Two of my favorite men are celebrating birthdays today.
I almost posted a picture of my dad, but then I thought maybe you all would appreciate a picture of Hugh Laurie instead. Enjoy.
On Washington, DC and my mental health
I find Washington DC to be exhausting. My job requires me to commute downtown each day. It doesn’t sound too traumatic… a bus ride, a train, transfer, another train. No big deal. But somehow it is… Everyone I encounter on my commute is in a hurry. Everyone seems to think that they’re the most important. The trains are packed with unpleasant people and stress. Every day, I come home feeling emotionally trampled. I miss solitude.
And it doesn’t end with the commute. Just yesterday, i realized that there were no peepers around. It’s hardly summer without peepers. Fireflys help, but even those are in short supply around here. There’s just too much concrete and not enough nature. And the dark—I miss that, too. So many streetlights, car lights, businesses lit up 24 hours a day. So few stars can be seen. I miss the peacefulness that comes with true darkness. It’s like this city never turns off, and there’s a constant buzz of stress.
I think some people are fine with this. Maybe they don’t even notice. But personally? It’s wearing on me. It makes me tired. I keep waiting for those moments when the world slows down, but they haven’t seemed to happen for a long time now.
And in the category of things you *won't* seem me wearing any time soon...
Having gone with Barb and Katie to get a manicure and pedicure on Saturday, I have decided that my work chair should be a massage chair. Honestly, every chair I sit in should be a massage chair. Sure, I’d sleep through a lot of stuff, but I’d totally be more productive if I was relaxed all the time.
Are you gonna eat that?
When it’s not pouring rain in DC, I usually eat my lunch on a little bench across from this statue, which is located in front of the Indian Embassy, and across from my
I feel really melancholy lately. It’s not that nothing interesting is happening in my life. I got my M.A. diploma in the mail, had a fun graduation party, enjoy some aspects of my new job, have been hanging out and doing stuff…. It all just feels somewhat empty.
I’m struggling a bit with the fact that my dad moved to New Hampshire. I mean, my family has been spread all over the country for a while now. It’s not ideal, but I love them all, and we make it work the best we can. But when my dad moved, I lost my last link to “home”, which I still consider to be New Jersey. I can’t just drive home for the weekend anymore and hang out in my own house, sleep in my own bed, and do my own thing. I mean, some people have been lovely enough to promise me that I can stay with them if I want to, but it’s not quite the same. I used to really like going home, going to Princeton, and just being alone in that town for a while. I’ve got a lot of memories there. I guess I’m mourning the loss of that, at the moment.
I suppose that this feeling of nostalgic loss wasn’t helped by the arrival of a package the other day. My sister was awesome enough to mail me what might be considered my personal archives—about 50 or so notes from my high school days, which document the strangeness that was my life during that time. There were some tough things going on between 7th and 10th grade that sortof played out into whatever identitity I established for myself at that time and it’s something between fun and difficult to travel back there by reading all those seemingly silly notes. It made me miss things—both about the kinds of friendships I had then and also about myself. It also made me realize that perhaps I’m just as confused now as I was then.
I feel like I need a vacation somewhere by myself. Just me, some music, and all these thoughts running through my head. The closest I’ve come is a metro ride and an ipod. Which isn’t bad, it just doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.
A few weeks ago, my dad sent me some boxes of stuff from my old room. They’re filled with photographs, and probably my old yearbooks. I haven’t opened them yet.
It’s been an interesting couple months.
I submitted my Art History thesis to the graduate office, which was a huge thing for me. It was a really tough thing for me to finish, for a lot of reasons. Along the way, my advisor was in and out of the hospital, I got sick, I moved across the country, I worked two different jobs, and lived in three different places. I also struggled a lot with my ability to do research of this magnitude. My sources were 80% in foreign languages, and the research was the culmination of 2 years of study and travel. There’s little written about the artist I was studying, and I found it hard to cover the basics along with what I wanted to say. In the end, I’m still proud of the idea, but not necessarily of the thesis. Of the 176 pages, I really only like the third and fourth chapters. That’s where the good stuff went. At this point, I really don’t want anyone I know to read it. I sortof feel like what they might expect after 3 years isn’t going to be there. It’s not there for me, anyway. But, the important thing is that soon I’ll have a diploma (if everything goes according to plan), and that’ll feel much better than the alternative.
As life returns a bit more to “normal”, or perhaps I establish a new “normal”, I’m struggling with some things. There are parts of my life I like, and parts that I don’t. I’m hoping that now I’ll have a little time to spend with myself, to get back to spending time doing things that are important to me, and to find some peace that seems to have escaped me.