A Revival of Sorts

I had almost forgotten I even had this blog. It’s somewhat mind-boggling to look back and see that it’s been over a year since my last blog entry. But to be honest, I’ve been more focused on just living my life and finding myself for the past year. I have been in something of a slump and was struggling to pull myself out of it. You see, I’m the type of person who both loves routine and despises feeling trapped.

A routine offers stability. It makes my life more predictable, which in turn makes the task of managing my energy a bit easier. I know I have to go to bed at a semi-reasonable hour so that I can get a certain amount of sleep. Even if I’m a zombie when I first wake up, I know it won’t last long and I’ll soon be chugging along like a slow but steady train. I know that I will work on specific days at around similar times for fairly consistent lengths of time. I know I have certain tasks that I need to accomplish in that set amount of time and I do my best to achieve that objective.  I know that when I’m in school, there are classes that I have to attend on a regular basis and that there are assignments associated with those classes that I must get done in a timely manner. Admittedly, I’m not always successful at that but it doesn’t stop me from trying. This continues almost like clockwork, day in and day out. For me, routines are wonderful in that regard because for many years stability was exactly what I craved.

The problem with this situation is that my life has become too predictable. Yesterday, I had a customer come into work who had not visited the store or my particular area of it for over a month. He is a regular customer. I know exactly what he orders and how he likes it prepared. I always speak with him in a genial manner because he’s just a genuinely nice, respectful individual and you can’t help but be genial with him. And yet I had not realized that he had stopped coming to the Target Deli for an entire month. The routine of my life has made the days bleed into each other. They are so similar that I can only distinguish today from yesterday by the fact that today is my day off. I never used to mind that. But now, the realization horrifies me. I have no desire to be floating listlessly through my life. The thought of being stuck in one place, repeating a handful of tasks, with little hope for change is incredibly depressing. And worse, I cannot help but feel that much of the past four years of life – years spent wrapped up in my college education – have been wasted to some extent. And by my own choice. Because I am a creature of routine.

And now I feel trapped. I do not have the money to just uproot myself and head for somewhere far from Iowa – or to at least have the chance to travel on occasion. I do not have the degree that would afford me more opportunities to find employment that would earn me the money to leave or travel. I barely have enough to afford a Greyhound ticket home for Christmas so that I can see my mother for the first time in almost four years. What kind of life is that? I’m rapidly coming to think it’s not one worth living. And I’m trying to find ways to shake up my routine. Perhaps I should try blogging more often. Sometimes, it makes things easier to be able to put the feelings into words.

Don’t give in; it can only get better from here…right?

I’ll admit I’m not always the most sensitive or informed individual. I can be crude, I can be rude, I can sometimes be pretty tactless. But some lines even I don’t cross. Lines involving privacy and the right to find happiness in just about any form you choose.

Not too long ago, Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi threw himself from the George Washington Bridge in New York. The decision was made after his roommate Dharun Ravi supposedly posted that he was going to live-stream footage of Clementi being intimate with another young man. This would have been the second time Ravi would have done so. Instead of getting a “free show,” Clementi instead cancelled his plans for that night (whatever they really were) and worked towards his suicide.

That’s the story as far as I know it. Of course, I can’t say for sure how much of this is factual and how much is assumed. But I do know this much – if it is true, then this is a disgusting example of the kind of treatment homosexuals receive in this country. And that truly saddens me.

I’ve always been incredibly vocal in my support of homosexuals. Not just because of my interest described in a previous post, but because so many of my friends are in some way connected with homosexuality. Whether they were homosexual, bisexual, or just had friends/family who were, it didn’t matter. The connection was there. I even have a cousin who’s a lesbian. And from all my experiences with them, the only difference between them and me is their sexual preferences. And sometimes it’s not even sexual. They’re just happy with someone of  the same gender.

What’s so wrong about that? Don’t they deserve the chance to pursue happiness? That’s a right laid down in our Constitution isn’t it? So why is it that homosexuals/bisexuals/etc. are treated so…inhumanely? I want to know why they are given second-class citizenship. It might not seem like they are at first glance, but I don’t know how else to describe the ostracization and degradation of this fairly normal group of people who just happen to like the same gender.

So can someone please explain it to me? Because I can’t understand this desire to single out those who are different. To target them for mockery and humiliation…and much, much worse sometimes. Why?What are they doing that’s so wrong that they deserve that? It’s not like they’re smuggling drugs into the country or molesting children or a thousand other things I could think of that are far worse.

Inspiration

Ever been mindlessly working at a task – one you know you’d better get done now if you don’t want to get in trouble – and your brain decides it’s high time to throw a creative fastball straight at your face? Or were you just sitting there, staring off into space, when an entire musical score slammed its Happy Face sledgehammer into you? It’s just loads of fun, isn’t it?

A lot of ideas hit me at the most inopportune times. When I’m in class, for instance, or at work. I wrote an entire parody song for my Improv group during one of my classes today. Poems tend to crop up when I’m trying to take notes. Or worse, they nag at me when I’m trying to get a task done for my work-study job. I’ve even composed entire songs while slicing meat and cheese in the Blairs Ferry Target’s Deli.

But when I sit down to try and work on my novel or a role-play post – or any number of other creative activities – more often than not, the muse dances at the edges of my thoughts. Sure, I can entice it into the open with music or by looking at related images. But on the whole, it just laughs at me and goes on its merry way.

This wouldn’t be quite so frustrating if I could actually stop and take note of all the ideas and songs that I come up with. Most times, I can’t. No paper and pen to write them down, no instrument available to work out the exact notes and length thereof. But whenever I can? I think some of my best poems were written while just standing at the register in the cafeteria – when I’m half-asleep because I’m not a morning person at all.

Maybe I should drag myself out of bed at 6:50 AM every day so that by the time 8:30 rolls around, I can write some pretty fantastic pieces. Or I could just curl up under the covers a little more tightly and keep right on dreaming.

Stormy beauty

I love storms. Not so much the aftermath, but there’s something simply ethereal about a storm. I find them beautiful, despite the danger they represent. And I always wind up being torn between wanting to curl up in front of a fire with a good book (and a cup o’ hot chocolate) and running out to dance in the rain. Not much dancing happens, sadly. I’m ultimately a creature of comfort, after all. But some days…some days it’s hard to resist. Today was one of those days. And all that’s keeping me inside right now is the fact I have homework to do. Sad days.

I suppose I’ll just have to settle for watching through the Busse skylight right now. All while enjoying the thunderous melody of the storm. It almost makes the whole day perfect. Almost.

From college to university: Hello MMU!

I chose to attend a college because I liked the idea that I’d actually get to know my professors and be really comfy with asking them for help. That’s not typically something you get at a university. You generally get a huge campus, with thousands of students and you’re just one of a multitude. I’m not that into faceless throngs, thanks. Hence my choosing Mt. Mercy College. And while it wasn’t perfect (nothing is), at least it felt like a community I wanted to be a part of. All the changes going on here are so far removed from what I hoped to get from attending here, I confess myself sorely disappointed. Instead of more parking or better computers/servers – or just a few more decent, NEW printers – we’re getting a new University Center because now we’re officially a university!

Really? We’re going to exacerbate the problems the campus already has by taking away parking, by keeping the same tired old computers/printers/servers – by making what are, to me at least, fairly useless changes? Yeah, we’re getting more space for classrooms and the ACE center and the newspaper and who knows what else. Awesomeness and all that. But look at what else we’re losing. Honestly, I’m greatly displeased with the moves that are being made. And while it’s being trumpeted about and heralded as an amazing step for our historic college, the community involved in it would probably have a more mixed response to that idea. That’s the overall impression I’ve gained from my discussions about the changes. Especially with the students.