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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lately

Tidbits of things that have been on my mind lately...

The other day, as I was offering Andrew and him lots of snackies from the car before we drove down to the MAC, Grant laughed and asked me, "Why are you so pleasant, Kimmie?" which in turn made me laugh right back. "I'm not, Grant," was all I answered, but he asked the same thing later on after I'd offered him other things to eat. 

Moments where others' perceptions of me contrast with my own self-image always stick with me simply because of just that: the contrast. I don't typically consider myself a pleasant person. In fact, I see myself as difficult, cranky, judgmental, borderline pessimistic... a lot of people just don't catch or grasp these darkly human sides of me when my composure slips. They know me only for the moments in which I'm attempting to make those around me happy because 1) I enjoy good vibes, but 2) I'm atoning for all the faults that have never left my conscience. They haven't yet seen how shitty and crushingly disappointing I can be, but I guess it's only natural for us to all at some point be these things. At the end of the day, I'm thankful that anyone even dares to care about me. They're risking a lot in inching so close.

The other day, Shanti and I talked about how we'll feel come the big day, which then led into the reasons behind why we think we'll feel the way we will. She said something along the lines of Nobles having been her home for the past six years because her parents' house really wasn't a home she identified with, and how that's different from my situation because I had always been close with my family and therefore never saw Nobles in the same homey sense. I didn't bring this up at the time because it would've broken the flow of our convo, but my family didn't always mean home to me. Even though they were often there to take me out and make me laugh, I didn't always feel so close to Chi Hien and Chi Trang. I associated them with Ma, Ba, the authority figures who I felt never supported my real desires, because they were the driving forces behind the decision to place me in a school that gave me hell for many years. Ma, Ba would have never known how to get me into Nobles if it hadn't been for may Chi filling out the paperwork, editing my application, contacting admissions, etc. I resented them for a while, as I did Ma, Ba. Years before coming to Nobles, the home had already started to disintegrate into a place of distrust and secrecy; as Ma, Ba were falling out of love, I distinctly remember feeling displaced as walls that once made me feel secure began to smother us all. What was a home when not one of its inhabitants still wished to stay? Hyde Park made me unhappy, Nobles made me unhappy, but my ties to St. Mary's and AFH sustained me. But I digress... what my family is today and my place in it was not a birthright. We all had to commit, collaborate, evolve ourselves, and pick the family/prioritize each other to make our house our home again, and it took years but we made it to where we are now. I'm damn proud of the control I took in my parents' relationship as a mediator when shit started hitting the fan. I sucked up my pride, put in the time and energy, sacrificed my own happiness some days, played up my innocence, forced the parents and I to spend time together, forced them to remember they still had a child in their hands, forced them to remember the reasons for why they once loved and why they needed to stay. I was going through an age full of sadness, but I knew that they were suffering far more, which was enough context for me to feel obligated to change for them. My family and I are the unit we are today because we all eventually came to understand that to love is active. When you perceive less value in love, become passive, become apathetic, and stop contributing to it, you leave that love to wither. The moment you internalize a love as a lost cause, as something beyond your control, you relinquish the power to repair it before ever beginning the process of regrowth. At some point, I stopped holding so much contempt in my chest from every wrong I'd ever felt they'd made against me, and allowed my debts to them to seep in and reopen my gratitude. It may have taken me almost six years to do so, and I may not have always felt hopeful that this calm after the storm would come, but I sure as hell finally made it.

During his impassioned speech to us, Mr. M., at his breaking point with kids' disrespect, told our class that a young student's reluctance to new ideas caused by the oversaturation of information in schools is just about the saddest thing a generation can experience. To a certain extent, I agree (but I do think there are sadder scenarios out there). The two dickheads even at that point were still passing around their football and blatantly ignoring him as he spoke. They piss me off on a daily basis, and yet, everyday I'm afraid to snap on them because I always remember those rumors about what he did to A. Allen... They're ignorant, bitchass monsters. It's sick, it's frustrating, and it's frightening.

Mr. Baker had a different take on the saddest affliction to our generation, specifically to the students of Nobles. It came up at one point during our indie lunch, and he said that so many students here, who are so gifted in so many areas, ironically see themselves as not good at anything at all. "And that's just about the saddest thing, don't you think?" he asked. His wrinkly brow was further strained and wrinklier than ever, his big eyes full of concern. I wonder if he knew, if his eyes could just see, that I some days am one of those sad kids.  

Dana and Darren come home in about two weeks. The way just the mention of their father's name triggers me to feel sickly merciless hasn't changed, but I'll speak to his bastardly face as often as I need to to see my own cousins. I miss those babies, and my arms long for their warmth.

Although it doesn't feel like it, Graduation is awfully damn soon... Still, I've never felt more anxious yet ready to close a book and begin a fresh title. Even though these coming years (inevitably) will bring heartaches, sleepless nights, traumas, and scars, my open ribcage welcomes every new suffering that the universe has in store for me. Maybe I sound delusional, but I'm tired of feeling the same wounds, tired of growing insensitive to pain. I'm ready now to be knocked down in fresh ways, forced to reconfigure and face myself in new lights.

I'm ready to rise from the bottom. 

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