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Monday, January 4, 2016

Beginnings Disguised as Goodbyes

I'm leaving tonight. And tomorrow morning, I'll be in Texas.
I've been preparing for boot camp for nigh on eight years. And I think I'm as ready as I'll ever be.
I know there will be embarrassments and discomforts. Depression may strike briefly, homesickness make my mouth taste acrid. Despair or rejection or frustration may come. But in my mind, I have the tools to overcome those things. I've been preparing as much as I can, ever since I was 14 and realized climbing up a hill was hard and I was out of shape. Besides, you can only prepare yourself so much for a kick in the balls.
My room is pretty barren. I'm not really sad to be leaving Alaska, or moving out of my mother's house, because I never intended to stay. I've always known I would leave. And I know it's not forever. I can't make a home of the world, falling in love with every new town, if I can't let go of this home from time to time. Now is one of those times.
I've grown up a lot since I started this blog, and hot damn have I grown up a lot since May 15, 2013. And it feels impossible that I'm only 19-going-on-20 and I'm going to grow much more. I know that between now and when I come to Alaska again, I'll be a new person. But I wonder if, even if my mannerisms and demeanor alter, I'll still feel just the same. Feel like a sixteen year old wearing my skinny jeans, band tees, hoodies and converse. Who knows?
I'm not nervous. I'm excited all right, but not scared. I've been living for this for almost half my life. This is my checkpoint, though I don't know to where. I'm so ready for my life to change. Not to be better or whatever, because I know that happiness grows in conjunction with sadness, but for it to change. I haven't progressed or changed since I was 16. A lot of the time, I still feel sixteen. Of course I've changed a bit, but not in any important way. And this stagnancy needs to come to an end so I can continue to develop as a woman, a Jew, a human, a member of society.
No, I'm certainly not nervous. The hot feeling in my diaphragm is anticipation. Because I've been dreaming of the day I graduate from boot camp. I suppose it could change to nervousness, and when I get off the plane, it may, and I won't be ashamed of it if it comes. But for now, I tell myself not to be. I let palpitations play themselves out so I can be in the moment, without it marred by irrational fear.

The next adventure is now, and I can't describe my excitement.
I know I've said 'be brave' a lot, but I don't think I explained why bravery has come to mean so much to me. When I was fourteen, I wrote a poem, in which I tried to differentiate between Bravery and Courage. In the poem, the two adjectives argue about which is better. In the final stanza, Bravery says: "Bravery is to defy the pattern, even against the world/ to seek knowledge and embrace it, growing to woman from girl/ and knowing it may backfire, but with trembling lips to cope/ for while Courage is to be fearless, Bravery is to hope."
And hoping for a better future, for a reason to live, is what stayed my hand when I meant to kill myself those years ago.

Being brave is to be afraid, and not let it hold you back. There are too many cowards in the world, and most of us have no idea we're cowards. We die without ever having lived. Cowards, for not taking a risk. For not taking opportunities, for not doing what we want or need, for not speaking up or standing up straighter, for letting life get in the way of life. 

Sorry if my thoughts are scattered.
Well, not really sorry.

Not nervous, no, I'm terrified by the future. Exhilarated. Biting my nails.
But I can feel that bravery sparking in my veins, making me hope for the best, eclipsing any trepidation.
You should do it too.
Be Brave. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thoroughfare of Thoughts & Adiemus

Hey, all.
Long time, no see. 
I've been working 40 hour weeks, so I haven't had time nor inclination to post anything, let alone any outfits. But this outfit was something I bought at a thrift store a week ago. These harem pants and the long knit cardigan were things I'd wanted for a long time, and I got them for extra cheap. That day I was in the city, because I'd had some paperwork to turn in and records to renew at MEPS, since I confirmed my leave date and job. I depart January 5th.

Anyway, late August I was told I would't be going anywhere until 2016, so I figured it was high time I got a job. So here's the major happenings over the past months. 
For one thing, I've had a couple jobs.
I applied for a dozen jobs in the area. Honestly, if the pay was good enough, I didn't care if I spent the next months scrubbing toilets. Ideally, I wanted to be a barista since I love coffee so much. But Subway called me first, so I started working there at the beginning of September. At first I was excited, because work means money and money means food. (being broke, I'd lost weight, my fingernails broke off, my skin got dry and my hair brittle, I was tired all the time, whenever I ate even a little, my stomach would churn with hideous cramps. I was slowly starving.)
But soon my job training became irregular, staggered over the week as opposed to being in one block of days so I could learn the job and work a regular schedule. They proved they aren't on top of schedules, since once they called me in to work, wanted to scold me for not being at work on time, only to realize they read my schedule wrong and I wasn't due to work that day. Another time, my manager wasn't at work to train me, so I had no idea when my next training day would be and I had to waste gas coming into the store just to find out I wasn't scheduled. Soon they were scheduling me for whatever hours, no set times, just throwing hours at me without preamble, randomly, and expecting me to keep up. About two weeks in, I found myself flustered and agitated at having to be corrected all the time, not being trusted to do a task right--not because of pride, but because I shouldn't have been so ignorant. I should have known the ins and outs of the job at that point, and it angered me that I was  still making embarrassing mistakes, still so woefully under-informed. And I can't shake the feeling that, despite being a mature, responsible adult, I was the youngest working there and my co-workers treated me accordingly. That is to say, they talked down to me. But it's not like I was the youngest by a wide margin, the manager herself was only 24, and she's the oldest. 
Also, being hungry was a constant state with me, and working with food I couldn't eat (or even buy) was torture. Admittedly, it crossed my mind that no one would notice a missing thing or two, but I'm not a thief, and stealing is dishonorable and dangerous to my reputation. I refused to let hunger drive me to such pathetic extremes. But I was always, always hungry. 
On top of all this, I realized by talking to co-workers that they were lucky to work 5 hours a day. My manager had a habit of making me go on break after only 30 minutes of work. When I walked in the shop, she immediately said someone needs to go on break or go home, always had to cut people's shifts shorter. I understood why, she likely had a restriction on how many hours her employees could work, and how much they could be paid, which prevented anyone from working a decent number of hours. My co-workers talked about getting 2 and 3 jobs just to break even. 
I wasn't angry at my manager, but that was the last straw. It was clear I was wasting my time there, so Walmart called me after two weeks of Subway, and after a dozen phone calls, a resignation notice and a job interview, I was employed at Walmart.
So, in summary, the biggest reasons I left Subway were because I was led to believe--upon being hired--that I'd get a 30+ hour week, and I barely got 7. My paycheck was 50 bucks every pay period. I didn't want a job to pass the time. I got a job because my family was hungry and suffering. It's hard to stay positive, difficult to concentrate, a task to fall asleep at night, impossible to maintain my weight when I was so, so hungry every day.
Also, my boss was way asinine. I swear, she was constantly breathing down my neck. I wanted to tell her to get off my back and let me do my job. Don't get me wrong, my manager could be  sweet, admirably professional and helpful. My co-workers had been generous and friendly. They left an awesome first impression. But generosity isn't food. Friendliness doesn't negate the fact that I need money. I discovered that I abhor working in food service. Never again, if I can help it.

I've been working at Walmart for two weeks now. The pay is better, I work 9 hours a day, 5 days a week, I get two breaks a day plus lunch, and though the job has its drawbacks... I haven't been hungry in two weeks. So.
So far, I'm getting into the routine well, though my hours are wonky (but I knew I'd be working weird hours before I signed on). I'm learning quickly, and everyone is helpful. I've made some "friends." As always, I'm the youngest, and I feel the youngest, but not in an incompetent sense. More like inexperienced; despite the hardships in my life, I know I've been sheltered. I feel like they can sense my inability to relate with them on certain levels, though no one talks down to me. But some conversations, they tend to leave me out of. Sad part is, if they included me, I'd have nothing to add. I'm not like them. Not better than them because I'm so pious, no, but I'm not ashamed of feeling innocent.
Since working at Walmart, my feet always hurt, and I haven't exercised one time, but I'll learn to make time. During breaks, I do crocheting, reading, sewing or sketches, just to keep up with hobbies.
I feel so rushed, having 9hrs of my day used up, with no time for anything. But I don't intend to be like most people, who accidentally forget to keep up with their life outside work and end up forgetting their dreams and abandoning their inner artist. I'll make time.
Also, I bought a guitar from a pawn shop. Beautiful thing, so pretty. She's a handmade electric acoustic, a medium sized Crescent flattop with sunburst coloring. She's a bit worse for wear, but all things considered, I'll take it. She's light and a perfect size for me. I also got a capo, vintage case, finger picks, and a tuning fork. I'm thinking that when I learn, I'll start out with "Sea of Love" since it's such an easy song.
That reminds me. Since I started working at Walmart, I've been indulging almost daily with one frappucino after work, from the McD's outlet in the store. After work, I buy my coffee, always paying with a 5 dollar bill, and always getting 3 bucks back. I go out to the parking lot, and a man is sitting on the sidewalk, saying a prayer before picking up his guitar and playing for us all. I always give him my change, partially because I suspect he's homeless, because he's really sweet, and I admire his musical skills. It kind of makes my day, to see him.
Aside from those things, life hasn't changed much for me.


Comedian Eliot Chang schools a couple douches who heckle him onstage.

"Junk Mail," Cyanide and Happiness

"Mother's Day Cake"

"Big Sausage Pizza"

"Pull My Finger"

Hahaha okay I'll stop. 
The song I'll feature today is called "Adiemus" by Sir Karl Jenkins, a Welsh musician and composer. 
This song totally doesn't fit this outfit, but unless I planned to take pictures of me hanging from a tree in the jungle or standing on the edge of a windy cliff, this song fits none of my clothes.

As for this blog, I recon you'll get 6 more posts between now and 2016, and then you won't hear from me again for a very long time. But in these two years, I've done a lot on here. This blog has been the epinephrine that renewed my tired limbs every day.
And I'd like to do some video projects for this blog before I leave, because I know--I've always known--that this blog is temporary. When I get where I'm going in life, a fashion blog will not be a priority.
I play piano (I've bragged about it a dozen times, probably), and I want to record myself playing all the songs I know. I also want to give a tour of my room, or at least my closet. And I want to learn at least one song on guitar and post myself playing... and maybe singing. I won't lie, I haven't learned to use my voice quite right, so I'm not the best singer, but this blog has never been about being perfect. It's about glorifying music and experimenting with fashion, about sharing ideas and celebrating art and coming of age and individualism. If I'd ever for a single day posted with the strict intent of pleasing some unknown audience, this blog would have disappointed me--after all, how many followers do I really have?
This blog is for me. This blog is my diary.
And if, in the future, I post myself singing and playing a song, and you think it sounds crumby... oh well. Mute your volume. Besides, the videos I make and words I write will one day be my legacy--they'll be the only thing that proves I ever even existed. So I think it's worth it.

Be Brave

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Visual Kei & Bliss

Here's a punk outfit. Not my style anymore, but I was selling the skirt and leg warmers and decided the outfit was okay for Schizo Chick. 

When I was eleven until I was sixteen, I was super into goth, Lolita, nana, visual kei, and kera. For those that don’t know, it’s a form of extreme cosplay, very emo, and kind of ugly. For an idea of what it is, look up Harajuku weekend—Harajuku is dedicated to cosplay, the center of kera and visual kei in Japan. Unfortunately (or so I thought at the time) I was into fashion far beyond my years, and my mother never let me buy the outfits I desired. Thank god for that. Also, visual kei is really expensive, and a lot of it has writing on it that I was never comfortable with, since I didn’t know what the words meant. These legwarmers and ruffle skirt are the only authentic visual kei items I have, though they border more on Lolita. They were a gift from my mother during Hanukkah, when I was fourteen. I honestly think they look icky, but they’d be great for festivals, and they’re in good condition, so I’m selling them on ebay. I figured they’d sell better if I made a cool outfit for them, then I thought the outfit I devised was cool enough to merit a feature on the blog.
Here’s the product link, if you’re interested.

This is an oil on canvas painting by Jackson Thilenius. 

From Daria.

Here's a parody of the Nightmare Before Christmas's "What's This?" renamed "The Fuck?"

I’ve recently become re-obsessed with Muse. I had such a variety of great songs to choose from, “Supermassive Black Hole,” “Uprising,” “Hysteria,” “New Born,” “Time Is Running Out.”

This one is stuck in my brain, so here’s “Bliss.”

Enjoy the posts while they last. I'm leaving for BMT soon.
How soon, who knows. I'm thinking sometime September.
Be Brave.
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