Tag Archives: changes

a very new paltz

New Paltz, New York

So, these have been the most unexpectedly bizarre past few days of my life. I am officially back at New Paltz, back to everything I’ve known for the past 3 years, everything familiar to me. Only problem is, I’ve never felt more lost.

As my summer wound down – in a most anticlimactic fashion, in case you were wondering – I started getting excited for New Paltz. For getting back to my school, which inadvertently became a second home of sorts, after spending a semester in a foreign country. While most assumed I should be sad to be back home, I was actually excited. I would take the things I learned in that foreign place – about the world, about myself – and apply them in a setting with which I was more familiar. And holy hell, was I wrong.

For one thing, I don’t even recognize half of campus. While I was away, and then while I was at home for the summer, construction workers finished up their “love child” – a giant glass…something. A mountain, a pyramid, a sad replica of the Louvre. However you want to refer to it, it’s gaudy, unnecessary, and a HUGE waste of money. There was no need for its construction, save for aesthetic “purpose,” though I can’t seem to find one. Except for the occasional, “Hey man, I’m at the big glass thingy. Meet me here in 5 minutes.”

As if this exterior was bad enough, the inside of the “glass thingy” looks like the front desk of a museum. Downstairs features a bunch of futuristic couches, a giant flat screen TV and a “rec center” complete with pool and an air hockey tables. From this area, you can see inside the bookstore, because they changed it to look like some store in the mall: floor to ceiling “store windows” complete with mannequins adorned with our over-priced campus merch. There are now two separate lines, one devoted solely to textbooks (the only good decision made), and it just looks bigger. Speaking of malls, they also felt the need to renovate the entire food area inside: adding, fixing, changing, ruining. I walk into the student union building and I feel like I’m in a food court at a mall. I can no longer recognize what was once there, what it looked like before all our Bob the Builders came along. Most offices in the basement were refurbished – because that many students honestly noticed the aesthetic errors of the R&R office when trying to drop Calc or Psych? – with full glass windows and modern furniture, much like a doctor’s office. If I can’t solve in 5 minutes what I came to that office to do, I’m not going to bother poppin’ a squat on one of their new and improved armchairs. Pointless.

I guess for a newbie, all this new crap must seem exciting. Like, Wow, I go to an under-funded state school but with the illusion that we have a decent budget! But for someone whose past three years were practically planted out in the quad, these changes are a bit jarring. Frightening, even. Especially since I found out that redesigning the school – from the logo to the lobbies – cost us $300,000,000. YEAH THAT’S RIGHT. Upon arrival, my room had one garbage can instead of two, our phone jack was completely destroyed, and they didn’t have “enough of a budget” to provide things like free planners for students – something, I don’t know, useful? – because they spent all their money building a glass thingy and all that came with it. I could vomit.

I can’t help but wonder if I should have lived off campus this year. I’m sure half of you are screaming, Yes!, but honestly, I just didn’t see the point, seeing as how I’m a senior who doesn’t plan on living here past graduation. I didn’t see the point in schlepping even MORE of my stuff up here than normal, and spending time and money (re)furbishing a house to which I didn’t have any long-term commitment. I guess I still don’t see the point. But 90% of the people I talked to on a regular basis here are now living off campus – which, although in some cases is down the street, might as well be in the next town over –  a fact which makes things even more foreign for me.

And the weather, I assume, doesn’t help. Rain comes and goes – in drizzles, drops, and downpours -like a drippy faucet immune to a plumber’s work. I didn’t realize when I arrived in New Paltz, I was also arriving in October, with its bitter air and its bleak, gray sky. Pour me some cider and pick me a pumpkin, where the hell am I?

Here’s to hoping the next 15 weeks aren’t as lackluster as this. *clink*

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Filed under Observations, Rants

too old for standing room only

Roseland Ballroom, NYC

I went to Something Corporate’s reunion show last night with my friend Mery. Once we reached Grand Central, thus began my hunt for a bank after a much needed pretzel pit stop (aka dinner). I know what you’re thinking – for every Starbucks in Manhattan there are probably about four banks/ATMs, so why must a “hunt” be involved? Answer: I’m not about to pay to withdraw my own money. I was going to include a simile here but quite frankly I can’t think of anything quite as ridiculous, especially when the sum of my fees – between the ATM itself and my own bank – would total $4.50. No thanks. Turns out, there are not as many HSBC banks as I previously assumed. After trying my bank card in four different machines – when did they stop posting the fee upfront so you don’t have to waste your time being asked what language you speak or if you’d like to check your balance first four separate times? – I finally reached an HSBC. Bada-bing.

Next was standing in line. Good news: we arrived late enough in the day that we didn’t have to stand there for 5+ hours waiting to get in. Bad news: the line was four blocks long. I’m all about band-loyalty and whatnot, but peeps, there is no need to arrive at 1:30 pm when doors open at 7:30. You already have your ticket. Do you really think once you get inside and park yourself front and center after waiting outside for six hours you will remain in that very spot for the entire evening? Get real, hipsters. Here’s what really goes down: you show up insanely early, park yourself in the perfect spot, and as soon as the band comes on, everyone shoves forward as though running for dear life and before you know it you are parked behind some six-foot-four, drunk frat “bro” with pit stains the size of Alaska. And to add insult to injury, halfway through the show you are elbowed in the jugular by some three-foot-nine teeny-bopper groupie who shoved her way from the back after arriving just moments ago. Lesson: those that show up at 1:30 and those that show up at 8:30 look no different through the eyes of the band looking out from the stage. I could’ve told you that after seeing Ryan Cabrera in concert in the tenth grade. (Yeah, that’s right. I was a fan.)

So there we were, standing on this line full of self-proclaimed “#1 Something Corporate fans” which, to the untrained eye, could’ve easily been mistaken for the line to audition for a new reality show that combines High School Musical with Jersey Shore and the Osbournes. However, at this particular show, I was a little surprised at the variety of wardrobe choices. Normally at a show like this, the majority of guests are 13-16 year old girls who have recently ironed their band tee for [insert band name] or opted for their favorite hipster/scene outfit, probably purchased at either Hot Topic or Pac Sun for this particular occasion. They want to appear “part of that world” right down to which/how many bracelets on each wrist, or whether they should leave their fake black, thick-framed glasses at home. Braided pigtails? Bump-it? Some dudes may even arrive with a [insert OTHER band name] tee, maybe to appear cool by association or in hopes to strike up a conversation with an unassuming stranger about how “totally sick” that band is as well.

Sure, there was plenty of that last night, but mixed in with that whole subcategory of ridiculous was another in which girls wore dresses and heels. What is this, the homecoming dance? The Oscars? I personally opted for a solid tee (admittedly of a neon color), jeggings (do not judge) and flip-flops. Seriously. If Joan Rivers approached me last night asking “who” I was wearing I’d be inclined to tell her “probably some young sweatshop worker.”

In my flip-flops, my knees buckled as tightly as the belt of a 400-lb. man trying to hide his “love handles.” My heels dug through the bottoms of my shoes as I felt all their little nerve endings slowly dying, standing flat with no support below the toe. And then they expected us to stand for another two hours?!

Cut to inside the venue, post-overpriced-tee-shirt-purchase, post-more-waiting, halfway into the show: there I am, having the time of my life, shaking what my mother literally gave me to the sounds of a band that got me through high school, when this ass-crack of a human being shoves his way in front of me and – get this – stops. Right there, two centimeters away from standing on my bare toes. I could’ve sneezed down the back of his shirt if I wanted. And in hindsight, I should’ve. Because the only reason he pushed his way back was so he could stand on top of some innocent bystander’s toes and smoke a blunt. I mean really, dude. Don’t you have some backseat in which to do that? Or maybe a basement party? And as if that was bad enough, he began dancing. Picture someone spinning onion rings on their index fingers while looking down and repeatedly picking his feet out of the gum he stepped in. That’s kind of what Homeboy’s dancing looked like. In a word, atrocious. In four more words, too close for comfort. At one point I caught the eye of a girl next to me, rolled my eyes assuming there was some kind of unspoken girl code about this sort of thing, and that she agreed. Then she tapped Homeboy on the shoulder and I thought, Sweet, I have a supporter. Then I realized she was asking for a hit of his joint, to which he graciously complied. Then they were friends. There goes that. Eventually he left and I was able to at least enjoy the encore knowing that I didn’t have to close one eye and turn my head sideways to see the lead singer.

There was a time when I could tolerate being surrounded by sloppy-drunk, overweight, shirtless undergrads that swung their sweaty blubber around as they body-slammed into each other for no apparent reason (“moshing”) just so I could be closer to the stage. There was even a time I could tolerate having one of them inadvertently slide his man-boob/armpit – where did one start and the other end? – against my fifteen-year old arm. All in the name of Yellowcard circa 2004. But now I’d much prefer staying towards the back where I have little chance of having a scene kid’s Chuck Taylors land on my ear as he crowd surfs above me, forcing me to participate. Kind of makes me sad, but really, how much am I really missing out on?

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empty juice boxes + other ways to carry on

I feel so empty. Like a juice box that has been squeezed past its limit; all my juice is gone and my straw is just sucking up a loud, slurpy air of nothingness. I try squeezing, flattening, even twisting myself for that one last drop. But there is simply. Nothing. Left.

*                    *                    *

So since my last melodramatic post, not much has changed. I was told that these kinds of things happen. People change and not everyone and everything last forever. I can appreciate that statement, since just about every person who has entered my life has just as easily removed him/herself from it. But when did growing up mean giving up? Giving up your friends, your happiness? Am I doomed for absolute loneliness with each day that gets crossed off the calendar? No. Because I was also told that this doesn’t last forever either. I was told I get past this and eventually things become easier. Well yeah, that has the same impact as telling a blind man he’ll see brighter days.

I have to learn to be a bitch. It seems that the bitchy people always get what they want. The girls who lie, pretend, manipulate, cheat, steal…they are happy. Albeit, it’s only a temporary happiness, like when I take a bite out of a Cinnabon, feel completely euphoric for, oh… 10 seconds and then realize I’m about to slip into a food coma. Too much of a good thing never lasts. “They get theirs in the end.” Well, I’ll be marking my calendar for that fateful day.

But really, I’m not really focused on tomorrow; I’m not interested in what happens later on when things “get better.” Do you pop a romantic comedy into the DVD player and skip to the last 10 minutes? I didn’t think so. No, you strap yourself in and board that emotional roller coaster like a champ… you laugh, you cry, sometimes it’s painful to watch. And then at the end, just before the credits roll and they begin that cheesy love song, you feel somewhat at ease with what has just unraveled before you.

I guess it’s a little cliché (and unrealistic) to compare my life to a movie. Okay, point taken. I’m just saying that yeah, I’m sure it’ll all work out. I know I should look to the positives and let everything else just fall into place, blah blah blah. And I’m not dismissing the advice of my mother and boyfriend and everyone else who stuck me with that line. I’m just saying excuse me if I can’t exactly see the positives of this situation just yet. Excuse me if I roll my eyes or pfft at the idea that something good will come out of this shithole of a situation I am in. Because it’s not so much wah wah my friends forgot about me. It’s more like goddammit some of these people turn the other way because some big-haired bitch told them some crap lie about me. Yeah, I went there. I’d be totally fine with knowing that people in this world don’t like me for what I am, because I said or did something totally out of line. But having them stare me down like I just murdered their puppy for no reason, simply because someone told them to? Pardon me, I didn’t realize I stepped back into high school. Was that the homeroom bell? I should grab my brown paper bag lunch and scurry along.

I know I’m just thinking too much. (What the hell else is new?) In the back of my mind I know I should just go with the flow, let all my friends leave me in the dust, and just march forward because in the end, I’ll come out on top. And maybe, ten years from now, if I have a spare second in my busy, precious day, I’ll think about them and either laugh or feel sorry, because they’ll probably still be acting like children at age 30.

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Filed under Introspection

the door

I miss the sound of her doorbell, if you could believe it. How when I pushed my finger onto that small white orb it vibrated through my fingertip, almost reaching into my body like an electric shock. It was loud, and the accent fell on the second, deeper note, which incidentally lingered in the air for what felt like hours. Though the same each time, its intensity always jolted through me with surprise. It was always a treat for us, to be chosen to ring that doorbell, to be the one of us to offset that melody. But when you’re young, everything is exciting.

This reverberating start to each visit was followed by a methodical anticipation: hearing her exclamation – usually, “Coming!” – and listening as my grandmother’s footsteps inched closer on the opposite side of the door, louder, until we heard the energetic crack, pop of the locks and the scratchy sound the door made as it swept against the rough carpet. In spite of the friction, she always opened that door with excitement, because on the other side stood her grandchildren.

Eventually her footsteps aged, more time between each step. But for children naïve to reality, this only increased the suspense. Then, the noise of a louder television masked the sounds of her footsteps, overpowering, and a click, roll of a walker was introduced to the cacophony. Sometimes, even, we would have to ring twice, which turned our anticipation into restlessness. The opening of the door began to lack its usual excitement, but rather emphasized resistance, exertion, exhaustion, often with a complimentary groan.

These days, there is no doorbell. There is no anticipation – on either end of the door – for I open the door myself as my grandmother sits idly in her chair, emotionally exhausted. No reverberating melody, no vibrating fingertips, just that harsh snap of the locks – like breaking bones – and an exhausted thrust of the door – a result of shoddy measurements, I bet. While that door once swung open with joy, I now swing it open with grief, out of fear – not excitement – at what I’ll find on the other side of that door.

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Filed under Non-fiction

the moment it all changed – when was that exactly?

Bear with me people, I wrote this next post right before falling asleep a few nights ago. Decided not to post it out of fear that it sounded too self-loathing. After editing it, I realize it is still self-loathing. Deal with it.

*

At the risk of getting all existential right before bed, I can’t help but pose the question that’s been on my mind the last few days: When/how did I become this person I am now?

Allow me to elaborate:

In high school I was a little bit of everything. I was smart – getting A’s in all of my classes. I took calculus in 10th grade for Christ’s sake. By today’s standards, you’d think that qualified me for four years of ostracism, but despite my good grades (and my pride that came with them), people liked me. For starters, I had a best friend, the same best friend from the start of middle school all through high school (and some of college). In high school, we did everything together, and in the rare times when we weren’t there to delight in each other’s success or grieve in each other’s defeat, we told each other everything. From there, I had a small group of friends to fill my weekends with activity and adventure. And then I had what I could only refer to as “marginal” friends. Sounds harsh, but really, what I mean is that aside from my group of close-knit friends, I had various other people whom I talked to in/before/after class. I was close enough to befriend each of them on Facebook, but only a select few did I see on the weekends. It was a mutual and unspoken understanding. My weekends were booked up weeks in advance, and although this probably was not a reality, I felt popular, surrounded by love. Sure I wasn’t a cheerleader or beauty queen, but people enjoyed talking to me, laughed at my jokes, appreciated my company.

Point is, I talked to everyone. I was highly intelligent. I bore the gift of creative talents, such as painting and writing. I was a walking smorgasbord.

And if I could, I would love to pinpoint the exact moment when all of that changed. Instead of going out every weekend (and weeknight, for that matter), I’ve recently been couch-bound on the computer or in front of the television every night. When instead of getting text messages or phone calls out of the blue, I now sit by my phone pathetically awaiting hours-overdue text message responses. When my inbox remains empty, I wonder what I did wrong. Whereas I once was “popular” I am now unnoticed and paranoid.

Until recently, I was under the false impression that social interaction was supposed to get progressively more bearable as you got older. Sure, as an adult you worry about careers and money and taxes, so life itself isn’t “easier,” but in the midst of all that chaos, I thought, one needn’t worry about asinine drama and foolish text message misunderstandings. I thought high school was the time in one’s life set aside for angst and feeling left out or misunderstood. But now, as a 21 year old with a squeaky-clean social track record, I feel as though my prime has passed. This cycle is working in reverse for me.

When in the hell did this happen? When did I become a “friend” (notice the quotes), someone that people sacrifice in the name of fun? When people have to cut down the guest list, or have a choice of inviting me or someone else, why am I suddenly the person to get cut out of the equation, if I’m even lucky to be considered in the first place? Most days I feel restless, like there’s something I should be doing but can’t. I walk around a mall and instead of getting shopping fever, I mourn the loss of my former life as a somebody.

I know that college had something to do with it. We all dispersed, creating our own place in a new world. Coming back home after that is hard. But it seems as though everyone else pretty much stayed in touch, kept things as they were, minus me. I’m sure that’s partially my fault; I’m sure I left a few texts unanswered myself, a few parties ignored. But can it really all be my fault? Doubtful. It’s one thing when the aforementioned “marginals” – people whom I can easily convince myself I don’t care about – exclude me from this world, but to have some of my oldest and closest friends – people I thought I could count on – cast me aside is a feeling too painful to ignore.

I should be happy with my life, and I suppose some days I am. I have an increasingly close relationship with my family, a boyfriend who – for some crazy reason – loves me and is not afraid to show it, and I just recently found out that my internship seems to be turning out a job for me when I graduate. Then why can’t I have it all? When did everyone decide I wasn’t good enough for them?

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Filed under Introspection

First post blabber.

So, this blog has technically been in existence for about 2 days, and here I am, on Day 2, completely at a loss for what to write. Well, shit. I guess I should be begin with why I’m here. Well, I recently (2 weeks ago) arrived home from my semester abroad in London, ready to continue my personal and geographical explorations here in America. As of last week, I am officially a college senior. Last Tuesday, I started my internship at a literary agency in New York City. Needless to say, things have been falling into place for me for the past few weeks, and I haven’t had a spare moment to sort through it all. On top of all of the changes to my life currently in progress, I’ve come home from London with a bushel – yes, a bushel, I measured it myself – of motivation that, I’m presuming, I should use towards altering myself and accomplishing some of my major – and petty – goals that I’ve set for myself but only leniently monitored. Fear not, a list of these goals will be posted, post haste. However, I can’t promise that a few vent sessions or personal anecdotes of my day/life won’t slip in here, but I’ll do my best to make this as unlike my 10th grade LiveJournal as possible.

While I’m in the sharing mood, I’ll admit – to all 2.5 of you that I presume are reading this right now – that this isn’t just some monitor of self-discovery and achievement. I also started a blog because I love to write but, quite frankly, I’ve been too lazy these days to pursue it, aka to publish my work. I figure blogging is a way to get my writing out there without having to actually go through the pain of trying to publish it. Judge me if you will, but this plan works for me right now. Besides, getting published is one of my goals for this summer. Also, I have a lot of thoughts floating around in my head, and unless I write them down somewhere – or start talking to myself – I may just go insane. I guess that’s where those “vent sessions” and “personal anecdotes” come into play.

Anyway, that’s my story. Or at least part of it. I don’t want to scare everyone away right away.

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Filed under Who Cares?