The Chicka Sisterhood

{February 1, 2008}   Of Me

“The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implications of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern, the condition of feeling life in general so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it—this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience.”

~Henry James / In Partial Portraits (1888)

copyright 2008, CMP; Used with permission of the photographer. All Rights Reserved. 


{January 30, 2008}   Who I am.

I was 6 the first time I moved. My father wanted to start a business in Maryland, which was 250 miles from home. I was too young to cry.

Fifteen months later, I had just turned 8, and we moved back home.

Nearly twenty years later, I have lived in five different houses, four different apartments, a duplex and a dorm room, and I can’t figure out where I want to stay or who I want to be today.

I’ll tell you what I think I know for sure:

I am 27. I have five goldfish, four holes in my earlobes, three university degrees, two younger brothers, one loving boyfriend and a set of never-divorced parents. I say that Cleveland, Ohio is home, and I believe that. I have a large Catholic family with an Irish surname and illegitimate ties to famous ancestors. I believe in life-long commitment where I can get it. So far, I’ve found it in family, a couple of terminally patient friends, and a partner who doesn’t mind when I have very unfeminine gas.

I like vegan food and cable TV political shows, and I prefer dogs over cats. I pride myself on being a good communicator, and then I feel guilty for my pride. I am often rational and pragmatic to a fault and thus force myself to save trinkets for which I might one day feel sentimental. I don’t thrive in business offices but have little experience elsewhere, so I take photographs and write to save my soul. I may or may not speak decent Spanish depending on who you ask and how inebriated they are when they answer.

I like figuring myself out, but not so much that I feel boxed in. And yet here I am, writing to you from within this little box. Funny how that works, innit?

{January 22, 2008}   Telling the truth

When I was little, oh about 4 or so, I dropped a spare window pane that sat on our back fence into the neighbors yard. I was testing my capacity at levitation. Alas, I was no Houdini, and the neighbors now had plenty of shards scattered throughout the yard.

I ran as fast as my size seven sandals could carry me, and tried to push the event out of my mind for the rest of the afternoon.

The next morning, sleep still clouding my eyes, dressed only in my daddy’s big white tee shirt (my bedtime garb up until the age of 8), I walked into the kitchen. I was questioned about the missing glass, and it’s mysterious removal and reappearance in my neighbors yard.

I cried with guilt, every inch of me showing. But I continued to deny my presence in the glass-over-fence incident, praying that it would just become untrue if I didn’t believe it hard enough.

I never admitted my guilt. But accepted a hug from my father, soothing words that it didn’t matter anyway, he just wanted to make sure the glass hadn’t grown legs and tried to end its own life. Needless to say, I never played with the neighbor girls again. Whether it was guilt or pride, I couldn’t bring myself into the presence of people who thought of me as a liar.

In sixth grade I found a tube of chapstick. Once the owner noticed it went missing and accused me of taking it, I denied it with my life. I didn’t speak with her for years. (It was really really nice chapstick… and I ended up throwing it away and then screaming “effing search me, bitch!”)

I’ve always been a liar. To strangers. To friends. To family. Usually it is to avoid conflict. My Libra brain and church-going upbringing somehow warped my adult mind into believing that it is actually better to make people happy than it is to be honest.

The fact is, I’m more honest with those I have a casual relationship than I am with those I am close to.

Will I ever stop lying? No. It just feels too good sometimes.

I’m Sister Pot & Kettle. I’ve named myself as such because I have a tendency to play the role of one or the other when talking with my friends. And also because I’m fond of both; the former in the smoky sense, the latter in the tea sense.

I’m 32 years old and so far, I think my 30s are far better than my 20s. I feel like there’s far less drama in my 30s though I have very little to actually back that claim as my thirties so far have held quite a few dramatic and melodramatic events. I guess it’s that I tend to care less about what outsiders think. I’m single and have been for the majority of my adult life. My efforts in men leave something to be desired. Whether it’s falling for geographically undesirable men, dabbling in men who have very little potential, or falling in love with men who simply do not exist, I don’t really trust my taste in the opposite sex anymore. That said, I don’t believe that I’m quite what the man of my dreams would dream of himself at this time so I’m okay with working on me for now. I just have to remind myself that I’m actually working on this or I’ll stay in the hide-away area forever.

I grew up in southern California and hate it when people call my home-state “Cali.” It’s kinda like calling San Francisco by the horrid moniker of “Frisco.” Bad. F. I now live the south which is a whole different experience from the one in which I grew up. I like where I am but I won’t live here forever and I’m aware of that. I like being able to wander nomadically now and again, even when the prospect of complete and total change freaks me out.

I’m a little neurotic but I acknowledge this and I completely own my Crazy. I like doing things that scare me, though most of my fears are either intangible or completely ridiculous. (I fear finding severed heads in Igloo coolers. Wtf?) I’m not afraid of heights, which seems to be the biggie in my family. I quite like scampering up ladders and looking out over the world from really high vantage points. (I would love to sleep on the Grand Canyon skyway, except that camping isn’t something I’m into one little bit.) I like adventure.

When I was in the third grade, I decided I’d be a writer. I also decided I’d win my first Pulitzer by age 21. A little precocious? Yeah, just a bit. I still love writing and all art in general. I paint a lot and have a staggering addiction to blank books. It’s a goal of mine to live artfully. I want to infuse art into everything I possibly can in my life.

I became a member of the Sisterhood a few months ago and was quite humbled that I was even extended an invitation. There seems to be a shortage of positive groups for women to commune and support one another. I’m happy to have found one. A gal needs her sisters.

et cetera