True Life: I am Life Bulimic

As my friend so kindly put it, I’m life bulimic. The past couple of days, I’ve been working to scour through every last belonging. What has little or no emotional significance I’m donating. Or just plain chucking. Ozone layer be damned, sometimes it just feels better to throw things in the trash. Hard.

A lot of it has to do with moving. What I can’t fit into two suitcases I have to either store or purge.

I get in this mode almost predictably every spring; it’s my extreme version of “Spring Cleaning.” Last year, I called it my Perfect 10 Concept. And while the same rules apply, this is different. This is determined, cold-hearted war. I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade. I’m life bulimic.

To veer slightly off-subject… I’m so tired. My mom jokes that I have one mode: Go Mode. The problem is that I’ve been in Go Mode since, umm, August 2010. I had a week long brain break when I escaped to the Bahamas in May last year. But other than that, I’ve been running on empty for almost two straight years. I’m tired, burnt out, and it’s definitely not helping my whole mental health (or lack thereof) sitch.

My mom caught this from 3,000 miles away, and kindly booked me a flight home for July. She’s informed me that while I am home, I am to sleep on my beloved red couch, play with my puppy, and eat home food (think Mexican food, and my dad’s biscuits and gravy). I’m going to plan Paris explorations, rediscover my running legs, and bathe in Vitamin D.

Tangent aside, my purging isn’t just about clothes and belongings. It’s throwing away letters and gifts from high school boyfriends. It’s shedding my responsibilities with WOOF and other clubs. Even getting rid of books, old magazines, business cards. It’s throwing away half of my nail polish, old beat up (Sharpie’d in) flats, and threadbare towels. Even cleaning out my computer files. It’s about clarity, zen. I imagine this airy, white room. That’s what I want my inside to feel like. That’s what I want my everything to be.

For someone who claims to be a “gypsy soul,” I sure have a lot of baggage. And just general shit. Better to purge the 1-9.9s. I’m buying a lot of trash bags. And probably mints, too.

Insomnia Poetry

I started writing more poetry during the excruciatingly late nights in the news room. While I waited for edits, I brain barfed uncensored poetry into gmail drafts and lazily sent them off to friends and critics. Some are more eloquent than others, some more passionate than others. Some rhyme, most don’t. What I could extract from my gmail “Sent” folder is included below.

What If
Insomnia and loneliness dance through my veins,
And I let them permeate my brain, let them taint my thoughts.
I watch as my potential lives play like movies across the backs of my eyelids.
All the parallel universes that couldawouldashoulda existed… There as a reminder of everything I never did.
All the forks in the road, all the ultimatums, all the conversations I never had reclaim some remnant of reality there in my 2am brain spaz.
I carry on both sides of the conversation…
Things I wish I had the wit to come up with without forethought,

Things I hardly admit to myself,

Things I wish I had the guts to say rather than feverishly type them into a document that still exists only on my desktop and in my mind.
Words you know, but only because you know me. Words I never could say.
Because having that conversation in real life would mean relinquishing my control over the outcome.
Shouldawouldacoulda…
Here, in my half-lucid not-quite-dream world, I dance the tango with two dangerous words.
And let the possibility of what could have been color my darkened room.

Toes

I’m all wild
Red hair and leopard prints
Independence and big talkin’

I “dig” my own holes
And tread on your pretty little toes
With my garishly painted, toe-ring studded ones

Sorry if I offended you, dearest Napoleon
Sorry if you met your match
I’ll fight logic with emotions
I’ll fight your tactics with my words
And win

But winning is really losing, isn’t it
This isn’t litigating here
With you, toe to toe

I just scare you off
God forbid I not be some prim Southern belle
But mayonnaise with Jell-o?
Gross
And debutante balls?
Archaic displays of long-lost virginities
Complete with frills and baby’s breath

I’ll stick to my beer
And my outspoken, underdeveloped opinions
Sorry I scare you away, kid
But this isn’t the 1940s

I’ll let you let me be the girl that got away
But I promise you, Ace
I will not go quietly

A Taste of Fall

It’s like savoring a childhood ice cream cone,
when I watch the northern sun set.
After 72 hours of cloudy-with-afternoon-showers,
it’s a long overdue apology from Mother Nature.

“Sorry for the messed up makeup,” she says,
“the never knowing what to wear outside.
Sorry for the mud-stained boots, the chill,
the loads of wet, moldy laundry, the pneumonia.

Just sit with me a while, friend,
And enjoy your colorful consolation.
Pour some hot cocoa, pull up a seat,
and share some silent, sweet conversation.”

And I sit there, cross-legged and cold,
and stare into my her eyes a while.
I pull my Snuggie in around my goose-bumped legs,
and share a stolen moment with my new frenamie.

The conversation transitions seamlessly,
from tangerine to peach to pomegranate.
In the most delicious, sherbety goodness,
that my eyes have ever tasted.

And then she fades away too soon into the black,
the gray, the shades of winter cold.
And I’m left with a lingering fruity sweetness,
clashing with my hot-turned-luke-warm chocolate.

My Life in Lists

If I ever had the guts,
to just up and quit everything
and write a memoir,
it might not be that interesting…

Probably a female angsty
version of some Salinger story.

But I’d call it: “My Life in Lists.”
Because I have the annoying habit
of breaking everything down into
bite-sized lists.

I blame my mom.

Word documents fill my desktop…
Bucket lists, Christmas lists,
lists of boyfriends and books to read.
Ideas for a story, words I think are pretty.
Lists, lists, lists.

Somehow, writing a list feels productive,
organized, constructive…
when I know its just procrastinating,
not doing the things actually on the list.

But it looks so pretty. All the check-less boxes,
There’s so much damn potential.

Sometimes, I put things on the list
like “Wake up” and “Breathe air”
just so I can feel the satisfaction
of putting a tick in that tiny, perfect square.

If I ever die and someone gets hold of Lloyd
(that’s my laptop),
they could dissect my whole personality,
my hopes and fears and dreams,
from the contents of my desktop.

Thought Soup

Sometimes, in our instant-message society,
The words we mean to say become scrambled
Like a Denny’s breakfast (noms).
I try to fill the awkward silences with
Gilmore Girls-esque brain barf, unscensored nothings.
And my hands come alive, dancing.

I always speak with my stupid hands.

As a writer, my whole life revolves around words,
All the whos and whoms and whichs and thats.
I explain away the unexplainable,
And my head spins with song lyrics and stories.

I so seldom stop to listen to them, though.
I mean really listen.

I’m a Gemini, through and through.
There are so many different ‘Marians’:
The tomboy Marian, the writer Marian
The sister, the daughter, the scholar
The friend, the baby girl, the child.
I hardly know who I am, anymore.

I’m not comfortable sitting still and making peace with myself,
Whichever version of myself myself really is.

“I have so many problems,”
I say while sitting in a lonely newsroom at 3am,
Turning my psychological thought soup
Into sloppy, haphazard poetry.

No edits, I tell myself.
Let the stream of consciousness run its course,
Eroding away my sense of comfort.

Heck, maybe this is me:
Half finished thoughts, strung together.
All the pieces
With emotion and 3am logic.
(Whatever logic there is at 3am)

Thought to Ponder: Salad Dressing Syndrome

Ok, so one of my most defining characteristics is what my parents have deemed “Salad Dressing Syndrome.” When I was younger, I couldn’t decide on a single salad dressing, so I mixed them all together. I’m extremely indecisive.

Honestly, there are several reasons.

Sometimes (like when I’m trying to decide what I want for dinner or what to do on a Friday night), I face two or more decisions and can’t decide. Mostly, because I DON’T CARE. And not in an ‘I-don’t-care,’-said-Pierre way. I just genuinely don’t have a preference. So I’ll ask other people to decide for me. And, I promise, I’m happy with whatever you choose. Trust me, if I’m not happy, you’ll know 🙂

However, other times, making decisions is just depressing. Writer Aleksandar Hemon has a quote that reads: “All the lives we could live, all the people we will never know, never will be, they are everywhere. That is what the world is.”

I love that quote.

Think of every decision as Frost’s two diverging roads. Every decision creates two (or more) potential outcomes. And when you pick a path, you inevitably face more decisions and diverging roads.

Some people imagine the paths that we don’t choose as alternate universes. I see them as potential lives that I could have lived that are now shut of from me forever. And that’s sad; think of all the people I could have met, all the opportunities I could have taken advantage of, all the experiences and memories that I’ve been robbed of. To me, making a decision is cutting myself off from my potential. Every decision splits me in two. There are so many (too many) things I want to accomplish in my life. It’s heartbreaking for me to throw those other “lives” away. I want it all; I want all the salad dressings.

My freshman year of high school, we had to take Frost’s “Two Roads” and rewrite it the way we interpreted it. I was thirteen. I can’t remember most of it, but the last few lines read:

“Choices lead to choices more,

An exponential growth.

Shows just how much the world can change,

With the innocent first decision.”

Random Thought to Ponder: Laughter

Did you know babies laugh on average 300 times a day compared to adults, who average 15?

Now that’s a depressing statistic… ever laughed for no reason? Just because laughing feels WONDERFUL??

Try it.

Notice the little things and laugh because laughter is life’s medicine. Laugh because it trumps everything else. Laugh because it’s life’s anti-drug.

Laugh with friends, laugh at books, watch some comedy. Laugh at yourself, laugh at friends, laugh at life’s little twists.

Laugh because it burns 1.3 calories per minute, Laugh because life is so thrilling at times, and laugh because it strengthens your diaphragm.

Laughter turns life’s depressions into comedies. And it grants us a sweet taste of perspective.

Laugh. It’s contagious.