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What Timing.

I just watched one of my favorite movies, one I am usually embarrassed to admit liking: Where the Heart Is. It’s something I would usually scoff at- you know, tear-jerking, heart-warming romance. It’s what you might call a chick flick- and I don’t go for those.

This one, though, somehow I just love, and tonight, after watching it, I felt that it arrived from netflix at a rather appropriate time.

I don’t think I’m going to get into grad school.

The deadline for the major application is the 1st. I haven’t finished filling it out yet, because I need some information from my undergrad university. I’ve had a month to get it. Every day I sleep late, then pass away the early afternoon doing nothing. Some days I remember, when it’s far too late to call an office back east, that I needed to do so. I resolve that the next day it will happen- and then repeat the pattern. By now, I have one last chance- get the information (which I’m not even entirely sure I can get) on the 30th or accept that I’ve gone and fucked it up. And I haven’t even written my essays and things, which are due in two weeks. I’ve merely over-thought them until I find everything I have to say worthy of rejection.

Also, I just got my official GRE scores in the mail today, and never before have I felt so fucking mediocre. Let me repeat: mediocre. I don’t feel smart. I don’t feel overly talented. I feel like my impression of myself as an intelligent person, capable and worthy of getting into this school, has perhaps been… off-target. Like when your mother tells you something you’ve cooked is the best thing she’s ever tasted, so with a big head you serve it to others, and find out that it’s really not impressive at all- I feel like that, only I, and my intelligence, my capability, my worth, are the dish.

This really doesn’t feel good.

But! This is an entry about why that sappy film felt appropriate tonight.

Tom hasn’t left my life, but refuses to actually be in it. Every time I think he’s gone, he goes and does something like ‘liking’ a photo of me smiling on fbook. Small, nothing things, but enough to remind me he exists. I’ve realized that- that I don’t feel like I’m good enough for him. I was dating this guy recently whom I found to be undereducated, and felt better than him for it. Tom is far better educated than I. Thus I feel – yes, like I’m not good enough for him. Especially today, when I see my stupidly mediocre scores and wonder if I’ll even pull off an application the day before it’s deadline or not- he’s getting his PHD at this school, and I don’t think I’ll even be able to get into one of the smaller, uncompetitive programs. So I don’t think I’m good enough for the type of person I want to be with. In gist.

The protagonist of this film is a young single mother living through her hardships with the help and love of friends she makes along the way. There is, of course, a romance. The man of the romance is well educated, and, she thinks, too good for her. Or rather, she thinks that she isn’t good enough for him. So (hey spoilers!) she sends him off with a lie that she doesn’t love him.

But then! She realizes that she really does, and drives to his fancy university to tell him: she lied. She lied because she doesn’t think she is good enough for him. And he tells her- get this- there is nothing better than her. They kiss, cut to the wedding, cut to credits.

So as I’m feeling really shitty about myself, like I’m not worth the things I want in life, here comes this film in which a girl who feels similarly is told that she is full of worth. I can’t quite make the leap to applying her lesson to myself- afterall, life ain’t the movies, even the tear-jerkers- but it’s still a timely thing.

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Pre GRE

The worst part about the fear I am feeling right now is the knowledge that no, I have not prepared to the utmost of my ability.

I borrowed this GRE prep book from the library months ago. I intended to study a little bit of it every day, until I got to the practice exam. Then I could take it, and move on to the online study aids. I could work my way through the online practice work until I got to the practice tests, and then I could take them, practicing and practicing, until I knew for sure I was as prepared as I could be.

What actually happened is that I studied for a bit for 2, 3 nights in a row, then got discouraged by the wrong answers I was hitting. The book sat on the floor of my bedroom until I moved it to the table in the living room. From there I moved it to the top of the bookshelf. I carried it with me back east and sat it at the end of my guest bed. I carried it with me up north, and read snippets outloud to scoff at it. I brought it to the theater I was working at and left it in the audience, next to the tech booth. I left it in my bag for days when I was finally home, realizing how much time I’d wasted, and procrastinating further to avoid thinking about it.

Even in the past few days, I haven’t been able to keep a regular study schedule, even with the pressure on. Today I made it through all the strategy sections (not any of the practice ones) clear to the “take control of the test” chapter- all about how to maintain a confident attitude, a positive outlook that would benefit my score. It mentioned the months of studying, practicing, preparation I had been through, the online resources I had turned to, the confidence that knowing I was well prepared brought. As I read, I felt worse and worse- I had spent days, hours studying, not months. I didn’t even realize there were so many online resources. And I am not well prepared. If I had really- here I go- worked up to my potential, I would surely be confident tonight. I would feel certain that I would do well, that the good score I want was in the bag.  But I didn’t, and I don’t.

So now I turn to the same part of the book that tells me how confident I am, and focus on a different paragraph. I quote:

“…this one test will not single-handedly determine the outcome of your life. In many cases, it’s not even the most important part of your graduate application.”

Not even the most important part of my graduate application. Not even the most important part of my graduate application. Breathe girl breath.

I know I will do the best that I can under the circumstances I have given myself. I know that I will probably do better than I expect to, based on the many assurances I have gotten that yes, one tends to do better than one expects, better than one thinks one has. I know that the outcome of tomorrow’s test will not singly determine my admittance to this grad program.

But I can’t help wishing I had given myself better circumstances.

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Mathematics

I’m taking the GRE in less than a week. I am nervous about it, because while I don’t have to do tremendously well to get into the program I am applying to, I still have to do reasonably well.

I’ve had this GRE study book for so long now that I am accepting library fines because I can’t renew it anymore. I’ve made it through the verbal parts of the guide, and no further. I hate this book, because as I’ve read through the section I felt confident in, I kept getting things wrong, which made me lose confidence. I have lost confidence in the area I am confident in.

Is it any surprise, then, that although I hang on to this book, I do not read any further? Do not take the practice exams? Do not do the thing for which I borrowed the book in the first place: study up on the math section?

I haven’t even cracked the math section. I had planned to read up on the verbal parts first for a confidence booster. That didn’t happen, and now, instead of being merely wary of the math part, I am actually afraid of it.

I am afraid of the math portion.

So I don’t study it, for fear it will make me cry in dread. Of course, not studying it only makes it worse. Makes it something bigger to fear.

Ugh.

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House Dreaming

I am lusting after this house:

Look at it.

Isn’t it cute? The dining room, the kitchen, the bathroom, the backyard, oh, the backyard! How I lust after this house and it’s backyard. It’s in the central valley of CA, about 4 hours away from LA. Now then- why on earth would I lust after a house far away from the big city, in a small town known for its conservative attitudes and lack of cultural variety?

Because I could ride my bike around there without feeling like I was in danger. Because there is a theater company I could involve myself in for doses of creativity. Because there are places I could work, friends to help me find work, friends to socialize with. Because it would be more quiet. Because it would be (much as I love her) farther from my mom, whose things still fill this place, whose things are impossible to move or condense any further, who checks in when I’m away and moves things, leaves weird things in the fridge, sleeps on my clean sheets, gets dishes dirtier by washing them than if she just hadn’t bothered, takes away things I use and leaves things I don’t. After a year of living in her crowded apartment, of leaving cardboard boxes full of packing hope to be emptied with time and neglect, of waiting around helplessly while nothing happens, I just want to leave. I want to leave this entire city just to get away from this living situation.

So, a pretty house in a cheaper area that can offer me a few nice things, with wide, empty rooms, unblemished by any one else’s packrat habits- it seems like a dream. That’s all this lovely house (and every other house and apartment I looked at in this smaller town) is right now, dreaming- I’m applying to grad school here in LA, won’t find out about it until mid-March- but the dreaming gives me a wistful sort of hope that all these damn cardboard boxes I’ve still got around, meant for her stuff, may someday still be used, even if only for repacking my own things in to.

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The Ninteen Year Old

After a while, I forget how nice it is to be liked, to be wanted.

This past week I met a version of my first ex-boyfriend, 6 years younger and improved. This one was cuter, shared more of my interests, was pursuing an education, and wanted to move to an interesting city. (This as opposed to the older version I had, who had few interests, pursued hardly anything, and wanted to move nowhere.) This one, like the older version, was but a puppy of a man, eager, sincere, excitable and distractable.

And he liked me. This is how I knew:
He put on music he thought I’d like. He stood there chatting with me, almost unaware of all the work to be done. He sat so close behind me that my hair would brush his crossed arms, and extend them out on either side of me like in an embrace we’d pretend not to notice. He called me epic. (Epic!) He giggled and blushed. He brought me snacks and drinks. He squeezed in a chair so I could sit by him, and gave me his so I could see better. He very casually slipped his arm around my chair in the dark. He carefully leaned his arm against mine. He delicately plucked bits of fuzz from my bangs. When given a chance to work on my project, he concentrated harder than on anything else, as if he’d make his brain bust to do a good job. He checked me out when he thought I wasn’t looking. He tried to please me without looking like he was trying. It was cute.

And he made me feel like I was going to boil over in a fit of lust, of totally inappropriate lust. I wanted to take him backstage and do things I would normally never dream of doing in those circumstances. But of course, I didn’t, because I was only in town for a week, was staying with my friend his boss, and because, oh yes, he’s a teenager. But he was so cute, and seemed so sweet and harmless, and made me smile and laugh, and even if I couldn’t let myself do any of the things I wanted to do, I still let myself think them, if only because it was just so nice to have someone trying to please me.

And I’m letting him serve as a reminder of something I apparently need reminding of- that is, of how nice it is to have someone wanting to be nice to you, to please you, to see you, to touch you in little heart racing ways, to be sweet to you. I forget this, and I bend over backwards to do that for those who will not do that for me. I forget how nice it is to be on the receiving end. I forget that I deserve to be on the receiving end, that I oughtn’t have any time for those who wouldn’t give me that. Even if I like them- if they won’t give me that happiness, it’s they’re not worth it.

Reminder noted.

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Quick Stats

-So tired. So, so tired. And achey. And bruised. This is what comes of working on sets.

-Have a stupid crush on a 19 year old who reminds me of the boyfriend I had when  I was 19, only cooler. Heard my laugh go all girl-in-front-of-boy with him today. Rolling eyes at self so hard they might fall out.

-Oh yeah. Got tarp in eye today. TARP.

And now if I don’t wash my face so I can fall asleep my head might fall off.

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Elsewhere

I can’t seem to keep myself at home this month.

You’d think that, for all my travels, I’d have loads to say. On this most recent trip (which began just today) I even brought a journal along, so sure was I that I would be able to wear out pens… but thus far, nothing.

I would tell you that my thoughts are too convoluted, or too active, or too unripe to form themselves into sentences and come out yet, but I don’t know if that’s the case. I’ve got loads of thoughts and feelings, but nothing seems to want to come out- and, that being the case, my motivation for documenting the events of these travels has been nil.

I’ll have to get back to you.

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