watching graduation from across the country is filling me with so many emotions which I wasn’t expecting. I can’t believe how quickly time is passing and how many people I simply just will not see anymore. I feel just joy and sadness in my heart. I can’t believe how quickly I’m leaving too. I wish I’d just stay put for a bit but it hurts too much to stay, not when everyone is moving, not when everyone is going somewhere. all these ppl I’ve grown to love scattered about the world.
A New Perspective of the Day: Historical Figures Dressed in Contemporary Fashion
Ever imagined what Shakespeare would look like if he were alive today? The British television channel Yesterdaycommissioned several illustrations of historical figures re-imagined as if they were still around for the biographical series Secret Life Of.Among those who were drawn include Queen Marie Antoinette as a high-class socialite (above, top), King Henry VIII as a suave suit-wearing gentleman (above, middle) and Shakespeare as a vest-wearing hipster (above, bottom).
reading Malcolm X’s biography and really enjoying it at the moment. It’s nice to just read something I like. and not worry about getting through it.
though I do have a reading list atm.
Orientalism by Edward Said
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr.
Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
also I don’t think I shared it, but Mona Eltahawy has an interview that’s really worth the read (I know, surprising)
Also for what it’s worth I am really really happy I decided to become a Religion major.
When I was 12 years old I remember feeling a throbbing in my chest. A dull ache. Over the course of 12 hours it slowly intensified until I was in pure agony. It is what I imagine a heart attack feels like. I thought I was going to die and wrote emails to friends I didn’t even feel that close to detailing my fear of what was to come.
I begged my mom for medicine which she would not give. I remember only tears and and my body hunched, clutching my chest, until it was far past a time where I could hope sleep would come. It only seemed to intensify.
I believe it was past midnight when my parents took me to the ER. I don’t remember what they found. I don’t remember what happened next.
Somehow the pain subsided, and within less then 10 hours I felt perfectly fine. As though I had never saw my eminent death, as though I never writhed death.
But alas, all that is good does not stay golden. Over the course of the next 9 years of my life the pain returned again and again and again. Never expected. Always leaving without a trace.
Doctors never quite new. My parents just hoped it would go away.
If I’m honest with myself, in the back of my mind I lived in a constant state of fear. I knew lack of pain would never last.
Over the years, I learned to systematize it. Rank it. Understand when it was coming. Know the dull mid day throb would turn into midnight shrieks. I learned that dissonant sleep was futile.
Vomiting occasionally helped. I spent countless nights body curled around the toilet, forcing myself to purge and to purge.
Doctors were and still are meaningless. Their solutions but parlor tricks.
Eventually after one stint so bad that coincided with a depressive episode, I left school for three weeks. I had a diagnosis then, costochondritis.
Costochondritis is a blanket term for random unknown inflammation of where the breast bone meets the ribs. There is no treatment, but at least then I had a name. It was this that provided me with all the explicability a 16 year old me could hope for.
I was dropped from my parents insurance because I was too expensive to treat.
I learned at a young age that it was my duty to be my own advocate. My mother was alone in a country that didn’t understand her words and she could not understand their methods. Insert problematic rhetoric about medicine in “developing nations here”. It was always me, 12 years old, left to deal with the bureaucracy.
My mother cried when I turned 18 because then maybe as an adult I could have the courage she never did. The worst part of being the child of an immigrant who grew up without health care is that they do not know how to advocate for you in a medical setting.
(I imagine if any of my white, roots-going-back-to-the-mayflower friends were dealing with the same pain they would not have experienced really any of what I’ve experienced as a result of this chronic pain. But I hate to play the race/ethnicity card, even though it really should be mentioned constantly in regards to any of my stories about growing up.
I shouldn’t have to pretend to be white so my story is easier and more digestible to understand. But often I find this frustration to be unproductive and often pretend it doesn’t exist.)
I was and am alone in my pain. I feel the constant trauma of this pain across my chest, and recoil at any touch. I don’t talk about it much now because I’m tired of being told things which do not help by people who do not understand.
In college I learned that finding an explanation does little to correspond to help. I have had every test in the book run, and have found that apparently I am in excellent health. (Explain to me why I feel faint walking 10 feet sometimes? But I digress. I have many things “wrong with me”, and I focus now on this alone.)
Once when I was 19 and having an EKG the pressure of the internist’s fingers upon my chest triggered pain so intense I nearly lost consciousness. I couldn’t breath. I was frantically sobbing. I couldn’t sit up. I remember disassociating and regaining my faculties in the ER.
(The poor internist. EKG’s are supposed to be painless. I doubt she expected what occurred. She came to see me in the ER later.)
After 3 hours they sent in a nice psychoanalyst to tell me I had had a panic attack. She spoke to me about the mind-body connection and psychosomatic pain. She told me to try vipassana and refereed me to her practice.
(At some point I will write on length about what it’s like to be spoon fed Western adaptations of the appendages of your own heritage by a middle aged white woman. I must acknowledge the race/ethnicity thing at some point. It is real. It is valid.)
The next day I withdrew from school on medical leave.
I am now 21 and I still know very little about this thing affecting my body. I don’t know who to ask anymore, because I have asked everyone society told me to ask and no one knows.
I’ve accepted that I will never find an answer.
Now youâre just sweat and pubes on my sheets and I wish I could freeze you in time so I could get familiar with all your crevices and poke and prod around like youâre my high school science experim…
The first time I saw you naked was weird, because for all the time I’d know you, I’d only known you clothed. To me, you’ve been a person that wears clothes; you have never been a person that is naked. You’ve always had clothes on, every time we’ve hung out, with no gentials showing, and suddenly you’ve become a fleshy alien, with nipples and fancy bits between your legs.
Yeah, it’s weird.
So when it happened I wanted to stare at you, just have you stand there in the middle of the room while I sat back and just scanned every inch of your naked body with my eyes, for about half an hour or something, so I could really get accustomed to this new you, but I was too embarrassed to look at you at all. Isn’t that funny? That I just wanted to gobble you up with my eyes, like I’d just stepped out onto the face of the moon, but really, it was so much easier to squeeze my eyes shut and pretend your penis wasn’t right there in front of me like that.
I mean, I don’t even know what your favorite color is or what food you like the best. I don’t know what your parents do for a living or if you’ve ever broken a bone. But I can see your genitals. I find this situation very odd indeed; like I’m trespassing on something that’s not quite mine yet. I want to look, but I can’t, because you’re now the moon as it passes in front of the sun, and perhaps your naked skin will burn my retinas out if I stare at it for too long. I think I need one of those funny cardboard pipes you used to make at grade school so you could look at an eclipse without hurting your eyes, although that would be quite a ridiculous instrument to keep by the bed.
It would be nice if you would just lay there naked for a while, and let me look you over. I’m just so intrigued; your clothes are off and now there’s this whole new you I didn’t even know existed and I would like it very much if you would you just hold still while I inspect your belly button and the hairs that grow on your knees. I’ve never seen these things on you before, and I need to look at them for a while and touch them, just to make sure that they’re real, and that you’re really naked in front of me right now.
It’s like you’ve just emerged from a sack of amniotic fluid or like you’ve been beamed back from the future to terminate something and just sprawled across my bed instead. It’s almost as though no one else has ever been naked here before; this is the newest experience I’ve ever had because it’s YOUR naked body that I’ve never seen before. Now you’re just sweat and pubes on my sheets and I wish I could freeze you in time so I could get familiar with all your crevices and poke and prod around like you’re my high school science experiment before we go any further with this, but I don’t quite have the technology.
Laying there next to me in your real skin makes me feel entirely defenseless. Because that’s the most of you I’ve ever seen, and it’s scary because I don’t know it yet, and really neat because I get to play with it now. I only wish you didn’t have to put your clothes back on again; it’s much better for us like this.
It’s weird, you know. My relationship with tumblr. It was always there when I felt like shit. When my life didn’t go where I expected it to go. No matter what I felt or what I didn’t feel, it’s always there.
Sometimes it makes me frustrated or angry or happy or quiet or hungry or sad. Sometimes I wonder what it means and represents and who it means and all sorts of things really. And sometimes I realize that this is the closest most sincere documentation of my living and I feel so sober.
there’s something charming, sometimes, about a bed that sits on the floor. i don’t know why, and i certainly don’t think that it’s inherently telling. but it often gives the impression that maybe a person doesn’t have their shit completely together. i like that.