Archive for Wrap-Ups

Week Somethingsomethingsomething: No Regrets

No Regrets: Write down all of your failures and regrets in life. Invite others to do the same. Get together to make a giant regret-fueled bonfire. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

Once a week this semester, I’ve met with a really cool group of people to do really cool things. Specifics are not important. Usually we meet at someone’s house, but about two months ago, we decided to switch it up and have a bonfire/picnic. As everyone was signing up to bring food and fixings, I encouraged everyone to make a list of their regrets so that we could burn them. Everyone thought it was a pretty bumpin’ idea.

The timing of our bonfire/regret-burning party was perfect. The weekend before our event, I made some really stupid (sober) decisions and I felt like shit. I felt like I’d lost a great deal of integrity because I’d been “that girl”.

When I got to the bonfire, I poured out my heart on the paper, not just about the weekend before, but about all of the stupid decisions I made in my life. After we’d finished writing, we gathered around the fire and each of us shared one thing we’d written. I talked about my grandmother, who was in the hospital at the time, and how I regretted not spending more time with her when she was well (she actually passed away a few weeks ago).

Then, we all threw our regrets into the fire and roasted marshmallows. Yay!

This was an incredibly cathartic experience and, even better, it was a bonding opportunity as well. All of us in the group got a chance to open up to each other and establish trust. I feel that it was a turning point in our relationship: we went from random people united for a cause to (hopefully) lifelong friends. I’d love to make this a tradition among us. We’ll see.

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Week 3: Fin! And Voila!

Things I learned this week:

  1. I’m a workaholic and I need to sit it down before I wind up dead. I got home from work last night and I passed out *on* my laptop, with the screen open and everything.
  2. I’m actually a 65 year old woman. I must be, there’s no other reason why a “21 year old” would prefer sewing and baking cookies to going out and getting sloppy-ass drunk. Also, my vernacular includes the phrases “bless his/her heart”, “gracious me!” “kids these days…” and “cheese and crackers!” (in lieu of ‘Jesus Christ’) and I have an old-lady-purse/black hole of doom. So that’s that. Now get off my lawn.
  3. Chipotle laces their food with crack. But I’m not complaining.
  4. My friends and I are going to open up a 24-hour Chinese food restaurant called “Bubba’s Burgers“. It’ll be the best thing ever, just you wait….
  5. I’m learning how to shrug things off. Being bold and putting myself out there means that sometimes I’ll get rejected. It’s not the end of the world, I’ll get over it. Sometimes, I just have to ball up and take it like a man, even if I’m not a man.

So I didn’t get to do everything I wanted this week. Sad. But, I think I got a lot out of it regardless. I met new and interesting people, I developed and strengthened the relationships I already had, and I learned a lot, simply because I took the initiative to start conversations and ask questions, even if I had to resort to unusual methods (“I’m a Love Pirate, and I’m here for your booty! ARRRGGGHHH!!!”; “Is your daddy a terrorist? Because you’re the bomb!!!!“. I know, I’m sorry….)

And, I’m beginning to realize that, at least for me, this project doesn’t necessarily have to be life-changingly extreme and chock full of action-packed fun. I’ve been getting a little discouraged because my list seems a little dull, which makes me think that I’m a dull person. Hell, maybe I am. Or maybe I’m just a person who finds immense joy in the smaller, simpler things of life. Either way, it’s my body, I’ll do what I want.

Aaaaaand, Pictures!

This is the dress I made Saturday night instead of conquering my karaoke fears. It’s made entirely out of an XL t-shirt (one of the thousands of freebies they give out on campus). The lower skirt is made from the body of the shirt, the bust is made out of the sleeves, and the straps are comprised of the remaining scraps.
My Babygirl!

The total cost for the entire dress was 2 bucks for the thread. I didn’t use a pattern, so it’s far from perfect, but given that it’s my first solo project, it’s pretty ballin’.

Money Shot?

Wheeeee!

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Week #1 Wrapup- The Most Anti-climactic Beginning…Ever*

* Though I suppose that a beginning, by definition, is anti-climactic, because it’s a beginning…you know? Never mind.

Out of all the intriguing items on the list, I chose (chose, mind you!), the most mundane one: Read a book.

Whoop-dee-hot-damn-doo, I know, I know.

But it’s all about small steps, testing the waters, acclamation and such. Personally, I liked it because it was the first time in a long time that I was able to read a book that:
a) was not in Spanish
or
b) didn’t require me to dissect and analyze the structure and meaning to death.

Most of my time this week was eaten up by working, sewing (I made potholders! holla!), 4th-of-julying, and general family drama, but I did manage to squeeze in two books: Howard Buten’s When I Was Five I Killed Myself and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. To be honest, I only chose the first one because the title was so jarring; I’d planned to read Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth, but this book just jumped out at me . It was a decent read, I suppose, told from the perspective of a young boy who is thrown into a mental institution after an altercation with a classmate and general sociopathic behavior. Perhaps the best way to describe it is as a prepubescent Catcher in the Rye of sorts. Meh. Apparently, it’s very popular in France.

Their Eyes Were Watching God, on the other hand, is one of the most beautiful novels I’ve ever read. I should’ve read it a long time ago; it’s on that unspoken, unwritten list of books that every black woman should read (along with The Bluest Eye, The Color Purple, Feminism is For Everyone, all that jazz), I just never got around to it.

What I love about it is that the relationship that develops between Janie and Tea Cake isn’t hokey and contrived. I feel that in a lot of literary romances, the protagonist’s love interest seems one-dimensional; their only role is to further the character development of the main character/plot line. For example, in Buten’s book, Burt’s love interest comes off like a sock puppet: she says and does just the right things at just the right time, without prompting or reason. Clearly, fiction is meant to be a suspension of reality, but it got to be ridiculous after a while.

Their Eyes Were Watching God is just raw and real and beautiful. Idealistic, yet still grounded. I cried like a little girl at the end. Maybe this isn’t very good indicator of anything because I also cried at the end of ‘Ice Age’ (you know that movie with the little prehistoric squirrel with the nut? Yeah, I squirted a few tears…), but I just felt so connected to the characters that I couldn’t help but feel their joy and their pain.

I started thinking: Even though I try to put on a mask of casual apathy, I’m secretly in love with love. I want a love like that one day, a rich, piercing, pear-blossom-and-bee-pollen kind of love. It’s just so terrifying, though. When you open yourself up to a love like that, you open yourself up to so much pain too. Unspeakable, excruciating pain.

Oh well, I suppose that’s life. Anyone who says differently is selling something.  And you can’t run around your whole life trying to avoid pain.  That’s not a life worth living.

Alright! One down, 51 to go.

Hasta pasta,
Camry

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