Lucca is a little bit jealous of my loom.
I can’t even start to explain why I love weaving so much without first explaining, as best I can, what it feels like to have an ADD brain. While I think I would still love weaving even if I didn’t have attention deficit disorder, its therapeutic and meditative qualities have been a life changer.
I don’t really know what other people’s brains are like, but mine has about 7-10 actual trains of thought going through it at once, and those trains of thought are speed bumping over other smaller thought distractions which appear and then vanish just as quickly as they arrive. Of those 7-10 actual thought strands, only a few of them are actually clear and followable; it’s like my brain is thinking about more than I could possibly keep up with, so the goal is to try really, really hard to focus on just one or two of those things running through my brain, letting the others reduce to a murmur in the background. The popcorn thoughts appear out of nowhere and can throw me off — “MY IM IS GOING OFF,” “OOH CUTE SHOES,” “SQUIRREL!” — and suddenly I’m like, “Ack, what was I thinking about? The layout of my new apartment and where to put all of my furniture? No, no, no, wrong one, Amelia, don’t follow that train of thought now, that’s for later. You were thinking about how to write this essay about your ADD — oh Christ another blinking IM, better click it!” Keep reading »
One of the things I lost when I stopped shampooing and cutting my hair was regular hangouts with my former hairstylist/now friend, Maggie. I met her after several bad experiences at Hair Cuttery and Great Clips, where I’d go for a $20 hair cut, say, “Fuck my hair up!” and the stylist would interpret that as “You want a layered bob.” I did not want a layered bob. I wanted fucked-up hair.
I think I was 22 when I started seeing Maggie on the reg. I decided I’d splurge on a $35 haircut at Regis, one of those slightly-more-upscale mall hair salons where you learn that paying $15 more for your haircut really goes a long way. It was a lot for me at the time when you counted the tip, too, but Maggie made it worth it. I said, “Fuck up my hair!” and she looked at my hair for a minute or so, decided how to artfully fuck it up, and proceeded to do so. Keep reading »
I think I may have had a small mental break down last week. I knew it was coming, I was all tight with emotion after some of the responses I received on an open letter I wrote to some New York school teachers who wore NYPD shirts to school on the first day of class– in a largely minority school. When I skimmed through the comments section, I noted an almost sheer disregard for the humanity of the men I referred to in the piece who were murdered by police in the streets. Men like Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford, whose unfair deaths justify the movement against police brutality. A movement intended to end discriminatory judicial practices. One that most certainly should not be opposed by teachers of minority students.
To many White readers, the issue was simple: the NYPD deserved support from teachers, even if they mess up a couple of times. After all, not “all cops are bad” and most of these guys were doing something wrong anyway. Keep reading »
I was 25 when I kissed someone for the first time.
I’d met him at a local book club, and we hit it off almost instantly. Our first date started at eight p.m. and ended shortly after one a.m. Though we’d planned a second official date for the following Tuesday, we ended up hanging out every evening for the next few days. I was smitten, he was smitten, and it wasn’t long before we were A Thing.
Two months later, I moved to Chicago and we broke up. But before all that happened, before this relationship went down in the flaming ball of pain that plagues so many long distance relationships, we had several wonderful evenings together. We watched movies, went out to eat, walked through parks, and, yes, fooled around on his small loveseat in his apartment.
In the technical sense, I never actually “lost” my virginity (at least not with him). But I no longer felt like a virgin because I was now sexually experienced. And this was a problem for the culture I came from, because I had committed the greatest of all sins: I had engaged in premarital fooling around with someone. Keep reading »
It was October 2012. My Australian boyfriend and I had just been on a romantic, whirlwind adventure road trip around Europe. We spent the first month with his parents in Spain and France, and then spent the following month on our own. We zigzagged through Switzerland, Austria, a brief drive through Lichtenstein, Germany, and finally Belgium. We’d been living in London before our travels and this was to be our final trip before we relocated together to San Francisco.
The preceding months had been fraught with anxiety as the expiration dates on our visas approached. As is the the case in many international relationships, my boyfriend and I struggled how to proceed as a couple. San Francisco was my choice, but he was not quite ready to leave Europe. In Bruges, on the last day of our trip, we broke up. We were one day away from going back to London, saying our goodbyes and then going our separate ways to reunite a few months later. The impending separation felt like it spelled doom, and we suffered over what to do. Keep reading »
My life three years ago is sometimes incomprehensible to me. Retrospectively, it’s so absurd that it’s hard to believe that the things that happened happened, or that I tolerated some of the things that happened, or that I actively participated in some of the things that happened.
Enough mystery. When Jessica’s article about the time her husband spent unemployed went live, I told her about my experiences on both sides of the unemployment-in-a-relationship fence. I spent three years with an unemployed (former) spouse, and then became unemployed myself last year, during the course of the relationship I’m in with my boyfriend now. Jessica recounted beautifully the anxiety of watching a partner she loves undergoing the stress of unemployment and job-searching. Keep reading »