Thursday, December 23, 2010

Timely Ramblings


Oh, how I've missed you. Yes, you, anonymous reader from Belgium. And you, random girl from an old writing class who always secretly hated me and now consoles yourself by reading my blog and making snide remarks about my shining prose under your breath. And you, Hugh--I've missed you desperately, and if Santa answers tear-stained epistles shipped FedEx Priority Overnight, I will expect to see a Hugh Jackman-shaped package under the tree on Christmas morning. SANTA, PLEASE REMEMBER TO GIVE HIM AIR HOLES!

Well, it's obvious that the question on everyone's mind is: "Tori, where were you?" And I reply: "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. Speaking of Julia Roberts, wasn't Eat, Pray, Love awful?" Darlings, I have been extremely busy. Despite a grueling work schedule, heinous grad school application feeds (I'd like to dedicate this space to a little college we'll call "BC," and give them a resounding F. YOU for their ridiculous $125 fee), and my first real sickness of the year (sorry, coworkers who have to listen to me hacking up a new lung every morning)...this has been the BEST MONTH EVER!

I'm not sure why.

Maybe it's because this is my BIRTHDAY MONTH, and for the first time in four years, I was able to fully celebrate my birthday without having finals!

Maybe it's because it's Christmas, and despite the crippling consumeristic guilt I experience every time I go into H&M to buy overpriced hoodies for my brothers (they better not be reading this), this is the first time in a while that I've felt truly excited about this very magical season. Is this what it means to grow up?

Maybe it's because apart from my own birthday, I've celebrated FOUR other birthdays this month, and so at least once a week I've been awash with good feelings and that special glow that only comes when someone else is buying the wine and all you have to do is sit back and compliment them every now and then so that they don't realize you didn't get them a birthday present (sorry, lil bro).

Maybe it's because--and quite frankly, this is the best news of all--I have crossed a very important writerly milestone. MY FIRST ENCOURAGING REJECTION LETTER! From the Apalachee Review, and I quote: "Good prose here. Please submit again." THEY SAID PLEASE! THEY LOVE ME! I'm gonna play mind games with them for the rest of the year until they kiss me.

Maybe it's because my parents got me a KEYBOARD for my birthday. A really lovely keyboard with weighted keys! I played piano for about 13 years until I graduated from high school, when I promptly swore off all music for the rest of my life. But now my dreams of being a concert pianist have been rekindled. I am truly great, guys. Truly, truly great. Just wait till you hear my embellished version of "Heart and Soul"--TRANSPOSED INTO A MINOR KEY. Then, and only then, will you understand what Robert Schumann (I think) said about Chopin (I think): "Hats off, gentlemen, a genius!"

But seriously, this has been a good month. I think I am realizing some important things, probably equivalent to the great truths birthed from the mind of Buddha when he was about my age. First of all, I've realized that you can control what you think about. I know, THE MIND BOGGLES! I used to think that if you didn't deal with bad thoughts when they wormed their way into your brain, it was like textbook Freudian repression and you would be screwed later in life because of it. But two days before my birthday, I realized--and I have the diary entry to prove it--that MY BRAIN IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. Sometimes I am crazy, and sometimes I lie to myself for no apparent reason. It feels a little schizophrenic, but sometimes you have to fight against your own tendency for self-sabotage and emotional guerrilla warfare. I hope this seemingly simple advice is useful to someone else as it was to me.

Secondly, I've realized that I have a ridiculously cute boyfriend.

And thirdly, I've realized that the Jazz Age was the coolest (and most underrated) Age of all time, and I should have been born back then. Oh, F. Scott Fitzgerald, you rake! You heartless, alcoholic rake! Take me away with you!

So I vote that we should all celebrate the ending of a wonderful (yes, and scary and existential) year--and the beginning of something totally new--like the Fitzgeralds would have: lots of champagne, gin that we deny drinking, handwritten apology notes, effusive love letters that repeat things like "oh darling! oh darling! my darling!", shimmery nude-colored dresses, brief stints in mental institutions, and lots of arrogant, self-assured genius.

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You are truly great.