Tuesday, November 27, 2012

on my skin

My life has been a lovely cloud of nondescript moodiness and underutilized creativity lately, so what's a better way to procrastinate than through drawing self-imposed ballpoint pen tattoos!!!**†

**Actually, I can write this one off as "helpful diversion," because it made me realize a lot of important things about my psyche. Turns out that the prospect of getting ink'd focuses your mind on what matters most.

† Excuse my recent obnoxiously wordy tendencies. Aaand there I go again.

"Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me."
-Broken Social Scene, Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl

This here tattoo is "don't forget it in people" on my forearm. It's a variation on the Broken Social Scene album title "You Forgot it in People." I was listening to my iPod on shuffle, and Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl came on--the album title seemed to suddenly strike a chord with me. I too often try to find the worst in people as a way to protect myself from getting hurt. I'm too slow to trust, even with something as simple as being my actual self around somebody else. I feel like I often come off as detached because of this. I need to always remember the good in people. How amazing the sun of friendship is. And that it's worth the fall to let them in.

"The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.”
 -Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

This one's a pieced-togther sun and moon crescent on my upper wrist. The classic image of the sun has consistently appeared in my dreams since I was a child. Also, it represents the two contrasting aspects of my personality--I'm boisterously silly, optimistic, and spontaneous. I'm simultaneously introverted, self-conscious, and a rabidly deep thinker. My life is a constant battle between these two extremes. I'm often taken too seriously, or not seriously enough. I write both tragedies and comedies. This tattoo is a reminder that the two sides of myself can coexist, and that they are both equally necessary for me to be myself. I need to remember that they help, not hinder each other.

"Sometimes I think that I'm bigger than the sound, I think that I'm bigger than the sound, I think that I'm bigger than the sound, I THINK THAT I'M BIGGER THAN THE SOUND *sexy guitar riff* "
-Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Cheated Hearts

This one, I messed up. But it's supposed to be Karen O's lips dripping in black on my lower forearm. First of all, Karen O just rocks. I admire her creativity, style, and general badass-ness. I love how she balances toughness with femininity, and how her singing is so raw. I love that she has a sense of humor about herself and her music, but it doesn't take away from its honesty. I also feel a connection to her because she was born in the same town as me. It all basically just inspires me to take on the world.

Chances are that I'll never actually get any of these tattoos, and maybe that's for the best--everything about me is so transient, I could never commit to any of them for my entire life. And I don't need to. But as long as there's a Papermate around, I can be an office-supply-store certified badass.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

and so this is college

Oh, Ali. Oh my gosh Ali. You have no idea what you're about to accomplish. You have no idea who you're about to become.

You have no idea what you're capable of.

Every fiber of your being that has strung you along since you were a child has culminated into this.

And I'm talking to my younger self, by the way, because I can't believe how much has changed, how much I've changed, since I last posted. During my last post, I was chained to my mint gingham chair by the unbreakable links of pneumonia, watching Arrested Development, The Office, Donnie Darko--all of the things I should have watched years ago. I was a breath away from college, and changing already.

And now I'm here.

Sitting on the top bunk bed, my top bunk bed, in my dorm. To my left is a pattern of stick-on mirrors, a pink-and-green Modest Mouse poster, a Garden State movie poster, a Hello Kitty calendar, a blue-and-pink Keane poster, a long Coldplay poster to stare at as I drift to sleep, and a picture of my brother and I as badass kids, wearing leather jackets and standing next to our first puppy-love, Jazz.

And I'm delicately drowning in joy and hope.

My time at Fordham hasn't been without doubt, pain, and pitfalls, but it's been wonderful in ways I never even knew were possible. And it's exactly what I need.

I've accomplished so much. For sanity's sake, I'll only talk about this weekend.

On Friday, I saw the alt-rock band Cheers Elephant play at Rodrigues, Fordham's magical coffee house. I wore a kickass dusty-rose-pink skull crop top, a striped black-and-white blazer, jeans, and charcoal cotton heels. I danced crazily with my friends, and sang along to all of the words, even though I didn't know a single one. I pushed myself to the front of the crowd with my friend, and we both won a free CD because were undoubtedly the best dancers in the room. I made silly faces at the lead singer and he smiled at me.

After, the crowd clung together outside, and I saw some old friends and attempted to make new ones. I left with my other friend, and we said we were going to the bar, but each step took us further from that plan. We watched Tiny Furniture and music videos while eating Pugsley's pizza instead.

On Saturday, my friend and I went to the Columbia University Media Conference, where we rubbed elbows and ate sandwiches with writers/editors from the likes of the New York Times, Gawker, and Slate. I hung onto every word they said. Columbia is a utopia, I swear, and the path to get there was immeasurably beautiful. We went through Morningside Park and climbed a million stairs Rocky-style to get to there. New York City is unreal.

Today, on Sunday, I slept through my morning plans. But after hours of unprecedented concentration and isolation, I finished my article for the Fordham newspaper, in which I interviewed Tony Hawk and Stacy Peralta, two of skateboarding's most massive stars.

And here I am. My name hasn't changed. But everything else has. I feel powerful and strong, but I have so, so far to go. But I know I can get there.

"Goodnight, and good luck."-Edward Murrow, a new inspiration of mine. One of many. Many to come.

    Edward Murrow, badass extraordinaire 

       Ali G, badass extraordinaire (in training)