"Montana" by Slow Pulp [sounds a bit like Lomelda. And also sunlight. Sounds like sunlight.]
I'm a bad mess
I'm a loner with no plans
Go back home
March 27, 2021 Saturday 1:16 PM
Spring is streaming through the window. It smells like sunlight and water. Last night, Maria and Nadiya and I got ice cream. It was a little too cold for it, but it was good anyways. Well, sort of. It was vegan ice cream, and while pretty good, it's still sort of mediocre. But it's only a block from where we live and most of us have lactose intolerance anyways, so it was the best option. I got a matcha flavor and it was extremely bitter but really nice.
I've had some thoughts lately. My anxiety was craaazy in the past week or so, because I had my workshop coming up and I was extremely unsatisfied with my submission. I was ready to be roasted. Plus, I was actually super worried people would be offended that I was writing gay characters as a cis woman, and that I was also writing a person with mental illness. I guess I was concerned that the gay relationship would come off as a fetishization instead of an actual, real connection; and I also worried that the mental illness I was writing would also be seen as a fetishization. I didn't want the story to come off as a "recovery," thing, where the guy overcomes a lifetime of pathologies. In the story, he's already been in therapy for years so that wouldn't even make sense. Idk, man, I just want him to be both happy and torn apart, if that makes sense.
Anyway, I was so worried that my own sort of romantic notions of mental illness (despite the fact that I *should* know how un-romantic it really is) would inform the writing too much. I would be making too much of his character an offshoot of pathology instead of a person.
No one seemed to have those issues with my story, at least not that I can tell... I think they would've brought it up if it were the case. They actually seemed to like the characters a lot, which was nice. I maintain that the draft they saw was poorly developed and much too fast, but I appreciate what constructive criticism they were able to give and it really helped.
That said, I was sooo anxious beforehand. I had trouble sleeping for days in advance, enough that on the day before, I only managed 3 hours and then I ended up crying a bunch later and skipped two classes. I felt like such shit for doing that. The anxiety seems so wildly inappropriate in retrospect (and even in current...spect... lol. But I couldn't control it). Anxiety is so weird—the way I must navigate it daily is also so weird. I'm there, constantly pulling myself back from it. And when I say constantly, I truly mean constantly. Not an hour goes by where I don't get sucked into bad memories lol. Is that normal??? Anyway, that's the vibe.
I feel better now. Good, even. DH messaged me during our shared class, which I missed, and asked if I was alright and stuff, but after a short exchange he didn't answer me again LOL. My prerogative was to continue engaging and prompting, but now I think, eh. I'm going to engage if prompted by that's it haha. It's too embarrassing to be left on read over and over again.
There's a girl in my advanced lit workshop, about whom I have had oscillating opinions. I actually remember her from my very first workshop. Weird to have her sandwiching my college workshop career, lol. Semester 1 and Semester 8, LITR 0100 and LITR 1010. Anyway, she's a wonderful writer, but I wasn't sure how to feel about her initially. One guy submitted this story where the narrator was this incredible misogynist and during the workshop she said that she found the work personally offensive and hurtful. I had a lot of respect for the way that she handled the situation. She was not incendiary or anything.
Whether I agreed with her is another matter. I mean, she has a right to her opinion, though. I personally am also a woman, and I was not bothered by the story because I sort of understood what he was trying to achieve. Still, what mattered more to me was how she interacted with the offense. I did feel kinda bad for the guy, though.
Later, Nadiya asked me if that girl was in my class and I said yes, why? Nadiya said she'd seen her tweet something about her Advanced Lit workshop and how she got racist comments on her story. One of them was a comment on the "eastern/asian obsession with youth" and I forget what the other one was. But basically they were both comments directed at this girl, who is Asian-american (specifically Chinese-american, I believe), and they had less to do with the story structure and more to do with personal interpretations of "eastern" culture.
Basically, they were microaggressions. The girl wrote that she was even sort of afraid to talk to our professor about it (LH—I've mentioned him before because I've had him for 3 classes now, and he is just... really nice to me for some reason lol). I think she managed to do it, though, because LH posted this long thing about feedback and how we should never ever feel the need to comment on identity, etc. Side-note, I admire the way LH has been handling complicated situations... I don't know if I'd have the same, uh... Idk if I would be able to do that lol.
Anyway, then in workshop, the girl was commenting on this other workshopper's piece. Her comments were actually more direct responses to everyone else's comments, which she felt were not taking into account the work of the story itself.
My immediate reaction to all of these instances was to be afraid of this girl and sort of indignant as well. And at first I didn't really understand my own disgust and fear, given that, objectively, this girl has been voicing her concerns in a really reasonable way... But during that workshop—and after, when she sent me an email to say that she found my comments on her work very thoughtful and helpful—I realized I was so angry because I felt *defensive.*
And the moment I felt I had her approval (aka when I received her email), any negative feelings I had kind of evaporated. I don't really have a solid interpretation of these feelings at the moment. It does, however, make perfect sense—is not even surprising—that my loathing can be sourced back to my own insecurity, my own terror. It's interesting that I couldn't even stop myself from feeling it, even evaluating the situation and determining that I had a lot of respect for that girl, I still felt angry and I kept trying to figure that out, to see if there was any justification. But I think a lot of that feeling really just came from a fear that I was the very type of person that makes her life harder.
I have to pee now and do work, but yeaaaah.
I've been doing great. Did I mention Maria and I got sushi and margheritas last night? Not exactly a high-class pairing, but omg it was so good. I was so happy. Last night was such a good night.
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