could say
I fit in here now
With every step I watch I
I wish I could say
I've calloused my skin
That nobody sees
That I don't cry when I'm frustrated with my inability to understand
That I've grown out of it
I wish I could say
That the sparkle in my eyes
And the little girl voice I use when I'm happy
Has changed to an aggressive glint of determination
And a deep, wise, serious tone
That is constant.
But I can't
Say those things;
I'm as small as a whisper.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My people have eyes

I've been thinking about people this evening.
Specifically, people's people. "These are my people", "What hurts my people, hurts me", "I fight for my people". There's someone for everyone...blahblahblah. We've all heard it. Most of us have people. I'm not really talking about family, although your family might be your people. I'm talking about the people who you turn off your own thoughts for to listen to, not because you're "supposed to" or you have to, but because you want to. The people you care to hear, the people who speak words you make a point to see in your head, because they matter to you. The people you spend time with on the weekend. People who are important in your life. Maybe someone in your "people" group speaks to you and you get goosebumps. Or she talks and you feel an imaginary blanket cover you, head to toe. Or he smiles, and you don't need an explanation, you know why. Your people. You'd fight for them, you'd die for them. You stick with 'em. And no matter what, there's no doubt, no question. They're your people.
So what happens in school? You get mixed up with people who aren't your people. You learn to work with them. You learn to sort of care about them. And some of them, actually make it into your group of "people". This, honestly, is rare, but happens. Go talk to someone who says "high school was the best time of my life". It happened to them.
The reason why I'm writing about this, is because I don't know if I like this idea of having "people". I'm a hypocrite. However, I'm observant. I notice when I tell a white lie to get out of talking to someone who is not a part of my "people". I acknowledge the faults of my people, but I also acknowledge the ways in which I SCREAM YELL FIGHTFIGHTFIGHT, get mad when someone else talks about any and all faults of my people. Including myself. Think about wars. People with people that have tempers, and enemies.
Some people in my group of "people" don't know that they are my people.
Is this pathetic, or is this true for everyone?
I'm also thinking about eyes this evening. There was this show on T.V. called Kyle XY.
Wiki's blurb about it: "Kyle XY is an American drama television series filmed in the Vancouver, British Columbia, area. The show revolves around a boy named Kyle (Matt Dallas), who awakens in a forest outside Seattle, Washington, suffering from amnesia. The series follows Kyle as he tries to understand the mysteries of who he is and why he has no memory of being a child."
Anyway, this Kyle dude goes to live with a family and makes a great observation about eyes. He notices that most of the communication at the dinner table isn't spoken. One study at UCLA indicated that up to 93 percent of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues.
This connects back to the "my people" talk. I notice my people's nonverbal cues. Sometimes, a lot of the time, I miss those of the people outside of "my people". I need to get better at not doing that, but like every habit, it will take effort, and energy I might not want to generate. I've decided, however, to experiment. Treat someone outside of my people like someone who is a part of my people. We'll see how it goes.
Also, a poem I wrote a long time ago. I love it, so I'm sharing it with some hesitation.

Music is how we heal in this house
How his fingers touch the keys after a day of yelling, and melt away every cold word said.
How I hum along to a melody he makes up
And hug whoever is nearby
Because at the end of an absolutely horrible day
After every decision ever made is evaluated
It all comes down to this piano
And the reason why we all stay even though we're so different
We go on washing dishes and finishing papers and listening to 'Let It Be' as we do just that
And hope in some way the music never stops.