Tuesday, September 16, 2008

reposting after deleting after posting originally late at night and not so sober.

Therapy is like surgery. Except, instead of making a clean, sterilized incision, the "surgeon" just picks at the scab and the ingrown and rotting stitches from past attempts until he pulls something loose and the wound gapes open. Then he picks through the entrails remarking at how very INTERESTING it all is. Then the timer dings and he hastily, slightly embarrassed at the miscalculation, wraps you up in a coil of thick gauze and sends you, leaking through the bandage and oozing out the sides, away, wishing you a lovely week.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

whooooeeeee. nothing to see here folks...

Another long pause. I think the poor writing in that previous post made me stop wanting to write for awhile. In case I left you hanging, I made it through the woods on the motorbike and spent an amazing day with elephants, antelopes, baboons, crocodiles, and warthogs at mole national park. I met up with the frat babies again a few days later in Kumasi where we confirmed how little we have in common but had fun for a little while nonetheless.

Now on to the new news-

The last few months (correction: MONTH. Turns out i've only been back for a month!) have been a little rough. I was stoked to go away for a while in the hopes that I'd shed some of my growing but belated teen-angst and anxiety about my life, and I did. The problem is that it mostly came rushing back upon return, a nighttime ambush, taking me by surprise this time.

There have been some high points for sure, a much needed and amazing 4 day visit by my best friend and favorite person, time with the fam, new exciting job and paycheck, etc. But for the most part things feel pretty unsettled and scary. I graduate in 3 1/2 months and will be thrown back into adulthood after a 18 month hiatus. Time to move again soon, likely to another place I'll embrace half heartedly while clinging to some OTHER place that may or may not exist in real life as I've built it up in my mind.

Also rushing back was the daily struggle for confidence, independence, security, while frequently being faced with the same mistakes I make over and over. Desperately wanting to be better, to stop doing the things that tangle me up inside while saying with a straight face that I'm good enough the way I am, that I should demand and accept only the best from other people. Is it even possible to have both?

The utter disinterest with meeting new people, flirting, batting my eyelashes. The complete inability to fantasize kissing let alone going to bed with the funny, scruffy, just-my-type charmers who I do manage to meet.

The deep unspoken, almost un-thought scratching little fear that maybe this is what the first stages of losing one's mind feel like.

This is the trouble with blogs, or at least this one. They are too naked, too maudlin, too melodramatic to be a good read. In Burkina Faso, after traveling by myself for weeks, I realized that I was changing in my room at the campement with the door wide open and the people in the courtyard could likely see me. At that moment I was sort of struck with the surprising and freeing notion that it didn't matter in the slightest whether a couple of Burkinabe musicians and French tourists saw me naked, that that fact would not have the slightest negative implication on my life. In that vein, I've been going "naked" in other areas of my life too lately, and I guess this is one of them.


Monday, August 11, 2008

a start....

Here's a start at least. Part of a day in Ghana. Apologies if it sounds like amateur porn.

The wind was sharp and cool, and I was glad of the scarf that tied my hair back as we rushed along the gravel path. I tipped my head back to marvel at the brightness of the stars, drunk on the wind and my own fatigue from the past 24 hours, something that seems cliche only now as I write this, at the time it was breathtaking. I was seated behind 15 year old Ramon on his rickety but astonishingly fast moped and we were speeding through the woods at 70 kilometers an hour, the headlight from the bike the only light visible aside from the stars.

Ramon's left hand left the grip on the handlebar and snaked back to settle on my thigh. "I have a boyfriend." I announced. Silence. No movement. "We're getting married." Ramon wordlessly returned his hand to the handlebar.

I thought of the events of the previous day and the endlessly rotating cast of characters. 24 hours earlier I was on a bus heading from Bobo Diolasso in Burkina Faso to Hamale, just over the Ghanaian border. I had spent the previous 2 weeks almost entirely alone, in a fog of my own thoughts surrounded by swirling unfamiliar people and languages, so I was thrilled to see the two obviously American tourists boarding the bus in front of me. Somebody was trying to load a rusty stove onto the coach roof (yes, really) and it fell on the foot of one of the Americans. I made my move. "Get your Tetanus shot?" "Ha ha. You're American?!" They appeared as relieved as I to have company so we squeezed into a 3 seat row and set about speaking as much English as possible. They were fraternity brothers at Northwestern, on a 4 month graduation-gift trip around the world. They were smart, attractive, and friendly in an incredibly disconcerting way that seems to come too naturally to those born of wealth and status.

At the border we shuffled on and off the bus at various checkpoints on both sides, until the last stop, immigration. It turns out that one of the frat boys didn't have a visa for Ghana, and since, in Africa, All White People Are Relatives or at least traveling together, the immigration officials took all three of our passports and sat us down together. They told us the boss was home sleeping, so we would have to wait until he arrived. The boys tried unsuccessfully again to explain that I wasn't traveling with them. After 30 or 40 uncomfortable minutes, the boss came in, looking wild-eyed like someone had woken him to tell him about the discovery of a new species of humans. "Americans!!" he yelled to us. "I want to go to America!" After round after absurd round of pleasantries, he finally told us that we could get our passports back the next morning, but we'd all have to take the 5am bus to Wa, 4 hours away, so Mike, the visa-less fraternity brother could get a visa at the immigration office there. We would be accompanied by an armed border patrol officer to make sure we didn't try to escape. And we'd have to buy the officer's bus ticket and lunch. Deal.

(okay just posting this because it's taking too goddamn long! more soon...)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

so long!

Hello there ladies and gentlemen. I am officially a shitty blogger. But I'm also headed out today to Accra, Ghana (by way of the Netherlands) for a couple of months so I thought I'd give a little shout out to ya'll.

I'll have access to the internet for most of my trip so I'll post here every once in awhile to let you all know I haven't been eaten by a wildebeest. I will make a sincere effort to make those updates less painful than most boring travel updates, but we shall see. Also, if I don't have your address, please send it to me! I'll send you things in the mail!

Thanks to everyone (especially my amazing visitors) for such an fantastic spring and I'll see you soon!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

solo road trip 08

I'm such a bad blogger, which is odd considering my generally self-absorbed nature. Lots of excellent things going on, but today I am preparing for SOLO ROAD TRIP 2008. I'm pretty thrilled about 21 hours in the car with just little old me (though is it bad that I kind of wish Eloise was coming?).

It's going to be very excellent. I've loaded up the ipod, dug out my AAA card, and found the title to my car on the 30% chance it will break down on the way to Minnesota. I also bought postcard stamps so if anybody wants a postcard from whatever freakish or adorable town I land in to buy gas, let me know! I've been practicing my postcard haikus!

During the course of the 21 hours, in between swooning over Ira Glass and Ben Gibbard (shut up), I plan to do the following:

1. Calm the fuck down. About Ghana. About what happens when I get back. About how I wont feel like a real adult until I can learn to keep my f-ing room clean.

2. Get really excited again. About Ghana. About my trip to Minnesota. About what happens when I get back. I'm thrilled and stoked and kind of scared about things but it's all pretty exciting.

3. Not think about land reform in Kazakhstan.

4. Sing really loud and off-key to some god-awful Tom Petty song.

5. Hold conversations in my head with you.