Archive | Ephiphany? Have You Met Girley? RSS feed for this section

Kitten Heel Marvel Goes to the Airport.

17 Aug

1. Panic. I’m going to miss my flight. I’m going to be late. I’m going to miss my flight. I’m going to be late. (Note that I typically arrive at the airport several hours before I fly, so this panic is just anxiety. Ah, anxiety. My closest friend.)

2. Suitcase. Why did I overpack? Am I going on safari? Why is this bag so heavy? Do I need another bag? How much will they charge me for this thing? Will I fall to my death trying to get this thing on an escalator? (This problem would be solved, time and time again, if I packed judiciously and not like an undisciplined hyena. What, you didn’t know most hyenas were disciplined?)

3. Bathroom. What if I have to go to the bathroom? Don’t they know I loathe hate public restrooms? But what if I have to go? (I go now. They’re mostly clean. And my bladder thanks me.)

20130817-132141.jpg

Happy flying to me.

I went to the woods.

6 Aug

thoreau

your standard, everyday torture chamber.

17 Jul

Some people call said torture chamber a “fitting room,” but I’d like to think that Merriam-Webster will soon come to the light and make the appropriate changes to their lexicon.

Because it is torture chamber, my friends. What else do you call a tiny room where every nook, cranny, and crevice is filled with the kind of unremitting fluoroscent lighting that showcases every inch of your now monstrous body, which seemed to morph into Jabba the Hutt territory during your journey from the clothes rack to the “fitting room”? What else do you call a room where none of the locks ever work, thereby increasing the potential that while you’re bent over trying to pull those jeans up your monstrous body, a mother and her child will walk by and see the horror of it all? What do you call a place where the person who inhabited it before you seemed to believe they were 90s-era Johnny Depp and therefore had the right to trash the place like a hotel room?

Say it with me, yes, yes: torture chamber.

Needless to say, I mostly avoid trying on clothes when I buy them. What? It’s true. To keep from bringing everything back because of fit or color or whatever, I just take forever in the store shop very judiciously. Which means I usually buy a size up. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. The typical result with buying a size up is that I end up looking like a low-rent gypsy trying to be Stevie Nicks. So the point of this whole diatribe: despite the fact that going to the torture chamber is pretty much walking towards your own doom, I’ve decided to–gulp–try clothes on before I leave the store. Why?

1. It makes sense.

2. The buying and returning game has gotten fairly old, believe it or not.

So, yeah, I’ve been frequenting the torture chamber. It’s not half bad. Well, not really, but let’s not rehash the horrors, shall we? And to prove that I’ve been changing my ways lately (I’m not all talk, you know), here you go:

Bought this sassy dress, by the way.

Bought this sassy dress, by the way.

Bought this pretty blouse, too.

Bought this pretty blouse, too.

Thank You Notes.

14 May

Sharing a few thank you notes of my own. Shall we?

Thank you, Baz Luhrmann, for attacking my medulla with the craziest visuals this side of Moulin Rouge in your interpretation of The Great Gatsby. It was enjoyable, for the most part, and sealed my conviction that the Academy Award presented to this one earlier this year should be taken away immediately and given to DiCaprio. Enough already. The man is supremely talented and we live in a world where Marisa Tomei has one. Come on.

Thank you, bestie, for being the bestie. She really is the very best. Never have I enjoyed a friendship where I’m thrilled, fascinated, incensed, and very much loved all at the same time, most of these emotions happening minutes after the other. I can only hope I provide the same sweet madness for her.

Thank you, darling schizophrenic weather, for justifying the fact that I never put away my winter clothes. It’s almost the middle of May, you guys. And it is currently 54 degrees. My sweaters continue to laugh with abandon.

Thank you, firm and good decisions. Of late, I’ve had to make some interesting decisions in my life. Being someone who wants most of the people in my life to be happy, I was forgetting that ultimately, my happiness is important, as well. Taking the time to really deliberate this, along with lots of prayer, truly helped in finally making my choices. And I’m happy.

Onwards? Yes?

what’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happenin’…

3 May

Have I mentioned that I stalk all things musical theatre? The title is a reference to one of my favorite jams from Jesus Christ Superstar. Anyway, Happy Friday to you, and you, and you. Following is the buzz on yours truly, what’s been happenin’ (and very entertainment-y, as you’ll see):

  • NaPoWriMo was a complete success. Woo hoo! Thanks to all who read my work, poemadaycommented, followed this blog, etc., in the month of April. I’m even more in love with poetry, if that’s humanly possible, and we’re registered at the local library if you want to get us anything. (Way to wrangle a metaphor, no?) In general, I learned that I really can write every day, if I put my mind to it. I suppose all that raucous laughter at a fellow writer who once told me he gets up at 5am every morning to write was unwarranted, huh? Sorry.
  • The summer movie season is starting and I’m trying not to drool with excitement. Beginning with this film, starring an actor that I’ve adored since antiquity (already bought my ticket for tomorrow, yeah!), I intend on fully taking advantage of this time of year. After IM3, I wait with bated breath for The Great Gatsby, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, etc., etc. Reviews will be provided, naturally. Did you know about my lifelong obsession fascination with summermoviesall things comic book, sci-fi, and general popcorn fun? Hey, I may prefer a literary adaptation or a British accent in film, but I still gets my fun on. But we never talk about that stuff on here because, well, I’d rather talk about other things. But it’s Friday, so have at it, Kitten Heel Marvel.
  • Anyone heard of Netflix? When I’m not working, or taking care of life, or eating, or sleeping, or stalking summer movies or musical theatre or Robert Downey, Jr., I’m glued to the old iPad, watching everything from Bollywood films to Murder, She Wrote as they stream on Netflix. Sigh. I would complain about the utter waste of time, but…I love it.

This last thing going on in my life is a bit beyond bullets and a quick summary. You remember this. Well, things got kind of interesting. As in the quiet, almost nonchalant way I was approaching my feelings about this individual didn’t necessarily change, but I was talking about him a lot. A lot. Talking about him turned into wondering whether he shared my feelings, which turned into he obviously shared my feelings, based on his peripheral staring of me, which turned into a much-needed intervention from my concerned best friend after listening to my ramblings about this guy. I lost my marbles a bit. Side-eyed staring (which seriously happened like two times) and other non-events are not indicators of mutual interest. In the end, I’m just grateful for the tough love dispensed by my bestie. Said tough love even inspired me to write an essay, which I submitted here for consideration. I’ll provide updates should it be published. Anyway, crushes are ok, but I want more and will hold out for just that.

Onwards, and bon weekend!

tripping the light liptastic.

6 Sep

Funny, how you learn something and it kind of changes everything? A bit vague, yes, so I will happily elaborate (and you know I will).

This past weekend, my Mother and I discussed how there are a few things in life I simply cannot take, accept, or stand. One of those things is teasing. I don’t like to be teased. In any way. Tongue-in-cheek teasing, jokey jokey teasing, whatever–when it happens, my insides shrivel up and I am transported back to the nauseating days of my adolesence, when my peers had no problem choosing something they considered “odd” or “weird” about me and commenced with mercilessly teasing and mocking me about it. (Super sensitive? Why, yes, I am. But I still reserve the right to despise it, thankyouverymuch.) Out of all the humiliating, teasing moments I’ve experienced (and there have been so, so many; trust that I will be penning a book for adolescent/teen girls on how to just plain survive in the near future), Mom and I discussed a singular, significant moment in my past that always stands out. It stands out for various reasons, but following last weekend’s discussion, I look at that moment now from an entirely different and far more powerful perspective.

Picture it: Surburbia, Northern VA, 1989 (I love you, Sophia Petrillo): I was a new sixth-grader at a brand new elementary school; quiet, shy, terrified by my new surroundings. That day, we sat on the nubby, brown-carpeted floor in the chorus room waiting for our chorus teacher. I was sitting against the wall, next to the radiator, facing a group of my classmates. I remember one of them lifting up his finger to point (this culprit, the ringleader, would resurface time and time again in my young life) at me, after which he started chanting, “Fish lips, fish lips, look at her fish lips.” A gaggle of other kids followed suit, pointing, chanting, and laughing. I remember wondering–I suppose this was the first manifestation of my whole delayed reaction thing–who they were pointing, chanting, and laughing at. I looked around me. I even laughed a little. Then I noticed that the few kids who weren’t pointing, chanting, and laughing were looking at me with strange, sad faces. The others who couldn’t look just stared down at the ground. It became clear: I was the target of the pointing, chanting, and laughing. I blinked in surprise…in confusion…in embarassment…in pain. My stomach dropped. I remember feeling dizzy. Why were they doing this to me? It kept going until our chorus teacher entered the room, when everything became conveniently quiet and still again. How did I react later, you wonder? Did I cry? Hold a grudge against the mongrels? Tell my little sister (who would have figured out a way to pound each of their faces in), my parents? None of the above. I did nothing. After the shock and pain wore off, I stopped thinking about it. I even became friends with two of the girls that had been part of the mocking crew, both of whom later subjected me to daily doses of peer pressure and further humiliation. Maybe it’s the wiring of a child’s mind, to forget and forgive so easily. I digress. Recall my statement about delayed reaction? Well, I did react eventually…for the next several years:

  • I started to cover my mouth when I smiled or laughed.
  • I hated seeing my lips in photos.
  • I would look in the mirror and stare at my lips in disdain.
  • I became so sensitive about my lips that when someone would look in my direction, I wondered if they were gawking at them.

A subconscious, toxic imprint was created in me that day, a fact I didn’t realize until later. Nevertheless, this really isn’t about the damage that day did and my long journey in finally accepting these lips and by extension, this face, and even larger, who I am as a person. What I now find incredible about that terrible day goes back to last weekend, during the aforementioned discussion with my Mom. Last weekend was when I learned something I never knew before: Mom revealed that my late father was so teased about his lips that he grew a moustache to take the attention off them.

I was shocked. How could anyone tease my father, who was arguably the most handsome man I knew? And yes, I’m biased, but I happen to know that plenty of people share this opinion, ok? My Pops was a looker.

Even more incredulous: my Dad and I had shared the same struggle in trying to hide something that had no business being hidden.

But here comes the new perspective I mentioned earlier. Drumroll, please: finding out what my Dad went through with his self-image reminds me of how alike we really were. Good or bad, I love this. I love it times 100. Because knowing what he went through makes me identify with him even more, understand him even more, and appreciate the memory of him even more and more. Not only that, the revelation about my father strips away the power from the kids that chose to–for whatever psychological reason–target me. When I think about that day or speak of it now, I’ll only remember that my beloved dad went through it and he got throught it. Just like I did. You’re just like your father (heard it my whole life) has never meant more to me.

So these luscious lips of mine? They’re beautiful, plump, pronounced, and so liptastic. I stopped being ashamed of them a long time ago. And why not? I got them from my father.

meet me at the crossroads of ordinary and extraordinary.

2 Aug

What do you write about?

It’s the standard question I get when people find out I’m a writer. I typically respond that I write about “relationships,” which is largely true. My fascination with how people truly relate to one another–mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, siblings, friends–and the psychology of it all has only grown with time and understanding. So, yeah, that’s me in the corner, watching, listening, analyzing. (Am I a voyeur? Absolutely. People, strangers, are infinitely inspiring and intriguing. And really, once we step outside our homes, everything you and I do is subject to observation. Sorry if you wanted that loud argument with your wife in the middle of a public aisle in the grocery store to be private.) In fact, before I went with the Plan A of majoring in English in college, I actually wanted to be a Psychology major, with the hope of someday becoming a therapist. Yes. It’s true. I even wanted to start my own practice, the ultimate chance to fulfill my people fascination with the belief that I could also help people sort out their lives. Anyway, when I told my beloved Dad heard that, he nearly fell out of his chair and forbade it immediately. Perhaps he had visions of me psychoanalyzing he and my mother’s disciplining methods? (“How do you really feel about grounding me?”)

I digress. But you’re used to that, aren’t you? Re-reading some of my older work this past week, I realized that the same theme revealed itself over and over again: ordinary people meeting with extraordinary events. It’s a bit cliched, but I was writing stories about run-of-the-mill people reacting to hardly run-of-the-mill situations. Even a few doses of whimsy here and there. Back then, I prided myself on coming up with ideas and plots that I knew were solely from the trenches of my imagination. And they were always stories that I, from the vantagepoint of just a reader, enjoyed reading.

What’s changed with my newer work, you ask, because you know that’s where I’m going? Several years ago, I felt that my writing needed to become “real”. Relatable. I wanted my readers to think while reading, “I get this. I’ve experienced this.” However, in comparing the old with the new, I noticed a few things. I’ve stripped the extraordinary. The new ones are…they just are. But I write fiction, folks! Yes, I write about relationships. Yes, I include psychobabble here and there. But I also write fiction. And fiction may be based in reality, experiences, relationships, and psychology, but at its core, it’s “something invented by the imagination or feigned.”   I want to go back to that! So it’s time to stop sacrificing the shiniest, giddiest parts of my imagination for relatibility. Instead, I’m going to experiment with blending the two. Truthfully, I’ve already started. I’ve restarted some of my older, unfinished works, which number in the hundreds, and we’re in the process of serious blending. So…

What do you write about?

The ordinary and the extraordinary.

And in the end:

fumbling towards style.

25 Jan

I’ve gone from one style extreme to the next: fashion forward toddler (courtesy of The Mother); teenager clad in black all the time; the unfortunate college years, where I think it was telling that my psychology professor noticed my wearing-the-same-jacket-all-the-time habits; the weird 20s, when I volleyed between frumpiness and…frumpiness; and now the early 30s, where, up until recently, I was just kind of functional.

Functional happens. In the process of discovering who we are as indivduals, sometimes we forget that a large part of that involves how we look on the outside. It’s true, and it’s life. Along with the emotional you, there is the physical you. Bouncing around from one style extreme to the next didn’t really give me an opportunity to find a happy medium for the physical me, being that I spent a large part of my formative years despising my physical appearance. Another needless to say truth: self-image/body acceptance affects what you wear and how you want to present yourself. (These days, I wholly accept how wonderfully made and gorgeous I am. It’s taken about, oh, 14 years or so to come to this? But everything in life requires journeying, and this was one of many for me.) As adults and as women, the paying bills/working/my car needs another oil change?/other responsibilities can sometimes blanket everything else. For me, I wasn’t taking the time out to identify my wardrobe, my style. I was wearing whatever I believed fit and/or camouflaged me or whatever was affordable, which meant plenty of sad, loose jeans and loads of polyester. All of this came to a head one afternoon when, as I gazed at myself in the mirror, I realized that I resembled a homeless woman. 

Identifying the Issue(s)

I’ve always hated shopping. I don’t know what matches. I’ve always hated trying on clothes. I assigned these things as completely natural, but when you don’t like your body, the desire to dress it up is a bit like desiring to go to the dentist, right? There is no such desire. This was the main issue. The other things were byproducts of that.

Coming to Terms with the Issue(s) (Reluctantly)

It was time to stop. Stop ignoring the real issue here, that I needed to work on 1) admitting that I had positives to accentuate; 2) wanting to accentuate them.

Long Story Short

Once I laid claim to the main issue and chose to fight it and fix it, a few other things needed to be done. For one thing, color. Black and brown had become my staples for far too long. Another thing, fit. I had to recognize that loose is not really a good thing. Yeah, a few pounds came off and that was exciting, but I’m not Stevie Nicks. She can do the flowy thing. My version of flowy just looked tenty and, well, homeless. The next: I needed to choose a style. There are a zillion style archetypes out there. Did I want to be earthy? Preppy? Sporty? (Haha) Glam? Retro? 

The Present 

Simply, modern and chic is for me. Less Bea Arthur, more me. I love clean and chicness and up-to-date, and that’s the style I want to have. So far, so good. Ultimately, dressing for me, accentuating those nice positives—can’t go wrong, can you?

Oh, and to deal with generally being challenged when it comes to all things shopping, I just take outfit ideas from magazines, or gaze at mannequins like a crazy person in the store. (No, they don’t come alive.) I also try things on, despite my belief that something is wrong with those mirrors in there; I worry less about matching and more about the right look and accessorizing well. So still fumbling towards style, yes, but with far more confidence and optimism than ever before. This is a good thing.

READERS: What’s your style? How did you find it?

me.

8 Nov

As much as I talk about myself on this here blog, I never really reveal anything. Sure, my love of all things Paul Newman, Europe, writing, traveling, etc., have been discussed at length. And sure, my loathing of all things rainy, cloudy, snowy (I won’t even comment on how loathing and weather seem to be related with me), etc., have been discussed time and time again.

But I barely talk about me.

The Actual Me, the fears, the hopes, the past, the pain, the truest sense of myself. There are several reasons why I have refrained from doing so. A few: 

1) I believe there should still be a level of privacy when it comes to anything online and the life you lead offline. I know nothing is ever really hidden–somewhere, my terrible, hastily deleted email about my former boss probably still exists, likely in the Matrix–but I just don’t think anyone needs to know what city I live in or the name of the company I work for (well, that information is available on FB, which might invalidate this entire reasoning, but only my friends can access that. I think. I’m in trouble.) Those things can be found, yes. But the info will not be coming from me.

2) For some reason, I imagine serial murderers waiting in the darkness, waiting for the kill, having found me or family/friends by way of an address or a telephone number. I don’t want that. So I use no proper nouns or locations.

3) It’s just weird, revealing the many vulnerabilities of yourself online. Like, do I really want to talk about what those horrible kids did to me in the 6th grade? Not really. I’d rather just nervous breakdown about it one day and somehow get a therapist for free. (Free being the most important part. We’re in a recession, right?)

The point of it all? I don’t just hold back here on Kitten Heel Marvel. I hold back in my life. But I’m lately recognizing that my adult, 16 days as a 33 year-old self can’t keep holding back anymore. For the purposes of closure, of letting it out, of attaining a sense of emotional balance, it may be time to loosen the ropes I’ve tied around my life.

“Me,” by Paula Cole. I think her song inherently describes the battle between repression and revelation, and eventually, choosing the latter. Lyrics follow the audio.

i am not the person who is singing
i am the silent one inside
i am not the one who laughs at people’s jokes
i just pacify their egos
i am not my house or my car or my songs
they are only just stops along my way
i am like winter
i’m a dark cold female
with a golden ring of wisdom in my cave

CHORUS:
and it is me who is my enemy
me who beats me up
me who makes the monsters
me who strips my confidence

i am carrying my voice
i am carrying my heart
i am carrying my rhythm
i am carrying my prayers
but you can’t kill my spirit
it’s soaring and it’s strong
like a mountain
i go on and on
but when my wings are folded
the brightly colored moth
blends into the dirt into the ground

chorus

and it’s me who’s too weak
and it’s me who’s too shy
to ask for the thing i love
and it’s me who’s too weak
and it’s me who’s too shy
to ask for the thing i love
that i love

i am walking on the bridge
i am over the water
and i’m scared as h***
but i know there’s something better
yes i know there’s something
yes i know, i know, yes i know

that i love (5 times overlapping chorus)

but it’s me
and it’s me
but it’s me

defining a moment.

19 Jul

I want to watch you shave in the morning. I want us to take early evening walks in the neighborhood, moments before the setting of the sun. I want to make you laugh. I want you to make me laugh. I want you to listen to me. I want to listen to you. I want you to mow the lawn and take out the trash. I’ll wash the dishes, attempt to cook, and clean the house. Oh, and I’ll kill all the spidies and creepy crawlies that manage to sneak into the house here and there, because I’m pretty good at that. I want to sing at the top of my lungs in front of you. I want to show you my silly dances. I want to lose a little bit of my breath when you walk into the room. I want to like your friends. I want you to like my friends. I want to gaze at many, many foreign horizons with you by my side. I want you to understand that I will fall asleep anywhere.  Anywhere. I want to stay up and wait for you to get home if you’re ever running late (but I’ll likely fall asleep waiting for you on the couch). I want to be quiet with you (and there will be many quiet moments), reflective with you, loud with you. I want you to think you can excel where others have failed in getting me to 1) swim; 2) roller skate; 3) ice skate; 4) get on a roller coaster; and being ok with the fact that no, I will not do any of those things. (Well, maybe I’ll learn how to swim. Maybe.) I want you to understand that I really should have been born in a different generation, and I embrace that. I want you to introduce me to people; artists; music that I’ve never heard of. I want to be open with you.

So, just what is all of that above? My attempt to reconcile some feelings I’ve been having and my attempt to define a recent moment that affected me in quite a way. The short end of it: there’s just something about being utterly and completely myself. No silly facades, no fakery, not wanting to infinitely please the people around me, just me. All the components, all the facets, all the goofballery, all the seriousness, all of it.

(When a little girl grows up with no true, real appreciation for herself, and has everything about herself dictated by the opinions and judgments of others, she grows up with both a desire for validation and a desire to please everyone.) 

Now, related to the freedom that comes from being singularly myself, I spent some time in the company of a new friend some weeks ago. It should be stated what when I’m around, uh, certain new friends, I feel like a contestant for Miss America. “Yes, I want to save the children, I can cook, and I’m very smart.” I feel like I’m auditioning for the future. It wasn’t like that this time. For one thing, it was entirely and sweetly platonic. No pressure. But, all the same, I never felt the desire to assume a different facade. I never felt like thinking of the next, witty thing to say. It was an amazing evening of feeling self-honest and feeling solidly engaged in meeting a new friend and totally enjoying it. And it got me thinking about the future, which led to the italics provided above. Going a bit deeper, though, it surpasses things like the future or who I intend to spend eternity with. 

It is the blueprint for now. For everything and everyone.

BJ & FE SCOTT

...LIVING THE BEST LIFE EVER!

Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

Fully Awake and Alive

A collection of poetry and essays on politics, social justice and the condition of humanity

Kristen Hope Mazzola

Everyone has a story; this is mine

vivaciousverses

When all fails, write a poem. You might succeed in that, so what's there to lose?

Dear Husband|Dear Wife|Dear Baby

Little somethings to one another

Traipsing After Jane

The Writing Life of Pamela Aidan

Welcome to My Empty Nest

Musings from Mama Bird

Globetramp

Conquering the world...one döner kebab at a time

tryingtowriteit

Have you finished that book yet?

The Victoria/Italia Project

Finding My Way Back

betweenfearandlove

Learning the importance of self-worth

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

%d bloggers like this: