Monthly Archives: January 2011

Day 12 – What’s in your bag

Money. Chapstick. Camera. Pen. Limp scraps of paper. Old receipts. Old movie tickets to ones I liked. Old tokens and passes to memories I can’t stand to throw away. A pocket stuffed full of pads and tampons. My phone. Lavender oil. Sparkly lip gloss. A grocery bag that folds up into a tiny bag. Now dirty jewelry that I took off someplace and never put back on. My student id card.

Day 11 – Your siblings

There’s only one and he’s always been as good to me as his capability would allow. Right now he’s "getting cured off the Wild Turkey."*
Growing up, he was always smarter and better looking than me, but in adulthood, I tend to hold it together a lot better than he does. Although he is sometimes a mess, he still appears to be smarter in some ways and…worse, possibly a better writer than me. He is also more naturally insightful about literature. He would do well in a Lit class. Though, I guess I’ve never been a Lit major. Not once. I love him. I’m jealous of him. We’ve been through a lot together–we have a shared history. I doubt we would be close if we weren’t related, but we are, and I love and miss him when we haven’t seen each other in too long. All told, I think we are about equal. On Christmas Eve, after everyone had gone to bed, and the lights were low, we watched the Yule Log (which was neither yule nor log) burn on OPB. 

*(National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).


One time, after I moved to Bellingham, and had this incredibly alone period of time where it was just me in the converted hospital and a pile of texts to read and interactions with strange new people, and a broken heart, and a new life, I woke up early, before my earliest class, and took myself out to breakfast. If you know how I am about mornings, you’ll know how strange this was. The night before, I was hungry for breakfast, and so I set the alarm early. Really, I was hungry for someone to have breakfast with. I ordered a full breakfast, eggs, meat, hashbrowns, enormous pancakes, and a bottomless cup of coffee. The servers treated me very gently, and I ate heartily. Then, I drove myself back to the converted hospital, walked up the hill to school, and faced the people in that class. It might have been the same day that Rose brought Krispy Creme donuts for everyone, and I remember wishing they’d come on one of the many other mornings when I was starved. 

Day 10 – What you wore today

I’ll answer this for yesterday since today is still a work in progress. I wore a fuchsia t-shirt that I love. I bought it for under ten dollars at Nordstroms several years ago, and it’s held it’s shape wonderfully. I wish I had more if them. I live in t-shirts. I get tons of free ones from the rec center. I’ll commence some semblance of stylishness after school’s over. Also I wore a pair of dark gray Prana cords. They’ve been a near-daily staple of my wardrobe since I bought them last summer? spring? winter? Can’t remember. The most important part of all of this is that I did not wear a bra. Bras have been killing me lately. If I have to wear one out, I take it off the second I walk in the door. That’s the other thing I like about t-shirts (especially the fuchsia one from yesterday) sometimes I can get away with wearing no bra…which is, if you haven’t noticed by now, the motivating factor in all of my style choices. 


A very real part of me wants to have money and live in California and live in a bungalow secluded by lush foliage and be in love and wear stretchy pants all day with provocative inscriptions on the butt and giant sunglasses and a giant stroller and vigorously power walk my kids around the town’s many walk/jog/bike paths ad teach yoga and spend a good deal of time on beautification. 

Another part of me wants to get a good, nonstressful, tenure track job back home, rent, then buy, a small farm, with a cute old farmhouse on it and about 20 really lush valley acres to raise between 10-15 head of sheep. I’ll have a dog and I’ll be handy, and I’ll wear sweats and pig boots (aka mud boots) everywhere all the time. I will not be in love, but will have passionate, year-long love affairs with various people. 

I recently received an email from my undergraduate alma matter that they’re opening another tenure track line. They’ve opened one each year for the last few years, which makes me think that they are starting to reach capacity. Each year, I hope they’ll wait until I’m ready to apply. Technically, I shouldn’t go on the job market now, ABD. I should wait until I’m really done. Everyone says you shouldn’t get a job ABD. It’s just too difficult to finish. But, what if it is your dream job? What if another opening doesn’t come along for five years and by then you’re in a tenured position at some other less desirable location? What then? Also, is this really what I want? The job market is such that people tend to stay in their jobs for…life. The exception is only if you get a lot of publications and develop a name for yourself in the field. 

I am burdened with the knowledge that the choice I make this year and the next will profoundly influence what the rest of my life looks like. Do I really want to go home? Or, do I want something else? I don’t like that I have to decide already. And, yes, this has to do with relationships too. If I am stuck somewhere, how will I ever end a relationship? My modus operandi has always been to move. Changing locations is the best way to change relationships, I’ve always thought.

The neuroses about future planning will get worse before they get better, I’m sure. 

Day 09 – Your beliefs

I am a relativist, a believer. I’d rather believe in things that make me happy than be a skeptic. I have very little interest in Truth, at least Truth in the way that there is one Truth for all people. That may be true, but I sort of doubt our ability to articulate it with any certainty. I think people have their own truths (the thing that makes them content and happy), but we’re probably really disconnected from that truth. Meditation, yoga, prayer, and exhaustion can lead to deeper understandings of those truths. I am also told that drugs can too, but I am skeptical of their effectiveness since I have not had similar experiences, and it seems too…easy.