Coming Into Frame

I am no longer posting selfies in 2016.

No videos. No OOTD. No pictures with me in them. At all.

If you take one of me, fine… but someone else has to be in it.

I want my memories to be framed in what I think is important… and right now, I think my life should be less “me” centric and more focused on how I interact with the things around ME. Less about approval and more about experience.

I’m also going to severely cut down on my social media time, taking week(s) long breaks, and using it more for communication/information, instead of killing time. The thing about things posted on the internet, is that they will still be there, regardless of relevance, throughout the day.

…but the sun works on a schedule, and I’d hate to miss its precious rays in the small time I’m allotted between obligation and leisure.

Time is slipping out of my fingers like a restless stream of fresh water. This precious resource refuses to be contained, so I think I should nourish what I can in an existence that has an unknown ending.

This is in no way an attack on social media. It’s awesome. It’s in no way an attack on society or the way people utilize their time.

This isn’t about anyone or anything else… it’s a journey of self discovery. I’m making it public because I think we often only want to show our “best” sides…. always profile picture ready. And the truth is, especially in my mid twenties, I have more questions than answers, more confusion than clarity… I don’t think I’m alone, and I don’t want anyone else living in that falsehood, either. I want the freedom to be my most authentic self (when I figure out who she is…) in all of my interactions. I want to show every side. I think we can be beautiful even in our darkest times. We can celebrate life even when we’re not “winning”.

I don’t want to give anyone the illusion that I am anything less than human.

Advertisements

Road Trippin’… Bolting for Baltimore. 

 

Here goes everything….

 

I felt beads of sweat begin to form on my brow as I pressed myself against the wall of the narrow stairway in my Queens, New York apartment. Somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd landing of my 4 floor walk (climb) up, there was a standoff:

Me, hands filled with an overflowing book bag-turned-suitcase within the last 45 minutes of frantic packing, a second bag on my shoulders determined to shorten my spine by at least two inches, a wristlet dangling from one of my red and white clenched fingers, keys hanging from my beltloop, somewhere an addressed envelope balanced in the heap I carried, and a bagel that was recently delivered to my front door temped my tongue as it clung to my lips and lay in my tightly clenched jaw.

Her, one of the many neighbors in this building that always greets me with the blank stare of unfamiliarity, despite my off-and-on two and a half years in this building, orange-“tanned” skin, bleach “blonde” hair, covered in large, brightly colored “jewelry” and carrying… someone’s… baby in a car seat. The parents hardly make the climb to the door anymore, so she’ll meet them on the sidewalk. One of the many perks of her “business”. 3 had already arrived this morning, and it wasn’t quite 8am. I had the pleasure of waking to the sweet melody of screaming infants in the hallway. The high, soprano shrilly out of their tiny shaking bodies echoing and rising until they erupted from the rooftops of this 4 floor walk up.

I nearly slammed into her and innocent life as I rounded the corner of the banister, throwing my weight back and balancing myself out with the weight of the bags to keep myself from toppling over.

She was completely unaware of the fact that I had just saved her life and that of the future generation. She slowly met my panic-stricken eyes with a smile, her razor sharp voice pierced the echoing cave of a stairway,

“Guh moarn’n” she coughed in a thick Long-Geye-Lind dialect. I watched a large, wet, black mass exit the gap where her right canine used to be and land unforgivingly on my cheek. I felt it splatter upon impact. I didn’t dare wipe it away or bring attention to her bio-attack, from both a southern sensibility of wanting to be polite and comfortable, and being completely incapacitated by unnecessarily full bags. Still, I gave a very welcoming nod and “Hi, how are you?”; a question we both knew was redundant and disingenuous. That, and, with the bagel still clenched in my jaw, it came out more, “Mrph, ‘Ow rawer ooo?”

After our pleasantries, we stood, staring. A stalemate. Neither one of us could move forward, without the other party moving back, dangerously, and risking dropping our respective precious cargos.

And that is when,  dear (patient) reader, I found myself pushed between a concrete wall, and the aggressive bosoom of my AARP card-holding neighbor. I felt my neck resist as my face was pressed harder and harder against the wall with each 1/2 inch shuffle her delapidated flip flops progressed.Decades old paint chips flaked onto my sweater, as I choked back the aroma of lady speed stick and menthol cigarettes. I defiantly angled my head straight up, as if singing with Charlie Brown and his friends, to save my breakfast. We were both in complete denial that this was going to be a success.

…to be continued…


Yesteryear. 

I sat on the plane, half-leaning against the plastic wall and the unwelcoming arm rest, nursing a surprisingly strong Jack and Coke, and overlooking the views of the Bahamas heavily obstructed by the left plane wing, headed home. I closed my eyes as the familiar tingle returned to my lips and the tip of my nose; Jack Daniels was planting his numb kisses across my face and I hoped he’d soon wipe my brow with that same forgetful fog that makes those in despair, dream again… my eyes were getting heavy, but I couldn’t escape the weight that threatened to collapse my ribcage and triturate my heart. My search for physical comfort was near impossible, as my skin was also crisp, red and radiating heat from a long, reckless and rum-fueled day in the island sun.


I replayed the last few hours in my head. Again and again. The way he looked, the words we carelessly shouted at one another in the middle of the security checkpoint. The feeling of this person, MY person being completely unregonizable, the one who was meant to protect me and bring me happiness, was the source of my pain.

I shoved the overpriced airport headphones in my ear and dared the tiny earbuds to fold under the heavy bass and heartbreak I forced through them. I wanted to drown in the 808 and ride escapist melodic phrases far away from the here and now. I wanted to deafen the crack of his cellphone exploding onto the airport tile floor in a fit of exhaustion, rage and desperation.

I wanted to believe loving words exchanged under island stars to a soundscape of crashing waves and lungs filled with fresh, salty air.

…to be continued…

Starving in the “Feed”. The Great Escape.

It was 8:29 pm.

…Already?

I had been lying on my stomach for nearly 3 hours, eyes glued to the 4 inch touch screen persistently updating with enlightenment, anger, politics, family memories, reationship updates, marriages, babies, cat videos, opinionated articles, celebrities, countdowns, elections, advertising, angst and anger, elation and self discovery.

I was feeling sick.

The newsfeed was plentiful; over stuffing my psyche with evidence that every other person in my virtual social circle had discovered the secret of getting one’s shit together and survive, happily, in their existence… Thrive, even.

Still, I waited for the red bubble to rack in more and more notifications like a fiend anticipates her next fix. “Please, someone validate my significance.”, I silently prayed.  I couldn’t stop.

Behind the heavily edited filters, flattering selfie angles and vague photographs of foliage coupled with inspirational passages to convince everyone that choosing happiness is truly the easy solution you’ve been ignoring…. I was beginning to fall apart.

The tool I was using to distract myself from the parts of life that has become unlivable, shoved my face deeper into the failure shit pile with which I had recklessly stained my early twenties….

I had my 1000+ “friends” completely fooled into believing my fabricated success, beauty, wisdom and precocious self assurence. With each ring of a new like, comment or momentary white heart covering my 4 inch gate to human connection, I sank deeper into my blanketed security that clouded my perception of love.

I knew my friends because I had spent hours with them, laughing over the same jokes, admiring their wedding photos, watching their kids grow up, celebrating tenor successes and mourning their losses as if they were my own. We discussed politics, remembered old times together….

When my express train toward all encompassing success and happiness began to derail, the true image bleeding though the filters, the unflattering ripples and pudges forcing themselves around even the sharpest angles…. I was eliminated, filtered out of the newsfeed. My quarter-life crisis was not pretty, there was no meme for it, it wasn’t going viral; I wasn’t going to “share” it, because no one cared.

My current status: hanging on by a last fringing thread. Feeling: half-past over it.

I had become a master both on my physical and online life in convincing everyone of my complete, unwaiviering control of my life…. And now I was in far too deep.

The truth was, I had been in a year long downward spiral of discovering  the harshest reality:

….to be continued.