Welcome to My Living Novel

In my world, the plot is always thickening.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Shopper's, Gambler's, and Alcoholic's Anonymous

I leave for Las Vegas Thursday, and I'm strangely excited and nervous at the same time. I feel excited about the wonderful possibilities that lay before me with all of those flashing lights, roller coasters, and chances to win millions of dollars. However, I know that I must also beware of the dark side of the force, for I don't want to wind up losing everything I own, getting molested, or anything even worst than that!

My excitement about the trip greatly out weighs the silly fears that I have developed, and I've been shopping like crazy to try to spice up my wardrobe for the trip. Now, I'm sure most people think that it is wise to save their money in order to spend it in their vacation destination, but that type of logic is just not for me because I refuse to walk around Vegas looking like my casual understated self. I want to have an air of jazziness about me, a certain je ne sais quoi, that I don't seem to have in my regular jeans and flip flops. So far I bought 3 pairs of shoes, 10 shirts, 1 pair of pants, 1 skirt, 2 belts, 1 stuffed animal, 1 cd, and 4 books. I don't pretend that you really care about the things that I bought, but I just want to illustrate how many dollars I've spent even before I left the city of Nashville. It's pure decadence and I don't intend to stop until I'm back in Nashville on April 3. With any luck I will have the honor of attending the most expensive shows, gambling at the high rollers' table, eating at buffets filled with lobster tails and crab legs, and of course drinking before noon. I will spare no expanse because that's what vacations are all about.

Friday, March 24, 2006

What's In?

One of my good friends from Jackson is doing big things in Mississippi. She has created a new publication, called In Magazine that will be similar to the give away newspapers that you see in restaurants and coffee shops. It is designed for Intelligent, Inspiring, and Incredile women, and will cover a variety of women's issues. What made her come up with this brilliant idea is still and mystery to me, but I'm simply in awe of her passion for this magazine and how efficiently she's been getting donors to sponsor the publication.

The great part is that she asked me to write an article for the first issue. I couldn't believe my luck. I was just wondering how I was ever going to become published, and out of the blue a friend offers publication to me on a silver platter. She has given me free range to write about any topic that I choose, and I'm thinking of writing about how hard it is to make new girlfriends. I haven't made a new girlfriend since freshman year in college, and though I'm very happy with my current female friends, I never thought that I would suddenly stop making new ones.

I'm not sure if this situation is unique to me or if this is something a lot of other single woman are facing, but I think it's a shame that no one is talking about it. We have thousands of books and magazine articles to read about how to meet the man of your dreams, but nothing on how to met that special woman who seems more like a sister than a friend.

I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to spin my article, but I was thinking of doing it like a personal ad. Perhaps saying, "Single black woman seeking a woman," so I decided to do some research on personal ads and how they are structured. I, of course, got distracted looking at some very attractive local guys on Yahoo personals, and wound up completing a personal ad of my own. I still can't believe that I gave in and became a pawn in the online dating phenomenon, but I figured why not. I got nothing to lose, and it seemed like fun because I could not stop laughing the entire time I was creating my profile.

Oh, it's been a very interesting day, full of many new beginnings. Hopefully, I will find that writing for In Magazine will be a big step forward for my writing career, and even if I don't find love on Yahoo personals, I at least hope to get a couple of laughs out of it.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

"You're Beautiful"

I never thought anything would come from giving him my number. He lived so far away and I was already dating someone else at the time. Now, I'm beginning to wonder about the possibilities of this man who I dismissed before I even gave him a chance to prove me wrong, who has suddenly become someone I kind of admire in a very quiet and subtle way.

We met at a June wedding, and at the time I didn't see anything particularly special about him. He was very handsome, but also a little arrogant and out to impress. I probably only gave into to his request because of the wedding atmosphere bustling around me, because weddings really make you want to see the good in people and for a brief 10 minutes I guess I saw some good in him.

Anyway, we talked and emailed but he never made an attempt to make us more than friends, which was a refreshing change from the norm. He both fascinated and infuriated me with his opinions and would bring me out of my quiet shell, even causing me to raise my voice a few times, something I very rarely do. He was macho and I hated macho. He seemed always angry at everything, and I can't stand to be around perpetually angry people. He was so not for me, and I was glad that there was 350 miles between us.

But for reasons, that I don't understand. He has changed. Maybe it was his internship in Massachusetts, maybe it was my good influence, or maybe it was just time. Whatever it was I'm sure glad that it happen because he has truly changed for the better. He even called me on his lunch break to sing me his new favorite song, "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt. He said that he heard for the first time this morning on his clock radio. He said that he was thinking of me and the song just fit. Of course, he didn't really know the words during his mid-day serenade, but that really didn't matter to me. Even though it's cliche, it really was the thought that counted.

Some things will never change though. He's still a great debater and still has ideas that both fascinate and infuriate me, but I'm pleased to say that he is no longer angry or macho or any of those things that annoy me to the point of aversion. He's seriously making my heart flutter just a little bit and forcing me to reconsider my previous dismissal. Most likely nothing will become of it, but it's so wonderful just to talk, romance, fantasize, and dream about all the possibilities that have popped into existence so suddenly.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

To Bide My Time or Make a Change?

For 3 months now, Cat Stevens's song "Father and Son" has been repeating in my head like a broken record, and though the entire song is fantastic, the main verse that I can't let go of is the father's voice who says that:

It's not time to make a change
Just relax, take easy
You're still young that's your fault
There's so much you have know.

There is so much wisdom in what this father character is saying because maybe it isn't time to make a change. Maybe it is better to bide my time in my current job gaining experience and simply enjoying how easy life is. However, I'm afraid that there's so much of that restless son in me that knows that "I have to go away."

Where this allusive "away" might be is the enigma. I thought that maybe I could find what I needed in Nashville, but now I'm not so sure. Jobs that truly interest me are sparse, and the one research analyst job that I was practically salivating over looks like it's going to fall through the cracks. I don't know if they simply don't want me or forgot that I existed, but it's been nearly a month since my "fantastic" job interview with them and I still haven't gotten a clear cut answer from them. I called them last week to see if I was still in the running, and they got my hopes up saying that they want me in a more permanent research position, as opposed to the temporary one I applied for and that they would call me for a third interview soon. I am truly excited about the possibility of a full-time permanent position with benefits, but I'm not that picky. I would have preferred the temporary job if it would of meant starting work two weeks ago, instead sitting around biding my time, hoping that something good will happen instead of making it happen for myself.

Although I like Nashville a lot, I've been thinking that maybe it's just too limited a space for me to grow. So using my good friend Scary as my inspiration, I started to look for other research jobs on idealist.org. It's a little overwhelming how many research jobs are available around the country, and even though the jobs would force me to relocate to D.C., Boston, New York, or Los Angeles, what do I really have to lose by taking a chance on a place and moving?

I know that it's not fear that keeps me here but a feeling that there's unfinished business left for me to figure out, mostly to do with my novel. I know that if I leave now and take on a full-time job someplace as else, that the creative part of me will fall to the side and be forgotten, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to give up on that dream yet. New York and D.C. will always be there waiting with vacant positions but these dreams and inspirations that come to me so freely now can just as easily become silent in a new environment.

I hate how this youthful restlessness to leave is stirring inside me, but I guess that it's just one product of my age that I will have to ignore for the time being. It takes strength to be still when your heart wants to go and do, and I know that I have power to resist the fleeting passions of my heart who only wants to busy her hands in order to ignore the quiet dreams she let slip through her fingers.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I really don’t know where the last year went. Time has passed by so quickly that it makes me suspicious that global warming is doing more than raising the average temperature a few degrees. Perhaps it also makes the Earth spin a little bit fast and the weeks zip by as I blink.

I’ve never had this problem before. When I was in college and when I worked my previous job, the weeks seemed never ending and it would take 84 years for Friday to come, but now it’s Wednesday. This week is almost over, and I swear that in my head, it can’t be more than Monday, Tuesday at the latest. How can these days be slipping away from me so easily and why am I not fighting harder? We’re supposed to seize the day, hold it hostage, and keep it as a prisoner of war until the all powerful universe, or the UN in this metaphor, says that we can seize no more.

Perhaps stopping to smell the roses isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, because when I take the time to relax and ponder the meaning of life, the very life that I try to make meaningful fades away and there’s no way for me to get that time back. However, is seizing really the answer? The more I seized in college, the more I felt like my time was not my own. Sure I accomplished a lot, but I felt like the things that I accomplished were not really for myself, but for the approval of everyone else.

There has to be some happy medium between seizing the day and my current status of frolicking, smelling, and twirling all the live long day. I’m just not sure where that place is yet.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Sympathy Pains

Somehow, I managed to overcome my excessive laziness to edit 20 pages of my novel, finish reading a fantastic book called Fanny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, and cook a very attractive dinner to boot. I should have been feeling great today, but instead I felt unusually sad, and it wasn’t until I got into the car to come to work that I realized that sympathy pains may be the culprit.

I’ve always been a little skeptical about sympathy pains because it’s never made sense to me how feelings and emotions could transfer between people. However, the more I read, and the more life I experience, the more I’m convinced that there has to be some validity to the whole sympathy pain phenomenon. My mother, especially feels them like no other person in our family. My mother is so sensitive that she can pick up sympathy pains from a thousand miles away. My sensitivity, however, is not that strong and it’s extremely rare for me to sense anything outside my own city. However, it’s almost impossible for me not to pick up the sadness that exists in my only house.

One of my great-aunts died at the ripe old age of 93 so while her death is not a shock, that doesn’t mean that the mourning process is any easier. Although I don’t believe my mother, herself, is upset about her aunt’s death, I think that she is subconsciously picking up some very strong sympathy pains from our family in Detroit. Her mood got so bad today that she even had to leave work early so she would not take her bad temperament out on her employees. When she got home, I naturally let her vent about her mood, and talk about how confused she was about what was causing this. She didn’t even seem to realize that her mood could have been projected upon her all the way from Detroit and I didn’t think about it either until I started to take on her poor mood.

It’s hard to describe what I felt like at that moment, but it was like I was experiencing a depression that was not my own. I even started to crave music only my mother would like. On the drive in to work for example, I wanted to listen to her some of her smooth jazz music, which is so not my style, and because this music selection was so atypical, it made me realize that at the moment, I was not living for myself but was sympathizing with my mother so much that I was hurting where she hurt, and I listened to her favorite songs because I thought it would comfort both our sympathy pains.

I feel much better now that I’m at work and am able to be by myself without my mother’s very intense aura intruding upon me. It’s also comforting to know that this emotional imbalance is not really my own and that all it takes to be myself again is a little time away and a brief look through this written microscope.