Re-find Yourself

Something strange happened to me this week. It was a moment of clarity.

Back in January, I got my haircut. The event wasn’t unusual, but it inevitably left a physical mark. The haircut I got was shorter than what I am used to, but I liked it for the first few days. It was quick and easy to fix, required little work, and was just there. However, after that initial liking, I found that I couldn’t do anything with my hair, the proportions of the top, back, and sides were off –it was just boring. And so for the past few months, I have not done anything with my hair and was rather annoyed with it. It was flat, lifeless, indifferent.

But this week, I decided to take on the challenge of styling my hair. I showered, and dried my hair until it was somewhat damp. I approached the blow drier anxious, resentful, yet determined. plugged it in, faced myself in the mirror, and was ready to attack that dark mop of hair on top of my head. I tried to re-learn those movements of my hands as I held the blow drier and the hair brush. At some point in time, I was so proficient at it that I could style my hair in 10 minutes. And so I slowly but surely accomplished what I’ve set myself to do. I managed to get closer to being content with my hair..

As I was looking at myself in the mirror, I realized that the person looking back at me was someone familiar.. I finally started recognizing myself. It wasn’t the fact that my hair was finally looking decent. It was my attitude about the whole thing.. It was the effect of seeing my best friend who reminded me who I am, and who I want to be.

I remember reading Eat, Pray, Love and encountering the following quote:

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend”.

I liked the idea of seeing yourself as a friend, but I never know what she entirely meant when she wrote that. It took great desperation, self-qustioning and doubt, somewhat of a mini-crisis for me to really see myself in that manner.. It is weird to explain. But I’m getting back to myself.

 

Small steps, but in the right direction.

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Frozen Blackberries

It has come to my attention that my blog name could be misleading. No, I don’t blog about my organically-grown fruits and vegetables, or my extravagant culinary experiences and capabilities. The Frozen Blackberries story is odd and not directly related to what I write about.. well, maybe in a roundabout way it does.

My best friend and I used to ask random students who were complete strangers to us to swipe us into the dining hall. You’d be surprised how many of them gladly did so.. I saved a lot of money from all these swipes! So one day, we go into the dining hall and do our usual trips around to see what food was on the menu. To our surprise, instead of the usual, boring, flavorless melon and cantaloupe, there were blackberries. Of course we got excited and loaded up on blackberries for dessert. We started eating the little, plump purple and black fruits, yet instead of fresh blackberries, we were served frozen ones. They weren’t very good, but K came up with the idea to use them and make blackberry scones –we were (still are) obsessed with scones and any other baked goods. So K grabbed a bowl full of blackberries to take home with here. She put the bowl in a plastic bag, tied it tightly so nothing would spill, and placed it carefully in her backpack.

It was a rainy day, and we took the bus back to south campus where we both lived. Throughout the ride back, paranoid her kept checking her backpack in hopes for no blackberry mess .. while worrying whether we were going to get caught for “borrowing” a bowl from the dining hall. That day, I brought the idea to start writing a blog for the heck of it because I enjoy writing, and I kept mulling over what to call it. As we walked into our building, K headed towards the elevator and I walked towards my apartment on the first floor, she told me to name the blog Frozen Blackberries.

The Frozen Blackberries story doesn’t end here. She put the blackberries in the freezer, and about a week later, we got together to make the scones. We followed a recipe she found online. As always, Type-A, control freak me took over the situation, and K was completely ok with it.. (the two of us in the kitchen is a metaphor for how our relationship operates). So we mixed all the necessary ingredients, and it all went well until we added the blackberries. The batter changed from the creamy off-white to a pasty purple color; something was obviously wrong with it. We weren’t going to throw away the batter, and just put the purple blobs in the oven and hoped for the best.

The “scones” were gross. We tried to reason with ourselves, telling ourselves that they weren’t bad with coffee or peanut butter. Lies, I tell you, those scones were disgusting.

I could probably come up with some weird, overly meta way in which this story harbors deeper meaning, but it doesn’t matter right now. The story is just practice in story-telling, which is why I opened this blog.. Perhaps it makes sense after all..

The Pants

I had this pair of turquoise jeans that I bought last spring. I remember the moment where I saw them as I walked to the store, they caught my eye immediately. Running to them, I expected them to be too expensive for me to afford. I looked at the price tag, and lo and behold, the pants were on sale! I screamed towards my best friend, telling her that I’m going to try them on. I grabbed my size and walked over to the fitting room; expectedly, the fit, and as usual, they were a bit snug on my waist… they just needed a bit of breaking in. I got them.

I was very hesitant wearing them for the first time. I didn’t know how to wear such a vibrant color without looking like a neon sign. I decided to wear my favorite black button down down, and accented it with a black belt with a smooth, rectangle silver buckle. At that moment I knew I loved the pants.

I wore them on the streets of New York while exploring the city with my best friend. I wore them while performing the song I wrote over the summer. Walking on campus, friends recognized my from half a mile away because of the bright color. Wearing those jeans so elegantly and successfully landed me a job interview. Someone once told me  “you have those really cool turquoise jeans, right!?”

Those jeans grew to hold much sentimental value for me.. which others may dismiss as dumb or childish. They became my signature item. The color became my color.

And then they vanished. When I was moving back home after graduating, I lost the jeans. I looked for them everywhere, everywhere at my house, my closet, my car, my best friend’s house where I stayed. They simply disappeared. I refused to believe that they were just gone.

So after excessive attempts to find them at my old apartment -attempts that were fruitless-, I gave up on finding them, and decided to look for a new pair online. I found them.. they were only $7. It was a no brainer. I got them rather quickly. As soon as I saw the package, I ripped it open, slipped off my denim jeans, and put on the turquoise ones. The were new and snug on my thighs. The color was bright.. a bit brighter and more vibrants than the color I was used to.. maybe even a bit more green than blue –but maybe it was just the light in the cloudy day.

I look for signs in everything. And those jeans may have been a sign.. the story of the jeans may be a sign. Maybe the loss of them was a sign that a chapter in my life was over. Maybe getting them was much like the story we all know: the one where the little boy’s fish dies, and then the parents go get a new one, and the child never notices that his little fish is not really his little fish. My self psychoanalysis tells me that I was trying to bring myself into a time where I was happy, and a time that I did not want to end.. I didn’t want to lost a piece of myself or myself completely. I want the vibrancy in my life, I want that color and brightness. I refuse to let happy me go..

And I can’t decide if it’s a good or bad thing.

Spinning

It’s 4:00AM and I can’t sleep.

I can’t seem to shake the thought that my life is spinning out of control,  that my sense of purpose is slowly crumbling, all letting the fear of failure creep in.. Fear that 2014 is going to be my shitty year. After all, we’re already a quarter in, and it’s been nothing but crap.
I am not trying to just complain or victimize myself –even though it may come off that way. I’m just trying to do what I always do: analyze the situation to death. I want to get to the root of my problems.. And when I just start thinking about it, I reach a sensory overload where all of my thoughts and concern come crushing down on my aspirations. Why do I do this to myself?
I write because I find it cathartic. I write because it helps me work though issues and ideas. I write because I find it enjoyable. And so far, I’ve written very little this year. My ideas revolve around one thing only: how to get out of this post-graduation rut. And since I can’t come up with an answer, a plan, a road map, I just refrain from writing altogether.
Great. Another failure.
I try to not be a Negative Nancy and share my despair with everyone, except my two best friends. Those two poor souls have plenty of problems of their own to worry about, though.. I shouldn’t be adding mine. So I try to keep a cheerful, hopeful, positive façade and bottle it all in! I do that even though I know it’s a stupid thing to do, but I don’t know what else to do with all this negativity and frustration.. I have no outlet, or not a big enough outlet for them. I’ll need to carve in my own Suez Canal to channel all of this out. And so my body has already been protesting with embracing a wonderful allergy, bipolar disorder of the digestive system, insomnia, and teases me with taking me to the verge of an anxiety attack. Yay!
Spinning out of control.. Maybe it’s the whole Elizabeth Gilbert thing.
Will I at least get a book and movie deal from this?