BY Lipikar

07/01 Direct Link
Day 1 of Off month, and I'm already a mess. Got to find an equilibrium.

World Cup isn't helping. I'm so glad I can watch it now, but it increases my stress level. This weekend = stressful. Today = stressful. It has been edge-of-your-seat crazy so far. And we all end up yelling at each other.

Went to an Indian party last night. Men like to talk loudly about the World Cup and show off, and women like to get annoyed and act like it's all a bore. Where does that leave me? Annoyed at everyone. Not a new phenomenon.

07/02 Direct Link
I tell myself that I have to allow myself to have a life. "But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."

This month's To Do List:

Friends: MC, KRW, family friends, AR, GK, Y, M, MM

Since I mostly have friends who aren't friends with each other, it gets tougher to maximize my time with any one person. This is me having a life, I know. But I can't focus on this because I also have to focus on:

Residencies, LinkedIn, job searches

Finally, need to cook and clean at home. Sort paperwork. Get everything more organized.
07/03 Direct Link
There are lots of "my way or the highway" people, and I can only cater to them for so long.

My friend Y didn't invite one of her best friends to her wedding because they fell out. She's fallen out with her other best friend and me before, but we've both rekindled the friendship by apologizing even though she was the one who broke the friendship.

I need to filter out some of these people. They tire and depress me.

The ones to keep are the ones who make me feel safe and at home with myself.

Paradigm shift: initiated.
07/04 Direct Link

I tried OkCupid, and you know, it drove me crazy. I couldn't stay on there for more than two days before feeling like this annoying, cackling leprechaun was constantly poking at my arm with a tree branch. I thought I would at least feel better about myself, but those shallow days are gone. Feeling desired isn't the issue anymore. It's just so easy, really, regardless of how one looks. Love, though, takes so much longer, and once you've had even a taste of it, nothing less compares. All you want is to make breakfast with someone, over and over again.

07/05 Direct Link
Zuniga broke Neymar's vertebra. It was like watching The Hunger Games while living in the Capital. I felt sick to my stomach, and then Colombia lost, Rodriguez cried, and I worried about what the gangsters would do to him. I guess we'll find out what happens to the Colombian players in the next few months.

Anyways, these games have otherwise been the only good, constant thing about this weekend. Parents have this innate ability to get on ones nerves, but we always settle things before the game or things get settled by the game. Maybe we should watch more sports.
07/06 Direct Link

I freaking love fireworks, and why anyone wouldn't is a mystery I don't care to comprehend. Every time it happens is like the first time, and I am left astounded. And this year, we got to shoot off our own with names like One Big Motha or Diablo. They took up the entire sky above me, and I felt their ashes raining down on my hair. I ignited a few small ones. The rush of when the wick catches the flame, fizzing, and you run as it shoots up! And laughing with everyone, watching the little ones discover this wonder.

07/07 Direct Link
Another night, another nightmare about an elevator not stopping. I think this set of recurring nightmares began with my first viewing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Truly, from the moment Charlie met Wonka, the movie felt nightmarish. What was this man with the crazy eyes doing to these little kids and their parents? One blew up into a ball, another shrunk. Wonka acting entirely unconcerned. And then, just when I thought Charlie was going to make it out alive, he gets stuck in an elevator with this lunatic, an elevator that doesn't stop and breaks through the ceiling!
07/08 Direct Link
Still haven't found this month's equilibrium. I think I'm mismanaging my time. I did some I&D to two little pimples on my face today. They aren't really noticeable, but they were bothering me. I watched a youtube video on I&D yesterday. Out of curiosity, I took a neosporin tipped safety pin to them. It went okay. Didn't really feel the pin. These are the things I can't even tell B about, but I felt pretty proud of my experiment. Ughhh I miss the hospital. Can you tell? Never satisfied with my current condition. Always gotta complain about something.
07/09 Direct Link

Sometimes I have trouble deciding what to write about.

Brazil's heart-stopping, soul-crushing defeat to Germany in the World Cup semifinals? Yeah, that's worth a lot of words. At dinner, it was all we talked about. And it will be talked about by many, probably for decades to come.

After the third goal, I wanted to yell. After the fifth goal, my emotions overwhelmed me. I wanted to be there, run onto the field, and beg for them to end this horrifying game. I wanted to turn the game off or run away, but I just curled up into a ball.

07/10 Direct Link
Yesterday, I started watching a movie called His Girl Friday. Black and white, 1940s. Though certain male female stereotypes existed, I thought that both the lead male and female characters were more intelligent, confident, and likable than most characters of today. The dialogue was sharper than I'm used to, and I loved that. How did we lose so much - go from wascally wabbits to Elmer duds. I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but there's something here that deserves looking into. On screen, we've regressed to simpler forms of what we could be. Off screen, is the same true?
07/11 Direct Link
I was reminded what thin ground I rest on.

I forgot to sign up for fall classes, and the deadline was four days ago. Last night, my insides erupted in a fearful flurry. Since I'd already scheduled a fun night with friends, I attempted to stay composed, but I still called B before I left for the movies. I guess I still run to him, especially if it's school related.

Running through my mind all night and this morning were the terrifying what-ifs. What if they hold me back a year? The debt burden, my parents' reaction, my future!
07/12 Direct Link
I would press my hand straight through your chest, inside your ribcage - I know you would let me - wrap my fingers around your heart and hold it up for you. I would stand in front of you so that you only needed to look into my protective eyes, and the world you would see through their careful filter. I'd watch your breaths and remind you to keep breathing, gently push your heart whenever it tries to stop beating. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. I'm sorry you have to walk this road alone. I can see you faltering.
07/13 Direct Link
I'm reading something, finally, for the first time in years. Something that isn't science or fantasy related. Pleasantly surprised by my reading speed (but that probably has more to do with the writing than the reader). Annoyed by how many words I have to look up. "Bathetic" is a word? I thought it was a typo for "pathetic." I can feel my mind expanding, and it is like watching a plant grow in front of my own eyes. How is such a feat possible? Why did I forget how important it is to read novels? So much precious time wasted.
07/14 Direct Link
I'll admit another thing, one that shows me to be more narrow-minded than I would dare to publicly admit that I am. I do happen to believe that men are inferior to women. Sorry, guys. There are exceptions, of course, but men, in general, seem to be simpler minded and less capable of taking care of themselves. Why else would a wife dying affect a husband's chance of mortality so much more than the other way around? They need cheerleaders, maids, prizes in bed, cooks, mothers in their wives, career and financial advisers, and this is becoming really mean.
07/15 Direct Link
And hypocritical. I realize that only a few entries prior, I admitted to still running to B when I freak out about things. If I could, in February, I would've run to Josh too. I think what has happened is that I've come to realize that no man will be taking care of me. I, too, have been looking for a mother in my future partner, only to find that much of their motivation comes from a need to be taken care of also. So we're all looking for mothers and finding mewling babes instead. Or at least I am.
07/16 Direct Link

Did you know that there was a time when people thought secretly? We weren't all so connected and telepathy was merely a far-fetched dream of the future. No one could hear what anyone else was thinking!

Unimaginable! You'd look at a person and hear… nothing? How could you trust anyone? How did people get along?

Surely, they didn't! But they did communicate – ancient methods: writing, speaking…

So thoughts formed separately before they

Formed together. Exactly.

What a waste of time.

Which is better? They could think without feeling embarrassed… the thoughts you could have…

Careful now. Mind your thoughts, friend.

07/17 Direct Link
I just finished The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adele Waldman. I considered writing about other thoughts, but this has taken up so much space that I need to simply release all the words and emotions crowding my brain.

Yes, this is the book I have been reading for the past week although it can be read in a day. My reading was put on hold by a family vacation and my own confusion over what, exactly, I was learning about myself and others.

Unlike her characters, my friends and I aren't writers nor New Yorkers nor upper-middle class.
07/18 Direct Link
How we are similar:

We're young adults, obsessing over our careers and love lives, constantly teetering on the brink of where today meets tomorrow. But which tomorrow? Can we have a say? Or will we inevitably float to a fated destination? The same destination? Family, kids, a 9 to 5?

Against these blustery uncertainties of the immediate future, our own thoughts and hearts wander to and fro, clashing with each other's, not knowing whether she should pick him or wait for one better, go to Boston or stay at home, put career first or consider all parts of life together.
07/19 Direct Link
And we are, simultaneously, of privilege. We may not (all) be upper-middle class, but we come well educated from loved homes and decent colleges.

I can resent my parents and still eat dinner every night prepared by my mother and rely on my father to check my tire pressures.

Nate and I, specifically, are similar in that we are the children of hard working immigrants who have done more for us than we have for ourselves or anyone else, more than we honestly care to do. That is the kind of privilege that borders onto being spoiled and pathetic.
07/20 Direct Link
Especially this month, when I am free to do as I please and ruminate on past relationships, does Waldman's prose sting me.

In particular, the truth about power disbalances between people:

Using an unromantic example, when it comes to my parents and I, they are by far more demanding and emotional, but I am more detached. Though I generally exhibit better behavior, a greater cool-headedness, is it not moreso due to the power imbalance than to my personality? Am I just better behaved? Or is it because I have never had to worry about fighting for their unconditional support?
07/21 Direct Link
Compassion. We've all got to feel and show compassion because sooner or later, we'll be the ones reaching for affection and wilting from a dearth of consideration, be it from your spouse or lover or child. Sooner or later, you'll be on the wrong side of the power imbalance, and will you then, be able to look back and say, "Yes, I treated well the ones who loved me"?

Return phone calls.. Explain confusing actions. Don't expect apologies to always work; sometimes, they're just band-aids. Hold your lover. Call your friends. Help your parents. Consider them. Care for them.
07/22 Direct Link

Since I'm taking a classical dance workshop in a few days, and I haven't danced in years, I’m going back over some old dance videos. Oh, the personalities! When you're young, and thus awkward, and on stage, personalities just jump, pour, and bounce out. The girls who thought they were hot shit (prima donnas), the ones who really do not want to be up there, the ones who are trying to get by, the ones who are quietly but simply good, etc. The ones you looked up to, the ones who your eyes still go to because they had it!

07/23 Direct Link

I'm seeing myself in 1999. Oh, the attitude I had. I was one of those girls who did not want to be up there. Other classmates were quite good and they never showed that kind of attitude, but for some reason, my dance teacher singled me out the first year, when I seven, and kept pushing and pushing. No one, other than my parents, have yelled at me as much as my dance teacher. After the first few years, I was done. Didn't even know if I wanted to be good, as is apparent by my embarrassingly infantile stage performance.

07/24 Direct Link

Somehow, things turned around. My heart finally understood what there was to love about it, and my teacher took this as the signal to put more time and energy into me, to shape me into a dancer better than most. People started to know me too. Even now, Indians I've never met will tell me they know me and say something about their daughters. It happens less now because I haven't danced in so long, but it's the closest I've ever come to celebrity.

Now, for my teacher, I'm taking this workshop. I'm scared of disappointing, as I surely will. 

07/25 Direct Link

You've got on your sports bra, your dark-rimmed teacher glasses, your hair in a ponytail. “You're a fucking badass,” you tell yourself, as the pain hits you again. The funny thing about acute pain is that it always takes you by surprise, no matter how many times and how often you've experienced the exact same thing. “You just have to get to the sink,” you tell yourself. Attempting to do anything while in pain is a challenging exercise in multi-tasking. But you make it, you always make it. You look in the mirror for reassurance. The pain, again, in waves.

07/26 Direct Link

No matter how ready you think you are, you are never ready for intense, acute pain. Never, ever, ever. Pain tolerance is for the chronic kind. With acute pain, you need your mental strength as much for the third wave as for the first.

Between waves, I wonder:

How would others react? Would they cry? Go mad? Stay in the hospital – fruitlessly? Or would they say their own pain is worse?

Is heartbreak worse?

This lasts for days max. Heartbreak lasts longer, makes you want to die. At least, when you physically feel like you’re dying, you want to live.
07/27 Direct Link

I should  get some more help. Not opioids because I'd be using them multiple times a year and possibly become dependent. I've been thinking about counseling – learning how to strengthen my mind against pain, a mind over matter approach. Unfortunately, I have received loads of crappy counseling in the past (one woman randomly asked if people thought I was black… I mean, the fuck), it's expensive, and it uses up precious time. Also, my parents think I can fight the pain without it. They've never seen me crying on the bathroom floor though. (And they never will.)  Tramadol to hell!

07/28 Direct Link
I did end up tearing up in front of them last night. One week is just too long to have to deal with this intensity. I can't do anything else, not even sleep properly, not even stay awake for more than a few minutes before the first wave hits. It has gotten better though. Less pain throughout the day. I got a doctor's appointment today for later on in the day. I had to bail on my dance workshops. They were the best moments of the day, but the pain afterwards would be worse. And Friday I couldn't go on.
07/29 Direct Link
Going to the doctor helped even though she said the same thing all my doctors have, gave the same advice and the same pills. She also suggested an antidepressant, but it was a TCA, and I am staying away from those mothers, let me tell you. Possibly more trouble than they are worth.

These entries are turning into more trouble than they're worth. I know I had a goal, but I'm going to have to take a break from this. I thought I'd never grow tired of writing about my life and thoughts, but if it's not enjoyable, why continue?
07/30 Direct Link
Some might say that continuing to write, even when you're not feeling it, helps you grow, but I think you have to continue with a goal for betterment and the effort to get there. You can't just do the same thing one more time with the hope of creating a new result. You have to tweak, challenge, experiment, question. Oh, what am I going on about... this is writing in the process of dying. Not me. I'm dying much more slowly, but the death of my writing you can see here, where it turns into thoughtless rambling, ending in aimlessness.
07/31 Direct Link
Final Thoughts (Act V [Act Now!]):

You are only wealthy when you have something that both money and manipulation cannot acquire for you.

Love cannot be forced. Rather it forces you.
Indifference is the silent killer, the face you thought was just a mask. It's you; it's me. The flip side of selfishness. The friend who forgets to call. The spouse who doesn't get up to help you. Our indifference is the undoing of our humanity, and it chips away at our love for each other. Your own indifference keeps you from loving her and her from loving you.