Syncopated Heart

I hate how much of this blog is stained with memory of love-sickness and all that comes with the territory. I wish I could take back the sincerity, it would make the fallout a lot easier to deal with, don’t you think? I can’t do that though. It feels tantamount to self-mutilation, although, it’s probably closer to self-denial.20180918_202853929_iOS

20181022_224814312_iOSI am a self-diagnosed hopeless-romantic, and I hate it. I fall hard, so hard I skin my knees, break my bones, and get so comfortable at the bottom that I never bother with trying to find a way out.

This was the year I got dumped. This was the year that every word on love I’d written so far had turned sour, had turned from welcoming, reminiscent, and nostalgic, to biting, mocking, and painful. Nostalgia burns.

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There are things I wish I could forget, emotional baggage I wish I could check. It’s interesting, talking through the fallout with new people. People, friends, who cry when you show them words written, who get angry on your behalf ( I’ve never been as slow to anger as I have these past 7 months.) It’s a novelty I never truly thought I’d experience.

It’s time I tried to find my way out. In this case, the cliche does ring true, and it will be my friends who help me find the way back to the metaphorical “top”.

20180809_170430513_iOSThere are other thoughts I have worth writing about. It’s just easier to chase the searing rush of ” I need to write” that comes with my syncopated heart. But, emotionally, I’m drained. I want this blog to be more diverse than it is. Because, currently, it hurts to look at. And I mean that in both the lightest and the heaviest ways possible.

At some point I need to learn how to balance getting over myself and taking myself seriously.

Oh well! No time like the present!20180816_011607082_iOS

So, maybe this means taking down some blog posts. Maybe this means writing about things other than the worn down foot-trails of my metaphoric aortic valve. Maybe this means reviewing movies and books that turn over in me a desire to do so. Maybe this means continuing to mewl into the internet by way of this web page. Who knows. I’ll figure it out.

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Various degrees of Vincent

I seem to be forgetting, more and more, certain parts of being human. Other parts, however, are rushing back to me in screaming color. Bright, alien yellows, and deep, swirling, cerulean blues.
It’s like a give-and-take, I suppose. Give the ability to eat regular meals, start brushing your teeth regularly again. Give the ability to sleep your normal hours, get the ability to shower every other day.
There is no peace without chaos. There’s no calm without chaos. There’s not one single part of my life that exists with chaos in some varying degree.
I’ve been reading about Vincent Van Gogh, an interesting guy to be sure. It’s chilling to know him as this quasi-crazy, weird and wild, genius of an artist, some weird ass guy who chopped off his own ear, and then to read about his childhood and teenage years and see certain parallels to my own life.
On the one hand it’s sort of comforting, maybe even exciting. Obviously, I’m no Vincent. I can’t do what he did, but to be fair, no one can. But maybe, maybe… no one will be able to do what I can do either.
Vincent read a lot. He walked a lot. He didn’t eat regularly, too distracted to, I believe. He fell into fascinations and obsessions head first, becoming enthralled at an alarming pace. He loved a girl who didn’t… couldn’t… match his love, and it tore his world a part for a time. He was smart, he was weird, he worried his parents. Relied on his younger siblings.
Sound familiar at all?
There are differences, there are similarities.
It reminds me that my problems are not unique. That I am not the first person to have an unpredictable brain. It gives me hope that I’m not just another “millennial statistic,” but a person dealing with the same issues that people have been dealing with forever. Or at least since the 19th century. I empathize with Van Gogh. They used to say he’d fall into fits of melancholy. By today’s estimation he was probably bipolar/ manic depressive. High highs, low lows.
Ever restless, never satisfied, a persistent paralyzing curiosity, a never ending fear. The older sibling who falls apart… the original family disappointment. Insatiable. Unstable. Brilliant.

“Give and Take,” or 2013 Revisited

I found a poem that I had completely forgotten about. I posted it to deviant-art, god, remember deviant-art? Written and posted in 2013.

The poem itself wasn’t great, big shocker, I know. But the content felt like a slap to the face. I probably could have written an iteration of the same poem yesterday. Maybe I have, I don’t even know. I don’t know how to feel about it.

After I found that poem I decided to dig through the digital archives of my preteen/teen years. It was odd. So, so, absolutely bizarre. I found art pieces by artists I adored, I found pieces that I used to stare at for hours, trying and failing to figure out the secrets that lay in the brush strokes. This rabbit hole led to another rabbit hole, which led to realizing some of the people I looked up to weren’t as larger-than-life as I remember them to be. One epiphany after another.

I found stuff I wrote when I was fifteen…fourteen…thirteen….

It’s funny when you look back like that, and you find eerie echoes from the past that turn out to foreshadow your future.

“It’s funny, because sometimes I feel the stirrings in my center, what I can only assume to be love, but I don’t have a romantic interest in my life. I don’t know what causes it, family , friends maybe, a lovely string of words or a good cup of tea.

But I have this theory, that maybe it’s the rumblings of an avalanche still to come.

It’s like a warning sign in my chest, letting me know what’s still to come. Preparing me for the fall.”

-“Thoughts on Love,” February 18, 2014

God, I was fifteen. I did have a romantic interest in my life, I just hadn’t acknowledged it yet. I hadn’t yet connected the feelings I had for the person with the person.

And I was right. When those rumblings finally gave way it did indeed hit me like an avalanche. I don’t know if I was prepared. I don’t know if anyone is ever really prepared.

I was so precocious back then. Back when I was young enough to be considered precocious. I felt like a prodigy when I wrote, because I was precocious, and any half-decent thought was considered revolutionary for my age.

Now, if anything, I feel mediocre. I’m too old to be precocious, I no longer think my thoughts are revolutionary in any way shape or form (even for my age.) I don’t think I’ve improved my writing skills much, if at all, since I was fifteen. Damn.

Looking through all this, remembering the way I felt when I wrote like this, remembering the way my room looked at the time, remembering what it was like  to look through my eyes at that time.

I feel sick to my stomach.

God only knows why. The passage of time? The cycle presenting itself in my life as time goes on? The fact that I’m not as special as I thought I was?

I miss being fifteen. It was like the calm before the storm. When I was fifteen I was scared of turning sixteen. I remember this because I wrote about it. And, lo and behold, I would be proven right shortly after I wrote about it. Being sixteen for me, to put it gently, sucked.

And now? I’m sitting on the cusp of an “age milestone” like I was back then. Nineteen going on twenty, and from where I’m sitting, twenty looks terrifying.

Maybe I’ll be proven wrong this time. I guess only time will tell. So, this is for future Lauren, who undoubtedly is combing through internet archives in search of some sense of self, some memory of who you were then. Hi. I hope you’re well. Did you know that I (we, you?) started going by Ren in 2013? I didn’t realize that until today.

As I sit now, I’m stewing in heartache and bleeding nostalgia. I feel like my heart is constricting and expanding at the same time. Remember how love felt when you were fifteen? The physical sensation in your chest ( not where the heart actually is, but where it feels like it is, you remember?) Remember how it blossomed and bloomed into something lovely? I’m trying to hold on to that feeling now. Even as that feeling twists from pleasure into pain, even as there’s beauty to be found in melancholy, I want to hold on to the memory of bliss.

So. Keep going, self. Can’t wait to revisit this five years from now and have another crisis of confidence and identity. It’ll be fun.

Pursuit of playing the system

I need to read more books. There always seems to come a point where I’ve caught up with my knowledge. A point where I realize I must start to learn more, or be left behind by my own constantly racing, insatiably curious mind. I like feeling smart. I hate feeling stupid. I’ve let myself slip, so that there’s now a lapse in my knowledge that wasn’t there before. Questions have been raised that have me questioning my beliefs, my politics, and my view on a plethora of subjects. Which, all-in-all, is a good thing, albeit frustrating. I don’t have the time to pursue the knowledge I want to pursue. My thoughts are dominated by the facts and figures I need to get me through this term, to get me through to the end of my first year of college. I’m at the fifteen yard line, it’s fourth down and I need a miracle.

 

I hate the disconnect between school and learning. In theory, you go to school to learn. But at this point, this far into the American education system, what have I truly learned? Basic concepts and how to forge your father’s signatures on tardy slips in high school. How to drop classes in college when you know there’s no way you can save them in the three weeks left of the term. How to maneuver the system to get what you want. At a certain point the pursuit of knowledge is left by the wayside, like an old exercise bike left on the side of the road with a sign reading “free” taped to the seat. At a certain point the college experience becomes a pursuit of a degree. Of a decent GPA on your transcript. Of the path of least resistance to the other side of higher education: a job that pays at least a living wage.

Hmmm.

College

Wow.

It’s almost the end of my second term of college. Ain’t that somethin’? This term especially feels like it’s gone by remarkably fast. I’m in the midst of finals, everywhere I look on campus I see students with their nose shoved up into their textbooks, or staring at a computer screen, blankly watching as their word count stagnates. The air smells like coffee and stress. There’s some sort of camaraderie to be found in a group of students who can tell their stress is shared by the shade of sleeplessness under another’s eyes.

Currently, I’m sat in my school’s computer lab, ignoring any and all responsibilities. I’m using one of the computers here. The right side of the keyboard sticks pretty bad, it takes extra long to pump out a thought on this bad boy, but I don’t really mind. My mouth tastes like the coffee I guzzled this morning. My eyes are tired.

I’m so ready for this term to be over, and yet I know that as soon as this one ends another one will begin. It’s like a damn hydra. Remember in Disney’s Hercules, when he fights that giant lizard monster that’s animated differently than pretty much everything in the movie? Remember how he thinks he’s won by cutting its head off and then it grows two more and tries to eat him? That’s what college fees like.

I’m sure I’ll defeat this hydra of higher education eventually. But for now I feel like I’ve just watched it grow a second head. I can practically see it’s sickening, erratic movements, smell the stench of blood and bile emanating from it’s mouths, hear the rumble build in it’s body as it prepares to let loose a roar before it rears back and tries to eat me.

Hmmm. I’ll figure it out eventually.

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Hello there.

Currently I’m sat in Starbucks. It’s 10:03 am on a Sunday morning. I got myself a black coffee, and I’m staring down the gauntlet of homework I must do before tomorrow.

I can hear my own, soft, music through my headphones, but surrounding the gentle tones of the music I handpicked to calm, I can hear the cacophony of the public around me. I hear the conversations being held by the middle aged pair at the table next to me. I hear the beat of the third Taylor Swift song that’s blasted through the sound system. I can hear the baristas behind the bar, talking as they deftly make people their morning coffee. The hiss of the steam wand, the metal clank of the coffee press. The good mornings, and thank you’s, and grande lattes, extra cream. All through the filter of piano chords and soft voices from my spotify playlist.

I dropped my sister off at church band practice this morning. She plays piano. Our parents are out of town, and I’m technically an adult. So, I drove her to practice, early in the morning. I tried to hold a conversation on the drive into town, but I, being an adult, stayed up much to late last night cleaning the bathtub so I could bathe.

Maybe I’ll be more sociable after my coffee. Is that cliche true? Let’s find out.

I know a lot of the people who work at this particular Starbucks. We went to high school together, the same high school a block down the road. One of my classmates recently shaved her head. It looks nice, and I’m happy for her. She’s behind the register. She filled my coffee cup this morning.

I’m not going to think about how they’re all out here working  while I pound monotonous thoughts into my keyboard, paying for my $2 coffee, and then buying gas with money my parents gave me when they left.

My parents don’t get away very much. I’m happy that they decided to be spontaneous, and drop everything to go on a road trip together to California. I think they’re having fun. When was the last time they had several uninterrupted days of just them? Probably not since before I was born, if truth be told.

Will I miss this small town when I leave? Will I miss knowing 75% of the baristas at the Starbucks I’ve been going to since I was 10 years old and my mother bought me my first coffee? Will I miss the shabby-ness of an overworked, overhyped tourist town?

Will I miss the library where I spent so many summer hours, reading, and writing her letters to tape under the shelves?

Will I miss knowing the names of people I walk past in the grocery store?

Will I miss the proximity to an ocean I rarely visit? Will I miss the tourist avenues I’ve explored inside and out?

Do I miss it already?

I’m transient. Half way between here and there. Halfway between childhood and adulthood. Straddling the gap of independence and dependence. I’m still listening to Elvis after all these years. I’m still sucking down black coffee and writing down my ambient, transient thoughts.

Which parts of me grow, and which parts stagnate?

It’s 10:22 am. A woman behind me just laughed loudly, nearly drowning out Elvis’ voice crooning Bridge Over Troubled Water. I haven’t even looked at my homework, but I feel a bit more awake than I did twenty minutes ago. Credit may be to my coffee, or it may be to the fact that I’ve actually opened my brain to the possibility of thinking.

In the time it’s taken me to write this, the Starbucks has emptied around me. But I’m still here. I’ve got plenty of time.

My feet are cold

I woke up late today. I stayed up late playing video games with my sister and fell asleep in my parent’s bed. They’re out of town, and I don’t technically live here anymore. But this house still feels like home. I haven’t mentioned it, but every time someone says “you don’t live here anymore” it hurts. Suddenly, I’m an outsider. A visitor in my own home.

When I was young, I was afraid of growing older. At the same time, I craved responsibility and independence. Now I’m 19 years old, sitting criss-crossed in this odd intersection of adulthood and immaturity. There’s one year left of my teens.

Lately my brains been full of simple things. How cold my feet are, what to get my friends for Christmas, how to get through my first term of college without dying, or worse, failing.

Will my twenties be full of shallow thought?

I wonder if my twelve year old self would still crave adulthood if she could see me sitting here alone in my parent’s house, neglecting homework and pondering how to rescue my bank account from the red without getting a new job.

My feet are very cold. This house has always been freezing.

scattered thoughts on America

I’ve always viewed patriotism as an active thing. How can you truly be patriotic if you aren’t paying attention to your own country? Being patriotic, as well, doesn’t mean that I love my country blindly. It means that I’m critical of my country, that I pay attention in order to do my best to make it better, just like so many people who came before me. There are many people who gave their influence, expertise, knowledge, and lives to mold this country into what it is today, and I feel that I owe it to them to do my best to add my voice and thoughts into the american recipe, as it were.

There are certain unalienable rights that should be granted to everybody, bottom line, and yet there are still people in this country who feel unsafe just because they might love someone society deems they shouldn’t, or because their skin is a shade darker than someone else’s or because they worship a different god than others. These things are arbitrary. In the grande and simple scheme of things, people are all people.

There is no “average american citizen”, because our country is made up of so many different people. Our diversity should be what defines us, what holds us together, what holds up as a country to respect. It’s the American melting pot for a reason. Yet there is still a divide. A very, us and them sort of perspective, which I feel to go against the American spirit in the first place.

How can a country ever have unity without diversity?

This means accepting other people for who they are, and judging them based on their merit and character instead of anything else. Diversity means encouraging people to reach for their goals, to be ambitious, to break new ground in new and exciting,  constantly evolving ways.

Maybe the most important thing that people can do in today’s society is listen. Listen when somebody tells you they think something is wrong, listen when somebody tells you they are facing an injustice. If a marginalized group of people start to talk and shed light on an issue or struggle that they are facing, it is never a white person’s place to tell them that the struggle they are facing isn’t real. This is when you listen.

Take the black lives matter movement. You have thousands upon thousands of black citizens who are standing up and clearly and peacefully stating that there is a problem in our society. It would be egregious for me, as a white person, to then stand up and say “ oh you’re wrong, sorry. Sit back down”

I can’t speak to the injustices that people of color feel in this country, because I myself am not a person of color, and therefore cannot tell you accurately what it feels like to be one in this country. What I can do, however, is point attention to someone who does. I can listen to what people of color in this country or around the world are saying, and then do my best to help get their words out. I can help them spread their woes, their pain and their suffering in an effort to help them enact change. This is all done of course, in respect. Not that I think I’m better than them, or that I’m the only person who can help, but it is done in the humblest aspect of trying to make life better for someone who may be having a hard time.

Do your best to treat people with respect, to hold your judgement until you have at least had a conversation with them. Don’t let your brain make snap decisions about a stranger based on arbitrary, visual cues. Treat people with kindness, with respect, with decency. Remember everyone on this planet is a human, just like you. Everyone breathes air through their lungs, just as you do, everyone has a beating heart and blood running through their veins, just as you do. Life is hard enough. No need to be cruel.

Representation matters in every conceivable media. Our population is not made up solely of white men, so why is our government?

If you wish to see more diversity, then you must first analyze your motives, intentions, and qualities. You have to do your best to not judge someone by your first impression of them, or by any other qualifying or differentiating factor. You must learn to see the person before you see the color of their skin.

You must open yourself to the world, in order to be a part of the world. It’s important, as a part of the youth of America, for me to realize and consider what my responsibilities to this country are. It’s important for me to constantly be thinking, learning, and improving myself, because this inevitably won’t just benefit myself, but will benefit the country at large. I believe it is largely my responsibility to America to pay attention. It is as simple, and as complicated as that.

Take advantage of what you can. Get your education, go to your local library, read your city’s newspaper. Educate yourself, better yourself, work as hard as you can. The American dream is for everyone, and each American dream looks different. The greatness of this country lies in its diversity. I think it would be to our advantage to embrace our diversity as the only true way to have unity. Bipartisanship, teamwork, immigration, all these things are ridiculously important.

reserves

The way your mouth feels after you’ve drank a cup of coffee. Black, like always, the way you were determined to take it as a child.

And look at you now. The bleeding poet you always thought you’d be, the depressive maniac you’ve always been doomed to be. Scream at your mom, break things in the backyard, and not one thing will change. There’s something new you’ve learned about yourself.

The deep, deep, intrinsic reserves of anger deep inside your belly. It claws it’s way out of the hole you’ve stamped it down into, it claws its way out of your mouth and there you are. Just a girl angry at the world, kicking buckets behind your dad’s new shed.

“It takes a lot to get me angry.” That’s something you’ve always said. Funny. Maybe it takes a lot to drag that anger up. Drag it up from the crevices you’ve shooed it into, good lord.

Stamp it down, stamp it down.

Funny.

my candles running out

my eyes are tender

they’re overworked, after all.

I never cry when I’m alone,

it’s like I only do it for show

what a hypocrite I’ve become

 

after all these years

i’m still here.

exactly where i was,

writing poetry on my bed.

I even

have the same curtains.

 

my candle’s running out.

I’ve burnt it down to nothing,

sitting next to it and watching the wax melt

it smells like your room, december,

months and months ago.

it smells like home, you know.