Saturday, May 22, 2010

to the left, to the left...

the most common question i get these days is some version of, "How are you feeling about the move?" to which my most common response is: "Terrified." and it's true. i am. terrified. i'm also incapable of producing the gold-standard blogs i usually churn out so do be patient with my lack of... um, my inability to... uhhh --- i can't write real good right now. my brain is too busy exploding. deal with it.

anywhooo --- what was i saying? oh yes. i'm terrified. in a good way, i think. i just have no rose-colored-glasses about this impending season of life. i know it will be hard work, i know that eventually it will (hopefully) be rewarding work but mostly i know that it's just going to be really really ('scuse my Portuguese) fucking hard. the job of teaching will hard enough -- compound that with the inevitable and devastating amount of homesickness and oooweee we've got a doozy. there are just things here in Seattle that are irreplaceable.

i wrote a blog for my band the other day and just writing it sent me into a total boo-hoo-a-thon. i really hate thinking about the fact that i won't have this amazingly fun thing to do twice a week and that i won't get to play these amazingly fun shows every month. i mean i hope i can find some musical outlet when i get to Philly but man oh man... my band right now really is sort of the perfect gig for me. the music is fun to play, the commitment is enough that we do good work but not so much that it's overwhelming, and seriously every single time i play with these guys -- whether it's practice or a show -- i spend most of the time either laughing at something stupid one of the dudes did or doing something stupid to make the dudes laugh. it's magical, really.

another impossible thing to replace: Deanne. ugh. i mean the past few weeks, we pretty much spend all of our free time together. sometimes just "studying" (i.e., watching TV and farting around on the internet) or going to local hip-hop shows in an effort to make up for all the lost time not going to local hip-hop shows (seriously, how did we not know about this?) or just, i don't know -- spending time together. there aren't other Deanne's in this world. i keep trying to trick her into moving to Philly with me and she's just so stubborn about it. it's getting annoying. :)

and my dad! UGH. my dad. fixer of fruitplates, personal chef and my biggest fan. my therapist keeps trying to peer pressure me into writing a g'bye letter to him but even mentioning it makes me cry (i refuse to cry right now -- I REFUSE!). i recently realized that this may be the last time i live under the same roof as my father and man... it absolutely kills me. no one in my life has ever been as unconditionally supportive of what i do and who i am. that's all i can say about that right now because there are tears forming behind my face and i REFUSE DAMNIT I REFUSE!!! (don't worry, i'll be discussing this refusal with my therapist at our next session.)

the thing is, it's not just my band and my Deanne and my dad... it's everything. everyone. everyplace. there is no other Seattle. there is no other y'all. this whole starting-a-brand-new-terrifying-career would be exponentially less terrifying if i could do it within the comforts of my city, surrounded by my friends, living with my dad. and though i know i sort of wished for this cross-country move myself just a few blocks back, that whole be-careful-what-you-wish-for thing is kicking my ass right now.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Love, Daddy

i found this old email from my dad and it was so sweet and unintentionally hilarious that i felt the need to share.

Hi Jessica, It is your Daddy speaking. Wondering how you are doing. Have you changed oil in your car ? Is car running OK?. Hope you are having a wonderful day. Talk with you soon. Love, Daddy.

*sigh*... it's really hard to think about the fact that i'll be thousands of miles away from him in just a matter of months. not only is he an incredible man and an amazing father, he's the best roommate ever.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

excited to go but so sad to leave

i'm guessing that 99% of my blog readers are connected to me by via some other form of social media so i'm just going to assume that you all heard the fantastic news: i got accepted to Teach For America! it's been a week since i officially got the word and i'll be honest, it's still quite surreal. i don't know who's in charge over there at TFA but it was some shmuck's bright idea to put me in charge of a high school (possibly middle school?) English class somewhere in the city of Philadelphia next fall. (yeesh) and you may or may not be aware of the fact that Philadelphia was indeed my first choice so the already surreal news that i got accepted has been made that much more surreal knowing that i got my first choice. i've been not-so-secretly daydreaming about living in Philly ever since my fantastic visit last September so this really is a (day)dream come true. [rim shot!]

all kidding aside, even though i am beyond elated and beyond excited to get to teach next year in the fabulous city of brotherly love, i'm also incredibly broken up about leaving Seattle. the past two and a half years have been filled to the brim with learning, growing, connecting, reconnecting, and perhaps most of all, healing. i've been reminded of who i once was and inspired to be more than i ever thought i could be. sounds cheesy but it is the absolute truth. between my amazing friends, my amazing church, my amazing band and my AMAZING family... i honestly don't even know what to say. i'm just so, SO grateful.

i hope that those of you here in Seattle won't mistake my excitement for this next season with a desire to leave. despite all my daydreaming, i honestly don't even know how to tell you how painful and difficult it is for me to imagine my life away from home. tonight my dad -- who by the way has been so supportive, so proud and (i'm sure) so pumped about me being gainfully employed -- my dad told me tonight in his most forcibly nonchalant tone, "i really don't want you to go." and i know what he meant, i know he understands that i feel like i have to do this, and i know in his own way, he's excited for me too. but man... hearing him say what i know he's been feeling all week -- honestly it just rips my heart right out.

i don't know that there's really any point to this entry other than to maybe warn my Seattle friends that for the next three months, i'll probably be a bit more prone to tears than usual. and if any of my Philly friends are reading, i guess i should warn you that i may be a little teary for the first few days or weeks or however long it takes for me to work this sadness out of my system. i'm sure once i actually get to start teaching, my sadness will be curbed by all the excitement, anticipation and (let's be real) stress that will surely come with this new venture. sooner or later, i should be back to my normal drama-free self but i'll thank you in advance for your patience with this unusually sensitive version of me.

those of you that know me know that words are hardly ever a struggle for me but i really don't know what else to say about this boggled mix of emotion that is currently masquerading as myself. just -- thank you. and i love you. a lot.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

facebook vigilante

i've been picking a lot of fights on facebook lately. i try not to, believe me. i know it's only facebook and i know that my friends (and their friends) mean well and i know that it's entirely too easy to say ignorant things on the internet without meaning any harm -- and yet still i can't help but speak up and pick a fight.

today's mini bout went down like this:

my friend posts an innocuous status about a grammatical error - "Saw a licence plate frame the other day that said 'my son go to UW'. Obviously his mama or daddy didn't."

a friend of hers comments: "haahaha! Maybe they were Chinese?"

i pause, glare at the screen, say a few choice expletives under my breath and plot my next move. do i respond? i mean i don't even know this chick! surely she didn't mean any harm and yet here i am, feeling harmed. if i do respond, is "eff you" too hostile?

pause again. heart beats in chest. i take a deep breath and start typing: "as the daughter of hardworking immigrant parents who moved to this country and picked up an entirely new language in their adulthood so that i could have a college education, i'm gonna go ahead and say 'not cool' to that last comment. i'm sure you didn't mean any harm, but man oh man it is taking everything within me not to swear a lot right now."

heart continues to beat with a quickness. a moment later, the friend of the friend responds: "Sorry. No offense was intended."

i imagine that her heart, like mine, was beating quickly as she typed. i imagine that she thinks i think she's an asshole. i imagine that she thinks that i am an asshole.

i put on my metaphorical big girl pants and type the following: "i appreciate that a lot. i know you didn't mean any offense but i had to stand up for my parents. thanks for being understanding. big love and many blessings in 2010 y'all. :)" the smiley face was probably superfluos but i'm trying my best to appear reasonable and non-assholey as i know that hostility isn't exactly the most effective weapon in a war of words.

[end scene. kind of.]

the [unintentionally] offending commenter has since deleted her [unintentionally] offending comments and i'm wondering if i should delete mine as well. i pride myself on my drama-free lifestyle so it seems a bit out of character to leave my dramatic flare up lingering in the ether. and yet i can't bring myself to erase it because i really do want others to read it. i hope that someone out there will think twice before looking down on that accented small business owner. i hope that someone won't laugh quite as hard at the chinaman cameo in this movie or that. i hope that someone will be just a little more patient and deny the temptation to speak louder broken english at that college educated immigrant who can't quite wrap their mind (or their tongue) around this complex language of ours. i know that may be a lot to hope for, that maybe i'm asking too much of facebook, but those are my hopes.

i hope this doesn't make me a troll but even if it does, my facebook friends are just gonna have to brace themselves for the consequences. though i'll never know what impact (if any) my internet tirades will ever have, i'm afraid that i am simply not wired for silence -- audible or otherwise.