I Have Been Changed For Good

This post may get a little sentimental, I’m just warning y’all from the beginning. There’s nothing I hate more than sitting down to read an article or a blog post expecting to guffaw my socks off and I end up in a huddled mass of tears.

Lately, I’ve been a little stressed. Honestly, that’s an understatement. I’ve been really freaking stressed out and I think it’s because of  working ludicrous hours with tiny little people screaming at me all day. Fortunately, it hasn’t reached the level of completely losing my sh*t like I did back here, if you guys will recall.

But, it did get bad enough for me to spend an entire morning in bed on Saturday and get more than a little introspective. I really hate it when my inner monologue decides to get philosophical. I just picture my Conscience sitting across the table from my Consciousness at a hipster coffee shop shooting barbs back and forth at one another over steaming cups of chai latte.

Conscience: But what really, is there, in terms of consequences for using the aerosol spray we used this morning.

Consciousness: Is your chai latte not sweet enough? because mine is DEFINITELY not sweet enough.

Conscience: Maybe we should start in on that script we want to write–we don’t know how much time we really have left to dwell upon the Earth and we want our time to be meaningful.

Consciousness: I want a third chocolate croissant.

Conscience and Consciousness just chillin’ because they’re currently unemployed and giving in to their artistic selves.

Don’t ask me why they’re depicted as bearded white men–they just are.

This post has already taken a decided turn away from where I wanted to go. So where was I?

Ahhh, yes, INTROSPECTION.

I recently dusted off my “Wicked” album–it’s a really incredible show with an amazing soundtrack. One of my favorite songs, that I also sang with one of my favorite sisters during sorority recruitment, was this one:

Take a listen if you’re unfamiliar with it–the two women singing are the Wicked Witch of the West and Galinda/Glinda the “Good” Witch as they go their separate ways in life.

One of the most poignant set of lyrics for me is this one:

I’ve heard it said,
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are lead to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you.

One of my favorite mentors is moving to New York City tomorrow.

I don’t know how to feel about it at all–in this day and age, technology keeps us more connected to our loved ones around the world than ever before. But there’s something I really don’t like about having a person who has helped me learn SO MUCH over the last year and a half move 3,000+ miles away. She taught me how to “Lean In”. She helped me tap into, not only my potential, but also a spirituality that had been sitting dormant inside of me for what felt like decades. She unknowingly helped connect the dots to the crippling anxiety I sometimes experience and gave me a new outlook that helped me to realize that everything is not urgent and is not dependent upon immediate action on my part. That my future must be built brick by brick over time and not by hurriedly slapping together random planks of wood and calling it “done”. She helped me learn that I need not endlessly stream the thought that “I AM CERTAINLY GOING TO DIE” inside my brain whenever I experience a panic attack––which is huge.

Thinking of her leaving induced me to think of the other people over time that have entered and exited my life. I feel like there are several categories of people.

  • Some people were just acquaintances that you may share a good memory or two with–or maybe the memories aren’t particularly pleasant, but they didn’t shake you to your core. It was casual.
  • Then there are people who you’ve just lost touch with because of distance and time and change of life. People who you may make an effort to see when you travel back to your hometown, or that you wouldn’t mind bumping into on the street and making plans for a “catch-up coffee date” that reminds you why they were in your life in the first place.
  • And then there is a group of people with whom you’ve cut/severed/decimated ties and really can’t reopen them because everyone involved has received some sort of closure. To step back into contact with these people would just open old wounds and erase every effort you made to move past their existence in your life. In fact, for a brief period, you probably wished that they’d stop existing altogether.

And for whatever reason, when I’m in my most philosophically emo state, it’s this last group that can embed its claws so deeply into my brain that I’m beyond redirection. At these times, I’m faced with two choices: I can either recall every painful detail of our friendship, or I can refer to the quote I listed above.

That people come into our lives for a reason/bringing something we must learn.

So I sit and think about how I started each relationship and what I looked like coming out of it. Because even if I feel like I “regressed” as a person for the majority of that time we spent together, there absolutely has to be at leastone positive point–even if that point is realizing that that connection wasn’t good for me and I moved on.

Now lemme at those chocolate croissants.

Q: How Do You Kill a Hipster? A: Drown Him in the Mainstream.

I know there was a promise made about spilling the Kona Coffee beans re: my Hawaiian adventure–but I have to put that project on the back burner for a moment.

Because:

My boss sent me an article on an individual SO adventurous and SO daring that it put my trip to shame. Brave Henry Alfred (who, if I had my ‘druthers would be knighted if we did that sort of thing in America) went undercover into the world of the Williamsburg, Brooklyn Hipster. For those of you that don’t know what a hipster is: have you been living under a rock?! 

Actually, no. Let me not insult your intelligence–for you are far better off not knowing about this subset of young people, usually caucasian and springing from upper middle class families. But just in case you’re a masochist, here’s a photo that’ll give you a clue:

Don't judge a book by–just kidding. Judge away | Photo Credit: Google Images, Baby

Don’t judge a book by–just kidding. Judge away. | Photo Credit: Google Images: “Hipster”

ANYWAY, Sir Henry Alfred went undercover to the epicenter of the New American Hipster and lived to tell the tale. Let it be known that Portland, OR is the original homeland of the species, but Brooklyn has now fallen into the overzealous hands of the 20-something-non-comformists.

Read Lord Henry Alfred of Manhattan’s full account here before continuing on with my post.

Or, if you skipped his article, I am using some of the best quotes in the following critique. These are my thoughts on his experience and I hope never to be in his vintage shoes:

I had fallen into conversation with the affinity marketer…I guessed aloud, “So, like, if I buy a pair of shoes, then you’ll try to sell me socks?” The affinity marketer smiled and said: “Or maybe something bigger, like flooring. You buy a pair of shoes, I sell you reclaimed hardwood flooring.” Well, this kid is certainly good at selling bullshit, I’d love to see what he could do with some “vintage” lawn chairs. 

 
 When I layered the corduroy shirt over the H. W. Carter shirt, the effect was homespun and slightly raffish: a country-store clerk who has lost his spectacles in the barley.” I’ve always wanted to look like a half-blind, hick shop owner that would be less out of place in an adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath than on the streets of a major metropolitan city.

 
“Roberta’s has the ugliest entrance of any restaurant I’ve ever seen, barbed wire leading to heavily graffitied concrete cinder blocks: gulag in da hood. I waited almost an hour for a table.” I say we just throw all the hipsters in jail–same scenery, maybe better food, and they can brag to their friends that they enjoyed “prison tourism” before it was cool.
 
“This company makes it a point to wind-sail its cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic to Brooklyn, then to hand-sort these beans, then to let its chocolate “rest” 30 days before sale.” The only ‘resting’ a piece of chocolate within a 50 mile radius of me will be doing is IN MY BELLY–immediately.
 
 a collection of Ronald Reagan’s speeches, a 1993 book about the health care crisis and “Hitler Laughing: Comedy in the Third Reich. Her eyes widening, the employee called the store’s owner on her cellphone and recited the titles to him. “We can offer you two dollars for the ‘Third Reich’ one,” she soon told me. “But these other two are …” So I helped her out with, “Their resale potential is more muted.”  If I had to choose between Reagan and Hitler…well…let’s just say, she made the right choice. 
 
I know now that if the economy sours further, I can trade in all my books for herbal diuretics.” Thank GOD because I have been looking for an establishment such as this. 
 
In conclusion, this writer is a badass and I loved reading this article. However, you won’t catch me near the wilds of Williamsburg.
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Disney Hipsters--the only acceptable breed | Photo credit: hipstermemes.tumblr.com

Disney Hipsters–the only acceptable breed | Photo credit: hipstermemes.tumblr.com