Tag Archives: dreams

I was born in the arms of imaginary friends.

These past few weeks, I had been feeling a little restless and frustrated with Minnesota. It was finally getting to me. At the point when I had just begun to feel comfortable in my new surroundings, I had also turned the corner from the excitement and thrill of discovering a new place. It was like the point in a relationship after the initial buzz has died down a little. Then you start to notice all of the things that you actually hate about that person. He’s always late. She always smells like a French whore house. Those little things can really just pile up and piss you off.
That’s how I had started to feel about Minnesota. Well, not the entire state, but what I know of it. The little things started to really, really piss me off. I even drafted an entire blog post about it. As we are all well aware, I am a very emotional person, and my surroundings are quite a bit more important to me than they should be. Thus, my being pissed with my environment is very, very dangerous.
Last night I talked through it with some people who really get me, I had a wonderfully cathartic cry,  and I washed my face and went to sleep.
I woke up this morning, and I decided to go for a run. For those of you who don’t know this, Minnesota is cold. Like, really fucking cold. The kind of cold that instantly freezes the inside of your nose when you step outside. The kind of cold that just hurts, and causes actual pain if you’re not dressed appropriately. (Guys wearing shorts and flip flops- you’re not impressing anyone. No one wants to see your blue toes.) Therefore, my spontaneous decision to go for a run (outside) was a little out of the ordinary.
I put on my Under Armour and gloves, grabbed my iPhone, and decided that today would be the day to wear by bitch socks. Not only are they adorably sassy, but they have some pretty awesome memories attached to them. I laced up my Nike’s and set off on a journey across the Mississippi.
I got to the Sketchy Bridge, and I felt pretty warm. I stopped half way across the river just because the Mississippi looked so badass. It was so dark, but the snow around it was so bright. I don’t really know how to describe it – it was just beautiful. It was powerful. It was pretty cool…running across this huge mass of ice water, listening to the very best running song of all time. I then ran through the West Bank, and ran back across the Covered Bridge (I still don’t know their names. I just refer to them as the Sketchy Bridge and the Covered Bridge.) and through campus, and thought to myself, Oh hey. That wasn’t so bad. Let’s do it again! (The “us” being me and Sydney Carton…we do a lot of things together. He just helps me evaluate myself and helps me keep my cool.) So, we did it again. The second time I was crossing the bridge, I stopped again. There was no one else on the bridge, and it  made me feel so powerful. I then resumed my little run, repeated the same loop, and stretched defrosted on the yoga mat next to my bed.
I then showered for approximately seventy minutes, applied a Body Shop tea tree face mask, and moisturized the shit out of my skin because that run sucked every ounce of moisture from me. I then met up with two other students from my class to work on this week’s problem set. We did ours independently and compared results, and I had a completely different analysis from them. It scared the shit out of me, and I really doubted my ability to ever study linguistics because I came at it from a totally different direction, and these guys knew their stuff. The chick I was working with is really, really good at this, and she realized that the right solution was actually a combination of our analyses. I was like, Oh hey. I’m not dumb or useless. I’m actually a necessary element to this solution! High five, Sydney! I didn’t really know the girl I was working with very well until today, and she’s actually really interesting. She was all snappy and kind of frustrated with my immense lack of understanding in terms of her analysis, and she let it show. It made me so, so happy. Every time she let me see how she really felt about me (which is not 100% pleased), I kind of wanted to hug her. But I didn’t, because the Jackal would not have appreciated that.
After we successfully completed the analysis and I had finished my vanilla chai, I went to the piercing shop and got my lip pierced. Just kidding. But I did go to the piercing shop, because the second ear piercing that I got in September had been acting a little weird and I needed to get it checked out. The piercing guy asked me where I was from, and we started talking about his time in NY. He asked me what I thought of MN, and I told him that I liked it, and then he asked me which I preferred. He seemed like an alright dude, so I told him the truth – that I have no idea. I told him what I liked and disliked about each place, but that even if right now I am feeling a little bummed in terms of my relationship with Minnesota, I need to be here. He thought everything I said was pretty accurate, except for he was a native Minnesotan, and he doesn’t really fit the bill in terms of the (usually accurate) stereotypes. Piercing Guy then told me his story, and it was really cool. He told me that he felt the same way when he moved back to MN, and he couldn’t connect with a lot of his old friends because they were “bros” and he had deviated from the bro culture. He told me about a few places I should check out to find “more people like us.” I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that, because I am not a man and I do not have neck tattoos, but it still felt good to hear some freaky dude refer to me and him as “us.”
The biggest issue with my relationship with Minnesota was that it just couldn’t really appreciate a lot of what makes up the best parts of me. I suck at so, so many things. I’m not that nice. I’m not that attractive. I’m not that smart. But there are a few parts of me that I know with certainty are awesome – the parts that make me happy with who I am. The people who stay in my life are the ones who can see that, and the ones in whom I see the parts that really shine. Minnesota and I were having a really hard time seeing one another that way.
One of those parts of me is my appreciation of things that are greater than myself. I can count on two hands the number of times in my life that I have literally been in awe, and could have just stared at something for hours. I can also count on two hands the number of times I have tasted something that I did not know could ever exist, as well as the number of times I have actually said to myself, “You will never, ever forget this moment.” I would try to explain some of these moments, and I would be brushed off as “Oh, well that’s just Marissa.” Minnesota would mistake my desire to express the magnitude of those moments and their importance to me as bragging or trying to seem superior, and it would not try to access or understand those parts of me. It couldn’t appreciate this part of me that makes who I am. Today on the bridge, I had one of those moments handed to me by Minnesota itself. A moment that I’ll be able to return to every time I get my lazy ass in gear and run across Sketchy Bridge in freezing temperatures.
Another part of me that I value is my ability to connect to people. Do you know how hard it is to connect to something that isn’t being honest with you? It’s really hard. I had been desperately searching for a person to be honest with me. “Minnesota nice” is alive and well, but I tend to forget that just because someone is being nice does not mean that they are also being honest. Minnesota does not like to offend me, and that’s fine. But when you cross the line from politeness to untruthfulness, it just makes me endlessly confused and frustrated. Today, Chick from Linguistics was brutally honest with me. When I wasn’t understanding something, she was frustrated, and she let it show. Not in a rude way, but in a way that revealed her complete transparency. It felt so, so good. To top it all off, even though she was tired of explaining the same thing to me over and over again, she kept doing it until I understood. She was transparent, but also determined to help me understand. She was both good, and honest.
Another part of me that Minnesota just really couldn’t grasp was my lack of interest in anything under the umbrella of “trivial” or “petty.” I don’t laugh at things that I don’t find funny. I don’t use sarcasm because it’s anger’s ugly cousin, and lying to me is no form of humor. It’s just deception. And I don’t find it funny. I spend way too much time thinking about what I want to happen to my body after I die, WWSD (What Would Sydney Do?), and how I can use whatever scraps of intellect that have been given to me to prevent bad things from happening to good people. Some would say I take life too seriously, but it’s just how I’m wired. I smile when I’m happy or when I’m trying to be, and I don’t feel the need to regularly validate my emotions by telling everyone on Facebook just how much I love one person. And I don’t know that much about him, but Piercing Guy seemed like he “takes life a little too seriously” as well. He could just be really weird and a good listener with a good story, but nevertheless, he seemed like he got it. Maybe he didn’t, but it seemed to me like he did. Maybe that’s what he meant by “people like us.” I don’t know.
It’s certainly no coincidence that the day after the Great Catharsis of Spring Semester 2013 was the day that I seem to have resolved my problems with Minnesota. I talked to a few people yesterday, a few of the ones who always know exactly what to say to push me over the edge and make me get over myself, and they all said that I had to stop looking at the bad. It’s such a cliché, but my life is 85% how I choose to look at things. If today had happened a few days ago, I guarantee that I would not have chosen to see the value in these experiences because I would have been drowning in my own pessimism and disappointment in Minnesota. Last night I made the decision to stop being a dick and to start being happy, so I saw all of the beauty of today. Today was beautiful.
Have a beautiful day.

(I just posted this, and stretched my arms back because I’ve been chillin in Starbucks for like 2.5 hours. I looked down, and far too many buttons on my favorite shirt had become undone to reveal the obnoxious pink bow on my bra. I have no idea how long my shirt has been like this. That’s the problem with hanging out with literary characters…they don’t tell you this shit.)

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And then I ripped his head off.

I used to have a private blog of my dreams. I had a couple hundred different dreams on there, but then I realized that if anyone ever saw that, they would basically have a perfect view into my subconscious, and I am not so sure I would like that. So I deleted the blog and its contents. It was a little sad because there were some great ones on there, but sometimes I just let go of things because the pain of losing them is sweet. It’s like the pain that we feel when we have a bruise and we just keep poking it.
Anyway, I have put some of my dreams on here, and I am going to put part of last night’s dream on here today. It was a really really weird dream, but I can’t stop thinking about it. It probably isn’t the best idea to put this on here because it may or may not have quite a lot to do with what is going on in my conscious and subconscious thoughts, but whatever. It’s going up anyway.
I had quadruplets. I didn’t know I was pregnant, then bam…four babies just popped out of me. I was like, “Awesome. I always wanted kids. Cool.” I had three girls and one boy, and one of the girls was born without an arm. I thought it was my fault that she didn’t have an arm…and I felt so, so, so bad about it. I mean I didn’t think I directly caused it, but I felt like it was somehow a result of something I did. Then I had to name them. I spend A LOT of time thinking about names. Not just names of my future children, but names in general. I think of why people pick certain names, what different names mean, what names mean to me, and how different names sound together. So I already knew of quite a few names that I love, but I needed to give my daughter who was born without an arm a perfect name. I couldn’t think of one, because I always find something wrong with every name, but I named her Ilana. I then realised that I don’t even like that name very much, and it just didn’t sound strong enough, so I started freaking out because I couldn’t think of a good name.
I eventually named her Emiliana. I do like that name. Five syllables is a little long, so it would definitely require a nickname, and I don’t like most of the nicknames that would likely come from it (Emili, Emi, Ana). The only ones I kind of like are Lia or Liana. Anyway, I named her Emiliana Ryan. Last names didn’t exist in my dream apparently. The other ones were Leila Pax, Noelle Hudson, and Samuel Alexander. I quite like those ones. I apparently have a thing for liquid consonants. They’re kind of my defaults. Because every 18 year old should have default names for their nonexistent children incase they have kids in a dream.
When I was younger, there were three kinds of dreams that I would have quite often. In the first, I was somewhere without my shoes. I would just forget them or I would have lost them, and somehow I was somewhere important without shoes. In the second I would be in a car and unable to drive. I would have to get out of some place, but I would be at the wheel with no idea of how to drive a car. In the third, I would have a child and have no idea what to name it. All of these dreams are really stressful for me and I usually grind my teeth when I have them (I am aware of this because my jaw is sore as fuck the next morning). All of these come from lacking a certain preparedness, and even though I will probably not forget my shoes and I do now know how to drive, I still have those dreams sometimes. It’s odd.
Anyway, that’s why I got super into names this summer. I had so many dreams about not knowing what to name my child and stressing about it and trying to research names and figure out the perfect name, so in reality I decided I should probably just look into names a bit more so I could feel less stressed and more prepared in my dreams. I am so, so, so weird. Not that “unique, special, interesting” kind of weird. I am just dumb. But it’s ok. It’s fine.
So in the dream I finally named my children, and I went to my house in NY. Then my mom started taking them from me and I was like, “No, chill. I got this.” And I had it. In my dream I was actually really confused because I was aware of the fact that you can’t really be pregnant with quadruplets and not know it, but I ignored that fact. Then my family was setting up for Christmas Eve, and my dad’s friend came over for brunch and he brought his dog (he doesn’t actually have a dog). The dog went up to the quadruplets and started barking at them, and so I literally ripped his head off and threw his dismembered body out the front door and into the snow, and all the snow turned red. Then my dad’s friend started yelling at me and hitting me for killing his dog, then my dad killed him. Everything was then weirdly normal (as normal as me having quadruplets can be) and I was just sitting there with my parents and my children in our living room with the Christmas tree and music and everything was fine.
I realize that this post is a disorganized mess of things that you probably shouldn’t know, but it’s finals week and this dream would not leave my head until I got it out. It’s out.

September 11th, 2012

I don’t know how these things happen. Perhaps it’s just that we are not all creatures of habit. Maybe it’s just that we all grow up. Maybe it’s that those of us who don’t grow up never get to experience it. Maybe it’s not growing up, maybe it’s just changing. Maybe we don’t grow and advance upward or forward, but we just move and shift across the spectrum of personality, across the spectrum of everything we could be. Everything we all could be. Maybe every decision we make doesn’t help us advance in life, but all of our choices just help us shift across the board of experiences.

Because baby, I’ve shifted.

When I was younger, all I ever wanted was attention and friends and laughing and talking. Now, I enjoy being by myself so, so much. I’m not sure why. I absolutely relish the times when I can sit alone and read my textbooks and drink coffee and walk around in the sunshine and listen to music and just be happy.

You know, I think that’s my key to happiness. If I can be happy with myself, then I can be happy regardless of everyone else. I don’t mean happy with myself as in proud and accepting of myself, but rather happy with just being with my own thoughts. Maybe that makes me crazy. Maybe it makes me narcissistic. Maybe it makes me a loner. But it makes me happy…

I love people, I really do. I think people are so interesting, and no one can survive alone. However, I don’t think anyone can really be happy until your happiness does not rely on anyone else whatsoever. This becomes problematic when you have to worry about things such as a family, but I still think it’s possible.

I got my ear pierced. Twice, actually. Right next to one another. And I love them. I think I am going to get a third one.

I have been kind of bothered lately. Bad things have been happening to good people. The kinds of bad things that make me think, “Oh, God…please just let that happen to me instead. They don’t deserve it.” The kinds of things that make me tear up in Starbucks. But I can’t fix it. I can’t fix the problems of the world. The inevitable tragedies. I can’t fix other people’s problems, as much as I want to. As much as I hate to see people I love struggle with heartache and loss and all the bullshit that shouldn’t be happening, I can’t do anything about it.

Maybe that’s why I am studying psychology – so that one day, I can help people fix one of the most common struggles of life – themselves. Maybe that’s it…that’s how I know that I will never be a “sellout.” Industrial psychology…no no. I’m in it for the gold, darling. I want that shiny prize of having actually helped people. And, I will not give up. I am far too proud to settle for less than changing someone’s life for the better. My ego would not be able to handle the trauma of not being a positive force that pulls someone from the gutter of their emotions. So hopefully, this college shit will all pay off (quite literally) and I will be successful at this.

I have some infixes to learn. Ta ta for now.

Watch Your Mouth

When I was in sixth grade, my seat in class was next to my best friend. I brought in sticky foam letters to pimp out our Crayola desk labels, and our desks were super fly. The next morning when we went back to our desks, someone had rearranged the letters to spell different words. Using some of my friend’s letters and my middle name, he spelled out “Marissa Cerone Is Gay” on my desk.

We both knew what douche bag had done that, and it was the only person who ever gave me a hard time about being best friends with the boy I sat next to. I had previously been forced into a group project with that tool, and I learned that he was actually alright, but that he was just extremely annoying. One day after the project, he asked me if I wanted him to go to the dance that weekend. I didn’t understand exactly what he meant. I told him that I didn’t not want him to go, but I had no particular desire to see him there, and that I really didn’t care at all about whether or not he went. So then he said, “So you don’t want to go with me?” Now, that was a different story. I knew for sure that I would not go with him, because he was a tool, and I told him that (probably worded a little bit differently). “So are you going with him (referring to best friend)?” I explained to him that he was only my friend, and that I was not going with anyone. “Well if you don’t like him, and you don’t like me, then who do you like?” I told him that I didn’t like anyone (in 6th grade, “like” is a loaded word. trust me.), and I am pretty sure I basically told him to piss off. “Well are you a lesbian?” I didn’t exactly know what that word meant (Catholic school for nine years hollaaa), but I had heard it before and I knew it didn’t apply to me, so I told him so. I then asked my friend what that meant, and he started laughing to the point of tears (not a rare occurrence…part of the reason we were such good friends is that he rightfully never took me (or anything else) too seriously.) as he explained to me that it was just what people call gay girls. (He was also the first person to seriously tell me to seek psychological help and to tell me what a bong was. He was impressively accurate for an eleven year old.)

So I knew exactly what tool had written that on my desk, and torn up some letters to make a G and an I because neither of us had any extra of those in our names.

I removed the letters and my teacher asked me why I was throwing them out. I told her that someone had rearranged and torn the letters and messed up our names, and that I would just use markers like everyone else. She asked me what they had written, and when I told her, she gasped and said not to worry, and that she would get to the bottom of it. I told her to chill (probably not in those words) because I knew who had done it, but that I didn’t really care. (At that point, I had just had a pretty big emotional outburst in class that involved me throwing a lunchbox across the room. There was a reason that my best/only friend was a boy. Eleven-year-old. Hormonal. Emotional. Disaster. So I did not want anymore attention.) She then told me that she had a zero-tolerance policy for name calling, and then I reminded her of what he had written. He didn’t call me a name or make fun of me, he just said that I was gay. Then she reminded me of how sorry she was about that, and she explained to me that it wasn’t nice to call someone gay. I then remembered hearing the kids on the bus using it like that too, but I still didn’t get it, so I asked her why it was a mean thing to say. “Well, homosexuality is a sin.” I highly doubted that. I mean, she wasn’t the brightest teacher I had ever had, and that was such a silly thing to say. But she was speaking quietly and she seemed uncomfortable, so I just told her who did it and moved on.

I mean, my uncle was gay, and he wasn’t a sinner? I mean, he was to the extent that all of us are, but he didn’t commit the kinds of sins that people have to whisper about? But…my parents didn’t like it either. They didn’t whisper about it or anything, but they were angry with him for telling my brother about it. I just kind of figured that out, but I figured out lots of things about people when they thought I wasn’t listening. Anyway, she couldn’t be right about this. “Gay” was just the word people used for people who love other people who are the same gender. It was just like another kind of love…Being gay could not be a sin. I would ask someone else.

I asked my friend, and he didn’t know. We never really talked about these things in a religious context, so I didn’t know. When we got to my English class, we asked the teacher, and she was a little startled. It was odd (was going to use the word queer- there is a time and a place, my friends) how she spoke quietly as well. She told us that homosexuality was taboo, and absolutely a sin.

In that moment, I felt a little sick, but more confused than anything. Only a few weeks prior I had learned that sex was more than a synonym for gender, and I knew what being gay meant, but I didn’t know it was wrong.

Maybe you could say that I didn’t think it was wrong because I didn’t perfectly understand the biology of it all, but I don’t think that’s it at all. I think I just didn’t understand it because it seemed silly. It seemed stupid. I wanted to know why it was wrong, but I could not ask my teachers. They didn’t seem like they really wanted to talk about it. I couldn’t ask my parents, because I was 11 and they were my parents, so I kind of just wondered until I was home alone and could Google it on the desktop in our kitchen.

What I saw scared me so much. No, it wasn’t porn. It was something about why it was sexually wrong, and I didn’t really understand a lot of it because I just did not know enough about sex to get how everything worked. It didn’t scare me because of that, but it scared me because it seemed really angry, and I still could not wrap my head around why it was so wrong. (I have tried finding the site but I can’t find it…it’s from pre-2007 so it’s probably in the depths of web somewhere that I do not have the time to delve into.) This was the first time that anything about my religion did not make sense to me, and I just assumed it was because it was about lots of things that I didn’t know about.

That was it for my curiosity for a while, because every time I thought about that I felt sick. I would get knots of embarrassment in my stomach whenever I remembered how I had unknowingly asked about such a taboo topic, and I was mad at that stupid boy for tearing up my letters and writing that on my desk.

The realization that “gay” could be used as an insult made me sick in the same way that “retarded” did. My mother raised me with the awareness of how hurtful of an insult that was, not because it’s not nice to the person you are referring to, but because it’s incredibly disrespectful and just cruel to the people who actually are mentally retarded. Imagine…people commonly using your condition as a joke, or an insult? My mom is particularly sensitive about these things because her sister has Down’s Syndrome, but she also told me not to judge people who use it because they probably just don’t know any better. As a child, I had a particular hatred for curse words, and I would literally feel sick when people used them around me. It wasn’t that I never heard them at home (obviously, if you know my parents, you know how that is definitely not the case, and I have since gotten over that as evident by these blog posts), but the fact that you would choose to use a word so horrible that I am not allowed to say it made me sick. Hearing racial slurs still puts a little knot in my stomach, because I feel like you are hurting someone that I care about. Even when used humorously, I believe far too much in the power of words to accept that something is ever “only a word” and that is cannot do harm.

When “gay” and “retarded” are used as insults and any kind of ethnic or racial slur are used at all, you are saying that there is something terribly wrong and undesirable with that group of people. “Gay” and “retarded” are different from terms in regard to race because the first two are not negative in their essence, and it’s fine to use them properly. However, most ethnic slurs are literally created as a means to degrade a group of human beings, and I just don’t know how we can call ourselves decent human beings while we still use these words on the regular. I am not a hippie who says that “Love is the answer,” I am not a Christian who is telling you to “Love thy neighbor,” and I am not a pretentious teenager (Well, I try) who thinks that I know the solutions to the problems of society. I am just a human being that believes that any kind of term coined for the sole purpose of putting down people that I love is a crime against everything I believe in, and that every time you make a joke and use those hurtful words, you are widening the gaps that so many individuals have fought to bridge throughout history.

I could think and write about that forever, but my point is that when I first learned that being called gay was an insult, it resonated a lot more with me than it probably does with most people for a few reasons. I was not raised in a house where that was an insult, so I didn’t understand it. I didn’t know that homosexuality was something that was so undesirable to enough people for it to become a common term of offense. And finally, although I hadn’t considered it so thoroughly by that age, I still had the awareness of the power of language and the societal implications of derogatory terms to know that either something was wrong with me, or something was wrong with everyone else.

If in my 11-year-old innocence and naivety I found it ridiculous that calling me gay was actually meant to hurt my feelings, then perhaps we should all just take a second to wonder where that little brat learned that calling someone gay was an insult. Bingo.

And don’t get me wrong, my parents do not think less of any human being regardless of that long list of things that make us all so vastly different. However, I even see in them the manipulation that is the result of hearing these words, making those jokes, and saying things that only harm. Even if you think something is hilarious and you just have to share it with someone, don’t. Because somewhere along the line that joke or comment will land on a pair of innocent ears. And what that child hears will shape his opinions about different kinds of people, and what a crying shame it would be for him to think it’s okay to think less of any group of people because of you. That kid admires you, and looks to you as an example of how he should live his life. “As long as it’s just a joke. I don’t really mean it.” Even if whatever you are thinking is fall off your chair hilarious, keep it to yourself. Every time you say something that degrades any kind of human being, you reinforce the idea that it’s okay to think that way, to place the worth of any group of human being below another’s. That kid is getting it from music, from his friends, from TV,…please don’t reinforce those bigoted influences with your own words.