Walking in the Dark

I started a master’s program this week, thanks to some familial financial generosity.

Last night I stayed on campus until midnight while writing the first paper of my graduate degree. Facepalm. Once I printed off the paper and headed out across campus to my car, all the statistics about college campus rapes started running through my head. Thankfully, I had several protective measures within reach. I pulled my bottle of mace out of my backpack and put it in my pocket, safety off. I arranged my keys between my fingers to add extra pain to any punch I might land. I pulled a whistle (fondly referred to as my “rape whistle”) out of my purse and clutched it in my hand, ready to blow. With my phone at ready access and my walk as confident as I could manage, I kept to the lamp light and scrutinized the shadows. I made it to my car without incident, but I wonder…

Do men arm themselves to feel safer in the dark?

Dear Professor: What I Can’t Say

Dear Professor,

I’m really sorry for missing class today. I took the bus from home as usual, but half way to the school I was feeling so nauseated that I had to get off the bus and wait for my dad to pick me up. I attribute this to the cold I’ve been dealing with, dehydration, or possibly lack of sleep. I have therefore spent the day drinking water and sleeping.

I missed all my classes today, but I feel the worst about missing yours. This is probably because I have now missed four times. There are always excuses, but I know excuses don’t mean much in real life. Your class is my earliest one, and mornings are hard for me.

Mornings are more than just waking up and getting on the bus. Mornings follow late nights of dealing with the anxieties of the day, when all the depression rushes up to my chin like cold bedcovers. Mornings comprise of me convincing myself that everything I’m doing is important. When I finally coax myself out of bed, I should earn a Nobel Peace Prize for the diplomatic negotiations I have made with myself. When I eat breakfast, every bite is purposeful, because with every bite I remind myself it is important to eat so I can function all throughout the school day. When I put on jeans instead of sweatpants, it is with silent conviction that the world will see me not as I feel, but for who I am deep inside: strong, capable, and willing to become the girl I feel I’m merely masquerading as.

Anyway, I’m sorry. Believe me, I have anxiety gnawing a sizable pit in my stomach for every absence. You will probably start deducting points for each time I miss now (because I am sure I will have excuses to miss again), and I might be kicked out of my student research group, but I promise that no punishment you could give to me will ever be as deep or as detrimental as the shame I will mercilessly inflict on myself.

Please let me know if there is anything I need to do to make up for today’s class.

Sincerely, Maney

Metaphors and Memories

Hello!

My brain is okay but I still don’t really know what I’m doing in life. It is snowy where I am in Utah, the skies grayish and the ground too. I don’t know why I haven’t been blogging lately. I suppose it is because we move through life the way we do scattered rainstorms on the freeway, sometimes passing through battering sky water, or mist and puddles, or glittering sunshine and rainbows. Maybe I am that way with writing. It comes and goes.

School started again, my last semester. It feels good to be so close to finishing.

Who am I talking to? Hello, human. You are reading this. Or maybe you are a cat on a laptop with all abilities of reading but without the knowledge of personal language expression. Did I just make a cat reference? Meow.

Blah, I have nothing to say. Life is moving so fast, faster than is safe. I feel like I’m at the top of an icy hill and I’m just losing my footing. My feet blur, cartoon-like, as I try to regain balance, but the truth is that I hiked up this hill on my own so I must have wanted to try the rush of gliding down.

I am dating someone. He makes me happy. It’s all so confusing, but nice.

I sleep late on days I don’t have school. My dreams are strange and I have nightmares sometimes. I think about days back at BYU, staying with my extended family. I recently pulled out the bag of BYU shirts I hid in the closet last year and I returned them to my drawers. I’m wearing one right now, actually. The first time I put one on last week I could actually feel a burning on my chest where the logo fell, but it’s getting better. My mom wants me to go to the campus and yell that I’m taking back Provo. This seems silly but to be honest it is not above me.

I want to scream with frustration at myself that I am not more productive. (I considered actually screaming but then I decided that would stress me out, so I’ll do a tiny scream here: Scream! If nothing else I made myself smile.)

What is up with your life? We haven’t seen each other in forever. I don’t know who you are so I guess I haven’t necessarily missed you, but there’s an absence when we don’t chat.

I’m going to post a piece of writing I found in my email drafts from November 2014. I promise I’ve come a long way, even if my writing sounds just as dejected.

You are welcome for this blog post, and I sincerely thank you for your time and caring on my behalf.

Love, Maney

 

Poetry Friday: Sleep Reflection

Sleep Reflection

Waking to the chill of morning,
I open my eyes
close the window
turn off the blaring alarm
turn on my loud music
throw off my PJs
and
pull on a sweater and jeans
because it’s cool outside.

It’s warm in my bedroom so
I strip off my clothes
and
put on light PJs
turn off my quiet music
turn on my morning alarm
open the window
and close my eyes,
falling asleep to the warmth of night.

Poetry Friday: 11:42 p.m.

11:42 p.m.

You think you’re fed up
with all these late-night haiku?
Try writing them, pal.

Getting Doodley

(Hey, y’all, I wanted to try this form of blogging. It’s probably a one-time thing.)

I call myself Maney and I like to write. I’m learning guitar, I love ice cream, and sea otters are my favorite animals. I doodle so much it’s not even funny. During school, during church, in my journal, etc. So I wanted to see if I could share them a little via the blogging platform.

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At school I doodle because I am bored bored bored BORED. My mind wanders and I get distracted. I hate sitting in the classroom and listening to droning teachers. I feel so exposed. At church I doodle because I get anxious, or I’m so tired and I’m trying to keep myself awake. And sometimes it makes me feel less lonely. It’s hard to talk to people.

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Some days I can hardly say a word. Other days I can be gregarious because I feel okay, or I see myself in the other solitary sitters. I can talk to them. One shy person at a time is usually not too hard to talk to.

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At home I spend a lot of time watching TV series when I feel lonely, anxious, hopeless, etc. It’s fun having friends you can always count on. I try to do dishes or fold laundry or clean my room, because ironically, watching TV makes me feel guilty for wasting time.

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Also I have depression.

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Spiders are one of my many enemies, right up there with ringing phones, cold spoons scraping together, and death.

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My family doesn’t appreciate when I smash a spider but then refuse to throw away the dead body. (Carcass?) I feel I’ve been brave enough to get rid of the little monster–why should I be expected to touch it, ever?

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This is a family portrait. I am the one on the top right. My right. Wha–

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I also have a lot of plants in my room, tiny palm trees and cacti. I like flowers too but I always forget to water them, so I just stick to keeping these more desert-y plants. I talk to them out loud when I water them. They make my room smell nice, like soil.

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The end. Goodnight.

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Comment or like this madness below if you appreciated this type of storytelling and possibly want more.

Yerp.

Poetry Friday: Caught Staring

Caught Staring

An umbrella leans
against a fence, staring at
my bus on the road.