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A newly drawn-up mission statement

When I used to be an easily cowed little girl, someone with a distinct lack of confidence, I didn't encounter any outward controversies coming my way, but that didn't mean my life was free of troubles. Even when I was sailing in calm seas I still had my inner demons to work out, those nasty voices that attempted to size me up negatively compared to other individuals I'd meet up with. It's taken me a long time to rescue myself from the automatic routine of thinking myself as less of a person than others, and I am not going to undo all of that just because people have a hard time with me not kissing their asses.

I am not going to be the same little doormat type I used to be. I have worked too damn hard to view myself as someone worthy of something to give all of it up, just so drama-seekers can return to feeling superior. I'm not even going to bother with these types on a direct basis. If they want any reactions from me, they're going to have to contact me directly. I am not going to feed their sad appetites for high melodrama by attempting to reach them on their own playing field. I mean, God, if they actually *had* an issue with me in the first place, don't you think they would have attempted to contact me in private, one-on-one, to address their issues with me?

This will be the last I say of any of these absurdities. I'm not going to bother to waste my breath for one more moment on any of the bullshit until someone sucks it up, gains a backbone and a life, and actually addresses me privately with their unadulterated, dramatics-free explanations for anything they feel I might have gotten wrong. It will only be then, in a rational, thoughtful, private manner that I will decide to say something.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


On the subject of the entry I submitted on the 10th: I make mention of something "a good friend of mine told me about creativity and rejection". This friend basically said that anyone who is in a field of creativity has become accustomed to all manner of rejection and naysaying, to the point where they don't even listen to the negative vibes anymore. At the time I responded that I was accustomed to being a "normal person" and that because of that, I was still ill at ease with negativity being directed my way for something I created. But I think I'll have to heed what she says. In introspective, contemplative works of mine, whether they be posts, journal entries, mini-essays, etc., I am not seeking to simply add a few cast-off attempts at witticism, nor am I simply trying to pal around. I really do thoroughly contemplate that which I expound upon. Usually the pondering will occur offline, over the course of at least a day. I don't think I should reduce my ideas to a dumbed-down, formulaic expression. So yes, as a matter of fact I *am* being creative in forming these posts or entries or what have you. It's not just me going off on some tangent.

So in the spirit of all that, I'll just do what Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre does when he's faced with someone who is trying to silence him by ridiculing and belittling that which he has to say: essentially saying IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, FUCK OFF. And then going on with whatever it is I have to say. Nobody can silence me now. Nobody can reduce me to the little whimpering, simpering fraidycat with her tail between her legs. Constructive criticism will always be welcomed warmly, but anything not for my own personal benefit will be received with a stony silence and a renewed committment to standing my ground.

Mind in a holding pattern, film at 10.

My inner world is full of words I cannot catch in time. My outer world is full of actions I cannot capitalize upon due to time constraints. My inner and outer worlds frequently battle each other out for the attentions of whatever energy-related resources I have inside me, all of which culminates in a very exhausted me. How exhausted? Last night, when I came home, I succumbed to the power of sleep and took a nap that lasted two hours. Right now I'm typing this and yawning at the same time, still as bleary-eyed as ever.

Every time I'm away from the computer, running around and living through the everyday demands of life, my mind becomes filled to the brim with entry ideas, words and phrases and whole paragraphs full of insight into what I'm thinking at the time, what makes me tick, what's affecting me and my life. But when I finally have access to a computer to type everything out, my mind clears, my head a blank slate upon which I cannot lay claim to anything. My great ideas turn into dust and I'm forced to rely upon whatever brief flashes of input I have at the time.

That's what's happening to me right now. As I was driving to the library in my now-routine period of mental unloading, my mind was filled with all of these rich ideas about what to talk about. Now I can't even think about what I would've liked to discuss. I think it was something along the lines of what a good friend of mine told me about creativity and rejection, or maybe it was something about the state of the woman in today's United States, or maybe it was something else. Maybe I was going to go on about something more banal, something like how much I enjoyed last night's light dinner of one of those lower-fat Lunchables meal kits. Maybe I might've talked about how surprising it was that Margaret Cho's Revolution was on Sundance again last night, or how my little baby puppydog (who is really in her middle aged years but will always be my baby) is doing on this new medicine regiment she's under. Or it could have been something else. I don't know.

Oh wait.

Okay, as my time here in front of the computer quickly erodes away from me and I have to return to the everyday hustle and bustle of life in this outer world of mine, please let this be a record of some of the brilliant ideas I have had for this journal and please let me have some time to actually expound on some of the better ones. Maybe I can just talk about life and move on from there. Or maybe I can enlighten myself while I ponder. Until then, however, I will have to just leave this journal as it is, forever an incomplete insight into my inner world.
... but it was met with universal derision, so I'm posting it here! (Original Forum folks who might be lurking, you guys are far less stupid than these jerks. Even the you-know-whos.)

A good friend of mine is making me revisit the decade of my elegantly misspent teenaged years in a fond manner. It doesn't hurt that VH1 Classic has been starting to air music videos from this era for the past year or so. On "The Alternative" I have gotten to see two of the music videos I used to wake up to when I was back in high school: "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden and Bad Religion's "21st Century Boy". A couple of nights ago I spotted "Interstate Love Song" by Stone Temple Pilots (which I remember as being more of a "VH1's Crossroads" thing) and one of my favorite '90s singalongs, Counting Crows's "Mr. Jones". All of this is making me terribly heartsick for a decade I have never been at ease with.

I mean, when I was a teenager I worshipped at the altar of '80s-dom. I truly envied those people who had the opportunity to spend their teenaged years in the decade of fuzzy sweaters and frilly collars. But now -- now I'm remembering how much I also enjoyed and participated in the pop culture of the '90s. I remember MTV airing the video for Nirvana's "All Apologies (Unplugged)" on heavy rotation shortly after Kurt Cobain's passing and how I used to feel the heartache of losing a teen icon every time I would see that video. I remember yammering on about "summer singles" in my high school diary, talking about how Blur's "Girls and Boys" and "Rocks" by Primal Scream were "summer singles" while "Shine" by Collective Soul wasn't. (I still loved all three of those songs.) I remember how much of a Joan Osborne fan I used to be and how thrilled I was to find out that two of The Hooters were responsible for co-writing many of the songs off of her wildly successful album Relish. I remember many a difficult situation being resolved by just closing my eyes and letting "St. Teresa" wash over me. I remember my brief flirtation with modern-day punk, where I attempted to devour all the information I could while listening to Bad Religion, The Offspring, Rancid, and Green Day, the last one being more of an escapist variation of the theme. (Who would have thought that years later they would have recorded a politically aware album? I sure as hell wouldn't.)

I remember quietly laughing to myself when I witnessed the complete transformation of VH1 from stodgy to more modern and vital and being absolutely SHOCKED when I saw them play the Unplugged version of STP's "Big Chair". I remember Lewis Largent and "120 Minutes" and Kennedy and "Alternative Nation" (anyone remember SLB substitute-hosting "Alternative Nation" and closing out his ep by dressing and acting like Kennedy?). I remember Daisy Fuentes hosting the then-wonderful summer programming, where the Beach House was just a fun place to hang out instead of an exhibit of the ignorant and the Svengali-driven. I remember slow dances at school being soundtracked to Boyz II Men and Bone Thugs n' Harmony. I used to love watching MTV News just because of Tabitha Soren, Allison Stewart, and John Norris, and hating MTV News because of Kurt Loder. I remember Loder being shot down by Jewel and how that kept me a Jewel fan for just that much longer. I remember "Bull In The Heather" by Sonic Youth and how cool it was to hear something that far-out. I remember falling in love with The Breeders and feeling that Veruca Salt were just wannabes aspiring to the wondrous crown of the Deal sisters (later on, I would be shocked to find out that the angelic-looking Kelley Deal was busted on drugs charges). I remember favoring Oasis in the great Oasis vs. Blur fight (now I would favor Blur, but the fight is no more). I remember MTV's brief flirtation with airing country music videos (I guess that's what drove Jon to apply for the "Real World").

Speaking of the "Real World" (sorry this is non-musical in nature), I remember Tammi's bogus cries of rape. I remember Angry Kevin from s1 of the "Real World" and recall now how many times I've seen him interviewed for various pop culture-related things and how calm he seems now. I cried with the rest of my MTV generation when Pedro died, when Cobain died, when I heard the story of Brad Nowell and saw that beautiful, sweet-faced baby boy of his. I remember those "Sex In The '90s" specials, "MTV Sports" hosted by Dan Cortese, "The Grind" with Eric Nies (though I avoided that one as best I could), staying up until the wee hours of the morning to watch the newest videos by the newest artists, VH1's "The Big '80s" (it really, truly sucked in retrospect, but at the time it was my only resource for '80s videos), Moon Zappa and John Fugelsang as two of the first VH1 VJs (I *think*), VH1 as a whole before it went all cultural zeitgeisty, flannel and Doc Martens and baggy shirts and the return of the bell-bottom and '70s chic and heroin chic and the introduction of CK One.

I remember all of this and more and reflect upon how much I truly was into the decade of my teenaged years, even though I thought I wasn't. The funny thing is how much I yearn for a return to that time period. I guess it was a simpler, happier time for me. The music scene wasn't as choked with insipid teenypop as it is today, nor were females pressured to get all dolled up, as if they were preparing to enter a nightclub. My point is, I'm really yearning to dust off my Joan Osborne, Catherine Wheel, Oasis, Nirvana, Urge Overkill, Spin Doctors, Utah Saints, The Breeders, and other CDs and listen to them all, back-to-back, starting as soon as possible. Wow. I guess I wasn't going to skip out on being nostalgic after all.

I don't know if I will do THAT again.

(Crossposted with my MySpace profile:)

Contacting a former high school classmate of mine = instantaneous revisiting of all the insecure, unelegant social fumbling I did as a teenager. I had a decided lack of confidence when I was a teen, and feeling as I did back in those so-called "halcyon days" frightened me. I'd always been comforted by how far I'd progressed since those days. I'm not the same person I was when I was 16 or 17. I'm more cynical, more guarded, less of a naive easy mark for those who would wish to take me down. I can explicate more clearly that which I wish to express to others. My words flow more freely. I'm not tongue-tied anymore. I have worked very hard at this. I have put up so many inner guards that prevent others from easily accessing the innermost aspects of my being without my getting to feel like I could truly trust them. I have had so much practice with relating with and to others since graduating from high school. Every conversation I have with someone now brings me closer to fully disentangling myself from that quiet and fearful mouse of a girl I used to be. I refuse to revisit those days, not even for an hour. I am not that person anymore. I need to repeat this to myself time and time again until I can drill it into my head.

I. Am. Not. That. Person. Anymore.

I mean, God, I curse nowadays! I curse and argue and stand my ground and am sometimes unladylike. I'm just starting to get to a point in my life where I don't try to be chameleonlike for the benefit of "fitting in". I have said FUCK YOU to the whole concept of "fitting in". I know I can't keep myself from being the square peg in a sea of round holes, even if the "round holes" in question are the members of my own faith. I have been unafraid enough to write a letter to the editor. I have gone off on my own to see my alltime favorite musical artist, to explore parts of a city I have dreamed my whole life of being in, to shop at a store I actually wanted to shop in, to see a movie I and only I wanted to see. When I was 16, I would've cringed at the thought of doing any of that. When I was 16, I dreamed of a day when I could be in a vast ocean of like minds. It's the impulse that drove me to the Internet in the first place! But I have finally said "no more" to all of that. I am starting to remember who I am, and fuck anyone who doesn't like me for being that. This shall be my mantra from now on until I can restabilize, until I can be resolute in knowing I won't ever revert back to the same mentality I had when I was that timid youngster.

So I don't know if I will contact another person from my past again. Maybe when I'm even further away from my teen years. But not now, not when it's become evident to me that I haven't yet run far enough from those days.

Some thoughts about thought expression.

I will attempt to encapsulate my thoughts (at least on this paragraph) onto pen and paper before typing them out. This might be a difficult endeavor; even when I had no idea there was such a thing as the Internet, I was keeping my young adolescent thoughts in a text-based computer file. When I confided this to some of my high-school classmates, one of them replied incredulously that she felt what I was doing seemed to her to be exceedingly cold and artificial. Some ten years after I was given the impression that maybe a diary kept on a computer wasn't exactly the proper thing to do, millions of individuals regularly type up their thoughts and concerns and post them onto online journals for the whole world to see.

What is this drive we humans have adopted to share our ideas with the rest of humanity? Why is it that we are suddenly crying out to be heard? Is it that we always had those thoughts but never acted upon them until now? Or is it that we became accustomed to so many people voicing their own feelings and wishes on a public stage and, as a consequence, now want in on the action? Ten years ago, if any of us had dreamed of whole communities built upon the basic contents of a diary, most of us would have snickered. It would have seemed to us to be, if not exceedingly cold, then highly artificial and unheard-of. But now I'm typing my thoughts onto this public journal for virtually anyone to read.

I suppose those tireless advocates for literary thought and composition, i.e. the world's English teachers, would reap the rewards of all this expression, this seeming celebration of the creative word. Instead, we hear complaints from English teachers that the children of today frequently rely upon shortcut words, truncations not endorsed by any official body and a lack of any real ability to express things in a clear and intelligent manner. I guess all of this easy accessibility to shared thoughts and expressions does us as much bad as it does good. We are frequently reminded of the shortcuts OTHER people take and, as a result, are encouraged to use those same shortcuts ourselves. Take a look at any teenaged LJer's diary. The lack of any overt intellect or in-depth thought to their entries will make those of us who passed our teen years without online journaling weep into our legally-purchased beers. One cannot blame the tactile medium upon which these teens deliver their half-formed ideas; when I was creating my computer diary as a teen, I stopped with the over-reliance on punctuation and ill-conceived words (e.g. "majorly") when I turned fifteen. At that point, it just seemed juvenile. But today's fifteen-year-olds are being taught by their peers that juvenility is no longer juvenile, that one can just type up any old crap and voila, instant entry. Add a few emoticons for good effect, of course.

I was thinking this the other night, when by emergency-driven necessity I was compelled to do my laundry at a laundromat, accompanied by a Lorrie Moore book. Ms. Moore's writing is innovative without being indecipherable. She is brilliant at conveying ideas in a way that I personally could never have thought they could have been expressed, utilizing methods that would lead anyone to believe that she was gifted at crafting words into stories. The similies and metaphors were genius. The ideas and ethics were heartfelt, humane. It struck me that the era in which Lorrie Moores for the new generation would be borne into existence is fading from us. I can't see how the average 17-year-old LJer could be reformed into somebody who could be that much of a wordsmith, a craftsman, someone who thinks and feels and ponders at that deep a level. Maybe if there was some rebellion-driven movement to return to the era of full, complete sentences and full, complete ideas, the art of painting with words will return.

And now I shall complete this entry by filling out all the applicable blanks, selecting which icon I wish to use, and pressing on the "Update Journal" button, thus sending this journal entry out to the public, for any random individual to peruse. I'm an avid contributor to this new condition we have been afflicted with. I should be hurling epithets at myself, or at the very least wear a red "H" (for "hypocrite") around my neck. Or maybe I can just stop looking at teenaged LJers' journals and concentrate on those LJs written by older people, which are better executed, even when they're expressing random thoughts by tired people. I'm 26 years old. Aren't I a little too young to be this "these kids today"?

I am starting to remember who I am.

As some of you might know by now, I have been going to Jazzercise for a little over a month. Please don't regard that mention as any sort of endorsement for that exercise program; I have yet to experience any of the benefits from going to it and I actually thoroughly hate one of the instructors there, but I'm planning on sticking with it just so I can see how far I can go with it and where it takes me. I am still at the point where I'm having to do the lower-impact aerobics, but I continue to move about in hopes that if I do this long enough, I'll be able to move up the ladder in the foreseeable future.

I actually figure that this move is a bit of a rebellion from the world of ILX. Jazzercise is totally not something your average ILXor would engage in, and that to me is worth sticking to the program for. I don't know how on Earth I got to the point where everything typically antithetical to the ILXor way of existing is everything that appeals to me, but I suppose it's a step in the right direction wrt completely cutting myself off from that environment. Already I'm doing well at sticking to one thread series (the TITTWIS one) and wouldn't mind seeing, in the future, my complete disattachment from that thread series. I can sorta pinpoint when my disillusionment with that whole environment began, but it's refreshing to have woken up and realized that, even though these people could intellectualize, their inability to see beyond their own mental realms and their overall youth (I have always lived and thought as though I were a 35-year-old) meant the environment lost its charm and novelty with me at that point. Not that I'm exactly crying over it. I don't mind it at all.

I've also started to come to the point where I don't mind not being able to find an online community that does suit me well. I think my friend A. (in the Tampa Bay area) is right in saying that I don't need to have one of those to complete my online experience. It's completely all right that I listen to the "wrong" kind of music, wear the "wrong" kinds of clothes, have different ways of thinking and dealing and feeling from those that are expected of me from various societal arenas. To change myself to fit my demographic would mean to dissolve my Me-ness, the very thing that makes me, me. I would have to become very inauthentic to live up to the image and lifestyle expected of me, and that doesn't appeal to me. It also wouldn't appeal to me to try to pretend that the huge gulf of differences that separate me from those people who do share my cultural obsessions and general state of mind can and should be bridged. I may think like a 35-year-old, but I will never be exactly like a 35-year-old of today. They have gone through a far more different climate of social and cultural changes, events, etc., than I have, and as such their mental list of references and opinions are and should be different from mine.

That's one of the reasons why I think this and my other LiveJournal (the deethepraiser one -- it's been updated, so check it out) are valuable tools for me. They are my own ways of expressing my own self, without having to fit my square peg in the round holes of any online community out there. I have had enough with pretending to be someone else to try to get others to like me, and I am certainly not going to try to put on another facade for another set of individuals whom I feel I must try to win over. I am going to be me from here on out, and hopefully that will be every bit as freeing as it sounds like.

(A. in Edmonton, J. in Chicago, and the aforementioned A. in the Tampa Bay area -- you've gotten the unadulterated me. And thanks for sticking with me. You're my kind of people.)
Alert the news media.

I am planning on updating here AND my "praise" journal (see my user info for more on that).

I have also left work early so I could make it to the nearest public library internet terminal, so I could do this very thing. (BION, my workplace has recently managed to filter out any blogging communities, as well as any online communities such as MySpace.) So. Fingers don't fail me now.

(More when I get home later tonight.)

On life, living, death, and dying.

For some reason, I keep on thinking of the issue of mortality today. Mortality and aging. I've felt for at least a couple of years that life is a terminal illness. Once you're born, you spend your waking hours seeing the time you have left on this planet slowly erode. I have come one minute closer to my death since starting this entry. I used to live in total denial of this, but now I'm all too aware of this fact. It's silly to deny that we are all slowly marching, step by step, to our final breath. That's why I stopped kidding myself.

But mortality and aging... I hadn't considered until now how both of these change a person. There is a rather tired expression: "You can never go home again." Now, at face value, this is a silly thing to say. Of COURSE you can "go home again" -- we all do that at the end of each day. But that literal interpretation is not what I mean, nor what those who express it must also mean. What I've come to realize it means is that you can never go back to any set time in your life. As much as you'd like to return to a stage in your life when things seemed simpler, happier, better, this can never happen. It is futile to indulge in nostalgia for those reasons. You can become nostalgic over your teenaged years because you enjoyed the pop culture back then, but to immerse yourself in that because you're looking to resurrect the ephemera surrounding that time in your life, the uncomplicatedness and relative ease, is stupidity.

I'm in my twenties. High school ended for me nearly ten years ago. (And no, I am SO not going to that reunion.) I would like to go back to those hazy, crazy days, but I know both intellectually and in my heart that that can never happen. I can't even recreate how things were five years ago! As much as we would all like to turn back the hands of time for the sake of reliving our own most pleasant memories, this can never and should never happen. Indulging in the past, which is not the same as paying tribute to the past, is harmful. It keeps us stuck in a rut, undeveloped as human beings, unable to continue evolving as people.

We need to continue evolving so that we can keep up with the aging process, which I have just now figured out is the secret to living (and dying) with dignity. A person who acts his or her age is infinitely classier and less embarrassing than a person who acts ten or fifteen (or more) years younger. I feel like the people who can leave this planet with their heads held high and their hearts at peace are those individuals who have always had the mindset of someone their own age. Someone who's always thought younger is still trying to fathom in their mind how they managed to land on their death bed.

I feel like if I continue to keep in mind that I am an aging being, slowly progressing toward her eventual demise, I will be able to live the kind of life I am meant to have and, as a result, I will be able to hold my head up high as I continue my march to the grave. Remembering that this life is meant to be for a set period of time and that the afterlife will be something much better, a world without fear, pain, or suffering, will be a very good thing for me to keep in mind.

Oh yeah, I'm still alive all right.

I don't know who I am or if I can ever really find myself. I don't know where my security and self-assuredness went. I don't feel like I'm at all the way I used to be when I was 15 or even 19. I am a big blank sheet of nothing wrapped up in an enigmatic grin that hides the confusion and loneliness within. I need. I need ALL the damn time. I have few friends but many acquaintances. I feel stuck in nowhere land looking at nobody in particular. I might as well be shipwrecked and marooned on an undiscovered island in the South Pacific. I look out at society and see groupings I'm never going to be a part of. I'm never going to be slottable. I'm never going to be define-able, nor am I ever going to be capable of maintaining myself in a particular grouping of individuals. I'm too white, too ethnic, too old, too young, too engaged in the wrong decade, too ordinary, too weird, too intelligent, too stupid, too kind, too vicious, too loyal, too indecisive, too patient, too hot-tempered. I am incapable of finding a support system to be surrounded by. Eventually everyone finds a weakness in me they can use as their reason for keeping their distance. Who I am authentically is destroying me, yet I'm unable to maintain a proper facade long enough to convince any group.

Happy New Year? Yeah, welcome to more of the same. Whoop. De. Doo.

Blank Mind, Not-So-Blank Message

I just spent the past hour and a half Googling for fanlistings to join, eventually subscribing to nine of them. Why do I do it? Hm. I suppose I kinda like the whole ritual of joining a fanlisting, of feeling a part of something larger based on a shared interest in something. It's a part of this whole interconnectedness thing that I feel like I have a constant need for. I think. Maybe, again, I'm talking out of my arse.

I do know that I am experiencing a drought in thought at the moment. This is evidenced by my inability to really express anything on the Original Forum, even though quite a few threads have popped up therein that I've felt intrigued by. I hope I will eventually be able to pick myself up from this slide and get back to regular participation. Because I do feel as though I am slipping here, slipping from some sort of committments. Or something.

Anyway. I just wanted to post that I'm still alive, that I've got some new fanlistings up on my profile. I'm going to try very hard to show how alive I am in the near future. The rest of what I want to say has escaped me at the moment. Words are failing me. And that's not a good thing.