A flash of clarity followed by a mini panic attack. I'm thinking of giving up TV entirely since it seems to do nothing but increase my anxiety these days. A sociologist was talking about today's youth, more specifically men, or should I say boys. More specifically he was talking about how we all had grandiose visions of our future and no idea how to get there. As a result we wind up wasting out time and futzing around in school and dead end jobs and dealing with our frustration through binge-drinking, sports watching and violent porn. Ok so those last two items may be more about the guys he was talking about and less so youth in general. You know what, he's right. So is Kanye West when he talks about the career student who stays in school to hide from the real world in his song Good Morning. (awesome song by the way) I'm writing this from my sad windowless office where I'm killing time by updating a database. This is what my life is for the two weeks until I start school again. Another year of school will go by, I will continue to maintain a mediocre GPA (actually I have some fairly high goals for myself this year but I'm being pessimistic, don't interrupt) and then once again I will be lassoed into another long, tedious, pointless office job. Oh joy. And to what end? Where is this going? What am I doing? I have a day dream that I play more or less constantly in my head these days. I see myself graduated, with pretty good marks, getting my TOEFL certificate and then taking off to Japan for a year or two. From there I'll hop around Europe either teaching English or working as an Au Pair. Occasionally I'll use the money I've managed to save and do side trips to the Middle East and Africa, maybe doing some not for profit. I want to spend somewhere between five and ten years seeing the world before I come home and get my masters in whatever. Then masters, interesting career, maybe a book or two, possibly some politics and some more not for profit tossed in to the mix. Lots of travel, lots of children and happily ever after. I really don't know how feasible or likely this is. I'm pretty sure that Kimmel, the man writing about male youth and what the Hell is wrong with them would disapprove of my lack of direction, but on the plus side he'll be glad I'm not in the work place "confusing men". (he blames feminism in part for how fucked up guys my age are these days).
Back in the old days, when people were committed to marrying someone they committed with some gesture of wealth or money. So I think its time for a big splashy gesture that says "I Laura am committed to this project" Its important. I've more or less fallen off of the diet/exercise wagon. My motivation elsewhere in my life is totally shot. Honestly my indiference to work, my social life etc pains me. I'm in a slump, I don't know why and I don't know what to do with it. So I've had some thoughts about remotivating myself. I was looking at signing up for a boot camp in Toronto but I missed the sign up date. I would love to sign up for a yoga studio. I think a gesture of total frivolity is also appealing but I can't think of a way to justify it. Maybe when I go out I'll do something brave and stupid under the influence of alcohol. However, I think that for now I'm going to think. September has always been like a new year for me, so let me come up with a meaningful resolution which will help me confront one of those two main fears. Thoughts?
I saw my future on Wednesday when I was watching TV and it wasn't pretty. I was watching Scrubs probably because I was missing my sister and its one of her favourite shows. The main character's brother was coming to visit. The main character is a medical student doing his residency (so basically a doctor) and his brother is a bartender still living with his parents. At the end of the show the brothers were having a heart to heart and confronting some of their issues. One of the most significant issues was the fact that the doctor was ashamed of his brother. I think his brother sort of saw himself as a free-spirit type, but J.D. said the reason for his crappy job and the fact that he's still living with his parents was because he was so afraid to fail he didn't want to try anything that he loved or thought he would love. When I saw the confrontation scene my mind almost exploded. The problem is I don't know how to keep myself from falling in to Dan (the brother's) pattern I know it can be done but how? I know that I'm always making up excuses for myself, justifying the things I don't like about my life and convincing myself that everything is fine. But what if its not? Am I placidly plodding along in the general direction of obscurity, boredom and uneventfulness? If so I better turn myself around because that's not how I saw myself living!
Dear Hipster, I'm confused. I no longer can tell if I'm in style or horribly gauche. You try to look artsy but often you just come off as a dirty 80s bum. The cut off pale blue jean shorts paired with torn nylons long lank hair and eye skimming bangs leave me feeling baffled. Yes you have the signature enormous slouchy bag and starbucks to let the world know that you know what your doing, but to be honest I usually just think your sloppy.
I think any well established blog should have features, this will be a feature. Woot! Here I'm going to talk about fearless things, people etc. I'll also talk about things that make me feel fearless. How exciting.
The first thing I would like to discuss is people and they're sexual kinks. Thanks to the world wide web people can be more open and upfront then ever whilst maintaining a degree of anonymity. The best place to see the result of this is, in my opinion, Craigslist. People can be oh so upfront about what they like its actually a little bizarre. There are married couples looking for "house girls" in the romance section, which leads me to suspect that domestic duties are not all thats required. Other people want to find a young woman to "financially support" in exchanges for a few small services. But hey, at least they're honest, which in a society that is so judgemental, is pretty fearless from my perspective.
breaking down barriers: I am an avid reader of fashion magazines and one of the things that has always frustrated me beyond comprehension is their sheer hypocrasy. They nod their heads sagely and criticize the fashion industry for their skinny white models, and flipping through any major fashion magazine what are you going to see? Skinny white models. That said, Italian Vogue should be applauded for their September issue (AKA any magazine's biggest issue of the year) because that issue is a so called all black issue. Meaning that all the models are black. Yes they're still skinny and by and large they're on the paler side of the spectrum, but its still progress.
Makeup that doesn't move: summer proof make up. Total confidence. Need I say more?
I totally posted something yesterday and its not there! I think the blog gremlin ate it. Anywho, it was a totally unimportant little pat on the back for going to the gym. I have a plan! This is the plan. I want to keep this job so that I can stay in funds and enjoy my year! So, in order to keep this job I need to work extra hard and prove to my boss that I'm actually stellar. Considering that this work is so simple a five year old could do it you'ld think that wouldn't be a problem right? Enter boredom! THe thing that makes us forget we had other ambitions aside from making it through this day awake. "Money pays for all the days we live away but half asleep" says The Primitive Radio Gods So I'm just going to repeat to myself "Italy" over and over again and make it my new mantra, because my darling but now foreign friend Yuko and I are desperately hoping to meet up in the land of pasta and fashion at some point in December. (One wonders, on a side note, how it is that fashion and pasta go so well together in Italy but sadly not elsewhere) This is of course, if and ONLY if the people who are singlehandedly financing my education (my parents) agree. This will probably entail me making a contribution as well as me getting acceptable grades. Oh the pressure!
It's true, I haven't done anything truly terrifying in a while, so today will be the day. I'm going to the gym. Thus far I've been happy with walking and the occasional little work out at home. Today I'm making the first actual honest to goodness commitment to getting my ass in to shape. I have a couple of things that will hopefully motivate me. The first is my traditional back to school shopping trip wich I tend to do towards the end of September, when it's actually cold enough to wear fall clothes. The second thing is much more serious. Around the same time I'm going to get requalified for my bronze cross and hopefully continue on my way to getting my lifeguard qualifications. In the past, the thing that's always kept me from succeeding is lack of strength. I make the timed swim just fine, but keeping people's heads out of the water and eventually lifting someone simulating unconsciousness has always been tricky for me. Not this time! When I finally did pass it was because I spent weeks practicing every day. Hopefully this time will be the same. Another reason for working out a little more is tension and tiredness. I remember (vaguely) when I was in my best shape and I more or less bounded out of bed to greet the new day, I just felt healthier and exuberant about it. Who doesn't want that? The tension is another factor, I really want my back and neck to get a little more movement and loosen up! So hopefully I'll go to the gym as often as possible and join a yoga studio (I'm going to sign up after work today) and by the end of August I'll feel wonderful!
Oh the list is long. But I think I should share a couple of "fearless" things that I'm in to right now as a way to close off the week. Fearless thing number one: Friends. A good friend should be able to bolster your confidence and help you achieve things that you wouldn't normally do. Number 2: liquor! Kidding... sort of. Number 3: Self-help literature. I kid you not. Specifically my new favourite, every girl on the planet should read this book: He's Just not that in to you. The best part of this book is that it takes the agony and second guessing out of relationships and boys which is, in my opinion, incredibly liberating and confidence boosting. As the authors say, you'll find the one, just not him. True story. Number 4: Spray in shampoo. Because nothing gives me anxiety like greasy roots. And finally number 5: Shopping. Seriously, just one new thing and I feel that much perkier. Better yet get something thats a little more adventurous then what you normally wear. That way you get fearless and confidence-boosting wrapped in to one!
So here's a question: does my overwhelming desire to feed runway models stem from the fact that I hate to see creatures suffer or from secret jealousy that my clothes don't skim gracefully over my jutting bones.
That actually has nothing to do with anything, all I know is that high fashion mags make me cringe.
On another note I've been thinking about taking up creative writing again. Not in any large way per se. More of an occasional short story or vignette. Because writing is something that I'm good at, sort of, but not incredible, so while I wouldn't be failing exactly I'll probably never measure up to my own standards and in time I need to learn to be ok with that. Besides from a practical perspective I really need to work on my technique. I have a tendancy towards the melodramatic which probably stems from my slightly victorian vocabulary and my very, very dry major. (In other words my essays are not exactly a creative outlet) I read a ton which means that occasionally at least, I read "the best" or "the masters" of literature, and every time I finish a book that belongs to the literary canon, I sigh, half with satisfaction that something so wonderful has been created and half with envy at the dizzying heights of that author's writing... something I can never aspire to.
See what I mean about melodrama?
On another note, the fun and fearless new hair cut has its downside, I blew it out as best I could last night and straightened it this morning but my hair had its heart set on soft 1940's waves and I wanted a sleek and modern bob which I would tousle ever so slightly to keep from looking to polished. It had humidity and the remanants of a perm on its side, I had styling tools and lots of hairspray on mine, in the end we achieved a compromise which we both hate. Such is life.
Finally, I would like to share one of my greatest failings. I may obsessively read blogs, listen to my ipod, send text messages and do all those other things that are typical of my generation, but I am a serial email ignorer. As a result, all those little reminders sent to me by self.com and glamour.com in regards to my too lifestyle "makeovers" have been rather systemically ignored. I may even check them someday. Oops? Who needs to be organized and diet jump-started anyways?
So, if the name doesn't say it all, and if my past "anti-diet" post didn't, I'm not a big fan of diets. However, in an effort to be a little more aware of my dietary habits, and make sure that I'm consuming healthy amounts of fruits and veggies, I decided to keep a record of my eating habits. TOTALLY a bad idea. I'm pretty sure it's a hop skip and a jump away from counting calories, and calorie counters are the next door neighbours of eating disorders. Not to mention the whole thing is very very scary, but scary in a way I don't want to persue. Now, let me confess, it gave me a little insight in to the hard core dieter's mind, and I almost saw the appeal. Scary I know. But to people like me, control is very tempting. There is SO little in our lives that we can control. We can't control the people around us, or our work, income etc. We don't have control when disaster strikes, and based on the newspapers, disaster strikes several times a day. So why not take control of something deeply personal, what we eat, how much we exercise, and thus our weight.
So, originally I thought I was doing the cop out thing. In the back of my head I was thinking "come on, this isn't for real, you just want to live the way you always live and not feel guilty." I'll never fully silence that voice in my head. Instead I'm going to respond with, yes and no. Yes, I want to live with a little less guilt. Women are laden with guilt. We're programmed that way. If we some how fall short of our own expecations we feel guilty, it's even worse when we disappoint others. But also, I do want to live and eat more healthfully. I think that I have made a good change in my life. I had a burger and fries for lunch but I have yogurt and almonds waiting as my afternoon snack. I walk a LOT and I try to do some yoga a few times a week.
So yeah, that part of my life seems to be going really well. BUT(!) other parts not so much. Yes I'm still scared of people in general really. That whole fear of rejection thing. Just because I've now made friends with the girl down the hall does not mean I'm about to make friends with the really hot guy down the hall. Soo for my darling friends who read without responding, (you know who you are) lets give Laura some fun and exciting challenges for the near future!
AHHHHH! Its so good. I love gay south Koreans. A rare breed though they may be. My hair dresser assured me that everything I envisioned was in fact achievable and also would look good on my face. That like never happens. Anyways, I think its a style that can be both sleek and professional, young and fun and saturday morning style relaxed. Life is good. Thought I wold share.