Sunday, October 7, 2012

On Procrastination and Belonging

Like everything else in my life, this blog entry of mine is late. Even though I'm in grad school, I'm consistently late to every seminar, sometimes by five minutes, but more often by half and hour. Usually this early in the semester I'm doing a little better; I usually care enough to be on time until say early November. This year, even though it's my first semester of my first year of grad school, I can't seem to find the energy to care enough to be on time. I feel bad about it--I really like my teachers and (most of) my classes, and I'd like to learn. But I'm just so tired and so lazy and I just don't care. I also feel bad about this blog post being late (and getting in the way of MJ's post--gah I'm sorry), but I have a good reason, which I will now proceed to detail.

My boyfriend's family has been consistently supportive, kind, and inclusive for the last three years. They basically treat me the opposite of how my own family treats my very nice and caring boyfriend, which is sad. Today, they had a birthday party for me and Jon's sister's fiancee; we had brownies and homemade tomato basil soup and opened presents and played cards.

Perhaps because I feel so judged by my own family (which isn't an inference, it's something they've explicitly stated--"if you feel judged when you're at our home, that's your problem--you're the one who's sinning. If you want us to stop feeling disappointed in you, stop doing disappointing things." Such a great thing to say to your daughter who's just told you she's suicidal and bisexual!), I was thinking that when we all sit around the table at my boyfriend's lovely mother's house throwing cards around and screaming and smiling, it doesn't matter how we are defined in other circles--who's Mormon, who's bisexual, who's straight, who's homosexual. What matters is the fun we're having in our hodgepodge community. It's lovely.

Of course, every family has their issues, and it's almost impossible to escape family labels--mom, older sister, younger sister, brother. But tonight, while I was busy procrastinating writing this post, I was busy feeling welcomed and supported and included, which was lovely.

I hope I'm not idealizing this too much. It was just a really strange, crappy weekend and it culminated in me feeling welcomed by this lovely new family of mine after a very strange encounter with my own family members on Saturday (who I don't want to slam; they've had a crappy weekend too, and I feel bad for them). But this was a great ending to an otherwise very strange weekend.

If you are feeling sad and ostracized and have no nice semi-in-laws, might I recommend to you this lovely Appa plush from the series Avatar: The Last Airbender?

He's the best six-legged flying sky bison in the world! He's very soft and good to cry on and hug when one is having a traumatic weekend.

He is quite large in the tv series, but in stuffed animal size, he's huggable and cozy.

If you have no Appa plush/stuffed animal/real animal/significant other to cuddle this week, my suggestion would be to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, because it also makes me feel cozy, mainly because it's so pretty.

Anyway, sorry to intrude on your blog posting day, MJ; I admire your timeliness and will attempt to emulate it in the future. But, alas, I can make no promises, and I will almost definitely be late to class tomorrow morning.

Here's a poem that conveys what I'm trying to but in much better words and with lovelier language. Good luck this week, everyone!

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
-Mary Oliver


  1. Please do not worry about treading on me! If anything I am excited to read someone elses words after vomiting my thoughts all over the monitor!

    I empathize with you and I feel your pain in regards to your family's comments and actions. I know that is poor concelation but I hope you know you are loved and appreciated here! Take care of yourself.

  2. Wild Geese is very likely my favorite poem. Okay...second favorite. I love it. And I also love your post. While reading I was reminded of my own pseudo-family, who happen to be a group of music friends of all ages. I am related to non of them by blood, but they feel more like family than my real family does sometimes. I think it's important to have a place to go where there is no judgment, no hate, no awkward stares. Only love. I'm glad you have found one. And I'm also glad you have your Appa plush.