Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year

I think I stopped being so hard on myself, but I most definitely did not stop taking "that bullshit." And I failed on swearing off men. I failed not once, but several times over. And in some ways, worse than the year before. Karma's a bitch I guess. But I learned new lessons. And I realized some things. That "hooking up" (Yes, I'm using the oh so vague saying that I hate because it really doesn't mean anything, precisely why I'm using it.) with someone you don't have feelings for is pretty much a waste of time. In the morning after, you end up pretty much emptier than before because despite that moment of gratification you're doomed to realize what you once again lack.

So the experimental stage of my life is officially over I think.
And here I thought I was turning over a new leaf and had become a non crier.

I could just say fuck all this, but I wouldn't mean it.

So I'll just muddle through until it's really okay.

This year is ending in a pretty miserable way. I'm pretty sure this time last year, I was actually pretty happy. My life was in order, and I was okay.

Note: 01/04/2010

In hindsight, I got my act together on December 31st and ended the year in a pretty good way. As it should've been, considering the fact that 2009, despite it's downs, was pretty much life altering - in a damn good way. To put it simply.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

For 2010: cheers love and no regrets

Time keeps on moving, the years roll on, but nothing ever gets any easier. Sometimes we fall to making the same mistakes, and sometimes we fail to find the strength to face the things we fear most. But we never, ever lose hope, that one day, everything we've ever worked for will fall into place. That we'll find a love worth keeping, that our children will grow old, that our parents will live with no regrets and that we've done right by ourselves, the ones we love and the strangers who've crossed our paths.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Between now and the new year, I'm supposed to figure out my answer to: What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to do here?

Precisely why I'm having a crisis.
Without fail, still waiting.
Day 10 Sober.

"I think I miss you," he says.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Though I don't subscribe to religion, I will take up praying.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I never want to be someone who wishes they could've done something

For everything.

I wouldn't trade one stupid decision.

No sir.

And today, walking the half-mile Angela's house in over a foot of snow. If I could survive last winter's blizzard in London and the cold winter in Praha and Vienna, I sure as hell can do this.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Break: Day 10

I will brave walking miles through a shit ton of snow. And the shoveling, oh the shoveling.

And there's that class I may not have passed. I'm going to have to send a card and some cookies.

I will read books that I want to read (chicklit for the most part):
How to make love like a porn star, Jenna Jameson - Recommend
Just Friends, Robyn Sisman - Bad? Perhaps.
The Other Woman, Jane Green
What Happened (Inside the Bush White House), Scott McClellan
a stranger's short stories
Three's Company is on TV Land.

Life was easy then.

paper dreams

It's always the same scenes, the same scenes.

"You have to get out of bed. I'm coming over and we're going out," he says.

"No. I'm wallowing. I don't deserve anything." She had a habit for the melodramatic.

"You can't stay in bed forever."

"Yes I can. You don't understand."

"Come on. He'll get over it."

She sat, starring at the empty space, the empty page.

What if, what if, what if.

"Where've you been these days? I miss you. I was driving home, and you came to mind."

"Staunton. Queen city of the south," he replys.

"I still have to visit," she says. But it'd been over 2 years since the last time. It was an empty promise, she knew, he knew.

"How are the girls in your life?"

"I'm seeing this girl. She's a spicy meatball."

"Aren't they all? Where'd you find this one?"

" I really like this one. She lives in Charlottesville."

"You really liked the last one," she says wryly.

"Well, you know me."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I miss you like an ex-fat kid misses cake.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm quitting the game.

For now anyway.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Monday, December 7, 2009

I forgot it was your birthday.

But I remembered you had, had the courtesy to wish me well on mine.

So I did the same.

And you said thanks.

And for some reason, it just made me really sad.

You just reminded me, that I can't settle for less anymore.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Suffering from a delayed reaction on life, consistently romanticizing the past, disaffected with the future and an inability to care for the present. I say what I think, at any given moment, perhaps with too much candor, but never ill-mannered. Anyway, aren't we all just looking for something?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I've been off Facebook for almost 24 hours, and somehow I have no want to get it back. Guess I really am disaffected.

Anyway, after the horror that is this semester is over, I think I may take a self-imposed hiatus from e-mail as well. Crazy huh? I check that thing and respond to people like it's my job.

If anyone needs me, I have a cell phone.

I miss using it to have conversation. I think I'm going to revert back to the good old days.

Work on this thing called love.

childhood crushes

I deactivated my Facebook today. I realized, I'm addicted to checking my e-mail, twitter and Facebook. Even when I'm in the room with other people, I'm continuously seeing if someone else has left me a message. Of course I do it more when I'm actually waiting for someone to do so. or rather, hoping.

Anyway, I wandered over to my old Live Journal account. While listening to Youtube videos of All 4 One, KC & JoJo, Joe and Boys II Men, I figured I might as well continue down memory lane. And I started looking through entries I'd saved under memories. And it was funny. The one I wrote about him was titled, "young and naive."

Guess that says it all. But it's kind of sad all at once, to take the weight away from it with those words.

It's weird to be 25 years old and moving back into my parents house. I'm driving down the same streets that I used to. And it's like, sometimes I wonder if too much has happened here for anything to be good. As of the past few years, I find myself reverting back to guys of the past. Not on purpose, it just happens, I guess, when you move back to your old hometown. It just happens.

And it makes me wonder, if my pursuit is a result of the fact that we share some semblance of a past.

I'm reaching the 6 month mark in this city, and I feel ready to go.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Aside from the education, one thing I've taken away from having a masters and a that formal education, in the form of an M.A., pretty much, doesn't mean all that much in the real world. or at least in the real world I'm set to enter. Except for the fact that you need to be in school in order to be eligible for most internships, most unpaid internships at that. This conundrum.

And I don't know. I'm not sure it means all that much to me either.

But maybe I can say this because I already have it, of course.

Versus a date. Now there's an accomplishment, kidding. Well, these days, not really.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I was born old.

Matters of the heart have always been my vice.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Casual sex is great, if you have the emotional capacity for it. Tragically, I do not. Therefore, I find it pretty pointless.

As much as I try to fight it, I'm an old fashioned girl at heart.

Life is one big experiment. A series of never-ending rough drafts. Until you die.

I was just wondering today, if journalists handle rejection better than the regular population because I sure as hell have gotten rejected a lot lately. Apparently most humans have an issue with being on camera and/or giving me their last name.

Maybe, one day, I'll get lucky. That's all it seems to be sometimes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Not much has changed in 16 years.

on making time for many men, many many many men

ang: "oh well, gotta live life first"

August 1992. Washington, D.C. On the National Mall.

This was the same day my mom bought me a snow cone from one of those street vendors, which were my favorite, and I accidentally dropped it and started to cry. I don't even know why, somehow I thought they were irreplaceable. But she got me another one. And then it started to pour. It was one of those storms that leaves as abruptly as it arrives. By the time we got to our car we were drenched. And I remember, after we got home and changed, we all went to Chuck E Cheese.

I had a pretty good childhood.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Along the same lines

I know I complain a lot. About graduate school, about the decisions I've made, about this course in life that I've chosen, about never making it.

But, at the end of the day, I don't regret a single choice I've ever made. And I'm incredibly thankful to be here today, where I am. Albeit stuck with hefty student loans and still living at home with the 'rents. But it's okay.

Because I'm thankful they're healthy. This time, 3 years ago, it was a terribly different story. And those months were hard. Really hard. And these days, my poor dad and his back. But he'll be fine.

And I'm thankful for everything I've been given, for the life my parents have given me and the opportunity they've allowed me in order to pursue my dreams. No, they haven't always been entirely supportive, in my decision to pursue writing, to pursue journalism to pursue another graduate program (YOU WILL BE POOR.), but they've always been my crutch.

So I still have a 25 page paper to write for my seminar class, and I'm aware life will only continue to get harder, but it's okay. If it weren't hard (that's what she said.), nothing would ever be worthwhile.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Sometimes you just need to let go and move on."

That's what they tell me.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm refusing to settle or just scared of being with someone who'd want to be with me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I need a new hobby.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Sunday mornings, sweats in bed, stories missing. Bundled dreams, these lofty ideas, kept away. Will we ever make it out of this town.

Alicia Keys, Empire State of Mind solo.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What are we going to do with ourselves?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

the after years were filled with the pursuit of relentless dreams.

[Williamsburg, Brooklyn]

I just can't help myself

We were at One and One in East Village after dinner at Lucien, located next door. We started a dance party in the empty lower level of the bar.

By the end of the night I pretty much wanted to marry the DJ.

I couldn't tell if he was Black or Asian, but after awhile we figured he was Asian. His girlfriend or groupie or whoever, hung by him the whole night. She looked like one of those territorial bitchy girls. Hell, I don't even know the guy. But, there's something about the ability to wistfully think, what could be, with someone you know nothing about because there's no past, no present, no future. No dice, no weight, no loss.

Side note: Black guys are just so damn cute when they dance.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I received a phone call from this news guy this evening.

And the first thought that came to mind was, why didn't he email me?

As Paul Wall's oh girl is playing in the background.

I'd also just woken up from a nap, so pressing the stop button as we spoke didn't occur to me.

And afterwards, I thought how nice it was that someone actually called me.

hahaha. I don't mean that in a pathetic way, but you know. No one uses the damn phone anymore. And I kind of miss it. A lot.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

At twenty-five, I'm learning there's no shortage of dreamers, but those who choose to pursue those dreams are few. And those who choose to muddle on in pursuit, even after time and trials fail, are even further between.

The former years.

keep dreamin' and me could write a bad romance

Monday, November 9, 2009

the difference between right and wrong

"They have been aware
That it is necessary
His statements ascribe
To ignorance
Malicious propaganda
They have been aware
The absurdity of his restraint
They have been aware
That it is necessary
To bring to an end
The present state of things
For their aims
Are the weapon of reaction"

"I never argue with people, because it's clear that they're not susceptible to reason. They believe what they do because they have a need to believe it." - Theodor Herzi

Beliefs on World War II aside. War doesn't define winners or losers, right or wrong, war merely defines the people who are left.

i'm listening to death cab again....

our youth is fleeting, old age is just around the bend, i can't wait to go gray, i'll sit and wonder of every love that could've been, if i'd only thought of something charming to say ---- this is the sound of settling.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tough love

8:22:20 PM Lizzybabes163: we've all bee ntrhough it
8:22:24 PM Lizzybabes163: u gonna get use to it or what?
8:22:33 PM Lizzybabes163: thats hwat happens when u step into the real world
8:22:55 PM Lizzybabes163: u dont even need to be sad about boys
8:22:58 PM Lizzybabes163: that was so 2 days ago
8:23:02 PM Kim Ha: HAHAHHA
8:23:16 PM Lizzybabes163: so pack that shit up and move on
8:23:33 PM Kim Ha: thank you for the tough love
8:23:39 PM Kim Ha: at 9
8:23:45 PM Lizzybabes163: no
8:23:47 PM Lizzybabes163: you come here
8:23:57 PM Kim Ha: ugh i can't
8:23:57 PM Kim Ha: fine
8:23:59 PM Kim Ha: we'll do it tomorw
8:24:14 PM Lizzybabes163: well i cant either
8:24:18 PM Lizzybabes163: stop being a baby
8:24:22 PM Lizzybabes163: everyone gets rejected
8:24:35 PM Kim Ha: sigh
8:24:37 PM Kim Ha: okay
8:24:38 PM Kim Ha: thank you
8:24:42 PM Kim Ha: you saved me from going out and
8:24:45 PM Kim Ha: getting a tattoo
8:24:50 PM Lizzybabes163: drama queen
Grow up, grow up, grow up.

Ah, but we never really grow up do we? We do, but we still make the same mistakes, just annotated versions. Life doesn't get any easier, it doesn't get any less complicated. Sometimes, the mistakes just get bigger. Yea, you get the tools, the experience to handle them better but.

I long for days gone by.

I long for days gone by.

remember when we were such fools, and so convinced, and just too cool

I guess, sometimes there's nothing more to say. When things get too complicated, too convoluted, words only make things worse. Sometimes you just have to deal with it, move on. Sometimes you have to let go. Sometimes you have to. Because that small window for when they did care is gone. When he'd call you up, that's right call you up and ask what was wrong.

I start things sometimes for sport. It's all for sport, you know. Because, life gets mundane sometimes. And then, it goes too far, and then I have to back track, but by then, it's too late.

I'm still trying to get off the board, considering you got off a long time ago.

I'm tired of these games I keep getting wrapped into.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

In the muddle of my aging youth

[Busboys & Poets, Shirlington]

Propriety in the written word

Some things you never write because it's evidence of who you are. Some things, you don't want evidence of.

Upon reading up on news organizations' recent amass of rules and regulations for social media Web sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and online blogs, I'm beginning to wonder what's going to happen if I ever get a job with a major news organization or rather, any news organization. I've logged 180 posts on this blog since I started it in January. I have another 669 entries on LiveJournal dating back to 2001. Not to mention, 889 comments posted and 781 comments received on that account. And, though I don't have active links to that journal anywhere, I don't intend on deleting my account. It'd be like deleting a file of memories.

Friday, November 6, 2009

so many men.

And none to keep.

missed connections via Roma, we slept in the station on our bags, it smelled like feet

A slew of red-eye flights out of Heathrow that summer. The days were unseasonably hot for London. Clear skies, mild rain. Skipping the tube and making our way home from St. Peter's Cathedral via Trafalger Square, through Piccadilly Circus and down Tottenhamcourt Road in the drizzle of a July night. We picked up strongbow and digestives at Tesco. You would've loved it.

"How big was he?" Because size does matter, unfortunately.

"Where are the decent men?" Because we're seldom satisfied by the selection of men who hang around.

"What's wrong with us?" Because really, what's wrong with us?

Girls nights are about wine and candor. About all things related to the opposite sex. How else are we supposed to figure where the line between normalcy and crazy falls? Therapy through strings of related experiences. Yes, crazy bitch moments are understandable. Yes, there's no such thing as a platonic friendship, no matter what you believe. Yes, she fucked him, again. Yes, she stayed in an abusive relationship. Yes, for her, sex was just sex, but for her, it wasn't. Yes, she hooked up with a man who was taken. Yes, some guys are assholes. No, it doesn't have to be that complicated. Yes, love is blind.

"He ruined sex for me."

The thought occurred to me for the first time tonight.

I don't know what it was.

In retrospect, you mattered a hell of a lot more than I ever admitted.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ode to Mike Ordonez

For coining "kimchiha". 3rd year, as UVAers called it, when I spent weekends running away to endless beer pong games, late night karaoke, Marco and Luca's, flip cup and lovely morning afters. Their apartment was always a disgusting mess, but in the morning, I always felt like I was waking up by the beach. Odd, I know.

And life has never been the same. I'm glad I met you.

Some people are just meant to be kept.

Monday, November 2, 2009

City love

Spent the afternoon blogging in Busboys & Poets in the U Street corridor. I really should've been working on my paper or mini story. I love the decor. A bookstore, coffee shop, bar and restaurant in the large open spaced filled with couches and tables for relaxing, dining or studying. Free wi-fi though it takes a few minutes to catch with Macs, and my coffee came spiked with baileys.

Had dinner next door at it's sister restaurant Eatonville which boasts southern comfort food, exquisite decor, murals splashed against the walls and chandeliers hang from the ceiling. Eatonville is an ode to the small Florida town in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I had to read in high school and in college. I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the novel. Hurston's quote covers the wall on the right as you enter. It's a damn good quote.

I had the cajun mushroom loaf. Though I was hesitant about the whole idea of a mushroom meatloaf minus the meat, it was delish.

Love it.

Places like these make me romanticize life in the city.

Weezer performs 'Kids' and 'Pokerface'

the lonely bean

British Claire, digger of baby bones and disher of marvelous wit keeps a vegan food blog. Now I usually equate 'vegan' with bland and boring, but she's real good. Half the time I think I'm eating meat and it's some kind of wonderful substitute that ain't half bad. If I had time to cook, I'd try everything here. One of these days.

[The Lonely Bean]

Sunday, November 1, 2009

sweetness never suits me.

"I think i could make an exception this one time."

"How gracious of you."

"I do try sir."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I miss all things Italian. And I don't think it'll ever go away.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Paper planes

You'd asked me to go to the airport with you, and I'd turned you down. It was an hour away, and you were afraid you'd fall asleep. It was 2 a.m. I wasn't jumping at the chance because then, you were you, and it wasn't a big deal.

But really, with my obsession with airports. What was I thinking?

Note to self:
Make the mistake first. Fix it later. Action versus inaction.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons. "100,000 Paper Planes and Melodies Over Monroe" at the 2009 ArtPrize Paper Plane Event in Grand Rapids, MI.

More than 20,000 artists gathered in the crux of the city as Monroe Avenue was shut down on September 27th. 100,000 paper airplanes were released from the rooftops of 6 major buildings as 20,000 musicians of all walks played a single melody. I know this event happened far far away from our fair city, but it was too cool not to write about.

rough draft: so how do you play the game?

Do you want to hang out later? She'd texted him as they were waiting in the car at the airport terminal. She didn't know where she was going with it, but she'd had a few drinks.

Sure, he'd said.

That was how the end began.

She never used to ask, she'd just come over, plop down on his futon and they'd watch movies. He could never watch them alone. She didn't like watching movies alone either. She was easily distracted. She didn't know him well then. But he had a lot of free time that summer and so did she.

Come to the airport with me, he said.

What? It's 2 a.m. Why?

I have to take my mom.

Isn't that going to be awkward?

She secretly loved the idea of meeting his mom. Even though mothers never seemed to take to her. She was better with fathers.


She had had a feeling he liked her, and she was hardly ever wrong. So she toyed with the idea, and then she found herself wondering what it'd be like. It was one of those things.


I walked by your room earlier this evening, and I paused. I'd heard your room was still unlocked. You'd left sheets on your bed, some old clothes folded, and your keys laid on your desk. Your keys. I, I had my keys together as I was walking around the city today, and I had them in my hand, and out of nervous habit I started flipping them with my fingers, in my hands, and it was the same sound, the way we always knew who was entering the kitchen, or the stairway because you always had those keys in your hands. You had this ocd habit of locking your door every time you left the room. And now you're gone, and your room, it still smells of you, the door's not locked. You're not there anymore.


He was from Edmonton, a small suburb outside Oklahoma City. She found herself toying with the idea of moving to middle America. Living in a town where life was paced, where people had down time, where kids had bonfires, and everyone really knew everyone and weekends were spent boating on the lake or fishing in the middle of the night. It was a nice idea.


They were all perfectly wrong. Living embodiments of the idea of perfection in imperfection. They were all a part of the game. A series of overlapping realities, from careless banter to sex that meant more than nothing. Eventually, it was all fucked.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So if I'm merely acquainted with someone or if I've never met them I TRY not to stalk them around the internet because then I form this opinion of them when I don't even really know them. And generally you cannot form a realistic opinion of someone based solely on their online profile. It just doesn't work.

I've signed up for Date Lab on Washington out of boredom and I've half made profiles that no longer exist. And the other night I fiddled on OKCupid, but got bored real quick.

And then I thought, doesn't anyone form relationships organically anymore?

It's really sad.

Even though my opinion of online dating sites has altered over the years; they're not filled with total weirdos. I think, aside from the fact that makes you pay some absurd amount. I think I will refrain, not because I don't feel that desperate. But because shit, I kind of like it the organic way. Like in real life, over a random passing or who knows. But you know.

Maybe I'm a bit old school here.

And I'm not just ragging on online dating.

As organic food is healthier for you, I think organic relationships may suit me better.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

won't stop to surrender

getting off the great mope train.

I went out to Josephine's last night for Ray's birthday despite having a 9 a.m. final exam this morning. I didn't drink, and I still had a damn good time. I think I may cut back on the alcohol. I hate the feeling of getting wasted for the sake of getting wasted. Then having to wake up to nurse a hangover. Nothing about it seems attractive anymore. My former self of 4 months ago would beg to differ, but I guess it's different when you're running through the streets of Florence in the pouring rain, by the most beautiful piazza in the whole damn world. Who has to worry about real life then?

We left at 2 a.m. and I passed out around 3 a.m. Woke up this morning at 8 a.m. and headed back into the city.

And you know, this morning was the first time I've thought, today is marvelous, in awhile. Lackluster has accounted for most of the past few months; men who were around, who were just around because I was that bored.

But maybe this city isn't a lost cause.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Feinberg chronicles the grittier side of dreams

Blaze Starr at the Plaza on New York Avenue & 14th Street, N.W.: Photo by Paul Feinberg, Another Washington

Tuesday mornings are spent in production for the American Observer. In the future, my wrinkles and stress lines will be traced back to this time.

The sound of settling.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One evening

It's an old song, but I heard it for the first time in Claire's UCL dorm last January. It was one of those cold London mornings, and I was getting ready for the day, and it came on shuffle. And it reminded me of one of those evenings, getting ready for a date with a new man, over dinner, or drinks in a pub, dim light, candlelight, one of those stories that just has this great potential to end terribly, but for awhile, in the beginning, it's something worthwhile.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ode to Claire

11:11:14 PM Claire Metcalfe: i came up with the best halloween costume the other day
11:11:16 PM Claire Metcalfe: so good
11:12:17 PM Kim Ha: CLAIRE
11:12:21 PM Claire Metcalfe: what
11:12:24 PM Kim Ha: you jsut gave me a list of HEALTHY 20 CALORIE THINGS
11:12:26 PM Kim Ha: OLIVES
11:12:29 PM Kim Ha: saLAD
11:12:30 PM Kim Ha: CHESTNUTS
11:12:35 PM Claire Metcalfe: crisps.................
11:12:38 PM Claire Metcalfe: a lot of them
11:12:42 PM Kim Ha: leaves and sticksss
11:12:45 PM Kim Ha: what is the halloween costume
11:12:47 PM Claire Metcalfe: biscuit.. those buttery things
11:12:51 PM Claire Metcalfe: ice cream
11:12:54 PM Claire Metcalfe: but moving on
11:13:06 PM Claire Metcalfe: at least there was no alcohol
11:13:16 PM Claire Metcalfe: the PIED PIPER!!!
11:13:30 PM Claire Metcalfe: im going to attach rats on fishing wire to me
11:13:32 PM Claire Metcalfe: fake rats
11:13:43 PM Claire Metcalfe: so they trail behind me when i walk
11:14:45 PM Claire Metcalfe: and also i was thinking of dessing bosco up as a rat too
and have him follow me

Exactly why our friendship has lasted so long.

New York, I love you

I've tried watching Paris, Je t'aime twice and both times I got distracted. Anyway, I want to see this flick.

And I want to live in NYC or LA for a time after graduation. Though I've never had a desire for either city, in fact I've never even taken to either very much, ever since I got back from Florence, I don't know, something's changed. We'll see where I end up a year from now. I'm just restless here. I've spent my entire life here. That's probably all this city will ever be to me, home.

You know I'm just going to break your heart

I don't know what it is about these days. I'm tired of all things related to the opposite sex. I'm tired of dating, I'm tired of looking, I'm tired of trying to get over it, I'm just over it.

I don't have the energy.

And is it weird that I just want to sit at a bar, or in a cafe over a cup of coffee with an old friend and conversate? I'm not looking for an easy hook up. I'm really not looking for any hook up. I just want to go back to the days when it was simpler. When it was all talk and banter and nothing else ever went into play. Just old friends over coffee.

It seems comforting.

As much as I'm anti-institution of marriage. Weddings make me cry. I'm one of those. And last night we were at this girl's bachelorette party. I don't know her, but I'm figuring she's found someone she's excited to spend the rest of her life with.

Now that's deep. Probably the only deep thing in this world. That's a long time.

And I keep looking at your pictures on your facebook. I don't know what the hell it is. I screwed you over, and here I am wondering. I know it's just the whole idea that I'm so enthralled with. That someone could want to be with me to that degree, and I threw it away. Because I didn't want it. Well, fuck, what if no one ever comes around like that again? And my friends keep telling me my problem is this fear of commitment, running away when anyone gets too close, and though I'll admit to it. On the other end, it's not like I've ever been met on the other side of this string.

Sigh. It's one of those Sundays.

Where you wake up and wonder why you drunk texted the people that you did.

I miss talking with you. That's really it.

And maybe it's because I have no other distraction right now and I'm incredibly bored. or maybe it's because once upon a time, you mattered. And I hate losing touch.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where everybody knows your name

Twenty years ago, you were my favorite.
You're completely who you are, you're completely crazy and you do what you want.

And I admire you.

You may just be the only other human on this earth that I actually admire in that way.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I don't know what it is about death and accidents that make us slow down our all too busy lives to watch the events as they've unfolded. I mean, when there's a car accident, I'm one of the people along with every single other person on that road that has to slow down and look.

So when I hear about people who've died, sometimes I'll go read their journals or their Facebook pages. That's right, I stalk down complete strangers who are no longer even alive. I don't know why really. And then I read what their loved ones say about them. And then sometimes, weeks, months, even years after the fact, I'll go back and check up to see how their loved ones are faring.

I know it's weird. And of course I don't do this with every single person who's died that awakens my curiosity. But it happens.

maybe we'll make something out of this life

I'm stubborn. You told me that once. I can't remember what we were talking about, but you just said it and I thought, no one's ever really said that to me in that way, except for my mother. And somehow it got you a point in my book.

I don't like being told what to do, and these days I'm cranky to a fault. In our Observer class the other day, the class where we produce our online magazine, the professor asked us if we saw ourselves in positions of leadership. I mean, we all chose to invest our time and money into this program, so it must mean we're setting ourselves up for bigger things, right? And all this time, I had thought, I was just trying to set myself up for a job. But then, I guess it makes sense. All this time I've been freaking out about ending up in a real cardboard box on the street somewhere because all of these degrees hanging in their frames on the walls don't really seem to mean anything in the real world. But then I thought about it, apparently only 26 percent of Americans actually receive a degree higher than high school diploma. Well damn, if I'm only competing against 26 percent of Americans - probably less, since I have even more than that, then why the hell does it seem so impossible?

Anyway, point being, my professor asked me directly and I responded with a hesitant answer. I mean, shit, if I ever get into some position of leadership, it would've been beyond what I ever foresaw. But afterward, I found myself thinking, it may be the only way to go, since I have this thing about control.

And I'm consistently paranoid about miss-perception. Years ago, before the age set in, I was always just this nice girl. And these days, I fear people meet me and think I'm unfriendly, stuck up or hostile. I always wanted to be one of those people that you meet and you instantly get that good feeling about. Sadly, my inward feelings of awkwardness and shyness have had this tendency of giving off a not so friendly vibe.


That's pretty much my one word reply to life at the moment.

Oh yea, I turned 25 last week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I always wanted to do something big with my life. Write a book or something. Be a part of something big. And dedicate it to my parents.

I'll probably never get there.

You think, you've experienced your highest highs and your lowest lows and then you've got the every day muddle, the way it feels, every day. And you wonder if this is what the rest of your life is just going to feel like?

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm unhappy.

Really wondering if I'm made for this.


I could use a crutch. I'm tired of standing on my own.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Red eye flights across Europe

Beyonce's Halo remind me of flights across eastern Europe. I developed a fear of flying last year, simply because I figured with all the flights I'd been taking, my odds of dying were higher. The only comfort I took was listening to music as the plane would take off.

I can't remember the last time I hated week days so much. And then I thought, this is what it's like. To wait for the weeks to pass so you can reach the weekends and the holidays. And then I thought, life shouldn't be like this. Because when it's good, when it's really good, you don't want any days to pass any faster than they do.

I'm not sure if it's sad or what. I used to romanticize airports. When I was younger, I used to love flying. I even liked airplane food, but then again, the food probably was better in those days. And now though I still love everything that they represent, I equate travel to my fear of losing this life.

Getting older never fared well with me.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Taking only what you need from it

We were sitting outside this coffee shop in Vienna yesterday. Jammin Java has the best cappuccino I've had since Italy.

But we were nonchalantly talking about death. And Angela and I wondered, what if one of us passed, how would we want our friends to mourn. What would we want out of them. And it was odd because it was just as if we were discussing any other topic because of course, we didn't really think that any one of us would pass any time in the near future. But we've also never really had this conversation before.

We're not old, but we are pretty much grown. As much as we'd hate to admit it, as much as our lives beg to differ from a real grown ups. or the usual definition anyway.

And at this time, mortality starts to get realer.

People die. And I will lose a friend or a parent or a relative one of these days, or I may go. And though we'll never be able to prepare ourselves for it, it's terrifying that this is what real life is about.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The crazies have all the fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"What if we got everything we ever wanted," she asked.

I'm a walking archive of past conversations, e-mails, photographs, videos. Conversation in fits of anger, photographs in moments of unbearable laughter, videos bringing back heartache.

I'm getting off the board after this last round, accepting defeat.

Thanks for playing.

Monday, September 7, 2009


A Fine Frenzy - "Almost Lover" remix from mgcs518 on Vimeo.

I don't know how long I can last here before I suffocate.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm probably going to go to hell for the things I say about people.

But hey, like Justin said the other day, "I don't want my friends to be lonely."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

non posso dimenticarvi

Monday, August 31, 2009

Static silouhettes

I returned to the states this past June 29.

My body has hated me ever since.

July saw three weeks late.

August is almost over and again I'm almost three weeks late.

I've spent the past two months trying to get off that high.

That high I had, purely on life.

How do you go back to living a life so ordinary, when it wasn't that way for so long?

And how come, I've spent most of my adolescent and young adult years yearning to be anywhere but here. I love this city, this city is my home, but I can't quite get to that point of all right here. And I still have never figured out why this is the case.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

So another close call. And I guess we never really learn from our mistakes, do we? Or maybe it's just me. Who knows. A lot of things I'm not sure of lately.

Such as graduate school part II.

Last year, I said, all of it had to be for something, and at the end it was. It was more than something.

So I guess round two will produce something different, still of worth, just different.

Had some girl time over at Angela's tonight. We were saying goodbye, sitting around, five of us on her bed, gossiping, laughing, same shit we've been doing for a decade now. And it never gets old, and we're always saying goodbyes, and even now, we've still got things to figure out.

Tuesday marks the one year anniversary since I left this city for Florence.

I hope I don't do anything too drastic.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Autumn in Firenze.

September 12, 2008

"Girls feel emotions strongly," he said.

She said, from reading my blog that my love life, or rather lack thereof, makes hers seem not so bad.

You once said, my writing read so honestly that it didn't come off as pathetic.

But really, I'm aware I do come off somewhat tragic. I like to say it's merely the diction. That we're all pretty much the same. But who knows.

So perhaps, in calling you tragically pathetic the other day, I probably subscribe to the same dosage.

And why is it that the thought of men in this moment makes me want to throw up and or cry.

And why is this happening.

And I've been doing this for so long now.

I've been playing this game for 6 years and counting and I'm so fucking sick of it.

Real life is not sex and the city.

And why is it that it took to this point for you to give me any reply at all?

And when did you lose your respect for me?

And when did it all become just such a bunch of bullshit.

That's what I'd like to know tonight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I would go along with someone like you

Phoenix, stilettos, Irish car bombs, modern affairs and girls lookin for love were the anthems that summer. The stocks never got high, but it was a damn good time.

Kings of Leon and Phoenix make me feel like I should be living life out west, in the city, by the ocean, in the hills.

Home back east is not quite right for this time of year. Autumn brings goodbyes, but I'm still here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"FYI: you are epic," he said.

That's a cool line.
As of late I've been reading my yahoo horoscope and although I don't really believe in that stuff today's was awfully smart.

Seek out a person you respect, not just someone you have a fun time flirting with.

Note to self.

Been making a lot of those lately.

Friday, August 14, 2009

difficile dimenticare

Thursday, August 13, 2009

empty threats, without candor

I can't go on making these requests, these resolves, and then throwing them all away in an intoxicated stupor over a text or an IM. God, we don't even use the phone anymore. And god you used to respect me, you used to answer me, you used to be my friend, you used to give a fuck.

And I can't say it was all my fault because it wasn't.

But I can say, common culture was right, sex does ruin everything.

I pretty much just need to get over it.

I guess, I expected more out of you. At the end of the day, I expected more out of you. But perhaps, I didn't know you as well as I thought I did at the beginning. Perhaps that was my mistake, my fault.

And I won't make a big deal out of this time. I'll keep your life drama free. I won't defriend you on Facebook.

What have we come to, in an age where things as small, as pointless, as effortless, as meaningless as an IM, a text, or a defriendship have come to matter so much?

I still refuse to believe the entire male species is filled with assholes. But I do believe it's filled with a good number of cowards.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My headband's been cutting off the circulation to my brain. The synapses must not be firing correctly. I'm a day away from disastrously failing.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Written word for the sake of sanity.

Sometimes I wonder where the line between therapy and exploitation falls.

Sometimes I wonder if I take some kind of masochistic pleasure in emotional turmoil.

I'd have no material otherwise.

And then, what about the people I maintain relationships with who accidentally get caught in the diction.

I don't know.

But I'm sorry.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hands down I'm too proud for love.

Friday, August 7, 2009

It was only an affair

"Are you sure?"

He'd asked her repeatedly.
She couldn't figure why he cared so much.

Now, in retrospect, she really didn't have anyone to blame but herself. Though, blame was perhaps the wrong word. The way things were ceased to exist after that first time. Because well, she should've known better.

But we never learn from our mistakes do we? Sometimes we keep making the same ones over and over, until it works out, until they're not mistakes anymore.

And she never wanted any more than what they had, or that's what she told herself anyway. She wasn't sure if she'd convinced herself of the fact, or in actuality it was just that, fact. And it was only the pure idea of more that bothered her.

She didn't want more, but she drew the line at others. He couldn't very well fuck her and others at the same time. That was where she had to draw the line. Of all the mistakes, she had to draw it there. That was where she could draw it. Because, at that point, she couldn't compromise.

But she wondered still, how could she ask that of him. So she didn't because it wasn't hers to entitle. So she left.

And at the end, she wondered if she left because she couldn't compromise or if she left because she didn't want to accidentally fall for it all.

And we all wonder. What's the big deal? It's not like it was love. After all, it was only an affair. It was only an affair.

There was never any weight, was there.

Their banter was never the same, and was it worth it? Probably not, but she'd probably make the same mistakes again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


"Bros before hos"

So what's the saying for girls? Girls before idiots? I'm too tired to come up with anything clever.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Matters of the Heart Pt. 2

So this is where it starts.

I'm really sick of this.

I met him in college, at a not so random party. He was taking flying lessons and had a thing for Frank Sinatra. He introduced me to Ben Harper and burned me a copy of his CD. We laid in his bed talking about life, and a myriad of things I can no longer recall. I left near dawn. And the innocence of it all. Well, that was a time I no longer seem to subscribe.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Intoxication reduces inhibitions. I'm more prone to doing and saying things I wouldn't ordinarily do in a sober state because I don't care about the consequences. Now, sometimes this leads to good results, sometimes it leads to fmylife mornings. I'm wondering though, if at the end of the day, a lesser dose of inhibitions turns out to be better or worse for everything that is my life. Sometimes it enables me to look at things simpler, instead of my ordinarily state of mind where I'm simply crazy. I don't know. I don't know.

Btw. I find it highly ironic that I'm getting an M.A. in Communications, the one subject I abhorred all through grade school. For the life of me I could never get past that ugly Satisfactory on my report card. The entire report card would be tainted by that one ugly Satisfactory.

And now here I am, choosing to get my second M.A., in Communications. I'm making the choice to get out there and actually talk to people. Bizarre. I never saw that one coming.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It was a time

Santo Spirito the last night I was in Firenze. It was so loud I had to sleep in our floor's living room.

Last night in Firenze.
Some days I wonder if I'm made for this.
Some days I wonder if I should just sell out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Yesterday was the start of AU's Summer Journalism Boot Camp. I have class Monday through Friday from 9-5. My social life is officially dead, and all I want to do after class is sleep. Also, I've been instructed to keep a blog recording my life at Boot Camp. Therefore, I may slack a bit here. But I write too much anyway, and maybe it'll be good for me to write about something other than the end of the world, not knowing what to do with my life, and men, for once.

Driving down 95 to the Outer Banks. Summer time and tunes like these make life better, or at least, they make life okay for a moment.

Recently I've been thinking about some personality traits that make some good writers: a dash of cynicism, ridiculous humor, and the crazier the better.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sometime we'll get together and we'll break it down.

So after a minor breakdown in a bathroom of club and an episode of the psychotic and swearing to stop speaking to him. All of this occurring in a span of 24 hours. I decided I'm going to play this game until I can't anymore.

Bad idea? Perhaps, probably. But what else is new? When I want something, I guess I can't help but go after it even if it will lead me nowhere. Even if it eventually makes me a fool.

I call you up after hours. And why? Because I wanted to. I mean, that's really all there is to it.

And honestly, this shit may be hard, but it shouldn't be complicated. Say what you mean, mean what you say.

And did you ever notice how life is either a series of coincidences or chance meeting fate. If you assign meaning to a coincidence then it becomes fate, but if you don't ascribe any meaning, then it's merely a coincidence. But it's all essentially the same thing.

Friday, July 17, 2009

You know how extreme liberals are essentially extreme conservatives?

I'm not sure if my problem has been that I've always known what I wanted or that I've never known what I wanted.

The White House apparently announced a press conference for next week first on Twitter. For the life of me I can't figure that shit out, nor do I want to. But it seems I may not have a choice.

I was thinking about the EU today, wondering how it was doing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You know how you have those friends that you can just call when you're bored and it's okay. The kind of relationship where you can randomly drop by their house and hang out doing nothing for hours and it's okay. I miss the way we were last summer. When you used to be just that, and there was no pressure and I could just be me. I didn't care what I looked like, I didn't care what I said, and nothing was awkward. I didn't worry about if I was calling you too much or texting you too much or IMing you too much or if our conversation was too bland or all those other million stupid things that you start to worry about when other crap gets into the mix. I mean, the reason why I decided I liked you to begin with was because I was completely comfortable with being me around you. And last summer when I felt like shit, I remember you made me get out of my hole, and I came over and here you were, this friend of mine, and I thought, even in my state, you were kind of adorable. Ah and that's where it all started to go wrong.

And now, I mean here we are. And we're friends, but it's not like it was before because maybe it's just me, but it just feels so damn awkward. But I'm not sure if I know how to go back, or if I even want to go back entirely. And sure, we could talk about it, talk it out, but I'm so damn tired of talking.

I'm consistently compromising my need for sexual gratification with the things I really want. And my conscience keeps creeping out from the back of my mind. That this isn't what I really what, that this isn't really who I want to be. But in the moment of heightened emotions, you just think, oh fuck it. And this is where I've been.

I think I was actually going to talk about something else, but I've digressed.
It's the middle of another summer, these endless after hours driving home from the city down 66, matchbox twenty playing on the radio still, and we keep getting older, but we're still playing the same games. The same games. What else do we have? We still want the same things we did before, and after all this time, all this experience, I'm not sure we're any closer to getting there.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm losing my balance on the tight rope
Tell me please, tell me please, tell me please
If I ever feel better
Remind me to spend some good time with you
When it's over I'll let you know.

Hang on to the good days
I can lean on my friends
They help me going through hard times.

She couldn't believe how happy I was when I got home
She said I was different
And now it seems as if that happiness may have dissipated far more quickly than it took to achieve
I'm not sure how much longer I can do this.

For everything my sanity, my happiness is worth.

And I was thinking today, how grateful I am for the very few non judgmental friends I have. For every decision I've made, the choices and the consequences have always been mine. And they've seen me through the hard times, without a word.

Like I've said, I'm very aware of the consequences of the choices I make, but sometimes I may not be smart enough to choose otherwise. Regardless, these choices are mine and only mine. Your job is simply to be my friend, that choice has always and will always be solely yours. And I will react accordingly.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Going through hard times.

9:07:11 AM Kim Ha: get the us to get rid of gmos
9:07:13 AM Ally Reina: i want to be ballin
9:07:15 AM Ally Reina: hahahahaha
9:07:16 AM Ally Reina: HAHAHAHA
9:07:20 AM Ally Reina: yes FUCKING gmo's
9:08:40 AM Kim Ha: haha
9:08:43 AM Kim Ha: my poor friend
9:08:44 AM Kim Ha: i like
9:08:48 AM Kim Ha: went on a 10 minute rant about them
9:08:50 AM Kim Ha: yesterday
9:08:51 AM Kim Ha: to her
9:08:54 AM Kim Ha: b/c i was in a bad mood
9:09:00 AM Ally Reina: hahaha
9:09:00 AM Ally Reina: omg
9:09:14 AM Ally Reina: i wouldve grabbed you by the shoulders and been like KIM SNAP THE FUCK OUT OF IT
9:09:35 AM Ally Reina: its sad, when i get drunk i just want to argue about EU policy
9:09:40 AM Ally Reina: my friends think im fucking retarded
9:09:51 AM Kim Ha: AHAHHAHAH
9:09:54 AM Kim Ha: when i get drunk
9:09:55 AM Kim Ha: i speak italian
9:09:56 AM Kim Ha: or
9:10:01 AM Kim Ha: my voice does the italian inflections
9:10:06 AM Kim Ha: my friends do think im retarded
9:10:08 AM Kim Ha: damit
9:10:12 AM Kim Ha: we came back from italy retarded ally
9:10:24 AM Ally Reina: we did

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hang on to the good days

It's 4:28 am. I've been awake for two hours completely plagued by the thought of dying. It's weird because as irrational as this may be, I'm really scared. I'm not sure what's going on or why. But this past week has perhaps taken it's toll. And I'm still incredibly uneasy. At my own mortality. Somethings got to be wrong.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My existence may just revolve around food.

Gusta Pizza

Gnocchi rose e spaghetti carrettiera

Not Pictured: un panino con mozzarella, pomodori e prosciutto cotto

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I just got real fucking lucky. Because that may or may not have taken it's toll on me.

As you are my witness, I won't ever take that risk again.

Life's too short for some mistakes. Some mistakes are too difficult for this life.

I'd say, I'll take the surreal in a heartbeat, but that'd be a lie.

I thought I was okay, but I think that was just me getting back into my life here. I was too busy, too jet lagged to think. And now, all of a sudden, I think it's hitting me. I got lost on the way to the Lexus dealership to get an oil change for a car that's not mine. Back to my daily life, running errands for my parents, making phone calls for my parents, everything I'd become responsible for because it was just easier for me, than it was for them. I was stuck behind a Uhaul going 30 mph on 395, and for everything I love about driving, there's everything that frustrates me about traffic and this overpopulated metropolitan suburbia. The man behind the counter told me the Lexus hadn't seen maintenance in 2 and a half years. My parents hadn't bothered with it while I was gone, so on top of the oil change, there was a recommended 10,000 mile maintenance I had to sit through. On the car that isn't even mine. So I asked him where the nearest Starbucks was, and he asked, were you looking for a latte or something particular? Because we have cappuccinos and regular coffee right over there. Cappuccinos from self dispensing machines, and the thought hit a nerve I'd been numbing and I started breaking. I looked at him, and he pointed me to a bakery across the street. It was one of those homey bakeries, where bread and cookies are laid haphazardly across baskets along the counters. Biscotties and cannolies were on the menu, and my face must've said fuck my life because after ordering a coffee for $1.25 the guy offered me banana bread, they were free with the coffee, and then gave me a giant cookie, they were free for first timers. Banana bread with brown sugar, brown sugar left overs, left overs we'd used for our cookies two weeks ago, cookies me and carol devoured in the tv room.

And then, all I wanted was the life I'd been living. To be selfish again, as selfish as that is.

But here I am. In this world I always knew. In the waiting room of a Lexus dealership in Alexandria, a part of town I always hated driving through. With my cup of coffee, Seattle's Best, whatever that means, 4 sugars, hazlenut syrup, half and half, the epitome of Americana. I'm a week late, and life can't get any realer than this.

Keith Urban just shuffled on my iTunes and it reminds me of Sunday morning after notte bianca in the oltrano when I'd fallen asleep in our living room couch because the noise was too ridiculous to bear, and I'd woken up to this song coming out of Ally's bedroom. And I felt at peace for a bit there.
I've been home for roughly 2 days, and it's weird but it's as if I'd never left. I feel like I kind of just fell back into the life I've always had, the life that was before I ever knew Florence. Except, when out I feel weird when I stop myself from saying ciao or grazie or quanti costi or some other random Italian phrase. Instead they're thought silently. And it's weird because I'm fine here, I'm fine, I haven't broken down. Instead, I think, I think I haven't felt. I think that's what it is now. And I think that may be how it will be for a little while. I'm here and I'm fine but I don't entirely feel. Because I'm fine for as long as I don't think about it.
One time too many.



Tuesday, June 30, 2009

After 3 years of my blue razor, I'm giving the thing up. It won't even send texts anymore. Anyway, today I bought myself an iPhone to fill the emotional void.

And fuck, I can't figure out how to fix the time on my Gmail so it stops going at 6 hours ahead.

And my mother is slowly but surely going to drive me crazy.
Getting you out of my system was never an option.

"Apparently we can't get enough of the world," he'd said.
"No, I think it's a lifelong addiction."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

on second thought, a moment of your time.

The way we were, the ease of unwitting banter, the end of the only way we will ever know one another, here in this city, the one that never moved past the renaissance, he'd once said, the one we came to completely adore in that way we never thought we would've.

When you start to appreciate something for all those things you once perceived as faults. I knew it was love, and yet it took me forever to admit, to realize. And now I have to let you go.


I walked by your room earlier this evening, and I paused. I'd heard your room was still unlocked. You'd left sheets on your bed, some old clothes folded, and your keys laid on your desk. Your keys. I, I had my keys together as I was walking around the city today, and I had them in my hand, and out of nervous habit I started flipping them with my fingers, in my hands, and it was the same sound, the way we always knew who was entering the kitchen, or the stairway because you always had those keys in your hands. You had this ocd habit of locking your door every time you left the room. And now you're gone, and your room, it still smells of you, and the door's not locked. You're not there anymore.

As we leave, as we all leave, as we empty out these rooms that we've made into our home this past year, stripped of everything that made it ours. We pass on these keys, our stack of keys.


Friday, June 26, 2009

I've never been an eloquent speaker. Thoughts come out haphazardly, and in the end nothing I actually wanted to say comes out. Because we so often forget to say the important things. The things we really meant to say in moments of heightened emotions. That, you were my family for a period, and that means a lot. You guys got me through this year, this seemingly endless, almost impossible year, you guys helped me get through it. Why? Because you were there to experience it all with me. Because no one else will never get it when I say I miss corner panino or the tv room or lost nights at space or those endless stream of nights in our tv room and in our kitchen, intoxicated over quarters, political debates and late night pizza.

All I can really say, is thank you. And regardless of where we go, where we end up, I hope life treats you well and I hope, I hope you take care. And whether or not we stay a part of our lives from this point on, we will have always shared this. And I hope that's meant something to you.

For what it's worth.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And here's to you.

The days are less than numbered now it feels. I was having a fit today, and to cheer me up, Caitlin, Leigh and Carol cut off pieces of their hair and gave them to me as a gift. haha. And oddly enough, it really cheered me up. It's been...a day.

Rest in peace Michael Jackson.

Who would've thought days like these would come more often.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


So today I sit here before you. A few days from receiving that M.A. and somehow I’m still unsure on how to pursue this course of life in journalism. A month from now I will be beginning American University’s boot camp—and pursuing their 1 year MA program in Communications with a concentration in Journalism and Public Affairs. And to be honest? All I’ve ever wanted was to write, and as much as I adore journalism—and I do, I am incredibly passionate about it. I’m not sure if it matters to me much whether I cover politics in Brussels, Washington, D.C. or if I cover stories for the arts and life style section. Maybe I’m too ambitious. I’m not sure that the MA I gained here will ever come to any practical use. But what I do know is that it has given me incredible knowledge on a topic that most people in the U.S. don’t have, and that has given me confidence in myself in the world of politics. I was a political science major, but I never had the confidence to speak up in class because I never felt that I possessed the adequate knowledge to do so without sounding stupid. But here I am today, and I would gladly sit and debate about the EU.

So my career aspirations—let me try to keep it simple. I will continue to pursue this route in journalism and public affairs that I have been on the past few years. But given the chance, if I can figure out how, perhaps if I get a mentor through American University’s mentorship program, I would like to figure out how to simply be a writer. I want a column in a newspaper; it doesn’t even have to be a major newspaper. Just a publication—an outlet for me to write about every day things, about love, and on the side, time to speak and interview characters I never would have been able to know. I want to know the stories of others, and I want to write about them. And I want others to hear my stories. That’s my career aspiration—whether realistic or not, I’m not sure. And I honestly have no concrete process for getting there, for succeeding. But I do know, that my life is evidence of the truth that anything is possible. It’s just about how badly you want it, and what you’re willing to give up for it. And on this note, I will make it. Or at least, I will be happy.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Study Break

In the final moments, it all starts to feel surreal. I accomplished what I once thought would never be. And, at the end, I find, perhaps how easy it really all was.

So, thank you Firenze. For allowing me this. This chance, this life, this experience, these people.

Our education succeeds.

And I've loved you my whole life.

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. - Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.

-William Shakespeare's Hamlet

The beginning of the end, as another window opens, I must let go

And here we are. And so it starts. I’m writing the one reflection I’ve been putting off. Why? Because it signifies the end. The end of this experience. And somehow, somehow now this entire year has felt surreal. I made this commitment last year to move to Italy and get my M.A. in Political Science. Not entirely because I was passionate about the E.U., but rather because I wanted to run away from the life I had. I wanted more than what I had. I wanted to live in a foreign country for a year of my life. I wanted to know what it was like. And so I signed the papers, and I paid the deposit. I deferred my acceptance to American University, to a program I actually favored, to run away to Italy. And who could blame me?

I came here last September, and I remember waking up from my nap after I’d arrived thinking, what did I get myself into? I had left an entire life on the other side of this great wide divide. And for what? Florence wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, I simply got used to living here. I hated the inefficiency, and how difficult it was to get the simple things I’d grown used to at home. Cookies had to be home made, cupcake mix was nowhere to be found, and I still have yet to see wings sold anywhere. There was a point last September when I broke down and started sobbing because I thought I was going to fail the program and I didn’t even really like the city. But somehow, over the course of time I accidentally managed to fall in love with this city and these housemates that I live with became my very own dysfunctional family. I’ve learned to appreciate Italy’s inefficiency, it’s personality, it’s organicness, and the culture that is the food. It’s incredibly difficult for me in these final moments to sum up my existence over the course of this entire year. I came into this program knowing nothing about the European Union, and now I feel confident enough to debate on the issue with others. I came into this program never really surrounding myself with people so different from me, and I feel like in that sense, it’s been the most challenging year of my life.

I grew up in the suburbs of northern Virginia, and I attended James Madison University as an undergraduate. I’ve always chosen my own friends, and I’ve always been particular in that. But, despite that, the people I’ve known my whole life, have never been all that different from me. Living in this house though, with 15 other students from all over the U.S. was incredibly eye opening. Cara’s from New Jersey, Allison’s from the middle of nowheresville Pennsylvania, Andrew grew up in Pakistan, and Carol is from Georgia. You always read and hear about different prejudices in different areas of the U.S., but I’d never really known anyone all that different from me—in terms of upbringing, and the environment that they had grown up in. Being in this house though, surrounded by vastly different people, from different places, with different thoughts, ideas and prejudices, I found for the first time in my life the reality of how different people are and how real prejudices are as a result of where we’ve grown up. I am no different.

I can surely say that this was the most difficult and rewarding experience of my life. I wouldn’t trade one single moment, and I wouldn’t do one single thing differently. I’ve been on over twenty-five flights, visited more cities than I can recall at this moment, seen more beauty than most people do in a lifetime, and by accident I fell in love and came to know some people who will be an important part of my life for years to come. Most days, I can’t believe I was lucky enough to be able to experience this. Most days, it all feels so surreal. I walk across the Ponte Santa Trinita and I can’t believe this is my life. And the thought of leaving in a week’s time makes me heart incredibly heavy. Even though I am ready to go home, I’m not quite ready to leave this city behind, in this way. I’m going to miss the fresh baked bread at corner panino, Sunday market day in Santo Spirito, and being able to get fresh and organic vegetables from the vegetable people in the square. I’m going to miss having friends to hang out with any hour and any day of the week. These little things have made up my daily life over the past year. And though I love the city I grew up in on the other side of this ocean, I have made a home here. The palazzo is our home, and these people, regardless of how dysfunctional, dramatic and chaotic our house may get, became my family. Even if half the house doesn’t like each other half the time, I know we care about each other because we shared something—we shared this experience that most people don’t ever get to. And I can’t ever be thankful enough for everything that I’ve been afforded here. And, at the end of the day, this wasn’t that hard, it wasn’t that impossible.