A new year, I’m not sure why it always comes on January 1st. Who decided, out of all the other days in the year, that January was the beginning? The year does not even have a beginning, we just keep going around the sun over and over. I’m not sure why people insist that January is the beginning. Why couldn’t it have been in July or August, when its warm enough outside to actually want to improve yourself and not just sit in your house and wish you were skinny? I guess we’re just vulnerable during January with the cold and the end of the holidays, so they decided to throw New Years in there and kick us all while we’re down.
New Years is nice, though. I’ve noticed people really like beginnings. They for sure don’t like endings, and our attention spans are too short for the middle of anything. The middle of a sandwich, the middle of the night, the middle of that book you finished reading last month. Who really pays attention to the middle of anything? So I guess its fitting that we celebrate the beginning of the year, rather than the middle.
People feel that beginnings mean fresh starts and new chances to lose weight, quit smoking, and get a better job. But like I said, no one remembers the middle of anything, and this applies to the goals we make at the beginning of the year. So in a way, it’s the beginning of the year, but it’s really not the beginning of anything. The changing of the numbers in a year do not change what our eating habits are or how much we love running on the treadmill.
Doesn’t anyone think its some kind of bad omen that half of America spends the first day of the year hung over in bed?
Even though I do not believe in New Years resolutions or beginnings in general, I do have New Year’s resolutions. I’d like to have a nicer butt, practice my writing more (even though I get too angry with myself), and stop procrastinating everything. But like I said, resolutions don’t do anything. Its five days into the year and already, I sat in bed eating chocolate pretzels last night, got mad at myself for trying to write a simple piece of prose, and I’m even currently not working on a psychology essay that was due like two weeks ago. Beginnings are full of false hope and a spot in the revolution around the sun that means nothing.
One of my oldest memories, or rather, a memory of my childhood of which one can make a mildly interesting blog post about would probably be a Christmastime in Washington D.C. I went to Virginia and the Washington D.C. area a lot when I was younger because my father’s family lived there. One trip in particular, we went to the National Tree celebration to see all of the cute little state Christmas trees surrounding the grand National Christmas Tree in the center. My cousin, Joy, was singing in the choir there so we were there for a particularly long time.
It must have been late when, after wandering around the park for a while, I complained to my father of being cold and hungry. Being around six years old, I begged and begged for us to go find somewhere to eat that had macaroni & cheese, the only thing I would mainly eat at the time. So my father apologized to my aunt and we left in search of food. It was around 10/10:30 and either the restaurants were booked for Christmas parties, or closed.
Being too cold to look any further in those bitter city streets, my father and I walked into the Willard Hotel, into the restaurant there. This hotel is fancy and really high-end, it is world-famous and on the National Hotel Registry. So, you would figure they would be booked and not open up a table for a complaining kid who wants macaroni & cheese and does not intend to dine with the president. Either way, my father walked right up to the maître d’ and told him he had a little girl who was getting very frustrated because there were no tables available anywhere.
The maître d’ smiled and said, “Sir, I will take care of her.” Then, the staff pushed out a table from another room of the hotel and sat me down, each and every one of them addressing me as “princess” and “darling.” Being in a nice restaurant, they obviously did not have macaroni and cheese on the menu. But since I was being treated like royalty, the chefs were told to make some anyway.
All in all, this was one of my favorite memories. The thought that a high-end restaurant would do such a lovely thing for a little girl like that was so sweet and it was just overall one of my most beloved memories with my father. It’s also probably one of the reasons why I was such a spoiled brat when I was younger.
His fingers were laced between the opening of the curtains in another woman’s house, searching inside for something better than what he already has. At home was the woman whose fingers were laced in the hair of another man who promised to love her exquisite body the way she deserved.
Both the man and woman torn between the decoration and golden picture frames of another life. Romanticizing the flowers which grew in another flower bed, perfectly content with the idea of leaving behind the dusty welcome mat which sat on the front porch, for the updated model home at the other end of the street. Every warm welcome was beginning to sound like an epitaph of something which once danced in the dining room, but had long since shriveled up and died like a plant left out of the sun for too long.
Candles burned on the sidewalks leading up to the houses, in remembrance of something which was lost under angry, stomping feet and car wheels screeching towards a dead end. Ruffled hair and disheveled collars, coming into the bedroom with eyes of wide innocence, both disguised as if they’d been eating breakfast in the same kitchen their whole lives.
Neither of them dared to whisper a word of what they actually felt, so they spat it into the lampshades while the other was snoring lightly, hoping when they turned them on the next night that the glow would burn them out of existence. The secrets were stuffed under couch cushions and swept under the rug in front of the fireplace. Shoved into every crease of the sheets and every crack in the ceiling was every lie that was tearing the house apart.
The chairs at the kitchen table creaked under the pressure of them and the window shutters flew open during storms, being too weak to hold them all inside. Everywhere they looked the house was crying out for the weight to be lifted, because it could no longer handle the backache and the febrile coughs of holding two broken hearts inside of itself.
Only when the house began to reek of death, did they finally decide to check under the mattresses to discover the corpses of the people they used to be, mangled and crushed under their breathing bodies every night for ten years.
I’ve had this idea in my mind for a while of what I would like my life to be like when I’m older. After college, I would like to live in an apartment in the city, preferably in San Francisco or New York City. My apartment will be painted a dark shade of red or emerald green and have Monet-like paintings in gold frames, shelves lining the walls filled with books, a fancy Persian rug, and a myriad of little knick-knacks I’ve collected during my travels.
That’s another thing I would like to do, travel. I want to go everywhere: Egypt, Paris, Normandy, Greece, India, everywhere. I feel like if you don’t travel and open up your eyes to different cultures and places you’re not truly experiencing life in every way you can and seeing every aspect of it. Hopefully I have a job where I can travel a lot and still make a lot of money. It would be nice to have a creative job in the arts where I could document all of my adventures in a way other people who don’t have the privilege to do so could experience. Plus, I would like some tangible part of me to exist years after I’m gone.
After I have traveled and done everything I want to, I would like to buy a cute little cottage in the middle of the woods somewhere. It will have a white picket fence and vines growing up the sides with lace curtains hanging in the window. Inside, it will smell like nature and tea. My cottage will be a place where I could finally settle down and have a grand garden filled with snapdragons, bluebells, and foxgloves. In the garden I want a bunch of little bunnies whom I will name after book characters and feed carrots. Also at night, I will lay under the trees and stare up at the sky and see all the stars I couldn’t while I was in the city. Perhaps by then, I will have found inspiration for a novel that I will write that will change the world, like Uncle Tom’s Cabin or something. I will want to leave the world a little better than I found it but also be happy because I lived my life the way I wanted to and for myself.
I suppose my ideas for my future are a little implausible and require more money than I’m motivated enough to earn. But, this is what I want.
What has made me who I am? What tragic misfortune has brought me to become the person I am today? Well, I’ve grown up with a very nice life and I don’t have a lot of complaints. However, there are things that really used to bother me as a child and really impacted the kind of person I am today.
When I was younger, I lived in a house with my mom and my dad. It was very normal and quaint. But it’s not as if I didn’t hear the hushed tones of an argument after I went to sleep, or I noticed the way my dads things gradually disappeared from every corner of the house and he didn’t call this his home anymore. I no longer sat on the porch and played with snails while my dad mowed the lawn, nor did I run downstairs to wake him up every morning for work. My normal life came to a halt.
Shortly after, another man came along. He was noticeably older than my mother. I did know this man, I saw him sometimes and he came to our house for my birthday parties. He was not a stranger, in fact, he’s my biological father. I don’t think my mother ever loved him. This was the hardest part for her I think, knowing she ruined her marriage for a man she never loved and even had a child with him, me. Now, I knew this. I can’t recall the exact moment I found out but I knew he was my real father. My mother wasn’t good about keeping her voice down during arguments while I was sleeping at night. I heard everything. I can’t count the nights I sat in bed shaking, listening to them talk of how my biological father didn’t want me at first but was now here, living in our house but tearing the whole thing down with each passing day. He let my mothers husband adopt me and call me his and lie to me for the first seven years of my life, letting me call him dad. But don’t get me wrong, he was more of a father than my biological father was. It still makes me angry thinking about how he didn’t care, he just gave me up without a fight. Then he dared to come back after my mother and father split and pretend we were this happy family. He was never the kind of man I’d ever want as a father figure. He was egotistical, he cared too much about materialistic things, he was manipulative and tyrannical. But he hid it well. He was fake and enjoyed pretending he had this perfect life and that my mother and I were his porcelain little family of painted smiling faces. I never once called him my dad. I never thought of him like that. Every time I would refer to the man who raised me as “dad” I’d get a raise of the eyebrow and a reply of, “he’s not your father. I am.”
What hurt me the most was watching my mother stand by and just let him control her. They would fight constantly and things would sometimes get aggressive. One day when I was with my dad, he beat her in the parking lot of a restaurant and she came to pick me up with a black eye and a pathetic lie to me which I would hear about the following night in an argument.
Things ended though. Two thanksgivings ago, I think my mother finally reached a point where she couldn’t take it anymore. We were driving home from a nice thanksgiving in the mountains. The whole dinner was tense and my mother was drunk. She was slurring her words in the front seat as my biological father drove down the canyon. They argued about petty things, they argued about how he was so untrustworthy. It seemed like just another argument with angry words thrown around loosely like unhappy rice at an unhappy wedding. We got home, and I slunk into bed and tried to sleep. But eventually ended up lying there listening to everything. Things were getting more heated than they had before. I heard a crash, and my mother was screaming. “Let me go,” she was shouting. She was yelling my name and I didn’t know what to do. I was trembling and I couldn’t see straight. I climbed numbly out of bed and made my way to the kitchen with my hand against the wall, holding myself up for support. I came around the corner and found him bashing my mothers head into the kitchen carpet and biting her fingers. I ran up to him and pushed him off screaming at him and helping my mom up. She had trails of bruises up her back where he had pushed her down and hit her repeatedly. Her wrists were blue from where he’d held them tight against the floor. I’d never seen my mom more ashamed or upset.
I ushered him out the door as he said “I love you,” through the closing door. I said nothing. The cops were called that night and I was told to stay in my sisters bedroom with the door closed and the blue and red lights shining in through the window.
I don’t see him much anymore, he comes to take my sister to dinner and such sometimes, but I’ve never given him a single kind word. I don’t owe him anything. He’s a bad person and I hope he’s miserable. I hope he lays in bed at night and hates whatever fake life he’s trying living now.
If there’s anything positive I’ve taken out of this whole experience, it’s that I never want to see anyone hurt like that. That I’m going to stand up for myself and my family and not be pushed around by some man who thinks he can control others. My childhood consisted of my mother faking smiles in the passenger seat and making small talk at the dinner table with a man she couldn’t stand, just so my life wouldn’t be disrupted again.
I feel bad sometimes. I wonder where my mother would have been if she hadn’t accidentally gotten pregnant with me. My biological father wouldn’t have pushed her around and she probably wouldn’t be as sad as she was all those years. She’s better now. We’re all better now. My dad who raised me comes around a lot now and we’re kind of like a normal family. My mother always tells me things happen for a reason and I don’t know why she had to go through all this pain, but I hope someday I can smile and say “that’s why.”
I’m not quite sure of what I’m scared of. I’ve never had a problem with clowns or spiders, nor have I ever had an issue with the dark. I’ve never lost a night of sleep over the monster in the closet, nor have I ever made myself sick over the thought of public speaking. I suppose I’m scared of being a dull, depressed adult. Which seems to me like a bit of a lame fear. It just seems as if all of the adults I know have some boring, routine life. I don’t want that. When I’m older I do not want to be the depressed housewife on several different medications to keep her going. I do not want to start my day by sending my many kids to school and spend the rest of the day cleaning and pondering why I’m so miserable when everything is so great. I do not want to prepare dinner every night before my husband, of which I no longer have romantic feelings for, comes home with a plop! of his briefcase and coat on the arm of the couch.I do not want to gather around the TV after dinner every night with my family to watch an episode of American Idol. I do not want to put the kids to sleep just to lay in bed with my husband, who casually talks about the petty gossip of his office, until we then watch the news and he falls asleep… on the other side of the bed. I do not want to wake up the next morning just to do the whole thing all over again.
As much as I fear this boring, routine lifestyle, the aspect I fear the most is that this fate is inevitable. Nothing can be exciting and happy forever. It’s like growing a tolerance for alcohol. You eventually grow a tolerance for the things that excite you. But, who knows? What would I know about being an adult? I’ve probably got a very different idea of what adulthood is than what it actually is. All I’m saying is that I’m scared. Scared of wasting my life away in the suburbs with a closet full of yoga pants and a cupboard full of baby food jars.
I sat down for quite a long time and tried to think of something intelligent and interesting to say for my first blog post, but sadly I am still at a loss for ideas. So, I apologize, but you’ll have to settle for this extremely mediocre introduction.
First, I feel I may need to clarify that my name is not actually Francis Scott Fitzgerald, who rather just happens to be my favorite author. Although, I’m not one of those people who just read The Great Gatsby and hopped on the Fitzgerald bandwagon; I’ve actually read almost all of his work. Sometimes I feel as if I was actually F. Scott Fitzgerald in a past life. Reading his work sort of brings about a nostalgic feeling for me, as lame as that sounds. We think the same, we act the same, we enjoy the same activities, and if you don’t think that is enough to believe you were someone in a past life… then you’re probably right.
Things I enjoy consist of 1920’s jazz, old black and white films and TV shows, reading classic literature, and exploring heavily wooded areas in the rain. I also like to write, although I’m not too good at it (hopefully that will change soon. )
Anyway, this was my introduction. Usually most beautiful things start with a good introduction, so hopefully this was the start of something nice.