• Speaking My Mind

    Post-Graduation Blues (Fake Happy)

    It’s ironic how happy I look in this photo considering that graduation has not been an entirely happy time. Granted, I took this photo a day or two before the graduation ceremonies and the drama occurred.

    During the first of the three commencements I attended, I was just trying not to cry the entire time. The second two ceremonies were less emotionally intense, despite the pouring rain, but afterward, my sister went to the ER during dinner due to a potential concussion (which thankfully, she didn’t have). This caused my mom to stress out excessively. Then I moved home, which was exhausting although my grandparents helped out tremendously. The next day, I went to a family dinner with my parents and my sister, which ended in tears on my part and my mom stormed out of the restaurant. She ignored me and my sister until the following evening. Lastly, my girlfriend got an internship, which is incredibly exciting but I’ve cried a ton because of it. The last part of these dramatic days is what I really want to talk about now because the other stuff has been resolved.

    I am afraid of being alone this summer, which seems like it’s going to happen anyway. This has caused me to spiral into sadness when the people around me are successful. Pretty much all my friends have jobs and/or are moving out of state/out of the country. No one is going to be local to me except for my sister, but even she has a job. I mean, yeah, I have a part-time job until mid-August that allows me to work remotely, which would allow me the time and flexibility to

    1. Research PhD programs
    2. Apply for jobs
    3. Study for the GREs
    4. Organize my life both physically (my room is a mess) and mentally (I’m a mess)
    5. Do my month-long, intensive yoga teacher training

    So yeah…I need to be alone to do most of these, if not all, of these activities. Therefore, I will have plenty of time to accomplish these goals because I have a part-time job during these critical summer months. On the other hand, though, I wanted to do fun activities and trips and because not even my girlfriend will be local to me now…I feel like I can’t do them unless I want to go on my own.

    My girlfriend said she is going to see me weekly, and I believe her but when she’s not seeing me, she’s going to be working and having fun where she’s at. Everyone is going to be having fun where they’re at. Meanwhile, I feel worried that I’m just going to be at my parents’ home, alone studying or something…which isn’t bad…I have different goals than her and everyone else for this summer but…I don’t know what my problem is. I’m jealous of everyone else, I’m comparing everyone else to myself, and so I feel bad about myself for no reason.

    She said I need to change my perspective, which I agree. I definitely need to do that.

    Maybe the interests and goals I have for my life will cause me to feel a little isolated from everyone, even if my friends and girlfriend were around. If I am going to be doing a PhD program, these feelings will probably continue because I’ll be spending a lot of time studying and working on the weekends, whereas my friends who get jobs with their Bachelor’s may be able to go to brunch on Sundays and mingle more.

    Regardless, this gap year or two or three that I am taking sucks. I feel stagnant and alone in that. I want to find a job but I haven’t been looking even though my girlfriend and mom send me job listings once in a while…I want to figure out a PhD program I’m interested in but I haven’t been looking at that either, although I’ve talked to my thesis advisors about it. My girlfriend said I’m avoiding things and so…yeah, I am. I’m unsure why though.

    I know in the past, avoidance is a method I practice when I’m either depressed or anxious. Perhaps I’m feeling a little bit of both right now. Possibly due to my graduation blues.

    Do people talk about how awful graduation is? Aside from the overwhelming emotions that arise during the ceremonies, afterward is so much worse. Suddenly, you go from having tons of friends within walking-distance to having no friends nearby. All your friends become busy with their adult lives and you’re stuck living at home with your parents, who ask you daily about getting a job (if you don’t already have one, like me). The possibility of getting a job, being able to move out, and make friends/have friends feels impossible. Not only does that feel impossible, but so does working toward a doctorate because there are 100,000 steps I have to take before even applying for a program.

    Maybe I’m a little depressed and anxious and I didn’t realize the depth of it until now. Regardless, it’s manageable and I’ll overcome it. Right now, I’m unsure how and I’m unsure when this will happen. I may end up having to take two years off, which is okay although undesirable. But worrying about how long things will take is not what I need to be doing right now. So first thing’s first…

    1. Focus on myself!!! I have a part time job for a couple of more months and I’ll be busy doing the YTT. In the evenings, I’ll need to study for it in addition to doing the work required for the other goals I have listed below.
    2. My path is not anyone’s path. I will find a job if I actually look for one and apply. I will figure out what doctorate program to do if I actually look at them. I will be prepared for the GREs if I actually open the book and study for them.
    3. I will do fun things this summer with my girlfriend and my sister. Maybe I can challenge myself a bit too by doing fun things by myself. I can’t rely on anyone but myself. I must be there for myself and not allow people’s inability to hang out with me deter me from having a good time.
    4. Be at peace with myself.

    I may need to repeat these things like a mantra until I relax. I was able to do this two summers ago. During that summer, I was lonesome but at peace with it. I didn’t write much during that time so I don’t remember what I was doing exactly…I was taking a summer class and working part-time but that was it. I probably read a lot and watched TV. I don’t know how I achieved that state of mind but I will figure out how to get back there.

    Anyway, tomorrow I’m leaving for Disney so I’ll try my best to enjoy myself and maybe I’ll plan a little bit about how I’m going to manage my days when I return so that I am busy daily. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    -Weekend Blog!

    Graduation is in less than two weeks, and my life has been a little hectic in an exciting way. This past weekend I spent my days drinking and snacking at alumni events and other University gatherings with my friends and my girlfriend, hence why I did not get to make a Sunday post this Sunday. I was recovering from all the fun.

    I’ve been enjoying my last days as an undergraduate though because I’ve been celebrating with people that I care about and I also have more exciting activities planned up until graduation (I have three commencements to attend), and even after. Thus, my regular blogging schedule may continue to be a little erratic until late May or the beginning of June.

    Since I didn’t get to post on Sunday because of the senioritis excitement, I will at least detail the festivities I participated in.

    Thursday:

    My girlfriend and I went on a spontaneous date! We greatly enjoy BYOB sushi places, which is what we did at a local place. The drug store near us surprisingly had alcohol (this is a novelty experience in NJ where only liquor stores carry alcohol), and we got a wine that was less than $5! Neither of us had ever found and purchased a wine that cheap (except maybe when I was in Europe) it wasn’t bad wine at all. It easily could have been at least a $10 wine.

    Anyway, it was great because we at sushi and got drunk on cheap wine. Then when we were leaving, we heard live music at a bar and so we popped in. It was a male guitarist who had a great voice. We got Moscow mules, which is my favorite mixed drink at the moment, and had a great time listening to the musician at a pretty hipster place.

    We’ve been to that bar before because it’s also a liquor store, and last time we did BYOB sushi locally, we got a $25 bottle of wine there. That was the most I’ve spent on wine, but it was well worth it. That bottle was from Spain and it was simply divine.

  • Poetry,  Speaking My Mind

    laborious thoughts

    what 

    is life after college?

     

    creation of visual art

    creating your own brand

    and poetry

    that represents deeper issues and meanings

    of the universe

    while

    you travel aimlessly

    to create

    to survive

    to find your own purpose

    on this grand, fucked up-

    beautiful globe

    do you turn to spiritual practices

    to see more clearly

    the beauty of the mess?

     

    or

     

    is it about

    working nine to five

    FULL TIME FULL TIME FULL TIME

    MEDICAL BENEFITS

    COMPETITIVE SALARIES

    R E T I R E M E N T plans

    so you can move out

    of your small, carpeted childhood bedroom

    and into a larger one

    with hardwood floors

    that you share with someone that looks at you

    with stars in their eyes?

     

    are there alternatives? what are they?

     

    what do i want?

     

    © 2017 Vic Romero

     

  • Short Stories,  Speaking My Mind

    Finally

    I was ready this time.

    I squatted with my back against the empty pickle barrels, tightly grasping the pistol, waiting. My hands were clammy and shaking, and I tried taking deep breaths to calm myself down. I didn’t want to miss again, not when I only had one bullet left.

    I heard some loud footsteps nearby, presumably the graceless footsteps of the enemy. I leaned out from behind the barrel to get a better look, and sure enough, there she was. She was looking around the dim basement, her expression was frustrated.

  • Short Stories,  Speaking My Mind

    A Short Tale About A Tall Guy and the Shitty, Short “Relationship” I Had With Him (possibly to be continued)

    Told in the Form of Facebook Messages

    I met a guy I liked but he came on too strong so I told him I just wanted to be friends..we got drunk and then he convinced me we should kiss cuz people do it and ever since we’ve been hooking up

    All the affection from hooking up has caused me to like him again, along with getting to know him better like he’s a nice guy but now I’m just not sure

  • Speaking My Mind,  unzipped lips

    Finally Re-Unzipping My Lips: Dating Again

    I realized yesterday that’s it’s been six months since I’ve been in a relationship. It’s crazy how much has changed since then, and how much I’ve changed. I’ve become stronger and more self-loving after having accidentally putting my heart in the wrong hands. I now realize that the awful way I was treated had nothing to do with me. Despite knowing this now, it took me a long time to believe it. I spent that time beating myself up and dwelling on the pain she caused me. Now that I believe it, I still think about it though. 

  • Short Stories,  Speaking My Mind

    Dying Embers in December

    I ignored the cramps in my fingers as I fervently knitted the hat I was making, pushing my pestering thoughts out of my head.  Although this was a soothing activity, which was something I severely needed after being berated, it was also a mindless activity.  I was trying to swaddle my bruised heart with the black yarn that gleamed with red sparkles, but it was futile.  No amount of swaddling would heal my heart…I had to heal my heart myself.  So I tentatively succumbed to my pestering thoughts, thinking that if I faced them head-on, I would be able to accept them better.  When I started paying attention to my thoughts though, they became louder and overwhelming.  I squeezed my eyes closed and began to think of something positive in a desperate attempt to push back the tears that I knew would soon be flooding my eyes.  When I reopened my eyes, all I focused on were the needles in my sore hands, using the pain to create something warm and beautiful.

    © 2015 Vic Romero

  • Short Stories,  Speaking My Mind

    “Bang The Doldrums” (AKA The Bullshit Breakup)

    “Excuse me, excuse me!  Do you have a boyfriend?”

    I stared at him blankly, unsure of the best reply but finally settling upon “I’m gay.”

    His tall frame retreated back into the room and I heard a girl ask him what happened as the door clicked shut behind him.  I sighed and hid inside my room, feeling extremely uncomfortable and unhappy with my response.  Aside from the fact that I don’t even identify as “gay,” I felt a better response would’ve been “I’m uninterested” or “I’m in love with someone else.”

    “I’m uninterested” was a bolder response that may spark a discussion though.  “Why are you uninterested?  Do you think I’m ugly?  You don’t even know me” may have been one of his counters, and being my timid self, I didn’t want to engage in that discussion.

    “I’m in love with someone else” would’ve been the most accurate response, except I felt hurt for being in love with someone that didn’t seem to love me anymore.

  • Short Stories,  Speaking My Mind

    Karma

    she threw her torso over the edge of the bed and hung upside down. her hair swished back and forth, grazing the floor. her shirt rode up her stomach, revealing her belly ring and her hip piercingings.

    “in retrospect,” she sighed, “nothing matters. if something seems shitty, look at it upsidedown.”

    i laughed. “you’re so wise when you’re drunk.”

    she put her hands on the floor and then puhed off with her legs, kicking herself over her head and landing on her feet, facing me.

    “i’m not drunk, i’m serious,” she insisted. “you take astronomy! how insignificant is earth in comparison to the universe?”

    “earth is really small.”

    “yes! earth is like the point of a needle! and yet, we as people…we’re even smaller than that…and we get so upset!” she exclaimed, pacing back and fourth. “like you and that girl!”

    “my ex?”

    “yeah! she treated you like crap and you miss her?! no! fuck her! although earth is like the tip of a needle, there’s a fucking lot of people here that would treat you a million times better without even dating you! don’t miss her, fuck her!”on that note, she jumped onto the bed beside me and sprawled out on her back.

    “wow, you really are drunk,” i noted, causing her to erupt in a fit of giggles.

    “yeah…i’m feeling kinda dizzy now,” she laughed. “but i do mean what i said. move on, you deserve better.”

    “i have moved on!” i argued.

    she shook her head sadly and then close her eyes. “what happened to that other girl?”

    i looked at her quizzically. “what other girl?”

    “the one that you thought wasy babylicious! you basically drooled all over her!”

    “hold up,” i interrupted, “i haven’t drooled over anyone, i’ve barely talked to anyone.”

    “you’re full of crap! everytime we go out you wave to someone!” she countered.

    “fine, but i don’t particularly like anyone…”

    “i’m going to find you someone,” she said fervently as she took another swig of tequila from the bottle. “are you sure you don’t want any?”

    “yeah, i’m okay,” i replied.

    her face scrunched up as the liquid burned down her throat.

    “i haven’t drank since…i realized i needed to break up with her. and that was a really low moment for me so i haven’t wanted to drink lately,” i confessed.

    “victoria, that was over two months ago already,” she stated factually. “like i said before, move on”

    “i have though!”

    she shook her head. “when you don’t want to drink because you just don’t want to, then you’ve moved on. but you’re associating drinking with your ex like…we’re finding you someone new in the spring. we are not leaving in the summer without finding you someone that gives you butterflies and makes you blush and makes you feel happy and beautiful and deserving.”

    “okay,” i said, giving in to her positivity and determination. feeling that way again would be nice. i smiled at her, grateful to have her part of my life. she returned my smile with glossy eyes and then handed me the bottle.

    “here, you’re ready. you’re readier than you realize.”

    tentatively, i took the bottle from her grasp and held it to my lips. the aroma was overpowering but i bravely downed a gulp. and then she screamed and hugged me.

    “2015 is going to be our year,” she whispered and then kissed my cheek.

    © 2014 Vic Romero