a post in the same style as the notes app on my phone, meaning i never finish a single thought

I haven’t written on here much, even though a lot has happened and I have a lot to say. I have 19 drafts on here from throughout the years, all varying shades of completion. I view this blog as a scrapbook, a time collage. If you enjoy it, great, but it’s mostly for me. People have told me I should switch to Medium—that’s where the views are, that’s where the money is—but I don’t want my personal thoughts to be monetized. Too much pressure. Too much work. I like my small corner of the internet. Anyway, here it goes. I hope you all are well, silent anonymous readers.

What does it mean to be actualized?

the duplicitious feeling of wanting to be perceived only by a select few, only in a certain slant of light, and to remain invisible to all the rest.

One of my high schoolers from the fall emails me for a letter of recommendation for nursing school, and my heart warms and sighs and pulses. They are all graduating soon, any day now in fact. I desperately want to know what they are all doing now, and I loathe that I never will, that we were both fleeting figures in each other’s lives and it was never going to be any other way. I think about J the most.

I still hear from L. He’s emailed me sporadically over the past couple months asking for writing guidance. One of the characters he is using is one he created for my class. In his last email, he sent me two passages, an original and a revised scene, and asked me to look at the improvements he made. I never know when to give only affirmations, when people really just need support, and when feedback would be valuable; it’s something I struggled with my staff this past season too. I see myself in his work. Young writers overwrite everything. But he gets it. He’ll figure it out. He has the skill, as I’ve told him countless times. I mention that the internal dialogue has a perspective switch and he emails me back with a follow-up question, so I find an online article about third-person stories with first-person inner voice and it feels good to be discussing craft, to be analyzing the bones, and I think back to my most recent graduate course in writing and how good that felt and I don’t know how to get that feeling back, how to get that feeling to stay.

I told my sister that if a recession hits and I lose my job that I’m moving in with her.

I went on a date the other week. I’ve been trying. Honestly, I have. A lot of life feels like going through the motions of it all without any real impact. I feel like I should be happy or grateful or excited, but I don’t really feel that way. I can’t tell if this is a sign of growing up or seasonal distraction or deep mental illness.

Anyway, the date. I’d met up with him several times before, and he was someone in theory I should like very much. I wore a thrifted skirt and a thrifted jacket and the t-shirt of a guy I briefly dated.

Anyway, the date. The conversation goes and tumbles and streams, and I would go into more detail, but I am very aware that this is not Tumblr circa 2013 and that I have no idea who is actually reading this withering blog, and so everything is filtered and molded and shaped. (I am…mature?)

Anyway, the conversation. He’s into food culture in the same way that gym bros and thin women are, and, because I’m insufferable, I ask him if he’s heard of Jordan Peterson, whom I only recently learned about thanks to the sole podcast I’ve been streaming for a month. He nods and says he’s vaguely familiar. I push for more (because I’m insufferable). I bring up the phrase “diversity, equity, and inclusion” in the same sentence as Jordan Peterson (because I’m insufferable), and I make eye contact with the guy as he says “that’s not really something I know a lot about” and I don’t push deeper because it’s not worth it, but I am simultaneously incredulous and not surprised at all that a man who can talk intelligently about vestigial hip bones in whales has spent no time or effort learning about contemporary diversity efforts, and for not the first time I think about what it would be like to not contemplate things that don’t affect you, to have that luxury, to have that shallow interest in the world. This is something I think about frequently. I complain about it to one of my best friends whom I talk with regularly. Wanting to care less think less know less. Wanting not everything to touch so deeply.

(And by “insufferable” I mean asking basic questions about people’s values and beliefs because I have aged out of the era when I have the time or interest to invest in passive people.)

I am so angry about Uvalde, about the Supreme Court, and I don’t know what to do with this anger.

My high schoolers would talk about mass shootings sometime. I’d go out the window, one of my seniors said. I taught on the second floor. It’s protocol to lock your door during a lockdown. The problem was that my door couldn’t lock from the inside—you had to open it, shove a key in the lock, and then close it again. I never locked my door normally because it was disruptive to have to open it every time someone needed to come in. But I thought about that door often. Would I open it to lock it if there was a shooter in the building? Would I risk those 30 seconds? Would that be enough time to doom us all? In my head I would try to calculate if all the classroom furniture pressed against the door would be enough to thwart an intruder. I didn’t think so. My desk was very light, and the bookshelves would be difficult to move. I never let myself think about what I would do if I locked the door and a student knocked during lockdown. Protocol is that you don’t open your door for anyone. Even if it’s a student. Even if there’s a shooter in the building.

My first instruction about armed intruders was at my very first outdoor education facility. If an armed individual came to camp, we were supposed to take our kids into the woods, as far away from the lone road as possible. We were to take them into the woods and go go go. We carried maps in our backpacks at all times and those maps were divided into quadrants and those quadrants would give adults a good idea of where to look for us once it was safe and we could tell them approximately which quadrant we were in. A lot of that plan hinged on having cell service. Also on reading black and white and dubiously accurate maps.

One of my friends from REI texts me occasionally with the ongoing store news. People leaving. People joining. People doing the same stupid shit. I like these texts. It makes me feel like I had a community. I like knowing that people miss me, that people are thinking about me. He texted me recently that he heard a song and thought of me. It was from the new Big Thief album.

I read this post by Internet Princess that wrecked me. It’s about media consumption and how we—girls/women—often develop our sense of identity based on the female characters we absorb. I’m not sure it’s possible to exist in isolation, to develop some sort of pure, unadulterated identity. I’m also not sure forming identity around a cultural zeitgeist or romanticizing your life is necessarily bad. Sometimes you have to repackage your life to make it palatable to yourself. You want to see your experiences mirrored back to you, and for those experiences to have mattered. I read this post and it wrecked me, and then I paused because I wanted to share it with someone, I wanted someone to get it like I get it, and I couldn’t think of anyone. Not really. Not who would respond thoughtfully. Not who would engage with it like I wanted them to. That hurt more than the essay did. That Jupiter-loneliness type feeling (iykyk).

I was in Colorado this time last year. I could be convinced that that was the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived. I miss the trees living in California. There isn’t enough green.

I rewatched Call Me By Your Name, and I read Normal People, and I binged the new The Summer I Turned Pretty, and I and I and I. You get it, don’t you?

The worst thing about cell phones is absence. How interconnectivity has always granted us presence and it is palpable when the pixels disappear. I have yet to find settledness in my own human wanting.

Everyone in Pittsburgh posted pictures of the sky the other day, and it made me lonely. They were mammatus clouds.

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