a second beginning

Here it is, a second beginning. My first attempt at a blog was less than a month ago, and due to difficulties with the host site as well as a lack of motivation, I have decided to set this up and start anew.  A third problem that I encountered was an uncertainty of what to write. What is too much, what will be interesting, what will be boring?! Do you know what I concluded? It doesn’t matter! I’m going to write whatever is in my heart and my mind. From now on, it’s full disclosure.

Now, in the name of full disclosure, here are snippets from a journal I was filling up prior to this trip to Thailand.  This is where my heart & my head were at.

“Fear says to the student warrior:  ‘If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, & you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.'”
pg. 42, When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron

6th october, 2008. marin headlands
I drove to Berkeley yesterday, and parked the borrowed car on College Avenue, across from a new soccer field hiding an underground parking garage. clever. It was a trip, walking past scores of college students the same age as I, seeing them on their way to or from some class or some dorm. Although we tread on the same sidewalk, we are hardly traveling on the same path.
It’s so eerie to think of everyone my age doing the whole college thing–parties, dorms, papers, essays, exams, yuck. A tiny piece of me wants to be holed up in a little cafe studying all afternoon over lattes, mochas, macchiatos, and americanos, but not today.  Today the sun is shining.

8th october, 2008, marin headlands.
You know what I want to watch? The Darjeeling Limited, The Motorcycle Diaries, & Into the Wild. You know why? I want to get out of here. I want to leave everything and I want to drive far, far away in the car that I don’t have. I don’t care if it’s a car, a bus, a train, a plane, a bike, or by foot. I want to go, leave, never look back.
Who am I trying to fool? I am no hipster. I am no high-heel-wearing-office-job-working-woman. I don’t go out for drinks at bars after working nine to five. I don’t go out to nightclubs in miniskirts when it’s forty degrees outside. I don’t drink lattes, I don’t talk interest rates, I don’t care what the stock market says, and I am not defined by my closet or my bank account.
I wear tee-shirts, jeans, & hoodies. I don an olive vest when it’s a little chilly. I study Tibetan Buddhism, I read books, I travel, I live out of a backpack. On Friday nights, I’d rather stay home, curled up in a chair with a cozy blanket, a cup of tea, and an Oprah magazine. Laugh at me, because I’m laughing too, but just remember how unsatisfying it feels to go drink yourself silly and stumble around the streets of a city that doesn’t love you.

14th october, 2008. downtown san francisco.
Last night I dreamt that I went out to a lot of bars and no one liked me. I awoke feeling thankful that I don’t go to bars.
I didn’t sleep very well. Something about this big, empty city makes me feel restless and uneasy. Looking out the window at all of the houses, buildings, and smokestacks makes me feel queasy. I’m going to bike back to the headlands as soon as I can.

15th october, 2008. marin headlands.
As I lie here in this big empty field, listening to Resurrection Fern by Iron & Wine, my chest heaves with each big breath. What is this that I’m feeling? My body aches, my handwriting is reduced to mere scribbles. What is this? fear? excitement? loneliness? oneness? emptiness? heaviness? fullness? I feel connected. Connected to everyone and everything. As I rest in the spaces between breaths I feel clarity. I feel every overwhelming emotion surging through my body. I feel all the world’s confusion, all of the uncertainty, all of the impermanence. I feel as though I want to love everything fully & forever. It would be an immense tragedy to hurt anyone or anything ever again. Is that easier said than done? I’m not sure.
I feel so ready to pack up & go. I feel this in-between stage so fully. I feel it and I realize that this is all there is, this in-between moment.
The house behind me? It isn’t mine any longer. Was it ever? No. I can’t own anything. When I die I won’t take it with me, I won’t take anything with me. Not even my body.  I must purge myself of unnecessary items. Minimal clothes, books. No makeup, perfumes, jewels, no excess. I shall gift it. What need do we have for worldly goods? Someday, I will only own what I can carry on my back at a dead run.

20th october. dover,  new hampshire.
I’ve been thinking…someone said something that has been bothering me. She said I am “floundering.” First of all, who the hell isn’t floundering? Show me one person who knows exactly what they are doing.  You can’t.
And second of all, just because I don’t want a career–a miserable 20th century invention–and I am not doing the standard-twenty-year-old-American-thing does not mean that I am floundering. I am swimming strong, head above water, breathing just fine, thanks.  I am neither standard, nor average, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be.

I get depressed here. The cold…the people. Redeeming qualities? The fall foliage, Adelle’s coffee shop. This place has become a warm refuge for me in the center of this cold coast. I just wish the faux spider webs weren’t adorning the windows & doors as a tribute to Halloween.  I adore the futility of holidays & the meaningless materialism that they provoke. Four months until my 21st Birthday. There’s no telling where I’ll be in four months. I can’t even pinpoint where I’ll be by Thanksgiving, or Christmas. I know I won’t want to be here. Sure, maybe I’ll be homesick like no other, but man, I just can’t stand the brutal bombardment of gluttony and materialism for a moment, and I won’t.

When I am in this town I feel as though I am floundering, as though she was right. I get sucked into the small-minded attitudes, the subliminal messages flashing across television screens depicting the necessity of wealth for happiness. It’s bullshit! And yet I eat it up, right out of the palms of those that I despise. Just because I want nothing to do with your excess, your pomp & circumstance, does not mean that I am floundering.

I am not sorry that I do not want to attend your four-year universities to obtain an unnecessary degree, therefore provoking me to toil at a job that I loathe in order to repay and exorbitant amount of student loans & financial aid that I didn’t want in the first place. I don’t want to spend money that I don’t even have so that I can put my life on hold and sit in a classroom for years. I have more motivation and drive, more thirst for knowledge than most of those kids anyways. My insatiable thirst for knowledge is what drives me, my travels, my life.

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