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Quarterlife Queer

A never ending story

Monthly Archives: June 2011

In Lieu of the lessons I learned last week, I’m posting Ghandi’s Ten Fundamentals for Changing the World.. Ten things I need to remind myself of daily going forward šŸ™‚

1. Change yourself.Ā 

2. You are in control.

3. Forgive and let go.

4. Take care of this moment.

5. Without action you arenā€™t going anywhere.

6. Everyone is human.

7. See the good in people and help them.

8. Persist.

9. Be congruent, be authentic, be true to yourself.

10. Continue to grow and evolve.

Ā 

Recently I realized that I am exactly half my mom’s age..which means twenty-six years ago my mom was a twenty-six year old with a baby and a babydaddy living far away from her family. At first I thought about all the ways our two 26 year old selves are different: One queer and one not, one with a masters and one with a high school diploma, one with a cat and one with a baby, one living in LA and one in Arizona…

But then I talked to her and she said something that made me realize all of our similarities. We were talking about now that all the little kids in our family were now big kids and my mom said something about needing a hobby, and then she said “There is nobody to take care of, I don’t know what to do, I guess I take care of myself now?”

At that moment, I saw myself in my mother and my mother in me. And it scared me.

Will I wake up one day after a lifetime of being a caregiver, devoting my life to make change, and spoiling everyone I know and have to ask myself what to do now?

Then I saw all of our similarities.. I saw two 26 year old women making the best of the life they have, two women taking chances, two women that moved across the country to start life, two women that care and love deeply and work hard. Ā Two women with the same laugh, that cook with lots of garlic, and know how to do a lot with a little.

My mother..my mirror.

I found my life and my mother’s life were more reflections of each other than I thought..In her I saw my future.

And it shook me.

After 6 months.

After moving to a city that isn’t the nicest to the unemployed.

After being blessed to have people that wanted to help me along.

After having an amazing opportunity to learn and use what I have. (and being more grateful for that opportunity than I could ever express)

After having to make the hardest decision yet in my adult life (I will throat chop the first person that says “well..your adult life hasn’t been very long”).

There is a rainbow at the end of this storm..and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

And I’ve found it. šŸ™‚

More on that..a little later.

Till then..when you think of me..celebrate.

 

 

My Lessons from the last week include:

  1. There are people that know exactly how I feel about important things in my life..people I’mĀ justĀ getting to know who just GET IT!
  2. The universe will continue to test and bless at the same time..over and over..I just have to believe that there is an award at that end.
  3. “When you feel crazy it’s because buried deep inside you know what you want to do, you are just fighting against it.” ( I heard this on some web series I was watching last week..and it struck me..it hit me close because I often find myself saying ” I don’t know what I’m doing” but in reality..I almost always do.)
  4. The food at “The Boiling Crab” has crack in it..
  5. I LOVE our house and that it is the place for gatherings. Give me that QWTOC community space!!
  6. People don’t treat you the way you treat them.. they treat you the way they know how to treat you based on what works in their life and their experiences. ( This is a tough one.. learning that people don’t just mirror your actions/attention/affection/intention…I’m learning this very slowly)
  7. I don’t know what “Swagu” is.. but i’m dripping it!

Let’s talk for a second about a chronic illness I have.. it’s called an unbalanced life.

My symptoms include Ā living in a bubble of serious, extreme frustration with life, lack of fun, chronic complaining, over analysis of every thing, extreme calendering, the inability to not plan things out leading to extreme aversion of plans from being overwhelmed, sailor mouth (ok..that might just be me), Ā debbie downer-ism even when I don’t feel down…and the list goes on.

This chronic disease has followed me around since birth. I was the child that sat on the front steps contemplating life and watching the other kids play. I was the teen who hung out with mostly people in their twenties and the young adult that didn’t spend my 21st birthday at the bar (ugh..that story is really messed up though so we won’t go down that road).

I simply can’t seem to figure out how to do it all.. and by all I mean how to work hard and be focused, be good to myself, have a great relationship, and have a kick ass social life. I can get two or three of the four down at a time..but NEVER all of them. Ā I usually put the ones I can’t fit onto my plate away and forget about them until I can’t bare life any more and then realize “Oh, no wonder I am burned out and sad..I’m not taking care of myself or having a social life”..

You are reading this and shaking your head..you have the urge to comment to this blog that life is all just one big balancing act and that with time and age I’ll learn..right? Or you are rolling your eyes and saying get over it..just do it..right?

Yeah, that has been my response too..for years. For years when I was getting straight A’s and falling in love but forgetting to sleep or eat food that didn’t contain 100% sugar andĀ caffeine.. or years where I was missing classes to make it to work and wracking up debt because I refused to live without a new outfit every week (ah..to be 21 with a Gap card again)..Flash and burn relationships?? I did that… Dropping out of all my friends lives suddenly and then popping back up 3 months later..Did that! Taking 18 hours my last semester when I only needed 12 just because..Owned that! Worked 12 hours a day for a week AND did grad work AND held down a long distance relationship with a princess AND coordinated a move across the country AND had panic attacks while driving..CREATED THAT!!

So when does that wisdom with experience and age start to play? I’m 26 yeah sure.. but I have goals and ambitions and I live in a city where there is something to do every damn night.. I’m missing out on life on all levels because I keep getting stuck having to back track to run down that part of my life I dropped back there and starting over.

When do we fast forward to the part where I’m all being FIERCE, smart, and ambitious all day in my Dapper Boi outfits..then jetting off for a fab 5k..and getting drinks with a bunch of amazing other young people that also have this fab life..and then leaving to have a romantic dinner… and when do my weekends get filled with wild inappropriate behavior at parties that I will later have to explain in my later political life..and weekends away for cute cuddling and raunchy sexiness???

Oh.. what is that you say?? I can’t have it all right away? I have to work hard on each thing and build toward all of that amazingness? I’m only 26 no matter how old I feel?

Fine. FINE! I’ll just take my time and work it out..

7 Lessons from the second half of my week.. yay for self/life/world discovery šŸ™‚

  1. I’mĀ inspiredĀ by lots.. and when I sit back and be still..I find more things to get inspired by everyday.
  2. Pain really Ā messes with your mental and emotional stability (I will go completely nuts if I can’t just go for a walk without feeling like death in the next week šŸ˜¦ )
  3. Most of the time I have the mind and wisdom of a 80 year old…but sometimes I slip to 26 (or 16 and that ish is not always pretty..good thing it’s very rare)
  4. The smell ofĀ privilegeĀ makes meĀ nauseous. It smells like trust funds, luxury vehicles and entitlement. (This I learned while driving through USC)
  5. There REALLY is something important about seeing real live people that look like you. (Thank god for trips to South LA)
  6. There is such a thing as TOO sweet.
  7. June gloom and this Southern-California-is-colder-than-the-rest-of-the-country-during-june BS was made by the Devil.

What IS in a name?

Recently I was asked whether I go by my full first name or the shortened version. It kind of threw me for a loop. People don’t normally ask, they just decide between the two and go with it or call me both interchangeably. So I started thinking.

I guess I’m a woman of many names… If you know me from back in the day online days you call me Neo (my love also calls me Neo.. but a more naughty Neo.. ;)..) or possibly Lyrik, If you know me from before undergrad you probably call me Jessica (because I use to be super crazy about not shortening my name unless we were extra tight), if you know me from undergrad and you are LGBTQ then you call me Pacey (there was another Jessica already in my circle), if you are either my mother or my little sister you call me by a name which I will not put on here because people like to catch hold to it and never let go, and if you know me from after undergrad till now..then it’s just a free for all.lol

I guess I don’t care because I actually HATE my given name. Not because I don’t think it is a good name to have or that it doesn’t have it’sĀ benefits. I just don’t think I look like a Jessica. It’s kinda cool to surprise new people (like in interviews) with who I am. Since I was 16 I’ve been aware that people think they are going to meet with a nice white girl when they read my name and talk to me on the phone (my voice sounds like a Jessica.lol) and then BAM..Black chick with natural hair walks in (and now a MOC presenting Black chick walks in). People really do tell on themselves all in the face though.lol

So..you would think I would be more than happy to just tell everyone to shorten my name to just Jess and keep it moving.

But not so much.

I like Jess MUCH better but there is still a disconnect between me and that shortened version as well. (and I also have aversion to ppl thinking that my shortened name isĀ relatedĀ to my MOC-ness and my discomfort with feeling like there is some judgment in the “labeled” communities that wants to outcast you if you don’t conform to things like not having a girly name.. and my feelings of living life in the middle..but that’s another blog for another day) I’m also so not use to introducing myself as Jess… but I almost always close things like emails with it. I love when Jess is a name given to me out of love…I hate when it is a term given to me out of coolness.

Confused much? Me too.. I guess I’m writing this blog just to air out all the things in my head around this. I guess i’m trying to figure out how important a name is to me and if my name and it’s meaning take up as much space in this universe as your spirit and actions and truth…is your name suppose to reflect those things?

I admire my friends who have taken/discovered names that fit them…and I know so many people taking new names for a million different reasons.

Maybe one day you all will come here and I will beĀ announcingĀ that I am claiming a new name… maybe I’ll always be some mash up of the names that seem to change to fit the time period in my life and that sometimes measure how close you are to me.

Or maybe.. I’ll be like Prince when Oprah asked him what she should call him and he replied “Friend, I hope”