Not For A Lack Of Words

Hello All,

It has been a rather hectic few days, and I wish I knew how to describe what I’ve been feeling.

Perhaps the maddening part about starting to fall for somebody, is the initial few weeks when you can’t get a read on them, so an emotional roller coaster ride takes place and you read into everything they say. You’re hypersensitive to any response and second guess every other thought. No one told me that you never grow out of it. As long as people keep coming around that you fancy it’s going to happen. Over and over and over again. And with my personality, I need to hold back every few seconds just telling him point-blank how I feel, because as I’ve mentioned before, when I like anything about anyone, I want to tell them. I’m just an impatient little kid in that way, jumping around, waiting for the green light, never one to really stop and think.

On another note, Mother Madame, Brother Dearest and I went to the zoo today for the first time in almost six years. I would have stayed home and studied, but the Fort Worth zoo has a lovely museum inside of it (cough cough, with A/C) and we live only twenty minutes away. The zoo is sort of like sporting events for me, I don’t enjoy the actual experience, but I do love watching the reactions of the people around me.

Alright folks, I’m going to make up for lost time and try to focus on studying.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

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Channeling William James

William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910)

William James

It’s going to be a very late night.

The usual reasons apply – studying, coffee, and the need to write.

The latest PWRP post is going to be up on Wednesday, because I tossed the one I was going to publish due to the fact that I was incredibly bored with it.

Going through some old entries in my little black book, I realized that I had forgotten one of my ‘rules’ that I created because of William James. When James was bored with a subject (he was originally going to be a painter, which his father positively resented), he would just drop it and move on to something that interested him. The art of giving oneself permission to give up. So, while I will always place information in my PWRP posts that I think you should know, I am no longer going to write just because I have to, but because it’s fun.

I think one of the reasons I fell for William James (if you’re one of the new subscribers – William James was a philosopher and psychologist that I have officially declared ‘the unofficial love of my life’) was because I saw myself in him. Or rather, everything I want to be. And in the process of trying to become William James, I’ve noticed that it requires many moments of giving oneself permission to do certain things, as well as reminding oneself to do other things, such as:

1. Ask stupid questions and don’t mind the stares that follow.

2. Just get up and leave things that no longer lighten the heart and cause one to pursue something with happiness.

3. Never get up and leave the people who matter.

4. Procrastinate and whine a bit when one doesn’t feel like doing work, and goof off when you’re supposed to be serious (James actually frustrated some of his students because he would frequently joke in his lectures and avoid grading papers as long as possible).

5. Chase after what makes you happy. Nevermind that people on the outside will think you’re naive. (The key word being ‘think’.)

6. Think.

Sometimes I feel like I should go after things that I want to do right now, but, thanks to you folks, I pause and ask if that would be wise in the long run.

I wish sometimes that I could live two different lives. So I could see how it would all pan out and which way would make me happy. That word keeps popping up lately, because that’s all that I’m looking for, that’s the cornerstone of many actions.

The good news, I suppose, is that I don’t have to stay anywhere forever, I can get up and leave. I’ve said it before and I say it again, I don’t want to be left wondering ‘what-if?’

Maybe I’m just meant to forever run around and look for ways to feel like I belong. As much as I dislike my personality type (INFP), I can’t deny that it’s true that I always feel like I’m looking for my purpose in life. When I was ten years old I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling that I had to find my purpose, because I’m supposed to be ‘different’, so I jumped wholeheartedly from one career choice to the next until I found forensic psychiatry at age twelve. Endlessly frustrated that I couldn’t find efficient ways of accomplishing great things. I still feel this way everyday, because I’m young and I know what I can do if given the chance. But I can’t, I can only try and continue feeling like I’m fighting quicksand. Like an anchor is chained to my ankle while I’m trying to reach the surface of the water.

I don’t want to go to med school, but I know I need to in order to become a forensic psychiatrist, in order to get people to listen when I talk, in order to have what I say hold weight and actually be able to move a mountain or two.  The next fifteen years of my life will be in a classroom or standing beside a preceptor in a hospital somewhere. I’ll find a way to fall in love with it, but I’ll be silently whining and easily procrastinating the whole way through, the way James would, and I’m going to be good at it… the way James would.

Back To Studying I Go,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

The Man Who Lost Everything

I shall try to keep this brief.

I’m terribly behind on a lot of things, so I haven’t had the time to focus on the PWRP post. I will post it tomorrow morning (I probably won’t finish it before midnight) because I am going to stay up all night and not leave this computer until I finish the new post, it drives me crazy when I’m late with anything. Thank goodness the PWRP series isn’t a weekly bit, or I would have gone mad by now.

I’ve applied for a job at The Book Carriage (one of my favorite places in the potential multiverse), I’m making it one of my personal list items. I have created a list of things I want to do before I leave Texas:

1. Spend a night at the Hilton in Southlake Town Square.

2. Go back to Farina’s in Downtown Grapevine.

3. Complete 20 Before 20 list item number #2 (Heather Madame and I are planning on completing this one in July after I turn 18 on the 6th).

4. Work at The Book Carriage – a dream of mine ever since we moved to Texas five years ago.

5. Swim in Grapevine Lake.

6. Buy one more hat from Whistle Stop (my favorite antique store).

7. Buy a piece of the world’s greatest quiche and a cup of the world’s greatest coffee from Harvest Pie Company (a place Heather and I have been going to for the past five years, right down the street from Whistle Stop, previously on my blog I’ve called it simply, ‘The Cafe”).

8. Record a video in Study Room A in the Keller Public Library. This study room is the most sought-after study room in the entire library metropac system. I’ve only been in there twice, the first time to study french with Heather, and the second time I was alone, and so excited about being there that I typed up a post .

All of these are doable, and most of them I’ve wanted to do for a while. I suppose it would be my way of saying goodbye to this part of my life. Heather and I are not big on crying, but we both agree that the night before her wedding (since I’m the Maid of Honor, I’m going to be on wake-Heather-up-on-time duty, and make-sure-Heather-keeps-facial-mask-on-the-night-before-her-wedding-even-though-it-burns-hotter-than-the-center-of-the-earth duty) we’re probably going to cry like little kids that just fell off of a swing set.

In the next couple of weeks Madame and I need to hunt down a dress for me to wear to her wedding. Which should be…ah…an experience. I have nothing against dresses, I just don’t like wearing them unless I’m at the opera or symphony orchestra (because then I can bring along my masquerade mask, which I have just taken a picture of so you can better understand why I love it so). I have decided that when I get married, I’m getting a dress of the same brand as Heather’s, nevermind that they all cost an arm and a leg.

Last week Heather Madame and I were sitting in Starbucks, pleased with our victory in snagging the two comfiest chairs in the place. And for the millionth time we talked about what our lives will be like in a little over four months when she’s married and I leave for college.

“I hope I don’t miss Chloe’s arrival in the next few years.”

Chloe is what Heather is planning on naming her first girl, and she’ll be giving Chloe one of my middle names, Elizabeth. When we were thirteen we agreed we would give our daughters each other’s middle names, so my daughter will have the middle name ‘Marie’. Fun fact: the hospital where I was born messed up my name on my birth certificate. If you ask my mother, I have two middle names, but my certificate says that my first name is Hannah-Elizabeth and my middle name is Noelle. I prefer this first name instead of just ‘Hannah’, because I think Hannah is rather boring…I believe I was doing my ‘conversation flashback’ bit…ahem:

“Me too.” She said, “But I’m really not looking forward to being pregnant.”

I laughed at her expression as she spoke, she looked down at her white chocolate mocha like you’d imagine a man who had just lost everything would look down at some alcoholic substance before downing it.

She looked over and smiled.

“Madame, go with your first plan and wait for at least five years.” I said, “You’re so young.”

She nodded, “Oh yeah,” she suddenly had a hick accent, “I ain’t having no babies right out the shoot.”

We just sat there for a moment, just thinking and being amazed at the very near changes. Bittersweet.

“What about your kids?” She suddenly asked.

I almost choked on my nearly unpronounceable drink.

My kids?”

She tilted her head to the left and looked at me with that Oh, come now, Hannah, don’t play dumb with me look.

I tried playing dumb anyway and stalled by sipping my drink.

“What if you meet a nice guy while you’re in college and it works out? Are you going to wait over a decade while you’re in school before having kids?”

“Well, there’s no guarantee that I’ll get married while I’m in college-”

“Hannah.”

“I know! I know!”

“You make the freakin’ pizza guy swoon! You think someone isn’t going to snag you up while you’re there?”

(Heather is referring to a running joke that I always accidently flirt with the pizza guy and make him forget something when I’m just trying to be empathetic… for the record it actually happened only twice. But my mother and Heather will not let me forget it because they were witnesses to both events.)

“Yes! Wait, no? I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind being snagged, I want to get married. It’s just…children. I love them and I want a million of them, but once they come along everything is over. My career, a lot of little pieces of freedom, at least for eighteen years.”

“I guess you’re right.” She said. She was starting to do that man-who-lost-everything thing again.

“Besides, can you imagine me being a mom? I’ll probably be making little Freud’s and Wundt’s out of them. Poor kids.”

She chuckled. “What happened to our plan from five years ago?”

“Things changed.” I said, it was my turn to be the man who lost everything, “We got older, Carlisle came along, Rye left and you got engaged. And I suppose on my end, I just want a fresh start, where I can find a life that I can call my own.”

_________

I should get to work on that post I just promised.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Explaining ‘Dazzled’…

William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910)

William James (aka, the unofficial love of my life.)

Hello All,

I am currently at The Center.

I just realized how difficult it is to work up a post whenever I’m here. Usually when I write a post I’m in my room with the partition shut, hunched over my desk with green tea or a cappuccino nearby. It’s personal, comfortable, closed in, certain. But being here I completely access my school ‘social self’.

I suppose I should explain what I mean:

William James (a man who is considered to be the greatest American philosopher and psychologist. Longtime readers of The Last Classic will know that I am very much smitten with this particular dead guy,) believed that we have a different ‘self’ for every situation, beyond just one self that is ourselves, that is, myself. Have you ever noticed that you act and think differently with your family than you do with your friends? You could say that one is your ‘family social self’, and the other would be your ‘friends social self’. James believed that we have a self for every person and situation we encounter. James once said:

“Properly speaking, a man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him and carry an image of him in their mind.” (If memory serves, this is from The Principles of Psychology. I wrote down the quote in my little black book but apparently didn’t see fit to write exactly where it is from.)

Also, it has been proven that certain memories are more easily retrieved when certain stimuli is present. Like when a scent or song gives you a flashback from childhood. All of that to say – the state of mind that I am normally in while I write my posts is not easily accessed while I’m at The Center, which would explain why my writing seems a tad odd (at least to me.)

____________________________________

I am back home, sitting at my desk, with my green tea…ah, all is right with the world.

I had a brief conversation with Kyle. I really hope that we stay friends after I leave Texas, I can’t quite put a finger on why I feel an odd admiration for him. Not a romantic sort of admiration, just…I’m not certain how to describe it, I feel respect for him and, I suppose, very intrigued. He seemed much more comfortable around me today, hopefully I’m growing on him. He wore a blazer – a navy blue blazer with gold buttons on the cuffs, it looked like a smaller version of one that I had bought at a church yard sale last year ( the one I bought is very large, probably meant for a rather, ah, wide, grown man, it’s just the fabric is very lovely –  like the sort of fabric that can be found on the 1950’s blazers at Whistle Stop or Memories & Treasures, the world’s greatest antique stores and two of my favorite places in the potential multiverse…anyway, I used a seam ripper and removed the shoulder pads so it would look a bit better on me, turns out I just look like a child who decided to play dress-up.)

I was sitting in the study hall reading through my notes for anatomy and physiology when my blazer-radar (I’m convinced that by now I have a blazer-radar, don’t try to convince me otherwise!) caught the smooth movement of fabric in my peripheral. I looked up to see Kyle starting up the steps to the cafe.

“Hello, Kyle.” I said casually. He whipped his head around and grinned when he saw me. “How have you been?” I asked, watching for any signs of discomfort.

“Very well, how are you?” He said in his usual composed manner. My impulse was to be blatantly honest and say You look very charming today! And particularly handsome! But something (common sense, perhaps) made me feel that it would be a bad idea…

“Great.”

He turned back to the door for a moment as one of the managers asked him a question, and I thought the conversation was over. Next thing I knew he was leaning over the table, shockingly close to me, scanning my notes and asking, “And what is it you’re studying today?”

I had forgotten exactly how piercingly blue his eyes were. He must have been raised in an area with a large population, he just has a smaller space bubble than you. I told myself. Still, it was more than a bit unnerving having that smile and those eyes and, most importantly, that impressive blazer suddenly a mere five inches away. (I was sort of extremely jealous, his blazer was obviously of superior quality to mine.)

“Oh,” I said, “Just something I should have studied last week.”

I looked up at him again, feeling not intimidated, but somehow nearing overwhelmed (perhaps ‘dazzled’ is a better word.) The tables had been entirely turned! My shoulders were raised and I could feel a sheepish smile on my face the entire time. I continued the sentence when I had already completed it, “For anatomy and physiology today. How is the day so far?”

He smiled with his incredibly white teeth, “It has been great,” he said. Cue intense eye contact and suddenly extremely sincere sounding voice, “how about yours?”

“Fine.” I said pleasantly, I could tell I was blushing. Before I could say anything else someone asked for his help in the bookstore.

“Do excuse me.” He said before promptly leaving.

I looked over at the only other person in the room, a girl who I had never seen before. She was watching me and grinning. I chuckled uncomfortably and tried to focus on my notes with little success.

After his sort of shy behavior the past few weeks the last thing I had anticipated was his response today. Perhaps what struck me was how incredibly sincere and unguarded he was. I have a feeling I’m forgetting part of the conversation, usually I’m much better at recalling things people have said. I suppose the only way I can possibly accurately describe that minute or two, is, put simply, intense. I pride myself on predicting behavior. When I’m out in public I always eavesdrop on conversations and I’m able to predict where the tone of the conversation will go. So Kyle completely breaking from his pattern of behavior was completely unexpected. This brings to mind something Heather Madame said to me when we were talking several years ago about me being unable to wrap my head around why Ryleigh left:

“I guess people aren’t as easy to figure out as you like to think they are.”

I was offended at the time, because I still thought that no one was unreadable to me. I now know that everyone is unreadable sometimes, and some people are just unreadable to me.

Sometimes I have so much to say that I can’t seem to start on a topic before another one is much too eager to make itself known, so I find myself in a rut with a headache… I have a feeling I’m going to be up late writing a massive post. Because this one doesn’t feel even nearly complete.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Things To Do, But No Place To Go

I finally accepted last night that I have no idea how to write a single-topic post. I write the way I talk (which is the way I think): starting with a basic idea and jumping from one rabbit hole into another. Maybe this is why my past attempts at writing novels turned out to be failures. I could never keep the story on a single track.

For the past two weeks I have been writing, rewriting, scrapping, writing and procrastinating writing posts for my blog series, ‘People Who Read People’. I’ve drawn diagrams, typed up outlines, even verbally explained to myself how the post should be organized, but when I try to express what I want to say it turns into one apparent line of thought being flung into several different lines at once. I’ve come to accept that, no matter how cut and dry I want my PWRP series to be, I’m just going to have to let myself ramble.

In other news, yet another long talk with Heather has brought me back into indecision.

I have given up trying to think that I have the willpower to not change my mind about where I want to go. So I’ve been writing down my favorite states on scraps of paper, along with favorite places to go in my free time (like antique shops, parks, museums, the opera ect.,) along with random states that I chose by pulling up Google Maps and blindly sticking a post-it to the screen with an arrow on it, tossing the scraps into my black top hat, and pulling out a few pieces of paper at a time. At one point I was inspired by a scene from I Love Lucy where Lucy decides which bills to pay by throwing them up in the air and paying whatever lands face-up. The scraps took forever to clean up (I probably should have shut my windows and turned off the fan first…) but I have slightly narrowed my options.

Mother Madame & I at Big Bear Lake when I was five years old.

I had been trying to decide where to go based on relationships, where I might have family and old friends, because people are so essential to my life. To have that human connection, the assurance that I’ll always feel…safe, knowing that they’re within reach if I need help. But life isn’t just about relationships, it’s about living. If I do apply somewhere else I will be cutting it awful close to a lot of deadlines, but this feeling of needing to become brilliant, to become something more than ordinary, to do my own personal research, the kind that I got a taste of when I conducted my rorschach inkblot experiment last year at The Center, has been growing every single day. I can say with confidence that I have no idea where I will be or what I will be doing six months from now. I can only dream and attempt, the rest is up to the unpredictable days and nights. I just don’t want to be alone wherever I go, but I know how quickly I get attached to new people (and vice versa), so I won’t be alone for long, I’m sure.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

P.S. If you have any suggestions for a state or city, do tell me in the comments below! Any suggestion is welcomed!

2,291 Words In This Post (It’s Not Worth It!)

I’m so stubborn and pig-headed. Once I focus on a goal, there is no way to reason with me, I can’t even seem to get through to me.

People affect me too much, because I let them, because it makes me happy, but perhaps believing that something is insane should not immediately inspire an impulsive action, but rather slow the decision-making process. I seek out sayings and people and memories that can help me justify to myself the things that I want to do, and I talk myself into believing I’m proud of my impulsive actions. But jumping out of a plane without checking for a parachute doesn’t exactly make one poetic, wise or even intriguing. It makes them naive, it makes them stupid, and it sets them up to turn to emotional wreckage.

Everyday has a million different possibilities. No one can predict the exact outcome of any week, month or moment. I want to believe I have a certain amount of patience and willpower, but there comes a point when I can no longer delude myself.

I don’t know where I’ll be when all of this is settled, I can only hope what I hope for now and hope I won’t change my mind out of impatience yet again. My choices change day-to-day – more than that, hour to hour. Because of people. Because I want to jump out of the plane, but I don’t want to get in anyone’s way.

I’m not worried about regretting the things that I’m going to do. After all, at least I can say I tried, I asked, I sought out, I leapt. It isn’t courage, it’s the denial of fear. Just don’t think about the height of the leap, the strangers below, the danger involved, don’t even shut your eyes and give yourself a shot to imagine how things might go wrong. Just look down, jump and hope it all pans out. Nevermind that you’re afraid of heights, your life is down there waiting, people are down there waiting for you, they just don’t know it yet. Surely they’ll get attached if you give them a few months.

___________________________________

I suppose I should explain myself, why I disappeared from my beloved little blog for over a week without a word. Spring break is partially to blame. Heather Madame and I had one little adventure after another. Including wandering through a forest and happening across the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring, peaceful meadow that seemed to come right from the pages of a fairy tale. I ended up really chasing a butterfly for the first time in my life…goodness, I didn’t know I could act like that much of a dork (this butterfly was like a tiny bright yellow ninja with wings,) I don’t know what got into me, really. After we had skipped rocks (well, Heather skipped rocks, I sort of just violently hurled them at the water,) climbed a giant hill covered in various green plants, and ran away from (okay, fine, I ran away from) an odd-looking frog in the grass (I bet it was deadly…) We decided it was probably best to find the car before it got too dark. But, as we began walking towards the trail, I saw a flicker of bright yellow in my periphery. I looked over, paused, stared at the butterfly for a moment, and then the chase began. This isn’t normal behavior for me, so when Heather suddenly heard an odd amount of rustling behind her and turned to see me hopping around running after a butterfly, she burst out laughing and had to rest on her knees for a moment from the sight.

“Hannah! You’re not going to catch it!” She called over.

“I know!” I half-yelled, half-laughed. And then I caught it. “Ha!” I held up my hands in victory. I walked over to Heather, we stared at it for a moment, and I let it go.

“You know,” I said, “I suppose I never really considered what you’re supposed to do when the impossible moment arrives when you actually catch a butterfly.”

For the past four days we’ve been impulsive little kids, I even whipped out my previously dormant pun-making superpower over spring break. It annoys Heather a lot (every time I think about it I start laughing, including now,) but I was in an immature enough state of mind that I didn’t let that stop me. This week was the first time in years that we were that carefree, for the first time since Ryleigh left our lives, we entirely let loose and were irresponsible and immature and impulsive. It was, in a word, therapy.

“Hey Heather?” I said, hopping from a muddy hill onto a stack of large rocks by the river.

“Yeah?” She picked up a nearby stone and turned it over in her hand.

“Let’s not talk about our families or guys today.”

“Sounds good.”

“Good.” I paused and stared at the water for a moment, “No men.”

“Unless it’s someone we can only say good things about.”

I chuckled and glanced over at her, “You mean someone we know just well enough to only know positive things about.”

“Yes!”

“Excellent.”

We paused for a moment, just thinking. Heather looked to the trail, took a step forward, and we continued the day of adventure with our agreement laid out plain and clear. And we stuck to it.

Things that also happened over spring break: we went to a couple of bridal shops and Heather tried on a few wedding dresses. The dress we both firmly believe is ‘the one’ is the most expensive of any of the dresses she took a fancy to. $1,299…Heather finally agreed to let me help pay for the dress (with Carlisle still in basic training and no other close friends besides me, Heather is doing the impossible and trying to plan a wedding and find them a place to live entirely on her own. And she’s doing it all in five months.) We also marked off another list item (number 18: Go to a restaurant we’ve never been to and try a dish we’ve never had.) We took a stroll around downtown Grapevine (I love Grapevine) and had lunch at an adorable italian cafe. I made sure to get an autograph from our waitress (I should also mention – I’m trying to get 100 autographs in 2012, only 95 to go!) We wandered into a dark tunnel marked with graffiti (okay, maybe we only took several steps in before running out, but that still makes me a rebel, right?) We had a picnic and ate way too much candy (darn you, Walgreens and your 3 for 3$ deals…) We managed to catch up on Ghost Adventures and return our library books, of which I had 36. The process of getting the books from my bedroom floor went something like this:

“Oh! And this one was due two weeks ago.” I said as I handed French Essentials for Dummies to Heather. My arms were already full.

Please tell me this is the last one.”

“Oh! And this one!”

“Alright then-”

“Oh! And that one!”

“Okay-”

“And that one!”

“Well-”

“And there’s just a couple more by my desk chair.”

“Hannah!”

“Yep?”

“You said you had a few library books!”

“Yes, yes I did.”

“You didn’t say you had an entire library!”

“They add up rather quickly… Oh! And that one by my window!”

I will literally pay dearly for my love of library books and hate of library due dates:

______

Josh text-messaged me again (the latest text arriving two minutes ago.) I’m back to being on the fence about staying in Texas. But, honestly, I don’t trust my own judgement these days. All I can do is what I’ve been doing my entire life – just taking things as they come and adjusting my plans accordingly. If something happens during the Summer, I will stay, but if not, I’ll move forward with my plans to leave the state. You may have noticed that I’ve been asking for advice more often than I used to, this is out of a childish desire to have other people make tough decisions for me, because I don’t trust myself. I know it’s absurd, and I know I shouldn’t handle big choices by turning to other people to make up my mind for me.

I hope I can explain this in a way that makes sense.

I know who I am, who I want to be, what I want out of life and what I’m looking for in somebody. This is constant, this is steady, this is defined and it is unchanging. But above this cut-and-dry foundation is my emotional life. The things that I want but can’t have, the people I want to reach out to but who wouldn’t understand, the person I want to be with but can’t currently try for. Mixed about these two levels is the day-to-day varying levels of emotion. Ever since childhood I could look at someone when they were speaking and feel what they were feeling (I was a dreadfully emotional child,) and now after all of my studies my ‘spidey sense’ about what people are feeling is amplified. Throughout a conversation if I’m watching your facial expressions, any fluctuations in your emotions I can not only read but feel on a milder level. I can’t stand conflict because when I fight with somebody I see not only basic anger microexpressions but bitter disgust, and without fail it’s like a slap to the face. I’m sensitive to vocal tones so when I hear the tension and resentment in someone’s voice it makes me physically ill instantly. I’ve said it before, but perhaps not as strongly as I should have: people affect me on every level. It’s very easy to get inside my head and I’m admitting it here, it is very easy to manipulate me.

All of that to say, on level one I am always entirely alright because I see the world strictly in logical terms, it’s my common sense, my anchor. It is the reason that even in my most frantic posts, a bit of sanity slips through. Level two is more of a soap opera character wrecking havoc on my peace of mind.

I vanished for a week because I became aware of these two levels of my personality with the odd, rather erratic third level… *Cue lightbulb* Well, I feel like a dummy, I just realized how similar this is to Sigmund Freud’s theory of the ego. Not in terms of consciousness and memory, mind you, but the notion of having a logical ‘I want, but cannot have’ state of mind directly next to an immature ‘I want, and I will have’ state of mind.

Sorry about the sidetrack. In a nutshell, I disappeared because in the middle of the stress of life as of late, my mind is doing that annoying nonstop spinning thing it does, Heather and I started having what we call ‘mini-vacations’ around town and at our favorite spots, which tossed in little patches of peace of mind and genuine happiness. When I write, my life pauses for a few hours, I realize things about myself and my thought process gets flipped upside down. I walk away from every post in a sort of daze, and dive back into life, or otherwise collapse into a pile of books on topics no one cares about and avoid the outside world. I thought since I was so carefree for the first time in years, the last thing I needed was a life-altering realization about anything. I finally knew of the existence of the two levels, and I didn’t want to do anything that might make the emotional level start thinking too much. I would consider writing a new post, but then I would remember, if I published anything, I would have to say goodbye to my mindless bubble of peace and quiet. I logged on out of curiosity a couple of days ago and saw a couple of comments from WordPress friends of mine wishing me well and worrying about me, I checked my e-mail and found messages from other WordPressers asking how I am (and I do hope that this has always been a given: always feel free to contact me if you have anything to say about a post that you don’t want to comment on, or if a thought occurs or even if you just want to send me an e-mail ‘just because’, you can find my e-mail address on my gravatar profile) At once I decided to write a new post explaining my silence, but for the first time in a long while, I stared at a white screen and no words appeared in my mind. No words. I rarely get writer’s block when it comes to The Last Classic. I can just pull up a screen even when I don’t feel like writing and the next thing I know I’m writing a ridiculously long post, I usually wrap it up and publish it in about three hours altogether.

I’ve been writing this post for three days. And 80% of what you have just read I wrote in the past two hours. I’ve been just deleting and retyping and deleting over and over again… Overall, my return to my blog has been a long one, and rather unpleasant. This is certainly not my finest work, but I had to get the ball rolling again somehow.

Alright then, Heather Madame and I are going to get up early for church tomorrow and I should get some rest. I leave you with this:

All of you have never failed to make me feel loved, valued and respected. And thank you for showing your concern and keeping up with my life.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Nothing To Be Admired

So, there I was, cheerfully slicing apart a sheep brain and rattling off information for Jenna to scribble on the notepad given to us by Teacher Madame, when a thought occurred.

“Hey, Jenna?” I asked, aware that the pool of formaldehyde was beginning to make me a tad light-headed.

“Yep?” She looked up, her eyes framed with the required goggles.

I couldn’t believe the words that came out of my mouth as I finished the cut directly posterior of the hippocampus, “This is freaking awesome!”

Jessica, who had been nearly silent this entire time, stared at me as though I was a madwoman, “You’re not serious.”

“How are you guys not ecstatic right now? This doesn’t exactly happen everyday! Heck, look!” I held up the newly severed portion of brain, the cerebellum hanging limp like a little, pink, squiggly half-tennis ball connected to the brain by a few layers of tissue.

“Oh, gosh!” Jenna put down the notepad and walked away for a moment to compose herself. It was then that I realized I should give up on trying to get my classmates excited over slicing and dicing the organs of a dead animal.

A note about me: I love the brain. I love the entire setup, the symmetry, the utter oddness and complexity. I used to constantly read about psychiatric drugs (still an excellent book to have around: The Consumer’s Guide to Psychiatric Drugs, also, Anatomy Of An Epidemic.) But then, I love anything about the head in general. Facial muscles, bones of the skull and face, the eyes. So when I came into a&p on Friday and discovered we were going to dissect a sheep brain and eye, my entire world lit up.

Jenna, so we discovered, has a rather weak stomach. As soon as I completed the cut around the eye (I ended up doing nearly all of the hand work while the others observed and took notes,) she coughed and gagged. Not that I could blame her, I had to turn my head away (my hands were still poised over the eye, my gloves dripping with formaldehyde and vitreous humor, so I couldn’t exactly excuse myself) because of the piercing odor being emitted from the eye.

“That’s so gross!” Jessica turned to face to the window behind her (Teacher Madame had opened every window in the classroom, thank goodness.)

Melanie, the only other person who showed any interest in the dissection, and the wonderful human being who helped me remove the very unpleasant fatty tissue (the color, thickness and overall texture of which reminded me of an uncooked chicken) surrounding the sclera, stood and leaned over the table to better view the retina. “Ooh, pretty colors!” She commented. Teacher Madame, pleased at our interest, came over to our table and explained the layer covering the back of the eye.

Madame noticed the anatomy booklet I brought along that contained photographs of cadavers in various states of dissection. She flipped through the book and we spoke for a moment on the contents of the booklet.

“Please tell me you’re going into medicine.” She said.

Cue giant smile. The band of my goggles started slipping off of my ponytail and I had to ask Jenna for help to fix it.

After class, I was still high on the experience (maybe it was all the formaldehyde, there’s no way to know for sure,) and walked to the cafe with a skip in my step. Claire (the world’s greatest barista) was behind the counter finishing up with a customer as I stepped inside, Kyle was behind her refilling a water bottle. She glanced up and smiled the smile that never fails to light up a room, “Hi girl!”

“Hey!” I said, I looked over to Kyle, who looked up to see who Claire was talking to, “Good afternoon, Kyle.”

He nodded as he passed by, “Good afternoon.” He nearly mumbled, he didn’t make eye contact. I’ve started to get the sense that I unnerve him for some reason. This disappoints me. As I mentioned in a recent post, I was looking forward to establishing a friendship with the fellow. He’ll watch me for a few moments while restocking a shelf in the bookstore, or when he needs something from the cafe, but he never initiates conversation.

As soon as I shut the car door I started a ramble about class, but was quickly interrupted by my mother. As I mentioned before, my mother is what the Taoist monks would call a Fire person. She likes having fun and keeping conversation light, she loves to daydream about a different life and plan shopping trips. The last thing she wants to hear is a long-winded description of a sheep brain (and how freaking awesome it was.) Halfway home she suddenly asked, “What’s that smell?”

“Oh,” I said happily, “That’s just formaldehyde.” Teacher Madame had told us that the scent would stick to our hair and clothing.

“Formaldehyde?”

“From the brain and eye.”

“What brain and eye?”

“From class.”

“Oh.”

Last night (Saturday) me and mom took a stroll around the lake down the street from our home.

I

I listened to mom talk about what she missed most about California, I commented here and there, asked questions I knew she would want to answer, and threw in the equal advantages of going to the university I want to go to. She still wants me to go to college in California, and I haven’t changed my mind about going to the other side of the country. She announced yesterday morning that as soon as a legal matter clears up, she wants to move. Not a month goes by that she doesn’t mention her dream of ‘moving back home’, and after I told her about an article I read in Psychology Today that explained the number one regret of the dying is that they didn’t have enough courage to live the life they wanted to when they had the chance, she seems to have a greater drive to return to California. I get my stubbornness from my mother. That fact alone is enough to let me know how serious she is.

This morning I woke up bright and early for church with Heather Madame. This week we tried out a church in North Richland Hills.

We were once again the youngest people there by our own free will. Hundreds of eyes watched us when we stepped inside the building, we quickly made our way to the sanctuary, which was nearly empty ten minutes before the service.

After the sermon we high-fived out of the success of surviving yet another dull church experience, and made plans to try yet another new place next week. Today we never found ourselves in deep conversation, even when we were sitting back at Starbucks sipping our overpriced beverages. We’ve both been so stressed out that a day of nothing but an uneventful church service and sitting in a Starbucks with nowhere to be was a much-needed therapy. On the drive back to my house I found myself starting to talk about the same old things, but I let it die out, it wasn’t worth it.

Alright folks, tomorrow is Monday, and so we shall do it all over again.

Until I Write Again,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/ Classic

P.S. I do realize the dryness of this post. My every spare moment as of late I find myself writing down any truth about myself, about everything I feel. Because I’m afraid of discovering I’m a fraud, the truth about how I feel about every single person and event in my life, I feel the need to just write and leave in the open. And so tonight when I found myself writing out a post, I found nothing to discover or despise. Any lies that I’ve told myself I have cleared up, any notion to deceive the people I care about is gone for tonight. I want to be an open book, and I want to be fair in my judgement, this post ended up being nothing more than the residue of my creativity, and it is nothing to be admired.