i haven’t written in quite some time, but summer is nearly ending and i must admit, summer has been pretty damn real. after completing an official first year of grad school along with the winding down of my first grad-student summer, life finally seems to feel a bit more comfortable than it was twelve months ago.
its been exactly one year since i’ve moved my life to pasadena, left my wonderful job as a graphic designer and restarted my life to a complete new chapter — or should i say — new book. it’s safe to say i actually left it all two years ago, or at least that’s when i feel the decision was made in my mind. to me, the essential plight of the contemporary human is that there is always too fucking much to do. i don’t care if you run Time Warner or spend your parent’s money or collect cans off the street — i guarantee you that on any given day there’s a mental list somewhere buried in the back of your mind with a dozen different things you aren’t going to get done anytime soon. yea, it’s stress- and depression-inducing at the best of times. but when things get really bad, after say a fucking early morning meeting you forgot about, a long and harassing day at your job, subsequent late grocery shopping and then a two-hour phone conversation with your significant other about we aren’t so significant anymore although you don’t have enough to say on any subject to warrant two hours, well, that’s when you get paralyzed, when you really can’t help seeing your life as this endless and futile struggle just to keep your head above water. i decided i’ve had it with all of that and i had to leave and just dive straight into the pangs of debt, moving my life to another sub-city in los angeles, and well…just try to focus on living with less distractions, focusing on learning and possibly even forgetting a few things.
of course, things don’t always go as planned. the first year of grad school turned into a terrible lack of sleep, the most stress i’ve ever undergone amid picking up new and old unhealthy habits. you see, being in art school is basically a blow to your self-esteem. your professors are paid to tell you why something you made - essentially this piece of you - is wrong, could have been done better and wasn’t properly thought out. that was a layer of skin i haven’t built yet and everything everyone said to me stung like a fresh wound on raw skin. with the lack of sleep and lack of self confidence, i somehow found the courage to keep going and to just fucking make it through every damn day. sometimes i’d wake up and stare in the mirror, sob a little and tell myself “man up! walk into the admissions office and say ‘im done!’ and get it over with” but that, too, became a procrastination on it’s own and i kept saying “tomorrow. i’ll do it tomorrow.” and each day just added up into finishing an entire year and i am sitting here in my office at NASA-JPL, writing this blog entry as my other computer renders for the night. so, yes. i am grateful and thank god i never gave up.
on another note, there has been a lot of changes. i’ve met new friends - some whom i know will be life-long and some that i’ve lost. i had some new romances - some that didn’t last and is gone and some that never really actually ended. i left a four year relationship and came to terms with the fact that i may just be one of those girls that never gets married and shows up to my friend’s parties with my adopted child five to seven years from now. it’s such a different feeling, you know? not being with someone. i spent a solid four years of my developing twenties with one guy and one guy only. it felt real and so correct and like nothing was supposed to feel any other way. having this partner, this companion, this person who just wanted to know how your day was every single day was truly beautiful. in retrospect, i feel like i couldn’t have actually appreciated that relationship in its entirety. i was 23/24, fresh out of college with no real relationship experience in the past, at least not to that degree. as time went on, it became a growing struggle figuring out how to love myself over loving someone else. i was incapable of giving to him what he wanted and what he deserved and because of that, i knew -we knew- it had to end. you know what i’m talking about. i know you do. when it plays back in my head it seems like a montage of memories completely muted. laughter, struggles, fights, throwing shit out the window, bringing out the worst and best in each other. it was total havoc, but it was beautiful in its tragedy and im happy it was him i was able to go on that crazy ride with. every time he enters my mind all i can do is smile and sometimes shake my head wondering to myself “how the fuck did we go through that?!” but, we did and its over and everything that was supposed to happen happened and everything is good and ok.
today is a whole different story. the dating world in los angeles, to me, is the epitome of a complete malfunctioning system that becomes, at times, paralyzing. its exhausting and its almost like deliberately running into a war - like those scenes from lord of the rings or something where everyone is just in a total battle-zone — fighting and raging and slamming into each other with weapons. that’s what it feels like to date in los angeles. im not going to lie and say i was the innocent one every time. there was a point where i thought i was going to have a long distance relationship with a guy in the UK, a time where i thought seeing someone for six months was solid grounds to move in together (thankfully we didn’t), a time where i thought an alcohol problem was something we can surpass together, a time where i spent a good few hours on the internet lurking and (OF COURSE) finding something to conclude that ‘this is a deal-breaker.’
(I just want to side note right now and thank all of my wonderful girlfriends for dealing with me and my never-ending text messages and phone calls…thanks, ladies.)
but we all did it, we all go through it and we all need to just stop sometimes and remember that these types of things like love and romance, are things that just fucking happen. to me, the only thing involving luck in life is love - its being at the right place at the right time and meeting that right person. its not something you can aspire to and its not something you can predict will go right or wrong. it just is what it is and fuck, man its one of the most painful and confusing things to wrap your head around. i’d like to say i’ve been single for two years. i haven’t had a relationship that persisted for longer than six months, which to me, is an adequate time to get to know if someone is worth sticking around for. but during these two years you really get to know yourself and you really get to know what’s worth fighting for. here’s an analogy - i went to utah recently for a few days (totally alone) and i remember feeling quite frightened at one point. i was camping alone in the middle of nowhere surrounded by vast canyons, random animals, no humans and complete darkness. i remember the first night i was totally fucking terrified and at one point i just accepted that “hey faith, you might die and yea, just deal with it” and i just clutched onto that idea and it sank in like swallowing a pill as it dissolved into my stomach, distributing its chemicals into the rest of my body. as soon as the sun came through my tent the following day, i completely forgot i was ever scared the night before. as the days went on, i just started to find myself becoming braver and braver. i began to do things willingly that i’d normally question to be unsafe. what happened was i just accepted that THIS ACTUALLY IS SCARY, but i’m here and although i’m risking a lot, its so undeniably worth it and im going to keep going until something stops me. that’s how i look at life and i guess that’s how i look at love. you just know that this could end terribly down the line or it could just explode in your face the first night, but at the end of it all, it was the courage and the excitement that brought you there in the first place. to me, that’s worth it… but letting go is another thing and maybe i can save that for another entry because right now, i think that’s what im currently trying to figure out. just know, you get braver and it gets easier. i promise.
this is the final year of my twenties and i made an oath to make it the most honest and realest year of the decade. how am i going to do that? i’m unsure, but i’m taking it day by day. i’m only three months in and i’ve encountered more demons than i have in all of my twenties. i always say “face your demons early because the more you put them off, the harder they are going to come at you in the future” and I guess that’s how i decided to spend these next nine months until i hit 30. its been a great decade and that i can say for sure. come september i am about to face some life changing experiences that i know will change me forever, but i have to keep my eyes on the prize and the prize is just…well, living and learning to be an honest woman and having an honest life.
lessons learned? i don’t know shit about shit and that in itself, is a damn beautiful thing.
we are only here to learn.
thanks for reading, my friends. i really do love you all so very much.