Friday, February 26, 2010

I've been skipping through life this week in a way that I haven't been able to in years. I feel lighter and younger. I feel the world open up in front of me.

My thoughts keep wandering back to college, to a certain point in time when I finally felt like myself and not just a person waiting for her life to start. I miss those days. You never appreciate anything until it's gone and all you have left are hindsight and memories.

But I'm going dancing tonight! Life is good.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

resolution update

I just wanted to update myself on how I'm doing with my New Year's resolutions. I'm the kind of person who works better when I'm held accountable, so I'm glad that you're reading this.

I haven't eaten fish since I got back from Japan, which feels great. I know it will be way harder once I return, but I am going to be strong. I'll also eat some fish products occasionally if it's unavoidable.
My skin is prettier than it has been in a while. I've figured out that forking out money for a decent moisturizer is really important. The most important steps to getting pretty skin are sleeping and drinking plenty of water. I really need to get more exercise, too.
As for the other goals, I'm on my way to getting a work visa. I haven't really touched my novel since November, though. I'm going to force myself to work on it once I'm done writing this piece that I'm currently working on.
And I've been really good at having self-control while drinking with friends. I'm actually relieved to be 24 and not 18 when I go to bars. Growing up has its perks, like the ability to have a good time out without getting plastered.

So that's it. I'm going to try and get some sleep now. Good night, internet.

cola town

I've been writing all week and it feels really good! It feels like I'm moving towards something, making something happen, which I am. It makes me feel like I should be a writer, and I really think I should.

I am staying with my BFF Amanda (AKA Panda) this week in Columbia, South Carolina. It's a really cool city with some really cool people. A nice place to visit--but according to inside sources--not a place you want to live.

I have a job for sure, but as with all things for an immigrant, it's more complicated than that. I'm now waiting to get my Certificate of Eligibility in the mail so that I can get my work visa through the Japanese Consulate in Atlanta. I'm leaving for Japan in a little over a month (March 23), so now I'm just playing the waiting game...and praying that it all works out.

I might accompany Panda to her Japanese class this week. I'm a little nervous to be around those students. I don't want people to judge me for being in Japan for six months and still barely knowing the language. I really want to get serious about learning Japanese this year. I'm hoping to enroll in a class once I'm working full time and can actually afford it.

The search for the Dress continues. I'm not letting it consume my thoughts as much, though. My quest will continue this week as I scour the consignment shops and thrift stores of Columbia. I guess I just want a dress that reflects what I see in our relationship: a good fit, not too complicated, and uniquely beautiful. I swear that someone injected me with Bride Serum or something. It really goes straight to the brain.

I'm looking forward to a week of relaxation, reading, writing, and partying at Art Bar. And of course, hanging out with my BFF since eighth grade.

I found a book called The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in the library the other day. It's really amazing; it has essays by Barry Hannah and a lot of other talented people. It makes me feel closer to Peter Christopher somehow. I really want to make him proud one day.

I am itching to get a tattoo. It's been at least 3 years since my last one. I would really love for my whole back to be covered by tattoos by the time I'm "old," whatever that means. Not by pointless images, but by images that help explain who I am and what I love. My next one will be fairly simple: the words "All thrive" curving around the Truffula trees. I don't know how easy or expensive it is to get a tattoo in Japan...I know I'd have to go to a city at least as big as Matsumoto to find a place. Can you register for a tattoo?

My grains of wisdom for the week: The truth will set you free. And a library is a terrible thing to waste.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Whenever it snows in Georgia, I think of that scene in To Kill a Mockingbird when all the kids thought that the world was ending because there was snow in Alabama. People are afraid to drive, school is cancelled, and we all stop. We stop everything that we're doing to go outside and be mesmerized.

It was strange to watch the snow actually stick to the ground and collect. It was like I was someplace else, a place where there is a real winter and a real spring and a real fall instead of one blurry season of warm, hot, and rain. Snow is even better here because it's so rare. You truly appreciate the beauty of it because it's something that you never see.

The next day we drove to Savannah so that I could try on wedding dresses. We drove past fields and houses all covered in snow and little amateur snowmen and people throwing snowballs, trying to soak up all the winter wonder that they could while it lasted. The snow was gone by the time we got back.

I still don't have a dress after two hours of standing in front of mirrors. Running in and out of a dressing room. All I know is that I don't want to look like I stepped out of a catalog. I don't want something predictable and perfect. I want something beautiful and strange.
I want to be like snow in Georgia.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My eyes are burning.

Looking at Livejournal and Myspace and all these virtual places that I inhabited during high school and college is like driving past old abandoned shopping malls and Wal-Marts. These artificial places that used to be so full of life and now they're just empty. They just stand there indefinitely, like a memorial. The empty shells of my old life.

I'm so proud of how my life has turned out since I was an 18 year old on the brink of alcoholism. My old blog reminds me of my first college relationship, which was just as toxic as my relationship with Golden Grain. It makes me shudder to think of how things could have turned out.

I'm healthy now. In the way I see myself and the world, in the way that I treat others, and in the way that I love. I have people in my life who help me be healthy.

Even if they are an eyesore, I'm glad that those memories are frozen in a place that I can return to sometimes. I'm glad that I can see them from far away and know that I don't ever have to go back there again if I don't want to.
I went on a virtual walk down Memory Lane today. I found my old Livejournal and reminisced for a while. It's amazing how different my life was only four years ago. How different I am.

But I think I'm getting a little sad because I haven't been able to talk to Zack as much as I would like. The Internet here is screwy and doesn't like Skype.

It was a pretty day but also kind of blah. I think I just spent too much time in front of a computer screen. I need to do something soon.

Monday, February 8, 2010

no place i'd rather be

I have a plane ticket! I return to Japan on March 23. If all goes well, I will have a work visa in hand to show Immigration.
This song is the theme of my life right now, just like it was last year when I was waiting to travel across that big ocean:

A better version of the video can be found here (it wouldn't let me embed it):

Friday, February 5, 2010

V Day

Tuesday night was V Day, one of my favorite days of the year. It's the day of the annual performance of The Vagina Monologues at GSU (other V Days happen on other days around the world close to Valentine's Day). Unlike Valentine's Day, this day is about celebrating victory and vaginas.

This was the first time that I've actually been able to just sit in the audience and watch the show. It was weird and refreshing.

I am so inspired every year by this amazing play. It's hilarious, it's heartbreaking, and most importantly, it's real. Real stories about real women.
I know that some people can't see the point of reading monologues about vaginas and war and pubic hair and tampons, but it's so important. It's so important for women to have an outlet to speak; as Dr. Amy once put it, "We hear the penis speak every day."
My future mother-in-law once asked me, "Do you really think it's still a man-oriented world?"
And my answer was, "Yes. Why else are breast implants so popular?"

Many people assume that the fight for gender equality is over, that women are finally liberated. But then I think of the smaller battles that we still face everyday. The battle to convince myself that I'm pretty without makeup. The battle to prove that we don't need children to make our lives have purpose. The battle to not hate my thighs, to not judge myself based on the Victoria's Secret catalog sitting on the coffee table.
Then there are women suffering from literal wars in their home countries, like women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who are being systematically raped and tortured. I love knowing that I helped some of these women find a safe haven. Proceeds from the global V Day movement go towards building the City of Joy in the Congo.

The show also got me thinking about the "comfort women" who were tortured during WWII. I want to find a way to support them, to help them get the apology they deserve from the Japanese government. Maybe I can march with them one day.

I'm so proud to have been a part of the V Day movement for the last five years. I might even try to organize some kind of V Day event in Japan this year.

The world needs more holidays that help people, and fewer days that profit big corporations. Thank you, Eve Ensler, for giving us all a chance to make change in the world and see a good show while we're at it.
Until the Violence Stops!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

good things

I have finally been offered a job with Zack's company, A to Z Education! This will officially be my first Real Job, i.e. my first full-time job that pays a salary. A to Z is a great company, 100% not shady. Which I like.

I feel refueled. I'm the kind of person who needs something to look forward to, or some kind of timeline, to be okay. I can't stand the feeling of not having a purpose or a way to spend my time. I need structure to feel right. I guess all people do.

I'm going to begin a "get hot before returning to Japan" regimen this week. My friend, Lindsey, wants to take pin-up pictures of me soon for some new paintings she plans to create. I want to look my best, and I am currently far from that. I'm almost 25. It's really starting to sink in that I am not in those totally carefree days any more, where I can just drink and party and not sleep and eat crap and still look okay. I need to get in shape now, get into good habits, so that it won't be so hard when I really am old.

I'm actually considering being the designated driver for my friends on Wednesday. I figure that my DD karma is lacking and I really need to save money/calories by not drinking beer. so here goes.

Here's my other goal: to have some things published by the time I'm 25. I'm going to use what would be my beer money this month to submit to at least one literary journal this month. I can do this. Ganbatte!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Statesboro Blues

Well, the Statesboro Blues are finally starting to take over my life, the feeling of overall "blah" and semi-hopelessness that comes from being in a small town in Georgia with nothing to do. It's a feeling I've been battling my whole life.

As usual, it's the people that make this place bearable.

I guess I'm suffering from more than just boredom. I'm remembering what it is to be disconnected from your anchor, from the person whose life is connected to your own. I'm just floating around, which is usually more lonely than fun.

Still nothing definite on a job, although I have been offered one. I have to attend an interview with a Board of Education in Japan in order to officially get the job. Zack's company might also have something for me. I thought I would have an answer by today. Not so much.

I'm also feeling bogged down by the constant barrage of heavy, unhealthy food that I keep consuming. I watched an interview with Michael Pollan the other day (on Oprah) and he doesn't even consider some of what I've been eating as food. I would have to agree with him. I filled my cart with fruit and veggies yesterday in an attempt to lift my spirits and self-esteem. Everything about this culture is toxic. Heating up processed frozen food in plastic. Covering everything in antibiotic, hormone-laden cheese. Staring at reality TV shows and commercials for hours on end.

I need to go outside. I need to talk to God. I need to figure out what's going to happen next. I need to write. I need to get something done. Anything. Just to feel accomplished. I've never done well when I have too much time to think.

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be. "
--Anne Frank--