I feel as if I’ve been waiting for a lot of things lately.  But mostly I’ve been waiting for my life to catch up to my head.  I’m always in that same state, but this year I’ve been particularly ambitious, so everything is moving much slower and faster than normal.  I’ve decided that I’m having a quarter life crisis.  Actually I decided I was a few months ago.  I’m chock full of self fulfilling prophecies.  Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing.  It can be, and it has been.  Especially as a teenager.  But I’m not a teenager anymore, and with every passing year I’ve gotten better at self fulfilling positive prophecies.  So here I am all moved into my place in what I’ve been instructed to refer to as ‘the proud and independent republic of Cambridge’ and more specifically Harvard square.  The room is furnished, so now I have a bed to sleep on.  The courtyard outside is brick and cobblestone, the building is old with hardwood floors and strange architectural anomalies that they have all but eliminated from modern construction for no good reason.  My roommate plays the guitar and sings beautifully in Russian as she practices to perform during the summers.  My ex left the set of chess pieces and analog clock he bought before his first tournament right when we started dating for me on the door the day I was leaving town.  We had dinner the night before, and quite honestly it was the most wonderful date I’ve ever been on [well, except our terrible waitress…but those are the fun parts of memories aren’t they?].  Our last words that night were tearful ‘I love you’s.  I wouldn’t have wanted to leave town any other way.  I’m secretly hoping 10 years from now we run into each other and our lives are back in sync.  I secretly have a fear I’ll never find someone who understands me the same way again.  But I can’t hold on to that, I’ve got plans for the future and they’re almost in the palm of my hand.  On the surface I guess that may sound selfish, but on the surface I’m much different.  And I’m guessing so are you.

My youngest sister is graduating from Boston University in a few weeks and of the three of us, she benefited the most from the least amount of involvement from my parents.  She’s a relatively normal, intelligent young woman now and at times I also secretly wish I had her life instead.  She’s moving to California at the end of the summer because her boyfriend will be going to graduate school at Stanford.  But I’ll have the summer to get to know her as an adult, a chance I haven’t had before this.  I’ve already made her commit to weekly lunches in alternating parts of the city to ensure our sisterly bonding.  My best friend told me that she wants everyone she knows to move far away from her so she always has somewhere to stay when she goes on vacation.  I agree.  My other sister is in Florida and getting married in about a month to a guy I’ve never met.  When we were younger she was my other half, through every move and every family drama we were always there for each other.  The last few years I’ve lost her and I realized I might not get her back.  Sometimes people are stuck in places that they can’t leave until they’re ready.  I’ll be here for her when she is, but until then there’s not much more I can do.  I’m currently pretending that this wedding won’t actually go through as an excuse not to worry about it until the last minute.  That maybe she’ll wake up and let me know…but maybe she never will.  Le sigh…[that’s how they say it in France.  Or at least they do in my head].

I haven’t been reading books as much lately as I’ve wanted to, but I have been re-reading Welcome to the Monkey House semi obsessively.  Besides Harrison Bergeron, Report on the Barnhouse Effect is my favorite story.  It was the first Vonnegut book I ever read and at 17 I was actually fairly upset I hadn’t been introduced to his work sooner.  There are only a handful of books I’ve read more than once [I’m a volume reader], but I’ve re-read almost all his and many multiple times.  I’ve also bought and borrowed and lent out and lost about 3 copies of everything he’s written.  I think it’s about time I invest in buying them all and reading them in order this time…  Did you know he studied as a chemist before he became a writer?  Chemists are an interesting breed of people.  And I’m not just saying that because technically I am, but I think it tends to be the science people end up in when they are curious about the way the world works and what the hell we’re doing here but aren’t quite sure how [or what] to think about it.  Physicists are another favorite of mine.  They can be off putting at times, but I always imagined it was like they had special math glasses they used to look at the world.  I really wish someone would invent a way to jump inside someone’s brain for a few minutes.  I would love to see what it’s like in other people’s heads.  I especially wonder if colors and objects look the same.  Like if your personal perspective filter makes things physically appear different when you interpret the image.  I’d imagine if someone jumped in my head for a few minutes it would seem like absolute chaos and a relief to step out of.  But maybe that’s just because every once in a while I’d like to get a break from myself.  I spend a great deal of time focusing my wondering mind.  But everything has a place, and I know where it is.  Even if I have to take obscure paths to get there.  …you should try finding something on my desktop….my computer files are [non]sensically organized and I realized the other day I have about 10 folders in 3 different places named ‘Random folders’.  But I know exactly what’s in each one and why.  …ah, my computer brain extension.  This is the first computer I’ve owned that was just mine and only mine and it’s the only part of my life that I’m protective about other people touching.  [Although I’m also the same way with my thoughts]  I need to get a laptop soon and I’ve realized how picky I am being about it.  Probably because now I can become mobile with my brain extension….scary ;p

And that’s what this is right now [no, not the brain extension part], but a focus for my wondering mind while I’m waiting.  Waiting for that email, waiting for my life to catch up to my head.  Waiting for the chance to finally fully focus my head into one place.  I guess my next life crisis is my mid-life.  I’m assuming time will be going much quicker in between now and then than it did for the time leading up to my quarter life.  Now that I’ve gotten somewhat of a handle on this whole existing thing I suddenly feel like I have catching up to do and not nearly enough time to do it in…Le psi…[That’s how physicists say it in France…]  


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  1. it’s the future…

    • RiaD on May 4, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    your 3rd paragraph sounds just like our girl!

    we had a conversation maybe a week ago…

    how do you know everyone sees the same colours…you’re told as a child ‘this is green’ but what if your eyes see what my eyes say is blue? how would you know? & what about dogs? or dragonflies?

    (she just graduated yesterday~ double major (2 degrees?) chemistry/biology…& just mentioned grad school in physics (hahaha!))

    everything’ll settle….in the meantime enjoy yourself!

    remember the point is the journey, not the destination!


  2. I love this!!!!  What a wonderful mind you have 😀  Who

    knew that the conversations we had the other day were really

    the set up for this delightful essay?!!  Great job VC, great


    And tomorrow is going to be a really nice day (which we deserve after days on end of crappy weather) so plan on a

    lovely walk in the park, enjoy the sights and have a wonderful ‘me’ day.

    Le sigh…[that’s how they say it in France.  Or at least they do in my head].

    Le psi…[That’s how physicists say it in France…]


    Couldn’t let this pass unnoticed  😀

    • brobin on May 4, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    than the colors I see today.  I think it is a matter of time, space and perspective.  

    Therefore, I too would like to view a landscape, or perhaps a lovely work of art with my point-of-view today and then jump back or forward to a different time and through the same eyes compare the variation of my observations.

    That might even be more rewarding than seeing it through others eyes.

    If I close my eyes and remember certain things from my past today, if it is very quiet and I am at peace with myself, the differences are quite vibrant.  The results are no less interesting now than they were then.

  3. Thanks for sharing VC. Always glad to read your writing.

  4. still waiting for that e-mail…

    i know how you feel. but i’m closer to having things resolved, soooooooo

    lovely writing, lovely little authentic details…

    a big hug and smooches…

  5. It sounds strangely familiar….

    It’s so funny that you posted that head tracking video – I watched it a few weeks ago with my husband and thought the 3-d effect was wicked cool (as they say here on the north shore – I’ll bet that before the end of the year you will use that expression).

    Gosh I’m glad you don’t stick your tongue out in person as much as you do in your essays ;P

  6. I think it is so awesome that you write so well and have that ultra cool hard science background. I can see you doing well in research.

    One of my biggest personal regrets has been my inability to master anything beyond biology. I can’t even do math. I can add, subtract and do drug calculations. That is it.

    • Metta on May 6, 2008 at 1:14 am

    let me know.  I could use some.  For awhile I was taking guitar lessons as part of my latest journey in self discovery: what is my passion?  As it turns out my passion is not guitar, due partly to some finger injuries on my left hand and lack of desire and talent.  The reason I bring it up is that while I was transposing some music to tablature my ability to do mental math increased temporarily!  That was cool.

    My optometrist said we get more observant as we get older.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not for me. I could do with less internal self-discovery at this point. He says that’s why changes in visual acuity tend to bother us more as we get older.  I’m not sure that’s a fact but I think I notice greater details in nature.  I see more complexity to flowers, tree bark, textures, broad ranges of colors.  I am waiting for my heart to open to it’s passion.  I’m thinking that this attention to visual details might be a clue.

    It sounds like you have a nice balance in your life right now.  Having a good place to live and be comfortable is a great place to begin. Things planned for the summer, etc.  My impression is that you have created the space for things to come together.  Blend action and patience!

    Cheers VC

    p.s. I will be taking my own advice, one of my favorite quotes is that “you teach best what you most need to learn”

  7. I love Report on the Barnhouse Effect. definitely my favorite Vonnegut short story, probably my favorite short story of all time. thanks for reminding me of it. I’m way overdue for a reread.

    I know what you mean about a quarter-life crisis, but the thing is I can’t tell the difference between that and normalcy. I oscillate like a pendulum. if I could piece together 6 stable months in a row I might catch up to you and your positive self-fulfilling prophecies but somehow I doubt I have it in me. sometimes I think maybe I should just go back to school. at least there all the time ends up amounting to something tangibly valuable, even if it’s just a silly piece of paper.

    glad to hear your plans are working out.

    • RUKind on May 9, 2008 at 6:28 am

    Stanislaw Lem has a collection of shorts that’s very worthwhile. He’s a Polish version of Vonnegut, if you will. You  get to see life through a different socio-political prism with the same cutting humor. Lem has some other great ones. too. I rec The Futurological Congress.

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