Friday, November 30, 2012

a better place

disclaimer: I'm going to sound like a huge self-congratulating asshole in this post. I am not. I have so many flaws. I dislike so many things about myself. I am terrible at communicating, and I can snap and say dreadful, terrible things. I don't know how to forgive. I especially don't know how to forgive myself. I am insecure and needy, and although I am making progress, I treat myself horribly. Really horribly. And sometimes I drag others down with me.

John Lennon Wall; Prague, summer 2007

I've always been such an idealist, probably to the point of idiocy. I mean, I know that some of my more cynical friends roll their eyes at me, and I understand that; truly, I do. I know the world will never be a perfect place. I know it is not so easy to eradicate human suffering with the snap of your fingers. I get that. But at the risk of sounding like a "humble brag," I am desperate to do what I can. I've asked to be an organ donor on my driver's license, even though my friends tell me my organs might only be used for teaching purposes, or, even worse, that doctors would not try everything in their power to save me if one of my organs could be useful to someone else. But that's okay. I think that's a chance I'm willing to take.

I cried once when I was told I wasn't eligible to donate blood.

one of my biggest goals in life is to adopt a child in need. For now, though, I'm sponsoring a child in India, because pocket change for me is life changing cash for her, and that's the least I can do, really.

I am so proud of my dad, because he's been in the clean energy business (i.e. windmills) since before clean energy was really a "thing." A thing that anyone worried about, at least.

last year I volunteered at my university's rape crisis center, and although as a victim of sexual abuse it was honestly more than I could bear, I'm at least happy I did my part.

yesterday, I donated (small amounts, but whatever I could) to two causes that are important to me (this and this).

I just want to help.

the point of this post is not to say that I am some saint, because, again, I am not (I mean, just yesterday, I said some horrific things to my roommate in a moment of anger and irrationality and grief. I can't believe those words even came out of my mouth, and I hate myself for that.) The point is that lately, I've been seen so much ugly in the world, and it just crushes me, because that is not the world I know. Those are not the people I know. I've always thought humanity was, in its own flawed way, beautiful. And a part of me still hopes it is. The fact that I could be wrong terrifies me.

I want the world to be a better place, one without suffering and abuse and war and genocide and terrorism and cruelty in any way. I want people to respect and embrace each others' differences. I don't know why, throughout the history of the world, we've found this so hard. I truly don't know why.

to me, it seems like such a simple concept.

{thanks for maybe reading my word vomit}

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


yummy baklava in Athens last winter. We killed it.

{1} I celebrated Thanksgiving with an Egyptian family, and, as a result, enjoyed (actually, inhaled) baklava instead of pumpkin pie. I can't say I hated it (also: happy belated Thanksgiving, and I am infinitely thankful for my dad, my sister, my boyfriend and his family, my dad's extended family, my best friends, Simba and his cousin Justin Bobby, almost being done with school, the cease-fire in Israel, chocolate peanut butter, and turquoise rings, among other things. And baklava. Obviously).

{2} I will teach Simba to dance like this someday if it's the last thing I do:

{3} for the past ten years or so, I've been on this prescription allergy medication that basically prevents me from breaking into the most excruciatingly itchy hives every time my skin comes into contact with dust (read: all day, every day). A week ago, I ran out of refills, and health services at school refused to help a homegirl out, so I was itchy for a week. It was terrible. But I finally got a refill and I AM SO EXCITED.

(I know, my life is awfully interesting)

{4} I found out while researching for an article that hydrocodone (Vicodin) is the most commonly prescribed drug in the United States. Is that crazy or what? It's so addictive! I mean, I took it one time for about five days or so when I hurt my back and the withdrawal symptoms after were absolutely terrible (that said, I have the world's most pathetic excuse for a "tolerance" to any substance...I get plastered off a glass of wine).

and that was my random fact for the day.

{5} the Christmas tree in our apartment is too sad and skinny. I'm not feeling it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

on repeat

just what I've needed after this horrible, awful, horrendous past week.

let the sun rise
light up the morning
the purest of prayers
will not bring us back

he whose candle was snuffed out
and was buried in the dust
bitter crying won't wake him up 
and won't bring him back
nobody will bring us back
from a dead and darkened pit 
neither the victory cheer
nor songs of praise will help 

so just sing a song for peace
don't whisper a prayer
just sing a song for peace
in a loud shout

allow the sun to penetrate
through the flowers
don't look back
let go of those departed
lift your eyes with hope 
not through the rifles' sights
sing a song for love
and not for wars 

don't say the day will come
bring on that day
because it is not a dream
and in all the city squares
cheer only for peace!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

peace, please


I'm not a religious person (like, at all), and religion sometimes bothers me (a lot). Not the wonderful traditions or sense of community or faith, but the exclusivity and hatred toward others and fanaticism and extremism that have cost us so many lives throughout the history of the world.

even though I am not religious (personally, I don't think believing in God and religion are the same thing), having an Israeli passport is incredibly important to me. The first few years of my life spent in Israel are incredibly important to me. The culture (a real melting pot) is important to me; my friends and family still in Israel are important to me.

I think I might be the only person in the world that still has a shred of hope that there might be peace in the Middle East someday. This is not a political blog (and I've mentioned so many times that I do not care for politics), but my heart hurts for the innocent civilians suffering on both sides. I want everyone to be okay.

we've been close before, haven't we?

fanaticism makes me sick to my stomach (Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or otherwise). Intolerance makes me sick to my stomach. Terrorism and murder make me sick to my stomach.

I don't know why so many people around the globe have to suffer because of this.

I hope I see peace in my lifetime. Maybe I should add that to my bucket list.

edited to add: I just did. I added it to my bucket list. So there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

lessons learned, hospital edition

someday in the far and distant future, I will be older and wiser (debatable), and I will gather my grandchildren around and tell them stories about my youth, always with the intent to teach them a valuable life lesson. The following is a list of important wisdom I gathered the last couple of days while at the hospital. Hopefully it will come in handy to one of you, and if not, well, you get to laugh at my stupidity, so there's that.

{this is me being sad, by the way}

never ever ever ever (get back together...just kidding; I can't stand Taylor Swift) take a drug that was not prescribed to you. Even if you are a life-long insomniac desperate for some sleep. Don't do it. It might have a deadly interaction with another one of your (prescribed) drugs and give you a seizure (or maybe that shit just happens to me).

while scared and frustrated and lonely at the hospital, hold on to every compliment you receive for dear life:
"ooh, I like your tattoo! Is it a jellyfish?" (No, no it's not. It's a hamsa. Funnily enough, my friend Alicia asked me if it was an elephant the other day. I didn't mind that one so much because I love elephants)
"you were so good in the MRI machine!" (Thanks, I've had a lot of practice)
"wow, you're 21 and a senior in college? You must be doing something right!" (or not, because I ended up here)

keeping things vague so that your father does not freak out is a good way to make him freak out.

if you are having the worst headache of your life, there's a good chance it's not just a headache. Do not ignore it.

try not to feel too ripped off when you are not given morphine like you were the last time you stayed overnight at a hospital (hey, I've only had it twice - at the hospital, yes - but that shit is like walking on clouds, so don't judge me too much). Don't ask for morphine, because then the nurses are really going to think you're a drug addict.

if you think riding in an ambulance might be cool (like I did), you're wrong. It's bumpy.

when the ambulance EMT asks you who the president of the United States is, say Obama, because you are sick, not stupid. When he asks you if he is on his first or second term realize that it is a trick question and say first, because again, you are sick, not stupid.

yo, ambulances are really expensive. If your university offers a free one, take it. If you are not a university student, I'm sorry, but you're screwed (see, it's good to go to college).

next time you think about getting a new piercing, think of how much of a bitch it's going to be to try to take it out if you ever need an MRI (yeah, my nose piercing closed, yet again, and my roommate and I had to pull a Parent Trap to re-pierce it...)

and speaking of, when they tell you you do not need to remove your piercings for the CAT scan of your brain, do not think you're off the hook just yet. They'll want an MRI later; you just wait and see.

don't hold your pee for over 12 hours because you are too lazy to walk to the bathroom with an IV in (I will be getting a UTI in 3, 2, 1...)

wonder why in the world the guy in the bed next to you is just so jolly about being in the hospital. Mentally punch him in the face.

crying to your father on the phone about wanting to go home will not make anyone discharge you.

texting your roommate, your boyfriend, your sister, and everyone's mother about how much you want to go home will not make anyone discharge you.

earplugs inside an MRI machine are useless. To pass the time, pretend you are at a Skrillex concert. Or, if you are not one for the Skrillex, time travel back to 2000 and pretend you are trying to connect to dial-up internet.

when you finally get hungry after not eating for an entire day, realize that you don't have to eat the sad hospital turkey sandwich and can order pizza like the guy in the bed next to you. Get angry that you didn't order Chipotle, and then remember that Chipotle doesn't deliver. Get even angrier.

always carry a phone charger with you, lest you end up in the hospital with a dead phone and no other form of entertainment.

wonder who projectile vomited onto the ceiling right over your bed, creating that lovely shade of putrid yellow.

try not to worry too much about missing class and work, your professors and boss will understand. Right?

trying to sleep at a hospital is a joke.

and on that note, I'm off to take a nap.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

lately {things that make me happy}

things have been pretty low-key around these parts lately, so I apologize for the silence from this end. I've been feeling a little meh physically, and I just had Simba neutered this week, so I've been taking care of my little guy that I love so much. But anyway, here are a few things that I am loving lately:

{1} I generally could not care less about politics (I know you're not supposed to admit to that, but seriously, I just don't care), but I am so relieved that Obama beat Romney in the election. Like my friend Alyssa said, "vote for your daughter, not for your dollar" (and also, can we not forget that it took this country 16 years to dig itself out of the Great Depression?). Americans, my uterus thanks you. And also, my student visa slash immigration status thanks you.

{2} fall is so beautiful lately! Although it is getting a teensy teeny too frigid outside...oh, Syracuse.

{3} my runs. I love running. Love love love it. And running to Beyonce? Totally a plus.

{4} overcoming anxiety and depression. I'm not perfect yet, and maybe I never will be, but I am -- dare I say it? -- so proud of myself.

{5} I signed up for a fiction writing workshop next semester. I'm so excited! So far throughout college, I've only taken nonfiction writing classes (which I have loved, of course, but there's something exciting about really truly pursuing this fiction thing).

{6} being in love.

{7} my little guy Simba! Even when he misbehaves, I just adore him so much. It's so great to get home to a happy dog, wagging his tail.

{8} my relationships with my dad and my sister make me so happy.

{9} oatmeal, peanut butter, coffee, tea. Never fails.

{10} as much as I am sad to leave Syracuse after four years, I am so excited for what is to come in my life. I couldn't be luckier.

{11} I really, really, really love my job.

Monday, November 5, 2012

3 years ago today

...who would've thought.


*and this shall be the only time I ever use an emoticon on my blog. Hold me accountable to this, please and thank you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

what am i here for?

I'm no god (obviously), but I am pretty sure I was put in this world for two reasons:

{1} to be happy
{2} to help others

I had such an unhappy childhood, and I grew up in such an unstable, volatile home (and, yes, there were short flashes of happiness, like winning my first gymnastics medal, or...I'm actually having a tough time with that "or" right now, which I suppose is testament to how shitty things were), that it took me a long time to understand that not only is it okay to be happy, but it is perfectly acceptable to aspire to be happy, to look at that state of being as both a journey and a long-term goal.

for a long time, I thought I had to be this "persona," the tortured writer, the fuck up, the girl with the mental illness. I thought that would not only set me apart, but that it would allow me to become the best writer. And although I do believe that the most compelling writers are those that have gone through terrible, terrible things, through hell and back, I now understand that their stories are so heart-wrenching and heartwarming because, some way or another, they are trying to make it to the other side -- to better themselves (in other words, no one wants to read a never-ending sob story).

the one thing I love most about my boyfriend is that, to him, the most important thing in life is to be happy (and healthy, obviously). I admire that. And I agree with that.


helping others has always been so important to me. Through my writing, I've always hoped to tell the stories of those that have gone on unheard, and (I say this without a self-congratulatory pat on the back, thank you very much) I've tackled some difficult subjects in my writing: mental illness, disability, abuse, war, poverty. I want others to read my writing, not necessarily because I think I am a good writer, but because it's a skill that I have and a skill I can use to help, even in the smallest ways.

lately, I've been feeling that I should volunteer more. I used to work for my school's rape crisis center, and that was a rewarding experience because having gone through the horrors of sexual assault myself, I feel so strongly about this issue. But I know I could still do more. 

I want to adopt a child in need someday. 

the people that I love most are those that can be entirely selfless. I've seen some great acts of compassion lately, with all the destruction and terror surrounding the hurricane, and it honestly warms my heart that people can come together in times of pain. Even if it's just by doing little things -- such as Alyssa's charge station in Hoboken, or the man in Port Authority that convinced a bus driver headed to Toronto to make a pit stop in Syracuse to drop off a classmate of mine so that she could escape Sandy in time. To me, that speaks volumes about character. I aspire to be like these people. 

my dad has been involved in the business of clean, renewable energy for over 10 years now, and I am so proud of him, knowing that what he is doing for a living will help all of humanity in years and years to come. 

I want to leave a mark someday. A good one. I want to be happy, and I want to help.

that's what I'm here for. 

p.s. this post is brought to you by my inability to sleep without first spewing some serious word vomit. 

my goals; november

so...October was an interesting month. I definitely had my ups and downs, but it was all for the best, I think. Things feel different now, within myself. Better. I'm definitely more at peace with myself and with the people in my life. I hope that this time it sticks, you know?

so how did I do last month (and also, does it terrify anyone else that it is already freaking November? What is going on? Where is the time going?)?

{1} keep working on my novel! -- check! Some days I did better than others, and I definitely didn't write every day, but I'm keeping at it. I faced some hurdles, mostly mental -- of the "you suck, your stuff is not even remotely good enough" kind -- but I want to power through. I know I can do this. 

{2} write 3-4 freelance pieces -- maybe? I've seriously lost track at the moment. But I think I did accomplish this one!

{3} read A Casual Vacancy! Biggest J.K. Rowling fan, and not just because of Harry Potter. I think she's a brilliant writer. -- I'm about halfway through. It moves a lot, a lot slower than Harry Potter did, that's for sure, and although I was expecting no Harry Potter, I still enjoy her style of writing. But with school, work, more work, and more work, it's just hard to read an entire novel, especially one that's 500+ pages long.

{4} go out and party at least once a week. -- I think I might've had too much fun toward the end of this month. I need to learn to find a balance. It's important for my health (mental, physical). But I guess this one's a check!

{5} learn to sleep past 8 a.m. -- err...with the help of klonopin? Ugh. 

{6} look into taking the GREs. -- yup! I even registered to take the test next semester. Can't wait to bomb the math section?

and as for my November goals...

{1} keep running! I've recently fallen in love with running, and I really hope to get better and faster. There's really no greater feeling than after you're done with a run...serious endorphins there.

{2} do well in school. I don't know why this has fallen down the wayside this semester...senioritis?

{3} write something for my novel every day...even if it's just a word. Just something.

{4} look into more (hopefully paid) freelancing opportunities. 

{5} eat healthier.

{6} laugh more.