Tag Archives: postaday2011

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.

the book that did it.

17 Jun

I’ve been given a task by my fellow blogger, Nika Yuedan, to write about a book that had a major impact in my life. (Thanks, Nika! What a great idea.)

At first, I had to think it through. I’ve read an inordinate amount of books, all of which have accomplished something for me—either personally, as a writer, or both. Which one stood out? Which one knocked me over? Which one bypassed the boundaries of paper and page to enter my heart and significantly touch my life?

This one.

I don’t even remember how old I was when I read this book. 10, 11, 12. I just remember feeling kind of stunned, because the story of Margaret and her growing pains resembled the same things I was going through at the time. I remember reading the book so quickly that I couldn’t believe it was over when I completed it. I remember sitting in the couch in our basement, my eyes swallowing words that were affecting me in a way a book never had before. It wasn’t a Greek myth or a children’s book. It was Margaret wondering about faith, boys, growing up girl, her family.

It was me, rendered in book form.

Years later, there was some kind of event in USA Today, where you could send Judy Blume a question. I quickly sent my message to her: no question, just sincere appreciation for the book that changed my little life. She replied. She replied! I have no idea where that email is now, I don’t recall what she said—but I remember jumping around the house, nearly in tears, because the author who penned that amazing, thought-provoking book sent me a message. It was out of this world.

Out this world, a bit like the book that pretty much changed everything.

The Old College Try.

24 May

So I found a number of my old college essays the other day, most of them from my senior year. (During that semester, I had five–count ’em, FIVE–English courses, all of which were essay and novel-strong. It’s no surprise that I had a nervous breakdown one evening on my mother’s kitchen floor. But I made it through! Not without a bleeding ulcer, of course. But I made it nonetheless!)

It was a bit surreal–reading those words, seeing what was going through my head, noticing that many of my analytical and thought-processing ways are still relatively the same.

As a result, a few things struck me about the college experience as a whole. Here come the beloved bullets:

  • I worked hard. I did my homework, I did my assignments, I went to class (um, for the most part), I did what I was supposed to. I may have been on autopilot here and there (other than the usual heavy course load, I was also holding down two jobs most of the time. Yeah, occasional autopilot and the afore-mentioned nervous breakdown seem apropos, don’t they?), but I took care of biznaz. Reflecting on that gives me a great feeling, especially when, as a full-fledged adult, laziness rears its sleepy head more often than not. I earned my degree.
  • I don’t regret my major. I can honestly say that despite the general ups and downs, I absolutely adored being an English major, mainly because it was a choice inspired by a love for words and wanting to pursue that love. Of course, my beloved pops would have preferred that I chose something a bit more practical (“you want to write BOOKS? What about finance, something you can actually USE?”) and sometimes I tend to agree with him. But in the end, nah, no regrets. Although my checking account weeps every two weeks when my paycheck is deposited. I think it would have appreciated that finance major (and the subsequent job with a higher pay scale).
  • I love teachers! I’ve discussed my appreciation for certain highly adored teachers in the past. There were so, so many more inspiring ones in college. Teachers who forced me to challenge myself, who forced me to stop resting on my laurels and push myself, who inspired me, who helped me to fulfill my Math credit (that one deserves a statue erected in his image for seeing that feat through). *Teachers, simply, are wonderful.*
  • I’ll never do it again. Quite the paradox, isn’t it? It was an extremely fulfilling and educational experience, yes, but once was enough. No Master’s degree, no back to college. I’ll take a class, I’ll take supplementary courses here and there, but a four-year stint back to university? Nope. (They tried to make me go back to school and I said no, no, no…) Maybe it’s the school loan I’ll be paying back until the END OF TIME. Regardless of the various reasons, you won’t catch me on the quad anytime soon.

Nevertheless, everything being said, it was nice looking back and reminiscing…

*Perhaps I’ll have the opportunity to inspire a student one day…because I’m thinking about becoming a teacher! More on that later. And I’ve already looked into it: I won’t have to do a four-year prison sentence! Yay! It’ll be a year, at the most. My heart can take a year. Something brewing on the horizon, for sure…*

Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre.

23 May

This is all I have to say:

I’ve seen it twice.

I want to see it many more times.

It was moving, beautiful, tender, classic.

I’ve already researched when it will be coming out on DVD.

I cannot wait.

That is all.

The Difference.

13 May

Where has she been? The Marvel has been so quiet.

Rather than answer, I’ll proceed with today’s post, with the excuse that my life has been a whirlwind of stress and work for the past month and a half or so, and the promise that I’ll do better with writing and updating. For the few eyes that drift over to this side of the world wide web, hello again. Onwards.

The Difference

Back in the day, I used to differentiate between the pals in my life as either friend or aquaintance.

A friend was the die-hard, the always there, the we-have-nicknames-for-each-other, the friend forever, the we talk on the phone several times a week.

An aquaintance was oh, hi, person I haven’t seen in months, how are you?, the we get togther once in a while, the comfortable yet somewhat distant person (and that’s ok with both of us), the casual relationship.

These days, however, I’ve been thinking about that distinction. I’ve had the pleasure of beginning wonderful friendships in the past few months, and it’s gotten my brain going about the difference between types of friends and friendships. I’ve decided that the term “aquaintance” will be retired. It’s the kind of word that makes me queasy. Why? I don’t know. Reminds me of sterile waiting rooms and stomach aches. It’s not a happy word. Because even those casual, distance-y friendships are still friendships.

And so…

The difference will now have to do with italics.

A friend – encouraging, amazing, honest, direct, a bonafide listener, quiet, loud, simply amazing.

A friend – happy to see you when you see each other, easy like Sunday morning, ok with not chatting that regularly but quite adept at chatting when it does happen, wonderful, simply amazing.

Both are similar, aren’t they? Because even though there are varying levels of closeness, a friend is a friend is a friend.

And I’m so grateful for mine. All of them.


15 Apr

Working. Like crazy.

Living. Thank goodness.

Thinking. As usual.

Writing. Thank goodness.

Reading. Thank goodness.

Nursing. “Broken” heart.

Promising. Regular posts.

Posting. Back on.

The Sum of All Things. (yes, you are a marvel)

29 Mar
“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”     
Pablo Picasso

you’ll put on your carpet slippers and stride out.

29 Mar

Instead of Terrific Music Tuesday, I wanted to post a poem by Anne Sexton, an amazing poet that I discovered (by way of an awesome poetry professor) in college. Couldn’t get enough of her.  She popped into my mind the other day and I’ve re-discovered her work all over again. This particular piece by her is nothing short of inspiring, especially in light of some significant steps that I’m thinking about taking in my life (and there are much deeper themes at work here, especially the transformative powers of pain, despair, and sorrow):

It is in the small things we see it.
The child’s first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner,
you did it with only a hat to
cover your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing,
then his courage was not courage,
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways,
each spring will be a sword you’ll sharpen,
those you love will live in a fever of love,
and you’ll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you’ll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out.

dare you not to be moved.

25 Mar

Anyone who ever loved, could look at me
And know that I love you
Anyone who ever dreamed, could look at me
And know I dream of you
Knowing I love you, so…

Anyone who had a heart
Would take me in his arms and love me too
You couldn’t really have a heart and hurt me
Like you hurt me and be so untrue
What am I to do?

Everytime you go away, I always say
This time it’s goodbye, dear
Loving you the way I do
I take you back
Without you I’d die, dear
Knowing I love you, so…

Anyone who had a heart
Would take me in his arms and love me too
You couldn’t really have a heart and hurt me
Like you hurt me and be so untrue
What am I to do?

Knowing I love you, so…

Anyone who had a heart
Would take me in his arms and love me too
You couldn’t really have a heart and hurt me
Like you hurt me and be so untrue

Anyone who had a heart would love me too
Anyone who had a heart would truly take me
In his arms and always love me
Why won’t you?

Anyone who had a heart would love me too
Anyone who had a heart would truly take me
In his arms and always love me
Why won’t you?

Truly take me in his arms and always love me
Why won’t you?

to be real.

24 Mar

This day is already starting out bad.

I woke up late and exhausted (no one’s fault but my own; there’s no reason why I need to watch The Nanny at the wee hours of the morning, although the show is utterly hilarious); a cold rain is currently pounding the atmosphere (and I forgot my gloves, so, naturally, my hands instantly turned into icicles); certain ones I share the office with are extremely moody (no explanation needed); I have absolutely no motivation to do anything right now. And I’m cranky.

I hate days like this.



Sincerely, Taj

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

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