Tuesday, August 03, 2010

How to be alone

A friend posted this on facebook, so I posted it to my tumblr.. but its too beautiful not to share so I'm posting it here too, enjoy!

How to be alone
By Tanya Davis

If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were you were not okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find its 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, your not suppose to talk much anyway so its safe there. There is also the gym, if your shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.

There’s public transportation, we all gotta go places. And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation. Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on avoid being principles. The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouse work across town, and 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 to dinner to a restaurant with linen and silver wear. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were. Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst 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 ones watching because they are probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely move to beats, after-all, is gorgeous and affecting. Dance till you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. 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, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might of 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 awhile no one is dating them. But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it. You can stand swaffed by groups and mobs and hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company. But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept.

Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cause if you’re happy in your head, and solitude is blessed, and alone is okay., Its okay if no one believes like you, all experiences unique, no one has the same synapses can’t think like you, this me/ be ?, keeps things interesting, lifes magic things ?, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, the community is not present, just take back to you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. Take silence and respect it, if you have an art that needs 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 need it, if your heart is bleeding, make the best of it, there is heat and freezing be a testimate.

Monday, August 02, 2010

like a cat

I don't go through phases, I go through lives (perhaps that is why they call me kat.. perhaps not). I've been meaning to write, but I don't know where to start. Believe me, I have tried.. but all those typed words seemed empty. Its a strange feeling; living a new life, being a new person. But its the only way to describe how I feel. Like I've died and been reborn. Like I will never be the person I was before. Like no matter how hard I try, I can't go back to my former normal.

One month and twenty-four days ago, I got on a plane. To paradise. A plane to paradise. My country of origin was everything I had dreamed it would be. It was heaven on earth. And I knew it. It was familiar. All these years I had dreamed of home, knew it, tasted it, smelled it. How, I don't know. I was a tiny baby when I left, less than three months old. But I knew this land. I belonged to this land. When the cold froze me to the core of my being, deep down.. unconsciously I dreamt of sunshine and black sand.

It rained the day I left. I got locked out of my apartment and almost murdered my one roommate (if I didn't have a plane to catch, I may of well have been sitting in a jail cell). They lost my luggage. I got off the plane in a foul mood. I was lagging behind my friend, miserable about the prospect of living in the same outfit for god-only-knew how long, but excited to see the woman who gave birth to me over two decades ago. I should have known better. In fact, I did know better. I didn't manage to muster up any sort of excitement until the day before I left. My life has been full of heartbreak. I drink it in, letting it penetrate every fiber of my being. Its what keeps me going (even when I think I can't take no more). Its the reason I fight to stay alive, because one day, I will look back at my life and say, "life has been good. Life has been fun. Life has been a fairytale."

What is life if there is no struggle? What good is a fairytale if there isn't first a trial (or many) to overcome?

My birth mother was a disappointment. She is a disappointment. As my friend and I exited the airport, I got my first glimpse of her. I look nothing like her. Throughout my trip I would question whether or not she really was my mother. I'm sure that sounds cruel, but it is what it is.

The first person she was to embrace was not me, but my friend. After twenty-four plus years, the first person this woman hugs is the white bitch standing next to me. I don't think I can accurately describe the emotions I felt. Hurt and anger are too soft to describe the inner torment I felt at that moment. I thought my head and my heart might explode, my head because the act made no sense (does not compute. does not compute) my heart because it felt like someone had literally stuck it with a billion razors blades. I did not cry tears of joy when I met my mother. That one act alone numbed me for my entire trip.

My maternal grandmother is beautiful. She has a quiet elegance that was completely absent in my mother. My aunties had it though. I really don't get that woman (my mother). Not at all, not for a minute.

All those months we had been conversing on the phone, she had promised to come clean; to explain herself. She refused to do it over the phone, it had to be face to face. Looking back at it now, maybe she lost her nerve and that's why all I got was deception and lies. But damn it, she fucking owes me one.

I think I know why I didn't get one. But things so selfish rarely get uttered aloud.

Our heart to heart was the same shit I heard before on the phone. Except this time with a fair amount more slandering of my father, and this time my brother as well. Apparently my brother isn't sending her any money. Everyone is pissed she went and had this fifth child.

She raved about how Amanda (my younger sister by a year and some odd months) sent her things all the time. This is the same sister that lives off the money her baby father sends her. The same sister that is cheating on her current husband. The same sister that lets her current husband beat her eldest daughter (the one who's biological father pays for his survival by default). I want to murder my sister's husband. He is trash, and my sister is an idiot. But that is my privileged point of view, and believe me.. I am painfully aware of the privileged position from which I stand. I have no place to judge.

In the middle of raving about how wonderful Amanda was for sending her things, and bemoaning her (somewhat?) chosen poverty, she decided to hit up both myself and the friend that accompanied me for our charity.

I didn't eat for three months to be able to pay for all the crap I bought for her and my sisters. Granted, the not eating was mainly induced by stress and other crap, but still.

I can't feel sorry for someone who has children by five different men, I can't feel sorry for someone who has a child by a man who was/is married, I can't feel sorry for someone with zero ambition, but who is looking for a free ride, who's unusual relationship with her boss get's her bills and expenses paid for (he's pissed too she had this last baby), someone who has a good man standing in front of her, but is more interested in his status than the fact that he is a genuinely decent human being. I can't feel sorry for someone who makes children not out of love, but for personal gain.

My mother didn't love my father, nor did he love her. They weren't ever really involved I don't think.

All those months ago, the first thing my mother asked me was if I was beautiful. Not if I was smart, or if I was in school, what my job was, or even if I was feeling better (she had been told about the blood clot, but confided in my friend that she had thought I had been afflicted with a boil).

When we spoke of my father she went on and on about what a good looking man he was. He was such a good looking man (although a useless provider,) blahblahblah. See, my father was a dancehall singer. People knew his name, he had status and he was attractive.

I am the child of a groupie.

But see, dad had no cash, and this pissed mom off. I was an inconvenience, so she got rid of me.

I can't write anymore now. I promise its not all horrible, but this reunion shit really sucks. I'll explain it all later, but for now I am too drained.