Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Airport scrawlings

This weekend when I flew back to the city from Chicago, I took a really early flight out of O'Hare. There's something about airports I've always found very romantic and inspiring. Maybe it's that the very nature of an airport is that it's in constant flux, which I believe to be the ultimate nature of reality; the airport walls rarely see the same person two days, or even two hours, in a row. As I was sitting there in the boarding area, I was thinking about how lost I've been feeling as of late, and how I've been trying to cling desperately to the things I know about myself. I decided to write down a list of everything I could say, with confidence, that I knew in my life right in that instant. It was comforting, because the list* turned out to be pretty inclusive. The thing about writing is that it sometimes reveals to you things you didn't realize you knew.

6 a.m.
Things I know.

I need to stop drinking.
I need to be more positive in my thinking.
I'm lonely.
I have hope for the future.
I miss the South.
I want someone to love.
(Who loves me back.)
I want to travel out of the country.
(By myself.)
My brain is tired.
I love Christmas.
I'm on the verge of tears.
(And I'm not sure why.)
I have been attracted to women.
This weekend, I was attracted to a transgendered person.
(I am complicated.)
I dislike casual sex.
(I am paranoid about STDs.)
I am too dependent on others for my happiness.
I need to read more.
I want to buy more books.
I want to read more.
I want to get back into philosophy.
Drinking has lost its appeal for me.
I do not miss college.
I do miss learning.
I need to exercise.
(My mind and my body.)
I see meaning in everything.
(Even though probably not everything is meaningful.)
I want to get married.
I like Southern boys, despite myself.
(I want to marry one.)
I want to move back to the South and raise my kids there.
I long for a real connection with someone.
I think about the past a lot.
(Too much.)
(I miss it.)
I long for personal happiness and security more than I long for professional success.
(And I resent myself for it.)
I'm disheartened by most straight men I meet.
(But I still hope I meet a great one.)
I have faith in the good of people.
I need to love more.
(And judge less.)
Christmas makes me want to tell the truth in my heart.
(But my brain won't let me.)
My heart is my writing.
I can see myself being happy having a life in places other than New York.
I idealize the past.
It bothers me when people drink hot coffee through straws.
Tina Fey is my idol.
(So is Lady Gaga.)
I would love a month-long break from NYC to hang out with my mom.
I sometimes fear that I'm forgetting how to feel.
I think I need to listen to more sappy music to teach myself how to feel again.
(I blame my ex for this.)
I keep losing weight and I don't know why.
(I wish I would stop.)
I want a bunch of new winter clothes.
I want to feel reasonably happy by the time I'm 25.
(And if I'm not, I'm going to spend my savings to live abroad for a year.)
I see lots of pretty men everywhere.
(And I think they're all gay.)
I want a boy with tattoos.
(I blame my ex for this as well.)
Damn, so many pretty boys.
Where you are matters less than who you are.
I believe in the power of positive thought.
(Some people call this prayer.)
I believe in proper footwear.
(And running barefoot in the grass.)

Maybe sometimes you have to let go of who you are in order to remember who you are. Clinging seems counterproductive.

*the list published here is mostly unedited, aside from the removal of a few lines I didn't want the entire Internet to see


  1. I wish I had the balls (and the time) to write like you do in your blog. So raw. Don't stop. Maybe I'll put my poetry up (and write some poems that aren't 2 years old). I feel like I have to be so edited. What if my boss sees me gushing about boys?

  2. Tina Fey is my idol too! And I write lists like this all the time.

    About being reasonably happy by 25 - take it from this 28-year old - 25 is not a magic age. It comes and it goes and then suddenly you're 26 and not much is different. Don't set time limits on yourself. :)

  3. I feel like you're my blogging soulmate. Probably because you're about my age, sound like you got out of a serious relationship not that long ago and moved to a big city--just like me. (I'm in Paris, and I can tell you, going abroad doesn't magically make you happier, it just makes your life more distracted/complicated).

    I make lists like this all the time (although I tend to leave the more bitter parts out of my blog...I'm still a little wary of my immediate family knowing that I get mad at myself when I over drink, or that I find women sexy). I sway from being in love with Paris and my life here to feeling lonely and confused as to why I'm not happier. Huh. Keep up the great writing and take full advantage of your NYC Christmas!

  4. Ok, I literally just started following your blog a moment ago. I cannot say how much this post resonates with me. As a senior in high school, my confusion is much different, I am sure. But making lists has been keeping me alive-of recent. And as I would like to think I am an aspiring writer (ha...), what you have here is incredibly inspiring for me.

  5. wow, I just love what you wrote and HOW you wrote it....so many things in common all the way over here in Ireland....and I've had those "oh I want to run away and discover New York!" notions....it has yet to happen, but it will....I look forward to following your blog...and like you I love making lists, I recently completed a facebook thing that everyone was doing..write 25 wonderful things about you, so I did....I might publish it if I'm brave....like you :) - Best wishes from Ireland, Le Gra(with love) - Rebecca

  6. that's funny....airports make me anxious and uncomfortable. they seem so sterile and depressing to me. except for the austin airport. they have live musicians and local shops in the airport!

  7. To be an adult is to be alone.
    --Jean Rostand

    I try to keep that in mind when I'm lonely. It never helps, but it gives me a reason. :)

    "I'm on the verge of tears.
    (And I'm not sure why.)"

    This is my inspiration by depression. One of my instructors wrote her thesis on such things. For me, it's a reserve of sadness I keep inside that decides to settle heavily on my chest when I am alone. It squeezes water up near my eyes. And I feel like I want to cry, but I won't because I am writing--that makes all the difference.

    And more...
    Drinking has lost appeal for me, too. Especially when I'm lonely. :)

    In sync,

  8. The list is beautiful, real and blunt. It's a lovely idea that maybe has its best practise in places like airports and doctor's waiting rooms. beautiful blog, I like your writing. Sarah

  9. You wrote a painfully honest list - that's hard to do. I think its a good process to kind of clear your head and let the important things come out to be recognized. I've enjoyed reading your blog - thanks.

  10. Oh how this brought back memories of combing through my life in airports in my twenties. My list was actually very similar to yours, except we'd have to substitute the geography. Thanks for the honesty, the unflinching-ness of this, and also for unwittingly putting me in touch with the blessings that live in the spaces of our collective angst here in New York. Love your blog! I've linked you on my blogroll and look forward to following you. But I wont be judging what you do and don't do here. This is still your space, your piece of mental, emotional, spiritual real estate and we're just your visitors, privileged to witness life being lived. Enjoy. And thank you.

  11. WOW I just found this blog tonight- I can relate to alot you say- I think i may have to follow you- Working nights I thougthI was the only one with these deep sided thoughts- Way to write - Write on!

  12. I felt like I was reading an entry from my own collection of lists. I just started my blog and noticed the blogs of note and ended up at yours...it's wonderfully honest, direct and true.

  13. That was just beautiful.