Monday, February 28, 2011

how to be alone

if you are, at first, lonely
be patient
if you've not been alone much
or, if when you were
you weren't okay with it
then just wait.
you'll find it's fine to be alone
once you're embracing it.
we can start with the acceptable places:
the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library
where you can stall and read the paper
where you can get your caffeine fix
and sit, and stay there
where you can browse the stacks and smell the books
you're not supposed to talk much anyway
so it's safe there
there's also the gym
if you're shy
you can hang out with yourself in mirrors
you can put headphones in
and there's public transportation
because we all gotta go places
and there's prayer and meditation
no one will think less
if you're hanging with your breath
seeking peace and salvation
start simple
things you may have previously avoided
based on your 'Avoid Being Alone' principles
the lunch counter
where you will be surrounded by chow-downers
employees that only have an hour
and their spouses work across town
and so they, like you, will be alone
resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone
when you are comfortable with "Eat lunch, and run"
take yourself out for dinner
a restaurant with linen and silverware
you're no less intriguing a person
when you're eating solo desserts
and cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger
in fact, some people at full tables
will wish they were where you are
go to the movies
where it is dark and soothing
alone in your seat
amidst a fleeting community
and then, take yourself out dancing
to a club where no one knows you
stand on the outside of the floor
until the lights convince you more and more
and the music shows you
dance like no one's watching
because they're probably not
and, if they are
assume it is with best of human intentions
the way bodies move
genuinely to beats
is, after all, gorgeous and effecting
dance until you're sweating
and beads of perspiration remind you of life's best dance
down your back like a book of blessings
go to the woods alone
and the trees and squirrels will watch for you
go to an unfamiliar city
rome the streets
there are always statues to talk to
and benches made for sitting
give strangers a shared existence
if only for a minute
and these moments can be so uplifting
and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches
might have never happened
had you not been there by yourself
society is afraid of alone, though
like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements
like people must have problems if,
after a while, nobody is dating them
but lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless
and lonely is healing if you make it
you could stand, swathed by groups and mobs
or hold hands with your partner
look both further and farther from the endless quest for company
but no one's in your head
and by the time you translate your thoughts
some essence of them may be lost
or perhaps it is just kept
perhaps in the interest of loving ones self
perhaps all those sappy slogans
from preschool over
to high school's groaning
were tokens for holding the lonely at bay
'cause if you're happy in your head
then solitude is blessed and alone is ok
it's ok if no one believes like you
all experience is unique
no one has the same synapses
can't think like you
for this we are relieved
keeps things interesting
life's magic feels in reach
and it doesn't mean you aren't connected
the community's not present
just take the perspective you get from being one person, and one head
and beauty effects it
take silence and respect it
if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it
if your family doesn't get you
or a religious sect is not meant for you, don't obsess about it
you could be, in an instant, surrounded
if you needed
if your heart is bleeding, make the best of it
there is heat in freezing, be a testament

-tanya davis

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

don't call me a hipster

look up "hipster" on urbandictionary and you will find one of the following phrases used repetitively: young, artsy, independent, creative, intelligent, witty, effortless cool, urban bohemian, edge, reject culturally-ignorant mainstream, well educated, pioneers, socially minded, conformists, ironic, "image thing", elitist, flamboyant...and my personal favorite; "Absolutely a blast to be friends with, hell to be enemies of, hipsters are the most bi-polar of all the stereotypes when it comes to how they treat you."

i don't know how many of these categories i fall under, if any, but i have been called a hipster a time or two. and i still don't get it. have you seen this blog: made by hipsters to ironically poke fun at their ironic hipster lifestyles. i don't look like these people. i don't wear underwear outside of my pants (greg giraldo - check it out.) but i digress...

i became vegetarian for two years when i made a bet with my dad that i couldn't go for 2 weeks without eating any meat. instead, i did it for two years. and while i'm not particularly strict to my diet in the last 6 months, since i moved to texas (explains a lot, trust me) i still just don't eat much meat. it grosses me out, and it is in my opinion (and the opinion of many scientists/nutritionists) that human bodies were not made to digest the flesh of other animals, or their by-products. i also don't drink milk. while i was vegetarian, i also didn't drink milk. i don't really like it any way so it seemed like a natural digression. however, i had a latte at the "we proudly brew starbucks" at my cheap-ass liberal arts school in wisconsin because they were out of soymilk, and i had an allergic reaction. broke out in hives, so badly that i look like my skin is radioactive in all of the pictures from bid day.

what else... oh. and my "fashion"? apparently it is the "cool thing to do" to not shower these days. my mother told me recently that one of her teacher friends at the private high school my brother attends told her that all the kids are smelly. in high school! and not like, because they had gym first period. it's because they don't shower. because apparently that's cool.'s the thing. i've been somewhat...lazy...about my showering habits since college. don't get me wrong, i shower regularly...most of the time. but i spent 2 weeks in jamaica bathing in a river. and when, the second week, the river got washed out because of all the rain and i couldn't take a bath, i just didn't. and i was fine. so...these days, i have perfectly functional indoor plumbing. however, there are days when i work from 7:30 am - 11:30 pm and the last thing i give a shit about is showering. so i just don't. and it's fine.

i've also been told i look like a "homeless person with expensive taste." that one gets me because i get it. sometimes. i wear a lot of layers and ripped jeans from some hip boutique on the gold coast. well, i used to. when i was in college my parents paid for all my shit so i bought whatever i wanted. now, less than a year later, i'm halfway through the month of february and can't pay my rent. but that's beside the point. i dress like i'm poor because i AM POOR. hahaa. ok? a waitress/youth worker hybrid doesn't make a lot of money, especially when one of her employers can't even PAY HER.

sorry. rant over. moving on...

i wear thick rimmed glasses because i have such a ridiculously high prescription that if i wear normal, wire-rimmed glasses they literally do not fit in the rims. i wear toms because they're comfortable and i hate wearing socks. it's like they were MADE for me. i like good music and i think top 40 radio stations ruin everything they play, but i also hate elitist music bastards who ruin my life for making me feel bad about the music i listen to. SOMETIMES I JUST WANT TO LISTEN TO BLACK EYED PEAS. ok? just leave me to my solace.

so probably, in the end, i just sound like every other hipster bitch out there who takes 3 hours to make their hair look like they just rolled out of bed, and wears peace signs all over all her fucking shit but talks so much shit about everyone around her, or preaches about environmental sustainability but can't even recycle her fucking GREY GOOSE BOTTLE... i don't know.

and i don't give a shit. so just leave me alone.