Basically, everything has fallen apart and I’m trying not to be a train wreck but don’t think I’m doing very well and really wish that this year would get off to a better start? How am I supposed to breathe when it feels like I’ve lost an arm?
My parents moved us from a farm house in the country to a suburban colonial about 40 minutes closer to Boston the summer before I began second grade, and even though that was the only real extreme change that I experienced as a kid, I still never quite felt like I fit into the town where I spent the bulk of my childhood. In high school, I left for boarding school in Greater Boston but returned home after a perfect storm struck my life.
I don’t think anyone was surprised when I declared my intent to move to New York for college, nor was my ultimate decision to abandon my collegiate goals for a year and move to Berlin on a gap year unexpected. The five years that followed, though, and my ultimate return to the American shores wasn’t part of the script.
Thanks to dozen of trips across the Atlantic, and hours of flights between the places I grew to care about, I immediately feel like I’m home arriving at a handful of airports. The bedroom community outside of Boston where I grew up is sandwiched between three airports: Logan was the first airport I ever went to, and was beacon that welcomed me back into the US time and time again after Delta 231. Cruising down the New England coast and coming in low over the water has always signaled that I’m going to somewhere that people care about me. The same feeling erupts as I land in Portland, even though it’s a tiny airport and I fly to and from it much less. Try as I might to reject New England and Maine and lobster and tote bags, struggle as I do to feel at home in my parents’ house, it’s a safe place.
Landing at Tegel was signal that home was a short cab ride away for the duration of my time in Berlin. I love(d) that airport, however dysfunctional, and spent the best years of my life there. It’s strange to not be there anymore. Berlin and I had a dysfunctional relationship, but watching planes take off while eating breakfast at Tegel Terrace was always a wonderful time, and waiting at the gate to pick up friends and family is unheard of anywhere else.
And now I have JFK. As my plane landed in Queens last night, two hours later than it was supposed to, I realized that I had the same feeling of relief that I always had when touching down at home. New York doesn’t always feel like it’s where I belong right now, and I’m still adjusting to life here, but I know that when the wheels hit the runway, the battle is almost over. I’m safe, there are people here that love me, I’m home.
I’m not sure when I stopped feeling the need to shout every victory and defeat and fear and neurotic thought out to strangers on the Internet, but I do know that it has happened at a time when both the stresses and pleasures in life have grown and changed exponentially. I’m learning to adapt, I’m learning to work through things on my own (and with help), and I’m figuring out what’s important to me as a twenty-something.
Thursday evening, as news of LePage’s latest — and by far greatest — roll through the gutter flashed on TV screens all over Maine, WCSH anchor Pat Callaghan felt compelled to preface the story during his 5:30 p.m. newscast with this warning:
"We’re about to put on screen what the governor said in response (to Jackson) and some of our viewers who may find it distasteful may want to hit the mute button and turn away for the next 20 seconds or so."
Think about that, fellow citizens. Your local news is now warning, before reporting on what your governor said today in the normal conduct of his duties, that you might want to block your eyes and turn down the volume.
Late at night, on the weekends when I can’t sleep and everything seems so peaceful, I get really nostalgic for Berlin.
I miss my friends and my home and finding weird foods like Pizza-Suppe. I miss not being sexually objectified when I go out to dance. I miss 3 PM cab rides home with sunglasses on, passing happy families out on Hermannplatz. I miss sitting on the benches at CDV and dancing next to the speakers and getting into Mate Vodka challenges with the bartenders. I miss the naked man across the street and shitty Chinese delivery that came with free plum wine. I miss Berghain, I miss the garden. I miss the Turkish market on Maybachufer and biking through Treptow and barbecues in Görlitzer Park. I miss cheap falafel and döner. I miss Berlin.
I’m really happy to be in New York, though. I just don’t think it’s a forever thing. I’m not sure I want to go back to Berlin, but I can’t deny that I spent possibly the most formative time of my life there, and it’s deeply shaped how I view the world. This experience was out of this world, and I’m exceptionally lucky to have experienced it. I just miss it a lot when it’s 4 AM in Berlin and 10 PM here and I know that something amazing is happening in that city and I’m not there.
“As much as she loves you, she won’t mind when you head out adventuring on your own, so long as you return and tell her stories before she falls asleep. She loves having time to get lost in her world of words, and sometimes forgets to stop to eat, or shower or spend time with people. The world on the page is as real and important to her as the “real” world. So if she bursts into tears over her cup of Genmaicha, don’t take it personally. She finally realized how to end her story and is going to miss her characters terribly.”—How to Love a Girl who Writes. | elephant journal
In the next 24h, I have two midterms. I’m actually feeling pretty good about both of them, even though one is for the worst class ever (no, seriously).
On Friday, a major paper is due and even though it is theoretically more than halfway finished, in reality is probably needs a major rewrite since I just kind of changed a whole bunch of ideas around. Whoooops.
i want to make a really long list of common ground between radical feminists, liberal feminists, and all the other sorts of feminists out there. like that would just be such a positive, strong post promoting sisterhood and such. so beautiful
here i’ll start, feel free to add
everyone has the right to an abortion for any reason
victims of rape need resources and protection
victim-blaming is wrong
race, class, ability, hearing, sex, and gender all intersect across lines of oppression, so all of these forms of oppression need to be validated by and addressed within feminism
hegemonic masculinity is problematic as fuck
I just wrote a paper on the shifting definition of feminism in bell hooks’ Feminism Is for Everybody, in which I talked about Sarah Palin’s declaration in 2010 that she is part of the “pro-family, pro-woman, pro-life movement,” one which she later goes on to define as feminism. Obviously, lots of people took issue with Palin identifying as a feminist, but it did raise the question of who can be a feminist and what exactly that term means.
I like the project that you’ve outlined here for the very reasons that I took issue with hooks’ feminism - by drawing these arbitrary lines of who fits within one group’s definition of feminism, one is innately disregarding the progress that has been made for women and to end oppression of all types.
“If you’d like a snapshot of women’s on-screen presence in narrative film, I suggest you click over to BechdelTest.com. There, you’ll find the now infamous tripartite standard put forward by Alison Bechdel’s 1985 comic strip, “Dykes to Watch Out For”: Are there 1) more than two named women who 2) talk to each other about 3) something other than a man? This test is applied in detail to a list of almost 3,500 films, spanning from 1900 to today. Even a quick glimpse at the site’s stats page is sobering: Though it’s true that a majority of the films profiled pass all three tests, that majority is impressively slim. A whopping 46.08 percent fail to present female characters who meet these simple, humanizing criteria—including an alarming number of my favorites. Forget Tarantino, I’m talking The Princess Bride, Clerks, Trainspotting, Newsies, Groundhog Day, The Dark Knight, Citizen Kane.”—A Female Tarantino by Anneliese Cooper for The Eye
I am presently working on a paper for my gender writing seminar about feminist politics and reproductive rights contesting bell hooks’ claim that feminism is for everybody and it’s driving me up a wall, y’all.
After nearly a decade of wearing nothing but Lancome’s Hypnose perfume, I have met and fell in love with Benefit’s Laugh with Me LeeLee, which is sort of understanded and sexy and soft while being both memorable and playful. It’s a fruity, spicy floral, aaaannnnd it’s the only thing I’ve told my sister I want for my birthday/Christmas, so I know I’m getting at least one bottle.