The past in the present

I recently came across this bit of journal-esque writing I did several years ago, and, since I found myself reading almost addictively, and I happened also to find it a bit hilarious to see how young I came across – which makes me wonder if I actually sound much older now, six years later – I figured it would be fun to share here, to see now how I wrote in the past… the past at present, so to speak. πŸ˜›

Therefore, happy reading. πŸ™‚

……….

Mon 4 March, 2013

Today I am sitting on the couch. That is not to say or to suggest that this, sitting on the couch, is such an out of the ordinary activity – though it has been the case that for the previous seven months leading up to this week have left me without a couch on which I even could set myself. It is simply to state that today, I am sitting on the couch. I am not really doingmuch of anything else. Unless of course you would like to believe that breathing, watching a film, listening to music, eating food, digesting, drinking drink, and the occasional conversing with one’s stepfather are considered “doing something”. In that case, I’m doing quite a lot today, and am being very productive. However, in my head at least, that is not the case, and I am not up to much today. I am simply sitting on the sofa (Oh, look: I’ve used the word “sofa” this time. Such creativity is at work in me today!). I think it’s because I’m avoiding doing anything else. Perhaps I would feel guilty if I put my efforts to something else other than that which my mother wishes for me to do…. or, for that matter, other than what my father and stepfather wish me to do. That is organize out things in the house and get a job that pays well. They would likely say that they just want me to get a job, almost any job. Just a job that pays is their goal. However, if I were to get a job that pays, but the job is not very fancy and does not pay very much, they would very much be dissatisfied. For example, if I began work with the trash pick-up in the neighborhood, they would not be so proud as to say they were glad for the job. They would see it as an as-short-as-possible-term job for me, waiting for me to get ‘a real job’. What if I profess myself as a long-term devotee to trash pick-up, and that I see it as the first step in making a change in the world? That I must absolutely do this job so that I can understand people better in order to change their way of thinking. That by starting at the base, by discovering what they see to be trash, I can then begin to alter what they see as valuable. What if I do that? Well, I don’t know, but it ultimately does not matter, because I know that is not what I am going to do. Although there might be some value to that idea. I seem to be good at that: pulling some jargon out of nowhere in attempt to prove some point that I don’t fully believe, and then find myself with a quite amazingly powerful argument. I guess it’s one of the talents God has given me. I think it came out of my mental expansion, or whatever one would like to call it. I’ve spent a good deal of time – though time is completely relative, and I have only been physically around in this body for a short time in comparison to the world and, of course, to other people who have been around for “ages,” as women in their forties and fifties and sometimes even thirties an dupper twenties like to say. As I was saying, I’ve spent a good deal of time studying people, and a bit their cultures. I even did it semi-officially for a while in high school and college. More in college than in high school, though I think that fact is somewhat irrelevant. Anywho – that’s a word I’ve come to enjoy in my lifetime, though I’m not actually sure it’s technically a word. But what do technicalities matter anyway when we’re dealing with full self-expression? Anywho, I’ve studied people throughout my life by simple observation and conversation. And interaction, of course. I have spent my whole life sitting on the sidelines, just watching people pass by, taking notes in my little notebook full of comments of opinion about the world around me, completely missing my own participation in it. No, no. I have been quite the participant in life. I just have paid attention while doing so.

My clock on this computer shows that it is currently 20.29. It is somewhere that proclaimed time (speaking of proclaimed time, my computer will tell me in just a moment that it is 20.30). However, that is not technically the time here (oh, look: a technicality). The time here is actually, well now, 13.30. I mentioned that I hadn’t had the availability of a sofa for the previous seven months. That is true. I was living in Wien in a shared room, with two closets, two beds, two desks, two night stands, and a set of shelves comprising the furnishings, and a slightly musky odor filling the air-tight room when my co-habiter was around. Now, the point of sharing this just now is unknown to me. However, I will use the opportunity to make a connection to my studies of people. I was in Wien to learn German. So I said and thought, anyway. I learned much about the peoples living there, as well as much about myself. I also very much developed myself, and was, for the first time in my life, able to proclaim honestly and whole-heartedly that I was exactly the person I wanted to be. Rather, that I was being the person I wanted to be. I still am that person. And that’s great, actually. The trouble comes in, however, at the point where I’m not entirely sure what to do with that person, now. So I’ve done my cultural study in Wien, I’ve learned a good deal of German, I’ve met and visited the family of mine who lives in Germany (and has for hundreds of years), and I have returned to Houston, Texas, where I technically lived before embarking on this last European adventure. I did want to avoid returning, and even began to set up things so that I could succeed in avoiding the return. At least for a while. But the fact that I am here right now shows that I did not do that. I said to myself that to avoid something means to leave something incomplete in your life. After I said that, I realized that I needed to return to Houston. I didn’t actually need to see or talk to any specific people in Houston. I just needed to return to Houston. Because by not returning to Houston, by avoiding the return, I was avoiding what came with the return. And that’s the next step of my life. I’ve always had something sturdy on which I could rely for my immediate and somewhat near future. Until now. And by not returning to Houston, I could avoid dealing with that, with my lack of suredness, with my fear. I would be hiding a fear inside of me. And hiding things really just doesn’t work. No matter how much we try to do it, we cannot succeed in keeping something hidden. Not completely. We ultimately reveal all that is hidden within us, wheter verbally or not. I think it is part of our nature as humans. We’re just plain blabber mouths with everything. If our mouths don’t give it away, our emotions and reactions most certainly do.

A friend once sent me something that said “Only trust people who like big butts. They can not lie.” It still makes me smile, although that friend seems to be in a dissapeared mode right now. He’ll come around. Hopefully it will be before he dies. That would be quite a disappointment for me, and even for others, as he has a lot of potential to make an amazingly large difference for a great number of people in this world, as well as for the natural side of this world. His impact will likely still be large if he doesn’t alter his current way of being, though it will be quite limited and likely very disappointing in comparison to the one he could make with a simple reappearing act. We’ll see. Well, someone will see, at least. I don’t know that you and I will see the future of his situation, or even that I will see it.

So, I said I was not doing much today. I changed my mind. After watching that movie, I was inspired. I still am inspired, and by that film. I changed my footwear and went outside to play some volleyball and to pursue my desire to learn to skateboard. I think we can pursue all of our desired activities, though there is only one time in our lives where we will actually succeed with them. I tried playing guitar several times as I was younger, but never went past a few chords in the best attempt to become a guitar player. In the last year, I have actually taken my own steps, extra steps, to learn to play the guitar. I don’t play much, but I learn to play songs that I like, and I oftentimes become a great deal of ease and release when I play, rather than the struggle that comes to a beginner of a foreign task, as it once was for me. After years of attempts at guitar-playing and even more occasions of stopping the attempt, I finally can play guitar. I’m not amazing like different performers or people who play ‘just for fun’, but I can play and I enjoy playing, and that’s always been the point of my learning to play guitar. The point of this: I’ve finally fulfilled this desire that I’ve attempted several times in my life to fulfill. And the point of that point: We won’t reach certain things until the time is right. The time was finally right for me to learn to play guitar, so it actually worked for me this time – my head was in the right place at long last. This skateboarding thing is similar. I’ve wanted to skateboard as far back as I remember my brothers starting to skateboard. Every attempt has left me unsuccessful, still scared, and oftentimes hurt. I’ve thought for months on this, though, and I think my hesitation, cause by my fear, has been a major factor in my getting hurt. Today, I was not only putting myself out there confidently on the skateboard, but I was almost not even present to a fear. Once I let go of my hesitation, and look at the logistics of the activity (that it required that one just keep balance and GO), it becomes something completely different. It becomes somethign do-able. Yes, it takes practice. But I am capable of it. I find that really cool. Uh-oh. That last sentence might be giving away my age (as though my writing in general in no way does that already). Okay, as I sit here typing, taking the occasional sip from this bottle of Organic Raw Kombucha juice, … I don’t actually have an end to that sentence. I just wanted to say what I was drinking, I think. My aunt is actually making her own Kombucha juice right now. My cousin, her son, apparently taught her how to do it. I believe it takes several days, if not weeks, to make the juice. It wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case. It tastes like it’s been sitting somewhere for weeks before it was bottled and kept in a cooler. It always does, Kombucha juice.

Let’s go back to the part about my age. I was reading a book recently where it was mentioned that adults, grown up people, are nearly obsessed with numbers. Numbers like how old one is or how long one has done something or how far away one is from something or what time one will arrive or how much something costs and the likes. That wasn’t exactly what the book said. It’s what I’ve specifically noticed as being significant to adults since my reading that. I’ve also noticed how I tend to do that. I’ve been working on stopping that. It’s been gonig quite successfully, actually. I do it less and less, and I notice almost every time when I am considering asking a number question, and I opt often not to ask it, as I see the lack of any importance in hearing the answer to the question, thus losing my point of asking the question. But to apphease the adult in me as well as the adult in you, I shall give you at least a few numbers. Seven, twenty-two, three and a half, a few thousand, and eleven hundred.

Okay, elaboration. I’ve just returned from seven months abroad, becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be. Just a few days ago, I became officially twenty-two years old. I completed college in three and a half years. I currently have a few thousand dollars of school loans to repay (I think). And I expect that finding a job that gives me at least eleven hundred dollars a month will be enough for me to live sucessfully on my own for a while until I find something else to do with myself. Oh, and my name means “Grace” in its language of origin. To me it just means “me”, though that’s sometimes scary, as in the times when someone says it with annoyance or frustration, suggesting I’ve done something upsetting and now have to work hard to make things good again. I think to most people, it’s just a name, though. Hannah is it. Hannah banana to certain individuals. I enjoy when people call me Hannah banana. Probably because it shows a specific enhanced degree of love when they say it, when they decide or choose to use it.

Well, I’m going to go back outdoors. I’ve had a good break here writing. Now I’m to continue my goals of improving my volleyball (re-enhancing it, actually, after several years of not playing almost at all) and skateboarding performances. I’ll write again, and likely soon. I guess my sitting on the couch today has altered. Perhaps it’s like addiction problems and other problems. Admitting that one has a problem is the first step to solving the problem. My problem was sitting the day long on the couch. I feel it to be utterly too underproductive for my capabilities. So, once I admitted that fully, I was able to rid myself of the problem. Cool.

13 MΓ€rz 2013

Heute haben wir einen neuen Papst. Francisco. Er ist ein Jesuiten. Sehr cool.

—–

I’ve decided I want to write a book. Not a book like everyone else. But a book in present tense. Yes, in present tense the whole way through. I tell a story with the book, but it hasn’t actually happened until the reader reads it. So to speak. πŸ™‚ Well, that’s my idea, anyway.

………..

P.S. The programming is likely to destroy my double spaces after periods, so, please, kindly ignore that change, and assume the appropriate spacing after each period… yes, I’ve shared all about my opinion on the spacing here… ugh!

Post-a-day 2019

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Karate

Whenever I do this teeth whitening thing, I have to keep his little blue-light mouthpiece in my mouth, gripped between my teeth, for five minutes.

Afterward, I spit out the excess gel in my mouth and I wash off the mouthpiece.

Whenever I’m in the cleanup stage, I’m always adjusting my jaw, stretching its muscles, and feeling around my teeth a bit with my tongue.

As I do this, I find myself remembering strongly my days of American karate in my youth.

For sparring, we had to have a rubber mouth guard to protect our teeth… I remember how, every time I got a new mouth guard, my mom and I would be in the kitchen, trimming edges, boiling the rubber, and mashing my teeth into it to make it mold perfectly to my bite and teeth.

It was always so exciting to me, for some reason I cannot yet understand… perhaps it was the specialness of the whole process, like we were doing a whole (and real) science lab experiment, tongs and boiling water and all… and it was for me… so it was something unique and special and process-filled, specifically being done for me…

Perhaps that was a large part of it…

Whatever the case, I always enjoyed it, forming my mouth guards.

Especially the bit of biting down on my mouth guard, squeezing my teeth tightly, and wedging them each into the rubber, claiming specific territory to be forever theirs in that particular mouth guard…

Whenever we did spar, and I got to wear my mouth guard, I rather enjoyed sucking and chewing slightly on my mouth guard, tasting the rubber, feeling the tiny rebound it provided when I clenched my jaw and released, hearing the squishy sounds of saliva being pushed around and in and out of the mouth guard’s coverage area as I clicked my teeth (with the rubber between them, of course) together several times in quick succession… and then tasting again, as I held my jaw snug and sucked everything out of the mouth guard.

It all seems odd to me now, considering it and sharing it, but also still quite familiar… I don’t see myself doing half these same things nowadays, yet I remember them fondly nonetheless.

And, every time I whiten my teeth, I am filled with a few drops of that excitement and delight brought it me for years by karate…, making it a unique and somewhat special experience so far as teeth whitening goes. πŸ˜›

P.S. I love finding words that I’ve known for years, but whose language of origin I didn’t initially speak, but now speak, and, therefore, as I cross the word anew, I suddenly see it from the eyes of this language I now speak, instead of as a foreign word with meaning I must struggle to remember… karate is one of those words… from my American eyes and ears and mind, it is pronounced the American way and means merely a form of martial arts… from my Japanese eyes et cetera, it is pronounced with a Japanese pronunciation, it means 空手 (からて), which literally means “empty hand”, and it is a form of martial arts… and, somehow, the two are simultaneously the same thing and two totally different ones… so it goes… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Education

I feel that one of the most valuable things that school could give a student at the time of the education (that is, while in school) is relevance and immediate applicability.

As we have been reading various books on utopias and dystopias in one of my classes this semester, so much of it all has become relevant in my life within a very short time of its initial introduction.  

The struggle one character has with God in this book, and how she finds change to be inevitable (and, therefore, God), applies to my life the week following my reading of it… I can relate to her struggle immediately, and then the change comes up in conversation and contemplation regarding my relationships with people in my life.

I think teachers, schools, curriculum planners aim to have books students read in school to be relevant to the students’ lives, but they often fall short of the mark… they miss the applicability of the ideas and actions somehow, and only assume that this specific struggle must be applicable to all students of this age… and it often isn’t.

From English class, we need concepts, ideas, brainstormed theories that we can learn to apply to any part of life…

For history class, a historical context would be only an enhancement of our understanding of what’s going on right now, what people are discussing from the news, and why it seems to matter so much… we hardly do more than regurgitate facts, and rarely know much about what they really were like or why it mattered to people who lived it (and therefore why it might matter to us).

I today was learning of a book about a man struggling in Russia, and, as I heard the details, I knew it was around the 1920s…, because of the Russian refugees in season four of “Downton Abbey”… there was a story in which I could invest myself, and ideas to which I could relate and from which I could draw my own ideas and conclusions, and the history just kind of stuck with the affinity for the people in the story…

I interested myself with the French Revolution recently, because I discovered the wonder of the film “The Scarlett Pimpernel”… and I remember details about the revolution because of how they connect with the story of the film and its characters.

The actual history became relevant and immediately applicable for me, because of my investment in the film.

The same is so with my investment in “Downton Abbey”.

How could I possibly relate to the Russian refugees or to the French upper class, when I merely read some statements of facts, names, locations, dates, and a summed-up given political meaning to it all?

I guess that’s why I remember just about nothing from my history classes in school…

Perhaps it everybody needs this kind of education, but everyone certainly could benefit greatly from it, I dare say.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

my childhood bestie

I talked with my childhood best friend tonight.  It was wonderful.  We haven’t talked much in the past year, simply because she’s been busy as ever, and I’ve been over in Japan.  We still weren’t in the same place tonight (Facebook Messenger video chatting), but being in the same city really helps with the timing thing.

Talking with her always brings up loads of memories from my early childhood, most of them wonderful. There are only a handful of not-so-good ones, though they were all rather impactful.  Mostly, though, the good memories come to mind.,. Like the time she and I watched “Lake Placid”, shortly after seeing “Deep Blue Sea”, and we ended up jumping all around on her furniture after the film, somewhat joking, but also somewhat paranoid that a gator would pop out from under the sofas and eat our legs off… Or the time my mom was at work, and my friend invited me to come over, so I left my mom a message on her pager, telling her when and where I was going, and I very clearly stated the phone number of my friend’s house, and repeated it (even though she could look up the number in the school phone book once she was home, if needed), just as was desired if I were to go anywhere while she was gone…, even to be complimented on it later by my mom, but told that I unfortunately had given my mom my mom’s number, not my friend’s house.  Those might have even been from the same day…, though I really don’t remember for sure.

For my birthday one year, she and her mom decided to give me some money and a gift bag of macaroni and cheese boxes.  Almost every time I went to their house, I would end up eating mac ‘n’ cheese, so they decided it was a perfect present for me.  I loved it, of course, for the pure genius of it, as well as the love and attention that went into the present, despite its being quite simple.  I really did love mac ‘n’ cheese.

There are two sad memories that always come to mind regarding this best friend.  Though, one of them was actually kind of happy, because of what it meant to me.  The one memory, the more sad one, was when we were riding the bus for a field trip, and she and I were playing a hand game.  She was sitting by the window, back to the window/wall, and I the same for the aisle.  The game was this one:

That’s the way
Uh-huh, uh-huh
I like it.
Uh-huh, uh-huh
That’s the way
Uh-huh, uh-huh
I like it.
Uh-huh, uh-huh
I got the looks.
You got the books.
Splish, splash
In your face.
Brick wall, waterfall
Girl, you think you know it all.
You don’t.
I do.
So *poof* with the attitude.

On the *poof*, my friends and I usually made an effort to face palm the other person somewhat, pushing her head away as part of the “Talk to the hand” gesture.  However, not everyone did this, I discovered, so, shall we say, competitively as I did.  It wasn’t so much that I wanted to face palm someone else, as I wanted to do it first, so as to avoid having it done to me.  Well, when the *poof* came along, I was ready and prepared, and I pushed a little harder than necessary in my haste to be first, and my best friend’s head knocked backward against the window with a good noise.  I was instantly remorseful, and her immediate upset hurt like no physical pain can.  I still feel bad about that now, years and years later, though not in the same, sad way.

The other sad memory was the morning before school that she called me while I was showering. My mom came and brought me the phone while I was in the shower, telling me it was my best friend. I wondered why she was calling so early in the morning, it was even a little excited about the phone call. However, the news of the phone call was not good: angel, her dog, had died that morning. She was calling to let me know, because she knew that I loved Angel, too. Well I was incredibly sad about Angel, one of my favorite dogs, I was also incredibly grateful for the friendship I had – for that is a powerful friendship to make a call so early in the morning about something that could have waited until we got to school.  But she wanted me to know before the rest of the world.  I was and still am honored.

Gosh, now I have loads of memories piled up with this friend, and memories keep diving into the piles, turning them into something more like a mountain range.  I used that only makes sense, when we’re talking about a childhood best friend – there’s so much time and joy and learning spent together as kids.  Now she has kids of her own, and almost all I want to do is everything I can to help them have the best possible upbringing in the world.

Post-a-day 2017